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Comment Re:Time to switch (Score 2) 214

I don't disagree with your observation at all. I think that Microsoft created a lot of fill in solutions that were baked into workflow over the 90's/00's (abuses of Excel as a poor man's database).

Most of the people I know that "must have" Excel are people that have inherited (or grew into) a position where they'd be a lot happier if they'd have picked up *SQL and tossed some of their learning curve toward php/python. However, Microsoft did something "right" with Office... they let the end user build complexity in an environment that required no additional tools nor unsightly under the hood involvement.

The number of times I've been brought into a project that begins with someone sharing a massive .xlsm and then shaking their head why I can't open it right then and there (my legacy responsibilities are still as a Mac sysadmin, so I carry a Macbook) never fails to amuse (and frustrate) me. The same goes with finding out that 'Bob' is leaving and has a couple of decades of workflow baked into Access, now someone needs to maintain those projects (I've seen the same with Filemaker, btw....).

Right now, I'm watching an absolute abuse of Google's offerings spread like wild fire. People are pulled into projects and are churning out immediate 'results' by offering up a mish-mash of Forms/Sheets/extensions and addons... None of them are developers, many don't even qualify as power users but are being directed from above into positions of visibility in areas that are not their strength. This (in my opinion) is the net result of the "Do more with less." philosophy that's becoming increasingly pervasive in my industry.

The real problem turns into this: All of this could be cleared up with some planning and development time. The cycle could end, but it won't. Path of least resistance is to continue on and force more and more people through a cycle of learning someone's else's ad hoc solutions as part of a mission critical product.

As I'm approaching 50, I'm starting to see why so many in our field say, "Screw this, I'd rather work with my hands." I think back to my university days of running heavy equipment to pay the bills (and before I made a little too much money installing the odd Lantastic networks for local businesses) and regret not sticking with that philosophy major (or just running a backhoe and playing guitar).

Comment Really? (Score 4, Insightful) 110

I have no horse in this race; beyond setting up a RetroPie build that includes a few NES/SNES games, Nintendo hasn't been on my radar in over twenty years.

That said... A Reddit post from yesterday consisting of a "Hey, Reddit... look at this shit!" with a "Yeah, me too!" in the comments now constitutes a discussion on Slashdot? Is this really where we're going?

Fuck the signal, let's just pump noise! Good job, BeauHD.

Comment Re:They really don't understand. (Score 4, Informative) 366

I get the underlying disgust, man.

I work in public education with adults (very well paid, upper tier district administrators) that say this kind of shit. I'm also fed up with the whole "hour of code" based lego blocking of tiles on a screen once a year and saying it means something (yes, it'd be a great on ramp if STEM began in K-2 and the student was using a touch screen interface... but we'd still have to discuss why STEM should start with programming vs. a solid foundation in traditional math, science and literacy).

And to have the whole summary neck deep in the first lady and some model that dates her brother-in-law...? Wha?!?

So, yeah. I get it. But the thing to remember is that a 5 year old is the one that made the comment about coding being a "language". 5 year old's get a pass, because they're wee ones, not idiots. They often turn into idiots, unfortunately -- but at 5, they're not.

Except Billy. That kid is as dumb as box of rocks.

Comment Re:Stupid (Score 1) 1042

I appreciate seeing Egan brought up.

I've always felt he was overlooked by the masses as the father of "stuck in the machine" popular sci-fi of the 90's (13th Floor and The Matrix owe him much recognition). In the past couple of years, a couple of really good sci-fi games (Talos Principle and SOMA) have come out that explore these topics and, unfortunately, I read/hear comparisons to these movies and not the deeper source work of Diaspora and Permutation City.

As a philosophy dropout turned IT consultant back in the early 90's, Egan's concepts have provided decades of thought experiments (and as someone with a few mental health issues, an existential crisis or two that teetered on outright psychotic delusion).

I wish I could still read fiction. I've missed his last two works but I continue to love his ideas from afar.

Comment Re: Thanks to (Score 1) 369

This is why I read at 0 hidden and always have.

It's simple enough for me to ignore Apps!, APK, Moo, GNAA, whatever, but I tend to find that the mix of trolling to considered posts is nowhere near as off balance as usually suggested.

Losing the ability to post anonymously would undermine a core value of Slashdot. How ironic it would be to have a submission fall under "YRO" and know there would be no anonymous posts within... and this comes from a guy that has posted (maybe) twice as anonymous in 15 years. That said, given the state of things at my job, I've seriously been considering it as of late.

Yes, the signal to noise ratio might be frustrating (or humorous, depending on the mood) at times -- but it's an integral part of the experience. AC wasn't a byproduct of bad design, it was an intentional feature at the beginning. I don't think society has evolved to such a point where it has become vestigial. How can it be, there's a Snowden story on the front page right now?

Comment Re:no such thing as reality television (Score 1) 62

Unfortunately, this is true.

I remember being quite excited about the prospect of some show about a group of mechanics that build end end motorcycles. What I wanted was to watch talented cats build beautiful bikes, what I got was some kind of soap opera.

I'd also love to watch a weekly hour long episode focused on luthiers. Show me the beginning to end process of building a beautifully hand crafted guitar, violin, etc... from picking the wood to testing the acoustics and I'd watch it. Hell, expand it to cover all instruments (even though the Hang Drum is no longer being produced, that would have made an excellent series); but, I know... it'd turn into the same thing: personalities on parade.

Comment Re:You just invented the home graphics mainframe! (Score 1) 172

I've got an (aging) Mac Mini Server at home that I use for some recording work (Garageband for quick knock out ideas, Reaper for more involved projects). Due to less time with a guitar in hand/sitting at the keys, I thought I'd play around with Steam's streaming solution (using the Mac as the delivery mechanism for the beastly desktop workstation sitting in the home office).

It works very well. Enough that I wound up picking up their dedicated streaming box. I'm wired Cat6 everywhere it counts, so I didn't bother trying wifi (and can see where there could be some real latency issues there), but I am impressed. I played through Soma, on the couch with a mouse, keyboard, 64" lcd and top quality audio gear this past weekend and was rather impressed with the results.

I was dubious on the onset, but they're getting there, mate. As long as the CPU/GPU on the backend are in place (supported with good wiring) for the heavy lifting, streaming is an option.

Comment Re:If you did not pay for the product, you are one (Score 1) 578

Here's the thing...

You're in a community that is long steeped in appreciation of Linux and does not view command line interaction as masochism. Hell, most of the Windows professionals here probably spend a great deal of their time in Powershell or Putty sessions.

There's also a certain amount of joy in bashing Windows. Because, well... dealing with it in the past has been a pain point for many. And, it's fun. Sort of like that kid in school that just didn't get that they harder they tried to be cool, the more awkward they became.

Ultimately, your condescending impression of a neck beard will not magically sway anyone's opinion. It will accent your slicked back hair and Duran Duran shirt, though.

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