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Comment Re:RROD and overheating processors (Score 1) 90

Yes. My Dell XPS M1330 (going on memory on the model as that was a few years ago) had problems with the Nvidia GPU and heat. The system fan would almost always run on high. There were also many mb failures reported. I put a copper shim between the GPU and the heat sink.

I used a copper tube strap for copper pipes from Menards. Pounded it flat and cut a piece to size.

Ta-da. Problem solved.

Comment Re:Valid Action (Score 3, Interesting) 623

Why must I be tolerant of intolerance? If Trump wants to ban Mexicans and Muslims, why am I not allowed to try to ban every trace of Trump?

Expressing the desire to do something (ban Mexicans and Muslims, in this example) is not the same as doing it.

The issue is not tolerance of intolerance. It is tolerance of other people's ideas and beliefs, whether or not you agree with them. Tolerance is, by definition, the willingness to allow (not necessarily accept) ideas which are contrary to your own. Acceptance of ideas which are similar to one's own is not tolerance; it is agreement.

You may certainly "ban every trace of Trump" within spaces you own or control. Attempting to do the same anywhere else (especially in my space), is simply an attempt to exert control over others and -that- is an act of intolerance.

It's probably pretty safe to say that you will not vote for Trump, assuming you are a US citizen. That's fine. I cannot see myself voting for him either, however, for different reasons.

If you do not find that argument compelling, let me try another one. Let him talk. If you are right and his ideas are so repugnant, then those ideas will simply die in the open air. To quote a well-know political commentator, "Sunlight kills bacteria."

Comment Re:No - it wasnt useful (Score 5, Insightful) 174

There is a law about texting and driving but the chief said that the cops were exempt because they are trained professionals.

That's interesting. I would counter to the chief that because they are allowed to do something the general public is not allowed to do (as a result of being "trained professionals"), the consequences to them should be higher than the general public rather than being exempt.

The same way that we hold licensed engineer professionals to higher standards, law enforcement should be held to a higher standard with higher rewards for demonstrated competence and higher punishments for demonstrated failure.

On a related note, what exactly is it that makes these "trained professionals" better at texting while driving than the general public? Do they go through specialized training where they learn techniques of scanning the road while manipulating the phone? Do they go through a practical exercise and exam that involves a closed course with obstacles and are graded to a time standard and number of cones that can be hit? I am really curious about this.

Comment Re: it's (Score 1) 178

Patents now also don't protect the inventor, but rather some corporations.

The worse part is having to hear that litany about capitalism being good, when it's carefully avoided by said corporations...

First, it's not a matter of patent. It's copyright. There is a big difference.
Second, the artist had the "protection" up to the point where they signed to contract to allow the distribution. If the artist is getting paid for use of their product (music, in this case) and the terms do not give them the ability to control to whom the usage is sold, then they have nothing to say about the usage.

Capitalism is good. The artist got / gets revenue for usage of their product in exchange for giving up some level of control. The level of control is determined by the contract which they signed. They had a choice; sign, don't sign, or negotiate to get the level of control they want.

Comment Re: it's (Score 1) 178

Meanwhile, aren't asshole politicians using copyright music during their campaigning, even against the express desires of the artists?

That depends. If an artist signs a contract with distributer xyz (not sure if that if the correct term for the industry) and xyz sells / licenses usage of the catalog of artist's music to someone, I would assume the artist loses the ability to approve / deny usage of their music. It depends on the terms of the different contracts.

If an artist doesn't want to lose control of the usage of their product (music), they need to either have terms that allow them some control or just not sign the contract. Of course, they would also lose the revenue.

Unless your contract allows control, you cannot have it both ways.

Comment Re:Go Work for the Competition (Score 1) 192

Actually, it probably can be quantified, just not necessarily easy.

Example. The poster said that their market is a niche, so the market is not very large, but they probably are known. The competitors for their product are probably also known. First, identify (within a ballpark accuracy) everyone's market percentage. Identify (again, within a ballpark accuracy), the growth rate of their product and everyone else's product.

Then, how is their product and market growth comparing to everyone else's? If it is below the rest, then why? Maybe it can be attributed to the UI, maybe not. If they are losing customers, why?

An interesting book is How to Measure Anything which could be helpful.

Full disclosure. I do know the author, but receive no financial benefits. I didn't even get a free copy.

Comment I worked at Gateway 2000 from 1990-1996 (Score 5, Interesting) 77

First, my condolences to his family.

I worked at the North Sioux City facility from late 1990 to mid-96. It was my first full-time job after college. I started in manufacturing for about 6 months, then moved to tech support for a number of years before going to a couple of other places in the company.

It was an interesting place to work and I have a lot of memories of working there. At first, the parking lot was still gravel and didn't get paved until the new manufacturing building was finished. Up until then, the existing building had at least 2, maybe 3 additions put on it. They had a monthly bonus program. It wasn't that much, but it seemed to give everybody an extra motivation to do better, that they had some skin in the game. I don't mean just push more systems out the door, although that was part of it, of course. But just to do their jobs better because it could affect the bottom line. The parking lot of actually a bit of a point of pride, i.e if we had a choice between the two, we would rather have a bigger monthly bonus over a paved parking lot. There was a story that Ted Waitt wanted to leave his spot gravel, but it was too much of a pain so they didn't. Maybe true, maybe not. I never interacted with him or his brother, although I did see them many times in the early days. Not so much later on.

There was also a sense of purpose in the first few years I was there. When I worked tech support (especially consumer before going to corporate support), I remember talking to people who was happy to be able to afford a computer to help them run their small businesses that they would not otherwise have been able to buy.

The cow spotted boxes. Yeah, at first, I remember thinking that it was dumb. It got people's attention and I talked to people who had bought from them after seeing many deliveries in their neighborhoods. I remember seeing all of our competitors with the ads in Computer Shopper. Back then, Computer Shopper was like the Montgomery Wards catalog for geeks. Talk about dating myself. -sigh- Over time, the number of competitors dwindled. I remember the owner of at least one of them saying that he was going to bury Gateway 2000. That business closed a couple of years later.

I remember when I started, working with ESDI drives, 5 1/2 floppy drives, Windows 3.0 (oh, the horror), motherboards with DIPP memory (up to 72 DIPP chips of horror for a whopping 8 meg of ram). I also remember in the early days, having production waiting on a shipment of something (motherboard, hard drives, etc.) to land at the Sioux City airport so that it could be trucked to North Sioux City. Talk about "Just in time inventory." I think that was the first time I heard that term and that was probably 1991.

Others have commented about failure rate of components. Yeah, I remember some of that. Not to excuse the problems inflicted on customers, but that was the very early days of WD IDE hard drives. I'm not sure if the first ones were 20 MB or 40 MB. Some of the boards (sound cards especially come to mind) had different revisions that just showed up with little, if any, documentation. Drivers... yeah... drivers were problematic. Motherboard BIOSes. This was before they were flashable and chips that were socketed (if you were lucky), but an upgraded BIOS meant swapping out the whole motherboard.

The company kept growing and the quality of some people definitely went down along with the sense of purpose. On the other hand, the manufacturing line had a number of improvements that did raise the overall quality. I think the Waitts (directly or indirectly) made some poor choices of hiring some key people to help manage the growth. I remember a few people from some big name companies at the time (HP, maybe... definitely one from Compaq who came and left). That's not to say that all of them were bad, it's just the bad ones that stick in my memory. There were also consultants, like Ernst & Young. They would bring in a team consisting of some very junior people who were obviously had no clue to as to what they were doing and were learning on the job. I am sure there is some data to support research of when it is good / when it is bad to bring in consultants versus using your own in-house talent for IT projects.

I also remember when I got laid off in mid-1996. That was the first large layoff they company had. I think there had a been a couple before, but they were just a handful of people. I remember going back a couple of days later and walking down the hall with a early-20s female HR employee who looked at me and asked if I was "enjoying my time off." I was so shocked, I could not respond. It's probably better that I didn't.

Anyway, I had started grad school part-time so I went full-time and moved on with my life.
But that was the start of my career in IT.

P.S. I did receive the highly-coveted 5 year varsity-style coat with the company logo embroidered on the back. I never did wear it. I am pretty sure I still have it.

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