Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment It's easy to remember, it's today! (Score 1) 267

"it's hard (to) remember a time when PCs ruled the tech world" Really? We (a small Consultancy and VAR serving professional offices and SMB) have had record hardware sales this year both in servers and client machines. Guess what? In several hundred client computers sold only one was a convertible/tablet type of form factor. Most were desktops and a handful were laptops. I have noticed a shift to smaller machines, for example most of this year's desktops were Lenovo Tinys since they take up very little space and have the same capabilities as a full sized tower or desktop form factor (minus the card slots which nobody in business ever uses). I'm going to assume that the creator of this article is talking about the consumer market since the business market doesn't resemble these remarks in any way.

Comment Re:Galaxy Gear is great. Usage model misunderstood (Score 1) 365

You can add to that list: > Owned all models of Casio watches with games and calculators since such were available in the late 1970's. > Built his own computers from a kit of parts (I mean with a soldering iron, not cards that just plug in!). > Programmed in FORTRAN on cards that were run on an IBM System 3. Yah, I may be on the extreme end of geek but no actual diagnosis of Autism... I stand by my favorable review of the Gear. Just replied to a text message via speech-to-text while I was driving to a customer call without taking hands off the steering wheel. They are fining drivers like crazy on the part of Ontario where I live for any non-handsfree cell activity.

Comment Galaxy Gear is great. Usage model misunderstood. (Score 5, Interesting) 365

I have had my Gear (and Galaxy Note 3) for most of the month now. As a business user (I own an IT consulting firm) I find the Gear supremely useful. I don't agree with most of the bad reviews I have read. To dispel some myths: I can go for a few days on a battery charge. I do sleep eventually so slipping it on the charger overnight is no biggie. I am an Exchange user and I get notified of incoming e-mail (and can read a summary) and can see my appointments for the day. Actually taking a call via hands free on the watch works well too, which I was surprised by. I didn't expect that part to be of particular value but I find myself taking calls like that and wearing my Bluetooth earpiece less. This stuff alone is worth the price for me. I think people are expecting this to be some whiz-bang toy and blow sunshine up their butts. This is a productivity tool and delivers it's value in that manner.

Comment Core i5 and i7 is underpowered? (Score 1) 143

I'm not sure I agree with the original poster's "Performance-wise, the new ThinkPad tablet convertible doesn't have a ton of horsepower". It comes in an i5 with 4GB RAM and an i7 with 8GB RAM flavour and both have large SSDs (180GB and 256GB respectively). Last I looked, those are mainstream business PC specs. I am typing this on the i5 model of the Helix and I have to say it's an impressive machine. Tearing off the tablet portion (where all the guts are) for media consumption and re-docking it for business computing is a near-perfect solution to the multi-device travel dilema (I spend some time in airports and hotels for business). The battery in the keyboard (dock) portion charges the tablet battery when docked and the tablet gets preferencial charging when connected to AC. The claim of 10 hours battery when both parts are connected together is a little bit of a stretch (I am seeing about 8 hours in heavy use). I am not a huge fan of Windows 8 Pro but I spend my time on the old-style desktop running Office 2010 anyways, so I don't "see" Windows 8. Windows 8 Pro keeps me connected to the servers at the office and that's what I need to do business. This isn't a machine to buy for the kids to play Angry Birds, like an Android Tablet or iPad. Can you say "Domain Join"? It's a business PC in a very flexible form.

Comment The ThinkPad is still great! (Score 1) 271

Lenovo does makes some laptops that are "Dell beaters" and sometimes they put the ThinkPad name on them. That is a mistake. Calling an UltraBook (built to that silly Intel spec) a ThinkPad maybe one such mistake. The "real" ThinkPads are still alive and well. I just sold a bunch of T530 units to a client as well as some W530 workstation-class laptops (and kept a W530 for myself). These deserve the ThinkPad name and still hold to the old IBM standard of quality and reliability. Heck, IBM still provides the onsite repair services for ThinkPad, ThinkCentre and ThinkServer if you have the onsite warranty. Of course you rarely ever make a service call on the Think products. I have owned ThinkPads since the beginning of the brand (disclosure: I am an IBM and Lenovo Business Partner) and still have some of the very old units in my stash and they still run (I'm talking 486 vintage units that still boot up fine and have tight hinges on the LCD panels). There is nothing like the ThinkPad and all the quality is still there. You just have to be sure to buy a true ThinkPad (T430/530, X230, W530, etc) and you will get what you expect, like the TrackPoint Nipple, keyboards that are better than some desktop models and you can pour a bottle of water through them, titanium chassis, etc. Thanks and have a great evening!

Comment Batch processing is alive and well! (Score 1) 311

I love this line "Early computers used batch processing which, is mostly unheard of today". Cripes! What do you think happens to all the cheques that poeple still write? They are processed by the big banks in a nightly "batch process" for clearing. Batch-mode processing (as opposed to interactive routines) is still the bread and butter of "real" data processing on the larger systems, such as zSeries mainframes and the smaller iSeries (formerly known as AS/400) midrange systems. I love Slashdot but somebody needs to keep kids with no knowledge of the larger IT world beyond their PCs from posting this kind of disinformation. it's like my other favourite question to ask these kind of "PC kiddies"... What's a mainframe? They invariably say "computers from the 1960s that used tubes and stuff" oblivious to the fact that they just accessed the bank's shiny new 2012 zSeries Mainframe from their iPhone. LOL I feel like the old guy keeping the kids off the grass every time I have to remind people of this stuff.

Comment I'll take one "immortality" pill if you please! (Score 1) 813

Doesn't seem like a question at all to me... My investments would continue to compound, surely outgrowing my daily monetary needs. Why not live forever? If you could be healthy (surely a part of an indefinite lifespan) you could always find ways to amuse yourself. How long would it take to read every book? Attend every available University course to expand your knowledge? Learn every language? Try every position in the Kama Sutra with different partners? Would you saturate your healthy brain eventually? I don't think so. Why not get involved in a 500 year project like terraforming Mars? When you were done you could work on building the RingWorld (ala Larry Niven) to ensure enough living space. Perhaps you would prefer a Dyson sphere around our sun or another nearby star? Don't have the technology? Work on it for a few hundred years until it's perfected. With a long view there are many things you could do that just seem too grand when you only have 80 years to work on them. Our unfortunately short human lifespans (and tendency to waste that time) are holding us back from the great (and perhaps horrible) things we could achieve.

Comment Re:The Road (Score 1) 1365

I was just going to post this as the hands-down winner as well. After reading this post I glanced at the wall of my den that is covered in over 40 years of SciFi reading on my bookshelves and "The Road" is the only book I ever openly wept over when I finished it. If the readers of this post enjoy the "End of The World" sub-genre of SciFi, I seriously suggest reading this book. Even the way it is written has an impact on your emotions. It's bleak yet you can't put it down. It's so strong that it's hard to suggest runners-up. Perhaps "Down to a Sunless Sea" (David Graham), "War Day" (Strieber and Kunetka) or the 3 book set of "The Erthring Cycle" by Wayland Drew. But really, after "The Road", everything else seems sugar-coated. I would note that younger readers without children of their own may feel less impact than myself, having 4 young kids helped me connect with the main character's feelings.

Comment Dye sublimation (Score 1) 350

Dye sublimation seems to give the best results. This is what the best-quality service providers will use to give you prints that last 100 years (in theory). If you really want to do some of these at home, Canon makes some small DyeSub printers, such as the Canon Selphy series (check their website) that print to special paper using a multi-pass process where the last pass is to lay down a plastic film on the page. Once this is done you can literally pour water over the pictures and it just runs off (although I wouldn't submerge them). The only downside is cost. The printers are inexpensive but the dye & paper kits are around $40 (in Canada anyways) for 108 prints. This means you can get them done by a large service provider for less. I have a number of dental offices in my client list that use these to produce a high-quality image from an intra-oral camera to give to a patient considering services such as implants.

Comment You're fired! (Score 1) 671

If you were working for me (I'm a business owner and virtual CIO for other businesses) and I saw this post or discovered your intent YOU WOULD BE FIRED! I'd just shout NEXT out the nearest door and start the next eligible candidate tomorrow. I'd be glad to have your type of employee gone from my business. It's no different than the policy for a company car or any other imprtant business asset. I own it. You don't. If you're going to spend your time violating my policies instead of doing your job and making me money you are going to have a hard time staying employed anywhere (especially once the word gets out about you among your local HR people).

Comment I'm just glad when they don't say geek! (Score 1) 736

Wow, I only wish they would stop saying computer geeks! I have been in the industry over 25 years, as both a programmer and an IT person. I would love it if people would refer to me as an "IT Professional" or even "IT Guy". Wherever it is you have been working you sure get a lot more respect than I have seen people in this industry get over the years. On a related note, an Information Technology Professional is not even an acknowledged profession to many people. I own a VAR and IT Consulting business and customers are always asking me "What does IT mean" if I happen to mention that we provide professional IT services. My clientelle are primarily in the SMB space as well as Doctors, Dentists, Accountants and other professionals with generally accepted designations. Those professionals don't see IT people as "professionals" at all since they don't have a "professional body" or "college" that oversees their designation. So, my answer to your query is this; Be happy somebody will even refer to you as something other than Computer Geek. Being call "IT"-anything is a big show of respect.

Comment Schedule? What's that? (Score 1) 753

Are you trying to tell me that some person somewhere actually sits in front of a TV and watches a show at it's scheduled time? I dunno about other scifi fans in the world, but myself and pretty much everyone I know downloads their favs and watches them when they have time and when it is convenient. I certainly don't stay up until 2am but have never missed an episode of Poker After Dark, for example. Also, I'm an "old guy" at 41 and have to think younger folks then me are downloading for sure. I watch BSG, Dollhouse, Sarah Connor and other shows who's actual "airtime" I honestly could not now, and never in the past could tell you. I don't even know what day those shows are on. I suppose it is the same day they show up in the torrents, but I don't even really notice that. When they show up, I download 'em. Once night a week my wife and I watch the few shows we like from a USB key on my DIVX-capable set-top DVD player. The only actual broadcast TV users in my house are my 4 kids and one of them almost never watches either. The networks should just face the facts and make everything on-demand. Then even I might watch a show for the full hour with commercials rather than the very time saving 42 minutes.

Slashdot Top Deals

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.