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Comment One desktop for each sub-chip design (Score 1) 125

I've been using virtual desktops on Unix/Linux servers for at least 20 years. It's hard to imagine life without them. I currently have 16 desktops -- every "sub chip" of the chip design I'm working on gets its own desktop, and there are also a few desktops for various experiments I'm running. I organize each desktop in roughly the same way, so I can jump into a design and know instantly which window has the synthesis tool running, which has the timing constraints directory, which has the flow code, etc.

I've heard you can do desktops on a Windows box, but it would be torture to have to set them all up again every time I reboot my Windows laptop, which is about every day or two. The Linux server, on the other hand, typically chugs along for a year or so between reboots.

Comment Re:Personal finance knowledge (Score 1) 583

Do you (or anyone else) have suggestions on how to get started on this? I'm still pretty early in my career and have taken some of the easy obvious steps to saving, but feel like finance planning is full of dark and twisty passageways

Finance planning should be very simple. Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) thought about writing a personal finance book, but quickly realized it would only be one page long. He could not find a publisher for his one-page book. Here are his famous 87 words of wisdom regarding personal finance:

"Make a will. Pay off your credit cards. Get term life insurance if you have a family to support. Fund your 401(k) to the maximum. Fund your IRA to the maximum. Buy a house if you want to live in a house and you can afford it. Put six months' expenses in a money market fund. Take whatever money is left over and invest 70% in a stock index fund and 30% in a bond fund through any discount broker and never touch it until retirement."

Comment Re:Cut Calories and Increase Exercise. My god! (Score 1) 496

I lost my last 30 lbs using "Hacker's Diet" (tracking my weight every day with a 20-day exponentially-smoothed rolling average chart) and tracking my food intake with My Fitness Pal. I exercise a lot, but that didn't do it. In 2012, I averaged 64 minutes a day of vigorous physical exercise, but lost only about 3 pounds. But in 2013, I used Hacker's Diet and MFP and went from 180 to 155 in six months, then slowly tapered down to 150, where I've now been for over a year (fluctuating +/- 3-4 pounds). (And this at 54 years of age!) I wrote a few newspaper columns about it, including this one:

Comment Re:Email lets you organize your thoughts (Score 1) 115

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Being able to search the archives, and including other people in the reply, are some of the most power components of communicating by email. I wrote a newspaper (remember those?) column about this way back in 2003 that is still mostly relevant:

Comment I bike-commute 30 miles/day, but only 7 months/yr (Score 1) 304

When my employer moved us 15 miles away, I started biking to work. (I am very fortunate to have 80% of my route on paved bike paths.) I thought I'd do it once or twice a week, but I ended up loving it so much that I bike nearly every day in decent weather! In fact, I only drove eight times from May 20 through November 7. Unfortunately, in northern Wisconsin, winter means early darkness, slippery ice, and corrosive SALT on the roads. So I only bike from April through November. Still, I pedaled 4000 miles in 2014! Try it; you'll like it...

Comment Re:The originals really are something else (Score 5, Interesting) 140

The originals are definitely worth seeing! I am surprised how few people take an hour to see the Cray museum (now called "Chippewa Falls Museum of Industry and Technology", The museum used to be housed in the Engineering building (where I'm typing from right now). I had to get a special camera pass to take our family Christmas Card picture with a Cray 1 in 1991: (Sorry about the photo quality...those scans were made in the mid-90s; I really should re-scan with modern technology!)

BTW, the Leinie's Lodge is also well worth visiting! It's less than a half mile from the museum, and is actually the number one tourist attraction in at least a 50-mile radius.

Comment Re:Communication (Score 1) 416

> ...let me know where I have erred in my post

Okay, I'll bite. You wrote this:

> In other words, its a matter of communication.

The "its" in that sentence is a contraction of "it is," so it should be "it's" (i.e., it needs an apostrophe).

(Confession: I suffer from the same malady as the book authors -- typos and punctuation errors drive me nuts.)

Comment I put event photos online (Score 1) 256

I've taken 15,000-17,000 photos per year for each of the last ten years. I like to put event photos online, and I have plenty to cover, with kids involved in marching band, Boy Scouts, show choir, tennis, basketball, baseball, etc., not to mention church and school activities.

Why so many pics? Well, for example, there are 160 kids in our high school marching band. I try to get a close-up of each student to put on the marching band photos web page. I figure every single face out there has parents and friends who would love to see a photo of that particular kid. It's all FREE, so why not?

My photos also get used in the high school yearbook, on facebook pages, for Boy Scout "Court of Honor" slide shows, etc.

For example:,,

Comment This happened to my barbershop quartet (Score 2, Informative) 263

This has happened to me, too! Most often to my quartet. I was quite surprised to see this photo of the Beatles as a barbershop quartet. Someone hijacked this photo of my quartet, and changed the faces. Steven Colbert also used our photo on his show (with the original faces). Do I mind? HECK NO -- all PR is good PR! ;-)

Comment Computer with a mouse AT HOME?! (Score 5, Interesting) 296

I got one of the first Macs. It wasn't my first computer with a mouse; we had those at work for chip design. But those cost over $100K each. My fellow engineers couldn't believe that I got a computer at home with a mouse and windows/menus for only $2500!

It even made it into our family Christmas card photo that year:

(This is my first-ever slashdot do I get a web link to work?)

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