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Comment Atari (Score 2) 857

The first home computer I used was the Atari 400/800 at my junior high school.

The first home computer my family owned was an Atari 400.

The first home computer I owned is the Atari ST, which I still have along with an Atari 800 XL that I bought second-hand later on.

Comment Re:The planet? Convince a single country first. (Score 1) 598

How about 200 countries?

“The US remains the only industrialised country that has not adopted the metric system as its official system of measurement.” [Wikipedia]

“The NIST has identified the United States as the only industrialised country where the metric system is not the predominant system of units.” [ibid]

It’s not humans in general that are so stubborn, it’s just Americans.

Comment I already switched to UTC a couple of years ago (Score 2) 598

I don’t have any trouble with going to bed around 04:00 – 05:00 and waking up around 12:00 – 13:00 hours (depending on the season.) Sometimes it’s a chore to convert between UTC and the local time everyone else still uses, but I work with computers most of the time, and it’s been very convenient not to have to do any mental conversions for system clocks.

Comment Bacula (Score 3, Interesting) 118

I use Bacula for my home computer; it feels powerful enough for a small office, and is very versatile.

It has three main components: a client daemon that you install on the computers you want to back up, a storage daemon that you install on the computer that will write the backup files and/or tapes, and a director daemon which controls the backups. The director and storage daemons only run on unix-like operating systems (BSD, Linux, Solaris) but the client daemon has also been built for MS-Windows.

Comment Re:Abolish it. (Score 1) 154

There is no explicit mention of a copyright in the document itself, but the authors have posted this on their home page:

Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Comment Bayesian Mail Filter (Score 1) 190

I've used bmf via procmail on my ISP shell account for years, and it was extremely reliable and accurate. As an added bonus, it automatically forwarded spam to

When my ISP discontinued the use of procmail filters, I moved it to my home computer and configured two filters in Evolution: the first one to auto-remove mail marked by my ISP as suspected spam, and the next to pipe the mail through bmf and remove it if it tested positive for spam. When I say "auto-remove", I mean it's moved to a spam folder where I can double-check it in case false positives get through.

Comment Re:Tape drives not on list? (Score 1) 212

Hardly. I started using LTO tapes just a few years ago, taking my cue from our backup systems at the office. I have 12TB of media that I rotate between home and an off-site storage facility. A lot of my data is irreplaceable. Plus I'm a data pack rat. ;-)

Comment I'm not bothered by break-in attempts (Score 1) 241

I watch my daily security logs from time to time, but the only remote login attempts I see are my own. I can attribute this to several layers of security:

  • I'm using a dynamic IP address.
  • Access to my home network is gated through my router. Any incoming SSH connection is directed to a specific IP address on the inside, which is only configured when my computer happens to be running Linux.
  • ACL's on the router prohibit SSH connections from everywhere except specific source subnet's I've opened up, and some of those (like work) are only open at certain times during the day.
  • I'm subscribed to my Linux distributor's security updates, and apply them on a regular basis.

I won't claim that it's perfect protection, but one of the best things you can do to secure a system is to shut out all access by default and then only open tiny pinholes for the specific connections you need.

Comment This means very little to me (Score 3) 121

I've seldom trusted consumer reviews, not because they might be fake, but because "consumers" often lack enough experience with large enough numbers of competing products for their opinions to hold any weight. When I'm looking for reviews of a product, I want professional reviews from journalists who are dedicated to researching the genre.

Comment Easily worked around (Score 1) 126

The problem with claiming "innovation" in the pharmaceutical industry is that they can easily bypass existing patents simply by tweaking the processes or non-essential ingredients in creating a drug to make it just different enough to claim it as a different product. That doesn't really help society at all. The rate of discoveries of "high social value" has not risen significantly in the presence of patents. See Boldrin & Levine: "Against Intellectual Monopoly", Chapter 9.

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