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Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 148

There is a case where an "undefined language condition" caused a C++ program to destroy a computer. (Well, such was reported in, I believe, "Effective Modern C++", though without sufficient data to track down the actual case.)

Given that, there's nothing unreasonable in saying your computer was destroyed by an MSWindows "upgrade". I don't know that it's true, but it isn't intrinsically unreasonable. More likely, the system could consume so much disk space that a complete version couldn't be written to disk, resulting in an unbootable system. In that case a geek could retrieve any data that wasn't overwritten by the installer. Now whether the user data *would* be overwritten by the installer I can't say. I expect you could probably recover any non-encrypted data by mounting the disk in another computer...but if the partition were encrypted (does mswindows do that?) then it might well be irrecoverable. Or if it were a RAID setup. (Again my ignorance of MSWindows is showing.)

Comment Re:Cost (Score 1) 53

Of course. No one ever likes to do the long-term math.

I'm contending with a group wanting to move our main server facility and ISP connection to an offsite hosting location and to just make us one of the links on the private WAN like any other facility, even though we have the generator and environmental already paid-for. They were really gung-ho until a final tally on the costs came back from the provider and somehow some price doubled or was otherwise misinterpreted from the initial talks, and it appears that these plans are being reconsidered. I'm hopeful since it's much easier to walk down to the server farm to fix a broken device and if I missed a tool I can walk back to my office to get it, as opposed to having to drive across town and hope that I grabbed everything that I needed.

Comment Re:Robot Arms (Not the Hotel) Take Men's Jobs (Score 1) 53

I thought it was for penis grabbing, at least that's what I saw on this long-running documentary about the initial formation of the Universe that's been on TV every week.

The science on this documentary is very weak, they seem to go for several episodes between discussing actual science and even then they only hint at it.

Comment Re:So many questions (Score 1) 53

Well, this is a photocopier that I'm talking about so obviously the quality of the OCR is not going to be as good as it could be in a dedicated machine, but what we get out of scanning documents that were entirely printed is arguably shit. When we process inventory to move it from place to place we have to do asset tracking paperwork and that means logging the asset tag as issued by the property control department, the serial number as issued by the manufacturer of the device, a description of the item, and status info, plus source facility, source room or location, destination facility, destination room or location, who moved it, when they moved it, who signed to release it, when they signed, who signed to receive, and when they received it.

The scanned PDFs of these forms are convenient for perusing them by-date to find out what was moved when, but they're not useful for actually searching for any of the data that I just described because even plain Arial font doesn't scan well. We get "8" interpreted as "g", "1" interpreted as "I", "0" and "O", and vice-versa, etc. We get spaces or discontinuous text despite the characters being run up against each other as words. This is from first-gen paperwork, manually aligned on the scanner glass on the Canon copier, with the highest resolution black and white chosen. It's worse when we use the input hopper that can do multi-page scanning as the pages end up ever so slightly rotated and the discontinuous words are much worse and the interpretation errors spread to characters that shouldn't be misinterpreted.

Comment Re:No, thank you (Score 1) 53

It depends on if you can retrieve your content and store it locally and stop paying a per-month charge.

The idea that someone can do the grunt work cheaply appeals. As GP said though, the idea that it's stored on someone else's server very much does not appeal.

There also may be problems with a failure to have the actual original in some cases. I could see that being an issue in contracts if there's a dispute, the other party can produce a paper copy that appears entirely genuine but all you have is an electronic copy, and if for some reason the two don't match, you might have to argue that your electronically scanned and then reproduced copy is just as authentic as the real thing.

With the 15 year rule for some things it might just make more sense to push to go as close to paperless as possible from here forward, and to require electronic scanning of those documents that cannot be paperless from here forward, and with the existing records to just do what one has always done, which is to warehouse them until they've reached their legitimate destruction dates. After all, if one can't go 100% paperless because of things like contracts anyway, then there may still be a need for some document warehousing not matter what.

Comment Re:Stupid analogy (Score 1) 266

If it's any consolation I think I could still install a supported sound card through the MCI control panel in Windows 3.1. I had to do that with my Sound Blaster Discover CD 16 kit, along with the MKE-Panasonic TSR for CD drive access.

Come to think of it, my CD drive had more capacity than my hard disk drive did at the time.

Comment Re:Hmmm... (Score 1) 260

I think it may be due to most of the tech jobs centered around long time established companies with older employees, who are married and have children, and are less invested in looking at the opposite sex as something relieve their primal instincts.

This does not agree with what I've seen. I've been to training classes and to conferences in addition to my own workplace, and the vast majority of men in tech are married, and they act like thirteen year old boys fictionally bragging about fictional exploits and talking about various women and what they would like to do to or with them in their own fantasy worlds. They do not generally do this in front of women, but they do it plenty when women aren't around, and it's much worse in the conference setting once everyone has had a few.

The vast majority of these men are harmless, they literally do resemble 13 year old boys entering puberty ranting about girls while having no experience with them, but that doesn't mean that there aren't a couple in the crowd that might justify some concern.

Comment Re:Not a Microsoft Issue (Score 1) 229

Google Chrome product manager Paul Irish, posting to a thread on Hacker News, said, "Chrome is doing the full rendering lifecycle (style, paint, layers) every 16ms when it should be only doing that work at a 500ms interval. I'm confident that the engineers working on Chrome's style components can sort this out, but it'll take a little bit of work."

Why on earth would anything with a simple static 2D interface need to repaint every single frame? Yes, we can have nice animations - but does it really also need to refresh when no actual animation is going on? What madness is this? Who on earth writes a 2D gui framework and decides to just repaint at 60Hz whether the application is idle or not?

At any rate, this goes a long way to explaining where our computer power went. Apparently selectively refreshing the screen, and only doing so when necessary, are no longer a thing. Bloody hell, I have my own GUI framework that I carefully optimized not to do any unnecessary drawing because that tends to be expensive, and other people are doing _this_? Either I am mad, or they are.

Oh, and since we are here. Last night I noticed Firefox occasionally moving text on an otherwise static screen. It looked very much like there were two rendering engines competing who was going to have the last word on positioning the text, with parts of sentences shifting back and forth by a single pixel every second. Madness, I say...

Comment Re:Stupid analogy (Score 1) 266

The average end user knows nothing about security, has never had to configure the sound card manually, cares about graphics only when actually trying to move backward makes it noticeable. Caching and indexing have never been end-user terms that they understand, and arguably those are only necessary because the bloat has made real-time searches almost impossibly long.

Notifications are nothing new, and if anything has really changed it's just that the software isn't user-loaded third-party anymore. Palm Desktop could notify one of calendar stuff and task list items coming due, and if one's email client was open it would notify when new email was received.

Auto-mounting might be the one thing that's well and truly new in what you've brought up. That feature appeared in Windows 95.

Comment Re:It's the economy, etc. (Score 3, Informative) 222

Your vehicle numbers are way off.

A 2017 Ram 1500 base truck is about $26,500 MSRP, which probably means it can be had for $25,000 at the dealer if buying off the lot. If you want the base as a 4x4 it's about $31,500 MSRP, which can probably still be had for under $30,000 out the door.

A Ram Promaster 1500 (based on the large Fiat van chassis) is around $30,000 MSRP. The 2500 model is $33,000 MSRP and the 3500 is about $36,000 MSRP, all as cargo configurations. The passenger variants, only availabe as a 2500 chassis and a 3500 chassis are $34,500 MSRP and $38,500 MSRP respectively, and given that there are a lot more parts on the passenger versions this $1500-$2500 markup isn't unreasonable.

Now, if you want the Laramie package, or you want all leather, or you want the megacab with the 8' bed and the Longhorn custom interior with the Katzin seats, yeah, you're going to be spending quite a bit more. Thing is, you don't really need that stuff. You might need a stronger engine in the base model truck, but those modern V6 engines that all three domestic automakers use are quite good, better than their entry-level V8s were only a generation ago. You probably don't need that upgraded configuration.

If your numbers are coming in $60,000 for a cargo van and $45,000 for a pickup truck, it's because of standards that you set.

Comment Re:Debt (Score 1) 470

Unfortunately this has been proven time and again to be wrong, at least as far as the smart use of credit is concerned. If you want to own a home you're almost always going to have to finance it. If you want to own a car that will give you more than a decade of service with few issues you're probably going to need to finance it. Hell, if you have a skill in a profession that requires materiel or tools that can make you a good income, you might have to finance some business expenses for those tools or for that materiel in order to get the ball rolling. The trick is to set a reasonable debt limit for yourself and to stick to it- don't take all the financing that they'll offer, be reasonable about what you can afford and take only what you need. This has even worked among poor populations like in India, where poor people, offered small loans by our standards, have been able to establish what they need to start businesses to provide services to those in the same situation, become profitable, pay back the loan, and slowly move themselves up to a better standard of living.

The stupid use of credit, whether it's to buy items far beyond one's means (keeping up with the Joneses), or to finance means to then make money without work and without having something to serve as collateral (speculation on the stock market with borrowed money) is obviously another matter. If the bank is willing to loan you $400,000 for a house, you shoul probably look for a house in the $250,000 range. If you regularly have to carry a balance on your credit cards then you need to evaluate your spending patterns; that $100 pair of shoes shouldn't really cost you $200. And you definitely shouldn't buy things like stocks that cannot serve as their own collateral on credit, that's the fastest way of having literally nothing but debt to show for it.

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