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Comment Re: The real question is (Score 1) 86

Same here. Our 2100TN is still running like new. I don't know that I'd be able to find a newer model as reliable.

I've had pretty good luck the past 10 or so years with a LaserJet 1320. Quick, built-in duplexer, built-in PostScript, works with everything. A couple years ago, I was given a JetDirect 175x, so it's now on the LAN. (Had some other network-to-USB adapters before the JetDirect that didn't always work as expected.)

Comment Re:How far they have fallen (Score 1) 86

The brand logos have been removed.

In one shot, it looks like they didn't obscure the Apple logo on the printer (upper right corner of the front), though it's so small that you wouldn't have been able to tell that's what it was.

I still have mine from coming up on 32 years ago. It's currently in storage...not sure if it still works, though it did the last time I had it out. It'd almost certainly need a new ribbon, and I think the last of the fanfold paper got chucked a while back. I still have some Apple IIs (and also some Macs now) that can drive it, too. :)

Comment Seems about right to me? (Score 2) 130

I've definitely gone entire years spending nothing on apps for my iPhone, but other times I've spent considerably more -- especially when said apps work on both my iPhone and my iPad Pro.

When I got the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil for it, it created a new need for apps that take advantage of the pencil's functionality. That was a good reason to buy 1 or 2 of the apps priced at around $10 each that are optimized for it. (For example, it opens up some new capabilities if you can easily fill out PDF forms with the pencil, including initialing or signing pages.)

I know a lot of of kids and teens use their iPhone as an alternative to the dedicated portable gaming consoles too, so obviously, they're going to sink some money into games for it. $40 a year is probably a lot less than they used to spend for games for a PSP, GameBoy or what-not.

Comment Needs to be handled differently, IMO .... (Score 2) 135

I used the online dating sites pretty heavily when I was younger and still single. (I'm married to a woman who I met via OKCupid, as a matter of fact.)

I think like many things in life, you only get out of it what you put into it. If you approach the sites with the "kid in a candy store" mentality (which MANY men and women do), it turns into a way to flip through hundreds of photos to pick out only the people you find the most physically attractive, and to see how many of them you can get to go out with you. A whole lot of people who really tried to leverage the power of the dating site to find you better matches gets squandered or trampled on by all the people "clicking the pretty pictures". (After all, why waste hours taking numerous personality profile tests, writing a complete "bio", etc. -- if all of it was ignored by the majority of people anyway?)

Realistically? I know I'm not a bad looking guy, but I'm not a "head turner" either. I think I rank somewhere solidly in the "average" category on looks. So if we're only competing on a selection of photos alone, I'm going to be consistently left in the dust by guys 10 years younger than me, guys who go to the gym at least 3-4 times a week, etc. That's fine with me though, because I wasn't looking to date models who walked right off of photo shoots either.

So what happened for me is that I actually had some of my most enjoyable dates with women I met on Craigslist personals -- where half the time, they didn't even share a photo. I just went by what they wrote and how they wrote it, to determine if they seemed intelligent, relatively honest, and if we had some things in common. None of these dates led to anything serious, but they felt "genuine". Both of us were going into it pretty much blindly, with "blank slates" as expectations. And even when there was no chemistry, we were able to walk away as friends who just enjoyed a really good dinner or a few games of billiards or what-not.

When I put in the effort to really read through detailed profiles, compare "compatibility percentages" based on tests we both took, and contact people who shared mutual interests and beliefs over on sites like OKCupid? I generally got no response at all. I really think most women on there were just overwhelmed with a large number of initial contacts from all the guys who just said, "Ooh.... sexy photo. I'm gonna chat her up!", and/or got sucked into behaving the same way on the site.

When I finally met the woman I married, it was only because I'd already given up using the web site and left my profile sitting out there for months. I got an email notification that she had sent me a "Woo!", so I signed back in to see who did it and what their story was. That's when it turned out she lived in a different state, but had gotten so frustrated by the lack of communications with people taking the site seriously that she kept expanding her search outside her city and eventually to other states. She liked what I had to say in my profile, so sent me the "Woo" rather than wasting time writing a big letter for nothing (like had so often happened to her previously).

Tindr wasn't even a "thing" yet back then, but when I read about it as a new dating app, I realized it captured the essence of how most people were really using all of these other sites to begin with. Why bother taking quizzes or writing a lot of content? Just show the sexy photos and let people hit on each other....

Attaching THAT to a personal assistant is going to be relatively pointless, IMO. But a site that makes a serious effort to collect user info and preferences, that actually gets USED by serious individuals who want to fill all of that out? That could work.

Comment THIS is where you hire the attorney ..... (Score 2) 904

I agree with the people on here saying we need more evidence that one person writing a blog about their side of the story to know what REALLY took place. But that's a whole lot of writing just to make up a fictional tale of how sexist things are at Uber. I'm inclined to believe it's probably at least generally true.

But assuming it's factual? Why put up with all of that for a year and then write a blog about how you were wronged? If you really did the right thing, saving all of the chats and email conversations -- the obvious next step is a lawsuit.

I *hate* dealing with attorneys and their shady billing practices ... but if there was ever a time to deal with them, I think *this* would be it! You're making accusations that H.R. staff broke the law multiple times in handling your complaints, and you were blocked from a promotion by someone going in and modifying a FINAL performance review (without even telling you it would be changed first). I see a whole lot of "sexual harassment" complaints that are largely baseless "he said, she said" garbage. (I used to work for a firm where one of the I.T. guys bought some flowers for the front office receptionist after she was out sick for a while. The card with them was your basic "Get Well Soon" message. She ran to H.R. and filed a complaint against him. THAT is the kind of stuff that's NOT a valid complaint. That's how you ruin things for nice guys and encourage an office environment where nobody gives a crap about each other.) But this story sounds like, especially in the state of California, you've got the law clearly on your side.

Comment Re:Not true (Score 2) 274

My city does this every few years, and they still charge $20 for 28" and down, $35 for over. I got rid of the last one we had -- a color-corrected display my son had used for graphics design -- at one of their events maybe five years ago. It was an awesome sort of sight seeing all the pallets full of old TVs and monitors. If you had one of those 1960s fine-wood consoles they sent you to a special line -- there is apparently a market for those with the old electronics and display replaced with new.

Comment What a craptastic idea.... (Score 2) 387

Bill Gates.... how far you're fallen! Or maybe, Bill Gates ... your good fortune only struck once!
Whatever the deal is, he completely changed ever since he had to fight the Federal govt. over the monopolistic practices lawsuits.
Now, he just spouts off disturbing ideas and trite "predictions of the future of tech".

Taxing automation to slow down the speed of its utilization is really pretty much the equivalent of proposing, back when he wanted "a PC on every desktop", that it was all going way too fast, requiring heavy taxes on anyone using a personal computer. I mean otherwise? Look how many people the technology would put out of work, in ALL different fields!

As far as I'm concerned, technologies like A.I. have a *long* way to go to become viable. Everything we've been sold so far as "artificial intelligence" has NO intelligence at all! It's taken decades to get things to a state where you can give a computer a voice command and it understands your speech reliably enough not to be frustrating. And we've gotten pretty good at making computers speak without rambling in monotone. But these pieces just allow fakery ... personal assistants like Siri or Cortana. But they wouldn't even understand who is "mom" and who is "dad" in a family, or who your boss is, if you didn't tag it first in your contact list on your device!

All of this fear of robots taking all the jobs is nonsense. If we keep progressing as fast as possible, we've still got a L-O-N-G way to go. People are afraid of things like self-driving vehicles. And sure, that's disruptive. But that just happens to be ONE area where huge amounts of money are going into R&D to make it work. The tech you find in a Tesla or in a self-driving truck doesn't really translate to an ability to do anything else. It just knows how to make a wheeled vehicle follow the rules of a public road or highway and travel between points.

A whole lot of assembly work going on in today's factories is already automated. There's not THAT much more automation to do, and you get diminishing returns as you spend more money for more complex machinery to replace the last 100, last 50 and then last 25 workers in a particular facility. For example? I used to work for a place that heat-treated and finished various metals. They had automation for things like hammering a material into shape, so people didn't sit out in the shop with giant sledgehammers, banging on parts by hand anymore. But you still needed humans to inspect all the parts as they went through the ovens and baths, running "recipes" programmed into the systems. Almost like a gourmet chef, they had to make judgement calls during the middle of processes to see if a batch was turning out as intended or not. And sometimes, if something wasn't coming out right - they had to cancel things so more material wasn't wasted, before trying again. New customers or new orders were always asking for different things, so you needed humans to translate all of those requests into results. Automation would have been more complete in such a place if they only did specific things to specific parts, the same way every time. But that's not what people outsourced work to them for. (If it was that easy, places would just heat treat or finish the metals in-house!)

Comment re: Edison (Score 4, Insightful) 359

You know, when you read about Edison growing up as a kid, it's clear he had some issues. Maybe he was Asperger's? That would explain his willingness to stubbornly sit there trying material after material to find a suitable filament to make a working light bulb.

Steve Jobs is also often described as "a jerk and an ass", yet it's clear he had some great ideas and was able to not only build a computer company that went head-to-head against Microsoft, but brought it back from the dead when he took it back over again for the second time.

A lot of people running companies are perceived as jerks. Some of that is probably warranted, but maybe it's ALSO because they focus so much on making the company a success? Most "rank and file" employees only care about the paycheck, or doing the little piece of the whole puzzle they're hired to do. If something bad for the company but good for them happens, they're probably pleased about it. The business owner who created it as his "baby" from the ground up? Not so much.

Torvalds is right, IMO, embracing Edison's quote. The people who pretend it's not so are just the ones at the top who can take all the credit for that 99% perspiration of others they hired to implement an idea.

Comment Re:What is the R&D Actually For? (Score 5, Interesting) 86

I've made this comment before, but I think it bears repeating. I'm not really sure we can tell if Apple "just doesn't care about a lot of products in their lineup anymore" or not, until we let them get the new "spaceship" campus up and running?

That's a huge real-estate investment that allows them to hire a whole lot of employees or contractors, especially given that Apple has said they don't plan on getting rid of any of its EXISTING office space.

I think historically, Apple has *always* struggled with trying to do so much with so little manpower. They went head-to-head with companies the size of Microsoft, while selling a whole line of hardware along with the operating system and applications for it - when Apple employed FAR fewer people. This has resulted in the ongoing wisdom of "avoiding revision A of a new Mac" and the famed shortages of new products at launch time, among other things.

It appears the head-count is about to dramatically increase at Apple, and I'd like to think a lot of things have gotten behind because it's slated to get addressed when new teams are hired to tackle some of it. The company certainly has the money to make those changes.

I'm one of the people who shelled out the crazy high price for a new Mac Pro "cylinder" workstation, a month or two after it came out. I even upgraded it to 64GB of RAM via a 3rd. party memory supplier and upgraded the 256GB SSD in it to 512GB when I could source the needed part on the used market. I'm using it to type this message today and its still my "main" computer I use at home. But I only invested in this thing because I put faith in Apple to support it at least as well as they did the previous Mac Pro towers. (I owned a 2006 and a 2008 model before this one, and both were excellent workhorses that more than paid for themselves with work I got done with them.) Essentially, my loyalty was taken advantage of. Apple not only couldn't release a suitable display of their own for the machine, but never even took the obvious step of marketing an external drive storage cabinet for it. I bought a 3rd. party (DATOptic e-Box) external Thunderbolt RAID enclosure that I use with it -- but the point is, it looks like something that belongs on a Windows PC, not a Mac. It's bigger and noisier than the Mac Pro itself, and I can't put the Mac into sleep mode while it's on, or it doersn't handle it gracefully and can cause data corruption. Apple has never sold a single video card upgrade for this machine either, which is kind of ridiculous for a "Pro" desktop workstation. The dual FirePro D500's in this one perform about as well as a pair of ATI Radeon 7950 or 7970 cards, but OS X doesn't even support CrossFire mode with them. There should really be a program to take these in to have a newer, better graphics card upgrade professionally installed, since both nVidia and ATI/AMD are selling cards that are essentially 2 generations ahead of this technology now.

Comment Re:Harder Than It Sounds (Score 1) 490

I was born and raised in the midwest too, and could never fathom doing a cross-country move with the wife and 3 kids. (Especially difficult since 2 of the kids are "special needs" and were in a good school system where we were at.)

It turns out we live in the metro DC area now. How? Honestly, just total luck. A job offer kind of fell into my lap because of old friends who already worked for the company in question, and they needed someone with my skillset to work in their DC area office.

I negotiated for them to cover $7,500 or so in moving expenses for us. That didn't quite cover everything, but I sold everything I could part with to scrape up the rest of what we needed to do it (including my dad's coin collection he handed down to me before he passed away).

It was one of the harder things I've ever done, to be honest with you. So much stress and uncertainty, combined with the wife almost threatening a divorce because she didn't want to go through with a move and having to leave a job she liked. But a few years into it, it's been an overall good decision. She found a job nearby that she likes, and mine pays better than I was getting in the midwest. More stability too, because my previous jobs were generally in smaller manufacturing places where their success came and went with the trends in the marketplace. We had to move pretty far out from my job, because anything too close to DC itself is wildly unaffordable for us. But the upside is the small town we wound up in having MUCH less crime and a better environment for the kids to grow up in. People actually know who their neighbors are. If one of our kids invites other kids over, there's a good chance we know their parents and/or grandparents and can tell them directly if their kid is acting up. If we don't? We can ask someone else who does and get the "scoop" on the kid's family situation.

Comment Not into mocking them, but .... (Score 1) 490

I look at my own situation, growing up in Gen-X, where today's millennials insist I supposedly "had it much better than they do". I just don't see it?
I had to live with my parents until I was in my early 20's. Couldn't afford the expensive colleges out of state, so I attended the local community college that was only a few miles from my parents' house.

My job options ranged from telemarketing for a carpet cleaning firm to working as a bench computer tech for small "mom and pop" computer stores. (Most of which paid little more than minimum wage and always found ways to screw me into working extra hours without compensation.)

When I did move out, I shared an apartment with a female friend. (No romantic relationship going on... just a friend who was dating one of my best friends at the time.) That ended badly when I lost my job and couldn't find another one quickly enough to cover my share of the rent on time. I got another job 2 weeks after I was kicked out and had to go back to my parents place again. THAT was a fun conversation....

It really wasn't until I was almost 30 years old that I got a real "career job", and even that was very much a "who you know" thing. (An old friend of mine was in management there and agreed to hire me part-time, temporarily. I was then able to impress enough other employees with my work ethic so they pressured him to give me a full time job. He really didn't want to, out of fear people would accuse him of favoritism -- but eventually gave in.)

Comment Re:having kids is dumb (Score 1) 490

If you really feel that having kids is "dumb", then you should do everything possible to avoid getting yourself into that situation.

Honestly though? A whole lot of parents out there, if they were 100% honest, would admit that they had their first kid without putting a whole lot of thought into all the "pros" and "cons". They took the view about the financials of, "We'll find SOME way to make it all work out." and their partner probably helped prod them into taking the plunge (if it wasn't more of an accident or carelessness causing the pregnancy in the first place).

And yet, once you find yourself in the situation -- you just kind of throw yourself into it, partly out of a sense of personal responsibility for your actions/decisions, and increasingly, because the whole thing becomes more comfortable. And at that point, you might decide you both want another kid too. (That starts making more sense after the first one because you can re-use a lot of the stuff you bought that the first one grew out of, AND the two kids will keep each other company so YOUR personal attention isn't demanded of them quite so much of the time.)

There's no doubt kids are expensive and often a stressful, disappointing experience. But it's ALSO just as true that the so-called "good life" isn't all it's cracked up to be either. Sure, you might enjoy it for a while. But eventually, almost anything gets old and dull. Give yourself 20 or so years of being single or dating people with the "child free by choice!" attitude, and you might find you start asking yourself what your life's real purpose is. Are you just another consumer on this planet, doing all the things marketed to you as fun, trendy and entertaining? What will people remember you by after you're gone?

The answer is going to be different for different people. But a majority of people I know eventually feel a need to "leave their mark" on this Earth. Sometimes, that comes in the form of building things. A buddy of mine got into furniture-making for this reason. He liked the idea that even after he's gone, people will still be using his dressers or beds or cedar chests each day. But raising another human being is kind of the ultimate "build" to leave behind. You created LIFE ... another person who can talk about you and will actually remember you after you're gone. And even though they'll do their own things (not YOUR things), they do all of it with your influence on them.

Comment Re: I thought not all US carriers use LTE (Score 1) 105

I _think_ T-Mobile is planning to drop 2G GSM

It's AT&T that's shutting down EDGE (aka "2G") service in the near future (it may have already happened, as the link says "by the end of 2016"). T-Mobile, OTOH, has committed to keeping its EDGE service going through at least 2020, ostensibly to support gadgets with cellular-data connections that aren't easily updated to newer standards.

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