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Networking

Ask Slashdot: Enterprise Level Network Devices For Home Use? 241

First time accepted submitter osho741 writes "I was wondering if anyone has enterprise level networking devices set up at home? I seem to go through at least 1 wireless consumer grade router a year or so. I can never seem to find one that last very long under just normal use. I thought maybe I would have better luck throwing together a network using used enterprise equipment. Has anyone done this? What would you recommend for a network that maxes out at 30mbps downstream from the ISP and an internal network that should be able to stream 1080p movies to 3 or 4 devices from a media server? Any thoughts and or suggestions are welcome."
Input Devices

Ask Slashdot: Keyboard Layout To Reduce Right Pinky/Ring Finger Usage? 165

Tooke writes "I've developed focal hand dystonia from playing clarinet. It affects my right pinky (and my ring finger, but to a lesser extent). My pinky isn't totally unusable when typing; however, it isn't nearly as agile as it used to be. When I must press a key with it, I tend to keep the whole finger rigid and move my entire hand instead. I also use my ring finger to press the P and semicolon keys (on QWERTY) which is a bit awkward but better than using the pinky. Thus my question: are there any keyboard layouts that are optimized to reduce right pinky/ring finger usage? I switched to Programmer Dvorak a few years ago, but Dvorak seems to make me use my right hand significantly more than my left. I'm considering mirroring the letter keys so my left hand would be used more. I also came across the Workman layout which looks interesting. I might try using that after switching the numbers and symbols around to be more like Programmer Dvorak. Has anyone been in a similar situation? What else could I do to make typing more comfortable? I've got a long career ahead of me as a programmer (I'm currently a high school senior) and I'd like to take care of my hands as much as possible."
Displays

Ask Slashdot: What Is Your Favorite Monitor For Programming? 375

First time accepted submitter BadassFractal writes "I'm in the market for a new large desktop monitor (or two) which I intend to use almost exclusively for programming and all sorts of software development-related work. I'm trying to keep the cost down reasonable, and I do enjoy as large of a resolution as possible. What do people 'in the know' out there use these days for that purpose? I'm thinking a 1920x1200 24" would be good, unless there's an affordable 2560xFoo option out there. I keep hearing about nameless Korean 27" screens, any thoughts on those?"
Operating Systems

Ask Slashdot: Buying a Laptop That Doesn't Have Windows 8 570

First time accepted submitter Sagan's Pie writes "I'm starting to look for a laptop for college, and the only thing I seem to find are laptops or tablets that have Windows 8. I have used Windows 7 for a long time now, and would not have a problem giving it up, but not for Windows 8. After visiting many major online retail sites, I've found that finding either a Windows 7 laptop, or even a laptop without an operating system is nearly impossible. So where should I go if looking for laptops sans os, or at the very least sans Windows 8?"
Communications

Ask Slashdot: Current State of Linux Email Clients? 464

mcloaked writes "We get all kinds of news about new developments, but one subject has been lacking for some time and that is email clients for Linux (or Windows for that matter). A number of reviews (mostly not all that recent) have pointed to the main clients as Thunderbird, Evolution, Claws-mail, and Kmail as possibilities. Up to about a year ago, Thunderbird seemed to be 'the' email client with the best mix of positives. However there are no recent reviews that I have seen. In the meantime Thunderbird has moved to monthly releases, which are more maintenance releases containing security fixes but little functional change — and little new development. Thunderbird also won't be significantly altered in the future, if one interprets the available news information. Evolution is reported to be rather prone to bugs, and Kmail even more so. Claws-mail has limitations, as does Kmail. So where is the future of Linux email clients going, absent any real innovation? We need a well maintained and capable mail client, preferably with good calendar integration (webcal/Google calendar), properly supported HTML composing, good maildir format storage for local mail, and good security support (including the capacity to deal with both GPG and S/MIME encryption and signing). It needs a modern UI and good import/export facilities, as well as good integration with its address book, including import/export of addresses. Are we likely to see this kind of package as we move into the future, or will mail clients slowly disappear? At the moment it looks like email client support is dead — Are too many users moving into web mail and the cloud instead of having a properly functional mail client on their desktops?"
Communications

Ask Slashdot: What Web Platform For a Small Municipality? 161

First time accepted submitter r3dR0v3r writes "I have the opportunity to help improve / replace the website of my small U.S. town (~6000 people). The town leaders are open to most any suggestions, and are open to the idea of having the website facilitate a more open government — by being a place at which town documents, meeting agendas, meeting minutes, legal forms, ordinances, etc. can be found in an organized way and downloaded. And of course the site should provide general info about the town, it's services, recreation opportunities, etc.. Now, we have no budget, so we'll be looking at free/open software. I've considered options such as Drupal, but I'm doing this as volunteer work so I don't want to start from scratch and spend overly much time. Thus, I'm looking for advice about any existing platforms made specifically for municipalities as a great way to get a jump start. I'm guessing there are other slashdotters that have helped their communities in this way. Your suggestions please?"
The Internet

Ask Slashdot: Management Software For Small Independent ISP? 141

First time accepted submitter Vorknkx writes "I work in a small ISP. Most of our customers have cable modems but some of them are using Canopy or Ubiquity products. To manage all that, we're using a number of programs and solutions not necessarily made for such a task that are kept up to date simply using copy and paste. We have an Access database for all our internet customers, an Excel document for our wireless users, The Dude to monitor every user and a custom-made web application to monitor traffic. Needless to say, we're starting to hit the limit and juggling between all these programs is a complete pain. Is there some kind of all-in-one solution that would allow us to eliminate all the copy and paste while keeping the same functionality?"
Nintendo

Ask Slashdot: Understanding the SNES? 157

An anonymous reader writes "As a product of the 90s I grew up loving the classics that kids today know about from Wikipedia and pop-culture references. Games like Super Bomberman, Zelda: A Link to the Past, Donkey Kong Country I and III (II was a sellout, come on) are the foundations of my childhood memories. Now, though, as a fourth-year electrical engineering major, I find myself increasingly impressed by the level of technical difficulty embedded in that 16-bit console. I am trying, now, to find a resource that will take me through the technical design of the SNES (memory layout, processor information, cartridge pin layouts/documentation) to get a better understanding of what I naively enjoyed 15 some years ago. I am reaching out to the vast resources available from the minds of the Slashdot community. Any guide/blog series that you know of that walks through some of the technical aspects of the, preferably, SNES (alternatively, NES/Nintendo 64) console would be much appreciated."
Hardware

Ask Slashdot: Recommendations For a Laptop With a Keypad That Doesn't Suck 300

PhunkySchtuff writes "I'm seeking the collective's recommendations on a laptop with a numeric keypad that doesn't suck. For practicality reasons, an external USB keypad is less convenient than a built-in one. A keypad is required for entry of lots of numbers, and using the alpha keys with the Fn key to turn them into a keypad is not acceptable. Looking at the larger manufacturers, it seems that none of their business grade laptops (e.g. Lenovo's T-Series or similar quality levels) have numeric keypads. Looking at their laptops that do have keypads, invariably they are cheap, plastic and flimsy. Looking at Lenovo's offering with a Keypad, whilst it's a 15" screen, the vertical resolution is just 768 pixels, and the build quality of it leaves a lot to be desired. I need to find something that is built to the quality of a 'real' ThinkPad, or even a MacBook Pro, but has a full-sized keyboard with a numeric keypad and there doesn't seem to be anything like that on the market at the moment. This is a mystery to me as to why it would be the case as I'd imagine it's business users who need to use a keypad more than the average user, yet it is the consumer grade laptops that have keypads."
Power

Ask Slashdot: Best Option For Heavy-Duty, Full-Home Surge Protection? 341

First time accepted submitter kmoser writes "Like most people, I have a couple of surge protectors for sensitive/important electronics, and even a UPS for a couple of items like computers. But I don't have surge protector on all outlets, and these consumer-grade devices don't cover things like 220 volt appliances. Add to that the fact that I live in a lightning-prone area and it's only a matter of time before one of my expensive devices has a major meltdown. I've looked into full-home surge protectors that install next to the fuse box but the prices vary widely and I have no idea how reliable they are or what brands are good. An electrician friend tells me they can still blow out, and when they do they're difficult to replace if they were installed behind a wall. Can anybody shed some light on the best options for protecting all the electronics in my house with a single surge protector?"
GUI

Ask Slashdot: All-In-One PC For Kitchen? 156

New submitter brabq writes "Now that I have a couple of CableCard tuner devices in the house (including the network-based HDHomeRun Prime), I'm thinking of buying one of those all-in-one touchscreen PCs for our kitchen (yeah, something I've always sworn against for future repair reasons). The idea is that it would be used primarily for (1) watching TV, via the aforementioned Prime and WMC, and (2) light web surfing (recipes, some sort of video chat possibly). Does anyone have any experience with these types of devices in a kitchen-like setting (where I'd like to use a touchscreen over having a keyboard/mouse on a kitchen counter)? I keep hearing that Windows 8 is going to have some added benefits to this type of setup — is it worth waiting for its release? My end goal is it has to have a high WAF ... if my wife doesn't like its appearance on the counter or finds it useless, then the whole thing will be a waste."
Media

Good Disk Library Solutions? 371

First time submitter fikx writes "How do Slashdotters manage large collections of disks? I'm hoping for a way to manage a large collection of movies that would give me menu type access to the content, and the only consumer device left seems to be the Sony disk changer, which is discontinued. I would have thought that handling disks would have been a solved problem and on sale in many forms, but I guess not. Have Slashdotters found or built solutions? Or has this problem gone the way of the typewriter?"
Crime

Ask Slashdot: Inexpensive Anti-Theft Vehicle Tracking System? 296

New submitter Chuckles08 writes "I'm about to complete the purchase of an electric scooter that is worth over $5,000. Since I'll be parking it on a college campus, it will be vulnerable to theft. I'd like to install some kind of tracking device on it but the solutions I've seen so far seem quite expensive. Are there any reasonably priced and effective solutions out there? Ideally, I'd like to be informed by text message if my scooter moves without my knowing. I'd like to then track the scooter's movements." And anything small enough to work for a scooter might be very useful for car owners, too.
Christmas Cheer

Ask Slashdot: Good, Useful Free Software For Gifts? 377

First time accepted submitter Jeng writes "I'm planning on sending flash drives to friends and family as stocking stuffers. Rather than just send a blank drive, I'm looking for what good useful free software that I can load on it — from system utilities and encryption software to fun little games." We've asked similar questions before, but software keeps getting better, and so do the prices on flash drives. So what would you give as a gift this holiday season?
Handhelds

Ask Slashdot: Touchscreen Device For the Elderly? 155

Lord Byron II writes "My grandma is in her 80s, is bed-ridden, in a nursing home, and is basically reaching the end of her life. Her legs are weak, meaning that she is confined to her bed, and her hearing is pretty much gone. Her sight is good and her mental facilities are still there, but even so, she spends most of her days just watching daytime TV, like the Price is Right and talk shows. The family has tasked me with finding her an easy-to-use, not overly expensive device that would mentally challenge her. Ideally, I would like to get something iPad like so that she could play card games and such. But the Internet connectivity and advanced features are completely unnecessary. Is there a simple device that will let her easily play some games?"

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