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Comment There will be NO third coming of Steve (Score 1) 524

Geez... WTF is Apple up to these days?

As much sense as some changes have made, there's been a consistent movement toward a bland homogenized, minimalistic product line.

First they take the Mac Pro and turn it into a weird little trash can that can't be expanded internally. No more jamming the bays full of big, fast drives, no more expansion or video card upgrades. The result? I either keep using my aging 2009 Mac Pro or build a hackintosh.

Then they take the MacBook Pro and take away the ability to upgrade RAM/Hard drive or do your own maintenance. The iMac is going the same way now.

Then they take away the freaking headphone jack from their phone, which many people still need. Yes, I can spend more money to work around that issue, but I shouldn't have to.

Now, the brainiacs at Apple are talking about nuking the escape key? I'm a Unix admin. I use a Mac to access my Linux server farm and pretty much live on the command line. All of my scripting is done with vi and the escape key is essential.

As much as I love using Macs, I'm getting fed up with their "have it our way" attitude. They're following in the footsteps of AOL and Blackberry with their idiotic hubris.

Ever since Jobs died, Apple has been coasting. There have been no positive innovations, just variations on a theme that ended when Steve died.
No one's come up with anything good, so they decide to shake things up by making user unfriendly changes "just because".

Hint to Apple: There will be NO third coming of Steve to drag your asses out of trouble. I've already dumped 90% of my Apple stock. It's grossly overvalued and when the current asset bubble burst, the value will be in the toilet.

Comment Oh, joy. What's next? DRM-enabled brain implants? (Score 1) 382

Awesome. Yet another way they want to screw us. While this might sound smexy-smexy to some, I don't see any upsides for consumers. We'd have to replace massive amounts of existing equipment, worry about the fragility of the new connectors and it's another opportunity for the music industry to lock down an interface with DRM.

I have a significant investment in music production equipment and ham radio equipment (both purchased and home-built). Having to worry about availability of something as simple as a set of headphones or how I'm going to get an analog signal between two points is utter BS.

Evidently, they want to keep content locked down so tightly, it will make things painful for the customer. Why not just force everyone to get a brain implant so they can bill us if one of their songs is stuck in our head?

They already screwed us over with everything else, why not this too?

Comment Re:I don't understand how this is a "record" (Score 2) 84

There's a difference between technical work and being tech support. Usually, the latter are the ones not good enough to be systems administrators. Higher tier tech support comes close, but nearly every tech support person I've met was some drone who read solution recipes out of a book.

Submarine crews are usually very intelligent and highly skilled at their job. They can't count on outside support and have to be able to operate autonomously for weeks or months on end. When sub sailors get out of the Navy, they're usually able to find suitable employment quickly and have the mental tools to do nearly anything they like.

I was a Sonar Technician (STS1(SS)) on two 688 class attack subs for 6 years and stayed in the ASW world for a few years after getting out of the Navy, then shifted into systems engineering and Unix administration. I'm now a systems architect running large-ish distributed computational clusters. I know of guys who became electrical engineers, doctors, teachers, etc.

Comment Re:Submariners can have fun too (Score 1) 84

Aside from "trim parties" (that's what we called them), we raised the art of the prank to a fine art. Ranging from asking people to get 50 feet of shore line, a bucket of relative bearing grease or obtaining the serial numbers of "water slugs", which are nothing more than columns of water pushed out the torpedo tubes during testing. The classic prank is to get some NUB (aka Non-Useful Body) to gather outgoing mail from the crew, then don every imaginable bit of foul weather gear, life harness, helo transfer helmet, high voltage shorting probe and stand at parade rest under the bridge hatch while the boat was coming to periscope depth, ostensibly to deposit the outgoing mail in the "Mail Buoy" and retrieve mail for the crew.

Obviously, there's no such thing as a mail buoy, but it sounds credible to a new crew member and since we were the masters of a deadpan delivery, we could nearly always catch someone with that one.

Comment Re:I don't understand how this is a "record" (Score 1) 84

I was a crew member on two 688-class attack subs. Yes, they were a bit tight but they're not especially claustrophobic. Obviously, that's subjective. While my longest stretch submerged was 61 days, I know of crews that spent over 90 days submerged. You're essentially limited by the amount of food you carry.

"Constant quiet" is relative. They don't want you banging on stuff or making excessive noise, but you can talk, laugh and listen to movies and music without issue unless the boat is rigged for ultra-quiet.

Rationing? Really? Sub crews eat better than pretty much any other branch of service. Unless the storekeepers messed up, there's plenty of food for all and some people manage to gain too much weight if they're not careful.

The biggest difference I can see between what Mr. Cousteau is doing and what we were doing is that they're exposed to ambient pressure at a fairly shallow depth while we were mostly at atmospheric pressure the entire time. And we didn't have windows to see the pretty fishies (unless you count the deadlight in the watertight door, the viewport into the reactor compartment and the window on the washing machine.

Comment On board an attack submarine (Score 1) 310

I was a crewmember on the USS Baton Route (SSN-689) and we were given a Tektronix 4051 computer to assist with SONAR range of the day predictions and whatnot. Since there was no place in SONAR to keep it, it was strapped down up forward in the SONAR Equipment Space. I spent many hours learning BASIC from the language reference manual and taught myself how to code the worlds ugliest spaghetti code ever. I did learn to write some usable programs over time that weren't so fugly and were even fairly useful.

Submission + - Questionable Patents From MakerBot ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: OpenBeam USA is a Kickstarted company that builds open source aluminum construction systems (think erector sets). One of the main uses for the system is building 3D printers, and creator Terence Tam is heavily involved in the 3D-printing community. He's now put up a blog post about some disturbing patents filed by MakerBot. In particular, he notes a patent for auto-levelling on a 3D printer. Not only is this an important upcoming technology for 3D printers, the restriction of which would be a huge blow to progress, it seems the patent was filed just a few short weeks after Steve Graber posted a video demonstrating such auto-levelling. There had also been a Kickstarter campaign for similar tech a few months earlier. Tam gives this warning: 'Considering the Stratasys — Afinia lawsuit, and the fact that Makerbot is now a subsidiary of Stratasys, it's not a stretch to imagine Makerbot coming after other open source 3D manufacturers that threaten their sales. After all, nobody acquires a patent warchest just to invite their competitors to sit around the campfire to sing Kumbaya. It is therefore vitally important that community developed improvements do not fall under Makerbot's (or any other company's) patent portfolio to be used at a later date to clobber the little guys.'

Comment Re:I won't be buying one... (Score 1) 632

And they're going to retrofit all of our guns how?

Geez, comrade. What should we do until then? Surrender them for 'safekeeping' while they figure out how to retrofit an old M38 Mauser or Finnish Mosin-Nagant? How long will they keep my WWI era Luger, my 1952 Russian SKS or the AR15 I use to shoot in Service Rifle competitions? What about black powder rifles and handguns? What about knives? What about blunt instruments, broken glass or even gasoline?

One of the biggest mass killings in US history was committed with a gallon of gasoline. How are they going to track that? With GPS trackers and fingerprint locks on gas containers? Perhaps they should put rubber bumpers on all the sharp corners of the world so it's impossible to get hurt. Then we'll all be safe, sound and secure, right?

Oh wait. The criminals will be the ones that have the guns without the fingerprint readers.

How about you butt out of our countries business and tend to your own feeble socialistic existence, jackass!

Comment Re:I use it for linux distributions (Score 1) 302

We're currently using the ROCKS cluster distro to run our cluster, but are finding that it's beginning to limit our ability to patch and otherwise maintain our cluster infrastructure. We've adopted cobbler and puppet for some of our HPC assets and will likely switch from ROCKS to more of a home-grown approach to manage our nodes. One thing I dearly love about ROCKS is the Avalanche Installer which uses bittorrent to distribute the image to the nodes when they do their initial build. I've

Are you using that or a similar package to do your node builds?

Comment Re:We're running away from SPARC as fast... (Score 1) 175

A majority of our IT HW budget is for High Performance Computing. We have about 10000 x86 cores running CentOS, about 100 M2070 GPUs and close to a petabyte of Isilon cluster storage in production right now and will be expanding to over 15000 cores in the next year.

If we wanted to use SPARC systems, we couldn't afford anything nearly as powerful or as painless to manage. We don't need OS support other than patches and we're not tied to any particular vendor (other than Isilon). We may implement a Gluster storage cluster to gain independence from sole-source vendors entirely.

We have a couple of Solaris bigots on the team, but they're mostly relegated to running our handful of Solaris boxes and non-cluster storage/backups.

Comment Re:Dont discount SPARC just yet (Score 1) 175

With the advent of cluster file systems, you don't have to pay for unreasonably expensive "bulletproof" hardware anymore. You can set up a Gluster storage cluster on commodity-grade X86 hardware get all the speed and redundancy you need (and are willing to pay for) at vastly cheaper prices. For those that don't want to roll their own, you can use commercial storage clusters by Isilon or storage virtualization devices such as the F5 Acopia with pretty much any storage underneath that you like.

Comment We're running away from SPARC as fast... (Score 4, Informative) 175

We're running away from SPARC as fast as we can.

Our unix shop used to be primarily SPARC-based, but with limited IT budgets, we're able to do far more with much less money using HP blades running CentOS.

For most purposes, SPARC hardware is far too expensive and Oracle seems to be doing all they can to kill Solaris.

We still run a handfull of SPARC systems that run specialized applications and a few Solaris zones, but nearly all other services have been pushed to natively hosted Linux systems, or virtual machines running Windows or Linux.

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