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Submission + - Waiting half my life on computers

lbates_35476 writes: [begin rant]
I've been working with computers since the early 70's (I know that makes me a REALLY old guy). I find that I've become increasingly less patient with computers taking forever to install software/updates, respond to mouse clicks, and basically giving me spinning cursors at every turn. By now these systems should respond INSTANTLY to every request. I'm not talking about things I KNOW should take a while, just unexplained terrible performance. I work on 100's of different machines in the course of a month, so it isn't an isolated phenomenon. Seems like I spend half my day waiting for machines to actually do something. I feel like there are "built in" pauses for just about every function (browsing local network, starting/closing applications, switching focus between windows). I recently fired up an old Windows 3.1 machine and frankly was amazed at how fast everything responded. Am I the only one?
[end rant]

Comment Maybe my next printer won't be an HP (Score 4, Insightful) 81

I've been a loyal seller, fan, user of HP printers since the first HP Laserjet. This has made me pause to think perhaps my next printer won't be an HP. To HP: I don't need or require your protection. If I purchase a non-HP ink cartridge and it doesn't work properly, I'll get burned and will then purchase your cartridges. If I find that other (lower cost) cartridges work just fine, I'll use them and you will learn to be more competitive.

Comment Bank should be prosecuted under RICO act (Score 1) 341

RICO Act- The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. With all the fines for bad behavior (LIBOR rigging, Gold fix rigging, Subprime Mortgage rigging, ..., need I go on) it is clear the many banks are ongoing criminal organizations and MUST be prosecuted. I'm not holding my breath because the Justice Department is scared $hitle$$ of the banks. The banks played a high stakes game of "chicken" with the government back in 2008 and now they OWN them.

Comment Re:Not even intra-hospital standardization (Score 1) 228

At the hospital I use (fairly large regional hospital), they don't even have electronic standardization between different departments. They keep asking the same questions over, and over, and over... and often I'm not in the system when they send me to another department so I have to fill out another personal health history. I don't believe there is ANY incentive to get this properly implemented between practices (General Practitioner -> Specialist, etc.) because there are too many proprietary systems out there that don't share data.

Comment Neat idea (Score 1) 174

This is a neat idea but maybe overkill. It amazes me how much easier it is to drive when the painted lines and reflectors are maintained on a road (especially on a dark night when it is raining). I would be willing to bet that allowing the painted lines to wear away and not replacing the reflectors causes a LOT of traffic accidents (and fatalities). I don't think we have to go crazy with the markings, just install them and maintain them properly. I now travel roads that lack reflectors (they have broken off and haven't been replaced) and lack proper painted lines (worn off) that I now consider dangerous.

Comment Re:Technolopgy (sic) is not the problem. (Score 2) 258

There's also "no technological fix" that will make driving an automobile safe, but we do it every day and have learned to live with the risk. I guess we could make everyone drive 10mph, but choose not to. According to wikipedia ( there were 32,367 automobile deaths in 2011. There have NEVER been anything like that number of deaths in a year from a nuclear reactor. Chernobyl had approximately 4000 deaths and the entire list on wikipedia for deaths due to nuclear and radiation accidents doesn't adds up to around 4,066 ( These numbers might not be entirely accurate, but I'm guessing that all the deaths due to nuclear accidents amount to less than 2 months deaths due to automobile accidents in the US alone.

We have got to start thinking about this like we think about automobile accidents. Tragic, but unless are willing to make a drastic lifestyle change, they are necessary and we just live with them. We don't agonize over getting in our car and driving even though it is statistically WAY more dangerous than any nuclear plant.

Comment Psychopaths or Sociopaths? (Score 1) 422

I think people are confusing psychopaths with sociopaths. While the share some of the same traits (, I have found more sociopaths in upper management than psychopaths. Unfortunately sociopaths are EXACTLY what upper management is looking for and often rise to positions of authority in organizations. Their ability to manipulate people and to lay blame for every problem at other's feet is rewarded. They are actually often VERY good at getting people to do what they want.

Submission + - Current state of Windows driver distribution

lbates_35476 writes: Does anyone else struggle with the fact that so many hardware manufacturers are insisting on distributing drivers only in self-extracting/installing .EXE files? This means you can't install the driver using the proper method built into windows and moving to different hardware now takes much longer than is necessary (i.e. you can't update the drivers during migration). Add to this the fact that some manufacturers are no longer shipping driver CD-ROMs and the problem is only compounded. Example: Dell's website shows no less than 14 choices for Broadcom Ethernet drivers for their T310 server even after putting in the exact asset tag for the server. We should be WAY beyond trial-and-error when it comes to drivers by now.

Comment Re:Anti-NAS (no longer) (Score 1) 251

You owe it to yourself to look at Synology's NAS servers. Like you, I almost gave looking until I found these. As with most, you get what you pay for. Their DS710+ can accept data across Gigabit LAN at nearly 100MB/sec (yes that's bytes), mirrored drives, in-place hard drive upgrades, and a while host of other features that is too long to list here. Basically I think it is the perfect SOHO NAS. Note: They have other lower/higher powered models, but most users will find 3TB x 2 (mirrored) to be adequate.

Comment Re:*shrug* (Score 1) 188

Bi-direction sync is hard because of the conflicts that can occur (i.e. file changes on more than one system) and limited upload bandwidth. I know of no solution to conflicts other than manual intervention and end-users that I've worked with don't want to "think" about the consequences and make this decision. Even if you could get them to "think" about it, presenting the conflict to them and asking them to decide what to do isn't easy.

You are correct that a versioning file system would help (it cold be used as a work-around to conflicts by saving all versions in chronological order), but then none of the production off-the-shelf file systems (NTFS, EXT3/4, XFS) do that today.

IMHO to the vast majority this seems like a simple problem, but it implementing it isn't nearly as easy as it seems at first blush.

Comment Re:*shrug* (Score 1) 188

As a provider of secure cloud storage (, I can tell you that this is anything but easy. It appears easy on the surface, but collisions (files changing on multiple clients simultaneously and files changing while they are being uploaded), locking, versioning, etc. make this much more difficult than it first appears. Add in the cross-platform (Mac, Windows, Android, Symbian, iPhone/iPad) requirements as well as multi-lingual character sets and differing rules about folder/file name rules and this gets to be quite complex. I've had more than one user (and even IT professionals) say all they want is a "simple online storage solution" but don't understand the ramifications of limited Internet upload bandwidth. If you add a secure requirement, which introduces complexity that end-users HATE, and this is no small task. What users seem to want it 100% security, 100% bi-directional synchronization without any user intervention, and 0% additional complexity.

Submission + - Microsoft changes Automatic Updates setting (again 2

lbates_35476 writes: Tuesday night Microsoft changed the 'Automatic Updates' setting on several of my (and my client's machines) without permission. I ALWAYS set it to 'Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them'. That way my machine won't be rebooted and several of tasks I keep running killed off.

Tuesday night Automatic Updates were downloaded, applied to my machine, and it was rebooted, and this setting was changed back the 'Automatic (recommended)'. Am I the only one that thinks this just WRONG. This is not the first time this has happened, but this time it REALLY bothered me.

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