Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Had to answer My Phone? as... (Score 1) 274

I currently have two active mobiles (and one recently bricked Blackberry).

Both active phones are locked, decidedly dumb, and on different network. One is used mostly for work/BS related calls, the other for family/friends related calls.
To complicate things further, I have two SIMs for one of them, both monthly contract and PAYG. (just don't ask, the explanation involves an iphone and a serious amount of braindeath I'd rather forget about at this time of the morning).

I've looked at unlocking the beasties, but can't really see the point. Both phones are small enough to be carried together, they're fairly old now, reliable as-is, easily repairable (been inside the Sony Ericsson a couple of times now, and the Motorola once) and the two networks they're currently locked to have a combined reliable coverage of almost 100% of the areas of the country I'm likely to use them in.

The bricked Blackberry was for secure email and mobile ssh access to a couple of servers..guess what?, currently I'm not missing that, though I suppose I'll have to get it fixed/new one.

Haven't had a landline phone at home now for well over a decade (must be approaching the 15 year mark there).

Have a shiny Cisco IP phone thing on my desk at work, nice ornament...

Comment Re:Oblig reference (Score 1) 272

It not just "bad" caps. My 42" Samsung TV died, not because of defective caps in the power supply, but because the caps were inappropriately rated. They were 10V-rated caps in a 15V circuit.


Ah, thank you for that snippet of info, you might just have solved a couple of weird PSU issues/faults, never thought to check the voltage rating of the caps..I must be getting slow in my dotage.

I've been following the Dell case with some vested interest, approx 50 Optiplex machines made/purchased during the quoted time period's worth of vested interest, which will soon be heading in my direction for wiping, refurb and redeployment|disposal when they get pulled from service.

Already have two which had been u/s for a while, found them hiding in a cupboard..I always wondered when I started here why there were so many Dell keyboards and monitors attached to a whole array of non-Dell towers.

Comment Re:Think carefully. Do you want to be close to MS? (Score 2, Informative) 897

When I write in perl I can't even decompile the code I wrote myself 5 minutes earlier. It's eerie. It's like a one way hash for logic..

Firstly, I'm not really a programmer, ok, I've done a bit of hacking around with Z80/6502/HC11/68K/PIC/FORTRAN/Algol/Pascal/Apl/Ada/C/Perl/Python and a whole bunch of other languages over the years, and am faffing around with Erlang to keep myself amused at present, but have done the occasional contract work (I *really* hate databases..)

but Perl, ahh, great language to have some fun with.

Best bit of weird Perl I ever wrote was a cgi beastie running on a LAMP server, same code handled both the GET and POST, tracked multiple sessions/whatever without using cookies, searched a database, displayed the results, usual sort of web BS.
Main code was conceived over a couple of pints at the pub, written, tested, then up and running on a production system within four hours, a couple of minor tweaks in the first week of operation (mainly fixing html formatting snafus to fit in with the rest of the site), and that was it for something like three years.

They want a modification done, they don't contact me but give the code to a wonk programmer who allegedly knew his stuff, I hear he spent a week trying to figure out what the hell the Perl code was doing, gave up, spent another couple of weeks reimplementing the same functionality on an IIS server with some MS thing (to this day, I still wonder why he didn't just use PHP). Btw, the code I supplied was documented, laid out fairly clearly and heavily commented, it was contracted.

I'm perversely proud of this, even with comments and documentation, Perl can be a bitch if she wants..
(I've a number of cron'd Perl scripts running on one of my servers as I type this, even though I wrote them, about two years ago now, I'm not quite sure I know *exactly* now what they're really doing - still, so long as they churn out the graphs and stats I require..)

Comment I jumped ship about six years ago.. (Score 2, Insightful) 783

Long, tedious and boring story cut short, one day I woke up and decided that I no longer enjoyed working in the IT sector.
(after about 20 years of putting up with the various levels of brain death involved in supporting both the machines and their (ab)users..), so jumped.

I'd gotten so sick of the whole game that after I quit my last full time IT job, swore I'd never do it again, and it was almost a year before I touched a computer of any sorts again, and about two before I went back online.

First couple of years readjusting to the (major) cut in salary were pretty nasty, saving grace was that I owned my house outright and had no outstanding debts, even so , financially were tight at times but things have sort of stabilised. Currently working for a charity as a sort of Über-handyman (plumbing,painting,electronics and hardware repair, NC machine programming etc etc - the etc etc including IT work...but for reasons explained below),

To make ends meet, I've been doing things like plumbing, woodwork (joinery mostly), painting and decorating etc, it sort of helped that I'd a family who were involved in these trades so I'd grown up knowing how to do most of it., and honestly, I've been as happy as a member of the genus sus in coprophilous materia..

A cautionary note though, once it is known that you actually know anything about IT in whatever field you jump to, be prepared for what usually happens next. I'm slowly getting dragged back into IT in my current job at the charity, mostly through the electronics related work I'm doing for them (my 'field' before I jumped to the computer/network admin side of things), but also through what I'm seeing as seriously screwed up Network/computer installations within the charity I work for (and others) which they're paying people good money to 'administer' on their behalf.

Even though you swear blind at the start that you'll never do any IT work again, it *will* find you..in my case, I don't mind as it's for a reasonable cause (and I really hate seeing people who've got Noddy MCxxxx and CCxxx bits of paper pretending to know what they're doing and taking the piss in this manner, especially with a charity).

So, be prepared for a drop in living standards based on monies etc, I can't tell you if you'll be any happier. I am, I actually sleep more than a couple of hours a night now (after years of 18-20 hour days, six days a week) and I no longer see reams of 'C' code in my bloody dreams (and I praise the flying spaghetti monster for that, as I do so hate 'C' ) but that's just me, YMMV.

One bit of advice that I can give you from my experiences jumping ship. I can't stress this enough, if you do go through with it, *plan* your exit, know what else you *can* do, and see if you could survive/make a living doing whatever you choose. Plan your exit, don't just jump ship the way I did before you have something else sorted out to go to first.. This lack of forward planning was my only mistake/regret, understandable at the time, as I was seriously pissed off and wasn't quite thinking straight, but this lack of planning probably caused me the most grief the first couple of years.

Like at least one other poster has said, in general it'll help if you have a degree of some sort as well.

and finally if you do jump, then good luck, and hope it works out for you.

Comment Re:Black Cats (Score 3, Insightful) 73

It seems to be a regional thing as to whether a black cat crossing your path is good or bad luck.

Where I'm from in the UK (Dorset coast) its considered very good luck.

where I am in Scotland, black cats are considered to be lucky (in general, not just crossing your path) as well.

I always assumed the unlucky black cat thing to be a mainly american variation of the superstition, as that's where I've mainly heard this one from, though ISTR reading in a book on superstitions many years ago that some central/eastern european countries have this slant on it as well.

wrt the article, a case here maybe of the WB publicity drones and suits forgetting which country they're in ?

Comment Re:Riiight (Score 1) 685

I won't dispute the energy saving, but for what it's worth regarding their reliability and 'incompetent' manufacture..

I swapped most of our lights over to CFLs a couple of years back, the only ones which aren't, are a couple of spots
(which I'll be replacing with LED fittings at some point) and a 4ft long fluorescent tube fitting in the loft.

The reliability of the CFLs has really been only *marginally* better than that of the old tungsten filament jobs they're replaced,
and up till recently, the CFLs I'd been using had been mainly badged as being manufactured by Philips and GE (so I would assume
they know what they're doing?), in fact, the ones I bought as a test from a local discount shop, no-brand madeinchina specials,
have been a wee bit more reliable and, interestingly, produce a more 'natural' colour that the usual CFLs (just wish I'd bought
more of them at the time, as they no longer have the same model available).

I would point out that, as these companies are out to screw as much money as they can from 'consumers' it would be most uncharacteristic
of them to make a consumer product that would last for a long time, so, as they've become a more 'mass market' item, I'll bet they've
taken the basic design of the CFL's and 'fixed' them in such a manner that a simple component on the PCB is guaranteed to fail within a
year (or less, dependant on voltage surges etc).

Asking around before commenting here, I got similar stories from other people about their experiences with CFLs, basically, yes, they save
energy, but they're nowhere near as reliable or as long lasting as they claim on the box.

I mean, if they gave us lightbulbs that last for a long time, we'll be wanting 'Everlasting razor blades and forever cars' next..

(Talk about synchronicity, as I finished this, one of the CFLs in the front room has just given up the ghost, and that's the third CFL failure
this month)


Submission + - Cassini's Best Images (ciclops.org)

CheshireCatCO writes: The winners of the best images from the Cassini spacecraft (taken since Cassini images of Saturn were first acquired in February 2004) have been announced. The winner of best color image is In Saturn's Shadow, the stunning, high-phase portrait of Saturn from opposite the Sun. Winners of best black-and-white and best movie (both categories resulted in ties) are also available.

Submission + - Secrets of Time Travel for Sale on eBay... (ebay.com)

SlimXero writes: For a paltry 10 Million Dollars, Ronald W Francis wants to sell you some good old fashioned time travel, a la H.G. Wells.

Please do not be alarmed, and we hope not to alarm anyone... But the Possibility of Time Travel Truly Exists...
I have been Pondering how to Market such a Phenomenon and feel that eBay is a Good Open Market Forum. Support is available as I am the Innovator and would very much like to Advance this Science. This process is Explained in Complete Detail in Real Language. Experiments, Illustrations, Calculations, and Projection Information Required is Included. I Believe the Event of Time Travel is Possible and can Only be Achieved in Presented Theory. I Believe a Simulation is Possible. We will need a lot of Energy/Power. This is the Only way Possible. This Theory/Project is Physically, Mechanically, and Mathematically Sound. All Peaceable Partners are Welcome. Government, Research & Development, Technology Science, Universities, Media & Entertainment Welcome. Principals must be Peaceful in Nature, as it's Sensitive Implications. Please NO WAR MACHINES.

$10,000,000. But you have 90 days to pay, so no problem if it works right?


Submission + - Archos 605 wifi hacked (google.com)

Nathan Ramella writes: "The ARCwelder project has released a technique dubbed "Go Fighting Tabby!" which exploits an unquoted system() call through the Archos UI, providing the ability to execute arbitrary code with root access on the Archos 605 wifi. In doing so, opening the platform up for further hacking. The Archos 605 wifi runs embedded Linux on an ARM processor, but employes a variety of anti-hack techniques to keep users from modifying its firmware and operating system. Included is a cross-compiled sshd with configuration files to allow for passwordless ssh access to the Archos when it is connected to a wifi connection. Bricks ahoy!"

Submission + - BootZilla v4.2.0 toolkit released (bootzilla.org)

An anonymous reader writes: BootZilla is a toolkit designed with the intent of creating a simple toolkit that can help the computer user or technician in removing pesky virus and malware infections. It can also help in the diagnosis of severe hardware failure, such as memory or hard drive failures. The entire toolkit offers a BootCD functionality, built up off of the Ultimate Boot CD. BootZilla is free, and easy to use for both IT admins and most advanced users.

Slashdot Top Deals

Never call a man a fool. Borrow from him.