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Comment Why is this expected? (Score 1) 474

Instinct tells me we're nearing peak optimization in this industry, so it's not really possible to realize gains of that magnitude without creating a new industry (e.g. going from binary computing to quantum computing).

So I tried to think what other kinds of industries are making announcements every 2 years showing 4x-8x gains, and I can't think of any... So, why is this an expectation here? Where else is this happening? medicine? transportation? agriculture? Are comedians 4x as funny as they were two years ago? Are hamburgers 8x as satisfying as they were two years ago? Is NASCAR finishing races 6x sooner?

Is Vodka making you 4x as drunk?

Comment Re:Movie theaters (Score 1) 342

I've got the big screen and surround sound at home which I like just fine, but there are at least a dozen movies each year that I'd like to watch on a 60 foot screen rather than a 60 inch screen - I don't because per movie it's not worth the expense.

Right now I go see maybe 1 movie per year in theaters (consistent since 2010). If I drop $20 each time I go, then "Big Screen" is only getting $20/year from me.

If they were to cut the cost per movie in half I would probably go once per month on average. I used to go twice per month before the costs tripled in my early twenties. That would increase their yearly revenue from me by 600%. Seems like a good business decision to me...

Comment How do you define "main" computer? (Score 1) 599

The one that's always doing something is running ESX, on top of that there are a few OpenBSD instances running most of my home infrastructure; various CentOS and Solaris instances for specific apps, and some vApps. I wouldn't count that as my "main" computer though because I've spent all of 3 hours at the console.

My work computer gets the most of my time and is on Windows, but I don't consider that my "main" computer either because it's not mine, it's work's.

The living room computer is running windows 10 with windows media center, but I don't consider that my "main" computer either because it's "the living room computer" pretty much just for watching movies or doing some good old fashioned emulator gaming for nostalgia.

Other than that I've got my two laptops that are pretty much both on together or off together; one windows, one mac. I'm typically doing a primary task on one (e.g. gaming on windows, ssh to a VM on mac, surfing on either depending what for) and the other has background or secondary tasks (e.g. videos/music while gaming, looking stuff up while doing dev/Unix, or ad-hoc interruptions without impacting the flow of what's going on in the primary task) - together I would consider both of these my "main" computer but separate I wouldn't consider either one of them as "main" because each gets less than 50% of my personal computing time. If I told my wife to "go get my computer" she'd have to ask which one. It's basically another take Schrödinger's cat; neither one is my main computer until I know what my main task is.

I guess that means I vote a tie between windows and OSX, but when you count the fact that I'm on the VMs at least 30% of the time then it's back to Linux & Solaris.

Comment Re:switching languages? (Score 1) 331

I came to say something similar - use the right tool for the job.
I take it you didn't see the folllow-up question that makes the actual overall question much less stupid: "how often do you really get to choose your programming languages"?
To that I answer: every time except when working on Skyrim Mods. That's because I program for a hobby and to make my job easier, but it's not my job. When I got out of school I realized I like programming too much to ruin it by getting a job as a programmer, so I went in as an admin instead.

Comment Re:dumbest thing i've seen all week. (Score 3, Insightful) 262

I came to say the same thing; generally speaking the genes are being passed on before cancer takes its toll. I might be convinced that it's somehow earth's method of population control, that if lifespans are shortened so the overall population is more manageable or something along those lines; but not in any shape or form of stopping "faulty DNA from being passed down to the next generation".

Comment Re:Classic theme (Score 1) 235

Not only that, but whomever, manishs or MojoKid, made that comment in the post doesn't remember their colour schemes very well (or is too young to know better?). Win98 used two deeper shades of blue for the gradient (navy & sky?), the dark to light gradient started in Win2k/ME and persists to at least windows 7.

http://www.guidebookgallery.or... - scroll down.

Comment Re:Simple stories? (Score 1) 85

I've read most of the 46 posts at the time I wrote this, but choose to reply to this quote because I'm a huge Futurama fan.

My sentiment is basically that teaching bots to learn is a lot like good parenting. No, we cannot give the bots all of human literature and expect them to come out morally altruistic.  Someone (the parent) needs to teach them which stories are good to follow and which ones are a lesson in what not to do.

Another flaw I see in this 'algorithm' is that a story which has a morally good protagonist might have fewer examples than the antagonist (3 musketeers?) which would skew the bot's sense of morality.  We want the bot to follow d'Artangan's example but he may follow the cardinal or Buckingham if the bad deeds are mentioned more frequently than the good deeds.

Disclaimer: It's been a while since I've read Dumas' works, so my example may not be entirely accurate.

Example - my brother once asked for my advice about reading a book to his son where the story detailed the account of a boy who ran away to escape problems at home.  I understand my brother's concern that such a story might inspire a child to run from his problems, then I explained that it's up to the parent to explain that the story might seem like a good solution on the surface, but when one digs deeper it's clear that running away creates more problems than it solves.  After the fact, it was clear that the deeper meaning was worth the effort.

Comment Re:Dear friends and family... (Score 1, Informative) 160

When I was young I used to do a lot of stupid things that I didn't want to get caught at, which usually involved a lot of lying.

After getting caught in one such incident a wise young man taught me the only infallible way to never get caught - don't do it in the first place.

I've tried to live by this ever since, and as best I can recall, I've not done anything in the past 15 years where I'd be worried if anyone found out.  Sure there are some things I wont volunteer, but if word got out I'd still stand by my actions or at least own up to them.

Actually, thinking back, I have done things in the past 15 years where I didn't want to get caught, but I did anyways - so, whatever.

Comment Re:First step towards... (Score 2) 125

I'm not a fan of editing individual genes.  In OOP, classes have private members that are accessed through get & set routines.  Any programmer knows that you don't hack your way into an instance and modify a private member outside of its set routine.  Sure most of time thing.setx(y) is just thing.x=y, but when it's not, all hell can break loose downstream and you might not know why.  We understand this for computing, why do we not understand this for life?

Comment How big is "big"? (Score 1) 118

The first thing I have to say to everyone who asks me to design a backup solution is "what's your recovery solution? what are your recovery needs?". Then design your backups around that. Don't back up anything that won't be restored. You have to protect against both disaster recovery (loss of total system) and operational recovery (file deletion, corruption, historical trails). DR for a PC is usually from a stock image; OR for a PC can be managed through much better methods than PC backup.

The only thing I do at work all day every day is backup. I'm certified on one of the major commercial backup applications, two purpose built backup appliances from different vendors, and have formal training in a few other commercial applications. We have a team of 6 that manage backup for the company's data internally, another team of 5 that manage backup for our IT customers, and a couple of part-time backup admins for rogue corporate business units. We have an offshore team of 12 that support backup & storage for both internal & external 24x7 (max 3 on shift at any time). Internally our biggest backup server runs 10,000jobs/day for 1300 hosts; across all internal servers it's something like 25,000 jobs on 4,000 host. I spent almost $1M in capital this year just to refresh EOSL backup infra, and have asked for $3.1M next year to get into the 21st century for all our backup storage. My colleagues have spent at least as much in growth this year. Across the enterprise we protect 12PB of front end data. Globally we are considered a small customer to our backup software/hardware vendors. We don't do endpoint protection because it's not worth the effort.

If you really are going ahead with what you've described (I suggest you don't), then my biggest worry would be software & config deployment during version upgrades, OS re-installs and infrastructure changes. If you add another backup server are you going to have touch every PC? If you upgrade your server to a version that drops support for a given client version and the user doesn't bother upgrading can you push it down? Can you make sure it gets pushed the next time he logs in?

If you have any remote users, use a tool that does client side deduplication and incremental forever with synthetic full backups being hydrated on the server.
Know what your requirements are for portable media, and make sure the tool you use includes/excludes it as per corp policy. Will rsync of / pick up /cdrom? Set the users expectations appropriately and communicate with them what they can expect of you. Make sure everyone knows where their division of responsibility starts and ends, and make sure there's training material available that aligns with those divisions.

That said, if you really are a big company, then forget the endpoints, put your user's data on LAN shares, SharePoint, Exchange, etc and protect their data using server backup. Encrypt the endpoints in case some PHB decides to not use the LAN shares and stores corp data locally, but if he didn't put it on the LAN as per corporate policy, then let him sweat it out for losing his data when the laptop gets stolen/dropped/dies/etc. I have no sympathy for anyone that doesn't follow documented policies & procedures. They all get the stock corporate image, which gives them a personal and a team share. I don't even cheat like some of my colleagues, my laptop is not backed up to our backup servers and I've had it replaced/reimaged every 2 years or so. I keep my historical PST files in two locations. Two hours of setting up my windows preferences or importing app settings from dumps I put on my home drive and I'm back in business. Data doesn't belong on PCs - I wish they were all dumb terminals and any machine you log in to mounts your home drive, runs apps off shares or in remote sessions, and your profile follows you around. Or follow the mainframe strategy and RDP into your desktop / use VDI.

Anything less than 20 endpoints I'd consider small, go ahead and use simple tools like rsync. More than 20 you need an easy to deploy, intuitive to use background service that connects with a central backup server that manages everything from schedules to include lists and retentions. Give your users a point & click interface to run manual backups and restores (or don't, and all restore requests come to you [which sucks because you can't do your job and live your life if you're always working on someone else's problem]). Use software that controls access so that only the user/machine that made the backup can pull down a recovery - you don't want the night guard pilfering the CEO's data just because he knows how to spoof an IP when the CEO's offline.

I can't recommend a particular OSS or even free closed tool that is, what I would consider, good enough for big business. I played with Amanda/ZManda very briefly a few years ago but configuring the rules was less straightforward than I anticipated. Veeam was mentioned earlier and their commercial product seems to have a decent reputation so their free product could be worth considering. All the rest that I could speak about are not centralized and/or have way too much administrative effort to provide users with the level.

Lastly, don't forget - nothing is free. Open source software may not have any licensing costs but in my experience requires more internal support than a well built commercial offering or even service provider. There are a lot of products out there where the client software is no charge and you just pay the service provider a few cents per gig.

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