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Comment Re: has this ever worked? (Score 1) 190

Huh - guess not. I know they have a large office of some sort out there, though - some of their hiring ads bleed over out here. Dentrix support is also based out of SLC (Henry Schein?); used to call out there pretty frequently when I was doing IG support for dental offices.

The University of Utah was one of the original ARPANET nodes back in the '70s, so there's been some tech out there for a while now.

Comment Re:has this ever worked? (Score 3, Insightful) 190

Speaking as a Reno resident (It's Sacramento, only with hookers and blackjack!), I don't like Sacramento's chances, and it's not because I think Reno's chances are any better. Part of the problem is that there won't be a "next Bay Area" - not just one, anyway. The Bay Area's preeminence in the tech industry was kind of a fluke, which resulted from a combination of various factors (strong academic interest from Stanford and Cal, defense industries sprouting up in the area, good weather, and so on). These days, the tech industry is decentralizing, which is why you have "tech corridors" in places like Raleigh-Durham, Austin, Salt Lake City (Symantec is based there), Las Vegas (Zappos), Seattle, Portland (thanks, cheap hydroelectric power!), Los Angeles ("Silicon Beach" - I remember when Venice was a ghetto), Boston... and these are just the places in this country.

The other part of the problem is that Sacramento's biggest claims to fame at this point are that it's the state capital of California (*shrug*) and it's kind of close to the Bay Area (so is Vallejo, Vacaville and Antioch). The climate is miserable (think Texas weather, only with a little less humidity, no hurricanes and without the weird bugs), the neighborhoods are extremely hit-and-miss, the culture is getting better but is still more or less non-existent, California's tax and business codes are pretty obnoxious, the physical infrastructure in Sacramento isn't quite Stockton bad but there's definitely room for improvement... yeah. Sacramento's not bad, but it's not good, either.

Don't get me wrong, I think Sacramento will get some startups to set up shop there. Some of them will probably succeed. I don't think they're going to take over the world out there, though. Venture capitalists would rather go to Denver, Seattle, Portland or Las Vegas than Sacramento, and if you're going by plane, you're not saving that much time by going to Sacramento over either of those other places.

Comment Good. (Score 1) 148

This is actually a good thing for PC-BSD for a variety of reasons. First, KDE's support for BSD is spotty - try mounting NTFS volumes using Dolphin in PC-BSD. You can't because KDE uses Linux-style mount options instead of BSD's. Also, KDE is (L)GPL, which BSD has been trying to avoid lately (hence Clang, LLVM, etc.).

I'm concerned that iXsystems and the community is biting off a bit more than they can chew - Canonical's having issues getting Unity out the door and, though I don't have either of their financials in front of me, my assumption would be that Canonical is a much bigger company with a much bigger community of developers behind them. However, if PC-BSD is going to get the stability and ease of use that's necessary to be a compelling desktop alternative for all but a few hobby enthusiasts, they're either going to have to maintain a BSD-friendly port of KDE or roll their own desktop manager.

Comment Re:Have you considered not going to Burning Man? (Score 1) 273

There's also the issue of the existing infrastructure, versus how many people are out on the playa. Figure attendance is roughly 50,000 people or so, with an average of two people per vehicle. That's up to 25,000 vehicles leaving at a BLM-mandated 1,000/hour - a mandate, by the way, created to ensure that the two-lane road from Gerlach to I-80 still has some room to let the natives, both in Gerlach and "downstream" in Pyramid Lake", actually get out of their driveways and go somewhere that day. Do the math and some people are going to wait for a long, long, long time.

For those of you from Europe or those just generally not from the area, here's what's basically happening:

There is only one paved road to the Black Rock Desert - Nevada State Route 447 - which is only useful for most people if you take it heading southbound since that's the fastest way to an interstate (that's American for "large freeway") and is also the only direct route to Reno (nearest major airport) and the Bay Area. The total population served by this road is maybe 1,000 (I'm feeling generous), so the road is built accordingly - it's a two-lane highway that's generally straight thanks to the local geography but makes a rather firm point to go right through the middle of what habitation there is in the area (notably, Nixon and Wadsworth). The few towns served by the highway are consequently bisected by it - thus, if the highway gets overwhelmed, it's impossible for residents of the town to cross the street. Also, adding insult to injury, there's not a tremendous amount of freeway or onramp capacity once the highway reaches the freeway (no cloverleaf or anything), so excessive oncoming traffic can cause localized traffic issues on the freeway, too.

In short, Burning Man needs to somehow evacuate over 50,000 people using infrastructure built for less than 1,000 within 24 hours, and do in a way that doesn't paralyze the lives of every single town in the area. No matter how you look at that problem, people are going to have to wait - the only question is whether people are waiting with their keys in the ignition, whether they're waiting for their license plate number to come up, or some other means of queue management. It's either that or try to convince everyone to drive through Cedarville and Alturas to go home, not that they're equipped to deal with any significant traffic themselves.

Comment Re:Uh? (Score 2) 408

RDP? SSH tunnels? Blasphemy. If you're using an SSH tunnel, all you need to do after that is enable WinRM, hit the remote cmd console, download a VNC server using BITSADMIN, and then go from there. Bonus points if you somehow manage to rope PowerShell connection and session objects into the mix.

Seriously though, TeamViewer is fine. The point of LogMeIn was that, if you needed remote access to another user's PC but they weren't technically savvy, you could walk them through it without too much trouble. SSH tunnels and proper VPNs are certainly preferable if you're in charge of both ends of the connection, but if you're not, TeamViewer, Jump Desktop, and the like get the job done without too much fuss.

Comment Re:Out of the box solution is going to have pushba (Score 2) 163

Assuming the schema matches. Which, by the way, is an extremely bold assumption when you're dealing with pulling data out of a custom Access solution cobbled together over the past decade and pushing it into an out-of-the-box solution.

Having seen a few custom Access jobs in my time, I can tell you first-hand that, more often than not, you're lucky if the data is normalized, much less organized in any sane, sensible way. I've seen tables where there are "Serial Number 1", "Serial Number 2", and "Serial Number 3" fields, for example, because "nobody has more than three pieces of equipment". So, now you're faced with having to get that data halfway normalized, or at least document how you could normalize it, and then you have to map it up against the new solution's schema and hope and pray they have a set of tables that are designed to hold the data you're looking for.

Comment Re:Out of the box solution is going to have pushba (Score 1) 163

You wouldn't - but you'd really prefer to not use NetBIOS names under any circumstances. Otherwise, SERVER1 is always going to have to resolve somewhere, regardless of domain, regardless of network topology, and that somewhere better be where the database expects to find useful data.

Comment Re:shadow while you can and guesswork there after (Score 1) 195

Having worked for a smaller company that could only afford a one person IT department, I agree that it doesn't make sense paying for a second full time person to sit around and stare at the primary sysadmin while they do their job. Frankly, in most companies with one person IT departments, work load is somewhat inconsistent to begin with - oftentimes there's just enough work to do where it would cost more to bring in a part-time consultant to do 4 hours of work that day than to pay the full time sysadmin to do 4 hours of work and then read Slashdot for the other 4. That problem would only get worse if you had to pay for an "understudy".

Thankfully, there's a really easy way to manage that, even for smaller companies. Bring in a part-time consultant periodically (say, for a couple hours every month) as an insurance policy. For the brief period they're there, have them focus on documentation and chatting up the sysadmin. As an added bonus, maybe have them check backups, server logs and the like to ensure the sysadmin isn't falling asleep at their desk. Another bonus is that, if the sysadmin has a large project planned that they could use some additional temporary headcount on, you have someone else with some institutional knowledge lying around.

Comment Re: Good luck .. (Score 1) 230

At least in my experience, RunAs in XP only works tolerably well (i.e. more than 50% of the time) if you RunAs a cmd prompt first, then execute whatever you need to from there. Even then, Windows Explorer won't let you run in a different user context, which basically means that, if you need to move or copy a file, or install a printer, you're either doing it through the command line or not at all. This also often meant that, if you needed to install a program from a CD (looking at you, HP drivers), they'd detect that they were in a "RunAs environment" if you used the GUI RunAs, and then proceed to error out on you. Of course, the workaround for that was to launch an escalated cmd and run whatever program Autorun.inf was configured to call and hope for the best. If you became really good at cmd, you could get around most of that, though I always felt I had other, better things to do with my time than to learn every single option for rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry, much less netsh.

For the record, I just tried to RunAs appwiz.cpl from my PC and it worked just fine. Of course, the nice thing about Windows 7 is I don't even have to RunAs my Control Panel widgets - if I need administrative access, it will ask for an administrator user name and password when I open it and then escalate for me, saving me from having to remember what options require administrative access and what ones don't. Y'know, like a proper gksudo-type tool should.

I won't miss XP, is what I'm saying.

Comment Re: Good luck .. (Score 1) 230

Different use cases for different folks, I suppose. Personally, I love being able to hit the Windows key and start typing out the name of whatever utility I need without hitting 'R' first and hoping that "Run..." is the first application on the Start menu that starts with an 'R' today. It really speeds things up, especially if I need something from the Control Panel. Don't get me wrong, some of Microsoft's "simplifications" leave a lot to be desired - looking at you, Control Panel, at least when you're not in icon mode, and even then, what is up with the Network control panel? - but I'll take Windows 7 and its interface over Windows XP any day of the week. And I didn't even touch on the actually usable "Run As..." feature - yes, it was there on XP, too, but it only worked half the time. It took Microsoft way too long to add proper sudo-like functionality, but I'm glad they finally did it.

Comment Re:Andrew Wakefield and big Pharma.. (Score 1) 668

Yes, because if there's one thing that keeps Big Pharma rich, it's selling everyone quick, cheap, effective vaccines instead of expensive, slow-moving treatments to long-term side effects of diseases like measles, polio, and so on.

Want to know what's profitable? Iron lungs. They're expensive and you're hooked on them for, if you're lucky, only a month or two while your body recovers from polio. If you're unlucky, you're hooked on them for life. Know what's less profitable? A single prick in the arm containing a vaccine that, even at the highest markup, costs less than 1/10,000th of a modern day life support system and prevents the disease that lands you in the iron lung in the first place.

Critical thinking - how does it work?!

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