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Comment Re:Voter ID (Score 2) 401

In Australia, voting is compulsory, so turnout is in excess of 80%.

There is no requirement for IDs when voting, just making sure your name is crossed off the list in the seat you're registered for. This obviously means that you can, illegally, vote twice at two different locations, but the system will pick it up (when they scan the registers)
I'm not entirely sure, but I think the election officer can request some form of ID if they suspect foul play.

Anyway, it is possible to cheat, but the percentage of rejected votes is so small that there is no reason to change the system and increase the costs associated with it.

I guess, because the voting is compulsory hence a large turnout minimises the effects compared to a voluntary voting system where the turnout is low and the percentages become significant.

Comment I Don't think it should be an elective (Score 1) 313

Speaking as someone who had to do a "computer" subject at school back in the mid 80s, I will say that I leared a lot from that time that still applies today. We basically only learned BASIC, but I can't remember the PCs. I think they were Casio.
Anyway, this subject was compulsory, even though it was not a core subject and was not part of final year exams. Most of us loved it, even though quite a few struggled with it.
Like some others have already mentioned, programming does teach you logic.
In my opinion and experience, I highly recommend it.

Comment I voted 3-6 but... (Score 2) 167

I remember a time when I was still working for HP, and was in charge of setting up support some global customers.
I was based in Sydney, had to deal with one of HP's call centre operations out of Chennai. This is normally fine becuase they were only 5 hours difference, so there were a few working hours overlap.
The problem was, this particular group operated for some reason on GMT time, so it really annoyed me because there were no working hours overlap, and they simply would not work with me during my business hours!

Anyway, back to the survey, I've only worked for a living in 5 distinct timezones, (not counting supporting anyone/thing in a different timezone)

Comment AltaVista... (Score 1) 277

I remember when AltaVista was the best search engine before google started.
It was quick and did have quite a lot of results, but that was in the day when a search term returned a limited number of pages and you could technically reach the end of the search results.
Ahhh... Information overload. Love it.

Comment Been at my house for 13 years... (Score 1) 217

And I still get occasional letters for the previous owners. I used to write on them "return to sender" but after a few years I stopped. Most of the post is advertising and brochures, so I now read them. Some are interesting since he was an electrical contractor.
Occasionally I get letters from collections agencies for random people who I have no idea if they ever lived in the house!
It doen't bother me though.

Comment Some people are obsessed with coffee... (Score 5, Interesting) 283

We grew up drinking coffee as a social drink: when visitors come you serve them coffee and it was also used when the family gathered to chat or chill.
You drink coffee slowly while sitting down.
Now, I only have one cup of coffee a day, which is usually when I first wake up and it literally takes me a good 20 minutes to finish it. This quietness helps me think through the day and also go through my junk mail (paper ones). It's a relaxing ritual.

I don't understand people who are so addicted to it that they would drink coffee while walking or catching the train. What's the point?

Comment Hard Drive and Tapes (Score 1) 212

Personal PCs at home are backed up to an extrnal drive.
At work I backup to a hard drive (backup server) which is then replicated to another server. The backups are also copied to tape for external storage provider (mainly for monthly and yearly backups)
I suspect, in the future we will dispense with the tape backups unless we're really required to keep information indefinitely!

On a side note, but still on topic, my brother's got an iMac and a Time Capsule. He had to change the hard drive a couple of months ago, and when we rebotted the Mac with the new drive it rebuilt the iMac from the Time Capsule backup. I was quite impressed at how smooth the operation was.

Comment Family of Seven Siblings (Score 1) 178

I voted the same as my siblings. I come from a family of seven siblings, and I am the youngest. 4 of us have got a university degree, and three only finished highschool.
The amazing part though is that my mum was illiterate and my dad has never has formal schooling (friends in the army taught him to read and write). They both valued education so much that sacrificed a lot for us to go to good schools.

Comment America's voting system is a disgrace... (Score 1) 821

There was an article on CNN about the US voting system. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/05/opinion/frum-election-chaos/index.html

Pretty sad to be honest. We take voting system for granted here (Australia), it is run pretty smoothly, and even though it is paper ballots still, the results are known within hours unless it is pretty close. I have never heard of vote disputes. Usually recounts when the result is too close but that's about it.

Comment High School 1986 (Score 1) 632

1986 I was still in highschool. Our school brought in a few Casio (I think) PCs with the monochrome monitors.
We learned to program basic on them. It was great. Learned logic and helped with maths.
I remember we had one of these PCs connected to a TV and a tape player where we would read programs from. This is where we did the colour graphics.
I've loved working with computers and programming from that day on.

That was my introduction to computers. I only knew 3 people who had computers at that time.
I did not get to use computers again until I went to university in 1991 where we used Apollo then DEC 320(?) which had Mosaic.
In the university library they had Apple macintosh computers with Netscape Navigator. They were the easiest and best to use.

Comment Re:Trends and Timing (Score 1) 867

I started using Linux in the late 90s. It was the buzz back then and I needed a differentiator when going for IT positions. I did download a lot of distros at the time because I worked at a telco at the time, so had the speed. But most of my installs came from CDs with magazines or books. At one stage I even ordered CDs from both redhat and mandrake. I still have them as souvenirs.
Anyway, my timeline looks like this (gets fuzzy the more I got into Linux):
Redhat-> mandrake->Caldera-> suse-> lfs->slackware->debian->redhat. Stayed on redhat for quite a few years (with XFCE) then moved on to OSX. Later on I used Ubuntu but only sparingly. Haven't used Linux for a couple of years now!

Comment Each has their own use... (Score 1) 348

I love spicy food wherever it comes from. Like someone else said, it accentuates the falvours of the main ingredients.
Anyway, at home we use the following:
1- Dried (powder or flakes) to add to some stew pots (after the main ingredients started cooking
2- Fresh Chilies are used if you want to add the spiceyness to the the base sause of the meal. Adds aroma as well, especially with garlic...
3- Pickled chilis as a condiement more than anything and added to "fresh meals" like some salads, sandwiches. Can also be eaten on their own (small bites) just like other pickles.
4- Hot sauces. Well, they are mainly used for marinades more than anything else.

These are geenralities, but they tend to be more the norm than otherwise.

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Asynchronous inputs are at the root of our race problems. -- D. Winker and F. Prosser