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Comment Why is this important or interesting? (Score 1) 80

I'm having some trouble understanding why using a commercial product, BluTec copper, in a manner in which it is intend to be used (heating water via unconcentrated sun) is news? When you build a colar water heater normally you are working to not have it boil the water. It's more efficient not to. In fact the article even says they get better efficiencies when they-- get this-- run it below 100c. Wow! alert the media and publish it in nature.

So what they did was create a thermally insullated restricted flow system so the water super heats which is completely expected and precisely what designers expect and thus try to avoid in commerical systems.

Blutec solar heated are made in massive quatitites.

So can some one explain why this is news? I'm being serious not sarcastic.

Comment Don't use Excel for CSV files! (Score 1) 346

It's not like Excel alters the underlying data, all you have to do is correctly change the column type.

Oh! but it does - once you save it.

If you open a CSV with Excel by default, it will simply read in the values and format it how it sees fit.
Then if you save it, even as a csv, it will give you a warning saying something like "some of the features are not compatible with this format type"
If you proceed, your file is now changed. I have seen scientific notation changed like this. Many columns and rows, you may miss a malformatting and save it as csv. Boom, your data is now toast.

It is why I always look at my CSV files with a text editor first, and only open copies in Excel.
And if you use a real editor like vi, even opening files with millions of rows isn't an issue.

Comment Re:There's a simpler answer to this (Score 1) 188

Carriers would find a way around this. e.g. "you have to own the phone before you are eligible for security updates" T-Mobile does the "pay $20 a month" for a new phone, so you wouldn't really own it until your contract was up. That's why I think that "other" brands will start making real inroads into the market - BLU, Huwei, Xiaomi, etc. I have a BLU, and love it. Dual sim, unlocked, octacore, 2GB ram, gorilla glass, for $150. Why would I buy some $600 phone? As long as the manufacturers control the updates, I might as well get a good phone that I can afford to either root or replace in a couple of years.

Comment What a long painfully joyful trip it's been... (Score 3, Interesting) 313

I ditched Windows back in 1998 and installed RedHat 5.1. It was awesome! Then I upgraded. Wow, what a nightmare. Dependency hell. I struggled with it for a few years, but hung in there because I just loved it and had no interest in going back to Windows. Macs make my brain hurt.

Then along came Mandrake which took away some of the pain. That was great as well, really liked KDE. Upgrades were still painful, but much better.

Then I started hearing a lot about Ubuntu so I made the leap to Kubuntu 6.06. I went through about 8 in-place upgrades over time (minorly painful) until I finally things got unstable enough that I did a fresh install. Things were much better... but I kept having issues with KDE wigging out on me and pegging my cpu.

So I installed XFCE on top of Kubuntu. XFCE spoke to me - I realized all the UI flash didn't matter to me. I would flip back to KDE, but the problem kept happening and I was happy with XFCE. Eventually I heard about Mint around 2011, and had to try Mint XFCE - I have been there since. I have decided to not do rolling installs anymore, but I am configured pretty well to do full installs. I just installed over my Mint 17 XFCE release and was up and running on Mint XFCE 18 in about an hour. (my / partition is 55 GB and only uses about 12, and I have a separate partition for home). This was the smoothest linux system update I have ever had - even no issues with the Nvidia proprietary drivers!

Installs aside, my Linux system does everything I want it to do. Seeing all the various applications on it grow and blossom, and really cool things like bootable distros to embedded linux to mini systems to android. It has really been great to see it all flourish.

At work I use Windows 10, and I get by. But it brings me no joy. At home I run Linux, and it brings me joy. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to it.

Comment It's the efficiency mindset... (Score 1) 512

I'd argue that very few people's productivity is measured in how efficient their file operations are. It's sort of like believing you're going to be vastly more efficient as a programmer if you memorize a bunch of keyboard shortcuts or type 60wpm instead of 30. Unlike the movies [], programming isn't about how fast you type.

I think it's more about learning how to work efficiently, and keeping an "efficient" mindset in whatever you do. Example: I use pine for my email, I have since around 2000. I use fetchmail to pull in a few accounts locally. If I want to check my email, it's faster for me to ssh to my home machine and check it rather than scan across several emails on my phone (I do use K9 to pull them into one app though). Now, if I want to view and attach pictures to emails, or look at attachments, then a GUI is better. But most of the time I am just reading the text and ssh/pine is much more efficient.

Another example: at work someone on my team was trying to generate a 2 million row csv file for testing. She was trying to do it in Excel, and it was very cumbersome and slow. Using an example row, i created a script that was able to generate a million rows in about 5 minutes. Then I used a couple of other tools (sed/cat/vi) to copy the million row file, modify it, and cat them back together. She had her 2 million row csv file in about 15 minutes. She was amazed. Since then I have worked on several other large files like this because people think they have to use Excel to view csv files. And vi kicks notepads ass in editing.

These are just two examples of doing something efficiently. Yes, it was comfortable for me to use these things, but there was no other good solution for this particular problem because people were locked into what they knew. Back on topic, I can certainly use other desktops, but I moved to XFCE many years ago when KDE kept eating my CPU for some unknown reason... and I have simply grown to prefer it. MintXFCE is my sweet spot now, and I don't have any plans to switch.

Comment Most methane comes from Dams not Cows (Score 2, Interesting) 189

According to the estimates of the INPE researchers, dams are the largest single anthropogenic source of methane, being responsible for 23% of all methane emissions due to human activities.

Thus irrigation for crops is worse on the environment than cows.

Comment Re:I'm ready to upgrade (Score 1) 188

I'm still running a Sandy Bridge E with 6 cores. I'm guessing quite a lot of non-gamer folks who do serious work on their machines are too.

The main 2 reasons I haven't upgraded are only modest increases in performance since then, and the time & effort & disruption of upgrading. Cost is a much lesser concern.

Comment Breaking the Law (Score 0) 108

There I was racially discriminating, in the hood down town
all inside it's so incriminating picking phones to own
feel as though nobody can avoid my prying eye
so I might as well begin to put some action in my life
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law

Comment Flat files... (Score 2) 671

Back in the early 90s I worked at the big cellphone company. We worked on Unix workstations, and I learned a lot of what to do and what not to do. We used an in-house built bug system built to use sccs. I managed the build shell scripts. The only way to get code into the build was to enter a CR (Change Request) and link the source files to it. Then the build would examine all the CRs for a weekly build, check out that code, ftp it to the target platform (tandem), build it. If all went well, 8 hours later you would have a successful build, which I would then write to 9 track tapes, and THEN install it on the target system testing platform.

So the bug system I mentioned used flat readable text files to store all the info. There was a gui front-end but it was kind of slow.

Out of necessity to quickly look things up, I wrote a shell script that would allow you to search and view CRs on the command line. Bad built on top of bad, but it worked pretty well. Other people on my team started using it too.

It worked so well in fact that somewhere around 2006 I was living across the country, having been at a few other companies since then. An old colleague still at my first company got in touch with me, and someone was asking about me and the tool I created. They saw my email in the header of the script, and wanted to get in touch with me to see if I would let them edit it. They were still using it! What I created for myself others found so useful that it was still chugging along doing its job on the command line. I don't know if it made me proud or sad, but it was humorous to me. I haven't heard anything from them since then, but it would be very interesting if they were still using that same process and those shell scripts I created so long ago.

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