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* Posts by Pirate Dave

626 posts • joined 25 Oct 2008

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LOHAN's Punch and Judy show: The big fat round-up

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Why Baconur?

Why did you guys decide to do the test flights in Britain (where there seems to be lots of houses and fields and people and property lines) instead of Spain (where there seems to be lots of empty, uninhabited land)?

Top work though.

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UFO, cosmic ray or flasher? NASA rules on Curiosity curiosity

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Too bad

we can't suggest to the CIA/NSA that there are terrorists on Mars. It might give them something to do besides spy on us earthlings. They've obviously got a surplus of manpower and high-end hardware at their disposal...

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Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Nettica

I've been using Nettica for the past 4 years or so to host our external DNS, and they have worked fine. Dyn bought them a few weeks ago, and I'm hoping they don't screw things up.

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The... Windows... XPocalypse... is... NIGH

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Faronic's Deep Freeze

We've been using that in the labs here (a University) for 13 years now, and it works very well. On machines from Win95/98 up to Win7. Get a virus or worm or a torched registry? Reboot and the machine is back to pristine condition.

The only downside is that the XP OS itself is still vulnerable. So the reboot will clear out the virus/worm, but sooner or later you'll pick it up again. On a desktop machine that is rebooted daily, that's probably OK, but for, say, a CNC machine that's only rebooted once in a great while, it's not as much help. Although in any case, the reboot will restore your machine to the condition it was in when you installed DeepFreeze.

In 13 years, I've yet to see a virus/worm defeat DeepFreeze on the computers here. At least not viruses/worms that come in through Windows. I don't thinkDeepFreeze offers any protection if you accidently boot from an infected USB stick or floppy or the like.

Faronics also offers an Antivirus product. It is not very good. We tried it for a year or two, but didn't much care for it.

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Deep desert XP-ocalypse averted as Reg man returns

Pirate Dave

Re: Out of curiosity

I've wondered, since his first story last year, why he's prohibited from taking pictures of the houses. Is it a religious thing?

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Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Eh, so...

does this mean Bing is Team Rocket? I can sort of see Ballmer as Meowth - big head, rotund body.

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What does people-centric IT mean, anyway?

Pirate Dave
Pirate

"Users should be able to register their own devices, and access company resources consistently across them, it says."

Um... No. You asked 7 years ago when you got your first iPhone, and the answer was "no" then and it's still "no" today.

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White House may ditch BlackBerry, adopt LG or Samsung, ignore Apple

Pirate Dave

The WH is considering

replacing a BB with a Windows Phone? Wut? April 1 is still more than a week away...

4
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Gartner networked storage suppliers: Behold the Reg spaghetti-graphic

Pirate Dave
Pirate

British?

Is it a British thing that the chart reads from right to left instead of left to right?

1
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Google's Larry Page: DeepMind 'discovered CATS on its own'

Pirate Dave

Correction...

"DeepMind started playing video games and learning automatically. The same program can play all these games [like Battlezone, Pong, Demon Attack] with superhuman performance. Imagine if this kind of intelligence were throwing grenades at you."

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Win XP holdouts storm eBay and licence brokers, hiss: Give us all your Windows 7

Pirate Dave

OEM?

"Downgrading can also put you in a shaky position with the PC maker: OEMs vary in their willingness to support and maintain PCs that have been downgraded"

Maybe it's just me, but I would think if they are still running XP, especially in small Mom-and-Pop shops, then the OEM's warranty ran out many years ago...

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Battery vendors push ultracapacitor wrappers to give Li-ions more bite

Pirate Dave

Don't Li-Ion batteries like to burn?

And one of the companies involved with this is named "Paper Battery Company"? I think I already see a problem...

0
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BuzzGasm: 9 Incredible Things You Never Knew About PLIERS!

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Mole grips

You mean visegrips can TURN a nut? Geez, I thought they were only useful for removing the corners from nuts... I must be doing it wrong...

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SATANIC 'HELL DIAMOND' tells of sunless subterranean sea

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Sounds like

Didn't Brendan Fraser film an epic documentary that proved Verne's writings back in 2008? I seem to recall seeing it. The transition zone is full of hungry dinosaurs and other strange creatures. I still don't understand how he got back to the surface...

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CIA hacked Senate PCs to delete torture reports. And Senator Feinstein is outraged

Pirate Dave
Pirate

No worries...

"Besides the constitutional implications, the CIA’s search may also have violated the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as Executive Order 12333, which prohibits the CIA from conducting domestic searches or surveillance."

None of which really bothers the CIA all that much. Those are mortal laws. The CIA is above such petty inconveniences. I'm sure if a sharp-eyed legal eagle went looking, he could find something, somewhere, that could stop the CIA's abuse, but we'd probably not hear about it before he got waterboarded to death.

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Satisfy my scroll: El Reg gets claws on Windows 8.1 spring update

Pirate Dave
Pirate

BOFH?

So you get rid of the people who are complaining about the modern apps? Sweet. I've got to try that..

Do you prefer a trip down the stairwell or the cattle prod?.

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Heroic Playmonaut wowed by LOHAN's bulging package

Pirate Dave

Cool

Good work on all that.

With all the gizmo gear in LOHAN, eh, how much effect do you guys expect the rocket engine to have? My original take on LOHAN (back when you started) was that it would be small and light like PARIS, so a rocket engine would really make it go, err, like a rocket. But with all the weight you guys are adding, is it going to do much more than clear the fantastical flying truss?

(I'm not a rocket guy, so I'm talking out my arse here...)

0
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Windows 8.1 Update 1 spewed online a MONTH early – by Microsoft

Pirate Dave
Pirate

If...

If there's not a classic Start Menu in this update, who gives a shit?

I've been using Server 2012 as my desktop for almost a year now and I really,REALLY still miss the old Start Menu. I kept hoping that with long-term use, I'd finally be enlightened on how MS expected us to be productive with TIFKAM, but so far, my eyes are still dark. 2012 R2's little fake Start Menu was a joke. Nothing but barren waste as far as my dim eyes can see. Hours and hours of registry tweaks to get something that resembles a usable desktop. Sad. Microsoft used to know how to design and produce decent (if totally insecure) desktop software, but they seem to have fired all those folks.

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Very fabric of space-time RIPPED apart in latest Hubble pic

Pirate Dave
Pirate

"you know who" ?

Aw, come on, this isn't Jehovah you're talking about. You won't get stoned for saying "That piece of halibut was good enough for the FSM".

Say His noodly name. The Flying Spaghetti Monster.

There, doesn't that feel better?

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Bitcoin bank Flexcoin pulls plug after cyber-robbers nick $610,000

Pirate Dave

I do wonder

How many of these BitCoin banks/exchanges hired security/network/web admins who had formerly worked for a real bank or some other secure entity?. And how many just hired some dude whose resume they saw on monster.com? I'd think that if the purpose of your company is to deal with money (even if it's technically funny money) then you'd want fairly bulletproof systems in place, and you'd want to hire admins who actually had experience in designing, implementing, and maintaining those sorts of things.

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Fanbois sent into FITS of RAGE by fake Steve Jobs statue competition

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Wait a second...

so the statue is real, but the competition is fake?

The world seems upside-down today...

3
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Apple beats off troll in German patent fracas

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Yeah,

Makes me wonder- who's running IPCom? Darl McBribe?

2
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Retiring greybeards force firms to retrain Java, .NET bods as mainframe sysadmins

Pirate Dave

Re: PPirate Dave

"4 people who read this that know what you're talking about?"

Judging from the comments, there's only 3... ;)

I did some RPG in a class back in the late 80's, and touched it again very briefly in the late 90's. Can't say I liked it either time. I guess it's good for what it was designed for, but brrr<shiver>, not my style at all. COBOL, however, I liked. Go figure. I could work as a COBOL programmer and not feel like I was missing out. And I've got 20 years until retirement. Maybe I should polish my resume and leave my Ivory Tower...there might be good money to be made.

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Pirate Dave
Pirate

Hey, at least it's not Object.RPG with OpenGL extensions...

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Intel Labs demos crazy-efficient, crazy-fast 'network on chip'

Pirate Dave

Not "that" kind of network on this chip

So it's not a LAN or a WAN, it's a different kind of network with lots and lots of processors on it. Maybe thousands at some point? So it will be kind of like a neural network. Perhaps Intel will spin-off this into a new division and will call the new division, oh, I don't know, maybe "Skynet"?

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King Kong's dangling cluster cut loose

Pirate Dave

Crysis

More important than "will it run Crysis" is "how many BitCoin hashes can it generate per hour?"

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Ten classic electronic calculators from the 1970s and 1980s

Pirate Dave
Pirate

HP 20S

Being a cheap bastard, I only sprang ~$30 for an HP 20S in 1990, but it served me well through two years of calculus and a year of physics. And it's still my go-to calculator at home, although these days it rarely does anything more complicated than simple addition. I had others along the way as well - graphing TIs and Sharps, but when it came time for heads-down calculations, I always went back to the 20S.

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IT bods: Windows XP, we WON'T leave you. Migrate? Chuh! As if...

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Win 2000

Are you telling me I need to upgrade my Windows 2000 machines? Seriously...? Oh, all right, I'll get to it one day...

Sadly, I actually do have 2 or 3 Win2k servers still around. The WINS server (ouch), and the box running HP Top Tools for Hubs and Switches (hey, HP4000 switches run FORFUCKINGEVER), and the third box that monitors various sensors, runs an ancient copy of NetCrunch, and is a syslog server. They really all do need to go to the scrap heap.

Glad that Server2003 still has a long life ahead of it, or I'd be in trouble... Oh, wait...

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Beauty firm Avon sticks spike heel into $125m SAP-based sales project

Pirate Dave
Pirate

I guess it's fitting

This is what happens when you try to put lipstick on a pig.

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Microsoft 'cautiously optimistic' about Christmas sales

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: A casual Observation

120 meg hard drives? Christ, were you using a mainframe? I remember slobbering over a 5.25" full size Bigfoot that I think was 40 megs. 120 megs was like, no way I'll ever get a hard drive that big. Imagine all the porn GIFs I could store...

And for the record, in 1991 or 1992, I was pleased as punch when the wife "bought" me grey-market OEM copies of Windows 3.0 and DOS 4.1. DOSSHELL FTW!!!

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Beijing leans on Microsoft to maintain Windows XP support

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Remember

You're one-in-a-million. Which means in China there are 1,351 people exactly like you...

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Inside IBM's vomit-inducing, noise-free future chip lab

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Yeah

Let's see...

High-tech science lab? check

Brownish, stained-looking electron microscope? check

Pure white walls? check

Whole thing in an underground bunker? check

Demonic undead walking the hallways? not yet

4
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Antidote for poisonous Aussie Red-Back Spider venom DOESN'T WORK

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Sort of related

why did I follow the centipede link? why?...

1
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Ballmer: Microsoft stronger without Bing and Xbox tinkering

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Steve Jobs moment...

As much as I hate to say it, MS might be better if Gates eventually returns to the helm. His OEM-license-lashing in the 90's was really bad, but let's face it - under Gates, Microsoft gave us upgrades that made sense, even if they were buggy and full of holes. Under Ballmer, Microsoft has been forcing unwanted crap down our throats every few years (which seems to be still buggy and full of holes, although to a lesser extent).

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Budget decay kills NASA plutonium drive project

Pirate Dave

Stirling engines

What neat little engines Stirling engines are. I watch machinist-porn on Youtube, and MrPete222(Tubalcain) did a series of videos on Stirling engines earlier this year. I never knew such things existed until I saw his videos. If you've a mechanical bent, and are unfamiliar with Stirling engines, look him up on Youtube. He's an old, retired machinist who's taken a liking to the new fangled Internet.

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Unbelievably RARE, two-horned 'UNICORN' SPOTTED in woods

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Not impressed

I don't think this is a unicorn. As others have astutely noted, it has two horns, not one, and said horns are oriented incorrectly. As well, it lacks rainbows shooting out its ass. It can't be a unicorn if it doesn't have rainbows shooting out its ass. Everybody knows that.

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Cinnamon Desktop: Breaks with GNOME, finds beefed-up Nemo

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Terminal sessions:

"The result is a setup that gives you access to all your running terminal sessions and media player without needing to shuffle windows or switch workspaces."

Eh, if you're just running terminal sessions and a media player, why not just boot straight into the CLI and get an ipod mini? Get rid of all of the GUI overhead and let your processor run like the wind.

Why people want to fsck up a great OS like Linux by running a crappy GUI on it, I'll never know. GUI is for porn, CLI is for work...

:)

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Vulture 2 paintjob: Four-year-old nipper triumphs

Pirate Dave

Good work. Looks quite grand.

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Bigger, fiddly to manage: The second coming of Windows Server 2012

Pirate Dave

Re: Too bad

Well, I was just thinking about direct integration of O365 with AD. Something along the lines of creating a new user with

new-aduser -name dave@me.com ...blah blah blah... -includeMSOL me.com

that would create the user in AD as well as creating the MSOL/exchangeonline user. All without needing ADFS as a stand-alone kind of middleware.

I admit, I'm talking out my arse here, and my knowledge of ADFS is vague and limited to what I've seen in a few high-level slides. I'm not planning to start reading up on ADFS nitty-gritty until after Christmas. But my understanding is that it's an after-the-fact thing - it gets notifications of changes in AD and pushes them out to othe federated systems. If I'm wrong about that, please forgive my ignorance.

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Anti-food startup Soylent pours sugar daddies' $1.5m into its gloopy mix

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Uh-oh

I see the first side-effect of a long-term, all-soylent diet: megalomania...

"I certainly enjoy mortal food,"

Yes, I'm certain the new god Rhinehart sometimes tires of sipping ambrosia and banging virgins, and decends from his lofty perch on Mount Incontinentia to chow down with us mere humans... perhaps eat an apple or a suckling pig.

"This is something new and a lot of people are very uncomfortable,"

Probably takes the colon a while to acclimate to the gloop that's running through it. Then the uncomfortableness will go away.

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IPO-leery Avaya was hot to flog self to Oracle, but talks 'fizzled' – report

Pirate Dave

Great

I just put in a new Avaya VOIP system, and ~30 of their (Nortel) Enterprise Ethernet switches since last Christmas. Good to know we've dodged the bullet of being owned by Evil Empire #2.

Avaya gear is OK, but as others have said, it is a bit pricey, and seems to be a bit "trailing edge" as far as features. You can definitely feel the ghosts of a Great Ancient Telecom provider when you are dealing with them. Everything is very regimented and flexibility is, ehh, what's flexibility?

Their customer service completely sucks donkey balls, though. If a switch goes out, you can't call and talk directly to a rep, you have to fill out a web form (after you remember/reset your login info) and wait for them to call you back. That happened last week when a POE module went poof in one of their switches. I was not happy about that, and told them that for what I paid for these switches, I shouldn't have to deal with no stinking web form. That got me a "click" from the other end. Great. I shoulda bought HP Procurves.

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Down with Unicode! Why 16 bits per character is a right pain in the ASCII

Pirate Dave

@Aaron Miller

If El Reg would allow it, I'd give my whole day's quota of downvotes to your comment. Blaspheme not against the mighty Turbo Pascal, for it was Holy and did give many of us reason to stay in CompSci instead of switching to History or Psych.

Cretin.

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The life of Pi: Intel to give away Arduino-friendly 'Galileo' tiny-puter

Pirate Dave

next trick

For their next trick, Intel will come out with a super low-powered chip that lacks dedicated math processing circuitry or support for MMX, but is fully compatible with the 80386 instruction set...

Does make me wonder - how small could intel make a 386DX these days? I'd think it could be teeny-tiny.

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You put up with CRAPPY iOS 7. You can put up with Obamacare too, says prez

Pirate Dave

Re: Eh?

But then again, it's not like we've had Obamacare go into effect before, either.

They should have planned the details as big as they planned their ideals. They are, after all, the federal government - the same folks who gave us the Internet. It shouldn't really have been an issue. I mean, geez, how many super computers does our federal government have on the Top500 list, but they can't even properly prepare a website for the start of a major, massive program like Obamacare? I guess now that their ideals are enshrined in law, then the devil with the details. It'll be the same shoddy service we're used to from DC.

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Pirate Dave
Pirate

Eh?

"He said hundreds of thousands of people had flooded the website, which slowed down the system,"

They do realize there are MILLIONS of us, right? And they have a system that can scale to handle such a load, right?

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In defence of defenestration: Microsoft MUST hurl Gates from the Windows

Pirate Dave

Re: @BillG Always a PC

@Hoola - "Arguably, eDirectory & NSS are far superior to AD, GroupWise provides the same functionality & if you have actually used the recent versions, is proabbly better than Exchange. There simply isn't the integration and MS have almost total monopoly on the back end infrastructure. They are more than Office and a Windows desktop."

I'm a Novell admin, there is no "arguably" to it - eDirectory is far superior to AD. Very stable and you only need 2 tools to fix most problems - dstrace and dsrepair. Groupwise vs Outhouse/Exchange is a tough one though. I've never used Outhouse in my 20+ years in IT (yeah, amazing, I know), and I do (mostly) like Groupwise as client and server. The client is good for mail, and folks who use it for calenders are OK with it. The GW server (at least on Netware) is freakin awesome - lots and lots of self-healing abilities that the admin only knows kicked off when he gets the Post Office Maintenance email saying the problem was fixed. Oh, and single-storage for attachments, something the new versions of Exchange lack. My users generally don't like Groupwise though, because NOTHING ON THE PLANET integrates with it without 3PO's or other strange tweaks - it doesn't "just work" with stuff like Outhouse does. And there are a few spots in GW that I wish Novell had tweaked (like letting the admin set proxy access or rules for a user).

But your last sentence nailed it - it's the integration, or lack thereof, that's finally moving us off of eDir/GW to AD/Outhouse. It's pretty dead simple to setup RADIUS on Windows so that an Aruba Mobility Controller can use it for user authentication. Not so with eDirectory - you either have to pay through the nose for something like SteelBelted, or bung around with FreeRADIUS until you finally find the magic combination that makes it work (hint: it takes a liberal dosing of pixie dust, three virgins, and the pre-compiled radiusd that ships with SLES. Don't EVER try to compile your own). On the Groupwise side, my users have been bellyaching for years that they can't buy off-the-shelf software and use it to do mail merges. So we have special-purpose desktops running Outlook that relay through our GWIA just for this. But we are leaving all that behind over the next 4-5 months and moving to AD and Office365 (yikes, that part wasn't my idea...) where things will "just work" and my users can finally feel like they're modern and up-to-date.

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Pirate Dave

Re: Always a PC

Vector,

I can't disagree with any of your points, other than the trifle of saying "well, that's still possibly 1+ billion PC licenses on the upgrade treadmill"

Microsoft has always been its own worst disruptive technology. Call me a fool, but I thought DOS was a pretty decent OS for what it did - load programs on underpowered, memory limited machines, and manage files. But MS killed DOS once they realized Windows 3.x was getting popular, and they didn't even have the courtesy of throwing a wake. They went straight into poor-mouthing it (as we say here in the States). That lasted, eh, 3 or 4 years before MS decided to sacrifice Win3.x on the altar of Windows 95. Win95 was shit, but it was prettier shit than Win3.x. Win98SE fixed some of those problems, so then it was time to throw 95 under the bus. Then Win2k came out and was so much more reliable and secure than Win98, which was important in the age of high-speed Internet Porn, so Win98 had to get the boot. And when XP came out, you'd have thought Jehovah himself had coded it and ordained it as THE OS for PCs, because Windows 2000 was suddenly the worst OS ever written in history. PERIOD. Why we didn't hear about these massive holes in Win2k before 2003, well, I'll never understand.

MS did misstep badly with Millenium, but luckily not many people cared since Win2k was there to take up the slack. And the second misstep with Vista was tolerable only because XP was still in its glory days.

For Office, I still use 2000 because it does all I need it to do. Sure, I could upgrade to whatever the latest version is, but that's all crap in my book. And I'm on a volume license, so it wouldn't cost me a dime - other than lost productivity due to the Ribbon.

The big problem with a Microsoft second act is that I don't know if they have the "style" to put together a second act. They don't have enough sense to realize that even if they did find a "killer app" or "killer device", they shouldn't burden it down with trying to make it a clone of a PC running Windows and Office. They've done well with Xbox, but that's still tiny compared to the PC market. Apple got big again because they had bling, and they were focused (IMHO) on actually finding out how people used an MP3 player, then making one that was worth buying. They didn't try to make it look or act like a tiny Mac. The iPhone just ramped that up even further, and the iPad sent the whole thing through the stratosphere. I don't think MS has the "people" knowledge to pull off a similar stunt - to them everything looks like a PC running Windows and Office.

9
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Look out, Gartner: Behold the El Reg all-Flash Quadragon™ wonder map-o-graphic

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Cold Calls

Me: "Hello"

Him: "Hi, this is James Sausage from Stuffers Data Service. Have you heard of us?"

Me: "No. You say you make sausage?"

Him: "Ha ha. No, we are a relatively new company that provides the Stuffit Data Silo, and we are in the Gartner Magic Quadrant [ *sparkle-sparkle* ]. Have you ever heard of Stuffit Data Silo?"

Me: "No, I can't say that I have"

Him: "Oh, well, the Stuffit Data Silo integrates into your <blah blah blah > leverages <blah blah> cloud based <blah blah blabbity blah>. We..."

<click>

In general, once a cold-call salesperson tells me (proudly, always) that they are in the Gartner Magic Quadrant [ *sparkle-sparkle* ], the phone call is basically over. It's just a question of how soon I will hang up.

2
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Aruba rolls out cloudy enterprise Wi-Fi management system

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Aruba

I got an email from them about this a day or two ago and it wasn't quite as earth shattering as it seems. Their Instant APs (and maybe even their Remote APs) could already do most of this "self configuration" since last year (I think) when Aruba started some program or other where they tied the serial number of purchased APs to a controller/airwave. So when you plugged them up, they called home to Aruba and got the address to your controller/airwave, and then connected to that to get their config. So the only really "new" thing is Aruba's new web interface/portal that lets you admin them from "the Cloud".

My guess is that this is a step to get Aruba into smaller shops that didn't want to spend thousands of dollars on a Mobility controller (and hundreds more on consultant fees to install and configure it) just to run a handful of access points. So throw up a web portal that anybody can use and start selling those $300+ access points into mom-n-pop shops up and down the street.

Aruba's gear is good stuff - we have 2 of their newer Mobility controllers and around 200 APs. It works, and works well. But it ain't no easy-to-setup DLink. Pretty much everything is configurable if you know where to look or what command to use. About the only thing you CAN'T configure from the controller is the color of the plastic shell. It would be interesting to see if their "cloud" controller has the same myriad of config options as a Mobility/Airwave.

1
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US spy court says internet firms can't report surveillance requests

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: R.I.P. First Amendment

That's the real kicker, isn't it? In its essence, the FISA and (un)Patriot Act, as well as the guilty accomplices in the Congress and the White House that have allowed this to continue, have recast the US as a surveillance state with absolutely no fucking end in sight. It's been 11+ years since we were attacked, and apparently the attack scared Uncle Sam soooo fundamentally that nothing must stop his efforts to avoid it again. Any arguments against this by us, the citizens, are stonewalled with this same "we can't tell you why we can't tell you why we have to spy on anyone at anytime but we're doing it to keep us all safe". Bullshit. For the past 80 years or so we've ALWAYS had folks who "want to do harm" to our country, but somehow we never had to turn into this current orwellian nightmare to avoid it. We didn't have to gag the press or the comms providers with threats of jailtime if they revealed what the oily bastards in the Government were doing with the ragged shreds of Liberty. But now it all has to be secret because it's "for our own good." Lady Justice has been raped and left for dead, lying on a soiled mattress stuffed with a shredded Constitution and lots of greenbacks.

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