* Posts by Peter Simpson 1

984 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Banks lob sueball at Trustwave, Target over breach

Peter Simpson 1
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Unhappy

Costs have already reached $172M

...in re-issuing cards alone, with perhaps $US1 billion in the longer-term costs of fraudulent transactions resulting from the breach.

My bank's fees will shortly be increasing, then.

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ISPs' pirate-choking blocking measures ARE effective – music body

Peter Simpson 1
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Pirate

How about VPN use, is that down?

I've heard that some significant portion of worldwide VPN traffic is bittorrent.

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Bruce Schneier sneers at IBM's NSA denials

Peter Simpson 1
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Paris Hilton

Re: Follow the money...

A lot to LOSE????

I believe they actually SELL computers to the NSA. As well as worldwide, to other customers, a backdoor into whose systems, the NSA would love to have. Yeah, IBM has nothing to do with the NSA. And Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are as real as I am...

// ..and she's as pure as the driven snow!

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China demands answers from US after 'I spy on one little Huawei' report

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: A brilliant solution

It's like something our of Mad Magazine's Spy vs. Spy....

// can't find the Spy vs Spy icon...

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IBM PCjr STRIPPED BARE: We tear down the machine Big Blue would rather you forgot

Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

inch greater than a decent and proper English cricket ball.

Well, you see, we use a smaller bat, so the diameter of the ball is increased slightly...

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Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: The 6845 is a zero-colour chip

American Football, which is rugby for girls

Very muscular and well-paid girls.

// actually, it's a two-hour long advertisement for Bud Light

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They want me to install CCTV to see what YOU did in the TOILET

Peter Simpson 1
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Pint

Better use for CCTV at work

Monitoring the coffee pot, to see who drained it and left it, instead of making a new one.

// sadly, pretty much everybody...

// TGIF

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The Reg's guide to cursing in Mongolian

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: “female hygiene accessory”

359 [goshdarnit], why don't you quit being a 262 [male genitalia] about it and go 284 [sexual act] yourself?

(saving the list and code numbers for future reference)

(boobs, funbags and gazungas notably absent?)

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Vote now for the top reader Limerick limerick

Peter Simpson 1
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Joke

A limerick by definition

must contain a naughty word or phrase...they all fail

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GIANT FLESH-EATING DEVIL CHICKENS roamed North Dakota

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: Anzu wyliei

The coyote would take one look at this and do a roadrunner impression heading away from it!

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MPs urge UK.gov to use 1950s obscenity law to stifle online stiffies

Peter Simpson 1
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Childcatcher

Re: So...

"If you have a kid, it's YOUR responsibility to pay for it and care for it and raise it properly."

But at some stage you would like some one to pay your pension?

My children used to advise me to treat them with respect, as "they were the ones who get to chose the 'home' "

// what has happened to all the workhouses?

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Malaysia Airlines mystery: Click here for the TRUTH

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: So what is going on?

I would think that runways capable of being used for take off of a fully bombed and fueled B-29 would be just as suitable for a B777 and I think there was a number of such runways built in that region during the WWII.

While I agree with you that these are the places to look first, I suspect some significant amount of vegetation removal (not to mention repaving) would be necessary before the runways are again suitable for use.

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Alibaba float could make Facebook's look like small change

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Alibaba actaully sells stuff?

I tried looking for a custom power transformer on Alibaba for a project we were doing at work.

After posting the needed specs, I was deluged by replies from companies offerring totally inappropriate products. Many of the replies were just contact information, although I had posted fairly complete specs of what I needed. The rest of the replies were, to put it politely, junk. The ones I could even understand.

Yeah, it's pretty much Chinese eBay, with a touch of Craigslist. Everyone and his brother has a bot to respond to any query with a list of the stuff they're flogging. And you keep getting replies for months after you place your query.

Others claim to have succeeded, but for me, the effort to reward ratio is far too high. Alibaba's on my junk mail filter now.

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My work-from-home setup's better than the office. It's GLORIOUS

Peter Simpson 1
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Joke

Re: It's because your employer is teh suck

Oh, yeah, fine. YOU'VE got a corporate Linux distribution. Well, la-di-dah, aren't you special?

// insanely jealous :-)

// good IT here -- they haven't tried to foist Win8 on us!

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Peter Simpson 1
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WTF?

Re: Consumer vs Business

Businesses don't (shouldn't) use consumer-grade equipment

Hell, *consumers* shouldn't use consumer-grade equipment!

Plenty of off-lease refurbs to be had and they're a heck of a lot more reliable than the cr@p Best Buy sells.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: Company Car vs Company PC

...the rest of the IT dept never seem to know how to treat the devs...

Teach them. Positive reinforcement (e.g.: remembering them at Christmas...apparently, I'm the only one who does) seems to work wonders.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Mushroom

Re: HP Laptops and Heat

Dell's not immune.

I have here on my desk, an Optiplex 745 in "Ultra Small Form Factor"

So "ultra-small" in fact, that our IT department wants nothing to do with them, as their anemic fans and poor internal airflow fail spectacularly at removing heat from the case, causing the box to be a never-ending instigator of service calls. It was "given" to me to use as a Linux box. I replaced the HDD and discovered that it ran TEN DEGREES C cooler if I popped the case top and ran it that way. It's been doing fine ever since.

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Five unbelievable headlines that claim Tim Berners-Lee 'INVENTED the INTERNET'

Peter Simpson 1
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Paris Hilton

Re: Idiots

It's a series of tubes.

There's an adapter mid-Atlantic (and Pacific) to change from imperial to metric size tubes.

// Paris, because that's where the metric tubes were defined

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NZ bloke's drunken poker bet ends in 99-letter name

Peter Simpson 1
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Thumb Up

Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg.

Right down the road from me, actually (well, a bit of a drive, but still...what are the odds?)

Max Power

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Distro diaspora: Four flavours of Ubuntu unpacked

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: Minty

Mint Mate here...has been for the previous two releases, and quite satisfied with it.

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Heroic Playmonaut wowed by LOHAN's bulging package

Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

Re: Rubber band problem?

Silicone bands?

// one of the many *other* uses for that versatile substance....

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Peter Simpson 1
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Pint

As an American...

...I'm glad to see you remembered the cupholder!

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Inside Facebook's engineering labs: Hardware heaven, HP hell – PICTURES

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Send reg reporters on an engineering refresher

Don't bin it...advertise it on Craigslist, free for the taking.

Somebody will come and pick it up. Those things are still much in demand. Beats the hell out of the cheap Harbor Freight version.

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Blighty teen boffin builds nuclear reactor INSIDE CLASSROOM

Peter Simpson 1
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Unhappy

Re: Congrats for common sense and a learning opportunity!

Huh...Maryland. I was expecting Florida. Looks like this "zero tolerance" silliness is spreading.

I hereby apologise to the rest of the world for the embarassment that is US education. We seem to be in a race to the bottom. Maybe it has to do with getting rid of all the good teachers and training the new hires to be mindless form-fillers...

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US gov claims it spent TOO MUCH on wiretaps – and blames SPRINT

Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

Re: Overcharged to the tune of $21m.

Pocket change. Do you know what the war in the Middle East is costing us...*per day*?

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Jobless mum claims Spanish councillor told her to 'go on the game'

Peter Simpson 1
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Childcatcher

Re: Spain

Same could be said of my country...and probably yours, though mine is probably ahead of yours in variety.

// Canada's a strong third place, with Rob Ford...

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But... you work in IT... Why aren't we RICH?

Peter Simpson 1
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Childcatcher

Re: Totally agree about WTFapp

... in USA is that mobile users have to pay to receive a text...

If you don't have a texting plan, you have to pay to send SMS as well. So they collect twice, and the cost, once a nominal 0.05 has risen to 0.25 (for sender and receiver), but, as I said, it all depends on what your plan includes.

// in my next life, I'm running a d*mn telco: build the infrastructure, then just sit back and watch the cash roll in!

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Frenchman eyes ocean domination with floating, mobile Bond villain lair

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Rolex?

...hitting the heady heights of a *spit* digital Seiko.

Even MI6 had to reduce budgets during the fiscal belt tightening of the 80s...it's all Q could afford, Bond is lucky he got a Seiko...it would have been a Lorus or an Armitron if Q hadn't gone to bat for him!

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Peter Simpson 1
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Black Helicopters

Re: Boys own adventure

...reverse lifting body airfoil. The thing would sink just by moving.

That's by [Yanko?] design -- it hides while it moves, then pops up where you least expect it!

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Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

But good luck to them - it's a daring idea and they deserve a chance to make it work.

...or drown trying.

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UK spies on MILLIONS of Yahoo! webcams, ogles sex vids - report

Peter Simpson 1
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Paris Hilton

Re: "Undesirable nudity"...

...between three and 11 per cent of the obtained Yahoo! webcam pics contained "undesirable nudity".

Unfortunately … it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person

Which comes as a surprise only in that the number was commonly thought to be much higher.

// undesirable...to whom?

// Paris...because

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Steve Jobs statue: Ones and ohs and OH NOES – it's POINTING at us

Peter Simpson 1
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Facepalm

Re: How to say 'Bit of a prick'

Have an upvote!

Can you read Cyrillic?

(apparently, what I thought was molding flash, is actually Cyrillic letters...)

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Peter Simpson 1
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WTF?

Molding flash

Looks like they forgot to grind off the flash from the molding process...and to break off the "1" and the "0".

It looks all out of proportion. But then, I'm not a sculptor and have always been pretty literal. I'm sure it will be fine, and as others have said, it looks like it includes coat and hat hooks, so it has that going for it.

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LOHAN chap brews up 18% ABV 'V2' rocket fuel

Peter Simpson 1
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Joke

Re: Never seen that airlock before

Which, uhmm, returns your comment above as the first result and also a query as to whether you meant to search for "SHARK BUBBLES" instead.

I was unaware of sharks' affinity for burritos. Perhaps there are other causes for shark bubbles?

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Ford to dump Microsoft's 'aggravating' in-car tech for ... BlackBerry?

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: QNX is Blackberry by name only

Two reasons I don't design Microsoft into the user interfaces for our embedded devices:

1. Cost - licensing, limited hardware platform options (Intel embedded stuff is much more expensive than, say, i.MX or ARM. We're actually using RasPi with Linux on our latest UI)

2. Future - I can't be sure how long the software platform will be around

Our software guy loves the features of .NET, but there's so much "business baggage" that comes along with using MS in an embedded environment, I'm just as happy to do without the hassle.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Joke

Re: Maybe a QNX based system

It's been a long tradition here in the US of A, that vehicles should have a clock on the dashboard (an extra-cost option, of course), but that under no circumstances should that clock actually *work*.

Perhaps, somewhere, there is a US-made car with a working [analog mechanical] clock, but I've never seen one.

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Peter Simpson 1
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I can think of very few places where a touch screen interface is less suitable than in a car, particularly if it's supposed to be operated by the driver

The only thing worse than a touchscreen is a turn and push interface, as on the BMW iDrive system. My son had one of these, and if you think using a touchscreen while trying to drive is tough, try twisting a knob left and right to move a cursor to the item you want to select, then pushing down to activate it...while trying to drive. It controlled *everything*...radio, heat/cool, nav system. Whoever designed it obviously drove only on unpopulated, glass-smooth highways, because it was impossible to use otherwise.

"Infotainment" systems...they'd be banned if they were on a smartphone, but somehow, they're just fine if they're integrated into the vehicle.

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Battle of Bletchley Park: TNMOC chief calls for review of museums' Mexican standoff

Peter Simpson 1
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Unhappy

Re: Grow up

Yup. "Can't we all just get along?" The two museums would seem to this techie to have much in common, one being the historical antecedant of the other. Combining the two museums would seem the natural thing to do. I'm not clear on the justification for keeping them separated.

Perhaps the advice (and perhaps leadership) of someone who has experience successfully running a historical technical museum is needed? The Computer History Museum in California and the NSA Museum in Maryland are great examples of what Bletchley could be.

I have visited Bletchley and it would be a terrible shame to have it turned into a Disneyland cartoon version of what I saw. History should be presented as it was, warts and all. Save the Disney experience for something less important. Clearly, Bletchley and computing are never going to be on Joe Sixpack's "must see" list, no matter how tackily they're presented, so do it right and make it a good value for your intended audience.

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Enterprising French chap cranks up €100k 'flying car'

Peter Simpson 1
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...moi aussi!

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No, pesky lawyers, particle colliders WON'T destroy the Earth

Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

...an inert hyperdense sphere about one hundred metres across.

Still, better than what we have now, amirite?

And it would be a solution to the Middle East problems. All of them. So the prospect is not without considerable merit.

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Judge: Odds of bankrupt Lightsquared sorting itself out are 'zero'

Peter Simpson 1
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Mushroom

...but in their defence the GPS manufacturers were apparently a little lazy, and didn't keep within their band - hence the interference.

Not in the least true. The GPS manufacturers designed their receivers, knowing that on either side of the band being used, there were frequencies allocated for satellite downlink use. The signals in these bands would have been of a strength equal to, or more likely, lower than the desired GPS signal, and so the filters were designed for this case.

Now, along comes Lightsquared, with a proposal to use these frequencies, originally allocated to satellite downlink, for something else: terrestrial transmitters. These transmitters would emit signals many orders of magnitude stronger than the signals the GPS receivers were designed to filter out.

You can't blame the GPS manufacturers for designing according to the current band plan, with the expectation that the interference environment would remain the same. After all, that's why we have band plans in the first place: to prevent interference.

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'No, I CAN'T write code myself,' admits woman in charge of teaching our kids to code

Peter Simpson 1
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Facepalm

Re: Few CIOs or VP ITs can code

...two years later the company went bankrupt among failing projects, falling quality, angry customers and so on.

Sadly, nobody in command ever seems to learn from these failures.

They just blame it on the incompetent developers and go somewhere else to do the same thing over again. "F*ck up and move up" is how a former boss put it.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Childcatcher

My first coding class

My mom signed me up for a summer school class. Learned all I needed to learn, taught myself the rest. There's no need to displace Readin', Writin' or 'rithmetic to make room for a coding class. It's quite easy for them to pick it up during summer holidays or after school, if they're so inclined.

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Friends don't do tech support for friends running Windows XP

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: What is the MTBF for a hard drive that is already 7 years old?

New hard drives are cheap. Why buy a whole computer if it just nees a new hard drive? Many of the computers I support are over 3 years old. They do the job just fine. You don't need a quad-core with 16G of RAM to surf the web and send emails.

I buy off-lease commercial-grade machines from resellers ($200-$400) and install Linux. Sure, not everyone's cup of tea, but it beats getting consumer-grade cr@p from Best Buy.

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Peter Simpson 1
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@goodjudge

Why not buy a spare hard drive (I get mine at NewEgg), swap out your Windows drive and install Linux on the new.drive. You can always go back to Windows by swapping drives again. It's really quite easy -- I'd suggest Mint 15 Mate, just download the CD image and burn to a CD, then power down, swap out the hard drive and boot from the CD.

You could even try it on the old XP machine first...

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Peter Simpson 1
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Linux

Re: I've been helping friends (and businesses) upgrade from XP to ...

...infested windows machine to Mint (Mate)

That's one of my biggest "selling points", when I'm trying to get someone to try Linux. The antivirus programs on Windows can chew up a tremendous amount of processor resources, not to mention the purchase and update costs of such programs. On an older machine (because not everyone can afford to change machines) going to Linux can mean getting 25% of your CPU cycles back.

Oh, and the "doesn't suck any worse than Windows" was a joke...there's a perception that Linux is clunky and requires all kinds of nerdy skills to use. I just give my "clients" a short tour, and tell them to call me with any questions, reminding them that their old XP system is still there on the old hard drive if they feel they need to go back. With hard drives around $80, it's a lot lower cost than buying a new PC.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: I've been helping friends (and businesses) upgrade from XP to ...

I've moved several of my friends from XP to Ubuntu (and now, Mint, because Unity).

Some tricks I have learned:

- buy a new hard drive and tell them their WinXP drive is untouched if they feel the need to go back

- install Virtualbox and a WinXP machine for Windows apps they can't live without

The results have been excellent. For users who mainly want email and web browsing, with a bit of photo sharing and iTunes, this works well (with iTunes on the virtual XP machine, of course).

I get very few phone calls for help and my "users" seem happy with Linux.

My tagline is that Linux doesn't suck any worse than Windows, and they should give it a try.

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STRIPPED DOWN and EXPOSED: Business kit from the good old days

Peter Simpson 1
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Joke

Re: I'm obviously missing something...

I thought a RAM-raid was when you arrived early at work, with a screwdriver, and nearly simultaneously downgraded the amount of RAM in a co-worker's machine, while upgrading the amount in yours.

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BOFH: Attractive person is attractive. Um, why are your eyes bulging?

Peter Simpson 1
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Thumb Up

Heh. I'm exempt.

Color blindness, often considered a disability by those who aren't married.

// and a handy escape mechanism by those who are...

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