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* Posts by Trevor_Pott

4605 posts • joined 31 May 2010

Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'

Trevor_Pott
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Re: The race is on!

The problem with the interplanetary hyperloop you suggest is that if we want to launch people along that thing it needs to be a lot longer then the prairies. Length wise, from northwest Alberta to southwest Manitoba might work, but A) you can't build on muskeg and B) the yanks would have some nasty words with us lobbing ballistics over their nation at hypersonic speeds.

That means something long and south. Crow's Nest Pass in southern Alberta to Thunder Bay Ontario, or even the Quebec border. This puts it far too close to the covetous hands of the yanks, which poses all sorts of it's own problems.

Canada absolutely has the technology, the manpower and the money to build such a device, but we never would. The biggest reason being that it would violate all treaties regarding the treatment of international territory and severely weaken our claims to sovereignty in the north. There's a metric "holy shit" worth of unexploited - hell, unexplored - resources up there, and we're just not ready to pass them up in exchange for some airless rock that has fuck all to offer except nickle, silicon and iron.

If you poor buggers really need He3 that much, go hard. We've got enough Uranium to last us the next 10,000 years and when that's up, we'll just build some Lagrangian satellites with massive bussard ramscoops on them rather than trying to "mine" He3 from regolith.

I'm all for space exploration, but #occupyluna is the single stupidest idea I have heard of in my entire life. If you really want to be trapped in a gravity well, choose Ceres. Everything you need is there, including stupendous amounts of water. The gravity well is enough that plants will point their roots downwards when they grow, but easy enough to make getting off the damned thing and exploring cheap and easy.

Fuck Luna. If y'all want it, you can have it. We're Canadian, we need plenty of fresh water and spectacular amounts of valuable resources to make us happy. It's what we know how to work with.

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Top ten biz software vendors reveal Heartbleed exposure

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Just think of all those landfill firewall routers and modems out there...

Welp, then you've got bigger problems then someone changing your bittorrent ports.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Just think of all those landfill firewall routers and modems out there...

Shame, there are plenty of good open source OSes you could run a 54G that would be just fine.

Also: why would you care if your router has an SSL vulnerability? Are you insane enough to leave it's management port open to the WAN? Why the fnord would you do that? Get a real OS on the damned thing, then you can VPN in to your home network for administrative tasks instead of leaving the henhouse tied up with a piece of string and a blinking neon sign visible from space advertising said fact to the local wolves.

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Puff on a hybrid – next thing you know, you're hooked on a public cloud

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Mowing grass

/me shakes broom from rocking chair on porch

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"I had a flash of inspiration today. Hybrid public-private cloud systems are becoming a gateway drug to pure public clouds. Why is this an arguable view?"

Because you miss a few very important things, Chris.

1) The cost of bandwidth. Bandwidth costs much, and - shock of shocks - there are plenty of reasons that companies need to send large quantities of data to manufacturing sites, knowledge worker sites filled with video/photo editing staff and more. The cost of bandwidth isn't coming down for the plebians any time soon, so cloud computing is still "expensive resources on the end of an even more expensive resource.

2) Economic Espionage. NSA, GCHQ et al. I'll leave you to work that one out yourself.

3) Trust. Amazon, Dropbox, and Dropbox again. Microsoft, Microsoft again, and again, and again, and again. Salesforce, and Western Digital and on and on and on. But most of all - above all other examples - Nirvanix.

4) Latency. Tier one apps doing active-active where the speed of light is holding up transactions? Me gusta.

5) Disaster recovery time. Remember that part where folks actually do require onsite data, no matter how much the cloudy providers hope and wish and wail and gnash? Ever tried to suck 1TB down an ADSL connection? How about 10? 15? 100? If ($time_to_recovery > $time_to_customer_loss_during_outage) { run $you_are_fucked; }

6) Cost. "Cheaper than owning and supporting your own kit?" [Hearty belly laugh].

7) Pay or die. Economic downturn = can't pay subscription = "you're fucked". On premises = "you can sweat your assets." You might as well say "renting is such a great idea that nobody in their right mind would buy their own house". I suspect different people have different priorities. Let's talk to San Franciscans about the variability of rent over time, hmmm? All markets collapse into an oligopoly over time. I'll be handing my testicles to Amazon or Microsoft on a garnished platter, thankyouverymuch.

I could go on. And on and on and on and...

Look. The future is emphatically, absolutely, and without question not going to be a pure "public cloud" world. Hybrid? Yes. No technology since the introduction of the mainframe has totally replaced it's predecessors. Supplemented? Yes. Supplanted? No.

And get off my goddamned lawn!

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Spy-happy Condoleezza Rice joins Dropbox board as privacy adviser

Trevor_Pott
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For the record, just talked to the Sync.com folks. Yes, all client data is in Toronto. The main website proper is on Amazon, but once they have gotten some things sorted locally, that will be going into their refurbed Canadian datacenter too.

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Primary website appears to be in the US. In fact, the site hosting the client download appears to be in the US as well. (CDN, I suspect.) The servers the client talks to after install are in Toronto. (I've been watching them all night.)

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Sync.com is a Canadian cloud storage provider with data stored in a Canadian datacenter. Their client encrypts the data before sending it up to the cloud. They claim not to be able to decrypt the data.

They are still in beta, however, and mobile clients to not exist. It is $50/yr for 500GB. Sync.com now has a new paid subscriber.

Not perfect, but a hell of a lot better than Torture'n'murder's happy fun time NSAbox.

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Budge up VMware, array upstart Tintri's ramming in Red Hat Linux KVM

Trevor_Pott
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Re: RHEV / OVirt storage domains are a bit more complicated...

Tintri's market share is a lot bigger than you think.

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Re: Sure . . .

Oh, hey, I'm not knocking the integration with KVM at all. They talk to the hypervisor, pull in stats, marry up the image on their datastore with information from the hypervisor. Someone spent a lot of time in a dark room with a bunch of APIs and they should be proud of what they've accomplished.

My issue is with that one very specific statement. The ability to - for all intents and purposes - recognize extensions on their own datastore tarted up as though it were some kind of superpower. If that is an example of the breathtaking innovation coming out Silicon Valley today that should be getting us all hot-and-bothered, it's time to scour everything within 50km of the 101 right back to bedrock and start over.

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Trevor_Pott
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I love Tintri but...

“Red Hat customers can now benefit from the only hypervisor-neutral storage platform with VM-awareness and adaptive learning capabilities to support hundreds of mixed workloads – servers, VDI, dev and test – concurrently on a single Tintri VMstore. Customers can also deploy both vSphere and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation on a single VMstore at the same time."

Translates to "our software is able to tell if a folder contains KVM images or VMware images, even when they use the same NFS share. This sounds about as thrilling as "I added a line into my PowerShell script to detect extensions" to the technical nerd, but that's a hell of a great bit of marketing blather.

I mean, I could cheerfully abscond with the label of "smart cross-hypervisor storage" for my mates at Proximal Data and at least feel like I'm being a little more honest in using it. Autocache supports Hyper-V and VMware both, with the "smarts" being "it automatically resizes flash utilization to optimally fit the available flash and the workloads presented". That, and I don't have to redesign my networks to make it go faster. Add flash, install Autocache, walk away. It's a heck of a lot cheaper than the forklift upgrade of a Tintri!

Again, this isn't to say Tintri's bad. They're not. Tintri is amazing, and once you have one you'll soon have another. They have repeat customers for a reason...but I am distinctly not impressed with the marketing philosophy that turns "we can detect which hypervisor generated the virtual image when they use the same NFS share" into 54 words. No! Bad Tintri! Get down, and don't chew on the couch!

To paraphrase Storagebod, are you inexpensive and are you easy to use? Them's the bits we actually care about.

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France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours

Trevor_Pott
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If it weren't Oil it would be our vast mineral reserves, diamonds, uranium, forestry, agriculture, growing educated population or even our limestone deposits. Oil's cheap-and-easy for now, but Alberta is huge. We've got enough environment to ruin that we can keep at this for quite some time.

Hell, we could just sit here, dam up all our rivers for hydro, set up eleventy squillion windmills by Crow's Nest pass, stand up a bunch of nuke plants, sell all the 'leccy to the states and live like kings.

Alberta's problem is now, and has been for decades, inadequate manpower. The socially conservative xenophobes that live in the middle of south buttfuck nowhere are so terrified of furriners that not only will the Tea Party have nothing to do with them the Baptists threw them out! We have low immigration caps and ridiculous barriers to entry directly into the province. This prevents us from growing our workforce and it is the brakes on our economy.

That said, we do indeed have laws here that say things like "thou shalt not contact people out of hours unless you pay them stupendous amounts of money. Certain jobs can be exempted from this if the employee agrees, but you can not discriminate against employees who actually want a work/life balance." We're crying for wetware to weld the pipes and twiddle the knobs and despite this we do just fine with our "draconian" labour laws.

The French have the right of this. And that's with my business owner's hat on; the one that actually does have 24/7 clients to support.

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I believe this is why certain categories of worker are exempt (with the worker's consent.) Alberta's laws are not all that different, and we have one of the most powerful economies in the world. :)

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Internet is a TOOL OF SATAN that destroys belief, study claims

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Choose your poison @Trevor Pott

His noodly self says "no more than two fingers a night, suh!"

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Choose your poison @Trevor Pott

Now Talisker I have tried, and compared to Glenrothes it might as well be turpentine.

Next time you're in a decent liqour store, do yourself a favour and buy some Glenrothes.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Choose your poison

Well, on your recommendation, I shall try it.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Choose your poison

"fine Irish whiskey"

These exist? I'll take a single malt, please. Speyside or from the highlands. Glenrothes, if you have it...but Glenmorangie will do.

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Insight warns Google embracers of hidden costs in Apps for Biz

Trevor_Pott
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Is this the same insight that just hired on a very senior Microsoft trojan horse?

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So you invent a wireless network using LEDs, what do you do next? Add solar panels. Boom

Trevor_Pott
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Zoiks. Over 1Gbit. I remember going this with infrared LEDs and photodiodes when I was in elementary. Built a widget that could do 2400 baud reliably, and eventually got it up to 9600 baud with rather a lot of work. Trying to get the network to go from upstairs where the modem was down to my bedroom. Devilish lot of work that was*, so I've nothing but respect for these chaps. Well done.

*of course, I was like 8, so this might seem somewhat easier to modern day me. Still, don't know as I could exactly design the thing from memory anymore. Research. With books. Dear gods how times have changed...

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

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Why was this rejected El Reg?- 'Put it on its own subnet and VLAN, wall it off from everything'

Well now, that's a larger discussion. I'm not sure how much you know about systems administration, so I have to make a few wild guesses in how to explain it.

I am presuming you know how to put multiple systems on their own subnets or VLANs. (I.E. all Windows XP boxes will be on 10.0.100.0 /24 while you rprimary network is 10.0.1.0 /24). If not, the rest of this comment can't help you as you need a lot more fundemental networking knowledge than I can lay down here. (We're talking "design of your network" level stuff that will probably take a few hours of back and forth.)

Presuming you know what a router is and how subnets and VLANs work, let's look at how you can take a system that's pesudo-isolated via subnet/VLAN and really wall it off from the outside world.

1) The Windows XP firewall of it's own is shite. Ditch it and get something better that lets you lock things down more granularly.

2) Deny all by default, then whitelist IPs you want to allow.

3) Get a UTM that supports a SOCKS proxy. This proxy will be your Windows XP box's access to the outside world (and will have to be whitelisted at the XP box.)

4) Have the UTM block all websites/services/applications except those explicitly allowed. Allow those you really need.

5) If you need to allow services through to this Windows XP box - and not just basic websites - get a Palo Alto Networks box. Nothing else will do.

6) Disable *all* protocols you don't absolutely need. IPX/SPX, NetBEUI, IPv6, etc. Even Microsoft file services. If it doesn't absolutely need to be there, bin it.

What you end up with is a Windows box that can't be easily discovered by a network scan (because it's on a different subnet/vlan and shouldn't respond to pings that don't come from whitelisted partners.) This system will only be able to contact systems you absolutely need it to contact, and if it needs internet access at all if goes through a hardened unified threat management system that not only prevents you from going to Bad Places, it should be able to examine the content being delivered to your system and do things like "strip out malicious javascript, prevent flash" and whatever else is needed.

Garbage in = garbage out. By restricting what can get "in" to that machine down to the very barest minimum core you can minimize the risk of it becoming infected. Frankly, I would bet the security of a Windows XP machine so defended over the security of a fully patched Windows 8.1 machine that is "defended" by nothing more than Antivirus and a NAT box any day.

If you need more help than that, I'd point you at the spiceworks forums, or encourage you to reach out by e-mail. I would be able to either provide you some consulting services directly or get you in touch with a local sysadmin who can do all of the above (and more) to make sure your systems are hardened.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: XP Strategy: ''Put it on its own subnet and VLAN, wall it off from everything'.

Hi there, I use this method in practice with my Windows NT, Windows 98 and Windows 2000 systems. The solution is simple: use a proper IDS+Firewall solution to control the access of this subnet to the net.

If you are impoverished, consider a "unified threat management" device. I've used the Netgear devices to great effect, though I honestly prefer Juniper's boxes. You could always build your edge device from a Linux box running snort and squid as well.

The goal here is to figure out what websites you absolutely need to access and whitelist those sites. Then you monitor absolutely every attempt to reach any other website and set up alerts. You use the UTMs + blacklists to make sure that the worst of the baddies are filtered, and the IDS (or IDS components of the UTMs) to do inline analysis of the stream and check for anything untowards.

If you need internet access - no matter how limited - on your XP box, I strongly recommend heading towards a "read only" XP environment (or at least use Deep Freeze) so that when you get infected (and even with all those defenses, it's a when, not an if) you can revert to a "known good" state.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Usb dongles?

Where to even begin...

A) Lots of dongles are supplied by the vendor and are parallel, serial or even SCSI (!) only. In some cases the vendor wants several hundred thousand + application upgrade (which doesn't work with the $7M industrial device, natch), and so on to get a USB dongle. In other cases the vendor simply doesn't exist anymore, or no longer supports the application. Your view of this issue is simplistic and small.

B) A VM is not the solution to all ills, no matter how hard you want it to be.

C) Lots of software will detect that you are using a server OS and promptly refuse to work. You can't shim everything.

D) Anything you can disable by GPO I can enable with a virus. You can't "enable" a glued USB port.

Your solutions are all based on the mentality of a whitepaper-wielding MCSE. Sorry, but we're off the reservation as of today.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Ghostbusters ref?

Get out of my miiiiiinnnnndddd!

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Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed

Trevor_Pott
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Internet. Of. Things.

You have been warned.

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'Yahoo! Breaks! Every! Mailing! List! In! The! World!' says email guru

Trevor_Pott
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Re: @ xperroni (was: What legit email admin ...)

Beetlejuice...Beetlejuice...Candleja-

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Nothing's as SCARY as an overly aggressive SOFTWARE PIMP

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Try them both on a 13" retina display..."

@hplasm

Sir, I just howled with laughter so hard that tears were streaming down my face. Thank you. I haven't laughed like that in years. God damn, I needed that.

Squid!

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Tamil Nadu's XP migration plan: Go Linux like a BOSS

Trevor_Pott
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"is it because they are afraid it would not work? Well, if these other people did it, why can't we?"

Legacy software and/or industry-specific software combine with the back-breaking cost of VDI/VDA/App-V/Thin-App and any other variant on "remotely delivering legacy Windows-based software to non-Windows endpoints.

It takes time, money and expertise to move staff from Windows to Linux, even if you have like-for-like applications across the board. When you have industry-specific stuff dragging you down...

...look, Mainframes are still around for the same bloody reason. Some of them run a dozen layers of emulation so that they can keep an application written in the bloody 60s going, because all the business logic for the entire organization lies in that ancient code. Microsoft will be the same.

The world is moving on. We are moving to newer operating systems and to companies we trust ever-so-slightly more than Microsoft. One Chromebook, iPad, Android all-in-one, Linux desktop and SaaS application at a time.

What you aren't seeing is a wholesale move from Microsoft's Windows to another single platform. Instead, you are seeing a diversity of platforms being experimented with, chosen and carefully refined to meet the needs of the niche that embraces them.

There may never be another "general operating system" like Windows again. The time for a one-size-fits all monopoly is behind us. The future belongs to task-specific devices, operating systems and applications delivered in the manner that best suits the customer, not the developer.

Competition. It's occurring right now, and no matter how much some folks want to desperately deny it, the world has changed forever from the days of Redmondian supremacy.

Microsoft is culturally incapable of making the changes required to foster trust amongst its customer base. That will be its mortal wound. Maybe it will shrink back to a small cluster of die-hard fanboys like Apple, and then come through the looking glass punching above its weight. maybe.

But it won't have the same market conditions Apple did. There won't be just one or two major players to contend with. There will be an army of quality developers catering to every niche, each with a fiercely loyal userbase. It isn't just turning the ship around that's going to be a bitch: the hearts and minds already lost will spread dissatisfaction and affection for the enemy virally. Countering that may not be possible.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: I suspect this is brinkmanship.

"so until that date, (unless there is a hideously bad vulnerability discovered) there is no difference from before."

Pffft. Even *I* have unpatched vulnerabilities for XP in my back pocket, and I'm not a professional black hat by any means. Please...XP is wide open and in a little under 48 hours from now killing it dead will become a bloody sporting event.

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Where the HELL is my ROBOT BUTLER?

Trevor_Pott
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Re: maybe (What about our dependence on fossil fuels)

Atoms. You can split them. You can fuse them. Energy is released. With the exception of the overly anxious and the very "special", everyone on this planet is aware that we have the technology to meet our energy needs for some time, but choose not to, because of the meddling influence of special interests.

Fossil fuels are temporary. When the new surge of natural gas supplies in the US is gone, we'll see the pivot towards atomic power. In a goddamned hurry.

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Greenpeace reveals WORLD'S FILTHIEST CLOUDS – and the cleanest may shock you

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Real Greens.

Hear, hear!

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Re: Shut the right one down

We have abundant cheap energy. Both in the form of fission for base load and the big ball of fusion in the sky to provide us lots and lots of cheap power (directly, or as wind) for bursty things. All that lovely stuff you want to do that involves neat disposal of waste, extraction, recovery, etc? We can do a lot of that with the "bursty" (I.E. generally available for 8-10 hrs a day) power, whilst using base load for the rest. (Including things like keeping smelters at minimum temperature, etc.)

What it requires is kicking a bunch of NIMBYs in the ASCII and making them realize that without fission, we're all fucked.

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Helpdesk/Service Desk Recommendations

Trevor_Pott
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Re: spiceworks

Spiceworks can be extended by add-ons to be actually a lot more useful than the OOBE.

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Is this photo PROOF a Windows 7 Start Menu is coming back?

Trevor_Pott
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This. This is what I want. Start menu on my primary monitor, massive "quick launch" replacement on my second monitor.

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How Microsoft can keep Win XP alive – and WHY: A real-world example

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Re:Linux running most of the world's servers

>it's only "good enough" until it's "not good enough anymore"

Yes. Name one thing that's not true of. The Pyramids at Giza have been "good enough" for their function (serving as mausoleum and memorial to the grandeur of the kings who commissioned them) for some several thousand years. Eventually, they will fall and be "not good enough anymore." That looks to be quite some time from now, and the lifespan is being extended through maintenance.

I have hammers that are decades old, a clock-radio as old as me, and my neighbor drives a car twice as old as me. All of which are "good enough" until such a point in the unknown future as they become "not good enough anymore."

I fail to comprehend the special wisdom of this statement.

> It isn't broke now, but it will break eventually

Which is pretty much reiterating the above statement. Yes. All things break. What you don't seem to be getting is that:

A) there are enough spare computer parts to keep the computer portion of the exercise in these lathes going for the next decade, at least. Realistically, I've got enough gear on the shelf to get 30 years out of those buggers.

B) The mechanical portion of the unit will make it deceased after the last computer component has burned itself out.

C) The software is the only bit in which there is an artificially planned obsolescence, and (wonder of wonders) the people owning the $7M machine are disinclined to honour the software vendor's desire to introduce artificial scarcity.

So yeah, it's "good enough until it's not good enough anymore." That day is quite some time in the future. Long enough to earn a profit from the unit and either eventually replace it. More likely, the owners will simply retire before the thing gives up the ghost entirely. They mortgage everything they have to buy the unit, they run it (and several others) for a few decades, they pay off the units, make a reasonable profit, retire and die.

It is good enough until it's not. And that's perfectly okay by everyone.

Except Microsoft.

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Re: Re:Linux running most of the world's servers

I documented it in a previous comment in this thread here.

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Re: Re:Linux running most of the world's servers

As per one of my previous comments, this isn't possible, as the second part of it's job involves proprietary drivers for ISA cards.

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Re: @Trevor_Pott -- This is the fault of Trevor's clients

Microsoft are entirely aware of this article, and the comments. I believe the exact phrase used by one of my contacts was "you just don't understand why it's important that XP die, do you?" As I mentioned in my article: Microsoft talks to loyalists, not critics. That this doesn't appear to be changing at any point in the future is a large portion of my vanished faith in them as an ongoing supplier of business-critical technology solutions.

If you only listen to loyalists you only design products for people who would buy any crap you pushed out anyways. If you listen to critics you can not only understand why you're losing customers, but what you need to do to staunch the bleeding and eventually heal the wounds. Again, as mentioned in the article, to do this would require a culture change from Microsoft. One not in evidence.

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Re: @Trevor

Well, I'd love to share exactly how I plan to solve the issue with this machine, but then I'd be spoiling a future article! :)

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Re: Re:Linux running most of the world's servers

"Drivers for CNC lathes should be open source"

I agree entirely

"and should allow easy migration to new operating systems."

Again, I agree entirely

"Purchasers should demand this"

Once again, we agree.

"to prevent vendor lock-in."

And now you're living in a dream world. Customers can whine and cry and stamp their feet all they like, but the options are "buy what exists or go out of business/don't start your business." You don't get a say in what is on offer. Developers don't give a fuck and customers have zero pull.

Life sucks and then some fish eat you.

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Re: This is the fault of Trevor's clients

@DougS: for the particular folks discussed in this article the machines themselves were designed in the mid-90s, originally with Windows NT 4, though they didn't make it out the door and on the floor until very near the turn of the millennium. They were upgraded a few years later to Windows XP, specifically because the manufacturer wanted to stay with as secure a system as possible.

There are two components to the machine: one is a DOS (or OS/2?)-based controller that accepts raw inputs of files via NetBEUI. That's build into some card that's buried deep within the machine's guts. The second is the Windows XP system that sits on top of a motherboard with a bunch of ISA slots. This has two roles: the first is to drive something very much like an X/Y cutter as well as some sort of pre-polishing unit that makes the whole system go from "block of metal to 99.9% finished piece" in one go.

The second purpose of the Windows XP machine is to run some proprietary software made of out of ground demon that converts a primitive turn-of-the-millenium CAD format into whatever byzantine machine code is required by the system itself. That file is fired off over NetBEUI to the machine for machining, then the Windows XP system coordinates the X/Y cutting and polishing.

The XP box has TCP/IP on one NIC in order to accept input from the proper workstations and NetBEUI on the other side in order to talk to the machine's controller. The XP box is built into some freaking case of ultimate sharp edges and wrist-slitting death about 19 panels into the machine.

The company that made these went out of business ages ago. I remember being part of the migration of the systems from NT4 to XP. (I was not a part of the original purchase decision,) and I have been called back recently to secure the XP boxes for another 10 years of service.

And the CNC folks are only one group I have to deal with. The Photo Lab I work with has a bunch of stupid expensive photo printers that do roughly the same thing as the above; receive specially formatted images into a local buffer along with some metadata, then print onto gigantic printers. These things are still running Windows 2000 because we could not for the life of us get the drivers for the proprietary cards - let alone the stupid software - working under Windows XP.

All efforts by multiple individuals and companies around the world to get these systems ported to Windows 7 have failed, and not for lack of time or money going into the project. The original manufacturer was bought up at least three times. The current owner of the IP won't release any documentation. We're trying to reverse engineer everything, but it's a complicated pig and we're in way over our heads.

I wasn't part of the purchasing decisions on those either, but I inherited them and I have to make 'em go. There are newer printers running Windows 7, and we'll do this dance once more in 2020.

In both cases - and frankly, I could bring up several dozen others, from bakeries to fire halls - alternatives simply did not exist at the time of purchase. If you wanted a widget to perform the specified tasks at the specified rates using the specified materials you had exactly one vendor who made a device and this is how they chose to make it.

Should the people making things like CNC lathes and high-end photographic printers have been making control units out of Microsoft's client OSes? Hell no. That was an idiotic decision on their parts. Is it fair to blame the shop owners who bought the only thing they could buy to make their businesses go? I guess that's a question you have to ask yourself. You seem to think that's cool beans. I call it blaming the victim.

Is it fair to blame Microsoft? Maybe, maybe not. Microsoft did choose to sell these operating systems to the companies manufacturing this equipment. They've never been particularly nosy about how their software got used and that led us to the world we're in today.

Like it or not - and regardless of who you choose to "blame" - the reality is that Microsoft's absolute and total dominance of the endpoint market in the late 90s and throughout the 00s is what got us into this mess. Microsoft's software was what developers and businesspeople were familiar with. So it ended up everywhere. Even in warships!

Microsoft has no legal obligation to support an OS forever. I would personally argue that it is the height of self-importance and arrogance to expect them to support it for free even as long as they have chosen to.

Where I part ways with those who run Microsoft - as well as a number of commentards - is that I believe that part of Microsoft's moral, ethical and social obligations are to offer ongoing paid support at a price affordable by the kinds of SMBs who are ultimately the victims of this mess, without the minimum floor of several hundred systems.

Additionally, I feel that Microsoft's choices in this matter will have long-term repercussions in the trust that customers will be willing to put into Microsoft, something that Microsoft - and many commenter - don't seem to agree with. In fact, several folks seem to feel that I, my clients and everyone else int he world is somehow morally obligated to trust Microsoft. I can't even begin to understand that mindset.

You claim that there aren't enough companies that would pay for this to be viable, I say that's absolute bullshit. I work with some of the most underfunded SMBs in the first world and they would fall all over themselves to get in on that. To say nothing of the banks, governments, etc that would be on it like white on rice. Hell, for $65/year, I'd keep several of my old laptops on Windows XP just because it saves me the hassle of porting their stuff to Mint.

I've talked the numbers over with some of my contacts at Microsoft, RedHat and a few other companies. Largely, they agree with my figures, though they feel I am underestimating how many individual units worth of XP support would get sold at that price.

There is consensus that XP support could be maintained for a decade or more profitably. The biggest issue they have is finding developers that would be willing to shackle the rest of their careers to that OS, so we have some lovely debates about how much money it would take per dev to get them to sign on the dotted line.

Microsoft can make a profit supporting XP for another decade at prices affordable to SMBs without a floor cost in system counts, period. They choose not to. Why is not something they are willing to discuss openly, other than to say that "Windows XP is 13 years old and it is time for anyone using out of support operating systems to move on. Windows 8 provides numerous advantages that will enhance productivity and prepare businesses for the future of working in the cloud."

So if you want to blame someone, that's on your head. That's your morality and your ethics that's causing you to point fingers. I don't really blame Microsoft. They have a choice. They made that choice. I am highlighting the fact of that choice and the real-world impacts of that choice.

The choices Microsoft make determine whether or not I trust them in the future, with what I might trust them and how far. In the meantime, I will help my customers harden their XP systems for continued use. The world will keep turning, but I won't be advocating using Microsoft's software for anything truly mission critical; especially where there aren't many alternatives. Hopefully, my clients will have the option of heeding that advice. They certainly haven't had the choice in the past.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Re:Linux running most of the world's servers

I am curious about how easy writing a driver is when there exists no documentation on the equipment because the vendor has gone out of business. I also wonder how many developers would be willing to "develop a driver in a day" for such a device when screwing up the driver means having 1000lbs of hot metal spinning at 10K RPM come flying at them?

Are you volunteering?

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Trevor_Pott
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Hence the cost of $500k per dev...

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Re: XP will only be insecure if connected

Indeed sir, however, my "how to survive the XPocalypse" article is a few days down the road. I have a list of methods, refined from keeping NT4 and Windows 2000 systems going all this time...

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I QUIT: Mozilla's anti-gay-marriage Brendan Eich leaps out of door

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Baker quits Mozilla as well

It's called "tyranny of the minority". A smaller number of influential people can impose their will on society at large, especially if their will is to enforce a now defunct, but previously extant social norm. Poll after poll in first world nations shows majority support for equal rights, including support for gay marriage. Indeed, the bigots are having a harder and harder time getting their way; even notoriously conservative courts are caving to popular pressure and saying that it's illegal to discriminate against gays.

Now, you may personally be a bigot, that's up to you...but the world has moved on. The only bit that should matter to you is whether or not you are willing and able to adapt to the new social reality.

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Re: Baker quits Mozilla as well

Also: support for equal rights isn't "a minority." Not even in America. I think you missed the last decade.

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Re: Baker quits Mozilla as well

He can have whatever opinion he wants. Privately. As soon as he tries to use his power/money/influence to deny rights to others, however, I will use whatever power/money/influence I have to counter him.

It is just as much a right of free speech to boycott any company that hires him, any product that he works on and to raise a pubic hew and cry against his actions.

Free speech applies to everyone, but actions most definitely have consequences. He chose not only to express speech, he chose to act and the outcry was a consequence of his action.

Do remember that only in corporatist America is money considered speech, the rest of us understand the difference between convincing others with the validity of your argument and putting money towards hiring the best and brightest group dynamics PhDs to put into practice 100 years of applied psychiatry in order to manipulate the world to suit your agenda.

With luck, one day, you (and America) will understand the difference too.

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Aw, SNAP. It's too late, you've already PAID for your storage array

Trevor_Pott
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Re: can't afford to test?

The overwhelming majority of my clients can't afford a testlab, yet they need $100K worth of storage. They need storage to make their business go, but for them that $100K of storage is a *huge* chunk of annual revenue.

Buying one because without it the business ceases to function is something that can be managed, with sacrifice. Buying two is likely not even possible, given the revenue situation, and certainly not because the nerds "need to test things on the second one" but can't really articulate what they need to test or why.

This is why people like me build up test labs: multiple businesses combined can afford a proper lab, and someone to run it (me) even when they couldn't afford it on their lonesome. Testlab as a Service, wot?

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LSI embiggens MegaRAID flash stash

Trevor_Pott
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I understand LSI is in a bit of disarray following the acquisition. Methinks very, very few people will be getting to review these beasties.

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Titanfall, shoot-'em-up gamers, cloudy contracts and cattle

Trevor_Pott
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Latency is a mostly factor of distance. Some latency can be dealt with by refining the server's config, but mostly it's just down to "the speed of light says no."

Azure can't solve that, no matter how many buzzwords are applied.

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