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* Posts by Slow Joe Crow

20 posts • joined 8 Mar 2011

BOFH: The Great Backup BACKDOWN

Slow Joe Crow

Re: I refuse to do backups - on principle

I work at a very large company and we have Autonomy Connected Backup installed on everybody's laptops so apparently my 100,000 employee company considers the storage investment worthwhile. Granted CNB does have a very effective de-dupe component so the 100 or so TB needed is a drop in the bucket of our 4-5 petabytes of storage.

I feel your pain on PST files since big ones are more prone to corruption and people around here have years worth of email squirreled away.

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Secondhand Point-o-Sale terminal was horrific security midden

Slow Joe Crow
WTF?

Haven't these people heard of DBAN?

My own kit and even lab stuff going to the corporate disposal guys get wiped with at least the DBAN autonuke. The DBAN at work is actually redundant since company policy is no hard drives go out the door, they get zapped in a degausser and shredded or crushed. This even applies to warranty repairs since we have enough clout to get the kit vendors to accept a scan of the drive label in lieu of the dead part. Now admittedly I work for a large and paranoid organization but basic data wiping seems like it should be standard procedure.

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Listen: WORST EVER customer service call – Comcast is 'very embarrassed'

Slow Joe Crow

This makes me so glad I dumped Comcast cable in 2005 and currently have Fios via Frontier, who have actually been both quick and efficient in fixing the minor issues I've had. Actually the the pre Frontier Verizon DSL service was pretty good too since I was only a few blocks from the central office and the worst outage I ever had was a few hours of bad DNS.

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Saddle up for the Tour de Firmware

Slow Joe Crow

Re: Grumpy old git

Actually the "floor" for road racing bikes is the UCI minimum weight of 7.5 Kg or around 15 pounds. Since the average pro level road bike is in the 13-14 pound range this puts the pros in the slightly ludicrous situation of having to add ballast to their bikes to keep them legal. Trek just announced a 10 1/2 pound production bike with a semi reasonable 200lb maximum rider weight.

Of course in the real world, away from the weight weenies the real gain is in rider weight reduction through diet and exercise as you call out in your last paragraph.

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Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey

Slow Joe Crow

With science and economics the right wing mantra is always "I know what I know, don't confuse me with facts!" Paul Krugman just had a good NY Times column on this http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/18/on-the-liberal-bias-of-facts/?module=BlogPost-Title&version=Blog%20Main&contentCollection=Opinion&action=Click&pgtype=Blogs&region=Body Interestingly right wing views of "what everybody knows" are very much like the affinity fraud.

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Teary-eyed snappers recall the golden age of film

Slow Joe Crow

No love for Tri-X

Growing up in the US, Kodak was the dominant supplier, although my high school lab used Ilford developer on our Kodak film. I still have my first serious camera from 1980, a Nikon FM, and fond memories of the magic of B&W printing where you could watch it develop.

As for slide film, I preferred the 3rd way and my favorite back in the 80s was Agfachrome 200 when I could find it since it was warmer than Ektachrome and used the same E6 process. When I got back into serious photography in the 90s I went with Fuji Provia since Agfa was unobtanium. Nowadays I shoot digital on a Nikon SLR but I still have my FM and I'm thinking of finding a darkroom so I can show my kids how it's done. I like film for it's range and for the element of craft, but I'm happy with digital because it makes it easier to make the image I have in my mind.

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Keeping warm in winter the el Reg way: Setting a NAS box ON FIRE

Slow Joe Crow
Mushroom

Good test, now what?

Fire extinguisher powder is hell on electrical/electronic stuff do props for using it and identifying how far it got. Personally I use a much cheaper and cruder solution, I store an external drive with backups in a fire safe with all the other important papers. Which I guess leads to the obvious, why don't you get a cheap fire safe from Office Depot or the local equivalent, put some hard drives, flash memory and burned CD & DVDs in the box and treat it to Reid 2 in order to see what happen?

PS: flame icon because fire!

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Concerning Spiceworks' evil plans for world domination

Slow Joe Crow

Spiceworks is a very useful tool

I work in a small part of a big company's IT department and we use Spiceworks heavily in our labs where big IT refuses to go. We actually have some of the largest Spiceworks installs with over 1000 nodes being monitored. We do have the ad-free version and I only get 2-3 marketing mails a week plus forum updates.

I personally don't use it much but it is a huge time saver when you need to know the CPU stepping on 500 machines.

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US parents proclaim 811 'Messiahs'

Slow Joe Crow

Re: Not to be racist

You're being a bit racist, oddball spelling are just as likely to come from Southern Whites and Utah is a hotbed of bizarre names in a desperate attempt to stand out from all the other blonde haired blue eyed people with the same last name.

That said, African-Americans do have a regrettable tendency to use registered trademarks as first names.

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Happy 50th birthday, Compact Cassette: How it struck a chord for millions

Slow Joe Crow

One more cassette format

I don't know if anybody mentioned this but Uher made some cassette recorders for motion picture use that recorded a single monaural track on the full width of one side of a cassette. Obviously record time wasn't very long but it was intended to work with lightweight 16mm cameras that only held 15-20 minutes worth of film. The other feature on the one i saw was a synch connector that attached to the camera so audio and image were in synch.

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El Reg rocket squad poised to select Ultimate Cuppa teabag

Slow Joe Crow

Yamamotoyama Oolong

also the Pu-erh teabags i get from Uwajimaya (can't remember the brand).

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Spam and the Byzantine Empire: How Bitcoin tech REALLY works

Slow Joe Crow

Hight tech Goldbugs

Interestingly, the economists I pay attention to like Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, Mark Thoma and Brad DeLong are highly critical of bitcoin as a wasteful fiat money for people who don't trust banks, essentially a left leaning version of Glenn Beck's exhortation to buy gold because Obama is a socialist.

Citations: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/15/opinion/krugman-the-antisocial-network.html

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/12/adam-smith-hates-bitcoin/

http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2013/04/why-gold-and-bitcoin-make-lousy-money.html

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BOFH: Hasta la Vista... luser

Slow Joe Crow
WTF?

The stupid amazes me

I have a laptop at home with an 8 year old Windows XP Pro installation that runs fine, but I installed the OS myself and ruthlessly stomp the garbage. Surprisingly both my 70 year old mother and 14 year old son also mange to keep their systems clean so my tech support load is light, except for my 9 year crushing her netbook, but at least the OS was clean.

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Fans revolt over Amazon 'adware' in Ubuntu desktop search results

Slow Joe Crow
Linux

Xubuntu FTW

Just another reason to continue using XFCE instead of Gnome or Unity. I prefer the cleaner simpler UI, since all I need on my machine is a browser, a shell, and text editor. I also end up doing most of my software management with Synaptic or Apt-get anyway so I have even less use for the eye candy.

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Ten backpacks for tech-heads

Slow Joe Crow
Pint

No Timbuk2?

I see the Swiss pack a lot but personally I use an older Timbuk2 Swig backpack. This is a fairly basic hauler which meets my needs of being big enough to haul an HP 8530W and small enough to fit in a BMW motorcycle saddle bag. Mine was out of date and thus cheap, the newer ones have a nicer back panel and a sternum strap.

Their especial dos and tres are also well regarded.

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Major science fiction publisher to zap DRM

Slow Joe Crow
Alien

I think it was competitive pressure

Baen, http://baen.com/ the other huge SF publisher in the US has been DRM free from the start and has a policy of giving away back catalog for free and allowing copying and redistribution of the CDs bundled with some of their books. According to author Eric Flint, this dope dealer business model has driven sales of series and related works since the free ebooks create demand for paid ebooks and paper copies.

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Ex-staffer: Apple assigns new workers to made up projects

Slow Joe Crow
Childcatcher

There actually is a Jagwire

But they make cable for bicycles so I'm guessing it is an intentional pun http://www.jagwireusa.com/

icon chosen for the bike helmet

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A sysadmin's top ten tales of woe

Slow Joe Crow
Meh

I blame lock in

I think it was more a matter of making you buy their "special" cable at twice the price of a generic DB9 serial cable. Fortunately USB has made this a thing of the past since I also found out the hard way about UPS cable pinouts, but luckily it was only a desktop machine.

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Natty Narwhal with Unity: Worst Ubuntu beta ever

Slow Joe Crow
Linux

This is why I use Xubuntu

I have never liked Gnome (mostly due to Nautilus) and while I used KDE for years, the change from 3.5 to 4 lost me when I couldn't do some of the things I used to do and the rest became harder. XFCE was a revelation, fast light, and a file manager (Thunar) that didn't irritate me. SO now I use Xubuntu on one box and Fedora with XFCE on the other box ad grit my teeth when I have to use Gnome. I also found the pseudo OS X look of Ubuntu 10.10 annoying, but a theme change in Gnome or switching XFCE banishes it.

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Toshiba NB500 budget netbook

Slow Joe Crow

Acer seems to do cheap better

This review validates my decision to buy my daughter an Acer Aspire One D255E. I got it on sale for $200 US with free shipping and while it can be a bit slow loading programs, the touchpad and keyboard are OK and it meets the computing demands of an eight year old for almost a third less than the Toshiba. Also I found out that I can easily bump the RAM to 2GB which may help the speed, as would tossing Win7 starter for Ubuntu.

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