* Posts by Elsmarc

10 posts • joined 16 Nov 2016

My MacBook Woe: I got up close and personal with city's snatch'n'dash crooks (aka some bastard stole my laptop)


Re: That's horrible.

I pretty much did something like this around 1998. They were already getting weird in a lot of airports, and that was, of course, before 9/11. I bought an el cheapo laptop as a "throw away". I didn't keep anything on it but a browser and the connection software. I set up my home system so I could connect and screen share. That way, where ever I traveled I didn't have to worry about my laptop being stolen or checked (or confiscated for what ever reason) at an airport or border. Yes, it was a bit slow at times, but made my life a lot easier and more carefree.

Sleeping Tesla driver wonders why his car ploughed into 11 traffic cones on a motorway


I was recently considering a new car with all the recent "bells and whistles" as a safety aspect, now being a 70 yr old senior. After test driving several, I decided not. As a person who loves to drive and always has, some years I put 70,000+ miles on a car. And admittedly I like to drive rather fast at times, though much less these days than in my youth. My decision to keep my 2004 Pontiac Bonneville GXP was based on the idea that I can still see OK, I can still use my mirrors and I can bend my neck (plus the Bonnie is in excellent condition). The last thing I want is complacency that will lull me to sleep and a false sense of the infallibility of an "auto-pilot". Driving is still a serious job, assuming a person values their life and the lives of others.

Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again


Re: Just plain embarrassing

I had to comment because in all of this, what I don't see mentioned is the total cost/savings. I didn't use a Lisa, but in 1987, working in DoD industry, my boss convinced his boss to buy us each a Mac and an apple laser printer. We wrote things, mostly, like test plans and related documents. After that our workload was reduced at least 75% not to mention the workload we reduced for the document control department. What we went through to write a test plan, including all the drawings, was onerous to say the least - Until we got the Macs. In addition, by 1987 MickeySoft has introduced Excel for Mac (well before it was available for PCs), which was one heck of a nice time saver. There was even a finite element analysis program for the Mac. You simply can not cite an equipment cost. You have to take into account total cost and savings. My "office" circa 1987: https://elsmar.com/elsmarqualityforum/media/my-office-at-cincinnati-electronics-circa-1987.420/

US shoppers abandon PC makers in hour of need


Re: everyone replaces their PCs

"For us business types trying to get some work done, a good desktop and a couple of big monitors are pretty much required."

But there are so few of you who "need" that these days.

Big shock: $700 Internet-of-Things door lock not a success


When I bought this house in 1996 I traveled a lot. I found a keypad lock at HomeDepot so a friend could check the house and bring in mail once a week. Ten years ago I had all new windows and doors put in and Schlage Model BE365 keypad locks put in. Should a battery run out in say the front door, there's the back door. Sufficient for my needs and not connected to the internet. I haven't carried a house key since 1996.

Whizzes' lithium-iron-oxide battery 'octuples' capacity on the cheap


Re: Dear Mr Musk.... Have some "tax breaks"

"So only 1 grant in there worth 497m, all the others havent been paid to him, the companies, like many other companies get tax breaks for doing things."

If only all US citizens got such tax breaks.

National Audit Office: UK's military is buying more than it can afford


I can't speak to the UK (although I *assume* it's a similar situation), in the US defense spending is in reality little more than a jobs program. Politicians want the pork for their state or they will not be re-elected, and defense spending is . Actual defense is secondary. Not to mention, with all it's military might the US's only "successful wars" since WWII were in the 1980's (Panama and Guatemala - Not exactly super powers). In the US defense spending is about 3.5% of GDP. That's a lot of jobs.

Naughty sysadmins use dark magic to fix PCs for clueless users


Re: The more annoying bit...

"I have a customer who thinks that her computer just works in front of me.

Actually, she works slower when I'm watching and doesn't make the same mistakes. Confirmed by covert observation."

This is also true in other areas. I'm closing in on 70 yrs and pretty much retired. I mostly worked as a consultant and "problem solver". Back in the late 1990's I was called to investigate a problem in an assembly area. I visited it twice and no problems. I came back for a 3rd visit, but "unannounced", and watched from a somewhat hidden location. Problem identified. When I was there the employees followed their work instructions to the letter knowing they were being watched. When I wasn't there they tended to do some steps out of order and other "little" things that they deemed unimportant or were simply inattentive about.

I also have experienced the "retire the guy and get a cheaper replacement" story from the 1990's. Was doing some work at a place doing injection molding. They had a guy named Olly who they shoved towards retirement who had worked there for years and knew every machine and their quirks. He even had a personal note book for each machine in which he tracked "his machines". Within 6 months he was back as a "consultant" at about twice his old pay rate. The company did find out about his personal note books and made him start writing up everything and "share" with others in that department.

Congrats, PC slingers. That's now FIVE straight years of shrinking sales


Re: Mature market - I don't need "New Shiny"

"how many have multiple working but unused computers mainly laptops going back years."

"Often there is a flavour of linux that will allow an old laptop to be useful again."

Well, yes but how many computers can a person use at once? I do have a closet with 3 old laptops. And I have 2 PC's there. And I have 4 Macs only one of which is in use typically, but one my GF uses and another is essentially an emergency backup (a MacMini from 2012) that is very rarely even turned on other than to make sure it still boots.

And closing in on 70 years old myself, many oldsters have abandoned PCs for tablets like iPads which do what they need - Email, look at pictures and surf the web. I have one here just sitting there doing nothing because I didn't want the person to simply throw the PC in the trash.

I even have a laptop with XP (gasp!) on it which is my "trow away" machine. I can VPN to home and do anything I need to from anywhere. If customs wants to take it for some reason or anyone steals it, they have an old laptop that is essentially useless to them.

I work on a late 2012 iMac and have no plans to upgrade unless this one dies. It will be quite a while before I buy a new computer, smart phone or other device. Even software. I pretty much have everything I need. Other than my yearly Turbo Tax buy, I don't foresee a software buy for quite a while. Same with smart phone apps.

Mature market in respect to many devices and software as well.

Encrypted email sign-ups instantly double in wake of Trump victory



"This rise of the NSA to domestic-spying tyrant happened on Obama's watch"

Try "The start of and rise of the NSA to domestic-spying tyrant happened on Bush Jr's watch and continued under his successor Obama", but nice try at disinformation

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