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101  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help on: January 20, 2015, 07:46:10 PM
I think a safer way out would be to get one of the cellular broadband routers that will furnish its own centralized connection and built in wireless router that will share data with their existing plan ..

Agree 100%.

And yeah, that tethering bit is a pretty unique wrinkle. Can't say I've ever tried that one before, but I'm guessing it would be a pretty fiddly exercise getting it setup just right... huh
102  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: issues with uefi, more than 6 drives, ahci, windows 8. on: January 20, 2015, 04:05:42 PM
^Microsoft will let you download a free 180-day full-featured trial copy. I'd suggest trying it out before you buy to see if it works for you. Look here.

I'd also try FreeNAS and anything else you're curious about that you think might work. Servers aren't one-night stands. You'll be working with whatever you select for a long time barring a major disaster. So it's important to shop around and test before you commit - and like (or a least not mind) what you eventually decide to go with.
103  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help on: January 20, 2015, 03:56:59 PM
And given that that functionality is explicitly available in all the existing devices it seems reasonable to expect that it would actually. well, function.  It's not like wifi is new or bleeding edge, quite the opposite in fact (I know this is a generalisation and that there are a lot of factors to consider)

It's not so much wifi as it is per-to-peer networking. In an ad hoc network environment there’s no persistence. So it tends to be flaky.

Besides...a wifi router does a lot more than just provide wifi connectivity. It also handles DHCP, provides a unified gateway, allows for QoS tuning, gives you a basic SPI firewall and related security services, plus a host of other benefits. It's not just a dumb radio box. It's a computer - complete with CPU and software. With a router, all you need to do is connect with a very basic TCP/IP connection. All the heavy lifting and dithering in the background that's needed to make your network stable and pleasant to work with is handled by the router. Less of a load on your PC as a result.

Routers are good things to have no matter what size the network.
104  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: issues with uefi, more than 6 drives, ahci, windows 8. on: January 20, 2015, 03:42:37 PM
Home Server for the multi drive tower I'll build.  I like storage spaces, it's easy to use for a windows guy like me.  I also like the idea of the linux servers and ZFS, but that experiment will have to wait for when i have more time.  There are some complaints with storage spaces regarding expansion and reliability, but after seeing it in action I can't really see myself running into such issues at my small scale.  Home server is just easy.

AFAIK, they've discontinued Home Server. They created Foundation as one replacement. The main drawback is it's single-CPU and with no Hyper-V virtual machine support plus it has to be purchased installed on a server. No retail copies available. It's also fairly brain-dead when it comes to management tools. So skip Foundation. Essentials is a better deal. Better tools, better features, supports 2 physical CPUs...and you can install it on anything you want that will run it. And Essentials RC2 (the current version) now allows for one virtual machine to be hosted on it. Very handy at times that is.

105  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: issues with uefi, more than 6 drives, ahci, windows 8. on: January 20, 2015, 10:24:12 AM
There may also be an issue with how many drives the desktop version of Windows can realistically support. Especially with the controllers supplied on a workstation-class mobo. The server versions of Windows now support drive pooling. Or in Microsoft-speak: Storage Spaces. If you're in a total Windows environment, considering something like the Windows Essentials Server might be one viable - and easy - solution for home use. There's a lot to like. (Even I have to admit that much. Evil) And it's affordable. Especially if you buy it with an inexpensive server from somebody like Dell.

Alternatively, a (possibly FOSS) NAS solution, as has been previously suggested by xtabber, would also be an excellent (and likely less expensive) alternative.
106  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Syncfusion Essential Studio Suite *FREE* on: January 19, 2015, 08:31:48 PM
Licensing implies something different to me than price, however...

Fair 'nuff. But would you care to elaborate? smiley
107  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help on: January 19, 2015, 03:04:59 PM
One of the main questions that should also be asked, is does the printer itself really need to be wireless? More often than not the answer to this is no. Because the printer is almost always a stationary target that simply needs to be accessible from any moving location. So it really just needs to be accessible by wireless devices. Until they come up with a battery powered printer it's going to be tethered to a wall anyhow so you might as well take the advantage and wire in the network too. It's amazing how many people waste money getting upsold on this rather critical - but often misunderstood - detail.

According to the specs the device has an RJ45 Ethernet port, so get a cheap wireless router, wire the thing to it, and you should be ok. The router will handle the IP scheme, and you won't be left twisting in the wind hoping that some flakey "Cutting Edge" technology will decide to be kind enough to actually work on any given day.

Bingo! Although the Brother MFC-8710DW I recently bought for the house (thereby neatly breaking my own 'rules' about "wired before wireless" and "no multifunction devices") worked fine right out of the box in that regard. Unboxed it, stuck it in a corner of the den, fired it up, connected it via it's wireless to one of our access points using the front panel, and Bob was my uncle. Windows, Linux, Nook, and all our smartphones (iOS and Android) are perfectly happy printing through it via wifi.

I'll confess I did more research than usual before I bought it - primarily as a backup copier that could do 2-sided and legal. But I did pay attention to user feedback on how well its wireless features worked since that's always been the Achilles Heel with this class of product. The feedback wasn't exactly stellar. But it was noticeably better than anything else I looked at. YMMV.
108  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: chrome browser is so nasty on: January 19, 2015, 02:45:37 PM
At least Chrome sufficiently satisfies the DRM demons enough to allow Linux users to watch Netflix without having to resort to all sorts of Pipelight and agent switching shenanigans. Grin
109  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX - Problem with Steam shellscript may delete user files on: January 19, 2015, 02:37:57 PM
^Well...it happened. Not much else we can say about it since we could only speculate endlessly as to why it happened. Somebody screwed up or wasn't thinking clearly. That's the centerpiece problem at the heart of everything from space shuttle explosions to checking account overdrafts.

Makes for a good cautionary tale if nothing else. Grin
110  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX - Problem with Steam shellscript may delete user files on: January 19, 2015, 02:15:34 PM
So is this a bug?! Or a hack?

Neither really.

It's a programming mistake. Or a bad call by a script coder. Period.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with rm -rf/. It's just one more command. The same as rd /s/Q in Windows. It can be a handy way of cleaning out a lot of unneeded directories and files provided you know (a) exactly what you want to accomplish; and (b) exactly how the command actually works.

In this case, not having the '$STEAMROOT' directory where it was expected to be was the same as invoking the command with a wildcard. So instead of purging a specific directory, having a null value for $STEAMROOT meant the shell interpreter blew past it and went straight to / as its next valid criteria. Booyah! And blammo too! tellme

I'm amazed whoever put that command in a script didn't realize that could happen. Especially since rm -rf/* is one of the first "killer commands  Linux users learn and repeatedly get warned about. My guess is that whoever did this is probably a Windows programmer by trade. Windows has some built-in safeguards when you run the rd command. That, however, is not the case in Linux, which assumes you know what you're doing when issuing commands within a terminal session.

111  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Syncfusion Essential Studio Suite *FREE* on: January 19, 2015, 08:06:43 AM
because of the licensing?

Yeah. I had a client that used it. The license used to go (still does?) for several thousand IIRC.
112  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help on: January 18, 2015, 09:39:47 PM
samsung M2835DW...

destructions say it uses 'wifi direct' which I gather is specific (peculiar?) to intel chipsets, though that shouldn't be an impediment to 'normal' operation

That shouldn't matter. Even a smartphone should be able to connect to it.
113  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help on: January 18, 2015, 09:37:40 PM
Did you do your setup with the Easy Wireless Setup Software downloadable from here?
114  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help on: January 18, 2015, 09:25:33 PM
Could you give us the make and exact model of the printer?

Sometimes problems like this are specific to a certain model or manufacturer.

Npte: Many times when a printer goes into power save mode it will drop its wifi connectivity. Without a network, if your PC can't provide the requisite wake-up call, the printer won't come out of power save.
115  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX - Problem with Steam shellscript may delete user files on: January 18, 2015, 08:45:02 PM
^ Yeah. Except the first word that popped into my head wasn't 'woa.'

116  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Donating to EFF on: January 18, 2015, 10:48:05 AM
In the Netherlands it was relatively easy to get such a device for an organization.

Same here. Anybody - or any organization - can get a "postage meter" as they're called here. And as long as you're paying the full postage rate, you're all set. What is less easy to get is a mail "permit" that gets you special postage rates. The most common is "bulk mail" or "pre-sorted" (i.e. junkmail) as they call it nowadays. In exchange for complying with a bunch of somewhat complex rules plus doing some of the post office's sorting work, you get substantial discounts over the usual first class single item rate.

Non-profit permits are trickier. You first need to obtain formal recognition of your "tax-exempt" or 501(c)(3) status from the IRS. That's not an easy thing to do these days. The IRS has gotten very tough about who and what qualifies since NPOs get favorable tax treatment. After that you need to apply for the non-profit mailing permit.
117  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Animal Friends thread on: January 18, 2015, 09:40:53 AM
Fear the Hippo!

A hippo in Botswana, apparently quite annoyed by the paparazzi, made its feelings well known when it thundered after a boatload of tourists. The result, captured in the video below, is kinda like Jaws meets Moby Dick meets the "Must go faster!!" scene in Jurassic Park.

Discovery News reports:

    Members of a tour group on Botswana's Chobe River got an unexpected scare when their boat nearly ran afoul of the business end of a hippo in hot pursuit.

    Luckily for the Internet, David Jackson and his son Craig had an iPhone at the ready and caught the chase on video. (See the footage below, courtesy of YouTube/Craig Clive Jackson and Pangolin Photo Safaris.)

    "The hippo was closer to the boat than what it appears on the video," the elder Jackson wrote on YouTube. "It is amazing how fast a hippo can move in water."

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Su7GkqwxG08" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Su7GkqwxG08</a>

You can see it in real time here. It's happening faster than the above video might lead you to expect.

118  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Really good article on the design of "the best" board game on: January 18, 2015, 09:26:10 AM
Very interesting article about the design of the game Twilight Struggle along with the designer's observations on the ideal number of players and run time courtesy of the FiveThirtyEight blog. Good info for players and budding boardgame designers.



Designing The Best Board Game On The Planet
By Oliver Roeder   

The game ends in nuclear war only about 5 percent of the time. That’s a good thing. It gives Ananda Gupta faith in humanity.

The game is called Twilight Struggle, and it’s the top-ranked board game in the world. It occupies the No. 1 spot on the authoritative gaming-world website BoardGameGeek.

Gupta, 38, of Columbia, Maryland, is the game’s co-designer. A video-game designer at Firaxis Games by day, he recreated a post-World War II universe out of cardboard. In Twilight Struggle, players peddle influence and alter history with playing cards in an effort to win the Cold War. And, ideally, avoid nuclear apocalypse.

I spoke with Gupta, and turned to a vast board game database, to uncover what makes a board game great.

Read it here.

119  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / *NIX - Problem with Steam shellscript may delete user files on: January 18, 2015, 08:59:06 AM
This from The Register:

Scary code of the week: Valve Steam CLEANS Linux PCs (if you're not careful)
Dodgy shell script triggers classic rm -rf /

17 Jan 2015 at 12:00, Shaun Nichols

Linux desktop gamers should know of a bug in Valve's Steam client that will, if you're not careful, delete all files on your PC belonging to your regular user account.
The issue was traced to a shell script variable that's supposed to contain a filesystem path, but can end up empty if Steam's files are moved or missing, and is passed as an argument to rm -rf.

Soon to be fixed no doubt - but still something to be aware of until it is. Full article here.
120  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: I no longer read WIRED - and why I'm glad I stopped reading it years ago on: January 17, 2015, 11:34:02 PM
They are no more or less annoying than we were at that age to our elders. Because it's fun to piss people off when you're convinced you already know everything.

No less annoying perhaps. But their ability to do actual harm is far greater than it was possible for us to do when we were that age.
121  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Congratulations Terrorists, You are getting what you want! on: January 17, 2015, 11:30:34 PM
^ It would be nice if they actually understood what they were talking about for a change.

Unfortunately, I think they understand what they're doing all too well. In politics, it's always good to remember the adage that says: "Never let facts stand in the way of a good story." And that's what they're doing. Spinning a yarn.
122  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Open Source News anyone ? on: January 17, 2015, 11:27:08 PM
Stop making things illegal, and the risk disappears from those markets, and you put the HA out of business.

OMG!  huh That's an unbelievably massive oversimplification if I ever heard one. But I'm guessing Ren is cutting corners and overstating things to make his point?
123  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: January 17, 2015, 11:13:54 PM
Not much of a video, but still a great song: Icarus written by Ralph Towner and performed by The Paul Winter Consort.

Paul Winter and Ralph Towner have each recorded a dozen or more versions of this classic. I personally think this early recording (below) was the best.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSCNYazFBk4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSCNYazFBk4</a>

FWIW, Ralph Towner considers this live version to be the definitive recording:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4Df3a3dfWQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4Df3a3dfWQ</a>

While the audio quality is definitely better, I can't help but feel it's just a little too self-conscious and refined compared to the original. To my mind it's lost some of the spontaneity and improvisatory quality of the first recording. But who am I to argue with the guy who bloody wrote it? Grin
124  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: January 17, 2015, 11:01:50 PM
^Perhaps "schlock" wasn't quite the word I was looking for. Let's call it "sweet" instead... smiley

ouch, I watched a live concert from 1976 (Carpenters - Live in Holland) - that was schlock, painful really most of it Sad
But still a fan of most of the studio stuff - the singles anyways, I never had an album by them.

You have to remember the times. If you were a woman in pop music you were The Singer. Period.

Funny thing was, she always thought of herself primarily as a drummer who also sang rather than just as a singer.
Most of her fans never knew she was a phenomenal drummer who was actually recognized and acknowledged by many of the 'name' drummers of her era. But even that wasn't enough to get Karen out from under that microphone and evening gown. A woman drummer? The music industry was having none of it. Except for when they thought it would be "funny" to have her dashing back and forth between drumsets as a novelty number on TV.

And despite the advances made by women in music since the 70s, not all that much has changed in the recording industry.


125  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Another Linux blog goes bye-bye on: January 17, 2015, 04:27:51 PM
From FOSS Force, this bit of news - which explains the 404 error I've been getting for the Linux Advocates feed:

‘Linux Advocates’ Throws in the Towel
FOSS Force

The website Linux Advocates is no more. The site, which focused on a variety of Linux issues, went offline on January 7th with little fanfare and no advance notice. The site had been being published for two years, having gone live in early 2013.

Before taking the site down, a notice was posted by site owner Dietrich Schmitz, which can still be read on the site’s Facebook page.

“I’ve decided to close Linux Advocates. It started out fun but turned into something else. People matter to me. There’s a Big World out there and Linux is one small facet of my life.

    “I’ll continue to hang out on Google Plus and, if the spirit moves me, write something on my personal website. Thanks to all the LA Contributors.

    “So, Goodbye Linux Advocates. Hello World.”

Schmitz did the lion’s share of writing for the site, which focused almost entirely Linux, both technically and otherwise. Occasionally, articles moved away from tech, into realm of politics and economics, having no clear connection with Linux or FOSS.

In the beginning, popular Linux writer Katherine Noyes, aka “Linux Girl,” was associated with Linux Advocates. Although it appeared to some that she might have had an ownership interest in the site, Schmitz says she did not. Her association with the site ended at least a year ago.

During the time Noyes was identified with the site, it created some excitement in the FOSS community, with many well known FOSS writers signing up to become regular contributors. Except for a couple of sporadic articles, that plan never came to fruition and the site mainly became a platform for Schmitz’s writings...

Read the rest here.

I'm not sure what to think. Sad to see a Nix site disappear. But not really surprised it didn't get many additional writers on board considering some of Mr. Schmitz's posts and his somewhat...er...cantankerous editorial policy. FWIW curmudgeonly commentary doesn't fly too well unless you're an established 'name' (with a stellar CV) in the larger Linux community. And that role is generally considered adequately filled by by Linus Torvalds and/or and Richard Stallman. Those two are pretty tough acts to follow.
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