Another Boss-ism



  • A lady came over to the tech department with a laptop that wouldn't "turn off".  She was locked out of doing anything, therefore couldn't turn it off so that she could restart it for use.  This is also called "frozen" to anyone out there like my boss.

    She hands it to MY BOSS.  He taps ctrl+alt+del a few times, then stares at it a minute and says "yep, you're right.  it won't turn off."  I'm listening, trying not to run my head through my monitor.  He then offers up a gem.  "The only thing I can think of doing is taking the battery out.  Cut the power."  So the unsavvy woman and my unsavvy boss kinda sit quietly pondering this disaster of a computer problem.  I quietly asked that they perhaps should hold the power button down.

     

    The darnedest thing happened..........I'll let you all guess.



  • The laptop self-destructed, taking the lives of this lady and your boss in the explosion, thereby cleansing the gene pool to ensure our long-term survival?



  • I deeply apologize for not including this in my last post, but I just remembered about a boss-ism that happened to me last week.

    When my company brings on new people, my boss occaisionally sends out a group of emails to introduce these people. Each email contains a Word document that has a little background info about the person, and a picture of them embedded in the Word file.

    My first problem is that my boss should send these out when the people are hired. Don't wait until there are 5 in the queue, and send them all out simultaneously. One guy was here for 6 weeks before his introduction email went out.

    The other problem is my boss's lack of ability to resize pictures. Does this happen to anyone else? Someone says they'll email you a photo, and they send you a 3 MB JPEG? Well, like I said, he sent out several of these in a span of 10 minutes.

    The first and second were 3 MB apiece. I didn't think it could get worse.

    The third was 11 MB. Exact same type of document, nothing special added, but it was more than 3x the size of the others.

    Apparently he screwed up the name of the document, so he tried to recall it, then he renamed the file, then resent it. Another 11 MB (and for those that have tried Outlook's recall feature, you know it sucks ass).

    So what happened? I opened Word and checked out the picture. It was scaled down to like 10% of it's original size, and at full scale it would have been 23" square. My first question is: Why does no one know about resizing images, or paying attention to the size of emails they send?? He was sending a Word document, maybe check the size of it before you send it to 120 people? The second question is: If you resize a picture in Word, why does it retain the original data and only display a resized picture?

    So yeah in the end we had 27 MB worth of emails in a 10-minute period, and it should be noted that the IT department just cut our mailboxes down to 50 MB a few months ago. Fun fun fun.



  • @Manni said:

    The second question is: If you resize a picture in Word, why does it retain the original data and only display a resized picture?





    I'm not a fan of Word or any other word processor, but there is a good
    reason Word does this: The crop/resize/constrast adjustment operations
    are reversible if you store
    them as metadata next to the picture, rather than change the picture
    itself. This makes a lot of sense if you store the primary copy of an
    image inside the Word file, or if you collaborate on the Word file with
    another person. Word wasn't designed to be a delivery format; people
    just decide to abuse it and use it as such.



    If you don't want Word storing a lot of data, don't paste a lot of data into a Word file.



    Yes, I know this doesn't solve your boss' bad behavior, but as much as Microsoft tries, Office can't be everything for everyone.




  • @ItsAllGeekToMe said:

    She hands it to MY BOSS.  He taps
    ctrl+alt+del a few times, then stares at it a minute and says "yep,
    you're right.  it won't turn off."





    Just what does your boss do? Not everyone understands (or necessarily
    should understand) the the power button is a funny combination between
    a software signal and a hardware failsafe. How many people know enough
    to hold the power button on a modern computer when everything else is
    locked up?




  • @Brendan Kidwell said:

    @ItsAllGeekToMe said:

    She hands it to MY BOSS.  He taps ctrl+alt+del a few times, then stares at it a minute and says "yep, you're right.  it won't turn off."



    Just what does your boss do? Not everyone understands (or necessarily should understand) the the power button is a funny combination between a software signal and a hardware failsafe. How many people know enough to hold the power button on a modern computer when everything else is locked up?

    I would hope the Technology Dept. Manager would know this.  And he does nothing.  Don't get me started.



  • @ItsAllGeekToMe said:

    A lady came over to the tech department
    with a laptop that wouldn't "turn off".  She was locked out of
    doing anything, therefore couldn't turn it off so that she could
    restart it for use.  This is also called "frozen" to anyone out
    there like my boss.

    She hands it to MY BOSS.  He taps ctrl+alt+del a few times, then stares at it a minute and says "yep, you're right.  it won't turn off."  I'm listening, trying not to run my head through my monitor.  He then offers up a gem.  "The only thing I can think of doing is taking the battery out.  Cut the power."  So the unsavvy woman and my unsavvy boss kinda sit quietly pondering this disaster of a computer problem.  I quietly asked that they perhaps should hold the power button down.

     

    The darnedest thing happened..........I'll let you all guess.



    Why did you give them the answer so easily?
    Let the 2 computer illiterate people bond a little bit while the work together to solve the problem.
    Then, after your boss gives up fussing with it, he'll likely come to you and ask you to help.
    This way, your boss gets to sweat a little bit (and will not be able to spend his time doing other potentially harmful things due to his lack of knowledge) and you will come out looking good in the end.

    - Dan


  • @Brendan Kidwell said:

    @Manni said:

    The second question is: If you resize a picture in Word, why does it retain the original data and only display a resized picture?



    I'm not a fan of Word or any other word processor, but there is a good reason Word does this: The crop/resize/constrast adjustment operations are reversible if you store them as metadata next to the picture, rather than change the picture itself. This makes a lot of sense if you store the primary copy of an image inside the Word file, or if you collaborate on the Word file with another person. Word wasn't designed to be a delivery format; people just decide to abuse it and use it as such.

    If you don't want Word storing a lot of data, don't paste a lot of data into a Word file.

    Yes, I know this doesn't solve your boss' bad behavior, but as much as Microsoft tries, Office can't be everything for everyone.

    Personally I hate the Office suite because it attempts to think for me way too much, but then provides no usable feedback when something goes wrong. Case in point, I was just dealing with a problem where a cell in Excel was supposed to calculate the difference between two dates, and was giving errors at random. Or so it appeared. I tried looking into all the problems it could be, from cell formatting, date references, number limitations... it turns out that someone had typed an invalid date (9/31/2004) in the field. Why is Excel smart enough to recognize date formats and change the cell formatting for me, but when there's an invalid date, it can't tell me what the problem is?

    As for your justification of Word storing the full picture, I offer a counterargument: Word wouldn't allow me to display the picture at 100% because it was too large. If I can't display it, then why keep the extra data? Also, have you tried getting a picture out of Word once you inserted it? The only way I found was to copy the picture, open up MS Paint, paste it in, and save it off.

    If I can't get the picture out, why preserve the original size and image quality after I've changed it? If I can't display it at full size, why not auto-size the picture down to the largest it can possibly display?

    But in the end, Word isn't the problem. Users are the problem. Software development would be so much easier if it weren't for them.



  • @Brendan Kidwell said:

    @ItsAllGeekToMe said:

    She hands it to MY BOSS.  He taps
    ctrl+alt+del a few times, then stares at it a minute and says "yep,
    you're right.  it won't turn off."





    Just what does your boss do? Not everyone understands (or necessarily
    should understand) the the power button is a funny combination between
    a software signal and a hardware failsafe. How many people know enough
    to hold the power button on a modern computer when everything else is
    locked up?




    Hell, I didn't know that either until I read it by pure chance some
    months ago. It's simply not very relevant knowledge since the
    alternative solution most people come up with on their own
    (disconnection the power cord / battery) works perfectly fine and does
    just the same thing. IMO the WTF here is that the "power button" had
    this stupid software shutdown function shoehorned into it, because of
    stupid users who couldn't be taught the actually relevant knowledge of how to properly shut down a system.




  • @Brendan Kidwell said:

    @Manni said:

    The second question is: If you resize a picture in Word, why does it retain the original data and only display a resized picture?





    I'm not a fan of Word or any other word processor, but there is a good
    reason Word does this: The crop/resize/constrast adjustment operations
    are reversible if you store
    them as metadata next to the picture, rather than change the picture
    itself.




    More importantly, it can make use of a full resolution of the output
    device. Actually resizing the pictures so that you get a crappy
    screen-resolution pixellated image even when printing on a
    high-resolution printer would be a REAL WTF.



  • @brazzy said:

    @Brendan Kidwell said:
    @ItsAllGeekToMe said:

    She hands it to MY BOSS.  He taps
    ctrl+alt+del a few times, then stares at it a minute and says "yep,
    you're right.  it won't turn off."





    Just what does your boss do? Not everyone understands (or necessarily
    should understand) the the power button is a funny combination between
    a software signal and a hardware failsafe. How many people know enough
    to hold the power button on a modern computer when everything else is
    locked up?




    Hell, I didn't know that either until I read it by pure chance some
    months ago. It's simply not very relevant knowledge since the
    alternative solution most people come up with on their own
    (disconnection the power cord / battery) works perfectly fine and does
    just the same thing. IMO the WTF here is that the "power button" had
    this stupid software shutdown function shoehorned into it, because of
    stupid users who couldn't be taught the actually relevant knowledge of how to properly shut down a system.






    Amazing, simply amazing. Thank you for making this post. I know now to
    ignore every subsequent post you make. You have saved me so much time!



    Sincerely,



    Richard Nixon



  • @brazzy said:

    @Brendan Kidwell said:
    @Manni said:

    The second question is: If you resize a picture in Word, why does it retain the original data and only display a resized picture?





    I'm not a fan of Word or any other word processor, but there is a good
    reason Word does this: The crop/resize/constrast adjustment operations
    are reversible if you store
    them as metadata next to the picture, rather than change the picture
    itself.




    More importantly, it can make use of a full resolution of the output
    device. Actually resizing the pictures so that you get a crappy
    screen-resolution pixellated image even when printing on a
    high-resolution printer would be a REAL WTF.




    true.dat



  • @brazzy said:





    Hell, I didn't know that either until I read it by pure chance some
    months ago. It's simply not very relevant knowledge since the
    alternative solution most people come up with on their own
    (disconnection the power cord / battery) works perfectly fine and does
    just the same thing. IMO the WTF here is that the "power button" had
    this stupid software shutdown function shoehorned into it, because of
    stupid users who couldn't be taught the actually relevant knowledge of how to properly shut down a system.






    I know it is hidden, but I can't think of a better design.  
    You do not want computers to turn off accidently, yet you need a
    failsafe that always works.   This is particularly a problem
    on laptops where there are only limited places a button/switch can go,
    any of which you might hit accidently (think typing in a dark room and
    reaching for the escape key and going just a little too
    far)  



    It is not obvious, but it is the best compromise.



    Removing the battery is dangerous.  The potential for sparks as
    the battery is disconnected (which can destroy your electronics in the
    surge) is too high for comfort.



  • @Richard Nixon said:

    Amazing, simply amazing. Thank you for making this post. I know now to
    ignore every subsequent post you make. You have saved me so much time!




    The eloquence of your argument blinds me.




  • @hank miller said:

    It is not obvious, but it is the best compromise.


    Not saying it isn't, just that it's hardly something to judge competence by.



    @hank miller said:
    Removing the battery is dangerous.  The potential for sparks as
    the battery is disconnected (which can destroy your electronics in the
    surge) is too high for comfort.




    How exactly would there be a surge? The battery has a certain voltage
    it can supply; it may supply less when aged, spent or heavily strained,
    but not more.  Why would there be a higher voltage during
    disconnection? Static electricity could be a problem when you touch the
    contacts, I guess, but the contacty usually don't even get exposed when
    you just disconnect the battery and replace it immediately.




  • @brazzy said:

    @Richard Nixon said:
    Amazing, simply amazing. Thank you for making this post. I know now to
    ignore every subsequent post you make. You have saved me so much time!




    The eloquence of your argument blinds me.






    Let's be best friends!



    Sincerely,



    Richard Nixon



  • @Richard Nixon said:

    Amazing, simply amazing. Thank you for making this post. I know now to
    ignore every subsequent post you make. You have saved me so much time!



    Sincerely,



    Richard Nixon




    I'm sick of telling you to fuck off, shitstain.  We don't need your bullshit here.



  • @brazzy said:





    How exactly would there be a surge? The battery has a certain voltage
    it can supply; it may supply less when aged, spent or heavily strained,
    but not more.  Why would there be a higher voltage during
    disconnection? Static electricity could be a problem when you touch the
    contacts, I guess, but the contacts usually don't even get exposed when
    you just disconnect the battery and replace it immediately.






    Sparks.   DC voltage doesn't cut off nicely when you remove a battery.  



    This might or might not be theoretical.   I'm not an EE, I
    just know that sparks are not a good thing around electronics, so
    anything that could produce them are used as a last resort.



    It wouldn't surprise me if the laptop was protected against this, but I wouldn't never count on it given a choice.



  • @hank miller said:



    Sparks.   DC voltage doesn't cut off nicely when you remove a battery.  



    This might or might not be theoretical.   I'm not an EE, I
    just know that sparks are not a good thing around electronics, so
    anything that could produce them are used as a last resort.




    I'm not an EE either, but that doesn't sound right. Again: the battery
    is NOT CAPABLE of producing more than the given voltage, and I don't
    see how you'd get a higher voltage during disconnection - I'm pretty
    sure it will cut off quite nicely, i.e. suddenly, and I doubt the
    "official" power switch has any different effect. Theoretically, it
    could let the power taper off gradually, but I don't see why that would
    be necessary. Hardware that needs to do something when the power is cut
    (such as the HDs parking their heads) have capacitors to power them. A
    special power switch wouldn't help if you have an actual power outage.



    "Sparks" is no answer at all, it's a side effect of electricity
    bridging a gap between two contacts through air. If you get sparks at
    all at the low voltages of a laptop battery, you'd get them as well
    when the computer is switched off and the only problem they might cause
    is corrosion of the contacts. What you heard about sparks being "bad"
    is referring to sparks generated by static electricity, which HAS very
    high voltages and can therefore damage unprotected equipment. But
    that's not relevant here, as I already mentioned.




  • @brazzy said:

    @hank miller said:


    Sparks.   DC voltage doesn't cut off nicely when you remove a battery.  



    This might or might not be theoretical.   I'm not an EE, I
    just know that sparks are not a good thing around electronics, so
    anything that could produce them are used as a last resort.




    I'm not an EE either, but that doesn't sound right. Again: the battery
    is NOT CAPABLE of producing more than the given voltage, and I don't
    see how you'd get a higher voltage during disconnection - I'm pretty
    sure it will cut off quite nicely, i.e. suddenly, and I doubt the
    "official" power switch has any different effect. Theoretically, it
    could let the power taper off gradually, but I don't see why that would
    be necessary. Hardware that needs to do something when the power is cut
    (such as the HDs parking their heads) have capacitors to power them. A
    special power switch wouldn't help if you have an actual power outage.



    "Sparks" is no answer at all, it's a side effect of electricity
    bridging a gap between two contacts through air. If you get sparks at
    all at the low voltages of a laptop battery, you'd get them as well
    when the computer is switched off and the only problem they might cause
    is corrosion of the contacts. What you heard about sparks being "bad"
    is referring to sparks generated by static electricity, which HAS very
    high voltages and can therefore damage unprotected equipment. But
    that's not relevant here, as I already mentioned.






    I tend to agree, but want to offer an alternate explanation: Its not
    the sparks that are bad but the fact that when removing a battery, the
    battery could be disconnected momentarily, then reconnected briefly,
    then disconnected again. This could potentially cause stress to the
    components. Though, probably not. I don't know. I just decided to throw
    that out. fwiw, my remote controls don't seem to be affected by battery
    removal, Nor does a whole host of other electronic devices that are
    battery powered, but don't necessarily have an on-off switch. Aside
    from that, the power switch essentially does the same thing as removing
    the battery, it opens the circuit.



    Just my 0.5¢



  • @brazzy said:

    @Brendan Kidwell said:
    ...

    How many people know enough
    to hold the power button on a modern computer when everything else is
    locked up?




    Hell, I didn't know that either until I read it by pure chance some
    months ago. It's simply not very relevant knowledge since the
    alternative solution most people come up with on their own
    (disconnection the power cord / battery) works perfectly fine and does
    just the same thing. IMO the WTF here is that the "power button" had
    this stupid software shutdown function shoehorned into it, because of
    stupid users who couldn't be taught the actually relevant knowledge of how to properly shut down a system.


    Amen to the second point there ("stupid shoehorning" etc), I say.



    However, "pulling the power works just as well" sounds wrong to me.
    There's the points that other people've already mentioned (sparks etc),
    but also, IIRC, holding down the power button gives the system time to
    unmount any backing store that might get trashed when the power goes.
    If you just pull the power, your disc heads will do Bad Things (TM) to any HDs that were in use when the system froze.



    BTW, I think that Nixon was referring to the risks of hardware
    FUBARage, but he'd've done better to say so if that was the case.
    Nixon, sarking out on someone with no explanation isn't going to make
    you popular, even if they did slip up. At least tell them why they're wrong, eh? =P



  • @Irrelevant said:

    @brazzy said:
    @Brendan Kidwell said:
    ...

    How many people know enough
    to hold the power button on a modern computer when everything else is
    locked up?




    Hell, I didn't know that either until I read it by pure chance some
    months ago. It's simply not very relevant knowledge since the
    alternative solution most people come up with on their own
    (disconnection the power cord / battery) works perfectly fine and does
    just the same thing. IMO the WTF here is that the "power button" had
    this stupid software shutdown function shoehorned into it, because of
    stupid users who couldn't be taught the actually relevant knowledge of how to properly shut down a system.


    Amen to the second point there ("stupid shoehorning" etc), I say.



    However, "pulling the power works just as well" sounds wrong to me.
    There's the points that other people've already mentioned (sparks etc),
    but also, IIRC, holding down the power button gives the system time to
    unmount any backing store that might get trashed when the power goes.
    If you just pull the power, your disc heads will do Bad Things (TM) to any HDs that were in use when the system froze.



    BTW, I think that Nixon was referring to the risks of hardware
    FUBARage, but he'd've done better to say so if that was the case.
    Nixon, sarking out on someone with no explanation isn't going to make
    you popular, even if they did slip up. At least tell them why they're wrong, eh? =P




    Irrelevant, you raise an excellent point. It is better to always remain
    civil with people and explain to them calmly why you believe they may
    be wrong. After all, people will never come around to your way of
    thinking if you just call them a name and walk away. Thank you for the
    suggestion. I will strive to live up to your suggestion.



    Sincerely,



    Richard Nixon



  • @Irrelevant said:

    However, "pulling the power works just as well" sounds wrong to me.
    There's the points that other people've already mentioned (sparks etc),
    but also, IIRC, holding down the power button gives the system time to
    unmount any backing store that might get trashed when the power goes.
    If you just pull the power, your disc heads will do Bad Things (TM) to any HDs that were in use when the system froze.




    If that were true, HDs would get physically damaged whenever there's a
    power outage. Fortunately, they don't, you just get inconsistent
    filesystems (or not, if you use a journaling filesystem), which is a
    software problem.



    This WAS true at some point in the past; I remember that about 15 years
    ago, my uncle's 286-based portable DOS box even had a "park" command
    you had to execute before switching off the power to prevent head
    crashes - there was apparently no such thing as an OS shutdown in MS
    DOS.



    Nowadays, as I mentioned, HDs have capacitors specifically so that they
    can park the heads even when the power goes away suddenly. And I doubt
    holding down the power switch does anything fancy like notifying the
    hardware of the impending shutdown - I'm especially sure that it
    doesn't "unmount" anything, because that's a software function and not
    available anyway if the OS is really frozen.



  • @Irrelevant said:

    IIRC, holding down the power button gives the system time to
    unmount any backing store that might get trashed when the power goes.




    No. Holding the power button has no software function. All that happens
    is: ATX mobo sees a short on the power button line, then sees the line
    open again, sends an interrupt to the processor, OS handles interrupt
    and does graceful shutdown. If the short is closed  longer than
    say... 5 seconds, the mobo simply triggers whatever line the
    processor's IO uses to tell the power supply to shut off. The circuit
    attached to the power line is likely just a few simple gates and a
    timer chip.






  • @Mike R said:



    No. Holding the power button has no software function. All that happens
    is: ATX mobo sees a short on the power button line, then sees the line
    open again, sends an interrupt to the processor, OS handles interrupt
    and does graceful shutdown. If the short is closed  longer than
    say... 5 seconds, the mobo simply triggers whatever line the
    processor's IO uses to tell the power supply to shut off. The circuit
    attached to the power line is likely just a few simple gates and a
    timer chip.




    Ah, if only it were always that simple. On my laptop the BIOS seems
    somewhat buggy, and sometimes the machine hangs during boot. The CPU
    fan gets stuck at full power, the screen stays black, and there's
    really no other way to turn the damned thing off than to take out the
    battery.




  • @Cirdan said:





    Ah, if only it were always that simple. On my laptop the BIOS seems
    somewhat buggy, and sometimes the machine hangs during boot. The CPU
    fan gets stuck at full power, the screen stays black, and there's
    really no other way to turn the damned thing off than to take out the
    battery.






    Actually, search around the edges of your laptop..especially near the
    the power button, There's usually a round hole big enough to shove the
    end of a paper clip in... stick the end of a paper clip in there. It
    should reset the computer. This is all depenedant on the manufacturer
    though, for some, the soft power button is enough.




  • @ItsAllGeekToMe said:

    The darnedest thing happened..........I'll let you all guess.

    I bet it got like 3 feet of air.



  • @Manni said:

    So yeah in the end we had 27 MB worth of emails
    in a 10-minute period, and it should be noted that the IT department
    just cut our mailboxes down to 50 MB a few months ago. Fun fun fun.





    Have you pointed out to them that at current prices, they are
    allocating you 5 cents worth of storage for your email?  And that
    maybe, just maybe, in today's business climate, an email account has a
    business value that is substantially greater than 5 cents?



    Maybe point out that your daily usage of toilet paper probably exceeds 5 cents.  See if that wakes them up.



    Or you could try mentioning that if you have to spend more than about 2
    seconds cleaning out your mailbox during your entire tenure at this
    company, they have spent more money paying you to clean out your
    mailbox than it cost them to provide you the space.  Ask them how
    much business value they get from paying you to clean out your mailbox.



    At my last company I had 50 MB of email storage too.  It boggles
    my mind how some people completely fail to understand basic economic
    principles.  They allocated me one whole gigabyte for my daily
    workspace, in which I was expected to build multiple Linux
    distributions.  That's $1 of space for an operation central to the
    functioning of the business.






  • I'll have to chip in with "I'm not an EE" as well, however it is
    possible for a 12 volt battery to generate more voltage than it's
    "label" indicates.  Take for instance, a stun gun li
    which regularly boasts a whopping 100,000 volt shock or more and it
    certainly doesn't have a 100,000 volt battery inside.  It
    implements a voltage amplification circuit that can step up a 9 volt
    source to between 100,000 and 500,000 volts.  Now, I realize that
    laptops generally don't include stun gun circuitry, however I just
    wanted to make the point that a battery can generate significantly more
    voltage than it's rated for, and that usually is a function of a power
    fluctuation.  If you run a current through a transformer with
    unequal windings and then remove that current, a voltage is generated
    through the secondary coil which exceeds the input voltage of the
    primary coil.  The key point is that the voltage is generated as a
    result of stopping the current (disconnecting the battery). This is
    called a "step up" transformer Y, turn it around and it becomes a "step down" transformer.  Here are a couple of links for you "curious" types:








  • @brazzy said:

    If that were true, HDs would get physically damaged whenever there's a power outage. Fortunately, they don't, you just get inconsistent filesystems (or not, if you use a journaling filesystem), which is a software problem.

    This WAS true at some point in the past; I remember that about 15 years ago, my uncle's 286-based portable DOS box even had a "park" command you had to execute before switching off the power to prevent head crashes - there was apparently no such thing as an OS shutdown in MS DOS.

    Nowadays, as I mentioned, HDs have capacitors specifically so that they can park the heads even when the power goes away suddenly. And I doubt holding down the power switch does anything fancy like notifying the hardware of the impending shutdown - I'm especially sure that it doesn't "unmount" anything, because that's a software function and not available anyway if the OS is really frozen.
    Old pre-1990 stepper-motor drives had to be parked manually, since the head actuator won't move on its own. But, all the servo-coil based drives that are used today park automatically, and it doesn't require a capacitor either. When the power is cut, the disks don't just stop abruptly; they spin down gradually. There is a very light spring on the actuator arm that pulls or pushes the heads to the parking position whenever the power is turned off, and this action takes less than a second. The disks are still spinning at nearly full speed so the heads are still floating over the surface.

    The power switch normally sends an interrupt that notifies the OS, but if the OS is frozen then of course nothing can be done before shutdown. It also has a few-second timer circuit that physically shuts down.

    IMHO the best type of power switch is a slide or toggle switch, not a button. One that has two positions: On and Off.



  • @brazzy said:

    This WAS true at some point in the past; I
    remember that about 15 years ago, my uncle's 286-based portable DOS box
    even had a "park" command you had to execute before switching off the
    power to prevent head crashes - there was apparently no such thing as
    an OS shutdown in MS DOS.

    In the grand old days, I transcended my n00b status on an XT with DOS 5 or 6 or summat, that I turned on and off quite frequently, and I've never head of a 'park' command. But perhaps it was slightly more modern than your uncle's.

    The little wonder had a huge, red power switch that would give a gratifyingly moist CLACK! every time.

    My current beast has a whimpy button that goes *tick*. Meh.



  • @dhromed said:

    @brazzy said:

    This WAS true at some point in the past; I
    remember that about 15 years ago, my uncle's 286-based portable DOS box
    even had a "park" command you had to execute before switching off the
    power to prevent head crashes - there was apparently no such thing as
    an OS shutdown in MS DOS.

    In the grand old days, I transcended my n00b status on an XT with DOS 5 or 6 or summat, that I turned on and off quite frequently, and I've never head of a 'park' command. But perhaps it was slightly more modern than your uncle's.

    The little wonder had a huge, red power switch that would give a gratifyingly moist CLACK! every time.

    My current beast has a whimpy button that goes *tick*. Meh.



    wow! urs makes a noise at all!! i havent owned a computer that makes a noise when u press the power button in years...


  • @Manni said:

    The other problem is my boss's lack of ability to resize pictures. Does this happen to anyone else? Someone says they'll email you a photo, and they send you a 3 MB JPEG?

    Oh, yeah.  My girlfriend takes pictures everywhere we go together with her digital camera.  We dump them to my computer, and get to see the top left corner of them on my screen due to the fact that she has the camera res set to about 1600 x 1400.  She and I have had this discussion over and over: 

    "Hon, why don't you reset the resolution to 800 x 600?  You could get more pictures on there and also save me the trouble of shrinking them down to viewable size with the photo editor."

    "Well, it's not supposed to matter how big they are, it still takes the same number of photos."

    "Honey, trust me... bigger pictures take up more memory on your card."

    "Well, but if I reduce the size, won't that make them blurry, or something?"

    "Hon... look here on the computer.  Can you see this picture?"

    "I can see the part that's showing..."

    "Arrrrrrrgh!  Look, I'm shrinking it down to viewable size.  Now, is there anything you could see a minute ago that you can't see now?  Did you lose something in the reduction of resolution?"

    "Well, your face isn't as clear as it was..."

    "Gawd, let's go to bed.  Quick, before I forget why I keep you around."



  • @stevekj said:

    @Manni said:

    So yeah in the end we had 27 MB worth of emails
    in a 10-minute period, and it should be noted that the IT department
    just cut our mailboxes down to 50 MB a few months ago. Fun fun fun.





    Have you pointed out to them that at current prices, they are
    allocating you 5 cents worth of storage for your email?  And that
    maybe, just maybe, in today's business climate, an email account has a
    business value that is substantially greater than 5 cents?



    Maybe point out that your daily usage of toilet paper probably exceeds 5 cents.  See if that wakes them up.



    Or you could try mentioning that if you have to spend more than about 2
    seconds cleaning out your mailbox during your entire tenure at this
    company, they have spent more money paying you to clean out your
    mailbox than it cost them to provide you the space.  Ask them how
    much business value they get from paying you to clean out your mailbox.



    At my last company I had 50 MB of email storage too.  It boggles
    my mind how some people completely fail to understand basic economic
    principles.  They allocated me one whole gigabyte for my daily
    workspace, in which I was expected to build multiple Linux
    distributions.  That's $1 of space for an operation central to the
    functioning of the business.





    It's not quite that black and white, when you count in the costs of proprietary SCSI drives (which may have been purchased years ago), backup tape, backup time, recovery time, network bandwidth, memory and processor overhead for keeping, caching, and indexing more and larger messages, and so on, you come up with a rather higher cost. Still, your overall point is still entirely valid, and when even free webmail can offer a gig, and in light of new data retention laws, it would behoove businesses to re-evaluate their storage allocations.



  • ...in light of new data retention laws, it would behoove businesses to re-evaluate their storage allocations.



    Now that you mention it, I'm thinking they did [;)]





  • @foxyshadis said:


    It's not quite that black and white, when
    you count in the costs of proprietary SCSI drives (which may have been
    purchased years ago), backup tape, backup time, recovery time, network
    bandwidth, memory and processor overhead for keeping, caching, and
    indexing more and larger messages, and so on, you come up with a rather
    higher cost.




    OK, let's take a closer look.  SCSI drives are more expensive than
    IDE, so we'll allow 10 cents instead of 5.  Tape backup costs
    about as much as (IDE) hard drive space; there's another 5 cents worth
    of storage.  Tape backup time is about 10 seconds at ~5 MB/sec,
    and network transfer time is around 5 seconds at ~10 MB/sec on a 100
    Mb/s LAN.  For simplicity I'll price out network transfer and tape
    backup time at the same rate as a software developer's cost, let's say
    $50/hr, or about 20 cents for 15 seconds.  This is probably
    generous.  Processor and memory overhead for 50 MB of email
    handling is effectively zero for a computer that is relatively up to
    date.  It would be substantial for a 1982 IBM PC XT, but we'll
    give Manni the benefit of the doubt.  So now we're up to a total
    of 35 cents.  I'll grant you that that's a "rather higher cost",
    but compared to the business value of an email account, it is still -
    wait for it - epsilon!  i.e. different from zero, but not
    measurably so.



    The break-even point for paying Manni to clean out his email account is
    now up to about 14 seconds with this revised cost.  14 seconds!




  • @stevekj said:

    The break-even point for paying Manni to clean out his email account is
    now up to about 14 seconds with this revised cost.  14 seconds!



    That sounds more reasonable. Now, with new data retention policies, the time it takes to hit ctrl-A/delete every two weeks just about lines up with the actual value of the mailbox. =D



  • Low cost aside, you'd all agree that an intern slapping 30 gigs of movies and mp3 in his Home dir is a bit much, right?



  • Reading through this thread was painful. Not only are you guys not EEs, you dont know how power supplies operate in the least.

    When all is said and done, removing the battery is electrically equivalent to a hard off power button.

    In addition, there are NO HARDWARE REPRECUSSIONS to a hard off system. In fact, the hard drives and other preiferals recieve no "warning" that the power will be terminated. The motherboard just cuts the link between the green and black wires on the power header, abruptly cutting power from all devices.

    Soft off systems are advantageous in that they allow for a number of things (in approximate order of importance):

    • "Wake on" events.
    • Software notification of desired shutdown.
    • Delayed Disk Access
    • Power Saving and Hibernation Modes




  • Sorry, that was horribly out of order:

    • Delayed Disk Access
    • Software notification of desired shutdown.
    • Power Saving and Hibernation Modes
    • "Wake on" events.


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