* Posts by Matthew Bartels

4 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Dec 2008

When asked 'What's a .CNT file?' there's a polite way to answer

Matthew Bartels

Speaking of floppies, story from 1993 or thereabouts...

Complaint: the disk won't go all the way into the drive!

Investigation: Yep, the 5.25" floppy only going 80% of the way into the drive... hmm.

Open the case, something inside the drive!

Take the drive apart. Yep. The metal shutter from a 3.5" disk wedged around the head assembly of the 5.25" drive.

Drive was a total loss, heads bent beyond hope. Lesson learned? I wouldn't bet on it!

One-armed bandit steals four hours of engineer's busy day

Matthew Bartels

Fun times with an Art Professor

Once had a fun one in Academic Computing. Most of the campus was PC, but of course the art dept will have their Macs... (this is a story so old it's pre-windows!)

So of course, art dept chair wants to know how to protect his work on the 40 MB (not a typo, this is an old story) Mac SE. We orderd him a copy of Redux (popular backup software of the day) shipping to his office, and told him "Give us a call when it's in and we'll send someone over to your building to get you set up."

A few days pass and we get a call - not, as one might expect, asking to have someone over to set up the new software. No - this professor called to complain that the software wasn't working!

A little investigation revealed the reason - somehow he'd gotten to the point in the manual where it described how to run a backup (place a blank floppy in the drive, when it fills up, take it out, label it, and place the next floppy) while entirely managing to miss out on the part where you install and run the software!!!

So he had been sitting there for an hour, swapping in blank floppies, waiting a few minutes (for what I'm still not sure), taking them out, labeling them, and going on to the next one... at some point he'd started suspecting that the software (still sealed into the envelope, still in the box) wasn't working and placed the call to support.

We gently explained that in order for the software to work, you have to actually install it, and then, yes, even run it.

Elon Musk's Grasshopper tops 300m, lands safely

Matthew Bartels

Totally worthless

The plastic paratrooper that I bought out of a gumball machine can make a safe landing with just a parachute, so this is obviously a worthless "innovation"! They could have spent that money on something valuable, like solving world hunger, or curing cancer. What a stupid, useless waste.

Intel, Lenovo to foil laptop thieves

Matthew Bartels
Thumb Down

That turns out not to be the case...

As for "Anti Theft" - it's not anti-theft for the laptop itself, but anti-theft for the data contained on it.

And as for "replace the hard drive and bob's your uncle" - nope, this is built into the mobo, just like all other Intel AMT stuff - so it'll check in regardless of hard drive swappery.

What this adds up to is a compelling reason to buy the early models with these capabilities, if you're the big corporate type with data to be protected... and as the featureset is incorporated into more and more laptops, there will be a trend of discouraging theft in general.