Shopping for a New Monitor? 653

Cecil asks: "Well, I've looked through the reviews and found several good displays. The problem is that quality can vary drastically from unit to unit. Just because the reviewer got a good screen doesn't mean you will. A lot of people say that it's a bad idea to buy a display device sight-unseen and from experience I have to agree. There are the big chain stores that will have monitors on display, but they will typically only have the 'value' models. So, what is your monitor buying process? What do you do to make sure you get the sort of high-quality display that'll last you through the next couple hardware upgrades?"

What Pro-Level MIDI/Audio Tools Are You Using? 85

groovemaneuver asks: "Over the years, I've managed to build a small home-studio for composing and recording my music. The one component that has always been the biggest obstacle to my productivity has been the digital audio workstation. I started with a MIDI-only Atari, moved to a PC with Logic Audio, and now have a Mac with Logic Audio. The problem is that I seem to spend more time trying to get the software and hardware working than I do actually making music. I really love Logic Audio, but I can't stand the Mac. Surely some of you out there are having success on the PC making music. What are you using, and how much of your time is spent fiddling with your studio rather than making music? Is there Linux software that can reasonably fill the shoes of Logic, Nuendo, or Sound Forge?"

The Best Traveling Laptop? 129

Subaiku asks: "Next semester my girlfriend will be traveling to Japan to continue with her studies. As a going away gift I plan on buying her a laptop of some sort. I've been thinking about going with a PowerBook, or maybe a Dell, but I really need advice as to which brand/configuration/platform would be best in terms of ease of use/connectivity in foreign places (namely Japan). Any suggestions?"
Data Storage

Sharing MS-Access Databases, Efficiently? 98

codewizard asks: "Ours is a bank and we have a bunch of MS-Access databases(>50) which are being used by around 50 users around the globe on a daily basis. The set of databases are stored on a SAMBA share and each user accesses from the mapped drive. As expected, sharing conflicts arise and multiple users are unable to access at the same time. So, we proposed having multiple folders on SAMBA each of which would have all the databases and the users logon script would determine where their mapped drive points to. This led to synchronisation issues (when a change is required in one of the master databases, we need to manually synchronise all other folders) and increase in storage size in SAMBA. Anyone have any other ideas on how you would have gone about sharing these MS-Access databases?"
Wireless Networking

How Stable is WEP? 61

PktLoss asks: "I recently joined the wireless home networking craze, and bought two products, a wireless router and a wireless PCMCIA card. When I just connect normally, I have no problems. The connection is rock solid, decent transfer rates. Im very happy with the purchase. However, for obvious reasons, I would like to enable WEP with 128bit encryption. However, once i do that, the connection goes flaky, dropping after a few moments, or minutes, even when mere feet from the router. Are there problems with stability and WEP? Do certain applications have issues with WEP (I've been disconnected when running nothing but Windows)? Is there anything i can do to resolve this?"

Active Directory - Organizational Units or Discrete Domains? 27

flosofl asks: "I work for a large (1,000+ emp.) company and will be in charge of its Active Directory implementation. Our company is in turn owned by a much larger corporation (15,000+ emp.), but we are for the most part autonomous in terms of managing our internal IT dept. Since the larger corporation has ADS in place, they want us to roll in as an OU in their domain (xxx.com). I want to be a child domain (yyy.xxx.com). The SAP portal relies on LDAP and we are told it would not work correctly with a multi-domain model. I on the other hand want total control over MY domain (yes, I know as a parent domain they could do what they want - the illusion is enough). My question is, has anyone been in this type of situation before? How did you resolve it, and did it work? I am worried I am reacting more from a 'you can't play with my toys' than a legitimate tech/business reason. I want to use the method that will work best (which may not be the one I want). Any comments would be appreciated."

When Should a Consultant Question Decisions? 465

bay43270 asks: "Presumably, companies hire consultants because they need technical expertise. At some point (if not on a daily basis) a consultant is asked to do something that isn't in the best interest of the company (and therefore may not be in the best interest of the consultant in the long run). The consultant must ask 'do I just say "yes sir" and go to work, or do I try to explain things? If so, how hard do I push?' When should a good consultant question a decision, and how does the situation differ with contract programmers?"

Anonymous Domain Registration for Protecting Privacy? 56

morpheus 2001 asks: "I'm a recent graduate working in a corporate environment. I would to register a domain for a blog, but want to protect my privacy. I would also like keep my employer (and others in my professional circle) from realizing that I am the author by checking the WHOIS for the domain. Under the current ICANN rules, anyone who registers a domain must provide their personal contact information. There are several domain registrars who claim to allow one to register a domain anonymously. They do this by registering in their name, but 'guarantee' the I retain ownership of the domain and can transfer it at any time to another registrar. Has anyone used an anonymous registrar? Did you have any problems retaining ownership? Do you have any recommendations for a reputable registrar? Is this a really stupid idead and bound to cause trouble?"

MP3 Jukeboxes with a Web Frontend? 48

johnmearns asks: "With hard drive prices so low I couldn't help but pick up a large drive and finally get around to setting up a file server in my house. I normally do all my home computing from my laptop and would like to play mp3s stored on the fileserver back through my stereo. I've found lots of nice streaming mp3 server packages like NetJuke, but I don't want to stream. I would like a player that offers controls that I could access via a web interface from any machine on the LAN. Many of the alternatives I've found seem to have a nasty interface and have been abandoned for years. I thought I'd check and see if other Slashdot readers were using for this. Preferably it would work easily with FreeBSD, but I'm not picky at this point!"

Working Hints for a New Telecommuter? 64

McPierce asks: "This week I accepted an offer to work for a company in a different state (I'm located in NC, USA, and the company's located in NY,USA). As part of my employment, the company's going to give me a laptop, a PDA (Blackberry 6510) for email/development and will fly me to NY every 6-8 weeks for meetings. My question is to those who telecommute for a living and who have families at home. How do you do your work at home? Do you go out (bookstore/library/coffee shop) to get things done, or do you have a home office and boundaries setup with your family to keep them from distracting your during working hours? How about accepting phone calls from your employer? In my case, I'm concerned about getting calls outside of the normal business hours (8am-6pm) since the philosophy might be 'we'll call when we need to since you're working remotely'? Any ideas or suggestions?"

Are Printers What They Used To Be? 1025

Fifster asks: "Has anyone noticed any trends in terms of printer quality nowadays? Perhaps it's just me being nostalgic, but I used to have an old HP Deskjet 500 maybe...ten years ago, and it worked for years. Sure, it wasn't colour, and it was noisy and somewhat slow, but it never died. After I decided to retire it and buy a fancy new colour printer with features I don't really need, I've gone through about a printer a year. I finally decided to get a Brother HL-1440 laser printer to avoid the cost of cartridges after my last HP died after I replaced an expensive cartridge. Has anyone else noticed this trend of poorer and poorer quality printers, at least in terms of life expectancy?"

Accessing WebDAV on PDAs 10

Saqib Ali asks: "Nowadays, WebDAV (Web based Distributed Authoring and Version) is becoming very common in large corporations. We are also adopting WebDAV for file sharing. All the major operating systems support WebDAV, however I was wondering if there is any support for WebDAV on PDAs. I think lots of people will be interested in WebDAV support for PDAs. Does anyone know of a WebDAV client for PDAs? Especially for Pocket PCs, since they have Pocket Word and Excel? If not, I would be interested in starting a Open Source project for implementing this. Any good ideas on how/where to start?"

What Would You Put Into A Software Survival Kit? 550

LosManos asks: "A call for help to the Everyday Heroes that are out there: I have just returned from a 4 months scientific expedition to some of the more remote parts of the South Pacific. As soon as people we met found out that I was a computer guy they asked me to help them and all to often I had to reply that I didn't have the tools.This got me thinking; what should a software toolbox consist of? OS, patches, digital books, compilers, sniffers, servers, harddisk restore apps...? Please remember that the computers I met where often old and slow. The answers to this could be interesting also when you are not several days away from nearest inhabited island. I mean, what is it that most often break? How is it usually fixed? Are more fancy solutions more error prone?" If you were to create a "first aid kit" consisting of CDs, disks, books and other technical utilities you have used to resurrect dead systems, what would you put in it?

Building a Better 'Mobile $HOME'? 41

numbski asks: "As a systems administrator, I find myself moving from machine to machine to machine on a daily basis. I happen to be a FreeBSD/MacOS X nut, so on a given day I move from my 17" iMac at home, to my 12" Powerbook at work, to any one of my 16 FreeBSD Servers. That's not to mention any of the Win2k Servers that have Cygwin loaded. All of that said, there is a longing in me to have a simple $HOME that all of my systems use and understand. I've considered the Knoppix way of dealing with this problem using a USB key device from this previous Slashdot article, however I don't know how many systems I could get away with consistently having my USB device picked up and used correctly without scripting changes to fstab, not to mention the issue of choosing a filesystem that just about every OS will recognize: FAT32. Windows is going to be unhappy no matter what I'm afraid, as it doesn't understand symlinking. c:\Documents and Settings\$USER can't just be moved off to another volume. The one glimmer of hope I have is this article on ftpfs and webdavfs. Using these one should be able to set up a single, persistent home that follows you from machine to machine over the internet. I guess I would like to know how others have gone about setting up a mobile $HOME. I look forward to having all of my preferences, dotfiles, and bookmarks follow me around."

Gardening for Geeks? 98

selan asks: "Spring has sprung, and this year I've decided to try gardening for the first time! I'm starting with a small container garden on my balcony and am planting oregano and parsley. I was wondering if any Slashdot readers enjoy this low-tech hobby and have any advice to share with a newbie."

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