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Startup Turns Fixing Your Grandma's PC Into a Game

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the as-long-as-the-kids-like-grandma dept.

Businesses 113

First time accepted submitter thecrazyivan writes "As companies like Reddit and Foursquare have shown, Internet users enjoy earning points in arbitrary social games. So why not apply that competitive motivation to something useful, like cleaning up the world's PCs? A startup called Jumpshot is raising funds to launch a new, friendlier form of computer security. Jumpshot is still in its infancy, but it seems to have excited plenty of users with its potential: The company launched a Kickstarter project and almost immediately raised nearly three times its funding goal."

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113 comments

Better yet (1, Insightful)

Teresita (982888) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725217)

Put Linux on grandma's Windows 95 machine and turn it into a powerful workstation.

Re:Better yet (0, Flamebait)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725241)

What, powerful text editing?

Re:Better yet (1)

Teresita (982888) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725271)

Have you ever tried to do search-and-replace with regular expressions (ie. /n) in a Windows box without third party software? Can't do it.

Re:Better yet (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725285)

You can do it, use VBScript my friend.

Re:Better yet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725337)

... and every grandma knows VBScript, right?

Re:Better yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725423)

This thread is talking about doing a search and replace with regular expressions. Your post is a little amusing.

Re:Better yet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40726173)

VBScript would be 3rd party software my friend.

Re:Better yet (5, Interesting)

nogginthenog (582552) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725339)

c:\> findstr /?
Searches for strings in files.

FINDSTR [/B] [/E] [/L] [/R] [/S] [/I] [/X] [/V] [/N] [/M] [/O] [/P] [/F:file]
[/C:string] [/G:file] [/D:dir list] [/A:color attributes] [/OFF[LINE]]
strings [[drive:][path]filename[ ...]]

/B Matches pattern if at the beginning of a line.
/E Matches pattern if at the end of a line.
/L Uses search strings literally.
/R Uses search strings as regular expressions.

Re:Better yet (3, Informative)

martinvw (2663375) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725727)

c:\> findstr /?
[...]
/R Uses search strings as regular expressions.

But findstr is no sed replacement - it can't do search and replace as far as I know.

Also if you're using /R you'll most probably also want to use /C, or findstr will split the string at every space into multiple regexes. I found that very confusing when I used findstr /R for the first time.

Re:Better yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725491)

Windows 7 has instant search. You hit the Windows key and type whatever you want. I only used Vista when it sucked for this reason as I had many finance and accounting files on my school laptop and it was great to find anything fast! XP didn't offer anything like this that fast.

If you need something low level for replacing text similar to unix systems there is findstr and of course perl and any good IDE you can do that with.

However, why would grandma or 95% of average users need this functionality? ... hence I mentioned IPAD more practical with an old malware infected computer for grandma. Malware problem gone from noob user with that.

Re:Better yet (3, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725795)

Instant search is a wonderful tool. Basically, it is always searching and indexing your hard drive, in order to save you several nanoseconds on the rare occasion that you actually need to search for something.

Instant search, or indexing, is among the first bits of trash that I turn off, if and when I install a Windows operating system.

Would you leave your car idling in the garage all night long, so that when you come out in the morning, you won't need to defrost the windshield?

Re:Better yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40726213)

Hmm... most of the users I support do searches for everything nearly all the time. They can never seem to remember where they left anything! So for them, instant search saves them a good deal of time. Almost certainly, it was a feature written for non-technical users.

Re:Better yet (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#40727881)

Instant search is a wonderful tool. Basically, it is always searching and indexing your hard drive, in order to save you several nanoseconds on the rare occasion that you actually need to search for something.

Instant search, or indexing, is among the first bits of trash that I turn off, if and when I install a Windows operating system.

Would you leave your car idling in the garage all night long, so that when you come out in the morning, you won't need to defrost the windshield?

That was true with Vista. Windows 7 is much much less aggresive. If you are not saving files it does not continually re-index. On a brand new system it may do the search for a few seconds. My laptop which constantly swapped with Vista hardly ever pings the hard drive like mad anymore with indexing. It only does so when it gets low on ram.

I stuck with Vista and held my nose on this machine because I had 90 files school and work related and when taking notes studying on my own I would lose track of things discussed in class and in my own notes from lecture. Instant search was a life saver and the number one feature for business use over XP in my opinion. They are great for accountants and sales people too with lots of files.

Turn it on for a day? After 2 minutes it wont peg your HD that much at all. Vista just did a very crappy job with it.

PowerShell for Regular Expressions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40727575)

You obviously don't know anything about modern Windows. PowerShell is the way to do what you say you can't.

http://www.johndcook.com/regex.html
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/ee835717.aspx

Re:Better yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40727929)

Have you ever tried to do search-and-replace with regular expressions (ie. /n) in a Windows box without third party software? Can't do it.

Have you ever tried to teach grandma to do search-and-replace (regardless of OS or software) without always having to do it for her the next time? And the next? And the next? Can't do it.

Re:Better yet (2)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about a year and a half ago | (#40726277)

Troll? What Windows 95 era computer with Linux is going to become a powerful workstation.

Re:Better yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40727079)

A: The Thin Client. [runs away]

Re:Better yet (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725287)

The typical Win95 machine was a Pentium 1 or 2 at 300 MHz with about 8 meg of RAM. I don't foresee any *user friendly* version of Linux working on that. This past week I couldn't get Ubuntu to run on 384MB (very slow). Getting it to work on grandma's 8MB machine would be a non-starter.

The easier solution is to just buy a new laptop. Or a $200 netbook.

Re:Better yet (2)

Teresita (982888) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725325)

8 meg of RAM was the minimum requirement to run Win95, not typical, which I would say was closer to 32 meg. Puppy Linux will run in 16 meg of RAM with a HD swap file (a little slow of course) and I can't think of a more user friendly OS than the ol' Pupster.

Re:Better yet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725387)

8 meg of RAM was the minimum requirement to run Win95, not typical, which I would say was closer to 32 meg. Puppy Linux will run in 16 meg of RAM with a HD swap file (a little slow of course) and I can't think of a more user friendly OS than the ol' Pupster.

How about the real question? Should Grannie use Vi or emacs on her CLI puppy Linux?

Re:Better yet (4, Funny)

Mattcelt (454751) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725431)

Almost modded you "flamebait" for that one...

...but then I couldn't have written in to say vi, of course.

Re:Better yet (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725447)

Hmm I bet emacs would enable to use the webcam and include photos of her grandkids in an email using an automated lisp macro.

Re:Better yet (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725427)

Don't forget about legacy systems upgraded from Win3.1 when figuring out the "typical" Win95 machine. He's off on his processors, too, since faster Pentiums and the Pentium II were only available shortly before Win98.

I'd say his RAM figure is just about right or maybe 16MB (RAM was expensive back then) but his 300 MHz should be more like 166Mhz. I think Puppy GUI would run "okay" on this and text-only would do fine, but "powerful workstation" makes me think OP is just trolling...

Re:Better yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40727813)

I ran windows 95 on a 120Mhz Cyrix with 16 megs just fine back in the day

Re:Better yet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725473)

4 megs of RAM was the minimum for Win95 [microsoft.com]. 8 megs was recommended and I believe some Office 95 programs required 8. Your point stands though.

Re:Better yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40726891)

No. 4MB was the minimum amount, and it ran fine with 8MB.

Re:Better yet (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#40727519)

Problem: With anything less than 96MB RAM youre going to have an awfully hard time running Opera on Puppy, and without Opera youre going to have an awfully hard time doing anything on the internet.

Re:Better yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40730087)

Solution: Use Seamonkey. It has worked reasonably well for me with 32+ MB ram as long as it's the only thing running :P Works MUCH better than a win95 PC with just about any hardware configuration that will become instantly owned as soon as it's connected to raw internet, and then becomes 100% unresponsive until the power is pulled.

The real Problem: finding any graphical web browser that will fit in a 16 MB footprint...

Re:Better yet (1)

westlake (615356) | about a year and a half ago | (#40727815)

8 meg of RAM was the minimum requirement to run Win95, not typical, which I would say was closer to 32 meg.

The price of 32 MB of RAM in 1996 --- as advertised in BYTE was --- $550. Memory Prices (1957-2012) [jcmit.com]

$756, adjusted for inflation (2010) The Inflation Calculator [westegg.com]

I would be enormously surprised if the mass market Win 95 PC averaged more that 8 MB of RAM.

Re:Better yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40729245)

I have a 300 mhz IBM 600 it had two 32 meg chips in it. Says win 98/NT on it. I bought two 128 at computer show for 5 bucks for the pair.
Only one of them worked so it now has a 128 and a 32 in it. it runs XP just fine. However I am now on the hunt for one or two 256 pc100 for it.

I would like to keep the keyboard case an put a I7 motherboard in it, I love the keyboard I hate the Chiclets one I am on now.

How come my 15 year old laptop is faster than yours I would get that thing checked out.

Re:Better yet (5, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725343)

Or even better get her an IPAD.

Sorry, but not everyone wants to compile kernels and dealing with a driver breaking Xorg or the UI of Unity/Gnome-Shell. Asking her to find repositories for xfce defeats the purpose as she would not understand that nor need too.

Re:Better yet (1, Offtopic)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725619)

Oh come on moderators.

What is wrong with getting someone older who barely understands computers an IPAD? Doesn't that seem more practical?

It does everything and is easier for grandma to use than a linux box to take pics, upload them to facebook, and write letters for her bingo club. The argument is silly as would be her dictating her software to you which would be IE 6, AOL, MS Works, which she probably uses and thinks is superior because she is familiar.

Re:Better yet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725901)

Everyone is tired of hearing about it maybe? Go tag some other forum with the apple fanboi shit.

Re:Better yet (4, Insightful)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year and a half ago | (#40726531)

You don't need to be an apple fanboy to suggest/buy an iPad.

Re:Better yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40727125)

Forget the ipad, half the web is flash these days; instead get 'em an android tablet

Re:Better yet (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725815)

Compiling kernels? Dude, you're out of touch. I doubt that more than two or three percent of modern Linux users have ever even TRIED to compile a kernel.

Re:Better yet (1)

fatphil (181876) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725851)

I've had linux on 4 machines (my workstation, my g/f's workstation, my internally-facing server, my externally-facing server) for the last decade or more. I've not compiled a kernel for them once in that time. What gives you the impression that die-hard linux users are obsessed with compiling their own kernels?

And it's not that I'm incapable of configuring and compiling the linux kernel - I spend the last 3+ years compiling the linux kernel many times a day as part of my $DAYJOB.

However, you are right, grandma probably does have a fairly limited technical capability, so an iPad would probably be preferable for her.

Re:Better yet (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#40727847)

I've had linux on 4 machines (my workstation, my g/f's workstation, my internally-facing server, my externally-facing server) for the last decade or more. I've not compiled a kernel for them once in that time. What gives you the impression that die-hard linux users are obsessed with compiling their own kernels?

And it's not that I'm incapable of configuring and compiling the linux kernel - I spend the last 3+ years compiling the linux kernel many times a day as part of my $DAYJOB.

However, you are right, grandma probably does have a fairly limited technical capability, so an iPad would probably be preferable for her.

I had to recompile the kernel all the time on my laptop with Ubuntu. Apt-Get update would put a patch that would cause my wifi to go in and out everytime. This is because Linux lacks an ABI. So I would have to apply the patch and manually recompile it to get it to work. Then the patch was incompatible with the newer libc library and I had to put WIndows back on it :-(

I can't recommend this to a grandma for that reason. Linux requires a ton of work unless your hardware is specifically designed for it or you are lucky. A tablet is perfect as it makes it easier to browse the web, take photos, see her grandson, find cookie recipes etc. Linux is great for servers and where it belongs in my opinion.

Re:Better yet (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about a year and a half ago | (#40726089)

Compile kernels? Add extra repos just for XFCE?

Maybe you should actually try using Ubuntu sometime before commenting about how it works.

Re:Better yet (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#40727839)

Grandma: What is an XFCE? Fix my desktop I can't find the blue E! Where are my basket weaving letters on the desktop? Why can't i minimize a Window etc.

I do not mean this as flame-bait at all. Just find it irritating someone mentioned linux and was serious. I switched back to Windows last year as I was tired of Ubuntu breaking something in an upgrade and I hated the new crippled gui's.

Something simple, easy, and wont get infected. A tablet fits the bill and easily enables grandma to do this. PCs do get infected far too easily even if you do not click on stuff. Yes, Linux is much much better in this regard but it does have its issue and I had to recompile the kernel often on my laptop due to my wifi requiring a flag and a patch for it. The lack of an ABI means an apt-get update can hose it.

Hairyfeet refuses to stock Linux on his desktops he sells for this reason as calls went through the roof during updates. Grandma shouldn't have to deal with that. A mac is an option too but is expensive and more complicated than a tablet.

Re:Better yet (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#40728155)

Yes because Linux runs on RMS' smiles and Linus pixie dust and not actual CPU cycles or RAM on anything.

Seriously do you have ANY idea how shitty the average Win95 PC was? If you had a 60MHz frankly you were doing good, and 8Mb of RAM was just kicking unless you were just insanely rich.

The problem i have with this whole idea is this: Whose gonna watch the watchers? Do you have any idea how much sensitive info people have on their PCs nowadays? If you are lucky the malware didn't get everything but I can assure you fixing PCs 6 days a week its damned hard not to expose personal info when fixing a unit. My customers have no problem with this because they know I don't go anywhere near personal files unless they ask me to, but how are you gonna let just anybody do that kind of work without snooping going on?

What about piracy? While I never copied people's files I've known guys who had MP3 and video collections that were insane because they copied everything and went through it later. If you have access enough to fix it you have access enough to transfer a file, otherwise there would be no way to get any malware removers into the system.

Finally let us not forget the average person that does have malware doesn't have a damned clue about how a PC works and if the "helper" asked to take control of the unit they'd hand it over without a thought. I personally do this all the time with customers as I offer a remote in service where I save them a trip by fixing little problems using Remote Assistance but in my case we have a business relationship and they know they can trust me. How would you deal with that kind of trust when it comes to strangers?

Sometimes there is a good reason why someone hasn't tried something before and that is because its a bad idea. if the guy can magically fix all these problems fine and dandy but i sure as hell don't see how he can. you simply have to have seriously low level access to clean modern malware out of a PC.

Jumpshot URL (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725239)

...because it's strangely missing from the summary and article. (An attempt to not /. them, maybe?)

http://www.jumpshot.com/ [jumpshot.com]

Re:Jumpshot URL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725283)

It is probably left out because it is just a placeholder linking to the Kickstarter page. It should still be included because it will presumably not always be just a placeholder when future readers find this archived discussion.

Riiighht.... (4, Insightful)

countach (534280) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725265)

So people are going to let strangers delete files on their computers. And this is supposed to *improve* security? Ummm, is it only me who sees the extreme irony in this plan?

Re:Riiighht.... (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725309)

So people are going to let strangers delete files on their computers. And this is supposed to *improve* security? Ummm, is it only me who sees the extreme irony in this plan?

Isn't that exactly what anti-virus and malware removal software does?

Re:Riiighht.... (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725403)

But it is different. It is web based!

I interviewed for a guy a year or two ago under the delusion he was going to get rich. He discovered the secret dlls in Windows and would run a VB app in IE at his site and it would put the correct dlls back after removing malware! I laughed and the interview did nto go well after that.

Everyone including spammers and scammers like that mycleanPC crap that pisses us off. I feel sorry for his investors.

Re:Riiighht.... (2)

Guppy (12314) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725785)

from the as-long-as-the-kids-like-grandma dept.

Just wait until 4chan learns what they can do to grandma's PC. This isn't going to end well.

Re:Riiighht.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40726263)

No, people are going to plug in a USB stick with antivirus software, and the software deletes files. No "strangers" involved, just you trusting software. (Ask ken about that...)

Re:Riiighht.... (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year and a half ago | (#40729425)

Yeah, I'm not so sure I'm going to trust a USB stick to work some magic when I could just use known-good utilities and practices to solve these problems. Or, better, just buy the non-tech-savvy in my life who don't have the slightest clue and just need to play casual games, surf, use email an iMac (which is what I did on Mother's Day for my mom a couple years ago). Yeah, it's a little bit of the dark-side, but I've never received a single tech call and everything works just fine.

Kickstarter (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725297)

Get of my lawn, maybe, but if I'm dropping $10,000 to help a startup I'd like to own part of the startup. Dropping $185 for early access to something that interests you makes some sense, but $10,000 just for a bunch of items and "prestige"? I could see if it was a charitable cause or something, but this...? Why?

Man, nobody ever pays me in points. (2)

transporter_ii (986545) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725377)

It's a Wall Street Conspiracy to condition kids to work for points instead of money. On the other hand, it could be the much needed push to transition us to Star Trek economics, which would be really bad for Wall Street. So this game is really like a metaphor for life. The Man wants you to work for free, until everybody does work for free and nobody can afford to pay The Man any more. At which point there is a huge recession, and the next thing you know, you are going back in time to try and save a whale.

This game sounds fun.

Re:Man, nobody ever pays me in points. (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about a year and a half ago | (#40726029)

it's a Wall Street Conspiracy to condition kids to work for points instead of money.

Given you sig I'd expect you to realize sillness of that statement. Wall Street pulled that one off along time ago with the creation of the "Federal Reserve Note" We have all been just working for "points" for 100 years now. Many people don't have any 'money' and I expect some have never even handled any.

Re:Kickstarter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725379)

It's the ultimate end to degenerate capitalism: instead of investors who put up their hard-earned money in return for proprietary rights, people so worship the "producers" that they give offerings in return for trinkets.

It also means lots of people are too rich (i.e. not rich in society's interest) - because the point was that rich people serve society by continuing to invest wisely, not by pissing their money away on stupid shit.

Re:Kickstarter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40726349)

It also means lots of people are too rich (i.e. not rich in society's interest) - because the point was that rich people serve society by continuing to invest wisely, not by pissing their money away on stupid shit.

Because being able to spend $35 (the most common pledge level here) makes you "rich"? Or does everyone who buys a boxed software product also prove they're "too rich"?

Oh, you meant the $10,000 option that nobody has bought so far? Yeah, if only "lots" == "at least zero", you'd have a point.

Re:Kickstarter (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725599)

Get of my lawn, maybe, but if I'm dropping $10,000 to help a startup I'd like to own part of the startup. Dropping $185 for early access to something that interests you makes some sense, but $10,000 just for a bunch of items and "prestige"? I could see if it was a charitable cause or something, but this...? Why?

Seconded.

You want 10 G's to start your "business?" fine, I'll trade you for a majority stake.

Re:Kickstarter (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725849)

10G for a MAJORITY stake? No one can accuse you of being a greedy bastard, can they? "Sure kid, you need money to get started in life? Fine, here's a few bucks, but I own everything you ever make in the future!"

Maybe try a smaller donation option, or better yet, just leave it for a better person to do.

Re:Kickstarter (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725941)

10G for a MAJORITY stake? No one can accuse you of being a greedy bastard, can they?

Greedy? Hardly - just not stupid with my money.

What's the real value of the company? Sales figures? Profits for the last 2 years? Is there even $10,000 worth of assets, so if the plan goes tits-up I can get my investment back?

See, these are the sort of questions people who aren't failures in life know to ask, before handing over 5-figure amounts to dumbfucks who are too lazy to get jobs and fund their own stupid idea (yea, I think it's a stupid idea to boot).

"Sure kid, you need money to get started in life? Fine, here's a few bucks, but I own everything you ever make in the future!"

Would you have preferred I just said, "Fuck you, earn your own money you lazy slacker, instead of panhandling for it online?"

Maybe try a smaller donation option, or better yet, just leave it for a better person to do.

Making downright stupid investments, for no actual return other than a handful of $2 t-shirts, is not what would qualify an individual as a "better person" than I... unless I've somehow fallen into an alternate dimension in which "better person" translates to "absolute fucking moron who deserves to be robbed blind."

To quote an old idiom, a fool and his money are soon parted. To quote a slightly less old one, nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.

Re:Kickstarter (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#40726105)

"Better person" translates to someone who is willing to give a helping hand when one is needed. Obviously, you don't fall into that category.

Uhhh - what "startup" has a two year history to look at? You did mention "absolute fucking moron", not I. How do YOU define "startup"?

Now, let's cut to the chase here. I can't afford to donate ten grand, and obviously, you can't either. IF you don't think this startup is going anywhere, don't donate ANYTHING. On the other hand, IF you think a startup might go somewhere, then donate only what you can afford, and feel comfortable with.

Don't expect to have a majority share of a business that may possibly be worth billions in a few years. I wouldn't have invested ten grand in Bill Gates, or any of his hare brained get-rich-quick schemes!!

Re:Kickstarter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725985)

10G for a MAJORITY stake? No one can accuse you of being a greedy bastard, can they? "Sure kid, you need money to get started in life? Fine, here's a few bucks, but I own everything you ever make in the future!"

Maybe try a smaller donation option, or better yet, just leave it for a better person to do.

Somebody has obviously never watched Shark Tank...

Re:Kickstarter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40726605)

Ten grand for majority stake? I'm guessing no one has ever taken you up on such an offer before. Ten grand is nothing in the big scheme of things.

Suspicious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725305)

I see ads for programs that do stuff like this all the time, and it usually scams people out of money, and actually causes MORE problems than fixes. It usually doesn't fix anything.

Part of me wonders if this is a serious kickstarter, and a real program that can help, or it is just a new way to scam people out of money, and into downloading a program that might do harm.

Reference: FinallyFast, PCmatic, Doublemyspeed ...etc.

Party like it's 1999 (5, Funny)

cultiv8 (1660093) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725353)

Hey, I want in! I can create a kickstarter project and give it a cool name. It'll save the world! Enhance productivity! Save kittens! It's a social media internet plugin with synergistic fladoodles to map space age polymers with THE CLOUD for amazing geotargeted ad space and unlimited business opportunities for expansion and growth. And it's written in haskell and assembly, motherfucker, years ahead of it's time. I have my business plan all thought out:

1. Raise money through kickstarter
2. Finish writing business plan
3. ?
4. Profit!

Re:Party like it's 1999 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725537)

I think "Profit!" is step two.

Re:Party like it's 1999 (4, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725645)

The beauty of Kickstarter is that you don't even need #2 and #3.

People are really, truly stupid.

Re:Party like it's 1999 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40727069)

It's a social media internet plugin with synergistic fladoodles to map space age polymers with THE CLOUD for amazing geotargeted ad space and unlimited business opportunities for expansion and growth.

Longest sentence on /. that isn't a run-on ever.

Flaw (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725365)

First off Grannies barely know how to use a computer at all. How would they find this site? Do they even know what malware is? For those that do they are terrified of clicking links as we told them ads and links are bad right?

The last few years infections are so bad the most effective way is to do a full rewipe. Many corporations do that too even for minor software issues as they do not have time to fix it. Rootkits are bad and permanent slowdowns result even if the bug is removed due to the damage.

It sounds to me this guy was desperate to get funding as there are a million mycleanpc or wecleanyourpcee clones out there and no VC would fund his startup unless he did something different.

Re:Flaw (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725551)

If this product works as advertised, I see it as more something *I* hold on to and bring over to Granny's. Or just something I buy for Granny. Or something that comes included with Granny's new PC.

That way I don't have to waste my life with free tech support. And yeah, I could do a reinstall, but then I have to worry about where the heck Granny keeps all her videos and copy those over (all over the place, but SHE knows where they all are...kinda), whether she can find her favorite programs afterwards (e.g. shortcut isn't on desktop anymore), etc., etc.

It's easier for corporations to do that because they pay people to be semi-competent at using the computers to get their job done. All documents are probably on the network and backed up. And if employee complains... too bad, it's policy.

Granny isn't my employee (if anything, I'm *her* employee), doesn't run backups (though she really should), isn't going to change her habits, doesn't understand a lot of the basics, and prefers a barely functioning machine that she can work to a faster machine that she can't.

Re:Flaw (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725621)

That way I don't have to waste my life with free tech support.

If you honestly consider spending time with your grandmother, who is likely not long for this world, as "wasting your life," I feel really, really sorry for you, dude.

your granny, too.

Re:Flaw (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725867)

The time you spend fixing her computer could be used to actually do something with her instead.

Grannie may know more than you think. (1)

westlake (615356) | about a year and a half ago | (#40726723)

First off Grannies barely know how to use a computer at all. How would they find this site?

If Gran is 65 now, she was 48 when Win 7 was released and 34 when the IBM PC was released.

In 1971, a third of all working women in the United States were secretaries, and they could see that word processing would have an impact on their careers. Some manufacturers, according to a Times article, urged that "the concept of 'word processing' could be the answer to Women's Lib advocates' prayers. Word processing will replace the 'traditional' secretary and give women new administrative roles in business and industry."

The rudimentary Wang 1200 machine was the precursor of the Wang Office Information System (OIS), introduced in 1976. It was a true office machine, affordable by organizations such as medium-sized law firms, and easily learned and operated by secretarial staff.

Word processor [wikipedia.org]

Re:Grannie may know more than you think. (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#40727819)

My father was a programmer in the 1970s. He hired the guy who invented the BBS for a project he was working on for an IBM 370 mainframe. He was a rebel and was one of the first IT managers to recommend switching from mainframe to IBM XT PCs with DOS before it was fashionable.

What does he prefer to use today? An IPAD. He knows how to turn on his aging XP machine but he does not know the newest fads and is paranoid about malware but is smart enough to use Firefox after reading about it in the New York Times. He is considered a neophyte today and does not know what HTML 5 is nor cares. He does not know hold old XP is and refused to upgrade. He can barely work Itunes. He doesn't need to learn or know anymore.

An IPAD lets him browse the news and email. That is all he needs and he likes the fact that he can take everywhere and it is much faster and less complicated than a desktop. Easy, simple, secure.

Your brain wipes that stuff when you no longer use it or have a need to anymore.

Seriously? (1)

virb67 (1771270) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725441)

How stupid do you have to be to give these idiots money?

Re:Seriously? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725881)

Considerably less stupid than giving your money to a major bank, thereby enabling the bank to anally rape you with endless charges and fees. With this deal, you MIGHT see something good happen. Hell, donate a little bit to a hundred startups, and you're sure to see something good come of one or two of them. The bank? Not so much, unless you consider it "good" to help pay for another incompetent bank officer's unearned bonus at the end of the year.

Re:Seriously? (1)

DogDude (805747) | about a year and a half ago | (#40726135)

When one puts money in a bank, one gets services in return. Giving money to startups, one gets nothing in return. Absolutely nothing. Even if some of these stupid Kickstarter projects actually do what they say they'll do (look through them... most don't), you still get absolutely nothing out of it. You may help some twit make a whole lot of money, but you won't see a single dime of it. I agree with the GP. You'd have to be really stupid to give these guys money.

So, wait, what does it actually do to fix things? (5, Insightful)

chazchaz101 (871891) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725445)

So as far as I can tell, even after reading the so called technical explanation, it reboots the computer into Linux and then downloads magic buzzword driven pixie dust from the cloud, thus allowing it to solve all your computer problems.

Re:So, wait, what does it actually do to fix thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725923)

Unlike the other 10,000 anti-virus/crap cleaner programs this one will catch everything, they promise!

How Valve and Intel optimize Linux for gaming (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725637)

How Valve and Intel optimize Linux for gaming may be more speed winning than watching grandma walk down the stairs.

Phoronix has a summary of what tools Valve and Intel use for optimizing Linux for gaming needs (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTE0NDE):

Finding Bottlenecks In Your Linux Game, Application
If you are curious how Valve and Intel improved the OpenGL performance of their Mesa driver and also at the same time finding areas for performance optimizations within the Source Engine, here's some of the tools used.

Do they use the best tools? I can't tell. Can you?

Re:How Valve and Intel optimize Linux for gaming (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725889)

Do they use the best tools?

I didn't see a hammer anywhere in the list!

Worst. Game. Ever. (2)

walterbyrd (182728) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725759)

When I have to fix the PC, I just want to fix the PC. Please spare me any attempt to make a boring game out of it.

Re:Worst. Game. Ever. (1, Funny)

RicktheBrick (588466) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725937)

A few night ago I was on my computer using firefox browser. It was late so when I saw a pop up message stating I had a virus and I should download a program called windows web commander to get rid of it, I did. Since I was running microsoft's security essentials, I thought I was protected. But after seting up the program, I soon discovered that the program windows web commander was the virus. It would not let me do anything. I would start a browser up to look up information about the program and it would close my browser before I could get much information. It would tell me to send some money to them and receive a program to esentialy get rid of itself. I just rebooted and went into safe mode where I restored the computer to a date prior to that date so I did not lose much but it is frustrating that microsoft essential did not protect me. It is also frustrating that my spelling checker is not working and that I can not get my firefox browser to use answer.com by right clicking on a word. I guess it because of a new update to firefox but it would be nice if those things would work.

Re:Worst. Game. Ever. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40726095)

I'm sorry, but Microsoft Security Essentials can't protect against stupid.

Re:Worst. Game. Ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40726285)

Agreed. Stupid is as stupid does

Re:Worst. Game. Ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40726311)

Look, I don't want a game either, but does one screen telling you you earned "xxx points" and "yy karma" really achieve worst. ever. status?

Re:Worst. Game. Ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40727329)

Pretty sure the game would be Opt-in :-)

Not going to work (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725987)

If Microsoft and the top antivirus companies which release software over the Internet can't solve this problem, how is some static software on a USB stick going to do the trick? Then again, people who buy software because it comes on a USB stick shaped like a cartoon character will be getting what they deserve.

Easy to game the system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40726053)

1: Use a system as a honeypot and get as much malware as possible
2: Jumpshot the system
3: Repeat 1-2
4: Get lots of Karma points
5: ???
6: PROFIT

Not a game (2)

juventasone (517959) | about a year and a half ago | (#40726207)

It's really not a game, just a reward system, similar to Slashdot karma.

The removal concept isn't new either; if you use any OS (typically Windows PE or Linux live) that isn't the infected one, it makes everything much easier. The most interesting thing about all of it is their patent-pending "one-time modification to the Windows bootloader". Not exactly something you want to get wrong, but I think it's a serious step in the right direction.

TRK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40726219)

I've got a couple of disks like that! They're called "Trinity Rescue Kit" and "Ultimate Boot CD."

Seriously dumb and annoying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40726303)

Really let's clean grandmas as a game and be awarded points. Wow genius. Not.
This is just Going to make more work for us tech monkeys who do the job probably.
Oh and good way to teach grandma that clicking on anything that says free security is a brilliant idea, just freaken brilliant.

This seems easy, cheat (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#40728133)

Install computer with windows - crapware from a disk. install all updates possible, get all the basic need to have software make image, either hard disk or just restore point

when grandma starts sending out korean bride/porn links, restore, have dinner. Move on with life.

I was a computer tech since the days of the 386, till about 2005 ... the only time anyone was requiring that I repair their shited up OS instead of doing it the better way of reinstalling fresh, was when they were loaded down with pirate software that someone else installed for them with a bum copy of windows, no disk's

Its a waste of everyone's time, the machine still runs like ass, the virus / malware comes back, you end up spending a shit ton of time just for the fucker to come back a week later, with an angry customer threatening you cause their computer is back to shit out of luck all because of some 200$ program they copied from work cant be lost or they will die

fuck that, and fuck them

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