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Ask Slashdot: Best PDF Handling Library?

Eponymous Coward Prince XML (132 comments)

The best PDF software I've ever used is Prince XML.

For years, we got by with HTMLDoc but finally dumped it because we absolutely needed unicode support.

After trying many different packages, we settled on Prince. Our main constraints were performance related which you apparently aren't worried about, so maybe it's overkill for what you need.

about a month and a half ago
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Amazon Launches Android-Powered 'Fire TV' For Streaming and Gaming

Eponymous Coward Re:Just get a Smart TV (180 comments)

What's the difference between the crappy Motorola DVR which records the cable stream (and these days it's all a digital stream) and a Roku box? Why can the Motorola box record and the Roku cannot? It's not like the Roku box is anti-DRM or anything.

about 6 months ago
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Amazon Launches Android-Powered 'Fire TV' For Streaming and Gaming

Eponymous Coward Re:Just get a Smart TV (180 comments)

I suspect it will never happen since this is Hollywood's greatest enemy

What do you mean? It's already happened. I have a (crappy) DVR from AT&T that does it. Before that we had a Directv DVR and before that I had a Tivo.

about 6 months ago
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Amazon Launches Android-Powered 'Fire TV' For Streaming and Gaming

Eponymous Coward Re:Just get a Smart TV (180 comments)

I also have a 55" Samsung TV (it's a great screen) and the smart tv features are painfully slow compared to the Roku.

Even if I didn't buy the Roku at the same time as my TV, I suspect I would buy one eventually. Even if you are happy with the smart features today, you always have the option of upgrading the smart features via an external box.

about 6 months ago
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Amazon Launches Android-Powered 'Fire TV' For Streaming and Gaming

Eponymous Coward Re:Just get a Smart TV (180 comments)

I haven't seen a smart tv where the smart features are any good.

I have a Roku 3 and it works great. Technology moves quickly though and when the Roku 4 comes out, I'd rather upgrade my $100 Roku box than my $1000 television.

I will likely buy a Fire TV. We have a two television sets and because of the way one is mounted on the wall, it's a pain to connect and disconnect the Roku. So for me, it makes sense to have a second streaming device and for $100, this one seems like a pretty good deal.

That said, I wish they would incorporate some DVR capabilities. On the Roku, I can get streaming versions of all my local TV stations. It would be nice if it could tell it to record shows from the streams.

about 6 months ago
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Have eBooks Peaked?

Eponymous Coward Re:Piracy! (323 comments)

I don't have a problem with ebooks being more expensive. For me, they are much more useful and thus more valuable. I'm willing to pay more for an electronic copy and so are a lot of people. In the end, that's what determines the price. The cost of the raw materials only establishes a floor beyond which the publishers will lose money. It has very little to do with the fair price.

Every time I go into a Barnes and Noble store, it kills me that I can't buy ebooks for my Kindle there. The ideal bookstore for me would be one that I can browse the inventory, read part of the book, then take the book or a card to a register where they will send an ebook to my device or put it on a memory stick. Right now, I go into the store, find stuff I'm interested in, then buy it from Amazon. There's basically no way for me to support my local book stores because they don't sell anything I want.

about a year ago
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Nvidia CEO: We Are Working On Next Generation Surface

Eponymous Coward Re:From the summary: (200 comments)

Talk about setting the bar low? They believe the second generation will be more successful? It couldn't be less successful, could it?

about a year ago
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Andy Rubin Steps Down As Chief of Google Android

Eponymous Coward Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (156 comments)

Pretending that Android is not Linux is intellectually dishonest.

Is there any reason why Android couldn't be built on top of a different operating system? Does the fact that it's sitting on top of Linux matter?

about a year and a half ago
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US Attorney Chided Swartz On Day of Suicide

Eponymous Coward Re:So now (656 comments)

The point is that the government attorney was seeking 35 years. That's not a reasonable punishment for the government to seek. Now more information about Carmen Ortiz is surfacing and it's just getting worse and worse for the government.

about a year and a half ago
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US Attorney Chided Swartz On Day of Suicide

Eponymous Coward Re:So now (656 comments)

How many immediate family members do not recognize a suicidal condition in someone? But we expect a lawyer to see it?

First, lots of people knew about Swartz' depression, especially his family. Secondly, the US attorney's office is being criticized for not seeking justice, but for seeking unusually harsh punishment. Swartz was afraid of being sentenced to 30 years in prison. You don't think 30 years is excessive?

about a year and a half ago
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USB NeXT Keyboard With an Arduino Micro

Eponymous Coward Re:waste (115 comments)

Like John Lennon once said, time you enjoy wasting isn't wasted.

about 2 years ago
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The Empire In Decline?

Eponymous Coward Re:Still going (488 comments)

I was responding to the claim that Metro apps are designed to be used on desktops with mouse & keyboard *and* touch devices by pointing out big problems with Metro on the desktop.

about 2 years ago
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The Empire In Decline?

Eponymous Coward Re:Still going (488 comments)

So, Metro apps are designed to be used by both Desktops with keyboards and mice, and touch devices (some of which are also desktops).

Metro works nicely on handheld touchscreen devices. On the desktop? Meh. I have a couple of 2560x1440 panels. Windows knows that I have a mouse and keyboard and the monitors are not touch screens. It should be smart enough to come up with a better UI for this configuration. It's ridiculous that when I open the weather app, it goes full screen. Does Microsoft really believe four million pixels are needed to tell me if it's going to rain tomorrow?

As a developer, Metro sucks. Windows really are invaluable when programming. I want my IDE open, API docs open, the application running, a console tailing a log, and maybe even a chat window or email client running. I have more than enough pixels and I'm running an operating system called "Windows". Why can't I actually have windows?

about 2 years ago
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Nintendo's Wii U Will Be Sold At a Loss

Eponymous Coward Re:Why aren't people more hyped about the Wii U? (188 comments)

People aren't more hyped because console gaming just isn't that interesting anymore. In our house we have a Wii and a PS3. My kids have iPod touches, my wife has an iPad. Lots of video games are played in my house - all of them on the handheld devices. I'm the only one who ever powers up the PS3 anymore and that's to play Rocksmith once or twice a month.

The console makers aren't just competing with each other, they are also competing with platforms that have free and very low cost games. I really have a hard time spending more than $10 for a game these days. There are just too many awesome low cost choices out there these days and I don't have enough time to take advantage of all of them.

about 2 years ago
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LG's 84-inch 3840 x 2160 Television Doesn't Come Cheap: $17,000

Eponymous Coward Re:Computer monitors already broke 1920x1080 (152 comments)

2560x1440 is still pretty low res on anything bigger than a handheld device. I work with text all day and I want at least a 300 dpi display.

about 2 years ago
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Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal Out Now; Raring Ringtail In the Works

Eponymous Coward Re:LOL (318 comments)

Lots of people understand perfectly well how the new interface works but still prefer the old interface because for what they do, it is better.

I'll probably switch to Windows 8 for the performance improvements and buy a better window manager (or whatever it's called in the Windows world).

about 2 years ago
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Microsoft Surface Pricing Goes Toe-to-Toe With Apple iPad

Eponymous Coward Re:Too little, too late (521 comments)

It's interesting that you didn't argue against the brutal ugliness and crappy UX of business software.

Obviously, some people are into this stuff as you obviously are, but you have to admit that most VS devs are in it only for that red hot job market.

I recommend trying some objective-c development. It's actually pretty cool. I've only done the most rudimentary stuff, but I wish I could do more.

about 2 years ago
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Microsoft Surface Pricing Goes Toe-to-Toe With Apple iPad

Eponymous Coward Re:Too little, too late (521 comments)

Part of the reason I think Microsoft's grip is slipping is the brutal ugliness of so many business apps that crappy corporate devs crank out with their wizardly IDEs. Businesses depend on it, but nobody likes it and nobody is passionate about it.

Fortunately for Microsoft, Apple seems to be trying to get rid of any non-consumer use of their products. Despite this, businesses are looking for ways to accommodate employees who want to use the Apple gear at work.

about 2 years ago

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