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Apple's Spotty Record of Giving Back To the Tech Industry

Gadget_Guy Re:Yes, because of your selection bias (265 comments)

Microsoft ONLY does it to gain control, the fact that you mention them hurts your point more than helps it.

Does Microsoft really control Apache now? Why wasn't this news splashed all over the news sites?

If I have it wrong, and it is not Apache that the company bought, which open source project did it take control of?

2 days ago
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Microsoft Launches Office For iPad: Includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

Gadget_Guy Re:Well, that took a while (184 comments)

It's a pretty seismic shift in Microsoft's direction. The unholy trinity of Windows-Office-Backoffice has been the guiding paradigm of Microsoft's strategy for two decades.

The only flaw in your premise is that we are now just four months away from the 25th birthday of *Microsoft Office for Mac*. This predates the Windows version by more than a year. Also, Word was first made for Xenix (Microsoft's brand of Unix) under the name *Multi-Tool Word* (along with an MS-DOS version).

There has never been a time when Office was only available for Windows. And this latest move to iOS does not mean that "Windows is out of the loop". There is still (and always will be) the Windows desktop version of Office, and it does have more features than the mobile version.

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Releases Free Edition of OneNote

Gadget_Guy Re:Next they'll give internet explorer free (208 comments)

And yet Microsoft were eventually vindicated, as every modern operating system is released with a bundled browser.

There was nothing inherently special about a web browser that meant that it always had to be an add-on item that had to be separately purchased. People expect that an OS will allow them to browse a web page or play a media file. They don't want to have to go buy Trumpet Winsock just to get a TCP/IP stack like they used to in the Windows 3.0 days. These are just the basic user requirements.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Releases Free Edition of OneNote

Gadget_Guy Re:WTF is OneNote? (208 comments)

It only came with these editions of Office:

  • Microsoft Office Home & Student 2007
  • Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007
  • Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007

It was not in these editions:

  • Microsoft Office Basic 2007
  • Microsoft Office Standard 2007
  • Microsoft Office Small Business 2007
  • Microsoft Office Professional 2007
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus

It is a bizarre selection of editions. You would think that higher Office editions would contain everything in the ones below it.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Releases Free Edition of OneNote

Gadget_Guy Re:Next they'll give internet explorer free (208 comments)

And the citation showing proof of this retcon is...

I certainly don't recall anyone from the EU saying at the time that they were just using Internet Explorer as an excuse for punishing Microsoft for other crimes.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Releases Free Edition of OneNote

Gadget_Guy Re:Next they'll give internet explorer free (208 comments)

2008.... what like the 1st year the app store was even out, Iphone barely a year old....have something a bit more recent?

That is still more recent than the Microsoft product listed in the subject line (i.e. IE) that caused Microsoft so much grief for including it in Windows.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Releases Free Edition of OneNote

Gadget_Guy Re:WTF is OneNote? (208 comments)

Hmm....I've never heard of "OneNote" before, is anyone else very familiar with this software and its uses?
Maybe they're making it free, to get some recognition?

It has been around for over a decade now, and has been part of Microsoft Office since 2007. Microsoft Office is an (apparently) obscure suite of productivity software for Windows and Mac. Microsoft Windows is an graphic user interface operating system that has been around in various forms since the mid 80s.

The 80s was the decade when style took a holiday.

about a month ago
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Measuring the Xbox One Against PCs With Titanfall

Gadget_Guy Re: 35 GB of uncompressed audio? (377 comments)

Some people's gaming rigs are slow - or at least slower than yours. The alternative to requiring that you use an HDD is to increase the minimum specs so that people with slower computers are prevented from being able to play the game at all.

Why should other people have to suffer because you decided to make the trade-off between speed and disk space?

about a month ago
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Measuring the Xbox One Against PCs With Titanfall

Gadget_Guy Re:35 GB of uncompressed audio? (377 comments)

That's the claim, but the probable truth is that it's intentional bloat to reduce piracy.

Considering that both the pirated and legitimate versions of the game has to be downloaded, how would forcing it to be a large download prevent piracy? It would make things harder to distribute the pirated version on optical media, but who does that these days?

about a month ago
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Child Porn Arrest For Cameron Aide Who Helped Plan UK Net Filters

Gadget_Guy Re:Someone has to be looking for child porn (205 comments)

But the police don't actually make the laws, so they don't need to do the research. And besides, the police have had plenty of drugs in their possession over the years, and they have actively sent officers out to buy drugs to gather evidence against dealers.

Now I don't know whether this is a case of downloading a few pictures to test the filtering system (or to work out how easy it was to do), or whether this was a large stockpile that went beyond any notion of research. But frankly, if anyone could possibly use the old "research" excuse it would have to be someone that actually had a need to do research.

And I say that as someone totally opposed to any form of widespread internet filtering.

about a month and a half ago
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YouTube Ordered To Remove "Illegal" Copyright Blocking Notices

Gadget_Guy Re:What do they expect it to say? (427 comments)

GEMA did not, meaning that it refused to license it's property to Youtube.

Did you miss the part in the they already had a license agreement, but that it ended because they Youtube didn't want to pay the price that GEMA was asking? From the article:

"In 2007 the entities reached a licensing agreement for YouTube to use works from GEMA's extensive repertoire. Two years later negotiations to extend that deal broke down when GEMA's long-term demand of around 0.12 Euro per stream was rejected by Google."

That doesn't sound like they were refusing to license its property; it just suggests that they wanted more money than Google was willing to spend.

about 1 month ago
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LibreOffice 4.2 Busts Out GPU Mantle Support and Corporate IT Integration

Gadget_Guy Re:How compatible is it? (192 comments)

I think that it has enough description that you could take a stab at it, but if you don't want to worry about exactly how much extra spacing to use then don't implement the feature. This is not a core feature of the spec; it is a very rare bit of backwards compatibility for software that dates back two decades. I guarantee that nobody who complains about this tag possesses a document containing this feature.

If not knowing exactly how much white space to implement is going to be a major problem for you, then no standard office specification will be suitable. Look hard enough at any spec and you will find parts where they miss giving exact measurements. And if you don't do that, then the complaint will be that the specification is too verbose that it is unworkable.

And once again, it is amazing how seamlessly people can move from the argument that "there is no explanation" to "that explanation isn't good enough". It is just moving the goalposts.

about 3 months ago
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LibreOffice 4.2 Busts Out GPU Mantle Support and Corporate IT Integration

Gadget_Guy Re:How compatible is it? (192 comments)

It is pretty uncalled for to claim zealotry when you are uncompromisingly demanding an absolute 100% accuracy with MS-Office documents before LibreOffice could be used.

There are plenty of businesses where pixel perfect accuracy is not required when sending documents outside the company. If people really need to read my documents with absolute accuracy, then I can PDF it. If I want to test a slideshow then I can use the Powerpoint viewer (it even works under Linux using Wine).

Even without changing the version of Word, a document's pagination can vary wildly depending on the printer driver being used. You don't even change your software for Word to go wrong.

Excel can be a problem if you use complex macros, but 99% of the ones that I see are just being used a glorified table editors with basic calculations. I constantly move between different computers, using Excel, Calc and even the shareware spreadsheet Spread32 (when I want to view something quickly) and it all works better than I had expected. The bigger problem that I have is when a package doesn't implement a feature that you are used to. For example, if I want to search for something spanning the sheets of a workbook I will always use Excel because LibreOffice disables the "Find All" button when you choose the option to span worksheets.

But even you there may end up being some problems, you should not dismiss the use of LibreOffice within any business environment just because you might have some formatting problem.

about 3 months ago
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LibreOffice 4.2 Busts Out GPU Mantle Support and Corporate IT Integration

Gadget_Guy Re:How compatible is it? (192 comments)

Welcome to the world of document specifications. None of them really describe what you need to implement. Remember when people criticised Microsoft's ODF support because they implemented what the spec said rather than what OpenOffice actually used? (Fortunately the spec has been updated since then)

In the case of this tag, it is only going to be found in 18 year old documents that have been converted into XML format. I bet the number of times that it because the subject of complaint here on /. is way more than the number of documents that actually contain the tag. And then if you find the subset of the times where a few pixels different padding is actually noticed in those documents... well, I bet it has never happened.

But all this is moot, as the original claim was that AutospaceLikeWord95 was not publicly documented, where as it clearly does have an explanation - even if there may be room for improvement.

about 3 months ago
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Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes.

Gadget_Guy Re:9.1 (1009 comments)

I think that a lot of people who love the Metro interface must have upgraded from XP to Windows 8, and so attribute improvements in previous versions of Windows to the Win8.

Power users should like metro better than the start menu. Once open, you just start typing and the app or file you intended to work with is ready to launch after about 3-4 letters typed. Its like a full screen graphical console.

That is not a Metro feature. It has been in all Windows since Vista (with the exception of the part where it takes up your entire screen). The difference was that Win8 split the results into files, apps and settings which then required more keystrokes (our mouse clicks) to get to the entry that you wanted. The 8.1 restored this functionality.

With metro the 5-6 applications that i use really frequently i can pin right in front of my face instead of digging through folders.

Whereas from Vista onwards, your 5-6 applications that you use frequently would be automatically shown on your start menu without having to pin them (although you do have that option too).

With 8.1 metro, my "start" area doesn't get bogged down with a bunch of bullshit just because I installed 1 new app - a BIG WIN in my book.

Once again, this is a Vista feature. Like Metro, you have to go into a different section to see the full start menu that we knew from the days of XP and earlier. But installing a new app will normally just add a single main icon to your start menu, and you click on "All Programs" to see the full group of icons. The difference with Windows 8 is that it is not obvious how to get to the full list of programs in Metro, although the 8.1 upgrade did give a small down arrow button to get to it.

about 3 months ago
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PC Shipments In 2013 See the Worst Yearly Decline In History

Gadget_Guy Re:Current PCs are good enough. (564 comments)

I could be running a 2007-era Intel MBP right now and still use the latest OS version, binaries, etc. Let me read that to you in practical terms: I can be using the latest OS/apps on a 7-year-old Apple laptop.

When I wanted to first test Windows 8 without ruining any useful computer, I tried it on an 2006 Celeron-based desktop. It was a little slow to boot due to the old hard drive (which I later swapped with a SSD) but it worked surprisingly well. I hated the operating system, but I could not fault it for its ability to work with ancient hardware.

Given that this was a low-end computer in its day, I could easily see the latest Windows working on any mid-range computer from a year or two before that.

The one and only real issue I'd seen with Macs and obsolescence as per hardware? The switch from PPC (G4/5) to Intel, but evne that was smoothed over for a few years with fat binaries.

If the switch from PPC to Intel was the "one and only real issue" then why doesn't the latest OS work on all Intel-based Macs? The system requirements that you posted stops its supported platforms long after the switch to Intel. And even when you can upgrade your computer (for example, change the CPU to a 64bit version) then you still need to hack the platformsupport.plist file before the OS can be installed. This means that the supported models are baked into the installer rather than just letting it look for the features that it needs. At least the latest Windows can run slowly on old systems - it doesn't just refuse to work merely because of the age of the hardware.

about 3 months ago
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Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Pass 10% Market Share, Windows XP Falls Below 30%

Gadget_Guy Re:Windows XP still at 28.98% (470 comments)

Jobs like home video editing now that everyone, just about, has a HD video camera in their tablet or the phone in their pocket and an insatiable desire to put their cat's funny antics up on Youtube.

I still don't believe that the majority of people are doing video editing that requires more than 4GB RAM. It is a small proportion that upload videos to the Internet anyway, and of those that do I have seen way too many examples that desperately need editing but obviously haven't. It seems that most people just don't care to do these memory intensive edit jobs. They will dump the video to disk, maybe trim it a bit and then upload.

Even among the people who do need more memory - gamers - just over half have 4GB or less according to the Steam survey.

about 3 months ago
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Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Pass 10% Market Share, Windows XP Falls Below 30%

Gadget_Guy Re:Windows XP still at 28.98% (470 comments)

And nobody needs more than 640k of memory, right? That old quip always brought the house down as I recall...

Except Bill denies ever saying that. And I didn't say that nobody needed more than 4GB, but that the XP operating system didn't need more than 4GB.

More and more computing jobs do need more than 4GB of RAM or at least work a lot better if more than 4GB is available via a 64-bit OS.

Like what jobs? The majority of tasks performed on computers by the majority of people are things like the basic word processing, spreadsheets, databases, email, web etc. Most of the time, these activities do not need more than 4GB when using older (non-bloated) software. If you do actually need more than 4GB, then you would have already upgraded to 64bit Windows. But just because some people have found a use for more memory, it doesn't mean that the majority of people need it.

about 3 months ago

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