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Hungary To Tax Internet Traffic

astro Re:Nah, this is just stage 1 (324 comments)

It's not just about streaming. Downloading a modern Linux distro will now cost Hungarians almost five bucks. Downloading a current-gen game on steam, which will already cost them €60 (roughly 80 dollars) will now cost 15 dollars more.

3 days ago
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Microsoft Announces Windows 10

astro Re:Still have a boxed copy of Windows 2.0 (644 comments)

I actually have always felt I kinda missed out in that I never used OS/2 - a friend of mine at the time had a box running Warp; I think I clicked on it maybe three times, ever.

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Announces Windows 10

astro Still have a boxed copy of Windows 2.0 (644 comments)

Before Windows 3.1, most computers with a GUI that I used were running CDE. Mostly Sun workstations, but also a few Alpha and AIX boxes. And one SGI running IRIX. My first home computer with a GUI was Slackware Linux with FVWM. Unless you count the GEM desktop on a C64.

Windows WFW 3.11 - was pretty ok. First version of Windows I used daily. There were lots of useful, or perhaps too many necessary, hacks in the early days of the internet.

Windows 95 was, in my opinion, pretty cool, and obviously was a real game-changer in terms of UI.

Windows ME was a horrible aberration. Garbage. I only experienced it on friends-and-family computers I would get summoned to "repair". Usually pre-installed by HP on the horrible boxes they were selling at the time. Note: HP did, in my mind, redeem themselves years later and resume making real computers.

I worked with Windows NT 3.51 and 4 a bit at various workplaces, but for server OS, almost everything was already Linux even at that time (1999-2002 time frame).

Windows 2000 was fantastic. Rock-solid. I never ran XP at home, just stuck with 2000 because there was no compelling reason to "upgrade". For a home and small business OS, I really think MS nailed it with 2000.

Windows Vista took more of a beating than it deserved. I ran it at home for a couple of years and had no real complaints other than the UI was pretty ugly a lot of the time.

Windows 7 was and still is fantastic. I love it. My computer does exactly everything I need it to do, and is crazy stable. Less crashes than even with 2000, which almost never crashed ever, anyway. I really do love Windows 7. Currently in my house we have Macs running Mavericks, my Win 7 box, and I boot to Manjaro Linux on occasion to get some work done that I just don't find practical under Windows because I never learned Powershell.

I tried Windows 8.0 for a while and was absolutely shocked at what a disaster it was. Just unbelievable. I never tried 8.1, which I understand fixed things considerably, but as I said, I love Win 7 and like with the 2000 -> XP shift, see no compelling reason to upgrade.

I am honestly intrigued by Windows 10 and will give it a spin when the preview is actually available, so perhaps even later today.

(Can't believe I am bothering to post this)

about three weeks ago
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PostgreSQL Outperforms MongoDB In New Round of Tests

astro Re:It doesn't matter (147 comments)

This comment just made me shudder with the painful memories of writing web applications in Cold Fusion that used ADO to talk to MS Access files as the DB backend in like 1998. Ugh.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

astro Einstein and Infeld (234 comments)

Start here, Einstein and Infeld. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Evolution_of_Physics

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Server Support and Monitoring Solution?

astro Re:I just discovered NewRelic ... (137 comments)

NewRelic is pretty sweet, as the parent says, even at the free tier. They will definitely bombard your email and phone with hard-sales pitches, though, and there's a giant cost leap from free to the next tier.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

astro Re:Non-issue (294 comments)

Sorry, but wrong on two counts:

1. That model motherboard uses the *exact* same UEFI and BIOS as mine (FM2A78M-HD+ - it is probably much older than the date I gave, which was its purchase date, sorry for any confusion) and just to make sure I wasn't making a misstatement, I flashed the BIOS and UEFI from the pre-bootloader interface this morning.

2. I do not upgrade often. I bought this computer with the Asrock this year because due to certain circumstances I was unable to bring my 2011 PC, which was an off-the-shelf HP from Best Buy (that I then upgraded substantially - I got such a deal on the base machine that it was less expensive than building a complete one), with me when I moved to Germany. Before that it had been at least five years since I bought a motherboard, and tended back then to run older budget hardware, because I am so far removed from a moneyed Apple fanboi.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

astro Non-issue (294 comments)

The first "horror story" is specifically regarding flashing BIOS from Linux via USB. I don't understand how this is related to modern motherboards - in fact, I see it as an issue that is disappearing. This is a situation I have had on OLDER, pre-UEFI motherboards - the requirement to run an EXE from an installed version of Windows, rather than from a boot floppy that didn't care what OS was installed. Many (including my Asrock) modern mobos can update right from the UEFI system without even spinning up the boot drive.

The second is specific to power management on laptops (I will admit to tl;dr speed-reading here), which is clearly not what the OP is talking about.

Tempest in a teacup. The ONLY thing that doesn't work so well with my dual boot system with my July 2014 Asrock motherboard is enabling the accelerated boot system which just makes plain sense, as it relies on caching a booted state to disk to skip a lot of init. I was at first nervous about UEFI, having read a ton of FUD a couple of years back, but it really is a non-issue. If anything, I like the low-level system management on my Asrock better than the old Award/Phoenix dominated BIOS systems.

about 2 months ago
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WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

astro Re:Character Assassination (299 comments)

Take quoting Wikipedia with all the grains of salt you want, but I find this relevant and appropriate - Under Character Assassination -> In a Totalitarian Regime, we find:

"The effect of a character assassination driven by an individual is not equal to that of a state-driven campaign. The state-sponsored destruction of reputations, fostered by political propaganda and cultural mechanisms, can have more far-reaching consequences. One of the earliest signs of a society’s compliance to loosening the reins on the perpetration of crimes (and even massacres) with total impunity is when a government favors or directly encourages a campaign aimed at destroying the dignity and reputation of its adversaries, and the public accepts its allegations without question. The mobilisation toward ruining the reputation of adversaries is the prelude to the mobilisation of violence in order to annihilate them. Official dehumanisation has always preceded the physical assault of the victims."

about 2 months ago
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WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

astro Re:Character Assassination (299 comments)

But what do any of you know about his actions except what various media has told you? Were you there? Were you victimized by Assange? Do you personally know someone who was? If the answers to those questions is "no", then you really need to think about who you are trusting: Television and online reporting, from blogs to major outlets. I am browsing at -1 and have yet to see a single comment that is from someone that even speciously purports to have any personal knowledge of his actions.

Beware hearsay.

about 2 months ago
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WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

astro Character Assassination (299 comments)

I see from the comments here that the governmental mission of character assassination of this fellow is largely complete and successful. Do you know Assange personally? Have you ever had dealings with him apart from seeing stories online and on TV about him? I don't and I haven't, and thus I don't pretend the biases against him that most people here seem to have been suckered into (nor do I have any bias toward him).

I don't find a coordinated corporate media campaign to ruin this guy unrealistic in the least, though.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Recliner For a Software Developer?

astro First World Problems (154 comments)

You can't actually be serious? What? I like a good recliner myself, but as an Ask Slashdot this takes things to new lows.

about 2 months ago
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Netflix Now Works On Linux With HTML5 DRM Video Support In Chrome

astro Re:Why is (201 comments)

From the replies on the linked blog post, people are having distro-specific successes / failures even after following the instructions. I can imagine this being anything from distro specific paths, to permissions on certain binaries that could be different for say, Fedora from Mint, to codec issues (though as I understand it with Chrome the codecs are all basically wrapped up in the binary?) The specific technical details of this situation are a bit out of my area of expertise but I don't think any of the things I guess at here are out of the realm of possibility.

Technical issues aside - I welcome this development. I know and understand completely that a lot of people have issues with DRM making it's way into the core HTML (5) specs, but I kind of see it as unavoidable if we want to enjoy commercial content without needing completely non-standard garbageware like Silverlight or Flash. I have used Netflix with the Compholio Wine / Pipelight stuff, and while it works, it struggles to do so.

Yeah, there is a slippery slope and lots of compromise - but I would have less reason to ever boot into Windows if my paid subscriptions to content that I enjoy could work natively under "Linux". And just don't ask me to stop watching movies or playing 3xA game titles, because I won't.

about 2 months ago
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Netflix Now Works On Linux With HTML5 DRM Video Support In Chrome

astro Re:Why is (201 comments)

Because no matter how strongly they state that a configuration is not supported, if it's not expressly blocked, people will try to get technical support for it. And with the distro landscape as it is, supporting mainstream software on "Linux" is a nightmare.

about 2 months ago
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Windows XP Falls Below 25% Market Share, Windows 8 Drops Slightly

astro Re:Who has the market share? (336 comments)

No. The last Macbook Pro I bought (2010?), online, through the mainstream consumer-facing online Apple store, was customizable to a pretty crazy degree, down to which speed CPU and how many cores, how much RAM, what screen size and what external peripherals I wanted shipped to me. Not just obvious things like how much HDD space. It was more customizable than the Windows laptops from major vendors when I bought it. I am primarily a PC/Win/Linux person, but I was quite happy with everything but the price of my MBP, and the lack of AAA game titles - I do use my computer for both professional productivity AND recreation.

I no longer am in a professional or personal situation where a laptop offers substantial benefits to me, so this year when I bought a new PC, I selected individual components and had a local shop custom assemble it (a first, I have always assembled my own PCs in the past, but in this case there was no significant cost benefit to doing so). I have probably the computing power of a €2.500,00 Mac in a roughly €500 tower and am quite happy with it. It is definitely not as "shiny" as an Apple product, but nobody ever sees it anyway.

Anyway, my point being: buying Apple in no way implies a one-size-fits-all purchasing experience.

about 3 months ago
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Comparison: Linux Text Editors

astro Joe's Own Editor (402 comments)

As a kid I grew up on Wordstar (running on CP/M, on an Osborne 1) and as such joe (http://joe-editor.sourceforge.net/), which is more or less a command-compatible workalike to Wordstar, suits me perfectly. While it is still available and updated reasonably regularly, it is getting harder to find / install easily for modern *nix systems. I love joe, though, I don't even have to think to use it.

about 3 months ago
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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

astro The hubbub is misplaced (354 comments)

The US Postal Service has been trying to cut losses by ending Saturday delivery of ALL mail for years. I used to be a Netflix DVD subscriber and am admittedly streaming-only now (DVDs are hard to squeeze through my VPN - I live in Germany now), but I fail to see the big deal. Feel fortunate you still receive Saturday delivery of junk mail and bills.

about 3 months ago
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Seat Detects When You're Drowsy, Can Control Your Car

astro Re:Russian automaker of commodity cars (106 comments)

I stand corrected - I really thought they were Russian cars. I also thought Skoda (no Unicode on Slashdot) was a Russian brand, but no, I just looked it up, and they're Czech.

about 3 months ago

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