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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

chipschap Re:Surprise? (572 comments)

My remark stated "the vast majority of office users." Those people don't do AutoCad, don't need to "photoshop" drawings, don't need the obscure superpower features in MS Office, etc. Linux tools will do 99%. If you're in the 1%, you might need Windows or a Mac or whatever. Maybe. I still think most of it comes down to liking to use what you're familiar with, and Windows is the giant incumbent in this game.

3 days ago

Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

chipschap Re:Surprise? (572 comments)

It is pretty good in places that never developed a Windows culture..

I think this poster has identified the real issue. I doubt that Microsoft bribed people to complain, though I'm sure they provided subtle encouragement. I'm sure they also worked at a high executive level, not with outright bribes, but in the way that sort of thing is always done, the old FUD method.

But really, it comes down to people who are used to Windows wanting Windows, and they'll do that (mostly) even in the face of a mess like Windows 8. "What's this weird Linux thing they're making me use? I never had to use that anywhere else! Other organizations aren't converting, why are we?" And so on.

I don't buy that Windows is inherently more "office ready" than Linux for the vast majority of office users, all else being equal. The thing is, all else isn't equal. I do buy the idea that Windows is heavily entrenched and has a huge "incumbent" advantage, one that is going to persist for a long, long time, whether we like that idea or not.

4 days ago

Windows 8.1 Update Crippling PCs With BSOD, Microsoft Suggests You Roll Back

chipschap Re:It isn't only Windows 8 (303 comments)

I've never, ever had the severe kinds of problems you mention, and I've been on Ubuntu or its derivatives (most recently Mint) for years and years. And this is across maybe a dozen machines of all descriptions, and with all sorts of graphics cards, including the dreaded nvidia, which works just fine and only required a little patience.

That is not to say I take the position that Linux is completely golden and Windows is purely trash. There are always bugs and problems. However, given what I paid for my Linux distros, I think I got a really good deal which far exceeds expectations.

The problem is that some vocal Windows people will jump on Linux bugs as "proof" that Linux is not "ready" and so on. But Microsoft's latest antic convinces me that Windows, after how many years, is less ready.

4 days ago

Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

chipschap Re:Biological Basis to Race (541 comments)

We can cut through all the nonsense and PC vs. science stuff pretty easily.

Are some things determined by genetics? As another poster mention, white people tend to have white kids. How far does this go? I don't know. Objective, non-political science should be the way to answer this question.

But, just for argument's sake, let's say that people with green skin have a tendency to be more violent than people with blue skin. I don't know if that's possible or not, but let's just say it.

The real issue is not that it is or isn't politically correct to state a scientific fact. The issue is pre-judging individuals and even worse, acting on that pre-judgment.

You're green? Oh, you're a violent criminal. You're blue? Oh, you're higher class.

Are there differences between races? Your eyes tell you that there are in a split second. Are there other differences? I don't know for sure but it seems likely. But do I have the right to pre-judge you, to decide you have a lesser value as a human being? No, I do not.

about two weeks ago

Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

chipschap Re:Radicalization (868 comments)

Everyone can say whatever they want, but this much is worth repeating: If Hamas, etc., disarmed, there would be peace. If Israel disarmed, they would be utterly destroyed.

about three weeks ago

'Just Let Me Code!'

chipschap Re:"Just let me build a bridge!" (372 comments)

This last post sort of hits the nail on the head.

Yes, complex projects need to be managed, or you end up with dogpiles like most of today's ERP stuff (and many others). But by managed I mean managed WELL.

Managed WELL does not mean all sorts of overhead and red tape that exist just because a clueless project manager doesn't know any other way than one-size-fits-all full-blown project management according to some textbook. It means using tools wisely as the project's needs demand, neither more nor less.

I remember working at a company quite a while ago when "structured development" started to be the latest rage. We had "structured documentation," "structured walkthroughs," structured everything, whether the project was a one-day effort (except after all the structuring nothing was short) or two years. The PMs in charge applied the methodology blindly and rigidly.

Is the same nonsense, with different names, going on today? No kidding! 'Agile' and all the rest will come and go; do better systems get produced in faster timeframes? I think we all know the answer.

As an aside, one of these methodology instructors insisted that a good piece of code NEVER contained embedded comments, because the external documentation should be so good that comments were superfluous. And this guy got paid to teach this stuff. Yes, he was an academic with no real-world experience.

about a month ago

Microsoft FY2014 Q4 Earnings: Revenues Up, Profits Down Slightly

chipschap Re:This must be confusing to y'all (66 comments)

One quarterly earnings report is nothing to make investment decisions about.

Are you kidding? The Street makes investment decisions based on single news reports!

Really, the day to day volatility of the market never ceases to amaze me. One bad news report? DJIA down 200. One good report? Up 150. It seems to be based on moment to moment emotion rather than logic. No wonder out-guessing the market is so hard. I think the big traders more or less permanently forget to take their meds.

about a month ago

Microsoft FY2014 Q4 Earnings: Revenues Up, Profits Down Slightly

chipschap Re:This must be confusing to y'all (66 comments)

I may be a Linux "fanboy" or whatever it's called, but I've still had MS in my portfolio. I can be very happy running Linux on all my machines and making relatively good money (considering risk) from MS. My "fanboy-ness" does not extend to my bank account.

about a month ago

The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

chipschap Re:The problem is the other way round... (962 comments)

I completely believe in equality and when I was in management I put that into practice all the time, no fail. Equality meant I didn't care if you were male or female, or whatever color or race or religion or ... whatever. I didn't care; I would treat you fairly, try to know you as an individual with individual needs, goals, and aspirations, and to try to help you to succeed.

This worked. In spades. In productivity, retention, morale, health and safety, any measure you want.

What I did not do is somehow say that equality means men (or any other group) are inferior. White male? Whatever. Black female? Whatever. You're all as good as your job performance, not more or less.

What I seem to hear from some, though, is that a straight white male is by definition inferior. How does that align with a notion of equality?

Of course harrassment of women is wrong! It should never be tolerated. But harrassment of anyone is wrong, and is equally unacceptable.

about 1 month ago

When Beliefs and Facts Collide

chipschap Re:Not surprising. (725 comments)

That's what GW needs to be all about, legitimate science and letting the science speak for itself. Unfortunately the likes of Al Gore have been a real problem for obtaining wide acceptance of GW. Let's please drop the hype and posturing on both sides and follow the science. This isn't about what someone would like to believe or wants to believe. It's about finding and accepting the scientific truth, and then doing what's necessary (and not doing what's not necessary). And please don't imply anything from this comment about whether the scientific truth already is or is not determined. "Belief" (or non-belief) in GW is not necessarily a measure of scientifc literacy. It's more like "if you agree with me then you're literate" and that applies to both sides.

about a month and a half ago

FreeDOS Is 20 Years Old

chipschap Re:A popular laptop OS? (133 comments)

True about games (dosbox as an easy alternative) but not business software. dosbox doesn't support printing (I think there is one mod that does, but the mainstream doesn't) so if you want to use your old Lotus Agenda or Ventura Publisher or Xywrite, etc., FreeDOS may be preferred.

about 2 months ago

FreeDOS Is 20 Years Old

chipschap Re:A popular laptop OS? (133 comments)

Good point. I've observed this too.

I have a bootable USB stick which boots into FreeDOS. The only thing on the stick, besides the OS and some utilities, is a copy of an old, simple word processor called Better Working Word Processor. When I really want distraction-free writing, I boot this up and there is simply nothing else to do but write (somewhat a la Jonathan Franzen, though I'll never quite have the reputation to go with it).

But I do notice that even with the hard drive spun down, battery life is little better than running my full Linux Mint installation.

about 2 months ago

How Apple Can Take Its Headphones To the Next Level

chipschap Re: Step 1 (196 comments)

There's nothing that compares with Sony Professional headphones, and they're less expensive than you'd expect. Normally I hate Sony but the pro headphones are one heck of a product line.

Of course, they're ... heh heh heh .... "somewhat" larger and heavier than earbuds, and as for looking hip ... not. Unless the audio engineer look is somehow "in." Be sure to wear thick glasses with black frames.

about 2 months ago

After 47 Years, Computerworld Ceases Print Publication

chipschap Re:I think I miss computer shopper more (105 comments)

I do nearly all my magazine-type reading on the Internet now, too, but I did enjoy the print magazines in their day, great old stuff like "Radio Electronics." Not that I wish to return to those days, which weren't really the good old days if you think objectively about it.

I still like a print newspaper but if I were to be fully honest I'd have to say it's hardly a necessity any more, and it mostly contains wire service articles I read online two days earlier.

about 2 months ago

Rising Sea Levels Uncover Japanese War Dead In Marshall Islands

chipschap Re:that's odd (182 comments)

I'm trying to understand how rising water uncovered something. I can see rising water floating something into view or the like, but uncovering? Shouldn't that be falling water levels? (This is not an anti-climate change question, by the way; I just don't get the idea here.)

about 2 months ago

Virginia DMV Cracks Down On Uber, Lyft

chipschap Re:Seems reasonable... (260 comments)

Lyft just announced their opening in Honolulu and the cab companies are already lined up to fight them.

Cab service is very expensive here, for instance $50+ for a 7-mile ride from my place to the airport. Lyft to proposing to undercut taxi service by about 30%, which is a step in the right direction but still nothing close to cheap.

It will be interesting to see what the city does, that is, to find out who has been making the biggest payoffs.

about 3 months ago

Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

chipschap Re:Oh the humanities! (325 comments)

"A lot of great books (which do have commercial value, for the Gradgrinds reading this) are written by English Lit graduates, and are likely better for that."

I don't know. Have you read some of today's "great" literary fiction? Like stuff by Don DeLillo or Jonathan Franzen?

"Better" isn't the word I'd use. I don't know if those two are English Lit grads, but for sure English Lit grads go nuts over them, heaven knows why.

about 3 months ago

Microsoft Won't Bring Back the Start Menu Until 2015

chipschap Re:You can indeed buff a turd to a high gloss (516 comments)

And people actually pay good money for this. Unfortunately if I want a new laptop, I too have to pay for it, even though the first thing I'll do is get rid of it and install Linux.

about 3 months ago

A Measure of Your Team's Health: How You Treat Your "Idiot"

chipschap Re:even more telling... (255 comments)

As a former technology manager, I can say that (at least as I saw things) the challenge and responsibility of management is to understand the capabilities of the staff and get them into roles in which they can succeed. If someone is underperforming in a certain job, then the manager must get them into a job in which they can perform. Everyone wins in such a case. The organization doesn't need to go through a fire/hire cycle, and instead ends up with an employee who contributes. The employee keeps his/her employment and, as a real contributor, definitely feels better about him/herself. (This needs to be done without a salary cut, which is destructive to everyone's morale, not just the staffer.)

This is, of course, if the employee is at least making an effort ... laziness or not caring is a different issue.

about 3 months ago

50 Years Later, MIT Looks Back At AI and Networking Pioneer Project MAC

chipschap Re:Project MAC? (50 comments)

Multics was amazing for its time. Then Honeywell took it on as a commercial product and didn't know how to sell it, or more like their sales people were clueless and didn't want it competing against their own home-grown crappy operating system and hardware. So Multics died.

In the minicomputer era, Prime Computers (a competitor to DEC) built an operating system that they called a "mini" Multics, because it used the same security ring idea, but it wasn't a tenth as good.

And I do myself remember Project MAC as I was a student at MIT in those days.

about 3 months ago


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