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Is OS/2 Coming Back?

cygnusx Re:WPS (432 comments)

> Many ATM machines ran it because it was 8000% more stable than any of microsoft's Operating systems

A lot of the ATMs that ran OS/2 ran the Microsoft version of OS/2 (yes, Microsoft developed the first versions of OS/2 for IBM and had permission to OEM it, just like DOS). OS/2 went to IBM from v2.0, IIRC.

I've seen ATMs show "Microsoft OS/2" when rebooting to be serviced. Here's what the boot screen looks like.

more than 4 years ago

Why Mozilla Needs To Go Into Survival Mode

cygnusx Re:Firefox lite. (464 comments)

I've noticed more "loading then removing" of content with Chrome/AdThwart than I remember from Firefox/AdblockPlus

That's because Chrome's extension API doesn't allow extensions to stop loading resources, it only allows resources to be removed after they are loaded.

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft Responds To "Like OS X" Comment

cygnusx Re:Save face? (505 comments)

"The court established that Apple could not make copyright claims based on these ideas and could only make claims on the precise expression of them."

And the key word here is _precisely_.

> - trashcan copied
Actually, that's exactly why Microsoft never called it the "trashcan". They called it a Recycle Bin. It looks different, too.

> Shutdown procedure copied
Windows has a start button attached to a start menu. To shut down, you go Start > Shut down ... > ... This is not _precisely_ the same as the Mac.

And so on...

The point is look-and-feel protection is a very narrow protection. It protects you from lookalikes, not workalikes.

And finally: sue or shut up. Frankly, if some Mac fans (or Apple) feel Windows 7 ripped the Mac off, they ought to get Apple to sue. Lord knows Apple isn't litigation-shy. Thankfully, their lawyers are a little more grown-up than the average Mac fanboy.

more than 5 years ago

Happy 5th Birthday To Firefox

cygnusx 5 years now? Seems longer... (252 comments)

I've been using Firefox since Phoenix 0.5 (December 2002 iirc, almost seven years now) and I have to say, the community process and the extensions make Firefox what it is.

Yes, these days there's another open source browser on the block (Chrome) and it too is very good. But it's great to have Mozilla and Firefox around because you can be sure that Mozilla will look after users' interests far more than Google or Microsoft will. If nothing else, it keeps the others honest.

So congratulations Firefox, and here's to five more years!

more than 5 years ago

Michael Dell Says Windows 7 Will Make You Love PCs

cygnusx Re:Can somebody tell me why? (627 comments)

Linux had this since the beginning. The advantage of never having the windowing system integrated with the operating system. It's not a nifty innovative feature of Windows 7, it's Microsoft finally catching up with the rest of the industry as always.

Linux did not and does not have this feature. If X crashes, It's Ctrl Alt Backspace time, and you lose your work. And X can hard crash to the point where even Ctrl Alt Backspace doesn't work -- it's not an everyday occurrence but it does happen. In fact, the link I pointed to asked why Linux distros hadn't included this feature yet.

Boot time is fucking meaningless compared to actual operating speed. So you got to your desktop snappy? How fast is the fucking desktop? Stop bringing boot speed up as a meaningful metric of how fast an operating system is. It's stupid.

Geez. A mouth-breathing idiot who knows the f-word and isn't afraid to use it. Like I said, the time-to-desktop is snappy. This matters in the real world because workplace (and many home) PCs are switched off after use. Anyway, the desktop is snappy too, thanks for asking.

The OP asked a question about what Windows 7 brought to the table over Windows XP. I answered that the best I could. Of course, for morons like you, no thread on /. is complete without a rant about how Linux had it first, is superior to every other OS and is the be-all and end-all of technology. You know what? Users like you are the reason why Linux has a perception problem in the marketplace (to put it politely).

more than 5 years ago

Michael Dell Says Windows 7 Will Make You Love PCs

cygnusx Re:Can somebody tell me why? (627 comments)

NOTE: These are benefits when upgrading from XP. Vista has some of these features, but usually 7's implementation of these is more refined.

The biggie is that display driver crashes don't bring down your system. The display flickers for a bit and the driver is reloaded.

7 also supports multiple drivers for multiple adapters, but that's a bit esoteric.

Libraries are useful if you're not compulsive about organizing your files.

The user home folder is now sanely organized (C:\Users\User\Videos, C:\Users\User\Downloads, C:\Users\User\Documents, not C:\Documents and Settings\Username\My Documents\My Videos).

Ships with Powershell. Decent scripting out of the box.

The taskbar works MUCH better than XP/Vista and imho even the OSX dock. You no longer have to choose between the insanity of XP style grouped taskbar buttons and an overflowing taskbar. Much better window mgmt tools (e.g. desktop peek).

Very subjective, but feels snappy. Time to login screen and time to a usable desktop is much lower than Vista.

Built-in Windows Media Player (v12) starts quickly and is a pleasure to use. To be fair v11 was pretty good too, but v12 plays DivX (and all the xvids I've thrown at it) and most Quicktime MOVs. The interface is minimal if you double-click a media file. You get a simple rectangle containing the media, or a small square if it's an audio file. You get the full interface only if you start the app or click the expand UI button. This is what iTunes should have been like.

Explorer has improved its "are you sure" dialogs and made them much more usable/informative. Thumbnail previews are much faster. On the other hand, the new explorer takes some getting used to over the XP one -- the toolbar is non-customizable and not very useful imho.

more than 5 years ago

Iran's Nuclear Ambitions

cygnusx Re:Can't blame them (1032 comments)

This is slightly off-topic, but your original post reminded me of something a Stanford Professor whose name I'd forgotten was pushing -- he was essentially calling for developed countries to set up autonomous zones in 3rd world countries and transfer their laws and rulesets to the 3rd world. This wouldn't be colonialism because it would be done essentially altruistically and with a legally enforceable get-out clause.

A few hours after replying to your post I came across this article on the Freakonomics blog with an interview with him ... he's fleshed out his proposal a little more and calls it "Charter cities" these days. It certainly makes for very interesting reading, especially considering your point about whether a "culture is too fundamentally backward".

Personally, I don't believe any culture is too 'fundamentally backward', and that any culture where a middle class can be bootstrapped will do well -- the challenge is bootstrapping one, and here Romer's ideas are provocative and potentially very useful.

more than 5 years ago

Iran's Nuclear Ambitions

cygnusx Re:Can't blame them (1032 comments)

India is as solid as it is because its former dozen warring states (remember, it was not always a single country) got head-banged by the Brits during the Imperial era -- if that job had been finished, rather than abandoned as the British Empire fell apart, we might not have today's conflicts, or at least they'd be on a smaller scale

That's an interesting example, but I don't think colonialism alone can build nations.

In India's case, the British didn't leave India with Indians marching into the sunrise in patriotic unison. Oh sure, the post-Independence honeymoon lasted a year or two, but secession and splintering back into a bunch of states was never really off the table for the first quarter-century after Independence, and it was especially touchy because of the partition that accompanied Independence.

Hell, there are sporadic movements *now* but they're not considered serious threats any more, largely because India's political system has evolved to the point that even very small sections of society can get a voice in the political process.

So while Britain did do a lot to create a modern nation-state, I think post-Independence Indian society deserves a lot of credit for seeing that, to misquote Ben Franklin, it's better to hang together than be hanged separately.

The bigger point is the British did all of this in many places, including Africa. The problem is, as soon as they left, the societies fell back to their old patterns of conflict. I'm not sure more Imperialism would have fixed that.

Imperialism may be "evil" if your small state is the loser, but in the long view it appears to stop more trouble than it causes.

Imperialism is evil because imperial powers don't come into colonized countries even wearing the fig leaf of spreading democracy or development, they come to use the resources of the colonized country the best they can. In India's case, the British exploited India's farmers with exploitative taxes (even during famine years) and took as much of India's natural resources (mined metal, timber, etc) as they could given a 19th century supply chain. Whatever problems arise *after* an imperial power leaves, at least they are problems brought upon by the people themselves, not a foreign power.

more than 5 years ago

Who is your favorite fictional doctor?

cygnusx Re:Here Comes Dr. Tran! (860 comments)

A physiotherapist in an early episode tried to correct that. He switched back.

"It was a big issue early on about which hand he holds the cane in," says executive producer and series creator David Shore. "The thought was he should hold the cane in the opposite arm from the injury. That is basically true -- most people use the opposite arm. But some people feel more comfortable with a cane in the dominant arm, and that is acceptable."

more than 5 years ago

Who is your favorite fictional doctor?

cygnusx Re:Here Comes Dr. Tran! (860 comments)

> I have no idea why Hawkeye or House would be included in a poll of
> fictional doctors on a nerd site. Those are choices for
> celebrity-worshiping, TV watching non-nerds.

I'm not sure who Hawkeye is, but House (the character) is geeky as hell -- brilliant, analytical and rational almost to a fault. (of course, he was modelled on Sherlock Holmes)

more than 5 years ago

Harsh Words From Google On Linux Development

cygnusx Re:Qt (948 comments)

> Chrome should have been built on top of Qt from day 1.


I sincerely wonder, why didn't you just use Qt for the UI from the
beginning? It blends very well with the native look&feel on each
platform, while still letting you implement the distinctive Chrome
features. Qt 4.5 will even have native look in GNOME.

Ben Goodger:

In general, we've avoided cross platform UI toolkits because while
they may offer what superficially appears to be a quick path to native
looking UI on a variety of target platforms, once you go a bit deeper
it turns out to be a bit more problematic. As Amanda says, your app
ends up "speaking with a foreign accent".

Our experience is that using these frameworks also limits what you can
do to a lowest common denominator subset of what's supported by that
framework on each platform. ...
The architecture of Chrome has converged over the past few
months on a solid separation of view from state, and this has given us
the flexibility to make these decisions and choose from the widest
range of alternatives.

more than 5 years ago

Microsoft Raises $3.8B in Bond Sale

cygnusx Re:Their cash pile is dropping (437 comments)

From the link above, given the sharp drop in cash reserves in Q4 2004, I wonder if that was when they decided to issue dividends, or buy back shares.

Remember that cash piles of 50bn+ are just silly and will never be reached again, now that MSFT issues dividends.

more than 5 years ago

IE 8 Passes Acid2 Test

cygnusx Re:Good News/Bad News (555 comments)

> It turns on ClearType. Globally. It can't be turned off (well, without a lot of work.)

Not that you're missing much with IE7, but have you tried unchecking Tools > Options > Advanced > Multimedia > Always use ClearType for HTML and restarting IE?

> ClearType anti-aliases fonts.

Also, I don't think ClearType applies anti-aliasing across the board -- in fact cleartype text has more jaggies than standard font-smoothed text produced using Windows' old method -- here's an example.

AFAIK ClearType tunes the letter forms in multiple ways (including using subtly different shaping rules -- this works especially well if the font has been designed with ClearType in mind, e.g., Consolas and Candara). This makes screen text at 11-18px (the vast majority of UI text) much easier to read.

If you have a LCD monitor you might want to set Windows to globally enable ClearType and try the Windows ClearType tuner powertoy -- well-tuned Cleartype fonts really do look a lot better with it on for *most* people.

more than 7 years ago


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