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Microsoft Posts Source Code For MS-DOS and Word For Windows

linebackn DOS 1.1x was significant (224 comments)

The really interesting thing about DOS 1.1 (or actually very slightly later revisions) is that it was the first to be released to OEMs other than IBM. Early clone makers such as Zenith, Corona, Columbia Data Products, Eagle Computers, or Compaq (you might have heard of that last one), never would have gotten off the ground if Microsoft had not licensed it out to them.

Some of the early "MS-DOS" compatibles were not even hardware compatible with the IBM PC. All you could rely on was the presence of an 8088/8086 and MS-DOS provided I/O calls. And those OEMs had to customize MS-DOS to recognize their proprietary hardware.

I'm not so sure about the value of Word for Windows 1.x. It wasn't even the first word processor for Windows (Beaten by AMI and PageMaker).

Now, on the other hand I have heard some interesting things about the internals of Word 1.00 for DOS.

about three weeks ago
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Religion Is Good For Your Brain

linebackn 11 out of 10 doctors recommend lobotomies (529 comments)

In other news, lobotomies are good for people. The less you think, the better you feel. See the full story on Fox News. :P

But seriously, If the results are really more about behaviors, then the REAL problem is that current society does not adequately provide similar social outlets or activities for people who don't happen to believe in imaginary sky beings.

about a month ago
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Movie and TV GUIs: Cracking the Code

linebackn Re:Revolution (the TV Show) (74 comments)

Thing is, it started off trying to be fairly realistic. If they had started out from day 1 explaining that these nanites were implemented to collect and redistribute power with some not fully understood tech that might be supernatural or alien, then it would be easier to just sit back and enjoy. But instead they keep everything secret so they can pull out some new WTF whenever they feel like it.

Take the basic premise and characters, and stuff it in a mind-warping anime, and it would probably work well.

But as it is, they use real actors... who ironically seem to lack energy. And the plot seems to have no real direction (Turn the lights back on? How is that supposed to work after 15 years of neglected infrastructure?). Whoever writes this stuff just wants to yank around the audience. And it probably will get canceled without a proper ending.

From my perspective, half the fun of watching any sifi-ish show is exploring the universe they have created, and too much secrecy and inconstancy ruins it.

On the brighter side, they nuked Atlanta. :)

about a month ago
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Movie and TV GUIs: Cracking the Code

linebackn Re:Revolution (the TV Show) (74 comments)

The only thing that spoiled it was that the same statement was missing a emi-colon

That was the ONLY thing that spoiled it?

In a show where power is magically inhibited by some fucking nanites, who can also bring back power to stuff that has 15-year old aged batteries or no other power source, can be used as weapons, while at the same time having the ability to heal people, that that have become sentient, that can bring the fucking dead back to life, are being worshiped, communicate through hallucinations, can re-create an entire world in a Matrix-ish type way, and who knows what kind of shit they are going to pull out of their asses next! (Don't know why I watch that piece of shit)

Are you sure that is the ONLY thing that spoiled it for you?

about a month ago
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The Tech Industry Is Getting Ridiculous

linebackn Ridiculous tech (102 comments)

Ah, the modern tech industry, creating solutions for problems that don't exist.

Such as Windows 8 or the Slashdot beta.

about a month and a half ago
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

linebackn Re:Why? (2219 comments)

The beta site feels like the kind of place where one would expect hear "We only support Windows, Mac, and Linux with current IE, Chrome, or Firefox".

let's take a moment to reflect on what Slashdot HAS run on over the years.

Here are just a few screen shots I have handy:

Amiga
http://toastytech.com/guis/ami...

BreadBox (GeoWorks)
http://toastytech.com/guis/bbe...

BeOS
http://toastytech.com/guis/b5p...

QNX 1.44MB demo floppy:
http://toastytech.com/guis/qnx...

MacOS 7.5.5
http://toastytech.com/guis/mac...

OpenStep:
http://toastytech.com/guis/ope...

Lynx:
http://toastytech.com/guis/tex...

Windows NT 3.51 (this actually shows a version of SeaMonkey modified specifically to view current Slashdot correctly!)
http://toastytech.com/files/Se...

about 2 months ago
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

linebackn Can't leave good enough alone. (2219 comments)

I've seen so many products and sites go in this direction over the years, it makes me sick. Something reaches near perfection and then someone decides to rewrite it in Java or .Net or XML or something, and totally ruins it.

Slashdot doesn't need some redesign. It just needs a few bugs fixed.

Where did they even get the idea that anyone wants any of that stuff on the beta site? Large fonts, huge pictures, HTML 9000 or whatever it is at today. What does Dice think this site is, I Can Has Cheezeburger? Actually, even THAT site went downhill after a bogged down redesign.

A real geek site would work great running on an Amiga using HTML 3. Oh, right, we had that:
http://toastytech.com/guis/ami...

about 2 months ago
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Former Dev Gives Gloomy Outlook On Linux Support For the Opera Browser

linebackn Another webkit is irrelevent (181 comments)

One of the strengths (and simultaneous weakens) of Opera was that it used it's own unique rendering engine. That gave it an advantage in specialized situations where others would not quite fit.

Since they changed to using webkit, they are, in my opinion, basically irrelevant now. They might have well just become another one of those circa 2000 Microsoft Internet Explorer shells.

Say what you will about Presto not working on site x, y, or z, more diversity is good, and it helps keep real standard in check. There were once too many sites that were only viewable in IE, I do not look forward to a future internet that is only viewable in Google Chome.

Is there any hope at all that they might open source the Presto Rendering engine?

about 3 months ago
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Watch Steve Jobs Demo the Mac, In 1984

linebackn Re:Enough about the anniversary of the Mac! (129 comments)

> How about a demo of Jay Miner demoing the Amiga 1000?

Or how about a video of the 1982 Comdex where supposedly VisiCorp showed off a development version of their brand new "GUI" environment Visi On? Doubt anyone recorded that, but it would be interesting to see.

And there is actually a video on Youtube of the fall 1983 Comdex with a demonstration of a brand new product in development from Microsoft called "Wiindows". Stole all the thunder from VisiCorp, but obviously didn't put a damper on Apple's Macintosh released shortly afterwards.

about 3 months ago
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Microsoft's Ticking Time Bomb Is Windows XP

linebackn Re:The funny thing is... (829 comments)

If windows 7/8 wasn't a downgrade from XP in every respect,

Wrong. Windows 7 is better than XP in every way

(For the pedants: "Except size on disk")

On the other hand there is the abomination known as Windows 8.

And that is all one can easily find in most stores these days.

about 4 months ago
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Microsoft's Ticking Time Bomb Is Windows XP

linebackn Re:So upgrade already (829 comments)

You can run XP in a virtual machine if you have software you must absolutely run that cannot run under Windows 7 or 8.

Not if the software you need to run is a device driver for special hardware.

And you still have the issue that the VM may need to talk to the outside world and therefore be as "vulnerable" as real hardware.

about 4 months ago
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Microsoft's Ticking Time Bomb Is Windows XP

linebackn Re:Microsoft isn't Putting Customers at Risk (829 comments)

Microsoft isn't putting customers at risk by not patching what will then be a 13-year old operating system. They had a full life cycle plan in place and customers have had many years advance notice to plan their transition. The lack of resources placed on transitioning legacy software to something other than an end-of-life OS is squarely the fault of the customers. The people in charge obviously don't place a great deal of importance on security or support. They have made their decision, let them suffer the consequences.

What do you mean you've never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven's sake, mankind, it's only four light years away, you know. I'm sorry, but if you can't be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that's your own lookout. Energize the demolition beam. I don't know, apathetic bloody planet, I've no sympathy at all.

about 4 months ago
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A Year After Ban On Loud TV Commercials: Has It Worked?

linebackn Re:loud quiet loud quiet (288 comments)

Another skummy thing I have seen on at least a few instances, a show will reach some climatic scene with important dialog, and before the main character's voice even trails offTOYOTA SAVING!

about 4 months ago
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Doom Is Twenty Years Old

linebackn I'm going to sing the DOOM song now! (225 comments)

I remember downloading the shareware version of DOOM from a BBS shortly after it was released. Shooting at the soul sphere displayed in level 2 because I didn't' know what it was, and then almost falling over dizzy when I had to get up and go!

It certainly wasn't the first FPS to exist or even have networking (see Mazewar on the Xerox Alto), but it was the first to provide a fully immersive experience (full screen, all surfaces with texture, and sound) on a common desktop PC.

When I first heard of DOOM, and even judging by a leaked alpha (5/22), It looked like it would be a slow interactive game similar to Ultima Underworld. Boy, did that turn out not to be the case!

The thing that really kept it popular was how easy it was to create completely new levels.

And then having to upgrade from 4 to 8 megs to keep episode 3 from chugging away...

about 4 months ago
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Where Does America's Fear Come From?

linebackn Re:America's fear comes from... (926 comments)

... Faux News

You may think you are joking but much of the fear is indeed spread through the media and news channels.

Sometimes I joke that the only reason to watch the news any more is "so I know what I am supposed to be afraid of today."

Try reading between the lines of any newscast. It always goes beyond just reporting facts abut the news. Note the condescending tone in the reporters voice as they talk about some group of people. Notice how they only show bystander interviews that represent their views, such as a parent parroting "You can't be to safe!" rather than the one that says "lets not go overboard worrying about this". Ask yourself if there could be another side to the story, and notice that it is usually missing or poorly represented. Listen carefully as the anchor injects brief commentary at the close of the story such as "very scary stuff". And for broadcast news (such as noon or 5:00pm news on the major networks) flip between the channels and notice that they usually have the exact same stories even when there are no major events going on.

Realize that the vast majority of people don't have time to think about what they hear, even in the off chance they know how to use critical thinking, and you should easily see how this adds up to ladling out fear and misinformation to the masses.

about 5 months ago
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Ninth Anniversary of Firefox 1.0 Release

linebackn Re:don't care. (153 comments)

Yep. The youngsters won't remember that, and some of the not-so-young have forgotten it. If Firefox disappeared tomorrow, and we never saw another release, it would have served it's primary purpose.

This.
People may not realize it, but we came dangerously close to a world where Microsoft Internet Explorer was the only accepted web browser. If Mozilla and Firefox had not gained popularity, it is quite probable that IE would have dominated enough market share to push out all other browsers. And nobody would bother creating sites that worked in anything else. Furthermore this would have virtually killed any OSes that Microsoft didn't feel like supporting with IE.

As is is now, we have several open source browsers that are ported to many different OSes, and no dignified web site would even think of only supporting one browser.

about 5 months ago
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HealthCare.gov: What Went Wrong?

linebackn Did they REALLY expect nothing to go wrong? (400 comments)

Regardless of "what went wrong", you know that the higher ups will just fire some peons, give themselves some big bonuses, and call it a day.

But the BIGGER question I don't see anybody asking, is why is there no apparent fall back or concession to delay requirements due to the problems? ANY significantly complicated computer system can reasonably be expected to encounter problems at deployment. And despite what the talking, drooling, blathering heads on TV seem to think, it is simply IMPOSSIBLE to test a system like this 100.000000000000% against real world scenarios. There will be glitches, there will be people who can't use the systems, there will be all sorts of "people problems" that no technology can fix. They should have been ready with other non webby ways to get people taken care of, and prepared to delay the needs for all of this if they could not get everyone taken care of in time.

about 6 months ago
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When Opting Out of Ad Tracking Doesn't Opt You Out

linebackn Re:Seems to need an ad blocker. (193 comments)

it certainly feels pretty unethical for me to block the only way they have to recoup that money.

Does it also feel unethical to have rules about companies not putting up billboards that can induce seizures? Or about where they can put them? Would you just sit there and take it if you woke up one morning and found 100 small advertising sign posts stuck in your yard?

Since there is no regulation on the internet, an adblocker is, in my opinion, a perfectly acceptable thing to for people to use.

If a sites like Slashdot can not get by with just the kinds of things that adblockers block, then that is to damn bad. They do not have a RIGHT to make money off of my visits. I would hope they would try other ways to make money first. But if it is in an annoying or intrusive way then I am out of here. (And if they go to that crappy beta design as-is then I am out of here anyway)

about 6 months ago
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When Opting Out of Ad Tracking Doesn't Opt You Out

linebackn Re:Just use adBlock (193 comments)

Yep, lots of people on the internet say "but what about the revenue of the sites you use."

If a site can't get by on its own merits then FUCK IT TO HELL.

Real good sites with real content can find some way to make money (such as selling t-shirts, subscriptions, or the occasional equivalent of a paid slashvertisment.). And if not, then just too freaking bad.

Do people realize that even in the real world, advertisers can't just do whatever they want? They can't throw branded rocks at your car while you are driving. They aren't allowed to put up billboard that may induce seizures. They can't tack sticky notes to you to see what branded rock you were interested in last.

Many communities have rules about what can be displayed where, and when. If the advertisers find some new way to be obnoxious then the community can fight back with new rules. Just the other day there was something on the local news about an area that was planning to prohibit stores from displaying large signs in their storefront windows.

So why should "cyberspace" be any different? If a browser has rules about what kind of content is allowed and where from, then who are advertisers to say differently?

about 6 months ago

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