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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

lord_mike Re:Palm IIIx (657 comments)

The original Palm devices were definitely tough as nails. My original Palm Pilot Pro was put through the ringer and anded up looking like my dog had chewed it, but it still worked like a charm. Unfortunately, I traded it in for $50 on a Palm Zire 31 color. That unit's digitizer failed within a couple of years. Very disappointing.

yesterday
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Vintage 1960s Era Film Shows IRS Defending Its Use of Computers

lord_mike Re:"Feel Like a Number" (146 comments)

Yeah, if I recall there was a similar uproar about the post office using zip codes around that time, too...

3 days ago
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The New 'One Microsoft' Is Finally Poised For the Future

lord_mike Re:That's not the only thing that's gone... (270 comments)

Yes, I know. .NET is big, yet Microsoft has made it clear that they are going in a different direction. They haven't abandoned .NET yet, but they aren't going to be devoting a lot of resources to it either as they are pushing the RT and Azure stuff now.

about a week ago
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The New 'One Microsoft' Is Finally Poised For the Future

lord_mike Re:That's not the only thing that's gone... (270 comments)

Visual Basic developers didn't like going to .NET, either, but Microsoft left them out in the cold, too.

about a week ago
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The New 'One Microsoft' Is Finally Poised For the Future

lord_mike Re:People sure do like to beat the cancer thing (270 comments)

I think we're in agreement here. I was trying to object to the original author's argument that the BSD license was more "free" than the GPL. If I miscommunicated, I apologize.

about a week ago
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The New 'One Microsoft' Is Finally Poised For the Future

lord_mike Re:That's not the only thing that's gone... (270 comments)

Their whole .NET strategy seems to have been, "Well, Java's popular now, so I guess we better do bytecode, too," even though there was no compelling reason to do so. Non-Intel Windows machines were long gone, so there was no reason for Windows application portability. Now that they have a good reason to make applications hardware independent, they abandon the .NET thing that they pushed so hard on everyone. It's simply bizarre.

about a week ago
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The New 'One Microsoft' Is Finally Poised For the Future

lord_mike Re:"They were strongly pushing portable .NET when (270 comments)

.NET was cross platform--at least cross hardware. Yes, it was Windows-only, but a .NET application could run on an ARM machine or any other hardware that might run windows, since .NET was hardware independent byte code. Yes, you were still stuck on some form of Windows OS to use it, but now that they are selling windows on both ARM and Intel, it would seem to behoove them to support a portable hardware application strategy, yet they have essentially abandoned it.

about a week ago
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The New 'One Microsoft' Is Finally Poised For the Future

lord_mike Re:People sure do like to beat the cancer thing (270 comments)

By "even more liberal", you mean less free, since BSD allows anyone to essentially take code for their own personal use without giving anything back to the project (like Apple using the BSD kernel to make lots of money, but not allowing the BSD folk any access to the Apple code that interacted with it).

about a week ago
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The New 'One Microsoft' Is Finally Poised For the Future

lord_mike Re:That's not the only thing that's gone... (270 comments)

Windows was cheap. For most people it appeared to be "free". A lot of their stuff seemed pricey at the time, but they were always cheaper than their competition. SQL Server cost less than Oracle. IIS cost less than Netscape Web Server. Windows Mobile cost less than Palm. Visual C cost less than Borland. Office cost less than Word Perfect. Mcrtosoft's pricing is what drove a lot of these guys out of business. Microsoft's products were cheaper quality-wise, too, which is why they have such a terrible reputation.

about a week ago
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The New 'One Microsoft' Is Finally Poised For the Future

lord_mike Re:That's not the only thing that's gone... (270 comments)

.NET seems to live in a zombie state, not really dead, but not really alive, either. They haven't killed it, but they aren't going to expand on it, either. Who knows where things really stand. The RT strategy seems to be in constant flux, too.

about a week ago
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The New 'One Microsoft' Is Finally Poised For the Future

lord_mike That's not the only thing that's gone... (270 comments)

Their motto of "Developers, Developers, Developers" also disappeared with Ballmer's exit. Everything is now getting locked down to the max in their attempt to be like Apple. What makes it worse is that they don't seem to have a direction as far as application development goes. They were strongly pushing portable .NET when there was no need for cross platform applications, but as soon as ARM gets into their mix of products, they drop that strategy and go with a native code strategy. It's all mixed up and extremely confusing. Their complete lack of direction is certainly not welcoming to developers trying to figure out how they should target the Windows platform, and that doesn't even take into account their confusion on user interfaces as well.

Microsoft's previous success was based on offering very cheap products that were friendly to developers. Yeah, their products were buggy and unfinished, but they were a bargain, and you could always "embrace and extend" them as you saw fit. Now, they are trying to market themselves as a premium luxury product like Apple (at least the consumer end) and walling the garden as much as possible. They're locking down the hardware, too, and alienating their hardware partners, who were the greatest drivers of their previous success. It's a big change. Can they do it? Hyundai managed to convert themselves from being a discount car manufacturer to a more upscale brand, but Hyundai didn't have the problem with their brand reputation that Microsoft has. Microsoft has made cheap crap for so long, I don't see how they manage to convince everyone that they are now an "upscale" high quality manufacturer of products and services.

about a week ago
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The Verge: Google Is Working on a TV Box Of Its Own

lord_mike Re:Chromecast? (117 comments)

But maybe you want to be using your tablet for something else while watching.

about two weeks ago
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The Verge: Google Is Working on a TV Box Of Its Own

lord_mike Re:Chromecast? (117 comments)

Chromecast needed a "source" to transfer video from, like a tablet, smartphone or computer. This set top box will be all in one. I wonder if it will be able to run unmodified Android apps like Ouya. If it can do that and sideload, too, I'm in!

about two weeks ago
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Amazon Launches Android-Powered 'Fire TV' For Streaming and Gaming

lord_mike The gaming thing is intriguing... (180 comments)

The big question is do games for the Fire TV require some special API or can any game from the Amazon game store work with it. Can regular Android apps be sideloaded onto it. If the answer is yes to both, then I could be interested...

about two weeks ago
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Electric Bikes Get More Elegant Every Year (Video)

lord_mike Re:Still ugly (164 comments)

They also cause impotence due to extra pressure on the perineum from the skinny seat and bent over posture. It's much better from your manly bits to be in an upright position. Much less pressure on the nerves and blood vessels supplying those vital areas.

I never liked the old "ten speed" or racing bikes. Maybe it's because I'm older now, but I'm much happier on a "comfort" or "cruiser" bike. It's easier on my carpal tunnel wrists as well.

about 2 months ago
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Sony's Favorite Gadget Is Kinect

lord_mike I've never understood... (222 comments)

....all the hatred for Kinect. People cite privacy and all that, but the hatred for Kinect goes back much farther than that. There was incredible hatred for the device at the initial release well before there were any privacy concerns. That's a shame, since it is the most innovative thing that Microsoft has ever developed. Download Kinect Party and play the demo for awhile--it's incredible that they actually were able to make something like this even work!! I have always thought it was very cool. The kids love it--a lot of them don't even know how to play a standard controller game. In fact, the only real "failure" of the Kinect system was by developers failing to realize its full potential. The reason it wasn't "optional" in the XBox One was that it's an important interface into the whole system--ideally, with its incredible revolution, it would also act as an add on controller in games (although that's not been realized, yet). I don't understand why people clutch so tightly to their 20 year old controllers like it's the Bible. Can't we try something new?

about a month ago
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Sony's Favorite Gadget Is Kinect

lord_mike Re:Microsoft had another option to be different (222 comments)

Diskless consoles are great in theory. After all, who wants to go around physically inserting discs like it's the 1980's or somethin?. But, it comes with a cost--the inability to buy used discs or discs from third parties at a discount will keep prices outrageously high for games. Yes, in theory, they could reduce the price to make up for savings from using physical media, but they won't. A $60 game (which is way too expensive to begin with), will always be $60 as a download, whereas a $60 disc can be acquired cheaper new at amazon.com or ebay, and even less used. The only way a disc-less console would be attractive to the cost conscious consumer would be if they would guarantee a significantly lower price for content--like $30. That would be a big selling point.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Rumored To Integrate Android Apps

lord_mike Re:It worked well for OS/2 (189 comments)

The big problem for OS/2 Warp was that the consumer version did not let you run windows apps in an OS/2 window. It was a dual boot machine. Only the much more expensive professional version had the ability to run windows apps actually within OS/2. If you wanted to run a windows app in the consumer version, you had to reboot. The marketing was really good. People bought OS/2 Warp in droves. Then they returned it 'cos it did not do what the ads said it did. Had full windows integration been part of the consumer version, I think OS/2 would have survived and possibly thrived as people got to appreciate the inherently superior interface of warp and tell their family and friends.

about 2 months ago
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Why Games Should Be In the Public Domain

lord_mike The test for public domain status is simple... (360 comments)

If you are not actively selling or supporting a version of publicly available software, then there is no reason for you to have any protections for said software. If someone cannot acquire or purchase the license from you, how can you claim "theft" if someone copies it or acquires it from third parties? There really should be allowances fro abandonware in IP law. There are some provisions dealing with abandonware, but they don't nearly go far enough. If you want to make some new version of Pac Man for the X-Box One, you can keep the protections for the character and such, but unless you actively support and sell the Commodore 64 version, you shouldn't get any special protections for that.

about 2 months ago
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Engineers Invent Acoustic Equivalent of One-Way Glass

lord_mike Finally! (114 comments)

When can I order my "Cone of Silence"? I can't wait to be finally able use my shoe phone in public knowing my conversation will be secure and private!

about 3 months ago

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