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Comparison: Linux Text Editors

macshit Re:Ed man! !man ed (402 comments)

I occassionally use ed even on normal machines while I'm running X... it does a fine job on simple little edits, and just feels so nice and lightweight, it doesn't even clear the terminal.... (which can be handy, e.g. when you want to preserve your terminal context)

about 3 months ago
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Comparison: Linux Text Editors

macshit Re:depends on what you're doing (402 comments)

However, as an admin, I have long ago standardized on VI for the simple reason that it's included by default on every single *nix variant out there.

It's not installed by default on Debian.

You can easily install it, of course, but you can easily install a bazillion text editors....

about 3 months ago
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Dubai's Climate-Controlled Dome City Is a Dystopia Waiting To Happen

macshit Re:I know someone who works on this kind of stuff (265 comments)

The other problem is that all this development seems like an insane urban-planning clusterf*ck... the rulers who are bankrolling it all want a glitzy showpiece to puff up their egos, and basically spend their lives traveling between high-end luxury malls, 60th floor corporate boardrooms, and enormous homes, in fleets of air-conditioned Mercedes SUVs. So they're designing a city optimized for those things. The result seems to be someplace that looks impressive in very long shots of the night-time skyline featured in inflight magazines, but which doesn't really work very well as an actual city (with, you know, people, not all of whom are necessarily ultra-wealthy)...

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

macshit Re:Lego Mindstorms (876 comments)

Ummm ... Egyptian hieroglyphics were actually phonetic symbols. And Chinese (still i use) is pictographic and not phonetic.

Chinese is (basically) ideographic ("symbols representing ideas"), but not generally pictographic ("symbols representing ideas/objects directly by resembling them"). Some Chinese characters are arguably pictographic, and in many cases there was probably a pictographic stage in the historical evolution of other characters, but the bulk really aren't.

In response to the grandparent: it doesn't appear that alphabetic/phonetic languages are faster to write/read than ideographic languages like Chinese. Chinese seems to be generally faster to read, and roughly equivalent to write in many cases. It's obviously a pretty hard comparison to make, since there are so many variables, but while ideographs are generally more complicated, they're also more information dense (so you need fewer of them to communicate a given idea) and can take better advantage of the human visual system to allow recognition of more text in parallel .

about 8 months ago
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Who's Getting Pay-By-Phone Right? The Fast Food Industry

macshit Re:You can have my feature phone when... (153 comments)

Why can't I just get a 5 cent thingy to put on my keychain, then?

Er, well, you can, sort of ... Japanese phones with NFC payment are compatible with common Japanese smart-cards, for instance public-transit cards like Suica and PASMO in the Tokyo region. These smart cards aren't quite 5 cents—there's typically about a $5 deposit on them—but they're extremely cheap compared to a cellphone, are easily recharged either automatically from a credit-card or via the ubiquitous TVMs in stations, and can be either anonymous or keyed to your name (so you can get something back if you lose it)...

Although pretty much any Japanese phone, "smart" or basic, can be used for payment like this, I don't see the point really... it's easier to just pull out a transit card from my pocket... and frankly, I kinda prefer using cash anyway...

1 year,9 days
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The Greatest Keyboard Shortcut Ever

macshit Re:Seriously? (506 comments)

(I can never remember the Emacs one... it's ctrl-x u, right?)

Emacs contains multitudes...

undo is on C-_, <undo>, C-/, C-x C-u, C-x u, <menu-bar> <edit> <undo>

about a year ago
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Kernel Dev Tells Linus Torvalds To Stop Using Abusive Language

macshit Re:Political Correctness has no place in Kernel De (1501 comments)

Linus isn't a dick though; indeed, he's quite laid-back and personable. When he criticizes someone like this, his criticisms are almost universally very accurate, and he only uses "extreme" language when (1) the person he's addressing did something really stupid ("merely stupid" isn't enough) and (2) that person really should have known better (so he doesn't tend to do this to strangers, only people he's well acquainted with, and has some trust in). He doesn't just call people names, he makes detailed technical arguments which happen to be decorated with er, expressive language.

This particular style is very common in the tech world, and if anything, Linus is far better than most, because he strictly sticks to technical criticisms; his language may be extreme, but for him, it isn't personal—if he is wrong, he'll very quickly admit it and apologize. Almost all of the time, the conversation quickly calms down and settles into a discussion of how to make things right. Note that this makes him vastly better than average: there are many others in the tech community who do take things personally, and won't back down no matter how obviously wrong they are.

This style isn't to everyone's tastes, and to someone who isn't familiar with Linus or the LKML, I guess it can be startling to see one of these exchanges. Maybe there are times when he goes too far. But claims that he's "abusive" are simply laughable. Things are not always as they appear at first glance...

about a year ago
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Android Co-Founder: Fragmentation "an Overblown Issue"

macshit Re:Yeah. (289 comments)

I can't help but feel that you've been a bit out of touch with the market, since you've got facts wrong on both sides.

Eh, probably, though I'll note that I'm in Japan, where the smartphone market is quite different from the U.S...

about a year ago
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Android Co-Founder: Fragmentation "an Overblown Issue"

macshit Re:Yeah. (289 comments)

Apple is still the one making the vast majority of the money. Quantity is a quality all its own, but come on?

Are they making the vast majority of money? There's a great deal of hardware competition in Android phones, which means no one manufacturer does the kind of volume Apple does, but many Android phones seem to have very similar hardware specs and very similar prices to the iPhone, and the overall volume of Android phones is greater than the volume of iPhones; in places like Japan, the overall volume of high-spec (iPhone or better) phones is probably greater than the volume of iPhones. Apple can profit somewhat by taking advantage of volume pricing for components, but many of their competitors are very large companies, with significant sway of their own.

I think Apple thought they'd have iPod-like market domination in this market, i.e., no significant competiton. Despite the iPhone's obvious popularity, Android really threw a spanner in those plans.... [Thus Steve's fury...]

about a year ago
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British Airways Set To Bring Luggage Tags Into the 21st Century

macshit airline-specific?! (123 comments)

So BA is making an electronic luggage tag ... and as some have pointed out, Qantas already has them.

Are they compatible? Will frequent flyers that use multiple airlines end up with 10 different electronic tags hanging off each piece of luggage?

A universal standard tag would seem a good idea...

about a year ago
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Can Ride-Sharing Startup Lyft Survive the SoCal Heat?

macshit Re:Honestly surprised it works at all in LA (133 comments)

Public transit is great for commuting, maybe getting to and from big events, and for low income people completely familiar with lots of routes. It's practically useless for tourists

Of course this is an over-generalization.

There are cities with good transit (Tokyo, London, etc), and there are cities with bad transit (most of the U.S.), and naturally transit in the former is a much better experience than transit in the latter.

Tokyo, for instance, is a rail city (rail has a majority transportation mode-share, across all uses); its many rail lines are fast, clean, efficient, go everywhere, and are significantly cheaper than a taxi. For typical trips (and especially for tourists, who visit mostly popular locations), rail is faster almost all of the time, and if there's any road congestion (which is ... often), it's much faster. If you're loaded down with suitcases, you might want to take a taxi (assuming you're not going too far, because taxis are very expensive), but if you're just looking around the city, you're far better off just using the rail system.

about a year ago
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The Average Movie Theater Has Hundreds of Screens

macshit Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (924 comments)

Most phones throw out a huge amount of light from their screen when in use... this isn't noticeable in normal situations, but it's extremely noticeable in a dark theater, especially during dark scenes. It's very annoying when the guy next to pulls out his portable searchlight / phone and lights up during a tense moment in the movie for an angry-bird break...

The real answer is social, of course—people should stop acting like entitled children and show some consideration. In many other countries, peer pressure serves to enforce such unwritten rules, but in the U.S.'s violent and self-focused culture, it's a bit scary even to just ask someone to turn off their phone...

about a year ago
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PlayStation 4 Will Be Running Modified FreeBSD

macshit Re:War of the Operating Systems (457 comments)

MacOS X is a FreeBSD-derivative

Hmm, but using a Mach kernel, not the FreeBSD kernel...

about a year ago
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Saudi Arabia Blocks Viber Messaging Service

macshit Re:Viber app (83 comments)

But this app seems totally dodgy. Free communications? No adverts? Where the hell are they getting the funding to run any servers and application development?

I agree with you, and I'd probably never install because it doesn't pass the smell test, but every VOIP app on android seems the same way (crazy permissions, no adverts, free install and free use). That includes those which are massively popular bastions of the establishment, and so presumably considered "respectable" (skype, kakaotalk, etc). [Kakaotalk at least seems to have some sort of attempt at its own store ecosystem integrated with it, but basic use is completely free.]

The entire app ecosystem seems rather dodgy come to think of it, but it continues to steamroller along...

about a year ago
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Saudi Arabia Blocks Viber Messaging Service

macshit Re:Viber app (83 comments)

Pretty much every VOIP app on Android (and there are a lot of them) seems to require the same laundry-list of permissions though... as far as I can figure, it's more due to lazy devs (who know most users won't even notice) than sinister ones...

about a year ago
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Aussie Government Proposes OpenDocument As the Standard Format

macshit Re:Free copies of office (113 comments)

Look, I get that you don't like Libre Office, but don't pretend the MS version is any paragon of stability. It just isn't.

Seriously... Every time I have to use MS office, it's a miserable experience. Not so much crash bugs as maddeningly inconsistent and hard-to-control formatting behavior, etc. Well, that and the insanely opaque user-interface...

I think the thing is that people get used to whatever software they use a lot (I don't use MS office a lot), and after a while instinctively work around its foibles and problems without really thinking abou tit. If they suddenly have to use some other software which has a different set of foibles and problems, it will seem like it's much buggier / more confusing, even if it isn't really.

about a year ago
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Google Drops XMPP Support

macshit Re:Bad Google (416 comments)

It's not actually a generic pejorative though, it's a common pejorative among 13-year olds.

The effect is that using it as an adult makes you sound childish...

about a year and a half ago
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The Amazon Rainforest Wants Its TLD Back From Amazon.com

macshit Re:Hahahahahahahaha Muahaha (186 comments)

I hate this new TLD crap. It's such an obvious scam from ICANN it makes my head feel like it's going to explode.

Indeed, and I'm curious, actually: what's the last thing ICANN did that wasn't an obvious scam making the Internet a bit worse in order to pump some money into their coffers (so they can afford airfare to exotic locations for their meetings, of course)...?

about a year and a half ago
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Gartner Says 3D Printers Will Cost Less Than $2,000 By 2016

macshit Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (170 comments)

Lets be honest, we barely use our home printers. I'm glad I have it, but I bought my color laser in 2009 and have never changed the toners.

Sure, but I think for many people, printers fall into the "not often needed but occasionally really nice" category.

This would explain why the printer market has developed the way it has, with super incredibly cheap printers that quickly get expensive if you use them a lot.

For some people, a better method of achieving this is easily availabled shared printers (e.g. there are still plenty of internet/manga cafes around here with printers, and the convenience stores all have copiers that can do printing or scanning from/to USB devices and SD cards), but especially in the sparsely populated U.S., I guess mega cheap personal printers that fall over after 10 pages are more popular...

about a year and a half ago
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United States Begins Flying Stealth Bombers Over South Korea

macshit Re:Perfect Analogy (567 comments)

None of their recent threats have been at South Korea

Other than the part where they talk about turning SK into a "sea of fire" and about "raining bullets on them" etc. Have you not been paying attention?

Also, of course, by far the easiest U.S. bases for NK to attack are those located in ... South Korea.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

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macshit macshit writes  |  more than 7 years ago

macshit writes "With the complexity of modern computer operating systems and the seeming obsession of schools with turning even the youngest kids into little PHBs ("hey everybody, let's powerpoint!"), I found this story a fun reminder that (1) little kids don't care about the latest buzzwords, and (2) there's something to be said for the immediateness and accessibility of early home computers. The sophistication of modern computer environments is wonderful, but these advances have come at a price."

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