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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

wbo Re:Modula-3 FTW! (488 comments)

130MB would be the JDK. The JRE is a lot smaller.

That depends on if your applications needs to support 32 and 64 bit installs or not. The current 32-bit JRE for Windows is 73 MB and the 64-bit JRE is 85.3 MB. The current JDK is 158 MB for Windows 32-bit and 170 MB for Windows 64-bit.

If you package both versions so that your application runs optimally on both 32 and 64 bit systems (very common in my experience) then the JRE would add roughly 158 MB to the size of the installer.


How To Hijack Your Own Windows System With Bundled Downloads

wbo Re:I don't think that's quite right. (324 comments)

Only applications that are installed system-wide go in Program Files or Program Files (x86). Applications installed for a specific user are supposed to put their files inside that user's profile which does not require administrative privileges.
Any registry keys created by the application are supposed to follow the same model. System-wide configuration goes in local machine hive while user-specific information belongs in the users hive.
Applications with properly written installers are very easy to work with on Windows. The problem is there are many applications that don't have proper installers. Much of my time theses days is spent fixing badly written installers or reverse-engineering an applications installer and writing a proper replacement (usually a MSI) that can be used on the 1200+ Windows PCs I manage.

about two weeks ago

The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

wbo Re: Have Both (567 comments)

ClearType / Subpixel font rendering works just fine on my Windows 7 PC with 1 24" monitor in landscape and another 24" rotated in portrait.

It didn't work for some reason when I had a fairly old ATI/AMD graphics card (It didn't take into account the rotation of the portrait monitor), But when I replaced the card with a mid-range nVidia card the problem went away. My guess is the ATI graphics driver wasn't properly reporting the orientation and pixel layout information received from the monitor.

I have seen some (usually cheap) monitors that don't appear to have an option in their menu to set their orientation. My guess is ClearType probably wouldn't work properly on them since the DDC information would be incorrect when rotated, but that is more of a problem with the monitor than Windows.

about a month and a half ago

Windows 8 and 8.1 Pass 15% Market Share, Windows XP Drops Below 20% Mark

wbo Re:Wondering about those numbers. (192 comments)

8.1 does not require a Microsoft account (except possibly to download the installer - depending on how you purchased your copy of Windows 8). After installation it does prompt you to create one or to login with an existing Microsoft account but there is an option at the bottom of the screen to skip linking a Microsoft account and to use local user accounts only.

Also 8.1 asks if you want to send search queries to Bing during the setup wizard. It is also easy to turn the option on or off at any time in the Control Panel.

about 3 months ago

YouTube Considering an Ad-Free, Subscription-Based Version

wbo Re:days of adblockers and downloaders are numbered (225 comments)

Vimeo allows the video uploader to choose whether or not to permit downloads. If the uploader allows downloads, links to download the video appear right below the video.

However, it is trivially easy to download videos even if downloads are not allowed. Just use the HTML5 player and the link to the video in MP4 format is right there in the video tag on the page, easily obtained by viewing the source of the page or using a browser extension.

Now Youtube uses a totally different system and is a bit more complicated but not much. There are quite a few browser extensions that work well to download the videos.

In most cases you have to download the video and audio streams separately and then mux them together since most new videos are using DASH, but that is easily done using ffmpeg or any other MPEG4 compatible muxer.

about 2 months ago

The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone

wbo Re:And... (347 comments)

LocalLow has a much more restrictive set of permissions than Local and is designed is for low integrity processes that have a high likelihood of being compromised and could pose a security risk.

Normally Low Integrity processes are restricted to being able to access only a handful of folders and registry keys. The LocalLow folder is one of the few locations that these types of programs are allowed to read and write.

By default Internet Explorer is an example of a process that is marked as Low Integrity. Later versions of Adobe Reader are also marked as Low Integrity processes.

about 3 months ago

The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone

wbo Re:Just keep it off the servers.... (347 comments)

I still like the old Commando interface in Apple's MPW. You could highlight any text command in a window and popup the Commando interface. It was pre-populated with radio buttons, check boxes, text fields, etc. for everything that command could do.

Have you tried using the Powershell ISE? A feature very much like what you are describing is built-in to ISE (a GUI-based interface for Powershell installed by default on Windows 7 and later and available as free optional download for XP and later.)

You can launch it from the start menu or open a powershell prompt and type ise

In the ISE you can search for and select a command from the commands panel. Selecting a command reveals a list of text boxes, check boxes, etc for the commonly used parameters for the selected command with an option at the bottom of the window to show all possible parameters.

You can fill in the appropriate parameters and then either click Run to execute the command or Insert to insert it into the currently active script or Copy to copy the command to the clipboard.

The ISE also includes some other nice features such as floating help windows for Powershell commands, tab completion, script debugging tools, etc.

about 3 months ago

Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

wbo Re:5K display (and computer) for $2500 (355 comments)

An iMac does need to be powered on to act as an external display, however it doesn't need to have a working OS (or at least the ones I have played with don't).

Beware, I haven't actually tested the power consumption so this is just speculation on my part, but since the processor and GPU in iMac aren't really doing anything I suspect they are running at their idle frequencies. If so, the power consumption of the machine should be fairly low - since many modern CPUs and GPUs have fairly low idle power requirements.

As other posters have pointed out though, Apple appears to have used their own custom display interface for the new 5k model and it looks like they have dropped Target Display Mode from the spec sheet, so it looks like using the 5k model as a dumb monitor isn't really an option.

about 3 months ago

Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

wbo Re:5K display (and computer) for $2500 (355 comments)

No. This is what I hate about these iMacs. And especially more since this high-res display. You get a good, expensive display, which you could easily keep for 10-15 years, but are forced to throw it away when you want to upgrade the computer, after say 2-8 years. A Mac mini duck-taped on the back of a monitor takes about the same space anyways.

Are you sure about that? The current generation of iMacs can act as a standard monitor when connected to another machine. Up until a few weeks ago, I was using one that had a failed hard drive in it as a monitor for a desktop PC via a simple mini Displayport to Displayport cable connected to the PC's graphics card.

There is a good possibility that the new iMacs can also be used as a monitor as well.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Why Can't Google Block Spam In Gmail?

wbo Re:I almost never get spam in my gmail inbox. (265 comments)

The only complaint I have is one particular sender on on particular email list whose emails are consistently misclassed as spam.

I have the same problem with multiple email discussion lists that I am on. I would always flag the messages as Not Spam and that would work for a few weeks and then the messages would start going into the Spam folder again.

Several other Gmail users had the same problem with those lists. The List admins finally figured out that what was happening was that some users were hitting the Spam button instead of unsubscribing from the list. When enough people did this, Google starting flagging all messages from the list as spam even for users who had previously marked the messages as Not Spam.

Ultimately I ended up creating a set of rules for those lists using the option to bypass spam filtering for messages that matched the rules.

about 4 months ago

HP Is Planning To Split Into Two Separate Businesses, Sources Say

wbo Re:HP (118 comments)

3-year warranty. Not even Apple offers that kind of support.

Actually Apple does offer a 3 year warranty (called AppleCare) for an additional fee. However, HP actually offers a 5 year warranty on their enterprise desktops, laptops, tablets, and servers as an option.

This works really well for the college that I work for because we can replace our hardware on a 5 year replacement cycle and yet still ensure almost everything is covered under warranty.

HP's enterprise service divisions are also very good about just shipping out replacement parts on request rather than requiring the entire system to be shipped back for service.

about 4 months ago

Apple Sells More Than 10 Million New iPhones In First 3 Days

wbo Re:Sales figures are news now? (206 comments)

Apple iPhone 3S July 2008, iPhone 4 October 2011, iPhone 5 September 2012, 6S September 2014.

Apple tends to release a new phone roughly once a year. In your list you left out the 3GS (June 2009), iPhone 4S (October 2011), 5C and 5S (September 2013).

The actual releases look like this:

  • 1st gen: June 2007
  • 3G: July 2008
  • 3GS: June 2009
  • 4: June 2010
  • 4S: October 2011
  • 5: September 2012
  • 5C, 5S: September 2013
  • 6 / 6 Plus: September 2014

about 4 months ago

iPhone 6 Sales Crush Means Late-Night Waits For Some Early Adopters

wbo Re:Can you explain how you migrate material over (222 comments)

iTunes simply offers to erase the phone when you plug it in since the phone predates the iTunes installation.

iTunes can be a pain at times and it's interface can be difficult to navigate if you don't know what you are doing but it is possible to use it to backup a phone even if that phone was previously synced with another PC or installation of iTunes.

iTunes will want to erase the phone (or any other iOS device for that matter) if you choose to synchronize the phone with the existing iTunes library on the PC, however that is not what you want to do.

Instead, if you have iTunes configured to sync automatically - cancel the sync and then select the device and use the Backup option which will backup all of the apps, user data, and settings from the device - including SMS messages and voicemail messages (if your carrier has enhanced voicemail).

Be sure to set it to encrypt the backup and set a passphrase on the backup - otherwise the backup will not include account usernames and passwords or data from apps that is marked as "high security". Beware that this can take quite a while if the user has a lot of apps or data on the phone but it will get pretty much everything as long as the backup is encrypted.

That backup can then be restored to another iOS device running the same OS version or newer. (In a few limited cases you can restore to a device running an older version of iOS but this is generally not recommended and can cause some major problems. If needed, update the OS on the new device before restoring the backup.) Plug in the new device, select it in iTunes and select Restore from Backup.

Restoring the backup will erase the target device in the process but after the process is complete the new device will be configured almost exactly like the previous device was.

about 5 months ago

Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

wbo Re:Incredibly bad live stream (730 comments)

The stuttering I can attribute to an ISP or the raw demand. But the ISP didn't stick crosstalk of a Cantonese interpreter over the English audio for the first 20 minutes.

Actually the audio problems appeared to be an issue with the video playback in Safari (and perhaps other players as well). When this happened I looked at some of the chunks of the stream and found that there were 2 audio channels in the stream, one for each language.

For some reason Safari decided to play both audio streams at the same time instead of offering a choice of which audio stream to play. This is most definitely a player bug and not a problem with the live stream itself but it is sad that in 2014 Apple's players don't handle multiple audio streams properly.

I don't know which is worse, the player bugs or the fact that Apple attempted to use multiple audio tracks in their stream which their own players don't support!

about 5 months ago

Steve Ballmer Authored the Windows 3.1 Ctrl-Alt-Del Screen

wbo Re:Never seen it (169 comments)

That particular screen was used in Windows 3.1 which used cooperative multitasking. The message was displayed when an application stopped responding to messages for a period of time (indicating that the application may be hung for some reason and could be preventing other applications from getting any CPU time.

The screen allows the user to kill the offending application, allowing any other applications to continue to run (that is as long as the hung application hadn't corrupted the contents of RAM in some way).

about 5 months ago

Facebook Blamed For Driving Up Cellphone Bills, But It's Not Alone

wbo Re:how about .... (131 comments)

(Ok, for the FB app, there is a setting to disable this, but the fact that people haven't heard of this without multiple news articles on the topic says that FB's default caught a good fraction of their users by surprise.)

I have an iPad and and Android phone and on both devices when the app was updated with the autoplay feature the app displayed an alert the first time to was launched post-update that talked about the autoplay feature and explained exactly how to turn it off in the settings of the app.

In my opinion, Facebook is not really the one to blame here because although the default is to autoplay videos, users were clearly informed when the feature was added and given clear instructions on how to change the setting.

about 5 months ago

Is Remote Instruction the Future of College?

wbo Re:Why not community college rather than online? (81 comments)

Speaking as a guy who works in educational technology, send her to a CC instead of trying to find stuff online

I also recommend looking community colleges. Most are accredited by the college accreditation agency in their region of the country and their courses will easily transfer to most other institutions should she wish to pursue a 4 year (or higher) degree later on.

Also, some community colleges have an extensive distance learning program, many of which offer classes that are either entirely online or require a handful of on-campus sessions (usually for things like lab time for certain classes.) The community college where I work offers about half of their classes online.

about 5 months ago

Surface Pro 3 Has 12" Screen, Intel Inside

wbo Re:And Never A Linux Port (316 comments)

Don't forget this thing is all locked down at the BIOS (UEFI) level

This is almost certainly wrong. The Surface Pro line is x86 and x86 PCs that carry the Windows 8 logo are required to support Secure Boot and allow the user to disable secure boot if desired.

The Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 made this really easy - the option to disable Secure Boot was clearly labeled on the first page of settings.

about 8 months ago

Mozilla Is Investigating Why Dell Is Charging To Install Firefox

wbo Re:Selling the labour (306 comments)

Also if you are using a PC imaging system such as WDS, SCCM or Altiris then you probably want the default boot device to be PXE and not the internal hard drive.

That way you can just unbox the machine, plug in power and a network cable, and turn it on. The PC will then automatically PXE boot and start installing your custom OS image and applications with no user interaction required if you have things set up properly.

about a year ago

Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

wbo Re:Win 7 (860 comments)

Most of your problems are probably from applications that still don't properly support high DPI settings (which unfortunately is a lot even though high DPI support has been built-in to Windows since at least XP ).

Go to the Change Display Settings option in control panel and select "Make text and other items larger or smaller." Select "Let me choose one scaling level for all my displays" option and then set the scaling level to Smaller (100%). That disables all DPI-based scaling so application windows will no longer be resized regardless of their support for high-DPI modes.

Depending on your graphics chipset and drivers, it may require a log off/log in cycle to take full effect. There should be a message at the bottom of the dialog box telling you if you will need to log off to apply the changes or not.

Be warned that if one of your displays is a high-dpi display then everything will appear to be very small on that display due to the fact that fonts and controls will no longer be scaled.

about a year ago


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