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Comment The problem is that the idea never got any chance (Score 1) 286

It started right away with "big budget" devices. Devices that were hard to program and had to sell huge numbers to recover their investments. Those devices were then aimed at the "fitness tracker" market and nothing else. Not even displaying the time was a priority any more. Also screens have been to small compared to their sci-fi counterparts and nobody bothered about the input problem. In fact in order to use (=program) all of those computers you had to use a separate computer with a special development environment. Any idea you have for such a device will be eliminated by the frustrating experience of installing that environment and actually doing the programming. Also, since most of those devices run fully fledged bloated operating systems, they needed to recharge quite more often to be useful.

What we would need is a simple system centred around the software a digital watch would usually run, then add hooks to allow people to hook their own code to experiment with the system. This sort of "experimental phase with geeks" is rather important, but the modern smartwatch industry tried to skip it.

Comment Unfortunately SystemD isn't the only one (Score 4, Interesting) 508

The whole "FreeDesktop" Movement seems to be about making Linux more and more incomprehensible.

My theory for why this is is like this:
There are lots of people now growing up when Windows kinda worked (since about 2000). At the same time, involvement in "Open Source" software is seen as a good career move. So they churn out some shitty badly designed code as potential recruiters cannot tell good from bad code. Also they take part in design processes without the experience necessary for this. The result are overcomplex buggy solutions which suck in manpower to maintain them.

Take a look at the *BSD people. The team maintaining OpenBSD is probably smaller than the SystemD team, yet they manage to maintain a whole operating system.

Comment It's a sign of continuing centralization (Score 1) 207

In the past it was trivial to just mirror websites as they typically only consisted of some HTML pages and some images. If something like that happened in the past, you'd just have mirrors popping up everywhere.

Today websites are much more complicated. Even something as simple as a blog is now dynamically generated every time its loaded. You cannot simply mirror that.

Comment Well about the "Frogs" (Score 1) 73

There were no references to French people as such particularly since nation states apparently did not exist any more. There was one reference to "Frogs" being a kind of animal. In the series there were just blurry shapes with glitter. There actually was a French version of that series which seemingly got lost in the mists of time. Only one fragment exists.

The reason why there were only so few episodes was that it was _really_ expensive to make. Multiple German TV stations had to cooperate to finance it. Since it was filmed just before TV stations invested in colour, it didn't get sold abroad very much. There were plans to make a second series in colour but those were abandoned.

What really drew new generations of viewers to that series are the sets and the dancing. Both incredibly goofy even for a 1960s show.

Comment Re:Most techies have no real free will to do so (Score 1) 537

Well most 'technies' are also unable to solve any decently complicated problems because of incompetence.

You don't need to be a good software developer to write the 457th version of Candy Crush, but you may need to be one to actually solve an important problem.

I mean there would be lots of things like building a secure mobile device. The problem is that your average "Java jockey" won't understand that their desire to make everything complicated is part of the security problem.

Also most problems in the world cannot be solved by technology. You cannot solve the problem of few people owning most of the world with technology. In fact if you are an incompetent "techie" you commonly even make it worse. A typical example are websites today. HTML used to be something simple, something everybody could do. Today it becomes more and more complex, so complex that there's just a hand full of working browser engines around.

Comment I couldn't get past the first episode (Score 2) 75

I mean realism is not everything with those shows, but it hurts when they include segments that make no sense in he context and are historically inaccurate.

I'm specifically talking about the "reverse engineering the IBM PC" bit. That bit involved reading a PROM with switches and LEDs... those LEDs came in colours unimaginable back in the 1980s. That wouldn't be bad if the whole scene would have made no sense. You can read out that PROM with the BASIC Interpreter provided with the computer... and the rest was documented in the manuals. The IBM PC was, essentially, open source (but not free). That's why it áfas to popular. There was no need to reverse engineer.

So spending a large part of your episode showing something that made no sense... and showing that very badly, kinda killed it for me.

I don't know how the other episodes went, but this kinda pissed me off. In a time where we have TV series like Silicon Valley or Mr Robot we shouldn't applaud a props guy ordering some C-64s.

Comment It was to half-assed to have a future (Score 2) 211

After all, Microsoft and the DOS community messed up to many points badly. For example the "driver" concept was basically unused. Few people ran ansi.sys because it meant sacrificing a ridiculous amount of RAM. That's why most software had to access the hardware directly, even for primitive things like coloured text.
Also there was the problem of not having a compiler coming with the operating system which meant that there was no free software movement. People actually sent out binary files. So every software was restricted to a narrow band of hardware.

Essentially there is now the need for a "new DOS". It would run on hardware like STM32-class microcontrollers which have (much) less than a megabyte of RAM and no memory management.You'd start off with decent lightweight hardware abstraction, then add a file system as well as simple version of the usual UNIX tools. Once you have an editor and a shell you'll have a decently working system which can be used for all kinds of things.

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