* Posts by Stuart Longland

1608 posts • joined 11 Jan 2008

Microsoft backports data slurp to Windows 7 and 8 via patches

Stuart Longland
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Re: And Server 2012 as well

I can't help wonder if a few security people should start asking MS really probing questions about what is actually sent back to the Redmond mothership.

They say no identifying data, but they then mention they take snapshots of RAM.

Just how do they propose to identify what is "identifying" and what isn't? What happens if the RAM snapshot was of the web browser's RAM just as you were filling out an order form on an online shop?

They going to find your address in there and scrub it out? I think not.

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128TB SSD by 2018? Toshiba promises much, delivers ... a little

Stuart Longland
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Re: Re. perpetual right to watch a movie

So tell me why my Raspberry Pi's root filesystem needs to pay royalties again?

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Stuart Longland
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Re: A lot of data

To loose when it fails without warning, followed by the other one in the RAID 10 pair.

Depends on which one that fails. RAID 10, as it is by definition, a RAID-1 of two RAID-0 sets, can theoretically survive two drive failures before data is irrecoverably hosed. (It might require some low-level analysis to do so depending on the implementation.)

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Stuart Longland
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Until SSDs become price and capacity comparable with standard hard disks they will be the thing of data centres and a few enthusiasts looking for speed in such things a gaming.

… or those who want to eliminate some fragile moving parts.

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Seagate births 8TB triplets and a 2TB mobile nipper

Stuart Longland
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Yes, but then they totally suck once the seal breaks.

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In redneck heaven, internet outages are the American Way

Stuart Longland
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Re: Not just the USA

Dickheads are dickheads the world over. If road signs have shotgun damage then they're unlikely to be the only thing in the area that got targetted.

Indeed, I've seen bullet holes in road signs around the Snowy Mountains, so it's not just the US.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: It's a sport....

Now if deer hide in trees or up the poles, it might be beneficial to the hunter to have that skill

Sounds like an ideal skill for hunting these. They're unbearable!

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Google tells iOS 9 app devs: Switch off HTTPS if you want that sweet sweet ad money from us

Stuart Longland
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Actually, iOS developers: DON'T!!!

We need to give them an incentive to pull their finger out! Use an alternate ad network or charge a fee if you have to.

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Android in user-chosen lockscreen patterns are grimly predictable SHOCKER

Stuart Longland
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Re: It has to be said....

I use the "password" option with the "Hacker's Keyboard" on-screen keyboard, so the keys are reasonably close together.

You've got 8 characters to guess from the smear marks, some of which will be close to other smear marks.

Yes, secure sometimes means slow, and it can be a hassle if I'm trying to unlock the screen whilst standing in the rain.

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BOFH: Why, I LOVE work courses. Please tell me more, o wise one!

Stuart Longland
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I'm surprised this sort of BS would be permitted by their director.

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OLPC heir reveals modular laptop design

Stuart Longland
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Every time I come near Android, however, it tries to get me to sign up to conditions that rival Facebook in their intrusiveness into my life, and personally, I think they can go and [censored] themselves if they think I buy the "No Evil" part in combination with those terms.

That phone I took the screenshot of, has never seen credentials for my Google account. In fact, the previous one to that, rejected my credentials, on the grounds it didn't end in gmail.com. Everything I use on that phone, has been either side-loaded, or downloaded from the F-Droid store.

For the OLPC project, there is no reason why they couldn't offer their own marketplace and services much like what Amazon and Samsung are doing.

You're partially right about Android and Linux, Linux is just a kernel, nothing more. Android is an operating system. Ubuntu is an operating system. Debian Linux is an operating system. Red Hat is an operating system. Windows is an operating system. MacOS X is an operating system. XNU is a kernel.

Ubuntu, Debian Linux and Android are all built on Linux. MacOS X and iOS are built on XNU.

Nobody uses XNU on its own, they use it as part of Darwin, MacOS X or iOS. Nobody uses Linux on its own, it's either part of a GNU/Linux (or similar) operating system or an Android OS.

I think Android would be fine, but the build would have to respect children's privacy. So you wouldn't use the standard Android build that Google ships with their app store, the OLPC project would build it themselves, and put in open-source replacements for many of the Google equivalents.

The device would probably ship rooted, so you could tinker. Put the OS on a removable SD card, then if the kid bricks it, you can undo a screw to open a panel, remove the SD card, re-flash it from some other device, and you'd be running again.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Oddly I've alway s thought it's the *processor* that should be upgradeable.

In a way the processor is upgradeable.

You remove the screen, keyboard and other modules from your existing computer and plug them into the new one.

Here at home, I still run a Sun monitor from the turn of the century and a PS/2 keyboard.

And, uh, then swap out the hard drive too and lose all your work. Unless you plan to boot an x86 kernel on ARM or vice versa.

And what, prey tell, stops U-Boot on a flash chip from loading the ARM kernel from a FAT partition residing on the same hard drive as the x86 OS? It works with SD cards: been there, done that.

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Stuart Longland
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Sorry to screw over your foaming-at-the-mouth Apple rant, but I was thinking of Linux.

Funny you should mention Linux when discussing Android…

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Stuart Longland
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.. and suffer "experience" Android instead of a decent OS? Ugh.

Sadly, the day Apple release a device cheap enough to be considered for the OLPC project will be the day they start powering their datacentres from a generator whose shaft is connected to Steve Jobs' corpse.

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Microsoft turns on Windows 10 file backup to Azure

Stuart Longland
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Re: the chance to store data for 99 years.

Nintendo Co., Ltd. (Japanese: 任天堂株式会社 Hepburn: Nintendō Kabushiki gaisha?) is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics company headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. Nintendo is the world's largest video game company by revenue.[8] Founded on September 23, 1889,[2] by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it originally produced handmade hanafuda playing cards.[9] By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as cab services and love hotels.[10]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo

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Boffins dump the fluids to build solid state lithium battery

Stuart Longland
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Re: Another week...

20 years ago, mobile phones typically ran on NiMH or NiCd battery packs. Recharge cycles were hopeless and battery life was poor.

Today, Li-ion type cells dominate. Are you trying to imply that the NiCd/NiMH packs common in the mid 90s are no better than the Li-ion packs used today?

We'll probably see these on the market in the next 10 years.

Roq: Really, Lead acid? I thought you'd be using a voltaic pile.

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Thirty five Flash Player holes plugged (and there's one quick fix)

Stuart Longland
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Good luck with that argument around here. "I don't need Flash, so no one needs Flash" is one of the tenets of the Reg religion.

It happens to be an opinion shared by some of the browser makers. How else do you explain Edge's plug-in hostility (Flash disappearing will only be a matter of time there) or iOS Safari's inability to run Flash?

The web browser world has seen how harmful proprietary solutions have been to making content accessible, and are now moving towards doing away with them now. The sun is setting on Flash, it is time to move on.

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Stuart Longland
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The problem with your alternate fix is that some of us have jobs to do, and the tool we have to use is Adobe Flash.

The agricultural industry said the same thing about DDT years ago. In years to come, we'll be wondering what loon let that crap out on the Internet.

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You've been Drudged! Malware-squirting ads appear on websites with 100+ million visitors

Stuart Longland
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Re: What if

I have NoScript set to "Forbid Scripts Globally". You should see the amount of 3rd-party JavaScript in the NoScript pop-up menu; on many sites I've seen lists of domains so long that it makes the menu scroll.

Figuring out which ones need to be unblocked to make the page work is an exercise in frustration too.

I can think of no good technical reason to do it. The risks however are obvious.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: All your eyes are belong to us

Stealing? Really, do explain...

Next we'll be accused of stealing because some of us haven't turned a television on in several years.

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Aussies turn to comic cat videos for comfort

Stuart Longland
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Re: Desparate times indeed …

It says something about the UK's Channel 5 too.

- UK Channel 5: couldn't come up with anything better, but managed to produce something

- Australian TV outlets: couldn't even come up with something to match UK Channel 5.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Spooling errur?

Is that what you get from watching too many cat vids?

It leaves the viewer in a catatonic state.

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Stuart Longland
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It is a catastrophe, you might say.

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Stuart Longland
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Channel 9 ran "Funniest Home Videos" for how long?

And their rivals are only just cottoning on to the home-video market?

This, people, is why I consider "smart television" a contradiction in terms!

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CAUGHT: Lenovo crams unremovable crapware into Windows laptops – by hiding it in the BIOS

Stuart Longland
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Re: Windows only though

No effect if blatted with Linux?

Possibly not, I wonder if said LSE could be hijacked to prevent a future installation of Windows, i.e. like what some crim might do if they stole said laptop.

They steal machine, try to install Windows, Windows grabs tainted blob, blob executes and then wipes the Windows installation and puts Linux back on.

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Cheers, Bill Gates. Who wouldn't want drinking water made from POO?

Stuart Longland
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Re: Drinking processed excrement

I'm wondering if we couldn't feed copies of Windows ME, Vista and 8 to these machines and get some useful electricity and water from them?

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Intel left a fascinating security flaw in its chips for 16 years – here's how to exploit it

Stuart Longland
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Re: re: OpenRISC

There is no complete guarantee.

No, there isn't, but the fact remains there's a greater guarantee here than on other OSes.

The only true guarantee is to go and build it yourself. For most of us though, we're willing to take a RISC.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: a ha ha ha ha ha :(

True, but at least Linux will run on open architectures like OpenRISC, a platform that Windows will probably never colonise. So the truth is that, while there is a limit to how much we control, we control a damn sight more than any Windows user can hope for.

We know about this flaw now, and so it's theoretically possible to guard against the possibility of exploits where possible or to replace the aging boxes affected by the flaw.

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Windows 10 is FORCING ITSELF onto domain happy Windows 7 PCs

Stuart Longland
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Re: how about a reference?

Thankfully for laptop users it has not cost me anything as I have enough padding in my shared data to absorb the added usage, but a lot of consumers are going to get a surprise on their next cell phone bill when they find they inadvertently used 3+gb of bandwidth with their hotspot/tether.

This is probably my biggest gripe, people will click on this, not knowing the full ramifications of the decision. I know people who have a 1GB quota as their only Internet service. Plans like this one because all they use the Internet for is to check the occasional email.

So that "free" operating system update, according to that plan, would cost them about $55 in quota ($25 for the first 1GB, then $30 for the remainder).

I predict a nasty surprise over the coming months.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: blaming slack admins for this one

Given that WSUS is free, easy to set up and takes up very little space / resources then I kind of have no sympathy for admins who aren't running it.

Bullshit! It requires a 20+GB disk, RAM and CPU dedicated to run a Windows 2008 server on, the license for which is NOT free.

If it were a tarball that I could download, roll into a .deb package and install on the Linux server here, then I'd agree with you, however, it isn't, which means we'd need to procure hardware and software for a server dedicated to the task of providing this service.

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UK.gov issues internal 'ditch Oracle NOW' edict to end pricey addiction

Stuart Longland
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Re: remotes

For starters there is no VBA support

Which given the history of VBA and its use in malware and poorly constructed information systems, I'm happy to consider the lack of VBA a feature well worth having!

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LibreOffice 5.0 debuts, complete with fewer German code comments

Stuart Longland
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Re: A slight step backward in MS Word compatibility...

Now, question is, how easily could you extract a test case for upstream to try and figure out why it butchered the table so badly?

What's the bet that Word didn't produce that file either, but rather some proprietary CRM system whose authors thought they understood OOXML?

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The slow strangulation of telework in Australia

Stuart Longland
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Yes, but "has vision", does appear in the phrase "has vision poorer than a cave fish".

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German police ARREST SQUIRREL for stalking woman

Stuart Longland
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Maybe the squirrel thought the woman was nuts?

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Terracotta: The Chinese VPN that hides Beijing's hackers with pwned biz

Stuart Longland
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Of those, 1095 are found in China, 572 in the US, two in Britain, and one in Australia.

Okay, who has that dubious honour?

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Sick of politicians robo-calling you? Bin your landline, says the FCC

Stuart Longland
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I'm thankful I don't live in the US

… because the purpose of the call would be irrelevant to me.

If the call is not made by a human, and two-way in nature, then by definition, it is abuse of a telephony service.

Telephones are meant to be one-to-one bi-directional devices. If they want a medium that is one-way one-to-many, then they are using the wrong tool, and should be looking at broadcast radio, newspapers, television, etc.

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Websites that ID you by how you type: Great when someone's swiped your password, but...

Stuart Longland
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Re: Surely the main issue is informed consent

Biometrics are not passwords. Passwords change, biometrics don't.

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You must remember: An archive isn't a thing, it's a strategy

Stuart Longland
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SQL database dumps…

I trust nothing less than a plaintext SQL script dump of the database.

Something of the style generated by mysqldump or pg_dump. Then you've got the data in a format that the database is likely to natively understand, or failing that, you should be able to restore with some mild tweaking with regular expression search-and-replace.

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'Fix these Windows 10 Horrors': Readers turn their guns on Redmond

Stuart Longland
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Re: I'm sure for many of us…

I think you might have something there. What we are seeing in the design of UIs in recent years has less to do with functionality than it has to do with fashion.

Yep, said it before, and I'll say it again, it's basically Microsoft saying "If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too".

I find it amusing that dogged immediately latched onto the UI side of the argument. While yes, that has gone downhill in the last 20 years, one point I did raise was the ability of the OS to talk to older-style domains. As I understand it, Windows 7 is the last version to support Samba-3 domains. They officially don't support NT4-style domains on Windows 7 or newer, and require some registry tweaks to make Windows 7 work.

Pretty sure Windows 8 and newer requires ActiveDirectory to work, which means in our case, a move to Samba4, which, is on the TODO list, just not in the near future, and we'll need new computers sooner than that.

There's also a lot of software we use that presently runs on Windows 7, some won't run on anything newer than Windows XP, and we have to support it. So there are good technical reasons why we stay with Windows 7. With more of our work revolving around Linux these days though, it's only going to be a matter of time before Windows is just a VM sitting atop KVM on Linux.

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Stuart Longland
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Who cares? You do. It was you that advanced the proposed advantage that any old WM from twenty years ago works fine on current system. They don't. Now it supposedly doesn't matter because you have found a modern WM that happens to keep you happy.

That is a massive volte-face, not a justification of your position. If your preferred WM was twm, mwm, olwm or any of countless others you are shit out of luck

When I said "want an early 90s desktop", I was referring to the look and feel. That's what affects me directly as a user. How does it appear on the screen? How do I open an application? How do I close it? How do I arrange them on the screen? How do I customise it the way I want it to work? Can you, as a user, tell the difference between a machine running the mid-90s OS, and a modern one set up with the same environment?

How it achieves this does not matter to the majority of users. So not a "volte-face" at all. A misinterpretation on your part, perhaps. Maybe the fact you had to point out some of the enhancements and when they were included are a hint at this fact.

A lot of those old Window Managers do work, I've used a couple. The thing they might miss are things like system tray notification areas: there's tools like stalonetray that fill that role. FVWM works in my case. twm? Well, it was always primitive, but I see no reason why it could not be used even today. I know of companies that still use ye olde mwm just fine. Largely on SCADA.

The point being, I have chosen that look and feel, and I am using a windowing environment that originally came from that era to achieve it. I had that as an option. Microsoft has never given us this option. Yes Windows 95 had the program manager available, but its look and feel was nothing like that of Windows 3.1.

The Windows desktop also tends to make a lot of assumptions, such as assuming the task bar is on the bottom of the screen. Applications seem to assume this too. So if you do what I do and move it to the top, windows tend to cover it (I'm looking at you, WireShark), or some applications try to put a pop-up screen above it, and thus off the top of the screen (I'm looking at you, ClamWin).

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Then there is the Whitespace everywhere

I'll also be glad when the creative (copycat?) types jump on another bandwagon.

Exactly my sentiments when I first saw this. Used to be able to find what I wanted there fairly quickly. Not any more.

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Stuart Longland
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So, version 2.6.5. It adopted EWMH from version 2.5 onwards, and thus no longer pure ICCCM. Now ask yourself why they had to deviate from the prior and well established conventions.

Who cares? It works and behaves (to me, the user) pretty much exactly as it did years ago. So for all intents and purposes, my desktop has "not changed" in so far as it looks pretty much identical, acts identical (from the user perspective) and behaves the way I want.

I have the user experience I chose. The fact that it achieves this with more modern techniques is a win-win: I can have the modern applications that go with it, but with mostly the feel of what I've been used to for years.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: I'm sure for many of us…

People here have been crying the same tune since WinXP launched. "lol fisher price, I'll never use it". They always do.

Yep, first thing I turned off in Windows XP was the "fisher price" UI. That and changed the start menu back to the old classic (Win95-style) one.

When Vista released, I did the same, turned off Aero, switched the start menu back.

When 7 released, I tried to do the same. I turned off Aero, but then found they had removed the old-style start menu, much to my annoyance. Thankfully there's ClassicShell, and also thankfully, I don't need to use Windows all that often.

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Stuart Longland
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Want an early 90s desktop with modern applications? No problems: install one of dozens of window managers, set up .xinitrc and it's just like the old days.

Have you actually tried it recently? A lot of classic Unix apps have been royally shat on by the Linux community who seemingly show blatant disregard for anyone using anything else. Many apps simply don't work correctly on a strictly ICCCM-compliant WM. Examples that come to mind - both Open- and LibreOffice will tend to dump core (and keep open documents locked) if you have the temerity to close the app via such a window manager. Firefox can't even maximise properly on some systems - it gets bigger all right, it just ends up four times the size of the screen.

Let's see… I'm typing this in Firefox 37 running within FVWM 2.6.5 on X.org server 1.16.4 and Linux kernel 4.0.2. I also use Gnumeric or LibreOffice for the office suite just fine and numerous other applications such as The Gimp, Inkscape, and of course gVim.

So yes, I have tried it, in fact, it's what I use now and have been for some time. FVWM was a very common desktop in the early-mid 90s, and still around today. The modern version is pretty much as things were years ago.

As for downloads, I get asked where I want to put something, that's how I've always done it for close to 20 years and how I intend to keep doing it.

Documents are put where I want them, not where the computer thinks they should go, this works with our business work flow, where we have separate directories for each project on a file server. A local ~/Documents tree would need all sorts of fancy synchronisation to work. Instead, we just mount CIFS from a server and throw it in there. Job done, no fuss.

Your only honest answer to the above will be, "I have no idea whatsoever." Just like 99.9% of computer users faced with the choices *you* are referring to. Apart from a small percentage of computer geeks, "choice" means "confusion". In a managed environment, the IT department will understand the choices and make suitable ones for the users. In an unmanaged environment, the user will either need to hire a professional or end up making bad choices, so it makes sense for Microsoft to make choices on behalf of its *non-professional* system users.

It's a big reason why the masses have not taken to Linux. Installing Linux usually involves making a choice or answering a question that the average home user does not even slightly understand, which immediately brands it as "too difficult".

You're right of course. We should remove all possible choice, because people find it too confusing. We should mandate that everyone's computer should be exactly the same, right down to every bit on the hard drive/SSD, look the same, work the same, have the exact same CPU, exact same RAM, exact same amount of non-volatile storage, exact same peripherals, same OS, same software.

Or perhaps you can realise that life is about choice. If they want to choose whatever desktop environment their OS comes with, they are free to make that choice on Linux. Windows and MacOS X you just get force-fed whatever Microsoft/Apple think is appropriate at the time.

I'm not saying people should be forced into choices, but they should always have the personal right to decide for themselves what works for them.

How will commecial software devs test their software against windows 10 if windows 10 keeps changing all the time?

If companies' Linux support for devices is anything to go by, I will be telling Windows 10 users: welcome to our world. A world where a company does a port of their driver to a version of the kernel, leaves it 18 months, then wonders why you're filing tickets about the driver they haven't bothered to maintain. I battled Moxa over this years ago.

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Stuart Longland
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I see it as trying to copy the opposition. Opposition in the IBM PC clone market, not the personal computer market in general, unless Apple have a backflip on MacOS X on non-Apple kit.

The alternatives are gaining popularity, and fundamentally because they give users choice. Want an early 90s desktop with modern applications? No problems: install one of dozens of window managers, set up .xinitrc and it's just like the old days. Want something shiny? KDE and Gnome are right there.

You pick and choose what you want, and crucially, choose when to update.

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Stuart Longland
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I'm sure for many of us…

…it indeed will be the last version of Windows we come in contact with. Shortly before reaching for the install media for something workable, whether it be an earlier edition of Windows or something else entirely.

In the short term we're staying at Windows 7 at my workplace. No point going any higher as the newer stuff won't support our domain. (Samba3; yes, replacing it is on the TODO list.)

More and more of my colleagues are now dual-booting Linux, it used to just be two of us, now four, out of a department of 8. One of the remaining 4 regularly runs a Debian VM … the cautionary first-step to dual-booting, and all are getting more exposure to it daily.

Sorry Microsoft, this ship has sailed.

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Gay emojis? GAY EMOJIS?! Not here in Russia, comrade

Stuart Longland
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Re: Strange

They're just putin-up with it for the time being.

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Stuart Longland
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The irony being…

… computers were first conceived by a homosexual. Yet they don't seem to be shunning them.

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Git a load of this: GitHub now valued at $2 billion

Stuart Longland
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Re: Where's the value?

Probably the fact that Github offer private project hosting for commercial users for a fee. Thus they see that as a means of raising revenue.

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Microsoft admits critical .NET Framework 4.6 bug, issues workaround

Stuart Longland
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Re: Nothing to worry about, move along

O

Yes, that's what most of us say when someone's been foolish enough to mess with that flag without understanding it.

(Speak from experience: try compiling glibc with -O3 and see how far you get. Did it once with Linux-from-Scratch, never again.)

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