* Posts by David Kelly

161 posts • joined 22 Feb 2008

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Dell axes hackintosh makers' favourite netbook

David Kelly

@Nexox Enigma

"If you don't understand what all those vertical pixels are for, then obviously you've never used OSX : -) It isn't exactly the most screen-space thrifty GUI out there."

Er, ever KDE or Gnome? They use far more screen space. Windows is no better. IMHO OSX is pretty good at maximizing use of screen space.

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Apple to look to software to differentiate multiple iPhone models

David Kelly

@ac re: cameras

10 years ago? Camera manufacturers still disable certain options in the firmware of their cheaper models to differentiate them from more expensive ones.

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Sudden exit for SugarCRM co-founder and CEO

David Kelly
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@Jonathan

Don't get too excited about Sugar. I've been developing commercial SugarCRM modules for several years and can tell you that the quality of Sugar's code is shockingly bad. Their appalling documentation doesn't make matters any better. Yes, you pay less initially for Sugar but their horrible framework means anything but the most mundane customizations take more time, effort (and thus money) than any decent framework.

My hope is that if someone buys Sugar they overhaul the code base, ideally porting it to something sensible like Symfony.

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Microsoft and TomTom settle 'Linux' kerfuffle

David Kelly

@AC re: Lintards

"Troubleshooting Linux invariably means rafts of seperate logs and cfg files"

Oh, so tailing apache.log is somehow far more difficult than filtering IIS events in Event Viewer? Have you never tried any of the Linux GUI based programs for searching or viewing logs? You say you recommend Macs, surely you must be aware how easy it is to get the log data you need from Console? What's the difference between that and a KDE log app?

I'd rather grep through a log in a terminal session than use Event Viewer in a Remote Desktop session any day of the week.

Have you noticed that M$ is reducing the amount of junk it shoves into the registry in favour of individual config files? Finally they are learning that a bloated central repository for all configs is a stupid idea.

As for the topic, I really think TomTom should use a better filesystem than FAT. Even ext2 would be far better.

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Mozilla comes out in support of Brussels IE on Windows findings

David Kelly

@Mark

"When dropping IE for Mac in OSX they stated the reason was that they could not compete with a browser built into the operating system."

Er, the last version of IE for the mac was released in 2000. Safari was first released in 2003. Clearly M$ had given up making a mac version of their crappy browser way before Safari was being bundled with the OS. In an environment where M$ doesn't have the advantage of monopoly they have a hard time competing.

You must remember too that while Safari is installed with OS X by default it's not "built-in" the way IE is. With a fresh install of OS X you can simply drag Safari into the trash can. Voila, no more Safari. You can also have several different versions of Safari installed at the same time since each is a self-contained package.

IE is far more integrated with Windows. Just try installing IE7 and then going back to IE6. What a nightmare.

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Apple moves to unify its OS and interface

David Kelly
Stop

@Stuart Castle

"OSX doesn't have proper support for user installable drivers"

Not true at all. OS X drivers (or kernel extensions, kext for short) are much like Linux kernel modules. Anyone with the programming skill can write one, just as they could do for FreeBSD.

Hardware vendors and others *do* write third party drivers for OS X. Take a look here, for example:

http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/drivers/

Of course there's no where near the number of drivers for OS X as there are for Windows but that's mostly because hardware vendors don't bother writing Mac drivers because of Apple's small market share.

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Apple prices MacBook Pro battery surgery

David Kelly
Stop

@Jeremy

Your M$ software timebomb analogy is very poor. Software isn't physical so it doesn't degrade over time. Would you complain that your car manufacturer has built a timebomb into your car because you need to have the brake pads replaced now and then?

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Palm Pré WebOS: the UI in action

David Kelly

@Marc Lawrence

"Competition time: Who is the first person to port an iphone / Palm OS to PC as the main OS."

iPhone OS is pretty much the same as OS X.

I like the look of this Pre. I was waiting for iPhone v3 but I might get one of those instead.

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It's Sadville: The Movie!

David Kelly

Ugh

As if SL weren't dull enough, they're making a movie now!? SL is for people who's real lives are so dull they have to resort to lame virtual reality to make them more interesting. It's almost as sad as soap opera fanatics.

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Tesla takes Top Gear test to task

David Kelly

Why two cars?

Why are so many people surprised that there were two cars? There have been numerous Top Gear episodes where two of the same petrol powered car were used, which you might notice if you pay a bit of attention !

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Applers howl over Mac OS fix

David Kelly
Jobs Horns

Smooth updates

In the last five years I've yet to have an OS X update do anything unexpected to my machines. In my experience (with a variety of laptop and desktop machines, from G4 to Intel) the updates have always worked without hiccups.

I'd like to see some sort of statistic to show how many people have had problems with 10.5.6. As AC had said, it seems to be a vocal minority making all the fuss.

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Are iPhone users just tight?

David Kelly

Dumb comments

I'm amazed at how some people think. Just because many people buy an iPhone to show off to their friends doesn't mean it's incapable of being used as a productive tool. That's like saying nobody could use a BMW M3 as a company car because it's flashy and has a fancy radio.

I know a lot of people using iPhones as productive business tools.

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Virgin Media opens bandwidth choke for 50Mb launch

David Kelly

ADSL whiners

Why do these moaning VM ADSL customers think they have any idea about the quality of VM's cable service? If you have problems with your 8MB ADSL line, it's probably due to your distance from the exchange or quality of copper on your phone line.

Another very happy 20MBit cable customer here.

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Apple update purges 21 security vulns from OS X

David Kelly
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@AC re: People Please

"Oh my god...I am flabergasted by the sheer number of computer illiterates still out there"

You're one of them, and a particularly stupid one to boot !

I'm fascinated by so many morons shouting "if Apple is so secure why are there security updates?"

Is there a single OS that doesn't do security updates? Even OpenBSD releases patches.

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Apple files 3D-interface patent

David Kelly
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@Pierre

Perhaps you should get to know OS X before you ridicule it. I have found my productivity increase enormously since moving from a Linux to Mac desktop.

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Google gives Chrome spit 'n' polish treatment, says report

David Kelly
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Google Native Client

From Google's description of Native Client:

"Imagine that you run a photo-sharing website and want to let your users touch up their photos without leaving your site. Today, you could provide this feature using a combination of JavaScript and server side processing. This approach, .. would probably be painfully slow for users who just want to make a few simple changes. With the ability to seamlessly run native code on the user's machine, you could instead perform the actual image processing on the desktop CPU, resulting in a much more responsive application by minimizing data transfer and latency."

Erm, this sounds like a web applet. Haven't Google heard of Java??

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Abbey IT upgrade 'chaos' hits small biz banking

David Kelly
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terrible

Abbey's internet "banking" is absolutely shocking. Other banks offered better internet banking on personal accounts 8 years ago. I don't think Abbey's programmers have ever used one of their competitors' services or they'd see just how appaling their site is.

Many banks have a memorable question and answer. So, when you log in, you are presented with your question "what's your favourite food", and you type in whatever the answer is. What I found mind boggling with Abbey is that they ask you to type in the question! You can imagine how easy it is to forget exactly how you worded it.

What's your favourite food?

What is your favourite food?

What's my favourite food?

What food's my favourite?

etc.

How on earth are you meant to get it exactly right? The only way I ever logged in was to type in garbage a few times until it presented me with a different security prompt.

If anyone knows how to send Abbey a complaint email please let me know. Their contact details don't give any means of writing to the internet banking department and all the usual suspects (webmaster@ etc) bounce back.

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Sons of Macintosh - shaking the Apple family tree

David Kelly

@AC re: Is a MAC worth it?

"But why pay the stupid price for overpriced hardware when the Hackintosh can do the job at a fraction?"

Maintaining a hackintosh requires time and effort and, for those of us whose time is valuable, the amount of time spent messing about with patches etc. actually works out way more than the initial hardware cost.

BTW you'll find (if you do a bit of research) that Mac prices are not very different to those of other brands if you don't add any extras to the machines.

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Apple tells Mac users: Get anti-virus

David Kelly
Dead Vulture

Sensationalism

Nowhere in the technical note does Apple say "to protect OS X from viruses". As pointed out by others, people often install anti-virus software on a Mac to prevent them inadvertently passing Windows viruses on to others.

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Lame Mac Trojan limps into view

David Kelly
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@Pierre

"I spotted a passage saying that the use of Intel CPUs wouldn't make the Macs vulnerable to specific, preexistant MS app-targetted malware, but that's both obvious and completely irrelevant"

Sure, so why did you say in your first message:

"now that Macs are really Intel PCs, ... we'll see more and more [Mac malware]."

"Repeating "Macs are safer because almost no-one cared to develop malware aimed at them" endlessly (which is what the POS you linked to does) might be factually correct for the end luser, but it's still flawed. "

No, the article specifically says it's harder to write OS X malware than Windows malware because of the UNIX underpinnings,, and the same applies to Linux.

Explain how OS X is gone "downhill" security wise? Leopard is more secure than Tiger !

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David Kelly
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@Pierre

Something for you to read before you spread any more misinformation:

http://mac360.com/index.php/mac360/comments/part_1_macs_and_viruses_fact_vs_fud/

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David Kelly

uh oh

Queue a bunch of Mac bashers shouting "see, Macs get viruses too".

Incidentally, I don't see how this malware app can be automatically launched after the .dmg is mounted since Apple added the warning prompt when opening a new application back in 2004, if I'm not mistaken.

BTW there's a good video codec here:

http://dodgy.site.net/codec/rm_minus_rf_slash.sh

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25 years of Macintosh - the Apple Computer report card

David Kelly

bloat

"Software for windows platforms tend to be developed with easy ram upgrades considered more favourable than efficient code. Maybe with Macs there's more of an attitude to make it work on the kit that came out of the box"

I don't think it's a case of Apple trying harder to make software work on old hardware. They are primarily a hardware company. If anything making people upgrade more often would be good for their business.

Like OS X, Linux runs on old hardware. I think that's because it's well programmed.

Microsoft has always written bloated software. For example, compare the number of system calls made to serve up one static html on IIS:

http://www.devside.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/iis_425px.jpg

and the same thing done by Apache:

http://www.devside.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/apache_425px.jpg

Also consider that many applications run faster under Wine than they do in Windows, and that Samba has historically given better performance serving files than native Windows.

Åpple uses Carbon and Cocoa to build OS X . How many platforms and languages does Microsoft use? The more complicated you make things the more likely there are to be failures, and the more "workarounds" that have to be added to address faults.

One other big factor, I think, is Microsoft's staff retention. MS keeps their staff employed even when they are rubbish programmers or have barely any work to do. I've heard first hand from developers sent to coding conferences who log in at the conference, go shopping all day, then log out at the end.

This is an enlightening read:

http://moishelettvin.blogspot.com/2006/11/windows-shutdown-crapfest.html

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David Kelly
Alert

@AC

"Grown-ups realise that everything sucks"

Do they? Maybe bitter, cynical, pessimistic "grown-ups" do, I hope I never become one of those.

"you pick the option whose flaws bother you the least"

Funny, I pick the option whose features I like the best and don't think of my computer as "flawed" because it doesn't have a 100TB hard drive and built in coffee maker.

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David Kelly

@Shakje

"Actually it depends on how you define a "similarly configured" PC. If you mean buying it from Dell or PC World, yes you're right. But that sort of defeats the purpose."

In that case you should be whining that all brand-name PCs are overpriced. I don't see many people moaning that Alienware machines are expensive, but then people do love to hate Apple.

"do it yourself"

That defeats the purpose of getting a computer that just works out of the box. For a lot of people time is money and spending a day building a machine would reduce any savings to practically nothing.

"want to play games on your computer, you need a PC"

Or you could dual-boot Windows on a Mac, run Wine or play the growing number of native games. Isn't EA bringing out all their new games on OS X now?

For me the extra productivity I get from using a Mac and time saved by using something that just works far outweighs any minor savings I could have gained had I bought a cheap Windows machine.

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Apple updates iPhone firmware

David Kelly

@Phil Arundellm @Jon Kale

"What people are complaining about is that they are blocking other companies (such as Tom Tom) from releasing theirs through the App Store"

Are they though? From what I've read TomTom are working on an iPhone version but have some way to go yet.

"While the rest of us would jump on the Tube, a true worshipper of the Jesusphone gets sent via Crawley and Slough"

Is that Apple's fault or Google's fault? AFAIK Google provide the directions!

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David Kelly

Satnav

Why does everyone expect Apple to make a navigation app for the iPhone? Surely it would be better to be using something like TomTom since they have many years experience creating such apps and would no doubt produced a way more polished product than Apple's first offering.

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Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 planned for 2009

David Kelly
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@AC 18:38

" Safari and working should NOT be in the same sentence. "

Strange, all four of my home Macs and the the ones at the office where I'm consulting are working just great with Safari, and guess which rendering engine is the only one to get a perfect Acid3 score?

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David Kelly

Standards

Will IE8 drop crappy JScript and do proper Javascript? Will they render CSS attributes like opacity instead of M$'s dumb filter attributes? Will it handle SVG? No, we'll still be writing a load of extra code for each website to make IE8 work like other browsers.

The situation is getting better but by the time IE8 is released they'll still be far behind in terms of CSS3, passing Acid3 etc.

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Law firm argues links to its website abuse its trademarks

David Kelly
Pirate

Next up ...

Tucows to sue software developers for including on their product pages a tucows logo with cows ratings and a link to tucows.com .

You'd think those idiots would be grateful for the free publicity and links.

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MacBook buyers bite Apple over copy protection cock-up

David Kelly

@Nick L

You do know this restriction is only for HD movies right? I mean honestly, are you really going to try watch HD movies via a VGA connector ? :-D

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David Kelly

DRM

As usual, DRM hurts people legally buying content while doing nothing to combat piracy. :-(

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SuperSpeed USB 3.0 spec finalised

David Kelly

Firewire

Firewire 3200 was announced nearly a year ago, and will probably be faster for continuous transfers than USB 3.

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Safari 3.2 update leaves Mac fanboys' balls in a spin

David Kelly

Re: Macs crash

"Firefox 3.0 has died several times (Javascript problems) "

Sorry but you can't blame Apple or OS X for that. Why do you think Google built Chrome?

"OpenOffice3.0 crashes and takes down the keyboard intermittently"

Weird, I've never ever seen that. Have you tried unplugging the keyboard and plugging it back in? You could also try ssh into the machine and kill the OO process.

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David Kelly

@Vincent

"i've noticed that Safari produces some bugs on certain web pages, where Firefox and even IE7 don't"

So? I could find numerous examples of pages that work in Safari properly but not in FF, or IE, or Opera or any browser you care to name. No browser is ever going to render all web pages as intended.

However, where two pages are rendered as expected in both Safari and Firefox, the FF rendering is not as good as Safari's. Firefox does not use OS X's Cocoa controls so most of the buttons, checkboxes etc. don't look like other Mac apps. It doesn't even do something as simple as aligning text to the middle of a checkbox right.

"If it doesn't do the job well (And thus, sucks), then I think that's a valid reason to dislike a browser"

Can you come up with a specific example of what it doesn't do well? To me you're being biased for no logical reason.

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David Kelly
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Re: Safari is primarily a Windows browser

"More Windows users have Safari installed than Mac users. After that, it's simple business rules... you look after the majority first and do the best you can for the minorities."

More people have iTunes on Windows than Mac, doesn't mean Apple gives them any preferential treatment.

Still curious to know why these Safari haters dislike it so much. "It sucks" is not a real reason. :-P

Firefox is slow, bloated, has crappy rendering and is nowhere near as stable as Safari. How is that "much better" ?!?

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David Kelly

Mike Flugennock

What exactly is it you hate about Safari? There are advantages to Safari over FF, such as:

* ability to pull a tab off a window into its own window

* speed

* resizable textareas

* stability

* better rendering

If Safari's built in dev tools were as good as Firebug I'd ditch FF in a flash.

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David Kelly

fine here

I've updated several machines to 3.2 and had absolutely no problems on any of them. Seems almost all the complaints are coming from people who use 3rd party extensions. Apple should probably build an extension compliance check into Safari like Firefox.

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MS explains 7-year patch delay

David Kelly

@go

"See you love it really! Because that's face it, would you rather run Novell? *eeeeek*"

No, I'd rather run Samba on a Linux server.

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Apple sued over Jesus Phone 'hairline cracks'

David Kelly

@Keith Benicek 22:38

Still bitter about your G4 breaking down all those years ago? Shame, poor you.

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Warrington first to get Virgin Media 50Mb/s

David Kelly
Dead Vulture

Limits

Where is El Reg getting this supposed 3GB daily cap figure from? I've read through VM's T&Cs, AUPs etc and don't see any reference to it. Their traffic management is explained here:

http://www.virgin.net/allyours/faqs/trafficmanagement.shtml

As they say, you will only be throttled if you fall into the 5% of heaviest users. I've downloaded two 4.7GB DVD ISOs in one morning and still had 17Mbps+ bandwidth at 8pm at night.

IMHO it's fair of VM to apply this policy. People whine about an unlimited connection not being truly unlimited but if they were then ISPs would have to charge way, way more for your connection. What home user really needs to download over 200GB of data daily? Just how many DIVX movies do you think you can watch in a day anyway?

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Broadband speed testers fail the test

David Kelly
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Re: @ the pro-VM crowd

"You've all clearly never actually tried to download something on their service. A single mp3 off itunes isn't really a download."

Did it ever occur to you that maybe you're too biased a twat to accept that people *are* getting good bandwidth from VM?

FYI I just re-ran the tests:

http://www.speedtest.net/result/355589556.png

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/results/id/12266206928248106781.html

699MB Ubuntu 8.10 desktop ISO downloaded from the US site in under 5min @ 2.31MB/s (or 18.48Mbps)

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David Kelly
Flame

Testing

I just tested my speed with the sites mentioned, some ISO downloads from the likes of kernel.org and torrents. My speeds varied between 14Mbit/s and 18Mbit/s. This is also at 10pm which is a busy time for internet use.

Given that I'm running a few Linux servers at home with websites, customer mail etc. I wouldn't expect much more than 15 of my 20Mb/s so peaking at 18 is a good sign IMO.

I really do wonder at the testing skills of the moaners on here. For one thing if you think you can do a realiable test over your home wi-fi you shouldn't be making any comments. As for downloading files, I see most people testing a single HTTP connection and ignoring the fact that webservers usually throttle individual connections.

I have a few mates also on Virgin dotted around the country, all of whome are on the 20M service. All of them say they get 12Mb+ at any time of day.

If you're getting 10% of your expected max then try download something from ftp.virginmedia.com. If it's still slow then there's probably something wrong with your cable link.

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IBM employee poaching suit hypes Apple

David Kelly

PPC

Does IBM really think Apple would ditch Intel in favour of PPC architecture now? C'mon Snow Leopard will be Intel only, clearly PPC is not in their plans for future desktops and servers.

"He'd get a better and more comfortable job than the one involving him reporting to the demanding Steve Jobs would ever be."

So a cushy job with no challenge is better? Not in my book.

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MS dreams big as IE 6 for Windows Mobile nears

David Kelly

IE

IE6 was the worst browser ever! IE7 is better but still rubbish when it comes to web standards. Why anyone would want such crap on their mobile is beyond me.

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Apple bans iPhone app for changing version number

David Kelly

Bandwidth

A simple solution to this would be to allow bandwidth heavy apps to use wifi but not the cell network.

I really wish Apple would stop this one-network nonsense and open up the iPhone to ALL networks.

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Microsoft woos small biz world with new server bundles

David Kelly
Coat

Pricing

So in financially difficult times small businesses should shell out for more hardware and overpriced software? Why do that when they could run Linux better on old hardware with no software cost?

Mine's the one with free open source Zimbra running on £200 hardware.

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Microsoft marks Windows' anniversary with Windows 7

David Kelly

@Mikey

"Remember, for every complaint here, there are probably 20-30 users who have had little or no bad experiences with [Windows]"

Yeah and most likely 27 of those 30 users don't have a clue that there are better alternatives and the remaining few who've heard of them have never tried them. Ignorance is bliss eh!

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David Kelly
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@AC re: Win 3.11 on P4

"In fact, it took more time to type WIN on the command prompt than the booting itself, (once you had shut it down, and wished to load it again). So, out of lazyness, just kicking the reset button would do the trick. Too bad only special lightweight flavors of Linux can do that today. Even my cell phone takes 10 seconds to boot, and it ain´t a crappiphone, it is a regular cheap-ass candybar phone."

Er, you do know that by running "win" you're loading a GUI, not booting an OS. Akin to "startx" on a Linux box.

As for your phone, do you have any idea what processor is in it? Even the iPhone only has a 620mhz proc, is it any wonder that it doesn't boot as fast as loading a lightweight GUI on a 2400mhz machine!??

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Amazon UK pulls Scientology exposé for 'legal reasons'

David Kelly

Just bought it ..

from the Eason site. Thanks AC for the link.

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