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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2720 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Firm moves to trademark 'Python' name out from under the language

Charlie Clark
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Re: Bad idea

You forgot to add that Python is also used to write a lot of penetration testing software.

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Ready or not: Microsoft preps early delivery of IE10 for Windows 7

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

The trouble is…

A lot of the companies that are still on XP and are planning to move to Windows 7 (and there are quite a few) this year already have their software distributions sorted and that includes IE 8 / 9 plus either Firefox or Chrome on Windows 7 with no plans on changing that before rollout is complete.

Not releasing IE 10 for Windows 7 at the same as it was released for Windows 8 was a total fuckup. I can imagine some companies might bring forward migrations, assuming IE 10 can still be used on their fucked app "web apps" that require IE 6, but for the rest even Stevie B on his knees in a gimp suit isn't going to move them.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @JDX

HTML 5 support in IE 10 is okay but they're still playing catch up. I was looking at our stats today: for the first time ever IE (all versions) was behind both Chrome and Firefox on a 60 day average.

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Nokia's Elopocalypse two years on: Has Microsoft kept its side of the bargain?

Charlie Clark
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WTF?

Welcome to the Muppet Show

Does anyone else think that Eadon & Dogged are the Waldorf & Stadler of Vulture Central?

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Apple: iOS 6.1 network overload caused by our Exchange SYNC OF DOOM

Charlie Clark
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The solution is obvious…

… they're all holding it wrong!

Time for Apple to bring out a new model or accessory to distract everyone.

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Apple refreshes MacBook Pro range

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Not tempted

Yes, because the OS performance on the same disk deteriorated significantly I should buy new hardware?

To clarify - the problem doesn't seem to be performance of the disk at all but down to scheduling: as soon as two apps want the disk then I can go and make a cup of tea. This is particularly noticeable with virtual machines. Under Leopard I used to run two VMs quite happily while I was working in Mac OS. Not been possible since and I have a faster machine, more RAM and a bigger disk.

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Charlie Clark
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Not tempted

Well, I'm still not tempted to "upgrade" my 2009 MacBook Pro. Disk performance post-Leopard is still dismal and while a higher pixel density is always "nice to have" that's all it is.

Probably going to need a replacement this year of next but at the moment it won't be a Mac. With all the inconvenience of moving to a different OS (probably PC-BSD in my case) I'm going to stick with what I've got as long as possible.

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Android? Like Marvin the robot? Samsung eclipses Google OS - Gartner

Charlie Clark
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Re: Welcome back, Eadon

No, we weren't. Everyone knows Wednesday is therapy day.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Google gives out Android licences almost at a loss

That struck me too as odd.

Since 3.0 (Honeycomb) and definitely 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) I don't think Google has had to commit too many developers to Android. Google more or less understands how open source works and plays very nicely on a lot of projects. You can have the OS for nowt with no support if you want or you can buy a licence, get some spangly apps and support.

What does cost money is the account infrastructure and the app store (fucking sue me, Apple) but that is probably now breaking even due to paid apps.

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Coming soon: Open source JavaFX for iOS, Android

Charlie Clark
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Re: Java FX is a niche product

God, what a load of ill-informed crap. Even for you, Eadon, this is impressive.

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Register reader Ray revs radio-controlled Raspberry Pi race rover

Charlie Clark
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Great idea but…

node.js for the control system, seriously? Whatever works for you, I guess and it really is a most impressive project.

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Is social networking good for anything more than cat pics?

Charlie Clark
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The real value in these services

Is the metadata. Some of these companies really have got the art of working out who is connected to who down to a fine art. Frankly it scares me who I find suggested given how I little I have entered into my profile. So, while recruiters will remain the primary scavengers of the site I think they are all tooling up for "added value services" such as credit rating (article on The Economist). The maths behind it are quite interesting because they can even work out quite a lot out about people who think they are off-grid. For all of us who think we are being careful with quite what we put online we have many acquaintances who are busy uploading their address books with our names and addresses.

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Every single Internet Explorer at risk of drive-by hacks until Patch Tuesday

Charlie Clark
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The key's in the name

Berkeley Software Distribution. Had separate ways to update the OS and applications pretty much from the word go, though they have changed over time.

Typical system upgrades might look a bit like this:

1) sign up to the relevant mailing lists, e.g BSD security

2) have a backup strategy and only update when you have to

3) freebsd-update fetch install

Depending upon your environment you can also run this in jail to see whether your system will be adversely affected - this rarely happens with system updates but applications can and so step on each other's toes.

Applications are managed separately from the OS and updates can be run much more frequently:

1) portsnap fetch update

2) portmaster -ad <- this will compile from source but also allow you to create packages for distribution if you have several machines

Separating the OS from applications might explain why applications on BSD are not frozen in lockstep with a version of the OS as they are on RedHat and Linux. Though to be fair that has something to do with the attitude of the package maintainers on Linux systems. BSD's ports are only metafiles which will allow apps to build but you are responsible for them running properly. Nobody's managed to explain to me why this means RedHat still ships with Python 2.4 (or at least it did the last time I was on a RedHat system), a version that has not been maintained by the PSF for over 5 years.

This might explain why BSD systems have notoriously long uptimes.

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Speedy MySQL 5.6 takes aim at NoSQL, MariaDB

Charlie Clark
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Re: Rehashed press release

@stanimir - thanks for the correction.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Backups?

Yes but Because a consistent read is not isolated from those statements, using them on a table being dumped can cause the underlying SELECT statement of mysqldump to return incorrect contents or fail.

No the most encouraging thing to read about a backup program,

Anyway mysqldump still sucks huge balls. There is no binary format and copy support is limited to physical access to the server and doesn't support pipes so no compression is possible.

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Rehashed press release

Considering that Oracle bought InnoDB back in 2005 progress has been remarkably slow: <a href="http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.6/en/innodb-file-defragmenting.html>you still <b>can't</b> recover unused space from at table</a>. There's probably more but I try and spend as little time with it as possible especially now that I can migrate data to Postgres pretty easily.

MySQL basically is a NoSQL system which supports SQL statements often more in name only. Yes, InnoDB is sort of ACID but it will also support Foreign Keys on non-unique columns. As changing indices imposes a table copy penalty they are definitely discouraged.

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City sugar daddies mulling £10bn bid for EE, say sources

Charlie Clark
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Perverse incentives

Thanks to the money printing quantitative easing of the last few years, debt is ridiculously cheap and this kind of thing is bound to happen, especially given the recent poor returns that private equity has been offering.

Note to Ms Parnell:

The gossip is that the companies will stick around £3bn of their own dosh in the deals

It's not their own money, it funds under management.

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Windows Phone 8 hasn't slowed Microsoft's mobile freefall

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: What if the current Android manufacturers offered a choie on Linux Phones?

And who would provide the support?

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Review: Living with Microsoft's new Surface Pro

Charlie Clark
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Re: Apple, it's your move

@Lusty

Why would Apple do anything?

I obviously expressed myself poorly. I agree that at the moment they have no need to do so. Apple can continue to "do nothing" (in reality continuing to update and expand their product lines) and still earn more cash than you and I can comfortably imagine.

However, innovation is about doing things when they don't appear necessary or obvious. Devices like the Transformer Prime are pointing the way and if Android gets proper mouse support then I can see people like myself abandoning notebooks for convertibles in droves: an extremely lightweight and portable device that is usable on the move with a sensible docking station solution.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Apple, it's your move

And I can't stand companies trying to force unconventional spellings (of their brands) into copy: proper names including brands are capitalised in English.

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Charlie Clark
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Apple, it's your move

Even though I don't expect MS to sell many of these - the problems of using the keyboard while sitting will be a significant problem for many prospective buyers - it will raise expectations by continuing to blur the difference between tablets and laptops/notebooks.

Many of us have been expecting to release an I-Pad Pro for a while which would be an I-Pad running Mac OS. Extremely good sales of both I-Pads and MacBook Airs have meant that they haven't needed to yet. Whether this has been for fear that ARMs don't have enough oomph, the problems of fat binaries/translation for existing apps, or Intel chippery needing too much power. Those problems are all likely to be resolved this year: the new ARMs are getting beefier all the time; OpenCL is encouraging use of the ubiquitous GPUs for calculations; and Intel and Apple have successfully demoed just how efficient x86 can be made to run. Much as I'd love to see all ARM-based hardware in this area I imagine that the inertia of getting software companies to recompile for ARM or adding a new version of Rosetta favour Apple continuing with their current strategy until they have enough "killer" I-Pad apps to warrant an I-Pad based notebook.

All things considered it's a bold move from Microsoft which I think will continue to ginger the market which should be good for customers.

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Facebook burnout: 61% of users have needed a break

Charlie Clark
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Re: Social(ist) Networking?

re, the Stasi - indeed as a recent suspension of firemen in Düsseldorf for quoting disparaging remarks about the mayor on Facebook illustrates.

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Tracy brothers are back: Thunderbirds Are Go! again in 5... 4... 3...

Charlie Clark
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Go

Re: No puppets?

@John62

Absolutely, it was just a means to an end for Anderson who didn't get to do want he really wanted, work with real actors, until Space 1999 (and the other series, the name of which escapes me). Puppets let them tell the stories they wanted to tell and, like Aardman, they put had the gumption to pay the attention to detail that made the all too obviously puppet world come alive for viewers.

They'll have to work on some of the scripts to make them slightly less twee, give the women some better roles but kidnapping high-speed planes and putting bombs on them "Flight 787" could cause the biggest mass panic since the 1937 War of the Worlds broadcast!

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Out of ARM's way, Brit chip juggernaut runs over analysts again

Charlie Clark
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Re: All true

Intel certainly has the cash to do so and with privately held companies the first thing you'd be likely to hear would be that the deal has been done. However, there is probably nothing that Intel could offer the owners of ARM that its licence-holders couldn't match or better. Even if Intel did win a probably ruinous bidding war it's almost certain that at Britain and the European Commission would raise the spectres of "national interest" (always a good one and if it works for yoghurt then it will certainly work for high-tech) or threat to competition.

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Under cap-and-trade, flying is greener than taking the bus

Charlie Clark
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Re: The problem with cherry-picking

You are doubting a moot point? Oh dear.

That has and always will be the case, and is why if the airlines and planemakers can use less they do

No, only post 1970s oil shock have they been remotely interested in greater efficiency but effectively only since Open Skies, incidentally forced through by the EU you seem to hate so much, and other deregulation initiatives opened up competition have they found it difficult to simply pass on extra costs to customers. The same applies to the energy generation companies who, through lack of competition and regulation, spent decades not investing in more efficient power plants.

Take the 787 - design work started formally back around 2003, so that's at least a decade from design to any number in service, but the work probably used prior thinking going back at least five years

The risks associated with the 787, and the A380 which preceded it and uses lots of the same lightweight technology, is why the airline industry is more interested in continual, gradual improvements in efficiency than huge leaps forward and one of the reasons they have such long term contracts for their engines. It is precisely such improvements that will benefit from an effective cap and trade system. But, as I said, it's too early to tell with the airline industry which is why it is a poor example for assessing ETS at the moment. Displacement and subsidy farming provide much richer criticisms.

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Charlie Clark
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The problem with cherry-picking

Similarly, while an energy saving appliance used in the home might save you money as it may pay for its greater cost through lower electricity bills, it will not reduce carbon emissions. If less electricity is used, the power generation companies will have more allowances, which they will sell to someone else - airlines, maybe, or heavy industry - who will then be able to emit more carbon.

This is the principle of ETS which does encourage lower emissions by reducing the number of allowances over time. In theory, this will encourage industries that buy allowances to become more efficient as the prices of such rises. The scheme is set to avoid price shocks by reducing the numbers of allowances in the system only gradually.

The main problem, there have been smaller ones related to gaming the system as well, with the ETS is that there are too many emissions in the scheme. As a result there is little or no incentive to trade allowances which are below cost for those that need them. There are several reasons for this: firstly, effective lobbying allowed for very generous exemptions and allowances that were initially given to companies (but charged to customers); secondly, post-2008 recession; thirdly, faster than expected buildout of renewable capacity in Germany and elsewhere; fourthly, some but actually very little off-shoring of dirty production to countries outside of the scheme; fifthly, displacement to Poland which has massive allowances due to its traditionally dependence on coal for energy production and inefficient industry. Unsurprisingly, Poland is dead against any early reductions in the number of allowances.

Air travel is a poor example having only recently entered the ETS, something which China, India and the US contest is anti-competitive in itself. It's a moot point as to whether the gradual improvements in efficiency in the airline industry are related to this or just down to very high competitive pressures and the high price of fuel. As a recent entrant to the ETS the air industry has plenty of allowances of its own at the moment so we don't expect to see significant changes as a result of the scheme for a few years yet.

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Samsung: Never mind Steve Jobs, let's snap off a piece of stylus biz

Charlie Clark
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Yes, the slight decrease in the angle in comparison with using a mouse of the wrist makes a huge difference. I like the way I switch easily between absolute coordinates with the stylus and the relative coordinates of my fingers. My only gripe would be wishing to have a less sensitive mode for general desktop use: I often end selecting text in a URL link when I actually just want to click on it.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Stylus and Galaxy Camera?

I know that the Wacom Bamboo Stylus, designed and marketed primarily for the I-Pad works fine on my Samsung Wave phone and Galaxy 8.9

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Microsoft: Old Internet Explorer is terrible and 'we want to help'

Charlie Clark
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Unhappy

I pity the poor developers

Firstly, whoever came up with this deserves recognition. I think that Microsoft has finally realised that its only choice at the moment is damage limitation: website developers are seriously fucked off by having to support such completely different rendering engines without the pain of users switching on "compatibility" mode for sites which are standards compliant. Oh, I know there is another flag you can set to stop that, except I there are other workarounds for IE < 9 that you need that disable UA-compatible="IE=Edge". A proper migration path for all current versions of Windows would have made this all unnecessary. But, okay, web developers will accept a certain degree of pain to support paying customers.

But it's those poor customers who are suffering most as a result of the extremely cynical migration path the Microsoft chose - no one forced them to limit Windows 2000 to IE 6 or XP to IE 8. One of my customers still has a "don't use IE (8) for the internet" because it's still unsafe. It has been considered too much work to migrate to IE 9 and shortly afterwards to IE 10, whenever it becomes available for Windows 7. In the meantime Firefox LSR has been certified and rolled out everywhere (> 100,000 machines). The result is that people have dropped IE for everything except the usual ActiveX infested inhouse "browser" applications and management has been given I-Pads.

Then there is the site itself with friendly advice like this:

We've found that you have vendor-specific prefixes causing compatibility problems. This can help minimize compatibility issues in Internet Explorer and other browsers.

Well, colour me blue and call me Nansen if those two sentences are contradictory. Vendor prefixes are a world a hurt in themselves but using them does not cause compatibility problems because they are, er, vendor specific. Anyway, the site I tested doesn't use any vendor prefixes.

I suggest the IE team start polishing the CVs as they're going to be needing them.

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Charlie Clark
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@ JDX

If what you say is really true then: firstly, it underlines quite how braindead Microsoft's browser strategy has been in the past; secondly, it's another reminder of just how important it was that the European Commission took legal action against Microsoft. Whoever decided to make DirectX 10 a requirement and not an option was a fucking idiot.

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Samsung mocks Apple lawsuit in SuperBowl teaser ad

Charlie Clark
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Re: Even if the average fan doesn't get it

In its own way it's also an oblique reference to Apple's own original "Think Different" advert which I think ran at a SuperBowl: everyone recognises who is being attacked. Back then it was IBM and this is a more post-modern: it knows it is all about being in on the in-joke. Good attempt to move Samsung's image upmarket.

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Surface left on shelves as world+dog slurps up small slates

Charlie Clark
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Everyone going 7" seems a mistake to me. The original iPad form factor seems ideal to me for browsing the web and watching video without having to zoom in on smaller text

Even though I agree with you that I think 7" is a bit small the I-pad most definitely has the wrong format for watching 16:9 or 16:10 video. The bigger screen comes with considerable added weight and as you almost always have to scroll down websites, the 16:10 format is less of a problem. The I-pad's 4:3 format does make sense in other applications but in turns out most people are using their tablets to consume media and portability and, therefore, weight is key.

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'Gaia' Lovelock: Wind turbines 'may become like Easter Island statues'

Charlie Clark
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@Charles 9

Don't see you campaigning for a nuclear waster dump near your house. Nuclear is a money pit all on its own.

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BBC: What YOU spent on our lawyers in Secret Climate 28 debacle

Charlie Clark
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Point of fact

The BBC is thankfully not a "government agency" and terming it such detracts significantly from your argument.

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Three years since his Sun gobble, what hath Ellison wrought?

Charlie Clark
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Not impressed

Tim,

maybe it's because I'm not a finance wizard but your charts seem to suggest that Sun's portfolio is still in decline even if the rate of decline has slowed.

Clearly, Oracle is benefiting from the ability to sell integrated systems such as Exadata but I'm not sure if they're really making headway elsewhere. They will certainly have pissed off shops with the way the handled OpenSolaris which has led to an apparently viable business for Illumos. Personally, I think they have handled MySQL right from a business perspective: keeping free users at arm's length; upping charges but devoting resources to paying customers. Quite how that will play out in terms of the forks (MariaDB and Percona) interests me less but it seems that the Postgres ecosystem continues to benefit from fears about lock-in. The EnterpriseDB presentation of 9.2 last week was very impressive in terms of performance, Oracle compatibility (the object type) and migration tools that are obviously coming from working with customers who are moving from Oracle to Postgres.

Of course, driving towards integrated systems might mean that Oracle is less interested in selling the database as a standalone product: IBM is after all more than happy to have its applications run on Oracle as well as DB2, but I do think that Oracle is possibly more dependent upon the reputation of its database.

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Charlie Clark
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Apparently Sun was pimping itself to IBM but IBM said no. I think a comparison of revenues since would suggest that IBM got it right.

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Amazon: We have great cash flow - it flows straight out of our hands

Charlie Clark
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Re: No dividends, ever, and no plans to start one

re. dividend versus capital growth. More recent (linked from) research show that dividends do matter. In practical terms it is money now versus the promise of future growth. The US approach of taxing stock sales at 15 % as capital gains and dividends as income (often > 30 %) is indeed an unhealthy distortion.

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Help us out here: What's the POINT of Microsoft Office 2013?

Charlie Clark
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Re: The ability to open the latest word doc format.

@Ken - OpenOffice can cope quite well with .docx but less well with .xlsx files. At least I've found charts to be read only objects.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Only one thing I use Office for

I, too, have always liked the outline view in Word and I do miss it in OpenOffice which only has page layout and web views. OpenOffice's performance on Mac OS is still a bit meh, but it suffices for most things.

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Microsoft's Dell billions have Windows 8 strings attached

Charlie Clark
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I agree with dogged

The article really is poorly written with: speculation on speculation; innuendo ("go private to restructure and avoid pressure from the market") - which market; false dichotomies (PCs are either low-margin commodity products or high-end Apple) - Lenovo has been doing pretty well with the high-end Thinkpads; and inevitably poor conclusions.

Dell seems to be getting out of the consumer market and moving to servers and services. A tie-up with Microsoft would allow for the kind of horizontal and vertical integration that is currently popular: IBM, Oracle, HP are all doing something similar.

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Apple confirms 128GB iPad. A hundred bucks for an extra 64GB

Charlie Clark
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Re: Otherwise the specs for the 9.7-inch tablet and its Retina screen remain the same

@JDX - yes, undoubtedly some other stuff will have been updated to make room for the memory if nothing else.

It's still an eye-watering price, presumably to wave in the face of Windows Surface Pro waverers, in which case it's a good ploy: get the real thing.

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Why did your outsourced IT fall over? Cos you weren't on Twitter

Charlie Clark
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Re: Oh. My. Fucking Gawd/ess.

You do know they get paid lots of money for this kind of shit? Although I think that they may have a bit of trouble charging for this particular kind of bollocks.

Anyway, The Economist reckons that outsourcing is, er, on the way out. Well, not entirely, it's more nuanced than that but worth more of a glance than Gartner's turd.

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Charlie Clark
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Gold plated bullshit

Aren't there awards for this kind of thing?

What I like is this inversion of the original social media paradigm where bosses were supposed to make themselves appear more human by writing blogs, etc. Now they are supposed to keep in touch with the drones using it.

I predict harder times for Gartner.

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Apple users: Only Apple can track us! Not Google

Charlie Clark
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Devil

Re: We moved our hosts outside the UK

That is the dumbest reply to a post I have ever seen on ElReg

Well, while it's pretty stupid it's nowhere near as dumb as some of the stuff we get. Some of our commentards are, er, really gifted when it comes to getting the wrong end of the stick.You obviously don't read enough. Don't worry, stick around long enough and you'll soon lose the will to live and any hope you might have left for humanity!

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: We moved our hosts outside the UK

Two things: firstly, you obviously don't seem to know much about jurisdiction in the EU; secondly, the UK law is only the national version of EU-wide legislation. But, please do carry on with your feckless approach to stuff. You might even want to start a Facebook group about it.

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Cameron's speech puts UK adoption of EU data directive in doubt

Charlie Clark
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It’s a bit scary that I trust EU than I do the Tories.

I think that might have something to do with the high standards set by the European Commission' admission process. To be a Tory MP you only need to have to go to right school.

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Charlie Clark
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"Biz types have Tories' ear", oh really?

Apparently others beg to differ. Andrew Palmer of The Economist on Twitter:

"Asked roomful of over 100 CFOs yesterday whether they thought a British referendum on the EU was a good idea. Not one hand went up." (

source

The CBI has for years been begging successive governments to stop antagonising everyone else and try and change policies from the inside.

Cameron's speech was a thinly veiled sop to the Tory party's loony fringe and of little further political importance, apart from pissing off much of the rest of the EU.

UKIP can probably still expect to pick up plenty of seats at next year's European elections so that fucker Farage and his obscene chum can complain about the EU gravy train from the comfort of the EU gravy train.

Odds on Cameron not being Tory leader at the time of the next general election.

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Microsoftie's tell-all on 'rival-flinging' Ballmer: The politics of disbelief

Charlie Clark
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Re: "If Elop was not a Trojan horse, then he would have kept Symbian and Meego alive"

Personally, I can't wait until Eadon starts distilling his wisdom in published form. CEOs around the world are probably already thinking "now, what would Eadon do?".

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Microsoft blasts PC makers: It's YOUR fault Windows 8 crash landed

Charlie Clark
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State capitalism

the PCs it deemed the best were to be promoted under two labels: Hero PCs and Featured PCs

Trying to pick winners is exactly why state capitalism so routinely fails (unless you effectively control the market). Whoever came up with that idea at Microsoft should be shown the door. MS and Intel have in the past been so successful at blanket ingredient marketing - spunking billions on marketing campaigns just as long at the right version of Windows was prominently promoted. Cash-strapped manufacturers in an infamously low-margin business are not keen on funding their own expensive ad campaigns.

The ambitious hardware specs have, like other markets, left manufacturers little room for differentiation and forced them to take a bet that the market would love the high-end gear. However, few of them have the cash to take bets like that. Oh, and knowing that MS is picking winners and favouring the competition is hardly likely to go down well either.

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Intel to leave desktop motherboard market

Charlie Clark
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SoCs are the future

The announcement is for those who've been away for the last couple of years also the end of the desktop computer in its various ISA forms.

Notebooks and similar designs (Raspberry Pis, I-Macs and MacMins, etc.) with even higher degrees of integration is what the market wants. I don't know about the rest of you but I can't remember when I last opened a desktop to change the chip or one of the cards. For additional components we now have fast enough buses (SATA, Thunderbolt, etc.). Desktops will still be around but expect to see them disappearing off websites and from shop shelves.

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