* Posts by Richard Plinston

1355 posts • joined 27 Apr 2009

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Microsoft's magic hurts: Nadella signals 'tough choices' on the way

Richard Plinston
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Re: reminds me of visiting an MS store near SF

> Yeah the world's not benefited at all from Bill's charitable foundation, him being the top philanthropist in American with donations of some $28 billion between him and his OH, and dedication to donate 95% of their wealth to charity.

But that is not from generating 'new' money, it has come from the costs applied to businesses and users that are customers of Microsoft.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: reminds me of visiting an MS store near SF

"with a corresponding cost to all businesses and their customers." - a vast amount of businesses and people have made a lot of money out of Microsoft. My career and finances certainly has benefited thanks to Bill (and to some degree Sir Clive and Furber & Wilson).

Many made millions working for Microsoft or as shareholders. You seemed to have made lots of money off Microsoft _customers_ and _users_ (rather than "out of Microsoft").

However, you do reinforce my point that there is a large cost to businesses that use Microsoft products and their customers, you have been part of that cost.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: reminds me of visiting an MS store near SF

> the world is not going to benefit from an Android/Apple duopoly.

Certainly the world has not benefited from a Windows/Apple duopoly. Any 'benefits' went to making Bill the richest man in world with a corresponding cost to all businesses and their customers.

It was Microsoft, via Elop, that helped create the alleged 'Android/Apple duopoly' by killing off Symbian, Maemo/Meego and everything else that Nokia was working on. But even then it is not a duopoly, there are many Android variants that are separate developments: Kindle, CyanogenMod, and many non-Google implementations. That was never allowed for Windows.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: Powers of two

> Lumia: 8 million

> Non-Lumia Microsoft: 24 million

> Total Winphone: 32 million

"""Microsoft's sales are lagging even those of Windows Phone partners: 8.6 million Lumias (Nokia) moved versus 24.7 million non-Lumias sold."""

No, there were not 32 million Windows Phones sold. The 24.7 million is the total smart phones, of all OS, sold by Microsoft WP partners. I was said that Nokia sold more than 90% of all WP and this is likely to have continued. So total Winphone is more like 9.4million.

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Windows 8.1 market share grows, Windows 7 slips, Windows 10 lurks

Richard Plinston
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Re: Perhaps people have realised...

> if Linux-based systems were on sale in the high st. in places like PC World, they would attract some sales.

They are called Android and Chromebooks, and yes they do.

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Google puts Android on a diet, names it after the first thing it sees under the sink ... yes, Brillo

Richard Plinston
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Re: Wont get burnt again

> App builder for android... Dropped like a hot potato and shuffled of to MIT for the educashun crowd.

You probably mean App Inventor. But you are being disingenuous, Hal Abelson, the leader of the team that created App Inventor, is (and was) a professor at MIT. The development was funded by Google but was always an MIT project.

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Windows and OS X are malware, claims Richard Stallman

Richard Plinston
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Re: So what did YOU do then ?

> All of these things mean that I cannot use GPL3 code, because it opens us up to potential legal action.

Just because some code is available with a GPL3 licence does not mean that it cannot be obtained with a different licence. Much GPLx code is available with a commercial licence. You may have to pay for it, but that may be exactly what is required.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: A fool without money will soon be ignored

> foaming-at-the-mouth zealotism and fanatism

Chair throwing, monkey dancing, "Developer, developers, developers, ..."

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Windows 10 won't help. The PC biz is doomed, DOOMED, I TELL YOU

Richard Plinston
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Re: What's changed in the last few years?

> Redmond boasts it will sell a billion licenses in two years

I read that hey were going to give Windows 10 away for free, so where is the 'sell' ?

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White House forced to wade into Oracle vs Google Java bickerfest

Richard Plinston
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Re: Digital Research must be bricking it.

> Microsoft can finally crack down on DR-DOS!!

Except that Novell (as the purchaser of DRI) can crack down on MS-DOS first.

Actually DRI demonstrated to IBM that PC-DOS 1 infringed DRI's copyrights (allegedly it displayed a DRI copyright notice). The settlement included allowing DRI to use any part of the PC-DOS/MS-DOS API.

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Richard Plinston
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> A software API is like a novel's plot.

Not at all. It is like chapter or section names: Preface, Introduction, Chapter 1, ... , Appendix, Index.

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Win Phone to outgrow smartmobe market for next four years

Richard Plinston
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It's 2011 again, again.

June 2011:

"""IDC: Windows Phones to Overtake iPhone iOS by 2015 ...

www.techhive.com/.../idc_windows_phones_to_overtake_iphone_ios_b...

Jun 12, 2011 - IDC predicts Android will have 43.8 percent of the market in 2015, followed by Windows Phone at 20.3 percent. Apple's iOS will trail at 16.9 ..."""

June 2012:

"""IDC claims Windows Phone will overtake IOS in 2016- The ...

www.theinquirer.net/.../idc-claims-windows-phone-overtake-ios-2015

Jun 7, 2012 - MARKET ANALYSTS at IDC have predicted that Windows Phone will take ... by 2016, overtaking Apple's IOS mobile operating system (OS)."""

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Pavegen: The Company that can't make energy out of crowds tries to make money out of them

Richard Plinston
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Re: Wasn't there something similar for car parks a few years back?

> using the motion of vehicles along a road surface, and a moving plate in the road, to generate electricity.

The problem with that is that the vehicle would seem to be going slightly uphill, or like driving through molasses. Thus they would use more fuel than the generation of energy would warrant. The only point of it being that the car owner pays for the additional fuel use and the road owner gets the energy.

Same with walking: the pedestrian needs to buy more 'fuel' (food) after waling 'uphill'.

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Phablet for the biz fleet with easy typing: Microsoft Lumia 640 XL

Richard Plinston
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Re: Windows phone is awesome

> Microsoft sell more Windows Phones in a quarter than Google do all Chrome devices in a year....

And Google (and others) sell twice as many Androids in a week than WP in a quarter.

Also Microsoft phones went from 40% market share (US) in 2007 to less than 3% worldwide currently while Chrome devices are still growing at 80% or so per year.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: Good idea

> If I want to run Ubuntu, I download a generic installation CD image, which will work with virtually any hardware.

No, it won't work with *any* hardware, it will only work with an x86-64 (a different version will work with x86) CPU, an IBM-PC clone BIOS (or UEFI) with PCI interfacing, a range of graphics cards and some other things. You seem to think that is what _every_ computer is. It happens that many are like that because they have become a commodity.

Some years ago it seemed that there would be greater variety with PPC, Alpha, MIPS, Itanium and others vying for top spot. There was also ACE as a spec. But AMD brought out x86-64 as a cheaper high performance chip and the others were forgotten.

ARM does not have a unified (ie like IBM-PC) BIOS to hide the implementation details yet so each ROM has to cater for the SoC differences.

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New Windows 10 Build 10122 aims to fix file association hijacking

Richard Plinston
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Re: Now if they could just turn display of file extensions back on…

> How does this prevent a clueless user from running something named hotchickcaledar.pdf that has an executable icon

The problem in Windows is that file may be an actual executable named hotchickcaledar.pdf.exe and only appears to be a PDF. Clicking on hotchickcaledar.pdf, in say email, can actually run it as a program.

On Unix like systems a file is not executable merely because it has a particular ending on the name, it must have an 'executable' pemission and emailed o downloaded files do not have that.

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A good effort, if a bit odd: Windows 10 IoT Core on Raspberry Pi 2

Richard Plinston
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> Even a minimal Raspian is about 500MB.

And even that has far more than Windows 10 IoT - a full multitasking and multiuser OS, while Windows IoT can only run one app (at a time).

> Anyway a Raspian doesn't come with many servers and applications pre-installed.

It only installs what the user wants to install and doesn't throw everything at the SD. Additional software is just a mouse click away.

"""Raspbian comes with over 35,000 packages,"""

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=raspbian&pkglist=true&version=2015-02-16#pkglist

The point is that IoT development (or any other) can be done with just a Pi, an HDMI monitor or TV and a keyboard mouse. It has full GUI (Gnome or LXDE), languages and IDEs and can access the GPIO while writing the code.

With Windows 10 an additional full Windows 10 PC is also required. With Win10 IoT a Pi2 is required while production using Linux can utillise the cheaper Pi1 A or B or compute module.

> How much is really usable such "distro" but to show off among penguins,

The distro that I was thinking of: FreeSCO, is entirely usable for its designed purposes: gateway, router, firewall, plus various servers. It will certainly boot from USB or SD card but was intended for older hardware (even when first released) that often didn't support those.

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Richard Plinston
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> Do you remember that WfWG 3.11 was a single threaded (preemptive "multitasking"...

Certainly _not_ preemptive. It was co-operative, and often non-cooperative.

> GUI atop DOS, with no security at all, no concept of services/daemons, barely supporting simple networks, etc etc.? Software changed and improved a lot form those days, otherwise, think about what DOS was capable of doing in 640K RAM and 360K disks...

[MS-]DOS wasn't capable of very much at all. It needed applications to get anything useful done.

> Even the Raspbian image is a 990MB download (zipped).

Raspian is a full Linux distro and comes complete with a desktop GUI, servers, browser, applications and software development tools and everything else needed to work as a 'PC'.

> it's the price you have to pay to avoid to maintain n completely different versions of an OS.

As a comparison I can get a Linux distro that will boot off a 1.44 diskette and run as a firewall, SQL server, web server and other stuff.

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Messerschmitts, Sinclairs and a '50s living room: The Bubblecar Museum

Richard Plinston
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> The really bubble shaped ones were Heinkels (looks like they were later branded BMW / Isetta...)

Rivolta in Milan started making the Isetta (meaning 'little iso (automobile)' ) in 1953. They sold the rights to that car to BMW in 1955.

The Heinkel Kabinen, started in 1955, was a completely different vehicle though similar in layout. Heinkel-Is were made in Northern Ireland, Trojan in England also manufactured them under its own band.

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Ha! Win 10 preview for Raspberry Pi 2 pops out of the Microsoft oven

Richard Plinston
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Re: it runs GUI apps written for Microsoft's new Universal App Platform (UAP)

> For more complex systems "Clients and servers" is not the correct terminology: what you call a "server" in one instance can also be a "client" for another type of request.

The 'garage door' IoT program _is_ a server - is serves the purpose of driving the door open or closed. The mobile phone app _is_ a client to that. Whether there are other apps in the controller of the garage door that make other requests is irrelevant.

> The code to implement that protocol will be common to both.

Which is part of the 'base OS and network stack' and not a 'module of the app'. In any case your mobile phone app that has open and close buttons will not be using IoT protocols. It will send an encoded SMS message, or a coded phone call or an http message to your home network gateway which will extract orinterpret that to IoT protocol messages.

> It's possible to use different code to do the same thing on client or server, ..

In most cases they use different code because they are doing _different_ things. They may have the same 'base OS and network stack' but the _apps_ (in my example) are not 'doing the same thing' at all. One is displaying a GUI, sending requests and displaying status, the other is actioning the requests (driving the motors) while monitoring and sending status. The device may also have other programs that do other things such as sending video or acting as a alarm system.

> Your garage door example is too simplistic to illustrate the point.

It illustrates _my_ points fine. The base OS (Win10, Linux, Android, ..) may well have the same or similar code in each device and this will include networking using various protocols and libraries for various utility functions.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: it runs GUI apps written for Microsoft's new Universal App Platform (UAP)

> What you're describing is the interfacing layer. If there is any intelligence at all on the "Thing" device, then that code will not be the totality of the application

Of course I am describing 'the interfacing layer', that is what the intelligence of the 'thing' is.

A dumb 'garage door opener' has a control board that drives the motor and responds to sensors. It may also respond to a remote control with an IR sensor or similar. An IoT garage door opener will have the dumb control board replaced by a RaspberryPi 'compute' module or an Arduino or similar that has Wifi or ethernet connection to the home network, and through this to the internet. The code on this will not only drive the opening and closing of the door and use sensors to stop, but may also detect any forcing of the door or other unusual conditions in order to send messages. It will respond to commands arriving on the network to show status, activate a sequence or other.

Your phone app will do _none_ of that. The phone app may connect and ask status, view history, (including notifications sent), and request open or close. The app running in your car may also, given that it gets to a certain GPS location, request an open or close. None of this is in the door opener.

> It is about distributing the intelligence to manage remote functions at the edge of the networks.

Exactly. The door opener (or light bulb, or fridge) _is_ the edge of the network, the intelligence is the Arduino or RaspberryPi compute module or similar.

You seem to want to distribute the 'intelligence' of _how_ the door should be opened and the sensors interpreted to your phone whereas the phone app should only need to send a 'please open' command and get back a status regardless of how that should be achieved.

The door and its RPi is the 'Thing'. It acts a server. The phone app (or car app, or other) is a client. There is almost no commonality of code - except the base OS and network stack. It is the same relationship as a web server and a web client - would you claim they are the same thing ?

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Richard Plinston
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Re: it runs GUI apps written for Microsoft's new Universal App Platform (UAP)

> That application will need the same protocol support as those controllers, and because the software that implements those controllers runs on Windows10, the monitoring app can use it too.

No they won't. The IoT app will be using the GPIO to drive the motors and sense the positions and probably other safety sensors. The phone app will just have an Up and a Down button and will send a signal to the IoT device. The IoT app may have an up and down button too - probably real buttons - and LEDs to signal faults or safety issues, also on the GPIO, but that will simply set the local signal to operate.

You seem to have a strange idea of what embedded systems and IoT are about. The whole point of running on Raspberry Pi, or other boards, is that it has these interfaces to control and sense the hardware directly.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: it runs GUI apps written for Microsoft's new Universal App Platform (UAP)

> No, they're not "very hardware specific",

The "hardware specific" refers to the type of devices the IoT app is intended to control or monitor - the "Things" in IoT. An app intended to monitor and control the air conditioning may have modules to work with different brands but it is unlikely to be useful for dealing with your garage door.

Neither of these examples would run on your phone or tablet because they wouldn't have the Arduino API nor the hardware: the analogue and/or digital ports needed.

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Richard Plinston
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The Windows 10 Robot

It seems that the Robot in the picture has a USB cable to the HP Laptop and an HDMI cable to the monitor to display instructions. These indicate that it is manoeuvred using keystrokes (QWEASDZXC), presumably the laptop's keyboard.

It seems less than useful for a Robot to have several cables tying it down.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: A cunning plan?

> Except that Powershell has been widley ported to just about every other OS including Linux...

You show that you fail to understand the word 'ported'.

Powershell has not been ported anywhere, the source code for it is not available for that to happen. There is a _partial_ separate implementation that appears to be able to run on some other OSes.

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Richard Plinston
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it runs GUI apps written for Microsoft's new Universal App Platform (UAP)

The implication of Universal Apps is that they will run anywhere. IoT apps tend to be _very_ hardware specific. In fact W10 IoT is said to support the Arduino Wing API which would seem to be the whole point of it. These IoT apps won't run on any other version of W10 and it would seem pointless to run non-IoT apps on this hardware.

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Richard Plinston
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> Five years ago, I would never have imagined Microsoft doing this...

Microsoft jumping on another bandwagon is a surprise to you?

Just about everything Microsoft has ever done has been where others have led the way and started to succeed, either to take control or to kill off using their billions and their contracts.

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The Internet of Things: a jumbled mess or a jumbled mess?

Richard Plinston
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Re: Why

> The other bull filled elephant in the room is the smart meter.

In this country smart meters are the norm, done years ago. No more meter men, no more estimated bills. The latest smart meter variation is 'pay as you go' (useful for landlords). Instead of a locked steel box that takes coins and must be emptied by a 'meter man' it can be done with some small electronics and a connection (actually with cell phone).

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Richard Plinston
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Re: Why

> likewise if I am cold I run the heating,

Some, when cold, go out into the woods and chop down a few branches or split a few logs and stoke up the fire. Others have a thermostat that keeps the temperature at various settings depending on the time. For them having to 'run' the heating sounds like too much effort.

> For the outside living world it is only niche users, many of which will have their own unique user profile, who will really be interested.

That was said about mobile phones.

Many already have internet connected TVs and PVRs. From a manufacturers point of view the use of commodity standardised electronics will be no more expensive than semi-mechanical or propriety controls so it will be cost effective to include additional features even if you don't use them.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: Shambles

> Wouldn't it be nice to pull out a smartphone, unlock the screen, find the right app, and navigate multiple controls on a small screen instead?"

You've not heard of NFC then ?

> No manufacturer (except maybe a complete world monopoly) can afford to make a product inoperable on its own.

I am not sure that anyone suggested that. Strawman perhaps?

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Richard Plinston
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Re: Shambles

> The whole "Smart Home" thing seems like a solution in search of a problem to me. My house works fine as it is,

You are likely to have plenty of automated mechanisms in your home already. Your fridge maintains a steady temperature, you heating keeps a set room temperature, your video recorder records at set times. You may have a garage door that opens when you push a button on a remote in your car.

All those devices have some sort of programmable logic (even if it is semi-mechanical) and various different ways of setting the required parameters. IoT is based on the idea of having some sort of common controlling hardware (such as a RaspberryPi compute module or Arduino), a common way of setting parameters and communication so that the parameters can be reset and mechanisms activated.

If you wanted a garage door opener then you could choose a current model that requires a specific dedicated remote control, or you would be able to choose an IoT model that has the electronics handled by a small commodity CPU or Microcontroller (RPi or Arduino or such) that communicates to your home network. With the IoT version you would be able to use an app on your phone (suitably configured) to operate your door. Or if your car was connected and had GPS then entering a particular location (your driveway perhaps) could signal the door to operate.

Or just open the door yourself with no assistance, no one cares if you want to do that.

> If these corporations can't agree on a single open standard they will be having this very argument in 10 years time,

There is still no 'open standard' for remote controls, yet people still buy devices with remotes. It doesn't need a single standard. It may be useful to have a limited number of ways to get access from outside to the home network (with authentication) but I won't be using the 'oven' app on my phone to operate the video recorder; I don't need my garage door app to work with my neighbours doors - in fact it is better if they don't.

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New Windows 10 will STAGGER to its feet, says Microsoft OS veep

Richard Plinston
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Re: Tech enthusiast, not necessarily IT.

> Windows 1.0 was text based. And it, too had overlapping windows.

Wrong on both counts. Windows 1.0 was graphical. Though there was more text than graphics the text was not in the 80x25 grid of the text interfaces.

"""Windows 1.0 does not allow overlapping windows. Instead all windows are tiled. Only dialog boxes can appear over other windows."""

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_1.0

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Richard Plinston
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Re: @king of foo - Windows as a "Service"

> If I'm not mistaken Linux is not available on tablets/phones

You are mistaken. I have a Nokia N800 tablet with Maemo Linux. Others have been and are available. Android is a Linux distro, as is Tizen.

> and Android is not available on desktop/laptop PCs.

You are mistaken. Android can run on Netbook/Laptop, such as HP Slatebook, or desktops, or TV.

> Should I understand you're expecting Ubuntu to run on phones, tablets and PCs like Windows ?

Yes, why not ?

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ONE BEELLION Windows 10 devices?! OH REALLY

Richard Plinston
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Re: yeah....

> Working, as I do, for MS,

I assume this 'working' is actually as a paid troll, or is it unpaid ?

> Free means free. For as long as you own the device it runs on.

Actually, Microsoft has qualified the 'free' as being for "the _supported_ life of the _device_". While they haven't explained this, and said that they will explain it later, it is _not_ 'for the supported life of the operating system'. Nor has Microsoft made any statement about ownership of the device.

A _device_ is supported during its warranty period. For a new device the 'Windows-as-a-Service' cost may be covered for the warranty period by a part of the device's price. What happens with existing devices outside their warranty, after the first year, has not been explained but Microsoft have stated that they will explain that.

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Richard Plinston
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> The tricky bit is making sure every single 7 user gets to see there is a free update. As soon as they do the vast majority will click that button.

The other part of the announcement that there would be a 'free' update is that W10 will be SAAS (as a service). This will be similar to Office-as-a-service - an annual or monthly fee to keep it updated and keep it running.

W10 - the gift that keeps on taking !!

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Who thinks Microsoft Edge SUCKS? Erm, Microsoft

Richard Plinston
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Re: Hatters Will Hate!

> Not a single person here has identified what exactly sucks about it which makes this story and you sorry asses the real SUCK story behind the ignorant HATE for AMS (anything Microsoft).

You really are clueless.- the article has nothing to do with whether Edge sucks. It is entirely about who has bought some domain names. Microsoft has, to prevent them being used by commentators - an attempt at limiting free speech perhaps.

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Microsoft: It's TRUE, you'll get Android and iOS apps in WINDOWS

Richard Plinston
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> WINRT ... it was safe to say that it would include x86 emulation and run at least some x86 Windows apps. But it didn't.

I don't think that it was ever safe to say that. An x86 emulator on ARM was never a starter. That didn't stop winfans claiming it would be so, though.

> I'd *hope* it would run (at least well-behaved) APKs unmodified, but perhaps apps will have to be ported.

According to careful reading of the announcement W10 will _not_ run APKs at all. The idea is that Android apps could be modified and recompiled into being W10 Universal apps. It is likely that the UI would have to be reengineered into XAML or HTML5.

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Richard Plinston
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> A new law forcing the break up of compulsory publishing restrictions on devices and forcing of open install rules in order to block monopolistic practices.

I am not sure who you are aiming this at. Microsoft restricts what apps can be published on their own app store (for example they will not publish anything that competes) but they are no where near being a monopoly on phones. Android, on the other hand, can download from different sites so anyone can get their apps published somewhrere (see F-Droid) and Google does less to restrict apps being published (eg Microsoft Office is in Google's Play Store).

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PICTURE-TASTIC: Microsoft woos devs to HoloLens virtuo-goggs

Richard Plinston
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Re: Oh Please! This is worse than 3D TV

> At least MS is trying something.

Putting stereoscopic projections onto goggles (not googles) into real world space has been done since a quarter of a century ago. It happened that it required hugely expensive computers to drive it back then, plus cables to the viewer.

I recall reading about heart valve research watching computer generated flow while walking around the 3d image.

Hololens is just a further development of stuff that has been around for ages.

The only claim to holograms is that these are used in creating the lens, what is seen have nothing to do with holograms.

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'Android on Windows': Microsoft tightens noose around neck, climbs on chair

Richard Plinston
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Re: Times change, business does not

> The only advantages it has over WindowsPhone is a) it was first to market

Microsoft has had phones since 2000 or so. If 'first to market' is an advantage the MS have screwed up big time.

> I can see why MS think they can build a better phone os....

Maybe they can but they haven't so far.

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Richard Plinston
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>> Windows Phone 7 - Ok, you'll need to rewrite all your apps for Windows Phone 8

> Nice theory except that neither of those actually happened.

See: "Breaking changes in Windows Phone 8" at

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/jj206947%28v=vs.105%29.aspx

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Richard Plinston
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> an Android emulator on Desktop Windows

http://www.bluestacks.com/about-us.html

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Welcome, stranger: Inside Microsoft's command line shell

Richard Plinston
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Re: piping

> Are you SURE it went to a temp file and not RAM? I know at least once I overloaded a pipe which you wouldn't expect to happen with a temp file given enough free space.

Yes. If it went to RAM during the first program then when it tried to load the 2nd program it may not fit - or more likely would overwrite the data.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: @ Alan Sharkey

> On the original IBM PC,

On the _original_ IBM PC (5150 Model A) it would only support 256Kb max, no mattter how many cards you could afford. Base memory was 16Kb for ROM BASIC and Cassette port. Model B (I have one here) supported max 640Kb.

> MS/PCDOS could use 760K(ish) of so-called "low-mem", before it ran into IBM's built-in hardware stoppage.

IBM reserved the areas above 640Kb for hardware adaptor memory. The CGI card occupied addresses at 640Kb. If only a MDI or hercules card was used then another 64Kb could be used to give 704Kb. Anything beyond that required memory management hardware such as an EMS or EEMS card that could switch address spaces around.

However, later MS-DOS (5 or later), DR-DOS, QEMM or others on a 286 or later could emulate EMS and could shift the OS into high memory or beyond 1Mb.

> Eventually, we figured out how to use nearly 950K of low-mem.

Not on a 8088 based PC or PC XT you didn't. There were machines that could support almost the full addressable 1Mb of a 8086/8088. SCP Zebra series for example, or other S100 bus based systems. The Sharp MZ-5600 that I have here also could utilise 512Kb for OS and programs the other 512Kb address space was reserved.

I do have other 8088/8086 machines that can use the full 1Mb but they run Concurrent-CP/M-86 on several serial terminals.

> Which was an IBM hardware issue, not a Microsoft coding issue. Eventually, we figured out how to use nearly 950K of low-mem.

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Richard Plinston
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> Unix specifications at the time did not require that pipes be implemented in any particular way, and the Microsoft way would have been suitable, although less than ideal.

Named pipes are a feature of the Unix (and Unix like) operating systems. They provide arbitrary data connections between programs. It happens that various shells can use pipes to connect stdout of one program to stdin of another. MS-DOS doesn't have pipes but the shell can provide an emulation in some cases.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: Pipes

> Just like (while I'm here), DOS 3.x did support "partitions larger than 32 MB", through resident driver chaining, and from DOS 2.x supported large disks through installable block devices drivers.

Not from Microsoft it didn't. There were 3rd party add-ons. Some OEMs modified the system, in different ways, to support larger partitions, for example I used 'Wyse-DOS' 3.31 with this. IBM was annoyed that other OEMs had features that were not in PC-DOS (or standard MS-DOS) so they wrote code to create PC-DOS 4.0 and gave it back to MS for MS-DOS 4.0x

http://www.os2museum.com/wp/dos/dos-4-0/

"""Perhaps the most significant change in DOS 4.0 was the introduction of 32-bit logical sector numbers and the consequent breaking of the 32MB partition size barrier. That change wasn’t strictly speaking new, having been first introduced in Compaq’s DOS 3.31 in late 1987. However, beginning with DOS 4.0, every OEM version (starting with IBM’s) supported large partitions."""

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Richard Plinston
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Re: Windows under DR DOS?

> I didn't have problems with windows under DR DOS 6, but then the last versions of DR DOS were overshadowed by DOS (er) 5 (?) that actually had some advanced features.

DR-DOS 3.4x supported large disk partitions when MS-DOS was stuck with 32Mbyte per partition (some OEMS (Wyse, Compaq,..) also had large partition support).

DR-DOS 5 offered EMS and HiMem and many utilities and was contemporaneous with MS-DOS 4.01. 20 months later MS caught up with MS-DOS 5. Then DR-DOS 6 added task switching and better memory management which took the best part of a year to almost catch up with MS-DOS 6. In the meantime MS contracted its OEMs with illegal 'per box pricing' so that users had to pay for MS-DOS even if they bought DR-DOS.

DR-DOS 7 (later Novell-DOS 7) added real multi-tasking as well as task switching.

The other feature that DR-DOS had is that it would _run_ from ROM and not just load. This made embedded systems much faster and more secure.

I don't know what you thought that MS-DOS had that was 'advanced', it was always behind.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: Microsoft didn't really "get" the idea

> changing everything, telling us it is for our own good,

If MS didn't change stuff then there would be no reason to buy the next version.

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Richard Plinston
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Re: Upgrading Windows programming with NIX concepts

> condemned the non_Windows OS as "stone age" and unsophisticated,

Microsoft worked hard to make their CLI very poor so that they could point out how useless it was in order to convince users to switch to GUI. Even when MS wrote a semi-decent CLI enhancer for Windows 95/98 they didn't install it automatically, didn't mention it in the manual and hid it away.

They even seem to have removed command line options from programs (such as net) so that users were forced to use the GUI rather than have a batch file do stuff automatically.

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