33 posts • joined 15 Jun 2009
Ya know what? I wasn't saying Steve Jobs was anything other than an egocentric, selfish bar steward. However, what I was saying was that Gates' response to what took place were shortsighted and clueless, albeit not in those words.
I cannot think of one single quote from Bill Gates since -- I don't know, when did The Road Ahead come out? -- that has indicated he has any kind of pool of visionary thinking he's going to be tapping into here.
The Steve Jobs biography is littered with Gates comments that could pretty much be gathered together and published as "Advice Well Worth Ignoring."
Re: Ignore the obvious choice
Er, yes, but the PC/AT wasn't around in the PC days. The PC-101 keyboard came out several years after the original PC.
"Oops. Did hitting that mess something up for you?"
And I would like to add that asking for a single dedicated "BORK YOUR COMPUTER" key on a computer keyboard may be the single stupidest thing I have ever heard a multizillionaire brag about.
"Microsoft. We're so confident that you'll need to reboot, we want a DEDICATED KEY for it."
We Unix people laughed and laughed when one of the most vaunted features of Windows 2000 was that it would go *so long* without rebooting -- like *30 days* -- that they built in a special "reboot at a regular interval" feature.
Which, of course, we would have called "cron". If we thought that it was a good idea in the first place.
Re: The purpose of Surface
Actually, the article seems to be pretty reasonable; the headline, which I'm sure Vance didn't write, is over the top and doesn't exactly match the content.
Article sez: Microsoft just threw a big faux-Apple show to introduce a product of the kind its OEMs weren't willing to make. And oh, by the way, the OEMs weren't willing to do so primarily because there's very little R&D money to be found for hardware once they've forked over the bulk of their margins to Redmond.
The most embarrassing part of the article is the gush over the stand (ZOMG, it sounds like a LUXURY CAR DOOR!). At least he called out the one guy who said he had a disturbingly deep love for his keyboard.
Re: "Damn you hamfingered digits and lack of proofreading"
I hear Jimmy Wales is eager to pitch in.
Re: The purpose of Surface
"Linux on the surface would be awesome." Yes, because what Linux is known for is its AWESOME DESKTOP and SEAMLESS ESOTERIC HARDWARE integration.
You know what would look really good on it? OS X.
But this all misses the point. Microsoft is not really interested in selling razors. They're selling razor blades. Lovely, lovely razor blades with big colorful animated rectangles that you'll LIKE, dammit! Just give them a chance!
I'm a frequent editor, but I don't think of myself as being part of the WP inner, middle or even recognized outer circle.
...and I find the new editor to be pretty awful. First of all, my editing is necessarily of the "get in, get out and move on" style; it's usually because I see something in an article I came to read, and it hurts my eyes. The new editor is slow than sin to fire up.
Second, anyone who edits WP regularly knows what's behind the skin, and I think it would scare us all to death to trust the fragile thing that is the markup to a visual editor of recent origin.
I suspect new/infrequent editors might like it better than having to learn the markup, though.
Here's one thing that made me laugh: if you go to your preferences to turn it off, you'll see that the option isn't something like "use the old editor" -- it's "temporarily disable VE during beta." You LIKE scented air! It's fresh and invigorating! Please stand by while we make it even MORE wonderful! In time, you will learn to love me!
Re: Yeah, about that Windows button...
Oh yeah, I'm delighted with some of the two-key presses. Windows-L, for example. That's why the "fix it with a table knife" solution is not optimal.
Re: Yeah, about that Windows button...
A late reply...
it's really both. The fact that I accidentally hit the Windows key as often as I do is certainly due to the difference between the two OSes. (And: Microsoft's introduction of the Control key as a function modifier ranks right up there in the "teethgrindingly annoying decisions" Hall of Fame, right along with their using the backslash as the file path separator instead of slash, by the way. And yes, I *know* why they did both. Doesn't make it any better.)
But -- having a key that acts in two ways like this is still a bad decision, as well. Those who have pointed out that some Linux desktops do the same thing with "Alt" doesn't make that a good decision, either. Nor does the fact that the Windows key has behaved that way since before Windows 8.
I did finally discover on my own that pressing it again toggles back from Chiclet land to the desktop.
Oh and yes, I also very much hate the "multiple presses of Shift activates Sticky Keys" feature, and turn it off whenever I remember it. (I remember it, of course, when I press the Shift key a few times to wake up a blank screen.) But that doesn't help when I'm working on someone else's computer.
Yeah, about that Windows button...
I have to ask: whose brilliant idea was it to have a key that's both a modifier key AND a function key?
As a recent conscript to Windows 8, I can't tell you how many times I've held down the Windows button instead of the control key (part of this is Mac reflexes). If I accidentally hold down, say, the Shift or Alt key, no problem. However, releasing the Windows key without pressing another key of course means the computer no longer thinks I was going to do something useful, and instead interprets the keypress as "Take me to the land of shiny colored boxes." Argh.
"but the NT kernel is the direct descendant of VMS. :)"
Well, more like the bastard brother of VMS, with Cutler jumping ship from DEC to MSFT to do his thing. And then, apparently, losing control of the project and having it mangled beyond recognition by his new colleagues.
I always did like the VMS -> WNT alphabetic progression, though.
Gates: "The fact that he, with as little engineering background as he had, it shows that design can lead you in a good direction."
Remind me again of Gates' extensive engineering background?
I think "hanging out with Woz" might compare favorably to many undergraduate educations.
Traveling this week on Southwest, they actually made a point that phones now had to be *off* during takeoff and landing -- most emphatically not just in airplane mode.
This was new to me. Is this new bit of security theater in reaction to this hacker's claim, or is there some other reason they've turned up the silly? Are other airlines doing this as well?
Most likely explanation: couple driving, notices Google car, races on ahead, creates a Kodak moment.
Paris, because I don't think I have to explain why Paris.
TRS-80 Model I FTW
The monitor was an RCA XL-100 television, spray-painted "Space Patrol Silver."
The name plate covered up the holes where the channel knobs would normally have gone.
The monitor cable came out of the hole where the vertical hold knob would have gone --with a "V" still prominently embossed above it.
Jony Ive and frogdesign only *wish* they could have been this sleek and innovative in their design.
Typo -- should've been Heathkit H89 / Zenith Z-89.
I built the "terminal only" version of this kit, the Heathkit H19, which could later be upgraded to a full-fledged CP/M computer, the H89.
The one in front of Allen appears to be a Heathkit/Zenith HP-89.
I've got this question in to Jessica Alba. I'll let you know as soon as she replies.
Is it really surprising the that ST:TMP isn't well-regarded by Star Trek fans? It's missing the character interplay that was a hallmark of the series, is snail-like in its pace, and lifts the bulk of its plot line from a TOS episode.
On the plus side, it *looked* awesome. It was amazing to see the Star Trek universe lifted out of its $162,000-per-episode box. But Nicholas Meyer showed in ST:WoK what you could do with less budget than the first movie and a script with some real exuberance to it, and an understanding to what made the characters interesting.
Ah, very much like Anatole France, then:
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.
In other words
Message follows, comprising two parts:
1. I have been conducting an extensive ongoing campaign of misinformation. It's pretty much what I do.
2. Additionally, here are some things that are absolutely true. Please believe them.
I'm guessing that prior to this event, Jessica Alba thought "curate her content" was a job for her daughter's pediatrician.
From now on, the items formerly known as "chairs" and "tables" will be referred to as "Ikea merchandise." Pull up an Ikea merchandise to the Ikea merchandise and let's talk.
I see no problem here
I happen to prefer IMAP clients to web-based mail. Thunderbird has done pretty much exactly what I've wanted it to do for years now, so I'm very glad it's here. If it continues to exist and be maintained, I'm good.
Feeping creaturism for its own sake is not required.
But it completely removes the serendipity factor. It's why I hate tailored news sites: "Oh, you looked at this article once -- here's 200 like it! And we're starting to filter out anything you've never looked at before!"
Great. I ate applesauce once, and now it's applesauce dinner time.
*All of which* used to be a Sun campus.
Confusion may lie with the fact that a few of the buildings are still, in fact, occupied by former Sun units (now part of Oracle, of course) for a little while longer.
Brick in quakeland
The day after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, I drove through a neighborhood 10 or so miles from the epicenter, with lots of houses made of "chicken wire", basically the same construction as the house in question.
They all withstood the quake nicely, except that many of them had piles of reddish-pink dust next to them that used to be their brick chimneys.
I remember this!
I was at EDUCOM that year -- I remember thinking that the look of the majordomo was a snarky shout-out to their then-former colleague, who at that time was years away from assuming the turtleneck, and was in fact often seen rocking the bow tie.
Gee Matt, you'd almost think you had a bias against Sun.
Yes, I did qualify "first practical file system," because other people had tried previously, such as MIT's implementation of a single-writer network file system. The one that worked, the one that got widespread use, won.
"no kudos to Xerox, then?" Well, in this particular case, Sun did the work to develop and promote the 100 megabit extension to Xerox' original work, and carried it to success against Token Ring, which, apologies to TeeCee, had some serious implementation issues, such as jitter and the world's funkiest connector. The point here is that TR was being promoted as *the* networking future by the world's largest computer company, and Sun came up with and successfully promoted a cheaper, more open and more robust solution that carried the day. Yes, part of the problem was that it was a closed architecture; that's part of what made Sun's alternative more compelling.
My only intent was simply to respond to Frank Gerlach's rather short summary of Sun's past that there is a bit more to Sun's history than Java. Slamming this as "looking in the rearview mirror" seems to be more picking a fight than anything, isn't it?
I think that was one of those "joke" things I've heard so much about.
Sun (not "SUN") innovated a lot more than you give them credit for. Sometimes it wasn't about inventing something, but knowing when to ride with a good idea. Sun was a proponent of open systems when that was hardly the popular trend in computing. Sun invented the first practical network file system and remote procedure call mechanism. Sun was a champion of UNIX, and one could make a strong case that Linux would not even be a blip on the graph if it wasn't for that. Sun took the idea of RISC computing and rode it to the top. Sun championed distributing computing back when their competitors couldn't even figure out what "The Network is the Computer" meant.
They also innovated in areas you're probably totally unaware of. Remember Token Ring? Didn't think so. IBM was pushing their own funky network topology; Sun countered with the work that took the Ethernet standard from 10 megabits to 100 megabits to a gigabit.
Sun also had victories against the likes of SGI with true innovation: their GX card blew the lid off of low end graphics and started pushing SGI more into the niche market. (The GX card team went off to start a company you may have heard of called NVIDIA).
You can dismiss Java if you want, but it changed the industry.
Seymour Cray, AFAIK, never had one second of interrelationship with SGI. He was long gone before SGI bought and pretty much killed Cray -- firesale-ing Cray BSD to Sun in the process, spawning Sun's most successful midrange product line ever. So who did the most justice to Cray's legacy?
There's more -- the industrial design of the SPARCstation 1 and the associated SBus standard was groundbreaking as well. And, although late to the open source game, they moved very quickly to become one of its most active participants: OpenOffice, Solaris, Java, Glassfish, Grid Engine, MySQL...
SGI did some very nice things in graphics, and a few fillips in high-end performance, but their mark on the industry is nothing like Sun's.
If you don't think SGI, and HP, and IBM, weren't at the same time trying to kill Sun, every minute of the day, you truly have no idea what the industry is about.
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