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* Posts by ThomH

1888 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Apple 15in MacBook Pro with Retina Display

ThomH
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Re: Can we please stop calling it the "Retina Display"

I'd rather we didn't use pointless jargon like WUXGA too. It's about as useful as kibibyte.

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ThomH
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Re: ....you failed.

geejayoh — "I know the rights for the Thunderbolt trademark have been transferred to Intel now. But there still has to be something in it for Apple."

To summarise your argument: if we take it as given that Apple is evil then that leads inexorably to the conclusion that Apple is evil.

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Apple must be tried for the bug in every fanboi's pocket

ThomH
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Re: Lies

Third party apps definitely were able to make use of the data, though I think not directly on the device. Applications running on a Mac or Windows PC could slurp it out of iTunes device backups (unless the user had chosen to encrypt them, but unencrypted is the default and there's no click-through prompt or anything like that).

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Apple juggernaut cranks out big, big numbers

ThomH
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Re: 1,700: New APIs in OS X Mountain Lion

They seem to conflate new methods with complete APIs — so if they had added, say, the method arrayByAddingObjectsFromArray:range: to the object NSArray (which they wouldn't, because it'd be redundant) then that counts as a new API.

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ThomH
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Re: A question on the subject of pixels

To add briefly to those that have commented above on why a camera's 5 megapixels usually don't look very good; the Bayer filter used by 99.99% of cameras has an extremely low entropy and hence introduces significant aliasing. Almost every camera with a Bayer filter therefore performs lowpass filtering as part of the demosaicing process (the main exception being Leica, Leica owners generally being aware of the issues and able to do what they think is intelligent in software after the fact).

So cameras explicitly go out of their way to ensure the 5mp contains less information than it could, even if sensor size, quality of lens, etc, weren't problems.

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ThomH
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Re: All that and no new Mac Pro

I still find the assertion that it's impossible to program with a two-year old GPU laughable (though possibly my memory is at fault; did they have programming before 2010?) but it seems Apple have sided with the critics for once. The 'new' text has been removed from the Mac Pro on the official storefront.

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ThomH
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Re: All that and no new Mac Pro

On the contrary, Apple launched new Mac Pros today.

Despite your assertions to the contrary, I think that most developers, like myself, will be insufficient interested even to be able to tell you what's changed.

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iPhones, iPads to be FULL OF FACEBOOK and NOT GOOGLE

ThomH
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Re: auto stuff

Shush! You'll get yourself banned from reading Apple news!

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Apple introduces 'next generation' MacBook Pro with retina display

ThomH
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Let's have screen resolution become a talking point, please

So that the industry can move on from its screen resolution plateau. I don't particularly care that Apple have moved first — it really says more about their category of device (ie, the expensive end of the market) than anything else.

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Android activations near a million a day

ThomH
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900,000 isn't unrealistic. According to the best figures I can find quickly, during Q1 2011 Apple sold about 378,000 iPhones a day and 157,000 iPads. I've no idea about iPods, but presumably if we were to assume that in Google's terms each device gets counted as a single activation then we can conclude that Apple — then already behind Android in shipment totals — were doing at least 525,000 per day a year ago.

So for the OS that outsells Apple in a rapidly expanding market to be doing 900,000 a day a year later seems entirely realistic.

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ThomH
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Re: I'm guessing Apple are rewriting their slides as we speak.

Apple's figures have so far always matched between public announcements and those required by law to be accurate (earnings calls, audits, etc).

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Insider cuts into Apple, peels off Intel Mac OS X port secrets

ThomH
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Re: Oh, c'mon.

You mean other than the kernel, the drivers, the windowing system, the binary format, the filing system and the system- and user-level libraries?

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At last! The Wi-Fi chip that'll beam video from mobe to telly

ThomH
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Re: QoS fail?

It sounds like it may be so that the computer and the display device can set up a little ad hoc network of their own, meaning that nobody else ends up suffering because of the high bandwidth stuff going on elsewhere.

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16GB BlackBerry PlayBook flushed away by RIM

ThomH
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Fact check

A search on Amazon for the Playbook reveals the price difference between the 16gb and 32gb Playbooks to be $85.69. On Apple.com the difference between the 16gb and 32gb iPads is $100. I'd suggest that the step up is therefore a very comparable size. Though you'd be an idiot to take it because the 64gb Playbook is then a mere $21.39 more than the 32gb (versus another $100 between the respective iPads), which I assume is the sort of difference you were referring to.

Those are all at the actual street prices, of course. The Playbook's RRPs appear exactly to mirror Apple's.

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Marathon

ThomH
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The OS wasn't that much of a performance problem

The Classic OS didn't preemptively multitask, so it used CPU cycles only when you let it. The routes it exposed to the video and audio hardware also weren't all that much of an issue.

More of a problem was the Mac's high resolution display. As per the article, the small portion of the screen given over to the 3d display in the original Marathon was 320x240 — already larger than Doom's entire screen, at a time when pixel painting was definitely the bottleneck.

The Mac versions of classic games are usually worth checking out though. You're not going to find 640x480 versions of Prince of Persia, Chuck Yeager's Air Combat, etc, anywhere else.

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Leaked Apple inventory list hints at new non-iOS hardware

ThomH
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@AC

The sad thing is, the new models probably won't even be more expensive. They'll probably be indistinguishable but for incremental component improvements.

That being the case, and I can now see that El Reg has done basically everything it can to turn what would otherwise be a single sentence into an entire article. But when's the last time the release of a new computer really excited anybody?

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ThomH
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Reporting for the Where's Wally generation

The game: try to spot the story amongst the tedious playground bile.

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Apple quietly reveals iOS security innards

ThomH
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Re: iOS is 100% unhackable

I think you're living in the realm of the straw men; this document does not claim that iOS is 100% unhackable. It merely documents that Apple has taken many of the steps that the industry advocates in order to secure their OS.

The only person you'll hear an unhackable claim from is an inveterate troll. You can point them at the latest jailbreaking tool if you want instantly to win that argument.

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Strong ARM: The Acorn Archimedes is 25

ThomH
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Re: Memories... (@Cupboard)

Could that have been one of Europress's Fun Schools?

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Steve Jobs speaks from beyond grave: 'iPads are toys'

ThomH
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Nah, he was probably just joking. 2003 is also the year in which he promised us 3.0 Ghz G5s.

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Apple's Ping has fatal pong, says CEO

ThomH
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Thank goodness for that

But in addition to killing Ping can we please have a disentanglement of the music player from the thing that archives and synchronises apps? Even on a Mac where it performs reasonably, iTunes is a usability mess.

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Zombies, Run!

ThomH
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Re: @johnnytruant

Well then I stand corrected. I've used Zombies Run (ie, this one) on Android and was aware it had been in the public eye quite a while before release because of the Kickstarter; the degree of funding attracted further suggested a novel product.

Despite being El Reg's boards, I'm glad we could both be civil about my error.

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ThomH
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@johnnytruant

I think you're possibly confused; it's the same app from the same company for both iOS and Android, and it got Kickstarter funding last year (see http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sixtostart/zombies-run-a-running-game-and-audio-adventure-for ), rather than having been around for "a couple of years".

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Apple design chief Jony Ive knighted - but not by the Queen

ThomH
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Considered responses to known facts will probably be saved for occasions when there are known facts to respond to. You'll likely mostly get the usual internet-dwelling angries, responding to your transparent attempt to anger them.

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Apple's trial experts are 'slavish fanbois who believe in magic'

ThomH
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"the Foxconn-rebrander"

Are you sure you didn't mean to write that Steve Jobs' death had opened the way for Samsung to attack Apple's witnesses?

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Chrome spends a week at the top of the browser charts

ThomH
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Re: Untick

It's usage though, not installations — StatCounter is one of those that collects usage data through web page accesses. So people aren't merely installing Chrome, they're installing it and using it.

However they've done it, I say congratulations to Google. The market is now divided enough to make the standards successful, which aids innovation. Can you imagine the smartphones having done as well if rendering everything like IE6 was still the consumer expectation?

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ThomH
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Re: Article layout looks mangled in chrome.

More than that, it's an article on web browser progress that requires Flash (specifically to draw the charts). I can almost taste the controversy.

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Steve Jobs' death clears way for rumoured 4in 'iPhone 5' screen

ThomH
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Re: How? (@James)

I think the AC was referring to Jobs' vision of simple, stratified product lines. Sure, they keep the older models around, but I think the point is that the initial presentation is straightforward, there are no mystifying tables of tick boxes for people to traverse in PC World, Carphone Warehouse or wherever and the thing itself can become a desirable object in the group consciousness of consumers without caveats.

That's a policy he implemented almost immediately upon his return to Apple, starting with the Mac, and is probably a large part of what saved the company. I think they'll stick to it. If the iPhone gets larger, I'd expect the iPod Touch to get larger too and for no current generation smaller variants to remain available. No doubt they'll brand it a transition and cite the moves to PowerPC, to OS X and to Intel as evidence that they're not diluting, just advancing. Apply your own pinch of salt.

Obviously there are a bunch of ways that an iPhone screen size change and an iPad Mini would directly contradict previous Jobs keynotes. He used to do that himself, but the observation is nevertheless valid.

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Next-gen MacBook Pro, iMac make benchmark site debut

ThomH
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Re: Retina

Sure, it's marketing speak, with Apple coming up with whatever figure suits the keynote but as a general rule it's double whatever it replaces in each dimension, so old art scales up to an integral size. That would also fit the art resources discovered in recent OS X applications.

So it should be double one of the existing or reasonably recent screen resolutions. So most guesses have been 2560x1600 (which is a doubling in each dimension of the 13" MacBook resolution) or 2880x1800 (which relates to the 15" resolution).

Just guesses though. Mind you, so is the claim that the next resolution increase is going to be dramatic rather than merely evolutionary or non-existent as previously.

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Antitrust probe looms over Windows RT 'browser ban'

ThomH
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Re: DrXym

Although I got down voted, probably for failing to have the requisite pathological rage or daring not to predicate my argument on its conclusion, I think DrXym's comment finishes off the point I was grasping for. Ian's question is why aren't there complaints, not why shouldn't there be, so while DrXym's belief that there should be could easily be legally accurate, the fact that Apple didn't cut anyone with an existing interest out if the market is probably why there have been no complaints.

It's the difference between eating into someone's revenue stream and not allowing them to have one in the first place; in the first case you'd be much more likely to risk money on lawyers and hearings.

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ThomH
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I think Ralph almost has the right point. Apple's decision was made when they weren't a majority player (indeed, the product hadn't yet launched), isn't as extreme as Microsoft's (as other browsers are allowed), and doesn't reduce anyone's access to the market.

Microsoft have been keen to promote this as another facet of existing Windows. So that's a company with a monopoly market share explicitly banning rival products, where those are already established.

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Wolfenstein 3D shoots onto web

ThomH
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Re: WP7

It's the same on iOS, with the extra caveat that they've disabled pinch zoom so you can't even see the whole screen.

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Apple OS X update puts elderly Flash out of its misery

ThomH
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Re: Come on Apple

On the plus side, they've stopped reticking that 'Reopen windows when logging back in' button.

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Apple sneaks iPad 2 with 32nm chip into retail

ThomH
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@Jediben

That's because the AC didn't agree with you. He said some positive about Tim Cook and his management of the supply chain. Your main point appears to have been a lazy jab at Steve Jobs. The AC's comments can't be read as the same thing with a different phrasing because Tim Cook and Steve Jobs worked together for more than a decade.

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ARM creators Sophie Wilson and Steve Furber

ThomH
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Re: I heard (@AC)

I'm pretty sure Acorn systems were sold in the US via Olivetti. I think the main reason that RISC OS never gained the staying power of Mac OS is that Apple did the graphical desktop four years before Acorn and so managed to grab niches in publishing and design that sustained them when Microsoft came along and did the GUI for everyone else. Acorn's educational niche wasn't sustainable because, as noted above, there's a lot of political meddling in education and it's easy to score points with 'business picked Microsoft, we should be training them on Windows'.

I guess it's a shame but the triumph of ARM makes it difficult to be very upset.

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Samsung shows 'designed for humans' handset

ThomH
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Re: Depending on battery life...

I was just about to post a message to the effect that going back to battery life as a boasting feature is the main advancement I'm looking for in mobile phones... but then I realised that eye tracking while the screen is on in order to make a value judgment as to whether you're still looking is a feature I'd actually really like. Especially when it's late at night and I've set my phone brightness to the absolute minimum (such that the about to go to sleep screen dimming isn't visible), I'm forever being annoyed by the phone just suddenly going to standby. Even with the small amount of light it's shining out at me in those circumstances it could probably still spot my eyes if it were trying.

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Twelve... classic 1980s 8-bit micros

ThomH
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Re: Bah!

I'm probably describing the experience of quite a lot of people on this site when I say that things worked the other way around for me: having access to computers from a young age is probably what put me into the top set for maths at school.

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ThomH
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Re: Sam Coupe

As a Sam owner and someone who has written software for it (no, nothing notable; my best effort) I think its problems were more about the spec than the launch.

There's no hardware scrolling and if you wanted to scroll the high quality display in its entirety it'd take four frames. So most of the then-current style of action and platform games are straight out unless you want to render them in the Spectrum graphics mode or the Timex-style Spectrum graphics mode but with separate attributes for each 8x1 block. Cue a slew of puzzle games.

With respect to the expected sales point re: the Spectrum, the paging scheme is entirely different from the 128k Spectrum so there's no way to run 128k games at all. That's in addition to the timing differences that make many Spectrum games fail to load (the Spectrum tape interface being essentially a 1-bit ADC that the CPU polls in carefully timed loops); and they declined to licence or otherwise replicate the Sinclair ROM so you're not getting even the Spectrum compatibility it can do out of the box.

Within a year of launch, prices were something like £200 for the Sam, £300 for the Atari ST. So at that point you're not even looking at good value for money, especially once software catalogues are factored in.

MGT were hobbled from the start by development budgets, I think. If you compare and contrast to the Atari Lynx of the same year, that had a quarter of the RAM but a faster CPU, a scaling blitter, a dedicated fixed point maths unit and a built-in LCD screen, for only about £130 — and that was before console manufacturers were in the habit of subsidising the hardware with future software sales.

Subjectively speaking though? I loved the little thing, and used it through to at least 1995. Both it and another I bought are likely still where I left them when I eventually went to university.

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ThomH
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Re: "...Acorn Series 1 - which had been designed by Sophie Wilson"

Supposong you're complaining primarily about tense, would you accept 'was designed by Sophie Wilson'? Citing people by their current names is quite normal, e.g. 'Elton John was born in 1947'.

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Ten... eight-bit classic games

ThomH
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Getting in on the titles-you-didn't-pick wagon...

Chaos? Xeno? Bruce Lee? Stop the Express? Nebulus? Driller? Exolon? Target: Renegade? Thrust? Splat? Turrican? Dan Dare? Wizball?

I'm confident those were all very good.

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Samsung smacks Apple back with 8-patent knuckleduster

ThomH
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Re: The good Mr Mueller...

On the other hand, lots of places — such as El Reg — seem to consider it worth reporting without being particularly invested in either side, so you shouldn't just write off the factual content of the story on account of the person that broke it.

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Moody's downgrades Nokia to near-junk status

ThomH
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Re: THIS IS SAD

Further to what King Jack says, the Carl Zeiss lenses that Nokia have always thought to be a huge selling point have always been a bit of a joke as far as I'm concerned; nobody who knows and cares about Carl Zeiss lenses is going to think that a full-automatic device with a point-and-shoot sized sensor is going to be significantly constrained by lens quality or that at the price points the devices are sold at this is anything more than a vanity labelling exercise, and people who just want to point and shoot aren't likely to have heard of Carl Zeiss.

Kodak is sad but was hardly inevitable — compare and contrast with the trajectory of Fujifilm, currently riding high on the well-received X series of enthusiast cameras.

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ThomH
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@Rob

Surely this'll end up looking really bad for Microsoft? As in: turn your company into a Microsoft shop and expect bankruptcy; try to sell WP7 and expect consumers to walk away.

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Naked gyrating iPad vid exposes truth behind Apple's billions

ThomH
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Re: One of the best places to work?

Most of your down votes will be the trolling attempt at tying industry-wide problems uniquely to Apple, I think.

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Jazz Jackrabbit

ThomH
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Re: Nice, but...

I would have been more scathing than merely not describing them as innovative. Ditto for the whole game. It was well crafted and fun, but far from innovative in any sense.

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Commodore founder Jack Tramiel dies at 83

ThomH
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Re: Mighty GEM (or GEOS?)

You'll all be thinking of GEOS rather than GEM, surely? GEM was the one that came with the Atari ST and was also available for all of the other 16-or-better bit machines from Digital Research, GEOS was — I think — the Commodore 64 one with the surprisingly complete set of applications. I've seen other 8 bit GUIs but never anything that went significantly beyond a basic proof of concept, with a calculator, text editor and nothing much else of production use.

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ThomH
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Re: Headed Commodore and Atari yet forgotten

It's a Silicon Valley bias thing; Tramiel dared to be over on the east coast, Sinclair, Sugar and Curry weren't even in the same country.

Tramiel was as important to the business as any of them. His cutthroat approach to price cutting can just as easily be cast as striving to include more features at the same price, hence pushing the industry forward.

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Toshiba prices up 13in monster tablet

ThomH
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Re: cheap pls

Is that first manufacturer not Amazon? Albeit that they're frustratingly restricting their product to the US only for the time being. And that £200 exactly iPad sized Android tablet you can get through Argos that was reviewed here recently looked pretty good for us Brit types.

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The iPad 3 would make me so horny...

ThomH
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Re: new retina screen makes my existing content look worse

I have both devices in front of me right now. Prerendered content looks identical, as do apps that have yet to be adapted for the retina display.

If there's a complaint at all, you quickly mentally adjust to the decent text rendering offered by [almost] all apps that render their text live, making the prerendered stuff look worse by comparison. It then looks equally bad on both devices.

Games that haven't been updated, like Angry Birds, look the same on both devices but even then my brain doesn't really notice anything particularly odd. It's really just the text where most people will be conscious of the difference.

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