1379 posts • joined Thursday 18th June 2009 14:54 GMT
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
Reporting for the Where's Wally generation
The game: try to spot the story amongst the tedious playground bile.
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.
Nah, he was probably just joking. 2003 is also the year in which he promised us 3.0 Ghz G5s.
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.
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.
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".
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.
Are you sure you didn't mean to write that Steve Jobs' death had opened the way for Samsung to attack Apple's witnesses?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Re: Come on Apple
On the plus side, they've stopped reticking that 'Reopen windows when logging back in' button.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hey! I already wrote this game!
Not on purpose; I just wrote an Elite clone and needed a scripting language, so I threw a z80 emulator that I already had written in, being one of the 300,000 people to have written a Spectrum emulator at some point. I'm aware this was an absurd way to write such a thing, but it was just a personal hobby for fun.
Anyway, the way I had things set up left every individual world entity with its own little 64kb address space and a personal z80. I then had some fun scripting them myself, then got bored and put it all away, being aware that games in which you program things are ten a penny, Elite clones aren't exactly rare and there was no reason anyone should care about yet another.
I'm sure Notch's effort will be top drawer though, and should be fun because it'll attract a whole bunch of other talented people.
As part of their desperate attempts to become relevant again c.1999, Apple built Java directly into OS X and made it an on-the-box feature. The OS hence not only could run standard Java apps exactly as if they were native but included a rich set of bindings so that you could write fully native apps directly with the native frameworks but in Java. Per its designers, Java descends more from Objective-C than from C++ so I guess Apple were positioning themselves to be able to go fully Java if the market embraced it, hence they needed direct control over the thing.
In the end the market chose Objective-C (though revisionists don't seem to remember it this way), Apple worked on advancing that and deprecated the native Java bindings after only a few versions and dumped the default inclusion of the Java runtime at all as of the current version. Cyberduck is the only big OS X app I'm aware of with a Java core, Neooffice/J having once also been quite popular but probably not so much since Open/LibreOffice went native.
It was quite stupid that Apple were still maintaining Java separately and more slowly, and this is exactly the sort of flaw that doing so has exposed. So it's good that they don't do that any more, though it's far from being Apple's only security problem.
Re: ClearType? (@Eddie Edwards)
There's actually an allusion to what is effectively ClearType in the Atari Lynx system manual, presumably because some marketing person wanted an excuse to claim three times the horizontal resolution. So it's an idea that was definitely out there in the ether long before Microsoft actually did something useful with it and during the RISC OS period.
You're right though — I don't think RISC OS actually used anything like that technology. I bet almost no-one ever even connected an Archimedes to a colour LCD screen during its production lifetime.
I think you may be behind the times — Android has been the most popular platform for a couple of years; that is now also has a simple majority of the market doesn't really change that, especially since the losses of RIM and Nokia are being sucked up by both the Android manufacturers and Apple. So far Apple hasn't lost any market share, it's just that Android phones have acquired it much more quickly.
I guess it's a comedown for the Apple-or-nothing set from the iPod experience, but they can just switch their attention to tablets for a couple of years.
Re: Instagram - Why??! — it's cheap Lomography
They're turning their phones into Holgas without paying about £25 for a camera that was originally specifically designed to be profitable at something like 50p. And then they're saving money on not having to find somewhere to develop all that lovely medium format film.
Why do they want a Holga in the first place? Just for fun, I imagine.
Re: OMG! (@Suburban inmate)
A friend of mine once had a phone that advertised on the box the fact that the screen could be used as a compact mirror while switched off. I almost bought one myself, just to reward that level of gall!
I think you're conflating vibrancy and accuracy. I will say for the benefit of fairness that Apple's screens are much better than the industry average for colour reproduction, but the shiny coating seems to be a consumer-oriented attempt to give the colours extra pop rather than an attempt better to please people who concern themselves with colour spaces.
I know professional photographers who work directly on Apple screens for their entire production line but when I was in publishing it was more common for companies with a strong interest in colour correctness to buy monitors worth at least two or three times the cost of a Mac, to connect to their Macs.
This is one of those areas where I keep hoping consumer-priced machines will make progress but it seems consumers don't care about gamuts so there's no real reason for manufacturers to expend the effort.
I should expect so too, since it's just incompetence on Facebook's side. On iOS there's the keychain exactly to allow developers securely to store information without having to know anything about the topic for themselves, and I'd be extraordinarily surprised if there's no similar API in Android.
Facebook's developers have simply been lazy.
Re: Windows 8 too (@Greg)
(1) you don't need to click to bring up the menu bar, just mouse up to where the menu bar normally is;
(2) the dock does appear available on auto-hide, just mouse down to where the dock normally is.
• exactly as on every other desktop in the world, not every app can go full screen. I wouldn't agree that having a flag to indicate whether an app can go fullscreen and giving it a default value of 'off' given that fullscreen wasn't previous available is "the stupidest implementation"; I'd rather say it was exactly the correct implementation.
• part of your argument appears to be that the implementation is broken because it took seven iterations to appear. I'm not sure that stands up to logical inspection, though if it helps then it actually took almost thirty years to appear since the classic OS didn't have a full-screen option either. Which presumably means that the implementation that did appear is even worse?
Naturally I appreciate you'll get upvotes and I'll get downvotes because the audience here is anti-establishment and I'm defending a hugely profitable and hugely arrogant company that is often harmful to the industry.