29 posts • joined Tuesday 23rd June 2009 01:33 GMT
Ah, the memories
Over 15 years ago but.....being written up for "refusing to install a program properly" because they thought a Windows 95 program should be able to run on Windows 3.1, even when I ran the installer to show them it didn't work. Being yelled at when installing a retail copy of Office 95 because they saw the ads for other Microsoft products flashing across the screen and thought they were being installed also. Lastly, letting someone's teenage son play on my computer all day and then accusing me of looking at porn when I wasn't even there.
I had an idea
To start my own business, but the cost of researching all the possible patents and keeping a lawyer on retainer to fight off lawsuits I would only be incidentally involved in nixed the idea.
Seriously, how was this patent ever granted? It's so vague that it could almost mean anything, and the patent appears to describe an IP phone as one of those gizmos mounted on your desk and hard wired to a network, not a cellphone......but never mind.
Too much like any other industry facing digitization
26 loans on a popular title would last about two months, as one person reads it in a few days, returns it, and then another reads it. This will end up in the same copyright/DRM fiasco as music and software. Only three ways I see this being "solved":
E-readers become cheap enough that the reader *is* the book, and is what is sold, loaned, etc., which kind of defeats the whole point.
Someone comes up with a locked down "library" E-reader that will only download from the list of titles the library has bought rights to. The E-reader still needs to be checked out/loaned, but there is some more flexibility as more and different titles can be loaded onto it.
A magic uncrackable file format is devised that once licensed and downloaded can only "move" itself and destroys the existing copy. We're right back to the same logistics and approach as a physical copy, since only one licensed digital copy can ever exist. The entire copyright/DRM problem is solved, manna falls from Heaven, and the world goes back into business as usual again.
If anyone believes those three will ever happen I also have a bridge to sell you.
Call me silly but I remember when the iPad came out the response even from the fans was something like, "It's just a big iPhone, without the phone part." And from most anyone else, "Why?" So fast forward a year or so and now it's another must have accessory because it's got a bigger screen than other tablets and it's Apple so you get to use all these fun apps. So now you're perpetually wiping your fingerprints off the screen and having to buy a case to protect it and finding out which app you really need to show you're both cool *and* productive.....meanwhile I just keep on with my laptop which has the same size screen, old school "programs" which is what apps are in the first place, and a keyboard to boot.
Yes, what about Windows 2000?
Win2K united the NT and 95/98 products lines into "one" type of Windows. The rightly forgotten Windows Me was really just a dressed up 98 with some of the things planned for XP, and CE got buried in the evolution of Windows for handhelds.
I used 2K was long as I could, but with no driver support and never any 64 bit development it's at the end of it's life. XP to me was where Microsoft realized the effects of market saturation and stopped developing the OS for serious users. We instead got the glitzy interface and emphasis on colors and startup chimes, and multiple versions of the OS that were the same thing with different features enabled. And of course, the activation, the single thing about Windows I've hated the most. It's never done much for serious pirates, but pretty much stopped me building and upgrading computers like I used to. Why keep paying to buy the same thing over and over again? Now I don't even bother, I just buy a Dell with pre-activated Windows on it. My gaming is migrating to consoles,and I keep on Windows because Linux is still a pain to fiddle with.
But the article is right, the world has changed. Google is the new Microsoft, and mobile handsets are all the rage, which I still have trouble understanding--a laptop does everything better and do we really need to be connected every waking moment? Now everything down to a game console has web connectivity, and often wireless at that. Get on the web and you can do most of what you want.
Despite the claims the desktop is dead it will still be around---they're bigger and faster, and can be customized. Even with a full decade now of Microsoft shooting itself in the foot Linux and Apple are yet to take it over. What seems to keep corporations and people on Windows is the app and driver support, and how things integrate well.
But the days of the world we know seem numbered. There's no such thing as a Microsoft fan, most Windows users look at it as more appliance than anything else. I'm not too sure about the latest round of slate/tablet computers, they seem an eternal comeback that just fades away until somebody decides to try again. And there's all the dead ends out there, the Internet Appliances, handheld PC's, and so on. I keep thinking the latest round of dedicated e-readers will also go away, but who knows.
In the end I agree Windows will keep on for some time, but it will be a part of the ever changing computer market, not the key component that defined it.
Misleading at least
Was Steve Jobs actually personally involved in this? The app is interesting no doubt, I just wonder if they cite references for the links they make, so those of us who do read up on these things can follow through.
Aside from that this is little more than yet another liberal writer's attempt to start a flame war. (I wonder what will happen when they realize not every conservative is a creationist, but never mind).
Rather than keep on drawing links that really aren't there (as in I doubt any of the people named in the article have used the app or even knows it exists) we could have had an interesting article about evolutionary theory and how useful and/or relevant this app would for real research, as opposed to the faux research of most liberals, i.e., "I'm smart because I used this app which told me something I barely understand."
Instead we get juvenile taunting, hope you enjoyed the five minutes of attention.
This is probably going to be as big a bomb as that "custom wallpaper" background they had a few months ago, and I can already picture the phone calls/e-mails from people "this Google thing has gone crazy, what's wrong with it?"
I don't need or want to have Google redoing the search for every letter I type, although I imagine "teh" will become a very popular search term. Did they test this idea at all? Are there really that many people who would use this type of "search?"
Why not make a topic list on the right, so rather than doing searches it would take common search terms against an index of click-throughs and pull up a sidebar list of "Are you looking for..." and rather than just matching keywords it would actually give a list of links to recipes or magazine articles or whatever. That would be much more useful.
Google: The New Microsoft.
Is that an iPad? Cool! Lemme have a look at it....
What are you crying about? It skipped three times before it sank!
Seriously I don't understand the fascination at all with tablets. Touch screens only make sense on small devices where a keyboard takes up too much space or on kiosks where you only want people doing a few things at a time.
Beyond that these are half-a-laptops that need a protective case to keep from damaging the screen, and constant cleaning to remove all the fingerprints. I haven't seen any really good appeal or point to a tablet, and the only times actually use them is for manual writing with a stylus and toting it around as a kind of digital checklist.
However, I'm sure someone out there is convinced an arcane system of gestures will be faster and more "productive" at movie editing than using a mouse, or a machine with the proper hardware to edit in the first place.
Microsoft has lost the plot
Windows 7 is an improvement, but only in the sense it was a direct reply to the problems Vista was facing the in the market. On my second Windows 7 machine I can't use the SD card reader as every time I insert a card it brings up an error about a file not being read. It turns out somehow the Bitlocker service thought it was trying to read an encrypted volume on the SD card. This is compounded by how I'm using the Home Premium edition which allegedly doesn't even have Bitlocker on it, but as we all know it's the same OS with different features enabled. So I can't run Bitlocker to fix this error, and I can't use my card reader.
Further is I had all kinds of logs telling me when it happened, how long it happened, what modules were involved, and so on, but still only had an error number and had to dig around the MS website to find out what was going wrong.
And you think these people can build a smartphone?
The trouble is being part of the "establishment"
Some of the comments here amuse me, you think Bill Gates knocked each and every one of them out of the swing on the playground when they were kids. The first question is who does Microsoft want to be their fans? The computer savvy user or the average consumer? You really can't do both.
For the average consumer it'd be taking a page from the Apple playbook and focusing on flash and marketing, making something that's people can already do seem like a must-have new idea. If that sounds like a thinly veiled reference to Apple fanbois, it is.
For the computer savvy user the only way I'd see real fandom coming is to have a new corporate head take over, change the name of the company, and go with a whole new look and more open source/open outlook approach. However, this wouldn't make much money and the savvy fans would likely still bolt in the future.
What would it take for *me* to be a fan? Drop prices, drop product activation, and quit screwing around with the interface in Windows and Office. That's all. So there.
Considering how small the sensor is on this camera, I'm impressed by the quality of the pictures. The E-P2 is definitely a major improvement over it's predecessor. The main thing I see counting against it is the cost.
As for how well these mirrorless "SLR" cameras will work out, time will tell. A lot of people forget that LCD's just simply aren't that visible in bright sunlight, it seems inevitable that an EVF would come along that would provide the same viewing quality as a mirror, just it shouldn't be an extra cost accessory.
The other is how tiny they keep making everything. I'd rather have a bigger battery and a faster operating camera than something so small I could lose it in a backapck, but that's just me.
I'm not too sure what Apple's success has to do with politician's strategies and policemen retiring at 50, and think the author has completely missed the mark. The success of Apple, like it or not, has always been with Steve Jobs and marketing. I never saw what was so special about an iPod or an iPhone, but as we all know people love them, and associate the Apple brand with stuff they'd like to buy more of. Apple is seen as fast, flashy, creative, whatever.
Microsoft is still digging itself out from under the Vista fiasco, and Office 2007 with the Ribbon wasn't helping much. People have seen Microsoft for a long time as a company that tells you what to do, whether you like it or not. Apple makes people think they've been given some new thing they need, even if they could get it from somewhere else.
The biggest change in Apple, ever since the turnover to Intel processors, is how it's not really a computer company anymore but a digital media company. Microsoft's last big new venture that had any success was the Xbox, otherwise it's been the bread-n-butter of Windows and Office.
However Apple is tied too much to Steve Jobs; maybe I'm wrong and he's cultivated his replacements and is keeping up his keeper of the reigns persona for appearances, but it's hard not think that Apple will last only as long as he does.
You're kidding, right?
I honestly don't understand the fascination some people have with rangefinder cameras, or Leicas in particular. yes, they're well made, and yes, you have a pretty good manual focus system. That's about it. The rest of it just seems to be daring to be different and holding onto old-tech in the belief it's somehow better.
The pics at ISO 2500 have some serious noise in them, much more than my Nikon D700 (which is also full frame), not to mention how the Nikon can do faster follow up shots.
Any of the pro Nikons with a metering tab can mount any F-Mount lens from 1977 on up, and with some machine work older lenses back to 1959, and a lot of them are darn good.
The last rangefinder I used was an Argus C-4, and then as with the Leica I couldn't see the appeal, especially since the mirror reflex system itself is now considered old school.
Finally, the nail in the coffin for me is the price. This should be a $700-$1000 camera competing with the likes of the Canon G11, for the cost I could honestly buy a car.
I don't get tablets
They seem to have been a stillborn product for over a decade, yet they keep coming around as the next big thing, this time most likely as "competition" to the iPad. Yet for the life of me the only advantage I see is to have a smallish display to poke with a finger or stylus as you navigate around. Otherwise I'd much rather have an old-tech laptop. Everything else is a disadvantage, from the horrible on-screen keyboards to needing a protection or enclosure to keep that exposed screen from getting damaged to having to learn gestures and the like to use the screen. Also, Heaven help you if you have dry fingers and the screen doesn't register, but eh, I guess the marketing people know what they're doing, right?
Been a ghost of itself for a long time anyways
Before people wax too poetic on just computers they ought to remember the Sony Mavica cameras that used floppies, I still remember the FD-95 my workplace had, It's hard to believe it was once considered an expensive and high end piece of equipment.
What some people haven't noticed is floppies have gone downhill quality wise for years. My father had a 8088 from 1984 that I used in college and up to 1991, still booting off of one 5 1/4 floppy for the OS and another for the program/storage. I also had my 3 1/2 DOS floppies from 1994 that I kept until about 1999.
The last time I bought any floppies was in 2000, and all of them lasted less than three months before going bad. USB keys are everywhere now, but I prefer SD cards; I keep waiting for someone to make an array to plug in a few dozen of them for the equivalent of a live tape library of backup storage. I can dream, can't I?
On the one hand I guess it's good people will still be able to shoot film in these things. However, rather than a plastic SX-70 I have a good old 1969 Polaroid Model 360 Land Camera. It sits on the shelf next to the 110 Minolta, 35mm Canon AE-1, and a host of film cameras.
Great things were done with film at one time, especially Kodachrome. But today most of the people clinging to film are either using it as an art medium or a retro bucking the trend. They go along with the people still playing vinyl records, CRT televisions, laserdiscs, and vacuum tube radios. Fine if it's your interest, but don't sit around pretending you've got some secret superiority the rest of the world has forgotten.
I shoot color, infrared, landscapes, events, and action. I've been digital for ten years and since I got my first full frame DSLR have never even considered going back to film. It's every bit as good as 220 large format and much faster and easier to use. As for "new" Polaroid, it's like listening to 45 singles, a nice retro moment but I'm not going to live there.
The company that people love to hate
The Microsoft is incompetent/losing it's grip mentality has been going around almost since day one, and it's almost impossible for some people to acknowledge or accept that the company is capable of doing anything even semi-usable. Then you look outside and it's still largely a Windows world. Go figure.
However, change is finally catching up, as the world is getting to the point the two core products, Office and Windows, really aren't all that necessary anymore. I'm not jumping on the cloud computing bandwagon, but the age of a desktop or laptop PC as the only way people can use a computer is largely over.
What Microsoft can do is a few simple things:
1. Lower prices and ease restrictions. People use Windows because of the convenience and all the software that works on it. Adding in Product Activation and all the other stupid things they've done has made many people look at alternatives, including me. How many people have really liked Vista or 7 "Home Premium" so much they did the anytime upgrade to Ultimate?
2. Microsoft's worst competitor is their own legacy products. What they should do is build on what works, and don't monkey things around assuming people will have to buy into it and therefore obsolete all the old copies of Windows and Office out there. Case in point the screwed up Vista interface, the Office ribbon, and the Docx format.
3. Actually cooperate and build to standards than take some idea or concept and turn it into Microsoft's wholly owned and controlled product. A good example is Silverlight or DirectX. Imagine the fun we could have had if all games were OpenGL.
4, Show some style or taste. Most of what Apple does is showmanship and flash, buying Apple is a lifestyle, buying MIcrosoft is a kitchen appliance.
However none of this will be done and it'll keep on with business as usual.
Lighten up a bit
By the end of the article I was more counting all the creative ways to say Woz is overweight than paying attention to the hatred dripping off every word.
I actually thought the dancing clip wasn't half bad, considering Woz's aforementioned weight and computer geekiness. Still, him and his partner had a decent sense of timing and chemistry. At least it wasn't Steve Ballmer up there.
And as other people have said, the Woz is harmless, he had his 15 minutes of fame and now he's just having fun.
It's a question how good either were
MW2 has gotten endless howls from the PC crowd due to the changes in the multiplayer, while the console ports have fared better. But basically I felt let down, the single player I finished in one long evening, and the multiplayer is more like Call of Duty 4.1, not that big a change.
"Avatar" I think has this "Titanic" effect going on. During it's release people raved about Titanic, a lot of it due to the special effects, and today it isn't thought of so well. Ghostbusters also comes to mind, although I think that was more audience effect, seeing it on TV deflates it. I thought Avatar was a pretty stupid movie, yes, groundbreaking effects, but I honestly would have titled it "Dances With Wolves meets the Smurfs in Vietnam."
I guess I have three questions:
If Google is so intent to have you use the Chrome OS and thereby only have caches of your files available locally, why even bother with 64GB of storage?
Will people be tied to using Chrome or can they use anything they can load on it? (Hint, if I ever get one Chrome won't last long.)
Why do they even need a Netbook of their own? Shorely they could get by just declaring which models of existing Netbooks have drivers and support and go from there?
Close but no cigar
I have the D90, the little brother to this, there's no way the D300/D300S sits "next" to the D700. The D700 is my main camera and the pictures on this at ISO 6400 is what the DX cameras look like at ISO 2500. Still, for the money these newer DX cameras offer good picture quality within their limits, and the D700 has no video.
The two biggest selling points are;
1. External mike jack
2. Able to meter with manual focus lenses
The metering with manual lenses is a good feature to have as it means any Nikon lens (except the IX-Nikkors and a few weird ones) from 1977 will work on it, and lenses back to 1959 can be modified to fit. In a weird twist my D90 will meter in movie mode with manual lenses, so I don't know why Nikon cripples their cheaper DSLR's for still photos, all the Canons can meter with any lens you stick on it.
For movie makers this means you get some of the advantages of an expensive movie camera at a fraction of the cost, such as wide angles, fish eyes, zooms, narrow depth of field, and so on. The external mike is necessary as all those clicks and pops you hear as you use the camera are gone.
Just put the thing on a tripod or a shoulder mount and you're set but........what is missing is full manual controls for the movie mode and more options on frame rate/resolution. Fix those and it would be kind of hard to justify a camcorder anymore.
It's a $%$!@! service pack alright.....
I installed Vista late last spring, after all the horror stories it was stable and I didn't have any of the copying problems or other issues people reported. I did have the Vista-ific issues with an explorer shell that is now completely $@$%!@ed up, and a control panel that is more arcane than helpful. I honestly couldn't find things when I searched, and what happened to the up folder button? Why keep screwing things up? It's like someone in marketing said "25% of the people like to do things this way, 25% like it that way...." and the manager said "Let's put them all in!" And don't get me started on UAC.....
So I install 7.....aside from a a different start screen and menu it looks like the exact same thing, even using the same drivers, or maybe not. You're supposed to use Windows 7 drivers if they work. And now I'm having blue screen crashes after years of never seeing one. The "Windows-Kernel-Power" error looks like the new "General Protection Fault." Anything from your sound card drivers to Ram voltages seems to be able to cause it. Have I fixed it? Heck if I know, just keep using the Windows Experience and see if the night of upgrading drivers and flashing firmware worked.
I still have UAC, I still have an explorer that doesn't work, I still have a messed up control panel....Hey Microsoft, if you think we're all idiots then quit trying to make these things idiot-proof! Just stick on a button saying "Do you know what you're doing? If no, then stay out of it!" Why is the display resolution now "Appearance and Personalization," why is there the #!$%^!# "Anytime Upgrade?" If I wanted it I would have bought it in the first place! Why so many versions? Why not just two, one for home users/gamers and one for business?
So I basically all it feels I got was a new splash screen and a lot more aggravation. Thanks a lot, Microsoft!
Four Thirds isn't for everyone
The ability to add an external mike to me would be the biggest selling point in this camera, the turnoffs are the noise at high ISO's and the Four Thirds mount.
Considering how small the sensor is I'm surprised the pictures have as low noise as they do, however my Nikon D700 has a full frame sensor and doesn't start showing any noise until ISO 5000. Unless people are buying new into the system the Four Thirds mount is a pricey proposition for what you actually get, and there's not a huge choice of lenses. Also, LCD displays still haven't caught up to a simple reflex mirror.
However, zip over to Youtube and the video quality is actually pretty good. An external mike takes away all the problems with hearing the focus motor or your hands as you move or adjust anything on the camera. And manual controls? ooooohh.....by comparison my Nikon D90 backup camera literally just captures the live view, and has a well known problem with the video wobbling or jiggling if you pan too fast or don't hold it steady.
So one of these would be nice to get, but not for the price.
Two sides of the coin
There's some circumstances where dredging up old information can be useful, such as in criminal cases (major crimes) notable historical events, and my pet favorite, politicians so we know who these people really are behind their slogans.
It would be nice to have a formal delete on the web, especially for people who've had problems or made mistakes in life and want to move on. But I don't see that happening, employers and the legal community are if anything becoming more stringent on what they can find and how long it can be held against someone.
The web simply doesn't work like real life, where what you gossip about on the bus isn't likely to come back to haunt you. I've run into too many people who do stupid things like have the same user name for every website they go to--especially something simple like their initials or a real life nickname, and think no one will ever clue in. I've been surprised and saddened a few times to see the mask revealed at who/what someone really is.
About the only way to have some modicum of protection from your own past is to have multiple personas where you watch what you say. So in one forum you're free to express your political views, in another to hang out with old friends, and in yet another your work persona. But even that isn't always safe, especially if you have work friends in your circle.
The simplest ways to ensure this "delete" is to manually find it on the web and have it deleted (most social networks and forums allow deleting posts), or use restraint and never put anything controversial up in the first place.
Let the flames begin
I can save the Mac fans the trouble and just post what they're going to say---repetitive bunch don't you know:
A. Failure rate doesn't matter, people buy Macs for the "experience," and that esoteric value stands out above all else.
B. Macs *still* did better than some of the others.
C. The analysis was biased/unfair, the true view of a Mac is only the best one.
Just pick a letter and go for it. As for me I have an 18 month old Compaq/HP that's still going strong.
Turning their back on Mom-n-Pop auctions
That's it in a nutshell. Sure, sometimes you can get a bargain on closeouts or some pawnshop selling their inventory, but it's a whole different world from the days of average people like you-n-me selling kewl stuff they found in the closet.
I miss those days, it was a lot more fun back then, and to be honest I only find Ebay useful for used merchandise or stuff I simply can't find anywhere else. Most of the new junk can be had other places for less money if you take the time to look.
It used to be Ebay was *the* place to go and look around, now it's a Power Seller land where people talk about selling prowess with the same aplomb as weightlifters bragging about the size of their biceps.
In the old days.....
I remember when his music was the hottest thing on the chart and he was one of the early stars of MTV. I had just started college when the weirdness began with Bubbles the chimp and the rumors about sleeping in an oxygen chamber.
Was anything about him real? Did he ever tell the truth about anything or what just fit the moment? Did he ever have a single real friend out of his army of yes men and financial backers? Eventually I was only surprised at how he just seemed to keep topping himself in being bizarre. To be honest when I first hear the news I thought it was yet another publicity stunt.
But it still won't be over, the circus will go on. We'll have the books by anyone remotely connected to him, TV specials, and the inevitable movie. Rumors and conspiracies will continue as long as people remember his name.
So long, as you ride into the sunset
At an air show recently I shot 3,400 pictures on my digital camera. Maybe 10% I'll use, but when an F-18 is flying overhead at nearly Mach 1, all that stuff about composing and metering flies out the window as you hit burst mode. Some people will doubtless say I should have used more restraint and only gone for the best shots, but why? I looked at it as I didn't waste any opportunities, and all it cost me was battery power and time.
On 35mm the same feat would have cost me 94 rolls of film and who knows how many batteries. And that's before developing. And if you're "green" then you look at all the chemicals involved in developing.
Also, my entire history of film shooting over 15 years--granted as a casual amateur, amounted to less then 1,000 pictures. Film adds up in cost quickly, and even though I have a shelf of film cameras I honestly doubt I'll use them again.
The only real advantage film has had for some time is it doesn't clip highlights, where bright areas hit a threshold and suddenly blow out. However, digital has gotten around that in software where the camera samples values above and below the metered settings and more or less fits it in.
Film will be around for years, but in the same role that people still ride horses and use blacksmiths today. The enthusiasts can go on and on about the dept and feel and tonal qualities, but it's mostly subjective. I've found the DLSR's of the past 2-3 years are so good they could compete with medium format film and likely win. (And Richard45, the D200 is good, I had one, but you ought to try a D700 like mine, the difference is amazing).