Not quite true: I have been building plenty of PCs - and they all had FreeBSD installed on them. One of the luxuries of putting together your own kit is the option of not having to pay the old Microsoft tax.
638 posts • joined 14 May 2007
Most of the Xeons in my abode (and I have a couple dozen of them) were made in Malaysia and Costa Rica. Those are the 22nm Ivy Bridge Xeons (E3-1280v2s and E3-1265Lv2s respectively) - so we're not talking about ancient history, here.
I anticipate a huge change in the popularity of server, ATX, microATX and mini-ITX platforms based around the OpenPower platform. That would be a walking nightmare for Intel, a boon for Microsoft and not much of a big deal for Linux.
Re: @ Kubla Cant -- Not too sure
"Took MS 20 yeas to play catch up and they still haven't replicated all of the functionality yet."
Nor all of the 20+ year old vulnerabilities in X, either. Still, that hasn't stopped them from trying. :)
I'm not sure infosec is a UK priority.
They certainly want to outlaw (or, for the pedantic, mandate backdoors in - which is another way of outlawing) encryption, thus seriously limiting the market for people skilled in information security.
If memory serves, the encouraging of mass immigration, IR35 and some special tax exemptions for Indian staff also limited the market for people with high-end IT skills, and the result is plain to see: They're now mostly working for (and paying taxes to) foreign countries.
I'm not UK born and bred - I hail from what is now Zimbabwe, and merely spent 22 years in the UK, but I largely agree with your experience: UK management is generally composed of myopic, egotistic navel-gazers.
They are a significant part of why I left: One learns from working with people who are better than you, not people who are worse.
Greetings from Switzerland, BTW.
Supply and demand meet at a place called price, as the saying goes.
Unfortunately, too many so-called execs seem to be ignorant of the properties of the price discovery mechanism: As anyone in Venezuela could tell you, when you fix the price of toilet paper (and other commodities most people take for granted), the result is an immediate supply shortage.
£30k? Was that it?
Can't have been much of a financial planner!
Re: Stock pricds tend to be foward looking
No, all they need to do is produce a product that people would actually want to pay for.
Re: How bad is Torvalds?
Please get over yourself. I run BSD on my Panasonic TV, Playstation 3 and, as it happens, on my web and FreeNAS servers, too. What most penguinistas are quick to forget is that the technology world functioned perfectly well without Linux, and many viable (and superior, to boot) alternatives to Linux exist, even today.
I will not be handing back anything.
Re: "Good old days"? Not really
Not true: Said customer base usually has a workflow that they would like to keep, rather than wanting to throw all productivity out of the window for the sake of nothing more than aesthetics.
If you had ever really worked for a living in the technology arena, this would have been obvious to you. Unfortunately, the technology industry has long begun to resemble the fashion industry - for all the wrong reasons.
Re: It will be a cold day in hell...
Everything you want to run != everything other people want to run
I know that might come as a shock to you, but Linux has a ~2% desktop market share for a very good reason. Even OS X, which requires an extremely expensive fruit-themed dongle, has more market share on the desktop than Linux - and cost has absolutely nothing to do with it.
It's happening in many industries: Proper testing is expensive, and - as it turns out - completely unnecessary, because the lazy and apathetic customer base will no longer punish you for making them alpha-test your products.
You can't blame Microsoft, et al for learning (and then applying) this.
I don't want to see fines for this sort of thing.
I want to see senior staff (like the CEO) doing porridge for an appropriate period of time (1 day in chokey for every customer affected seems reasonable to me.)
Only when these nitwits see a clear link between their own responsibility (which must be enforced!) - and their own personal actions, will they enforce the kind of corporate policies that will help to keep themselves out of jail.
Re: just like the good old days.
Technology has nothing to do with bugs.
Bugs are merely a symptom of the kind of tolerances we have developed for bad quality products, and our greed in wanting to see (or sell) a product before it is ready. You can see what bad buying habits have brought about: Cheap crap everywhere, no quality control and no attention paid to detail. Even Apple, which was once prized for quality, is now missing beats on hardware design and operating system bugs that interfere with even basic functionality.
When buying habits change, so will the quality and quantity of bugs. Until that happens, though, I expect the problem to get worse. Technology cannot help us if we're willing to continue paying good money for shit quality.
Re: Enuff already !
rm -- -rf (or rm -rf -- * if you want to recursively delete everything in a directory) will do the trick.
Re: systemd to incorporate a shell too!!!
SMF also has a decent debugging facility: If your service did not start, you can ask it why - and get a sensible answer.
I've long gotten used to the fact that software is getting steadily worse, and it's mostly down to crappy design decisions, rather than poor coding. My work laptop forced an install of Lync 2013, which has roughly the same feeling as typing on a text terminal operating at 9600 baud. As if that wasn't enough, gads and gads of screen real estate are just wasted - as if I could never have too much.
It's karma. Or something...
Re: Will become a familar issue in coming years
"I think we're starting to see this in the UK already, too many people not enough jobs, yes some of that is due to lax immigration policies but also a lot of jobs have disappeared due to automation already."
Ebola is planned to fix that.
I say "is planned", because rather than letting the disease die out, most Western countries seem fairly intent on shipping infected bodies (or soon-to-be-bodies) to Europe/USA, where the infection then spreads.
Even our ancestors had the good sense to check for infections at ports of entry.
Re: This is why there was no Win7 SP2
Windows 7 does not support native 4k sector hard discs, though - and it will be useless when you can no longer find 512e drives ("Advanced Format", but with 512-byte sector emulation.)
Windows 8 *does* support 4k native sector drives, but it has all the appeal of a three-headed Alsation.
The biggest argument in favour of FLAC is that it's future-proof: It will keep your music in its original fidelity until something much better comes along.
Assuming some real breakthroughs come along in the future (which is reasonable enough to assume, given similar breakthroughs in the past), would you want artifacts imposed by TWO encoding systems (MP3 + whatever else comes along), or would you just want to recompress the music from a lossless FLAC archive and get the best out of the new format?
I know what I'd prefer: Ripping CDs is hard work, slow and very boring.
Re: More proof that open source == more secure
Interesting that you imply Windows is the only alternative: It clearly shows the limits of your thinking.
More proof that open source == more secure
To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, to have one level-10 vulnerability in one year in open source software is unfortunate - to have two in one year looks like carelessness.
Pay peanuts, get monkeys; pay nothing, get what you deserve. :)
Probably outsourced QA.
The real reason is probably that Microsoft decided to save a buck or ten by outsourcing testing and quality assurance to a certain country with a fondness for curry and a cultural tendency to "fix" the test case so code passes - rather than fix the code so it passes the test case.
As a stalwart Windows XP x64 user, I'm breathing a sigh of relief that XP updates stopped in April!
It's a brave new world out there - and just as well, too. :)
PGP Corporation is to blame.
I remember an excellent Outlook plug-in called CryptoEx by a German firm called Glück & Kanja. I worked for Siemens, back in the day, and they used it for encrypting commercially-sensitive e-mail. I really wanted to buy a licence, so I looked into it.
PGP Corporation bought the rights to CryptoEx and promptly took it off the market.
As far as I'm concerned, PGP Corporation's issues with user-friendliness are entirely self-inflicted.
Security is not a profit centre, so the beancounters will not give it any attention.
Even when a security breach causes untold damage to reputation, customers have not learned to leave - so ultimately, the issue doesn't affect anyone who cares.
That's the price of apathy.
Not so fast.
I frequently use Google to get access to company web pages, because most firms have such an atrocious Web structure that it's far, far easier to find the page you're looking for via Google than to try and find it from their home page.
In many cases, educating end users is not the solution: It's Webmasters who need to be (re)educated.
It was entirely predictable (I should know, I've been predicting this since 1992.)
Britain is not a country that can claim forward planning as a plausible competency. What you see today is the result.
If you think that's bad, just wait until the Russians start cutting off EU gas supplies and start parking a few of their submarines near your LNG terminals.
Re: As someone still running Windows XP x64 ...
Yes, and no: The user profile location is indeed kept on the network, but is cached on the local disk - so network performance is less of an issue than it might seem. (It also allows me to log in from home over a VPN - I'd be a bit stuffed if my profile and documents were only available over the network.)
In any case, the same pause can be seen on non-domained Windows 7 PCs with more than a few files in the Documents folder. By comparison, my XP x64 folder is overflowing with files, yet I don't have to wait ~5 minutes every time I open the folder after logging in.
Re: As someone still running Windows XP x64 ...
I don't doubt that the Windows internals have improved since the days of XP - and if I had a choice of running the Windows 8.1 kernel with the Windows XP x64 userland, I'd jump at the chance.
But I don't have that choice, and the kernel improvements don't matter to the end user, if those kernel improvements come accompanied with so much dross, DRM and other overhead that you cannot turn off, that the end result is worse than staying with XP x64.
I measure the performance of an OS by the speed of the system's response, and how long it keeps me waiting to perform tasks. Windows XP x64 is still a clear mile ahead of Windows 7 in that regard.
Re: As someone still running Windows XP x64 ...
I run XP x64 on 3.6GHz Ivy Bridge Xeon E3-1280s, with 32GB of RAM. More than quick enough, even by today's standards. It's plenty "modern". By the way, I do have AHCI drivers installed on all my kit - I don't install it with IDE mode, simply because it's easier than finding a USB floppy drive and the F6 button on my keyboard. I do it properly, and 5 minutes of effort at install time yields astounding performance every day I use it.
If your last sysadmin was incapable of installing XP properly, that's hardly the fault of the operating system now, is it? He or she probably didn't align the disks to 64k+, either, so it would seem you're not comparing apples with apples.
On the other hand, the Windows 7 POS that I'm forced to use at work is slow (despite running on newer hardware, albeit with half the RAM of my home system), unwieldy - and why it takes bloody ages to open up my Documents folder, I'll never know. With XP, it was click-click, and you were there. With Windows 7, there is a large pregnant pause every time I open up my home folder, and I for one don't appreciate it.
The GUI in 7 is also worse, but that's not as bad as the sheer performance cliff, even on newer hardware.
Sorry, but I'm not buying it - literally or figuratively.
As someone still running Windows XP x64 ...
... I'm laughing at all those people who thought they would be "safe" once they upgraded to Windows 7, an operating system noteworthy for the fact that Microsoft declared it dead in the water after only one service pack.
Wait until you discover that newer hard discs will be coming out soon that no longer emulate 512-byte sectors (only Windows 8 and 2012 support the new 4k sectors) - and you'll be left out in the cold with even XP diehards like myself.
XP was the last decent operating system to come out of the gates of Redmond. 7 is a con, if you upgraded thinking that it had a future: It doesn't. Microsoft wants you in their walled garden - now. That is the real reason they've been pushing Windows 8, even though nobody in their right mind wants it.
Did you check your compiler, to make sure it didn't have a backdoor?
If not, what makes you think a mere code audit of your source is enough to prevent Trojan code from being inserted? This particular security aspect of open source was blown to pieces by Ken Thompson nearly 30 years ago, when he demonstrated the addition of Trojan code using vetted, approved source code that contained NO TRACE of the Trojan code.
What is more, the USAF knew about this sort of thing 30 years ago - so you can bet that the NSA and GCHQ know about it today. There is probably a whole new layer of security exploits in Linux and open source software like OpenSSL, Apache, et cetera, that are based on backdoors in the GNU compiler. Simply hiring eyes to look at the source code won't help you find them.
Open source was supposed to be secure
Please remind me, wasn't open source supposed to make huge security problems like this a thing of the past, because there would be so many eyeballs watching the source code? We've now seen 23-year old bugs in X-windows, plus a 2-year old Heartbleed issue that's helped spew passwords and sensitive information like signing certificates - and now this.
I guess they never figured on apathy.
Re: Depends on the country
As someone who left the UK in 2004 - never to return - I can only agree.
I run into people who have left the UK (some recently, some not so recently), and I hear pretty much the same thing: If the market is broken, the best solution is simply not to waste your time with that market - but to take your skills abroad. It's a small world, and leaving the UK has never been so easy.
I still get calls from UK job agents, hoping to take me on - but in every case, I have to break their hearts when I utter the words "I'm not available for UK work."
Here in Switzerland, none of the pros really worry about the lack of employment rights: If you're good, you'll be hired, paid well and kept on - and if you are crap, you'll end up back on the street pretty fast. Let the wasters worry about a Swiss employer's right to fire anyone without requiring a reason. It keeps them out. :)
Before the US went all Socialist, they had a hire 'em, fire 'em employment ethos. Didn't do them any harm - in fact, it fueled massive growth and opportunities.
Re: Well there we have it
This is old news. Back when I worked for a well-known Dutch bank in Amsterdam in 2007, the bank's management couldn't wait to get rid of its security team.
I've said this before, and I'll say it again: The farce that was RBS (and the more recent Barclays scandal where intimate customer details were sold to predatory third parties in a blatant violation of the Data Protection Act) has taught banking executives that confidentiality, integrity and availability are total non-issues in the modern world of banking. If it doesn't get someone a bonus, it's not important.
There's no real punishment for it, either: Banks can afford to pay the fines (which the CEOs aren't held personally responsible for), and nobody goes to jail.
Re: Next time...
I'd be quite happy to pay for my own patches. Only, I'm not allowed to: Extended support is not available to everyone - and even those who are entitled to buy it have to come up with a justification for Microsoft to take several hundred dollars a year - per PC - off their hands. Yeah, seriously!
Microsoft can go hang, as far as I'm concerned. What I'm hoping for is a serious power outage in a first-world country, caused by viruses infecting (or hackers breaking into) a non-supported XP system.
When push came to shove, politicians spent billions of dollars on a banking system that is somehow "too big to fail" - well now, let's see the same done for all businesses based on XP.
At the end of the day, Windows and Office are licenced, not sold. If flaws in the product allow malicious abuse of those products - and Microsoft decides to do nothing about it, they stand a very good chance of being sued into the ground for defects in their product. They already made their bed by arguing that software licences do not confer end user ownership, so this could get quite interesting if a few power networks get hacked into - and a few grids are brought down.
I have no intention of giving Microsoft an easy time: I will carry on running XP for as long as its useful lifetime permits me to.
One of my first thoughts when I saw C bit-shifting primitives was "OK, so how do I control/see the carry bit?" I also came from an assembler background (6502, 680x0, some ARM and x86 - yuck!) before being introduced to my first C compiler.
To an assembler programmer, C misses out a few pieces. But it's reasonably close to the metal, even if you might want to use a few routines written in assembler (i.e. interrupt handlers) for best results. It certainly beats writing an operating system in Pascal (yes, Apple, I'm looking at you!)
C was (I really should say is) not more sophisticated than BASIC. It was actually considerably less sophisticated.
That's why it was so useful.
Re: I don't get it..
I know a few banks that actually have a no open source policy: They forbid use of open source software.
Well, they'll be laughing this week.
Glad I live in Switzerland...
VAT here is only 8% (and a mere 2.5% on food), and when I stroll over the border to go shopping in Germany, I can import up to 300 CHF worth of goods without having to declare them or pay Swiss VAT at all (but I can reclaim the German VAT!)
VAT-free shopping, in other words, unless you order/import something really big.
The EU's rules and regulations seem to be most useful when you live outside.
The more they speed up the cadence...
...the more commercial customers will say "F*** it, even if we bite the bullet, we'll still be 3-4 generations behind, with no support, in no time. We might as well stick with what we have right now, and save ourselves all that trouble."
Re: New Wheeze
XP 64 bit never worked well - and had a lot of device drivers missing.
Ahem. XP x64 was based on Windows 2003 Server, and 64-bit computing was new at the time. These days, it's pretty darn easy to find drivers for XP x64 - just look for it, or - failing all else, install a driver for Windows 2003 x64. It's the same kernel, so the same drivers will work. x64 is no longer a novelty, after all.
As for it never working well, I have to call bullshit on that one, my friend. XP x64 is not only more stable than the 32-bit variant of XP, but it runs rings around it - and then some. Up to 128GB of RAM is not a problem, and it supports GPT-partitioned disks and multicore CPUs with amazing dexterity.
I'd know: I've been using it for the last few years. Have you?
There are a lot of improvements yo can't see in the user interface in Windows 7 and 8 kernels (read "Windows Internals", if you're interested). Please look beyond the UI widgets - those are just a little part of what an OS is.
Real-world performance (especially in a commercial environment) doesn't bear this out. Not only is Windows 7 absolutely crap at copying files (which could be described as a core OS function), but it has so much bloat that any kernel improvement has been bogged down with so much cruft as to make it irrelevant.
XP (and XP x64) wins, in the real world.
Re: Keep the kids dumb!
My thoughts exactly!
I won't object, at all - I am all for this waste of time keeping future Brits from competing with the likes of me on an international level. Less competition = more profit.
Congratulations to Rory Cellan-Jones and the BBC, but not for the reasons you'd like to think.
Re: My Documents
because, to Microsoft, the idea of separating your OS and data partitions is an unknown concept. It is the norm in Unix since around '75, and other platforms before that. Admittedly, professional Wintel admins do it, kind of, by creating a D: drive, but that is plainly not what Microsoft assumes.
I've always installed XP and XP x64 with an answer file on a floppy disk (for newer PCs, I bring along an external USB floppy drive, which also has F6 drivers on for new hardware - and that does the trick.) Documents and Settings, on any Windows PC I set up, is always on D:\.
Unfortunately, Microsoft never encouraged this or made the process practical for most end users. The Documents and Settings location should have been available with a practical default setting in the Windows installation procedure, just as it is with Solaris and Linux.
These days, you really need to prep a system before you install Windows XP or XP x64 on it, because of Microsoft's idiotic decision to start the first MBR partition on sector 63. Modern hard disks have 4K sectors, which is a bit like installing on a single-volume RAID 0 setup. But a Windows 7 OPK disc/USB key will nicely do the trick of allowing you to partition the hard disk with a 1MB offset, make it active and format it - so once you've done that, you may as well go the whole hog and prep a D:\ drive for your Documents and Settings folder.
But anyone who installs XP or XP x64 without:
a) Partitioning their hard disk with a 64K+ offset
b) Installing AHCI and/or RAID drivers via an F6 driver diskette
c) Prepping the system and storage volumes first (best with an SSD for boot, and HDD for storage)
isn't really getting the best out of their hardware, unless the hardware is ancient.
Microsoft has not made the process for c) easier for Windows 7, unfortunately - and you actually have to install the system with the Users folder on C:\ and then move it later, which seems a tad retarded. Then there's the small fact that a Windows 7 system with a Users folder on anything other than the system drive is not supported when running a service pack upgrade (although, with only one service pack projected in its entire lifetime for Windows 7, maybe that's not such a problem anymore.)
I built my parents a new PC...
...and it's running Windows XP x64 and Office 2003. :)
Just the way I like it: One sniff of Windows 8.1, and it won't matter that it's a Microsoft-supported product - I'll be getting calls every day asking me how to do what was once easy on XP, but almost impossible to guess on Microsoft's new OS.
Sorry, Redmond - but I consider my time to be more important than your profit. Rebuilding a virus-infested machine is pretty easy these days with Acronis, and my parents don't want to learn how to think like teenagers. Neither, for that matter, do I.
Re: The huge difference...
(Tassets are pieces of plate armour.)
Re: Storm in a teacup.
Planting backdoors in many consumer devices (including routers) is supposedly tricky, too - but the NSA and GCHQ have already been there, and done that.
Or are you trying to tell me that the test suite is something the secret services are not privy to?