571 posts • joined Monday 14th May 2007 09:02 GMT
Re: Lets try to look at the facts
Not only that: The computer industry is actively trying its best to make the PC irrelevant as a productivity platform, by loading it down with performance-sapping eye candy, stupid design decisions and the removal of customer choice.
I've put a stake in the ground, bought spanking-new hardware - and intend to run Windows XP x64, Office 2003 and Adobe CS6 on it, for as long as I can.
Re: How many are waiting for Windows 8 to be "retired"? @Steve Knox
Come 1982, the Commodore 64 arrived on the scene, with common graphics and sound capabilities across all 30 million ever sold - and anyone who was serious about anything more than text didn't give the PC a second glance until VGA and the likes of Chris Roberts' Wing Commander came along.
Re: How many are waiting for Windows 8 to be "retired"?
Or even a Windows XP x64 R2 version, licenced and paid for on an annual subscription (£25/year/seat) basis. Some of us consider even Windows 7 a downgrade from XP x64.
Microsoft has shown zero interest in my desires - and until they do, I have no intention of showing any interest in theirs. The PC industry's sales tanked pretty much as soon as MS EOL'ed XP, which says everything that needs to be said, as far as I'm concerned.
NOT BUYING IT.
Last time I used an application with all-caps menus was on my Commodore 64.
What happened to progress?
I have many fond memories of m68k from my youth.
Crying shame that IBM picked Intel for their PC.
Or they walked into PC World, played with a Windows 8 laptop, laughed, and walked out empty-handed.
That's what I did. :)
Re: Once upon a time...
Nice idea, but most text editors aren't so cooperative when it comes to actioning ANSI control codes: They just print the code you were trying to hide, plus a load of rubbish on the screen, followed by the code you were hoping to obfuscate it with.
You're also assuming (and making a very big assumption, I might add) that the compiler wouldn't choke on those non-standard characters when it came to lexical analysis.
Re: Still not "secure" @ despairingcitizen
This is why messages should be compressed before they are encrypted: That way, you can safely remove speculation about the content of the file, because many of the characteristics will have been mangled by the compression algorithm prior to encryption - making use of cribs much harder.
Re: Great, fine...
Examining the source code of the compiler won't help you - if it has been bugged in the way Ken Thompson describes in the article you linked to, it will replicate a trojan horse even if a clean copy of the compiler source code is compiled with a bugged compiler. An attacker doesn't need to ship the bugged source code - a bugged binary and clean source will suffice just nicely.
This is the point so many open source nuts simply don't get: If it were as easy as simply recompiling the code, it wouldn't be an issue. If you download a Linux distro and recompile everything yourself with the compiler in the distro, you are trusting the distro not to have embedded a backdoor in the compiler they have shipped. It matters not one jot whether the compiler is open source or not.
That TrueCrypt is open source simply makes it easier to target with a compiler Trojan, because the target is a known quantity. How many open source enthusiasts - in all seriousness - thoroughly check the compiler that shipped with their system?
Re: 6502/6809's rool btw...
Zero page (and zero page addressing) made the 6502/6510 much more useful that it appeared at first sight. Chuck Peddle really was a genius for coming up with that at the time.
I also really liked the 68k, and probably spent more time sitting in front of Devpac 3 on my Amiga than with any other application. :)
Re: More ill-thought out government 'bright ideas'
There is no need for a passport, no - but they can ask for a copy of your naturalisation or birth certificate, which can be checked against Home Office records.
Failure to produce the required documentation to back up your claim of UK citizenship means that your claim is not substantiated - and can therefore be safely ignored, leading directly back to step 1: Passport, please. :)
Re: re: hate for ID
"it's simple - this is Britain. The basic principle is that everyone is free to do what they want, without interference by the state, so long as they are not actually breaking the law."
Tell that to Jean Charles de Menezes.
Re: Is that...
Not so: Any driver that works with Windows 2003 x64 will also work with XP x64.
Same kernel, you see...
Finding drivers these days is actually quite easy - it's not 2005 anymore, and 64-bit operating systems are the norm these days, rather than the irrelevant novelty they were back when the Athlon 64 was relased.
Re: Are we confusing cause and effect?
DEP actually came with XP SP2, and is also present in the 64-bit edition.
Re: Only if you can pry it from my cold, dead fingers...
Yup. It still runs like a dog, compared to XP x64 on the same hardware.
To be honest, with the number of processor and graphics improvements we've seen over the years (especially with multi-threading enhancements, new instructions, et cetera), I expect more performance when I switch to a new OS, not less.
Re: Only if you can pry it from my cold, dead fingers...
One of the first things I do with a new XP installation is make it look just like Windows NT 4.00 or Windows 2000. The Windows Themes service can be disabled, resulting in considerable speedup.
On Windows 7, one can try doing this - but the system is still dog slow by comparison. On XP, I've never had to click twice because the computer never registered the first click - on Windows 7, this is a common experience, even with high-end hardware, and I've observed it on several different machines. So the problem is definitely not with me.
However, in your eagerness to label me as the problem, you appear to have missed this simple fact. Better luck next time, eh?
Only if you can pry it from my cold, dead fingers...
Windows XP was the last Microsoft OS released with end-user productivity in mind.
Everything they have released since then is eye-candy ridden entertainment software that happens to run other apps, if you're lucky - and with a huge performance penalty.
Having to use Windows 7 on a Sandy Bridge laptop in an enterprise environment (big bank) feels like 1995 all over again. Who cares if it boots quickly, if everything feels like treacle when you've logged in? I can make a cup of coffee when my system boots, but I can't get back the time wasted because the OS is sluggish and unresponsive when I need to be working!
The amount of time wasted by Windows 7 costs more in lost time per day than a 10-minute boot would have. Oh, and don't even talk to me about the performance of network shares...
In terms of productivity, Windows XP is still unmatched by any later Windows release.
If they keep this up...
...before long, Mini Office on the Commodore 64 will be more productive!
I won't be teaching my kids with a Pi - I have a Commodore 128D and Acorn A5000 for that purpose.
People seem to have forgotten that the home computer boom took off when manufacturers were able to market and sell pre-assembled computers. Yes, the Pi is affordable - but then so was the KIM-1. However, the first mass-selling home computer that slaughtered the competition (the Commodore 64) did not require the customer to source their case, power supply and keyboard separately.
My gripes with the Pi are also of an architectural bent - ethernet is hobbled because it has to go over the USB bus, rather than having a dedicated PHY (as the Beaglebone Black has.)
Re: Oh come on...
I'm putting together six new PCs based on Asus P8C WS boards (with Xeon E3-1280v2 CPUs and 32GB of ECC memory, each) - and yes, the Asus boards come with serial and parallel headers - just buy an optional header for about $7, and you can have both (serial header already comes in the box.)
Puget Systems build workstations based on this board in the US, and they come highly recommended.
Re: Dangerous to users
No, the responsible thing would be to allow end users to purchase extended support, and let the market speak - rather than just arbitrarily limiting support and saying "Right, that's it. Our way or the highway!"
Solaris 10 has had 11 service packs since its launch (well, updates, but they're essentially the same thing), compared to 3 for Windows XP, 2 for Windows 2003/XP x64 and 1 for Windows 7. Oracle might still be guilty of reaming its customers for every penny they can get hold of - but, unlike Microsoft, it seems that they do still understand which side of their customers' bread is buttered.
Re: I won't be upgrading - in fact, I'm building 6 new PCs with XP x64 on them.
Windows XP x64 and Windows 2003 share the same kernel (and even the same service packs.)
Given that there is still PLENTY of hardware and applications out there with support for Windows 2003, I'm not going to sweat it that much. XP x64's limited support was an issue back in 2005, yes, but fast forward eight years, and driver support has been pretty easy to find.
Only the latest Haswell machines have actually put an end to that, which is why I'm building six new PCs based on Ivy Bridge (Xeon E3-1280v2s on Asus P8C WS boards, with 32GB of ECC memory, to be exact).
I have enough experience with Windows 7 - at work (with an employer-supplied Ivy Bridge notebook). It's a dog, and it makes Windows XP look like a Ferrari by comparison.
Re: I won't be upgrading - in fact, I'm building 6 new PCs with XP x64 on them.
You didn't even read the title of my post correctly, did you?
(Emphasis on the "new" - if you missed it the second time around.)
I won't be upgrading - in fact, I'm building 6 new PCs with XP x64 on them.
The knowledge that NSA and GCHQ have unfettered access to all versions of Windows made security issues (for me, anyway) totally moot overnight - especially since I no longer do internet banking on my PC. I'm afraid 12 years of security patches are going to have to be enough.
The hit in productivity (and performance!) that I would take by going to Windows 7 is not worth the additional "security" - so I'm staying with XP and Office 2003, which actually work for me.
Oh, and don't even get me started on Windows 8 or Office 2013...
Well I never...
"In April UK consultancy firm Camwood said it was "worrying" that a 40 per cent of respondents to a survey it commissioned had said that their companies had "yet to even start migrating off XP" and said it was "even more shocking" that 20 per cent of respondents were not planning to do so at all."
Perhaps they have difficulty putting themselves in the shoes of the respondents and asking the simple (but revealing) question: "What's in it for me?"
"Senior management in those organisations that have yet to start migrating may not fully understand or appreciate the level to which unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks," Camwood said at the time."
Before or after the NSA and/or GCHQ enjoy unfettered access to their systems and data, via numerous vendor-provided backdoors? Security risks aren't what they used to be!
You have to laugh.
Yes, someone should have listened to the security officer - but, as a German colleague of mine often liked to say, "I bet they saved a lot of money." :)
As owner of a few SunRays, I would agree - but it would appear that the market does not. Most employers still insist on using laptops for each employee.
Furthermore, it pains me to say that Oracle has plans to EOL the SunRay from next year.
I'm installing 4 new machines with XP x64 this year.
Mother-in-law, mother and both our flats in Switzerland are getting new hardware.
It'll be running Windows XP x64 - we have no intention of "upgrading", and the systems will probably be good for about another 10 years on XP x64 (my parents are still using a 2.8GHz Northwood P4-based box I built for them in 2003, running 32-bit XP.)
Oh, my mum might do online banking with her iPhone (we simply use the UBS ATMs for that), but overall, I'm not worried about XP support ending. If anything, a static configuration will probably make my job of supporting her computer from 1000km away a lot easier.
Re: Uninformed AC, again
You've TOTALLY missed the point - whether you use vi, kate or even sed, you STILL have to trawl through a text-based configuration file! Using regedit is nowhere near comparable!
Listen, I can edit UNIX and Linux configurations with the best of them - and I DO administer UNIX and Linux machines for a living. But what I cannot understand is why people like you aren't capable of seeing things from somebody else's viewpoint. Many other people in the Linux world also appear to be similarly defective in this respect.
(It's called the "other minds" problem, and most normal humans master this by age 2.)
Don't know what kind of hardware you were using...
I installed Windows 7 (32-bit) on an 10-year old Pentium 4 system (3.2C Northwood P4) and it worked perfectly. But that is the advantage of sticking with mainstream Intel chipsets.
Going for non-standard hardware might be attractive in the short term - but the total cost of ownership will be greater. I find that support and reliability always trump bang for the buck.
I don't buy Intel because I like them, or consider them particularly competitive in terms of pricing to AMD. I buy them because I know their chipsets will be supported for ages, using whatever OS I choose to install - be it Windows, FreeBSD, Solaris or Linux. I also buy NVidia for the same reason (particularly for their continued Solaris and FreeBSD support.)
Windows XP x64 is even better - based on a Windows 2003 kernel, and usable on up to 128GB of memory. It also runs like greased lightning on something like a Xeon E3-1280v2.
Linux is useless for anyone who needs productivity applications that don't contain the word "Gimp". As someone who runs the Adobe suite, Linux isn't even a contender - and nothing in the open source world can touch the productivity applications available on Windows.
Open source software is only free as long as you don't place a value on your own time.
Re: The wrong way
They should launch a "Windows XP R2 Professional X64 Edition", which would basically be Windows XP Professional x64 Edition with a third service pack, plus select backported functionality from Windows 7, such as:
b) AHCI drivers
c) DirectX 11
d) No user interface "improvements" that would prevent me from making it look just like Windows NT 4.00.
e) No revamped sound stack, DRM or any of that crap in Vista or later.
They should also do the same for Office 2003, with support for the latest file formats, perhaps with a save-as-PDF feature - and that's it.
Both products should be supported with a €10 per person per year support charge, which would allow a stable and mature product such as this to be supported on a long-term basis, while still providing an workable income.
Once this is in place, they could offer Windows XP and Office 2003 users a real upgrade path!
If I were the NSA, I would just have the "right" people placed in a company like RHEL, where the compiler could be doctored, and the doctored binary and clean source code could then be distributed.
Any recompile would, of course, inject Trojan horse code - regardless of how closely the source was inspected: Neither the compiler source, nor the project source code would contain any evidence.
Re: I used to care...
I don't do internet banking - haven't done that since early 2012.
I used to, until I moved to Switzerland - and discovered that hopping into a UBS branch at any time of the day to pay on the machines was convenient and secure enough to mean I never ever logged on via my own PC anymore. (On top of that, the bank can never blame me for my computer's security.) Bills arrive by post, and they come with payment slips; feeding the slips to the machine is not only easier than typing everything in, it's also less error-prone.
I used to care...
...but with the revelations about the NSA and / or GCHQ having an automatic backdoor in my OS, why should I care if MS stop distributing updates? All it means is that a few non-NSA / GCHQ affiliated hackers are able to gain access to my PC, which is small beans in the grand scheme of things.
Sticking with XP x64 and Office 2003 at least allows me to keep my productivity levels high.
No need to predict...
...it's already been happening.
After all the hype about cloud computing, many customers are deciding that a non-US cloud provider would be a prudent decision. Here in Switzerland, demand for hosting services has skyrocketed as clients have been dumping US and UK-based providers, and turning to Swiss data centres that enjoy strong client data protection law.
Our economy thanks you.
(Swiss data protection laws here are actually quite sane - it is forbidden for a company to send/handle Swiss customer data outside of Switzerland, which has two neat consequences: Firstly, it keeps all Swiss data within Swiss law - and secondly, it also protects quite a few jobs which would otherwise be shipped off to India.)
Lest the UK and US forget, a sane, strong and legitimate legal framework is the bedrock on which any economy is founded. When you lose that legitimacy and turn into a Gestapo or Stasi-ridden police state, customers will no longer trust you - and they will take their business elsewhere. As is the norm in business, trust is hard to earn - but easy to lose.
Re: Once Apon a Time........
"I swear to serve my country" translates fairly accurately as "I become state property".
After all, if you're willing to allow the state to send you to your death at some politician's whim, how can you convincingly complain about a court-martial, be it a fixed or fair one?
I understood this concept very well, which is why I never signed up for military service.
Yes, you always lose - but by installing an ORC (Organic Rankine Cycle) generator to use the differential between the nice hot fluids coming out of those air conditioning heat pumps - and the atmosphere, you can wrest back quite a few of those losses. You will still lose, of course, in the end - but as any businessman will tell you about taxes (and the second law of thermodynamics IS like a tax), it's what you keep that counts!
Running a diesel generator with an ORC attached will give you roughly 25% extra electrical energy: You just need a temperature differential of about 52 degrees Centigrade, and that's easy with a diesel engine.
Unfortunately, energy is still too cheap - because, even today, it's wasted profligately.
The problem with Linux is not the OS itself...
...it's more the followers and maintainers.
I've never encountered a user group of any other OS that so openly and readily launches into abusive tirades of users/contributors.
Despite the demonstrable lack of progress on Windows and the sheer expense of the Mac, both Apple and Microsoft are, I'm sure, very thankful that Linux's own followers are doing the best job they can to keep people from taking the platform too seriously.
As the old adage goes, don't air your dirty laundry in public. Private e-mail has its uses - and this is one of them.
Re: Diesel Bug
"So why do emergency generators run on diesel, not petrol or (best of all? ) LPG?"
I guess the diesel types are the more efficient 4-pole, 6-pole or 8-pole types - more torque, less RPM - but more risk of getting overtaken by the killer diesel sludge. :)
Personally, I have a couple of Honda EU20i generators for emergency use - which were factory converted to use propane/LPG by a Munich-based firm called KARG MGT. (They're legit, and Honda will even honour the original 5-year warranty on converted generators.) They're good because you can keep them in their boxes for ages, and take them out when you need to run them. Since there are no starter batteries to degrade (rip cord), they are an excellent combination with propane/LPG fuel for emergencies.
Only slight complication was the spark plugs - you have to narrow the gap because an LPG mixture does not conduct electricity as well as a fuel-air mixture. Easily enough done - but best done in advance of need: I also bought a few litres of engine oil and about 20 replacement spark plugs, all re-gapped to suit.
Re: Security?!?! We don need no stinging security!!!
"Why bother with doing it at a software level? Just go round and glue up all the usb ports with a hot glue gun, that's 90% of the risk gone right there."
That might be workable, if your users don't require mice or keyboards...
Re: Root password, sure, but why wasn't the data encrypted?
"I work in government, and our software policy is set that USB keyboards/mice work as normal, but if you plug in a USB storage device it will only mount if it's an approved device supplied by the IT dept and you have the right software installed (which you need to have a business case for)"
That's fine, until some smart-arse boots from a thumb drive/CD/DVD and simply copies the data they want using the booted OS. If they have access to a Firewire port (or even an authorised laptop with an ExpressCard slot), you may as well just give up now (DMA attacks.) Even a Bitlocker-protected system is vulnerable to a DMA or cold boot attack - so even full HDD software encryption means very little in terms of real security - it just gives the CIO a nice warm, fuzzy feeling.
(Linux at least has TRESOR and Loop-Amnesia, but Windows does not. I personally favour using HDDs that support on-controller encryption, but their added expense means that most IT departments don't bother with them.)
The recent trend of giving workers laptops, rather than desktops, only makes things worse - because laptop hardware can be tampered with out of sight. Desktops are marginally better, because anyone stupid enough to start dismantling their desktop PC in plain sight would end up being escorted off site faster than you can say "Busted!"
All well and good...
...but what happens to the comparison when ARM devices start getting fabbed at 22nm?
Re: Root password, sure, but why wasn't the data encrypted?
Find me a modern wired mouse or keyboard that is commercially available, today, that doesn't use USB. That should answer your question about why even military computers have USB ports on them.
Re: Who is in charge of the supply of bread to the population of London?
Sorry to hear that. On the other hand, if you ever go to Tokyo, you will find Roggenmischbrot by the running mile (and even labelled as such!)
Third aisle on the left, second shelf, behind the fridge with the 5-litre kegs of Paulaner in. :)
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