* Posts by BobChip

69 posts • joined 15 Feb 2010

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Mono Magic: Photography, Breaking Bad style

BobChip
Holmes

Film is still the best way to learn and understand photography

Once you had picked your film and loaded it (i.e. set the ISO in stone), the only other exposure control options you had were shutter speed and aperture. You learned to understand what Exposure Value meant, and how it influenced the final image.

In spite of the enormous computerised complexity of modern digital cameras, this is still essentially all these program modes do. And in doing so, they distance you from what is essentially quite a simple but fundamental decision - once you have decided what sort of image you want.

Although I own a mid range DSLR - and yes, I do use full auto at times - I revert to manual mode in anything I recognise as a difficult or "non average" scene, and choose my own aperture and exposure time. Or when I want to produce a specific exposure effect.

That said, one undeniable advantage of digital is the instant result, which (mostly) allows for immediate adjustment of an unsatisfactory exposure. Ansel Adams and Cartier Bresson could never do that, and they still managed to get outstanding results by fully understanding the basics. I still have my old Canon F1 and lenses, and I won't be throwing them away for a very long time.

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PIRATES and THIEVES to get Windows 10 as BOOTY

BobChip
Linux

Re: Balancing the accounts.

Upvoted from a Linux system.

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BobChip
Holmes

What kind of free is this?

Got it in one, Chozo! Greeks and Trojan Horses all over again. Win 10 for free in the first year, and once we've got you all on legit copies, you ALL have to pay a sub to keep it going (I suspect). What kind of free is that?

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Microsoft RE-BORKS Windows 7 patch after reboot loop horror

BobChip
Happy

Re: Windows is such an adventure

You could enjoy even more update boredom by going Linux, where updates just happen - quietly and without drama. How boring!

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YEAR of the PENGUIN: A Linux mobile in 2015?

BobChip
Linux

Re: Linux Desktop surpasses Windows!

Not only does Linux (I'm writing from a Mint 17 desktop) recognise and support recent peripehrals, but it will also support older kit such as my Canon LIDE20 scanner, long since abandoned by Microsoft and not supported since XP, but still a perfectly good scanner. Why should I have to rush out and buy new kit every time MS "upgrades"? (OK. That was a REALLY stupid question.)

It is also worth noting how many major manufacturers, e.g. HP, Canon, Epson etc., are now providing Linux drivers for their devices. Why would they bother doing that if they did not see a future in a Linux environment?

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BobChip
Linux

Don't write off the desktop

While it would be silly to argue that the world is not going small screen and portable - because it is - this does not mean the end of the desktop, or it's close cousin the large screen laptop . The desktop remains the place where almost all productive work is done, such as CAD, architecture, large scale mapping, process control - just to name a few. None of these tasks work on your mobile or tablet. Do you really want to fly on an aeroplane designed by someone shuffling parts about with their fingers and thumbs on a screen the size of a mobile phone.........

However, since MS appear determined to abandon the desktop, the way is open to Linux to underpin what may be a small(ish) but still critical sector. Which is why I use it (Mint 17) for my workstation.

The next couple of years will be interesting.

Small screens for consumers, large screens for producers.

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Free Windows 10 could mean the END for Microsoft and the PC biz

BobChip
Big Brother

It's all in the EULA

I appreciate that I'm comming into this one very late, and that the point may already have been made.

A lot of commentards questions and speculation here, but no real answers. MS's true intentions and plans will only be clear once we can read the Win 10 EULA. A quick search of the UK MS site a few minutes ago for "Windows 10 eula" draws a blank. If they have not yet published an eula, they may still be trying to decide what they really mean by "free", "for the lifetime of the device" etc..

The only thing I'm willing to bet on is that, when we do finally find out, it will not be what anyone was either expecting or hoping for.

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Open Source's 2014: MS 'cancer' embrace, NASDAQ listings and a quiet dog

BobChip

Who bites harder?

Looks like the lion's got the tiger by the tail. Bets as to who might win?

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Microsoft drops early Chrissie pressie on Mac Office fanbois

BobChip
Happy

Libre Office

Libre Office for Mac. No subscription required, no MS tax to pay, no ongoing financial commitment. Nothing else to say.

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Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9

BobChip
Linux

Re: Windows 8.1 Pro...I used it

That'll be Mint 17 with 5 years of free Long Term Support - compare with MS "we will 'upgrade' everything annually, or more often if we want the money, for a fee which we will decide on at the time, whether you want us to or not". With Linux I can change or upgrade any of my hardware, whenever, without crashing the system. Tough decision.

And yes, it is simple to run an older Win version in a virtual machine if you want to.

A PC is a tool which I use to do productive work. My choice of OS (Mint 17) is determined by what enables me to do the most work for the least effort and cost.

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BobChip
Linux

Re: Time for Linux

Vista pushed us down the Linux road (about 6 years ago), and nothing MS has produced since has caused us to rethink that decision for even a moment.

MEMO:- Discuss future options with your accountant / CFO before upgrade decision.

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Le whoops! Microsoft France boss blows lid off 'Windows 9' event

BobChip
Linux

Upgrade?

Have to upgrade? No we do not. Migrate instead. OSX or Mint 17 - take your pick.

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BobChip

Microsoft are struggling and it's beginning to show.

Thanks Khaptain. This is precisely Microsoft's problem, and it is hard to see what they can do about it any time soon. Even if Win 9 turns out to be brilliant (which seems unlikely), they still have to persuade dissafected customers to use it or, even more challenging, come back to MS from Apple or Linux. Who in their right mind would move from a good product which works to one which is clearly in trouble?

I suspect the challenge is too severe, and that MS will never recover to a position of dominance. And by implication, this must leave their long term future in doubt.

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PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users

BobChip
Holmes

Re: Told ya!

Totally agree. Desktop PC with large (non-touch) screen for productive work, and I'm looking hard at a Chromebook for mobile use. Covers all my needs, plus I can easily upgrade / rebuild my PC whenever technological developments justify it.

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Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes

BobChip
Linux

Going Linux

Good choice - join the rest of us.

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New leaked 'Windows 8 screenshot': The Start Menu strikes back

BobChip
Linux

Win 8.x?

If 8.x is supposed to be a taster for win.9 (as I suspect it may be), then 9 is also a fail. Like many other commentards, I prefer a clean, almost empty screen, mouse control (you can't do serious CAD on a touch system) and generally a minimal interface all round. This leads to speed and productivity.

I also hear there are proposals to tie Win 9 even more closely to the hardware it is first installed on, and to MS's cloud, further reducing the options for modifications and flexibility that I depend on while increasing costs to the user.

That's why I'm sticking with Linux.

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Use Tor or 'extremist' Tails Linux? Congrats, you're on an NSA list

BobChip
Linux

And if I actually USE Linux..........

So, if by registering an interest in Linux I am defined as an extremist, just what sort of rating do I get by actually USING IT as my primary OS? Oh, I can hear a helicopter approaching right now - I wonder if its a black one..........

And just to make matters worse I'm a Register reader as well......

Anyone got a spare tin hat........

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Is this photo PROOF a Windows 7 Start Menu is coming back?

BobChip
Linux

Re: LOL

Actually, forget the dual boot. Just stick with the Linux mint. (Posted from a Mint 14 machine)

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This changes everything: Microsoft slips WinXP holdouts $100 to buy new Windows 8 PCs

BobChip
Linux

WIN Auto update

Yup. I run XP SP3 in VirtualBox on Mint 16, on a reasonably powerful homebuild. AU is turned off. Internet access is disabled. Rock solid and goes like stink. Essential kit for working with / editing some older CAD files.

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Dell charges £16 TO INSTALL FIREFOX on PCs – Mozilla is miffed

BobChip
Big Brother

Re: Sounds about right

"I know the cause of your pain and can fix it by giving you something much worse to worry about. My bill will be in the post." Sounds to me like the sort of reply you would expect to get from a Microsoft type.

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Friends don't do tech support for friends running Windows XP

BobChip
Happy

Re: I've been helping friends (and businesses) upgrade from XP to ...

Hats off to Jake. I have moved several friends - and associates - from XP to Linux Mint, which seems to offer the most similar desktop experience to XP.

"Suggesting Linux to someone unable to wean themselves off XP would probably strain the friendship to a greater degree" No, does not work like that. I have had only thanks and, likewise, none of them have yet - over about 6 years, gone back to MS.

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Fine! We'll keep updating WinXP's malware sniffer after April, says Microsoft

BobChip
Linux

Waiting for the Rapture (Win 9) to come along

So, let's see. Let's try to get a handle on the "strategic" thinking here.

Announcing the impending end of XP is not driving Win 8/8.1 sales. Maybe 2014 will be better, but what if it is not?

We don't want people slipping back to Win 7.

Perhaps, if we keep XP ticking along until Win 9 / Threshold comes along.....

Then the whole world will obviously rush off to buy millions of copies in the first couple of days!!!!

Just like RT!!!!

Oh S---T!

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Ten classic electronic calculators from the 1970s and 1980s

BobChip
Happy

A vote for the HP 15C

I persuaded my employer to get me a HP 15C in the early 1980s. Although I have used many other calculators since, the HP still works perfectly, and remains my "go to first" calculator to this day.

And of course, because so few people (I think) use RPN these days, anyone who tries to pinch it will quickly curse and throw it back at me. Happy days.

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Why Microsoft absolutely DOESN'T need its own Steve Jobs

BobChip
Windows

Uncertain futures ......

A very interesting article, with a lot of interesting insights. It is obviously true that MS have made some very serious mistakes, but then so did Apple, not so long ago. Apple recovered spectacularly. Why? Probably by being clear about the sort of products their customers wanted, and by making products that were, by new technology standards, solid and (mostly) reliable. They were expensive, but they worked in ways that users understood and were comfortable with, and they built a loyal customer base on that.

Can MS make the same turnaround? After all they have lived with the "good OS bad OS" cycle for decades now, and still made buckets of money. Business as usual, as usual? No. Because, unlike Apple, they have yet to recognise that a turnaround is necessary. And even if they do, their internal culture appears to be so seriously flawed that they will be unable to take the necessary action.

Apple can sell into a customer base which is comfortable with what it has got, and can be confident that it will still be comfortable with the next iteration in the product cycle. MS used can no longer rely on this. When the customer is not confident, he (and she) is not going to buy. The new CEO is going to have to deal with, simultaneously, a bad OS cycle and a loss in customer confidence. That may be too much to ask.

Time will tell ......

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File-NUKING Cryptolocker PC malware MENACES 'TENS of MILLIONS' in UK

BobChip
Linux

Re: Nasty.

Likewise. I went Linux about six years ago, and although I obviously benefit from the added protection it gives me, that is only one of the reasons I had for making the switch. I'm almost tempted to hope that Linux remains a minority interest on the desktop, just so that it is not worthwhile for the bad guys to attack it - even though that would be harder to do in the first place.

More to the point, the cybercrime issue is now so serious that only governments, co-operating on a large scale internationally, can begin to combat it. But, as has been observed elsewhere in other comments here, they seem to be much more interested in watching the sheep than catching the wolves.

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Microsoft founder Paul Allen's money man wants Redmond to break up

BobChip
Linux

Re: Not sure what type of Enterprise Level you are referring to

To be fair...... MOST desktop PCs within businesses (CURRENTLY) use Windows.

We all know Linux runs the back office, but it is increasingly appearing on the desktop as well.

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Galaxy is CRAMMED with EARTH-LIKE WORLDS – also ALIENS (probably)

BobChip
Angel

Re: Maybe they're hiding from us.

This of course would be the clearest possible indication that they are intelligent.........

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Microsoft pulls Win 8.1 RT code which upgraded Surface 'slabs into BRICKS

BobChip
Coat

Puzzled....

I thought RT had been declared dead and buried. Why an RT 8.1 update? Am I missing a trick here?

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Windows 8.1: A bit square, sure, but WAIT! It has a Start button

BobChip
Linux

Re: Bewildering is right

I'm just so glad that my business objectives no longer include supporting MS's business objectives.........

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Here comes Windows 8.1! Microsoft grits teeth, pushes upgrade to world

BobChip
FAIL

Re: Still not enough

Let's wait and see.....

Personally, as a heavy end CAD and graphics user - hence large screen and desktop PC - I find that a touch-focussed interface is fundamentally unusable. I appreciate that it is now perfectly possible to boot directly into desktop, add a second large monitor and install a mouse etc.. But all of these things involve bending the system to meet my requirements in a way that MS seem to regard as alien to their objectives. I'll stick to a system which meets my work requirements without my having to kick and punch it into compliance. (Have MS forgotten what business computers are used for?) I will not be getting Win 8.1.

8.1 looks like a brilliant system for consuming internet content on a phone or tablet, but so are iPads, Chromebooks and Android phones etc. - and they are already well established in the marketplace. Add to this Microsoft's blatant hubris, and focus on monetisation at any cost, and it is easy to see why they have lost their old position as the de facto OS and software supplier of choice. Ignoring your customers and hacking them of is far and away the best way to lose them for good, particularly if you do it at a time when a range of viable and economical alternatives are increasingly available.

MS will not disappear overnight, but their days of dominance are over. I'm happy to be proved wrong, but as I said above, let's wait and see. Give it 6 to 9 months, to sort out units shipped, units sold, and units actually in use. But I'm not holding my breath....

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Microsoft: We're nearly OUT OF STOCK of Surface 2 and Pro 2

BobChip
Joke

Re: Almost is the key word.

I'm a lot closer than that! I already have all the zeros - all I need is a lousy 1 to put in front of them. Buddy can you spare a dime?

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500 MEELLION PCs still run Windows XP. How did we get here?

BobChip
Linux

Re: But slowly – over time - and maybe not...........

Do what I have done to support old Win software.

1 Move to Linux for all your day to day productivity and comms

2 Install VirtualBox or other Vware

3 Using the original discs, clean install Win XP in VBox

4 Fire up XP (or Win 7 if you prefer) and DISABLE ALL INTERNET CONNECTIVITY

5 Install your Win-only software and use it as before

6 Never, but never let the Win system to talk directly to the internet - move files/data through the host

Your Win software will work fast and flawlessly - probably until the end of time, or at least until it is directly ported to Linux or the Linux equivalent becomes available. The simple secret is NEVER to let Win call home and become corrupted by "security" updates.

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Valve shows Linux love with SteamOS for gamers

BobChip
Go

Re: Surprise, surprise

Actually, they do. And yes, it is rock solid. The only "surprise" is that Lars does not know this yet.

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Windows 8.1: Microsoft's reluctant upgrade has a split-screen personality

BobChip
Coat

Re: Newly installed apps - hidden and hazardous

Things which are hidden can't be seen....... You can be hurt by these.......

MS is beginning to look a bit like the Titanic - the damage is too serious, everyone realises that it is going to sink, and shuffling the deckchairs is doing nothing to address the problem. Fortunately, this time there are plenty of other ships out there to pick up passengers from the wreck and they are doing so very quickly. But MS does not own any of them.

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Microsoft does a U-turn, releases Windows 8.1 to developers early after all

BobChip
Happy

Re: Makes me sooooo glad.... Alternative VG software

I did the same as you several years ago. I also run Mint these days.

My vector graphics software of choice is Corel Draw (Suite). This (Version x6) runs only in a Win environment, so I run it in VirtualBox with Mint as host and an old copy of Win 7 as guest. Corel is now the only win compliant software I use, and this setup works a treat. (everything else I use is native Linux anyway) You could also run Adobe Illustrator or ACD Canvas in this setup, or try Xara Xtreme which runs under Linux anyway. Inkscape - also runs under Linux - is worth a look, if you only have fairly lightweight graphics requirements.

Unless I am mistaken, MS have ditched Expression Design, as it never seriously competed with any of the packages named above. No matter what you go for, or what environment you run it under, you will have to get a newer VG package, and you will face a significant learning curve.

Corel Draw X6 because (a) I know it well and (b) it is still by far the cheapest and best value package for the capabilities it gives you, particularly if you start by buying the older version X5.

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Windows 8.1 to freeze out small business apps

BobChip
Happy

Initial pain - then relief.

"It's well worth the initial pain..."

Rather like getting rid of an agonising tooth abcess. Once you have made the switch the sense of relief is indescribable, and you wonder why you put up with the MS pain for so long in the first place.

So does your accountant.

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Myst: 20 years of point-and-click adventuring

BobChip

Happy days

Even though I have gone completely over to Linux for everything else, I still keep an old XP box just so that I can play Myst and Riven (my personal favourite) from time to time. And of course the rest of the series. I think they are mostly all available on GOG now, for anyone wanting to try them on modern kit.

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Microsoft to ship Windows 8.1 in 'late August'

BobChip
Linux

Re: Meh and Meh

So "you'll be back". Let's hold judgement on that one....... until Splodger has tried Mint at least as thoroughly as I tried Win 8.

I went to the "dark side" - ie Linux - four / five years ago, and although I keep an open mind on OSs and have looked at MS and Apple offerings, so far I have seen nothing to make me want to switch back to MS on a workstation. This is most emphatically true of Win 8 and 8.1.

All I want is a system that allows me to get on with productive work (what us people get paid for), not something stuffed with unnecessary crud. Mint works for us too.

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BobChip

"Rapid release" mantra = rapid money grabbing mantra

Rapid release has to mean frequent "upgrades" or, more significantly, much more rapid obsolescence. Not just for the OS, but probably also for any hardware associated with it. Add to this subscription licensing, or seen another way, enforced "upgrades", and Microsoft's strategy for emptying your wallet as frequently and thoroughly as possible is clear. The fact of the product becoming increasingly indifferent as well merely adds insult to injury. MS may think (it has to - there can be no other explanation) that it's customers are stupid enough to buy into this, but this ex MS customer is not.

Thank goodness there are excellent alternative OSs and productivity software available, some of which will not cost you a penny. Which is where I have been for the last 4 years

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Microsoft lathers up Windows 8.0 Surface RT for quick price shave

BobChip
Happy

Re: re: the desktop would “go away” over time

In fact, the desktop will not go away. It is the arena in which all productive work is done, as opposed to the consumption of someone else's output, which can mostly be done with only a browser.

It may well be true that Microsoft needs the desktop, but the desktop does not need Microsoft. OSX and Linux offer perfectly viable alternatives - including support for lots of legacy apps. I am not in the slightest troubled by the prospect of MS's demise on the desktop.

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Confidential Microsoft brief: 'We're TOAST if we fight Google on price'

BobChip
Holmes

First and foremost, it's the price that matters

This has been on the cards for the last five years or more. Microsoft products, both OSs and applications, are way over priced for what they offer. For example, MS Office may offer advantages over Libre Office for some users, but for a huge number of SMEs the cost is just too high. And now MS want you to pay on a subscription basis as well!

Google Apps and services may not be free, but they are one hell of a lot cheaper than MS's alternatives. Libre Office is of course free, and just how do you compete with free? There is almost certainly a huge market for a really cheap, basic version of MS Office, with only the roughly 10% of functionallity that the vast majority of users require. But I doubt if the money grabbing culture in MS would allow them to consider this strategy for one moment.

Time to sell your MS stock, I suspect.

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Microsoft biz heads slash makes Ballmer look like dead STEVE JOBS

BobChip
FAIL

Business re-organisation

Way back in the days when I worked for big business (remember ICI?), I learned that there were essentially only two types of business re-organisation. they were :-

1 Think, Plan, Communicate, Do (business goes on to prosper)

2 Panic, Juggle, Hope, Pray (the other thing)

Work out for yourselves what sort this is.

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Win 8 man Sinofsky's 'retirement' deal: $14m shares, oath of silence

BobChip
Linux

Re: I had a strange experience..(2)

I'm pretty much on the same page. I have also been asking myself to what extent Microsoft are still even remotely relevant. We abandoned Windows as an OS three / four years ago (for Linux), and after a short period of adapting to a new OS, I would now be laughed out of court if I ever proposed going back to MS.

It has to be said that we always look at the latest MS offering as a matter of course but, that said, Vista and Win 8 have only served to confirm that we made the right decision when we switched. I can see no point in ranting against MS - it's a waste of breath when I have a business to run and product (from a DESKTOP) to deliver.

I'll probably look at Win 9, or Win 11.7 Poledancer or whatever when it finally comes out, but more out of morbid curiosity than as a competitive OS.

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Windows 8.1: Here at last, but is it good enough?

BobChip
Linux

Re: In short.. (again)

Likewise. There was a time when I would carefully evaluate new MS releases with a view to deciding whether or not I should switch back to a Windows OS (from Linux). I can no longer see any point in doing this, as I have no intention of ever going back into the MS camp. Mint 14 and free open source software does everything we require, quietly, quickly, reliably and with a lot less hassle than trying to secure and update a Win system.

I realise that there are lots of people out there who absolutely must have the latest MS offering, which they will pay through the nose for but which they will never own, and bound by a EULA they have almost certainly never read.

It's just that I am not one of them.

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Microsoft video preview shows Windows 8.1 tablet UI options

BobChip
Linux

Still nothing for the working desktop....

Apparently (Getting tired of repeating etc.., above), Win 8 is fine because I can get to the productivity interface I need by following just 5 simple instructions. This is "acceptable"?

OsX, Win 7 and Linux Mint (my default OS on which I am writing this) all open at the interface I require without any need for special instructions. Namely a functional desktop. Which is where I WORK.

MS clearly cannot grasp this, which is why no-one likes Win 8.n and their brand value is falling like a stone.

Nuf said.

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Microsoft touts business features of Windows 8.1

BobChip

Re: Too little, too late ....

No bubble to burst here, unless it is Microsoft's. But they don't seem to give a F*** either. Great way to run a business.

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BobChip
Linux

Too little, too late ....

Sorry MS, I've left already. Gone Linux. And I won't be looking back.

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How Microsoft shattered Gnome's unity with Windows 95

BobChip
Linux

Desktops will never disappear

While I have no doubt that any number of small devices such as phones and tablets will be used to CONSUME internet content, they will not be used to produce it. Productive work will continue to be done on desktop workstations with large, non-touch monitors using a mouse or tablet.

Take CAD as an example. Would you rather fly in an aeroplane designed on a large screen where the designer can see the big picture and has precise control over what components go where, or one designed on a tablet with components shuffled by someone's fingers and thumbs?

Microsoft may have abandoned the workstation, but it remains the basic tool on which PRODUCTIVE WORK is done. Fortunately, there are alternatives.

14
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Microsoft's Windows 8.1 secrets REVEALED ... sort of

BobChip
Linux

Re: Baffled

I did work with Win 8, quite intensively, albeit the pre-release version in Virtualbox, and assessed the OS and it's usability with our key software and hardware - eg 26" non-touch monitors running CAD type applications, and very large format printers no longer supported by MS.

Which is precisely why we are NOT using it now.

Way back when I sold stuff, it was drummed into me that the customer is always right. If you don't give the customer what he wants, he won't buy and will go elsewhere. Simples.

P.S. We have been running everything on Linux since the Vista fiasco, but I always make a point of checking out the competition just in case they start to catch up. They have not. Full stop.

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