* Posts by Chemist

2414 posts • joined 24 Mar 2010

Five technologies you shouldn't bother looking out for in 2016

Chemist
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Re: Five technologies you shouldn't bother looking out for in 2016

"Which is great - IF YOU KNOW THAT AND KNOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT. Which by definition means you're not the people we're talking about."

I hate to point it out to you that that is exactly the point - you don't have to know - why should you !

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Chemist
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Re: cracks

"This can be achieved simply by keeping a cat ......"

Although you are likely to get long periods of total inactivity interspersed with short burst of frenetic activity ( esp. if you have mice)

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Chemist
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Re: Five technologies you shouldn't bother looking out for in 2016

"Have you any personal experience with Linux Mint in the last five years?"

Or indeed other distros - in my case SUSE/OpenSUSE since , oh, ~1998

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Chemist
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Re: Five technologies you shouldn't bother looking out for in 2016

I note that MS shills are really very slow on the uptake

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Chemist
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Re: Five technologies you shouldn't bother looking out for in 2016

"As technologists we can, and in some cases do, use Linux on a desktop properly and without significant problems."

As scientists and academics we do use Linux on a desktop properly and without significant problems - and have done for years !

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Chemist
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Re: Five technologies you shouldn't bother looking out for in 2016

"They'd not have a clue where to find drivers,"

May I break it to you gently - I've not had to look for drivers using Linux for years The distros come with a vast array of drivers and install the relevant ones.

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Blighty's Parliament prescribed tablets to cope with future votes

Chemist
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Re: Could be entertaining & what could go wrong?

"log in and vote "

There was a film quite a long time ago called "The Rise & Rise of Michael Rimmer" starring Peter Cook in which he works his way from ad man to near-dictator. As part of the plot he offers the public votes on all issues, the Post Office quadruples in size and all voters have to toil over large numbers of ballots. Everyone gets sick of it and votes to let him decide everything !

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rise_and_Rise_of_Michael_Rimmer

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Microsoft herds biz users to Windows 10 by denying support for Win 7 and 8 on new CPUs

Chemist
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Re: The more they push - the harder they will fall

"Does anyone know if the Linux community has started development work on these chipsets?"

AFAIK the latest kernels support Skylake e.g http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=intel-xeon-skylake&num=1

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Chemist
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Re: Symproms - The more they push - the harder they will fall

"What is the make/model of your laptop?"

Plenty of other questions - What version of OpenSUSE/Ubuntu? Did a live-CD work ? does the memory check show any problems ?

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Chemist
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Re: The more they push

I mostly agree but "shows any laptop as MS-laptop because you can't buy laptops without windows- licences, MS-tax."

You can - I've got a very nice i7 that I'm writing this on. I would say that you have to look quite hard but I know of at least two outlets in the UK. What you will have to do though is install your distro of choice.

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Chemist
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Re: The more they push

"The value will still be so near zero so as to make no difference."

And if you really believe that my anonymous 'friend' ( and you almost always are anonymous) why do you spend so much time trying (desperately it seems) to convince everyone else about this ?

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Chemist
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Re: The more they push - the harder they will fall

"For everyone else, who'd just need a simple browser, email "

I think we can be a little more ambitious than that.

Darktable or RawTherapee for RAW photo development/manipulation

Hugin for panorama creation

Kdenlive for NL video editing

Thunderbird for e-mail

Google Earth

VLC or MPlayer for media

Inkscape for vector drawing

More language compilers/interpreters than you could possibly want

etc.

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2015 was the Year of the Linux Phone ... Nah, we're messing with you

Chemist
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Re: Year of Linux

" prior to X.org the truth is that it was not even remotely usable."

Strange then that I and my colleagues (200+) were running all sorts of commercial and in-house scientific software on dual Xenon workstations with 3D graphics hardware using RedHat Linux around that time.

Also even in 1996 I was using X at home without serious problems

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Chemist
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Re: Remind us again...

"Quite. Isn't it about 1.5% or something? Which is somewhat larger than 80's coder thought."

And may I remind everyone almost all those 1.5% have chosen to install Linux. Given that ~80% people don't know/care and that most machines (99% ??) are purchased with Windows installed and many have no option anyway because their company insists on Windows anyway 1.5% is a really large percentage.

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No escape: Microsoft injects 'Get Windows 10' nagware into biz PCs

Chemist
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"Thanks to UEFI it's very difficult to boot linux these days,"

Er, no it isn't

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Chemist
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@ Shufflemoomin

"they had no drivers for my Nvidia 970 leaving me with software rendering "

Sorry don't have too much time to go into this at the moment this but there are Linux Nvidia drivers available for the 970 - http://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/77844/en-us

What is likely to be the problem is that (I'm not a Mint user) the driver needs to be added after install via probably an additional repository ( certainly that's what I've done with OpenSUSE but I've not needed to install on a system with a Nvidia card for quite a time). I note you've also had problems with NVidia on W10

In general, I'd also suggest trying a few live-CDs just to see which you prefer.

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Stephen Hawking reckons he's cracked the black hole paradox

Chemist
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Re: Flipping your mind

"If the black hole boils itself away over billions of years at some point there should be a point where the gravity pull of a black hole collapses such that light can escape and therefore you should be able to "see" what's left inside?"

My understanding is that as the black hole shrinks the rate and energy of photon production increases until finally it disappears in a burst of gamma radiation, at which point you can 'see' inside but nothing is there by then.

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Eric Schmidt, for one, welcomes our new robot overlords

Chemist
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"Google will become the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation."

Interesting - Douglas Adams must have been more prescient than I imagined as he introduced them in ~1978 long before Google was incorporated. (Note NOT before Microsoft was though )

This quote from ~~1984 :

(You know how I hate those smug Sirius Cybernetics salesmen: slick-suited creeps of the cosmos, flogging computer operating systems that crash more often than air cars built on the Friday shift. They have persuaded the Universe that if it doesn’t continually upgrade itself at enormous expense, it has no right to call itself froody. This guy was on a five year mission to seek out and explore strange new worlds, and tell them to ‘share and enjoy’ its over-hyped bloatware.”) - Ford Prefect to Arthur Dent

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Confirmed: How to stop Windows 10 forcing itself onto PCs – your essential guide

Chemist
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Re: Who owns my computer?

"I tried Linux around 2010 along with the (then) utterly busted 'Open Office.' It was a disaster!"

I'm glad you are now sorted but I can't have everyone assuming that you are typical.

I was using Linux for serious research involving expensive software and state of the art 3D hardware in ~2002 without sig. issues and indeed personally I've been using it at home since the mid-90s - since the late 90s it's been straightforward to install on every bit of hardware I've tried and has given very little trouble apart from temporary problems with e.g some wifi adaptors. This is mostly with SUSE and OpenSUSE. Not used Windows since ~ 2006 at home.

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Longing to bin Photoshop? Rock-solid GIMP a major leap forward

Chemist
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Re: RAW?

"There is also UFRAW:"

Of course try it but I'd seriously recommend Darktable ( For Mac & Linux)

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Ten years in, ultra-high-def gets a standard

Chemist
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Maybe there should be a minimum spec.....

for the quality of the content !

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The Register's entirely serious New Year's resolutions for 2016

Chemist
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"I find it very frustrating to have to keep changing tabs every few minutes."

I find it very frustrating to have to keep changing tabbies every few minutes - shirley

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What did we learn today? Microsoft has patented the slider bar

Chemist
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Re: Performance...

"The biggest problem with spreadsheets which I've come across is that they are really easy to modify accidentally and very difficult to verify."

So those of us that use them extensively have to develop working practices/ mitigations to ensure that we do stay safe.

If any data transformation becomes a standard requirement I code it in c

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Chemist
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Re: Performance...

"Spreadsheets are useful for simple stuff but the problem becomes such simple stuff grows without proper design."

Spreadsheets are useful for very complex modeling and calculation - the caveat is that they are not short cuts, require as much thinking as anything else complex and need as much care and checking as is necessary. For example using large sheets to manipulate /calculate large datasets I used to be paranoid and always added large amounts of known good data with known outputs into the set to check. All of this is especially important if macros are used - I try to avoid their use personally.

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Chemist
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Re: Performance

"I'm beginning to notice a trend: global evaluative statement about oOo/LO but then when engaged with I can never get any detail..."

As someone else mentioned Office is one of MS's cash-cows - they and their 'friends' shall we say will probably do a lot to protect it.

A further note on performance. I used Excel extensively for data manipulation/modeling a few years ago but when I first started using OO I was disappointed with Calc's performance. It was much slower than Excel for the size of dataset I was manipulating. That's all changed - it's now very fast.

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Chemist
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Re: Performance

"possibly doing egg-sucking tutorial here but is that calling sine with same argument or random/varying argument? LO and Excel can cache results &c."

That's having 400000 sines each dependent on a previous cell's value and then changing the first cell manually but at random. and waiting for the last cell to change.

So as far as I'm concerned if forces 400000 sequential sine calculations and spreadsheet output refresh. I'm sure better benchmarks could be used but for the sort of numbers I use ~~100K rows with calculations ~~ this complex it's plenty fast enough. Anything more complex and I have a number of programs written in c to handle the data.

Mostly retired so I don't need this so much but I do find it all so amusing when people complain about LO's speed.

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Chemist
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Re: Performance...

"For me, the performance difference is real because the startup time of Libre office is much longer than MS office."

Try it either with the internet connection turned off or load an .xls file - I certainly have this weird problem when traveling (not on my home wifi) where starting LO whilst connected produces a VERY long lag before the sheet is ready. Easy to work round and only applies on first opening of an .ods file.

From memory it seems to be that it goes looking for my networked printer - which at home it finds - as to why ? ?

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Chemist
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Re: Performance...

"Also 350k spreadsheet loading over wifi from fileserver ~2-3 secs."

That time includes starting LO BTW

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Chemist
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Re: Performance...

"1 million row Monte Carlo simulation in LO Calc 4.x, re-calculation time around 25 sec, same in MS Excel 2010, around 10 sec (core-duo/3Gb ram) so yes slower on bulk arithmetic I'll grant you."

Can't compare with Excel but 400000 sine calculations here too quick to measure. Also 350k spreadsheet loading over wifi from fileserver ~2-3 secs.

That's on an 8GB i7 OpenSUSE 13.1 LibreCalc 4.1...

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Forget anonymity, we can remember you wholesale with machine intel, hackers warned

Chemist
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Re: Hmmm.....

"...that one started life as a Fortran programmer..."

May the FORTH be with you

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Here – here is that 'hoverboard' you've wanted so much. Look at it. Look. at. it.

Chemist
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Re: Oh dear

The ~200kW figure is just the 270HP figure mentioned in the video. However that seems very high. Each of those small fans would need to be 6kW which seems a very high figure for a fan a few inches in diameter.

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Chemist
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Re: A fun thought experiment on battery capacity.

"it takes roughly 6.25 x 10^18 of these per second to make 1 amp."

The 6.25 x 10^18 is 1 coulomb - to quote, admittedly , Wikipedia ( and I've not had chance to check this )

two negative point charges of −1 C, placed one meter apart, would experience a repulsive force of 9×109 N, a force roughly equal to the weight of 920000 metric tons of mass on the surface of the Earth.

This goes some way towards explaining the problem of banging up too many electrons in close proximity - hence the requirement for balancing positive charges which add to the mass and the volume hence someone's comment about 'the laws of Physics'

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Chemist
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"You could now easily get, ohh, say fifteen minutes out of the current device, although not on a public road of course."

270HP out of a cigar lighter socket - WOW !! (~~200kW)

'lightweight cable' vs 200kW - WOW !

</cynical>

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Chemist
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Re: Oh dear

"a very simple device quickly put together with off the shelf parts as a publicity stunt by a small company "

This small Romanian/USA company has kerosene/LOX rockets capable of sub-orbital flight ( so their pub. states) ! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARCA_Space_Corporation)

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Chemist
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Nice touch..

to have the first flight by a PR person - don't want to waste a skilled test pilot !

'B' Ark next !

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Chemist
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Re: Oh dear

"The Tesla model S charges in under 10 hours from a standard outlet, so you are looking at a substantial power bill for 6 minutes of fun."

I'm not sure what you are trying to say - without intending to be patronising : not all batteries are equal, the battery in the Tesla has many, many times the energy storage capacity of the 'hoverboard' hence needs much more power from the charger.

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Microsoft in 2016: Is there any point asking SatNad what's coming?

Chemist
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Re: 2016: Microsoft FootGun Release 1.1 [new, improved]

"A failure to do that, the arrogant attitude of "Microsoft Knows Best", will be the end of MS products on all these systems."

No point just talking about it - you need to do it !

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Feeling abandoned by Adobe? Check out the video editing suites for penguins

Chemist
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Re: Very interesting, advice please

"I have a lot of material in DV AVI format, and a growing amount of material in HDV.I need to capture both formats."

Not a lot of help I'm afraid. Kdenlive should capture a number of formats by firewire including DV AVI & HDV - did you want to use USB ? No real experience as I changed from tape to flash quite a while ago. There were certainly several other programs that would capture via firewire Some people seem to have had success with USB using the program dvgrab which I've also used for firewire which I think is it's default.

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1138629&page=2

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Chemist
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Re: Kdenlive in Mint is steady for me!

Note no blank line between the file`names - I can't seem to get rid of of them here !

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Chemist
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Re: Kdenlive in Mint is steady for me!

Can I suggest generating smaller files - say ~15 mins and then concatenating by generating a file e.g test.txt , in the same directory consisting of :

file './file1.mp4'

file './file2.mp4'

save it , cd to the same directory and run ffmpeg

ffmpeg -f concat -i test.txt -c copy output.mp4 - that will add the .mp4s and sort out the timebase

One kdenlive gotcha I've just remembered is that I find that kdenlive, ffmpeg, melt. mlt need to be from the same repo. ( Packman)

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Chemist
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"It would be extremely bad if web servers needed rebooting more than once a year or so since they've been pretty much doing the same kind of things for decades."

Sorry I should have explained. My 'fileserver' is also a print server, compute server ( for scientific software ), SSHD entry point for my network and is also used for video transcoding (1080p/50-> 720p/25 ) as well as a load of misc server tasks including a daemon to my PIC micros and a media server.

I repeat Kdenlive often used to crash but has been rock steady for ~3 year (for me on my systems). I have some form in running high-intensity software as ~12 years ago I was running protein modeling software ( on RH linux ) on a dual Xeon at ~100% cpu for days

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Chemist
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"Surely software on all systems crashes and has random bugs"

Maybe so but, for example, Linux runs my fileserver 27/7 for months only rebooting for kernel updates or power-cuts.

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Chemist
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Re: Kdenlive in Mint is steady for me!

"If the author was using 0.9.10 they would likely hit troubles. "

Just to note I'm using 0.9.10 without any issues . I also rendered a 4K video yesterday just to try it - no problems.

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Chemist
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Certainly linux has been 'blessed' with many authors trying their hand at software. Some programs have interesting either in utility, speed, ease-of-use, scope etc. Most don't manage everything . Also most don't have the time/resource/knowledge to polish, or even plan how their creation will develop. Many indeed are treating it all as a learning exercise.

However in almost all categories of software there are example that stand out. In the graphics areas I find :-

Kdenlive for video editing

Darktable for RAW photo development/editing

Inkscape for vector graphics

to be exceptionally good, stable and well-documented. There are others, I'm sure, but given the time required to become completely familiar with programs of some complexity/subtlety and indeed the concepts they are implementing I tend to stay with trusted tools for routine use.

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Chemist
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Re: Kdenlive

@ Martin an gof

I'll clarify on the rock-solid - that's what I mean. (Using 1080p/50 source and outputting the same as H264 mp4 usually with a file size of ~1MB/sec)

4-core i7/8GB/spinning rust OpenSUSE 13.1/KDE renders in ~twice real-time. To convert to 720p/25 for my lesser devices I use ffmpeg

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Chemist
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"Kdenlive does have its quirks, including the fact that it seems to be very crash-prone on Linux Mint, so much so that I ended up doing my testing in Debian 8, where it worked fine."

Certainly I've used Kdenlive for ~6 years including 1080p/50 for the last 3 years. In the early days its stability varied but its been rock-solid for ~3 years (under OpenSUSE/KDE)

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Microsoft in 2015: Mobile disasters, Windows 10 and heads in the clouds

Chemist
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Re: The game is up Microsoft - your code is crap!

"The VMS OS created to run on Dec Alpha CPUs. It was even better than most UNIXes."

Having written code for VAX/VMS and for Alphas I can tell you your chronology is wrong.

VAX ~~mid-70s

Alpha ~ 1990

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Chemist
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"affing about in the console to remove a directory ~/. is not something an average or below par user is going to do to fix a problem (I'm looking at you mint)"

Merry Xmas - why would you need a console to do that ? It's just another File Manager op. Dolphin (FM), Show hidden files from the menu, right-click on directory, delete from menu

That's for Mint/KDE

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Boffins unwrap bargain-basement processor that talks light and current

Chemist
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Re: Shame about the paywall

"The continuing practice of publicly funded academics publishing their papers behind paywalls ..."

Not always their fault. Some journals, in fact, require the authors to pay a charge to be published.

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Microsoft releases major PowerShell update after long preview

Chemist
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Re: A shortsighted view

"Basically, you give someone a shell on the remote system and from that on he can attempt anything."

Basically, you give an authorized user access to one account on the remote system and from then on he can use anything that he is authorized to use.

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