Feeds

* Posts by Dave 126

4322 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Boffins find Jackie Chan's SUPERCOP is good for something

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Surely there were more appropriate films to use?

Empire of the Sun?

Little Miss Sunshine?

Australia?

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Finally a use for Zoolander.

Zoolander - one of those films that is silly, but enjoyable if you just go with it. Similarly, The first couple of episodes of Vic and Bob's 'Shooting Stars' left me cold, but then something clicked and I now find it hilarious.

I can do Blue Steel AND Magnum.

2
1

Androids in celluloid – which machine deserves the ULTIMATE MOVIE ROBOT title?

Dave 126
Silver badge

>artificial humans, not robots

Well, there is a spectrum. Could you not have a silicon 'barined' robot that used mammel-like systems such fibrous muscles and circulatory systems, or would you dub it an 'artificial badger'? The artificial people Ash and Bishop appear gooey and biological, but Bishop alludes to something like Asimov's 3 Laws.

Was it Brian Aldiss who wrote of prosthetic body parts for humans giving would-be robot builders 'off the shelf' components?

0
0

You'll go APE for our new Gorilla Glass 4, Corning reckons

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: That's a Fail

> You've taken corporate dick up the arse and now you are fucked.

Advertising a company that employs people in their home nation? As companies go, I haven't heard of Corning being 'evil'. Unless you have evidence that the duo were misleading viewers, I don't understand your issue.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Dutch tears and strained glass

>Trust me you do not want to be anywhere near when this happens. It is like a fragmentation grenade - sharp small shards fly out up to 5m in all directions.

Indeed that is the property the curiosities mentioned in the article demonstrate. Of the tadpole-shaped glass drops:

The very high residual stress within the drop gives rise to counter-intuitive properties, such as the ability to withstand a blow from a hammer on the bulbous end without breaking but explosive disintegration if the tail end is even slightly damaged.

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Rupert%27s_Drop

1
0

Samsung Galaxy Note 4: Spawn of Galaxy Alpha and a Note 3 unveiled

Dave 126
Silver badge

Another good Reg review, touching on the essential points. If I had one small criticism though, it would be that the phone is being compared to its predecessor, as opposed to phablets from other vendors... e.g does the S-pen become indispensable, or does it remain a merely 'nice-to-have' feature?

0
0

Blackpool hotel 'fines' couple £100 for crap TripAdvisor review

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Unfair Contract Terms

That's the provisional view of the relevant local Trading Standards office, so the signs are good that sanity will prevail.

8
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Simples...

>If they take money from your CC, wouldn't you immediately go to the CC company and complain about an unauthorised payment?

The couple in the article have done just that, according the PM Programme on Radio4.

1
0

Nokia's N1 fondleslab's HIDDEN BRILLIANCE: The 'Z Launcher'

Dave 126
Silver badge

>Makes sense and is totally logical.

>Scribbling letters works even on small screens,

And on any one small part of a big screen, too - handy for when holding tablet with one hand.

0
0

LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: why not here?

A poetic suggestion of Drake's Equation. Nice.

We are beginning to get some more data to plug into that equation, with more exo-planets being discovered. Some people believed that our moon is an unusual companion for our blue sphere, and that the tides it gives us might have allowed more complex molecules to form over successive wet/dry cycles.

Who knows.

3
0
Dave 126
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Secret mode?

Actually, the code for passing through something without the expected obstruction is IDSPISPOPD.

[Off-topic: Which game gave you invulnerability if you pressed F7 instead of Return at the Graphic Mode selection screen, then 'i' during the game? Hint: It was famed for its music, but not on the PC version.]

2
0

THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS

Dave 126
Silver badge

He meant AA. Or RAC, Green Flag or other roadside breakdown repair and recovery service. Unless he meant AA or AAA 1.5v cells, enough of which would power the probe.

AA is the Automobile Association in the UK, though we do have meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous too, apparently.

To be fair, the AAA - the American Automobile Association - is just as close to Rosetta as its British equivalent... but seeing as this is a European mission...

7
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Should have included some buttered toast on the feet

>Superglueing a cat to the bottom of it might do the trick.

>Oh, on second thoughts, that wouldn't help - it would spend even more of its time in sleep mode.

The cat would fall asleep in a sunbeam, though, allowing the batteries to recharge.

13
0

Jony Ive: Apple isn't here to make money. And students shouldn't use computers so much

Dave 126
Silver badge

I'd call it a result of the engineering and material science not catching up with green legislation.

It happens in the automotive industry too - emissions have to be ever lower, so engine designs aren't slowly refined over successive generations to be more reliable - instead they have to play catch up with the latest emission laws.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Good to know what offends him

>Downvoted because this is obviously wrong - how can you even start to select the type of tooling if you don't have forecast production volumes?

Because the Product Designer works with the Manufacturing Engineers in selecting the tooling, taking their advice, learning from them, but ultimately taking the decision on which process to use. Before then, the Product Designer liaises with other parts of the company - which is where the volume forecast comes from in the first place.

Everything is inter-related - you can't design it until you know how you will make it. You don't know how you will make it until you know how many you will sell. You don't know how many you will sell until you have appraised how much you will sell it for. You don't know much you will sell it for until you have selected a process... and so on. Hence the importance of communication and working together.

Again, this is the difference between Industrial Design and Product Design.

According to you AC, you have have the engineers talking directly to the marketing and finance departments- and that is a recipe for someone getting hit by a spanner.

1
1
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: So should we have good design or not?

>>as big as it is to take a UK 13 amp plug.

I much prefer British 13 Amp plus to the French ones, and I believe they are safer, too.

However, whilst I know the reasons why British light switches are mounted in a large mounting plate, nobody has answered why we don't put lovely big switches on them!

And another thing: Why aren't all newly built houses fitted with some Cat6 cable between rooms? It would cost eff-all to do before the walls are plastered. It is just a lack of thinking, a lack of care.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: So should we have good design or not?

>highly standardised for flexibility - a concept alien to Apple.

Actually, it seems to be a familiar concept for Apple:

If I walk into any supermarket or electronics retailer, I will find a wide choice of 3rd-party headphones designed to work with Apple devices. Not good for me, because I have an Android phone. Likewise phone cases and speaker docks... This is the case because whilst Apple headset sockets aren't an industry standard, nor are their 13 or 9 pin connectors, they command a large enough market share to be an ersatz standard.

Annoyingly, not all Android TRRS 3.5mm connectors the same... I have seen some Sennheiser headsets sold as being for Samsung Galaxy S4/5 phones, and I know that Sony have used some different resistor values across their range... Grr! I sometimes wish Google had exerted some influence to bring about a standard wired Android headset spec, and a standard Android docking solution.

1
1
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Those "6 months" are your advantage to make money, eejit.

@Mage

> The whole Jony Ive story is a fairy tale.

Is it?

The story is: son of a northern craftsman studies product design, is noted by his tutors for thinking about how products are actually made, doesn't find a British company that sees that good design can further its business, decamps to California, is hired by Apple and eventually noticed by Steve Jobs who wishes to mark a change in company he has returned to.

Ive isn't a genius, and has never claimed to be. It isn't that Apple are 'magical', but that their competitors don't always get the importance of good design. These companies may have some talented designers, but have some ignorant managers who were promoted out of the sales department. Jony Ive's designs would count for little if they had been released at the wrong time, or at the wrong price... instead they worked in concert with Apple's strategy, supply chain, and yeah, business muscle. Had Sony not made a few mis-steps, we might be talking about them here today (they were exploring music download and steaming services plus associated devices and UIs in 1998 and, like a c 2001 Job's 'Digital Hub' keynote speech, were planning to place their VAIO - visual audio input output - PCs to be that hub. Before the iPhone, Sony had the Palm-powered Clie, and some experience of phones... Whatever.)

To follow Dieter Rams' principles of good design does take time and effort - and this doesn't happen when the management just want to ship a box with 'good enough' specs. It also doesn't happen when the consumers are only buying the product with the biggest numbers - witness the nineties PC market (Mhz! MBs!), or the digital camera Mega-pixel race.

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Yeah, the iPhone 6 camera certainly wasn't the result of careless design

It's not indestructible, but the only time you really need to worry about setting it down on a surface is if you are in a workshop or a building which is having work done - dust from diamond cutting disks can damage it.

That's how I've put two very light scratches on the face of my watch. By contrast, the stainless steel bezel that surrounds it is covered in little scratches from over a decade of carelessness on the part of its owner.

I've also heard of diamond jewellery damaging sapphire-faced watches, if you or your SO are into bling.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Too easy.

>Saying students shouldn't use computers so much is like saying (back in my day) that kids shouldn't watch so much television.

When he spoken about this before, Ive's point was that was that it was usually better for the designer to shape a piece of clay or foam by hand than it was to use CAD and a 3D printer. By spending time working with the shape and holding in their hand, the designer can get a better feel for the object.

There is a lot to be said for being able to sketch well by hand - still a very fluent way to get 'hard copy' out of your head. CAD is absolutely essential to bringing a mass-produced product to market, but not at all stages of the design process. CAD is designed to be easy to use. CAD is designed to hold your hand through established manufacturing processes.

There are analogies to other fields; Keith Richards saying that he always judges a new song on an acoustic guitar before plugging in, or those authors who still use a typewriter... spell checkers, squiggly green lines and talking-feckin-paper-clips are not essential.

As a child, my piano teacher had a Yamaha DX-7. I had more fun exploring the funny noises it made than actually learning how to express music though my fingers. As an adult, some more musical ability would bring me more joy than a grasp FM synthesis.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: sticky out camera on the iPhone6

Maybe. At least it gives you some tactile feedback so you don't obscure the lens with your finger when you take a picture. True, it does protrude, and therefore might cause an issue when putting it your pocket. Perhaps.

You could say exactly the same of a phone with big raised volume buttons - "Great!" you think, if you live in cold climes and regularly wear gloves. "Nasty!" you think, as the phone's buttons snag on the pockets of your linen trousers on the way to the beach.

Product Design, like Engineering, is often about making decisions - compromise is inevitable.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Design museum

>Surely good design should stick in your memory?

Not necessarily. A traditional 'double diamond' bicycle frame is a piece of good design, but it isn't memorable.

Often the best pieces of design are those that we don't notice, because they haven't annoyed us.

We notice some impenetrable plastic blister packaging because it annoys us. Doubly so if the product it contains is a pair of scissors.

We notice a piece of furniture with sharp corners because we have just bashed our shin on it.

We notice a car stereo because it has, for some stupid reason, two buttons to change the volume instead of a simple knob.

If you are going to notice a well designed object, the best thing you can think of it is "Ah, that's simple - why didn't I think of it?", or "Why aren't they all like that?". I had a scroll-wheel music player before the iPod was introduced - a Sharp MD722 MiniDisc player. I then had an iRiver H320 - technologically superior to its rival, the 3rd gen. iPod, in every way - but it would have been much nicer to use if it had a scroll-wheel to navigate long lists of albums.

In the early nineties, I visited Czechoslovakia as it was then. Nearly everywhere had single-handled mixer taps (up/down = on/off, left/right = hot/cold) which we hadn't yet seen in the UK. The advantage was clear - easy to use with soapy hands, or even with your wrist if your hands were covered in the very much you wished to wash off. The advantages easily outweighed the extra costs associated with what must be a more complicated mechanism than a tradition tap. We were left with the thought "Why are these everywhere here, but unknown in the UK?"

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Good to know what offends him

>"I would draw the similarity between Architects and civil engineers. Clothes designers and tailors, Car designers and production engineers. In all cases the former has the freedom to think without the constraint of what's possible or practical The latter professions then go. How the fuck do we build this.. and at that price, by next wednesday."

I think you've just identified the difference between an Industrial Designer and a Product Designer - Ive is of the latter camp.

Here's an example: The designer of the first Sony Playstation insisted on a vent design that required the injection mold tooling to pull away in two directions when the case was being formed, even though the engineers had wanted just a simpler, cheaper perf pattern. The designer, a Mr Teiyu Goto, knew things that the engineers didn't - he knew where Sony where aiming to pitch the product in the market against the incumbents Sega and Nintendo (Sony had been working with Nintendo on a 'Playstation' in 1990, but Nintendo pulled out). The strategy extended to the marketing of the Playstation, as well as the games commissioned for it (such as the clubber-friendly WipEout) - creating its image as a console for young adults, not just children. The Playstation hardware and software accounted for nearly 25% Sony's profits for 1997, so Mr Goto was vindicated. He went on to design the first VAIO desktop and laptop.

A Product Designer will understand the production techniques, and will be able to make an informed decision on whether a design decision is worth the extra production cost - or other costs, such as battery life vs weight. The engineers won't have all the information to make these decisions - they won't know, for example, projections of many units will be manufactured over the next 12 months. The key points here are teamwork and communication between experts in different fields, and for that to work the designer (or as Dieter Rams calls it, the 'Form Engineer') needs at least enough knowledge to converse with these experts. He needs to understand their input, and to communicate his/her views to them.

An Industrial Designer just makes a pretty case to stick over the box that the engineers have already made. As William Gibson will tell you, the first Industrial Designers were recruited from Broadway, as they were theatre set dressers.

- Digital Dreams - The Work of the Sony Desaign Centre 1999 ISBN 9780789302625

1
2
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Good to know what offends him

>"We can only conclude from this that Jonny Ive is cunt of the first order"

Er? So, your logic:

Ive is offended by badly designed objects. On the basis that there are far, far worse things in this world, this makes him a "cunt of the first order" according to you. Um... so what order of cunt do you consider the people who are committing the murders and torturing etc, since the very idea of downgrading their offensiveness offends you?

Confused.

3
1
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Did he at least elaborate what's supposed to be so great about the iPhone design

>I'm assuming he talks about the exterior design.

He's talking about the whole phone. The design work might be divided into teams, but ultimately the user will use the phone as a single undivided object, so the design process should bear that in mind. At a very simple level, the software should work with the hardware human input devices.

>However it does have some serious industrial design issues.

He's not an industrial designer, he's a product designer.

>Less obvious is the lack of a keyboard causing you to have to resort to soft keyboard.

Resort to a soft keyboard... any number of hard Bluetooth keyboards from the tiny to the full size, so you can choose one that suits you.

You might even wish to support the young lad who used an Arduino to make a 'chorded typing' key case for phones.

>The most obvious is that the display glass extends over the whole surface of the device. That makes it very likely to break when it falls down

This is true of many touch-screen phones. Again, it credits the user with enough wit to customise it to their specific situation.

3
3
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: So should we have good design or not?

er... Jony Ive uses many things other than computers, so therefore we can assume he uses many things that aren't made by Apple. Toothbrushes, cars, shoes, ovens, pencils, knives, whatever.

Shit, when he started at Apple, he didn't even use an Apple-branded computer for his design work because that kind of CAD software wasn't available for Mac OS (it may well have been still on the mainframe).

I don't own any Apple kit, and I'm still offended by bad design - in hardware or in software. Sometimes when using using a product you just get the sense that the designer doesn't use this thing themselves - because if they did, they wouldn't have made it so annoying to use.

Bad design is the standard British light switch - a 100mm x 100mm square of plastic, and the only useful bit is 12mm x 25mm, of which only a 12mm x 10mm will actually do anything and even then it has sharp uncomfortable edges and requires some force to actuate. The French have switches where the entire 100mm x 100mm surface is a switch, so the lights can be turned on with your elbow as you enter a room whilst carrying a tea tray.

2
6
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Those "6 months" are your advantage to make money, eejit.

>Yeah, and they [phones] were far more usable back then, with the stylus, than they are now.

Comparing multiple fingers to a single stylus is akin to comparing oranges to a single banana. The stylus gives you more point accuracy and perhaps pressure readings, but the use of multiple fingers gives modifiers. Horses for courses: a drawing app will be better with a stylus, whereas an app that simulates an audio mixer may work better with fingers. Sometimes you use a mouse, sometimes you use a joystick.

It is clear to anyone with a stopwatch that the act of removing a stylus from a phone (or from your pocket, or from behind your ear) incurs a time penalty... looking for the damned thing when you've dropped it even more so. In product design, this is known as an 'offline' issue - an aspect of a product's design that affects the user when they are not actively using it.

Now, some older phones are more efficient for some tasks - one could literally navigate an old Nokia blindfold, because the menus were numbered, so [Menu] [6] [2]* would bring up the voice recorder before you'd brought the phone to your lips.

* These are made up numbers, so don't blame me if you accidentally set your old Nokia to Japanese.

7
0

I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Still waiting

I've often thought about that - my main hypothesis at the moment is that women's sexuality is considered less threatening than men's:

-The Diet Coke Man is a strong lad, and could fight the women off if he wanted to. He isn't going to be fearful. (men are generally stronger than women).

-However, I doubt he wants to. (evolutionary, the cost to a bloke is half an hour of his time, the cost to a women could be pregnancy and years of raising a child - so she's likely to be fussy about where half the kid's DNA comes from).

-The, um, mechanics of the, erm, deed, are such that it is difficult for women to take advantage of an unwilling partner.

- He might get swooned at a couple of times a week. Many women receive unwelcome comments every five minutes if they walk down a busy street.

2
2
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: He's in good company...

Wasn't it Richard Feynman who cheerfully admitted to attending strip clubs?

7
0

SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: I did this last year with Scan / 3XS

There are a few definitions of 'Workstation'. In CAD, for example, it would mean that the exact-same system had been tested by the vendors of your CAD software, and would likely mean a 'Pro' graphics card (even if it was the same silicon as a much cheaper gaming card, its drivers would be different - but I believe the silicon is a bit different these days). Mission-critical simulations would require ECC RAM and a compatible CPU, too.

Most of the time consumer parts (GeForce or Radeon instead of Quadro or FirePro, i7 instead of Xeon) will work well enough, but there is a business case for spending more to make sure problems don't arise at the worst possible moment.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: I did this last year with Scan / 3XS

The article asked us commentards for ideas for a possible podcastabout system building. The discussion above between CADmonkey and others suggests that the Reg could have an article/thread about the pros and cons of buying a system versus 'rolling your own'.

I haven't used Scan myself, but I remember that they used to advertise heavily in the MCad magazine (dead tree).

The last time I helped buy all the components for a 'roll your own' system, we took ideas (and bought some parts from) QuietPC.com. Again, I can't vouch for their systems, but I have no reason to believe that they are not competent. Their systems are guaranteed.

The machine was 100% silent. Lovely. SSDs mean no disk noise. An i7 3770 S has a lower TDP than the K variant that overclockers like (and well within the 95W rating of the NoFan CR-95C fanless cooler we used - it's heavy and pricey). As it was a machine for audio and music, the Intel HD Graphics 4000 was more than good enough for purpose - so no discrete GPU to cool.

Here's the thing - the researching, choosing, ordering and building the components took some time, as did seeking out and installing the latest drivers and a little bit of troubleshooting. There is a fair chance that QuietPC's (or whoever's) complete system markup is good value compared to your time. (Though I enjoyed the project, working with my friend).

0
0

Hey, Apple! We can land a probe on a comet, but we can't have a 12.9in iPad 'until mid-2015'?

Dave 126
Silver badge

>So maybe the fruity types are working night and day to get it to run on ARM architecture, enabling a hybrid iOSX.

It's been done already in its Darwin form: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02/07/mac_osx_on_arm/

If Apple were to try an OSX tablet, it would be for a reason - perhaps by focusing on the productivity software that might benefit from a touch / stylus interface. This might include Apple's own music and video productivity suites, or 3rd-party software such as Photoshop.

>That strategy worked out beautifully for Microsoft.

It could be said that the iPad itself was treading where MS had been before (WinXP Tablet Edition) - suggesting that the devil is in the implementation. Apple haven't made any radical changes to OSX ( a la Windows 'Metro', or MS's war on menus) but instead they have gently introduced some iOS features such as 'pinch to zoom'.

1
0

The last PC replacement cycle is about to start turning

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Advertorial

>If it's more powerful than a three year old MacBook then why does it run a cut down phone OS instead of OSX?

The iPhone is powerful enough to run OSX, but it wouldn't be an optimal experience for the user. The underlying OS would work, but the UI wouldn't. A good number of Android phones are powerful enough to run OSX, too.

Apple will have their own business reasons for not making an OSX tablet or whatever, but I would be surprised if they haven't compiled OSX for ARM as an experiment- as they always did for OSX on x86 before they left PowerPC.

0
1
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: This article is more interesting for what it tells you about...

> they are not mainstream beause Android is useful as a touch UI. iOS is useful as a touch UI. they don't translate back well, and vice versa for traditional OSs.

Absolutely. Wasn't there a once a Windows laptop that could switch to Android (for quickly checking one's email inbox without draining the battery)? I seem to recall the software attempted to make it easier to swap documents between the two OSs. Or maybe I ate too much cheese before bedtime.

Apple's approach is to keep one UI per device, and to use iCloud and 'Continuity' to allow a person to start writing an email on an iPhone, and finish it on their Mac - without digging into the 'drafts' folder.

The idea in the article - use an Apple TV to let an iPhone ape a Mac - is amusing because the first AppleTVs could be made to run OSX, essentially making them low-powered MacMinis. http://www.appletvhacks.net/2007/04/01/mac-os-x-running-on-apple-tv/#.VGNBdvmsXQo

With things like Intel's NUC form factor, we essentially have headless laptops that could be slung in a bag and plumbed-up to the nearest TV.

Another thing that tickles me is that nobody in this thread has cited the 'netbook' formfactor - it's as if they never existed! You wouldn't want to write a novel on one, or even browse the web for long, but you could if you had to - for a device that would fit in a big jacket pocket. Tablets and 'ultrabooks' largely stole their lunch, but they are handy for connecting external peripheral devices and cheaper than 'ultrabooks'.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: I love these articles

>Perfect reply to this load of dingo kidneys.

It is not a bad reply, but perfect? Personally, I feel that the discussion below that this article has prompted is useful, not least because we have different understandings of what 'tablet' and 'laptop' entail.

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Fascinatingly myopic

>I still consider them as PCs though.

I'm sure you're not wrong localzuk.

My point is just that some define a PC by its OS, some by its form factor, some by its architecture. All valid.

Ultimately, banks and call centres care about the ergonomic working position of their workers for fear of lawsuits. They are serious (or at least serious enough to tick the check boxes on a form to cover their asses) about chairs, desk heights, monitor heights and glasses for those staff who need them - it is just cheaper to look after staff in this way than it is to compensate them for RSI.

How that is achieved - local ARM or x86, thin client, full office suite, web form or proprietary software, whatever- doesn't really matter. The example given in the article - a phone connected to a projector - is no different in concept to phone connected to a VDU and a keyboard. A phone without a screen is just a little ARM box. A monitor with a computer built-in is an 'All-in-one'. A tablet on a stand is just an ARM-based 'All-in'one' PC with a funny OS. A 'desktop' is just a VDU, a box and a cable! However, people are just as valid if they choose their definitions based on pragmatic considerations such as: Does it run this application? Can I connect that device to it?

The definitions are a little fuzzy, is all.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: This article is more interesting for what it tells you about...

>So you are saying that a tablet would be more suitable if a few more alterations were made to it to make it more inline with a traditional OS?

Kind of. What I was getting at is that the words we are using are poorly defined, and might lead us to argue when really we are in broad agreement. There is also a difference between the concept and the current executions.

For example, it is only convention that makes us assume a 'tablet' is ARM-based running a touch UI on top of a OS that hasn't been designed around local storage and peripheral devices. However, there have been x86 XP tablets around for years, and there are ARM / x86-based laptops that don't really do local storage (Chromebooks). I have even seen x86 laptops running a Linux distro specifically to connect to a VPN and prevent local storage (for security reasons).

A keyboard and a tablet (placed at the correct height) is, from an ergonomic typing perspective, closer to a desktop than a laptop. However, this solution is sub-optimal when it comes to transporting it (it takes a little longer to stow away than just closing the lid and picking it up).

Maybe one solution is to have ARM tablets that can act as monitors for grunty x86 CPUs housed in keyboards (return of the Amiga/Spectrum Atari ST form factor!). Who knows?

Talking about the death of the PC is a bit silly - things tend to evolve rather than go extinct - but it is has made us think!

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Desktop uses?

>Photo editing

With respect, a tablet with proper software and enough grunt could be just as good at photo-editing as a laptop, if not better. See Cintiq Hybrid, or Modbook

The issue is with the current crop of software, not the hardware form-factor itself.

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Fascinatingly myopic

>I hate to break it to you, but your local bank won't be doing all its work on tablets any time soon. They might augment certain roles with them, but the bulk will still be a traditional PC or similar. The local call centre? That'll continue to use something PC-like for a while yet.

It looks like you have just identified two environments where thin clients would work rather well. I've worked in a call centre, and the rows of XP-based Dells were doing not much more than running legacy I.E forms. There was certainly nothing they did that that a low-powered ARM device couldn't handle. Keyboard plus mouse plus monitor plus modest processor is all that's needed.

Banks similarly, especially when you consider their data-protection obligations.

2
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: This article is more interesting for what it tells you about...

>"I *could* use a bluetooth keyboard and a tablet for all my ssh and text writing needs. I probably will if there is an emergency and I have that handy. I won't, because a laptop is so much better for doing that when I am about. I am writing this on a laptop keyboard because I can type, and hopefully proof-read, this so much easier than a tablet. If I could type as well on a tablet, that would be *in-spite* of being on a tablet. Not because it is the best tool for the job."

There is no inherent reason why a tablet plus keyboard couldn't be a better solution than a laptop for your use case. At the moment, a tablet isn't suitable for you because of the touch-centric nature of its UI and applications. If these were fixed, than a tablet plus keyboard would offer you:

- Your choice of keyboard... chiclet, mechanical, number keypad, whatever you want

- Screen placed independently of the keyboard for a better typing position. (Current laptops are already an ergonomic compromise compared to desktops)

-Being able to proof-read away from your desk. A lot of us currently don't proof read on a monitor, but print out hardcopy and grab a coffee. A tablet or e-reader could emulate a 'red crayon'.

I'm not for a moment saying you ditch your laptop now, but only that some things aren't written in stone.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Followed by....

> A similar-spec desktop costs less than a notebook, and much faster desktops are available if the goal is raw processing power.

Here's the thing: You are unlikely to be using all that extra processing power all the time.

If you want more power to save time, you either build a CPU/GPU-cluster (again, to get value for money you want to be running it all the time) or you take advantage of a cluster that someone else has already built - i.e you rent processing power from the cloud.

0
2
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: The laptop and desktop are dead.

>I like the term 'workstation' as it defines where these devices still provide for a strong need - work (ie, content creation)

Bus stations are where buses stop.

Train stations are where trains stop.

On my desk I have a workstation...

9
3
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

>Hardcore gamers. (There strife for power is never ending)

>CadCam (was mentioned the article)

>Video Editing ( was mentioned the article)

I'd be interested to see some rough breakdown of how desktops are used... my guess is that most of them are fairly low end for general office tasks, followed by enthusiast gaming machines, followed by intensive productivity workstations (CAD, video-editing).

One trend worth noting is that for the last few years, new Intel CPUs have been geared towards energy efficiency instead of raw grunt - they are already fast enough for most tasks.

Gamers do push the limits of GPUs, but some may trade that against size and noise to run a 1080 TV in their front room (SteamBox). The other drivers here are ultra HD displays, multiple monitors and maybe the Occulus Rift... Most modern games don't benefit from any CPU faster than an i5.

CAD can be run on a laptop, and the big number-crunching - rendering and simulation - can be farmed out to an array of GPUs or even the cloud. Hell, some CAD can be used over the cloud - there are some advantages (pay per use, easier security administration, cheaper local machine, team collaboration tools).

0
0

Texas boffins put radio waves in a spin

Dave 126
Silver badge

At this time in the morning...

... I might need a diagram or two:

The university explains that circulators work by breaking the symmetry in a wave transmission between two points.

Cheers!

5
0

Samsung slams door on OLED TVs, makes QUANTUM dot LEAP

Dave 126
Silver badge

For sure, its very hard to get excited by terms like "QD backlit LCDs", but they are only marketing shorthand for tangible benefits that can be expressed in numbers, such as:

Power efficiency

Price

Brightness

Contrast ratio

Dark blacks

Viewing angle

Colour accuracy

Refresh rate

Input lag

Resolution

I'd be interested in the technologies that can provide a huge dynamic range in the displayed brightness - but to get the benefit then the content would have to be shot, processed and delivered on HDR kit.

For now, just reflect on how cheap room-filling televisions are these days. The communal experience is still valid, be it for a good movie, co-op video games or a thought - and discussion-provoking - documentary.

4
0

Modern Panic V: A world of H.R. Giger, spunking unicorns and deeply unsettling puppets

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Not quite wrong

>I'll throw my hat in the ring of What? What is wrong with the article?

I believe Destroy All Monsters was making a point about the Giger sculptures being based on his work for Scott's 1979 film Alien, and not Scott's 2012 film Prometheus. The newer film does contain 'Space Jockeys', and alien spacecraft of the same design, but the jockeys aren't in the seat as shown, and the alien craft isn't 'Derelict'. Whilst Alien is generally considered to be a very good film, Prometheus was not liked by everybody - to put it kindly. Indeed, some fans of the 1979 film consider Prometheus to be dreadful.

Giger had been working on an adaptation of Herbert's 'Dune' before 'Alien', as had Chris Foss (famous for the airbrushed cover art of many an Asimov paperback, and for the black and white illustrations to The Joy of Sex) and Dan O'Bannon. After that project collapsed, the three of them worked on Alien.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#Dune_and_Tusk_.281975.E2.80.931980.29

> Obviously I'm not a Giger habitual fan

Friendly note - if you research him further, the images may be NSFW.

0
0

Apple strap-on wristjob: You WON'T be able to spend more than $5,000!

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Apple Watch Sport Edition

Apparently it's water resistant, not waterproof, so contact with water is fine, but it doesn't like any head of pressure (from either being submerged or subjected to a jet of water as in a shower).

http://www.cultofmac.com/295055/apple-watch-water-resistant-waterproof/#RRSMQfT6gmwGV83O.99

I'm not in the Apple eco-system, but if I was I would wait for MK II. Personally, I wouldn't require a connected watch to do as much as the iWatch (an 'iWatch Nano' would be a better fit), but for the point it occupies in the features/size/battery space, it largely appears well designed, software- and hardware-wise.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Who wears a watch these days?

>Who wears a watch these days?

Anyone who doesn't spend their days in rooms with with clocks, evidently. I thought you were into horseriding, or is that just Mrs jake?

2
1

It's the WORST game ever, just pulled from a desert DUMP ... now ET can be yours for $500

Dave 126
Silver badge

The same site as AC has linked to also has fixes for E.T, if you want to roll up your sleeves and play with a HEX editor:

http://www.neocomputer.org/projects/et/

1
0

Google Glassholes haven't achieved 'social acceptance' - report

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: I'd get some for the workshop.

Continued:

- it highlights the location, Terminator-style, of that 6mm Allen key that is hiding amongst other tools.

- It lets me order parts there and then, before I forget.

-It 'draws' lines and points on surfaces - centre of face, midpoint between edges etc - for cutting and drilling.

- It flashes when someone enters the room - often u'd can't be heard over the sound of machinery.

4
0