4046 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
Re: "stereoscopic sound"?
>I think you mean stereophonic sound, unless you're one of those rare people who say they can see sounds..
"Son, what you've got to understand is that in the seventies we took a lot of drugs..."
(to paraphrase and re-purpose a Gary Larson caption)
Re: Introducing a new definition of "a few"
>Also the iPod wasn't originally flash - it had a 2.5" HDD in it until (I think) the iPod Mini in 2004.
The iPod had a little 1.8" Toshiba disk in it, the same as the iRviver H1xx and H3xx machines, as well as some of the Creatice players, amongst others. Then mysteriously, you couldn't lay your hand on a spare drive for love nor money... and everyone but Apple seemed to move exclusively to solid-state. These days, portable HDD-based players are thin on the ground... there's the iPod Classic, Cowon and Archos, but I can't think of many others. To be honest though, a little Sansa Clip+ with a few microSD cards quickly exceeds all but the biggest music collections.
Re: Introducing a new definition of "a few"
Yeah, that jumped out at me as being a very strange paragraph... The cassette Walkman was king for years, then a very few people bought DAT and DCC, before the CD Walkman became very widespread (though wasn't as portable as its cassette brethren). The MD player started to gain a bit of momentum before it was killed by flash players (more portable) and HDD-based players (more capacious).
I miss my iRiver H320, stolen from my car, one of the few HDD machines that had mic and line-in for recording WAV and MP3, analogue and digital recording was a feature most MD devices had.
I tried an EEE PC with its stock Linux distro on it... it wasn't great.
Netbooks tended to be second machines, when the user's primary machine most likely ran Windows- so no matter how easy the Linux distros on them were to use, the user would be learning their way around a new-to-them OS (and associated applications) for a machine they only used occasionally. Average Joes found it easier if their netbook just behaved as a 'mini me' to their primary machine. Simple.
The Linux distro that came on EEE PCs seemed pretty limited and designed to point the novice user at a web browser. Many of the concepts required to use Linux (package managers, mounting disks, SUDO) are logical and make a lot of sense- but they still do require a few sessions to get used to if you are a newbie, as does knowing which GNU program is the equivalent of one you are used to using on Windows.
Lack of storage...
There was a bloke that made a lot of money by playing piano at posh parties and corporate events... his 'unique selling point'? Any tune that a guest named, he could play. This ability allowed him to charge top rates for his services, even though most of the time he would only be asked to play one of a few dozen famous songs.
I'm beginning to have similar feelings bout the storage on my laptop, filled up with old projects, and films that I've already seen. The occasions that I'm away from a fast enough data connection are becoming shorter and less frequent. Time for a spring clean and tidy, methinks!
That's not to say that the Chromebook is for me... convenience isn't the only concern; being dependant upon being able to find a working data connection isn't a good idea, and there are security concerns too.... but then I have mates who are issued Linux laptops purely for remotely and securely logging into their companies' systems.
Re: Where do I get one?
Try this, a review of a low-cost Quadropter (about $40 USD, available in the UK too), followed by a discussion thread. Its rivals are mentioned in the thread. It seems well suited for beginners.
I have a conventional Syma helicopter, S105G (more stable than it is agile, so suitable for people learning in normal sized rooms), and I can't believe the number of times it has bounced of walls and ceilings with no real damage... since it was around £20 all-in, I was prepared to be generous. The battery has required soldering back onto the PCB- not hard- after my mate swatted it from the air cos we were buzzing him with it.
Does anyone know...
How tricky it would be for flavours of Linux (and ChromeOS, for that matter) to run Android apps?
Re: Why a DVD?
CDs are about £0.10p each; I haven't seen coasters that cheap.
Re: It's the hydrogen bomb part
If you've already dropped your enemies in a volcano, why waste a nuclear bomb?
L Ron Hubbard: It say a lot about a man when he is criticised by both Aleister Crowley and Isaac Asimov.
>No body wants to reach across a working keyboard and track pad like a Zombie to wipe mucky fingers on a screen. Ever!
I think the idea is that you write your novel on the machine when it looks like a laptop, then you proofread it (or catch up on your favourite TV show) sat on a comfy chair when it is in tablet mode.
Personally, I'm more connived by the idea of a laptop and tablet working together seamlessly, with the tablet acting as second display and input device.
Re: New blow for Microsoft Surface?
>People think of Windows as something that ... ... runs boring spreadsheets (the work association).
And games. Games are boring, right? and Photoshop, video editing, CAD, music production... really boring software.
If all you do with a computer is to use a browser to post tedious comments on The Register, it doesn't matter a damn what OS you use.
Re: Different kinds of products
If you just use Ninite to install the essentials on your new Win 7 machine (Codec packs, several browsers, Foxit reader, WMP Classic, whatever you poison is) you'll notice that Classic Startmenu is there- that's right: adding a start menu to Win 8 literally takes one extra tick-box.
Similarly, Win 8 can be made to skip the 'Metro' interface entirely. I imagine that most people here do some faffing around with an OS after installing it, so why all the fuss about a start menu?
Re: Social? .... Where's the SPLIT-SCREEN gameplay?!
The recurrence of '3' in your titles suggests that developer's were a bit slow in appreciating the demand for split-screen games.
Re: Back on the treadmill again...
There there, it's okay, I've recently found I suck at Playstation games these days too.
Re: Obsolete tech
The games I enjoy the most are split screen, on a TV, sat on a sofa with mates... far more important to me than the better graphics on a PC. I'm not knocking PC gamers, but those who say 'my pc can do this...' are missing the point of what console gaming is about. Anyway, a PC gamer who is into WOW and uses fancy keyboard might be a different animal to the PC gamer who has a steering wheel, pedals and three monitors for a quick half-hour racing session.
Re: And of course
Title exclusives on the PS3 seemed conspicuous by their absence. A few tempting games did emerge (WipEout HD, Flower, some of the stranger Japanese titles) but nothing major at launch. On the previous gen, we'd been used to the PlayStation getting first dibs at Grand Theft Auto, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater.
When the PS3 came out, many people didn't yet have the HD TVs required to take advantage of BluRay, either.
Re: AC. Sony and Valve should Merge?
If someone wanted the 'it just works out of the box' approach for games, they'd just get a console. Macs offered neither the constant upgrade path of PCs, nor the 'plug and play' big screen experience of consoles.
I do remember the Pippin, but then I remember the Phillips CDi, the 3DO and the Windows/Sega Terradrive.
Re: Well hello there...
>Good luck with that. PC games such as the Civilization series would be a nightmare minus mouse and keyboard (shortcuts).
The PS4's Dualshock controller has a touchpad on it.
Re: "So ready ..... to run PS4 VM on my laptop."
What currency are your figures in? It doesn't look like $(USD)
Re: Proof of the pudding
>Do you work for Sony and you need to sell c*ap at any cost ?
Sod off Joerg.
Re: It's such a shame it's x86
Well, the other partners in the Cell gave up on it a while back... better to appease developers, I guess.
'Destiny', though it won't be a PS4 exclusive. With the next gen consoles being built upon PC lines, I expect platform exclusives to be rarer- though if you have a fetish for Japanese titles then the PS4 will be the one to go for.
Re: Pics of peripherals
Going by Sony's past PS design efforts, I'm not too worried that the PS4 will be a carbuncle in the living room.
Curiously, the original Playstation was in part a homage to Frog Design's work on the Apple Macintosh, according to the head of the Sony Design Centre. Other geeky design details included using a more lavender shade of beige, so that UV ageing wouldn't be too yellow, and using a more expensive three-part injection mould for the case, with its cooling vents.
Proof of the pudding
There is zero need to try to extrapolate its performance from its specs if you can just watch a video of what it can output. The demonstrations looked very impressive.
Judge for yourself.
Re: Well hello there...
That point was addressed directly in the presentation, a soundbite along the lines of: "designed by developers for developers"
Re: Sony have dropped the ball
The last two generations of Playstation haven't been an embarrassment to the living room in terms of their looks, so I don't need to see a mock-up of the hardware to be reassured.
The EyePad makes sense now
One bit of new during the announcement made sense of that Move-enabled tablet the Reg featured a few days back: 'Digital Clay'. During the PS4 presentation, the its 'Move' controller was used to 'sculpt' 3D models. Combined with Sony's 'EyePad' ( http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02/19/sony_patents_eyepad/ ) there is the makings of a capable content creation system. The obvious applications are for creating levels and avatars, but there are applications beyond gaming. For certain scales of models (human-sized, creatures, vehicles), using a TV with a 3D cursor and tablet could be very usable indeed.
The general consensus about the PS4's graphical prowess is that the games almost look like films, except that characters still move like video games (an issue with the game engines used, I assume)... The rendering of human heads looks very impressive, as did a Havok physics scene with a million objects.
And it turns out that Bungie's next game, 'Destiny', is everything I hoped it would be - a blend of Elite, Halo, Planetside, Cowboy Bebop, Iain M. Banks, Borderlands and Star Wars Galaxies. Being produced for current and next gen consoles, with intention of a PC version.
Re: I thought this kind of thing had been explained as a 'wick effect'?
Yep, the 'inside out candle' theory. Different materials react differently to temperatures and time- in a crematorium, (high temperature, short duration) steel balls are used to crush the bones, whereas lower temperatures sustained for a longer period can reduce bones to ash.
Re: I know someone who's like that.
I spied that quadropter in Maplins yesterday, couldn't be arsed to look it up on my phone... I don't think they wanted as much £50 for it, though most of their stuff is overpriced. I'm still getting value out of a £20 Syma S105G helicopter. A fantastic toy, very stable and suitable for beginners, and I haven't managed to break it yet.
Re: My Evaluation of J. White's Comments.
He's just putting out the same sentiments as Kurt Vonnegut Jr: "The meaning of life is to fart about, and don't let anyone tell you any different"
Re: He's quite right
Cycling is the same- components wear out, and are cheaper online... but the bike shop will give you advice, lend you a tool, let you rummage through the bucket of old bits, meet other people, build you a wheel to spec... and the part is available that day. Well worth paying a few quid extra.
* * *
I came away from both Maplins and PC World yesterday, convinced that they deserve to fail. Maplin only sell the Raspberry Pi as part of a £75 package (with mouse, keyboard, power supply, cables and SD card... hardly £50 worth)... without fail, everything in there is overpriced by about 100%. PC World have an entire aisle filled with mice, but half of them are damned near identical, the rest have a touch pad instead of a scroll wheel; and the only decent Logitech rodents (with extra buttons and 'hyperscrolling') were the expensive ones that work on glass- a feature I don't need. Sod 'em.
>They should use the Microwriter chorded keyboard.
This lad has already made a prototype chorded typing case for a mobile phone. Well done him!
Re: Computer insecurity ...
>If the US security services hadn't enthused the 'computer' makers to dilute security on the desktop, then you wouldn't be facing the current security debacle ...
When I as school in the nineties, we were shown videos about Phil Zimmerman and his PGP... all the arguments were in terms of private individuals and the US Government not liking encryption. I guess that at the time, far less data was kept online, the Cold War was over, music was good, and obviously nobody was worrying about the threat of foreign states stealing sensitive data.
Re: Gates has just OSBORNED the Win 8 phone
>The guy isn't fit to wipe the backside of the tens of thousands of engineers he has screwed over.
Weren't Nokia's assorted tribes of software engineers (Symbian and various Linux flavours) inside doing a fairly good job battling each other?
Re: A great mind at work..... NOT!
>However, the Windows 7 strategy had the additional disadvantage that it's UI was rejected by the market in the first place.
Fall guy OS
That was my take on it. MS probably figured a good number of people and business have only settled into Windows 7 in the last couple of years, and so were never going to be in the market for windows 8. Therefore, they chose to be a little bit experimental, and then sell Windows 9 as "Hey, it's not Windows 8".
Most of the annoyances with Windows 8 are in the UI and are easily fixed with a bit of 3rd party software - one to skip past 'Metro' to the desktop, another to restore the start menu, plus some other details. Hardly a massive extra effort, given that most of us install software and tweak settings on a fresh Windows install anyway.
Re: Gates quote - XBox is a success myth
>Xbox360 will never make a dime of profit for Microsoft. The development costs and warranty repair costs will always outweigh any profit from the hardware and game licensing.
You forgot Xbox Live Gold subscriptions. Don't know if it changes your assertion, because you didn't show your working,
Coherent use of graphical user interface elements - fail
Eadon, please stop abusing the "May contain highly technical content requiring degree-level education or above" icon for posts. Your posts don't.
Re: Holodecks aren't just about processing power
> Or make it possible for two people in the same room to travel at the same time to opposite parts of the world?
You just put each person in their own holodeck- each holodeck then presents a simulation of the other users to its own occupant. Easy.
Re: Multiple accounts?
It would seem that you options are setting up a multiple user profiles (not great for working between accounts) or launching incognito windows to access the web services of your other accounts (no saving passwords or history).
Re: Netbook market
>Remember netbooks, MS killed that market
Eh? Okay... are you sure it wasn't the originally low specs and shoddy Linux distro on the first EEE PCs that put people off? The netbook was small and cheap, suitable for quickly checking emails and browsing the web if you could find a Wi-fi hotspot. Since then, smartphones can do the same but in more places, due to a 3G data connection, and tablets can do the same but do it better- because the screens can be rotated through 90º and often boast better resolutions. I used a netbook for as a data logger for a temperature probe, but guess what OS the supplied drivers and software were for? Oh yeah, that's right...
True, MS would rather sell you a more expensive version (as would Intel and their chips), but first they get flack for selling XP at low cost to netbook OEMs, then they get flack for not offering a cheap 'Starter Edition' of Win 8....
> I just wish this hardware came with Linux
Why? Just download it and install it yourself- if it did come with Linux, the chances are it wouldn't be the flavour you want anyway. Google commissioned and marketed these machines for their own reasons- there is nothing to stop penguins doing the same for their reasons, through Kickstarter perhaps. If you believe the demand is there, why don't you do it?
Re: To sum up the benefits: They are cheap
>Samsung must have been working really hard to build a ARM based unit that has less duration then their Atom-powered ATIV500
The power consumption advantages of ARM over x86 are most evident when the system is sat doing nothing - so is suitable for smartphones. When the CPU actually has a job to, Intel's new Atoms have some tricks up their sleeve- not least a more advanced fab process and a more efficient memory controller. Note that the test in this article was looping a 720p video. The battery benchmarks for using it as a word processor (i.e write something, stare into space for ten minutes, write a few more lines, get bored, check emails, wander off for a coffee) might give different results.
Actually having the same system on both ARM and x86 allows power consumption per task comparisons, something that has been done before between Win RT machines on ARM and x86
Re: Why not a tablet?
>If the chrome books are only good for web browsing and light media consumption then I don't see the point of them compared to a tablet. The Nexus 7 and 10 being very good tablets.
In a word- a keyboard. I didn't read anything that said they weren't good for just entering some text, be it an email or a novel. You don't always need fancy formatting and DTP tools.
Re: Does the patent system even work nowadays?
No, you don't even bother. I was involved in developing a patented product, and the services of a professional patent lawyer were engaged: We applied for patents in Europe, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the United States, but didn't bother with Brazil, China, India, Africa or Russia, IIRC. The Chinese can choose to make it, but they can't sell it here.
Re: Sympathy for him but
Batteries aren't particularly nice things to dispose of, so methods of storing energy like clockwork or a heavy bag of sand hung from the ceiling shouldn't be discounted.
>It's easy to forget that through history, not all inventions make millions for the inventor
Like Charles Goodyear who invented the process of rubber vulcanisation, esssential for pneumatic tyres, before the motror car was developed.
Goodyear once wrote: "I am not disposed to complain that I have planted and others have gathered the fruits. A man has cause for regret only when he sows and no one reaps."
Re: I only hope...
It won't replace the Dualshock- is a venerable design indeed. I had a book, 'Digital Dreams: The Work of the Sony Design Studio' that showed dozens of foam mock-ups of conceptual PS controllers, of which the Dualshock is a variation. The design that they eventually used was very similar to one of the first they created.
Since the Bluetooth Dualshock can be persuaded to work with Android or Windows with software (ironically, the XBOX wireless controller requires a proprietry dongle for PCs) Sony should aim it (or a more compact design, as SteelSeries have) at the mobile gaming crowd rather than promote its Playstation-branded phones.
Re: It's passing off, obviously, but
Remember, a patent application is no sure indication of future products. Developing products requires some experimentation, implying you create some concepts that probably won't work out- but still, there is no harm in applying for a patent on these 'also ran' concepts. The cost of making the application is small enough that it is worth hedging your bets,
For sure, I haven't been persuaded to get a Move, and am far from convinced how well integrating it into this tablet will work. I was just observing that whilst a tablet might not be great as a games controller (Tekken: No. Real Time Strategy games: Maybe), it makes a reasonable companion to a TV-connected media player.
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