* Posts by Ben Hanson 1

20 posts • joined 18 Aug 2010

Microsoft, Nokia and the sound of colliding garbage trucks

Ben Hanson 1

Re: Left Behind

"I really wish techies would grow up, step outside their own little world, and see things as the general public does. This isn't aimed particularly at the comment I'm replying to; this is merely one example of this exasperating blindness."

The thing is, you're being exactly that kind of arrogant prick yourself, except instead of a bearded heavy metal fan in combat boots, you're couching yourself in the "look at me, I understand business" bullshit.

"The thing that is killing the PC bottom line is nothing to do with Windows 8 (which I use via Boot Camp and prefer to OSX), it is the alternative form factors of tablet/phone and their convenience."

Modernisation is hurting both Nokia and Microsoft. That doesn't mean they aren't both hurting themselves into the bargain. Many companies are run by people that simply don't understand their customers. Powerful people *love* to think that everyone else is a total moron. The world just doesn't work that way.

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Pure boffinry: We peek inside Nokia's miracle cameraphone

Ben Hanson 1

Re: or

"just buy an actual camera for heaven's sake."

Well if you're going to follow that line of reasoning, why not prefer a typewriter over a computer? Some of use are still impressed by ambitious engineering you know! It seems that the tech world is *drowning* in cynicism these days.

Of course I do have one fly to insert into the ointment mind you. Meego version with real keyboard please!

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Nokia tears wrapper off Lumia 1020 monster imaging mobe

Ben Hanson 1

There are several use cases here.

- Serious photographers.

- Users who would like a better camera phone, but don't expect DSLR quality.

- Casual users who take snapshots with their phones.

- People who want to be able to swap batteries and memory cards for whatever reason.

After debating with myself how much of a killer feature a better camera in a phone was, I decided to buy a Nokia 808. All I can say is don't knock it until you've tried it. It's never going to replace a DSLR, but then that really isn't the point. At a minimum, it blows must (all?) of the other camera phones away. That is the reality. At best, yes, maybe it does start to encroach on proper camera territory, but lacking an optical zoom is always going to be a limitation there regardless.

Personally I like the fact that the 808 has the ability to swap in different memory cards (although the mechanism is fragile enough you wouldn't want to do it regularly) and a replaceable battery is also a clear win. I'm not remotely interested in running Windows on my phone. It is a real shame they have binned Meego.

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Bjarne Again: Hallelujah for C++

Ben Hanson 1

Re: @Tom 7 (Any programming language is a tool)

"I suspect that the C++ rah-rah team on here has never actually used another language. It's garbage."

Don't be daft. Anyone old enough to remember the introduction of C++ has highly likely coded in both assembler and C. I really couldn't speak for the younger generation, but don't most of them code in C# or Python anyway?

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Ben Hanson 1

Re: C++

Bjarne Stroustrup: "There are only two kinds of languages: the ones people complain about and the ones nobody uses."

One day there will be a worthy successor to C++. We would have one already if this industry wasn't so keen on naval gazing. It will not include garbage collection (gosh, imagine that!)

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That Firefox OS mobe: The sorta phone left behind after a mugging

Ben Hanson 1
Linux

It seems to me that there is no doubt that there is a market for a techie phone. Someone can surely step in and make that market work for them. I suspect that it is merely a question of time before one of the Linux phone OS' is successful on its own terms.

In this context banging on about 'Apps' seems pointless. The mass market is pretty much sewn up - we get it! No, a fork of Android will not do the job because no-one in their right mind wants to run Java on a mobile phone.

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Open source port-a-thon brings Ubuntu to more phones, tablets

Ben Hanson 1

Re: Ha ha ha. Ho ho ho.

Some very funny points there! I particularly like the points about constantly rewriting apps in the latest fashionable language.

I'll certainly keep an eye on the Ubuntu OS though as my ideal phone would have a real keyboard (I currently have an Nokia E7-00), access to a shell and gcc and hopefully access to Nokia Maps (as they are opening it up for other vendors, maybe this isn't the pipe dream it once would have been). Of course if Nokia see sense and get back to Meego, I will look at that. Then there is Samsung and Tizen.

Whoever does this right will definitely have some kind of market. I'm not sure how big that market is, but quite possibly quite a bit bigger than a lot of people think. I like the Ubuntu feature where you can plug in a big screen and have an instant PC. There must be loads of admins out there that would wet them selves over that feature...

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Microsoft dev tools to add Linux-style source code versioning

Ben Hanson 1

Re: TFS and VS

I use Visual Studio to develop my open source/cross platform library lexertl (http://www.benhanson.net/lexertl.html). I just test build with a GCC makefile on Ubuntu to make sure it builds OK there (and run a few simple tests). At work we develop a multi million line product using VC++. I couldn't comment about web apps.

Visual Studio still has the best debugging support in my experience. Having tried the latest version, Code::Blocks would be my choice of IDE on Linux. The worst thing about Visual Studio is the bloat. 2GB used with a project open, with no build taking place. Without a 64 bit OS it would be unusable, which is simply ridiculous.

The worst thing about VC++ is how far behind it is with C++11 support compared to GCC/Clang etc.

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Stroustrup on next-gen C++: I didn't want to let go of my baby

Ben Hanson 1

Re: Not understand the whole language...?

"Oh no. Heck no. Hell no. F*** no."

Mmm, yes. He's kind of being forced into that position though. He can hardly turn around and say "Yes C++ is big and complex and has warts - DEAL WITH IT!!!" can he? I actually bought his "Programming Principles and Practice Using C++" out of interest and it is actually pretty good. His time as a lecturer does seem to have improved his writing and he is definitely acutely aware now of the issues involved with teaching programming.

He is very keen to attract the crowd that would otherwise run straight off to Python or C# etc. That's why he's trying to keep it simple for newcomers. Besides, learning through hacking is no bad thing. The problem is if one never gets beyond that stage! :-)

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Ben Hanson 1

Re: C++ put me off programming

"Why are you not using assembler? Too lazy to learn the concepts, eh?"

Everyone should spend some time coding in assembler. Maybe then pointers wouldn't seem so 'complicated'. But no, I wouldn't advocate writing in it for your entire career! ;-)

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Ben Hanson 1

Re: C++ put me off programming

"The Raspberry Pi stored a timeval struct directly into a file and the PC was supposed to read it. Guess what, it didn't work, since my Pi has 32 bit integers for both values, while my PC had 64 bit values for both."

Are you really advocating passing binary files between different architectures? For a pet project? You imply this would work just fine with Pascal. Is that because no-one has bothered writing a 64 bit Pascal compiler, or that Pascal doesn't support 64 bit times?

What was your point again?

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Ex-Nokia staffers team up to revive MeeGo

Ben Hanson 1
Thumb Up

Hardware keyboard please (one like on the E7-00 would be fine - the N900 keyboard is too small), decent navigation, decent dictionaries (like the mobisystems ones - although the synthesised speech on the built in E7-00 dicitonary is cool), and finally, allow compilation using gcc 4.7 or above *on the device*.

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Two weeks 'til the internet disappears, for 58 Fortune 500 companies

Ben Hanson 1

Re: remind you of y2k bug lol

My first job out of University was in 1994. The geniuses there were still writing software using 2 digit years on the UI. The backend was a database using standard date fields. I was the only one to point this out to them and amazingly they agreed to fix it throughout their numerous products. After the jokes about service contracts had died down, naturally.

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Foundering Nokia pushes 10,000 bods, 3 veeps overboard

Ben Hanson 1

iPhone

Even my plumber has an iPhone now! "It's great, whenever a customer doesn't have their boiler manual, I just download it to my iPhone from my ftp server!" OK, how many plumbers have an ftp server, but still.

Nokia certainly had problems before they hooked up with Microsoft and may have ultimately gone down the drain anyway, *but* it is safe to say they have alienated their fan base by talking down Symbian and dumping Maemo/Meego. I won a N900 in a "Nokia raffle" and I think it's great. Unfortunately, the navigation is rubbish and now of course it will never be improved. In the end I bought a second hand E7-00 off Amazon to replace my E90. At least it has up to date navigation and a real keyboard.

When Symbian is finally killed off, I don't know what I'll get in the future. Everyone at work has Android phones of course.

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Google brings out new programming language

Ben Hanson 1

C++ is a big subject, but certainly the bigger picture is that is will eventually be replaced by something 'better'. Herb Sutter himself has mentioned that he sees a place for a language with the same semantics as C++ but with an easier to parse syntax. That is certainly an important part of the jigsaw as far as modernisation goes, but to still be hankering after "real OOP" completely misses the point and (trust me on this) is completely out of date.

As much as performance is the big selling point for C++ that is not the only advantage. Determinism in execution and the ability to mix (for example) OO (where appropriate) with generic programming are also just as important.

What C++ really needs is a decent module system. In extreme cases builds can actually go on for days! As nice as C++2011 is, I agree that it is a mere side show in the bigger scheme of things.

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Ben Hanson 1

The 1990s is a long time ago. Can we leave the OO rhetoric back there, where it belongs? It sounds like the last time you looked at C++ was about the same period, because *no-one* (interested in the state of the art) is discussing the finer points of object models these days. In case you hadn't noticed generic programming and meta programming is where the interest is now (amongst many other things, such as, oh, I don't know, parallelism..?)

OK, no-one likes sarky comments and the bashing of their favourite language, but as unsubtle as the comment was he actually has a point. Banging on about Smalltalk these days really does smack of academics who really should get out more as was implied.

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Everyone but Oracle demands Java independence

Ben Hanson 1
Flame

Welcome to 1990

Wow, when I started University in 1990 we were using DOS on green screen monitors and programming in Pascal! We also did 6809 assembly on dedicated consoles. When I learned Borland C++ (for Windows no less) in 1993 I don't remember any template support and there was certainly no STL. If you wanted string support it was char * all the way! C++ really was C beefed up with classes in those days...

So even in 1998 VC++ 5 had crap STL support and we had to wait for VC++6 (2000?) for anything like decent template support. Nowadays, VC++ 6 is seen like the albatross around a C++ programmers neck, much like IE6 is viewed by web developers. VC++ 2010 doesn't support anything like all of C++0x yet... and hey presto, that brings us up to date.

Welcome to 1990? Do me a favour...

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Google data center links shot down by 'bored' riflemen

Ben Hanson 1
Thumb Up

@b166er

Ray, is your guitar fixed yet?

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People have NO BLOODY IDEA about saving energy

Ben Hanson 1
Pint

Nice one Sarah!

Have a virtual beer or three on me! :-)

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Ben Hanson 1
Dead Vulture

Promoter of Ignorance

Consider how we used to do things in this country (in the 1950s for example). Bottles would be *reused* not recycled (think milk bottles, although the same occurred for beer bottles etc.) You would walk to the local grocers, make an order then someone on a *push bike* would deliver it to your door. Of course the produce would generally be in brown paper bags instead of plastic.

As for jake's comment about so -called eco light bulbs, how true. Why haven't we switched to modern LED light bulbs? Anyone who's used a modern bike light recently will know what I'm talking about. They are really very bright and appear pleasingly efficient.

Maybe my tin foil hat is on too tight Lewis, but are you in the pay of Big Oil or just simply a nasty piece of work? Sure, politicians talk drivel and plenty of interest groups have more than their fair share of nutters - this is not news. This is no excuse for wilful ignorance and bone-headed propaganda.

Time was The Register had some thoughtful and intelligent articles (hey, even The Inquirer used to!)

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