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* Posts by ShelLuser

1846 posts • joined 19 Dec 2010

Office 365 - what's in it for you? Speak your brains

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Windows

Lame interface(s)...

My main gripe with the new Office is the new interface and the way they changed several usability features, I simply can't bring my self to liking it even though I'm a die-hard 2010 user.

It's simple; the new Word or Excel 2013 gives me an headache. I can't stand the all-bright, vaguely coloured and extremely NOISY interface. There's no longer a clear separation between your work space and the Ribbon section above. Totally unworkable for me since its too distracting. At the very least make sure there's a clear separation like there always was. Even Office 2003 (pre-Ribbon time) used clear separation and easily spotted sections.

I also dislike the way Office starts. When I fire up Word I do so because I need to start working on something. If I need to work on a document otoh. I simply open that. Usually through the use of the jumplists in the start menu.

Yet when you start Word 2013 you'll first have to go through the start screen, you can't make Office skip this. So hit escape to make it go away and you can start on your work. Absolutely annoying to me since the times where I had to use the backstage view after starting Word (or Excel) can be counted on one hand.

And yeah; I know this start screen is a detail. But that's as far as I got with Office 2013; the interface didn't exactly make it appealing for me to check it out some more to see if there were any other options which I might have liked a lot better in comparison to 2010. It did the total opposite; so after the start screen ticked me off I called it a day and didn't bother any more. I'm very happy with Office 2010 and I see absolutely no reason what so ever to upgrade to this migraining catastrophy.

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Study: Most projects on GitHub not open source licensed

ShelLuser
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@Charles

"What really gets up my nose about FSF is that they feel entitled to redefine, and limit, the use terms like freedom."

Uhm, don't shoot the messenger ?

The FSF only provides the means, its fully up to the author(s) themselves to use or ignore a certain license.

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Microsoft joins the two-step verification party

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Windows

As long as they...

...don't make it as intrusive as Google then I'm all fine with it.

Google keeps nagging that they want my cellphone number because its "very important" that they have that; without it they can't text me "important information to unlock my account" should I ever lose the password.

Yeah right.....

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Linux in 2013: 'Freakishly awesome' – and who needs a fork?

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Devil

Awesome?

I don't perse agree. Sure, Linux has seen quite an increase feature wise, the overall acceptance is also pretty good which makes it much easier to setup or rent a Linux server and finally; because of all the setup standards and such there are some pretty awesome tools out there which can really help a company get to its feet (here's looking at you Webmin (link to.. you know ;-)).

Thing is... More and more do I get the feeling its also getting dumbed down. Which is cool, more people using it and you can't say there isn't a free choice here. Well....

So I'm with a hosting provider which has some awesomely features such as console access for every VPS you hire. Premium, Standard, Ultraluxe, Tiny ? It has console access, admins will understand the importance here (done through KVM & kernel virtualization). The best part here; I can use a browser and either opt for HTML5 or Java based access.SO far still cool.

And so I work with CentOS 6, need to resort to the CentOS 5 manual, (5.2 while 5.9 is the latest) but who needs manuals... It seems I do because you see; by default the installer resorts to X. And X has an issue with resolutions thus easily exceeding my used 1024x786 on this machine. With my HTML5 session this results in an unsizable window where most controls fall outside my screen. Not cool.

Resorting to the Java client fixes that, I now get scrollbars which help. But now I can't fill out some partial info (say the first digits of my IP address), flip to another window to check up on something and check back again because it will be extremely hard to re-activate the window; X goes a bit crazy.

The answer is obviously a text based install. Yeah. I had that part figured out myself. So you start in text mode anyway; cool, it seems its zmart. Yet then all of a sudden you end up with a graphical display, and its sure no Grub bootscreen. Long story cut short; you need to break the actual boot process yourself, then manually start the text installer. And of course the manual is pretty vague here.

Sure; its not all bad news. Absolutely not; this is a very particular example from a very particular distribution. There are also others which (IMO) are much up to the challenge. Take for example Debian for that matter.

Even so... Learning about integrated and fully usable ZFS, an out of the box process virtualization feature which strongly reminds me of "Zones" (running a virtual instance of the same OS, but this time locked to a certain point) as well as a text installer by default has so far got me to check out a completely different server environment. I also like the fact that due to their more "lose" licensing demands I even get to see commercial software pop up in their software tree. Sure; now I need to use my brains since you can't assume everything in there is free as in beer. Who cares? I don't since I know what I want ;-)

The icon says it all :-)

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Oracle critical patch plugs 128 security vulns

ShelLuser
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Joke

All pun aside...

One has to wonder; are these recent vulnerabilities or does this also include stuff from, I dunno, 2010 or so ?

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Samsung vs Apple: which smartphone do Reg readers prefer?

ShelLuser
Silver badge

A good example...

As to why I think Microsoft has used a completely wrong approach with promoting their Windows Phone.

The only commercials you get are Nokia based, in almost every advertisement or even official Microsoft article you'll see Nokia phones whenever the topic is at WP.

Yet guess what; Samsung also makes Windows Phones; I really like my Samsung Omnia W. And although I'm still not too sure if my next phone is going to be a Windows Phone (we'll know next year) I do know this; its going to be another Samsung.

...that is, if I'll actually get a new phone next year ;)

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Microsoft: FINE! We'll match Amazon - by HIKING cloud prices

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Windows

Obscure, vague and I wonder; more expensive?

When I check out both Amazon and Azure I always get confused (sort of) when checking their price model. In some way I can agree that it looks fair, after all; you only pay for what you're using and its cut down to fair amounts (pay per GB based on maximum amount (first 1TB, Next 49TB, etc.) or when it comes to instances you pay per hour based on the instance (due to the article I'm focussing on Azure here, but the same goes for Amazon obviously).

Problem is that its very hard to keep track of it all so in a way you're depending on their way of measurement. I had this with my previous hosting provider; one month the bills were normal, then all of a sudden they billed me with for extra traffic while my stats told me otherwise. After 2 months I wrote them an e-mail about it and what do you know? Obviously the error was with me, according to them, but in the mean time I got normal bills again 4 months straight. Yeah, right....

I think that in many cases you'll be better of using a 'regular' hosting provider (if available of course) than these cloud based services. First they sell the name "cloud" while in fact its not as cloudy (redundant) as it should / could be (as we've seen in the not too recent past) and in the longer run I get the feeling you'll end up paying more in comparison.

Here in Holland you can get a 4 Core Xeon, 8GB memory, 300GB storage, 10TB traffic/month, 1 - 3 IPv4 addresses, IPv6 addresses, SMS monitoring and 1 snapshot for approx. E 50,- / month. When using a free OS (Linux, BSD) then there are no extra charges, for Windows you'll have to cover licensing too (approx. E 7,50 / month).

Azure virtual machine? 1 core with 1.75 GB memory starts at approx. E 49,90 / month (E 0,0671 / hour).

Amazon? Well, that shows another issue; the trouble you need to undertake before you finally get a good overview of solid prices. So I'm finally at the EC2 pricing page (link to Amazon): Standard on-demand instance, "Medium" : $0.120 / hour. Say one month: $89,28 (24hrs / 31 days), or E 68,-.

So; what's "Medium" ?

For that you need to go to another page; the EC2 instance types overview (link to amazon) where you'll learn that "Medium" is actually: 3.75Gb memory, 1 virtual core with 2 computing units, 410Gb instance storage, moderate performance (?).

Moderate performance?

You don't get rough numbers but at the end of the page its briefly explained yet still vague: "For many applications, low or moderate I/O performance is more than enough. However, for those applications requiring greater or more consistent I/O performance, you may want to consider instances with high I/O performance.".

And then we're told into how cool high performance is ("High I/O instances can deliver in excess of 100,000 random read IOPS and as many as 80,000 random write IOPS for high performance NoSQL ") but what about moderate and low ? Well, I guess those aren't interesting enough to share the details.

I also strongly get the feeling that both Amazon and Microsoft doesn't really expect (hope?) people to dive in so deeply but instead solely focus themselves on virtual low prices instead.

But then again... Looking back at my regular hosting example above; E 57,50 / month for a Windows server one can also state that I'm paying E 0,0772 per hour. I pay "much more" than Azure (E 0,0671 / hour) but also get more in return.

Sure; I can't terminate per hour / day but only on a per month basis. Thing is; how often do you need to terminate your servers on a per hour basis? When your money is running out perhaps? But like; wasn't that something you couldn't have seen coming ?

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Dell axes IT channel middlemen, installs Windows in the factory

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Windows

@Tezfair

If you're a Microsoft reseller you want to be part of their Partner Network (link to MS Partner program). The best part here is that small businesses can join free of charge but if you need or want more, you'll have to invest in a subscription. Even so, there are several advantages (link to UK based Partner program page) to be found, and I'm not merely talking about licenses for their business products (Office, SharePoint, Exchange, etc.).

A Gold Partner not only pays quite a bit for his subscription, one could assume they also tend to ship quite a bit of Microsoft software. Yet Microsoft didn't have to think long before they dumped Gold partner Comantra (El Reg link) from their program after accusations that this firm was (phone) scamming UK customers.

So... pardon me for not agreeing here.

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Netflix plotting move to HTML5 video - but only if DRM works

ShelLuser
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@Tom7

Believe it or not; there are some people who actually truly believe that if you use a browser plugin or video player such as VLC to record a video stream then it's illegal. On a not-to-be-mentioned official support forum I once saw a post get removed because I hinted at this possibility (but in all honesty; the whole subject was also bordering offtopic-ness).

The point being though; if some people have apparently already degenerated to this level "It's illegal to..." then I can easily see this work. Behind a nice smoke screen of course.

For the record; we're talking about a video link which anyone can access, without the need to register, to agree to something or anything of the sort. You click the link and watch the video. Problem being is that $company behind said video's sells the right to store them offline.

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Microsoft brings back Windows watch after Apple seeks 'flexible' bod

ShelLuser
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@SQLInjector ;-)

i stopped wearing watches when mobile phones came about.

Same here. Its much easier on the wrist too, not to mention never having to take it off and on again whenever you're working on something where it might get stuck. I also never looked back.

Still, it is one of those classic "if it works for me it doesn't have to work for other people" kind of thing.

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SWARMS of ZOMBIES unleashed on innocent bloggers

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Megaphone

2 important steps to take...

Actually, fellow WordPress users could consider to resort to only 1 step: download & install Better WP Security (link to plugin page).

When I started using WP the first thing I did was rename the admin account; I do that on all environments I use (including my Win7 desktop and my Windows servers). And then I discovered this critter which also checks for this and a whole lot more...

It will help you enforce stronger passwords, rename the admin account, perform intrusion detection (x number of wrong login attempts results in banning the IP address (or an even wider range)), but also help you with suggesting how you could make the thing even more secure.

It goes pretty far, even a bit too far for my liking, but even so it's also very honest. Some options ("You should rename the wp-content directory of your site") are very plausible enhancements, but they come with risks since other plugins may depend on that directory being present. And as they should they also warn for that.

From hiding your backend, to logon limitations, intrusion detection right down to a nice log page which will show you how the bad guys tried to gain access.

This is one of those plugins which I consider to be a must-have if you're on WordPress.

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Ban drones taking snaps of homes, rages Google boss... That's HIS job, right?

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Black Helicopters

@Chris

And who thought it would be neat to provide us with (pretty high res.) aerial / satellite photo's which could almost identify your wife or girlfriend lying on a beach bench in your own backyard in her bikini ?

Has everyone already forgotten about Google Earth and how much trouble many individuals had to go through before Google finally allowed the public to apply for blurring of pictures on their Google Earth environment ?

What I see here is the Pot calling the Kettle black, and also a shameless display of sheer arrogance.

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The Man Who Fell to Earth: Plane plummet plod probe phone

ShelLuser
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@Obviously

"Mentally Ill perhaps?"

Totally desperate seems more plausible to me. The "who cares if I die out there or out here, I'll be dead anyway".

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Microsoft Xbox exec quits after ENRAGING the INTERWEBS

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Windows

@TonyJ

Forced to resign because of a simple opinion.

No, Microsoft can be a really weird bunch but I'm quite positive its the combination of things. First he's an executive, one should be able to expect that those guys know how to share an opinion in a non-insulting manner. Then there's the sheer arrogance of it all, in the end it isn't merely showing but actually radiating.

It's simple; if you make it very clear that you seem totally incapable of even considering the way the other person in a discussion feels like then how the heck are you going to lead your own department? I wouldn't be surprised one bit if that guy doesn't have the foggiest of ideas what's going through the minds of his co workers ("now why would I want to associate with them?"). Not saying this is the case, but he sure makes it look that way.

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Remember Streetmap? It's suing Google in a UK court

ShelLuser
Silver badge

@R11

Forget about looks; I roll my mouse wheel up and down and the whole page moves up and down. Obviously not what I had intended there.

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P2P badboys The Pirate Bay kicked out of Greenland: Took under 48 hours

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Joke

You're doing it all wrong!

Aarrrghggh mateys, ye needs to go out for pillage and plunder. Not kindly askin' if ye may put yur digital meadhall theres.

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Windows 8 has put the world's PC market to sleep - IDC

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Windows

Microsoft still hasn't learned..

They release a product and at first its hopeless, then they start working on it and either completely rehaul it or actually fix all the nastiness. I know its sounds clichéd, but it still holds truth today.

Visual Studio 2012, quite a modern product; the first release sucked (its interface actually gave me an headache). The first update (2012.1) turned it into a "workable environment" but at that time I still didn't buy into the 'doctrine' that "Visual Studio 2012 is the continuance of Expression Web 4" (Microsoft website editor / designer).

Then several months later 2012.2 was released (only a few days ago at the time of writing) and what do you know? I haven't fired up Expression Web 4 ever since I updated. Intellisense now picks up my stylesheets, it picks up ASP ContentPlaceHolder sections from master pages, it responds better...

They fixed most of their horrendous colour change (read: remove all colour from the program) and although I wouldn't call it perfect, it does allow me to code and actually have some fun doing so. This evening I did a rather major rehaul on one of my hobby websites.

Thing is... Making developers having to wait approx. 6 months before your main development platform becomes "workable" isn't the best approach when you're trying to compete with others. That is, if you actually hope for them to upgrade to the latest version...

Sometimes I get the feeling Microsoft doesn't seem to care at. all.

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Microsoft leads charge against Google's Android in EU antitrust complaint

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Windows

@Babbit55

"Last time I checked didn't Winmo default to using Bing search and Bing Maps and Nokia to Nokia Maps???"

Even better.

My WP7.5 phone has this optical search button; the moment I press it (which unfortunately sometimes tends to happen by accident as well) I get Bing. I can configure some aspects like allowing my location to be used, allowing MS to get some search results when it comes to looking for pictures, and enabling the search button in the lock screen (you really don't want that ;-)).

Thing is; I can't tell my phone that it should use Google instead of Bing when I press this button.

This doesn't bother me at all btw., I like it this way, but it does show that something is seriously wrong here.

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Office for Mac 2008 support umbilical chopped off

ShelLuser
Silver badge

Newer isn't always better...

Microsoft claims that its actually a benefit to "always have the latest version" when it comes to Office 365. Quite frankly I heavily disagree on that point.

The latest isn't always the greatest, and that holds especially true with some of the Microsoft products. Unless of course you like change because of the change, but I for one only welcome change when it makes sense.

And trying to make a desktop application appear as it it were a web application isn't a change I'm very fond off. With a regular Office license you can simply tell MS to take a hike and continue to use the software you want. With a subscription model all you can do is allow Microsoft to tell you to take a hike and use whatever they provide you with. Even if you liked an earlier Office version a whole lot better.

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'1337 hacker' scrawls all over careless coders' SourceForge sites

ShelLuser
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@Phil

Why wouldn't it be?

If you always keep the keys to your house under the floormat and someone found and used those to enter your house without your permission, most likely to steal things? It might be a dumb mistake on your end that this happened in the first place but in the end its still described as someone breaking into your house.

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Gartner: RIP PCs - tablets will CRUSH you this year

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Pint

Uhm...

"PC sales are in terminal decline thanks to the continued popularity of tablets and there’s nothing an anticipated surge in ultramobiles can do to stop it."

So because PC sales are decreasing (something I consider quite plausible) is per definition proof that tables are taking over?

Only problem is that I can come up with a dozen other theories as to how this situation has come to pass. How about the current financial atmosphere; that's bound to make people spend less. Or what to think about those people who buy new PC's the very moment a new Windows version is released? Considering how "popular" Windows 8 has become so far...

I wouldn't be surprised at all if tablet sales went up (people already have a PC and want something new) only to be followed with the opposite later on (PC sales rising and tablet sales declining).

Why not stop making things way more dramatic than they really are?

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Publishing ANYTHING on .uk? From now, Big Library gets copies

ShelLuser
Silver badge
WTF?

What about our copyrights?

"Under the rules - known as legal deposit - the country's biggest collector of publications produced in the UK and Ireland will start harvesting what it described as "ephemeral materials like websites" to ensure that the content is "preserved forever"".

Yet what if I published something (put online) which I don't want to be preserved (yet) ?

And let's ignore the obvious "I own copyright on my work" issue but what about situations where I pre-publish stuff to appeal to the visitors while I'm still working on it? I'm doing that a lot with several tutorials I write (I'm passionate about sound synthesis & design and maintain my own hobby website) and as long as a version hasn't reached v1.0 status I wouldn't want to see it getting included with some big collection of stuff. Simply because some things could easily change, sometimes quite drastically.

Another issue; although its very easy to point at Google many people forget that in contrast to popular belief something which gets slurped by Google can be removed again. And it's quite easy too, the keywords being webmaster tools. As others above already pointed out; you can even prevent Google from indexing your site (or parts of it).

So what do these guys provide? Or are we now down to "We're the government, we decide, the end justifies the means, it's all for the common good, stop whining." ?

And some people still wonder why so many are losing faith rapidly when it comes to governments in combination with IT.

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Australian Feds charge 17-year-old 'Anon' with four crimes

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Joke

@Mahatma

Or he wasn't Anonymous enough ;-)

Maybe that's why they chose this name; if you're not living up to the name you'll be your own worst enemy.

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Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 delivers modest improvements

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Windows

@Geoffrey

Not me, because everyone will realize that I'm biased ;-)

And Eadon... I guess you can't trust him either because, well, he's Eadon and this is a Windows thread so he's biased as well ;-)

So I guess, as always, the truth sits somewhere in the middle.

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ShelLuser
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Slick!

So now Microsoft is making me lose sleep, but what could you expect from such an evil company? ;-)

Only 5 minutes into update 2 and I love it. What I really like about this one is that you'll notice the differences immediately, and I'm not talking about the removed "black letters on dark blue dialog box". I open a solution which contains a moderate ASP Forms project and the load time has been noticeably reduced. In no time do I get to see the Global.asax file I was working on. After which of course you'll notice its load-behind, so at first I didn't got to see the syntax highlighting which became visible later, but that doesn't matter. The fact that you can start coding after a brief moment of loading is priceless.

I couldn't care less about "agile planning", Windows 8 apps and Windows Phone development but I am curious to see what this update is going to do on my TFS Express environment (update running as we speak, as said; gonna lose some sleep here).

This is another change in my overall workflow which I really came to enjoy. Before VS I often used NetBeans together with subversion as VCS, now I resorted to TFS Express which is also quite nice and easy to work with. Both the TFS service provided by MS (see tfs.visualstudio.com) as well as their freely usable Express version (both for up to 5 people at once).

And what to think about the ASP updates? I'm also excited to learn that this update includes the ASP.NET and WebTools 2012.2 update as well. I'm very curious to look deeper into SignalR for example.

I can be quite the critic, but I also strongly believe in credit where credit's due, and in this case I think Microsoft produced a very good and solid update.

...if only it would update my TFS Express a little quicker, then I could finally get some sleep ;-)

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Sci/Tech quango promises an end to 'events with no women'

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Stop

Gender over Quality?

"The quango, nowadays officially a charity but one which spends lottery money on "innovation" (more here) promised to actively seek out women to chair public meetings and debates."

History shows us that there have been numerous of attempts in a dozen different environments to try and get more women involved with $environment. Unfortunately more than often resulting in people focussing almost entirely on gender and not so much on qualifications any longer.

Heck; within our local (Dutch) government there have been situations where a better qualified man was turned down for a lesser qualified woman (the not to great qualifications became apparent at a later time). And only for the sole purpose of getting more females on board.

So pardon me for considering this a failure in the making. Not only is it unfair towards the public who sometimes no longer gets the quality they're used to, but it's also extremely unfair towards the women who were hired based on their gender instead of their qualifications. Especially if they end up becoming quite unpopular with the public. In those cases the public portraits the fail on the person in question, while in fact the real guilty party remains safely behind the scenes in the shadows.

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Scottish SF master Iain M Banks reveals he has less than a year to live

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Happy

Very smart man indeed...

"As a result, I've withdrawn from all planned public engagements and I've asked my partner Adele if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow (sorry – but we find ghoulish humour helps)."

Yes, that frickin' helps indeed. Don't ever think its hopeless and try to continue to focus on the bright side, not the down side.

Because we've seen this many times before in history... Man was told he had only 3 months to live, only to end up 5 years later. In most of those cases the person in question didn't focus on the downside of things but figured that he'd better make the best out of what he still had.

And it's a good thing your widow seems to share your sense of humor.

Honestly folks.. A smiley on my post. Because the last thing that guy needs is a bunch of people who are now going to become all sad and depressed on him.

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Microsoft gives away Windows 8 to Mac devs

ShelLuser
Silver badge

@Eradicate

Did you miss the bit about this being an offer for developers using Apple hardware?

No I didn't. As such I was referring to the comment in the article that Microsoft apparently thinks that using multiple OS's is the most common way to test different browsers. Which I consider to be a bit hypocrite since there are much better ways for this, one of them mentioned above.

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ShelLuser
Silver badge
Windows

Hypocricy

“We heard that the most common way you test across browsers is through virtualization of browser and operating system combinations using your favorite virtualization platform, such as Hyper-V, VMWare, VirtualBox, or Parallels,” Singhal wrote

True, and because of that the Microsoft website designer Expression Web 4 includes a program called SuperPreview (download link).

What this program does is take several webbrowser engines and renders the page you're working on using those engines. It supports several versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer (obviously) but also FireFox as well as Safari. The best part is that it can display the same page, but rendered by different engines, side by side and even indicate problem areas. You can read more about this program on it's MSDN page

Yet guess what? This program gets dumped (it already lacked quite severely with regards to supporting modern browsers) together with Expression Web itself. There is also no comment (to my knowledge anyway) that it will surface again together with Visual Studio (which is the destined replacement for Expression web).

So please excuse me for stating that I consider this move quite hypocrite to say the least. You already had an awesome tool, which not only could clearly display changes and differences, it could all be done on one single developers workstation. No need for virtualisation, VMWare, Hyper-V at all.

You only needed to have the appropriate browser engines installed.

Then again; this is Microsoft we're dealing with and they have a tendency to simply drop good working software on a snap.

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Card skimmers targeting more than ATMs, says EU

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Boffin

@Gordon

From the very inception of the "Pin Code" we have been laughing at how insecure this system is.

True, but my humor wasn't aimed at the pin code itself but the usage of a magnetic strip which got swiped, thus very easily read and copied.

Which basically supports your criticism in my opinion; the sheer time alone before certain banks finally switched from using the magnetic strip to the chip itself, some took ages. The fun part was that at a given time my creditcard (visa) had already implemented this system way before the "common" banks had.

But there's another aspect... In theory I think "chipping" (electronic wallet) is much more secure than pinning. After all; with an electronic wallet you can only loose what's on the wallet itself, people can't easily copy your card and gain access to your whole bank account. Another pro, in my opinion, is that you can pay by simply clicking "yes". No pin or such required at all, only when transferring money.

Yet the electronic wallet is something which according to many people has to go (here in Holland at least). In most places you can only pay with your pin code and no longer with the "chipknip" (Dutch name for electronic wallet).

Which makes me conclude that a lot of banks and electronic payment providers don't have safety and security at the top of their priorities list. It needs to be cheap, it needs to work and it needs to provide them with revenue.

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If Google got a haircut, a tie and a suit, would it be Microsoft?

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Windows

Listening to your customers....

THAT is what Microsoft really should do a lot more often. And then I'm not talking about the several inquiries they perform on their websites ("has this information helped you?") or the rants you see on several blogs.

I'm talking about listening to the people who actually use, respect and like your products, preferably before they move on to something else.

I'm quite new to the Visual Studio environment, but what I've done is go over a lot of forums (even trying to help out people myself if I could) in order to get a good impression of what could be done, what couldn't and which caveats I had to look out for. I also found the place where users could make feature requests...

If the number one request (link to visual studio feature request site) is to bring back colour to the program which gets 12.500 (approx) votes and 1100 (approx) comments then surely its not that hard to realize that something is seriously amiss here?

(for the record: when you look at page 2 or further you'll notice that an average good idea has approx. 1000 votes or lower (800+, 600+, etc). So twelve thousand is really a lot!).

But... Nope. Microsoft has very quickly worked up a theme editor to bring some sanity back to the user interface, but the colours remain mostly absent.

NOW realize that this same interface is in par with the overall 'new' Windows look and feel. Office has almost the same look and feel to it, including the NICE TO READ MENUS. And although I know there is a difference between programmers and office users, the line that separates them can be quite thin (sitting the whole day behind Visual Studio, or sitting the whole day behind Word, Excel and maybe PowerPoint).

That is in my opinion Microsoft's number one problem today. They don't seem to realize (enough) that they're no longer in a position where they can dictate the world. At least by far in the same amounts as they could in the past.

So yes; when people dislike something enough they move on. If you don't want that to happen you really need to come up with something which will attract people's interest instead of scaring them off whilst you keep on claiming that "you redefined the way people work".

Get your act together Microsoft, before the empire comes crumbling down.

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Microsoft's summer update will be called Windows 8.1

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Windows

Its quite plausible actually...

To be honest I'm not overall impressed with what Ms. Foley has to say. I still remember the El Reg chat in which she claimed how Windows Server should stay in sync with the development cycle of Azure, apparently completely unaware that Azure was suffering from major outages at that time which had already lasted nearly a week.

However, this makes sense; we all know and realize by now that Windows 8 isn't exactly the great success Microsoft was hoping for. However it seems that Microsoft invested quite heavily in this new infrastructure and really wants to make it work.

So what other option is left /but/ to introduce a minor update?

Windows 8 SP1 would make it clear with admins and such that an update has been issued, but for the common crowd it would still be "Windows 8". Think about it; I'd want no less but Windows 7 SP1 and XP SP3. However, for common users these are simply "Windows 7" and "Windows XP", maybe for some who keep a bit more track of it all its "Windows with a bunch of updates" but that's about it.

So what other options would Microsoft have to make it well known, even with the common users, that Windows 8 has been updated into something (hopefully) less bad ?

Though I wouldn't bet on it; unless they come up with a decent replacement for the start menu, and I'm not referring to some TIFKAM update, I'm keeping clear from this mess.

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ROBOT COCKROACH SWARM unleashed in Sheffield lab

ShelLuser
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Mushroom

This looks awesome, BUT...

Do these robots also abide by the 3-rule law of robotics? ;-)

0
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Brits, Germans, French, Dutch, Spanish and Italians ALL to probe Google

ShelLuser
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WTF?

Unity, or...

SO when it comes to 'European rules' all countries agree to have themselves led by the European commission to lay out these rules and enforce them (think about the latest issue where Microsoft can be fined quite heavily for not complying to providing a browser choice in its operating system).

Yet now I get the impression that the moment there's money to be made this unity quickly dissolves and its back to "every country for itself".

Where did the European unity suddenly go to? Shouldn't these issues be addressed on a European level, as has been done with Microsoft?

3
2

Merde! Dummkopf! Google Translate used as spam cloak

ShelLuser
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So the moral of the story

Don't click URL's in weird e-mail messages.

But isn't that something most people realize by now ?

4
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Production-ready ZFS offers cosmic-scale storage for Linux

ShelLuser
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FAIL

@Malcolm

Apples and Oranges, it really helps to know what the heck you're talking about.

Comparing XFS (which I've been using myself on Linux for ages) and ZFS is so absurd its not even remotely funny. For the record; I personally prefer XFS over Ext3 and Ext4 (see below).

Lets see here... ZFS allows you to setup one huge storage pool and then create virtual filesystems which all share the main storage pool. Meaning: I hope we can all agree that using one huge filesystem in Linux / Unix is a bad idea. So the very least you'd want /, /var and /home to make sure one doesn't interfere with the other. Now what would happen if you notice that /var is gobbling up too much space than is good for it ?

With XFS you'd have no other alternative but to change your setup (quicker log rotations, quicker removals, etc.), down the system to resize (outage, which is a big no no for production), or perhaps setup a whole new box then move the data over (if this really is a huge deal while uptime is too).

ZFS? Well, you simply change this on the fly. You can resize filesystems all you want, you can setup quota's, hard or soft, you can basically do whatever you want while the system remains running.

Then there's the issue of backups. One of the reasons I favour XFS is the xfsdump/restore program. It doesn't only make a filesystem snapshot like dump/restore does; it also allows you to restore your stuff interactively. On a per-file basis if you need to. Last time I checked dump/restore simply didn't work at all anymore on ext4, and it has given many issues in between (up to last year it seems). XFS just kept working ;-) (this is one of the main reasons I prefer XFS; Ext4 is a filesystem where restore tools stopped working? for real?!).

ZFS otoh... Snapshots as well as dump/restore setups (though those were a bit flakey too; you couldn't easily restore parts nor restore to a smaller filesystem).

But snapshots FTW. It basically means you make a backup in one second or so, and then continue working. This is esp. true if your storage is completely redundant (raid5 / 6 or so). You can make as much snapshots as you have diskspace and of course also remove older snapshots and such.

And needless to say; restore can either be a complete rollback or you simply get individual files back.

These are only 2 points where ZFS differs with XFS, but I hope you do realize comparing the two like that is simply absurd.

PS: I know about the online resizing capabilities of XFS btw. But the same story goes; its simply not comparable AT ALL.

12
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Giant ad company (Google) offers tool assessing worth of ads

ShelLuser
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Devil

So an 'ad tool' eh ?

An "ad tool" for advertisers to check up on their investments... Now, without knowing exactly what it is or what it does I still dare state to think that it has "fail" written all over it.

If you want to know if using an advertising service such as Google or Bing actually works then simply check your website statistics and compare them with stats dating from a few months ago. Also very important: pick out a few IP addresses and check out where they're coming from!

When I had fully setup our company website the first thing I did was get a Google account in order to gain access to their Google webmaster tools. Excellent service, just as the Bing webmaster tools are btw. Because I was a new 'customer' they gave me Adword credits which I could use to test their service.

And what do you know; the moment I had setup a few ads the visitor amount of the website went up by miles. Surely this seems like something worth investing in, right?

Well, not exactly. Because my webstats told me that I got referred visitors based on completely unrelated search requests than I had filled out. Sometimes it simply didn't make sense. And although my hit rates went up, my visitor rates remained fairly the same. A lot of people focus on hits,but hits mean absolutely nothing. Visitors is what it is all about; those are the guys who spent more time on your site than 1 page before they move on again.

All in all making me wonder if Google themselves didn't arrange for the increase in hits instead of actually attracting real visitors. I didn't take it so far to check out every IP to see what network it belonged to, but I sure had my suspicions. Don't forget; they're trying to sell you a service, so its in their very interest to make it look as good as possible. And there's no law forbidding them to fake the whole thing either.

Not saying this is the case; but I sure had and have serious suspicions.

So for me there are only 2 proper ad tools: AdBlock+ and NoScript.

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A lightbulb that does IPv6: You know you want it

ShelLuser
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@David

If you can control it then what's to stop others from doing the same thing?

Esp. when taken into consideration (a point made earlier) that many consumer routers don't even provide proper support for IPv6. And if they do; a computer illiterate maintaining an IPv6 firewall to make sure only they gain access ? I don't see that happening to quickly, most of them already struggle with IPv4 addresses.

Sorry, but I think you missed a few points as well.

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0
ShelLuser
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Stop

@Len

It must have been some time since you last looked into consumer routers.

And I think you're focussing too much on propaganda. For example; my company bought several DrayTek 2820 routers only a few years ago. Quite expensive critters too, but worth every dime. On my current firmware, 3.3.4, it doesn't provide IPv6 support.

However, the current firmware version is 3.3.7.3 (release 12 October 2012) and guess what? Check the release notes yourself, they fixed and added quite a bit, but IPv6 support wasn't amongst those features.

In fact, a company like DrayTek deems IPv6 so important that they don't even mention it on their product comparison chart.

Or what to think about my home cable modem; a Cisco EPC3925, also not that old (got it no longer than 1 / 2 years ago I think). This critter doesn't support IPv6 nor firmware updates. Not allowing updates is also a very common trend amongst consumer routers in order to prevent home users from screwing up themselves.

As said; I think you've been reading too much propaganda. In many cases the only way people might be able to start using IPv6 at home is by purchasing a new router. Well, even though I really understand the need for IPv6 (I'm proud to say that all my new hosting servers will fully support it) I have no intention - what so ever - to purchase new DrayTeks merely to get native Ipv6 access at home (a broker can do that for me just as well).

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IT Pro confession: How I helped in the BIGGEST DDoS OF ALL TIME

ShelLuser
Silver badge
FAIL

You're lucky...

That your servers didn't reside on networks from TransIP, LeaseWeb (Dutch hosting providers) or even GoDaddy. Because setting up a recursive DNS server completely open for all to (ab)use gives them the right to terminate your connection entirely until you "fix your shit", and to my knowledge they will exercise that right too.

DNS administration isn't for everyone. No offense but there are some mistakes you shouldn't make, this only tells me that you didn't go over your entire setup as carefully as you should have. Also makes me wonder if you really take (/ took?) DNS as seriously as you should.

Because that's the problem with the Net these days: ignorance. "Nah, I'll fix that "tomorrow" because there's no way they'll abuse a server as small as mine".

bzzzzt.

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6

MI5 undercover spies: People are falsely claiming to be us

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Joke

They should fight back!

If people claim to be them, they should turn the roles around. By becoming anonymous for example, that will teach them! ;-)

* Become anonymous

* Something

* Profit!

Success guaranteed.

0
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BIGGEST DDoS ATTACK IN HISTORY hammers Spamhaus

ShelLuser
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Stop

@moiety

Spamhaus is the reason I can't use a desktop email server

Uhm, and the fact that many MTA admins, myself included, have turned on the demand for an associated PTR record before incoming mail is accepted has nothing to do with that ?

Sorry but I think you make a bogus argument; chances are very high your desktop MTA also wouldn't be able to drop mail to any of my servers, AOL's servers, Microsoft's Hotmail / Outlook servers (these also start to adopt the Sender Policy Framework btw) and most likely Verizon's.

Even without the help from Spamhaus. Simply because your IP most likely doesn't meet quite a few demands.

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2
ShelLuser
Silver badge
Pirate

I hope we can all agree...

That actions such as these prove once again that DDoS attacks should never be recognized as free speech.

Or perhaps someone can explain the protest aspect here, esp. given that we're dealing with a non-profit organisation here which most likely can now look forward to a massive increase in its monthly bill due to extra traffic.

DDoS is lame IMO, plain and simple.

7
0

Chinese game addict MURDERS girlfriend after she leaves him

ShelLuser
Silver badge
FAIL

Doesn't he know...

That playing (games) with your girlfriend can be MUCH more fun & rewarding than sitting behind the screen all day?

Stories like these always make me wonder how the heck an addict like that actually manages to meet up and show interest to any girls at all. Because I can't believe that things like this changes over night so to speak.

Even so, the icon says it all. What a loser.

5
2

Televisions in living rooms now the fastest-growing internet platform

ShelLuser
Silver badge

I can well imagine..

Here in Holland we're on cable, and my provider is UPC (which I actually consider to be doing a good job). They provide tv/radio, phone & Internet access. All in one.

With digital television we also have a Dutch service called "Uitzending gemist", you can find their website right here: http://www.uitzendinggemist.nl/

Its very handy because programs from public TV will end up on that website for all to view them again at a later date. UPC has brought this service straight into the home through their digital television services.

Result is that I hardly watch live TV these days; I simply end up skimming some of the programs available in the "back log", perfect when you're done working and are about ready to head for bed (yes, I make long working hours atm) :-)

But in the end its simply part of the development; Internet on your TV.

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0

I've got a super free multi-petabyte storage box for you: /dev/null

ShelLuser
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Joke

Help!

SO having complete faith in El Reg to know what's best for me I first tried to move my stuff info /dev/null, only to find out that this doesn't work:

[me@smtp ~]$ mv test.jpg /dev/null

mv: inter-device move failed: `test.jpg' to `/dev/null'; unable to remove target: Permission denied

SO then I asked our admin for the root password, but that didn't go too well either.... After he asked me why I wanted it I told him that I needed to move my data into /dev/null, then he only gave me a rude comment about lame jokes and hung up on me!

But I figured it out:

[me@smtp ~]$ cp test.jpg /dev/null

[me@smtp ~]$ rm test.jpg

However, there's one problem when I try to get my picture back:

[me@smtp ~]$ cp /dev/null test.jpg

[me@smtp ~]$ file test.jpg

test.jpg: empty

So I hope anyone can help, I need this picture back yesterday ;-)

8
2

Experts agree: Your next car will be smarter than you

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Joke

Just an (fun) impression...

Aaah, here we go... Gotta go visit a customer in Amsterdam, it'll be a one hour or so drive from Wageningen and with my new smart car I can work out some paperwork along the way. HA, those suckers in public transportation with their big brother chipcard.... (in Holland you need a chipcard for this; thing is that to get access to reductions and such you need to register with $company and give them access to your bank account so that they charge you automagically. Many people like myself call that big brother because they can very easily track you).

And so we're on our way, the car drives me through Wageningen and Ede flawlessly. I do get the occasional weird looks when people see me read the newspaper right behind the wheel while the light turns green but they're just jealous. Suckers! :-)

Soon we're on the highway to Amsterdam and the speed also increases. Due to traffic the car remains in the right lane (we drive on the right side of the road, no pun intended) and everything is going just fine.

Until all of a sudden: "Warning, gas station about in 2 km, please get ready for a quick stop to pick up required fuel". What?! I filled her up only yesterday, what's this for nonsense? I check my dashboard and there it is; 80% full. That is WAY then enough to make it to Amsterdam and back, so that we can get some fuel in Germany later on (much cheaper over there). Aah, must be a glitch...

So we continue and what do you know; "Warning, gas station in 1 km, please get ready for a fuel stop!". No, what the heck is this for nonsense. I hit the dashboard meter and it remains on 80% full.

"Warning, taking exit in 500m to refuel". Ok, screw this. I throw my paperwork on the passenger seat, click the override button and take the wheel myself. "Override engaged, have a good drive" the automated voice tells me. Finally we're getting somewhere, I increase speed and go over to the left lane. Time to get moving!

Then, only 10 minutes later, "Warning, fuel tanks nearly empty. Enforcing fuel stop in 2km", the autovoice goes again. What?!

And what do you know; 8 minutes later: "Warning, overriding car control for emergency fuelstop. Please do not be alarmed", and all of a sudden I can no longer steer the car myself. It takes back on the throttle, returns to the right lane and obviously gets ready to stop at a gas station with a nearly full fuel tank.

What the hell ?!

As expected; there we are 2 minutes later... "Warning, emergency fuel stop. Please get out and replenish fuel reserves".

But but but.... "You're completely filled up, you moron!" I cry out, knowing very well that this car doesn't have voice dictation or such. "Fine!...", I get out completely pissed off, and refuel the car for a meager E 5,-.

When paying the man behind the desk points me to a sign: "Minimum fuel consumption 10liter". Great! So now I gotta pay for fuel I couldn't even buy.

Quite agitated I get back in the car, fire her up and get ready to drive away. "Warning, fuel reserves nearly depleted, getting ready for emergency stop on parking lot!". WHAT?!

I pick up my phone and call my dealer. What the heck is going on here, this is just way stupid. Right, the mechanic will be here in one hour or so, great. Better cancel that appointment, because there's NO way I'll be able to make it this way.

And finally he arrives, takes place behind the week, starts the car... "Ah yes, I see what's going on. No need to worry sir, it seems the battery is nearly dead. This car has a small software bug where it sometimes doesn't detect the fuel source as expected; so it mistook your battery for your fuel tank".

"So what do I do now? I need to be in Amsterdam today"... But the mechanic told me not to worry; he would simply grab an emergency firmware update from the company, install it and all should be well.

And what do you know? 20 minutes later I'm finally back on the road, behind the wheel and the morning paper again. MUCH better...

"Warning, screenwiper water reserves nearly empty. Getting ready to stop to replenish water at next fuel station". What?!

Now quite annoyed I call the car company again demanding to speak with that same mechanic who helped me out. "Yeah well, we couldn't really fix the firmware just yet so we simply switched two other sources. Water reserves you say? Let me look it up... Ah yes, here it is: that would now mean that your oil reserves are a bit low". "No they're not, I filled those only last week", I protest.

"Yes, but you now forget to take tank capacity into account. While the oil tank maybe full enough, if you take the same storage percentage, apply that on your much smaller water tank then it would be a lot emptier".

That doesn't make any sense to me, but ok.. I'll just fill both tanks up and then I can finally be on my way again. What a lousy day this is turning out to be.

As soon as we stop at the gas station I get right to work; just to make sure I fill both the water and oil reserves, and to rule out anything else also take care of tire pressure.

AND we're on our way again... "Warning, oil tanks filled beyond maximum capacity. Risk of fire in engine imminent, making emergency stop!".

WHAT?!

Damn this shit, this is almost as bad as the time Windows told me that I didn't have enough free space on my drive to delete some of my files!

"There's no need to become insulting sir", my car suddenly responds...

(sorry; start of the day, I feel energetic, ready to DO stuff so before I knew I had this all written up. Sorry for possible typo's, not gonna reread just yet).

17
0

Are you in charge of a lot of biz computers? Got Java on them?

ShelLuser
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Facepalm

@Ian

Ignoring is one thing, I tend to disable it first chance I get.

Its another total fail in the whole process IMO. I mean; sure, for home scenario's I can see why they chose for an updater. But what about JDK installations? Those environments don't need to be treated like children; developers usually know very well which versions to use and which to ignore.

But no; it needs to be automatically updated... Preferably with Google and Tumbler and god knows what kind of toolbars and mal- or spy ware.

3
0
ShelLuser
Silver badge
Mushroom

We're in the process of dumping it...

Its the funniest thing; when I was still deeply involved with Java development I always (lightly) criticized several Linux distributions for defaulting to OpenJDK instead of Sun's own native JDK. Now I really welcome it ;-)

Even so; we maintained some EE (in-house) projects as well as some Java build software but we're getting ready to move it all away into .NET. Not claiming that this is the better of the two platforms, but when your customers start asking questions about your Java-build software, even though they're pretty computer illiterate, you really need to take the hint.

Esp. if you're a small firm which can't maintain a "Microsoft-like attitude" (the "we know what's best for you" approach) :-)

And the less I have to deal with Oracle, the better it is IMO.

Even so I think this is a really sad development. Oracle does a great job in totally destroying the Sun legacy, great going you guys. I'm just glad that Sun managed to release several projects into the open source scene before going tits up, thus allowing others to keep those safe from the "great leadership" of Oracle (here's looking at OpenJDK and ZFS for example).

5
0

Security damn well IS a dirty word, actually

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Linux

Its the people, not the computer

"The problem with computers today – as with yesteryear – is the abstraction of these operating fundamentals from the usage of the device."

I think it goes much deeper than this; to me its the people's lack of interest above anything else combined with an odd (to me) inability to find the information should they eventually start wondering about some topics.

I've seen this happening too many times now in too many different area's that I really think this is a fundamental problem. In Java a program starts with the "public static void Main(String[] args)" method. It was one of the first thing I got curious about when I dove deeper into Java; why? how?

When Solaris 10/x86 finally became more mature and started taking off a bit it eventually introduced a new SysV compliant boot mechanism: Manifests. You'd write an XML file to describe the program or service (name, start/stop method and any optional or mandatory dependencies) and import it into the main structure. It was quite sophisticated and worked very well. Also because this same system could also monitor its services for availability.

Yet soo many people who couldn't be bothered to look into this (it wasn't that hard) and simply relied on the previous (and still supported) rc.d structure. Nothing wrong with that, sure, but I really sensed a lack of interest. And a missed opportunity because this system was extremely powerful when used right.

Heck; I also see it with my current endeavours, I recently dove deep into ASP.NET, and I'm actually enjoying the ride too. By default a webpage in an ASP forms project "simply" needs a method "Page_Load()" to start your code. I'm a bit too new with this to name the parameters from mind, but one of them is of type "Eventargs". So why does this get started, magic? I don't think so....

When you dive into this stuff you'll learn that /everything/ including the webpages themselves are objects (classes) and that by default the environment scans a Page class derivative for methods such as Page_Load(), Page_Init() or even Page_PreInit().

And after you found out about this it starts to make much more sense, because the real method which you'd normally use is: protected void override OnLoad(Eventargs e). This "easier approach" is simply activated by default due to an option called "autoEventWireup".

Yet soo many people who can't seem to manage to get their heads around this, or couldn't even care less about the why and how...

Just a few examples which stuck with me; but there's sooo much more than that.

Its not the computers which make everything easier; its the people who lost their curiosity and interest to find out and discover for themselves why and how things work.

Tux; because most people I know using Linux still have this strong curiosity and interest. Even though in many cases it doesn't go beyond Linux.

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