184 posts • joined 7 Oct 2011
Seems pretty pointless in its current state of development
I have a couple of year old Motorola Droid Razr "Maxx" I've traveled with it a lot. It is not a replacement for my laptop, no do I want it to be. But with the simple addition of an HDMI cable I can plug it into a hotel TV or monitor and use it to watch video, as a fair computing device with "Webtop", and if I bring my mini Bluetooth keyboard I can actually use it as a pretty fair netbook. This is more or less what Motorola intended with its under developed "Atrix" dock system, though I never bothered to buy it. It's not the fastest processor in the world--I bought it more for durability and battery life, but it sounds no less powerful than Dell's offering. Oh, and it's a 4G phone, GPS receiver, etc. that doesn't require any finagling to power it up.
The point I'm trying to make here is that I see little point for the Dell device. Most of the functionality of the dell unit with the exception of the remote admin capability was included in my cell phone as an afterthought.
And in an environment where the Dell device would maybe be a useful alternative to something like embedded XP or another OS, the very nature of these locales (factory floor, call center, etc.) means that someone so inclined can just pocket the device and walk away with it. So again, I fail to really see a "killer app" for it. It's not like desktop PCs aren't cheap and plentiful, and there's a lot better mobile devices.
Much ado over little?
Just to establish a few things: I am a straight man, though actually possibly a bit metrosexual in some ways. I am probably the least homophobic person you will ever meet, and I've worked with many gay people over the years. I don't currently have any gay friends, though not because I've shunned them. I have no fears that any gay person will harm a child or some other idiocy or "come on" to me. Actually I'd be flattered to meet most gay mens' standards, and in the right mood and enough alcohol, might even be open to experimentation, who knows... I have no problem with anyone marrying anyone they want, and like the majority of IT folks that I've met, and people that IMHO have their intelligence on the desirable side of the bell curve, I have a live and let live philosophy--anyone can do anything they want as long as it's consentual and not interfering with others' life choices.
I give Eich kudos for doing what he perceived as the right thing and stepping down. But it's not like the guy launched an anti-gay campaign or tirade. He donated what to him is likely pocket change to an admittedly backwards-thinking reactionary cause. Does he regret it? Who knows. He didn't apologize for it. His money could have been much better spent for sure even if he donated to the Flat Earth foundation. The outcry over this is amazing though. I wonder if he couldn't have just apologized, explained his decision publically, recanted, and donated more money to a more liberal cause, and been forgiven. It would have been kind of a wishy-washy thing to do, but probably would have kept him at the helm of Mozilla, and made him no worse than pretty much every politician that has drawn a breath on this planet.
More insidious though is if he decided to leave Mozilla because he was secretly disgusted by how "pro-gay" they all were and couldn't stand to be at an organization so antithetical to his beliefs. If so, good riddance for sure, though still props for not remaining on and slowly trying to subvert the tolerant spirit at that company.
"Safety does not sell"
True that... marketing sells. I don't know if they are aired in the UK, but in the US we have these patronizing, whiny, reedy, preachy "They Lived" Subaru commercials where a hideous wreck is shown and various tow truck drivers, cops, etc. say "They Lived" (by the look of the wreck, they might be vegetables, but they lived I guess) Combine this with another similar one where some hipster-ish douche is seen taking part of his wrecked Subaru as a souvenier--"My Subaru saved my life"
Of course this in no way actually means that Subarus are any more or less safe than any other vehicle, but it does seem to mean that perceived safety does sell cars, or at least high-dollar marketing campaigns do.
If you want CD burning software...
Imgburn is free and the best I've found.
How about the Sysinternals suite?
For troubleshooting, you can't beat the sysinternals utilities. Minitool Partition Wizard may be pretty useful too, so may "Rescatux"
What I don't understand is why bother?
There are a lot of portable drives on the market, some bigger, some just as fast. Unless I'm missing something here, this is nothing that special. Why bother devoting an article to it? It's just a rather boring mechanical drive in a not so special case with a couple of slightly interesting interface choices. So what?
Re: I am insipred
I used to have an IBM "clicky" keyboard that had a switch on the bottom so you could choose "PC" or "XT" compatibility.
I still maintain that if Jack Tramiel wasn't such a greedy ego and megalomaniac, that we'd be using "Commodore" format instead of IBM format PCs, and possibly even Apple would be a footnote...
So what they're saying is that it will approach the efficiency and speed of gaming on Linux? And/or that they're willing to abandon Windows 7 users already, or just PC gamers in general?
These have been my experiences wtih Mint as well. In fact, if they have to pay anything for Win7 and Office, they'd be better off scrapping MS in favor of free, friendly Mint (or Ubuntu) Linux is a bit more thrifty with internet connections to, IMHO, as you're not constanty updating AV and you don't have 50 DRM'd applications phoning home to make sure you haven't pirated them since you used them yesterday.
Most of the old apps will likely run under Wine, and there are tons of educational apps for free on the Linux software repositories.
The only benefit to Win7 for them as I see it is if it was free and if they choose to use WAIK to deploy to their PCs.
Instead of sneakernet..
Since these PCs have to be on a local LAN at least, designate one of the better ones as a "server" and cache the apps you need to install on it. (Heck, you could even use the WAIK to deploy Windows from it if you upgrade it first) Use this PC temporarily as a file server and install from it instead of mucking around with CDs or flash drives. Even at 100Mb/s, installing from LAN will be faster than a CD usually.
Burn in even in LCDs
Yep, seen it too. We have a couple of 5+ yo LCDs with the image of our machine controller software permanently etched into the screen--you can even read text. Not as bad as their CRT predecessors, which were burnt so badly you could even read the etched text with the power off and the screen dark.
Were there no picnic tables available?
As a side note, I'll bet no one messes with him in prison. Anyone that willingly will have sex with a pit bull will likely not be someone's bitch...
As I like to point out to people...
If you had email on AOL in 1996, you were using "the cloud". What's next, "XXtreme Cloud"? I do not understand the fascination for dumping responsibility for data and services with another partner instead of doing them in house if you have the capacity. Is it easier? Somewhat. Is it more reliable and secure? Not likely.
Our company inked a deal in blood with Microsoft for mail and hosting services some time ago. I have to say that my job has never been less threatened---since MS took it over, we've had more problems, slowdowns, and outages than the last 5 years put together.
Actually newcomers might be happier trying Linux Mint. Built on Ubuntu and including codecs, media players (that actually work right), and accessories right from the beginning, Mint "Just works" Setup is painless and the OS has a lot more goodies available at first launch than Ubuntu and a familiar looking desktop for XP emigrees. The default color scheme is a lot less vomit inspiring than Ubuntu's too.
I have to say I like this distro more than any other I've tried in a long time.
The Jewish religion may be the only one (organized) that has a "life for a life" doctrine (while not officially practiced), but interestingly it's the only religion that doesn't seem to kill people and instantly resort to violence/terrorism to solve perceived slights, while all the rest seem to have a "love thy neighbor" philosophy. (also not practiced) Before you mention Christianity, *ahem, bombing abortion clinics, burning witches at the stake, the Crusades...
Well, the Buddhists are pretty peaceful overall, as are the Hindus for the most part, though their outlook is a bit skewed. I suppose my view is closest to Buddhism personally.
Hey, this R2 unit has a bad motivator!
Just what are you trying to pull here??
Seriously though, I'm no Apple fan, but I actually like this one..
Larry's contribution to tech has negatively affected adults!
Has anyone here besides had the joy of installing and troubleshooting Oracle and its myriad issues? To say nothing of actually using it...
Will it even matter?
Another semi-useless human being that couldn't handle an actual IT job, or probably even the average burger-flipping job is now in a position of power in a large corporation. Intelligence beyond that of how to manipulate people is not required. Neither is vision. Only an MBA in most cases. He will be overpaid, out of touch with reality, and either make cuts or purchases likely with a half understanding at best of the tech, or whatever slightly more intelligent yes men advise him on.
For the rest of us, the public and those corporations that have inked a deal in blood with Microsoft, we will be stuck for the most part with whatever half-aware decisions they make. We will continue to have to use and support products for which we are unwitting beta testers, and with "features" and interfaces that were rushed to market, and that no one likely needed anyway. Let's rearrange menus and "the look" of things once again because if it "looks old", it isn't new, right? It doesn't matter that the steering wheel in your car has been in front of the driver for a century, let's move it off to the side, make it square, and call it an improvement in usability. Or leveraging masturbatility, or whatever. Let's innovate! Let's lay off thousands and a year later hire back a different thousand!
Guess I woke up on the wrong side of the bed or forgot my meds or something this morning...
Plenty of good beer in the US
While I agree that there are still some determined rednecks that drink Bud/Coors/Miller pisswater, you can't swing a cat without hitting a microbrewery these days. A store near me boasts beer from all over including local micros. They have enough brands for me to try a different one every week of my life until I'm geriatric or my liver explodes. There are several brew pubs within a 20-mile radius of where I live. (good ones too)
Americans might have once been idiots and tasteless when it comes to beer, but the times they are a changin'.
@The Officejet 8000/8500 series: I wholeheartedly agree. Between the utterly unreliable hardware, the thimble-sized ink cartridges, and the bloated software suite, this printer that looked like a great deal at first was a real turd. I finally wrote off the $80 I spent on this piece of junk for the satisfaction of violently hurling it into a dumpster. (skip for you UK readers)
With some users at our company having bought these wonders for home use, I've discovered that the software causes nothing but problems: Slow machines, conflicts with other apps, and in a couple of cases a "ghost" printer that proved impossible to delete without scouring the registry.
I recently purchased a color laser printer (Canon) and will never suffer another inkjet again. Simon was right... (BOFH)
And "HP Customer Participation Program" wins the award for the most Orwellian software name.
It is curious..
That the outline of the ground where the object appears later seems to very nearly match its shape. But that NASA wouldn't investigate the mystery object seems pretty silly.
I guess there wouldn't be much of a market for the low calorie or light version as they'd be mostly dead from the get go.
WD and Seagate
My observations over the last few years at work: (laptop drives mostly)
-You couldn't pay me to use a WD "Blue Label" drive--we've had a ridiculous failure rate.
-Seagate's "Momentus Thin" is a royal P.O.S. second in failures only to Seagate.
-Hitachi and Toshiba have been pretty reliable.
-We have very few Samsung drives, but I can only remember one ever failing--I was disappointed when Seagate bought their HD business.
-As far as really primordial drives lasting, very old Maxtors seem to run forever. Not so much for newer Maxtors. (and the brand is gone now anyway, assimilated by Seagate)
Glad to see Hitachi got their shit together--they used to be pretty bad.
Microsoft and movie sequels
It seems like MS Operating Systems and movie sequels are very similar: Every other one sucks.
Re: We did question his use of plywood
"That router wasted more wood than was left" He should have just bought a router from Netgear, etc. instead of crafting his own :P
I'll bet that those Twitter addresses attract nothing but reasonable, well thought out, perfectly sane responses from genuine time travelers.
Re: this is how closed hardware works
I will say that despite the hardware variations, that once an Android update does get released, it seems pretty well vetted. You don't seem to get complaints that the OS update broke something, killed battery life, etc. At least not as much as the last few from Apple. (there will always be some affected software--especially free crappy games that everyone and their brother seems to write for this platform)
They had the world and lost it
Blackberry had everything going for them and just let the world pass them by. If they would have just reacted a little faster to the trends, we'd at least have a 3-way split between Android, Apple, and Blackberry. Commodore did the same thing decades ago...
Wow, someone in charge with some common sense?
And integrity? Not to mention empathy? What is the world coming to...
But how will you solder to it?
Don't say it...
Personal Electronic Transactor
I still have my Commodore PET, circa 1980. It and the Dual 8050 floppy drive still work perfectly, though the keyboard misbehaves a little. I suppose some day when I die, it will end up at auction somewhere or <shudder> in the trash. But barring mishap, I'll probably continue holding on to it.
I'd just be happy if...
It doesn't thrust a software update down your throat to get it to just play a movie. I come home, I'm tired, I don't feel like gaming, I just want to watch Netflix or similar for an hour before going to bed. I find I must spend an extra 10 or more minutes to update to version x.x.01 to add the ability to put frilly doilies on all my (not) shared photos before it will let me use any application. And be signed into PSN even though Netflix, etc. requires separate credentials anyway.
It's maybe nitpicking, but this has always peeved me and has made me resolve to not buy another PS.
My favorite media player..
It will be missed.
Shame on LG. I really hope this article gets more play than just on the Register.
Obviously not for laptop drives...
I know there's other factors like vibration, impact, and heat, but I'd like to see who has those amazing drives at the other end of the bell curve, the ones that last 100 years. We seem to get a lot of the drives that make it about 1-2 years. Western Digital drives being the worst lately, followed closely by Seagate's "Momentus Thin" series...
I wish them well but...
They had the opportunity to make something really revolutionary and cool looking. Not that everyone would want a garish monument in their living room, but they could have exploited the "steampunk" theme here, or at least made it a little more arty looking. From the pictures it looks less appealing and interesting than my cable box. I'm no fanboi, but they could have taken some cues from what Apple has done with their designs, or even Sony, may they rot.
You'll be comforted to know though...
That it probably retains the annoying feature of forcing you to upgrade the OS if an update is available before you can do anything with it, even playing a Netflix video, and even if the update is for something as inconsequential as adding a different thumbnail view or another pointless photo sharing feature.
Sony shoots itself in the foot once again...
No more rimjobs.com?
I hope that RIM manages to pull this off and these catch on. I'm not really a fanboi of either i-stuff or Android, though I find myself liking Apple less and less having to support and set up Apple devices daily at work. Our company made a sudden transition from BB to get off of the expensive BES licensing and jump on the Apple bandwagon. While Apple's build quality is much better than RIM's used to be, "It just works" is many miles from the truth. We've had SO many problems with email and having to reinstall iOS, and the "two finger salute" on an iPhone has replaced the old BB battery pull. And Apple's on-screen keyboard is just awful, frankly. My Android with "Swype" puts it to shame, and I occasionally like to torture die hard Apple fans with how easy and fast it is to use.
The problem is, RIM had the market by the horns 4 or so years ago and let the world pass them by. Good luck prying an iPhone out of a fanboi's hands--you'd have more luck convincing a Southern Baptist preacher to convert to Catholicism. (or in the case of switching to Android, Zoroastrianism) And with plentiful Android devices around in varying degrees of quality and price, and now Windows phone, I just don't see RIM managing to recapture enough market to save themselves.
Must be all the bundled crapware that Dell thrusts down your throat when you buy a new laptop. Toolbars, ad-supported games, worthless music players, photo apps, annoying launchers that take up most of your desktop, McAfee AV... Finally it's all achieved critical mass and begun to actually stink in the real world.
Seriously though, I remember about 7 years ago we had a batch of (Hitachi?) laptop hard drives that had a plastic layer that would smell very much like bad B.O. after they'd heated and cooled a few times.
I hope this means their quality won't drop even further...
Seriously, when a hard drive fails at work, I usually know I'm going to see a WD label on it, especially their "blue" series when I get the drive out. Not sure what happened there, but it's gotten to the point that I won't even purchase a WD drive for a replacement or new build. Seagate's "Momentus" line hasn't exactly inspired of late either...
A cool idea that will probably be stillborn
Sounds kind of neat, but I'll be immensely surprised if they manage to get it to market, and if it actually catches on. If anyone can make it fly, it's Google/Motorola. Still, I won't hold my breath.
Order of business...
They'll probably spend half a day deciding whether to continue bundling the utterly worthless Ask Toolbar that you have to opt out of, or something even worse with the JRE Windows installer. Oh wait, that's Oracle... nm.
I can't even tell you how many messages I've gotten on my answering machine to the tune of: "This is your second and final warning to lower your credit card bill!" (I do not carry a balance on my cards for the record) These people make algae look highly evolved. I think everyone should have a reverse 800 service when it comes to ads like these--if you want to spam me, go for it, but it should cost you something per call, payable to me. Same goes for emails-- a few pennies per spam sent would be fair, while email for personal and legitimate business use could remain free.
Apple doesn't change plug designs at every iteration. But I would agree that for a company that markets themselves as being "green" and tries to attract the demographic that thinks Priuses are green, they are pretty pitiful. Case in point: The iPhone 4 and 4s were packed in an elegant cardboard box that looked nice and did everything it should. The 5 series of phones are in a plastic box with an idiotic plastic retainer, like some 1955 vision of what the future should look like. Yes, it's sort of pretty, and theoretically recyclable, but I'm pretty sure most of this unnecessary plastic will end up in a landfill somewhere. And as a side note, Steve Jobs (whatever you think of him) would not likely have let iOS7 out the door looking like it does.
I can almost understand the steps made to prevent people from replacing the SSD, upgrading memory, etc. I don't like it, but I can sort of understand it. But a non-replaceable battery? That's just idiotic. In real world use, a laptop LiOn battery lasts maybe 2 years for most, and that's being optimistic. Forcing people to spend a fortune to replace a $50 battery, whatever Apple's motivation, is just very poor engineering and thumbing their nose at their customers.
3rd world trying to get in the game...
This is what every country goes through as it develops manufacturing might and goes through its own "industrial revolution" it seems. Expansion and greed before common sense and controls. I'm sure we'll see it more as more nations bludgeon their way to relevance.
The phenomenon of the beater laptop
I'm sure that Facebook like most organizations still has a few PCs on XP. But the laptop shown in the photo is what.. a Dell D600 or D610 maybe by the looks of it? A 7-9 year old laptop with a single-core processor? I suspect that it's one of the many throwaway beater laptops that pretty much every IT department keeps around for compatibility with some favorite utility or to pull out of a drawer when some logging or other task that doesn't need to tie up a more powerful machine comes up. A machine that beat the odds by not being recycled some years ago because it was still in great shape and someone rescued it.
You can't surmise that Facebook has very many machines at all still on XP from the photo.
Fastest man-made object?
I believe the Voyager 1 and 2 probes still have that honor, currently moving at about 35,000 MPH, or over 56,000 KPH.
As long as you can disable it...
As long as you can disable it without having to agree to several pages of lawyerly crap on your screen, then maybe a good idea. If you cannot, then forget it.
I hope to never have to run someone over, drive my car through a barricade, etc., but if I do, I don't need the idiot brain in my car thinking it knows what's best. It's bad enough when Windows thinks it knows what I want to do. (and always gets it wrong)
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