296 posts • joined 26 Feb 2013
Re: Microsoft's productivity challenge
"Under competitive pressures they had to listen to customers and understood what it takes to build a productivity tool."
It used to be that way, in the ages long past. They (well, somebody influential in there) wanted to scrap the old boring toolmaker image and dip into entertainment. Thus bringing about those silly hide-and-seek games, weird selection of colours, myriad of uncanny ways to draw user's attention on the interface, changes for the sake of change, lots of babbling about "user experience". Attention whoring, to put it not-so-mildly.
In this regard, any talk about enhancing productivity has to be viewed as a good sign. Maybe the tools will get usable again, instead of trying to "entertain" users to the point of mental meltdown.
Re: Noting error messages....Let's be fair here...
"So when I get an emailed screenshot, it's from someone who ought to know better."
Nobody's perfect. I had an e-mail from a very sensible IT person, who had, for some unfathomable reasons, decided to wrap the screenshot inside the .docx file. Oh dear. It took a lot of willpower to overcome the urge for vengeance - like sending a handwritten reply in .djvu format.
You must be referring to the Pajarito:
It looks like a pure reflex. During criticality, there is not that much time to contemplate. Then again, an experienced person may well be able to suppress the instincts and do the right thing.
"communicating with 0 characters seems Orwellian"
Hmm. There is a peculiar, almost Tao-like appeal in it. Communication without communication.
I, for one, welcome our non-communicating overlords. May they keep quiet evermore.
Re: Great Thinking
"Now unlike planned stubborn economics, like socialism, capitalism is based on reality"
Decades ago it may have been the case, but modern oligopolies are wildly different beasts. It's exactly these 'planned stubborn economics' at play, hidden under layers of rhetorics and bullshit. Reality is heavily frowned upon, because it invariably interferes with the most precious plans and processes.
Previous poster was quite right - Politburo is back with the vengeance.
Re: "Dark" , "Off the grid" , "Underbelly"
Yes, time of the subtle hints is over. Social equals modern, progressive people are actively using social & mobile, usage is skyrocketing, yada yada yada.
Now we're into the second phase - casting shadows on those who still refuse to get the message. Language is getting stronger and darker. Effectively a public smear campaign.
Re: Who taught these children ??
"1001 Wonderful Things"
Thanks. Seems like it's still a good book for the young & curious. But rare.
For more amusement, try "Victorian Inventions" by Leonard de Vries.
Re: Who taught these children ??
"they have no experience of other forms of control-input, which a modern keyboard on Windows/KDE/etc isn't"
Mostly true. But I have a hilarious counterexample - a twelve-year-old, who discovered an IBM Model M keyboard at about ten. He promptly seized it for himself and chucked other input devices away. Complaints about the clacker noise are usually met with a shrug and a terse reply "oh, but you can close the door then".
Last time I checked, he had found a PC version of Elite and was quite annoyed. No, not at Elite, mind you. At those modern games - all eyecandy and no content to speak of.
There's a geek born every minute, I tells ya.
"BMWs have special glass which has a layer of plastic film"
Otherwise known as triplex, or laminated glass. Everybody, not just BMW, uses it for the windscreens. On the side windows it's very rare. And not a good idea either.
Re: Dear Europe
"It might appeal to the sort of voter who thought it was cool to vote pirate last time" + "Your friendly kiwis"
You really thought it was a friendly thing to say?
OK, no upside-down jokes today. Pirate parties got a lot of protest votes, because disappointment with the mainstream political parties runs deep. This should be quite familiar feeling for the people all over the world. Nothing to sneer at.
Re: Delusions and Dreams. An Economic Know-Nothings in the FT
Not so sure about that. Similar rationalizations were once flowing around about Soviets. No, they cannot be pissing money away just like that, they have to have a master plan. Being brilliant chess players and all. Of course they weren't short of the long view, they had lots of 5-year and longer plans to justify all those monumental projects ^W^W sorely needed infrastructure projects. Only the time could show what utter bollocks these plans really were.
Is it different with China? Who knows. Little birds are singing that an alarmingly big portion of the Chinese govt projects are just show-offs with mostly symbolic value. Pork-barreling isn't that uncommon either.
Re: Website policy stupidity
Around here, major banks are doing a bit of community service, and are providing website authentication services on very amicable terms. Authorization tokens from the online banks are accepted by most utilities and e-tailers.
Bank credentials have to be guarded with utmost care, obviously, but the password hell is neatly avoided.
Re: Where have you been?
Obligatory Douglas Adams quote
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move."
Re: Black and White
"He who battles monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster."
Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
Re: Rants vs. Reporting and Analysis
It's a new paradigm, you know. RaaS aka "Rant as a service". Delivered to us every Friday (occasional hiccups notwithstanding), just before pub'o'clock. And quite a popular service it is.
Stop whining and get on with the times.
Re: "Cloud computing is shite."
It should have been marked with an adult rating. Coarse language, wicked humour, multitude of other sins. Glad you got out of it, and not a moment too soon.
Re: turn chaos into clockwork
Not just any clockwork. A Clockwork Orange. For the cloud users, life is never boring.
Re: Pretty good reading
Of course. Trolls have always been lazy and stoopid. Waiting for somebody to show up, somebody worth trolling. Nowadays we're even lazier. "Hey, you! Cum here! I'll scare your pants off or sumthing!"
Wouldn't want to break ancient traditions, no sir.
Re: Pretty good reading
"With the demise of DOS-based Ghost"
Sad indeed. It had less quirks than other image tools. With all those "smart" tools you just cannot be sure whether your image is any good.
Few years back, I finally had enough, and decided to take a path of brute force: dd + gzip. Storage space is cheaper than time. For the time not spent on troubleshooting mysterious restore errors (like 0x80070057), I can buy a fucking crate of disks. Or tapes.
Excellent article. Well-rounded. Which, sadly, does not leave much room for commenting. How are we supposed to live without flamebaits?
"Sorry, but it was Excel getting MS Office on most PCs, bringing Word with him"
That's Excel 5.0 you are talking about, not 4.0. They are worlds apart.
Which makes both assessments correct - 5.0 was indeed a killer, but 4.0 was very much a dead duck.
"Excel was the first to include Visual Basic For Applications, and it made its programming capabilities far more advanced than simple "macros"."
Here's a little refresher:
Re: A very informative headline.
For the people, who are not well versed in antology (ha!), it is far too easy to commit a heinous crime of missing a cultural reference or two. Having seen far too many cultures coming and going doesn't exactly help either.
But I'd guess there's not much to do. That's one of the subtle hazards of the Wild Wild Web, which has existed since its inception, and probably even before.
Have a pint, good Sir, and an upvote or two.
Re: A very informative headline.
Ugh. Lots of mandatory "education" that is served these days is far worse than ridicule. An outright insult to a reasonable level of intelligence. Not to mention the time wasted.
/icon: a tall stake of pointless certificates is merrily burning/
Re: some 80%
It's 146%, as any fule kno.
"everyone should be equal" + "not being true to their Communist ideals"
Well, cry me a river. Practical attempts at Communism have always meant that everybody is equal, some are just more equal than others.
May the gods have mercy and save you from actually living in a society with Communist ambitions.
Re: population growth
I, for one, welcome our new plastic overlords.
Re: So what happened to the coder
"Almost the entirety of the source code universe is a total mess"
Why, the entire universe is a total mess. Entropy is one of the most fundamental qualities of it, and an important driving force. It would be folly to hope that our puny sources would be unaffected by the Almighty Mess.
Excellent comment, though.
Re: Real Programmers *and* Mythical Man Month?
Great indeed, but Real Programmer canon is not complete without Mel.
Re: Is this why some Android devices don't take SD cards?
"what's the pro these days?"
There's one more, admittedly a variant of sneakernet. SD is a relatively easy way to salvage data, when the device becomes an ex-device.
Re: None of this changes anything
"Only Microsoft.. well, perhaps Microsoft and Canonical.. have an idea of how it will all fit together five or ten years down the road."
Oh, why settle on five, when they're aiming for 500. It's got Electrolytes!
Re: None of this changes anything
"AFAIK [DLL] versioning got better years ago"
WinSxS provides...ahem...wildly fluctuating values of $better.
Re: reminds me of a poster
Ahem. Now let us read another passage from The Fine Book.
And thus was it spoken in Murphy 4:4
If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.
Re: FruitExpert Launches Free* Online course in lemon see-sawing!
- Mushroom Milling
- [redacted] Polishing
re: Facebook Effect
It may be a variant of Reverse Midas Touch, something that's characteristic for most bigcorps. But FB learned it surprisingly quickly. Zuck is a quick learner, he talks like a true PHB now.
Re: Is Windows 8 fundamentally broken?
"People just need to get their 'finger' out and adapt."
Oh, great. It's the bloody Church of Change at work. Again.
Embrace the Change, children. Change is goood. You must not fear, you must not doubt, let us Change together. All hail the Change!
But if you don't...we'll mock you until you do.
/disclaimer: all my lame jokes and sweeping generalizations are brought to you by a modern touchy-feely device, as those are the genres that are truly well suited to the touchscreens/
Re: Ex storage admin, here
"Who needs to rebuild a RAID group anyway ? This needs to be planned at installation time"
Requirements may change, usage patterns may change.
If you do not like that kind of control, fine, don't use it then, but please do not petition for removing it altogether. OMG, admin can break a LUN! What a shock.
Re: Ridiculous comparison
"You need to abstract out complexity for any technology"
Yes and no. Definitely not out - that results in a dumbed-down technology, which in turn helps to dumb down people. High level languages (hello Java!) have done a lot of harm here.
Better way is to hide the complexity from the average Joe, but leave the knobs and levers accessible to the people who are able to use them. Behind another access level, if necessary. Start with good defaults and good configuration templates. That'll avoid most of the problems - sensible admin does not fiddle with sensible defaults.
Re: Ah the wisdom of nerds
Marketing is a form of propaganda. If done well, it serves as a useful communication vehicle, and doesn't anger people very much, but it's the abuses that are the problem. Geeks just happen to be quite sensitive towards the abusal.
Oh, and the most evil characteristic of bad propaganda - it polarizes people, turns them against each other.
Re: Attempting to give a damn...
"Is it really going to be called Microsoft Azure tomorrow?"
Oh, yes. That leaves room for the next rebranding effort after a year or two. Most likely it will be Microsoft Cloud, or The Microsoft Network. Unless they'll have one of those rare hip'n'dandy moments and name it Ding or Fuzzy.
/damn, those corporate bingo sessions are making people way too cynical/
Re: Attempting to give a damn...
An error has occurred while giving a damn. Please tell Microsoft about this problem. /.../
You know the drill, don't you.
Oi, when I were a lad, we used to dream about oscilloscopes. Had to make do with a logic tester, built into the discarded felt pen. Syringe needle, bunch of wires, two crappy LEDs and one 7400.
Aargh. Shouldn't have mentioned 7400! Those bastards had zillions of 74LS chips to play with, and all they managed to do with them was to turn them into a PCJr!
/fakes a stroke and slumbers off the soapbox/
We need no steenking reasons to bring in aliens. They're an universal factor, like deus ex machina or Finnegans Finagling Factor.
"He claimed the agency only slurped the communications of targeted individuals"
And vice versa, if your comms are slurped, it means you're a target. Let's hope that the actual scale of slurping never becomes public... oh, bugger.
"and said that the vast majority of people who weren't on the target list had nothing to fear from his spies."
Whereas the remaining minority who weren't on the target list...
Oh dear. What a way to dig themselves out of the hole. They must be half way to China by now.
So long, and thanks for all the bugs.
It's hard for the lone admin to fend off the trolls. Once they've gained enough presence, the whole place starts to stink.
Re: The silly thing is
"Microsoft can abuse the power of the default"
Well put. And not just this particular default. There is a long-running joke that in order to use MS products properly, you have to start by reversing all MS defaults you can find. An overstatement, yes, but quite humourous.
Re: 1000 Users!
Hmh. There is a fine line between a thought-provoking post, and just provoking, it's so delicate and so easy to cross.
Have an upvote, though. For the previous posts, which would have deserved several upvotes instead of the one they got.
Re: no surprise here
"Every show shows someone tapping on a rectangle to launch something"
It all started with a hospital scene in "Idiocracy". That touchscreen from the year 2505 was simply irresistible...
With 1mm layer around the battery surface it looks quite possible. Maybe a half mm will do.
That's because it has to endure higher voltages and higher currents.
1F at 5V can be much smaller.
Re: @Don Jefe: Concrete railroad cross ties
Seems like this bit needs repeating (or reinforcing, har har)
"That 'steel reinforced' bit is the key. None of the major US trials of concrete freight rail cross ties have been sufficiently reinforced"
Concrete is able to stand tremendous weights, but breaks easily when twisted or pulled. Which is exactly what happens on the railroad - weight of the train is pushing the tracks apart, applying the wrong kind of force to the cross ties. It is up to the steel carcass to hold them together. And that concrete+steel combination has to be good, really good, to surpass the wooden ancestor.
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