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* Posts by AJ MacLeod

209 posts • joined 11 May 2006

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Space geeks' resurrected NASA Sun probe ISEE-3 now on collision course with THE MOON

AJ MacLeod

They've done incredibly well to get anywhere like this far and so cheaply, even if they never do manage to persuade it fully back into life again. It can be nerve wracking enough at times doing remote work on well documented ordinary server a few hundred miles away, this is a completely different proposition altogether.

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Man FOUND ON MOON denies lunar alien interface

AJ MacLeod

@Anonymous Blowhard

Aldrin is claiming that it's "usual" for life to evolve all over the universe. That's a statement consisting of 100% conjecture with no evidence to back it up, as not the faintest sign of life has been detected anywhere other than our own planet.

I can state with just as much confidence that our planet is the only one in the entire universe to hold life; as virtually nobody seems to have been able to comprehend, my beef is with prominent figures stating as fact that which is actually conjecture (and the ignorant masses who eagerly swallow said statements, foolishly imagining themselves to be rather sophisticated.)

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AJ MacLeod

Re: Blind man declares "there's nothing out there!"

nexsphil - That's fine, a reasonable enough conclusion - I don't object to Buzz Aldrin holding that view, but I'm tired of the way that so many prominent figures (Aldrin here, but Dawkins, Hawking etc) make completely unfounded or dubious statements which are then received as gospel by millions of sycophantic fools (who imagine themselves to be terribly sophisticated)

Clearly, that includes an awful lot of Reg readers whose comprehension skills seem rather less honed than their high-horse mounting abilities...

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AJ MacLeod

Re: As trolling goes you get gold.

Clearly you haven't actually read my comments or if you have you aren't capable of understanding them. Your piffle here is unrelated to anything I wrote - or are you suggesting that the scientific understanding is that the rocks you found contain trilobites from outer space?

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AJ MacLeod

Hillarious I'm sure. The evidence though is that not even the faintest sign of anything even remotely resembling life has been found outside of our planet.

Statistics, as everyone knows, can be used to "show" pretty much anything you like, making them fairly worthless in this kind of argument.

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AJ MacLeod

It should be perfectly obvious what I'm talking about - the article. Buzz Aldrin claims that it's entirely unremarkable that life evolved here on earth and it's certain there's other life "out there"... the evidence we have shows very clearly that both those claims are likely to be wrong (regardless of whether life "evolved" here or not.)

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AJ MacLeod

"It was not that remarkable, that special, that unusual, that life here on earth evolved gradually, slowly, to where we are today"

Buzz Aldrin may have stood on the surface of the moon, but neither that nor anything else gives him the right to state that as fact. That's pure opinion, conjecture... and the hard evidence is completely against it.

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We need to talk about SPEAKERS: Sorry, 'audiophiles', only IT will break the sound barrier

AJ MacLeod

I was interested in the subject of the article but the gross ignorance of the author was made clear on the very first page, saving me the bother of wasting my time with the rest of it.

The human ear is a masterpiece of sensor design, and that much should be glaringly obvious to anyone who has studied it in any detail; most of its workings have been known to science for generations. If the author has a better design, let's see it... I think we can safely file his work in the same dustbin Dawkins' rubbish about eye design was immediately filed by those who are actually scientific experts in that field and not ignorantly speculating science fiction writers.

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Aaah, what's that smell, Nook? Yes, it's death: Barnes & Noble to jettison e-book biz

AJ MacLeod

I can see how it'd be annoying to pay for something which is also available for free but I'm not sure it's illegal; from the Gutenberg FAQ:

C.7. What can I do with a text that is in the public domain?

Anything you want! You can copy it, publish it, change its format, distribute it for free or for money...

I have no particular fondness for B&N (though I do for the hardware) and have never had to test their customer service - it's just a shame that there is effectively no major competitor to Amazon in this field to keep them on their toes.

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AJ MacLeod

Doesn't sound like you were comparing two equal models (there are lots of Kindles and several Nooks) - the Nook simple touch has both hardware page turn buttons (dirt/waterproof, under the rubber coating of the front bezel) and a touch screen. It doesn't have a physical keyboard but despite being a hater of touch screen keyboards I've found it to be really quite good - significantly less horrible than the tacky plastic buttons on Kindles so equipped.

Last time I checked the guts and screen were identical to those in the matching Kindle, and they were running the same Android OS - in fact you can fairly easily root the simple touch and install the Kindle software if you really felt the need. The ability to easily root the Nook was another item in its favour for me, but it works so well for me as it is that I'm not going to bother.

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AJ MacLeod

It's a shame that Amazon are quite as dominant as they are in this field. The nook simple touch is much nicer than its Kindle competitor... I haven't bought a single book on mine though and I don't really see that changing any time soon (I bought it to read Project Gutenberg books - if I'm paying I'd like to see real paper for my cash thanks.)

I suppose that makes me part of B&N's problem... I certainly got the hardware at a bargain price.

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Apple SOLDERS memory into new 'budget' iMac

AJ MacLeod

Re: Repairs

I'm not sure how many computers you're dealing with on a daily basis but I've seen loads and loads of RAM go bad after a few years ("good" brand names and bad alike) - and seen several older Macs with soldered-on RAM binned because of the same fault.

I wouldn't touch one of these with a bargepole, and nor would anyone else with even half a clue...

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Come off it, Moon, Earth. We KNOW you're 60 million years OLDER than we thought

AJ MacLeod

I have to say that I found both the content of the article and many of the comments somewhat ironic; "science" "KNOWS" the age of the earth is blah de blah years now, anyone (scientist or not) who has a different opinion is a fool and must be ridiculed.

Only... "science" "KNEW" that the age of the earth was something vastly different just a few days ago! Both values are almost certainly wrong, but dissenters with perfectly plausible theories of their own will be ridiculed regardless, for being ignorant heathen unbelievers.

The hard fact of the matter is that nobody can _ever_ prove the age of the earth - it isn't possible because we don't have all the observational data required and can't ever have it. You can take one of many different sets of assumptions and guess at it "scientifically" - but you can't be truly scientifically sure that your assumptions are correct. Oh - and it doesn't matter in the least what percentage of "true scientists" take the same set of assumptions; their opinion is as worthless as yours because they haven't a complete set of data either. History has proven that ideas firmly believed to be fact by the majority of scientists at any one time are often completely wrong.

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Chuh. Heavy, dude: HP ZBook 17 mobile workstation

AJ MacLeod

Re: Might be big....

Sorry, it's an HP - death from heat exhaustion is the norm. I have stacks of dead laptops here from many different manufacturers, cause of death varies; only HP comes close to 100% heat related deaths in my experience. I wouldn't touch this one with a barge pole...

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EBay, you keep using the word 'SECURITY'. I do not think it means what you think it means

AJ MacLeod

Re: Sigh...

No point in doing that, you'd end up having to pay all the ridiculous delivery surcharges...

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AOL Mail locks down email servers to deal with spam tsunami

AJ MacLeod

Re: All the signs are that this is not simple spoofing

Yes, I've seen this too over the past week and a bit. Changing the account passwords hasn't made any difference and there's never any spam in their sent folders so I'm not too sure exactly what's been happening.

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BOYCOTT FIREFOX, rage gay devs as Mozilla appoints JavaScript daddy as CEO

AJ MacLeod

Re: The witch hunt continues @Chris W

Think about it, please; he's not a moron for having his own opinion, he's a moron for crying loudly that someone having an opinion opposed to his is not fit to lead Mozilla.

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AJ MacLeod

The witch hunt continues

This self-important Catlin moron needs to get a grip and understand that billions of other people have different opinions and beliefs to his own and that he is not the sole arbiter of truth and right; in this case the opinions of Eich have absolutely nothing to do with his work and are completely irrelevant to Mozilla.

We are now seeing more and more the militant homosexual lobby not just sitting back and being content with having achieved what they first claimed they wanted, now they want to destroy all those who have disagreed with them. We're all free to our own opinions as long as they don't clash with theirs...

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Microsoft frisked blogger's Hotmail inbox, IM chat to hunt Windows 8 leaker, court told

AJ MacLeod

Pirate Windows 8?

Don't think they need have worried there!

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Ford to dump Microsoft's 'aggravating' in-car tech for ... BlackBerry?

AJ MacLeod

The trouble is that car manufacturers have spent most of the past ten years sticking technology and gadgetry where it isn't suitable, doesn't work and isn't wanted.

I can think of very few places where a touch screen interface is less suitable than in a car, particularly if it's supposed to be operated by the driver - and yet many manufacturers have used them for all kinds of operations which were previously trivially easy to manage purely by feel whilst driving.

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BlackBerry brings back call, end keys, touchpad to Q20 keyboard cutie

AJ MacLeod

Re: @James 51

My own trackpad (BB9105) has been very reliable even in situations where it couldn't really be expected to be and as for the physical disconnect button I won't buy a phone without one. I only hope they don't make it completely flat and indistinguishable by feel...

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AJ MacLeod

Finally!

A company that listens to their customer base and not only admits to mistakes but rectifies them? I'm sold. If only they'd bring back a model with a proper numeric keypad too... I know I'm not likely to see that ever again though and my current phone won't survive for ever - this is probably as good as I'm going to get, and far more than I honestly expected so unless the reviews of the final device are universally awful I expect to be ordering one.

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Yes! New company smartphones! ... But I don't WANT one

AJ MacLeod

Re: faulty premise no.1

Precisely why I'm still using my BB 9105 three years on... one day in the future I hope that somebody, somewhere, will realise that a phone is best supplied with a phone keypad on the front (and should last the best part of a working week without being recharged)

Until then, I'll be deleting the "upgrade" offers Vodafone plague me with...

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HP claims ProLiant server audits to stop 'competitive misuse'

AJ MacLeod

Re: AJ McMakeStuffUp Shove off, HP

Newsflash for those living in cloud cuckoo land - most companies are NOT managing large server estates. Those that are are no doubt well placed to fork out limitless money on shiny manufacturer's support contracts (which actually aren't all that brilliant once you move away from the larger population centres.) HP then appear to be saying that all they care about is big business - that's fine, smaller businesses have other options and will use them.

Why _shouldn't_ customers who have spent plenty of money on a product get fixes for the flaws built into that product once HP eventually admits to them and produces a workaround? That kind of behaviour is pretty close to extortion...

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AJ MacLeod

Re: AJ McMakeStuffUp Shove off, HP

Oh come on - it doesn't take a genius to apply firmware updates as required, nor to swap out faulty hardware. There's nothing magical about HP servers or even anything particularly different about them compared to any others - they're just basically fancy PCs. In fact, if anything they're even designed to be _easier_ to maintain.

And I didn't say ProLiants don't come with a warranty, obviously that's not legal - but they don't sure as anything don't usually come with a full three year support package as suggested above.

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AJ MacLeod

Re: Shove off, HP

No they don't - none of the servers I've bought from HP have ever had a 3 year warranty included, it's been a very expensive add-on every time. Are you suggesting that being permitted to download fixes for only the first year of a server's life is in some way acceptable?

Besides the article appears to have been edited - I'm sure the suggestion was that if HP suspected that firmware updates had been applied by someone other than one of their overpriced agents they would cease to honour any warranty. Either way I really don't care - the very fact that they're even thinking along these lines is enough for me, and already my (or my customers') money is going elsewhere as a consequence.

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AJ MacLeod

Shove off, HP

Specced my first two Dell servers instead of the usual ProLiants just yesterday, reading this garbage today just makes me 100% determined - HP aren't getting another penny from any of my customers. Just who do they think they are? What they're insisting on has to be beyond what they're legally able to.

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Adobe goes out of band to fix frightful Flash flaw

AJ MacLeod

Linux Support

The question is, do they class the Linux update as less critical because it's less vulnerable in this case or just because they couldn't care less about supporting Linux?

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Just as we said it would: HP clamps down on server fixers

AJ MacLeod

Got this last night

and that's me convinced - I won't be buying HP servers again. It's a shame because I'd only just settled on them in the past year or two and was pretty happy (notwithstanding having to pay extra for iLO to be usable - and even then it's a bit iffy unless you're using old versions of IE)

I was buying desktops and laptops from Dell anyway, might as well add servers to the list.

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Another one bites the dust: AVG kills its remote access service

AJ MacLeod

Re: They had an extra service? (@ecofeco)

Nor had I heard of it, and I'm an AVG reseller. Having said that, they probably stuck some stupid "cloudy" name onto it, making me automatically ignore it... If only AVG could stick to making a decent, lightweight AV product and steered clear of all these other pointless gimmicks!

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UK picks Open Document Format for all government files

AJ MacLeod

Re: Important change @El_Andy

That's exactly the case now (for various values of reliably.) Nobody has said ODF is already perfect (indeed the quotes in the article show that the expectation is that later versions can be used as the spec develops) but at least it's not 100% controlled by a single US corporation with a staggeringly bad track record.

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AJ MacLeod

Re: Important change

The whole point is that implementing good ODF support is actually a realistically achievable goal, whereas properly implementing Microsoft's "standards" is never going to be because that's the way MS wanted it. Having one highly untrustworthy foreign company calling the shots on data formats is just stupid and I'm amazed (but pleased) that the government has actually noticed and appears to be doing something about it.

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UK IT supplier placed on ASA naughty step over 'misleading' HDD ad

AJ MacLeod

Increasingly common fraud

It's all very well saying one shouldn't buy "refurbished" drives, but I've had several sold through Amazon as brand new which had many thousands of hours on them. They usually come packaged correctly in a sealed anti-static bag but handling a fair number of new drives each month I can usually tell there's something slightly off, and check the SMART stats before using (or rejecting) the drive.

I'm sure lots of people with a bit less experience would never even think about it - after all some manufacturers are keen on "hiding" the production date in a less than obvious code, and the drives are clean enough on the outside.

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9,000 heads to roll at Dell? Tosh. It'll all go down in Feb and it's THOUSANDS more - insiders

AJ MacLeod

Why the hate?

For me, Dell have been fantastic over the past six or seven years when it comes to bog standard desktop PCs and laptops for SMEs. Not only are their prices decent, but the product is on the whole at least as reliable as anything comparable (the occasional duff model of laptop excepted) and just as importantly they have consistently been truly excellent in dealing with issues arising during the warranty period (and even outside it sometimes.)

I suspect though they could live quite happily without the apparently huge numbers of Indian-based sales people that like to try and get in touch after a sale - I didn't need them to make that purchase, why would I want to speak to them the next time I'm after some machines? Web-based ordering removes the language barriers and you see everything clearly laid out in print before you buy.

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Security holes in Word, the Windows kernel and Adobe Flash. Party like it's Patch Tuesday again

AJ MacLeod

Re: Huh?

Actually it's most likely because these CentOS updates are not primarily security updates, but an "point" upgrade to a new version. Similar to the Windows 8 to 8.1 "upgrade" only with a much smaller download size and the choice of virtually any UI you like either before or after.

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Microsoft to RIP THE SHEETS off Windows 9 aka 'Threshold' in April

AJ MacLeod

Re: Unnecessary Windows 8.1 Hate

We all know this - don't you see that what you've actually done is wasted useful time in fiddling with fairly obscure settings in order to get a semi-usable experience? This is the whole issue that has annoyed so many people - Windows 8 can be made to work reasonably well but only after tweaking; a desktop OS should come ready-configured as a desktop OS, not some kind of dumbed down phone.

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AJ MacLeod

Really - people hate the utterly retarded UI just because MS released it? How about this... maybe everyone (and, in my own experience dealing with a huge range of IT-using punters every day, it really is effectively everyone) hates the retarded UI because it's retarded. Maybe we should just all put earplugs in and go about blindfolded so that we all have a consistent experience of the world around us whether or not we are naturally deaf or blind?

I'm of the opinion that if the default Windows 8(.1) experience really does suit someone they probably shouldn't even have a PC at all; they'd be better off using their similarly handicapped phone or tablet.

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Yes, the BBC still uses FTP. And yes, a Russian crook hacked the server

AJ MacLeod

Re: Software Clients - pass the blame

FTPS != SFTP (which is far more widely used IME)

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El Reg's contraptions confessional no.2: Tablet PC, CRT screen and more

AJ MacLeod

PPC640 could be bought with an internal hard disk - my brother has one which I fired up about a year ago out of curiosity and it all still worked perfectly (well, I didn't test the built in modem but I'm sure it'd be fine!) Funny, when I regularly have to bin failed hard disks that are less than a year old - outrageously expensive "enterprise" grade SAS or dirt cheap SATA, they're all short-lived rubbish these days.

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Our Vulture strokes Dell's ROBUST 15 INCHER: Inspiron 15 Core i7

AJ MacLeod

Annoyingly they (stupidly offset touchpads) are not just common but almost universal. Which is especially annoying on machines that don't even have a numeric keypad!

One big thing in Dell's favour is that though they may not supply manuals with the machine, they usually have a good manual available online which actually covers disassembly and repair... I'm quite used to doing without, but it's definitely nice to know exactly what your best plan of attack is rather than going by guesswork and feel.

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OpenSUSE 13.1: Oh look, a Linux with YOU in mind (and 64-bit ARMs)

AJ MacLeod

You've either got your dates or your Redhat version wrong there... I suspect both, actually! In those ancient days the only practical way for me to get as huge a set of software as a distro was on CD and I remember being delighted when SuSE made it onto the cover of a UK magazine. Possibly the same one you're on about, though this was 1998.

I still occasionally use OpenSuSE when I want a generic "kitchen sink" distro with plenty of quick access to a wide range of packages and it even came on a netbook I bought a few years ago - I ditched the dreadful install almost right away but it makes a nice change having a SuSE sticker in place of the usual MS one!

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City of London cops ARREST 6 suspected to be MICROSOFT COUNTERFEIT RING

AJ MacLeod

Re: I may have a fake copy

I've seen loads of these - lots of them were really obvious fakes because they didn't have a proper COA with the product key on them...

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Meet the BlackBerry wizardry that created its 'better Android than Android'

AJ MacLeod

Yeah, what an idiot. He should have trusted all his personal information to Google, they never pry...

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Have you reinstalled Windows yet? No, I just want to PRINT THIS DAMN PAGE

AJ MacLeod

Brother's website is far from the worst of them IMO... which only says how bad some of the others are!

Personally I'd have tried a standard PCL or PS driver if in a rush - most reasonable network capable printers deal with that fine.

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AJ MacLeod

Re: Nice cat

I agree, they're often more than infuriating to use - but they're there and will continue to "work" long after the manufacturer loses interest in the device, and will work no matter what OS is running on your computers. Even on Windows I will usually install the most minimal drivers available to avoid the awful bloatware which comes with most printers and at best simply duplicates the functions available on the machine itself.

Edit : re-reading your post it looks like you've misread mine; I'm talking about a physical control panel on the printer itself, not 300MB of badly written malware which only runs on one version of Windows and a handicapped version which almost runs on some Macs.

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AJ MacLeod

Nice cat

Does it have Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest Cat in its ancestry?

Printers are annoying devices. Printers with their own proper control panel are slightly less annoying and USB only printers are rarely worth considering.

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Naughty Flash Player BURIED ALIVE in OS X Mavericks Safari sandbox

AJ MacLeod

Re: and all people wanted was a movie player...

If by "X-Windows" you mean the network-aware nature of X11 then you're completely wrong. It provides capabilities that have been relied upon by thousands of people every day for years and does so with little fuss - nobody claimed it was perfect, but it definitely fulfils a genuine need. For that matter I have no idea why you've put CUPS in there, never mind "lp"... do you think that people aren't likely to need to print? Print spoolers and print servers are solutions to a problem people don't have?

In any case your argument against PDF is fallacious; if all you need is basically unformatted plain text then use plain text - PDF exists because of the difficulties in maintaining formatting appearance across devices whilst retaining the ability to preserve the textual content as such.

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Pop OS X Mavericks on your Mac for FREE while you have LUNCH

AJ MacLeod

Re: What's the downside of the "upgrade?" vs Snow Leopard?

Thanks, will maybe image the drive and update sometime soon then. I wouldn't ever have paid real money for an OSX update but my wife (it's her laptop) was finding that ordering prints through iPhoto had stopped working properly and the new version wouldn't run on SL so maybe now's the time to update.

Sadly it won't cure the "won't stay turned off" problem the thing has had since before 1 year old as it seems to be hardware / firmware related (does the same thing even when running Linux off a DVD)... so long as it doesn't break anything more she'll be happy.

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AJ MacLeod

What's the downside of the "upgrade?" vs Snow Leopard?

As per title - on a 13" MBP from early 2010, running Snow Leopard - are there any disadvantages to moving to the latest version?

I seem to recall something about X11 support being dropped at some point - presumably this is available from elsewhere (though it was very nice indeed to have it built in.)

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Windows 8.1: A bit square, sure, but WAIT! It has a Start button

AJ MacLeod

Re: Right click admin options

I'm still completely unable to find any kind of justification for the huge download - it still needs classic start etc to produce a half reasonable user experience. Advice to those who haven't tried the upgrade yet - don't bother.

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