* Posts by Dave K

194 posts • joined 25 Apr 2008

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Hasta la Windows Vista, baby! It's now officially dead – good riddance

Dave K

Mixed opinions

There were a few issues with Vista. Not least of which is that it was too bloated for the PCs of the time. When Vista came along, PCs typically only had 2GB of RAM, sometimes only 1GB, plus they often only had single core CPUs. And Vista crawled along on such systems, compared with XP that ran pretty quick on the same hardware. Hence Vista gained a reputation for being slow.

Windows 7 is a similar size, but by the time it was released, 4GB was the norm, as were dual/quad core CPUs. Hence on the PCs of the time, Windows 7 ran pretty well and automatically gained a reputation of being quicker. Run Windows 7 on a single core system with 1-2GB of RAM and it'll also run sluggishly.

UAC was a good idea, but was quite annoying and popped up a bit too often. Windows 7 fixed this simply by toning down the prompts to areas where they were necessary. Of course, XP-style apps that expected admin rights and full write access to the whole hard drive definitely helped exacerbate the problem.

Lastly IMO, the main other issue of Vista was that it felt messy. 7 different shutdown options (with Sleep as the default - even on laptops). A default wallpaper that was a smorgasbord of too many colours, the side-bar that didn't do that much but which added more clutter. Windows 7 in comparison did a good job of streamlining and tidying the UI up.

Overall, I didn't personally like Vista. It was a bit too bloated for hardware of the time, the UI was messy, and it didn't offer much to the end user over XP, whereas Windows 7 introduced the new task bar, the ability to snap windows side-by-side, plus other genuinely useful tweaks.

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Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?

Dave K

My big beef is also with web pages that have a "scroll to the top" trigger once the last element is loaded. So, you open the page, most of it displays - including the text. You start to read and scroll down, but then that small irrelevant icon finishes loading 5 seconds later and suddenly you're jolted back to the top of the page.

ServiceNow is notorious for this. Some of our pages have more than one of these, and every page load is a constant struggle between what I want to view and what the dumb-ass developer feels I should be viewing as the various elements finish loading. Pain in the absolute bum it is!

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Microsoft kills Windows Vista on April 11: No security patches, no hot fixes, no support, nada

Dave K

Re: ME Hated?

It had software compatibility issues due to MS hiding DOS mode which a lot of utilities still required, System Restore was poorly implemented and would often back-up viruses and then restore them to your system if you used it. It was incredibly flaky and a lot less stable than Windows 98 (and that's saying something).

In short, It didn't really bring that much to the table, but cost a lot in terms of compatibility and stability. And that is why it was widely disliked.

17
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Intel's dying Atom chips strike again: Netgear recalls four ReadyNAS, Wi-Fi management lines

Dave K

Re: Gimme an "A"....

Ahh yes, whereas Intel with the processor serial number scandal, dodgy dealings with Rambus, P3 1.13GHz recall, the whole of the terrible P4 line-up etc. was just doing superbly all along right?

Oh, and the Athlon XP for a sizeable chunk of its lifespan was the fastest x86 CPU available...

1
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Lap(top) of luxury: Porsche Design revs up 2-in-1 Windows 10 slab

Dave K

I'd still take the Surface Book

If I *had* to have a Windows 10 laptop/tablet hybrid, I'm afraid I'd still take the Surface Book for one reason - a 3:2 screen. I just couldn't justify £2,000 for a cheapo, cramped 16:9 screen.

0
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BOFH: Elf of Safety? Orc of Admin. Pleased to meet you

Dave K

Nice twist!

Excellent episode! Must admit, I wasn't expecting there to be a sweepstake running, I wonder who chose over-voltaged cattle-prod...

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Two words, Mozilla: SPEED! NOW! Quit fiddling and get serious

Dave K

Re: Oh woe is me

> I cannot for the life of me figure out how space is being wasted.

I often have a lot of tabs open, with the size of tabs reduced via an addon. With Australis, I could fit far less tabs on my screen before the names and icons started being truncated.

> Well, hard to comment since we dont know what those "Things" are

Speaking personally - and these are removed, not just hidden...

Tabs On Bottom is removed (I use it as it gives more space for tabs).

Status Bar is removed (and I find it useful, and put some addons down there to keep my main control bar tidy)

You cannot move the Back/forwards buttons any more.

You cannot move the Stop/Reload buttons or separate them (this is a big beef for me as they're now anchored at the opposite end of the address bar. I like my navigation controls to be together, not spread out at opposite ends of my screen).

In short, Australis removed a huge amount of customisability. I don't necessarily have a problem with changing defaults, so long as I can tweak things so that the browser suits my way of working. Firefox's customisability was a key feature, and Australis undermined some of the core founding principles of Firefox.

>> Entirely subjective and not worth wasting effort commenting on

I'll re-phrase then. It looks just like Chrome. And if I wanted a browser that looked like Chrome, I'd just use Chrome. The fact that one of the most popular addons is a tool that reverts the UI should tell you how well received Australis has been. That and the additional decline of Firefox's market share once Mozilla pushed it out the door...

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Dave K
Thumb Up

Spot. On.

If I could give you a dozen up-votes for that post, I would. You've hit the nail right on the head when it comes to Mozilla's problems!

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Dave K

Re: Still using Firefox

Agreed. Australis was an abomination and it resulted in me ditching Firefox for Pale Moon - a pity since I'd been using Firefox since it was Firebird 0.6. It wasn't just the rounded tabs that I hated, it was all the other customisability they removed when they introduced it.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Mozilla needs to focus on their USPs. Firefox was always slower than Chrome, but it had a powerful and very customisable UI, plus a much deeper and richer add-on ecosystem. Mozilla need to find ways to keep these powerful features whilst improving other areas of the browser. Instead, Mozilla's recent approach has just been to mimic Chrome. The UI looks like Chrome, the customisability is steadily disappearing, and Mozilla will soon be migrating to Chrome-style addons too (which are a lot less powerful).

I don't understand why to be honest. If I wanted to use a browser that looked and worked like Chrome, I'd use Chrome. Mozilla need to keep Firefox different, retain its strengths and improve its weaknesses.

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AMD's daring new money-making strategy: Sue everyone! Mwahaha

Dave K

Re: That's the point

"Didn't nVidia rip off Silicon Graphics' patents?"

They sure did, and it was one of the worst mistakes in SGI's history and led them to nicely towards bankruptcy a few years later. After all, what point is a "strategic alliance" when you're hardly making any graphics products any more anyway? SGI were moving towards supercomputers at the time, and all they did was give Nvidia free access to all their patents and technologies without a penny in return.

Patents do need to be defended, and whilst it's fine signing cross-license deals with similar companies (as AMD will likely have with NVidia and Intel), if you don't enforce when other companies infringe them, you're just giving away your technology for free. Whether you agree if these patents should exist or not is another matter of course, but then a lot of patents look blindingly simple on paper...

2
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God save the Queen... from Donald Trump. So say 1 million Britons

Dave K

>> "Where is THEIR petition? Does it even exist?"

It would appear it does exist: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/178844

Currently standing at 69k signatures, compared with 1.6 million for the "No-State-Visit" poll. Also, looking at the last hour of these petitions shows the Anti-Trump one still growing at twice the rate of signatures, despite being open for several days now.

So there you are. For the 69M people here, there's a way to vote for both sides of the argument, and as it currently stands, the public seem pretty damn sure that they do not want that incompetent buffoon to be given the "honour" of a state visit. And quite right too.

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Dave K

Re: How many of those signing the Petition have actually read the Executive Order

"Has our society so completely lost its mind that people are actually wanting to ban someone from visiting this country whose government has expressed such sentiments,"

The sentiments are not the problem here, it's the incompetent, botched, racist and heavy-handed implementation of this which is the problem. You have people with USA residency and legitimate papers suddenly being detained with no warning. You have University professors with British citizenship suddenly being kicked off planes and banned from the country. You have families who have lived together in the USA for years suddenly torn apart when a traveling member is banned from returning to his home and his family. You also have officials at airports who don't seem to know what they should be doing here, plus numerous judges confirming that this ruling is unconstitutional.

I don't necessarily have a problem with improving the vetting process to ensure that people who enter the USA have good intentions, but such measures need to be carefully implemented and properly thought through.

This though is ill-conceived, hugely damaging to America's worldwide reputation and has left hundreds if not thousands of innocent people marooned, detained etc. It's also completely excessive. This goes beyond using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, this is more like using a steam roller to crack open a poppy seed.

And we're supposed to invite this racist, incompetent buffoon to Britain on an official state visit in the midst of all the chaos and suffering he's currently causing? What kind of message would that send?

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Dave K

Re: People

If Brexit is anything to go by, if you don't vote/sign then you're not relevant. After all, count all the ones that didn't vote in the referendum (either because they couldn't be bothered, or were ineligible to vote) and only 27% of the actual population of Britain voted to leave the EU - yet that's what we're doing.

Same goes here. You want to show Trump he's welcome? Set up your own Pro-Trump-State-Visit petition and see how many votes you get. Until you do that, counting the people that didn't sign it is meaningless.

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Microsoft goes retro with Vista, Zune-style Windows Neon makeover

Dave K

Re: Still not as good as it used to be...

Well the beauty of Windows 7 is that if you don't like Aero Glass, you're just a few clicks away from a flatter, classic theme. Unlike with Windows 10 where if you don't like what MS have done with the styling, you're SOL.

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Those online ads driving you bonkers are virtually 'worthless for brands'

Dave K

Re: Puzzled

I agree. I do allow ads on a few sites I frequent, but only so long as those ads remain sensible and none-invasive.

Recently, another red-bannered IT news site (that shall remain nameless) started blocking users with ad-blockers. So, as I do read that site regularly, I switched off my Ad Blocker on it, and good god what a mess. Auto-playing videos right in the middle of the article, constant connections to all manner of ad sites going on, and the pages took an eternity to load and absolutely crawled along (with my CPU usage rocketing as a result).

So, the ad-blocker went back on, along with YesScript to block the ad-block check script, and suddenly the pages load really quickly and reading them is a breeze. Hence, I'm not surprised that people either block or ignore the nastier and more invasive ads out there. Not surprised one bit.

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Sysadmin 'fixed' PC by hiding it on a bookshelf for a few weeks

Dave K

Suppliers

My main experience with this issue isn't doing such things for the users, but rather doing it for major suppliers such as Dell/HP. You have a machine with a hardware fault. You know full well it has a fault - even if the magical diagnostics are not reporting the issue, but tech support insists it's a Windows issue and won't budge. I had one machine a few years back displaying graphical corruption in the BIOS screen, and still the guy on the phone insisted that a reinstall of Windows would fix it.

Rather than wasting half an hour arguing, these days I often find it's easiest to say "OK, I'll try that", hang up, go and do something else productive for an hour, then phone them back: "Yep, re-installed Windows, problem is still there". At which point they often cave in and arrange for a replacement motherboard. And surprise, surprise, the issue goes away after that.

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Samsung, the Angel of Death: Exploding Note 7 phones will be bricked

Dave K
Facepalm

Re: Personal safety and a dangerous precident

Whether you want to be an idiot and hold onto a piece of dangerous technology is up to you. However, this fault has the potential to seriously harm other people. How would you feel if a loved one was killed because some idiot took one of these onto a train and it exploded and caused a fatal fire? Or the apartment building you lived in caught fire due to one of these - resulting in the destruction of your home?

It's not just about you. Samsung has a duty to protect the other bystanders out there that might be caught up in this mess. Even after the device is bricked, you can still keep it if you want. However you can't use it as it poses a serious risk both you you, and others around you.

4
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Why I just bought a MacBook Air instead of the new Pro

Dave K

Re: I can understand

I'm an even bigger fan of the X201. Still has the Core i5/i7, can be upgraded with an SSD and plenty of RAM, but also has the 16:10 screen and a trackpad with proper buttons. In fact, a maxed out X201 is still my primary laptop when I'm on the move.

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Dave K
WTF?

Re: Solder not Socket...

Excellent re-sale value?

How exactly?

In a few years time, the memory and storage will be considered low to average spec at best, and the battery will have lost a sizeable chunk of its useful life as well. Now with a 3 year-old standard laptop, you can up the RAM a bit, pop a new shiny SSD in and replace the battery. Result is a nicely refreshed machine with decent performance, full battery life and some genuine re-sale value as a result.

But who wants an older Macbook knowing that the battery will soon pack in, and that you're then stuck with a mobile device that only works near a power socket?

Apple doesn't want resale value. They want your shiny new kit to wear out and be thrown in the bin as quickly as possible so you have to buy their next shiny product.

Incidentally, I agree with the author. I own two Mac Minis that are a good few years old and have seen several upgrades during their life. I will not be buying another one with all its now-soldered components.

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Windows updates? Just trust us, says Microsoft executive

Dave K

Trust needs to be earned.

Binning your QA department and relying on volunteers is not a good way to build confidence and trust.

Bundling adware and malware (GWX, IE advertising) with your updates is also not a good way to build confidence and trust.

Releasing a number of major Windows 10 updates that have broken things in various ways is also not a good way to build confidence and trust.

Trust has to be earned. Right now, MS seem to be doing everything in their power to lower the quality of updates and to harm that trust, then they're telling us to let them update everything for us, and are implementing blocks so that updates on some classification of machines are forced.

And they're wondering why Windows 10 has received an iffy reception amongst IT Pros?

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Apple to automatically cram macOS Sierra into Macs – 'cos that worked well for Windows 10

Dave K

Re: This is a much smaller update than going from Windows 7 to Windows 10

The big thing you're missing here is "choice".

If you avoided Windows 7 because of Aero then you're a bit of a numpty, as there were numerous flat and transparent-less none-Aero themes available. Heck, you could make it look almost like Windows 2000 if you wanted to by dropping it to a classic theme and tweaking the task bar settings.

With Windows 10, MS have increasingly gone down the "our way or the highway" route. If you don't like flat, lifeless, solid-colour boxes, you're SOL, because that's all you get. By all means make the default theme a rather bland and dreary one, but give us some choice. At least they've added back the window shadows that they stupidly removed in Windows 8.

5
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BOFH: The case of the suspicious red icon

Dave K
Pint

Urgent job queue...

Awesome stuff, I need one of those as well...

7
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Apple sued over shoddy iPhone touchscreens

Dave K
WTF?

I've kept an iPhone 3G, Samsung Galaxy S3 and now an LG G4 in my trouser pocket regularly over the last 8 years and have never experienced a single issue with doing so. That's without counting the various Nokias and Sony Erricsons I've done the same with in pre-smartphone days.

I'm not going to start strapping pouches or man-bags onto myself just to compensate for one manufacturer's flimsy construction issues.

0
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Mozilla's trying on seven hot new spring/summer logo looks

Dave K
FAIL

Re: Mozilla doesn't need a new logo

From my perspective, it's because Mozilla have lost their way. They've stopped listening to the users and keep making nonsensical development decisions without any real thought or consideration.

Australis was and still is a disaster. It was slated from the word go, the "Classic Theme Restorer" addon is one of the most popular on the Mozilla addon site, and the declining market share of Firefox accelerated after it was introduced. Mozilla's response wasn't to acknowledge concerns, or look at tweaking the most heavily criticised aspects, but just to ignore the complains and pretend they didn't exist. Mozilla were right, and anyone who complained was wrong.

The introduction of Pocket and Hello added pointless bloat to what was originally designed to be a simple, lean and fast browser, and hardly anyone used them as a result. Hello is now in the process of being removed, and Pocket has already been spun out into an addon (albeit one that is bundled still)

Numerous other customisations (once Firefox's USP) being steadily stripped out and binned. XUL and XPCOM are due to go (with addons becoming lightweight Chrome-like addons instead), heavyweight themes were binned, numerous other customisation options were removed. This didn't do much to improve Firefox's reputation for new users, but it did alienate plenty of Firefox's existing users and 3rd party developers.

Hence overall, Mozilla have added nothing to Firefox to make it stand out, and have instead spent all their time removing features, alienating their users, and trying to play catch-up to Chrome both in terms of looks and functionality such as multi-threading.

Hence, will it still be here in 5 years time? Not the way Mozilla are going about things it won't! It'll take a lot more than a wacky change of icon to reverse Mozilla's fortunes.

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OMG: HPE gobbles SGI for HPC. WTF?

Dave K

How the mighty have fallen

It is a sad day to see how much SGI have fallen - even if the current SGI is just Rackable with a new name. The real SGI died back in 2009. I still have 3 old SGI workstations at home for occasional pratting around on (an O2, Indigo2 and a Fuel), and for the mid 90s, their kit was legendary for what it could do, and how it looked. It was sad to see just how quickly they imploded once PCs began to eat into their core market.

Of course, the number of management mis-steppings were also huge. The early announcement to shift to Itanium (combined with cancelling future MIPS development) way before Itanium was even remotely ready to ship (and when nobody had any idea how it'd perform), and of course the even more disastrous decision to settle with NVidia and give NVidia free access to all SGI's graphics patents. All decisions which just accelerated their decline.

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Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?

Dave K

Re: am i the only one resisting this

No, you're not the only one, although I have other reasons for resisting.

The data slurping (along with Microsoft's secrecy about it) is very much a concern.

The "forced updates" are also a big concern for me (and something that really puts me off).

But the biggest thing that puts me off Windows 10 has been Microsoft's awful attempts to ram it down everyone's throats using trickery, deceptive practices, and outright malware tactics.

It's a bit like meeting an excessively pushy salesman. Eventually you outright reject the product he's pushing our of sheer principle...

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Sysadmin 'fesses up to wrecking his former employer's IT systems

Dave K

Re: I thought?

Yeah, pretty much. The only time that's not happened to me was when I handed in my own notice (due to a better job offer elsewhere). But for anyone I've worked with who's been let go, their access is immediately curtailed and they are removed from the premises. It's for their own good as much as that of the company's.

Happened to one of my managers a few years back shortly after a takeover (I was tasked with revoking his access whilst he went to the interview of no return). He took it fine afterwards and simply told me "It's a business decision, you can't take these things personally. You just have to accept them and move on".

One month later he had a much better job at another company anyway.

3
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'Windows 10 nagware: You can't click X. Make a date OR ELSE'

Dave K

Re: Vista?

That screenshot is Windows 7, not Vista. I think it's a mistake in the article.

2
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Server makers love Intel Xeons (true) - but not the price tag

Dave K

It's a pity. I remember fondly 10 years ago when Opteron was a very credible and in many ways superior alternative to Intel's old NetBurst Xeons.

8
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Samsung: Don't install Windows 10. REALLY

Dave K

compatible?

The Windows 10 nagware typically states "your computer is compatible" in amongst the various green ticks and marketing waffle. Hence, MS need yet another kick up the backside for wrongly stating something is compatible and then borking it via an "update" which shouldn't have been applied in the first place.

Of course, Samsung also deserves some scorn for atrocious driver support as well...

19
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Intel loses its ARM wrestling match, kicks out Atom mobe chips

Dave K

"Intel should have started a complete redesign with sharp pencil and clean sheet of paper years ago"

You mean like Itanium was meant to be? Intel's track record with introducing new architectures is abysmal. i860 was also a flop. Intel just doesn't seem to be that good at anything other than pushing x86 on the desktop.

10
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BOFH: Thermo-electric funeral

Dave K
Thumb Up

Outstanding! It's been a good few episodes since I laughed out loud at a BOFH.

6
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BOFH: Sure, I could make your cheapo printer perform miracles

Dave K
Pint

Dummy mode!

Ahh, a very welcome return of Dummy Mode after all this time. Cheers!

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Mud sticks: Microsoft, Windows 10 and reputational damage

Dave K

Re: Contempt for your customers is the wong way to go

No, that's Windows Server 2008 R2 which is Windows 7 based. Plain 2008 is based on Vista and shares many of its UI issues as a result.

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Microsoft's done a terrible job with its Windows 10 nagware

Dave K
Mushroom

Re: The Terrible...

The irony of the whole situation is that overall, Windows 10 isn't a bad OS. Maybe not quite as good as Windows 7, but not too bad overall. However, I absolutely 100% will not be installing it onto any of my machines because MS have done everything in their power over the last 6 months to destroy every last morsel of trust they might have had.

MS are going on about "making the process easier", but I'm sorry, that's absolute BS. Instead, they've done the following

Hiding nagware behind cryptic update names.

Not making it possible conventionally to turn off installed nagware.

Re-enabling updates that users have intentionally uninstalled and blocked.

Re-publishing nagware against new KB names to also try to get around blocks.

Hide malware inside security updates and deploying it to corporate customers.

Download gigabytes of data onto users PCs over potentially metered connections without their approval.

This is before we get onto the murky mess that is Windows 10's data slurping and the fact that even when you turn the telemetry supposedly off it still phones home like ET on steroids.

Sorry MS, your actions here aren't "helping the user", and you bloody well know it. Face it, you stopped giving two craps about the customer a long time ago, and your behaviour blatantly shows this. With this kind of shocking attitude towards your customers, no way am I ever touching Windows 10.

18
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Who hit you, HP Inc? 'Windows 10! It's all Windows 10's fault'

Dave K

Re: Hardware quality also to blame

In a majority of cases, 16:9 isn't about extra width, it's about reduced height. And saving money.

My 1920x1200 screen has exactly the same number of horizontal pixels as your 1920x1080 16:9 screen, but I have 120 pixels of extra height. So the "I can display two pages side by side and you can't" argument is hogwash.

Look at most laptop screens and you'll see that the top and bottom bezel is significantly thicker than the bezel at the sides. That's potentially useful screen estate replaced with fat bezels of plastic all in the name of cost saving.

To note, I'm not saying all laptops should ditch 16:9, and I'm happy for it to be an option - especially on cheaper machines. But at least give users the choice! When you see high-end laptops on sale for over £1,000, only for them to come with fat top and bottom screen bezels and a screen chosen for its cheapness, it doesn't exactly make me want to pull out my wallet.

0
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Dave K

Hardware quality also to blame

Part of the issue as well is that when PC hardware is stagnating performance wise, you need to make sure you're offering some great kit that people want to buy in order to hook them in.

So, does any current HP laptop have anything other than a cramped and unpleasant 16:9 screen? No. How about decent touchpads? Nope, they're mostly horrid, buttonless and so huge width wise that it's impossible to type on them without having to switch the trackpad off - even on some of the EliteBooks. Slim screen bezels? Nope, they're all fat and chunky.

Current HP laptops look cheap and all have compromises. Combined with Windows 10 and lack of performance improvements, there's no reason to buy one.

I've said it before, slap a high-quality, high-res, matte 3:2 screen in, slim screen bezels, a good keyboard and a trackpad with physical buttons which isn't so huge it gets in the way most the time, and you might actually have a product worth buying.

10
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Plane food sees pilot grounded by explosive undercarriage

Dave K
Happy

Indeed, and it can't be easy being the co-pilot in such a situation either...

2
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Shopping for PCs? This is what you'll be offered in 2016

Dave K

Re: Any news on laptop resolutions?

Unfortunately, they're almost all 16:9 panels, which is crap for work because there's just not enough height.

From a laptop point of view, I want to see more laptops with either 16:10 or 3:2 screens (the latter becoming more popular thanks to the latest Surfaces, plus the Google Pixel). Decent resolution and matte coating are a must.

I also want a good keyboard, and a decent trackpad with physical buttons, but which isn't so large that I have to disable it when typing.

So, kind of what I have in my 2010 ThinkPad, and which seems to be absent from pretty much all current laptops in other words...

6
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Ex-TalkTalker TalkTalks: Records portal had shared password. It was 4 years old

Dave K
Joke

Obvious...

'Customer answered door wearing an adult nappy*'

He was obviously expecting a load of crap coming his way...

4
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Oracle to kill off Java browser plugins with JDK 9

Dave K

Suits me!

The only issue with it is just how long it will take organisations to migrate their systems away from Java plugins. Where I work, I hate Java simply because we have numerous different systems running it, some need later versions of Java plugins, some run into issues with Java 8, meaning it's often a bit of a minefield trying to either configure later versions of Java to run these applications (usually successful with enough tweaks to security and the likes), or sometimes finding a middle-of-the-road version of Java which does work with everything (not ideal from a security point of view for obvious reasons)

I do worry that some organisations will cling to outdated versions of Java, rather than investing the necessary resources to upgrade these apps to dump their requirement for the Java plugin. If it can be done though, I'll be one of the first to rejoice!

1
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Sainsbury's Bank web pages stuck on crappy 20th century crypto

Dave K

Re: Seen that before

Yep, same with Pale Moon as well. That also blocks sites by default that use obsolete crypto algorithms.

2
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Is that light at the end of AMD's dark tunnel, or God sparking up a cig?

Dave K

It's very sad to see. I've always had a soft spot for AMD and have had numerous AMD CPUs over the years. My current CPU is an Intel Core i5, but I've stuck with AMD for the graphics card. I would very much like to replace both components within the next year or so with AMD ones if they can turn things around.

Let's be clear, Intel and Nvidia need some decent competition. Without AMD's work during the early to mid 2000s, Intel wouldn't have pulled their finger out so quickly and dumped the P4 for the infinitely better Core 2 Duo...

6
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Microsoft herds biz users to Windows 10 by denying support for Win 7 and 8 on new CPUs

Dave K

Re: Anti-Trust suit impending.

It depends where you shop. Just before Christmas, I had the pleasure of helping my German father-in-law buy and set up a new laptop to replace his ancient Vista machine. In Germany, there are loads of Lenovo, Asus laptops etc. available from major retailers which come with basic FreeDOS installed and no Windows license (and a substantially cheaper price as a result).

The big manufacturers offer Windows-free kit in countries like Germany, so why is it so difficult to get them here?

2
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Mozilla looses Firefox 43, including Windows 64-bit variant

Dave K

Re: Add-on compatibility

Or you run into other issues, such as with FlashBlock where the current download points you to a version released in November, because the later version released in early December to fix some issues has yet to be signed.

Thankfully, Pale Moon doesn't enforce the silly signing thing, so the later version works without hiccups. Interestingly, I find it strange that Mozilla are only just releasing 64bit Firefox into the wild, whereas Pale Moon, Waterfox and other such forks of Firefox have been happily available in 64bit mainstream versions for years....

3
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BOFH: Taking a spin in a decommissioned racer? On your own grill cam be it

Dave K
Pint

A new BOFH (and a good one too)! Happy Friday :)

6
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Sneaky Microsoft renamed its data slurper before sticking it back in Windows 10

Dave K

Re: FTFY

I'm personally not "anti-MS". I use Windows as my OS of choice and am generally happy with it. However, MS's attitude and behaviour here stinks to high heaven and I am amazed that there are people out there in any way sticking up for it. Maybe these people aren't MS employees, but with that level of devotion to the company, they certainly should consider applying.

20
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What the world needs now is Pi, sweet $5 Raspberry Pi Zero

Dave K

Re: Overpriced

>> You're all missing the point that you need a house, to provide the power socket, to plug the power supply into, thus raising the cost significantly. <<

And in order to program for it, you have to be alive, so there's all the running costs for your body (food, drink, clothing) to take into account. Add all that up and it gets even more pricey...

2
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Mozilla annual report shows risky Google dependency now risky Yahoo! dependency

Dave K

Re: The problem

Whilst at a purely code level there may be some merits of dropping these, from an end-user point of view it makes no sense whatsoever.

Removing NPAPI will mean no Java, Silverlight or other plugins that require this, but won't remove the most crash-prone plugin out there (Flash). It won't affect home users too badly, but it will destroy any inroads Firefox has made into enterprise. Firefox is offered as an alternative browser where I work (a very large multinational company). However no NPAPI and hence no Java means no Oracle financial system, which will make the browser worthless here.

For XUL, although the code is difficult to maintain, powerful extensions have been one of Firefox's party pieces in recent times. Dropping this will cripple the extension market for Firefox, and I cannot possibly see how removing one of your biggest features/USPs can be considered a positive thing from an end-user point of view. If Firefox only supports the same extensions as Chrome, why use Firefox?

Firefox has been losing market share for some time, and I don't think stripping out features and cloning your main competitor's interface is the solution.

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Dave K
Unhappy

Re: The problem

It's actually got a lot worse than that. A few years ago, Firefox was indeed slow and bloated, but more recently it has become a bit better. Well, that and Chrome has become slow and bloated too.

However, Mozilla's biggest problem is that they have absolutely no idea how to develop a browser to attract market share any more. During the last 18 months, they've been systematically destroying every unique selling point that Firefox had in their quest to make Firefox just like Chrome. Before long, Firefox will be completely irrelevant.

- Different user interface? Let's make it look just like Chrome.

- Lots of customisability? Let's remove a load of it so it's locked down like Chrome.

- Powerful extensions and plugins? Let's bin XUL and NPAPI (except for Flash) and just use tweaked Chrome extensions (which are far more restricted).

- Full theme support? Let's remove that as well.

Heck at one point, they were even considering removing FTP support as well based purely on the fact that Google were looking at it (Bugzilla bug #1174462).

Mozilla are hell bent on turning Firefox from a powerful, flexible and customisable browser into a pointless and irrelevant clone of Chrome, and it's very sad to see.

As for their tanking market share, I'm one of the people that ditched Firefox after the awful Australis makeover. I use Pale Moon now.

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