I somehow have this urge to make strangely shaped mounds of mashed potatoes...
79 posts • joined 20 May 2008
Apple's Mac sales dwindling? Could be of course, probably depends where you are. I know several colleagues who, in the last year, having the need for buying a new computer, have switched to Macs, mostly Macbooks, one even a Macbook Pro, a lot of people around me have iPads and iPhones, and I still have to meet the first unhappy one about their purchase.
I switched over 5 years ago, when I bought a second hand Mac Mini, which is now seven years old, but is still doing fine and in use daily. We bought a 21" iMac 5 years ago, running today Mountain Lion and is the main machine in our house, being used by the whole family. Still running as well as it did when bought.
Windows 8 on the other hand, I've just seen on TV for now. Would love to see a machine on which it runs to have a look at it - does look interesting, but haven't met anyone who has actually bought one yet.
Of all these millions and millions of PC's running Windows, how many are in the hands of company IT departments and are 100 locked down? Meaning, as a user (you know, those millions of users) you can barely use them properly, let alone install something on it.
Reality is that I can tell you - working for a large wordwide company using Windows PCs with several tens of thousands of users - we all still use Windows XP Service Pack 3, and apparently we might migrate 'soon' (meaning somewhere in 2013) to Windows 7. It has taken our central IT department all this time to completely lock the thing down (screw it up).
So, installing apps from the Microsoft store on Windows 8? Maybe at home, certainly not in the enterprise environment. That is unfortunately the reality we live in.
I use mine every day. It is just a great time saver, I use it to go to meetings, I bring my documents, do great note taking, emailing (Lotus Notes believe it or not!). Using citrix I can use several enterprise applications, using Webex I can follow webmeetings, using a specialized tool I can access several Windows PCs from wherever I am in a matter of seconds.
Maybe the Surface will let me do all that as well, it is just a bit too late, by now, my boss, and most of my direct colleagues all use an iPad, and we have equiped our whole external sales team all with iPads.
When I'm at home and there is a problem at work with one of the computers I have to monitor, I pick up the iPad and solve the problem in less time it would take me to get the Dell laptop out of it's bag and have it started up.
The iPad is without a doubt, the most versatile tool I've ever had, and I'm not about to give it up for anything.
I do think the ads are pushing up the price of the products that are being advertised. Ads need to be paid for as well. So, we are actually paying more money for products so they can bombard us with ads on every occasion they get, be it TV, websites, magazines, etc...
And yes, I would rather pay for a decent service without ads, than suffer all the braindead drivel we are continuously annoyed with. Example? BBC iPlayer Global Edition - I pay happily € 6,00 every month to be able to watch excellent programs without ads.
AdBlock does a decent job on the web though.
"social networking begins to play a much larger role in buying decisions"
Not a chance. Apart from the usual crowd copying their so called friends' moronic status updates and people wishing eachother happy birthday, is social networking actually used for anything useful?
As for using it to decide what product I would buy? Nah, can't see that happening....
Since I bought an iPad last year, I have not once gotten my Windows laptop out again at home. By the time that one starts up, I have already done with the iPad what I wanted to do.
By the way, I am not a fanboi, but a developer and at work I use almost exclusively Microsoft technology products.
A netbook equiped with Win XP was the only thing that was acceptable at home before, having a half decent battery life if used sensibly, but Microsoft thought it was a good idea to destroy that particular market with Win7... on one equiped with that OS, if you listen close enough, you can almost hear the battery draining.
Last netbook I had with Win7 had 2GB ram and a 64-bit processor and that only just worked acceptably with Win7 + had barely a 2 hour battery life. A bit more than that when the screen backlight was turned down so much that it hurt the eyes.
My next personal home computer will be the next iPad - whenever necessary to replace my iPad1.
Indeed Sarah, but that is just my point. It's the disingenuous way in which these companies act that lets them easily explain everything away and that lets them do this. It is very dishonest but all looks so innocent that it works!
I honestly believe that not many things in this industry happen 'by accident'...
Maybe you think I'm paranoid? Hah, let me give you a couple of examples:
My wife says to me that her Facebook chat no longer appears at the bottom of her window (she uses a Mac and Firefox), so she takes our laptop which has Windows XP with IE, where she says that 'at least' she can chat. So I investigate... change the useragent on the Mac to simulate using IE under Windows and hey, magically the chat-box reappears in the window.
A week later I read in the press that IE has stopped losing market share and has re-gained a little on it's competitors. Riiight! My guess is Microsoft knows exactly how potent half a billion users are and what difference a few well-chosen tweaks can make. But this is all under the radar, and even the IT-press hasn't picked up on this stunt. I think the bond between Facebook and Microsoft is A LOT deeper than they are letting on.
Facebook chenanigans? I only use a couple of games on Facebook, one of these is Bejeweled Blitz. Now, ALL privacy settings in Facebook have been set by me using a fine tooth-comb so not a single application has the right to get my email address. Suprise surprise, this week I suddenly get an email from Bejeweled telling me that so-and-so has bettered my score.
Immediately I go to my privacy and application settings, only to find that Bejeweled has now an extra (NEW) option to let them email me, of course set to 'ON' by default. When turning it off, I get the message that it is basically too late, the application will continue to send me emails until I use the 'unsubscribe' link in one of their mails. Basically, until I confirm to them this email-address is ok, so spam away! The only promise Facebook gives is, if I choose to change my email-address, they will not communicate this address to Bejeweled. What they really mean is 'until we plant another new setting and give your address to anyone we like'! The sick part? The 'new' setting has now totally disappeared, like it was never there.
The lesson is: EVERYTHING you put on facebook is PUBLIC for everyone to see and for every company that is willing to pay for it to take full advantage of.
If you think otherwise, you're very naïve.
"It has seen millions of downloads and has been on the sharp-end of Microsoft's developer and media push in the last few years"
Nono, it is being pushed onto every new PC sold, thàt is accurate. Millions of downloads? They do try to bolt it onto every other thing you might like to download, that much is true. But real, Silverlight only downloads for the purpose of having Silverlight on your PC? Codswallop!
... to this World Cup would be that both teams would be declared as losers! This has been the year of the extremely annoying vuvuzela, the boring-to-tears matches and the incapable-to-get-anything right refereeing.
What a disgrace. All I would need now is for Holland to become the world champion to make sure I'd never watch football again.
The game is just the bait, all they're after is your personal data, which they can then sell on. Big brother IS watching us all the time.
Sooner or later, greedy creeps always shoot themselves in the foot though. Example? The Scrabble facebook game. They aren't getting enough money from your personal data, so they'll stick a minute of adds in front of the game you have to sit through before even getting to the game. That's game over for me. I don't want to spend a minute waiting for a game I'm going to spend 30 seconds on to begin with...
The thing about Facebook is also: if it had sucked so badly from the beginning as it does now, they would never have had so many users...
Very interesting article, and I look forward to read the rest of the series!
I see what you mean about new people having to learn the ropes 'somehow' and you're right of course, nobody is born an admin.
First, let me tell you what my situation is: I am employed by a large multi-national company with tens of thousands of people around the world all using computers, part of a massive AD and administered through Group policies like you talked about. The problems we are facing are badly installed software, network drives disappearing or being wrongly connected, roaming user-profiles you can only use on one PC properly, unpatched PC's which get infected with virusses, wrongly set file access rights, etc, etc... The list is endless.
So, in our case, it would be helpfull to have a couple more decent administrators and less people learning how to be one.
The vanishing of network drives got so bad that I wrote a program that my colleagues and me can use to make a personalised vbscript that we can run when needed and that will just remove badly attached drives and re-attach the ones we actually need.
Of course, the IT-services got outsourced some years ago, and since then, the situation has gradually gotten worse. People with no clue about IT inside the company making insane rules, and fresh out of school (or never having got there) outsourced admins badly implementing them.
Sorry, I feel better now. Think I'll have a drink of water and get back to work...
Better goto Groklaw, way too long to explain in one article. You'll realise once you start reading up on the case...
But, it comes down to a simple fact really, SCO did not have enough money to buy all of UNIX, including the copyrights and just acted as a... no, I'm not trying to explain, you'll have to go and read it for yourself.
Best news of the day though! Big hurrah for PJ!
No, it's the old delivery system as usual, it comes installed by default with Windows 7. The same way IE had a meteoric "uptake". And the usual stealth installs with other programs like WMV-player on the Mac, you have to actively remove Silverlight from the install or you'll get it, if you want it or not.
Good old rubbish as usual.
They should put the emphasis on the database part and the connections from the rest of the applications to the data. That would make it instantly useable as a MSO replacement.
The people who are addicted to Excel are never going to be using something else anyway, as a matter of fact, in many cases, it's the ONLY thing they are able to use.
And call it Microsoft Windows Piracy Check Program, instead of using false wording like it being an advantage for the consumers? We all know it IS a breach of privacy and the advantage is only to THEM. And these wankers still don't understand that they are only annoying GENUINE consumers, the pirates laugh at this anyway.
So, WGA = Windows Genuine consumer's disAdvantage.
Not the same software re-launched, but just a re-using of a brandname they got in the Lotus deal. Competition's good, the more the merrier. Problem is company 'deciders' couldn't find their own backside if their life depended on it and will always go for the Ms Office option.
I have an Asus EeePC in test, with an Atom 1.33 Mhz and 2 GB Ram, and with Win7, it is slooow. Nothing to do with the poor netbook I'd say. I have also an Acer with the same Atom processor and only 1 GB of Ram, and it's twice as fast with XP on it. So, if you want a slow home server, go for it!
oh wait, at work I'm still using Office '97. Perfectly fine piece of software and still does it's job like a well trained workhorse. I know it inside out and never have to look for a function as I know where everything is.
Every time my PC gets changed I have a major battle on my hands to keep '97 on it, but in the end, a few threats to the IT dept usually work a charm.
I have tried newer versions occasionaly, but to me it seems that they get worse with every iteration.
At home, it's been OO for as long as I care to remember. Gets used very infrequently anyway. On my mac I had a 30-day tryout of Office for Mac and I used it exactly once, then deleted it.
Mine's the one with the Office '97 cd in the pocket...
For work + personal use I estimate that I have more than 50 passwords to remember, a lot of them which have to be changed frequently. Most systems also use their own specific set of rules for making a new valid password. This is of course utter madness!!
So, I have written my own encryption software to store all these in a file. The encryption uses rotating realtext and goes randomly up to a hundred levels deep. The strong master password (which is the only one to remember) is also encrypted randomly somewhere in the same file, but to a different random encryption level than the rest of the file.
Good luck to anyone trying to get anything out of that data. But this is the level of mad things we are having to go through to keep track of all those passwords!
Don't talk to me anout centrally stored ids like Open-id or similar, I trust these even less. Get this one hacked and they own all your stuff in one go.
Passwords today = epic FAIL.
Same here, the 'evolving to Twitter' is extremely annoying, and if we didn't have family abroad to keep in contact with, I would have dumped the site ages ago.
The interface problems you talk about are indeed making the user experience a misery at best. Settings and options are never where you would expect them, and purposefully hidden so people wouldn't bother protecting their privacy - just because it is such a pain and very time consuming.
But, it is true though - 'achieving critical mass' has happened and FB is now sort of the Microsoft of social networking. We don't like 'em, but we now 'have' to use them. And, just like Windows, we don't really, but we fool ourselves into thinking we do.
Even if something much better comes along, critical mass is going to make it very difficult to switch over, unless you can convince your contacts to do the same.
Real world experience:
Installing Vista on a desktop with Nvidia graphics card, run of the mill motherboard with Nvidia 2 chipset, a Topcom wireless adapter, an HP printer and a cheap webcam. Result: no drivers for the motherboard chipset, no drivers for the wireless adapter. Vista not working.
Installed since then Ubuntu 8.10 and 9.04, openSuse 11.1, and Mandriva 2008, ALL worked without asking for any driver, wireless card just works, even the webcam.
In case you wonder why all the different distributions? It's a system with removable harddisks, so I can switch the OS in a matter of seconds, and I like to experiment.
Who are they kidding though?
"An Intellectual Ventures spokesperson told The Reg: "As part of our portfolio management responsibilities, we do regularly sort through our inventions to ensure the assets we hold apply to our primary areas of business."
OUR inventions? Hah! That is just the problem, they invent nothing.
Their primary area of business? Squeezing money out of hardworking people and companies and at the same holding back real innovations and harming the real economy.
One change to the rotten patent system is needed --> make patents NON-transferable! Only the original inventor (and I'm using the word in a loose sense here) can enforce - or not - his patents. All these leeches will immediately be out of 'business'.
I just went to the Dell website for Belgium. I have 3 choices my friend: windows XP Home in French, Dutch or English. No Ubuntu.
No, you plonker, I do not want a netbook 'manufactured' in Belgium - I want to BUY it in Belgium. I don't want to order it abroad, pay immediately, wait six weeks and then get it delivered broken.
Thanks for the tip. Indeed, apart from that small detail of where I live, perfect suggestion ;-))
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