* Posts by Greg J Preece

2505 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...

Greg J Preece

Being a developer, I do organize my data, my folders and my disks. I know where I put things and I must be sure of what copy of a given program I am launching in order to properly interpret the results.

I'm also a developer, and my projects folders are meticulously organised. But am I going to click into a file explorer, then down through level after level to get to the right spot, or am I going to type a few letters of the filename and select the right version from the results? KDE will show me the version or path of what I'm about to hit, so it works pretty well.

Greg J Preece

Re: The fixation with 'serarch' for everything

Why search for everything? Because it fits well with a keyboard-centric way of working. Unity is pretty meh unless you're a keyboard freak, then it effortlessly outstrips everything else out there.

Amen. If your work is keyboard-intensive (I'm a programmer, myself) as opposed to mouse/tablet/other arty things, then quick-search is the very best. I used to be that guy that slavishly organised all his menus, back in the XP days, but since the advent of first KDE 4 and then Windows 7, I've started using quick-search for everything. Hit ALT+F2 or the Windows key (depending on system), type what I want, hit enter. All the programs I use that have different versions are tagged as such at installation, so it works really well for me. It's also why the Windows 8 Start Screen on my desktop and laptop doesn't even remotely bother me any more - if you're a keyboard user then it works pretty much identically to the Win7 menu, so who cares?

Horses for courses, naturally, but that's what's great about Linux. If the way Unity does something isn't for you, install something else.

Lastly, I definitely agree with the person above who said that a lot of small changes over time make a big difference. Even without comparing KDE 4.0 to its current state, I have to use XP from time to time, and going back to it now feels like using a dinosaur. I guess it depends how static your working methods are over time, but using XP now just pisses me off. Its reputation is far in excess of what it deserves.

Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, Already obsolete

Greg J Preece

Re: Still beats the alternaives

I started learning C# / .NET 4 in earnest recently so I can leap across to another project, and I quite like some of the stuff in there. The concepts behind the CLR, CTS, etc seem sound enough, and as an experiment I wrote an interface in Visual Studio to control an LED sign over a serial connection - 6 lines of code! Seemed pretty nice to me.

What about it drove you potty? Advance warning is always appreciated. ;-)

Greg J Preece

No idea at all, I'm afraid. I read a blog post or two that alluded to some security settings getting flipped in the bowels of the system, far beyond the GUI, and Fiddler being required to re-enable access, but the fix looked a little dodgy to me. Fortunately it seems to be OK now.

Greg J Preece

Re: Still beats the alternaives

endlessly installing iterations of C++ / C# / PERL libraries in polar fish-eating land.

.NET Framework never updates? You never get C++ runtime updates in Windows? That's news to me.

Greg J Preece

Sod's law that shortly after posting that, I started my laptop up to find that my TIFKAM apps have net access again. (Don't care what anyone says, I like some of the TIFKAM stuff.) Haven't got the most radical UI changes yet, but I now have close/minimise icons for Metro apps now, which is welcome. Couldn't care less about getting the Start Menu back to be honest.

Greg J Preece

I installed it on my laptop on release day, and the bugger killed all net access from TIFKAM. Still not been able to restore it, so I'm sure as shit not installing the update on my desktop.

Rumour: Next Apple iThing to feature 65-inch screen. Four-limb multitouch, anyone?

Greg J Preece

Wow, thank you, advertising guy! I had best run out and purchase this groundbreaking innovation immediately! With 32 point precise multitouch recognition, it's bound to be the product that makes my life worth living.

....You know, when you only register to make one post, and you do it with that username, and you copypasta advert-speak into the comment, you become a really obvious shill. 0/10, ask EA how it's done.

Greg J Preece

Hang on a sec. So Apple (according to rumour) want to make a 65" OLED, and make it multitouch, and add all their usual Apple proprietary nonsense to it, and their infamous markups?

I know that Cupertino like to make expensive kit, but...who the fuck would the target audience be? A TV like that is going to cost mega-money, even now. And I don't just mean Apple's usual 50% more expensive than the competition stance, I mean the point at which you could buy a nice car for less.

Boycott Firefox, gay devs urge as Mozilla appoints JavaScript daddy as CEO

Greg J Preece

Wait, WHAT? You...you know that it's not supposed to support another vendor's pre-ratification prefix, right? Please tell me that you get the point of those prefixes.

Greg J Preece

Re: The witch hunt continues

the militant homosexual lobby

I wasn't aware it was possible for me to be militantly gay.


As for the "witch hunt" remark, you're coming dangerously close to IYLISMWDYGLT territory. Yes, everyone is free to their own opinion, which is what Catlin is expressing in a way that obligates no-one else. He's also not trying to do anything like legislate against his opponents - who I will refer to as the "militant homophobic lobby" just to be a twat - unlike Eich, who supported an effort to deny them equal rights.

Greg J Preece

I take it the down vote was by somebody who believes democracy shouldn't exist then, and everyone should somehow think the same as everything they personally think. Someone caught the dictator fever here?

Are you under the impression that a company is a democracy?

Greg J Preece

Re: right

so, if I happen to be opponent of gay marriage, it is OK for me to be discriminated against and prevented from taking up a role.

Did I get this right?

No, you didn't. He's got the role, so he's clearly not prevented from getting it. He has the right to his opinion, however idiotic, and others have the right to protest in response. That they are protesting is not discrimination, FFS - it's an opinion. Far as I can tell, they haven't been abusive, and they sure as shit haven't tried to enact legislation preventing him from having the same freedoms as everyone else. Mozilla are under no obligation to listen to them. For me, the best outcome would be for Eich to realise his previous mistake and apologise, but hey, I'm a dreamer.

Personally, I'm going to separate the CEO from the software. Just as a lot of my favourite bands are fronted by dicks, I'm absolutely certain there are arseholes working on some of the software I enjoy. Mozilla is not Eich, and it contains enough good people doing good things that I'm going to keep supporting the cause and using the tools that make my job easier.

The UNTOLD SUCCESS of Microsoft: Yes, it's Windows 7

Greg J Preece

Re: What the hell did they expect?

Well... the problem is STILL that Microsoft makes it difficult to use "legacy software" (read, software that isn't dumbed down for the tiled, "Metro" environment and the Microsoft store). That "start menu" is still dysfunctional.

I understand that some folk don't like Metro, but in my experience this claim simply isn't true. I can't think of a single item beyond Ext2Fsd that hasn't worked flawlessly when moving from Win7 to Win8, and even with the ext2 drivers I just had to run the installer in Windows 7 mode.

Mozilla takes a page from Google with sync-friendly Firefox Accounts

Greg J Preece

Mozilla has long offered Firefox Sync as a way for Firefox users to share their browser history, bookmarks, and recent tabs among several computers. But it was clunky, requiring users to explicitly pair each new device by generating a code on one machine and entering it into another.

Clunky? Push button in one browser, enter code into other, done. Oh yeah, it's a real nightmare to use.

And yeah, given that Firefox Sync is encrypted (and they give you the key as part of your master credentials), will the new one be?

HARD ONES: Three new PC games that are BLOODY DIFFICULT

Greg J Preece

Re: Less than generous respawn points ... rehashing whole swathes of levels again and again

Why not? Redo the level. If you can't beat it stop crying to your Mum that you can't. Man (or girl) up and actually get better at the game.

Gotta love digital tough guys.

Checkpoints in general piss me off - I'd rather just have a save button like we've had on PC for decades. But replaying an entire level over and over for the one beardy bugger near the end who knocks you into a pit? No, that's not "grrr I'm a tough guy", that's wasting your time. And this is coming from an arcade light-gun gamer!

HOT AIR-FILLED Apple fanbois SHUNNED iPad 2 at Xmas

Greg J Preece

Re: Motorola Atrix

The Atrix had a swipe scanner on the side. By placing the fingerprint sensor in the home button you use to wake up the phone, it doesn't require anything extra to get the added security (which isn't close to foolproof, but is probably more resistant to snoopy spouses than a PIN that can be shoulder surfed by anyone who spends much time with you)

Actually, the Atrix's scanner was at the top back, and doubled up as the power/lock button. So yes, Atrix did do this first.

Greg J Preece

Re: Wait a minute...

It'll take a few days for the register to catch up, but a lot of sites are running with a source citing that the new Samsung Galaxy S5 will be announced this April with a...... fingerprint scanner...... But, ...but surely that would be BLATANTLY RIPPING OFF APPLE, wouldn't it? And the super-innovative Korean ones would never steal other people's intellectual property, would they?

You mean like the Android powered Motorola Atrix had long before the iPhone?

Speaking in Tech: Is this a mascot convention? Oh ... my God

Greg J Preece

Re: Personally...

Hilarity should ensue. Believe it or not, there's a small minority of furries out there who know exactly how batshit they are and have something of a sense of humour.

Hell yes. I had a bunch of friends down there. Having said that, the furry fandom is very much against media coverage in general, having been burned far too many times. Honestly, what people think it is and what it actually is are two very different things, and what turns up on CSI or Dr Phil or any of that other crap is exactly that....crap.

Wow, gamers on YouTube really love the Xbox One. It's like they were paid to say that (Hint: they are)

Greg J Preece

Re: Hail mary pass by MS

No one likes the Xbone, and it's being out sold by the WII U.

What? No it isn't. The Xbox One did 3m units before 2013 was out, the Wii U's done 4.3m in its lifetime and just had all its sales figures slashed. Don't talk such utter rubbish.

Bill Gates is once again the richest man on Earth

Greg J Preece

Re: The rich get richer ...

... and the rest of us get poorer.

Speak for yourself. What you mean is that the successful keep going and you keep whining into a pint glass?

Christ, I hate this attitude that "The Rich" are spontaneously generated whenever someone needs a Saturday morning cartoon villain to blame for their inadequacies. Gates was never on the breadline, but he made his own fortune.

Microsoft shops ditch XP for New Year as Windows market share expands

Greg J Preece

*flicking back and forth between months on the freely available reports

I don't know if I was distracted or inebriated. I guess it was Friday afternoon...

Greg J Preece

One thing I found interesting, flick back and forth between months on the freely available reports between, is that Linux didn't register as its own notch on that pie chart until this past month. A quick click-through reveals that Linux use has grown a full half-percent of market share through 2013, and overall usage has nearly doubled since the beginning of 2012. It's still insignificant compared to the big players, but at this rate "honest Linux" (Linux that actually identifies as Linux) should break 2% desktop market share in 2014.

If you're still waiting for Firefox on Windows 8, don't hold your breath

Greg J Preece

But they're not incompatible. I haven't found an app that I ran on Win7 that I can't run on Win8. The tits are you on about?

Three offers free US roaming, confirms stealth 4G rollout

Greg J Preece

Free roaming in the US?

Canda! Do Canada too! Having one UK number with free Canada/US roaming would make my life so much easier.

Sony brags: We've hit over 2 MEELLION PS4 console 'sales' worldwide

Greg J Preece

In what is perhaps a tacit admission that its console isn’t finished product

Are consoles ever going to be finished products again? Both major consoles last generation received regular updates that added (and removed) kit, because they're essentially PCs now. Why would the PS4 be any different?

iPhone slips in Europe as Windows Phone claims OVER 10% market share

Greg J Preece

Strange how people still vigorously deny that Windows Phone is getting anywhere, given that at this rate it has a chance of taking the #2 spot from Apple.

Greg J Preece

Re: Lolz

And I'm sure if Apple had 70% of the market their supporters would be crowing about it, so...

And yes, if it's an indicator of trends and future sales, then it certainly is a measure of success.

REVEALED: How YOU PAY extra for iPHONES - even if you DON'T HAVE ONE

Greg J Preece

Man, am I ever glad you came here to tell us all how superior you are! Don't think I could have gone on with my Friday without knowing how much better than me you are because I have a Twitter account.

Microsoft: SORRY for the BORKED Xbox One disc drives, here's a free game

Greg J Preece

The difference is the hoop you will have to jump through if the problem is on the PS4 compared to this.

That would be the hoop where Sony immediately RMA the machine and mail you a new one? The horror!

Valve pal iBuyPower touts cut-price Steam box as powerful as PS4 or Xbox

Greg J Preece

Yeah, but most of those 400 games are slightly pants indie titles.

Can't agree. My Steam for Linux list includes the Double Fine games, the Valve games, the Introversion games, Mark of the Ninja, Bastion, X3, Hotline Miami, Penumbra, Amnesia, Strike Suit Zero, Serious Sam, FEZ, etc. These games won awards for a reason. Hell, I'm currently replaying one of my all-time favourites - Psychonauts!

Every platform has its share of shit games, but the Linux set has more than enough games worth playing, especially compared to a freshly-launched console.

Greg J Preece

Re: It doesn't say if the CPU and GPU share the ram, or even how much there is.

It's not a very good pic, but that's clearly the Steam logo.

Greg J Preece

You know Steam has had offline mode for longer than I can remember, right? Yes, you need to be online to activate and download games - obviously - but past that I can always play offline.

Greg J Preece

The downside of either machine might seem to be a relative lack of games, at least compared to the next-gen

Errrrrr, what? The Steam for Linux store just broke the 400 entry mark. How many games are currently available on the PS4? Sure, Linux is missing the AAA market right now, but that's changing*, and Steam, PSN, XBL long since proved the market for the games that are available.

*Metro: Last Light and Arma: Tactics being recent high-profile converts, as well as Serious Sam before them.

VIOLENT video games make KIDS SMARTER – more violent the BETTER

Greg J Preece

Man, there's some backwards buggers in this thread. Personally, I am one of those video game kids, from pretty much age 4, and my parents rarely restricted my access to any media. I played the violent games and the non-violent ones - whatever I enjoyed, essentially. And how violent, dangerous or otherwise warped did it make me? I got great grades, I never hurt a fly, and I have no criminal record whatsoever. Oooh, the horror.

"You have a degree??"

"I'm sorry! Unreal Tournament made me do it!"

OK, look: if violent video games make violent people, and you all like to call out GTA without actually having played it (as if GTA were anywhere near being the most violent game out there), and GTA is now the fastest selling entertainment product ever, shouldn't the whole of society have just broken down? Shouldn't there be a global prostitute shortage as they're all beaten to death by 11 year olds? It's your posit that if I do it in a video game, I will then do it in real life, so explain then why violent crime figures continue to decline as the popularity of GTA continues to rise.

It's horseshit. I've done some incredibly nasty things inside games, but funnily enough my brain is capable of spotting the difference between pixels and people. My addiction to Civilization didn't make me a general, my love of Time Crisis hasn't made me into a gun-toting murderer, and I can absolutely promise you that Uplink does not teach valid hacking skills. Don't be a moron.

Microsoft bans XXXXBOX gamers for CURSING in online combat

Greg J Preece

If they decide to ban people for swearing in a game where you shoot people directly in the face, I'll simply ban the overbearing fuckheads from my house.

You DON'T need a new MacBook! Reg man fiddles with Fusion, pimps out vintage Pro

Greg J Preece

This is the situation I've been in. The other techies at work are upgrading to the new SSD powered Macs, but I don't want to lose the optical drive, and I don't like having a machine that cannot be serviced in any way. I want to replace the dead optical drive with a new blu-ray jobbie, swap the hard drive for something faster, and double the RAM from 8GB back to 16GB (I had an 8GB stick die on me along with the optical drive, because Macs are more reliable than other machines). Cheaper than buying a new machine, I can do all the servicing myself, but the company would prefer I just got a new one. No thanks, guys.

I can't see why the end result wouldn't be just as capable of doing what I already do. I mean, the machine runs Linux half the time anyway - OSX is the slowest system on here, so I'm not that fussed about Mavericks.

Julie Larson-Green: Yes, MICROSOFT is going to KILL WINDOWS

Greg J Preece

Re: Why Windows is doomed. @ Greg J Preece

Thanks. That's precisely the point I was making.

So only operating systems small enough to not even have 16-bit colour are good enough for you? See, this still seems like a really terrible argument to me, but OK, you stay in the "good old days" and we'll stick to a more....feature rich time. If that's your definition of "bloated", then merely looking acceptable on a modern monitor is apparently grounds for the accusation.

Greg J Preece

Re: A shining example of how Microsoft got it wrong

James, for a minute I thought I was reading a Linux help forum from a few years ago.

Hang on, were you expecting a GUI-based method of installing a GUI that doesn't yet exist on the system? Errrrr....

Greg J Preece

Re: Why Windows is doomed. @Wardy01 & @dogged

Windows XP came on a CD, Win 7 on a DVD. I rest my case.

That's a really shitty case. Windows originally came on floppy disks, Windows XP comes on CD, therefore XP is bloated.

See? Really stupid reasoning, isn't it?

Greg J Preece

Re: Why Windows is doomed.

The reason Windows is finished is speed. They've stuffed it so full of lazy code and pointless bells and whistles that it takes an age to start compared to phone or a tablet.

Have you used Windows recently? It's not my primary operating system, but what you've said here is plain wrong. Of the three systems installed on my Macbook Pro, Windows 8.1 is by far and away the fastest, easily outstripping the OSX that the machine was made for. It boots faster, runs faster, and just feels damn quick all around. Similarly, on my various phones, my Windows Phone is way quicker than the others. Microsoft even made a big deal when WP7 was launched about how blazingly quick it was. I remember being at Mobile World Congress, where they had a challenge set up; if your phone can do anything faster than ours, we'll give you money.

And you can accuse it of being bloated, but my Windows 8 install was smaller than the previous Windows 7 one, and when I installed 8.1 I somehow gained back 10GB of space. It's still far bigger than my Linux install with everything thrown in, but then OSX isn't exactly tiny!

Given how diametrically opposed your claims are to my experience, I have to ask if you've actually used Windows on a day to day basis, or whether you're repeating FUD from the safety of another camp?

Xbox One FAILS to beat PS3 - yes, PS 3 - week one sales

Greg J Preece

Re: total meh

At least the Wii U is managing games at 1080p/60 - the only console in the UK that does.

I'm sure the PS4 is more than capable of running ports of Gamecube-era Zelda games at 1080p... How capable do you reckon the U is of running Shadowfall at all?

Forget ANGELINA JOLIE, Xbox One struts red carpet in London's Leicester Square

Greg J Preece

Had a play with both the PS4 and the Xbox One already. They're perfectly serviceable pieces of hardware. The quickness of the PS4's interface is a massive improvement, but the new controller will take some getting used to after three generations of near-identical Dualshocks. The new Xbox pad is fine, but not as good as the 360.

I had more fun with the PS4 games than with the Xbox ones personally. The new Killer Instinct is a badly-coloured mess, and Forza had some annoying Kinect lean-to-look thing that I couldn't figure out how to disable, that just left my driver's perspective twitching constantly from left to right - bloody infuriating. Knack and Killzone, on the other hand, are actually pretty fun, and I say that as someone who really didn't like the earlier Killzone games.

I think in 6 months time, when the kinks are worked out, the missing features are patched in, and the delayed games are out, it's gonna be a cracking generation. (Provided Microsoft don't also patch back in the bullshit.)

XBOX ONE ROUNDUP-of-the-ROUNDUPS: Everything YOU need to know

Greg J Preece

I'll be getting a PS4, but after some of the interesting looking games for it were delayed until next year, I'm in no rush to go out and get one, especially considering the first-batch hardware problems people have been encountering.

Greg J Preece

Re: Meanwhile...

ah yes the here we go again gaming doesnt exist on xbone or PS4 does it now.....Halo, Call of Duty, Gods of War not repetitive at all

At least there's a choice. Don't like those games? Go play others. On Nintendo there are very few games outside the Ninty fold that are capable of making money or worth a damn in the first place.

Greg J Preece

Re: Meanwhile...

For people who like games that have visual artistry and brilliant gameplay mechanics.

...There's the indie games on the PSN store?

I was wondering when the inevitable "get a Wii U instead" comments would appear. Hey, are half the top ten sellers on that console still release titles? Yeah, thanks, but I'll go with one of the ones with games outside of Nintendo's very limited pool of here-we-go-again gaming.

This article has been deleted

Greg J Preece

Re: Hmmmm

Or they made sure to properly research the story in order to show the idiot up?

Oooh! My NAUGHTY SKIRT keeps riding up! Hello, INTERNET EXPLORER

Greg J Preece

Re: what's the fuss?

Perhaps not. Which culture is that? The one which slapped the Catholic Church with roughly $1B in fines?

Problem solved!

Greg J Preece

Re: Inori is close, but not quite...

Hmmmm, joined just to comment on this article, two posts consisting only of how super-dooper-awesome IE 11 is.

*Waves* Hi Microsoft!

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