* Posts by Def

1269 posts • joined 8 Jul 2009

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Official: Voyager 2 is now an interstellar spacecraft

Def
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Re: Science 50 years old

"a spin around the solar system" ohh, so they are stationary in space somewhere and earth "flies by" every year, then ?

Well, if they were stationary in space the Earth would never fly by ever again. ;)

So here's a question for the bored-at-work: If it was possible to remove all gravitational influences on an object on the 1st of January, 1970, and leave that object at rest in space in close proximity to where the Earth was at that time, how far away would it be now?

Def
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Re: Science 50 years old

I doubt that any of the stuff I bought will be around in 50 years (or even 20). Except for my Harmann Kardon amp...

I still have the stereo I bought back in '92: Pioneer A400 amp, Pioneer PDS901 CD player, and a pair of Mission Cyrus 781 speakers. Still all going strong - the only thing I've had to repair was gluing the lens back into its housing in the CD player. I've gone through numerous other small stereo systems since then, but these components are still going strong after 26 years. (Admittedly I've not taken them for a spin around the solar system - yet...)

Privacy, security fears about ID cards? UK.gov's digital bod has one simple solution: 'Get over it'

Def
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Re: UK already has ID cards, just soft fuzzy ones

Which car rental company was that? Asking for a friend...

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Re: another iteration

FFS, please someone introduce a minimal level of understanding prior to appointment to cabinet posts.

Even a minimum IQ requirement before being allowed to run for election in the first place would be a start. Either that, or a candidate's IQs should be visible on the ballot paper and any publicity leading up to the election.

It's official. Microsoft pushes Google over the Edge, shifts browser to Chromium engine

Def
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Re: "What's next? Windows 11 will be based on 7 UI?"

We have, or ought to have, a very clear and precise worldwide standard for HTML, agreed by all, and equally precise and unambiguous rules for how it is rendered...

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Thanks for that. ;)

Yes we do. Sort of. Too bad it's a fucking hacked together piece of garbage. Have you read it recently? It's a fucking mess that's never going to get fixed. Like pretty much everything the W3C produces it's a way-over-the-top botch job designed by people who have no clue how to architect systems or understand even the most basic of things about how to engineer such things. HTML 1 was a bad joke and each successive version has built on earlier mistakes.

Def
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Re: WebAssembly & Blazer

...and web-developers are not developing for it...

Err, given that Edge is more standards compliant than either Firefox or Safari, I'm really not sure what you mean by that.

Def
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Re: Good for memory makers

Opera just uses Chromium these days too. As does Vivaldi.

Basically if you want to browse the Internet in 2019, you will have to use the bloated garbage from Google, or write your own. (Something I would quite happily do if I had the time.)

Microsoft polishes up Chromium as EdgeHTML peers into the abyss

Def
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Re: Microsoft middle(nuisance)ware.

I use Windows because I develop Windows applications.

I'm a software engineer. :) I spend most of my time in Visual Studio. Aside from that, all other tools I use regularly are pinned to either the task bar or the start menu. My personal machines are my work machines, so it's Windows all the way for me - along with my ageing Mac and half a dozen iOS and Android test devices that is.

Def
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Re: Microsoft middle(nuisance)ware.

That's easy to do in 7. Just drag them into place at the top of the list. I think once you move your first one you have a line appear, above which is the stuff you want there

Yep, and I did use that, but it was a bit limited space wise. Currently I have 30 applications pinned to the start menu in Windows 10, grouped and organised according to use and/or function. (Mostly - there are a few bits and pieces I haven't bothered organising fully, but it's got everything I need on a day to day basis within easy reach.)

Def
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Re: Microsoft middle(nuisance)ware.

I use both every day, and I can't deny that Windows 7 is far easier to use than Windows 10.

I guess it depends what you're actually doing all day, but I tend to run the same software most days and the OS doesn't get in the way of me doing that. I've heard it opined that Windows 10 is a little faster and a little less resource heavy than Windows 7, but I have no solid evidence to back that up. I noticed virtually no difference in my day to day work when I switched to Windows 10. (I won't say the procedure was totally pain free, but it was a lot less painful than most macOS updates.)

If anything, Windows 10 is slightly nicer to use - being able to layout the applications I use the most (that aren't pinned to the task bar) the way I want in the start menu is way better than the constantly reorganising recent programs list of Windows 7, and the applications list is infinitely better than the All Programs menu from earlier incarnations of Windows.

The *one* issue I do constantly hit is that the Fn key is right next to the Windows key on my laptop and more often than not I hit the wrong one and suddenly enter Windows Tiling Mode instead of going to the start/end of the line. I should probably figure out how to disable the Windows shortcuts, but well... I'm lazy. :)

Def
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Re: Microsoft middle(nuisance)ware.

If only Windows 10 could be as usable as Windows 7.....

Not sure what you mean here. I use Windows 10 every day. I also used to use Windows 7 every day. Never had any problems with either.

And why does MS think it's a great idea to put a useless overlay on stuff like "setings"? There was nothing wrong with the Control Panel, so let us add another layer of obfuscation!

Yeah, I'm totally with you here. I really hate having settings panels that can be resized and don't rely on a thousand fiddly tabs and dialog boxes to control everything. I just don't get what they were thinking. Clearly the design team should be given a good talking to.

European fibre lobby calls for end to fake fibre broadband ads

Def
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Re: Where to draw the line?

Isn't that also true if it's fibre to your modem and GB ethernet from there to the PC? Or even when it's fibre to the PC and copper across the motherboard? It's never 100% fibre.

It's not true if the last leg of the journey is over WiFi though.

And I'm not paying a monthly charge to use the cabling inside my house. I can upgrade that whenever I like.

Millennials 'horrify' their neighbours with knob-shaped lights display

Def
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Re: "It's deeply offensive" says 53 year old man

I took it to mean it's offensive to God botherers who think Christmas and the associated garish decorations are important.

Either that, or he's just got a bit of size envy, but rather than admit that he falls back on the "I'm offended" card.

OneDrive is broken: Microsoft's cloudy storage drops from the sky for EU users

Def
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Re: Ah the Cloud

But, does it ever rain in Spain?!

Constantly, if my recent off-season vacations are anything to go by.

Consultant misreads advice, ends up on a 200km journey to the Exchange expert

Def
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Re: "click" with the sound the mouse makes...

Ironically many of the "flat" buttons in Windows 10 do actually change in a looks like they are being pressed way if you click on them.

The way they push in also changes according to where you clicked, or if you moused out and back in, where the mouse re-entered. Click on the left and the left side is pushed in more than the right. Re-enter from the bottom and the bottom is pushed in further. Re-enter from the top the top is pushed in further.

Def
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Happy

Re: Spoilers in Tech Docs!

When visiting friends, do you click the doorbell or do you press it?

I usually have to call them to get them to open the door because they're too lazy to write their name on a piece of paper and stick it next to the button for their apartments.

Mobile networks are killing Wi-Fi for speed around the world

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Not in Norway.

Big Falcon Namechange for Musk's rocket: BFR becomes Starship

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Re: Yes

I think the downvotes are amanfrommars worried we might be coming over soon.

Washington Post offers invalid cookie consent under EU rules – ICO

Def
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Re: re: EU presence (or not)

It is likely that the WP has a UK or at least an Eu bureau...

I'd find that highly unlikely, actually. About as likely as the Daily Mail having an office in the US.

And if they did, I'm sure the UK watchdog would have found them by now. Which would have made half of this story redundant. ;)

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If they took money from a single EU citizen / EU-registered card to access their site - then they are trading in the EU and need to offer EU-compliant services. Yes, it's complicated in the modern era, but that's how it works. If you are taking EU money, you need to abide by EU law and - also - pay EU tax.

That's sort of true. A US corporation that has no physical presence in the EU wouldn't have to pay corporation tax in the EU. I don't know if that's the case for the WP, but regardless they do have to collect VAT from EU customers at the customer's local rate, and declare and pay that VAT either in each country individually, or collectively in a single EU country. Which isn't really a tax on the company, it's a tax on EU citizens.

Holy moley! The amp, kelvin and kilogram will never be the same again

Def
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Re: SI

England gets it worse than in the US because it's farther north; the winter solstice really stinks up there

You think England is bad, you should come to Norway. ;)

Def
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Re: SI

Yeah, I know where base 60 comes from. Our reasons for continuing to use it are still only out of tradition. :)

Def
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Re: SI

(Urgh, time ran out when editing the above. You really should stop the clock when someone clicks the edit button, El Reg.)

As for why mks, it seems there IS some natural coherence between the units, particularly when you mesh electrical phenomena to physical ones. In fact, this is why the kilogram was used versus the gram: the relationships didn't fit with the g but did with the kg. In fact, modern science notes a lot of interrelation between mass, energy, and time. That's one reason for the redefinitions. With the second defined as it will be, one can redefine the kilogram in terms of the Planck constant (which uses time), redefine the ampere in terms of the elementary charge (which uses time), and redefine the Kelvin in terms of the Boltzmann constant (which uses time, mass, and distance which is unchanged).

That sounds a bit suspect to me. In fact, reading into it a little bit, it seems a bit dodgy to me that a lot of science is based around arbitrary base-60 measurements of time. I can accept that the concept of the Planck constant (and what it represents) can be universal, but its value certainly can't be constant if it depends on the length of a second.

Oooh, is that a can of worms? How nice... ;)

Def
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Re: SI

As for why cesium, it's easier to measure and more consistent than hydrogen.

Ok, that's fair enough - I guess. I did wonder whether it was because of something like that.

Def
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Re: SI

You're kinda missing my point. (If I even had a point, which is doubtful, but there you go.)

Let's start with the second. It's a convenient(ish) measurement for splitting up time on Earth. But what happens when we go to Mars, where there are 24 hours, 37 minutes, and 22 seconds in a day? That would just piss me right off. Or how about the moon, where one day lasts 29 days, 12 hours, and 44 minutes?

Instead of 9,192,631,770 periods of the...blah blah blah...of caesium-133 atom, why not make it 10 billion. (I'm not going to bother finding out the difference between caesium and hydrogen.) A second would then be eight percent longer. I doubt many people would even notice. World record holders might be a bit miffed, admittedly, but simply convert the records and nothing would really change. We could even switch to a decimal time system, and then no specific world would be "special" with regards to time. (We're going to have to switch at some point in the future. Or at the very least every world will probably end up devising its own timescale to measure its sidereal rotation period - it'll be like the train network all over again. Will we stick to Earth times when in deep space? I don't ever recall hearing "Captain's Log, 13th of June..." after all. ;)

Now let's look at the metre. If it were the distance light travelled in 300,000,000ths of a second instead of 299,792,458ths (which is still a bit arbitrary for me), it would be around 88 millimetres longer than it is today (with the new second). Personally I'd rather opt for 100,000,000ths of a second, which, ironically, would put it closer to the foot (actually just over 14 inches) than the metre. Still usable for human scales, but slightly less arbitrary.

My point (yes, there really was one) was this: Why not redefine SI measurements to be less arbitrary instead of forcing what we currently have (which we only have for historical reasons) to fit some observed natural/physical phenomenon.

And before you claim such changes would be impossible... every country on the planet has changed some or all of their measurements at some point in the past.

Def
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Paris Hilton

SI

Standard measurements are good, obviously, but the ones we have are still arbitrary bullshit when you get down to it.

One second is defined as the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium-133 atom.

Why caesium? Why not hydrogen? Why not 10 billion periods? Or one billion?

Why is one metre the distance light travels in 299,792,458th of a second? Another arbitrary number which exists today due to truly random historical definitions.

You try and explain any of these to an alien civilisation and their reaction will be no different to someone in America trying to explain why a yard is three feet, or 36 inches to a child from [insert country here]. I wouldn't be surprised if eventually you ended up describing the width of a horse's arse, which would bring a whole different kettle of fish, and possible the police, into the conversation.

When we finally start ruining other planets, will we take these arbitrary measurements with us? Or will we finally work out something more universal? (Which America will still ignore.)

Paris because... well, why the fuck not? Where's the pub? :)

Def
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No, but as far as the speed of light is concerned, you only need space to be devoid of anything that would interact with light passing through any given point. As long as nothing interacts with it, it's full speed around (because space is curved). ;)

Google swallows up DeepMind Health and abolishes 'independent board'

Def
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Re: It might not be Google..

Makes you wonder why Alexa and Google Home are the shape they are. (I haven't seen them in person, so I don't know how wide they are.)

But I can imagine them starting to fuck you in the arse as soon as you get them home and switch them on.

It's November 2018, and Microsoft's super-secure Edge browser can be pwned eight different ways by a web page

Def
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Re: if an open source project had MAJOR flaw rates like this

Yeah, because no major flaws have ever been found in open source software, right?

Palliative care for Windows 10 Mobile like a Crimean field hospital, but with even less effort

Def
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Re: Hmmm...

...the standard battery on a 950 will struggle to make it through 2 days normal use

It's still quite telling (and rather amusing) that Windows 10 Mobile users measure battery time in days, while [Other OS] users continue to measure it in hours.

That amazing Microsoft software quality, part 97: Windows Phone update kills Outlook, Calendar

Def
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Re: I am genuinely shocked

I have a Lumia 950 and a (work issued) Huawai P20 Pro. I much prefer using the Windows phone *because* of the lack of apps. When I'm carrying the work phone, I catch myself wasting time with all kinds of shit apps that I really should know better than to use. (But they're there, and I don't.)

Unfortunately, I have to carry the Android these days because the one app that I really need (ticket app for public transport) doesn't work on Windows anymore. :(

Upset fat iOS gobbles up so much storage? Too bad, so sad, says judge: Apple lawsuit axed

Def
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Re: Sizes

Because they have known hardware configurations, and so don't have to worry about a million legacy devices. This is especially true for iOS devices, not so much for macOS though.

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Sizes

The size of the average OS these days is obscene. Doubly so on devices you have full control over, Apple.

British fixed broadband is cheap … and, er, fairly nasty – global survey

Def
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Re: Is this Time Warner's site?

They mean streaming directly to the player, as opposed to downloading and then playing.

Hardly anybody downloads videos before watching them any more. Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, NetFlix, EveryVideoAppEver just stream now, and that's how the vast majority of people consume video content.

Def
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Re: Downloads

I work from home. A typical day is spent streaming live video when testing our players. I don't know how much I download in a day, but I can burn through 2GB of data quite easily when I'm demonstrating our player on a mobile network.

I have an 80/80 fibre connection right now, but will seriously consider going wireless in the near future. The theoretical maximum speed of my work phone (Huawai P20 Pro) on an LTE Advanced network is 15 times faster than the maximum I can get from my fixed line. (In reality I rarely get more than about 40mb/s over the current network infrastructure, but 5G will almost definitely solve that.)

The only real drawback going forward would be download limits and caps that I don't have right now. If the greedy telcos removed those, fixed lines really would become a thing of the past - at least in my house.

GCSE computer science should be exam only, says Ofqual

Def
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At GCSE age, I'd expect anyone who would be a good programmer later on, to already be beyond GCSE level.

I have to agree with this too. The best programmers I've worked with taught themselves when they were kids. (As I pretty much did - after an after school computer class when I was nine that taught me the BASICs. Literally. ;)

That said, my first attempt at the GCSE exam resulted in a U because I couldn't arsed with anything (specifically my end of year project was notable in its absence) and was so fucking bored at school you wouldn't believe. The next year at college, I got an A for GCSE, and the year after that at A-Level, I think the teacher learned more from me than I did from him. (This was a teacher who would write things on the whiteboard (usually in indelible marker), ask me if it looked correct, and then explain it to the class if I gave the thumbs up.) Suffice to say I didn't stick around in that class for too long, and dropped out of college completely sometime after that. I started working in the games industry a couple of months later.

Apple breathes new life into MacBook Air with overhauled 2018 model

Def
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can't keep all those different kubelets in memory.

CPU? I haven't felt constrained CPU wise for ~10 years.

I don't know what the fuck a kubelet is, but you obviously don't write them in C++, and you clearly don't need to compile them. If you did, you'd understand why you don't use a toy for development.

Mac users burned after Nuance drops Dragon speech to text software

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Re: Colin, you have my empathy & sympathy.

The constant updates *will* break something that is mission critical for you.

You're talking about macOS, right? Because you seem to have screwed up your punctuation. At first read, it looks like you're talking about Windows.

Super Cali goes ballistic, net neutrality hopeless? Even Ajit Pai's gloating is something quite atrocious

Def
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Coat

Ajit Pai is an arsehole

That's not a very nice thing to compare genuine arseholes to.

Sorry friends, I'm afraid I just can't quite afford the Bitcoin to stop that vid from leaking everywhere

Def
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Headmaster

Re: euphemisms for the women now, have we?

scrolling your mouse wheel

This is almost certainly scandinavian in origin where they favour the term 'mouse' over 'pussy'.

British Airways: If you're feeling left out of our 380,000 passenger hack, then you may be one of another 185,000 victims

Def
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Re: Incompetent all round

At some point you have to trust third parties...

Why?

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Re: Incompetent all round

Using third party source code that hasn't been fully vetted and verified in any application should be considered criminal negligence. If you don't know exactly what all of your code is doing, you shouldn't be allowed near a keyboard. This goes double for open source software. And you should never reference libraries served from a server out of your control.

Using third party libraries that ship in binary form should never be used in publicly released software without a bulletproof contract in place to protect you from a legal standpoint.

The buck has to stop somewhere. Make sure it isn't with you.

It only took Oz govt transformation bods 6 months and $700k to report that blockchain ain't worth the effort

Def
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Facepalm

...it's software, so the tech is here now. So yeah, if no one has found a different use today, there's not much chance of finding a better use in a decade.

So basically what you're saying is because software exists today, we shouldn't expect any more innovation from software in the future?

Def
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Re: Just 'Unnecessary'? What about 'Wouldn't Work'?

I think the idea for something like a land registry, is that not only would the government hold a copy, but so would all the large property firms, maybe individual local councils too, etc. Then each can keep the others honest, and have a local copy for quicker lookups.

You're missing the point here. In the land registry example, there would be multiple copies of the data, yes, and they would be publicly readable, but only the *owner* of an item in that registry, I.e., the land owner, or more likely - but not necessarily - his solicitor and/or proxy (or basically any named parties who have access to the encryption keys), would be able to reassign ownership to another party.

That transaction could also be cryptographically connected to transfer of funds in the opposite direction, so it wouldn't be possible to perform one without the other. I think I'm right in saying this is what smart contracts are aiming to be in the Ethereum world.

Def
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In all fairness

The Australian government isn't exactly the brightest example of forward looking, progressive thinking people.

I'm not saying they're wrong here, but I honestly wouldn't take any advice they may have about future technologies at face value either.

Microsoft Azure looks to make cloud-native payments SWIFTer

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Re: I'm wondering...

If all of this is just a prelude to Microsoft slurping people's banking details...

1) Don't be ridiculous.

2) Don't give Google ideas.

Stealthy UK startup drops veil on next frontier of speech wizardry

Def
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Received Pronounciation

That's probably close to my English accent. My friends always joked I had a BBC accent. I'm not sure where it came from. It's not entirely local to my home town (Portsmouth area), I'm certainly not posh, and I doubt many of my former teachers would claim I'm educated - through no fault of theirs... Well, if they'd made the classes even slightly interesting or challenging, I might have turned up more.

Rather bizarrely a lot of non-English people I meet think I'm Australian these days, which I really don't understand.

Core-blimey! Riddle of Earth's mysterious center finally 'solved' by smarty seismologists

Def
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Headmaster

Re: J-waves?

J is merely the notation given to a S wave in the inner core of the Earth.

Microsoft points to a golden future where you can make Windows 10 your own

Def
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Re: Commerce

Nice observation, Sherlock.

Def
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Re: Commerce

Running gdb as an engine in the IDE or even TUI mode (Ctrl-X Ctrl-A) no good?

At the previous company I worked at most developers (myself included) were working on Windows with Visual Studio. The few who did work full time in Linux didn't use a specific IDE, so there were no projects setup. I only ventured into Linux when there was a bug to fix that nobody else could figure out.

I found TUI mode to be hit and miss at the best of times.

Prior to that, I was working on an extremely old code base on extremely old versions of Solaris which was running even older versions of pretty much everything. Not an IDE in sight, and the version of GDB didn't even support TUI. (Or if it did, it didn't work. It was a while ago now; I forget all the details.)

These days I get to play mostly with Visual Studio (as I have almost daily for the last 22 years or so), Xcode (the only IDE where tabbed documents were added as an afterthought), and Android Studio (which only allows debugging native code on Wednesdays in months that don't have an R in their name).

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