* Posts by mmeier

1428 posts • joined 31 Jan 2013

Survey: Bosses are DESPERATE and GAGGING for Linux skills

mmeier

Re: Linux is a richer OS

Actually MS does not. They have a qualification/certification program that extends well past the "Microsoft Certified Solitair Expert" and is structured similar to Sun/Oracle or LCI. Windows Admins worth the name and title are as qualified and trained as a similar Solaris/Linux/Whatever admin.

What MS sells you is that a simple Client or a small home server can be as easily set up/used as the home computers of old (Atari, Amiga, Acorn etc). And that works for 95+ percent of the users that buy their boxes assembled, configured and ready to use.

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mmeier

Re: Fiction

What is included in the money? I.e how is health care, retirement pay etc. Part of the salary. split 50/50 or not at all and "pay your own".

British NHS or german "Krankenkasse" may not be the greatest think but they beat what many US workers have easily. Same for retirement systems, number of days of etc. (I.e germans get 25 days minimum if doing 5days/8hours, 30 is more typical)

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mmeier

Re: Also: MS Office For Linux (kernel)

Why not? They produce office for the other single-digit desktop platform as well. So porting to Ubuntu, Suse, RedHat, Mint, RedStar... should not be a technical problem. If there is money to be made - MS will make an offer.

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Review: The ultimate Chromebook challenge

mmeier

Re: Ah....oh dear....

Windows licency fee for a typical OEM is 20€. Not much "extra" on the price. And that is before one accounts for the money the OEM gets for installing "demo versions" of tools like McAffee. The "Huge extra cost of Windows" has been de-bunked more than once. Even the 20€ are easily eaten by the costs of tailoring a distribution to the hardware or the other way round. So no matter how often the PinguBoys spread their lies - they remain lies!

And "Windows running hotter" and "needing more hardware" is another famous story. With about as much truth as Peter Ustinovs version of Nero or Kirk Douglas Spartakus(1). Out of the box Susie or xBuntu eat as much memory etc. as Win7 or 8 if given the same tasks and using ALL features of your unit(2). And OOB is what Joe Average uses. If we go to mobile devices it get's uglier since hibernation works a lot better on Windows. Linux gets 10-15 percent less endurance on mobiles.

(1) Those two at least where good movies

(2) Granted, running a modern graphics adapter in 2D only or VESA emulation WILL reduce power consumption. As will not using parts of the hardware at all and running in "shell mode".

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mmeier

Re: Of course Samsung innovates...

Strange. For something that is dead Netbooks, even with Linux, are readily available. NEW!

Amazon offers me a Acer Aspire One D270 for 199€. Order till 18:00 Berlin time and it will be here tomorrow.

Or if you prefer a better quality: Asus F201E-KX065DU with Ubuntu for 279€. Same terms

As an alternative I could go for a mini-notebook with AMD CPU from Lenovo

Lenovo IdeaPad S206 (With FreeDOS, 200€)

And so on. Quite a few "dead" units around. Without Windows.

So much for an other FUD from sector Eadon

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mmeier

Re: Ah....oh dear....

What does Android do that Windows can not? Outside a phone that is?

Let's compare a N8010 and an Ativ500 without dock. Both Samsung, both Penables, similar size/weight. 2GB, Flash-based storage, WLAN only (Tethering through my smartphone)

Since both are penables and I do not use touch when I can use a stylus a lot of the "Win7 software is not touch ready" arguments (That ARE correct) do not count for my use case.

Pro Note:

========

The Note is cheaper (around 200€)

The Note can use a smaller "SSD" (32 vs 64GB) for similar amounts of free storage

Contra Note:

==========

The Note can NOT print directly to my Printer (Samsung Print does not support it). It can do so with a CUPS based printer system and an app - sometimes. CUPSprint does not always work, hangs on occasions and needs a Unix (or Mac box).

PS touch vs. GIMP is like pitting a Roman Centurion against a BAOR Centurion

SNote vs. MS Journal - see above

Polaris vs. MS Office (or even OO/LO) is not really fair either

PDF reader/annotators on Win are a lot better as well. There is one Free one on Android that handles more than one open PDF at a time

Can not buy software on Google Play since it only accepts CC. I am living in civilized germany - no need for CCs here

Equal

=====

Access to my NAS

Access to the Internet

Endururance in my typical use

So what ARE the benefits of Android vs. Win8 on a TABLET(5)? On phones one might argue Android has more apps than WP7/WP8(1). Both are equally easy to program(2) and the chance of getting software I need for my hobby on Windows is at least equal (Web-based) or better (3). Google Apps work on FF / Chrome under Win just fine (4)

(1) Since I keep a smartphone for the Tethering only and use a tablet pc for the rest a minor argument for my use case

(2) Due to more experience Windows 7 compatible software is easier to write for me. Java and Swing

(3) Pen and Paper RPG character generators are often Win-only or JAVA-Swing apps.

(4) And the browsers are a bit more stable

(5) I do not care about "Open Source", "GNU", "Linux" etc. One rarely has the time to really look at other peoples code / fix it, many OOS software systems lack in usability (The good ones are typically done by a company / have a company as a main contributor so the main difference is price)

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mmeier

Re: Gonna be getting myself on of these.

There are some parts of the world where the Internet is slow (below 1MBit downstream) and 3G has broad cells that are actually crowded AND slow. And we are not talking "middle of nowhere" but rather "wealthy suburb of a larger, industrialized city". Problem is back when fiber was layed there was little to no interest in it so there is none. And the industry is on the other side of the city - as is the telecomunications hub etc. So this part of the town is "end of line" for most stuff

Not too uncommon in germany. LTE is slowly coming but either not yet there or VERY costly and size-limited to low to be useful. The result is a self promoting loop. No broadband => No IT industrie (despite good traffic links and low prices) => IT workers settle somewhere else => Even less interest in broadband....

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mmeier

Re: Ah....oh dear....

Tried to sell an Android tablet to my parents (had a spare N8010 around last year). All went fine until the questions came:

+ Does <Prefered game x> run on it

+ Cousin y has software z, Does it run on this. I would like to do some stuff with pictures...

+ Can I print from it (No you can not, the frelling thing does not recognize the printer setup we have)

We never got to the "juggle the adapters" part (That is Note specific - the CBs have straight USB at least). And the Android tablet at least can run without the Internet. My parents have a really fast connection speed: 384kb downstream. On a good day, when all the neighbours are at church. Don't ask about the upload... So stuff like Google print is a "forget it".

Add in that Google will most likely again only accept CreditCard for payment as the do in the play store. And CC is somewhat rare in Germany because on the continent the Maestro debit card system works as well and you get the card "for free".

So currently it is a well locked down Win7 with a limited user for the parents and that works fine. Couple with good (if used) hardware for Desktop and Notebook and a once per year maintenance (26th Dezember is maintenance day)

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mmeier

Re: Why not a tablet?

Agreed, a good 10 finger typist is faster with a good keyboard than he is with a stylus and handwriting-recognition. I am not a 10 finger typist :) But it is on the list of things to learn right after cooking and before scuba diving.

The hybrids are actually not my thing. I prefer an external Bluetooth keyboard. That way I can adjust distance freely and use whatever space is available. And I can keep the tablet unit in a book case/sleeve. With Atom units that is all I need for the workday, with core-i units I currently need a charger

The only "dock" I am currently interested in is the one from Lenovos Helix that allows "tablet plus" mode giving 10h operation time for a core-i tablet at less than 2kg(1) AND has a WACOM system unlike the Duo11 That unit has a detachable tablet part that seems to work and does something a simple BT keyboard can not do like having a second battery (unlike the Ativ 500 dock)

As for hybrid/convertible weigh: It depends on the hybrid. The Sony is actually very light (1.3 / 1.5 kg without/with sheet battery and sleeve) while the Fujitzu units are monsters that go well past 2kg when equipped with two batteries. The Ativ 700 falls in the middle at 1,8kg for the unit. If I had to get a unit today it would be a Sony Duo11 with sheet battery and sleeve (around 1200€ for the i3. And then use it in tablet mode only :)

(1) Given Lenovos track record with battery endurance recently I believe them the 10h

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mmeier

Re: To sum up the benefits: They are cheap

Thanks, juggle them around the wrong way about 50 percent

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mmeier

Re: Why not a tablet?

Just like a notebook gets carries around in a notebook bag many tablets are used in a book-case. And those have the stand (if needed) included. Some others like the Surface have the stand in the unit itself. I.e the Note 10.1 and it's soon to come replacement Lenovo TPT2 have such a case (add on) as did the EP121 (part of the package)

If I am browsing on any of the above I write mail with the WACOM stylus and let Windows (1) translate it. No need for a keyboard for what I do without a table. Works fine in the lap or the cradle of the arm. Telling the unit what to write also works for the EP121 (Nuance Dragon Natural) and likely will for the TPT(2). Windows internal speach recognition is also nice. Granted speech is not a tablet-only feature.

Tablet PC are smaller/lighter than a similar powered netbook/ultrabook if I do not need the keyboard. And 90+ percent of the time I do not. I do keep a BT keyboard in the attache case (or the notebook bag in case of the EP121 since that needs a charger to get over the day - TPT2 won't). And for most browsing/media consume stuff I do not need the keyboard.

Add in that Windows has software (as part of the OS in MS Journal, Part of office in OneNote) that can translate handwriting into text in a "batch mode" so I can even write lengthy concepts in handwriting and tell Windows "translate the stuff" when I am done. Depending on your handwriting and what the stuff is needed for simply mailing the draft around often is enough(3)

Same for check-reading documents in Word, Powerpoint or PDF format. The software supports hand written notes and handwriting->text. Where once before one would print out stuff and use colored markers you can now use a tablet pc.

10-13'' tablet pc are similar sized to a sturdy legal/A4 pad or writing board and can replace it if you have good, mature software for it. Windows does tablets since XP and the software is extremly mature, stabel and capabel.

About the only thing I do NOT use - is touch. One of the "not good enough" criterias on the Note 10.1 was that touch could not be completely switched off. Palm recognition on Wacom is good but not perfect (and eats cycles).

(1) Or Android but HWR there is Win-XP level currently

(2) The S10-3 could run Dragon at high CPU load

(3) Everyone uses Windows around here anyway

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mmeier

Re: Netbook market

Actually the last generation of Netbooks like Lenovos S10-3 came with Win7 and overlapped the 1st gen Android tablets with Android 3. So the "stockpile of XP" was likely not the cause companies build them.

Nor was MS what killed them. The pre-installed Linux where exotic distributions and often not all that good ones. A netbook with Suse or xBuntu preInstalled MIGHT have sold decently IF it had enough memory, harddisk and screen resolution and supported hardware. 1024x600 resolution isn't all that great for doing anything more complex in landscape mode. The hardware in many of them had no driver support outside the distributions they where delivered with (WLAN was extremly problematic and with Netbooks that's a big problem)

And when the units had matured the triple slam came and killed them:

iPads and 1st gen Android tablets with A3 that could do the surfing/reading/short writing better (lighter, better screen-resolution, lighter, longer runtime)

Smartphones that could do the mail/news stuff better

Used notebooks for decend prices and good spare (batteries) supplies like the X60/X61 series from IBM and a general drop in prices for low end notebooks (Better screen resolution etc)

Few netbooks survived, mostly AMD based units that had better capabilities to start with.

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mmeier

Re: To sum up the benefits: They are cheap

The ugly thing is - Intels new Atoms (Baytrail) are not yet out while the Chromebook uses the A15 ARM (the most current version). The Ativ 500 and all other Atom based tablets currently for sale use an aging Cedartrail Atom with known problems in step up/step down and GPU throtteling. I have chossen the ATIV as a low end (endurance and price-wise) unit that is also Samsung AND has an extra battery eater in the inductive stylus. Pay a bit more and you get even more endurance (TPT2 is 10.5h)

Wake/Sleep times for Win8 units with SSD are fast enough to map a softkey to "sleep" and press it when you go for a coffee and the tasks you described will actually get the CPU/GPU combo to throttle down nicely. For a real battery eater with CedarTrail switch between "low GPU" and "high GPU" loads or use stuff that produces peak loads on the CPU (voice recognition does fine)

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mmeier

To sum up the benefits: They are cheap

On all other parts of the system the guys at Samsung must have been working really hard to build a ARM based unit that has less duration then their Atom-powered ATIV500 (That adds a battery-eating WACOM digitizer) and weights more than that unit + a BT keyboard and can do less if I loose the net

What's the benefit of using this instead of the ATIV500 and the Google apps in a browser?

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Canonical unveils fondleslab-friendly Ubuntu 'experience'

mmeier

Re: Love it!!!!

My predition for end of Q1/2014:

+ Linux will have doubled it's desktop marketshare - to a whooping 2.8 percent

+ Android tablets will be "cheap china bombers" in the 100€ Woolworth store bins

+ Mac OS will be at 6 percent

+ Business tablets will be iOS or Win8 penables

+ Win8 SP1 will have added "recent documents" to the tiles and 98.2 percent of the desktop users will be happy with it

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mmeier

The big questions:

Does Linux finally have stable drivers for WACOM and/or NTRIG induktive (stylus) digitizers that support ALL capabilities (Pressure, Tilt, Palm rejection)?

Will they work even if the next update comes around?

Can I switch off touch?

If the first two are "Yes" than this might be worth a look on Note 80x0 hardware. If not - why bother

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Dell's Ubuntu dev laptop gets much-needed display boost

mmeier

Re: Meh

At what weight, batterie life and from what manufacturer? Mobile devices are a balance depending on what you need. And small runs (Linux) cost more. Besides Dell has gotten a lot better over the years with their notebooks(Their desktops are great). Not yet Lenovo / Fujitsu (but close) and a lot better than say Acer or IMHO Samsung.

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mmeier

Partially you have the EU to thank for that. Retail systems must come "fully functional" (OS present/installed) and most of the big chains have basically one "production line" that builds / assembles the boxes for the retail brick and mortar shops and the "privat consumer" parts of the webshops. And given what they pay those workes "KISS" is a must

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mmeier

Ah, the mighty "Windows tax" conspiracy theory rising it's neckbearded head again. I few years ago a Fosstard fought IIRC DELL all the way through the court system to be allowed to give Windows back in exchange for money. He won and DELL was sentenced to pay him the price DELL payed for the Licence. Turned out it was a HUGE amount of:

20€.

Back then SystemBuilder was 90+€, full versions with manual(s) even more. The added work to fine tune a distribution that uses all the hardware (or fine-tune the hardware to the distribution) to it's full capabilities will easily eat up those 20€ and likely some more.

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Ubuntu? Fedora? Mint? Debian? We'll find you the right Linux to swallow

mmeier

Re: The Half-Truth

Q: What has been "dumbed down" on the Win8 desktop? It is the Win7 one without "Start" that has been replaced by Metro.

For casual users that never used the few features of "Start" that are lacking in Modern (Attachment of files to programs) the Modern UI is as easy to use (if not easier) than Start. They will simply klick/touch/select the element and run, not caring if it is Modern or classic software. (Likely: Not even realizing they are different)

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mmeier

The boxes did not come back since installing Windows is so easy every Tom, Dick or Harry can do it. :)

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mmeier

Re: Another example of why Linux fails to gain market share

Actually Windows has more than one Appstore. Win8 has a build in for Modern UI software "ääps". And Windows 7 and 8 have amazon and other sides that sell full sized software in "download only" format. (Quite sure XP compatible software is sold there too)

Each Linux distribution has it's own "Appstore" aka Repository. If a software you need is in there and compiled for your version of the distribution it will work nicely, maybe even smoother that amazon. And a resonably sized distribution will also be a "known good" source that should deliver backdoor-free binaries. If you need stuff that is not in the repository it get's interesting. Even more if it does not support your kernel version and/or general family of distributions.

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mmeier

Re: "Comfortable with the terminal"

Microsoft Office :) And no, for quite a few things OO/LO is not a full substitute.

As for MS DOS getting a market share:

It generated the market. It was as good as the alternative (CP/M 86), cheaper and IBM promoted it. And when the IBM PC and it's clones marched into the office so did MS-DOS. And with THE big player producing a cloneable hardware platform MS-DOS has something that earlier CP/M systems could not deliver - a limited, well defined hardware standard that made certain development tasks easier.

Remember that back then there was a strong division between "Office" computers and "home" computers. Sometimes with the home computers being the more capabel ones (Atari/ MegaST or Amiga2000 vs 286 based DOS-Boxes). "WinTel" units did not become the typical home unit until the early 1990s (partially because Atari and Commodore foulded up)

Windows (Dos-version) did the same. Came in at the right time, ran on existing hardware and delivered stuff that software companies liked (Like OS delivers graphics/printer/mouse driver). Here IBM dropped the ball with the technically superior OS/2. Timing was good with people that got exposed to GUIs through home computers and university (Sun Workstations) coming into the jobs and finding them useful for certain jobs. And MS delivered some useful software (Excel) quite early. Actually Win 2.11 was more often used as a base to run Excel than anything else.

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mmeier

Re: @AndyS - Lets see if this self-fulfills

Because some people claim it's better and cheaper than Windows? Can do everythink that Windows can for free? And if most people hear free they add "as in beer" mentally. So they want "cheap" and want to use it not learn about computers.

Or because people get the idea for an application that needs internet access but not that much bandwidth, do not want to expose a Windows-box to the net / do not have a spare windows licence and look for an easy to use alternative? And quite a few distributions (Suse, Ubuntu) claim to be that. Again those people look for a box that does not need a PhD in Computer Science.

Computers are (thankfully) approaching the point where they can simply be used WITHOUT knowing how they work. Like cars, microwaves or DVD recorders. That is what people expect this days. That's why Macs and iThingys(Both Overpriced. underpowered and locked down) are so popular today.

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mmeier

Re: Mint is great but ...

I'd say standard distributions "out of the box" (Say Suse and Win8, RedHead and Windows Server 2012) are about equal in security except the one problem Windows has (mostly on the client side):

Default User has too much permissions

Easy to fix in theorie. Easy to fix if the software you use is written as it should be since XP. If not you might end up with "local admin" running as the main user. In a company net with proper firewalls, proxies etc. this is doable and done for older commercial stuff that has no alternative. On privat units this is the single weak point in an otherwise very secure workstation os.

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Microsoft exec: No 'Plan B' despite mobile stumbles

mmeier

Re: Windows 8 vs. Windows Phone 8

Give it six more month and the Baytrail and Haswell CPUs with their enhanced performance and lower power. Those will be Win8 systems so people will use them. Once they get over the "it is different" they find the virtues, And the new system has quite a few. MS did a lot of work under the hood, finally killed the last Win2000 drivers and made a UI that is usable on both types of device,

And for keyboard oriented workes Win8 is a beauty. No mouse required, touch-typists and programmers love it. So far the "give it two hours" test has worked for 90+ percent of the test users privat and company. Had a few who made extensive use of the "recent documents" feature in the start menu that missed something. OTOH that is Service-Pack work. Some miss the Aero effects, A lot had miss-conceptions from Eadon-style "reviews" like the "oooh shutting down is sooooo complex". Pressing the off-button on the box solved that. Telling them it's a feature since late XP got quite a few ooops :)

Touch is another misconception easily solved with a penable. Pens are part of our culture and simply writing on the tablet is a concept people get in mere minutes. I switch off "touch" on my windows devices since I do not use it and do not like the smears it leaves. That "forces" people to use the pen and so far all have commented "I want one for <enter media consumer device>" and where sad to lern that "capacitive" pens are not the same (I keep one around for an old Iconia A500 device that I use for software testing so I can show them)

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mmeier

Re: Strategy mixup

Wrong on all points as always Eadon.

+ WP7 based units are still getting updates and security patches. Recently got one. They will NOT get an UPGRADE to WP8. No problem with that, never demanded that. Now let's take the situation with the HTC Desire and the Samsung N7000. Both "top of the line" and brand new (HTC) or almost new (N7000) when I bought them. Both got no more updates, fixes, patches after a year. And at least the N7000 has two big bugs. I do not demand Android 4,1 or so. Just FIXES for the damned holes (1). MS is so far holding up the contract. Samsung and HTC did not. And no, Cyanogen etc. are NOT an alternative for the Note

+ Munich has hidden a LOT of money for Citrix and Windows licences, double staffing to keep the Windows systems running etc. in the "non Limux" Business. Even according to the Limux sources they have more than TWICE the permanent staffing of similar cities. And in germany permanent means difficult and costly to get rid of. Unlike you I KNOW what software cities are using (programmed some stuff for them - ironically for Android) and there is a lot of specialist software that is Windows-only. Unless Munich writes is own (and they do not) they still need Windows (as they do)

+ Mobile devices and multiple browsers are only interesting for a small part of the companie websites. E-Shops have to deal with them as have info pages, the later to a lesser degree. INTERNAL stuff is still "must run on IE". And that has no security risks since the networks are well protected and those things do not go outside directly. Oh and stuff like ActiveX can be disabled. Company wide. From a single server. Without the user having a choice. Windows has the policies for that. And there is a lot more internal applications than one might thing. Besides IE has been getting quite compatible over the years and it's FF that is causing us more problems recently.

+ ChromeOS has the same problem as every other OS that does not integrate in the Windows-based "workstation" network. Security keeps them restricted and the inability to run the multitude of in-house Windows applications keep them restricted to special uses. They could in theory replace the units used by consultants but why? A Windows unit can do the job just as fine. Big companies already have 2-3 different OS, they do not want another

+ Linux desktop chair could triple in the next ten years and it would still be in the single digit range. If it where a german party it wouldn't even make parliament since it will stay below 5 percent even then

(1) Oh and yes, my last two smartphones where Androids. The first and the last of them,

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mmeier

Re: Strategy mixup

Note to my self: Write Bill, tell him to stop sending me special versions of MS Gear...

My Win-CE phone(s) of HTC make worked just fine. Sold in germany by Telecom as the MDA series and used since the early 2000s. One of them, an MDA Compact IV/HTC Athena is still alive and kicking today with only a new battery - unlike a HTC Desire that barely made the 2 years.

And so far WP7 has shown one benefit over Android - UPDATES! Even now they get them (WP7.8). A lot better than any non-Nexus phone and similar to iOS. Since I consider Apple overpriced and overhyped they are a no-buy. IF I get another smartphone (unlikely - tablets are better suitet for the job) it will be a WP unit. Burned by Samsung and HTC, not interested in try three.

ChromeOS is a no-player in corporate environments (where IE actually is "prime browser" still) since they can not run MS Office. And office is (just ask Munich and prod for the Citrix/Terminal Server part) and you will realize it is next to impossible to get rid of.

So Penguins leaving their droppings on the desktop and falling on their backs when a plane goes over in any two digit percentage is as likely as Stallman shaving his neckbeard.

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mmeier

Re: Forget All the Noise and Interference this is About MS Mobile - Isn't It?

S/P is an ultrabook with a stylus-based digitizer. It competes nicely with this units in price, capabilities and endurance and is aimed squarely at that market. It adds additional options (Try using a notebook standing without a table etc. - With an S/P you can) that are nice in a consultant/roadwarrior environment. And it keeps prices for the mid range (Ativ 700, Duo 11, Taichi etc) and low end (Ativ 500, Asus Vivo) "in check" since most customers will say "why pay more for the same" thereby enhancing the chances that those units will compete with ultrabooks. MS cares little wether you buy a Surface or another Win8 penable - as long as you buy one.

The only units that are and will remain well abouve the S/P in price are the high end units like the T902. Those have always been and will be specialists. Those can do 10h on batterie and deliver enough performance and memory to replace a workstation. They also cost around 2000€ in a sensible (SSD-based) configuration. But the power, the power...

An endurance of 4-5 hours (more likely for the S/P based on experience with a first gen core-i penable of similar battery power that gets 3-4) is enough for this units. And with 1kg they are light enough to hold and use. Keyboard is only needed for long typing and that needs a stable surface anyway. Note taking, even 10+ pages - use the stylus! MS has the reliable, stable and capabel software for that (unlike Android)

If one wants more time on battery - go Atom. Even the aging Cedar Trail delivers more computational power for similar, sometimes better, power consumption than an A15 ARM and BayTrail is just around the corner. That gives you 7-10 hours even today, about the same as an<<<the only Android penable (That has no A15). Not build by MS but they run Win8 so MS likely does not care (much)

I assume with Interconnectivity you mean UMTS or LTE. Well there are units that have that on board. But with the state of LTE grows and an expected lifetime of around 3 years thanks to reliably updates and security patches (unlike say Samsungs Note-series where the N7000 basically is already out of service) I would not want to commit to a build-in modem right now. A MIFI router is cheaper to replace and sits snuggly in the attache case (attached to a honking big battery). Recently switched to an LTE version and my old penable now can use the faster net now.

If you refer to software - what better than Windows on tablet and desktop? Depending on the unit connecting to the TV is also easy - all current core-i units can do WIDI and receivers are cheap, most Win8 tablets have HDMI out as well. Not that I see good reasons of watching a movie on the tablet while at home - that's what the 42'' TV is for.

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mmeier

Re: Their entire future depends on this

Using Win8 on desktop and tablet-pc since the day it came out (and testet it since MS handed out slates with the dev preview in IIRC 2011). Despite what many claim they have not restricted a desktop to a tablet interface. They have changed the whole UI, dropped the start menu, introduced Modern as a replacement etc. The result requires some learning that is why two groups of actual users (1) are screaming

Group A: The larger group of "muscle reflex" operating office worker that switched XP, Vista, W7 back to "NT4" mode and does no where to klick to get a certain result

Group B: The small(er) group that made massiv use of some special features of the Win7 start menu (showing the last used documents) and miss that.

Like Ecos/Peaceniks both are "screaming minorities" that sound a lot larger than they are. Most users take 30-180min to get the concept behind Win8. Overcoming the "different than grandpa Xerox" meme is the hardest part.

One can debate details like the removal of Aero (I like the decision) and some feat but the end result is IMHO a system that works well on Desktop AND tablet. It may not be perfect for either but it is a lot better than the alternative. For me it is the chance to reduce the Zoo (Smartphone, Tablet, Desktop) to just one unit(3) - a nice dockable tablet or convertible like Helix or Sony Duo 11 having a unit that always works wether sitting at a desk, in a (crowded) train/plane(2) or even on a fair like CeBit (company presents there )

(1) Group 3 are Pengu-Boys, Fosstards and Gnuliban that have not used MS since Win 3.11 but simply know it is bad since Osama bin Stallman had a vision about it after too much toe-cheese

(2) Fold-out desks are rare in german trains and my manly girth is not all that compatible with them anyway :)

(3) Okay two, the tablet and a small, long-duration mobile phone that is so stupid it makes a nazi skinhead look like Einstein

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mmeier

Re: There's the Kool-aid...

There was also DesqView (and later DesqView/X) around the same time. And the non-x86 systems where equal or even better than the (mostly) DOS-based units back in the late 1980s/early 90s. It was not until the 386(sx) and 486 that the Windows-units became dominant and not until NT 4 that they ruled. It's simply that Atari and Commodore dropped the ball (Even more the the latter - they had a strong stand in business and education) and ignored the marken (i.e not delivering the Unix-Version of the Atari TT - nice and stable SVID compatible unix for a resonable planned price - got a change to play with it for a few hours at the Atari fair)

And while Win1.x might have been out before OS/2 the Windows DOS add on did not take hold until 3.1. And that came out after OS/2 2.x. At that time OS/2 was clearly better than the DOS-based Windows (1.0, 2.11, 3.x, 95/98/ME) and equal ton Win NT 3.5. Good, solid stuff but as an article here showed - IBM never managed to get the developers and hardware companies onto the bandwagon. The OS was pricy (VOBIS and/or ESCOM sold it) and the hardware support was so-so.

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Inside Microsoft's Surface Pro: A fiendishly difficult journey

mmeier

Re: I can see myself now...

I stopped assembling boxes from parts the day I could affort to order something proper. Never looked back. Buying "office grade" equipment from DELL/Lenovo/HP for a decade and they always worked, where silent, balanced and rugged. The oldest still at work is a Dimension PIV dating back to 2003 (Northwood) and still running fine, the oldest workable a PIII Optiplex. Both beat the typical "hand assembled" box in noise dampening and clean inner works and the ones that are equally silent in price.

And if it is "Mad Max" time I drop by the supply dump and steal back my 1980s kit. That's why I prefer my woman tall and muscular - that way she can help lug the ammo for Rheinmetalls answer to Iwan, Ali, Joe, Tommy, Hairy ones, Greenies, Zombies, Aliens and Linux fans. :)

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mmeier

Actually non-repairable devices are not that uncommon outside of Apple. So if you blame them blame Samsung (Note 10.1, Ativ500), Acer (A/W500), Asus (EP121 is extremly difficult at least) and a dozend other companies. If you apologize for one - apologize for all. It's all made by Foxcon slaves anyway.

I do not like Apple since the time they massacred Mac-OS10s microkernel and dropped the PowerCPU but neither do I blame them for lack of changeable batteries or SD slots. If I need replaceable parts - I pay premium for them and buy something that has. If not - I don't

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mmeier

Re: MS copying Apple construction techniques, only more so

Okay I am honest: "Greenies are the slimy stuff chained to the barracks gate" so that argument is something I do not care about(1). As for the rest - yes, the market cleans that out. Nobody buying lasagne around here currently. Now if the customers buy cheap - their decision. Majority rules, minorities can go and form a commune far far away

Besides, it is not the hoarse meat in general that's a problem (2) but that some has medication in it.

(1) I am the guy who'd pay extra for reliably nuclear or coal power

(2) I prefer mine with Sweet-soure sauce, raisins, red cabbage and dumplings

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mmeier

Actually for a long time (at least 2002) units like the Surface where exactly what one would get if asking for a "Tablet". Wintel powered units with pen input in 11-13 inch format. Either pure slates or convertibles. They where not that common "in the wilds" but quite a few companies produced them.

It is only since around 2010 have "low powered touch-only media consumation platform" and "tablet" become the same for Joe Average.

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mmeier

Re: MS copying Apple construction techniques, only more so

Thanks but no thanks. Let the market regulate it. There are quite a few user-serviceable mobile units around so if the users want those - they will buy them. And what get's bought by the masses will be copies by others.

(Semi)sealed mobile units have their benefits and some standards are extremly costly to achieve with serviceable units. A modern "glued together" tablet-pc (even more so the fanless units) is resonably dust and (spray)water-proof so I can sell them to customers that would otherwise require a Panasonic Toughbook

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mmeier

Re: It is critical that parts that wear out, such as batteries be field replaceable

Actually you could use massiv amounts of glue for the screen as long as you build in ports in the underside like some companies do. Makes for a more complex chassis design and more dust problems. The latter is critical for mobile devices with their smaller fans. Some companies (IIRC Fujitsu) equip their units with a replaceable air filter.

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mmeier

I own the matching ASUS kit (EP121) and owned a Note 10.1 (1) and while the unit has a fan it is only audible in a quiet room. In a normal office environment it is part of the background noise and nobody notices. No louder than the Lenovo Thinkpads used by coworkers. Maybe Samsung did it wrong (again) or your unit has a dying fan.

Life is a compromise. If you want the full power of a core-i and a mature tablet-pc OS you must accept the fan. If you can life with limited performance you can go Atom and fanless.

(1) Sold it. It was "always trying hard to perform according to the job profile"

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mmeier

Tablet-PC last a bit longer than the typical "couchy" tablets (Android, iOS). They are better compared to notebooks/ultrabooks so 3+ years is resonable. And user-replaceable components have some other benefits:

+ Hot/Quick swap batteries become possible (See the Q550 for an example or the T and X series convertibles)

+ Upgrading memory, SSD and network card(1)

+ Stronger batteries (See Dell Latitude 10)

(1) I.e many 1st gen core-i systems could use WIDI if not for the lack of a Centrino based WLAN card. User replaceable cards could delay a "new system needed" by a year or so without voiding waranty. I voided it on my privat slate but companies (Surface main target IMHO) won't

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mmeier

Re: Recycling

Recycling the parts is easier. You can accept some breakage. Say run a cutter through the shell and separate it or heat the stuff to temperatures where the solder comes appart (bet that the adhesive will also melt). After all the legal demand is "raw material" not "parts"

Given the flak manufactures like Asus, Samsung and Lenovo caught for problems with their slate edges lifting (and dust getting in) Microsoft went the prudent way and made sure THAT will not happen. Even more important with the Surface/Pro that (unlike the older slates) will more often be used without a book cover.

Aimed at the "company/commercial" market the 1000cyles/3 years typical lifespan of the batteries also fits well.

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Nokia's Elopocalypse two years on: Has Microsoft kept its side of the bargain?

mmeier

Re: Welcome to the Muppet Show

At the end of the day the question is: Did the gear what I wanted for a resonable price and with good stability. If yes - everything is fine. iOS can not deliver, Android can not deliver. Maybe WP8 can.

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mmeier

Oh yes, real keyboards are nice. Even the small ones are a lot better than pure touch.

OTOH pure touch ist (thankfully) dying again with the new Atom-based penables. And if having to choose between a 7'' mail client (as nice as QNX is - used in the early 1990s) or a 10'' tablet pc - I lug around the tablet pc. With 3G (or external router) it can replace smartphone and notebook.

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mmeier

Re: Still using my faithful old N900

No - just not with a snake, I am mainly a JAVA developer these days. Could offer C/C++, 68k assembler and Fortran77 (as well as VB, VB.NET, DICOL, Step5, C# and some SQL dialects). Java was totally out and C would required a rather complex sandbox setup IIRC.

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mmeier

Re: ELOP FAIL

Cute conspiracy theory but nothing more.

I am into software since the 1980s, likely programmed UNIX software when most Penguinistas still where in danger of ending as a wet spot in daddies pants. And doing so for some branches that care little for the OS (Automation/Process Control and Banking - and we are talking BIG companies here, 5.000+ computer workplaces). These companies use everything from IBM mainframes to Solaris (Sparc and x86) to classic PCs. And they have all choosen the NT-line of windows.

Siemens (who did build their own boxes AND has a UNIX system of it's own) did so for the systems used to program their S5/S7 programable logic controllers. They also used it when they replaces the Sicom-Series and their smart terminals with COTS hardware in the mid-late 1990s choosing NT for both. An FSC at that time was a SUN partner doing SPARC based hardware.

Banks run a mix with AS/400, IBM System z and - Windows. They ditched OS/2 on the clients well before IBM put it down. And those companies did NOT buy their pc units with an OS preinstalled. Since we wrote software for them we got involved each time they changed hardware and os version to check if we still run with the standard image. The computers came by the euro-pallet and without software. Using Windows was a deliberat choice by IT departments that use Solaris based app-servers or AS/400 minis just as well

They choose Windows because

+ Mac hardware is to costly

+ OS/X lacks some of the server-side capabilities

+ Windows simply works on the hardware. One less hassle, one less problem

+ Software distribution under Windows is simple in a Windows-environment.

+ Windows allows easy control of PCs (and notebooks) through server based policies

+ The same Windows version is available 5 years from now

Linux is only free if your time is worth nothing. And the quality has never been "superior". It was equal back in the days of NT4. But those days are long gone.

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mmeier

Re: Still using my faithful old N900

I had the N770 and N800. Nice units but software development was a PITA. Never understood why Nokia did not enable the JAVA features in the CPU and / or produced a Java(ME) VM. Would have been a boost for the little units and back than ME was still a contender.

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mmeier

Re: ELOP FAIL

Actually Linux has a lot more problems than just a good Office(2):

+ Unstable API and ABI making good quality support for many devices a problem

+ <n+1> not fully compatible distributions with a near guarantee that if you need two commercial software packages (say Oracle and an App-Server) they will be based on different and incompatible distributions(1)

+ <n+1> diffenrent UIs making user support a problem and apps written for one may look funny on another

+ Short support times. Long Term Stable means "Maximum 5 years from the day it comes out". Compare that to MS "At least 3 years after the follow up is out" (Actually it is close to 8 years for Vista and Win7)

The main reason that Linux is found on many low end servers is price. If you get a few interns/studends building the images it is really cheap. It is not really good but good costs nothing while SOLARIS/x86 costs 1600€/year. And certified admins want a tad more than interns as well. Nevertheless most companies that need long term (10+ years) reliable/stable servers still go with one of the commercial grade platforms (SOLARIS, AIX, HPUX) and if you ask for "commercial grade hosting" you get one of those not Linux.

(1) And no, there is no Open Source DB that can replace a fully used ORACLE DB. And few commercials that can

(2) OO IS useable if you have not integraded MS-Office in your workflow(s) like many companies and cities have. IF you have then "Linux on the Workplace" involves using a lot of Citrix (see Munich)

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Microsoft Surface Pro launch: It's easy to sell out of sod all stock

mmeier

Re: Oh the fat tanker is going round and round

On servers there is one. Solaris is stable, mature and offers thinks like long term [10+ years] stable API and ABI. But it is mostly a server OS and licenses are costly

On the client side only Mac OS is anywhere near and that is bound to overpriced hardware

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Linux Foundation ships UEFI Secure Boot workaround

mmeier

Re: You don't *have* to get Windows

Dell and Lenovo also deliver notebooks without an OS installed if you order by phone. It is just their online shop that does not. Since we have a volume license and prebuild images my employer orders them blank. My guess is HP and Fujitsu will do the same. Only companies that do not or not primarily cater to companies might not offer the option.

If you buy in a store the unit must come with a OS thanks to the EU and that is what reliably works on all x86 hardware and is demanded by Joe Average- Windows

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mmeier

Re: This argument is becoming tiresome

Actually MS is not the ultimate holder. The motherboard makers can include more keys / other signing organizations. If MS tries to lock the door AND there is demand for unlocked hardware companies like Lenovo and HP will be the first to deliver boards with alternate key holders and reap in the money. UEFI and Secure Boot are NOT MS-Standards and all the big motherboard/pc makers are on the comitee.

Neither has MS the master pin or the bank data. All they do is sign a bootloader, they are NOT getting access to the system. Totally different thing. Worst case they could (in theory) lock you out. Since secure boot can be switched off on all Win-certified boards even that is not possible.

Now if MS does lock the door and nobody cares than Linux might have a problem. This might happen on the desktop (where Linux is below 2 percent and will be schrinking in x86 land with the x86 tablets getting more common). On the server side it will only happen if Oracle changes the Solaris/x86 licence to "come and get it". Sadly that will not happen...

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Coming soon: Open source JavaFX for iOS, Android

mmeier

This is FX2 not the original set! And it has little in common with FX1. To me it sounds like a great idea even if the ithingy does not get support. It will allow me to write software for the main platform [windows] and get Fragmentdroid support for free. Since that platform does not like to pay writing software for it makes little sense but as a automatic by-product it is a nice bullet point on the sales sheet while Android tablets still have a market share.And once they are gone the software runs on Atom based Windows tablet-pc even better [More power, Stylus]

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