* Posts by mmeier

1428 posts • joined 31 Jan 2013

Is it an iPad? Is it a MacBook Air? No, it's a Surface Pro 3


Quite a few companies disagree with "failed". Granted only small ones like HP, IBM/Lenovo, Fujitsu, Panasonic... But the did and do build tablet pc with the same capabilites and technologies the S/P series uses. It is a small market but one that is not served by other companies and operation systems (Android tries with the Note series. 5-10 years behind Win7/Win8). And if you need a tablet pc there is no replacement for it. Neither a tablet nor an ultrabook offer the same capabilities.


Re: The real question is...

For certain levels of "run". The basic elements will likely work. The pen will not work (NTrig support is even lousier than Wacom(1)) and I am not sure if touch does (NTrig again, Wacoms seperat touch sensor IIRC works in a alpha version). Miracast support under Linux seems to be about as stable as the 1932 Weimar republics government (and about as simple to understand).

(1) And even the beta Wacom pen support has no pressure support etc. And no, the external graphic tablet (That has some support) is NOT the same as the penabled technology used in the tablet pc.


The Venue is actually the "worst of both worlds". Lousy pen, so-so touch. problems with the core-i versions freezing. small variant of the Baytrail (2GB only)...

DELL made a big error to switch from the Wacom in their well-behaved C-Trail Latitude 10 to the Synaptic in the Venues. Sadly because the basic package of the core i units has nice elements.


Re: The sad thing for Microsoft is ...

There is nothing new in the S/P series. Tablet PC have been around since the last decade (Win XP Tablet Edition). They where/are not as common as the touch only tablets due to price (Being done by mainly by Fujitsu/FSC didn't help there either not that IBM/Lenovo convertibles where cheaper). And the availability of cheap SSD helped a lot as well. HDD going bad was the major repair case in the earlier units since they got handled like a college block a lot (and where otherwise very sturdy)

Even today there are quite a few sets with various CPUs etc. in the format with a new one from HP out in September.

Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!


Re: Josef Schmid's personal opinion

I can read german (And I know that heise is "Fosstard Research/Germany" - heavily anti MS) so the message is:

SOME people on the council do like Limux. And quite a few of those are IT persons with a mainly UNIX background and an involvement in Limux...


Re: History

Lotus Notes/Domino is still actively developed and used. And definitly targets the same market as the Outlook/Exchange combo. Including the nice add on of being able to send EMails. Wether it is better depends on your environment and preferences.

Pegasus Mail is still active as well according to the Wiki


Re: The German city of Munich, which famously

Neither was it the city. The court was the Landgericht that is the Bavarian court not the city court (Amtsgericht). And the money goes to the Bavarian treasury not the Munich one.

And Bavaria != München. Actually the most un-Bavarian place in Bavaria IS München!


Re: More than Outlook

München is going the VM route using Citrix. A LOT of Citrix. Oh and WINE for other "rarely used" software. Turned out quite a bit of the software used is NOT MS Office.


Re: if it's not been said already

It has been said a lot. But it is still wrong. Most of the licences are NOT MS, they are for specialist software. Have fun finding OSS developers programming that, it is an extremly booooring stuff that, at the same time, needs a very high level of attention to detail. Not to mention specific knowledge.

So the only ways to get it done are:

a) Buy from a company that writes the stuff for multiple customers

b) Hire in-house staff to do it

b) costs more a lot more and most german cities are broke, often not being able to keep all streets pothole free and having to get approval for budget changes from higher authorities. The few cities that have some "spare money" (München is one) will end up paying for it all alone and not getting any "community" effect back. IT for cities is "sysop" not "developer"


Re: Easy

The problem is not MS, most of the software used in the city government is not from them but from small, typically german companies. Same for Banks, Power/water/gas Companies etc.that also uses a lot of custom made software(1) typically done by mid-sized companies (<500 employees).

That is done for the dominant client first - Windows. And preferably for a long term stable server - again Windows (or a commercial UNIX but those cost even more). Most cities use that version since that is what they can get for the lowest maintenance contract price and lowest initial price(2).

Most software houses (some offer only .NET so they won't) will gladly sell you a Linux version - if you pay for it. And since there are a lot less customers for that version AND it has higer risks of change - you pay a lot more. München has decided not to go that route by the way, they use Citrix and WINE instead. So actually LiMux proves that there is little benefit in switching (i.e Freiburg did take a long look at LiMux and did NOT switch)

Supporting OO - again a matter of demand and payment. If you are the only one who wants it - you pay for development and testing. Guess what München did...

As for source code for that applications - all a matter of contract and "deliver with source" or "put source to escrow) are not that uncommon.

Compatible with MS - seen that. But the "how to" is typically left open. Some of the last "fat" clients I wrote had that requirement. We wrote them in - JAVA with a matching UI theme. Same for "must generate Excel sheets" - greetings from POI.

And when it comes to backends - where is the difference between "Must work with MS-SQL Server" and "Must work with DB2/ORACLE/SYBASE"? If you need the features of an RDBMS like Clustering, (near) realtime replication etc. - you will have to make a choice for one of the commercial products anyway. Oh and JBOSS runs fine on a Windows 2003 server as well.

As for the "taxes" part - I do not care who gets the money as long as they deliver and maintain the software for the required time (10+ years for government/banks etc). No "I no longer care" or "fork it if you like".

(1) And some SAP stuff with special customization

(2) And they are required by law to choose those


There was finally a change in city government from Social Democrats to Christian Socialists. With Mayor Ude gone the LiMux stuff now is evaluated as a whole including the costs "hidden" in the vastly increased IT staff (almost double the amount per workplace than similar cities), the dual infrastructure (Citrix+Win) and the need for WINE due to lack of Linux ports for critical software and problems exchanging data with other cities. Once the "All hail OpenSource" blinds are off the result may not be pleasant for the LiMux team.

Since Windows licences are extremly cheap if you buy 4 digit numbers and a move to OpenOffice would work on Windows just as well the "cost" argument will likely not work out. The "10 million saved in licences" will have to be compared to the extra costs in support personal. And the costly licences are the specialist software.

And that has not change (See Weinen<<<WINE above) and would likely increase massively if München orders Linux variants. The support costs are at least partially calculated on "number of customers that might have similar problems" and if you are the single Linux house in an otherwise Windows group your support costs are calculated based on that.

Clock ticking for Surface 3 as Microsoft preps for globo-launch


Re: Too crazy for Boys Town, too much of a boy for Crazy Town

Actually doing the S/P is a smart move from MS even if they only make a black zero out of it. The unit shows what can be done and at what pricetag(1). Keeps the other manufacturers "in check" a bit since customers will compare the well build S/P units with what Lenovo/Dell/Fujitsu/HP offers.

As for the Air: It is not a competition if I am shopping for a tablet pc. Simply because it has no inductive stylus and none of the needed support software. Same the other way round, if I shop for a pure notebook the S/P is not in the race since I do not pay for stuff I do not use.

Competing against an iPad(or an AndyPad) - depends on where it does. If a customer wants "mobile tablet devise that supports something similar to your desktop software" then an S/P is a good way since in 92+ percent of the cases it WILL run the desktop software in question (if Apple sold MacOS we could get 97+ percent). While not S/P we actually have customers who decided against iThingy+Webversion/Appversion (that they had to pay a lot for) and for Dell Lat10/Lenovo TPT2+the Application the use (only paying licences). Since we still do good business with them they seem to like our recommendations.


Re: Software is the real problem

Should be doable. It is a Notebook after all and Win8 certified so you can disable secure boot. Win7 has all the support functions/software for the stylus (HWR recognition, MS Journal etc) at (almost) the same quality as Win8. Only question is wether the NTrig stylus used has a W7 driver (NTrig drivers for W7 exist since the Q702 and Q550 used NTrig)


I have been using tablet pc and convertibles since 2004. And I have yet to crack a screen. The pre "Gorilla Glass" screens developed scratches over time but even that is a thing of the past. Basically any cracked screen is a sign of planned abuse, hostile neglect or an insurance case.

Faulty HDD on an S/P won't happen. They all have SSD. If that fails => guarantee case.

As for the "multiple devices": Have fun keeping the data in sync. It is doable between Windows units using OneDrive or Sharepoint. Between Windows and Android/iOS it quickly gets more hassle.

And a notebook speced similar to a S/P3 + a decend tablet should cost at least the same.


Re: I'd love one, but

Strange, I considered a core-i Windows unit with NTRIG digitizer and all a proper maschine. Can do anything short of massiv programming. And the 8GB / 256GB unit should handle even that


Re: Surface

If you take the price and compare it to units with a similar capability that BUSINESS will buy, the S/Ps are actually in the middle of the price range. Business buys Lenovo, HP, Fujitsu and a comparable convertible or 2in1 from those companies starts at the 1000€ tag.


Re: I'd love one, but

Actually they target the same market as

Thinkpad Yoga

Fujitsu Q902 (and the 704)

HP Pro x2 612

and similar units. It would be interesting to see how the S/P compete there.

Microsoft KILLS Windows 8.1 Update 2 and Patch Tuesday


Re: And meanwhile in Munich…

No they have not. Otherwise they wouldn't need all those Citrix systems, Windows servers and WINE crutches. Ordering a Linux version of the software packages would have been very costly and LiMux preferred to hide most of the extra costs in ther personal budget instead of showing them in the software budget.

Other cities like Freiburg where smarter and checked the software costs BEFORE the migration. After the costs where tallied - they went with the solution that was cheaper.


Re: And meanwhile in Munich…

We are talking

FULL time staff in germany! Where the taxes/healthcare etc. can easily be as high as the money you pay out to your employee.

Still having to pay for Windows/MS Office/Citrix because they can not get rid of it

Maintaining their own distribution

They are definitly NOT saving money. What little they saved on licences (and no 1000+ units customer pays list price) they more than spend on personal.


As for chicken&egg: WHY should a company spend considerable manpower on writing software that no one asks for. We are NOT talking MS or SAP here, more the 50-500 employees range of software houses that offer "general base package + tailoring". So as said before:

IF München wants a Linux version, than München has to order it and pay for it as well as for the additonal maintenance requirements. I am sure if the money is right the companies will take the job. Granted, it WILL cost a lot more than the MS Licences for Office up to Office 2033 and therefor may NOT fit in the LiMux plans.

And if München wants that software to be general available - put that in the contract. The software houses LOVE that. One customer to pay for dev and every "extra" however (un)likely is a bonus


Re: And meanwhile in Munich…

Yawn. Those companies did offer that software because - CUSTOMER DEMAND! No companie that want's to stay in business and earns it's money through software would do stuff "because somewhere in the 1.4 percent user base one might be interested".

I am not doing .NET as my main job, 80+ percent in the last 10+ years where JAVA, quite a bit J2EE. But if a customer is paying - I can do C# as well. Or PHP. Heck, I even do Fortran if I am payed. Mercenary all the way.


Re: And meanwhile in Munich…

We are not talking "mass market" software here but specialist packages for city jobs. Those have a small licence base and are programmed based on customer request and profiles. If 99 cities say "Windows" and one says "Linux" the latter has to pay for each and every change it needs. And if the software needs certifications/checks - you pay fully for those as well unlike the other 99 who "share" the costs at least partially.

And that assumes the software is written in a language that runs on Linux. Let's face it, if my main customer base is "Windows" there is no reason NOT to use the latest versions of C# and .NET (and no, Mono is NOT a substitute since they are n, n > 1, versions behind). I did some work for power companies and they demanded "native Windows software". Well, I programm what is payed and since Windows software is payed well, I do that.

And all that is before we add the "financed by others" (OO) element and the "let's hook the trade goods so we can rip of their data" (Chrome, G-Stuff) elements.


Re: And meanwhile in Munich…

Actually they DO run Windows. Tons of Citrix clients, WINE and other crutches because a sizeable amount of the needed software does not run under Linux.

There is a reason they have double the permanent IT staff of compareable german cities

Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet


Re: Couldn't the UK and Swedish police solve all this?

Why should they make a special deal with a fugitive criminal? He gets treated by the book that is ALL he can expect. NO specials!


Re: Couldn't the UK and Swedish police solve all this?

That rule applies to the court (maybe, not all systems use it) not to an individual!


Re: How can any lawer keep a stright face

Because under swedish law the normal way is a final hearing and THEN a charge!


Except that outside of Sweden the swedish court can not force a blood test / DNA sample from him. And THAT is a critical demand of them. One that St. Julian has refused before. As he did an offer to be interviewed in the Swedish embassy (That is - Swedish territory, see DNA sample)

Makes one wonder what he has to hide...


Re: Er, timing?

>No crime in the UK carries a death sentence. Removal of such statutes is a requirement for EU >membership.

It may be now but it wasn't in the past. France is a founding member of the EU but only abolished the death penalty in 1981. GB became a member in 1973 but the final abolishment of the death penalty was 1998 (for cases of treason and piracy)


Re: Er, timing?

The UK has "next right of trial" on St. Julian for skiping bail. So once the Swedes are done with him he goes back to the UK for that and possible some civil law trials from the persons putting up the money for the bond.

AFTER that whoever else wants him can have the bodyparts.

Hmmm - I have heard that "screwing the PoWs wive" still carries "hanged, drawn and quartered" in the UK. Any chance we could get Assange to do that?


The funniest element in the Martyrdom of St Julian

is that until mere days before the swedish judical system became interested in his sexual behaviour he was trying very hard to get permanent resident status in Sweden.

Can one of his followers explain to me WHY the wise, all-knowing St. Julian would try that in a country that is obviously evil and just waiting to deliver him to the hands of the great satan (aka USA)?


Re: Er, timing? @ mmeier

Depends on wether there is a little extra coming in like "Having unprotected sex while carrying an STD". THAT does carry a much heavier punishment in many countries. The whole "blood/DNA sample refusal" makes ME wonder about it. Not to mention that some of his character traits and the Syph match nicely...


Re: Er, timing?

If he goes to trial he gets the worst possible punishment he can imagine:

Fair trial

Possibly a time in jail with no events

Deportation to Australia

And THAT would finally show St. Julian for what he is - a self absorbed POS


Re: This Makes Me Want To Shout (In 72 Point!)

As has been explained to the followers of St. Assange a few hundred times:

1) The swedish legal system demands a hearing before arresting him

So by interviewing him in London Sweden wouldn't have changed the problem

2) The Swedish court also wants a blood test / DNA sample

That Assange steadfastly refused. Makes one wonder if he had some health issues

3) Assange is a known fugitive => no longer trustworthy

Skiping bail and leaving his "supporters" with the bill

I still have hopes he gets the maximum possible punishment:

NO extraction to the USA

NO stay in Guantanamo

Just a fair trial, possibly(1) a sentence

Declared "Persona non grata" and deported to Australia

(1) My guess is he had an STD while having unprotected sex. And THAT is a serious offence in many European countries. Would explain all the fuss about the blood/DNA test nicely

NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'


So how is the poor agent

That opened the file titled "Hot nude pictures" and found a set of shots from a nude 450pf midget? Have his eyes stopped bleeding?

PICS: Nokia Lumia 930 – We reveal its ONE unique selling point


The critical questions are

+ Quality of the phone part in both speach and connection quality

+ Quality / Endurance of the battery (Bonus points for user-changeable ones)

+ How long will it get bug-fixes/patches (Full Upgrades are a bonus)

+ How often does it self-reboot per week

If it can beat a VEB Plaste and Elaste Note2 there, we might have a winner

Microsoft gets the hang of funky devices: Xbox magic for enterprise


Re: Praise Gates!

Tried the Thinkpad Yoga? That was the first unit in years that made me consider giving up my T902 convertible when I tested it recently. A bit short in the memory department (only 8GB) but otherwise a fine book that might replace both units with one.


Re: OK, so you like using this stuff

What's wrong with the S/P2 as a tablet? A tad to small for my liking (I am used to 12 and 13'' units) but otherwise? As far as I know even touch works if one prefers that.


Re: . . . or not

That is the beauty of the Win8/x86 tablet pc - choice in hardware!

From 8''/Atom to 15''/core-i - It is all there. Wacom, NTrig or the latest Atmel - you choose. I prefer at least 12'' for my maschine since that is closer to A4 / US Legal and 10'' is a tad small for me. You prefer 10. And we both will find a decently priced device.

NSA man says agency can track you through POWER LINES


It is from germany

It deals with technology more complex than "Elve shagging knothole"

It bashes on the "Evil Amis"

It appeared in "heute"

=> It is definitly NOT True

Greenpeace rejoices after getting huge renewable powerplant cancelled


Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

Oh I saw them do that. Even ON the premise of a mine. Until the activists had a run in with the 6:00-14:00 shift coming out of the mine and where "persuaded" not to come back in a not so gentle but easily understood way

Police tried to get a description. But "was wearing standard miners clothing and had a black face"(1) didn't help

(1) German miners get their work cloth from the company so they all "look the same"

First iOS, now Android to get fondleslab Office ahead of Windows


Re: Of course Android will come before Windows

Until the user needs to run that company standard PowerPoint presentation and it does not work or at least not properly. Same for that Macro-heavy standard Excel sheet, the Word-optimized RTF document....

Privat use MAY work, company use more often than not does not work. And many people use privatly what they use in the company. Because computers and software are tools for reaching a target. Any why learn a second set of tools when I already know one that works and isn't all that costly?


Both Surface and Surface/Pro already have an Office. Can not say for the RT version how good/bad it is since I consider RT "waste of resources" but Office 2013 runs just fine on all tablet pc and convertibles I had a chance to test it on. There are limits on how many of the components you can run on a "CTrail" Atom due to the memory limit. But running one component + Outlook at a time worked fine. Typical "netbook" problem.

But 4GB Baytrails (Fujitsu Q) and all i-Series (Lenovo, Fujitsu, Acer. Samsung, Asus) with 4+GB worked fine no matter what generation or spec (M/ULV/Y) of i-Series CPU we used and how many of the components.


Re: yes of course

More likely because the main target for MS Office (Business) did buy Windows tablet pc that can make use of MS Office 2013 quite easily because they come equiped with WACOM/NTRIG/Atmel stylus. And THAT is supported in Office since XP times in a way far supperior to what any touchy toy can offer.

Achtung! Use maths to smash the German tank problem – and your rival


Re: The tank used for the illustration ...

The Mk XXIV does have four tracks not two. So this must be a lower Mark...

PC makers! You, between Microsoft and the tablet market! Get DOWN!


Re: What purpose does a tablet serve?

8GB/256GB SSD and an i5 series ULV are not the "top end" but pretty close. May I ask what notebook you are using?


Re: Surface Pro no different than Palm Pilot...

"Manager" desktops are often notebook + dock + 1 or two external Monitors. With the same ULV series CPU as used in the S/Ps

Easily done with an S/P. With 8GB/256GB SSD it also has the needed storage for company use. Actually a lot more for many jobs outside programming since for "document work" the network storage is a better place


Re: Not so fast

Stop and try to READ for a moment. If I do not care for a stylus - why pay the extra MONEY for a stylus equiped unit. There are quite a few Haswell equiped non WACOM/NTrig units that are all cheaper than an SP.

THAT was the question, nothing else


Re: Probably good

Depending on use case the S/Ps are better since they have a working stylus (Wacom, NTrig)


Re: Ultrabooks are the future of business computing

Screen on a hinge = fixed distance between keyboard and screen = bad

Screen on a hinge = fixed choice of keyboard = bad

Balancing on the lap = unneeded since in cramped condition i use the stylus


Re: Dare I say differentiation

NTrig :) The S/P3 is using NTrig Duosense 2 instead of Wacom. The two "old ones" are close in quality (2nd gen Atmel seems to shape up nicely) and have both their pros and cons but the big "problem" (Support in CS) for NTrig has been solved recently

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