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Comment Re:launchd not as bad as systemd (Score 1) 142

Haven't used a UEFI system?
The other day, there was a forum thread by a guy who had assembled a new PC and thought that it didn't work. The thing went so quick as to not show anything on the display then monitor would get put on stand by. You pretty much have to mash keys before turning the thing on to get in the setup screen.

Comment Emoji are amibiguous too (Score 1) 245

Some emoji (which everyone in my country calls smileys) may be too much emotional, and if they're Unicode instead of proprietary they will show up differently in the two ends of a conversation if the software is not the same.
Not that I use IM anymore though : MSN was proprietary and insecure, but you could at least use it with different clients. It's been replaced by the giant asocial media company and by Skype. Cell phone service for non "data" has crashed in price compared to a decade ago too.

Comment Re:su (Score 1) 716

On an ubuntu system I'm using, su and sudo su don't keep the user PATH or aliases, and the environment seems to be trimmed down. So I wonder how much things are different afterall. And anyway, I don't feel like to care, so on a personal desktop I'll do sudo su. Then who cares? The point is to do whatever you want.

Comment Just how a computer works (Score 1) 87

I would advise to read some book that works like a children's book and pretends you've never seen or heard of a computer.
That it consists in a central processing unit, memory, some kind of input and output : like a keyboard and a teleprinter. It describes memory addressing and the memory address space, mentions machine code and then almost immediately jumps to pseudo-assembler examples that teach about simple program flow. By the way, the program might be loaded from a paper tape.
Next, perhaps text is encoded this way, and perhaps data is encoded that way on the paper tape.

But don't get bogged down in hardware specifics, and certainly don't bogged down by an OS, 3D graphics API, java, php etc. in such an introduction. A high level concept that may be introduced would be that of a file instead.
I know such books exist as I read an illustrated one from about 1980.

The hairball that is networking surely has to be introduced somewhere but perhaps an example of computers talking through a phone line is easier first, sending sort of telegrams.
Don't drop the ball on this, there are ways to learn the basics and it will already be something to know what is a file and what is an interpreter.

Comment Re:Looking at you, BBC... (Score 2) 202

iOS computers all run the same browser and all have a h264 hardware decoder.
All flash users run the flash plugin, which is (almost) the same regardless of browser, OS or hardware (though here the h264 decoder may be software or hardware).

So in both cases, you have a single platform effect that makes it easy to run.
With HMTL 5 on random computers, you do get a lot of variation between software, browser versions. For one thing you will have to support IE 9 till Vista end-of-line in 2017 in the least, which happens to coincide with end-of-line for Flash 11.2 on linux.

Comment Re:Some stuff is halfway there (Score 1) 177

I've wanted a pdf reader even on desktop that renders the whole document, even if that would waste say a GB of RAM or two. No more white page that fills up or "spinner" that shows for a second.
If using a recent graphics card (such as a cheap 2GB one) and the pages are rendered to textures, you would fill the otherwise empty graphics RAM.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.