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Comment: My Niece (Score 5, Interesting) 860

by DougReed (#46409407) Attached to: Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

My niece came to me crying because her Windows 7 PC was reinstalling its video driver every other day, the sound didn't work half the time. It wouldn't boot sometimes. One day it just died. Wouldn't boot. I did not have a Windows 7 license around, and she couldn't do her homework. To allow her to do her homework, I put Linux Mint on it. Installed Libre Office, Skype, and a handful of teen related things she might want. I figured after a few days we would have to sort her out. and find a Windows to install.

That was a year and a half ago. You would have to pry that machine out of her cold dead hands. No viruses, no crashes, battery lasts longer than it EVER did running Windows. Her Videos work, her music works, Libre Office works. She wants nothing at all to do with Windows. She says Mint is perfect. everything works, it's responsive and nothing she needs to do is missing. She can find a tool in Linux to do anything she needs, and most of it is as good as the Windows version. I asked her the other day if she misses windows... She said she misses Windows at least as much as cancer.

Comment: Re:Screen resolution for laptops? (Score 1) 319

by DougReed (#45820055) Attached to: PC Plus Packs Windows and Android Into Same Machine

If Apple was in trouble (and they weren't) it has been saved by Microsoft. Thanks to Windows 8, my father bought a Mac when his XP system died. He went to Best-Buy, and the Apple store, and even though it cost more, he liked the Mac better; said Windows 8 looked like a phone to him. Indiana now issues Macs to the students. Of all my friends and family who bought computers recently, 5 of them bought Macs, and only one bought a Windows 8 system... and he HATES IT! ... says he wishes he would have switched to a Mac.

As a side note, my niece had a cheap Windows 7 Laptop that kept dying. She brought it to me, and I couldn't fix it. I even re-installed Windows 7, and it lasted 3 weeks before it started crashing again. she couldn't afford a new PC, and she was crying because she couldn't do her homework. I put Linux Mint on it to tide her over until she could get a new laptop. That was a year ago. She LOVES Mint, and says she never want's to use Windows ever again.

Comment: Might this be about Windows 8? (Score 3, Interesting) 64

by DougReed (#41889881) Attached to: HP Becomes a Platinum Member of the Linux Foundation

It occurs to me that HP has seen Windows 8... Has seen consumer reaction to it. Has seen M$ trying to build their own hardware, and has seen the success of Android and iPad.

Basically M$ had the world by the balls because of the Windows infrastructure. Now they are:
o Building an OS that is fundamentally incompatible with that infrastructure.
o Screwing their business partners by building their own hardware.

HP (and everyone with a clue) knows M$ ALWAYS screws up everything they touch. (We have already seen this ... Apps already disappearing on the new surface. The OS taking most of the system resources.) .. and maybe .. just maybe has figured they better look for a better future. Maybe we just might see HP and maybe someone like Ubuntu partner to produce a reasonable alternative to Windows 8. I mean given the availability of Chrome, Skype, and Libre' Office. Ubuntu might be as compatible with Windows as Windows 8 is... If the users and businesses REALLY HATE the horribly ugly and dysfunctional Windows 8 systems... Maybe HP can say ... here buy this instead and it MIGHT just catch this time.

Of course... I don't much like the "new" (can something two years old still be called new?) Ubuntu desktop either, but I think it beats Windows 8.

Comment: Slashdot is Toast (Score 4, Insightful) 320

by DougReed (#40356251) Attached to: Hacked Companies Fight Back With Controversial Steps

I've just about had it. Slashdot used to be news for Nerds. Now it's almost entirely mindless bullshit, and the last straw is when spammers are permitted to confiscate the site, and Slashdot management allows it. As if it's my job to waste my mod points to mark this crap as Troll.

I am logging off, and deleting Slashdot from my home page. Have at it trolls. All yours now.

Comment: Stupid Question (Score 1) 213

by DougReed (#40144353) Attached to: Can Windows 8 Succeed In a Cloud-Based World?

A 'Cloud-Based' world? WTF??? The real question should be simply .. will Windows 8 succeed. I think not. It is Microsoft's latest 'Vista' disaster.

After this fails and Microsoft can no longer give their versions names because of 'Vista', and cannot give them numbers because of Windows 8 ... Can we switch to Linux or Mac???

Comment: Re:Validity? (Score 1) 370

by DougReed (#39288881) Attached to: For Windows 8 Users, Stardock Revives the Start Menu

It is not that I am set in my ways. It is that I don't want my PC to be a tablet. I have a programs folder that is three columns long, and I don't want all that stuff as 7 pages of huge ugly square boxes. My Mac does not have a start button, but it does not fill my desktop with ugly garbage either. Windows 8 looks like a DOS machine running Lotus Notes, and works the same too. Actually it's uglier! Notes Icons were more colorful.

Tablets are for airports and living room couches. Computers are for serious stuff. I am not going to do my taxes on my iPad, and I am not going to carry my Desktop with me when I go to the airport. Microsoft is trying to turn the desktop into a Tablet because their revenue is slipping and they are desparate. Their revenue is slipping because everyone has a PC and they are in a stable, not an expanding market, and because Windows Vista and Window 7 are less capable than XP was. People are switching to Mac in droves, and the rest are just buying replacements.

Comment: Re:Android performance - Windows won why? (Score 5, Interesting) 92

by DougReed (#38407716) Attached to: Google Rolls Out Official Android 4.0 ICS Update

I call B.S. on Windows being any useful comparison at all. That is a complete historical rewrite. When Windows won, there was no Windows and there was no Mac OS - in the same sense there is today. Windows won over Mac OS because Bill Gates is a marketing genius and Steve Jobs had not yet learned that skill. Steve Jobs was still a hippie, and Windows was DOS. At the time when the choice was being made, Neither Mac OS nor "Windows" (Which was little more than a vaporware App for DOS) was the best of breed. Best of breed at the time was the Commodore Amiga. 32 bit multi-tasking, 4096 colors, NTSC (PAL in Europe) video output, quadrophonic Sound (with stereo outputs), and real-time animation against DOS's 'beep' and 16 colors 'Ascii Art' and Mac OS's 64 shades of grey and monophonic MIDI 'sounds'. The best software of the day was being written for it. Electronic Arts was born and started selling games. Disney Animator begat "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", and "Max Headroom" (who was messed up on purpose to emphasize the fact that he was computer generated) and nobody had anything to compare with that. The business world did not really use these things yet. A few forward looking business gave them to secretaries, but there were Macintoshes and PC's both at this time. High end business (like law offices) tended to use Apple because it supported Postscript, and good looking printed output was possible, and low end businesses tended towards PC's running DOS because they were cheaper, and descent printed out was achieved with daisy wheel printers because laser printers needed Postscript, and DOS didn't support it (plus the laser printer cost more than the PC did). Bill Gates was able to manipulate the market to his advantage and nobody else saw it coming until it was too late. To his advantage was indeed an open hardware spec, but none of the companies involved at the time made anything to really compete with the Amiga. Adding peripherals to even try was very expensive, and nobody really tried very hard. Commodore lost by refusing to sell their machines through the toy stores for fear they would not be taken seriously where the Commodore 64 had a virtual lock on the market at the time (The Commodore 64 still holds the record for outselling any single model of computer ever), and insisting on SELLING their demo units to computer retailers, which were all independents at the time and refused to pay for them. So customers had a photograph of a better system in a corner of the store (Amiga), a better, but more expensive, piece of hardware with little software to take advantage of it (Apple), and cheaper hardware with little software to take advantage of it (DOS). "Windows" was useless at this point. There was also Atari, but they were somewhere between Apple and Commodore, and got squeezed out by being a bit too expensive with not quite enough hardware goodies to attract attention. If Commodore had had any marketing sense at all they could have killed everyone at this point, but they missed the boat. Then Apple kicked Steve Jobs out and replaced him with John Scully who made a complete mess of the company, and started losing market share faster than Nokia in the phone market. Steve finally woke up from his LSD infested dream and realized he screwed up. Steve Jobs created NeXT and wrote what is essentially the Mac OS of today, and got Apple back when it was almost completely bankrupt. By this time, Bill Gates had done some very underhanded, illegal, and anti-competitive things in the marketplace, mostly fixed Windows to look like a useful GUI OS, bought the components for Office (all of which were Mac based!), released Mac Office to generate interest in the business world that computers could actually be useful after all, and started porting Office to Windows. Steve Jobs came back to a marketplace John Scully had already lost. Microsoft owned the OS, and was able to write little bugs into Windows to break or slow down things like DR-DOS, Word Perfect, and Lotus 123... and add hooks to their advantage for Office. They finally finished Office, dropped Office on the Mac and checkmate!

Android has not really 'beaten' iOS. It is on more physical devices, but iPhone is still considered the Mercedes and the Android is considered a Ford in the marketplace. Android is on more devices because it is indeed open source, and companies who want a piece of this lucrative market MUST use Android because Apple owns iOS. I have an Android and my wife has an iPhone. The iPhone is more integrated and more consistent, but I wanted 4G and Google Navigator. Still today, it is iPhone, not Android that is eating Blackberry's lunch, because IT Departments are "officially"supporting the iPhone because the CEO bought one. Android is making inroads in the corporate world, but there is no victory to be claimed here.

Comment: Not About 'Cool', About Loss of Functionality (Score 1) 798

by DougReed (#37902880) Attached to: Are Power Users Too Cool For Ubuntu Unity?

Eye Candy is fine. Unity turns my PC into a tablet. There is just a ton of stuff you can no longer do. It is about dumbing down the interface until morons can work it. Then intelligent people can't get their work done.

Tablets are fine, but they are not PCs. I don't want a 5 pound wrist watch that can watch movies, and I don't was a PC that can ONLY surf the web.

Comment: Re:That's why the world works. (Score 2) 301

by DougReed (#37886518) Attached to: Dennis Ritchie Day

I am not sure that is quite true. Bill Gates is the one that was 'really good at PR'. Not to belittle Steve. He was good too (indeed he may have learned from Bill because he got better as he went along), but Steve actually had a better idea. M$ has never had ANYTHING that wasn't stolen. Windows only exists because they copied the Mac (or tried to), and yet Gates seemingly had the ability to sell eyeglasses to a blind man. As for Dennis. Indeed, he is the one who deserves the praise, but were it not for Steve, only the people on this blog would know what a computer was, because my father would never have an MS-DOS or a UNIX machine. The Commodore Amiga deserved the crown, but Commodore couldn't market eyesight to a blind man. M$ would not have built Windows without the Mac, because M$ has no vision at all. It is possible that without Steve, Commodore might have stumbled into the spotlight by accident, but I doubt they could have marketed their way to success because from a marketing point of view they did absolutely everything wrong. These guys tried to SELL their demo units to the reviewers!!

Anyway.. Happy Dennis Ritchie Day. He deserves the praise. Without him I might be a Cab driver.

Comment: Siri, Android and State of the Art (Score 5, Interesting) 183

by DougReed (#37803092) Attached to: Meet Siri's Little Brother, Trapit

Apple's Siri is not necessarily 'State of the Art', but like just about everything Apple does... It just works. Siri is causing a splash because ... unlike Android. It works properly. I don't use voice on my Android because it is worthless to me. I say 'Call my wife' It says. 'Calling Lowes Home Center'. It NEVER EVER gets it right. I have several friends with Androids and only one friend with that perfect voice that can get it to understand him, and even he often has to ask it twice . My wife HATES my Android and never bothered with a Smart phone before because she did not really like them. Too big and bulky. Her phone finally broke and she bought the 4S.

Like everything else Apple does. It just works. She talks to it. It understands every word. I talk to it ... It understands every word. .. and it ALWAYS seems to say something appropriate in response. True that the Android voice can do more than Siri. But I would rather have a voice that can do less properly than one that can do lots of stuff wrong. The only thing I find the Android voice useful for is a good laugh. I fire it up occasionally and ask it something and get a chuckle with just how wrong it gets my request. When she got Siri, we had a house full of people that evening and we passed my Android around playing with the voice. It did not once get anything right anyone said. 7 different voices asking it stuff and not once was it even close. Siri understood everyone perfectly.

So the Android voice is useless. Siri is useful. Therein lies the difference.

Comment: Re:Those aren't "programming" mistakes... (Score 2) 213

by DougReed (#36633660) Attached to: The Most Dangerous Programming Mistakes

As the CTO of a small startup. My first programming mistake would be to hire someone who would build a car with no lock because the original drawing had no dot where the assumed lock would go. My old boss would love you. He thought 'programming' meant writing a thousand page Word document that got debated and revised over several months of meetings and finally coded by a 'clerk typist' with a degree in languages. Our department was disbanded because in a year, we did not manage to produce anything but 5,000 pages of MS Word. I got dinged on my review because the only thing we produced in that time was one program I wrote where the users told me what they wanted and I wrote it in a few days. He thought I was writing Word. When I showed it working... he hit the ceiling. The user's loved it.

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.