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Comment: Look at Panasonic's tablet (Score 1) 450

by Ed Avis (#49231947) Attached to: Reactions to the New MacBook and Apple Watch
The real competition (in features, that is, not price) for an Apple tablet would be the Panasonic Toughpad 4k, a monster 20-inch tablet with 3840x2560 resolution (that is, 4:3 aspect ratio). It's a beautiful piece of kit but hugely expensive. Apple could put the same panel in a 20 inch "iPad Pro" or "MacPad" and if priced more keenly it could sell well among those doing graphics work who want something more portable than a desktop.

Comment: Re:Irrelevent (Score 1) 94

You're right that Dell laptops are relatively easy to modify and upgrade - for a laptop. But still you can't expect to transplant a motherboard into any but the most closely related model. I upgraded my old M90 to an M6300 by replacing the motherboard, CPU and memory. For the M6400, I believe that the motherboard and case from the M6500 should be compatible (provided you change the CPU and CPU heatsink) but I cannot be entirely sure. The newer 17 inch Dell models have 1920x1080 screens instead of 1920x1200. You couldn't jam the older screen into them because it is physically a different size, even if the connector turns out to be the same.

Comment: Re:Modern Technology (Score 2) 189

by Ed Avis (#48766465) Attached to: UK Government Department Still Runs VME Operating System Installed In 1974
I think you're missing the point. It is not about hardware durability. The original hardware installed in 1974 has long since been replaced (probably several times over). It is the software that costs money over the long term - hiring programmers to maintain it. And it is the software that is the reason the system hasn't been replaced with something else.

Comment: Re:Comodo's certificate extortion (Score 1) 237

by Ed Avis (#48505021) Attached to: Firefox 34 Arrives With Video Chat, Yahoo Search As Default
Fine, self-signed certs should not be "silently accepted" - but then totally unencrypted, plain-text-over-the-wire, any-idiot-with-a-network-card-can-sniff-it traffic shouldn't be silently accepted either! Nobody objects to a reasonable browser warning on self-signed certificates. What many gripe about is the fact that these same browsers then show unencrypted sites with no question at all. Often, if Firefox produces an SSL certificate warning I just change the URI from https: to http: to get the damn thing out of my way.

Comment: It's a 68008, as used in... (Score 1) 147

by Ed Avis (#48441023) Attached to: Linux On a Motorola 68000 Solder-less Breadboard
In fact this is not the 68000 but its crippled little brother the 68008, which uses an 8-bit external data bus (as the 8088 is to the 8086). That was also used in the Sinclair QL, which was Linus's first computer before he bought a 386 PC and got into Minix. Could Linux now be ported to run on the QL?

Comment: Re:Will take years to tackle Oracle crown (Score 1) 102

by Ed Avis (#48376683) Attached to: Amazon Goes After Oracle (Again) With New Aurora Database
Don't SAP have their own RDBMS, called SAP DB or MaxDB? It was even released as free software a few years back (then they changed their mind and went back to proprietary). Do you mean that despite that, the only database backend that works well with large SAP installations is Oracle?

Comment: Re:Could have been worse (Score 5, Interesting) 236

by Ed Avis (#48324793) Attached to: CNN Anchors Caught On Camera Using Microsoft Surface As an iPad Stand

In terms of sheer numbers, I'd guess you are right: more Win32 applications have been written since 1995 or so than there are apps for iOS. Especially if you include in-house software.

In terms of applications to do something most people want to do, which is a subjective measure I admit, iOS may have the lead. Particularly so if you look for software that's optimized for tablet use: there are a lot of very capable Windows programs which are rather less usable on a tablet than with a physical keyboard and mouse, whereas iOS apps are all designed around touchscreen use.

For example, I've been looking for a map program (similar to Google Maps) that runs on a handheld Windows 7 PC with attached GPS. It's surprising how few choices there are that do the basic function of showing your GPS position on a map, and aren't some crusty thing last updated in 2004. True, if I included Windows 8 "Metro" apps there would be a wider choice, but still it is dwarfed by what you get on Android or iOS. (FTR - in the end I went with Anquet Maps for hiking maps and Mapfactor PC-Navigator for city use.)

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser

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