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Comment Re:Won't allow forwarding? (Score 1) 190 190

Every time there's a new, expensive version of Windows released, I get more people asking about Linux.

I'm sure you do... but your circle of friends and contacts is not representative of the general public.

How do I know that? Because the desktop usage of Linux hasn't budged in a decade.

And for what it is worth, Windows is just as free, from the point of view of the average consumer. Most people get Windows with their computer and few upgrade, which is one of the reasons MS went ahead and started giving Windows away. They want to be paid when the computer is sold, but for most people, it will now be a free upgrade. You just pay again when you buy your next computer.

Linux lacks a single release, it is confusing, there are many versions, there is no one company for support, some things work better on one release or another, etc.

To the average consumer, it is just a big mess. Windows 7 is Windows 7 is Windows 7. Linux doesn't offer that.


Look, I don't want to get into a fanboy argument, rest assured MS has done some really dumb things over the years, I'll be the first to point out that Vista was a mess at launch, they overreached and backed off to that. 8 had its own problems, partly fixed with 8.1, completely (more or less) fixed with 10.

Balmer is gone, real change is happening, these are good things. Did Linux cause them? Meh, I suspect Apple is a bigger concern for MS, but they aren't fools, they don't want anything getting in the way of Windows being on the vast majority of computers.


To put this another way... Linux can't win by "not being Windows". It has to offer something compelling that Windows does not. To most consumers, it does not offer anything compelling and it in fact has tons of draw backs. You don't mind, you can work past them, but most people don't WANT to do that.

Comment Re:Won't allow forwarding? (Score 1) 190 190

Also, consider that asking people to change their OS then brings up another question... "Why?"

Oh sure, YOU understand the benefits, but they don't see any. It is like saying "change the engine in your car for this other engine, it doesn't have DRM or auto-updates".

Um... so? Does the average driver care?

The vast majority of consumer electronic users just don't care, they want something that works, and the reality is that Windows works better than it really ever has.

It isn't perfect, but perfection is the enemy of "good enough", and Windows long ago passed "good enough".

Linux doesn't offer a compelling reason to change, it didn't 20 years ago, it didn't 10 years ago, and it doesn't today. Not to more than about 1.5% of desktop users anyway.

Comment Re:Won't allow forwarding? (Score 1) 190 190

Meh, "for the most part" isn't good enough, and no, they don't really...

TurboTax doesn't run on Wine, not without some effort...

Look, I get the benefits of Linux, I really do... but they don't matter to most people, which is why "The year of the Linux desktop" remains a 20 year old joke at this point, and it is likely to remain so for a very long time.

Something might replace Windows at some point, but I doubt it will be Linux. Frankly OS X has more of a chance of that happening than Linux does.

Comment Re:Won't allow forwarding? (Score 1) 190 190

The problem with Linux is not that people don't know it doesn't exist.

Even my Mother has heard of it, it isn't a secret. The real problem is people don't see a need for it. Windows works "well enough".

Then you have the issue of "do my programs run on it". If your answer is, "no, but similar programs do", then you've lost, you might as well give up.

Comment Better News? (Score 1) 87 87

...the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, which called the ITA expansion 'great news for the American workers and businesses that design, manufacture, and export state-of-the-art technology and information products, ranging from MRI machines to semiconductors to video game consoles.'"

Uh-huh. Right.

You know what would be even better news for US tech hardware exporters?

If they didn't have a huge boat anchor attached in the form of NSA built-in backdoors and vulnerabilities.

Really, if you're a foreign corporation that competes in any way with US corporations/interests/research, or any government/organization/individual that US TLAs could possibly even tangentially term "of interest", would you buy stuff from US makers/manufacturers despite what's been revealed publicly over the last 20 years to present concerning US TLA activity within the US tech manufacturing/exporting industries?

Particularly in light of the recent revelations of so many unlawful and/or unconstitutional programs and activities engaged in by US intelligence organizations courtesy of the courageous whistle-blower Edward Snowden, which keep revealing new programs that violate constitutional principles and prohibitions with every new dump from the trove.

US tech companies have to overcome all that (quite understandable and logical) mistrust (good luck!), and *then* compete against other corporations that don't have that perceived millstone around their necks.

This will not turn out well for the US tech industries that need/rely on exporting their goods, and with cheap imports flowing into the US, even those who were national/regional in nature will find themselves priced out of the market.

1. Mining/Drilling - Offshored

2. Steel mfg - Offshored

3. Heavy Industries/Factories - Offshored

4. Artificial politically-motivated limits on energy production and artificially-created increases in cost.

5. ...?

I'm not liking the direction this is trending.

If it roughly parallels past similar historical scenarios, it doesn't end well for anyone in the US (well, except those 'too big to starve'), neither Left nor Right, nor atheists, Christians, Muslims, or whatever "ism" or party you favor.


Comment Re:The important details: Slower and over 540$ (Score 1) 74 74

Sorry friend but you've been bamboozled as it would take SEVENTEEN YEARS to save enough power to make up the price difference between an AMD and an Intel and that is with picking the 125w on the AMD side. Now are you seriously gonna argue you are keeping your chip for nearly 20 years?

That is a cute video, but it doesn't show anything but a guy talking.

Frankly, my own testing shows otherwise, the AMD chip uses twice the power as the Intel chip at load and 50% more at idle.

For a computer that is on 24/7, that has stuff often running for hours (I often set it to run overnight tasks, so it spends many hours at 100% load), the difference adds up.

He also doesn't take into account the needed cooling for the extra heat. I'm in Texas, I pay to AC my home. The extra power is nearly doubled due to the need to cool the room the computers are in.

Finally, there is performance to consider. He only looked at the two computers running for 4 hours at 100%. Fine, but what happens when the Intel chip gets the same job done in 3 hours and can go idle, while the AMD chip runs 100% for an extra hour.

The video is terrible, it doesn't take into account multiple factors.

Payback is about 3 years, give or take. I've done the math, AMD makes no sense for high end computers. It can make sense for the low end stuff, but if you have data crunching to do, there is nothing but Intel to consider.

Comment Blame your phone (Score 1) 73 73

So, you remain in one place, silent, immobilized, inactive, and unconcious for 6 to 10 contiguous hours each and every single day of your life. But that's not enough down-time for your phucking phone.

Maybe, just maybe, you should throw out your shitty phone, and get one that can last as long as you can.

Comment I was thinking of "high end" in terms of (Score 1) 110 110

what consumers had access to by walking into a retail computer dealership (there were many independent white box makers at the time) and saying "give me your best."

You're probably right about me underestimating the graphics, though it's hard to remember back that far. I'm thinking 800x600 was much more common. If you could get 1024x768, it was usually interlaced (i.e. "auto-headache") and rare if I remember correctly to be able to get with 24-bit color—S3's first 16-bit capable chips didn't come out until late-1991, if I remember correctly, though I could be off.

SCSI was possible, but almost unheard of as stock, you either had to buy an add-on card and deal with driver/compatibility questions or one of the ESDISCSI bridge boards or similar. Same thing with ethernet, token, or any other dedicated networking hardware and stack. Most systems shipped with a dial-up "faxmodem" at the time, and users were stuck using Winsock on Windows 3.1. It was nontrivial to get it working. Most of the time, there was no real "networking" or "networking" support in the delivered hardware/software platform; faxmodems were largely used for dumb point-to-point connections using dial-up terminal emulator software.

And in the PC space, the higher-end you went, the less you were able to actually use the hardware for anything typical. Unless you were a corporate buyer, you bought your base platform as a whitebox, then added specialized hardware matched with specialized software in a kind of 1:1 correspondence—if you needed to perform task X, you'd buy hardware Y and software Z, and they'd essentially be useful only for task X, or maybe for task X1, X2, and X3, but certainly not much else—the same is even true for memory itself. Don't forget this is pre-Windows95, when most everyone was using Win16 on DOS. We can discuss OS/2, etc., but that again starts to get into the realm of purpose-specific and exotic computing in the PC space. There were, as I understand, a few verrry exotic 486 multiprocessors produced, but I've never even heard of a manufacturer and make/model for these—only the rumor that it was possible—so I doubt they ever made it into sales channels of any kind. My suspicion (correct me if I'm wrong) was that they were engineered for particular clients and particular roles by just one or two orgnaizations, and delivered in very small quantities; I'm not aware of any PC software in 1992 timeframe that was even multiprocessor-aware, or any standard to which it could have been coded. The Pentium processor wasn't introduced until '93 and the Pentium Pro with GTL+ and SMP capabilities didn't arrive until 1995. Even in 1995, most everything was either Win16 or 8- or 16-bit code backward compatible to the PC/XT or earlier, and would remain that way until around the Win98 era.

The UNIX platforms were standardized around SCSI, ethernet, big memory access, high-resolution graphics, and multiprocessing and presented an integrated environment in which a regular developer with a readily available compiler could take advantage of it all without particularly unusual or exotic (for that space) tactics.

Comment So funny, but yeah, totally true. (Score 1) 110 110

The 386 box that I installed Linux on my first time around was 4MB (4x1MB 30-pin SIMMs). 4MB! I mean, holy god, that's tiny. It seemed sooooo big compared to the 640kb of 8-bit PCs, and yet it's basically the same order of magnitude. Not even enough to load a single JPG snapshot from a camera phone these days.

Comment Wow, end of an era. (Score 4, Interesting) 110 110

For more than just a couple of us here, I suspect, there was a time when "Sparc," "UNIX," "graphics," "Internet," and "science" were all nearly synonymous terms.

Simpler times. Boy did that hardware last and last and last in comparison to the hardware of today.

Well, I suppose it can finally no longer be said that the Sparcstation 10 I keep here just for old times' sake can still run "current Linux distributions." But it's still fun to pull it out for people, show them hundreds of megabytes of RAM, 1152x900 24-bit graphics, gigabytes of storage, multiple ethernet channels, and multiple processors, running Firefox happily, and tell them it dates to 1992, when high-end PCs were shipping with mayyybe 16-32GB RAM, a single 486 processor, 640x480x16 graphics, a few dozen megabytes of storage, and no networking.

It helps people to get a handle on how it was possible to develop the internet and do so much of the science that came out of that period—and why even though I don't know every latest hot language, the late '80s/early '90s computer science program that I went to (entirely UNIX-based, all homework done using the CLI, vi, and gcc, emphasis on theory, classic data structures, and variously networked/parallelized environments, with labs of Sparc and 88k hardware all on a massive campus network) seems to have prepared me for today's real-world needs better than the programs they went to, with lots of Dell boxes running Windows-based Java IDEs.

Comment Re:Won't allow forwarding? (Score 1) 190 190

The point of my comment was to suggest that things like that will drive more and more people away from Windows so that eventually, only those users who can't or won't think for themselves will be left with it.

I get that, and it is a reasonable point to make. However that assumes that the majority care.

I don't think they do.

The number of people using iPads and iPhones would indicate such, and while Android has a large market share, a lot of that is on locked down phones such as the Galaxy S series that you can't do much with without hacking anyway.

How many people who own Android phones actually do anything more than basic stuff with them? I'd be shocked if the number was above 10%.

It's great to be smart 'cause then you know stuff.