> I'd increase that mileage to 60+ (...) so why in hell don't we have the same thing?
You would, you would,
When americans really cannot affor the inefficient junk they drive, the car makers will offer you a 60 MPG car, don't worry, why should they prevent you from buying a new efficient car? It will be as expensive as you can afford and the world will go on. You will finally have efficient cars and you will still be on the verge of economical collapse. This is maximum efficiency for the short cycle of financing north-american companies are trapped in.
Your rights are to work and to consume, citizen. You can also play ballot every four years and we'll give you a war now and then so you are scared of your own society. Remember to be happy.
> First we're talking 1979 to 89 here -- primitive times. The DOS and Windows 2/3 on the IBM PCs were also crap. The Macs had good OSes, but cost a small fortune and no color.
I know, I didn't imply that DOS/Win were better. The Macs had a wonderful OS programmed in Assembly that went to great lengths to accomodate users but didn't treat them like retards. It was a balance that I miss on 99% or today's applications. Everything was cancellable, there was progress indications on anything long, it always told you why something could not be done and how to fix it, the help bubbles were a thing of beauty. Most programs were very friendly and very easy to install (drag folder to disk; uninstall? delete folder). Most applications had regular menus for everyday use but press Command or Shift+Option opening some menus and magic! the fun options appeared. This happened in ResEdit and many more. I had crazy fun with my brother recording our voices in the explosion resources inside games. When the bike in Dirt Bike crashed it was me saying Ka-Boom! engine idling sound? boooring, it's my brother saying 'pop-pop-pop'. We never broke any program fiddling with ResEdit, everything was so easy, well thought, accesible and fun. The Mac was light years ahead of DOS, Ataris, Amigas and anything.
> As for professional software, both the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga had PhotoShop, DeluxePaint, Genlock, and other features that were used on TV shows like Babylon 5, seaQuest, and Voyager (first year). PCs/Macs couldn't even touch them.
I'll give you that, but they were flimsy and crashed right and left; an operator was always there to re-record the weather map genlocked onto the green screen, etc, yes, but come on. I had an ST, friends had Amigas. Both crashed more often than not.
And after the 90s the PCs caught up and went into warp drive and neither ST nor Amiga could ever compete again and we are all storing our old computers in a closet and use emulators and MAME in 'those days'.
>His Commodore and Atari companies popularized music, video, and preemptive tasking when the Macs/PCs were going "beep" and had about 4 colors.
Well, Commodores and Ataris were good hardware with incredibly weak, stupid and crappy 'OSes' and application software. I had an Atari 1040ST and everything including so-called professional software (Calamus, Cubase, etc) was a rotting piece of shit, crashing multiple times everyday. At Uni Macs were wonderful and smooth. I loaded Spectre in my 1040, attached a 80 MB disk, put System 6.0.8 on it and never looked back. It gave the machine a new ten year lease on life. The hardware was the same but the software was good, for a change. Suddenly I had a Mac with 1 MB of RAM, the gorgeous 640x400 b/w screen of the SM124 monitor and lots of disk space for nothing like the price of a Mac 128. Of course, no self-unloading diskette but life was good.
If anything, CBM & Atari popularized good games but 'music, video and preemptive tasking'? What are you talking about?
> And yet after today we'll probably never hear about him again. And yes the Commodore 64 was and still is the record-holder for most machines sold (peak years: 1983-86).
If you put shit in a box and sell it cheap enough everyone will get two. Financial success has never had anything to do with quality. There is much more money to make selling coca-cola than Jaguars.
The energy surrounding computers was very different then. I remember seeing moms dressed like Tootsie typing at Ataris and Apples at computers fairs. Everyone was having some fun. Manuals came with the programming language explained full-on from page one, with programming examples. Opening your computer and tinkering was encouraged, and people congregated at computer shops to chat, meet others, exchange solutions.
Today, teaching how to use Firefox to my parents is difficult. Windows/MacOS/Linux are too complicated to be enjoyable if you know little and they will never experience the joy of understanding the whole computer, programming it, solving problems, plotting the orbit of the moon, playing a hangman or a lunar lander programmed by them. I doubt that 'programming by dragging' in Visual Studio can communicate the same sense of wonder. A smart person will ask how things work underneath, and no one can answer. Having fun is crucial.
Today manuals say "dear customer, don't eat this manual".
Thanks, I asked for a citation and got one. Reading it shows that it seems to be the usual microsoft blunder programming too much cleverness into standards implementations. I also hate this but it's in no way a domination attempt to break the Internet. It's unlikely that a company with much power over the idiots in the IT world would go so subtly about world domination, burying a little subversive broadcast flag in its DHCP implementation. It's more likely that they tried to fix some brokenness in obscure appliances that didn't follow spec in the first place and then put a way to disable the fix somewhere in the registry. I see no serious attempt at bending the rules for their benefit, and Vista is a flop anyway (the posts are from 2008). Microsoft knows they cannot play these tricks and win, specially in Europe and other civilised places.
On a related line, I don't know about others but I'm responsible for an IT department. Therefore I have the last word about what gets installed. This is how history is written and battles are won, little by little. I use my freedom. I don't have to buckle to corporate pressure, I don't see the problem. Others are afraid to speak their mind to ignorant management but I'm not. It works.
Wow, hey, I like the golden era as much as you but get the history right. The PC was crap when I was enjoying an ST, or playing fantastic Mac games at friend's places or at Uni. I agree.
But a Mac, or an Indigo with a color display or accelerated 3d hardware cost as much as two cars. Almost no one could afford a high end Mac and graphical workstations were in CS departments and professors hogged them. Yesterday I set up a quad core machine with 12 GB or RAM and I will virtualise the heck out of it to have fun and learn things meanwhile. To do this then would have cost around the high end of 5 figures. Today it's less than Eur 1000.
Nobody forces you to like what the masses like. Use your freedom. What if the ignoramuses buy shiny crap? It allows innovation to happen, just not at the ivory towers of our youth, but at mundane places where wage slaves with three degrees crank out products. Some of them are very good. This machine will stop when its(1) fuel runs out.
(1) Notice how its is used(2).
(2) Educating slashdotters at no charge!
I agree with you generally but WTF is this FUD you spread about 'crippled OS'? Citation needed.
Last week I made a Win 3.11 VM for fun. To transfer Netscape I installed TCP/IP for Win 3.11 and the FTP client worked well with BSD relesase 9.
Please read about where Hollywood comes from and what they did with Edison's patents a century ago. I applaud that China is able to get up on its feet faster than all the other stupid countries in the third world that had golden opportunities and failed miserably, their incommensurable material wealth only bringing them corruption, war and misery. Look up Africa and South America somewhere. I only hope Chinese people are less adept at war than the US is.
So when no one has been able to make a safe OS, you cry foul and turn to the law. My, my, how adorable.
> by hiring people that can't quite afford the product they're producing
Oh here comes another uneducated amurrican repeating what they believe will buy them intellectual credit among their peers.
One data point that is not in agreement with your theory: Workers at NASA produce something that they are 'unable to afford'. Moreover, they seem to be qute happy working there and proud of their product. Many smart people are also proud of what NASA produces. Now fit this observation into your theory, citizen. Or ignore it ank keep thinking you have the solution to this mess. Yessir!
You have a gun and a dog. A gun I don't care about because you can't use it in Europe. About the dog, congratulations little bastard, now you have a son of a bitch barking dog that annoys the whole neighborhood because it misses you, or is bored, or scared. I'd love to live in your fucking neighborhood.
I'll tell you how easy it is to neutralize a dog. I like to take walks. With a pepper spray. Where I live there are lots of walled places with the corresponding loud, loose dog that loves barking at people. So macho. So safe, isn't it. The funny thing is they bark at me like mad from behind the fence; the fence works both ways, isn't it wonderful? An inch away is just as good as a mile away. Now the barking can be fixed: An application of the pepper spray one inch from their eyes and nose is so easy and painless (for me, anyway). The stupid beast then backs away instantly, stops barking and looks at me with a puzzled look, half fear, half shock and the last half disappointment. It looks like it's asking me 'why, why did you do this to me? I'm just doing my job. Why are you not running away scared and disgusted?'. It's priceless. They cannot decide what to do next: run away, timidly begin barking again, or tend to their itchy eyes and nose. I then humiliate them further. I put my hand through the bars, so they see the spray. They feel the urge to chase that adventurous hand away from their domain, the place they must protect, but somehow their will is rendered powerless and they cannot move. It's interesting to look at what goes through their little minds: they look away, hoping I'm not there when they look back at me again, they look back briefly as if asking for reassurance from the owner, but the owner is not there. Then back at me again, not daring to cover that two meters from the fence, not daring to chase the intruder away. Then they learn. Some of the bigger ones sit down and take their time sneezing away. They occasionally look at me imploring me to go away, to stop whatever it is that I'm doing to them. I walk away in wonderful silence. Very rarely they come again to bark at me some other day. So much for your dog, idiot. After some weeks the owner may think 'Hmm Sergeant might be getting a little old, when did he start to like his shack so much? He wanders around the wifey's part of the garden smelling the lillies and the roses, wtf, his aggresive, obnoxious, endless barking used to remind me of my long-lost potency and reassure me that I was safe in my home while watching games in my 797 inch TV. Hmm maybe it's time to dump this sissy of a dog and get a BadAss(TM) new one. I'll be humane and take it to my mother's house, she needs one anyway. Hell yeah'.
And here I was thinking my collection of pirated books had typos because of sloppy idiots not loving them enough but someday... someday I'd find a torrent with Kindle or B&N editions, perfectly formatted and proofread like the paper ones I've had the audacity to become used to.
Then you shatter my bubble and Google quickly confirms that editions people pay money for have more than a fair share of errors, formatting extravaganzas and strange ASCII combinations whenever an accent or, say, finnish letter were.
At least I was right in what I do: if the author is alive I buy a real book, have it cut, scan it at 300 dpi, 1 bit depth, every page is about 2-3 KB and perfect. If the author is dead, I do the same but torrent it afterwards. I am astonished that people would pay for mistakes. Why do they do it?