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Comment Re:Adobe Flash Installer Download Knows About Thes (Score 5, Insightful) 203 203

It's galling, isn't it? "We know our software's as safe on the unprotected web as a Craigslist hookup, so be sure to keep this software rubber handy." And it might not be so insulting if McAfee was good at anything besides eating hardware resources...

Comment Re:Something Suspicious (Score 5, Insightful) 203 203

It's a problem born from software bloat. It was originally intended to be a means of drawing vector graphics and simple animations, but there was a void in functionality in the days before PCs were fast enough to handle Javascript (or even had browsers that could cope with the highly abstracted pages written now). So more functionality was added, and with that came layer after layer of gooey, exploitable cruft. Now Flash doesn't just offer vector graphics. It's a multimedia environment with DRM, a method of offering rich internet applications, a video player, and a buttload more besides. All that bloat's been encouraged because Adobe wants Flash to be used by as many people as possible - it's publicly traded, you've got to show investors and stockholders where all that money's going - and we've now arrived at the point where it's a suppurating pile of vulnerabilities and patched-together functionality with legacy support, far more trouble than it's worth for most users.

Comment Re:Crusty Hardware (Score 1) 189 189

You can still occasionally find a DIP switch on overclocker-friendly motherboards to ratchet up clock speeds and apply a corresponding voltage bump; the vagaries of that are handled by the BIOS/UEFI. But the only jumpers I ever see are for CMOS flashing, and maybe once in a blue moon to enable or disable an integrated component. It's definitely not 1995 any more.

Comment Re:Coding where? (Score 1) 213 213

I'm not wasting any more time chasing your moving goal posts. I could point out that you can pretty easily find cheap, working computers on Craigslist, and frequently for well under $100, but then you'd quail that those aren't new. You've clearly made an ideological commitment to this position. Who would I be to unmoor you?

Comment Re:Coding where? (Score 1) 213 213

OK, fine; I'll concede that point. But let's remember the inflation that's occurred since the time around my birth: $200 in 1980 would be just over $600 now. Even if we knock 20% off the effective buying power of that money, $500 in 2014 will buy a computer that's 100% ready to connect to a television and run an overwhelming majority of applications, including Visual Studio Express.

Comment Re:Coding where? (Score 1) 213 213

So look on Amazon for a Raspberry Pi kit, with case, (micro)SD card, and a few other various & sundries. Once it's arrived in the mail, put it together, sit down with the kids, and figure out how to shoehorn an OS onto the thing. I can't imagine setting up and effectively using a ZX Spectrum would be easier than a Raspberry Pi or Banana Pi.

Comment Simple solution: bring cookies. (Score 4, Insightful) 406 406

Seriously - bring a package of cookies for the flight crew. The flight attendants will leave you alone except to check on you, and will probably sneak you a non-alcoholic treat at some point during the flight. And it's not a job that's appreciated terribly much - look at the comments in this thread, just for starters - so it goes a long way.

Any program which runs right is obsolete.