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Journal Journal: So... Windows 10 1

The supposed pattern of Windows releases is similar to Star Trek movies, bad, good, bad, good. This doesn't make a lot of sense, I mean, Windows 1 was innovative but not exactly going to set the world on fire. Windows 2 was better, but again wasn't going to set the world on fire. Windows 3 was an incremental improvement on Windows 2 (largely code clean up, some minor fixes such as Program Manager) and, uh, set the world on Fire.

OK, fast forward. There's 95 (Yay), 98 (Boo.. . wait, yay.), Me (Booo), XP (Yay though I don't know why, I personally couldn't stand it), Vista (Booo), 7 (Yay), and...

OK, there really isn't a pattern there is there?

OK, OK, get on with it:

So, anyway, people have been saying "Well, 8 was a dud, therefore 10 will great and set the world on fire."

Is it me, or is Windows 10 a slow bug ridden piece of crap that's actually more like Vista was to XP than Windows 7 to Windows Vista?

Windows 8.x wasn't perfect. But it wasn't slow. It was relatively stable, not as stable as 7, but for the most part stable. The only problem with it (which admittedly was huge) was the lack of a Start menu.

Windows 10 seems ambitious, but it's ambitious in a Vista way, and I think they released it way too early and didn't really care about the consequences of half their decisions. My tablet crashes (rebooting) periodically, it didn't before. The laptop I've been trying it on is chronically slow, so slow I can boot up my Ubuntu laptop in the time it takes to get the lock screen to start recognizing key strokes after I've unsuspended it.

The features of 10 are hit and miss, with some, such as Cortana, being very impressive and completely useless, and others being a giant step back on what we had before. Mobile Office seems decent, albeit buggy. Mail will be excellent when it's finished and the numerous bugs are squished (same for other bundled groupware apps.) Edge appears to only exist because "Internet Explorer" had a bad reputation, but it's hardly feature complete, and to make sure we use it, we Windows 8.x tablet users lost our actually-pretty-good (and secure! No ActiveX!) version of IE for tablets. Why? Why remove that before you have the same features in Edge? And what about the extent to which many apps are reliant upon (unnecessary - I'm talking Freecell here!) network access and have been coded in such a way that they only start properly if the network is either completely turned off, or completely perfect?

There's the mandatory Windows Update nonsense. I can only imagine someone at Microsoft said "Nobody will complain, Android does that already, my Android phone is always downloading updates for apps", ignoring the fact that (1) Android isn't used on desktops, and (2) updating apps and even app infrastructure doesn't imply needing forced reboots. Hell, I regularly update my Ubuntu machine and virtually never reboot it, I don't need to, only updates to the kernel and X11 actually need reboots, and it's rare, if ever, that either absolutely 100% needs to be updated.

Couldn't Microsoft have just, you know, added the Start menu, and released that as Windows 8.2, and then held back on Windows 10 until they had a usable, stable, pleasant to use operating system? I know they were kinda in a panic, but the Start menu was literally the only thing anyone ever complained about with 8.x.

BTW I'm always wrong on these issues, so expect Windows 10 to be very popular with everyone lauding how great it is that Freecell will sit spinning at a Please wait screen because your laptop or tablet automatically connected to a coffee shop hotspot and is now waiting for you to log in.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ask Slashdot (sort of): Anyone know anything about boats? 2

I have the chance to buy a boat. I don't know anything about boats. This boat is a big boat. It is 70' long, it has masts and stuff - it also has a couple of engines (one of which is a generator) and has stuff like onboard desalination (I guess?) and stuff. It has two masts. I'd show a picture but I've been asked not to - the reason given is that this market is considered competitive and they don't want people to know that it's for sale or an indicator of price or some gibberish like that.

I should mention the seller, while not a friend, is an associate whom I've known for a while and calling them eccentric would be fairly generous.

Now, this boat is in Barbados. It has taken some external damage and has 'severe' engine damage as well as needing a 'near total reconditioning.' I did find a company in Florida that will go get it for me and their price isn't too bad (I think?) so that's not a problem.

The person selling this boat let the insurance lapse and now the boat is damaged. They don't have the money to do the repairs. They've offered this to me at a price that is pretty damned high. (People pay that much for boats? Their asking price is in the 9 digit range but they paid much, much more for it not that long ago - like 15 years ago.)

Now they have estimates and statements of value. So the estimated return on my investment would be well over 200% though I'd need to "park" my money for up to a "few years" or more.

I mention, again, that they're kind of eccentric so details are pretty sparse. I've bought a lot of expensive things in my time but I don't even own a boat with a motor. I also don't know a damned thing about boats except that port is left and stern is the front. I also haven't ever piloted nor do I want to pilot anything of this size. Hell, I don't even like boats.

But it does seem like an awfully tempting investment. I tried to find a professional to deal with this but it would appear that I don't know the first thing about boats. All my searching has found me nothing. My research also indicates that the current market for boats is pretty slow.

I've also been told that owning a boat is akin to owning a hole in the water in which to deposit money. However, I don't want to really OWN a boat - I want to not even see the boat. This boat had a skipper but the skipper has run away. The exact phrase was, indeed, "run away."

They want me to call them back tonight. I've already sent an email indicating that it will take me longer than that to do some research. They indicate they have interested parties (why contact me?) and that it's a potentially quick sale (again, why contact me?) but I do know them personally and they do indeed have a boat - I have personally seen his boat before.

I suspect it's my ready access to capital and that they've no buyers "lined up" at all but are hoping to pressure me into making a quick choice. Fortunately (maybe) I'm a cautious critter and don't really want a boat.

Anyhow, I'd have to have this boat refloated, tugged out, put on the back of another boat, brought to Florida (or Maine - probably Maine), and have the damned thing fixed. It also appears the people who do these things are pretty busy so this won't be quick. I guess I can "afford" it (for a limited definition of afford) and all and I'm not one to shy away from taking risks but I honestly don't know a damned thing about boats and I've been researching and calling for a couple of days now.

I mean, if Slashdot can help me find my favorite Linux distro (and send me on a personal quest of wanderlust and insight) then how can they not help me when it comes to boats? You guys know everything. I'm actually willing to pay a boat expert (do they have a specific name?) to make this choice for me. I don't think that it helps that I'm not home and won't be home for the foreseeable future (subject to another journal post, perhaps).

Finally, boats have butt-loads of geeky stuff on them. At least this boat does. It has radar, GPS, radio, engines and a couple of masts for sailing I guess, and other assorted stuff. I suppose if the damned thing doesn't sell I can either learn to love a boat or just suck up my losses, learn to never buy a boat again, and give it to the University of Maine's oceanographic biology department. I can, at least, write it off and offset some tax liability but that's a whole other long and detailed subject.

By the way, I don't have a huge attachment to buying a boat. I do kind of like the idea of reselling the boat at a decent profit - that is what is attractive. (Don't worry, various charities - including EFF - will get some of the profit.) Sorry if my writing is unclear, I'm not an author and my grasp of the English language is not so very good. Sad, really, I've been attempting to speak it for the vast majority of my life.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Strange revelations - hacker manifesto, set to music? 2

So, it's a very long story but I'm still in Buffalo, I have my reasons. In fact, my reason is in her hotel room (again, a very long story) and nearly forty years my junior. However, one of the many discussions we've been having... And no, it's not that type of relationship, perverts. I may opine on this later but I'm due to go to the movies in a little while.

Where was I? Oh, yes... One of the things we've had discussions about has been hacker culture, code, mathematics, computer history, technology, etc... See, I met her when she was beating up her poor laptop and I opined that that was no way to treat a computer. She told me it was an "old piece of junk." Being who I am, well, I offered to take a look at her poorly behaving PC and it actually gets stranger from there. It's a very long story.

Where was I again? Oh yes. So, I got her computer running and got her convinced to give Linux a try and we backed up her required documents and were on our way. Then we were hungry and, well, I've been a gentleman ever since. That was some days ago but, I digress and am in a bit of a rush tonight.

Anyhow, I tell you that to tell you this. While we were having dinner (and I am skipping a lot of the story for the sake of brevity) tonight, I happened to be expanding on the history of ethical hacking - after a long conversation that hacking didn't mean doing nefarious things and that coders were, indeed, hackers. So, the conversation went a bit like this:

Me, "Yeah, it's neat. Lots of them have their credos." Talking about ethical hacking at this point. "You could say it's their hacker manifesto."

Her, "You mean like that old song?"

Me, "You'll have to narrow that down."

Her, "You know, some German band. My mom likes her. 99 Red Balloons."

Me, "WTF?"

Her, "Umm... Maybe I am not getting you?"

Me, "No, you probably are. I suspect I'm not getting you. Lemme Google this." (Goes on to Google lyrics and is quite surprised at revelations.)

So, her gift to me and now mine to you is this, the lyrics to 99 Red Balloons revisited with today's hindsight.

You and I in a little toy shop
Buy a bag of balloons
With the money we've got
Set them free at the break of dawn
'Till one by one, they were gone
Back at base, bugs in the software
Flash the message
"Something's out there"

Floating in the summer sky
99 red balloons go by

99 red balloons
Floating in the summer sky
Panic bells, it's red alert
There's something here
From somewhere else
The war machine springs to life
Opens up one eager eye
Focusing it on the sky
99 red balloons go by

99 Decision Street
99 ministers meet
To worry, worry, super-scurry
Call the troops out in a hurry
This is what we've waited for
This is it boys, this is war

The president is on the line
As 99 red balloons go by

[Instrumental Interlude]

99 Knights of the air
Ride super-high-tech jet fighters
Everyone's a Superhero
Everyone's a Captain Kirk
With orders to identify
To clarify and classify

Scramble in the summer sky
As 99 red balloons go by

As 99 red balloons go by

99 dreams I have had
In every one a red balloon
It's all over and I'm standin' pretty
In this dust that was a city
If I could find a souvenier
Just to prove the world was here

And here is a red balloon
I think of you and let it go

I really wanted to add comments to it and whatnot but I'll leave that to you as I'm lacking time. I've got to leave at about 7:15. I bolded what was most interesting but there's so much more to bold and pontificate about... So much... How very odd.

If you want to watch it then, by all means, here's a link:

Anyhow, I... I... I had no idea? I'd never interpreted it that way (or even really paid attention to it). That song actually is deep and meant something? Or is it just deep and meaningful in retrospection? By the way, it could be construed as unethical hacking but that's not really the important part. The important part is her sharing this and my ensuing excitement.

Also, yes, yes she is a cutie... However, it's a long story. If you think THIS is a long post then, well, if I decide to type the rest it will make this seem like Cliff's Notes.

I'll try to peek in and see if there's a reply and then, of course, I'll be here later. After all, there are some things you ask your friend and family about. Then there are other things you just don't want to ask them because their opinions are all biased so you're stuck asking /b/ or Slashdot. I don't really want to post pics (or it didn't happen) so I may actually ask Slashdot just to see the replies.

Why not? I mean, you have given me great advice before. I'd have never tried Linux Mint without you guys recommending it, I'd have stuck with CentOS or something. Hell, I'm even on my journey because a Slashdotter sort of recommended it. You're a surprisingly wise bunch as a group. (And no, no I'm not drinking, drunk, or otherwise overly intoxicated - I might be a little high.)

Anyhow, I'm off to see a movie shortly. The theater is just down the road a spell and I'll obviously have my phone (on silent) with me. Me? Go somewhere without a computer? I don't see that happening. Also, she's smart and a budding geek. Life is too confusing. *sighs* I hate popcorn.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Clown Car 10

Jeb Bush - he's not so bad. I disagree with him, but he's basically another establishment figure and, actually, if truth be told, I suspect he's slightly less insane than most in the establishment. He seems smarter than W. On the other hand, he hates trains, so f--- him. President Bush? "OHWELL".

Rubio - has said nothing particularly impressive thus far. Seems to be mostly an empty suit. President Rubio? "OHWELL"

Trump - amused that the candidate that seems to be pandering and flip-flopping the most is the one that Republicans think is unusually honest. Other than that, if he's actually genuinely running for election at this point it's because he's suddenly realized that he has support he probably didn't realize he had at the beginning. President Trump? "OHMYHELL"

Carson - I'm sure he's a nice guy, and he's got to be pretty intelligent on some level, but he seems out of his league when it comes to politics, and genuinely unclear about how to balance the need to look like a raving lunatic in front of his base, with the need to not look like a raving lunatic to everyone else. President Carson? "OHDEAR"

Chris Christie - There's really not a lot right with this guy. Insanely Machiavellian and happy to do the wrong thing if it means looking good in front of the right people. Plus holds grudges. He's essentially the next Nixon. President Christie? "OHMYHELL".

Carly Fiorina - The only people I know in tech who support her are the kinds of idiots that rave about how much they hate government employees simply by virtue of the fact they're employed by a government. The chances of Fiorina merging the US with Canada, Mexico, and the UK, reducing the GDP of the four put together to slightly more than the US does today though is pretty slim. While she showed the usual sociopathic instincts of any CEO at HP, her excesses could possibly have been due to a misguided belief she was saving the company. Outside of HP, she seems to be a Rubio-like empty suit, mumbling platitudes to whip up the base while revealing nothing credible about her own views. On that basis, despite HP, I must rate President Fiorina an "OHWELL"

The rest: All are either religious nuts, which rules them out of the running (despite everything, the Republicans never go with those), no names, or have the surname "Paul". They're not going to win the nomination. If any do, I guess other than one of the no-names winning, it's pretty much an OHMYHELL all the way down.

Ratings explained:

OHWELL - Hey I voted Democratic, but I don't see this guy as destroying the country, so I'm not going to behave like a Republican does during a Democratic administration. Previous candidates qualifying as OHWELLs: Ford, Bush Sr, Dole, Mittens
OHDEAR - Suspect this guy won't be able to hold it together, fairly uncomfortable with him winning: Previous OHDEARs: St Reagan, McCain
OHMYHELL - This guy will probably ruin the country in some shape or form, either through complete incompetence, ideological nuttery, or sheer evil: Nixon, Bush/Cheney

User Journal

Journal Journal: My prediction, but it has an "If" in it 6

If it looks like Sanders may defeat Clinton, Biden will throw his hat in the ring.

If Clinton gets defeated by Sanders - and perhaps even if Sanders merely comes close - in the first few primaries, Biden will campaign very seriously, and the establishment will swing behind him. Biden will probably win the nomination under these circumstances.

It's an "If", but I'd put the chances of the above happening at around 30% right now. Sanders is doing well, and there have been polls showing slight (within the margin of error) leads in a couple of States. But I doubt the Democratic establishment are convinced Clinton will lose... yet.

Can Biden win the election? I know racists who voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004 who voted for Obama in '08 and '12 because Biden was on the ticket. Don't underestimate him. He's almost certainly a better bet than Clinton, but I suspect there's some deal making going on behind the scenes that's preventing him from jumping in the race at this stage. If Clinton starts to look vulnerable to Sanders, the pressure on him to run will be immense, backroom deals or no backroom deals.

BTW the fact I'm predicting this means it'll never happen.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Edge kinda sucks 2

From a tablet user's perspective, Windows 8.1 had a pretty good version of IE. It was full screen (to see the URL bar/tabs/bookmarks, you had to actually affirmatively ask for them by swiping from the bottom), they made good use of gestures (swipe left and right to move through history, etc), and the browser was... well, IE, not the world's best, but it's fairly efficient, fast, and compatible.

They removed that IE interface in Windows 10 (only the desktop IE remains.) The alternative is supposed to be Edge, but it has no gestures, and is never full screen in the same way.

Worse, Edge seems to kill performance on my tablet. The browser itself only ever seems to take up single digit percentages of CPU but regardless when I start it or have it running the entire tablet grinds to a halt. Close it, and performance goes back to normal. I have no idea why. Given the low CPU usage I wonder if it's just the way it uses the graphics drivers or something similar, but it makes it unusable.

I've switched to Chrome in the meantime, which contrary to early reports and Mozilla's outburst, is actually very easy. Chrome also has the same problems as Edge in terms of not being really full screen, but it doesn't have the performance issues, and it does have the intuitive (and better than trying to hit buttons with a finger) gesture based UI that IE had.

Tablet mode in general seems a step down in Windows 10 from the Windows 8.1 approach. Oh well.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Bernie Sanders 48

Not feeling it. Deeply suspicious. That doesn't mean I'll vote for Hillary - who has electability problems given the vast hoards of people who loath her - but I'm...

Part of it is Obama. Sure, Obama's kinda, in the last few months, turned back into the guy who ran for President in 2008, but he's still not really that person. Obama's job as candidate and President was to teach those uppity liberals that they can whine and/or get as hopeful as they want, the next guy will always be as bad - as terrible even - as the last guy. He succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.

Part of it is Ron Paul. Ron Paul - from the right- got the same kind of "genuine", "honest", "non-establishment", "heartfelt" plaudits as Sanders gets from the left. People supposedly knew him from the beginning, he's always been the real thing according to them. The Ron Paul Newsletter fiasco gave cause for concern on that. Then my professional life intersected with groups that Ron Paul is associated with indirectly, and in one case directly, and it became obvious the man's a huckster, someone who's very carefully cultivated an image designed to appeal to certain groups who'll donate money, subscribe to paid newsletters and podcasts, and so on en-mass. He's actually better at it than, say, Huckabee, who needed to run for President, or Limbaugh, who probably couldn't get it to work without the backing of a radio syndicate.

So I'm kinda cynical these days. He might get my vote in the end anyway, but it may well be a reluctant one, given on the day of the primaries and then forgotten about.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Belonging to a different era 2

Feeling a little nostalgic at the moment, but also beginning to sense a serious part of why I feel like a dunce today when it comes to computing when once I felt like a genius.

Quick wall of text on the Nostalgia bit

That article on Vector Graphics the other day reminded me a little of the S-100 bus, and the whole move to the PC ISA that came just before I really got into computing. The first computer I really touched was our school's RM 380Z, which was a proprietary CP/M based system, but exposure to that at school was mostly a "You can book 15 minutes to use it at lunchtime but otherwise the school maths teacher will use it to demonstrate things now and then." So the first computer I learned anything from was a friend's VIC 20. I then used a variety of cheap single-board-computers until my Amiga 500+, the most powerful of which was a Sinclair QL.

So... I never touched S-100. And I didn't really touch the PC until there was literally no other choice that was viable. S-100 was never an option for two major reasons: it was expensive, and it was crap. I mean, seriously, awful. S-100 survived because the home computing establishment's equivalent of the Very Serious People decreed it was Serious, and it was Serious because it was "standard".

A typical S-100 system consisted of the S-100 box itself - a dumb motherboard (very dumb, the only components on it were the edge connectors and a few capacitors and resistors to do all that magic EE specialists understand and I could never get my head around) enclosed in a card cage, plus a CPU card, a completely separate memory card or three, a completely separate disk controller, and a completely separate serial I/O card. The disk controller would be hooked up to a disk drive it was designed to control (yes, proprietary), which would be unlike around 90% of other disk drives out there - that is, if you were lucky. And the I/O card would be hooked up to a terminal that frequently was more powerful than the S-100 computer it was hooked up to..

Each combination of I/O and disk controller cards required a custom BIOS so you could run CP/M with it.

The bus itself was essentially the pins of an 8080 turned into a 100 line bus. So you were essentially wiring each card to an 8080, or something pretending to be an 8080, in parallel. This required quite a bit of hardware in each bus to make sure each didn't conflict with other S-100 cards.

Now, technically, you could get graphics (and maybe sound) cards, but that was unusual. Likewise, you could get more exotic CPUs - though getting software for them was a problem. But the typical S-100 system was text only with a Z80, and the typical S-100 system owner spent rather a lot of time trying to figure out how to order a "standard" CP/M application in a form that would run on their "standard" S-100 system, taking into account their disk drive that only 10% of the market used and their terminal that used VT-52 codes rather than VT-101 codes or (insert one of the other popular terminals here.)

Did I mention this is expensive? While the original Altair 8800 was $500 or so, it came with nothing but the card cage and motherboard, the CPU card, and a little bit of memory. And even on this, the makers barely broke even, expecting to make the profits on after sales. Useful memory, a terminal, an I/O card, a disk controller, and a disk drive, pushed up the prices considerably. Realistically, typical "useful" S-100 systems cost somewhere around $4,000.

Given all of that, it's not really surprising it got supplanted by the PC. Much is made of the fact IBM was taken more seriously by people outside of the personal computer industry in 1981, and that undoubtedly helped, but I can't help but feel that S-100 couldn't have survived for much longer regardless. You could buy a complete system from Commodore or Apple that was more capable for a third of the price even in 1981. The PC didn't need to be cheap, it had IBM's name behind it, but it was obviously more capable than S-100, and it was obvious that if the architecture was adopted by the industry, machines based upon it would be more standardized.

The "Feeling like a dunce" bit

So anyway, that was my train of thought. And it occurred to me that the fact I even have opinions on this suggests my mindset is still stuck there. Back then, even when you programmed in BASIC, you were exerting almost direct control over the hardware. You had a broad idea of what the machine did, what memory locations were mapped onto what functions, and every command you typed affected the computer in a predictable way. The computers themselves were (mostly) predictable too.

As time wore on, especially with the advent of multitasking (which I welcomed, don't get me wrong) you learned to understand your software would be only one party to how the computer behaved, but you understood that if you followed the rules, and the other programmers did too, you could kinda get your head around what was happening to it.

And you felt like a genius if you understood this. And I say "if", because it was possible.

At some point that stopped being possible. Part of it was the PC ISA, the fact an architecture from 1981 was still in use in the mid-nineties by which time it was long in the tooth and needed serious work. Its deficiencies were addressed in software and hardware. Intel essentially replaced the CPU, leaving a compatible stub there to start older applications, and the industry - after a few false starts - threw out most of the PC design and replaced it with the PCI architecture, again, like Intel leaving compatible stubs here and there to ensure older stuff would work. And Microsoft worked on making Windows the real interface software would use to access the hardware.

After a while, there were so many abstractions between your software and the underlying system, it really became hard to determine what was going on underneath. If I program, I now know there are rules I can follow that will reduce the chance of my application being a problem... today. But I don't know if that's the case for the next version of Windows, and all I know is how to reduce the chances, not how to eliminate them. I don't know if the Java I'm writing will generate a webpage that contains Javascript that will contain a memory leak that'll cause the part of the process managing the tab its in to bloat up an additional 100M or so. I can hope it won't, and use mitigation strategies to avoid things that might cause problems, but there are so many things outside of my control I have to trust now, it's just not practical.

Logically the right thing to do under the circumstances is to take back control, to use lower level APIs and simpler sets of rules, but in practice that's just not practical, and doing so means that my tools no longer fit inside the ecosystem with everyone else's. So it's not the right thing - it's actually the worst thing I can do, and if I tried to do it, I'd be shunned as a developer.

I was a genius once because I (mostly) understood the computers I was programming. I feel like a dunce today because that's just not possible any more.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Mindless Linux Drivel... 6

So, as those who "know me" know, I am a long-winded poster who adds inane drivel more often than not. It is a pass-time and a lot of the time I simply can not say what I wanted to say in a short blurb. My thoughts do not fit on a bumper sticker. If they did then they would be so superficial that they would not be worth adding to the conversation. Also, many folks like to argue and this argument seems to come from them not actually understanding what I wrote. Replies frequently look like, "I agree entirely what you said. You dumbass!" This means I take care to include all of the information that I have because I can not reasonably assume that the readers will have that information. It is not like I am all the bright or anything - I just express myself poorly so I make up for it with verbosity.

Having said that I will add that I frequently type out long, well thought out (I think), replies only to stop and think about it before clicking the send button. (Imagine that. Thinking before posting? Life is strange after a few years of not drinking.) Sometimes, perhaps more often or perhaps less often, I will delete/cancel those posts. They usually address the subject that I am replying to but are only tangentially related to the actual subject of the thread.

Today I authored a response to a zing at Samsung for having disabled Windows Update recently. I finished it, typed it all out, and hit the preview button only to realize that it was so far off topic, and such a high word count (low for me), that it simply would not be a good response. Rather than hitting the almighty enter button and submitting my drivel to the thread's page I figured that this is my journal and I can post anything I damned well please in it.

Then I thought about how badly used the journal feature is here. It really is a nice feature for what it is. It is not much but it does what it does well. It allows you to post drivel in amongst other folks posting drivel and it is never consumed or lightly consumed meaning that you are only stroking your own ego by posting it. See? Simple. I defy you, nay - three of you, to spend an hour in my head! They tell me that I am sane. I tell them that is the same thing the voices in my head tell me. They'll take me serious when I blow up my own lawn gnomes!

Anyhow, I figured I would post that comment here. It is mostly being posted because I think I may like to come back to it and visit it again someday. It is not well written, it does not have witty insights or pithy sayings, and it isn't anything important. So, I am not going to edit my response to suit, I am just going to post it as it was originally authored. If you read it then I can only call you a sucker and say that you were warned.

I hope so. I am an old UNIX then various flavors of Linux user. I have alway, pretty much, had an open source OS on one of my partitions in the past many years. Somewhere, near XP SP2, I just stopped using FOSS desktops as my OS. I am not sure why. I still used Linux in the real world. But, I just stopped. I have taken my three most used compute devices (two laptops and a desktop) and converted them entirely to Linux Mint (I call it Linux for Retards - like me).

I have an MSDN subscription, a nice one too, and I suspect I will set a new system up with 10 on it and use that to do my dev play as VS, honestly, can not be beaten, yet. I will probably keep paying Microsoft many dollars for my subscription. It is automatic so... Well... I will never actually disable it. My heirs will be paying it long after I die.

So, I would like to say - yes, get rid of Windows Updates. They would bork up my Linux for Retards installs (I am now so intimate with the installer that I am planning on sexxing it tonight). It is good to be back though I keep dropping into the terminal to get shit done. I am not sure why.

Anyhow, I am an addict. But, today makes 13 days and I am so far behind on /. that I think I am first. (Woohoo! First post!) I wonder... If I send Mint a bunch of money if they will send me a living person to be my "enterprise support." She has to be cute and well versed in all things Linux that I have not noticed change over the years. Also, we need to work on that whole partitioning thing. I buy big laptops that have slots for two drives so I can avoid partitioning for now but they are almost as scarce as hen's teeth. I may need a Windows guru with source code access. I can get (and have) some Windows source but I can not restrap it and make my own bootloader that recognizes pre-existing Linux distros and installs around them. Also Grub has sucked, does suck, and seemingly always will suck ballsacks.

I am going to have to start hiding in closets and shooting up Microsoft Office too. It will run in WINE they said. It runs fine in WINE they said. Just use they said. Use the online Word they said. Those fuckers need to die a painful death.

Also, LinuxMint, it's for retards. As a user, I fully endorse this statement. It is nicely unified aesthetically. It's as stable as a female pop singer by the time I get to it. Cinnamon won't start? Revert to blind man status? Abso-friggen-lutely. That is what I want you to do. How about piping an error message to me as the default action? No... It will take me longer to figure the bug out, reinstall. Where did boot logging go, anyhow? You know what? I have no idea because nobody seems to care enough to point it out to me and my google-fu is lacking. It is a moot point now, I can just re-install the bastard in a half hour or so and be done with it. I lose a few settings and the next install means I did not go back and tick that box. (Though if I knew which box it was, I would break it. I had not even done anything special to it.)

Finally, I suppose, I am done with my rant. Instead of just dicking with Linux I am using it as my main OS for now on. I will probably switch distos. I have been playing with a lot of VMs so I have tried every one of the top 20 at the distrowatch site. I will, likely, be switching to Mageia next even though openSUSE gave me a handy under the table at a fancy restaurant. I will not be going with FreeBSD because the installer is stupid and I am stupider. ArchLinux, openSUSE, and even PCLINUX (better than expected actually) get a nod as well. Fedora, Ubuntu, and CentOS do not suck so much as I can not stand what is essentially a taskbar in the wrong spot. I am not going to change desktops to something different as I always end up wasting too much time figuring out the dependencies. I am sure there is an easier way but I am fickle and will just move along. Slackware looks really nice but I sort of did not play around with it as much as I should have so I will reserve judgment until I have done so.

What the hell were we talking about again?

Oh yes. Samsung was disabling Windows Update a while back. They stopped it. I read it here on this site. If they said it then it must be true. They can not post lies on the internet. Anyhow, at this point, albeit a bit flustered and exhausted, I would say that that is almost a good thing.

So, there it is. If someone should deign themselves worthy of calling me names, giving insight, belittling, or even just babbling about stupid stuff then there it is, in all its glory. I do wish I could disable moderating in journal posts. It serves no function.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Winduhs

I think the whole mobile operating system thing has screwed up GUI design to a certain degree. Microsoft, Ubuntu, and GNOME have both been brave and tried something new, but what they ended up with ended up being highly unpopular on the desktop. And to be honest, I think only Microsoft ended up with something truly good on a touch interface, though I admit to not using Ubuntu or GNOME in those contexts, just being aware that they've not really encouraged an ecosystem for applications to work well in a tablet environment, leaving users with only the main shell being friendly. So the loss of optimization for the desktop lead to no significant gains elsewhere.

The way I'm seeing it, Windows 10 seems to be genuinely exciting, and a decent modern desktop, that also encourages cross interface design. Microsoft has learned from the mistakes it made with Windows 8, kept the good parts, and put together something truly great and modern.

I don't really want to be stuck with Windows though as my primary OS. I'm hoping Ubuntu et al actually learn from it.

This is something you'll never normally hear from me, but perhaps they need a Miguel type figure to take a lead in either GNOME or Ubuntu. At this point, at least to me, it looks like Microsoft is the one with the good ideas about how a UI should work and the relationship of an application to the UI frameworks of the underlying OS. I don't want anyone to clone Windows, but it would be nice to learn from it, at least.

Back in the 1990s, nerds like me put together our own "desktops", running random window managers, app launchers, and file managers (if that) that seemed to go together. I'm feeling like the FOSS "desktop" is heading back to that era, of stuff that doesn't really go together, being shoehorned to fit, with no real philosophy binding the system together.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Why libressl is stupid 2

I really want to like libressl. But it pretends to be openssl badly. They refused a patch that would have mitigated this whole RAND_egd problem by simply returning that it doesn't work when someone tries to use it, which means that you commonly need a patch to use it at all. If it's not going to work like openssl, then it shouldn't occupy the same space in the filesystem.

User Journal

Journal Journal: OMFG GNOME3 is asstacular

This is not news to most people, but I just tried it for the first time on my first-ever normal Debian Wheezy install (I've always done minimal, netinst etc. and built it up from there for a purpose) and wow, GNOME3 is amazingly horrible. It makes Unity look usable. If that was the idea, mission accomplished, I guess.

A freelance is one who gets paid by the word -- per piece or perhaps. -- Robert Benchley