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Comment: Re:Lost opportunity? I doubt it (Score 1) 554

by Mr Z (#48107025) Attached to: Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has the Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista

My work laptop has 4GB of RAM on it and Windows 7 and it runs just fine. The only thing that slows it down is when the corporate-mandated management scripts run and start pegging the hard drive with virus scans, audits and the like. More RAM wouldn't help that. Switching to an SSD did.

According to Resource Monitor, I'm using about 3GB, with 850MB of that used as cache. A bit over 1GB of that is Firefox.

So, yeah, I could see 1GB really sucking when used with a modern web browser and many tabs open (like I do). 4GB, though, hasn't really held me back much.

Apparently, at least part of Vista's memory woes stemmed from the poorly tuned "SuperCache" feature, that would aggressively try to pre-cache data in RAM. Its appetite was apparently too large. It apparently also didn't manage its disk buffers very well. (This is all third or fourth hand knowledge and so could be shaky. I've never run Vista myself. If someone has more details, pipe up!)

Comment: Re:Thermal capacity of rock? (Score 1) 295

by Mr Z (#48091901) Attached to: NASA Study: Ocean Abyss Has Not Warmed

Ah yes. I knew there was a term for it. It's been a while since I took my thermo class. Specific heat is normalized to mass, though, and both granite and basalt are more dense than seawater. Granite is ~2700 kg/m^3, basalt is ~3000kg/m^3, while seawater at high depths is around 1050kg/m^3.

When you factor that in, water still wins, but only by a factor of 1.5 to 2.

Comment: Re:Errr.. no... (Score 1) 156

by Mr Z (#48073453) Attached to: End of an Era: After a 30 Year Run, IBM Drops Support For Lotus 1-2-3
It was implemented against the Win16 API, and required a Windows runtime to operate. It was no less a Windows program than any other Windows program at the time. You could launch it from DOS, sure, but if that's your criteria, there wasn't a Windows program before Win95, the first Windows version to boot directly to Windows rather than launching from DOS.

Comment: Re:Well, double dumbass on you! (Score 1) 156

by Mr Z (#48062229) Attached to: End of an Era: After a 30 Year Run, IBM Drops Support For Lotus 1-2-3

Oh, yeah, I definitely remember the pain of bank-switching vs. segmented memory. I was there and programmed both. It stunk.

At least the Apple ][gs could directly address 16MB, although the 65816's addressing modes I hear were less than awesome. I must admit I never wrote any native 65816 code.

Comment: Re:Errr.. no... (Score 1) 156

by Mr Z (#48062215) Attached to: End of an Era: After a 30 Year Run, IBM Drops Support For Lotus 1-2-3

Oh, don't get me wrong. I definitely prefer a more style-sheet oriented way of declaring how a document should look, and then writing my document tagged in the elements of that style. Something style-sheet oriented is vastly superior to something more formatting-oriented at a lower level.

The problem is that most GUIs, in an effort to reduce clutter, make it at best cumbersome and at worst impossible to determine if your cursor is inside or outside of a formatting tag. (And then there's Word and Outlook, who add a bunch of heuristic behaviors on top of that that just make it worse. I've had to nuke whole paragraphs just because there's some weird 'hot point' in the middle of a line somewhere that keeps making the editor go gonzo. FrameMaker is not as bad, but it gets weird in other ways, especially with figures, tables, their anchors and their captions. And then there's the brokenness of nearly every browser-based rich-text editing widget ever.)

I would much rather have a WYSIWYG preview and a separate, less WYSIWYG editing mode that was more tag oriented. Heck, I'd write my specifications in TeX or LaTeX if they let me. But, alas, I'm stuck with FrameMaker and Word. At least with FM, they force us to never use local formatting overrides and stick to the style sheet. They strip all formatting overrides when compiling a book.

Comment: Re:Errr.. no... (Score 3, Interesting) 156

by Mr Z (#48053891) Attached to: End of an Era: After a 30 Year Run, IBM Drops Support For Lotus 1-2-3

Ah, boundary conditions on the dates. Makes sense.

I had read that Excel had preview copies out in 1984 (which is fairly quick, considering the Mac itself launched in 1984), but didn't launch officially until 1985. And I suppose, since Windows was still deridingly referred to as "Wintendo" in some circles and generally not widely adopted on PCs, it makes sense that Microsoft would go with an "Excel for MS-DOS 3" marketing stance, even though it really was a Windows app.

FWIW, WordPerfect, my favorite word processor of the early-to-mid-90s (replacing AppleWorks and ///EasyPieces on the Apple //e and Apple ///) got subsumed in the same way as Lotus 1-2-3 did by Excel. While Word for DOS was nothing special, Word for Windows actually was a proper Windows application by the time Word 6 came out. WordPerfect 5.1 on DOS was great, but WordPerfect 6 lost it somehow. The DOS version overreached, trying to bring WYSIWYG into the character-oriented DOS world. The Windows version clung too strongly to their DOS traditions and never really embraced the GUI properly. It was a messy disaster. Microsoft Word 6, for all its faults, was at least largely consistent with itself and the Windows environment around it. (I still miss Reveal Codes though, to this day.)

Comment: Re:Well, double dumbass on you! (Score 1) 156

by Mr Z (#48053317) Attached to: End of an Era: After a 30 Year Run, IBM Drops Support For Lotus 1-2-3
I guess you never ran either an IBM PC XT or an Apple ][. Both were comparable in performance for many things. (A 1MHz 6502 pulls around 0.43 MIPS, while a 4.77MHz 8088 pulls about 0.35 MIPS.) And hipsters didn't arrive on the scene until the Second Coming of Steve Jobs.

Comment: Re:Errr.. no... (Score 5, Informative) 156

by Mr Z (#48053133) Attached to: End of an Era: After a 30 Year Run, IBM Drops Support For Lotus 1-2-3

No, Mod GP -1 inaccurate. Lotus 1-2-3 never ran on the Apple ][ family. It ran on the PC from the get-go. It was launched in 1983, not 1982.

Lotus bought VisiCalc in 1985, not 1986.

Excel didn't come out until 1985 (not 1984), and it was never ported to DOS. Its first appearance on a PC was as a Windows version in 1987. It came with a run-time version of Windows if you didn't already have Windows. Excel managed to kill Lotus 1-2-3 primarily because it was born as a GUI app and was native GUI all the way through. Lotus 1-2-3 stumbled on its way to the GUI, which allowed Excel to eventually overtake it.

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