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Comment Built-in is just a bad idea. (Score 1) 416

In my experience nearly all of this built in entertainment stuff is just a bad idea for several reasons:
- It's usually at least half a decade outdated on a brand new car, let alone an older model.
- Car makers are hardware people and have little clue about software. Designing it, making it, managing it, etc.
- None of it is modular and easily upgradable.

What I want is for my car to work well with my other electronic gadgets and for that it needs to have standardized interfaces and be easily upgradable and extendible.

When I got my first iPod, around 2004, I first mucked around with FM transmitters, but then bought a Pioneer single DIN DEH-P65BT car stereo with the CD-IB100II Ipod connector. I could also use it with my Nokia S60 N70 "smartphone". This has worked fine for almost ten years and several iPods/iPhones, until the 30-pin connector went extinct. I have now replaced it with a Pioneer DEH-X8700DAB talking to my new iPhone.

Over the past ten years this has given me more options than even the newest cars on the market could offer me at any time, and I never had a car less than half a decade old: My TomTom updates automatically over the cellular network (iTunes/App Store), I've got Spotify, Youtube, WhatsApp, Skype, internet radio, weather info (buienradar), traffic info, and many more. Every time I upgrade my phone, my options improve. Every time my phone got an OS update, my experience would usually get better. Pioneer could do a better job sometimes, but overall the experience has been miles ahead of anything that the car manufacturers offer.
The only thing that doesn't work reliably is SIRI, for three reasons: Cars are noisy, SIRI can't control third-party apps like Spotify and I'm multi lingual and SIRI can't easily be switched between languages.

I've just bought a new car, and one of my most important selection criteria was how easy it was to rip out the existing entertainment system and add a more sensible after market one. I have skipped many otherwise nice options because they had horribly hard to replace entertainment systems.

Comment Re: The Homer! (FP?) (Score 2) 416

It was also about freedom. I couldn't wait for the day I didn't have to get my Mom to drive me everywhere.

Bicycles have existed for well over hundred years. Public transport is also a thing. I've had very little need for my parents to transport me since I was about 9 years old and didn't buy a car until I was 26, as did most of my friends.

Comment Business processes (Score 1) 87

How to talk to Software Engineers:

1) Learn to model your business processes.
2) Learn to express what you want to do, instead of how you want to do it.
3) Make clear definitions of what you mean with certain words.
2a) Write down Use Cases, examples of what you need the software for.

These three/four points will be the biggest help for the programmers to understand what you want and what they need to do.
Then it's the quality of the programmers and how well they're managed if you get good results.

Comment Re:Applies to most fields, actually. (Score 1) 236

I think it's really important to study original texts. A lot gets lost in translation, as anyone with any experience doing so knows. Even between different dialects.

I've studied, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Ancient Greek and Latin in High School and have since gone on to a Master in Physics and Computer Science. I find that especially outside of the language studies, people often have a poor understanding of how hard proper translations are.

Comment Just not teaching science (Score 1) 236

I've always wondered how many University disciplines seem to be very much teaching rote, not science. It seems to be most prevalent in the areas with a lot of prestige and a very clear career path. Medicine, Law, MBA, that kind of thing.

If we want Universities to be mainly about creating scientists, several of these have little to no reason to be academic studies.

Comment I used to be an MMO player (Score 3, Insightful) 119

I used to be an MMO Player, I played several, with my biggest amount of time spent in World of Warcraft.

I stopped playing MMOs when NCSoft killed my favourite MMO out of the blue: City of Heroes.
I liked it because it was not like other MMOs I had played. There were no restrictions on level, class, gear or skill as to which players could team up and have fun together. Your character was totally unique. There was the most and best story telling I've seen in any MMO, including WoW. It wasn't perfect, but I still consider it the best game ever.

I was having a lot of fun in that game, only having discovered it quite late (It was at first not available where I lived).
Then NCSoft killed it two weeks before the new expansion went live. By what information the players could gather, not for financial reasons, but due to corporate politics.
After that I decided I never wanted to invest time again into something where I was at the mercy of a corporate boardroom on the other side of the globe. I don't want to play any game where I don't control the hardware needed to run it.

Comment Re:I don't agree. (Score 1) 119

This is the problem in the MMO genre. WoW was so successful that -everyone- tried to copy it, or at best make iterative improvements. Publishers didn't want an MMO that did well, they wanted "the next WoW" or a "WoW killer." I've been looking for a new MMO to play for a long, long time, but have yet to see anything of interest that makes it worth my time.

I completely agree. And it's not just the MMo genre. The problem is that when there is a game that does well, there are a lot of big game companies that try to make a copy. They don't understand that people will not be interested in the copy, because it's a copy.

New original ideas are going to be the next big thing. Minecraft, League of Legends and World of Tanks are real WoW-killers, not any MMO that came after WoW and tried to copy it. Companies that don't understand that, end up killing the unique and different MMOs when trying to focus on the WoW-clone.

Comment Re:Could someone ELI5 how Macbooks retain value? (Score 1) 435

There was a time I understood this during the PPC era of mac, but now that macs run on commodity, non specialized CISC based x86, I have no idea why they retain their value. A lot of PC makers are starting to make machines that look *almost* as nice as a MBP. My HP Envy Beats laptops have a nice aluminum case.

Have you tried using an old Mac?

My 2007 Macbook Pro still gets used very often. Runs the latest OSX, 2.4 GHz dual core, 4GB RAM, GeForce 8600GT/256MB, 160GB HD, Dual DVI, 1440x900 screen, 2560x1600 on the Cinema HD 30" external screen. It weighs 2.4 kg in a very nice slim (for 2007) aluminium case and still gets 4+ hours of battery life. It really is a good solid machine with lots of attention to detail, like the keys that light up if it gets dark, built in microphone and camera, ...

Comment In stages (Score 1) 136

I first got acquainted with Linux in about 1993, when a friend of mine got it on his 386. I think it was an early Slackware. When I got to the University a year later, we had some IRIX very nice machines there, and the computer department was all HP-UX. That made me learn Linux in earnest.
When I got my own computer, a Pentium 90, late 1994, I installed it to dual boot between Slackware and DOS/Windows.

I switched to SuSE around version 5.0, somewhere around 1997. I then started using Linux much more, as SuSE came on CDs, and thus I didn't have to download the programs over my 14k4 modem, as I could get them from the CDs.

Comment Re:Libre Office (Score 1) 316

But with WordPerfect it actually was a good reason: It's a superior product.
I've used Word (from 6.0), Star/Open/LibreOffice(.org), LateX for 15 years, PageMaker/Indesign, even Google docs.

I still consider WordPerfect the best word processor. I have used it from version 4.2 to X5 (I don't have the newer X6/X7).

Where Microsoft wins:
- It's got an Office Suite, not just a word processor. Excel is the killer application, even as PowerPoint and Visio are better than the competition as well.
- Groupware. Exchange is a continent ahead of any competition and essential for most larger businesses.
- MS offers a whole ecosystem, from OS, coding platforms, database servers and what have you. All of which cooperate quite a lot better than any competing solutions.

At my home and even at my job there is very little MS, but we're the exception and with reason. For our line of work (custom high performance computing hardware and software) MS not a good solution. But for previous employers MS was/is. The Open Source community is just not very good at providing enterprise solutions, as most people in the community have not the faintest idea what that would look like.

Loan-department manager: "There isn't any fine print. At these interest rates, we don't need it."