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Comment Re:Microsoft will fall (Score 1) 121 121

Windows Phone OS (whatever it's called this week) just had so many bad details, it was like walking around and constantly tripping on things.

One example: I wanted to run with a white background instead of black. When doing that, the white-on-transparent icons disappeared.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/15o7...

Things like that might have been fixed in 8.1, but 8.0 was the third major release of this UI (after 7.0 and 7.5) and they should have caught a lot of things like that by then.

There are a lot of places where an overuse of transparency and other effects causes more harm than good. In trying to make something that looks better than iOS, they went a little too far with the effects.

Here's another place where white text on top of random backgrounds -- which happen to contain white -- falls apart. (The one on the left looks OK on a big monitor but they were pretty bad on the phone. And you can see how if the photos had more white in the wrong place, it would be even worse.)
https://www.dropbox.com/s/cke1...

For what it's worth, I think iOS 7 was a big step back from iOS 6 in a lot of ways too -- too many thin lines; not enough contrast.

What you said was exactly my idea -- for $59, it was WAY better hardware and software (from a stability point of view, at least) than some generic Android-based media player, but every single task I tried to do had some obstacles. And it wasn't just a case of being used to iOS -- I use Mac OS and Windows every day at work -- it was that everything MS did differently, they did worse. I just returned it after a few weeks. If someone gave me one for free, I still wouldn't use it.

Comment Re:Microsoft will fall (Score 1) 121 121

Last year I got a phone with Windows Phone 8 for $59* (I still can't believe it that's possible) just to mess around with. Even as a hobby, I couldn't stand to use it. The OS was JUST THAT HORRIBLE. It was stupid and annoying and deeply flawed. If my choices were a) that phone for $59 or b) an iPhone for $650, I would choose b) in a heartbeat. Oh, wait, actually, I did. (I'm on T-Mobile so I actually pay full price for my phones.) I returned the phone within 30 days.

Paying $700 for a good phone vs. $200 for a crappy one is really not that hard to imagine. Look at what people spend on cars.

Note: I haven't used Android heavily, so I can only speak of Windows, but from what I've seen of Android, I'm pretty sure I'd still stick with an iPhone. My point is, price is NOT everything.

I'm not saying iPhones are the best for everyone, or that everyone should buy them. Apple has grown their desktop and laptop sales greatly in the past decade despite "perfectly good" competitors existing for ~1/2-1/3 the price, so I have no reason to think a flood of dirt cheap phones will greatly harm their iPhone business anytime soon.

* I got a Lumia 520. This current one is similarly specced and priced. http://www.microsoftstore.com/...
The hardware was awesome. I still can't believe you can get something that good for so little. But the Windows Phone OS is just so, so, so bad. Not even worth keeping as a toy.

Comment Amiga stuff is relatively cheap on the bay... (Score 2) 456 456

Parts for the computer are difficult to find, Hopkins said. It is on its second mouse and third monitor.

Try ebay or Craigs list? Lots of it out there...

Since this was made by a student, why not have a new student project to replace this thing usign a Pi or *duino board, which are all the rage these days? Or for an even more interesting learning experience, go with a Zed board? Surely those and your free extracurricular club labor would save you a couple bucks?

Comment Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 395 395

> I think I just hate the phone in general. I would much rather type everything.

Oh hell that is SO EFFING SLOW. If I text someone more than 3 or 4 times in a row it's because one of us is unable to speak. I watch people have 10- to 15-minute-long texting sessions with one person that could be settled with 2 or 3 minutes of actually talking. It's painful to watch.

Comment Not really sure anymore (Score 1) 558 558

In the 90s, there was a joke: "If you want to know if you're talking to a decision maker in a company or not, ask them how much RAM is in their computer. Anyone who knows, isn't a decision maker."

But now, we're riding on the cusp of almost a decade of "It just doesn't matter." Most computers are good enough for most tasks for most folks. And by "most" I mean 98% in every case. My work computer has 8 GB of RAM but I only know that because I remember it being upgraded so I could run VMs. My main computer at home has 4 GB and I know that because every once in a while I think about upgrading and I check prices and then I decide not to bother. But I couldn't tell you the exact CPU in either (one might be a Core i5 and the other an i7), nor do I know the speed on either to within 200 MHz. (I think one is 2.3 and the other is 2.7 but I couldn't say for sure which is which, nor am I certain about either of those numbers. Maybe one is a 2.5 or 2.2?)

God only knows what graphics cards they have or who makes them or how much VRAM they have and I don't even know if my machine at home has integrated graphics or discreet. (Work laptop is a MacBook Pro with both; required to drive my 30" display.) This isn't like the old days where it was easy to remember that 1 MB gave you 640x480x24bpp and 2 MB gave you 800x600x24bpp and I was happy to find the *one* 4 MB card that gave me 1024x768x24bpp because I had just found a SWEET 17" CRT for only $400, used, and I didn't want to buy an expensive card with 8 MB to drive it. My 4-year-old computer at work drives my 30" display at 2560x1600 and my equally old computer at home drives a 24" at 1920x1200, so who gives a shit if they're doing that with 1 GB or 2 GB or 512 MB VRAM? Yeah, I'll have to upgrade someday if I want to spend hundreds on a 4K display, but I have no plans to do that. (Dreams, yes; plans, no.) And when the time DOES come, my "upgrade" will be "buy a new machine, transfer my files, and sell the old one."

So anyway, long story short: no fucking clue. But I can bore you with the specs of every computer I owned before around 2008 if you want, including which parts I bought where and what I paid for them.

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