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Comment: Re:stopped using it? (Score 1) 857

by Sosarian Avatar (#40490135) Attached to: Why Microsoft Killed the Windows Start Button

In Windows 3.1, we did the equivalent of pinning by putting the app's launch icon on the desktop or in a folder.

IIRC we had to keep program icons in "program groups" (folders, really) on the desktop, but couldn't put them directly on the desktop itself. We organized icons primarily by choosing which groups they fell into, but that was about it.

I worry that, like fashion, it's just change for the sake of change.

Based on what's been going on in the Linux desktop environment world (which seems to randomly swap ideas with Windows & OS X) that's probably pretty much right, sad to say. It's always a bad sign when the devs/sycophants can only defend the new designs by accusing skeptics of hating change (especially when said skeptics are new to insert_OS_here and thus regard everything as "change" at the moment).

Comment: Re:stopped using it? (Score 2) 857

by Sosarian Avatar (#40490079) Attached to: Why Microsoft Killed the Windows Start Button

Funny thing is, I remember back when my Mac-using online friends would gloat over how OS 9 was advanced enough to not have a command line -- then several years later when Windows had essentially neutered its commandline and OS X showed up with one, they started trying to gloat over how OS X was advanced enough to have one. I always knew that my old archive of chats/email from the 90s would come in handy someday... >:-)

Comment: well, that explains why I couldn't find it... (Score 1) 857

by Sosarian Avatar (#40490039) Attached to: Why Microsoft Killed the Windows Start Button

No wonder I couldn't find the damn thing for my mother when I tried using her computer -- and she seemingly can't handle the "complex" approach of PrntScrn -> image editor. (I wonder how hard it would be to set Win7 up to open the Snipping Tool when the user hits PrintScreen, like I'm used to in KDE/Linux.)

Comment: Re:Can someone explain the US pronunciation? (Score 2) 321

by Sosarian Avatar (#40395027) Attached to: Give me a solder gun, and I can produce ...

AFAIK the American habit of dropping "h" in herb (or similar words) is inherited from parts of the UK -- this Yahoo Answers post covers it really well.

As for "solder", perhaps the person/people that introduced it here were French, as it's pronounced & spelled without the "l" in France and we do have a few other words that have a French rather than British English pronunciation.

Comment: Re:the sad thing is people will buy it (Score 1) 156

by Sosarian Avatar (#40280199) Attached to: Kinect: You Are the Controlled

I can't speak for others, but I'm in Northern California -- for maybe 2 years, there have been LCD screens playing generic ads at an independent station and TV-show ads at a Shell. They're loud/annoying enough that a lot of people (including me) go out of their way to buy gas at the nice quiet ad-free Exxon across the street from Shell now.

Comment: Re:Nothing. (Score 1) 400

by Sosarian Avatar (#40271683) Attached to: My primary phone runs ...

The problem with carrying a non-emergency cellphone is that everyone else expects you'll check & answer it, much in the way people expect you to follow other basic social norms (since "everyone else" obsessively checks/answers), and are offended if you fail to do so -- so that the best you can do from then on is take brief breaks of a few hours here & there from being connected. If someone doesn't enjoy talking on the phone or texting, then making it easier for others to push it onto them seems pretty silly.

Comment: Easier-to-read version of that... (Score 1) 280

by Sosarian Avatar (#40199845) Attached to: I typically interact with X-many OSes per day:

Dammit, the preview showed blank lines between items in my unordered list -- here's an easier-to-read version:

OpenOffice.org 3.3 is best for someone with an old computer, as it requires the smallest amount of resources. I used it fairly often on a 600MHz/256M 32-bit laptop running small Linux distros like Petite or Kororaa, and it was speedy even dealing with my 25+ page documents that had recorded every change for the last N years.

Apache OpenOffice 3.4 is best for someone with a half-decent computer. Within the word processor, the team focused their improvements/fixes on standard (non-technical) writing with things like beefing up the find/replace dialog, so there are no integrated extensions -- you pick the ones you want or need. A large "all changes for N years" file makes it lag behind my typing, but I don't know if that's a bug or expected behavior yet.

LibreOffice is best for documents that contain equations or people that do science/math/programming-related work within it, as it integrated a bunch of extensions aimed at that purpose. The added bulk really slowed things down on my 1.6GHz/1GB 32-bit running Debian w/GNOME 2.x. I haven't tried any big "track n years" files in it because of those slowdowns, but LO will inherit AOO's lag (unless it's fixed) in the future as well.

YMMV, of course.

Comment: MS Office- Open/Libre Office (Score 1) 280

by Sosarian Avatar (#40199837) Attached to: I typically interact with X-many OSes per day:

Tempted to one day move her over to Linux, except she likes to create big fuggly documents in MS Office which I aren't sure would survive either LibreOffice or MS Office under WINE.

It shouldn't be a huge problem... Things may have changed, but when I returned to writing fiction a few years ago, the first thing I had to do was open/convert my MS Word .doc files from ~1999 over to OpenOffice since I'd switched to Linux. Not only did it go just fine, OpenOffice was able to deal with the MS Works file formats from the early-mid 90s that Word lost the formatting for, showed formatting as random characters, or had other issues with.

Also, depending on what kind of writing your GF does, OOo or Apache OO might be a better fit for her:

  • OpenOffice.org 3.3 is best for someone with an old computer, as it requires the smallest amount of resources. I used it fairly often on a 600MHz/256M 32-bit laptop running small Linux distros like Petite or Kororaa, and it was speedy even dealing with my 25+ page documents that had recorded every change for the last N years.
  • Apache OpenOffice 3.4 is best for someone with a half-decent computer. Within the word processor, the team focused their improvements/fixes on standard (non-technical) writing with things like beefing up the find/replace dialog, so there are no integrated extensions -- you pick the ones you want or need. A large "all changes for N years" file makes it lag behind my typing, but I don't know if that's a bug or expected behavior yet.
  • LibreOffice is best for documents that contain equations or people that do science/math/programming-related work within it, as it integrated a bunch of extensions aimed at that purpose. The added bulk really slowed things down on my 1.6GHz/1GB 32-bit running Debian w/GNOME 2.x. I haven't tried any big "track n years" files in it because of those slowdowns, but LO will inherit AOO's lag (unless it's fixed) in the future as well.

That's just my experience/opinion, though -- YMMV and all that.

Comment: You can alter Android on non-phone devices... (Score 1) 280

by Sosarian Avatar (#40199621) Attached to: I typically interact with X-many OSes per day:

I don't count Android as a distribution because you can't change any of the parts yourself, especially the kernel. Unless you hook up your phone to a debugger, you can't do anything at all with the guts.

Perhaps I'm thinking of something else, but the guys at XDA Developers' Forum seem to be able to "change" it in order to add full custom installs to Android-based devices like e-readers; some modifications released as "apps" do things like make Android refresh the screens of certain monochrome e-readers fast enough to play video/games smoothly or enable multi-touch capability. Regardless of what they use in the process, their creations are easily installed by any reasonably intelligent average user.

Comment: Re:Another nail in the coffin (Score 1) 134

by Sosarian Avatar (#40199293) Attached to: 'Legitimized' Cyberwar Opens Pandora's Box of Dirty Tricks

How would you US citizens feel if you were on the receiving end of Predator drones, cyber attacks and Shock and Awe?

As opposed to having our homes invaded by men with assault rifles, who shoot our dogs and kill, injure, and terrorize innocent people? I think you need to take another look at what is happening in the United States.

Exactly. There was a disturbing case in my backwater suburb recently that illustrates it... Police had a warrant for a 20-year-old murder suspect's arrest, knew where he lived (with his parents & teen brother) & worked, and he had been in court a week earlier. So without contacting *our* police, 40-50 heavily armed Homeland Security agents burst into the family's home at 4:20 AM yelling and lobbing flash grenades & tear gas through the windows. When the guy and his 57-year-old father crawled out from the hallway armed because they thought it was armed intruders, the agents reacted with a "hail of gunfire" that penetrated internal & external house walls and evidently shot 3 of their own men. (If anyone was wondering whether they can protect themselves from the government by owning guns, there's your answer.)

The photo gallery in the local paper shows the agents, weapons, military truck brought in on a tractor-trailer, damage to the house, etc.

Also unsurprisingly, the agents went after the family's pet boxers:

One of the family's two dogs [Sadie] was shot and killed. The other [Tyson] had bolted and escaped, though an agent chased it with a gun, [the 57-year-old father] said...moved to tears by the memory, said he begged the agents, “Don't kill my dogs!”

From what I've read, it was similar to the incident where agents killed an extremely old arthritic labrador -- the 20-year-old used to exercise Tyson on a leash by riding his bike around the neighborhood after work, and a teen neighbor that talked with him about the dogs a few times implied they were friendly in another interview.

Anyone wondering why we don't rebel: one columnist wrote about the reaction he got to a column/post merely questioning the raid. Given this is a liberal region, non-Americans might see why we're kind of fucked...

Comment: Re:Another nail in the coffin (Score 1) 134

by Sosarian Avatar (#40198729) Attached to: 'Legitimized' Cyberwar Opens Pandora's Box of Dirty Tricks

I grew up believing in the US as a beacon for freedom and fairness. Okay, so it was the 60's and 70's and given what was going down in South America it was probably all a lie then.

Those of us growing up in the US in the 80s & 90s were led to believe in the nation's original ideals as well. It was a serious shock when I got to high school and had teachers that worked the reality behind modern-day events into the curriculum when relevant (i.e. government, history, literature).

How would you US citizens feel if you were on the receiving end of Predator drones, cyber attacks and Shock and Awe?

Trouble is, as tends to be the case with corrupt governments, average US citizens aren't the same as the US government that has been taking those actions... We have little-to-no power beyond the local level, since our election system is so fucked that all of California could vote for Nobody for President and still have no real impact on who gets the throne^H^H^H^H^H^Hposition.

To be honest, I'm more concerned that "terrorists" will attack us with military tech than that (actual) terrorists will. We already saw how much fun politicians had with the color-coded terror alert system whenever they wanted folks to bend to their will, and there's only one way to get that effect now that everyone's used to ignoring "orange"...

It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster. - Voltaire

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