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Comment Re: Sadly.. (Score 1) 348

This is a clear case of irritatingly pedantic developer vs. user who just wants to do something. I've been on both sides of the coin, and it isn't always easy to see a clear way forward. I feel they got it wrong in this case.

Comment Re:Blinders Much (Score 1) 103

Cell phone cameras just show that you can have lots of Pixels, and the photos can still suck. People will have to argue with the laws of physics about that one.

What really surprises me is that I've managed some really decent photos with my phone with some work and creativity. The camera couldn't have less going for it in terms of optics, sensor size, etc., and I find it amazing that I can produce anything even approaching decent with it. A real camera is it not, but still, those things have come a very long way.

Comment Re:OS/2 was great (Score 1) 262

"FOSS *nix" games were doomed to a small niche before WINE, and they were doomed to a small niche before Steam. Much of what drove WINE was people who wanted to play games, because it was the one thing you just couldn't do on Linux. I never thought about Steam being responsible for the fact that there is an increasing amount of proprietary, commercial software available for Linux now, but it probably is.

I stopped playing games when I switched to Linux, because the native offerings were all half finished and most of them just sucked. I went 15 years without playing a game, because the Intel video drivers just work, and the proprietary drivers are a horrible pain in the ass. I thought it was a fair trade.

I finally bought a new NVIDIA card, waded through a day of hell to get it working, and I could finally buy stuff through Steam that would run. Holy shit, games have come a LONG way in 15 years! As a guy who has run a FOSS project for 10 or so years, I can say there is no way in hell I would ever recruit that much talent and get that much work done on a volunteer basis. There is no way in hell. People willing to volunteer usually aren't that talented, and then there are the personalities. If I tried to get one of these games written with a volunteer team, it would end up forked at least six times, and everybody would wrestle and argue and yell at each other, and 10 years after the project's inception, it would still be little more than a proof of concept demo.

On the other side of that coin, Steam's existence probably explains why I am able to buy and run so much commercial software for Linux now. The FOSS community had 15 years to get this stuff done, and it doesn't exist. I enjoy having the option to stay on Linux, take a crowbar to my wallet occasionally, and get work done.

Comment Re:Ubuntu Core has no place on the Raspberry (Score 1) 59

We never got far enough to deal with apt. Just as we were getting into the home stretch with our app, the Maemo universe exploded into chaos. Harmattan? MeeGo? Where is this going? We decided to wait and see, and it's just as well we did. That code wasn't going anywhere unless we rewrote both the frontend and the backend from scratch.

That's what I meant by the whole ecosystem not working for paid apps. Maybe if we had made a desperate sprint to try to cash in on a sinking ship at the last minute.

Comment Re:Math.... (Score 1) 616

If you think you are bad at math but programming comes easy, you might find that you weren't actually bad at math.

I am very bad at classroom math, but reasonably effective at using math in code to solve actual, tangible problems. User touches here and here at nearly the same time, and I need to figure which touch came first, and what the angle is between the two points... I got there once, and I can't even tell you exactly how I figured it out. Calculus was involved somewhere, I think. Maybe? I don't know how I do it, I just get the problems solved. Usually.

Comment So, here's how it worked (Score 4, Informative) 311

So, about three years ago I was miserable in my marriage. All my close friends advised me to leave my wife, but none of them could offer me a place to crash until I could get on my own feet. I was in an acute emotional crisis that needed an immediate remedy, and my only choice was to find a way to suck it up and work through the pain and deal with it. No woman has to go through this. If a woman is having an acute emotional crisis due to a bad marriage, the world opens its doors to her. Their friends will take them in, they have shelters, they have all kinds of free community resources. Men have precisely dick for options. If your parents are dead, you're fucked, and oh well. No one cares. Deal with it.

So while I was sucking it up and trying to pull together enough money to establish a new household from scratch, I decided to try making my interim time less miserable by having an affair. Millions of men do it every year. Why hell, there are even ads everywhere encouraging it! "Life is short! Have an affair!" That was how I came to know Ashley Madison.

I created a profile there, and it wasn't long before I got a message from a girl. She lived really far away, and nothing in her profile indicated she was in any way looking for me. I tried to open it anyway, and in order to do so, I had to go purchase credits. I intended to make the smallest possible purchase, which was something like $60, but somewhere between clicking on the "economy package" and clicking on the "I approve" button, they got me turned around, and when the invoice appeared, I had just spent something on the order of $370! I never have figured out how they pulled that off, but I'm sure if I could go back and look at the fine print, they had their asses covered.

The "girl" messaged me again, and that was when I figured out I had spent $370 to talk to a fucking bot. All the "girls" on there were bots, except the one human who did contact me. By that point, I had given up on meeting anyone through the site, but I still had like 900 credits left, so I kept the account open with a blank profile. The real chick who messaged me sent a bunch of free amateur porn to a blank profile with no personal info and no picture. She was looking for ANYBODY in the area desperate enough to have sex with her, and it was immediately obvious why she was so desperate. I have a buddy whose standard in a sex partner is that it has to be a living mammal, so I hooked them up. She got laid, and I, having learned my lesson, deleted my account and dumped the remaining credits in the trash. They were worthless anyway.

Comment Re:Ubuntu Core has no place on the Raspberry (Score 1) 59

I guess it depends on how you define "work" in this context. Seeing the words "Maemo" and "Fremantle" and "N900" and "Ovi" still makes my blood boil. We wasted a lot of time and money betting on a horse with no legs. It was a damn fine app that was a pleasure to develop too, which is the hell of it. That stuff was great, but commercially successful? Not on your life!

Comment Somebody got tired of my uninformed bitching (Score 1) 136

I used to talk shit about Linux in a community of users from mixed platforms. I was a jaded would-be refugee who had tried to escape Windows, and failed. I had low expectations for this Linux thing too, and trumpeted them loudly.

One of those guys was deeply offended by the fact that I was bitching about something I had never even tried. He wanted me to try it, and then continue bitching if I wanted, and if I wouldn't try it, he wanted me to shut the fuck up about it and give it a rest.

He mailed me some CDs. That was 2001, and I haven't used Windows since.

Comment Just a fancy DOS shell (Score 1) 284

I'll never forget seeing Windows 95 for the first time. According to all the hype, DOS was gone, and this big new thing wasn't just another fancy DOS shell like all its predecessors. As it happened, I had some kind of custom boot switcher setup in place (all I really remember is I wrote it in C) to swap AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files for various purposes, like booting into a really lean and clean environment for games that required huge TSRs, and booting into Windows if I wanted to use a program with a GUI for some reason. I misremember the particulars, but I had things installed in non-standard, custom places, and probably a version of OS/2 in the mix there somewhere.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is that when I booted into the new "it's an operating system, not a DOS shell" for the first time, I ended up with Windows 3.11 running on top of whatever hidden version of DOS came underlying Windows 95. It was nothing but a fancy DOS shell, exactly like all the hype said it wasn't. I took note of the fact that Microsoft had taken me for an idiot and tried to blow smoke up my ass.

They're still doing that, apparently. Fortunately, I switched to Linux right on the eve of Windows XP, and I never did go back. I've experienced all subsequent versions briefly, and in passing, but I have yet to find a reason to actually use one of them for something. Linux is far from perfect, but it's the devil I know at this point, even if I will never live long enough to see the year of the Linux desktop.

(And yes, of course, I obviously mean Debian GNU/Linux and all its derivatives and permutations of GNUey GNUoodness, because it's not an GNUperating system without putting the GNU in GNU. GNUf said about that nod toward political GNUrrectness.)

Comment Re:I volunteer as tribute. (Score 2) 381

> No, they cure it 100% of the time. The problem is few people actually follow a proper regimen.

If 98% of people can't "follow the proper regimen", then it's not a proper regimen, and it's quite obviously not at all what thin people are doing. That's the fucking point.

Weirdly enough, as much as I've studied and thought about this issue over the years, I never really thought about the people I know who eat just as much shit food as everyone else, and yet they're not overweight.

Now I'm flashing back to the time my wife was in the hospital, back when those "take the stairs instead of the elevator" ads were running. I was working 60 hours a week at a job that involved unloading freight out of the back of a truck by hand, and every chance I got, I went by the hospital to see her. I was so good at flying up those stairs I could pass the elevator, hit the stairs at the far end of the hall, go all the way to the top floor, and be past the elevator in the other direction when it finally made it up there.

I had love handles before, and I had love handles after. I can't lose weight for shit. I'm not a fat guy, exactly, but I'm not a healthy weight either. Maybe it really is just my metabolism or the contents of my poop factory. It's not like I'm a slovenly couch potato.

Comment Re:Part of the summary is crap (Score 1) 231

To compare the prevalence of pornography on the internet to what many of us grew up with is naive at best...If I were a parent I'd definitely want to filter my children's internet access.

I worried about that. I had Playboy, they had Two Girls One Cup and Goatse. In the end Linux kind of helped me make the right decision. I looked into doing some kind of nanny filter thing and there was nothing simple or intuitive to use, and I just said piss on it, rolled the dice, and allowed my children totally unfettered access to the net.

My children are 18 and 21, they have never tried alcohol, they have never tried drugs, they are both virgins. I achieved what all these Moral Majority types are trying to legislate by force, and I did it by being totally permissive, open, and accepting. Want to get drunk? I'll let you get drunk in a controlled environment, and we'll take the mystery and forbidden fruit elements out of the substance. Want to have sex? I'll buy you birth control, and if necessary, find you a hooker. Want to try drugs? You go find a supplier on your own, because I don't presently know any drug dealers, and we'll let you try them in a controlled environment.

The end result is well-composed kids who have made good, informed choices for logical reasons. No net filter required. No curfews, no monitoring phone calls or emails or texts, no behavioral controls at all, other than enforcing basic discipline about things like homework and tidiness and hygiene.

Comment Re:HAHAHAHA! (Score 1) 231

No, no conditions are helped by having speed.

I was driving an empty gasoline tanker home in a blizzard shit storm last winter. When I started breaking traction left and right, I over-compensated, and started driving too slowly. Yes, too slowly. I was riding along in a low, speed-limiting gear, which was great going down the hill into the bottom. Pulling up out of the bottom, however, my traction was going, going, gone, and I narrowly avoided folding up. I attempted to go forward, and could only make things worse. I was stuck in the middle of the road in a partial jackknife in a fucking gasoline tanker in a fucking blizzard.

To my amazement, a couple other drivers from my company went right past me in trucks essentially identical to my own. The difference is they got a run at it.

I should have known to do that after 20 years of driving big trucks, but I guess I haven't actually spent that much time driving in really extreme conditions like that. I normally turn around and go home while I'm still loaded, or I pull off and go to bed. In this case, nary a flake had fallen until I was halfway home, and I was driving a day cab. There is no bed. It really sucked spending the next eight hours sitting in that thing waiting on a tow truck too.

This reminisce is a good reminder of why I need to find a way to make money writing software. Other people do it.

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.