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Comment: Re:Second the recommendation (Score 2) 251

by Thumper_SVX (#48014291) Attached to: Could We Abort a Manned Mission To Mars?

God, I hope not. After the well-intentioned trainwreck that was Prometheus I really don't want to see The Martian by Ridley Scott. Seriously, the man has no sense of humour, which is key to why that book was so damned good, and so accessible to the non-SF person.

For my part I am not sure who I'd want to direct it... but I'd really want to see Ryan Reynolds in the lead. He was exactly who I imagined through the entire book :)

Comment: Re:This isn't scaremongering. (Score 1) 494

by Thumper_SVX (#47936003) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

:) Fair enough, and I apologise. Yeah, context is hard in text. Not knowing you or seeing any context myself, your comment could easily be viewed as being a facetious remark from someone just familiar enough with Irish history. Myself I like to correct people like this because I honestly think Irish history is absolutely fascinating and I encourage people to learn something about it.

I agree though with you and the other respondent to my note; the history of Ireland is incredibly complex. These Americans think they have it bad with the Native Americans... that's a cakewalk historically speaking to understanding most of the migrations, invasions and wars that have occurred throughout most of Europe. But yes, I agree that from an outside perspective the British Isles seems pretty consolidated culturally. But at the same time I would note that a lot of this is due to an homogenisation of culture within the British Isles mostly due to English-language media, movies and so on from the US. Culturally while most of Europe is tending to lean more "American", the BI in general is far further along that path and sometimes even accelerating mostly due to the commonality of language with the USA.

Still, thanks for the response :)

Comment: Re:This isn't scaremongering. (Score 2) 494

by Thumper_SVX (#47929869) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

If you know Irish history you'll know that's not true. Generally the populous of the North are the ancestors of British settlers and hence Protestant. Thus their history is actually separate.

While they've had a shared history for a while, that's not always been the case. And culturally the two "halves" of Ireland (majority are actually Nationalist) have little truly in common. Lignuistically they all speak English mostly as a method of simplifying trade and cross-border relations; there are only a very few small pockets of Gaelic-native speakers in Ireland any more and even then they tend to be much older and therefore less likely to be around very long.

The issue of increased Irish integration comes down to one of both tradition and economics. While the UK may not be the best horse upon which to hitch your wagon, economically-speaking it's probably better than the rather horrible train-wreck of the Irish economy. Tradition simply comes down to the fact that as mentioned above nearly all Unionists are the Protestant descendants of the "Planters".

And contrary to popular belief in the US, the strife has nothing to do with religion. Not all Unionists are Protestant, while not all Nationalists are Catholic. There is crossover and diversity among those two groups... though true, religion does provide a handy "cheat-note" for those unfamiliar with the real history of Ireland.

Disclaimer: Northern Irish Protestant here, living in the USA. Though curiously far better educated on the history of Ireland than most of my family or peers I went to shcool with :)

Comment: Old coder here (Score 1) 387

by clickclickdrone (#47862611) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative
Been programming since the late 70's in one form or another. Probably 98% of the stuff I have worked on is C, C#, VB or Java. The only reason it's not 100% is because to begin with it was all stuff like Dbase III, FoxPro, Access, DataEase and some assembler. I've not been asked to tackle anything other than the C/Java/VB variants since about 1990. Where exactly are all these other (non web related) languages used?

Comment: Re:Watches? (Score 1) 129

by Thumper_SVX (#47400237) Attached to: Android Wear Is Here

I agree, as that was almost certainly me up until about a year ago. I wore a watch most of my adult life, and it became really useful when I became a pilot as time is absolutely key when you fly. So I had a nice watch that was functional in the cockpit and a nice piece of jewelry. However, as smart phones got more common and got more dependable, that went away. I started using my phone for time more than my watch because quite frankly I had a pretty good idea that my phone was accurate. While my watch also was always accurate, I traveled enough between time zones that resetting my watch became a chore... having the phone do it for me was golden.

Now, six months ago I got a Pebble. I hadn't worn a watch on a daily basis in years... but I got it because a good friend was clearing out some of the toys he had (he's a classic early adopter... buys stuff, barely uses it and then stores it... but was cleaning out his closet). As a result, I got it a good chunk below retail as a toy. And you know what? The surprising thing to me now is I use it. Daily. I wear it every day and use it a lot. The notifications are really nice, and it's really nice not to have to pull my phone out of my pocket. Particularly when I'm sitting down... the watch is just there. Oh, and the time's always right because it's set from my phone. And the face? Well, it can be whatever I want it to be... I can have it cluttered and techy one minute (my default 'cos I'm a geek) and the next I can push a button and have a clean, easy to read face. No muss, no fuss.

Plus, I just LOVE the "flick the wrist to turn the light on" function. It means I can check the time in the dark even if I only have my watch-hand free.

Having said all this, not really interested in either of these new contenders. The Pebble does everything I need it to and then some... the display is easily readable in every condition I've had it in and doesn't ever appear washed out. And I charge it maybe weekly... the battery life is really good on this. Yes, it does suck a little bit having to charge my watch at all, but it's not really any great chore. I just schedule to charge it on Mondays at work along with my FitBit :)

Comment: Re:Great deal! (Score 1) 365

Honestly your comment would be valid if you'd actually used one, I think.

I'm definitely NOT a Microsoft shill; I have a Macbook Pro I still use for photo editing that I do rather like even if the lead-free solder on the GPU is a problem (I plan to fix soon). But anyway, for years I've avoided most Microsoft products; I have had several Android tablets, my MBP is my fourth, I've had Macs since the 604 days (and had an original Mac before that)... I've put Linux on dozens of laptops and still manage Linux boxes at work as well as storage and Windows servers. I tell you this because I want you to understand where I come from with my next statements:

I got a Surface Pro... first gen, 128GB storage, 4GB RAM. I have the Type Keyboard 2 attached to it. And you know what? When I leave the house it's the computer I take with me most often. It's small enough that I can carry it anywhere, and resilient enough that I don't worry about throwing it in the pannier of my motorbike. It'll survive... damn thing's built like a tank. Most times if I'm at a coffee shop, I'll be reclining with the keyboard folded up the back... or just detached and left in my car or bike. This little laptop/tablet hybrid has become my go-to device every single day.

Is it as good at photo editing as my MBP? No... the screen's not set up for that and the storage is WAY too small to manage my significant library of 12MP RAW pictures from my Nikon. But you know what? When I did a wedding shoot a couple of weeks back I was able to pull the Micro SD card out of my camera (it's in an SD adapter for my camera, but I digress), I was able to slip it into the MicroSD slot on my SP and then the happy couple were able to swipe through the raw, unedited shots from the wedding before they'd even finished their first drink. Then I was able to download the pics to the local storage, clean off the card and repeat the whole process at the reception. When I got home two days later I moved the pics to my MBP for editing. No muss, no fuss.

Is it a games machine? No... but no laptop is. I have a dedicated machine for that.

But damned if it hasn't become the most useful laptop I have. It's supplanted an iPad and a Nexus 7 in terms of tablet functionality because it can do everything they can. It's supplanted most of what my MBP used to do (you know, being portable...) because it does ALMOST everything that thing does. The high-end stuff I need to do (photo editing is resource heavy) just isn't great on the SP, but it doesn't have to be. Chances are my gaming rig will get some new hard drives and start serving duty as my Photoshop machine, too and the MBP will go up on eBay.

That's the thing though; the SP might not be what you need and might not fill a niche in your life. That's cool, but personally I've found my SP to fill niches I didn't think of when I first got it. I take notes during meetings using the stylus (which by the way is freaking awesome!) and I find myself whipping out my SP at work and propping it up on my desk as a third "reference material monitor" or even a photo frame if I feel like it. It's amazingly adaptable because it's a computer. The fact that it runs Windows is actually irrelevant to me any more. There's very little that can be done on OSX or Linux that can't be done on Windows. Hell, if I want to run X applications from my Linux servers I can fire up MobaXTerm, SSH in and launch whatever I want and have it seamlessly on my desktop. You know, just like I used to do with OSX. It's also no more locked down and limited than OSX, and it might even become the more open of the "big two" commercial OS's the way Apple is going. So what do I lose?

And there's the rub. For people who are really OS-agnostic in what they do (which should be everyone in 2014... seriously), the SP is a great laptop and a great tablet. It's heavy, yes... that's probably the worst thing I can say about it, but it's seriously no heavier than the first gen iPad that I still have gathering dust somewhere. At least it feels that way when I hold both of them. And it might just push me back to Microsoft full-time as Windows for all its warts is still a better gaming OS than OSX or Linux. They've come a long way, but SOOO many games are still Windows only. Since Photoshop is literally all I have left that requires my MBP and by extension OSX any more, what's compelling me to stay with the Apple ecosystem? Nothing. Photoshop runs just as well on Windows, if not better... and I get the advantage of leveraging the GPU for something that makes me a bit of money (photography) so I can then start to prop up my gaming with that.

And Windows 8? Really... you have to try it on a device that it actually makes sense on. While I don't like Metro foisted upon me, either I do find that it works fantastically in "Tablet Mode"... i.e. you have no keyboard and want to relax on the couch and surf the Internet / watch a movie. In some ways I find it a better "two-thumbed OS" than iOS on the iPad. And the desktop... well, just install Classic Shell and you get your Start Menu back for when you want to use it as a desktop machine. I do... I use it both ways and love having that flexibility. On a machine that isn't dual purpose, the dual UI makes no sense and I still think Microsoft's retarded for foisting it upon users who have no use for it... but again, with Classic Shell on my work laptop (that also runs Win 8.1) I haven't seen Metro in months. It boots to the desktop and then I work.

TL;DR: Ex Mac addict, ex Linux evangelist, current Surface Pro user finds it actually delivers on the promises Microsoft makes. Probably going to replace his Macbook Pro with a Windows PC on the strength of that alone. And OP's TL;DR is full of false dichotomies that do not relate to the subject at hand.

Comment: Re:Desk Accessories? 1984. (Score 1) 411

by Thumper_SVX (#47154447) Attached to: Apple WWDC 2014: Tim Cook Unveils Yosemite

Seriously, why attribute this to a corporation and not to the engineers who... you know... actually invented stuff? Apple didn't invent the desk accessories but were the first to bring to a commercial market. Yay. Microsoft was also first in a lot of places, though again they were merely capitalizing on the successes of their engineers. You know... like... capitalism.

I've been a Mac fan for a LONG time... I made some good money on the stock market through my belief in Apple. But really, the hatred of a lot of "Apple Fans" on this very site really turn me off. It's becoming less like a tech company and more like a religion every day. What happened to using the best tool for the job?

And I must say that you're going to find this a really unpopular opinion, but Apple right now have yet to come out with anything that competes with my Surface Pro as my "all day computer". More functional than an iPad and more portable/usable in odd environments than my laptop. My only gripe is the relatively short battery life, but even that is fixable. My iPad is languishing in a drawer and while my Macbook Pro still does sterling duty for Photoshop (since I'm a photographer) it's never the computer I throw in my bag when I leave my house for the day any more.

He's dead, Jim.