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Comment: Re:Keep your important data on current storage. (Score 2) 111

by _merlin (#47952987) Attached to: Data Archiving Standards Need To Be Future-Proofed

Yeah, SVG renderers have more chance of being around in 50 years than WMF or PICT. But you still need to actively go through your data archives, find things in "endangered" formats, and migrate them to more future-proof formats. This requires substantial effort that increases as the collection grows. Then there's verifying that nothing was lost in the conversion to consider.

Comment: Re:Keep your important data on current storage. (Score 0) 111

by _merlin (#47952909) Attached to: Data Archiving Standards Need To Be Future-Proofed

You're picking easy formats. What about Macintosh PICT, including vector information (not just a bitmap PICT)? What about WMF? I could see both those formats becoming effectively unusable within a decade, as they effectively depend on the drawing API/environment of ancient operating systems (classic MacOS and Windows 3).

Comment: Re:Keep your important data on current storage. (Score 1) 111

by _merlin (#47952793) Attached to: Data Archiving Standards Need To Be Future-Proofed

But seriously, JPG is everywhere now but how long will it last? Could you read pre-JPEG image formats? Do you have software that will open PhotoCD, or PBM, or XBM or IFF in all their variants? I expect some formats like DNG will be around for a while, but the XMP processing instructions contain a "process version", and how long will software continue to support the process versions we use today? Data security really isn't straightforward when you don't know what the future holds.

Comment: Re:The good news is (Score 1) 130

All fuel injectors for gasoline-powered road cars (mechanical injectors were used in racing for a while and were used for many years in diesel engines) are controlled by an ECU.

That's not quite true. There were mechanical fuel injection systems for petrol cars, e.g. the Lucas system in some of the Triumphs. They weren't known for being particularly reliable - EMP resistance would be the least of your worries.

Comment: Re:Guess I'll have to use google wallet or paypal (Score 2) 34

I can send money from my GMail account.

Well I don't know whether the Amazon one worked outside the US, but the Google one definitely doesn't. But given a choice between Google and Amazon, I'd take Amazon. I find them slightly less intrusive and pervasive.

Comment: Re:Abject brand mismanagement (Score 1) 352

by _merlin (#47894545) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

Yeah, but very basic functionality like actually being able to type your name if you happen to be Japanese requires you to install the OS, then get a combination of strangely-named packages like ibus, im-chooser, anthy, some font packages, etc. and then screw around getting it configured. None of this is documented clearly. Windows or OSX lets you choose a language from a list at install time. Which do you think is easier?

Device drivers are another issue. Linux is simpler if there's a driver in the kernel tree and it works adequately. If there isn't, then it's far more trouble than Windows to find a driver and get it to work. Also, drivers often lack functionality on Linux. For example the Wacom tablet drivers aren't adequately configurable. There are some options in obscure text files that you need root to edit, but there's no simple way to switch mapping on-the-fly or reconfigure your buttons per application. This is all dead easy on OSX or Windows.

Linux may be easier for you, but there are far more use cases than "person with no exotic hardware speaking a language using Latin script".

Comment: Re:Abject brand mismanagement (Score 1) 352

by _merlin (#47886125) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

It definitely doesn't just work if you need Japanese language support. You need to find the necessary packages, install them, configure ibus... Seriously it's a nightmare. On Windows or OSX you just choose it from the dropdown during installation. Every time I do a distro upgrade I have to go through this stupid pain-in-the-arse procedure again, trying to work out exactly which packages I need with no help from any documentation.

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann

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