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Comment Dammit (Score 1) 29

Jesus, a man who made a significant contribution to computing dies and it descends into a patent/Apple flame-fest.

I despair of Slashdot 2012.

Thank you to those of you making interesting and insightful comments, and thank you Bill.

Comment Re:Comparison to Apple][, Atari 800, C64? (Score 2) 208

It was roughly contemporary to the Commodore 64 and Atari 800/800XL micros. More expensive than both of those, but cheaper than an Apple II, which were very expensive in the UK. The Apple II predated it by about 4 years if I recall. My impression at the time was that the Sinclair ZX Spectrum (Timex Sinclair in the US) was far more popular in the UK, along with the C64. The BBC was common in schools, but less common at home, mostly due to a dearth of games and pricing. A cheaper version, Electron, was released later to combat this, but too late.

Comment Re:Documentation, Documentation, Documentation. (Score 1) 349

Yeah probably, that's the unfortunate default these days, and in this case would ideally require a second computer with Internet access. The days when software came with thick, well-written *paper* documentation you could have open alongside your computer while you learn are long gone, sadly.

Comment Re:Documentation, Documentation, Documentation. (Score 1) 349

Yes, and how do you propose the home hobbyist learns to use the system he or she has just hooked up? I'm talking about a friendly, introductory book detailing the types of things the computer can do, a jumping off point, a flavour of the type of tasks people who've never gone behind the GUI before can tackle, not a bloody K&R.

As for Mr Double The Price, yes it probably would be getting on for what the computer cost, but it's not mandatory. What's your point?

Comment Documentation, Documentation, Documentation. (Score 3, Interesting) 349

Looks like a great project. I think a key though will be to have some well-written documentation or tutorials to go with it. For my first computer (Atari 800XL), my Dad just bought a book on BASIC and a book of type-in games, and it was going through those that encouraged me to learn and experiment. Hopefully they can get a hookup with O'Reilly or somebody to produce a companion volume.

Reeeally pie in the sky wish would be for a BBC series to go with it, a la The Computer Programme, Making the Most of your Micro and Micro Live. Never gonna happen sadly. :-(

Comment Re:The US - behind the rest of the world again... (Score 1) 131

Maybe, but it requires a full Sky Player-eligibe Sky account, which means you either have to already be paying extra on your base package for Multiroom or one of the Sports packages. Again, this is in addition to the Xbox Live Gold account requirement. If it was a simple, reasonable monthly fee for access to Sky channels on the Xbox without a dish it'd be a worthwhile proposition for people who aren't already Sky customers. As it is, you already need to be a Sky customer paying in the £40-50 a month region for your packages to benefit.

What we need in the UK is a decent Netflix-style system with unlimited access to a film and television library in the £10-20 a month region, accessible on our existing consoles without any surplus requirements such as the Xbox Live membership or massively overpriced full Sky package.

Comment Could be worse... (Score 1) 533

I suspect often times a bit of extra memory, or a software cleanup would be the solution, and a bit of proactivity on the part of the employer would help. Still, could be worse, I recall my Dad, a journalist, telling me that when he started work in the 60s his typewriter was supplied by the newspaper up front, but he had to pay it off in weekly instalments from his salary. Of course, it was decades rather than months/years before it was obsolete.

Comment Tabloiddot (Score 1) 194

Is it rampant speculation week on Slashdot? First the ridiculous "Apple's handcuffing web apps!" nonsense from the Reg, and now this completely speculative nonsense? /. standards are really slipping. Can we link to some proper journalism please?

Yes, I must be new here.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!