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Comment: Sponsored by Jobs and Gates (Score 1) 114

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48204817) Attached to: Xerox Alto Source Code Released To Public

They've been copying the design for years, now you can copy the source code too!

Jokes aside, these were groundbreaking machines that determined the next 30 years or so of UI design. It had to be polished a bit to work on personal computers of the day (by Mssrs Gates and Jobs) and unfortunately somewhat cut down. The Alto screens were meant to replace paper, and only now has the price come down enough that we are getting screens with the resolution to rival paper.

Comment: Re:good (Score 1) 319

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48195605) Attached to: 3D-Printed Gun Earns Man Two Years In Japanese Prison

Though this is somewhat a troll (the testosterone part particularly)... YOu do fail to miss a point.

At least in the states, we have the history of the Colonial Independence. We didn't have an army at the time, mostly a bunch of guys with guns that did eventually beat the British (with a bit of help from the French and some Polish help), or at least made subjugating us a bigger pain in the ass than letting us go.

Im sure there are other examples if you search for War for Independence. I need to get other stuff done so I can't research this properly.

This is not a theoretical model, it happened. You can argue that it's unlikely to be done again, but you can't say it's never been done.

Comment: Re:Planned obsolescence (Score 1) 303

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48172543) Attached to: OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review

I'll agree with that... But there is a cost to Apple, in time, money, and support. Maybe it's a bigger hack to them than the machines they planned on. Maybe it's unstable in .1% of configurations. Then that .1% gives their machines a bad name. If you do it as a hack, well, you did it on your own. Your instability is your issue. Or maybe it saps too much battery juice. Maybe the cost/number of machines out there ratio was just substantially worse than some of the newer machines.

I'm not sure what you do for a living, but lets pretend you decided to give away something for free. Say you sold caps and one day you gave away your red hats for free. Then someone bitched that they want a blue hat. They see that the selling prices are the same. Just gimme the damn CAP. But you know that the blue ones cost pretty close to your sales price. You only sell them the same price because you don't think you can get a premium price for them, but are willing to sell for zero profit normally to get people walking in. But, to give away these for free? you just can't justify it with the current cost/future sales argument.

So, the "customer" bitches that they want a free blue cap, and you know it's gonna cost you a lot more to do that. You're doing a huge group (those who are fine with red caps) a favor, but the guy with the blue one bitches you out on Yelp and your sales go down. They don't know what you know, the costs are radically different.

Comment: Re:Planned obsolescence (Score 3, Insightful) 303

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48170097) Attached to: OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review

I'm with you on the eye rolls. I'm not sure how a free upgrade with new features, to an already purchased product constitutes planned obsolescence. I realize language shifts, but planned obsolescence to me is when a product you purchased has a given shelf life where it loses the capability to do what you bought it for. This is a product that still does what you paid for it and actually increased utility, just some features that you didn't pay for anyway you can't use.

Did anyone buy the MacBook in 2011 and say "you know, when they stop charging for OS upgrades, and give out free updates and dozens of new features to the mac and iPhone, i won't be able to use this one new free feature they both get 3 years from now, curse you Apple!"

Comment: Re:This is typical of the "Jobs era" Apple (Score 1) 135

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48135249) Attached to: Apple To Face $350 Million Trial Over iPod DRM

A billion years ago, in System 7 days before Win 95 even came out, I worked in a Mac lab. Not once, but twice, when I told someone to point the mouse to the hard drive on screen, they picked the mouse up off the desk, and jabbed it towards to the screen. They had no mental model of GUIs, it was "well, this is how you point". I didn't laugh at them, either in front of them or after they left. They just used the normal idea of pointing. Nothing hilarious about it, but it does mean they have a very very shallow view of what computing is. Steve Jobs wrote software for those people.

yes, *you* could do the find . -type f > playlist.m3u. But could the person above do that? what the hell is a shell. What does find mean? what's an m3u file? Maybe that was my error above... i didn't say nobody could do it, just the vast vast majority woudn't do it nor want to. I submit that find > somefile.xml would be a lot harder, you probably need to write a real script for this, further making it harder to deal with your device. Again, not saying nobody could do it, just >99% of people wouldn't have the skill nor want to learn.

That playlist XML script? Yeah, I personally did that. For about two weeks. I had my WinXP machine use Cygwin and a series of perl scripts specifically written to write back and forth to the iPod musicDB and some XML. Then manipulate the XML (not hard, but it took a while to get the quoting right). At first it was "hey, I can control the songs better this way..." Then i realized there wasn't a lot I wanted to do with scripts I couldn't do with iTunes. Yeah, In theory there were more things available, just that iTunes did the things I cared about. Eventually I just dropped it all and just used iTunes. Nothing Apple did to get in my way. I already had the Cygwin setup, I didn't have any startup costs any more. It just wasn't fun and wasn't a good use of my time.

Comment: Re:This is typical of the "Jobs era" Apple (Score 1) 135

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48135125) Attached to: Apple To Face $350 Million Trial Over iPod DRM

True, but even then, you're (probably) better off not going after the filesystem directly, but dealing with the XML file that iTunes can generate for you. It has a lot of metadata about rating and playcounts and such that won't be accessible from the filesystem view. But if you can use your system to manage 30K objects, it obviously works and I'd never try to convince you against it.

My issue was mostly with the "everyone would want to deal with filesystem view and why does iTunes exist at all" crowd.

Comment: Re:Actually, they do. (Score 1) 135

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48135103) Attached to: Apple To Face $350 Million Trial Over iPod DRM

A bit meta, but at least it wasn't only me downmodded...

I think slashdot users get a little too technical, and feel others should be exactly the same way as them. But people have different mental models, and different preferences. I do technical things all day. I don't want to have to root my MP3 player to just play a damn file.

I do have one very minor quibble - I don't think they'd necessarily be a Luddite. If anything, their manual manipulation requires a much higher order of mental mapping. To me, it's just why bother. You bought a product that can deal with the tediousness of mapping metadata from two sources (device and user) but for some reason you decide you can do it "better". Meh.

Comment: Re:The factors, condensed (Score 1) 446

by cant_get_a_good_nick (#48131219) Attached to: Statisticians Uncover What Makes For a Stable Marriage

It all depends :)

My folks got married when I was 7 or 8 or so. Yes, I'm a literal bastard, at least technically. But they were "married" long before any ceremony. They fought hard, but there was no question of them separating. My grandma used to tell me a quote from my mom "If I had to live under a tree with him, I would." They nearly did with very little money throughout the relationship. They took it seriously, even with, on the outside, just a City Hall ceremony and never a honeymoon. Contrast that with Kim Kardashian's wedding to Humphries, the wedding in the millions, visible, lots of people at their wedding, very public lives, with them divorcing nearly before the wedding was aired. She didn't take the marriage seriously. The wedding, yeah, great party. But not the marriage.

And even if you do take the wedding seriously, and the marriage, now you're adding 20,000 or so in debt (if you're lucky it's that low) to a relationship. Are you in a space where your relationship can take that hit?

I agree with you on seriousness, but I differ on how much a wedding is an external indicator.

Also, the prenuptual agreement blunted a lot of the monetary deterrent to divorce. I think #3 is less strong than you think. Maybe 30 years ago, but now everyone gets divorced and with the stigma gone, and the monetary pain gone it's less of a problem. Witness Kim K and Humphries above.

One thing missing in the list is communication. My wife and I were raised radically differently. She's somewhat traditional Chinese, me American with lots of foreign influences. Stronger than that, was what we learned on how to fight from our parents. We both had horrible models to follow, but they were 180 degree different models, and in the beginning we blew up hard. We talked it through, and now we're one of the more solid couples I know. But that's hard to quantify. Maybe "how much time do you spend talking to each other a day" or something like that.

Comment: Re:Adoption by large organizations limits extincti (Score 5, Interesting) 547

I agree to this.

We have millions of dollars riding on perl scripts. Yeah, we want to move to python, but while we're on perl we're on perl. There's a lot you can do with maintenance and upgrading to better perl with better constructs.

A language is not like a cellphone. We don't toss perl because the new iPhone is out next week. Perl doesn't fade. There's not a battery that will slowly begin not charging as deeply as time goes on. Perl remains perl. The problem domain doesn't radically shift month by month where we need a new language every month. What we have works.

Help stamp out Mickey-Mouse computer interfaces -- Menus are for Restaurants!