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Comment Re:Projectors? (Score 1) 101

- Projectors cast shadows when you walk in front of them.
- They generally get duller or break more than a TV over time.
- They are just as - if not more - expensive as a TV over time.
- They get hot, and can be noisy, and sound often sucks compared to an equivalent TV (granted, some people have separate audio systems).
- As you said, you can get 720p. I had that on a monitor back in the 1990's. In fact, I'm pretty sure I beat that quite handsomely. HD is a downgrade for anyone that was used to the first wave of 22" LCD monitors. 720p barely cuts it on a large projected screen (and I'm one of those people who doesn't see the need for HD even!). TV's are going into 4k as we speak, and that means huge res at huge size where you CAN utilise all that resolution.
- You've got to go some to pull a 65" TV off the wall. Projectors can be pulled from even ceiling mounts and put under a coat (trust me, I've filled out the insurance forms for work).

I work in schools. We have DOZENS of projectors on site. Even in a massive industry like education, we're all moving to large-screen touch TV's for the above reasons. Even fancy short-throws mounted above the boards are no longer in vogue.

Projectors have a lot of problems that TV's don't have. The only advantage is (sort of) portability, but for any serious setup, you wouldn't be able to move it around anyway.

Comment Sigh (Score 1) 41

What with this, nVidia Shield (rubbish but still in the market) and Steamboxes being virtually all nVidia, I can't help but carry on doing what I've done for many years now.

ATI for 2D graphics on servers, if it's pre-integrated.
Intel for 2D graphics for clients, if it's pre-integrated.

Everything else (i.e. the whole point of having a 3D graphics card) has to be nVidia.

Comment Re:Still Crap on Linux (Score 2) 41

The problem is that the "driver" nowadays isn't really a driver. The hardware still pushes the same shaders etc. to the card, over a standardised bus.

The problem is that the "driver" nowadays is a bunch of shortcuts and re-optimised shaders for particular operations, which are heavily dependent on how the games operate and basically "overrules" what the game wants the shaders to do, for the sake of per-game performance increases by sacrificing things that are sub-optimal on that particular card / game combination. Why else do you think that "new game X" suddenly needs a driver update to work when the game is using DirectX and the card is compliant with that level of DirectX?

In essence, this is tied quite tightly to DirectX. So the reason that the "drivers" often suck is that they are Windows-specific bodges to increase performance for individual games. That won't translate to even a Linux/OpenGL port of the same game on the same hardware, let alone for EVERY OpenGL game on EVERY Linux on ALL supported hardware.

And the investment is not in making a particular hardware faster, or pushing more texels over the standardised buses than before, but in optimising the hardware response for a particular game - which is labour-intensive and has to be redone for every game on every platform for each supported card.

Comment Re:necessary ? think not. (Score 1) 91

One of them.

In case you haven't noticed, an awful lot of households have not only broadband but multiple devices - PC in the lounge, several laptops across kids and parents, a handful of tablets, not to mention a smartphone each most likely. And not just in the richest households. The number of "Posted from device-name"'s I see on Facebook by people who claim to have no money is stupendous.

Add in Netflix, CCTV, phone services, streaming TV, etc. and it quickly adds up.

As time goes on, the bottleneck will be the wireless first - admittedly - but it won't be long before we'll have to get on-board with things like 5Gbps.

One of those stream you describe will wipe out most UK household's standard broadband today. That means dad can't get online because of kids streaming their movies. Multiply by the number of people in the house and you can easily use up even the top "home" broadband available by someone wanting to watch the football while someone else is watching their favourite movie (we max out somewhere around 152Mbps before you get into specialist packages for the UK).

How long would 1Gbps buy you? Not much. 5Gbps might buy you more.

But until there's a product you can actually buy, this is just a pre-Slashvertisement from a never-heard-of company.

Comment Headline (Score 1) 91

Sounds more like:

"Unheard of start-up announces that next year they may have a highly-contended 'up to' 5 Gbps fibre* broadband service available for the price of pretty serious leased line now which would probably give you better service overall anyway"

The business one is £1500 a month. I can get quite a lot of leased line for that. And quite how many people could afford even the personal one, I'm not sure. I'm a geek and I couldn't.

*They are British, spell it the British way.

Comment Re:No, modern storage methods are even worse (Score 1) 76

I still have the earliest CD-R's from my university days, still perfectly readable. And that was the era of 2x read on CDROM and 1x write if you were lucky, no such thing as RW back then. And you bought the cheapest disks you could find because they cost a fortune, so I wasn't buying those gold-layered things, just the cheapest green-or-purple dye things from wherever had them in stock (pretty much pre-online ordering).

I have about 50-60 disks, each two copies because of the scare stories, and they all read identically and are intact. In fact one of them burned with a mastering error immediately and it was picked up by an immediate verify. I noticed that it was a single-byte change, noted it on a slip of paper that I stuck to the CD and - to this day - you can pull that disc out of it's sleeve, put it in a laptop, read the CD into an ISO, change that one byte back to what the piece of paper in there says, and the entire disk reads just fine (there are CRCs and integrity checks on the internal formats, e.g. original PKZIP etc. too in case you think I'm just not checking properly).

CD-R media has a long life, so long as you handle it nicely and store it in a room and not a damp basement.

To be honest, I have a 20Mb hard drive floating about somewhere. If it works on my IDE->SATA->USB convertors, I'd take a good guess that the MS DOS on there is still perfectly intact. All my other drives - spinning or not - that I have from after that era are just fine and I keep EVERY drive (I tend to buy a drive twice as big, copy the old drive over to the new, expand the partitions, then file the old drive, and repeat every time I run out of room). Some of them are still spinning and have been for years, some of them are in a box. I've never had problems with them.

USB sticks? No idea, I don't keep them long enough to worry about. SSD's, I doubt anyone has had them long enough to see them become unreadable just from age but I could be wrong (1Tb SSD drive in my laptop at the moment, copied from the previous 1Tb HDD which was a copy of my 500Gb Windows 7 drive, which was a copy of it's 128Gb Windows XP predecessor, etc. etc. etc.).

I don't know what you people do to your disks but I have a bunch of floppies from the 80's in work that still work just fine. I work in education and it's still not unusual for someone to pop up with a 3.5" thing with some software on it that "it's vital they get the kids onto immediately". Only those disks that have been abused can't be read back.

Whether you have the capability to run the resulting program on modern Windows at all... that's a bigger question entirely.

Comment Re:Let's face it ... (Score 2) 125

In some states of the US, it still is admissible, via roundabout methods.

But, as my favourite saying - in all CIVILISED countries, such bunkum isn't admissible in court.

It's nonsense. And they're using it to "detect terrorists". Which thus equates nonsense with what's supposed to be a serious, life-critical, global problem. That's how seriously they take it.

So either every sensible scientist in the civilised world is wrong and lie detectors are actually NOT a load of bunkum, or seeking out terrorists and spies isn't important enough to put REAL techniques, resources, effort and time into and it's all just a show.

Either you're an idiot or the rest of the world is. And the US can't admit that *IT* is being the idiot here.

You may as well be reading their fucking horoscope as performing polygraphs on these people. Scary thing is that people have gone to the chair - or worse - because of this bollocks.

Comment Re:Glitchy mess (Score 1) 67

Because that isn't the typical experience. For a start, the guy gets into driver parameters, testing kernels, and compiling from git. None of that is typical at all, hence why the Ubuntu etc. installation instructions say nothing about that. All a newbie user would know would be that some of his hardware isn't picked up in one particular distro. Maybe some older kernels work - who knows, did they test? What about the kernels in a STABLE version of a Linux distro that's aimed at first-time users? Did that work? I'm guessing you have no answer because you haven't tried.

(And, most importantly here, if that person was you, DID YOU REPORT THE BUGS? No? Thanks a lot for smearing bad news across the Internet without even giving people a chance to fix it).

However, it's like comparing my latest foray into IBM BladeCenter servers. On boot from a standard Windows 2012R2 install disk, they crash. That's it. BSOD and end of game. With a 10-minute BIOS boot, it doesn't matter how long you try, it still just crashes before it gets into Windows.

You have to create the support DVD from IBM-supplied drivers yourself. They don't supply one. This involves several HOURS of downloading, lots of disk space and knowing exactly what components you have in your blade server. Down to the difference between an HS23 (1506) blade and an HS23 (8883) blade, for example.

Then you have to burn that to a DVD (because it's too large for CD). Boot EVERY blade from that one by one, which runs off and updates 20-30 items of firmware on the blades and server and RAID card and AMM, and network card and all kinds of other internal hardware. It can take a day for a fully occupied BladeCenter. Then it lets you chain-boot into a Server 2012R2 install CD that you've got to slipstream the latest patches into.

Then AND ONLY THEN does it allow you to boot up into plain Windows without BSOD on bootup, so you can get on with actually installing the proper Windows drivers instead of the Microsoft-supplied ones, configuring the damn thing in terms of network, storage,etc.

Sounds like a horror story? It is. But it's got nothing to do with the Windows CD that Microsoft supply, in the same way that latest-laptop-model-with-Windows-support-only-not-yet-supported-on-Linux has nothing to do with some inherent flaw in Linux.

Typical experience with Linux is more generally "Okay. That seems to have worked. What do I do now?" (which is pretty much Linux use in a nutshell) while sitting at an unaccelerated login screen. I know, I've deployed Linux in schools, and we do it as part of some courses, and I've shown lots of people how to use it.

P.S. If I grab the latest laptop off the production line and slap plain Windows on it, likely I will have similar problems. How do I know? I do it all day long. Best ones are when the wireless or network just won't work, so it can't get to Windows Update to get the rest of the drivers for the machine. And sometimes even the Windows Update drivers just crash the thing or don't work at all. The newer the laptop, the bigger the problem you get.

Would you like me to describe the problem with a brand-new B5400 Lenovo laptop I had that consisted of ONLY joining open wireless networks and not encrypted ones, where only the left half of the touchpad worked properly, the network card didn't work, and the graphics were stuck in 1998 in terms of screen resolutions? Windows is JUST as bad in similar circumstances.

Comment Re:Hands up anyone who's surprised (Score 5, Insightful) 184

It has little to do with the games. Waiting for some magical moment where everything happens and AAA games come out on stable, fast drivers is insanity.

What happens is you get a field-leader, like Steam. They start down the road of Linux. They get several HUNDREDS of games that weren't on Linux onto Linux by encouraging it. This now prompts stories like this where performance OF THE PROPRIETARY AND FREE GRAPHICS DRIVERS is brought to the fore.

The games aren't slow. The OS isn't slow. It's the graphics drivers. Now nVidia are shown up - pushing out flagship products from a major player but let down by the quality of Linux drivers. So they are now encouraged / bullied into making those drivers the equivalent of the Windows drivers. This makes those drivers more popular. More people are going to have cards that use them (even if just Steam Boxes). Now there's slightly more of an excuse for games developers to target Linux too. So now the quality of the drivers matters that little bit more. So nVidia/AMD improve the drivers a little more. Which encourages more benchmarks to show the leaps and bounds. So they get press from it. Which means more developers target SteamOS as part of their engines and platforms. And so on... ad infinitum.

We waited ten years for something to "Just Happen" in terms of graphic driver quality - both free and proprietary - to bring Linux drivers up to par with Windows. It didn't happen. So Valve are breaking the deadlock, removing the stalemate and saying "Your move, nVidia" - one of their partners, who is going to get bad press for having crap Linux drivers. nVidia will respond in time. And, incrementally, things will start to improve.

Good on Valve I say. Good for Linux. Probably not so good for nVidia et al but they've been dragging their feet anyway. And, ultimately, good for the consumer. But if we only used the one thing that worked and is top-speed and competitive and expensive, ATI/AMD wouldn't exist, Windows and nVidia would be on every console, and the situation would be even worse because of the lack of competition. Now that someone's seriously pushing gaming on Linux, and shows these shortfalls to the people SELLING PARTS OF THIS HARDWARE, there might well be a push to get more optimised drivers running on Linux for that hardware.

Comment Boole (Score 2) 287

Can't help thinking about the information about George Boole that I was reading recently.

Despite being the father of swathes of logic, he died in the most illogical way possible.

He walked through the rain for miles, and lectured while still dripping wet for hours. He got ill. He laid up in bed. And his wife thought that the best cure for him was the same thing that made him ill. So she kept throwing buckets of water over him. Which made him worse. So she kept throwing more water over him. Until he died.

I just couldn't help laughing and wondering if he consented to such "treatment".

Comment Re:When they came (Score 1) 287

First they came for the NHS.

Then we told them where to go and where to stick their stupid ideas about making us pay for basic healthcare.

I grew old and got a rare disease and got free treatment no matter my age, income or medical history for as long as it was necessary.

We called it civilisation.

Comment Re:The point is, any treatment should be allowed (Score 2) 287

Not for free and not on the state.

This is about the UK where we provide, like most civilised countries, free healthcare to all.

You won't get homeopathy for free, is what this says. If you want to piss your own money away on it, you're welcome - same as cosmetic surgery, unproven drugs, experimental treatments, Chinese medicine, etc.

But I as a taxpayer am not going to pay for your stupid, proven-no-better-than-placebo "treatments" in preference to buying someone else effective drugs or surgery that they need.

Comment Re:I would actually bet money (Score 5, Insightful) 406

I have some old VB apps from the 3.1 era.

Although it may be technically possible to get them running, it's certainly not as easy as just copying the files across and running the program.

The fact that it is to do with weather suggests it interfaces with hardware of some kind or some external services. That's where you'll REALLY hit problems that just running as admin or renaming files or providing substitutes isn't going to fix.

Good luck getting a driver from the 3.1 era working on anything at all nowadays, even emulated. You would literally just be better off throwing it out, starting again and suffering the inconvenience.

2 pints = 1 Cavort