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Comment Matias Quiet Pro (Score 1) 452

Get a Matias Quiet Pro. It's a mechanical keyboard and it's pretty quiet. I have the Laptop Pro which uses the same keyswitches. It's so much better than a rubber dome keyboard.

I'm typing this on my favorite keyboard of all time -- the Apple Extended Keyboard II, but it would never be confused with "not bulky." Plus, you have to get an ADB-USB adapter and, at best, the keyboard will be about 20 years old. That said, they're the best keyboards ever made IMHO and, even at 20 years old, mine still types like new. Plus they're pretty quiet for a mechanical keyboard.

I also love the Model Ms from Unicomp, but those definitely aren't quiet.

Comment A good teacher (Score 1) 226

makes a huge difference. My first comp sci teacher in high school was great. Even as he was teaching us the basics, he gave us very open-ended assignments that encouraged creativity. We were programming Pascal in DOS (and I've dated myself). The last topic he introduced in the first year was the Turbo Pascal graphics unit. Our last major project was to "write a program using the graphics unit." We could literally do anything. Some of the less advanced people just drew pictures on the screen. Others did a choose your adventure-style game. One other kid in the class and I had a friendly competition going to see who could make the better project and we were constantly eyeing the progress of the other and trying to one-up each other. I ended up making a game with some rudimentary physics where you could jump around and shoot at a bad guy. It was a blast, to say the least and I have been hooked on programming ever since.

Unfortunately, my teacher retired at the end of that year, and we brought in a new comp sci teacher. This new guy was very much into teaching to the AP test and took off points if our output deviated slightly from what each each assignment prescribed. I can't imagine that there were many enthusiastic programmers that came out of that environment.

Comment Re:The short version... (Score 1) 233

"full multitasking" is also not desirable. It may make developing an app more difficult, but the user experience is greatly enhanced. I couldn't begin to imagine how annoying it would be for some errant app to start using resources in the background and killing the responsiveness of the foreground app.

There is a good reason they implemented multitasking in the way that they did.

Comment Re:"Power users" don't jailbreak (Score 1) 272

I jailbreak for one reason: tethering. I pay my phone provider for 3GB of data each month and I damn well am going to use my 3GB however I choose. The only "legitimate" route to tethering available to me (on my current provider) is to upgrade to a 5GB plan and *then* pay $15/mo extra for the privilege to tether other devices to my phone.

I am merely doing what the FCC should have been allowing me to do all along: accessing a service that I am paying for.

Comment Re:The End of Ubuntu? (Score 1) 279

Well, I do think the default DE has some importance. At the very least, it shows where the distro's focus lies. I am not a tinkerer when it comes to my UI; I generally like to leave things in their respective default states. I figure, that way I'm using a configuration that has been thoroughly tested. So, when Ubuntu switched to Unity, it meant that I would either need to use Unity (yikes) or I would need to use a different DE which was no longer the focus of Canonical's development team. To me, Unity indicated that Ubuntu wanted to focus on netbooks and tablets. Unity is singularly poorly suited for multi-monitor setups, so I found it to be very lacking for my workstation.

I got a little deja vu, honestly, when Unity came out. It reminded me of when Be, Inc. announced they were going to focus on embedded devices rather than their desktop OS. Suddenly, I was no longer the target user for BeOS. This felt like that. I want to use an OS ( / distro) where I am the target user, or at least not being actively eschewed for some trendy new market.

Comment Re:Just uninstall it (Score 1) 657

Macs aren't any better. They leave configurations behind. :P

except that Macs don't come with crapware preloaded.

Nor do iPhones for that matter.

I also discovered that Dell doesn't put (much) crapware on their Precision line. I bought a Precision laptop a few months ago and it had a few harmless Dell utilities and one trial version of TrendMicro which I could have avoided had I been paying attention to the custom build configuration. (You can turn the TrendMicro trial off) The Precision is a very solid machine and virtually no crapware. Can't say the same for the equivalent Lenovo. I ordered a ThinkPad W530 (an *expensive* machine) for a coworker and it came preloaded with as much crap as you'd expect on a $500 Acer laptop.

Comment Re:Misleading Summary (Score 1) 734

You shouldn't have go through linguistic gymnastics to determine whether or not your official party platform opposes the teaching of critical thinking skills in schools. Really ... it's not something that should be even a little ambiguous.

Read that again:

We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills, ... critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education ...

I think a fair reading of that is that they consider all teaching of critical thinking skills to be a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education and, therefore, the platform opposes all teaching of critical thinking. If they, in fact, do not oppose all teaching of critical thinking skills, then that is very poorly worded.

Not only is UNIX dead, it's starting to smell really bad. -- Rob Pike