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Comment: Re:For some it was just a plain black screen (Score 1) 303

Yeah... but Woolworth's is still in business? That's what's newsworthy... every Woolworths store I've ever known has been shutdown for ages.

I work for television production, and luckily those creative types keep Macs persistent in our computer inventory, but most desktops are still Windows; we still use Maya on Windows, and even those lucky enough to get MacBooks get Windows installed (one of our VPs called his MacBook the best Windows computer he ever had).

It's not happening enough to matter. I'm glad I can choose what to work on... yes, I dual boot and select Linux most of the time, but I do have to use Windows for some things, still, and yes, even at home we have Windows boxes (and out of four people, I'm the only one who dual boots).

Comment: Re:Alternatives? (Score 1) 239

by gfxguy (#47654807) Attached to: Patents That Kill
My patent is supposed to benefit society... but it's supposed to benefit me, too. Why shouldn't I be able to "rest on my laurels" for a few years to reap what my work has sewn? Maybe they should be shorter, but inventors should be able to capitalize on their inventions. It doesn't matter to me that "society" doesn't benefit from my holding a patent if they are benefiting from the product I made with it, and they'll get their grubby hands on it soon enough. Why should I have to immediately start competing with people using what I created?

Comment: Re:Yes! (Score 2) 430

by gfxguy (#47600653) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?
Even as an experienced Linux user (slackware from the early 90's), I don't care to spend all my time playing system administrator, I want to get my work done. If I have to spend a lot of time configuring my network card, or sound card, or graphics card, then I might as well use Windows or a Mac. I know a lot of people don't like Ubuntu, but I install it, do a few tweaks, and I can work without problems for at least a year... more if I don't feel the desire to upgrade to the latest version. If I have a problem, the Ubuntu forums are very end user friendly by comparison to other forums.

Comment: Re:Lists of bug fixes don't count as documentation (Score 1) 430

by gfxguy (#47600595) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

No argument there. I'm not a fan of turning on your users and saying "figure it out," but at the same time, if users don't like what they're getting for free they can always pay for something. Ultimately, if the developers are writing for an audience instead of themselves, then it's up to them to provide proper documentation if they want wide acceptance.

Unfortunately, a lot of FOSS projects started out as internal things (or proprietary) that weren't mean to end up as FOSS, but someone finally said "hey, this is neat [or old], let's release it to the community." So are you really going to get on their cases for being "nice" enough to release their stuff without bitching and moaning that, in addition to releasing it, they need to spend vast amounts of time documenting it?

I suggest the vast majority of these free tools and applications started out as something the developer wanted for themselves, and only after it was substantially written (or finished), released to the public... at that point the developer is using it because they know how to use it, and they don't really care if you choose to use it or not.

Comment: Re:Software Documentation is bad everywhere (Score 1) 430

by gfxguy (#47600519) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?
True - but I did say "if they were written well and following some decent formatting conventions." Similar to *doc style documenting... but it would require stories to be written a different way. I was never fond of the "as a user" type stories, anyway, and every feature being shoe-horned into that style of formatting. Still, even if it's not agile, the requirements documents should provide the bulk of end user documentation for software use; I still say that task documentation could be used for code library documentation.

Comment: Re:People hear "Windows 8" and run away (Score 1) 336

by gfxguy (#47600467) Attached to: Windows XP Falls Below 25% Market Share, Windows 8 Drops Slightly

That's fine... as I said earlier, I'm no Windows fanboy; I wrote my first responses at home using Linux, and now at work using Linux. I am certainly not suggesting everyone should run out and upgrade to windows 8.1, I'm saying that, with a couple of tweaks, it's not that bad... and when I upgraded my desktop, given that XP had finally been retired, I decided to get the Windows OS that would have the longest lifetime. I see no valid reasons for people to stick with 7 if they upgrade... install classic shell, and you get a Windows 7 like experience, with better under-the-hood hardware support (and smoother operation, IMO), and the longest potential for support of any Windows OS if you need Windows at all.

As for UI differences using classic shell, I can't think of what "look" is lacking, but I use some systems at work with 7, my wife and kids use 7 (I'm the only dual booter in the house), and - after tweaking - I just don't see a big enough difference to justify the hate bandwagon everybody is on. If all MS did was have the machine boot (or login, in a multi user situation) to the desktop instead of the "tiles," it seems like there'd be very few complaints.

Comment: Re:Yes! (Score 1) 430

by gfxguy (#47600169) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?
Where've you been looking? The Ubuntu forums are generally not bad at all, and in my experience have been very user friendly. I've been using Linux for quite some time; I'm a developer, but don't think everybody should have to be a system administrator in order to use Linux as their desktop. I don't know everything... I write graphics applications. If my network or sound card isn't working, I have just as much of a problem as most newbies.

Comment: Re:Software Documentation is bad everywhere (Score 1) 430

by gfxguy (#47600121) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

I would think there should be automated ways to generate documentation based on the specifications and requirements.

For example, if you're using an "agile" approach, and have your list of stories that need to be addressed, and the developers then create a list of tasks in order to address those stories, the tasks should have enough information to describe what they're doing.... not necessarily implementation details, but if they're writing a function for example, it should document what gets passed in and out and side effects.

The stories would be end user documentation, the tasks developer documentation. That is, if they were written well and following some decent formatting conventions... but that's the problem right there, it's painful even getting users to properly describe the problems they are trying to solve, let alone developers providing *doc type descriptions in their tasks.

Comment: The real culprits are the publishers. (Score 1) 93

by gfxguy (#47600023) Attached to: Apple $450 Million e-Book Settlement Wins Court Approval

I've been reading a description of the case, and what Apple did actually seems fair... Amazon was "dumping" in an effort to eliminate competition. Publishers setting prices is no different than video game console manufacturers setting prices, IMO.

The real crime is charging over $10.00 for an e-book at all. I know all the shills for publishers will say the bulk of the cost is in formatting the books, but to charge just as much... and sometimes MORE, than the printed book is absolutely ridiculous... no paper, no typesetting, no big machinery using copious amounts of electricity, no packaging, no delivery people, no trucks, no gas (no pollution!). On top of that, when you're done reading your e-book you can't give it away or sell it like you can a printed book.

I do not care what the shills are saying the bulk of the costs are now; when I was in college, the publishers justified the outrageous price of text books by talking about printing costs, limited runs, shipping small quantities... now that those costs are eliminated, some e-textbooks cost more? They were lying then, or they're lying now... either way I have no sympathy.

How would I handle this situation? I don't know - perhaps not allowing dumping, for one. I don't understand why the publishers were whining about it anyway - they were getting their money from Amazon, it was Amazon taking the loss, but I do believe that dumping is anti-competitive, and I believe in the free market - but I do believe in regulations that help keep it free. Price fixing, collusion, and dumping do not help keep the free market free.

Comment: Re:People hear "Windows 8" and run away (Score 1) 336

by gfxguy (#47596541) Attached to: Windows XP Falls Below 25% Market Share, Windows 8 Drops Slightly

You nailed the problem, and you're asking why?

I am, because after a single install for classic shell, you get a Windows that functions almost identically to a Windows 7 box, but with better hardware support and smoother under-the-hood experience that seems to work better than XP. So people are whining about having to install a classic shell and tweak a configuration setting to go directly to the desktop instead of the studid tiles screen... and I find it laughable, because whether it's Windows, Linux, or MacOS, I normally spend the first few hours tweaking it to my liking. And I'll repeat what I wrote above (yes, I know, you mentioned IOS and Android, not Linux), that Linux users who complain about having to tweak things are being both moronic and ironic.

I understand some things are different... going to the corners to get a menu, for example, but when you're using the desktop the same way you'd use it in XP or 7, running things from the start menu, double-clicking icons, etc., those other menus are really seldom needed anyway... so people are complaining about something that they would hardly ever use? Getting to the system configuration, for example? If you're system is working, you shouldn't need to visit it every day.... most people will log in, double-click on a few programs to get them running, and use it just like they used 7 or XP before... only Windows 8/8.1, in my experience, runs a lot more smoothly than XP and 7, in my experience.

Granted, the vast majority of the time I'm on my computer I'm using Linux, but I do have to use Windows from time to time, and I just don't get the whining... a lot of people hate MS (not a big fan myself), some of them get all mental when they find molehill to turn into a mountain.

It is much easier to suggest solutions when you know nothing about the problem.