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Comment New Yorker and open source (Score 3, Insightful) 214 214

I was pleasantly surprised by the New Yorker's coverage of the shift from "free software" to "open source", which while less detailed (unsurprisingly) than other sources such as Free as in Freedom 2.0 also presented it simply as a thing that has happened, rather than either of the extremes that are usually applied: it's the worst affront ever to software freedom, or as the liberation of programmers from the crazy extreme ideology of RMS. Personally I'm more interested in free software than in open source: the source code is a means to an end, not an end in itself. But it's good to see that view handled as a view and the events (and responses to them) presented, without turning the story into a justification or rationalisation of the view. BTW, still waiting for that planned Chaosnet support...

Submission + - How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft

HughPickens.com writes: James B. Stewart writes in the NYT that in 1998 Bill Gates said in an interview that he “couldn’t imagine a situation in which Apple would ever be bigger and more profitable than Microsoft" but less than two decades later, Apple, with a market capitalization more than double Microsoft’s, has won. The most successful companies need a vision, and both Apple and Microsoft have one. But according to Stewart, Apple’s vision was more radical and, as it turns out, more farsighted. Where Microsoft foresaw a computer on every person’s desk, Apple went a big step further: Its vision was a computer in every pocket. “Apple has been very visionary in creating and expanding significant new consumer electronics categories,” says Toni Sacconaghi. “Unique, disruptive innovation is really hard to do. Doing it multiple times, as Apple has, is extremely difficult." According to Jobs' biographer Walter Isaacson, Microsoft seemed to have the better business for a long time. “But in the end, it didn’t create products of ethereal beauty. Steve believed you had to control every brush stroke from beginning to end. Not because he was a control freak, but because he had a passion for perfection.” Can Apple continue to live by Jobs’s disruptive creed now that the company is as successful as Microsoft once was? According to Robert Cihra it was one thing for Apple to cannibalize its iPod or Mac businesses, but quite another to risk its iPhone juggernaut. “The question investors have is, what’s the next iPhone? There’s no obvious answer. It’s almost impossible to think of anything that will create a $140 billion business out of nothing.”

Comment NeXT (Score 1) 266 266

I have a NeXT cube, currently residing in Leicester's retro computing museum. Now that is a nice cube. Luckily mine had a hard drive in. The magneto-optical discs were their day's iCloud or Dropbox, but they were very slow. Particularly for swap.
User Journal

Journal Journal: 9.5 years later...

Well, that was interesting! Last time I wrote here I was just becoming a Mac programmer. Now I'm moving back towards GNOME and GNU. The sad thing is we've probably already gone past peak interesting desktop, and depending on your approach to life it was either Alto or NeXTSTEP. Not much new will be happening there now, even though it could and could be useful and exciting.

Comment My reason (Score 3, Interesting) 592 592

I switched from Debian to OS X in 2004, then from OS X to Ubuntu in 2014. The story of the switch back is told in full here. That meant that the cheapest route for me was to install a distro on my MacBook, because I already owned it :). And it really is good hardware, so I'm happy with the amount I paid for a high-quality laptop that fulfils my needs. The interesting part of the switch for me is the question "why not use OS X"? There are all sorts of bugs in OS X and its applications, just as there are in Linux, GNU and their applications. The difference is that I'm allowed to fix the bugs in GNU, and other people can take advantage of those fixes. So I've been learning about GTK+ and Vala, as well as getting back up to speed with GNUstep, so that when I find a bug I can contribute a fix back. Plenty of other posters have discussed that there are cheaper GNU/Linux-compatible laptop choices, and indeed had I not already owned a MacBook I probably would've considered some of those. But "cheapest" is a non-goal for me, or at least far down the chain below reliable wifi, good battery, solid construction and (to the extent that this is at all an option on any laptop) decent keys.

Comment Re: IDEs with a concept of 'projects'. (Score 1) 421 421

I was doing this with SunRays sharing a Solaris CDE desktop back in 2002. Apparently the past is here, but it isn't evenly distributed. Unfortunately it's not likely to be. With the exception of VNC, most of the remote desktop systems are proprietary so you can't pick up for example a Sunray session on an Android phone. And the proprietary platforms don't uniformly support VNC. It'd be great to see a general cross-platform approach to this, but the vendors are all going for supplying their platforms "as a service" instead.

Comment Re:Quite useless article (Score 1) 172 172

Meh. Back in my day, I had a 64Kb computer which had 65,536 addressable bytes in memory, with 49152 usable outside of the ROM. I never once saw a spurious "i" being inserted into the documentation, and in terms of memory storage there doesn't seem to be any real need for one. Also, we measured storage in minutes. Gerroff my lawn!

Submission + - OpenPandora design files released

janvlug writes: Today, the OpenPandora case and hardware design files have been released for non-commercial use. The OpenPandora is a hand held Linux computer with gaming controls, but essentially it is an all-purpose computer. The OpenPandorra offers the greatest possible degree of software freedom to a vibrant community of users and developers.

Comment Re:Woooo.... (Score 3, Interesting) 91 91

There have been home projects to replicate the spectrum, ula included...
one was called speccybob which replicated the machine in TTL logic, meaning it would be possible to take that design and cram it onto a single chip.

But alas, the person running that project ran into lots of bad luck and had to abort it.

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.

Working...