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Comment: Re:HDD endurance? (Score 1) 125

by gigaherz (#48537665) Attached to: Consumer-Grade SSDs Survive Two Petabytes of Writes
HDDs usually die from mechanical failure rather than the magnetic surface wearing out. I'm not aware of the surface wearing out being something to worry about, since all the headers do is spin around the magnetic poles on the material. But the headers can scratch the surface causing bad sectors, the stepper motors can die, etc. In some cases it's possible to recover critical information by placing the platters on a non-damaged disk, although opening a modern HDD has to be done inside very clean rooms so that no dust gets inside the disk.

Comment: Re:Evolution not revolution (Score 1) 36

A sufficiently fast evolution can easily be called a revolution. The industrial revolution was actually just an evolution of industry, yet everyone does know it as a revolution. Why? Because it happened really fast.

The title does say it *could* revolutionize. It may just be a small improvement, or fail completely, but it could be a revolution if it suddenly brings fast, cheap, high-density memory in a scale much greater than Flash memory is able to provide.

Comment: Re:So what's Metro? (Score 1) 545

by gigaherz (#47933587) Attached to: What To Expect With Windows 9

The only hardware-accelerated operations of the GDI are color filling, blitting, alpha-blending, and stretching (with or without alpha). Everything related to drawing shapes (polygons, curves, ...), text, and any UI operation using alternate merging operators (such as XOR, anything but copy and blend), is done in the CPU. It is still partially hardware-accelerated since Windows 7 and up support drawing directly into GPU memory, where Vista had to synchronize the RAM copy with the VRAM copy.

If anything feels snappier in older OSes, it would be because before XP, Microsoft still supported old hardware blitters, such as what was used by DirectDraw. Support for hardware blitting was lost with the switch away from the Win9X architecture and embracing NT. I may be remembering wrong on this, but I believe XP was missing the faster blitting, but didn't support the same level of hardware-acceleration as newer versions of Windows, so in theory, it should have been the least snappy of all...

As to the % of applications using GDI, I'd make it more like >95%, and I'm being conservative. The only application I know for certain uses Direct2D or Direct3D for the interface drawing would be Visual Studio 2010 or newer. And XUL-based applications such as Firefox, where d2d/d3d is supported and available. As far as I know even Java applications which custom-draw the GUI end up doing so with GDI functions.

Comment: Re:So what's Metro? (Score 1) 545

by gigaherz (#47933577) Attached to: What To Expect With Windows 9
Yes. WinRT is where COM meets Silverlight. It's a .NET-like API based on something that looks quite a lot like COM, but isn't exactly COM (IIRC), and uses a GUI toolkit based around the XAML language, like Silverlight. And like Silverlight, applications run in a walled garden, unlike proper WPF programs which also use the XAML language. Note that XAML has different dialects, and you can't do exactly the same in them. Sadly.

Comment: Re:So what's Metro? (Score 3, Informative) 545

by gigaherz (#47923139) Attached to: What To Expect With Windows 9
Modern UI apps use the WinRT libraries to draw hardware-accelerated GUIs, using a dialect of the XAML language already present in the WPF and Silverlight libs. Standard desktop apps use the old win32 windowing system so they miss that hardware-acceleration -- unless they are made in .NET with WPF or Silverlight, in which case they will draw using Direct3D9 even in XP.

Comment: Re:Bring back windows XP. (Score 1) 545

by gigaherz (#47923095) Attached to: What To Expect With Windows 9

XP was complete bloat by 2001's standards. Windows 7 was made lighter than Vista, after people complained about Vista the same way people complained about XP.

The only reason XP doesn't feel bloated right now, is because it's 13 years old and 10 years obsolete -- since it can't do a lot of things OSes are expected to do (not by you obviously). The biggest mistake Microsoft made wasn't Vista's expectation of a decent computer, nor windows 8's oversimplification. It was letting people grow used to XP for way too long.

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