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Comment: Re:Best Wishes ! (Score 1) 303

by mrchaotica (#47525853) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

All other things being equal, I would probably go with NT. But all other things don't seem to be so equal. MSDOS was simple and ran well on minimal hardware. NT isn't simple and doesn't seem to run all that well on slow CPUs.

MSDOS certainly was simple: it was 16-bit, it lacked preemptive multitasking, and each program was limited to 64kB of memory (that other processes were not prevented from overwriting)!

We have a couple of EEE PCs around the house running XT and Windows 7. They are both terminally slow.

Before, you were talking about the mid-90s (i.e., NT vs Windows 3.1 or 95). Other than compatibility with legacy DOS stuff, it's hard to argue that 3.1 or 95 was better than NT 3.5 or 4.0 in any way whatsoever.

Your problems with Windows XP or 7 on EEE PCs is not due to the NT architecture, but rather all the shit Microsoft piled on top of it. If Windows 2000 had the drivers, your EEE PCs would do better with it.

Comment: Re:Advantages? (Score 1) 96

by mrchaotica (#47525715) Attached to: Comcast Carrying 1Tbit/s of IPv6 Internet Traffic

Do you really expect the average user to know about IPs, ports, TCP/UDP etc.? That's not very realistic.

No, I expect users who want to run services that listen on ports (which makes them not "average!") to know about those things.

I don't agree that a safe alternative is impossible - there's no magic power that packets have to hack a computer. Any failings are due to poorly written software.

It's even less realistic to expect software -- especially the crap software the "average user" uses by default -- to become any less poorly written in the near future.

Comment: Re:How things become property (Score 1) 6

by PopeRatzo (#47525331) Attached to: Property is Moral Opposite of Liberty

What exactly is "free for the taking"? Water? How much may I have? All of it? Half? Or only as much as I need? Do I get more if I want to take a bath, or bathe my dog, or add chemicals and pump it into the earth at high pressure to extract oil?

There's a problem with seeing anything as "free for the taking". There's always a cost. Always a value. To me, to you, to everyone.

Best to ask your neighbors, "Hey, there's water running under my land, you wanna see if we can put in a well and use it? If we pitch in, we can all use the water. That's more useful than putting up a fence, sucking up all the water and then selling it for $1/gallon. Because eventually, your neighbors will cut your throat unless you can hire some of them to protect you from the others, and that will eat into your profits.

Ain't nothing free for the taking. Think of it as free for the sharing. Even, to some extent, yourself. Do you really "own" yourself?

Former CIA spy and writer Robert David Steele talks about a very interesting concept: "true cost accounting". It means that you have to figure in externalities when you derive price. When you go down that road, capitalism starts to look very different. It's like seeing it for the first time. I recommend his books, especially "Open Source Everything". Not so much because I agree with everything he says, but because he forces you to see things differently.

Comment: Re:Advantages? (Score 1) 96

by mrchaotica (#47524961) Attached to: Comcast Carrying 1Tbit/s of IPv6 Internet Traffic

The problem with that is how many home users know how to configure the firewall? There are legitimate reasons to have incoming connections.

And if your use case includes one of those legitimate reasons, then it's your responsibility to know enough about security to configure the firewall. It is fundamentally impossible for there to be a safe alternative to this!

Comment: Re:Death bell tolling for thee.... (Score 1) 303

by PCM2 (#47524277) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

Sure. Here's a transcript of the earnings call. (You may need to register to read it.)

Nadella does say, early on in his prepared comments, that, "We will streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system for screens of all sizes."

Later during the Q&A session, however, he was asked about how this "one version for all devices" would change the number of Windows SKUs that are available, and he said this:

Yes. My statement Heather was more to do with just even the engineering approach. The reality is that we actually did not have one Windows; we had multiple Windows operating systems inside of Microsoft. We had one for phone, one for tablets and PCs, one for Xbox, one for even embedded. So we had many, many of these efforts. So now we have one team with the layered architecture that enables us to in fact one for developers bring that collective opportunity with one store, one commerce system, one discoverability mechanism. It also allows us to scale the UI across all screen sizes; it allows us to create this notion of universal Windows apps and being coherent there.

So that’s what more I was referencing and our SKU strategy will remain by segment, we will have multiple SKUs for enterprises, we will have for OEM, we will have for end-users. And so we will – be disclosing and talking about our SKUs as we get further along, but this my statement was more to do with how we are bringing teams together to approach Windows as one ecosystem very differently than we ourselves have done in the past.

Lots of hedging in there. You don't need a single, converged OS to give developers "one store, one commerce system, one discoverability system." Those are all ancillary functions. A "team with the layered architecture" doesn't sound like every version of Windows is going to share the same layers. And clearly nothing about Windows is going to be simplified from the customer's perspective; there will still be six or eight SKUs, with each offering different benefits.

Rather, I take Nadella's comments to mean he's streamlining the OS engineering group so that the people working on each Windows platform work in tandem with the others and they all have similar goals, milestones, etc (good).

I also take it to mean that Microsoft will offer developers who are building so-called Modern apps a common set of APIs that will be available on the various form factors, so they eventually should only have to write their apps once and they will run on every kind of device. That sounds OK, but it's only going to be true for Windows Store apps -- and to achieve that, you don't need every device to be running an identical OS.

In other words, no Holy Grail here, but Microsoft is streamlining and rationalizing its OS engineering efforts, which makes good sense at this juncture.

Comment: Re:STEM is the new liberal arts degree (Score 1) 156

by mysidia (#47524179) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

and have used the calculus and statistics required for my CS degree precisely never. And honestly there are hardly any professions that need either of these disciplines.

It's not that everyone absolutely has to have the knowledge to get by: it's that it is useful.

You use it, or lose it.

Chances are, in one way or another --- what you learned in Calculus helped you.

Either that, or you never really learned calculus, or you just did the homework, and you forgot about it after the test: instead of exploring.

Things you learned there can make your job easier now, or they can help you accomplish some tasks faster or more accurately, and maybe even do some things you couldn't do otherwise, if you actually learned and retained them.

Don't tell me you write computer software and never had a need to numerically approximate a figure or categorize something probalistically, such as... is it Spam or Not spam? What's the best route to draw on the map to give your user some driving directions?

Which product is the most relevant to recommend to this customer?

Comment: Re:STEM is the new liberal arts degree (Score 1) 156

by mrchaotica (#47524099) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

Even as (currently) a business web app programmer, the more mathematical/theoretical parts of my CS education come in handy from time to time for things like understanding why our decimal and/or floating-point calculations were coming out wrong or rounding funny when such things mystified my much more experienced coworkers.

Always think of something new; this helps you forget your last rotten idea. -- Seth Frankel

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