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Comment Re:Their work is being wasted. (Score 3, Informative) 142

Being mostly a KDE user, I don't know why everybody hates GNOME 2, can anybody explain this?

It's Gnome 3 that gave rise to a lot of bile, not Gnome 2. Gnome 2 on the whole was pretty popular.

Gnome 3 has actually come on a long way too. Its big problem when it first appeared was that it removed lots of important functionality, because the developers thought that they knew better than the users, and although the users wanted them, the developers were of the opinion that they *shouldn't* want them. Suddenly all the things that made your desktop a constructive work environment were taken away, and to begin with at least, complaints were ignored.

Over time though it has got better, and there are features of it which I now really miss when I'm using other desktop environments. There a still some really stupid design decisions, and bits that work worse than in earlier versions, but it's got back to being usable.

A few examples of remaining irritants in Gnome 3:

* If you suspend your laptop, then resume, the network manager prompts you to ask whether you want to reconnect to the WiFi point which you were using before. Why? It doesn't prompt you at boot, just after a resume. Yes, of course I want to carry on using the WiFi I was using a moment ago.
* By default, if you drag a window to the top of the screen it causes the window to be maximised. Yes, I know they copied this from some other desktop, but it doesn't make it any less idiotic. It's overloading a gesture to do something different, and leaving you no way to do the old thing which the gesture used to do. It doesn't even make it any easier to maximise a window, because you could always double click on the title bar to achieve the same thing. It does however mean that if you want a number of tall windows (making best use of your large monitor) you have to jump through hoops to achieve what should be easy.

Doubtless others can provide lots of other examples.

Comment Not just in the USA (Score 1) 229

I was amused recently to hear an interview on the radio with the chief exec of Talk Talk (a UK telecoms company whose USP is "we're cheap!"), where she said how pleased she was because for the first time ever they hadn't come bottom in a customer support satisfaction survey.

Having experienced their customer service (my father has broadband from them - because they're cheap), I'm surprised they managed to move off the bottom slot, but then they do have fierce competition from BT.

Comment Re:OS/2 better then windows at running windows app (Score 1) 387

A bit late I know, but I'm having a bit of a tidy-up and I just found a boxed copy of OS/2 Warp (3.00). It comes with:

1 installation floppy
13 floppies containing the base OS
4 floppies with display drivers
3 floppies of printer drivers
14 floppies of additional software

so you're looking at a total of 35 3.5" floppies to install the whole thing.

Comment Re:For me it's Windows NT 3.1 (Score 1) 387

Windows 3.0 (and subsequent in that series) was not an operating system, it was a windowing environment. Remember, it still ran on top of MS-DOS, and it was still effectively single-tasking in that switching tasks paused the previous task.

I remember a frequent help-desk issue from certain users. Once you'd started Windows 3 (on a 386-grade computer IIRC) you could invoke an MS-DOS command prompt from within it, either within a window or full screen. Having started a full screen prompt, the user would then want to return to the windowing environment and so would type "win". This started a second copy of Windows 3 within the first one. I think you could get to about 3 before it stopped working and the plaintive cry for help came. Funnily enough, it was always the same people it kept happening to.

Windows was not a true OS until Windows 95, as I recall the history.

I recall a lot of modifying of the definition of "Operating System" to try to get MS-DOS recognised as being one.

Comment Re:OS/2 better then windows at running windows app (Score 4, Informative) 387

Wasn't there some kind of licensing arrangement that allowed IBM to either use Microsoft libraries or else to have access to the APIs for 16-bit Windows, that did not extend to 32-bit Windows applications?

How short memories are.

When OS/2 was launched it was a joint Microsoft/IBM product, and it was touted (by both) as being the replacement for Windows. That's why and how it had good Windows API support from the start. Then Microsoft saw Windows 3+ starting to become a commercial success and decided it wanted to stay with the Windows branding. It was already working on the next version of OS/2, but split from IBM's path and re-branded the new product as Windows NT. IBM then started their own separate development path and produced OS/2 2.0. Existing agreements with Microsoft enabled them to carry on shipping Windows API binaries.

I still have a t-shirt and bag labelled "Microsoft OS/2" which I picked up at a launch event in Geneva.

Comment Re:Maybe they will move to court instead? (Score 4, Informative) 137

Microsoft hasn't been perfectly open about support ending last April.

Well, not quite open. They have consistently portrayed the situation as being one of support ending last April. The truth is, support for XP did not end last April, and was never planned to. What actually happened is that support went from being free (or at least included in the price of the product) to being a very expensive add-on.

"Sometimes insanity is the only alternative" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.