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Comment: Re:Well... (Score 2, Insightful) 385

by justinb26 (#31961518) Attached to: Confessions of a SysAdmin

I agree with you on some points, but disagree on others.

I agree that most of the problem is crappy software. It does, however, make me appreciate the truly good software even more.

I agree that there is something to be said for understanding how everything works to a fine degree. However, I think that ability to mentally "chunk" systems you don't care about, and just think of them on a high level, is absolutely crucial to progress. I also think that kids today will find the same kind of joys writing XNA games, or iPhone apps, or fooling around and making "cool stuff" in just about any language.

I also think that it's possible to constuct a useful conceptual framework of the underlying layers without needing to know what's going on down the nth degree. Depending on how you look at it, that 16k program that you think you grok completely, depends on the interplay of concepts all the way down to the subatomic level. With respect to understanding how your program works, do you really need to know the specifics?

Likewise, if I'm programming in a language, interpreted by a VM, memory managed, providing frameworks to do things like render graphics, play sound, interpret input, etc, do I really need to understand how an ALU works to fully understand my program? I don't think so.

(Playing devil's advocate a bit, as I'm quite obsessive about understanding things from the bottom up. But I understand that this is a personal quirk, and that it's not necessary, given reliable substrates and effective models)

Comment: Re:"Successfully"? (Score 1) 293

by justinb26 (#31851588) Attached to: The iPad vs. Microsoft's "Jupiter" Devices

Fair enough calling him out on asserting an absolute. However, I do think the sales numbers (considered alongside positive reviews and lots of press) are a pretty solid indicator that the device is on track to do well.

If this is not the case, of course, it should be fairly easy to find a counter-indicator: a reasonably comparable device (computer, game system, laptop, etc) with first week sales numbers of similar magnitude, that went on to flop in the first year. I didn't have much luck though, maybe your google-fu is stronger.

Comment: Re:"Successfully"? (Score 2, Insightful) 293

by justinb26 (#31851442) Attached to: The iPad vs. Microsoft's "Jupiter" Devices
It's also on track to break a million units this month, and they just had to push the international ship date back a month to allow for demand in the states. Cognitive Dissonance is a powerful thing. At this point the people screaming about how the ipad is lame and doesn't fill a need and no-one will buy it, are so invested in spreading hate and shitting on the iPad, that it would be more difficult to admit a mistake than to just stick to their position regardless of how ridiculous it's become.

Comment: Re:400k sold through as of last week. (Score 1) 536

by justinb26 (#31840604) Attached to: WePad Tablet Will Use Linux To Rival the iPad

Calling someone a liar, because you redefined their words to suit your needs, is kind of a douchebag move.

http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20100405/apple-300000-ipads-sold-on-first-day/
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=ipad+first+day+sales

The industry uses the term "sold" pretty consistently to cover both direct distribution to end-users and distribution to retail channels. Again, you don't get to decide what the words mean. In the context it was used, the figure is absolutely correct.

Also, 450k in one WEEK* is also a LOT different than 400k in one MONTH. If you're going to go around being an asshole, at least be accurate.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-04-08/apple-unveils-iphone-program-says-450-000-ipads-sold-update1-.html

* - By week, of course I mean 5 days. Note the date on the article. Redefining words is FUN :)

Comment: Re:Slashvert (Score 2, Insightful) 536

by justinb26 (#31838538) Attached to: WePad Tablet Will Use Linux To Rival the iPad
Definitely agree. If they've been working on touch-enabled OpenOffice or Gimp I'd love to see it. Hell, I'd probably toss them on my iPad once it's JB'ed. (Yes, you can compile/install java on iPhoneOS)

However, it seems to me that everybody who's been whining for the last 2-3 months about how the iPad isn't a "real" computer, are going to get exactly what they asked for: A desktop pc crammed into a slate formfactor, running mostly desktop apps.

Sounds a lot less useful than either a desktop OR an iPad to me.

Comment: Re:early adaptor? (Score 1) 374

by justinb26 (#31755010) Attached to: iPad Progress Report
Judging by your username, I'm going to guess you're a developer. If so, you understand how fiercely users will cling to the status quo, however inefficient or obsolete it may be.

Are you saying that technology should be first and foremost about keeping users in their comfort zone? Because I think we're muddying the line between "familiar" and "intuitive". Apple will gladly torpedo one to achieve the other.

Comment: Re:CmdrTaco drags big brass ones along the ground (Score 3, Informative) 750

by justinb26 (#31737968) Attached to: iPad Review
Just curious if you said the same thing about the ipod and iphone?

FWIW, since Saturday I've used it for:
Remote Desktop/VNC/SSH
Extra Monitor
Gaming system (most pleasant surprise: playing multiplayer games with my kids on a single screen)
Music Player
Web Browser
Television
Calendar
Ebook reader/Comic Reader/Interactive Children's Story Reader
"Interactive Educational Tool" (Exploring elements and molecules, etc with my older son)
Musical Instrument
Sketchbook

... and this is before the jailbreak is released, after which you can add "unix workstation" to that list.

Comment: Re:CmdrTaco drags big brass ones along the ground (Score 5, Insightful) 750

by justinb26 (#31737682) Attached to: iPad Review
Let's hit a couple points:

Touch keyboards seem a lot more limiting when you touch type 80+ wpm on a physical keyboard. Grandma's hunt-and-peck speed isn't going to be affected much. There are stands and docks available. I paired a random folding bluetooth keyboard last night with no hassle.

There are plenty of multi-IM chat programs. Most are not updated for ipad yet, but they work fine for the time being via upscaling. Keep in mind this is a device with 150k+ compatible apps on launch day, plus hundreds of native ones, and most developers NEVER EVEN TOUCHED THE DEVICE before releasing v1 of their ipad software. That fact continutes to amaze me.

How did you want it to support MS office, that you think it doesn't do so? Obviously you're not talking about file format compatibility through the iWork apps, the third party Office-compatible apps, or published apps via Citrix (not to mention VNC/RDP)? Is the problem that this thing doesn't have a native version of the MS Office suite (on day 1 no less)? Are you really surprised by this?


Now, the continued outcry over Flash support is just stupid. Flash was never a good solution for online video, it just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Flash games are not exactly crucial to my online experience, but YMMV. Most importantly, the majority of flash apps are NOT MADE FOR TOUCH INTERFACES: http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2010/02/20/an-adobe-flash-developer-on-why-the-ipad-cant-use-flash/

(tl;dr - Flash apps make heavy use of "hover", something that makes no sense on a touch UI (yes, I have a wacom-based tablet and understand how that tech works. that's a pen interface, not a touch interface).



I'm still trying to wrap my head around this fact: there is now a $500, 10", 1.5lb, .5" thick, slate formfactor, 10 hours battery life, fast, 3d accelerated, multitouch freakin' tablet on the market. It runs an OS built for multitouch. There are over 150,000 apps available on launch day.

And people are falling all over themselves to complain about it.

The iPad is something out of Star Trek or HHGTTG, the sort of thing nerds have been dreaming about for decades. Yet there are people for whom the most important aspect of this is the lack of flash (and a camera, and a desktop OS, and it's too heavy, and the bezel's too big, and the app store is evil, and, and, and)...

Way to really, really miss the point. These are most likely the same people that said the same sort of things about the iPod, the iPhone, the Wii, hell, probably the color tv and automatic transmission, too.

Bottom line is that the iPad is a glimpse at what the future of (casual) computing is going to look like. If you don't want to get onboard, that's fine, but don't cry when you realize the train has left the station without you.

In 1869 the waffle iron was invented for people who had wrinkled waffles.

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