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Comment: Context (Score 2) 36

by Bruce Perens (#49782349) Attached to: SpaceX Cleared For US Military Launches

This ends a situation in which two companies that would otherwise have been competitive bidders decided that it would cost them less to be a monopoly, and created their own cartel. Since they were a sole provider, they persuaded the government to pay them a Billion dollars a year simply so that they would retain the capability to manufacture rockets to government requirements.

Yes, there will be at least that Billion in savings and SpaceX so far seems more than competitive with the prices United Launch Alliance was charging. There will be other bidders eventually, as well.

Comment: Re:Like the companion app (Score 1) 64

by TheRaven64 (#49781067) Attached to: Microsoft Bringing Cortana To iOS, Android
Apple used to ship iSync with OS X, which could sync calendars and contacts with a wide variety of phones via bluetooth or a cable. It also had a nice plug-in architecture for adding new sync clients (and new kinds of data to sync). They also had some Bluetooth integration with the address book app, so when someone called your phone you'd get a pop-up on the screen of who it was and could send SMS directly from the address book. All of these features disappeared with the first OS X release after the iPhone and were replaced with cloud-base syncing that only worked with the iPhone.

Comment: Re:Just stick to the mantra (Score 1) 106

by TheRaven64 (#49773763) Attached to: No, Your SSD Won't Quickly Lose Data While Powered Down
Online copies are just RAID done at the file level instead of the block level. The reason that RAID is not considered a substitute for a backup is that user error or a compromise can damage all online storage. If your backups are online, they are not backups, they're just redundancy.

Comment: Re:Meanwhile OS/2 and Xenix existed (Score 1) 386

by TheRaven64 (#49761245) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

enough ram to run without swap file thrashing. Price was high as well

These two are related. OS/2 needed 16MB of RAM to be useable back when I had a 386 that couldn't take more than 5MB (1MB soldered onto the board, 4x1MB matched SIMMs). Windows NT had the same problem - NT4 needed 32MB as an absolute minimum when Windows 95 could happily run in 16 and unhappily run in 8 (and allegedly run in 4MB, but I tried that once and it really wasn't a good idea). The advantage that Windows NT had was that it used pretty much the same APIs as Windows 95 (except DirectX, until later), so the kinds of users who were willing to pay the extra costs could still run the same programs as the ones that weren't.

Comment: Re:For me it's Windows NT 3.1 (Score 1) 386

by TheRaven64 (#49761223) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0
I never ran 3.0 on a 386 to try that. On Windows 3.1 it wouldn't work, because the OS required either (286) protected mode or (386) enhanced mode. Running 3.0 on a 386, the DOS prompt would use VM86 mode (yes, x86 has had virtualisation support for a long time, but only for 16-bit programs). Windows 3.0 could run in real mode, so would work inside VM86 mode. In real mode, it didn't have access to VM86 mode (no nested virtualisation), so probably couldn't start again.

Comment: Re:OS/2 better then windows at running windows app (Score 1) 386

by TheRaven64 (#49760671) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0
And Windows 3.1 lost real mode support. You could run Windows 3.0 on an 8086 with an EGA screen and 640KB of RAM (I did - the machine originally shipped with GEM). I think 3.1 still have 286 protected mode support, but didn't work very well unless you ran it in 386 enhanced mode. It was a bit sad that the version of Windows that required an MMU didn't use it to implement memory protection...

Comment: Re:*shrug* (Score 1) 386

by TheRaven64 (#49760611) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

Sort of. The desire not to cannibalise sales was a key factor in the design of the PC, but these were also features that IBM didn't think would be missed.

IBM knew what multitasking was for: it was to allow multiple users to use the same computer with administrator-controled priorities. Protected memory was for the same things. Why would you need these on a computer that was intended for a single user to use? A single user can obviously only run one program at a time (they only have one set of eyes and hands) and you can save a lot in hardware (and software) if you remove the ability to do more. And, of course, then no one will start buying the cheap PCs and hooking them up to a load of terminals rather than buying a minicomputer or mainframe.

Comment: Re: *shrug* (Score 1) 386

by TheRaven64 (#49760579) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0
My father's company got their first Windows 3.0 install because they bought a diagram tool (Meta Design, I think), that came with a free copy. The company that made it had decided that bundling a copy of Windows 3.0 was cheaper than writing (or licensing) a graphical toolkit for DOS and an associated set of printer drivers. I don't know if they were the only company to do this, but after a year or so they stopped bundling Windows and just expected their customers to either have a copy already or go and buy one.

Comment: Re:Corollary: It's difficult to be "clever" in Jav (Score 2) 413

by Waffle Iron (#49743689) Attached to: The Reason For Java's Staying Power: It's Easy To Read

It is not difficult to be "clever" at all. Look at various "bean" frameworks. Use their object marshaling features. Throw in some of their aspect-oriented programming features.

Now you usually have a bloated, incomprehensible mess. Sure you can easily read any couple of lines of code in isolation. But the system as a whole is a huge pile of gratuitous redundant layers of abstraction and confusing action-at-a-distance creepiness.

"For the man who has everything... Penicillin." -- F. Borquin

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