Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Intel - weird failure mode. (Score 2) 164

by marcomarrero (#47250377) Attached to: Endurance Experiment Writes One Petabyte To Six Consumer SSDs

The 8MB problem is an Intel firmware bug (older, non-Sandforce controllers). If you don't care about your data, ATA "security erase" can make it usable again. I think I used the DOS-based hdderase, and after a few problems it went through. Intel's DOS-based flash idiotically ignores the SSD because it identifies itself as "BAD_CTX"...

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 309

by marcomarrero (#47222343) Attached to: Google Engineer: We Need More Web Programming Languages

The only programming language available in all web browsers is Javascript, which is horrendously bad for large projects, even Google and Microsoft made languages that generate Javascript code (Dart, Typescript). Another problem is that Javascript code is plain text, offline apps entire code is easy to read (even after de-ofuscating).

Plugin? On iOS, Apple won't ever allow any plug-in that can run its own apps (everything must be from Apple store).

Comment: Re:Fsck x86 (Score 1) 230

by marcomarrero (#47182283) Attached to: Intel Confronts a Big Mobile Challenge: Native Compatibility

x86 survived because of price/performance caused by fierce competition (Intel, AMD, Cyrix, Rise, Centaur, etc.), and popularity of Windows/DOS. It was fun experiencing how x86 beat faster RISC CPUs (Alpha, PowerPC, Itanium) when there were builds of Windows NT.

Now, people are downgrading to ARM to use their low-power, low-performance portable toys (tablets, smartphones) running inferior operating systems. Sadly, Intel did an horrendous job with the Atom until 2-3 years ago, and Microsoft did even worse releasing the bloated Vista, which was awful for the now-dead netbook market.

Atoms are finally good enough, but still, the absurd 2GB RAM limit, and high power consumption (most Windows tablets can't charge from USB hub or PC) is still not good enough for Windows 8 (the real one, not RT).

And, please don't teach your kids x86 ASM. Modern C++ compilers generate good optimized code, runtime libraries are optimized. Besides, x86 code looks backwards, instruction set origins are from a 1970 terminal! (datapoint 2200), has endianness from hell, few registers, etc.

Comment: Re:How about Microsoft Access? (Score 1) 281

I agree, it might qualify for non-profit versions of Windows. If Access doesn't qualify, anyway the MS Access Runtime is free. It's the full MS Access, w/o menus or IDE, although all menu options are available from VBA. Access Runtime might work in Wine, but I don't think the EULA allows it.

Besides, porting can be impossible, Access is quite unique: VBA (functions can be called in forms, reports, and even from SQL), Eval() (self-executing code), reporting is unique, Win32 API calls, and, it can automate any other Office application.

Comment: Re:VBA ?!? (Score 1) 226

by marcomarrero (#46685197) Attached to: Should Microsoft Give Kids Programmable Versions of Office?

Learning kids to program using VBA is like learning to cycle using a pogo-stick.

...easy to use pogo stick commonly found in workplaces that can automate Excel, Word, Powerpoint and Access. I admit it's an awful programming language, but it's not that far away from PHP (Hack improves it), and Javascript (TypeScript, Dart).

Anyway, US schools have historically used technology as expensive educational toys, not for programming or other useful practical things. BASIC was barely taught in the 80's when it was built-in all micros/PCs, and most computer magazines included program listings, for example, Compute! and Family Computing.

Comment: Re:It's about jailbreaking. (Score 1) 512

by marcomarrero (#44845631) Attached to: Why Apple Went 64-Bit With the iPhone 5s
I was guessing the 64-bit move was for Apple compete against desktops in the current BYOD trend... Microsoft is doing the exact opposite with Windows RT, especially with Intel power savings improvements in Haswell CPUs, and, resurrecting the neglected Atoms. I wonder is Apple was expecting the Surface Pro to do better. It's significantly more powerful than any Android or iPad tablet, has a great pen device, and... there's no Apple Mac tablet.

Comment: Why not a desktop instead? (Score 1) 570

by marcomarrero (#42827751) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Buying a Laptop That Doesn't Have Windows 8
Why a main laptop? Get a cheap, slow, portable, disposable notebook / budget laptop, and build your own powerful desktop computer. College students get Windows Server 2K12 (or 2K8R2) 100% free (via Microsoft Dreamspark). I guess I'm too old to understand laptop obsession. I need at least two monitors, and a real keyboard / mouse to be productive. (I dearly miss IBM Model M keyboards). There's no reason not to use Win8, except compatibility (they did change some security stuff). There's Classic Shell, and, you can run WinRT apps. Anyway, the only way around the eternal idiotification of Shells (after NT 4), is to somewhat accept it. Even Linux users are tortured with new weird stuff too.

Felson's Law: To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.