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Comment Re:Replace laptop when it stops working (Score 1) 208

the 10 inch 2-in-1s such as ASUS Transformer Book don't seem to work well with any X11/Linux distribution that I'm aware of.

have you looked at some modern PC tablets?

Perhaps I misunderstand what you mean by "modern". I looked at the ASUS Transformer Book, and all sorts of things are broken in Linux.

and yes you can put Linux on it.

Do Wi-Fi and suspend work? They do on my current machine, and I want them to work on any replacement once my current machine suffers inevitable hardware failure. I haven't seen one web browser whose capability to restore the previous session after a PC restart includes the content, not just the URL, of web pages open in tabs.

Comment To me, "working" includes suspend (Score 1) 208

From the linked article by David Elner about dual-booting Ubuntu on a Surface Pro 3: "Sleeping the system while running Ubuntu does not work. (Instantly wakes up.)" In a Disqus comment to that article, Emre Erenoglu called lack of suspend a "deal breaker." It is also a deal breaker for me. I want my session to be restored when I come back to the machine after having taken my seat on the bus, and I want pages open in tabs in the web browser to still be open and loaded even if I have no network connection. Shutting down in a desktop environment that supports session restoration and starting the computer once I have taken my seat is not a substitute, even if it is faster on SSD than on an HDD, because tabs open in the web browser reload to "Problem opening page: You are offline". The buses in my city do not provide Wi-Fi to riders. Has suspend on the Surface Pro 3 improved since December 2014 when the article was published?

Comment Re:Not all of these are in one's control (Score 1) 200

In particular, what to do if you become the victim of an accident, crime or natural disaster is beyond the scope of my previous post.

All I wanted to do is to give a few tips on how not to fall on the debt trap by yourself, things that are within your reach.

Thanks for the initial tips. They sound a lot like what Dave Ramsey recommends, and someone who doesn't already listen to Dave Ramsey's show could learn something. But as of right now, the largest cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States is health care costs and lost wages due to serious health problems.

Comment Are laptops "desktop" or "mobile"? (Score 1) 208

And what is the market for mod making pc's? Hundreds of millions potential mod makers?

It's not only the thousands of mod makers but also many millions of mod users. Unlike PCs, locked down platforms such as iOS and video game consoles have cryptographic mechanisms to prevent the owner of a machine from installing and using mods created by other dedicated amateurs.

A desktop is slowly becoming a niche product, and in a market of niche products the race to the bottom doesn't exist. Those who really need a desktop spend money for good quality and support.

In this respect, is a laptop "desktop" or "mobile"? It's battery-powered like a mobile device, but it runs desktop applications on a desktop operating system. And a lot of these desktop applications are used by millions of university students on millions of laptops. For example, good luck finishing "Intro to programming and problem solving with C++14" on an iPad.

Comment Re: Your laws ignore my rights (Score 2) 284

Considering that they were the 0.1% of their day, they'll probably be all right with it. If you look at the history, you'll notice that their main beef was with taxes. And taxes are usually only something people who have lots will be riled up over enough to start a revolution. Poor people start revolutions over things like food.

Comment Interesting (Score 5, Interesting) 49

Kernel bypass plus zero copy are, of course, old-hat. Worked on such stuff at Lightfleet, back when it did this stuff called work. Infiniband and the RDMA Consortium had been working on it for longer yet.

What sort of performance increase can you achieve?

Well, Ethernet latencies tend to run into milliseconds for just the stack. Tens, if not hundreds, of milliseconds for anything real. Infiniband can achieve eight microsecond latencies. SPI can get down to two milliseconds.

So you can certainly achieve the sorts of latency improvements quoted. It's hard work, especially when operating purely in software, but it can actually be done. It's about bloody time, too. This stuff should have been standard in 2005, not 2015! Bloody slowpokes. Back in my day, we had to shovel our own packets! In the snow! Uphill! Both ways!

Comment Re:Boston has an app like this. It's useless. (Score 1) 110

I suspect that it depends on the attitude as well. At least in IT, there seem to be two basic flavors(in varying levels of competence, there are some commendably diligent but not terribly sharp ones; and there are some total slackers with the annoying ability to pull off something brilliant just when it looks like their slacking might catch up with them; then go back to slacking): There are the people who say "The problem is that you are bothering me about some 'problem', so now I have to go look at it." and the ones who say "The problem is that there might be a problem I don't know about yet."

The former is...unlikely... to welcome better reporting systems. The latter is likely to be delighted that they can spend less time hunting for problems and more time fixing them.

Comment Re:What? (Score 1) 110

Fundamentally? Not at all. In terms of convenience? The fancy tech toys presumably make it fairly trivial to construct a nice machine-readable trouble ticket, with GPS coordinates, user submitted text, pictures, etc. that drops right into the trouble ticket without needing anyone to man the phone; or depending on their ability to reliably interpret and record what the caller is reporting, write it up, and send it to the appropriate person.

Given that the input is still coming from people, I suspect that you can't automate all the labor out of cleaning it up(if there is a way for data you attempt to collect about the world to be messy and intractable, it will find it; and even if you think that there isn't, it might just invent one...); but there's a lot to be said for cutting out tedious, error-prone, steps, especially once you are dealing with a system large enough that providing 'the personal touch' simply isn't possible. These sorts of systems can be somewhat prone to being impersonal or inflexible(especially if the implementation tries to use a bunch of drop-down options to shove you through the decision tree and your problem is some flavor of 'other' that they don't provide for); but if the userbase is large enough that you'd need a call center to do it with humans, you don't really have the option of interpersonal familiarity; so you might as well go for efficiency.

If this were Ye Olde Smalle Towne, where you could just ring up the mayor's office and the kindly secretary who has been there forever and knows everybody would pick up and you could tell her about it, the 'app' thing would be a pointless gimmick; but that's not exactly the scope of the problem here.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.