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Comment: Re: Lotus and Windows (Score 2) 276

by patmandu (#43781735) Attached to: Goodbye, Lotus 1-2-3

The UI issues changed a lot between the DOS and Windows environments. Because there was a need to maintain the keystroke compatibility (partly necessary because of the way that some macro stuff worked) that compatibility became the focus instead of making a great windows UI. Of course with a huge installed base, it wasn't a tough decision to go in that direction.

Yes, I was there.

First there was 1-2-3, then R3 (which included an OS2 and IBM mainframe version), and then windows development started from there...but never quite took hold properly. At the same time there were mac, vms, and sun porting/development efforts going.

The windows transition was a problem for pretty much all Lotus products, nor just 1-2-3. Magellan was great for DOS...but file manager obsoleted it. Manuscript was great in DOS...but Lotus ended up buying AmiPro as a Windows offering rather than rewriting Manuscript. That move was an early form of the 'buy and rebrand' approach that IBM has perpetuated, not the least of which was buying Lotus as a whole. It's far easier to buy a good fledgeling product and rebrand it than it is to develop something from the ground up and make it great. At least that's the prevailing thinking anyway. Remember that Notes was not developed by IBM...or even Lotus...it was created by Iris. Lotus controlled Iris, IBM bought Lotus, Iris was eventually absorbed and the Notes Server was renamed to Domino.

As far as open sourcing...Agenda has (had?) an amazing data engine for the day, but the UI was horrible, and nobody could figure out a good real-world use for it. That should have been dusted off about 10 years ago and relaunched.

Now IBM isn't even in Cambridge/Boston any more (aside from sales presence) and all remaining dev has been moved to Littleton. The 55 Cambridge Parkway and 1 Rogers Street buildings are long devoid of a Lotus/IBM presence.

Comment: Example of benefit to individual inventors? (Score 5, Interesting) 124

by patmandu (#43293423) Attached to: Ask Nathan Myhrvold What You Will, Live Q&A April 3

Can you present examples of how IV has helped individual inventors to get revenue from their inventions? Please include specific names, specific inventions, approximate revenue seen by the inventor, and current status of the invention-related product(s) and ownership of the patent(s).

Comment: All or none...halfway makes no sense (Score 1) 369

by patmandu (#43272021) Attached to: FAA Pushed To Review Ban On Electronics

At the root of this is the flight attendant: The proposal is to allow readers...but not cellphones. Is a Kindle HD a reader? How about an iPad mini...with cell data? What about a Raspberry Pi based homebuilt device? How do they tell? All this would do would be push the problem into the attendant's laps and require them to be expert in what devices are allowed and be able to identify them by sight. It's easier to just say 'it's all gotta be turned off' than it is to sort out what's allowed and what's not. All or nothing, but...the halfway stuff is unenforceable nonsense.

Personally, I think they should allow it all Thousands of flights happen every day with cellphones powered on and active just by forgetfulness alone. Some smaller percentage of flights also happen every day with deliberate usage of these devices.

The Internet

+ - DIY 4G Antenna Design for the Holidays?

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "This holiday season I will return to the land of my childhood. It is flat and desolate with the nearest major city being a three hour car drive away. Although being able to hear the blood pulse through your ears and enjoying the full milky way is nice, I have finally convinced my parents to get "the internet." It's basically a Verizon Jetpack that receives 4G connected to a router. My mom says it works great but she has complained of it cutting in and out. I know where the tower is, this land is so flat and so devoid of light pollution that the tower and all windmills are supernovas on the horizon at night. Usually I use my rooted Galaxy Nexus to read Slashdot, reply to work e-mails, etc. I would like to build an antenna for her 4G device so they can finally enjoy information the way I have. I have access to tons of scrap copper, wood, steel, etc and could probably hit a scrap yard if something else were needed. As a kid, I would build various quad antennas in an attempt to get better radio and TV reception (is the new digital television antenna design any different?) but I have no experience with building 4G antennas. I assume the sizes and lengths would be much different? After shopping around any 4G antenna costs way too much money. So, Slashdot, do you have any resources, suggestions, books, ideas or otherwise about building something to connect to a Jetpack antenna port? I've got a Masters of Science but it's in Computer Science so if you do explain complicated circuits it helps to explain it like I'm five. I've used baluns before in antenna design but after pulling up unidirectional and reflector antenna designs, I realize I might be in a little over my head. Is there an industry standard book on building antennas for any spectrum?"
Mars

+ - Mars Curiosity Found Nothing After All?-> 1

Submitted by
iONiUM
iONiUM writes "In Slashdot's / NASA's original post, it was implied that Curiosity had found something interesting: "Grotzinger says they recently put a soil sample in SAM, and the analysis shows something remarkable. "This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's looking really good," he says.". However, during NASA's live AGU12 conference, NASA has now said "the instruments on the rover have not detected any definitive evidence of Martian organics", and "Rumors and speculation that there are major new findings from the mission at this early stage are incorrect.". Is this another NASA flop?"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Streaming only...and loving it! (Score 1) 697

by patmandu (#35902232) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Streaming-Only For Home Entertainment?

We did have the 'every channel under the sun' package, but typically we were watching stuff through Mythdora anyway, so...we cut back to basic cable. That still wasn't really worth it, so...

We ditched the TV programming on our cable subscription about a year ago and now only get internet through Time Warner. 2 Roku boxes and a wii...love it.

As an added bonus (?) apparently the tech hasn't caught up to this sort of situation yet, so we still got about 20 digital channels, and a handful of analog ones even after we were 'shut off' so we still get some cable programming. Not that we watch it more than an hour or so per month.

Netflix - best thing since sliced bread. Priced right, we do the DVDs along with the streaming, LOTS to watch. I've got nothing against reruns, mostly because you *know* it's going to be good vs. the crap that's being broadcast currently.

Hulu - eh. it's OK, had it for about 4 months now, but they don't add new content quickly enough, and I've already exhausted most of the stuff I am interested in, so I'll probably cancel it.

Amazon - well...I was a prime member anyway, so I use it occasionally, but...not worth it otherwise. I've yet to notice them add any content since their initial release.

Crackle - nice stuff...still getting their act together, but for a commercial-supported free service, they have some really good offerings in their catalog. If they can keep the catalog fresh, they'll do very well.

Youtube - actually somewhat useful from time to time

At this point, I'm really thinking we're in the 'too good to last' stage of streaming. I'm waiting for TW to come knocking at the door with a new fee for streaming, or some sort of bandwidth cap/throttling. It's nice while it lasts though.

Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl. -- Mike Adams

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