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Comment: Re:The fancy ones are expensive.. (Score 1) 67

by pherthyl (#47914467) Attached to: A 16-Year-Old Builds a Device To Convert Breath Into Speech

>> the fancy ones are $8,000 instead of $80 is because IP laws protect monopolies

Wrong. The fancy ones are $8000 because they take a lot of engineering work to develop and the market is very small. If you want to recoup your investment you have to sell it for a high price.

The rest of your comment is just fancyful nonsense.

Comment: Re:Surprise? (Score 1) 579

by pherthyl (#47717897) Attached to: Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

And windows update is always flawless and never breaks anything, and every in-situ upgrade between windows versions is always a complete success...

Not quite, but almost. Not once have I had a Windows upgrade break some basic part of the system like 3D acceleration or Wifi that wasn't more than a driver install away from being fixed.

Comment: Re:Surprise? (Score 1) 579

by pherthyl (#47717885) Attached to: Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

>> Xrandr will only by default show the modes that the monitor explicitly supports. So, how did you accidently do that?

Well we picked a resolution from the graphical dialog and the TV said it doesn't support that resolution and we never saw a display again. Like I said, the theory is that the dialog should only display the resolutions that the monitor supports, but in practice that's not the case and we get to waste a couple hours.

>> Also a reinstall, seriously? This sounds like you don't know very much about linux.

Did some googling, couldn't find anything solid. Tried a few things with no results. Faster to reinstall. Back in the day of static configuration this would have been easy to fix but I dunno where the graphical tools keep their config for resolution and nothing good turned up on google.

>> That sounds mighty strange. I've not seen a Linux system respond to monitor hotplug events with an action by default well, ever. They can respond but you have to set it up. Also, I note the problem was with *your* application. Are you sure it wasn't a bug in your code.

Only happened with TVs connected on HDMI, not PC monitors. Also happened with Qt Creator. So not a bug in our application, but possibly some bizarre combination of hardware and Qt and X bug. Again, several hours down the drain chasing stuff that should never be a problem.

Comment: Re:Surprise? (Score 4, Informative) 579

by pherthyl (#47700505) Attached to: Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

Yep. I used Linux almost exclusively for many years at university. Back when I had the time and desire to fix things when they broke. Eventually I was worn down by the endless cycle of update break fix that you get in Linux. When you can't even safely update to the next version the system is broken.

About once a year I do a project on Linux or install it somewhere to see how it has progressed. In the important areas, it hasn't at all.

We did a project just recently using Intel NUCs running Ubuntu and some of our software to be connected to TVs. Here's the linux specific problems we encountered
1. Installing Qt dev environment is a huge pain. The default packages in both 14.04 and 13.10 are broken for multimedia playback in Qt and need files to be manually moved to work. Using a Qt build from also doesn't work with multimedia.
2. On Kubuntu we accidentally changed the desktop resolution to one the TV wouldn't accept. There was no confirm. X totally broken, no obvious way to fix it. Reinstalled.
3. On Kubuntu, we had to delay our delivery at the last moment because we discovered that when using a TV as a monitor and the TV was turned off, our application window disappeared (still running, just invisible). After many hours of debugging and no info, we ditched Ubuntu.
4. Had to install Ubuntu several times and fiddle with Bios settings for it to work (some kind boot issue with UEFI).
5. No standard mounting point for DVDs caused problems
etc etc

In the end it would have been far cheaper to put Windows on there and just have it work. Hours and hours wasted during development on silly bugs that should have never happened. And this is on quality hardware from a vendor that supports Linux (Intel).

Comment: Re:A shot at other OS, computer *and* device maker (Score 3, Insightful) 471

by pherthyl (#45209351) Attached to: Apple Announces iPad Air

>> Apple laptops are not magic, or particularly good value.

Two things that I like about Apple laptops that are unmatched:
1. Trackpad is just first class. I have never seen any windows machine with a trackpad so smooth and accurate. Also the gestures in the OS are actually useful to the point where I prefer using the trackpad over a mouse for most applications (not image editing).
2. Magnetic power adapter. This is just killer compared to the stupid barrel connectors everyone else has. I would pay an extra $100 just for that feature.

Comment: Re:Considered it (Score 1) 177

by pherthyl (#45087955) Attached to: Nest Protect: Trojan Horse For 'The Internet of Things'?

...which is also why there isn't one in my house. "Network-connectable thermostat that I can control from a smartphone and which has a simple UI on top of decent intelligence?" Sure! "Has to phone-home to a company instead of working stand-alone or with a fairly simple piece of software that I can monitor and maintain myself because I'm a competent sysadmin at a company much larger than Nest?" Whoops, this product stays on the store shelf.

The whole point of the Nest is that it is a piece of the smart home automation world without the complexity. If they made it so it had to be tied to a program on your computer, or you had to run your own server it would have been a total flop.

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll