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Comment So someone has finally noticed... (Score 1) 315

It took them quite a long time to realize what everybody else has always known. Yes AZERTY sucks. And as someone who lives in a neighboring country, I sometimes come across these crazy keyboards. The problem is not just that the keyboard is impractical. It is mainly that it is so wildly different from all other keyboards.

The problem is aggravated by OS installers like Windows, which insist that if you are installing a French version of Windows, you must need a French AZERTY keyboard which makes typing on normal non-AZERTY physical keyboard quite difficult. Only much later can you tell the system to throw away that idiocy and select a normal keyboard like Swiss, Belgian or Canadian for French.

Comment Re: French programming (Score 2) 339

You are kidding, but I remember actually programming in French.

Well, I don't really remember much. But in the 80ies, there was a French database for Mac called 4..? (I only remember there was a 4 in it's short name). The programming was in French. At the time, I was quite new to computers and very young, and there was no Internet.

I would hate a non-English programming language now, but at the time, I guess it was OK. Especially since the choice was that DB or Oracle.

I'm glad it let me bypass Oracle at the time. And I'm furious I have to deal a bit with Oracle now, for an application created before PostgreSQL was available. Installing and configuring Oracle on Debian now feels like going back to DOS 2.11... No apt-get install, no SQL history, horrible formatting of output, ... but I digress...

Yes, I'd (almost) rather program in French than deal with Oracle...

Comment Re:Mail archives (Score 1) 177

Thunderbird's nice in that it uses the standard maildir format (one file per message, mail folders are just directories under the root of the tree)

Unfortunately, NO it doesn't! Maybe you just mistyped this, or else you are confusing Thunderbird the mail client, with an IMAP server like Dovecot, Courier, or others.

IMAP servers usually do use the "Maildir" system to store emails: 1 file per mail, which is very nice, and helps a lot with backups.

Thunderbird, the mail client, stores in mbox format: 1 file per folder. So if you add 1 email to your 2GB folder, that 2GB file will need to be backed up again. But at least, it's a text format, so it's still much better than Outlook's propietary binary .pst files.

Apple Mail used to use the mbox format. It now uses Maildir.

Comment Re: browser.pocket.enabled = false (Score 3, Insightful) 199

These Windows vs Linux (vs Mac) are so ridiculously "last century".

Yes, Linux is terribly buggy and limited as a Desktop system. But it has been extremely stable and generally a pleasure to work with as a server system.
Macs are great desktop systems with the advantage of also having a real shell, and generally having Unix under the hood.
Windows is the most stable desktop system I know (as long as it is not infected by malware), and has the greatest choice of high quality software in almost all categories. But I would certainly hate it if I needed to use it as a server.

As it is, I use all 3 daily, and usually have a couple of ssh and/or VNC windows to other systems open. Just use the right tool for the job. This juvenile OS war is so passé...

Comment Good to know (Score 1) 246

That is certainly good to be reminded of. In case of weird errors, pass your code through something that checks for characters beyond ASCII.

In fact, I am often bitten by something similar on Macs: when typing the pipe character on my keyboard (Alt-7), followed by a space, I end up typing Alt-space, which ends up as a nicode non-breaking space or something. It took me a while to get used to and understand the error saying "-bash: grep: command not found".

Comment Re:SPF+DKIM (Score 1) 217

Sorry, but I have to disagree that he just claims to have done everything right while in fact he didn't. It seems to me he really did everything right, but sometimes that isn't enough with the big mail providers.

I run a couple of mail corporate mail servers, and another one for my own domains, and occasionally I have seen rejections or (much worse) mail landing into spam without any discernable reason, or simply because my sending IP was completely new (without any previous reputation) after switching the connection provider.

As others pointed out, now that it is a Mega Corporations Internet, things are getting rough for small independent old-school Internet users.

Comment The F-35 seat fears ground?? (Score 3, Interesting) 179

Does this title use a convoluted syntax, or it it just me? (English is not my first language)

I had to read the summary to finally understand what was meant by "F-35 Ejection Seat Fears Ground Lightweight Pilots". Before that, I was stuck with a seat fearing the ground, and some lightweight pilots whom I couldn't quite fit into that fearful seat.

Comment Re:YES, it has upsides. (Score 1) 229

I wonder if this the reason why my machine has so much trouble when I open a Youtube page in Firefox. Basically, youtube has become unusable recenty (in the last couple of months or so). I'm using Ubuntu 12.04 on an old Thinkpad X200. Everything else works fine. It's just youtube. (Though I haven't investigated anything and I don't really need youtube)

Comment Re:Political categorization theorem: (Score 2) 686

He said "yes we CAN". Nobody has ever said anything about DOING anything!

I was very surprised that he actually could so much.

After so many decades, he managed to set up some health care system in the last industrial country which didn't have one. It's a very right-wing system, actually inspired by Romney's system (probably in the naive hope to gain wide republican support), but it's much better than no universal health care at all.

He managed to make progress and a significant deal with Iran.

He normalized relations with Cuba.

Most of all, unlike Europe, he managed to start a recovery from the terrible economic depression that he had inherited.

I don't quite understand why everyone seems to bash on Obama so much. It's amazing what he was able to achieve in such a hostile environment.

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