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Comment: No chance without the Google Play Store (Score 1) 123

by rklrkl (#49583711) Attached to: Crowdfunded Android Console Ouya Reportedly Seeking Buyout

I could never understand why an Android gaming device would not have access to the Google Play store, so I always thought the Ouya was doomed. Average hardware and a poor controller obviously didn't help either, but why waste time and money creating your own vastly inferior game store?

Comment: The replacement, sucralose, tastes even worse... (Score 1) 630

by rklrkl (#49564701) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

Aspartame is being replaced in Diet Pepsi by sucralose, which is the worst-tasting sweetener I have ever encountered. Britvic, who license Pepsi in the UK, scrapped all their Robinsons sugared cordials ("squashes") in the UK this year. Simultaneously, they switched the no-added sugar squashes to using sucralose.

I taste-tested the sucralose-based apple & blackcurrant flavoured squash recently and it had a seriously nasty chemical aftertaste. It was so bad, I actually had to gargle with water afterwards to try to get rid of the very unpleasant taste. Needless to say, I'm now boycotting the entire Robinsons squash range after decades of enjoyable consumption of their (sugared) product.

Comment: I had flash failure out of the box with a Nexus 10 (Score 1) 179

by rklrkl (#49454423) Attached to: Google Lollipop Bricking Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 Devices

This bricking sounds similar to the first Nexus 10 the Google Play UK store sent me. I could boot it initially, but then the device would spontaneously reboot. Each time, the reboot intervals reduced (and weird graphical glitches started appearing) - within a matter of hours, it was just stuck on the Google logo and never got any further.

It was indeed Google I contacted to return it and they sent me a pre-paid courier wrapper (I had to weigh and measure the Nexus 10 packaging/tablet), but they also charged me for a second Nexus 10 (which they then refunded when the second one was delivered, but it made me uncomfortable to be 656 pounds down for a short period!).

BTW, the courier promptly "lost" my broken first Nexus 10, but I still got the refund for it. The second Nexus 10 has been working fine since, but I've had the odd storage slowdown, prompting me to completely wipe and re-install (it's on CyanogenMod 12 at the moment - I kept the stock ROM for about one day :-) ), which speeded it up. I've no idea, though, if Google (or Asus) will do anything about out-of-warranty bricked N5's/N7's though.

Comment: Re:Is the smartwatch fad stillborn? (Score 1) 60

by rklrkl (#49318575) Attached to: Lenovo CEO Reportedly Posts Image of Next Gen Moto 360 Smartwatch

Your first and last sentences utterly ludicrously claim that tablets are a "fad". Actual facts show that they've been selling in bucket loads every year, although the market is approaching saturation point with them (i.e. those who want a tablet have got one now and they're "good enough" to use for years, unlike the early tablets).

Personally, I find tablets give a much better user experience than mobile phones, simply because of the larger screen dimensions. This makes video viewing and game playing more pleasurable and onscreen keyboards actually usable (I have severe trouble with onscreen keyboards on mobile phones - even turning the screen landscape still makes it an uncomfortable experience).

Smartwatches are a nice idea, but wake me up when battery life is in months or years like any dumbwatch and the price is under $100 for a decent model. This is why smartwatches are indeed currently a fad - only patient people who like charging their watch almost daily and have more money than sense are buying them. I'll stick with my Casio Wave Ceptor - battery life in years, radio controlled time adjustment, countdown alarm, stop watch, second time zone, alarm - all for $50.

Comment: Re:Became ARM (Score 1) 106

by rklrkl (#49241095) Attached to: BBC Returns To Making Computers For Schools

The BBC Micro was the best 8-bit micro ever, but the price was very expensive (it was sort of the UK equivalent of Apple I guess, except it was *far* better than the Apple II). I'm not sure about the wisdom of internal floppy drives and cassette tape mechanisms - makes them tougher to replace if anything goes wrong with them. The BBC Micro needed a disk interface chip adding, but once that's done, any sort of external floppy drive could be used.

The BBC Micro had a 2Mhz 6502 - it wasn't until 1987 that the Acorn Archimedes had the ARM 2 processor (ARM 1 was actually part of a TUBE-based add-on for the BBC Micro). I had both machines and loved the two OS'es and their respective BASICs (with a built-in assembler, which was a touch of genius).

Comment: Linux actually a radio button option for a change (Score 4, Interesting) 123

by rklrkl (#48948209) Attached to: Dell Continues Shipping Fresh Linux Laptops

It's nice to see that Dell have put Linux as an OS option right next to WIndows (and $101 cheaper than Windows too). A bit strange for them to ship a Linux release that initially has no Thunderbolt support, though I suspect not many people use Thunderbolt-only hardware outside of the Apple ecosystem.

Defaults to an HDD in the config options which is also weird, especially since it appears to have 2 drive bays, so surely you'd want an SSD in there in one of the bays?

The higher res screen is only a $70 bump, so it would appear to be a no-brainer to pick that option. If the final price wasn't so eye-wateringly high (and me being in the UK probably means it'll either not appear on the UK dell site or be a dollar to pound conversion), it would be an attractive high-end Linux laptop.

Comment: A few if statements needed... (Score 5, Informative) 329

by rklrkl (#48829909) Attached to: Steam For Linux Bug Wipes Out All of a User's Files

Something like this might have helped:

if [ "$STEAMROOT" != "" -a "$STEAMROOT" != "/" ]
then
          if [ -d "$STEAMROOT" ]
        then ...do your evil deletion of $STEAMROOT here
        fi
fi

Should avoid at least a full deletion traversal of the filestore, but it's still got a risk that $STEAMROOT might be ~username (or /tmp, which is less critical).

Comment: Vinyl? Never bought it, never will (Score 0) 278

by rklrkl (#48719353) Attached to: Vinyl's Revival Is Now a Phenomenon On Both Sides of the Atlantic

I suspect that the majority of households in the UK and US no longer have a vinyl turntable any more now that CDs have been around for 30 years and of those, hardly any would consider buying a turntable any time soon. Even CD players are on a similar downward slide (probably Blu Ray/DVD players keeping them alive more than anything else) with downloads and streaming rapidly becoming the method of choice.

I never bought vinyl myself because unless you take great care with the discs and have a top quality turntable as well, a well mastered CD (i.e. not horribly compressed) is going to generally sound at least as good as vinyl, if not better. Don't forget it's trivial to back up a CD using a PC (into a myriad of formats including ISO, FLAC, mp3, ogg, wav etc.) and much, much harder to do so with a vinyl record (USB turntables can do it, but they're not a massively popular item).

The only advantage I can see with vinyl is the larger artwork, but nowadays that's long been replaced by a downloadable digital PDF booklet (which can be resized bigger than the vinyl artwork :-) ).

Comment: Probably had 10 pounds postage too.... (Score 1) 138

by rklrkl (#48605225) Attached to: Amazon UK Glitch Sells Thousands of Products For a Penny

Because most Marketplace sellers on Amazon UK charge postage (and often hefty amounts even for small/light items), they often use a bad feature of Amazon's "sort by price" option - it doesn't include postage in the sort - to mark many items as costing a penny. Those items then very annoyingly appear first in multiple pages of "sorted" results and it's only when you click on them that you find the postage is 500 times the so-called cost of the product.

If you ask me, it's karma coming back to bite those sellers on the arse - maybe the third-party software dropped the postage charge by mistake? I do wish Amazon UK would sort prices *inclusive* of postage - this misleading price sort has been going for many, many years. Failing that, at least set price minimums (e.g. 49p without postage and 99p with postage).

Comment: Linux Chrome 35 already dropped NPAPI (Score 1) 107

by rklrkl (#48455887) Attached to: Google Chrome Will Block All NPAPI Plugins By Default In January

I believe Google dropped NPAPI support in Linux for version 35 onwards. This *immediately* broke all Java applets (as far as I know, there's no PPAPI Java plug-in), which wasn't great for sysadmins using Java VNC applets (yes, I know about noVNC, but not all Web UIs have moved to that) or F1 timing on formula1.com as a consumer example.

Comment: Any other site that does what Freecode did? (Score 1) 62

by rklrkl (#47270883) Attached to: Freecode Freezeup

Freecode was useful to simply find out what new/updated software (sometimes not always free, hmmm...) had been recently released regardless of where the code is hosted. Is there any other site that provides such a list in date order? Suggesting Sourceforge as an alternative isn't great (I can't find a list of date-ordered project releases - not individual files, which are in one of their RSS feeds - on the Sourceforge site).

Comment: I just use a real Android device (Score 4, Insightful) 167

by rklrkl (#47261145) Attached to: Android Needs a Simulator, Not an Emulator

Whilst playing around a little with Eclipse and the Android SDK, I found it much easier to just plug in my Android tablet (or it could be an Android phone or both) and download/run the app on that. You get to check rotation, multi-touch, camera etc. a lot more easily this way and it's just as easy (if not more so) than running the emulator. Of course, there could be Android devs without any Android devices at all, but I suspect that's a tiny minority.

The main use of the emulator is probably just to test different screen dimensions render OK - I personally wouldn't use it during the bulk of development though.

Comment: Re:Linux, it's harder than you've been told. (Score 1) 293

by rklrkl (#47044921) Attached to: Linux Sucks (Video)

In my experience, it's Windows that doesn't play well with the MBR or provide any sort of menu system for non-Windows OS'es like the way grub does. In fact, the Windows installer is amazingly bad from a dual (or triple etc.) boot kind of way:

It won't touch a partition formatted in anything it doesn't understand (you can't even re-format it in the installer). You actually have to trick the Windows installer by using fdisk in Linux to change the partition ID to something like 7 (NTFS) and then magically the Windows installer will let you format it. Quite surprising how dumb this is, because surely MS would *want* to destroy non-Windows partitions the first chance it gets?

The Windows installer in the latest releases insists on hogging the first partition on the first drive in your system (i.e. it has to be formatted to Windows format), which is utterly appalling.

The Windows installer destroys the MBR (and effectively kills grub) with no attempt analyse it or the various non-Windows OS'es that might be on the rest of your system. This is disgraceful behaviour - most Linux distros will detect existing OS'es (including Windows) and set up grub menu items for them.

Of course, to work around these atrocities, you soon learn that you install Windows first (letting it wreck your MBR and partition setup) and then Linux second. You then get a dual boot grub menu with both Linux and Windows items.
If you have to re-install Windows later on, it will destroy the MBR yet again, so you end up having to boot a Live Linux distro and run grub commands to restore the MBR/grub setup.

So, to sum it up, the Windows installer is nasty to anything else that isn't Windows on your system , both on initial install and on any further re-install. So the blame here is 100% with Windows and not grub or Linux.

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