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Comment 199x bicyle (Score 2) 635

Or at least I wish I could still use it.

It had a steel frame, simple 21 gears derailleur gearshift, none of this fancy suspension fork crap and over all it simply was robust. I could repair and replace everything on it myself (but seldom needed to). The only parts I replaced with something more modern was the brakes and lighting.
I used to cycle to work on it until It was stolen out of my backyard half a year ago and I still miss it.

Comment Microsoft Natural Keyboard, before they fschked it (Score 3, Interesting) 635

I recently bought (used) a few of the old Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro from before the 4000 series. Those that still included a USB hub and the lettering on the keys did not disappear after only a few months of normal usage.
Before that I had several of the 4000 Keyboards and all of them started to lose their lettering within a few months. They are just really bad quality.

I will probably be using them until they fall apart.

Comment Re:China will work to destroy this. again. (Score 2) 282

There are several goals in this:
1. develop the technology
2. build the storage systems
3. generate jobs in the process
4. make the technology cheap

China will assist in 4. and destroy some of the jobs generated in 3 in the process, but only some of them.
That's fine with me (I am from Germany)

Comment use BitTorrent Sync on your own server (Score 1) 200

Get BitTorrent Sync from http://labs.bittorrent.com/experiments/sync.html and set up your own server, either locally or "in the cloud" (which you control). There are clients for all major platforms, including Android, and it works well. Traffic is encrypted and storage is only on computers you control yourself.
There is one drawback, though: It's not open source so you have to trust BitTorrent Inc.

Comment Stop concentrating on life like graphics and sound (Score 1) 337

but instead invest into gameplay.
Example: Civilization I was a great game, not because it had such nice graphics or sound effects but because of the complexity of the game play. But the interface was easy to use, the different types of terrain and units easy to recognize and it was easy to pick up the strategy. Also, it worked on rather minimalistic hardware. (And, I have to admit, I originally got it as a pirated copy, but I bought it later. But since the bought version came with copy protection I continued to use the pirated one.) Now look at the latest installments of that series. The graphics and sound are improved but that also results in units and terrain being much harder to recognize. The gameplay is basically unchanged. But it requires so much computing power that the later stages of the game become basically unplayable if you don't run it on a top of the notch machine.
I have switched back to playing Civilization I when I am in the mood.

Comment Der Steppenwolf (Score 1) 700

"Der Steppenwolf" from Hermann Hesse was required literature at school and despite that I read it and it possibly saved my life.
At that time I was thinking seriously about suicide and when I read the following quote from the main character, something along the lines "you can always commit suicide later if it gets too hard, so just keep going for now"
(I don't remember the exact words and it is in German anyway, so it wouldn't be of any use here)
That absolutely made sense to me. As long as you are alive, things can improve, once you are dead, you are dead and that's it.

There have been other important books later but I think the above is quite fundamental so no other became as significant as that one book.

Comment What about a "phablet" (Score 1) 415

Yes, I know, "phablet" is a stupid name, but the Samsung Galaxy Note (the smartphone, not the tablet) with the Kindle software makes an excellent e-book reader. You have to get used to the size, though. It is huge for a phone and maybe a little bit too small for a tablet, but in my view exactly right for an e-book.

Comment The size is not the problem (Score 1) 660

I own a Samsung Galaxy Note and I knew beforehand how large it is. But I didn't buy a mobile phone, I bought a small tablet with mobile Internet connection and that's exactly what I got. Yes, I can also make phone calls with it, but I rarely do. As for carrying it: There are nice belt pouches for it. The solution is simple: If you don't like it, don't buy it. Of course, if somebody can come up with a smartphone that has a >=5" display but is much smaller, that would be nice. Maybe with glasses? That would still leave the problem on how to interact with it (no, speech recognition is not a solution). We'll see.

You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements. -- Norman Douglas