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Comment: Re:It's a step in the right direciton but... (Score 1) 521

by unixisc (#49144041) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

I disagree. Particularly w/ the decision to prevent Netflix from paying to establish faster lanes. I'm fine w/ banning ISPs from slowing down traffic.

What I would have liked, though, would have been the FCC ruling that content can't be blocked just b'cos it's available on TV. In other words, if you bought internet but not TV service from say, TWC, then when you hit a site that has either live feeds or a recording of an event, they shouldn't be able to prevent you from watching just b'cos you didn't buy the TV service w/ it.

Comment: Re:But... (Score 1) 249

by unixisc (#49124509) Attached to: The Case Against E-readers -- Why Digital Natives Prefer Reading On Paper

Having the ability to touch any word on the screen and have definitions, translations, and wikipedia entries pop up as you read (which is great for many of the older books) is a fantastic benefit over and beyond the simple fact that so many of the world's classics are available free of charge wherever you have internet access is a bonus that can't be overlooked. Honestly, in terms of studying books such as Gibbon's Fall of the Roman Empire, I find myself eternally grateful for such capabilities. Not to mention, if you can read the book on your cell phone, you always have the right reading material on the toilet. :)

Not just that, it's a lot easier to have tens or hundreds or thousands of books in a Kindle or an iPad. Particularly during moving. You don't have to worry about pages getting yellow, or particular books getting lost - once something is in your online library, it's there for good - unless and until you delete it.

Comment: Obama has solved global warming already (Score 1) 429

by unixisc (#49124487) Attached to: Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

Can we take down the environmentalism straw man yet?


Well, when Obama came to power, global warming was pretty big on the agenda. Now, w/ the freezing temparatures even in the south, doesn't look like it's an issue anymore. With all the snow, he's really scaled global warming back to the point where we're now freezing. So Mr Obama, can you accept that you've done this job very successfully, and stop trying to stop global warming by vetoing this pipeline deal? Too much of a good thing....

Comment: Re:InGaAs? (Score 1) 279

by unixisc (#49124143) Attached to: Intel Moving Forward With 10nm, Will Switch Away From Silicon For 7nm

Silicon is only reaching its limits in the commercial space, where cost reductions are required, no matter how irrational. But in the military or aerospace sectors, stability is a lot more important, which is why those sectors are slow to move, if ever, and are willing to pay premium prices for yesterday's technology to be kept alive. For them, 500nm would be a lot more stable than even 50nm, let alone 10nm. They'd rather go w/ that, rather than go to an unstable yet expensive technology like GaAs, or even a shrink of silicon to the point where it gets unstable.

Also, Moore's law only made sense when it was extrapolated to mean that the number of transistors would keep doubling implies that the cost per transistor would keep getting halved. But now, the one no longer implies the other: while one can still get twice the silicon, the much more sophisticated processes and tooling required has actually increased the cost, and one of the few solutions to that has been to increase wafer diameters. The ISSCC would do well to recognize that a certain node - say 10nm - is the best that can happen, and then try and help get as much of the volume manufacturing to that point. However, older nodes from 500nm on down would still be needed for the foreseeable future.

Comment: Re:Shock might follow... (Score 1) 391

by unixisc (#49078063) Attached to: PC-BSD: Set For Serious Growth?
I quite agree. That 'window' of opportunity (in a manner of speaking) existed during the entire Windows 8.x fiasco, but neither Linux nor the BSDs seized the initiative. Now, Microsoft is in a comeback mode w/ Windows 10, and it's unlikely that that opportunity will come again anytime soon. Unless another Ballmer replaces Nadella anytime soon.

Comment: Re:What key problems does it solve? (Score 1) 391

by unixisc (#49078049) Attached to: PC-BSD: Set For Serious Growth?
There are a few derivative distros of FreeBSD, but none of PC-BSD. All those distros are generally either exclusively for servers, or have some special features (DragonFly's SMP, NAS for network storage and pFsense for Firewalls/Routing). So if the BSDs want a single OS to target laptops, PC-BSD it is. They now support a variety of DEs, and have done an excellent job in making most applications behave well under most DEs (exceptions being the GTK3 apps running under anything other than GNOME3)

Comment: Re:Yeah... I don't think so (Score 1) 391

by unixisc (#49078023) Attached to: PC-BSD: Set For Serious Growth?

Looking at it's Desktop environment (lumina), there is no way in hell PC-BSD will ever become widely adopted. It's a jarring shitfest of Windows-95 wanna-be hell designed by amateurs. If any OSS *nix has a shot at becoming mainstream by 2020, that would be Ubuntu. While they have their own issues, at least they understand how to put together a good looking UI, and their installer works quite well on consumer grade gear unlike most OSS *nix distros.

Lumina is just ONE of the available desktop environments for PC-BSD, and that too, not the default. The default is still KDE. I've used Lumina - had some rough edges previously, but is currently much improved.

Comment: Re:As KDE developer, he's missing the obvious solu (Score 1) 391

by unixisc (#49078013) Attached to: PC-BSD: Set For Serious Growth?

Make KDE into a full OS. Fork Kubuntu, tell all other distributions that KDE will provide them access to the sources and patches, but KDE intends to become a full competing desktop and tablet OS. Ubuntu vs Mint vs Fedora makes no sense to the casual users I know. If I could hand them a copy of KDE and say "run this" that would improve things tremendously.

It almost is. Consider all those applications that would previously be prefaced by K - KMail, Kontacts, Krita, KOffice, et al. In fact, KOffice has become Calligra, which is reasonably good, but could be better. And they've dealt w/ the multiple platform issue a lot better than Microsoft did: they have KDE Plasma Desktop for desktops, Plasma Netbooks for laptops & netbooks, and Plasma Active for tablets, phones & phablets.

In fact, for a while, PC-BSD, and previously, another BSD called DesktopBSD, was KDE only. It was only in version 9 that they added support for some 8 different window managers.

Comment: My PC-BSD experience (Score 1) 391

by unixisc (#49077939) Attached to: PC-BSD: Set For Serious Growth?

When I bought a new laptop last year, it came w/ Windows 8.1, which was unusable, due to the hot corners and all that. I had visited a Linux Expo and met the FreeBSD guys, and got a PC-BSD DVD from them. Initially, the laptop had trouble recognizing it, but once I went into BIOS and changed the bootup settings, that got fixed. This was during 10.0, before the current version that includes UEFI support (and which needs to be installed from scratch - that part can't be an upgrade). I made a conscious decision to wipe out Windows 8.1 and not look back (which I couldn't have anyway, since the laptop didn't come w/ a Windows 8.1 DVD - another brilliant decision by MS)

My setup has worked well, w/ a few exceptions. It doesn't recognize the Intel WiFi, so I have to run an Ethernet cable from the router to the laptop, making it effectively a desktop. Last week, somebody needed to have a GoToMeeting session w/ me, and since the webcam is not recognized, that didn't happen. I also have a Brother P-touch label maker that has its own driver internally, and so obviously, that only works w/ Windows and nothing else. But other than this, I have had no issues, since all my usage is either in browsers (I use both Chromium and FireFox) or Thunderbird. For the Office application, I tend to use Calligra, but I guess others will prefer Libre-Office. I've created multiple users in the system for different roles that I play - one account for my office, one for my personal things like banking and other services, one for the various blogs including /., one for games and so on. For each of them, I use different DEs to experiment w/ them and get used to them. I use Lumina (primarily), KDE, LXDE and both GNOME3 classic shell and GNOME3.

One thing that happened a couple of months ago to my surprise. I had to change my router from a Belkin to a Linksys, which changes the gateway address from to I tried going into various text terminals and changing it, but wouldn't work. Ultimately, I found out, by trial & error, that I was supposed to go into the Control Panel and change it from there. Once I did, it worked like a charm. The PC-BSD handbook does a good job in telling you how to do things, but falls flat on its face if something doesn't work as it should.

While it could be a lot better, my PC-BSD experience has been satisfactory.

Comment: Re:It'll grow when FreeBSD does. (Score 1) 391

by unixisc (#49077837) Attached to: PC-BSD: Set For Serious Growth?

While iXsystems does own both OSs, I think PC-BSD has a number of things that should be quite independent of what's happening on the FreeBSD side. For starters, device drivers. I've written here in the past about shoddy support for WiFi - INTEL'S. The other day, I tried doing a GoToMeeting session, and it didn't work, despite having both Chromium & FireFox on the box. FreeBSD has no reason to support WiFi or webcams, but my usage was one of the rare but critical instances that causes people to have a second Windows laptop/tablet for precisely that.

If PC-BSD waits for FreeBSD, it'll wait forever, since FreeBSD does NOT have the same priorities that PC-BSD should have. FreeBSD does well as a server OS already deployed by many companies, such as Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo, as well as a router OS for companies like Juniper. On top of that, it's the basis of free Router/Networking OSs such as pFsense, and have a good backing from Apple. So FreeBSD is already a success in its own realm. PC-BSD so far has not managed to go beyond that: it's currently little more than FreeBSD w/ an X11 installer (incidentally, if the BSDs add Wayland support, that too should be a PC-BSD, rather than a FreeBSD project), smooth and admirable package managers (PBI w/ portsng) and a stripped down version of PC-BSD w/o the X11 called TrueOS. This won't do! PC-BSD needs to define its own goals, like being an acceptable alternative to both Windows & Linux on laptops and tablets not made by Apple.

A good list of projects for PC-BSD to have would be

  1. 1. Driver support: No, I'm not talking about supporting the greatest cards from NVIDIA or AMD. I'm talking about supporting off the shelf consumer items, in addition to things already found on a laptop. In addition to WiFi, they could support the webcams that come built in. Also, in the consumer marketplace, there are a lot of things, like label makers, which the project could add support for. The best thing about it is that since PC-BSD has already gone fully 64-bit and ZFS, they are unlikely to find themselves in a situation in the future where their added support for newer devices gets lost in an upgrade
  2. 2. OS-X compatibility: PC-BSD already has jails for both Debian and Gentoo. Since a lot of the OS-X and iOS underpinnings are FreeBSD, and since LLVM/Clang is official for both Apple and PC-BSD, the project could have a jails system for OS-X. It could also either work w/ Apple directly on allowing the Apple store to be available on PC-BSD (maybe for a price paid by the end users) or w/ developers on making their OS-X applications available on PC-BSD as well
  3. 3. Since OS-X is native to the Core series and iOS to the A-series, PC-BSD could port it to ARM and develop a version for tablets that runs iOS apps, using the same approach above. It can then even consider having its own tablet to be a low end alternative to iPads, and raise a bit of cash that way, like Mint does w/ its own box.
  4. 4. At some point, consider supporting Wayland, and make it a PC-BSD project: FreeBSD has no reason to add Wayland any more than they work on Lumina

So far, PC-BSD has done an impressive job in making most applications behave the same way, whether run under KDE, Lumina or LXDE. An exception is GTK3 apps, which run fine under GNOME, but misbehave under other DEs, often going fullscreen (not maximized).

Whom the gods would destroy, they first teach BASIC.