If it's bypassable, legally, then there's no issue. My objection to the Apple iWalledgarden (as an example) has always been that it's not bypassable via any legal means, with Apple always scrambling to prevent users from exploiting the latest method to unlock their devices to allow their own apps to run.
This is not strictly true. Pretty much anyone can pay the $99 fee to get a developer certificate and then sign any app that they like and install it on up to 100 iOS devices via sideloading - fully supported by Apple. What Apple doesn't like is those who "jailbreak" their devices so they can install non-appstore apps without purchasing a valid certificate.
They have no problem with people purchasing a developer certificate, signing any app (including 3rd party apps that violate app store guidelines), and installing it on their devices.
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However, Microsoft requires removing the "press F1 to enter setup" delay, making it rather hard to get in to UEFI setup to disable secure boot. As far as I can Google, the only sanctioned way to disable secure boot is to buy a Windows 8 license, and then select "restart and enter setup" somewhere in control panel. And if you need to pay for Windows 8 anyway, what's the point of disabling secure boot?
While on most UEFI boards there isn't a prompt or delay that waits for you to press a key, every UEFI board that I have encountered so far has had a way to inter UEFI setup without an OS installed.
In the boards I have worked with you simply hold down a key while powering on the system (usually either delete or F10). The UEFI firmware picks up the keypress and enteres the setup menu. It really isn't any harder than traditional BIOS-based systems - especially BIOS-based systems that support Fast Boot.
If you don't have a copy of the manual for the particular motherboard in a system it may require some experimentation to figure out which key is used to enter the UEFI setup but Delete and F10 appear to be the most common so far (although on the Surface Pro tablets you have to hold Volume Down but then again they don't have a built-in keyboard).
When you calibrate an LCD, you shift a digital value to one that already existed, and lose a boatload of the digital color nuances between the color points, making many of them the same color. ANY calibration of an LCD means decreasing the number of colors. The "xxx% NTSC/AdobeRGB" gamut value becomes false the moment you adjust it, dropping through the floor.
That is only true if you are attempting to calibrate a panel using software that adjusts the output of the graphics card. LCD monitors that are designed to be color accurate can be calibrated by modifying the color LUT inside the monitor. Look at NEC's SpectraView line for an example.
In NEC's case most of their monitors have a 14-bit LUT built-in and receive a 10-bit signal so there is a lot of room for adjustment while still ensuring that no colors are lost. Once calibrated the monitor remains accurate even if connected to a different input source because the calibration is done in the panel itself and not the source.
Not to mention that you're not required to run on shitty-old WinXP and 32-bit hardware anymore.
Although I have to say I have written quite a few
Right now Windows Embedded 7 licenses are selling for right around $100 a pop
I don't know what licensing program this price is from but Microsoft definitely sells Windows Embedded 7 and Embedded 8 licenses for far cheaper than that. Under the EES program I can get licenses for $3 per device for Windows Embedded 7 and $5 for Windows Embedded 8.
We only have about 50 such licenses (using them as thin clients) so we aren't getting any significant discount for quantity either.
130MB would be the JDK. The JRE is a lot smaller.
That depends on if your applications needs to support 32 and 64 bit installs or not. The current 32-bit JRE for Windows is 73 MB and the 64-bit JRE is 85.3 MB. The current JDK is 158 MB for Windows 32-bit and 170 MB for Windows 64-bit.
If you package both versions so that your application runs optimally on both 32 and 64 bit systems (very common in my experience) then the JRE would add roughly 158 MB to the size of the installer.
Any registry keys created by the application are supposed to follow the same model. System-wide configuration goes in local machine hive while user-specific information belongs in the users hive.
Applications with properly written installers are very easy to work with on Windows. The problem is there are many applications that don't have proper installers. Much of my time theses days is spent fixing badly written installers or reverse-engineering an applications installer and writing a proper replacement (usually a MSI) that can be used on the 1200+ Windows PCs I manage.
It didn't work for some reason when I had a fairly old ATI/AMD graphics card (It didn't take into account the rotation of the portrait monitor), But when I replaced the card with a mid-range nVidia card the problem went away. My guess is the ATI graphics driver wasn't properly reporting the orientation and pixel layout information received from the monitor.
I have seen some (usually cheap) monitors that don't appear to have an option in their menu to set their orientation. My guess is ClearType probably wouldn't work properly on them since the DDC information would be incorrect when rotated, but that is more of a problem with the monitor than Windows.
Also 8.1 asks if you want to send search queries to Bing during the setup wizard. It is also easy to turn the option on or off at any time in the Control Panel.
However, it is trivially easy to download videos even if downloads are not allowed. Just use the HTML5 player and the link to the video in MP4 format is right there in the video tag on the page, easily obtained by viewing the source of the page or using a browser extension.
Now Youtube uses a totally different system and is a bit more complicated but not much. There are quite a few browser extensions that work well to download the videos.
In most cases you have to download the video and audio streams separately and then mux them together since most new videos are using DASH, but that is easily done using ffmpeg or any other MPEG4 compatible muxer.
Normally Low Integrity processes are restricted to being able to access only a handful of folders and registry keys. The LocalLow folder is one of the few locations that these types of programs are allowed to read and write.
By default Internet Explorer is an example of a process that is marked as Low Integrity. Later versions of Adobe Reader are also marked as Low Integrity processes.
I still like the old Commando interface in Apple's MPW. You could highlight any text command in a window and popup the Commando interface. It was pre-populated with radio buttons, check boxes, text fields, etc. for everything that command could do.
Have you tried using the Powershell ISE? A feature very much like what you are describing is built-in to ISE (a GUI-based interface for Powershell installed by default on Windows 7 and later and available as free optional download for XP and later.)
You can launch it from the start menu or open a powershell prompt and type ise
In the ISE you can search for and select a command from the commands panel. Selecting a command reveals a list of text boxes, check boxes, etc for the commonly used parameters for the selected command with an option at the bottom of the window to show all possible parameters.
You can fill in the appropriate parameters and then either click Run to execute the command or Insert to insert it into the currently active script or Copy to copy the command to the clipboard.
The ISE also includes some other nice features such as floating help windows for Powershell commands, tab completion, script debugging tools, etc.
Beware, I haven't actually tested the power consumption so this is just speculation on my part, but since the processor and GPU in iMac aren't really doing anything I suspect they are running at their idle frequencies. If so, the power consumption of the machine should be fairly low - since many modern CPUs and GPUs have fairly low idle power requirements.
As other posters have pointed out though, Apple appears to have used their own custom display interface for the new 5k model and it looks like they have dropped Target Display Mode from the spec sheet, so it looks like using the 5k model as a dumb monitor isn't really an option.
No. This is what I hate about these iMacs. And especially more since this high-res display. You get a good, expensive display, which you could easily keep for 10-15 years, but are forced to throw it away when you want to upgrade the computer, after say 2-8 years. A Mac mini duck-taped on the back of a monitor takes about the same space anyways.
Are you sure about that? The current generation of iMacs can act as a standard monitor when connected to another machine. Up until a few weeks ago, I was using one that had a failed hard drive in it as a monitor for a desktop PC via a simple mini Displayport to Displayport cable connected to the PC's graphics card.
There is a good possibility that the new iMacs can also be used as a monitor as well.
The only complaint I have is one particular sender on on particular email list whose emails are consistently misclassed as spam.
I have the same problem with multiple email discussion lists that I am on. I would always flag the messages as Not Spam and that would work for a few weeks and then the messages would start going into the Spam folder again.
Several other Gmail users had the same problem with those lists. The List admins finally figured out that what was happening was that some users were hitting the Spam button instead of unsubscribing from the list. When enough people did this, Google starting flagging all messages from the list as spam even for users who had previously marked the messages as Not Spam.
Ultimately I ended up creating a set of rules for those lists using the option to bypass spam filtering for messages that matched the rules.