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Comment Re:Did Apple just lap Microsoft? (Score 1) 230

The people that seem to love Apple seem clueless about what Apple have actually done... closed of a mini handheld computer so only software they endorse, can run. It's like a protection racket in a modern day world. Developers pay and can have their app removed without notice - legally. They have to pay for the ability to make software, pay to have it hosted and pay for every sale they make. APPLE really are SHAMELESS

Anyone who's used Windows Mobile for any length of time will tell you how awesome it is to have applications kept under such tight control. Windows CE was absolute software freedom and left almost everything up to the developer or user, who are not always the most competent people when it comes down to it.

Windows Mobile allows applications to install anywhere and in a variety of fashions which are pretty much entirely up to the application developer. There is also no centralized source for downloading applications (like the app store) and you just get them from a variety of web sites. Apps can be written using a large selection of developer tools which span the many different releases of Windows CE (This includes languages like eMbedded Visual Basic which was completely awkward to use for many programming tasks, and the runtime had memory leaks and bugs which you had to be aware of and work around). There is no type of quality control either, you will find many applications that don't work, display incorrectly, are buggy or just plain cause the phone to reset.

I really like how apps in the iPhone app store always install and work properly just like that. You don't have to sit in suspense during the app install, and you aren't ever concerned about where the fuck tfiles and registry entries are being created. It's a really good win for software freedom when you have to waste time removing registry entries and files from obscure locations on your phone because the app developer could be a retard or just plain ignorant prick.

Comment Re:Patents (Score 1) 230

Yes I thought of Smart Tags too when I first read the details of the patent. IIRC Smart Tags were introduced in Office 2000 while the Apple patent is from the mid-nineties. Microsoft and Apple probably have a cross patent licensing deal that allowed Microsoft to release Smart Tags without worrying about the Apple patent anyway.

Comment Re:Selective Reading (Score 1) 272

Having said that I do prefer the classic "bars" on the Windows 7 task bar, mainly because I have loads of windows open at once. In that mode there is quite a bit of space around the clock wasted because it remains the same width it was when the taller task bar allowed the date to be shown under the time.

I have noticed the same issue, the new taskbar interface and aero peek are great but fail hard when there are many windows open under a single process. I am especially frusterating when I use Internet Explorer because I often keep multiple IE windows open with many releated tabs open under each window. The classic taskbar would simply display each IE window as a separate icon (or list entry under taskbar grouping). Windows 7 displays each tab as a separate list entry under the IE taskbar icon, regardless of the window which the tab is contained in. The result is that you have to scroll through a massive list of open tabs.

Comment Re:Selective Reading (Score 1) 272

When Apple did their origional research, they found that the menu bar in the same top location allowed users to locate it and it's commands more quickly (as they don't have to search for it). The GUI is no longer a new concept for users. Ater using Windows for a while, users also develop a technique where they pull back the mouse slightly and in that instant perform a quick visual check to locate the menu bar. The slight delay to find the menubar is no longer a large disadvantage to the length of time it takes to move the cursor to the top of the screen on the primary display,

I think the single menubar concept in OS X is a relic of the origional MacOS UI design. Under classic Mac systems the model works because most classic applications only display one document window which is just switched out when the user selects another open document in the application. Multitasking was also pretty simple and was not used like it is in today's operating systems. Under the old MacOS, the single menubar concept worked well because there was no real need to group many applications and document windows like there is under modern operating systems. There were also fewer systems with multiple monitors and they had much smaller resolutions to move the cursor over.

We all saw what happened when Microsoft removed the menus from Office 2007 and introduced the ribbon. The UI designers of OS X probably kept it to avoid confusion and problems with developers and users initially moving to OS X. Now they are stuck in a position where it would be a massive undertaking to remove it from existing OS X applications.

Comment Re:Praise Xena (Score 1) 353

You could probably go to the flea market and buy an entire system with Windows 2000 for like $40. Or developers could spend hundreds of dollars making sure their web page will work on whatever ancient IE version you have on Windows 98.

Yeah my commodore 64's hardware is still working too. Even if I could somehow load a web browser from the casette drive, I wouldn't have the unrealistic expectation that web developers are gonna bend over backwards to support my crappy ancient system. Yeah that would be nice if we could watch youtube and check gmail on 20+ year old hardware, but it's rediculous to actually expect it.

Comment Re:"Top" needs to be standard on smart phones (Score 1) 384

Mobile operating systems don't have performance and resource counters for every process because they would provide too much overhead and they are trying to squeeze out every extra milisecond of battery life that they possibly can, They need to keep memory usage and processor time to a minimum, not only because they are limited in size, but also because using them draws battery power as well.

Also consider that most smart phone operating systems didn't have full multitasking capabilities until recently. There was no reason to track process CPU or memory usage because they pretty much had all of the processor time, available memory and network I/O exclusively while they were running.

We must always remember that a smartphone is not a computer. It shouldn't have a console and advanced system diagnostic tools. The system shouldn't need to monitor and report process resource usage. Why? Because a smart phone shouldn't be running that many background processes in the first place!

Desktop computers have magnetic hard disks which they can use for storing files and inactive memory pages. They have large amounts of memory for caching and buffers. They can constantly run many pieces of hardware without worrying as much about battery life and space in a tiny form factor.

I can understand that maybe you do need to have so many different applications running in the background to poll for facebook updates and whatever else. If that is the case then the OS vendor should look at developing a common interface which unifies and better controls them. For example, instead of having processes constantly running and opening TCP/IP connections to various servers to check for updates, Apple decided to implement push notifications.

If it's such a badly written application, it shouldn't be published in the app store. It should be available under a separate repository, or require manual installation. That way only people who want to hack around their phones will be able to install them. It should definately not be up to the average user to start worrying about things like that.

Comment Re:1997 (Score 1) 104

Yeah but in the 90's XFree86 auto detection was about as reliable as Windows 95's Plug and Play. Video card and CRT manufacturers were plentiful and each of them would do all kinds of non-standard things with their devices. We also still had people transitioning from old hardware like 486's...with old school VGA adapters that fit into an ISA slot, and 14" CRT monitors that don't do resolutions over 800x600 comfortably.

There was never a nice Win 3x style GUI ever.

XFree86 couldn't detect if there was a problem and could never fall back onto a generic VGA compatible driver. What I remember using was a console program called xfree86config which sort of made it easier. It often attempted (usually unsucessfully) to figure out what I had. Most often, you were left with a text mode list of choices that could roll over multiple pages (not a GUI). Most of the time you would have try to determine the correct settings yourself, save them and pray while you ran startx from the prompt. Usually, X would crash, or you would have to backspace out of it, and then run the configuration tool again. Once you finally found the proper settings you would always backup the config file to a floppy and tell all your Linux buddies how you got XFree86 working. It was a true Linux badge of honor right below compiling your own kernel.

Comment Re:hrmmmm (Score 1) 387

The thing that many people don't understand is that modern operating systems use more complex memory management schemes which involve things like caches, shared pages, disk based virtual memory. You can't always get an easy performance boost from simply increasing the amount of RAM or the clock speed of the processor, because there is much more involved in the way the system runs.

Back in the SuperMac days you could set the amount of memory that an application used under the "Get Info" box, and the amount of free memory available to applications was directly proportionate to the number of system extension you had enabled when the OS booted.

Under newer operating systems, memory pages used by processes are constantly swapped between physical memory and the hard disk based on their demand. The system will also use as much of the available memory as it can for caching (things like program code, files, etc.) to further increase system performance.

Comment Re:The price we pay for sanity (Score 1) 265

You're being tricked by the media companies if you think most people know how to download entire TV seasons and save them to SD Cards. You would be suprised to find out how many people don't even know how to rip a CD in iTunes...

Most of the people I deal with have no clue how to use things like torrents to pirate media. Even if they could do it, they are usually against the idea because they are scared of getting viruses, getting in trouble, doing something immoral, or else they just want to honestly support the music/movie industry. When there is a TV show or band they like, they always purcase the CD's or DVD's from a retailer.

The people who are storing 64GB of media on SD cards and arraging them into collections are true pirates. A lot of these people just enjoy downloading and collecting media (even if they will never be able to watch or listen to all of it).

But even they would probably just be using a portable hard disk, which is cheaper and much better for storing TV and music collections than a bunch of SD cards.

Comment Re:The task manager is definitely the best feature (Score 1) 534

If they can't understand a sorted listview with the process names and information organized in columns, how the hell is nesting the processes in a treeview going to make it any easier for them to understand?

Once users realize they can click column headers to change the way it sorts the process information (like bringing processes using the most CPU to the top of the list) they have no problems finding and ending rogue tasks.

Plus, Task Manager will not let you kill off critical Windows processes like Winlogon.exe csrss.exe (it is hard coded into the application), while Process Explorer will.

Comment Re:The task manager is definitely the best feature (Score 4, Insightful) 534

The main reason is because Task Manager is often used to try and regain control of a system which has stopped responding. It must be a small and efficient program so that it can be loaded and used when the system is low on resources (like processor time, memory, or even handles). It provides enough information for the user to determine resource usage for the system and running processes, and provides enough functionality for user to manage them. It is not meant to be used for in-depth performance analysis or detailed process information.

You'll notice that the "Services" tab which was added under Vista is very slow to populate when clicked. This is most likely no accident that it loads the service information from the registry on demand (only when the tab is clicked) instead of retreiving and storing it when Task Manager is first opened.

Process Explorer allows you to peek into intricate process details like handles and loaded DLL's, you can even view the strings in the DLL's memory. It also provides extremely detailed information about the system, like loaded drivers, DPC's and even hardware interrupts (which even interrupt the kernel scheduler and can't be tracked by standard Windows programming methods). This much information is great for doing a deep investigation of a driver or system issue, but is not necessary (and may even be confusing to many users) for regular process management.

They also probably do not include it in Windows because of anti-trust claims and such. They do not include software from most of their product lines in Windows anymore (even extremely useful things like Word Viewer, Windows Live Photo Gallery, or Windows Mobile Device Center). They are left to the user to download and install... If they included a checkbox in Task Manager for Process Explorer, competitors may cry that it's bundling.

Comment Re:This is the best thing they can do. (Score 1) 438

There have been a few hacks like this one which leverage things like DLL/COM redirection to allow you to run multiple versions of Internet Explorer in the same Windows installation. Someone has also written an installer which allows you to run Internet Explorer 7 and all previous versions side by side in Windows XP.

Comment Re:It's just word!! (Score 1) 105

Yes if you're doing basic math operations between cells than you will probably find the spreadsheet in Microsoft Works to be more than sufficient. Excel is designed with a significantly larger functionality set in mind, like the kind of sh*t that real accountants and number crunchers need. Using Excel for basic mathematics is like using the space shuttle to get the frisbee off your roof.

Comment Re:Alternatives to FTP (Score 1) 253

The most popular alternative to FTP is WebDAV which is supported by most popular operating systems and web design software. WebDAV is designed to be an alternative to FTP which uses HTTP, so it's interface is pretty similar and just as easy to use (depending on the GUI WebDAV client you use of course).

I have previously used SMB (Windows file sharing) or AppleTalk shares which are incredibly easy to manage. The shares can be mounted as local drives on Windows or MacOS and used just like any other disk on the client system. The main concern of course is that you don't want to expose Windows or AppleTalk shares to the entire internet..but you can easily filter the IP's which can access them via TCP Wrappers (on Linux), Windows Firewall (on Windows Server) or your network firewall.

I'd also like to add that FTP seems to be the best at managing UGO style permissions (short of logging into a shell via SSH), which can also be a big problem when managing web sites...

There are quite a few ways to get files to the server, but most of them have really poor GUI clients or are just really expensive (ie. SharePoint).

Comment Re:The effects of middle-age software ... (Score 1) 253

Yay! I installed an FTP client/server to my Windows Mobile device years ago. I quickly realized that I pretty much never connect to FTP sites from my phone, and have even fewer times when I want to have FTP clients connecting to it. It's sorta dumb to constantly run an FTP server on your phone when it connects to all kinds of random wireless networks (who knows who will be connecting to the FTP service when you're on them), and you can probably transfer files to it through the phone's sync software, bluetooth, or many easier and sensible ways for a file to be transferred to a mobile device.

There's also a bit torrent client/server for Windows Mobile which is cool but it's completely ridiculous (for most people) to transfer torrents on your mobile phone.

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