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Comment Re:don't hate PDF 'cause it's beautiful (Score 3, Interesting) 172

Just recently I had to look at, and print a few pages from, a PDF document. Knowing where it came from, a corporation that is only very slowly dipping a toe in the water of software other than the big names, I'm sure it was done with Adobe.

Now I don't even have the Adobe Acrobat reader on my system, when I try to install it, the install crashes. But Fedora comes with several other PDF readers, and the default is set to "Evince" which works fine MOST of the time.

But I got this PDF, and one page was a picture of a tax form, and when I tried to print it, the tax form came out as a big black blob - man, does that waste ink! Obviously I killed the print job to try something else. (Just VIEWING this tax form was fine, only printing messed up.)

I remembered using "Xpdf" a while ago, so I tried that, and voila, the tax form printed perfectly. Since I knew there were more tax forms in there, I used Xpdf for the rest of the job.

So here is a case where two different PDF viewers reacted differently to the same PDF file. I think what we need is is an OPEN DEFINITION for PDF files, probably a subset of Adobe's definition, that any OSS viewer can follow and get the proper results - and ask the user what to do with files that don't follow it.

And tell Adobe they can either follow the open definition, or stuff it where the sun don't shine!

Comment Yeah, Right!! (Score 1) 705

Now I must admit that I went to High School in the days before computers, and Touch Typing was taught on electric typewriters with BLANK keys (so you couldn't cheat and look at the keyboard). I took Typing for one marking period because my mother thought it would be good for me.

Right! That was the only damn "D" I got in my entire High School career. I was so glad when that was over! The problem is that I am an ill-coordinated klutz, and I just can't get the present-finger-position/brain/new-finger-position circuits to work ... not everyone can do this!

So I happily go along looking at the keyboard, typing with four fingers and an occasional thumb. Took a test once, I can hit 30-35 wpm this way, fine by me. I can't do numeric keypad entry, either, even when I have to do a lot of numbers I use the row at the top.

So if you want to make this a required course, what are you going to do with people like me? Remedial Typing?

Comment Re:Out of line with principles? (Score 3, Insightful) 437

Maybe because there's little difference in deleting those files and doing an system update?

Wrong. I expect system updates to affect /bin, /sbin. /usr, /etc, /lib, and so on (or whatever the equivalent for the Kindle are). I DO NOT expect system updates to do ANYTHING to /home, which is where the books should be stored. So a system update procedure that allows it to mess with MY FILES is clearly bug-infested. The Kindle software totally sucks if it can do this.

And I agree with the comments that say the "apology" is nothing more than lip-service. I will NEVER buy any e-books (or e-anything-else) from Amazon. I may trust them to the extent of buying PAPER books, plastic CDs and DVDs, etc., if they break into my house to take those back I at least have the option of calling the cops!

Comment The Solution is Obvious (Score 0, Troll) 307

If the Obama bin Laden Administration wants to pass regulations on this, what they need to do is INCLUDE in those regulations a law that invalidates any patents which would prevent any manufacturer from following the regulations. If Ford or GM or whoever goes to build a hybrid car, and Toyota complains of a patent violation - WHAM! Toyota's patent(s) are instantly canceled, retracted, invalidated.

If you want everyone to build hybrids or other efficeint cars, you simply CAN NOT allow one company to have a stranglehold on the technology! The technology you want everyone to use must be FORCED into the public domain.

Comment Re:Who Gives a Damn? (Score 1) 170

Do you have moral qualms with obtaining those extracted files online, pirate-style, even though you own the original cartridges?

Of course not! If I bought a legal copy of the game, I believe I am entitled to time/space/format shift it ... and I consider obtaining a copy on-line to be ethically and morally equivalent to ripping it myself. I know that certain media interests may not agree with me, but they can go f*ck themselves!

Downloading things I don't own is different ... I will only get stuff that is easily publicly available (like a YouTube video).

Comment Re:Who Gives a Damn? (Score 1) 170

Sega Genesis? Sega Genesis? You're not telling me you need the full power of a Motorola 68000 just to get a fun game! All that matters is the plot and the game-play. All this talk of Sega Genesises makes me want to dig out my old ZX Spectrum and play some of those old text adventures.

Actually, screw that. Why not make do with one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books? Plenty of plot and game-play there - don't tell me you rely on fancy computer graphics? (Although having said that, it displeases me that so many books have illustrations these days. What a waste of ink that is!)

Yeah, you have a good point there. Can anybody think about adding physics to Colossal Cave or Zork? **THAT** boggles the imagination!

Comment Re:Who Gives a Damn? (Score 1) 170

An emulator would be fine, except I don't know how to get the game into my PC. Those games came on "cartridges" and there is no matching socket to plug it into. Somebody would at least have to figure a way to extract the code into a readable file.

Comment Who Gives a Damn? (Score 3, Insightful) 170

Why is the physics of the game world important? The thing that really counts is the plot and the game-play. Requiring super-duper CPU power (or GPU power) for the physics and the graphics is another big waste. Looking at all these new ... and expensive ... games makes me want to dig out my old Sega Genesis and play some of the old games like the Phantasy Star titles. Kindergarten graphics, no real attention to physics, but those games were FUN!

I'd love to see a Linux port of those games!

Comment Re:Orlando (Score 1) 538

I am really surprised that an article on Slashdot managed to miss the ABSOLUTE WORST thing about Orlando - EVERYONE USES WINDOZE!!!! Look at ads for Orlando (OK, the whole Orlando metro area) on Dice or Monster, and you'll see tons of jobs for C#, .net, and similar Micro$haft junk. Very few openings for Linux/Unix jobs.

I think this one thing should have put Orlando much closer to the top of the "Worst" list.

Comment Re:I live in the southwest US (Score 1) 487

Well, I am currently living in the southEAST US, central Florida, and NOBODY around here has basements. Just too wet and sandy, plus hurricanes and such. The last house I was in (NY Hudson Valley region) had a basement, a FULL basement, but I couldn't begin to tell you what it was full of! At one point we did have someone living in the basement.

And for a while I had my computer set up down there, it was nice and private. But when we decided to sell and move down here to FL, my wife made me move the computer upstairs so one of the bedrooms looked occupied--needed to make a good impression on prospective buyers--and what's far worse, made me keep it NEAT! Yuck!

I really wish I had a basement here, I'd give anything for all that extra storage space, but I know better. One place we lived was in south Jersey, near Atlantic City, soil conditions there were similar to what we have here. We had the house built, and I had a basement put in. Wet, wet, WET! If a builder tells you he can seal the baseemnt, in an area like FL or SNJ where just about nobody has them, DON'T BELIEVE HIM!

Comment Re:Airplanes, si - Airports, no! (Score 1) 408

Yeah! My boss and I had a meeting in Boston on Monday, he lived in lower Westchester and I lived in Poughkeepsie at the time. So I got a rental and drove to Boston Sunday afternoon and stayed in a motel Sunday night. My boss went to LaGuardia on Monday and flew up, and I picked him up at the airport and we went to the meeting. Then I dropped him at the airport and drove home Monday afternoon.The rental car, gas, and motel went on the expense account, and I found it a reasonably pleasant trip (except for driving in Boston which is NEVER pleasant).

To take the plane with him I would have had to get up at 3-4am to get down to LaGuardia for the plane ... something I really hate doing! I think I made the right choice on that one.

Comment Airplanes, si - Airports, no! (Score 4, Insightful) 408

I wouldn't mind flying if it weren't for the damn airports. Arrive two hours early, put up with all that security that keeps getting worse and more intrusive, what a pain! And most times it's not cheap, either.

And then there is the placement of airports. Once I had to go from Poughkeepsie NY to Boston. Figure a 2 hour drive to the airport, wait that two hours because they want you there early, flight time, and getting from the airport to somewhere to stay. I got a rental car and it only took me four hours to drive, that's HALF the time.
No thanks.

Down here in Florida, they used to have a nice flight from Orlando-Sanford to where we wanted to go, but that went belly up. Now it's a one-two hour drive down to Orlando International (and the one-hour option involves paying a small fortune on the damn toll roads they have here, but that's a different gripe).

Airplanes, airports, and flying are just NOT CONVENIENT!

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