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Comment Re:Pain (Score 2) 610

But that's the point isn't it? I cannot see a way in which my current work environment benefits from touch. I also cannot fathom how my work environment could be improved to work with touch and still get my work done in a convenient fashion.

It also goes beyond touch. Metro is basically one full screen application... so basically WordPerfect 5.1 or Lotus 1-2-3. These were superseded for a reason; there were better way to do things. Basically the "two full-screen apps and switching between them" was done in DOS days, and it made sense at the time because that's what computers were capable of at the time. These days it makes almost zero sense on a desktop. It works on a tablet, but only because of the small screen and relatively limited screen real-estate.

On the two 24" monitors I have at work I often have 4 or 5 windows visible at once at a minimum, sometimes with another poking out of a side of another window so I can monitor a copy job or somesuch. You can't do this with Metro... at all. No, the "pinned apps" don't count because their display is utterly retarded, fixing you to a particular size and format which is convenient for... well... a list of emails perhaps.

Never mind that Metro doesn't work well or at all with multiple monitors... and using it as a start button is ridiculous because of the jarring and annoying transitions between two completely isolated environments. Yes, that's because most of my apps are desktop apps, but even where metro apps are available I still prefer to use the desktop apps because of the aformentioned flexibility in placing the windows where I want to and moving/resizing them according to my workflow.

I do agree that touch has its place, and agree that in my particular work environment it doesn't work while in others it might... but primiarly touch is only usable or useful when you have something actually cradled in your hands or arms... like a tablet. Even on my laptop it would be inconvenient and a pain in the environment where I use it (on a table/desk) as I mentioned before but you conveniently overlooked. The whole article and comments basically say the same thing; touch works fine on tablets but why foist it on the desktop/laptop where it does not work or belong? Optional, yes... that makes sense... but default?

I think the problem here is that Microsoft thinks it's Apple and can tell the customers exactly what they want and they'll just take it. Here's a hint; there's a reason Apple's market share is small and it's not necessarily because they're expensive (a strawman argument that really went away about 6 or 7 years ago). It's because Apple targets a very specific subset of the customer base. I love OSX as much as the next man, but use Linux or Windows to get most of my work done. My Macbook Pro primarily gets wheeled out when I have a specific need but otherwise stays mostly unused because there are things that OSX won't or won't do easily because Apple says it shouldn't... not any technical limitations. Microsoft wants to do the same thing but is failing to realize that Windows 8 is less of the right tool than Windows 7 was. If they continue with this trajectory then people who want to get stuff done will go elsewhere.

Comment Re:Pain (Score 1) 610

I use a laptop most of my time on a computer. I have a home laptop, and a work laptop... and in neither case would I want them to be touch screens. And for the record, I have used MANY touch screens in my career including the Surface, iPad, phones etc.

While I use my laptops as portable computing devices, more often than not (I'd say 90% of the time in fact) they are sitting in docking stations or attached in such a way that my 24" monitors (at work) are some 3 feet from my head. I don't have arms like an orang-utan, so in order to use these effectively as touch screens I would either have to move WAY closer (which then would require an awful lot of head motion with monitors that size) or indeed get smaller monitors. But then there's the eyestrain factor. I sit that far from my monitors because I have found it comfortable on my eyes. If I were to use the Metro start screen as my start menu, then every time I launched a new program I would have to sit up, lean forward, operate the menu and then lean back to my comfortable position with my hands on my keyboard to type. How is this better than the mouse that is FAR closer than my screen (being right next to my keyboard)?

To take this even further, when working on my laptop as I am this exact second, I sit about 2 feet from my 14" screen with my hands resting comfortably on the keyboard. If I want to use the mouse it is about 6" to the right of my right hand... lovely. Or I can just reach my thumbs down to my trackpad (which I actually do quite a bit when I'm on a roll). Using the Metro interface for app switching and launching, I would be reaching to my screen... and quite apart from the fact that I would end up with fingerprints on my screen (which annoys the hell out of me) I have just tried reaching out to the screen itself and found it intensely uncomfortable. I have to rotate my shoulders forward in order to reach it at all, my arms are extended at an uncomfortable angle. I would have to lean forward in order to use this comfortably and then my arms are no longer in the optimal position to type. This results in a lot of movement rocking back and forth, which while it may help me with my core abdominal strength a little does little for my back and is rather annoying. I have a good quality chair so I can sit at a decent angle for some time while working, without having to constantly shift around.

Sorry... I have used a Surface and it only works better than a laptop as a tablet... which the iPad also does just as well. I also run Windows 8 on this exact laptop I'm typing on, but after trying to live with Metro for two weeks I finally downloaded Classic Shell and find the entire OS transformed into exactly what Windows 8 should have been in the first place. There are a lot of other things I don't like, and Metro is the easiest one to fix... but yes it is the most visible problem with Windows 8. Of course, if Windows 8 had looked like my current desktop then Microsoft could never have sold it; it's far too much like Windows 7.

Comment Re:don't get the cart before the horse (Score 1) 230

I run Ubuntu 12.04 with Gnome-Shell as my front end... I tend to agree with you that OP needs to really review what he's doing with his Ubuntu installations. Mine was a simple install followed by a few sudo apt-get commands and I was much happier.

Gnome-shell isn't perfect, but it's more compatible with the way I work. Throw Compiz at it and it's really nice desktop. Oh, and I do NFS transfers to my server all the time that are really large with no issues.

Comment Re:Still suffers for being ARM, not Intel (Score 1) 152

There's absolutely nothing wrong with ARM for the target device here. "Just another ARM knockoff" is quite insulting to the amount of work that has gone into this... the value of this isn't necessarily in the CPU anyway but in everything else that's on that board. The FPGA, headers and just generally the incredibly geeky ideas that are realized here are fundamentally cool... and yes, I'll gladly put my money where my mouth is. I would love one of these!

Comment WTH, Slashdot? (Score 2) 152

So much freaking negativity on here about this. I for one think this is a really cool project... and oddly enough actually fits the tagline of "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters".

I have read several pages of comments and so far there have been only a very small handful of positive comments, while I think this is one of the coolest and most exciting things I've seen in a while. If this goes to a Kickstarter campaign then I for one am all over it. The very idea of building a laptop with everything I want and nothing I don't (including R-Pi headers and some really freaking cool ports on the board for getting down-and-dirty with the hardware) just excites me. I want one, and I will not be dissuaded from that opinion. Come on; an integrated FPGA that you can turn to any task you like? How many laptops have that? The PWM headers mean that you can take one of these motherboards and make it the brain of your own robot... an incredibly powerful one compared to most of the hobbyist kit that's out there.

I would ask what happened to the Slashdot that I used to love, but I think I already have a pretty good idea.

Comment Re:Number One Fallacy (Score 1) 333

until the Kindle Paperwhite, I could not stand reading eInk screens because of the low contrast.

I keep seeing people say this, and it makes me wonder if Kindles have really crappy contrast, in general? Even without a backlight, my Kobo Touch has better contrast than most paperbacks I own.

My experience is; not really. The contrast on my Kindle Keyboard (about two years old) is actually no worse to my eyes than a printed hardback book. Really; I can barely see much difference between them. I find the contrast perfectly acceptable for reading, and definitely less straining than trying to read on a backlit colour LCD. I honestly think Amazon made a very conscious decision to make the contrast and screen "colour" to match a printed paper book as close as possible. Most people liked it, but some like GP did not and preferred to have a screen with greater contrast. While the "paperwhite" is definitely better, it's not an upgrade I'm going to sink money into at the moment because I just don't care. My Kindle is definitely good enough, and I'll maybe upgrade when I either break or lose my current Kindle.

I think the people who complain about the contrast are those who think the paper in the average hardback or paperback is actually white... it isn't! :)

Comment Re: e-Ink (Score 1) 333

Great... except that the reflective qualities of the tablet screen means that you have to find just the right angle to stop seeing everything going on out in the sun behind you. That and the fact that you've got to sit in the shade in just such a position that you can somehow support the weight of the tablet held in both hands... and do that retarded skeuomorphic "swipe" to change to the next page... which really makes no sense on a tablet device or any electronic device.

I shall walk in the sun, and read in the sun like a human being. We've all got to die of something.

Comment Re:e-Ink (Score 1) 333

Exactly. The Kindle and Nook have both been on sale for several years; the have had a long time to gain the market penetration they have today. While I don't doubt that the tablets have impacted eReader sales, I think the fact is that as you said these are devices designed for a singular purpose and fulfill that singular purpose so well that there's no need to pitch and replace every year like people do with an iPad. Hell, I purchased my first Kindle at the same time as I got a first-gen iPad. While that original Kindle is still working great (though superseded by a newer model only because I dropped and broke the case on the original Kindle), that original iPad is now unsupported for upgrades, and its battery life is waning fast. That Kindle can still read the same books I read on my newer one and does it just as well... that old iPad can barely run some more recent apps, and even some older apps that I used to depend on have received updates that broke them on the iPad.

I have a newer iPad which truthfully is barely used except for checking my email and surfing the web when I'm eating breakfast at a hotel (more convenient than lugging my laptop downstairs). My Android phone in many ways is superior to the iPad... but the Kindle is still far superior to both of them when I'm on a plane or sitting on a beach in bright sunshine wanting to read a book.

Comment Re:In defiance of Betteridge's law of headline: ye (Score 2) 333

That's very true... but as a general rule I'd say you're an exception. The vast majority of people who buy an eReader also use the store that it's tied to. Same with tablets; particularly with Android tablets it's relatively trivial to side-load free apps but the majority of people who buy them use the apps they can buy.

I have a lot of free content on my Kindle as well, but I also spend a decent amount at Amazon every month (including an Audible subscription) because sometimes I just get a hankering to read something specific while sitting at the gate at an airport.

Comment Re:In defiance of Betteridge's law of headline: ye (Score 1) 333


Last year I had my Kindle with me when I spent two weeks in Bavaria. I completely forgot to bring the charger with me for my Kindle so I just turned off wireless unless I really needed it (like twice during the entire trip) and still had enough battery left to read "Freedom, tm" by Daniel Suarez during the flight home.

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