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Comment More complex (Score 4, Insightful) 201

I've handed over some passwords to my wife. I try to keep them up to date, but admittedly that lags a little - at least she will know I have accounts there and may be able to act from that.

However, there's plenty of accounts that will simply wither. This one, for instance. It's not that I have anything to hide, it's just that I haven't enumerated the account as being one that needs dealing with. That's Slashdot, a relatively major case. I also have hundreds of accounts on single-purpose forums that I used maybe once in my life and that's it. VMware Forums? Cinemaware? Various coding sites? Music software sites? All that information will just go because I barely know every case I've registered for let alone be in a position to hand it to other people.

My hard drive? Again, my wife knows how to log in as me and is perfectly capable of using my machine. A few things, like the family accounts etc., are encrypted and she also has the password to that. Everything else - well, it's there but would she necessarily know there's something to look for? Again it's not deliberate, but I haven't pointed much out so it is an open question if everything relevant would be found. And if it is, in what format. A .pages document is one thing, a local svn repo in /opt/var or my local Confluence install is quite something else.

A lot of my stuff would disappear. A lot would seem to - wood for trees and not knowing where to look. In the end though, I think everything drastically important is covered.


Comment Re:Obsolesence (Score 1) 318

For cars I can imagine something similar to car audio. You get something up-to date with a new car, and you put up with the fact that it ages. Eventually someone purchases it as a used car and decides the audio isn't good enough, and fits an updated one.

Completely agreed, which is why I think form factor and interface need to be standardised rather than operating system. I can fit another stereo because I reliably know the original is a single or double DIN device, so my replacement will fit and can be powered/connected. What about the tablets?


Comment Re:This isn't new. (Score 1) 355

DRM on iTunes (at launch and for a time afterwards) being the reason it grew so big?

He specifically said iTunes [program], not iTMS. He's talking about the application that runs on your computer, not the music store.

He's right as well - remember the original advertising slogan of Rip, Mix, Burn? You took your CDs, turned them into un-DRM'd AAC or MP3, and that was that. That's what helped the original iPad/iTunes combination get so big - simplicity.


Comment Re:Quicken For Windows (Score 1) 1880

Yep, here's my post from around nine years ago saying it was Quicken keeping me on Windows.

I've since relented and am using VMware to run Quicken 2011 on OS X, but I'd far rather have a decent native solution for it. I've tried the alternatives such as iBank etc. and they're not really there for what I do.

Still holding out some hope that Quicken Essentials might eventually lead to a Quicken 'proper', but we'll see how it goes. Meanwhile, VMware for me (because I already owned it - these days I'd probably have gone VirtualBox).


Comment Are there 'so many'? (Score 4, Insightful) 255

How many bee transport journeys were made? What percentage of those journeys resulted in accidents? How does that compare as a percentage to the transportation of other goods?

It's not a possible question to answer without a lot more data. It's not even possible to determine the question has a valid premise as yet.


Comment Re:And Slashdots Founder's Reivew fn the iPod (Score 4, Informative) 204

"The fact remains, however, that the iPod was lame and continued to be lame until it got wireless. And it didn't have much storage space. Also, it was DRM-laden back then, too."

No, the fact does not remain. It had 5Gig - a massive amount for a pocketable player at the time. Forget CD player-sized Nomads, the correct comparison is to pocket-sized Diamond Rios and similar. They had 64Mb and 128Mb typically (my memory fails, there might have been 256Mb ones as well by then).

DRM-laden? Rip, Mix Burn was the advert - you ripped your own CDs, DRM-free. The iTunes Music Store came later than the iPod.

It's perfectly possible not to like them without falsely belittling them.


Comment Re:OpenSignalMaps (Score 1) 64

Yeah, but the BBC will take an idea, publicize it, and take credit for it. That's what they did with iPlayer, the super-amazing first-of-a-kind Flash video player, invented by the BBC years after YouTube was launched."

Don't forget it started out as a p2p fat client-only app and that streaming was only available to Windows users as it was all based on Windows Media 10. The fact it was originally overseen by the ex-UK head of MS's media division was entirely co-incidental.


Comment Re:How do they do it? (Score 1) 86

"I thought that Google had tech that could scan the pages of an original book and automatically compensate for any curvature. IIRC** it did something like flash a test pattern onto the page to determine how to straighten the final image."

We did that too - the Kofax card and driver software could take care of deskewing and it did a reasonably good job. Again, this was a while ago so I imagine things have improved but it wasn't too bad.


Comment Re:How do they do it? (Score 2) 86

I worked at company that did the same for the French National Library, about fifteen to eighteen years ago. To go through your questions:

We had a mix of temps and perms, mostly temp scanner operators and perm developers.

Professionals - yes, there were clauses in the contract about how much we paid if things were damaged.

Team size? Smaller than you might think - we had about ten at its peak. Around the clock - not quite, but there were definitely early and late shifts.

We used then-flash Bell & Howell scanners with expensive document feeders to avoid ripping the papers. We used Kofax image processing cards at a staggering 1Mb VRAM (yes - feel the power...) and super-powerful PCs too (486DX2 66Mhz). We stored the resulting TIFFs on a vast network server (a Network 3 1gb machine called Leviathan. Inconceivably it ran out of space so we bought a second called Behemoth). Actual process was to guillotine the books and feed them through the scanners, some books would then be restitched. In the case of rare books we'd photograph them instead (and then scan the photo - this predates digital cameras).

Yes, we then OCR'd them, and the contract stipulates that x pages in 100 have to then be proof-read.

Clearly the tech is now completely outclassed, but I'd be surprised if the contract and physical side has changed much. Am not terribly surprised to hear the British Library have taken the best part of two decades to catch up, we were talking to them at the time and they were terribly, terribly slow to see the potential in this.


Comment Mist, Dikumud and Cheeseplant's House next please (Score 1) 204

25 places it at 1986, which is just slightly before I started using it (1989 for me).

Text only, kermit transfers, cursing as once again you realised you forgot to put FTP into image mode before you downloaded that shareware from of it.

Do wish there was still a way to play MIST though, and the associated Cheeseplant's House. We would hang out in Cheeseplant's House waiting for a slot on MIST. Interesting (well to me at least) that they describe it as the second talker - must admit I thought it was the first.

All good fun. I don't wish away what currently exists, but it would be nice if the older stuff had made it through too.


Comment Re:iPod (Score 1) 428

Dude, the very CmdrTaco quote the grandparent is defending lists a player that had more than 5Gb at the time, the Nomad. So no, definitely not "unheard of in a portable player at that time.

It was the Nomad at 20Gb. The Nomad though, was not pocket-sized. That was the whole thing - the iPod fit in a pocket. The Nomad did not.

Neither of you provides any citations to go with your observations, there.

That's true - like you I was going from memory and having been there at the time. I agree with you that Mac sales were helped by the iPod but that the majority by far will be being used with Windows these days. The gen 1 days though - Windows users didn't have much of a choice, they bought a Mac or they didn't use it (Well, actually that's not quite true, I used to use the beta of a utility called XMedia so I could drag'n'drop albums from Windows Exporer I seem to remember, but that kind of thing was hardly mainstream).

I don't think we disagree that much to be honest - just over the Nomad, which yes was bigger capacity but no wasn't pocket-sized. Pocket-sized was the key.


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