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Comment Yes and no. (Score 1) 289

The fact I can troubleshoot classic MacOS 7.6.1 up through 9.2.2 and a number of old-world PPC related hardware issues over the phone without being anywhere near the machine in question is hardly Buzzword Compliant in this day and age.

The fact that I learned basic troubleshooting out of self defense in that environment, however, gave me a great baseline for dealing with hardware and basic software issues in the general sense. While any classic MacOS-related "certifications" may be long useless, the fact that I got that knowledge in the field with plenty of practice instead of out of a book or classroom lecture provided long-term benefits that no class or HR-friendly tickybox ever could.

The fact that hard-won knowledgebase went from being Current to Niche to Hobbyist over the course of a couple of years is one of the major reasons I've stopped giving a shit about staying "current" on hardware and software. It's a moving target, and I have much better things to do with my time - namely using the production software everything else is there to support.

Comment Re:This is a software thing (Score 1) 556

First off Apple still offers anti-glare displays as an option on ALL their MacBook Pros. So the rant about not offering matte displays is completely off base. In fact, I'm writing this post on a later model Macbook Pro with an antiglare screen and a quick glance at the store shows this option still available.

Not on the 13", and not as an "option." The 15" with AG is almost a thousand dollars more expensive than the baseline 15". You can't mix and match - it's that machine or All Glare All The Time.

Comment This will happen when IT is put in its place. (Score 0) 443

IT exists to enable the business, not to dictate terms or restrict it. At present the basic corporate dynamic is a largely computer-ignorant upper management that can't be arsed to stay up to speed on the basic IT environment, so they blindly delegate the power and authority to the sysadmins, and IT gets to (largely) set policy and tell the office employees what they can and can not do.

As basic IT competency becomes progressively more and more of a requirement to get anything done (for work or at home), the user base is becoming more educated, and more irritated at the "priesthood" attitude of the IT department. Give it a generation - or less - and upper management will be dictating terms to IT instead of living in fear of the Beige Box, blindly accepting whatever The High Priest Of The Beige Box tells them.

Comment If I can't get it how I want it I won't buy it. (Score 1) 185

See topic.

Sony behave like assholes and don't provide anything that makes their attitude towards their customers something worth tolerating.

For me, "entertainment" is a mix of value, convenience, and cost. If "convenience" isn't convenient, if enjoying the work is too much work, if I have to create yet a-fucking-NOTHER account to access your whatever, well... your loss. The library got here first, I can talk to the used bookstore clerk (or owner!), and your Big Media Mandate just means absolutely fuckall to me.

We've been unsteadily lurching towards a "tipping point" in which the content providers will have to strike a balance between the data they can mine and the eyeballs they can get. I know this, and I accept and endorse this by participating in it as little as possible (/. included)

Comment Re:Then don't publish there (Score 1) 323

originally funding by the public purse anyway.

If you want to charge out the ass for access to research papers, return research to corporate America. $40 for an IBM or Xerox or Microsoft research paper? Okay, that's capitalism.... $40 for a paper from any university that gets public funding? Where's my receipt, and how does that nullify or return come tax time?

Comment Re:It's an OS, not a vertical product. (Score 1) 250

Agreed. For handsets, it looks like it's cooking down to iOS, Android, RIM (ultimately strictly corporate, then fading away if they can't stay in front for value added... using the iOS email interface, all I can say about it is if mail were my bread and butter, anything would be an improvement, and this is allegedly RIM's strong point), and Microsoft's various half-assed attempts to buy Windows Whatever into the marketplace.

For my money, I think the "now" will get More So over the next couple of years - businesses under contract will stick with RIM, nerds will use Android,hipsters will use iOS, people who've never bought a mobile phone might get suckered into whatever Microsoft is trying to push.

In a moderate span of time, RIM will be absorbed by Google or Microsoft - by GOOG as a business grab or by MS as a desperate marketshare grab. The marketplace will then consolidate to iOS, Android, and whatever Microsoft thinks they can offer, with RIM integration grafted into Android or Microsoft offerings. (Apple will continue to put more effort into their website's description of iOS's mail capabilities than they will iOS's actual mail capabilities, as they always have)

Phone OSsen will ultimately boil down to iOS, Android (merging with ChromeOS as developers continue to think the iPad is something worth targeting) and possible Windows-Whatever, which may have an actual strong advantage given the sudden realization that despite years and years of hardware and software development in the slate/tablet form-factor space, the tablet PC did not exist AT ALL until Apple invented the iPad. Never mind that you can run photoshop "out of the box" on a PC tablet running Windows - Apple has nuked the hell out of marketing in the "tablet space" and despite being massive orders of magnitude more capable, everyone else is now playing catchup, thanks to massive marketing fail.

Diatribe divergence aside.... five to ten years from now? Apple, Google, Microsoft, RIM. In alphabetical order, specialized, and fighting for dominance as opposed to swimming in moneyhats. Apple as the new Sony, Google as the new Amiga, Microsoft as the new IBM, RIM as the new-old IBM, relative to the market-space.

Yeah? No?

Who knows. There's plenty of time for another company to rise up and turn the industry on its ear. Smartphones are roughly where PCs were at in the early 80s - something might just come along and make iOS look like CP/M.

I wouldn't bet on it, but I wouldn't count it out, either.

Comment It's an OS, not a vertical product. (Score 1) 250

Seriously. All the tech-press yammering about Android's exploding market share makes my brain itch. It's overtaken vertical solutions (RIM, Apple) by running on a broad variety of hardware - it's gaining market share the same way Windows did back in the day, by running on COTS hardware instead of the more tightly-bound offerings from Commodore or Apple (or others). It would be more accurate to compare Android against, say... MeeGo, Symbian, etceteras. Marketshare comparisons are only really valid if the phone owner has a choice of operating systems - you're not going to be running iOS on a Nokia phone, for example.

I'm sure RIM and Apple aren't losing market share - these rapid gains are coming by handset vendors dropping an OEM OS for Android, or shipping the same handset with an Android option.

Comment Switch your input device. (Score 1) 797

I moused through school and for the first three or four months of work, with my wrist pissing and moaning at me all the while, raising to a shrieking crescendo of near disability a couple of days before a major deadline.

Desperate for any improvement, and fortunately working as a kiosk designer (thus having access to several different types of input devices, including touchscreens), I tried a WACOM tablet, then I pulled a trackball from the "spares" pile. My wrist stopped screaming immediately - the throbbing subsided to a twinge, then left altogether.

I've been using a trackball exclusively for the past twelve years. The closest I've gotten to RSI since the switch is a grumpy index finger from marathon work sessions, and a brief trial period of a new keyboard - the board was maybe 1/4 inch lower than its intended replacement, and that much of a drop at my work desk made both of my wrists shriek at me with a homicidal rage.

If the hardware interface is making you hurt, seriously consider changing your ergonomics (level of input devices, type of input devices, etc). The window manager isn't to blame,

Comment Re:And I thought Office 2010 was hard to use (Score 4, Insightful) 403

I HATE this about commercial software, to the point where my productivity applications are years out of date and only "upgraded" when I know I'm going to have a month or two of good solid downtime to effectively re-learn them from scratch. Losing a week (or more) to get back up to speed (warp speed, not plodding along) doing the exact same thing with a toolchain that now runs slower on the same hardware is extremely difficult to justify on a regular basis.

If Vim and Emacs pulled the same stunt with every new version, the userbase would grumble, fork or recompile, and keep using their editors the way they always have. In the event of a massive change-for-the-sake-of-change ejection from a major mac/win ISV, creative professionals get to grin and bear it, lose time (and in some cases money) getting back up to speed, or not upgrade.

Much of the griping about Office doubtless comes from people who use it At Work, whose work machines are controlled by a nebulous IT department, who came in to the office one morning to find the new version thrust on them.

Software change is a lot easier to embrace when it's willful and provides a clear benefit. For many people, the change in Office was neither of these.

Comment Re:Uh (Score 1) 160

I hate to break it to you, but the shift towards "biased commentary" started with Walter Kronkite, if not earlier. Once the network execs figured out that viewers were trusting his face, voice, and delivery and were by and large fact-agnostic, that was basically the end of it.

Twenty to thirty years ago you could still get actual news out of the newspaper or television. These days you gotta dig long and hard, intentionally and carefully, for the few nuggets lost in the slurry of spin, opinion, and the almighty Sports & Entertainment.

Comment Re:Huff OL (Score 1) 160

This has been my experience with Huff - the last time I had the patience to wait for the front page to load, I was struck by the resemblance to USA Today. Just as tabloid, just as buzzword, just as bland - buckling under one of the most over-loaded information "designs" I've seen since the 90s.

That the site design seems contrived to make the "good stuff" hard to find., that the visual clutter is a significant majority of any loaded page, that you can get a "liberal opinion" elsewhere with a bit of effort and the celebrity drivel of your choice just by looking out the window... Huff's a perfect fit for AOL!

Comment Re:A vendetta against Java and Flash? (Score 1) 451

As a graphics and media guy who's passionately hated flash since its first release in the late 90s, I'm not frowning at Apple's disdain for flash. Point of fact, I'm giggling at all of the people shrieking and moaning about the lack of "support" for it on the iPhone - after years of Flash running like lukewarm shit on the PPC and additional years of it running like microwaved shit on Intel macs (running like greased butter on the PC all the while), with flashblock being one of the few firefox plugins I use, I can't say I care one way or the other. For me, Flash is little more than an annoyance, long since filtered out.

And if Adobe hadn't bought Macromedia to get Flash, I wouldn't care.

Adobe's had a love/hate relationship with Apple for decades - they love that graphics nerds buy macs to use photoshop, they HATE Apple for consistently kicking APIs and architectures out from under them. They've owned Flash for awhile now - with Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, the Flash and artist-friendly media tools acquired through the Macromedia acquisition... Adobe's the ONLY non-Apple ISV you need on your machine if you're a Creative Professional.*

Apple can live without Flash. They could certainly survive without Adobe, but could they take the publicity (and userbase) hit of losing the Creative Suite? Would Adobe threaten to pull their Mac apps to pressure Apple into supporting Flash? Will they? They certainly could, if they felt like it. Maybe they already have - it would certainly explain Apple's de-emphasis of Pro Anything over the past few years.

* It's an old argument, but screw Office. Ten years in media design and I've used openoffice on one project, to deal with an excel spreadsheet.

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