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Comment Re:Don't get in the way (Score 1) 490

If people are too busy to wait a few hours for it to recharge, that is a problem with their lifestyle, not the car.

So what you essentially saying is that people should spend 70,000 or more on a car, move to a place where home, work and shopping are within 25 miles of each other and be thankful thankful for it?

Maybe we should make things eaiser for the blind by only selling computers with brail input devices. As for those who need a regular ASCII keyboard, that is a problem with their lifestyle, not the computer.

Comment Re:Libre Office (Score 1) 349

If new computer had a "word processor ballot" like the "web browser ballet" in the EU, what do you think home users would so?

[ ] MS Office $250 per person
[ ] MS Office 1Yr 5 person $100
[ ] LibreOffice $0 unlimided installs

Most home users would to just fine with LibreOffice.

Comment Re:In some universe, this makes sense (Score 1) 365

Everyone wants Microsoft Windows on a tablet. They're already lining up for it. It's Windows -- the same interface, the same applications, compatibility with all the Microsoft back end processes, and all documents of any type made by Microsoft products will open on

That is Windows 8. It runs on tables that start at about $800. That is also without a keyboard. Lets add $100 to that for a keyboard. Let's even say that someone else beats this price. $750 and up to get Windows 8 on a tablet. A decent laptop goes for less than this. A netbook with a touchscreen would go for less than this.

If you are talkin WinRT, that is $200 cheaper and only runs Windows 8 Appstore apps (think "Super Gigantic Smart Phone").

People are willing to pay for excellence.

That leads them to an iPAD. Which also happens to be cheaper

Comment Re:You have removed all doubt (Score 5, Insightful) 767

Can anyone learn to play the piano? What about playing the piano compently? What about playing it excelently? Can you read sheet music? Can you read sheet music in one key and tranpose it to another while you play? That last part is easy. All you have to do is teach yourself to read sheet music in such a way that you say "Oh this is in the key of C, so this note is the 3rd intreval in C" and tell your hands "you are playing in G, play the third intreval in G".

It takes dedication, undestandeing, and practice. Oh and natural ability. How good is your ear? How much dexterity do you posess? How well can you listen to other things, read sheet music, conrtol your hands and maintain a tempo? Each person has limits. You might always suck, maybe you can be acceptable. Even then, somone who has many limitations but lots of dedication undertandind and pactice can outdo someone with a natural nack, but does not apply themselves.

Most people don't apply themselves to learn to play the piano or to program.

How much self import should someone have who has learned to play the piano, crack a safe, walk a hiwire, dircet air-traffic, put out an oil rig fire, implode a building, cut a diamond or progam have? Be a little nicer to the 80+ percent of us who have invested enough to have the chops to do this kind of work.

Comment Re:Meh (Score 1) 1052

I hope your right. I have a bonus coming in late November. So I am looking at early December to purchase 2 sub $300 tablets. Until October 26th there is no way to know if there is even a Windows RT tablet in that price range. My guess it there won't be a serious contender. With MS wanting $85 for an OEM copy of Windows 8 they would have to make a seriously underpowered system to hit that price point.

As for the iPad Mini. Well Apple does announcemts in September and January. I just don't see them doing another big announcement in October. It is also a frightening portent if they do. Jobs swore on his grave that Apple would not make a smaller iPad. The minute Tim Cook does that, then it is a sign that Apple has deviated from whatever 5 year plan Steve has left for them. Which is to say, I expect them to start making misteps that will seriously impact the brand in 3 to 5 years.

Comment Re:Meh (Score 1) 1052

but they apparently have an iPad Mini prepped and ready to go to compete there. If rumors are accurate and it goes for $249 or so, then it's going to get a lot of purchases

Please give me a reliable citation. At this point. I think it is safe to say there will not be a new iPad Mini out for the Christmas season. So maybe they announce one in late January? Or maybe they don't? What do I do if I actually want to *own* a tablet that is smaller than 10" and spend less than $350? My choices seem to be an Andriod based tablet or nothing.

Talk is cheap, go ask Microsoft. Apple has just ceded the sub $400 tablet market for Christmas 2012. Maybe they are hoping the Mayans are right and it wont matter?

Comment Not a problem (Score 1) 319

I am sure the Russins mothballed all the German rocket scientists after the Apollo progam beat them to the moon.

All they have to do is pull them out of cryogenic suspension and put them to work on hypersonic technology.

Comment Re:Just the obvious (Score 2, Interesting) 320

I moved to open source so I would not have to pirate software any more. Since I am not an autocad user and GIMP meets my needs, I don't need photoshop.

I move other people to open source so I don't have to pirate software for them.

People don't make recovery disk sets. They lose the CDs/DVDs they do have. They "borrow" software from friends, family and work to install on their computer. Once the computer is riddled with spyware and a nuke and pave is the only way to fix it they have a few choices

1. Provide me DVDs to reinstall the OS and whatever software you want
2. Let me install Linux and learn to use the free alternatieves
3. Take it so someone eles
4. Learn to live with a slow, crashing and comprised PC.

Comment Re:Are these devices that important? (Score 3, Interesting) 336

Once upon a time I would get to work and break into sections a 300 page printout and then leave it in my bosses office. One day I stayed to talk to my boss and watched at they transfered all 300 pages from there inbox to the trash. So I did a lttle research and it turned out a supervisor who had retiered over 10 years ago had wanted that report. One division of the compay ran that report off every day and had it shipped to where I was at. Then somenone in my building had the job of breaking it up into sections and puting it in an IN BOX, for more than 10 years after the need for the report was gone. Everyone was very happy when I told them to stop running that report.

Someone probably had a very good reason for making people put things away on a flight back in 1933 and now no one knows why. Everything now is a justification of a policy that they have always enforced.

Comment Re:Another reason... (Score 1) 1030

Enterprises don't run Windows Defender for free. They buy an AV solition. At that point, no problem with their hosts file. If they by Windows Defender, they can still block access at the firewall.

What is more troubling to me is if I use the host file to modify the behavior of any real world site I can never be sure that Windows Defender won't overide me on this after some update.

Yes, theis is a nightmare. Does Windows Defender ignore my DNS settings for these sites as well? How do I know it won't in the future? They already consider monkeying around with the HOSTs file a legitimate thing to do. Why not skip the middleman of DNS and handle that for us as well with sites they care about?

Comment Re:Microsoft provides discounts to Students and Un (Score 1) 229

Your School district is also responsible for compliance.

You can't just open up a lab with free hardware. You can only take donations of equipment that will run the software well. That $50 a year covers Windows 7 with Office 2010. Then the school has to track how many computers. 50 more "free computers" may mean you have add to your IT budegt if you don't have extra licneses. If evey grade school in your district added 10 donated PC's the District would shut the program down. 10 pc's times 20 elementry schools is 200 computers. I am sure at $50 a year your district is not bying an exta 200 licneses to cover machines that don't exist.

Pretty much means this whole "donated equipment" thing is shut down from the get-go.

Comment Re:Free hardware? (Score 5, Insightful) 229

Windows is NOT just as easy.

Issue One: License compliance. You have to make sure you each machine has a legit copy of windows. Making the assumption these systems have an OEM copy of Windows and knowing what it takes to pass a BSA audit they should have the following: A copy of the invoice for the hardware which shows what verion of Windows is on it. Not just "Windows XP", but "Windows XP SP2". Then they need the Original Windows install media. They should also have a bill of sale or something to document the donation. Plus the maching should have the Windows Licence Key Sticker on it. I know no one crosses all the T's and dots all the I's, but that is what it takes to be in compliance.

Issue Two: Software compliance. You have to make sure you are legit on the software on the computer. MS Office, WordPerfect, PhotoShop, etc. So now you have to do a software audit on the computer. Or you can skip ahead to Issue Three and just wipe the drive and reinsatll the OS.

Issue Three: Cleanly installing the OS to bring the computer back into compliance or to kill the spyware , Cant have a pirate copy of Windows 7 installed on there. If the machine came with XP S2, You have to install that from the original media. Many times people don't even bother to make a set of backeup media. If the system is old enough to use original media instaed of a backup set. then you need drivers for the computer. You may or may not have been given the driver CDs/DVDs. Even if you have, those drvivers are buggy. That means you need to get drivers. So off to to Dell. or HP, or whoever to get the drivers.

Issue Four: Installing the same software on all systems. And again, if any of this is nonfree software, pay attention to license compliance.

And I am not joking. Anyone can phone in and ask for a BSA audit. The school system can decide they don't want to sign on to another 3 years of "MS Software Advantage" at which point the friendly MS rep will remind them that they will be audited for compliance. This is serious stuff.

With Linux all they have to do is toss all the paperwork and CDs. Install from a CD and then check off a list of packages in Synaptic/Software Center. If they partner together with a local linux group/guru they can get an install image with everything already set up. They can even mass blast intalls over the network out to multiple machine. With widnows that takes you to

Issue Five: Purchasing additional licenses if you desire to reimage systems.

I am not saying Widnows is NOT the way to go. There is a lot of great commerceal educationl software. But the license compliance and routine audits are time consuming. You need to have written polices in place about installing and copying software. You need to pay for this software. You have to update a variety of programs with different updaters.

It is NOT as easy as Linux is. It you use a .deb based sytem and only install software from repos. You can image machines, and use batch updates

Issue Six: Heterogeneous computing environment. Windows XP home, Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista Home Basic, etc. Complex environment. The Home machines can't join a domian, cant be administered with group policy. XP using Documents and Settings, Vista using Users. This adds complexity to taking care of these machines.

Then there are other advantages. I can patch, update, modity and work with all of the Ubutnu systems from cli even when there are users logged into the desktop. Even if I have to install an app with a gui I can always do a "vncserver :5" and start up a new desktop that does not interfere with user desktop.

Please do not tell me that it is as easy setting up a computer lab ruinng widows with random donated hardware as it is with Linux. Unless you have a lot of manpower, experince and finances. At that point you could more eaisly create a Widnows Lab with all new Hardware.

Comment Re:Simple solution (Score 1) 408

I use close answers that I won't forget.

When asked the name of my first pet, I give the name of my dads first pet.
When asked my mothers maiden name, I give my ex mother-in-law's maiden name

There is a list of about 15 or 20 standard qustions. For each of them I have a standard answer that is a real "fact" from somthing close but not something someone else will guess. After all, who else will know my best friends tavorite book, or my uncles favorite band.

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