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Comment Hobbyist Usage (Score 1) 160

One thing which I haven't seen mentioned is hobbyist usage, especially on surplus UltraSPARC hardware. I recently acquired a used Ultra 5 on which is now installed Solaris 11 Express. So far, my only issues have been getting a working X configuration and getting a Prism2-based WiFi card to work (PCI, supposedly supported by the pcwl(5) driver).

I'm an old Unix/Linux geek, but my last Solaris exposure was Sol9 on a Sparc 20. It has, so far, been interesting to learn about some of the newer innovations such as ZFS and the new service handling and administration.

Comment Time for MythBusters (Score 2, Funny) 127

This week on MythBusters: 'Are full or empty beer bottles sturdier and does their fracture-threshold suffice to break the human skull?'

Cut to shots of a sprint-loaded arm smashing bottles on the head of poor Buster. Quick cut to reaction shot of Cary and Grant.

Later in the show... Adam and Jamie get to the bottom of our navel fluff mystery.

Comment Re:It's the anti-apple (Score 1) 234

The problem is that you are thinking of it as a general-purpose computer rather than an appliance.

Look at it this way- I go to Best Buy and purchase a particular model of wireless router; it is version 'n' of the hardware and runs a Linux core. The next week, I go to Staples and purchase another of the exact same brand and model of router, only to receive version 'n+1' which now runs VxWorks. Both meet the same functional specifications as outlined on the package and both have the same configuration GUI. Nowhere was I guaranteed that I would get a Linux-based router.

Its the same here. Each Africa may have different internal hardware, but that is all hidden by running different ports of the same OS and applications and only guaranteeing the same minimal functional level. The issue comes when a power user decides to move beyond the installed functionality by adding a software package which is not available for the archtecture of his specific Africa (ever try to find modern CE software for anything other than ARM?), but this is not the target audience of the device.

Comment Re:An alternate theory (Score 1) 499

I'm reminded a bit of the classic WB cartoon where the elves describe mass production to the shoemaker. What people couldn't foresee what the idea of transportation becoming so cheap (or labor remaining so expensive) that you could actually make the product half-way around the world and still sell it cheaper than if you made it in the US.

Similarly, the 1960's cartoon "The Jetsons" envisioned a future with a 3-day work week, most of which involved having to periodically push "the button". By the 1980s, though, we began to see new office technologies such as the fax machine not as the means to decreasing work, but as the means of expanding the work day to having more time to do the same work. The same can be said or the Blackberry which provides such a level of connectivity that one never has to let an employee "stop" working for the day.

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