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Comment Re:Windows Upgrades (Score 1) 570

Are you trying to suggest that x64 versions of Vista aren't in regular use by regular people?

If this is your feeling, then you should know it's wholly inaccurate.

I've been running Vista Pro x64 on my HP laptop (my primary work box, as a developer and business owner) for ~2 years now, and I have everything on it.

It's my primary desktop for both work and personal life.

It's been nearly flawless after SP1, and is worlds better than XP was. Mind you, it's a stacked laptop, or at least was 2 years ago when I bought it (dual core 2.4, 4gb, 7200rpm, 512mb nvidia graphics card).

Maybe you were suggesting something else though, it was hard to tell.

Comment Re:Windows Upgrades (Score 5, Informative) 570

All that fear mongering was a bunch of hooey.

What is locked out?


Do P2P apps work properly?


Are there unexplained phone-homes?

Vista and W7 are much more thoroughly instrumented than XP was. Many of these will send anonymous usage and config data back to MS. These are all well documented and understood, and don't really cause any concern for privacy.

They're largely all disable-able, though they are scattered, as many of the product groups rolled their own systems for this (ie, office vs. media player vs wga, etc).

Can I still play out-of-region CDs?

This is dependent on the hardware and software you use. But the OS in no way gets involved.

Do I have to fight UAC like someone with Vista?

Loaded question. UAC on Vista (post SP1) worked exactly as it was intended. Any problems you had you should blame on your app vendors.

Or yourself, if you chose to not customize UAC behavior to your liking. It is tremendously customizable (even in Vista) in how it behaves, how it prompts, whether or not to use the secure desktop, etc etc. If you don't like it, just configure it so that you do.

W7 loosens it a bit so that many actions that the OS perceives as 'initiated by the user' dont cause an elevation. This is how it ships. You can turn it back to Vista style if you want, or otherwise customize it.

Can I copy any standard file type on to any standard media?


Comment Re:To Mac or Not (Score 1) 672

3 Cables? How do you figure that.

Looking at mine:

1 x power
1 x ethernet
1 x speakers
1 x keyboard
1 x mouse
2 x external displays

I know not everyone is going to have 2 external displays, but even without, that's still 6 cables you have to plug and unplug every single time you come or go from the office.

The reason people say you need docking stations at work is that most folks can't do real 8-10 hours on the computer using tiny cramped keyboards and tiny cramped displays that are all in the wrong location from each other.

It's okay for a couple hours in meetings or sitting in Starbucks, but for real developer work you need a real full size keyboard, a real external mouse, a real 22" or larger display (at least one).

Not to mention that because Mac's lack docking stations, you can never have more than one external display.

Comment Re:Thinkpad T-series (Score 1) 672

HP makes phenomenal laptops, but you have to make sure you're buying corporate kit, and not consumer level stuff.

Basically, if you're buying it from a physical retail store, you're buying consumer garbage.

The prior generation, the ones with the 'Compaq' label and otherwise just numbers were excellent.

The new ones are the Elitebooks (IIRC) and are quite amazing.

Not cheap though.

They're marketed as Engineering Workstation Laptops. My HP Compaq 8710w has treated me well for a couple years now, and has been nearly indestructible. Might be a bit big/heavy for some folks (17" widescreen, plus I carry the external 12-cell monstro-battery with it so I can work at Starbucks for hours and hours).

Comment Re:Glossy and Matte (Score 1) 672

Your primary argument for the Mac's seems to be how they look.

Who cares. It's a tool.

And there are a number of aluminum chassis laptops with backlit keyboards and nearly all the stuff you want. Most of the mainstream corp kit is that nowadays.

It's arguable that the Macs are slightly better made from a physical standpoint. But there are some very nice non-apple laptops out there.

The HP Compaq stuff (Elitebook 17" for example), or the Dell Latitude E's, or the Lenovo.

Lastly, you're right in that when it was owned by IBM, the Thinkpad's were the best. That margin is pretty much non-existent now under Lenovo. The rest of the manufacturers have caught up.

Right now I'm using an HP Compaq 8710w, and this thing is a workhorse. It gets abused and just keeps on going. It's black, and dirty, because I'm a man and I don't give a rat's hairy ass how it looks.

Again, I'm a man, so I could care less about size and weight, within reason. With other equipment, books, and magazines in my laptop bag, the bag approaches 30 pounds at times anyway, so the couple pounds of the laptop is irrelevant.

Comment Re:requirements (Score 1) 672

That's ridiculous.

A typical power user on a laptop (like a developer) has the following:

1 x power
1 x ethernet
1 x speakers
1 x keyboard
1 x mouse
1or2 x external displays

I know not everyone is going to have 2 external displays, but even without, that's 6 cables to plug in. You can reduce it by one if you use a USB hub.

Plus most laptops dont have dual-density DVI ports (that support two 1920x1200 external displays) on them, only on the docking station.

Comment Re:requirements (Score 1) 672

That is a completely absurd statement.

My docking station has 7 wires running out of it. Without the docking station, I would have to connect and disconnect all 7 of those wires every time (multiple times per day) that I arrive at or leave from the office.

There isn't a laptop on earth whose keyboard can match my MS Natural, or a proper optical mouse. Not to mention the 24" screens and real speakers.

Generally the only people who can use the laptop full time without external keyboard/mouse/displays are lightweight users, people who only use it a couple hours per day.

Comment Re:You will have to know tech either way (Score 1) 592

Active LLC owners are subject to the self employment tax. This is one of the advantages of S Corp over LLC.

This is incorrect, or at least, not globally correct.

When you have an LLC, you have a choice on how its taxed.

You can trivially have an LLC that is taxed as a corp, and the owners are not subject to any pass-through or self-employment tax.

My business is setup that way, and its fairly common. Many LLC's start out small, with pass-through taxing, and then go the corp-taxed route when they get big enough for it to make sense.

Comment Re:Just remember the first rule of RAID 0 (Score 1) 564

You can't count to break a hardware-managed mirror, take one disk to a standard SATA controller and get any data out of it.

Actually, that _always_ works, at least with mainstream raid controllers.

RAID-1 mirroring (and only RAID-1 mirroring) does not write the data in a proprietary format on the drive. The only difference between a mirrored drive and a regular drive is that most decent RAID controllers will write the volume configuration to every drive as well.

Now, what you say is absolutely true when dealing with any other raid type.

Note that there may be odd or really crappy controllers that do use a proprietary format for RAID-1, but thats not the case for all the mainstream cards used in intel servers.

Comment Re:Just remember the first rule of RAID 0 (Score 1) 564

I dont think you understand what RAID1 is for.

There are failure modes where mirroring makes it impossible to determine which drive is correct.

No there arent. There's always a primary, and unless it fails, its the correct one, by definition.

Errors when writing sectors are not always reported,

This is not a failure mode RAID1 is intended to protect against.

quite apart from the case where the power goes off and one drive has flushed its cache and the other drive hasn't.

If this happens, then that means the system's/rack's/room's battery backups didnt work, and the raid card's onboard battery also didnt work. This is not a failure of RAID1, its a failure of your systems design and maintenance.

Even if you know which drive to replace

You always know which drive to replace. The RAID card tells you. On most systems, its the drive with the red or orange light on it, instead of the regular green light.

What do you think the chances of that operation completing successfully with today's large drives is? Hint: the rate of errors/sector hasn't improved much in the last ten years while the sector count has increase massively.

The chances of it completing successfully before the other drive fails is usually quite high. If your rebuild times are so long that you experience significant risk of failing the other drive during rebuild, then you need to use smaller drives, or some other approach.

RAID1 is useless for protecting against hardware errors - people use it for the stellar read-performance and for no other reason.

This statement shows that you dont understand what RAID1 is for. No RAID solution is, by itself, intended to protect against bus errors, undetected write corruption, cosmic-ray induced bit flipping, or other forms of corruption at that level.

RAID1 provides availability. It allows your machine to stay up and keep going if a drive fails. You also get some concomitant improvement in read speeds, but thats not usually the primary reason, its just a nice side effect.

Comment Re:So why (Score 1) 191

I love how people still say PostgreSQL does it better and yet it is still slower,

Slower at what? Sure, MySQL may be faster when doing a single table select with a simple where clause on an ISAM table.

But then it utterly breaks down when you want to do things like join a bunch of tables together, or do sub-queries or WHERE IN clauses. I can make MySQL go into an infinite loop using an extremely simple 'where in' subquery on tiny tables. This is a bug thats been in the system and known for YEARS, but never fixed.

MySQL is horrendously slow at the kind of sql queries that surpass single-table selects.

Comment Re:So why (Score 1) 191

MS-SQL's query planner and core engine may not be as mature and advanced as Oracle's, but it's still orders of magnitude better than MySQL and PostgreSQL in my experience.

Especially the former. I can run queries in MSSQL that does an inner join on 12 tables, none of which have less than a million records, and get a result in far less than a second.

Compare that to MySQL, where if you use a WHERE IN clause, will largely tend to go into an infinite loop and never finish, even on tiny tables and recordsets.

Once you get past the most basic of basic one-table CRUD operations, you really see how incredibly primitive MySQL is.

Sadly though, MySQL ends up being completely adequate in a lot of situations, as long as you're willing to adapt report-query writing and your style to its incredible limitations.

Comment Re:Competitive pricing? Doesn't matter... (Score 1) 821

You're missing some key aspects of the PC business.

Manufacturers like Dell and HP get alot of money from 3rd parties (like Intuit) to put trial version and nagware on the windows desktops.

This can often drive the effective net price of a windows desktop lower than one without an OS (+$50 for windows, -$150 for various bundled trialware/nagware).

In addition, if the manufacturer doesnt have their support infrastructure fully setup, then they may feel that there is a higher support cost to them for non-windows than windows.

Then there are marketing subsidies from Intel, AMD and Microsoft to put labels on the machines, etc.

There are many non-obvious aspects of the industry like this, its never as simple as hardware + os = total price.

Comment Re:Ultimate Rip-Off (Score 1) 821

And don't get me started on the need for "signed device drivers". Ugh. I have to have a boot script that deactivates that little feature in the kernel every time I start my machine. I wonder if they left it in Windows 7.

Only for Vista x64 and only for kernel-mode drivers.

What exact driver/hardware is it that is causing you this problem?

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