Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:Uh..... the price tag?! (Score 2) 97

I suppose you're largely paying for thin there. I can get a similarly speced Dell Precision with a touch screen and a 2TB SSD for about $1000 less (With Linux preiinstalled.) The Apple Trash Can is competing in the workstation arena, though, and I just did a monster VR desktop build and was having trouble breaking 4 grand with it. Although it would have been a lot easier if I were trying to put a Xeon or dual Xeon in it. The amount of labor I put in to building it myself probably would have tacked another $1000 or so onto the price.

Given that you'd be able to use that (Apple) machine for upwards of 10 years if you wanted to, the price isn't particularly unreasonable. My first aluminum mac pro from 2005-ish is currently serving as an asterisk box for a friend of mine who has a small business and needed a PBX system, and the machine is still plenty capable of doing that. It wasn't even ridiculously expensive for a dual Xeon workstation at the time -- I don't think I could have built one for less money back then.

Comment Re:I own one... (Score 4, Informative) 109

Uh, what? That has to be a typo.

I have a 2013 with 95k miles on it. I still owe about $9,000. The deal will pay me about $18,000, so I'll walk away with $9,000 in cash after paying off the loan.

I'm headed over to my dealer this weekend to see what kind of incentive he'll give me on top of that for sticking with VW. Considering new Jettas start around $15,000, I could end up with a new car (2017 model year) for almost nothing.

Comment Re:Hardware is so much better? (Score 1) 78

I wish my experience were similar, because I'm also the kind of person who doesn't buy cheap tat and does do his research. I only buy from reputable sources. I typically buy mid-range products at minimum, and often towards the higher end. And I have still encountered dramatically more failures generally but also dramatically more deliberate crippling of products in recent years.

I do agree that there is some element of modern technology simply being more complex and/or working on smaller scales and so inherently having less margin for error. Whether I really need a more vulnerable 4TB hard drive instead of a more robust 1TB drive if I only have a few hundred GB of data to store anyway is a different question, of course, but bigger numbers presumably shift more boxes so that's what everyone supplies.

There is probably also an element of dumb luck in my personal anecdotes. I had an amazing lack of failures for many years, with not so much as a hard drive giving out on me during its working lifetime across many different machines. Statistically, I was well into the long tail for that period, and what I've seen more recently may in part just be reverting to the mean.

But that doesn't excuse things like printers that decide your ink/toner has run out after a fixed number of pages when you can see there's plenty of supply left, or tablets that get security patches for barely a year or two before some OS update designed for newer hardware leaves them barely able to run any more, or cars where diagnosing a warning light on the dash means an expensive visit to a dealer but adding a simple report of the underlying fault code to the already pathetically bad onboard UI would mean owners could fix the problem and the clear the error in five minutes themselves without paying. These kinds of trends are rampant in their respective industries, even among big name brands and high-end products, and they are nothing but customer-hostile cash grabs.

Comment Re:Hardware is so much better? (Score 1) 78

Blame the environmentalists, its the shitty solder. Got a customer who is an engineer, I fix his PCs, he fixes my electronics and you have no idea how many times he has popped the back off a device of mine just to find tin whiskers.

So IMHO its a perfect example of how the "we have to DO something!" mentality nearly always leads to failure, as they got rid of lead in solder to "protect the environment!"....only to end up creating fricking mountains of e-waste because gear that before would easily last a decade is now lucky if it lasts 3 years thanks to all the shit solder shorting everything out.

Comment Re:Staff have to be smart again (Score 1) 78

Oh lord the puppies don't remember their history!

DirectX became a "thing" because of "The Lion King" on PC. A lot of the OEMs sold a shitload of units with the Lion King game preloaded, IIRC it was Xmas season 94. All these kids came down on Xmas morning to play...only to find out the game didn't work on like 90% of the hardware out there. Of course nobody blamed the shitty programmers for only supporting a couple of chips, nope they blamed Windows 3.1 and MSFT and had a royal stinking shitfit, even ended up on the nightly news, kinda a "MSFT is the Grinch that crapped on Xmas" angle.

Well if there was one thing that MSFT under Billy didn't like? It was bad press, so next thing you know they announce "Direct3D" and "DirectDraw" to solve this very problem of every game needing drivers for every bit of kit. Later on they combined the different APIs into what is now called DirectX.

Comment Re:Something's fishy (Score 1) 212

I don't really understand that sort of generalisation, though I've certainly seen it a lot lately. About 16 million people voted to remain and about 17 million to leave. That's a lot of people, the majority of the adult population of the UK, so no doubt there were some delusional extremists and some just plain nasty people in there, but I imagine most of those millions of people probably weren't like that, on either side. Certainly I've talked to plenty of people from both camps who have been reasonable and quite well informed, even if they came down on opposite sides of the debate in the end. I guess I must be living in a different country to the one I keep reading about.

Comment Re:Something's fishy (Score 1) 212

I honestly have no idea what you're trying to say there. Did you reply to the wrong comment?

My previous comment was agreeing with someone else's view that Brexit will almost certainly reduce GDP in the short and possibly medium term, and then noting that there are various ways it might work out better in the longer term but no-one really knows what will happen that far ahead. I didn't say anything about subsidies, nor express any other opinion on Brexit.

Comment Re:Hardware is so much better? (Score 2) 78

I'm afraid we might just have to agree to disagree on some of this.

Certainly you're right that modern cars are more reliable, and the better built-in diagnostics are a part of that. But the flip side is that you used to be able to buy a repair manual for any major model of car and take care of it yourself, and if you did then many popular models could last almost forever. Today it's barely possible to change a light bulb or diagnose the cause of a simple warning light in many new models without going to see your dealer, a term for the official representatives of the car manufacturers with other connotations that also seem all too appropriate these days.

As for the modern electronics you speak of, I fear you're suffering from much the same perception bias you think I have. A lot of devices made the best part of a decade ago were pretty reliable, but standards have dropped sharply even as recently as the past 5 years. My previous washing machine also lasted about a decade with a couple of minor repairs along the way. Talking to a surprisingly honest salesman when buying the new one, he said only certain prestige brands would expect that sort of longevity today, and with most of the mid-range models you'd be doing well if it was still economic to maintain them beyond 5 years. I never had a PC fail on me before being retired after many years of use until about 2010. I haven't had a single PC, at home or work, of any spec, last beyond about 3-4 years without at least one serious hardware failure since then. My previous DVD player lasted many years. My current Blu-Ray player, a relatively expensive model at purchase, is already starting to fail after maybe three years. Printers. Phones and tablets. TVs. PVRs. Headphones. Networking gear. Almost no technology is built to last these days, except perhaps for some of the high-end prestige brands, and many of the electronic devices in my home and office come with some element of built-in obsolescence that is entirely artificial, often due to legal controls on replacement parts and interoperability, or to dependencies on software or online services that aren't supported for very long.

I'm certainly not saying that everything we made yesterday was better made in every way than what we produce today, but junk that fails after what used to be considered a very short lifetime, often for entirely deliberate and artificial reasons, and with limited or no prospect of servicing or repair to restore it to use, is mostly a very modern and very unwelcome trend.

Comment Re:Something's fishy (Score 1) 212

Those predictions are certainly consistent with what the more informed people I know have been saying. In the short term, it seems almost certain that the UK economy will drop significantly in GDP terms. It's possible that this effect will continue for several years, depending on what if any post-Brexit deal with the EU gets worked out. But the worst of the doom-and-gloom predictions probably aren't realistic, because there are also areas such as those we were discussing before where the EU has been a negative influence even if it's a net benefit overall, and there are some effects like the devaluation of Sterling that may provide some cushioning effect for the economy.

In the longer term, it seems the jury's out. The UK already trades more with non-EU partners than EU ones, and trade with non-EU partners is growing faster so the gap has been widening. It will surely widen even faster in future if the remaining EU leaders follow through on their scorched earth rhetoric, though at some point it's likely that the adults will step in and prevent that. Meanwhile, the EU has serious economic problems of its own still bubbling under the surface, particularly within the Eurozone. As we've been seeing with TTIP and CETA, claims that the EU is somehow better placed to negotiate new trade deals with foreign partners than an independent UK may be exaggerated. And if the coming elections in places like France and Germany go in favour of eurosceptic/nationalist parties, which is certainly a possibility at the moment, the EU may not exist in its current form within a few years anyway.

For any of these factors to mean Brexit leaves the UK economically better off, it seems we're talking about 5-10 years at a minimum, though, unless something catastrophic happens within the EU sooner than that. And even a decade from now, if events turn the other way with the EU stabilising but wider global trade suffering for some reason, maybe Brexit will prove to be unhelpful economically even in the longer term. In reality, I doubt anyone has enough information and foresight to make useful predictions that far out.

Comment Re:Was Obvious from the Start (Score 1) 325

I would say not only that but people that are into watches? These things are about as appealing as ass cancer. You talk to people that actually spend real money on a watch? They will talk your ears off about Swiss movements and dial faces and all the beautiful craftsmanship and are NEVER gonna get that level of detail and care in what is essentially a little computer strapped to your wrist, you just aren't. Great watches are really these things out of time, with their little gears and springs, you can almost picture some watchmaker with an eyepiece working on this delicate little instrument, you just aren't gonna get that kinda vibe from a circuit board and an LCD panel, you just aren't.

Hell even the geeks I talked to that like watches didn't want these things, they want a Nixie watch like the woz has or one of those cool LED watches from the 70s, so I have no clue who they expected to buy these.

Slashdot Top Deals

Everybody likes a kidder, but nobody lends him money. -- Arthur Miller