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Operating Systems

Journal Journal: I just noticed a funny thing...

I just noticed a funny thing. I had a few minutes to kill (I'm going out in a bit), and I was idly checking my Slashdot posts to see if anyone had replied to any of them, when I spotted this funny thing.

First, a spot of background. I'm a linux user. I have four PCs within reach right now, all of them running some kind of linux. I'm typing this on Ubuntu 5.10. I've been using linux for over six years in one form or another. I regularly drive my other half up the wall extolling the virtues of Ubuntu over XP, although she must have listened to some of it because she even bought me a linux format magazine subscription for gods sake. I love linux

Which makes this funny thing even funnier. What I noticed, you see, is that a lot of my postings are, for want of a better description, anti-linux. Just recently, I've predicted that linux will fail to take any significant share of the PC gaming market, and argued that XP boots faster than ubuntu. I don't even use XP except at work. Why am I doing this?

Well, I think I'm doing it because blind zealotry drives me nuts. I regularly see posts on slashdot modded as insightful that really are no more than some uninformed fanboys wet dreams. For instance, look at this guy claiming that game developers are going to shift development to linux, or at least start making their games OS agnostic and easy to port. No, they really are not. They are not going to go to all that trouble to chase less than one percent of the home user market. And yes, thats where linux is at the minute. I know the distortions of the slashdot echo chamber might make it seem like linux is conquering the world and Vista is going to be huge disaster, but no, neither of those are true either.

I'm enthusiastic about linux, I really am, but it's still years away from making any significant inroads into the consumer market. And when I say significant, I mean apple level market share. Now just keep in mind, most games and consumer apps never get a mac release, because apple only has a 4-5 % market share. Linux is years from that point. Never mind toppling MS. So, to quote the great Harry Enfield, just calm down.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Random Ramblings on the UK election

Random Ramblings on the UK election.

Four days to go to the most under-anticipated general Election in history, and British democracy really is in a pathetic state.

Just look at the wonderful array of choices on offer. You can vote for more of Blair, the man who took us to war based on lie. The man who helped kill tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians so George Bush could liberate their oil. The man who's government abolished Habeas Corpus with the repellent Prevention of Terrorism act. A man who, terrifyingly, seems to believe his own lies.

If not Labour, then perhaps the Lid Dem's? Well, yes perhaps. If you want to vote for a party who's bumbling leader, along with a third of his MPs, could not be bothered to turn up and vote when Blair abolished our right to be innocent till proven guilty.

If not the Lib Dem's, perhaps the Tories? The Tories, it must be said, offer an attractive manifesto. Apparently, they plan to cut public spending, lower taxes, and improve public services. See if you can spot whats wrong with that sentence. Yes, apparently Micheal can give us more, for less, with less.Still, you can promise more or less anything when you know your chances of winning are somewhere between none and, well, minus none.

Of course, none of this really makes any difference to me. For a whole host of reasons I can ignore the politicians and they can ignore me.

None of this really makes any difference to me because the missus and I are Dinkies (Double Income No Kids) in our twenties, so as far as the major parties are concerned, we simply do not exist. Old people, now, they exist. Gordon Brown spent millions bribing them with council tax rebates. So do "hard working families". Not sure about Lazy families mind, but "hard working families" are a regular feature of political dialogue, with every party offering them something. Tax credits, child care, better education, maternity leave, oh they get the lot. The wants, needs and desires of those of us under pension age, or who have not, as yet, decided to breed are of no interest to the vote grubbing scum. This is often attributed to the fact that few of us vote. A vicious circle really, since we are only going to vote when we are given something to vote for.

Of course even if one of the parties offered a policy that I felt inclined to vote for it would be a waste of time, since I do not live in a marginal constituency. At the last election, my Labour MP was returned with a 29 percent majority. It would take a swing of 15% to the Lib Dem's to unseat her. Not a cat in hells chance. So, thanks to our insane electoral system, even if I did want to vote my vote would be wasted. At each election, roughly a hundred marginal constituencies decide the result. In 2001, the labour party won just over 40% of the vote. Our wonderfully insane electoral system translated this into a 167 seat majority. A landslide victory, despite 60 percent of the voters wanting someone else.

Thanks to this system, Blair is likely to win another huge majority, despite being one of the most despised Prime Ministers in recent British history. If I could affect the result in any way, I would vote for a hung parliament. Besides the fact that this would be the fairest result, it would also be the best result. In a hung parliament passing legislation is very tough, meaning that we could have four or five years of MPs doing nothing but argue. This seems like a good thing. After all, our politicians are an incompetent, insane shower of bastards. At least in a hung parliament the damage they can do would be limited.

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Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.