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Comment Call me a Luddite... (Score 1) 249

...but I still run XP that I setup to look like W2K, which was a lot like W95/98. In most ways, since I left OS/2 Warp in the latter part of the 90's, I've been using the same GUI; so well over a dozen years. The OS GUI is a means to an end and familiarity is a lot better than eye candy. Never mind the performance benefits.

Comment Re:Got the Mono? (Score 1) 168

Sure with two or more drivers in a single speaker enclosure you can get something similar to stereo imaging. I believe this is what you are referring to in terms of a multi-directional speaker. However in a device this size I think the differentiation between drivers and speakers sort of breaks down and I suspect we are just talking about one driver. I will grant that if the "speaker" has two or more drivers then you can get limited stereo sound. Of course I would have expected the marketing guys to call this two stereo speakers in the first place. The only way I can think of getting some *like* stereo (but only the ambiance part not true imaging) out of single driver and coil would be with a Linaeum dipole or similar.

Comment Re:How is this news. (Score 1) 931

The car analogy is very apt and applies to the IT/support side as well. This is why, despite being an IT guy, they can have XP when they pry it from my cold dead computers. This is also why the first thing I do is make XP look like Windows 2000* (a MS high water mark for me in terms of stripped down interface simplicity and speed). Changing things up is like the Ribbon "innovation". Sure the older interface may have been a little less than optimal but after using it for years just about everyone knew where to find the things they needed. To me an OS "upgrade" should largely be under the hood and almost always allow you to use older, and usually faster/simpler, skins.

Given that a decent 5 year old PC has enough horsepower for most of the non gamers out there, the increased reliability of hardware, the economy, etc. I wouldn't be surprised to see XP maintain this lead for quite a while. It will be interesting to bet when it will slip below 50%.

Anyhow, I admin over half a dozen PCs in my house and they will be on XP for many years to come. While I progressed over the years from C64s, to SunOS4.1.1 (and many flavors of UNIX then Linux), to OS/2, to Windows; the "novelty" of a new OS has worn off a long time ago. I just want security, stability, and reliability. XP is "good enough" when configured and used correctly and when you only need it to run a browser, a few office type apps, and play movies; it will continue to be for the foreseeable future. The computer is a more mature appliance/tool today, not a toy and again the car/driving analogy works well.

*PS. This is also why the Parent could probably convince his people running W2K to upgrade to XP which is still being supported.

Comment Re:Mouse "Thumb" button? (Score 1) 267

I use the thumb button for "back" *all* the time. When I started a new job I tossed the corded, three button optical in drawer and plugged in a wireless with thumb button from home. I find it hard to use a mouse without one. I feel as if my thumb has been cut off. Once you know the speed and ease of browsing with a middle scroll button for tabs and a thumb button for back you will never go back.

Comment Re:Good thing (Score 4, Insightful) 949

I'm going to "me too" this. I would love there to be a legal alternative to buy non-drm files instead of purchasing the bloody physical media. I'd pay a decent amount to download a high quality torrent. The value to me is having a trusted source with a beautiful 10GB encode from the original. I'd easily pay $5 per movie, perhaps $10 for that. As far as I'm concerened the MPAA should set this up and watch their distribution cost plummet. Heck they could stick to torrents and have the customers help distribute. For TV the same thing goes. I'd download ones with commercials even if they posted them at the same time as they go to air. I'd probably even pay a modest subscription. Basically until they offer something like this they have no business going after "pirates" since their other option are so crappy. Once they do, all the power to them.
Input Devices

Is the Line-in Jack On the Verge of Extinction? 411

SlashD0tter writes "Many older sound cards were shipped with line-out, microphone-in, and a line-in jacks. For years I've used such a line-in jack on an old Windows 2000 dinosaur desktop that I bought in 2000 (600 Mhz PIII) to capture the stereo audio signal from an old Technics receiver. I've used this arrangement to recover the audio from a slew of old vinyl LPs and even a few cassettes using some simple audio manipulating software from a small shop in Australia. I've noticed only recently, unfortunately, that all of the four laptops I've bought since then have omitted a line-in jack, forcing me to continue keeping this old desktop on life support. I've looked around for USB sound cards that include a line-in jack, but I haven't been too impressed by the selection. Is the line-in jack doomed to extinction, possibly due to lobbying from vested interests, or are there better thinking-outside-the-box alternatives available?"

Planned Nuclear Reactors Will Destroy Atomic Waste 344

separsons writes "A group of French scientists are developing a nuclear reactor that burns up actinides — highly radioactive uranium isotopes. They estimate that 'the volume of high-level nuclear waste produced by all of France’s 58 reactors over the past 40 years could fit in one Olympic-size swimming pool.' And they're not the only ones trying to eliminate atomic waste: Researchers at the University of Texas in Austin are working on a fusion-fission reactor. The reactor destroys waste by firing streams of neutrons at it, reducing atomic waste by up to 99 percent!"

Comment Re:3D glasses the death of this (Score 1) 178

Actually you've got it backwards. In many or most first world countries the majority of people wear glasses. It is possible that eliminating reading glasses may take the number under 50% but since I have seen it quoted as almost 2/3 perhaps not. In any event it is also for these people that the 3D glasses are a PITA since they have to go over the prescription ones.

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