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Comment And it shows in longevity (Score 4, Interesting) 253

When it was a question of phone, it was mostly Nokias that were inexpensive, worked well, battery held up days. Then we had the SMS craze that gave us better screens and a better keyboard. These were purchased mostly for weight and for look, like a jewelry piece. They lasted years until someone grew tired of it, after the 3rd battery change.

Now, the best correlation would be the computer industry. In the 90s, a computer would last 3 years until a major paradigm shift and a break to a much better CPU/GPU/HDD. Now, the Average Joe doesn't need the latest greatest 3K$ computer, (s)he can take a 1K$ computer and be happy for years with it.

The phone industry gets there slowly too. There are major speed advances, miniaturization, optimizations, and a phone you'd be tempted to change every year doesn't need to be changed anymore at such breakneck speed, however the industry is still improving with users demanding even more, so we're not there yet. My iPhone 4 still works relatively well, although it shows its age by not running the latest apps as fast as a new phone can. It's more than 10x slower than the current 6 in most categories, and apps are getting to use that speed. My battery life is 2 days of normal use, however, it drains quickly if I start to connect to Facebook or Safari, or other heavy-duty modern applications. But I just look at my wife's 4S and it's leaps beyond by 4, and it's merely a year later ... We could probably keep it 1-2 more years, or even more, depending on what the modern apps expect of the phone.

I'm giving the iPhone as example. This applies to any given phone that's using 3rd party tools and apps. I noticed the upgrade pace is slowing in users. You need a real shift in order to get a user to switch these days, where it was ridiculous _not_ to shift every year 3-4-5 years ago.

Comment Re:Good showcase device, not much more (Score 1) 337

(Note to modders: not on topic, just replying to anon, please don't mod up)

> Sadly, no. 8 (and 7) are still very power stupid. They constantly do stupid shit like run indexers and eager caches that run your battery down fast. Throw win8 on a mac book pro and watch as that 9 (okay, 5 in reality) hours drops down to 2. ... and XP, and 98, and 95. Every single system adds up modern tools users expect to have. Now we all expect a global computer search, we expect upgrades to be downloaded automatically, we expect malware to be blocked at its root, we expect automated backups in case something goes wrong, we expect "checkpoints" in case a software causes issues. At the same time, we want responsive beautiful GUI with responsiveness, pre-loading of big tools (Even Libre Office loads at start). We now have a great firewall, have hardware abstraction and environment virtualization, address randomization, 32 bits and 64 bits of everything, we have immediate plug and play for everything, system-level URL handling, multicore and multiprocessor management, SSD trim handling or HDD on-the-fly optimization and frequently requested blocks at startup, and so on. To compare previous systems with new versions isn't worthwhile, rare are the new systems that don't add up their levels of lag due to the inherent complexity.

Now I do tend to my work Windows machine by removing everything in my powers that could slow down or cause undue burden to the machine, so even if I currently run Windows 7, it reacts more like an XP machine, with traditional GUI, and everything I don't need preemptively removed and tweaked to a ridiculous level. My computer works well and I'm glad of it.

@ home, it's all Macs and although they accelerated some things in recent OSes, some others are really slower than they used to be. Apple also got the great advantage of a walled garden, so they know exactly what's in each model. Drivers are premium and system is optimized for efficiency of every machine.

Comment Good showcase device, not much more (Score 1, Interesting) 337

IMHO (TL;DR), the Surface Pro 3 is a great device but with an identity crisis without a real segment of users to cover.

Windows 8 was created precisely for such device, and since other vendors were reluctant to enter market with these specs, Microsoft actually used 8 to its full potential with their own design. It's the only place where 8.x actually makes total sense.

Problems were mainly with previous devices, let's be frank. That entire RT debacle was laughable, most people didn't understand why their Windows tablet wouldn't run their Windows software. As such, market was burned before the 3. But now, if you are on the market for such a beast, you'll have a great experience... which is part of the persisting problem. Why would you actually purchase such device?

- As a tablet? Most tablets are much less expensive, they don't run Windows software but why should they, as most ecosystems are now mature enough to forego Windows. As added bonus, their softwares are optimized precisely for these devices. Where you got a weird "traditional" mouse-and-keyboard Windows software trying to fit in a touch environment, you get a perfectly capable iOS or Android software doing exactly what you wish, with a great experience.

- As a laptop? Then you better get the keyboard, and even without it, the device itself is very expensive due to the digitizer and screen, which most laptop people won't care. It's less capable than equivalently priced laptops. It's more expensive than equivalently capable netbooks and laptops. Then for normal consumer, it might be worthwhile to get something such as a Chromebook.

So you need someone who wants a Windows PC with 8.x optimized applications, who loves using a tablet, such as a presentation device or with a propensity to draw with pens (artists - but not too specialized - GPU is poor), deeper pockets and doesn't mind a haphazard keyboard (even if the optional folding keyboard is well received, it's still a far cry from a standalone keyboard if you wish to use it in a train for example)

Comment Re: So far what I lost... (Score 1) 396

Yeah, with scratches it's a valid assumption. However, in my case it was cheap CDs with inks that degraded, so the reflectivity of the data itself was degraded, the drive was ultimately unable to retrieve data on most sectors, or it was able after dozen of reads over the same block of data, until the data got its green flag from the recovery algorithm embedded in Data-CD format specs.

A scratch is localized. CD dye degradation is global. But thanks for the idea.

Comment So far what I lost... (Score 4, Interesting) 396

Bitrot is not usually the issue for most files. Sometimes, but it's rare. What I lost is a mayhem repository of hardware and software and human failure. Thanks for backup, life :)

On Bitrot:

- MP3s and M4As I had that suddenly started to stutter and jump around. You play the music and it starts to skip. Luckily I have backups (read on for why I have multiple backups of everything :) ) so when I find them, I just revert to the backup.
- Images having bad sectors like everyone else. Once or twice here or there.

- A few CDs due to CD degradation. That includes one that I really wish I'd still have, as it was a backup of something I lost. However, the CD takes hours to read, and then eventually either balks up or not for the directory. I won't tell you about actually trying to copy the files, especially with normal timeouts in modern OSes or the hardware pieces or whatnot.

Not Bitrot:

- Two RAID Mirror hard drives, as they were both the same company, and purchased at the same time (same batch), in the same condition, they both balked at approximately the same time, not leaving me time to transfer data back.

- An internal hard drive, as I was making backups to CDs (at that time). For some kind of reason I still cannot explain, the software thought my hard drive was both the source and the destination !!!! Computer froze completely after a minute or two, then I tried rebooting to no avail, and my partition block was now containing a 700mb CD image, quarter full with my stuff. I still don't know how that's possible, but hey, it did. Since I was actualy making my first CD at the time and it was my first backup in a year, I lost countless good files, many I gave up upon (especially my 90's favorite music video sources ripped from the original betacam tapes in 4:2:2 by myself).

- A full bulk of HDs on Mac when I tried putting the journal to another internal SSD drive. I have dozens of HDDs, and I thought it'd go faster to use that nifty "journal on another drive" option. It did work well, although it was hell to initialize, as I had to create a partition for each HDD, then convert them to journaled partitions. Worked awesomely, very quick, very efficient. One day after weeks of usage, I had to hard close the computer and its HDD. When they remounted, they all remounted in the wrong order, somehow using the bad partition order. So imagine you have perfectly healthy HDDs but thinking they have to use another HDDs journal. Mayhem! Most drives thought they were other ones, so my music HDD became my photos HDD RAID, my system HDD thought it was the backup HDD, but just what was in the journal. It took me weeks sporting DiskWarrrior and Data Rescue in order to get 99% of my files back (I'm looking at you, DiskWarrior as a 32 bit app not supporting my 9TB photo drive) with a combinaison of the original drive files and the backup drive files. Took months to rebuild the Aperture database from that.

- All my pictures from when I met my wife to our first travels. I had them in a computer, I made a copy for sure. But I cannot find any of that anywhere. Nowhere to be found, no matter where I look. Since that time, many computers happened, so I don't know where it could've been sent. But I'm really sad to have lost these

- Did a paid photoshoot for an unique event. Took 4 32GB cards worth of priceless pictures. Once done with a card, I was sifting through the pictures with my camera and noticed it had issues reading the card. I removed it immediately. When at home, I put the card in my computer, it had all the troubles in the world reading it (but was able to do so), I was (barely) able to import its contents to Aperture (4-5 pictures didn't make the cut, a few dozens had glitches). It would then (dramatically, as it somehow have its last breath after relinquishing its precious data) not read or mount anywhere, not even being recognized as a card by the readers. Childs, use new cards regularly for your gigs :)

- A RAID array breaking, and the company nowhere to be found after all these years, and the discs not being able to be read elsewhere.

- Countless HDDs breaking in various ways (including a cat throwing a vase full of water onto an open laptop ... yeah ... love my cats sometimes), all without consequences as I have daily backups of everything I own, and monthly offsites.

Comment Peachy once iCloud is off (Score 5, Interesting) 488

Update went well on my iPhone 4 (not S). Still am getting used to some elements. For example, the "ok" to unlock is kind of really unclear, and as such, I have doubts on putting nondescript text as buttons instead of having them shown with a rounded rect button frame.

I had MAJOR slowdowns everytime I was writing some line of text. I mean major MAJOR, like the UI freezing for 10 seconds, then putting all the text I was blindly writing, and then freezing for yet another 10 seconds. Then, Mr. Interwebz found the solution, which is to disable iCloud synchro for documents & settings ... and from that point on, no more battery hug, no more slowdowns, and everything is quite responsive.

So far, like it!

Comment Yes, but not for everyone (Score 3, Insightful) 1255

It's the parent's prerogative to send their children wherever they see fit. It's also the parent's prerogative to prepare their children the best they can for "real life". Some parents are well equipped to actually fully participate in their children's environment, try to make it better, implicate themselves, do activities, vote, give time, money, opportunities and trying to make the school a genuine good place for their children to be.

Not everyone is able to do that. My parents were able to do that. They were able to actually send me to alternative (and public) school, to participate fully in the school's life, always be there for me. It was a hard choice for them, not only needing to drive me an hour every day, then go to work, but also participate many nights and even some days to school life. Even for them, they eventually gave up one such school, and went to another one because it was plainly too demanding. So I wouldn't expect everyone to give the dedication to bring their prized school up to par to their expectations. Some parents are just able to pay up, are not able to speak or talk adequately, or they don't have time to dedicate themselves to such hard work, and we have to respect that. Alas, today in this world where parents are paying premium and expecting their young bastard children (exaggeration intended here) to do well, and screaming to the teacher (instead of screaming at your own children) whenever they don't have straight As is the norm, I expect the school system to remain crooked.

In the end, people are voting with their attendance. If your school system is bad enough to fear for lives just by attending, I'd expect people to try to move away from these places. There's preparing for real life and there's plain madness... and I'm truly sorry for the dedicated teachers giving their lives and soul for these schools; my mom is such a teacher (nearing her last working years now), giving her life to people with learning disabilities (or missed opportunities); her and many fellow teachers are giving what they can, but sometimes, it's not enough to convince parents.

On my side, I actually moved to a place where active outdoor life is adequate, near good quality schools (not the best - but in the >75%), and I plan my children to have a good chance in life, using neighbourhood friends, public school system, dedication, caring and be with my (future) children for anything they might need. That's where I decided to give my money, that's where my vote is going, even if I have to take the train and public transportation 3hr every single work day.

Comment Re:Depends on your priority and speed (Score 1) 232

hahahaha, yes, but not for everything. Because the Fruity Device I got doesn't handle spam correctly, it means it gets _all_ the e-mails from my provider. So I wait for them to be filtered out by my computer, and then, I read them. No Push for e-mails.

Nor for the Social company, not particularly granular for the different wall posts, so I prefer to actually check them myself.

In other words, I mostly use Push notifications to get informed of the state of my servers at home, some messaging, and that's mostly it.

Comment Depends on your priority and speed (Score 2) 232

I nearly never checked my work e-mails at home, even if I've been a lead in most companies. I started a successful company with other people. Even then, my evenings were my evenings, and my week-ends were my week-ends, not my company's. Some exceptions of course, but they remained exceptions.

I give my all when I am at work, and disconnect myself from work at home. Like every good geek, I check my personal e-mails, and I check my personal phone messages approximately 594,000,000 times per microsecond (slightly exaggerating, but let's just say that number would be higher if I didn't have to drive sometimes ;) ), and everyone @ work knows they can call me or phone me if they are stuck. However, I will not jeopardize my mental sanity or my family's sanity for work. Starting a company is enough hard work to feel the strain, starting early AM and ending late PM (if ever), I won't add up a chain up on my nose when I'm away.

Which doesn't mean it doesn't work for you, I mean, I have people whose job it is to be 24/7 (some IT and some managers). Then you have to adapt your rhythm so you are relaxed most of the time, so your brain can work during long marathons, instead of 8 hours sprints. Even then, they all know the meaning of disconnecting, and will resort going to a place where their phone doesn't work if needed, but they will relax.

And if you feel like you work too hard, then don't :) There are other jobs elsewhere that doesn't require constant connection. Just change. It's your life. You do what you want.

Comment I just plain gave up (Score 1) 538

At first, I used complex alphanumeric passwords.
Then some system asked me for some Case. So I added up some actual Easily Guessable Case.
Then some system asked me for some Sp#ci@l characters. So I added them (@g@!n e@sy to f!nd).
Then some system decided it didn't like Sp#ci@l characters. So I only added them when needed only
Then I tried migrating to Pass Phrases. However, the Sp#ci@l still needs to be there sometimes, and sometimes they don't like that, and sometimes, spaces aren't supported, and sometimes, there's a limit of 15 characters.
Then, I found one site that actually asked me for PRECISELY 8 characters, with mixed, number and special. The frag!
And I have two places where I need to switch passwords every now and then (3 months and 6 months)

So I freaking gave up. At home, my crap is seriously secure. It's long pass sentences with some mistakes in them, it's easy to remember them, and hard to figure them out. Whenever I can, I use these pass sentences, always different, because my brain actually remembers these passwords, and they are kind of related to the system in question, for example, on a Fruity system, I might write "I SIRIously love cider" ;)

Everywhere else, the "dick" sites and systems, I have 3-4 passwords, precisely 8 characters in length, with option@1 specials and one ever incrementing character somewhere... Because I need to remember these.

Oh and then, for crappy sites I couldn't care less about, I'm in the top 50 easiest passwords to find. Find them, I couldn't care less. :)

Comment Re:Don't get it (Score 1) 449

The video game industry was waiting for that one, don't worry. :) Oh there's a shooting. When will people actually link that to violent video games ... Oh here it is.

I like what Penny Arcade did there :

I will refrain from giving my opinion on shootings, guns, media and other elements, tend to get passionate. ;)

Comment Re:PS3 (Score 2) 276

(Note: this is speculation, I never asked Nintendo about these, nor did I had any access to whatever internal documentation on RAM for the Wii - much less for WiiU)

Like I said, the 64M GDDR RAM of Wii is very quick, but optimized to be read and written in big chunks. It's not meant for per-byte random access.

I don't have the specifics at hand, but RAM is read in big chunks (32 bytes, 256 bytes, I really don't remember), and kept in cache from there. As long as you stay in that cache, it's all right.

Also, that RAM is used for GPU, DMA, and everything else external to the CPU. So its bandwidth is split between everything in the console. That means crappy bandwidth, split at controller side. That's GDDR RAM, tied down to the graphical chip, and that one has priority. That's why they added up so many features to transfer data back and forth from RAM. That way, you can do bulk transfers in background while the CPU is happily churning something else. Would it be that fast, there wouldn't be such tools.

On a side note, I'd take OP AC with a grain of salt. However, HDDs do transfer quickly when accessing data sequentially. So I don't say it's impossible to have the same CPU-side bandwidth. You are totally right about latency, that said; HDDs are very slow to seek.

Yet again, reminder this is for Wii, I have no idea how the WiiU works.

Comment Re:PS3 (Score 4, Interesting) 276

I used to code for Wii. Haven't coded for WiiU. So I cannot tell, only extrapolating from what you are saying here.

However, what you are giving as info is mostly the same than Wii used to have. I expected they kept full compatibility between the WiiU and the Wii, so they could emulate the system. That probably explains the chips.

Your PS (Paired Single) experience is mostly what I would expect from a newbie assembly programmer. Sorry. Yes, it's very hard to code PSes but once you get the hang of it, it's very efficient.

As far as your memory experience, I would expect the WiiU to use the equivalent from the Wii, meaning they have a very fast internal memory, and a cacheless external memory. It's powerful if you understand how to work its magic, and you need to know how to use caches or other accumulators to transfer data.

Not saying it isn't a pain. It is. Especially if you want to code as a general purpose guy (big company), with compatibility on multiple platforms. Most multiplatform have one kind of memory, so it expects fast and efficient RAM for its whole game. However, if you code solely for the WiiU, and have a background in Wii or in GameCube, you'll feel right at home I'm sure. Read your comments, and it all rang bells.

It would make sense if the WiiU uses the same system than the Wii. Wii uses 2 kind of RAM, first one is very quick for random access, but you have very little of it. Second one is very quick for sequential write access, but horribly slow for random read access. Depending on tests, you can get magnitude of slowness in that kind of RAM on Wii. Now, I don't have experience in WiiU (and even if I did, I would keep this confidential, to be honest), but I do feel in a familiar place. :)

-full disclosure- Work for EA, all info here was double-checked for availability in the likes of Wikipedia and Google. Opinions are mine.

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