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Comment New Yorker and open source (Score 3, Insightful) 214

I was pleasantly surprised by the New Yorker's coverage of the shift from "free software" to "open source", which while less detailed (unsurprisingly) than other sources such as Free as in Freedom 2.0 also presented it simply as a thing that has happened, rather than either of the extremes that are usually applied: it's the worst affront ever to software freedom, or as the liberation of programmers from the crazy extreme ideology of RMS. Personally I'm more interested in free software than in open source: the source code is a means to an end, not an end in itself. But it's good to see that view handled as a view and the events (and responses to them) presented, without turning the story into a justification or rationalisation of the view. BTW, still waiting for that planned Chaosnet support...

Submission + - How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft writes: James B. Stewart writes in the NYT that in 1998 Bill Gates said in an interview that he “couldn’t imagine a situation in which Apple would ever be bigger and more profitable than Microsoft" but less than two decades later, Apple, with a market capitalization more than double Microsoft’s, has won. The most successful companies need a vision, and both Apple and Microsoft have one. But according to Stewart, Apple’s vision was more radical and, as it turns out, more farsighted. Where Microsoft foresaw a computer on every person’s desk, Apple went a big step further: Its vision was a computer in every pocket. “Apple has been very visionary in creating and expanding significant new consumer electronics categories,” says Toni Sacconaghi. “Unique, disruptive innovation is really hard to do. Doing it multiple times, as Apple has, is extremely difficult." According to Jobs' biographer Walter Isaacson, Microsoft seemed to have the better business for a long time. “But in the end, it didn’t create products of ethereal beauty. Steve believed you had to control every brush stroke from beginning to end. Not because he was a control freak, but because he had a passion for perfection.” Can Apple continue to live by Jobs’s disruptive creed now that the company is as successful as Microsoft once was? According to Robert Cihra it was one thing for Apple to cannibalize its iPod or Mac businesses, but quite another to risk its iPhone juggernaut. “The question investors have is, what’s the next iPhone? There’s no obvious answer. It’s almost impossible to think of anything that will create a $140 billion business out of nothing.”

Comment NeXT (Score 1) 266

I have a NeXT cube, currently residing in Leicester's retro computing museum. Now that is a nice cube. Luckily mine had a hard drive in. The magneto-optical discs were their day's iCloud or Dropbox, but they were very slow. Particularly for swap.
User Journal

Journal Journal: 9.5 years later...

Well, that was interesting! Last time I wrote here I was just becoming a Mac programmer. Now I'm moving back towards GNOME and GNU. The sad thing is we've probably already gone past peak interesting desktop, and depending on your approach to life it was either Alto or NeXTSTEP. Not much new will be happening there now, even though it could and could be useful and exciting.

Comment My reason (Score 3, Interesting) 592

I switched from Debian to OS X in 2004, then from OS X to Ubuntu in 2014. The story of the switch back is told in full here. That meant that the cheapest route for me was to install a distro on my MacBook, because I already owned it :). And it really is good hardware, so I'm happy with the amount I paid for a high-quality laptop that fulfils my needs. The interesting part of the switch for me is the question "why not use OS X"? There are all sorts of bugs in OS X and its applications, just as there are in Linux, GNU and their applications. The difference is that I'm allowed to fix the bugs in GNU, and other people can take advantage of those fixes. So I've been learning about GTK+ and Vala, as well as getting back up to speed with GNUstep, so that when I find a bug I can contribute a fix back. Plenty of other posters have discussed that there are cheaper GNU/Linux-compatible laptop choices, and indeed had I not already owned a MacBook I probably would've considered some of those. But "cheapest" is a non-goal for me, or at least far down the chain below reliable wifi, good battery, solid construction and (to the extent that this is at all an option on any laptop) decent keys.

Comment Re: IDEs with a concept of 'projects'. (Score 1) 421

I was doing this with SunRays sharing a Solaris CDE desktop back in 2002. Apparently the past is here, but it isn't evenly distributed. Unfortunately it's not likely to be. With the exception of VNC, most of the remote desktop systems are proprietary so you can't pick up for example a Sunray session on an Android phone. And the proprietary platforms don't uniformly support VNC. It'd be great to see a general cross-platform approach to this, but the vendors are all going for supplying their platforms "as a service" instead.

Comment Re:They didn't know he also... (Score 2) 403

"You agree to indemnify and hold Yahoo! and its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, agents, co-branders and other partners, and employees, harmless from any claim or demand, including reasonable attorneys' fees, made by any third party due to or arising out of Content you submit, post to or transmit through the Services, your use of the Services, your connection to the Services, your violation of the TOS, or your violation of any rights of another." - Or, to put it another way, no they don't.

Submission + - GNUstep Kickstarter Campaign Launched (

borgheron writes: The maintainer of GNUstep has launched a kickstarter campaign to get the time to make GNUstep more complete and get it's APIs up to at least a Mac OS 10.6 level of compatibility. This will allow applications for Mac OS X to run on Linux with a simple recompile using new tools developed by the GNUstep team to directly build from xcodeproj project files. If the kickstarter project is funded beyond it's $50,000 goal, it's possible that WebKit and Darling might also be completed allowing applications built on Mac OS X to run without the need for a recompile... think WINE-like functionality for Mac OS X applications on other platforms... including Windows, Linux, BSD, etc.

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