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Comment Re:Licensing? Severs? (Score 1) 190

I live in New Zealand and I use it for checking out rivers and lakes for fishing and access to fishing. Although I have topo maps for most of NZ, as well as topo maps for my handheld GPS, Google Earth is still very useful for getting a better idea of terrain, bush cover etc. I use the measurement tools to work out roughly how far I'm going to need to walk. I also use it to check out tramping tracks and such. Not all of my main area of interest is covered by hi res imagery unfortunately.

When the Tour de France is on I use an overlay with the race route to get a further appreciation of the route and terrain etc.

I'm interested in landscapes so it's good to use to check out various parts of the world.

There's a lot of times when something comes up and someone says "Let's check it out on Google Earth".

I might just add I used NASA WorldWind for some time before GE came out. I changed primarily because there was a Mac version of GE and becase GE had much more high res imagery. Aside from those admittedly important points WorldWind was a better application though, although it's a number of years since used it now. GE has improved over time.

Comment Unofficially for a while... (Score 3, Informative) 216

I've been running Windows 7 RTM without problems on my Nehalem Mac Pro using Bootcamp for months. It was so painless I've forgotten the details but I think I started off with the Leopard Boot Camp and then updated it with the Boot Camp off the Snow Leopard GM. I did a clean install on a new partition. Windows 7 installed more easily than Vista Ultimate 64.

Comment Never Say Never Again (Score 1) 169

The movie "Never Say Never Again" clearly illustrated the shortcomings of iris scanning. That was back in the '80s. Pretty easy to fake the US President's iris and get the live warheads to replace the dummy ones. If USAF measures can be circumvented so easily then how can ordinary immigration officials deal with it?

I suppose there's an outside chance it could have all been fictional I guess. With all this reality TV it's so hard to tell what's real these days...


EA Shuts Down Pandemic Studios, Cuts 200 Jobs 161

lbalbalba writes "Electronic Arts is shutting down its Westwood-based game developer Pandemic Studios just two years after acquiring it, putting nearly 200 people out of work. 'The struggling video game publisher informed employees Tuesday morning that it was closing the studio as part of a recently announced plan to eliminate 1,500 jobs, or 16% of its global workforce. Pandemic has about 220 employees, but an EA spokesman said that a core team, estimated by two people close to the studio to be about 25, will be integrated into the publisher's other Los Angeles studio, in Playa Vista.' An ex-developer for Pandemic attributed the studio's struggles to poor decisions from the management."

Comment Re:Are you sure? (Score 1) 576

I have 24' just in my office. I have 30' in the living room, about half of which is double stacked. As I'm in the process of building a house we're currently in a rented place and I would guess that at least 75% of my books and magazines are in storage. What I have out now is pretty much just the essentials plus stuff I've bought since we moved house.

Comment My new Mac is my new PC (Score 1) 814

While I'm mainly a Mac guy, I own 7 of them ( one only used for nostalgic gaming ), I do also own a PC. I'm a software developer and I have the PC because I develop for both Mac and Windows. I started off doing Windows development with Win 98 running in Virtual PC on a Mac ( actually compiling on the Mac using Codewarrior's Intel compiler, just testing on Windows ), but inevitably the time came when I needed a real PC.

With the introduction of Intel Macs my need to get a Windows PC has dropped off. I was considering getting a new PC to run Vista but in the end decided to try it using Bootcamp ( Apple's Windows installation/dual boot solution ) on the Intel iMac I already and it's worked fine. I've just recently got an 8 core Mac Pro ( dual quad core Xeon ) and it now has OS X, Vista 64, Windows 7 64 and Ubuntu installed on it. They all seem to be peacefully coexisting. My Mac is also my PC - and my Linux box.

Dual booting isn't actually the greatest solution when you're doing cross platform work. It's much better to have separate machines so you can check in changes on one platform and test them immediately on the other platform. I may still end up getting a 64 bit PC but because I work on a renderer it will probably have to be a pretty grunty one. I may get another Mac Pro to run Windows on, because speccing up a Dell workstation ends up being roughly the same cost ( the Dell is more expensive but has a Quadro graphics card and comes with a monitor ). If I get the Mac Pro I can use it as a Mac rendering slave, plus I get a developer discount!

Comment Re:I have both... (Score 1) 814

I have a Power Mac G4 533 which I got in 2001. It is still being used for commercial work every day and is running OS X 10.4. Not bad considering it started with OS 9. Any new Mac software which supports OS X 10.4 would run on it.

It's still going strong I recently got a PCI USB2 card for it to connect a new scanner, after our old SCSI scanner finally died, no problems. I think over its lifetime the only hardware issue has been a dead hard drive.

It will be retired in the next year or so, but mainly because trickle down in machines means it can be replaced by a newer machine.

Having used Macs for about 13 years now, the only time I've been "forced" to buy a new machine has been a couple of months ago with the advent of OS X 10.6 because it only supports Intel Macs. I'm a software developer and I need to support 64 bit OS X 10.6. My other Intel Mac is only 32 bit. I would have got a new machine eventually as my dual 2.7 GHz PowerMac G5 is starting to get a little creaky, but 10.6 forced my hand a bit and I had to get one when it didn't really suit financially.

The only other time I've got a new machine because of something Apple did was when they introduced Intel Macs. I "leased" an Intel iMac from Apple before Intel Macs were available for purchase IIRC and they ended up giving it to me. I'm a bit hazy but I think the lease was more or less a deposit which would be returned when Apple got the machine back. In the end we could keep them and although it was a large deposit it was still a fair bit cheaper than buying the same machine retail.

Comment Re:very pretty (Score 1) 287

I have a new Mac Pro as well and it's certainly hefty, but it's still not as heavy as my older dual 2.7 GHz G5 PowerMac with liquid cooling.

On the Steve Jobs/CRT thing, I was using 21" CRTs until 2006 or so. It's never been obligatory to buy Apple displays, in fact my second monitor is a Dell LCD, previously connected using an adapter via VGA to the second connector on the graphics card, now using DVI. I have to say I was glad when my last big CRT died, because I was sick of hauling that thing up and down stairs whenever we moved.

Comment Re:Evolution is great. (mostly) (Score 1) 337

I'd also wager the barbs help keep things like people and imported herbivores at bay as well, and until we go extinct maybe the trees will continue to poke when pecked, even if the poke is intended for extinct peckers.

The poke isn't bad enough to keep people at bay. I don't think I've ever brushed past a lancewood and noticed the barbs aside from the general and distinctive long thin serrated shape of the leaves. If I wanted to mess with the tree the barbs on the leaves wouldn't stop me. I can't really imagine it being too much of a problem even for an imported herbivore like a deer, pig, goat, sheep, cow or possum, something with good grinding teeth at least.

I agree that it does sound like a pretty good defense mechanism though. It's amazing how much the trees change as they get older. I only found out about that recently. We own some land with native bush where lancewoods grow and when I was walking around it asking what things where I got a surprise when I pointed to a largish tree and heard it was a lancewood. I knew the younger ones were lancewood, it's so distinctive.

Comment Re:This is the future.. (Score 2, Interesting) 118

I live in New Zealand and have had blue penguins swimming around me a few times when I've been surfing. I've also seen the tracks they make through the bush on the way to and from their burrows, they can walk a surprisingly long way and climb pretty steep hills. I haven't seen them at night on the tracks but my mother has. I have seen them in their burrows though, on an island which is a scientific reserve. The burrows are man-made and have lids you can look off to peek inside :-).

I've seen a couple of other types of penguins in the wild too.

Comment Re:Both will stay relevant (Score 1) 455

Apple didn't really break compatibility with the transition to OS X. They provided two means of compatibility between OS 9 and OS X. One was the Classic environment with was basically an OS 9 VM and the other was the Carbon API. Classic was for apps which weren't ported to Carbon.

Even with the transition to Intel machines Apple didn't completely break compatibility. They provided Rosetta to run PPC apps. I don't think any of the Intel machines support Classic so you can't run your non-Carbon apps anymore, but you could still run a Carbon PPC app on an Intel Mac and OS 9.

Really, the only break with OS 9 that has now come is with OS X 10.5 and its lack of support for 64 bit Carbon. The app I develop is currently based on Carbon. It needs 64 bit support so I'm going to be porting it to Cocoa in the near future. However if I didn't need 64 bit support I could still be using Carbon, although with the expectation that it isn't going to get any new APIs etc. I'm already mixing some Cocoa code in with Carbon code to provide functionality not available through Carbon.

Apple has been pretty good at providing compatibility. I have an app which is 10 years old now and which can still run on both OS 9 and an Intel Mac running OS X 10.5. Apple do obsolete stuff more quickly than Microsoft perhaps. My main work machine is still a dual G5 PowerMac, but OS X 10.6 won't run on it because it's dropping support for PPC. It's 4 year old machine, but still going strong and will continue in commercial use ( illustration rather than development ) when I have to replace it with an Intel one for OS X 10.6.



Comment Re:Another factor to consider (Score 1) 261

Let's add chine runners to your list,

I hadn't heard of those before, I had to look them up. Interesting. Seems to be a fairly recent thing, looks rather Bolger-esque ( i.e. makes me shudder, but that's just me :-).

O Boatbuilder and yacht design student turned software developer

Hey ! ;-). Can't hurt to establish you know something about what you're talking about around these parts...


Jo Meder

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