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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft dropping support for Windows 8.1 on: April 15, 2014, 11:11:49 PM
OK, so maybe I mis-interpreted what was said; throw me a bone here:

Quote
... those users who have elected to install updates manually will have 30 days to install Windows 8.1 Update on Windows 8.1 devices; after this 30-day window - and beginning with the May Patch Tuesday, Windows 8.1 user's devices without the update installed will no longer receive security updates.

Ok, here's how I understand it.  It seems to be saying that if you have updated to 8.1, there is a 30-day time window in which you will need to upgrade to 8.1 Update 1, and if you don't, you will no longer be able to receive any updates including the all-important Update 1.  In other words, if you somehow miss the deadline, your 8.1 is and will always be dead to future updates.  Or did I err?  huh

I totally get that some things need to be installed before other things. Duh. I get that in Linux every other day, I got that SP1 needed to be installed before SP2 (or was it SP3?) in XP, I get that.  It wouldn't be news if that's all that was going on.  Got it.  What I don't understand is why put a deadline on it?  Why not just make it like any other update that you install as you go and life goes on?  And why let plain ol' Win 8 stroll on it's merry way?  Please tell me I'm wrong and I'll forget this whole post, because if it is true as I've interpreted it... I have no words to describe how insane that seems.

And here's the other hitch: this update has been proven so problematic that MS had to pull it from WSUS because it prevents corporate users from receiving future updates:
http://www.bit-tech.net/n.../windows-blue-81-pulled/1
AND quite a number of folks have reported problems with the installer:
http://www.neowin.net/new...fixes-but-problems-remain
http://www.bit-tech.net/n...14/04/14/win81-update-1/1


So, it seems this issue is causing headaches and consternation with more than just internet talking-heads, and that's why it's news.
If Update 1 is going to be available forever, not just inside the 30-day window, then I'll admit I'm wrong, and this is just fallout of people being cranky about learning a new Windows version and updates not installing properly.  
Nothing new to see here... business as usual... move along...
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft dropping support for Windows 8.1 on: April 15, 2014, 07:24:44 AM
Because it's confusing as all hell...
If I follow the article correctly (there's a Minotaur around here somewhere...) apparently you have a deadline to install the Update or be locked out of future updates, which WILL show, but will be marked as non-installable.
... Unless you never installed 8.1 in the first place  huh
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Microsoft dropping support for Windows 8.1 on: April 15, 2014, 01:08:05 AM
Well... that escalated quickly.
(actually, it's not what you think, but what is this I don't even)

Quote
In what is surely the most customer-antagonistic move of the new Windows regime, Steve Thomas at Microsoft posted a TechNet article on Saturday stating categorically that Microsoft will no longer issue security patches for Windows 8.1, starting in May.



from Infoworld via CodeProject News
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft open-sources the .NET compiler on: April 14, 2014, 10:32:19 PM
... And the slightly interesting backstory:

Quote
I've seen a number of Microsoft watchers and users postulating that this move is proof that newly minted CEO Satya Nadella is taking the company in directions that former CEO Steve Ballmer and his leadership team never would have dared go. That's a nice, neat story. But it just isn't true.
http://www.zdnet.com/micr...he-back-story-7000028109/
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Microsoft open-sources the .NET compiler on: April 14, 2014, 10:24:49 PM
.NET, Roslyn, and WinJS... Fell, meet swoop  ohmy


Quote
With The .Net Foundation, Microsoft Finally Bets Big On Open Source
For years, Microsoft has flirted with the open-source movement, trying to build bridges with developers that favor publicly released code over proprietary software. This week, the software giant finally made the big moves skeptics of its commitment to open source have been looking for.



from CodeProject News
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: WinXP is officially dead! on: April 14, 2014, 01:33:05 AM
http://www.neowin.net/new...cape-from-windows-xp-game
 Grin Grin
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Once again, magically expensive items are only different in your mind on: April 08, 2014, 11:16:42 PM
A friend who's father ran a farm said "big stuff" purchased for a farm is bought with one of two criteria in mind: (a) costly but built to last - or - (b) inexpensive but easy and cheap to fix.

I found that to be a good guide when making a major purchase decision. Cool

Amen.  Thmbsup
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Once again, magically expensive items are only different in your mind on: April 08, 2014, 12:34:06 AM
I came from a working-class family who weren't poor, but there were many things we did without.  My father would fix up old things rather than pay for new, even if the time spent was more valuable.  I didn't have a brand-name pair of shoes until I had moved out on my own.  Every dollar spent was weighed against how long the purchased item would last.  I believe this instilled me with a strange sense of worth, in which I do believe in paying for quality, but only to a definite, red-line point.  The line in the sand becomes deep and wide when you cross over from "quality" to "luxury" and I will not cross it.  $3000 audio cables?  I'll use coat-hanger wire first.  More than $1000 dollars for a trusted name-brand electric guitar?  I bought a "budget" model of the same brand in pieces at a local Goodwill for $3.99, it cost me less than $30 to upgrade the hardware and now I've got an instrument I would have drooled over when I was a teenager.  However, things like this are obvious, and the law of diminishing returns becomes more evident the more salesmen it takes to convince you to part with your hard-earned cash.  I don't like salesmen.  They make me itch.

That said, there have been times where I paid for quality, most recently when I bought my wife a Vita-Mix.  She was having health problems, and needed a good blender to make raw vegetable juices with.  I took their advertised health claims with a grain of salt and focused on the 2hp motor, the legendary durability, and the 7-year warranty.  THAT is what I paid for, but we got more in return.  We would have worn out 3 or more consumer-level blenders by now, and the results would have been mediocre in comparison.  This is a tangible, demonstratable fact, not a 'perception of value'.  
...Which is why I almost blew my stack when my son bought the most expensive tires available for his beater truck and said 'yes' to the extra 15 bucks for '(something)-izing' which is supposed to make the tires last longer and grip better.
Yep, sure.  You betcha.  huh
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Trying to have vertical buttons on a vertical taskbar in winxp on: April 05, 2014, 12:47:25 PM
The only way I've ever seen something like that was in Litestep, and I can't remember which taskbar module it was that did that.  In actual practice, it is rather hard to read, even though the idea is solid. 
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: LINUX: Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 201403 ISOs just released on: April 03, 2014, 08:39:22 PM
(But there's no Linux Mint Debian Edition that comes with XFCE.)

Wait for it...

[copy or print]
apt-get install xfce4

Done.  cheesy  And a fine desktop environ it is too, even if it is no longer the petit bureau it once was.  Wink

As far as the concerns about things being pulled from Testing, yes I've been bitten by it twice now.  Once with something trivial that I have forgotten now, but seemed somewhat important at the time.  The other was when they pulled the proprietary AMD accelerated drivers from the Testing repos.  THAT ticked me off.  I was previously running the open-source AMD drivers, and they worked fine.  Some update somewhere caused all my games to look like somebody uploaded random thumbnails to an Atari 2600, so I installed the proprietary drivers and all was well, until...
 Angry

Well, that's what you get for running Testing, I guess.  Apparently it was pulled for good reason, but I was still mad...
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: NIX: KDE anyone? First thoughts. on: April 03, 2014, 08:22:17 PM
It's been a LOOOONG time since I tried anything KDE, though I hear it's not half as bad as it used to be.  I remember being impressed by the Keramic window decoration and the bouncing "wait" icons, but many of the configuration GUIs appeared to be written by the same people who write custom Windows software installers.  I'm configuring my screen resolution, not installing new hardware!!
Nowadays, I'm so comfortable in Xfce that I never feel the need to walk on the other side of the fence, and the random Qt app that makes it onto my Desktop isn't unwelcome as long as it doesn't hook into KDElibs... You hear me, K3b?!?  Angry
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: GoG planning support for Linux starting FALL 2014 on: March 29, 2014, 01:21:31 AM
Wow, GOG for Linux?  If I understad the zeitgeist of GOG, it's to offer older games, right?  So will we see these classics resurrected for newer distributions?  Sweet!
 Kiss

13  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: March 28, 2014, 08:16:23 PM
Exploring the nether regions of some genres outside my taste buds, I stumbled across this:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gxu248aD6PY" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gxu248aD6PY</a>

My immediate thought was 'Calvinball!'
 Grin Thmbsup
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft releases DOS and Word for Windows source code on: March 27, 2014, 08:04:51 PM
I half suspect this release is intended to give Microsoft an excuse to go after virtually any text processing app with the argument that "they must have borrowed some intellectual property from Microsoft" by sheer virtue of the fact Microsoft's source code has been published.

I suspect your suspicion borders on the conspiratorial, but I'm also aware of it's validity.  
In the words of the FreeDOS devs:
Quote
I'll add a warning that if you download and study the MS-DOS source code, you should not contribute code to FreeDOS afterwards. We want to avoid any suggestion that FreeDOS has been "tainted" by this proprietary code.

 ohmy
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Microsoft releases DOS and Word for Windows source code on: March 27, 2014, 12:54:54 AM
From the "It ain't GPL, but it's better than a stick in the eye" department.
Quote
Microsoft makes source code for MS-DOS and Word for Windows available to public
...
As part of this ongoing project, the museum will make available two of the most widely used software programs of the 1980’s, MS DOS 1.1 and 2.0 and Microsoft Word for Windows 1.1a, to help future generations of technologists better understand the roots of personal computing.


Now, what do the good folks at the FreeDOS project have to say about this?

Quote
... But don't get too excited about the possibility of merging genuine MS-DOS code into FreeDOS. From the download page: "To access this material, you must agree to the terms of the license ... which permits only non-commercial use and does not give you the right to license it to third parties by posting copies elsewhere on the web." The website makes it very clear the "source and object code to Microsoft?s MS-DOS operating system versions 1.1 and 2.0" is for "non-commercial use" only. It's nice that Microsoft released the MS-DOS source code, but this is not "Free software."


from CodeProject
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX - List of 100 Open Source Replacements for Popular Security Tools on: March 27, 2014, 12:02:34 AM
Thanks for this.  Ought to be better than weeding through sectools.org for the Linux versions...  Thmbsup

Oh, wait... THOSE security tools... OK, I gotcha Wink
17  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Hacking should be about making things on: March 24, 2014, 01:54:09 AM
I have contributed two patches to an open-source project and contributed documentation to another.  One got accepted because it solved a long-standing spelling error for a macro that "nobody used, but what the hay, let's merge it because it's valid".  Another was not accepted, but pending whether I can come up with similar functionality for the other toolkits, it may be.  The third was documentation for configuring a piece of software (now an abandoned project) that had NONE when I was trying it out, and I weighed two options: send hate mail (because it was that frustrating) or put in writing what of it I had managed to grok and submit to the author.  I and the (then) project maintainer were glad I chose the latter.

So, all in all, I've had good experience with it.  Great article either way. Thmbsup
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: A three drive system - the sweet spot on: March 22, 2014, 07:13:43 PM
^^ Amen.  I've heard it since SSD's came out that the swapfile (pagefile on Windows) should go on a fast but non-SSD Disk.  Hadn't thought of the temp and log files, good catch.

I've always thought separate drives were a good thing.  If I had another SATA disk, I'd do that for my current setup, but... Sad
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Judge posesses a bomb-proof bullshit detector - and ain't afraid to use it! on: March 21, 2014, 12:00:39 AM
People with Judge Wright's strength of character wrote the Constitution.  It really is too bad we don't have more people possessed of the same protecting and enforcing it.
20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Favorite GUI File Managers? on: March 18, 2014, 08:19:25 PM
After leaving Windows, I found myself missing Xplorer² quite a bit (still do) and it doesn't quite work in Wine, so I've burned through plenty of file managers on Linux trying to find a reasonable facsimile.  So far I have had to just grumpily sit down and use Thunar.  It gets the job done, I like the choice between traditional file path/breadcrumb path modes and the choice of tree view or XDG bookmarks in the left panel, the custom definable actions are very useful, AND...
it comes with my favorite desktop environment, Xfce.   Kiss

Other file managers I've tried either don't work well, try to do too much with too many icons or are annoyingly minimal.
I purposely ignored Dolphin, Nautilus and Krusader, as I've never been enamored with either KDE or GNOME.  I have my reasons.
Here's all the ones I remember trying, with all the beauty and warts I can remember.

Midnight Commander - If you have fond memories of Norton Commander and it's imitators, you'll like MC.  First of all, dual folder panes rule.  On Slackware, it doubles as the package manager, which is handy, and did I say dual folder panes rule?  One of the first things I install if it's not already included, as it is an absolute necessity if my X goes down.

Xfe - Comes closest to being comparable to Xplorer², though still a little rough looking (uses the Fox Toolkit) and a lot of features up front that I never used, but it has what is most essential: a tree view and two file panes.  That rules plus one.  For some reason, the devs tacked on a bunch of desktop extras as if it was on it's way to being a new window manager.  Did not want.  Looks like they've scaled back recently, maybe I'll give it another shot.

Rox-filer - Too damn minimal.  Sorry, I have nothing else to say.

DoubleCommander - Dual file panes rule, but this one didn't feel completely right out of the box.  The font was too bold, and having directories in brackets I find superfluous and distracting, but most aspects of the GUI are easily changed from the preferences, and the rest of it is pretty solid.  I would like a tree view to go with the dual panes and XDG bookmarks instead of drive icons, but I digress. I've been trying to give this one more face-time to get used to what it can do, but haven't been successful at that.  Developed with Lazarus/Freepascal  
Kiss

Emelfm2 - Dual panes rule (is there an echo in here?), but this one tries to do way too much with icons, IMO.  Quite configurable, with lots of good features, but I gave it up after a month cause it just didn't feel right.

Gentoo - Dual panes ru... SO MANY BUTTONS AT THE BOTTOM!

Worker - See Gentoo, above + Tk interface (or is that Motif?).  Either way... Bleah.

SpaceFm - Dual panes ru... sooo many panes... my God, it's full of tabs... o_O.  I know this one has been mentioned, but I gotta add my two cents and say the possibilities for 4 panes each with their own tree view is pretty darn impressive, but I got lost in it.  Maybe one day I'll take a deep breath and try again.  It's still installed, so that's saying something.  

MuCommander - Dual panes... written in Java. :\  Sorry, not much to say about that one either.


So, that's about all I got, I don't think I'll be 100% happy with any one file manager until I find a one-to-one clone of Xplorer² for Linux.  Until then, Thunar is pretty useful as it is, DoubleCommander is almost there, and maybe Xfe will one day hit the sweet spot.
 Thmbsup
21  Other Software / Developer's Corner / PMOG: The story behind the rise and fall of GameLayers, Inc. on: March 17, 2014, 07:51:04 PM
or: How to lose almost everything developing a browser toolbar game and live to tell about it. 

I played PMOG a bit during it's heyday, and I must say it was pretty fun at times, when you would run into a fellow PMOG'r on a random website, or go to some obscure blog and get mined, or find some cool new website while completing a Mission.  It added a new dimension to your surfing, made it more engaging and random than simply clicking on the next link like a monkey hitting the biscuit lever.  I was sad to see it go, and now a bit wiser having read the behind-the-scenes cautionary tale.

Quote
A Story of GameLayers, Inc.
Making online social games 2007-2009
by Justin Hall

Between 2007 and 2009 GameLayers made a multiplayer game across all the content of the internet.

I was the CEO of GameLayers and one of three co-founders. Here I'll share lessons and data from this online social game startup. This Story of GameLayers covers prototyping, fund raising, company building, strategic shifting, winding down and moving on.



from Umm... I forget
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Lazarus 1.2 released on: March 17, 2014, 01:17:18 AM
Good point, thanks mwb.
IIRC, those issues are mainly concerning Windows, and I've been seeing around the 'net advice to stick with 32-bit programming for most common app development unless you need 64-bit for the numerical precision or memory handling. 
I do everything on Linux nowadays, though I have run into add-ons that had issues with 64-bit, most notably the BGRABitmap library, which has been fixed in the development branch.
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Lazarus 1.2 released on: March 16, 2014, 11:43:52 PM
Finally after 2 release candidates, the fateful day came on March 4th (I was a little *ahem* late to the news).

Quote
The Lazarus team is glad to announce the release of Lazarus 1.2.

Downloads:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/lazarus/files/

SVN:
http://svn.freepascal.org.../lazarus/tags/lazarus_1_2

Release notes:
http://wiki.lazarus.freep...zarus_1.2.0_release_notes

For those still skeptical, I and many others have found Lazarus to be a very capable IDE for ObjectPascal development, and yes Pascal is still a viable programming language (Delphi/ObjectPascal #15 at TIOBE!).  The only things I find really lacking (besides popularity) are good bindings for some common C++ libraries.  We're hard at work at it though, come join us!  
http://forum.lazarus.free...rg/index.php?action=forum

from
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: March 16, 2014, 09:16:16 PM
What Jurassic Park would look like if the raptors were cats.  Grin

LOL!!! Awesome!! Grin
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: When you make your 100'th Post on: February 27, 2014, 08:16:24 PM
Tooting my own horn here, nothing to get excited about:  embarassed
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