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251  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Shut Up About Vista, Already on: December 03, 2007, 10:21:28 AM
It would be a bit of a step back if it was disbaled in Vista since it was present in XP !!

Assuming Vista uses VSC in the same way as XP it shouldn't cause excessive disk activity (in fact it shouldn't cause any at all because until you use it there should be no file monitoring going on).

The article read otherwise, in that Vista needs to scan files for changes:

Quote
With the virtual copy of your HD shadow copies has created, previous versions will simply check each and every file if it has changed since it was last backed up. If so, a backup copy is saved. This will also be true for directories but only changes will be saved.

If that is done on a schedule, it is still going to cause some overhead, especially when those backed up versions cannot be accessed unless you buy a new OS or specific 3rd-party app.

I forget now, but thought volume shadow copy service was set to manual in XP by default so it is not running until it is activated in some way.
252  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Shut Up About Vista, Already on: December 03, 2007, 08:28:41 AM
About that article - you need to pay more $$$ to get Vista with shadow copy et al., but I've read somewhere that the services are enabled on all Vista versions, is this true? If so, how does that benefit basic/home users, and make the extra disk activity worth it?
253  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Any old Amiga users among us? on: December 03, 2007, 08:23:11 AM
My second home computer after the Commodore Vic 20.

Twas a great machine indeed. I remember when I used MSDOS-based machines (and even Windows 3.x) some years later what a step back it felt...

I also remember the silly tribal animosity between Amiga and Atari ST users; some things never change...
254  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective on: December 03, 2007, 08:20:52 AM
Update: Looks like Jeanette Winterton misquoted or plain made up at least one part of her homeopathic article (a misleading argument from authority on AIDs):

http://www.quackometer.ne...te-winterson-art-and.html
255  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Software for measuring resource usage? on: December 03, 2007, 04:14:52 AM
For CPU, memory, file access, paging etc Process Explorer from Sysinternals plots extensive values and some indivdual graphs per application and for the system overall:

http://www.microsoft.com/...ties/processexplorer.mspx

If you want to monitor file / registry access in detail the Process monitor from the same:

http://www.microsoft.com/...dDisk/processmonitor.mspx

The analysis functions in Process Monitor are great, grouping file access per file for read/write etc.
256  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: PNG Transparency in IE6 print preview on: December 02, 2007, 09:11:00 AM
Have you tried the most amazingly awesome IE6 hack:

http://dean.edwards.name/IE7/

His reverse engineering of the broken anaemic IE rendering engine is amazing work...
257  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Anybody else play with ProWebSurfer? on: December 02, 2007, 09:06:18 AM
This is but one function the original Siemens Webwasher and Proxomitron did years ago (Proxomitron released in 1999 was one of the most essential browsing apps ever created IMO). You could choose to rewrite ad links and replace them with a graphic of your choice. You could do *anything* - proxomitron was God-mode for browsing... This add-on seems pretty boring to me and I'd rather the ad space was removed (as Opera and Adblock do) than filled with more distractions.
258  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Is it possible to download AlbumCover from Itunes without Itunes Registration? on: December 02, 2007, 08:53:33 AM
Hm, it is possible to download Album covers from Amazon etc. On OS X I use Gimmesometune which automagically downloads album covers and lyrics while a song plays and adds it to its metadata. I'm sure there are similar programs for windows.
259  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: PNG Transparency in IE6 print preview on: December 02, 2007, 08:51:19 AM
I don't have IE6 to test so I can't offer you more advice (it was nearly two years ago that I fought t=with IE6 to get PNG transparency, I vowed to never do that again). Why did iepngfix not work? Do you have a test page?
260  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off on: December 02, 2007, 08:45:00 AM
Quote
Leopard the new Vista? No, but it's not manna, either
http://blogs.cnet.com/8301-13505_1-9826744-16.html

His rant is probably closer to my experience, there is more justification to say Leopard is too similar to Tiger than anything else. I still don't really fit in that boat either though, as Quicklook, Spaces, Spotlight refinements and the performance boost are clear tangible benefits.

Talking about the performance boost, I think I now know why. Leopard is using LLVM, a low level VM to compile OpenGL optimisations for older hardware and integrated graphics solutions (i.e. this technology makes older machines work better, has little effect on top-end hardware). This is interesting stuff, and possibly a critical future technology Apple will be using instead of traditional compilers like GCC:

http://arstechnica.com/re...mac-os-x-10-5.ars/11#llvm
261  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: PNG Transparency in IE6 print preview on: December 02, 2007, 06:18:50 AM
Have you tried the behaviours method?

http://bjorkoy.com/past/2...8/the_easiest_way_to_png/
http://www.twinhelix.com/css/iepngfix/

Honestly, most IE6 PNG hacks are brittle and inelegant. Microsoft should have simply fixed this glaring bug years before they did. The amount of energy web developers have expended working round this is not worth thinking about...
262  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck? on: December 01, 2007, 10:34:17 AM
Carol: me too!  Cool In the year 2048 we will all drive around in Sinclair C5's with HUD mount ZX-80s...

Quote
It will not happen -- or if it does someone will fork the kernel and produce a version without all that DRM crap.

Ah, I'd not thought this through. My big fear for OS X has been the eventual "upgrade" to DRMed OS X, but as the kernel is open-source I think hackers will simply build a fork we can use instead of the official kernel.

263  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off on: November 30, 2007, 11:44:07 AM
Oliver Rist wrote in August (before Leopard, emphasis mine):

Quote
But Apple users ... make a big point out of how OS X and its applications "simply work" and "never crash." Sorry, but that's crap. Not only have I crashed both Mac apps and OS X, I've watched when Venezia did it. On the crash issue, the question isn't whether it can crash; the question is whether it crashes more often than Windows. ... I've crashed more Vista apps than Apple apps, no doubt. But post-shrink Vista has locked up on me a grand total of once in six months, while OS X has died on me twice
http://www.infoworld.com/...-suck-35OPenterwin_1.html

Yet in his rant 3 months later:

Quote
Let's see, Tiger crashed—oh yeah, NEVER. Ten months and I'm installing everything from production-level Office for the Mac 2004 to 0.x releases of VLC, Seashore, and Ecto—even betas of Firefox and Parallels. Whatever my nerdy little heart desires. I've had those early apps crash, but Tiger never faltered.


Hmm, does it smell as if his narrative depends on what his argument is?
264  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Possessed Hardware? on: November 30, 2007, 10:07:48 AM
Ralf, what happens if you now feed shredded paper into the shredder (no need to plug it in, Satan doesn't need the national grid) - do excerpts of Aleister Crowley's writings and covers of Black Sabbath albums come out the other end?
265  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Doppelgänger Effect on: November 30, 2007, 09:07:34 AM
Ah, the Fortean Times, how I loved that magazine. I subscribed to it in my Teens and it made growing up in a droll large city that much more manageable. I love its open skeptical curiosity.

Once while on the underground, I arrived at Baker Street and a man got on and stood next to another man, and they were identical twins. Their clothes were of similar style, their hairstyles also similar. But their face, and build was almost exact. I just assumed they were twins and that one had been stuck in another carriage (though the train was not full by any means), and they were traveling together. They stood closely next to each other and both were reading, but neither acknowledged the others existence. I covertly stared at them marveling at the magic of genetic identicality. At the next stop the first man got off, never once acknowledging his döppleganger. And then it struck me that they had no connection to each other. Shocked I pondered this and by the time I'd resolved to ask the döppleganger if he had a twin brother, we stopped at Euston Square and he too got off as a rush of Students from University College London poured on.

The moral is that you may travel with your döppleganger every day and simply not know it...
266  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off on: November 30, 2007, 07:37:53 AM
Are big operating systems reaching exponential levels of complexity? I'm beginning to wonder.

This is a fascinating point I've oft discussed. Being a brain scientist, complexity and non-linearity is a given for my system of study. I wonder what software engineers can do to model system complexity to predict where weak points and non-linearities will appear? Imagine a testing framework in which random permutation in a large-scale virtual machine tested every concievable conjunction of possibilities. Legions of non-linear virtual users would download software in all manners of ways, surf malware sites, plug peripherals in and out, turn off machines at the wrong time...
267  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off on: November 30, 2007, 07:23:52 AM
Crashing: Leopard is as stable as Tiger here (my sample is smaller than his, two weeks and a bit). Number of crashes requiring reboot since my switch nearly a year ago: 1 (in Tiger, probably caused by Parallels as other users reported the same issue with that beta build). I don't have a meta-analysis study of crash frequency of Tiger vs. Leopard, but neither does he. it is a rant so I don't think he is claiming objectivity.

Similarity 1: it is common OS-agnostic advice to not be an early adopter, it is hardly something unique to Vista. Yup, the move files across drives bug should have been fixed before 10.5.0. ever surfaced, but the fix at least came quickly. Ideally bugs should not exist in any OS. Tiger also had "issues" when it was 10.4.0, requiring several bug fixes to get more stable. To claim that Leopard is now like Vista, but Tiger was different is revisionist ranting.

Similarity 2: OS X has shipped with transparency effects since 10.0.0. This is a non-similarity, and weak rant material (note the utter lack of sharp comedic wording here).

Similarity 3: Apple really pissed off a lot of users with the change of the Dock and the opacity of the menu bar. Reflections in the Dock actually do have solid perceptual benefits (symmetry detection aids visual search), but the blue lights to indicate an open app really are too low contrast. The old arrow was neither ideal (arrows indicate toggle state normally, so the metaphor is misconstrued). This was fixable a few days after Leopard came out via changes to preferences. But the depth of antagonism of such small changes was pretty spectacular on forums, and a chunk of that really was "This looks different I don't like it". Nevertheless, Apple would have saved a lot of bad blood by having a UI checkbox:

[ ] Old dock style.

But the change from Tiger->Leopard is pretty minor overall visually (note Leopard got slammd elsewhere for not being radical enough!), and the largest valid criticism is 1 PNG image whose contrast is reduced. This is not the case about XP->Vista. I must iterate also that Leopard draws to screen as fast/faster on the same hardware as Tiger (including old hardware). This *really* is not the case for Vista at all. Personally? I like the new dock, but have simply edited the offending PNG image to enhance its contrast and change the colour.

Similarity 4: Windows networking sucks irrespective of OS! Machines appear or disappear on Network neighbourhood depending on the menstrual cycle of humpback whales as far as I can tell. From Tiger->Leopard, I've lost one named machine, but gained another on our work network (a draw). I gave up long time ago looking for named shares (in XP pre-switch) and have used IP addresses since, that way networking works identically on XP, Leopard and Tiger. What that has to do with Vista I'm not sure.

Similarity 5: Haven't used Time Machine, I'm personally happy using bootable clones. The fact they don't do block-level is the major technical limitation (probably they hoped to use ZFS for this then hit roadblocks). I think apple pulled the network sharing at the last minute (as it was advertised then just vanished). Apple could have delayed the whole OS until whatever bugs got worked out, and then pundits would have cried how "Leopard is the new Vista". Irony huh? But as Darwin points out, comedic gold was mined best for this similarity so I like this one best!

Leopard == Vista? Nope. Apple should have properly described the application firewall on release (stopping the  confused Heise report coming out), and should have found the data loss issue in testing. They should have not underestimated how many people would have moaned that the dock looks different (even if a block of it was really just aesthetic subjective conservatism). They absolutely should have tested with logitech drivers (which had old versions of a a heavily-discouraged kernel hack) to stop the upgrade freezes wrongly linked to the BSoD. There are serious issues that have surfaced that need quick fixes still (wireless is flaky in 10.5.1 and 10.4.11 for some users). I'm pretty happy to see Apple get slammed, but this rant wastes energy on making comparisons that don't really fit.
268  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Useful tip for renaming/reorganising photos based on EXIF data ... on: November 29, 2007, 05:24:03 PM
I use Adobe Lightroom and never care about folder locations or file names, they are irrelevant. Outside of Lightroom my OS search function searches XMP metadata natively:

Spotlight Smart folder:
iso:>400 aperture:<2 keywords:HDR - folder of my HDR photos with an ISO greater than 400 and aperture under 2, irrespective of which folders/drives they are on or what they are called...
269  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective on: November 29, 2007, 04:52:14 PM
Quote
Which begs the question why arent these happening or being organised...

They have happened. Not all the clinical tests that went into the metaanalyses Ben references in the Lancet piece were, but a subsection have been tested allowing for this with AFAIK similar inconclusive results...
270  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective on: November 28, 2007, 04:03:33 AM
Yowsers! The Guardian posted a reply to Ben's article:

http://commentisfree.guar...ignorance_is_showing.html

What an amazingly idiotic reply. Note Ben was *very* clear that individualisation was taken into account in his trial when engaged in his mock discussion with the homeopathy fan. Dennis Maceoin comes up with the most missed-the-point response imaginable:

Quote
His ignorance is most grossly displayed in the preface to his piece:

"Time after time, properly conducted scientific studies have proved that homeopathic remedies work no better than simple placebos."

What utter hooey. There has never been a proper trial of homeopathy.

Claims he believes strongly in Science while exhibiting an ignorance of what Ben said and what the scientific trials actually tested that is breathtaking. There are >350 comments if you want to have more fun. It so misses-the-point, several comments question if it is not satire...
271  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective on: November 27, 2007, 08:05:36 PM
Adaptive History? Is that like Intelligent Design?

Yes, I do truly believe FARR was intelligently designed  tongue
272  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective on: November 27, 2007, 07:58:46 PM
[THE VOICE OF GOD]If I ever do this sort of thing again I'm leaving out the apes. Some of them evolved into creationists. How the hell did that happen!?[/THE VOICE OF GOD]

and

[THE VOICE OF GOD]I hate evolution! I turn my back for a moment, these damn humans appear, infest the place and wreck everything...[/THE VOICE OF GOD]
273  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective on: November 27, 2007, 07:33:41 PM
Armando: ah, rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno...
Quote
For some 1500 years the black swan existed in the European imagination as a metaphor for that which could not exist.
274  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective on: November 27, 2007, 05:36:32 PM
Quote
Anyone dismissing Darwin in favor of another explanation is, from a scientific point of view, ignorant or attempt to mislead.
This is maybe for another thread, but some critiques of the theory of evolution are cogent, articulate and thoughtful. The jump from micro to macro evolution is a battleground that is not yet cleared... That there are many unresolved holes in ToE does not imply that the alternatives are somehow better though ;-)

Quote
So if there's a chance it could be proved wrong (it's falsifiable), it's a theory. But if there's no chance it could be proved wrong (creationism/intelligent design), it's not able to be a theory?

Yup, it becomes a belief, or a dogma. Note there are scientists who are stubbornly dogmatic and would probably twist evidence to maintain their dogma. Scientists are human; sharing mankinds foibles, power trips and irrationality. The scientific method is simply the best way to keep overall progress running forward in spite of this Wink

Quote
On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation which disagrees with the predictions of the theory.

Which is why one black swan is so much more valuable than a lake full of white swans...
275  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective on: November 27, 2007, 05:26:16 PM
Quote
"There are some aspects of quackery that are harmless - childish even - and there are some that are very serious indeed."
nontroppo -
imagine if someone said something like that about your career for example or something you believe in?

Yes I suppose I would have replaced the word "quack"[1] with "mysticism" if I was him. But as a scientist, I engage with criticism and welcome it, even if it is a post-modernist telling me science is nothing more than a social construction and pure human fantasy ;-) The majority of the post was gentle and I'd hope those serious about homeopathy would not just stop reading at the first sentence.

----
[1] Though as homeopathy can show no significant medical efficacy above placebo, to continue convincing people it works better than placebo (and taking their money for it, homeopathy ain't cheap) is debatably closer to quack than mystic...

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