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51  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What went wrong with Linux on the Desktop on: September 20, 2012, 11:08:14 AM
Time for me to rejoin.
[For me], Linux has served my desktop needs quite thoroughly for more than a half decade. My point way back on page 2 was simply, Why do I need commercial alternatives when free works fine?

I'm still an openSUSE, but thanks to suggestion by 40hz, I have Pinguy installed on a second system and it's absolutely elegant, not to mention quick and nimble. I would recommend it to anyone. Now this love of Linux doesn't mean Windows or OSX is shite, but rather that I'm not going near walled gardens. I've already surrendered my online life to Google with regard to their apps, and I do enjoy Google+. But even if I was forced to use Windows or OSX, it would just be to launch a browser. That's all the controversy I can make out of it any more.
52  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Steal Windows 8 and Microsoft probably won't mind? on: September 16, 2012, 03:32:37 PM
PCs are now starting to transition back into office/business/professional environments. In short, they'll be found in the hands of those that want a PC because they still create content as opposed to exclusively consuming it.... There will always be a market for a 'real' personal computer. But as time goes on, I think the PC (as we know it today) will become more and more of a 'specialist' or 'professional' device. The average person wiil be content with a locked-down appliance as long as they can: surf the web, access their social sites, send and receive text messages and email, share photos, do a little shopping, play a game, watch a movie, listen to music, read a book, and generally be a consumer.

Based on the number of devices sold and activated, this already seems to be the trend. Take any random sample of users and, assuming you could record their computer time, they likely spend more time (outside of work) playing among various social media. If for no other reason, that's what they find interesting. Google has their TV ad that states: "The web is what you make of it," and that's more true than ever. The days of buying and mastering complex apps like Photoshop -- and even MSOffice -- for the public are long gone. I see people looking around and asking: "I have $500, how do I want to spend it -- on software or a new tablet/phone? I guarantee you most today are picking the tablet.

-- When you grab Windows 7 without paying anything, Microsoft won’t see a dime from you for years.
Apple figured this out a decade ago: how to keep the sucker coming back with more cash. Amazon just figured it out by essentially charging you time (ads) or money every time you use one of their devices. Hell, even Google will rent you a Chromebook if you want. All for the built-in cash stream. And now that everyone has their own little garden to play in, notice how, one by one, they're dropping support for each other's software.

-- Windows 8 faces so many mixed reviews, and is oh so very important for Microsoft’s future, that MS should really have just given it away, at least for the first few months. It could have been like a one-time pardon for pirates: Stole Windows for years? We forgive you — this one’s on the house, now buy something from the Store.
This would be especially smart if MS delivers a quick Win9 to the market, correcting Win8's least liked features. They wrote the book on getting people hooked. I bought Google's Nexus7 tablet and love it, but it came with all kinds of goodies that I didn't mind -- free book, movie, music, and $25 to spend in their Play Store, with which I promptly bought three chess games and two shooter games.

But with Win8, is it worth getting stuck with an OS you don't like? That would be the punishment.

53  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Doctor Sued for Amputating... [NSFW] on: September 15, 2012, 07:17:03 AM
That reminds me of something to wear the next time I have a hospital stay:
54  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Describe the coolest conference chairs and tables you've ever seen on: September 15, 2012, 07:11:43 AM
Renegade has such good tastes.  Grin
55  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Shit Apple Fanatics Say on: September 15, 2012, 07:07:13 AM
I'm pretty sure I could write the Linux version myself. I just spent an entire day on a nonexistent problem where I hadn't run a simple script. I came close to self abuse just to teach myself to pay attention better!
John Battelle has been using macs since 1984 and writes that he's more confused than ever:

Here are some excerpts:
-- I’m not saying I’m switching, but I sure am open to a better solution. Because the past year or so has been dominated by the kind of computing nightmares that used to be the defining experience of my Windows-PC-wielding friends and colleagues. And it’s not limited to the Mac – the iPhone is also a massive fail in what was once the exclusive province of Apple: Ease of use.

-- But my wife isn’t an outlier. She has about 250 contacts. She tries to use iCal, but can’t make it work. Her email breaks early and often. And she’s spent the past two months in IT hell, trying to salvage her digital life from the clutches of Apple’s self-centered, walled-garden update called the Lion operating system, which wiped out nearly all her previous settings and useful applications. Watching her struggles, and trying to help (and realizing I couldn’t without bringing in expensive professionals) made me wonder – whatever happened to ease of use?

--  I spent a few more fruitless hours trying to find another solution on the web. There wasn’t one that didn’t require pretty significant technical know-how (such as installing a utility, running it to reveal all files on the iPhone, then deleting each file one by one, even if you weren’t sure what the file did). The only option that was relatively straightforward and seemed to work, according to many forums, was to restore the phone. Which I did. And I lost all my apps save the ones that come preinstalled on the iPhone in the first place. And guess what? It didn’t fix the problem.

-- Oh, and then there’s the vaunted Apple Super Magical User Interface. You know, the Insanely Great Revolutionary Change the World User Experience that everyone fawns over as if it were a fact. Are you kidding me? If Apple’s UI is magical, then I’ve got a Unicorn to sell you. Let’s start with Mac Lion. There are so many Fails in this OS, it’s hard to know where to start. You need a 4-hour class just to understand all the contortions Apple seems to be doing in its attempt to make its desktop interface work the way the iPhone does. You know, pinch and swipe and app stores and mission controls and magic corners and all that. I’ve spent at least an hour figuring out how to turn most of that shit off. It just doesn’t work.

My Rant:
Which is why this current i7 computer will be my last desktop "PC." Apple, Linux, Win8, whatever. I'm devolving to the guy who just wants things to work, and when I upgrade, I don't want to spend an entire weekend futzing and fiddling with settings and reinstalling apps; this is why I have enjoyed my little Chromebox. And unlike John Battelle above, while I use Linux, I have a wife who's forced into Microsoft land because of her company and all the contract software/servers they bought from Microsoft. And frankly, that OS is as confusing to me as a Windows user trying to configure YaST for the first time -- I have to google a lot of things just to find them, e.g., volume mixer? Oh, just right-click the taskbar. But I didn't find it among the "sound" options in the Control Panel. Why!! Oh well, it's the story of our lives, isn't it?
56  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Shit Apple Fanatics Say on: September 11, 2012, 02:54:48 AM
"It's just a $50 cable from Apple!"

Part 1:

Part 2:
57  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Describe the coolest conference chairs and tables you've ever seen on: September 11, 2012, 01:10:10 AM
Perhaps this:


The room features a sweeping 40-person elliptical conference table that breaks into 22 pieces and may be stored, along with 40 executive chairs. A sleek elliptical glass and metal map sculpture is suspended in the middle of the space. Along with that, there are five quiet HVAC units, linear diffusers, sprinkler system, 165 lights, 3 robotic cameras, 18 speakers, 2 motorized projector lifts, 2 motorized screens and a large glass and metal sculpture. The conference room’s eastern wall boasts a 65-inch interactive touchscreen which displays content from the Paley archives and illustrates the worldwide reach of the Paley Center’s media studies. It also shows 16 live television feeds from four service providers. The screen can also act as a display device for meetings. Other options in the room include 5×8-foot automated video projection screens on the north and south sides of the space, a pair of Panasonic video projectors housed within the ceiling on lifts, three Panasonic robotic cameras for teleconferencing and broadcast-quality recording, and 22 table mics with cross-room noise cancelling. All technology is controlled by an easy-to-use wireless Crestron control panel.
However, this is the most comfortable chair I've sat in for long meetings:

58  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Apple sues Samsung AGAIN - adds 21 additional devices to list on: September 05, 2012, 02:37:20 AM
While Apple's been busy suing everyone back to the Stone Age, Samsung keeps innovating and bringing out better and better phones. And Samsung has the majority of LTE patents in its portfolio, all ready to sue Apple the second they announce their iPhone 5/LTE. If the world doesn't stop this silliness, then it will continue spending more money on lawyers than on innovation. And that means being stuck until some regional, dull-witted judge or jury decides to ignore the next set of jury instructions and award the case to the home team.
59  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Apple Patents Shutting Down Phones and Functions on: September 05, 2012, 02:28:13 AM
What goes around, comes around:

Chinese Copycat Company Copies Apple's Phone -- And Its Patent Lawsuit Strategy!
The GooPhone i5 is a "pre-emptive" counterfeit of the upcoming iPhone 5, based on leaked photos and other information. It runs Android Jellybean. Copycat rip-off iPhone clones are nothing new -- even ones that come out before Apple ships. But now, GooPhone i5 people are threatening to sue Apple, saying they've patented the design of the phone in China and intend to block Apple's sales of the iPhone 5 there.
60  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What went wrong with Linux on the Desktop on: September 05, 2012, 02:24:24 AM
I think mahesh2k nailed it. What desktop? It's 2012 and it is now the place at which I spend the least computing time. My [mobile] "devices" are all running Linux in some form, as is my latest i7 desktop build. Fortunately, my computing life became an internet life years ago. The desktop is incidental to my needs, especially with regard to work and travel. Get me to a browser and I can access and share everything I need/want on company servers and, more personally, on my google account/s.

Point is, someone explain why I would need Windows or OSX?
61  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Why not to bother with being "loyal" to Microsoft brands on: September 01, 2012, 12:21:49 AM
Oh, I'm sorry MS Music people, you just got hosed *twice* in a decade. Let's call it a 5 year Arc.... I don't have time for that $hit. (Front loaded hyped sales PR machine and all.)

I sniffed this customer mugging back in 2002, when I saw that Microsoft kept changing the .doc/.xls formats with every new version of MSOffice. Updating, not a problem. But when I was opening research documents created from earlier MSOffice versions and they weren't formatted the same, I knew I was screwed unless I got out. I couldn't afford to have an entire career tied up in proprietary formats that were being changed to the point of being unreadable a decade later -- and Microsoft made sure no one else could convert them accurately either! By late 2005 I made the move to Linus and open source and by 2006 my transition was complete. Haven't looked back.

But now the cycle is repeating itself for Apple and Facebook users.
62  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Apple v Samsung Verdict is in on: August 29, 2012, 01:13:53 AM
Oh nosh, you didn't just go there! Samsung should have played that in court. Agree with everything 40hz has said. Steve Jobs has to be the biggest turd ever to be dropped on tech. Frankly, I'm glad he's dead, and it's already fun seeing Samsung and others out-innovate (Galaxy Tablet 10.1) Apple from here on out. That neither our "media" nor either presidential candidate has said one word about this runaway patent BS shows everyone is in it for one reason: da money.

63  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Wikileaks - Julian Assange Granted Asylum by Ecuador on: August 22, 2012, 05:00:52 AM
@tsaint: "Would like a reference to where the USA govt has called for his assassination as you allege though."
Obama has not "ruled it out." Also, Senator Diane Feinstein, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee:  and,
As for the NDAA, recall your Bush years and "signing statements." Obama uses them, too. Congress can pass anything, but the executive branch usually "interprets" the laws to their perversions. Politically, I'm all over the place, but probably more a socialist than anything else. Obama has already flat-out refused to turn over documents Congress subpoenaed regarding the "Fast and Furious" guns in and out of Mexico operation. And when Congress doesn't give a president what they want, there's always the Executive Order. This article details the NDAA better than I can here:

Why I’m Suing Barack Obama by Chris Hedges
Putting people in jail in the US is a for-profit business; google and
64  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Apple Lawyers on Crack? on: August 22, 2012, 04:34:06 AM
The fact that we can't reform or abolish the Patent system is only one reason this planet is doomed. Can't wait to die!  Angry
65  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Wikileaks - Julian Assange Granted Asylum by Ecuador on: August 19, 2012, 05:43:29 AM
Sweden, the UK, and the US all look like thugs here, with Ecuador and Correa being the only independent democracy with any ethics in the world right now. Obama has laid the groundwork for a surveillance state, which draws suspicion on even mundane actions and uses it against its citizens.

The US claims the legal right to indefinitely detain its citizens (NDAA); the president can order the assassination of a citizen without so much as even a hearing; the government can spy on its citizens without a court order; and its officials are immune from prosecution for war crimes. Correa doesn't want this mess -- it's a lose-lose for Ecuador -- but he's got it thanks to these three corrupt and dishonest governments. Sweden's claims against Assange are bull since they've refused numerous invitations to "question" Assange inside the UK. If you've got a case, charge the man. If not, then make the effort and buy a plane ticket to the UK.
66  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: StressLinux - if you build, you'll want this. on: August 19, 2012, 03:37:18 AM
I do know two people who should be using this. Thanks!  Thmbsup
67  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Windows 8: Yes, it's that bad on: August 16, 2012, 01:28:27 AM
The real problem with futzing with the Window UI will be the business class. This is where Microsoft is crossing the Rubicon, encouraging people just to stick with Win7 and not upgrade. They're not going to work on spreadsheets and among all their MSOffice documents with their fingers, nor will they want to take the time to bypass the Metro screen every time they logon. As for the Surface, be wary there, too. Apple found out the hard way that people just want a cheap, usable, tablet they can carry around; just ask Amazon (Kindle) and Google (Nexus 7).
68  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Why Linux sucks (and how to fix it) VS. Linux doesn't suck (and I can prove it) on: August 14, 2012, 11:03:56 PM
Oh jeez, that was hilarious. "Beefy Miracle."
69  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / 3-minute Review of the Samsung Chromebox Series 3 on: August 13, 2012, 09:33:47 PM

No-hassle computing. Based on Linux, ChromeOS is stripped down to eliminate hassles, and sometimes choice. It updates itself, it repairs and can recover itself. Google doesn't want you to get bogged down on too many options. Hook up a monitor, mouse, and keyboard, sign in to your Google account, choose a desktop background if you want, and away you go. Seriously, that's it.

1.9GHz Intel Celeron, (or an i5 chip with the I/O version). 4Gb RAM, 16Gb SSD (hard drive), and loads of connection options. If you want, you can pop the bottom cover off and upgrade the RAM to 16Gb and the SSD card all the way to 120Gb! I'm running it with a 24-inch ASUS monitor with ease using either Displayport (to HDMI) or DVI-D. You can run it either by wifi or ethernet; it has a cheap speaker, but works fine with headphones; Bluetooth 3.0; and six USB 2.0 ports, two of which are on front. The Chromebox itself doesn't get hot, and fits just about anywhere.

The latest version of ChromeOS looks like a simplified (Linux) KDE or Windows screen, with collapsible taskbar. Most everything you do will be in the browser, although you can work separately with Google Drive and some offline items. Google builds multiple versions of the Chrome browser for various OSes, but the version for Chromebox (and Chromebooks) is the same as you find on your desktop PC, using the same extensions, except that I found it renders text better and typing is faster inside of Google Docs. You can change its look with themes if you like.

One word: surprising! It's no PC, but remember, you're OS is not having to juggle a lot of processes, thus resources are devoted almost entirely to browser and video performance. From composing documents to video to music to having 32 tabs open in multiple windows, it doesn't slow down. It boots in 5-6 seconds, awakes instantly on Ethernet, and shuts down instantly. You can insert any USB drive to add, download, or access photos with the superfast image viewer included.

For a Chromebox (or Chromebook) to be a positive experience, you have to accept a slightly different type of computing. It's not a PC, i.e., a production machine. It's more like an powerful appliance, but one that needs little electricity to use, even if you leave it on 24 hours a day. I thought the 16Gb SSD would be too small, but I've yet to really use it and don't see that I will. The whole experience is fast, and I like that. And if you have someone in your family -- old person, or someone new to the web, or even a kid -- a Chromebox is unbreakable and needs no tech support! With each ChromeOS update comes the treats of more speed and more features. My own PC habits have evolved from Windows to Linux to a variety of devices -- tablet, Chromebox, PC, phone. I don't have just one set of needs at this time in my life. And since my browser settings and bookmarks are synced among devices, there's no setup among them. If you forced me to choose one device, I'd think very hard before turning this down.

Many of the negative personal reviews I've seen of Chromebox and Chromebook are demanding that it be something it isn't: a full desktop PC. I discount those, because that's not the purpose here. This is an internet machine; some call it an appliance, but it's not a PC. If you need a PC, buy a PC. But here are three:
(1) The Chromebook/box version of the Chrome browser has more security restrictions, preventing one from assigning a local home page. I've always used my own "start page" of links for years. I hate this, and though I can work around this by opening the document from Gmail and bookmarking it, it's not the same. Greater browser security, however, is not often a negative.
(2) File handling is different. You're not really working with a traditional HD, so files are mostly handled online by linking and copying. You can download them to Google Drive or even your SSD or a USB stick. But after a week, you won't want to because your habits will have changed. Thus, this only a temporary negative.
(3) The $330 sticker price. Although I agree with this criticism, it would be tough to build a mini for much less and have it work this well. The next generation should be interesting.

Hell yea! I not only would buy this again, I would recommend it to just about anyone who spends their PC time browsing, reading, viewing media, and social networking. It's just fun, and that's something often missing from computing.
70  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Cool television show (lot of it on youtube): Penn and Teller Fool Us on: July 23, 2012, 07:04:58 PM
That's a lot of fun to watch! I'll be watching from now on.
71  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: 'Dark Knight Rises' shooting: Three heroes died in Aurora on: July 23, 2012, 06:56:41 PM
I have an odd question: How come the cops shoot people in Anaheim and Oakland, beat homeless people to death, and pepper spray students for sit-ins, but this James Holmes guy shoots up a theater and there's not a scratch on him?

Second, imagine if the guy had been a Muslim. The US government would be tripping over themselves to pass Patriot Act III: Arrest EVERYBODY!
72  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Why Windows 8 Made Me Sell Microsoft (MSFT) on: July 23, 2012, 06:50:07 PM
Based on Microsoft's history, you'd expect the scenario 40hz described to play itself out once again. But why try to force Metro's square pegs into the PC's round holes? Sure, you can switch to a more traditional desktop, but that's not the default, and we all know how defaults get treated (as the norm). Frankly, to mimic Apple, Microsoft doesn't have the hardware chops to do so. And when they do, they're always late to the game. They announced their Surface tablets to decent press, but revealed little other details, viz., pricing. And those Surface tablets won't hit the market for a while, no matter how fast they are.

Meanwhile, if you're like me and a million others, you checked out that nifty little Nexus 7 tablet and found it to be far better, smoother, and faster than I ever thought. I have a great 10-inch tablet, but I want a Nexus 7 because I truly could comfortably take it anywhere -- the car, the family trip, the waiting rooms, sitting next to the TV, etc. Thus once Microsoft's Surface tabs do arrive, the market will be saturated with yet another tablet that many will be happy with, leaving them begging for attention. And I know they're not going to sell them for under $500, given the Ivy Bridge hardware inside.

Point is, it's been a wasted decade for Microsoft, and if I did have stock, I'd be dumping it. I'd need no other reason than the common joke throughout the decade has been Steve Ballmer. The man has no vision, and he seems proud of that.
73  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Why Windows 8 Made Me Sell Microsoft (MSFT) on: July 22, 2012, 12:31:53 AM
[Vitaly Katsenelson]:
...a few weeks ago we sold our shares of Microsoft. Because we believe the stock is undervalued, that decision was not easy. What changed? When I saw Windows 8 demonstrated in early 2011, it looked like a very innovative, un-Microsoft-like product. Windows 8 was very important for Microsoft’s response to Apple’s iPad — a tablet that was deservingly stealing market share from low-end laptops. Windows 8 was supposed to take Microsoft to the next level, leapfrogging Apple and Google.... A few months ago Microsoft released the public Windows 8 beta, and I tested it out. To my shock, I found it to be a very confusing product. The interface was slick and visually very appealing, but I simply could not figure out how to use it. All the experience I had accumulated using Windows over the past two decades was useless with Windows 8, and the fact that Microsoft took out the Start button did not help, either. I found myself staring at the screen helplessly, clicking the mouse on different corners, trying to discover how to do basic tasks that we normally take for granted, like starting a program or running two programs side by side. Even figuring out how to shut down the computer was an ordeal.... The touch gestures that work well and are intuitive on tablets and mobile phones fall flat when you try them on a PC with a mouse — swiping, a very natural touch gesture, is simply cumbersome with a mouse.


I keep blaming it on this guy:
74  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft: Sorry about "0xB16B00B5" on: July 22, 2012, 12:28:09 AM
Why would Linux discriminate against big tittays? If this were the name of a distro, I dare say I'd install it right now, assuming the wallpaper was on topic!  tongue
75  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Linus Torvalds on what makes open software development work. (BBC interview) on: July 14, 2012, 02:52:27 AM
Scratch that itch, because it's very likely many more have a similar itch!

I remember arguing with my brother in the late 90s when Microsoft was going through its antitrust troubles in the US; he claimed that Linux was communist and should be banned because it took business away from Microsoft. Told him he better start banning everything else, from lemonade stands to from anyone building a better mousetrap. Little did he know Steve Jobs would soon come along and believe he invented every thing he ever gazed upon and spend his last decade suing everyone on the planet while benefiting from slave labor wages in developing countries.
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