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[#] Tue Aug 15 2017 12:04:31 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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I used a Surface Book for the six months I didn't have access to my desktop.

It worked okay, but Microsoft keeps pushing updates that break it, then an update the fixes what they broke, possibly breaking something else.

It'd be a pretty powerful machine, if only the underlying OS didn't keep breaking.

Current problem that MS doesn't recognize as a problem: Skype for Business doesn't recognize the on-board microphone. It's stuck in this weird mode where you plug in a microphone, and then it'll use your onboard microphone, but not the one you plugged in. Basically, if I want to use Skype for Business on my laptop while I'm away, I have to plug in an arbitrary microphone so it'll work (work with the onboard microphone, at least).

I can say, with experience, that Consumer Reports is spot on in not recommending this awful device, although I suspect it's more about Microsoft's updates than the device itself, as it seems to work better if it never sees a network.

[#] Mon Aug 21 2017 18:55:37 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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So let's set aside the problems with this particular model and review the form factor itself. It's been a while since we've done this.

1. Does anyone actually want a device that can convert between a tablet and a notebook? On my non-touch ultrabook I am never finding myself wishing I could touch something on the screen to interact with it. I'm never wishing I could rip the screen off and use it as a tablet, either.

2. Does handwriting recognition matter anymore? Seriously ... think about it. Inputting text with a stylus was a big deal around the turn of the century.
Just now, I put a capped pen down to my desk to see how much of the Palm Pilot "graffiti" alphabet I could remember. I think I got nearly all of it.
But in 2017 everyone's got a smartphone. Apple was the first (see, I can be fair) to produce a truly usable onscreen keyboard, and they've just gotten better from that point on, between the ones that let you doodle over the keys and it guesses what you were trying to type, to good autocorrection (even though it's the butt of every joke, it's still remarkable) ... does anyone have a desire to handwrite on their screen anymore?

[#] Wed Aug 23 2017 12:24:29 EDT from Ragnar Danneskjold @ Uncensored

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There are a few times where it comes in handy - drawing a network diagram you want to save, etc. But for the most part? Nope.

The keyboards for the Surface and Samsung suck... The Apple's sucks a tiny bit less. The only time a keyboard is useful on a tablet is for a LONG email.
Otherwise, meh.

My Dell is the same thickness as the Surface. I could have gotten it with a touch screen, but I opted for the higher resolution model instead. Form factor wise it's nearly perfect for my needs.

[#] Fri Aug 25 2017 20:12:30 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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Sometimes, it's nice to ditch the keyboard and just hold a tablet. Primarily if I'm consuming media, moreso than trying to do any serious work.

Handwriting. Heh. Yeah, right. I'm far faster with a keyboard, and more comfortable typing than writing... so no thanks.

But... the pen is pressure-sensitive, so with the right tools, you can draw with it, which is rather nice if you have an artistic bone in your body.

[#] Sun Aug 27 2017 21:57:11 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Sometimes I think about putting a cheap webcam on a stand and pointing it at the desk for the times I want to sketch something out for others on a call.  I've never seen a whiteboarding tool that I liked, not on a regular computer, not on a tablet.  Just too chunky/clunky.

[#] Mon Aug 28 2017 16:54:20 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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And now for something completely different.

It just occurred to me ... a lot of IT people standardize on changing the CDROM's drive letter from D: to Z: on Windoze servers, so that disk volumes can go C-D-E-F-etc. ... why haven't we just been making the CDROM drive B: for the last ten years? No machine will ever have two floppy drives again.

Bill Gates is such a horrible person.

[#] Wed Aug 30 2017 11:12:32 EDT from Ladyhawke @ Uncensored

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Sun Aug 27 2017 09:57:11 PM EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

Sometimes I think about putting a cheap webcam on a stand and pointing it at the desk for the times I want to sketch something out for others on a call.  I've never seen a whiteboarding tool that I liked, not on a regular computer, not on a tablet.  Just too chunky/clunky.

IGgy, Try Mural:


[#] Tue Sep 12 2017 15:12:42 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Well this is fun.

[ ]

Windows Subsystem for Linux is now going to be available on Windows Server.

It's not "currently" possible to use it to run server software as background services, but it's pretty obvious that this is where they're going with it.
As I've suggested before, I think they are aiming to be able to run Linux-based Docker containers natively on Windows Server without any "helper" VM in place.

The conventional wisdom was that "every operating system eventually turns into Unix" but now Linux basically *is* Unix. Solaris appears to be bound for the legacy scrap heap, and even the mighty Windows is now becoming a Linux distribution, albeit in a roundabout way.

Micro$oft still does some extremely evil stuff, but they're certainly not what they used to be. And of course Bill Gates still deserves to be fed feet-first into a wood chipper.

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 12:00:31 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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<Nelson> HA-HA! </Nelson>

Microsoft is now admitting that Windoze Phoen is basically on life support at this point.  They seem willing to admit that nobody likes it, nobody wants it, and we shouldn't expect anything more than security patches now.

Microsoft has learned with mobile what Linux users already knew at the desktop: it's really hard to establish a third platform when the market is already saturated by two entrenched players.  They're stuck in the same chicken-and-egg conundrum: no one wants to write software for a platform with few users, and no one wants to use a platform that has few software choices.  Microsoft even tried paying developers to write apps, but it still wasn't enough.

Read more at [ ]

Now can we please get rid of the "start screen" and all of the other crap that doesn't make sense on computers with keyboards and mice, where 99.99% of Windows installations live?

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 15:52:12 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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When even Gates comes out as saying he prefers Android...

[#] Tue Oct 10 2017 12:52:22 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Apparently it's a big deal this week in the trade press to talk about the imminent death of Windows Mobile. Although the product has not "officially" been shelved, it has come to light that it isn't receiving any updates other than security bugfixes now. We've also discovered that Satya Nadella was opposed to the purchase of Nokia's mobile handset business, back when Monkey Boy was still running the show.

There's a bigger picture to look at, though, and it's one we've been painting here for a little while now. It seems that we have finally exited the era where Microsoft could arrive late to a market and dominate it anyway simply by leveraging their other monopolies. As was pointed out by Michael Allison of The Register, "it was inconceivable that Microsoft would be unable to similarly dominate the mobile market." But unable they were.

And that's a good thing. I can live in a world where Microsoft are simply the Windows and Office people. I'm even ok using those products now because it doesn't feel like a slippery slope into a Microsoft-everything dystopia across all parts of the computing landscape.
(It also doesn't hurt that after a beta test period of almost 25 years, Windows finally became usable on 2009-oct-22.)

They seem to realize this too. Microsoft products available on Android and iOS prove that at some level they have realized they're not going to establish a monopoly across all areas of computing everywhere.

Don't get me wrong; I still wish Ultimate Suffering upon Gates and Ballmer.
But at least we can relax now.

[#] Wed Oct 11 2017 12:15:33 EDT from Ladyhawke @ Uncensored

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Who are you and what have you done with IGnatious T Foobar?!

[#] Wed Oct 11 2017 17:14:25 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Like I said before ... if Microsoft hasn't gained a foothold outside of the desktop space by now, they're not going to ... and if Linux hasn't gained a foothold inside the desktop space by now, it's not going to either.  So with the slippery-slope gone, and Windows finally out of beta (although they curiously named the 1.0 production release "Windows 7") ... bearing the friction of using a superior but unadopted Linux OS on the desktop simply doesn't make as much sense as it used to.

Also, now that Netscape has won the browser war, the desktop doesn't matter quite as much anymore either.  It's too bad Netscape didn't survive to enjoy their victory.

[#] Wed Oct 11 2017 18:00:02 EDT from Ladyhawke @ Uncensored

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Next you'll be saying that the Rosie O'Donnell show's not that bad, after all.....

[#] Wed Oct 11 2017 18:33:50 EDT from wizard of aahz @ Uncensored

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Hah.. Now you're going too far.

[#] Thu Oct 12 2017 13:37:05 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Somehow I doubt Rosie will ever be anything other than the horrible disgusting evil ugly poor-excuse-for-a-human that she is now. But if she changes I will acknowledge it.

The truth is, these days the biggest existential threats to the universe are Facebook and Amazon. Microsoft has largely been neutralized. (Karl Vreski can take it from here.)

[#] Thu Oct 12 2017 13:40:32 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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I hate what Facebook and Amazon have done to Algol. It's shameful.

That poor star deserves better.

[#] Thu Oct 12 2017 17:31:17 EDT from Ladyhawke @ Uncensored

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[#] Sat Oct 14 2017 14:29:16 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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HEY. I *said* "Karl Vreski can take it from here." No one ran with that?
Not even Ragnar?

[#] Mon Oct 16 2017 15:49:54 EDT from Ragnar Danneskjold @ Uncensored

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I don't want neutral. I want dead.

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