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[#] Tue Jun 29 2010 23:38:58 EDT from the8088er @ Uncensored

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I guess what I'm really worried about isn't the decline of the desktop, it's the decldecline of the Macintosh desktop. The innovation that led the way through the early years of OS X and even the last years of OS 8 and 9 -- bringing the Internet in reach of people who didn't want to deal with the complications of a Windows PC -- has reached a point of stagnation to the degree that it looks from the outside like Apple isn't paying any attention to their desktop market.

In my relatively short life I've forked more than $6,000 into Apple workstation hardware without regret. I literally don't know of any other computer that can match the parallelism that this Mac is able to have, just like when I had my old G4 workstation, I never saw another compuer come close to what it did.

I want there to still be an Apple workstation in a few years when it's upgrade time that's better than everything else, able to hold several internal drives, PCI/whatever-is-around cards, etc. I feel like if that isn't the mainstream, which it's not, Apple is going to kill off that product class and make more shiny little gadgets.

Then I'll have to seek a computer that can handle my work from elsewhere.

Then I'll probably have to run Windows.

Then I will die :-P

[#] Wed Jun 30 2010 05:45:03 EDT from dothebart @ Uncensored

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I like the idea to have the harddrives somewhere in the closet attached to my lan... And maybe some digital audio connection to my amp so they can play mp3 with mpd or such.

 



[#] Wed Jun 30 2010 09:37:15 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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Jun 29 2010 11:38pm from the8088er @uncnsrd
I guess what I'm really worried about isn't the decline of the desktop,

it's the decldecline of the Macintosh desktop. The innovation that led


The decldecline? Is that the declaration of the decline?

[#] Wed Jun 30 2010 11:48:10 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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isn't the mainstream, which it's not, Apple is going to kill off that

product class and make more shiny little gadgets.

Not to worry. Apple will need to keep building the Macintosh product line.
They may only have 10% of the market, but they'll need that revenue when they eventually only have 10% of the "shiny little gadgets" market.

The Big Desktop Computer will continue to be useful for a class of users who do most of their computing from a single location, do not have their own (or their employers') servers, and whose computing work involves a lot of resource-intensive operations. Since multimedia comes to mind, I'd say Apple will continue to serve that market quite nicely.

Windows will continue to become even more boring, utilitarian, and irrelevant.
It will remain popular, but only because of the momentum generated by decades of monopoly.

If Microsoft wants to build a desktop/laptop operating system that is useful in the post-PC era, they could deliver a barebones version of Windows that just offers an empty desktop and then *gets the hell out of the way*. They won't do this, of course, because they still think they need to use Windows as a ball-and-chain to keep users tied to Microsoft crap.

[#] Wed Jun 30 2010 12:40:36 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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Microsoft already provides an 'embedded' operating system that is the bare-bones Windows of which you speak here.

We've been using WinXPe for our products for over a year now. You decide precisely which bits of bloat you want in
your image file, then drop it onto an unsuspecting hard-drive for deployment (accomplished through PXE boot, USB stick,
whatever).

I know there's a Win7e available now, but I have not had a chance to look at it. It's my understanding, though, that
it allows for single licenses (normally, you have to apply for bulk licenses of the embedded operating systems).

[#] Wed Jun 30 2010 16:40:21 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Right ... but until they offer that kind of operating system for an ordinary PC, it isn't enough.

[#] Wed Jun 30 2010 17:08:02 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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Well, actually, it does work on an ordinary PC. Our boxes are really nothing more than ordinary laptop motherboards (although we've used non-laptop motherboards, too). We can install an OEM version of Windows on these boxes.

[#] Thu Jul 01 2010 10:07:45 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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If you did that, would the result be a machine that is capable of running PC-Windows binaries? And how would Microsoft react if, say, Dell or HP started building mass-market PC's in this way?

[#] Thu Jul 01 2010 14:53:59 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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We *are* running PC-Windows binaries on our boxes.

The only problems we might run into occasionally involve some component that we did not include in the image that an application requires for some reason (because many applications presume a normal Windows box).

However, there is a small issue of licensing. At least with WinXPe, the licensing is structured such that one may not use the resulting image for a general-purpose desktop... it must be for a specific-purpose build. As our boxes are for a specific purpose, we're okay. I expect Dell or HP would be in violation of the embedded licensing if they started distributing PCs with the embedded version of the OS.

The embedded version of Windows has one cool feature you don't find in normal Windows, though... you can declare the drives non-writable in such a way that it *appears* as if you're writing to the drive, but upon reboot, none of the data 'written' actually makes it to the drive... so it's like a completely clean machine again. This is pretty good for protecting your embedded machine from viruses; reboot.

[#] Thu Jul 01 2010 17:38:51 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Ok, so this makes the problem even more egregious: Microsoft not only *can* build such a desktop, but they actually *have* built it -- but they *won't* allow it to be used in the general purpose computing market.

So the only remaining question is: since the world in general can't have it, how do those of us who don't believe in copyright get our hands on a copy for our own computers?

[#] Fri Jul 02 2010 08:54:58 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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I guess you could enter into some kind of licensing agreement with one of Microsoft's resellers. As far as I know, that's the only way to get your hands on a copy of their embedded operating system.

[#] Fri Jul 02 2010 09:29:47 EDT from dothebart @ Uncensored

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[#] Fri Jul 02 2010 09:41:44 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Heh. Another epic fail by Microsoft in the mobile space. Hey look, it costs as much as a smartphone but it only runs one application! The kids will love it!

[#] Fri Jul 02 2010 22:42:17 EDT from ax25 @ Uncensored

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Does anyone else think Windows 7 is teh sux0r?  It took me a half hour just to get a damn MAC address of the wireless card.  All the stupid wizards were getting in the way of setting up the connections too.  Reminds me a lot of KDE.  (Did I just go too far?)


Yes, but you don't have to use KDE, you can use tools and scripts to get around the stupidities of the gui.

 



[#] Sat Jul 03 2010 13:39:24 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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Anytime Microsoft changes the interface to the OS to such a degree that it becomes unfamiliar to you, it's frustrating... but not enough of a reason for me to pan the operating system.

Vista truly sucks.  Perhaps not as bad as WinME, but it's awful darned close.

Windows 7 is a veritable dream compared to Vista.  It's also got a lot of pretty little bits to it, and seems to at least be as stable as Windows will get.

Melvin has been using it, and rather likes it compared to the older operating system.

But, yeah, I find it frustrating to find all the things I want to find with it.  I still haven't figured out how to share a folder to the local network.



[#] Tue Jul 06 2010 09:36:26 EDT from Stefan @ Uncensored

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On the weekend I joined a party and the music came from a netbook with windows 7 and media player. That thing is a pain in the ass! The search function is a joke and you can't browse through your song collection without open the "Open dialog".



[#] Tue Jul 06 2010 14:53:50 EDT from jehoover @ Uncensored

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That's not exactly correct. No NT or 2000 DC's.
But equally.. for a large organisation, it's a big deal.

[#] Wed Jul 07 2010 07:45:16 EDT from dothebart @ Uncensored

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almost no startup uses see-carpet:

http://www.aaronstannard.com/post/2010/07/03/NET-Culture-Shock-Why-NET-Adoption-Lags-Among-Startups.aspx

why?

because of microsoft focuses on the big businesses, and the typical developer is just a worker bee.



[#] Wed Jul 07 2010 09:57:41 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Heh. It's funny to hear a Microtard whining about startups not wanting to use .Net on the same week another article appeared in the New York Slimes [ http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/05/technology/05soft.html ] about how Microsoft is totally off the radar now when it comes to appealing to younger consumers, and especially younger developers -- and that's why most startups just completely steer clear of Microsoft technologies.

What I keep hearing about .Net is that C# is an elegant language, but the .Net runtime is typical Microsoft rubbish (basically a GC'ed version of Win32).

[#] Fri Jul 30 2010 13:58:07 EDT from Ford II @ Uncensored

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I'm not a big fan of apple (anymore) or job or wozniaks weight problem but I give jobs or whoever credit for one thing:
the do-anything-you-want design of computers nowadays isn't the right answer for most people.
Being able to set your desktop background, and change all your icons and create directories and install random software has done nothing for this world but advance the world of support problems.
I personally don't care for it, but the iphone way of giving you a small menu of options and only letting you do a few things that they let you is really a better answer for the majority of consumer electronics users.
this is true for iphones and dvd players and tvs. Remember when they started putting zillions of options on TVs and nobody used any of them?
Remember when they put clocks on VCRs and they all blinked 12:00?
People don't really want infinite configurability, and that is really the fundamental problem with the PC design.
linux following in their wake wasn't a terribly brilliant move either. And don't be surprised if a lot of options go away on the MAC desktops as well.

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