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September 18, 2012
Re: [OT] Was: totally satisfied :D
On Tue, 18 Sep 2012 10:39:58 +0200
"Mehrdad" <wfunction@hotmail.com> wrote:

> On Tuesday, 18 September 2012 at 08:09:41 UTC, Nick Sabalausky 
> wrote:
> > Is it any surprise the vast majority of *good* software is 
> > either open-source or otherwise non-commercial?
> 
> It is?
> 

Naturally there are exceptions, but that's been my experience more
often than not. Of course, I'm *certainly* not going to say that "OSS
is *usually* good". And I'm not even saying "OSS is more frequently
good than commercial". I'm just saying, when I find I program that
I actually like and doesn't irritate me, it's usually either OSS or
freeware.

> Every time I try to switch from Microsoft Office to 
> Open/LibreOffice, I find them unusable. And those are probably 
> the best alternatives.
> 

It works well enough for me, but then I don't really do much with them.

> Every time I try to switch from Windows to Ubuntu, GRUB belches 
> at me, saying it thinks it's THE boot loader and it just cries 
> like a baby about how it wants to install itself on the MBR.
> And it stops working randomly every once in a while when I put it 
> on the partition boot sector.
> 
> Funny, the only times the Windows boot loader ever gets messed up 
> is when I try to install Linux. Not when I happen to resize a 
> random partition.
> 

Oh, god, I learned a long time ago to NEVER mess with dual-booting.
It's just never worth it no matter what the OS. Use a VM, or a
LiveDisc distro (with USB persistence), but forget dual-boot
bootloaders.

> And if you tell me GIMP or Inkscape or whatever take the place of 
> Adobe suites I'm just going to laugh.
> Are they good? Sure.
> Are the comparable with the commercial versions? Hell no.
> 

GIMP sucks and Inkscape has it's problems, but I've never used an Abobe
program that I didn't hate just as much. So it's either be annoyed by
GIMP/Inkscape for free, or shell out hundreds if not thousands (PLUS
hardware upgrades) for the privilege of being annoyed by Adobe's
equally obnoxious bloatware.

> Google Chrome? It's open-source, but it's driven by commercial 
> interests -- it's driven by the advantages it gives Google in the 
> market, even though it's "free" by itself.
> 

Ok this is the one I *really* disagree with: You'll *never* convince me
that Chrome is anything but the absolute WORST browser in existence.
Wretched, horrid, terrible, awful piece of shit (and yes, it does crash,
too), *and* it's to blame for kick-starting the endless trend of
absolutely god-awful browser UIs. There is no such thing as a browser
with a sane UI anymore, and it's all thanks to Chrome.
I'm not exaggerating when I say I'd sooner go back to *Netscape* then
even *allow* Chrome on my computer at all (And when I need to test on
Chrome, I use SRWare Iron instead - It's the same engine and the
same wretched god-awful UI, but without all the "raping my
computer").

> Oh, and there's a reason people still use WinRAR instead of 7z, 
> as great as 7-Zip is. (Yes, the icons and toolbars DO make a 
> difference, even if you think that's stupid.)
> 

Actually, I never noticed any difference. I only ever use the shell
integration anyway.

> In the programming world -- just look at how popular C# is.
> It's not popular because it was open-source (although people 
> tried to make Mono) -- it's popular because it's got damn good 
> balance in terms of usability and IDE support.
> 
> And VS is a lot of $$$ to buy. Nothing open-source/non-commercial 
> about it.
> 

I find VS bloated. I like Programmer's Notepad 2. Nothing commercial
about it.

> 
> Of course, there's good open-source software. No doubt about that.
> 
> But at the moment I can't think of one that took the place of 
> commercial software because people find it "good" and they find 
> the commercial version "not good".
> 

Disc burning is a good example. These are *great* programs:

- InfraRecorder
- ImgBurn/DVD Decryptor
- DVD Shrink

None of those are commercial. I have yet to find *one* commercial disc
burning program that isn't a steaming pile of shit. Nero's been shit
for over a decade. Roxio is shit. DVD Fab is shit. It's all shit.

Also, note in my earlier post I didn't say "popular software", I said
"good software".

> 
> > Managed by *programmers*
> 
> LOL, that's precisely why open-source software has a "steep 
> learning curve", as the creators like to put it.
> 
> It's a result of programmers not knowing (or caring) about making 
> good UIs, so they just think the users are noobs when they can't 
> use the software.

There is too much of that, unfortunately. But it's definitely not true
of all OSS. And at the same time, most commercial developers have been
doing nothing but making their UIs worse and worse and worse. So
basically most UIs these days suck, period, commercial or not. When I
do find one I like, more often that not it's non-commercial.
September 18, 2012
Re: [OT] Was: totally satisfied :D
On Tuesday, September 18, 2012 05:16:53 Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> On Tue, 18 Sep 2012 01:10:07 -0700
> 
> Walter Bright <newshound2@digitalmars.com> wrote:
> > On 9/18/2012 12:37 AM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> > > Heh, actually, my 10-year-old 32-bit single-core XP desktop is still
> > > going strong,
> > 
> > I upgraded to a 6 core 64 bit machine. It really does improve the
> > usability of my computer.
> 
> I avoid bloatware, so extra silicon doesn't do nearly as much for me.

It all depends on what you're doing. Today's machines are overpowered for many 
common tasks, but for some stuff you can _always_ use more CPU (e.g. 
transcoding video).

- Jonathan M Davis
September 18, 2012
Re: [OT] Was: totally satisfied :D
On 18/09/12 09:29, Walter Bright wrote:
> I suppose I have a more pragmatic view, due to my background in
> non-computer engineering.
>
>      It's all like that.
>
> There are a couple of good reasons for that.
>
> 1. Not every engineer is a rock star. In fact, very few of them are. I
> tend to snicker at companies that insist they only hire the top 1%. It
> seems that about 90% of the engineers out there must be in that top 1% <g>.
>
> 2. It costs too much money to do perfect engineering. You wouldn't be
> able to afford those products. Do you have $10,000 to spend on a tablet?

> Software is a lot better, too. It really is.

I don't think that's true, except in terms of the range of functionality.

The interesting thing is if you compare computer hardware from 1985 with 
hardware from today. It is dramatically better, in every respect, 
without exception.

But that isn't true of software. Tex is ancient, and yet it's not easy 
to find *any* recent software of similar quality.

When I was a kid, I muse to make games and save them on cassette tapes. 
The tapes failed pretty often, so that my work was lost.

Last week, my kids made some games using online Flash/JS-based websites. 
Due to bugs in those websites, sometimes when they go to save, their 
work is lost. I find that appalling.
September 18, 2012
Re: [OT] Was: totally satisfied :D
On Tuesday, 18 September 2012 at 09:14:30 UTC, Nick Sabalausky 
wrote:
> On Tue, 18 Sep 2012 11:03:03 +0200
> "renoX" <renozyx@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Not very good rant,
>> you write:
>> > They have imagined a "phone", where being able to answer the 
>> > call is completely by luck if the phone has been in your 
>> > pocket when the call arrived! Chances are, you will touch 
>> > something on the "smart" screen and reject the call by some 
>> > random reason
>> 
>> I have the *same issue* with a non-tactile phone:
>
> I assume you mean non-touchscreen?

Yes.

[cut]
>> How do you suggest to fix this issue?
>> 
>
> - "Clamshell" flip-phone.

Well you can buy a case with a hardcover, the result is the same; 
well at least for a phone with a touch screen the result should 
be the same, for my nokia (which has no touchscreen) the phone 
still activate from time to time (even with a case with a 
hardcover): my next phone will have a touchscreen..
Even better any mobile part is fragile but replacing a case is 
much cheaper than replacing a phone.

> - A proper physical switch for lock/unlock. The one on the 
> Toshiba Gigabeat F (admittedly a music player, not a phone) 
> works flawlessly.

Maybe, lot of physical switches are not proper though.

RenoX
September 18, 2012
Re: [OT] Was: totally satisfied :D
On Tue, 18 Sep 2012 05:15:08 -0400, Nick Sabalausky  
<SeeWebsiteToContactMe@semitwist.com> wrote:

>> when the phone
>> is activated, quite often the keys will be pressed randomly and
>> create something unwanted.
>>
>> Worse sometimes the phone will unlock itself while in my pocket,
>> something that I think is more rare for touch phones.
>>
>> How do you suggest to fix this issue?
>>
>
> - "Clamshell" flip-phone.
>
> - A proper physical switch for lock/unlock. The one on the Toshiba
>   Gigabeat F (admittedly a music player, not a phone) works flawlessly.
>

iPhone has a lock switch.  It's on the top.  You push it, and the phone is  
locked.  I'm pretty sure almost all android phones have this feature as  
well.

I never ever ever accidentally call someone when the phone is in my  
pocket, because it gets locked when I'm done with it.  In fact, I never  
accidentally do *anything* on my iPhone.  Never happened with my  
flip-phone either, but certainly the capacitive touch screen has not  
reintroduced that problem for those who are willing to learn how to use  
them.

These rants are absolutely hilarious.  It's like saying you hate  
calculators because you can't slide the buttons like on your abacus.

-Steve
September 18, 2012
Re: [OT] Was: totally satisfied :D
On 9/18/12 8:53 AM, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
> I never ever ever accidentally call someone when the phone is in my
> pocket, because it gets locked when I'm done with it. In fact, I never
> accidentally do *anything* on my iPhone. Never happened with my
> flip-phone either, but certainly the capacitive touch screen has not
> reintroduced that problem for those who are willing to learn how to use
> them.

Yes!

> These rants are absolutely hilarious. It's like saying you hate
> calculators because you can't slide the buttons like on your abacus.

I thought I'm alone in thinking so. To me these rants are eery - I can't 
recognize in them one single problem I've actually experienced. I do 
recognize the frustration though - some systems are indeed designed with 
next to no regard for usability design. Last time I've seen that was on 
a Delta flight. If the UI designer optimized for something, it must have 
been the maximization of the number of key presses for doing anything.


Andrei
September 18, 2012
Re: [OT] Was: totally satisfied :D
On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 12:48:09AM -0700, Walter Bright wrote:
> On 9/17/2012 10:29 PM, H. S. Teoh wrote:
> >LOL... I agree with the sentiment. My dad has a pair of Apple II's
> >from the 80's, and they still work. He does his accounts on them
> >sometimes.  Compared to a 3-year-old PC of today, which is probably
> >already dying a horrible death of HD failures, fan failures, CPU
> >overheating, software breakages that's gotten it into a state that
> >requires reformatting and reinstalling to fix. Apparently, this is
> >the crowning achievement of 3 decades of software development.
> 
> ?? I don't have such problems with my computers, and I tend to run
> them for 5 years before upgrading. The HD failure rate is about the
> same as in the 80's. Of course, we no longer have to deal with
> floppies that get corrupted often.
>
> The most common failure I've had are the power supplies, they're
> still as bad today as in the 80's.

OK, I exaggerated a little. I'm just bitter because once I bought a HD
(from a store of questionable repute, I'll confess) that started making
clicking sounds 2 months later, and then proceeded to keel over and die
in the most horrible way, taking all my data with it. (But I shouldn't
be so bitter, though, 'cos RMA gave me a brand new HD.) Another time, my
computer started randomly rebooting for no apparent reason -- then I
discovered that the power supply was starting to fail. Which caused a
series of other failures like fan failures and CPU overheating. But this
is all just hardware, which is beside the point.

Reformatting and reinstalling, though, is a matter of course on any
Windows installation that I've ever seen. I've heard of such things as
stable Windows installations, but as far as my experience goes those are
mythical beasts. Things just fail the moment you start doing something
non-trivial, like anything besides read email, watch youtube, and browse
the 'Net. I've been spared this pain for the most part 'cos I swore off
Windows and have been running Linux as my main OS for at least 10 years,
but I do still get requests for help to fix broken Windows
installations. Most of the time, the thing's either unfixable (hood is
welded shut) or not worth the effort to fix 'cos reformat + reinstall is
faster (shudder).

That's not to say that Linux doesn't have its own problems, of course.
The libc5 -> libc6 transition is one of the memorable nightmares in its
history. There have been others. X11 failures can get really ugly (back
in the days before KVM, a crashed or wedged X server meant your graphics
card is stuck in graphics mode and the console shows up as random dot
patterns -- good luck trying to fix the system when you can't see what
you type). Once I accidentally broke the dynamic linker, and EVERYTHING
broke, because everything depended on it. The only thing left was a
single bash shell over SSH (this was on a remote server with no easy
physical access), and the only commands that didn't fail were built-in
bash commands like echo. So I had to transfer busybox over by converting
it into a series of echo commands that reconstituted the binary and
copy-n-paste it. It's one of those moments where you get so much
satisfaction from having rescued a dying system singlehandedly with echo
commands, but it's also one of those things that puts Linux on some
people's no-way, no-how list.


T

-- 
The right half of the brain controls the left half of the body. This
means that only left-handed people are in their right mind. -- Manoj
Srivastava
September 18, 2012
Re: [OT] Was: totally satisfied :D
On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 02:57:08AM -0700, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
> On Tuesday, September 18, 2012 05:16:53 Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> > On Tue, 18 Sep 2012 01:10:07 -0700
> > 
> > Walter Bright <newshound2@digitalmars.com> wrote:
> > > On 9/18/2012 12:37 AM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> > > > Heh, actually, my 10-year-old 32-bit single-core XP desktop is
> > > > still going strong,
> > > 
> > > I upgraded to a 6 core 64 bit machine. It really does improve the
> > > usability of my computer.
> > 
> > I avoid bloatware, so extra silicon doesn't do nearly as much for
> > me.
> 
> It all depends on what you're doing. Today's machines are overpowered
> for many common tasks, but for some stuff you can _always_ use more
> CPU (e.g. transcoding video).
[...]

Yeah, I run povray on complicated auto-generated math models quite a
lot, and my recent upgrade to an AMD hexacore made a huge difference.
It's the primary reason I upgraded my 10-year-old AMD Barton system.
This was a couple o' years ago, and I'm planning to run this system for
at least another decade before I upgrade again (I hate the upgrade
cycle).

OTOH, my primary window manager is ratpoison, so it's not like the
hexacore makes any noticeable difference at all on that front, though
GUI-dependent people might find hexacore desirable 'cos then they can
turn on all the eye-candy in Compiz and still have the system work
without lagging.  (I used to have a Compiz installation purely for
showing off and for Linux propaganda purposes, but it fell into disuse
and nowadays I just don't bother.)


T

-- 
Once bitten, twice cry...
September 18, 2012
Re: [OT] Was: totally satisfied :D
On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 04:28:08AM -0400, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
[...]
> I went through a few-years-long period where I was constantly
> replacing failed power supplies. Then I finally decided to splurge on
> a GOOD one, huge wattage, very reputable company, and at *least* twice
> the $$$ I'd ever spent on a power supply before.
> 
> Never had another power supply problem since. (Knock on wood...)

Yeah, all those cheap PSU's you get from door-crasher sales, all those
are crap. They start behaving funny after 2 years (if even that) and
randomly shutting off for no reason on the 3rd anniversary. The PSU is
one of those things that you *want* to make a good investment in.


> One important thing to keep on mind (that I've learned from Tom's
> Hardware and Sharky Extreme) is that power supply manufacturer
> apparently lie about their wattages as a regular matter of course. Ie,
> if it says "X Watts", then you're never going to get it to even about
> 0.9*X without the stupid thing blowing up. So keep that in mind when
> shopping.

Heh. Reminds me of my UPS... I bought it to protect my very expensive
PSU from power surges/failures, but guess what? The PSU is still running
and the UPS has been dead for 4 years. :-P


> Regarding HDDs, I've sworn I will *never* run a main system again
> without a GOOD always-on SMART monitor like Hard Disk Sentinel
> <http://www.hdsentinel.com/>. In fact, that's one of the main reasons
> I haven't switched my primary OS from Win to Linux yet, because I
> can't find a good Linux SMART monitor. (Manually running a CLI program
> - or writing a script to do it - doesn't even remotely count.) Oooh!
> Actually, now that I've looked up that link, it looks like they do
> have an early Linux version now. Awesome, I'm gonna have to try that
> out.

Sounds like something I *should* be running. I'll have to look into
that.


T

-- 
Живёшь только однажды.
September 18, 2012
Re: [OT] Was: totally satisfied :D
On Sep 18, 2012, at 12:48 AM, Walter Bright <newshound2@digitalmars.com> wrote:
> 
> The most common failure I've had are the power supplies, they're still as bad today as in the 80's.

There are good power supplies, they just don't come in pre-built computers because they're expensive.  I think the same could be said of products from any era.
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