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Posts posted by Diamond

  1. It's not elitism, I just don't have any interest in an iPad version. I don't own an iPad and I'm not interested in the iPad as a gaming platform, or in playing games like BG on *any* portable gaming device for that matter... And because of my preferences I think it would be a shame if that's what this project turns out to be.


    Well now, your opinion is noted. :)


    But I'd play the heck out of an iPad version, provided they successfully implement a usable touch-based interface. In fact, I'd love to see first-class ports of more old isometric games (e.g. JA2).

  2. do you know what the NSA is?

    NSA introduced SELinux, which Read Hat ships with by default. Of course they approve it! But I do rely blindly on the opinion of such organizations.


    i listed several reasons, which you would have noticed if you bothered to read all my posts, including the one in your quote from me you didn't even mention.

    Sorry, you are right. I did not read some of your posts. So, in the end, that's tools support and PowerPC support? (NSA endorsement count for zero points, if not adding negative points :thumbsup:)


    i never said red hat was more powerful, btw.

    It certainly seemed this way from the way you structure your posts, glad we cleared that up. But I'd like to add, that, contrary to your experience, Debian-based distros may appeal to embedded programmers. :)

  3. Well, I think you are partially correct. I return to the information I collect very rarely indeed (though I do occassionally return to some of it). As such, it is to a large extent a waste of time, yes, though it leaves me with a large archive of materials that are indeed no longer available online (most news articles, for example, have a limited life-span on the net) as well as the ability to use all the materials offline (though it is true that I make use of that very rarely).


    I guess my recognition that such archiving is a considerable time-sink is one reason why I would want to at least partially automate the process.

    Really? Major online newspapers have searchable archives, as far as I can see. Other sites tend to not delete their articles and posts, it's not like they are taking any space. A lot of blogs do not have extensive archives, because they did not exist all that long. May I ask what exactly do you archive news for? Except for gratifying your OCD, that is. ;) Are you going to datamine them? It's rather hard to find anything in a few gigabytes worth of text if you don't precisely know what you are looking for.


    If I was to do something like this, I'd run a script to periodically scrape text from HTML pages (or RSS feeds) and shove them into a database. But that's just me, I guess.



    What's so bad about IE? I am not some sort of "advanced user", so for me it's an ease of use issue - the 'ease' of IE being that it is already on my computer and I am already used to it. Barring auto-archiving, it does most things I want it to do, so why switch?

    The single biggest reason is hundreds of extensions. Including, but not limited to bookmark syncing, ad removal, tweaks to sites with Greasemonkey scripts.



    The number one reason would be that it's not secure. Another would be that it doesn't render a lot of pages correctly.

    Actually, that's no longer a good argument in favour of Firefox. It has become so popular (almost reached IE market share), which makes it a popular target. In the past month, I can't remember a week when my Ubuntu did not download firefox or xulrunner security patch.


    Anecdotal evidence suggests Chrome is better in this respect. And if you want to be really secure, run Lynx. :)

  4. Not a reply to help you, but to actually discourage you. :(


    Speaking from my experience, I think that's a huge waste of your time. I used to pile the articles and documents I read "for future reference", and guess what? I have never ever ever ever read them again. Not once. If is worthwhile material, it gets propagated or replicated throughout the web, so there is little chance of it becoming unavailable. If it does become unavailable 5 years down the road, you wouldn't care (or remember, for that matter).


    Today, if I need some textual information, I find myself turning to Google 99% of the time, and to my local files only 1% of the time. Heck, even my bookmarks outlive their usefulness so quickly, I am not even sure why shouldn't I just clear them all right now.

  5. When considering what makes most people think macs are better I think we are definitely in psychological and intangible territory. It's brand reputation, not actual performance.

    I think it has more to do with simplicity. Not everyone is a control-freak/tech-geek who cares about or would even use/utilize all the stuff that pc's supposedly are "better" for. (Edit: ie, they don't care about "performance" but functionality/ease of use in what they use a computer for, and that's it ) Now, I'm just generalizing here...I'm sure there's lots of Mac users who pant "ooo pretty," as well as those who want more Mac software support and like to tinker, but well .. then they'll either buy a PC as a 2nd rig or switch to the type of computing that works better for them.


    I think this is spot on. Most computer users are not gamers, they just don't care about raw performance. They just want to get their Excel spreadsheets and Word docs done, upload photos to Facebook, surf the Web, check their email, sync music to their iPod. They just want a system that is responsive and does not get in the way. For them, performance is not how fast their video card renders triangles, but how quickly they can get things done on their computer.


    In fact, ever since I stopped gaming, I move closer and closer to this category of users and I see where they are coming from. If I tinker with systems all day long at work, sometimes it can get very tiring, so I begin to just want everything to work out of the box and not put a tiny bit of thought into making it work.



    As an side thought, the fact that most people need so little from their computers actually explains the emergence of netbook market.

  6. Well there's your problem.

    any OS that is more user friendly is necessarily less powerful. i don't use linux to play games or have fun. i use linux to develop signal processing systems. at one point red hat was the only NSA approved linux distribution for carrying out the types of missions i'm interested in (and fedora/red hat are essentially the same minus support).




    We do embedded development and use mostly Debian/Ubuntu and their variants. Though only as a development host, target is a custom Linux-based system (on ARM and PowerPC). We could use any other distro, because it does not really matter what development host is, as long as the tools are available.


    So, I am not quite following your logic, please elaborate. Because I fail to see any significant difference in the guts of both systems. As far as I'm concerned, it's all the same tools, kernel, libraries and GUI toolkits (sans SELinux). How Red-Hat more powerful and why does your work necessarily require it? Are you saying you are using it as a target system, rather than host? Is there any other reason except commercial tools support requiring it?

  7. My new Lacie external multimedia HDD doesn't start automatically when I connect it to my Vista pc. I need to go to Computer first and access it from there. It does run automatically on my XP pc.


    I know it's not that big of a hassle, but if someone could help me fix this, I'd be even happier.

    I can't really comment on how to do it, but this default behaviour is actually a Good Thing and is an improvement in security over XP. A lot of malware spread via removable media using Windows' autorun "feature". Among the first things I do on a fresh XP installation is disable autorun.

  8. I am not sure what that validates? Open source is over rated more times then not.

    Yet you are using DNN, and now you are posting on PHP-based forum hosted on Apache server. Probably even using Firefox? :) Heck, even Windows still has some traces of BSD-licensed code in it. As for quality, lack of polish is not unique to OSS, there is plenty of commercial crapware too.


    Although I do now expect you try to prove that VB is the most used programming language because it has the highest number of search results on some obscure search engine. ;)

    Alas, with general trends it's Java, if you trust Tiobe's index.

  9. C# is about as pretty as code can ever be syntax wise.


    But ya know, we're argue chocolate and strawberry ice cream here?

    Yes we are. Python is prettier. C is even prettier. :lol:

    I'd argue C# would has a Java-esque feel to it.


    P.S. C sucks. C++ owns.

    *bzzzzt* Wrong!


    Maybe this was said in jest, but I'll bite. :)


    C is THE programming language for systems programming. All production-quality drivers and operating systems are written in C. C++, even when being marketed as "better C", has gained very little traction in the systems programming world. C produces more compact code (to my experience, up to 3 times smaller!), which is important for embedded systems, where both RAM and firmware flash space are at premium. C++ bloats up due to template instantiation and additional code generated for exception handling.


    C has a very stable set of ABIs, whereas, in C++ ABI design is a lot more complicated due to virtual functions, exceptions, etc. It is very difficult to maintain backward binary compatibility in C++, and distributing libraries in binary form in C++ is a pain. There is no standard C++ ABI, you can't usually link libraries built with C++ compilers from different vendors as they even mangle symbol names differently. In fact, different name-mangling schemes are even encouraged to prevent accidentally linking libraries with incompatible ABIs. And obviously, you can't distribute template-based libraries in binary form.


    Mind you, I love C++, but it is by no means a perfect language. C++ gives you a lot of tools to solve your problem but also a lot of new and exciting ways to shoot yourself in the foot. C++ solves some of C's problems, but compounds other problems and creates new ones. Probably it has something to do with the fact that C++ is designed by a committee. "If you think C++ is not overly complicated, just what is a protected abstract virtual base pure virtual private destructor, and when was the last time you needed one?" - Tom Cargil, C++ Journal


    Finally, every half-decent programmer should learn C to know what happens under the hood. I repeat: one must not forget their C roots. :) It is even important in order to understand what happens under the hood of higher-level constructs in C++. Try to implement inheritance and virtual function tables in C for educational purpose to see what I mean.

  10. As a side note, I'm a KDE fan, but I hate, hate KDE4. For me, it's just too unstable, experimental, has too many rough corners and bugs, and not ready for everyday use (I tried, I really did). The only reason I have not switched to Kubuntu 9.04 is that it comes with KDE4 and no option to switch to KDE3. I think I will stick will 8.10 (LTS) until KDE4 matures.

  11. Just an FYI: Ubuntu (at least) offers a GUI of apt these days which is just point/click, so it really is for everybody.


    Gnome Ubuntu even goes as far as to offer the apt GUI for 'advanced' users and an add/remove programmes apt GUI for typical users. It only contains highly-rated/used programmes and is as simple as ticking 'install' in the applications box, then 'upgrade'. Similar to Windows add/remove, but obviously better because you can download from the repositories.

    Yeah, I have used both Synaptic (Gnome) and Adept Manager (KDE), but I find them less responsive and harder to automate compared to command line.

  12. I have actually a few distros. And between dependency issues and plain install issues it took x5 times longer to get anything done then on windows. Windows is a simple click setup.exe and in a few moments you are off and running. With linux its a pain in the arse from start to finish. Granted its been about 2 yrs since I tried linux but I follow the saying fool me once shame on you, fool my twice shame on me. I gave linux 3 tries and each time it was nothing but a head ache and limited apps.

    I am a full-time Linux user for 2 years and I can say that Linux-based operating systems (and open-source software in general) has quite a few shortcomings, BUT installation of software is NOT one of them (at least with today's package managers). In Linux, I can specify to install a few dozen of packages at a time, which are downloaded from my ISP's mirror (fast!) and installation proceeds quickly in batch.


    So, when installing a new {U,Ku}buntu system, all I need is to have my list of post-install packages handy. I can read a list of needed packages from a file or (even quicker) off a web-page which I stored somewhere:

    sh$ wget -O- http://example.com/my-site/my-list-of-packages | xargs sudo apt-get install

    Now I can go have some coffee and generally find something useful to do.


    On the other hand, it took me one attempt to reinstall Windows recently to appreciate Linux package management. I needed to install each program separately, each "setup.exe" performs its own install-time checks and preparations, and hence they generally take forever. Not to mention I can't automate this and have to be physically present at the machine to click the next "setup.exe", "Next", "I Agree", "Next", "Yes, I'm sure", "Finish" all the bloody time.


    It's not for everyone, mind you, for some people doing something other than click-click is outside of their comfort zone, but for me personally, Linux (Debian's, to be exact) software management is far superior to that of Windows, since I like be able to do more in less time. :ermm:

  13. LadyCrimson,


    Yes, Wine can run most Windows applications reasonably well, including games, but it's not perfect. Your best bet is to check AppDB and see how is your application faring there. I would not expect applications that rely on obscure unimplemented API or have some form of kernel-side component (SecuROM, I'm looking at you) to work. But, utilities like photo application will have a working equivalent in Linux and will usually work without manufacturer's driver (that's the case with my oldish Cyber-Shot).

  14. Though, admittedly it has a uglier syntax.


    Reason enough, surely.

    Now that I think of it, I actually meant to say "uglier for me", due to coming from C background. But it may be a better option for someone coming from VB background. I mean, hey, if you look more closely, what exactly is wrong with VB syntax? EOF-delimited code? Python does it too. Writing "if .. then" rather than "if (...) {"? Bash and Pascal have it too. Case-insensitivity? Pascal.


    The only thing I see that's left is social stigma inherited from pre-.NET VB as "uncool", and "newbie's language".

  15. To answer the original question, I suggest directing all your questions to Stack Overflow, an awesome new programmers' Q&A site, which I have become recently addicted to. The questions of any level, both basics and advanced, broad and specific, are answered pretty quickly and informatively. Unless you happen to ask a stupid question, that is.


    Now, why do people get so worked up about VB.NET or have some sort pf preconception against it? It's virtually identical to C# semantically, and compiles to exactly the same byte code and uses exactly the same libraries. Though, admittedly it has a uglier syntax. Also, I tend to agree with some people who say that PHP is pretty badly designed programming language, even though it's popular (see? big news! popular does not equal good).

  16. That's really all I want from Microsoft: a cut down version of their OS.

    Actually I think that soon you may get what you want. There is a new market for low-cost laptops (Asus Eee PC, XO) which are usually underpowered compared to dekstop computers and "normal" laptops. Usually, the vendors of such hardware go with a Linux-based OS, but lately Microsoft was making a push for a lightweight XP on these platforms in order to prevent Linux from completely overtaking this market segment.

  17. The only reason people moan about vista is the cost of upgrading, I swear there isn't a damn thing wrong with the OS, and frankly from my own experience it's been infinately more stable than XP. Sure you have a perf hit with some stuff, but then again there isn't actually much of a notable cost.


    What can I say? Bunch of fracking whinerz.

    Any operating system is OK as long as you don't try to do anything fancy with it. I'm not touching Vista with a 10m pole until one year after SP2 deployment.






    P. S.

    Some Vista "features":


    A few weeks ago a poster with the handle dloneranger reported in the 2CPU forums that he experienced reduced network throughput on his Vista system when he played audio or video. Other posters chimed in with similar results, and in the last week attention has been drawn to the behavior by other sites, including Slashdot and Zdnet blogger Adrian Kingsley-Hughes.


    Many people have correctly surmised that the degradation in network performance during multimedia playback is directly connected with mechanisms employed by the Multimedia Class Scheduler Service (MMCSS), a feature new to Windows Vista that I covered in my three-part TechNet Magazine article series on Windows Vista kernel changes.




    The throttling rate Vista uses was derived from experiments that reliably achieved glitch-resistant playback on systems with one CPU on 100Mb networks with high packet receive rates. The hard-coded limit was short-sighted with respect to today

  18. The major differance is that a 64bit OS can use up to 16.8TB of RAM, while 32bit systems are strictly limited to a maximum of 3.5GB of RAM. This is not a windows thing, its just the way bits and bytes work.

    Actually you can use up to 2^32 bytes, which is exactly 4Gb. That is, if you are using a proper operating system. :lol:


    ...but there is one more advantage thats useful for a common user; 64bit systems are immune to virtually all viruses, trojans and other malware in existance.

    32-bit code will execute just fine on x64. So all your email worms, trojans, VBS scripts, XSS vulnerabilities will still work. The only thing that will break is low-level exploits, because assembly code would have be written to target a specific address space.

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