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  #31  
Old 06-30-2009, 10:13 PM
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Hell yeah. Going down to little shareware shacks and buying floppies with programs that you;d try to fit together.
I had about 10 word processors back then. One was so small I had it installed on every disk I formatted.

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  #32  
Old 06-30-2009, 11:22 PM
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Who remembers seeing TV programs years ago when some studious looking guy assured us that one day there would be a computer in every home - then pointed at a beast that took up a whole wall, had big tape reels, and a tiny screen of about 5"?

I used to riff on this stuff when I taught SF to gifted kids. The computer that put the first guys on the moon had 64k of ram. Even the crummiest cellphone now exceeds that by a factor of 10. Our older grandparents will likely remember the entire history of powered flight, from seeing pictures of the Wright Brothers to Transatlantic airliners to the space shuttle to Mars orbiters to maybe even space tourism. We're living in the future, right now. In previous centuries, change was slow. Now, if you can imagine it today, you'll be able to buy it online tomorrow. It's a tough time for SF writers.

And now it seems I've completely lost track of what the original thread was about.
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  #33  
Old 07-01-2009, 02:29 AM
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I remember going to the Science Museum in London, I think it was, and they had this model of a computer room. Huge monsters of machines on all the walls, reel-to-reel tapes and hole-punch cards everywhere, and little people dwarfed by the 'computer' that surrounded them. The King knocked me out by telling me that he not only worked on that machine, he also knew who all the little people were supposed to be. Ah, the good old days. Not.
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  #34  
Old 07-01-2009, 06:46 AM
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I was probably exposed to computers sooner than about 99 percent of Americans because I spent some of my so-called childhood on Nike bases and guided missile schools. There might have been a time when the only portable computers in the US were to guide missiles. (By portable, I mean, filling up a four ton truck)
There were guys who did nothing but wander down tight aisles lined with gizmos, changing fuses.
External data storage was punched cards. i worked with a computer that used punched cards as late as 1973. Also military, but devoted to hospital admin and scoring personality tests.

In the nineties I dropped by a sort of "used computer junk yard" in Seattle (where else?) to buy some drives and the last remaining shareware floppies. There was a weird object on the floor, plexiglass turbo thing that looked like what might be inside the Jetson's washing machine. Three feet high, maybe 20 inches diameter. Turned out to be a hard drive. 64 K.
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  #35  
Old 07-01-2009, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Lin View Post
I was probably exposed to computers sooner than about 99 percent of Americans...

External data storage was punched cards. i worked with a computer that used punched cards as late as 1973. ...
I am probably in the 1%. I started withing with computers in 1976 when they were still room-sized machines that required special air-conditioning to cool them. I worked with punch-cards as late as 1979. These were before there was any such thing as PC's.

I still work in IT. I won't switch over to Firefox, Opera, Chrome, or any other browser because they are theoritically faster (on average 2 tenths of a second per page). Most of the perception of being faster is the placebo effect - people think they are faster because other people say they are faster. Many of these people are also more anti-Microsoft than they are pro anything else. Some flash runs faster - when it doesn't crash.

If you like Chrome and it works for you - great. Use it - unless you are using a computer you also use at your office. Most businesses won't allow it or other non-Microsoft browsers because while it does most of the things that IE does, it doesn't do all of them. There is no trade-off in letting people use something that saves them seconds per day compared to the extra support and development work it causes. And, yes there are problems. When anyone calls our help desk with a browser problem the first question that is asked is, "Which browser are you using?" If it is anything other than IE6, the help desk connects remotely, uninstalls whatever browser they have running, and installs IE6. That takes care of most browser issues.

I know that there are some people here that are going to get all zealous and defensive and tell me that things run 5 times faster on Chrome and I don't know what I'm talking about. The benchmarks don't support that.

The biggest problem with chrome is that it has trouble with HTTPS, NTLM, and SSL authentication. That's no big deal as long as you don't want anyone to get your private information like account numbers, pin numbers, credit card numbers, or passwords.

The fine-print on their terms of service doesn't promote a lot of confidence in your security either:

11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.
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  #36  
Old 07-01-2009, 11:14 AM
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If it is anything other than IE6, the help desk connects remotely, uninstalls whatever browser they have running, and installs IE6.
Jesus, can we have the name of your company so I make sure I never, never call them?

When I mention Nike by the way (the surface to air missle series, not the shoe) I'm talking about computers in radar vans in the late fifties and early sixties.

People who talk about old-timey computer stuff just don't realize how far ahead of the curve the military was. When was Soldier Field? Think they could have done that without computers?

The A test in Alamogordo was in 1945. You trace the lifeline of computers back and you run into the Manhattan project.

Guided missiles came out of World War Two and a guided missile is pretty much all about computers and radar. one radar on the target, one on the missile...and a computer bringing them together.

By the way, anybody who think computer technology is blasting off at the world's fastest rate should check out radar. which is hard to do since so much is classified. But you talk to radar guys... meaning pretty much military-industrial guys and you start realizing that there's about a four year generataion gap in radar all the time and guys who retired four years ago can't even understand the basics of what the current guys are talking about.

AWACS and Stealth Bomber technology was completely voodoo to guys out the field only a couple of years.
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  #37  
Old 07-01-2009, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by gary_wagner View Post
Many of these people are also more anti-Microsoft than they are pro anything else
Yup. But persist in using it. It's like bitching bout how much it hurts to nail your hand to the table while reaching with the other hand for the hammer.
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  #38  
Old 07-01-2009, 12:57 PM
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Like any monopoly or evil empire, it isn't a problem if you don't get forced into using it.
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  #39  
Old 07-01-2009, 09:36 PM
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Who's forcing you? Put the hammer down.
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  #40  
Old 07-02-2009, 06:14 AM
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Well, we just heard from a guy whose company removes your browser and re-installs IE without permission.

But more seriously, it's always easy to tell people to just go do it, when there are, in reality, often powerful collective forces that make it difficult or even impossible for them to get their way or opt out of things they don't want to be involved in.
Or resent having to learn English, but can't continue their business without it?

Have you ever paid taxes to support a war you were morally opposed to? Do you know anybody who thinks automobiles are a horrible, life-threatening waste for the planet, but end up having to drive or take cabs in order to make a living? Or have to send their kids to public schools they don't beleive in or are actually afraid of?

It's not that easy to just jump out of Microsoft. They've made sure of that from the beginning. You end up having to interact with people and companies that require certain kinds of documents in certain ways.
As an example in our business, TV writing, we use Final Draft software for script writing. Almost every one of us think it sucks. But it's the standard, the lingua franca of television.

Aside from that, it's not that easy to just jump over to linus. HUGE learning curve and then you end up with all these documents and manuscripts and stuff that don't quite fit any more.


We've gotten stuck with Microsoft. Not by our own choices. If it weren't a monopoly, it wouldn't be a problem. That's the trouble with monopolies: they force you to use things you don't want to. Otherwise it wouldn't be a problem.

Most people buy a computer and it has Vista on it (or the latest bloated abortion). They don't have the ability to uninstall and reinstall. (Which is deliberately being made more and more difficult, drivers harder to get, etc)

The concerted drive to make people continually have to upgrade and pay more, even if they are completely happy with their product and unhappy with the upgrade is a calculated movement that sucks.

Maybe someday a move to Linux or Mac (less likely) will be possible. For now, it just isn't practical.

So is it okay to be unhappy with that situation?

The idea that if you complain about MS and use other systems you're just some trendy stone-thrower but if you complain about MS and use MS you're some gutless wimp is pretty harsh...and are you really comfortable with saying that MS shouldn't be criticized?
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  #41  
Old 07-03-2009, 05:42 AM
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Jesus, can we have the name of your company so I make sure I never, never call them?
Well, we just heard from a guy whose company removes your browser and re-installs IE without permission.
These are corporate computers used by employees of the corporation. You don't have to give them permission to install or uninstall anything. The own them - they control them.

It's this way at most major corporations. Trying to support employee's computers with different browsers, different operating systems, and different configurations. There are programs that run continuously that check the configuration and change it back to the corporate standard.
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  #42  
Old 07-03-2009, 06:29 AM
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There are programs that run continuously that check the configuration and change it back to the corporate standard.
Wow, kind of like real life.

I hope you realize I'm not giving you a hard time, here, Gary: I enjoy your posts.

One point: couldn't we say that perhaps the line quoted above is a partial answer to Mike's question about why not just get rid of Microsoft or IE or whatever?

Last edited by Lin; 07-03-2009 at 07:31 AM..
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  #43  
Old 07-06-2009, 12:43 PM
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No problem, Lin. I have a thick skin even though at times it seems like I'm getting my panties in a wad. Since people know I work with computers I am constantly being asked to "take a look at my computer and see what's wrong with it". They don't seem to understand that there is an unlimited number of combinations of various software that don't always play nice with each other. I get frustrated when I sit down at someone else's computer and don't have a clue how to get anywhere because they have a weird-ass browser with a thousand different add-on toolbars. Then they wonder why I don't just press the "fix all problems" button and take care of it.

It would be extremely hard to get rid of IE because it is the current corporate standard. We have 50,000 online users which means that if we switched browsers, we would have 50,000 different problems the next day. The big question is: why? We would have to invest thousands of man-hours - maybe hundreds of thousands to test all of our apps, change those that need it, and test all of those apps in various environments. What would justify a company spending that much money? IE might not be the best in the world, the fastest in the world, but it is the most used in the world.
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  #44  
Old 07-06-2009, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Lin View Post
One point: couldn't we say that perhaps the line quoted above is a partial answer to Mike's question about why not just get rid of Microsoft or IE or whatever?
It's unrealistic to suggest getting rid of either. IE6 is the bane of web designers' lives, and it's only still hanging on as a browser because of corporate insistence.
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  #45  
Old 07-07-2009, 09:55 AM
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Exactly. It's not much fun to suddenly see all your webistes look like shit designed by nitwits and realize that you have to run around and try to figure out how to make them all right because it's backed up by a corrupt monopoly.
I just saw some BLOGS of mine got to shit. It can't even render WORDPRESS without screwing up. It actually changed the color of type on one!!! So it can't be read.

This is so typical of microsoft... stick the public with a piece of shit because it can.
Again, this is the problem with monopolies, they don't give you or the market a fair choice and have no valid input.
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  #46  
Old 07-09-2009, 02:33 AM
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Microsoft are stuck with a difficult problem; one operating system that has to be all things to all people.

I kind of like vista in several ways, but it tries to do too much. The ideal would be to have a number of variants; a family version leaning towards movies, pictures, music etc and totally idiot-proof, a pro version without half the junk, running slick and fast, etc, but when you have to design a package that ships with 90% of computers sold, and will be used in 1001 different ways, it's never going to be perfect for everyone. It's funny how now vista is here, everyone yearns for an XP machine. When XP was the only option, people wanted 95. When 95 was there, people wanted back to 3.1 or wherever we were. Bring back CP/M, I say.

Let's not forget that the alternatives are imperfect also; people just bitch about them less.
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  #47  
Old 07-10-2009, 04:40 AM
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I like Vista and I don't ever run the Family Version of an OS. I am running Pro right now, and even have the Business Office Package. This is why I don't run games on my computer, why I don't do a lot of stuff I see some other young people doing. I love powerful machines (I wanted an eight core when I got this) but I love them because I want to get my normal stuff done super fast. I am in Adobe alot, I'm online alot and I do watch movies while doing stuff on here sometimes.

But games on computers is the biggest money waste you can do, instead of buying a system every 5 years, your buying one or two video cards every other year or less. The over head on the computer when you're doing heavy duty gaming is also high and unlike videos and the like, you actually need to keep updating stuff.

Vista basically made everyone who wanted new games get it right away. And they have the power to do that with any new OS they put out.
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  #48  
Old 07-10-2009, 05:35 AM
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Let's not forget that the alternatives are imperfect also; people just bitch about them less.
Possibly because they consciously chose to use them rather than getting them via corporate enema?
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  #49  
Old 07-10-2009, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Team 2012 View Post
Possibly because they consciously chose to use them rather than getting them via corporate enema?
Everybody makes the choice, whether by design, laziness or ignorance.
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  #50  
Old 07-10-2009, 12:34 PM
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Who wins the browser war is becoming more and more critical. We're heading toward thin clients that will be nothing but a browser with all the data and applications stored on servers. Google wants that more than Microsoft but that's where we'll all be in a few years.

Netscape was in the lead for years before they destroyed themselves by sleeping with the devil (AOL is evil). Firefox and Mozilla will always be nothing more than a fringe. The choice will be between Microsoft and Google.
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  #51  
Old 07-10-2009, 03:16 PM
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Everybody makes the choice, whether by design, laziness or ignorance.
Not true. You buy a PC, it has Windows on it. It has IE on it.

Then, as has been indicated in this very thread, you run into problems trying to use anything else due to various industry, corporate, and standarizing situations.

Not to mention, it's one thing for a web designer to say...hey, just switch your browser or OS... a little different for the average person to do so.
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  #52  
Old 07-10-2009, 03:17 PM
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The choice will be between Microsoft and Google.
Neither of them primarily designers of browsers.
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  #53  
Old 07-10-2009, 05:02 PM
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I honestly don't give a ****, if you pardon my language.

As long as it's got what I want, I'm happy.
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  #54  
Old 07-10-2009, 05:32 PM
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Of course.

But let's put it this way. What if you wanted a good car and realized that the market was going to come down to a shootout for monopoly between Chase Bank and Costco for who would make your car for you?
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  #55  
Old 07-10-2009, 06:29 PM
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What's Chase Bank?

Costco's some American store. It's trying to get into Melbourne... there's one trying to open some fifty kilometres away from the city. >.<
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  #56  
Old 07-10-2009, 09:53 PM
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What's Chase Bank?
It's a plot.
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  #57  
Old 07-11-2009, 03:21 AM
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Does the bank end up tripping?
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  #58  
Old 07-13-2009, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by gary_wagner View Post
Firefox and Mozilla will always be nothing more than a fringe. The choice will be between Microsoft and Google.
I'm sorry? Well. First of all I'd like to point out that Chrome was designed with Firefox in mind. As was IE7. And both browsers are still inferior to Firefox. If only for the fact that Firefox runs a better/more aesthetically pleasing interface than the "competition".
Now if we look at Chrome first, what do we think of? WEBKIT. The oh so amazing recycled system that Safari uses. The only real plus is the JavaScript engine. Most PC's should be able to run a browser that doesn't defrag on every closed tab. And Mozilla are already dealing with those issues anyway. Let's not forget the technology is opensource and will likely be implemented in to other browsers soon.
IE7 is... How can I put it nicely? Awful. It runs slowly, the interface is ugly and pointless and it allows no real customisation. As such it can't compete with Firefox, which is still racing ahead of Chrome AND IE7. Firefox is updated regularly and has more customisation than any other browser. Let's also not forget that it runs animated GIF's at a decent speed, instead of slow (IE7) or much to quickly (Chrome). And every website on the web is designed to fit Firefox, where Chrome and Safari fail because of... BINGO! WEBKIT. The truth is Chrome has a LONG way to go before it is an acceptable product. And because Mozilla update Firefox quickly and often, it is unlikely that they will ever catch up.

The fact that IE7 was even mentioned baffles me.
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  #59  
Old 07-13-2009, 07:06 PM
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Shocks me to, it's like driving around in a Model T.

In a perfect world, the Mozilla browsers would be standard. I'm an Opera buff myself, and consider it a Ferrari even alongside Firefox, but it's easy to accept that it will always be a fringe thing.

IE, like MS Office, just seems to keep getting worse at the same time it gets bigger and more complex. Firefox and Chrome get simpler. Maybe too simple. It's not possible to load up a file from your hard drive to read in Chrome that I can figure out, I end up loading them into other browsers and posting their location into the address bar.
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