2018 has barely begun, and it already feels like we'll be nibbling techwar milquetoast all year long. If 2018 ends up being at all like 2017, that is. We used to get our collective undies in a bunch over whether Linux or Windows was best, until smartphones rendered the debate somewhat moot. Still, we carried on a version of …
HN or HackerNews (news.ycombinator.com) overtook /. or Slashdot.org as the go to place for insightful tech discussions. For some time it was the FightClub of forums. But it's time to move on. HN is nowadays heavily moderated and censored, when the original creator PG left the boat it went downhill. YCombinator related companies are supported a lot like CoinBase and other news are censored without any info. They are also sponsored by big co. Nowadays M$ shills flood the comments with PR and many insightful comments get flagged and the accounts rated limited (allowed to only post 3 comments per day) and shadow banned (only visible to one himself). HN is nowadays also very MSSQL, Postgres and Redis leaning, everything else gets downvoted, so mention MySQL and you get banned. It grew recently to a toxic community and bad behaving moderators, while the nice creator left and never seen again.
@TheRegister: The best way to browse HackerNews nowadays is to use: http://hckrnews.com ...it shows also all flagged and censored news stories.
Anyway lot's of The Register news get censored on HackerNews lately. And the whole Meltdown fiasco got downplayed on HN, while enjoying great coverage on The Reg. I am switching over to The Reg now - seems like a superb website that still objectively reports about tech without being just a PR channel of big co like HN (no hack news or startup news inside anymore) is nowadays.
I remember trying to open up a binary file to change some hard coded developer parameters that someone accidentally left in whilst trying to install said software on customer site.
Emacs tried it's best to open the file , before crashing.
vi, opened the file and did a global search and replace. Whole thing was sorted in 5 minutes. My appreciation of vi grew from that point.
Not really. It's more a case of everything sucks equally now.
Take Linux, for example. It's hard for me to advocate, as I used to, something that has now fully embraced the Windows mentality via systemd.
As for Windows, first Vista then Windows 10 eradicated whatever little was left of the Windows fanboi community.
And Jobs pretty much took the Cult of Mac with him to the grave, along with whatever little was ever actually good about Apple products.
Turns out that Google really is evil, and damned proud of it too, and Android is frankly an even bigger headache than Windows, in my now long term experience of it.
So what's left to advocate?
Here's my new vendor of choice: none of the above. They all suck. Let's face it, everything in tech. sucks, and is getting exponentially suckier by the day.
The only thing left to advocate is chucking the whole lot of it into the shredder, and going outside for some fresh air ... before heading off down the pub - the only thing left in life that is guaranteed to never, ever suck.
"Take Linux, for example. It's hard for me to advocate, as I used to, something that has now fully embraced the Windows mentality via systemd."
Contrary to popular belief, Linux does not have to use systemd. There are plenty of distributions out there who have not drunk the coolaid. Do be a nice chap and try not to spread FUD.
And then there are the BSDs, which I note you haven't even mentioned in your learned treatise ...
Is it bad that I like systemd?
I actually left Linux a long time ago because of the impressive amount of stupid involved with /etc and others. It was a flaming shithole and still is.
systemd is a massive improvement and I am slowly moving back to Linux. In fact, I’m replacing a few dozen Cisco servers running VMware and Windows with a few hundred custom Raspberry PIs. I feel very strongly the move would have been feasibly impossible without systemd.
But I guess I’m not part of the masses. Oh well.
Odd that OSX is user friendly and works just fine with configuration files. No systemd, and no registry.
It's probably truer to say that they don't have those precise names on MacOS X...
MacOS X's "launchd" (since OSX 10.4) is basically the same approach to process management as Linux's "systemd", and MacOS configuration is more like the Windows Registry than it is like Linux /etc files.
If you're configuring all of your "Mac OS" by changing text in the files under /etc, you are not using MacOS features at all, but rather BSD Unix (or tools you've installed that were ported from Linux).
At the disk level, the bulk of OSX configuration is via property-list files, a proprietary (but very simple) binary data format. These are the *.plist files in /Library/Preferences (global settings) and /Users/____/Library/Preferences (your settings). You can edit them with a graphical tool, or use the "defaults" tool to do it in the Terminal, but you can't just open [text editor of your choice] and type new values in. In that sense, it's pretty much the same as the Windows Registry. (There's an XML representation for plists that's also supported, but OSX and most apps ship with, and use, the binary format)
There's really not much difference between the properties collection on MacOS X and the Registry on Windows except that the Windows Registry is much less granular in its on-disk format than the former. That lack of file-level partition is the only thing that makes the Registry a "bad" thing from a technical standpoint compared to plists; and the big problem with Registry isn't corruption, it's application software stomping on settings during install, and then not restoring them after uninstallation (which is why Microsoft's "Store" packaging and deployment system gives converted Win32 applications a virtual, sandboxed Registry that they can shit in to their heart's content without damaging the user's system). Nothing in the design of the OS X system would prevent this problem, but OS X developers tend to not change system settings during install, and when they do, they use the official, Apple, installer, which does manage this properly.
Although I have used OSX, I'm far from an expert on its inner workings.
But regarding things like plist, at least you can delete them individually. Far preferable to the registry, I'd thought?
Even if launchd is comparable to systemd (I don't know), I'd say that having some monolithic thing like that that is owned by and maintained by a large corporation like Apple, whose existence depends on it working correctly, is not comparable to having systemd in Linux. I just don't like large monolithic and hard to grasp systems in the FOSS world. They tend to ossify and eventually need to be completely replaced.
They sure don't adhere to the original Unix idea.
Have an upvote for your thorough response!
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Just recently, say in the past year or so, I have noticed an increasing number of sites that do not work as intended in Firefox (my browser of choice for a long time), and instead I have to open these in IE.
You used to see this a lot many years ago, but I thought those days were supposed to be over (standards, anyone?) At least back then, you got a message saying "this site is optimised for IE 6.0' (!!!!), but now you don't even get that - sometimes the input boxes and other controls simply just don't display. We're going backwards.
"Just try it in a different browser" I would tell a friend of mine who was keen on computers but would always create problems for himself. It was just easier than wasting time and tears in trying to work out why A.com wasn't behaving on X browser.
"FFS, why have you unistalled all but browsers but X?" I would inevitably have to say. Oh well.
Just try a different web site.
I don't think the divergence has gone away, but I do see the emergence of Cults (the Cult of Cloud, the Cult of Containers, lots of Cargo Cults) where people live in an echo chamber and largely interact with other cult members who share the same views, and who believe that there isn't a world outside the cult. Which mirrors trends in society overall.
The trends are not 'Society' but Facebook & Twitter et al changing the way large groups/demographics of people now interact to the point that it appears to be a societal change.
They are not a life necessity, they are something that is useful but not essential.
Living in these closed off worlds that are purely an echo chamber to bolster your own views is harmful in the longterm to 'Society' as the percentage of the populace 'tied/living' though their phones/tablets/etc increase.
There are large demographics that only perceive the world though the filtered version seen hourly/daily ..... [including one well known POTUS, if press is to be believed :) ].
Awareness of History, Truth, Common Sense and visibility of a world beyond oneself all lost !!!
People still do not realise that these services are not being provided for 'Free' out of some altruistic impulse but to generate money ... lots of it, out of the huge amount of 'Freely' given data and discarded privacy that membership entails.
I do wonder where the world will be in 20 years at this rate. !!!
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> It's worse than NetworkManager and PulseAudio put together.
What f*****g genius decided that Firefox won't play audio unless pulseaudio is present.
What f*****g genius decided to include a DNS resolver in Systemd that includes embedded IP addresses pointing to Googles DNS servers?
"What f*****g genius decided to include a DNS resolver in Systemd that includes embedded IP addresses pointing to Googles DNS servers?"
Goddamn if that right there doesn't just piss me off. I run my own DNS server and I don't want systemd trying to second guess me.
Isn't the monolithicness of systemd the very thing penguinistas hate M$ for?
When it comes to the point where you actually find telling yourself "The West had a good run, but at least there's still some hope that China will go on carrying the flame", it puts things into perspective.
Use tabs in your shitty indentation, what do I care.
I suppose I never got any of this "mines better than yours", you know why?
When all the kids had Spectrums and Commodores....my Dad bought a Dragon32 and then an Amstrad CPC!
When all the kids got dot matrix printers....my Dad brought home an OKI daisy wheel!
Then just as everyone else got Atari STs and Amigas...my Dad bought home an Amstrad PC 1640!
So my childhood was never allowed to be childish as I simply never had a tech leg to stand on. However I did buy Canon kit and have stuck by it since 1997 so Nikon owners, flame on!!!
"When all the kids had Spectrums and Commodores....my Dad bought a Dragon32 and then an Amstrad CPC!"
At least you were never one of the unfortunate kids whose parents bought them a VIC-20 or an Oric 1. Other kids would point at them from a distance, shake their heads sadly and mutter "poor bastards".
That is likely to be this place
The Wars are alive and kicking here.
Say something less than good about a Company and the fanbois of that company wade in with downvotes even if the post makes perfect sense and is really not that bad.
It wouldn't put it past some Commentards to downvote any post by someone they have disagreed with in the past as a matter of course. This post may well attract some negativity but hey, that is life and is water off a ducks back.
>Say something less than good about a Company and the fanbois of that company wade in with downvotes even if the post makes perfect sense and is really not that bad.
Some might say it's the other way around. Using words like fanboi doesn't help.
In real life I know doctors, engineers, artists, plumbers, models, bin-men who use phones of either persuasion, but I haven't met any Apple evangelicals. I have met one rabid anti-Apple person though, and whilst being widely liked and respected by us all is felt to be a bit touched. After years of reading these anti Apple types in forums, it was interesting to see one rant in real life. So I gave him the Stereo condenser microphone that works on Sony phones with TRRRS jacks that I have no more use for.
- sent from my latest in a line of Android phones.
Sigh. Money is backed by the government that issues it, using however much of the resources of the country that they can realistically drawn upon. That may not be as much as the money in circulation, but it is infinitely more than some anonymous guy's say-so.
By that, you would believe that Tether which is SEC approved and based in California and locksteps their currency to the USD and requires an actual holding of 1USD per circulating Tether would count?
I’m just chiming in to make noise.
Crytocurrency can be legitimized. In fact, it could be the replacement for plastic and paper sooner or later. It is very likely a good solution in the long term. For me though, things like Bitcoin, Monero and others are a bit of a disaster.
Crytocurrency can be legitimized. In fact, it could be the replacement for plastic and paper sooner or later. It is very likely a good solution in the long term.
Something that requires you to burn large amounts of good energy just to pop out an electronic token at the end can't possibly be a good solution in the long term. It sounds more like the beginning of the end to me.
Was that to distract people from IT stuff and instead fuel a debate on how good / bad a band they were post Waters?.
.. Or is it just the ongoing slide pop culture references in here & there game people like to play.
("alcohol soft middle age" for those who did not notice, from the Final Cut, the last album with Roger Waters, and (to crank upt an argument), the last known good Floyd album)
" and (to crank upt an argument), the last known good Floyd album)"
That's subject to an argument? I thought it was self-evident. Although I put it a little differently. It was the last Pink Floyd album. After that, a different band called "Pink Floyd" was formed, producing a different sort of music altogether. The two are not really comparable.
Nobody cares any more because it's all s**t! Hardware, software, none of it does exactly what you want, there is always something about it that irks you regardless of brand. We are all getting weary and wary of the gushing marketing people promising the universe and delivering a small pile of mostly useless hamster droppings. Yes, I probably do have a negative mindset (I call it realism) but having been disappointed SOoooooo many times this is inevitable. I have a brain. I am not a gullible sheeple who will continue to believe no matter how many times I have been lied to. So, I have become brand agnostic and pick and choose what I need from what is available, and I fully understand that all of it is s**t but out of the various bits of hardware and software available, I manage to cobble together something that is marginally less s**t and does some of what I need.
Sounds a bit bitter, but realistic.
Especially in a world where all the marketing hype surfs on an undercurrent of slurping every detail they can find out about you and selling it off to any bidder.
That said, we're all adults here (allegedly), so could we please stop with the auto-censoring ? If you want to say shit, say it.
I've become realistic ( cynical ?! ) about tech in general. We're passed the age of wonder; "it can produce 16-bit colour", "You can store 740MB on it", "you can make circles with your finger to scroll through your entire music collection, and oh yeah, it's the size of a fag packet"
These days I want to be more excited but it just feels rather than making a good product there's kick-starter, venture capital funding, marketing and brand tie-in before you've done anything about designing something that vaguely works **cough** Magic Leap **cough**
Nobody cares any more because it's all s**t! Hardware, software, none of it does exactly what you want, there is always something about it that irks you regardless of brand.
EXACTLY. I have noticed that these days, ***ALL*** web browsers suck. Each one has it's own particular flavours of suckage, although all have common elements of suckage as well. You have to have multiple browsers installed merely to use the one that sucks less for any particular task. But any browser will suck no matter what you're using it for.
"Maybe it's just that all the websites suck in different ways."
Maybe that is the case. The public web is over 25 years old but its means to deliver info and software remains an unchanged pile of laughable and unfortunate shit. Markup “language”, CSS, miles of entangled JS from indeterminate origins, cookies, and browsers such as they are. Who can defend this architecture, especially one that’s persisted for a generation with only marginal improvements, made tolerable arguably by better/faster/cheaper bandwidth and HW.
Crypto versus rational human beings
NO! BAD REG!
"Crypto" is not an appropriate shortening of "crypto-currency". CERTAINLY not on a tech-oriented site, where discussion of ACTUAL crypto (ie. cryptography) can occur.
BAD HACK! Now go sit on the naughty step and think about what you've done!
NetWare, NT, Lan Manager and others were all pretty good if the people on staff understood them.
Clipper and FoxPro and dBase IV were all quite good too.
DrDOS was great, but MS-DOS was good too. Once you installed PC Tools Deluxe they were all pretty good.
Deskview/X on one computer, Windows for Workgroups 3.11 on the other.
My big one was Microsoft C 5.1 vs. Turbo C++ v1.0
I used both, but couldn’t do C++ on MS without Glockenspiel and Codeview was a whore.
DRDOS wasn't that great. Unfortunately the floppy access in DRDOS 6 was shit, the memory management was flexible but somewhat of an arse to use, and the attempts my MS to lock out DRDOS as the base for Windows 3.1 hurt the market.
A lot of it was solved with DRDOS 7, but at that stage DOS was almost dead.
Slashdot changed a good few (15?) years ago. It used to be chock full of interesting people with insight like this place mostly still is. Now it's full of children and their politics.
There isn't as much argument because everybody agrees that the same Trump joke that you've seen a thousand times is hilarious. Let me retort with my own hilarious Trump joke that you've also seen a thousand times before.
Okay, so it likely never resulted in flame wars, but it illustrated a concern at the time: if your chosen bit of hardware wasn't popular enough it wouldn't be supported by software Devs, and thus become less useful to you. In the end, good games like Doom supported the GUS, for others a Soundblaster emulation could be used, and eventually Windows would allow a driver layer so choice of hardware was rendered moot.
"We all had parents that we talked into buying us our first computer kit because "it would be useful for school work"."
No we did not. Some of us persuaded Daddy to persuade his friend to let us work in a holiday job on his ICL9000 computer. Home computers were a decade in the future, and very expensive then. Fortunately as I was living in a grotty flat in London the choice of whether to buy a car or a computer was made for me by the utter impossibility of parking.
The flames of youth are dying embers now, the causes that inflamed our passions burnt out leaving nothing but the taste of ashes, the flavour of victory and defeat alike. No more do we build our self esteem on the causes of the benighted few, no more close our minds and ears to keep safe our illusions. For all has fallen by the wayside and naught but our aging comrades in arms understand the costs we paid.....
Still my Spectrum is better than your Commodore.....
I'm not at all convinced that people have somehow magically become less dedicated to tribalism. I do wonder if the battlefield has changed. Our brave new cloud world has taken away all of our precious on-prem hardware pets and turned them all into cloudy, expendable cows. Few seem to care about hardware anymore, and like them or not, any of the big OSes can run cloud-based workloads (to varying degrees of performance and success).
What's left to fight over, then? Well, are there holy wars raging in the areas of agile methods, development tools, containers, hypervisors, and/or HCI technologies?
They both had their strengths. NetWare was more stable in the beginning, but by NT 3.51 when Windows came into its own, people already chose their religion.
NDS was really great, but when Active Directory came along, most of us didn’t need all the features. When group policy happened, NDS was more of a burden than a help.
Novell was way too slow to adopt IP as well. IPX was great for LAN but wouldn’t scale for WAN. Multiprotocol router was too expensive too.
Eventually Novell forgot who they were and their file server wa mediocre. Their print server was no longer needed. Their identity services were obsolete. They lacked group policy support. They didn’t do Internet.
Strangely, I was in an NDS training course for a new deployment two weeks ago. It’s still there and it’s still great. It actually can be used to make Linux manageable.
KDE I've always liked, I'm not happy on any other FM but Dolphin. Could do with some of Konquerors features, like more than 1/2 and 1/2 split.
The only issue I have is the bloody QPE as I often like to use a simple Window Manager and not the whole Plasma desktop occasionally. Now I have to ensure some variables are set otherwise all the applications look like TWM, no theme, no icons.
Some things I like about Gnome, but mostly it's the little niggles that piss me off. Habit of pressing letters expecting to go to folder starting with letter really breaks workflow in Nautlilus as it kicks off a global search every damn time, switch that to local only, then the search button only does local too (and local isn't any use as it rearranges the viewport contents making you feel like you've been spun about seven times hold a broom and looking at the brush).
I was a huge fan of KDE up until KDE 3, but then KDE 4 came along and was bloaty, ugly and really dreadfully slow unless you had a reasonably decent graphics card.
I didn’t like Gnome 2 quite as much, but I gradually became comfortable with it.
Nowadays, I have to say I do quite like Gnome 3: it has borrowed a lot of nice features from MacOS (eg, app finder/launcher, window previews), works well with minimal use of the mouse, and, although this may be faint praise, it sucks so much less than Windows 8 ever did, which is really rather a damning indictment of the latter!
What happened was that "the good guys" lost, and the major corporations won. Now, at least amongst many of the people who remember the old days on the internet when freedom (and the battles that accompany it) was still a thing are now trying to figure out what to do, or if nothing can be done, how to replace what has been lost at least in some corner, somewhere.
What happened was that "the good guys"
Nonsense. The 'good guys' won. But the adversaries had slipped in round the back and were sitting on the committees before we all knew it.
Take Microsoft (please, god), all those years calling Linux and OSS a cancer, then, all of a sudden, they turn up joining the Linux Foundation (or whatever) and running Linux in Windows 10 as a subsystem , no armistice, peace treaty or apology.
Reparations, you say - here, have Powershell....
A more apt description of, as you put it, the 'tech wars' could be compared to a philosophical dispute between socialism and capitalism. Except on the one side you had a bunch of sandal wearing hippy types and the other side, whilst being careful to depict itself as a cuddly teddybear, was in reality a sinister and ruthless monopoly. That some commentator in the media could depict this as 'silly holy wars' merely demonstrated just how successful Microsoft has been in managing its image. Just to take one example, Microsoft is currently extracting revenue out of handset manufacturers for using Googles Android. I see nothing silly in this.
"At one time there was serious bloodsport over whether NetWare or NT"
Are we living in the same universe. The historical record patently demonstrates the lengths Microsoft went to to sabotage the Netware client running on Windows.
"the City of Munich is still paying for its dalliance with that ideological war"
Only after Microsoft moved it's European headquarters there and sponsored a review of the project, which coincidentally found that Microsoft was the best solution.
"Mozilla kicked off a business that today generates hundreds of millions of dollars by playing off Internet Explorer as the saviour of the free web"
What have you been smoking, there was *no* Internet Explorer when Mozilla produced the first version of their browser. What there was was the Spyglass browser, which Microsoft licensed from the company and then proceeded to give away. This after first trying to buy Netscape, after failing to acquire an exclusive license from the NCSA. Spyglass source code was later on incorporated into IE3.0. Later on Spyglass went broke suing Microsoft.
"Today we have Google Chrome largely replicating all the wrongs of IE yet without the angst"
I don't think Google ever managed to embed the browser into the OS such that it was impossible to remove?
"now been through these cycles enough to finally understand that which desktop OS you use really doesn't matter"
Because once they move all the usability in the local apps to 'the cloud', *we* can rent the software back from you into perpetuity.
There's just so many inaccuracies in that article, I quite frankly find it almost unreadable. Here's some reading to help you recover your memory.
"What have you been smoking, there was *no* Internet Explorer when Mozilla produced the first version of their browser."
Mozilla released the first version of their browser in 2002, which was after the release of IE 6. Releases prior to that were Netscape.
"I don't think Google ever managed to embed the browser into the OS such that it was impossible to remove?"
Not specifically, but they are using their near-monopoly status to try to force their product to become the de facto standard, allowing them to set their own standards instead of using the actual standards they helped to write.
Microsoft used their power to try to dominate and own the web for their own corporate benefit, and now Google is doing exactly that. The means they employ are not the same as Microsoft's, but the ends certainly are. I've often blasted Mozilla for being the alternative to the corporate giant in the early 2000s, while now they seek to eradicate every difference between their product and the corporate giant's product. They've been on a "be Chrome" kick for years now, and the elimination of their powerful addon API in favor of Chrome addons is just the latest in a long line of questionable decisions.
Tend to agree about slashdot, which, however recently came up a little in the world by grabbing a lot of articles from here.
Either their code is broken or they've decided to "like" me. Or is that hate? I seem to have infinite mod points over there now, as soon as I run out, I get more.
I'm doing what I can with mod points and posts to cut down on the silly partisan politic stuff and the losers who just pontificate about things they have no clue about.
But it's like trying to empty the ocean with a thimble...At least there is still an ocean of users there, a few of them smart. And as to politics, at least there are two sides there, unlike that other tech site that starts with Ar.
In real life, problems do not have only two sides, and just because your favorite felon didn't win, the clown that did isn't responsible for all that's gone wrong over the last 4+ decades I've been watching, unless there's some shenanigans with a time machine - now that would be news, but people seem to prefer what would be cognitive dissonance, that is, if they cognated at all. The other guy being wrong doesn't make yours right - all pols lie, cheat, steal, and leave office wealthy and a trail of abused people behind, while we all pay for it - their job is to pick our pockets to buy our votes, when they can't get some big corp to do the pocket picking for them by making anti-competitive rules for campaign contributions. Get over it, partisans - you've been divided and conquered. Keyboard warring over things where both sides are wrong is a cop out.
"All restaurants are Taco Bell now, John".
I gave up on Slashdot when beta appeared. Having gone back recently, it seems just like it used to be with the same old commentards (I recognise some of the Sigs). Agree with AC about mod points. I get about 5 a day, sometimes 10. Not the once a week batch that I remember. It does allow me to do my duty and push irrelevant political posts into obscurity and boost the tech comments. There are still some very knowledgeable people posting though.
Oh Christ, don't start on about Ars.
Why are technology forums so full of furiously left wing* posters? El Reg excepted, somehow. This place seems to attract just the grownups. I wonder how long that'll last.
* If they were furiously right wing, that would be just as bad. But they're not.
I belong to that great generation of 80's home computer nerds, there are thousands of us working in IT today and we are now middle aged, many of us have mortgages, wives, kids... basically I think we have all moved on and really just don't care anymore, there's more important things to worry about. I still see people get riled up about Windows vs Mac etc., but now I just walk away, I have better things to spend my energy on.
I just can't be arsed any more.
Ouch, this is the first tech article I can remember that actually makes me feel old.
The passionate "religious wars" in tech started (and named as such) on the USENET (not Slashdot) in places like comp.arch, and was about EBCDIC vs. ASCII, 32 vs. 36 bit, big-endian vs. little-endian, VMS vs. Unix (vs. TOPS-10/20). And later, RISC vs. CISC. The database ones were Oracle vs. Sybase vs. Ingres vs. Informix vs. DEC Rdb. Someone writes an article about the old technology religious wars, and is so wet-behind-the-ears, he misses mentioning every one of them.
I should add, I suppose my comments are not so much a ding on the author (missing those old wars didn't really detract from the article) but my surprise how long ago those things were that someone can write an article about "the old days" without any of those things.
Luckily we have Intel fanboys that hate anyone saying AMDs are not bad.
And Apple haters that hate anyone paying good money for iThings or Macs. Even when an Android phone hits $1000.
And the habitual MS defender, for whom no amount of privacy invasion is enough, and no amount of Windows telling them what to do, and when, will annoy them. They don't care when the previously bundled applications are dumbed down and/or removed and turned into rent-ware either. Bricking is but a minor annoyance.
And the Linux hater, for whom a command line represents witchcraft that needs to be stamped out forever.
Part of it, for me at least, is that the "camps" have all been torn asunder, to where I am not really sure which way is up anymore.
From the beginning, Apple was the bad guy for me. I started out using Timex-Sinclair, then a Commodore 64, only to discover the snooty superiority complex of Apple fanatics over their 1 MHz 6502 powerhouse. That soured me on Apple very quickly.
I kept using the Commodore until college, at which time I built my first PC, a 386-33, at that time an incredibly expensive but potent beast. Immediately I was swept into the Mac vs. PC wars; I had little opinion about Macs before that, other than a general contempt because they were Apple products, but soon Mac fans came out of the woodwork to insult my new pride and joy, and so I became a PC partisan.
Many years later, the iPhone came out, and while I to this day do not have a smart phone, I soon became aware that the choice was between a severely limited, walled-garden iDevice and a more customizable Android device. Not only that, but as with PCs, Android users had a broad choice of hardware, while Apple users had only what Apple offered.
Apple was again the bad guy, but something else wasn't right with it. Google was also the bad guy. Apple is overpriced and snooty and artificially limited to prevent their poor sheep from having to tax their widdle brains trying to use their products, but Google out-and-out spied on people, and as much as I despise Apple for the aforementioned reasons, it's not as bad as spying on people (I know people say Apple does it too. Well, I am unconvinced they do it even somewhat close to what Google does). On top of that, Android has an absurd means of updating the OS... depending on device OEMs or cellular carriers to push out updates is just insane.
So smartphones are crap either way, but I still have my PCs, right? Up through Windows 7, sure. Now we're in the Windows 10, "Windows as a Service" era, and it's all turned upside down. Windows 10, quite simply, is an abomination. I cannot adequately express how much I loathe it without bursting into a string of profanity that is uncharacteristic of my writing, and it would probably be too much even for the Reg. Given that MS has made it clear that there is no Windows in the future besides 10, it means that Windows, as a platform, is essentially dead for me. I'd stop using computers completely before I migrated to 10.
Windows hasn't been an OS designed for the traditional PC with mouse and keyboard since Windows 7. After that, Windows ceased to be an OS for the purpose of its users, and it began to be a vehicle for selling Windows phones. It failed miserably, and MS has exited that market, yet they press ahead with the bizarre and stupid phone interface in 10 anyway.
MacOS, though, was meant to be used on the kind of PC I use. How can Apple be the bad guy now? If I had to recommend a PC operating system for someone who wasn't up to Linux, or who had to use programs like Photoshop or a recent version of MS Office (which apparently won't run on Linux even with WINE), it would have to be MacOS. If I had to suggest a device for someone who was a complete tech neophyte, but who wanted to use the internet anyway, it would be an iPad.
Apple, somehow, is the good guy now. It boggles my mind... I still despise the cultism and the smug superiority complex a lot of Apple fans have, and I still detest the idea of having such a limited choice of hardware if I want to use their OS, but Microsoft is so much worse. I'm very glad to have Linux as a third choice, as I think otherwise my head would explode.
That's where I am headed now... I have Linux Mint set up on both of my "main" PCs, and my brand new ultraportable laptop (got it a couple of weeks ago as I write) that came with 10 is my very first Linux only PC so far. I got it cheap, and it's one of those that has only a paltry 32GB eMMC "hard drive." To have two thirds of that used by Windows itself right out of the box is just... stupid. That's not enough storage for Windows... maybe for ChromeOS it is fine (is this thing just a Chromebook with real PC firmware?), but Windows... no way. With Mint, though, it's quite usable with that tiny eMMC.
Or that Steve Gibson of Gibson Research, was a popinjay, a chalitan, over his claims of the wmf security hole.
Everyone seemed to trumpet Microsoft's butter-wouldn't-melt explanation that they simply didn't know, vs Gibson's deliberatness claims. Including El Reg.
All those everyone's seem very silent on the matter in this post wikileaks world.
Of course, now we know MS were virtal agents of the NSA & CIA.
Gibson was likely right.
The industry press silence is deafening.
I enjoy mentioning Z/OS occasionally to annoy the bigots because it's always there at the top of the table for most large scale businesses collecting, processing and serving the data out to the other platforms to play with and get all 'GUI' over. Unix (of whatever collective flavours) is at the other end of the table and they enjoy a good food fight occasionally, while still getting the actual work done, without the need for attention seeking or much in the way of thanks for the last few decades.
(lob's it over the wall and saunters off)
Ahhh, the good old days of OS/2 vs Windows... Good fights and flames all over the place :)
Nowadays I just use what works for me OOB-wise. Smoothwall for firewalling, ClearOS for VPN and routing between subnets, Windoze for ms-word and ms-excel, linux mint for libreoffice and exploring risky, suspicious links sent via email (on a physically different network).
I prefer nowadays just to stick the CD or ISO image in, and install whatever I need, apply patches and harden it, and that's it. Not in the mood to waste time anymore, just quicker and easier going the OOB route than to sit with some arb linux distro, and battling to get things to work.
My fond memories of tech wars was the graphics cards of the 90's, when 3DFX, ATI, PowerVR, nvidia, Matrox all competed for best eyecandy games like Quake, Duke Nukem 3D, Half-life/ Counterstrike that were legends of their time.
BTW I had all these cards at one time or another during that era obviously the 3DFX Voodoo's were a class above for gamers. Just wish I'd invested some hard earned into nvidia prior to the announcement that they had bought over 3DFX
I am still a card carrying Amiga follower after that I was disillusioned, the most I have achieved since is an anti-Apple theology.
Back in the day, Amiga vs the Apple Mac v. Atari ST v. PC v. TRS-80.
Back when Amiga had 4096 colours, PC had 4 colors (CGA), Mac was B&W, Atari ST was a wannabe and the TRS-80 was the backward cousin.
Oh the fun we had demeaning each other, none of these interwebs, you had to argue face to face, when someone walked into enemy territory and started bad mouthing.
There was a short period when it looked like there was going to be much more homogenisation of operating systems - similar commands, functionality, and compatibility. Since then it's gone the other way - even the BSDs are becoming quite distinct from each other. Not to mention the fact that the closed source operating systems (including Android) are increasingly locked down.
The hardware ecosystem is now mostly amd64 based, leading to too much of a Linux emphasis on what should be portable Unix code.
I think we've lost something. There's some interesting new functionality, but increasingly there are tradeoffs depending on the task, particularly when a platform isn't compatible with a commercial service, and it's not possible to use it without explicit support.
Let's see. Being Of An Age, I can remember lots of fun tech wars:
RPN v. algebraic notation (calculators)
assembler v. high-level language
FORTRAN v. COBOL
C v. Pascal
Basic v. everyone else
command line v. GUI
EBCDIC v. ASCII
little-endian v. big-endian
garbage collection v. alloc/free
Mac v. Atari ST v. Amiga v. IBM PC
And that's just off the top of my head.
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