* Posts by AntiSol

86 posts • joined 11 Apr 2008


Free Software Foundation suggests Microsoft 'upcycles' Windows 7... as open source

AntiSol Bronze badge

Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

To be fair, he's talking about the cases I mentioned where the people packaging their proprietary application didn't package it properly, so it's not hooked into the dependency system, so it doesn't know what 32 bit libraries it needs, so the user needs to do a web search, type a 30 character command, and wait 15 seconds in order to compensate for the developer's poor understanding of the OS.

The equivalent, of course, being the much more commonly encountered "DLL hell", where you download some random exe from the internet that isn't bundled in an installer, and after you've scanned it for viruses, and then scanned it for spyware, and then you scan it for malware which is triggered because the person who wrote it used a .net obfuscator because for some reason they think the source to their tiny little utility is somehow precious and needs to be secret, so you have to investigate that and decide whether you think it's safe or not, but the guy didn't even publish an MD5, let alone a SHA, let alone an SHA256, so you can't even checksum it, even if you do happen to have an MD5 tool that wasn't included as part of the default OS install for some reason. And then if you decide that's OK you run it through another different virus scanner just to be safe, because two is better than one amirite? But the second scanner actually already scanned it because it's a resident scanner that scans every file on access, slowing down all file access on your machine, even for non-executable files like jpegs, but you don't know that and even if you do, scanning everything you download is just habit now. So then you try to run it (without the need to mark it as executable, because, hey, if it's named ".exe", it's just executable! But you don't actually know whether it's executable or not because windows hides file extensions by default. So just double-click it, what's the worst that could happen? This isn't a security problem at all!). After you've done all that, you get a message saying, in its entirely, in a dialog you can't copy the text from: "GEADYSC.DLL not found". And so you go to the internet and download GEADYSC.DLL from some totally-not-dodgy russian site. And you run that through all your scanners, and you copy it into the windows system directory, which requires elevating your privileges. And then you run your exe again and get, in its entirely, in a dialog you can't copy the text from: "wrong GEADYSC.DLL version". With no information on what version it actually wants. And that's if you get a descriptive error message and it's not something more cryptic like "GEADYSC.DLL: invalid entry point for call 'AlertUserAboutWannaCryRansom()'". So you just start downloading random versions from random totally-not-dodgy-russian websites, and running them through all the scans, and elevating your privileges so you can copy them all into the windows system directory, and just repeat the process over and over until one version works, hoping that the malware warning triggered earlier was just a .net obfuscator and not actual malware. All because you wanted to run a keygen for software you couldn't be bothered investigating free alternatives to.

And that's assuming you're lucky, and some program you use all the time doesn't need a different, incompatible version of GEADYSC.DLL and you just broke the other program. And that windows didn't complain loudly when you copied the version you wanted into the system directory and then silently restore the file the next time you reboot (i.e next time you need to change your desktop wallpaper, or sneeze too loudly, or when the wind starts blowing north-north-west. Either way it's going to be less than 24h later).

And that's also assuming that the 32 bit program you're trying to run wasn't built for Windows 95, in which case the dialog will say "We couldn't be bothered making our OS compatible with itself. Eat a dick". But to be fair that IS a much simpler situation with much less faffing about than DLL hell.

So, yes, there are occasionally hurdles to getting a 32 bit program working on Linux. If the people distributing that software haven't packaged it properly.

But I'm still yet to see anyone address how well current windows versions run games built for Win95. I guess things must have changed since the last time I used windows and there's no tinkering or tweaking or hurdles required to get, say, a great old game called Stratosphere running on windows 10.

AntiSol Bronze badge

Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

Indeed, very informative, thanks!

(48K in my library. But I've been accused of excessive duplication/redundancy of shots on more than one occasion. my shooting sounds like "snap-snap-snap-snap-snap", never just "snap").

And I hadn't heard of CinePaint. That's interesting. But if we're going to start talking about video, isn't one of the open source tools the tool used by hollywood? I'm thinking maybe blender but perhaps not. I've definitely heard that someone like pixar or weta uses Linux render farms, and that it's very common in hollywood. I guess they must not count as creative professionals ;)

AntiSol Bronze badge

Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

Some of my toys are "linux only" or 'dos only", so Windows must be crap.

Indeed. gphoto2 doesn't support windows. This is the software I use for tethering my camera*. It's the industry standard - the industry** has decided on gphoto2 and no other tethering software. Tethering on windows? No. 100x no. It's just a joke. Simply not happening. This is why windows simply isn't viable on the desktop and never will be in it's current form. This is irrefutable. These windows fanatics simply don't get it.

So either Snake hasn't seen GIMP, or Snake is knowingly making false statements.

Pretty much. I note he hasn't slithered back here today. That's kind of sad, I was kind of hoping he might dig a deeper hole.

Oh but no real photographer would ever do that! If you cannot do it in Photoshop you aren't a photographer!

Oh, right, excellent point...

...but wait. That must mean that I'm... A SCIENTIST! YAY!!! I've always liked science and I'd love to be a scientist! And here I was thinking that I needed a degree in science for that! From now on, I'm going to have to insist that I be referred to exclusively as "Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist". Thanks.

After all he is the single person the entire industry has designated as official spokesman! (Well, given his posts you can't blame me for thinking that's how he views himself can you? :) )

No, no, you're definitely right about that. I have just been assuming that I must have missed the press release where "the industry" designated him official spokesperson. But there definitely must have been a press release. Surely nobody would make such bold claims without official sanction.

I don't think that's a real image. Looks photoshopped to me

This gave me the best laugh I've had all day. We're talking a good minute of out-loud belly-laughing. Thanks!

Thanks for the pic BTW. Tonight I shall turn out lights, turn down brightness, sit real close to the screen and enjoy.

Why you're most welcome! there are a few of them, the hubble deep fields and the groth strip are two that spring to mind that are worth checking out.

we're gonna need a bigger screen!

<shameless self-promotion>

If you're interested in these large spacey images you might be interested in my Astronomical Wallpaper Generator. It takes a big image like these and spits out a random section the size of your desktop at 1:1, so you can have your wallpaper change to a random 1920x1080 (or whatever) section of this image (or whatever image). It's intended to run as a cron job. It even knows about a bunch of deep field images and can download them automatically for you. See the readme, you should be able to make it work. Happy to give usage support/advice/fix problems if you need it, just file a bug on the issue tracker. It should be pretty solid though, I've been running it every hour for about 10 years ;)

But: for a big image like this andromeda one it can use a lot of memory when it runs, into the gigabytes, you may find it spamming your swap. The imagemagick library isn't amazing at dealing with gigapixel images.

Also: only *nix is supported, and it's only ever been tried on Linux as far as I know. This speaks to what a complete joke windows is as an operating system, and has nothing to do with my laziness or apathy as a coder.


but just thinking about thinking about it makes my head hurt

Ouch. Yeah, just reading about you thinking about thinking about it made my head hurt. Sounds awesome though! Generally I'm only interested in a few degrees of arc through my telescope, even when it's hundreds of images, I haven't played with doing 360 stuff yet.

Maybe a second camera body would help. Trigger them both with one remote so the 50 and 300 are capturing the same instant.

One thing I've noticed with "must use photoshop no real photographer uses anything else" types is they never actually go to any real effort to take the shot. Most of my work is done before the first photon hits the censor, most of their work is done falsifying what the sensor captured. I don't sell many images, but what I sell is something I can be proud of, not hang my head in shame knowing it's a lie.

Yeah, I totally agree. I wonder if there's any crossover with the people who buy expensive cameras with all kinds of fun knobs and buttons and then shoot in auto mode most of the time. I try to do as much in-camera as possible. I consider every minute I spend editing to be a failure of sorts, because it means I didn't get the shot I wanted. I do editing, but often all I want to do is a bit of colour correction/contrast tweaking/white balance. If I can just scale the jpeg from the command line with imagemagick (i shoot in raw+jpeg) that's the ideal outcome because it means I got the shot right. Obviously there are exceptions: sometimes I'll want to remove some artifact or whatever, but most of the time I'm more interested in getting the shot right in the first place. Sometimes I feel the urge to muck around and do fake stuff, but in those instances I tend to think it should be cool but obviously fake. Stuff like this. Which was obviously definitely not done with gimp, because gimp doesn't support layers. Or raw. Or Jpeg. Or the colour green. ;)


* Interestingly, gphoto2 was the only sofware I could find on any platform which would allow tethered live view with my first camera, a Nikon D3200. It's listed as not supporting live view in all the documentation I've read. I have only found it to be possible using gphoto2. So, obviously, windows on the desktop is a joke.

** That's the gphoto2 tethering industry, just to be clear: people who professionally tether cameras using gphoto2.

AntiSol Bronze badge

Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

AmigaOS vs any other OS :)

Computers with commodore logos vs computers without ;)

a Honda VFR750 (or 800) vs any other bike :P

Oh OS/2, my heart still throbs when I hear thy name. I didn't use it much but I remember it strongly and fondly. I was instantly impressed. It was a really lovely environment. I remember being pretty sad that I couldn't afford a copy and the boss at the company where I used it specifically refused to say "Yarrr!" for me.

Yeah, in terms of numbers windows isn't the dominant OS anymore. It's why you see MS sidling up to open source. if you include Android, Linux is the ruler in most places. The desktop is an anomaly. An anomaly that seems to be shrinking both numerically and percentage-wise every year.

AntiSol Bronze badge

Re: open source wouldn't solve the problem

open source did not solve Linux's problem of poor driver support for new devices

WHAT?!? OK, now you're just a troll. Perhaps you don't realise that Linux supports MORE hardware than windows does, on account of drivers being largely backwards compatible and easy to port where they're not precisely because they're open source.

Go and find yourself a Packard Bell Fastmedia remote control and see how well that works on the latest version of windows. Or even on XP. I still use mine every. single. day. And that's just one example of literally thousands.

"But", you say, "I was talking about new devices". And I'll respond that I literally have not tried to use a piece of hardware in 10+ years that hasn't just worked. And I say "10+ years" to be conservative, for the sake of accuracy, so that I am 100% confident that what I say is 100% factual (something we've demonstrated elsewhere that you don't bother with). It might be 15 or even 20 years since I had trouble with a driver. I bought a brand new high-end gaming laptop less than a year ago. I didn't look into what the Linux support for the hardware was like. I didn't buy a machine which advertised itself as having good Linux compatibility. I bought the laptop that I wanted and I installed Linux on it. exactly 100% of the hardware just worked, with exactly 0 seconds of mucking about, Including the high-end nvidia card.

...but why am I replying to another comment from Snake? I'm just feeding the troll. Oh, great spaghetti monster, give me the strength to withstand the barrage of blatant mistruth, ignorance, and hyperbole! I will stop feeding the troll. I will stop feeding the troll!

AntiSol Bronze badge

Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

If it was superior, it would have been already taken the Windows place

Well that's odd, I could have sworn my keyboard was qwerty and not dvorak.

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Re: Do they know an open source Windows would be the death of Linux?

Do you realise who you're talking to here? This is the guy who directed terminator salvation! That cinematic masterpiece. Show some damn respect! I'm sure he knows what he's talking about WRT operating systems. I for one am happy to just take his word for it and don't think it's just 100% trolling.

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Not even. It was just a shorthand way of saying "an open source project not under the control of a corporation with a long and storied track record of doing evil stuff that continues right up to the current version of their flagship product". It was just easier to type and the thing that happened to come to mind.

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Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

Just Wow. I hadn't seen that comment. The one that also implies that the OS is crap because the software he insists on using isn't available for it, and that this is somehow Linux's fault and not Adobe's. Despite the fact that the Adobe software can be run on linux. The OS is not and never will be viable as an OS and cannot be used by anybody for doing stuff. This is not based on whether it's a good OS or not, and not based on whether there is software available for it to do the things that I need to do, but because the software I want to use doesn't currently support it. Interesting logic. Oh how I'd laugh if Adobe announced Linux support tomorrow.

Snake is well and truly out of credibility at this point.

"only Photoshop can do!"

I know right. it's almost like they're making statements about the usability of software they've never actually tried.

I also note that nobody has come here to tell me about how great photoshop is at bulk-processing hundreds of exposures and stitching gigapixel images together. I mean I assume it handles multi-gigabyte images better than anything else, right? It is the most bestest thing evar, so I just assume it has all the features of every open source image processing tool I've ever used. But it's strange that nobody has come in here to tell me about that. After all, I'm sure photoshop is probably what NASA used to stitch this together.

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What does the Open Sound System have to do with this discussion?

So... you don't have any rebuttals or comments of any kind on any of the actual points I was making? You're just going to bog the discussion down in semantics about which abbreviations people happen to think of?

AntiSol Bronze badge

Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

the *industry* in no way, shape or form considers GIMP an equal to Photoshop

Wow, talk about shifting the goalposts. When were we talking about "the industry"? I couldn't care less what "the industry" thinks, or what the majority of people are doing. In my experience the majority of people are unwilling to put in the effort to think for themselves. Learn something new? With more buttons? No thanks, I'll just give adobe money every month. And when you put them in a mob such as "the industry" that only ever lowers the intelligence level.

But market share and what "the industry" does is not what we were talking about - we were talking about what is possible and what is not, and about workflows that are perfectly usable to get real work done on a daily basis, as opposed to being "a joke" or "simply not happening".

Strangely, you seem to take this personally

I don't take anything "the industry" thinks personally. Like I said, I'm not interested in what "the industry" thinks. But "the Industry" never ignorantly labelled the way I work every day as "a joke". I find your choice of words regarding my preferred workflow to be not just incorrect but offensive.

GIMP does not support layers

Wow. Just wow. I mean, really, wow. It amazes me that you would say something so hugely massively ignorant and uninformed in the same post as you tell me "you really should know better". That's just seriously amazing and impressive levels of ignorance right there. Gimp has had layers for longer than I've been using it, i.e well over 15 years. Literally when you first open gimp on the right hand side at the top there's a window labelled "Layers" right there. The program has an entire "Layer" menu dedicated to layer operations. It's so obvious that I struggle to believe anyone with the gift of sight who has ever started gimp up would make such a claim.

I think at this point we can stop the discussion. You have just clearly and succinctly demonstrated that you don't even know what the capabilities of the tools you're deriding are. You have obviously never used gimp, or have used it at such a surface level that you're unaware of 90% of its functionality. You are very very clearly not qualified to make any assertions about its suitability (or lack thereof) for anything.

I could address the rest of the "points" you make and link you to instructions on how to get CMYK in gimp or point out again that I'm not interested in user numbers or "what the industry" does and reiterate that you're trying to shift the goalposts, or mention that you have just admitted that the real issue here is familiarity and the effort of learning new tools as opposed to continuing with what you know, but really as far as I'm concerned the claim that gimp doesn't support layers just covers it all for me. You obviously don't know enough about the tools you're discussing to make an informed decision, much less to deride the way I get work done every day.

AntiSol Bronze badge

Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

There are people who claim that gimp doesn't do layers?!?

See this is what I'm talking about, and it's what really peeves me: uninformed people making bold assertions about things that they simply do not know about.

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They're just having a bit of fun poking the bear.

I thought this was perfectly obvious. Like really really hugely massively perfectly obvious. What I don't get is that people are treating it like it's a serious suggestion.

MS would have earned respect from me if they'd released an official statement saying "when hell freezes over". Or, better, something super snarky, like "we'll release the source if you'll stop playing favourites with GNU", or throwing together a web page with 2 gauges saying "current temperature in hell" and "chance of windows source release", inversely linked.

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Re: reply to AntiSol

DaVinci Resolve is available on Linux and, once you get through the setup problems

You had setup problems? That's odd, it just installed perfectly fine and easily for me. I was a bit hesitant to just run an foreign binary rather than installing a package, but once I checked out what it was trying to do with the superuser access I felt comfortable enough to proceed. And it worked just fine. And I didn't even read the installation instructions. And I'm not even using a supported distro.

It's interesting that people who don't seem to like Linux tend to have these unpleasant experiences that reinforce their preexisting notions, whereas I try to do the exact same things they've described as having problems and I have no problems at all. It's like when I hear people claiming in 2020 that they're having issues with USB drivers on Linux, and I haven't plugged in a USB device and not had it just work since perhaps 2003 or so (but more likely 1999 or so). It's almost like they want to have problems, or consider having to mark a binary as executable to be able to run it to be "a problem" (lol). Maybe they're just unlucky.

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Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

"Snake" comes across perfectly reasonable in his/her postings about his/her requirements

Only if you don't know anything about the subject matter. To a RAW photographer who uses GIMP as his primary workflow it comes across as very ignorant and rude. Or, possibly, as propaganda, if you tend to believe in that sort of thing (I don't, there's that old saying "never attribute to malice...").

You'll never win people over by being rude and condescending.

How is it not rude and condescending to call a workflow that I use every day perfectly happily "a joke"?

AntiSol Bronze badge

Re: reply to AntiSol

Indeed, I was going to say something similar, though perhaps not as eloquently. The bit about tearing your hair out is exactly how I feel when I can't see what my system is doing, or when I can't bring up a python shell to just make my image editor do what I want, or when some "user-friendly" feature "intuitively" does something that I didn't want it to do, or when I can't copy-paste text from an error dialog. There are a thousand other examples I could list.

The claim that "beyond systems management and office work, Linux just isn't an option in any way, shape, or form" is hyperbolic at best, and the claim that ""just use GIMP!" is a joke to any RAW-processing photographer using any form of recent gear" is demonstrably false - I'm a counter example. Saying that "a patched-together suite of functionality at this level *may* allow you to get some work done" largely disregards a workflow that I've already outlined and which I use every day and am perfectly happy with - more happy than if I had an integrated suite that does 80% of everything for me but doesn't give me the other 20% and strips away my control - see my comments about darktable. There's no "may" - it *does* allow me to get work done. Every day. No hair-pulling involved.

I might have to retract my claims about cinelerra, though, davinci resolve looks pretty damn good. I don't know how I missed that one, I went through about a million video editors before settling on cinelerra. If the free version pans out I might even hand over the cash for the full version. Thanks for the info, Snake!

AntiSol Bronze badge

Re: It's definitely not just spin

So what you're saying is that being a company driven entirely by the profit motive rather than an emotional being, the claim that "Microsoft Loves Open Source" is false? Why would make such a claim? Could it be that it's spin intended to make morons think they have anything but contempt for open source in a desperate attempt to remain relevant in a world where their OS is no longer the dominant platform?

Nah, probably not, that just sounds paranoid. I'm gonna go with "a dog ate the source".

AntiSol Bronze badge

Mono? Is anyone still using that? Anyway, as it's apparently run by a Microsoft subsidiary I suspect the point is moot.

Well, I mean, there's every single developer who uses the unity engine and targets Linux (and I expect mac os too). But that's just one example which covers thousands of people who use it every day.

And actually Microsoft bought Ximian in 2016, after mono was well-established and around the same time .net core was open sourced. So no, not moot, in fact now you're making my arguments for me.

very popular with developers on non-MS systems

(citation needed)

And anyone who insists on using the FOSS abbreviation is usually as much fun at parties as a vegan. Yes, we get the virtue signalling, we just don't care.

Aaah, good, ad hominem! Now I know I've won the debate :)

it didn't occur to you that it could just be that typing 4 characters is easier than writing "open source project"?

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Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

Every single game I've played in the last 10+ years has run just fine on Linux. And I own literally hundreds of games that I haven't gotten around to playing yet.

there is no advantage over Windows where the games were designed to run in the first place

There are tons of advantages. But let's focus on just the gaming-related ones:

* I don't have to reboot into a different (and godawful) OS every time I want to play a game.

* I don't waste disk space having a windows partition just for gaming.

* I don't have to pay for a windows license just to be able to play games.

* Nobody is spying on me while I'm playing my games.

It's worth pointing out that for most software you'll run on Linux, you don't need to worry about being able to run a 32 bit version, because it's very likely open source and there's almost certainly a 64 bit binary available. This is one of the beauties of open source. The only times you'll ever need to even try to run a 32 bit version is if the program is doing tricky 32-bit-specific stuff for some reason (super rare), or if it's proprietary and the source isn't available to compile for 64 bit. And even if it does happen to be a 32 bit binary, if you install it via the packaging system the process will literally be "click install, type password, press OK" and it will install the 32 bit libraries you need without any knowledge or effort on your part. The only time you'll ever need to figure out what 32 bit library to install is when your software is proprietary and badly packaged.

But windows won't actually "just run a 32 bit app" like you claim: I've seen a bunch of 32 bit win95 programs that won't run on anything NT-based. You've got perhaps ten years of backwards compatibility on windows before things start getting complicated and/or impossible. I run 30+ year old code every day. And in many cases I can run more windows programs with better backwards compatibility than you can, should such a masochistic urge inflict itself on me. The equivalent of my "oh I'll have to figure out which 32 bit library i need to install" is an error dialog saying "this program isn't compatible with this version of windows. eat a dick."

I don't accept gaming as a valid reason why you "have to" use windows. Gaming isn't work. There's no game you need to play.

I'm not telling you to use Linux because it's better than windows. I mean it is, but you can use whatever dreck you like, I don't actually care. What I would like is for people who don't know what they're talking about to stop spreading bullshit.

AntiSol Bronze badge

Re: Happily using Linux for 20 years

However I (also) do media content creation.

Heh, that's a coincidence, so do I. :)

Linux is such a failure in this regard that it's a joke to even bring up the name during a discussion of "What are my options?"

Then you clearly haven't really looked at the options. I have zero problems doing media creation on Linux.

"just use GIMP!" is a joke to any RAW-processing photographer using any form of recent gear

I always shoot in RAW. And I bought a brand new camera less than 2 months ago. I have never used windows to process a photo. I have had zero issues.

No, "Just use GIMP" won't get you raw processing... unless you install the ufraw plugin. It took me a whole minute to get that set up. I had to install a new version of ufraw when I got my new camera to get support for its white balance profiles. That took perhaps 5 minutes. Of course I didn't actually have to do that because I could have just used dcraw or rawtherapee or darktable to do my raw processing, but gimp and ufraw are my preferred workflow most of the time. But not always - I have a penchant for stitching together gigapixel astronomy photos taken through my telescope, and when you're dealing with images that big and processing and stitching hundreds of exposures, scripting comes in real handy.

So, yes, technically, you're right, "Just use GIMP" is a bit of a joke. Instead I use a whole bunch of tools depending on the job I'm trying to do, gimp being the most commonly used and by far the most versatile. But that's not the only way to do things - I have a photographer friend who prefers darktable, he likes the way it's all integrated into the one program and the fact that it's non-destructive. I can see the appeal but it just doesn't do it for me.

As for video, I can pretty much guarantee that cinelerra kicks the shit out of whatever you're using. Though it does have a bit of a learning curve. But you won't mind that, right? We are talking about the best tool for the job and not just the workflow you're used to and comfortable with and can't be bothered really investigating alternatives to, right?

The real joke is people making claims like this when they've clearly not really investigated the options.

AntiSol Bronze badge

from what I have seen of it, I can imagine it being useful for some people

Not as useful as mono, which we already had and which is FOSS.

it did require a considerable shift at Microsoft for them to get that far

Not really - that's my whole point - they haven't open sourced anything useful that we didn't already have. The "considerable shift" you talk about is going from open hostility to underhanded hostility.

AntiSol Bronze badge

Re: I'd like a pony with that one, please

Similarly, counting on Linux or BSD OSes to save one's bacon in the desktop space is equally foolish

Whoa, thanks for telling me this. Here I was thinking that I'd been exclusively using Desktop Linux perfectly happily for 20 years.

When half the games and apps one uses on a daily base do not run on the OS

Huh, that's funny. 100% of the things I use on a daily basis run just fine on the OS I'm using. Not sure where you got this statistic from.

like unf*ing 32-bit SO files on Ubuntu to even make native 32-bit apps run

sudo apt-get install whateverlibrary:i386

To be fair, it does take about 3 seconds to type that. And then there's password entry and waiting while it downloads and installs. It is pretty inconvenient.

I consider my experiences using SuSE 6.3 in 1998 to be still rather indicative of what to expect of Linux-based OSes today

Aaaaaaaaand now you're absolutely definitely trolling.

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MS has actually already released a huge part of stuff as .NET Core.

It amazes me that people actually fell for this transparent bit of spin. You do realise that by the time .net core was was open sourced we already had a better and more full-featured FOSS implementation of .net, right? They have released exactly zero lines of code that anybody gives a shit about.

AntiSol Bronze badge

It's definitely not just spin

I've been saying this for years now, though I've only been calling for the release of the XP and directx source under a BSD license. Because Microsoft "Loves Open Source" these days, right? They're all touchy-feely these days, and totally not at all just releasing the code for worthless crap to try to spin the appearance of being non-hostile, right? They are totally in love with Open Source now. I know this because hipsters tell me all the time. The bad old days of evil Microsoft are totally gone, they're all happy and kind and friendly now, right? I can reveal here that they're actually planning on changing their name to CuddleSoft soon because they're just so kind and good now. Those "forced upgrades" and "spyware built right into the OS" stories are probably fake news spread by the russians as part of their crusade against cuddles and rainbows.

So since they love Open Source so much they should have no problems figuring out any issues preventing them from doing this. They are a billion dollar company, after all. I'm sure they can manage to release the XP code if they want to. And they love Open Source, so I just assume they want to. It's probably some law of physics stopping them, or maybe a dog ate the source code. I'm sure it's not a coordinated campaign of spin intended to make morons think they have anything but contempt for open source in a desperate attempt to remain relevant in a world where their OS is no longer the dominant platform. They're totally the good guys now, right? Maybe they just forgot to open source their operating systems. Yeah, that's probably it. I'm sure we'll see bold decisive action as a result of this. I for one can't wait to compile directx for Linux, it should make porting games much easier.

Microsoft boffin inadvertently highlights .NET image woes by running C# on Windows 3.11

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Re: "Visual Studio is a paid-for product"



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Re: "Visual Studio is a paid-for product"

You forgot the Be Sharps. They had that cool hit back in the 80s.

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Re: "Visual Studio is a paid-for product"

Traditionally, all programming environments have been free. Turbo Pascal didn't make you pay for its dev environment, nor did Borland ever do that.

Nope. I'm not sure where you got this idea from, but the advent of free development environments is a pretty recent one. The examples you give are just not correct: Turbo Pascal was a paid product. The wikipedia Turbo Pascal page says "Borland released several versions of Turbo Pascal as freeware after they became "antique software" (abandonware), with 1.0 for DOS on 1 February 2000, 3.02 on 10 February 2000, 5.5 on 21 February 2002, Turbo Pascal 7.01 French version in year 2000". Borland Delphi and C++ were always paid products, and not particularly cheap as I recall. This goes right back to C compilers and assemblers for earlier machines like Amigas and C64.

Compilers and languages tended to be bundled with UNIXes back in the day, but those unixes were paid products anyway. And MS gave you QBasic bundled with your (paid) copy of DOS. There was Basic bundled into the ROM of lots of older machines like the C64 and the IIe, but that was in lieu of an operating system - as soon as you got a real OS, you stopped getting free languages. Even AmigaBasic was a paid product.

The advent of compilers and dev environments being mostly free is a fairly recent one. It only really became a thing once some decent open source IDEs started to spring up. Eclipse was probably the first big major one. I've been using free tools for about 15 years and I'm a relatively early adopter. Yes, there were people using free tools much earlier than that, but it certainly wasn't widespread. I'd say it's only become the default in the last decade or so, but that is just a gut feel and I might be off by a bit.

EU declares it'll Make USB-C Great Again™. You hear that, Apple?

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You’re seriously suggesting manufacturers would put 2 ports on a device?

I sure am. In fact, the next device I plan to buy has two ports, and that's a big part of the reason why I'll be buying one.

Can you give me a single reason why a device shouldn't have 2 ports? I'm seeing a lot of incredulity and naysaying here, but no actual reasons or responses debating the merits (or lack thereof) of the issues/suggestions.

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Perhaps you can explain to me why having a USB-C port means you can't also have a USB-Y port?

I'm also yet to see anybody address my question as to what the advantage of using a different plug is, and why it can't be backwards compatible. So if you could cover that in your response too, that would be grand :)

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It sure was. But we're talking about smartphones, not PCs. If you want to talk about whether they should still include DB25 ports on PCs, I'll be right there with you saying they should. But we're talking about smartphones.

Having an adaptor or dongle for your computer is less of a hassle than for a phone because you're not carrying it around everywhere.

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I don't think so. I actually went looking for a laptop with a serial port not that long ago. DB25 would have been great but I would have settled for DB9. It's very slim pickings. The couple I did find didn't have other stuff that I needed. I ended up buying one of those USB serial port adaptors, which wasn't ideal.

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Well, for one, a DB25 is larger than the bottom of most phones. Secondly, it's not very ubiquitous.

But you haven't addressed my questions.

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"What happens when someone comes out with "USB-D", or "Micro-C" or something, smaller and/or with more functionality, or in some other way more advanced and better for the devices?"

Why can't this new connector you imagine be backwards compatible? What advantage is there to it being a different plug?

To catch a thief, go to Google with a geofence warrant – and it will give you all the details

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Re: Wait a minute

Who gave Google the authority to store GPS data on its customers ?

I'm pretty sure you meant "users", not "customers". The customers are the people buying this data.

But to answer your question: The people who clicked "I Agree".

Who delegated to Google the means of recording the life of Joe Public ?

The people who clicked "I Agree".

How is it that we continue to accept that a commercial, for-profit company has the right to record and store more data about our lives than the government ?

I mean, yes. Sure, google are recording and storing ridiculously intrusive data on billions of people. But on the other hand, cat videos! And you can watch them anywhere! It sure beats interacting with other humans.

Yeah, I don't understand it either.

Yes, many people don't realise just how much data google has on them, and some would be horrified to find out that google has the complete history of everywhere they've been for the last decade. But most people I talk to do understand that google is spying on them in every way they can think of, and they simply don't care. They think I'm paranoid because I don't want to share the intimate details of my life with google. The same applies to facebook: they've been caught doing seriously creepy stuff on multiple occasions and people still don't uninstall that crap. They just don't care.

Yeah, I don't understand it either.

Copy-left behind: Permissive MIT, Apache open-source licenses on the up as developers snub GNU's GPL

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Project size

I'd be interested to know if project size was considered, and whether this would make any difference if factored in.

The way I tend to work is that I'll license smaller projects and things that don't have any potential for commercial exploitation under a permissive license (I tend to use BSD 3-clause), but for larger or more important projects I'll tend to use GPL.

If others do the same then you'll have a million small projects using permissive license and a handful of large projects using GPL. That could affect the numbers in a study like this if the size of the project isn't being taken into account.

Non-unicorn $700 e-scooter shop Unicorn folds with no refunds – after blowing all its cash on online ads

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Re: Ahahaha

"a good product sells itself, every single time."

"the marketplace is filled with inferior products that succeeded due to superior sales and marketing."

These two statements aren't mutually exclusive. Just because you can sell crap with a marketing campaign doesn't mean that a good product doesn't sell itself. Your "Well, no" is not justified.

Sent from Linux, a good product, and not, say, windows 10, which has a large marketing budget.

Stop us if you've heard this one: Aussies probe Google over misleading location stalking claims

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I love the ACCC

They're one of the best things about this country IMO.

Ever wonder why steam has a refunds policy? That'd be due to the ACCC lawsuit and the $3m fine that somehow wasn't big global news. The best part was that it was easier for valve to bring in the refund policy globally and spin it as "We're doing this to be good and kind, it has nothing to do with any aussie courts, honest!". So everybody got a policy that almost complies with Australia's consumer protection laws.

And now this. If you know anybody who works for the ACCC, please hug them for me.

This fall, Ubuntu 19.10 stars as Eoan Ermine in... Dawn of the Stoats

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Re: USB drives ? Seriously ?

There were two (official) ways to get USB support on windows 95. Probably the easiest was to upgrade to OSR2, which included a bunch of fixes and stuff including USB drivers (and was about where Microsoft OS's peaked IMO, though an good case can be made for XP). But there was also a USB driver kit that you could install separately and get support on the vanilla version of win95. The issue was getting hold of it - these were the days when most people didn't have Internet at home. I remember downloading it at school and zipping it onto a bunch of floppies.

These were also the days when nobody had standardised anything yet, so 95% of USB devices, even mundane ones like thumb drives, came with a driver disk. I seem to recall that the Microsoft USB drivers only drove the USB port itself, they didn't include support for things like USB thumb drives. You'd have to install the USB drivers, then install the drivers that came with your thumb drive, and then you'd be able to use any thumb drive.

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This is not altogether a bad thing,

Yes, it is.

since it may prompt developers to work at removing 32-bit dependencies.

Lol, yeah good luck with that. 90% of game devs are not going to do a new Linux build for a game they released even 5 years ago. And even if some miracle occurred to make that happen for those games, good luck getting Epic to do a 64bit build of Unreal Tournament 99. And then there's Descent 3, Alpha Centauri, and a whole bunch of other amazing old games.

Equally, users who value compatibility more than the new features in 19.10 should probably stick to 19.04 or alternative distros.

Yep, this will be the straw that finally breaks the camel's back and forces me to another distro.

It saddens me that Ubuntu feels the need to destroy Linux gaming right at the moment when we have the best gaming ecosystem and the most releases we've ever had. And all just because they're too lazy to bother maintaining this stuff. I just hope that gamers and devs can find a new flagship distro for Linux gaming, rather than seeing our ecosystem shrink.

Lucas Pope: Indie games visionary makes pen-pushing feel like an exciting career choice

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I don't buy games with no Linux support :)

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I'm just hoping for a Linux version of Return of the Obra Dinn. Very keen to play it, Papers Please is fantastic.

MIT boffins turn black up to 11 with carbon nanotubes that absorb 99.995% of light

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Aah right. Thanks! :)

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How is this different to vantablack, which has been around for years?

Fairphone 3 stripped to the modular essentials: Glue? What glue?

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Re: A commendable effort

Where is the 'bold declaration'?

Where is my assertion that you made a bold declaration? I said usually. I'm explaining why you're getting the responses you're getting. Perhaps you should try calming down and re-reading my response.

I asked a bloody question, which has not been answered.

I answered to the best of anyone's ability here. None of us has the economics figures, because we're not fairphone employees. If you're not willing to go with a "based on their track record" answer then I would suggest you call them up and ask them if they'd mind sending you some of their internal revenue forecast spreadsheets. I'm sure they'll be just as willing to do that as apple and samsung, maybe even moreso.

I have a counter-question for you: why are you asking this question of a public forum of random nobodies who by their nature cannot give you a definitive answer rather than, say, the fairphone sales people?

but so far have not sold that many devices. As I understand it, Apple or Samsung sell more devices in a month than they have in the six years that they've existed

That's all well and good, but I'm not sure how "Apple sells more devices" translates to "this is not sustainable". Has it occurred to you that fairphone never expected to sell as many devices as samsung and saw the sales of every single fairphone1 and 2 as successes? What evidence are you basing your fears on? How many phones does it actually take to make your business profitable? Presumably you have a bunch of these figures handy.

There's no point buying one of their products only to have no support, not because they don't want to support you but because they're gone

I wouldn't worry about it, I'm sure they'll call you if they ever need advice on the economics of phone manufacture, sales, and support.

And if their fanbois are so critical that anyone who asks a simple question gets shouted down

I never shouted you down. I gave you the best answer anybody who isn't a fairphone employee can, and I explained why the question you're asking tends to get the response it does. You have dismissed my answers and made the assumption that I've attacked you, which I did not do. I think you should try shedding your "I'm going to have a flame war" filter and try re-reading my response.

Congrats, fanbois, you just eliminated at least one sale for your boyz.

Damn. And it'll probably be your sale that makes the difference between them being wildly profitable or going bankrupt, too. It's not like the fairphone 1 and 2 sold out.

I really think you should call them, you can get those financial spreadsheets you want and you can give them marketing advice. No more half-measures of asking random people from the internet - go to the source where you can actually get answers to your burning questions.

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Re: A commendable effort

Are there enough users to keep the company afloat?

You did spot the '3' in the device name, right? They seem to have done just fine for two iterations so far. Better than most.

And why is it that merely asking the question is a bad thing?

It's not that just asking this question is a bad thing per se, it's that usually (and I mean like >90% of the time) it's coupled with a bold declaration that the thing is not/can never be sustainable/profitable/useful in the real world. And usually these bold declarations don't even come with spreadsheets backing up their economic forecast. I know right! You'd almost be driven to reflexively think people asking this were troll-types who have nothing better to do than naysay a group who are trying to actually do things a little differently / ethically.

For me, releasing a third device seems to indicate that they know what they're doing. And if not, I'm sure they can come here or to slashdot and get professional-grade advice on this economics stuff for free :)

GIMP open source image editor forked to fix 'problematic' name

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Glimpse, huh? There's a git repo that will be dead in three months.

Firm fat-fingered G Suite and deleted its data, so it escalated its support ticket to a lawsuit

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do Google allow backups of G Suite?

Not sure about the rest of gsuite, but for email they have imap, so you can back up using that. It's pretty easy to set up. And I'd be surprised if their file storage thing didn't have an API that you could use to scrape/backup your stuff (I'm assuming they're not going to allow things like rsync).

Musk loves his Starlink sat constellation – but astroboffins are less than dazzled by them

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Re: Meh

ubiquitous communication systems would allow you to make arrangements for the above, especially in situations where time may be crucial

It sure would. So perhaps rather than spending millions launching a fleet of thousands of satellites into orbit which will interfere with astronomy, we should look into other options, like supplying all these remote villages with satphones. Or CB Radios. Or EPIRBs. These solutions are cheaper, easier to maintain/repair, and more durable than an android tablet. And they probably need less power, too. If these villages are so remote as to not have phones, then power is also likely to be an issue. Yeah, satphones are expensive, but we're talking about irregular calls that are for emergencies, meaning the calls will be short and not that expensive.

Or, perhaps, maybe if we're going to buy them all android tablets (if it's for general communication too rather than just important stuff then you'd have to buy one for every villager, otherwise you're going to create conflict), perhaps we should think about using that money to buy them water pumps instead? Or maybe a few km of pipe so they can build a water pipeline? you know, actually address the root problem rather than applying band-aids? I know, I know, you want the band-aid because it's totally trendy and shiny and also enables cat videos and a new untapped market for advertisers (what do these insane advertisers think dirt poor people in remote villages with no phones are going to buy?), but I tend to think that actually addressing the real issue is probably going to be more effective and more cost-effective.

Assuming, of course, that we're actually talking about helping people and not advertising to them, or spying on them, or exploiting them as cheap callcenter labour, etc etc.

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Re: Meh

"it will make Heavy lifting so economical that we should move our future telescopes into space"

It's never going to be economical enough to replace my little $2000 Celestron scope, even if the imaging capabilities are many times what my scope can do. That's my scope and I can use it whenever I want while out camping without booking in advance and I can point it at the sun or hit it with a hammer if I want to.

And even if you did replace my little Celestron with a space telescope a thousand times better at the same cost, It's not the same experience as using a little backyard telescope. There's no eyepieces to mess around with. No focus dial. There's something special about knowing that the photons entering your eyeball have been travelling for a million years. I know this as a fact - I have remote access to a couple of big telescopes but I prefer to use my own little 8" one in about 90% of cases.

"Next up who doesnt want fast internet accesable gloally?"

Well... I don't not want it, but I'm not super enthusiastic about it either.

But perhaps I just don't see the huge and obvious benefits to all mankind that being able to watch cat videos literally anywhere will bring. Could you list the advantages for me? What is it going to give me (or anyone, for that matter) that I don't already have?

I hear all this rhetoric about how we need to bring the Intarwebs to undeveloped nations and how it improves quality of life, but last I checked you can't download antobiotics or clean drinking water. Perhaps these people have more pressing concerns than how many likes their selfie next to the empty village well gets?

In the developed world, where Internet access is actually useful and important, it's pretty much available everywhere anyway. In my lifetime so far I can think of maybe half a dozen times totalling maybe 15 minutes when I haven't had internet access and something like starlink would have come in handy, and on zero of those occasions was it actually something important where a starlink-type system would have made a real tangible difference to my life. We already have things like EPIRBs and satellite Internet (which, yes, is admittedly horrifically slow and expensive) to cover those situations, anyway.

Now I'm not saying globally available broadband is a bad idea, but I fail to see a benefit which outweighs the potential loss to amateur/hobbyist astronomy, let alone professional and radio astronomy.

Microsoft flings the Windows Calculator source at GitHub

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Why would anybody care?

Color me cynical, but I fail to understand why anybody would care about this in the slightest. There are like a billion calculator programs out there, and half of them are already open source and cross platform. It's not like a calculator is complicated. I wrote one in VB3 when I was about 12.

It seems to me that this is the latest in a long line of empty gestures, where MS open sources something nobody asked for or cares about and makes a big song and dance about how they're soooooo into FOSS these days and soooooo not like the old, evil MS. Meanwhile you look at their calculator and it slurps your data and phones home, and they're yet to open source a single thing of any consequence (you might think that .net core is important, but we already had a more full-featured FOSS .net implementation before that - mono, making it redundant. Maybe you think visual studio code is important, but we already had a million full-featured IDEs. VS code running on Linux is merely an ad for windows - if you like this and you want all the features enabled, install Win10 and pay $whatever). MSSQL is arguably something that somebody might care about, but there were already better FOSS database engines out there.

I've been saying it for years, and I'll say it again: Let me know when they open source DirectX, then I'll give a crap. But that will never happen because 10 minutes after they do it'll be compiling on Linux and 10 minutes after that porting any game to Linux will be truly trivial.

(I'd *love* to be proven wrong about this, BTW, because it would mean many more games would get ported)

If MS want to prove how into open source they are, they'll need to actually open source something useful and important. Then maybe I'll believe them. But as far as I can see everything they've done so far is just spin. The sad thing about it is how many people are buying into it.

As a bonus, they've now offloaded the whole writing code thing to a team of volunteers.



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