* Posts by ThomH

2798 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Are you a 1%er? Windows 11 turns up in the usage figures

ThomH Silver badge

UWP requires a non-standard compiler if you want to target it from C++; a non-standard C++ compiler is not required for UWP because it was always mainly for the C# crowd.

Microsoft not only could be better, but is: C++/WinRT is the standard C++17 way into WinRT, provided as a header-only library for any old compiler.

Alas, I have absolutely no idea how UWP maps to WinRT, how either corresponds to Win32 or .NET, or what WPF has to do with any of it. All I really know is: don't mention Silverlight.

I think Reunion is meant to clarify, even to idiots like me.

The old New: Windows veteran explains that menu item

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Re: Or, you know, you created a blank template of the project?

Here's what I usually see when a Mac user tries to create a shortcut to a network share:

They drag the network share icon to where they want the shortcut, holding down the option+control buttons, and release.

Spoiler: if they're doing something that involves connecting to a network share, in an environment that hasn't already been dummified, they probably know how to use a computer.

Microsoft adds cloud enablement to 1970s Altair 8800 tech

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If you think that's contrived, check out Dave Tyler's microservice-powered Space Invaders emulator

Space Invaders is also 8080 based; as documented here, Dave's emulator has a main loop of:

• call check-for-interrupt microservice; schedule RST x if so;

• otherwise: call memory bus microservice to get next opcode.

• call appropriate opcode microservice as per decision above.

The opcode microservices are implemented in a range of different languages: Swift, Javascript, Visual BASIC, C#, Typescript, Python, Ruby, Perl, Java, Lua, Scala, D, F#, Kotlin, C++, Rust, NIM, Crystal, Powershell, Deno, Go, Haskell, C and Dart.

And, yes, it's satire, but it's all really implemented and then profiled and discussed.

Florida Man sues Facebook, Twitter, YouTube for account ban

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Re: Legal Scholars?

Check out New York Times Co v Sullivan: it establishes that public officials have a higher bar to jump to establish defamation... because of the First Amendment.

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Re: Oy!

He's from Queens. That'd be the East River. Don't blame those of us who live near the Hudson.

Audacity users stick the knife – and fork – in to strip audio editor of unwanted features

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Prophets of Da City.

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Re: The way to sucess

Audacity already has a pretty great total user experience: the user doesn't have to supply any cash to get hold of it, and then finds quite a lot of content about how to use it effectively.

Though the UI could use some work.

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There goes my suggestion of FreeLibre86 Extended Improved Classic.

New Yorkers react to strikingly indifferent statue of Elon Musk with cheerful hostility

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Re: Genuine question

If the subject were Keanu Reeves and the recipient was a movie studio then you could probably be sued for the tort of passing off.

The M in M1 is for moans: How do you turn a new MacBook Pro into a desktop workhorse?

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Re: A Mixed Bag for me

Yeah, for the record: no issues whatsoever using any of QTCreator, VS Code or Xcode. Albeit that's with VS Code for server development, so builds and runs occur elsewhere. But they always did. It's still a third kind of development to which M1-or-not is immaterial.

Say helloSystem: Mac-like FreeBSD project emits 0.5 release

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Re: Control or Alt

macOS may be more consistent but it still has its issues.

In every standard text box across every app: command+left and command+right act as home/end do on Windows, taking you straight to the beginning or end of a line.

But, in terminal: command+left and command+right switch between active terminal windows. You've of course to remember to use the UNIX standards of ctrl+a and ctrl+e instead.

What's even more annoying is that the command+left/right terminal window switch isn't constrained by virtual desktop, unless the OS-standard command+` to switch between windows of the active application.

So forgetting that terminal has decided arbitrarily to do its own thing can be very jarring.

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Re: Proof, if it were needed,...

So Clang doesn't innovate? UNIX was originally designed to be given away and freely-circulated; did it introduce absolutely nothing?

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Re: Menus and application windows

No to disagree with the main part of this comment, but the menu bar always relates to the frontmost application. If that application has any windows at all, they'll be on top.

That aside, I set my menubar to hide automatically and rarely mouse up to it other than when heading for the Apple menu for system preferences and suchlike; even when I want something from the menu bar it's almost always easier and faster to use the keyboard shortcut — either the specific one or command+shift+/ to open the search box.

I have two relevant suspicions:

Firstly, that Apple simply considers the menubar to be part of the brand. It made an awful lot of sense in 1984, when the Mac had a 9" display and ran exactly one application at a time, and from there the classic OS was stuck with it by the same complete lack of forward-planning that also prevented the addition of memory protection, preemptive multitasking, etc. So I'm imagining it was then carried forward to OS X because, you know, Macs have menubars, and if you're Apple circa 1999 then how many more of your customers can you afford to lose anyway?

Secondly, that almost everybody who writes a Mac app nowadays makes sure to put almost nothing in the menubar, because it's so disconnected. Even floating tool windows seem to be out of fashion. macOS just seems to be a little behind here; I think the same instincts finally fully manifested on Windows whenever we all accepted that the multiple-document interface — the old big parent window with multiple child windows, pull-downs belonging to the parent but acting on the currently-selected child like a desktop within a desktop — was a terrible way to show multiple documents.

ThomH Silver badge

Re: The UI

Pedantically: Xerox got a lot wrong; it's the descendants that built a lot of what we now recognise as a desktop.

The Xerox machines used fixed-location icons, fixed-location windows and was fully modal for all manipulations — no drag and drop anywhere, ever, including something as simple as moving files from one directory to another. Everything on-screen is so fixed in place that the machine doesn't even offer pull-down menus.

I'm not even you could call the modern desktop nailed into place until the 1990s: Mac OS was single-application prior to System 5 — you'd launch an application, it'd get the whole screen, you'd exit it to go back to the Finder, etc — and still so by default prior to System 7, and Microsoft kept inside its Program Manager box rather than offering the desktop as much more than wallpaper prior to Windows 95.

Pakistan's Punjab province tells citizens to get jabbed or have their SIM card blocked

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Re: Hmm, awkward

It's not forcing them, it's at most coercing them.

But that aside, it feels proportionate to me. Typhoid Mary lost her liberty for egregiously refusing to believe that she was highly infectious, evidence be damned.

So just losing your phone during a public medical emergency because you refuse to act rationally and are potentially endangering others is fair enough.

You know, given that it's already well-established that the liberty of individuals can be restricted for the benefit of society, and that actions should be punishable orthogonally to consequences.

Apple, it's OK. Seriously. You don't need to blind your iOS 15 engineers to prevent leaks

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Re: Staatssicherheitsdienst

... though it also sounds like an awesome idea for a cartoon.

Act one: villains invade only a small area of the globe.

Act two: everyone's like "Oh, that's just Ted's zone, who cares about Ted anyway?"

Act three: everyone remembers that they value and respect Ted, and turn up to help him save the day.

Worldwide Loyalty Team, Ho! Go go Worldwide Loyalty Team! This is Nancy from Worldwide Loyalty Team, if you guys don't stop messing around then your time is going to run out!

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Re: I Look Forward.....

Agreed; especially if the widely-repeated claim that Apple primarily relies upon human testing is also true, this is not a recipe for success.

I guess I'll let everybody else kick the tyres for a week or two or more before upgrading.

Pre-orders open for the Mini PET 40/80, the closest thing to Commodore's classic around

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Re: The PETs inspired me.

A few years ago there was a chap selling reproduction ZX80 kits for home construction much like the original and I feel like they were about £100 or so; proportionally that makes this PET a steal.

Positive spin aside, I think the point is to use period-appropriate components, along with the custom-printed PCB, case and keyboard. So it's going to cost a bit compared to chucking an FPGA in a case and giving it a PS/2 socket.

That thing you were utterly sure would never happen? Yeah, well, guess what …

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Ed Balls.

Apple's macOS 12 adds improved virtualization though no sign of anything like Boot Camp on M1 silicon

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Re: No one needs Bootcamp anymore

Possibly this comment might have helped you earlier: the confusingly-named VMWare Fusion Player is free for personal use, and allows creation of Windows virtual machines up to and including Windows 10. Apart from the licensing differences if you weren't a personal user, all you lose over the paid version is VM encryption, cloning, fine virtual network customisation and, per the comparison page, remote vSphere host power control. Oh, and you'll have to register with an email address.

When my licence for Fusion didn't transfer to the latest version I switched to Fusion Player and, honestly, haven't noticed the difference.

It's a bit buried, but see here.

There's also always VirtualBox if you want to keep things completely free and open, but I've always found it to be less than spectacular at GPU translation.

The common factor in all your failed job applications: Your CV

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Re: The gap year

Per the rule of "You are a waste of space", I've long ago dropped particularly-specific dates from mine. Nobody's ever going to say "Oh, you worked at BigCorp between June 2012 and April 2015? That's a shame, because we really wanted somebody who'd worked there from March 2012 to January 2015."

Assuming your two-month gap didn't cross a calendar year, that might do the trick?

Apple sued in nightmare case involving teen wrongly accused of shoplifting, driver's permit used by impostor, and unreliable facial-rec tech

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Re: Problem is..the NY learners permit does have a photo on it. Its photo ID ..

The provisional learners permit apparently doesn't have a photo now, and definitely didn't thirty years ago. It's just a printed piece of paper. Here's one from 1991.

I've lived in three states during the last ten years; only one of them was able to print a photo card while I waited. The other two — one of which was New York — print them at some other location and send them through the post, giving you temporary paper credentials while you're in the DMV so that you can drive immediately.

ThomH Silver badge

The allegation is that Apple[/SIS] not only failed to remove the defendant's name from their records after adding it based on evidence that was obviously unreliable, but that failure led directly to his arrest and detention.

If there were no recourse for that, we'd be talking about a pretty awful justice system. If the facts stand up at trial I hope this guy gets millions.

But, to answer your question directly, in the Massachusetts filing the claimed causes are: defamation, malicious* prosecution, intentional and/or negligent misrepresentation, and negligence.

* assuming US law matches UK law, this just means something a bit like 'while aware that doing so was wrong'. It doesn't require ill will.

Unfixable Apple M1 chip bug enables cross-process chatter, breaking OS security model

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Re: So what happened to "Intel Sucks!!! Apple's M1 FTW!!!"

The disclosing security researcher said:

Really, nobody's going to actually find a nefarious use for this flaw in practical circumstances.

You said:

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Right.

I think he's available on Twitter if you really want to argue with him.

ThomH Silver badge

Re: So what happened to "Intel Sucks!!! Apple's M1 FTW!!!"

I clearly remember many commentards here swooning over how ... the M1 doesn't suffer from all of Intel's leakage and exfiltration problems. Because Amazing and Secure M1 is. Woo-Hoo!

This is neither a leakage nor an exfiltration problem (and it doesn't fit the other things I edited out either). I think the original researcher has been pretty thorough in his write-up:

So you're telling me I shouldn't worry?


What, really?

Really, nobody's going to actually find a nefarious use for this flaw in practical circumstances.


If this bug doesn't matter, why did you go through all the trouble of putting this site and the demo together?

Honestly, I just wanted to play Bad Apple!! over an M1 vulnerability. You have to admit that's kind of cool.

So playing the playground brands-as-tribes game isn't really valid here; it's leaping on a single idiotic error of Apple's and pretending that it's both idiotic and consequential. By luck it isn't. But nothing about this vulnerability makes Intel look good. Especially not in a world with AMD.

ThomH Silver badge

Re: So what happened to "Intel Sucks!!! Apple's M1 FTW!!!"

The same thing that happened to "Wow, Tom H is the coolest! He's the king of the world!" and all other statements that nobody has ever actually uttered.

Knowing one of the specific flaws in the M1 doesn't change the general parameters, any more than knowing one (or many) of the specific flaws in macOS.

ThomH Silver badge

It sounds like an easy hardware fix

That is, for the M2 or M1X or whatever, with no obvious detriment — whereas the cost of mitigating e.g. Spectre seems to be performance.

Although given what I imagine to be the lead times on CPU manufacture, maybe the 2022 processor is more likely?

Apple is happy to diss the desktop – it knows who's got the most to lose

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Re: From the trenches

Agreed in general, but you can see an argument for having the same instruction set in the world of containerisation — in that scenario you might develop locally for server deployment and therefore incur some potential risk with an ARM-based Mac.

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Re: "Apple is, after all, the professional’s platform"

Hands up all those who have been sued by Mac users due to their adherence to reality.

Anyone? No?

Linux laptop biz System76 makes its first foray into the mechanical keyboard world with dinky, hackable Launch

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Re: Ergonomic is a different price world thought

My Kinesis Freestyle (original, not the Freestyle2) is still going strong after seven years.

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Re: Altering CapsLock operation

On the Mac side of the fence things are inevitably more limited, but you can still turn caps lock into a useful key. Via System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Modifier Keys... you can set your physical caps lock key to act as any of caps lock, escape, control, option or command.

Setting caps lock to act as control is the first thing I do on any new Mac. Also if you're using an old PC keyboard, from the time before Windows keys, using that same dialogue to switch the other modifiers lets you keep the command button where it is intended to be.

Day 3 of the Apple vs Epic trial: What actually is an iPhone anyway?

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Re: whether the iPhone legitimately constitutes a general-purpose computing device

iWatch isn't named thus.

ThomH Silver badge

This is supposed to go on for another three weeks, right?

Apple's iPad marketing slogan seems to get to the nub of this argument: "Your next computer is not a computer." So it's not a computer. But also it is. Problem solved.

Snark aside, I don't own an iPad other than a superannuated iPad 2 that acts as my iTunes/etc to Bluetooth bridge for the living room precisely because it can't do a whole bunch of general computing tasks. For me it's the uselessness for software development. But they run Photoshop and Office and probably 95% of the rest of what anybody else wants from a computer and in that regard are very different from consoles.

I could see more of an argument if this were just about iPhones but Apple's choice to try to turn the iPad into a professional work tool may have tipped the scales.

Googler demolishes one of Apple's monopoly defenses – that web apps are just as good as native iOS software

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Re: Detailed but also quite biased.

His bias is obvious, but I nevertheless think Apple is going to be on a losing wicket wherever the argument relies on web apps being just as good as native apps — besides nothing else because it begs the obvious question: why the about face in iPhone OS 2, to allow native apps, if the web apps that iPhone OS 1 supported already weren't at a disadvantage?

Bitcoin is ‘disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization’ says famed investor Charlie Munger

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It is a bit like hearing someone rage against made-up words.

BadAlloc: Microsoft looked at memory allocation code in tons of devices and found this one common security flaw

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Re: Need trapping

But in this case you'd want INTC, if it existed, as the arithmetic is unsigned. 0xffffffff + 7 is a negative plus a positive, so it doesn't set the overflow flag.

To be completely explicit: overflow indicates that you added two signed numbers and got a number of the wrong sign as a result. Such is the range of two's complement arithmetic, that can never occur if you add numbers of different signs. You can get overflow only if you add two negative numbers and the result is positive, or if you add two positive numbers and the result is negative.

Conversely, when adding two unsigned numbers such as here, the carry flag indicates that the true result is too large to fit into a single word.

But can it run Avid? The Reg hands shiny new M1 MacBook to video production pro, who beats it with Blender, Handbrake, and ... Hypercard?

ThomH Silver badge

Re: it's not software x86/64 emulation

My understanding was that the M1 can optionally provide similar cache coherency guarantees to the x86, making for one less emulation pitfall that Rosetta has to guard against.

That said, I can find no authoritative reference so it might all just be Internet hearsay.

ThomH Silver badge

Re: Apple really has done an amazing job here...

I'm confident the downvotes were because the original post is obvious partisan trolling, contributing nothing.

Although I appreciate your dedication to balance, I'm not sold on fighting fire with fire.

Windows comes to Apple M1 silicon as Parallels delivers native desktop hypervisor

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Re: So let me get this straight

The Windows ARM version runs x86 software.

I can't say how well.

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Re: Grumble.. grumble..

The Windows Insider ARM build of Windows 10 that Parallels is advertising support for includes an x86-64 emulator for application code. So in theory you get all of the OS-level stuff running natively on the M1 (modulo virtualisation of the other hardware) and then x86 emulation only for the actual applications — and you get Microsoft's emulation for Windows applications rather than Apple's, which is likely to be better-supported for that task.

So the Parallels release mentioned in the story isn't necessarily a bad choice for running regular old Windows applications on an M1 Mac.

That said, I think I'm going to wait for VMWare. When I last tried Parallels — which was likely more than a decade ago, so apply a pinch of salt — it was heavily invested in the idea of a shared desktop running multiple flavours of application, to the extent of secreting various hidden folders around my Mac full of application stubs so that the Finder would have something to connect file associations to, e.g. so that I could double click a .docx on my desktop and have that cause Parallels to load and launch the Windows Microsoft Office and then open that file in it.

That's something that some people will be a huge fan of, but I want my virtual machines isolated and with a minimal footprint on my Mac. VMWare seems to do a better job of that.

FSF doubles down on Richard Stallman's return: Sure, he is 'troubling for some' but we need him, says org

ThomH Silver badge

The news story is about the controversy following Stallman's return to a board membership. NoneSuch's comment is that isolation is an inappropriate response to Stallman's actions. My comment is that denying someone board membership does not amount to isolation.

From that you get: "Straw man! Straw man!"?

I'm struggling to see it.

ThomH Silver badge

Re: Let's see...

I had a quick check, because I love a digression:

In the UK the Human Rights Act 1998 is generally accepted to be constitutional-level law, and Article 6 stipulates innocence until proven guilty. But prior to 1998 it was merely an accepted and repeatedly-affirmed basic tenet of common law. Other countries that adopted the European Convention on Human Rights will have been ahead of us on that.

(And, to clarify, the European Convention on Human Rights existed before the European Union and is orthogonal to it; the HRA 1998 is unaffected so far by Brexit).

The US constitution does not guarantee the presumption of innocence, though the courts affirmed that it would carry over after the revolution as quickly as the question was raised.

It appears to be false that "guilt by association is banned", indeed proof of association is often introduced at trial in order for a jury to conclude whatever they wish.

ThomH Silver badge

I've never been a board member for an influential non-profit organisation. I feel so isolated.

Fire up that Macintosh II: Retro techhead gives the web a Netscape 1.1 makeover

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Re: Wonderful

From the category of we've gained so much but lost so much: the graphics card in my family's 486 could be bumped up from the VGA default of 70Hz to 90Hz in Windows 3.1. I don't recall whether that meant settling for 640x480.

You might want to try something like that if flicker is a problem.

Google putting its trust in Rust to weed out memory bugs in Android development

ThomH Silver badge

I think you might have started from a false premise; I'm only an application-level C++ developer, which admittedly gives me more leeway for not laughing, but always ensuring everything is initialised at the point of declaration is nowadays considered proper form. That's partly why class-member initialisers were added in C++11 (i.e. you can put the proper initial value for any class member directly at the point of declaration, instead of just making a mental note to try to remember to do so in the constructor).

Similarly, raw pointers are generally frowned upon, really being used only where you want to supply ephemeral access and want to retain the option of `nullptr`.

`std::shared_ptr` is the correct storage for anything that you might want to distribute a `std::weak_ptr` to. Though, yes, Boost adds `intrusive_ptr` for those that are concerned about the location of the reference count (i.e. it puts it in the object, for good locality).

ThomH Silver badge

Re: Maybe that explains

Ugh, Symbian.

One font. GPU support left as an app-by-app problem prompting the browser with three fixed levels of zoom (and, again, rendering everything in the single Nokia font). Not POSIX compliant, weird branched dialect of C++ that looked very little like C++98, never mind having a hope of being pulled towards C++11 and subsequent. All coupled to hacked-on touch screen support.

On my Nokia N8, with no third-party software installed: three completely different kinds of text scroll area, two of them direct manipulation, one that involved dragging a scroll bar. Many, many built-in parts of the OS not yet adapted for a virtual keyboard — the process for navigating to a particular URL in the browser was this: (1) open context menu; (2) find URL entry and select it, this brings up a completely different screen with a box for typing the URL; (3) this screen isn't virtual keyboard aware, so tapping on the box brings up the full-screen keyboard. Enter your URL here and tap to enter it into the previous text box; (4) on the previous screen, tap to use what you just entered as the URL; (5) now, finally, you're returned to the browser to see your page load.

The week before the burning platforms memo I was at an official Nokia engineering event at which the sales pitch was for QtQuick, Nokia still owning Qt at the time and it being the intended isolation from Symbian's awfulness and the upward path to Maemo.

The person they'd invited — a third-party developer with a successful app — more or less presented as 'Symbian isn't that bad because with some intense coding I was able to recreate UITableView and Symbian is cool because I finally got to stick it to those designers by having the excuse of platform inability not to do most of what they wanted'. Not a convincing sales pitch.

I think the plan of killing Symbian and transitioning to Maemo via Qt was smart, it's just a shame that the unexpectedly-fast collapse of the market for feature phones in the wake of Android took away the opportunity to execute.

Apple's Steve Jobs: Visionary, dreamweaver... and the kind of fellow who might tell a porky or two on his job application

ThomH Silver badge

Re: Expertise in self promotion

You've fallen for a bit more of Apple's myth-making there, in my opinion.

The Apple II started being head and shoulders ahead of its competition — the only one of the 1977 launches with bitmapped graphics, colour or sound — but quickly ran to ground. Woz's cool $0.015-saving hacks that so impressed all his engineering mates, added up through compound platform development to a system with paging logic like "this area will be ROM if RDCXROM or RDC8ROM is set; RDC8ROM is set if SLOTC3ROM was reset before an access to page C3 which was not followed by an access to CFFF". Multiply that sort or nonsense by the ten individually-pageable sections of memory, ranging in size from 512 bytes to 8kb, depending on which way the wind was blowing that morning.

As of the IIgs — a Woz-managed product — the official Apple documentation had formally labelled the-house-that-Woz-built as the quagmire state. Which is fairly polite.

Woz as a hardware engineer is like a software engineer who can write something small very quickly, then turns it in as a rats' nest of global variables and gotos, to save four cycles.

Compared to people like Jay Miner or Jim Westwood, the amount of praise Woz already gets is hugely disproportionate.

Huge if true: If you show people articles saying that Firefox is faster than Chrome, they'll believe it

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Re: Major media

> Safari only matters because it's absolutely forced upon the many Apple customers. Want to use a different web browser on iPhone, iPad? Too bad. Safari on Windows was a massive failure.

That's the reason why Safari has 20% market share instead of some much smaller number — it was at around 4% share before iOS came out. So I contend it would still matter. Or, at last: either Firefox doesn't matter now, or Safari would matter anyway.

I think it failed on Windows through sheer arrogance. Doing the big launch with a version that deliberately chucked all of the Windows conventions out the window, even including the Windows font rasteriser, wasn't smart. Apple seemed to have the mindset that everyone who uses a PC secretly wishes for a Mac, which is empirically far from true.

Plus I seem to remember some sort of coercive behaviour around installer packages; I can't remember whether iTunes tried to force Safari on you, Safari tried to force QuickTime on you, or some other equally counterproductive combination, but Apple seemed determined to increase customer mistrust.

It's not a bad browser, indeed it's a pretty good one, but they basically all are. I know Edge is also. But I'm a Safari + Firefox guy, myself.

ThomH Silver badge

Re: It's not Google

Let me Bing that for veracity.


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