As in all else, Orwell is correct.
but... but... if it's so much better than humans, how are humans able to judge its accuracy?
-Confused in NY.
71 posts • joined 6 Apr 2011
I am a scientist/software-developer working for a company that sells software to scientists. Linux is our main development platform, and indeed most of our income comes from HPC apps that run on large clusters or GPU-enabled machines, including some on the cloud. Front end-end GUIs run on Linux, Mac and Windows (and, to some extent, in OS-agnostic browsers).
First, the idea that if you build on Linux it just runs on Mac is completely wrong. The back end is easier to port to Mac than Windows because of the shared *x heritage, but easier ≠ easy. Front-end cross-platform compatibility is made easier by our use of Qt, but on this level, it's actually a little bit easier to port Linux to Windows than Mac, because Linux and Windows share the paradigm of separate menu bars for each app, whereas Mac has "one true menu bar."
Though most of us internally have Linux on the desktop, most of us use Mac on our personal machines, including (a) developers developing and testing code at home and (b) field engineers demonstrating SW and helping customers on site.
This is in contrast to our commercial customers, 90% of whom use Windows. So (1) why do our field engineers use Macs, and (2) why do our commercial customers use Windows?
1. Our people use Macs because: (a) We can run Windows and Linux on VMs. You can't run a Mac VM on another platform. So we can support all three of our platforms from the same machine. (b) We do find the Mac easier to use (especially because many of us come from Linux/HPC backgrounds) and also because of the generally acknowledged convenience factors you mentioned. Because of this, our Systems group has to support Mac whether they like it or not; and indeed, many of our customers, especially in the academic world, use Mac. But again, our bread-and-butter is HPC apps that run on Linux clusters, including GPU-enabled clusters, and on Linux on the Cloud.
2. Our commercial customers use Windows primarily because that's what their IT department supports. But that begs the question, why is that? (a) Yes, there is a heritage of Windows support and a large body of Windows-trained system personnel out there to hire. It's hard to find IT admins who know Linux and Mac well, especially when the Linux side includes GPU-equipped boxes, large clusters and the cloud. And there is a large body of legacy enterprise-level desktop clients that run only on Windows. But (b), having been personally involved in efforts to support Windows HPC (which succeeded technically, but not economically), and who has had Windows on my desktop over periods of many years, and who has listened to my sysadms, the fact is that Apple has nothing to compete with the support that Windows has for enterprise-wide management of machine and software configurations. In an earlier post you gave a few alternatives for this sort of support, but, as you concluded, the extent of it does not compare with what is available for Windows.
The fact is that Apple has never really been interested in pursuing the enterprise market and creating such tools. They may never. In the meantime, the past few Mac OS X releases (Mavericks, Yosemite) have been rather unstable, and we are hearing more and more good things about Windows-10. So we could possibly see a reversal of preference, where even people like me decide that Windows makes more sense. But, to be honest, that would be a long time coming.
"Is Agile bunk? No, but much of what is sold as Agile has little to do with what you find in the Agile Manifesto.®"
Ahem. i'm only a dog (iOAD™), but:
Is Communism bunk? No, but much of what is sold as Communism has little to do with what you find in the Communist Manifesto.
Is Free Enterprise bunk? No, but much of what is sold as Free Enterprise has little to do with what you find in Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations."
Cf. The "No True Scotsman" fallacy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman
It's easy to say you're not there to make money when you're rolling in it.
Saying students shouldn't use computers so much is like saying (back in my day) that kids shouldn't watch so much television. Both are ubiquitous because they are fun. The prissiness of the Ives of the world won't win any battles.
After many years of using both browsers and native apps, I'm convinced that browsers make for impoverished interfaces. There are several issues, but at the interface level, an important one is that many special keys (tab and control sequences) are co-opted by the browser itself, and are unavailable to the app interface without (1) requiring stentorian effort by the developers to overcome the browser's natural behavior, and (2) causing the user grief in some circumstances when the tab (let us say) does not carry out its expected browser-related function. Try adding a tab to your text in your web-based mail app.
Then, browser-based client-cloud apps are generally slow and unresponsive compared to local native apps. I use Google Spreadsheets a lot; I do love the way I can easily make them visible to other users. That's a big plus. But even on a Mac, Microsoft Excel is just so much more responsive, Or searching in Gmail, compared to the native app. These behaviors in the brower-based client-cloud app are just Bad. As I said, there are compensating virtues. These things are more due to the client-server aspect of the apps and of the poor performance of Google's cloud than they are to the browser itself; but nevertheless, there it is.
I'm not sure what the Mozilla guy is saying when he says native is dead. Is he saying native is dead for a browser performing ordinary browser functions, like search, display, and the simple filling of forms? This seems likely to me. Performance may lie in the web connectivity and server performance -- and by the continual serving up of stupid ads. But that's all part of the browser-based umm, "ecosystem". A native-coded browser isn't going to help you there.
But if he's talking about apps in general, like number crunching apps, including large spreadsheets, he's clearly way, way off base.
"Looking at my own desktop, it has been pending updates for about four months now, even though I know full well how important patching is.:"
It was better in the old days when your computer crashed several times a week, relieving you of the necessity of pressing the Restart button....
And by the way, don't you love the apps that tell you you need to upgrade only when you open them to use them?
I agree with those who say it looks too hard to hold and with those who point out that it's too big to put into a pocket. If I have to carry it in a bag, I'd rather have a tablet, so no good for me, unfortunately.
If they had only made it about 30% larger and kept the large keyboard and square screen, it would have made a great tablet. And as for those who buy note-size phones and keep them in a large wallet, as one responder alleged, where do they put the large wallet?
On the other hand, this may be a good solution for women who are never without a purse but don't need a larger tablet.
Hey, regarding how you'll feel about the touch screen 20 years from now, I'd say don't worry. In 20 years, people will be producing "retro" Tesla-S control software so that your new car or spaceship or whatever it is will look and feel like a Tesla S. Of course, 10 years from now, it will feel embarrassingly antiquated. May you live a long life.
When my master was a grad student in chemistry in the '70s, his advisor once asked him which is better: adding tea to milk or milk to tea. He had no idea. The advisor said, "You should always add milk to tea, because then the tea will heat the milk up immediately and if the milk is just beginning to go bad, the proteins will denature and curdle. You will know it right away. If you add tea to milk, this may not happen and you could unwittingly wind up with a sour cup of tea." So the Royal Whoever They Are are in the unenviable position of being wrong for the right reason. And Orwell is of course sound on the subjects of strength and sugar. Let us drink to him -- tea, or something stronger.
i'm only a dog, but this infographic looks pretty good to me. The question i would have, though, is how the list of "hurdles" was created. In His company (my owner's that is), provision of applications directly to the end user via virtualization has been impeded by poor performance of the virtualized applications, especially in IO, and has been abandoned. However, virtualization of back-end services has been successful. It seems strange that the above hurdle was not presented as an option to the respondents.
That Wikipedia table is for computers visible from the internet. The next table down in the article is for servers sold through commercial channels. Windows is way ahead of Linux here. Dont' forget that this second category includes servers whose only function is to serve hoards of workers with Windows desktops... so they run Exchange, various Windows services and, these days, slews of VMs.
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020