Chad Perrin: SOB

4 August 2009

Ugh, screenshots.

Filed under: inanity,Profession,Writing — apotheon @ 07:03

In my newest TechRepublic article, Use the Firefox password manager, I included eight screenshot images from a total of seven images (I cut one into parts) to illustrate it. This isn’t exactly one of my most intellectually stimulating articles — it’s a howto. It is, however, one of the articles that took the most work to compose and publish.

The problem is screenshots, especially MS Windows screenshots. The process of creating screenshots on MS Windows is several annoying steps long, and a fair bit of work. They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, but I think I’m still paying more than it’s worth, because it’s easier to write a thousand words than to prepare and publish a single screenshot in a TechRepublic article. At least, that’s the case when I have to deal with MS Windows screenshots. I guess it averages out to being as much work as exactly a thousand words when I can use a quick screenshot grabber like scrot on FreeBSD.

I’m exhausted.

8 June 2009

new policy for trolls

Filed under: inanity,Metalog — apotheon @ 10:07

I just figured I’d announce it, make it all official-like:

When I receive a comment from what amounts to a Random Internet Stranger (RIS, because they’re RISible) that goes into moderation here, and that post contributes nothing to any discussion, and is in fact nothing but inflammatory nonsense, I’ll be inclined to delete it. If you have a genuine beef with me, real criticism — even if it’s stupid criticism — I’ll consider approving it rather than deleting it out of moderation without ever letting it see the light of day. If it’s just trollish BS, and you were to bet money on my response, I’d recommend betting on deletion.

This came up because I found some profanity-laden, totally pointless trolling in my comment moderation queue today, and figured I should leave a record of why I deleted it somewhere so that, if the person has something actually meaningful to say, he or she can try to be a bit more reasonable about it.

I have a sneaking suspicion this might just be some spillover from an IRC troll, though.

12 May 2009

Three Questions about the Imminent Failure of Linux

Filed under: Geek,inanity — apotheon @ 12:01

Professional fatuous windbag Preston Galla, in Lenovo: Linux has no future on netbooks, suggests that Windows 7 will be the end of Linux popularity on netbooks. He raises a few issues that prompt me to ask what people use for the basis of their complaints.

Are Linux-based systems somehow incapable of improving?

I’ve long said that Windows 7 may mean the death knell of Linux on netbooks

In case you haven’t been paying attention, Windows 7 isn’t finished yet. It’s still in development. All the things people are saying about what MS Windows 7 can do are based on Microsoft’s promises, and not on a finished system. Do you remember all the great stuff Longhorn was going to do, including a revolutionary new filesystem? Years later, Vista came out (the supposed culmination of more than half a decade of Longhorn development), and it still doesn’t have most of what was promised.

Speaking of filesystems, Microsoft promised a filesystem that didn’t need defragmenting about fifteen years ago! Y’know who has filesystems that don’t need defragmenting? FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, and Linux-based systems all have such filesystems. MS Windows, on the other hand, still doesn’t.

What makes all the promises about Windows 7 any different? Why will these promises come true, be fulfilled, and According To Prophecy bring about the downfall of Linux-based systems on netbooks?

I have a better question, though. Why — if Microsoft Windows 7 is going to improve from its current development state into something capable of drastically cutting into Linux market share on netbooks given the current state of Linux-based systems — can’t Linux-based systems similarly improve to the point where Windows 7 no longer represents a significant leap forward by comparison?

Why do people assume that Windows 7 will be the only OS to offer any improvements when it’s released?

Why is it I can configure the system, but you can’t?

Gralla cites Lenovo’s professional fatuous windbag Matt Kohut, who said:

Linux, even if you’ve got a great distribution and you can argue which one is better or not, still requires a lot more hands-on than somebody who is using Windows.

So, we’ve seen overwhelmingly people wanting to stay with Windows because it just makes more sense: you just take it out of the box and it’s ready to go.

The obvious question that comes to my mind is “What are your people doing wrong, that they can’t configure the system to work ‘out of the box’?”

Nobody (at least, nobody but Microsoft employees and the chronically ignorant) seems to be suggesting that most Linux-based systems and other popular open source Unix-like OSes are incapable of doing the things that MS Windows can do “out of the box”. They just seem to think that, for some reason, Unix-like systems can’t do these things “out of the box”.

Okay, so if they can do these things, but they require configuration — why the hell aren’t they preconfigured? Is there any possible reason that they could not be preconfigured? Why aren’t the vendors preconfiguring them?

Exactly how is software management easier on MS Windows than on Linux?

Ultimately, Preston Gralla’s big complaint about Linux on the netbook is:

Although Linux is generally easy to use these days, upgrading and installing software on it is no easy task.

Whenever I see a statement like that, I have to wonder what they think is necessary to upgrade or install software on open source Unix-like systems, and how exactly they think MS Windows does it better. There’s never any real description of what anyone thinks is better about upgrading and installing software on MS Windows, except in rare cases where someone refers to people needing to know how to compile software. Welcome to the 21st century: compiling software from scratch is not any more of a common requirement on most free Unix-like systems than it is on MS Windows.

The question this kind of complaint prompts me to ask is: Have you used a Linux-based system since 1998?

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