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Computer Compatibility Debate

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Doc
    I love everything it does. I also find it to be far more intuitive than any version of Windows I've used lately. I also understand that familiarity plays a part in this, but I have never had to work hard to figure out any part of my operating system.
    Windows has a major problem: their interface is looking like either:

    a) an aging corporate rat maze
    b) a Teletubbies photo album

    Mac will have similiar problems with their interface in the future, however, if asked to bet which company will have a great interface in the future, I'd put my money on Apple.

    MSN, Hotmail and MSNBC all have the same Prodigy-esque interface problem.
    Infinite complexity according to simple rules.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by David Mosley
      Microsoft has never been an innovative company. Who remembers Bill Gates dismissing the Internet as the future of IT about two years before it suddenly took off big time? Likewise, MS-DOS wasn't something that Gates knocked up in his garage - he bought it from someone else (who knocked it up in their garage) when Microsoft were bidding for IBM's OS tender and he needed an OS to demonstrate. That was called QDOS - Quick and Dirty Operating System. What Microsoft appear to have understood better than Apple is marketing.
      BG: "Psst. Grandma, don't sell your stocks."
      GM: "What's this Internets thing?"
      BG: "It's like Prodigy."
      GM: "I feel comforable again."

      Windows is destined to be relegated to emulator-ville.
      Infinite complexity according to simple rules.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Jules
        The XBox 360 looks pretty much like a piece of hardware to me!
        Dell bet on hardware. Apple bet on a platform.

        . . .
        >I know that Windows has a
        >media center now, but it seems like they are playing catch-up.

        Windows Media centre is actually a more functional piece of software than Apple's Front Row by a long way, but it is also a useful demonstration in the philosophical differences between the two firms. The Apple remote control uses the same click-wheel / 5-button interface as the iPod. A typical Media Centre PC remote control has over 20 buttons.

        There is a great quote describing Microsoft's software engineers - 'They've never seen a feature they don't like'.
        In a way Apple bet on all three.

        The new MacBook had me looking at movie trailers with a remote control, 3 minutes after the system was updated after I took it out of the box. Microsoft's relationships with partnert and vendors are so ruthless and convuluted they will never be able to deliver content the way you can with Apple. Case in point, iPod. You've got Apple's future advertising delivery system in your pocket right now. Microsoft's media center is Web TV's grandchild and I predict the inroads they have made into Comcast's set top box has thoroughly killed off Microsoft's ambitions to control content over cable. MSNBC's cable channel is so thoroughly pwned by partners that it's unwatchable. Microsoft's focus wasn't on software and technology, it was on selling bits.
        Infinite complexity according to simple rules.

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        • #34
          Reinart
          >>From another point of view, it is a bad thing. It is a bit like the world >>settling on English as the dominant language - there is a gain in
          >> everyone being able to understand each other, but something important >>is also lost.
          >I disagree here, because Apple doesn't have a mononpoly,
          >despite it's trifecta.

          Perhaps I wasn't clear enough, but I was referring specifically to the domination of the Intel (and clone) CPU. The innovation is constrained by what will work with that instruction set. The 'Endian' argument is over!

          You are right about mobiles, games consoles, etc though; there is still room for new chips there, where there is little need for backward compatibility.

          >Neither are going to matter in the future. Google has seen
          >to that. Consider GMAIL.
          You should see our next generation web apps - they look like OS X but runs inside a browser window. The interest has been crazy (developed using Adobe Flex if you're interested, you can get the SDK for free).
          www.gliffy.com is another impressive one.

          What I will say is that these are web applications; they run like applications on mid-80s computers - self-contained. It is an improvement on the 1970s fill in fields / press submit key of earlier web applications, but we are still not even at the level of sophistication of the Commodore Amiga, although things look slicker. Getting them to work together will mean adopting a common framework across lots of applications, which will be interesting to see.

          Of course this is probably good enough for most people. It is probably only a very small percentage of computer users who really work with several applications at once, or use macro scripts to automate tasks. And as we know, 'good enough' is good enough.

          The only other things is that I wonder is anyone can make a business out of them - other than 'Build App. Get big user-base. Sell to Yahoo'.

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          • #35
            Linux

            Seeing as we've done Apple to death, anyone running Linux out there?
            If so what distribution are you using, and what apps would you advise the inquisitive to check out?

            (Eclipse isn't really going to rock the world of people who don't code!).

            I think Ubuntu is looking a really promising project (I've actually looked more at Edubuntu) but I'm still finding it missing the applications that would make it a no-brainer for schools to use.


            (On a more amusing note - my wife and I have - for different reasons - been looking at courses through the Open University. It's a distant learning University that has been around for a few decades. Their course requirements now state that you need a Windows PC for course software. So much for 'Open'. In the days before computers it was literally so - books or tapes. I also can't believe in this day and age anyone is developing educational software that isn't mostly web based (whether that is web pages or using Quicktime / Flash plugins).

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Jules
              (On a more amusing note - my wife and I have - for different reasons - been looking at courses through the Open University. It's a distant learning University that has been around for a few decades. Their course requirements now state that you need a Windows PC for course software. So much for 'Open'. In the days before computers it was literally so - books or tapes.
              Yeah, but you still needed a standard TV and/or radio if you wanted to listen to their broadcasts...

              Back in the early 90's the OU ran a Postgraduate Certificate of Education where you got the loan of a Mac which was then donated to the school where you did your teaching practice, so they have done stuff on other platforms.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by EverKing
                One thing to remember about the backwards compatability of WinXP, is that in order to utilize this you have to be a member of the Local Administrators or Power Users Groups. The two groups are the only ones that, by default, have permissions to run legacy software. Of course, I'm certain that you can find a tweak to give Users rights to do so by altering Local Computer Policy.
                Another thing to remember about it is that many of your hardware devices will not be available. This seems to be what really ends up obsoleting older business apps - things like POS systems that no longer have printer support tend to go by the wayside.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Jules
                  Seeing as we've done Apple to death, anyone running Linux out there?
                  If so what distribution are you using, and what apps would you advise the inquisitive to check out?
                  I have used Linux on my desktop for years now. I used to run Slackware, and then my own hand built version, but have since started using a Fedora (don't have the time to build my own ver and keep it upto date anymore). Fedora is a nice clean system that comes with most of the packages I need, has a complete development toolchain and is easy to update using yum.

                  As for applications to suggest, it depends on what a person want's to do. You can find alternatives to match nearly all popular titles, and there is usually more and better software when it comes to niche things.

                  I spend 90% of my time at a bash prompt, the only GUI apps I regularly use are Firefox, The GIMP (or Photoshop under WINE or a W2K image under VMWare), Zend Studio and Open Office. Some days I won't even use XWindows, everything I need to do can be done from bash.

                  A while ago a friend of mine who was still using Win2K wanted to upgrade, so as an experiment I installed Fedora on his machine, setup the desktop to make it as 'Windows like' as possible, installed software that catered for all his activities, turned on automatic updates and locked it down so that he couldn't alter any of the core settings. I made an account for him and did not give him the root password. After getting used to the new applications, he has come to like the setup and reckons it is much stabler than his old setup. He does not play games, so this is no trouble and any Windoze programs he 'must' have, I simply install them under Wine and create a shortcut on his desktop (thankfully all his requests so far have operated under Wine).

                  All three systems have their merits no doubt (although M$ offers nothing to me except gaming), and I believe that people should use the right tool for the job. At the moment Linux offers the right tools for the tasks that I perform. I've not used OSX (I think the last I used ws v7), so I cannot really comment on it, while Windoze offers the hand holding that the averge (inexperienced) computer user needs.

                  I believe that no single OS will eventually reign supreme, I think that in the future virtualization and emulation will utilized to a greater extent, and compatability will be less of a problem than now.
                  Last edited by redbeard; 10-17-2006, 12:35 AM.
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