I have to ask, do the people who are fans of Apple think that this new device from Samsung is shamelessly copying Apple again? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.
Archive for Stupid
Sometimes I’m amazed at the culture I live in. It’s usually an amazing bunch of people who want to do nothing more than learn as much as they can and help as many people as possible. Every single one of these people is a geek or one kind or another. I’m usually pretty proud of that, but tonight I watched the video embedded, and I couldn’t help but be embarrassed for the community.
If you haven’t seen the embedded video, watch it first. I wouldn’t want to spoil the ending for you. The video was made by a young woman named Nixie Pixel (I’m sure that’s not her real name, but live with it). Recently at a tech convention type thing she experienced some pretty nasty discrimination. People claiming that she’s not really a geek. She doesn’t really do anything for the community. To those saying this I respectfully reply, “Shut your damn mouth.” I watch her show, and I thoroughly enjoy it.
Confessions of a Teenage Pseudo-Geek
Not all of us grew up being beaten up by the football team with aspirations of living in our parents basements. That’s a stereotype. People love to stereotype people even if they claim they don’t (see, I just stereotyped people). Nixie Pixel isn’t a geek because she has a pretty face and girlie bits? I suppose I wouldn’t qualify as a geek then either.
While I meet the “male” part of the stereotype, most of the rest of my growing up doesn’t sound like a geeks childhood. I played on the front line of my High School football team, both Offense and Defense (American football). Personally, I liked Defense better. It’s much more fun to run over the guy with the ball than to try to keep other people from running over the guy with the ball. I was on the track team too. I threw shot and disc, and placed top 10 in the state. I even swam on the Swim Team. I wasn’t as good swimming, but I made State every year. There were a lot of kids that were worse.
My family got our first computer when I was a Junior in High School. We only got it then because I saved up the money I made Life Guarding and bought it myself. My parents thought that computers were a huge waste of time. They still do actually. I was always the kid running rogue programs on the Commodore 64s in the store when the salespeople turned their backs, but I never had one myself. I only really started to learn about computers after a help desk tech suggested I format my hard drive because the sound didn’t work on that first computer. I took his advice, not understanding that I should back up my software first. It took me over a month to find the right software and drivers to get it back up and running again (there was no Internet at the time). Even after I’d done all that, the sound still didn’t work (turns out I plugged the speakers into the wrong port).
Does this sound like a geek to you?
It does if you remember that being a geek is about what you’re into, rather than what you look like or what your history is. My junior and senior year I spent my lunches in the library or the computer lab learning as much about computers as I could. I remember one day the Quarterback finding me in the computer lab after lunch and giving me this exasperated look as he asked me, “Stone, what are you doing? What do you think is going to take you farther in life? Football, or computers?” The look I gave him must have been telling because he looked honestly surprised. I didn’t even answer him but he still said, “Oh.” After High School, he ended up starting his own business doing computer aided drafting, and he’s doing rather well for himself. I guess he got the point.
What is a Real Geek?
A real geek has nothing to do with what you look like. The definition of “geek” is:
A person with an eccentric devotion to a particular interest: “a computer geek”.
Just because they include “computer geek” in the definition doesn’t mean that computer geeks are the only kind. My brother is an English teacher, and he’s an English and Literature geek. Seriously. My wife is a Biology geek (she has the PhD to prove it). My Dad is a carpentry geek. He’s almost 90 years old, and he still goes out to his shop every day.
A lot of years went by where being a geek was considered a bad thing. Now, that’s changed. It’s rolled over to be a badge of honor. It’s a shame that some of the people who were stamped with the term when they didn’t want it now want to deny it to people who’ve earned it now that it’s not such a stigma.
Personally, I think it’s because of their looks (here’s me stereotyping again). They see a beautiful woman, and they’re taken back to some girl that they never even tried to get rejected by in High School or College. Someone like that can’t possibly be in the Geek Club. That conclusion is stupid, and it lessens the members of this community when you go blabbing that kind of crap where it can be heard by humans.
How about we try to judge people by what’s going on between their ears instead of what’s in their pants and under their shirts?
OK, I’m done now. If you’d like to yell at me and tell me that I’m just not geek enough because I played on the football team, feel free to do so in the comments section below.
So, the Samsung vs. Apple trial started yesterday. I really wanted to pay a lot of attention to this one because it’s being hyped and hyped as this really big deal. So I skimmed the news stories about it, and I diligently read all about it. That lasted all of about 15 minutes before the monotony got the better of me. Two days into it, and I’m already bored out of my mind.
Apple had their opening statements.
Samsung had their opening statements.
Samsung released information to the press that the judge said couldn’t be in the trial.
Apple whined about Samsung releasing information to the press that the judge said couldn’t be in the trial.
Samsung says that the information released was public information.
It’s all the same back and forth. Now Apple is seeking emergency sanctions against Samsung for leaking public information to the press. I don’t get that at all. IT’S PUBLIC INFORMATION. I’m not a lawyer, but how is it that Samsung can be sanctioned for releasing information that is not secret in anyway? If someone is a lawyer who is reading this, please please PLEASE explain this to me in the comments.
I’m not sure how much of this kind of news I can stand. Seriously. It’s like watching a shoving match on a playground. A lot of words, very little action. In the end, someone just might end up with a boo-boo. I say “might” because pretty much everybody knows that no matter what decision is reached, the loser is going to appeal. Apple wins, Samsung appeals. Samsung wins, Apple appeals. Then we get to sit through this same load of crap all over again. If I’m bored of it now, what is it going to be like in 6 months?
First, a brief little anecdote.
This morning my kids drug me out of bed just shy of 9 minutes before my alarm clock was suppose to ring. They were a little rambunctious, so we played a bit before I managed to divert them with breakfast so I could go take a shower. I was ready to go 15 minutes later. Showered, shaved, and dressed. Got the kids in the car was headed off to work. My kids unfortunate timing this morning led me to be a few minutes later than I usually am. I got my first call of the day while I was still in the car. Of course, I told them I’d take care of it as soon as I was in the office as I wasn’t able to take care of it from the car. Of course that’s not entirely true as I could have sshed to the server on my phone and taken care of it, but then I would have had to stop driving. I rolled into the office about a quarter to 8:00.
I planned lunch with my former boss (I’d been reassigned to another department due to some restructuring), but I ended up having to work on something that came up at the last minute, so I grabbed a frozen burrito out of the company fridge and ate at my desk. I finished up work tonight about 8:30 after resolving an issue with a stored proc.
After work, I went for a run. As an aside, I know that many people love to run. I hate it with a fire that burns brighter than a thousand suns. Literally. I do it because if I can force myself to run, there’s not much else in my life that I can’t force myself to do. Over the course of my run, I thought about an issue I’m having at work.
How stupid is this?
I make an OK salary, but it’s sure as heck not enough to warrant a 12 hour day. The thing is, this isn’t an unusual day for me. I’ve talked with other people who are in the same line of work as I am, and it’s not unusual for them either. I’m not the only one pulling this kind of stuff in my office. Not even close.
I was flipping through channels on my radio the other day, and I ran across (involuntarily) that old Dolly Parton song, “9 to 5″. That whole song is complaining about how rough that 9 to 5 job is, but the first thought that crossed my mind was, “Man, I wish I worked 9 to 5.”
What do you think? Are we working too hard, or am I just being a whiny loser? Let me know what you think down in the comments.
A bit of a rant here.
I ran across this graphic on CounterNotions (I only bother to link because this guy has Apple so far up his rectum he’d probably sue me for copyright violation if I didn’t link to him).
This graphic is a perfect example of the thought process of many iFanatics I’ve run across. Ever wonder why so many of them think that Android is a copy of iOS?
For some reason, Windows/Microsoft is now the source of inspiration for anything that has grass. Apple is the source of inspiration for anything that has icons. Google can only be Search.
Does this make any logical or technological sense? No, not even a little. Don’t even bother trying to tell them that.
Just wanted to make a quick note about the #boycottapple thing going on on Google+ and on Twitter. I’ve read several people saying that boycotting Apple is dumb, and that the real problem is with the patent system. To the people pointing out that the patent system is broken I have one thing to say.
We know this people. We’re not stupid. Here’s the issue though.
The patent system is broken for the entire software industry, so why isn’t anybody boycotting EA? Why isn’t anybody boycotting Adobe? Why isn’t anybody boycotting Attachmate?
The answer is easy. EA, Adobe, and Attachmate aren’t acting like assholes. Apple is. Apple is the one going “thermonuclear” on their competitors, and they’re the one using the broken patent system to do it.
Does the Software Patent system need to be fixed? I’d argue that it doesn’t need to be fixed so much as thrown out altogether, but I think we all agree that it’s broken. That’s not the point of the #boycottapple “movement” (if you will). The point is that Apple is being a bad player, and because of their behavior, they should be boycotted.
Several days ago, I was sitting at my desk minding my own business when a received a new email. This is a regular occurrence for me, as I’m sure it is with most people in today’s office workplace. With not even a thought, I open it.
It’s not what you think. I didn’t get a virus or get fired or anything weird. It was a message from our corporate IT department informing me that my computer was due for a “refresh”.
What is a “refresh” you ask? Well, that’s when they take your computer and replace it with a new one. To top it off, I’d been selected to be a part of our Windows 7 pilot program. Our company is finally moving away from Windows XP and upgrading to Windows 7.
My reaction? “Oh $#!+.”
There’s no getting out of this, so I dutifully copy all my files that I hadn’t already stored on the network drive to a location where they will be safe. The IT department wants my computer “First thing in the morning”, so I drop my computer off at 8:00. They inform me that it will be at least 3 hours before my new one is ready.
My choices are now simple. I can either do without a computer for 3+ hours, or I can find a different system to use.
Casting my eye around my department, there is only one computer currently unused. One of our test systems. A Mac.
How bad can it be I ask myself? I used Macs quite a lot back in the 90s, and for a while was the “Mac guy” at the computer shop, fixing people’s broken Macs. Apple has always been renown for it’s ease of use and beauty. It was only for a couple hours. I could handle this!
So, I’m sure anybody reading this is more than aware that my system of preference is Linux. I use Windows at work, but my home system is Linux Mint 12. I’ve made some changes to the default interface, and only use the top bar. I have no bottom bar. Most everything else is fairly stock.
My Thoughts on OSX
First, the dock.
OSX, like Windows, has this stupid bar at the bottom. In the bar are your favorite apps, and running applications. Why should this be on your screen all the time? I know that you can have the stupid thing hide, but every time your mouse approaches that part of your screen, it pops up like some hyperactive chiwawa. It’s as bad as Windows. This is not something that needs to be on the screen all the time. The only time you need to see it is when you’re launching something new, or looking for something that’s already running.
Exposé is actually the perfect solution for switching between applications, it’s it’s limitations in OSX make that impractical. Only applications not minimized show up in Exposé? Not smart. This is a much better way to pick between your windows rather than some nondescript icons where you can’t tell the difference between one terminal window or another. It effectively makes half of the dock completely useless. Why have that half of the dock when the functionality is better represented elsewhere?
What kind of a half-assed hack is this? The functionality has been around in various forms of Unix since the 80s. It’s been improved upon and made very useful, but Apple’s version looks like something straight out of 1988.
Fourth, Exposé and Spaces?
Why the heck have both of them? In Linux Mint, hitting the super key on the keyboard brings up Mint’s Exposé type feature, with the virtual desktops along the right hand side of the monitor. They’re not seperate screens, and Windows can literally be moved from the existing Exposé type view to a completely different virtual space without leaving that screen. One screen, two functions. Apple’s method is straight out of the 90s, if that. It’s ancient, limited, and impractical.
Fifth, Macintosh HD.
On the system that I used, the only icon on the desktop was the Macintosh HD icon. This icon opened up to show your standard file browser type appliation, but what is all this junk inside of it? It takes you to a location that looks like / on a Linux box. Why the heck would you want to go there by default? You need access to your files! When I open Nautilus on my Linux box, it goes to my home directory! MINE. /home/mike. Not some random location with crap that I’m rarely if ever going to want to go to. I mean, “lost+found” and “Library”? What the hell?
Sixth, the Clock.
You’re probably wondering, what could possibly be bad about the clock? It’s a clock for pity’s sake. True, and as a time piece, OSX does very well. What I’m missing is functionality that I use every day in Linux but find sorely missing in OSX. Heck, even Windows does this. When you click on the clock on a Windows 7 box, you get a bigger clock and a calendar, as well as the ability to change your preferences. OSX is missing the calendar completely. On my Linux box, not only do I get a calendar, but on the right, I have a list of all my meetings. Below the meetings, I can open up my actual calendar application! Great functionality in the perfect place. Functionality sorely missing from OSX.
On the left, we see OSX, 10.0. Pristine the day it was launched. On the right, we have OSX, 10.7.3. 10.0 from 2001, 10.7.3 from 2011. A full 10 years difference. What’s changed? There’s a new, cool 3d effect on the dock. Color scheme has changed a bit. Yea, that’s pretty much it. This is the “innovative” OS? Are you shitting me?? Seriously?
Don’t even get me started on this iPad type launcher turd.
So, how does the story end? When all was said and done, I was able to work in OSX. Corporate IT ended up taking 7 hours instead of 3 like I was hoping, so I ended up getting my new Windows 7 computer close to the end of the day. I can say it was with real glee that I ditched OSX to run (RUN I tell you) back to Windows (and that’s saying something). After starting some file transfers to get my personal files back on my hard drive, I gratefully went home, sat down in front of my “ugly”, “hard to use” Linux box and sighed with relief. I hope I don’t have to do that again for many, many years.
I’ve been using Linux now for quite a while. I couldn’t even tell you when I first tried it. I can place a general time around 1997 or 1998. Probably 1997. So, if my math isn’t truly horrible, about 15 years with Linux. During that time, I’ve had many, many computers. I think Linux is amazing and right now, I wouldn’t use anything else, but I can say that it hasn’t always worked perfectly for me. When I’ve had troubles with it, I’ve done what every other person does when they have troubles. First, I Google. Second, I ask friends. Third, I go to the forums. I can’t think of a single negative experience I’ve had in the process.
Over the years, I’ve talked to many different people about Linux. Not all of them are fans. That’s just the way of humans. One thing that I’ve run into with some of the more…. let’s call them “unreasonable” people is the claim that “getting support from the Linux forums is a horrible experience. Linux users are rude, arrogant, condescending, blah blah blah.” Getting support for Linux is a really negative experience for them.
But here’s the trick.
Out of the people that I’ve seen make this claim I know a handful well enough to say, they’re dicks. Absolute assholes. Seeing them claim that the people on the Linux forums are big meanies just makes me wonder. Was the person hanging around the Linux forums just waiting to help out people that need a hand and receives no compensation other than personal satisfaction the rude, arrogant, and condescending one?
If you need to go to the forums and ask a Linux question, that’s fine. Be nice about it. These people aren’t paid to put up with your shit. Try to do a little research before hand and not just wade in expecting them to solve all your problems. If they have questions for you, that’s normal. I can absolutely guarantee you that no matter how much detail you put into your question, you missed something that might be important. If they start out with basic questions, don’t be offended. They deal with a lot of people, and not all of them are computer experts. They don’t know you.
Above all, show some respect. You’re coming to them for help. They don’t need anything from you. If you cop a ‘tude, expect them to ignore your whiny ass. It’s not because they’re rude, or arrogant, or condescending. It’s because you’re being a prick, and if you’re going to be a prick, you can fix your own goddamn problems.
It’s funny. For years, I kept around a Windows partition just so that I could play the few games that still appealed to me.
Back in 2000, I picked up a copy of Unreal Tournament. I’m not even very good at it. Anybody that’s played me in PVP will attest, I’m the human shaped red splotch. Despite that, I really enjoyed playing, and I’ve kept it installed on every computer I’ve owned since up until the last one. It came with Windows 7 on it, and unfortunately, the game just didn’t work anymore. I can understand that. The game is over a decade old, and these things just can’t last forever. Still, I was really disappointed to lose one of my old favorites.
The other game I played was World of Warcraft. I’d never been to much into RPGs, but some coworkers got me into it back in around 2005. I wasn’t in the first round, but I did make my way mostly through vanilla. I finally cancelled my account a couple months back just out of sheer apathy. It’s still a fun game to play, and I think I’ll reup when the next expansion comes out. I just don’t feel like paying to rep grind right now.
I didn’t really have any other games that I was playing other than Fruit Ninja on my Xbox, so the point in having a Windows partition was lost. When I installed Ubuntu 11.10, Windows went the way of the dodo. Good riddance in my book. I’ve since moved to Mint 12, which I really enjoy.
A while back, I thought that I’d try out World of Warcraft in Linux. It was a snap. Didn’t require any special configuration or anything. The game just loaded like a dream in my Linux environment. All the more reason that I’m happy without Windows.
In an odd twist of fate, I ran across my Unreal Tournament game this weekend. The thought crossed my mind that since World of Warcraft worked so well, maybe I could get Unreal Tournament working. It didn’t work in Windows 7, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t work in Linux. So, a brief install later, and some minor messing with WINE configuration to make it run in a Window instead of full screen, I have a working version of Unreal Tournament on my Linux box.
All those years of keeping a Windows partition just to play games were pointless. I can do anything and everything I’ve ever wanted to do on a computer on Linux. I don’t know that I’d recommend my configuration to a real gamer, but to a casual like myself, it turns out that Linux is probably just as good as Windows for gaming.
Now, if more people just knew that.