Archive for Stupid

#boycottapple

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.

DUH.

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.

A Linux User’s Day with a Mac

Oh $#!+.

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!

Linux User

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

So, here’s where I tell you all about my experience. To put it as plainly as I can, it sucked.

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.

Second, Exposé.

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?

Third, Spaces.

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.

That’s what I found most about OSX. Missing functionality. Chances as making a good interface missed. In closing, I want to show you something. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Conclusion.

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.

Screw those Arrogant Linux Using Jerks

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.

 

Windows for Gaming

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.

You can’t do that on Linux

The Stupid Overwelms Me

Today I read what I can only say is the most stupid explanation for why people choose Windows over Linux (or Mac for that matter). I couldn’t even think of a response.

Its like this question – if you take a baby girl and a baby boy and place them on a deserted island with just food and water, would they know how to reproduce. The answer is yes they will because it is part of human nature and is natural. As is Windows is natural to a PC. Linux and OS X no matter how good they are, just aren’t a natural choice.

I don’t usually dedicate a whole post to something like this, but the sheer magnitude of the stupid demands it.