Ster's Profile

  • Jan 25, 2006
  • 12
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Latest comments made by: Ster

  • For one thing, Microsoft makes more money from OEM sales than they do pre-installs. Actually, you're confusing the terms, Beeblebrox. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM installs are the pre-installs that come with the computer (as well as the install people buy if they're building their own computer). That is contrasted with retail sales -- which is the full price boxed versions you see at the retail stores.
    Ster had this to say on Apr 09, 2006 Posts: 12
    Take the No Windows-Booting Pledge
  • One of the more bizarre Mac user arguments I see bantied around here and elsewhere is that because you pay for an upgrade roughly every year, OS X is more up to date then Windows XP, as though XP is frozen in carbonite unchanged since it hit the shelves in 2001. This can be demonstrated to be false by looking at how WiFi Protected Access (WPA) has been rolled out by each vendor in 2003. With Apple, it was rolled out piecemeal with at first only the brand-new Airport Extreme equipted Macs gaining it (on machine running Cheetah), then later it being rolled into a update for all Airport cards for OS X Panther (and only OS X Panther). To gain that new security feature actually required a $100 upgrade for many. Over in XP land, the only prerequisite for updating to WPA security was having Service Pack 1 installed -- itself being a free update to Windows. That's but one example to how the two companies differ. If Microsoft want to introduce a new programming framework, they don't generally have the luxury for waiting for the next paid release of Windows (because even in the best of times they do upgrades on a 3 year cycle, and this isn't the best of times for them). They introduced the .NET Framework as a new programming framework inbetween OS releases. Also, Microsoft has opted to make many of their Vista frameworks available to Windows XP. Apple, typically holds new frameworks (think CoreData or Spotlight) for their more frequently paid OS updates. That is to say Windows XP today is pretty different than the Windows XP released in 2001.
    Ster had this to say on Jan 25, 2006 Posts: 12
    Upgrading, Why It Hurts To Be A Mac User
  • I'll probably be as wrong on this as I was on the iTunes video store, but I really doubt that there will be movies sold on the net yet -- I say the biggest limiting factor is still bandwidth. I have a 5MB pipe, and the one time (one, just one) time I downloaded a half hour television program, it took about 10 minutes, and this is generally with encoding squeezing it down as small as possible. at a 2:1 ratio, it will take an hour to download a film, and remember, I probably have a connection faster than most of America does (of course its not anywhere near the fastest... for double the price, I could get 15MB down, but even the minimal competition we have here for internet -- Verizon only just started rolling out Fiber Optics here -- isn't doing much to bring prices down or speeds up... and away from the metro areas, the words to know are "dial" and "up".)
    Ster had this to say on Dec 29, 2005 Posts: 12
    What's Coming in 2006
  • Actually, booga is more right about Windows history here, James. Windows NT history started with the seperation of IBM and Microsoft from the OS/2 project with Microsoft deciding that the interface and the APIs developed for Windows 3.1 would be a better direction for the new OS than what they were working on with IBM. From this NT 3.1 was released in 1993, the year following the release of Windows 3.1 From the base of NT 3.1 came 3.5, then 4 then Windows 2000 and XP. Microsoft had wanted to move the consumer OS off the 9x base with 2000, but was unable to until XP. But they've been working on NT for far longer than since 1998. And yeah, delays and reimplimentations aren't solely the provence of Microsoft. OS X was originally due for release in 1999. It didn't arrive for consumers until March 2001. (Yeah, OS X Server 1.0 came out in 1999, but that was more of a quick porting of NextStep). I make that point as that is equal to the two year delay that Vista is suffering (as it was due in 2004).
    Ster had this to say on Dec 13, 2005 Posts: 12
  • Those statistics came from a recently released report from the US Census bureau (I think if you look up "census computer ownership" in google news, you can find a number of articles from mid november with the numbers.) After I posted this, I did immediately think of one group of people who'd be sorta on their first computer -- recent college and high school graduates. These people, while likely having used computers already at home, are more unencumbered in legacy needs than anyone whose out in the workforce already. They're starting their own households, and while they probably at the under $50,000 income strata, more of that is disposable, than say it would be for the working poor. I don't think it is a reasonable thing right now to expect everyone to have their own personal computer (that said, I think a lot of households already have at least 2. I don't have statistics like this on that, but from an eyeball guesstimate, I think most families at about $50,000 has more than one PC), but I think there is growth as kids grow up and move out of home.
  • Playing devil's advocate, those huge high profile virus outbreaks on Windows would never had happened had Windows users followed those same safe computing practices. The Mac web (well, mostly is notorius for spreading that misinformation. Of course that sort of nonsense lead to Wil Shipley posting a Mac OS X virus bounty where the list of restrictions would actually disqualify most every Windows "virus" that made the news. (Particularly the restriction that it had to infect a fully patched system. Virus writers today are notoriously lazy. They don't try to look though all of Windows for vulnerabilities. They wait until either F-Secure of somebody in a security firm makes a proof of concept, or they wait until MS releases a patch, and then do a file-diff to see what was fixed. This generally worked as most Windows users do not like patching their system, and up until SP2, patching their system consisted of actually loading and tying up the browser for several minutes, and a reboot.) People on every side are using security as a kudgel to try to beat the other side, or to shore up their business. Symantec would love for everyone to think that every email has a virus inside of it, and that it can even infect your printer if you print it out. The SANS institute is the same way, as they get publicity every time they release a white paper. quite obviously has a war on against Microsoft and Windows. Now, i will go and state sometimes Apple does drop the ball when it comes to updates, like the update this summer which killed 64-bit applications, or letting some of its open-source found vulerabilities fester months after the OSS community patches it. Right now, that doesn't matter for virus writers are lazy, and they're not going to learn a new programming framework when they can still go after thousands of Windows users still on SP1 and steal their credit cards. It probably won't ever matter, as I think the bad guys are going to move on from attacks on OS vunerabilities to vulnerabilities in remote websites... i.e. compromising banks sites and other places where a username/password stolen can get them at your bank account, social security number, or credit card numbers. This would be their way of future proofing their ill deeds in the time where Windows no longer commands 90% of the desktop.
    Ster had this to say on Nov 30, 2005 Posts: 12
    FUD For Thought
  • I’d have to say that ENGLISH is more of a dying language, what with frequent attempts made at designating a second official language in the US (Spanish) or the complete deviation from the rules and structure - not to mention simple enunciation and proper pronunciation) that is language and allow us to communicate effectively with one another ("ebonics").
    I'm going to have to take issue with everything in this paragraph by monkeesiemonkeedu. I have not seen anyone attempt to designate another language as an official language in America in the past 10 or 15 years. The few times I remember it coming up in Congress was attempts to pass legislation declaring English as the official language -- usually as a grandstanding measure to play to anti-immigrant sentiment. Next up, if you fear for the corruption of the spelling and structure or proper pronunciation of English, you're too late by at least several hundred years. Yes, we pronounce things differently, spell things differently, lost an entire set of declensions and conjugations, and we'ce completely shifted pronunciation from what they were four centuries ago ("The Great Vowel Shift"). None of those things killed English. Unlike most other languages, we don't have some academic body like the Académie française regulating use, and for that we can easily coin new words, or steal words from other languages when needed. Of course there is bad in this arrangement -- we're stuck with the word "blog", for example. Other languages it takes years for the academics to approve words, or in the case of Académie française, reject them for not being "French enough". And finally, "ebonics"... In the case of Ebonics, or African-American Vernacular English (AAVE), the level of misinformation is staggering. No one ever advocated teaching kids ebonics, or even to say that ebonics was on the same level as proper English. Oakland school board politicians were wrong trying to declare Ebonics a separate language, but the idea was that since it has enough idiosyncracies as a dialect (as a sort of bastidization of English with the syntax structure of Creole and some west African Languages, the remanints from 200-400 years ago when the African slaves in the country had to learn the language with little help from their masters). By that matter, 'ebonics' is pretty much like the pidgeon language people first speak when learning a new language by immersion, when they can get the words, but not the structure or syntax.
    Ster had this to say on Nov 30, 2005 Posts: 12
    Apple Afraid to Compete on the Hardware Side?
  • It’s stupid to think that everybody who goes to buy a new computer already has one. And all those people going to buy a brand new computer are never made aware of Macs, which is the point being made here. Why so? OK, not everybody who is buying a computer today has owned on before, but what percentage out there would you think has never owned a computer before? I just found a piece online stating that the US Census found that 61% of households own at least one computer. That's a very high percentage right there. OK, I know what you're saying -- there's almost 40% of households that are computerless. However, that's probably the group that will be least likely to get a Mac because it is more expensive. The rate of computer ownership increases as income increases. 95% of households making at least $100,000 own a computer, whereas only 41% of households making $25,000 or less owns a computer. (Though that is higer than I would have expected.) Now, if you're making $25,000 it will not be easy to shell out the $1,300 for an iMac, $1,000 for an iBook. Heck, if you had to choose between the Mini at $500 (without screen, or keyboard or mouse) or roughly the same amout for an eMachine with all of that, then I think the choice has already been made.
  • "I’ve told you before ‘brox quit misusing quotation marks!" You know, I don't come here very often (I think I've only posted 4 comments here), but even in such a long span, I see MacGlee accusing Beeb of misusing quotation marks. MacGlee, you do realize that quotation marks can be used for purposes other than quotation, right? They are very often used to emphasize a phrase (especially places like here when you can't usee boldface or italics), denote ironic use ("Air Quotes" as you will), or to set off a title of a story (again, especially if you can't use italics or underline). I figured it was obvious Beeb was using the quotes in the first manner, as emphasis -- though you can make an argument he was using it in the manner of a fictional title of a fictional class of articles: "Microsoft Sucks at Everything".
    Ster had this to say on Sep 20, 2005 Posts: 12
    7 Flavors of Pain
  • No, MacGlee, that exact phrase wasn't in the article, but Chris Howard noted that "many people believe the Mac has made them more creative" and wondered if it was true, or if it was just the outlook brought to the table.
    Ster had this to say on Sep 02, 2005 Posts: 12
    Did the Mac Make Me?
  • I take it that you missed yesterday's feature article, "Should the Mac Zealots Just Shut Up". Seriously, I can't believe you've only just now discovered that people do not respond well to jerks. You get mad at the thought that people call your computer and OS the "Fisher Price computer", yet you pretty much say the exact same things to people using Windows. (Yes, I'm looking at "What Type of Windows Weenie are You", and no, the title doesn't compare with "What Type of Mac-Head Are You.") The instant you call someone stupid, or treat them with the condesention reserved for the toddler who can't tie his shoe -- which you do when it comes to Windows users -- they will become defensive, and stop considering anything you might have to say.
    Ster had this to say on Aug 05, 2005 Posts: 12
    Take It With A Grain of Salt
  • Oh come now, Norsk. FileVault is NOT "full volume encryption". From Apple themselves... "At home and away, keep your valuable documents safe with powerful AES-128 encryption. FileVault automatically encrypts and decrypts the contents of your *home directory* on the fly." Your home directory is not full volume... and how it works on OS X couldn't be... As to the actual article, there's just too much in here that's downright inaccurate (No desktop search?!!) or overexaggerated. Anyway, the prescriptions in here would actually kill Microsoft quicker than the things you claim would kill MS now. If Microsoft dumped its codebase in the ocean to rebuild Windows from scratch, you'd wouldn't see Longhorn released until 2010, (remember Netscape!) and not a single person would buy it. People are going to want to run their existing applications on Windows, and they won't go anywhere if this ability is compromised in anyway. There's already issues with WinXP 64bit Edition because it can't run 16 bit programs (which many installers are built as, even though they're installing 32 bit apps). Oh, speaking of that, I believe MS-DOS programs are 16-bit. (I bring this up only because Norsk says MS DOS is still in Windows... I guess Microsoft developed the first version of DOS that can't run DOS). Anyway, long-story short, I think the analysis in this article is simply wrong.
    Ster had this to say on Jul 03, 2005 Posts: 12
    How Microsoft Will Die