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Curmudgeon

By Bob G Beechey ·
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Language Upgrade - 10 things

by Bob G Beechey In reply to Curmudgeon

<p>As a curmudgeon, I have fixed prejudices as can be seen in my blog <a href="http://prejudicecity.blogspot.com/">http://prejudicecity.blogspot.com/</a> .</p>
<p>Apart from hatred of the inventor of the plastic fork, my prejudices extend mainly to:</p>
<ul>
<li>Sloppy uneducated English in technical and IT-related forums</li>
<li>Thoughtless repetion of tired jokes</li>
<li>Thought avoided repetition of religious beliefs eg favourite OS, web browser or programming language</li></ul>
<p>As my first blog on these curmudgeonly matters let me assist all Tech Republic posters to a language upgrade:</p>
<ol>
<li>The plural of <strong>virus</strong> is <strong>viruses </strong>and not, repeat not, <strong>viri </strong>or the utterly ignorant <strong>virii</strong>.</li>
<li>The singular of <strong>criteria </strong>is <strong>criterion</strong>.</li>
<li>The singular of <strong>phenomena </strong>is <strong>phenomenon</strong>.</li>
<li>There is an apostrophe in "Your a moron" which sholud be "You're a moron".</li>
<li>Never write "Here Here" when you mean "Hear Hear"</li>
<li>Never write "To little to late" when you mean "Too little too late".</li>
<li>Re-using the noun "leverage" as a verb should never have been allowed to happen. but the new use of the verb "disconnect" as a noun is evocative, poetic and utterly brilliant.</li></ol>
<p>Please add 8, 9 and 10 to this list.</p>

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Is Apple REALLY better value?

by Bob G Beechey In reply to Curmudgeon

<p>Every time somebody mentions vista, OSX fans come out and say it is only an OSX copy. Every time someone mentions the higher cost of Apples, the fans mention the higher quality. Can anyone give me the facts?I am a Windows XP user in the main but here are my own Apple experiences over many years.</p>
<p>1. I first started teaching computers in a secondary school in the 80s. The keyboards had a short life and needed constant replacement. Other than that they did a good job - but for really interesting stuff we needed a Z80 card.</p>
<p>2. The first time I saw a Lisa demonstrated, it seemed very cool.</p>
<p>3. The first Macs had inadequate RAM and introduced desktop publishing to the masses (unfortunately it was REALLY ugly).</p>
<p>4. When I was managing the IT budget in another small school in the 90s, the Art teacher persuaded me to talk the Board into buying a G3 to use with Photoshop and Premiere. At the time it cost NZ$8000 (for which price I could buy THREE locally assembled PCs). Inevitably, the amount of RAM supplied was totally inadequate for the job and I had to budget two overpriced RAM upgrades and an OS upgrade.When we got into digital cameras, the PCs could handle having multiple photos in memory at once - the Mac constantly froze. I spent more time maintaining the one Mac than a whole network of PCs.</p>
<p>5. When the I-Macs came out and I-Movie reached v2 this was seriously student-friendly stuff at a reasonable price. I bought into this without hesitation. Having got rid of AppleWorks and other rubbish software that wasted valueable disc space it proved to be a real educational advantage. Pity it could not be connected to bog-standard musical keyboards as easily as a PC.</p>
<p>6. Whenever, I have to use powerful Macs these days, I am not comfortable with them and find much of the interface counter-intuitive but I guess that is just me!</p>
<p>In sum, I have found Apple hardware has got steadily more reliable and better value for money - although the interface is irritating.</p>
<p>Now, the question - now Macs are an Intel platform:</p>
<p>Give me fFACTS if you think the Mac hardware is as good or better value for money than abn equally capable Windows box. No fanboy raving please.</p>
<p>What is so good about the current OS? Why should anyone use it rather than XP or Vista? Facts please - no security raves.</p>

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Is Apple REALLY better value?

by clarnT In reply to Is Apple REALLY better va ...

Hi.? I will try and persude you to take a new look at Mac without the hype.<div>I've been a PC user for over twenty years now and avoided Apples like the plague for nearly that long, so I think I can make a claim to being non-biased.</div><div><div>First, your points? 1 through 5 are not relevant in this century.? Macs are now powered by a real operating system that has been in development in one flavor or another since 1969.? That's about 15 years longer than XP.? It's underpinnings of *NIX (BSD) makes it very stable and works very well with other computers because of the standard protocols? it uses to communicate with the rest of the world.</div><div><div>A Mac running OS X can connect to a Unix network, Windows network, and old AppleTalk network, a Linux network running Samba, or Network File System (NFS) or all of them at the same time right out of the box.? It just works.</div><div><div>I take care of a small department of mostly PC's running Windows XP.? I run Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.? All of my troubles come from the Windows machines with few exceptions.? And the most troublesome area is software installation.? Compared to the bad old days of DOS software install on a XP machine is cake, but it can still fall apart especially if the registry gets mangled.? Installation of software on a Mac is simpler than simple.? Open the disk image, drag it to the application folder and double click....it's running.? It just works.? As a tech person I believe computers should be toaster simple for people and right now Apples are as close to a toaster as possible.</div><div><div>On the other hand, being a tech person I want to be able to see how things work so when they don't I'll be able to fix the problem.? If you've ever had to mess with the registry in windows you know the nightmare of trying to find just the right key to change.? It very often comes down to reinastalling the operating system rather than mucking about in the registry for countless hours.</div><div><div>In OS X I can see config files.? I can see log files that show how things were installed.? I can see .plist files, and edit them if need be.? It's just simpler.? Of course Vista is moving to the XML schema for configuration, I'm just saying it's here in Macs.</div><div><div>I've been using a Mac now since 2003 and I haven't had any reason to use a PC except? to keep my skill set up to date so I can still service my clients Windows woes.? And now there's "Boot Camp" so you can have your Mac and PC too.? It's not the hardware that makes todays Macs so good, it's the operating system.? If you were looking at the old OS 9 and earlier OS's forget them.? OS X is what Vista will be.</div>

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Is Apple REALLY better value?

by Bob G Beechey In reply to Is Apple REALLY better va ...

<p>Thanks tennisc@... for your answer. </p>
<p>I agree that the registry is a downer compared with INI of CFG or CONFIG files. Management by network administratorrs have an easier job with these human readable text files. Perhaps a future with XML configuration files will bring back this convenience but with even greater power. Registry bloat and registry orpans are the worst features of recent Windows versions. Also, the use of XML manifests will also rid us of all those awful GUIDs.</p>
<p>I will also give you ease of installation generally. The fact that OSX is a proprietary form of FreeBSD - is that what makes it "in development since 1969"? What I am more concerned with is interface. Both Microsoft and Apple started work at the same time on this one influenced by the Xerox work (which itself went back to the 60s). Apple took the lead by creating the hardware/firmware to make a practical GUI with the beautiful Lisa and then engineered it down in the first Mac. By contrast Windows 1 running on hardware same-old was, inevitably, rubbish. (It did at least stave off the threat of VisiOn). Windows 3 was very usable and stemmed the rush to Apple to some extent. During this time the best design for a GUi was the Archimedes one running on RiscOs. It used a very functional taskbar as well as using the middle button of a three button mouse to bring up a menu. Windows 95 finally produced a competitor with its task bar andright-click context menus. Suddenly MacOS started to look a bit tired (except to Mac enthusiasts)..</p>
<p>Now, the *nix underpinning and the eye-candy of OSX gives it a certain superiority but as an easy to use GUI is it superior to XP? I have not found it so. certainly, there have been some tools (utilities) that MS have been rushing to imitate but as a user interface? I am usually relieved, for example, to get back to Excel on XP after using it on a Mac. If MS gets it right, Vista will be a dangerous competitor to to Apple. If Apple sold OSX freely so that it could be used on ANY compatible hardware so that, for example, inveterate Windows users like myself were able to spend much more time on it by virtualisation --- maybe it could break us in? convert us? -- now that is something I would like to see!!</p>

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