242 posts • joined 23 Jun 2010
Re: Solitaire has Adverts on Windows 10
Solitaire has displayed adverts for several years on Windows 8 so no change there with 10. A long term experiment from the Sinofsky era of arrogance to see if people will buy into the Windows store. Annoying.
It took 3 months from release for the Android 5.0 update to arrive on my Nexus 7 with little information in the meantime except what I could pick up from anecotal reports of show stopping bugs on forums from those who had received the update. Google themselves were silent on the issues and the exceptionally long delay.
I expect we'll start to find out today how much better or worse Microsoft is performing on their dramatically higher and more varied installed base. I'm not starting to update, not even my test system, today. Will see what reports surface first. At least Microsoft seem to be keen on keeping users better informed on bugs.
I'm using around 20Gb on my 32Gb Nexus 7 (illustrated books, photos, couple of games, music and some video). Imagine I could pare it down to under 16Gb but why should I bother when NAND costs less than $1/Gb retail?
I like to think a new tablet will give 3+ years useful life and can imagine plenty of ways future apps will benefit from greater storage. Given the devices are not expandable, why should I support built in obsolescence aspirations of manufacturers by saving a few quids worth of parts on a £300+ device? I expect (speaking as a developer) we are going to see growth in 1-2Gb apps over next couple of years which will make the 16Gb systems look old fairly quickly.
Re: Maybe...maybe not.
Same here. I like the Nexus 7 and look forward to the Android 5.0 update, the appeal of a stock Android device is we don't need to wait for Samsung or the others to decide whether to offer the update on our devices or delay the release to incorporate crapware.
I'd been looking forward to a 2014 update to the Nexus line so this Nexus 9 is a big disappointment. I prefer a 16:10 or 3:2 display to old-school 4:3 on a larger tablet. But the deal-breaker for me with the 9 is inadequate SSD storage. £399 for 32Gb is expensive for an Android tablet and to move forward from my Nexus 7 I expected to have the option of 64Gb (or a SSD expansion slot). The 64-bit Denver is a great choice for SoC but I can't understand why the entry level remains 16Gb (same as the £200 Nexus 7 2013).
I hope Google recognize how badly the 9 compares with the 7 and move entry level to 32Gb, adding a 64Gb option as should have been done in the first instance. And review pricing.
Re: 4k video editing
Video editing 4K far easier (and much cheaper) dual monitors (4K + whatever) - I've been experimenting with GoPro 4 footage.
All in ones still have their place in consumerland but serious use there's still enough happening with CPU and GPU to want to upgrade a desktop more frequently than monitor so most professional developers will want to avoid the AIO format lock-in.
Apple seem to have grabbed most of the early production runs of 5K panels for iMac so we will have to wait to see what monitor pricing turns out like, I'm guessing ballpark £1000 (Dell have announced 5K but as far as I know no pricing yet - this article speculates $2500 but sounds an unlikely rumour/fud figure). Presumably Apple will refresh their monitor lineup within months too.
Incidentally the reason for 5K (5120x2880) is fact its exactly twice the height of the traditional 1440p display so 2x scaling works nicely.
Yes its a very strange thing to say. If he has worked hard to help reduce discrimination on basis of gender and sexuality that would be a matter of pride but "proud to wear glasses" or whatever makes no sense at all.
Re: Was it just me?
Since the Dr Who Universe continues to move further and further from our own place in the multiverse, yes I'm all for the destruction option. Perhaps that way the Doctor can be encouraged to find his way back to our universe where he lived for the first 8 incarnations.
The notion of a sex-changed Doctor regeneration is such a bad idea. The concept that a strong female character needs to be based on a 2000 year old male is both ludicrous and insulting to women and why, apart from perversity and 'because you have the power to', would you want to introduce such an idea into a series aimed at children and adults?
Incidentally I would very much like to see a female timelord take over as the lead character in the series. Not with the baggage of the history and character of the Doctor himself but an interesting woman in her own right with a different attitude to the role of traveller in space and time. The Doctor needn't die but a long vacation would be a smart move.
Been looking forward to the Nexus 9 so very disappointed no 64Gb storage option, the +$80 for the few dollars worth of SSD to make for the should-be-entry-level 32Gb option, and with no SD slot, its a no go here. Had been expecting to buy one for 64bit Android development but guess that can wait a few months until something more suitable is on the market.
Re: Clearly a droolworthy piece of kit.
Its good to see the 4.5W TDP parts but the Core M-5Y70 (1.1Ghz) is going to offer poor performance compared with Core i5 U series processors so a step backwards for many potential customers using more demanding software than Microsoft Office and such. Not convinced this Core M generation is going to be more than a flash in the pan except where an extra hour or so battery life or a few millimetres thickness is ultra important. Unfortunate the Intel 14nm process delays have pushed OEM roadmaps into 2015 so we aren't seeing what most people would expect of a successor to the Yoga 2 etc. Nice enough machine on face of it but I'm surprised it is being priced as high, guess they are hoping customers won't be aware of the compromised performance.
Windows control app support still missing?
I've a Hero 3 with remote control apps for Android and iOS but still no Windows software release despite the fact that an x64 tablet makes a far better mobile solution for professional video use.
Great device in its way but let down by a poor UI so remote control is virtually essential.
Come on, its only a few weeks dev work surely a billion dollar company should have this sorted already.
chicken or egg?
This summer I was looking for a 17-19" touchscreen monitor - seemed useful to have something portable for demo purposes as well as development. Nothing available at a price compatible with assembly costs.
Apparently manufacturers just aren't making touchscreen monitors nor is anyone marketing them except for specialist purposes such as kiosks.
Its hardly surprising sales are low when they aren't being made for sale to the desktop market, we can't draw any conclusions about whether people would pay +£50 for the touchscreen version of a monitor if they aren't offered the option.
Re: Sounds nice but
A 27" 16:9 has roughly the same height as a 24" 16:10 - if you think of it as a 24" 16:10 with wider fov its actually not too bad (unlike 24" 16:9 which I find forces me too close to the screen for comfortable desktop in turn making graphics look too pixelated at the aging but still popular 1080p resolution).
Indeed, although even a growth to 4:1 translated into the practicing developer space would be a significant step forward on the path to gender equality. != mostly - what a daft headline.
How about banning the 20th century technology stupid looking camera that is the SLR ... such old tech should never be used for photography now image processing lets us work with much smaller lenses.
Re: Just too expensive
The cheapest model with 512Gb storage is £1,649 - add cost of keyboard and its getting into top of the range MacBook Pro territory with much less CPU, RAM, GPU and screen than the Apple competition.
Excellent screen aspect ratio and a neat device IMO but, speaking as a developer, way too expensive to entertain unless your PC requirements are satisfied by a low end model.
Good contract advice.
Re: Not everyone works in an office
Curious why its ok to touch a keyboard but not a screen?
Re: In response to Several posters.
Rather disconcerting to observe the number of commentators who don't understand the difference between ICT and Computing GCSE but don't let that minor fact stop them sharing their wisdom with us.
Re: 3rd Time Lucky for MS?
My experience of video editing on Surface 2 level Core i5 - runs less than 25% performance of my standard 2013 Haswell quad-core i7 desktop - passable for simple edits but not sfx so not ready to replace desktop yet for me.
The Pro 3 doesn't offer improvements CPU-wise over Pro 2 so not worth upgrading for most work, although I'm a big fan of the new 3:2 screen format nice to see Microsoft lead the way for once. I suspect the intention was to launch with broadwell silicon but Intels 6+ month slip spoiled the plan.
Have you seen the price of a 512Gb Surface Pro? Apple territory.
Meanwhile we'll still hear apologists for Apple and Microsoft explain why we only need a pathetic amount of storage on our devices or if we really do need more we should be grateful to be allowed to buy at >4x cost markup.
Re: iPad and tablet photography...
Although I've not yet used a tablet for public photography in a lot of cases it seems to make sense if the camera is good enough. You get to preview what you are shooting far better than peering though some pokey viewfinder or tiny back screen, useful for some shots. Add in software for light metering and other aspects of image analysis and it gets more interesting than the fixed software provided by Canon, Nikon and others.
Looking stupid? We are used to SLR cameras and the huge lenses popular with pro cameras. But if we weren't used to them surely seeing people waving about these ridiculously large objects to take photos would make us laugh. Utter tools would spring to mind far more readily than anything the tablet wielders do.
Re: Surely this is just Microsoft Research under a different name?
Most tech companies do have 'special projects' departments, including Microsoft.
Microsoft Research is a different kettle of fish as an international organization working with academics to explore new ideas without profit-making goals. Occasionally some product oriented work hits the public eye, such as kinect research done at MSR Cambridge. IBM Research used to be more like this but has scaled back (its no longer present in the UK) and become more commercially oriented. Other large companies like Apple, Google and Oracle have nothing similar so in this respect Microsoft should be commended for putting resources into an activity aimed at the public good.
In my experience, Windows 8 is a very usable desktop OS, more versatile and improved over Windows 7. Not sufficiently better that most enterprises should feel in any hurry to go through an upgrade program as has happened in recent years with the move to Windows 7.
Turtle - I'm curious, what is it about Windows 8 that you find unusable?
Certainly introduction of Windows 8 and subsequent marketing has been shambolic and its been like watching paint dry waiting for Microsoft to take the obvious steps needed, technical, licensing etc.
Re: Make it free
Anyone who cares about the presence or absence of the sodding start menu is not a power user by definition, surely. No need to look for powershell or dev tools.
IMO its not a bad name at all. Whats wrong with it? Actually connects with their aspirations (One drive to rule them all). Considering the disaster zone that is Microsoft Marketing normally, I'm surprised they chose such a good name, better than SkyDrive I reckon.
Re: A Mac article with no mention of Xerox or PARC...
I personally wrote a pull down menu implementation in 1977 (PL/1, used a trackball rather than mouse for input, ran on mainframe with 'smart terminal' not PC, but functionally and visually the same). Overlapping (character-based) windows were definitely around by then, probably on bitmapped displays too.
In fact none of the GUI concepts introduced by Apple on Lisa then Mac were new, not by any means just a Xerox PARC thing either. Apple did a fair job at assembling a mass market oriented product a year or two ahead of others working in the area, although at the cost of poor performance to get there early (this approach would be reprised more recently with the iPad 1).
Re: multicast is already here, but 4k is not the answer you were looking for
DisplayPort v1.3 is due later this year - I understand this allows 4K at 120Hz over a cable so a good reason to wait for dust to settle with 4k monitors. Presumably HDMI 2.1 will allow for clearer motion in 4K - anyone know when this might be happening?
Skilled in the art
Unfortunately, the language of patents has been contrived by lawyers to make the text totally unreadable or understandable by everyone actually skilled in the art to which the patent claims purport to apply.
Also, after 30 years in software development, R&D etc. I have yet to meet anyone who has read a software patent in order to find out how to solve a problem.
Agree 'think smaller' is the key and disappointing how lacking in imagination the OEMs have been recent years. HTPC and compact desktops in general have been a neglected market opportunity for ages. Not just great for enthusiasts indeed many businesses could benefit from replacing towers with compact boxes which can start very low cost as don't need screen, battery, and enclosure constraints of laptops.
The new Gigabyte BRIX hardware sounds neat at performance end although I'd personally go for larger than NUC ultra compact to enable thermal management for near silent operation, and ideally faster graphic card option.
Hopefully the interest in Steam Box will encourage OEMs to wake up here. Amazing how many 'desktops' on sale are still pointlessly large tower units.
Yes and a lot of these are not replacements for aging systems that still do the job - this kind of article would be more interesting if it placed the sales figures in the context of the size and composition of the installed base. e.g. what % growth in number of PCs used regularly does this represent? Age profile of PCs in use?
Re: Why the angst about quad-core
Its 2013, not 2003. Most modern PC software is multithreading and takes advantage of multicore. Browsers, developer tools, image and video processing (which often also use a GPU for computation). The other benefit of quad core designs is with well thought out power management they can do at least as well as dual core for power consumption (although I don't know how true that is in practice for Haswell generation or latest AMD).
Re: Thank God it Failed...
OP AC, if you are really a game designer as you claim you should study both consoles more carefully and not take your development input from fanboyism like that 40% headline.
Failed to do what?
Yes the PS4 GPU is more powerful than the XBO equivalent and GDDR4 a better design call by Sony than the ESRAM+DDR4 chosen by Microsoft (in my opinion) and this shows on certain benchmarks and lets us turn out slightly better graphics on PS4 (though realistically neither here nor there in most living room situations). Bottom line for the game developer this hardly translates into a 40% better system. Both are a step forward from their predecessors and let us advance what we can do with our games. Sure I'd like higher performance consoles personally but at least both vendors have chosen a platform design that gives the option of a faster 'pro' version (perhaps in 2-3 years when they do a 14nm process shrink) while maintaining compatibility with released games.
Both consoles offer voice control so your comments about Microsoft just establish you as a partisan, and sorry to have to say this but you do come over as a tinfoil hat.
You can also configure 8.1 to login directly to desktop.
Not exactly fair, all these devices have their strengths and weaknesses.
For instance the Venue 8 Pro has access to the largest ecosystem (Windows applications) including a vast army of open source programs but on the other hand doesn't have quite the range of tablet optimized programs as iOS or Android.
Nexus 7 and iPad Mini retina have great displays and colour quality (although iPad Air does better than Mini for the purist). Venue not so great.
The old iPad Mini and iPad 2 look worst value of the bunch now, couple of years time when all the cool iStore apps require 64bit A7 these will look very sad indeed.
Tho I must admit this resale value we so often hear about is something of a mystery to me, never encountered anyone in real life from this apparently bottomless pit of people prepared to buy generations old technology for a modest discount over the up to date models.
Re: Nice display
The point is to use the same pixel scaling factor as the larger model so as to be able to run apps without need for change software.
Interesting anecdote Nigel but why are you offering them an OS at all? Students and lecturers I know buy their own PC, tablets, whatever. I suspect your group of postgrad students is not at all representative of the real world.
Also curious about the reasons they give for choosing Windows 7 over 8. Apart from a few inconsequential or cosmetic UI differences, Windows 8.1 boot to desktop makes no functional difference to me apart from improved performance.
PC installed base
Yet the installed base of PCs (notebooks and desktops) continues to increase as commercial and consumer users hang onto kit for longer.
Aside from games business its hard to see much in the way of new software around to encourage replacement of even 5 year old machines, one area where Microsoft has definitely dropped the ball.
Re: the keyboard conundrum
No, presumably they wanted both tablet and notebook functionality without having to buy and carry around two devices as is the case with older style mobile PCs.
Remember the days when Apple enthusiasts used to lug around an iPad and a MacBook Air?
the keyboard conundrum
The snag Microsoft faces with Surface 2 is nobody uses them without having a keyboard cover to hand. Even their own advertising emphasises the point. The cheapest 'touch cover 2' option adds £99.99.
So for many consumers faced with iPA vs S2, its an easy choice to take the well known established iPad over a more expensive and unfamiliar Surface package.
Microsoft need to cost reduce the key covers (if expensive to manufacture) or accept lower margins so the Surface 3 with keyboard can compete with iPad without, price to be paid to challenge an incumbent I'm afraid.
Less of a problem with a Surface Mini which should stand as a viable product without keyboard.
Re: Surface Pro 2
I was going by Anandtech, usually a reliable source "Surface Pro 2 also retains the same front and rear facing cameras as its predecessor, both 1.2MP units and it doesn’t get the new 3.5/5MP sensors from Surface 2". Anyone know which is correct?
Re: Surface Pro 2
No. Surface RT actually has very low resolution cameras like the new Surface Pro 2.
I already pointed out the new Surface 2 has 3.5/5 MP, making it much better than the 'Pro' model for imaging applications but not so useful when software is written for x86. Makes no sense to me but if I've missed something, feel free to explain the inexplicable.
For comparison, the Nexus 7 (2013) has 1.2/5MP and last years iPad 4 (2012) has 1.3/5 MP.
Re: Surface Pro 2
Inexplicably, the Surface Pro 2 comes with 1.2 MP front and rear cameras so this £1.5K tablet is probably the most useless tablet over £100 for anyone interested in imaging applications (one area where x86 compatibility is a real boon over ARM right now).
Inexplicable since the Surface 2 has 5MP rear facing camera, 3.5MP front facing starting at £359.
Re: Schools can do better
I disagree. Consider a comprehensive secondary with 2000 pupils and staff. Various devices in the school for educational and admin functions. Thousands more home PCs used by students and thousands more personal phones and portable PCs and tablets in use by members of the school (and parents). Making all this gear work together in a way that supports learning in a pleasing way is very different to the usual SME business situation where separation of home and personal interests and assets from the business dimension is crucial.
An education IT specialist could bring a lot to that party. Sure the wiring and basic hardware may be commodity but the natures of schools and SME businesses are very different.
If RM aren't addressing that wider context with their education offerings then they are missing an opportunity. Doesn't make the notion of education IT specialist pointless.
Re: Windows just has a bunch of overhead
Guessing and betting is all very well but this measurement on Anandtech is interesting, mainly because if its not a benchmark artefact and relates to real usage (which on the face of things it seems to) this implies there's an opportunity to get substantial improvements in common usage scenarios of Windows on x86 hardware, either via software or better hardware or both. Intel must have something they could say on this.
I'm always sceptical about benchmarks until I know they are representative of real world usage. Twenty years ago I discovered a driver from a leading graphics card vendor tricking common benchmarks at the time into the illusion it had twice the pixel fill rate that it actually delivered. I'm not suggesting anything underhand is going on in this instance, just that it is often easy to favour benchmark type scenarios by accident or design.
Re: Ditch Windows, save the planet?
Would be interesting to see your figures on how much better versions of Linux perform on the same hardware for these benchmarks. Couldn't see numbers on Anandtech or codinghorror. What sort of improvements are you seeing?
I set the 8.1 update installing on 3 systems simultaneously (4 year old core i7 and haswell desktops plus a three year old laptop with fairly slow hard drive. No SSD.). Downloading over domestic internet connection. The haswell finished first at 40 minutes and the laptop last after 50 minutes. Guess I must have been lucky hearing these stories of it taking over 2 hours.
I dual boot the 4 year old using Windows 7 half the time so conscious of the Windows 8 performance benefits - nice to see 8.1 improves matters even further.
novels and editing
What Charlie Stross is actually complaining about is the fact the publishing industry has been making increasing use of Microsoft Word formats in document production systems "And they expect me to integrate myself into a Word-centric workflow". Word processing is an open market, there are many alternatives for writers - he mentions Scrivener (recommended).
Most novels I read make precious little use of typography so I'm rather curious what onerous load is placed on Mr Stross by his publishers. A topic he largely ignores in that piece in favour of sharing his personal take on the history of word processors. After all its ever so fashionable to rant against Microsoft and its products.
My own view on word processing is not a million miles from his. Disappointing that alternatives to the Microsoft Word philosophy of word processing (imitated by Libre/OpenOffice) remain in the margins. However "Microsoft Word has to die before we can move on" is pure polemic. More useful if commentators would focus on what can be done to open up the world beyond Microsoft Office and what if any obstacles lie in that road.
Re: Still not enough
Speak for yourself ITF. Most of us have personal preferences or ideas for what constitutes an ideal desktop environment. I don't miss the old start menu or classic application menus everywhere. but don't claim to be a spokesperson for other PC users to promote my preferences.
$350 for a good condition Surface Pro
I'd buy Surface Pro in a heartbeat that price. Neat device, just too expensive and flawed to pay its premium list price unless you really need a good small screen PC/tablet. $350 is a different story.
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