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[#] Fri Jul 14 2017 09:36:50 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Care to share them?  I actually do have the Commodore 64 font loaded on this machine, which I was playing with just for fun.  It's a bitmap font, no special hinting or anything like that, just the original pixels.  Unsurprisingly, it looks beautiful and nostalgic when rendered at the original 8-pixel size, and not very good at any other size.

[#] Fri Jul 14 2017 10:27:01 EDT from kc5tja

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If memory serves me correctly, I got the VT-220 font from .

For the Commodore TTF fonts, check out .

[#] Mon Jul 24 2017 11:03:09 EDT from Freakdog <>

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Wed Jul 12 2017 12:52:51 PM EDT from kc5tja @ Uncensored
Largely because I didn't know of the existance of Crapple/Macintrash. Feel free to move the message as appropriate.

IG...are you willing to share that room?

[#] Mon Jul 24 2017 15:29:05 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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IG...are you willing to share that room?

Already do. It's called "Macintosh" on your system.

[#] Mon Jul 24 2017 16:18:29 EDT from Freakdog <>

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Ah...ok. D'oh!!!

[#] Thu Aug 10 2017 12:05:11 EDT from Ragnar Danneskjold

[Reply] [ReplyQuoted] [Headers] [Print] -tablets-not-recommended-by-consumer-reports/

Silly Microsoft. Can't build an OS, can't build a laptop.

[#] Thu Aug 10 2017 12:41:36 EDT from zooer

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Thu Aug 10 2017 12:05:11 PM EDT from Ragnar Danneskjold @ Uncensored

The space in 'laptops-and tablets' is the bad part of that link.  Good link below.

Consumer Reports is removing its “recommended” designation from four Microsoft laptops and cannot recommend any other Microsoft laptops or tablets because of poor predicted reliability in comparison with most other brands.

To judge reliability, Consumer Reports surveys its subscribers about the products they own and use. New studies conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center estimate that 25 percent of Microsoft laptops and tablets will present their owners with problems by the end of the second year of ownership.

The decision by Consumer Reports applies to Microsoft devices with detachable keyboards, such as the new Surface Pro released in June and the Surface Book, as well as the company’s Surface Laptops with conventional clamshell designs.

The four laptops losing their previous recommended status are the Microsoft Surface Laptop (128GB and 256GB versions) and Microsoft Surface Book (128GB and 512GB versions). Microsoft is relatively new to the hardware business, and this is the first year CR had enough data to estimate predicted reliability for the company’s laptops.

Microsoft’s estimated breakage rate for its laptops and tablets was higher than most other brands’. The differences were statistically significant, which is why Microsoft doesn’t meet CR’s standards for recommended products. The surveys are conducted annually.

Microsoft defended the reliability of its laptops and tablets.

“Microsoft’s real-world return and support rates for past models differ significantly from Consumer Reports’ breakage predictability,” Microsoft said in an emailed statement. “We don’t believe these findings accurately reflect Surface owners’ true experiences or capture the performance and reliability improvements made with every Surface generation.”

What the Numbers Mean

Consumer Reports’ lab testing measures how well a laptop or tablet performs for a range of factors, including display quality, battery life, speed, and ergonomics.

Several Microsoft products have performed well in CR labs, including the new Microsoft Surface Pro, which earned Very Good or Excellent scores in multiple CR tests. Based purely on lab performance, the Surface Pro is highly rated when used either as a tablet or with a keyboard attached.

However, many shoppers care as much about reliability.

“Consumers tell us that reliability is a major factor when they’re choosing a tablet or laptop,” says Simon Slater, Consumer Reports' survey manager. “And people can improve their chances of getting a more dependable device by considering our brand reliability findings.”

To get at reliability, the Consumer Reports National Research Center surveys our subscribers regularly. There are millions of these folks, and many of them supply us with information on hundreds of thousands of individual products, including everything from pickup trucks to washing machines.

A number of survey respondents said they experienced problems with their devices during startup. A few commented that their machines froze or shut down unexpectedly, and several others told CR that the touch screens weren’t responsive enough.

The new studies of laptop and tablet reliability leverage data on 90,741 tablets and laptops that subscribers bought new between 2014 and the beginning of 2017. Predicted reliability is a projection of how new models from each brand will fare, based on data from models already in users’ hands.


[#] Sun Aug 13 2017 14:53:19 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Silly Microsoft. Can't build an OS, can't build a laptop.

The people I see with Surface laptops are the ones who wanted it as a status symbol. They appear to have a decent power/weight ratio, but with the accompanying price tag. High maintenance laptops for high maintenance people :)

[#] Mon Aug 14 2017 14:35:11 EDT from Ragnar Danneskjold

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I bought one, much for the same reason I bought a Samsung tablet - see what the fuss is about.

Not impressed. My Dell laptop is just as light, uses USB-C power and I can actually sit in a chair and type on it.

The handwriting recognition on the Surface sucks, and the power supply connection is abysmal.


[#] Tue Aug 15 2017 12:04:31 EDT from fleeb

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I used a Surface Book for the six months I didn't have access to my desktop.

It worked okay, but Microsoft keeps pushing updates that break it, then an update the fixes what they broke, possibly breaking something else.

It'd be a pretty powerful machine, if only the underlying OS didn't keep breaking.

Current problem that MS doesn't recognize as a problem: Skype for Business doesn't recognize the on-board microphone. It's stuck in this weird mode where you plug in a microphone, and then it'll use your onboard microphone, but not the one you plugged in. Basically, if I want to use Skype for Business on my laptop while I'm away, I have to plug in an arbitrary microphone so it'll work (work with the onboard microphone, at least).

I can say, with experience, that Consumer Reports is spot on in not recommending this awful device, although I suspect it's more about Microsoft's updates than the device itself, as it seems to work better if it never sees a network.

[#] Mon Aug 21 2017 18:55:37 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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So let's set aside the problems with this particular model and review the form factor itself. It's been a while since we've done this.

1. Does anyone actually want a device that can convert between a tablet and a notebook? On my non-touch ultrabook I am never finding myself wishing I could touch something on the screen to interact with it. I'm never wishing I could rip the screen off and use it as a tablet, either.

2. Does handwriting recognition matter anymore? Seriously ... think about it. Inputting text with a stylus was a big deal around the turn of the century.
Just now, I put a capped pen down to my desk to see how much of the Palm Pilot "graffiti" alphabet I could remember. I think I got nearly all of it.
But in 2017 everyone's got a smartphone. Apple was the first (see, I can be fair) to produce a truly usable onscreen keyboard, and they've just gotten better from that point on, between the ones that let you doodle over the keys and it guesses what you were trying to type, to good autocorrection (even though it's the butt of every joke, it's still remarkable) ... does anyone have a desire to handwrite on their screen anymore?

[#] Wed Aug 23 2017 12:24:29 EDT from Ragnar Danneskjold

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There are a few times where it comes in handy - drawing a network diagram you want to save, etc. But for the most part? Nope.

The keyboards for the Surface and Samsung suck... The Apple's sucks a tiny bit less. The only time a keyboard is useful on a tablet is for a LONG email.
Otherwise, meh.

My Dell is the same thickness as the Surface. I could have gotten it with a touch screen, but I opted for the higher resolution model instead. Form factor wise it's nearly perfect for my needs.

[#] Fri Aug 25 2017 20:12:30 EDT from fleeb

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Sometimes, it's nice to ditch the keyboard and just hold a tablet. Primarily if I'm consuming media, moreso than trying to do any serious work.

Handwriting. Heh. Yeah, right. I'm far faster with a keyboard, and more comfortable typing than writing... so no thanks.

But... the pen is pressure-sensitive, so with the right tools, you can draw with it, which is rather nice if you have an artistic bone in your body.

[#] Sun Aug 27 2017 21:57:11 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Sometimes I think about putting a cheap webcam on a stand and pointing it at the desk for the times I want to sketch something out for others on a call.  I've never seen a whiteboarding tool that I liked, not on a regular computer, not on a tablet.  Just too chunky/clunky.

[#] Mon Aug 28 2017 16:54:20 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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And now for something completely different.

It just occurred to me ... a lot of IT people standardize on changing the CDROM's drive letter from D: to Z: on Windoze servers, so that disk volumes can go C-D-E-F-etc. ... why haven't we just been making the CDROM drive B: for the last ten years? No machine will ever have two floppy drives again.

Bill Gates is such a horrible person.

[#] Wed Aug 30 2017 11:12:32 EDT from Ladyhawke

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Sun Aug 27 2017 09:57:11 PM EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

Sometimes I think about putting a cheap webcam on a stand and pointing it at the desk for the times I want to sketch something out for others on a call.  I've never seen a whiteboarding tool that I liked, not on a regular computer, not on a tablet.  Just too chunky/clunky.

IGgy, Try Mural:


[#] Tue Sep 12 2017 15:12:42 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Well this is fun.

[ ]

Windows Subsystem for Linux is now going to be available on Windows Server.

It's not "currently" possible to use it to run server software as background services, but it's pretty obvious that this is where they're going with it.
As I've suggested before, I think they are aiming to be able to run Linux-based Docker containers natively on Windows Server without any "helper" VM in place.

The conventional wisdom was that "every operating system eventually turns into Unix" but now Linux basically *is* Unix. Solaris appears to be bound for the legacy scrap heap, and even the mighty Windows is now becoming a Linux distribution, albeit in a roundabout way.

Micro$oft still does some extremely evil stuff, but they're certainly not what they used to be. And of course Bill Gates still deserves to be fed feet-first into a wood chipper.

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 12:00:31 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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<Nelson> HA-HA! </Nelson>

Microsoft is now admitting that Windoze Phoen is basically on life support at this point.  They seem willing to admit that nobody likes it, nobody wants it, and we shouldn't expect anything more than security patches now.

Microsoft has learned with mobile what Linux users already knew at the desktop: it's really hard to establish a third platform when the market is already saturated by two entrenched players.  They're stuck in the same chicken-and-egg conundrum: no one wants to write software for a platform with few users, and no one wants to use a platform that has few software choices.  Microsoft even tried paying developers to write apps, but it still wasn't enough.

Read more at [ ]

Now can we please get rid of the "start screen" and all of the other crap that doesn't make sense on computers with keyboards and mice, where 99.99% of Windows installations live?

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 15:52:12 EDT from fleeb

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When even Gates comes out as saying he prefers Android...

[#] Tue Oct 10 2017 12:52:22 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Apparently it's a big deal this week in the trade press to talk about the imminent death of Windows Mobile. Although the product has not "officially" been shelved, it has come to light that it isn't receiving any updates other than security bugfixes now. We've also discovered that Satya Nadella was opposed to the purchase of Nokia's mobile handset business, back when Monkey Boy was still running the show.

There's a bigger picture to look at, though, and it's one we've been painting here for a little while now. It seems that we have finally exited the era where Microsoft could arrive late to a market and dominate it anyway simply by leveraging their other monopolies. As was pointed out by Michael Allison of The Register, "it was inconceivable that Microsoft would be unable to similarly dominate the mobile market." But unable they were.

And that's a good thing. I can live in a world where Microsoft are simply the Windows and Office people. I'm even ok using those products now because it doesn't feel like a slippery slope into a Microsoft-everything dystopia across all parts of the computing landscape.
(It also doesn't hurt that after a beta test period of almost 25 years, Windows finally became usable on 2009-oct-22.)

They seem to realize this too. Microsoft products available on Android and iOS prove that at some level they have realized they're not going to establish a monopoly across all areas of computing everywhere.

Don't get me wrong; I still wish Ultimate Suffering upon Gates and Ballmer.
But at least we can relax now.

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