Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Windows 7: Actually Not Bad

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  • Sacha,

    Apologies to all concerned.

    Got the whisky focus right. However, I'm sure Emma would be less stern and more saucy on the telly.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Some think Win7 may be a little bloated

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Tony, best free text editor (coding and text manipulation)- TextWrangler. I tend to use the (paid) TextMate for coding, but will still revert back to TextWrangler for massaging data files. Also related I'd mention Schnippselchen Pro, a free code snippets manager.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Zach Bagnall,

    Oh man, just connected to the 24" panel for the first time :love:
    I think I made the right choice.

    Colorado • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    81st now ponders whether he should 'fess up to rather looking forwards to OpenSuse 11.2 RC1 with KDE 4.3 hmmmm.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol,

    Starving kids in Africa? Windows 7!

    You know that Bill Gates is one of the greatest philanthropist of all time, right? (And I could probably argue the very greatest, considering that the only man who has given more than him, gave to his foundation.)

    Or maybe you were kidding.

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    I am also amused by the new Mini server

    Was discussing this one with a colleague yesterday. We concurred that, if one were to dabble with such a thing, one would very definitely want the three-year warranty. And a religiously-followed backup regime. Hard drives are not fond of heat, and two drives stuffed into a Mac Mini case is a recipe for death.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Or maybe you were kidding

    Voices From Africa – African Farmers And Environmentalists Speak Out Against A New Green Revolution In Africa. Edited by Anuradha Mittal with Melissa Moore. Published March 2009. 40 pages [PDF]

    A New Green Revolution for Africa? – “This paper aims to describe what a Green Revolution really signifies, why such projects haven’t worked before and why AGRA won’t work either, in order to help people trying to take positions at the local, national and regional levels.” Written by GRAIN, published November 2007. 7 pages [PDF]

    Unmasking the New Green Revolution in Africa: Motives, Players, and Dynamics – by Elenita c. Daño. 67 pages [PDF]

    How Healthy for Africans is the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)? – by Prof. Carol Thompson, Northern Arizona University. 3 pages [PDF]

    Ten Reasons Why the Rockefeller and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations’ Alliance for Another Green Revolution Will Not Solve the Problems of Poverty and Hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa – Food First Policy Brief No. 12, by Eric Holt-Gimenez, Ph.D., Miguel A. Altieri, Ph.D., and Peter Rosset, Ph.D., published October 2006. 11 pages [PDF]

    What’s Behind the Global Food Crisis? How Trade Policy Undermined Africa’s Food Self-Sufficiency
    by Food and Water Watch, July 2008. 16 pages [PDF]


    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol,

    144 pages of PDF dump? Are you serious?

    Ok, so a quick skim, I'll (glibly) sum it up thus:
    1. Call AGRA bad.
    2. ???
    3. Feed Africa.

    I'm pretty sure that step 2 has something to do with feeding starving children delicious organic tall poppies. I've heard they're really moreish. (High opium content?)

    If some of the programs the Gates Foundation are involved with don't have universal support that's a shortcoming. It'd be nice if they did. But sometimes the only way forward is to just get started, and fix any problems that crop up later on.

    And of course when you're a big target, no matter what you do, some people will hate on you. I love that one of the key criticisms of one of the players in AGRA (one of the Rockefeller foundation guys) is that he's white. Nice.

    AGRA are trying to take a sustainable approach to development, but they're also proponents of GM crops - no matter what results they get, this immediately puts them offside with a lot of people. (People who generally aren't starving.)

    Meanwhile NERICA is a hell of a crop, if they can get it into the hands of more farmers, it'll change tens of millions of lives for the better. And it's not even GM.

    The fact remains that many things the Gates Foundation is doing - particularly with vaccinations, IMHO - will save the lives of millions of children who otherwise wouldn't have been.

    That some things could be done better isn't a reason to not get started.

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Siu,

    Thanks. I felt like this is an unofficial help forum for us switchers. I found that everything is better on a Mac, even third-party hacking software to get music from my iPod back to the computer is better and oh-so elegant!

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    I took delivery of one on Monday. The larger 6-cell battery gives it some junk in the trunk so it's quite a bit more than 1.35kg and sits high at the rear, but it's still super portable. Seems quite snappy and the speakers are surprisingly good. Multitouch works beautifully - a little too well in fact as it renders the clickable buttons practically useless. But I'll live with it - I bought a slightly (*cough* £580) cheaper laptop to leave budget for a nice 24" Dell ultrasharp LCD and good wireless mouse. Best of both worlds. I'll be requesting a Windows 7 upgrade as soon as Dell sorts out their site; it's not accepting my service tag right now.

    Hey Zach! Sounds awesome. Unfortunately, Dell are treating this as a 'home' offering, and I want the computer for work, which requires it to be able to join a domain, which means not home premium. I currently have the Dell XPS M1210, and see the 11z as like a slightly smaller meaner version.

    As to dell and reliability. The VGA port on mine died a few weeks ago. This means I now have a horrible inelegant solution to running my 22" monitor. Bring on HDMI ports on laptops I say (as Dell in fact are). Oh, and every now and then the wifi craps out (sometimes after 5 minutes, sometimes after days, requiring a restart). I do really love the keyboard action on my XPS.

    I also got a Dell for a family member. It ate 2 hard-drives before they decided it was motherboardFail, but sent a service tech to their house in the country to replace. So can't fault their service.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    That some things could be done better isn't a reason to not get started.

    Really depends. What I'm suggesting Morgan is not so much that the Gate's are bad for trying to do something with the money made from selling the same program again and again under 7 different monikers.
    Merely that it's a total fucking waste of money and resources for most of those people who updated OS that were basically fine.

    I got an ad in the mail this morning,

    " Windows® 7 is full of ideas from Windows Live users like you—ideas that help make everyday tasks a little bit easier. Like simplifying the way you use your PC and making it easier to connect to the people, places, and things in your life."

    It already is fucking easy on XP, It was easy on 95, likewise NT. The only reason I ever needed to upgrade from 98 (which was also easy) which I used until 2005 was because each time they 'upgrade' their Windows, third party-programmers move to the newer platforms to stay current, rendering early Window's versions obsolete.

    For the avid Microsoft OS fan like Russell here, that's an outlay of about about $1000 on seven versions of the same thing, that each come with the an average relevance window of just over 2 years. I have bought candyfloss with a longer lifespan.

    So Bill Gates the benevolent provider of the same program 7 times deserves your props for funneling X percentage of your earnings: subsequently x percentage of his earnings, into creating his version of a better world. Morgan?

    Because this time it's different, this time it's a little bit easier...

    As a charitician, I preferred Mother Theresa. It's easy to look good giving away shitloads of money When you have it. It really comes down to how ethical you deem the Gates' acquisition method to be.

    The fact remains that many things the Gates Foundation is doing - particularly with vaccinations, IMHO - will save the lives of millions of children who otherwise wouldn't have been.

    Your talking about Earth yes? that overpopulated mess? Dear Mr Gates, Please artificially joggle our survival rates so there can be more to sell Windows 18 to: A greater number of worthy CPUs to inhabit and profit to be made in order to be regarded as the greatest cake since boiled marsupial. But we need more people we really do, these diseases should never inhibit our quest for total overpopulation.

    If some of the programs the Gates Foundation are involved with don't have universal support that's a shortcoming. It'd be nice if they did. But sometimes the only way forward is to just get started, and fix any problems that crop up later on.

    Or he could just donate his entire fortune to the native Americans and join the fire brigade.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    Being a Machead through and through, I don't ever have to worry about PC nightmare OSs - except of course that I have to use the bloody things to test my websites... and if you're doing an e-govt compliant site that means a whole bunch of different combinations of browser and OS. I have a few test PC laptops I bought off TradeMe so I could get all the browser/OS combinations I needed:

    All new or significantly redeveloped websites must be tested against all browser and operating system combinations identified as A grade by Yahoo! Graded Browser Support. Agencies must also test against at least one browser not graded A, on a platform of their choice. Agencies might choose a non-A grade browser by considering their website statistics.

    Last time I looked (a couple of months ago) that meant 16 OS/browser combinations. Now it's down to 13 (12 + 1 other of your choice), but I note with some dismay that they've knocked Mac 10.4 off the list and added 10.6. Bollocks! I do not have a couple of thou spare to buy Snow Leopard just so I can test my sites on FF and Safari in 10.6 which I know are going to work just fine anyway!

    My worst test machine is the ancient Win2000 PC I bought for 50 bucks, which came complete with 32 viruses, Trojans and worms of one kind and another. Nice! I haven't even tried to get the Win2000 machine to talk to my Mac, as it's so old and crap - and although I've killed all the viruses on it I still don't trust it - much safer to keep it in isolation I reckon.

    My WinXP test laptop (for IE6 and IE7) is a very nice little machine - an IBM Thinkpad which for some reason I find very pleasant to use. I have another lappy running WinXP to test IE8. Don'tcha just love Microsoft? Even though I can use a standalone (hacked) version of IE7 together with IE6 on one machine, I have to have a whole other machine just to test IE8 because it breaks the standalone browsers if you put them on the same machine. Ugh.

    But the one I loathe the most is the one running Vista. It's one thing to have an old Win2000 machine that can't talk to my Mac - it's quite another to have a relatively new Vista PC that completely refuses to communicate in any way, shape or form with my Mac.

    My WinXP machines have no problem seeing files on my Mac, which means I can build on the Mac and test seamlessly on the PCs - but can I get the Vista machine to do the same thing? Can I heck. I've wasted hours and hours trying to get it to connect, and it's completely impossible. I hatessss it.

    Guess I'm going to have to bit the bullet and get yet another machine soon to do testing on Windows 7 (I'm sure it'll get added to Yahoo's list before long). Oh bum. And no doubt they will require testing in both IE7 and IE8 on Win7, which of course I can't do because there's no way of installing both IEs on the same machine (I already have the same problem with my Vista PC).

    Wish I was a real geek and knew all about installing virtual machines and running different OS/browser combos virtually...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 332 posts Report Reply

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