0619: "Supported Features"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
bluemonkmn
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:36 am UTC
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Contact:

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby bluemonkmn » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:25 am UTC

plin25 wrote:At first, I misread "4,096" as "4,0%" and was utterly confused.


I read it over and over and over, and I could simply not figure out what 4,0% meant! I had to come to the discussion thread to figure it out. I didn't realize how much % and 96 look alike. Even now, looking at this "%", I see that it can look exactly like a small version of "96" in my current font, with the exception of maybe 2 pixels just a bit out of place.

User avatar
phillipsjk
Posts: 1213
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:09 pm UTC
Location: Edmonton AB Canada
Contact:

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby phillipsjk » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:41 pm UTC

Max2009 wrote:There is nothing more frustrating than writing an essay for 3 days straight, and then the %^#$& Windows crashes and takes the hard drive with it.
Yes, Windows is capable of physically destroying your hard drive. It's happened to me.


As kyo said: you have establish correlation, not causation. How well do you think GNU/Linux would respond to a failed hard-drive? For all we know the drive could have failed due to: being dropped, excess heat, or old age. I had to replace the barely-used drive on my BSD server. Am I supposed to claim BSD fries drives as well? In my case, I think the problem was improper cooling; now resolved.

Edit: It's GNU/Linux, not just "Linux."
Last edited by phillipsjk on Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:08 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Did you get the number on that truck?

User avatar
Max2009
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:20 pm UTC
Location: Where?
Contact:

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby Max2009 » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:54 pm UTC

phillipsjk wrote:
Max2009 wrote:There is nothing more frustrating than writing an essay for 3 days straight, and then the %^#$& Windows crashes and takes the hard drive with it.
Yes, Windows is capable of physically destroying your hard drive. It's happened to me.


As kyo said: you have establish correlation, not causation. How well do you think Linux would respond to a failed hard-drive? For all we know the drive could have failed due to: being dropped, excess heat, or old age. I had to replace the barely-used drive on my BSD server. Am I supposed to claim BSD fries drives as well? In my case, I think the problem was improper cooling; now resolved.

I am currently writing this on the same computer, with the same hard drive as the crashed one.
It turns out the Windows royally screwed up it's own allocation table (or the NTFS equivalent), and didn't know how to read the hard drive anymore.
What happened was it crashed, and then wouldn't boot up anymore. The BIOS saw and recognized the hard drive, but Windows wouldn't. A Windows installation disc claimed there was an empty 160 GB partition on the drive (which is 160 GB).
I formatted it to EXT3 and installed Linux. Haven't had a problem since.
Cogito ergo surf - I think therefore I network

Registered Linux user #481826 Get Counted! http://counter.li.org

Image

User avatar
SirMustapha
Posts: 1302
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:07 pm UTC

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby SirMustapha » Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:29 pm UTC

Okay, so you were mistaken when you said Windows physically destroyed your drive. But as far as Windows goes with corrupting its own data, yep, that's really quite well known and happens -- well, I wouldn't say "often", but certainly more often that it should be acceptable.

heartburnkid
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:42 pm UTC

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby heartburnkid » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:45 pm UTC

Yeah, what's wrong with those Linux guys? Building in support for extreme SMP before Adobe Flash...

While we're at it, why the hell are people bothering trying to develop space shuttles? Shouldn't they cure cancer first?

FoolishOwl
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:36 pm UTC
Location: San Francisco, California
Contact:

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby FoolishOwl » Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:27 pm UTC

At the top of the Free Software Foundation's High Priority Free Software Project list is Gnash, the free version of Flash. So it's not like the GNU folks are ignoring the issue.

Randall's made it clear he's a free OS supporter. It's reasonable to argue that GNU/Linux, as it is now, is generally functionally superior to proprietary software, but only a mindless zealot would argue that GNU/Linux is superior to Windows for every application. Stallman launched the GNU project because he believed that free software is ethically superior to proprietary software. That it is technically better was, from the GNU project's stance, serendipitous. Making it more pleasant and useful for non-technical users has been a tertiary concern for the Free/Libre software folks, and a secondary concern for the more commercially oriented Open Source folks, although I think there is a general understanding that reaching regular folks is now critical.

I read this comic as a joke about the biases of GNU/Linux developers: they tend to concentrate on the infrastructure, and not so much on the interface. So, you get a nice, stable platform in which the parts that regular users don't think about work very well. It's as if you travel to a foreign city, with well-engineered, reliable, and ecological sanitation, power generation, and public transit, but you have trouble finding a good cheeseburger at 2 a.m. It's also a comment on how computer nerds think, and engineering types in general, as opposed to regular folks, even technically sophisticated regular folks. That is, nerds tend to prioritize technical excellence over simple accessibility, infrastructure over interface, conformance to standards over rapid implementation, and in general, long term goals over short term goals. In the long run, this works well, but in the short run, it makes for frustrating trade-offs.

I don't find the Ubuntu distribution, at least, any less functional "out of the box" than the Windows distributions I've used. As far as "out of the box" usability, I think that Mac OS X is the winner, in currently popular options. I have found, with any operating system and array of applications I've used, there's some fine-tuning and fixing required, there's somewhat more fine-tuning and fixing with GNU/Linux software than with Windows. However, with proprietary software, I often find that there's no documentation, the user forums are full of technically sophisticated users trying to guess what the .dll files and configuration settings are supposed to do, the developers who know are hard to reach, and are a little frightened of the crowds clamoring for their attention when they do show up in forums or elsewhere. In other words, with proprietary software, problems are either easy to fix, or impossible to fix. With GNU/Linux software, it may be harder to fix certain problems, but it's always possible, and once things are fixed, they tend to stay fixed.

By the way, am I hopeless old fogey for preferring to watch TV shows on, y'know, TV?

User avatar
Shadic
Posts: 500
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:54 pm UTC
Location: Olympia, WA
Contact:

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby Shadic » Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:27 pm UTC

Max2009 wrote:Alas, this is true. But most of us *cough* mature *cough* people need the computer to work properly on work, not for games.
There is nothing more frustrating than writing an essay for 3 days straight, and then the %^#$& Windows crashes and takes the hard drive with it.
Yes, Windows is capable of physically destroying your hard drive. It's happened to me.

Really? You're only rebuttal is that if you're mature, game shouldn't matter? I'm a college student whose success moreorless DEPENDS on having my computer up and running. And in 7 or so years of heavy computer use, I've had serious problems twice. Once was due to a power surge, and then my absentmindedness and impatience trying to get it fixed, and the other was due to Firefox going absolutely bonkers and requiring a hard-power off, which in turn screwed up something on my BIOS, (Likely my PSU's fault more than anything,) which was fixed in about five minutes. I've had a friend's computer lock-up on Ubuntu during a Kernel update/compilation/whatever, and it required a full format of the harddrive. (Technical details probably slight off, I don't give a rat's ass, honestly. Point is, he was fucked.) Nothing's perfect.

So stop being a prick elitist and accept that both have some advantages of the other, 'kay?

pugfantus
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:02 pm UTC

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby pugfantus » Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:06 pm UTC

There's an interesting article here http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/249021-28-benchmark-matters-hulu-challenge that benchmarks fast of a CPU you need to be able to do fulls screen flash (especially "HD"/"HQ" flash)

FoolishOwl
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:36 pm UTC
Location: San Francisco, California
Contact:

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby FoolishOwl » Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:09 pm UTC

There's a weird moralism about technology that people lapse into. One thing I don't like about message boards for commercial computer games, for instance, is that when I've asked for technical advice, there's usually been a few responses that implied that I'm a failure as a human being for having an old computer.

One thing that put me off of GNU/Linux for a few years was the cranky moralism. It's one thing to argue that FLOSS is an ethically and technically superior model for software, and that we should therefore choose it whenever possible, even if that means some mild inconvenience. It's another thing to argue that Windows is evil and it's immoral to use it -- that's arguing from the negative, rather than the positive, and unlikely to persuade anyone. And to argue that Windows is evil because it's prone to crashing, and that it's therefore immoral to use it, is blurring a technical argument with an ethical argument, which is bad reasoning.

I'm a believer in FLOSS, but there are limits to what you can expect of people. For instance, I think OpenOffice.org is, overall, more than good enough for most businesses, and certainly for students, to actually produce documents. However, I've been looking at a lot of resumes and job listings lately, and nearly every job listing demands knowledge of Microsoft Office. I've never seen OpenOffice.org mentioned. If you're savvy enough, and you've got experience with OpenOffice.org, you can claim knowledge of Microsoft Office and pull it off. But, for most people, to get an office job, you're going to need to use Microsoft Office.

Carteeg_Struve
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:56 pm UTC

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby Carteeg_Struve » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:17 pm UTC

Yep. I'm a 4.0%er as well. But at least I got the gist he was bragging about a purely technical upgrade before hearing about the practical upgrade question from the other guy.

Personally, I'm a whole-hearted Mac user, even to the point where I swore at XP and stripped Boot Camp off of my machine... and never had been happier. But I pray that Linux will eventually get itself up to gear to compete with the evils of Windows in all things: practical and technical.

At least they already have it beat in the 'installation' and 'turning on' arena.

User avatar
phillipsjk
Posts: 1213
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:09 pm UTC
Location: Edmonton AB Canada
Contact:

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby phillipsjk » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:23 pm UTC

I get angry what I see job requirements asking for specific software. Unless it is CAD, I can probably adapt to most "Office" software within a week. I stopped listing every piece of software I have ever used for two reasons:
  1. Nobody cares I can still use DOS or WP 5.1
  2. Just because I have used a piece of software doesn't not mean I am competent. Most people using Word don't know how to take advantage of the the basic formatting features (for example).

I actually received an application form as a Word document that did not use any tables: tabs were used for positioning instead. I "unlocked" the document, filled out the form, fixed the formatting (some of my answers were too long), made a note I edited the formatting, locked it back up, e-mailed it back. Never did get that job.
Did you get the number on that truck?

User avatar
Max2009
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:20 pm UTC
Location: Where?
Contact:

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby Max2009 » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:33 pm UTC

I too am a college student, and I know how important a computer is, which is why I was so pissed when Vista went Hari Kiri on me.
Shadic wrote:So stop being a prick elitist and accept that both have some advantages of the other, 'kay?

You're right, and I conceded the point. Windows has the advantage of being made for the masses (and we all know, the masses are asses) and therefore there are more programs (read: games) for Windows, and it is a little more user friendly (sometimes).
There are Linux distros that are ready for the masses, all they need to do is to come calling. Like I said, Ubuntu has problems like that, but don't let that get you down, there are more stable distros out there.
Did you read the article I pointed to here?
Cogito ergo surf - I think therefore I network

Registered Linux user #481826 Get Counted! http://counter.li.org

Image

Krid
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:59 pm UTC

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby Krid » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:46 pm UTC

tetsujin wrote:
Krid wrote:There's a proprietary 64bit flash10 plugin available now. It's not too bad, but sadly it's not a trivial task to get it working.


My entire list of steps to get the 64-bit Flash 10 plugin working was as follows:
1: Download plugin (this was actually the hardest step, as it's not linked in via the regular download pages)
2: Untar it into /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins
3: Run web browser


Yes, that method works just fine... assuming you don't have Adobe's Flash9 installed. I've had to handle that upgrade on a few people's machines. Sure, you can install the plugin easily enough, but firefox it will ignore that in favor of using Flash9 plugin if it has even the slightest chance to do so.
It may be an issue stemming from how the users installed Flash9, but since it's more than three people it's safe to assume that method is common for Ubuntu users.

tetsujin wrote:Now, from what I hear getting Flash to work on 64-bit Linux used to be a lot harder before they released a 64-bit plugin... One had to use the 32-bit plugin with an interface wrapper or something... Whatever, I'm glad I got into the 64-bit game late enough that I didn't have to deal with that. :)


That was part of what I was talking about, yes.

Max2009 wrote:
I've used both FreeBSD and Ubuntu, and got tired of fighting with both.

FreeBSD doesn't count, even geeks can't get it to work right. Ubunu is known for working well in a carefully controlled environment, and no more.
You should try Red Hat or one of it's derivatives (like Mandriva). Fast, reliable, easy, and no geeky twerking necessary.


Ubuntu is geared more for people who are not particularly skilled or who learned on a non-*nix OS, and I don't think many can argue that it and it's forks are leaps and bounds ahead of other distros when it comes to ease-of-use for people who are new users or transitioning away from Windows.

Max2009 wrote:
Also, games.

Alas, this is true. But most of us *cough* mature *cough* people need the computer to work properly on work, not for games.


The games industry is now a major powerhouse in the American economy. IIRC, it has surpassed the movie industry in terms of annual gross income. That's without factoring in the impact on related markets, such as video cards and digital distribution systems.
Poor support for games is one of the top ten reasons why computer-savvy people people choose Windows over Linux.
Most people who own their own computer only own one, and many more people share one computer with others.

Essentially, you seem to be expressing contempt for users who choose an operating system that meets their needs over one which does not.
If that is the case, then you are an idiot.

Max2009 wrote:
phillipsjk wrote:
Max2009 wrote:There is nothing more frustrating than writing an essay for 3 days straight, and then the %^#$& Windows crashes and takes the hard drive with it.
Yes, Windows is capable of physically destroying your hard drive. It's happened to me.


As kyo said: you have establish correlation, not causation. How well do you think Linux would respond to a failed hard-drive? For all we know the drive could have failed due to: being dropped, excess heat, or old age. I had to replace the barely-used drive on my BSD server. Am I supposed to claim BSD fries drives as well? In my case, I think the problem was improper cooling; now resolved.

I am currently writing this on the same computer, with the same hard drive as the crashed one.
It turns out the Windows royally screwed up it's own allocation table (or the NTFS equivalent), and didn't know how to read the hard drive anymore.
What happened was it crashed, and then wouldn't boot up anymore. The BIOS saw and recognized the hard drive, but Windows wouldn't. A Windows installation disc claimed there was an empty 160 GB partition on the drive (which is 160 GB).
I formatted it to EXT3 and installed Linux. Haven't had a problem since.


You were using Win XP SP0, and you wrote data past the 137gb mark. That resulted in an address overflow which caused it to start writing data to the very beginning of the drive and wipe out the vital information stored there.

At any rate, it's very difficult to write software which is capable of damaging hardware. This isn't like back in the days of the Chernobyl virus where any code can write anything anywhere. Damaging hardware requires extensive research and planning, and is limited to hardware-specific vulnerabilities.

Oh, and if the drive is fine after a re-format, then it wasn't physically destroyed. That would require that it be rendered irrecoverably damaged.

gypkap
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 12:38 pm UTC

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby gypkap » Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:28 am UTC

To be specific, Macs run on BSD Unix, with an Apple shell. So far as I know, there's no Linux core in there anywhere, though there are utilities that they share in common. But then, some of those utilities also run on Windows and other OSes.

User avatar
Zorlin
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 2:31 am UTC
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby Zorlin » Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:32 am UTC

Kyo wrote:I am a Linux user, but that's still bollocks. Ever consider that maybe your broken harddrive crashed windows? Windows doesn't destroy harddrives, it's just a piece of software

I saw Vista *destroy a partition table* at one stage. It's possible, but rare.
Mysterious wizard rabbit of unknown proportions.

Check out #xkcd-hugs movie night! Watch movies with your fellow xkcdians.

Meaux_Pas wrote:You're all mad.

FoolishOwl
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:36 pm UTC
Location: San Francisco, California
Contact:

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby FoolishOwl » Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:53 am UTC

I don't get where the idea could come from that Ubuntu only works in a "carefully controlled environment." It usually works right out of the box.

Ubuntu's been designed to be easy on *nix novices, which is an advantage. Since it's Linux, it's modifiable all the way down, so being easy on novices doesn't mean it's not good for experts.

User avatar
Sarda
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:23 pm UTC

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby Sarda » Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:56 am UTC

Max2009 wrote:
Shadic wrote:If your Windows install is crashing, you're doing something wrong.

Yes, it's called using Windows.

< Jax184> I finally got the windows embedded platform builder installed
< Jax184> so I can now make a version of XP that'll boot off of a 128 meg CF card
< moshez> jax184: my condolences
< moshez> why do you want to develop on crap xp platforms and stuff
< moshez> that sounds unfun
<@khmer> i love it when people ask windows questions or talk about windows dev and someone's very serious answer to the question is "use linux, noob"
< moshez> khmer: it's worked for me so far...
<@khmer> hurr hurr! you guys are aweosme!!!!!!
<@khmer> here's my impression of you
<@khmer> SCENE: Mission Control. Apollo 13 is spinning out of control.
<@khmer> <Radio> All right, we've evacuated the command module and we're sealed in the LEM, but the oxygen filter is broken! we need another!
<@khmer> <Mission Commander> All right, Captain, we'll put together a team.
<@khmer> <Mission Commander> Team, here are the supplies they've got. We need to build an air filter for the LEM socket, right now.
<@khmer> <moshez> They shouldn't have gone into the LEM.
<@khmer> <Mission Commander> We're kind of past that, moshez. They've evacuated all the oxygen from the command module.
<@khmer> <moshez> Well it's just the right answer, they shouldn't have gone into the LEM.
<@khmer> <Mission Commander> All right, anyone else? We have to make sure it doesn't take sharp movements, because a good kick could tear right through the aluminum wall.
<@khmer> <moshez> Well, you shouldn't have used aluminum.
<@khmer> <Mission Commander> All right, you know what, dickhole? That's not problem solving. They're in the LEM, the walls are aluminum, and they're in fucking space, so we need to solve this problem!
<@khmer> <moshez> Well, they shouldn't have gone into space. I never need to.
<@khmer> <Mission Commander> What? This isn't about you. This is their situation and their problem and we need to build this air filter!
<@khmer> <moshez> Well don't get mad at me for having the right answers.
<@khmer> <moshez> I just drive to my house and I never have air filtration problems.
<@khmer> <Mission Commander> So, the astronauts have holed up in the LEM and they want us to build an air filter, and your solution is for them not to go into the LEM, not to build it with aluminum, not to go into space, and to drive to your house?
<@khmer> <moshez> You're not thinking about this rationally.
<@khmer> <Radio> TELL MY WIFE I LOVE HER
<@khmer> <moshez> That radio is probably just picking up Casablanca.
<@khmer> --SCENE.--
< moshez> khmer: ok
< moshez> khmer: now I feel bad about myself
< moshez> no wait, I don't
< Beelzebub> moshez: you should.

Your entire argument is now invalidated. Have fun being stupid.

Also, games.

Alas, this is true. But most of us *cough* mature *cough* people need the computer to work properly on work, not for games.

Indeed. I feel so much better now knowing that there are mature people out there who never play games and can't do work properly with Windows. I'm certainly not one of them.
There is nothing more frustrating than writing an essay for 3 days straight, and then the %^#$& Windows crashes and takes the hard drive with it.
Yes, Windows is capable of physically destroying your hard drive. It's happened to me.

The SOFTWARE is incapable of destroying the HARDWARE. PERIOD. I don't count melting things because you were too stupid to put a fan in.
If P AND NOT P then the lotto numbers will be 4, 19, 23, 194, the fine structure constant, and Birmingham.

10nitro
Posts: 192
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:46 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby 10nitro » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:30 am UTC

Sarda wrote:
Max2009 wrote:
Shadic wrote:If your Windows install is crashing, you're doing something wrong.

Yes, it's called using Windows.

< Jax184> I finally got the windows embedded platform builder installed
< Jax184> so I can now make a version of XP that'll boot off of a 128 meg CF card
< moshez> jax184: my condolences
< moshez> why do you want to develop on crap xp platforms and stuff
< moshez> that sounds unfun
<@khmer> i love it when people ask windows questions or talk about windows dev and someone's very serious answer to the question is "use linux, noob"
< moshez> khmer: it's worked for me so far...
<@khmer> hurr hurr! you guys are aweosme!!!!!!
<@khmer> here's my impression of you
<@khmer> SCENE: Mission Control. Apollo 13 is spinning out of control.
<@khmer> <Radio> All right, we've evacuated the command module and we're sealed in the LEM, but the oxygen filter is broken! we need another!
<@khmer> <Mission Commander> All right, Captain, we'll put together a team.
<@khmer> <Mission Commander> Team, here are the supplies they've got. We need to build an air filter for the LEM socket, right now.
<@khmer> <moshez> They shouldn't have gone into the LEM.
<@khmer> <Mission Commander> We're kind of past that, moshez. They've evacuated all the oxygen from the command module.
<@khmer> <moshez> Well it's just the right answer, they shouldn't have gone into the LEM.
<@khmer> <Mission Commander> All right, anyone else? We have to make sure it doesn't take sharp movements, because a good kick could tear right through the aluminum wall.
<@khmer> <moshez> Well, you shouldn't have used aluminum.
<@khmer> <Mission Commander> All right, you know what, dickhole? That's not problem solving. They're in the LEM, the walls are aluminum, and they're in fucking space, so we need to solve this problem!
<@khmer> <moshez> Well, they shouldn't have gone into space. I never need to.
<@khmer> <Mission Commander> What? This isn't about you. This is their situation and their problem and we need to build this air filter!
<@khmer> <moshez> Well don't get mad at me for having the right answers.
<@khmer> <moshez> I just drive to my house and I never have air filtration problems.
<@khmer> <Mission Commander> So, the astronauts have holed up in the LEM and they want us to build an air filter, and your solution is for them not to go into the LEM, not to build it with aluminum, not to go into space, and to drive to your house?
<@khmer> <moshez> You're not thinking about this rationally.
<@khmer> <Radio> TELL MY WIFE I LOVE HER
<@khmer> <moshez> That radio is probably just picking up Casablanca.
<@khmer> --SCENE.--
< moshez> khmer: ok
< moshez> khmer: now I feel bad about myself
< moshez> no wait, I don't
< Beelzebub> moshez: you should.

Your entire argument is now invalidated. Have fun being stupid.


<Shadic> If your cardboard boat is sinking, you're doing something wrong.
<Max2009> Yes, it's called using a cardboard boat.
<khmer> i love it when people ask cardboard boat questions and someone's very serious answer to the question is "use a motor boat, noob"
<moshez> khmer: it's worked for me so far...
...

Only both of out apologies fail. When you're in the middle of a lake, or space, there's no going back. In reality, you don't have to worry about hypothermia or dying if you want to go back ant switch OSes.

Although, my metaphor is more apt. Yes, you can get a cardboard canoe working very well, and not sink or anything. It could be perfectly sufficient, and work perfectly well.* But, you have to do everything right.

Your entire argument is now invalidated. Have fun being stupid.

*The USS Chuck_Norris kicked ass

Sarda wrote:The SOFTWARE is incapable of destroying the HARDWARE. PERIOD. [si.ze=1]I don't count melting things because you were too stupid to put a fan in.[/size]

That's not true. Many pieces of hardware nowadays have their firmware on a flash chip, and can be rewritten from the OS. This includes the BIOS (motherboard), graphics cards, and wifi cards. If the SOFTWARE writes data to, and screws up that firmware,* then it will destroy that HARDWARE.**

Also, many systems allow the software to take control of the fans, to tune them, either for noise or power consumption purposes. If a bug in the software turned the fans off... that's not you being stupid and not putting fans in.

Also, on some older systems (pre-IBM PC), it was possible to destroy disk drives (floppy or hard). Instead of having the low-level machine processes done on a firmware chip, it gave the software direct control over the motors in the drive. This meant you could use the read/write head to punch through the platter.

* (via interrupted firmware update, a bug in the driver, wrong driver, etc.)
** Some motherboards have 2 copies of the BIOS, one in a read-only form, and one on the flash chip. If the flash chip's copy becomes non-functional, it will default to the back-up. I don't think I've seen this in anything but motherboards.
Last edited by 10nitro on Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:37 am UTC, edited 3 times in total.
~ Luke Shumaker
FRC1024 Programmer
IT technician, GNU/Linux admin, comp. security guy
Eagle Scout
http://lukeshu.ath.cx

Krid
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:59 pm UTC

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby Krid » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:52 am UTC

Sarda wrote:The SOFTWARE is incapable of destroying the HARDWARE. PERIOD. I don't count melting things because you were too stupid to put a fan in.


Believe it or not, that's actually not true, and I'll give you two examples:

1: BIOS-flashing programs. While these aren't capable of physically damaging the hardware, they are perfectly capable of rendering it utterly useless. If the BIOS is hard wired to the board then fixing it requires desoldering the chip in order to flash it. If you need to do soldering in order to fix a hardware problem, then the hardware is broken.
Years ago there were many a virus which used BIOS-flashing as an attack, but since code doesn't get such low-level access anymore that's not much of a problem anymore.

2: The TDP values presented for CPUs are making some assumptions about what kind of work the processor is doing. Different instructions have different power costs, and a higher power cost means more heat generation. I am aware of a few different tests which have been conducted using specially designed code and stock heatsinks, and it is in fact possible for malicious code to exceed a CPU's TDP and destroy the chip. However, that's very hardware-specific and requires that the chip either lack thermal throttling or have a way for it to be disabled.

Of course, in the old days there used to be TONS of ways to have code destroy hardware. For example, old hard drives could be forced to seek to a sector that didn't exist so the head would bash into the casing.
I suppose you could compare abstraction layers to condoms in that regard; bare metal may be faster and more fun, but your bits will be a lot healthier if you put a barrier between your hardware and other's software.

User avatar
Max2009
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:20 pm UTC
Location: Where?
Contact:

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby Max2009 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:42 am UTC

I would like to clarify a point that seems to have gone amiss.

I am not a heavy gamer. I have good friends that are, and respect them.
I do have multiple computers, and one of them runs XP. It runs a third slower than the other computer of identical hardware, and crashes fairly often (at least once a week).
My gamer friends mostly use Linux for their day-to-day business (word processing, web, email, programming....) and dual boot various Windows versions for their games.
That, I think is the best solution all around.
I dual booted Vista and Linux for a few months, but then I realized that I hadn't booted into Vista for over a month, and it was wasting a good 80 GB of my hard drive, so I scrapped it.
The reason why most programs (read: games) are developed for Windows is because that is the most popular, because of some marketing quirk a couple of decades ago. That doesn't mean that Windows is THE ONLY way to play games. Eventually the Linux support will get better at it, and even the developers will start writing for Linux.
When that happens, we will all be able to do what we all secretly wish we could. Go to a high place and use the Windows installation discs as Frisbees.
But until then, gamers will continue to use Windows, and people who are more concerned about stability and ease of use will find the right Linux distro for them and use that.
Cogito ergo surf - I think therefore I network

Registered Linux user #481826 Get Counted! http://counter.li.org

Image

FoolishOwl
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:36 pm UTC
Location: San Francisco, California
Contact:

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby FoolishOwl » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:09 pm UTC

Most good FLOSS applications get ported to Windows anyway. One of the reasons I finally switched to GNU/Linux as my primary operating system was that I realized that most of the applications I used regularly in Windows -- OpenOffice.org, Firefox, The GIMP -- were FLOSS anyway. I further realized that while most of my favorite computer games were Windows games, that I most liked games in which there was a substantial community of players developing content and modifications for those games, a model that's more compatible with the FLOSS model than the proprietary model.

Krid
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:59 pm UTC

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby Krid » Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:44 am UTC

10nitro wrote:<Shadic> If your cardboard boat is sinking, you're doing something wrong.
<Max2009> Yes, it's called using a cardboard boat.
<khmer> i love it when people ask cardboard boat questions and someone's very serious answer to the question is "use a motor boat, noob"
<moshez> khmer: it's worked for me so far...
...

Only both of out apologies fail. When you're in the middle of a lake, or space, there's no going back. In reality, you don't have to worry about hypothermia or dying if you want to go back ant switch OSes.

Although, my metaphor is more apt. Yes, you can get a cardboard canoe working very well, and not sink or anything. It could be perfectly sufficient, and work perfectly well.* But, you have to do everything right.


That doesn't invalidate their argument. The point they were getting at is that telling somebody that the solution to a specific problem is to "use linux" is both completely unhelpful and condescending.
It's also counter productive - by acting like a jerk when they need help, you establish in their minds that you are a snobby jerk. If this happens a few times then most people are going to associate people like you with what you are promoting. The only reason I can possibly see for convincing people that Linux users are assholes is that you have an active dislike for Linux.

Is Microsoft replacing FUD with false flags?

User avatar
some_dude
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:33 am UTC
Location: Denmark

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby some_dude » Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:56 pm UTC

I think people comparing Linux and Windows need to realize one thing: Linux is f*cking free
Don't get me wrong; even if Windows became freeware (yeah right) I'd still use Linux, but I just don't think it's fair to compare two products as though price wasn't a factor when one of them is free and the other costs hundreds of dollars.

User avatar
StealthAstroturfer
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:31 pm UTC

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby StealthAstroturfer » Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:28 pm UTC

The misinformation being spread in this thread is unreal. Young Linux users: learn to take a joke. And Windows and Macheads, leave your soapbox rants at the door plox; us Linux users have heard them all before, and it's not going to make us switch. Except for that guy who was threatening to switch back to Windows because some of the comments from Linux users were so retarded, of course. You might win him round. To that guy: grow a pair of balls, already, and stop letting the opinions of morons dictate what you choose to do with your computer.

I really should use this thread as an opportunity to take advantage of my username for once, but I can't be bothered. But I do want to make a couple of comments all the same!

Krid wrote:
10nitro wrote:
dasada122 wrote:Well, someone had to say it...
If Linux is going to slay the BEAST, they need to start at the bottom features.

What, you mean like stability, consistency, and having a complete operating system out-of-the-box, rather than having to add dozens of 3rd party apps to make a complete OS.


Yea, ok, I think you missed a few things...
First, very little of GNU would actually count as the OS proper. The OS itself is the bare minimum required for the system to boot and execute independent code. Even important tools like fsck aren't a part of the OS.
Second, you need to have a defined vendor for "3rd party" to have a meaning. Further, you need to determine if you're going by who provided it and did QA, or who wrote it. If you're considering Ubuntu to be the first-party product, then Open Office would be classed as first-party. If you're classifying the kernel itself as the first-party product, then would be 3rd party. (Yea, open source can make things like that really confusing.)
Third, Microsoft has been reviled for "bundling", and has been sued several times for including extra first party software. If you were one of the many who opposed that bundling, you're now both a hypocrite and kind of a dick.


It doesn't work like that, sonny. Microsoft were pwned by various gubbiments for abusing their monopoly position with bundling, not for simply having a monopoly position in the first place. Bundling internet explorer on a system that has 90% of all the world's users is an easy way to ensure that most of them never use anything else. Contrariwise, bundling Firefox on a Linux distro isn't going to harm the availability and acceptance of internet explorer. Sounds unfair? It's arguable, sure, everyone is free to install whatever-they-want and such. But Microsoft has a monopoly position, and them's the breaks. Take it up with the US DOJ or the EU court if you're that peeved about it.
Krid wrote:As far as consistency goes, Microsoft wins there. Every windows install is roughly the same as every other windows install of that version. Different Linux distros don't have that.

Consistency? Well, sure. But as Linux people are wont to say about the fragmented state of Linux distros: it's a feature. It isn't a gimmick.It really is a definite feature. It's what allows Linux to run on anything from an 8mhz microprocessor all the way up to dangerously-close to sentient supercomputers. It's versatile like that. Having systems that have more-or-less similar features and functionality out of the box, however, is another kettle of fish entirely. People complain about having to twerk settings to get Linux to install properly, but those problems exist when installing Windows too. Whether there are more or less of them is irrelevant (and I've had tough times installing either OS), because all of the problems can be solved with pre-installs, which is how most of the world gets hold of operating systems in the first place. A laptop preloaded with Ubuntu from Dell is just as guaranteed to work perfectly on first boot as one loaded with Windows. You can be reasonably sure that one of Dell's Ubuntu laptops will run Fedora or Debian without a hitch too. Most of the problems I see from new users switching to Linux for the first time usually comes down to hardware issues. Well, try and install a vanilla copy of Windows XP on a SATA hard disk and see how well you get on with that (and no, the optimised ISO image from the OEM doesn't count).

As far as Flash and the cartoon itself go, though, the only thing anyone can say is the obvious. Flash sucks, Adobe's Linux support is pisspoor any way, and full-screen flash is buggy for lots of Linux people (myself included). If you're looking for somebody to blame, blame Adobe. Or, if you like, blame Microsoft. Why the hell not? They've engineered a nightmare universe where Windows dominates the world after all. Go wild about it, if you must. Post a big angry blag article all about it. There are oodles of worthy reasons to hate Microsoft's business practices. Knock yourself out. I, on the other hand, will just carry on using Linux in spite of its idiosyncrasies and flaws, because none of them make my life unreasonably difficult, and because Linux just plain rocks. I don't feel the need to brag about it, or shout down Windows users, because I know perfectly well that I've made the right choice. What it comes down to is the fact that "But everybody else uses Windows" was not, is not, and never will be a reason to use Windows, and neither it is a reason to rail against it. Now go and use your gorram computers and be grateful about it, you silly trolls.

btw the comic made me chuckle

User avatar
phillipsjk
Posts: 1213
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:09 pm UTC
Location: Edmonton AB Canada
Contact:

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby phillipsjk » Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:16 pm UTC

StealthAstroturfer wrote: (Choice is) what allows Linux to run on anything from an 8mhz microprocessor all the way up to dangerously-close to sentient supercomputers. It's versatile like that. [Citation Needed]


I think I detect hyperbole in that statement :!:

The slowest x86 processor that Linux will run on is the Intel 386. I believe the slowest of which was the 386sx-16 that ran at 16Mhz and used a 16 bit bus (like the 286). It is possible some ARM processors that run Linux are that slow, but I doubt it.

As for "dangerously-close to sentient supercomputers," that is yet to be determined. :)
Did you get the number on that truck?

FoolishOwl
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:36 pm UTC
Location: San Francisco, California
Contact:

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby FoolishOwl » Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:28 pm UTC

Thanks to Google, I've found that there are efforts to port Linux (or some subset of its functionality) to 8086, but it doesn't seem to be in working order yet:
http://elks.sourceforge.net/

Faranya
Posts: 259
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:10 am UTC

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby Faranya » Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:49 am UTC

StealthAstroturfer wrote:It's what allows Linux to run on anything from an 8mhz microprocessor all the way up to dangerously-close to sentient supercomputers. It's versatile like that.


How do you know what is dangerously close when, to my knowledge, we have not actually attained sentient supercomputers? What benchmark would you use to evaluate that?
Image

macemoneta
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:57 pm UTC

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby macemoneta » Sun Aug 09, 2009 6:01 pm UTC

I was reading the changelog for the Fedora build of the Intel video driver that was updated today. The entry for the new build says:

* Fri Aug 07 2009 Kristian Høgsberg <krh@redhat.com> - 2.8.0-4
- Add dri2-page-flip.patch to enable full screen pageflipping. Fixes XKCD #619.

I'm thinking to myself, what X subsystem is XKCD, and how do I find the bugzilla for that subsystem so I can get the details on the bug?
Then I realized, they're talking about the XKCD comic, number 619! Too funny!

mess110
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:56 am UTC

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby mess110 » Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:10 pm UTC

well just as youtube inserted comment2speech feature, I hope adobe will have the brilliant idea to update flash for linux.

navigatr85
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:21 am UTC

Re: "Supported Features" Discussion

Postby navigatr85 » Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:31 am UTC

This comic highlights some interesting issues. It's about more than just smooth full-screen Flash video. Like someone said before, a lot of Linux developers have the attitude represented by the last line in the comic: "Who uses that?" Actually, "who uses that" isn't completely accurate. What Linux users are really thinking is probably something like: "I get along just fine without smooth full-screen Flash video. And so do all the other Linux users in the world. And so should you." They'd probably say the same thing about any unsupported feature: "Linux doesn't have [[feature X]], but I get along just fine without [[feature X]]."

Well, yeah, for any feature you could name, a person could probably get along fine without it. Actually, a person could probably get along fine without even owning a computer. Owning a computer isn't essential to survival, or entertainment, or anything like that. You can live a long, happy, healthy life without ever owning a computer. But still, most people WANT to own a computer, because they're very useful. Even when you're "getting along fine", and when you have all the basic needs, you might be missing out on something that makes life easier, more enjoyable, or more fun. Even if you can get by without X, that doesn't make you want X any less.

In 2004, Arve Bervendsen wrote a criticism of Linux, and then, in 2007, took back a lot of the stuff he said. A lot of the details from that 2004 post are completely irrelevant today, but I think the main point of the 2004 post is still true. The point was that most computer users today are VERY different from the typical Linux user, and the Linux community doesn't seem to acknowledge that.

Arve invented a character called "Joe Phobic," who represents most of the computer users in the world. I actually don't think that's the best name to use, because, I don't think the typical computer user is actually afraid of technical things, they'd just prefer to not deal with them. Let's call him "Joe Non-tech". Here's a description of Joe Non-tech. This whole list is inspired by the list in Arve's 2004 post:

• Joe Non-tech wants to surf the web, use myspace, use facebook, watch videos on youtube and other sites, and play online flash games.
• He wants to use instant messenger programs like AIM.
• He wants to listen to MP3s.
• He has never customized anything about the appearance of his computer (like font sizes, screen resolution, resizing the taskbar, etc). He doesn't know how to customize it. He doesn't WANT to learn how to customize it, because he's OK with it the way it is.
• He's never used a command line, and he doesn't want to learn how to use one. He doesn't even know what a command line is.
• He barely knows anything about programming languages, software, or hardware. He might not even know what a hard drive is, despite the fact that his computer has one inside it. He doesn't want to learn about any of that stuff.
• Every computer he has ever bought was from a place like Dell, pre-built, with the OS already installed, and some applications already installed.
• If there's ever anything that bothers him about his computer, he won't want to fix it himself. If it's a minor annoyance, he'll just live with it. If it's a major problem, he'll call a technically-oriented friend, or a Dell technician, to come and fix it.

Most computer users these days have all of these qualities. I would estimate, very roughly, that 75% or more of computer users today are like this. Linux developers don't seem to acknowledge that fact.

Now, I'm not a Joe Non-tech. I'm very technical. I've done plenty of coding and customizing, and I know about hardware, and I know how to use a command line. But still, even I prefer GUIs over command lines. I prefer when things are clear and easy, and I prefer when things just work, without me having to think about any details.

zdzichu
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:33 am UTC

Re: "Supported Features" Discussion

Postby zdzichu » Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:36 am UTC

In the meantime, in Fedora:

Code: Select all

* Fri Aug 07 2009 Kristian Høgsberg <krh@redhat.com> - 2.8.0-4
- Add dri2-page-flip.patch to enable full screen pageflipping.
  Fixes XKCD #619.

(xorg-x11-drv-intel-2.8.0-4.fc12)

User avatar
phillipsjk
Posts: 1213
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:09 pm UTC
Location: Edmonton AB Canada
Contact:

Re: "Supported Features" Discussion

Postby phillipsjk » Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:22 am UTC

macemoneta pointed that out over two weeks ago on this very page. :roll:
Did you get the number on that truck?

creepytennis
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:26 am UTC

Re: "Supported Features" Discussion

Postby creepytennis » Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:25 pm UTC

Hey everyone.

I just thought I'd stop by to say I managed to solve the issue raised by this comic. For the record, I found that the other fixes people have mentioned didn't work for me. I have a fully up-to-date flash player, Intel drivers and Xorg. I have Intel 915GM graphics.

This adobe blog is really the key:

http://blogs.adobe.com/penguin.swf/2008 ... e_gpu.html

The flash player does the unbelievably brain dead thing of checking the glxinfo vendor strings to make sure they do *not* contain the string "SGI". Flash hardware acceleration will only be enabled if the vendor strings do not contain the string "SGI". Incredible, huh? I guess this is the kind of idiocy we've got to contend with in closed-source binary blobs.

The advice given in one of the comments actually worked for me. Specifically, use a hex editor (such as 'ghex') to alter these two binaries:

/usr/lib/libGL.so.1.2
/usr/lib/xorg/modules/extensions/libglx.so

(or the actual binaries these files link to, if they are symbolc links. They were links on my system.)

They each contain one instance of "<null>SGI<null>" (plenty of the string "SGI" in other contexts, but ignore these). Change the single instance in each file to "<null>ATI<null>". Restart X, and you may just have hardware accellerated flash. It worked for me.

:D

pciszek
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:58 pm UTC

Re: "Supported Features" Discussion

Postby pciszek » Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:02 pm UTC

This particular xkcd cartoon (#619) appears to be un-searchable from the main XKCD page. I have tried key words like "flash video", "full screen", "supported features", "linux", even "4096" and none of them yield this comic. Since it one that is being cited a lot, it really should be in the search database. Does anyone know who I should contact about that?

User avatar
Felstaff
Occam's Taser
Posts: 5175
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:10 pm UTC
Location: ¢ ₪ ¿ ¶ § ∴ ® © ™ ؟ ¡ ‽ æ Þ ° ₰ ₤ ಡಢ

Re: "Supported Features" Discussion

Postby Felstaff » Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:11 am UTC

pciszek wrote:This particular xkcd cartoon (#619) appears to be un-searchable from the main XKCD page. I have tried key words like "flash video", "full screen", "supported features", "linux", even "4096" and none of them yield this comic. Since it one that is being cited a lot, it really should be in the search database. Does anyone know who I should contact about that?

It hasn't been transcribed by OhNoRobot, yet. Volunteer to transcribe comics for Randall here. Although I can't see 619 on that list. However, OhNoRobot's archive for xkcd only goes up to 580, so it looks like the database is heavily outdated.

Edit: the transcription for this comic is awaiting approval, which is why it is not appearing on search results yet. I guess Randall is the one who approves it. But he must do, like, a whole bunch of them at once, I guess.
Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.

User avatar
msimswil
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:49 pm UTC
Location: Kawasaki
Contact:

Re: "Supported Features" Discussion

Postby msimswil » Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:46 am UTC

pciszek wrote:This particular xkcd cartoon (#619) appears to be un-searchable from the main XKCD page. I have tried key words...


When I wanted to find it to link to it, I Googled such key words and they brought me here, leading me to #619. Hooray!
It seems that on April 29th 2010 I was in bed... with your sister.

Smile
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:27 pm UTC

Re: "Supported Features" discussion

Postby Smile » Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:36 pm UTC

some_dude wrote:I think people comparing Linux and Windows need to realize one thing: Linux is f*cking free
Don't get me wrong; even if Windows became freeware (yeah right) I'd still use Linux, but I just don't think it's fair to compare two products as though price wasn't a factor when one of them is free and the other costs hundreds of dollars.


True. Even though stuff like BitTorrent basically make Windows free too, but the hassle you have to go through to get a cracked XP SP2 (or SP3 now?) is simply insane. Both have their good sides and their bad sides, so even if you think Windows is slightly better than Linux, is the difference worth the $150 (or more)? I think only hardcore gamers can say yes here.

But then again Windows comes pre-installed on most laptops these days, and the average person just don't care enough to switch, which is according to me not really a bad thing. Is it to any benefit to Linux that the average guy uses it? Unless they come in hordes, bringing considerable market potential, I think not.
Simple Minded (and proud of it)

nerevarine
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 9:35 pm UTC

Re: "Supported Features" Discussion

Postby nerevarine » Sat Nov 14, 2009 9:38 pm UTC

Fullscreen flash(adobe version) works fine, just disable acceleration(You know, left click->settings->etc).


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: mscha, ZoomanSP and 78 guests