The Return of The iPad

5/24/2012 8:39:34 AM

What can you expect from a company that seems to be suing everyone left, right and centre?

As I write, it’s just a few days until the widely expected launch of the iPad 3. Assuming it goes ahead as everyone seems to be predicting, I can safely say I won’t be paying the least bit of attention. Not because I’m against smartphones or tablets or anything like that, but simply because I can’t stand the way Apple work.

As far as I can tell, all they do is release products that are deliberately missing basic features and then put them into the next horribly overpriced releases. Not content with this, though, they do it like they’ve just invented the wheel.

Description: iPad 2 and iPad 3

iPad 2 and iPad 3

For example, they did it with the front facing camera. ‘Look,’ they declared, ‘We’ve invented this new thing where you can call your friends and see their faces at the same time. It’s called “FaceTime” and it’s completely original and something we just invented. It’s definitely not really old technology given a fancy name and an Apple logo.’

I’m sorry, but I’m not falling for it, just like I didn’t fall for the ‘re-imagining of wi-fi that is ‘AirPort’. I mean, seriously, who comes up with these names? I imagine whoever it was wrote it on the back of a Mr Men book using a wax crayon.

If you think about it, Macs are doing the same thing really. After all, since they moved to Intel chips, they just became PCs, running a different operating system other than Windows. On that basis, why not give Linux PCs their own name? Probably because Linux isn’t the creation of a massive profit-making machine run by arrogant egomaniacs.

But then what can you expect from a company that seems to be suing everyone left, right and centre? Considering how much it owes to ideas borrowed from other people, you’d think it would be more interested in helping progress, rather than stifling creativity by blocking everything its competitors are doing. For example, does it really matter if Samsung or whoever has slide to unlock on their phones and tablets? Do Apple really think that people go out of their way to get a phone that has that feature? Of course, they flipping well don’t and Apple knows it.

Of course, the courts don’t seem very interested in anything other than keeping Apple happy. What would make me happy is for someone to sue Apple into oblivion or at least to the point that it agrees to shut up and go back to making mediocre, overpriced toys.

Linux Love

Description: Linux

I thought I’d write to tell you how great Linux is these days. I’ve always been a Windows user, because that was the easiest thing to do and because the kids wanted to play games. Now they’ve flown the nest, I don’t need to worry about that so much, so a couple of months ago I installed Ubuntu Linux on my old Core 2 Duo system and it runs like a dream.

There are absolutely no problems with drivers and the interface looks fantastic – a lot better than even Windows 7 and not far from the eye candy of Mac OS X. I know a lot of people complain about the difficult of the installation and using the terminal, but I have to say I thought it was really very straightforward, and I’m no computer expert. I’ve barely touched the terminal, because I simply haven’t needed to. It’s like Windows: if you want to get more out of it, you can dig into the command line, but you don’t need it to do everyday things.

I’m now considering getting rid of Windows altogether and going completely open source. The only thing that’s stopping me is a few programs I need for work that only have Windows versions. If I can manage to get them working in Wine or a virtual system, then it’s going to be bye bye Microsoft and hello Tux.

If anyone has thought about trying Linux before but was afraid, now really is the time to give it a go. You can always install it with Wubi via Windows if you don’t want to mess about with partitioning hard drives and all that stuff.

Mint choc chip

Description: Quirky 1.0 - a new project of Puppy Linux founder Barry Kauler

Quirky 1.0 - a new project of Puppy Linux founder Barry Kauler

Barry mentioned removing Linux would probably mean you won’t be able to boot into Windows afterwards.

May I suggest using something like a Puppy Live DVD, which can boot unaffected by any mess you’ve made of your MBR, and can be used to install grub in isolation of a complete Linux installation.

Barry also mentioned that recovering your documents after a reinstall is a case of copying onto a pen drive and back again.

May I also suggest that by using a separate partition (or even a separate disk) for your/home mount point, one can install and reinstall Linux systems ad nauseam, while stilling having access to your documents. No copying required.

Note that having a separate disk for/home is very useful because (1) you can disconnect it during mega install sessions – for safety’s sake, and (2) you can take it with you when you change your pc.

Me? I have my/home mount point on a remote file server connected by a dedicated gigabit Ethernet connection to my main PC, but available via SSH to my others PCs and laptops too.

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