foobar on computers, software and the rest of the world


More Apple madness (follow up)

, posted: 24-Apr-2010 07:10

Yesterday I wrote down my opinions about how Apple manages to successfully sell crappy products (with my own definition of 'crappy'). Specifically, I was bothered by how Apple treats customers and developers with contempt

In a very timely manner today I found this article here. It's the story of a kind soul who bought iPads and sent them to friends in those countries where they are not available yet. For his effort, he was banned from buying further iPads. He reached his 'lifetime lim (read the entire post)...



The GPU, your personal desktop super computer

, posted: 6-Feb-2009 07:19

There once was a time (70s, 80s and early 90s) when a lot of interesting research was done in the field of computer architectures. Researchers and specialised companies developed MIMD, SIMD, array, vector, pipeline and other exciting and innovative computing architectures in order to win the race to the top, to be able to claim the 'fastest computer in the world' title (usually measured in FLOPS, Floating Point Operations per Second). The money was there to buy those multi-million dollar machine (read the entire post)...



A truly light-weight OS: Written in ASM, with GUI, networking and apps

, posted: 3-Feb-2009 10:39

Much has been written about resource hungry operating systems. Microsoft Vista or even various GNU/Linux desktop editions, which can't be happy unless you throw gigabytes of RAM at them. Today I came across an operating system that can truly claim to be light-weight. It is called Kolibri. Check this out:
The complete ISO is 4.4 MB in size (when zipped it's 2.8 MB, so you can basically send it around as email attachment, if you really want to).It's completely written in assembler.It has a ni (read the entire post)...



Exploring functional programming - Which language do you recommend?

, posted: 11-Dec-2008 03:08

I need your advise. I am thinking about broadening my horizon and learning about functional programming. So now I'm wondering: Which language would you recommend I use for this learning exercise?

My programming experience so far has mostly been in C/C++, Java, Pascal, Assembler and Python. In hindsight I regret that I didn't pay too much attention to that one Lisp class that I had many years ago at university. Maybe the instructor didn't properly convey to us the value of learning a c (read the entire post)...



LHC (Large Hadron Collider): Live web-cam

, posted: 12-Sep-2008 10:56

Over in Europe, the Large Hadron Collider has gone online to much fanfare. It is the hope of the researchers that the most fundamental nature of matter can be explored, looking for the so-called "God particle". Of course, there is also a vocal minority of people claiming that in doing so, we will create an artificial black hole, which will swallow up all of Earth and end our existence as we know it.

Those worries are of course completely unfounded.

The LHC folks were nice e (read the entire post)...



Clippy for VI: What we all have been waiting for

, posted: 22-Aug-2008 08:52

Here is what we command-line users have always wanted. Microsoft's assistant - Clippy - for VI.


I found this animated GIF via reddit on a site called houghi.org. But I have no idea who originally produced this image.

Good stuff...
(read the entire post)...



Dell Mini Note - Asus EEE PC killer?

, posted: 20-Aug-2008 08:20

On the Gizmodo web site there are now some more photos and full specs available about the upcoming Dell Mini Note. Officially, Dell calls this system the 'Dell Inspiron 910'. It comes with a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor, 1024x600 screen, built-in webcam, 512 MB of memory (can be extended to 1 GB) and anywhere between 4 to 16 GB of SSD storage.

Most importantly, you can not only get it with Windows XP, but also with Ubuntu 8.04! Yeah!

The launch date is currently listed as t (read the entire post)...



Star Crush: A Nerd's Hope

, posted: 19-Aug-2008 11:14

You have to admit, nerds can be an optimistic bunch. Take, for example a recent case I have come across: A nice but otherwise unassuming IT support guy, burried away deep in the bowels of some anonymous IT department, rarely seeing the light of day and otherwise only interacting with the rest of humanity through IRC channels.

Like many 'nerds', he had an affection for Lara Croft, or more accurately, Angelina Jolie, as illustrated clearly by the big movie poster hanging over his desk. (read the entire post)...



More reasons not to buy an iPhone: Remote wipe of 'unauthorised' applications

, posted: 8-Aug-2008 09:52

As if anyone still needs another reason to know that buying an iPhone is a really bad idea, here is another one: Apparently, Apple can remotely wipe any applications that it doesn't agree with. On your iPhone. Without you having a say in it.

Really, this in conjunction with the already established reasons and exorbitant prices should be enough for anyone not to touch that thing with a 10-foot pole. (read the entire post)...



The $1000 iPhone application - first victim?

, posted: 8-Aug-2008 09:35

So, apparently someone actually bought the $1000 iPhone application (which does absolutely nothing!) I first wrote about yesterday. I was wondering is someone would buy it. Looks like someone did and is now trying to get his money back, since it was all just an accident, supposedly.

Good luck with that. Just get in the habit of not buying software in the first place, stick with free and open systems and you won't have that problem. (read the entire post)...



Boycott these companies - they support human rights violations

, posted: 8-Aug-2008 08:04

Here is the link to the sponsors for this year's Olympic Games in Beijing. As I wrote before, if freedom and human rights mean anything to us, we owe it ourselves and to those who are suffering from censorship and oppression to do something - anything! - about it.

The one thing where it hurts these days is always the money. The games were given to China despite it's terrible human rights record purely for financial reasons. China gets away with what it does, because we let it - purely (read the entire post)...



iPhone monthly plan for just $28!

, posted: 7-Aug-2008 08:56

Ok, that is: If you live in Japan and consume less than 2 MB of data per month. But just take a look at this article here for an idea of the monthly plans for iPhones in other countries.

The article actually opens up with an iPhone app you can buy for $1000, which does ... nothing, except display the picture of a ruby. I wonder if anyone buys this, just to show how rich and cool they are... (read the entire post)...



Hillarious laptop abuse - nightmare for IT department

, posted: 27-Jul-2008 12:36

So, I'm sitting here in the Qantas business launge of the Sydney airport, waiting for my flight back to Auckland. A few tables across from me someone has just powered up his laptop. I know it's a business traveler, because his laptop has a business card and a company sticker - a large, well-known news organisation - glued to the lid.

But apparently he is not happy with some crumbs or other debries being stuck in the keyboard - I can see him blowing at it and wiping over it. Doesn't se (read the entire post)...



Another DRM infested music store closes - music becomes worthless

, posted: 25-Jul-2008 10:30

Back in April I wrote about Microsoft's music store closing, thus rendering any music purchased from that store worthless. Why? The music is DRM infested, and thus will stop playing after they switch off their servers that are needed for license verification. Now something just like it is happening with the Yahoo Music Store. It is closing later this year and their servers are being shut down. Your music won't play if you every try to move it to a different computer.

As I said before: (read the entire post)...



Amazon S3 outage: Almost 7 hours and counting

, posted: 21-Jul-2008 10:44

Today has been a bad day for many web-sites and startups across the Internet. The reason? An Amazon S3 outage, which started some 7 hours ago (around 9 am US-west-coast time), and which is still not fully resolved. According to Amazon's status dashboard, they have finally managed to get the European service back online again, but are still working on the US service.

For those of you who are not familiar with Amazon S3: It's a cloud-computing service from Amazon (yes, THE Amazon that w (read the entire post)...



Mobile phone free zone in Qantas business launge

, posted: 14-Jul-2008 12:12

So, I'm sitting again here in the Qantas business launge in Auckland airport, and discover to my surprise that they now have a portion of it labeled as 'Mobile phone free zone'. Well, how about that? A while back I was sitting here, being annoyed by inconsiderate idiots and their mobile phones. And now they have this sign up here? Could the outrage and public backlash generated by my little blog post have prompted this? Let me bask for a moment in the imaginary glow of having made a difference w (read the entire post)...



5 reasons not to buy an iPhone 3G

, posted: 12-Jul-2008 08:56

Just in time for all the hype surrounding the release of the new iPhone 3G, the Free Software Foundation gives us 5 reasons not to buy it. From the article:
iPhone completely blocks free software. Developers must pay a tax to Apple, who becomes the sole authority over what can and can't be on everyone's phones.iPhone endorses and supports Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) technology. iPhone exposes your whereabouts and provides ways for others to track you without your knowledge.iPhone (read the entire post)...



Vodafone and roaming on pre-pay: Madness!

, posted: 10-Jul-2008 13:25

Lately, Vodafone is not getting a whole lot of good press (here and here). Looks like I have yet another story to add to that.

I'm on pre-pay and always have been reasonably happy with it as well. Since I don't use my phone all that much, I never had a reason to go on account. The only feature of the account that interested me was the ability to just use roaming while travelling, without many issues.

You see, as a pre-pay customer you have to register your desire for roamin (read the entire post)...



Why the few always win and the masses lose

, posted: 9-Jul-2008 10:18

Frustration In many parts of the world a certain frustration is growing with the democratic processes that should govern the lives of us - the people. Time and time again it appears as if 'those in power' are not listening to what we desire any more and instead follow whatever is proposed by industry lobbyists and other special interest groups. Laws and regulations are passed, which are completely at odds with what most of the people actually want. For the most part, this is jus (read the entire post)...



Fair hiring practices

, posted: 8-Jul-2008 07:07

Some researchers compared the hiring practices of various international companies and came to the conclusion that the practices of US companies are the fairest, even when hiring for their branches and offices outside of the US. Specifically, they noted:
Only about 10 percent of ads placed by U.S.-based companies contained gender discrimination, compared with 24 percent for European-based firms and 47 percent for Asian corporations.

Age discrimination [appeared] in 12 percent of h (read the entire post)...



foobar's profile

 
New Zealand


  • Who I am: Software developer and consultant.
  • What I do: System level programming, Linux/Unix. C, C++, Java, Python, and a long time ago even Assembler.
  • What I like: I'm a big fan of free and open source software. I'm Windows-free, running Ubuntu on my laptop. To a somewhat lesser degree, I also follow the SaaS industry.
  • Where I have been: Here and there, all over the place.




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