Welcome, 2016!

I’m so old a new year is becoming tedious but I have plenty of reasons to embrace 2016. I’m not so old I can’t have ambitions and achieve them in a new year.

Last year, TLW and I got a lot done. I planted 100 trees and I thought I was done… She then cleaned up a lot of clearance sales at garden centres and bought another 100. She followed that with a few tonnes of granite boulders. My back’s still not right. I think she’s done… I will plant another 100 this year and then I will be done. I will also plant a new lawn, hopefully more enduring than the last. Some of the planting I think will be productive in 2016:

  • a few apple trees. I’ve bought one and have a few planted from seed. They are beautiful but need nurturing, just like the grand children.
  • A mess of fruit and nut trees: haskap, hazelbert, grapes, Russian almond, oaks, and cranberry. These will take a few years to get into production but if I plant enough, we should have plenty survive.
  • a few big trees. I’m growing one ponderosa pine indoors and it seems happy as long as I give it sun, water and some rotation. I will replace any dead cedars and larch that don’t spring forth in 2016. I planted one tiny oak in the yard last year. If it doesn’t take hold this year, I will plant some more…
  • Lilacs and caragana. TLW hates them but they are beautiful to me and the birds and bees also love them. I have a mess of lilac growing indoors under lights. One of the Chinese LED floodlights will help them along.

That’s for the growing season. In the winter that’s upon us I intend to finish my work on a ballistics programme derived from GEBC but written in PASCAL and using different libraries and algorithms. I should be able to make it much more flexible and useful, particularly for graphics and using it as a web-application. I’ve extensive experience in the numerical methods involved and while GEBC is correct, it’s horrible in structure, using a huge array in 1-foot intervals for instance. I will use splines and save all the time and space wasted there. I will use SVG output so the graphs are easy to export and use elsewhere. I don’t know whether the web version will run on this site but I will definitely use it on my residential server.

Other projects in the works include building several switching power supplies and inverters to eventually supply backup power from alternators and solar panels. I’ve already ordered parts which are trickling in. Last week I repaired a broken idler bracket on the snowblower and while it was all apart I fixed a couple of other problems and redid the lubrication. I repaired the universal joint for steering the discharge chute. It had come apart years ago and I wired it back together. I found steel cases from milsurp 5.56Nato rounds could do double duty. The body of the case fit as one cross-pin of the joint and the necks of two cases made the other two pins. I welded them in place using “farmer’s rod”, E6013, and a handful of snow to prevent the plastic joint from melting completely… The driveway is clear again. I doubt the snowblower will last another 20 years but a few more… Now that we have a couple of very accurate rifles I would like once again to do some 1000 yard shooting at targets just for fun. Must renew club memberships…

In IT, I expect to replace most of the client PCs and servers this year with ARMed devices just to complete the escape from Wintel. My server doesn’t need to waste 95W just sitting there and the clients can all be much smaller and cheaper using ARM and */Linux. The only real issue with ARM in the whole house is that our printer may not have a driver for ARM. It’s only got a 32-bit x86 driver. I can set up a virtual machine to fake that… I’ve identified several boxes costing about $100 that will do for clients but none of them have the storage and RAM for the server unless I make a cluster. I’m still shopping but things are getting close. I sent a message outlining what I seek to one maker. They meet all my requirements except RAM and storage. Surely they must realize the opportunity they are wasting now that the world loves */Linux on ARM. They can replace many legacy PCs. That would be sweet if that was the next wave of adoption in IT. It’s really going to help that my pension will be fully functional in 2016. Because I moved around so much, it was a lot of work combining all the parts but that’s finished this month.

I think 2016 will be a great year. */Linux is taking care of business. The world has awakened to ISIL or whatever those murdering bastards should be called. Ukraine and Syria could be resolved too, not that that should have been necessary but many folks really messed up and for too long. The new Canadian government is really trying to settle Syrian refugees. I like that. They are almost doing the register-them-on-the-planes-plan. Shame on USA for being too afraid of ISIL to do anything substantial. Global warming may actually improve my weather in the short term… My municipality might actually make a plan for the sewage system they swore we needed years ago.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
This entry was posted in astronomy, firearms, food, horticulture, technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to Welcome, 2016!

  1. Wizard Emeritus wrote, “there are plenty of others for whom it did not “work” then, and for whom it STILL does not work as a desktop OS now.”

    Well, there are millions of users of GNU/Linux quite happy with price/performance/reliability. They matter. Some may be happy with TOOS but I don’t know any of them personally. I don’t know anyone in my family who relies on M$ totally for IT these days. There are one or two Macs around, but mostly folks are using iThingies and Android/Linux for everything. Only a couple use TOOS at work as far as I know. TLW certainly gets far more utility out of GNU/Linux than she ever did with TOOS. e.g. Yesterday, I noticed she was not logged in (grand daughter visiting…) so I was able to build Linux 4.4 and install it and reboot Beast and her thin clients without leaving my chair. You just can’t do that with TOOS. For one thing, M$ doesn’t allow random kernels to be used and thin clients don’t usually take kindly to rebooting the server with TOOS. e.g. RDP session gets broken. In TLW’s case, the thin client itself runs an openSSH server and stays up while Beast reboots. You just can’t beat the flexibility of GNU/Linux for all IT. That’s why M$ and its customers embrace GNU/Linux. Unlike TOOS which is severely limited by the EULA, users are free to get the most out of their hardware with GNU/Linux.

  2. Wizard Emeritus says:

    “Well, then, as long as I don’t have to deal with Microsoft’s crap, at least I’m a happy ignorant bigot. :-)”

    Just so long as others don’t need to deal with your bigoted crap, that is fine.

  3. Wizard Emeritus says:

    RObert Pogson spouts a lot of opinionated nonsense followed by:

    “What kind of design does one call that if not broken? If TOOS were not broken I might never have switched to GNU/Linux. I just needed an OS that worked. GNU/Linux did.”

    Coming from someone whose last real experience was with the then obsolete windows 3.x in 1999, I would still call it ignorant bigotry, especially if your experiences with long dead versions of windows is put forward as representative of current versions of windows.

    Linux may have worked well enough for you in 1999 when you embraced it as your desktop replacement, but there are plenty of others for whom it did not “work” then, and for whom it STILL does not work as a desktop OS now.

  4. Wizard Emeritus says:

    “Life is great!”

    Medication does that, doesnt’ it Dougie 😉

  5. dougman says:

    “Well, then, as long as I don’t have to deal with Microsoft’s crap, at least I’m a happy ignorant bigot.”

    Agreed.

    Let’s seeing M$ is waning, Android/ChromeOS is merging, the Internet of things is growing sans M$, and let’s not forget Bitcoin is growing strong.

    Life is great!

  6. luvr says:

    Wizard Emeritus said, “calling windows “broken by design” is nothing more than ignorant bigotry”.

    Well, then, as long as I don’t have to deal with Microsoft’s crap, at least I’m a happy ignorant bigot. 🙂

  7. Deaf Spy says:

    since Windows is broken by design

    Dearest Luvr, would you please be so kind to enlighten us which aspects of Window’s design are broken fundamentally? It would be mostly valuable if your analysis includes comparison how these designs are handles in other popular desktop OSes.

  8. Wizard Emeritus wrote, “calling windows “broken by design” is nothing more than ignorant bigotry”.

    • binary registry…
    • mutating file/print sharing into ever more complex fragile stuff…
    • integrating Internet Exploder into the OS…
    • shipping an OS with ~50K bugs and no security…

    What kind of design does one call that if not broken? If TOOS were not broken I might never have switched to GNU/Linux. I just needed an OS that worked. GNU/Linux did.

  9. Wizard Emeritus says:

    “Like Robert, I’m sick and tired of Microsoft’s crap. If anyone comes to me with a “broken computer” when what they really mean is that Windows no monger works right, I tell them that I cannot help them repair Windows (which is true, since Windows is broken by design). If they want to stick with Windows anyway—fine, but they will have to find what they perceive as “help” elsewhere.”

    At least you are more honest in your bigotry, (and make no mistake, calling windows “broken by design” is nothing more than ignorant bigotry). But then again you Unlike Robert Pogson you are probably not the only choice that the person seeking help has. Where he worked, Robert Pogson WAS apparently the only game in town, and he seemed find all sorts of ways to avoid fixing windows systems, but had no problems spending huge amount of time setting up and maintaining his linux based solutions.

  10. luvr says:

    Oops… “no monger” was meant to be “no longer”, of course… 😉

  11. luvr says:

    Wizard Emeritus said, “You call anyone who decides of their own volition to stay with commercial software on microsoft slaves. So much for any free choice other than your own!”

    Even if Robert considers Microsoft users “slaves”, he doesn’t force them to free themselves of their chains, does he? He just does not want to be the enabler to keep them chained—he can safely leave that to others.

    Like Robert, I’m sick and tired of Microsoft’s crap. If anyone comes to me with a “broken computer” when what they really mean is that Windows no monger works right, I tell them that I cannot help them repair Windows (which is true, since Windows is broken by design). If they want to stick with Windows anyway—fine, but they will have to find what they perceive as “help” elsewhere.

  12. Wizard Emeritus wrote, ” What you want is for Microsoft and commercial software to be replaced with your precious FOSS on Linux. You regularly cheer as governments and institutions impose it by fiat on their workers.”

    All kinds of organizations “buy centrally” or whatever and pave over previous configurations. It’s efficient for them. It’s efficient for me. It may be efficient for others. It’s not an imposition. Workers get the tools the organization wants them to have to get the job done. FLOSS competes on its merits. Where price/reliability/openness matter, folks choose FLOSS for good and sufficient reasons. That so many large and small organizations find FLOSS works for them, FLOSS has merit. Wizard Emeritus can believe what he wants. I really don’t care.

    As a teacher, I was an insignificant cog in the wheel. I did not see the overview of the whole organization. That I was able to persuade whole staffs to accept working FLOSS versus broken TOOS was mostly the work of M$, not me. I was the facilitator, not the tyrant. The tyrant Wintel did not get its way because our organizations were too small to be their targets. No salesmen came to call. Salesmen did call on Munich and other places but FLOSS won because it works for people.

  13. Wizard Emeritus says:

    “I want the world to be free to accept or to reject M$’s offerings. ”

    No you don’t, Robert Pogson. What you want is for Microsoft and commercial software to be replaced with your precious FOSS on Linux. You regularly cheer as governments and institutions impose it by fiat on their workers. You call anyone who decides of their own volition to stay with commercial software on microsoft slaves.

    So much for any free choice other than your own!

  14. DeafSpy wrote, “When my daughter wants to type her homework, she docks it on the keyboard and voila, she has a working PC. No reconfiguration, no inadequate UI, just a clean, simple desktop.”

    Hey! That sounds a lot like GNU/Linux. X recognizes the size of the device and everything works as usual. Several distros also run Android/Linux with GNU/Linux and get the best of both worlds all the time.

  15. DeafSpy says:

    Robert, you surprise me. On one hand, you preach small cheap computers replacing PCs, etc., etc. In other words, you agree that desktop as we knew it changes. On the other hand, you keep telling us how MS are losing the desktop as we knew it.

    No such thing, Robert. MS rule the desktop as we knew it with almost 90% marketshare. With mobile – they are complete losers so far. But they seem to be winning on the semi-mobile ground: tablets and 2-in-1(s). See newegg; see bandgoods; see ali-baba; see dx. Where we had almost 100% Android tablets, now we have a good share of Windows 8/10 tablets, and some dual-os ones. Same with small factor (so called tv boxes) – Android is giving way and now has a hold at the sub $80 range, while any slightly more capable of video-decoding device is running Windows.

    Windows 10 is a dubious move, but at the end of the day it is actually putting MS back in the tablets game.

    Let me share my personal experience. This Christmas I bought my daughter a 2-in-1 small cheap computer for 110 GBP. A 4-core Atom, 2 GB RAM, 32 GB storage, 2 USB ports, HDMI, with W10. The tablet behaves like one, with one app on top or arranging apps one to another. When docked to a keyboard, it turns automatically into a classic desktop, and touch keyboard doesn’t show up anymore. Comes with free versions of Office Mobile apps. When my daughter wants to type her homework, she docks it on the keyboard and voila, she has a working PC. No reconfiguration, no inadequate UI, just a clean, simple desktop.

    This, Robert, you cannot do with Android, not at the same level of user experience. No wonder these “small cheap computers” are gaining ground, and leave Androids where they belong – cheap tablets and phones.

  16. Deaf Spy wrote, “This, Robert, is what counts. One division may go slower, but others more than compensate for it. This, Robert, means that MS are moving on along with the world.”, and a bunch of other stuff…

    I have zero objection to M$ competing fairly in business unlike what they did on the desktop/client OS front. Let them work for a living. I like that. I want the world to be free to accept or to reject M$’s offerings. Share of servers? Order of magnitude less than what they stole on the desktop. That’s competition at work. They still have some unfair leverage of the desktop onto the server/cloud but at least there’s obvious competition there so it’s not nearly as bad.

  17. Deaf Spy says:

    From the very source of yours, Robert:
    Income in 2015 is higher than 2014. They will even pay a higher dividend to their shareholders.

    This, Robert, is what counts. One division may go slower, but others more than compensate for it. This, Robert, means that MS are moving on along with the world. And moves on pretty well, I must confess.

    Contrary to some people who can’t leave Pascal behind in the ashes where it belongs. 🙂

  18. Deaf Spy wrote, “Number of physical copies never matters. Only money matters.”

    They are down seriously on both counts.
    “Devices revenue decreased $1.8 billion or 49%, mainly due to lower revenue from phones, driven by the shift in strategy for the phone business, as well as lower Surface revenue. Phones revenue decreased $1.5 billion or 58%, as we sold 5.8 million Lumia phones and 25.5 million other non-Lumia phones in the first quarter of fiscal year 2016, compared with 9.3 million and 42.9 million sold, respectively, in the prior year. Surface revenue decreased $236 million or 26%, primarily driven by the release of Surface Pro 3 in June 2014.
     
    Windows revenue decreased $322 million or 7%, mainly due to lower revenue from Windows OEM and patent licensing. Windows OEM revenue decreased $189 million or 6%, driven by declines in the business and consumer PC markets. Windows OEM Pro revenue declined 7%, slightly ahead of the performance of the business PC market. Windows OEM non-Pro revenue declined 4%, outperforming the consumer PC market, driven by a higher mix of premium licenses sold. Patent licensing revenue decreased, due to a decline in units and patent revenue per license, driven by a reduction in the average selling price of smartphones.”

    In M$’s “Good Old Days”[sarcasm], M$ recorded ~10% gains annually year after year and revenue was ~$4billion quarterly just for desktop licences.

  19. Deaf Spy says:

    No, they didn’t. Bill wanted one copy on each desktop, not one copy used by 1K people. He’s lost his grip on the people.

    If it were so, Terminal Services would never exist as a product, Robert, and Windows would have never supported multiple user desktop sessions. Licenses, Robert, licenses. If you have one server, servicing 1K users using Office, you still need 1K licenses / CALs / whatever. Number of physical copies never matters. Only money matters.

  20. Deaf Spy wrote, “Whether there is one server with TS / Citrix with 1K users, or 1K desktops, MS doesn’t care. They got what they want in both cases.”

    No, they didn’t. Bill wanted one copy on each desktop, not one copy used by 1K people. He’s lost his grip on the people. I was in Walmart the other day. M$ has a tiny representation on shelves. Two machines out of dozens. M$ has paid to have a kiosk of their machines with a few more but no one’s buying. There were several consumers in the area and they were like me looking at accessories and smart thingies. Yes, M$ can make money on servers but they have to work for it, providing servers, for instance. That’s a lower margin kind of business. The world doesn’t owe them a living and the world now has choice. The next SEC filing should show the desktop is a tiny fraction of their business while a decade ago it was the whole ball of wax.

  21. Deaf Spy says:

    Why should one server installed of That Other OS be counted as ~1K PCs?

    Because that one server serves 1K users. Users, Robert. Those beings that do work and generate a product. Who count.

    Whether there is one server with TS / Citrix with 1K users, or 1K desktops, MS doesn’t care. They got what they want in both cases.

  22. Deaf Spy wrote, “All the work gets done on the server, and the OS on the thin client is totally irrelevant. It can be anything, it simply doesn’t matter.”

    If you are trying to relate page-views/browsing with numbers of PCs, it matters. Why should one server installed of That Other OS be counted as ~1K PCs? Of course, that overcounts GNU/Linux servers as well but it certainly muddies the waters.

  23. Deaf Spy says:

    So, many thin clients running GNU/Linux don’t get counted in the share even though that’s what the human is touching
    And for a reason. All the work gets done on the server, and the OS on the thin client is totally irrelevant. It can be anything, it simply doesn’t matter.

    We discuss what matters here, Robert. What gets the work done. In the case of thin client, that is the terminal server.

    Otherwise, you will go as low as to start counting the OSes on the routers and network switches. 🙂

  24. DrLoser, being thick, wrote, “Pity that the real world doesn’t actually have anything to do with your increasingly senile claims.”

    Let’s be clear here. TLW is using a GNU/Linux thin client. If she like most businesses connected to servers running TOOS, what User-agent would show out in the web? So, many thin clients running GNU/Linux don’t get counted in the share even though that’s what the human is touching. Then there’s masking. If N thin clients access some site all with the identical IP address and user-agent, how many counts does StatCounter and that other counter count? StatCounter says it counts page-views so that should work, unless they block those counts for being “unreasonable” or possibly from a “bot”. The other counts something else, like Unique IPs… so that doesn’t work for thin clients. etc.

  25. DrLoser wrote, “You are the Original $99 Bleating Cheapskate.”

    I’m not cheap at all. I like to spend less on each item so I can buy more items. That works for me. FreePascal is supported by people who use it. If my stock portfolio keeps doing what it’s doing I may make some FLOSS $donations this year. The government says I have to withdraw x% from my Retirement Income Fund and it keeps growing. I’ve already bought a tractor and a bunch of stuff and there’s more in there than when I started. I guess that makes me a capitalist, not a cheapskate. I used to hate capitalists and now I are one…

  26. wizard emeritus says:

    I love your math robert pogson. When I looked at your cite,i counted up over 80% market share across all the versions of windows. Is there something else you had in mind?

  27. DrLoser says:

    One more thing, Robert. To quote Deaf Spy, and I think quite appropriately:

    Pascal had its chance and its star years with Turbo Pascal and Delphi thanks to Anders Hejlsberg.

    That was back in the Glory Days for Pascal, to whit the Borland offerings in the mid 1990s. Right up your street, Mr Pogson. Not only you favourite language (Pascal). Not only a very respectable, in fact quite possibly Industry leading GUI (Delphi). But all wrapped up at the low, low cost of $95 (to start with) and $49 (towards the end of the 1990s).

    Did you, Robert, reluctantly drag $95 out of your moth-ridden wallet in order to support the Great Cause in the 1990s?

    I’m darned sure you didn’t. You weren’t prepared to cough up the equivalent of a carton of cigarettes in the 1990s, were you? Not even in order to make your software dreams come true in the 1990s … and you’re not prepared to cough up now.

    Quite frankly, Robert, if you are not prepared to chuck some small trinket along the lines of $99 into the pot, then you are not allowed to piss into it.

    And yet, I speak too soon. This is now 2015. Yet another chance for you, Robert, to Influence The World by a Wise Bit of $99 Advice!

    Did you buy that Kangaroo thin client I advised (cost: $99), by the way?

    Face facts, Robert Pogson.

    You are the Original $99 Bleating Cheapskate.

  28. DrLoser says:

    That’s about 15% and does not take into account thin clients and other dodges of OS that we know are out there.

    “Thin clients?”

    “Other dodges?”

    Well, OK, Robert. If you say so. Pity that the real world doesn’t actually have anything to do with your increasingly senile claims.

  29. DrLoser says:

    DrLoser said, “what the world at large recognises as important distinctions:
    1) Malware. Something I do not want.
    2) Operating System. Something I do want.”

    I won’t argue with your statement about malware, but, to be honest, I doubt that “the world at large” is even aware that there exists anything like an “Operating System”, and does not care.

    This is a needlessly tortuous process, Luvr.

    1. I am asserting that the general public sees no difference between “malware” and “an OS with (supposed) malware issues.” Quite correctly, as far as I can see.
    2. Robert apparently wishes to make that distinction. I have no idea why. Presumably he wishes to identify one or more OSes with one or more malwares in some form of exclusivity.

    Well, I guess that would be his choice. I’m all for choice.

    The only thing I was attempting to point out is that there is no obvious need to equate a particular single OS with “malware.” Unless of course you are a frothing rabid maniac.

    Fair enough, Luvr?

  30. Deaf Spy wrote, “2. Windows has close to 90% marketshare on desktop as total, with Windows 10 approaching 10% of the overall desktop.”

    That’s just silly. GNU/Linux has at least 5% and probably closer to 10%. Apple claims 6%.

    StatCounter, for Sunday, shows for page-views on the web:
    Chrome OS 0.38
    GNU/Linux 1.59
    Unknown 4.07
    OS X 9.14

    That’s about 15% and does not take into account thin clients and other dodges of OS that we know are out there. I’m still not certain what “unknown” is but it’s certainly not That Other OS, and it’s growing rapidly. When you consider all clients, TOOS is down to 45% and “10” has less than 10%.

    Also, Desktop is down year over year by double-digit percentages. Rats clinging to a sinking ship. That’s why M$ is embracing GNU/Linux. It’s the bright star in the darkness.

  31. Deaf Spy says:

    That doesn’t leave alot for Microsoft. They never were as big as they claimed they were, and the are much smaller now.

    Reality check:
    1. Microsoft Windows continues to hold onto server revenue market share, with quarterly revenue of $6.5 billion. Windows now holds a 45.7% of overall global server revenues.
    http://www.serverwatch.com/server-news/2013-global-server-market-continues-to-decline.html

    2. Windows has close to 90% marketshare on desktop as total, with Windows 10 approaching 10% of the overall desktop.
    https://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=10&qpcustomd=0

    3. Azure and Office 365 grow with more than 100% each.

    Really, MS has nowhere to go. 🙂

    Ram, are you trying to be the next Fifi here? I tell you, one is more than enough.

  32. Deaf Spy says:

    As long as FreePascal is alive and well, PASCAL lives on whether Deaf Spy agrees or not.

    Then you can say OS/2 lives, as long as eComStation is alive and well. Which doesn’t change the fact that OS/2 is not on any radar out there. 🙂

    COBOL, OTOH should be dead if it isn’t already.

    I say so, too. Despite the fact that there are a lot, really a lot applications in Cobol still running, far more than Pascal apps running out there. But, Fifi seems to disagree, I will leave Cobol to the two of you.

  33. Deaf Spy says:

    Fifi, dear, dear.

    LCL the freepascal VCL replacement is multi threaded and was from the start.

    No, it is not, sweetie. And, please spare yourself the embarrassment to bring TThread to the discussion, or, God forbid, LCL’s QueueAsyncCall.

    Go back to learning about writeln() and compiler magic, little one. You are an incompetent and lying fraud.

    As for Cobol, discuss it with Robert.

  34. Deaf Spy wrote, again, “Pascal lost its golden chance due to the thick-heads at Borland. Pascal is dead.”

    As long as FreePascal is alive and well, PASCAL lives on whether Deaf Spy agrees or not. COBOL, OTOH should be dead if it isn’t already.

  35. oiaohm says:

    http://www.microfocus.com/products/micro-focus-developer/visual_cobol/

    Like it or not cobol is still alive Deaf Spy. Some of the reason why Cobol is maintained is legacy other is regulation stupidity.
    https://books.google.com.au/books?id=N407AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA406&lpg=PA406&dq=cobol#v=onepage&q=cobol&f=false
    Cobol zombie like life starts back in the 1966 and even some current day USA government department standards say the program must be coded in Cobol and nothing else is acceptable.

    Pascal interesting enough is in the same camp as Cobol where it embedded as the only programming language for some government departments around the world.

    There are 3 programming languages embedded in different government department regulation requirements solo. ADA, Pascal and Cobol. Until the departments change their regulations there are always going to be coding jobs turning up for them.

    LCL the freepascal VCL replacement is multi threaded and was from the start.

    http://www.lazarus-ide.org/ Really Deafspy Borland did not develop but Freepascal has. Again very limited point of view Deafspy. If freepascal had not improved a lot of stuff by now government department regulations making pascal the only in house programing language would have completely disappeared.

  36. ram says:

    Statistics from my company’s consumer facing servers indicate over 80 percent of the users are running some form on GNU/Linux. Approximately, 10 percent are on corporate mainframes that are running some kind of “Unix-like” operating system. That doesn’t leave alot for Microsoft. They never were as big as they claimed they were, and the are much smaller now.

  37. Deaf Spy says:

    many millions using GNU/Linux on x86/AMD64/ARM.

    You keep telling this, Robert, but it is Windows 10 which got 200 million users in six months. Not GNU.

  38. Deaf Spy says:

    PASCAL is alive and well.

    PASCAL is dead, Pogson. It got the fate of COBOL. You may call Pascal alive only if you consider Cobol alive, too. This is not life. This is being connected to a life-supporting machine.

    Pascal had its chance and its star years with Turbo Pascal and Delphi thanks to Anders Hejlsberg.

    Again, the most important reason for Pascal to thrive back then was the tools:
    1. Wonderful IDE, always top star for its time until 2000.
    2. Good frameworks: Paradox Engine, TurboVision, OWL, VCL.

    Borland made a hideous mistake in late nineties. They started charging serious prices for the higher versions of Delphi – $900 for professional and up to $2500 for the full version. Sadly, certain rather basic, but vital features, like support for ADO, were available only in the full version. Their licensing policy was anything but flexible. In comparison, via their partner programs, MS gave up to five licenses of Visual Studio, with all the bells and whistles, OS licenses, server licenses, for just less than $400.

    I remember even writing back then to Charlie Calvert, who back then was responsible for the developer community at Borland (also author of the great Delphi 3 Unleashed book), and explaining him the situation, esp. with ex-communist countries, where $2500 was simply impossible. He agreed, promised to speak with marketing, but ultimately no one listened to him.

    Once Anders moved on, there was no other visionary who can bring the tools and frameworks to higher levels. Data binding, basically invented and made easily doable in VCL, stayed as in version 1.0 forever, while in .NET evolved the concept greatly. Controls never developed. Support for Windows 2000 and XP came too little, too late. VCL never got over his single-threaded model.

    Pascal lost its golden chance due to the thick-heads at Borland. Pascal is dead.

  39. Deaf Spy says:

    What has Deaf Spy ever done?

    No evil to anyone.

    I am not here to tell you my CV, as there are quite improbable chances you offer me a job I might even find worthy to read its description. Still, there are enough hints of some facts about me:
    1. 18 years as a professional, paid software developer, and still running. Currently I do a lot of program management and consultancy as well as development.
    2. Since 2013 – an associate professor at one of the biggest universities in my country.

    Not that it matters.

  40. wizard emeritus wrote, “The world is full of people making all sorts of choices.
     
    Just not yours.”

    Let’s see, nearly 2 billion using Android/Linux on ARM consumer electronic devices, more IoT stuff on the way, and many millions using GNU/Linux on x86/AMD64/ARM. So, folks are choosing what I choose, more or less. What drives people to need folks to make choices different than I make? [shakes head]

  41. DrLoser wrote, “To put it bluntly, Robert: there are no such jobs, although there might be a singleton or a doubleton involving uprooting yourself and moving 200+ miles in order to be paid roughly 33% less than you are already being paid. I stress might, because I have experience of Recruitment Consultants in the UK.”

    Get over it. I just pulled a random example from UK. PASCAL is used all over the world for a variety of uses. It’s a general purpose programming language:

    So get off the “It’s dead, Jim!” line. PASCAL is alive and well.

  42. wizard emeritus says:

    “No, thanks. I’ll take FLOSS any day.”

    But the vast majority may choose to do otherwise, or choose a mix of commercial and FOSS or even use FOSS on something other than linux. The world is full of people making all sorts of choices.

    Just not yours.

  43. luvr says:

    DrLoser said, “what the world at large recognises as important distinctions:
    1) Malware. Something I do not want.
    2) Operating System. Something I do want.”

    I won’t argue with your statement about malware, but, to be honest, I doubt that “the world at large” is even aware that there exists anything like an “Operating System”, and does not care.

  44. DrLoser says:

    Now, one could argue that professors are out of touch with reality, living in ivory towers, but then there are those current job ads asking for PASCAL.

    To put it bluntly, Robert: there are no such jobs, although there might be a singleton or a doubleton involving uprooting yourself and moving 200+ miles in order to be paid roughly 33% less than you are already being paid. I stress might, because I have experience of Recruitment Consultants in the UK.

    You, Robert, do not. Do feel free to experience the joy of talking to morons who are simply trying to drag a sample resume out of you and then, if you are lucky, body-shop you for peanuts.

    For a guy with something like sixty years of experience in the field, you are alarmingly juvenile at times, Robert.

    These people are not selling Pascal. They’re selling just about any live bit of protoplasm they can get their mucky little hands on.

    Feel free to apply on a contract basis, if you like.

  45. DrLoser wrote, “1) Malware. Something I do not want.
    2) Operating System. Something I do want.”

    1. Re-re-reboots
    2. Viruses etc.
    3. Spying
    4. EULA from Hell preventing proper usage of hardware I own

    No, thanks. I’ll take FLOSS any day.

  46. DrLoser says:

    SJVN has been around in IT for decades. He was heavily involved in NASA at one stage. He’s been there and done that…

    … and piddled around with the other. This heavy involvement with NASA? I do wish you would occasionally curb your enthusiasm by actually bothering to read your own cites, Robert.

    Hi, I’m Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols and I’m a senior editor of eWEEK.com, where I’m charge of Linux & Open Source and general technology coverage. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, I worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects.

    Does the man have cute dimples? Do his nipples face inwards? Can he Samba?

    I mean, who knows? These three vital bits of information are, rather sadly, missing from this otherwise excellent encomium.

    Goodness knows why, Robert. Just possibly, because a fraudulent tech journalist has written his own pseudo-puff-piece.

    It’s rather sad that an Eminent Personage such as yourself falls for this crap.

    Repeatedly.

    “I was heavily involved with NASA, until that meteorite hit me …”

    Pfui.

  47. DrLoser says:

    Yep, malware spreads like wild fire on That Other OS…

    Redefining an OS as “malware” doesn’t stop it being an OS, Robert. Still, if it makes you happy, feel free.

    Just be aware that you are never going to convince your neighbors, let alone the world at large, that the two are equivalent. Which basically renders your entire site as Senile Babble, unless you face what the world at large recognises as important distinctions:

    1) Malware. Something I do not want.
    2) Operating System. Something I do want.

    See? Easy. Try it yourself!

  48. Deaf Spy wrote, “Microsoft Corp.’s new Windows 10 operating system is running on more than 200 million devices”.

    Yep, malware spreads like wild fire on That Other OS…

  49. Deaf Spy, being deaf, wrote, “knowing SVJN is a prominent biased ignoramus of IT with zero real-life experience outside his office suite” and “not certain how much cheaper compared to other solutions. The article simply never mentions such an analysis.”

    SJVN has been around in IT for decades. He was heavily involved in NASA at one stage. He’s been there and done that. What has Deaf Spy ever done?

  50. Deaf Spy says:

    I was just reading that SJVN thinks, “Linux and open source have won, get over it” but folks like Andalusia have won by switching to FLOSS.

    First, I can’t get what exactly have Linux and open source won. SVJN says absolutely nothing new in his article, that wasn’t valid already. But knowing SVJN is a prominent biased ignoramus of IT with zero real-life experience outside his office suite, let’s focus on the Andalusia story.

    Bottom line:
    This yields a total cost of €983,500 per year, or €4.21 per user per year.

    Definitely not free, and not certain how much cheaper compared to other solutions. The article simply never mentions such an analysis.

  51. Deaf Spy says:

    Their future seems to be “pick and choose” as opposed to “pick everything Microsoft”.

    Not exactly. Their future seems to be SaaS.

  52. Deaf Spy says:

    In the other news, “Microsoft Corp.’s new Windows 10 operating system is running on more than 200 million devices, putting the software on course for the fastest growth trajectory of any previous version… outpacing Windows 8 by almost 400 percent…”.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-04/microsoft-windows-10-reaches-200-million-devices-after-6-months

    Another year, another prediction wrong…

  53. Ray wrote, “About the Wintel thing, I’m beginning to believe that Microsoft’s left it a year ago, since they started moving towards being compatible with non-Microsoft devices/apps/servers”

    I’m sure M$ has seen the writing on the wall for five years or more. They pay people to read walls… Even if M$ becomes a proper business overnight, I have no use for them and Bill is still on the board so I can’t see M$ getting “religion” any time soon. It will happen as M$ diversifies, naturally I suppose, but they did a lot of harm to IT and millions of people for so long I can never forgive them. I will continue to do my best never to do business with them again.

    e.g. I was just reading that SJVN thinks, “Linux and open source have won, get over it” but folks like Andalusia have won by switching to FLOSS. How many $billions does the world have to spend on useless software before it’s a crime? I was for decades a victim of M$. I didn’t know any better but now I do. I just can’t forget about it.

  54. Ray says:

    2 Things:

    Is there a road from the south to your place? Perhaps the global warming might make it easier to have a year round road.

    About the Wintel thing, I’m beginning to believe that Microsoft’s left it a year ago, since they started moving towards being compatible with non-Microsoft devices/apps/servers, like having their cloud mix with open source software, and having Office with Android. Their future seems to be “pick and choose” as opposed to “pick everything Microsoft”. There’s a much larger market (ie. phones).

  55. ram says:

    Trees, in areas that support trees, definitely grow faster in Australia. I have trees my wife and I planted that now have trunk diameters of 80 cm or so. The more recent genetically modified forestry trees have growth rates you can almost watch real time 😉
    Seriously though, they do grow several cm a day if given enough food and water.

  56. ram wrote, “If everybody planted hundreds of trees as you did there would not be a problem with global warming.”

    Trees do consume and recycle a magnificent mass of CO2 compared to turf grasses but they wouldn’t come close per annum to the CO2 emitted by my car in a year of driving. The damned thing burns over a tonne of gasoline per annum and all my trees might take a few years to recycle as much. Many of my trees are actually bushes or large trees that grow very slowly. Eventually, in a few decades, my yard might make a dent but I’ll be long gone. My short term goal is to get some fruit/nuts/shade/food/shelter for critters going.

    No kidding. We hung christmas LED lighting on our small trees and some of them could not support the weight. In five years, they will be man-sized. In fifty years some might be 60 feet tall, but it’s a start. I’ve out-planted all of my neighbours. The guy next to me on the west side has only a few trees left from the original bush and two or three trees he planted before he died. I’m at least doing it wholesale. TLW is threatening to cut some down if they block the view from the road of her “mansion”… The neighbour almost ran down the apples by the road with his snowmobile. He drives a Humvee… I don’t think he’s concerned much about CO2.

  57. ram says:

    If everybody planted hundreds of trees as you did there would not be a problem with global warming.

  58. DrLoser wrote, “Have you considered, as an alternative, using either:
    1) a sparse matrix with a lazy evaluation per cell as required”

    A cubic spline is sparse, elements only near the diagonal. That should save a lot of time/space.

    DrLoser also wrote, “I wouldn’t recommend wasting any further time on Pascal, though.
     
    It’s dead, Robert. It is of no possible interest to anybody at all, except as an historical artefact.”

    That’s nonsense. FreePascal.org is ranked 63K by Alexis and it has global usage. For instance, a well known university where one of the regulars works has a computer science department wherein current research uses PASCAL as a reference language. See New York University, CIMS, CS, Course CSCI-GA.3033-005, Fall 2015- Principles of Software Security. Now, one could argue that professors are out of touch with reality, living in ivory towers, but then there are those current job ads asking for PASCAL. It’s not dead. It’s alive and well and valued by folks who love correct programmes. It’s not as popular as some other languages and it may even be in decline in usage but those are not figures of merit in my book. Does it work? Is it easy to use? Is it good for trainees? Yes to all of those.

  59. DrLoser says:

    I’ve extensive experience in the numerical methods involved and while GEBC is correct, it’s horrible in structure, using a huge array in 1-foot intervals for instance. I will use splines and save all the time and space wasted there.

    Have you considered, as an alternative, using either:
    1) a sparse matrix with a lazy evaluation per cell as required, or
    2) a language which supports what — I suspect this is misleading these days, although as somebody who can remember when Alonzo Church first came up with it, you are in a better position to explain the details — the lambda calculus defines as “first class functions.”

    Now, I would still suggest that you invest your time more wisely in getting up-to-date with Python. A language which, incidentally, supports both abstractions I mentioned above.

    It’s all medieval fun round here though, so I heartily recommend that you acquire an antique APL keyboard. This has multiple advantages:
    1) You can pretend that you are Kenneth Iverson for the day. Iverson was a genius.
    2) You can fully leverage all that matrix math that you learned at college, because that is what APL is designed for.
    3) Did I mention that the keyboard is seriously cool?
    4) Lazy evaluation. With sparse data structures, lazy evaluation is good, as we all know. Be parsimonious: do not calculate that which ye shall not require.

    I wouldn’t recommend wasting any further time on Pascal, though.

    It’s dead, Robert. It is of no possible interest to anybody at all, except as an historical artefact. And if you seriously believe that anybody is going to waste their time on your web-fronted GEBC translate-to-Pascal nonsense, then I am afraid I shall have to disabuse you of that notion.

    It’s a complete waste of time. That particular app space has already been taken up — rather ironically — by mobile phone thingies using what you choose to call “small cheap thin clients.”

    Give it up, mon frere. I offer you that advice on an entirely impartial basis. Stop wasting your time.

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