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The Surface beast
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-12-04 20:58:19

For me the Surface Book 2 was the MacBook Pro that we had all wanted/expected from Apple, it just wears a different logo. While other reviews will read off the spec sheets and talk about the 17 hour battery life and GX yadda yadda yadda processor, they sometimes forget that we (the creative professionals) use these as tools. What Microsoft has done with the Surface Book 2 is make a system void of gimmicks, because gimmicks don't hold up in the working world. Our jobs will not benefit from being able to tap an emoji on a scroll bar, they will benefit from the ability to get work done. As a photographer, it feels extremely odd to say this, but I sincerely feel that the Surface Book 2 is not only a strong contender for the laptop to own, but actually the clear cut choice of the computer to have on set.

There seems to be a lot of interest in Surface from people disappointed with the recent MacBook Pros.

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RE: blue screen of death by virus
By grat on 2017-12-05 19:34:53
In computers, a generation is usually considered every 3-5 years. You're referring to issues with hardware and software that is a full *human* generation behind the times.

20 years ago, "top of the line" meant a 200MHz CPU, a 2GB hard drive and 32MB of RAM.

My *telephone* has 2 dual-core chips running 1.5GHz and 2.1GHz, 32GB of storage and 4gb of RAM-- and 4x the screen resolution.

Why not refuse to use computers at all because punch cards are too difficult? Or getting the volume on a tape deck was a bit persnickety?

Why not refuse to use Apple computers because they had a cheap floppy drive that went *thunka*thunka*thunka* when the 35 track head banged against the stop 5 extra times (because the controller was 40 track)?

Or, refuse to use computers of any type, because once upon a time, a moth caused a calculation error?
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RE[2]: blue screen of death by virus
By raglan on 2017-12-05 22:40:01
It's not like I haven't used Windows since then. And I haven't experienced, or read, or seen, anything to convince me there's been a drastic change in how Windows works. Do you really think it has improved a lot, changed a lot?
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RE[3]: But I don't want to run Windows
By Alfman on 2017-12-06 14:28:41
darknexus,

> For those who don’t know what this is, Microsoft decided that the way to handle the F keys was to have the FN key be a toggle between the function and hardware controls. Unfortunately, there’s no way to turn this off and, as it’s 100% at the hardware level, there’s nothing I can do about it. To top it all off they, in their infinite wisdom, decided to map F4 to be the mute key when the F lock happens to be on so, on attempting to close a Window quickly, it not only doesn’t work but might shut my system audio off instead.

I can sympathize with that. I once bought a laptop that reversed the physical scancodes for the Function/FN keys so that the default mapping would emulate FN key press and you had to hit the FN key to register F-number keys. I returned that laptop immediately because that behavior is too faulty for my needs.

There was a windows driver to reverse the keys, but I didn't want to have to deal with custom keymaps in linux too just to restore correct behavior. Typing CTRL-ALT-FN-Fx on a compact 14in laptop keyboard sucks.
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RE[3]: blue screen of death by virus
By karunko on 2017-12-06 15:21:20
> Do you really think it has improved a lot, changed a lot?
In not so many words: yes.

In slightly more words: either you are very good at ignoring the truth, or we are using entirely different products and looking at entirely different companies.

Hardware wise: think about the big WTF?!? that was the Surface RT and compare it with those that followed; or the Surface Book iterations, not to mention the Surface Studio. Some say that Microsoft is the innovator here, not Apple, and I tend to agree.

Software wise: I'm mostly happy about Windows 10 except for the "all or nothing" approach about patches but, on the other hand, given that non patched systems are bad (and dangerous) so how would you make sure that computers are not left unpatched for months -- if not years? I was okay-ish with Windows 8 too, and I think its biggest sin was to default to the tablet interface even on non-touch devices (which was easy to avoid and got fixed with 8.1 anyway) and I think that most people agree about Windows 7 being good. Which leaves us with Windows Vista (and in my opinion Microsoft should not carry all the blame here, but it's a long story), Windows XP (okay, I guess), Windows ME (yuck!), Windows 98, etc. So yes, I think things have changed quite a bit and, on the whole, for the better.

And don't let me get started with the new-found love for Open Source: only time will tell if it's genuine or not but, as I said, Microsoft looks very different now.



RT.
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RE[3]: blue screen of death by virus
By grat on 2017-12-06 16:21:25
> It's not like I haven't used Windows since then. And I haven't experienced, or read, or seen, anything to convince me there's been a drastic change in how Windows works. Do you really think it has improved a lot, changed a lot?

Starting around XP, yes. XP SP2 was probably the first solid, modern OS Microsoft produced. Still had security issues, primarily with everyone's Visual Basic programs wanting to write to anywhere they wanted, and needing local admin by default.

Vista, while much maligned, was a paradigm shift by Microsoft, and an attempt to bring order to a previously uncontrolled development landscape. It was doomed from the start, but it did what it needed to do, which was get everyone used to actual security standards so that when Windows 7 shipped, it was probably the best OS available, period.

Since I had a sufficiently powerful machine, Vista was a solid, reliable beast of an OS, and Windows 7 improved on that.

8.x is a good OS, marred by a plethora of poor design choices, and while Windows 10 improves on that, I still have at least one too many control panels.

But stability and viruses are not an issue.

Lest ye label me a fanboy, I am-- of Linux. I haven't seen a non-hardware related BSOD since XP sp1, and that included when my Vista system had a corrupt video driver.

I have a friend, who whenever he gets a new windows desktop, immediately starts disabling services that he doesn't think he needs. Then he spends the next couple years complaining about how slow and unstable his system is.
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RE[4]: blue screen of death by virus
By zima on 2017-12-06 23:52:38
> XP SP2 was probably the first solid, modern OS Microsoft produced.
No love from you for 2000 or NT 4.0? ;(
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RE[3]: Apple has changed
By zima on 2017-12-06 23:55:19
Also, games released for both macOS and Windows tend to have higher requirements on macOS...
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RE[5]: blue screen of death by virus
By The123king on 2017-12-07 14:37:16
Unless you ran servers in the 90's, no-one used 2k or NT4. And if you did, it was purely because your application required it.
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RE[6]: blue screen of death by virus
By zima on 2017-12-07 15:21:17
Even if that were true (it wasn't, especially for 2k), it's a different statement than the one I quoted above...
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RE[5]: blue screen of death by virus
By grat on 2017-12-08 04:53:34
NT 4.0 annoyed me. Partly because the difference between "Server" and "Workstation" was 2 registry keys that the system wouldn't let you edit, and partly because if you secured it properly, virtually no existing Windows apps were usable.

That left it strictly in the "server" category, something it did very poorly compared with the NetWare servers I was running at the time.

Of course, that was not long after Novell changed management, and the new board managed to pick boneheaded strategy after boneheaded strategy, and bled the company dry of cash and market share in equally catastrophic amounts.

Most of my memories of Win2k are about security issues-- specifically, the worm that hit in 2005. We had just finished a full security sweep / patch of our network, so we avoided the burn, but other departments were hammered.

Then, around 2008, there was the case of a single Win2k workstation running IE 6 taking out an entire department via one of the most complete breach / takedown events I've seen-- it was gruesome.
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