booga's Profile

  • Aug 29, 2007
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Latest comments made by: booga

  • The "I'm a PC" ad series might have had more impact if they weren't created on Macs.
    booga had this to say on Sep 24, 2008 Posts: 19
    Microsoft Kicks Apple's Wussy PC's Butt
  • Leopard has more changed in its underpinnings and SDK, perhaps, than in its UI. I suspect you're going to see "Leopard-only" software much, much faster with this release than you saw previous version lockout with 10.4, 10.3, or 10.2. And isn't that really what an "operating system" is supposed to be about, anyway? Enabling better applications?
    booga had this to say on Aug 29, 2007 Posts: 19
    The Coming Leopard Letdown
  • "Apple Charges Fee for Hardware You Already Have" Nice flaimbait headline. But Apple isn't charging for hardware-- they're charging for software. And software that didn't exist when you bought your MacBook. Software that was developed since then at Apple's expense. I don't understand people who think that all software updates forever should be free. Apple didn't advertise or promise "n" compatibility when they shipped the hardware, so if I had one of these machines I'd feel insanely grateful there was a $2 way to get 5x the performance through a software upgrade. Guess what? MacOS X 10.4 improves the performance you get from your CPU over 10.3. Does that mean it should be free?
    booga had this to say on Feb 01, 2007 Posts: 19
    Apple Charges Fee for Hardware You Already Have
  • "Glossy" can be such a wonderfully vague term when discussing user interface. But if Apple *reeeeally* wants to go for "glossy" and excessive visual effects, I have an effect that will put the genie effect to shame. Make the window frames "reflectively" glossy. I don't mean that they reflect other windows or UI items... I mean they reflect YOU and whatever's behind you. Now that all the machines have iSights in them, make the user really feel the realness by providing some real chrome.
    booga had this to say on Dec 13, 2006 Posts: 19
    Illuminous: Does OS X Need a New Aqua?
  • When I helped create a land-records e-commerce site in the mid-90's, I did the exact same thing with "points". The problem then was two-fold: 1. at the time, credit card clearing cost about $1 per transaction, so we wouldn't make a profit selling $1 items, and 2. you needed a tangible line item to bill for, and "1 database record" didn't really count. I think both of these problems have been solved, and credit card clearing services are a lot more eCommerce-savvy these days, so Microsoft going back to the 1990's solution is pretty pathetic. As for whodisbe, well, Apple actually LICENSED 1-click from Amazon-- they didn't steal it. (Just like they licensed certain elements of the original Mac GUI from Xerox in exchange for Apple stock.)
    booga had this to say on Nov 13, 2006 Posts: 19
    Zune Marketplace's Absurd Pricing Scheme
  • Luke-- No, I think most got his point, and disagree on two points: 1. the assertion that Apple needs a new language instead of using one of the plethora of better choices than C++/ObjC that are out there now, and 2. any single language can ever be unequivocally "best" or ever "better" than others. And the fact is that two of those mentioned in the comments would do quite nicely-- Python, which was dismissed out of hand, and C#/.NET which was inexplicably omitted ENTIRELY! Even RealBasic has real potential. There is definitely no need for a brand-new language, just different thinking at Apple. The leftovers from NeXT with their ObjectiveC and their XCode nee ProjectBuilder (how shall I put this politely) "difficult" IDE are really starting to hold Apple back. (Not to mention that they still haven't gotten rid of a lot of the silly NeXT-isms still lurking with text editing and selection.)
    booga had this to say on Apr 25, 2006 Posts: 19
    The Programming World Needs a New Language
  • " Java is widely used, and easy to pickup, but lacks the complexity to create really dynamic systems (try coding an operating system in Java and you will see what I mean)." All things considered, an operating system is not very dynamic. The reason Java isn't good at a general purpose operating system is 1. No one wants to do a rewrite of their OS, 2. The JVM is still somewhat buggy even after 5 versions, and 3. Java doesn't have easy hooks to general low-level hardware access. Java is, actually, *extremely* good at creating "very dynamic" software-- it's one of the things it excels at over C++, which is difficult to get beyond relatively "static" software. Besides, why is it important to write the operating system in the same language in which you write the applications? My guess would be that it isn't. Finally, I'd like to say that the LAST thing Apple needs right now is ANOTHER esoteric, Mac-only language. Objective C is bad enough and drives away plenty of developers. Anything less popular would kill the platform if it became "preferred". I'd suggest going the other way-- adopt C# lock, stock, and barrel. It has many of the advantages of Objective C and Java, has the biggest software company in the world behind it, and will open up the Mac to growing libraries of sample code, domain-specific code, and training programs.
    booga had this to say on Apr 25, 2006 Posts: 19
    The Programming World Needs a New Language
  • As others have pointed out, Xnu, which is MacOS X's kernel, is not a micro-kernel today. However, it uses Mach as its process and memory system, so suffers from the slowdown of a microkernel. On the other hand, it puts the entirety of BSD in kernel space, so suffers from all the monolithic kernel's security and stability problems. In short, the kernel of MacOS X is currently one of its weakest, most problematic aspects, and going in either direction would probably be vastly preferable to where we are now (which is to say, a kernel that lags far behind everyone else in performance while offering no perceivable benefits in exchange.) I like MacOS X a lot, but the kernel is not a shining example of its good design.
    booga had this to say on Apr 17, 2006 Posts: 19
    How Long Will Apple Keep the MACH Microkernel?
  • Some good points, but: 1. Blame the Intel transition for some of the 10.3.8-or-later requirements. Apple only went back so far when they cleaned up the libraries for running Universal. But in general, it's hard to blame Apple too much for innovating quickly. Just because Microsoft hasn't released an OS update in 4 years doesn't mean they provide support further back out of altruism. 2. Backup sucks. Any bad words you have to say are probably understated. 3. Apple is a business. They tried being the feel-good hippy company and almost went down the tubes. They make new products for you to buy (or not), but you can't expect what you bought yesterday is going to continue to get new features for free forever. 4. I always get a "do you want to sync to this computer?" prompt when docking to a new machine, but I agree the warning is not stern enough. If you're using your iPod for backup, DO NOT auto-sync. 5. While Macs can read Windows-formatted iPods, things sometimes seem a little glitchier. Instead, I formatted my iPod Mac, then use XPlay from MediaFour to mount it on my Windows machine at work.
    booga had this to say on Apr 13, 2006 Posts: 19
    Apple: The Bad and the Ugly. And Some Good
  • My initial review for MacSlash basically called it "Jack of all trades, master of none," and I still hold by that assessment. If you're looking for an easy way to lay out a trivial site/page, it's good. If you actually want to blog (ie. send family information about the child), publish collections of multimedia (ie. large-ish vacation photo albums), or movies (ie. again, the child thing), iWeb is too weak to be useful. Get iBlog, and one of the myriad export tools for iPhoto instead. And use .Mac to host your movies, which you can publish directly from Quicktime Player via "Share...".
    booga had this to say on Jan 17, 2006 Posts: 19
    iWeb: A First Look
  • Apple is a solutions company. They produce well-designed solutions to technical problems. Software and hardware are both their delivery mechanisms. Would the iPod be just as cool without the hardware? Would the Mac OS mean much if installing any new hardware or expansion was a pain in the butt? On the day where everything is standardized enough that the hardware could be completely abstracted from the software and offer the same integration Apple does, innovation will really have died.
    booga had this to say on Jan 04, 2006 Posts: 19
    Dell Macs
  • Point taken about Carbon in MacOS X vs. Win32 in Vista, Waa. I actually think Carbon is by far the more marketable of Apple's two APIs, and that Cocoa should probably be replaced at some point with some more modern object oriented API instead of what seemed like a good idea to NeXT 20 years ago. Timothy makes accurate points, as well. The Lisa was a parallel project that got a UI late in its developmental life (later than the Mac, at least, which wasn't originally going to be a GUI-only OS when the project started, either.) One point about #3, though, Tim: Microsoft DID have a UNIX at one point. It was eventually spun off, and after a lot of hand changing and buyouts, became what is now SCO UNIX. At the time, Microsoft agreed not to create a competing UNIX, and I'm not clear if that contract is still in effect. (For a more complete history, Wikipedia for "SCO UNIX" and "Xenix": )
    booga had this to say on Dec 14, 2005 Posts: 19
  • James, You make good points, but our understandings still differ somewhat. 1. Win16, which was the API for Windows 3.1 and earlier, only ran in emulation on Windows NT, just like MacOS X's blue box. 2. Although Win32 ran natively, it was a re-implementation and you'd often find API bugs on one platform that didn't exist on the other (since it was largely a separate codebase.) As well, NT didn't support enough of the API to run most games when it first came out, although it improved dramatically with Win2K. 3. Win3.1/95/98/ME ran on top of a DOS-like kernel. In NT/2K/XP, DOS runs on top of a VMS-like kernel. Big difference for performance and stability. 4. WinFX isn't going to replace Win32 overnight. It may never. (I have a lot of skepticism that Cocoa will ever "replace" Carbon, too.) But it is the compatibility break that you're looking for. 5. Carbon on MacOS X is like Win32 on Vista. 6. A rewrite generally just replaces bugs you know about with ones that you don't, although only experience tends to teach you that. It's often one of the worst ideas in the world to replace old code with completely rewritten code. One of the great strengths of open source is that replacement code tends to spawn, mature, integrate, THEN get bundled with a project, while with closed-source the "rewrite and ship" mentality is too easy. As for your list of embedded systems, you'd probably be frightened to learn how many of them run a WindowsCE derivative these days. When IBM finally deprecated OS/2 last year, a lot of banks and ATMs went Windows, for example.
    booga had this to say on Dec 13, 2005 Posts: 19
  • I understand things a little differently: 1. The people Microsoft hired were mostly VMS folks, not UNIX folks, from what I've heard. VMS "feels" more DOS-like from the command line, but was very highly regarded in its day in technical circles. 2. They wrote NT (which stood for "New Technology") more or less from scratch, not "a hybridization of DOS and some Unix-like code". And NT begat Win2000 and XBox OS. 3. NT and Windows95 could both run software written to the "Win32" API, because Microsoft re-implemented it on both kernels. (The original Windows API in 3.1 and previous was retroactively re-dubbed "Win16".) 4. While NT could run Win16 code, it was akin to the "Blue Box", or "Classic" mode of MacOS X. It would run, but not fast, and any Win16 program could crash any other. 5. There's no reason Microsoft couldn't re-implement Win32 again on a new kernel... which is exactly what open source hackers did with WINE on linux, so it's obviously possible. Think of it like the "Yellow Box for Windows" rumors... an API is an API on any OS. There's no reason Apple couldn't put Carbon on Windows or re-implement Win32 on the Mac. 6. MacOS X and Windows NT are pretty good analogies for how the OSes were re-written, although obviously MacOS X is a lot younger. 7. Vista is going to include new APIs that will be preferred over the old Win32 APIs introduced ages ago, so in effect could be another rebirth for Windows API cleanliness. As for why Vista was so delayed and maligned... well, it happens with big software projects sometimes. Apple's future OS was going to be Pink/Taligent, then OpenDoc, then Copeland, then Rhapsody before coming out with MacOS X. And MacOS X wasn't necessarily worse for it. I think underestimating the foundation that Vista will give Microsoft is a mistake. They're going to be a tough competitor, but luckily Apple has grown some cajones of their own in recent years. Fortunately for Microsoft, they have very deep pockets and a monopoly situation to give them room to make mistakes. They moved to nip the Vista problems in the bud, and the engineering processes and technology they have in place now sounds like it's going to go a long way towards letting them refactor the Vista codebase into something more maintainable down the road. It *is* possible to improve "old" code without throwing it away, and make it MORE maintainable as time goes on. (Refer to the book "Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code" by Fowler et al.)
    booga had this to say on Dec 13, 2005 Posts: 19
  • From all the reports I've heard, Microsoft has done some really impressive stuff with the Vista team's processes and the codebase management. I suspect under that type of system the Vista code will get more maintainable over time, not less. I would expect them to be able to release off that codebase for the release after Vista and probably the release after that, and do it faster. In fact, one would hope Apple is investing in engineering productivity processes in order to be able to compete down the road a few years. As for Singularity, it looks like a good testbed for ideas. Even if nothing in it pans out, at least Microsoft will have data on what probably doesn't work. If it does, maybe they can move some of it piecemeal to some of their other OSes. As for how many OSes Microsoft maintains, well, it's more than 2. The XBox runs an OS that branched off from NT. The embedded market uses its own version of Windows descended from the WindowsCE branch. And the 64-bit version of Vista has a lot of its own low-level stuff.
    booga had this to say on Dec 12, 2005 Posts: 19