nilp's Profile

  • Feb 11, 2007
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Latest comments made by: nilp

  • I think you have the wrong link to the christmas lights dashboard theme - it should be
    nilp had this to say on Dec 16, 2006 Posts: 16
    A Festive Mac: 10 Holiday Add-ons
  • "No cursing, no name calling, just an acceptance. Hey, it's only a hard disk corruption." I've seen this attitude too ... I was in a series of meetings recently, and the guy running them was using a PC to project a Word document so we could all see it. Out of ten meetings, he had to reboot three times because Word seized up on him - even trying to kill Word from Task Manager didn't work. But this was accepted - we just sat around and chatted while his PC rebooted, and he didn't think about taking his PC to IT get it looked at. He had a workaround after all, rebooting his machine. However, it might be changing - I walked past an office yesterday and was surprised to see someone (a diehard Windows user) using an iMac. I asked him how the hell did he get that, and he said his team was doing an experiment to see how well they could do Java code development on a Mac, and it was a success. While he had had to reboot his PC daily, his iMac was faster, more stable and had been running for two weeks flawlessly. That doesn't mean we will be changing en-masse to Macs at work (even though we could all get MBPs for less than the cost of our Dell laptops even with the 20% corporate discount), but there is a small but growing number of techies at work using their own Macs or planning to buy one. As for Vista, maybe it'll be more stable, maybe not, but at work we won't be moving to it any time soon. It took till late 2004 before we were all using XP.
    nilp had this to say on Nov 01, 2006 Posts: 16
    What is Leopard Up Against in Vista?
  • Meh, I didn't play with earlier versions of Vista, but I did install RC1 and the 5728 release (I'm part of their beta testing program, not that I've done much beta testing) so when I used it, I wasn't comparing it with the earlier crappier versions. I also use XP daily. Take away Gadgets (the Sidebar is so annoying, it's the first thing I disabled) and Aero, and Vista looks just like a reskinned XP (and most of the Aero effects are available on XP with 3rd party freeware). All the control menus are the same, it still uses the retarded letter labels for disk drives and \ instead of / for directories. For 99% of users, if you put them down in front of a Vista PC and an XP PC with IE7 beta and one the many available Vista themes installed, they wouldn't be able to tell the difference, except that the UAC makes Vista harder (albeit more secure, if it wasn't so easy to disable) to use. Yes, a lot more is new under the hood, but this just doesn't feel like a new OS to me. About the only thing Vista has going for it is DirectX10 support, so any games that support it will run better on Vista. I'll need Vista when it's released, for testing my webapps, but my work's IT department will provide me with it - most likely in a VMWare image. I'm hoping I'll be able to pick up a copy of XP cheap when Vista is released, but I'm not really expecting XP's price to drop much, if at all. Vista will, of course, sell well because most people don't consider the alternative. But more than five years development, for this?
    nilp had this to say on Oct 05, 2006 Posts: 16
    Vista Ain't that Bad, In Fact It's Good
  • '"Nature has its own way of handeling those who fail to adapt.” ...or those who fail to spell handling. ' Notice the little flag? How about you try translating your comment into German to give us a laugh?
    nilp had this to say on Aug 21, 2006 Posts: 16
    Ask Apple Matters: Time Machine
  • My wife can handle gadgets well enough, but she usually defaults to letting me to work out what to do with them, then asking me what to do. This means I learn things too. For instance, I had my iPod for 18 months before I bought her one, and after a few days with hers she asked me how to set up a smart playlist, which I hadn't felt the need to do in all the time I had my own iPod. So I had to learn, to maintain the illusion that I'm better at the technical stuff.
    nilp had this to say on Jul 18, 2006 Posts: 16
    Are Women Gadget-Impaired?
  • [i]CompUSA does have a nice selection of Apple HW/SW, but they do mark up the units quite a bit.[/i] The CompUSA near me has Macs that cost exactly the same as the Apple retail price, and the software appears to be the same or lower price than elsewhere. Perhaps being the Bay Area, near to Apple Stores, keeps this store honest?
    nilp had this to say on Jun 27, 2006 Posts: 16
    Best Buy and Apple Together Again
  • So, how is this different from the Apple corner in CompUSA? They've been doing that for several years so something must be working right. Although - the nearest Apple store to me is only 10 minutes drive away, but the nearest CompUSA is only 1/2 mile down the road, so I have spent more time there than in the Apple Store. While playing about with some of the Macs there (before I got my own), I've been asked by a member of staff if I was hacking when I had a Terminal window open, and had to correct another member of staff when he told another customer that the MacBooks weighed six pounds (ok, I didn't HAVE to correct him, but I couldn't help myself - I've drunk too much of the koolaid ...)
    nilp had this to say on Jun 27, 2006 Posts: 16
    Best Buy and Apple Together Again
  • Actually, if you got to, you get an incredible amount of Open Source cross platform code, too much to mention here.
    nilp had this to say on Jun 26, 2006 Posts: 16
    Finding Cross Platform Software for Mac OS X and Windows
  • I am a Java developer, and I find I can now do all my work on my Intel iMac (apart from final testing - the code is to run on Linux, but Parallels has fixed it so I don't even need a Linux box now). Just about every Java development tool is cross platform. The most popular IDEs, Eclipse and NetBeans, are Universal and cross platform (ok, Eclipse 3.2 is still RC7 but has been very usable and stable for me) and most if not all Apache code is written to be cross platform. It's easy to set up an Apache 2 server with Tomcat for JSPs. Resin ( is also cross platform. So, to add to your list: Development: Java, Eclipse IDE, NetBeans IDE Web Servers/Servlet Containers: Apache, Tomcat, Resin Games: DosBox - - for running older DOS games, runs on lots of platforms.
    nilp had this to say on Jun 26, 2006 Posts: 16
    Finding Cross Platform Software for Mac OS X and Windows
  • To Ben Hall "Actually, the numbers would be less than 5 and more than 20 * 5,000" No, the issue is the increase in OS vulnerabilities in the period 2003-2005, as mentioned in the first paragraph of the article. For the Mac, that's larger than 7 (ie. difference between 12 and 7) but I don't really know what it is for Windows and can't be bothered right now researching it. But rest assured the absolute figures are much, much larger than for Mac OS X. And that's just vulnerabilities ... actual exploits is even more weighted towards Windows. If you look at there were 733 confirmed virus outbreaks on Windows in March (following their strict definition of an outbreak) and 4376 unconfirmed outbreaks. For any other OS, the number is zero.
    nilp had this to say on May 10, 2006 Posts: 16
    Top 8 OS X Safety Tips
  • I know you say in the article that the truth has been bent a little, but it's useful to emphasise the fact that unless you know the exact figures, 238% increase vs 73% increase is meaningless. For instance, an increase from 5 to 12 is about +238% and from 5,000 to 8,650 is about +73%. I'm not saying that 5 and 5,000 are the real figures, just using them as an example (I know most people realise that, but some would be quick to jump on that last paragraph as FUD).
    nilp had this to say on May 10, 2006 Posts: 16
    Top 8 OS X Safety Tips
  • Actually, the source of 114,000 is Sophos ... Quote from its white paper: "The number of new threats has continued to grow at rates thought by some to be unsustainable. By December 2005, Sophos Anti-Virus was identifying and protecting against over 114,000 different viruses, worms, Trojan horses and other malware." Of course we don't trust anti-virus companies to be truthful, and I never caught a virus in 20 years of using MS OSs, but you're just dismissing the figures because you couldn't be bothered following the links on the web page.
    nilp had this to say on May 09, 2006 Posts: 16
    Do Macs Need to Run Extra Antivirus Software?
  • I've been using PCs running Microsoft software for close to 20 years, since the MS DOS days. For most of that time I had a virus scanner running, doing scheduled daily scans, email scans on sending email, on-access scans. About three years ago, I switched off all the automatic/scheduled scanning and started doing a disk scan once or twice a month. Why? Because the scanner was beginning to bog down my computer (compiling code without the automatic scanning showed an improvement of about 30% in compile times, presumably due to scanning new files created during compilation) and in 20 years the virus scanner NEVER showed a virus on my HD, or outgoing email, or in any document or data file I opened. And none of my monthly scans have showed any virus infections since I turned it all off. Sure, that doesn't mean I never had any virus in that time, just the scanner never showed anything. Now that I've switched to Macs, I'm not going to install any virus scanner. If a Mac virus shows up, I'm apparently not in danger with my usage patterns, a scanner won't know about it anyway, and I'll hear about it soon enough. I'll deal with it then.
    nilp had this to say on May 08, 2006 Posts: 16
    Do Macs Need to Run Extra Antivirus Software?
  • My switcher story involves an iPod, but the initial eye-opener for me was about three years ago. I was always a PC guy. I usually had to use Windows but preferred Linux, and although I loved the stability of it once I had it configured, I was always frustrated by how difficult it was to actually get Linux the way I wanted. That was fine sometimes. Tinkering was how I got into Linux in the first place, but as my professional life progressed, I didn't have the spare hours to spend recompiling the kernel. I found Windows a pain, but easier to use as long as nothing went wrong. I used Windows for word processing, Outlook etc, and Linux for Java coding. I discounted Macs because of the "high cost" and they "weren't compatible" anyway. So anyway, about three years ago I was at my wife's sister's wedding. Some of use had digital cameras and probably took a couple hundred photos between us. The next day, the immediate family met up at the in-laws' house and we decided to put on a slideshow from the previous day. The bestman had his PowerBook with him, but I decided to use my father-in-law's PC to download from my camera since of course it would be better ... This was pre-SP2 days (SP2 IS better for this) and I found that his PC wouldn't recognise my camera, so I had to go to the Canon website to look for the drivers. After downloading the drivers, I started to copy over the photos (via the USB1.0 connection) but was called into the living room. There, the bestman had already copied all the photos off my camera (via his USB2 port) and a couple of other cameras and set up a slideshow, while I was searching for the drivers. This was an eye-opener for me, I threw away all I thought I knew about Macs, and I took a serious look at Macs, beginning to like what I saw, and thinking that maybe I would get one if the price ever dropped low enough. Then my brother got an iPod. The moment I touched it, I was hooked. It fitted my hand perfectly, the interface was easier than I ever thought possible. So I had one within weeks (40GB iPod Photo). Many of you will understand the impressions I got from opening my first Apple product ... the packaging was more impressive than the contents from some other manufacturers. The iPod has been hardly out of my possession since then. After that, resistance was futile. I knew the next computer I was going to buy was going to be a Mac. Every visit to the Apple store reinforced this. But the Dell desktop I was using had the surprising habit of remaining stable and trouble free, and SP2 did help with several things. Still, I twice almost bought a PowerBook, and late 2005 I almost bought the last G5 iMac, but something made me hold on. My Dell finally died permanently in January (removing any resistance my wife might have had for getting a new computer), and I had an Intel-powered iMac a week later. My wife needs a new computer, and we're getting one of the new i.Mac.Books, if they're ever released. Now, I find the *nix underpinnings of a big bonus - I can get my command line interface fix, and do things like build Apache and Tomcat, while also having a GUI that's certainly easy on the eye. I don't feel that it's quite as rock-steady as Linux, but it's so much easier to use - with Parallels, I've been able to run Linux on it anyway. I haven't found any software that I need that doesn't run on it. It's as fast, if not faster, at Java development as Linux, so I now do everything on the iMac. So, did the iPod make me switch? It had a large part to play and I might still have gone Dell for a new computer without it, but I think each experience with Apple products reinforced the other. I may still have switched, but maybe not so early. And yes, I'm still the starry-eyed recent convert, but nothing yet has made me regret my decision.
    nilp had this to say on Apr 28, 2006 Posts: 16
    Does Apple Really Have a Halo Effect?
  • I don't want to boot into Windows, but I want to run Linux in a VM so I can test my Java ... just like what's just been released. Parallels's VM works great by the way. The last windows game I bought is now three years old and worked fine on a 1.8GHz P-4, so if I ever get around to installing XP in a VM, it should be playable.
    nilp had this to say on Apr 07, 2006 Posts: 16
    Take the No Windows-Booting Pledge