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About JorgeA

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  1. Another class of mobile tech that seems to be having trouble taking off: Smartwatches, like tablets, are struggling to become a must-have for consumers According to an article in the Dec. 7 print edition of The Wall Street Journal, "global shipments of wearable devices rose only 3% year over year during the third quarter. This is the young category's slowest growth on record," and Apple's "other products" category that includes the Apple Watch had a 22% YOY drop in revenue in the September quarter; one industry analyst estimates that sales of the watch dropped 29% for that period. "[T]he fact that sales are slowing across device categories and price points suggests wearable tech is struggling to appeal beyond a core segment of tech and fitness enthusiasts," writes the Journal's Dan Gallagher. So Microsoft sold Windows's soul for what may turn out to be a passing fad. --JorgeA
  2. I don't go on FB, but I've noticed the same thing in my Web travels. Not sure which sites because I tend to keep multiple tabs open, but the memory usage definitely creeps up to the point where eventually I have to close the browser. Like you, more than once I've even had to resort to a reboot because the computer got so sluggish and no amount of process-killing would speed it back up. --JorgeA
  3. Charlie Demerjian comes in with a similar (though of course better developed) viewpoint on the "Windows on ARM" idea: Microsoft gives Qualcomm’s Snapdragon WARTs More good points in the rest of the post on SemiAccurate. --JorgeA
  4. I read about this last night. I just don't understand their reasoning for getting Windows to run on ARM, whose chips power small-screen devices. On a small screen, it's either a Windows Mobile or Metro (touch) UI, which already failed spectacularly; or a regular desktop-type UI, which is plainly unsuited for screens of that size. So, where's the advantage?? One of the articles I read (I think it was by Thurrott) talked about running this contraption on laptops. But again, what's the point of that? We already have laptops running on Intel chips. I just don't see the rationale for these "Windows on ARM" plans. BTW, WOA was already mooted three years ago as Windows 8 was coming on the scene, and that concept went over like a lead balloon. So, what gives? Are they simply running out of ideas and this latest move is but a desperate rehash? --JorgeA
  5. The irony of this (and IIRC it's been pointed out on that excellent NN website), is that "simple" interfaces often turn out to be MORE difficult to use because they fail to provide cues to the user. For instance, having flat clickable elements that look like they're just text with a colored background, and no 3-D "button" effect to suggest to the user that it's an active element. And then hiding menus under those camouflaged non-buttons. The user receives no hint as to how to navigate the website, and starts clicking anywhere and everywhere. Or nowhere, opting to go someplace else instead. --JorgeA
  6. Speaking of having stuff needlessly connected to the Internet, I just came across this: [source: http://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech/joyimages/2340.png] My apologies if this has already been posted on MSFN and I missed it! --JorgeA
  7. IDC once predicted 20% market share for Windows phones; now it forecasts 0.1% share by 2020 Just like the MSFT execs (and their fanboys and trolls) who confidently predicted 1 billion Windows 10 devices by 2018. They need better crystal balls. Maybe the ghost of Steve Jobs can design one for them. Oh, and about that 0.1% share for Windows phones: Tell me again why Microsoft keeps turning real Windows into a phone OS? --JorgeA
  8. Yup! One of the limitations I've run into when trying Linux in some of my work, is that there doesn't appear to be any PDF software that "converts" a Web page to PDF -- as opposed to "printing" a Web page to PDF, which is not quite the same thing. When I "print" a page to PDF, increasingly I run into all sorts of oddities, such as black banners running down the left edge covering up text, or standard website cr*p at the top of every printed page that covers up text, or even having the text printed as an image that you can't then select to highlight or comment on. (It's almost as if they don't want people actually printing their stuff, so they make the output as difficult and useless as they can.) These issues don't happen with PDF software that offers the ability to "convert" pages to PDF -- the whole process runs much more smoothly there, and as a bonus you get clickable hyperlinks. In Linux you can "print" pages to PDF natively, and there is some dedicated software that will also do that, but I haven't found software that will perform this needed "convert to PDF" function. That will be a bit of a roadblock, or at least a bump in the road to Penguinland. Another small annoyance is that entering international characters requires more keystrokes. In Windows you can just hit ALT-130 to get the accented "e": é. That's 4 keystrokes. In Linux, IIRC you need a 5- or 6-keystroke sequence to get the same thing. A couple of extra keystrokes here, an extra keystroke there, and over time it adds up. In my business I deal with a lot of international names (people and places) that we try to render faithfully, so the more keystrokes needed the more tedious the work becomes. (Remapping the keyboard for a certain language is impractical, because I deal with Spanish, Serbo-Croatian, French, Slovenian, Icelandic, etc., interchangeably on the same page and sometimes even on the same line of text.) The next big test will be to try to do a whole project in Linux -- for me, probably in the Linux version of SoftMaker Office. That will be the acid test of file compatibility between Linux and Windows office suites. I have one author who uses OpenOffice (or is it LibreOffice; the file extension is ODT) on a Mac, and the files invariably come back to me a mess, with formatting changes ignored, missing carriage returns, and the like. --JorgeA
  9. For those who must use Windows 10 or are resigned to using it, Woody Leonhard offers some tips to "hate Windows 10 less." --JorgeA
  10. LOL, there is indeed a Penguin in the background. He's been lurking there, waiting for the moment when I decide enough is enough and go take the plunge. Every now and then I pay him a visit, just to let him know that I haven't forgotten and that he's still in active reserve. In my case, I've been open to changes that represent actual improvement. For example, IMHO the change from the Windows 3.1 Program Manager to the Explorer shell in 95 onwards was an unquestionable improvement in usability. The problem is, how do you then improve on perfection? Seriously, I think that with the 95/98 Desktop (including the Taskbar, the Start Button, and the Start Menu) the Windows UI became a fully developed, mature product. There have been a few welcome tweaks along the way, such as Aero Glass with Vista and right-click jump lists with 7. But the overhauls that came with 8 and now 10 demonstrate to me that they have run out of improvements, as practically everything they've done to the UI since then has made it worse, not better -- and not even equivalent to what they already had. By "worse" I mean less usable, harder to use. A case in point is the MS Office ribbon -- I have now used Office 2007 for longer than I used Office 2000... and I'm still hunting around the ribbon for the commands I need. The menu system in Office 2000 was just so much more intuitive, easier to navigate. Somehow it seems to be organized in a more logical, orderly manner. (And I came to Office 2000 from WordStar, so it took some getting used to.) My hope is that Linux will become a practical enough proposition for my business needs that, at some point, I can simply make the switch without skipping a heartbeat. Time will tell. --JorgeA
  11. At the risk of going OT, I'm curious to find out what browser(s) you'll now be using on XP. I know that you've been an advocate of Pale Moon, and indeed your support for it is the reason I made the switch to it. --JorgeA
  12. A lot of things I could have a blast responding to there, including the facetious paragraph. Oh, and I appreciate the promotion from "customer" to "geek." Yeah, customer wasn't the right word to employ when it comes to free software. I was looking for a word other than "user" to avoid the repetition and possible confusion of saying, "how is it supposed to occur to a normal user to 'change the user agent mode'?" Thanks for the kind words. Hopefully other people who run into a similar problem will see this and think to try changing the UA before taking more difficult steps. --JorgeA
  13. Uh-oh... Joe Belfiore Returns To Microsoft, Will Drive Windows 10 Consumer Shell Initiatives This seals the deal. Windows is a tool, like a pen or a desk(top). If my pen or my office desk start suggesting to me what brand of ink or lamp to use, it's time to find a new writing implement, a new piece of furniture to write on, that will shut the f*ck up and leave me alone. --JorgeA
  14. I think the problem may now be solved. As it turns out, when distributing Pale Moon version 27, Moonchild changed the default user agent mode from Firefox compatibility to Gecko compatibility. There are now several reports on the PM forum (such as this one) that this has broken websites for people, and that the solution is to change the UA back to Firefox. Better communication of changes to PM's users, and of the practical consequences they might entail, would seem to be in order here. The bias from the "expert" community is for users to automatically update to the "latest and greatest" version of whatever (shades of Windows 10 ) and there is inadequate explanation of the havoc that that might cause. As experienced by me over the last few days. OMG, how the h3ll is it supposed to occur to a normal customer to "change the user agent mode" when the sites he visits are suddenly broken?!? So now with Firefox as the UA, I am once again able to navigate MSFN and post replies without hindrance. Except that, after clicking on the reply panel and then Refresh, I was able to type in this reply but there was no Submit Reply button. Put the text of the reply on the clipboard and hit Refresh again, and I had been signed out. We'll see how (and if) this all pans out. Not sure, though, what any of this might mean for the difficulties experienced with IE10/11. But so long as I can get in here with at least one browser, I guess it's not a critical problem. --JorgeA
  15. test post. After typing, will try to submit. Submit successful (second, different laptop). Will now try to save this edit, then hit Refresh. Second and third tests successful on different laptop with IE10. Fourth test: signed in on same second laptop via Firefox 49. Will try to edit this post and save it. FWIW, just after I signed via FF on this laptop, Norton advised me that a certain file, widevinecdm.dll, is Safe. The DLL file is located in the folder Users\xxx\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles [etc.]. On a third laptop, signing in via IE11 and then hitting F5 to refresh signs me out of MSFN. The same thing is now happening in IE10 on the second laptop (where the second and third tests had been successful), but apparently not in FF 49.

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