I suspect one reason for $600 devices, other than Google itself trying to reposition Chromebooks as more upmarket, is because $600 Windows laptops are still are a mess of preloaded bullshit put there by the vendor. Microsoft has tried various ways to fix this but it only tends to protect high-end models. And build quality and the nature of hardware compromises at that price point have always been unpleasant, save for a few concentrated efforts like Lenovo's IdeaPad line. In other words, $600 laptops are second only to $200 laptops in making Windows look bad, making them an easy target for an OS that proved that $200 laptops can actually be quite good.
Still, there are few challenges. Chromebooks' filesystem paradigm deemphasises local storage to the point of cumbersome, relying on Google Drive or custom interfaces and implementations built for each app that know how to pull up past work. This is a smart idea when everything works, but makes import, export, and context switching harder, and makes sharing a feature of the product rather than a file-based affair.
On Chromebooks, Chrome's fantastic profile system is deliberately conflated with Chrome OS login sessions, which makes it harder for one user to maintain multiple independent browsing contexts than when using Chrome on other platforms. Power users on Windows can run multiple browsers, or use profile systems in browsers to keep separation, but on Chrome OS, you only get two de facto contexts (the white one and the black one with the cool spy icon), you blast the same cookies everywhere, and half your builtin applications are just hyperlinks to auto-log you into the corresponding Google product in your global white context. Applications like Hangouts (the app, not the extension) are rare, where the entire window inherits your OS login, but keeps your context entirely separate from what you're doing in the browser.
Nonetheless, with Service Workers and graphics APIs and auto-resuming applications and unintrusive updates, and people using Google products anyway, Microsoft should be worried, because they're being challenged for customers in a segment where their OS is least compelling, and was largely used by default.
In the current version of Windows 10 there's a feature called "fresh start" that makes it trivial to reset to a clean OS install without vendor crap. It even automatically preserves your home directory. The only problem is that you need to know it exists, so it only benefits technical users and users with geeky friends to advise them.
Unsurprisingly, the only company I could find evidence of actually having done this is Lenovo:
You can avoid vendor crap by reinstalling a fresh version of Windows from Microsoft, but you'll still get Microsoft crap (i.e., various apps from the Microsoft store pre-installed with links prominently displayed on the Start menu).
Fortunately they're UWP apps so are easy to completely remove. Turning off the "Show suggestions" settings will stop them coming back.
 just did a clean install of win10 home
Not yet ... perhaps. Perhaps. Not ? No way.
Not that other vendors are much better, mind. But I'm quite happy with my OnePlus for now.
I would have a hard time justifying $400 for a Chromebook when a tablet+keyboard is cheaper and slightly better.
Plus with Surface Go....$400 seems like a rip off for a Chromebook.
I was using my brothers machine, which is win10 - and I havent used windows in years - and I was disgusted by the crappy UI/UX I was given - with its inbuilt notifications which even pop-up to tell you that you went into full screen mode and told it not to pop-up....
Also, the start menu looks like a freaking spyware minefield they way it takes up 60% of the screen when it is activated.
Windows is absolutely a mess these days.
Start menu from store is pretty clean. Go to a microsoft store and mess around with devices from there - they are "signature devices" that are clean.
Windows isn't a mess these days in any sense of the word, It's just people who have a negative opinion of it speak about it with sympathy from others who have a negative opinion.
The Windows subsystem for Linux is awesome, the app store is a move in the right direction (damned if you do, damned if you don't) and they're closing out a lot of legacy design elements with their annual updates. (dark mode, better high res / high dpi support, consistency of legacy/new elements. yaddy yaddy yadda)
With a few minutes of trying you can all but customize the entire interface to your liking.
ChromeOS has the benefit of not having decades of legacy to preserve - and Android is suffering many of the negatives you speak of with regards to Windows and iOS has completely the opposite problem being a controlled absolute dictatorship err walled garden.
I had to right-click and uninstall them all manually but then a few days later a couple of them returned?! I ended up searching for a PowerShell script that actually removes them. Until a few months later when Microsoft rolled out the April 2018 update and they all magically reappeared again so I had to look up that fucking PowerShell script again.
I could kind of accept this on the Home version but on the PROFESSIONAL version?! No fucking way. Why on earth should my pro version come with Minecraft and Twitter?!
And this is a £2500 laptop made and sold by Microsoft! Not some £200 Acer from PC World.
Settings->personalization->start-> make sure "Show suggestions occasionally in start" is off.
Minecraft is awesome BTW :)
My android phone came with a ton of crap, my amazon tablet had a bunch of amazon crap.. i don't really think showcasing the marketplace of the hardware you have selected is that evil - especially since its easy to customize if it really bothers you.
They installed the moment it saw a network connection which was before I even finished setup because it set that up during the OOBE.
> Settings->personalization->start-> make sure "Show suggestions occasionally in start" is off.
That setting does not seem to have any effect on Candy Crush, Twitter, etc. on a default install.
> Minecraft is awesome BTW :)
Yes it is but not on my £2500 business laptop. Unless I specifically install it to use.
>My android phone came with a ton of crap, my amazon tablet had a bunch of amazon crap.. i don't really think showcasing the marketplace of the hardware you have selected is that evil - especially since its easy to customize if it really bothers you.
I am not talking about Android or Amazon though am I?
But if you want to bring up Android - My Pixel 2 XL didn't come with a bunch of third party apps and/or adverts for their own, not free, software. Sure it came with some Google specific apps but that is why I didn't list OneNote, Edge, Groove Music or Photos in my list of Windows 10 apps as they are understandable to include even if I have no use for them.
And allow me to bring up my MacBook Pro which didn't come with any third party apps and/or adverts for their own, not free, software. In fact the only thing it comes with is macOS and the iWorks suite (free btw). And if you do a clean install of macOS yourself you don't even get iWorks pre-installed, you have to manually grab them again from the App Store.
The Windows experience is horrible out of the box even on a "signature edition" system. Yes you can go in and "fix" things with PowerShell scripts and changing a few options in Settings.appx but my point is that shouldn't be needed on a so called 'professional' operating system that comes on a £2000+ computer direct from Microsoft.
Every mac owner quickly switches to iTerm from built in terminal nd lets be honest - there are a bazillion payware options for windows people could use too.
Since they tweaked the CMD for the Linux subsystem
At least with Windows you can just right click, uninstall. That is until vendors break that mechanism too
Compared to Windows, which has a huge user base with absolutely no understanding of how the OS works and what to do if you don't like it OOTB.
ChromeOS actually has the ability to sign into multiple accounts at the same time and fast switch between them. It's not obvious in the UI though, so many don't know about it. https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/6088201?hl=en
One can now throw tabs from one account context to the second logged in account. Left click on the top to the left of the tabs, (while the Chromebook is signed into two accounts) and it offers moving the tab to the other account.
Wow. Did not know this. Thanks.
Try again. Microsoft is complicit in all of this. If you go buy an OEM version of Windows 10 today, even Pro, what you get is a ridiculous set of preloaded games and apps, like Candy Crush, Bubble Witch 3 Saga, Disney Magic Kingdoms, etc.
Its disgusting, and everyone who works at Microsoft should be ashamed of it.
Windows historically came installed with Pinball, Minesweeper, Solitaire.
I would guess that a substantial base of Windows users plays games on their PC. It's rare to find a popular game that isn't enhanced by the internet.
I do tend to agree that maybe Professional versions should not come with these _links_, but even a large portion of professional users play games on their company issued laptop. I haven't installed Windows Server before but I would be surprised if that featured game links.
Minesweeper, Mahjongg, and Chess are a little different because they were developed by Microsoft, with no motive beside adding value to the operating system, at least for users who find value in them.
It is disgusting, but I fail to see how e.g. the team working on the C++ compiler should be ashamed for something another completely seperate team was forced to do by management (assuming something like that is responsible for this). In my opinion MS has gone too big for that, with a bunch of seperate departments almost acting as standalone entities (i.e. seperate companies) who can take a lot of decisions on their own without much interference between them, just all sharing the MS name. E.g. there's the research going on, there's VS/Office/Windows etc.
I mean, they take up some space but don't affect system behaviour, like some old windows OEM bloatware did.
I hate software that tracks me, but if I wipe out Android and I install a self compiled AOSP, it's a superb user experience for me.
Will these more upmarket Chromebooks (which have x86 CPUs and acceptable RAM & storage) be OK to run any regular Linux distro?
Right now, Xiaomi laptops are excellent cheap machines to run Linux on (thanks to having just Intel components). Same for Huawei if you are willing to spend a bit more, but on that price a Thinkpad is probably the way to go.
Yes, with the caveat that full BIOS/UEFI support sometimes lags hardware releases by 6-12 months - out of the box most Chromebooks can only boot ChromeOS. Pretty much all the Chromebook firmware work to support 3rd-party OS' is done by one guy, see his page here: https://mrchromebox.tech
I run Arch on a cheap Chromebook for some tasks at work, I've generally been satisfied, and will probably buy another one eventually. I think if I was spending $500+, I'd just buy a Windows laptop and reformat it though - way more choices, and they tend to be upgradable.
It's also worth keeping in mind most Chromebooks must be disassembled to remove a firmware write-protect screw in order to flash new firmware. The one I have requires removing the battery/keyboard/etc - more than just popping off a small panel on the bottom.
Nick Janetakis had a nice write-up on setting it up from back when the machine was newer, but to give you an idea:
Look for a Chromebook that you can unlock by just removing the battery. Anything else is just torture.
GalliumOS is a Ubuntu-based Linux distribution optimized for Chromebooks with a huge list of supported devices.
> Right now, Xiaomi laptops are excellent cheap machines to run Linux on (thanks to having just Intel components). Same for Huawei if you are willing to spend a bit more, but on that price a Thinkpad is probably the way to go.
I find Lenovo Thinkpad E4*0 series to be the best low-cost, high build-quality Linux development machines, since they start from $569.99, allow a wide range of hardware customizations, and meet Mil-SPEC durability standards.
The spacebar screen is a constant source of anxiety but it's even worse than that. The reason I am on chromeOS with sideloaded linux (crouton) is because when you flash custom bios (seabios) you need to authorize it, if your computer runs completely out of battery (like it did for me on a flight to Iran), then that authorization is revoked and you need to boot into chromeOS to fix it (something I couldn't do since I didn't have chromeOS) so the only thing you can do is press spacebar and wipe everything.
I think I'll never buy a chromebook again, I'll just get something from puri.sm or slimbook.es.
Which ones exactly? Do you have resources?
The ones I've seen sport Nvidia GPUs  . Which means no Wayland, and only proprietary drivers. Not "excellent" or "just Intel components" in my book.
Regardless of the other unnecessary or lacking features Macbook laptops have (butterfly keyboard, touchbar, magsafe, USB-A ports come to mind) if you want a decent amount of RAM and an AMD GPU you pay the jackpot price on MBPs.
12.5”, 8gb, full Intel. I haven’t tried it but it looks interesting and well priced.
Its more secure than X, but you can compartmentalise as well via VMs (Qubes does this) or Docker (Jessie Frazelle runs everything in Docker).
Enlightenment  supports Wayland since E20.
If you use i3 right now, you can use Sway  as drop-in replacement. That's my plan (since I use i3) if I might some time.
SailfishOS  also already uses Wayland. Tizen apparently does as well. SailfishOS doesn't use profiling or ads, and has an Android compatibility layer.
KDE and Gnome might as well (according to  they do); I don't use those.
If it provides more security (I guess applications cannot draw over other applications, nor grab keyboard input unless they're in focus), then how can I have a wm? How can I have a screensaver?
Is there any reason to use it if most of my applications are running in xwayland?
There should be zero tearing or artifacts in Wayland, and the latency should be lower as well. Both due to passive compositing.
Screensavers are a pointless waste of energy. I'm not sure why you mention them.
In Wayland, WM/DE use IPC to communicate with each other; not X.
In theory you can run multiple XWayland servers to separate from each other. If security is a concern, Qubes might also be an option. And you're still more secure and better performance with Wayland plus some XWayland than with X.
Can I run multiple wayland servers separate from each other? If not, then I still don't see how wm can prevent a random application from pretending to be a wm but actually being a keylogger.
I'm joking, but it really is super beta.
They aren't ideal. But they do have a good alternative that is in its late beta stages. Typically you could run a Linux distro in a chroot on the chromebook, after putting it into developer mode. Unfortunately the chroot does have limits - fox example it doesn't get another IP address so you can't coexist much with ChromeOS - such as using avahi.
The new approach (named Crostini) instead uses a lightweight kvm based virtual machine mechanism to run a Linux guest isolated from the host. They also (by default) use the hardened ChromeOS kernel inside the guest. Note that not all chromebooks are currently supported but a new x86 chromebook should be fine.
I want to be able to run multiple OSs/Installations-of-the-same-OS on a single machine such that I can swap between "running" OSs - meaning, I want to have one OS sleep while I use the other.
So, if I have windows and ubuntu on the same machine - I dont want to reboot, I want to just put one to sleep and wake the other one up...
OR Ideally - I want to be able to run them side-by-side in some manner that is greater than a VM running on top of the other... My System76 laptop has dual SSD drives in it, I'd like to have both machines running, with half the resources dedicated to each, and have my KVM switch between them.
Anything come clsoe to this?
Some virtualisation environments do have hardware passthrough. A good example would be having a high performance PCIE video card which is passed through to to a guest for gaming. You can also use real storage instead of files pretending to be storage, although this is less flexible (eg no snapshots).
My recommendation is to use Ubuntu as your host OS and run Windows as a VM guest.
It's a different price point than Lenovo. Much cheaper. They are good ultrabooks.
Regardless of the CPU you choose (e.g. i5 has 8 GB, but it's not fanless), all 12 inch models have Intel components only, including the wireless card. It's one of the few laptops that truly runs well on Linux out of the box with zero glitches.
Only a few classic Thinkpads are better, with even good ACPI support for battery discharge events. But that's really rare, and does not make much difference if you run a HAL like UPower to abstract your ACPI-battery.
It's doesn't resolve the tracking issues.
Threats are limited then to regular baseband radio issues. I know I could be doing better if we had open hardware, but that's the most practical solution I can implement today I think.
You can also run microG (LOS + microG I recommend; what I use on my smartphone) which contains UnifedNlp for location services.
That's a whole toolset to compile your AOSP in AWS and then build your own over-the-air updates.
Look at the iPad Pro, 2GB of memory, not a "laptop" class CPU. etc. It is eating into Microsoft's market for the same reason. The "big" part of the laptop wedge is people who aren't gamers, or intense multitaskers, or intense local storage users. They are people who have their stuff in the cloud, want an easy to carry package that can run the apps they need to run one, or perhaps two, at a time.
The Chromebook is anticipating the iOS based, ARM processor based Macbook air. This is also the Surface Go space.
The Surface Go 2 will be a thing to watch. If they can get it running on ARM with flawless x86-64 translation, roll the price point down a hundred dollars (or just bundle the keyboard - come on, Microsoft, selling that separately makes _no_ sense here) and ship it with a dongle that turns one USB-c port into 2 usb ports, charging, and a displayport, and what you'll have is a 10" laptop that's fully functional, runs _everything_, trivially integrates into a desktop-like environment for home use, is a passable tablet, and gets all day battery life.
Right now it's _close_ to being able to achieve that, but the battery life is a bit too short and the price a bunch too high, and a switch to ARM could alleviate both of those issues.
I recall an article in Byte magazine which talked about when we'd have computers with a gigabyte of RAM (but it also noted that at the time you could have had a gigabyte, given in a mere cubic foot of hardware).
How will it run MacOS apps - x86 emulation like Qualcomm for Windows 10?
From the first link in the article:
> The Yoga Chromebook is an altogether more powerful system. It has a four-core/eight-thread 8th-generation Core i5 processor, with 8GB RAM and either 64 or 128GB of eMMC storage.
i5 CPU/8 GB RAM/128 GB eMMC puts it in MacBook/Surface territory.
I was wondering if you could somehow get Firefox on one, and apparently for ChromeOS instances where you have access to Android apps you can. Not running ChromeOS, I'm not sure if that means you have to be running an ARM variant, or if the app developer needed to enable a specific set of features or compile a special version (e.g. for x86), or if this actually works, but it does seem promising.
From another article I just found, apparently if your ChromeOS supports linux apps, you can just apt install Firefox, or if you really need it and nothing else is working, you can use Crouton to use a linux instance within a dedicated Chrome tab and run Firefox there. I suspect many of these might have oddness when dealing with files and sharing between apps, as you noted that as a specific area of interaction that's somewhat odd within Chrome. I'm not sure whether the Android app works well with that either.
Honestly this is one of the biggest things I liked about Apple computers since switching to them in 2007. They're so clean and pure compared to Windows which always comes with bloatware. Even the basic drivers you actually need for the computer to work usually come with some sort of bloatware awful UI programs that need to be installed for the hardware to work.
He laughed. He said it was a joke. He made it very clear that he didn't understand what Google was even thinking. And that stuck such a sour chord on me. Here's a company well known to be hiring the brightest people in the world, and they've announced a direct competitor to what you're doing... and you're laughing? It was like seeing an experienced chess player playing against a rumored-to-be-brilliant child prodigy and laughing at the stupid move the child was making.
I spent the next summer working on the ChromeOS team.
Blindness: I was in a Microsoft VP’s office when he said he was downsizing the IE effort because “the browser is done”, enterprise users were satisfied, and consumers don’t generate significant Windows revenue. I think that was IE6.
Paranoia: I was present for many early-00s decisions where a Microsoft exec weakened the ability to write rich applications in the browser to avoid devaluing Win32. So they were at least scared of the idea of a “browser OS” in the abstract.
Although...at the same time, Office was pushing for browser application capabilities, which is where we got XHR, which is a big reason browser applications became practical. Sometimes you’d never guess Office and Windows were the same company.
Office does a lot of things their own way and without a lot of the cross-compatibility that's a feature of most Microsoft products.
That's why you'll find you'll be able to do something in Office, but other Microsoft programs won't. Or vice versa.
Like Notepad and Internet Explorer are pretty much just containers for certain Windows controls. Controls Office don't use. They roll their own. Or at least, used to. Wouldn't surprise me to find out that Office had their own browser rendering engine that didn't rely on anything in IE.
I'm not sure what the situation is now, but for a long time Outlook used MS Word, not MSIE, to render HTML email messages. Word is a terrible web browser, so that made it next to impossible to design templates for things like email newsletters that would look & behave sensibly in Outlook.
For people that aren’t in the know: the MSO engine is basically a very incomplete and quite buggy implementation of the HTML 3.2 specification. From where I stand, it looks like the entire thing is a binary blob that essentially hasn’t been touched at all for over twenty years. Literally.
Microsoft switching back to MSO breathed new life into an entire industry of people with esoteric, hard-won knowledge about the eldritch affairs of HTML for email. Without it, HTML for email would not be such a disaster. (Sure, there are other awful email clients, but Outlook is by far the most terrible that is used much these days. If it had tightened its game, other bad clients would have been much more like to fix theirs too.)
Outlook renders HTML for email but doesn't use IE.
This, of course, was a very smart decision even though Outlook's rendering of HTML is terrible.
That's probably because unlike most Microsoft products, Office is cross-platform and has to support multiple operating systems, including MacOS, iOS, and Android.
The Office team did a couple of session at CppCon about how they refactored the code.
"CppCon 2014: Zaika Antoun "Microsoft w/ C++ to Deliver Office Across Different Platforms"
The latest office for Mac looks quite a bit like the windows version now (for once) so it’s not too surprising.
Well you literally had Mozilla telling everyone they could that the browser is going to be the OS in that era. Microsoft was certainly paying attention.
As an aside, we run a business management app called Bx (https://usebx.com/app) and have recently started making some money. We're putting aside some cash to fund the development of a feature-rich, cross-platform spreadsheet app (I wished OpenOffice Calc would suffice, but it simply doesn't, and is unstable at times), so that we can finally ditch the Windows VMs we run!
Something about Microsoft's historical ethos makes me abhor development on their platform, and targeting their browser is a nightmare in its own right (with Safari a close second).
Basically, I'm not happy with the status quo that we have no real alternative to Excel on Linux.
Its like dwarf fortress or bloomberg terminals - when you are digging through what you thought was cruft, you'll suddenly find an entire project/application worth of material to handle a feature you never thought you would use.
Except that feature is used by someone else everyday.
But we have a very long tail of people who contribute less often.
You can see the commit frequency here:
Come hang out on the libreoffice-dev IRC channel if you have more questions
A grid of cells is the easy part. Compatibility is hard.
Better to create an open ecosystem that people adopt for that very reason - that it is open. In the early days, Excel would actually obfuscate its output, making it extremely difficult to parse. Now things are a bit better, but you're still trying to hit a moving target.
If we have an open format, and a corresponding high-quality, open application ecosystem, I can see many corporates making the switch. Not easy, but I can see a future without total dependence on Excel.
Excel never obfuscated their save code. I've seen it in person. They did just memcpy their data structures, which was the most efficient way to save on tiny machines of the day. Lotus did that too.
I've also seen and helped implement the Open Document spec. This is not a simple problem and you are doing yourself a disservice by blinding yourself to the scale of the task.
If you want to make an impact and don't have Google level budgets then leveraging OpenOffice is the only sane approach.
We don't have Google level budgets, but I think we can do something worthwhile with what we have. Might take a while, but I'm confident we will manage something good in the budget we are hoping to allocate to the task.
However the code is literally a memcpy of a struct that is used internally. Not being designed for others to easily read isn't obfuscation. FWIW the XML formats designed for that purpose still fail horribly on that front.
Anyways I've worked on spreadsheets for 10 years. File compatibility is the hard part and the rest is easy by comparison (but still pretty hard).
Many firms and people need Windows software, MS Office is just one example.
You want to edit pictures, Photoshop only runs on Windows and OSX. You want to build things, AutoCAD only runs on Windows. You want to produce music, Cubase only runs on Windows and OSX.
Adobe/Autodesk/Steinberg software is just better than alternatives.
You can’t use Photoshop filters / Autocad addons / VST instruments with non-native apps. At least not reliably.
You can’t reliably exchange documents unless you use original software.
> There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It's a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I'd prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.
I wonder what the maximum penetration was for Windows OSes on phones.
"...my 85-year-old uncle probably will never own an iPod, and I hope we'll get him to own a Zune."
What's a Zune? /s
If Microsoft had the other 85%, they'd be in a good position.
they can ignore the 85% if they want. The 85% of the market will ignore them back in turn.
Apple makes good products, but they arent without frustrations or limitations, and you'd better accept these if you want what you do get from apple products.
You know that the engineering will be in the top ~90%, for example. What is the 10% or so that apple fails on WRT to engineering; accessories, flexibility/upgradability, vendor-lock-in on software. All of which simply lead you to spend more money on supporting having apple products.
Accessories: How much money have you spent on chargers, cables, headphones, cases, screen-protectors, screen repairs?
Flexibility/upgradability: Want more storage/ram? Buy the next model - no upgrades.
Software: Fewer OSS options for software/apps.
There are certain things I like about apple, and certain things I hate. But the primary thing I hate is that you cant do much without paying a premium...
Apples investors do not expect them to grow much more unlike Google or Facebook which both act as monopolies in both the smartphone and online markets. I'm sure apple knows what it wants but it sure doesn't show any abition to take over the world with their products.
People forget that they effectively do have most of that 85%. Every Android installation kicks back some money to Microsoft in the form of patent royalties.
Market share doesn’t lead to profit.
If by "basically accurate," you mean "not accurate at all."
It's a long way from 2% to 45%. Not many companies get to underestimate their competition's potential marketshare by a factor of 22 and survive.
It's the think starlord got at the end of guardians of the galaxy 2.
Still, at least it didn't suffer like the ipod -- it had No wireless and Less space than a Nomad. It was "Lame".
The Zune was a litany of poor decisions, but that word choice must have been the worst.
Though, I also found the word "squircle†" amusing, and still use it when the opportunity arises. The Zune was the first time I'd heard it used outside of math nerds trying to out-nerd each other.
Addition: Which part, if any, are the downvoters objecting to? From the people I have talked to in the industry that is exactly what happened and why a lot of companies got out of it.
Some other fun ones to mention:
didn't let you copy/paste text (for the first 2 years of iPhone), didn't let you record video, and didn't let you make a selfie while looking at the screen. (no front-facing camera)
To be fair no smartphone did in the first couple years.
didn't let you copy/paste text (for the first 2 years of iPhone)
I got the iphone right after this shipped just by chance, and I couldn't understand how anyone lived without it. Also the had just added the "task switcher" carousel and the precursor to the control center, both features I used heavily and was surprised to learn didn't exist just a few months prior.
I bought the first iphone on the day it came out and I believe most phones did not have 3G at the time, almost all didn't have GPS (no real use case as navigation apps didn't really exist for phones), and most just had crappy App Stores.
> iPhone first came out it wasn't very good
Unequivocally false! It did everything a normal phone did fine. However, it did something no other phone came close to offering and it singly handley made it the best mobile device. It had an astoundingly intuitive and fast UX for browsing the web combined with an unlimited data plan. That's why I convinced my parents to drive me to the apple store so I could buy it despite the high price (they had to reduce the price by 200$ soon after because it was so freaking high (400-500$ for a phone in 2007)). The phone and app stuff was all moot. I wanted to be able to browse the web just as well as I did on a computer anywhere and everywhere and the iphone was what completely revolutionized that.
Sprint had been advertising its “Vision network” since at least 2005.
“Sprint Navigation” powered by Telemachus was a J2ME app that was an add on service in 2005.
(The timeline varied a lot by your country - I saw the iPhone available a year later than N95)
Bill Gates and patent troll Nathan Myrvhold wrote a while book unironically displaying their utter lack of vision about the industry. Their while business is a mix of making bland weak copies of more popular software to run on their decades old Windows entrenchment, Xbox, and a few nice keyboard and mice.
Steve Jobs may have had some bad qualities (many of them irrationally amplified in the "Jobs-bad-Woz-good" revisionist history SV jealousy echo chamber), but he was one hell of a futurist.
For the record: I believe Jobs definitely deserves the credit, I'm just observing the mud that has been slung his way.
I perhaps unfairly read negative connotations in your use of "revisionist", but I see nothing wrong with adding Jobs' uglier side to the historical record. It doesn't change what he accomplished, and it's something we can learn from. I do question the idea that Woz has been irrationally overemphasized. By the time the iPod was dominant, and a year before the iPhone, Woz felt so left out of the historical record that he published his autobiography to set the record straight, particularly about the misconception that Jobs himself invented/built the Apple I and ][ machine. Even then, Woz gives clear credit to Jobs for having the entrepreneurial sense and vision to make Apple a company, whereas Woz was perfectly content to work at HP for all his days.
After the iPhone, Woz became even more a part of Apple's ancient, forgotten history. He was a bit character in the Jobs' movies came out, and AFAIK, no movie yet has been made about Woz's life.
As for Jobs, I was thinking more of his technical abilities. The Woz-worshippers putting him on a pedestal seem to feel it simultaneously necessary to denigrate Mr. Jobs' technical side.
Jobs knew a hell of a lot about computers. More than I, or anyone I've met, ever will. It's clear reading old interviews with him that he knew his stuff, all the way down to the circuit level. But these days the conventional wisdom is that Woz built everything and Jobs was the equivalent of P.T. Barnum.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Did he personally know how to program 68000 assembler? Maybe some, or maybe not. But did he know how the chip worked? Absolutely. And more importantly, he picked the right kind of smart people and let them (largely) do their thing. And he did something that rarely happens these days — he gave them personal credit for their technical achievements.
When I read his biography a few years ago, it reduced my respect for him. But these days, reading archives of first-hand documents and interviews, I have more respect for him than before.
He was in a meeting where they were talking about Amazon Web Services, which had just launched. He said an IBM executive called it "stupid" and asked, "Who would ever pay for a server with a credit card?"
This blew my mind, because now that AWS is crushing IBM's cloud offerings, the answer to his question is tons of people.
Both are extremely bad reactions at face value but also show how clueless the company can be (at least if you believe it is indicative of the company's mindset)
Anyway, even if it had been Blackberry and WebOs, it would still have been pretty awful.
Then they fight you.
Then you win.
- Microsoft should have known this but they had made too much money for too long.
Lets not forget Google said the surface line was a disaster too.. They all poke at each other
The 399 go is a step in the right direction.
BUT, i do wish we had a legit 7" that wasn't a Chinese malware knockoff or a really outdated Samsung or Android 5.0 devie. The 7-8" formfacter is such huge utility for pilots, GPS navigation and ebook reading. Shame even apple doesn't update the ipad mini anymore :(
The "just works" aspect is extremely useful for non-expert users.
If a trend in the industry is towards limiting upgradeability, in the direction of rent-seeking by first subscriptions, soldering everything onto mainboard, limiting connections, later perhaps rental fee for equipment like it is with car leasing, a trend which I consider insane, can't I object to it? Chromebooks are basically a prime example of this trend, while regular notebooks didn't embrace it fully yet, but are getting there as well. Can't a company with arguably the best predictive platform in the world model and foresee the effect on environment, or is it just profit and mindshare that matters these days?
That said, I currently use a laptop that's seriously underpowered (by choice when I bought the thing ~7 years ago) with 4GB of RAM running Fedora and it does everything I need -- never once have I found I wasn't able to compile whatever random code I happen to be playing with at the moment. If ever I had to do serious dev work (like, it was my job) I'd need a better laptop but for the tinkering I do it works out just fine...though I did have to give up on Blender hacking a while back because of OpenGL versioning issues and I can't afford to buy a fancy new machine. That might not be an issue anymore, haven't checked on the OpenGL compatibility in quite a while TBH.
I actually used to hack on Blender with a 2GB netbook (also running Fedora) before I got my current "beast" so those things aren't completely worthless as you would suggest.
So for $350 you get a 1080p IPS panel laptop that weighs under 3 pounds and has an SD card, headphone jack and other goodies. It easily runs a bunch of Dockerized web apps without being slow.
One of the best portable computing devices I ever spent $ on. I still use it almost every day 2.5 years later.
Details can be found at: https://nickjanetakis.com/blog/transform-a-toshiba-chromeboo...
Google says your ebay laptop costs somewhere between $900 and $1,400 in new condition depending on what model it is. Yours is also "smashed and cracked" with no AC adapter based on the description.
I don't really mind if there's something faster because I spend time developing 10,000+ line Dockerized Rails apps with the Chromebook along with having a bunch of browser tabs open and streaming music, etc.. and it all runs great.
That Chromebook I mentioned is just a perfect storm of high quality components at a good price. I hope it lasts another 5+ years.
I assume parent spoke about a new Chromebook, not a used (broken) one
Plus laptop CPU thermal management has a lot of problems. I would prefer a modern and fanless Chromebook to an old laptop where the fans are whirring away the whole time for no evidence of performance gain.
I am hoping that there will soon be an eight generation Pentium inside a high end Chromebook with that Chromebook running linux things like a web server natively. No idea how the IDE is going to work running that way but that is where I would like my dev environment to be going.
You can still get refurbished Chromebooks, I bought a Dell one and I think that come the apocalypse there will be cockroaches and my Dell Chromebook running, if nothing else, as it is that indestructible. Plus charging seems optional. It goes for days.
The business class machine means no thermal problems and keyboard problems by default - probably many people who use Pentium on Acer just don't know.
For the server, I recently had to write a process that takes messages from a queue in AWS and store it to a database. It ran well as a .Net Core based lambda running on a 256MB RAM Linux VM.
I did the same with a .Net Framesork app that inherited and the smallest EC2 instance we could use was one with 4GB RAM. It was barely usable. We had to upgrade to 8GB. Microsoft has been successful because of Moore’s law hid the increasing bloat of Windows. But once smartphones and low resource required operating systems became popular, they can’t compete.
It makes sense business wise. Getting new features is sexy/sell-able. Refactoring existing/working code to be smaller/faster/secure/etc isn't.
‘As a programmer, thanks to plummeting memory prices, and CPU speeds doubling every year, you had a choice. You could spend six months rewriting your inner loops in Assembler, or take six months off to play drums in a rock and roll band, and in either case, your program would run faster. Assembler programmers don’t have groupies.’
It came out in October 2008
SSDs are roughly 100x faster than HDDs, so they're superior despite offering less TB. Unless you're a gamer constantly downloading new 50GB games, most people are fine with ~300GB of storage.
People want faster storage, as opposed to more storage.
I want 2TB of space and the speed of an SSD, and I don't want to pay much.
Hybrid hard drives seemed like the perfect solution (a few GB of flash, combined with a 2TB drive).
Sadly, nobody managed to get decent performance on hybrid drives. As far as I'm aware, none really had a good grasp of the filesystem, so none could make decisions like 'these small dll files will likley need low latency reads, stick them in the flash, while these massive mp4 files will probably be streamed, leave them on the hd'.
That's the current conventional wisdom. But it's more like an excuse.
Windows got bloated because Microsoft relied(s) on cheap masses of mediocre programmers, backed by equally mediocre managers. A pattern that Windows application developers copied.
Yes, Microsoft has some really talented people. I knew a good number of them from the Bing and Xbox group when I lived in Bellevue. They would talk about amazing things. But then they would always follow those tales with internal Microsoft horror stories.
Microsoft research is a top notch research company. Microsoft is also a large, if not the largest, contributor to Linux & Open source.
Horror stories aren't unique to Microsoft... The industry of the 80s/90s and early 2000s was something i'd never want to go back to - but its also something i suffered through and that suffering didn't matter what OS you ran. If you chose Irix it sucked paying 600 bucks for MEDIA to update your OS, if you ran HPUX it sucked having to buy a support contract to update your OS, if you ran Solaris, you were proud of solaris - but it wasn't until sun embraced open source that it really took off because we didn't have to buy a compiler that cost hundreds of dollars if not thousands to license.
Meanwhile, Windows has TurboC, TurboPascal and tons of stuff - and open source gnu started taking off and linux came around and the world started getting better for everyone- opportunity opened up - we crossed the chasim from 8 bit to 16 bit to 32 bit and 64bit and Windows has maintained a level of compatibility second to none to support all that legacy.
They're working hard to compete - Windows "S" mode is windows without the ability to stall win32 - its "Store mode" - it could go a LONG way into making it "suck less" from legacy cruft but by and large the market and developers are refusing to support it - which is odd considering they NEED to support the store model for official chromebooks, android apps or ios marketplaces.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
I always hear things like this. What exactly are they contributing though?
> Windows has maintained a level of compatibility second to none to support all that legacy
As far as I can tell, if you want to run a legacy Windows app, you're more likely to be successful running it in Wine on Linux.
Their employees contribute tons of code to the kernel and they're a premium partner in the Linux foundation paying Linus's salary. They contribute to the kernel, hadoop, mesos, k8s, they contribute to gcc, heck they let you run linux on windows now with Linux subsystem and have official partnerships with redhat, suse, ubuntu. They also open sourced C#, they contribute to jenkins, so much mroe.
>As far as I can tell, if you want to run a legacy Windows app, you're more likely to be successful running it in Wine on Linux.
no sane person would do that. Just run it in compatibility mode on Windows 10.
Linus wasn't starving before MS became a platinum member of the Linux Foundation.
> They contribute to the kernel, hadoop, mesos, k8s, they contribute to gcc, heck they let you run linux on windows now with Linux subsystem...
Right, so as far as I can tell most of their contribution are likely to be things to make their linux subsystem work better. Which has very little effect on me.
> >As far as I can tell, if you want to run a legacy Windows app, you're more likely to be successful running it in Wine on Linux.
> no sane person would do that. Just run it in compatibility mode on Windows 10.
Mentioning sanity and running Windows 10 in the same breath?
Chromebooks are great. Windows 10 is great. My Macbook is great. We have TONS Of great computing devices and choices today. Use an iphone, use an android, use a stick phone, i don't give a crap.
What i do get appalled at is all this hate, misinformation and projection of personal biases and preference as "matter of fact".. its bull crap and ya know it.
Edit: Ah, I realise what the 'hate' remark is about, my comment about Windows 10 and sanity. Here's my Windows 10 story - I was installing it on a 'game box' (since repurposed as a Linux workstation) off of a usb stick. In the middle of the installation, it complained about some sort of missing drivers (in a very opaque fashion). I wrote down the information and went off to the Internet for help, figuring, it's easy to help for Linux issues, so Windows issues like must be even easier, given its wide-use. But nothing I found made any difference. Until I came across a suggestion somewhere to unplug the usb at that point in time and plug it into another usb slot. I thought "that's silly and will never work". Of course, that was the solution. Note: it didn't matter which usb port it was plugged into initially, so it wasn't a 'usb3 drivers missing' issue or anything like that. For whatever reason, at that point in the installation, unplugging the usb and replugging it in made Windows 10 'see' the drivers. I spent way too many hours on such a silly (and still to me opaque) problem. Thus I don't really associate Windows 10 with sanity. (And I won't mention my experience with the official Microsoft Store and malware.)
So because other companies also did sucky things, Microsoft’s sucky things don’t count.
You're ignoring a massive amount of history (and current actions) to keep your jaded worldview and that sucks.
Wine better at windows than windows itself.
There is still a 32 bit version of Windows in 2018.
Windows 7 has the same level of compatilibity (or perhaps even more, as I'm sure more software is compatible with it) but it's much lighter.