Digital Dinkage

Six Day. No gym. Walked under the fall of dihydrogen oxide. Wonderful! At least if I don’t contract pneumonia or influenza or whatever.

Brought me to thinking about computers and users and OSs. 

The situation: we have three (actually four) OS in play: iOS; Winders; and Linux. For the nonce I am going to exclude Android from Linux simoly because it doesn’t really run on real computers. More of this vitriol later.

I saw an advertisement for a computer OEM D***. The advertisement said “D*** recommends Winders 10.” (sooc.) And I immediately thought how hard it is to buy a computer without the cancer that is Winders.

Which made me think about statistics and that led to a different way of looking at the matter, at least for me. I should give credit to my colleague, Normal Angular Momentum, for the seed crystal of the whole thing.

Consider the spectrum of computer “users” (as a rather all encompassing name) in terms of how much they “want” to dink with an OS. Specify three bins: absolutely don’t want to dink at all (appliance users;) will dink a bit; and want to dink. Admittedly there is potentially a LOT of space between bin two and bin three so a bit of qualification is in order.

Bin one is people who want someone else to install their OS and they NEVER want to have to ask anyone to dink for them.

Bin two includes people who will reach their dink upper bound very quickly and then either curse a lot, throw their computer out a window or under a main battle tank, and go buy anew one, or hire someone knowledgeable – usually a bin three – to dink for them.

For our purposes we will ignore whether tuning eye candy qualifies as dinking. 

Now let us observe that statistically both bin one and bin three compromise about a sigma of the population in the context of a Gaussian distribution

Now let us consider that: bin one is entirely populated with iOS users; bin three is entirely populated with Linux users; and that bin two is predominantly Winders users with a few industrious (masochistic?) iOS users and a few ferdish Linux users.

That’s it. That’s the population of computer users. And it explains why businesses really hate Linux and Apple users. 

And the Android folks? They are people who can’t dink. Want is irrelevant.

Thankful/Unthankful 4

Yes, I know the holiday known as thanksgiving is some past but its proximity to the Solstice Season provides at least a weak link.

Today’s nattering is about electronics. Particularly digital electronics. Aka computers.

I am distinctly unthankful for all the merchants who intimate that I should expect slablets and such as gifts and should unitarily consider them as gifts.

Stupidity. Greed. Asentience. 

Given my experiences with rubbish electronics. Such as the current state of Hewlett Packard. (How long has it been since they introduced a NEW RPN calculator?) And Dell is a close third.

And slablets? Appliances masquerading as real computers. Useful only in weight restricted situations. Where nothing worthwhile is to be done. Entertainment and diversion only. 

And cellular telephones. Definitely Freudian. Very Hate-Abide. No love component. 

And the popped zit head executives who think that everyone is going to do all computing on slablets and phonyiums. 

But I am thankful for real computers. Which excludes those pre-ruined by MegaHard’s insecurity. And utile OS like Linux. 

And I am especially thankful for screensavers. A vastly underappreciated art form. Of which the best is “Flying Toasters.”

And keyboards with Blue Cherry switches. Not the stercus that comes bundled with deskboxes. 

Selah. For now.

Digital Stupidity Confirmed

Starting early cleaning tabs. First, a grievous evil may have been righted. [Link] The Lenovo people are usually pretty good about supporting Linux. It has been fairly easy to take one of their lapboxes, blow away the cancer that is Winders on it, and install the Linux distro of choice. Even though they have gone to UEFI, their implementation works well with uncertified distros.

But not recently. In an apparent subjugation to MegaHard, their YOGA lapboxes have been untouchable. Which has likely hurt their business. The Two-Percentum are not without a certain Linusesque inclination to expression. But supposedly the exclusion was an error (???) and has now been corrected.

I tend not to buy latest and greatest. Mostly because I’m frugal. And the one time in the last year I bought a new, contemporary box, it was as rotten as cardboard shoes in a monsoon. So I crated it back up and saved it for some needy Winders serf.

In the same scan, I noted a rather overdone article on the security of internet appliances. [Link] Too much of this article is about physical burglary angst, which is quickly, less than one sentence in, boring. The sort of boring that makes you wish the author had been mugged in the burglary.

But the point, not well associated with the burglary, that we can’t trust the manufacturers of IOT appliances is valid if untrustworthy in such a sob sister.

ANyway, my natural distrust of things BOGish is being confirmed in the wake of the recent DNS DOS assault. I am – barely – willing to accept microprocessor controlled appliances but not if they’re connected to the internet. Or even to my network.

Especially since I turn my cellular telephone off as soon as I get home since it won’t work under my metal roof.

Reverse Effect

I have already had a blot about how the Realtor advertisements have the opposite effect of they are intended of, namely that they come across as an advertisement for “The Onion Router” and not prevaricating fraudists misselling crappy houses.

Now the attention is on FaceScroll. I ran across this article [Link] entitled “Facebook’s Targeted Ads Could Be Used To Exclude Certain Races.” The article goes on to rant about the fallacious nonsense that is the idea of racism. That’s all right. It’s basically a almost all BOG site anyway but it does give some useful insight into the minds of contemporary BOGs.

But in this case I had to marvel at the good fortune of those humans who were so excluded. My response to almost all of the advertisements on the FaceScroll is intense nausea. Usually I can control it but sometimes I have to stop and steam clean my keyboard. 

Needless to say that I almost never buy anything advertised by FaceScroll. In fact, in most instances, I avoid that brand completely. So the advertisement has a negative effect.

It alienates me.

Which is hardly the intent of the minions of FaceScroll and its greedy paying customers.

But it is the effect. 

Generally I leave the advertisements alone. I only block them f they are morally or ethically offensive.

But I wonder if I can induce FaceScroll to pay for a new keyboard?

Ice Cube DNA

Seven Day. Decidedly on the upper edge of a phase transition in BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! According to the temperature sensor it was 49 degF but my Southron body is still summer (?) adapted and was clothed in three outer layers. And I was decidedly chilled. Still chilled in fact even five minutes after returning to Castellum SCP. 

But it was a good walk. If a bit boring. The edge of BRRRRRRRRR! kept me from thinking much and besides I have to reassay outside in half an hour to obtain breakfast supplies for FD SCP. 

So I will limit myself this blot to one article [Link] entitled “Windows 10 market share fell in September”. This was actually a quite informative article even for the Register which is much more informative than Amerikan news rags. Hard to admit but Amerikan journalism has shaded over from Yellow to Orange. Which now gives us a handy rhyme of Journalism with Orange. Why? Because they are. 

Also why I blew away the American news app on my cellular telephone and replaced it with a British one. 

Anyway, it seems that the fraction of measured/sampled PCs running WX actually went down last month. Not by much. Depends on the measuring agent for one thing. But at most about 4E-3. So no disaster for MegaHard quite yet. But they do appear to be in deepening kimshe. 

The primary informative part of the article is that WVII is still the primary instantiation of Winders at somewhere between 0.35 and 0.55. The combination does not bode well for MegaHard. The ship of Bill has struck an ice cube, size yet to be determined.

The variation has to do with uncertainties and measurement assumptions. Like that every box hits their server harvesting. And their data is accurately representative. But it’s the only game in town. So we live with it.

Of course the big thing is slablets, most running Googleoid. Which pretends to be Linux but isn’t. It’s evil linux at best and every thing I learn about it makes it worse. But again, only a few choices and the other are worse. Like the Amerikan presidential candidates.

One of my colleagues made a joke this week. He claimed that Bogs were Junk DNA in Action. Not very accurate but definitely appealing. It would explain a whole bunch. 

But the presidental candidates go far beyond Boggery and Junk DNA. They go to levels that make pond scum seem like higher life forms. And like Android, we’re gonna be stuck with one of them. 

Mudville Cell Phone

I observe this morning on the electromagnetic audio-visual receiver at gym that Samsung has found a second way to make a Cellular Telephone that is an IED.

I am hardly surprised given their history of DOA monitors so Samsung is now on my avoidance list.

Meanwhile I am quite satisfied with my ASUS devices.

Photon Pop Guns

One Day. And in the midst of petrol shortage. So no gym until I can determine how much petrol I can access. So onto the stationary this morning for a bit of muscle bashing. And I forgot to pick up my MP3 player so much time to cogitate. In this case on my early days working for the Yankee Army.

I was hired to be a High Energy Laser (HEL) chap. Didn’t know much about lasers beyond my coursework on quantum mechanics and optics but I was game and anything nerdish would be preferable to the farce that was my job with a local defense contractor. What I got for work assignments would have insulted a college sophomore. And the management was ranged from tepid to insipid to blatantly incompetent. Not politician incompetent mind you but of a level that any self-respecting technical organization would regard as shameful and debasing.

The Yankee army was much better. Not that 0.9 of the managers weren’t incompetent but none were as incompetent as what I had seen in that defense contractor. 

Anyway, the YA was trying to build a tactical laser cannon, as well as decide whether it wanted to do so, and I settled in to learn about being an Army laser nerd. The hot topic then was propagation through the atmosphere and for HEL it’s non-linear. So since I was a bright young grad student type I didn’t know any better so I got assigned to work on propagation. The alternative was lab work on making test zappers into light bulbs – manufacturable – and evidently my lab klutz limitations had preceded me.

The reason I was thinking on this was I saw an article [Link] yesterday on how the YA was planning tactical laser cannon tests next year with deployment in about five years. I recalled similar rhetoric in the mid ’70’s of the last century. And when I looked at the pictures of the field unit

I was struck by the resemblance to

that similar things were said about 40 years ago. 

So I have to wonder what else may be similar?