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Everything posted by TheKLF99

  1. TheKLF99

    Let's get it right Windows or MacOSX, Android or IOS?

    I think you'll find that on the HTC Wildfire you were probably using Android 2 I've got a HTC Desire S and I upgraded that to Android 4.0.4 and it works a dream, my mum also has a Motorola Xoom on Android 4 and that too works fine.   When I first got this phone it was on Android 2 which was awful to use.
  2. TheKLF99

    Let's get it right Windows or MacOSX, Android or IOS?

    And what about Linux or Chromium.   My best system is my laptop - this runs Puppy Linux with a VirtualBox Windows XP system - works perfectly, I can run all my windows programs from the Virtual Box (and Flash based websites, now that Flash has been discontinued for Linux - will Adobe PLEASE finally kill it off on all platforms and force all web developers to use HTML5 instead)   The good thing with my laptop is that Linux keeps XP at bay and keeps it running well.   I also have Windows 8 on my main PC - it's ok I suppose - but the only thing that makes it usable is installing StarDock Start8 and putting the start menu back where I want it.   As for Android vs IOS - no competition really there for me - Android all the way.  The amount of people I have with my PC repair business coming to me asking to do stuff with their Apple devices and I have to say I'm sorry but Apple won't let you do that.  It really is annoying.
  3. TheKLF99

    is pascal a dead language?

    I haven't used Pascal in years, but do remember it as it was the my first stepping stone into proper programming languages.   At college back in 1994 we were taught Borland Pascal before moving on to Borland C++, then at University in 1997 we went back to Pascal and in our first year learned Delphi, before again progressing on to Borland C++ Builder.   When I used Pascal I felt it to be a half-way house between using Basic (prior to college I'd had  ZX Spectrum and a Commodore Amiga and had taught myself how to write programs in ZX Spectrum Basic and AMOS   At College I did develop a small game in C++ which was just a >- spacecraft that used to fire minus signs at aliens, it worked entirely in text and was surprisingly addictive (I think it was possibly because we were banned from using the computers at college for gaming, but with this everyone could play a computer game and anyone who popped in to wonder what we were doing would just think it was programming!)   At Uni we were also given the challenge of creating a game in Delphi.  The game was a very basic "3d type" game that just relied on a square image box that loaded images depending on what button the end user pressed, so it didn't actually use any 3d programming, but it kind of give the impression it was in 3D.
  4. TheKLF99

    Goodbye Start button?

      If that is the case then why has Android been so successful - there is no walled garden there, Android is far more open to everything, has a large number of apps and is available on a lot more different manufacturers devices than iOS giving the end user free choice as to what they want their device to do, and I don't see Android losing any ground soon.  Actually the biggest flop was years ago when 3 launched the Motorola A920 which was an amazing smartphone, totally ahead of it's time (I had one and it was really nice!), but it was 3's walled garden that caused major problems as they locked down everything on the phone - the built in GPS, web browsers, bluetooth,  symbian app store, etc and so it turned what could have been such an amazing smartphone into a useless brick.  3's main concern at the time was for viruses to infiltrate their phone network, but eventually they had to give in to public demand and offered to remove the brick wall from peoples phones so they could use the additional technology.  The only reason why iOS is so popular is not because of it's walled garden, it's simply because of the Apple name, it is like in the 80's people had Sony Walkman's, and it was the in thing to have a Walkman with Sony on it, even if you had the latest top of the range Panasonic cassette player which probably had more features on than the Sony Walkman.
  5. TheKLF99

    Goodbye Start button?

    Whilst it is true that Windows 8 doesn't have a start button, it certainly doesn't stop you making one with a third party app.  I have had Windows 8 on since before Christmas, at first when I installed it I liked the speed, it was much faster than my previous OS which had been the dreaded Windows Vista 64 bit (although actually Vista I never found as bad as some people - possibly because I had a decent level of hardware to cope with it).   The only thing I didn't like about 8 was the absence of the start button and the awkward way of closing anything that has opened up in that Metro interface, the lack of a close button seems really annoying when your sat there looking at a document in reader and you try and get out of the damn thing looking around everywhere for the close button.   However luckily StarDock Start8 software came to the rescue and for a couple of quid I could have my faithful start menu right back where I wanted it, and change it so that when it booted up it would show me the desktop along with the start menu instead of plunging me into the Metro interface.   Now for me Windows 8 seems fine, it runs super fast and I've got a standard desktop as well as the metro interface.   I also found that I recently purchased a second monitor, and by having two monitors it is really useful as you can have the metro interface taking over one, whilst having the desktop on the other.  It does make things a lot more easier at that point.
  6. Yes you are right there are a lot of games out there that were pet related   Some that I know of are...   Roland's Rat Race - you took control of international mega-superstar Roland Rat and his friends - Kevin the Gerbil, Errol the Hamster, etc...  Roland Rat is a puppet rat that had his main highs in the 80s on TV-AM, British TV morning show.   Monty Mole - I presume you've already got this one, on the Spectrum there was a massive collection of Monty Mole games, one of the many platformers similar to Jet Set Willy, but instead of Miner Willy it featured Monty Mole - a mole - which you controlled.   Sim Ant and Sim Life - both from Maxis, one you are an ant and you have to take over an entire garden, and eventually make moves on the house, Sim Life was a simulation of life studying things like biodiversity, what happens when you introduce alien species into a colony, and how to either nurture and grow a sustainable eco-system or destroy it by introducing the wrong predators   Zenobi software also did a number of titles such as Balrog & The Cat, Behind Closed Doors, etc all of these were text based adventure games, most of them featured throughout some kind of interaction in the quests with some form of animal, normally a cat called Zenobi, which was the actual cat owned by the guy who ran Zenobi software (he still runs Zenobi software to this day, but sadly the cat is no longer around!).  Quite often typing in messages in the game like Zenobi would receive a text response like Miaow! or some obscenities may produce other messages like I would but the cat is looking at me strangely.
  7. TheKLF99

    Getting Started with Linux

    Hi Chad,   As an introduction to Linux I'd highly recommend using Puppy Linux.   It's a very easy to use and small linux distro that can boot from live CD (you can also make live USB stick as well with it).   It runs all in RAM, but can create a small save space as well on a Windows drive (a 2FS file system file) so you don't need to re-partition your hard drive or install it or anything, just put the CD in the drive and get the CD to boot.   By default the system doesn't include the main compilation commands like make, gcc etc but they can be added by just downloading an SFS file and attaching it simply to the system with the boot manager (it's just a case of opening the boot manager up and adding the development file to the list and the n re-booting, nothing too complicated - if you know the basics of Windows you should be able to do that blindfolded!).   Quite a few items of software are available for Puppy as PET files, these are pre-compiled and just need installing, very similar to how Windows installs, plus if you download the Lupu version it's based on Ubuntu so can also accept many Ubuntu DEB packages too.   The most important thing to remember on Linux is that not everything comes pre-packaged, pre-compiled.  If your a low level programmer in Windows and use stuff like C++ you shouldn't have much difficulty actually getting your head around this.   Some items when you download them in Linux you will find they are what is called a "source tar-ball".  These can be quite complicated to use if you don't understand programming, but if you know programming there not that hard - and actually once you've installed a few source packages you soon get the idea...   A source package can be really useful as well because it builds the source specifically to work with your machine - this is very advantageous (and if Windows did this it could cure a large number of bugs!).  As you are probably aware there are millions of different combinations of "IBM PC compatibles" out there - some might have an Intel CPU in them, AMD CPU, nVidia GPU, ATi GPU, 3DFX GPU, 2Gb RAM, 4Gb RAM, 32-bit CPU, 64-bit CPU, etc... there is a lot of combinations when building a PC, so by compiling the source package on your PC it builds the binary to work specifically with what ever hardware you have in your machine and utilise whatever technology you've got in there.   The only problem with a source package is all the other problems faced with it and how to install it as it's not a standard just run a program and off it goes.   To start with when installing a source package you need to ensure you have the development tools included in the Linux distro (thankfully with Puppy that is just download something like lupu_devx_528-4.sfs and then attach it to the boot manager - if your not sure whether the distro has the development tools just open up a terminal window and type make --help and press enter.  If it comes back with make: command not found then you've not got the dev tools installed, if it comes back with a big help screen then your ready to begin.   Next stage is to download the tar ball - this is just like a zip/rar archive of all the source code, we don't need to worry about anything that's in there - all we need to do is use the archiver to extract it to a specific directory where we will remember where it is.   Then we just need to open up a terminal window and change directory to the spefic download location - e.g. cd /mnt/home/my-program (the handy thing is, if you can't remember the path properly you can always press TAB and it will show you possible auto-complete choices - Windows recently started copying this but it isn't as good).   now once your in the program directory there are just three simple commands you need to run....   Firstly...   ./configure (remember the ./ at the beginning this is very important!)   This runs the configuration script that builds the program specifically for your computer, based on your hardware, and software installed.  It also checks to make sure if there are any dependencies missing - dependencies are other programs that the program may need to run.  Like for example in windows if you wrote a program that used a DirectX 9.0 library, then to run it on another computer you'd need to install DirectX 9.0 on that machine as well.  Dependencies are the same idea.   So if there are any dependencies missing you need to go get them - same as when you view a web page with flash and you've not got flash player installed you need to go get flash player - same idea Flash is just a dependency for that web page.   After sorting all the dependencies out - small programs probably won't have that many - if any, larger programs might need many - like GTK+, QT, etc, which also may have their own dependencies your ready to move on to the second command   The second command is   make (no ./ required here)   this builds (or makes) the program, the configure program created makefiles which are specific to the machine that is running them and make uses those makefiles to compile the program - the same way when you compile a program and produce an executable in C++.   and the third and final command is   make install   This installs the program for you, so to install a program from source you just need the following three commands   ./configure make make install   and that's it.  It may seem a little bit tricky at first to get your head round building from source but after a few it's not too hard.   Now one of the other major differences you may notice in Linux is the file system...   Windows has a file system of drives A: drive (floppy), B: drive (second floppy) C: (HDD), D: (CD), etc...   Linux doesn't.   Linux has one starting point which every drive branches off... the root folder     /   so instead of a c drive or d drive to access these drives they are located in "mount"points.   Windows automatically mounts a drive when it's plugged in - so when you plug your USB drive in Windows detects it, and shows it as a new drive.  Then when you want to remove it you need to use safely remove hardware to "unmount" it.   Linux however doesn't automatically mount/unmount drives just because they're plugged in.  Years ago Linux needed to have configuration files edited to access new drives, however thankfully now most distros including Puppy auto-detect when a drive is plugged in - BUT they don't automatically mount the disc.  In Puppy when you plug a new drive in you will see a new icon on the desktop for that drive.  To mount it you just click the drive, and it will mount and open up so you can view the files, at this point as well a green dot will appear on the drive icon.  This is to warn you that the drive is now mounted and DO NOT remove the drive without properly unmounting it first (the same as "safely remove hardware" in Windows).  To unmount it just right click on the icon on the desktop and click unmount.  You will notice though Linux unmounts drives a lot faster than Windows and you don't get the unable to unmount message from Linux either (this is because Linux's ability to terminate programs is far superior to Windows) - btw Linux can be a little less unforgiving if you remove a drive without unmounting it first than Windows can.   When you mount a drive it is positioned in the folder tree under it's mount point, most mount points are located under   /mnt/<device id>   (replace <device id> with the device name.   so hard drive one might be at   /mnt/hda1   and usb might be at   /mnt/sdb1   etc...   By default most of the mount points are created in the mnt folder, however you can create the mount points where ever you want as long as there is a folder there for them, but that is getting too complicated.   If you go into the drive folder and you find there is no files in there when there should be - this is because the drive probably isn't mounted, check for the green circle on the drive icon.  Sometimes the circle may be other colours like orange or red, this can depend on your icon preferences or it can indicate a problem with either mounting or unmounting  a drive - for example the main drive that has all the linux files will normally show up red as it is the main drive and cannot be unmounted - which would be the same for Windows - can you imagine disconnecting your C: drive in Windows whilst the computer is switched on? yeah exactly - although I have seen one computer that you can do that too - a Silicon Graphix which one of the lads doing his PhD had in one of the computer rooms when I was at University, he demonstrated it to us and it was amazing - and that was back in 1999.   One final thing I forgot to explain as well was - above you may be wondering why ./ was so important in the ./configure command and yet wasn't needed with the make command...   This is because of the way Linux deals with commands which is again different to Windows... in Windows when you run a program Windows/MS-DOS looks first in the current directory for the program, and then the path for the command, however Linux only looks at the path variable for the executable, unless it's location is specifically stated  at the beginning of the command (./) the configure program is located within the current directory which isn't in the path so we have to tell Linux look in the current directory for the command, however the make command is normally located in either /bin or /usr/bin which is in the path so we don't need to tell Linux where to look for that.  Of course this does add an extra layer of security to Linux, as in Windows you could create a folder and put for example a file called deltree.exe in there, as long as the person is in that folder and types deltree they will run that program within that folder, and not the official deltree command that is located in C:\windows\command which depending on what that other executable does could lead to interesting results, possibly even virus infection, where as Linux would have ignored it and gone straight for the official command in the path.  At Uni a common trick if someone left themselves logged in was to do something like this - the trick was to create a fake "menu.bat" file with the one command logout in it, or if you were feeling nice a message like "echo 'Remember to logout next time'" and the first menu file the computer came across was the fake menu.bat not the one on the path (which was on Z drive!), of course if someone did put logout into the file then you'd be logged out the minute you logged in and it would take one of the IT technicians to remove the file for you, of course if that had been Linux it wouldn't have been possible because you'd have to change the startup command from menu to ./menu which you only the IT tech's could do.   Anyway I hope you try out Linux and enjoy playing with it and hope this information helps - sorry if I've gone on too long (I do have Asperger's so am prone to going on too long on something which interests me!)
  8. TheKLF99

    Scientists are testing that we are in the Matrix...

    Highly unlikely they will find this to be the case... without doing any tests there are a number of issues with this theory which prove it isn't the case already... 1. Lack of any other lifeforms that are in contact with us - Just look at everything we create to understand this, when we create sci-fi like Star Trek, Mass Effect, Star Wars, Lost in Space, Red Dwarf, etc... there is one common theme to all these sci-fi shows. The theme is that the human race is not alone and is making contact with different planets, or beings, and that this travel and communication with other species is easy, even in Red Dwarf Lister is supposed to be the last person in the universe but he still manages to meet up with alien life forms. Now if we were really in a simulation you'd have thought the original programmer would have programmed the universe on these lines and created nearby planets with other types of life on it, and ways for us to communicate with these other types of life. There maybe other lifeforms within our universe that we haven't found yet, but why would you make it so hard to find them if you were creating a "computer game/simulation", even if in the programmers world there was nothing why would the programmer create a virtual world in the same form, surely they like us would create a simulated universe with other races from other planets all taking to us and make interstellar travel possible. 2. Infinite numbers - There are some mathematical numbers that re-occur to infinity, for example drawing a perfect circle would need Pi which whilst it may be 3.14159 or something that's only to 5 decimal points. Pi itself actually keeps going on and never reaches an end, now a computer has to define a start and an end, it can't have an infinite number, and can't deal with infinite numbers (hence the reason why even the most highest and clearest digital audio format just can't beat the quality of an analogue recording or live recording as it has to chop bits out, where as analogue is done to an infinite level), so if that was the case a perfect circle would be impossible, and Pi would have a pattern that would repeat itself (which is also how scientist intend to test for a simulated universe by seeing if patterns replicate themselves), as Pi's pattern doesn't replicate itself even when done to 1m points see http://newton.ex.ac.uk/research/qsystems/collabs/pi/pi6.txt I think that's pretty firm proof that the universe is indeed not computer generated. 3. Communication - If we are all living inside a computer program, why would we need to communicate with our mouths. Ok I know there is some proof that telepathic powers do exist, but it isn't a known fact as to how they exist, or why. If we were all part of a computer program it should be simple for us without the need of satellites and wires to transmit information from anywhere within the universe to anywhere else within the universe as if we're all part of a computer program then sending information via RAM, even teleportation should be possible and quite easily achievable. As it isn't and our main method of communication relies on us all hearing each other and physically moving at a reasonable speed from point a to b. If we were part of a computer system then there would be ways to communicate with the central network and ask it to move us from point a to b instantly, or send a message from a to b through the network like we do now with e-mails, but this is something we've had to invent, if we were inside a computer program the method of sending messages like that should already have been well known and available to us without any extra bits like cables and satellites. It all seems that scientists are wasting a lot of money researching this, and someone has just got themselves way to hooked up on reading the matrix. Of course there is one important thing here - if it does turn out that the scientists realise we are in a computer simulation I notice some of them have said that maybe we could mess with the program and play with the programmer. Important thing to think of on that one - viruses and malware on our computers play with the program and mess with the programmers, and what do we do to them? So if it does turn out to be the case and we start playing Mr Norton or Mr McAfee might be along to sort us out.
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