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Real Name SMA   
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Nickname Scottish Martial Arts
Email Concealed by request
ICQ None given.
Description
Homepage http://
Signed On Jun 16, 2002, 23:16
Total Comments 2791 (Senior)
User ID 13410
 
User comment history
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News Comments > Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition for Linux & OS X
9. Re: Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition for Linux & OS X Dec 24, 2015, 21:41 Scottish Martial Arts
 
As you get older and career and family become more important, gaming necessarily takes a back seat to the better uses for your time. For some professions/fields, Windows really isn't the ideal OS -- or at least Windows takes more setup for it to be ideal and meanwhile none of your colleagues are running Windows machines -- and to run a Windows machine for gaming, when your computer(s) are primarily used for other purposes, can end up being a real nuisance. Certainly from the perspective of performance per dollar -- when building your own desktop -- and from game availability, Windows can't be beat, but that assumes that those are the things that are most important to you in your computer. When you reach a point in life when gaming is a secondary interest at best, rather than your core hobby and a source of identity, then having that ridiculously powerful desktop that runs all the latest games at 4k resolution and 60+ frames per second stops making a whole lot of sense. And when that happens, when you still like to play the occasional game but are no longer concerned about doing so with maximum performance, then you really start to appreciate having the option of playing new(ish) games on OS X and Linux. And clearly for the companies doing the ports, the revenue from having their games on other platforms clearly must outweigh the cost of porting, otherwise they wouldn't bother.  
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News Comments > GOG.com Bethesda Softworks Sale
14. Re: GOG.com Bethesda Softworks Sale Dec 22, 2015, 23:51 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Daggerfall is definitely a game which you can't binge on. Well, you can, but if you do it will drive you insane as you get lost in a massive, labyrinthine dungeon where the quest item is no where to be found. But if, when you reach that point, you save and call it a day, and come back later with fresh eyes, typically you find that quest item, and gradually make your way back to the dungeon exit, feeling a pretty huge sense of accomplishment.

Daggerfall is broken in so many ways, but what it does well is that it challenges you, gives you a real sense of character progression, and constantly surprises you with little details that you never notice the first, or second, or third time, through. It is not a modern game however, and you have to be willing to put up with design and interface conventions that were just shy of the maturity that began to be achieved in the late 90s. Still, solving the main quest of Daggerfall, with it's twisting branches, dead ends, and truly intricate plot, is one of those gaming feats that ranks up there with slaying the Spider Mastermind (Doom) or retrieving the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom and becoming the Avatar of Virtue (Ultima 4).
 
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News Comments > GOG.com Bethesda Softworks Sale
2. Re: GOG.com Bethesda Softworks Sale Dec 21, 2015, 23:04 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Although in fairness those two free games have been freeware distributed by Bethesda itself for over a decade now. Still, Daggerfall is pretty darn cool if you can get past the bugs.  
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News Comments > Game Reviews
4. Re: Game Reviews Dec 21, 2015, 12:40 Scottish Martial Arts
 
JohnBirshire wrote on Dec 21, 2015, 11:16:
I tried to play Tie Fighter again recently, but I can't find any joysticks like the Kraft KC-3 for modern day systems. Everything is ultra complicated, this game just needed a simple stick.

Try this stick from Logitech. It's got more than two buttons but it's probably the simplest stick on the market, is inexpensive, relatively decent build quality for just a piece of plastic, and will satisfy all joystick needs but for the most serious flight simming, i.e. you'll need to upgrade if you want to play DCS A-10C but that doesn't sound like an interest for you. The one downside is that the self calibration mechanism tends to give out after 12-18 months, but for a $30 joystick it's kinda hard to complain.
 
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
53. Re: Evening Tech Bits Dec 3, 2015, 19:03 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Creston wrote on Dec 3, 2015, 18:38:
You're both aware that Volume Shadow Copy has in fact existed since Windows 7, right? (Or even Vista, IIRC) It's not new to Windows 10...

Did Shadow Copy have that degree of functionality though? Now that you mentioned it, I do remember reading about it back when I still worked in IT, but as I recall it was fairly limited in its version history, wasn't it? Like the most recently saved version and the one immediately preceding it? Like I said, it's been a while since I read about the feature, and I never actually used it or supported it.
 
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
52. Re: Evening Tech Bits Dec 3, 2015, 19:00 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Creston wrote on Dec 3, 2015, 18:31:
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Dec 3, 2015, 00:36:
Good luck fitting all of that on a single laptop desktop without going insane.

To each their own, obviously, but who on earth still uses a single laptop screen in an enterprise environment? Even the freaking mail room guy has three monitors at my PoE.

I've got two at my desk, but my office is one of those open floor plan places that are all the rage, so frequently I just take my laptop and charger and go find a quiet corner someplace so I can do actual work.
 
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
44. Re: Evening Tech Bits Dec 3, 2015, 11:36 Scottish Martial Arts
 
HorrorScope wrote on Dec 3, 2015, 11:10:

File Histroy - I use Search Everything, I assume it is somewhat similar but something tells me Search Everything blows File History away still. MS artificially slows certain tasks down. No factor.

It's a backup system which creates a versioned timeline of all of your files. It's like version control but for your user files as a whole rather than just git or svn repositories. It's very easy to use too: just put a cheap NAS on your home network and point File History to the NAS drive. If you tend to work on particular files over an extended period of time, it allows you to refer back to earlier revisions, see how things changed over time, etc. It doesn't support branches sadly, but the bottom line is that it takes backups from being a necessary evil to guard against drive failure, to also being a version control system for your work integrated directly into the file system.
 
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
42. Re: Evening Tech Bits Dec 3, 2015, 11:27 Scottish Martial Arts
 
PHJF wrote on Dec 3, 2015, 11:01:
And it seems like we just have different ideas of what Windows is for. I expect windows to be minimal and fast, with just enough ease-of-use functionality as is strictly necessary. I like to get all the rest of my functionality from independent programs; if I wanted my OS to be a catch-all I'd use an Apple. Windows extensibility is a selling point, not a bother.

This. For what you've described, there's no reason to upgrade at least not until long term support ends and 0-days start going unpatched. In the end, while you can be objective about which OS is best for a given use-case, which use-case applies to you or me is ultimately subjective. Windows 7 is still and will be for several more years a near perfect OS for a broad variety of use-cases.

For me, in the years since Windows 7 came out, I've used at various times the following OSes as my "primary OS", where primary just means the OS where I'm spending the majority of my computing time for at least a few months: WinXP, Win7, Win8.1, Win10 Preview, Mac OS X 10.9-10.11, Ubuntu, and Fedora. This is after having only been using Windows machines since the mid 90s when my family first bought a PC. The extensive use of other OSes has changed my subjectively defined use needs, and with that change in use needs, Windows 7 is no longer a particularly usable OS. For example, I can get bash and the Unix utilities through Cygwin, but why would I want to when other OSes have that natively, and don't have the library portability issues that Cygwin implies?
 
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
34. Re: Evening Tech Bits Dec 3, 2015, 10:32 Scottish Martial Arts
 
PHJF wrote on Dec 3, 2015, 10:11:
With Mission Control, I effectively have different workflow modes, and when I've reached the limit of what I can do in one "mode", I switch "modes", i.e. desktops, to continue the task in the adjacent "mode"

I doubt the average employee is going to so much as think of this concept let alone utilize it.

Almost certainly true. But if you do approach computer use that way, then Windows 7 is feeling pretty old these days, which is my larger point. For many, perhaps most, use cases Windows 7 is fine. If you've been keeping track of, learning to use, and have incorporated into your work, the features of newer OSes however, Windows 7 doesn't feel like something you can go back to.
 
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
33. Re: Evening Tech Bits Dec 3, 2015, 10:23 Scottish Martial Arts
 
NetHead wrote on Dec 3, 2015, 09:13:
snip

We're clearly coming at this from very different perspectives in terms of what we need from our OS. Installing 3rd party software to extend functionality is not a great evil, and you rightly point out is part of how computing has always and is supposed to work. But here's the thing: when we select software, we're typically choosing between several competing products with different feature sets, and selecting the one that best suit our use cases. And an operating system is nothing if not a piece of software.

Here's an example. On my work computer, the included note taking application is bare bones and doesn't have any sort of tagging system; I get an Office 360 subscription through work, which gives me access to OneNote, but I find its near Word-level formatting functionality to be overkill, and I don't have an easy way to make use of its stylus based input, nor do I care to. In contrast, Evernote provides the tagging and organization functions I want without the extra crap I don't need. So I use Evernote to take and organize my research and meeting notes.

In 2015, Windows 7 is the barebones note taking program. It's still highly extensible (through 3rd party software) and it still offers stability advantages in comparison to Win10. Now for you and your use cases, the feature set offered by Windows 7 is "good enough". Since this is a gaming site, most people here use their PC primarily for gaming, and in that use domain Windows 7 isn't just "good enough" it's still "pretty great". But if you do use the features of modern OSes, Windows 7 feels pretty painful to use, and, yes, dated.

For example, searching, which you poo poo. You call using search horribly inefficient. In Windows 7 it is, absolutely. Both Windows 8+ and Mac OS X use a hash selection (search). Do you know what the average case time complexity is on hash selections? O(1). Constant time. Even worst case is only O(n). For nearly every user on the planet, this translates to the file being found before you've even typed its full name. And the searching logic is such that you don't have to get the name right. If you need more power, both Win 8+ and Mac OS X have syntaxes to refine your search by any of 100+ meta attributes each OS supports for its files. And to top it off, both OSes DON'T JUST SEARCH FOR FILES; what this translates into is that search is the fastest way to launch your programs, offering the speed of the tab-completion command line but with the flexibility of you being able to get the name slightly wrong and the program is still found. On my Mac, opening the mail client is as simple as Command-space, m, return: three keystrokes, all comfortably executed from where my hands naturally rest on the keyboard. You call that inefficient and stupid; I call it evidence that you aren't that familiar with what modern OSes have to offer.

And for OS automation, if you're using macros for that purpose, apparently you're not up to speed on PowerShell. Or Windows Management Instrumentation. On the Mac, you've got good ol' bash if you're comfortable with scripting, and Automator, if you'd prefer a GUI to "avoid repetitive tasks from moving files, opening often used folders, to renaming thousands of files appropriately to what I'm doing/or their location/or their parent folder, or just triggering one of those apparently complex schedules backup tasks to run now as I walk away to make some coffee." Personally I use bash scripts to do the sorts of tasks you just described.
 
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
21. Re: Evening Tech Bits Dec 3, 2015, 00:36 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Nuhauser wrote on Dec 2, 2015, 23:11:
Frijoles wrote on Dec 2, 2015, 22:22:
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Dec 2, 2015, 21:51:
Yeah, a Desktop Manager, it's like the Task Switcher (alt-tab), only more useful, and Linux and Mac have had it for years.

Been using this since I switched to 10 and I'm not sure I can go back to an OS without it. I use it at work all the time to hide my games.

Using it for what?

Here's an example of how I use Mission Control (i.e. the Mac desktop manager) on my work computer:

I usually have 4 desktops going at any one time. The left most desktop has my team's Slack channel, my email client, and my calendar, i.e. it's the meeting/communication desktop. The second from the left desktop has two browser windows side by side, each with API documentation. The second from the right most desktop has my IDE or text editor plus terminal windows. The right most desktop has the test application/web page that I'm developing.

Most of my work is in the second from the right most window, i.e. where I'm writing code. If I need to reference the API docs, I go one desktop to the left (a three finger swipe on a Mac trackpad), look up how to use the function or whatever, then swipe back to my text editor to continue writing code. When I'm ready to test what I've written, I compile or npm start or whatever in the terminal window, then swipe right and refresh the web page or application to see if what I wrote is doing what I intended it to. If not, then I swipe left again and figure out what went wrong. If it seems to be working, then perhaps I run the test script in the terminal window, and if it passes, then commit the changes to our repository. If my team members start talking on Slack, I'll get notifications in the upper right corner of my screen; if it looks important, I swipe all the way to the left to join the conversation, if it doesn't look important, then I stay where I am and keep working.

Good luck fitting all of that on a single laptop desktop without going insane. With Mission Control, I effectively have different workflow modes, and when I've reached the limit of what I can do in one "mode", I switch "modes", i.e. desktops, to continue the task in the adjacent "mode". If I described this well enough, then you may have noticed that I arrange my desktops so that the "next step" at any given moment is one desktop away, except for team communications, which is effectively an interruption, so that desktop is arranged to be off to the side and outside the main task switching.
 
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
19. Re: Evening Tech Bits Dec 2, 2015, 23:34 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Frijoles wrote on Dec 2, 2015, 22:22:
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Dec 2, 2015, 21:51:
Yeah, a Desktop Manager, it's like the Task Switcher (alt-tab), only more useful, and Linux and Mac have had it for years.

Been using this since I switched to 10 and I'm not sure I can go back to an OS without it. I use it at work all the time to hide my games.

Yeah, likewise. It's just such an effective way to organize tasks, to separate your concerns, and maximize screen space. It's also a handy way to hide all evidence of goofing off when the boss walks in the room.
 
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
18. Re: Evening Tech Bits Dec 2, 2015, 23:23 Scottish Martial Arts
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Dec 2, 2015, 22:31:
@SMA: OK, fair enough. There are some good points in favor of Win 10 in a professional, corporate environment but no real "killer argument" as far as I can tell, especially not for home use (remember we're on a gaming site here Wink ).

Likewise, fair enough. For a game machine, there really isn't much reason to use anything past 7, except for some marginal performance increases which are more than offset by Windows 10 still being essentially beta software. For actual work though? 7 is feeling long in the tooth.
 
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
13. Re: Evening Tech Bits Dec 2, 2015, 21:53 Scottish Martial Arts
 
wtf_man wrote on Dec 2, 2015, 21:28:
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Dec 2, 2015, 20:46:
but pretending that Windows 7 is anything but horribly dated at this point is kind of laughable.

Huh?

It is way better looking than the "latest UI fad" of the "flat look".

But that is just personal preference... you can't really say one looks more dated than the other... just one is outright uglier.

Dated in terms of functionality. Although also dated in terms of look, but as you point out whether that is bad or good is entirely subjective.
 
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
12. Re: Evening Tech Bits Dec 2, 2015, 21:51 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Yeah, a Desktop Manager, it's like the Task Switcher (alt-tab), only more useful, and Linux and Mac have had it for years. Multiple desktops allow you to organize your work not by individual window, but by groups of related windows, each laid out where you need them, with easy, rapid switching between desktops. It's a huge productivity enhancer, particularly on laptops with their finite screen real estate, and if you don't see the value in it, then you're probably not doing particularly complex tasks on your computer.

Windows 7 's back up system is antiquated, working primarily with disk images and manually selected folder backups. That's a system that works, but it's also one that in practice a lot of people aren't going to do, particularly if they don't use Task Scheduler to automate the backup process. Further, the backup system does not provide an easy way to examine the history of a file's state and to restore selectively to different points in that state timeline. In Win7, without 3rd party software, you have to dig through each backup, perhaps unarchiving each one as you go, to find the version that you want to restore or even just refer back to. With something like Win8's File History or Mac's Time Machine, backups aren't just a protection against drive failure but they become a versioned historical timeline of a work in progress, not unlike a version control system for software development.

Further, Windows 7 was released when most people DIDN'T HAVE SMART PHONES. The notion of your phone being an extension of your desktop and vice-versa doesn't exist in Windows 7. The best you can hope for in this regard is relying upon 3rd party software that does its own cloud based synchronization, like Gmail, or having access to some sort of Enterprise level infrastructure that handles it. While Windows 10 lags behind the Mac in this regard, at least stuff like Continuum and Phone Companion is a step in the right direction.

I could keep going, but the point here is that Windows 7 requires significant quantities of 3rd party software and/or some serious Enterprise IT infrastructure to get the level of functionality you'd see on say the Mac. The movement in consumer desktop OSes over this decade has been to give average consumers the kind of features and capabilities which a decade ago required being part of a corporate or university network. Windows 7 still requires the corporate network, or an entirely piecemeal approach with 3rd party software and several different cloud accounts; the notion that your computer is just connected out of the box to your other devices and they all talk to each other is something that doesn't exist in Windows 7. There have also been significant user experience advances with things like, yes, desktop managers. And we haven't even discussed the under the hood improvements: do you have any idea how much faster file searching is on Win8/8.1/10 or Mac OS X as compared with Win7?

Windows 7 still works, and it still works well. In terms of stability and bugs, it still has advantages over Win10, although notably not in installation size or performance. But the fact that Windows 7 is still good enough to load up Fallout 4 or Starcraft 2 does not mean it isn't really starting to show its age.

This comment was edited on Dec 2, 2015, 22:19.
 
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
7. Re: Evening Tech Bits Dec 2, 2015, 20:46 Scottish Martial Arts
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Dec 2, 2015, 20:33:
Windows 7 --> Windows 10 = downgrade, not upgrade. The only thing that Win 10 has going for it compared to Win 7 is DirectX 12. In everything else it is worse, buggier and shittier.

Except for minor features like the new Task Manager, File History, a smaller installation footprint, a desktop manager, etc. Windows 10 has its issues, and its not my primary OS, but pretending that Windows 7 is anything but horribly dated at this point is kind of laughable. If all you care about is being able to launch games, then Win7 still does the job, and will for a while, but that doesn't mean it's not missing what are really pretty critical features for a desktop OS in 2015. That people live life without a desktop manager baffles the fuck out of me; I guess they aren't quite the power user they think they are.
 
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News Comments > Evening Patches
7. Re: Evening Patches Dec 1, 2015, 09:53 Scottish Martial Arts
 
DangerDog wrote on Dec 1, 2015, 05:02:
I purchased the A-10 warthog sim from DCS a long time ago, then I realized what I had actually purchased. Watched a video of the take off procedures, I'm all for detail in sims but this thing is nuts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huVi6rdPE4I

I split a gut watching this giant bomb video of these guy trying to get off the ground.

The procedures are complex but they're also rote. If you play it with the Warthog HOTAS, which is what it was designed for, then those rote procedures become part of your muscle memory. Getting sensors on target, selecting weapons, engaging: that's all stuff you eventually become able to do while flying and navigating at the same time. I hadn't touched the A-10 in probably a year before last night, but as soon as I was on the ramp at Nellis AFB, getting her started up again and ready to taxi was no harder than getting on a bike again after years away.

Otoh, this: https://youtu.be/7Xnv79DDxRI

This comment was edited on Dec 1, 2015, 11:50.
 
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News Comments > Evening Patches
6. Re: Evening Patches Dec 1, 2015, 09:48 Scottish Martial Arts
 
ATC is still the same sadly. They have said that they are completely redoing the ATC system, but at this point it's still the same barebones, often unresponsive thing it's always been. FF3 is probably a good first module to install because you're going to want to be able to zip around to look at everything, and to rapidly change altitude, etc. and sadly the 300 knots or so am A-10C is going to give you just won't cut it haha.  
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News Comments > Evening Patches
3. Re: Evening Patches Dec 1, 2015, 01:08 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Aero wrote on Nov 30, 2015, 20:43:
Holy fuck. Nevada for DCS. Finally.

Getting it downloaded is a fucking mess. All told you need to download about 30GB of data, but the fucked up torrent implementation they're using has most people getting download rates of 50-60KB/s. It took me 14 hours to get the thing downloaded and installed.

At any rate, the new terrain and graphics engine look amazing, especially once you get up to altitude. I'm especially excited to try some Huey flying tomorrow: there are a lot of dry river beds to go nap of the earth through. The Red Flag campaigns don't seem to be available yet, but there are a handful of quick start missions available for the A-10C at least (the only module I've had the patience to install given the glacial download speeds).
 
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News Comments > Black Friday Crowdfunding Roundup
2. Re: Black Friday Crowdfunding Roundup Nov 27, 2015, 16:23 Scottish Martial Arts
 
I remember that way back, when GTA San Andreas came out, you remarked that while you liked much of the game you just couldn't get into it because you couldn't relate to playing a black character, and you really would have enjoyed it more had the main character been more directly relatable. Now imagine every video game you ever played starred a black character, rather than a wish-fulfilling, manly, 20-30 something, white guy. Wouldn't you think to yourself "There weren't a lot of games that depicted Anglo heroes..."? Wouldn't you want there to be more games that you could relate to, and therefore enjoy? I don't think you would think it such an unreasonable request if the situation were reversed, but on the other hand you've always showed a shocking inability for introspection or empathy so maybe not.  
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2791 Comments. 140 pages. Viewing page 2.
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