All bunting and frolics

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All bunting and frolics

Postby catgate » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:19 pm

When I started driving, in the late '40s, there were many older vehicles still running about. My first one was an old Post Office Telephones Morris eight van, in a shade of dusty green. It had a hand throttle (optional) and big end bearings seemingly made of cheese
My second was a three wheel Morgan with steering so “keen” that less than half turn of the wheel gave full lock.
Third came a BSA three wheeler whose engine ran backwards, had to be hand cranked anti clockwise and the accelerator pedal was between the brake and the clutch
This was followed by an Austin seven, then a Talbot coupé, followed by a Jowett Javelin, Ford Consul, etc.
Why am I writing about cars on a site devoted to computer O.S.s?
Well …., as I went from one vehicle to another, each one had it's own quirks and foibles and there seemed to be a competition between the makers to “stamp their mark” on their vehicles by making them different from all other vehicles in some way or other just to prove that their's was the better product.
Gear shift patterns varied alarmingly, with the gear leaver often needing lifting lifting to engage reverse. The gear lever position varied, the location of the hand brake lever varied from one side of the drivers seat to the other. The location of other instruments and controls also seemed to move about on the dash panel without rhyme or reason. In fact swapping from one vehicle to another was often a trying operation.
Gradually, as time passed by, common sense seemed to kick in and now, to a certain extent, getting out of one car and into another has lost that sense of trepidation and a large amount of uniformity has emerged.

So what has this to do with computing?
It seems to me that as various Operation Systems become more and more trouble free and almost identical in objective, the time has come for them to start putting the gear lever in the same place, stop moving the brake pedal about and forget about painting them all different pretty colours.

Most cars these days seem to be a silver colour and every body seems happy with it.
Oh, sod it.
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Postby Dutch_Master » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:28 pm

Are you suggesting we all should switch over to M$ Silverlight or something? :evil:

I really hope you're not, we'd be forced to subject to the FOSS-team, who will instil the values of FOSS into you, rigorously :twisted: ;)
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Postby catgate » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:44 pm

Dutch_Master wrote:Are you suggesting we all should switch over to M$ Silverlight or something? :evil:

I really hope you're not, we'd be forced to subject to the FOSS-team, who will instil the values of FOSS into you, rigorously :twisted: ;)


Far from it DM.
Generally speaking I think linux distros have until now been subdued and business like in their manner, whilst others have been "cosmetically enhanced", led of course by you know who.
I fear, however, that from my relativley poorly informed standpoint, Ubuntu has recently been trying, too hard, to compete where no competion was necessary.
Fools gold springs to mind.
Oh, sod it.
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Postby catgate » Wed May 08, 2013 11:55 am

Today's announcment by M$ is quite interesting when viewed in the light of the above.
Oh, sod it.
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Postby pedros » Wed May 08, 2013 12:16 pm

all bunting and frolics. a good spoonerism?
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Postby guy » Wed May 08, 2013 5:09 pm

@catgate,

You forget that operating systems are used for lots of things. It is silly to expect a F1 racer, an 18-wheeled artic and a battle tank to all have the same layout as a Ford Mondeo. Sure they all have steering, throttle, gears, brakes and such, but their purposes are utterly different.

As for the consumer desktop, it did pretty much settle down - until somebody went Mobile, the equivalent of inventing the aeroplane, and the whole game started over. In fact it settled down so quickly that everybody is doing the equivalent of suing each other over patent infringements on every tiniest aspect of the cockpit layout. In aviation, that attitude pretty much went out with the Wright brothers. Let's see how Apple fare.
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Wed May 08, 2013 8:49 pm

Silver is so last century, White is the new silver. :)
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Postby catgate » Wed May 08, 2013 9:30 pm

guy wrote:@catgate,

You forget that operating systems are used for lots of things. It is silly to expect a F1 racer, an 18-wheeled artic and a battle tank to .....


I think if you look I was only talking about one genre of mobility.

In fact I was trying, but apparently failing, to say that what, after many vicissitudes, has proved ideal for a desktop (and almost suitable for a laptop) may be far from satisfactory for tablets etc. (or even a suppository!).

As I have proved with the purchase of socks, one size does not fit all.
Oh, sod it.
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Postby guy » Thu May 09, 2013 7:06 am

Looks like we are just saying the same thing in different ways, then.

But I am horrified that you might have been suckered into using one-size-fits-all suppositories. That could bring you a pile of trouble.
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Postby AndyBaxman » Fri May 10, 2013 11:36 am

The real question is:-

"Why can't Vauxhall make red paint that doesn't fade to pink in about 5 years"?
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Postby catgate » Fri May 10, 2013 2:00 pm

AndyBaxman wrote:The real question is:-

"Why can't Vauxhall make red paint that doesn't fade to pink in about 5 years"?


You can either "upgrade" or "update" with a good cutting compound to bring the red back. It's not just Vauxhall I've had both BMW and Merc. do the same.

http://www.classicsmonthly.com/2013/03/ ... restorers/
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Postby guy » Fri May 10, 2013 3:35 pm

Judging by my mailbox, my previous remark caused some ribald amusement.

One might suggest that a similar shade of red may develop after following-up some of the suggestions sent to me. "Oh my, you've gone all Vauxhall pink again. Bad day at the office, dear?"

Back off-topic, either Vauxhall have shares in a paint company, or their customers don't like the boring colour-fast shades of red, typically pigmented, and prefer the vibrant but fugitive (short-lived) dyed paints, sometimes bound in the form of "lakes". Drone, gabble, wander....
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Re: All bunting and frolics

Postby Nuke » Sun May 26, 2013 10:42 pm

catgate wrote:Why am I writing about cars on a site devoted to computer O.S.s?
Well …., as I went from one vehicle to another, each one had it's own quirks and foibles .... swapping from one vehicle to another was often a trying operation.
Gradually, as time passed by, common sense seemed to kick in and now, to a certain extent, getting out of one car and into another has lost that sense of trepidation and a large amount of uniformity has emerged.

So what has this to do with computing?
It seems to me ..... the time has come for them to start putting the gear lever in the same place, stop moving the brake pedal about

Sorry, I don't agree your car analogy. You seem to be saying that [eg] Ubuntu (and Microsoft for that matter) are quite right to impose the same interface on every device that uses them, whether desktop or fondleslab.

I see it as more like imposing the same controls on both cars and bikes. I drive and also ride bikes, but I don't insist that my bike should have a steering wheel, and should have a gear lever on a heavy bracket out to my left. I am never confused as to which I am riding in/on at the time. Similarly, I don't get confused as to whether I am using my desktop or my phone/TV remote/camera/navigator/cooker/toaster/whatever.

There are two types of standardisation - physical and conceptual. Physical is of things like screw threads, computer file formats, equipment voltages, and lettering. I am strongly in favour of physical standardisation (my stongest beef against Microsoft is that they try to avoid any physical standardisation, and indeed actually sabotage it, such as in the Open Document format affair). OTOH, conceptual standardisation is about things like graphical interfaces and car dashboard layouts, and while I have preferences with those, I do not advocate that they should be standardised - not least because the chances are that they would be standardised on something I do not like.
Last edited by Nuke on Mon May 27, 2013 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Mon May 27, 2013 6:17 am

And don't forget that standardisation can limit innovation.
My current car has no keyholes in the door or dash.
It has a start button, and no handbrake lever. The speedo has a digital readout.
Things change and they always will.
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Postby Nuke » Mon May 27, 2013 4:13 pm

wyliecoyoteuk wrote:My current car has no keyholes in the door or dash.
It has a start button, and no handbrake lever. The speedo has a digital readout.

And the advantages are ? Having no handbrake lever, how does it meet the requirement for at least two independently controllable braking systems ? I'm interested.

You need to look right at and read your speedo; but I can see the angle of my analog speedo needle in the corner of my eye, like I know where 30mph is. And the first thing I would do with a car like yours is put in a hard-wired engine kill switch because of stories like this [I don't normally read the Grunaiad btw] :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/13/french-driver-200kmh-car-chase?CMP=SOCNETTXT6966

Despite my old banger having an old-fashioned ignition switch, I put in a kill switch anyway as part of a home-brew anti-theft arrangement, but don't tell anyone. :wink:
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