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m68k's picture
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Joined: 2016 Dec 30
Where is the truly new stuff?

Hi Folks,

I just fell back into an old (bad) habbit and read two entire lengthy tech diatribes about the latest and greatest software developments in the Windoze & PC world.
Oh Lord behold, there is a new Win 10 update coming down the line, scheduled to hit the unsuspecting uzer around the 25th (give or take a few) and it will have such earth shattering innovations as multi part clipboards that can even be synced with other devices over the network.
When I read this I went: Wait a moment ... are they talking about the Windoze version of CopyPaste or what?
Next was a glorious new screensho(i?)t tool, allowing for selective copying of screen content.
ScreenCapture extension anyone?
I don't want to sound too much like an old geezer allergic to progress, but is the rest of the tech world really continue to get itself into a bind over "inventions" from Microsoft & Co. (hey Apple, when was the last time you folks came up with anything realy new?), that are nothing else but inhouse replacements for 3rd party tools that have been around now literrally for decades?
Most of those tools were already available for XP and many are now even freeware.
C'mon Gates, Cook & Co. give me a reason to care about where you are headed. Because right now I don't feel the urge to even spend a dime for your not so new "innovations".

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cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

True, true, m68k! Took them long enough huh, lol! Laughing out loud

Anyone remember QuickPopup? Loved that app (and I just found out that it's still available for all classic Macs) Wink

m68k's picture
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Exactly to the point. I am all for integrating basic functionallity directly into the operating system, but stop calling it the brand new wonder-something-stuff.
You know what I am being reninded off, everytime Open Sesame! pops up one of its observation notifications?
That naturally sounding speech synthesis is already 20+ years old.
Now try to sell that to a Smartphone kiddie and he'd laugh at you.

WhosIt.There's picture
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Joined: 2014 Aug 23

Next was a glorious new screensho(i?)t tool, allowing for selective copying of screen content. ScreenCapture extension anyone?

Been available in macOS X for some time now. Just Microsloth still proving that they're 10 years (or more) behind Apple, let alone third-party developers.

C'mon Gates, Cook & Co. give me a reason to care about where you are headed. Because right now I don't feel the urge to even spend a dime for your not so new "innovations".

You don't have to pay anything for Windoze. Microsloth copied Apple, yet again, so now it gives out Windows OS upgrades for free. Tongue

m68k's picture
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Windoze 10 Enterprise Updates aren't free, they cost an annual subscription fee, similar to MS-Office.

WhosIt.There's picture
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Joined: 2014 Aug 23

True, there are still a multitude of silly sub-versions ("Home", "Pro", etc.), some of which are not free.

muttztfz's picture
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I think that it is all about a good balance and a well done finish. An operating system that needs a lot of work to get it where you want it, that is something we already have: Linux.

Mac OS X is finished and feels as such. Everything feels right and "just works™", just like (in a way) Windows.

Innovations? I wonder what working with a Xerox Alto must feel like. My guess is that a lot of the "new inventions" were already there.

Thinking about the Dock for example: a program starter that is a task bar at the same time? Genious, but I doubt that this can be considered a great innovation. IMHO this is rather how things evolve.

Take browser tabs for example: tabs have been around for decades, yet for browsers this was suddenly "the great innovation".

My fear is that Apple and Microsoft innovate their stuff, no matter the cost, against every necessity and definitely against what users want. Again the Dock: it was perfect how it was introduced in Mac OS X Developer Preview 3 - it even had the magnification effect already! In Leopard Apple had to innovate and made it look 3D, but not really 3D. It was a bad idea. Finally they reverted it in some later incarnation, I forgot which one it was. Mountain Lion? Mavericks? Anyway, 2D again, just like it always has been. Innovation? Bah!

My point being: sometimes something is already great. E.g. I love to work on this Mac of mine under Jaguar!

And I love Linux, but there they also innovate, no matter the cost. The good thing is that you have a lot of options on Linux, but overall progress is made... which sometimes isn't really progress at all...

WhosIt.There's picture
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The Dock itself predates MacOS X. It comes from the NeXTSTEP OS (made for Steve Job's NeXT computers in his "away" period), which was then the basis for MacOS X when Apple bought NeXT and Steve Jobs returned to Apple.

m68k's picture
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I used to write multimedia apps for a financial institution on a NeXT Cube (blackware).
IT WAS PROGRAMMER'S HEAVEN!
Never figured out, why Steve Jobs didn't get a fraction of the attention and "thank yous" for that piece if technology (true invention!), that he got for the iPod.

m68k's picture
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Don't even get me started about fixing things that aren't broken:
Now everyone seems to be in a craze to get us back to the 4-8 color desktop days with 2D display graphics.
They make the screen look as ugly as hell and we are now supposed to use our overprized graphic cards only for youtube streaming and reruns of FPS games?

PS: The Linux landscape is a mess, but its on purpose. You got to be very careful about the distro you choose and if you want a plain vanilla "running out of the box" experience, then stick with e.g. Mint, OpenSUSE or Ubuntu.
Problem is, specially the later has developed some very nasty commerce habbits on top of what is supposed to be a commerce free experience.
You will also find it much harder to customize such systems "all the way up the alley".
Distros like Knoppix or Slack offer far more "customizing fun" for the experienced user, but can turn into a psin quickly for the uninitiated.
So with great choice comes great responsibillity - which is why I am not a supporter of Linux as a consumer desktop OS. Its made by Geeks and meant for Geeks Wink

WhosIt.There's picture
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Do a search for something like "os windows replacement" and you'll get a ton of different OSes you can install. Most are some variant of Linux or Unix.

z970's picture
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Joined: 2016 Aug 26

"Its made by Geeks and meant for Geeks."

I disagree. 4 months ago, I was so fed up with Apple's tomfoolery in OS X, I tried Linux as a full-time replacement. I chose a distribution, my experience was great, and I'm very happy now. It is a real, 3rd alternative to Windows and macOS, and is very rapidly (especially at this point in time) coming to rival macOS in usability and ease of use. It's already surpassed Windowz. The only reason people use that mess of a system is because it's been preinstalled on their computers for decades, and Microsucks has a lot of money to throw at deals and advertising.

Linux also happens to be very powerful. More so than either OS's.

muttztfz's picture
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It greatly depends on the distribution you've choosen. The people behind it make "the magic" happen. I also had a hard time to find the right distribution for me. Or rather: the right distributions...

Which Linux are you so happy with an on what hardware?

z970's picture
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Debian has done a good job so far, though I'm moving to elementary OS when Juno is ready. That is a distribution I can see myself staying in.

Mac Pro 2008 (main). MacBook Pro 2012. Dell XPS 15z (2011). IBM workstation from 2000. Power Mac G5 (for the most part). All experiences have been satisfactory to my liking.

cbone's picture
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Aw man, I was going to jump in here and mention Elementary OS, a variant of Ubuntu, with it's simplified GUI and OSX dock to boot, you just beat me to it N2000.. two votes for it now, lol Wink

A few years back when I installed it, I got it running a Plex client t home, but could not get the directory mapped out for running a Plex server. This was all on a OS-free Liva X Mini PC I scooped up, an earlier iteration being cleared off the shelves most likely with a barebones 2GB RAM and 16GB SSD (maybe 32?), both on the CPU.

I should try to update the OS now and try my experiment again. I know I used monitorless as a terminal using VNC or Chrome's remote desktop, but back then any of my media would have trouble outputting AC3 audio, only AAC and MP3 worked. Most likely the trouble was in the OS configuration. Once again, the smoothness of a completed OS like X wasn't there.. at least back then anyway Laughing out loud

m68k's picture
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I never said that Linux wasn't a valid Windoze alternative - after all I am an old Penguin myself.
But if I may be so bold to ask: If you don't qualify as a geek, then what are you doing here? Smile

z970's picture
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I didn't say I wasn't a geek...

But I was coming from a non-geek standpoint and experience. Considering what they'd likely deal with every day in Windowz, your average Joe would have no problem maneuvering through the installer, and then the GNOME desktop for instance. Pantheon. Unity. MATE. XFCE. LXDE. Cinnamon. All and so much more are great environments to rely on, with easy learning curves, that are insanely more customizable than either of the big two.

m68k's picture
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Sorry, but you show the typical geek's ignorance for the non-geek's ignorance Wink
I once installed OpenSUSE Linux on my cousin's laptop, since Windoze wouldn't support his then barely three year old machine anymore.
I thought I had done a marvelous job, configuring *everything* for him, right down to the Media Player.
It took him barely three weeks before he surrendered to fate and I agreed to help him by a new Windoze machine. My cousin is a smart guy, but he studied architecture and knows about computers only what the movies told him.
The simple task of cleaning up a cache directory, eating up too much disk space with the thousands upon thousand of pictures he had been watching, proved already too much for him.
GRUB - that everyday boot loader any half way seasoned Pengiun learns to love or hate, was always a big scary secret to him. Converting text files between Windows and Linux? What is CR/LF all about?

We geeks take information for granted that most users neither know nor care to know.
Windows was never meant to be an expert's operating system but a consumer product for the masses. Those pesky Windows popup message bubbles that drive me crazy, when they state "you have just removed the USB drive" (oh, really?) are a godsend for 98% of the user base who otherwise *would* forget, that they just unplugged their USB store.
Same with autoinstalling components and drivers: Windows might make the wrong choices here from time to time - but it does make those choices: Ordinary house wifes and Joe Schmoes would rather get a panick attack, then get the URL to add a new repository and do a manual install.

BryMD's picture
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Might be a little on the side of the discussion, but what tomfoolery with OS X broke your proverbial camel's back? *sincerely interested*

I could strangle Apple until a second short of asystole for both the lack of unrestricted GUI Gatekeeper controls (as I turn Gatekeeper on and off quite a bit) and for killing 32-bit, but I truly do understand the rationale behind both their decisions.

Outside that I personally am yet to hit anything remotely reminiscent of a roadblock (tough I know the terminal as well as my own pocket).

lilliputian's picture
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Maybe they're referring to UI/UX design? I know I miss Rosetta, Classic, and the ability to write to HFS floppies, but not enough to jettison the OS altogether.

z970's picture
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The Fischer-Price-inspired, extremely Californian art style since 10.10. The faulty Photos application that can't even reliably move your library into a folder on your desktop. The completely neutered Disk Utility that has a weird partitioning interface, a non-impressive disk repair tool, and increased likelihood of errors. The absence of a way to turn off System Integrity Protection through the GUI. The obvious feel that Apple knows how to do your computer better than you do. The lack of customizing what gets installed when you install OS X, ever since Lion I believe. The complete and utter shambled mess of an application that is iTunes 12 (which has been going strong since Yosemite, four flipping years ago). The sudden drop of support for an OS older than 3 years (would it kill them to at least do 5?). The lack of practical, intuitive, real innovation, seen very often 10 years ago. The incompetent application UI styling and placement. And oh boy, the incessant extraordinarily similar everything to iOS, which is inherently inferior to macOS to begin with.

And if El Capitan wasn't failing to boot up on my machine all of a sudden (Great reliability, Apple. Thanks.), I would boot back into it to refresh myself of what living in OS X was really like, and given that, I would easily be able to come up with at least 10 more of these, but since I've moved ecosystems, I've been booted into OS X a grand total of five times (before it broke on me with no warning). Unapologetically.

I've tried to work around these issues by trying to stay on an older OS for several months, but Mavericks was very slow (and essentially felt like a Yosemite beta), Mountain Lion was struggling to stay afloat in software support and reliable connectivity, and anything older was simply unsupported by most software providers.

Perhaps I've got a short fuse for bull$#!*, but I know that ever since I tried Debian 9, I haven't looked back. Now, my OS no longer fights me and makes me unnecessarily frustrated with with I'm trying to do. Now, I've got good reliability, support, and power for far longer than OS X was ever slated for. Now, I feel like I'm actually running a workstation, not a Millennial's paradise. And the best part is that I got solid footing on everything I needed in a single weekend.

I look forward to eOS 5 likely arriving next month. I don't expect to be disappointed, like I so often used to be.

You folks make of that what you want.

BryMD's picture
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Thanks for the clarification, N2000. I personally have either never put any importance to your nuisances, or totally adore your nuisances (like the redesigned user interface). So seems to be down to plain old preference Wink

The deal-breaker for me however is the soldered RAM/storage-crap Apple is pulling these days. Not rage-quitting just yet though, as my trusty MacBook Pro still has some years left in it...

z970's picture
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I was only talking about OS X. If we brought Apple's hardware design and direction into this, I could come up with twice that amount. But it probably would not be worth the effort, so we'll just keep it at OS X.

BryMD's picture
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Yeah, lets leave it at that. Would be a shame turning the Garden into the MacRumors forum...

z970's picture
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Ha. I can confirm that.

nil0bject's picture
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This.
"Now, I feel like I'm actually running a workstation, not a Millennial's paradise."

edit: I miss opendoc and cyberdog. that should've been the future.

cbone's picture
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Now you're reaching back in time with those two. I loved the modular architecture which with they were both built, and I even help transition two senior product middle management folks from Claris and a startup to Apple for opendoc, but boy, that was ages ago..

m68k's picture
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Opendoc once used to be all the rage on OS/2 - and then went nowhere Sad

Gary's picture
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>I miss opendoc

I don't. I stopped by an OpenDoc booth either at a Macworld or WWDC probably in 1999. I walked up to someone manning the booth and asked him to explain OpenDoc to me. He couldn't. As best as I could tell, OpenDoc was a build-it-yourself application environment. I had absolutely NO interest in building my own app (speaking as a user NOT a developer - i was both).

So after about 5 minutes, I left the booth and never looked back.

Gary

z970's picture
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Good for you.

muttztfz's picture
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I just had the most peculiar thought...
The truly new stuff is not the desktop computer, the workstation or the server. Servers run any configurable and manageable operating system, manged by professionals. Using the terminal isn't a hard thing for them. Workstations and desktops also for work, not for you as a private person.

For the normal users in their private time, the desktop is no longer needed. People (i.e. users) who are looking for easy, intuitive and productive electronics, nowerdays use something like the iPad, or a Chromebook. Smartphones even. Their operating systems no longer need fancy software features other than Internet applications. Why use an innovative desktop when the truely new stuff is there, every day, on the Internet? All you need is a vehicle to it...

What we do here at the garden (I hope I don't overstep here) is from yesterday.
Provocative as I am – now try to argue against that! (Or maybe my extreme position isn't at all true. But what if it is?)

z970's picture
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That makes a lot of sense. The new thing isn't software, hardware, or new, innovative workflow methods, it's the Internet and what's constantly being updated on it. All you need is a vehicle, and in that sense, perhaps the new thing is the browser itself, and how the browser goes about connecting you to the Internet, and how it presents the Internet to you.

But given that the new is contained within the Internet itself, what would make the most sense is to use a free, no-cost operating system to access your browser, because all most people would need in the first place would be Internet access. Thus, why Linux makes so much sense...

That is a very interesting thought indeed.

cbone's picture
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Now you might begin to appreciate why I chose Chrome OS, which ironically, is a very closed environment, but safe. It has compromises all over the place, but with the hardware I chose, it has taken new life with android apps, which is why I can emulate 68k Macs on it.

Classilla has the right approach as far as that's concerned as well.

I still think that porting the very first iOS onto somewhere like Chrome, Linux, Windows or pre-Intel Macs might be an interesting exercise. I assume that the environment would not be too complex by the processing power needed, whatever powered the original iphone. It would not be that modern anymore, but it would still be fun to emulate. Does anyone know if this has been done somewhere yet?

muttztfz's picture
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Isn't that what already happened? You don't buy macOS anymore, it is free. All you have to buy is a Mac.
Same is more or less true also for Windows. The free upgrade still works, at least I've heard it still does. What you need is a license key for Windows 7, or any 8.0/8.1/10 computer that already has a unique license key embedded in its firmware (BIOS or UEFI). In the end Windows is actually free. At least the Home version.

And all the other devices, they come with their preinstalled, coupled OS anyhow. Like all mobile devices, or something like the Chromebook or Microsoft's Surface.

m68k's picture
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But who then needs new Desktop OS's, if you don't have a need for new PCs to put 'em on?

muttztfz's picture
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When you look at the sales statistics, PCs are on the decline. Most home users would rather buy something like an iPad or a MacBook, or an Android tablet and a Chromebook, or a Microsoft Surface. They all use the operating system as a vehicle to get you into the Internet. Google Docs and Office 365 and all the other rich internet applications are no longer running purely on your device. Cloud services interconnect all your devices and let you continue your work whichever device you use. All you need is an always-connected-Internet.

m68k's picture
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Thank you for pointing in exactly the right direction - at least for me Wink
Because I already made the decision some time ago to get rid of my Laptop - not bothering with a PC either - and switched to tablet only mode. For my remaining "PC Needs" I got myself a fully loaded classic Mac VM setup and for all else (including most web browsing, music play and even eMail(!) my tablet and smartphone are completly sufficient.
Its amazing how much one can accomplish w/o a PC these days.
So I for one am a happy apple eat'n penguin from here on out - PC and hassle free Smile

z970's picture
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For me, tablets are Hassle City. I really struggle to find the use, or point of them, when they're inferior to laptops in every way. Phones are not as bad if you use them as phones/PDAs, but the PC is the better of the two in ease of use.

I'm sure I'm not the only old fashioned grandpa around.

WhosIt.There's picture
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Yep, even trying to edit text on a tablet is a pain in the backside that's not worth the hassle. Sad (It is possibly easier with a stylus rather than fat fingers though.)

There are many things that a desktop / laptop computer can do that a tablet can't, and vice versa. It really depends on your own needs.

cbone's picture
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Let me throw in my two cents now..

So in my experience, my Chromebook gives me a plethora of Android apps that work quite well in both laptop and tablet mode.

And with the 68k emulator thrown in, I get another boatload of Classic apps.

The Chrome web browser does the rest, with plenty of Chrome-based apps. Chrome does quite well running some web-based apps like online file conversion sites, editors like Photopea, Pixlr, LucidPress, OneDrive, Spotify, Boxy-SVG and too many others to list here Wink

When all else fails, I pull any remaining apps through TeamViewer, Chrome RD and VNC. This covers every imaginable scenario, for me at least.

m68k's picture
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I must differ here: For me as a road warrior PCs are nothing but bulky dinosaurs of days long past.
They eat lots of power, which is barely ever really used, make a lot of undesirable noise and have more cables attached to them then common sense allows.
Specifically the advent of Virtualizers and bluetooth-mice, -keyboards, -speakers -whatever allows power users to do *everything* with their tablet that used to need a PC for.
I can emulate DOS, Win 3.11-Win10 & 68k MacOS on my tablet and I even have AmigaIS and Debian Linux running on it. My tablet has super HD resolution and a quad core CPU and 600GB internal storage.
It wouldn't fare well as a 24/7 power server - but who the heck uses their noisy PC on a 24/7 basis?
But the absolute kicker is the combination of mouse-/keyboardless touchscreen operation with "PC like mode".
When I am done writing a text I just snatch my tablet, turn off bluetooth and read it like a book.
Now you try doing that with a cable hooked PC monitor Smile

z970's picture
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Doing that with something like a Surface is a different story, which is just a touch-enabled laptop, which is just another form of PC. Therefore, (Surface-like device = PC).

But try that on an iPad, which is just an oversized iPhone, and you will crash and burn, because you can't install different OSes, you can't use a (real) keyboard, or mouse at all, you can't do serious editing, and you can't even look at the damn thing without holding it.

Look, another example of modern Apple's low-functionality options. Any questions?

WhosIt.There's picture
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Of course you can use a real keyboard with the iPad. There's plenty of keyboards designed specifically for the iPad, but any bluetooth keyboard works and some people report being able to use wired USB keyboards via the Camera Adapter.

You can't use a mouse since there's no mouse cursor in iOS.

You can also look at it without holding ... although it's easier with some sort of stand-case, otherwise it will lie flat or you need to prop it up with a pile of books whatever.

z970's picture
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Bluetooth keyboards don't count, since they're two separate objects.

That's a problem. My 2010 phone with a 3.5" display running Symbian has a mouse cursor. So what, Apple's too classy for cursors now? If they're so persistent on replacing computers with iPads, mouse compatibility would help their case.

Those aren't valid answers. There should be a built-in solution.

WhosIt.There's picture
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Bluetooth keyboards don't count

Facepalm

m68k's picture
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"Bluetooth keyboards don't count" - where did you learn how to count???

WhosIt.There's picture
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Even if Bluetooth keyboards "don't count" simply because they're a "separate item", there are plenty of Bluetooth keyboard cases, so you get a keyboard, a stand (usually landscape only though), and device protection all in one purchase which once put onto the device is not really "separate".

m68k's picture
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Cable based attachments are going out of fashion even for storage devices.
Heck, even my smartphone connects to the TV or monitor via wireless.

WhosIt.There's picture
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Personally I hate wireless keyboards and mice (and basically anything else wireless) and don't use them, but they are still real input devices.

The batteries in wireless devices always seem to run out just when you need them most, plus of course integrated batteries have to be replaced eventually, often expensively. It's simply much more sensible for a desktop user to use a normal wired keyboard and mouse.

m68k's picture
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The surface has a PC based operating system (that's why I would never buy one), but it is no PC.
Its hardware clearly identifies it as an ultra light notepad - as which it is also being advertised.

24bit's picture
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I thought I would rather not comment in this thread, alas "Hassle City" made my day.
I´m taking care of a droid tablet of an aunt of mine from time to time, but would never even think of using one as a laptop replacement.
In fact I do hate the thought of being locked out of the OS. So many things happening behind your back and you can´t even tell what the damned thing is doing.
You pay for it, but it never belongs to you. Google (or Microsoft or Apple) literally own it and can decide which apps you may install or not.
Who needs Cortana, Siri and its droid counterpart?
Such helpers look like sponsored thinking to me. Wink