* Posts by Chika

1715 posts • joined 2 Oct 2007

Google may just have silently snuffed the tablet computer

Chika
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Trollface

Oh joy.

A few years ago, when tablets were on the up and everyone was predicting that tablets were the next big thing and would kill the PC, I said that tablets were a fad.

I remember saying so quite clearly.

More than once.

This is me in smug mode.

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Kids' Hour of Code turns into a giant corporate infomercial for kids

Chika
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Re: Why Hour of Code?

Last time I checked, IT doesnt.

Ah but it does! I've had more than one apprentice pass through my department at one of my last jobs, and you'll find that quite a few of the larger concerns run IT based apprentice schemes, not to mention quite a few authorities. More than one run them as a way of contributing to the workforce, others run them as a way of contributing to their own workforce.

Of course there are those that run them as a way of running their IT with cut price labour, but you can usually spot those sorts of employer.

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Chika
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Re: Duh - coding on pencil and paper

The "blind" tape punch machines looked like ancient typewriters but the two with an actual teletype-like printer were built as an entire desk unit.

Sounds a bit like the ASR33s or the ITT Creeds I used to work on when I did my A level. We weren't allowed to program from scratch on those though, hence the coding sheets. They were for editing only and we had to share because there were more of us than them. I did try out the punch tape system a few times though the most punch tape I ever had was a distro kit for one of the earlier RSTS/E versions when I started working for a certain local authority back in the 80s. All gone now...

Oi, Reg! We still haven't got that old farts icon I asked for yet!

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Chika
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I was going to suggest Disney's "Education for Death" but that might be a bit obscure.

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Chika
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Re: Duh - coding on pencil and paper

You haven't really coded unless you tried to type on an ASR33! THUNK! THUNK! THUNK! <return>

Now those were the days!

(And I still have some coding sheets somewhere...)

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Chika
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Re: Duh

Actually I saw this coming a long time ago. Consider that I grew up, technologically speaking, in the days of the 8-bit system when coding was all there was. As systems became more complex and big business took over at the reigns there was a lot less interest in developing machines that could be easily used for the teaching of coding, let alone anything else. In the UK, the biggest change happened when schools and colleges started to exchange machines such as the various Acorns for PCs, mostly advised by people with vested interests or no real knowledge of what a computer was used for in a classroom.

As soon as the Raspberry Pi came out, it was quite obvious that it would be a boon to educators that wanted to teach a subject that, over the preceding years, had been increasingly neglected and to students that wanted to learn but at best could only turn to relics of that past age if they could turn to anything at all. An exploding market like that is like a honeypot to corporate bees like Microsoft or Apple, not to mention the multitude of people building workalikes in the hope that they could be the next big thing whilst failing to innovate anything of their own.

Now I could put Apple to one side as they do have some sort of educational heritage but I question whether Apple now is the same as Apple back then when machines like the Apple II were big in schools. Microsoft, however, hasn't changed much in that the majority of what they do is focussed more on the making of money now rather than making a future that could turn them a tidy profit in future years, and I think that Apple has gone down the same road, particularly since Jobs passed on.

While I agree that computers are not meant to be used solely for the teaching of coding, they should be all round general use systems that can be used for teaching many different things, an area where the PC has always been poor and mostly because the people behind it aren't really interested in making a system that could be used in that way. Yet again we see the corporate mentality at work.

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Stay out of my server room!

Chika
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Holmes

And this story is probably not the worst there is to come!

Let's face it, most non-techies see a nicely laid out server room as a possible space for all kinds of storage but the task of getting a nicely laid out room is a feat in its own right. I can recall having to move from one rather antiquated but serviceable server room to an area temp-walled off from an open plan office with no cooling and a ventilation system that opened onto what at that time was a building site. What I found thereafter in the various fans, filters and whatnot can be left to the imagination!

Or, if your imagination isn't up to the task... here's a hint!

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Was IoT DDoS attack just a dry run for election day hijinks?

Chika
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Trollface

I'm still hoping for attacks that will explode Internet of Things devices.

Have you spoken with anyone at Samsung about this?

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Chika
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Re: Glad for no online voting

What aspect of modern elections relies on internet functionality?

Depends on the country. Here in the UK, the election itself is completely manual though the register of electors is often handled digitally and registration is increasingly available via the internet. I've heard rumblings of changes to all that though with more than one clueless non-techie insisting that putting the whole process on the net will make it "better".

One-Button Syndrome* is alive and well.

*One-Button Syndrome: An affliction of those with little or no exposure to technology that leads them to think that technology can solve any problem like magic. All it takes is the press of one button...

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Living with the Pixel XL – Google's attempt at a high-end phone

Chika
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Re: fast charging...

I'm not so sure. When it came to tablets I was happier with a bigger size; I couldn't stand the 7" form that seemed so prevalent, but with phones I'm not so happy with larger sizes. I've gone from very small stuff like the old candy-bar phones through the diminutive ZTE Blade which was a bit too small, then to the Huawei G330 which was a great phone size-wise. While my current Honor 6 is a good beast for much of what I do, the 5" plus bezel can be a bit too big on occasion.

Horses for courses, methinks...

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Chika
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Re: Software SIMs are a superior solution

I don't recall ever actually being able to swap a SIM.

I do and I don't. The SIM from my last Nokia, a 6610i, went into my LG, then into my Orange San Francisco (ZTE Blade) without a squeak, then into my Huawei Ascend G330. It was only when I changed to an Honor 6 that I needed to change sizes.

I suppose it all depends on what you are swapping with.

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Chika
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FAIL

Re: Wanna buy a Pixel?

That's what I get for posting late at night after a hard day at the coal face! Thanks for noticing!

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Chika
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Wanna buy a Pixel?

Hmm... high price, no SIM slot, non-removable battery... that's three strikes.

I'll keep my Honor 6 for now, thanks.

That's the way I suspect that a few folk will think when looking at this. We shall see...

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England expects... you to patch your apps and not just Windows

Chika
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Sounds like it's suffering from whatever Microsoft stuffed up in Windows Update last year. You could always try Autopatcher - it's not going to be fast on first use but it may be a better bet than trying to get WU to do its worst and if you save it once you are done, you can always reuse it should you ever need to do a reload.

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Google: We look forward to running non-Intel processors in our cloud

Chika
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Re: Blast from the past

No one putting KVM in datacenters anymore for at least 10 years, everything you might ever need can be made available remotely to any part of the world.

And how many server rooms have you graced with your presence in that time? Yet again somebody assumes that all servers can be configured and monitored from the network even when said network is stuffed up...

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Fujitsu to axe 1,800 jobs across the UK

Chika
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All affected employees will be offered guidance and support...

At best a crutch. At worst a direction to the nearest jobcentre. Brexit or no, this country is being asset stripped.

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Social media flame wars to be illegal, says top Crown prosecutor

Chika
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Trollface

"“The internet's not an anonymous place where people can post without any consequences.”

As this thread has shown, anonymity is a double edged sword. Users, including myself, use it as a way to protect themselves from the seamier side of social media. Trolls use it to shield themselves from the consequences of their actions. Remove anonymity and you remove one tool from a troll's arse... er, arsenal but you also open users generally to all sorts of possible threats, not all of them troll based. This is just lazy and misinformed guidance from a body that is shown to be less than up to date with the thing they seek to inform on.

What kind of arse hole conflates flame war with aiding doxing.

The kind that doesn't have a clue of what they are on about. A bunch of old farts that probably wouldn't touch the Internet at all if they didn't have to, who use Twitter and Facebook only as a means of self advertisement.

You know.

Morons.

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Windows updates? Just trust us, says Microsoft executive

Chika
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Re: I'll trust MS fully....

My word, you are so trusting!

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Chika
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Re: Wait...

So a Microsoftie is admitting that putting your stuff in the cloud is bad for security?

That's not really news. The amount of stolen data from various clouds over the last few years shows that much.

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Chika
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Mushroom

Re: Up vote 'cause it's true

One has to vett Microsoft patches.

Exactly why WSUS exists. Exactly the reason why Update always had the option to omit patches and stop the system installing automatically until now.

Throw as many shills into the mix as you like, Microsoft, but every bricked or broken system out there is a tacit condemnation of your current "group policy"; systems that under previous policies might have stood some sort of chance at avoiding being pumped with bad code that turned them into bricks or broken systems.

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Chika
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Re: El Reg sat down with....? Wow!

Oddly enough it tended to be Word that had that problem when the lock-in train was running full-tilt.

Indeed. The nice thing about LibreOffice and its predecessors is that they worked pretty hard to open whatever was flung at them, even when Microsoft protectionism was at its worst.

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Chika
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Trollface

Re: Trust Microsoft?

BWA

HAHAHA....

That sounded a bit bad. Hangonamo, I'll see if I can find a spare inhaler...

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Chika
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Re: El Reg sat down with....? Wow!

easily 99% of you who say that Windows 10 is the last straw said that about Vista and said that about Windows 95.

Those that said it had their reasons. With W95 it was mostly about driver issues but bear in mind that the number of PCs affected was miniscule compared with current. With Vista it was because it was buggy and bloated and wasn't helped by that "Vista Ready" scheme that proved to be somewhat inaccurate. In both cases the systems in question eventually came up to scratch but were more notably superseded by systems that weren't quite such a pain in the arse, namely Windows 98 and Windows 7.

then you moved to Linux and then tried to listen to an mp3 or print a file or read a Word document or, I don't know, LOCK YOUR SCREEN, and it fucked up in some incredibly esoteric or stupid way.

It did? I've been using various Linuxen for many years with all sorts of different UIs and haven't noticed a problem. Yes, the mp3 business was a pain but bear in mind that this has more to do with protectionism than a system problem in itself and is easily worked around. I forget the last time I actually had an MP3 based problem overall.

Opening a Word document? LibreOffice, OpenOffice and a few others have had no problems with doing this, whether you install them on Linux or, you know, Windows! I'll say nothing about loading Word on a Linux system using WINE, though I and many others can testify that it can be done.

And as for locking my screen... you are really reaching for the FUD!

you think i'm going to show my fucking parents the difference between Xfce or GNOME or KDE and play "find the start bar" for them or "what fucking workspace am I in now?"

That's your choice. The difference between the UIs you mention isn't that great that you need to give a guided tour but at least many distros will give you a chance through the various Live environments.

They all, however, have start "bars" that are easily found and will show the current workspace in a fairly intuitive fashion. Or are your parents really that incapable? In that case you'd better keep them away from Windows 10 as well!

you think I'm going to explain the difference between an rpm, tgz, or deb?

You really think they need to know? Aren't you just grousing for the sake of it? Have you ever explained the difference between an msi, exe or zip? Do they even care?

if you hate microsoft so much, YOU fucking do all that shit for me, for free. your payment will be the ineffable, warm-and-fuzzy joy you get knowing that you're "really sticking it to" a multimillion dollar company by sacrificing hours a week playing BOFH: The Home Game.

Why should anyone here do that? Or are you just a Microsoft fanboi or a shill with a rather lavatorial turn of phrase?

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Good God, we've found a Google thing we like – the Pixel iPhone killer

Chika
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Re: Doesn't matter how great any aspect of the physical specifications are...

...and when it breaks down or starts to annoy...

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Chika
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Mushroom

What's the obsession with battery and SD cards? My Nexus is now 3 years old, and battery is perfect. I also fail to grasp my you would waste your time trying to fit your entire digital life on your phones really slow, split storage as card, waiting for someone to grab if you ever lose it.

Well I know what my obsession is with non-removable batteries, especially when the phone is as expensive as this. Given my recent run-in with an expanding overheated battery in my otherwise sealed Honor 6 unit, although I managed to replace it myself for the price of a replacement battery, I know exactly what my obsession is. (So do quite a large number of recent Samsung users!)

As for this continual harping on about "split storage", I still don't trust any cloud provider with my data. I have enough to do keeping my browsing out of the grubby mitts of people like Google and slimes like the NSA without all that.

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Apple to automatically cram macOS Sierra into Macs – 'cos that worked well for Windows 10

Chika
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Re: "maker of the Performa 275"

Please wash your hands.

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Chika
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Mushroom

Re: This is a much smaller update than going from Windows 7 to Windows 10

Skeuomorphic design has, I'm afraid, served its purpose and its day is done.

An opinion. Nothing more.

IMHO Skeuomorphic design makes the user interface more comfortable for the eye. The new "modern" interfaces feel like a return to the bad old times of 8bit processors and low-res graphics with severely limited color space. Something most of us happily left behind in the past where it belongs to.

Also an opinion.

Of course for millennials it might look fresh and fancy, but for most others the new-old flat interfaces are just an eyesore.

My own opinion is that Microsoft worked to put an interface together for Windows XP that allowed you to skin the desktop in whatever manner you preferred. Generally speaking, therefore, if that skinnable interface was still there, then we would probably not have this argument as we could, as was the case on XP, Vista and 7, change the desktop design as we wanted, Aero notwithstanding.

I prefer the skeuomorphic look, indeed I'm still using KDE3 as I type this having had little love for its immediate successor, and still run Windows 7 on all my Windows boxen with Aero switched on, but I know that tastes differ and change. That's the choice I made and it's the main issue here rather than whether you like your buttons flat or puffed up - you should have that choice.

But that's my opinion.

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Chika
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Re: anti-Microsoft rant more like...

Now that gives me an idea: ArkB-OS.

Brought to you by Golgafrincham Enterprises.

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No surprise: Microsoft seeks Windows Update boss with 'ability to reduce chaos, stress'

Chika
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Re: Bloody Win7 Updates in clean install

Win 7 was always like this.

It was? Never gave me any trouble like that until this whole W10 business started. Goodness knows how many of the buggers I built before that...

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Chika
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Happy

Re: FTFY

Go stick your head...

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Microsoft's chums Dell, HPE and Lenovo give Azure Stack a shout-out

Chika
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Big Brother

The lock in continues to develop, so it seems.

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Londoners react with horror to Tube Chat initiative

Chika
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FAIL

Cabbage

Another lame-brained scheme courtesy of some marketing exec with time on their hands. Yet another reason why I hate London.

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Our Windows windows will be resizable, soooon, vows Microsoft

Chika
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Trollface

Hmm... 1988, eh? I remember RISC OS coming out and I don't recall it ever having a problem with overlapping windows. Or Arthur for that matter...

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Windows 10 backlash: Which? demands compo for forced upgrades

Chika
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Linux

Re: Linux Mint

I've been mucking about with Sarah for the last few days and it seems like a fairly solid system. Installation is pretty easy given a reasonable net connection - you can leave it using default settings if you don't have the goods to muck about yourself and as with so many Mints over the last few years, you can try before you install anyway.

My biggest gripes would be the imposition of systemd (which probably won't matter if you are using it as a desktop/laptop home user system) and where I've installed KDE, I've got the rather dreary looking Plasma 5 over which I intend to attempt to load Trinity as soon as I can. I find many users seem to prefer either Cinnamon or MATE though.

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Chika
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Trollface

Windows 10 sucks big time and ia nothing but a Microsoft scam.

That's nice, and you won't find a shortage of people here that would agree with that sentiment.

Perhaps you could expand on how you reached that opinion? The installation nagware? The forced installation itself? The compulsory updates? The many different driver problems? The lost data? The lost or disabled applications? The spyware? Anything I missed?

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Chika
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Mushroom

Re: Damage is done

In which case they are living on borrowed time - one update to Windows may clobber their application and, if it's so important, their business.

That's always assuming that W10 hasn't killed it already or is threatening to.

The problem here is that we, the people that comment here on El Reg, probably have a degree of knowledge about the thing that we work with. We are, however, not necessarily in control of our own destiny, often caught between companies that sometimes do outrageous and occasionally unethical things to maintain their hold over it customers and those in charge of company purses who aren't always technically literate. They don't know IT but they know what they like.

Add that to the millions of home users who aren't necessarily savvy enough to allow for situations like this and have no recourse to legal representation against someone as big as Microsoft and there we have it. It's the reason why Microsoft and others get away with this sort of thing every time and those of us that are technically savvy enough to see what is going on get caught in the middle trying to make the best of a bad job.

EVERY F*CKING TIME.

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Chika
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Trollface

Re: Am I been too technical, in saying the 3P&3Bs: prepare, prepare, prepare + backup,backup,backup.

Note to El Reg............NEED IRONY ICON!!!

I forget how long it has been since I asked for one of those...

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Chika
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Megaphone

Re: classic shell doesn't fix the flatso

"Classic Shell. Natch."

doesn't fix the 2D FLATSO, though

Unfortunately not, but it does resolve some of the Start menu bother. Reinflating the graphical side of things could be tricky though if the whole thing is still as skinnable as Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 were, or indeed as Windows 2000 was with a third-party add on, then all is not lost. Keep an eye open, it's a market opportunity waiting for someone to exploit!

In general I like it. However, I noticed that THEY TOO have all of the themes in FLATSO mode, out of the box.

I suspect that it's the current fashion. It's a bit like mobiles that are redesigned each year that do very little extra but look different from the previous model. You can see what I think of the KDE version at least at http://mistie710.livejournal.com/131737.html but chances are that I'll still sling TDE (a branch of KDE3) over the top.

(what is it with the MILLENIALS and their "do it OUR way now that it's OUR turn" down'up'grades and that gawd-awful FLATSO look???)

I'm not convinced that it is all down to millenials. Execs want a quick turnaround and low cost, so simplification pays dividends as far as they are concerned. You can trace an awful lot of what is wrong with so many things back to an exec who has little interest in creativity, aesthetics or excellence unless there is a big, fat profit in it and even then they will be looking for a way to cut the cost no matter what negative effects it has on the product or the users. As long as we keep stuffing our hands in our pockets and forking over the money to pay these morons, you will keep getting your "2D FLATSO" or whatever.

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Chika
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Coat

I installed W10 recently in a VirtualBox just to keep myself up to date with the damn thing. Yes, it works there now though it was a pain when I first tried it that way some moons ago. However there were a few things I insisted on.

1. Make sure that the system is set up with a local account. I notice that the option to do this is difficult to locate but it can be done.

2. Classic Shell. Natch.

3. All options that could be construed as privacy violations were to be switched off. One thing that certainly helped here was a video by Barnacules, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1kGMCfb2xw, which advised the use of Spybot Anti-Beacon.

However I am still concerned that the compulsory download/installation of patches is still a problem here in that Microsoft's quality control is still as questionable now as it was back when this problem first came to light, and patches that brick machines still occur.

Mind you, I've been giving Mint's latest, Sarah, the once over today.... oh, behave!!!

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Chika
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Mushroom

Re: Computer Misuse Act

Sadly MS have the get out of jail FREE card for this one as they say by installing a MS OS they can do what the FECK they like with your PC with total IMPUNITY !

Not completely true. An EULA has some standing in law but it can be challenged if it attempts to limit or remove your rights as granted under the law in whichever country you are in. Microsoft have come up against the law for things like this in the past, especially for things like privacy and anti-competitive behaviour.

The issue isn't necessarily all down to Microsoft, though they are to blame at bottom, but you also need to consider the legal folk and the political folk that allow such things to occur. We all know how bought off American politicians are, and I have my suspicions about more than one British MP. The fact that Microsoft does this sort of thing isn't just that they hope to make money; it's also that they are allowed to get away with it by vested interests hiding their inaction.

OK, we saw the EU do a number on them for Media Player and UK Gov has had a go in the dim and distant past for collecting personal data but if the powers that be actually did a decent job consistently then it would be a lot harder for Microsoft and others to do this sort of thing and, worse still, justify themselves doing it.

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BT tops Ofcom's broadband whinge list

Chika
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Mushroom

WARNING: Rant incoming!

It occurs to me that customer service is becoming more of a joke, mostly because they are seen as the bottom of the heap in IT terms. Phone jockeys. People who have but one goal in life which is to tell users to turn it off and on again. Those who are serious about the work often get crapped on, both by their superiors and in monetary terms because they are seen as grunts.

There's an old, old saying. Pay peanuts, get monkeys. I'd go further than that in that I believe that the monkeys are already in residence at some companies and nothing is being done about it. Those that are willing to be trained aren't being trained. As long as they get through umpteen calls a day, dealing with all sorts of levels of user competence and temper, sticking (at least superficially) to the standard and following procedure, then all is right with the world. That's how I see such companies as BT with whom I have had plenty of dealings with over the years and have had more to complain about than to compliment.

Not every service centre or help desk is that bad. I know of such groups that work well together and provide a level of support that BT users would envy if they came across it. They understand that ITIL is a framework and know how to apply it, not a handy badge to make them look good in the eyes of their peers. Would that every company were as serious.

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Forgive me, father, for I have used an ad-blocker on news websites...

Chika
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FAIL

Sodding advertisers

No, I don't feel guilty about using an ad-blocker. I feel annoyed for having to, certainly, because so many advertisers think they have a right to obstruct content or to interfere with content in such a way as to make the experience unrewarding and unpleasant. Not every advertiser does this and it is unfortunate that those that advertise responsibly are penalised so I do use my whitelist in some cases but...

Well, here's an example. A local news service near me fills their pages with adverts. These appear above, below, around and inside the news item to the extent that you sometimes wonder if they actually give a toss about the actual news. I blocked their ads which gave some semblance of normality only to start getting a third to a half page nag telling me to switch my ad-blocker off if I cared about the news.

The whole business of putting users that use ad-blockers on some sort of guilt trip is just the latest tool being used by irresponsible advertisers who only brought this situation on themselves.

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Windows Server 2016: Leg up or lock in?

Chika
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Coat

No point really. Sling a Linux distro on a reasonable PC, even one of a few years' vintage, add KDE, GNOME, Unity, LXDE, XFCE, TDE or whatever else tickles your fancy and you are already pretty much there.

Not that I see that detail stopping RedH... er, Microsoft. *^^*

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Chika
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Linux

From a software POV as far as I have seen so far, there is little difference between the back end of this and its immediate predecessor, though one thing to note is that the front end looks a little W10-ish. If this includes all the down-points that W10 has, then watch out!

As far as the article is concerned, however, it raises a number of valid points in that there are less reasons to deploy Windows Server than there once was, especially considering the move to publish a Microsoft SQL framework on Linux. Many other purposes have long been able to run using Linux or Unix derived resources and people are catching on to this.

I'm not a great advocate of cloud usage but I can see more than one reason why cloud infrastructure tends towards Linux. It's yet another reason why I view Microsoft's recent actions on the desktop as questionable (I've always had my doubts about their server licensing habits!)

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Trump website server config snafu left interns' CVs exposed

Chika
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Trollface

Down to experience

When I saw that picture, my first response was this:-

Drumpf: I knew I shouldn't have got that second hand rug from Bruce Forsyth!

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Delete Google Maps? Go ahead, says Google, we'll still track you

Chika
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Google was not available for comment.

They never are when they would need to explain about something that makes them look like spying slurpware dicks.

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'Oi! El Reg! Stop pretending Microsoft has a BSOD monopoly!'

Chika
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FAIL

Re: re: Machine Operating System

Sorry for the repost but it appears that the Register Android client is a complete pile of bull-dooky. I've now uninstalled it so it won't happen again.

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Chika
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Re: Machine Operating System

ISTR yes...

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Chika
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Re: Machine Operating System

Quite right, at least to start with. The 1770 came in when supplies of the 8271 dried up.

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Chika
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Re: Machine Operating System

I think I've seen some enterprising person build a SD card adapter that looks like a hard disk on the 1MHz bus for a BEEB, but that would need ADFS installed!

Maybe time to re-code for a Raspberry Pi.

Wouldn't take much. Either run a RasPi with Raspbian and whatever works or RISC OS with one of the 6502 emulators. Either way, at the very least, you could have the floppy as an image, similar to the way that RPCEmu does it. Then it would just be a matter of how you communicated with it.

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