* Posts by Nick Sargeant

28 posts • joined 3 Oct 2007

Chrome passes Firefox in global browser share

Nick Sargeant

For us Mac fanbois It just works ..

unlike f*ref*x which hoses for no readily apparent reason every half hour - or when I ask it to do something complex like render a picture or scroll some text quickly .. Now if the Chrome chaps would like to turn to that other former favourite bit of Open Source 'productivity' software, Thunderbird which exhibits similar behaviour to the aforementioned, and write for us a leaner, meaner mail/calendar program ..

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Ubuntu republic riven by damaging civil wars

Nick Sargeant

Hate it.

The ONE thing that makes Gnome 3 usable is that Docky still works.

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Boffins whip up SELF-WIRING chip

Nick Sargeant

The grey goo cometh ..

Of course one possible application for this is for tamper-proof, unhackable hardware that can destroy itself if it falls into the wrong hands .. or if you forget to pay the monthly licence fee to continue to use <appliance> for the purpose you thought you'd bought it outright for ..

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IBM PC daddy: 'The PC era is over'

Nick Sargeant

Would you put your faith in the man who brought you Micro Channel and the PS/2?

Ah, Mark. Along with Chet Heath, the man that brought you the worse of two implementation of Micro Channel - the other being RS/6000, and far superior. Very clever man, right place at the right time for the PC and the AT, but sheesh what a left turn at the lights. Being a technologist, especially a former one does not make one a visionary.

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UK Cops 'duped' into arresting wrong LulzSec suspect

Nick Sargeant

Where are the Spartacus gags?

I was expecting 30 'No, I am Topiary!' comments in this thread. Are people worried that if they made that crack, there'd be a SWAT team in the back garden in three minutes?

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OS X Lion roars, coughs on appearance in App Store

Nick Sargeant
FAIL

Won't install on a machine with rEFit dual boot ..

*sigh* .. the installer tells me that it can't be installed on my macbook. I think it has either noticed that the bootloader is not the original Mac bootloader or bootcamp, or that there is no obvious space to put a restore partition on the disk. (maybe it swallows the last few meg off the end of the disk? which is now an EXT4 file system with Linux on)

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Facebook's open hardware: Does it compute?

Nick Sargeant

Can we demystify the network as well please?

I want to do the same with high density storage (like Backblaze, thanks chaps) and with the network. I don't want to pay huge sums of money to Cisco for switches ...

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South West Trains puts squeeze on commuters

Nick Sargeant

A problem shared ..

I travel on a 444 on the way in from Havant to London in the mornings - and I delay my journey to do so; that gives me the chance to read the paper, do the sudoku and read a book. On the way home, I would have to delay by 30 minutes to get a 444, so I sit quietly by the window on the 3 side of a 450, and hope that it doesn't get so full that we have compression. There is a chance that nobody goes for the middle seat so there is more sideways room. The downside is that the legroom suffers, as the banks of three seats face each other; and I do mean suffer - my varicose veins give me serious jip until the carriage empties at Guildford.

On the subject of IT, when will we see power being supplied to ordinary mortal seats on SWT?

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British Gas signs Voda so meters can snitch direct

Nick Sargeant

DOS attacks will be more fun in the future ..

I'm looking forward to an Internet DOS attack that turns off the meters belonging to 2 million housholders .. of course the regulations say that each meter must be visited by someone from the gas infrastructure suppliers, or the householder must confirm it is safe to reconnect the gas on the phone ...

Ah, can't wait.

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Nick Sargeant
Stop

Another thing ...

.. if it is not safe to use a cellphone on a petrol forecourt due to the possibility of a spark near volatile gases, why is it a good idea to strap a cellphone to your gas meter?

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Mozilla ditches Mac OS X 10.4 support in fresh Firefox

Nick Sargeant

Time for the G4 Powerbook to be retired ...

We wonder why we are in the state we are in, when hardware four or five years old is obsoleted not by the availability of spare parts to repair it, or by new interfaces that it won't connect to, but by a third party freeware, open source application deciding not to continue support.

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Microsoft: Oracle will take us back to 1970s hell

Nick Sargeant

Try X ..

Actually I see enormous benefit in running applications over X to dumb (LTSP?) terminals, which is most definitely a 30-year old technology. I am currently typing this on a diskless notebook computer, hooked in to my Linux server in the office. It's old technology, but means that I don't have to worry about backing up another machine, can move to another terminal in about ten seconds, I have one licence for software that I use regardless of where I use it from. The reason that Microsoft and others want you to put your applications onto a personal computer is that it multiplies the number of licenses for their software that you need to buy. They've been living fat, dumb and happy off that council tax paradigm for years.

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Britain warns businesses of Chinese 'honey trap'

Nick Sargeant

When I was in Lithuania ..

I found that having a girl provided for the night was just part of doing business there. Of course being a geek, I didn't find out until the morning I was to fly home again.

Shame our brains are in our heads, and not in our balls sometimes.

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Apple sends iPhones into 'Coma Mode'

Nick Sargeant
Unhappy

iPod Touch also lost sync

Can't sync with iTunes after the updates today - iTunes 9 and iPod 3.1.1, which all means I can't restore the older version. I'm going through the Apple fixes which recommend removing iTunes, removing mobile device support and reloading iTunes from the web site.

I also note that there are so many people downloading iTunes 9 that I am getting, oh, 12K bytes per second.

*sigh*

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Southampton Uni getting Nehalem supercomputer

Nick Sargeant

Beats the ICL 1907 they used to have ..

.. when I was there, programming it in Algol and POP-2 ..

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NHS IT project pulled up by hiatus hernia

Nick Sargeant

Keep the spine, but some radical surgery required

If you started with an Acute solution that was designed for the NHS, rather than trying to ram in a solution better suited to other geographies; if you build on the interfaces and specifications for the Spine services, for reporting and for the best of breed business processes, you might have a chance of delivering a system that Trusts would accept.

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UK.gov £12bn comms überdatabase 'wouldn't spot terrorists'

Nick Sargeant
Black Helicopters

How can it possibly cost £12Bn?

Wouldn't it be cheaper to turn the UK into an informant-based society? Give huge rewards to any information leading to the capture of terrorists? If we gave everyone who informed on a terrorist say half a million quid, we could bang up quite a few thousand for the same price. That might be a bigger, more effective deterrent.

Of course these days I would want paying in gold bars .. none of your payments using BACS to an account of your choice ..

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Acer raises UK prices

Nick Sargeant

This is good news ...

This will only make our indigenous manufacturing industries more competitive in Europe and the US, improving our balance of payments!

Oh, wait ..

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Ice in fuel caused Heathrow 777 crash

Nick Sargeant

Date formats ~~~~~~~

In jolly old England, our preference is for "On that day, the Seventeenth day of the month of January, in the Two Thousand and Eighth year of our Lord"

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Google remodels top secret money machine

Nick Sargeant

Power corrupts

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Don't act all surprised about it.

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Microsoft Mojave 'outs' secret Vista lovers

Nick Sargeant

How do I unregister a sale of Vista?

If I bought a computer with Vista on it, got entirely fed up with it and after much searching and struggling to find all device drivers managed to 'downgrade' to XP .. how do I get Microsoft to take 1 off the number of Vista licences installed? Every little helps.

Actually it was my wife's machine, and she did last about 6 months with Vista, but in the end her patience eroded to the point I just had to do something about it. I did take the precaution of building XP on a replacement hard disk in her laptop just in case I couldn't make it work, but in the end and after considerable help from Sony Vaio forumites who had blazed the trail, it works. And it is like a different machine .. so fast, stable, runs all her favourite applications, no strange display bugs in many applications; it stays out of the way and lets her get on with just using the computer.

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Site guesses your sex via age-old web flaw

Nick Sargeant

Works for me!

95% Male ... so it got my gender bang to rights. The wife might say that my feminine side shows more than that .. but then this is my work machine. Testosterone bursting from every pore in the competitive workplace ..

I am going to have to try this on my home machine to see if my gender bias varies by which machine I use. Will I be more androgenous using the Mac at home?

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Barclays and HBOS slash contractor rates

Nick Sargeant

Contracting versus Permanent Staff

I think that contractors should always be used as a flexible work force, that should be the first to be challenged when the squeeze is on. That flexibility should be used to protect the permanent staff - that's why permies accept the lower compensation - it's meant to bring them more job security. I don't have a problem with that - even though I am a contractor.

Contractors can always vote with their feet if they think that they are being unfairly squeezed; however, if they doubt that they could get a job elsewhere at a similar rate in the current climate, then maybe the bosses have got their sums right, and a 10% downshift is appropriate. BTW don't you think that 'slash' is a bit perjorative for a 10% reduction?

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Nvidia to acquire ray tracing startup

Nick Sargeant

Arvo and Kirk

Isn't David Kirk the one who wrote papers, presented at SIGGRAPH with James Arvo in the 80s and 90s on ray tracing, and techniques for speeding up ray tracing?

This might mean that Nvidia's acquisition has a nostalgic, self-indulgent twinge rather than having a specific product in mind - David collecting technology components together to see what might happen.

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Virgin biofuel jumbo trials won't use algae

Nick Sargeant

Oil from algae would seem to make so much sense ..

I would like to invest in a British company that is going to find that second- or third-generation algae based process. Perhaps we should have an energy Dragon's Den on TV to sift through our unique supply of inventiveness and extraordinary capability to come up with some proposals to solve the problems with commercial exploitation of these alternative energy ideas?

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Remembering the IBM PC

Nick Sargeant

68008 was too late ...

Motorola was quite determined to get the business for the IBM PC, but the 68000 at the time was a huge chunk of ceramic - a 64-pin beast that swallowed too much real estate. It was also in a gold-pinned package, which made the socket expensive as well (manufacturers didn't use dissimilar metals for packages and sockets). The 8088 eventually chosen for the PC was in a 40-pin package with tinned leads, and used an 8-bit bus. Motorola's 68008 was about four months too late.

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Nick Sargeant

And as for Bill ..

He only got the job as he was Mary's son, and Mary was on the national Executive Committe of the United Way along with John Akers, then CEO of IBM.

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IBM upgrades brain-bending file system

Nick Sargeant

Windows drivers?

Can you use GPFS to share storage across Windows servers as well?

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