* Posts by Mage

4704 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Disney's light-bulb moment: build TCP into LEDs for IoT comms

Mage
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Boffin

LED Optical WiFi

Been demonstrated some while ago at 1Gbps. Of course that was Line Of Sight only.

This is purely developmental stuff. No research or invention involved. 1Kbps comms has been on LEDs since 1970s, not with TCP/IP till late 1990s.

To actually control LED lamps, without ethernet via the power, surely Bluetooth or WiFi or an IRDA or even RC5 IR remote would be better.

I've implemented encryption on a carrier compatible with RC5 IR receivers using Manchester encoding over OOK at 38KHz. That's all you need for a light controller.

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How did jihadists hack into top UK ministerial emails if no security breach took place?

Mage
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Re: Probably been said before

No, it's the Popular Judean People's Front today.

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'I promise you I will win', says completely sane presidential candidate John McAfee

Mage
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Yahoo Messenger.

Really? There is still such a thing?

Well ANY software can be compromised by 3rd party addons. Like Programs on any OS. So they have a point.

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Intel's 6th gen processors rock – but won't revive PC markets

Mage
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Meh

Yawn.

I boot three laptops once a day. Even an 13 year old laptop is 45 second boot on a mechanical HDD.

I never use sleep or hibernate.

New batteries can be bought and I only see ARM tablets with significantly longer battery life. Four hours versus 2.5 hours isn't a reason to upgrade. 8 hours would be.

I don't want a new MS OS unless it's a re-imagined NT3.51 with decent desktop or maybe a new version of XP. MS can stick their too mobile, too touchy, too privacy breaking, too broadband dependent, cloud and rental orientated W10 junk. I thought they couldn't get worse after Office Ribbon. Then they did Vista. Win 10 is a rushed attempt to fix Win8. Unlike Win7 (which ought to have been free to Vista owners) which was a more considered patch of Win7.

Migrating to Linux Mint using Mate and WINE. Bye Bye MS. Intel is trapped. The Itanium was a fail. The x64 was really AMD's idea. Instead of using their ARM licence they STILL fiddle with "low power" x86-64 for an OS no-one wants anymore. They could do a brilliant ARM SOC for phones, tablets and entry level laptops and do some decent chunky Workstation Laptops for the legacy X86-64, if MS bothered to do a sensible version of Windows. Of course there is still Servers and Mac OS (for now) and there will always be Linux for those that want it on a workstation.

This launch lacks vision and focus.

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Marvell superheroes and the Fantastic Four (hundred million dollar loss and internal probe)

Mage
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what happens when you build silicon for a declining device

Actually maybe two thirds of the loss is due to the patent case loss for "silicon for a declining device" about 50c a chip.

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'A word processor so simple my PA could use it': Joyce turns 30

Mage
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1985 3.5"

Apricot, Apple and others.

I forget when Amiga and AtariST came out.

IBM was late to the 3.5" party. The sole reason to use the 3" was cost. I heard the prototype 3" drives used cassette tape heads and were developed in Eastern Europe, which always seemed unlikely.

The only differences were the formats used by OS. The actual 8", 5.25" 3.5" and 3" drives all used the same control bus, only a dumb cable adaptor needed. A major exception was Apple II 100k flip over 5.25" floppy, I'm thinking it had different cost reduced electronics.

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Mage
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Boffin

simpler bus as proper 5.25-inch

The 3" vs 3.5" v 5.25" is bonkers. They are interchangeable. Actually even the 8" drives with work same controller with a dumb interface cable.

The reason for the 3" drive was it was cheap.

I swapped a 3.5" 720K drive in as drive B and fitted 3" Drive B into an IBM AT. Just "dumb" cable adaptors. I used a program on DOS called "Nice 22" to read/write 3" or 3.5" CP/M discs on PC. I used a wordstar clone (Neword, New Word? Newstar?) and Cracker spreadsheet on PCW CP/M and later on PC DOS.

I had Modula-2, Pascal, Forth, Prolog on it.

Also a bizarre bitmapped DTP package.

A box with RTC, Parallel port and 2 x Serial. Internet didn't really exactly exist, but Prestel and X.25 worked on it. I accessed X.25 pad via dailup and sent/received Telex and eMail (with "Bitnet Users" via BT gold) Circa 1986. I had a mouse and a one pixel scanner that clipped on dotmatrix printhead.

Websites came AFTER internet and not till about 1992?

It's in the attic someplace.

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Apple's iPad Pro: We're making a Surface Pro WITH A STYLUS over Steve Jobs' DEAD BODY

Mage
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Boffin

Re: Slavishly Copied

"Only after Apple showed the way on how to create a usable interface on a mobile phone (because smartphones we already had) did the smartphone take off,"

Actually yes, it was better than Symbian S60. But success was due to having first decent data plan and subsidised sales in mobile contract. The GUI was bought in from Fingerworks and other people you mostly never heard of had good phone GUIs before Apple. They didn't innovate anything to do with phones.

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Mage
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Re: Apple's cunning plan

They will not sell many* of these, but more than is sold of Surface Pro, and at a massive profit margin.

I wonder how the iFans will store and edit video on it?

[* I might be wrong, perhaps these will outsell Macs.]

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Mage
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Windows

business tools from Microsoft and Adobe

How many years ago did I say iOS would eventually replace OS X?

*IF* this is a success you can wave bye bye to the regular skinny Mac, or Macs generally. Apple have no loyalty to customers. They have more control and income after sale for an iOS gadget than a OS X Mac.

Apple is less locked into backward compatibility than Microsoft (Mac has been 68000, Power PC, X86-64, OS X series quite different to earlier OS9 etc). Apple users are just supposed to by the new version software.

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Witness Apple's iPhone-iPad extravapalooza here in our no-hate zone

Mage
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Facepalm

so you can control your telly remotely by voice or by touch.

No, you can't. The so called "AppleTV" isn't a TV. It plugs into a TV or Monitor. It doesn't even have a tuner, so it's just an Internet Video streaming box.

Siri isn't going to adjust anything on my TV.

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Laminate this: Inside Argos' ongoing online (r)evolution

Mage
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GUS *IS* Argos!

See title and later post!

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Mage
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GUS

Great Universal Stores is same company. Argos & Homebase was originally a Mail Order catalogue company.

I've seen one GUS catalogue dated 1932

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Microsoft's 'successful' Nokia slurp kills off Lumia photo apps

Mage
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they aren't all that keen on spending resources on phone development

They'd be mad to do so seeing as they make no money from it, apart from the mess their GUI strategy has got into for their core profitable markets.

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Mage
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Devil

Bigger vendors

Amazon acquired mobi and closed it (that's what Kindle is based on).

Sony eBooks (PRC series) are gone.

Even if a Company doesn't go bust it might simply "lose interest". But there are a load of other reasons I'll only use Cloudy Docs to Collaborate in realtime and then scrap the Cloud copy after download. A nice Peer to Peer Encrypted collaboration tool would be good.

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MAMMOTH MAMMOTH fossil find with BONUS BISON BONE BONANZA

Mage
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Facepalm

I miss read this

I thought it was about Carlsberg.

If Carlsberg was in the fossil business ...

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Fiat Chrysler recalls THOUSANDS more cars to swerve hack-my-brakes roadkill

Mage
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Cue maliious USB sticks in the Post

I don't mind if they can be reformatted. More use than malicious emails.

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OFFICIAL: Zuck's BIG in-your-face Facebook Messenger SHOVE finally pays off

Mage
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Alien

FB

Proof the human race isn't descended from a common ancestor of Bonobo, but from Golgafringians or something.

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FTC gives FBI the finger over govt backdoor encryption demands

Mage
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IF the US adds backdoors

Then US products are dead.

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Cognitive computing: What can and can’t we do, and should lipreading be banned?

Mage
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Devil

Re: not fantasy...

But not one is real A.I. They are just specialist databases with a specialist interface.

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Mage
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Paris Hilton

birth of AI research 60 years ago?

No, more like 70 years ago. But so far the only progress has been in redefining the jargon to make it look like progress. We have better databases and ways to interrogate the data. It's not real A.I., no-one is actually researching real AI, partly because over the last 70 years we have realised that we don't know what biological intelligence is and we have a better idea of how to write programs.

Computer "Neural Networks", AI, Cognitive Computing, Machine Learning, algorithmic "evolution" etc have almost zero connection to the similarly named things in biology. It's Humpty Dumpty jargon.

Google Translate abandons 30 years of effort on Natural language work to use the "rosetta stone" approach of a big database of known matched human translations. Zero AI in it.

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Huge, absorbent iPad rumours recycled – and this time it's REAL. True

Mage
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Windows

Re: OS X

I'd wonder if in a few years any Apple gear will run OS X. Unless of course MS totally alienate their x86-64 Windows users so much that all the Business application vendors port to OS X

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Wikipedia’s biggest scandal: Industrial-scale blackmail

Mage
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Devil

Only about 400?

I'd have expected at least x10 more dodgy authors scamming businesses etc .

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At LAST: RC4 gets the stake through the heart

Mage
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Facepalm

Re: Laggards

WiFi isn't private.

It's irresponsible to host insecure WiFi.

Silly Nintendo DS and some other stuff with no updates only uses WEP or no security at all. So no, we haven't allowed the DS on WiFi for years.

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Return of the Pocket PC: Acer shows off Jade Primo PC Phone

Mage
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Paris Hilton

I want this concept

But running Debian. Not evil Win10 (win XP or Win7 would have been OK) paywalled iOS or Goggle spyware Android/Chrome.

If it's Windows on ARM, it's nearly pointless. Edit: It's Snapdragon, so fine for Debian, Android etc and POINTLESS for Windows as it can't replace an x86 laptop

I can hook my Sony Z1 Android phone to a USB hub and then USB mouse + keyboard, and plug it into HDMI monitor. But it's a kludge. A Win10 ARM with nice dock won't run x86-64 code etc, so is just a gimmick if you need a real x86-64 Windows workstation.

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Euro telly bods say 'non' to spectrum sharing with mobiles

Mage
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Pirate

It's moronic greed

Terrestrial TV has given up to much spectrum already.

Greed by regulators thinking of increased license fees

There has been a huge increase in allocation to Mobile Spectrum above 900MHz too.

They are not building enough base stations (adds capacity via frequency re-use and up to x20 higher speed due to half distance is about x4 speed). Spectrum is being used inefficiently. If there was a single physical provider and ALL mobile networks where virtual, that would more than double average speed/capacity overnight. The Regulators/Governments oppose this on spurious competition grounds, but the real reason is that their licence income would be 1/4. Licences should be performance based on meeting KPI and then revenue from use. Not up front sales to highest bidders after chopping up the spectrum. Some people "sit" on spectrum for years.

The regulators want to kill terrestrial TV and have only Cable & Satellite broadcast, or Mobile operators selling Broadcast version of LTE. Certainly Ofcom and Comreg have already decided this is policy, without any consultation.

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Microsoft backports data slurp to Windows 7 and 8 via patches

Mage
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Devil

Data Protection Laws

Which are not just an EU thing. Countries as diverse as Switzerland, Germany, China and Russia are concerned by Google, Facebook and now Window 10 / Microsoft.

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Canned laughter for Canadians selling cans of air at $15 a pop

Mage
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Happy

Labelling

I trust it's properly labelled in French too.

It's not a scam unless it's not really air from the Rockies.

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Boffins unveil open source GPU

Mage
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Re: Hmm... Raspberry Pi

The design is meant to be as Open source (SW & HW) as feasible. It's basically a now obsolete ARM phone chip on a breakout board. Any complete non-trivial computer design, even if open source is going to have some (or mostly) proprietary chips. Probably the USB/Ethernet chip is proprietary. Fully documented so you can write drivers from scratch is the issue. Almost all chips are proprietary.

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Mage
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Facepalm

Re: Hmm... Mining Clients

No, the FPGA is for prototyping. The same FPGA (or better an ASIC) specially programmed for mining is going to be better than this GPU implemented using an FPGA.

An FPGA is programmable HW, a standard part anyone can buy for prototypes or low volume (a custom chip needs 10K to 1M pieces and you check the design works by doing an FPGA version first. An ASIC can cost 100K to 1M for NRE, or even more if multi-layer, large die and small geometry etc)

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Mage
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Thumb Up

Real Hardware: the GPU has been implemented on an FPGA.

FPGA are very power hungry compared to ASIC, but real HW. As the Verilog can be complied to ASIC design instead it just now needs the IP and money sorted to have a user chip, a chip for a MoBo or card.

This is quite exciting. So anyone with a suitable FPGA dev kit and the knowledge to use such can test out and adapt this?

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Friday beers scam up 240 percent, inflicts $1.2 billion in damages

Mage
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Amazing

Considering how hard it is for legitimate companies to get paid ...

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Boffins laugh at Play Store bonehead security with instant app checker

Mage
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several spew adware

That explains Google's lackadaisical approach.

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FORKING BitcoinXT: Is it really a coup or just more crypto-FUD?

Mage
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Devil

Steve Bong?

I smell collaboration.

Bitcoin isn't a currency. It's a speculation medium.

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Google robo-car suffers brain freeze after seeing hipster cyclist

Mage
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FAIL

Programs

The more complex it is, the harder to maintain. So called A.I. are exceptionally fragile compared to a Lathe controller, set-box GUI, accounts program because it's impossible to predict all eventual inputs and situations. Unlike a GUI an autonomous car can't ignore input until it gets "valid" input.

Autonomous vehicles need their own dedicated pedestrian and cyclist free road ways, the equivalent of railways without tracks.

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Scrapheap challenge: How Amazon and Google are dumbing down the gogglebox

Mage
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Mushroom

Re: "Smart" TV's are a bad idea

I'd not call the sound output transducers in almost all current TVs, "speakers". Glorified headset drivers. Most "sound bars" have worse audio than any 1950 to 1990 TV also due to having driver units that are too small and a too skinny too plastic case.

The newer TVs also no longer have enough I/O ports. Some only have 1, many only two. Four ought to be a minimum, ideally six + 2 x SCART (supporting RGB) + Firewire, + Y/C (S-video), VGA. Otherwise how do you view your older equipment on the new TV?

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French woman gets €800 a month for electromagnetic-field 'disability'

Mage
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Boffin

Too much RF

They'd get cataracts first.

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Mage
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Alien

Re: KU the pedants

Ku band DTH are maybe the most powerful satellites. Twice a year for a few minutes the reception is really poor as it's not much more than the RF radiation from the sun. It needs an unbelievably sensitive receiver and a big dish to collect enough RF.

Even 100W, with 22,500 miles of inverse square law ... Point the dish at a wall and you get more signal due to thermal induced microwave radiation!

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Mage
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Boffin

Despite dispute over the very existence of the syndrome

There is no dispute. In Blind testing the folk alleged to have it are no different than coin tossing to decide if the RF is on.

It's certainly a "Psychiatric Condition" - A mental disorder, also called a mental illness, as it's imaginary. Only the patient's behaviour is real. Actual sensitivity doesn't exist.

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Glaring flaw in Apple car hype-gasm: The iGiant likes to make money

Mage
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Windows

I'm sceptical

Apple had a PDA and a game console, actually in the market (Newton and Pippin).

Apple's Apple TV so far isn't remotely a TV, it's an overpriced streaming box, no screen. So what might an Apple Car be?

The Apple Watch isn't much use as a watch. It needs an iPhone and basically daily charging (every other day at best). Either a fitness band (10th of price) or a two Euro watch is better value.

I can't see many car makers wanting to pay an Apple Tax for Apple supplied kit, other than perhaps an iPhone dock.

Just because Apple are developing something doesn't mean that

a) It will ever be released

b) If released, that it will be as successful as iPod, iPad and iPhone. Almost all of Apple's profit is now iPhone. The other products are small percentage. iPad dropping, iPod nearly dead, Apple computers such a niche (compared to iPhone) they dropped "Computer" from their name.

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Windows 10 now on 75 million devices, says Microsoft

Mage
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Coat

sad message "Windows 10 couldn't be installed." There is often a way round it,

Err.. nothing sad and why would you want a way round "failing to install as upgrade"?

Mine's the one with Win7 in one pocket and Linux Mint Mate in the other.

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Motorola monsters Apple's swipe-to-unlock patent in German court

Mage
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Coat

USPTO

Now we just need USPTO to invalidate about 90% of USA patents, 100% of software patents (there is copyright for that) and about 99% of "Design Patents" which are generally not distinctive enough shapes (which are really covered by copyright anyway if original)

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Twenty years since Windows 95, and we still love our Start buttons

Mage
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Re: Ted's Toy

No, Win95 was STILL a GUI semi-OS on DOS boot, exactly like Win3.x. The only differences were:

1) All the media stuff optional in Win 3.x in basic install

2) an expanded Win32s built in rather than option

3) Explorer.exe replaces Program manager and File Manager.

NT 3.5 was a real 32 bit OS and predated Win95, it ran 16 DOS and 16 bit Windows on 32 bits, using NTVDM and WOW + NTVDM. Win95 ran 16 bit code identically to Win3.x, natively. It ran 32bit code the same way as Win32s on Win3.x.

Win98 was the same. Note that Win95 didn't initially have OpenGL, but it was standard on Windows NT.

With ME they hid the DOS layer, it was a broken version of Win98SE.

Real MS Windowing OSes:

MS OS/2 in 1989 (Built in LAN Manager)

32 bit NT3.1 in 1993

32 bit NT3.5

NT3.51 (changes to Win32 that were added in win95 to stop Office 95 working on Win3.1x stopped Office 95 working on NT3.5!). Just a Win API patch. 1995. (Explorer briefly available as a tech preview)

NT4.0 1996 (Explorer, Graphics and Print moved to Kernel, Direct X added). There was 32 and 64 bit versions for Alpha. Also NT supported Power PC and MIPS

W2K (2000) = NT5.0

XP = NT 5.1

Server 2003 = NT 5.2

Vista = Windows NT 6.0

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Mage
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Re: CUA and no bloat

No, by default Win95 installed NetBEUI.

Win3.11/WFWG3.11 had free MS 32bit TCP/IP as option nearly two years earlier, more or less the the same option you had to manually add on Win95.

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Mage
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Devil

NT - Long filenames

NT existed for two years before Win95.

The only thing that Win95 added was the Explorer desktop. Long file names were a horrible kludge on win 95's FAT compared to NT's NTFS (long filenames, token based security, journalling and larger partitions / files).

Win95 was garbage compared to NT 3.5x and compared with properly installed Wfwg.311 + Win32s was buggier and only plus was Explorer desktop. NT 4.0 added Explorer and some of the WORST win95 features (autorun and moving Graphics/printer drivers to Kernel) vs NT3.51

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Mage
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Explorer

On NT 4.0 you could run NT3.51's File manager. Or indeed switch entirely to Program manager.

The Explorer Desktop was better than Program Groups/ Program Manager.

The File Browser in Explorer is STILL flawed. It should have consistent move/copy not based on parent drive, better options for overwrite/archive/newer and a two panel mode.

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Mage
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FAIL

Re: Thanks Win 95

By 1993 or so you could do that on Win3.11 /WFWG 3.11 and MS 32bit TCP/IP. Win95 only added Explorer shell and all the 32 bit options and video media support in the Win95 floppies rather than separate floppies.

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Mage
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Devil

Windows 95

1) A waste, they should have put the effort into NT (first released in 1993). It set back the PC industry by nearly 5 years, destroyed NT Security (people writing 32bit programs and ignoring security settings because only NT used them), it killed the Pentium Pro (no easy return to 16 mode)

2) Autorun was the stupidest thing ever.

3) The Entry level spec wasn't enough memory to have TCP/IP, Word and Browser at same time.

4) The first version had no USB.

5) It was really just WFWG 3.11 with Win32s, VFW, and 32bit disk driver all bundled with a new better shell, but file explorer was inferior to File manager has STILL has some of the same bugs/stupidity, like you have to hold shift or control to be sure to Move or Copy, if you lose track of which drives which folders belong. Still Explorer file copy is primitive compared to xcopy. Why are overwrite options broken and can't be set at start? Why no copy only newer etc. Only NT3.5 was a real 32bit Windows.

6) Office 95 deliberately used specially invent APIs to stop it running on WFWG. Which made it fail on true 32bit NT 3.5, so they brought out NT3.51 with later tech preview of Exporer Shell.

7) They added the worst bits of Win95 (and later Win98) to NT4 .0 (and later Win2K and XP)

8) The "Start" button should have been called Main, Main Menu or Menu. Start is stupid, as in many cases it was only used most days to "shut down".

9) Ran 16 bit code natively instead of on a VM like NT. (NTVDM and NT WOW)

10) Could only connect to named Pipes. Couldn't create Named pipes. The stupidest 32bit / NT feature to omit. Forces use of COM and shared memory evils instead.

Later "Personalised Menus" and desktop clean up and hiding icons in Task Tray was UTTER stupidity as then how do you find the less used things or even know they existed.

GUI only went down hill after the initial improvement of using the desktop better than previous "Program Groups". The nadir being ribbon and then making buttons/menus look like ordinary text. Stupid on windows, web and Kobo. Where the hell you supposed to click/touch?

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Net neutrality: How to spot an arts graduate in a tech debate

Mage
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Thumb Up

Not a new problem.

Great article

"So If you're doing spectrum policy, it really helps to consult the physicists, so you make rules that are consistent with the constraints of Maxwell's wave equations. If you're doing broadband policy, it really helps to consult the stochasticians, so you make rules that are consistent with the constraints of packet-based statistical multiplexing," added Geddes.

Stochastic models used to decide how many voice calls at once an exchange can support, no exchange could ever support all users at once. The "engaged" tone might mean connection capacity is used up on the local exchange.

Most of what is advocated regarding Net Neutrality is bonkers. Especially so on a Mobile connection.

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Does Linux need a new file system? Ex-Google engineer thinks so

Mage
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Coat

Re: FAT-free

I've had an Ext2 driver integrated to windows for nearly 10 years.

I must see is there an upgrade for Ext4

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