* Posts by Mage

4638 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Apple Fools: Times the House of Jobs went horribly awry

Mage
Silver badge

Newton

Probably Jobs was right to kill Pippin, Clones, Power PC etc. But killing the Newton was a mistake actually.

I doubt Apple will be around in another 40 years, but who knows. Apple may re-invent themselves again.

3
0

Holding out for a Jobs: Tim Cook still auditioning for position of Apple god

Mage
Silver badge

The Apple II was certainly practical

Not any more so than competitors. It was hyped and well marketed. I fell for hype and bought one.

Awkward slow non-standard external floppy with only 100K storage.

Awkward keyboard (too high and built in)

Only forty column text.

I soon got a better computer.

3
0

You can't dust-proof a PC with kitchen-grade plastic food wrap

Mage
Silver badge

Re: So I'm curious

In a larger outer box with fan(s) and dust filters. A suitably placed in vent and out vent. Needs hefty fan(s) due to air resistance of the filters. Heat from case as well as internal fans. Some PCs need additional ducts.

4
0

When Steve Jobs was away, Apple's designers snuck out a penis-shaped remote control

Mage
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Not sure it was even an Apple device..

My Philips one and its remote looked identical. Still goes, it's never been used as a portable. Kodak killed photo-CD and portfolio CD (I had a demo one, superb mix of menus, slides and audio, played on the Philips machine and a PC app). The licence costs, lab costs to get your photo on CD, the cost of Portfolio authoring software. The later cheap Picture CDs with over compressed JPEG are rubbish.

It did PAL.

The round multi-pin connector was compatible with a camcorder crt viewfinder/eyepiece and powered it and showed video.

I never thought the remote looked like a penis. It's pretty flat.

Mine was in a sale reduced to 1/5th price. Made a great table top HiFi CD player.

I'm sure that's just Apple rebadging, maybe they had NTSC version and the CD Data feature. I bet Philips did it for them.

2
0

Microsoft to make Xamarin tools and code free and open source

Mage
Silver badge

Strategy?

Has MS got one or are they just doing anything they take a fancy to this year?

MS SQL on Linux

Their own Linux for Cloud Switches

Something else

Ubuntu subsystem instead of ancient MS Services For Unix

Various other Visual studio announcements (two others anyway for Linux, though I'd only use VS for developing of Windows, but after nearly 20 years I've stopped. 1996-2014).

3
9
Mage
Silver badge

Re: Java (especially Java 8) and C# are pretty much identical

yes, C# was originally J++, MS idea of how Java should develop. I've got a copy somewhere. Sun didn't like that idea. So MS morphed it as C#, which might be one of the last decent bit of development they did. VS + C# is certainly more pleasant to develop than Eclipse or NetBeans + Java.

Linux and Linux tools let you dev for Android for free, it's essentially writing in Java. You also can develop Java that runs fine on Mac OS X, Windows, Linux on Linux Free. I've not tried mono for developing C# on Linux, I write any c# I write on Windows, but not since early 2015. I'm abandoning windows for lack of a coherent version now that XP is nearly gone and Win7 is harder to get now. I have no HW less than 9 years old running windows. All the newer kit runs Linux.

7
5

Microsoft cracks open Visual Studio to Linux C++ coders

Mage
Silver badge

Re: NT POSIX Subsystem

Yes, that's my memory of Posix on NT. No use for existing applications, no use at all really without adding Internix (later MS Services for Unix, I think MS bought Internix?).

The idea of subsystems was good, but poorly supported. Politics?

1
0
Mage
Silver badge
Linux

Re: "running as a native Ubuntu binary on a Windows subsystem"

NT 3.1 to NT 4.0 (and maybe later) had five subsystems:

1) NTVDM: Run dos programs in virtual machine, even x86 on Alpha, MIPS, PowerPC etc. Today not as good as "Dosbox" a cross platform emulator that could even run DOS graphical adventure games on Symbian. Works well on Windows and Linux)

2) WOW: Translate 16 bit Windows API calls to 32bit NT calls and probably runs the code in an NTVDM?

3) POSIX: Usually off. Sort of UNIX compatibility, you needed Internix or Services For Unix to really make use of it

4) Networking used essentially MS LanManager, which was option on pre Warp IBM OS/2 and bundled with pre 1993 MS OS/2 (briefly sold as server by MS for Wn3.x workstations to schools mostly), when IBM and MS parted company on OS/2

5) OS/2: OS/2 text mode (not Presentation Manager), i.e. Console apps ran perfectly on NT4.0 as I had to put some for an Accounts Dept.

I think Ballmer depreciated all this stuff. Mostly gone by Vista?

NT was originally very modular and before NT4.0 even Graphics (Screen & Printer) drivers sensible outside Kernel. NT 3.1 was first version in 1993, possibly because partly based on MS OS/2? As well as all Dave Cutler's VMS inspired work.

With Win95 MS started to lose the plot. They totally lost it in 2003 and the development for Vista went out of control, as well as the Ribbon inflicted on Office. Was XP, Server 2003*, Visual Studio 6, SQL7 and Office 2003 the peak of MS implementations?

[*Though I preferred Win2K Enterprise / Advance Server to Server 2003, it was a bit bloated, so we switched to Linux servers only in 2007]

12
1
Mage
Silver badge

Visual Studio

I liked it for RAD prototyping of ideas in VB6. VB.net is C# with a VB syntax, pointless. C# is probably the successor to VB6, but far slower to prototype ideas in and the newer "visual" stuff replacing the VB6 era forms lack some of the earlier features. VS now seems to have 3 incompatible unfinished "models" for the visual side of windows. Why would I use it for Linux?

I can't imagine why anyone developing for Linux isn't doing it on a Linux box, given how horrible Windows has got.

13
5

Seagate intros Innov8: A USB-powered 8TB external hard drive

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Built in incapacity?

I don't like the sound of a shingled drive either. I'd rather have an inconvenient PSU and no shingles.

I wonder what is in my Seagate 1T drive? it replaced a WD 1T USB drive that died without warning. The WD is a USB drive controller, no internal SATA/PATA. I have a bunch of WD 1T desktop drives too, that I mean to connect a terminal to, I think they died of faulty firmware and you can revive them. No receipts :(

0
0

IT freely, a true tale: One night a project saved my life

Mage
Silver badge

Re: should probably change job.

Easy to say.

Easier to end up in a worse one.

Over 35 and not a manager in Tech? Don't get unemployed. They want people 3+ experience, working in a similar or more important company and don't want people over 40, except as managers.

The jobs and qualifications give away your age.

15
2

Oracle's website, social media to wear sandwich board of shame over Java SE insecurity

Mage
Silver badge

Re: …make Java, Ruby and JavaScript "illegal" to use in the US and its territories

Any language can be used appropriately or badly.

5
1

Furious English villagers force council climbdown over Satan's stone booty

Mage
Silver badge

Re: The compensation culture at work!

How many motorists have hit it since:

a) Highway act of 1980?

b) In cars since 1896?

c) In horse drawn carriages since existence of road/village?

6
0

Ofcom puts aside a little bit of spectrum for Internet of Things things

Mage
Silver badge
Flame

Spectrum Theft?

Where is the consultation with ITU?

With existing spectrum users?

With neighbouring countries?

Ofcom intends to allocate 10MHz of VHF spectrum in the 55-68MHz, 70.5-71.5MHz and 80.5-81.5MHz bands.

Those bands (55 to 68 and 70.5 to 71.5Mhz at least) are already in use in UK.

The propagation at those frequencies is very variable, from 1 mile to 1000 miles depending on conditions. IoT should be limited to 400MHz and above. There are two "licence free" bands already in UHF and many licenced bands from 300MHz to 10.6GHz possible.

This is typical Ofcom stupidity and arrogance. Though I'm surprised it's not being sold to Mobile Operators for IoT, as Ofcom cares more for them than any other spectrum user / consumer.

NFC / Wireless Chargers and some security tags* etc use "Licence free" ISM bands below 300MHz as they are supposed to be really induction loop rather that real transmission.

[*Some tags use microwave bands, the security tags are energised by and FM loop transmitter at a doorway and the tag causes a peak or dip on the receiver]

3
0

Bash on Windows. Repeat, Microsoft demos Bash on Windows

Mage
Silver badge
Linux

Hardly entirely new ...

1999 I was running X applications and Unix Shells seemlessly on NT 4.0 Desktop

Windows Services for UNIX (Wikipedia)

MS Unix SFW 3.0 (Win2K era, I think it was 3.5 for XP?)

Really MS should scrap Windows 10 and either give people a MS Linux distro and properly port all their applications as Linux native, or give people what they want, an updated less buggy windows similar to best of NT3.5 / XP with a Win9x Explorer (without the bugs).

9
4

Speaking in Tech: Batman vs Superman... absolutely sucked

Mage
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Transcript?

Ciscript?

Still, I wish I could produce rubbish that sold so many seats on opening weekend. Shows power of publicity!

0
0

Apple's fruitless rootless security broken by code that fits in a tweet

Mage
Silver badge
Linux

Those who do not understand Windows

That would be Microsoft, progressively breaking NT since NT4.0 stupidly put graphics and printer drivers in Kernel to get 10% more performance in a era when performance WAS doubling annually.

They then added al the worst features of Win98 and Win ME.

(Win2K & XP Era)

Then they fell off a cliff after Server 2003 and produced NT5.x series (Vista and then you have to pay for it "service pack fix" called Windows 7.). After the slight upward blip of Win7 they studied how office users hated Ribbon and put Zune GUI as Win 8.x

Then decided to out do Google & Facebook at creepymess to produce pointless Win 10 (for free to newer users), when what people really want is NT3.5 + Explorer and drivers for all new hardware (Basically a new improved XP). People DON'T want a 15" to 22" Windows Phone. Actually hardly anyone wants one. It's getting as popular as MS Watch, Zune/Plays for Sure and Kin.

3
1

Sick to death of mighty rocket launches? Avoid these dates

Mage
Silver badge
Alien

Hypothetically

Amazing! That's as much launches as we used to have in a year, not long ago. I think though Arianespace is still leader? Over 50% of operational satellites have been launched by them.

Say we had a reason* to put all world wide military expenditure into building something in space ... urgently.

How many launches a month could we manage?

I think we could have more than 20 launch sites operational fairly quickly.

(*Say an Alien Civilisation gives us plans for a Starship, or whatever scenario you fancy).

CNES, ESA and Arianspace might not get as much publicity as NASA, but do a lot. How many Europeans that know about NASA know that there is a European Space Port in South America (started by French in 1960s) with now a pad for the Russians (as their main Cosmodrome is now in Kazakhstan. I think the Russians are building a replacement in far South East Asian "Russia").

0
0

Whatever happened to ... Nest?

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Homeplug

They don't even need mains from the same source, they are RF Spectrum polluting illegal radio transmitters that only achieve CE mark by misleading not-real-world testing.

The newer faster models still can't compete with 1Gbps on swtich with Cat5e for speed and interfere even with VHF.

4
0
Mage
Silver badge
Devil

Nest

It's badly designed HW. Ought to be isolated contacts for 5VDC to 240V AC.

It's badly designed SW. Not just the privacy and Security.

It's from WRONG company.

IoT is garbage hype. There has been better SW & HW to control your heating & do other stuff maybe 30 years ... even for ordinary homes. The issue is always unless good at DIY, retro-fitting is expensive labour.

Labour or lack of DIY skill is why useless, insecure "wireless" burglar alarms and cameras are sold instead of cheaper and secure wired ones.

7
1

X-ray scanners, CCTV cams, hefty machinery ... let's play: VNC Roulette!

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Or a simpler (than SSH) solution

I use port 80 for VPN on my system, on the basis that some random place that has Internet access doesn't block port 80 outgoing and I don't run a public facing web server at home (I have hosting for those).

2
0
Mage
Silver badge

Re: Thanks Chris.

MS RDP is the "Windows Thing", VNC is cross platform and often on Linux by default, you have to add it to Windows.

It's usually a connection to an existing running local desktop*, unlike running X over a network, nothing is "lost" if connection is dropped, you just reconnect. So unlike X the desktop resolution is what ever it is on your target machine, the client opens a window to it, so having higher "resolution" client than remote helps.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Network_Computing

Using a VPN to the VNC server is another idea.

[*No, I don't know how to set up a VNC server on a computer with no graphics card, though the target's keyboard, screen and mouse could be disconnected (or off), I suppose.]

2
0

Microsoft did Nazi that coming: Teen girl chatbot turns into Hitler-loving sex troll in hours

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Not surprising

Proves Watson is a Database "party trick" and not AI if all the data has to be curated.

7
1
Mage
Silver badge
Devil

Re: And on the other side of the world:

Hmm... I've tried reading some of the garbage that's one English Language Literary prizes. They don't mean much.

Like the so called Modern art that gets awards, loos, stacked bricks, unmade beds etc.

4
3
Mage
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Well it proves ...

That if you edit the ancient Eliza chat bot (which wasn't AI) to add to database automatically from other humans (and probably other Twitter bots), you'll end up with something even less useful.

How did they imagine that

(a) The SW is good enough (Siri, Cortana, Alexis and your local robotic script replacement of call centre support etc are garbage)

(b)That it wouldn't get worse. There is no real "learning" self awareness or sense of context to any such software. It's going to parrot back the nonsense that people give it without discrimination. Artificial Mynah bird or Parrot?

8
0

Microsoft introduces yet another Skype for Windows 10

Mage
Silver badge

Re: With all the random changes of direction at Redmond-

Use Firefox Privacy mode (Ctrl Shift P) if the Torygraph blocks you.

0
0
Mage
Silver badge
Mushroom

Single version?

No it's stupid.

The WHOLE idea of Windows 10 Universal is STUPID.

Java has been cross platform since forever, but you write different SORTS of app and GUI to suit TVs, Desktop / Laptop (keyboard /Mouse) and small touch screens (phone). Even though technically you could run practically the same Java app on Desktop, phone and TV. In practice you use the cross platform ability to run on different OS, not radically different form factors. Really UWP is a stupid, in a different angle, as 320 x 240 Windows CE having a Win9x desktop instead of Zune / Win Phone 7 style.

At best the Win10 Universal idea suits tablets 6" to 10" that might or might not have keyboard, but typically ends up only really suiting phones and small tablets.

MS have made a pig's breakfast of Skype updates ever since they bought it. The Adverts are an insult on a platform you have to buy (Windows), yet the Linux version Skype is Advert free. (though no idea if voice and video still work, I only use text,)

MS should look at QQ. Different version for mobile and Desktop (though sadly the Linux version is only in Chinese).

Really with Ribbon and Vista it was obvious MS had lost the plot. They added flat and tiles and phone centric to desktop, yet phones are a TINY percentage of their market. Are they determined to drive people to OS X, iOS, Android and Linux?

(Maybe the MS SQL on Linux is part of plan B if they manage to kill wildly successful for 25 years Windows and Office.)

8
6

Dodgy software will bork America's F-35 fighters until at least 2019

Mage
Silver badge

Re: EMP

Yes, the Nuvistors are EMP resistant, all tubes / valves much more so than transistors, esp. early Germanium ones.

2
0
Mage
Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

Re: May I be the first to say...

"...which are copies of RCA Nuvistors. I used to have some of these. EMP resistant before anybody needed it."

No they were not. The Nuvistor was much later and completely different construction. The Russians developed "Rod Pentodes", which are not even remotely similar to the USA "Pencil tubes" used in missiles and hearing aids.

http://www.radicalvalves.com/russian/

http://www.radicalvalves.com/russian/russian-rod-pentodes-1/

The Rod Pentodes used in Sputnik and MiG fighters as well as other early space stuff.

Superior to Germanium transistors. Much lower power and easier to make than the later RCA Nuvistors which were a last gasp dead end for USA tube industry (In Domestic products, only used in USA VHF & UHF tuner heads. Some Professional condenser microphones and hardly at all in Military).

also

www.radiomuseum.org/forum/russian_subminiature_tubes.html

4
1

Bristol boffins blast 1.59 Gbps down ONE 20 MHz channel

Mage
Silver badge
Alien

Interstellar Radio

Just needs a very big dish. The efficiency of dish goes up with cube of frequency, hence long distance UHF uses maybe an array 4, 8 or 16 yagi aerials, but microwaves use a dish (MMDS, Satellite TV etc).

Additionally the reasonable range for radio due to power constraints is maybe less than 100 LY. OTH using spectroscopic analysis we could be detected maybe 10,000 LY away due to unnatural signature of gasses in atmosphere.

Latency also becomes an issue for Interstellar radio, with a RTT of maybe 150 years if we are lucky to have a sentient neighbour with radio (if even 100,000 planets with life in Milky Way, then chance is less than 1/4,000 roughly that a neighbour has life and tinier that they have civilisation, tinier still that they they are advanced enough to have radio, tinier still they point a dish at us. Terrestrial broadcasts are not likely to be receivable more than 10 LY distance.

2
0
Mage
Silver badge

“5G breakthrough”

No, 5G is about integrating infrastructures.

This is a just a development of MIMO. Likely not much relevant to the real world, where on average MIMO adds a LOT of cost (all those aerials, LNAs, PAs, cables, couplers, band & dublex filters etc) for very little or no extra revenue.

2
1

Wait! Where did you get that USB? Super-stealthy trojan only drives stick

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Guvmint Work

I'd not trust ANY OS with a malware USB slave controller using HID mode USB as well as offering access to the Flash Memory.

I expect it's safe to plug in a CF card or maybe an SD Card and format them. I don't think they have an HID mode.

0
0
Mage
Silver badge

Re: format before any use...

Dreaded auto correct "Potentially"

Arrrgh!

1
0
Mage
Silver badge

Re: suppose you could have ...

suppose you could have some kind of special USB hub that only lets certain classes of device connect.

Except due to design of USB, currently that would need very powerful secure CPU to analyse and pass the USB messages.

I don't believe the retail market has such a device.

0
0
Mage
Silver badge

format before any use...

There is a big flaw in USB design.

It's called USB HID mode.

HOW do you insert and wipe a USB stick without it running evil HID mode software?

A USB charger, mouse, BT dongle, proprietary Wireless keyboard dongle, 3G Modem, keyboard, ANYTHING with USB can penitentially attack your gadget or PC. Not just a memory stick.

6
0

Microsoft files patent for 'PhonePad', hints at future Windows plans

Mage
Silver badge

Oh Dear

In a properly run Patent Office, this would be chucked out. This and Continuum are old ideas and implemented ages ago.

2
1

How one developer just broke Node, Babel and thousands of projects in 11 lines of JavaScript

Mage
Silver badge

Bloody stupid!

"Left-pad was fetched 2,486,696 downloads in just the last month"

There are LOADS of reasons why the current dependence on 3rd party sites & domains of websites is stupid, not just this example.

Privacy

Security (not serving malware if someone hijacks a domain)

What's wrong with actually storing everything your webpage /site needs on your own server? If a site with a lot of transactions you can even cache whatever it is in RAM, or even on another server.

This is an example of what's wrong with programming and website development. As for people using google's content to make their site go ... Well just stupid and a poke in the eye privacy wise of their users.

26
0

Error checks? Eh? What could go wrong, really? (DoSing a US govt site)

Mage
Silver badge

Moral on the -1 passed as array index?

Check array indexes.

2
0

Comms 'redlining' in Brussels as explosions kill up to 30 people

Mage
Silver badge

increased levels of physical searches on or near transportation hubs

Then they would blow up supermarkets (or shopping malls like in Africa).

It's "Security theatre". There are no easy answers, except the long term analysis of "why do they exist in the first place" and dealing (slowly) with the sources of the problem.

There is no quick fix, nor "Security Forces" solution as has been proven.

3
0
Mage
Silver badge

Re: Security expectations

It's of the nature of terrorism that any increased state "protection" is actually a win for the terrorists as they want to create terror and subjugation. They are not fighting a military war.

It's totally impossible to stop terror attacks.

If the State gets very militaristic it even breeds recruits. US reaction to 911 has made the world worse, not safer and created terrorists.

10
0
Mage
Silver badge
Devil

Re: Safety Check

Facebook is an irrelevant parasite.

Also about the most bandwidth hungry method to communicate.

4
0

Hands on with the BBC's Micro:Bit computer. You know, for kids

Mage
Silver badge

Scratch

You can buy the Pi as a set with SD card preloaded.

Plug it in to mouse, screen, keyboard and Ethernet

No scripts needed or visible,

Scratch is on it as standard.

LEDs for GPIO port are available.

Current Scratch can turn them on & off.

Not sure why this strange thing exists.

2
0

Champagne supernova in the sky: Shockwaves seen breaking star

Mage
Silver badge

Safe distance

Certainly the sort of wave you want to watch from a safe distance. What is the safe distance?

5
0

Apple stuns world with Donald Trump iPhone

Mage
Silver badge
Joke

maybe next year ...

They will discover there is also a market for candy bars, flip, sliders and BB style QWERTY.

Not everyone wants a slab with only a touch screen.

What's wrong with choice? Even Ford eventually did cars in colors other than Black.

8
0

Something useful from Cupertino?! Apple sees the light – finally

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Obviously a definition of "new" that I was previously unaware of

Or on some systems since 1990s! (laptops, desktops etc).

Actually in 1982 I was selling nice Amber mono CRT monitors (some used on Apple II !)

0
0
Mage
Silver badge

Meh

Sigh

I hope they don't think they can patent or copyright this?

It MAY work for OLED screens, but LED lit LCD are violet/blue LEDs with yellow phosphor to provide the "white" backlight and this idea is poor on them compared to colour CRT, decent OLED, or eInk illuminated with a filament operated bedside lamp.

Ditch LED and CFL lamps in bedrooms and use long life filament (Halogen not so good) (less blue than high efficiency types)

0
8

'Contractual barriers' behind geo-blocking could breach EU rules

Mage
Silver badge

Divide and Conquer

I think region locking DVDs, Games, BD & Geo blocking digital content funds piracy.

The books issue is two fold.

1) A hundred years ago, USA simply ignored copyright on English Language books. The USA and UK publishers more or less "divvy" up the world.

2) A book publisher doesn't usually have audio rights, no more than they have film or TV rights. Nor for worldwide unless not in English (see 1). A publisher of Audio needs to acquire these separately from author.

There is a separate issue that often the Publisher acquires books rights for life of copyright. It ought to be no more than 25 years and then revert to author (copyright would STILL exist and be unchanged from POV of public).

Copyright life is also now too long. Death of Author + 25 years is generous. The current death + 75 is simply a licence for people like Disney or Record companies to make money, as they will have acquired rights with a minimal up front and small royalty on sales (or in case of cinema, maybe profits which are mysteriously non-existent).

Always negotiate a percentage of retail sale, never "profit", accountants are too clever.

8
1

What to call a £200m 15,000-tonne polar vessel – how about Boaty McBoatface?

Mage
Silver badge
Pint

OK Then

The main purpose of Democracy is really to ditch stupid leaders without the bother of a bloody revolution?

So it's maybe OK that they pick a name themselves if they get a bunch of loony tunes.

7
0

Mystery Kindle update will block readers from books after Wednesday

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Email? What Email?

Older Models (than 2013) won't get an email if you already are up to date. The firmware on some models IS since 2013, but not at all new.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201994710

1
0
Mage
Silver badge

Old versions ...

The "new" versions of software in some cases are out well over a year.

see link

OK versions of Kindle Firmware for 22nd March 2016

0
0

Forums