1591 posts • joined 15 Mar 2007
"Try using a 13 year old install of XP on a 13 year old PC and you'll find that it doesn't work...very well at all."
It works fine if you have the original configuration - and typically that means no AV and anti-spyware running, and not piles of software that no one really uses but each one starts its own updater on boot-up. If not running well, usually some RAM as an upgrade is enough to restore sanity cheaply.
However, I think you will find there are two classes of hold-outs where the machine is newer but they stick with XP:
(1) Folk without the income or desire to spend on a PC, the old "it works fine for me and I hardly use it anyway" brigade. Definitely not El Reg readers.
(2) Folk who have the budget and support, but are sticking with XP because something they have won't run acceptably on a newer OS. Now you could argue they should simply upgrade the program(s) they use to avoid this, but there could be a whole range of reasons why not:
2.1) Stupidly expensive to do as it was custom software, etc. (thinking here of gov and IE6 lock-in, for example).
2.2) Not possible as no newer software exists (e.g. for old hardware, or company went bust, etc)
2.3) The upgrades change things in ways that will (or could possibly) break something key to their business (e.g. industrial control where it took a lot of time & money to certify the system in the first place).
All can be sorted with enough money, but it is likely to be WAY more than the cost of a new PC/OS.
Re: What about Apple's rights?
"people who do choose to buy Apple devices should not then complain about the fact that they're limited to Apple-approved apps and content"
Have you ever spoken to a non-tech user and asked them if they know what they can and can't get for their proposed new shiny toy? Do you think they even considered that when buying?
Given Apple is the market leader in this area (certainly in the high value range) they deserve scrutiny from the technically literate. Just how hard would it be to have a tick-box or similar so users can choose kid-friendly stuff or not? If it is not illegal then Apple should simply classify it, not ban it.
If you sup with the Devil...
...use a long-handled spoon.
MS look after themselves, resellers are only important if they are absolutely necessary for #1
Best way to play reliably is to get DRM-free content via TPB. Of course, the industry can't see yet why paying for something should be the nicer experience.
Perhaps, but few have access to enough ISP bandwidth for streamed 4k content without horrendous compression artefacts (which removes its single advantage).
Add to the a whole new dimension of DRM that Sony, etc, are talking about for 4k content and I for one will wait and see before buying something that expensive.
Re: Maybe I'm missing something here...
"Surely it can't be all about Metro and the lack of start menu?"
Mostly it is, and the general buggering about of where thing are.
Technically using Win8 is a good idea, but myself (and a lot of other El Reg commentards) just find the UI a horrible experience and life simply too short to put in the effort work around it when there is Win7 and various free Linux distros as alternatives.
Did I not read on El Reg that Lenovo, one of the few PC makers to grow in market, are offering Win 7 machines?
"There has been widespread scepticism as to if those numbers show the full picture"
And never have you once provided the report, or figures, to back up your counter-claims.
Even if it was cost-neutral, I would be in favour of our government departments switching simply to be free of US corporate control, and to pay for EU professionals to offer the required support in lieu of MS on-going costs.
"The vast majority of enterprises require a) documents to be interchanged seemlessly and look the same at source and destination"
That only works if you force them all to use the same version of Office and even the same damned printer. Otherwise use PDF as that actually works!
"and VBA macros"
No one wants to use VBA macros. Few really need to use VBA macros, they are 'needed' simply due to legacy lock-in and not even supported on the WindowsRT version of Office. Though I would forgive you for saying that is not a real version of Office...
"To a large degree, you get what you pay for!"
With MS you often don't even get that.
@Matt "sorry, I dropped FreeBSD when ZFS was forced on us"
Come on Matt, you don't need to be shy on El Reg's forums - everyone here knows you use Solaris on the desktop and simply like to protesteth too much :)
Re: We need something more simple than webbrowsers
Probably the best we can hope for is sandboxing becoming robust enough to stop break-outs, and maybe aggressive enough to just kill browsers when something dodgy happens.
But there are problems in terms of actually using that - for example you might use Linux's apparmor to limit file access so a browser can't write to sensitive place, nor snaffle your files for uploading to spooks/criminals, but most users will simply howl when they find the browser dies on trying to navigate to, say, their collection of cat photos for uploading to facebook, etc. Sadly so far usability always triumphs over security.
"The thing that killed any prospect of Concorde"
It was not one thing, but a combination of factors, most importantly:
(1) Oil cost post-1974, which made it expensive to run.
(2) Limited range, it could do London-NY and Paris-NY, but not the sort of range that would have made it a major success in the 80s such as Tokyo-SF
(3) The problems of supersonic flight over land. While the USA's stance did smack of national pride being upset, it turned out that no one would put up with the sonic boom over land, so key routes to make money had to be over water (not so bad, if it could have done Tokyo-SF non-stop).
(4) Noise levels. Concorde needed engine re-heat (aka afterburners) for take-off and that add massively to the noise (extra thrust proportional to exhaust velocity, noise to the 8th power!). When developed in the early 70s this was not so bad as other jets like the 707 were also noisy buggers, but by the 80s and onwards the move to high bypass engines for fuel efficiency also lead (and was driven by) much lower noise levels.
Still, it was the most beautiful airliner to date and I once had the privilege to fly on it. Not cheap, but my flight cost less than a similar first class flight I priced nearer the time.
RIP. My thoughts go out to Tony Benn's family, and I feel we have lost one of the few politicians worth listening to and a champion (abet not always best-advised) of technology.
Re: Beware of sysadmins bearing cattleprods
More likely the BOFH will arrange for the CFO to get a visitation of ghosts of other companies who bet their corporate crown jewels on SLAs that turned out to be not worth the paper they were written on. Not even soft and absorbent.
"ARM-powered Windows RT slabs all come with a fully licensed version of Office"
Not for business use, so not "fully licensed" in my books.
The sooner MS learn that Windows is not the centre of computing any more, and that Office for other OS will sell, they will do themselves and the world a favour. However, this rental mode and the expectation of your files and ability to access them vanishing if you stop paying is not appealing.
Want something a bit "harder"?
Say no more! Say no more!
Re: Which reminds me..
You mean this?
Quite an open-minded wife you have :)
@Sean Timarco Baggaley
"There are textbooks explaining this core principle that date as far back as the 1970s."
I am pretty sure they have a lot to say about metro's lack of discoverability and the surprising behaviour on hitting corners or odd track-pad gestures.
"You don't get to blame Microsoft for your own ignorance."
No, but I can blame them for forcing an unwanted interface upon us and not giving us the choice. All would have been just fine if you could have ticked a box (perhaps auto-detected when no touch screen) for "classic interface" when touch, etc, was unwarranted.
>>"TL;DR In short, you are saying"
Got to appreciate someone who starts a post by saying mine was too long so they didn't read it, and then posts an incorrect synopsis of what I wrote.
While TL;DR might have been a bit glib, the point is you made a huge rant on telling us how we should be liking Win 8. We are just not holding correctly, perhaps?
In fact you have made one critical point yourself:
"...the very basic fact that you can get the Start Screen from clicking in the lower left - something that Windows tells you the first time you start up"
What if you did not go through the tutorial because it was someone else's PC? Or life was just too short?
Discoverability. The principle of least surprise.
Win 8's interface violates them both big-time. Now that is not to say others do not share some of the same stupidity of this approach (Ubuntu's Unity, a lot of Android, some of iOS) but the basic fact remains the same: What was an acceptable user interface for XP (more so if you chose "classic" a la Win2000) has become an exercise in sucking donkey balls. Actions are non-obvious, you have to learn things (hello command line, I love you!), and you are trying to do something and you get the metro screen slapped in your face due to some non-obvious track-pad gesture.
Choice. Why not? With XP you could revert to Win2000 if you preferred, which I did. Why are we now forced to use metro?
That is a rhetorical question, as the answer is well known and explains why most are unhappy. We are forced to suffer so MS hopes to get developers, developers, developers for an interface few wanted.
Re: As if this will make people happy!
In short, you are saying we have to jump to whatever new way MS demands we use things?
And then re-train all of our friends/family/non-tech users to match
If so, why not learn to use Linux instead an save the license fee?
Given that there are plenty of cases of phones being compromised, thus the data can easily be had before any crypto, what do you get from this that is so important? Also given the carries are (or can be forced to) cooperate with any country you are in, the possibility of them doing it to your phone cannot be ruled out.
So better to use a rooted phone, with care, and some open-sourced app? Of course, the fundamentals problem still applies, of Bob & Alice knowing each other's true keys when most of the SSL certificate authorities are dubious.
Or go back to exchanging microfilm hidden in odd places. Maybe not that secure, but probably too costly to simple be hoovered up "in case we need it in 5 years".
Re: Clarification required
"Why is it that the major operators/telcos and ISPs dont force a password change every 6 months for example."
Because it is not very effective:
(1) people get fed up and re-use or write down passwords on sticky notes on their monitors (yes, really!) or use really lame passwords they can remember.
(2) With a random time-to-hack the miscreants still have an average of 3 months to do their stuff. Do you think it would any organised gang more than a couple of days to exploit it?
(3) Making people used to regular email reminders to change their password is one easy route to making phishing emails more believable.
Just checked on my Linux box and found an update for flash.
Re: Once upon a time
And a full BIOS listing as well (OK on paper, but still...)
Somewhere we still have the IBM AT manuals with all of that.
Re: Message To Satya:
The problem MS has with XP is not simple:
Most end users want a Win9 to offer the improvements to security and performance that underlies Win8, but without the abomination of TIFKAM (my apologies to the few who genuinely like it), and to run the stuff they already have.
But XP supported a lot of dumb legacy features that are needed to allow a lot of software to run properly, and it is simply not possible to support them and also to improve underlying security. In addition there are a lot of legacy features that MS has decided to drop because it is not in their interests to spend the time & money to do properly (e.g. supporting 16-bit applications).
So there is a hope that Win9 might roll back the dumb aspects of the TIFKAM interface, but the push towards phone/fondle-slab/desktop integration may still be too strong, and it is very unlikely that legacy software will really work as hoped.
Time to make your XP VMs and make sure they have little or no internet access...
Re: take an image?
What if the AC's machine has hardware swaps in between installs?
Last time I tried moving a Windows HDD between machines it threw a major wobbly as half-way through booting it decided it could no longer read the boot device.
The point is, it should be possible/easy to have a bootable DVD or USB stick to test/install/fix Windows just like Linux supports, and that should be the normal approach. WTF is the whole activation key for if not to make the install image worthless (and therefore should be a simple download or torrent, with SAH-1 hashes of course)?
This bit surprised me in the AAISP blog:
"This is a little crazy in the first place. It's a modem. It shouldn't even be aware that it's passing PPPoE frames, let along looking inside them to see that they are UDP."
My tin foil hat is suggesting BT/Huawei are up to no good...
This report kind of agrees what what I heard from family/friends/work: that Apple were top dog in choice, but Android the most popular cost+usefulness combination.
Me, I ended up buying a Chromebook from PC World as a replacement for an old netbook (two good reasons to feel a bit dirty), mainly because it was <£200 and "good enough". Had a WinRT slab been unlocked so I had the choice of dual-booting Linux, and using the supplied Windows ARM-variant, it probably would have won...
Oh well, that is how the cookie crumbles!
Obligatory screen complaint
At one point Panasonic offered something better than the piss-poor 768-900 lines "HD" resolution, and for the sort of industrial applications these toughened machines excel at it was great. Sadly the whole range is now in crappy widescreen mode.
Do these guys ever use their products as their customers would? Come on, at this sort of price point the extra screen would add almost nothing and is far more important then the pre-installed OS (which is something you can change if needed).
So if you delete your profile, and even if the EU rules that it has to be removed, what happens to the read-only disks?
Will they remove and destroy them?
Oh stupid me! Why did I think they might do something for the user (er, product)?
Re: Keeping track of all those billions must be hard work
Really? I keep a similar amount down my codpiece...
Re: "why the fudge Lonovo thought..."
If Lenovo are planning on making Android phones only, why do they need those patents?
As long as Google is using them to shield Android makers from Apple/MS/etc in any patent-related battles then it is not that important to Lenovo. They must see an opportunity to enter the market even more and profit.
Re: Kitchen design: Serious business!
Running a browser in a slim VM might be the safest general approach.
Under Linux there is also the option of having apparmor sandbox the browser and limit reading and writing, though that profile (e.g. firefox) is off by default on Ubuntu. I don't know why that is, probably so users don't see Firefox, etc, crash and burn without warning when they try to save or upload from anywhere other than the Downloads directory.
I have a copy of Office 97, and of that Word is pretty good to use, lots of bugs aside. The later versions (e.g. 2003) I found were less friendly to use and often still not bug-fixed, though that might be me expecting them not to move things for no good reason, and then being surprised when they did. I dislike the ribbon a lot, and avoided 2007 for that reason.
Now got a copy of Office 2010 in an XP VM for compatibility, as MS' own converters for 2003 don't work properly on docx, etc. That should last for long enough.
Thanks for the tip about Kingsoft, might be an option instead of LibreOffice/VM+Office2010 if its import of docx works well.
Re: Fish in barrels
"presumably as the Cloud software will be permanently kept at the latest version, they'll be no data migration to do"
That is a BIG assumption, that there will be no changes in 5-10 years in data format that MS (or whoever) has failed to properly deal with for compatibility. In the past you could keep old PCs/old software versions if you needed to access old data, maybe to export it in another readable format, etc.
The promise is we won't have such silly buggers again, but the jury is still out on that one. So far our experience of "cloud" providers is they bugger around with the software every so often (features removed/changed, menu layouts changed, etc) and you get ZERO choice in the long term but to bend over and take it.
"antigravity = antimatter"
All of the current models of physics predict that antimatter will fall "down" under gravity just like matter, but it has never been tested and that is another aspect of getting low speed antimatter atoms - to verify which way they move under gravity.
It may seem like a done deal, but something as fundamental as that assumption, along with the original "where is all of it?" question about antimatter means it is still an important question to answer.
Mozilla CTO Eich: If your browser isn't open source (ahem, ahem, IE, Chrome, Safari), DON'T TRUST IT
Re: Got it covered
"I guess that means DON'T use Ubuntu 12.04"
That is a very simplistic view, that whatever the spooks recommend HAS to be compromised because that is their job. It is not: their job is to act in the interest of the UK (in GCHQ's case) which means protecting us from hackers AND hacking into others.
Given the endless stream of patches for every system out there, and the hacking budgets of hundreds of millions, finding holes can't be too hard for them no matter which system you chose or they recommend.
Nothing is perfect, and complete security is an unattainable myth, but open source and some verification of binaries w.r.t. source by others (outside of the country of origin of the project) is a damn sight better than the alternatives.
Re: I confidently predict they will sell...
Come to Scotland, here we offer most things deep fried :)
Re: Be careful what you claim
Why simply "unmask" the reviewers to the company?
Surly the judge could order a 3rd party to get the company's customer list and the reviewer's identities and find out if they were legitimate complaints or astro-turfing?
If so, then by all means allow the defamation case to proceed as they deserve it, otherwise protect their identity.
Sadly, what will happen is calls for harsher sentences for "computer crimes", and not similar punishment for those who high up are "criminally" negligent in how their businesses store and protect such sensitive data.
Guess who funds the politicians?
Re: Already fixed
Its not like you will find a Windows bug going back as far they support something. Oh wait, here is a critical one for IE6 and all more recent versions as of mid-2013:
OK, that one was only 12 years old.
Re: AC 12:33
This would be the Munich that saved 11M Euros from migrating 98% of desktops then?
Please try some new trolling, you are becoming tedious.
Re: "you can verify the WRT source code yourself"
"Something of an exaggeration for many of us"
True, but if the bug/hack is simply to reset to default user/password, why not change your copy of the source so the defaults are different, and thus not a walk-over for anyone able to force a remote reset?
"...their users as the dimmest bulbs on the smartphone chandelier"
This sort of eloquent prose is among the reasons I read El Reg.
Finally can look forward to seeing laptops and monitors that have vertical resolution that is as good as, or better than, a 2001-era CRT...
Re: Point 3
Sadly you talk bollocks here.
1) Why is the turbine "making money"? If you have any subsidy, then it is by taxing the majority who don't have such projects, and NOT because it is a cost-effective way of generating power.
2) Considering how the average numpty deals with radioactive objects this would not be wise. In addition, have you really considered how much material is needed to go critical for useful output, and what the total power of that would be in terms of heat? That should answer your point.
Re: A quick look
Big companies seem to atrophy and then get lost, MS seems to have that and Apple appears to be paralysed post-Steve and heading the same way. Google, for now, has some hope but their reliance on advert-support is worrying.
Apple, of all, should really be doing something new and imaginative. Hell, they have multiple billions in the bank and had some good leadership until very recently, why can't they throw out a few dozen small $10M-ish projects on the off-chance if any come to fruition?
 Yes, there are debates about St Jobs's talent and approach, but he could at least see products from an end-user's point of view, and how nice they would be to use, and kicked arses until things were made to work OK. That should be the norm, but appears to be a super-power in today's business environment.
"These are standard definitions"
Sorry, they are not standard, rather they are nation-specific. That is why SI prefixes should be used, because they are standard!
You are talking about a US trillion here, which is a UK billion.
Thanks, mine is the one with the operator's manual to the Milliard Gargantubrain...
I though most girls did, but of the 'AA' size.
Re: Simpler days...
Indeed, I still have (and prefer) my fx-570c to a newer model that tries to do things in some sort of procedural way (i.e. you have to enter 'sin' '0.5' '=' and not that stack-based '0.5' 'sin' sort of way).
I prefer the stack-style as often you compute something, and then want its log, etc, and it is annoying not to just press 'log' and get the result of computing it on what is currently on display.
- JLaw, Kate Upton exposed in celeb nude pics hack
- Google flushes out users of old browsers by serving up CLUNKY, AGED version of search
- GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
- China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
- Something for the Weekend, Sir? If you think 3D printing is just firing blanks, just you wait