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* Posts by Michael Kean

136 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008

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Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report

Michael Kean

Re: But it said, "Heavy Duty"

We used to have those blue "General Purpose" Eveready batteries too, not sure if they're still sold.

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Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU

Michael Kean

SSD?

Hi :)

I'm not at all in the world of databases, having progressed only as far as Microsoft Access and VBA; so perhaps this is a stupid suggestion; but with SSDs being so fast these days does it really matter if data is not in RAM any more?

Cheers, Mike.

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Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash

Michael Kean

Re: Perpetual money machine

Mining with CPU and GPU are no longer profitable.

A GPU can do approx, 300Megahashes per second using 300 Watts

An ASIC miner can do approx. 5,000Megahashes per second on 8 Watts.

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Android SMS worm punts dodgy downloads... from your MATES

Michael Kean

Re: Is this really a worm?

Nope. This is not a worm. Worms don't require user interaction.

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OK, we get the message, Microsoft: Windows Defender splats 1000s of WinXP, Server 2k3 PCs

Michael Kean
Happy

Re: @cornz @ShelLuser

Why not just click "Change the way Security Centre Alerts me..." and deselect "Warn me about Windows Update."

It's nice to no longer have to let WUAUSERV chew up 500MB at boot on some old systems now :)

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Nintendo is FLATLY UNHINGED: New 2DS is a handful of game

Michael Kean

Nice :)

You could almost get a convincing knock-up of Donkey Kong II on it from the Game & Watch days.

Those were great little buggers.

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Tick-tock! 40% of PCs start Windows XP malware meltdown countdown

Michael Kean
Happy

I wonder...

... if the Search Companion dog will start to go grey soon. Thirteen human years is quite high for dog years.

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Michael Kean
Happy

Re: " it has been 13 years"

Did you make an image of the hard drive? It could live on as a 'hologram' in a Virtual Machine, like Rimmer!

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Oil giant Total shells out €60m for world's fastest private super

Michael Kean

Another kind of mining?

Hmm :) WIth that much computing power, I wonder if they could potentially mount a 51% attack on Bitcoin - although if they just mined normally they'd probably make a small fortune at the current Bitcoin market values.

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Redmond slashing Win8, Office OEM rates for small devices

Michael Kean
IT Angle

Re: Windows Cash Cow on death row

"1) Windows too fat and power hungry to run on cheap hardware"

Windows 2000 ran nicely even with 64MB of RAM. What went wrong?? :)

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'Quantum fridge' gets close to absolute zero

Michael Kean
Happy

At last...

I knew we were due to invent the Reverse Cycle Microwave...

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Storage glitch sends Curiosity into safe mode

Michael Kean
Happy

Where's the other one?

Malf f ffff fff ^unction. Need Input...

[Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?]

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Netbooks were a GOOD thing and we threw them under a bus

Michael Kean
Happy

Battery and Inverter...

Heh :)

This reminds me of 10 years ago when I wanted to keep the Compaq Armada 1500c (400MHz Celeron) going for a day. A 7Ah UPS battery and inverter in a backpack sure helped! Just weighted a lot :( Now you can buy 2Ah USB charging batteries on eBay so for many tablets, phones, and digital cameras; there is a cheap portable solution.

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The amazing magical LED: Has it really been fifty years already?

Michael Kean
Happy

Re: Overkill?

We put ours outside on a tree, and leave them on a timer to run every evening so they double as a path light.

We usually go through a set a year. Since then I've figured out how to make them last much longer. Dip them in wood glue before hanging :) It's the water sitting between the terminals that rusts them away, and the glue seals them.

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WIN! A Viewsonic Pro9000 HD projector worth £1600

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Grinchy Google to shut down another batch of services

Michael Kean
Unhappy

Bugger...

So I am about to lose:

Google Calendar Sync with Outlook. (Was wondering why it was crashing.)

Google Sync (Contacts, calendar) on my Nokia E51, E61.

.. and a few annoyed customers probably who use Google Exchange to sync their iPhone and Google stuff.

.. and my Galaxy Tab just died too - RAM has gone read only.

All they need to do now is kill IMAP and I'm outta there.

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Office 2013 now on sale for business customers

Michael Kean
Happy

Word 2.0 was good enough ...

... except for floating images.

I helped my partner write a book in Word 2.0 on a 386 with 16MB RAM - including many scanned full page images of maps and microscopy. Back then you had to insert a frame before you could place an image in it, and it was wise to link to images rather than embed them in the document so it wouldn't fall over. I've not seen much change in a practical sense since then in Word; other than improvements to image positioning, etc - although I don't use anything more advanced that table of contents, styles, mail merge.

Access 2007 and above however are soooo much nicer than Access 2003 and below. Still, I guess the only way to keep selling Office is to keep selling computers without Office on them. Office 2003 was the last one that didn't care how many machines it was installed on.

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Google+ exec declares Facebook 'social network of the past'

Michael Kean
Meh

Deleted mine because...

... I use Picasa.

If you have a Google+ account, you cannot sync photos to Picasa Web Albums as easily. Sure, you can still upload photos, but you have less options - a step backward in functionality.

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HP PC chief: Microsoft's Surface is 'KLUDGEY'. There, I said it

Michael Kean
Happy

Re: I've got one and it's kludgy

"... but the whole concept is pointless"

After seeing http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/15/review_viewsonic_vsd220_aio_smart_display/ I am not so sure it's pointless. Think also about the Asus transformer for example - an Android 'Laptop.' Think about how many non-computer and semi-computer literate people now have smartphones. And how many of those phones run Android. Perhaps it makes sense that those people can grab an Android-based Laptop or 'PC' and already know how to get around it.

I think Microsoft might be thinking that way and hence trying desperately to make this synergy happen so that Win8 phone buyers would also have that same 'familiarity' experience. But have they left it too late? I guess give them a year and see. Maybe Windows 8-and-a-bit will be what they need.

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Michael Kean

Re: What always surprises me...

"Gee Doc, all I see is a Bear and a Frog in a rainbow-coloured Studebaker."

That's the only reason I know of Studebakers :) A Muppet Movie.

Mind you, it's the same with Oldsmobiles - Blues Brothers, and DeLoreans - Back to the Future.

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Wordpress to accept Bitcoin without confirmations

Michael Kean
Happy

Bitcoins are like cash...

"Automattic will also work around another Bit[C]oin feature, namely its dislike of issuing refunds."

The BitCoin protocol does not allow chargebacks to occur. That saves sellers from worrying about having someone buy something then claiming they never got it and having the transaction reversed. However there's nothing stopping the seller from sending the BitCoins back again.

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ViewSonic VSD220 22in Android mega tablet

Michael Kean
Happy

Interesting...

For a "General Purpose" computer I reckon this sort of machine has a good chance of succeeding. You won't multitask as much as a power computer user; but for general stuff it's probably quite good. Very few viruses to worry about. Easy to install stuff - except printers of course but hey it's paperless office time!

Given people currently have a good familiarity with Android compared to Windows 8; if this product gets off the ground in time it could make a dent in Win8 sales.

Good on 'em :)

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Microsoft Surface Touch keyboards self-destruct – and more

Michael Kean
Facepalm

Re: It was to be expected...

> You should never get a version 1.0 product from Microsoft; whether its hardware or software is totally irrelevant.

Indeed! I was somewhat surprised to find that you can't install Windows 8 on a computer if it happens to have an SD card in a slot, or an 'unsupported' USB memory stick plugged in somewhere. It'll show you your available hard drive partitions, but when you select one it'll say "we can't find an available partition."

I would have thought just a small amount of testing would have revealed that problem early on.

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Ten... Apple iPad Mini alternatives

Michael Kean

Galaxy Tab 2.0 7"

I wonder why this one didn't make the list? It seems a competent equivalent to the Nexus 7 and includes a rear camera (albeit fixed focus) and an SD slot.

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Jury awards Apple $1bn damages in Samsung patent case

Michael Kean
Happy

Re: OMG

Naah you're OK. Microsoft doesn't make the Zune any more.

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Moderate comments or face penalties: ACCC

Michael Kean
Happy

Testing...

Today, every Mod 54th visitor gets a free stuffed vulture!

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Hot nine-incher pulled by Dick

Michael Kean
Happy

Who Burns Dacks?

Dick Does!

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Toshiba: Strong yen CHEWED our tripled profit, spat out loss

Michael Kean

Dead Batteries?

I'm not sure whose idea it was at Toshiba to ship some recent laptops with batteries already attached.

By the time they get purchased out here in rural Aus, the batteries have usually drained to 0% and disabled themselves. I got two laptops replaced by the suppliers before reading online in an obscure location that if you leave them plugged in for many hours, they can spontaneously start charging again.

Between that and a higher than normal number of LCD / interface cable failures, I'm a little concerned about Toshie quality - yet I'm writing this on a four year old Toshie laptop!

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Big biz 'struggling' to dump Windows XP

Michael Kean

Go Virtual?

Glad I got my copy of Paragon Go Virtual while it was still free! Several times I've virtualised dead systems so they can carry on living without paying massive upgrade costs on old accounting systems, etc, just to be able to use their new Windows 7 64 Bit laptops.

(Go Virtual converts a physical XP HDD to a VirtualBox / VMWare / Virtual PC disk image, and adjusts the IDE / SATA drivers appropriately.)

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Retina Display detachment

Michael Kean

Re: Apple took out the Ethernet port

Sounds like the Xircom PCMCIA combined modem and 10/100 LAN cards that were two cards high. Excellent bit of gear they were back then too!

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Researchers find backdoor in milspec silicon

Michael Kean

Is this...

... the Prequel to I-Robot?

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Evernote

Michael Kean
Happy

Gmail Drafts

If you want a simple place to stick random notes, just stick them in your Gmail drafts folder. (ie write an email, click save instead of send.) These will sync nicely to your IMAP email program (Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, ThunderBird, etc.) without having to deal with EverNote's crap.

On Android, you can also create a home screen shortcut to your Drafts folder for one click access.

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The Register is rocking on Windows Phone 7

Michael Kean

Re: ...

.. reminds me of WP51

That's C:\WP51>

(WordPerfect 5.1 - a word processor for DOS back in the '80s/'90s)

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Ten... freeware gems for new PCs

Michael Kean
Thumb Up

Re: Goodbye Adobe...

. and I'll put in a vote for the free PDF-Xchange program. The main advantage being that you can edit PDFs (typewriter, stamp tool) for free, and save them too.

No more print, sign, scan, email! Just one click of the stamp tool (with your signature as a stamp) and you're done.

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Study reveals high price of smut addiction

Michael Kean

Why is the Reddit Alien...

... used as the icon for this article? It's not mentioned anywhere in the article. Is El Reg implying the majority of Reddit users have a proclivity to images that Picasa would find in a custom search for pink?

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Nokia dinged with shareholder lawsuit over poor Lumia sales

Michael Kean

Re: reality is a b_tch

"It shouldn't matter what OS the sold phone has (Symbian, Harmattan, WP7 or MSDOS for all care) "

C:\WP>CD Contacts

C:\WP\Contacts>DIR /B

mum.num

dad.num

elsie.num

roy.num

C:\WP\Contacts>

copy con john.num

0427600123^z

1 files(s) copied.

C:\WP\Contacts>dialer.exe john.num

MS DOS DIALLER V1.7.

atxdt0427600213

atl3

Press Any Key to Continue...

ath

C:\WP\Contacts>

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CPU and RAM hogs overstaying their welcome? Here's a fix

Michael Kean
Happy

Hopefully...

...TRON is still running.

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Tabcorp bets on IPTV

Michael Kean

Sounds like a winner to me :)

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TV Now was too good, and that was its downfall

Michael Kean
Happy

It could be done, one on one...

The Raspberry Pi is a $25 US 'computer'

http://www.raspberrypi.org/

Add a USB tuner, an antenna, a flash drive, and a little software; and you've got yourself a net-connected PVR that uses very little power.

If regulations mean that Optus has to be technically inefficient in building a one-for-one system; I dare say it could be done at a reasonable price.

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Softphones strangled by smartphone battery life

Michael Kean
Happy

Interim Tech?

Here in Aus, we can get unlimited call mobiles from about $40AU per month. (Includes landline and mobile destinations.) That sort of price point somewhat renders SoftPhones, and VoIP in general as annoying echo-prone unreliable things; since really VoIP exists as an interim technology. Granted, for International Calling, VoIP is hard to beat; but odds are you'll have Skype or similar anyway.

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Blighty's new top supercomputer bagged by software boffins

Michael Kean

Difficulty increase?

I guess there's a chance that the difficulty level in BitCoin mining could escalate if some geek / nerd figures out how to get this machine to mine in its spare time!

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Angry Birds Space flings 10 MILLION downloads in 3 days

Michael Kean

Reminds me of...

... playing Quake 1, and typing sv g=1 into the console to almost turn gravity off. You can then jump and touch the sky, lots of new ambushing places, but you could still accidentally float gently into a pit of lava.

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Microsoft warns of RDP attack within next 30 days

Michael Kean

Public IPs only?

Hmm., I am guessing this is mostly of concern to people - mainly businesses - that expose Remote Desktop to the public internet, rather than behind VPNs, etc.

This might also be a problem for people using the multiple concurrent users on XP hack, since there probably won't be a patch for that particular little trick...

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PayPal slaps down Dr Who ‘charity book’

Michael Kean

A place for BitCoin.

BitCoin is useful in situations like this since it is a peer to peer payment system and therefor avoids middlemen; but unfortunately it's not well known, and has attracted a fair share of poor 'trading and speculating sites' giving it a bad name at times. However, direct currency transfers generally avoid that problem, with the only potential problem being that there's no mechanism for chargebacks.

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade has a list of currency exchanges.

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Microsoft shuttering Windows Mobile 6.x Marketplace

Michael Kean

Re: And there lies the reason....

You're somewhat right there. However, on Android I use a free AppBackup utility that lets me store copies of the APKs, so if I have to wipe and start over I don't need to get online to get my software back - including purchased apps.

Recently I thought I'd try to find a GPS program for my old Symbian E51 - found one but the only way to install it was to turn the clock on the phone back to 2006. Then it turned out to be an undisclosed 30 day trial anyway. Some things are better now than they used to be - the whole process on Nokia was painful. "Installation not supported" blah blah "certificate expired" blah blah, no wonder they died.

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Android Market morphs into 'Google Play'

Michael Kean

For the TV?

Hmm

"Play" sounds like something I'd associate with a TV - I wonder if they're looking at that instead.

I'm a happy Android owner, but recently saw on Reddit that there's a hole in Android (like iOS) that allow any application with "Full Internet Access" permission to access all your photos too.

As a result, I've currently lost faith in the security of my device, and in Android itself.

The relative lack of update availability for these devices doesn't help that - it's like Windows without Windows Update, like Java without Java Update, Flash without Flash Update. Danger!

See http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/01/android-photos/

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Swiss space-cleaning bot grabs flying junk, hurls itself into furnace

Michael Kean

Magnets!!

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Analyst: no 7in tablet at iPad 3 launch

Michael Kean
Happy

7 Inch is pocketable.

Take a DL envelope. Cut one inch off the end, and stick it in your trouser pocket. It fits fine. Likewise most 7" tablets.

I'll keep my 7" Galaxy Tab and my 2" Nokia E51 quite happily thanks :) Light enough to hold for extended time too.

10 inches, nice to sit and use, but too big to pocket. Likewise the iPad.

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Ten... smart TVs

Michael Kean

What about the rest of the 'net?

Hmm :) Interesting bunch of tellies.

A few days ago a customer asked me about TVs, saying he likes to watch sports shows online, etc. I told him to buy a Netbook with HDMI, and a TV; because as far as I know none of these TVs will be guaranteed to work with websites that stream proprietarily to a web browser.

The war ain't won yet...

What would be nice to see is a TV that can mirror a laptop screen, wirelessly. I recently set up a projector with one of these for a customer - http://cirrich.com/product_into1.asp?iid=235 - and it worked very well with SD content and more; so it is possible to do it. Why don't they??

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iOS 5's iMessage chops carrier SMS routing traffic

Michael Kean
Happy

Google "Talk"

I make similar use of "Google Talk" with some family members. Funny how it's not on all handsets 'tho - I guess that's a carrier thing, or it might just not be compatible with small-screen devices. (Google talk is an MSN / YIM / WLM like chat app, but fairly resilient.)

A certain irony in calling it 'talk' when it's used to 'text chat' where as 'voice' is used to 'talk'.

Oops!

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