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* Posts by Martin

719 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008

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The Osborne 1: 30 years old this month

Martin
Happy

This truly was innovative....

I remember going to see a customer who had a problem with an embedded system we had supplied. I was able to see the problem demonstrated, bring up the software on the Osbourne, implement a fix, recompile (more precisely, reassemble, I think!) and link the software, burn a new ROM, install it into his machine, and leave a very happy customer working again.

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Antarctic ice breakup makes ocean absorb more CO2

Martin

So you don't believe any of the other climate change stuff...

...but, as this supports your agenda, it's clearly entirely correct and should be listened to and taken seriously.

What a surprise.

It's very interesting news, nevertheless.

9
4

UK iPad 2 to cost under £400

Martin
WTF?

@James Hughes 1

Did you see the :P in @opague's title?

It means "tongue in cheek" - i.e. it was a slightly sarky response.

It certainly didn't require the venom of your answer.

I ask again - why is it that people feel that language that would get them bopped on the nose in a pub is reasonable on the internet?

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Microsoft to Apple: 'Oh, yeah? Well, your font is too small'

Martin
Happy

24x80 - fixed font

Green screens rule. Any other size just doesn't count as a screenful.

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Ten... fantasy swords you wish you owned

Martin
FAIL

So let me think about this...

...I go to someone's house, and they have a sword hanging on the wall.

"That's interesting", says I. "What is it?"

"Ah, that's a replica of Aragorn's sword from Lord of the Rings"

"So it's a replica of an imaginary sword owned by an imaginary hero from an imaginary place, right?"

"Er - yes. But it's really cool."

Riiiight. I'm with the original poster. Never mind the legality or the safety. Massively, massively uncool works for me.

2
5

Steve Jobs unveils iPad 2

Martin
Happy

On the other hand....

....they make lovely teapot stands.

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Woman sentenced for breaching former employer's PCs

Martin
Unhappy

Well, legally, maybe, it ain't theft....

...but I can assure you that there have been several occasions when people have just cut'n'pasted the words from one of my websites and published it as their own. When you find that, it damn well FEELS like someone's stolen something from you.

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1

BT Home Hub 3 ADSL Wi-Fi router

Martin
FAIL

A written down password?

And that's a GOOD thing?

What damn use is that little doohicky that slides out when the first thing most sensible people will do is change the name and password of the wireless connection?

0
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Ford Focus 2011

Martin
WTF?

Just somene else to say....

...why are you reviewing a car?

Electric cars and hybrids - yes. It's the future and definitely techy.

But a normal car? God knows there are plenty of sites out there to get reviews. We don't need to know the Reg's take on it, really we don't.

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Android inches nearer NFC nirvana

Martin
WTF?

reading, wrighting and reckoning?

Citation needed.

Or is this meant to be a joke?

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Lexmark Genesis multifunction printer

Martin
Thumb Up

Yes, it's expensive....

..and no, I'm not going to buy one....

But I'm impressed by the scanning facility. It's at least an attempt at trying something new. Let's be fair, the "bar-along-the-glass-plate" solution has been around for years, and is inherently slow. Yes, it works well, but so did the telephone dial for a long time - but who'd want to use that now?

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iPhone owners get walked through confessional

Martin
Happy

We poor atheists?

"those poor atheists who haven't even cottoned on to the fact that God is there yet, and haven't a clue what they're missing out on..."

Yep. No idea at all. Poor me. Never mind, I'll cope.

But there are plenty of atheists who are ex-religion. They presumably DO have a clue what they are missing out on...and have come to the conclusion they are better off without it.

But that app is going to sell extremely well. Hope he's giving his tithe to the Church.

2
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DEC founder Ken Olsen is dead

Martin
Happy

My first real computer was a PDP10...

...not literally, but at my school in 1970ish, we had a 30baud connection to the timesharing PDP10 at Hatfield Polytechnic. Working in Basic and Fortran, I wrote my first real programs there, on a teletype. My favourite was a horse-racing simulator, with betting accounts and everything - the memory of the teletype printing out a horse-race commentary and me and five or six of my friends cheering on our horses will never leave me!

I lost interest when I went to Uni in 1973 and discovered I was expected to use batch-processing. Once you've sat at a "READY" prompt, typed in your program and watched it run, waiting for 24 hours for your output to return seemed pretty tedious. Then I found a PDP-8 hidden away in a physics lab. Happiness returned....

Thanks Ken.

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Indian courts 'rule astrology is a science'

Martin
Thumb Down

There is hope....

It's not just women.

But here's a cartoon to cheer you up - not xkcd for once....

http://cectic.com/182.html

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BBC rebuilds Civilisation in HD

Martin

Don't entirely agree...

I'd rather be patronised than treated as an idiot, which is what happens with most TV documentaries today.

I agree it focussed on the visual arts and on Western civilization almost exclusively. But I still found it thoroughly fascinating, and it'll be interesting to see it again.

But no arguments about The Ascent of Man - that was landmark TV.

4
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Tablets to eclipse e-book readers

Martin
FAIL

OK, so it's not exactly scientific....

...but I travel on the tube every day. On each journey, I see maybe two or three people using a kindle - to the extent that I hardly notice them now. I have seen - in total, since they came out - three iPads in use on the tube.

iPads may be outselling Kindles (though I doubt it), but it seems pretty clear that Kindles are actually being used more.

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Acer: tablets will replace netbooks

Martin
Thumb Down

Sigh....

Everyone seems to be saying that tablets are the way to go. But I don't see anyone actually using them.

I wonder if this is something where "the market" is actually being driven by the manufacturers and the critics, rather than the consumers? Clearly, there are fewer moving parts in a tablet, so they can be made cheaper, hence giving the manufacturers more profit. So if netbooks are replaced by tablets - ka-ching!

But damn - people aren't buying tablets - they are still buying netbooks. OK then - we'll stop making netbooks. That'll do it !

I know loads of people who have netbooks and use them frequently. I know only a few people who have iPads or similar, and they pretty well all reckon the novelty soon wears off.

5
2

$1,000 reward offered for stolen cancer research laptop

Martin
WTF?

Just wondering....

...but SEVEN YEARS worth of data? Is this machine seven years old? If not, then presumably the data must have been copied from somewhere else - so does that somewhere else no longer exist?

And also - a 13in netbook - and it's someone's main machine?

I dunno - I suspect this isn't the full story here....

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CES wrap: let the battle of the tablets commence

Martin
Happy

An alternative....

"...but come march or april I suppose I'll have to fold and get an iPad 2, since I don't think anyone will have anything decent available ."

You could decide, like me and many other people, that an iPad is just a toy and you can manage without one - and spend five hundred notes or so on something useful?

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Ubuntu Wayland: Shuttleworth's post-Mac makeover

Martin
Linux

hear hear!

I played with Unity. Wanted to launch a terminal for a command line. Click the button - it worked. OK, great. Wanted a second one - often useful. Click the button - it brought the first one to the front.

In fifteen minutes of searching, I could not work out how to launch a second terminal.

Moreover, on a netbook you're short of screen space. So what sort of system is it that takes up about ten percent on a taskbar on the left-hand side - which you can't get rid of??

I've heard good things about Mint...

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Asus Eee PC 1015PEM

Martin
Thumb Up

Success!

It worked!

I'll be damned - never even thought to investigate.

Not quite as straightforward as you said - when I plugged in the phone, it just gave me a buttone to share my files. But then go to Settings/Network & Wireless, and there is an option called "Tethering". Click on that - and I'm typing this using my tethered phone on my old AA1 using Ubuntu. (Not NBR - I hate it - but that's a different story.)

Thanks a lot! I can get rid of my separate wireless dongle now.

And yes - anything over £250 is silly money for a so-called netbook.

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Martin
Linux

plug the phone into the netbook?

Tell me more, please....I've never managed to work out how to do that using Linux and an android phone.

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David Attenborough dino doc shows limits of 3D TV

Martin
WTF?

The future of 3D...

...is the same thing that made VHS and the internet take off - porn.

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Virgin unwraps three-tuner über set-top

Martin
Thumb Up

Speaking as someone who still has an old Thomson TIVO...

...this is brilliant news.

The TIVO software knocks spots off anything that either Sky+ or Virgin Media has done. The search facility is miles better, it automatically checkes for repeats of a program if you want to record something that clashes with a series you are recording, it records programs you might be interested in based on what you've previously recorded (and deletes them automatically to make space) - and you can tell it when it gets it wrong, too! - it can record programs based on the subject matter (record anything to do with chess, for example - you get some odd things turning up, but hey!)...

Can't wait.

1
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Gear4 UnityRemote

Martin
Go

the trick is...

..to ONLY use the Harmony remote. It remembers the state that everything is in. Put the old remote controls in a drawer or something.

I've got a 555 controlling six items and it almost always gets it right. And if it doesn't, press Help and it'll sort itself out.

Of course, the downside is when you lose the remote, you're completely screwed.

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iAds to flood UK iPhones, iPads

Martin
Jobs Horns

correction...

There are no iAds on the phone itself....yet.

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Linux servers for Windows folk: go on, give it a bash

Martin
Happy

But....But.....

That's how it worked in Jurassic Park....

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How I built a zero energy cost, zero carbon home server

Martin

I considered a Sheevaplug...

...but in the end, I went for a Dockstar. It's a Western Digital jobby and it cost me £35 new. It runs my Squeezebox server beautifully - cheaper than the old Dell that I used to use!

This is the guy who did the real work - I just followed his instructions.

http://squeezeplug.de

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Tory councillor arrested over 'stoning to death' tweet

Martin
Thumb Down

Seems unlikely....

...I don't think ANYTHING could make twitter more dull and pointless than it is.

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Old PCs: When it's time to die

Martin
Happy

Power?

One advantage of upgrading to a modern PC is power - or lack of it.

I'm in the middle of replacing all my five-year-old machines at home (already running Linux) with low-power jobbies and SANs - I'll get the capital cost back in less than three years in lower electricity costs. And they'll be faster and quieter than the ones I already have.

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Trucker jailed for deadly motorway gamble

Martin
FAIL

A title is required....

No amount of putting a JOKE ALERT icon makes that funny. It's also not true.

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iDapt i4 multi-purpose charger

Martin

"...and all for a reasonable charge."

Yes, very witty, well done.

Actually, it's pretty - but forty quid to charge your various gadgets seems a lot to me, given they all come with a charger in general.

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Men suffer most in recession

Martin
Unhappy

Sarah, I'd like to apologise for the majority of my sex....

Judging by most of the posts here, I'm embarrassed to be associated with them

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Martin
FAIL

Talk about a load of nonsensical generalizations.....

Look, just read "The Myth of Mars and Venus", by Deborah Cameron.

On second thoughts, don't bother. It was written by a woman, and I imagine you believe that all women have a political agenda to show that they are better than they really are.

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Martin
FAIL

How thoroughly depressing seeing that post so upvoted.

Exclusively men, I imagine.

Women with the same skills and experience nevertheless end up getting rather less pay for the same job - especially in places where the salaries are not transparent. Because their bosses are the sorts of dinosaurs (like the poster above) who reckon they aren't worth paying so much because they are going to go off and have children.

And while those attitudes continue to exist, women will be paid less.

0
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Opera Mobile for Android: Nearly there!

Martin
WTF?

Why, oh why...

...do you find it necessary to use statements like "Are you a bit thick?" simply because you disagree with the previous poster?

Do you use phrases like this when you are chatting to people down the pub? If so, how often have you been punched in the nose for it?

Why do people have to be so bloody rude on the Internet?

I know - it's off topic, and it won't change a thing. It's just that every so often, this sort of thing gets my goat.

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Windows to Linux defections to outpace Unix shifts in 2011

Martin
Unhappy

That IS depressing....

In the private sector, at least he'd have been more likely to be moved out, not sideways.

1
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Philips 32PFL9705 Ambilight 32in LED backlit TV

Martin
Thumb Down

£1300 for a 32" telly?

Seems a lot for pretty flashing lights to me....

There is also the argument that if you pay that much for a telly, it should not need to have the picture tweaked to get it "just right". I don't go to the cinema and demand to be able to adjust the colour balance - I expect it to be right. Same should apply to a decent telly.

I can't help feeling that people who mess around with the picture to get it "just right" are more interested in looking at the picture, rather than the movie. Bit like hi-fi buffs who listen to the sound, rather than the music.

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Thieves jam key-fob lock signals in mystery car thefts

Martin

call me old-fashioned....

...but I'll never have that problem with my car.

0
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Harrow flicks pirate thrown in slammer

Martin
WTF?

Six months?

Yes, he should be punished. He knew what he was doing is against the law.

But he made no money out of it. It's quite likely that the film company lost no money out of it. A few sad people watched a fuzzy copy of the movie, and would almost certainly have not bothered to see it at all if it had not been free on the internet.

But six months in prison? Seems over the top to me.

(Unless, of course, it's not his first offence...)

0
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Twitter airport bomb joker loses second job

Martin
Thumb Up

Hooray!

I was beginning to wonder where the "everything that happens in this country is Brown and Blair's fault" brigade had got to. I was quite missing them.

Score +1 for the "Plunkett" - that's a new one, but -2 for no reference to NuLabour or Liebour.

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Koran-burning 'pastor' loses website

Martin

And my suspicion is that his comment would be....

"Damn - why didn't I think of that?"

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New iPod crew: 'Phoney, futuristic, retro, doomed'

Martin
Happy

Primary purpose?

The primary purpose of any Apple kit is to perform adequately and look good for a premium price. They are the Bang and Olufsen of the IT industry.

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Netbooks Best Buys

Martin

Prices have never been lower???

The lowest price on here is £249; some reach £350.

I paid £175 for my AA1 two years ago, and you could also get the eee for around £200.

By now, I was expecting prices to have dropped to the £100-£150 mark. Instead, bucking the trend everywhere else, the prices have gone UP.

0
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Microsoft gets Speedos in a twist over half-naked 'Meter Maids'

Martin
FAIL

Actually, no he's not...

I entirely agree with him.

Of course it objectifies women. By definition, the women employed by this team are being selected PURELY on the basis of their looks - they have to stand around and look good in bikinis. That's objectification, pure and simple.

And yes - I frankly find it embarrassing to see women like this at trade shows - or anywhere else except at the beach or hotel swimming pool, in all honesty.

I thought this sort of thing went out in the seventies.

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Shopping mall mulls Supreme Court bid to back no-speaking ban

Martin
Thumb Down

Sigh...

It doesn't matter WHAT the subject is, someone on this forum has to find a way of slagging off Labour (even though they aren't even in power anymore) - and, furthermore, has to put in a "witty" misspelling of it.

Which you seem to have misspelled - isn't the so-called joke "Liebour"?

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Solar plasma aurora storm to hit Earth tomorrow today!

Martin
Stop

Yawn...

That's at least three times that joke has been made...

0
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Amazon takes Kindle to the UK

Martin

One other point....

One of the major points about the PRS505 is the case - it folds over like a book cover, and it means you can hold it one-handed just like a book. The page turn is under your thumb, and it just works.

Without a case like this, I'm not sure the Kindle is so comfortable to read.

And I don't like the keyboard.

But a hundred and nine quid....give it a year, and it'll be less than a hundred, and I don't know that I'll be able to resist it at that price.

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Martin

An 8 hour battery life - woo hoo!

Compared to a two-week battery life on a Kindle or Sony Reader.

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Martin

Also pleased about pricing....

...but it's still ug-leee!

Especially compared to the PRS-505 which, in terms of looks, still leads the way.

My only REAL concern is that the books you buy from Amazon will only be readable on the Kindle - is that true? If so, it's not exactly what I'd call satisfactory.

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