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* Posts by AlanGriffiths

15 posts • joined 29 Jan 2008

DEATH-PROOF your old XP netbook: 5 OSes to bring it back to life

AlanGriffiths

"Bare metal" vs Wubi?

Wubi installs the linux image as a file on the Windows NTFS filesystem: This is hardly a fair "bare metal" comparison. On adequate hardware this shouldn't have much effect, but I found it significantly slower than installing on its own partition on an old system I experimented with.

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Canonical: Last change to Ubuntu Edge phone price – we promise

AlanGriffiths
Facepalm

@theOtherJT

"I'd probably consider buying one of these, but if they stick to their guns regards the whole "If we don't raise the full amount then we're not going to build it." thing, then it's pretty obvious that they're not going to be building any."

It would only take fifteen thousand people like you to decide to sponsor because they'd like the phone if it happens (although they expect to get their money back in practice) to make up the difference.

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IT pro to storm Everest in Bletchley Park cash quest

AlanGriffiths
Facepalm

Correction

Astrid Byro, is publicity officer for the ACCU (and NOT the Association of C and C++ Users).

Both "Association of C and C++ Users" and "C User Group (UK)" are past names of the ACCU which deals with a lot more than C and C++.

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Novatech pushes affordable Ultrabook

AlanGriffiths

Never the perfect machine...

Pro: there's a decent CPU and battery.

Pro: I wouldn't get an unwanted Windows.

Con: I use more screen than that.

(And more disk, more RAM and ethernet can be useful.)

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UK tax fraud IT project 'missed virtually every delivery date'

AlanGriffiths
Facepalm

Depressingly familiar

Over the three decades I've been developing software I've repeatedly worked on projects where the objectives were unclear, the targets changed and there was tension between funding, functionality and quality.

I've also repeatedly heard the sponsors, clients, or customers blamed for these problems. It is the developers that are at fault, change is a part of most problems that software solves, and the "soft" is in there for a reason - to support change. Change is normal, lack of clarity is normal, and in these cases to sell systems based on "you give me fixed, clear requirements and I'll give you a fixed price" is dishonest.

There are better ways.

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Microsoft juices C++ for massively parallel computing

AlanGriffiths

Why choose a Microsoft technology?

"Nvidia's CUDA, for example, is tuned to its own GPUs, and Sutter admitted in a post-keynote Q&A that "if you want to get the absolute best performance from one vendor's GPU, you will hardly be able to do better than that vendor's GPU stack". Then there's open-source OpenCL – hardly a vendor-specific approach to GPGPU computing."

This is one of the delights of C++ - there are so many options to choose from. I prefer my code to be as portable as possible - across hardware, OS and compilers. Obviously, this cannot always be achieved but there's nothing about parallelism that requires Windows and Visual Studio. Selecting this technology would just make things harder to deploying on Linux,OSx, etc.

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Tech salaries up five per cent in 2010

AlanGriffiths
Happy

This is about the AVERAGE, not something useful

Suppose in 2009 you have developers on:

£100k, £70k, £70k and £60k

You give no pay increases, and make one redundant. Then for 2010

£100k, £70k and £70k

Not good news for the developers, but the AVERAGE improves by nearly 7%

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UK short 100K tech recruits this year

AlanGriffiths
FAIL

IME skill shortage is not the problem

Time after time I've heard "we can't recruit good developers with X, Y or Z skills" - only to find that "we" are not paying enough to attract even trainee developers without any skills.

Accept that expertise costs (and that it delivers value to justify the cost).

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Acer Aspire 1825PT 11.6in touchscreen notebook

AlanGriffiths
Linux

Linux?

I've not run windows on my own kit (outside a VM) for a couple of years. What are the options here?

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World's 'smallest, lightest' laptop launches

AlanGriffiths

I too remember the series 5

While I currently need a full laptop most of the time I have fond memories of the Psion.

The keyboard was the thing - I could touchtype and it still fit in a jacket pocket. My (admittedly limited) survey of "modern" devices hasn't identified anything to match it but I continue to hope.

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Microsoft's Automatic Update - the way to browser competition?

AlanGriffiths
Unhappy

Who's is it?

It is annoying enough with Microsoft trying to dictate what runs on my computer (which I paid for), gets downloaded (over my bandwidth), and installed on my hard disk. Now Opera and the EU want to get in on the act too?

I think not.

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Pope praises Galileo, celebrates the Solstice

AlanGriffiths

Why apologise to Galileo?

Galileo picked a fight with several cardinals and the pope on various grounds and notably by insisting that the burden of proof lay with those that maintained the established view that the Earth didn't move rather than those that supposed with Copernicus that it moves.

The Roman Catholic church took the very reasonable view that the established view fitted scripture and this was accepted as correct in the absence of proof of the movement of the Earth. Galileo had no such proof, and experiments of the time - such as attempts to measure stellar parallax - indicated he was wrong.

When proof was forthcoming, the church reinterpreted scripture to fit.

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Microsoft jump starts IE 8 with community push

AlanGriffiths

@mattmoo

"Why is it accecptable to have to test in opera, safari and firefox and not in internet explorer? Given that IE has the biggest market share, should we not get it working in IE and then worry about the others?"

Because most (not all) problems seen in opera, safari and firefox are down to mistakes in the page that can be corrected by reference to the standards documentation. That allows me to correct the errors in my code.

Once my errors are eliminated, the remaining problems caused by browser bugs have to be worked around by searching the web for workarounds and experimentation.

Starting with IE is harder, because there are so many browser issues that the cause of each problem is less clear and the appropriate approach to solving it is less clear.

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Microsoft goes open source - almost

AlanGriffiths
Jobs Horns

The Devil is in the details

It is hard to assess this until we see terms under which information is being made available. We've seen plenty of "promises" in the past that imposed unrealistic burdens on potential users.

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Experience overcomes Microsoft's broken promises

AlanGriffiths
Stop

Planning to fail?

Attributing locations to this type of data is fairly routine in the area I used to work. Almost address validation software should get you most of the way, the postal address file the rest. (And there are plenty of companies that will do the job for you at a reasonable price - you might also get the advice you appear to need on storing spatial co-ordinates.)

But your project depends on this, and you should have addressed it early as an obvious risk.

But, as you note, there are other significant risks to your plan - depending on an unreleased product arriving on time and behaving as you expect. As others have noted, there are other products that exist now. (Even if they don't do everything, you can deliverer something.)

Simply allowing extra time is not usually a good risk management strategy. At best there is an opportunity cost of not delivering early, at worst a competitor takes the market while you are waiting.

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