731 posts • joined Tuesday 10th April 2007 06:11 GMT
You forgot one
... when the maths co-processor was swallowed up and became integral to the main CPU. IIRC this was around the time of the DX (as compared to SX) processors. There wasn't really much (PC) CPU competition about at the time and even for larger systems everything had discrete maths units.
"However I dont hear anybody complaining about pabx mfgrs?"
Alright then... Avaya. Their (management and end user) software is indescribably awful in almost every way and their product retention and support for anything over a couple of years old is along the lines of "what product? don't remember making that!"
Happy now? :p
Re: fn key
Yes, forgotten about them omitting the Windows key for such a long time. That was a real pain that was barely fixed using custom keys.
I agree physically about the keyboards though, the keyboards are generally good quality, although the dumb-arse fn-key positioning is the biggest bug bear for me when moving to use normal keyboard... aside from the damn forward and back navigation keys that I accidently hit all the sodding time of course. Wouldn't be so bad if it was possible to disable these keys without using a shovel load of crock-ware, however the fn key is fixed in a stupid place.
Could be worse - could be the cretinous Logitech (?) keyboards that had a function key lock that default to not using the function keys and instead mapped to dumb "media" functions instead.
E-mail... doesn't matter as long as MS Live, MS Mobile X and whatever else junk are part of MS Lync still work. Ish. Marketing tossers :(
Saw an unrelated MS presentation the other day and *ALL* they ineffectively pushed was MS Live, MS Mobile and MS Lync and how the entire world will be a better place with them. No mention and utter glossing over about what end users and support staff might possibly want - i.e. reliability, accountability and good diagnostics for *when* things go wrong (*).
(*) Because, to be fair, things always do go wrong (not just MS) but it's and damn sight easier when it's more transparent and the logs are present and comprehensible you stand a hope of figuring out the cause. Most problems are relatively simple to fix... as long as you can work out what the problem is.
Keyboard... wonder how coffee proof it is. And "good" to see that the a-holes at Lenovo are persisting in putting the f***ing Fn key in the place of the Ctrl key as usual. Barstards, causes so many problems when switching between Lenovo and normal keyboards.
Sometimes marketing drones should be shot. What next? MS will hire the annoying arses that are responsible for the Halifax ads?
Except... for when the US Pres. turns up on a tour at which point jammers accidently get turned on anyway.
It's not the radiation when you're at Mars that's the problem... it's the radiation on the way to Mars that is.
Mars itself will provide some protection from radiation - not a lot, but a hell of a lot more than a stock space vehicle will. As already noted, living in caves is an easy first step, with rock built structures the next.
Shaking Fist (or just rage, such as purple head spitting). Could be the Flame icon is good enough?
Generic Angel / Demon icons
Balance / scales
Moderatrix - need we say more?
Web 2.0 / marketing fluff
Lizard overlords - so special they need their own icon
Just improving the current icons would be a good start, some a pretty lame.
The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.
WIndows Registry - a bad idea from the offset and the start of a great many problems. However this does not mean that mixing program files and data files is a good idea, just that writing anything into the registry is dumb. Want to recover your application from a failed OS install and your application has written important configuration settings into the registry? Forget it. On the other hand, if the application has *correctly* asked the OS for where it should store data files and put them there, you can easily recover them.
You are completely right about various apps doing stupid fecking things and "requiring" admin rights or at the least any pretence to security removed.
By the way, the MS documentation on where to store where is well over 10 years old, it's just a shame that MS frequently fail to adhere to any of it themselves with their applications. Not right to imply that all the problems are down to 3rd party software though, as a good pile of the problems are embedded within Windows itself.
If you want a real laugh...
Step through some of the calls in a CPU view mode and you'll start to wonder just when you'll ever get to the code that actually does what it's intended to do. There's so much boilerplate (mostly unnecessary) that it feels like 95% of the code is non-constructive - it's no wonder that even with multi-core 3GHz systems with 8GB RAM everything is still so flipping slowwwwwwwww....
No Rob = No Watch
Can't say much more than that... the final series (not the special) was utter drivel. The other series had their ups and downs of course, but the final series had nothing going for it except the grateful realisation when the final episode went past and you realised there were no more.
What kind of C64 is the image at the top of the article? That's *not* a C64 keyboard as I remember them... There are no key graphic symbols, and the Run/Stop and Restore keys are entirely missing (almost fondly remember having to hit that damn Restore key quite hard to get it to work when resetting the system).
And there I was thinking that a lot of these techs, and power generation in general, are still waiting on good electrical storage systems. i.e. Supercapacitors (or whatever the insane rated ones for grid leccy storage would be called) are generally the answer. This way power generation can be more constant, thus more efficient.
Would this be...
Would this be one of the classic jet engine turbine drives? i.e. one that whirs, clunks and whines itself at startup until finally it somehow manages to settle into an amost tolerable noise?
Had to love those old Seagate drives, and just old drives in general. With their assortment of interface types (MFM anyone), disk capacity IDs, and all the general pain of IRQ assignment - want your MFM adaptor card to work at the same time as the serial cards and the keyboard? Get your graph paper out, cross reference the IRQs that each will use and try to find a best fit!
Gave up (seriously) watching Dr Who when they decided to cast as many rubber faced goons as possible as the Doctor. Daft sidekicks have often been a part of the series make up though. Just something that doesn't appear to be want to be yet another lame karate kicking sword fighting pointless Hollywood-style movie remake would be a fine start.
In any case, the scariest thing about some of the older Dr Whos was wondering whether or not the set would collapse on the actors...
@CADmonkey - I used to hate Windows 7
Finding files - I've found the search box in Windows Explorer to be quite useful for simple searches. For anything more complicated (much rarer) the I'd obviously use a better tool.
To fix the explore tree-list operation, in Windows Explorer, click Tools > Folder Options and tick both boxes in the Navigation pane "Show all folders" and "Automatically expand to current folder". That's all it takes to restore a little sanity.
Disturbingly enough, Win 7 out of the box is crippled by the "effects" and other stupdity that effortless turn a fast system into something that feels like it runs like a snail nailed to sandpaper... unfortunately this detritus isn't as easy to find where to turn off. Right click on Desktop, select Personalise, then select "Ease of access centre" (bottom left of window), select "Make the computer easier to see" and in the "Make thing on the screen easier to see" section tick the "Turn off all unnecessary animations (when possible)". Hit OK and all of a sudden your experience will improve immeasurably as no longer are there pointless and annoying delays while Windows fades, slides and expands stuff into and out of view. It's not that nice effects are bad, it's just that they shouldn't make things slower just for the sheer hell of it.
To fix one of the other dumb-ass problems in Windows 7, that of password expiry notifications typically being on screen for around 5ms is, again, to go the "Ease of Access Centre" but this time select "Make it easier to focus on tasks" and change the "Adjust time limits and flashing visuals" and set the drop down box for "How long should Windows notification dialog boxes stay open?" and set it to a sane value - i.e. minutes (don't forget, 5.0 seconds seems to include windows decision and dithering time so the display time is somewhat less than 5.0 seconds).
Likewise, one of the "new features" is that the notification area on the task bar has a whizz bang and utterly useless feature to stop popups. This generally prevents the user from seeing anything important and its implementation makes the entire feature not only pointless but actually a problem. The best option is to just disable the feature. To do this, right click on task bar, select "properties", then click "Customise" in the "Taskbar" tab and in the "Notification Area Icons" page tick the option "Always show all icons and notifications on the taskbar". Now you won't miss sometimes critical notifications.
Start > Run option - this can be restored by going to the same "Taskbar and Start Menu Properties" dialog, clicking on the "Start Menu" tab, clicking the "Customise" button and two thirds of the way through the options is an option to restore the "Run" command to the start menu ("Run command").
Not that there aren't some remaining real ass-hattery things in Win 7, but I've found that with these tweaks it's generally smooth and fast again. The remaining real annoyances are the ludicrous file copy dialogs that tend to spend more time "discovering items" than actually copying and the batshit insane control panel that can now only be used by using the search feature in the explorer window that displays it - not that this search doesn't work well (it does) but it's more clicks and key presses to perform a once fairly rapid task.
@irish donkey - Maybe a schoolboy error
The schoolboy error may be that you did an upgrade. The *only* way you should ever upgrade a Windows OS installation is to slam in a new disk or format the old one and install from scratch.
Not sure if you did though, as I can't remember whether or not it is even possible to do an in place upgrade from Win XP to Win 7...
The "fuzziness" on your screen was almost certainly due to not driving the TFT monitor at it's native resolution (a very common problem). One other possibility may be that it's just the desktop icons that look shite - in this case click on the desktop, hold down the Ctrl key and spin the mouse wheel until the icons look sane again!
Don't start the Comic Sans argument... El Reg's forums will collapse under the weight!!!
@AndrueC / Go do some research. #
So before you start on the personal attacks, think about it first...
You are right about the reliability, SPD and your ISP's server getting blacklisted, but this is only part of the problem
Do you know how many ISPs only allow their own addresses through and nothing else? Some do allow anything but many block anything except their own addresses.
How about when you don't want to use the ISP provided e-mail address?
Nobody *sane* uses an ISP provided e-mail address - what about when you want to change ISP, your ISP goes under or some other drama? Suddenly you have to change e-mail addresses, and if you're foolish enough to be a business that's using an ISP's e-mail address not only do all your contacts have to change your e-mail address but you have to reprint stationary as well...
Webmail is, of course, the answer to many problems and as dubious as some find them, gmail, hotmail, yahoo mail, etc do provide a non ISP specific e-mail address and the upshot is that you don't have to use a local mail client as well.
Why don't they lobby for less of the red-tape madness that is hamstringing UK businesses - especially the small ones that are the bedrock of UK business?
That and the "if you save money for a rainy day or to expand in the future, we'll tax the buggery hell out of it. Go get a loan from a bank instead"
One of these days...
One of these days somebody will produce an OS as clean and easy to use as the old Amiga OS (before the "magic" UI and other stuff took over that is). The OS rendered your application, including the buttons controls and everything. As a developer you just provided event handlers to the button presses and any custom rendering required. It was simple, efficient and applications remained largely efficient and consistent.
It wasn't all good, of course, but it was a very good start. Applications tended to (want to) become more complicated than the OS would allow and they would sometimes start to take over the OS's tasks on their own as a result, but as a principle it was good.
I still miss the lack of damn drive letters, obscure mount points and other arcane chicanery as everything was just assign points. The first versions of the OS didn't scale this concept too well but later revisions improved the handling considerably. Being able to access your application's assign point on the file system and not caring whether it was a diskette, CD, obscure mount point within the directories on a hard disk or even a remote file system was a delightful way to handle files. Libraries were handled by the OS and versioning was the norm - it could still lead to library (DLL in windows land) hell but unlike early Windows handling of such libraries it was manageable.
Single threaded event driven programming...
Single threaded event driven programming is new?
No wonder I've been going so wrong when programming PLCs all these years...
10% - not too bad considering that (for low volume merchants), it's not significantly higher than the levies imposed by credit card companies but with the addition of providing the infrastructure as well.
If you're a larger organisation or have different payment profiles / risk factors you can of course get rather better than 10% from credit card companies, but for low value transactions it's probably not too bad.
Better than 30% anyway - intriguing time to release it so shortly after Apple though.
Religion is nothing more than a mechanism, one among many, for foisting your preferences onto others. You are also very correct though that even the supposed lack of belief, atheism, is guilty of this.
There is a *very* good point though which is stated but not made clear in that these major religions are based around caring and respect - murdering people is not exactly part of this remit. They are also based around spreading their faith to the exclusion of other faiths - which in logical terms is essential to the survival of a religion but generally contradictory to the caring and respect aspects but such things as utter lack of logic and contradictions are what most faiths are made of.
If you take a step back and look at these things in a broader picture, religions are or have been very good at keeping societal cohesion which is critical for the development of civilisation. They're not the only mechanism though, laws, class structures, education, nationhood and the like are others, but they are an important factor. And this comes right back to the first point - it's all about control and foisting your opinion on others.
Fleshies... tend to get in the way with their need for oxygen, pressurised environments, heating/cooling and their abject failure to withstand violent high-G maneouvers.
I would say that I welcome our robotic plane overlords but due to their stealth tech I can't see them to welcome them...
Bucks roads have been appalling for years. A long time ago, in order to "save (short term) costs" they basically gave up on preventative maintenance. Anything to keep the poll tax down...
The result is that you know damn quick as soon as you get into roads that are, ahem, "maintained" by Bucks CC as the road changes in quality instantly. I've seen cyclists and motorcyclists have accidents directly as a result of these holes and the number of cars that require suspension / balancing / tyre work has gone up markedly as well - your local grease monkey installation will confirm this for you.
Some districts in Bucks are worse than others, but in general they're appalling with holes left for months before being dealt with.
Hard to find?
Had sets of these for ages - little more than £4 from the average supermarket's hardware aisle and you can get sets of security bits that cover all these crazy security screws. A more premium £15 set and you get around 50 different interchangeable heads in one convenient package.
Computer kit that we can't get into? Not likely... mine's the one with the assorted screws and bolts in the pocket that ought to have gone back into the laptop but there didn't appear to be any holes left...
Collective nouns for conspiracy theorists
A government of conspiracy theorists? Or perhaps a parliament of them (but that's already taken by crows)
...don't forget the tech effect
...don't forget the tech effect - after all, these things have to start somewhere. Effectively forcing hard-up competing nations to blow even more cash at a time when they ought to be saving it is a great strategy.
And as for the tech, doubtless parts of the odd crashed stealth plane are already in PRC hands, therefore there's a start somewhere. It's far easier to learn from others and to improve on it than it is to do all the hard work yourself. Besides, just like a space program, the filtering down of research into other industries is invaluable. Who cares if the first plane is especially stealthy? The lessons learnt from it will help the next one, and so on. Keep it cheap and don't try to invent something spectacular and unwieldy in the first iteration (e.g. something that leaks fuel on the ground) and improvements will come.
Title / plot?
Title / plot? Why worry?
The title just needs to key in a few buzzwords and as for the plot... who cares? It'll be a hammy bad guy who calmly tells his nefarious scheme to Bond et al before leaving them in an easy to escape situation to later wreak havoc in his plans for world domination.
The important things are the girls, the cars and gadgets, the odd one liner quip and stunts that aren't so stupid that they rely on oodles of CGI - the latter is something that unfortunately the most recent films have suffered from.
"If it must be a Ford, what's the equivalent? a Pinto?"
Renault Twinkle ^H^H^H^H^H^H Twingo. Quite possibly the worst vehicle I've ever had the misfortune to drive...
High revving (with no power), vomit inducing suspension, an interior that a cheap Taiwanese 1980s stero knock-off would be ashamed of for some odd reason, a speedo that's so far out of the driver's line of site you're liable to hit something when checking your speed. Not a problem really though as anything faster than 50mph sets off a vomit inducing roll.
Never been travel sick when driving before :)
They look awful as well, so very good cars for precious first-borns :)
While MS Outlook is, in general, appalling and hasn't changed noticeably since the '97 release (many of the old bugs and stupidities are still in there), the lack of really good alternatives is shocking.
Yes, there are alternatives, but not very many and most really aren't that good. Often these alternatives miss vital functionality, such as "native" MS Exchange access (yes, the point of this is not lost) or appalling calendaring functions or calendar functions that just aren't integrated enough or as well as Outlook integrates its calender.
The end result is that until a good and viable alternative comes along most business users are stuck with MS Outlook, not just because of the vendor lock in but because, despite everything, it is better than the alternatives.
Not just AV that freezes a system...
Not just AV that freezes a system...
Windows Update does that as well, but due to the slightly "interesting" way that CPU usage is registered your PC will be running at an utter crawl but will happily inform you that it's only using 15% CPU usage.
Other than that there's the (still) pathetic optical drive access in a wintel PC that causes a system to stop while reading, or attempting to read a disc.
Back onto the AV problem - wasn't there an article from MS at some point regarding the caused behind BSODs? No 1 was AV software, No 2 was device drivers. Most AV writers like to make sure they don't crash the system or even use too much CPU otherwise a user will start to get suspicious.
@Ian Michael Gumby / you dont have to be a citizen of the country to break the law...
"you dont have to be a citizen of the country to break the law..."
Yes you do, or you at least have to be living in that country at the time. That's the point and scope of laws, they're only applicable to certain geographical areas. In case you haven't figured it out yet, "Team America - World Police" was a film lampooning the absurd attitude that some US citizens have that their Puritan laws apply outside the borders of the US.
You *personally* are, almost without any doubt, a criminal according to a lot of laws around the world. In effect, would you agreee to being personally shipped to *every* country in the world - all of who's laws are, regardless of your personal preferences, legally as valid as where you happen to be born to live and tried according to local laws and customs?
Getting there... but I'd really like a nice, simple all in one device that has frevview HD (DVB-T2) and built in DVD (or even Blu-ray, but don't care too much) with recording a nice but not required extra.
This device will then remove the need for a separate ugly decoder box, a separate DVD/Blu-ray player and the mess of Scart and power cables that inhabit the spaces between such setups. i.e. it'll then be ideal for a bedroom or somewhere else where you don't have a dedicated cabinet to hide the mess behind the TV.
Sounds similar to the vulnerability in connecting firewire devices as they have DMA as well therefore have free reign over the address space. IIRC some deep diagnostics tools are firewire based for this reason.
Running your own code in a co-processor is rather more sophisticated of course though. Wonder when the same will happen on graphics cards?
That'll be as good as the internal US flight I was on a few months ago where I nearly smashed the cheap'n'nasty screen embedded in the back of the seat in front of me that wouldn't show anything other than adverts unless you swiped your credit card and paid to watch something (doubtless little better than the adverts).
Luckily, for me or the screen, not sure which - I found some tape and heavy card (i.e. static advertising) that blocked the screen nicely.
Bah! The real scientists are still arguing about the exact temperature of absolute temperature and what weird (i.e. interesting) things might happen at that temperature.
Measuring something at that temperature would imply warming it up and it gets steadily more messy from there...
Why? Because in case they haven't noticed, we're in a middle of a recession, everybody's just bought new TVs for the latest "in thing" (HD) and now they want us to spunk thousands more on new sets that typically don't have anywhere near as good a picture qualtiy as the sets we've just bought and have lots of inconvenient problems with them... i.e. very little content, no real standards in place and the content that there is out there is either the ghastly "throw things at the viewer" type or the hacked up "more 3D than real life" abortion that is Sky Sports 3D.
Our broadcast systems are still suffering with the con whereby the move to Digital gave us lots of channels all with piss poor picture quality (due to the limited bandwidth available to each channel and the cost of it from the suppliers let alone the politics that are involved). Then the broadcasters launched HD where, without adding much extra capacity did the bandwidth come from? By lowering the bit rate of the SD channels and thereby making the difference more marked than it should be - same old trick that was performed with CD and the poor quality plastics that suddenly started being used in vinyl records.
Now we have 3D channels into the mix where something also has to give due to the bandwidth restrictions... either other channels, the refresh rate of the frames, or the quality of the frames/audio. Stiched up? bet we are!
Sky isn't about to launch lots more satellites to provide more broadcast bandwidth right now - due to economic their play is likely to have to be Internet supplied content as it's the only real way they can compete in the long term.
In theory Virgin Media has the infrastructure in place, albeit with costly upgrades to a lot of kit required but good chunks of this can be accounted for in the steady churn of consumer units that only have a few years operational reliability in them anyway (this isn't a dig at VM, it's normal for kit). VM's strength is that they own the deployment infrastructure therefore it can be upgraded to suit their requirements - shame about their weaknesses... the problems still caused by multiple "competing" companies being merged and their still atrocious customer support... and their regular spats with Sky.
Freeview has much cheaper infrastructure upgrade potential however due to the piecemeal way the standards were flung out there and the short sighted initial vision consumers are left with poorly performing kit that's practically obsolete by the time it arrives. Couple this with advert blighted EPGs and it's not a nice environment for the end consumer.
Re: What does Lord Sugar know about copyright?
Yes, copyright does vary globally and from market to market.
However, check this: http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/protect/p07_music_copyright for an idea as to how it applies to music in the UK.
Not real rew news
Not real new news to me... having been dealing with these companies and professional poker players and clubs for the last 5-6 years, it's been known about for ages.
Most serious players haven't touched the online games for years because they know that they're full of bots. The bots on their own are "skilled" players, however when you have multiple bots (from the same farm) on a table the odds are much more stacked in their favour as they share information and can play off each other.
Dull, tedious, plot-hole ridden and preaching
Dull, tedious, plot-hole ridden and preaching... that's what we decided after giving up half way through the second season from boredom.
From moronic military "pros" who never communicated, to religious-babble and more pointless flashbacks and tedious sub-plots. Many episodes precisely bugger all happened and after a few of these and missing the odd one we just gave up watching it at all. Given how daft the later espisodes and the final season in particular got, just as well.
Of course, this view will offend those who can see no wrong but that's opinion for you. Apparently some people enjoy Eastenders.
Bugger me... just when did timers become so yesterday? So hard to develop, it's not as if every damn electronics play set has timer circuits as one of the first things to build. The timer could even be started at a certain air pressure - this would prevent the bomb going off somewhere inconvenient, like on the gound.
Curly wires attached to a couple of sausages and a countdown timer that stops at 1 second are optional of course.
US engineers using SI? Not from experience they don't.
UK engineers tend to use SI though, however this also varies by their age.
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