63 posts • joined Wednesday 2nd April 2008 17:32 GMT
How different it could have been
I think if Windows 8 had maintained compatibility with the existing Windows 7 desktop, but also offered the "Metro" desktop as an alternative. Nobody would have hesitated to upgrade.
Also I note all this guff about Windows 8 is doing great "look at our sales of Windows 8 licences" is because the only Enterprise license you can buy today is a Windows 8 license. So if your going to deploy 2000 Windows 7 desktops, you need to buy 2000 Windows 8 licenses.
Atlas Virtual memory never catch on
I joined the University of London Computer Centre (ULCC) in about 1972, which had moved on from Atlas to Control Data 6400, 6600 and 7600. Most of the people I worked with had worked on Atlas.
I understand that many of the patents from Atlas passed eventually to ICL, who let the Atlas patent laps on Virtual memory, after all with machine memory then getting as big as 32K, why would you need it.
In 1978 the VAX 11/780 with a massive 128K of memory supporting 12 interactive users re-introduced us to Virtual Paged memory, and I suspect never paid a dollar in royalties for Virtual Memory usage.
There is a time and a place
This reminds me of the Oil worker flying in to Algeria. When asked by airport security if he had a criminal record, he replied "I didn't know it was a requirement".
It took him 6 more hours to gain entry to the country.
I was driving down the M4 when some 10 miles from any junction my Garmin announced "Turn Right!", given that option would have required me driving into the crash barrier I ignored it. It then went into a "recalculating" and proceeded to allow me to continue on the motorway.
I think it was board!
Automated smut filters
I had a problem in trying to book into a London hotel from my US HQ. The confirmation kept being dumped by the smut filter. It was so bad that it went straight in the bin without notifying me that it had been filtered.
This happened when I sent the confirmation from my personal system to the company system. In the end we captured the very dirty message and indeed it was just a hotel booking confirmation. It turned out that the designer of the WEB site had named all the image files used to render the pictures of the hotel TIT001.jpg and by the time the smut filter got to TIT003.jpg it was just too many T*Ts for it to take.
If you could just go to web site enter your license details, and download a digital certificate allowing you to watch TV the BBC could rid itself of all the geo location stuff as it knows its sending its programmes to a license payer
I suggest Google just supply Knuth's "Art of Computer programming" as prior art, or even call him as an expert witness. If they don't know who he is they can always Google him
Just for Fun
I think I will buy the Nokia MeeGo phone when it comes out. Not because I want one but just to screw up Nokia and Microsoft.
It would be fun if this phone turned out to be a market leader
VAX - Just how wrong can you be
Interesting that you should consider VAX not Gordon's best work, and lacks elegance. Well as somebody who wrote device drivers for DEC in the first days of the VAX and for 10 years on PDP 11 I for one consider the VAX some of Gordon's best work.
While the PDP had an elegant instruction set you still wrote code for the hardware.
The major step forward on the VAX was that the hardware was designed for the operating system. Take a look at how the Exchange/Jump instructions work and you will find hardware that automatically dumped process context onto the stack or the process header. Suddenly when you called a subroutine/function the interface was through a hardware instruction that put the calling parameters into a frame on the call stack. The hardware was so integrated with the software that when we upgraded from VMS 1.0 to 2.0 we changed all the CPU boards.
Next lets look at Virtual memory, in 1978 we were in an office with 8 users running all the packet network development code, with one 11/780 which had 256K of memory. It was still quicker than we got from our 11/70 running RSX-11M+.
The VAX took DEC from a small computer company to a monolith that didn't know how to spend its money. There are many reasons to show why DEC got it wrong, but VAX/VMS was not one of them.
Though the PDP 11 was my first love after programming a CDC 6600, VAX/VMS was spectacular with an instruction set that made high level languages obsolete. It was only later when we returned to MIPS/INTEL/RISC/ALPHA hardware, that we lost the wonders of the 11/780 instruction set.
selling the cloud
Back in the early 90's I was trying to sell the benefits of Microsoft and Unix servers to Legal and General.
The IT manager listened to my pitch and agreed that it was the way to go, but it will never replace the mainframe.
Asking why not he said "Simple the mainframe heats the swimming pool".
But I thought
Haven't the EU and UK clearly set a legal framework that says that an IP address owner is clearly guilty as everybody knows that an IP address identifies its owner.
The Crew will be happy
I have a friend who was a senior member of the crew on an early Star Wars movie. As I understand that every time they re-release the movie the cast and crew receive the same pay they got for the first movie. This will make a nice retirement bonus.
I filled my car up on the M4 in Reading and paid by credit card. I then drove to White Waltham in Maidenhead and flew a private plane to Northern France. When I tried to pay for lunch on the same credit card I was told it was refused.
Later in the day I got a call from the credit card company to say somebody had tried to use my card in Northern France after use in Reading. I said yes it was me. I was told it was impossible for me to have been in Reading at 8:00am and Northern France by 1:00pm so I explained.
I was not unhappy that they refused my card, just used another one, but was very impressed with the fact that they noticed that a transaction was suspect.
So if credit card companies can do it why not Cell phone Networks.
The HP VMS mag has been known as PING for many years. Now delivered on-line rather than "dead tree format" by logging into the members E-PING account.
Swindon still likes its mobile speed traps
Last year the speed limit on our local road was dropped from 40mph to 30mph despite there having been no accidents on this stretch of road recorded.
The reason was to protect children walking to school, thats fair, but they changed the limit about three months before knocking down the school.
Now, because of the hill into town every week we see a mobile speed camera setup on a motorbike which is part of the Swindon camera partnership.
In fact these guys appear to be getting very good at finding target rich environments for speeding motorists.
This reminds me of the guy asked by Algerian border guards if he had a criminal record.
His response of "I didn't know it was a requirement" ensured that it took the guards 6 hours to process him into the country.
There are lots of these flying, they fall into the microlight category we have one at our local club
Look its simple
I think this problem is confined to Apple users and all they have to do is put their finger in the other ear to stop the light getting through.
news.bbc.co.uk international edition
I fail to understand why when your outside the UK (or inside on a none UK network) you are delivered an International(USA) version of the BBC news website.
Why can't the BBC news site just be one version, the UK one.
I listen to Internet radio via my Logetech Squeezbox, specifically 6 music. In fact I see no reason why all radio cannot be delivered in this way.
Add to that that using the internet its possible to go beyond stereo to 5.1 surround sound.
I think the reason that the BBC hasn't moved to real sound broadcast on the internet is because it would kill DAB stone dead.
This is not going to end well
The way that this is going is not good for the BCS or its members.
I can imagine in future going to an interview and being asked "Are you or have you ever been a member of the BCS", in the style of the McCarthy communist hearings in the US.
Maybe it would be better to make it a secret society.
21CN just hope they make the deadline
Microsoft has leaned that calling products by their year of issue can cause problems when you end up shipping in the last months of the year.
I just hope that BT manage to ship 21CN in the 21st century.
Yes our local exchange was going to be upgraded in 2009, but alas we are still connected to 20CN.
I don't think A&A are doing this as a PR stunt, reading their status page you get an impression that the 21CN upgrade is constantly producing major BT outages, which BT consider acceptable collateral damage by changing the rules by which an ISP can report line latency faults.
BT appear to be taking the view that once they have performed an upgrade of an exchange that as long as everybody is still connected then "thats good enough for government work" even if new subscribers to 21CN may be worse off than being connected to 20CN.
"So what exactly is it you want"
Well we want an id card so we can easily identify a UK citizen.
"Ok that's easy photo id should come out at about £30 per user"
Well I wondered if we could add some other stuff on the card, say with a smart chip?
"Yes that's easy we use them for banks so no real problem, what exactly do you want?"
Well we want a digital photo, retinal image data, finger print, DNA id, social security number, address, date of birth, ethnic origin, Police National Computer Id, HMRC Id, driving license number, bank account details, employment status, security clearance and if possible twitter id, facebook id and recent google search data.
"That may be difficult without a central database."
OK lets have a central database that draws all this data together so that we can really identify our UK citizen.
What do you think thats going to cost?
"Well lets start with a ball park of £20K per card.
Will anybody notice?
The description of the service during the strike sounds exactly the service we get now.
Our local Exchange is set for upgrade in Q4 2009 but no update on when this will actually happen.
Next door recently asked BT to take down their phone line, from the pole across the street while building work took place, which they did, but BT refused to reconnect them as they said that the pole was below legal height.
When I had broadband put in by BT the engineer after climbing the same pole told me that there was a line fault on one of the poles in the street, but as he was an installation engineer he was only allowed to look at the pole linked to the property. We then had to wait for "Poles" to arrive so they could check out the poles in the street. When this failed to find a fault we then had to wait for another engineer to go into the street box. By the end of the day 6 different BT vans and lorries had visited.
Hang on a minute
I bet that David Blunket got his card, along with other members of the then great and the good, as part of the initial roll out.
I bet no £30 changed hands in order for him to get his card.
So first I would like "proof of purchase" , if not then.....
His assertion that he will sue for his 30 quid back is obtaining money by false pretences.
Which is standard on last years Members of Parliament.
HMRC are good as well
I like the one that I get from the Inland Revenue which nearly says "Dear Valued Customer" by adding "Regards" at the end of the mail. I just try and remember the last time HMRC gave me money.
I think the idea is to deport all the G's starting with Gary and then Gordon
"Warm up the ICBM's in the bull pen and....set the legal team to kill"
So we are just one step away from Ipad running Linux (LOL).
I suspect that Adobe will be the next to contribute to the effort.
Met office need to get out more
So lets see Ash in the air can cripple civil aviation, and lose it zillions a day.
Add to that that the RAF can't fly as they all use fancy jet engines. So that the air space undefended then.
What is the response, one aircraft hastily fitted with sensors that flew 4 flights the first of which didn't even find the cloud as they were using Met office data as to where it would be.
Meanwhile the Met office dust off some software they developed in 1986 to track fallout.
Well I suppose we are lucky that the cloud of ash wasn't radioactive this time, otherwise the whole country would be shut by the Met office.
This is only going to get worse
While I wonder how many users are using the "Linux" capability, I do know that for a friend of mine it was the "tipping point" in his buying decision. Something like well the kids can play games and if I want I can run Linux on it.
The interesting problem for any supplier is that Amazon, if the story is true, do appear to have put a £80 price tag on the loss of this functionality, and as such have opened the flood gates for anybody owning this particular PS3 to go get their refund from their supplier. Clearly if everybody who own one of these get their £80 pounds back companies like Amazon will extract their losses from Sony.
Their is a worry that as more consumer goods get wired up to the "INTERNET" to get "the latest update" the product you bought will change. Some of this is going to be good, like since the firmware update my washing machine will open the door at the end of the wash cycle. Some will be bad like my Sony TV will no longer receive BBC1 Watchdog as its considered a security risk by Sony.
While I do feel that in this case the manufacturers product functional description have proved as solid as a Labour Party Manifesto. I also feel that the consumer should have some direct recourse to the manufacturer if he feels that the product as sold has been "damaged" by a software update.
Very sad news
Like most older IT people Guy helped us migrate from punch cards and paper tape to the new world of the PC via the ZX80, Spectrum and BBC micro.
As an avid reader of PCW before the WWW was invented I enjoyed his writing even if at times I totally disagreed with his analysis.
Guy will be greatly missed because he actually knew what he was writing about.
Give me a reason to have one
I had a meeting with my solicitor the other day and before we could start he needed two forms of iD. Passport, Driving License and/or a utility bill.
Passport yes I have one.
Driving License....paper one no use.
Utility bill....that was difficult as most are online, but luckly the water rates are still stuck in the 20th century and use dead tree format.
UK ID card........not an option. Solicitor's view if you've got one its probably a forgery.
Dog ID cards
Yes totally agree that all dogs should have an id chip.
But as the owner of three flatcoats who once greeted a "burglar" that climbed in through a downstairs window with their favourite soft toys, to play with, I am not happy with 3rd party Insurance, just see it as a "Labour Dog Tax".
Also as one of our dogs is a registered "Pets as Therapy" dog, who spends her time visiting old people's homes, one wonders what her liability is.
History in the making
There is something very wrong with the BBC. They are happy to overspend £1.05 billion on Broadcasting House, but not £8 million on 6Music.
I for one would prefer my TV tax money was spent on a radio station not on a failed property development company.
Lets put Radio 1 on DABS and 6 music on FM.
Smug mode on
I just hope that the when they call the fired contractor who is the only person who knows how to make this system works he charges the £100K for the days work it takes to put it back online.
Brings back memories
When I worked with RBS in the late 90's the only way you could get data into or out of the "Mainframe" was via connect direct.
This would suggest that the Connect Direct service(server) fell over on the MF and no other system could feed it or drink from it.
Look I think we are all be being a bit harsh at this time of goodwill to all men.
We should think of the all the poor guys who are shovelling the coal into the boilers that drive this website.
PF Stuck in the 20th Century
It just confirms what we all suspected that PF is stuck in the 20th Century. I think we should all be thankful that the IBM 360 that they run their payment system on supports XP.