* Posts by John Robson

1166 posts • joined 19 May 2008

Someone at Subway is a serious security nerd

John Robson
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Re: Subway devs employ security by design

@djack - running an updated custom firmware that my bank deems to be insecure.

Your bank doesn't deem it insecure, they just haven't checked.

And why should they, care I mean. It's the OS - that's the user's responsibility isn't it?

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On yer bike: Hammerhead satnav for cyclists – just don't look down

John Robson
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Re: add audio-comments/updates/street names

@AC - Depending on which shoulder the cyclist looks over

Unless of course the cyclist is using their mirrors. Far more useful than ears IMHO.

Motor vehicle noise doesn't actually tell you much - certainly not in a city where the plethora of junctions would make an audio queue for navigation much more important.

As for motor vehicle drivers, how many of them actually use their mirrors? I frequently sit just behind the offside of cars, watching the drivers face in the wing mirror - In stop start traffic they are generally completely hypnotised by the vehicle in front, absolutely no awareness of anythign around them at all (note I said generally - some do, but more don't than do).

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Trebles all round: The BBC's won this licence fee showdown

John Robson
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Re: Expanded it onto computers...

@Daniel Hutty

There were no posts visible when I posted my comment.

But your "yes" doesn't really help with regard to the iPlayer or everything question.

Other posts (may be yours, I can't see them now that I'm replying) imply that it's iPlayer only.

Oh well. I'll just drop iPlayer from my NowTV box(es).

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John Robson
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Expanded it onto computers...

It has been on computers for a long while - anything watched live is subject to the Licence fee.

Or are they now trying to claim it for on demand content - just iPlayer or anything?

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The Empire Strikes Back: Disney tractor-beams StarWars.co.uk from Brit biz

John Robson
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Re: Or....

@Andrew Richards

I probably agree with you with regard to actively used characters/universes - but there is a huge catalogue of very old material which is no longer developed, most of the relevant creatives are long dead. But full copyright protection still applies.

Of course if you try to define that then you end up with disney releasing pointless and garbage prequels with "characters" like Jar Jar....

But overall I don't see why the creative work in designing a character should be more protected than the billions of pounds of research which go into the development of drugs, or any other technology...

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John Robson
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Re: Cuts both ways...

@FlatSpot...

You'll not that that was a rival, using their name in their own business field.

Rather than this, which is a reseller using the name of the company whose good they are selling - with an obvious redirect to their own site when you select any item.

There is no chance of confusion here...

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John Robson
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Re: Or....

@Andrew Richards

Because copyright was instantiated to protect creative works for a certain time - much the same as patents.

After a time the copyright protection is rescinded, and others can make derivative works. Of course the mouse company then lobbied for extension after extension such that copyright is now for a few centruries after the owners death. Then they register a corporation (which cannot die) as the owner, so that copyright is eternal.

That was not the intention of copyright law.

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Number 5 is alive! VirtualBox the fifth debuts

John Robson
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Re: VirtualBox RPMs have the version number in the package name field

@Richard Lloyd

Is that to prevent accidental updates for the cautious, but more to the point, don't they have virtual packages whci point to the most recent version?

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China wants to build a 200km-long undersea tunnel to America

John Robson
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Surely they'll be

designing this to be a hyperloop, if that tech is also being considered elsewhere...

That makes it 1800mph, rather than 200, which rather changes the travel times...

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Chromecast gains wired Ethernet dongle

John Robson
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Then strip the audio from the HDMI - probaby cheaper to get a telly...

First google link was to amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?keywords=hdmi+sound+extractor

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Linux on the desktop is so hot there's now a fight over it

John Robson
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X1 in a four pack

But I only have one hand...

With Linux server support I could reasonably think about citrix server to the iPad.

It would be ironic really - running citrix reciever on an iPad to connect to a headless Linux box, running a W95 app under Wine...

The X1 mouse would be really nice in that environment...

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Oi, idiot fanbois. DON'T buy this gun-shaped iPhone case, mmkay?

John Robson
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Re: Not good

@MrXavia - The law change was not needed

I didn't say it was..

The level of gun control in the UK is significantly tighter than in the US, and we have far fewer mass shootings.

We also have fewer mass shootings which get stopped early by a concealed carrier in the crowd, but that's probably a compromise worth making.

Dunblane was 20 years ago now. So that's three mass shootings in 30 years (including Cumbria, which IIRC didn't involve a school)?

There are separate wikipedia pages for school shootings and rampage killings in the US (and they exclude things like hate crimes, terrorism, familicide). I'm genuinely shocked at the count

20 Rampage killings in the US since 2000 (i.e. just 15 years)

112 School shootings in the US since 2010 (i.e. just 5 years)

Good to know liberal gun laws are serving you well over there, now about those back taxes... ;)

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John Robson
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Re: Not good

@DJO - imaginary statistics peddled by the NRA

There are two questions to ask the NRA...

How many school shootings have there been in the US since Colombine?

How many school shootings have there been in the UK since Dunblane?

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John Robson
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To be fair to farmers etc, there's often noone else around, so it's not exactly "in public"

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Soyuz source replenishes international space station

John Robson
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Re: Mixed units

I've been known to cut timber to 2m6" before now...

I don't mind mixing units, but elReg has standardised units for a reason...

Pints are, however, the only valid measure for most liquids

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John Robson
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Re: Question for El Reg's space cadets

@Rikkeh

There are alot more features on the man rated rockets, including things like escape pods for launch anomolies, and extra backup systesm (because we tend to think that losing a person is worse than losing their lunch).

Additionally you have a meatsack on board who can try changing things...

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John Robson
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Re: Don't RV in orbit over NZ,....

@OzBob - "koha"

That'd be "tax" then...

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John Robson
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El Reg units...

Come on - what are these pounds - just a cheap shop?

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DDoSers call 1988 and want its routing protocol hacked

John Robson
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Re: RIP v1

@Lost all faith...

TO be fair the article did mention one of the main devices - and also mentioned that the rest are likely devices that have been sat in a home or small office for many years, just doing their job, needing* no attention.

* From the viewpoint of the user.

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Boffins demo 'memcomputer', plot von Neumann's retirement

John Robson
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Re: Given the example shown:

@1980s_coder - can it run Crysis?

No, but it can tell you who will have won... maybe

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UK TV is getting worse as younglings shun the BBC et al, says Ofcom

John Robson
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Re: Surprised

@boltar

Actually - that's true, there are a number of TV's on at work - mostly news channels though...

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John Robson
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Surprised

That live TV is that high still...

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Self/Less: Crap science, eyebrow acting, and immortality for the 1%

John Robson
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The island...

But without the random murder for transplant parts....

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What's black, sticky, and has just 8GB of storage?

John Robson
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Re: Stick form factor

Might need a little bit of design work on the wall wart so it doesn't overhang adjacent plug sockets.

I hate to say this, but the Apple charger format looks pretty good - an inverter/regulator which clips onto the relevant country plug (or at the end of a standard figure8 cable). There must be room in that body to fit a stick form factor, and still have a USB port for charging and/or peripherals.

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Silly Google's Photos app labelled BLACK PEOPLE as GORILLAS

John Robson
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Question?

"However, the question has to be asked: why did Google release such a half-baked app for showtime in the first place?"

That's not a question - they needed test subjects...

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Hi-res audio folk to introduce new rules and weed out impure noises

John Robson
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Re: Dan Lavry

@GaspardWinckler

The reasons for higher rate sampling and higher bit depths is for the recording studio, and for the post processing work.

For final playback - no point at all. For the steps before (and during) the thousands of processing steps which are applied to each track, before those tracks are grouped, down mixed, then processed, grouped and downmixed again, and again, and again....

After all of that you are grateful for the extra bit depth you used initially, the noise floor is still inaudible.

The higher sample rates are primarily used to reduce the cost of analogue filters (required to produce the bandlimited signal for encoding) by allowing a secondary application of a digital filter before downsampling (these filters are *much* cheaper). I imagine there is a minor lower latency benefit for digital processing internally in a live mixer as well...

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John Robson
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Re: This is an IT site

@GasppardWinkler

Archive away - but you still don't need to archive more sound than is audible. CSI "enhance" will still only be possible in hollywood.

The fundamental difference between audio and video is that we can change the spatial resolution of an image (moving or static) by moving it relative to our eyeballs.

When I buy/download/stream music why should I transfer many times more data than I need?

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John Robson
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Re: "a brave person who said that HRA has no audible benefits"

@ Neil Barnes

The reason we run at -18dBFS as our "new zero" is for recording headroom - there is no reason to leave it there when we export the finished article.

So that's 12 bits you can add back on.

The 11 bits for dither noise - I rather suspect that is not true.

On the basis that a guassian dither will allow you to hear a tone at well underneath a single bit of amplitude, albeit with some noise, I struggle to believe that a sane dither would *lose* 11dB of resolution.

There are *extremely* good reasons to oversample as part of the DAC (it makes the analogue side filters much easier for instance) and very good reasons to use higher bit depths (it provides an excellent noise floor and headroom when recording) - but for the product, CD quality is way past most of our hearing capacity...

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John Robson
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@John Geek - "at the nyquist limit (sample rate/2) there's ZERO phase information"

That's simply not true - all the phase information is perfectly preserved by sampling - right up to Nyquist.

There is exactly one band limited signal which passes through all the sample points.

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John Robson
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Re: Nyquist-Shannon

@DN4

A bandwidth limited wave is not necessarily periodic - we show periodic functions (whether sine waves or square waves) as they are easy to demonstrate (you don't need to do time synced overlays).

But a bandwidth limited waveform is purely represented by an appropriate sample rate. Whether it is finite in time or not. The FFT of the waveform would be harder to generate, but we're not trying to.

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John Robson
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Re: First move to lossless CD quality.

@Sebby - Personally I'm of the belief that you can never have too much information.

Can I interest you in my new TV standard - it doesn't just deal with the visible spectrum, but goes all the way to X-Rays...

There is a point at which information is sufficient. At the point where I can perfectly reproduce the full spectrum of visible/audio frequencies with a dynamic range to span 'barely detectable' to 'painful' then I can only add:

- Pain

- Information that is instantly discarded, since the receiver (the eyeball or ear) simply can not deal with it

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John Robson
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Re: "a brave person who said that HRA has no audible benefits"

@TheOtherHobbs - And I know from experience that the difference between a 24-bit master and a downsampled 16-bit master is absolutely and reliably audible.

There are only two ways for this to be the case:

- You are a bat.

- You're not doing it properly double blind.

OK, that's not fair - there is a third way - the 16bit master was mucked around with too much - adding dither noise at each step - that's why we record (ok, also to allow us to be cautious with gain settings) and master at 24bit.

Once mastered there is no reason not to down-sample to 16bit/44k, and every reason *to* do so.

To make it double blind you really need to make sure that your audio signals are at the same level to a ridiculous accuracy - because as salespeople know "louder is better". No really - even stupidly low differences (like 0.2dB, which is not consciously audible btw) show a distinct preference for the louder source.

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John Robson
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Re: Self confessed audiophile

@ Sgt_Oddball

It is possible of course that the Vinyl and CD versions were from different masters, so they will sound different, because they are different performances.

Tape and vinyl both have (and have always had) inherent limitations, which are far more noticeable than a 16 bit limit or a 22 kHz limit ever will be - so yes, I agree, they will sound different.

Now which you prefer is probably based partly on what format you *first* or "most significantly" heard the music from - or even which master you heard most...

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John Robson
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Monty....

This is all that needs to be said, and said much better than I ever could:

http://www.xiph.org/video/vid2.shtml

Oversample for the DAC, have 24bit depth in the studio before 10,000 rounds of autotune (other, useful, effects are available) but the human ear can't deal with more than CD quality - that's why it was defined.

The biggest issue is that all this high def audio will still be overdriven through 30p headphones (even if they are in a £300 case).

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BT: Let us scrap ordinary phone lines. You've all got great internet, right?

John Robson
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Re: One big problem

Mine can - and I've always had *one* plugged in that can, even when I basically only used DECT phones.

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Tim Worstall dances to victory over resources scaremongerers

John Robson
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Re: Vulture

Mic pack for an audience of 8.

If even one of them is Deaf/deaf/hard of hearing and uses a T loop then yes

If you want the video to be usable then yes

If you want to produce an easy transcript then yes

If you are pushing the video/audio to another room for the other attendees, then yes.

I don't see any reinforcement speakers, so I think we can assume that the mic is there for good pickup for other systems - rather than to assist with his vocal projection

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Wake up, sheeple! If you ask Siri about 9/11 it will rat you out to the police!

John Robson
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Depends...

On how Siri is activated. It may well be that the phone's owner is in some way incapacitated, and shouting to siri is their last recourse.

In which case "phone the ${expletive} ambulance" is more likely to be uttered...

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Kamikaze Rosetta probe to ram comet it's chased for billions of miles

John Robson
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Re: Rosetta is cool?

@ Why isn't Roesetta being cooked right now and how will it stay cool enough during the closest approach to the Sun?

Because it's spending much of it's time in the shade, and "it's cold outside, there's no kind of atmosphere"

How long it will survive is an unknown...

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Pint-sized PCIe powerhouse: Intel NUC5i5RYK

John Robson
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Gulliver-like

I presume you mean Brobdingnagian rather than Lilliputian...

Or do you mean Gulliver in Lilliput rather than Brobdingnag?

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Germany says no steamy ebooks until die Kinder have gone to bed

John Robson
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Re: So, Herr Regulator

And the Americans would be happy to oblige, or is that only in Vegas?

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Post Office launches mobe service for aged greybeards

John Robson
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More importantly - does it expire?

'cos if it does it's not prepay, it's just a rolling flexible contract.

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Pew, pew, pew! Sammy shoots out updates to plug mobile keyboard snooping bug

John Robson
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@1908s_coder

No - I feel your pain (still have Android 2.3 on my phone)

But *in this case* the cure is actually likely to be applied via the vulnerability - so it should self close pretty quickly.

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John Robson
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@1980s_coder

Either you're vulnerable since your keyboard downloads updates, and it will be autopatched, or you're not because it doesn't and it doesn't matter...

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At last, switching between rubbish broadband providers now easier

John Robson
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THe MAC (And PAC) were there for a reason...

As a naughty supplier I can just switch you now. No need for any compliance from the customer or the old phone company...

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Reddit joins the HTTPS-only stampede

John Robson
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Re: Third World Security

@Stuart 22

Absolutely agree with you - the level of bloat is ridiculous - but that's where a decent cache, with ad filters etc., can really make a huge difference. Even "large" CSS files tend to be relatively small (cf+ video) and are rarely downloaded (since they can be cached and apply to whole sites for months at a time), so I tend to excuse those ;)

The ongoing story about the education centre in the middle of Australia is a case in point. They have very limited network bandwidth, and poor latency. Having devices at both ends of their "connection" would allow them to filter out the ads and other garbage somewhere where there is good connectivity, and cache the resultant data in the building.

Those two measures maximise the usage of the limited connectivity, shared between many poeple, and even more sessions. The users are still able to go HTTPS when needed, but their experience over HTTP is better, so they'll use that by default for things that don't require the security.

Put everything HTTPS and you can't strip the ads/flash as easily, you can't cache it between users, you just have to eat the data which is shovelled at you, as your connection is overwhelmed.

Put HTTPS as an option by all means, those of us fortunate enough to have large gobs of bandwidth, no caps and limited numbers of users (i.e. reduced opportunity for caching) can then use it and fill up the central pipes with lots of "unreadable" data.

Enforce HTTPS where user data is being sent/recieved.

Leave HTTP as an option for those who need/want it (maybe even with an "HTTPS is available" banner)

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John Robson
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Whilst I see your point I am also very aware that there are places in the world that don't have unlimited power and network bandwidth.

There is a distinct advantage to being able to cache data - HTTPS everything breaks the internet for various locations...

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Raspberry Pi guys want you to go topless in the heat

John Robson
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@45RPM

Of course it's pedantry ;) We are still on El Reg aren't we? ;)

If you have an old Amiga 600 then rip it apart and put a Pi in. There are fairly easy ways to move ports around if you have a case with planety of space (I imagine that even a spectrum case would have enough space) with short extension cables. I know they're not all that cheap, but you probably only need the HDMI one - maybe a Cat5 if you need a wired network - maybe a 3.5mm audio cable. A powered USB hub will be needed for your SATA converter anyway, so that can be mounted near the HDMI output.

I like the look of the old Sun Microsystems disk array cases, so I have a couple with miniITX systems in them. They might get replaced with a PI2 at some point (but they're not in use at the moment anyway...)

But we're talking about "pet" projects now - rather than a mass production case. And aren't pet projects one of the main points of the Pi?

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John Robson
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@45RPM

A case can't provide a SATA interface, it could include a USB/SATA converter, and potentially a powered hub as well..

But USB has finite bandwidth, so you need some awareness of the requirements.

Grab a MiniITX chassis, pop 5V from the PSU to the GPIO (or the USB header if you want), add a USB hub in a 3.5" drive bay and HDMI/Network extension cables to the rear.

Seems like it would fulfill your criterion fairly easily.

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John Robson
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What I want...

@45RPM:

What you want isn't a raspberry pi then...

The ports are where they are, there is no SATA.

I'm sure you could pop it in an ITX case (getting you the various drive slots), add a USB HUB, and push the power in from the ITX PSU.

You could even add a small HDMI extenstion cable and Cat5 extension cable...

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For fax's sake: Medic chaos as e-Referrals system goes offline

John Robson
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Re: Can they NOT cock something up?

Viagra?

It's the one cock-up they would inevitably avoid

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