Feeds

* Posts by David Beck

264 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

Page:

Stalwart hatchback gets a plug-in: Volkswagen e-Golf

David Beck

Re: Same old - Nokia Phones

Yes, E52 in hand. Still my travel phone since the maps are on the mSD card and battery will last a week.

0
0

Listen: WORST EVER customer service call – Comcast is 'very embarrassed'

David Beck

Re: Just refuse to discuss it

Often the CS prologue says "The call may be recorded, ...". I take that to mean I am allowed to record the call. If they mean something else they should use less ambiguous language.

1
0

Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises

David Beck

Re: @milesy and others who think corporate users get to configure their kit

Is that before or after the corporate IT guy images the official config on your Mac? I don't remember doing much work on the configuration of my corporate PC/laptop over the past 24 years. In fact I distinctly remember not being allowed to makes config changes or in some cases, able to make changes.

2
0

Unisys cozies closer to Intel, 'sunsets' proprietary processor

David Beck

Re: Emulation?

In the case of the Dorados this includes arithmetic. Intel=32/64 bit twos complement, Unisys 1100=36/72 bit ones complement.

The Libras have equivalent challenges with what was originally hardware word typing (I think four type bits per word) but at least the words were multiples of 8 bits and the arithmetic was twos complement.

This might explain their reluctance to describe it in detail.

0
0

Why won't you DIE? IBM's S/360 and its legacy at 50

David Beck

Re: Speaking of remembering

@Earl Grey -

LCS, I think little old ladies with needles, threading cores.

Note that S/360 could be programmed from the panel as well, you just had to write in machine code, in hex, a bit like kick starting a PDP8.

BTW, Fred Brookes got the job managing S/360 since he did so well on a special project for a 7000 Series "super computer", the 7030, better known as Stretch. Some of the 7000's were a bit compatible with each other I think, at least used the same data format, 36-bit words, one's compliment integers, 7090 and 7094 were sort of compatible. There were all sorts of 70x0 machines that weren't though.

I spent a bad summer working on old Fortran code which ran perfectly on a 7094 and not at all on a model 50.

0
0
David Beck

Re: Eventually we stripped scrapped 360s for components.

@RobHib-The odd memory was probably the size of the memory available for the user, not the hardware size (which came in powers of 2 multiples). The size the OS took was a function of what devices were attached and a few other sysgen parameters. Whatever was left after the OS was user space. There was usually a 2k boundary since memory protect keys worked on 2k chunks, but not always, some customers ran naked to squeeze out those extra bytes.

0
0
David Beck

Re: Maintenance

It all comes flooding back.

A long CCW chain, some of which are the equivalent of NOP in channel talk (where did I put that green card?) with a TIC (Transfer in Channel, think branch) at the bottom of the chain back to the top. The idea was to take an interrupt (PCI) on some CCW in the chain and get back to convert the NOPs to real CCWs to continue the chain without ending it. Certainly the way the page pool was handled in CP67.

And I too remember the dumps coming on trollies. There was software to analyse a dump tape but that name is now long gone (as was the origin of most of the problems in the dumps). Those were the days I could not just add and subtract in hex but multiply as well.

0
0
David Beck

Re: 16 bit byte?

The typo must be fixed, the article says 6-bit now. The following is for those who have no idea what we are talking about.

Generally machines prior to the S/360 were 6-bit if character or 36-bit if word oriented. The S/360 was the first IBM architecture (thank you Dr's Brooks, Blaauw and Amdahl) to provide both data types with appropriate instructions and to include a "full" character set (256 characters instead of 64) and to provide a concise decimal format (2 digits in one character position instead of 1) 8-bits was chosen as the "character" length. It did mean a lot of Fortran code had to be reworked to deal with 32-bit single precision or 32 bit integers instead of the previous 36-bit.

If you think the old ways are gone, have a look at the data formats for the Unisys 2200.

0
0
David Beck

Re: Virtualisation

S/360 Model 67 running CP67 (CMS which became VM) or the Michigan Terminal System. The Model 67 was a Model 65 with a DAT box to support paging/segmentation but CP67 only ever supported paging (I think, it's been a few years).

2
0
David Beck

Re: Ahh S/360 I knew thee well

There are people who worked on Galileo still alive? And ACP/TPF still lives, as zTPF? I remember a headhunter chasing me in the early 80's for a job in OZ, Quantas looking for ACP/TPF coders, $80k US, very temping.

You can do everything in 2k segments of BAL.

0
0
David Beck

Re: Maintenance

So true re the service costs, but "Field Engineering" as a profit centre and a big one at that. Not true regarding having to buy "complete" systems for compatibility. In the 70's I had a room full of CDC disks on a Model 40 bought because they were cheaper and had a faster linear motor positioner (the thing that moved the heads), while the real 2311's used hydraulic positioners. Bad day when there was a puddle of oil under the 2311.

2
0

Click here to BEAT OFF David Cameron's web SMUT ban

David Beck

Re: Why

Makes you think that a number of the comment makers here are not the bill payer. And I agree if the majority turn off the filters it sends real message.

2
0

Google slips Chromecast stick into SAUCY new partner: HBO Go

David Beck

Re: Not in the UK then....

Right, the work isn't done until the reptiles stop slithering.

0
0

MANUAL STIMULATION: Whack me with some proper documentation

David Beck

Here here

I am now the proud? owner of four email addresses for TomTom since I manage the family's four GPS boxes.

1. TomTom allow one account to manage one GPS

2. TomTom do not allow "+" convention in the email address

Morons^2

0
0

Slip your SIM into a plastic sheath, WIPE international call charges

David Beck

Re: What happens when you are outside the UK?

Replying to myself, I just found the FAQ for the service.

"Most operators will provide the option to take your ‘bundled’ minute abroad ..."

This is of course completely wrong, most UK operators do not provide this. So they are assuming the punter is too thick to know or notice. They further suggest that even without these cheap (non-existent) minutes, it's still cheaper if you are calling outside the EU. Huh? I missed the part about how you can control the routing of the call, I was busy reading the part about how you didn't have to do anything for the call to automatically route via the service.

Looks like they almost have a product if you don't look too carefully, don't travel or always use local SIMs when you do.

0
0
David Beck

What happens when you are outside the UK?

Last time I looked at these things (they are not new), the problems were -

1) if you were not in your home country, they either didn't work at all or you got charged twice,once for the call to the interception company and then by that company for the call to the final number and

2) if they only intercepted "international" calls they used "+" as the trigger. All of my contacts have the numbers recorded with the full number, that is all UK numbers start "+44", for obvious reasons if you spend much time travelling.

If one of the suppliers would like to comment I appreciate, it took a couple days of phone calls to get the above info the first time (about a year ago).

0
0

Can't fit slab AND mobe in your tight pockets? 10 tablets with built-in 3G/4G

David Beck

Missing the bargain Lenovo A3000

Your researcher missed the Lenovo A3000 (replacement for the A2107A). The A3000 fixes all of the problems with the A2107A except screen res, still 1024x600), but the CPU is now quad and all of the internal memory available for apps (about 13GB after system loads). Front and back cameras, OTG support, BT keyboard support and under the back cover, a microSD slot supporting SDXC as well as SDHC, and two SIM slots. Why two? In the Asian market one slot can be used for voice as well as SMS and the other for data. In the UK voice is missing but the slot still works for SMS. Data is HSPA+, my local tower gets me 17Mbps. While this is a descent spec 7in tablet the most interesting thing is you can buy it from Very for £150, I did. Beats the crap out of £320, unless you're like CNET and fixated on resolution. It's on Android 4.2.2 and Lenovo have issued 3 OTA updates, one big one "fused" two internal partitions into one big one to fix the app storage limits. Now if they would just issue one with the voice support in the kernel all would be well (there are still bits of voice support hiding in the UI).

0
0

Unisys cranks Xeon mainframe oomph above legacy CMOS iron

David Beck

Re: These guys seem to get that it's *all* about being able to run that legacy software

"Given that I doubt the mainframe register sets map very well onto the x*^ architecture this is a stunning achievement."

Amen to that, for the MCP machines they are emulating a machine where each word (I think 48bits) has a descriptor of n bits describing the current state of the word, as in - uninitialized, integer, instruction part, floating point part, characters, ... but at least the basic unit is 8bits and the arithmetic twos complement.

For the OS 2200 machines they are emulating the architecture of the 1100 series, which started life as an IBM 7094 alike, not an exact copy but similar architecture, 36bit words, one's complement arithmetic (for you non-computer people that means there is both positive and negative zero and all that entails) and given the natural word is 36bits the natural "byte" is 9bits. The emulated memory map must be a real mess.

0
0

Billionaire Google founder splits with wife, allegedly beds Google Glass minx

David Beck
Happy

Stolen from Mrs Merton

Now tell me Miss Rosenberg, what was it that first attracted you to the billionaire Mr Brin?

0
0

How do you drive a supercomputer round a Formula 1 track?

David Beck

Enstone

The Lotus factory is just outside of Enstone, look for the disused airfield on Google Earth. And have a drink at the Crown in Church Enstone, you might well be drinking with some of the engineers, just check the shirts.

Oxfordshire is full of disused airfelds with some motorsport factory adjacent taking advantage of all that tarmac.

0
0

RBS Mainframe Meltdown: A year on, the fallout is still coming

David Beck

Re: AC: This wasn't a hardware flaw. This wasn't a mainframe flaw.

Google also doesn't care if you get the "complete" answer to your query. If a section of the data is "down" then you just don't see that in the results. How'd that work with your bank account?

1
0

Ofcom: When shall we squeeze Freeview's girth?

David Beck
FAIL

Re: just like the phone numbers

And of course they allowed Londoners to dial short codes just the '7' or '8' . I remember this well as my number started '845...' . You can imagine the calls we got. Well planned.

0
0

Google: 'We'll track EVERY task on EVERY data center server'

David Beck

1970's

0
0

Another 170,000 Freeview homes to be freed from reality TV - possibly

David Beck
Thumb Up

1000's unable to locate "off" button

I enjoy these responses as well. It does show a sort of underlying addictive personality, incapable of managing a potentially addictive situation. Other examples, "never had a joint as I would become an addict", "I'd love a pint of real ale but i don't want to become an alcoholic", ...

Perhaps the education system needs to include some sort of assertiveness training, teach that "choice" is not a bad thing and can be managed. Otherwise you have the situation that everything not prohibited is compulsory, and that we know is a joke, racial stereotype joke, but a joke.

0
1

Android 'splits' into the Good and the lovechild of Bad and Ugly

David Beck

How few is still a "load"?

"...Aren't there a load of recent Nokia customers ..."

I'd venture there's not "a load of recent Nokia customers" in any state, given there's not a "load" of recent Nokia customers.

2
0

So you won a 4G licence. The Freeview interference squad wants a word

David Beck
FAIL

Re: Sigh

"OAPs get their licence paid for by the government. Have done since 2001"

Somewhere maybe but not here in the UK.

OAP

0
0

Mobe networks bag UK 4G for a steal - £1bn shy of Osborne's £3.5bn

David Beck
WTF?

Re: Dont have 3G...

I never understand this, how will 4G help streaming at the consumer end?

It takes 10 mins to watch 10 mins of video, as long as the connection can supply the content fast enough to keep the buffer full any excess bandwidth is irrelevant. It only helps d/l times or possibly latency, neither of which are a problem for most people on 3G, assuming the cell/back haul is not congested. There is no reason to believe that the level of cell and back haul congestion will differ between 3G and 4G. Is the suggestion that people want HD content on the microscopic screens of their phones? Who watches video on their phones now? Who has the time? Can someone explain what the great new apps are that will benefit from more bandwidth on a mass market mobile platform? One that wouldn't be satisfied by a proper build out of the 3G network.

0
0

Speaking in Tech: Tesla's Elon Musk takes on NYT - ballsy move, man

David Beck
Meh

Transcripts??

An chance for transcripts of these confabs? I read a LOT faster than I listen.

1
0

Amazon-bashed HMV calls in administrators, seeks buyer

David Beck
FAIL

Re: @Reading Your E-mail

"find ways of evading tax ", is against the law. What has been discussed here is paying the legally required tax according to the law of the land. There is no right or wrong amount, just correct or incorrect. This is not a moral issue, it is a legal issue. If you want to make it a moral issue I suggest that you look at living in a theocracy. I understand there are several in the middle east that would provide examples of what it's like.

0
0

LinkedIn SHOCK: Social-for-Suits ISN'T a flash in the pan

David Beck

Re: I've got a LinkedIn account

Like most things, if you can't figure out anything useful to do with it, you probably don't need it.

All the 30GBP does is allow you to be a bit more aggressive in finding others, it really does little to make you more visible. So unless you are a stalker or recruiter, then you will not be interested.

As for the 1995 UI, I like it, it's a menu system designed to run with a mouse, an environment that is familiar to it's target market. Since Linkedin isn't encumbered with a need to present content to neophytes to earn money, it doesn't need to emulate the current fad of Fisher Price interfaces.

1
0

4G: Bad coverage, crap battery life - but at least it's really expensive

David Beck

Re: Don't forget we're late to the party

So they are not usable for voice, or stay powered up all of the time and deplete the battery even faster.

0
0
David Beck

Re: What's the point of 4G...

Remind me, how fast can you watch a video or listen to a sound track? I always assumed that you would never really need more speed than the bit rate of the content plus a small buffer, but what do I know. Or is it to consume a very large webpage on a 4" screen. Or is it not about "mobile" at all. Do the Telcos have any idea what will drive 4G (other than marketing and a few "new means better" sheep)?

0
0

Unisys pumps up ClearPath mainframes with Xeon E5s

David Beck

Re: Emulation or Simulation?

Emulation, actually we are talking about simulation here as the firmware in the Intel chip is untouched and all of the work is done by x86 instructions not firmware instructions, is much simpler for the base S360 (little changed since the 1960's) architecture.

MCP runs natively on 48bit word machines with hardware typing per word, S360 is 32bit untyped. This means it's perfectly acceptable to do integer instructions on character strings on a S360 machine and impossible to do so on the MCP machine. So there must be a "type byte" per word holding the typing info referenced by the execution simulation for each instruction.

The Univac case is a bit more complicated as the base architecture is IBM 7000 series (the one that preceded S360) and uses 36bit words and, interestingly, 1's complement binary arithmetic. That's the one that has two representations for zero (plus and minus).

Both of these represent considerable barriers to fast simulation since there is a mis-match at the fundamental storage architecture. I've looked but been unable to find any papers on how these problems were overcome.

S360/370/Z all share the same base storage architecture, 32bit words, two's compliment arithmetic, which is shared with the x86 family as well. I'd be very surprised if a simulation of S360 was not considerably quicker than either of the Unisys architectures.

0
0

Samsung says 'yes' to iPhone 5-sized Galaxy S III

David Beck

Re: It's a start

Same here. The ICS upgrade just gave it another couple years life, time for the "trend" in wall sized phones to die off. I'm waiting for a decent watch to drop below 40mm too, living with a 36mm Oris but may have to spring for a 15 year old Omega as an upgrade.

0
0
David Beck

Re: It's a start

It runs ICS, what's the problem? The old model, X10 Mini, with a 2.5" screen was even smaller but did run an old version of Android and not upgradable (128mb of RAM) so not so good.

0
0

Skype touts FREE* Wi-Fi across the UK

David Beck
FAIL

Re: Something good about BT (shock)

Read it again. The tenner is paid by the business installing the wifi, the punters pay nought.

0
0

Ten digital radios to suit all budgets

David Beck

Re: This is the review about DABs radios?

Because when the government decides DAB is the dominate radio service, FM will be de-licensed and the spectrum sold off. All FM radios become junk, including the one in your car. The UK will be left with a national radio infrastructure determined to be inferior by all other European countries, who use later standards for digital radio and generally continue to support FM.

1
0
David Beck

Re: price

And your Mum is counted as a DAB user in the race to kill off FM. Tell your MP that you either want DAB+ or FM but preferably both, if not both then FM is fine. The receivers are cheaper, use less energy (by design, not an implementation issue as discussed earlier) and sound better than DAB. Ask yourself, who benefits from a switch to DAB? If you or your family are not on the list, then don't support it.

1
0

US appeal dismissed in Dotcom case

David Beck

Re: Standard Chartered

The Fed case was slow rolled but now they will have to act or look like the FSA. Expect the Feds to act on the excellent e-mail evidence of SC's planned deception, that part is criminal and could gets Sands some time in the clink. The BoE is on SC's side of course, ass-holes to the end.

0
0

Has Nokia bottomed out? El Reg drills into the detail

David Beck
Thumb Down

Re: But they have nothing else

You missed the point, it's not that a "sales guy" cannot be the MD, it's that the companies tend to go to crap when they are. Everybody gets blamed except the culprit and the end result is a cheap sale of the assets to someone smarter, while the "sales guy" jumps ship as he has seen the forecasts. I've worked for "sales guys" too.

1
0

Major London problem hits BT broadband across southeast

David Beck
Thumb Down

Re: Forget the broadband, BT please fix the numbers

Yes and BT are complete idiots regarding these allocations. When I lived in London my first number was 845x xxxx, guess what happened on a regular basis. Not only that but the specific 0845 number was allocated to a company who called parents to report a kid not in school. We were reported to the police regularly for making "spamming" phone calls. After the first few times the woman who did the phone stuff for the Met knew us and just binned the complaints. BT's position was, tough, if you don't like it you can have another 845 number. They could have but refused to tell the company using the 0845 number to not put a number in the CLI field as their number was out-going only anyway.

Note for the pedantic among you, yes the 0845 number would have an additional final digit, which if you fail to dial the "0" is ignored, the resulting number was the 8 digits of my London number. Well designed BT, "useless" is the kindest thing I can say.

0
0

Unisys upgrades Libra mainframes with Xeon E5s

David Beck

Not to mention 36-bit ones complement data structure

"The full Xeon line for MCP will happen sooner, but it will take a few more years to do it for OS 2200, which has a totally different I/O structure and which has some more demanding batch workloads."

As the basic architecture of the 1100/ 2200 series is even less like the x86 than the B6500... structures, it's going to take them a while before they get to I/O system emulation.

Check the 1100/2200 series wiki -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unisys_2200_Series_system_architecture

0
0

Nokia's Great Software Cleansing scrubs off everything since the '90s

David Beck

Are you sure?

" ... essence of what people liked about Symbian ..", great, what I liked was the week long battery life. Just how do I go about making my Android phone do that?

2
0

Xperia Tipo tips up as two-Sim Sony

David Beck

Hope ICS is better at changing SIMs than 2.3

Certainly hope that ICS has a better response to a new SIM than the current Android 2.3 in my Xperia. When I swapped in a TruPhone SIM for a trip to the States, Android when senile, forgot lots of things like all the short cut folders on the UI. Also asked some pretty stupid questions, like do I want to delete all of my contacts. Apparently 2.3 thinks a SIM swap is a big deal.

0
0

World+Dog to demand ever larger tablet-phones

David Beck

Re: Samsung Galaxy Y

SE Mini and Mini Pro - 7.5cm screen, comes with Android 2.3.4, Sony have committed ICS for the phone (if you want ICS on a 500mb, 1gHz handset)

Currently available for a bit over £100 SIM free.

0
0

Windows XP update fails in infinite .NET patch loop

David Beck

Re: Deja vu all over again

Interesting. Tell me how do you know " the versions of dotnet I need"? Is their a magic Windows dependency tool I don't know about?

2
0

Facebook co-founder renounces US citizenship pre-IPO

David Beck

Re: Really?

You need to lose the DK passport. Remember when SE taxed everything? I do since I was working in London among dozens of SE citizens all living outside SE. I wonder why?

0
0
David Beck
Thumb Down

Re: Really?

" If you're abroad for something along the lines of more than 340 days in a year you don't pay income tax anyway ..."

A US passport carrier always pays US taxes. Income and CG. You only can avoid state tax since you are not resident but if you maintain a property in some states you pay state tax too.

An expat

0
0

Everything Everywhere rolls out the 4G astroturf

David Beck
WTF?

Where are the handsets/tablets that will use this new bandwidth?

So EE gets it's way and rolls out LTE at 1800. Who has a tablet in their hand or handset in their pocket that can use it? Or does EE expect me to buy a shiny new one just to access a faster download when I happen to be on a motorway or in London?

1
0

Google Currents

David Beck

Re: Bloat

Me too, installed, went to settings to move the app to SD, found that not only the app but also the data were in the phone memory and not movable. Uninstalled. Never actually tried the app, if the developer is so arrogant , stupid or lazy as to demand all of the primary memory for their use, I'm not interested.

0
0

Page: