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* Posts by Dave Robinson

57 posts • joined 27 Apr 2007

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Look out, bankers! It's Lily Cole and her (Brit taxpayer-funded) WISH-PRINTING ATM

Dave Robinson

Accessible?

Is it just mean, or does the website printer need a new ribbon?

Complete waste of time, although I have no complaints about Lily Cole, because I used to work with her cousin.

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Object to #YearOfCode? You're a misogynist and a snob, says the BBC

Dave Robinson

Re: More challenging than it looks

To get to the properties panel or the advanced properties you have to click on the tiny little arrow next to the word "Properties". Yes, the one that looks like a heading but is in fact a drop-down menu. Whereas the one that looks like it should do the job (the hyperlink-esque "Show All properties") is in fact useless.

The only thing that surpasses it for dogs-dinnerness is Windows 8.

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Dave Robinson

Re: More challenging than it looks

The fact that you need an e-how page, and that it's different in 2007 and 2010, illustrates my point perfectly, I think.

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Dave Robinson

More challenging than it looks

Anyone who things that Word 2010 isn't challenging should clearly be using WordPad. Even something "simple" like finding where Microsoft have hidden the Document Properties is a challenge :-)

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The iPad age is over: The time of the iPad Mini and phablet is upon us

Dave Robinson
Happy

Re: Cheaper and more expensive?

I thought for a moment that I was reading a Dilbert cartoon.

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Woman whipped gun from vagina in SPACE ALIEN spat, reports Officer Zook

Dave Robinson

Concealing a 44 Magnum in her "pork holster" (The Reg's words, not mine) would be an impressive feat worthy of reporting in any publication, irrespective of whether it had an IT angle.

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I've seen the future of car radio - and DAB isn't in it

Dave Robinson
WTF?

48Kb/s?

It's not clear from the article whether 48Kb/s is the streaming rate or the compressed data rate of the music. A 128Kb/s file is just about bearable, assuming it's AAC or equivalent compression. I can't imagine how bad a 48Kb/s music track will sound. If it's the streaming rate, I suppose you could download stuff in advance the night before, or perhaps just enjoy the long periods of silence in between tracks from Lady Gaga's latest offering.

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Ho, ho, HOLY CR*P, ebuyer! Etailer rates staff on returns REJECTED

Dave Robinson

I think they're great

I have bought almost literally shed loads of stuff from ebuyer over the years, and have always found everything well packaged and delivered on time (often early). I've never had an issue with returns... just last week I bought some memory and accidentally ordered a single stick instead of a kit of 2, and they accepted it back no problem.

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Station to station: Ten DAB-Bluetooth combo radios

Dave Robinson

Re: And next on the Register - a review of chocolate teapots.

Or volume control granularity... I have a Pure Chronos II clock radio that is either inaudible or loud enough to keep you awake.

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This one time at Apple Camp... Tech titan offers to school US fanbois on coding

Dave Robinson

Re: blend o' skills...

Anyone can buy a book on the subject, and anyone with a vaguely logical mind can write a program.

Experience, discipline and method are what matter though in the commercial world.

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Chaos Computer Club: iPhone 5S finger-sniffer COMPROMISED

Dave Robinson
Happy

A better solution

I reckon they should have fitted a rectal scanner. Much more secure. Or do I mean retinal? Can never remember the difference :-)

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Google Nexus 7 2013: Fondledroids, THE 7-inch slab has arrived

Dave Robinson

Re: No talk of the known issues on this device?

It's the kind of "in depth" review you can write by googling and looking at some pictures :-)

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Ofcom launches idiot's guide to traffic-shaping

Dave Robinson
Meh

Not so simple

It's not just about traffic shaping. The end user experience depends on contention, exchange loading, backhaul capacity, peering, CDN arrangements and more. Most of these things mean nothing to the average user who looks mainly at the cost, and in any case is using a cheap N150 router sat next to the microwave.

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Tough luck, bumpkins! Blighty broadband speed gap misery worsens

Dave Robinson
Unhappy

That would be capitalism and market forces at work. Something which city dwellers should be all too familiar with and supportive of :-)

Why should BT rush to install FTTC in an area that already has cable? Particularly given that they are investing heavily in rolling out FTTC to the vast majority of the country ignored by cable companies.

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Cutting CO2 too difficult? Try these 4 simple tricks instead

Dave Robinson

Re: Depressing

That's just ridiculous. Fossil oil (as is pretty much anything else that comes out of the ground) is a finite resource. Yes, we can cut down rainforest and plant biofuel crops on it, but if you think that's a good idea you must be mad. If we have an alternative to burning it, that's also sustainable and low CO2, then we should do that. You don't work for an oil company, do you?

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Dave Robinson

Re: Depressing

We use petrol chemicals for virtually everything, from medicines to food. Burning it is pretty stupid. It will run out or become prohibitively expensive at some point.

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Dave Robinson
Thumb Down

Depressing

What a depressing set of comments and upvotes/downvotes. The balance of commentards seems to be towards not believing in climate change, and encouraging the status quo. So we carry on burning limited resources instead of doing something useful with them, pumping out CO2, radiation from nuclear power stations, and shit in general. Hopefully the planet won't end up like Coruscant in my lifetime.

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BIGGEST DDoS ATTACK IN HISTORY hammers Spamhaus

Dave Robinson

Re: Spamhous must really be hurting those parasites

You forgot to mention DKIM and SPF :-)

Difficult to get working, but can be done. Also, it helps if you choose an ISP which doesn't segregate its home and business IP addresses into different ranges. It's not supposed to be easy though.

One ISP I used in the past would only open port 25 once it had tested the configuration of your mail server to make sure it wasn't an open relay.

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Mozilla to Apple: we don't care about iOS

Dave Robinson
Happy

Re: I heard 90% of all statistics are made up. So, is that you're only source?"

"The weird/annoying/puzzling thing is that, no matter how many times these retard errors are pointed out , people"

If there's one thing that really winds me up, it's adding a space between the end of a word and the following comma.

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Oracle trowels more plaster over flawed Java browser plugin

Dave Robinson
Facepalm

What a load of pointless fuss

So Java is rubbish because the browser plugin has the odd vulnerability or two (which could in fact be due to integration with the browser rather than anything fundamental to Java itself). Chrome and Firefox seem to get patched every five minutes and no one bats an eyelid. Known M$ vulnerabilities can hang around for months before they get fixed.

Anyone would think that someone has got it in for Java. Maybe it's Oracle that is spreading all this FUD and hatred?

Personally, I love Java and hate Oracle. I don't want the Ask toolbar, and it would be nice if the documentation didn't have lots of broken links to the Sun websites, or pointless links to top-level pages. However, I think the language is great, and is still a brilliant way to produce functional cross-platform applications (client or server) using a proper strongly-typed OO language.

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Sir James Dyson slams gov's 'obsession' with Silicon Roundabout

Dave Robinson

Not a sucker

Following two Dyson suckers that didn't work all that well, made a lot of noise, and then packed up, I bought a Miele vacuum cleaner. OK, so I have to buy bags occasionally, but at least I don't have to buy a new cleaner every couple of years. And his fan apparently whines a lot.

But he's totally right about the roundabout.

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Up your wormhole: Star Trek Deep Space 9 turns 20

Dave Robinson

Re: For me it was lacking the element of discovery

Boldly staying put where no one has stayed put before

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Wikipedia doesn't need your money - so why does it keep pestering you?

Dave Robinson

Re: if only...

Couldn't agree more. I made a couple of edits regarding the town I've lived in for twenty years (including fixing an out of date link to a website I run), and the page owner (who lives in Thailand, I believe) reverted them. I sent him an appropriate message, put the changes back in, and strangely they stuck the second time.

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The new Mac mini eviscerated with ease

Dave Robinson
FAIL

Standardisation Please

If you're going to resort to describing colours for the hard of hearing or whatever, you could at least use the universally accepted X11 colours...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X11_color_names

Your mauve looks more like "hotpink" to me, and teal is definitely nearer "turquoise. Or, of course, you could use the RGB values, which would be clearly understood by at least 90% of the Reg readership.

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Skype worm chats up victims - then holds PCs to ransom

Dave Robinson
Thumb Down

Re: Skype takes the user experience very seriously

Same thing happened to me. £10 cleaned out in a couple of hours, with calls to Yemen, Belarus and somewhere in Africa. Yes, I had a strong password. No, I didn't leave myself logged in a public place. Skype kindly spotted that my account was subject to fraudulent activity and suspended it when there was 13p of credit left, necessitating various hoop jumping to get it reactivated. No refund though, needless to say. I then got an irritating set of alerts informing me that my credit was low.

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There is life after the death of Microsoft’s Windows 8 Start button

Dave Robinson
Happy

Re: My main gripe with Metro/Modern UI

It's the latest thing. Apparently, removing punctuation, capitalisation and spelling improves legibility... just like removing 3D effects and colour from the icons in Windows 8.

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Pentax K-01 16Mp APS-C hybrid camera review

Dave Robinson
Boffin

Worth pointing out that holding a camera far enough away to see the LCD screen (assuming it's not sunny, in which case you probably won't be able to see it at all), leads to a naturally more wobbly stance. Not good for your obscene telephoto lenses. However, you don't eventually end up looking like Patrick Moore.

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BT to fibre up another 98 exchanges, puffs 'FTTP on demand' offer

Dave Robinson
Happy

Three Cheers for British Telecommunications

People have been "BT bashing" for as long as I can remember. Personally, I reckon they're doing a good job. They have to make a profit, same as anyone else, and rolling out FTTP to the whole country sometime in the next fortnight (which appears to be what a lot of posters to this forum require) is infeasible from both a technical and an economic perspective.

Compared with Virgin, who will only invest where there is a sufficiently high number of potential subscribers per square metre (PS/M2, you heard it here first) and won't open their network to anyone else, I reckon BT are pretty good.

BTW, I don't work for BT, but I do have no cause for complaint (FTTC 80/20).

I am now donning fireproof underwear in anticipation.

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Apple iMac refresh due Real Soon Now

Dave Robinson
Headmaster

Reg gone American?

So that will be "Really Soon" then?

Before you know it, we'll be dropping apostrophes and using "like" at least three times in every sentence. Not that you'll be able to differentiate one sentence from another, of course, because there won't be any punctuation.

Or maybe I'm just being picky :-)

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AMD and Intel extreme desktop CPU workout

Dave Robinson

Re: Just waiting for the herd of ....

Couldn't agree more.

What about some performance per watt, and noise/heat measurements?

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Windows 8: We kick the tyres on Redmond's new tablet wheels

Dave Robinson

Re: The Year of Linux on the Desktop? Not yet.

I'm forced to use Office 2007 at work. The novelty of playing "hunt the function" wears off fairly quickly. A fine example of change for change's sake. Just like Windows 8, perhaps?

The problem with adoption (or lack) of Linux on the desktop is driven by the fact that central IT departments are often either too scared or insufficiently knowledgeable to do anything other than shove in Exchange Server and Sharepoint. I work for a small employer without an IT department (but loads of highly qualified techies), but for reasons I don't fully understand we pay for outsourced Exchange and a Sharepoint CRM system. Copies of Zarafa or Zimbra and SugarCRM on one of our own servers would do the job nicely, and require very little maintenance.

I think the key is that the Microsoft way has always been easier for management to understand and justify. However, there might be a sufficient head of steam built up by dislike of Windows 8 (and allegedly Windows Server 2012) for some organisations to take that leap of faith. Who knows?

Or maybe they'll just buy everyone a new Dell or HP tablet :-)

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Dave Robinson
Linux

The Year of Linux on the Desktop?

There, I said it first!

Actually, Linux Mint 13 (with added Cinnamon) is pretty good. Making the slightly-crap Gnome 3 look like the tried and tested Gnome 2.

Personally, I'll be sticking with Windows 7, but if I had to make a choice between Windows 8 and the penguin, it would be the penguin for me every time.

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Dave Robinson

Re: Tap? TAP?

Yeah, I sat there tapping my non-touchscreen 24" HD vertical stand-mounted tablet, and it just completely refused to do anything :-)

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Queen unveils draft internet super-snoop bill - with clauses

Dave Robinson
FAIL

Re: Note for GCHQ:-

Or even just using webmail over https on servers located in some country which is less than friendly to the UK (Argentina, France, somewhere like that). And of course persuading all your <insert terrorist organisation of choice here> buddies to do the same.

Wait... they already do that :-(

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Martha Lane Fox hits caps lock, yells at small biz websites

Dave Robinson
Thumb Up

Re: Optional

Completely agree. Site works perfectly well without enabling the cookies. Maybe you need a button on that popup that says "don't bother me again". Just need to set a cookie to stop it being displayed every time :-)

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WD lets loose ferocious 1TB VelociRaptor

Dave Robinson
Happy

Re: Noise? Heat?

Velociraptors, being 10K rpm, have a more pleasant (ie. less noticable) seeking noise. Also, they use less electricity than even the green 3.5" drives.

I have a system with a 60GB SSD, a 600GB Velociraptor, a cheap Scythe cooler on an Intel i5, and an unbelievably cheap (and quiet) eBuyer-special PSU. It sits under my desk at home, and is inaudible even when the house is completely silent.

I keep all the "bulk" data and applications I rarely use on the Velociraptor, because I don't trust SSDs (yet), and couldn't afford a big enough one!

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ISP Be admits crippling iPlayer demand burst its pipes

Dave Robinson
Happy

Re: Not a Be User...

For me, BBC iPlayer means hi-def streaming, with no drop-outs or buffering at all (Zen Internet). Works a treat. The HD streams are as good visually as BBC HD over the air (at least, on my puny 32"), but the sound is not as good. Maybe you need to move to where you can get 21Mb/s out of an "up to 20Mb" connection, like I do!

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DIY virtual machines: Rigging up at home

Dave Robinson
Thumb Up
I use Proxmox with a mix of KVM and OpenVZ machines, for various purposes, including a couple of gaming servers for my son. Intrigued where the writer got a 250W 80+ PSU from. Most PSUs seem to be about 3 gigawatts these days. I'm using an external brick and a PicoPSU, driving an i3-530, 8GB of RAM, and a 1.5TB green disk. The disk is the weak point, with much rattling when two VMs are accessing it. Next upgrade will be to a RAID array.
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Apple's new Lion beta bakes in iCloud

Dave Robinson
Thumb Down

So that's dashed my forlorn hope of Apple reinstating FrontRow and iSync.

I too regret upgrading (and buying a new Mac Mini, but that's another story).

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Apple Mac Mini 2011

Dave Robinson
Thumb Down

Quiet until you use it

Cooling seems to be marginal. As soon as you ask it to do anything complicated, it makes an intrusive racket. Certainly wouldn't want to play games on it.

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Official: Microsoft buys Skype for $8.5bn

Dave Robinson
Stop

Skype good, MS evil?

It wasn't so long ago that people were bemoaning Skype for its proprietary closed protocols. So now there's a prospect of it being subsumed into Windows Live Message Network MSN Explorer (or whatever it's called) that's apparently a bad thing?

At least the various other (open source) chat clients I use can successfully interoperate with MS (e.g. my Jabber gateway, Adium, Pidgin etc etc). So maybe this marriage (or rather adoption) will be a good thing?

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The Sandy Bridge Hackintosh

Dave Robinson
WTF?

Some years ago...

"Some years ago" - you mean, about 15 years ago, perhaps?

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BBC engineers see PLT knocking out DAB

Dave Robinson
Alert

Works for me

My understanding is that HomePlug AV (200Mbps) uses 2MHz to 30MHz, and doesn't transmit when idle. I've got HomePlug AV in my house, and various DAB radios, and never had a problem. Also, I believe that HomePlug AV is notched on the main shortwave bands, and in any case only interferes within a range of about 30 metres anyway. I can't see any big masts or beardy sandal types within a 100 metres of my house, so I'm probably OK.

The faster (500Mbps and 1Gbps) units that were tested use a wider frequency spread, and hence are more likely to interfere with DAB (and anything else).

Given that I live 500 metres from a TV and mobile phone transmitter, I'm not too worried about the additional RF that my system generates, although when we finally get BT Infinity around here (or maybe even NTLVirginWestTele Cable) then I'll probably pay an electrician to ruin my walls for me.

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Poll confirms Reg Hardware readers' verdict

Dave Robinson
WTF?

Zen?

What about Zen? PC Pro's best broadband provider for the last 10 million years or something?

Just looked at Be's website... unfortunately I typed in my phone number and it reported that their availability checker is broken :-)

Think I'll stick with Zen. Reassuringly expensive.

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BT confirms broadband upgrades for rotten boroughs

Dave Robinson
FAIL

Sore loser

I was initially excited by "the race", and actively lobbied my friends and relatives in Malvern. I even entered into the true spirit of the competition, by voting on someone elses behalf. At the end of the day, Malvern was never going to win.

Back in the good old days, we were one of the first exchanges to get ADSL. Hooray. However, we are still waiting for the ADSL2+ upgrade. That's now 18 months behind its initial target date, and allegedly going to happen in the next four months. The nearest cable is in Worcester, about 7 miles away. Maybe we should ask the good people of Blewbury to come and dig a trench for us?

Maybe I'm just a sore loser. Malvern is in a better position that many of the small rural exchanges (or even those on the limit of the ADSL range), but it doesn't make me any less p*ssed off.

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How I built a zero energy cost, zero carbon home server

Dave Robinson
Pint

A bit too weedy!

I have a Core i3-530, 4GB of RAM, and 1TB disk. On this, I'm running for virtual machines under Proxmox VE. And all for a tad under 25W at the plug, when everything is idle.

Oh, and I forgot to mention it's bloomin' fast when it needs to be. Much faster at virus scanning email, for example, than my previous Via C7 setup.

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Virgin Media begins 100Mb upgrades

Dave Robinson
FAIL

Gigabit copper rolled out to house in Worcestershire

Big announcement... I am willing to offer gigabit ethernet to anyone who wants to lay a cat 6 cable into my house in Worcestershire. Oh, almost forgot to mention the slight contention issue of the 7.6mbps ADSL connection, but hey, that's not important.

The point is, when Virgin cable covers the whole country, stories like this one will have some significance. Currently, they don't.

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BT promises biggest ever rural broadband project

Dave Robinson
Pirate

What's stopping cable companies

Part of the reason BT has a "virtual monopoly" is that NTLVirginWest only bother to cable high density areas, as far as I can tell. I'd gladly sign up for cable if it was an option. I'd even dig my own trench up my drive. I'd even promise to rent a movie every month.

Presumably there was nothing stopping TeleMediaWestVirgin bidding for the EU money, other than the fact that there isn't enough profit in it?

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