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* Posts by Annihilator

2900 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

SpaceX does what it HASN'T done before: Dragon in close ISS flyby

Annihilator
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Boffin

Re: Great but oversold?

@Ian Yates - technically speaking if it involves an arm to capture a passive object, it's defined as "berthing".

The space shuttle "docked" with ISS as it guided itself onto the station. The supply modules, including this Space one, are berthed.

"beyond pedantry" it may be, but there's a recognised difference in definition - there's even a wiki about it.

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Annihilator
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Headmaster

Great but oversold?

It's a great achievement, no doubt, but I'd be cautious about saying a private company is docking a spacecraft. A more accurate version is that a private company is bringing a craft within close proximity, and the ISS/NASA/ESA etc is performing the dock via the robotic arm.

Pedantic I know - and in no way posted to detract from the enormous achievement they are making.

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Special Projects Burro pops his hooves

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Unhappy

Pain in the arse

Or ass?...

Sad day, poor Aladdin. His reign/rein was short lived but at least he had the honour of being the first SPBSPB. Condolences to his mum Susi.

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Virgin Media mauls UK.gov for pumping millions into BT

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Boffin

Re: Cables

@Allan 1 - and was that before or after NTL and Telewest defaulted on their debt? They restructured by swapping debt for shares, effectively diluting the existing shares by spreading that debt across their shareholders and lowering the value of the companies. This was done to prevent bankruptcy on both companies - they subsequently merged.

Virgin Mobile "merged" (aka bought out) NTL/Telewest and then rebranded as Virgin Media - it certainly wasn't a simple renaming. At the point of the Virgin takeover there was very little debt, just a substantially weakened company with a very low share price and a lot of disgruntled shareholders.

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Annihilator
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Mushroom

Re: Cables

Haven't laid any that I'm aware of. Far as I know they acquired the cable infrastructure, but none of tr crippling debt that came with actually installing the infrastructure.

You could argue that Virgin Media got a largely subsidised infrastructure like BT did, but none of the obligation to supply to anyone who asks at fixed cost. Say what you like about BT, but if I build a brand new house, BT are obliged to cable it for £130 (or less) regardless of the actual cost. Virgin will just continue to send you junk mail proclaiming you are in an enabled area, but won't actually hook you up.

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Eugene Kaspersky frustrated by Apple’s iOS AV ban

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Re: Kapersky?

Na, you're thinking of the guy who got beat by Deep Blue at chess.

Wait...

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Bang & Olufsen Beolit 12

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I'm betting Galloping Home would sound glorious on that, especially if you acquired a pair of supplementary auxiliary speakers, apropos achieving surround sound.

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The Register is rocking on Windows Phone 7

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App of the week?

Quite possibly. But that's more a reflection on the number of apps being released each week on Windows phones, which I suspect to be one per week.

I know, I'm going. :-)

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Child support IT fail: Deadbeat mums 'n' dads off the hook

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Boffin

Re: I'm with mr Heffernan on this.

The phrase "deadbeat" is being used to describe the people who are being let off the hook and subsequently *not* paying CS. I presume there are plenty of people who are impacted by this IT failing yet continuing to pay child support under amicable arrangements instead of having to get it taken at source.

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Annihilator
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Re: Moose

"I narrowly avoided getting into a similar situation (dumped her before she got preggo)"

Yes, if only there were some way for *you* to be responsible for birth control.

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Watchdog bites bar over 'offensive' Facebook ad

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More ASA complaints

It also says "dress to impress". There is a gallery on the club's website to show that's blatant false advertising..

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Spy under your car bonnet 'worth billions by 2016'

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Meh

Re: Re: @Wombling_Free

"I was actually told by a traffic cop to pull the light tap on the brakes manouevre to deal with tailgaters and to then perform the slowdown if they did not repent. He though them all to be pricks too. Tailgating is one of the worst things you can do on the highway as, compared with speeding, it shuts down the reaction distance to an unachievable interval way sooner."

The correct/safe response to someone driving with a <2 second gap behind you is to *increase* the gap to the car in front of you, meaning you can brake less sharply should a situation develop in front of you and will reduce your chance of being rear-ended (giggiddy). The larger gap also encourages the person behind you to overtake into it if they're in that much of a rush (and have a reported speed of <70 on their equally inaccurate speedo)

Winding someone up on the road is just as dangerous. May be fun in your head, but having an angrier idiot behind you is only going to make your situation worse. An angry, impatient driver behind Bruno Senna (Schumacher) effectively caused his race to end, and indirectly started a fire in the Williams garage. Best to just get out of the way for your own self-preservation.

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UK's '£1.2bn software pirates' mostly 'blokes under 34'

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Utterly confused

I thought that they'd banned Newzbin and TPB, so surely they've solved the entire piracy problem. No? But wasn't that the point? Oh...

:-)

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Nokia outs budget phone pair

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Business?

I'm sure they'd appeal to some people, and I do like twin-sim devices, but I wouldn't be thrilled with a business phone that comes in a garish day-glo colour.

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Behind the lens of NASA's self-adapting ISS space telescope

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Boffin

Re: When a NASA engineer describes a computer as "high performance"...

And by "good enough for the job" you mean work consistently and reliably in the harshest of conditions. Even getting a 386 to do exactly what you expect it to do while ignoring the effects of cosmic rays et al is what I'd call high performance.

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BT outage kills phone lines in Eastbourne and Brighton

Annihilator
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Boffin

Cascading outage

Well you've clearly not been in an exchange outage. 80% of the calls that would normally be made suddenly go on to the cellular network as everyone reaches for their mobiles, turning the mobile signal availability into something approaching new year's eve levels of patchiness. Especially if DSL goes at the same time which I'm assuming is the case here as 3G falls through the floor too.

Besides which in the Brightec instance you quoted they're talking about a central line to a switchboard. Which poor sap did you have in mind to start taking all those calls via their mobile exactly?

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Microsoft makes good with a 23-fix Patch Tuesday

Annihilator
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Boffin

Re: Thank You!

@chandleo - I've never understood the people who stare frustrated at their machine waiting for it to power down. If my laptop is ever pausing at the "installing x of y updates" I'm usually well out the door, laptop either shoved in a drawer or updating merrily in my bag. It'll power off when complete, there's really no need to keep it company or even connected to a network.

Hopefully a handy hint to get you towards the pub sooner. Or like me, just never shut it down (standby or hibernate save a lot of time the next morning!)

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The Pirate Bay cries foul over Pirate Bay copycats

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Boffin

Re: It's like raaaaaaaain

The irony of course being that none of the examples represent irony, much like this case given TPB actively encourage copies/proxies and are just objecting to the money-grabbing elements?

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Annihilator
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Headmaster

Font??

"Using The Pirate Bay logo or font is a trademark violation"

Really? I'm not allowed to use Blackletter any more? Must let Microsoft know to remove Old English Text MT from Word installations too...

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Apple updates iOS, mum on Wi-Fi, battery fixes

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Boffin

Re: large size download

Nope, iTunes downloads specific firmwares depending on the device. The iPad2 complete firmware is different to the "new iPad" etc.

It's literally downloading the entire firmware(s) because Apple haven't built in the ability to do the patching that the devices themselves can do.

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Annihilator
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Holmes

Re: So

@AC because with any firmware upgrade (which this effectively is) there's a risk of bricking. May well be a small risk but why take it if the net result is zero? There's also that Apple habit of introducing bugs with a point release that I'd rather avoid.

@LoopyChew thanks for the article. If only Apple could treat its customers like grownups and release that info clearly I might be quicker to patch.

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Annihilator
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Meh

So

Based on the official list of what it's released for, I think I'll leave it for now. A real case of "nothing to see here"

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Microsoft ejects DVD playback from Windows 8

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Facepalm

Re: Windows 8 = Downgrade

"Didn't you need the capacity of a DVD disk to hold a complete windows install anyway?"

1) it's a "disc"

2) they're not discontinuing the support for the physical media (hard to imagine how they could) but for DVD video.

Although given you're managing to see conspiracy in this, I'm not surprised you're confused.

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Cameron hardens stance on UK web filth block

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Facepalm

Re: Another intrusion

See that's the strange thing. The Tories are generally content to let "the market" and private enterprise sort this stuff out. If there were such a demand for a "clean" Internet, an ISP offering such a service would have formed by now and would be raking it in. Probably called Think Of The Children ISP. Presumably there isn't that much of a demand, so would kindly request that they jog on and sort out the economy instead of inventing half-ass proposals in response to parents that can't be arsed to parent.

I do love our governments approach of repeatedly asking the question until they get the right answer. Or just ramming it through regardless.

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iOS Rock Band gets back together

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Re: why not admit to it?

@jdx or better yet, explain why they consider it a "service" at all??

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Bought a new Mac Pro? 1-in-100 chance it'll destroy your data

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IT Angle

Re: Not a mac fan

Erm, hats off for replacing a faulty machine within the first month of operation? I think that's more a trading standard/statutory right.

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Annihilator
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Happy

1 in 100

"Bought a new Mac Pro? 1-in-100 chance it'll destroy your data"

It's a hard disk. It's more like 100-in-100 chance it'll destroy your data, given enough time.

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Annihilator
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Re: More importantly

True, however IIRC they have built their own custom firmware in the past for their hard drives (iMacs) in the past.

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Virgin Media cuts Pirate Bay access for millions of punters

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Re: What about the millions of legal downloads?

What legal downloads did TPB "host" then? Given its all magnets these days, there is no need for a "host" or tracker. They haven't killed P2P which is the tool used by open source for distribution. I've never needed TPB to get my open source software.

There are plenty of arguments against this block but "legal" downloads ain't close to being one of them.

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5 ISPs... And a website

Judging by the number of "deleted by mod" where there was once an alternate link, it appears El Reg has been ordered by the courts to block access too?..

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Annihilator
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Minor correction

"notorious BitTorrent tracker website The Pirate Bay"

AFAIK it hasn't been a tracker in quite some time. It's equal to google in its role.

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Moon at annual perigee this weekend

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Paris Hilton

Wow what a terrific audience

Anyone else think the voice over on that video could be Jimmy from South Park without the speech impediment?

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Shuttle Enterprise comes home to New York

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Mushroom

Re: Bah!

Jeez you must be a miserable nightmare to work with.

Just to cheer you up, it was intended to be a flight-ready shuttle but just not the first. They carried on designing and building the first one (Columbia) while the ALT tests were being conducted by Enterprise - a rather necessary step given the timelines. The design changed significantly enough during this period that it just wasn't cost effective to retro-fit Enterprise with these design changes. I sense you're feeling betrayed/conned by NASA back in the 70's - it wasn't some big secret, just an evolution of space flight design.

Congratulations New York - you got a rare piece of space flight history. Hopefully it'll slightly offset the miserable office workers who get irate about it.

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Annihilator
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Go

To quote Homer

"slipped the surly bonds of Earth" and punch the face of god...

Looking forward to next trip to NYC to revisit Intrepid!

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Ten... eight-bit classic games

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Paris Hilton

Jeff Minter

Strangely missing from the list unless I've overlooked something?...

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Hands on with the Nikon D3200 DSLR

Annihilator
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Re: The Sony sensors seem quite remarkable

Bloom ain't flare. It's the airy disk effect, or bleeding light, but yeah it's a symptom of lenses not focusing perfectly.

Prime example is taking an indoor picture of a window on a sunny day - the light will bleed out over the walls. It's what HDR in gaming tries to mimic.

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FBI track alleged Anon from unsanitised busty babe pic

Annihilator
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Facepalm

Re: <-- See Icon @Big dumb guy

Good one. Now that you've mastered sarcasm, try mastering the caps lock key. Then read the story again and realise the guy lives in Texas and has a "girlfriend" in Sydney. Then look up the difference between "their" and "there". Then you're ready to move on to punctuation, such as the apostrophe, comma and question mark.

Then, with luck and a lot of concentration, we can get you wearing big boy pants and stop you having those accidents.

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Annihilator
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Go

Re: <-- See Icon

There's nothing in the police's investigative arsenal that beats a criminal being stupid. Fortunately America are proud to claim some of the stupidest criminals in the world.

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Ten... Bedroom Gadget Treats

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Meh

Re: Best way to get to sleep...

Good shout, but think I'd need more material than 30 minutes each week, on a 6 week on/off cycle that the News Quiz operates on...

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Annihilator
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Re: Missing item...

Cuisinart make my coffee maker - phenomenal machine (DGB900BCU) that goes from beans to coffee all by itself in about 5 minutes, works on a timer and delivers into a thermos-ey pot waiting for me in the kitchen when I haul my sorry ass out of bed. Just make sure there's enough beans in the hopper and water in the reservoir.

Think it's around 120 notes, but worth it when you consider it's doing it properly, compared with a ridiculous Tassimo or Nespresso machine at the same price but with overpriced coffee to boot.

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Annihilator
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Boffin

Re: I'm dubious

"what use is an alarm clock that wakes you up 20 minutes before or after the time you set it for?"

The alarm clock wakes you up at the optimal time between any window you choose, you set the latest time it can wake you, it's not an enforced +/- 20 minutes. The idea is (and it's a good one) that chances are you'll be semi-awake close to your alarm going off that it would make sense for you to be woken then instead of letting you fall into a deeper sleep and waking you 15 minutes later.

So if I want to wake up by 7am, I tell it between 6:30 and 7, knowing that a 6:32 wake-up call where I'm ready to be woken is a damn sight better than a groggy 7am alarm.

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LOHAN dives into Reg forums mosh pit

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Question

Have you considered hydrogen instead of helium?...

*cough*

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LOHAN lifts lid on revised mission summary

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Mushroom

Re: Why He?

You're overlooking one key aspect. Top boffinry demands that a pipe is smoked and chewed on throughout the experiment. The playmobil 'naut would be fine, but we need to reduce the risk on the ground for Lewis and his fellow boffins - rocket fuel is going to be hazardous enough! :-)

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Whisky IN SPAAAAACE: Zero-G Scotch is matured aboard the ISS

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@DF118

"Precedent" isn't "oh I know someone who says it so it's ok". It's pronounced Isle-La because that's the name of the island. I know people who pronounce Culzean as Cull-Zeen, doesn't set a precedent.

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Annihilator
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Boffin

Re: Pedantry alert

Further pedantry says that the 3 years has to occur while in Scotland before it's whisky.

Though it could be whiskey, which pretty much has the "anything goes" rule :-)

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Unhappy

Up up and Islay?

Pun would work if Islay rhymed with "away", but given it's pronounced "aisle-lah" (like the name Isla, as in Isla Fisher) it doesn't really work. Unless you're on TV in American where I often hear it pronounced wrongly.

3/10 - must try harder.

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Dark matter hits you once a minute

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Looking forward

to the Daily Mail article explaining how this causes/cures various cancers.

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Five charged after fanboi sells kidney for iPad and iPhone

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Unhappy

Re: Stupid is as stupid does.

Quite. When travelling in India there were a number of people on the streets begging who I noticed were missing various limbs. I was told by a local that it was common for people to pay to remove limbs in order to generate more sympathy and increase their income via begging. The prominence of the missing limbs went some way to validate this claim.

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Windows 3.1 rebooted: Microsoft's DOS destroyer turns 20

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Boffin

Re: Memories!.......on 1.44 MB disc

Except as I recall they were DMF formatted disks, so technically they were 1680KB disks :-)

I'll climb back under my pedant rock now

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Apple relents, doubles EU warranty (sort of)

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Re: You have rights beyond any warranty.

@Mark 65 - I think it has to burn out "beyond economical repair" too (more vagueness ensues depending on "economical" and who's repairing it). A simple breakdown of a component is to be expected within the lifetime of the unit. You're right in that it's the reasonable person argument, but how many retailers allow their employees to be reasonable?

I know modern Sony's are drag-drop, I'm talking about literally not forgiving them from 12 years ago when I owned a Net Walkman (NW-MS9). T'was a lovely little thing that was ruined by the software :-)

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