Feeds

* Posts by Peter Simpson 1

926 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Microsoft talks up devices, Windows 8.1 at developer shindig

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Happy

New work lappie came with Win7

Now, tell me again why I *need* Windows 8?

Windows 7 seems to me to be pretty much the same as XP, in terms of what it does for me. Except for the fact that the "show desktop" button is now on the far right and HyperTerminal is nowhere to be found (thankfully, it can be copied from an XP system), it does everything I need it to, pretty much the way XP did.

My point here, is that, aside from annoying UI changes, there doesn't seem to be any reason I need to "upgrade". Except, of course, to improve Microsoft's bottom line? And, of course, the joy of trying to rearrange the UIs (OS andOutlook) to something I can actually use...

2
1

Ex-inmate at Chinese prison: We made airline headsets

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Joke

They don't need to worry about worker retention?

// captive workforce, amirite?

0
0

Finance CIOs sweat as regulators prepare to probe aging mainframes

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Linux

Mainframe reliability

What OS are these mainframes running that makes them more reliable than clustered UNIX?

I can't argue that mainframes are probably more reliable than individual rack servers (better cooling if nothing else), but UNIX is pretty damn reliable. I would expect mainframes running AIX to be right up there in reliability.

1
2

El Reg rocket squad poised to select Ultimate Cuppa teabag

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
IT Angle

Re: Robert Roberts

@Caff - gets the prize for mentioning Lyons, and thereby providing the IT angle to this story :-)

1
0
Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Just wondering

I prefer the spring-loaded double strainer gadgets. Just enough for a cup, and the same utensil can be used to scoop it out of the tin.

0
0

Nuke plants to rely on PDP-11 code UNTIL 2050!

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: I too

You can still get that PDP-11 feel when you look at the registers in a 68000...

I am a proud graduate of Digital's "Intro to PDP-11" course (Westfield, MA, 1977)

1
0

BBC-featured call centre slapped with hefty fine for unwanted calls

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: 'The bigger problem is that there is a cold calling industry'

They would claim (though for some reason, nobody else would agree) that a small segment of the population actually *appreciates* their calls.

Our elected officials, for some reason loathe to offend this miniscule segment of the population, and the industry that reaches out to it, refuse to make unsolicited commercial calls illegal.

3
1

SCO vs. IBM battle resumes over ownership of Unix

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: This will only end when the case is ruled on

@AC "There is a possibly apocryphal story..."

True:

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20050505145639180

:-)

0
0
Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Linux

Re: This will only end when the case is ruled on

Your summary is dead on.

SCO claimed that portions of its valuable UNIX source code had been stolen after being shared with IBM during an abortive collaboration. Never mind that IBM has probably forgotten more about writing operating systems than SCO ever knew. Also please ignore the fact that SCO, when pressed, was not able to show examples of where this valuable source code was located in the publicly available Linux sources.

Looking forward to seeing these bozos slapped down hard. This has gone on long enough.

3
0

EU signs off on eCall emergency-phone-in-every-car plan

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: Yes, by all means call the Ambulance but this is a waste of time

...apart from the car which was crushed by the Plods.

Oh, I wish they did that here (USA). Instead we have guys who are celebrating their 15th DUI arrest. Crush their cars on the second one and perhaps they'd either get the message or run out of beer money.

Massachusetts actually has posters in the shops around here that list the escalating penalties for your 2d and subsequent DUIs...up to 8th or 9th, I believe.

//sheesh!

2
0
Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Guaranteed not to track you

<snip>

No antenna => no tracking

//dikes in the pocket

0
0

Girls, beer and C++: How to choose the right Comp-Sci degree for you

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Childcatcher

From my (long ago) experience

I went to a middle tier University and learned the basics of Computer Engineering (hardware design) with a large dose of programming languages and computing theory. Also Discrete Math and Coding Theory. Loads of fun.

But, the university education was pretty much a background to what I learned in the jobs I had -- worked at the computing center on campus (which provided me with a mainframe account: unlimited computer time and storage) and at the local DEC plant over the summers, where I learned firsthand what product ion was and what real engineering documents looked like. I have never regretted those jobs. Learning the theory is fine, but go out and get yourself summer/night/weekend work (for free if you must) in the industry. That's where I learned the most.

1
0
Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Pascal had a use (for me at least)

I agree with your evaluation of Pascal being better than FORTRAN or BASIC, but only as a stepping stone to C, which I wish had been an option when I was at university. Pascal always felt limiting, in terms of data types and I/O options, C never does. It took me ten more years (I'm a hardware guy) to start using C and I wish it had been much less.

_The C Programming Language_ and Steele's _C: A Reference Manual_ are always near to hand. Well written and densly packed with useful nuggets, both of them.

0
0

Apple dangles Spangles while Dabbsy's cables rankle

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Cables

Understood, and agreed.

From the other side of the coin, though -- we now have an entire box full of USB cables at work, since every *other* device we buy seems to come with one!

//it's the USB-OTG ones that are hard to find

3
0

Amazon yoinks Dora and SpongeBob from Netflix for MEELLLIONS

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Ah, I get it...

-> Let me guess... $YY multiplied by several necessary providers is going to end up being pretty close to $XX.

Not in our case. Netflix, Apple TV and Hulu Plus = $30/mo. Cable was $60/mo

0
0

How NSA spooks spaffed my DAD'S DATA ALL OVER THE WEB

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
WTF?

Re: NSA have no sense of humor

Ummmm...the videos "a friend" downloaded off bittorrent were for private, non-commercial use within his own home. Apparently, that's still illegal.

//Sauce for the goose, etc.

2
0

Mozilla, ACLU, others join fight against NSA domestic spying

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: Thank You

And to our elected representatives (who "knew all about this"), charged with oversight of the intelligence services, a big _digitus impudicus_ for doing f*ck all to keep them in their place. Thanks for nothing, boys.

2
0

Whoever recently showed us the secret documents: Do get in touch

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Ah hah!

Emergency re-design of LOHAN necessary?

Enhanced capabilities to be added?

1
0

NSA PRISM deepthroat VANISHES as pole-dance lover cries into keyboard

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge

Re: Chances are its all true but.....

Seems like a good start to the next John LeCarre novel...

1
0

Hacker who helped find Steubenville rapists threatened with decade in prison

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Holmes

Re: One small mistake here..

Talking about it.

Just do it, anonymously and behind TOR or enough proxies, and from an IP not your own. Don't talk about it and do it from a computer that disappears afterwards. That way, even if they track you down, there's no physical evidence to find.

1
0
Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
WTF?

Criminal hacking?

Is it a crime if it's done to uncover evidence of a crime?

0
0

Obama weighs in on NSA surveillance imbroglio

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: He's right. We need to make a choice.

You know what? I'm fine with 80% security.

And we will never have 100% security (at least, not in Boston), so I'm good with 80%

1
0

Forget phones, PRISM plan shows internet firms give NSA everything

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Google does not have a 'back door' for the government to access private user data

Govt: "Google -- give us access to all your users' data!"

Google: "Sure, glad to help. Just as soon as you hand over that check."

Gov't: "But...but...National Security!"

Google: "Get to the back of the line, you're no better than anyone else. And when you get to the front, better have a check ready."

0
0

Big Brother? Social networks are far worse, says Estonian president

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Human swarm

"With so much data on me being processed by all these businesses..."

What's amusing to me is they think all the data's accurate :-)

//lies, all lies...

0
0

Brit adventurer Nick Hancock postpones Rockall holiday to 2014

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Give him some credit.

Not quite a big enough leap, apparently. Maybe next year.

//good on him, though

0
0

Now beaming live from Pyongyang: NORKSCASTS!

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
WTF?

Re: Subtitles for the song anyone?

Subtitles present, comrade!

(utility somewhat diminished by the fact that they're in Korean, rather than English, though)

Anyone care to attempt to translate them?

0
0

Thirty-five years ago today: Space Invaders conquer the Earth

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Happy

Back in the day

In my first job out of university in 1978, I was a member of the team which developed the Dasher D200, Data General's low cost, microprocessor (MC6802) based serial terminal. I wrote the assembly code which scanned the keyboard.

As this was a microprocessor-based product with a display, the bright minds on the team were looking for interesting things to do with it. We added a pair of control sequences which would allow you to download and execute code (downloaded as S1/S9 ASCII hex files) from display memory. This was done for our own amusement, and made it into the release ROMs. Of course, malicious hacking was far in the future and we gave not a thought to the fact that this feature could be misused in any way.

Now that we had the ability to run random code on the processor, we needed some "tests". One of these was an implementation of Pacman, another was Space Invaders. We tried (and failed) to make either of these games fit into the amount of display memory on the final product (our prototype units had 2x the standard amount of display memory, so the games fit easily). If we had been able to fit the either of the games in standard display memory, the terminals would have shipped with the code stored in an unused part of system ROM, accessible with some secret keystroke sequence. It was only because we were a few bytes too big for display memory that this didn't happen.

2
0

LOHAN team regroups for second pop at SPEARS

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Thumb Up

This time...

Including extra flotation and a waterproof return address label?

Best of luck to the Playmonaut and his (her?) ground crew!

0
0

Snappers binned, mobe-armed hacks drafted at Chicago paper

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Unhappy

Someone should tell the Sun-Times

It's not the equipment, it's the person using it. News photographers have lots of experience taking photographs. Some have even gone to school for it. Sure, your reporters can use iPhones. They might even be able to get them out, enter the unlock code, and bring up the camera before the moment to be photographed passes. Then, they might even get a shot.

No zoom lens, no flash, tiny sensor. I guess that's god enough for the Chicago Sun-Times.

//feel bad for the photogs, but maybe they'll be appreciated at their next jobs.

8
0

How Microsoft shattered Gnome's unity with Windows 95

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Linux

Er, no, indeed.

Motif window manager was my favorite. I think I even *purchased* a copy to run on an early Linux release.

I'm pretty sure that was pre-Win95. Before that I had run it on my Sun workstation.

I notice nobody has brought up the window managers or "root menu" on Unix systems. Linux didn't (necessarily) want to look like Win95, it wanted to look like Unix. At least, that's why I started using it.

1
0

'Nothing will convince a kid that's never worn glasses to wear them'

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Still waiting!

Seek no further:

http://www.rnib.org.uk/shop/Pages/Category.aspx?Category=talking_watches

0
0

Sacred islet Rockall repels Brit adventurer's first assault

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: @Parax they are doing it all wrong!

"The best sailors are always on shore"

I like that, and how very true!

And..for afterwards, one of my favorites:

"It seemed like a good idea at the time!

1
0

CRUNCH: 'Drunk' chap cuffed in high-speed car nookie prang rumpus

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: attempting to hide in a cactus?

...and while naked at that. Points (sharp ones!) to the man for being so intoxicated that this appeared to be a Good Idea.

0
0

'Secret Pentagon papers' show China hacked into Patriot missile system

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Oh dear

And when the PLA Generals looked at the secret plans for those money-pits..."

...or they'll go broke trying to build their own copies of them. All part of a cunning plan!

2
0

Paul Allen buys lovingly restored vintage V-2 Nazi ballistic missile

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Pint

"Intelligence was more use to bomb the launch sites in Northern France etc"

For which I happen to have copies of aerial reconnaissance photos. I give those photointerpreters credit: I can't find the damn sites. "No Ball" missions, I believe they were called.

Those WWII bomber crews must have had trouble getting into the air, what with the weight of their big brass ones and all.

//The beer's for them (and all the others) on Memorial Day, and especially for my friend Louis Paltrineri, radio operator on a B17, shot down and ended the war as a POW...thank you.

1
0
Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: British Intelligence

(Recommend R.V Jones - "Most Secret War" book for more details)

a.k.a. "The Wizard War"

+1

0
0
Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: If I were Google

Naah...Ballmer can't put anything larger than an office chair in orbit.

2
0

The bunker at the end of the world - in Essex

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: yes

...communications mast?

Around here, they had underground ones that were supposed to rise up on hydraulics after the big boom.

1. Assuming the hydraulics hadn't rusted from groundwater

2. Good only until the second boom.

1
0
Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: yes

Even Dick Cheney was shocked.

Even more so, I expect, when he learned that the secret warhead enable code was "0000000"

//http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=116x17298

0
1

Stephen Hawking nixes Intel voice upgrade plan

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Megaphone

Re: Wasn't it DECtalk?

Sure sounds like it, but here's the scoop, from the "Hawk" himself:

http://www.hawking.org.uk/the-computer.html

"Speech Synthesizers (3 copies):

Manufacturer - Speech Plus (Incorporated 1988, Mountain View, CA)

Model - CallText 5010"

and more, from that unimpeachable source, Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3ADECtalk

1
0

Biz bods: Tile-tastic Windows 8? NOOO. We lust after 'mature' Win 7

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Megaphone

Why is it so hard for Microsoft?

Commercial users want stability and reliability. They don't want the latest whizz-bang UI, or tiles, or widgets. They want computers on the desks of their employees to run whatever software they need to run to do their jobs, with minimal support requirements. Don't go changing things, just for the sake of changing them. That just costs us more money in lower productivity, while our employees learn how to use the new features at our expense.

Is this so hard for Microsoft to understand? Just give us something that works and will be supported for "a while", the longer the better. Of course, if it's robust and resistant to malware, all the better, but perhaps that's a bridge too far...

18
1

I said ‘no’ to a million-pound Tech City empire

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Happy

Re: "Ah. I see."

Live webcams

Paid sunscriptions.

He'll raise the dosh in no time.

1
0

TOO GOOD! Groupon ex-boss to drop, er, 'motivational business album'

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Megaphone

Re: '...releases an album of "motivational business music".'

"Ever Onward, IBM!"

(they play it at the Computer History Museum in Silly Valley)

Someone should do a "greatest hits" collection and sell it on late night TV.

//well, I guess there's always YouTube

4
0

UK.gov blows a fuse at smart meter stall, sets new 2020 deadline

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge

Re: Happy with mine

Around here, that's against the law, no matter what the reason. And just in case the supplier messes up, I have a wood stove to keep me warm while they figure out who to blame.

Seriously, I've had a smart electric meter for 20 years. Never had a problem with it.

0
2

Feds use Instagram pic of delicious steak dinner to nab ID thieves

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Shoddy reporting

Sun Sentinal link in the article has the photo

1
0

Penguins in spa-a-a-ce! ISS dumps Windows for Linux on laptops

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Happy

Howard Johnson's and the "old" Bell System logo, for me.

IIRC, Bell changed their logo to the "outlined bell" very shortly thereafter.

//still my favorite movie

0
0

The IT Crowd returns to Channel 4 for a final episode

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Ah yes...

I built a copy of The Internet for my daughter's birthday. She's in IT and a fan. She thought it was brilliant. Only the most refined of her coworkers appreciated it.

4
0

Thongs of praise: Slip on Japan's skimpy mobe knickers

Peter Simpson 1
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Missed marketing angle

Secondary market:

Can you purchase previously used ones from a vending machine?

4
0