* Posts by Ivan 4

547 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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First production car powered by Android Auto rolls out – and it's a Hyundai

Ivan 4
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Re: Why?

@AndyS

No you don't. Some garages will "chip" a car, this means either putting new parameters into the existing ECU or, more drastically, putting in a whole new after-market ECU. Nobody makes a living removing the electronics from modern engines.

Yes I do. They go as far as replacing the inlet manifolds as necessary and petrol cars get standard two barrel carburettors. In fact they did it to my Mazda 4x4 and every time I take it in for its biannual Controle Technique I get better than the book value emissions.

I also said that the electronics was/is used for emission control in the first place. This was to meet some 'perceived' requirement and it was thought that it would save people having to take the cars to a garage to be tuned up.

It might run the infotainment at the moment but how long before it becomes required as a backup to the latest EU directive that all cars will call home if they have an 'accident' be it a bump in a pothole or a real accident that requires reporting.

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Ivan 4
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Why?

Knowing that I will upset a number of people I still have to ask why do we need an operating system in a car?

As it stands I do not see any logical reason for having any complex operating system controlling what the car does. Yes, I know that 'modern' cars have engine control by dedicated programmable chips (ECU) and from what I can see all that does is make repairing any faults very expensive. In fact I know of a garage that has a thriving sideline of removing all the electronics from the engine going back to all manual and getting better emissions readings than those of the controlled engine - emission control is the basic reason for all the engine electronics in the first place.

Other than it is 'cool' to have your car controlled by a computer - self driving cars anyone - why do we need this?

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Robots.txt tells hackers the places you don't want them to look

Ivan 4
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Re: Yes.

Where I have placed a mousetrap primed to go off when you stick your hand in there.

Exactly. Come into my parlour said the spider to the fly, just the thing to trap the hackers.

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So why the hell do we bail banks out?

Ivan 4
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Fractional reserve

I have often wondered why the fractional reserve percentage is so low. Yes, I know that by having a very low percentage it means the banks have more money available to lend out but I would think a reserve of about 50% would be a better proposition from the point of view of those of us 'lending' our hard earned to them.

Another thing, what would be the effect of removing the speculation sections from the banking sections and making them separate companies? Would this reduce the risk of the bank going bust?

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KA-BOOM! Russian rocket EXPLODES over Siberia minutes after lift-off

Ivan 4
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it presents a lot of opportunity for new companies and new ideas

Skylon perchance? After all NASA has passed the engines as working, now all they need to do is manufacture the airframe and body.

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Roku 3: Probably the best streaming player on the market ... for now, at least

Ivan 4
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US or world wide?

I don't see where it states what countries this gadget works in and looking at their text mode website that the article links to I find it mentions the US a couple of times but nowhere else. From that I assume it is US only - streaming from a media server or SD card does not require an expensive box.

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Microsoft: Free Windows 10 for THIEVES and PIRATES? They can GET STUFFED

Ivan 4
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Re: Please offer an ISO + Vista upgrades

However most XP era hardware is probably too slow and wont have supported drivers for Win 10.

And there you hit the nail on the head - what hardware is needed for this upgrade to allow it to function?

I have friends with several computers that came with win 7 installed that work if you don't want to do anything that might stress the CPU/memory or even require much disk writing. If you do something like saving a 20 page document you can go and make the coffee and it will still be saving when you get back.

I 'upgraded' three of them to XP and they hum along without any problems. I shudder to think how that sort of hardware will run win 10.

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Lightbulbs of the future will come with wireless extenders and speakers

Ivan 4
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It is all very well installing all these 'features' into the light bulbs but the BIG question is, when will they actually make a reasonably priced LED bulb that has the same spectral output and number of lumens as the old incandescent bulbs, and while they are at it the same all over coverage.

Until they have that cracked all these 'features' are just a coverup for poor light output.

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Record smartphones sales, but feature phones far from dead

Ivan 4
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Re: Bought my first smartphone this quarter...

Same here. I needed a dual sim phone and my very ancient Nokia was literally falling apart - sticky tape only lasts so long. I found that a smartphone was cheaper than a replacement for the Nokia.

The only problem is what to do with all the extra junk it has even after unloading as much as it allowed me to.

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Look out, law abiding folk: UK’s Counter-Extremism Bill slithers into view

Ivan 4
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Especially since it will only apply to the white British population. The blacks will play the raciest card, the muslims will play the religion card so only the British are left.

Be very afraid indeed.

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Ivan 4
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One World Government.

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Ivan 4
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All churches maybe but mosques will be excluded as normal.

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Red-faced Germans halt NSA cooperation after Euro spying revealed

Ivan 4
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Re: Hmm

@Your alien overlord - fear me,

You are the one that has fallen for the propaganda of the left with their greatest triumph of painting the National Socialtist party as a party of the far right.

Maybe you should do a little reading http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100260720/whenever-you-mention-fascisms-socialist-roots-left-wingers-become-incandescent-why/ or talk to those that lived through that period or just after.

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Ivan 4
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Re: Hmm

Where does the far right, or even the right, come into this? You have mentioned the left - communists - and the far left - Gestapo.

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Citizens denied chance to vote in local-government IT cockup

Ivan 4
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@James 51, you don't have to purge them if they are not on it to start with which appears to be the case here.

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iPhone case uses phone's OWN SIGNAL to charge it (forever, presumably)

Ivan 4
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Re: Err...

Err... is that spelt 'snake oil'?

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Ivan 4
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... and don't forget this is aimed at Apple users.

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OMFG – Emojis are killing off traditional 'net slang

Ivan 4
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You mean to say that such a transformation is normal and my archery practice in the back yard had nothing to do with it when a boy came to visit my daughter?

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Ivan 4
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It is amazing just how well the yoof of today are responding the the very high standard of education they are receiving (Education, education, education). Why, at this rate the will be able to cope with pictures that have words in them by the time they leave university. They might even be able to speak using words rather than grunts as they do at the moment.

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Meet the man who inspired Elon Musk’s fear of the robot uprising

Ivan 4
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Maybe he should have read Two Faces of Tomorrow by James P. Hogan before he wrote his book.

All he is showing is his fear that he might just be totally irrelevant to mankind in general so he writes a book that should ensure that he will be remembered.

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E-voting and the UK election: Pick a lizard, any lizard

Ivan 4
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Re: Please, no e-voting!

or even 2 mins to fill in a postal ballot

Postal votes are the easiest way to fiddle the results and should be banned with a few very well defined exceptions - British forces stationed overseas and those people that are in hospital/ care homes come to mind as the main exceptions.

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Why recruiters are looking beyond IT's traditional talent pool

Ivan 4
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Boltar, I never said, and I hope I never implied, it was simple - it isn't and never will be.

The developer you know sounds as if he is dedicated to his work and as such should be earning big money for what he does. The last team we employed for one of our clients walked away with just over £1m for 9 months work and we will employ them again when we need their expertise

Selling industrial control systems is a business. Just read what Eric has to say in the comment just above yours.

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Ivan 4
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Re: Ivan 4

@Lallabalalla

We do give them all that information and, when it is critical, the timing of each operation.

In one case we even went as far as filming the operation on a slightly older machine - the operating sequence was exactly the same and the only difference was newer components, stepper motors, enhanced sensors etc.

I am not trying to get a dig in at all developers, they do their best, but a lot of them quote to do the development without knowing what is entailed. Industrial machine tool control is somewhat of a specialist field that developers without some specialist knowledge should be very wary of.

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Ivan 4
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@boltar

Any good developer can turn his hand to any task given a decent spec

So you are saying that your employer is going to carry several million indemnity insurance just to cover your cock ups. You obviously know nothing about industrial control software and the equipment it is running.

We have the job of writing the specifications for such software and include with the detailed specifications full operating instructions, photographs and diagrams as well as being on the end of the phone line to answer questions and still the developers that have never been out on the production floor get it wrong by missing some essential sequence of operation.

The usual attitude of the developers when questioned about their cock up is that they thought it was 'near enough'. Near enough when applied to a £5m machine is not good enough especially if it means that machine will have to be replaced.

Those developers that have a background in industry are way better than those that don't. Machine tools are very unforgiving.

Also theres a reason most serious software houses and other companies that do in house coding have Business Analyists as well as coders.

A Business Analyst might be necessary in developing financial services software but is useless for industrial control software.

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Ivan 4
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@Naselus

I couldn't agree more. Having seen a full production line come to a grinding halt because the programmer didn't know that you only switch off the lubrication pumps AFTER everything has stopped moving, even in an emergency shutdown situation - for him emergency shutdown was just cut all power. That little SNAFU cost several million before that line was up and running again.

Now, every bit of software that is intended to go into that plant comes to us first for inspection and testing and there had better not be any binary blobs that we can't get into - if there are then it is rejected at the developers expense - they don't get paid since the requirements are in the contract.

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So how should we tax these BASTARD COMPANIES, then?

Ivan 4
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I know Tim will think I am being rather simple but I do wonder why we have tax at all. If my memory is correct, it may not be, this last round of taxation started as a way to fund a war. That war has been over for a very long time but we still have the tax which everyone bitches about. I assume we still have it because government became a rather hungry beast that thought it could grow on the backs of the population that were earning money.

Now, maybe the country should be run as a company for the benefit of the shareholders - the population - and should therefore make a profit with dividends being shared out among the shareholders. The question is why wouldn't such a system work? I know the government would be dead against it because it would force many in government out of the feed trough be it MPs, department heads and/or hangers on.

If we must continue taxation why not negative income tax for individuals and something based on that for companies. That way startup companies get a chance to grow and we do away with the welfare state.

Then, who am I to think such things, after all I've been an engineer for nearly 50 years not an economist.

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Watch out for the products that have snuck in behind your back

Ivan 4
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I think the iThings are mentioned because they are the things that attract the 'empire builders' in any company.

I agree that new hardware is interesting, especially if I can take it apart to look inside, but the results of people trying to use ShIT software can be very amusing since in most cases it a) won't install and b) if it does install somehow it generally doesn't run. In house we use OS/2 and our clients use OS/2 modified to run industrial systems and engineering equipment.

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Ivan 4
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Re: Not just IT, but largely

@Edwin. That is exactly what I do here, I run the company and the IT department. In fact we started as an IT company and then added the other 'bits' as needed to keep clients happy and operational.

While this works very well for a small company I think, as the company grows, there becomes much more 'empire building' in departments which is a very strong driver of what this article points out.

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Google versus the EU: Sigh. You can't exploit a contestable monopoly

Ivan 4
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Re: Be careful of what you ask for!

Goody, let's do that - pillory the EU commission I mean, after all they are an unelected monopoly that dictate what we can and can't do.

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Kremlin hackers exploited TWO 0-day Flash, Windows vulns

Ivan 4
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Ah, FireEye the 'reds under the bed' company. According to their stance everything has to be caused by communists, be they Russians or Chinese, it can't be anyone else.

The thing they seem to forget is that most governments have lousy security on their IT which is an open invitation to anyone to try and see if they can get into the systems.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Tortilla de patatas

Ivan 4
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Re: Success!

@CarlW, you could do what I have been doing for years - using the leftover mashed potato.

Because the potatoes I get from our local market come in many different sizes it is very difficult to work out the exact quantity to use for mashed potato so I generally have some left over - rather than dumping it to waste it is stored in the fridge for a few days (in fact I generally cook more potatoes than I need just to have some on hand). They are then used with lightly fried chopped onions and lardons to make my version of this dish.

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You! GOOGLE! HAND OVER the special SAUCE, says Senate (of France)

Ivan 4
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Good, they are just about useless because there is little in France that anyone wants to search for.

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DTS announces DTS:X – sparks object-based audio war with Dolby

Ivan 4
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Consequently, with DTS:X you could boost the dialogue level of a movie to suit specific listening conditions.

Will it compensate for the mumble effect that actors use? I assume they mumble because they have not learnt diction. It is most annoying to have to crank up the volume and then still not be able to understand what they are saying.

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Bluetooth SIG launches dev studio to encourage development

Ivan 4
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Re: What OS then ?

I think it will be either windows or android based with preference going to windows unless it is web based in which case heaven help us.

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Google's new scribble-tab-ulous handwriting interface for Android

Ivan 4
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Re: I'm genuinely surprised Android hasn't had this kind of thing until now.

This has been available on the Entourage Edge Dual book - both 7 and 10 inch versions - since 2011. It is much easier there since the Edge is designed to use a wacom stylus on both the e-ink and LCD screens.

The biggest problem I can see with this new implementation is the lack of a precision stylus that works on a capacitive touch screen.

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WHAT did GOOGLE do SO WRONG to get a slapping from the EU?

Ivan 4
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Re: but...

If Google were operating decently they would show the top rated shopping/comparison sites so you could get the best deal, not them!

The point is that if I am looking for detailed information - specifications, manuals, power usage, etc. - I DO NOT WANT OR NEED to have to trawl through shopping and/or comparison sites, they are just a hindrance to me getting the information I want.

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Ivan 4
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AndyS, so what, it is a true statement. The fact that a lot of people can't be bothered to change what they have been doing for years in no way changes that fact. Just as people complain about adds in the search results because they don't use AB+.

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Lib Dem manifesto: Spook slapdown, ban on teen-repelling Mosquitos

Ivan 4
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Re: British politics in a nutshell

I think that's unfair - New Labour has shown it can be just as corrupt as the Tories.

Those two are the same party but use different colour rosettes. They are as bad as each other, nothing they say can be trusted except their releaving the the British tax payer of their hard earned cash with the help of the Libdems.

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EU says dominant Google ILLEGALLY FIDDLES search results

Ivan 4
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Re: Eh?

Ah codejunky, you miss the point of how the EU commission works. The pronouncements all depend on the size and how well stuffed the brown envelopes are. It has absolutely nothing to do with right or wrong, good or bad practices or anything like that.

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Conservative manifesto: 5G, 'near universal' broadband and free mobes for PC Dixon

Ivan 4
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Re: The Tories are no strangers...

I would go further and say that no one wanting to be a politician in ANY public office could do so unless they had at least a 15 years proven record of ability in industry and then, if they get elected they can not serve more than two terms in that public office.

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Ivan 4
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Re: Some political minds might be concentrated if...

Vimes, the big problem is that people don't know when a PPE graduate is lying - to be certain you need to see their lips, if they are moving it is a lie.

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Verizon to world: STOP opening dodgy phishing emails, FOOLS

Ivan 4
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Re: Dear El Reg...

You can always use AB+ to kill it.

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'Chinese hackers' were sniffing SE Asian drawers for YEARS

Ivan 4
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You must realise that FireEye are always finding 'reds under the bed' even if they are only a shadow.

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ICANN urges US, Canada: Help us stop the 'predatory' monster we created ... dot-sucks!

Ivan 4
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Re: The photo

AC, the socket shrouds the pins until they are well free of any electrical contact. In fact it is impossible to get a finger in the socket and touch the exposed metal of the plug.

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Ivan 4
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The photo

Shame on you El Reg displaying a photo of how NOT to pull a plug from a socket.

On the other hand, being a US plug with exposed pins that may be the safest way of doing it ;)

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Because the server room is certainly no place for pets

Ivan 4
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Re: So much bollocks spouted in the comments

AC, I assume you have several hundred million euros to spare and can afford to shut the factory down for over 12 months while everything is ripped out and all mew machinery is installed and the workers are retrained to use the new equipment. Or is it that you are still wet behind the ears and have never been in a real world manufacturing situation.

What you are talking about will work most of the time in an office type of situation where there are regular upgrade cycles, it will not work out on the factory floor where machine-tools are expected to have a minimum life of 30 years and that includes all the hardware that controls them.

If NASA followed your short sighted plan then there would be no probes leaving the solar system and not many satellites in orbit still working.

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Ivan 4
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Err... can you connect real I/O ports to a virtual machine ?

Virtualisation is good in only some cases where you don't need dedicated I/O but just run office type software. It does not work where cables to the metal are an absolute necessity. In a lot of those cases the legacy hardware was supplied with the machine-tools and as long as those tools run that hardware will be in use and repaired as necessary.

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Can you recover your data if disaster strikes? Sure?

Ivan 4
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Cloud services are fine, just don't expect the pigeons to carry more than a usb stick at a time.

Trevor, like you we manage the IT of a manufacturing plant. The big problem is that it is out in the countryside and about 10km (as the cables run) from the nearest exchange. ADSL speeds are 'problematic' to say the least - sometimes they get a better service using dial-up. There is no way they can use cloud services in any meaningful way.

I have a lingering doubt about cloud services being the general panacea for the IT industry. They might be in the cities with all the high speed cable services but it is going to be a long time before that type of service reaches out into the countryside - we even have a problem trying to get a 3G signal out here in many places.

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It's all got complicated: The costs of data recovery

Ivan 4
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The elephant in the room with the cloud that no one wants to look at is the physical access to said cloud. It might be fine in the cities where you have a high speed link but there are places in the country where that will never happen.

We have a client that was 'persuaded' to use the cloud for storage and backups. The problem was his ISP could only give 512kbs so backup took over 10 hours if they didn't need to use the connection for anything else.

When we took over looking after the IT there we rationalised just what they needed to backup and what they needed to store. A second-hand storage array and a server obtained from a large company that was upgrading brought what they needed in house. The addition of a wireless link gave them off site backup. We do remote checking of the logs overnight and if there is any question or apparent problem I send someone there in the morning.

Result, one very happy client that is saving money compared to what the consultants insisted he needed.

As I said at the start, the cloud option may well work and be cost effective for those that have a high speed link but not everyone does and it is those that don't that also need consideration.

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Ivan 4
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Hear. Hear.

That is a very good description of what we did when we took up the maintenance of the IT foe a couple of small businesses. The main difference was that we used USB hard disks for the archive because only a small number of machines had optical drives and they were CD players (if it aint broke don't fix it).

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