210 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009
Wasn't that long ago when novels were written using a typewriter, or even (as CS Lewis recommended) with a pen. Didn't seem to stop plenty good stories being written and published. What's changed?
You're a bit behind the times there... the big cats are old hat, it's Californian place names nowadays.
Re: .GB vs. .UK
No, yes (.je) and yes (.gg) respectively.
Re: Finally catching up?
Because bl.uk started off many moons ago as the JANET NRS name UK.BL, back in the day when organisations that were considered to be neither commercial (UK.CO...) nor academic (UK.AC...) simply got NRS names of the form UK.<name>.
Of course this was before org.uk or gov.uk (or even their short-lived predecessors orgn.uk or govt.uk) were invented...
What's the point of being able to attach a payload of 64k of arbitrary data to a heartbeat message anyway?
What's wrong with a simple sequence number?
Did they think the case where the other end was sufficiently functional to interpret and respond to a protocol message, but somehow incapable of copying a block of memory correctly was worth detecting?
Did this Request for Comments actually get any comments?
D Sandys didn't cancel TSR2, Denis Healey did. He was Secretary of State for Defence at the time. See CC(65)20 and CC(65)21, CAB/128/39, TNA.
"a small doohickey comprising 32KB of battery-backed RAM to hold the firmware ..."
Odd, why didn't they just use good old-fashioned EPROMs (the UV-erasable kind) like everyone else?
AMD have just announced a chip based on a completely new (to them) architecture, and they called it... Opteron???
I'll never understand marketing people...
Re: There is one big leguacy with the QL...
Actually, Linus was a Minix hacker for a few years in between his QL tinkering and starting Linux. Hence early Linux's obvious influences and dependencies on Minix.
Great article, some interesting new stuff there, but a couple of minor errors: all QLs had the BS6312 (BT phone-plug) type sockets for the RS232 ports, except for the ones built by Samsung, which were only for export markets; and the ultimate CST Thor model was the Thor XVI which was a complete hardware redesign using an MC68000 (the Thor 20 had some kind of daughterboard on the QL motherboard for its MC68020 CPU).
Nothing new under the sun...
Rick Dickinson (Clive Sinclair's equivalent of Jony Ive) came up with a design for a second-generation Sinclair QL in the mid-80s based around vertical air flow, complete with a "chimney" on top, that never saw the light of day. You can see a photo of a mock-up of it in this interview.
PERQ-1 or PERQ-2? Or PERQ-3 for that matter? Not sure any of them were particularly sexy (unless you have a thing for chocolate-brown fascias...)
Don't you mean ¡Bong!?
Re: Won't somebody think of the history?
...and then lost all those photos because they only existed in the digital domain, and nobody really does backing up (never mind archiving) properly...
Re: Geography is a bit screwed
Incidentally, Sir Clive's last computer company, Cambridge Computer Ltd, had their HQ down the road at 10 Bridge Street.
Re: Speed benefits when compared to tapes?
Well, it took 7 seconds for a Microdrive cartridge tape loop to complete one pass, so loading a game from Microdrive shouldn't take much longer than that (unless it was a dodgy cartridge and some sectors needed more than one attempt to read). A lot faster than cassette, and probably quite comparable to a floppy disk.
Re: Fascinating story
One of my most satisfying bits of hackery I did on my QL was reducing the number of cartridges required to load The Pawn from three (two "working copy" carts plus one original for copy protection) to one - I worked out I could squeeze the the contents of two cartridges onto one, which I formatted with the same magic ID code as the original cart using some Microdrive "utility" software. Playing the game was almost as much fun...
Must power up my QL again and see if the Microdrives still work - they did about 4 years ago...
I think you mean stereophonic sound, unless you're one of those rare people who say they can see sounds..
Re: Poor Apple.
EFI was invented by Intel to be the standard boot firmware for Itanium systems. It was only afterwards that someone thought it porting it to x86 would make a good replacement for the old PC BIOS, something which was well overdue.
I think notionally the MS-DOS BIOS was split between the ROM BIOS (which would be customised to the particular hardware configuration of the PC) and IO.SYS (or IBMBIO.COM if you had PC-DOS) which was intended to be generic. The term "BIOS" is now so closely associated with boot firmware that we forget it used to be an integral part of a PC's native OS....
The Alpha architecture was intended to have a lifespan of 25 years. Whether it was capable of that is moot, since it was canned after 12, but there were at least two more generations under development when that happened.
Oh and OpenVMS, Linux and Windows already ran on Alpha platforms, as did Tru64 UNIX. Not a bad "porting platform" (whatever that is exactly...).
Re: Peter Gathercole BeFuddled
Itanium certainly killed off Alpha and MIPS (notwithstanding the latter's continued presence in the embedded market).
Re: HH tiger?
GEM never ran on CP/M-80 (Z80). GEM only ever ran on CP/M-86 or the 68k DOS clone, GEMDOS, on the Atari ST, IIRC.
"odd versions are experimental"
Huh? There was no IPv1,2 or 3 - IPv4 was numbered to match the corresponding TCP protocol version (RFC793). TCP actually predated IP, (see RFC675) and hence was in its fourth version at the time.
And IPv5 didn't really exist either - version 5 was used to distinguish IEN-119 ST stream protocol packets from IP packets. ST was not intended as a replacement for IPv4.
I think someone might be getting mixed up with the old Linux kernel version numbering scheme...?
Re: it was still supported?!
Actually, NetBSD dropped the 386 in 2007, though the first formal release without 386 support was 5.0 in 2009.
Ironically, the x86 port of NetBSD is still called "NetBSD/i386"...
Re: How can anyone cost justify F-35s on the basis of them being useful for 30 years now?
Would you call a B-52 a combat aircraft? They're all about 50 years old now, and the USAF are planning to keep them in service until at least 2040...
Even the RAF's Tornado GR4s are around 30 years old now...
Re: Not just OS X
It's the source data to provide an "on this day in history"-type feature in the calendar(1) utility. Only "history" here includes Middle Earth "history"...
Re: Oldtimer alert!
IIRC, the "printer on fire?" message was associated with an undefined combination of status pin values on a Centronics port. Only that combination turned out to be more common than Linus anticipated...
"Windows 3.0, the first version to do the Protected Mode trick"
Erm, didn't the Windows/286 and Windows/386 editions of Windows 2.10 do protected mode tricks?
Re: Our consolation prize..
Plus 1.4MB 3.5in floppies, 1024x768 resolution (IBM 8514), 72-pin SIMMs and power switches on the front of the box...
One of the first games I played on my Speccy. Did anybody else keep trying to get through the narrow gap at the end of the last level to see what came next? :-)
A great story about a long-forgotten computer, but...
...somehow I doubt they managed to get 40 lines of text on a 128-pixel-high screen!
So the A4 (or PQ34 as VW Group call it now) platform was "dull and wretched", but the A5 (or PQ35) platform is "a country mile better". In terms of dynamics, the main difference between the two was the rear suspension - torsion beam on the former, multi-link on the latter. Interestingly, the New New Beetle only gets the PQ35 rear suspension on the 2.0 TSI model. What do the lesser variants have? You guessed it, torsion beam!
As for the "daft rear spoiler", I don't think that back end is going to generate much downforce by itself, so I think I'd rather have one, thanks. Anybody remember the hasty recall of the original, spoiler-less Audi TT?
Re: Long Wave is Long!
About the submarines: "Journalist and historian Professor Peter Hennessy claimed in his book, Secret State: Whitehall and the cold war 1945 to 1970, that he had been reliably informed that the test a commander of a British nuclear-missile submarine was to use to determine whether the UK has been the target of a nuclear attack (in which case he had sealed orders which may authorise him to fire his nuclear missiles in retaliation), was to listen for the broadcast of Today on Radio 4's frequencies." (source)
I presume LW would be easier to pick up from a random spot in the Earth's oceans than VHF...
Re: Microsoft Window™
If you only have one window doesn't that make it a wall?
"Manganese Bronze failed to innovate"
You can say that again - I believe the TX4's chassis (no monocoque construction here) owes much to the FX4's, which came from the Austin FX3, which dates back to 1948 or so...
Wow, a point release!
First point release of Solaris since 2.6 in 1997. Possibly the only good that's come of Oracle's acquisition is that they've finally dropped the "Solaris 10 9/11"-style maintentance release identification...?
TIFKAM tiles and colours?
Never having used Windows Phone or Windows 8, am I correct in guessing there is no colour coding to the background colour of the tiles, and the colours are in fact chosen in a random-and-pleasing manner? Seems like another violation of fundamental user interface principles if so...
The card suits should be ISA, MCA, EISA and VL-Bus?
What is this "PCI+" anyway?
Compiling ARM code using native compilers under QEMU seems like a total bodge. Any package that can only be compiled using a native toolchain without massive effort is broken, frankly.
Does Windows Server Core 2012 really not have a GUI?
Or is it like Server Core 2008, which has a desktop, just no Windows Explorer?
The ultimate engineering project
It must have been quite something to have been involved in building a machine that is still functioning after 35 years, has now left our solar system, and will be out there, somewhere, for thousands of years, if not eternity.
Now that's what you call leaving your mark.
I think it's definitely time for another company called Tangerine. Since T-Mobile's colour scheme is pink (or magenta?), and Orange is obviously orange, it seems apt.
Either that or TOM (T-Orange-Mobile).
Or possibly T-Orange-Mobile Telecoms and Information Technology (TOM TIT).
I'll think I'll stop there.
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