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* Posts by John 61

29 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

It's not you, it's EE: UK mobile network goes titsup, blames gremlins

John 61
Alert

EE still down in South Manchester

As of 3.00 PM it was still down (according to work colleagues); my Orange phone was and still is working, although the signal is weak and I was near Virgin Media.

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Acorn’s would-be ZX Spectrum killer, the Electron, is 30

John 61
Go

My Electron is on the shelf as a constant reminder along with a Cumana disk drive, Slogger Disk Interface a PRES Plus 1 and a Viewsheet cartridge. I bought all the Input magazines (still have them somewhere) and read stories about older types who had bought houses by writing computer games. I wanted to get into this and do the same! Didn't happen though. I didn't leave enough time to complete my computer studies O level programs, so I had to borrow one. I flunked the exam by not documenting the programs properly. I also flunked my other exams, but used the electron until 2003 to do job applications and CV's, when the Star LC-10 printer finally packed up in March, shortly before my father died. It still works after 30 years, which is, I believe, a testament to it. It lives on along with all the games in a couple of emulators, where you can crank it up to the speed of a BBC B. Ransack (the only game I played on both machines) is absolutely nuts at 800% faster than normal!

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Microsoft makes good with a 23-fix Patch Tuesday

John 61
FAIL

patchy yet again...

I'm trying to update 3 .NET framework efforts on my XP machine. I'm now in a perpetual cycle of downloading, along with a bunch of others I've bumped into on the MS support forums.

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Mag bitchslapped in Duchess Kate digi-slimming case

John 61
Go

Not just Kate Middleton...

The other Kate (Moss) has this plastered elsewhere: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/16/kate-moss-daughter-photoshop_n_928681.html

Her daughter's fingers went missing.

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Of Windows patch management

John 61
Alert

Tuesday?

Here in the UK patches pop up on Wednesay, so if a critically urgent patch is issued, we get it almost a day late. I suggested elsewhere on El Reg that servers could be based in Fiij (maybe not the best place with hindsight) or Australia, New Zealand so as the Earth rotates folk get their patches as they get up, instead of clogging up the whole network at 6pm Microsoft time.

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Microsoft breaks own world record for IE nonsense

John 61
Pirate

previous post follow up for those who are interested

The link I forgot was http://www.beautyoftheweb.co.uk. Unfortunately it doesn't look very good with IE8.

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John 61
FAIL

more nonsense whilst outside

I noticed a huge billboard ad proclaiming "The Web is now available FULL ON" in huge letters. In the top right hand corner was the Microsoft logo and the bottom left corner "Internet Explorer 9 and the e" along with a link to a promotional website. I've seen two of these so far, but can't remember the link. Hum.

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UK's oldest working telly up for sale

John 61
Go

Has anyone else

noticed that on sets with an integrated decoder the pictures and words (speech) aren't properly synchronised properly? It takes the biscuit that a 75 year old set adapted and with bolt-ons would still work better than the super-duper all singing all dancing efforts post 2005...

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London's Olympic clock claps out

John 61
Go

Thanks

to my fellow posters for giving me a huge laugh. I hate sport for what it has become. I take my nephews on the park with a football bought from the pound shop. They're quite happy with that. When you think about all the costs involved why didn't they build an enterpirse zone (like the Germans do) and housing? Then again people would benefit from that. I heard a comedian on the radio a year or so ago who said "There's a Bangladeshi community in East London just aching for an Equine Centre" (I forget his name), which sums it up.

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Chicken Little report: Sat-nav dependency spells DISASTER!

John 61
Pirate

I use NPL's

time server to set the clock on the pile of junk in front of me as time.windows.com doesn't work any more. ntp1.npl.co.uk or ntp2.npl.co.uk or if they pack up you can go across the pond with time.nist.gov (no punctuation so they work) Just key/paste the lot in to the drop down box and have all three. If eLORAN is adopted it will have to be backward compatible with MSF as me (and no doubt others) radio controlled clock will pack up. People should remember the old GIGO principle of computing as that applies to maps too. Use of eyes and brains should get you where you want to go. I read elsewhere on the interweb that the Olympic "village" and surrounding streets are in the current A to Z of London, despite not being built yet. Ancient types used the stars, but that's only good at night if you ain't got the Hubble telescope.

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Blighty suffers 'real shortage of serviceable conkers'

John 61
Coat

Tom 38 is on the right track...

I live near 7 or 8 (one of which is diseased, right outside the front door) (non native) trees and the conkers are coming along quite nicely. I've been playing since I was five years old, and supplied then entire primary school with them too. Later it become the secondary school. I've *NEVER* been short of the things. Even now I'm 40, the trees are still providing them by the carrier bagful and that includes the diseased one. I suggest Mr Flett should come up north, as they are still on the trees here. Another two weeks and they'll fall off by themselves. No need for kids to throw stuff (including their younger friends) at them as the wind is now getting up. Early October is the best time.

Coat, cos I'll be off soon to get me nephews some.

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Cleveland residents get RFID-equipped recycling

John 61
Alert

Chip & Bin: It only leads to more confusion

Chances are your (recyclcing) bins (like in old England) have mountings for such devices. That way they can be weighed, checked, folded spindled or mutilated (something council workers are good at), which would be bad for me as local undesirables decide to fling their plastic bottles of cheap alcohol (having consumed the contents and leaving the lids on) in my bin. Littering is also a problem and I suspect I won't have to wait long for the vomiting to start. Anyway, I'm digressing.

The problem in my part of the world is that they only recycle stuff that is bottle shaped, marked PET(E) and/or a triangle with a 1 or 2 (or marked HDPE) on it. Plastic trays made of the same stuff are not accepted. However, some bottles are maked with 5 (or PP, food grade such as ketchup bottles or fruit containers), so this leaves me in a dilemma of whether I fling it in the recyclables or the normal trash. Not only that, some stuff is marked with a 6 (or other) or even a 7 (or other) which they won't recycle either. As for stuff marked with a 3 or 4 (polythene bags) they don't do them either, so they go in another plastic bag for trash day. They also don't do the lids off bottles, but some lids are maked with a 1 or 2 so they are rightly or wrongly flung in Fortunately glass bottles, jars and cans are recycled. Ths could place me in the strange situation of having a recyclable lid on a non-recyclabe bottle.

As far as I can gather, Germany and the rest of Europe (and Japan too) have been doing all the lot since the 1990's and we started in 2007, so we have a long way to go. I'm due a 3rd bin in October for non-recyclables.

A nice triangle as I'm confused.

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UK ICT classes killing kids' interest in tech

John 61
Go

@OO posters

Open office does have a Save as option which includes .DOC (2003) which seems to work well.

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End of Microsoft NHS deal means mass deletions

John 61

Open office...

Isn't bad as a wordprocessor, but when you want to mailmerge a database (e.g sending out appointment letters) on a windows box, it tends to crash a lot, nor is it easy to get data into a database compared with, say, Access 97+ as data has to be pasted into each field separately. I'll ignore the blank line problem too. It's also not bad as a spreadsheet (many functions are the same as early Excel), but the database component isn't very good as it is rather buggy. They would run it on widows boxes, so maybe it's time the penguin paid a visit...

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Facebook stands up to UK.gov's cyberbullying

John 61
Alert

Continuing the nonsense...

What did they expect? I've made this point on this site and others too, so I'll keep it short, but it is pertinent to the thread. After years of plugging the internet (and Mr Brown has another re-announced 50p BB campaign starting today to get *everyone* online), it's all gone horribly wrong. I agree with a lot of the other posters on here and what they say. Next up I suppose will be www.yourisp.com/index-big-panic-button.html legisliation. Out of curiosity though, maybe there is a story here that El Reg could pursue. The effectiveness of the CEOP button and its use, such as people "protected" from harm or how many false alarms. The BBC is running a get online campaign too, but these "taster courses" are too simplistic. It takes more than this to educate users - as they don't cover virus scanning/removal, updating drivers, software patches, registry editing to fix broken entries, etc etc. When I did voluntary work showing senior citizens how to use a computer it only went as far as using the mouse, keyboard and the internet. A lot wanted tech support, which was something I was capable of, but unable to demonstrate. New users, more problems.

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Wales Audit Office boss sacked amidst laptop smut claims

John 61
IT Angle

@ratfox, et al

It has been a firing offence for quite some time. HM Govt writes "acceptable use" into your contract via a signed agreement. That's what got him fired. That said, pr0n is filtered out quite effectively by govt systems, and even legitimate stuff (e.g. adverts) gets you in trouble. Even if he took it home and used his own connection it's still misuse of taxpayers poroperty. I wonder how he got around the filtering s/ware?

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Google slapped in domain name spat

John 61
FAIL

you would need to a really bad typist

on a QWERTY keyboard "trf" is what I get (gtrfoogle) pressing between the keys to get the R. A common problem on most PC keybaords is rollover, so you can't get groogle without using the extra finger and scoring a direct hit on it. When I type keyboard I usually get keybaord (see 2nd line). The same thing used to happen on my Acorn Electron. If it had been called goovle then they might have a stronger case.

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The best (of the worst) patent claims of 2009

John 61
Go

Just imagine... if the boot alarm made it to the real world...

It's the <(soccer) World Cup Final/Superbowl/Ashes/Baseball or other sporting event>. I'll use football (soccer) as an example. "Here we are in the last minute of nomal time, in this <England/Brazil> game and it's <Stevie G> who has taken the ball all the way down the <pitch>, past <Ronaldo (the Brazillian one)>, he's taken one defender out, and another, can he get the equalizer to force Extra time?" (hysterical rising commentator voice over is getting more and more hysterical) "He lines up the shot and OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! his <insert sports company name here> boot wear alarm has gone off! NNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOO! <England> have lost the <2018 World Cup Final> here in <Milton Keynes!>". Insert your event/teams/players/playing area/locations between the angle brackets. Of course, this is nonsense as folk would be watching on digital TV and probably end up with no picture anyway. Go, cos they need the money don't they?

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Why is USB 3 so slow?

John 61
IT Angle

127 devices on a USB controller??

Erm, who's barmy idea was this? Even on my old HP effort (a P200 job) wich only had 2 ports on it, I only managed to connect 3 devices via a powered hub and only then I had only low bandwidth stuff connected to it. It worked fine with a bit of creative use. Of course if you have a massive desk and an unlimited amount of money and time you could daisy chain stuff, but it would be so slow it would be unworkable. It's a bit like public transport: you can't get on the bus if it's full.

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Dirty, dirty PCs: The X-rated picture guide

John 61
Flame

A cautionary tale... (a true sotry)

Acouple of years back, the guy over the road was beavering away on his PC, and quite a bit of dust had built up inside it. Being a switched on all the time school of computing he left it alone. Shortly after, it burst into flames, almost setting the house on fire. The fire brigade were there for about 3 hours, they managed to put the fire out, but the entire house was smoke damged. It took almost a year and 4 large skips to sort it out, the electrics were fried and all his furniture was condemed by the local council along with the rest of the house. It took ages to get it sorted out and liveavble again. He was in the middle of doing the house up to sell it, but this put the kybosh on that. Now he just wanders round looking miserable all the time.

My box is in a dusty area where spiders, earwigs, various other flying insects, and the odd wasp reside, but they are kind enough not to have taken up residence inside. I make a point of opening it up every 6 months or so, and using a small paint brush and battery vacuum cleaner (yes they do work) to clean it out whether it needs it or not.

Fire, 'cos that's exactly what happened.

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ID Card scheme banking on 28 million volunteers

John 61
IT Angle

funny old game...

Politics... if I remember rightly the Conservatives floated ID cards back in 1994 (not quite sure about the year) and Labour objected.

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Your phone is winding me up

John 61
Alert

forget calls...

Will you be able to play games on the things?

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VAT Directive to change to end carousel fraud

John 61
Grenade

Don't forget...

VAT goes back up in January. :( That should help kill the January sales...

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Miami health centre starts RFID soap snooping

John 61
Go

@ visitors are worse

It's this kind of stuff that should be blasted over the tannoy. A recorded message every few minutes and dispensers outside entrances. Maybe sensors could be put in the dispensers to activate the recorded message. That way no one gets in without cleaning their hands first. Obviously, this assumes that folk aren't allergic to the hand cleaning stuff.

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John 61
Go

this idea has more merit and capability to be extended

RFID's could be incorporated into surgical instruments too, along with temperature sensors, perhaps. How many stories have you read where tired docs have left bits of surgical stuff inside folk (a lot here in the UK over the years, although recently I haven't seen any) and stitched them back up? This would save the NHS/insurers a lot money in avoided lawsuits. Prevention is better than cure/lawsuits.

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Collar the lot of us! The biometric delusion

John 61
Jobs Horns

@ Keith T

Quote:

What we need for now is something better than what we have now. Achieving perfection is always something for the future.

Surely this puts you into an infinite loop?

*All* databases suffer from the same thing: GIGO.

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Orange introduces mini-SIM

John 61
FAIL

erm.. here's a boring anecdote..

All three of my Orange 'phones didn't have the offending plastic card nonsense (even the one I put in the wash still works fine). The 10 year old brick phone worked fine too, just the fact that it couldn't hold it's charge forced me to upgrade. Now all the nonsense I said I wouldn't bother with (camera, internet etc etc) causes me not to use it for calls, defeting the whole purpose of the damned thing. There's also the irony of the Sims game where they all speak in garbled tones (they do it without GSM though)....

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Wanna buy an old PC factory?

John 61
Pirate

the joys of foreign investment

This is what happens when things become unprofitable and cheaper elsewhere. Sometimes you lose out. I bet Sir/Lord Al won't be stumping up any dosh... but then again... You never know.

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Berners-Lee hired as gov internet adviser

John 61
Boffin

Back to the future or more bureaucracy? Or both?

Maybe this is a match made in Heaven.

Webpages that meet XHTML and CSS standards look just like old (mind 1990's) websites without the CSS. A lot of the frilly stuff is now standard (such as fonts for example). A lot of websites don't meet these standards and those that do all seem to look the same. Giving the web away to corporates and advertisers is partially responsible for sites that don't meet these standards that Sir Tim advocates within the W3C. The problem is with these standards is that there is absoultely ton(ne)s and ton(ne)s of stuff that you should comply with and it will take years to read it all, whilst a lot of it is out of date. If you look at http://www.w3c.org the old 4.01 is still there and CSS2.1 is going to be replaced by CSS3 etc. Websites have to be accessible to *everyone* regardless of disability/setup. There is too much going on and this continually changes, so folk just try to do what's best with what they've got. If that happens to be Notepad and IE on a Windows box, how are they going to test on a completely different setup? If you do meet the XHTML/CSS standards, it won't be too frilly. If your site is designed to look good in print (not too diffcult to do) it probably only needs to verify as HTML 3.2, which was around 1997.

PS: John61 is good enough for me.

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