287 posts • joined 22 Jul 2009
Re: The B got a memory memory in a previous rev
"which is cheap enough to consider throwing into a later Pi."
What I find fascinating about the Pi, along with the attendant commentary in tech rags, is that it challenges the assumptions that bigger, more, whatever superlative you wish to use, is intrinsically better. Sure, sometimes, as in the above comment, it may just be a wish rather than a critique of what the Pi's founders and its foundation intended and have achieved. It's almost like the pushback that occurred at the height of the Enlightenment, when the starkness of method was balanced by the rise of Romanticism. And the creative outpouring that has accompanied the Pi bears out that assertion quite well. The Pi says it need not be all about the philosophy of Improvement, but can be about what's within your grasp and within your capability. So it's appealing to people for whom mainstream technology would hold little interest, but still really is technology.
Having said that, I'm still doing traditional tech with one of mine, safely tucked away in an Austrian data centre, thanks to the generosity of free Pi hosting companies.
Re: And about 2 years later ...
"I don't remember paying $99 for it though!"
No - Coherent cost £99 at that time. Linux was easiest to get via a book which came with a CD, then in the UK the Linux Emporium made access to cheap CDs simple. Dial-up downloads were pretty much unworkable in the days when per minute dial-up costs were high.
Re: And about 2 years later ...
Interesting. I first installed linux when my boss refused to let me spend £99 on Coherent, and said I would have to negotiate the use of a licence with the service guys to use the expensive Sequent. I thought a unixy future to PC-style computing was likely and wanted to examine what it would look like; I didn't necessarily want to learn Korn on an expensive mini-computer. So I slowly started wrapping me head around it all in my own at home. I still remember the feeling of helplessness when I duly got an "X" on a graphical screen but didn't know what to do next - unixy layered thinking took a while to get through to my monolithically trained brain.
Two years after that, a startup for which I worked had a linux infrastructure.
In the late 70s a mate had a little mini, and managed to get hold of an aircraft landing light, with a 100w bulb. He fitted this monstrosity to the centre of the bumper. and christened the car Cyclops. But when the car was idling, the draw on the generator (pre-alternator mini!) when he switched the light on actually stopped the engine. He used to terrorise oncoming drivers who had the temerity to wait too long before before dimming. Ah, youth....
"Word has always been poor for any form of Long Documents. "
A few years ago, a few people starting their third new company (serial entrepreneurs) wanted their IT set up from scratch. We agreed in the infrastructure services required, and I started talking to them about Windows 7, but saying they'd need to find someone to support them. One of them stopped me and said "What do you use?" I showed them my Linux laptop running LibreOffice and they said "Right, that's what we'll use." A few months later I got an email to say that they had finalised their business plans, running into hundreds of pages, including spreadsheets, graphs and all the trimmings. They said it was the first time they had had no trouble at all generating large complex documents. It was also the only time that I have ever had an unsolicited positive response to technology.
Re: @ Khaptain (was: Personally ...)
"There is nano these days."
Or joe, which uses Wordstar commands, just as nature intended....
Actually, it's now an automatic reaction on a new install to type "aptitude (or zypper) install mc joe"
Re: Would be even better
how easily do BSD or Linux systems install on Lenovo machines?
Very easily, that's why I wanted a Lenovo.
Would be even better
If they operated in a fully free market, or however you define success myth criteria. When I bought my Lenovo, it was available for £100 less in Germany and Austria because it was not sold with windows. Here I was told that it was not possible to buy it without windows. So the UK is still a stronghold of that intelligence-abusing "naked PC" nonsense that MS was trying on some years ago, and it seems is trying to revive. Makes you wonder what Lenovo could achieve without the millstone that MS has become.
Here on the north west Scottish coast, I looked up when I heard an unusual-sounding plane, spotted it flying towards Lochinver, and grabbed the binoculars. It was this Lancaster, but the sound was rather different to the BoBMF one. I can only surmise that they use different engine or prop settings for distance flying in comparison with that lovely sound you get when the BoBMF flies at low level.
Interesting this, as we had a long discussion about why, as far as we knew, the only Lanc flying was so far north, but it must have been the Canadian one.
Re: Good luck enforcing those rules, Vladimir
"stopped by Customs"
Mmm, customs controls and tariffs are not really the issue here, but if you want to play that game, try taking a haggis, even tinned haggis, into those united states of america.
@Richard Jones 1
Others have answered the question, and the supposition that multiple circuits is to much hassle is spot on. So it's for convenience. But also, the 24v can vary quite markedly, and long wire runs will result in voltage drop, so you can't be sure what voltage you're dishing up. Finally, using an inverter means I can change to, say' 48v system, which I wish I had done in the first place, to reduce the amperage from the turbine and solar panels. You learn to be pragmatic getting your power this way.
The speculation that Morgan Stanley are talking this up may be right. The issue is the type of battery. In the same way that there is a difference between the construction of a lead-acid battery for starting a car (needs to deliver a massive amperage for a short time) and a golf-cart, milk-float , UPS or off-grid lead-acid battery., which needs to deliver a lesser amperage over a long period of time, it's not a given that an electric car style of battery is best for local energy storage. Arguably the best type of battery for such requirements is the 100+ year old Nickel-Iron battery, using an alkaline electrolyte rather than acid. Yet I understand only one company in the world, in China, still makes them.
Re AC's issue with efficiency, there are two issues. One is that there are energy losses in the grid, which arguably take the place of the inefficiencies of charging/discharging a battery bank locally. Some figures I have seen put these inefficiencies at as much as 25%, though that feels rather high. The other issue is that local energy production need not always be done for efficiency reasons, though if course any engineer would seek to maximise efficiency in design and implementation.
For anyone interested, I've written up our off-grid power supply here: http://www.tinslave.co.uk/blog/index.php?post/8/Our-off-grid-power-supply
"Novell's dalliance with MS a few years ago may have done them no favours."
True, and it was only after SuSE* was sold that I had another look at OpenSuSE, and found that it was good. OpenSUSE remains a very Euro-centric distro, too, which helps.
* - I know that it's supposed to be fully capitalised, but I started with SuSE 5.1 and the origin of the name makes it hard to break the habit.
It sounds as though the "Factory" option is recent, which it isn't, as it's been the rolling release option for a while now. But if I understand this announcement correctly, the main development process will now start using Factory's rolling release mechanism as the format for the development of the milestone versions, which sounds good reduction in effort.
I must say I've taken to OpenSuSE again over the last couple of years. Last week's Linux Weekly News (LWN) included a discussion flowing from someone suggesting OpenSuSE has little following, and the support for it was interesting.
Re: My god it's ugly
Not entirely so. We have a Panda and a Land Rover. We need the landie in winter where we live, but the Panda is half the cost to run.
Re the comments about power - I used to have a Land Rover 110 with a 2.25 diesel. It struggled to get to 60mph - no - it NEVER got to 60mph, but we went playing in Salisbury Plain once, and it left modern 4x4's standing going up impossible inclines etc. The reason is torque, which is far more important than power for those purposes. In fact, thinking about it, when I was a teenager elsewhere on the planet, I had a VW Beetle-based fibreglass beach buggy. The wisdom at the time was never to use the more powerful 1600 engine, because power simply spun the wheels, while the torque of the 1300 made it much more suitable for the purpose.
Re: US Tech Companies
@Trevor_Pott - You really do articulate the issues involved in this well. It sounds as though you have had first hand experience of the intentional law of unintended consequences America's paranoia creates. So you're in an ideal position to continue to inform us and to describe the issues. You also seem to be providing details that confirm what I suspect is an instinctive reaction in many of us to these issues.
Thanks very much.
Tablets are neither phones nor PCs
I suspect the numbers make sense. I really don't think people use tablets to replace other devices, so the netbook analogy, as an adjunct to "proper" tech, is probably accurate. The result is that of people have a tablet, it needs to work well enough, rather than there being any compelling need to upgrade every year. Of course, fans of particular brands may well upgrade on cue, but that group is not in the majority. Yes, people buying tablets now are buying much better kit than a few years ago, but they're also doing the same job, in much the same way, as a few years ago. You can still browse, check email, stream video or audio and play the odd game on a tablet a few years old, so there's little attraction to fork out more for the same.
Re: No Surprise
" who are we laymen supposed to believe?"
Well, you have to tread carefully. After all, according to "They Work For You," Peter Lilley also works for oil companies, with their agenda in this regard - http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10362/peter_lilley/hitchin_and_harpenden#register And Graham Strainger has been on a jolly to oil-producing Saudi Arabia - http://www.theyworkforyou.com/regmem/?p=10576
So while it's interesting that this committee does not appear qualified to make scientific statements based on only two members have a scientific background, as ever with something as mind-bogglingly complex as climate, there's more to this than meets the eye. Before the downvotes start, note I'm not taking sides, just pointing out other issues relevant to this debate.
Found this page when I opened by browser
It seems my OpenSUSE laptop automatically opens anything that has "gecko porn" Those tails don't curl by themselves, you know.
Tux, 'cos that's closest.
Re: Of course it won't get rid of MS
Exactly so. Really, for a tech rag, this article smacks more like a Fry-based BBC analysis of the issue. I can't believe that anyone reasonably informed thinks that this is about removing Microsoft from the equation, but it is about ensuring that the tail does not wag the dog. The writer may be better advised to analyse the practical differences between OOXML and ODF in the context of the outcomes Maude was seeking to achieve rather than some tabloid non-issue.
This is to do with information interchange in document format, not about the choice of suppliers. The requirements for that go far beyond choosing Word or Writer. It may well lead to other questions about purchase strategies, but that's not the issue this announcement changes.
Re: All of this??
"Sounds like you need to be looking at the "marine" side of things"
Too expensive and too much hassle. This stuff is becoming off-the-shelf these days, rather than needing specialist suppliers. But yes, early learning was indeed on boats, and I have those ideas in mind when I set things up.
Re: All of this??
"So you can convert it back to something around 12-18 volts to power the computer that is the size of a laptop."
Well, I do exactly this.actually, and the reality is that some form of conversion is required anyway. We're off grid, but in front of me is my laptop, to the right of my desk, a small mini-ITX-based debian server which is on 24 hours a day, to my left an ADSL router and access point. My laptop comes with a AC->whatever-the-laptop-wants block, which in this case is 20V. The server, router and AP want 12v. As it's summer, my solar panels feed a 24v battery bank (I wish I;d gone for 48v, but you live and learn....) and later in the year, my small wind turbine will provide more power than the solar panels. Both the panels and the turbine put out around 50v open circuit, but the size of the battery bank makes this no big deal. The 24v battery bank gets up to 29.5v during equalisation charging, though I never let it go below 24v (50% state-of-charge with my type of batteries) but quite a range.
The battery bank feeds a small sine-wave inverter of 350w. This provides power for lights, the above-mentioned stuff, my wife's laptop, tablet charging, printer, weather station, telly,. radio, mini-hifi and so on. A bigger 1.2kW inverter provides power for the fridge, occasional vacuum cleaner, washing machine and so on - note anything with a motor, which takes a thump to get it started.
Sticking with an all-DC option would mean I need to stabilise the range of voltages coming off the battery bank as it is charged and discharged. Using power directly from the sources means even more stabilisation as the open circuit voltages fluctuate wildly. We now use mostly LED lights, which I think are minuscule voltages internally but for convenience ar simple 230v devices. The tablets want 5v. The weather station wants 6v. The telly wants 230v and so on and so on. "Mains" style voltage and AC turns out ot be a convenient standard.
I do, though, run the server, router and AP off a single 12v block. That choice very nearly halved the power draw at the battery bank for those three devices in comparison with running three transformers, so the idea of reducing the number of transformers absolutely is one that would be helpful in reducing consumption.
Not that I think Google have our situation in mind ;-)
Re: Not wanting to defend plod, but
But there's no law that requires traceability, is there?
Re: And so begins-
"And so begins- The Enlightenment."
Quite, and as I live in Scotland, it's a shame that as far as I can tell, the Scottish Enlightenment has not yet occurred. I have written to my MSP askig whether the Scottish Parliament is planning to follow suit.
" For Microsoft to lose... "
But this isn't about Microsoft, it's about accessibility and restriction mandated by a government requiring that only a single (foreign) manufacturer's products be used when interacting with government, a situation which is does not appear rational. The UK gov has now corrected that situation along with the other unnecessary issues resulting from reliance on a proprietary, patent-encumbered file format. Microsoft can still play if they wish, they just can't demand that we play with their ball.
Fantastic decision, one that I never thought they actually would take, given their "roll over and tickle my tummy" attitude with most technology companies.
"Why filter hacking?"
You didn't think this "government initiative" was for the benefit of customers, did you?
Surely you should have noticed that this is from Prof Kaffine, who obviously has a vested interest in his family's products being used, along with Prof Guanine. ;-)
Email your support/opposition
If we only make our views known behind closed doors, we can't blame them for taking the wrong decisions.
As I mentioned in a comment to the original ElReg article - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/07/15/uk_parliament_rubber_stamps_drip_retention_and_intercept_bill/ - the Open Rights Group page makes it easy to write to each "DRIP Hero" and thank them. The seem to appreciate this, and I have had a number of responses to my email of appreciation.
Another link to Michael Meacher's blog of his short speech, which has gone unreported, - http://www.michaelmeacher.info/weblog/2014/07/my-speech-on-the-emergency-data-protection-aka-indiscriminate-mass-surveillance-bill/
Re: Is their a list ?
Michael Meacher has replied to my email. His speech, on his blog, seems to me to articulate exactly the issues. He further pointed out that the cabinet reshuffle meant the press hardly took an interest in this issue.
Re: Is their a list ?
"Not too many to email to thank for holding on to principles. "
I've now done this - it didn't take long and is the one way we can participate in democracy. Received a few replies of thanks and one saying he did not vote against the measure but against the timetable.
Re: Is their a list ?
"There's a list now on the Open Rights Group blog."
Thanks for that. Not too many to email to thank for holding on to principles. My own LibDem MP voted for it.
There are two things to worry about here. The one is the entire charade of "emergency" legislation that is so obviously open to abuse, the scope of everyone being suspect and the increasing normality of over-arching and constant surveillance. But the one that really bothers me is the way that Westminster now behaves like a one-party state when it comes to these things, with mere factions with The Party, and a handful of rebels. Indeed, they are described as rebels. When it comes to trivial issues in comparison, like altering speed limits on a section of motorway, an enormous rumpus is created in true circus style (not sure if that;s gone to parliament, but you get the idea) while when it comes to issues concerning what we regard as our rights, there's hardly any smoke, let alone fire.
Increasingly I am thinking of spoiling my voting paper at the next election as the only way I have of expressing my concerns. No-one on that paper will bring us back to where we want to be, anyway.
Mr Hughes said "I'm about to be tossed out of government on my ear. I desperately need a cushy number maybe as a special advisor when I'm no longer in Westminster. Gis a job, google, if we give you the laws you want."
Re: Our friends electric
"I don't think many hard core F1 fans will be won over,"
But Formula E seems more like Formula Renault at the moment, and few informed enthusiasts would compare F-Renault with F1. This is just another form of motor racing at the moment, though one that looks to become increasingly important. Chances are this is the area of motor vehicles where the most rapid technological advances will come, and for that reason it should be welcomed.
Re: Not so silly....
" used to carry at least two sim cards in two phones,"
In our area, in a ten mile stretch, you can get Vodafone in one village, but not O2 or Orange/T-Mobile, but leave the village and turn a corner and the Voda coverage goes from 5 bars to zero, while Orange/T-Mobile bounce to 5 bars. Go up a hill, and O2 reception starts, while Orange fades. Travel a little and Voda starts again. I for one welcome the arrival of our mast-agnostic overlords.
Re: re: NOT ALL programs use gpu properly
Sorry you feel that way, and I do hope your day/life improves soon. But oh, the speculation about my origin - that's a low blow.... and I do have a rather sweet westie. ;-)
Re: re: NOT ALL programs use gpu properly
I have a little AMD-based lappie that, according to Powertop, uses just on 5w when running the XFCE desktop (OpenSUSE, but it's about the same on Xubuntu), and on 80% screen brightness. This machine replaced a "low power" atom, that used nearly 4 times as much at rest. This may sound like a simplistic anecdote, but we're off grid, and wind and solar power is hard won, while battery capacity to store it is, of course, limited. So I really appreciate efforts at power saving. The laptop uses an AMD E1-2500 APU reported by /proc/cpuinfo, What I'd love is a mini-itx version of this to replace the Atom-based server which runs constantly, and accounts for 5% or more of the battery capacity over 24 hours.
Not sure what that anecdote has to do with industry-led concern over global energy consumption, but the effort has an effect in this household.
Re: No, no, no Cisco!
OK, El Reg, you had me at "Cisco" and "preserve the anonymity of data in cloud environments." Which reminds me, the unicorn I ordered hasn't been delivered yet.
Re: Oh, like the average muddlehead has a choice!
"Oh, really? Which part of, "DON'T CLICK ON THAT!" is somebody NOT supposed to miss?"
It's OK for the likes of us, who have enough experience to smell a dodgy email, but for many, it's not an unreasonable thing to click on an attachment or a link, on the basis of "that's how computers work, isn't it?"
My aged m-i-l fell victim to one of these scams, and the experience destroyed her confidence in using her computer. Now it's much harder to keep in touch with her children, scattered across three continents. So there are other consequences than merely financial to these criminal activities.
Another anecdote:- a business I support recently sent a paypal invoice to a new customer who was nervy about using the online shop. The customer, who again seems over-cautious, now is not sure if she should open the link in the resulting email from paypal to go through the payment procedure. How can one person say "click on the link" but another "never click on a link"?
This is rather more complex in practice than blaming either users or the police.
Regretable? Come on, isn't this just imperialism
This may be an IT site, but technology affects the social sphere, and surely this issue merits a little more philosophical analysis. This issue can be construed as mere colonialism, taking resources from one country to feed another. The allocation of IPv4 was unbalanced in favour of developed countries at the start, and it's hardly South and Central America's fault that the developed world has rejected IPv6. Could one option not be to build out infrastructure in those countries rather than nicking their resources, and offer a more equitable short term solution through that approach?
Re: It's not today's government you need to worry about...
Exactly so. Every single building block is in place to turn the fiction into a worse reality, and the tipping point is very difficult to see. I always think of Sophie Scholl and her brother in this light - as teenagers they were able to see an inevitable future of which few around them took heed, and what signs are we missing at the moment? GCHQ is a weapon of attack more than a defensive agency, and where it has gone wrong is to regard absolutely everyone, even its putative masters, as potential enemies needing attacks in readiness. The Yahoo webcam story should be analysed in terms of GCHQ's morals being so bent that it actually sees nothing wrong in so heavy handed an approach, possibly just to test some techno-gasm it had hoarded. There is a fundamental imbalance in its activities that it and, apparently, the whole of Westminster, seems incapable of seeing. The government's tinkering with "scrutiny" and constant, weak statements of GCHQ operating within the law completely fail to understand what the public concern is all about.
Recent shenanigans within the UK government of ministers trying to out-right-wing each other, and the announcement of likely secret trials are further signs. The Register's exposé of the Oman listening stations, as close to an act of war in that entire region as it is close to come, is another. Just what else do we need before we do, in fact, find out the hard way that these agencies are indeed as Orwellian as we fear.
Re: They missed one or two things....
"gathered round the water cooler"
But once the water cooler obligatorily part of the Internet of Things, and Facebook's creepy listening in "feature" is running well, that's exactly what they will be doing.
Re: Push-driven advertising and extreme greed?
True - for once, the Beeb had an interesting magazine piece relevant to this the other day - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27517577
Looks more like ATeenagerFromMars has broken out. Wash twice a day in KlearaPlanet - it may help
Re: about to deploy a few containers
"No obvious way to "vmotion" a container to another host(I believe it's not possible)"
I think that's what this tech from Google now allows, which is the interesting thing, and seems to be what some comentards have missed. For small projects with which I have been involved, portability for operational as well as DR purposes was one of the main technical reasons to virtualise. KVM virtualisation I've tried LXC as it seems to be a technology that is attractive for reasons given here - speed of spin-up, reduced overhead etc, but running different guest OS's, even different versions of the same OS, seems yet to be cracked. For that reason it seems to me that LXC and other such container technology has a more specialised use case than general virtualisation such as KVM.
Another apparent advantage of LXC is simplicity, as virtualised systems can become so complicated you lose track of the point of virtualisation in the first place. However, as pointed out by Nate Amsden, it would seem that LXC's simplicity means complicated workarounds to meet requirements in practice. That LXC style of systems suits Google is fully understandable, but I wonder to what extent it scales down to mere mortal level.
Nothing technical to see here
This was simply an exercise in power, a childish tantrum that should not be forgotten or treated lightly. If anything, it was a test of whether security "services" (quotes because who knows who they serve) could get away with a physical act of vandalism against a newspaper that was not towing the line. How many times do we have to be warned before we take notice and act?
Good for PI for looking into this, but really, the issue is not technical.
Well said, Mr Orlowski
"Our perceptions of Chinese business are coloured by two powerful myths, both of which are from time to time tinged by racism and paranoia."
It's hard to understand a culture so different to our own, but assuming that difference == inferiority, and to encourage uncritical acceptance of stereotypes is not helpful to understanding.
Not a proper corporate
A proper corporate would have brought the cops in to arrest the security researcher, lobbied for harsher penalties for "computer crime" and, of course, left the bug un-patched for the next CIO to deal with. Oh, and blamed $ENEMY_DU_JOUR for the subsequent slurp of customer info from the unencrypted file in the web root named "customer-info_-_full.txt" right next to the recently renamed file "dot-htaccess"
Re: Nothing to do with Windows Support
Mmm. Makes you wonder if there is a connection between this and the convenient list of alleged Chinese military "hackers" just Microsoft's guvmint has just released.. Just wondering...
Re: The small, the big and the ugly
Good points, and actually in keeping with Smith's contentions. "Wealth of Nations" actually points out that making capitalist principles the ultimate aim holds dangers, and that many of those dangers are moral dangers, a common pre-occupation with Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, For example, in the section on what would now be considered to be assembly line techniques, specialised tasks in production, Smith acknowledged that such division of labour results in far greater productivity, but pointed out that a worker doing a single, mindless repetitive task has no opportunity to make something of their lives; they are expected to be mindless drones, a process Smith called alienation.
Now contrast that aspect of morals to big business, which on the one hand has created an imperative that profit comes first, an aspect enshrined in the requirements of corporate directors. In that quest for profit, any aspect of moral governance goes out of the window; the "prime directive" is no longer building a better society, but generating most profits. Corporates even want laws changed to their advantage, laws which are designed for civil society.
Given that the conditions pre-exist to make big corporates behave in ways that are not to the moral good which concerned Smith so greatly, regulations must take the place of the individual choosing to do the right thing.
And the point of the article was surely that micro-businesses are in better positions to take that moral position, which should not be constrained until something Trumps (capital intended) that moral imperative.
See what happens when you start quoting Adam smith?
...is why the marketeers were first up against the wall when the revolution began
- Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
- Review Raspberry Pi B+: PHWOAR, get a load of those pins
- Review Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
- MEN WANTED to satisfy town full of yearning BRAZILIAN HOTNESS
- +Comment 'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder