* Posts by ben_myers

147 posts • joined 12 Jan 2010

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Win10 PCs still stuck on slow boat from China, warehouses empty

ben_myers

Re: Microsoft refused to comment

Yes, it's most urgent for Microsoft. Windows 10 is the trojan horse for Bing to beat out Google in the ad race and both the Microsoft and Apple app stores in the app selling biz. Just walk through all the user settings and see how much a Windows 10 user is giving away to the Redmond borg.

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Windows 10 blamed (partly) for stalled PC sales recovery

ben_myers

Windows 10 blamed (partly) for stalled PC sales recovery

Too true. How many consumers have been burned by past efforts of Microsoft to over-hype new operating systems? And this one turns out to be the most invasive of privacy of all, even worse than the previous champ, Windows 8. Sensible people have gotten wise by now. But I predict an uptick in the sale of new computers after a few months, and even more war stories of either failed or extremely difficult Windows 10 upgrades.

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Acer honourary chairman Shih would 'welcome' takeover bid

ben_myers
Happy

Shih has lots of pride

Shih wants to leave Acer behind on a positive note, and not see it wither away to nothing. Unfortunately, it's difficult to imagine why a buyer would want to buy the hodge-podge of Acer, Gateway and eMachines brands and product lines cobbled together by Acer to grow market share. There's not a lot of design quality in the Acer builds. They are not especially stylish, and certainly not innovative. All I can see is someone buying it all for $US 1.00 per share, selling off all assets (finished goods and parts), and closing the doors. And maybe $1/share is even too much. I've got it! Sell it to me lock stock and barrel for $1 total, and I'll make sense out the remains, making a few bucks, too.

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Twenty years since Windows 95, and we still love our Start buttons

ben_myers

Windows 10 IoT???

Spare me. IoT security is bad enough without a Microsoft finger in the pie!

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Vaio returns from the dead wearing sharper suit, bolts in neck

ben_myers

VAIO - Impossible to repair

I never bought a Vaio, but I've had them brought to me for repair or simply given to me to see if I could make some sense out of them. Service manuals? None for the unwashed computer repair person like me. Parts? Can't get them. Ease of disassembly/re-assembly? The worst. Quality of parts and workmanship? Awful and cheap, rivaling Acer-eGate-Machines. Market share? Tiny. Wonder why?

Sony would do well to buy Thinkpads from Lenovo and rebadge them.

No matter what, do not invest in Japan Industrial Partners (JIP).

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IoT security is RUBBISH says IoT vendor collective

ben_myers

Re: More succinctly: Procedure stolen from Microsoft

The dialog cited above happens in the Microsoft borg before every product release.

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ben_myers
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Some wisdom

With reference to the sub-heading of this article, IoT vendors are to IoT security what Donald Trump is to politics.

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Windows 10 is FORCING ITSELF onto domain happy Windows 7 PCs

ben_myers
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BitTorrent-like malware installed by Microsoft, too

So, once you have installed Windows 10, Microsoft turns your computer into a BitTorrent-like mule to deliver this piece of crap to other victims. This cleverly offloads Microsoft's own servers and sucks away the bandwidth of others, pressed into servitude by the Redmond borg.

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ben_myers
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Same with Windows 8.1

Set up a couple of systems with Windows 8.1 for clients. Went through the usual Windows update-reboot-repeat cycle. Clicked once to do the last set of 8.1 updates and, lo, one system said it was downloading Windows 10. What? Could not stop it once started. Had to go back to a known good restore point and, of course, redo the updates again. Then I looked at the list of available updates. No Win 10 update. Oh, good! Then I looked at the so-called Optional Updates and found that the black-hearted bastards at Microsoft had checked off the "Optional" Windows 10 update for me. I promptly unchecked it, hid the update, then found the Ignorance-base, er, KnowledgeBase number for the update that triggers Windows 10 appearing as an optional update. Removed that update, and hid it, too. I really do not want either client to call me complaining that their laptops were now running Windows 10.

Now we all know why so many millions of Windows 10 updates have been downloaded and installed in the last 10 days. Microsoft is forcing it on people.

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Unisys halts and catches fire: Mainframe builder dives into the red

ben_myers

The last of the BUNCH

Well, Unisys are the last of the bunch, despite the name change from Univac to Unisys. Looks like they won't last much longer. Never mind the losses. The revenue is puny. Well, mind the losses and wait for the final curtain.

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HP slaps dress code on R&D geeks: Bin that T-shirt, put on this tie

ben_myers

Why look like a complete slob?

Although some will pillory dress codes for engineering grunts, there are some limits as to what is or is not acceptable dress. Dirty clothes? NO! Torn clothes? Nyet? Not even cutoff shorts. T-shirts? Not really a good idea. Shorts? OK in warm weather, else forget about them. Jeans? No problem.

An engineering grunt making a presentation to some corporate suits? Well, where I once worked in marketing, I had my several power suits and Italian dress shoes that made me look like one of them. You want instant respect from the suits? Dress like one of them. Ties that reveal your quirky personality or peccadillos are optional. Never ever had a problem dealing with corporate execs or military brass when dressed well.

But some engineers are slow learners when it comes to dress and other social graces. And these guys make enough money that they can afford to spend a few pence on clothing.

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Microsoft to Windows 10 consumers: You'll get updates LIKE IT or NOT

ben_myers

Re: no matter what MS force on us

I see nothing in the Windows license du jour that guarantees that all Windows 10 updates will be defect free, or at least not cause any failures or regression in software behavior. And no penalties for Microsoft implied when an update causes a system not to run. (All the more reason to not have any version of Windows installed in your auto. The bastards could download an update as you're rolling down the motorway and crash the vehicle, giving new meaning to BSOD.) I'll probably experiment with Windows 10 in a few months with a non-critical system that will do me no real harm if it fails. Right now, I am looking at Linux alternatives for myself, a difficult balancing act because I get paid to fix Windows systems and software.

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Imation's CEO races to exit door, grabs $4.8m golden goodbye

ben_myers

I once worked for...

I once worked for a fellow who seemed to have substance abuse. The substance was the company cash, with lavish company parties and probably other stuff I did not know about. He was a hands-off executive. Come to him with a problem to discuss and maybe solve, and he would dismiss you, telling you to go work it out with your colleague, the source of the intractable problem. After a few years of this, he moved on to a smaller company, got it acquired, walked off with big paycheck. Then another company. ibid. Then an even bigger name three-letter computer company. Same result. A well-compensated serial killer of companies. What an act!

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ben_myers

Corporations are always rigged in favor of the top execs

And why should Imation be any different than the rest? Most of the CEO contracts, in the US anyway, are of the heads-I-win, tails-you-lose category. No matter what, the CEO gets paid handsomely for all that risk taking, heavy golfing, and mutual backscratching of their ilk.

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Windows 7 and 8.1 market share surge, XP falls behind OS X

ben_myers

Re: The way Nadella's Microsoft is going..

If Microsoft were smart (a dubious proposition, given past history), device drivers that work on Win 7 or Win 8 will also work with Win 10. But that would mean a device driver model that remains unchanged (Gee, like Linux!). But it seems that there is always some device driver tweak that renders your trusty {printer, scanner, all-in-one, web cam, other} device inoperative with the new release. Why? So the hardware manufacturers can sell you a replacement for something that works perfectly. Fix it when it's not broken, they say.

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ben_myers

Re: ATM running WinXP

All of them? Various estimates range from 75% to 95%.

There is the now-famous registry hack that allows you to receive free XP updates, just like and ATM or POS (Point-of-Sale), until Microsoft's deal with the banks and Diebold and who knows who else expires. 2019, IIRC.

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Microsoft's magic hurts: Nadella signals 'tough choices' on the way

ben_myers

Re: Old rant...

Back in the earlier pre-Windows day, I worked for a company that pretended to make a product that would interchange office documents among all the various office products around, while promising complete fidelity to the original structure, fonts and layout. This proved impossible to achieve.

LibreOffice is in the same bind, chasing whatever "innovations" Microsoft adds to its latest shiny new Office. The LibreOffice team deserves extraordinary credit for what they have achieved, and it is no surprise when some Microsoft document isn't exactly compatible with LibreOffice or vice versa. Microsoft always has the upper hand in these sorts of tussles, until customers get pissed off.

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It's 2015 and Microsoft has figured out anything can break Windows

ben_myers

Oh, this warms the cockles of my heart

And what happens when malware plugs itself into the Windows 10 Antimalware Scan Interface (AMSI)????

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OpenStack private clouds are SCIENCE PROJECTS says Gartner

ben_myers

“OpenStack is great as an open source standard for infrastructure access,” Waite told the Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Data Center Summit” in Sydney today. “It has great APIs. But it is not a cloud management tool..."

All we need is for some enterprising open source folks to come up with a suite of cloud management tools on top of OpenStack, and this Gartner analysis gets turned on its head.

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Microsoft's top legal eagle: US cannot ignore foreign privacy laws

ben_myers

Re: Turn it over...

"American values"? No, its the son-of-bitches who legislate and run the US govt who have the lousy American values. And many of us here wonder what it will take to overhaul a corrupt government. You can't vote the bastards out, because the new set of bastards will be just as bad. And you can't get them to legislate against their own interests. So the American dream is dead, brought down by the megacorporations that run the government.

But PLEASE do not tar and feather all Americans with the same "American values" brush!!!!!!

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ben_myers

And the other side of the argument...

Large multinational TRANS-national companies like Microsoft, HSBC, Barclays, Google, Lenovo, Goldman Sachs play it both ways. If the US (or UK or Canadian or Romulan) law favored them, they would be all for enforcement. When the law or law enforcement is against their business interests, they bitch, complain, make public pronouncement and pay the lobbyists with access to the legislative and regulatory bodies of countries.

Tho American, I sure do not favor unfettered electronic surveillance by the NSA, CIA, FBI or any other 3- and 4-letter word government agencies. But there is no common ground between the wronged and the government, so they can't even reach a compromise.

Neither party, government or Microsoft borg, gets my sympathy here.

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Microsoft sounds 100-day DOOM KLAXON for Windows Server 2003

ben_myers

Time to consider a Linux server?

If it's only plain old file and centralized email services plus data backup, like some small companies, maybe it's simply time to move to a Linux-based server?

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Dell denies 'insecure autoupdate app' flings open PC backdoor

ben_myers

And other manufacturers' autoupdate, Mr Forbes?

Lenovo and HP also have auto-update software or software that eases the installation of drivers when you do not have a restore partition or other media with drivers. What about these?

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Oracle salesmen get SEVENFOLD salary boost for flogging its cloudy aaS produce

ben_myers

Two comments...

First, keep up the wonder first-rate headlines and sub-headlines. Makes The Channel and The Inquirer fun to read.

Second, back in the day when I worked for a large mainframe company as a technical support person for the marketing people, we had a saying that bears repeating here: "Don't confuse selling with installing." And the support was to carry water for extroverted talkative but otherwise subnormal and clueless salesmen who knew noting about technology, would never learn anything about technology, and sat around the office calculating their commissions for various sales. We technical grunts got fixed salaries, whether we fixed the mess that the salesman sold or not. Seems like the way Larry is running his house these days.

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Systemax CEO closes 31 retail stores in US as losses widen

ben_myers

Why you never heard of Systemax stores

You never heard of Systemax stores because there aren't any with that name. Systemax stores are called Micro Center, and they sell the Systemax house brand of computer in addition to everything a do-it-yourself computer person would ever want, plus other brand names. But, like Radio Shack, they are overpriced. With eBay, Amazon and others delivering computer gear quickly, sometimes overnight, there is no way for them to make money any more. Add to that the con artists who headed the company before, and you have an excellent recipe for failure.

The TigerDirect reputation is mixed, too. Sometimes there stuff is great at super prices. Sometimes maybe not.

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3 spectastic Lumias for price of 1 rival flagship: Microsoft sells biz on cheapie experience

ben_myers

Aggressive pricing

For what they are claimed to be, the new Lumias sure carry aggressive prices. It will be interesting to see exactly which continents see these Lumias on sale.

And Microsoft extends its reach of Office everywhere.

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Windows XP's market share grows AGAIN!

ben_myers

In lieu of better stats

In lieu of better stats, two bean counters both see a small uptick in the use of XP on the internet. Well, never mind the statistical significance of the uptick. The real story here is that Windows XP is not going away, despite every attempt by Microsoft to kill it dead. I had a couple of people ask to buy XP systems last month, so I sold them. Why not? It remains wildly popular.

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HP gulps down Aruba Networks for $3bn

ben_myers

Is Aruba another pig in a poke?

After HP's last acquisition disaster, one must wonder whether the Aruba buy will work out OK, or if it's another pig in a poke. HP's track record with acquistions is not exactly sparkling since the days of Carly. But maybe they've learned and can make this one work.

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C’mon Lenovo. Superfish hooked, but Pokki Start Menu still roaming free

ben_myers

Re: Why are you even diagnosing this lappy?

PhillipJ, Wait a minute! Brand-name Windows 7 systems ship with a genuine Microsoft sticker that has a product key on it. Yes, you can reinstall a clean version of Windows 7 from scratch and activate it with said product key.

I have yet to see a brand-name system with a Windows 8(!) sticker (and product key) affixed to it, so how on earth can your average person reinstall a CLEAN OEM version of Windows 8 on such a system? All you normally get with a brand-name Win 8 system is a system recovery partition, which reinstalls the software back to original factory condition including all the SuperFish or Pokki or whatever other bloatware was installed at the factory.

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Lenovo shipped lappies with man-in-the-middle ad/mal/bloatware

ben_myers

And just which models of Lenovo laptops were afflicted with SuperFish?

OK, Reg, now for your follow-on article: Which models of Lenovo laptops were afflicted with SuperFish? One would think that Lenovo would be 100% cooperative to reveal this information. It speaks to their credibility with corporate and enterprise buyers. Other accounts about Lenovo and SuperFish imply that this slimeware was installed only on "consumer" laptops. If so, does this mean consumer MODELS of laptops or does it mean those without a Windows Professsional sticker.

Inquiring minds want to know.

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ben_myers

T and X series are my Thinkpads of choice

Just like other companies, Lenovo makes some really good kit, and some not so good. Among the latter are any of the Lenovo consumer systems. Most ANY computer designed and made for consumers has some issues, usually cheap design and materials, often substandard electronics.

So I stand by the T- and X-series Thinkpads. Well made and durable. The W-series, unfamiliar to me but bearing a strong resemblance to the T's, is probably just fine, too.

When I get a Lenovo laptop, I generally reload Windows from scratch. No more bloatware. No more crapware.

But this is a goddam embarrassment for Lenovo. Never should have happened, whatever incentives came from the Crapfish company. Superfish needs to be blockaded and sanctioned, just like a third world dictator. They have no business messing with security certificates, and need to disappear from the internet.

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Gartner to CIOs: Go on, SPEND some CASH on ROBOTS 'n' 'Things'

ben_myers

Typical CIO response

Typical CIO response: IoT looks promising. If implemented well, we can save big bucks. Now tell me about security. Please!

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Acer: We're still a thing! We're still alive. And we are touting 300M shares

ben_myers

Never made the transition

Once, Acer made very nice cases, Pentium II motherboards and other pretty basic hardware. Then, they tried to get into the crowded (HP, IBM, etc) system business, but never understood what it takes to provide a respectable level of post-sales support, like spares, repair manuals, user manuals not written in Chinglish, a useful web site, and on and on. They piled it on, buying Gateway, eMachines and the remains of Packard Bell, then trying consumer grade laptops, a VERY crowded arena. Nothing they did ever stood out as something you'd want to buy, except for cheap price and often cheap quality.

If your Acers work well, be thankful. When they break or need repair, replace with another brand.

As far as I am concerned, the people who bought the latest stock offering had no clue what they were doing. I do not see long term prospects for Acer, no matter what they say their new and confused vision is.

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Symantec sees profits crash ahead of corporate divorce

ben_myers

NAV always ponderous and intrusive

My experiences with NAV for consumers and small businesses is that the software is ponderous, bloated and intrusive. The AV business worldwide has not yet consolidated, so NAV has competitors from all over the globe. No surprise that it is not doing well. Poor Peter Norton probably does not get as much in royalty payments for use of his name. Maybe he should sue Symantec for defamation of character, using his good name on their not-so-hot AV product. They sure screwed up Ghost, too. Fortunately, there are numerous alternatives to Ghost, some free and open-source.

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Seagate's spinning rust most likely to crash, claims backup biz

ben_myers

Warranty is Meaningless

A warranty on a drive does not cover down time, time to replace a drive, time and expense to send it back for another (which, in Seagate's case is a "recertified" drive). I'll take reliability over warranty any day. Reliability comes from the track record of models of drives built earlier than the drives one is buying right.

The experience of BackBlaze squares with my own less formal experience. Seagate drives are the least reliable in the 3.5" world. Toshiba gets the laurels for unreliable 2.5" drives, IMHO.

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Suck on this, Larry: NoSQL pair hit the G-spot

ben_myers

Lifeblood of company in SQL

If the lifeblood and guts of your company are in an Oracle database, you need to make damned sure that everything works perfectly before moving to ANY other database. Unfortunately, very few enterprises probably adhere to sound development practices like strict separation of database manipulation logic from presentation, so you can't just replace the back end. And a lot of Oracle databases are legacy ones and the designers and developers are long gone, leaving few traces of documentation behind.

Oracle will be a tough nut to crack and replace. Now, if somebody came up with a mapping layer to transform SQL calls into whatever NoSQL uses (not even sure if feasible), and with performance comparable to Oracle, then Oracle and Larry would be sailing around in deep doo-doo.

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Microsoft patch batch pre-alerts now for paying customers ONLY

ben_myers

Microsoft Windows is clutter personified

So we cut through the clutter how? With another operating system, maybe.

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BILL GATES DRINKS 'boiled and treated' POO. Ah, 'delicious'

ben_myers

Turn Windows 8 into potable water? 8.1, too.

For his next trick, Gates needs to finance an endeavor to turn Windows 8 into potable drinking water. Or at least turn it into something it is not.

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Mirror, mirror: Seagate shows off 1TB data shiny at HDD beauty contest

ben_myers

Hard drives as decorative furniture! Hah!

Hard drives as decorative furniture! Well, you gotta admit this is unique. Also a costly paperweight after the drive goes tits up.

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ben_myers

Re: Please

Not happy with Seagate drives. They have about the same reliability as Toshiba, namely not high enough.

Seagate bought Samsung's hard drive unit, and any Seagate-badged drive of Samsung design is OK by me. How do you find them, though, sorting them out from the Seagate-designed dross? Samsung drives have always been pretty good after some initial fits and starts back in the early IDE days.

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TALE OF FAIL: Microsoft offers blow-by-blow Azure outage account

ben_myers

All this flighting???

"Flighting"? That's a new one. Enough for one to flight or flee from Azure Cloud, IMHO. Better to use a professionally run cloud.

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Win Server 2003 custom support: That's NOT going to be fun

ben_myers

A quibble, but let's get the math right!

"13 year-old OS"???? Windows Server first shipped on April 24, 2003. By my reckoning, it is now 11 years and nearly 8 months old. When someone doing incorrect arithmetic told me recently that he was not a math major, I said I wasn't either. This is arithmetic that a 10-year old could do. No excuses!

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Microsoft pulls a patch and offers PHANTOM FIX for the mess

ben_myers
FAIL

Re: Here's the REAL fix @ Shannon Jacobs

Hey, Microsoft are the ones who "designed", i.e. cobbled together, the most complicated software ecosystem ever. They have been hoisted on their own petard.

Security is now one of the company's strengths." I would laugh a lot at the folly of this assertion except for the fact that I have to troubleshoot botched Microsoft security updates. I think I have the one described here on my hands right now. In any event, I ran the latest security updates on a system here today. Now instead of booting cleanly, it boots and then the screen goes dark.

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Microsoft tells resellers to use Office 365 as loss leader

ben_myers

A large steaming pile of horse manure from Microsoft

Why on earth would I ever sell Office 365 at break-even, let alone at a loss? Man needs to put food on table, and shoes on children.

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Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness

ben_myers

3% or less - the class action against Gateway long ago

Gateway advertised several models of 486 systems as "Pentium Ready", because Intel had designed a Pentium "Overdrive" CPU with a Socket 3 pinout, a superset of the pin signals used by a plain old 486. Lo and behold, Micronics built oodles of motherboards for Gateway and somehow missed out an an important design detail. These Socket 3 Pentium OverDrives would work well only in a motherboard that had a write-through external cache, but the processor itself had a more aggressive and less stable internal write-back cache. This was back in the day when CPUs did not have much built-in cache memory, and motherboards were populated with cache chips manually inserted into sockets. So put a Pentium OverDrive into a Micronics/Gateway motherboard, and the system would turn into a slug. Back in these early days, bus-mastering controllers like SCSI host adapters would not work well with a write-back cache either.

So a lot of people bought these Pentium OverDrive CPUs, installed them, and then the complaints began. It mushroomed into a class action lawsuit presided over and encouraged by some Philadelphia lawyers. Well, the lawyers got rich and members of the class action lawsuit got $50 discount coupons to buy the Pentium OverDrive that did not work. The judge who approved this settlement must have been about as ignorant of computers as can be possible.

This was really Intel's fault. Motherboard manufacturers received Pentium Overdrive prototype chips with the more sensible write-through cache, so that's what drove the motherboard designs. Some bright bulb at Intel changed the design to use the marginally faster (we're talking <1%) write-back cache.

Fixing the write-back cache problem was simple. Intel made an "interposer", a thin circuit board inserted between the socket and the CPU. The job of the interposer was to force the CPU to boot up and run with a write-through cache. So they say. In my years of dealing with 486's, Pentium OverDrives and 486-workalikes from AMD and Cyrix, I never saw an actual interposer. I sold a few hundred kits with very fast AMD 486-like chips to disgruntled Gateway customers.

If the members of the lastest Apple class action lawsuit are lucky, the settlement may be a generous one like a discount coupon for last year's iPhones sitting in an Apple warehouse unsold.

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Cloud to kill off legacy apps, says Rackspace CEO Taylor Rhodes

ben_myers

Legacy apps. Like COBOL?

Rhodes is going to have a helluva time convincing all the financial institutions to rearchitect their legacy COBOL applications running with modern front ends. Good luck there!

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Microsoft: Yeah, about that 50% post-Christmas customer price hike...

ben_myers

Well, there are distros for Linux servers, aren't there?

Not exactly something to attract customers like bees to flowers. They are screwing themselves, because the hike will lose loyal resellers and customers, both... Ben Myers

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Vanished blog posts? Enterprise gaps? Welcome to Windows 10

ben_myers

Re: Shutdown is by default a mix between shutdown and hibernate

As someone who services computers, it irks me no end when somebody brings me a laptop that is not completely shut down. Wastes my time.

As for "fast start", I do not know why years ago Windows simply did not write out a hibernation image to be used to restart the computer again when powered up. And then, if the hardware has somehow changed, Windows could simply poll the added hardware installing drivers along the way. But, then, my thinking is way too simplistic for the Redmond geniuses. Whatever they could do to complicate Windows on the inside, they have done. And it finally caught up with them with the dreadful Windows 8.

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Oracle's Larry Ellison quits as CEO – new bosses are Hurd'n'Catz

ben_myers

Re: Somewhat confused...

Same reporting zig-zag line that Microsoft had when Gates stepped down or sideways.

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ben_myers

Ugh!

A two-headed CEO monster. It will be just like Hurding Catz. Look how well the co-CEOs worked out for the Market Basket supermarket chain! Well, it worked out well for the co-CEOs, who locked into contracts paying them megabucks no matter what.

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