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* Posts by Danny Roberts 1

58 posts • joined 5 Nov 2009

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Quick Q: How many FLOPPIES do I need for 16 MILLION image files?

Danny Roberts 1

5 1/4 ins floppies

My very first copy of Civilisation arrived on 2x 1.2MB 5-1/4 inch floppy disks, imagine my upset when I -realised my drives could only read the low density 360k disks.

Fortunately, a friends Dad took the disks to work and transferred the contents to about 7 low density disks I could then use to install Civ onto my 20MB hard disk :-) (PS - Ignore the requirement for a 286 processor, it ran fine on my Amstrad 086, if with a bit of disk churning for the animations!)

I also have a couple of old 8" floppies around somewhere, no drive for them though.

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This THREESOME is a HANDFUL: It’s the Asus Transformer Book Trio

Danny Roberts 1

Having just bought one of these on Saturday...

I read the review with trepidation, it's always depressing to see someone slagging off a device you've just bought!

I have to say I agree with most of what was said in the review, the lack of a backlight on the i5 is disappointing. It's relatively easy to disassemble the dock, the RAM is soldered on and limited to 4GB but the hard drive is easily accessible and I swapped to a 250GB SSD, keeping the existing 500GB in an external USB3 caddy.

There is a small light on the dock so you always know what mode Windows is in, don't really want to leave it running unless I need it, with the SSD, Windows wakes up almost instantly, cold boot is complete in 4-5 seconds.

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Forget Mars: Let's get someone on the Moon – NASA veteran

Danny Roberts 1

Re: "Radiation on a trip to Mars is insurmountable at any kind of reasonable budget"

Unfortunately, it's the "modern rockets" that are part of the problem, would only need two launches in the late 60's;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_V

Could be done (cheaper) in five Falcon Heavy launches though, only ~$135m a launch :-)

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Space-walker nearly OPENED HELMET to avoid DROWNING

Danny Roberts 1

Re: Scary

I was thinking this as well but (I'm guessing) if he doesn't know where the water is coming from it may be a bad idea in case it's contaminated. The ISS itself uses ammonia among other nasties for cooling, I can't find anything that specifies the same for the suits but it may have been a consideration.

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Does Gmail's tarted-up tab makeover bust anti-spam laws?

Danny Roberts 1

Alternate Email Addresses

Slightly off topic but may help someone out;

Gmail allows additions to your email addy on the fly by using the '+' sign, myemail+nastycompanyidonttrust@gmail.com will be delivered to myemail@gmail.com normally but makes it much easier to filter and see who sold your email address!

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Lawyers seek $16m payday in Apple 'moist iDevice' settlement

Danny Roberts 1

Very Rough Calculations

The case was filed in May 2010, that was ~(3x30)+(3x365) = 1185 days ago.

£16,000,000 / 1185 = £13,502 a day.

What do these laywers do that is worth £13,500 a day?

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HALF of air passengers leave phones on ... yet STILL no DEATH PLUNGE

Danny Roberts 1

Another reason

Another reason the cabin crew ask for phones to be switched off is to prevent them becoming projectiles in the event of a crash.

I would bet most of the people who admit to 'slightly' flouting the rules, leave the phones on but at least put them in a pocket or something. If the rules were 'you can leave it on but put it away', people would 'slightly' flout the rules again and be openly using the phones during takeoff / landing which could then lead to them being projectiles.

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Are driverless cars the death knell of the motor biz?

Danny Roberts 1

Re: Edge case?

If an extra 5 minutes means you miss your train, you sure as hell don't want to be relying on a bus service!?

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Italy scores in SPAAACE: ESA 'naut Parmitano pops out for walk

Danny Roberts 1
Joke

Europa Project

I watched the Europa Project last night, todays NASA TV broadcast is looking familiar! :-)

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AXE-WAVING BIKER GANG SMASHES into swanky Apple UK store

Danny Roberts 1
Pint

Re: Bah!

...in a flurry of two-stroke kamikaze glory.

Excellent, have a beer :-)

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Three's mobile data goes titsup in mysterious spreading outage

Danny Roberts 1

Update

Still nothing official from Three, that is the most annoying part! I buggered about with the settings on my phone thinking it may have been just me. This now means I don't know if I have no data because I've stuffed up the settings or of the Three data network is still down. Without something from Three themselves I'm just sat here rebooting from time to time.

On a side note, if anyone in Leicester has had data return, please let me know! Thanks!

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TalkTalk ads banned by watchdog over 'misleading' YouView offer

Danny Roberts 1

Re: like they say though...

The £50 installation fee has been dropped for self installations, I got my box about a month ago for free, haven't got round to plugging it in yet as I don't have a decent aerial.

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Wales slams Amazon over lack of Kindle support

Danny Roberts 1

Re: @Norman Hartnell

Then I suggest you start writing in American English, why support more than one way of spelling, very inefficient, having to maintain more than one language on a spell checker. I also suggest you don't take a holiday or attempt to broaden your horizons in any way just in case you become offended.

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BT boss barks at TalkTalk for being 'copper Luddites'

Danny Roberts 1

Re: If Talk Talk say they are so good...

Another happy TalkTalk customer here, live about 600m from the exchange and used to get solid 18-20Mb/s, now a solid 65Mb/s on fibre.

Thanks to Google Drive being a pile of crap, I consumed ~500GB last month and they didn't bat an eyelid.

Top tip: If you need customer service, use the TT forums. I used them to change my profile before I had fibre and throughput went from 14-18Mb/s in a number of steps with full monitoring to ensure the line remained stable. Admittedly, actually calling them is an excercise in futility.

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Google inflates infrastructure cloud

Danny Roberts 1
FAIL

Google's cloud needs some work.

I like most of Google's offerings but Google Drive Sync is absolutely not ready for market and should still be in beta. It works OK for the free offering where only a small amount of files are synced but for everything else it's useless.

I bought 400GB space and uploaded around 200B of user files, pictures etc. I then bought a new PC, even though I already had a copy of the files offline, Google Sync client cannot use a folder that already has files in it and insists on downloading everything again. Just to compound the issue, it can't be left to go and get everything overnight or it will use too much RAM and crash (I have 16GB RAM on this machine). I had to select 3-4 folders for download and let it complete them before selecting more.

I eventually had the 200GB downloaded and synced up again. Shortly after this, I bought a larger SSD to use as my Windows drive. I cloned the original drive (after closing the sync client) but on the new drive the database is corrupt. Google's answer: disconnect the account and download everything again.

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ITV catches up with TVCatchup

Danny Roberts 1
Thumb Down

I gave up on TVCatchup

I stopped using TVC about 8 months ago, the amount of advertising made it unusable. It would play two 30s adverts and then fail to start the stream forcing a refresh and the same two 30s adverts.

Has it got any better recently?

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Google reveals Glass details in patent application

Danny Roberts 1

Re: So Google want to patent "HUDs"

I would say the level of detail given in this application is similar to the detail given in Star Trek anyway;

---"a laser or LED source and scanning system could be used to draw a raster display directly onto the retina of one or more of the user's eyes."

Is this possible with todays technology or are Google patenting something that may be possible in the future?

---"Other possibilities exist as well."

Does this not count as 'overly broad'?'

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Apple granted patent for ebook page-turning

Danny Roberts 1

Re: Apple's own prior art

That is exactly how Stanza works, as well as being able to 'flip' a page all the way over.

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Facebook won't pull unmarked police plates page

Danny Roberts 1

Re: complete nonsense

I'm part of the overwhelmingly British readership just back from Florida and I can attest to the stupidity of some of the drivers! Bundling down I95 into a thunderstorm, the wipers on max can't clear the windscreen and instead of slowing down and moving farther apart, everyone seems to catch up with the car in front and sit on it's tail so they can at least SEE what they are about to smash into!

I75 instead of I95 but you get the idea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9mMH0ES4sI

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The problem with wireless: all those effin' wires

Danny Roberts 1

Re: Longer USB cables = FAIL

I have my media PC in the attic with USB / HDMI / optical cables running down the chimney to the TV in the living room. I have two 5m USB cables connected by a USB repeater connected to the hub mounted on the back of the TV. This works fine for the webcam / IR receiver / keyboard & mouse if required but will not work with the USB DVD drive.

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Google updates Chrome Flash plugin for security, stability

Danny Roberts 1

Full screen - dual monitors

I love Flashblock, I love seeing little grey boxes where the annoying adverts would have been. Can easily add iPlayer / Sky player to a whitelist. I noticed the upgrade when full screen video kept moving to the main monitor. For years I've had a hack which allows flash video to stay full screen on one of the secondary monitors while I work on the others.

Currently disabled the latest version under 'plugins' until this monitor issue can be hacked again.

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Curiosity phones home through Amazon cloud

Danny Roberts 1

Re: Well their site sucked for me

Agreed; the video stream (and matching animation) were flawless but the thumbnail image page was practically dead.

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Why one storage admin fears Justin Bieber

Danny Roberts 1
Happy

Re: Subhead ambiguity

It's still too early, I was wondering what it was like to work for schoolgirls!

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Skype launches in-call ads

Danny Roberts 1

Re: We interrupt this conversation...

I think you mean Google Voice which is only available in the US due to the 'pay to receive' architecture.

Google Talk does have voice & video chat and is available outside the US and works very well. It will allow me to call landlines(with credit) or other GTalk users. Works very well with Android ICS as well :-)

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Microsoft unveils paid SkyDrive options

Danny Roberts 1

Re: UK Prices

If you haven't used the service before, you can't get free 25GB, it's for *existing* users only.

Makes a nice change to see the $ > £ conversion being fair for a change, well done to MS for that!

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Ten... Kitchen Gadget Treats

Danny Roberts 1
Thumb Up

Re: "Airfryer"

My wife bought one of these (for less than £204 I should add) and I admit I thought it was just another health food fad. After trying it, I am a convert though, the food that comes out on the whole tastes like it's been deep fried provided it's not overloaded. Fantastic for those late night nuggets :-)

It is missing something with plain chips though, they come out crisp but a bit bland, they're not picking up any taste as they usually would from the oil.

So I have no idea what's different between this and a fan oven but there is something!

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PhD pimp's mobe lock screen outwits Feds - Google told to help

Danny Roberts 1
FAIL

Android Bug

It appears Google can't help anyway;

http://www.google.co.uk/support/forum/p/Google+Mobile/thread?tid=627eed11de37ecba&hl=en

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The seven types of commentard

Danny Roberts 1
Joke

Re: Type N: Non-posts by those who read but don't post.

How about a new group;

NN - Those who don't read or post (or even visit). If we can work out how to advertise to them, we'll make a fortune!

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Jabra Halo 2 Bluetooth headset

Danny Roberts 1

The difference between these and the Jabra Halo (1)?

I have a Jabra Halo (1st version) and I love it. Having said that, it's definitely worth mentioning that these headphones don't have a dedicated Play/Pause button and previous/next buttons are actually double tapping the touch sensitive corners.

Android ICS has some issues my headphones, after using the single physical button for any reason, the phone must be restarted to reconnect the stereo audio. I haven't tried any other headphones so it may be an ICS issue, compounded by missing the play/pause button.

Any information on the difference between v1 & v2?

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Pirate Bay AND its users violate labels' copyright - judge

Danny Roberts 1
Pirate

Legal methods...

I know this is the situation on the American side of the pond but it seemed appropriate;

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones

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2011's Best... DVRs and Media Streamers

Danny Roberts 1

Interface

I'd love to see a streamer with a decent interface that can pick up the metadata from my library. Being able to pick an episode from a series and see the synopsis is a godsend!

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WinPho sceptics cut Lumia 800 sales estimates in half

Danny Roberts 1

Liked it

I did play with one of these (while waiting for the Galaxy Nexus). It is blazingly fast, everything is very smooth but it is still a take it or leave it phone, I struggled to see how much of the interface can be customised.

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Production electric motorcycle breaks 100 mile range

Danny Roberts 1

Nope, a moped which can be driven at 16 must be limited but a 125cc bike, driven at 17 after a CBT is not speed limited, only power.

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BBC iPlayer to require TV licence

Danny Roberts 1
Happy

Good Value

The BBC is still good value and this won't make any difference to the vast majority that already pay their TV license.

No other company will send 4 camera teams to the Arctic for 4 months to get the shots needed for something like 'Frozen Planet'. The Beeb may (and hopefully) will make a profit by selling the programme to other networks abroad but I can't see any other production company risking that sort of cash. Most things made by for profit companies seem to appeal to the lowest common denominator and are designed for a quick turnaround and to make some quick cash.

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E-book maker speeds E Ink Pearl tech

Danny Roberts 1

Battery Life

How does video affect battery life, would each frame of video count as one of the ~5000 page turns the battery can do? (or part of one as it's not updating the entire screen)

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JP Morgan has a Playmobil moment

Danny Roberts 1
Happy

I'd love to have the bank 'loose' money on me, they can 'loose' money all over me if they want!

PS: Thanks for the optional titles!

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Ten... gaming headsets

Danny Roberts 1

Shouldn't need a title in a reply!

I still have a pair of Speedlink Medusa's, now stored somewhere in the attic. Good sound for the price but they picked up too much interference. I would have to go round switching off all the mobiles in the house if I ever wanted to use them!

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TalkTalk drags arse in Ofcom ISP survey

Danny Roberts 1

+1 for the online forums.

I'm the first to moan about poor service but also believe good service should be made public.

Since getting TalkTalk ~3 years ago I've had no problems at all. I live about 500 metres from the exchange and get a rock solid 21Mbit all day/all night. The only filtering TalkTalk admit to is P2P traffic during busy times. This means at 5-8pm, my FTP downloads run at 2.3MBytes/sec and my torrents are running at 1.3Mbytes/sec.

I went through the forums to have my profile changed based on my SNR ratios which gained me an extra 3-4Mbit/sec speed.

My only complaint is that it is very difficult to move once a line has been unbundled. I could be tempted by Sky as I now have a new Anytime+ box that will only download new stuff from a Sky broadband line. To go to Sky, I have to go back through BT.

This is in a heavily oversubscribed Virgin area where I would get ~20Mbit at night and less than 500k during the day! Virgin monkeys blaming everything under the sun apart from oversubscription.

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X-COM UFO: Enemy Unknown

Danny Roberts 1

Excellent game...

Anyone else make the mistake of renaming your soldiers, becoming quite attached to them and getting very upset if they died. I seem to remember if you killed the PC quickly enough after your best guy was shot, it wouldn't save and you could restart the mission!

I'm off to book a couple of days leave and fire up Steam! :-)

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Hunt splashes £56.9m broadband cash on Wales

Danny Roberts 1
Thumb Up

RE: @blehhh or whatever @AC

Absolutely agree with AC above, some things are more expensive in the country and some are more expensive in the cities, it should even out. Otherwise, why should I pay for your traffic lights, I can travel the 15 miles to work without seeing or needing any! :-)

Minor quibble, there are no pumps required to get the water from Mid-Wales to Brum because of some very clever engineering: http://www.elanvalley.org.uk/dams-reservoirs/history-of-the-dams/

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Duke Nukem Forever rocks up on shelves

Danny Roberts 1
Unhappy

CPU Limited

Is anyone else finding DNF horribly CPU limited? Yes I'm running on a slightly elderly C2D 2.66GHz CPU but I'm getting lousy frame rates both in 5000x1200 Eyefinity or 1024x768 low quality. :-(

PC is well within both minimum and recommended specs so I've asked for a refund and removal of the game from my account, I'm not too hopeful :-(

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Dirt 3

Danny Roberts 1
Happy

Eyefinity

Loved Dirt2, will definitely be picking this up for the PC.

Logitech MOMO wheel/pedals and triple monitor Eyefinity makes Dirt2 a really immersive experience, hoping Dirt3 will be similar!

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McKinnon battles renewed Obama-era extradition push

Danny Roberts 1

don't forget

that the farmer then adds the cost of building walls around his land to the 'damage' done by the trespasser!

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Crucial M4 256GB Sata 3 SSD

Danny Roberts 1

Smaller sizes = Slower writes

Please note that the 64GB versions of these drives can only write at 'up to' ~95MB/sec, it's always difficult to find decent reviews and 4k random write speeds of the smaller sized SSD's.

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2011 Ford Focus

Danny Roberts 1
Joke

5%

Excellent, with skill you can get into a space 5% larger than the car....

Then have to hang around until someone leaves to get it out again! :-)

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Seven... SSD sizzlers

Danny Roberts 1

Couple of tips...

I bought a 40GB SSDNow about 18 months ago, best/biggest I could afford without various TRIM and stuttering issues. Promptly installed Windows 7 on it and it really will transform your computer!

Bear in mind, by default, Windows will create a swap file and a hibernate file the same size as the RAM in your PC, in my case, it created 2x 8GB files, that is instantly 16GB of the 37GB available plus Windows itself. Add in Apple and Chrome creating all their data files on the C partition without asking and you will run out of space very, very fast!

I've made my swap file 512MB, switched off hibernate and system restore and used 'mklink' to create junction points to move things like Apples backups to the spinning disks. Happy enough at the moment but currently looking at drives around the 120GB mark. It's also worth noting that many controllers perform much worse with smaller drives so if you are comparing performance figures, it must be on the size of the drive you are considering.

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Hacked BBC streaming websites serve up malware

Danny Roberts 1

Versions?

The linked list just mentions 'Microsoft - v1.6502'. Is this MS Security Essentials which is currently v1.97 or some other MS product?

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Nintendo details 3DS roll-out

Danny Roberts 1
Thumb Down

$/£ <= Is not a valid title!

OK, I know that US prices are quoted sans sales tax (usually around 7 or 8%, not our 20%) but even so, as usual the price comparison is lousy!

Check my maths for me, I'm assuming the £230 price quoted is including VAT;

$250 = ~£156 OK...

$250 + 8% Sales Tax = $270 = ~£168 <= Price that should be used for comparison!

£156 + 20% Sales Tax (VAT) = £187 <= The difference in tax rates accounts for £19 (£187 - £168)

So how can they account for the other £43 ([£230 - £156] + £19) price difference. It doesn't cost that much to ship a single DS from the US, even assuming they were shipped to the US from China/Taiwan and then back to the UK!

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'Wear levelling' - a bedroom aid for multi-layer cell Flash

Danny Roberts 1

SSD Failure

I would be interested to hear from anyone who has been using an SSD nearing the end of its life as a Windows boot drive. Does the drive start throwing read errors much like a traditional spinning disk or do you see the capacity slowly decreasing as the controller marks more and more of the drive as unusable?

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