* Posts by 0765794e08

34 posts • joined 26 Jan 2010

TrueCrypt considered HARMFUL – downloads, website meddled to warn: 'It's not secure'

0765794e08
Terminator

TrueCrypt Forum

I just want to mention that this has wiped out the TrueCrypt forum too.

There were hundreds of users at the TC forum (myself included), which contained a goldmine of information, not just about TrueCrypt itself but also crypto and computer security in general.

Many people put in many hours of work in the forum, and it would seem that that repository of knowledge is gone at a stroke.

So farewell Dan, pepak, Nicky and all the others…. “Sic transit gloria mundi”.

bae24d3fff

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Grace Hopper gave us COBOL, 'debugging' and inspiration. So Google gave her a Doodle

0765794e08

Re: Women In Technology

Ah yes, Adele Goldberg - I remember seeing her in 'Triumph Of The Nerds' - when she reluctantly gave a demo of Smalltalk to Steve Jobs (she begrudged ‘giving away the kitchen sink’ – not without reason as Apple ultimately got more out of it than Xerox…)

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0765794e08
Megaphone

Women In Technology

I’ve been wracking my brain but I can’t think of many famous female tech pioneers – there must be more than this:

Ada Lovelace (worked with Babbage)

Grace Hopper (thanks for reminding us Google)

Sophie Wilson (okay, was born male but what the heck)

Is that it?

I’ve read several books on computing history but female names are few and far between. Were there no women at MIT Tech Square playing with the TX-0? What about the Homebrew meetings – was it all just blokes with massive sideburns? Was a single female in any way involved in the 80s microcomputer revolution (apart from Sophie)?

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How STEVE JOBS saved Apple's bacon with an outstretched ARM

0765794e08
Facepalm

Beep!

“… a company called Acorn Computers, which made desktop PCs primarily for the education market…”

Forgive me for being pernickety, but I certainly wouldn’t describe a BBC Micro or an Acorn Archimedes as a ‘desktop PC’. There weren’t IBM-PC clones, young fella-me-lad.

They were microcomputers. Get the terminology right please, or you dishonour the wonderful machines that Acorn created.

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The micro YOU used in school: The story of the Research Machines 380Z

0765794e08
Happy

That’s changed my opinion of Research Machines

When I was at secondary school, the ‘computer room’ had about six BBC Micros and a couple of Commodore 64s. In my last year, an RM Nimbus appeared too. I remember it sat in the corner more or less unused – everyone was playing games on the BBCs and 64s – although occasionally someone would play a ‘Reversi’ type game on the Nimbus’ desktop and then get bored after five minutes.

As time went on and I learned the history of Acorn, and the subtle rivalry between Acorn and RM (them both targeting the educational sector), I came to have quite a distain for RM – believing them to be completely un-innovative and simply churning out PC clones. Compare and contrast that with Acorn’s innovative and original designs.

My opinion of RM didn’t improve when I later saw an advertisement for an RM machine, in Acorn User magazine no less (talk about aiding the enemy!), which basically slagged off the Acorn Archimedes (fast chips but no software) and the Apple Mac (screen like a letterbox). Bloody liberty!

But having read this article, my opinion of RM has softened. The record has been set straight - they obviously were innovators – at least at the outset. And they were ahead of the game by a few years. Maybe they weren’t so bad after all!

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How my batch process nightmare was solved by a Wombat

0765794e08
Angel

“P.S. If anyone knows a place hiring a educational network geek at the moment…”

Try an IT recruitment agency – Messrs Modest & Humble spring to mind.

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Your kids' chances of becoming programmers? ZERO

0765794e08
Meh

Re: Kids not programming? Here's why...

But the issue here is how many kids, when presented with their first Windows laptop, are going to say to themselves “Ooh, now I’m going to connect to the internet, download a language I haven’t even heard of, and start programming!” Not many I’d wager. That’s the situation as it now stands, anyway.

On the other hand, if they see a shortcut to ‘FunBasic’ in the Programs folder (on even better, slap-bang on the desktop), they’re much more likely to try it and become interested, without any further prompting or hunting around on their part.

That was the beauty of the 8-bit machines – the programming environment was there, right in your face, as soon as you switched the machine on. If we could get back as close as possible to that situation – with a programming environment just a double-click away after booting into Windows, surely that would be better than the current situation.

So Mr Gates, you’re still Chairman of Microsoft and you must have a soft spot for Basic – after all Altair Basic on paper tape was where it all started for Microsoft – make it happen why don’t you!

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0765794e08
Meh

Re: BBC Basic

“How I longed for a version of basic that could be compiled rather than interpreted but that never came to pass”

Microsoft’s QuickBasic was a good Basic compiler, back in the day, although it wasn’t free. Nowadays PowerBasic is a stonking Basic compiler – again not free.

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0765794e08
Coffee/keyboard

Re: Kids not programming? Here's why...

Yep, I agree there.

I seem to recall in the days of DOS, there was GW-Basic or QBasic interpreters sitting right there in the command directory, just waiting to be played with.

Then with the advent of Windows, they disappeared. Someone at Microsoft obviously thought Solitaire and Minesweeper would be more useful.

The goal of the Raspberry Pi is laudable but I don’t think it will achieve its stated aim of creating a new generation of coders. I think that aim would be better served if Microsoft resumed the inclusion of a version of Basic with Windows – something simple but genuinely useful for introductory programming.

It could be called EasyBasic or FunBasic – with a limited but easy to use command set – just enough to whet the appetites of budding young coders. Make it a compiler and kids would be able to create and share their own tools and games.

I use PowerBasic at work and it’s a joy to use – I’d like to see something similar (like the simpler ‘console’ version) in Windows as standard.

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RIP Bill Lowe: Father of the IBM PC no longer reading drive C

0765794e08
Megaphone

Er, hello?

“In the 1970s companies such as Altair, Apple and others…”

Altair was the name of a computer. MITS was the company that made it. Anyone with a passing knowledge of recent computing history will know this. Get it right for God’s sake!

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Peter Capaldi named as 12th Doctor Who

0765794e08
Mushroom

Re: BBC PR = news

This is so true. I was watching BBC News 24 an hour or so before the ‘reveal show’, and there was a long news item featuring their entertainment correspondent standing outside the broadcast studio, in front of a queue of ‘Whovians’ waiting to go into the studio…

And I’m thinking….. never mind Syria, never mind Egypt, never mind Zimbabwe, never mind anything else important happening in the world… the self-obsessed and self- important BBC proclaims to planet earth: WE ARE THE NEWS

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The toy of tech: The Mattel Aquarius 30 years on

0765794e08
Boffin

The Age of Aquarius

I have a soft spot for the Aquarius. Not because I ever owned one, but because I pined for one, back in the day...

My first ‘computer’ was a little Casio programmable calculator, with a qwerty keyboard, BASIC, and 1K of RAM. After I’d devoured that, around the time of my 13th birthday, I wanted a proper home computer. At school I saw the "Whatever happens in the future..." advert in a computer mag, pinched it, and fell in love with the little machine with the blue keys.

I wanted one. I really wanted one. I pined for one. Nothing else in my world mattered. I remember I would stand at the lounge window, waiting for my dad to come home from work, hoping against hope that he’d be carrying a box with ‘Aquarius Home Computer System’ emblazoned on the side.

Alas, he never did. He couldn’t find one. The little machine with the blue keys and I were destined never to meet.

In the end I got an Acorn Electron for my 13th birthday, and I quickly forgot all about my prior obsession.

Probably just as well - I didn’t know at the time that the Aquarius was a good-for-nothing piece of crap. And the Acorn Electron was a great computer that gave me years of enjoyment. Pity its keys weren’t blue, though...

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Doctor Who? 12th incarnation sought after Matt Smith quits

0765794e08
Alert

Re: New Dr.

If he’s got the stamina, I think Bill Nighy would make a great Doctor. I think we need an ‘older’ Doctor next time round - Matt Smith was too boyish and petite. They might as well have cast a sperm in the role.

If Nighy could bring the same intensity and vibrancy to the role as he did for Victor (a vampire) in the Underworld films, it could make the Doctor a darker, more fearsome character. As opposed to the rather soppy, underwhelming portrayal by Matt Smith.

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Brits on benefits: 'Dole office site only works on PCs over 10 YEARS OLD'

0765794e08
Coffee/keyboard

Nah... that would be silly

This service doesn’t work with some modern browsers and operating systems. Tell me more...

The service was designed to work with the following operating systems and browsers:

‘Browser v1’ on the NeXT computer.

The NeXT computer currently resides in a cabinet outside Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s old office at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) in Switzerland. I’m sure if you ask nicely they will let you use it. Please form an orderly queue.

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Lotus 1-2-3 turns 30: Mitch Kapor on the Google before Google

0765794e08
Thumb Up

1-2-3 For Ever!

I still use Lotus 1-2-3 (for DOS) at home for all my personal spreadsheet work. My household and personal finance spreadsheets have been lovingly crafted and honed to perfection over the years, and I’m damned if I’m going to ‘convert’ them to nasty old Excel!

My first encounter with 1-2-3 was at work, in 1987. We had it running on a couple of IBM PCs, and a beefy Toshiba laptop with a funky orange gas plasma screen.

At home, I first used version 2 for DOS on my Acorn Archimedes, via Acorn’s nifty PC Emulator.

After that, version 3 for DOS came along for the ride as I transitioned through several laptops, running Windows 95, 98, XP, and now Windows 7. It now lives in an XP virtual machine on my Win7 laptop. I should be able to keep it running indefinitely, provided I can continue running an XP virtual machine on whatever host OS comes along (I’m seriously considering moving over to Linux after Win7 has run its course).

But why, you may ask, am I still using quaint old 1-2-3?

1) It’s retro. Retro is good. Plus it looks really cool running full screen on a black background.

2) It’s rock solid. It doesn’t crash.

3) It doesn’t create temp files. This has certain security benefits.

4) You can ‘draw’ lines and borders by putting extended ASCII characters in the cells via their alt codes.

5) The default font is white – you can make the text green by formatting the cell as protected. Two colours – neat!

A big thank you to Mitch Kapor and Jonathan Sachs for creating such a fantastic piece of software.

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McAfee: Emma Watson riskiest celebrity search

0765794e08
Mushroom

Movie quote

Hermione: That's right. Now, if you two don't mind, I'm going to bed before either of you come up with another clever idea to get us killed...or worse, McAfee'd! {turns and leaves, shutting the door behind her}

Ron: She needs to sort out her priorities!

Harry gets out his wand and yells "McAfee Crapivirikedavra!" and Ron's head explodes due to a dodgy signature update.

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'Picture of Dorian Gray' borrowed in 1934 is finally returned

0765794e08
Megaphone

Re: @ 0765794e08

Funny gag, kind Sir, but you seem to be behind the times yourself.

Kate Bush’s R.U.T.H. 2012 remix, which featured in the Olympics opening ceremony, entered the UK charts at no.6 on 19 August, and peaked at no.3 on iTunes on 21 August. Dig it!

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0765794e08
Trollface

Re: It's not what you know....

I don't think he was in Experiment IV but Hugh Laurie and Dawn French were.

As an aside, Kate Bush seems to be working her way through the cast of Blackadder in terms of collaborations - Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Laurie, Tim McInnerny, Miranda Richardson, and Stephen Fry the latest.

Which basically leaves Tony Robinson and Rik Mayall. Kate Bush and Rik Mayall - oh God please let it happen...

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0765794e08
Happy

It's not what you know....

I’m not a fan of Stephen Fry but he does have one endearing quality - he's sung on an album by Kate Bush!

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Passwords are for AES-holes

0765794e08
Megaphone

Yes, passwords are annoying...

... but really annoys me is sites that, for some inexplicable reason, force you to use weak passwords. And by weak, I mean short.

For example, National Savings & Investments (NS&I) limits their account password to a measly 8 characters. If you use Tesco.com, you’re stuck with a maximum of 10 characters for your password.

Rather than bemoaning having to use strong passwords, I think it would be more productive to name and shame the silly companies that don’t even give you the option of choosing a strong password.

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Star Trek's Wesley Crusher blasts Google+ landgrab

0765794e08
Happy

Trekkie Spaghetti

I’m sure that Mr Wheaton is making a valid argument, but let’s face it, if it was Marina Sirtis that was doing the jumping up and down, we’d all be paying a lot more attention.

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Hanging's too good for 'em - so what do you suggest?

0765794e08
Coffee/keyboard

Banish them from society

I like the idea of ‘banishment’.

Find some large, fairly inhospitable, uninhabited island safely away from the mainland, and simply banish murderers to it. They could be dropped in by parachute. There would be no infrastructure of any kind on the island - the murderers would have to fend for themselves, and live off the land.

Probably best to limit it to male murderers to keep the population in check. The space duly released in the prison system would allow for proper ‘life’ sentences for female murderers.

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RIP Ceefax: Digital switchover kills off last teletext service

0765794e08
Thumb Up

RIP teletext

What I want to know is, whatever will become of Masha The Erotic Poetess, and The Fresh Prince Of Luton? We’ll never see their like again.

And if you remember those characters, you’re a true teletext aficionado.

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BBC Micro team to celebrate historic machine's 30th year

0765794e08
Thumb Up

Re: burrrrrrrr-beep.

Amen to that!

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0765794e08
Terminator

Accolades

A few thoughts:

1) I find it deeply satisfying that although Acorn came a cropper, its heritage and technical innovation lives on, and indeed continues to thrive, though ARM. It seemed that when Acorn went under, the PC clones (and companies such as Acorn’s arch nemesis, the dull as ditchwater ‘Research Machines’) had won the day. But the boffins in Cambridge weren’t to be defeated!

2) I remember running Acorn’s PC Emulator on my Acorn Archimedes. In one of life’s little ironies, I now find immense gratification in the knowledge that Microsoft are falling over themselves to port Windows to the ARM architecture.

3) Alas, my parents couldn’t afford a BBC Micro, so I got an Acorn Electron. But I’m not bitter. It was (and is) a great little computer. Plus the fact that I could program in BBC Basic helped me land my first job after leaving school.

4) You can keep your Elites and your Chuckie Eggs. Gisburne’s Castle was, and is, the greatest BBC Micro game of all time. And you can call me Susan if it isn’t so.

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Cameras roll on 'blockbuster' new Who series

0765794e08
Windows

Matt has no gloss

Sorry but I just can’t get excited about this.

Matt Smith makes a poor Doctor. He’s too small. He’s too lanky. He’s too young. He doesn’t have screen presence. His voice is weedy and expressionless. He comes across as a gawky teenager literally playing “Doctor Who”.

All this might be forgiven if the storylines were any good, but since Tennant’s departure the stories have been ridiculous, and, frankly, all over the place.

Doctor Who needs a radical revamp in time for the 50th Anniversary. The Doctor and his two current companions need replacing post haste, so that some life can be breathed back into the brand.

Matt Smith should step aside and make way for someone he could do justice to the role: Paul Shane. With Sue Pollard and Orm & Cheap as the companions.

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Seven Dwarfs password gag declared Fringe's best

0765794e08
Mushroom

Particularly good joke?

How do you make a French horn? Stamp on his foot.

I didn’t say it was a particularly good joke.

Oh well, as the old Chinese proverb says: “Man who go to sleep with itchy bottom, wake up with smelly finger.”

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Pink Floyd guitarist pays McKinnon's health bills

0765794e08
Alien

Diamond Kite

Some observations:

1) Let us not forget that David Gilmour was instrumental in bringing Kate Bush to the attention of a grateful world. For that alone, he deserves more than a nod of recognition.

2) Gilmour's son, however, is a very naughty boy.

3) Cliff Stoll was writing about the pitiful state of US military computer security in the 1980s (The Cuckoo's Egg is a cracking good read). It seems not much has improved since then.

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Has CERN made the VATICAN ANTIMATTER BOMB for real?*

0765794e08
Happy

Dan-ti-matter

Aw come on...

... Dan Brown's come a long way since Susan Fletcher "almost fell off her chair with excitement" in Digital Fortress.

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eBay photocopier data risk ignored

0765794e08
Joke

Wipe that photocopier!

Okay, message received.

But where on earth am I supposed to insert my DBAN CD ???

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UK.gov sticks to IE 6 cos it's more 'cost effective', innit

0765794e08
Megaphone

The operating system that refuses to die...

The simple fact is that Windows XP was the best operating system that Microsoft ever produced, or will likely ever produce. It’s been all downhill since then.

Vista, as everyone knows, is completely and utterly awful. Windows 7 is better, but it’s still dreadful compared to XP. People realise this.

So I have radical suggestion. Microsoft should abandon Vista and Windows 7 completely. They should acknowledge them for the mistakes they were. They should re-establish XP as their ‘current’ operating system, and concentrate on shoring up its defences through additional service packs.

In addition, they should make XP free of charge. This is the only way Microsoft can counter the threat from Linux and Google’s Chrome OS, which will only gain momentum over time. Sure it will affect Microsoft’s bottom line, but they have plenty of revenue coming in from their non-OS divisions.

If Microsoft don’t take radical action to make good on their disastrously faltering desktop OSs, I think the Windows platform will be doomed.

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ATI Graphic cards turbo charge password recovery

0765794e08
FAIL

Bigmouth strikes again

@Keith

It’s great to share, isn’t it? But I’m afraid you’ve just commited the cardinal sin of telling the world how you go about making your passwords. You use a passphrase and a little C program. You shouldn't have let that slip. You really need to learn to keep schtum about such things.

ALL YOUR PASSWORDS ARE BELONG TO US!

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Brass necked suspect swallows USB evidence

0765794e08
Jobs Halo

Nursery rhyme time!

There was a young crook who swallowed a flash drive

I don't know why he swallowed a flash drive - perhaps he’ll die!

There was a young crook who swallowed an iPod,

That wriggled and wiggled and tiggled inside him;

He swallowed the iPod to catch the flash drive;

I don't know why he swallowed a flash drive - perhaps he’ll die!

There was a young crook who swallowed a Playstation;

How absurd to swallow a Playstation.

He swallowed the Playstation to catch the iPod,

He swallowed the iPod to catch the flash drive;

I don't know why he swallowed a flash drive - perhaps he’ll die!

There was a young crook who swallowed a BBC Micro;

Fancy that to swallow a BBC Micro!

He swallowed the BBC Micro to catch the Playstation,

He swallowed the Playstation to catch the iPod,

He swallowed the iPod to catch the flash drive;

I don't know why he swallowed a flash drive - perhaps he’ll die!

There was a young crook that swallowed a PC;

What a hog, to swallow a PC;

He swallowed the PC to catch the BBC Micro,

He swallowed the BBC Micro to catch the Playstation,

He swallowed the Playstation to catch the iPod,

He swallowed the iPod to catch the flash drive;

I don't know why he swallowed a flash drive - perhaps he’ll die!

There was a young crook who swallowed a CRAY,

I don't know how he swallowed a CRAY;

He swallowed the CRAY to catch the PC,

He swallowed the PC to catch the BBC Micro,

He swallowed the BBC Micro to catch the Playstation,

He swallowed the Playstation to catch the iPod,

He swallowed the iPod to catch the flash drive;

I don't know why he swallowed a flash drive - perhaps he’ll die!

There was a young crook who swallowed Steve Ballmer,

He's dead, of course.

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Whirlpool allows old stains to linger on Kitchenaid.com site

0765794e08
Joke

Whirlpool....

.... trust them to make a hash of it...

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