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* Posts by BongoJoe

487 posts • joined 3 Apr 2010

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Virgin Media blocks 'wankers' from permissible passwords

BongoJoe
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Re: uncrackable password

Such as ilovemysheep?

And then the Saes eat them.

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End of buttons? Apple looks to patent animating iPhone sidewalls

BongoJoe
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Re: I don't see it working

"No, officer. I wasn't playing with myself as I passed by the school entrance. I was merely adjusting the volume on my iPad."

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Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'

BongoJoe
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Re: Not WYSIWYG

That is surely the job of the template.

The trouble wth Word is how that it's evolved. Once upon a time it was simple everything worked on normal.dot as the default template. Any global 'templates' (i.e. .dot files loaded in the start-up folder) added code functionality and menu items to the whole Word session.

Then the concept of the document template was added. Here we could put the styles for the document as well as the layout and so on and so forth. Any VBA which was required for the template could go in here and this is where one should have had a Manuscript.dot template for the authors.

The idea by now was for the user to get rid of the normal.dot stuff. In fact, it was never ever a good idea to put any code, styles or formatting in normal.dot as it became something which had to be sacrificed from time to time as it ended up as Microsoft's scratch pad and all sorts of internal bonkersness went on in there.

Problems would then occur with users of MS Word when they didn't use document templates but instead formatted directly on normal.dot and this is then when things started to bork even faster than before. I always trained my clients to have a three layer 'trifle' going on: normal.dot at the bottom, the document template (the .dot file) and then the document at the top.

As someone rightly said above here; putting VBA into documents is the work of the devil. I agree, there should never be any code in any of the .doc files; they should either be in one of the global templates (I used to have dozens running which really made them not templates per se) or in the document template.

Then advance further to today. And we have Themes. This is complete bollocks and baloney; this ought to be in the templates and not in the document and MS have managed to break something that was more or less broken anyway. They've managed to wean a whole generation of uses off something that almost worked onto something that I have been spending (or have spent as I don't touch Word development any more) years on educating users.

But, hey, it's the Microsoft say. It makes things more dumbed down, more shiny and underneath they've really buggered it up.

Back to Scrivener; that works well and it does export to Word. Writing to Word via COM works really well. Well, to an certain degree. Which is why in my code when I write to Word in my nightly document runs (I tend to create at least half a dozen documents a night of over 100 pages of densely formatted text in tables, using tabs and styles) and I have found ways to stop Word exploding.

It isn't for no reason why I have a routine that I call every few paragraphs that I have had to write which I call PreventWordDeath() . The name of it may explain what it does. I've had to as Word is utterly borked in about every department but at least it's got a COM interface, has a good Object Model inside so it does the job. At least if one has struggled with it for decades and knows its many thousands of foibles.

Enough of this. I need a drink. My consultant told me this morning that I need to drink up to six litres of clear fluids a day and one can't get any clearer than gin. So this is me signing off my brain now...

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BongoJoe
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The reason is that it tries to do everything and it doesn't. In the early days, going back to Word 2 (I never saw any earlier incarnations) any changes to the application tended to be bolt ons and updates tended to be lashed on rather than replaced and if one thing didn't work in one release it was mangled in the subsequent releases (remember the disasterous Styles and Numbering which was really borked in Word 7?).

Every update was basically a wrapper around the previous code and the wrapper would try to correct errors of the previous code. And any updates or corrections made to that wrapper would be made in another wrapper.

And so on. The thing became a bloated mess and very few of the fundamental errors or shortfalls were ever properly addressed.

Some were. For example the diseased Styles and Numbering (which used to cause me no end of headaches when working on Word development projects) was only sort-of fixed with the larger law firms in the US all got together and said that they'd move onto another product en-masse if the S&N wasn't sorted.

It was sorted. To some extent but that is what it took for the MS to actually change the faulty code. It was still crap but significantly less crap than before.

Then over the years things just got bigger, more bloated and really didn't offer much more than before. But features had to be added in order to sell new licences. Going back to the stuff from Office 2000 isn't necesassily a bad move. At least I can modify the menu bar with VBA for the application any my templates.

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BongoJoe
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Re: @BongoJoe: Word isn't the best tool for job

Ralph, Skrivener is what I have suggested along with many others here.

edit. I keep spelling it with a 'k' rather than a 'c'. Apologies; it's habit after using Norwegian for many years where 'skrive' means write and I forget to Anglicise the spelling by replacing the second letter.

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BongoJoe
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Word has always been poor for any form of Long Documents. This has been known from the days of Word 2 even though I used to develop for it.

It's good for some stuff, but for manuscripts it's terrible. When I so attempt anything that's going to be an article then I either kick start it in TextPad (still my text editor of choice after all these years) or fire up the excellent Skrivener.

For anything more than a dozen pages, sections, sub-documents and the like then Word isn't the best tool for job. Which is a shame as that is exactly what it should be used for.

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True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS

BongoJoe
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"True fact"

Is there any other kind?

Philip K Dick would tend to disagree.

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BongoJoe
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Re: IS ISIS ISISIS IRA?

Do you mean Britons are starting to talk in Gaelic, drink black beer and celebrate St. Patrick's day?

Gotta love these Welsh patron saints...

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BongoJoe
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Re: ISIS

Option 1 is never going to work. We know that it's not going to succeed and IS are not going to stpp being bastards because we're playing by the Queensbury Rules.

Which leads us to Option 2. I can't honestly think of a third option. If we go that way then we have to accept that the West is at war with Islam. And then what to do? Internment for every Muslim? Close every mosque?

I would like to see a third option but can't imagine one. The first option isn't working and is never going to work and it's going to be seen as a weaness by IS. And there's no way that I would want Option 2 but, honestly, is there going to be a least worse solution?

I really hope that there is.

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BAT-GOBBLING urban SPIDER QUEENS swell to ENORMOUS SIZE

BongoJoe
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Alien

Re: *whimper*

Cue the fabulous "The Black Widow" by Alice Cooper with, of course, Vincent Price with the obligatory opening monologue.

But at least Alice was first with Vinnie.

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Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness

BongoJoe
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It's fast becoming

Office --364

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Get ready: The top-bracket young coders of the 2020s will be mostly GIRLS

BongoJoe
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I pity this future generation of girls. Having to deal with mindless pointy haired bosses and middle managers promoted above their ability.

Wouldn't wish it upon anyone.

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Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group

BongoJoe
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Re: ...that word. I do not think it means what you think it means

If anyone is in any doubt about the existance of a climate then I invate them to come here to North Wales.

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Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE

BongoJoe
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Re: Flash

Ah, but you know you can get an app for the phone which displays a lighter on the screen?

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EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore

BongoJoe
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Re: Twice the network

That is exactly my story with Nothing Nowhere. I gave up on them earlier this year.

The customer services droid promised me that they were going to build a new mast right near me. But that was sales hokum just to get me to sign up for longer.

I now have the ability to call from my office desk at home with my current carrier.

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Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy

BongoJoe
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Re: PongoJoe He needs the attention, but still...

You can smell all you like but that was pure fact.

I am from the North East and I was seriously considering a career with plod. My father was a copper for a while and I thought that I would make a decent copper myself.

A couple of things changed that. First that picture which truly sickened me at the time. The second was the sight of the police waving five pound notes at the strikers.

I don't know if you remember those times or whether you're from the Northern coalfields but that really sickened a lot of people, myself included. That made my mind up for me; was it goung to be coppering or into IT. I then went into college in the late 70s to study Computer Science.

No idea why I got the downvote though, everything that I wrote was factual and accurate. As I say my father was a copper before me (though he had retired from the force before the strike) as was devasted by what was going on on our television screens.

You can disbelieve, you can call me a liar, you can downvote me. But that picture was one of the principle factors for me to change my mind about becoming a copper.

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BongoJoe
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Re: He needs the attention, but still...

I was contemplating a career in the police until the miners' strike started

This picture http://www.defendtherighttoprotest.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/miners-strike-orgreave.jpg was the reason that I changed my mind.

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This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives

BongoJoe
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Re: And if it's an Audi

The BMW message:

THE OVERTAKING LANE IS MINE, ALL MINE! THE OVERTAKING LANE IS MINE, ALL MINE!

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The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?

BongoJoe
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Re: "uninstall the botched update from crippled PCs"

What is even better is the paragraph in the Release Note for this patch which tells us what to do in case of things not working (MS avoid using the term 'BSOD') by telling us to restart the machine in safe mode and then perform steps X Y and then Z

Of course, MS forget to add that Safe Mode is borked too.

The downloaded Boot Disk is one's friend here.

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BongoJoe
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Oh, I do agree in principle. But when dealing with a font cache that shirley shouldn't kill the operating system...

I didn't need a font cache last week or even last year so if it doesn't work now then so be it.

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BongoJoe
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Had this one myself. Once I found out what it was it was easy to fix but, goodness, that shouldn't have caused a Blue Screen at all.

Doesn't Microsoft catch errors in their code any more? It would be a lot better than coming up with STOP ?

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FAIL - the most incompetent IT pros

BongoJoe
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Re: The most incompetent contract programmer...

If he went into telecoms, then I may have met him.

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Games I spent waaay too much time on - 80s onwards.

BongoJoe
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Only one game left now. I guess that this qualifies as Real Life is what I do in downtime.

It can only be...

EVE Online

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Tricked by satire? Get all your news from Facebook? You're in luck, dummy

BongoJoe
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Re: It's only logical...

... after decades of using smileys and laugh tracks on TV to identify "humour".

Which is invariably wrong.

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No Apple fanbois here: Man United BANS iPads from Old Trafford

BongoJoe
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Re: Twats 0 Football Fans who actually want to watch the match 1

The people who put people off going to watch football are not the ones with tablets, but the ones who scream 4-letter tirades and throw stuff at the players.

You're right. I would wish never to sit next to Alan Pardew either.

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BongoJoe
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Re: Twats 0 Football Fans who actually want to watch the match 1

tossing someone's fondleslab around like a frisbee could do some serious damage to anything it hits.

Isn't that why the iSlabs have rounded edges?

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The internet just BROKE under its own weight – we explain how

BongoJoe
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Re: IPv6 like OSI is far more complex than necessary

How exactly does one ride a gravy train, without drowning in brown liquid?

Well you can sit in or on the next carriage behind. If you can fit, of course.

Manor house near me has tracks for its gravy train that goes into the walls courtesy of the eccentric Victorian fellow who built it and the elderly neighbour, when she was a small child and living there, used to climb aboard.

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Microsoft throws old versions of Internet Explorer under the bus

BongoJoe
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Re: How long this lesson will be remembered?

No, I am not trolling.

I am talking about The Real World. The same world in which you and I live in where there are MILLIONS of lines of code out still functioning.

There is no reason that an application should go out of date because a browser is updated. Why would you want to, say, have to be made to change your car because you bought a new television?

It's one thing to stop supporting a language and I am not saying that the language should be supported. What I am saying is that the language shouldn't be broken because of a browser update. Microsoft say that they will help with upgrade issues from IE9 upwards but we know full well that they can't because they have broken everything.

If you think that the answer is to upgrade the code then who is going to do it? You may be fortunate in that you're working for a company who has the latest in develpment systems and you're constantly giving youself paper cuts on the bleeding edge (I know what it's like I've been there) but sooner or later that code you are writing today is going to be code that's out of date in sixteen years time.

Then you're going to be in the position of having to go back and support that code because no-one is going to pay you to rewrite your code every two years. Imagine a world where no software was more than two years old; after a while there would be no new code written as we'd all be rewriting everything that's ever been written again and again and again.

In the Real World there is code out there, lots of code out there which was written in VB6 and earlier. And it all needs supporting by developers. And they're not asking for the language to be updated they're just asking for the language not to be broken by a mere browser.

So, if C++ is out of date and should be replaced, then I would love to know what you think we should do with C.

No trolling here at all, I'm just looking at what's out there.

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BongoJoe
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Re: "support websites that are coded using the competition's nonstandard features"

They use different standards to the rest of the world.

That's the great thing about Standards: there's so many of them.

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BongoJoe
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Re: How long this lesson will be remembered?

This is Microsoft having their heads well and truly jammed in the sand and don't look outside at the Real World at all.

How many billions of lines of Visual Studio 6 is out there all working perfectly well? And if any of those applications requires a web control, even if it's not visible to the user on the form, then if the developer has any version of IE beyond version 9 then the code breaks.

There is one, and only one documented solution to this problem and that is to use IE9.

This is the development tool from Microsoft using Microsoft's own browser and is about to fall foul of Microsoft's own ruling.

Yes, I know that Microsoft will enable one to get over this hurdle (they say) but is there any use me contacting them if they just turn around and say "Upgrade the world's C++ and VB6 applications. All of it. And then there will be no problem."

They can't fix their own compatability issues so they just ignore them and pretend that there's not a single line of code out there written with Visual Studio 6.

This policy of Microsoft's has all the hallmark of Canute's attempt at tide stemming . All it's going to do is to cut off people in the Real World from their updates.

And I thought that my distaste for this once mighty company couldn't get any lower...

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Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate history' story made into TV series

BongoJoe
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But weren't we given two hints in the book that the Allies actually won. The first was when the Japanese character, Mr Tagomi, was looking intently at the silver peice of jewelry and the second when Admunsen mentioned that the Gestapo had ceased to exist after 1947.

The second one may be due to renaming of the verious Nazi groups but the first one where Tagomi saw the hideous looking freeway, a lack of pedalcabs and no American would give up his seat for him.

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Quicker, easier to fly to MOON than change web standards ... OR IS IT?

BongoJoe
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Re: Okay...

Depends how far down that road one goes, I suppose.

C to C++ was a good and healthy step. But add in a few more steps, a leap and a bound or two and we've arrived at the bloated mess that is .Net

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Pentagon hacker McKinnon can't visit sick dad for fear of extradition

BongoJoe
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Re: Re. Mckinnon

Well, one of the first documents was arguably the Magna Carta and it grew from there.

Where does it say that the constitution has to be on a single sheet of paper?

The Constitution defines things such as two houses in Parliament; one for the commoners and one for peers of the realm and various religious types. Between these two they create the laws. Then there is the judicial system which falls into the role of the constitution who decipher the law and then on the top of that there's the monarch whose main task is to ensure that the constition of the realm is adhered to and protected.

In short, it's the whole system and it framsework and then, from within, the laws are made.

The British constitution is not to be comfused with the statute book.

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

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BongoJoe
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Re: Obligatory Internet Spelling/Gammer Trap Triggered

And, look, I did it with Gammer.

Such a strange but powerful phenomenon.

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BongoJoe
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Re: Re. Mckinnon

" I did not realise the UK had one "

I take it that you're joking. Either that or you're massively ill-informed.

Just because we don't have our rules set out on a single sheet of paper signed by a bunch of slave owners doesn't mean that the UK doesn't have a constitution.

Far from it. Because the UK has been going for so long the constitution in terms of statute is so massive there's even a branch of the legal system called "Constitutional Law" which may give a clue as to what it's all about.

If the United Kingdom only came about 250 years ago after slaughtering all the locals in a massive genocidal act then perhaps we'd only need one sheet of paper and a crayon.

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BongoJoe
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Obligatory Internet Spelling/Gammer Trap Triggered

"you're spelling"

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ICANN can't hand over Iran's internet, bomb victims told

BongoJoe
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Re: Americans

Oh yes. And the ridiculous health and safety warnings because of all these.

For example yesterday I took delivery of a new drum stool and on the sheet of paper with the H&S stuff there was only room for six warnings in each language.

The sixth warning was, and I kid you not, a warning about playing the drums during an earthquake as things could topple over...

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Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away

BongoJoe
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Re: I May Not Be Typical

Good points. My tablet uses are mostly web browsing, Skype and the Kindle app.

I find 'typing' them on a total pain so I am reduced to point and swipe and therefore I am mostly using the tablet in a more passive manner. Great to read stuff and to watch some videos on YouTube and, er, that's it for me.

I couldn't bear to write serious, or even half serious code on one. As for other day to day computing uses that I use a desktop (or many desktops) for I am not going to replace these machines to hammer databases to look at the racing form for, for example, the third day of Goodwood tomorrow.

Tablets are good but they won't replace the PC here. They'll just become another tool.

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MPs to sue UK.gov over 'ridiculous' EMERGENCY data snooping law

BongoJoe
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Re: So there actually *are*

Mine voted against it too. It's a shame that Elfyn Llwyd isn't going to stand at the next election as he's been a really good MP for the people.

He's the one who was behing the impeachment of Blair not too long ago and regarding this bill he was dead against it.

I haven't seen many good MPs in my life and Mr Llwyd is one of the small number.

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Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo

BongoJoe
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Re: Genuine reason.

I have a Landrover Freelander - yes, the Ken and Barbie design.

And I can assure you that nothing comes on the display when that catches fire. In fact the only warning system I had was when I pulled into the petrol station and saw the cashier and staff running in blind panic when I realised that something was amiss.

Of course, stopping meant that I then knew that something was wrong...

Anyway, a FIRE warning sign would have been nice.

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Hi-tech Fagin couple used Apple scam cash to fly pickpockets to UK

BongoJoe
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Re: To be fair....

...and perhaps there they should stay.

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Dungeons & Dragons relaunches with 'freemium' version 5.0

BongoJoe
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Re: Anyone remember Dragon Warriors?

You mentioned Simple Systems. Going to the other extreme does anyone remember The Empire of The Petal Throne?

Not only was it complete and complex it came with its own language.

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BongoJoe
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Re: Anyone remember Dragon Warriors?

Talking of simple systems: one couldn't get any simpler nor better than those in the MELEE rule book of the very underrated Fantasy Quest.

Perhaps even in those minimal days these were considered too minimal.

Yours still clutching his original copy of 'Red Bear White Moon'...

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BongoJoe
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Re: Paper shortages

"Okay, roll a new character."

"Doing that now"

"You're an ensign in the Space Corpse it seems"

"Hmm, I'll stay in three more years"

"Oh, look Admiral of the Fleet"

The original Traveller was great but flawed. The MegaTraveller sorted out a lot of the issues but by far the best was Snapshot, the Traveller add on close combat game.

Anyway, I prefered Runequest.

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'We screwed up' sighs Sony bigwig after gaming portals collapse in DNS cock-up riddle

BongoJoe
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Re: I KNOW HOW THE INTERNET WORKS.

If I don't know how the Internet works then there's always Stephen Fry's tweets to educate me.

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Mobile, cloud, social? Data? Nadella strings sexy words together

BongoJoe
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Re: Micro-who?

I would be curious as to know where you're going and what from.

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NASA: ALIENS and NEW EARTHS will be ours inside 20 years

BongoJoe
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Assuming that we will need physical bodies when travelling. It would be more efficient to change our form and then beetle off at the speed of light not needing ships, suits and zero-grav toilets and travel at 1G.

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'Apple is TERRIFIED of women’s bodies and women’s pleasure' – fresh tech sex storm

BongoJoe
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Re: Is this really Apple gender discrimination rubbing out

The story that I heard back in the late 70s was that Jobs was eating an apple at the time and they looked at it when they were deciding on the name and they chose that. Hence the bitemarks at the time.

I looks like one of those tastefless foam filled Washington apples to me. Certainly not a pomegranate.

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Get ready for LAYOFFS: Nadella's coma-inducing memo, with subtitles

BongoJoe
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Re: I can't believe

I remember companies that were too big around the back end of last century to vanish and, yet they managed to do that. Long lost firms like Borland who brought us a good C compiler and also the very excellent Delphi who made great products and, yet, over the years lost everything.

Microsoft it seemed then invulnerable. It's turning out that due to its size, like the dinosaurs, they just took longer to die off.

I look at what the company does now and I don't understand what it does any more. I don't know what it stands for and it's certainly a million miles away from the tech-savvy outfit of last century.

A shame, but there we go. There's perhaps a lesson in there somewhere if only I could be bothered to rake over the dying embers.

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UK gov rushes through emergency law on data retention

BongoJoe
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Re: @MrWibble - Words that are friends ...

It makes no difference what we call it; it soon will be sold off for overseas organisations to run.

At a cost to the taxpayer, of course.

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