347 posts • joined Friday 23rd April 2010 13:30 GMT
Re: Perhaps the enforced Microsoft Windows monopoly does not help...?
"legitimate distie-refurb HP Compaq business-class laptop, a 6910p, also from five or so years ago, but still perfectly adequate for most people's needs. Can't remeber whether it was two hundred or three hundred pounds."
My mistake was probably not purchasing a couple of T60's for spares a year or so back when they were quite common in the quality refurb channel and like you say reasonably priced.
Whilst I know that my system is not as fast/responsive as a modern laptop, it is sufficient to satisfy the demands I place on my primary work machine.
Re: Perhaps the enforced Microsoft Windows monopoly does not help...?
>"but even up at the 1500 quid bracket which was the price of the last Windows laptop I bought, it didn't last more than 12 months before it was a wreck. Toshiba Satellite Pro 3000 just in case you're wondering. ... all just because I carried the thing around in a laptop back all over the world."
Yes I remember the Satellite Pro 3000 - rubbish - not brought a Toshiba laptop since, after I found that Compaq didn't have a suitable replacement for the Armada E500, I switched to IBM Thinkpad T series and haven't looked back. Yes these machines aren't the fastest but they take the punishment of mobile working.
[Written on my 5 year old T60 running XP, so far only replaced the battery and power cord, but know that a HDD replacement is probably advisable/due.]
Re: Rooted for what? @AC 14:04
Obviously you didn't read the comments on the Nook article (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/01/barnes_and_nobles_slashes_nook_prices/ ).
The main reason is to put a bunch of ebook readers on to a single device and to have a PIM ie. an e-ink style screen on an Android device would basically give you an updated Palm Pilot - strange that HP/Palm didn't think of that.
Microsoft competing against Microsoft?
Just been trying to get hold of a couple of new Win7 laptops and I note that the majors (Dell, HP, Lenovo) have made Win8 their first choice OS on new business class machines and you need to hunt around to find the variants that come with Win7 pre-installed. So perhaps MS are 'encouraging' the OEMs to stop shipping Win7 as the default installed OS - as it's hitting the Win8 sales numbers.
An argument can be made for Acqiva, Network Rail, National Grid and other utilities to be incorporated as CIC's and the government could then offer them (and other CICs) favourable taxation arrangements.
Re: 5G = Wi-Fi
>So why wouldn't a new player come in and seize the urban market by partnering with a local authority's street lighting provider.
Whilst it isn't a mesh network, BT did this some years back with Westminster CC, it enabled Westminster CC to more rapidly and cheaply expand the coverage of its own (private) public space management WiFi network.
From memory I'm under the impression that a couple of other cities also entered similar deals - did your work at Derby go to this level of detail?
Perhaps people have been spending their money on tablets...
Fun how the maturing of the mobile phone market isn't being heralded by the media as the end of mobile phones, like we've been seeing regarding traditional PC's...
Perhaps like tablets verses laptops and desktops, once people have a nice shiny tablet, they discover that they don't really need or can afford a fancy new mobile phone in addition to the tablet - as the fancy stuff is largely handled by the tablet, hence last year's mobile phone is still fit for purpose and in fact that old phone in the bottom of the draw has better battery life...
With practically all major IT consumer device markets reaching maturity we're now entering interesting times as companies will no longer be able to hide inefficiencies behind increasing sales volumes and revenues.
Re: Happy with mine @nuclearstar 16-30
You do realise that you could of had similar energy saving eye opening experiences by just having an energy meter?
I have found it useful to obtain a reasonable energy meter, that allows data to be download to a computer. This enables you to draw charts - energy suppliers only keep their meter readings, so their charting tools are of limited use and will prevent you from accumulating several years worth of data. I know now (from 8 years of data) what my typical annual consumption is - the only ways I can make real reductions in my energy consumption is either to radically change my lifestyle or install some form of micro generation (eg. solar panels). So a smart meter doesn't really giving me anything.
Re: It's a solution looking for a problem
I think the actual solution you were looking for is Single Sign-On - as it provides a framework within which to use two factor authentication.
Smart but not intelligent!
The Shoretel Dock enhances the telecom's side of the smartphones persona, the question is whether it is as well presented and executed as Ubuntu for Android that took advantage of a smartphone's computer persona.
So the dock needs to be smart in terms of its ability to leverage the value of a desk phone (handset/headset, keypad, location) and so enhance the smartphone experience and smart in the way it harnesses the intelligence contained in the smartphone to enrich the communications experience.
I suspect that a key use case is that the reason the user is at a desk is because they need to use a desk based computer. Hence rather than having the smartphone just littering the desk why not provide a place for it to go and which would increase it's utility.
If memory serves me correctly, HOTmail was on a BSD unix server infrastructure, so I take it that finally MS have successfully migrated Hotmail to Windows Server...
Re: Knowing little about these things
It would seem that this is quite a capable device once rooted:
Nook Simple Touch plays Toy Story < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8MY26rwXuc >
So whilst it is an e-ink device and so you shouldn't expect it perform as well as a normal android device, it is sufficiently capable to be a useful complement to a conventional smartphone/tablet.
From what I can determine the Nook Simple Touch interfaces to Overdrive in the same way as other eReaders such as the Kobo namely sideloading the files from a computer using Adobe Digital Editions and a USB cable.
However, there is now an Overdrive app in the Nook App store that works with some Nooks. See http://overdriveblogs.com/library/2012/10/02/overdrive-app-comes-to-nook%C2%AE/
For the Nook Simple Touch, if you can get a native Android up and running then you should be able to run either the Aldiko Book Reader or BlueFire Reader app. Having used BlueFire on an iPad, I would not like to go back to sideloading, particularly as the main iPad user can download library books to BlueFire without assistance...
Re: Use too much Leccy? We will turn you off @AC
"the media in recent days have been talking about Gridco (?), telling the UK's fridges and freezers to not switch on for (say) half an hour or so"
Shows that people that should know better, don't!
Decades back this would of made sense, as fridges and freezers had very simple controls. But you could buy such things as "savaplugs" that used some simple electronic circuitry that effectively managed the power demands of the device and hence saved you some money. With the development of electronic controls for fridges and freezers these devices became unnecessary (the circuitry being included in the appliance) and in fact could cause problems (eg. control board components burning out). So the net effect of a command from Gridco would not be particularly great.
BT building a “4G backhaul network” for O2
Good piece here http://www.3g.co.uk/PR/April2013/bt-steps-up-interest-in-4g-mobile-network.html
Basically, expect BT to share it's spectrum with O2 and gain (retain?) O2's backhaul network business. this will give BT a network with national reach on which to launch it's own services that complement it's existing range of services for fixed and wireless broadband. Suspect that part of this new network will be used to achieve the national broadband rollout...
This contract probably also positions BT to pick up backhaul network business from the other operators.
Re: Whilst I can see the value.....@Roland6
>Router & modem all in one?
No an All-in-One desktop PC that replaced a 'normal' desktop PC assembly with 300+w psu, that they were (naturally) turning off after usage, without really taking notice of what the screen was telling them...
I deliberately chose the All-in-One for its low energy consumption (25w max and 3w standby) and low noise so that it could be left on. Also on this system the power button is software controlled (puts the system into hibernate mode)... Shame the power management software isn't better as I'm sure I could further decrease energy consumption...
>Stick a timer switch on the ...
You would of thought by now that these devices would have an energy saving mode and be manageable via power management software running on the PC...
Only problem I've encountered with external timer switches is how many devices now come with a soft on/off switch that only works once the device is powered...
I knew there was a reason why I should of kept those old MS install disks...
Perhaps DWP have done a deal with MS and we will be seeing cloud services offering legacy browser access to government systems...
Re: Whilst I can see the value.....@Tom Walsh @Peter Gathercole
>My base load is still around 500W, and I'm struggling to identify where that is going.
Got a built in burglar and fire alarm system?
when I first got my OWL, I turned everything off and like you ended up with a residual load that I only resolved by popping fuses...
>If only I could persuade my wife that the tumble-drier really is one of the biggest expenses
A condenser dryer with sensor may help reduce costs, but basically if you want your laundry done I suggest living with it. The compromise reached in our house, after I left the Owl attached to the tumble dryer, is that 'heavy' stuff does tend to go on the washing line - weather and schedule permitting.
But this fact (re. hot water and tumble dryer) has enabled me to convince some of my non-IT clients that it is okay to leave their brand new All-in-One with a 25w PSU running and so avoid problems caused by them pulling the plug...
Re: Whilst I can see the value.....@Tom Welsh @Ledswinger
>Almost as good value as HS2
No it's much better value!
£5bn of mandated investment with no benefits against £34.5bn (and rising) of mandated investment with a £26bn deficit over the 67-year operating period.
Re: PC Audio
If I remember correctly, the big thing about Beats Audio on HP notebooks was that more consideration had been given to design and layout of the audio circuitry on the motherboard - basically they realised that audio signals are different to digital signals...
So HP would seem to have used "Beats" as a tool to market these notebooks with a "youth appeal" image that couldn't be obtained through using names such as Dolby or Creative...
>if you are telling me that you can get the same build quality at 30 quid that you'll pay 120 for for Logitech kit, well, I have trouble accepting that without seeing a teardown report supporting that claim.
Suggest you browse www.keyboardco.com , here you will find "professional" keyboards that are vastly superior to Logitech's for less ...
Don't work for them but I buy my keyboards and mice from them.
Re: Why are we still using passwords?
"use a browser's "remember passwords" option"
You may find the NirSoft utilities: IE PassView or PasswordFox useful to have lying around. IE PassView certainly helped me to recover my father inlaw's Fantasy Football login details so that he could use them on a new system ...
(Aside: Yes IE might not be the most secure browser, but there are times it is useful... )
Re: Email account password probably "very important"
>... it means that like everyone else
I thought only those who's iPad is controlled by IT and geeks actually knew of and used the PIN feature ...
Lots of opportunities for Enterprise IT Architects then!
"poorly designed and integrated applications", "address key pain-points around new and legacy applications", "formal plans for how to address what will quickly become a legacy problem", "lack of business case", "multi-device application environments", "a more holistic approach for application development and maintenance", "adapt business processes to embrace these new mobile and consumer technologies"
All of these and more are things Enterprise IT Architects can address!
So the looming end-of-support for XP may be providing an opportunity to sell enterprise IT architecture in a way that people understand.
Re: Why are we still using passwords?
Yes totally understand...
Have you tried introducing them to KeePass? Or do they remember that you shouldn't save passwords and so invariably click "No" when KeePass asks...?
The young'un's are generally easier to deal with as you can get them to come to you when they need to set up accounts on Mathletic's etc.
Re: Password management
>Your mistake was to use "ThinkVantage Password Manager".
Agree, however with more systems containing security chips (which lock the vault to the machine) and coming with various 'useful' tools including pre-installed password managers, this is certainly something that will trip the unwary, plus as you point out tools such as KeePass do need to be set up 'corrrectly' (ie. use a cloud service of some description) for the information they contain to be fully recoverable.
Aside: I paid a second time for my mistake, entries can only be accessed one at a time through the TVPM user interface; it took a long time to extract them...
Re: Password management
>Am I supposed to remember 79 different complex passwords to keep Ofcom happy?
No, the Ofcom report (section 6.19 "Attitudes towards online passwords") was only interested in the actual passwords (but not usernames?) being used by a single user across multiple websites, the report didn't investigate the methods by which users managed/remembered their passwords.
Yes password managers can be great, but they do have their own problems particularly when your machine decides to throw a wobbly. I came across this problem when my Thinkpad hiccuped a few months back and corrupted my normal user profile. Whilst I was able to create a new profile etc. etc. accessing the ThinkVantage Password Manager vault (owned by my normal user account) was challenging... My need to recover the vault wasn't just about recovering passwords, but with recovering the various usernames I had used over the years.
Email account password probably "very important"
My partner tries to follow good practise and create interesting passwords for the various sites that demand them for whatever reason. The only problem is that she doesn't tend to remember them and so most of the time she just press'es the "forgot your password?" and acts on the update email... so effectively she only has one password - the password to her main email account ...
But then since this inbox is accessible on her iPad ...
Re: Rephrasing the question - can I run the businesses I support on LINUX? @Getriebe 16:05
I took a slightly different (more business-oriented) take on the "Can we rebuild that on LINUX?", since you were (to me) slightly ambiguous on what "that" was.
From your internal IT systems perspective, I wouldn't bother trying to migrate Windows server-based applications to Linux servers. However, I would be investigating various server/datacenter virtualisation offerings from Microsoft and others. In this context Linux may play a role and give your team greater 'Linux' skills which may be relevant to your customers, but given the size of your operation, I would expect you to be doing this in any case.
>Basically he convinced Digital to not invent the PC
I think you meant he helped to convince Ken Olsen not repackage the MicroVax as a desktop workstation in the PC marketplace and price bracket.
Funny how in the mid 80's DEC were in the position to: launch a VMS-based workstation (with an extensive third-party applications catalogue) and release VMS to X/Open (now The Open Group) to become the standard for POSIX, and the rest as they say would of been history... Instead they left the PC to Microsoft and IBM and X/Open basically adopted Unix to become the basis for POSIX.
User initiated pairing?
Ignoring whether we need it or not, the simple communications security solution is just pair the new gismo with a home management hub, in the same way as today we pair bluetooth devices, or wireless electricity monitors (eg. the OWL). The software on the hub would have a management interface (probably browser-based) that would enable a user to pair devices to applications/services, this would also permit the user to give devices meaningful labels and so map them into any external service management application.
It doesn't matter how clever the software is on the device, there is no way a bulb say can determine it's location in a house or the role it is supposed to fulfil. We can make the outlets 'intelligent', but even this requires 'user' intervention so that the outlet 'knows' that it is for the open/close sensor for the front door. Hence as 'user' intervention will be required to set the system up it makes sense to build security with the same assumption.
The current approach being adopted by the security guys seems to favour a vendor lock-in approach to security, namely Philip's light bulbs would only talk to Philips servers, GE light bulbs to GE's servers etc. etc. ... which is totally daft.
Re: "Freakishly Something". Dunno About Awesome Though... @skelband 17:23
>But if you already have a license to run Office in Windows, then that's not really an issue is it?
Depends upon your volume license agreement, it can be cheaper to purchase a desktop bundle (Windows, Office & associated CALs) than cherry pick just those components you use. Hence switching away from Microsoft can carry a high initial cost, so not a decision to be taken lightly, particularly if you are unable to completely move away from having Microsoft products on the vast majority of desktops.
Re: Maybe I should elaborate
>Of course _new_ companies, particularly in some Internet related business now start with Linux. There's little point in starting a new company on Windows any more.
Ignoring the desktop ie. many of those startups will be using standard Windows desktops and laptops for normal office funcitons, even though the website etc. may be hosted on some other platform.
There are many startups using "Microsoft" as their product platform; and Microsoft through it's BizSpark program encourages them to do so. Fundamentally, as a business you choose the platform appropriate to your intended market and the skill sets available to you.
Re: Rephrasing the question - can I run the businesses I support on LINUX? @Getriebe 09:38
I think you are getting to the gist of the problem.
Yes you could rebuild on Linux, however, the big problem will be your business model and customers.
With MS being so prevalent there is a high probability that potential customers will be using several products from the 'joined up' product set your company supports. Hence I suggest your current business model has been to provide support for applications that potentially a large number of customers are already using.
With Linux/open source (as it currently stands) once you get beyond the basic's you rapidly reach a point where you are making application selections on behalf of your clients and hence would be selling your selections to potential customers.
My suggestion would be to start offering basic Linux/open source platform support to test the market and to develop your skills.
Re: On a slightly more serious note...
>it wouldn't surprise me if Windows ... becomes increasingly a dedicated business OS
This is what makes the whole XP/Win8 thing so strange. MS clearly are the major player in the enterprise client and support services space, but for some reason they want to be seen as a hip consumer company who's products are comparable to Apple.
Re: "Freakishly Something". Dunno About Awesome Though... @Kiwi 00:57
>Lots of support available out there.
There maybe, in my experience there are lots of individuals/hobbists who are keen on Linux and make such statements about how easy it is for a business to transfer etc. etc. , but ask them to commit to a support contract ....
In fact a friend has a public offer outstanding for a little under a year now, for any Linux expert to look at his business and propose a credible strategy for migration to open source, the only caveat is that the expert must have an established IT service business with reference-able customers - since naturally he doesn't want to be a guinea pig...
Re: It has been the default kernel for a decade now
>Ask someone why they use a Windows box and the most legitimate reply will be that there is some sort of old software which requires it.
Like a state-of-the-art ERP system for example?
Platform fans are forgetting, the business is only interested in applications that help them solve business problems, it is IT's job to advise and resolve platform integration issues. Yes for example there are lots of ERP systems out there, but when you start to tailor them to specific sectors and businesses you rapidly arrive at a shortlist.
Interestingly, whilst Unix/Linux may be the preferred platform for many, you will find that this is constrained to specific variants eg. AIX.
Re: There are tools.
>Risk is one of my favourite interview subjects.
I find the subject that tends to dominate many of my interviews is 'context' (although some may call this 'terms of reference' and/or scope) followed by conceptual design as these shape the entire solution approach and delivery project. For example with one client I spend the best part of two months going round in circles between the various business units and stakeholders getting them to agree the contents of the Prince2 PID, having done this we were able to knock together a board case for multi-million pound project in a little over a week and get it approved.
So totally agree "It starts with the architect getting off his arse and speaking to people. Across the business, and up and down the management chain." which for many from a pure or deep technical IT background does not come naturally or easily.
This article and other recent pieces on Enterprise & IT Architecture concerning the applicability of systems thinking just go to show how far ahead Peter Checkland was in his thinking - creating the Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) in the late 1970's - and how his work has stood the test of time. Peter's work, (along with Enid Mumford's) has been one part of my degree that I have used extensively in my career.
If you are serious about working in the design space I highly recommend you gain a working understanding of his work as it is far more relevant than general systems theory, which it seems Mike Lloyd in his article is alluding to.
Re: A completely useless utility then.
>The transport of at least 30 million people worldwide (and then some) every year is still reliant on a 16-bit DOS application.
By application, do you mean a full RTOS and applications that effectively only uses DOS for disk, screen and keyboard access?
But certainly the transportation of millions for several decades has been reliant on 8-bit and 16-bit based systems and in none of 'incidents' todate have these systems been implicated.
Re: The thing is, the domestic or small user will have a computer that doesn't work.
"It's the users least able to deal with this who are going to suffer most."
Agree, although none of the people I know have suffered as a result of this update failure (relief !).
A concern is how many have gone to high st/major consumer 'support' companies only to further suffer by having to pay to have their HDD's reformatted - since that is the standard low cost resolution to a Windows boot failure.
Re: The problem with batteries ...
"Well duh! When you design hardware, you design it with the limitations of the technology at hand."
Not in the case of mobiles, with these you design it to work within the limitations of technology that will be on the market in ~5 years time, you then crowbar it into today's technology and launch as the latest must have...
Re: A day?
Perhaps Nokia should re-introduce the 6310i and other classic phones, it might boost sales...
Re: Weak? Their most profitable business is tanking!
>Feature phone sales are down 30%
But that is probably due to the 5 million Asha full touch Series 40 phone sales being categorised as "smartphones".
Re: The Linux angle... Ross K 12:54
>Nice troll attempt - obviously the "furry-toothed geeks" have been getting to you!
No, my point was just an observation that MS has enjoyed a long period of relative stability in it's OS code-base and products ie. XP and it's derivatives/look-a-likes, and hence these products have been able to establish credibility and market share. Now these products are heading towards their end-of-life with all the changes that this entails, particularly for customers with extensive deployments based on these products...
Obviously, as you note, in the embedded space MS has been able to largely oust the competition and hence depending upon your application needs, there isn't much choice, unless the POS supplier is willing to effectively take ownership of the OS platform.
Re: Linux POS ..
I hope you feel better for getting that out of your system!
Lets return to your original point, namely:
"Who's your support contract with? Will an engineer come out to fix this magical free software when your till goes titsup.com on a Friday night and the queue at the bar is 4-deep?"
I just pointed out in my response that WEPOS systems can also hard fail to a state that requires a visit. Hence the need for a support contract with your ATM/POS supplier is independent of the component suppliers, of which the OS provider is just one. As you say "BIll Gates isn't going to come out to fix your till, is he? Neither is Linus F****** Torvalds, ... The POS software reseller is the one who comes out to provide service last time I looked.".
Moving on to the second point "fix this magic software", if there is a problem found within the OS code then who is going to fix this? Obviously if your ATM/POS supplier has access to source code then they can fix it - pronto! however, with WEPOS they will need to report a fault to a third-party, Microsoft and wait. My question was therefore predicated on my experience with MS support for its desktop and server versions of Windows and having to keep a customer happy whilst we waited...
You may wish to interpret my questioning as trolling, however FYI my main experience is with proprietary embedded systems.
I suspect that "Broadband" has become the generic marketing term for the client connection to WAN/Internet services, in the same way that "Ethernet" became the generic marketing term for LAN.
Need to check the contract details next time...
All the mobile networks do this, it was especially noticeable in the early years of the iPhone and iPad.
The problem is setting the plan up on the billing system, which is a big thing, hence what you should do is call retentions and get them to switch you on to a different call plan, which isn't sold through normal channels.