59 posts • joined 7 May 2010
Re: Hobbies are changing back
Not quite - The Arduino generation can cobble together a bit of code and do a fair amount of simple analogue and digital interfacing, but ask them to throw together a Wien bridge oscillator, whip up a sensor interface with an instrumentation amplifier, generate a sawtooth with a UJT, or calculate the resonant value of an LC tuned circuit and you'll often get a puzzled look, followed by a quick trip to ebay to see if there's a shield for that.
It's modular hacking and not pure electronics - not that there's anything wrong with that.
Hobbies are changing - but not quite changing *back*.
Re: I knew that had got expensive... but not THAT expensive!
True - I have just bought 100 x 220 ohm 1/4W 5% resistors from another UK supplier for £1.30
Yes, I remember those vouchets. In 1981 the MD of Maplin personally arranged for a box of catalogues to be sent to me for sale on our Electronics Club stand at our school Summer fete.
Sadly the company is a shadow of its former self. How times and hobbies change.
So, I'll no longer face situations like when one Openreach 'engineer' stole our landline from up the pole to provision a new line for a neighbour and it took ten days for them to come and put me back online.
Now - about the FTTC that was slated to go live in our village in March this year....?
To further end user computing ambitions
To further end-user computing ambitions
So which is it?
Grammar: How does it work?
PS: Split infinitive
PPS: No STUPID random caps in headline, so there's some hope.
..and these are the GANGSTERS that have to be referred to in CAPITALS - the real hard buggers.
Re: One million lines of code
Reminds me of my time working for a large UK veterinary group - one of our patient/client management apps couldn't work out birth dates or ages correctly - you'd register a new pet and enter the birth date given by the customer and the software would fill in the approximate age field (or you could fill in the approximate age and it would work out the rough birth date).
Trouble was, you'd enter something like 'Poochy'..born 9-12-2005 and according to the software, the poor dog would be something like 402 years old!
After some email correspondence with the support team, their conclusion was 'date handling is complex'.
It was never fixed. We eventually kicked out the system for a myriad of reasons.
Marking Scheme Notes
1) Extra POINTS to be awarded to the student for apparently RANDOM words TYPED in capitals
2) Strained references to body parts, sexual innuendo or 'fourth form humour' to be considered for merit
3) Half point bonus for inclusion of the word MEELLION (MUST be in capitals)
This article will do as well as any other sooo...
It SEEMS that the fourth formers who edit El Reg as a social media project have got bored with STUFFING article titles with innuendo and have now COME ACROSS the CAPS KEY, which they seem all-too-keen to POKE in order to SLIDE BIG letters in the article titles wherever possible. On a Web page, this looks odd, but in an RSS feed reader it's just painful. I appreciate that El Reg is the red top of online tech journalism, but it wouldn't be too HARD to resist TEMPTATION and SLAP this annoying new trend before it EXPLODES to COVER every single word.
Web site - does it exist
Is there a Web site for reporting "I didn't buy 'x' from your company because...." and putting down a value so that over time companies can see how much revenue their stupid designs or actions have cost them?
If not, there should be.
The first computer I ever typed on was a Commodore PET 3016, but shortly after that turned up at the school, so did a bulky grey 'prototyping' keyboard case, attached by a huge umbilical cord to a standard colour TV. In the front of the case a microcassette drive was fitted.
To cut a long story short, this was a working prototype for the BBC Micro and our school was part of the development/trial programme. I wonder what happened to the unit - it was probably returned and ended up in a skip.
Anyone seen such a beast in a computer museum?
Helium is a PITA to contain as its molecules are so small they sneak past and through many gasket materials.
Maybe there's a new line for Halfords here - as well as regassing aircon systems they could now do hard drive units.
My son's primary school wanted a student file/print server. I think the quote from RM for a Windows-based 'solution' was somewhere around £6K, including all their 'management' software.
I installed a Linux-based server with caddy-based mirrored disks AND supplied a second, fully functional chassis (without disks, as a cold spare) for around £850 all-in, then installed the whole lot and gave some basic admin training as a parent volunteer. The system included full/diff D2D backups to a remote (in other building) server they already owned rather than the overkill 'tape backup solution' proposed for even more dosh by the aforementioned company.
Oh, and those all-in-one screen+PC monstrosities...ugh!
Re: Maybe they could learn something from the Raspberry Pi back-to-basics approach
I started off in secondary school with a Commodore Pet 3016
Re: Pulse dialling?
Some exchanges don't support pulse dialing any more but many do. I've just connected an old rotary phone bought at a car boot sale to my home line and it works perfectly.
I bought a 706 at a car boot sale for 15 quid a couple of weeks ago for use as a stage prop. It's ivory and in pristine condition - even the carbon granule mic is as clear as a bell. A couple of diodes and a resistor later and it's hooked up on my home line and working perfectly. I had to give my 13 year-old son a lesson in how to use it though!
Re: Not strictly accurate
I've been using Waze for nearly two and a half years now for a daily commute along the A27 (South Coast) from near Chichester to Lewes (about 1 hour) and the accuracy of realtime reporting has come a long way in that time as more users have taken up the app. Waze has been really useful in alerting me to problems ahead (and confirming that Worthing needs a f**&^!! bypass!) and I have been happy to return the favour with my own reporting and map editing.
That said, I'm just about to start a new job much closer to home (7 mins on a train and a 5 min walk each end!), so I'll miss my daily Waze reporting stint.
Better Google that Facebook IMHO - but it remains to be seen what happens next.
Maplin (singular) have turned into the Tandy/Radio Shack of the generation - all RC vehicles and disco kit at indifferent prices, with a nod towards trying to compete for computing parts.
The company has long lost its reputation as 'the' supplier for hobby electronics. I first bought stuff from Mapin in the early 1980s when I wasall of 12-years old, but when I popped in to a store a while back ('just passing') for a needed CMOS logic chip (12p elsewhere), it was sad to find the pre-packed chip on sale for *ONLY* 99p.
Maplin may be better off remaining 'what they are' but they sure as heck aint 'what they were'.
/get off my lawn etc..
Where am I?
"Tony Blair tips up at wedding in London"
Was he drunk?
Please dont' start using that damn stupid phrase so beloved of the hacks at The Inq (and pretty much nowhere else).
In other news...
The Public Accounts Committee has announced an investigation into the overspend and ultimate failure and cancellation of the late-running government contract awarded to a 'major information technology company' to develop a database system to maintain and track details of those IT companies blacklisted from future government IT contracts.
An unnamed spokesperson said that the project suffered from numerous flaws and bugs - most notably a mysterious design fault that shut down a user's data entry terminal if they entered the letters c-a-p-i into any field.
Let's be fair; server maintenance can often result in downtime - for example, I recently had to migrate our customer-facing, linux-based FTP server, with its full Extranet, mail server and Large File Transfer app (ZendTo) to a new disk set and then migrate the user database and their passwords and finally upgrade some of the app software. Once this was all done and tested, I had to re-sync the file storage areas, shut down the live site's server, swap out the disk caddys and fire the thing up again. We had an agonising 4 and a half minutes outage for this one. I'll do better next time.
And by 'one set' I mean one of the ten pairs.
Sennheiser HD485s for listening at home. Must be at least 7 years old and sound great.
Sennheiser PX100s when I'm at work or out and about. About £39.
Pack of 10 in-ear phones off Ebay for listening to the radio in bed at night - works out at 37.5p/pair so it doesn't matter if I fall asleep with them on and trash them. One set lasts about 3 months.
Then there's XBMC on my £26 Raspberry Pi!
Re: Just get an iPhone
I received 14 iPhone 4s' for teams at work about 2 months ago. 4 faulty ones replaced so far.
-- posted from my rooted HTC Desire
You mean, never, ever Bullshit like this (overheard in PC World, Chichester several years ago)...
"Yes, it has a dual core processor, which means the Internet is twice as fast..."
"maybe its time or a satnav system to go on the market that has a user editable map online? When the alterations are confirmed then it will go live on the maps for all users to download...
"It's called Waze and it's free.
Help out with crowdsourced SatNav - Waze
See if you can grab a copy of Waze for your phone from your app store or marketplace - it's a free, crowd-sourced Satnav app with user-generated/updated mapping and real-time traffic info. It's not perfect but it's getting better all the time. I'm helping to map parts of West Sussex.
The more people start using the app the more accurate the maps will get as Waze also auto-corrects and adjusts the mapping database based on the routes being driven with the app running.
Oh, please stay
Do as I do when I could stand Gnome no longer on Fedora 15 and install the KDE interface (took all of 5 mins) and go for the next release with KDE as the standard desktop
Posted from my Blackberry
NASA UARS updates via RSS
Be prepared - follow the NASA UARS bulletins via RSS here:
Well, if their Canon printers behave anything like our LBP5050N they have a strong suspect.
We bought our printer in November and it hasn't worked reliably for a day since. We've had three engineering call outs, they have replaced the comms board and have just foisted some new drivers on us that make sod all difference.
Only one person in an office of 50 has managed to print to it (from XP) and to make that happen the printer has to be switched off/on as it doesn't come out of sleep mode properly.
In deperation we bought a Brother printer that sits beside the Canon and 'just works'.
Been done before
I guess they don't read the "Evil Mad Scientist" web site:
Oh - I have sooo many!
Best one was a firm that had a new business centre built and somehow between the architects and the builders, the computer room floor void jumped from its 4 inch deep spec to 4 FEET. How this was not spotted during construction I will never know. Special pedestals were built for the floor tiles and you really really didn't leave a tile up lest someone disappeared into the void, which - as it happened - was put into use to house a second level of servers; albeit they were pigs to work on.
Big Red buttons right behind the light pull switch - check
Cleaners unplugging things - check
Computer room aircon that just didn't seem to work - check (endgame: when you box in an old room with new stud walls & dry lining, TURN OFF THE RADIATORS YOU'RE BOXING IN TOO
Indeed, it's clearly (heh!) a 'glassy metal'
I once shut down a DL110 so I could remove the heatsink from the processor to check its stepping in order to purchase an identical one for the second CPU socket. This was done under proper servicing conditions (antistatic wrist strap) and the system was down for all of about 3 minutes but when powered up again the system board 'red lighted' and that was the end of it - I couldn't get the system working again so the drives were hastily moved to a standby (non-HP) server and the Proliant scrapped.
Oh - great..
That's the concept of the 'paperless office' well and truly stuffed.
Ah yes, BT...
...the company that still sends me unsolicited business emails even though I have unsubscribed from their drivel numerous times - and here's the kicker: now the emails start something like: We know you didn't want to hear from us again but can we have permission to resubscribe you because we really want to tell you about "X product" - which has these features.....
Don't tell me...
...tell the new owners of the company I am just about to leave, who took one look at our Linux-based infrastructure and immediately decided it had to move to Windows servers for no other reason than Linux freaked them out (and they wanted to shut down my IT department). They are spending £16K alone on Exchange licences and probably around £10K on hardware. And then there's the Intranet server, helpdesk, customer survey system, Nagios network monitoring, Asterisk VoIP platform, data collation system, distributed across-the-wire backup servers.
The important question
Is the book burning event taking any postiive action to be carbon neutral?
Orange has data network problems...or "Thursday" as they call it at Orange.
The unreliable data service was the reason I moved our corporate phones from Orange to Vodafone about 3 years ago. Seems little has changed.
The thief might have got away with it if he snatched the phone with his left hand.
He's obviously not sinister enough.
To be fair
To be fair, the grid road structure in Milton Keynes is pretty confusing.
Far be it for me to suggest that the real reason is because when it comes to product purchases, Apple fanbois are far more likely to automatically bend over and take whatever's offered.
/Joke alert icon just edges Paris out of the way.
Yeah, it's so damn hard to download and install the free AxCrypt package innit!?
We use it all the time to encrypt/compress databases sent via CD or FTP.
Real techies run the latest release of Fedora on their netbooks
/Paris, because she's always game for some thrusting technology on her laptop.
..and maybe they died from a disease?
/Paris...because she's from Venus ... and not because of any crude attempt to associate her with diseases of any kind.
Add to the pile....
Overheard at PC World Chichester a while back: "...and it has a dual core processor, madam, so it can surf the Internet twice as fast..."
I had to leave before I collapsed in fits of laughter.
- Updated HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
- Peak Apple: Mountain of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s ordered
- Students hack Tesla Model S, make all its doors pop open IN MOTION
- BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
- PROOF the Apple iPhone 6 rumor mill hype-gasm has reached its logical conclusion