* Posts by Danny 4

61 posts • joined 18 May 2010

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Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says

Danny 4

Re: L stands for ?

"Lozenge."

Loxley Lozenge.

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Hackers' Paradise: The rise of soft options and the demise of hard choices

Danny 4
Linux

Re: Learning curve

@naive

"The concepts of VAX VMS and Unix..."

Good post. Linux is now their spiritual successor for the modern world. No reason to continue using Windows...

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Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

Danny 4

Re: Here you go

Nearly, but that item's description pointedly fails to describe its display technology - I'm betting it's not OLED or it would harp on about it. Probably LCD with LED backlighting. (ugh)

All we need is a proper OLED monitor (and affordable too.)

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Internet of Things fridges? Pfft. So how does my milk carton know when it's empty?

Danny 4
Alien

Re: Devil's advocate says...

@John H Woods

That was my initial thought. But if you picked up two objects simultaneously - or rather put them back simultaneously on the same shelf... (It would know what was taken from the fridge and therefore already knows the previous weights.)

The scanning sounds like a lot of faff. Though I'd be up for one if, across the door threshold, the scanner was the laser mist from Alien. It would also keep the nasties inside the fridge (or the other way around - keep them out?)

Otherwise, I agree: a solution to a non-existent problem.

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Microsoft issues less-than-helpful tips to XP holdouts

Danny 4
Linux

Install Linux

"Or install Linux, an operating system utterly likely to leave an XP machine eminently usable and secure."

Seems an eminently sensible solution to me. Been using Debian for years now and never looked back...

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THOUSANDS of Tesco.com logins and passwords leaked online

Danny 4

Re: Is this Tesco's fault?

If your customer base is in the UK and the IP address come from somewhere else, then this is not likely to be your customer.

That's a parochial view you're adopting of how people use the Internet. Being able to order from overseas is v.handy. I ordered bottles of wine from Tesco for the folks while I was in Australia.

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Deploying Turing to see if we have free will

Danny 4

Re: Stop making me think about sex. It's irrelevant.

I was taught that their is the non-gender specific possessive form.

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MS Word deserves DEATH says Brit SciFi author Charles Stross

Danny 4

TeX/LaTeX

Why not give TeX or LaTeX a go? Edit using any text editor you choose - no obscure binary file formats. Multiplatform. Source code easily available. Powerful and portable. What's not to love?

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Bill Gates: Yes, Ctrl-Alt-Del salute was a MISTAKE

Danny 4
Linux

Re: cAPS lOCK kEY

Don't know about Windows, but on Linux you can revert that useless and annoying Capslock key back into a Ctrl key (where the Ctrl key should normally be) by adding XKBOPTIONS="ctrl:nocaps" to /etc/default/keyboard.

Or get a better keyboard like the HHKB that, along with the Windows keys, does away with it all together.

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Danny 4

Re: Amiga reboot keys

@graeme leggett

"nickname of Vulcan death grip (or similar..."

The Ctrl-Amiga-Amiga combination is also known as the Vulcan Nerve Pinch.

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Roses are #f00, violets are #00f. This witty code is a boffinry breakthrough

Danny 4
Coat

Programmer Joke

How many functional programmers does it take to change a light bulb?

One. But they have to build an entire identical house with a new bulb in place of the old one.

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Mass Sony DVR seppuku riddle: Freeview EPG update fingered

Danny 4

Re: bad EPG data from Sky

@Lee D

I don't understand why you're sorry?

Did you read my post? The casual fault is bad EPG data. Yes, this should have been avoided by better software, both the software used by the EPG preparer - it should verify the data before committing to broadcast - and the firmware in the recorder should not trust external data even from non-belligerent sources. I reiterate, "to all involved: more testing, guys!"

Also, there appear to be a fault on your keyboard. It seems to be outputting occasional words in all-caps. Unless this is a wetware fault?

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Danny 4
Boffin

bad EPG data from Sky

I'm one of those Sony users affected by the broadcast of out-of-spec EPG data.

It's not and has never been about a firmware update from Sony. The BBC article is factually incorrect.

Some knowledgable people have tracked the error down as corrupt EPG data from Sky, or its EPG data supplier, being broadcast on COM5. It would appear to boil down to a missing "/" in the data.

Other makes of Freeview devices gracefully handled this error; the Sony HXD boxes made by Pioneer and some Pioneer boxes (and a few others) choked when presented with this data stream.

Retuning using France as the location was a temporary workaround. They must use a different EPG ident or structure or something so the UK EPG packets in the broadcast stream were discarded and hence no recorder crash. You could select either Guide++ or digital EPG (though the EPG was still empty) to affect which timer controls to use. Selecting Guide++ while using a UK location did not help.

By Sunday afternoon, Sony, DTT and other big nobs had got together, kicked bottom and the broadcast stream was fixed. Everything seems to be back to normal now.

You can follow the whole EPG Black Friday saga here:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/blu-ray-dvd-recorders/1795677-sony-870-all-sony-hxd-some-pioneers-dvd-recorders-no-freeview.html

As a developer I know it's the dull boring bit but, hey, to all involved: more testing guys!

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Sci-fi and horror scribe Richard Matheson: He is Legend

Danny 4

Re: The novel's pretty hard to adapt without bombing

"Hadn't heard of the Price take before, really want to see it."

This adaptation of the book can be found on archive.org. Look for The Last Man on Earth (1964).

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Spaniards deploy self-propelled ROBOT BALLS

Danny 4
Terminator

The Prisoner

Ballbots? How soon before we can have Rovers chasing hapless humans along the beaches of north Wales?

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Boffins read memory bits with light

Danny 4

Ferrite-core memory

That's what I was thinking. Ferrite-core (magnetic-core) memory was one of the earliest implementations for random-access memory. And gave us the term core memory.

I seem to remember many years ago, Thompson were investigating reading magnetic tape using a laser. It would have eliminated the rotating head on VCRs but DVD was already looming so it never appeared.

Put the two together...

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BBC boffins ponder abstruse Ikea-style way of transmitting telly

Danny 4

Re: So we can disable the laugh track.

I'd like to disable the pointless pre-introductions and post-title-introductions in documentaries and just get on with the programme.

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Who should play the next Doctor? Nominations needed!

Danny 4

Re: First female Doctor

Kylie Minogue. Though she has been in one of the specials which could complicate things.

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Danny 4

the other one

Or for that matter Stephen Fry?

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FLABBER-JASTED: It's 'jif', NOT '.gif', says man who should know

Danny 4

Re: giga

I've always pronounced giga with a J as in giant, gigantic etc. Isn't that the logical pronunciation?

Does anyone know the pronunciation for the Latin (or is it Greek?) source for these English words? Has the sound of the first G transmuted on its way into English?

Oh yeah, GIF is a hard G - isn't JIF a household cleaning product?

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One of the world's oldest experiments crawls towards a fall

Danny 4

QI?

Wasn't this myth debunked on that fount of all knowledge, QI?

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Ubuntu without the 'U': Booting the Big Four remixes

Danny 4

Re: I'm just waiting

@h3 "The only thing I am bothered about is focus follows mouse with no autoraise."

I'm with you on that point. It is so much more productive. Ditto for for Alt+mouse button for move, resize and raising. This should be the default behaviour on all desktops, including Windows and Macs which are unusable because of this. Also mouse middle-click for paste is something I really miss when I'm forced to use Windows.

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New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

Danny 4

fixed-width pages?

Is there a good reason why El Reg pages are fixed-width HTML?

My complaint is that it's only using half of my monitor's screen. And it scales horribly if I attempt to make the fonts larger.

I know, from personal experience, that creating HTML that fills the entire screen and gracefully scales takes a little more effort.

Just curious. Lots of other sites do the same thing. I'm sure I've read the W3C recommends that one should not make assumptions about target screen resolutions. Yup, graphics will look smaller but I went for a hires monitor so fonts can be scaled larger and still be crisp.

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Seagate squeezes out 4TB desktop monster

Danny 4
Pint

Re: But%20at%20what%20price%3F@El Presidente

I live life on the edge. Otherwise there wouldn't be enough room.

My first was the colossal 20 Mb Seagate ST325N SCSI HDD. It came as part of the Amiga A590 for £400 I seem to remember. It was a joy to use after living from floppy disks.

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Why do Smart TV UIs suck?

Danny 4

one function per button

I disagree. My folks are from an era where equipment had a single function per button. They fully understand this type of UI. The modern style of menus with control a cursor with direction keys and OK is an utterly alien concept.

As an example they had an old JVC VCR whose timer could be set from the front of the machine itself. Mum would have no problem setting this. She now gets lost immediately having to navigating on-screen menus and gives up. She doesn't get the concept at all. I understand where she is coming from. Simple things should be simple and complex thing should be possible. It seems things are going to get more complicated and using less buttons.

As the article says, press the red button and OK to go straight to iPlayer. Or it could even be on its own iPlayer button... (Hopefully Mum will comprehend the subsequent iPlayer pages...)

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Danny 4

Re: “Click here for additional assets”

Tim Berners-Lee et al say a good UI design should not mention the mechanics of navigating...

http://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/noClickHere

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Google data center spies on ITSELF: 'Like a boring version of Doom'

Danny 4
Coat

Re: Is that C3P0 really small.....

Maybe that's a normal R2D2 but the stormtrooper and front door are very, very large. Presumably so all Google's big nobs can get through...

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Pints all round as Register Special Projects hacks hack off feet

Danny 4
Headmaster

Re: missed the poll

@auburnman

"...a man who is 5"6'..."

Do you really mean 5'6"? As 6'5" is 196 cm.

Go and (re)watch This is Spinal Tap (1984) for the consequences of mixing up minutes and seconds symbols.

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Endeavour: donuts and a Toyota ease shuttle's drive through L.A.

Danny 4
Boffin

Lightweight Pickup?

Error in original article? Isn't a half-ton pickup a little on the light side. Land Rovers are about 2 tons.

Some googling reveals the 2012 Toyota Tundra CrewMax has a curb weight of 5,280 lbs which would be 2.36 tons here in Blighty or 2.64 tons to our septic cousins. Or in the newly established reader-voted Reg standardised SI units of 2 395 kg.

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Metric versus imperial: Reg readers weigh in

Danny 4
Pint

Re: Why are IT readers complaining about hex?

Sounds like a great idea. We already adapt our thinking to the ways our pooters work so why not? It would be an optimal format in terms of storage and speed. Think of all the wasted cycles spent converting binary to and from decimal.

There would be 256 pennies to a pound, or 100h as it would be known. 80h would be what we previously knew as ten-bob and so on.

Thousands or K would be 400h and be accomplished by the simpler and faster 0Ah bit shift rather than all that faffing with multiply. Or we might even agree that 1000h is the new thousand.

HDD makers would adopt the new units and there would be fewer complaints about apparent missing megabytes.

What could possibly go wrong...

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Adobe scrambles to revoke stolen cert

Danny 4

Re: Or use a server that doesn't run Windows...

It was a actually in reply to the attack vectors suggested by Charles 9. I am not aware of the server OS used. Debian servers have been attacked in the past but this was via a compromised dev account and not bugs in Linux. Bad configuration of the Adobe server seems likely.

Though all software can have bugs and be poorly configured, I'm pretty sure most are happier their servers run Linux than IIS. I know I am.

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Danny 4
Linux

Re: How can this happen?

Or use a server that doesn't run Windows...

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Curiosity photographs evidence of ancient streams on Mars

Danny 4

Re: Interesting

The magnetic field depends upon a molten core. It being smaller than Earth, the molten core cooled quicker and solidified.

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Cambridge Uni publishes free Pi-OS baking course

Danny 4
FAIL

Re: OS? @theaxe

Did you flunk CS? Might I suggest you go back to school and learn what an operating system is. It can be as complex or simple and one needs it to be.

The OS on a Speccy has no multitasking capabilities but really, really can be called an operating system.

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Everything Everywhere to be Nothing Nowhere in rebrand

Danny 4

Re: Orange-T

Torange.

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Dell seeks Linux fans to try cut-price Ubuntu Ultrabook

Danny 4

or ditch the caps lock

Never found a need for Caps Lock myself. I always configure X with:

Option "XkbOptions" "ctrl:nocaps"

and put the Ctrl key back where it should be. The one at the lower left is a bonus.

This should be compulsory on all systems and hopefully shouty posts in all caps will be just for the die-hard ranters...

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Lesser-spotted Raspberry Pi FINALLY dished up

Danny 4

Re: Fingers and Toes?

Fingers and toes? We used to dream of being able to use our fingers and toes. We 'ad to work so hard down mill we were only able to perform calculations in our 'eads.

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Danny 4

Re: which language

I started programming reading the BASIC manual that came with the ZX81. It was all you needed in those days. It soon became apparent that I would need to know about Z80 machine code to make the '81 do something useful (and do it quicker).

With the upgrade to the Speccy came an assembler which made Z80 coding much easier, though Speccy BASIC had some really neat features. Being on ROM it was available on power up ready for hacking away some quick test prog. I still miss the immediacy of this. Nowadays, I use PHP to quickly test ideas.

Then it was learning 68000 to program Amigas and 8086 to program PCs. I want to look at doing some ARM coding when my Pi turns up.

It was only when I went to uni that I was forced to learn Fortran, Cobol, Lisp, Pascal...

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Windows 3.1 rebooted: Microsoft's DOS destroyer turns 20

Danny 4

Flat memory?

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that the flat memory model came as standard with Windows95, though it was possible on 3.1(1) but only under a DOS extender such as DOS/4GW (and a 32-bit processor). 3.1 still used the x86 16 bit segmented memory model of MS-DOS.

As a previous commenter has said, it took MS ten years to catch up with the likes of Amiga, Atari and Apple who already enjoyed flat 32 bit access to memory locations with the MC68000 family.

It took NT before Windows had pre-emptive multitasking that even came close to the Amiga.

Program Manager was a dog because it only listed applications and never data files. The likes of Amiga, Apple et al had a filesystem browser as a GUI frontend. Again it took 95 for MS to do what everyone else has been doing for a decade.

And by a strange coincidence, we seem to have come full circle as the iPhone frontend is effectively the same as PM showing only your apps...

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World's Raspberry Pi supply jammed in factory blunder

Danny 4

Solder your own

Interestingly, talking of Sinclair, you could get the ZX81 (and ZX80) as a kit and solder it all up yourself. A friend aquired his ZX81 this way.

I'd certainly give it a go, though soldering SMT components is fiddly...

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Chinese woman sparks net craze with virgin website

Danny 4

Re: Re: "quite successful"

Don't know where you're from but in this bit of Blighty quite does mean wholly or completely. I'm pretty it's always had this meaning.

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Inside the BBC's R&D Labs

Danny 4

incidental music volume control

If the Beeb should happen to come by here looking for ideas, here's one, what with all this talk of multiple audio channels and that.

How about transmitting the dialogue and music in separate channels. On the TV we can manually set the volume of each channel before it is mixed and fed to the speakers. Then *we* can decide how loud the music should be and it might actually be possible to hear what the characters are saying. This is something my Mum is always complaining about.

Or for that matter when documentary makers decide to go with an over-inflated and continuous soundtrack we can switch the annoying thing off and enjoy the uninterrupted dialogue. I remember a David Attenborough doc a few years back just like this. I could only endure about 10 minutes before switching over.

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Russian diplomat caught driving while 15 TIMES over booze limit

Danny 4
Headmaster

Units

.08 what? Elephants?

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Apple cofounder Steve Jobs is dead at 56

Danny 4

Sad loss to the universe

The universe just became a poorer place. 56 is way too young. He changed the way we think and use computers. His vision will still be with us for generations to come.

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Faster-than-light back with surprising CERN discovery

Danny 4

That's what I thought too.

As I understand it Relativity does not exclude anything with mass travelling faster than light. It says only that anything with mass cannot travel at the speed of light.

Interesting stuff. There's never a dull moment in particle physics.

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Bug-Byte Manic Miner

Danny 4

Take me back to the 80s

Gosh. What memories.

Manic Miner was an exercise in frustration. Unless you used the POKE for infinite lives you were on the road to madness. Even as a spotty kid there was no way I had those kind of reflexes. Same goes for the sequel Jet Set Willy.

I once had the pleasure of meeting the long-haired and sandal-shod Matthew Smith at the Software Projects offices in Liverpool when I was selling them my game for the Speccy. An highly interesting guy.

Miner Willy turned up in the crowd cheering on the athletes in the Spectrum version of Daly Thompson's Decathlon. There was friendly competition between Ocean and Software Projects at the time so a bit of homage never hurt. In my spare time after school I did work for Ocean. Paul Owens wanted me to do some code to print a cheering crowd for Decathlon. Even though the code, graphics and sound effects all had to fit into something like 200 bytes it was still quite effective. Those were the days...

Being a geek I was more into Wargames in 1983.

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Top level domain explosion could wreak MAYHEM on NET

Danny 4
Devil

Russian Roulette

Humm. Those three sites work just fine for me with Konqueror on Debian. I'm not sure whether to be scared or pleased...

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Moderatrix kisses the Reg goodbye

Danny 4
Pint

Best Wishes

As they say in the IT Crowd: Do you mind closing the door? No, from the other side.

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Sony Bravia KDL-EX524 40in LED TV

Danny 4

Still not LED TV

Regardless of whether it is edge or back-lit, it is still disingenuous to repeatedly call it an LED TV. And El Reg should know better.

What will real LED TVs be called when they eventually reach the mass market?

Though looking at the BVM-E250 it would appear that OLED will be adopted to differentiate them from the non-LED LED TVs. Now they just have to be realistically priced...

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Reg reader lost for words over blank HP keyboard

Danny 4
Thumb Up

Happy Hacker

PFU do a Happy Hacking keyboard with blank keytops. The idea being that you learn touch typing quicker and can spend your time looking at the screen rather than the keyboard. It also makes switching keymaps a breeze.

I love my hhkb. Sadly I have to say I bottled out at the thought of blank keytops...

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