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* Posts by Dave 126

4136 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

iWatch 'due November'... Y'all know what time it is? Now you do

Dave 126
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Re: I want to be an analyst

Yeah. No analyst makes the point that the company with $20 Beellion in the bank knows what the hell it is doing. Any issue that an 'analyst' can see in Apple's near future, Apple with have already employed a lot of smart people and resources to investigate.

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Dave 126
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Re: I don't know anyone

@ keithpeter, "health monitoring device "

Agreed. Only a few days ago, the Clinical Director of the NHS was saying that 'telemedcine' will play a large part in the future of healthcare. Our population is growing older. If you compare the resources in transporting an elderly person to a clinic once a week to the resources in monitoring them in their own hoime, it is a no-brainer. Those human resources could be redeployed into making them feel more comfortable and less isolated in their own homes.

Hearing aids will become more common. Already the latest models can be controlled from a smartphone. If it suits you to adjust the volume several times an hour, then doing so by means of a wrist-mounted device is easier than hoiking a phone out of your pocket. You could also sit with our 'watch' closer to the person you are speaking to, allowing the mature technology of multi-mic noise isolation to improve clarity.

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Dave 126
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Re: Who actually wears a watch anymore?

>The Sun is a great clock, if you have clues. When it's dark, SLEEP!

Alas, we have to work and cooperate with other people, which often requires being in the same place in the same time.

This came to a head with 'Railway Time', because having every town marking 12:00 Noon a few minutes before the next town to the West made railway timetables a bugger to comprehend.

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FBI: We found US MILITARY AIRCRAFT INTEL during raid on alleged Chinese hacker

Dave 126
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Re: How the...

I didn't downvote you, but someone did maybe because you could be read as supporting the OP, which suggested that the 'hackers' merely took advantage of a "username: admin, password: password" type approach, whereas the article states:

using a "prodigious quantity of tools, routes and servers"...

... the internal network was harder to crack than they had anticipated and added that they'd used proxies in countries that were not friendly to the US.

They were further said to have targeted executives at an unnamed US firm and another company involved in weapons control and "electronic warfare systems".

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'Ribbed' for your pleasure: Jony Ive unveils NAKED IPHONE

Dave 126
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Re: Recycling?

Glass is routinely recycled, so I'm not clear on what you think the problem is. It would be easy to create an automated disassembly line that smashed the glass enclosure and then sent the internal components on for further processing. Indeed, this would be easier to automate for glass than a similar line for gadgets encased in plastic.

Similarly, things held together with glue can be 'unfastened' in bulk in an oven, whereas a gadget held together with screws requires a person with a screw driver to take them apart - which is labour intensive.

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It's alive! Space hackers fire up zombie Sun probe's engines

Dave 126
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Re: Inspiring

>I've talked to folks who seem to think crowdfunding is a fad that will never produce anything more exciting than a pot of potato salad.

Well, that's the attitude one is tempted to adopt when something is hyped extensively in the media... yet the truth is usually somewhere between the status quo and the disruptive arrival.

Crowd-funding seems to be nowt but a happy compromise between consuming what we are offered and investing in interesting companies in the traditional way.

Who here would watch a pay-per-view manned mission to Mars? I would. Sheeiit, choose the right crew and even the people who watch Big Brother would tune in.

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iWatch watch: Apple tags sales bod from luxury Swiss watch firm

Dave 126
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Re: iWatch power

If the charging time could be reduced to seconds (perhaps by using better capacitor technology), then a battery life of a few days would be less of an issue - the watch could be charged without having to take it off one's wrist.

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Dave 126
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Re: " ... so they don't want to dilute the value of the Swiss name."

I don't think that people who might buy $5,000 mechanical wristwatches took much notice of $50 plastic fashion watches. Not to knock Swatch - their basic shape is pleasingly 'watch-shaped', they are fairly slim, and I'm sure that amongst their myriad of designs are a few that are practical to read.

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Dave 126
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The small square iPod.... with 3rd party wrist-straps available. It wouldn't have been too hard for Apple to have added Bluetooth and made a vaguely functional 'smartwatch', but the result wouldn't be great.

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BBC offers briefest of teasers for the next Doctor Who

Dave 126
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Re: You had me at "Clara"

Ah, so *that's* why you hide behind the sofa when the Dr Who comes on TV!

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Dave 126
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Re: You had me at "Clara"

Indeed... I think I'll wait for people to overdub The Thick Of It dialogue over the new episodes.

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Anti-snoop Android 'Blackphone' sees the light of day

Dave 126
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Re: Which app store?`

"While PrivatOS is essentially Android, it’s Android without Google—which means no Google Play store and no easy access to Google’s collection of apps.

For many people, this won’t be an issue. I ended up downloading and installing the Amazon App Store app on the Blackphone to get a few of the apps I needed—and doing some clever sideloading tricks to get others installed. The Security Center features allowed me to toggle on and off features in some applications that are more difficult to get to from within the apps’ own settings—for example, I switched off Twitter’s access to location services easily from Security Center when I wanted to post a tweet from an undisclosed location....

PrivatOS’ main innovation is its Security Center, an interface that allows the user to explicitly control just what bits of hardware functionality and data each application on the phone has access to. It even provides control over the system-level applications—you can, if you wish for some reason, turn off the Camera app’s access to the camera hardware and turn off the Browser app’s access to networks."

http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/06/exclusive-a-review-of-the-blackphone-the-android-for-the-paranoid/3/

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What's it like using the LG G smartwatch and Android Wear? Let us tell YOU

Dave 126
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Re: Voice Search of XBMC from watch

Thank you Steve for taking the time to share your experiences of actually using such a device.

Media remote control is an ideal application for a smartwatch (or even a key-fob, for that matter), since a phone can be left in a speaker dock away from the user. A television remote control that can't be lost - because it is strapped to the user's wrist - is also a good idea.

A blindingly obvious interlace would be to make use of a watch's rotating bezel as a jog-wheel - popularised by the iPod, though first seen elsewhere.

Personally, I'll wait until a sensible balance of features against battery life and appearance is struck. It seems to me that all the Android devices are trying to do too much at the moment, when a lot of utility can squeezed out of a simple dot-matrix display, and perhaps a couple of RGB LEDs for notifications. This simple display can easily be implemented in behind a real analogue watch face, and the power requirements would allow a couple of year's use (based on Casio's G-Shock Bluetooth Watch, or Citizen's similar effort).

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Dave 126
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Re: Want standalone, or at least wifi

You want a stand-alone wristwatch that can receive and display messages? The 1990s had one made by Swatch - effectively, it was just a pager in a wristwatch. It could only display numbers, not alphabetical characters, so some youths used codes such as '1664' for 'pub'.

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Farewell Felix Dennis, deal-maker supreme of tech publishing

Dave 126
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I never met him, but I was a friend of a relative of his as a teenager - and spent a few evenings being lectured by his brother on life, business the sixties and everything.

An anecdote - Bill Gates, Felix Dennis, and Alan Sugar playing trumpet, drums and whatever at '80's IT conference. "Do you know what we have here? The world's richest fucking rock band"

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Angelina Jolie 2.0 NOT an inspiration for Huawei phones, says exec

Dave 126
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Cindy Crawford...

...would have made a better example, famous as she was a mole that brought asymmetry to her face. Okay, she isn't as famous now as she was when certain hormones first started to make me aware of such things a couple of decades ago.

'Beauty spots' - fake moles - were once the height of fashion in another century. Perhaps the idea was that a small imperfection highlights the attractive features.

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Japan's DOCOMO suggests wearable SIM cards

Dave 126
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Activate smug mode

I called this over a year ago:

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/1700132 (sixth post from the top)

"Doesn't have to be a ring... this person has a chip implanted (but then so does my dog) to give him quick instant access top a child-proof gun safe:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxNjqN4Gdc0

Bit too far for my taste. It could easily be retrofitted to a wristwatch (or its strap) though ...

With a ring, the logical conclusion is that any device you pick up temporarily becomes 'yours'. Pick up any phone, and it will be your contacts and emails displayed."

end smug mode

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Huawei Ascend P7: We review the PANORAMIC SELFIE smartphone

Dave 126
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Re: As an iPhone owner

Something Huawei added.

The strangest thing for me, as a PC user coming to Android, was the concept that I didn't need to close applications. Reading up on it at the time, I was given the impression that Android OS did this for me. Fair does. Since version whatever, I can manually close apps with a swipe, but often when I return to an app after a period of time it shows signs that it has been 'hibernated' in the mean time.

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Frikkin' LASER BEAMS on its head: Formlabs announces Form 1+

Dave 126
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Re: It's nice, but one missing feature.

>Where are the cheap chinese knock-off refills? ... That means I'd want to see many manufacturers competing to provide the resin.

It would appear that they do. More information is here, evidently gleaned from hobbyist forums:

http://hackaday.com/2013/10/09/3d-printering-you-want-uv-resin/

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Snowden's Big Brother isn't as Orwellian as you'd think

Dave 126
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Re: Typical.

> it is pointless trying to debate with the sheeple.

Well, characterising people as 'sheeple' isn't the best way to converse with anyone.

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Apple is KILLING OFF BONKING, cries mobe research dude

Dave 126
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Re: It just isn't available in the UK

>Android phones have been NFC capable for quite some time but there is very little that you can actually use them for.

I've had an NFC phone for a couple of years... I toyed with the idea of buying some 'smart tags' to go with it, to trigger different actions - i.e when the phone is placed on bedside table tag it switches to a silent profile - but I never got around to it.

If I could 'print' my own tags, I could see them being useful in some situations - stock control being the classic example - but is that a consumer application?

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Stephen Fry MADNESS: 'New domain names GENERATE NEW IP NUMBERS'

Dave 126
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@ Dan 55

Agreed. And let's not forget Stephen Fry offered to pay the fine and subsequent legal fees of Paul Chambers, the man convicted of sending a "public electronic message that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character contrary to the Communications Act 2003" - Mr Chambers had made a joke on Twitter about blowing up Robin Hood Airport. His conviction was later quashed.

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Dave 126
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Re: Fry Roasting

> QI portrays him as a font of all wisdom, a veritable tree of knowledge and people believe it.

It's a silly TV show, FFS... it portrays Alan Davies as an idiot, which he isn't. The presenters of most quiz shows, from University Challenge to Have I go News For You are portrayed as being more knowledgeable than the contestants - that's just how quiz shows work.

The average viewer knows that the presenter has an autocue or a cue cards.

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Dave 126
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The Reg readership are generally less critical of Stephen Fry than the Reg Team... Shit, he's been in prison, became a self-made millionaire by his early twenties, has struggled with depression and writes with wit, perception and humanity. Along the way he's indulged his fascination with gadgets, and been a close friend of Douglas Adams.

If you think he's on TV too much, easy: don't watch TV... just remember him as Lord Melchie or General Melchett. Here he is being upstaged by Lord Flashheart, in memory of Rik Mayall:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKfbSHW9uGA

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New Apple iOS to help fanbois thwart Wi-Fi network spies

Dave 126
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Re: Nobody other than Apple is allowed to track you

Apple simply have less of an incentive to track you than Google. Google makes its money selling advertisements, Apple make theirs by charging the customer upfront for hardware and services.

Safari on OSX similarly has features to thwart trackers, by pretending that you have visited hundreds of websites that you haven't.

No company is saintly.

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Google Glass? Feh. Behold Dyson's 2001 pocket 'puter techno specs with own 'Siri'

Dave 126
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Re: well very few products are competely new designs?

>The E-cigarette?

Has it origins in vaporisers used to extract essential oils from flowers for perfume making... later adopted by marijuana smokers who wanted to minimise the chemicals they inhaled. Another influence would be the sheesha or hookah, a way of enjoying tobacco that is popular in the Middle East, where the smoke is cooled and stripped of larger particles by bubbling it through water.

The compact 'e-cigarette' depends upon energy-dense Li-ion battery technology, though one can image a butane-powered version.

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Dave 126
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Re: well very few products are competely new designs?

>The original Sony Walkman? (Yes, miniature tape recorders pre-existed, but not for playing music to consumers as they went about their lives).

Sony's head honcho at the time had to make quite a few trans-Pacific business flights, so asked his minions to modify a journalist's audio recorder for music playback.

It's an evolutionary, not a revolutionary transition, though crossing a threshold level of miniturisation can open up new use-cases (carriage clock becomes fob-watch becomes wristwatch... becomes compact cheap and accurate Casio F-91W)

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What data recovery software would you suggest?

Dave 126
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Re: Recovery or Backup?

>Windows 7, then the built in Windows Backup isn't actually too bad.

It's a good idea to run a virus scan before making an image backup with Win7's built in tools, because if it finds something it doesn't like several hours into a backup, it will abort.

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Google's driverless car: It'll just block our roads. It's the WORST

Dave 126
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Re: FUD

Yeah, I'm not sure of the value of dismissing a concept based on a pre-release implementation.

I for one just hope they arrive whilst there still some country pubs left!

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Rap chap tapped for $3 BEELLION: Apple buys Dr Dre's Beats

Dave 126
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Re: Pffft! Idiots!

How can you fit millions of music tracks into mere Gigabytes of space?

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Dave 126
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>Apple makes it official: $3 BEEELLION for Beats

>Add 'billionaire' to list of things you may have forgotten about Dre.

This deal doesn't make Dr Dre a billionaire, accordng to his hare in Beats.

Headline writer is not the article writer.

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Sony Xperia Z2: What we REALLY thought of this Android fondleslab

Dave 126
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I use my kettle every day. Before I bought it, I consulted reviews to get the best balance of time-to-boil, quietness, and efficiency. My current toaster is okay, but it lacks a 'reheat' button, that is invaluable for topping-up the brownness of my toast - otherwise, I tend to pop it in for a second time and forget until I smell burning. Its a small detail, but one that can save breakfast.

Mature and boring is good - it means people look at polishing the small details. If the downside is that tech site reviews are slightly less fun to read... then I can live with that.

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'I was trained as a spy' says Snowden

Dave 126
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Re: Sorry me old septic, but Bond is British

>But in truth, he's no more James Bond than any other IT guy that's played Bond on Playstation.

And in truth, spies aren't like James Bond, either.

Here's a good hour-long discussion with a few contributors, one of them Markus Wolf, former head of the foreign intelligence arm of the East German STASI for 34 years:

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/features/inbedwithphillip/episodes/160-cold-war-espionage/

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Tech that we want (but they never seem to give us)

Dave 126
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Re: Just relating to screen tech

>Higher dynamic range on displays. Not just stretching the current range to higher brightness - a proper standard for darker darks and brighter brights in new content without making existing content for today's displays overly garish.

Dolby are working on it. Obviously it it entails a standard for the whole camera to display workflow.

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Wacky 'baccy making a hash of FBI infosec recruitment efforts

Dave 126
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Re: Option C

> it is the demonstrable lack of judgement being demonstrated while applying for a job that requires responsibility and discretion.

Sorry, we had assumed the shortage was in in problem-solving skills. 'Responsibility and discretion' are fairly easy to come by.

As an interviewer, I would be put off people with a demonstrable lack of reading comprehension.

What if if the substance improved their performance? [see Paul Erdos, above]

What if the individual was potentially open to blackmail?l [see Alan Turing]

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Dave 126
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Problem solving and substances:

On famed mathematician Paul Erdős:

His colleague Alfréd Rényi said, "a mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems", and Erdős drank copious quantities. (This quotation is often attributed incorrectly to Erdős, but Erdős himself ascribed it to Rényi.)

After 1971 he also took amphetamines, despite the concern of his friends, one of whom (Ron Graham) bet him $500 that he could not stop taking the drug for a month. Erdős won the bet, but complained that during his abstinence, mathematics had been set back by a month: "Before, when I looked at a piece of blank paper my mind was filled with ideas. Now all I see is a blank piece of paper." After he won the bet, he promptly resumed his amphetamine use.

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MacBook Air 13-inch: If you squint hard enough, you'll see a lesser-spotted Apple Price Cut

Dave 126
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Re: Bah!

And Stevie, if you could link to a current Windows laptop with a 16:10 or 4:3 screen, I'd appreciate it. I just can't find any. Ta!

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Dave 126
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Re: Sigh

Wouldn't a 'MBA Retina ARM' be an iPad with a keyboard, more or less?

No doubt Apple have created ARM versions of OSX to assess their future options (just as the always did with OSX on x86), but a release candidate would be a lot of effort for one model.

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Microsoft Surface 3 Pro: Flip me over, fondle me up

Dave 126
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This Surface3 has a 2160 x 1440 3:2 screen. Good. Other vendors might take notice.

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Cisco reboots PC with $1500 'Scandafornian' Android fondleslab

Dave 126
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Re: @ Dave 126

>Somewhere to spill your coffee too, I suspect.

That's a very valid point.

It can be mitigated, though - the Sony Tablet S is fully waterproof. It just seems to me that making an Android tablet that can function as a secondary monitor might be away to differentiate it the market.

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Dave 126
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I wouldn't mind a horizontally-mounted touchscreen as a secondary display/control surface for a desktop or laptop PC... it would be somewhere to keep application toolbars, or perform file management. Some details would need working out (how would it handle cursor movement between screens, as with traditional dual-monitor set-ups?)

Ideally, though - this secondary display/control surface would double as a stand-alone Android tablet.

Oh? Someone has already made one, with a reputation for digitisers?

http://cintiqcompanion.wacom.com/CintiqCompanionHybrid/en/

Shame about the price tag!

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So you reckon Nokia-wielding Microsoft can't beat off Apple?

Dave 126
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Re: Audio-in is dead already

>Am I the only one who sees the lack of audio-in combined with a move to digital audio-out a move towards preventing the consumer from copying audio from one device to another?

It would appear so. Here's why:

Most people use laptop mikes for Skype or dictation. The Macbook's built in mikes are fit for this purpose.

Most people who want to record high quality analogue audio use an external ADC.

These two scenarios cover the vast majority of users' needs.

Since most people's audio is in a digital format these days, it can just be copied. Software solutions can be used to sidestep any lingering DRM. Its best to avoid Digital > Analogue > Analogue > Digital workflows.

If you do have a stack of audio on, say, cassette tapes, that you wish to transcribe, a USB or FireWire ADC can be had for not much money. Certainly for far less than a decent cassette deck.

>- Combined optical digital audio output/analog line out minijack

Has been around on laptops for years. Don't panic! As has the opposite - optical digital in combined with an analogue line-in 3.5mm jack. Certainly my c1998 MiniDisc recorder had it. This is why one end of your TOSlink 'cable' is mechanically compatible with 3.5mm audio jacks.

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Dave 126
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Re: Audio-in is dead already

> In Apple style they will simply wholly remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from all iOS devices coming out this year

Will give you points for imagination. However, the wide support for iDevices by 3rd party (Philips, Sony, Sennheiser, Klipsh, B&W, i.e everybody!) headphone manufacturers is something that I, as an Android user, envies. I might think that Sansa, LG, Cowon or some Samsung offer better audio quality, but really, I just want in-line remote audio controls.

Again, Android vendors could have got together to develop a standard headset remote control protocol, but they haven't. Google never bothered taking a lead on this, either. Heck, headset remotes are even implemented differently across different Android models by the same vendor (Sony, I'm looking at you).

It really doesn't seem like a hard thing to get right.

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Dave 126
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Re: This mythical Microsoft Phone you speak of

>... it's this Linux on the desktop that I'm curious about, when's that going to hit the high streets?

If the only USP of Linux is that it can be bent to the will of the power-user, then it won't be adopted on the high street - the power-user will always just install Linux themselves.

Instead, to compete with Windows/OSX on the high-street, Linux would have to offer the average Joe something that Win/OSX doesn't... ease of use, perhaps, or a lower price, whatever.

Chrome OS is a recognition of the need to offer the average Joe something useful - maintenance-free computing. Even though my mum has been happy to use a word-processor for over thirty years, she will be confused by some pop-up notification box in Windows about updating something or other. She doesn't know what this something or other is, and why should she?

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Autodesk to release 'open' 3D printer

Dave 126
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Re: Smooth models

Current workflow:

Create CAD model

Convert CAD model into a mesh defined by thousands of triangles (*.STL)

Take STL into 'slicing' software, that has had machine-specific variables (material, print temp, bed temp, bed size etc) loaded into it:

- analyse overhangs and create support structures if need, either 'break away' or using a second extruding head

- slice the mesh and added structures into hundreds of 2D slices

- create G Code that controls the movement of the print axes, lots of factors here including print temperature and speed.

Put G-code into a software 'print simulator', to make sure the slicing software hasn't got confused.

Load G Code onto the 3D printer.

Calibrate printer

Print

Spot an issue, fine tune some of the above variables, repeat steps as required.

Print again.

Cross fingers, go to pub for a couple of hours.

There is certainly room for improvement. There is no real reason why the intermediary STL format is required, when my instincts tell me the 2D slices or the actual G-code could be generated directly from the original 3D CAD model, with greater respect for the 'design intent'. The GCode format itself isn't perfect, either.

Really, systems are getting smarter. There is no reason a depth aware system akin to MS Kinect couldn't be used to provide real-time feed-back to the control system to compensate for any physical variation in the print process (belt tightness, ambiant temperature, variation in material composition). I'm not sure that the current Gcode system is suitable for this scenario.

AutoDesk's products, like those from their competitors, already have simulation plugins and the like... there is no technical reason one should have to leave one's familiar CAD interface in order to print the object.

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Dave 126
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Re: Autodesk newspeak strikes again.

>I suggest that the headline writer and whoever wrote this drivel have fallen victim to a well-known scam known as "the press release".

Possibly, but their is such a thing as blind cynicism, just as there is blind naivety.

You sem to be suggesting that Autodesk are hoping to buy up and close down several competing open source projects.... that can't happen.

Autodesk make their money by renting out their software by the year, across architectural, engineering and design disciplines. This software becomes more useful if it can be used to output to 3D printers. Currently 3rd party software, open source or proprietary, is required to generate Gcode or equivilent from what the CAD software outputs. I haven't found these software solutions to be mature yet.

Autodesk, will want to drive rentals of their pricey software by releasing an alternative to the current open source software (principally, SkeinForge and Slic3r). Autodesk will benefit more from this model than trying to sell 'slicing' software to users. That adoption won't happen if Autodesk's offerings are substantially closed. The whole concept won't work if people are not able to configure it to individual printers.

Autodesk's real competitors are big enough to look after themselves.

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Graphics pros left hanging as Adobe Creative Cloud outage nears 24 hours

Dave 126
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Re: A storm in a tea cup

>> "I love that I can pay £28 monthly"

>They have you well trained...

All other issues (reliability etc) aside, £28 per month makes it possible to just use the software for one job if you don't use it all the time (product designers, for example, might only have use for it at certain stages of a project); It is more manageable than an initial outlay of £hundreds.

>> "GIMP"

>Yup.

Right up to the point that you want to manipulate EXR or other HDR files for environment lighting maps. Or use use free transform to quickly mock-up a three-quarter view packaging design. If you are chasing a deadline, these niggles are worth spending a quid a day to avoid.

You might find that the GIMP fulfills your needs 95% of the time, until you require a feature it lacks. At which point, being able to rent Photoshop by the month becomes attractive.

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Dave 126
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>But although Adobe is adept at creating industry-leading creative software...

If they had some competition, they might sort out their software for high DPI displays on Windows. There has been a fair few high DPI laptops arrive on the market in the last year, but no reviewer will recommend them until 3rd party software behaves itself.

I'm only picking on Adobe because one would have thought that people working on photographs would be the first to adopt high res displays. FFS, even niche software like Solidworks allows the user to select 'large icons' as an option.

This application [Photoshop Elements] is the worst example of usability on a High DPI system that I’ve seen. Adobe has even replaced the file menu with a custom UI, meaning every single element of this application doesn’t scale at all.

The biggest travesty of Adobe applications not scaling is that their intended market is often media professionals, who are frequently early adopters of things like 4k displays and ultra-high resolution laptops

- http://www.anandtech.com/show/7939/scaling-windows-the-dpi-arms-race/4

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Chap rebuilds BBC Micro in JavaScript

Dave 126
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Re: Elite

People seem to have enjoyed success with using Xbox 360 controllers with Oolite in some Linux distributions.

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Game of Thrones written on brutal medieval word processor and OS

Dave 126
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Re: backups

Hardcopy?

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