* Posts by Dave 126

4340 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Ubuntu Preview alpha arrives for fondleslabs and phones

Dave 126
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Does anyone know...

How tricky it would be for flavours of Linux (and ChromeOS, for that matter) to run Android apps?

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Boffins use DVD burner to scale graphene supercapacitors

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Re: Why a DVD?

CDs are about £0.10p each; I haven't seen coasters that cheap.

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John Sweeney: Why Church of Scientology's gravest threat is the 'net

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Re: It's the hydrogen bomb part

If you've already dropped your enemies in a volcano, why waste a nuclear bomb?

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Dave 126
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Re: Sweeney

L Ron Hubbard: It say a lot about a man when he is criticised by both Aleister Crowley and Isaac Asimov.

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New blow for Microsoft Surface: Touch Chromebooks 'on sale in 2013'

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>No body wants to reach across a working keyboard and track pad like a Zombie to wipe mucky fingers on a screen. Ever!

I think the idea is that you write your novel on the machine when it looks like a laptop, then you proofread it (or catch up on your favourite TV show) sat on a comfy chair when it is in tablet mode.

Personally, I'm more connived by the idea of a laptop and tablet working together seamlessly, with the tablet acting as second display and input device.

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Dave 126
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Re: New blow for Microsoft Surface?

>People think of Windows as something that ... ... runs boring spreadsheets (the work association).

And games. Games are boring, right? and Photoshop, video editing, CAD, music production... really boring software.

If all you do with a computer is to use a browser to post tedious comments on The Register, it doesn't matter a damn what OS you use.

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Dave 126
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Re: Different kinds of products

If you just use Ninite to install the essentials on your new Win 7 machine (Codec packs, several browsers, Foxit reader, WMP Classic, whatever you poison is) you'll notice that Classic Startmenu is there- that's right: adding a start menu to Win 8 literally takes one extra tick-box.

Similarly, Win 8 can be made to skip the 'Metro' interface entirely. I imagine that most people here do some faffing around with an OS after installing it, so why all the fuss about a start menu?

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Sony promises PC-based PlayStation 4 for Christmas

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Re: Social? .... Where's the SPLIT-SCREEN gameplay?!

The recurrence of '3' in your titles suggests that developer's were a bit slow in appreciating the demand for split-screen games.

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Dave 126
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Re: Back on the treadmill again...

@Amorous Cowherder

There there, it's okay, I've recently found I suck at Playstation games these days too.

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Dave 126
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Re: Obsolete tech

The games I enjoy the most are split screen, on a TV, sat on a sofa with mates... far more important to me than the better graphics on a PC. I'm not knocking PC gamers, but those who say 'my pc can do this...' are missing the point of what console gaming is about. Anyway, a PC gamer who is into WOW and uses fancy keyboard might be a different animal to the PC gamer who has a steering wheel, pedals and three monitors for a quick half-hour racing session.

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Dave 126
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Re: And of course

Title exclusives on the PS3 seemed conspicuous by their absence. A few tempting games did emerge (WipEout HD, Flower, some of the stranger Japanese titles) but nothing major at launch. On the previous gen, we'd been used to the PlayStation getting first dibs at Grand Theft Auto, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater.

When the PS3 came out, many people didn't yet have the HD TVs required to take advantage of BluRay, either.

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Dave 126
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Re: AC. Sony and Valve should Merge?

If someone wanted the 'it just works out of the box' approach for games, they'd just get a console. Macs offered neither the constant upgrade path of PCs, nor the 'plug and play' big screen experience of consoles.

I do remember the Pippin, but then I remember the Phillips CDi, the 3DO and the Windows/Sega Terradrive.

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Dave 126
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Re: Well hello there...

>Good luck with that. PC games such as the Civilization series would be a nightmare minus mouse and keyboard (shortcuts).

The PS4's Dualshock controller has a touchpad on it.

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Dave 126
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Re: "So ready ..... to run PS4 VM on my laptop."

What currency are your figures in? It doesn't look like $(USD)

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Dave 126
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Re: Proof of the pudding

>Do you work for Sony and you need to sell c*ap at any cost ?

Sod off Joerg.

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Dave 126
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Re: It's such a shame it's x86

Well, the other partners in the Cell gave up on it a while back... better to appease developers, I guess.

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Dave 126
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Re: Now...

'Destiny', though it won't be a PS4 exclusive. With the next gen consoles being built upon PC lines, I expect platform exclusives to be rarer- though if you have a fetish for Japanese titles then the PS4 will be the one to go for.

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Dave 126
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Re: Pics of peripherals

Going by Sony's past PS design efforts, I'm not too worried that the PS4 will be a carbuncle in the living room.

Curiously, the original Playstation was in part a homage to Frog Design's work on the Apple Macintosh, according to the head of the Sony Design Centre. Other geeky design details included using a more lavender shade of beige, so that UV ageing wouldn't be too yellow, and using a more expensive three-part injection mould for the case, with its cooling vents.

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Dave 126
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Proof of the pudding

There is zero need to try to extrapolate its performance from its specs if you can just watch a video of what it can output. The demonstrations looked very impressive.

Judge for yourself.

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Dave 126
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Re: Well hello there...

That point was addressed directly in the presentation, a soundbite along the lines of: "designed by developers for developers"

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Dave 126
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Re: Sony have dropped the ball

The last two generations of Playstation haven't been an embarrassment to the living room in terms of their looks, so I don't need to see a mock-up of the hardware to be reassured.

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Dave 126
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The EyePad makes sense now

One bit of new during the announcement made sense of that Move-enabled tablet the Reg featured a few days back: 'Digital Clay'. During the PS4 presentation, the its 'Move' controller was used to 'sculpt' 3D models. Combined with Sony's 'EyePad' ( http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02/19/sony_patents_eyepad/ ) there is the makings of a capable content creation system. The obvious applications are for creating levels and avatars, but there are applications beyond gaming. For certain scales of models (human-sized, creatures, vehicles), using a TV with a 3D cursor and tablet could be very usable indeed.

The general consensus about the PS4's graphical prowess is that the games almost look like films, except that characters still move like video games (an issue with the game engines used, I assume)... The rendering of human heads looks very impressive, as did a Havok physics scene with a million objects.

And it turns out that Bungie's next game, 'Destiny', is everything I hoped it would be - a blend of Elite, Halo, Planetside, Cowboy Bebop, Iain M. Banks, Borderlands and Star Wars Galaxies. Being produced for current and next gen consoles, with intention of a PC version.

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Oklahoma cops rake ashes of 'spontaneous combustion' victim

Dave 126
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Re: I thought this kind of thing had been explained as a 'wick effect'?

Yep, the 'inside out candle' theory. Different materials react differently to temperatures and time- in a crematorium, (high temperature, short duration) steel balls are used to crush the bones, whereas lower temperatures sustained for a longer period can reduce bones to ash.

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Quit the 2D internet, flee your cave, and GET LAID, barks rock star

Dave 126
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Re: I know someone who's like that.

I spied that quadropter in Maplins yesterday, couldn't be arsed to look it up on my phone... I don't think they wanted as much £50 for it, though most of their stuff is overpriced. I'm still getting value out of a £20 Syma S105G helicopter. A fantastic toy, very stable and suitable for beginners, and I haven't managed to break it yet.

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Dave 126
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Re: My Evaluation of J. White's Comments.

He's just putting out the same sentiments as Kurt Vonnegut Jr: "The meaning of life is to fart about, and don't let anyone tell you any different"

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Dave 126
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Re: He's quite right

Cycling is the same- components wear out, and are cheaper online... but the bike shop will give you advice, lend you a tool, let you rummage through the bucket of old bits, meet other people, build you a wheel to spec... and the part is available that day. Well worth paying a few quid extra.

* * *

I came away from both Maplins and PC World yesterday, convinced that they deserve to fail. Maplin only sell the Raspberry Pi as part of a £75 package (with mouse, keyboard, power supply, cables and SD card... hardly £50 worth)... without fail, everything in there is overpriced by about 100%. PC World have an entire aisle filled with mice, but half of them are damned near identical, the rest have a touch pad instead of a scroll wheel; and the only decent Logitech rodents (with extra buttons and 'hyperscrolling') were the expensive ones that work on glass- a feature I don't need. Sod 'em.

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Meet the stealthiest UK startup's app Swiftkey - and its psychic* keyboard

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>They should use the Microwriter chorded keyboard.

This lad has already made a prototype chorded typing case for a mobile phone. Well done him!

http://srimech.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/chorded-keyboard-for-mobile-phones.html

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Chinese PLA soldiers 'mastermind cyber-espionage Cold War'

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Re: Computer insecurity ...

>If the US security services hadn't enthused the 'computer' makers to dilute security on the desktop, then you wouldn't be facing the current security debacle ...

When I as school in the nineties, we were shown videos about Phil Zimmerman and his PGP... all the arguments were in terms of private individuals and the US Government not liking encryption. I guess that at the time, far less data was kept online, the Cold War was over, music was good, and obviously nobody was worrying about the threat of foreign states stealing sensitive data.

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Bill Gates: Windows Phone strategy was 'a mistake'

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Re: Gates has just OSBORNED the Win 8 phone

>The guy isn't fit to wipe the backside of the tens of thousands of engineers he has screwed over.

Weren't Nokia's assorted tribes of software engineers (Symbian and various Linux flavours) inside doing a fairly good job battling each other?

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Dave 126
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WTF?

Re: A great mind at work..... NOT!

>However, the Windows 7 strategy had the additional disadvantage that it's UI was rejected by the market in the first place.

Come again?

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Dave 126
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Fall guy OS

That was my take on it. MS probably figured a good number of people and business have only settled into Windows 7 in the last couple of years, and so were never going to be in the market for windows 8. Therefore, they chose to be a little bit experimental, and then sell Windows 9 as "Hey, it's not Windows 8".

Most of the annoyances with Windows 8 are in the UI and are easily fixed with a bit of 3rd party software - one to skip past 'Metro' to the desktop, another to restore the start menu, plus some other details. Hardly a massive extra effort, given that most of us install software and tweak settings on a fresh Windows install anyway.

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Dave 126
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Re: Gates quote - XBox is a success myth

>Xbox360 will never make a dime of profit for Microsoft. The development costs and warranty repair costs will always outweigh any profit from the hardware and game licensing.

You forgot Xbox Live Gold subscriptions. Don't know if it changes your assertion, because you didn't show your working,

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Dave 126
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Coherent use of graphical user interface elements - fail

Eadon, please stop abusing the "May contain highly technical content requiring degree-level education or above" icon for posts. Your posts don't.

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AMD: Star Trek holodecks within reach

Dave 126
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Re: Holodecks aren't just about processing power

> Or make it possible for two people in the same room to travel at the same time to opposite parts of the world?

You just put each person in their own holodeck- each holodeck then presents a simulation of the other users to its own occupant. Easy.

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Review: The ultimate Chromebook challenge

Dave 126
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Re: Multiple accounts?

It would seem that you options are setting up a multiple user profiles (not great for working between accounts) or launching incognito windows to access the web services of your other accounts (no saving passwords or history).

https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/chromebook-central/nhITKi0YI38

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Dave 126
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Re: Netbook market

>Remember netbooks, MS killed that market

Eh? Okay... are you sure it wasn't the originally low specs and shoddy Linux distro on the first EEE PCs that put people off? The netbook was small and cheap, suitable for quickly checking emails and browsing the web if you could find a Wi-fi hotspot. Since then, smartphones can do the same but in more places, due to a 3G data connection, and tablets can do the same but do it better- because the screens can be rotated through 90º and often boast better resolutions. I used a netbook for as a data logger for a temperature probe, but guess what OS the supplied drivers and software were for? Oh yeah, that's right...

True, MS would rather sell you a more expensive version (as would Intel and their chips), but first they get flack for selling XP at low cost to netbook OEMs, then they get flack for not offering a cheap 'Starter Edition' of Win 8....

> I just wish this hardware came with Linux

Why? Just download it and install it yourself- if it did come with Linux, the chances are it wouldn't be the flavour you want anyway. Google commissioned and marketed these machines for their own reasons- there is nothing to stop penguins doing the same for their reasons, through Kickstarter perhaps. If you believe the demand is there, why don't you do it?

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Dave 126
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Re: To sum up the benefits: They are cheap

>Samsung must have been working really hard to build a ARM based unit that has less duration then their Atom-powered ATIV500

The power consumption advantages of ARM over x86 are most evident when the system is sat doing nothing - so is suitable for smartphones. When the CPU actually has a job to, Intel's new Atoms have some tricks up their sleeve- not least a more advanced fab process and a more efficient memory controller. Note that the test in this article was looping a 720p video. The battery benchmarks for using it as a word processor (i.e write something, stare into space for ten minutes, write a few more lines, get bored, check emails, wander off for a coffee) might give different results.

Actually having the same system on both ARM and x86 allows power consumption per task comparisons, something that has been done before between Win RT machines on ARM and x86

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Dave 126
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Re: Why not a tablet?

>If the chrome books are only good for web browsing and light media consumption then I don't see the point of them compared to a tablet. The Nexus 7 and 10 being very good tablets.

In a word- a keyboard. I didn't read anything that said they weren't good for just entering some text, be it an email or a novel. You don't always need fancy formatting and DTP tools.

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Wind-up bloke Baylis winds up broke, turns to UK gov for help

Dave 126
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Re: Does the patent system even work nowadays?

No, you don't even bother. I was involved in developing a patented product, and the services of a professional patent lawyer were engaged: We applied for patents in Europe, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the United States, but didn't bother with Brazil, China, India, Africa or Russia, IIRC. The Chinese can choose to make it, but they can't sell it here.

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Dave 126
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Re: Sympathy for him but

Batteries aren't particularly nice things to dispose of, so methods of storing energy like clockwork or a heavy bag of sand hung from the ceiling shouldn't be discounted.

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Dave 126
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Re: broke?

>It's easy to forget that through history, not all inventions make millions for the inventor

Like Charles Goodyear who invented the process of rubber vulcanisation, esssential for pneumatic tyres, before the motror car was developed.

http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/goodyear.html

Goodyear once wrote: "I am not disposed to complain that I have planted and others have gathered the fruits. A man has cause for regret only when he sows and no one reaps."

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iPad? Pah. Behold the EYEPAD, patented by Sony for the 'PS4'

Dave 126
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Re: I only hope...

It won't replace the Dualshock- is a venerable design indeed. I had a book, 'Digital Dreams: The Work of the Sony Design Studio' that showed dozens of foam mock-ups of conceptual PS controllers, of which the Dualshock is a variation. The design that they eventually used was very similar to one of the first they created.

Since the Bluetooth Dualshock can be persuaded to work with Android or Windows with software (ironically, the XBOX wireless controller requires a proprietry dongle for PCs) Sony should aim it (or a more compact design, as SteelSeries have) at the mobile gaming crowd rather than promote its Playstation-branded phones.

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Dave 126
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Re: It's passing off, obviously, but

Remember, a patent application is no sure indication of future products. Developing products requires some experimentation, implying you create some concepts that probably won't work out- but still, there is no harm in applying for a patent on these 'also ran' concepts. The cost of making the application is small enough that it is worth hedging your bets,

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Dave 126
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For sure, I haven't been persuaded to get a Move, and am far from convinced how well integrating it into this tablet will work. I was just observing that whilst a tablet might not be great as a games controller (Tekken: No. Real Time Strategy games: Maybe), it makes a reasonable companion to a TV-connected media player.

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Dave 126
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Thank you for sharing that. However, lots of people use their PS3 for watching streamed video, and using the joypad to enter text into searches isn't great. A virtual keyboard on a tablet would be okay.

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Dell's Ubuntu dev laptop gets much-needed display boost

Dave 126
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Yeah, because removing Win8 annoyances takes suuuch a long time. Actually, it takes less than ten minutes to install a few bits of software and tweak some settings. 'Classic Shell' is even available through Ninite, so only takes one click if you are already in the process of installing your favourite browsers, utilities and codecs.

http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/software-and-web-apps/how-to-make-windows-8-look-like-windows-7-50009546/

The first thing many of us do after installing any version of Windows is to change settings to our liking and install our favourite bits of software. Linux is no different, except of course you can have your own customised distro ISO ready to go.

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Dave 126
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Re: Dell and Linux

@Eadon,

If you want a cheap laptop without paying MS for a Windows licence, consider sticking Linux on a Chromebook. The Reg have a couple under consideration today, at around the £200 mark.

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Dave 126
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Re: Dell and Linux

>They should be selling Linux Mint on desktops,

Since Ubuntu allows the buyer to download any other distro they want onto a bootable stick, what does it matter which flavour is pre-installed on it? No big deal.

>The way to succeed is to do what the Netbook guys did, sell cheap systems with Linux on them. This is possible because Linux can be set up to run fast on modest hardware.

2006 rang, they want their argument for using Linux back. The game has changed- now £25 quid buys you a system that can output full HD video and run a modest Linux desktop (Raspberry Pi), £80 buys you a second-hand P4 Thinkpad. RAM is cheap, SSDs are affordable. No manufacturer is now going to build a laptop with a decent screen, and then fit it with so little RAM and CPU grunt that it can't run any OS the user throws at it.

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Russian boffins race to meteorite crash lake as shard prices go sky-high

Dave 126
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Re: Berlin Wall

Ever since the most recent Royal Institute Christmas Lectures ( a TV show aimed at children, but hey, I still learn things) I've desired an acid-etched slice of an iron nickel meteorite called an octahedrite. They showed a large specimen. The etching brings out Widmanstätten patterns, which are beautiful and can't be faked- for them to occur, the rate of cooling through a certain temperature range is no more than 10ºC per million years.

Small samples are around £30 per gram.

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Widmanst%C3%A4tten_pattern

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Own a drone: Fine. But fly a drone with a cam: Year in the clink

Dave 126
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Re: Drones don't take pictures

Okay JDX, what about legitimate uses, such as building inspection? Would you be happy with some sort of licence for them? And why shouldn't some Oregon farmer use them over his land? What is wrong with just banning them in residential areas?

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