* Posts by 45RPM

394 posts • joined 26 Oct 2010

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'Leave EU means...' WHAT?! Britons ask Google after results declared

45RPM
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In most elections and referendums, the politicians tell outrageous lies, wait a year or two to make it look as if they were trying to fulfill their promises and then say "Sorry ladies and gentlemen, we can't do what you wanted after all". And everyone tuts, and sighs, and life goes on.

In this case, the politicians (particularly those on the 'Leave' side) told outrageous lies and then didn't even have the decency to make it look like they were going to try to come through on them. Instead, as soon as they'd won, they had the gall to call their previous assurances 'a mistake'. Which is, quite frankly, taking the piss.

So what have we voted for? Well, we certainly haven't voted for decreased immigration and more money for the NHS. But, lucky us, we have got the runners up prize of a plummeting pound, a massive brain drain (freeing up more houses for imbeciles, coffin dodgers and racists), loss of our AAA rating, increased inconvenience in travelling to civilisation (the EU), the support of Donald Trump (nuff sed) and the undying gratitude of an unelected and unaccountable frog faced alcoholic.

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Dell tempts hordes with MASSIVE DISCOUNTS on PCs

45RPM
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Presumably you have to pay full price for your shiny new Dell and then fill in a load of paperwork, in triplicate, and send off for your rebate (although not to a free post address). After several months, Dell will then send you a cheque.

Nice. Must get my order in now.

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Lester Haines: RIP

45RPM
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Re: :'(

One of the finest contributors to El Reg, and the man who kept me coming back here even on those rare occasions when El Reg wasn’t performing at its best. He never missed the mark, and I will miss reading what he has to say and his views on food, science, drink and the world.

My condolences to his family and friends at this awful time.

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SpaceX winning streak meets explosive end

45RPM
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Winning Steak?

With all that rocket fuel powering the barbecue, I think that the steak would have been rather overdone for me.

(RSS feed title was fat fingered)

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NASA 'Kilo-Kitty' Super Pressure Balloon goes aloft at last

45RPM
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Quite right. Whales is the accepted unit of volume - Whales, KilaWhales and so forth.

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45RPM
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I feel sorry for your wife. If you don't like her talking, why did you marry her?

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What do you call an old, unpatched and easily hacked PC? An ATM

45RPM
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Now how about posting some step by step instructions so that we can all go out and jackpot a cashpoint before knocking off early? Selfish, I call it, to keep this information to yourself!

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Good enough IT really is good enough. You don't need new hardware

45RPM
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Re: Except that…

HPE gets handed great wodges of cash every year to support these systems - whether they require support or not. So don't cry for them - they're getting paid. But still they tell us that the systems can no longer be supported once they reach a certain age. Still doesn't stop them pocketing the money for the service contract though.

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45RPM
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Except that…

The problem is that IT vendors cycle their hardware far too quickly these days - so, if you want to continue benefitting from support (kinda handy for mission critical kit), you need to run to keep up. I have systems running on DL380 G4 - and you know what? It's good enough. It does what I want - and there's no point in replacing it. Except that I can't get support for the bloody things anymore - so it's upgrade time to G9 (which, in turn, will be end of life this year I think). And so the wheel turns, and HPE continue to fill the coffers at our expense.

Contrast with the happy days of VAX and Alpha - those things remained in production for years and, in most cases, remained supported for a decade or more. Halcyon days.

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Adobe scrambles to untangle itself from QuickTime after Apple throws it over a cliff

45RPM
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@phuzz

I didn't say that it was an excellent piece of software on Windows. On the contrary, I pointed out that it's an abomination. A piece of crap.

As to whether the player is any good on Mac OS X, well I use VLC too. But on Mac OS X, the player is merely the visible tip of the iceberg - it isn't QuickTime. It's merely QuickTime Player. On Mac OS X, QuickTime is an entire API that can handle media based tasks, such as compression and decompression, very quickly and efficiently. It would appear that most people here are conflating the Player with QuickTime 'proper'. I believe that the QuickTime API on Windows, such as it is, is a shadow of its Mac OS equivalent.

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45RPM
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Re: I have a hard time believing Apple hadn't notified Adobe of this long ago

@DougS Per my earlier comment, even if Apple didn't say anything Adobe should have noticed that the writing was on the wall when iTunes stopped using QTfW. Bad Apple, yes, but bad Adobe too!

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45RPM
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QuickTime is an excellent piece of software - and always has been. But QuickTime on Windows isn't really QuickTime. It's merely a player for QuickTime formats.

Real QuickTime, the sort you get on a Mac, is a complete API for handling media - whether graphic (still and video) or audio. It's flexible, and as far removed from QTfW as a jet fighter is from a hot air balloon.

Apple has behaved badly by not warning software developers of the imminent demise of QuickTime for Windows - but, really, The writing was on the wall when iTunes stopped using QTfW - it's just that Adobe chose not to read it. More fool them.

So kill the developmentally challenged embarrassment now. QTfW is not worth the candle.

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Hands up, who prayed for AMD? Well, it worked

45RPM
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I wouldn't dream of trying to play a game on the Zacate. I know its limitations. I just can't remember what CPU I put into the SteamBox! Suffice to say that it's much faster than the Zacate, and cheaper than Intel i5 (which is what I was considering instead, as the closest Intel equivalent).

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45RPM
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I like AMD. AMD chips may not provide top tier performance at a money no object price - but they do provide enough performance at a price that's hard to beat. Bang for buck, I'd argue that AMD beats Intel - but it all depends on the task you want your box to do.

My main workstation (coding / video editing / 3D modelling) is a dual Xeon monster. But my set top box is a power sipping AMD Zacate (and HD (but probably not 4K) is well within the frugal abilities of the Zacate), and the mobo / CPU bundle cost less than 70 quid. Couldn't have done that with Intel. I built a steam box on AMD (although not on Zacate! I just can't remember which CPU I selected!) too - with a reasonably honking graphics card - and it performs well enough. I haven't found any Steam OS compatible games which taxed it to less than 30fps yet. Good enough.

I don't think I'd want to argue for AMD being better or worse than Intel or ARM, any more than I'd want an argument about Linux / OS X / Android / Windows / iOS being the best. It just about choosing the best tool for the job. A hammer isn't better than a screwdriver or vice versa.

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Sysadmin given Licence To Perve shows why you always get it in writing

45RPM
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Mushroom

Was he allowed to nip off for a quick tug too? Otherwise it sounds more like a deeply frustrating ordeal than a plum of a job.

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Bundling ZFS and Linux is impossible says Richard Stallman

45RPM
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Re: Or bundling Linux with ZFS is impossible

@jms222 Jeeesuz! Really? You’re getting religious on Linux? Linux is just as ‘proper’* as BSD / Solaris / Mac OS X &c. They’re all great OSs. Pick the one you like, and be happy. No need to advise anyone to dump Linux.

*note I didn’t say ‘proper UNIX’ - because I don’t think that it matters.

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45RPM
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Re: Stallman is a loon

…Or the equally insane Church of Anything But Apple, which seems to have very many adherents here.

Personally, if I’m a member of any church, I belong of the congregation of the digital church. If it can do calculations and be programmed then count me in. Android, CP/M, Linux, ProDOS, ARThur, VMS, MacOS, Windows, iOS, Haiku, Xenix, TOS, WebOS, AmigaOS, UCSD-P, MS-DOS, OS/2… I love 'em all.

In my experience, the whole Empty Pot Making The Most Noise thing holds true. It seems that the people who get most religious and uppity about Apple / Microsoft / Google etc being crap, and who claim that they’ll never use a product from that company are the people who know the least about computers. Low level BOFH wannabes rather than programmers or sandbenders.

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45RPM
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Re: Stallman can change the GPS as welll...

@Doctor Syntax

Of course. Didn’t you know? Stallman is almost exactly like God*. Capricious and a bit of an arsehole, but did something good once and now he won’t let anyone forget it.

*all except for the fictional bit.

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Is iOS 9.3 Apple's worst ever update? First it bricks iThings, now Safari is busted

45RPM
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Re: Lies, lies, lies.........

@jaffa99

‘over the years’? Dude, you sound like you’re seventeen years old, and picking your zits in a PC World call centre. What do you know about ‘over the years’ in IT? Get some experience, and then make the jokes*

The sad truth is that software updates sometimes go wrong - even updates from Microsoft. Linux isn’t perfect either, and Android has its fair share of bugs. And damn, if all software companies (like every other type of company) don’t claim to have invented everything from the wheel onward. It’s called marketing - you don’t have to believe it.

The thing is though that Apple does have a certain amount of right to make claims of innovation in the field of personal computing. I do remember the PET, TRaSh 80 and the Apple II, and believe me - the Apple II is the only one really recognisable as a personal computer today. I remember the Lisa - and whatever the Xerox boys say, the Lisa was the first GUI which worked in the modern way you’d recognise now. Newton was innovative (if massively flawed), and you couldn’t buy a candy coloured device for love nor money before iMac - and then they were everywhere. Come to that, USB was scarce before iMac and then common as muck afterward. You might not like Apple, or want one (and you’d be a bit of dipstick to buy any device without considering whether its right for you), but you’re a colossal fucktard if you dismiss Apple completely out of hand. Where Apple goes, others tend to follow.

*for bonus points, see if you can make them funny too.

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45RPM
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Ditto. It's working fine for me too. Although it doesn't speak well of the sandbox and other security features of iOS if a badly written app can bork the whole OS. Of course, if the affected phones are jail broken then all bets are off.

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This chap's maintained an Apple game for 32 years – from Mac to iOS

45RPM
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Re: Zork

…not by the original developer though.

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45RPM
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This was one of the first games that I got on the Mac. It was diverting enough - until I got my first colour Mac and I was able to play Seahaven Towers instead. Seahaven never made it past PowerPC (68k & PPC Classic, and PPC OS X only) - but the original developers are working on an updated version right now.

More interestingly (for Mac Geeks) is that one later version of Klondike was delivered as a SuperFat Binary that worked on everything from 1985’s 512k ‘Fat’ Mac all the way up to 2003’s G5 with OS X. Clever stuff.

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Apple stuns world with Donald Trump iPhone

45RPM
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Paris Hilton

I wonder if the sex-toy industry will follow Apple’s lead and release a Donald Trump edition flesh light?

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Computer says: Stop using MacWrite II, human!

45RPM
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Well if it's PCs you're after, my first was a 4.77 MHz 8086 equipped Compaq Deskpro with 256K RAM and 5 MB hard disk.

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45RPM
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40MB? Luxury! My first Mac was an SE, which rocked a whole MB of RAM, System 5 (I think - it may have been 4), and a 20MB hard disk. I later bought an 80MB external drive

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Microsoft's done a terrible job with its Windows 10 nagware

45RPM
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Re: I've had a rather productive weekend.

Yarp. I built a hackintosh. I wiped it fairly soon afterward and installed Ubuntu instead (my self build tower is currently multibooting Ubuntu, FreeDOS and Windows 8.1). The problem is that a Hackintosh, in my experience, doesn't really approach the ease of use that Mac at its best can be*. It wouldn't be reasonable for it to, I suppose, since Apple hasn't tested OS X to run on the hardware that you pick. For my money, the best bet for OS X is an old style Xeon powered Mac Pro tower (get one second hand with guarantee from vendors like Scrumpy Macs). If you can't bear that then just use Linux of your choice.

* In fairness, Yosemite wasn't Mac at its best either. El Cap is much better in my experience.

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Sexism isn't getting better in Silicon Valley, it's getting worse

45RPM
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Re: Feminazis? FFS

@drewc

It's worth reading Bahboh's other posts. I think that 'Bahboh' might be a synonym for 'Troll'.

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45RPM
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Re: Meanwhile, in the real world

I'm not sure that you understand your point. Education, at least in terms of the three R's and in the west, is not sexist - boys get taught the same as girls. Developmentally, though, boys do advance slower at this stage - it's normal. Do you feel that boys should be given a leg up over the girls? Or, are you saying that, in a true meritocracy, girls are winning at this age - and therefore, in the pre-higher education age bracket, they should have the balance of power?

Or are you just insecure and confused by a matching pair of sex genes?

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First working Apple Mac ransomware infects Transmission BitTorrent app downloads

45RPM
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Re: Arggggg

@Andy629 - I agree. My apologies - my point wasn't that you should run Anti Virus and you'll be safe if you do - my point was that you should run Anti Virus, FireWalls, a healthy degree of paranoia and mistrust - and try not to use piracy sites (because that's just asking for trouble).

The internet is like Detroit*. It's a dangerous shithole, but some parts are really very dangerous and other parts are just a bit sketchy. Steer clear of the dangerous parts, and treat the rest of it with suspicion.

*apologies to residents of Detroit. There may be some very nice parts - but I had to pick on somewhere, and it makes a change from picking on Glasgow**

**whoops, I did it again.

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45RPM
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Re: Arggggg

Worryingly, a signed application can launch an unsigned application without troubling Gatekeeper (if I've understood correctly). Hopefully Apple will fix this rather glaring oversight - and, when they do, you can be sure that it'll be lauded with much trumpeting as an advanced new feature in the next version of Mac OS X!

In any case, and regardless of your preferred OS, everyone should be running an Antivirus app, and ensuring that the definitions are bang up to date.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 preview for Raspberry Pi 3

45RPM
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Re: teaching computing to kiddies.

@Symon - Nah. 12" EP.

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45RPM
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Re: teaching computing to kiddies.

Ahh! OS/2. I had OS/2 for Windows - it came free from somewhere and, when installed on a computer with MS-DOS 5 and Windows 3, replaced it with OS/2. I had to wipe my computer and start again to return to DOS and Windows, which I inevitably had to do when it turned out that some of my more demanding software wouldn't run on 'a better DOS than DOS and a better Windows than Windows'.

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45RPM
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Re: teaching computing to kiddies.

^ This. What @Richard said.

Back in the 90s, Apple was marginalised (and boy, were they marginalised!), Atari ST was dead, Amiga was dying and Linux users all had beards and eschewed soap. In the minds of the general public, Microsoft was computers - and a computer without 'Microsoft' was unthinkable.

The world has changed a little since then. It's a UNIX* world, in all its different flavours. Add up the installed base of iOS, Mac OS X, Linux and Android and its Windows that is looking a bit marginalised now.**

Raspberry Pi is part of this trend, although it's installed base is a drop in the ocean (even at 8 million) compared with all the other UNIX systems out there. Windows IoT isn't going to help Microsoft reverse the tide either - if anything, it might push more users into the welcoming arms of Linux. A noob might buy a Pi for a dabble (it happens - it's so cheap that why not?) on the strength of Windows. On discovering that it doesn't really have Windows they might give Raspbian a bash - and discover that it's familiar enough that they don't need Windows anyway. Certainly, that was Mrs. 45RPMs experience.

If Microsoft really wants to join in with the Pi fun then surely the way to go is with Windows RT and a lightweight version of Visual Studio on the Pi. With that, who knows? They might even tempt some users back from Linux***

*I know that Linux isn't UNIX. But it's so UNIXalike that the distinction is irrelevant.

**fanboys, don't blow a sphincter - this isn't a comment on the merits of a particular OS - just a reflection on the current state of play in terms of installed base.

***Probably not many though.

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Raspberry Pi celebrates fourth birthday with fruity version 3

45RPM
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@Peter Mount

I take my hat off to you, sir. You're a bigger Pi fanboi (flanboy?) than me. I only have the B's, no compute boards, no A's and no Zero (yet). I'm considering getting a Zero to build a robot around though.

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45RPM
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I'm afraid to say that I've bought all the Bs so far, including both versions of the original logic board. I think I might be a bit of a Pi fan boy. They're all used too - some of them as loaner units for my friends. Will I be buying the 64 bit version? Hell yeah! I only wish that decent cases like the Plusberry were easier to come by.

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Donald Trump promises 'such trouble' for Jeff Bezos and Amazon

45RPM
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@Roq D. Kasba

I think that a lot of business is luck - you have to have a good idea, but then you need to have a spot of luck too. And yes, Sugar has a smaller net worth - but look what he started with. He's vastly increased his wealth.

Trump, on the other hand, might have more than any of us (including Sugar), but he still has less now than he started with. Not only is he a worse businessman than Alan Sugar, he's a worse businessman than most of the people who read The Register.

By this measure, he's about on a par with the chap who sleeps on the bench in the park by my office, and who pisses in his sleeping bag. Except I'd rather spend time with him than with Trump.

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45RPM
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I don't think Trump did copy Sugar. Sugar is a highly successful businessman who is many orders of magnitude richer than he was when he started. A self made man.

Trump inherited it all from daddy, and is poorer now than he was when he started. By any definition, and no matter how rich he is, he's a failed businessman.

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45RPM
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If he objects to Amazon then they might refuse to sell his book "My Struggle".

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Gopher server revived after 15 years of downtime

45RPM
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Gopher is awesome - and makes the Internet useful for users of elderly computers. I'm delighted each time a new server for this venerable but efficient protocol is (re)started.

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Microsoft acquires Xamarin: An obvious move not without risks

45RPM
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Barring a few hiccoughs, I'd say that Nadella's Microsoft is getting more open and collaborative every day. Sure, if it was Ballmer's Microsoft I'd be worried - but Ballmer is almost as mad as Trump.

With Nadella though? I think (and I hope I'm right) that this is all good news. Mono is a great project - and I hope that, under Microsoft, it's IDE will be further improved and have vastly greater compatibility with Visual Studio*

*never gonna happen! I can wish all I want, but…

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Q: How many guns to arm nine coachloads of terrorists?

45RPM
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Surely it isn't only necessary to define the coach load, it is also necessary to define the standard unit terr'ist. I believe this should be defined as equivalent to two pistols, one semi automatic and a vest / rucksack. Half a terr'ist is equal to one shoe.

On this basis, I'd argue that there's only one busload in this stash.

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Apple must help Feds unlock San Bernardino killer's iPhone – judge

45RPM
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Lack of joined up thinking?

It seems to me that weakening a devices encryption, or mandating the provision of a back door, does little to assist law enforcement - and nothing to protect the personal details of everyday users.

The reason that law enforcement isn't hindered by encryption should be obvious. If a back door is mandated then any reasonably intelligent crim or terr'ist will roll their own, backdoorless, encryption system - and the forces of law and order will continue to be stymied and will have to work a little harder at gathering evidence.

If the crim concerned is rather dimmer, and hasn't taken precautions, then they'll also have left a trail in the form of other evidence like a blundering elephant, and the evidence contained on the device will be unnecessary - there being more than enough to convict without it.

If we allow our lawmakers to mandate a backdoor into our devices then we usher in a new age of fraud and theft from our bank accounts.

We should laud the device makers for making their devices so secure - not criticise them for it.

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iPhones clock-blocked and crocked by setting date to Jan 1, 1970

45RPM
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Testing is a thankless task. It's dull, it's repetitive, and it's not as glamorous as coding. So it isn't surprising that bugs like this sneak through in anyone's software (Apple's, Microsoft's, Google's, yours, mine)

It needn't be this way though. Automated testing, with intelligently designed scripts, can take care of all the boring repetitive tasks of ensuring that every function works the way that it is supposed to and regression testing. Those tests can be left running every night.

This frees up a lot of human tester time, not for redundancy (before all the accountants get excited) but to do the vital, interesting, and often overlooked task of what I like to think of as vandalism.

Vandalism is interesting testing because it's devious. It's imaginative. It doesn't concern itself with whether the software works as designed (the automated testing and UAT will take care of that). All it does is try to smash the software, crash it, break it by any means. And once a good exploit has been found, of course, it gets added to the test automation suite - and the tester goes back to be deviously destructive again.

I imagine that most of the big software companies do this already - but perhaps they should do it more. And I might point out that before you snigger too much at the 'notorious wobbliness' of Apple software, bugs like this are everywhere. Yes. Even in your own preferred OS.

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Motorola-powered Mac from 1989 used to write smartphone apps

45RPM
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Re: Pascal on a Mac

And don't forget the Gaelic Pascoe - common in Cornwall.

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45RPM
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Re: Keyboards

That keyboard (Saratoga) is a proper mechanical one, with Alps key switches. Which might explain why they're so sought after.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Extended_Keyboard

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45RPM
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@davidp231

Apparently, if you use A/UX then A/UX replaces the dodgy 24bit code with a 32bit alternative of its own - permitting use of the entire address space. I haven't tried that configuration though - so I can't confirm.

A better alternative to using the ROM from a IIsi or IIfx (the IIx and IIcx had more or less the same ROM as the stock SE/30, and IIci's ROM was soldered to the board) is to use a custom ROM specifically for the SE/30 - but 32bit clean. You can buy them (with a natty skull and crossbones silk screened onto the board), and they work very well - even with A/UX (or OS 8!). In fact, using modern chips, there's even enough room for an OS (just like a Classic) if you so choose.

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GCHQ’s Xmas puzzle proves uncrackable

45RPM
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Yup. I suspect that the people with the intellectual wherewithal to break the code have better things to do with their time. Solving the mysteries of the universe, for example, trying to cure cancer, designing the next Raspberry Pi…

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Whatever Android-ChromeOS mashup looks like, it's gotta be better looking than this

45RPM
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That EULA! This milk is sour, and I ain't the kind of pussy to drink it.

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Intel admits Skylakes can ... ... ... freeze in the middle of work

45RPM
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Re: Re : BIOS issue?

@malle-herbert

Of course it is. I'll get my brown paper bag. My parser is clearly a bit off this morning.

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45RPM
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Does the problem also occur with EFI or is it strictly a legacy BIOS issue?

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