I didn't mean 'Politics be damned' because damn politics, or because I don't think that this is a worthwhile debate. I meant 'Politics be damned' because politics tends to be a heated and divisive subject (and heated and divisive is pretty much the definition of El Reg forums too), and I feel that it shouldn't really detract from the gist of this article. We're all of a different stripe - and this is an excellent and worthy cause.
224 posts • joined 26 Oct 2010
Politics be damned, left or right I think we can all agree that this is a laudable cause and laudable challenge. I've done it as well, years and years ago, and nothing short of desperation would induce me to do it again. But I will be throwing some money in the pot to support the have-nots.
Thumbs up Tim and thumbs up El Reg.
Heh Heh. The first bit of Layla looks like a willy. Snigger.
Re: bbc pi is 8bit amtelmega 32u4
I know. Luxury. I started programming on a Z80 with 1K RAM. Kids today. Don’t know that they’re born!
Because Why Not? Seriously, the BBC does excellent work - no other TV company like it. The radio alone is worth paying the TV License fee for. That the BBC also runs educational programs, and wants to engage the kids in something a little more useful than fragging baddies on a games console seems thoroughly worthwhile to me.
It’s almost a tradition now to bitch about the BBC, and then the Gumbys in HM Gov’t pick up the refrain - and I worry for the future of this most august institution. The day we lose the BBC is the day that we, in the United Kingdom, become just a little bit less British. We’ll certainly have one less thing to be proud of - and, in an age when the things that we have to be proud of are being sold off every day, that would be a very sad thing.
Re: why does every small computer get compared to the Raspberry Pi?
Or, indeed, a Raspberry Pi (any more than it'd make sense to compare it to LEO, or a PC, a Playstation, Cray or Mac.)
Don't get me wrong - I think that it's a great initiative - but it's being 'advertised' in a rather misleading manner.
This is a Pi-Alike in exactly the same way that a skateboard is a Ford Fiesta. They'll both get you from A to B, but the latter will do it far more comfortably, faster, and carrying more luggage. I’ve never considered a skateboard to be a small car - so why does every small computer get compared to the Raspberry Pi?
Well damn. That's put a dampener on my day. My condolences to his family and friends, and I hope that one of them will nurture the Discworld - and that this won't see the end of his amazing creation. I also hope that Death, for Terry, is everything he hoped he would be.
I think that the real money will be made for the counterfeiters by cloning the straps rather than the device itself. If the cloners can make accurate, compatible, replicas of the real deal then they'll coin it in. After all, why spend £600 or more on an Apple Watch when you can buy an Apple Watch Sport, and replace the tacky strap with a high quality copy of the steel bracelet or leather strap?
I'll bet that a lot of people who buy an Apple Watch wouldn't want a clone watch - but a clone strap is an entirely different kettle of fish.
I agree entirely. It they're spending the money on attracting minorities into IT through advertising the benefits of a technology career, through funding courses and education, through internships and so forth then it's money very well spent.
If, on the other hand, they're just going to spending the money paying lip service to the right thing then they might just as well give it to me.
I suspect though, and I hope, that they'll be doing the former rather than the latter.
Thumbs up - and well done Apple. It makes good business sense too, I suspect, because (if you're a 'minority') where would you rather work? Somewhere that supports and encourages you, or somewhere that shrugs its collective shoulders. This move might give Apple a larger selection of applicants to choose from. Maybe.
18 hour battery life? Ah… No.
I wish them all the best of course. They've done no harm to me (or any of the haters here either), and I wouldn't wish failure on anyone (except Donald Trump. And anyone who makes Muzak. And… aw, shit. You got me. I do wish failure on quite a lot of people, but none of them in the tech business. Probably), but 18 hours?
When it can go for at least as long as a pebble it'll be worth reconsidering. When it can go as long as a Seiko Kinetic I'll stop considering and reach for my wallet. Until then, it's a statement of intent from Apple - and as much use as any Mk1 Apple product.
Interesting, by the way, that they didn't mention how waterproof it is. A 'sport' watch that can't go swimming ain't much of a sport watch.
You must be the good cop then. I can tell. You're giving me time to get my trousers on.
Of course, before 1983 if you'd suggested that the police were anything less than 100% trustworthy then you could have expected a nasty accident when coming down the stairs. Allegedly. I've seen Life On Mars!
In common with their bosses? In my experience, the bosses (the ones who sign off on the budget) all have Macs - and they force their minions to use cheap ass Windows Dell machines. Not saying whether that's right or wrong (actually, I am saying - I reckon that users should be able to choose the platform that they're comfortable with, provided that they can demonstrate the technical know how required to support themselves). The point is that the bosses are running the shiny shiny. The minions have Windows. FTFY.
Re: IoT? WoT?
Yup. Surprisingly I do have friends - I try to get rid of them by being as curmudgeonly and contrary as possible, but they do seem to accumulate. But we’re of an age where we’re no longer impressed by the electric light, and where parties no longer consist of getting pissed amid a desperate whirlwind of trying cop off with the prettiest girl… an acceptable girl… any girl… anyone… the dog. Parties nowadays consist of getting pissed whilst talking about our latest penis extensions / mid-life crisises, whilst standing in the utility room (because that’s where the kegs of beer are). Our wives, meanwhile, are in the kitchen, getting pissed on wine, and talking about schools*.
* guessing. I have no idea what they’re talking about really.
I realise that this is probably just pure ludditism, but I can’t see the point of the internet of things. It’s just more stuff to go wrong, more stuff to keep patched and up to date, potentially an exciting new security risk, and more toxic waste at the end of its life. All for no benefit whatsoever.
Who cares if the light bulb can be ice blue or whore-house red at the swipe of an app. It won’t materially change my life, any more than a fridge that’ll warn me if something’s about to go out of date (usually I’m quite aware of what’s in my fridge - after all, I bought the feckin’ stuff).
Sorry. Bit grumpy and tired this morning - and I’m the person who couldn’t see the point of colour in a TV, remote controls or 1080p (so my track record on being right is pretty bloody piss poor). On that basis, anything I don’t like, or can’t see the point of, is likely to be the greatest thing ever.
Re: Why not just buy Smartflash...
Because the Patrick Racz would make a fat packet and it would encourage him to keep on trolling. You know the thing about not giving in to a terrorists demands? That.
Re: Gotta love Apple.
It's a bit different, isn't it? Patent trolls buy up, and patent, ideas without producing any product (say, purple oranges would be neat. Quick! Patent it. No, there's no need to actually produce one. We'll just say that we have). ARM produces a lot of software, and an entire, tested, CPU design (which it then licenses). I'd say that that was a tangible product. And, don't forget, ARM has produced chips - and entire computers - in the past. Acorn RISC Machine.
So a patent troll is trolling and it's Apple that's been naughty? Seriously? Would this headline have been worded in this manner about Google? Microsoft? Amazon? Samsung?
I mean, I get that people hate Apple (although I don't understand why, anymore than I understand hatred of the other above named companies), but to the extent that the troll is given some degree of sympathy. Isn't that taking it a bit far?
How about using the x for a significant rewrite or for multiple new functionalities that will affect everyone, y for a significant addition, whether or not it benefits everyone, and the z for bugfixes. I don’t see why the kernel should be given special exemption in version numbering - and it seems to me that x.y.z works just as well as it would for any other software.
The mans a lunatic. A very clever lunatic, responsible for an excellent OS, but a lunatic nonetheless. His version numbers mean nothing. He might as well just give them silly names.
The thing is, a version number should mean something. It should give the user an inkling of what they'll be getting. Personally, I'm a bit fan of x.y.z (foo) where x is a major revision or rewrite, y is a minor revision, z is a bug fix and foo is the build number. I don't care how big the numbers get. I'm a big boy. I can count quite high.
His weird obsession with keeping numbers small is - odd. Never mind, I suppose he can't be good at everything - and I suppose it's better for the world that he's good at kernel programming than that he's good at counting (even though I would have though basic numeracy was a prerequisite)
Beautiful piece of journalism, this, in the best traditions of this esteemed organ. I take my hat off to you. And well done for ensuring that high investigative standards are maintained by actually visiting the site concerned rather than merely relying on hearsay. Top job.
Re: Microsoft hardware
@the spectacularly refined chap
You've never actually used an Apple product have you? You've read some guff on the Internet - but nothing more than that. Somehow though, you think you're qualified to comment.
Rest assured, there is no need to hand Apple any of your information just to use (and update) a Mac. On the other hand, I do think that you'll be missing out if you don't take advantage of Apple's free online services (which are really rather good). And, as I've said before, I think that (of all the online service providers) Apple and Microsoft can be trusted. After all, their business models are not predicated on selling what they know about you.
I use Microsoftt's online offerings too, other than Hotmail, and they partner each other well.
You’re in the minority, and of course exceptions need to be made - chairs for those who require them, just as lifts are provided for the frail and disabled. The point remains that a) most people don’t need a chair in a meeting and b) most meetings are too long.
Besides, if you’re only going to read the minutes then you’re not going to be in a position to contribute - and you’ll have to accept the conclusions as a fait accompli (and, of course, most of the actions will be on you as an absentee - har har). And if you’re only going to be reading them with your brown eye, you probably don’t deserve the job anyway.
I don’t sit down in meetings. Why should I? I stand - and especially if I’m the one doing the presenting. Occasionally I might sit for a moment to scribble down some notes - but that’s about it. And at least if people are standing, I know that they’re awake and not nodding off. If I had my way, there’d be no chairs in meeting rooms - and it’d have the added advantage of keeping meetings pertinent and brief.
I had an Amstrad PC1512 too and it was far and away the worst computer that I have ever owned. So bad that I replaced it with an ostensibly slower 4.77MHz Compaq Deskpro. The Compaq was well built (unlike the Amstrad) and didn't get in my way (unlike the Amstrad) which meant I could work a good deal faster on it. So yes, I'd agree that the Pi is the best selling British PC if only because the Amstrad doesn't deserve the title - I wouldn't even use an Amstrad as a doorstop. Also, I thought Amstrads were of far eastern manufacture.
I think Alan agrees too. I seem to remember that he had a Ratner moment in 1987 or thereabouts when challenged over the continuing availability of the PC1512 despite the fact that the rather-better-but-still-a-toy PC1640 had been launched for only a couple of hundred quid more. If I remember correctly he said something like 'the 1512 will continue to be popular because, for the sort of idiots who buy Amstrad, 200 quid is a week in Majorca'. I may have that wrong - but if anyone has any late 80s PCW magazines kicking around, they can verify this by grepping through Guy Kewneys news section.
If this is more than just someone at Apple playing around with the technology to understand it better then I say that this hubris.
Apple has something to bring to the computer business - it has nothing to offer the car business. For it to think that it can outdo Ford, VW, Volvo and so forth is just nonsense. It makes as much sense as Microsoft entering the brewing business or Goofle opening up a restaurant.
Re: While I agree with you
@DougS Yup. Although it's just possible that I may have been slightly flippant there.
I broke my leg a few weeks ago in a cycling accident - so, despite the risks involved in a healthy lifestyle, I'm not seriously suggesting that we should all live like hedonists - but I think that hedonism is no bad thing. Besides, I think that the body is usually pretty good at moderating itself. Since I've found myself on an enforced spell of no gym, no running, no cycling, no sport, I find that I don't really want to eat meat. Mostly I crave fish, salad, and chilli sauce. My body doesn't need the extra meaty energy and protein, so I don't crave it. I'm guessing. I'm as qualified in this field as 'Dr' Gillian Mckeith.
My appetite for beer and spice remains undiminished.
Taking the 'evidence' that we're continually bombarded with, we can prolong our lives by:
* Giving up the booze.
* Giving up eating meat.
* Giving up chips.
* Giving up puddings.
* Giving up caffeine.
* Giving up tobacco.
* Going to bed early.
* Getting up early.
Seriously, what next? Must we give up fucking too? I have no reason to disbelieve these reports - but I think I'd rather enjoy my life than live like a prisoner in exchange for a few extra years. And the extra years that I'll get will be at the end of my life, when my body is frail anyway, rather than in my twenties when I'd have liked to have had more time.
@Ivan 4 “they have had a few questions along the lines of 'why didn't we do this years ago’."
I’ve been in the Linux vanguard - pressing ahead with Linux when all others wanted to preserve the status quo. It seems to me that Linux has a lot of upside. But I’m not entirely comfortable about running on an old, and unsupported, version of Windows for up to 12 months while we finish porting the last few systems to Linux / mysql.
We'll pay for custom support, if it's available, otherwise we'll just take our chances whilst we finish porting our code to Linux. The thinking is that there's no point updating and porting (because SQLServer has changed too much) to a newer version of Windows when we're planning to give Redmond the heave ho in the next twelve months.
That's not my thinking by the way, I'm far too lowly to be privy to such negotiations, but I have to say that (for once) I kinda understand it - even though I've been pressing for an interim Windows upgrade.
It looks more or less exactly like Office for iOS, or Office for Android. Does this mean that, up to now, the best tablets for business have been the tablets not running Windows? Are Windows tablets going to catch up with the competition at last?
I’m a Country Bumpkin. I even play Duelling Banjos, albeit with a Strat. I’d like (in a not really all that interested kind of way) to have 2MB internet (I heard her too - and chortled). Frankly, 2Mb would be alright too. I’m not really that bothered though - updates can download over night, and all I’m really missing out on is gaming (which doesn’t interest me) and online movies (which I can live without).
The thing is, I don’t buy the argument that remote rural areas need high speed internet. It’d be nice, but it’s far from essential. She kept carping on about how farmers need the internet to apply for subsidies - but 2Mb internet isn’t really necessary to fill in forms online. At a pinch 56k is sufficient for that.
Which is not to say that I think high speed internet is pointless. I think it’s very worthwhile - like cinemas, and supermarkets, and petrol stations, and theatres, and swimming pools, and department stores and, y’know, all the other things that towns and cities have. Some of us are quite happy with our village hall, village pub and village post-office. My oil comes in a lorry, and my shit goes into a big hole in the ground.
Scoring political points in the run up to the election? She’ll have to try harder than that. A decent price for produce, paid to the farmers - now that’s a far greater concern.
Re: I use programs
It seems to me that you've picked a nice headline, but the rabbit hole is deeper than that.
It used to be the oft repeated refrain that "Linux is hard to install" and "Not suitable for desktop use." My own experience is that the pendulum has swung the other way. When I installed Ubuntu on my PC (DFI mobo, AMD Phenom quad core CPU - so far from state of the art), everything worked. Sound. Graphics. Network. Everything. There was no need to install extra drivers, and the whole process was not much harder than installing Mac OS X on my Mac. Subsequent upgrades to Ubuntu have been equally painless (barring one where the power failed half way through - but I don't think that that was Ubuntu's fault, and I was able to recover using single-user mode and the command line).
Windows, we're told, is painless and easy to install. Sadly, that's not been my experience. On the same PC, I tried to install Windows 8.1 on an additional hard drive - but the Windows 8.1 installer (booted from USB) got a little way through the installation and then decided that it didn't like the hard drive. The same happened when I tried with a second, box-fresh, spinner. Fine. Okay. So I bit the bullet and bravely upgraded my Windows 7 partition. It installed (very slowly) without issue - but, after completing the install, it became apparent that Windows 8.1 can't recognise the resolutions supported by my monitor, and I no longer have any sound. Marvellous. The first issue I can fix by fiddling with the registry, and the second I can fix by manually searching for and installing drivers. So neither issue is insurmountable - but why should I have to surmount them? I didn't have to with Linux - Linux just worked.
I'm very aware of the argument. Windows will perform faster for games - but I couldn't give a crap about that. I don't play games. I work. And Ubuntu is quite as fast as Windows for what I do.
There are a few things that Microsoft needs to do before it releases Windows 10 (in my opinion). Most importantly, it needs to make Windows 10 as easy to install and as reliable as Ubuntu. Get the basics right before fiddling around with fripperies like Cortana. Fingers crossed that it can - and this will be the best Windows yet.
This just shows that the market is healthy. Nothing more.
Surely this isn't evidence of the awesomeness of the iPhone - this is merely evidence that the market is healthy. In the olden days, if you worked on a PC, or PCW, or an Amiga, or a Mac or an <insert platform of choice here> then you'd have the very devil of a job getting your work onto a different platform if you ever wanted to jump ship. Networking was non-existent (or as good as) and floppy formats were incompatible - even if you were able to get the disk to fit into your new computer. Whole businesses were founded on software / hardware solutions to jam your work down the serial port and (hopefully) reconstruct it on your new platform. And once reconstructed, there was a very good chance that you wouldn't be able to open the file that you'd carefully copied anyway. And this is why I have a "you don't know how lucky you are" moment whenever someone whines about lock-in.
If users really are switching to and from Android or iOS then it demonstrates that there is little or no lock-in. In fact, beyond any apps that you purchase, I can't think of any lock in. After all, it is the data that you own / create that's really valuable. Email, contacts, calendars and so forth - and these can me moved as easily as making a cup of tea.
It doesn't show that the iPhone is necessarily better than Android. The iPhone probably is better than Android for some people, just as Android is better than iPhone for others. Same applies to Windows and Blackberry. People are buying what's best for their needs at this moment in time and you can be sure that the stats will be different again in a year. People move. The market is healthy. Don't read too much into it. Move along…
There are times, and this is one, when I realise what an absolute beginner I am at this writing software malarkey. Okay, so I don’t have the luxury of absolute minimalism - my code has to be readable and easily maintainable - but sometimes (for fun) I try to write tiny software. My best effort so far is 6.5KB Tetris. Which is appallingly bloated compared with this chap’s effort. And Tetris is a simpler game than Chess - if I were to attempt a Chess game you can be certain that I’d need at least 20KB to do it in.
That's not entirely true. After all, look what happened to the Liberal Party. The trouble is that whenever a party makes itself unelectable they immediately find themselves usurped by another bunch of (potentially even bigger) wankers.
The Liberals by Labour, the Tories (maybe) by UKIP. It was ever thus.
But, as has been said many times before, a back door for the security services is a back door for hackers, once they've worked out the key (and they will work out the key). The keys will then be shared and then anyone of nefarious intent will be able to read anyone's messages.
David Cameron, Barak Obama and all politicians (who are, of course, all well intentioned and would never do anything illegal) will use these insecure by design services - and we'll be able to read anything that they commit to the Internet - be it email or encrypted message.
The Terrorists, on the other hand, will go deeper underground and use bespoke secure by design services for all their plottings.
So how is this plan of Cameron's anything other than an own goal? Especially since he'll piss everyone off and render himself, and his party, unelectable. Alternatively, he'll be a massive hypocrite and use the now outlawed services himself, until news of this is broken in the Encryptgate Scandal, he'll piss everyone off and render himself, and his party, unelectable.
Re: No offline? Screw you guys, I’ll play with myself instead.
@Tsung and others.
"I cannot help but feel those who complain about lack of single player offline mode are more interested in being able to "copy" the game rather than buy it. They have the bandwidth to download it (it isn't available in shops) but lack the bandwidth to play it!"
I cannot help but feel that you're full o' shit. One day, maybe in five years, maybe in thirty, Frontier will no longer exist - and nor will its servers. What happens if I want to play the game then? And don't discount that possibility - I like playing old games and why should I piss my money up the wall just because some untrusting scumbag publisher thinks that an always-on connection is required to reduce piracy?
The thing is, it's not necessary to have an always on connection. Taking one example that I have personal experience of as a software developer, Apple's app store does an excellent job of controlling casual piracy - but only requires the user to be online for the actual download. It doesn't solve the 30 year question entirely, so it's not as good as perhaps it should be, but it's a hell of a sight better than Frontier's kick in the teeth.
And no, not all offline gamers are pirates. Your attitude makes me want to feed the 30 year old copy of Elite (on a 5.25in disk) that I have in my desk into the shredder. Braben and Bell have lost all my respect this day.
No offline? Screw you guys, I’ll play with myself instead.
I was looking forward to this new Elite. I loved the original, and I’ve been getting my fix with Oolite since. But if there’s no offline mode in this game then, sorry chaps, I will not be flinging any of my hard earned in your direction. I don’t game very often but, when I do, I like to play with myself. So to speak. I’m not a sociable gamer, and I don’t see why I should be.
…or regain your virginity.
Aww. You made it match iOS 7. Was that intentional?
Something like VB, but for Linux? How about Xojo then? Previously known as RealBasic, you can find it here - http://www.xojo.com
Re: No need to move away from VB
"They're both top notch languages with extremely strong capabilities, they both run on the same platforms, and can both achieve exactly the same things."
They don't both run on the same platforms though do they? C# runs on pretty much anything - especially now that Microsoft has done the decent thing and open-sourced it. Linux? No problem! Mac OS X? No problem! And the source code is available - so you can bet anything you like it'll end up in the likes of ReactOS soon - if it hasn't already. VisualBasic runs on Windows and… No, that's it. Just Windows*. And in this modern world of tablets and smart phones, where (according to several reports**) the most used OS in the world is from Mountain View, and the second most used is from Cupertino, a programming language that only works for an OS with diminishing market share is no good at all.
Satya Nadella is doing an amazing job of halting the slide into irrelevance that seemed to be Ballmer's mission plan for Microsoft. The problem with VB is that it doesn't really have a raison d'être any more. VBA kind of does, but it needs to be extended to encompass the entire OS and everything that runs on it (like AppleScript). Then it would be truly useful. If this isn't done then it's just an esoteric and kind of crufty language which needs to be taken outside and given an overdose of barbiturates and vodka.
*Okay, old versions run on MS-DOS too. Hardly counts as cross platform though, does it?
**Taking into account mobile OS's, Gartner pegs Google's share at 41%, Apple's at 25% and Microsoft's at 22%. You can argue that the figures are wrong - and they probably are, but what can't be argued is that the heady days of Windows 95 are long gone, and one can no longer rely on ones users running Windows.
Re: Shop door
Yes, yes, that’s all very well. But do you have a link to a rip of the DVD concerned? I think we should be able to make up our own minds how depraved this so-called filth is.
Re: Shop door
@Powernumpty - Your argument is irrelevant because this isn’t about protecting the children (oh won’t somebody please think of the children!). This law won’t make it any harder for children (or anyone else) to get hold of seriously hard core smut. It won’t make it illegal to distribute or view scenes of lovely ladies squirting and spanking, or lusty lads pissing and swearing. It’ll just make it illegal for such porn to be made in the UK. You’ll still be able to get hold of this content, and you’ll be safe in the knowledge that they’re Muricans or Russkies. If the content is legal to distribute and view then it should be legal to make as well. This is just a farkin’ ridiculous law made by a bunch of politicos who are desperately out of touch.