* Posts by Wilseus

247 posts • joined 8 Sep 2011

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Blighty's Virgin Queen threatened with foreign abduction

Wilseus

Re: Time

The fox has moved on and is now working for the U.N. at the High Commission of International Cunning Planning.

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Chaps make working 6502 CPU by hand. Because why not?

Wilseus

Re: I'll really be impressed when..

"The 6800, 68000, and 6502 were logical orthogonal instruction sets like the IBM 360. The Intel instruction sets always seemed far more arbitrary - so I never learned to program the 8080 etc at assembler level."

The 6502 wasn't that orthogonal, certainly not when compared to the 68000 or the ARM for example (IIRC you had to use different registers, either X or Y, for different addressing modes etc)

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Wilseus
Headmaster

Re: Stupid masochists.

Triple pedant alert: It was his foot that fell off, not just his toes :)

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Apple mulled gobbling its Brit GPU designers – but didn't like the taste

Wilseus

Re: Shame

Whether DAB is dwindling or not is a moot point: many, if not most, of PURE's radios can also play back Internet radio as well as FM. PURE also makes a range of really quite decent wireless speakers, in fact many of their radios have this capability too.

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Bill Gates denies iPhone crack demand would set precedent

Wilseus

This would never work

He said it would be "worth having a debate" as to the extent to which people are comfortable about how information the government has."

This would never work because most members of the public don't really understand the issues. In this particular case they want the government to protect them from the baddies but at the same time they aren't comfortable about the government knowing too much information about people (i.e them.)

People want to have their cake and eat it: they want more money pumped into the NHS but don't want to pay more tax. They want free services from the likes of Google but they don't want their details used for the targeted advertising that pays for it. I'm not sure there's a common ground in any of these areas that most people would be happy with.

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When asked 'What's a .CNT file?' there's a polite way to answer

Wilseus

Re: Stupid customers

I may have got the wrong end of the stick there then. I will only add that the technical support of the company in question is *extremely* well regarded in the industry!

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Wilseus

Stupid customers

A relative of mine who works in tech support for a fairly well-known ISP told me a couple of classics:

I can't get my machine to send emails. Are you blocking port 25?

Yes Sir. Blocking the SMTP port is a service we offer as standard to all our customers.

and my favourite:

My (ADSL) broadband has stopped working?

OK, is your modem plugged in? Is it switched on? (etc)

Yes

Are you sure you haven't changed anything?

Well, I did change my landline provider to Virgin Media

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Ready for a nostalgia kick? Usborne has put its old computer books on the web for free

Wilseus

I remember these books well

I had one of these books which appears to be a compendium of three of these others: http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/9742/The-Beginners-Computer-Handbook/

and it probably has heavily influenced the career I am in today.

I've just had a quick skim through the Machine Code one and it's very good, but it does make me realise how lucky us BBC/Electron owners were with their built-in assemblers, it's a bit of a shame that the book doesn't appear to even mention this though.

If I have one criticism, in one of the books here (which I don't own) it states the oft-repeated myth that a BASIC interpreter converts each line into machine code, which it then executes before moving onto the next one. I do wonder whether this book was responsible for people believing this, I certainly remember having a heated argument with my Computer Science lecturer at college about it!

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Imagination Tech's chief Hossein Yassaie quits, shares slide

Wilseus

Re: Dead As Betamax

The majority of Pure radios have Internet and/or Bluetooth capability now.

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Winning Underhand C Contest code silently tricks nuke inspectors

Wilseus

Re: The power of backspace

Agreed, tricks like that would work on a BBC Micro or Electron, except that I think it would have actually printed:

10 PRINT "NO!!"": REM ĥĥĥĥĥĥĥĥĥĥĥĥĥ

You could also insert a control code that disabled text output, then another that re-enabled it further on, completely hiding sections of your program.

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The planets really will be in alignment for the next month

Wilseus

Re: Red thing?

"That's the Milky Way. It really does look like that, but you need good eyes and a very dark sky. A camera which can handle long exposures helps too."

You actually don't need good eyes at all, but you do need a very dark sky, so you won't see it from any town or city. I'm a keen astronomer and I've never seen it :(

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Server retired after 18 years and ten months – beat that, readers!

Wilseus

Re: The drive's a Seagate...

"This translates to 25.6 million miles at the rim or 6.6 million miles at the spindle."

When you consider that that's barely more than a quarter of the way to the Sun, that's actually a bit disappointing :)

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Fans demand 'Lemmium' periodic table tribute

Wilseus

Re: And what about

[Amy Winehouse's] singing was as musical as my son's pet frog

I guess that's a matter of opinion, my dad and I both liked her but my mum, who is a music teacher, didn't find her to be to her taste.

The production of her albums though, was absolutely appalling, they even manage to sound harsh and compressed on my crappy car system, with the engine running. Back to Black is genuinely the worst sounding CD I've ever come across.

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Bigger than Higgs? Boffins see hints of bulbous new Boson

Wilseus
Flame

Re: Something new in physics. Finally!

'it must be quite nerve-wracking knowing that your entire life's work might be about to be consigned to the bin marked "interesting, but wrong".'

Like Newton's laws of motion, you mean?

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Sysadmin's £100,000 revenge after sudden sacking

Wilseus

Re: Been there, done that ...

Forgive me if I'm being thick, but why would the Finance Department have denied all knowledge?

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Wilseus
Headmaster

Re: a very well known company supplying fantasy wargaming products

"near the sewerage works"

Ah so NOT a UK company then? ;)

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Revenge porn 'king' Hunter Moore sent down for 2.5 years, fined $2k

Wilseus

TeeCee said:

"Nice to see El Reg following a well-trodden journalistic path here and including the pointless and utterly predictable quote from the mother of the scumbag."

But that's not the full paragraph from the article, is it?

Fortunately, someone does still love Moore. His mother spoke in court, saying that her son was "a good person who made a huge mistake." That sardonic first sentence clearly conveys the quote in a different light!

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From Zero to hero: Why mini 'puter Oberon should grab Pi's crown

Wilseus
Headmaster

While [RISC OS] was radical in 1987, it's very retro now.

1989 actually :)

I should add that Arthur (essentially RISC OS 1, although it was never called that) came out in '87 but it didn't have the radical WIMP desktop and was essentially an ARM port of the BBC's MOS.

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Music publisher BMG vs US cable giant Cox: Here's why it matters

Wilseus
Headmaster

Also it's "break down," not "breakdown." (Break down is what your car does, a breakdown is the thing that's happened.) This drives me absolutely nuts (login/log in is another) but at least it's not as bad as people using "nevermind" instead of "never mind" since there's no such word as the former. There's no such word as anytime or thankyou either!

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Meet ARM1, grandfather of today's mobe, tablet CPUs – watch it crunch code live in a browser

Wilseus

Re: MLA

Oops, that IS wrong, the shifts are incorrect. It should be:

MOV R1,R0,ASL#8 ;multiply R0 by 256 and store in R1

ADD R1,R1,R0,ASL#6 ;multiply R0 by 64 and add to R1

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Wilseus

Re: MLA

IIRC the MUL and MLA instructions didn't exist on the ARM1 but were added to the ARM2 (which I think was otherwise pretty much identical) because Acorn's engineers came to realise that the chip would be embarassingly slow for certain operations without a hardware multiply.

Neither instruction was particularly fast though, they were several times slower than the other, simpler ALU operations. You could multiply a register with a constant *much* faster by using the MOV, ADD or SUB instruction in combination with the "free" barrel shifter, something like this example which multiples R0 by 320 (a common operation in games on the Arc where you'd need to calculate the start address of a line on a MODE 13 screen)

MOV R1,R0,ASR#8 ;multiply R0 by 256 and store in R1

ADD R1,R1,R0,ASR#6 ;multiply R0 by 64 and add to R1

I think that's right, my ARM code is pretty rusty these days.

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One-armed bandit steals four hours of engineer's busy day

Wilseus

I used to work as a programmer for a slot machine company...

...possibly the same one as SH. I never got a satisfactory answer from my boss as to why they didn't use 30p LEDs instead of bulbs, and would consequently almost never need changing.

The reduced current consumption of LEDs would probably have stopped the lamp boards catching fire (yes, really) when too many bulbs were switched on, as well. When my colleague asked "how many bulbs is it safe to have on at once?" all he got was the answer, "we don't know, just don't turn too many on at once."

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Astronomers catch first sighting of a planet's birth pangs

Wilseus

Re: out by quite a lot

Ah, the distance figure originally being vastly out, explains why I was confused by this statement, "The protoplanet has been called "LkCa 15 b" and is located 450 light years away from Earth, meaning that by now it will probably be well formed" given that 450 years is absolutely nothing in the time scale of planet formation. I guess the part after the comma needs to be removed as well!

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Red dwarf superflares batter formerly 'habitable' exoplanet

Wilseus
Headmaster

Re: Extreme age?

No one actually knows what happens to red dwarfs in their old age because the universe isn't nearly old enough yet for any to have aged sufficiently. The last time I read about this it was hypothesised that due to their complete internal convection, unlike our own Sun, as they run out of hydrogen to fuse they will shrink and become hotter and bluer in order to maintain equilibrium. Whether they would then enter in some sort of mini-red giant stage before turning into a mini-white dwarf, I don't know.

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Team MIPS tries to spoil ARM's party with new 64-bit Warrior, 32-bit microcontroller brains

Wilseus

Re: @Wilseus Optimistic?

Thanks, yes I know all about O-O-O then, I just didn't recognise the acronym!

From what I can gather that's one of the things that ARM's big.LITTLE can differentiates between: a device ticks over using a low power consumption non-O-O-O core, but switches to a high-performance core when needed.

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Wilseus

Re: Optimistic?

Please forgive my ignorance, but can anyone explain to me what O-O-O means in this context? Google wasn't much help in this instance.

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Linus looses Linux 4.3 on a waiting world

Wilseus
Mushroom

"Easily done when everybody seems to think that lose is spelled loose these days."

Not everybody. Only illiterate morons.

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Get 'em out for the... readers: The Sun scraps its online paywall

Wilseus

Re: I've never understood why Murdoch is so hated

"For starters because he is a tax-dodgeing opportunist. Just my 2 cents."

Just like the owners of the Guardian then.

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Bosch, you suck! Dyson says VW pal cheated in vacuum cleaner tests

Wilseus

Re: Bad tests and worse marketing

Thinking about the kettle thing some more, it does make a certain amount of sense: a lower powered kettle that takes ages to boil might encourage people to not overfill the thing. That's the only logic I can see in it anyway.

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Wilseus

Re: Bad tests and worse marketing

"They use too much power, same as kettles, they are having their power usage cut as well."

PLEASE tell me that's a joke.

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Ireland moves to scrap 1 and 2 cent coins

Wilseus

Re: Makes sense

"5 Euro coins exist, but are rarely seen."

The same is true for £5 coins.

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How long does it take an NHS doctor to turn on a computer?

Wilseus

Re: I still can't get my head round this one

"Ignore me if you're the only educational institution I've ever heard of that doesn't run on Windows."

Back when I was at school, that was about half of them!

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How much do UK cops pay for Microsoft licences? £30 a head or £137? Both

Wilseus

Re: Why pay fees at all?

"Much though I love Linux, the idea of a distro originated by the government sounds like sheer hell."

Perhaps, but I'm sure you get the general gist of what I am saying!

I was of course making the naive assumption that they would put someone in charge of that who knows what they are doing, and would them alone to actually do their job!

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Wilseus

Why pay fees at all?

What I want to know is why are government departments spending taxpayers' money on these products at all?

Why are they not using software with no licence fees, such as a government standardised version of Linux instead of Windows, Postgre SQL instead of Oracle etc?

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US Treasury: How did ISIS get your trucks? Toyota: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Wilseus

Re: Err...geeee... I dunno??? Get detective Steakout on the case!

"The VIN is on the block, on the dash and drivers door. Also, the title paperwork, stolen along with the vehicle, is probably still in the glove box."

Yes, but would you like to be the person to go into ISIS territory and collect that information? They seem to take a dim view of spies, if caught they tend to end up with their heads chopped off, and they are the lucky ones.

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Linux kernel dev who asked Linus Torvalds to stop verbal abuse quits over verbal abuse

Wilseus

Re: to quote from Bill and Ted

"Primus were more life changing than the awfully corny plastic rock they ended up being..."

I'm a big fan of many kinds of alternative rock, but I've never really "got" Primus, none of their stuff I have heard has done anything for me.

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The Steve Jobs of supercomputers: We remember Seymour Cray

Wilseus

It's a shame

I've always wondered if we'll ever return to the days of interesting, elegant hardware rather than everything using banks of shitty, off the shelf x86 chips. This doesn't just apply to supercomputing either, but Macs, SGI workstations and games consoles as well.

Perhaps the pendulum will swing back again sometime in the future and there'll be the next Seymour Cray ready and waiting to come up with something fascinating.

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Dodgy amphetamines drive drug-crazed man on to pub roof

Wilseus

"They were contaminated with active ingredient as opposed to talcum powder."

That reminds me of an old Alexei Sayle quote, "It was really good stuff, you know, it was only about nine-fifths Harpic."

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Lies from VW: 'Our staff acted criminally but board didn't know'

Wilseus

Re: but what are they going to do?

"There is a precedent - Nissan Almera seatbelts a few years back. They were specifically checking if the cars have the fix on the next MOT."

Seatbelts are a bit different from engine management software! How exactly would an MOT station check for this? If the cars passed the emissions testing on their last MOT, they'll pass it on the next one as well. AFAIK MOT stations don't have the equipment to download the engine management software anyway, never mind analyse it.

EDIT: I re-read your post and I now realise they they have an actual list of "refuseniks."

That being the case, and I owned an affected car that I was obliged to have "fixed", which then gave me poor performance, then I'd simply pay to have the car remapped afterwards.

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11 MILLION VW cars used Dieselgate cheatware – what the clutch, Volkswagen?

Wilseus

Re: GBP £

I'm on a UK site - Tick

I'm reading an article on said UK site - Tick

So glad they included £ GBP figures along with those US dollars and Euros!

*cough*

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All in all, it's just another hit in the stalls: Roger Waters The Wall

Wilseus

Re: "The Wall" was never the best Floyd IMHO

" I never really liked this piece. Sure, tracks like Comfortably Numb are great but there is a lot of dross (IMHO)."

This. The double album of The Wall always was an overblown Waters solo project, with an LP's worth of half decent material stretched out onto two LPs, and the less said about The Final Cut, the better. A far superior "Waters-era Floyd" album is Animals.

It's interesting that the track from The Wall that stands out the most is the only one where Gilmour had any real input.

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Pirate MEP: Microsoft's walled garden is no consumer pleasure park

Wilseus

"Anyone fancy pointing me at any handy guides for running a Windows 7 VM in Linux?"

I don't know of a particular guide offhand, but it's pretty easy to do. I use VirtualBox: it's free, powerful and it works!

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Dell, Google dangle Chromebooks over IT bosses sick of Windows

Wilseus

"@IJC

Have you made any post that wasn't Windows astroturfing?"

I just had a look at some of his other posts. I barely managed one page before wanting to poke my eyes out with the nearest sharp object I could find.

He's like an inverse-Eadon.

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MORE Windows 10 bugs! Too many Start menu apps BREAK it

Wilseus

Re: idiotic attitudes all round

"Or have we reached the stage where we don't trust the biggest software company in the world to make software that actually fucking works?"

Some would say we reached that stage about 30 years ago.

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Wilseus

Re: the 640k quote

"People with Unix workstations (this was long before Linux existed) laughed at PC limitations"

And people who owned Macintoshes, Amigas, STs, Archimedes, in fact pretty much any non-Intel-based system, all of which made PCs of the time look stupid.

I still view the fact that we have all ended up being stuck with x86 hardware, is an aberration that should never have happened!

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Hurrah! Windfarms produce whopping ONE PER CENT of EU energy

Wilseus

Re: Why's this a story?

"This reads like nothing more than a promo brochure for the nuclear industry."

Maybe so, but it makes a refreshing change from the usual anti-nuclear nonsense being proliferated virtually everywhere else on the net, such as the latest "mutant daisies caused by Fukushima" nonsense!

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WHAT ARE the 'WEIRD' SPOTS seen on far-flung PLUTO?

Wilseus

Re: I vaguely remember reading somewhere...

"But it's completely wrong..."

Perhaps I am wrong, I often am. But I'd rather be wrong sometimes than be a smug twat who hides behind the "Anonymous Coward" handle.

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Wilseus

Re: It's and it's

"your grammar teacher should also have explained that apostrophes are also used to indicate possession"

I vaguely remember reading somewhere that using an apostrophe for possession is in fact a contraction of a construct that is no longer used:

Pluto's moon is a contraction of Pluto its moon.

Similarly, Tom's car is a contraction of Tom his car.

I'm not sure how this would have worked for women though, e.g. Alison's car != Alison her car, perhaps it's a throwback to times when everything belonged to the man of the household!

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Apple to replace DODGY hard drives that go BELLY UP in 27-inch iMac

Wilseus

Re: These are the real Deathstars!

Haha as soon as I saw the headline of this article I thought "Seagate?"

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It's OK – this was an entirely NEW type of cockup, says RBS

Wilseus

Re: du -sh

"No, my theory is that little bobby tables has finally signed up for a bank account."

Excellent reference there. Have an up-vote!

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