* Posts by Putters

52 posts • joined 23 Aug 2012

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You can always rely on the Ancient Ones to cock things up

Putters

Artificial Intelligence is Difficult

Artificial Intelligence is difficult ... but Artificial Bloody Mindedness has been perfected and is in action every day.

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Picture this: An exabyte of cat pix in the space of a sugar cube of DNA

Putters

Re: A writeable CD left on window sill

Magnetic media seems to last quite well, even under less than ideal storage conditions.

Eg the games that went with the Spectrum I sold a year or two ago, including the home recorded "backups", loaded quite happily (mid 1980s)

Similarly the QL microdrive cartridges, the Atari 3.5" disks and the IBM PC XT 5 1/4" disks, as well as the 10 meg hard drive (late 80's).

Just stored in cardboard boxes in the (distinctly non temperature controlled) loft.

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Dropping 1,000 cats from 32km: How practical is that?

Putters

Opportunity ...

... to find out how high a frozen dead cat bounce is from that height given the starting temperature ?

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Neighbour sick of you parking in his driveway? You'd better hack-proof your car

Putters

Lucas Electrics

Not for nothing has Lucas been referred to before now as the Prince of Darkness (of the dashboard) in the classic car world ...

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Woman scales Ben Nevis wielding selfie stick instead of ice axe

Putters

Can I drive my car up there ?

Why not - it's been done before (7h23mins up, less than 2hrs down) :

1928 - http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/local/angus-the-mearns/memento-of-famous-ben-nevis-exploit-to-be-auctioned-in-angus-1.70708

Note that he was inspired by a Pathe film of someone who'd done it twice in "an American Ford" - so I'm guessing a Model T ....

EDIT - found another link - it was a 1911 Model T : http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/may-1996/74/top-ben-nevis

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Furious English villagers force council climbdown over Satan's stone booty

Putters

The Old Photo in the Beeb article ...

... has the correct solution. Put the lamp post back !

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Swede builds steam-powered Raspberry Pi. Nowhere to plug in micro-USB, then?

Putters

Re: El Reg suspects his dad might have given him a hand... ®

Still got the Mamod engine in the loft - decidedly used, but still in (most of) it's box. An early enough one to have the meths trough and not the solid fuel blocks.

For some reason my grandad decided that it was an ideal present for a 3 year old boy ...

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Domino's trials trundling four-wheeled pizza delivery bot

Putters

Simples !

First thing that sprang to mind when I saw your comment was that they could use the same solution as Mary Mungo and Midge

http://www.davethewave.co.uk/mary-mungo-midge/big-jpg/lift%20button3.jpg

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You say I mustn’t write down my password? Let me make a note of that

Putters

Clear Desk

We had a clear desk policy after a little incident at the office block where I worked.

http://www.highrisefirefighting.co.uk/cstelstar.html

We were based on the 6th Floor (the fun started on the 7th). What was very noticeable was that the stuff that was in cupboards and desk drawers etc survived. Stuff that was on desks was water damaged and, in many cases, had sprouted quite a lot of green hair and possibly some new antibiotics - as it was a few days before anyone could get safe access to recover it, and there was a lot of moisture in what was for some reason quite a warm building ...

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Official: Toshiba pulls out of European consumer PC market

Putters

Goodbye Tosh ...

Saw the headline, and the first thing that sprang to mind was "Hello Tosh, got a Toshiba" !

It's over thirty years since that ad ... feeling old :O(

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Boffins: There's a ninth planet out there – now we just need to find it

Putters

Well, that answers an earlier Reg question ...

... http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/10/30/has_voyager_1_escaped_the_sun_yet_yes_but_also_no_say_boffins/

The answer would appear to be a resounding NO.

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How to build a real lightsabre

Putters

Re: A lightsaber in the right hand is by far the deadliest weapon to be found in the universe

The word you are looking for is ambisinister - incompetent with either hand :o)

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Kids' TV show Rainbow in homosexual agenda shocker

Putters

Am I missing something.

Hmm - three "non human" characters.

None of whom has identifiable gender - Bungle, a six foot bear with a suspiciously high voice for such a creature, a pink hippo (George - short for Georgia, Georgina ?) and Zippy - and I still don't know what Zippy was, let alone gender.

So, forget the homosexuality. If you're gonna bitch about something, bitch about the interspecies sex !

George and Zippy don't have anything below the waist to walk with, let alone misbehave with ...

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Downloads for Windows 10 November big-bang build axed by Microsoft

Putters

Is this the Cumulative update from mid November ?

If so, the damn thing has tried to update several times so far, only to complain it "couldn't complete the update" and then "restoring to previous setting", or something like that anyhow. Phaffed around for a couple of hours last night trying to either stop it attempting to install or successfully install it and gave up. Got a PC with a boot time of about 10 minutes as a result at present.

If I could get the missus's "Work from Home" to work on the playing-around-with-Linux box upstairs, then this (the main PC) would go the same way ... my Work from Home works on it and the bits of Office 2010 we use too, so I don't think I'd miss much.

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Short weekend break: Skegness or exoplanet HD 189733b?

Putters

Re: Skeggie? Why oh why?

I reckon Sunny Hunny is the reason why I work with computers. Went to the school you see as you go up the hill into the town. When a northeasterly was whipping the sleet in off the winter North Sea, any sane individual would go and find the Commodore Pet's in the comuter room rather than play football.

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It's come to this for IBM: Watson is now a gimmick app on the iPhone

Putters

Maybe I'm reading to much into this

There's a tendency with results like "kids like lego" to dismiss them as obvious - especially in Headlines, but generally such results are actually just some hacks over simplistic summary. Similar to "Sugar makes you fat" - well, Duh, yes, but the interesting part is "how much sugar makes you gain weight at what rate, from what starting conditions, under what other dietary conditions, environment and exercise levels"

Eg in this case, I'm sure that there was a relative popularity of lego compared to the next whatever-kids-are-interested-in. Ie some quantitative analysis / results.

And I found it interesting (got to go Christmas shopping for the nephew's prezzie yet) that the popular lego(s?) were those that were more generic over the themed ones - an example of the less obvious result hiding in the Duh-Generic.

Also, back to the point of the article, great to know that large scale analytics can be made available easily to the general population, instead of just applying those in academic ivory towers and the great unwashed of the marketing "profession" trying to flog us stuff.

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Exam board in 'send all' fail: Hands up who knows what the BCC button is for?

Putters

CC and BCC

Funny how we still use CarbonCopy and BlindCarbonCopy ... surely it should be EC (Email/Electronic - take your pick) Copy ?

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FBI probed SciFi author Ray Bradbury for plot to glum-down America

Putters

Re: FBI sponsored?

I've always found it amusing how, when discussing British History (and in particular, invasion of the mainland) that the last time a large army - 11,000 foot and 4,000 mounted troops - landed and deposed the rightful-by-the-rules-of-succession, albeit unpopular, king ...

1688 and all that.

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Huge explosion kills 44+ in China, blasts nearby supercomputer offline

Putters

Mark85 "I just can't imagine storing what appears to be explosives/chemicals going off in the middle of a city."

Anything they can do we can do first - including stupidly purifying explosives in a major built up area.

http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2012/03/25/the-memorial-to-londons-largest-ever-explosion/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvertown_explosion

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HP slaps dress code on R&D geeks: Bin that T-shirt, put on this tie

Putters

Not just the smelly feet, nobody else walking barefoot wants to share your verruca.

Maybe we can get one of those little footpools they have in swimming pools installed ?

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2015 Fiat 500 fashionista, complete with facelift

Putters

Sorry, you were driving it wrong ! Its a Fiat, so you have to thrash the nuts off it, then thrash it again as a rental. Our little sojourn in Sardinia was a few weeks ago with a 1.2 Panda. Absolute hoot. First gear is a driving gear, not a getting started gear, and that rev counter red lines a 6,300. Especially up that funny little roundabout in Abbiadori. We christened it Timmi after the well behaved but hyperactive kid staying at our hotel.

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The Great Barrier Relief – Inside London's heavy metal and concrete defence act

Putters

Operational since 1982 but not "Continuously"

For all the back-ups etc, the Barrier was not a barrier for several days in October 1992 (just in time for the high autumn tides and bad weather, note) courtesy of the MV Sand Kite.

From Wiki : "On 27 October 1997, the barrier was damaged when the dredger MV Sand Kite, operating in thick fog, collided with one of the Thames Barrier's piers. As the ship started to sink she dumped her 3,300 tonne load of aggregate, finally sinking by the bow on top of one of the barrier's gates where she lay for several days. Initially the gate could not be closed as it was covered in a thick layer of gravel. A longer term problem was the premature loss of paint on the flat side of the gate caused by abrasion. One estimate of the cost of flooding damage, had it occurred, was around £13 billion.[14] The vessel was refloated in mid-November 1997."

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Sir Terry remembered: Dickens' fire, Tolkien's imagination, and the wit of Wodehouse

Putters

Both my favourite authors gone now ...

First George MacDonald Fraser* and now Terry Pratchett*. Their two series account for about 50% of the fiction on paper in my house.

No more Sir Harry and now no more Rincewind :o(

* I wonder if it's just because I like long footnotes ? They just don't work so well in ebooks !

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Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register

Putters

Thunderbolt !

You might like this one too - the guy built it to take a number of British Speed records that were set in the 1930's - before most world speed efforts went to the states etc - and, more importantly, do it in the spirit of the way the records were set, not in some modern vehicle that could do it relatively easily.

So he built this : http://www.vintagebentleys.com/Thunderbolt%20Gallery.html

http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/june-2004/93/cobbs-records-finally-beaten

Saw it at a local show some decade ago - standing within 6ft of the exhausts when it was started was some experience!

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Toyota to launch hydrogen (ie, NATURAL GAS) powered fuel cell hybrid

Putters

Link to Telegraph Article

Link to Telegraph Article on this car - some details here about their plans for the fuel stations and their in car storage of the hydrogen etc. May answer a few of the questions being raised here :

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/cars/toyota/mirai/

And yes - for another $3000 (US) you can have a 9kW power takeoff to run your house too ... a tankful supplying a week's power apparently.

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Thought the toilet camera was weird? Try actual thumb flash drives from tech's supershow

Putters
Coat

Re: It's a weebil

The Sailor weebil was the only one that could be stood on its head ...

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Lifesize, driveable AIR-POWERED LEGO CAR hits the road

Putters

Re: Surely... Deltic

Looked it up, nice. Taking the Junkers into three dimensions in a, well ... um, delta shape :o)

Might be a bit heavy as an aero engine tho ...

As we seem to have strayed into the odd engines thread - can I also volunteer that wonder of the road, the Commer TS3 - three cylinder, 6 horizontally opposed pistons but only 1 crankshaft. Compact, flat and designed to be maintained !

http://www.flickr.com/photos/31486821@N02/galleries/72157628859068527

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Putters

Re: Surely...

The article does indeed say orbital engine, but reading your wiki ref suggests very much that this is not the case ...

I suspect that the power plant is a horizonal stack of radial engines - though the even number of cylinders would be unusual (radials and rotaries normally have an odd number) - looks like 16 cyclinders per layer, and four blocks of four layers each.

"Back in the day, people tried all sorts of weird stuff" - my personal favourite (which I saw first in a 1930's set of books called "Modern High Speed Diesel Engines") is the Junkers 12 piston 6 cyclinder diesel Aero engine.

Those of us who like wierd old kit will really appreciate this ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junkers_Jumo_205

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2QxEXYlc2w

http://www.enginehistory.org/Diesels/CH4.pdf

http://www.billzilla.org/Junkers1.jpg

Those o

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Putters
FAIL

Re: Surely...Wrong ! But ...

... I can see why.

Pistonless Rotary engines like the Wankel engine have no pistons. But ordinary rotary engines do have pisons - though they look very similar to radial engines. The difference is that in the former the crankshaft is fixed and the cylinders rotate, the latter is the more conventional fixed cyclinders and rotating shaft.

Wiki is your friend here :

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

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

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

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

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You gotta fight for your copyright ... Beastie Boys sue toymaker over TV ad

Putters

Parody or B******disation ?

Parody or Bastardisation ?

B******disation - practically any ad that takes a classic track, cuts and pastes in the company name where it sounds similar to the original lyrics and pens some trite crap to string it all together with the original tune (Evergreen lawn treatment is particularly and painfully guilty of this)

Parody - the Barron Knights spring immediately to mind.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqq5uvyg-Qe0QPOgl4d372bFRhNmbsSGG

All together now - "There's a dentist in Birmingham ... "

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Hear that? It's the sound of BadBIOS wannabe chatting over air gaps

Putters

Re: Meh...

Given the nature of the systems that they were talking about - and the likelihood that they would be some kind of warning system, turning off the Bing on the Box That Goes Bing just might not be the greatest idea ...

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Keeping warm in winter the el Reg way: Setting a NAS box ON FIRE

Putters

Bellringing

Religion works less well than most things re lightning. As many German pastors found out prior to the invention of the lightening conductor.

Mind you, the habit of going into the tallest building in the village and ringing the bells to scare aware the demons was probably not an inconsiderable factor in the death toll ...

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MY EYES! Earth engulfed by BRIGHTEST EVER killer gamma-ray burst

Putters

The "interesting" number ...

... is the 20 hours.

Meaning that, should something similar happen closer, the whole of the earth's surface will be irradiated, not just a significant percentage.*

*OK, that assumes the event being approximately in the plane of the earths rotation ...

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How my batch process nightmare was solved by a Wombat

Putters
Facepalm

Can't be co-incidence (can it ?)

Many many moons ago when I was a spotty trainee at Philips had the joys of bashing around in VMS. When you typed HELP, it gave a list of commands.

The last one on the list was WOMBAT.

Typing HELP WOMBAT gave the following response - "A Wombat is a small Australian marsupial "

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Alarming tales: What goes on INSIDE Reg hack's hi-tech bedroom

Putters

Re: All hail the mighty teasmade!!!

Used to have an early - 1950's/1960's (I'm not THAT old, but did like picking up old tech) teasmade on the bedside table. One of these if I'm not mistaken :

http://www.retonthenet.co.uk/vintage-hawkins-patent-tecal-electric-teasmade-1950s-alarm-clock-teasmaid-tea-maker-caffettiera-3295-p.asp

Had a very slooooooow boiling kettle - would start hissing and gurgling about 15mins before achieving boiling point. If you woke up during this phase it was "nice". Then it would eject the boiling water - hopefully into the pot you'd placed adjacent to the machine, and the whole thing would counterbalance forward with a hefty clonk, the light would come one and it would buzz like a demented vibrator. Waking up at this point was "not nice" !

Never satisfactarily solved the problem of keeping the milk cold in the teacup overnight though (old enough to pre-date cheap mini fridges) ...

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Double-click? Oh how conventional of you, darling!

Putters

Re: Standards...

Not quite handbrake on the roof, but about 10 years ago I used to run around in a 1960 Humber Super Snipe. Column change auto (nice) and handbrake between the (bench) seat and the drivers door.

Due to it's unreliability and thirst for fuel (20 mpg on a run, 14 round town) I used to fairly regularly hire cars - and barked knuckles from the door pocket that the handbrake had inexplicably changed in to were a common injury as a result

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Beam me up? Not in the life of this universe

Putters

Re: Trekker alert!!

Also explored in one of only two good cartoons (the other being The Cat Came Back" -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bETCusT5kNM )from the National Film Board of Canada

"To Be" by John Weldon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdxucpPq6Lc

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Upturned boat sails to Shed of the Year title

Putters
FAIL

Re: Always be suspicious...

Didn't stop the guy who owned the luxury flats we could see from the Docklands Light Railway on the approach to Bank (just before the descent into the tunnel) when I used to work near Canary Wharf. He'd installed his shed on his balcony ...

... also didn't stop a work colleague (a lady of a "certain age" who spoke with an accent that would cut glass and a vocabulary that would etch it), on having it's existence pointed out to her, proclaiming it "what a marvellous erection" at full volume on a crowded DLR train ...

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How Alan Turing wanted to base EDSAC's memory on BOOZE

Putters
Facepalm

In my student renting days ...

... lodged in Cambridge. For some reason the guy that owned the house had a plasic bottle of mercury in the cupboard on the stairs - must have been a couple of kilograms in weight.

Mind you, he also had a couple of gallons of neat caustic soda in there too - he tried to clean the bath with it and took the enamel off back to the metal ...

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Live or let dial - phones ain’t what they used to be

Putters

Sad and Blue

Not quite having to plug in an analog phone, but recently had to dig around in the loft for a test phone to shove in after a thunderstorm had fritzed the housephones. The one I found at least had push buttons but also a sad and blue Mercury button ....

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Apple's screw-up leaves tethered iPhones easily crackable

Putters
Coffee/keyboard

Re: 0118 999 881 999 119 7253

For some reason, read that and the number

01 811 8055

popped into my head.

It will ring bells if you are uk based, old enough, and have an autistic streak when it comes to numbers (oh, and if your mum wouldn't let you watch that TisWas on ITV)

2
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... time machine. Iranian Dr Who claims he invented a ...

Putters
Windows

Professor Pinero ?

The process sounds remarkably like that of Mr Heinlein's 1939 creation ...

Wiki : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life-Line

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Another 170,000 Freeview homes to be freed from reality TV - possibly

Putters
Windows

Re: Why don't you...

Ahh - either very young - or not in the UK ...

This might be enlightening : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRUhjFF5a6Y

Wiki : "Why Don't You? or Why Don't You Just Switch Off Your Television Set and Go and Do Something Less Boring Instead? was a BBC children's television series broadcast in 42 series between 20 August 1973 and 21 April 1995."

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Big Data: Why it's not always that big nor even that clever

Putters
Facepalm

You're kidding, right ?

"If a company that’s been around for years suddenly argues that it needs Big Data techniques to run its business, it must mean that either [...] or it's been hobbling along forever with systems that don’t quite work. Either of those claims would be hard to believe."

The second is all too believeable, and is keeping me in a job right now ...

5
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El Reg contemplates the ultimate cuppa

Putters
Alert

Really Bad Tea

As a Scots friend of mine preferred her tea ...

Take 1 mug.

Fill 2/3 with boiling water.

Add 1/3 cup milk.

Add 3 sugars

Take teabag and dunk in watery milk ONCE. DO NOT STIR. DO NOT SQUEEZE TEABAG. JUST DUNK.

Attempt to claim resulting sickly sweet, slightly beige, transulcent mixture is a Cup of Tea

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Under cap-and-trade, flying is greener than taking the bus

Putters
Stop

Re: Doublespeak

As a native of King's Lynn, I'll reply in song ...

"In praise of our county we're going to sing

Against this fine place we will not hear a thing.

If you speak ill about it, you speak a falsehood

For our native county is Norfolk and good.

Norfolk and good, Norfolk and good

We are the boys who are Norfolk and good."

(Lyrics by The Kipper Family)

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Kick your computer... before it kicks you

Putters

Re: A.B- Sorry

Sorry - thought the damn thing hadn't posted earlier ...

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Putters
Alert

A.B

Artificial Intelligence is proving a little difficult, but Artificial Bloodymindedness has been with us for a while

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Putters
Alert

A.B.

Artificial Intelligence may still be an aspiration, but Artificial Bloodymindedness is a well established phenomenon.

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The hoarder's dilemma, or 'Why can't I throw anything away?'

Putters

Can you see what it is yet

Most of the spitzensparken kit in the loft ebayed last year - including two Speccys (and associated Alphacom and Zx printers, Interface 1 and 2, Microdrive, DKtronics keyboard), 1 QL with working microdrives, 1 Psion Series 3, and IBM PC XT, a portable valve radio and a portable imperial typewriter (ok pushing the defn with that last one)

The Atari ST didn't sell, happily.

Two working valve radios remain (including one with the Radio Rentals logo from when they used to rent out their own brand radios) and so does, joy of joys, a fully working ...

... Rolf Harris Stylophone :O)

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