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* Posts by David Haig

67 posts • joined 4 Jan 2007

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Troll hunter Rackspace turns Rotatable's bizarro patent to stone

David Haig
Thumb Up

Re: Another feature I could live without...

Upvote for the Communicator - had every one from the 9000 "brick" onwards to its demise as the e90. Some of the keyboards were better than others, and towards the end the software lagged behind the smartphones, but as a business phone brilliant. Fax, data and voice - ideal for setting up multifunction printers 'on site'.

They don't make them like that anymore .....

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Eight EXCELLENT languages for the fondleslab-friendly Intranet of Thingies

David Haig

Clipper - there's a blast from the past!

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Soylent Corporation prepares to DEFEAT FOOD

David Haig
Pint

God's own food?

"A substance whose creators aim to "free your body" from the need to eat solids ever again"

Isn't that Guinness?

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Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7in Android tablet review

David Haig

Steve Hillage

Wow, Steve Hillage .... Must dig out the old Gong / Planet Gong vinyl, there's no way it would have made it to digital ....

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

David Haig

Re: Same boat

And somewhere I've got the HP calculator thingy that it plugs into.

I think it's with the HP 100 hand held which had a stylus and keyboard, ran graffiti and came out at the same time as the Newton. And all the nokia communicators are still boxed (9000 - 9500)

No garage anymoreso it's all in the back of the car ....

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Slideshow: A History of the Smartphone in 20 Handsets

David Haig

Re: Nokia 9000

Had every Communicator from 9000 to 9500, still have them, and their boxes (I'm that kind of geek) loved them all. Missed out on the e series - no fax, how do you install mfp's without testing the fax - until the E7-00 belle. Usable, good looking, great screen but no a Communicator.

Ps once got pulled by the police with a 9000 in my jacket pocket- they classed it as an offensive weapon!

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Blazing new comet may OUTSHINE THE MOON in 2013

David Haig

Re: Have they checked for 100 mile long spaceships nearby?

Nothing wrong with naked space vampires of the (insert gender here) kind

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LOHAN rolls out racy rocketry round-up

David Haig

Re: battery disconnect from heater

How about a 1 inch audio jack plug and socket? Have used this technique to power a dress made of fairylights (before leds) on stage. 2 x 12volt lead acids desguised as a 'dougal' dog on wheels, cable up the lead to jack / socket which pushed together to turn on the dress, pull apart for off. Inbetween lots of prancing around so connction had to be impervious to shaking etc but easily separated with a straight pull.

Only thing to remember is the socket should be conected to the batteries - doing it the other way round can cause at least a one octave shiftt higher in your local panto dame's voice....

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BOFH: Shove your project managementry up your mailbox!

David Haig
Pint

Thank you Simon - Crap week, great Friday now!

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Ten... Qwerty mobiles

David Haig
Happy

More Nokia

What about the wonderful E7? Or any of the E / Communicator series?

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Pope's PR says Vatican in grip of WikiLeaks-style scandal

David Haig

@Burn them all as witches (AC)

Miracles - Boring stuff about raising the dead, visions of fully clothed virgins, occasional wedding with water cabernet sauvignon.

Witches - Fully undressed virgins in the flesh, significant amounts of herbal stimulants, boring stuff about raising the Devil ...

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Shakira attacked by sea lion who mistook BlackBerry for a 'fish'

David Haig
Go

@I aint Spartacus

The bad news is that they already did it - unfortunately using real people not celebs and allowing long lenses. Can't remember what it was called though .... But Channel 5 might be interested in reviving it even if it would cull most of its presenters

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Christmas headaches? We prescribe a year long course of BOFH

David Haig
Happy

And the other T-Shirt ....

"Your PC's Broken .... And I've got a problem?"

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Word and Excel creator: How Gates, Jobs and HAL shaped Office

David Haig
Flame

@John 62

Rayburn - better for heating

Aga - Better for CAKES!

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Stonehenge finds hint at rituals far more ancient than the stones

David Haig
Happy

Nice one Sutekh!

But, has anyone every wondered why ancient man would have bothered to make a Summer solstice based Sun powered calender / computer /observatory / temple /abbatoir in the UK? With our weather, the chances are they never got to see if it worked.

Now if they'd invented a rain powered version .....

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Huge PDP-11 in a lorry: How I drove computers into schools

David Haig
Happy

PDP4/7

Late seventies Aldermaston replaced their PDP4/7. They couldn't sell it, for obvious reasons, so they gave it to a school outside Reading - but all the manuals were 'unavailable' under the official secrets act (they let us have lead boxes with 1/2 inch tapes in that had 'Danger - exposed in irradiated area' on the box but didn't give us the pin out for connecting the D-Type connectors from teletype to CPU).

It arrived on a flat bed in two CPU / core memory towers, a teletype, light pen & screen, a startup unit with flipper switches similar to the PDP11 and a 1inch bootstrap reel to reel, with two 1/2 inch tape drives all at 110 volts (with the most dangerous 110/120 - 230/240 transformer I have ever seen). Luckily, the PDP team at Digital in Reading wanted a look at the machine - they'd been denied access whilst it was in a British military establishment. - and we got it fired up as a bunch of 15 -18 year olds running Fortran 77.

May not have got it to do as much as our PDP11 (argghhh moon landing sim on papertape) or Apple II (god knows how we got hold of that) but learnt a lot about computers from one that needed a whole room to work in.... Best time in my computer life, and that core memory - fix it with a wire wrap tool!

Mind you, typing up a lighting plot on a telex machine - some other bugger had nicked the Lisa - was another highlight of necessity over technology....

And they don't know how good they've got it now!

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The new touchy-feely Doctor Who trend: Worrying

David Haig
Happy

Ok ...

Couple of things ....

Was once in the Coach & Horses (if you don't know where this is ...) with Dr Who (Tom Baker) when Romana (Lalla Ward) phoned Norman (Landlord) to send him home for tea ...

And the second thing, RTD and SM have tried to put an 'overarching' story (very American series) into Dr Who - nothing wrong with that - and upped the production values to those of the new US series. But 'The Twilight Zone' (original) had the same tacky sets and puns as the first Dr. Whos so they learnt from us, and later, we them. I enjoyed the early 70's Dr Who / Blake's Seven / etc as it and I were of that time, and I like the new ones since Ecclestone as they are 'of this time', as is the new Gallactica and the revamped Star Treks.

But the spinoffs - That prequel to Gallactica, and Torchwood on this side of the Pond, don't really measure up - liked the idea of Miracle Day but there really was only 5 episodes of material there.

Sorry, where were we .....?

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Where are all the decent handheld scribbling tools?

David Haig
Thumb Up

@Andrew Garrard

Hope you're speaking of the Toshiba Libretto - brilliant little machine with everything you need (admittedly small full colour screen, nearly full size keyboard, hard drive, proper 'hibernate' mode that actually worked) in a case just bigger than the original Nokia Communicator. Had it as my main machine for years until some b******d nicked it. Could use it as a full laptop (used to configure routers/switches/muxes with it) or as a note taker / word processor. Wouldn't mind another now.

Oh, and then Nokia got it right with the next 2 Communicators - 9000, 9100 - which, once you got into the keyboards, could be very quick for typing (and had a fax machine built in! - amazing how many times you need to send a test fax when installing these Multi purpose printers! Got a new E7 now but it's not quite the same ......

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SSL authority stops issuing certificates following breach

David Haig

@s.Pam

No offence, but the people who read El Reg know what a CA is - the targets for any SSL/CA fraudulent attack don't - for example they just want to go shopping on the internet and think it's as safe as your local mall - they wouldn't expect to have their CC cloned in a shop, so they don't think it will happen on line.

It is up to those of us that have the way withal to make electronic 'life' as secure as we can - we should have a fair grasp of what can be sublimated and we need to protect the general user as much as we can.

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An ode to rent-a-nerds and cable monkeys

David Haig
Pint

@Trevor_Pott

Can I defend the developer please? All they do is take the specification from users / PM's / bloke in the pub*, ask the pertinent question 'Is that EXACTLY what you want ? There's no other way you will use this programme?' get the reply 'Yes, that's all we want' and build what's been asked for. Along the way they supply mock ups and test beds for the users to test, and await feedback as to whether they have grasped the essence of what is required.

Finally they hand over the finished product to the project sponsor, who at last gives it to the users that will actually use it only to find that they don't actually work the way that has been described to the developer. Nobody in control asked the right people about what they wanted! Developer now demoralised and bald, due to all the hair pulling.

Sysadmin arrives to try and wedge square programme into round hole - blaming developer, who is now completely bolshy as it is a fixed price contract. No surprises the sparks fly.

Meanwhile, some beancounter with o-level VBA has created a workround in Excel that does what the users want but the internal logic is known only to them and users some form of self modifying macro linked to multiple other worksheets. Works fine till he/she leaves and collapses in heap 2 days later. Now its both the Sysadmin's and Developer's problem.

By the way, I'm on both sides here - and I've done the func spec stuff as well. In the end, never trust anything you are told in a meeting called to thrash out a spec - find the person who is actually going to use the software and take them to the pub ......

* = The bloke in the pub probably has a better grasp of what he wants than the others - once (in a former life) had a designer draw a plan for a stage set on a packet of Gaulois in a pub for us to build and we got it out on time and under budget. He won a prize for it as well!

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Microsoft staff savage Ballmer at company confab

David Haig

Not yet ready for the grave .....

The imminent demise of M$ has been touted before and it is still here - look at all those tech titans that aren't :- DEC, Data General, Novell, Compaq, Systime, Amdahl, SCO, etc They may be in less than optimum shape at the moment, but so were Apple and IBM not so long ago and they have pulled through rather well.

Never write M$ off - its unlikely as many of us wouldn't be in a job now if it wasn't for them & IBM.

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appToyz appWheel

David Haig
Coat

Remember ...

... when Sellotape came in a tin? And the ZX-Spectrum was the gaming machine of choice? Well an F1 racing game's controls were set up so you could use the tin to act as a steering wheel over the Spectrum's rubber keys.

Didn't improve my score though ......

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Murdoch parliamentary pandemonium: Shock snap

David Haig
Paris Hilton

Book that Astronaut ...

...for LOHAN

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BOFH: Axe handles - occasionally quite slippery

David Haig
Mushroom

Marvellous

Been waiting for Simon to get back to the Robot Wars!

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Chinese official's affair goes very public

David Haig
Joke

Obviously ....

... a DDoS takedown

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Resellers and customers frustrated by botched Oracle deliveries

David Haig

Is this Oracle kit or Sun kit?

I remember when Oracle used to ship you everything it had. We ordered a simple Oracle NT server installation and along came 5 NT CD's in a big box with lots of the fat bubble wrap, all Oracle documentation (for all products - spatial, OLAP, Textserver,etc) on CD, all the same documentation on paper (3 boxes of god knows how many books), another box of CD's for Solaris - install and documentation (in defence of Oracle, we had a Solaris server as well on our ONS account) and finally another box of Developer CD's and documentation for Solaris & NT which we hadn't asked for at all - but had a lot of fun with as they added it to our ONS account for a year before they realised we weren't paying for it. This all came as one delivery.

In all, 7 (big) boxes for the 2 disks that we needed .....

On the other hand, we had a Sun Ultra 5 with a Nokia 19 inch delivered without keyboard or mouse ( or those nice shiny metal optical mouse mats) and cables. They all came later in different deliveries across a week, with the last delivery being the Sun branded microphone on its own, shipped by DHL from the States - it's still in it's jiffy bag.

By the way, where have the Jobs / Gates icons gone? Who has been applying pressure behind the scenes ... we should be told! If I'm missing something, sorry - my wife has finally managed to 'recycle' my BOFH tee shirt ....

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Is there anything to find on bin Laden's hard drive?

David Haig
Joke

Only beta copy of DNF found on OBL laptop

This will set the 'Duke Nuke em Forever' launch date back a bit.

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So, what's the best sci-fi film never made?

David Haig
Thumb Up

... My vote goes to ...

Good idea for anything from Ian M. Banks

Always thought Moorcock's Stormbringer would be great

Asimov's Foundation Trilogy

And Robert Rankin's 'Brentford' trilogy - not all fantasy!

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Hadron Collider 'could act as telephone for talking to the past'

David Haig
Black Helicopters

Who's been reading ....

.... Robert Rankin's 'Fandom Of The Operator'?

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Kentucky man denies drunk driving, blames blow job

David Haig
Alert

Did anyone see ...

.. the link at the bottom of the original article 'Girl, 12, charged with assaulting JCPS bus driver'

More Americana for El Reg!

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Blackadder style chemists transform gold into purest ... purple

David Haig
Grenade

Another option for the 419ers

Dear Mr Lewis,

We have 500 tonnes of gold which has been turned purple for the opportunity of exporting it from our country. We require a partner to help us unload the gold and wash it in the special chemical only available in the western isles of europe.

If you are acceptable, we will transfer the gold by UPS to your location in return for 10% of the value once cleaned. However, we are unable to purchase the appropriate chemicals directly in the west and must ask you to do this for us.

Please order and pay for 500 litres of special gold cleaning fluid from our specialist supplier - contact details below - They will ship this direct to you at 250euro per litre plus shipping.

Yours in

Abo Mac Salient

Supplier details -

......................................................

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Vulture falls asleep in front of Christmas TV

David Haig
Pint

Merry Christmas

Thanks for keeping me cheerful in 2010 - especially the PARIS team, Simon Travaglia & the BOFH

and the Moderatrix

Long may you all revel!

Cheers to you all

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The forgotten, fat generation of Mac Portables

David Haig
Pint

68k

And Data General used it in its minis for many years

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Great and Good honour the designer of world's first laptop

David Haig
Happy

Great machine

Loved the GRiD - Magnesium alloy case with the interchangable PSU and battery pack which meant ,under mains power, you really could cook eggs on the flat surface behind the screen !

It might have been heavy but it replaced one of the IBM luggables (sewing machine case) and we only gave it up when the Amstrad 386 portable arrived. Even then it was being used to control CCTV cameras right up until 1998 when I moved on.

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BOFH: Join the club

David Haig
Pint

Thank you Simon

This storyline just keeps getting better & better .....

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Vulture 1 rolls out of fab bunker

David Haig

What a shame ....

...about the camera. But good luck with the launch.

Looking forward to Vulture 2. (Can we have proper swept back paper plane wings please?)

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Buy your own Batmobile

David Haig
IT Angle

@jai

At the Toyota display at the British Grand Prix a couple of years ago - and as the GP team doesn't now exist there must be at least one going begging.

They also had a bat bike, but maybe not the same year.

GP fan, not a Bat fan ....

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Windows 7 upgrades Vista laptops to lower battery life

David Haig
Unhappy

Crept into Vista as well?

My wife's 1 year old Dell Inspiron has just started doing this in the last week - and it's running Vista Home. Hasn't effected the performance but it is very annoying. especially as it's just bloody Microsoft doesn't seem to cut it anymore.

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NZ town cans rabbit-chucking contest

David Haig
Happy

@huh

Don't get me started on dwarf throwing - I used to work in the theatre and all the pantomime dwarves were very upset when this was banned as it was the only steady summer emploment they had once the first Star Wars movies were finished....

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New gizmo means working electropulse rayguns at last

David Haig
Thumb Up

Sounds like ......

.... a project for the BOFH and the PFY

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KCOM hands network management to BT

David Haig
Unhappy

What a pity ...

I liked Kingston - I migrated two companies over to them in the late 90's after BT showed no interest in helping move headquarters building and expanding our WAN across the UK. Kingston came up with an innovative solution which covered a high degree of resilience and gave us a path to migrate the WAN from dialup & leased lines to ISDN and then ASDL as it came on line. Never had a problem with sales or technical and they were pretty proactive in contacting us. They even got the billing right - something BT had been unable to do for years. Always recommended them to other IT Managers over BT

Left Yorkshire 5 years ago so it looks as if they got a bit too big for their boots recently.

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Street View vehicle kills Bambi

David Haig
Coat

They normally come in pairs ....

... so probably the third and fourth pic is of the second bambi killed by the good Googlebot trying to avoid the first.

Don't ask how I know .... and I'd like the chickens to be taken into account!

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BOFH: A safe bet

David Haig
Thumb Up

This may not be a classic ...

... but thank you Simon for livening up my Fridays for many years, both online and in print.

It must be very difficult to produce 40+ articles every year and make each one a classic but I for one appreciate every one. Keep up the good work Simon

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419ers take Canadian for $150,000

David Haig
Alert

No offense ...

... but the 419'ers still have something to learn from our 'legitimate' bankers - sell dodgy bonds from mate to mate, all taking a cut on the way, as if its pass the parcel or just plain fleece the rich and gullible (HSBC, the charities) like Mr 'Madeoff' and $50 BILLION - and then when it all goes tits up we get to refinance them with our taxes!

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Apple files 3D-interface patent

David Haig

Another 'borrow' from PARC

I seem to remember Xerox PARC came out with something called 'Rooms' or 'Walls' in the early 90's. The interface was a block / wall of 'rooms' which you could switch between each with their own apps, data and other users. You could move files from room to room, dropping them on the desk or in a filing cabinet. Looked at it as a front end for a document management project but didn't go anywhere. Seems to have sunk without trace .... only to resurface at Apple just like that other ubiquitous graphical interface did.

Sorry, no icon, couldn't work out how to have both the horned Bill & the horned Steve at once.

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Pirates pee on Amazon's MP3 parade

David Haig
Stop

Copyright, DRM et al ....

Let's look at this copyright issue. Can I assume that all the posters here work for the computer industry in one form or other? Can I also assume that we all regard programmers as 'creatives' ie they produce software for other users to use? How are we going to pay the programmers and distribute the software? We can sell through commercial distributors, through shareware sites and freeware distribution but its our choice on how we get the software to the users, and to some extent their choice as to how much they pay. In turn, the commercial software releases have a percentage of their price channeled into R&D both for that product and other programmes that may or may not see the light of day. Your shareware product will only be updated on demand and the freeware is 'as is' - it may have no support and just disappear. Our whole industry depends on these models to survive, and you will continue to pay for software until you don't use it anymore - so what's wrong with paying an artist everytime you use / download a piece of music?

Whilst we have various methods of distributing the product, in the software business we can (and have) the most powerful DRM systems in the business - our users don't even own the product, just a licence to use the software - and we have the ability to lock out users who don't relicence the product and pay us a fee.

At the end of the day copyright is there to stop people ripping other people off - if you'd written Visicalc wouldn't you want to be receiving the royalties from it for AS LONG AS PEOPLE BOUGHT IT? It's the same with music and writing - respect the people who've put the effort in to create something for you - and the support systems / companies that take a chance on their work and get the product to market.

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NYT scribe: No bailout for Tesla-buying 'centimillionaires*'

David Haig
Flame

@Stuart Van Onselen

"Oh, and Scotland? You're hosed!"

But then we've got all the wind power we want - as long as the tree-huggers don't stop the developments because it spoils the skyline....

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Satanic net neologisms - nominations invited

David Haig
Thumb Down

I propose ...

IMHO - just to much

LOL - have never really understood why anyone would use this

Blog - Overused

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Homework late? Blame Russian hackers

David Haig
Happy

Whilst reading this article ...

.. I've just received a text from one of our waitresses asking when she's working this weekend as ' the dog ate her rota'. Some things never change ....

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Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 Windows Mobile smartphone

David Haig
Happy

@ X1 or E90 - hands on comparison

Cheers AC - Think that's made my mind up. I've got to replace my 9500 soon before the other hinge falls off and was waiting to see if the X1 wad worth the jump but I think its an E90 for me!

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