511 posts • joined Saturday 14th July 2007 19:49 GMT
"So, with a box of man-sized tissues handy lest tales of 35mm film prove too lachrimose, read on..."
Rollei kind of chap myself. How else do you get the lovely African bride resplendant in her white dress in the sun outside the church along with her Ginger haired/green eyed groom in salt'n'pepper penguin suit? The Kodak wedding colour negative films and the NPH400 had such a tail on them it was unreal. I'm talking 1 metre square prints.
FP4 in Rodinol 1+50 for 12 to 15 mins was ace as well.
35mm note: the lady who processed and colour printed my trannies at the local developers could tell which negs were from the Leica and which from the Nikon (35mm focal length lenses both).
"You can't just pick up a brush and knock up a masterpiece. You can't just jump into a plane and fly it. It's the same with snapping, it takes years of graft to get to where we are as pros."
True of many occupations I feel.
"We use Azure for hundreds of hosted customers running line of business apps - ERP type - and I will agree with 80% of the above."
What is the 20% you would not agree with? Just interested.
Not sure why you are being downvoted as you give stats based on actual machines.
Well, the main story isn't a big surprise. What would have been a surprise would be Parliament adopting an open source solution with RDP into secure servers to cover BYOD - thus promoting a locally designed system from software houses near at hand...
What I am interested in is what the Hansard gang are up to? If they wanted independence from MS, why on earth not just coopt existing open source software and put a bit of dosh into it?
The tramp: I'll be selling the Big Issue if I don't get back to my paperwork, all done on a laptop running CentOS with Libreoffice. And yes, the hard drive is encrypted just to stop that 'data found on laptop left on the bus' issue.
"I have the full schematics for it as well. All 74 series IC's and a wire wrapped backplane."
Photos and a video of the gameplay please....
Re: I'll ask
You can tweet a picture on your smart phone as you avoid the puke on the corner and step right in the dog turd. Nowt changed since the 1980s with this lot.
The Tramp: I'll be in the doorway opposite, in the sleeping bag, ordering a pizza on my smart-phone, that will be delivered by a mini-cab driven by a Latvian postgraduate student funding her research into nuclear waste management. There is a mad poetry in all this. Downriver by Iain Sinclair springs to mind.
"And yet my biggest grumble has to be the trackpad for no other reason than presses for left- and right-click make such a noise I felt quite self-conscious about using it in the office."
My old Asus 1000 with the SSD was the same. Crack of doom every time I used the silver chrome mouse button round the trackpad. Must be an Asus 'feature'. I, too, resorted to use of a mouse within Russell group University libraries for fear of ostracism. Now, I lug a recycled Thinkpad.
No USB on the tablet bit is a shame (thinking of proper external keyboards)
Otherwise: something reasonable that weighs less than 600g and may run Linux. Nice.
Re: The wifi router in the comms cabinet
"These suuuuper-geniuses signed up for a broadband package without telling IT or indeed anyone above their pay grade. "
@ Robert Sneddon
My students just use their Blackberrys. G3 mobile connection. No interaction with College network. Nowt I can do about it other than stainless steel storage cannisters. Handy those.
Re: I don't want control ( Peter )
"The Marketing department came up wit a cunning plan to allow employees to telecommute, in a moment in which ADSL at 256 Mbps was an expensive novelty and patchy, to boot."
Er - I was 'telecommuting' on modem dialup in the early 1990s. Lotus Notes for one employer and Outlook with local folders for another. It all worked ok. Depends on a task analysis and what the data sharing requirements are. That Lotus Notes server went for 3 years without a reboot by the way.
As someone else said earlier on, you need a task oriented view. The department requesting the facility says what they want to do and you find a cost effcient way of doing it.
Re: I don't want control
"Our professional requirements state that we can't transfer data outside of the EU without the informed consent of our clients. "
So no use of gmail, Dropbox, Skydrive (or whatever Microsoft call it now) or any service that depends on Amazon storage and so on. I imagine BYOD is out and that you restrict data transfer to personal storage of any kind to eliminate the possibility of inadvertent use of a trans-border service by professional staff. RDP into locked down desktops springs to mind. Surely working under those conditions would imply training for staff or general awareness raising?
I realise you can't name the sector but if it is a large sector, then it strikes me that there should be someone providing online services guaranteed to be within Euro or UK jurisdiction that you could point the people to. Business opportunity if there isn't!
My employer makes available RDP into my work desktop so I just keep any information about identifiable people on that desktop. If this laptop (my own device) got pinched then its just teaching notes. Possibly a list of first names and test scores.
"The touchscreen is an optical affair. Three cameras keep track of where and how you tap, stroke or fondle it. "
I take it the 5mm clearance mentioned in the article means that the glass front protects the rim of the display from dust?
There is a make of interactive whiteboard that uses optical sensing (not actual cameras, sort of a pattern of reflections) so that you can operate it with your fingers while still using basically a bit of chipboard as the back. We had to dust the rim regularly to keep it working.
As others have said: information kiosks and information display. VESA mount and all.
"And who knows, I might be a Chromebook convert by then."
Going on the basis of this article, I suspect the Original Author will be rooting his Chromebook and installing a custom Linux OS when that day comes.
Nice to see Mac OS upgrades are still running faster on older hardware.
Is there a blkid command equivalent in case someone fails to record the UUID of the Fusion drive? Have I misunderstood or is this applespeak for an LVM arrangement with root spanning the two drives?
The tramp: Its a recycled Thinkpad and CentOS for me under present financial circumstances. Works OK. Would like higher res screen.
to run a school...
"Superheads don't do anything that anyone else couldn't do, given the same permission."
I think you have nailed it here.
To run a school/college/university you basically hire good qualified teachers, get some good middle managers in and consult parents/students. And monitor, all the time.
I've got a theory: commuter culture is the issue. Neighbourhood schools where the teachers lived over the road seemed better half a century ago. Community (Mrs T notwithstanding) meant we had to sort it all out together.
Not AC because I work in good places who use taxpayer's money honestly.
The Tramp: I'll still have a crap pension though.
Re: No new service packs??
"Azure where things change every day, Consumer Windows which is more app driven, and Business Windows which focuses on stability and predictable release schedules."
They could call those Sid, Testing and Stable. Er- no perhaps not.
Seriously, any major UI changes will have training overhead. Simple as that.
The tramp: still on MS Office 2k with LibreOffice for day to day.
Re: Fallback mode
" I'm using fallback mode in Fedora 17, if they take that away I'll probably just abandon Fedora entirely for being too stupid to avoid following the morons at GNOME off the cliff."
No need to change distribution because of the desktop environment. Just install another desktop flavour.
Or if you really must have a Gnome 2.28 desktop, jump into the CentOS lifeboat. CentOS uses a similar package management logic to Fedora. Sit on that until 2017 and get some work done. By then it will all be sorted out.
As we are paying billions to have GCHQ collecting data about us, could they not simply find and nuke the perpetrators? Or even just block the phone home so the cryptographic key never arrives?
"What is wrong with the minimize button is that it is actually useless if you use virtual desktop efficiently, which automated management of them is one of the main feature of gnome 3, thus it just add clutter to a window to have it, same thing with the maximize/restore button where you can simply double click the title bar."
By that logic Gnome 5.1 will look a lot like DWM?
Jef Raskin developed the idea of the 'monotonous UI', not in the sense of boring but in the sense of one way of doing each task. Add in the need to use a single UI for touch on tablets through to twin 30 inch monitors and we have a recipe for very few very large controls. Fun times.
Re: Ahhh, the nostolgia.
I know this is a feel good nostalgia forum but I can't resist...
@ Chris Wareham
Lecturer should not have been snarky, but should have had you talking the rest of the class through an example of where a buffer overrun could happen (I don't program or teach programming, but I imagine that would involve pointer comparison/assignment/arithmetic or similar?).
The lecturer's dilemma: You were the student in the room with the complete mind map of the whole thing from your day to day experience. Some of the other students may have part of the map, but perhaps limited to leisure BASIC, other students may have been trying to learn programming from scratch in the medium of C.
Now how does the lecturer chop up the mind map you have into a series of chunks of information - and code exercises - that don't overload the student starting from scratch with too many concepts, but, equally, don't bore the pants off students like you? I mean the K&R book example code has issues.
A concrete example from the days when I ran short evening classes on making basic Web sites (geocities/ftp era): I've got every category you can imagine on a short course. Some can do the lot and have their own sites up blinking bling and all, others are designers who are trying to upskill, others are clerical staff (intranets) with little wider computer skills (Word all day and perhaps a shared drive to save to), and some are just generally clueless (mouse cable at bottom and not left handed) but have wicked ideas for Web pages. Great fun.
I had the techies doing the ftp/file management bit along with the 'change html in Notepad/save/refresh browser/check' bit with small groups. I had the designers talking people through a basic 'objectives, audience expectations, type and colours' bit. The ones who can get on once we all have a project plan and the basic skills do so, and I sit with the mouse fumblers. It seemed to work. I cherished the (one) student evaluation form that said 'the teacher does not teach much, we do most of it ourselves' as a complaint.
Nostalgia: I did a computer science O level in 1976 using coding sheets sent to a local data centre with printouts returned the next week. We had a modem with a dial next to a teletype for brief interactive sessions. Ed (Unix/PDP11 on the other end) seemed wonderful. I have actually seen line noise appear on the teletype.
Re: Release procedures
@ A Non e-mouse
As the Microsofty said in the article, they have to run just the one instance of this front end of theirs. So effectively there is only one region for Azure as regards the front end.
Perhaps a larger sample for testing will be used next time.
Re: Old dog, new tricks ?
Get someone in to make the hard decisions, restructure the business, based on a life time of experience, and who will strike the shareholders as a 'safe pair of hands'.
Once the blood is washed off the steps at Redmond, a graceful handover to another candidate (preferably someone who has gained experience during the restructuring) whose skill set fits the restructured business well.
Strikes me as the crowning achievement capping a full and rich career.
Re: Race to the bottom
"The sort crap that means I'll pay extra attention to the advert in order to avoid buying those particular products!"
A data point: about a decade ago, on the Lichfield to Redditch railway line, some bright spark decided to install video screens on the trains that played news clips and adverts. The sound level was idiotically high. The screens were positioned all along the main part of each carriage. There was a token 'quiet' section at the remote end of each carriage which did not have any form of sound insulation between it and the main part of the carriage.
The initiative lasted about 6 months. Rail staff told me that the level of vandalism targeted specifically on the equipment was the worst they had seen (some of the train staff had worked out how to jam the DVD-ROM players in the steel boxes to prevent worse damage to the kit). The jingles used to advertise the local car insurance (! on a commuter train !) brokers and estate agents still haunt my dreams. I will never buy anything from any of the local advertisers, many who have now gone bankrupt. I remember actually seeing a cafe bar that had been advertised on this system and crossing the road to get away purely by reflex action.
Marketeers: Just don't do this. Don't force stuff into people's faces when they have to queue or occupy a certain space for a length of time.
The Tramp: I need a bottle or two of Diamond White of a morning to stop the jingles...
Re: Is this really an IT issue?
I'm genuinely interested: is that $1200 per month, i.e. $14400 per year, for you and your family? And is that $5000 excess for the whole year or per condition/incident?
Re: Is this really an IT issue?
"And those that do are so well served by the systems provided by their benevolent employers that they wouldn't need this service."
Some don't have employers. Seems odd to make things harder for the ones with original ideas.
The tramp: I would be in the States having been partially self employed for quite a long time.
Re: Look everyone
"Oh I'm sure you could give examples of big documents being created in the suite. That doesn't make it suitable and doesn't make your experience pleasant, it just means that you carried on regardless"
Er - no. I just type stuff.
A recent example: 140 pages, 595 mathematical formulas, 35 diagrams and 63 tables and the 2.1Mb document loads fine.
The printed version is being used by a few hundred students. PDF available for when they lose the paper one.
PS: yes I know about LaTeX.
Re: Look everyone
"but [LibreOffice is] far from being on a par with Office 2003 and certainly not up to writing large documents."
Define a large document.
I may be able to supply a few data points.
Re: sounds like it works then
"I'm still on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS desktop even though it's out of support mainly because I'm so used to the GNOME 2 interface it has."
@ Nate Amsden
Have a look at CentOS 6.x.
Gnome 2.28, Firefox ESR and LibreOffice stable. Support including 'deltas' for newer hardware until 2017. Legacy security only updates after that until 2020.
Add the EPEL + Nux 'stella-desktop' repository for overlap free multimedia stuff and you won't need to worry about the RPM package oddness unless you need really current scripting and compiler versions.
Bit of a lifeboat until the desktop evolution slows...
"It will require a choice of language that is appropriate to the age group."
Do we have any thoughts on these? All cross-platform (some on tablets)
and a wild-card for teenagers who like making a bit of noise...
Then there is
but by the time you are there, it might be best to try a 'proper' language.
I know there is one very expensive product on the market that allows you to coat a room with a fine mesh of earthed wires.
If anyone developed a cheaper alternative, it would boost educational attainment in Colleges and make meetings shorter and more productive.
"I'm more than capable of listening to someone and simultaneously..."
No you are not. You may think you are but each properly designed experiment on attention has suggested otherwise.
Especially when the inputs are delivered via different sense modes.
Try Googling John Sweller's work if you want some full on academic reading.
Re: Journalism FAIL
"Come to think of it, it is "quantized", photographic grain and all that."
Random clumps of silver halide grains held in gelatine (aka 'grain') and the whole random power law mosaic convolved with the circle of confusion of the lens in use. And different 'plate constants' in each area of the sky (altitude/horizon co-ords) as the camera mount flexed during exposure.
Plus reticulation if plate very cold when developing.
So, yes, quantised but good luck with trying to 'digitise' that lot directly.
As another poster said, best to scan at a resolution at least x2 on grain size and sort it out later.
Milo Minderbinder is behind all of this.
As the Italians say, Cui Bono
Ms May and her colleagues have been sold a pup. And they won't admit it. And we will carry on paying billions for espionage on ourselves that generates no advantage.
I'm thinking a 'rolodex' for each character. Cards with the appropriate type on blown using compressed air to advance or retard one character. A series of air pulses to each position in a 70 by 40 array would allow text to be displayed.
Once there is display, we can imagine valves or stopcocks at the end of each row or column to identify a character whose state could then be changed by a keyboard.
Perhaps the keyboard could be set up pneumatically to advance one position so allowing over-typing?
Serious brass and engineering here, nice idea.
PS: Stross for Parliament (country left blank)
Re: Brums not so bad ...
I'm a little further out, but small businesses might want to know about the cheap premises round Digbeth and some of the studio/office space in that big old mill near Hurst St. There is always the Custard Factory but that seems to be mostly second hand furniture these days.
Up your end, there is the Jewellery Quarter with small workshops and a large 60s block known as the Big Peg, that has a few tech companies in it.
Seems to be good connectivity in the centre as well (I'm on copper adsl and stuck with it for some time by the look of the plans).
Not so bad. Lots of trees, and more canals than Venice (see icon)
"It maybe in the interests of all if Ubuntu moves over to the mobile sector completely. "
Might be Canonical's best direction if they can find paying customers (i.e. hardware manufacturers).
Now, a simple question: will 14.04 run on a PC with a nvidia graphics card with nvidia proprietary graphics drivers or not? Shuttleworth must know that is a really important question for those organisations that do use Ubuntu on large estates of desktops.
Re: 2hrs 45minutes and still not done !
"At least you can do an in place upgrade of Windows. Unlike with say Red Hat or CentOS...."
I saw what you did there...
You are perfectly correct in stating that Red Hat require clean installations of each major version of their Enterprise Linux product, e.g. RHEL 5 to 6 (the currently supported versions) and to 7 (the version that will be released next). It is worth mentioning that major versions have a support life measured in decades.
CentOS is of course a clone of RHEL, as are Scientific Linux, PUIAS/Springdale Linux, and Oracle Linux, so they follow the same process.
Minor version updates (e.g 6.2 -> 6.3 -> 6.4 in my case) are unproblematic and occur as a normal part of the software update - I was able to carry on wasting my time on this forum when 6.3 updated to 6.4 on my CentOS laptop, then I was able to reboot into the updated kernel when appropriate. I imagine that systems administrators running production servers will disable automatic updates and will have a test box to check fine details of the minor upgrades.
Other Linux distributions allow in-place upgrades. Obviously when there are major technology shifts it might be better to do a clean install, and some distributions set up a separate /home partition to make this process easier. At least one poster on the Debian forums claims never to have reinstalled since Woody, including in place updates and when changing hardware. He simply makes a tar.gz of the hard drive and unpacks this on the new hard drive and then reinstalls grub and runs update-grub. Some changing of config files is needed (UUIDs). This does actually work, and I have 'swapped' a Debian and a CentOS installation between a desktop PC and a laptop using this method. Saved a lot of time and downloads.
Finally, some Linux distributions follow a 'rolling' model where packages are updated as and when and there is never a need to reinstall. These tend to be enthusiast oriented distributions as there will be issues regarding library compatibility and configuration changes.
I get paid to use Windows, and the techs at work keep our system running very nicely with very little downtime.
At home, the thing I remember most about windows was having to reboot continuously when installing and updating a machine. Interesting to see that seems to have continued.
Re: No ISO?
"10.5GB, woo, yeah that's a lot in 2013. </sarcasm>"
As William Gibson put it
"The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed"
In the case of the UK, bandwidth appears to be fractally dusted on our ageing Brunelian infrastructure on the whim of Openreach.
Re: Ubuntu desktop sucks.
"...it's designed for touch, and it expects you to search for everything..."
Er - search driven interfaces are not for touch really are they? (Mind you, I've tended to have dmenu installed and invoked by a hotkey on most of my Linux desktops).
The Tramp: Looks like me
Re: @ Gunnar Wolf - At loss understanding Ubuntu
"Want to run more than one xterm at a time? Want focus-follows-mouse? Want to be able to actually find out what applications are installed?"
Sounds like XFCE4.
What issues do you have with network manager and policy kit on which other distributions? Running Wheezy here and it all works fine.
Re: Der Steppenwolf
Never read any Banks. Might need to rectify that defect.
Chess theme. Actions in the social sphere as chess moves. Analytical meets emotional.
Hermann Hesse springs to mind, somewhere between Der Steppenwolf and Das Glasperlenspiel.
I shall have to try to see this....
Nice change here by the way. Keep 'em coming.
Laying the track
Yes, the OA quoted a Scotgov person as saying the idea was to reduce desktop estate. I see this as a small pilot project asking 'just what kind of network client do you actually need to do the job?'
The future direction is going to be a phone that you dock to do basic office work unless you produce content.
Bring it on. I'll be using a penguin phone of some kind, but corporate people may be using a balmerphone (elophone?). I welcome the use of non-traditional UIs as that softens up the masses for the adoption of something free and available on cheap hardware.
Re: More than just doing the job
"Spreading the knowledge. Growing the team. Letting others benefit from your specialities and you from theirs."
'Legitimate peripheral participation in a community of practice' is a phrase used by (some) academics to describe what you are talking about .
I think it may be possible to experience legitimate peripheral participation using electronic means in some cases. Chat/Forums/Bug reporting systems and the good old mailing list. IRC springs to mind for some kinds of community of practice (software libre projects). I hope so, I spent some years trying to create conditions where such things could develop online.
Face to face can be just as isolating as online by the way. Just try being
a) part time
b) working at odd times
c) 'hot-desking' in an office half a mile from the rest of your team (and I do shower often/change shirt daily/wear clean socks).
Two pages of comments and no mention of gNewSense yet.
gNewSense is a Linux distribution (I suppose I ought to call it GNU/Linux) that has a kernel that has been fully 'deblobbed' and so contains no proprietary firmware at all. Running it on my Thinkpad now (needs a USB wifi adaptor with Realtec wifi card (libre drivers)). Useful for checking just what proprietary drivers your kit needs even if you can't use it day to day.
The gNewSense project appears to have restarted with a 3.0 release in August having been repackaged to follow Debian (used to follow Ubuntu). Currently on Squeeze era packages but plans to 'catch up' with Wheezy as soon as feasible. Might take a bit of time as there appear to be about three people working on it.
Take the points in the OA about mobile devices being locked down. OpenMoko appears to have died, that is where we are I suppose.
Pinning the activity record to a persona
"We will never be able to de-anonymize all Tor users all the time,"
1. There is being able to track a person as they trundle round the InterWeb and build up a profile.
2. Then there is being able to tie that tracking record to a (physical) address, name, NI number &C.
3. There is also being able to associate a tracking record/history as accumulated in 1) with a physical location.
I'm sure the chaps and chapesses from Cheltenham can do 1.
As regards 2, why can I still walk into PC World and buy a t-mobile mobile internet dongle for £10 cash then put credit on it using cash with the payment card enclosed in any newsagent? If I use that with new hardware (no previous network use) you don't know who I am. And can't.
3. I guess you can tie 1) the tracking record to physical location as shown by the cell tower records. Good luck if that is in the centre of a major city and you don't have a name/credit card/address &c
The tramp: anonymity through insignificance
Re: Text is considered "retro"? That's sad.
Lynx was the first Web browser I used as well, but that was via a Unix box in London (business rate modem dialup!). I had a VT100 session on my Acorn A3000. Then we got a TCP/IP stack and a graphical Web browser (that could save the entire rendered page as a !Draw file). Fun times.
Just a change in default
The new gubbins is all still in there, just you get plain Xorg by default. Basically a one mouse click change (and a restart presumably, at least of the graphical layer).
Personally, I congratulate Canonical's developers on going with a sensible default. Perhaps they might get used to doing that if we encourage them (hence the beer).
"...you will need training courses, extra helldesk, continuous IT support, etc. just to keep the lusers happy."
A witty wag could argue we need all that anyway just to carry on as we have...
I suspect the main issue for many organisations is the back end (e-mail, server based applications, locally authored business applications), as was mentioned in the article.
Empirical note, sample size around 20 people: I've handed a laptop running a customised CentOS with one bottom panel to a convenient sample of students, colleagues, friends. They can all find the web browser and can start an office file. Many can plug in a USB stick and save something to it. I take your point about some icons being in a different place and the actual applications being different, and I am not suggesting adoption of Linux for businesses.
Observation: A local University has CentOS (5.9 I think) based desktops available to students in open access areas along side Win7 and Mac OS X. No big issues apparently (have not asked in detail). Perhaps as the undergrads move into the world, expectations will be different and support costs lower...
The tramp: $400 per year is more than all my kit and broadband costs!
Re: It's all to hard for some people
"For some of the older people that I know computing is now a tablet and WiFi."
Same for most of the teenagers I teach, except $tablet includes $phone.
Times change. One adult student wanted to access a flash based teaching site. She has an iPad. IT support provided instructions for downloading an RDP app and accessing her College Windows 7 desktop from which she can access the Flash based Web site...
Re: It's all to hard for some people
Good solid information, thanks. I put Win7 and MS Security Essentials on an old Thinkpad for my sister (who is not elderly and quite savvy). Still going strong, no slow ups or malware.
Re: ICT or drama
"Since ICT as she is taught in modern British schools is to computer science as the quickstart guide to Mario Kart Wii is to mechanical engineering, I humbly submit that your progeny made a superior choice with drama."
Re: Good article.
"It's not all MP3's fault though, most soundcards have shit DAC's."
Try an external USB audio interface on the PC. Even the cheapies are an improvement over the average laptop's DAC/output stage. I do amateur sound effects recordings and use headphones a lot. Raw laptop socket is buzz creak overload. Cheapo USB is clean, clear noiseless.
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