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* Posts by keithpeter

776 posts • joined 14 Jul 2007

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Ubuntu's shiny 10th birthday Unicorn: An upgrade fantasy

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: The best thing about Ubuntu is...

"*BSD looking better by the day. "

OpenBSD 5.6 CDs arrived this morning complete with Apocalypse Now puffer fish graphics and a song (a sub-cultural thing I gather). Official release 1st Nov (mirrors go live with binary packages then).

Its..... not Ubuntu.

E.g. printing: install cups and then create _cups group, give _cups group ownership of the printer device (in my case direct USB connected) the set cups to start as daemon having added your user to the _cups group...

But interesting.

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keithpeter
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Re: The best thing about Ubuntu is...

"As a Unity (is the best thing about Ubuntu) user I understand how ignorant your comment is. As a Xubuntu user you will never know."

Load LibreOffice and type the following keyboard shortcut: Alt-IOF

Does the LibreOffice formula editor appear?

If so, I may once again try Ubuntu as I rather liked 12.04.

If not, well can we tell Mark to stop hacking the input manager?

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Happy 2nd birthday, Windows 8 and Surface: Anatomy of a disaster

keithpeter
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Re: Pulled off on MS Office? (@Mage)

"only the stupid can't figure out the "Ribbon". Only took a few minutes for me."

OK, what is the secret? I spent two working days recently chained to MS Office 2010 hacking out a series of Word documents of moderate but not outrageous complexity. Tonnes of googling.

One example: the command to select paragraph(s) of text and put a box around it(them) catches me every time, hiding in plain sight like a le Carré pavement artist.

The Management have recently installed OpenOffice 4.1 (why oOo and why 4.1?) to considerable rejoicing.

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keithpeter
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Re: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory...

"Last time I tried Linux and attempted to install Firefox I first had to find an installer for the distribution I was using."

When was that and what distribution?!

Most 'recent' (like Ubuntu 5.04 onwards) you just load a package manager and search for Firefox then type in your password (or root password if root account enabled).

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keithpeter
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Re: Windows 10 is fugly

"BTW, Windows 2000 may have been the best OS MS ever made. If only it had a firewall it would have been a great consumer OS."

I liked Win2k as well. I used a desktop with it on at work for a couple of years. Absolutely no drama, just cranking the work out (Celeron, 256Mb ram, large crt monitor).

So upvote for that

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UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan

keithpeter
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Re: Gimpd

"http://www.debian.org/ports/kfreebsd-gnu/"

AFAIK it's in danger of being dropped.

Next?

OK, OpenBSD (Gnome 3.10 installable) and the other BSDs, and OpenIndiana (party like it is 2006).

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keithpeter
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Re: Gimpd

"Yes I'm testing Slackware too at the minute but I believe they are currently sitting on the fence regarding this."

The slackers are a pragmatic bunch not given to drama. I run it on my typing box (a boat anchor Dell E5240 laptop). As you say, Volkerding will roll in systemd if it becomes unavoidable when attempting to provide a decent desktop experience.

"From what I know, the only non-systemd committed distros (at this moment in time) are Slackware, Gentoo, Crux and Alpine Linux."

There are a couple of 'one dev and a git repo' Linuxes like Dragora (runnit).

Of course, there is CentOS 6 and the other EL clones (support until 2020).

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keithpeter
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Re: the "fun" part about systemd

"Hibernate is more problematic, as on Thinkpads it is necessary to have a FAT primary partition on the hard disk to contain the hibernate file."

X60, Trisquel Linux, no FAT partition at all just a few gig of swap (Linux swap / Solaris) and a / partition that is ext4.

Hibernates and suspends fine.

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'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'

keithpeter
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"Armenia has a culture of kludging things together and working to western standards was my biggest challenge."

Pretty resilient people the Armenians. Survivors. I wish we did more kludging and less globbing everything together into just-in-time cost reduced systems

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Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First

keithpeter
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Office Ribbon

"It even supports the old menu shortcut keys."

Nope. I was actually using MS Wrd 2010 today for 6 hours or so doing a job on a deadline. Kept losing time looking for functions I can reach with Alt-keyboard shortcuts on MS 2k and on LibreOffice at home. That is *actual billable time* y'now. Around 10% as I had to break rhythm and use the rodent.

Scale that up over all of us mature members of the workforce over say the next 25 years...

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keithpeter
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Re: rant-like journalism

Ah... The peppered moth (Birmingham moth) rears its ugly head again. It is a clear example of natural selection, not evolution.

I live a couple of miles from the Birmingham sampling ground. Have a look at Of Moths and Men by Judith Hooper. Might have been a clear example of a bird-feeder (and I am a UK based scientist without any interest in creationist twaddle).

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keithpeter
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Re: rant-like journalism

"You do not understand how evolution works."

Would that be hardy-weinberg equilibrium or something deeper I should know about? Or simply that cognitive diversity may not have been linked to basic survival > 50kyr ago?

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keithpeter
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Re: rant-like journalism

"I hear some flavors of BSD are supposed to be secure...."

And OpenBSD runs surprisingly well on laptops that are not of the absolute bleeding edge shall we say. Three hours total to check out the source (1.2Gb of it) from the local public CVS (uk adsl over copper) and then compile the kernel, core OS and ports on a 7 year old Thinkpad (dual core). Have pre-ordered Version 5.6 as a donation even if I stick with Linux. Worth forty quid for the man pages alone.

But security can also be had by restricting the connections. See quote below from OA

"Basic things like "what programs are installed" and "what is the hardware configuration of your PC" are generally collected as part of operating system updates and/or automated troubleshooting systems because they provide clear technical benefits in solving technical issues. It would be pretty insane to say "don't collect this info, because NSA"

Could this information not be collected and kept in local storage (a la lennart and his binary logs) then be made available for upload when needed? Can you not ascertain the nature of the packets leaking out of the machine ( a firewall rule based in the upload url springs to mind).

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Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function

keithpeter
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Tinderbox

By the end of page 1 of the article I was getting slightly worried - I was thinking what might be on page 2. Add cards within cards, a powerful search function, a set of 'agents' that allow you to do things like 'list all cards with 'do this next week' in the title dated a week ago', hyperlinks between cards? A powerful scripted export template?

...but no Tinderbox is safe. The only reason I would ever run Mac OS again...

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I've got a new Linux box, how does it work... WOAH, only asking :-/

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Desktop?

@Ross K

"How does it feel to know you're making Microsoft richer?"

Well, since you ask, it doesn't bother me in the slightest. A court case occured, arguments were presented, a settlement was reached. As I believe in the sovreign right of countries to govern themselves and in the rule of law, and as I generally support the market economy (with bits of regulation as needed) all this is fine by me.

I do find the way the US legal system works a bit odd, but then I imagine people who are used to America would find aspects of Britain a bit strange in just the same way.

I also like the fact that Red Hat is a $1+ billion turnover corporation making reasonable profits from selling services off the back of GPL licenced software. I really hope Canonical gets into some kind of actual profit soon. I believe that SLES does make money as well and that makes me glad. Good quality jobs, economic activity, competition.

Yes, I do have residual concerns over Red Hat's tidal pull on the open source world, and I do wish one of their senior people would sit Mr Poettering down and have a good long chat(*) about the need to stabilise the APIs and affordances for the software associated with systemd so the various upstream projects have a chance to catch up. But, hey, it all works and will do so for some decades, and, for edge cases and people who want to be different, there are viable alternatives.

Ace isn't it?

(*) British for 'sort him out'

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keithpeter
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Re: Linux is bad for everybody the way it currently is.

"The BSD's and Debian are ok for a server. But all the gui stuff contains so many linux features which end up having to copied by the BSD's (Which had a clean understandable consistent design up until not too long ago)."

Stock OpenBSD install with cwm set as window manager in the .xinitrc and netsurf(*) as a graphical Web browser on my testing laptop seems pretty clean to me. LaTeX and an editor for document production. mpg123 for music while I work.

Retro GUI could be in this autumn. Read about the tilde club as an example.

(*)Xombero for javascript use, needed to deal with those redirect based wifi access points you see a lot of.

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keithpeter
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Re: It's gotten better.

"(Eventually I got a Linux-owning friend to explain to me that you fix problems like this by logging in from a remote computer, su root and issuing the command e3fsck -f -b 8193 /dev/hda1. How's that for intuitive?)"

These days for most distros you just boot from a live CD and work through a repair menu. Worst case 'touch /forcefsck' from the single user mode prompt.

But I do take the point...

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keithpeter
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Desktop?

Seriously, you are crowing about desktop figures?

The Linux kernel runs billions of phones, and the Linux kernel with the GNU userland runs a huge range of devices from your router, HDTV up to and including supercomputing clusters, not to mention Google ChromeOS and backend, F**book, Ebay, Twitter &et Al.

And you worry about *desktops*? You are as bad as that boy Lennart.

PS: running Trisquel Linux on an X60. Cheaper than a Chromebook. Haven't had to use a command line yet except for R. The forum is civil and welcoming to newcomers but being a fully libre distribution without proprietary drivers or blobs, OP would almost certainly have to use a USB wifi dongle (Netgear WG111v3 or similar) to be able to connect.

P2S: If Shuttleworth ever pops the Ubuntuphone out I'll be in the queue. I mean the one you can dock and it switches userland so you can do your Office work on a full sized monitor and keyboard. One device. Many uses. See the Rob Pike Setup interview...

http://rob.pike.usesthis.com/

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What’s the KEYBOARD SHORTCUT for Delete?! Look in a contextual menu, fool!

keithpeter
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Windows

Keyboard commands for select, copy, paste and find

I've drunk a lot of free coffee and gained a (totally undeserved) reputation as a clever chap from showing people CTRL-A, CTRL-C click in the other window CTRL-V.

CTRL-F has helped out many a colleague trying to find a student by name in a long list ordered by reference number. I have brightened people's days with CTRL-Z.

Strange isn't it?

PS:do journalists still have to learn teeline?

(Typing this on the Calm Window Manager on OpenBSD on an old laptop, all keyboard driven. I'm the beginner again in BSD land.).

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Universal Credit CRISIS: Howard Shiplee SHIPS OUT of top job

keithpeter
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Basic concept fine...

...just the ongoing farce of implementation coupled with IDS announcing 'smartcards' for claimants that would restrict their spending (what could possibly go wrong with that?)

<ranty bit>

I think that if you have *paid taxes* for (say) 20 years then loose your job, you damn well should be supported at a reasonable % of your past income for some period of time before dropping to a safety net level. I don't like the rhetoric coming from IDS and his colleagues. Being (suddenly) poor is not actually a crime as such, and I don't see why the Conservative Party is becoming so downright Stalinist in this way. Hayek would be amazed at the micromanagement of people's lives involved in these policies.

</ranty bit>

Back on topic, an actually functioning UC system could make it easier to manage a benefit system with a contribution based element.

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CURSE YOU, 'streaming' music services! I want a bloody CD

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: have an upvote

"...being a fan of "real" music (ie with very very few exceptions nothing after 1900 - no not a typo 1900)"

Fashions in home listening change, as do fashions in performing. I found

http://www.charm.rhul.ac.uk/studies/chapters/intro.html

absolutely fascinating (especially the piano chapter). The database of transcriptions of 78s will keep you going for a month or so.

PS: should you decide to venture into the 20th Century, try some Peter Warlock songs and pieces. 'Modern' in structure but 'old' in sound world.

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A Norsified Linux for Windows and OS X wobblers

keithpeter
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Re: 6 Months Worth of Use

"And I'm glad you agree regarding it definitely being beta - now imagine me using that between the hours of 9am to 6pm Mon - Fri for 6 months doing work. It mostly works, it just happens to screw up on the days when the whole world is imploding around me!"

I do try out testing/sid/unstable releases on an old laptop that I use for typing notes on the train. I have a live USB stick with Debian stable in the bag for emergencies so I can get to files on the hard drive and use an RDP session to talk to the work box. I also play around with distros on a spare 2.5" drive. I use recycled Thinkpads and spare caddies are a fiver. Unscrew one screw, pop the drive out, pop the other one in, and you are away.

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keithpeter
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Re: 6 Months Worth of Use

"Get Debian."

@wolfetone

Debian stable, sure, fully agree. But you are not comparing like with like. Jessie/Testing will be 'fun' after the freeze early Nov (depending). Not for production!

Just booted elementaryOS off a live ISO dd'ed onto an old USB stick. Looks very nice, but, as you say, definitely beta.

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Open source and the NHS: Two huge disorganised entities without central control

keithpeter
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Windows

About [expletive] time

That is all.

(NHS could lead the world in this)

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Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't

keithpeter
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Re: Not a fan of Ellison.

"God forbid Linux without the steering of Torvalds. I am under no illusion of how control by committee would work out. I wish Beos flourished."

Torvalds steers only the kernel, and does not have to cope with the overhead of running a business. He remains neutral on user space issues other than the occaisional eruption when frustrated by some stupidity (e.g daughter needing admin password to connect to a networked printer). Sensible. Protect one bailiwick.

The rest of your analysis looks fine to me.

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Microsoft's axeman Nadella fills baskets with 2,100 fresh heads

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: It took 18,000 employees to remove a start menu

I may be naive but I imagine any with solid technical skills will find employment reasonably quickly.

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Slough isn't fit for humans now, says Amazon. We're going to Shoreditch

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Slough - Paradise on Earth

"...the post industrial, post nuclear war scabbiness of Slough..."

Sounds ace. I shall visit with cameras. Sort of like Сталкер only with Baltis and no dioxins?

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FTC: We didn't robocall you and thousands of others asking for bank details. IT'S A TRAP!

keithpeter
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Windows

"...a company operating under the name The Cuban Exchange"

Hawaiian lawyer at all? HST come back from the grave? And where is Don Jeffe when we need him?

Every crowd has a silver lining, truly.

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Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook

keithpeter
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Windows

exceptions

"...aims to present Office 365 users with the information that's most relevant to them by using machine learning to analyze their contacts, activity, and data."

I manage by exception.

The things I try to find out on an Intranet are the things I don't usually deal with.

How does the 'Office Graph' model that?

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Chelyabinsk-sized SURPRISE asteroid to skim Earth, satnav birds

keithpeter
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Windows

"...sliding past our planet a scant 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers) from the surface..."

Roughly 52 Earth cross sections within the 29 000 mile radius from centre.

Pretty close!

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Nokia Lumia 530: A Windows Phone... for under £50

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Like the 630 review before it..

Can this phone do wifi only when there is no payg credit left? I was thinking the teenagers would be buying these to bring to College for BBM on the guest wifi. Looks jolly, basics all there, they don't do photographing text much (I send them slides of lessons as pdfs).

If it does turn up in high street shops for less than £50, can anyone post a tutorial on putting the thing on silent?

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YES, I have ridden the UNICORN: The Ubuntu Utopic unicorn

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: why?

"I have never seen a Linux desktop that isn't gaudy or in some other way extremely unappetizing"

Gaudy: dwm. No bling. Just an expanse of Zen like pixels with one very small information only panel. No icons. No effects. I used to set the background colour to #33335E

Extremely unappetizing: You'll have to define terms a bit more.

Personally, I'm bucking the trend and using a *default* Debian Wheezy/KDE on my work laptop. Quite nice. Other people can work out how to start programs without long explanations.

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EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday

keithpeter
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Windows

"...to migrate data from the broken fibre to a new cable that was installed near our switch site in West London"

Do you think they might mean 'to direct the flow of data from the broken fibre optic cable to a new cable". Unless they store data in cables.

Was the cable broken by some chap with a visibility jacket and a pneumatic drill by any chance?

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Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?

keithpeter
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Windows

Relax rules about what you can rent

"Compulsory standard rental agreement terms that allowed people to make a rental property their home, rather than some kind extended holiday let, might temper the obsession we have with owner-occupation in this country."

Security of tenure, yes.

But at present, in the UK, I *think* there are quite severe limits on what you can convert/use/rent as living space. I *recollect* that our present 'government' said something about relaxing these limits, allowing surplus office blocks/factory units(*)/unusual buildings to be converted into housing. As there are plenty of these standing idle in the area just around the centre of Birmingham I imagine they could be rented basically for the amortised cost of conversion and maintenance plus a reasonable ROI.

Could be fun for younger people and oldies like me who just need about 400 sq. ft. + bathroom/corridor somewhere interesting. Could increase the supply of lower end housing, thus easing pressure on rented/purchased traditional housing. Might lead to genuine 'innovation zones' as a mix of low cost housing and workshop/office space becomes available and small service businesses attracted (genuine 'vibrancy').

Joseph Mitchell was a journalist who moved to New York in the 1930s/40s/50s. When he first moved to NY, he deliberately moved around the neighbourhoods, renting a new appartment each six months or so, because he wanted to explore the city. I'd love to have a vibrant, secure rented sector with sufficient supply to allow that to happen now.

How do we get from where we are now to something like that? What actual policies would need to be implemented and in what order to ensure a transition without huge price spikes and idiotic levels of risk to low income groups?

(*)Subject to checks on certain categories of factory: plating and etching is common round here, very nasty chemicals, might be too expensive to clean up.

The Tramp: low income groups need to have a secure roof over their head if you want your rubbish taken, offices cleaned, children minded, buses driven &c

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Euro banks will rip out EVERYTHING and buy proper backend systems ... LOL, fooled ya

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Financial IT spending

"(possibly written by overpaid primadonnas that rode their Ferraris into the sunset some time ago)"

Your average COBOL programming drone in the 1960s/1970s(?) wasn't driving any posh cars. Perhaps a two tone chocolate/burnt orange Vauxhall Viva with tartan seat covers on a finance agreement.

The documentation would exist (I believe they coded from specs) but would include magic numbers and administration codes based on the version of the manual that was current when the code was written.

I suspect the Posh Italian Car brigade were more on the investment banking side and more recently. Perhaps the APL wizards got a Jaguar.

Not arguing with your general point however.

Tramp Icon: I was doing BASIC on a teletype with a modem (that had a dial on the front) at College then. We got to visit a Data Processing Unit once as part of the course. Seriously large tape machines. Very short mini-skirts.

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EE accused of silencing customer gripes on social media pages

keithpeter
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Windows

Shops?

I just pop into the shop. I choose times when the chap who sold me the phone is in. He does the 'magic phone number' bit and things (only a couple) get sorted.

I'm a low revenue customer (sim only) and I am noticing switching to GPRS a lot as well as another commenter here. I'm OK with that however as voice calls, emails and sms messages seem to get through ok.

Icon: Blackberry Bold user

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Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Personally ...

"I can imagine that you might do some scripting with VI but 250 pages of Sci-Fi novel sounds a bit dubious."

I don't write books, but study packs in the 30 to 90 page range can be done in 'mark up' quite easily using a text editor and a previewer now and again to check the typesetting.

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Best shot: Coffee - how do you brew?

keithpeter
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Windows

Moka

"That said, a Moka pot is not really much more hassle."

Three 'cup' size (= 1 decent mug + top up when diluted with hot water) on the hotplate while I boil the porridge. 10 minutes quiet in the garden before the commute and work madness. £18 + a change of 'o' ring each year. No faffing with filters. Don't scrub the top part too much, it should stay a light brown.

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Jarvis versus Jarvis: Don't DISRUPT the DISRUPTION GURU!

keithpeter
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Windows

Fun

"You've had your fun, mate." -Jarvis

"You've had your fun. Now we want the stuff back." -Unamed senior security official quoted by Rusbridger[1] shortly before computers destroyed at Guardian HQ.

No comment needed really...

[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/19/guardian-hard-drives_n_3782382.html

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The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?

keithpeter
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Windows

@LDS was Re: Stupid

"You wanted a specific example of missing hardware support? I gave it to you. But I guess given the price of that hardware you've never seen one..."

https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=708673

https://www.mail-archive.com/debian-bugs-closed@lists.debian.org/msg444698.html

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ledmon/+bug/1174386

Dell *server*. Would it be those? Looks like fixed upstream.

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keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Stupid

"...simply because a huge amount of hardware either cannot be used or can only be used with reduced functionality because Linux drivers do not exist."

Specific examples in mind? Or have I just been amazingly lucky for the last five years or so...

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keithpeter
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Re: Stupid

"Tell me which distro/version and which app you installed on it, and I will verify."

Kernel panics resulting in a black screen with a hex dump and total lock up are very rare in my experience. The last one I had was a 2.6.x series kernel on a Samsung NC10 netbook. I think it was Ubuntu 10.10 or something. There was an issue with power saving being applied to the rt series wifi driver causing a panic. Resolved in a subsequent kernel update - this was during the pre-release testing period.

It is usually hardware driver based. Not fonts!

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keithpeter
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QA

"Doesn't Microsoft catch errors in their code any more? It would be a lot better than coming up with STOP ?"

The 4k or so redundancies at Redmond (as opposed to the 12k or so at Microsoft owned Nokia) apparently fell mainly on testing and QA staff according to a softie blog whose comments those made redundant were using to let off a bit of steam.

Coincidence?

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New voting rules leave innocent Brits at risk of SPAM TSUNAMI

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: When I moved to my borough some 26 years ago...

Likewise Brum council. Letter was quite clear and well laid out, and mail-merged with *my* existing details on already. Not that I'm worth trying to sell anything to.

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Snowden leaks show that terrorists are JUST LIKE US

keithpeter
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50 mile radius

"The Foreign Office provides non-attributable official and personal mobile phones to GCHQ officers while on deployment. Covert mobile phones are equipped with Bluetooth and therefore they must not be switched on or used within a 50-mile radius of GCHQ's Cheltenham HQ, operatives are instructed."

So look out for fairly young looking very inconspicuous chaps and chapesses conspicuously not using mobile phones in Birmingham or in fact most of the West Midlands including the West Coast train line and several small airports?

Or have I misunderstood the 'covert' bit and they are using other phones then?

The tramp: confused as always

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Microsoft: Just what the world needs – a $25 Nokia dumbphone

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: An Old Fogey Speaks

"And the van to drive your text message on punched cards over to the house of the recipient?"

Nah, card reader -> paper tape -> Paper tape reader on Telex Terminal set to 'Net' -> Message echoed to as many other Telexes as are connected to the same 'Net'.

My successful (apparently!) birth was apparently announced in several time zones using a similar technique but without the punched cards (late 1950s). Mum's best friend was a Telex operator.

PS: the people who are always nagging me to get on Facebook are the cousins over 70. Us young 'uns have reservations.

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£100m DMI omnifail: BBC managers' emails trawled by employment tribunal

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Public money

"In most commercial businesses pissing £100m up the wall for no useful output would actually endanger the future of the business, and probably result in a complete change of both board and IT management."

Or the hiring of gifted accountants who could associate a book value with what deliverables there were at the end of the project.

[I neither agree or disagree with your perception of the quality of the output of the BBC as I do not own a television receiver (see posts further up screen).]

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keithpeter
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Windows

Re: At least it's not my money these buffoons are burning

"Got rid of my telly in 2009 and haven't missed it."

I've never owned a broadcast television.

Be aware though that a computer with a broadband connection is classed as 'television receiving apparatus', so I do now pay for a television licence. I did write to my MP about this some years ago. There was some uncertaintly about the exact situation but I decided not to risk possible fine or visits.

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Chromebooks to break out of US schools: Netbook 2.0 comeback not just for children

keithpeter
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Pint

Re: Gaining traction

@Simon Palmer: Sir Gâr Graig?

Wouldn't mind picking your brains in September. I'm not the PHB any more (thank deity) just interested.

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keithpeter
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Linux

Re: There do seem to be a lot of Chromebook haters on here...

"Now, I just have to figure out how to crash these other laptops so I can get my own Chromebook. Probably won't have to wait long until someone downloads a patch that bricks them. Oh noes."

Pop Kubuntu on a usb drive and try it live for a day or two on one of your laptops. Might not boot (UEFI/Secure Boot shenanigans), or might just surprise you.

If no good, just donate/ebay the laptops and buy your Chromebook.

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