* Posts by keithpeter

1016 posts • joined 14 Jul 2007

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Back to school: Six of the smartest cheap 'n' cheerful laptops

keithpeter
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Re: Ubuntu boot results?

@ Voland's right hand and Revered Reviewer

Penguin Potential Perhaps on that vertebrae friendly Dell Latitude 11, SSD and all.

How bad is the keyboard?

I mean, is it 100% normal key size and does it bend when you type on it?

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T-Mobile US CEO calls his subscribers thieves, gripes about 'unlimited' limited tethering

keithpeter
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Impact

If someone was pulling down huge files or lots of HD video using their phone as a wifi access point, I'm assuming that that would have a measurable effect on other phones in the same cell. Has anyone experienced this? I mean 1/10000 of users is pretty tiny.

I've just started using a mifi with a 6Gb sim from EE in the UK. Very fast which tends to make you use more.

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Linux Foundation releases PARANOID internal infosec guide

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: burn a hard drive?

Quote from OA

"Zoz in his DEF CON talk showcases oxygen, copper, and thermate injection, and custom-made explosives."

UK based participants in these projects had better be careful with this particular suggestion. Try explaining to an SO-13 incident response team (or whoever it is these days) that you are actually practising good data security when they arrive through your windows at 4am. Isn't it Thermite?

Seriously: if a hard drive was encrypted using LUKS as recommended - especially if you take the Debian default setting of writing random numbers to the whole drive during installation so that it is harder to find the section of the drive where your encrypted data resides - is there any need for actual physical destruction?

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Honor 7 – heir apparent to the mid-range Android crown

keithpeter
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call quality - Re: good article but

@ Ivan 4

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/08/why-people-hate-making-phone-calls/401114/

There are inherent limitations stemming from the choices made some time ago about the sampling of the audio. In the days of landlines at both ends and quiet offices I could tell from the pauses if someone was fibbing. Not now.

My old blackberry can set call volume in 25% steps using 'in call options'. You can also pop a bit of treble boost on (I have age related hearing loss but not serious yet) which I find useful in noisy environments like railway stations. The ear-bud hands free thing with the microphone on the lead is good as well as long as you can get out of the wind. Phones like the one reviewed are basically portable televisions so I imagine people tend to use headsets!

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Windows 10 blamed (partly) for stalled PC sales recovery

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: There won't be a recovery

@Hmmph

There is a third category filled nicely by the iMac user (and Windows based machines of equivalent spec). This user does photos with a stonking big DSLR and edits 1080p video, and might want to edit 4k soon. Also laying out graphics work/posters &c. Perhaps they knock out some tracks using Logic Pro and Reaktor and a sequencer (or Ableton Live). Possibly this category of user is as numerous as the PC builder/gamer. Perhaps more so.

iMac like object gives you decent welly, nice screen, tidy cables and is fast. If I ever use a desktop again at home it will be that kind of device (although running Linux in my case and doing some large maths models).

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Net neutrality: How to spot an arts graduate in a tech debate

keithpeter
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Windows

Really?

"‘Stochastic' means it evolves over time in a deterministic way."

Really?

PS: downloading the report now, thanks for highlighting it.

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

keithpeter
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Windows

Brian Aldiss

Wonder what they made of Brian Aldiss?

(Report on Probability A and Barefoot in the Head era).

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Canadians taking to spying on their spies

keithpeter
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Windows

Groundswell

"Today, you can hear it discussed (and debated) in depth at any number of blue collar bars."

That's good. When stuff gets there and outside of the broadsheet reading classes politicians usually get the message and start tacking to the wind.

Is there a catalyst for this groundswell of concern? The NDP you mention, is that a populist party?

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Microsoft will explain only 'significant' Windows 10 updates

keithpeter
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Re: Nothing new here...

@JeffyPoooh and all.

Just a thought.

Is it just possible, invoking Hanlon's Razor, that the people releasing the fixes can't explain exactly what the issue is because of layers of complexity and cruft?

(In the open | libre software world the source code is available so people sometimes just provide the text of the actual patch with very little supporting info. MS can't do that of course).

Coat: I'm off out now.

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OpenOffice project 'all but dead upstream' argues prominent user

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: supercomputing....

Excel can do quite large iterative models - like 3 million rows worth - on a modest older laptop. Same laptop and LibreOffice 4.early and oOo 3.sommat are struggling. The OpenCL patch helps restore balance rather than giving [open|libre]office any kind of edge.

Have a look at

Data Smart: Using Data Science to Transform Information into Insight by John Foreman for giggles. He gives out a free chapter on his book site. You can work through the chapter using either Excel or Calc (latter v4.5 or later as Pivot Tables look similar)

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keithpeter
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Windows

Re: That Weird Sound You Hear

@k aka ac

Excellent. I sort of guessed it would be outlook that kept clinging on by its (virtual) fingertips. Good luck with the de-ribbonising

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keithpeter
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Re: Trolling time

"You do know right for probably most Linux non power users Abiword and Gnumeric can replace *Office and don't require hundreds of megs of binaries and libraries to be installed? Yes disk space is cheap but bloat is bloat. Flame on."

Gnumeric is fun to have in addition to [libre|open]office. The way charts can be built up is really useful. And boxplots straight out of the -er- box. I could probably live with Gnumeric for sheeting except for the pass rates (pivot table like analysis needed). Abiword is trickier - no drawing package so you are doing drawings in another package and copying in. Maths formulas depend on a LaTeX installation and can be trickly to configure. Oddly enough I don't see that much speed or responsiveness gain or particularly low memory use with Abiword or Gnumeric over [libre|open]office.

It all depends on the tasks at the end of the day.

Coat icon: it IS the end of the day.

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keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Splitters!

@ Phuq Witt

I understand your frustration but this fork is really about the license and the extent to which improvements get contributed back.

Some other forks do not stem from this concern of course.

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keithpeter
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Windows

Re: "Red Hat Software Engineering Manager and GNOME developer"

I can't hear the helicopters but the Gnome Gang could perhaps NOT try to improve the interface please. Yes, I had noticed the affiliation!

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keithpeter
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Windows

Re: That Weird Sound You Hear

"Agreed - We did it just a couple of weeks ago.."

You are posting AC for obvious reasons. Any ballpark figure for number of users and how they feel about the change over (de-Ribboning for instance)?

I'm assuming the online collaboration features of MS Office were not in use and that the Intranet is not sharepoint based &c.

In return: 500+ desktops in a college with MS Office/Sharepoint but also OpenOffice available as virtualised app. so available to students and staff if wished.

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Windows 10 keeps Microsoft's odd desktop-as-a-service rules

keithpeter
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Re: LTSP

Slackware? Wayland? Good heavens (checks that sky is not falling, wearing good thick overcoat for the freezing over of hell &c).

Best of luck.

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keithpeter
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Re: LTSP

@Trevor_Pott: upvoted for vividness metaphor.

"Linux needs to get Weland/Weston front and center, with its freerdp server"

@all: is there a distro that has this available even as alpha/proof of concept? Fedora 22 with a wayland session selected seems to handle its own desktop well already.

Coat: trying not to hijack Windows 10 threads but this is interesting.

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So unfair! Teachers know what’s happening on students' fondleslabs

keithpeter
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teaching

I do the teaching some Maths bit of that. Read a book about the history of mathematics from about 1500 onwards. Find one with a good chapter on the 1930s. Seriously. You'll appreciate the irony.

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keithpeter
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Re: On your own device?

"Oddly enough, my kids have been brought up to work when they need to work and play later ... and they do it without the need for micro-managment."

Good for you. Most College teachers would encourage students to develop this kind of discipline as well. It seems to work for the majority actually. I'm always a bit dubious about technology solutions to what are essentially social/behaviour issues.

The coat: late in here and early out - results day soon.

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Sony PC owners to get Windows 10 upgrade as early Christmas present

keithpeter
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Save time...

@Mahatma and all

"I really should have been paying more attention because it nuked everything on the HD including Win 8.1, the recovery partition and 38 hours of updates."

Clonezilla. That is all.

Coat: I'm off out.

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Windows 10 is FORCING ITSELF onto domain happy Windows 7 PCs

keithpeter
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Childcatcher

Re: "And it’s all happening despite Microsoft promising – here – that it wouldn’t."

"I do, however, have a problem with autotune."

It has become used as an *effect* deliberately I gather from younger people I speak to. Like vo-coders in the 80s.

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Sane people, I BEG you: Stop the software defined moronocalypse

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Might take a while

"Poor software development on the other hand is polymorphous stupidity - tricky to define and hard to legislate against."

Civil engineering a better possible model?

Big, complex projects that take a long time to complete and which will have an impact on their surroundings for decades or centuries into the future. Most legislatures have evolved a legal framework and set of contractual relationships that define liability. Civil engineers have professional training and standards of (professional) conduct. That all took a lot of case law and quite a few major business failures and (physical) collapses to get to. A few say the regulation has now gone too far and is stifling innovation.

How would the process get started?

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LibreOffice 5.0 debuts, complete with fewer German code comments

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Nein! Nein! Nein!

@Phuq Witt

The phrase "an improved user interface" worried me as well. I shall download and try.

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UK.gov issues internal 'ditch Oracle NOW' edict to end pricey addiction

keithpeter
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Re: remotes

"To be fair Libre/Open Office isn't as good as MS Office, I've been trying for years to reconcile the issue but it doesn't come out in the wash."

Any more detail?

What use cases?

Is it compatibility with existing MS Office files?

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Hacking Trump: Can we not label web vandalism as 'terrorism', please?

keithpeter
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Those sheds...

I decided to stop using Wordpress to publish a personal Web site some years ago because the time I spent upgrading the scripts was greater than the time I spent writing the Web pages.

At some point, I decided to use wget to pull down html versions of all the pages, removed the Wordpress scripts and deleted the MySQL tables and then the database itself, then uploaded the static .html files in place (same URLs as I had a .htaccess rewrite thing to produce sane URLs). Result has a much lower cross section for attack - less of a shed on the prairie, more of an earth closet with a padlock on the door. Something like a few hours work including the downloading bit. I recollect a bit of a search and replace to make the links in the pages relative.

Should some sysadmin not package up a set of scripts that can do this fairly automatically, release on git, and then propagandise politicians and other notables to get their techs to run it over legacy sites? Could we make that a bit of a campaign?

Coat: being too sensible?

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OnePlus phone fanbois flock for a shiny phondle

keithpeter
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specify parts like on laptops

It would be nice to be able to go to a Web site, and choose a screen/case format, then spec the processor, ram, storage, camera chip, audio system from lists of alternatives compatible with the screen/case style and then place the final order. Possibly in the future even with choice of OS (Android/Ubuntu/Plasma Mobile/One of those other ones like FirefoxOS or something). Wait 3 weeks and the phone arrives. There could be a showroom in the leafy wide streets of Southwark that demonstrated recommended models and allowed you to fondle before you buy.

I imagine this can't work as a result of the bulk pre-orders needed to reduce the cost of the parts. One can dream.

Coat: mine's the one with the old Blackberry. Well it works.

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Windows 10 marks the end of 'pay once, use forever' software

keithpeter
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Re: Linux

@ Bloodbeastterror

James 51 makes a sensible and safe suggestion on the choice of *distribution*.

I'd go one step further and suggest the purchase of a refurbished laptop as a throw away machine while experience is gathered. A core-duo class Thinkpad (e.g. x200) can be had for £90 or so on the well known auction site from one of the suppliers who sell ex-corporate machines ('buy it now, 10 or more in stock, 128 sold' or similar). These come with a Windows 7 Home OEM installation targeted at recycled computers so you have a way back. Explore using a 'live' session before installing.

I'd also suggest investigating clonezilla (a bootable linux designed to run from USB stick or CD that can be used to image an entire hard drive to an external hard drive).

Have fun. It is a whole world.

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No, Microsoft: Your one-billion Windows 10 goal is just sad ... really sad

keithpeter
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Windows

Time, stages and granularity

Time...

https://regmedia.co.uk/2015/07/24/share_time_spent_by_platform_comscore.jpg

I actually filled in the form and downloaded the slides.

Still could not find a methodology or definition of what or how 'time' was measured on each of the devices. My Blackberry Bold (does that even count as a smartphone these days?) is on 24/7. But I'm interacting with it in short fractally distributed bursts.

This laptop is on for a tenth of the time of the phone, but it gets an hour at a time of concentrated attention.

Stages...

Phone -> Laptop may be a coming of age thing? As one grows out of School / College the proportion of one's time spent on 'social' may decrease in favour of focussed activity. Just wondering about the underlying assumption in this research that what 18 - 34 age group do *now* will be the same going forward. Could it be that as the tasks associated with each stage of life change then the tools we overgrown chimps use may change as well.

Granularity...

18 - 34 covers a *huge* set of transitions in a life path - major differentiation of roles &c.

This needs to be split 18-24 ish then 25-35 ish at the very least.

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Crazy Canucks heat their lab with muahaha-capable server

keithpeter
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Windows

Startups

If a small company had a numerical computation that required computing power in the range supplied by this device, how much would they have to pay per hour/day whatever to use such a system?

In other words, how does the economics of one of these stack up against (say) an Amazon style computation service application spun up when needed?

If the characteristics of the computations needed do match your server, would half a rack of these things pay your pension?

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Microsoft's Windows 10 Torrent-U-Like updates GULP DOWN your precious bandwidth

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: And sharing malware in 5 4 3

"Because it happens all the time with linux distros that do the same thing, right?"

@AC whenever

Which linux distros have peer to peer downloading/seeding of post installation updates set as default? I'd love to have a look at how they do that, could be handy.

Agreed that poster you replied to was trolling. I'm assuming Microsoft will have all the usual checksum arrangements sorted.

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Edge out rivals? No! Firefox boss BLASTS Microsoft's Windows 10 browser brouhaha

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: But! it's! OK!

Not to mention Pocket (about:config and 'pocket' in search box to have a look-see. Google for how to disable).

But I still like the web dev tools and scratch pad so I stick to the old fox.

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keithpeter
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Linux

@Joe 48

"Linux doesn't give me browser choice"

Depends on the 'Linux' (or BSD) distribution you choose and how you install it.

Which I imagine is a similar the the point that is being made above about Windows 10, except that the choice happens more at the 'which distribution' level.

"Oh wait, because they managed to corner a large percentage of the market. Did they do this because their software is crap. No, if it was crap it never would died out years ago, they did it because at times its quite good."

I suspect that the cost of changing from Microsoft products may well be a factor for many of the larger and more complex organisations. Functionality above a threshold plus incumbency is all that is required really, and of course Microsoft will ensure that they meet the threshold as you say. Radical shareholders will pounce on any form of 'gold plating' however so radical large scale re-factoring of code bases may not be on the cards. Perhaps we should celebrate the new Web browser as an example of new code?

Home users are becoming more aware of alternative choices and we shall see how that plays out over the next decade or so. That choice might be exercised at the hardware level though and the software will just be 'what it came with' as always. Hence the importance attached to defaults.

The teenagers I teach are quite comfortable with a variety of devices and interfaces, and this cuts both ways so things could be interesting. A low end touch screen convertible laptop with those Microsoft modern apps installed along with the Office apps and ready to go and with auto-syncing to a low end Lumia phone and cloud backup for 'stuff' might actually go quite well provided MS don't crud it up with clumsy marketing or lots of garbageware on the devices.

Coat icon: Its sunny. Need coffee. No milk in.

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Sysadmin Day 2015: Fun things to do – and prizes to win from El Reg

keithpeter
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Pint

Woodman

"Birmingham sysadmins are invited to The Woodman, courtesy of the local makerspace group. Space is limited, so RSVP now."

If they have the upstairs room then its about 50 I reckon.

No jumping in the fountains afterwards mind...

Virtual pint to all who keep the wheels oiled...

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W3C's failed Do Not Track crusade tumbles to ad-blockers' Vietnam

keithpeter
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Re: Speaking of alternative ways of revenue generation

Subscription to a weekly curated *email*(1) on IT regulations/privacy/copyright legislation with executive summaries (not just a list'o'links). Leveraging your journalistic abilities to give us briefings similar to what the MPs get from their bright PPE/Oxbridge aides.

I'd pop a Starbucks or two a month for that one.

(1) Remember that?

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keithpeter
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Windows

Re: if they dont understand DNT

How about a new header

"Fuck off and die and do not record anything I do on the internet you fucking bastard advertisers"

or

"By accepting this header any tracking will be charged at a rate of £10000 per website payable to user of this browser"

Or simply

"I have no money and don't buy things"

See icon

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keithpeter
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Windows

Web logs

"Probably without telling anybody they are doing it, since selling lists of IP's and URL's is probably going to be unpopular."

Well, I'm on adsl broadband in good old Brum so what exactly is the IP address currently in use (from a pool) going to tell you? Not trolling, just I suspect the results might not be very valuable.

And some student surfing from the public wifi in the College where I teach will be one of 12000 surfers with the same IP address. And when they toddle off and connect in Starbucks, you won't be able to follow their movements.

These people want specifics I think. I have no idea what the answer to the general conundrum is by the way.

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

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: idiotic attitudes all round

"A proven track of creating 'rubbish' that has been the most commonly used desktop operating system in the world for the last 3 decades."

That's better.

I've used Windows in various versions since around 1992-ish(?) [386s where you had to type Win at the prompt to get a desktop] because it was what ran on the computers my employers provided me with. Mostly, it has worked, because the various employers have paid people to make sure it did. Can't say anyone actively made a choice to use it.

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Windows 10: A SYSADMIN speaks his brains – and says MEH

keithpeter
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Alien

Re: Cortana-

@hplasm

Yes, Mr Pott can coin a phrase.

Watch out for the teddy...

http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/chapter_6_the_teddy.html

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Windows 10: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE to Microsoft's long apology for Windows 8

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Just one thing left to make it good

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Windows-7-Search-File-Contents

So its been there all the time, thanks, I'll see if the necessary settings are 'allowed' at work. I was searching on indexing software &stuff.

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keithpeter
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Windows

Re: I'm disgusted!

"Or of course, you can download the ISOs so many commentards told us would not be available."

Excellent. The page suggests that I need to run the 'media creation tool' (a 17mb executable) that will, in turn, manage the download and burn the media.

Is there actually a link to an .iso file that I can just burn to a DVD or is that not how it is done?

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keithpeter
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Windows

Local backup options

Elmer Phud has hit the nail on the head here.

Assuming someone has bought an external hard drive, what is the backup software like for backing up content (images, music, documents &c) locally?

Anything like MacOS Timemachine built in or available that can be recommended to civilian users?

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keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Just one thing left to make it good

"For some people it is that hard to remember. You need to try supporting some elderly users. They just tend to save everything wherever they feel like..."

Some (not the majority) teenagers are quite into random saving as well. Always fun sorting them out.

I personally use search to cross reference archived stuff.

I have a folder for each academic year/course/week as the year progresses. File names include topic and level of difficulty.

If I need an extra worksheet/presentation quickly, I can just do a file name search on topic and level. The results show the last few years' worth of resources for level/topic.

Works at work (Win7) and at home (Linux). I always have to click around a bit to get the win7 search to return results but it does work.

Most of my colleagues have a filing system something like this but a surprising number are not familiar with file search or Ctrl-F for long pages/lists.

I'm assuming filename search will be possible/easier in the new Windows?

I'm also assuming there is a content search available in some way as well? Perhaps with local indexing software? Any suggestions?

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Blighty tablet sales plunge 31 per cent in saturated market

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Ooooh..

"Sent from my home built Linux running desktop."

I see what there did you.

Our core-duo laptops cope with everything we need to do. Absolutely no pressing need to upgrade or acquire new kit.

Might get a tablet to try out ebook learning materials and to see if I can write some stuff for the platform. Just PDFs with hyperlinks. Flashcards for the modern era.

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The Lazarus Effect: Saved by Linux and Cash Converters

keithpeter
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Re: asymmetric fud...

"Must mention too the excellent Studio service that lets you build an entire distro to your own requirements."

Looks interesting but you need to know what you want before you make the distro image. The Debian dvd1 and dvd2 just let you install a basic one then install packages subsequently.

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keithpeter
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Windows

Re: asymmetric fud...

"OpenSUSE repositories can be almost anything including CDs, DVDs, Hard drives, local iso images, UBS directories/images/isos as well as lots of networked sources."

Excellent - where do I download a good selection of packages in DVD image form? It would be good to have an alternative to Debian in case they decide to go all cloudy.

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keithpeter
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Windows

Re: asymmetric fud...

"And remember kids, Linux is the only fully-functional piece of software you can install on your hardware without needing an internet connection to "phone home"."

If you have the patience to download* and burn the DVD1 and DVD2 and just possibly DVD3 images of Debian (Jessie/Wheezy/Squeeze) before taking a long trip you can later install a 'fully-functional piece of software' without needing an Internet connection of any kind. The result will be a fully performant desktop (actually a choice of around 5 desktop environments and umpteen window managers) with the ability to subsequently install a huge range of applications from the DVDs after the initial installation.

This includes the Debian 'main' repository only however so you might need to download a proprietary wifi firmware (a single deb package) for a laptop. I accept that support for the more exotic graphics cards using binary drivers could be problematic as a result of the dependencies needed for the kernel modules they require.

To my knowledge, Debian is the only distro that caters for offline installation of a significant selection of desktop software in this way. I'd be delighted to hear of alternatives.

*Or simply buy/borrow a DVD set from somewhere - don't underestimate the bandwidth of a jiffy bag in the post.

PS: doing a DJ live mix on Kali linux does strike me as a little - er - odd but then we are a broad church.

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YOU! DEGRASSE! It's time to make Pluto a proper planet again, says NASA boffin

keithpeter
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Coat

Not in purple ink and not all in CAPITALS

"Take Reg scribe Kieren McCarthy, who has a daughter born after Pluto was declassified. She's become so entranced with the recent news from Pluto that she writes letters to scientists asking for it to be reinstated again, based on how fascinating the place is."

If I have read the article correctly, that puts the little girl around 9 or 10 so this is probably OK - especially if she puts drawings in that can go on the departmental fridge.

I used to get letters from (chronological) adults IN CAPITALS and usually in purple or lilac ink claiming to have unified gravity and quantum mechanics, or to have disproved special relativity. One person that actually turned up at the lab insisted that she was sensitive to electricity and had to work away from power lines and could we 'test' her out and write a letter? The situation became slightly embarrassing when she told us that she had to catch the 3pm *train* back to town (yup - electric trains, 1kV traction power from overhead cables).

Back on thread: its words folks. Read your Karl Popper. What matters is the thinking you do about how Pluto got to be like it is.

Coat icon: mine's the one with a copy of The Logic of Scientific Discovery in one pocket and Medawar's The Art of the Soluble in the other.

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Want longer battery life? Avoid the New York Times and The Grauniad

keithpeter
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A relevant blog post

"I feel like someone just set up the entire vendor hall from an awful tech conference in my living room."

http://blog.lmorchard.com/2015/07/22/the-verge-web-sucks/

Link via another well known technical forum - the one with orange.

The blog post author's use of web developer tools in Firefox coupled with the lightbeam extension have given me an idea for Maths teaching next year...

The coat: quitting while I'm ahead, thanks all.

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keithpeter
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Re: Outside, trying to get in

@frank ly

Never actually had a *shutdown* on Linux other than thermal runaway when I had a problem with acpi and fan control on Ubuntu 5.10 or something. Might be worth checking the temperature as the computer tries to load the page?

Trying to load my death-test page (linked above) results in Firefox thinking about it for a bit then deciding to quit. With noscript you can actually load the page but the memory use is very high (1Gb RAM in the netbook).

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keithpeter
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Try this page

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-old-suburban-office-park-is-the-new-american-ghost-town/2015/07/20/b8e7653a-1f6e-11e5-bf41-c23f5d3face1_story.html

It has a number of 7000 pixel wide photos in the page with some javascript stuff resizing the images to suit resolution/dpi of page. Eats around 800Mb on Firefox which then crashes on Linux, spanners MSIE and Chrome on the Atom based 2Gb RAM Windows 7 client I use at work - system becomes unresponsive and hard drive is on all the time. According to comments on another forum, it spanners Android based phones as well. I resorted to links in a terminal to actually read the 1000 words!

PS: lots of moderation happening are we being spammed?

Coat icon: off out in the rain for the lutz

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