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* Posts by Andrew Fernie

240 posts • joined 2 Feb 2007

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Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance

Andrew Fernie
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Re: Too broke

"Ordnance - different matter. Wasn't there a US battleship that blew up because the 40 year old charges in the magazine had become unstable? "

The only US Battleship ever lost other than at Pearl Harbour was the USS Maine - the cause of its destruction remains unknown. Are you maybe thinking of the explosion that sank the RN battleship HMS Vanguard in 1917 which out of date cordite might have played a contributing factor?

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NASA finds first Earth-sized planet in a habitable zone around star

Andrew Fernie
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WTF?

Re: History

"If it is 500 light years away, what they are seeing in 500 years old. Might not be there now so there's no point in setting off."

My view of that B&Q conveniently in my line of sight a couple of miles or so down the road is about 10 microseconds old. Might not be there now so there's no point in setting off. Besides, I hate DIY.

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OK, we get the message, Microsoft: Windows Defender splats 1000s of WinXP, Server 2k3 PCs

Andrew Fernie
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Re: Why in the hell are any of us stupid enough...

"I think the point being that your company could do that just as well without being tied to .NET or Windows. Multi platform tools have been around for ages."

There's the small matter of not knowing what the AC .NET developer develops software to do. For all you know they could be selling the number one tool for Windows systems management, or migration, or something else fundamentally tied to the OS; and yet you're declaring him he could do just as well by... what? Abandoning their market, their knowledge store and codebase on a whim for no better reason than platform bias? Yes multi-platform tools have been around for ages, but the market for, and logic of developing cross-platform applications depends on their purpose.

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MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling

Andrew Fernie
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Re: Andrew Ferni Anonymous Cluetard Nonesuch I wouldn't want to set one foot.....

"So why did I ask you to try and post an actual opinion (which you have - AGAIN - failed to do!)? Holy batcrap, I never realised I was so devious! Asking someone to formulate an opinion as a means of ensuring they DON'T say their piece - how could that possibly be construed as anything other than oppression of the most Machiavellian levels? I do apolgise for untinkingly offering you the opportunity to prove you're not just a cardboard cutout mindlessly rebleating spoonfed ideals.It amazes me you manage to get out the door with that level of egocentricity. Or is that just another desperate evasion of the arguments? It wouldn't be your first by a long shot.""

ICD-10 F60.3

That is all.

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Andrew Fernie
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Re: Andrew Ferni Anonymous Cluetard Nonesuch I wouldn't want to set one foot.....

"Now, to keep it simple, do you want to try and debate AI or the US's 'improper' use of legal tools with regard to Karpeles?"

With you? Honestly? No. You see Matt, you're not even slightly interested in the 'debate' (because apparently you think that debate is what you do) you're simply waiting for the next confrontation in which you will triumphantly reaffirm how right you are and how everyone else is simply a cardboard cutout for you to hit with your verbal baseball bat of inanities (sheeple, cluetard, libtard, blahblah), once you've pinned the characteristics.of the things you hate to them by ascribing motives and ideologies that none of them actually have.

""....I'm not all that interested to be honest." Yeah, we all know that really translates to 'crap, I don't have a clue, best act cool and back out'."

Yep, you've got my number. I've been wandering round all day with a little speech bubble: "I sure wish I had as much of a clue as that Matt Bryant fellow, he knows what's what now he's painted every object, person, and concept on earth in vibrant shades of black and white."

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Andrew Fernie
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Re: Andrew Ferni Anonymous Cluetard Nonesuch I wouldn't want to set one foot.....

"As I said, it helps to not confuse you sheeple with too many long words"

Not to worry Matt, in your case there's no danger of that, of long words, or even particularly varied ones.

"Well, I suppose it was too much to expect you to actually formulate a defence of AI, hasn't one been spoonfed to you?"

I'm not all that interested to be honest.

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Andrew Fernie
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Re: Andrew Ferni Anonymous Cluetard Nonesuch I wouldn't want to set one foot.....

"I resist the urge to use too many descriptives for you shee-"<monotonous troll speech snipped>

Actually, I wasn't commenting on Amnesty, or offering an opinion. I was just commenting on the amusement value derived from you calling anyone unimaginative, when you are constitutionally incapable of writing a post without resorting to the use of the non-word 'sheeple'. But thanks for playing.

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Andrew Fernie
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"And thus they gathered all the bitcoin online... then just like magic t'was gone"

That rather cuts to the heart of it for those who shovelled cash into Mt Gox. Trusting a trading card exchange with millions of dollars is about as safe as trusting a...well.. a bank, but at least with a bank there's some regulation, good or bad.

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Andrew Fernie
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Re: Anonymous Cluetard Nonesuch I wouldn't want to set one foot on American soil either...

"you unimaginative sheeple"

Unimaginative sheeple eh? You really have no sense of irony at all, do you Matt?

https://www.google.co.uk/#q=site:theregister.co.uk+matt+bryant+sheeple

I didn't have time to see what kind of returns I'd get from your other stock phrases.

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Borked Bitcoin bunker MtGox in administration: Lawyer seizes control

Andrew Fernie
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Re: @ Winkypop

"Are you suggesting that Bitcoins migrate?"

Not at all. They could be carried....

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Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google

Andrew Fernie
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"A burglar may be a career criminal, but the court does not reveal to the jury this fact. It would create bias and make "beyond reasonable doubt" much harder. Each case is decided on the facts of that case alone, not previous history"

Here in the UK at least, the changes to the law represented in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 regarding bad character mean that evidence of prior criminal conduct is admissible under a surprisingly wide range of circumstances.

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Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker

Andrew Fernie
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"How dare you use the C-word to refer to those mewling quims."

Watched Avengers Assemble recently, by any chance? Always nice to see some really good old-fashioned insults resurface...

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Andrew Fernie
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Re: Mumsnet: "By parents for parents"

"#PenisBeaker, how did I miss that?"

I have a terrible sense of certainty that typing that phrase into a search engine would visit the combined horrors of Rule 34 and the Muppet Show upon me, so I'll pass.

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You'd better get out before the sync 'n' share bubble POPS

Andrew Fernie
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Re: Something better

"I used to have a lot of the same issues that are being raised by the readers here, but about six months ago we switched to this device called the CloudLocker which basically acts like a private cloud device."

It must be a device you're very enthusiastic about given that you signed up to The Register just to post this! There might be another explanation of course.

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Andrew Fernie
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Stop

Re: Turning a product into a feature?

So have you worked for Dropbox long?

Jokes aside, it's a tad disingenuous to compare Dropbox and a network file share on a corporate LAN, especially implying that IT departments could somehow build a comparable setup, 'because Dropbox can'. It also amounts to an apples and oranges scenario.

  • Will my Line of Business application that relies on network shares for files access work from Dropbox? No.
  • Will the sharing feature in Excel work from Dropbox? Can't see how.
  • Centralised backup to tape or other media? No - you've not forgotten that Dropbox is a sharing, not a backup solution, have you?. Admittedly there are cloud backup providers, for a price of course.
  • Centralised control of what, in the end, is the company's data, not the user's data? To some degree, but I'm not aware of any sign of file screening, although there are audit options.
Then there's the issue of security. I've seen firsthand this last month how effective phishing and spearphishing attacks are against the average user, the kind of attacks that would work well against a naïve Dropbox user, and could not in and of itself work against a user of a corporate file share. That's before you consider the presence of a representative of the world's biggest hacking gang in their boardroom.

There's a place for services like Dropbox in the enterprise, but not as some kind of replacement for a corporate file server, at least not as things stand now.

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US biz spaffed more dosh on internet ads than TV spots in 2013

Andrew Fernie
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Re: But ... but ... but ...

Bit modern for you jake - shouldn't your Sun 3/470 be downloading the listings over a 75 baud SLIP connection and then programming some form of Mechanical Turk to turn down the dial on your RCA Victor model 721T whenever the ads come on?

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Gnome Foundation runs out of cash

Andrew Fernie
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Re: Socialism in Software Development...

"Wow. Spoken like a true Marxist. You, comrade, are a credit to your kind. The duma will be proud of you."

Yes, that's right, open source is a secret plan to 'reallocate' the resources of the running-dog bourgeois capitalists in accordance with the teachings of our dear leader.

But wait, what's this? All these jobs on the job boards... all these IT companies with support contracts for open source software... all these web developers on the LAMP stack and Rails... the Capitalist pigs are making money from our socialist plot - foiled again!!!!

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'Software-defined anything' is NONSENSE. Don't bother pitching it

Andrew Fernie
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Re: Marketing twadle is marketing twadle.

It's very popular bullshit. Oh, and that's twaddle, not twadle

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VMware patches man-in-the-middle vSphere vuln

Andrew Fernie
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WTF?

Re: Likelihood of attack minimal...

So VMWare's approach to mitigation on something this dangerous can be summed up as:

"Ah c'mon! It's fine! I mean nobody would be dumb enough to expose ports on this thing or anything... right? Uh, guys? Right?"

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It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer

Andrew Fernie
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Re: Dodgy website admins

You monster!...

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Andrew Fernie
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Re: Dodgy website admins

"Surely the website admins are running dodgy vehicles on the super highway and should be treated the same?"

An interesting analogy, but how far do you take it and where does it end? With you, because your home PC is an unwitting member of a Botnet after you neglected to install those updates after the last patch Tuesday? Extraordinary rendition for Windows XP users, maybe?

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Andrew Fernie
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Re: Politicians....

"the next thing there'll be a law making Reality illegal"

The next thing? They already do this, all the time, based on their ideas of which particular junta is currently governing our green and pleasant land.

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France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours

Andrew Fernie
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Re: Up the creek without paddle...

DonJefe, That was well, well worth the read. Have an upvote.

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Spy-happy Condoleezza Rice joins Dropbox board as privacy adviser

Andrew Fernie
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Joke

Re: For Sale:

"For sale, one hungry fox. Excellent at guarding hen houses."

Quit complaining, it's not like any of them escaped, is it?

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Cheat Win XP DEATH: Little-known tool to save you from the XPocalypse

Andrew Fernie
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Re: Dear author

"Also, the XP virtual machine's Virtual Hard Disk can be cloned and backed up - every ten minutes if desired."

But's it's not just about easily recovering from a malware infection on the XP guest by rolling back to a clone or snapshot. Phil's (valid) point is that data moves around, and if you use a vulnerable Windows XP VM to manipulate that data, that's a vector for infection of files. If those infected (Office/PDF/JPEG etc) files then end up on your Windows 7/8 host, patching will not necessarily protect you from anything nasty that hitched a ride from your guest instance.

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Andrew Fernie
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Re: not to diss open source software

"but VirtualBox is terribly sluggish compared to VMware, it's a night and day difference !"

VMWare Player's nice, but I must say, sluggish is not a word I'd have used in my experiences with Virtualbox. On the flipside, both of them seem to comfortably beat Virtual PC, so it's handy to have Hyper-V in Windows 8.x - one of its redeeming features.

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Andrew Fernie
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Re: Danger Will Robinson

"that contains a licensed pre-release copy of Windows 7 Ultimate edition, to design, develop and test your programs for use with the Software. "

That sounds a lot like an agreement for preview or beta software on MSDN or TechNet. It's definitely not the actual licencing terms for XP Mode, for which there are (and I quote):

"no special licensing requirements for using Windows XP Mode; it is free if you have Windows 7 Premium, Windows 7 Enterprise, or Windows 7 Ultimate. For more information, see Install and use Windows XP Mode in Windows 7."

It doesn't mention Windows 7 Professional, but the 'more information' link in the page explicitly mentions it.

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Andrew Fernie
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Re: Or Another Way

Another approach (if using Virtual PC/Hyper-V/Virtualbox, not sure about VMWare) might be a P2V conversion to VHD format using the extremely handy Disk2VHD utility that uses Volume Shadow Copy to build a VHD.

My experience with it has ranged from the trivially easy to the frustrating and unsuccessful, depending on the PC being P2Ved, so as ever YMMV.

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Anatomy of OpenSSL's Heartbleed: Just four bytes trigger horror bug

Andrew Fernie
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FAIL

Re: OpenSSL is open source, most financial institutions don't use open source encryption.

"Hence why defacement / hacking statistics show that you are several times more likely to be hacked running Open Source than Windows - http://www.zone-h.org/news/id/4737"

You've quoted that irrelevant Zone-H survey, whether posting as Richto, TheVogon, or Anonymous Coward: at least 40 times.

You know, most other comedians at least try to refresh their material from time to time.

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UFO, cosmic ray or flasher? NASA rules on Curiosity curiosity

Andrew Fernie
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"He may be mad... BUT at least he is looking"

Ever actually visited Scott Waring's site? He doesn't look. He finds. Everywhere, always, on and in everything. A meteorite impacting a volcano in Mexico is of course aliens returning to their secret base, USS Voyager-shaped shadows on the moon are alien battleships, SOHO Observer image artifacts are a fleet of Borg cubes orbiting the sun. The simplest explanation is never the correct one for good old Scott.

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Wookiee! CHEWIE'S BACK in Star Wars Ep VII – blab Hollywood 'sources'

Andrew Fernie
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Joke

Judging by the Kimmel Show...

Good luck getting Chewbacca and Harrison Ford in the same room...

"She was my WIFE!!!"

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'Yahoo! Breaks! Every! Mailing! List! In! The! World!' says email guru

Andrew Fernie
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Re: What legit email admin ...

"What legit email admin doesn't bounce toys like yahoo, gmail, hotmail, etc. in the first place?"

Ooh! Me! Me! I know this one! Email admins who like gainful employment, not pink slips?

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Helpdesk/Service Desk Recommendations

Andrew Fernie
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: @ Andrew Fernie (was: Only 200 people?)

"Ah, yes. Metrics. So beloved by manglement. And so fucking useless."

I'm not management and I find metrics very useful, for determining:

  • which staff members are using the Helpdesk most and why
  • which systems generate the most issues for users, pinpointing specific areas for investigation and improvement
  • whether the requests they make are a symptom of a wider issue and whether the symptom rather than the root cause is being resolved
  • if is there a problem with training (because we try to fix training problems instead of 'moving on' as you so eloquently put it)
  • if the Helpdesk team is meeting the SLAs. This matters to us because it counts towards our objectives, and hence our earnings.
  • what time of day the Helpdesk is busiest, so I can determine whether they'll need a hand and prioritise my project work accordingly
Being the crack Systems Admin you so clearly are, what's the first step when you troubleshoot any production system for performance issues? Personally I generate performance data and compare it against a baseline. The manner in which you quantity the result is call a performance metric. See? You can find metrics useful! And fun!

"Why would the corporate network be allowed to connect to Facebook or anything providing Cat Videos?"

Since you're evidently not big on jokes, perhaps we can settle for saying they're using their smartphone.

"Bonuses? You're not salaried? Again, move on. Life is too short."

I never knew salaries and bonuses were mutually exclusive. I've been duped all this time.

"Excel isn't an option here."

I was pointing out the folly of using Excel for an exercise like this, not advertising it as a solution.

"My bosses aren't imaginary. That's the wife & I. I don't have "reviews". I land contracts."

So, you don't think that come the end (or even the middle) of your contract, your client might want to see some discernable evidence of the value of your services before deciding to renew? Very laid back of them, verging on the horizontal.

"Yes, my clients pay my phone bill on a fairly regular basis. Think about it."

I'm not really equipped to think about things the way you appear to Jake. I'm not sure many people are.

"Paris is a useless bint who was disinherited by her Grandfather. But at least the teenagers of the world know what her shaved twat looks like. Something to be proud of, no doubt."

Classy. Anyway the tldnr upshot is that all the technical knowledge on earth will not save your job if you don't fix your employers problems. Maybe you should give us an overview of how you handle issues during large scale projects, jake? I'm sure it would be educational.

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Andrew Fernie
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Re: We use zendesk

"But I know from speaking to other zendesk users that Freshdesk is a serious competitor and much cheaper alternative."

Like I did earlier in the thread you missed the bit where it says "Needs to be self hosted due to some of our special contracts"

Unfortunately that rules Zendesk or Freshdesk out

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Andrew Fernie
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Zendesk

"I didn't mean Zendesk above - I meant Sysaid"

We looked at Sysaid, but ultimately went with Zendesk, and while there have been some idiosyncracies and quirky issues it's been very useable, and we make heavy use of the API to integrate it with our Nagios setup, our provisioning system and a rather funky dashboard SaaS app called Geckoboard. We also use the Gooddata option to get some detailed performance reporting out of it, which revealed amusing stats about common issues, and well... certain individuals who monopolise IT's time more than they should, and the reasons they do the monopolising.

It's not perfect (nothing is), and not necessarily the cheapest option but we're into our second year with it now and the difference between it and our previous solution is night and day.

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Andrew Fernie
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Paris Hilton

Re: Only 200 people?

"Use the fucking telephone!

Unless your network and employee training are both fundamentally completely fucked up ... in which case, all I can say is that I feel sorry for you & suggest you move on. Life is too short."

Here in the real world, people who work actually work in IT support (which you so manifestly do not) are expected to provide metrics as an indication of performance. In additional to the simple expedient of proving they're not spending their day on Facebook or watching cat videos, said metrics often contribute to their objectives, and hence any bonuses they might earn. You might just about manage to manage this with Excel, assuming you possess an inclination towards masochism. What do you hand your imaginary bosses at imaginary review time jake? A phone bill?

Paris, because she'd make a better IT Professional than you ever would.

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The... Windows... XPocalypse... is... NIGH

Andrew Fernie
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Bear in mind..

that USB support in things like Hyper-V and (probably?) Virtualbox are geared towards USB mass storage and standard devices, rather than a software protection dongle (looks like VMWare copes a bit better with this).

There are also some Open Source projects that provide what amount to USB over IP, which are apparently intended to solve those sorts of problems (dongles, etc) inside a VM. Not tried them yet myself, but the idea sounds like it has some potential.

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Andrew Fernie
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Re: Just upgraded the last of my xp machines,

No problem. The only other thing I can think of is that there are lots of machines of that era (I was fortunate with the model I was using) that are kind of marginal when it comes to some driver support and video driver support in particular. It's often possible to use older drivers in compatibility mode, but it can be a bit of a chore to get them working. I had a similar experience with running Windows 7 on a Dell Dimension D410, where Vista drivers would work if installed in compatibility mode. An interested exercise, but definitely a bit of patience required.

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Andrew Fernie
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Re: Just upgraded the last of my xp machines,

I've had Windows 8 run very acceptably on a laptop with an Intel T2310 (dual core) and a couple of GB of RAM. I suspect it would cope tolerably with older CPUs, but the key point is NX SSE and PAE have to be part of the spec

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Andrew Fernie
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Excellent summary

Nice list of all the things to put on your shopping list of things to consider if you've simply no choice but to have XP lingering around, as so many of us do. I'm less concerned about XP in a Corporate environment however, way more worried about the army of consumer users who can't/won't ditch XP, or simply don't know any better. I think they'll be the real targets after the patches run dry.

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Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed

Andrew Fernie
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Re: It's not the OS you have to worry about

"They have whatever software that come with their PC."

Indeed - those are the ones where you boot up their PC, finally get to the desktop after about 10 minutes of disk thrashing, and are left with the unshakeable sense of being watched by all the evil things the PC has accumulated over years of non-maintenance. Malware scuttling just out of sight, eyes watching from the dark, that sort of thing. The only thing out in the open is the 10 toolbars installed on their copy of IE6

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Andrew Fernie
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Re: Underlying meanng of the data ...

"85-90% of El Reg's readers use an OS from Redmond.

Kinda explains the quality of the commentardy."

This from the man who was recently telling us all how real men don't need Helpdesk Systems when there's 'just' 200 users.

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Nominet bins Optical Express' appeal against 'It ruined my life' website

Andrew Fernie
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Coat

Yep, it's definitely one in the eye for Optical Express.

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USA opposes 'Schengen cloud' Eurocentric routing plan

Andrew Fernie
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Headmaster

Re: @MrT

"That's a damn lie! I've been to Toronto for the baseball. And my brother-in-law once went to Puerto Rico. (And it's traveled.)"

If you live on the American side of the Atlantic I guess, but it can be either. Here in the UK it's more usually travelled.

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Torvalds rails at Linux developer: 'I'm f*cking tired of your code'

Andrew Fernie
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Re: Torvalds getting so emotional with this guy..were they lovers?

"Was Torvalds rejected or something?

Really.. it seems like two gay guys arguing over nonsense stuff to hide other reasons..."

Isn't there a bridge you ought to be guarding?

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Windows Phone 8.1: Like WinPho 8, but BETTER

Andrew Fernie
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Re: Looks quite nice

Aye, looking forward to giving it a spin. Could it be that saner heads are prevailing in MS-Land at last?

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Andrew Fernie
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Re: Incorrect

"There is no Microsoft Tax on Android devices."

Interesting. A wide variety of other media sources (in other words, not just the Grauniad) disagree with you. Of course they may well be engaging in dubious journalistic practices, but they'd probably be able to cite their sources if pressed.

Out of curiosity, can you?

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In three hours, Microsoft gave the Windows-verse everything it needed

Andrew Fernie
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Stop

Re: None of this changes anything

"Microsoft are still on the road to going the way of the dinosaurs. Windows phone is dead, xbox one stillborn, windows 8 dead, office irevellant."

Much of that may be true in the consumer sector, but it simply isn't the case in the enterprise and no amount of wishful thinking will make it otherwise. For Microsoft, that is and always has been the primary driver for revenue.

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Back off, Siri! Microsoft debuts Halo beauty Cortana

Andrew Fernie
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Re: You MS haters are amusing!

"Let me tell you gentleman something."

Are you only telling one of us something? Can't the rest of us know too? I want in!

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El Reg's Deep Outback XP upgrade almost foiled by KILLER ARACHNIDS

Andrew Fernie
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Redbacks

The press-driven hysteria over the arrival of the Noble False Widow in the UK always makes me smile when I think of the care education and common sense Australians have to apply to their interactions with this far more hazardous relative, and while I can imagine the experience of lactrodectism to be an incredibly painful one, redback-induced fatalities are vanishingly rare. And we in the UK worry about a spider whose incredibly rare bite is usually less medically significant than a wasp sting...

Good job on the project, guys.

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