* Posts by Mage

7566 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Michael Dell accuses Icahn of using court as takeover tool

Mage Silver badge

Ever Ready and Hanson.

I've run out of popcorn and corn chips.

Icahn must think he is going to win. But Sean Quinn thought he could keep doing leveraged buyouts too.

Bill Gates's barbed comments pop Google's broadband balloons

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Re: Malaria? Isn't that Bill's monopoly

But Google's Balloons are just PR. Google has consistently ignored privacy law and consistently shown they are only interested in selling adverts.

PEAK iPAD: Slab looking a bit peaky, needs big biz to take more tablets

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Re: MS Office Missing?

Offices usually have desks rather than armchairs and settees. Also any serious size office the desks are cabled with ethernet. WiFi is ok only for half a dozen.

Surface is a fail too in the office as a real laptop costs less!

E-reader barons file FCC plea to opt out of disabled-friendly regs

Mage Silver badge

Re: Everything should be as accessible as possible.

No, they would just remove all communications from cheap ereaders, so disabled people would not benefit at all and everyone else would be penalised.

Should Ballet dancers wear lead weights, ear plugs and distorting dark glasses?

Yes, general purpose computing devices (tablets, ereaders with colour video screens) should have audio accessibility. But not the electronic paper.

Mage Silver badge

no LCD screen, no camera,

Yes anything not capable of color video should be exempt.

Shouldn't have any other restriction though on software.

Irish watchdog won't probe Apple, Facebook over PRISM... but COULD IT?

Mage Silver badge

Re: It's not just this one case - this *regulator* needs investigating

They did stomp on Sky when they decided they would unilaterally supply all customer info to 3rd parties for Advertising. Curiously Sky wrote to all the Irish Customers explaining this, so I guess the Irish Regulator could hardly ignore the thousands of letters and phone calls. Usually people in Ireland complain on Radio phone ins and to each other and never bother actually making official complaints because:

1) Usually they have no idea who to complain to.

2) A belief that little has changed since before 1921 (same Civil Service?) so it would be pointless.

Compared to the Irish Financial Regulator and Communications Regulator, the Data Protection Regulator is wonderful. The others appear to only exist to raise direct revenue.

Samsung rolls out first mass-produced 3D NAND flash memory chip

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Black Helicopters

Re: re. photo of V-NAND package

Why does it look like a 1970s Military grade EPROM?

Horrific moment curvy mum-of-none Mail Online spills everyone's data

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Have you had Cyber Sex ... ?

Asked the Book Keeper (in the Shop around the Corner in "you've got mail"

Win XP alive and kicking despite 2014 kill switch (Don't ask about Win 8)

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Re: I read this yesterday: RAM

If you don't have too high a resolution of Graphics and turn off everything not needed, then XP SP1 will run in less than 90M fine. But SP3 needs a fair bit more than 128M. NT 4.0 is faster on a 1/4 speed CPU and 20M RAM !

Standard Distros of Linux won't work on a 1999 spec PC either though, but it's easier to create a pared down version.

Mage Silver badge


I didn't read all 107 previous comments. Is the solution a better version NOT controlled by MS of NT 5.3?

Maybe all us programmers should sign up and help ReactOS.

Linux is fine, But even with Wine isn't an alternative to XP --> Win8 for many people. Maybe ReactOS is?

Bloke in shed starts own DAB radio station - with Ofcom's blessing

Mage Silver badge

Re: @Danny

FM channel hopping is instant and with RDS automatic. DAB Mux switching is PAINFULLY slow. Even within a mux channel changing is slow due to the MP2 (or AAC on DAB+, probably slower!) decoder buffer.

Mage Silver badge

Re: Why bother

Useless for really portable use. FM & AM are better. DAB is a dinosaur.

DAB+ is NOT better, just cheaper as they fit in more stations.

DAB isn't "green" for Receivers or for a single channel of transmission rather than a bunch of stations multiplexing the data to the COFDM modulator. FM was popular BEFORE the patents ran out and they are still trying to promote DAB.

SAP boss cops jail time plea after Lego barcode bust

Mage Silver badge

Re: "dish liquid"?..... Fairy Liquid

Olive Oil

Corn Oil

Sunflower Oil

Cod Liver Oil

But Baby oil and Fairy Liquid?

What are they made out of?

Mage Silver badge

Was his SAP pay not enough?

Such greed.

Geneticists resolve human dilemma of Adam's boy-toy status

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Re: plz tell me where 10k yrs came from in the bible ?

But Usher used a lot of false assumptions not actually written in the Bible. Also some stuff in the Bible he misunderstood.

There are only really identifiable date points from when Abraham leaves Ur of the Chaldeans. There is some Archaeological evidence for Nimrod, who is mentioned in passing. Really Usher was practically making it up and those that take his approach are ignoring what the Bible text says as well as definite evidence.

Icahn sues Dell's board over Big Mike's buyout bid

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I've run out, maybe I have tortilla chips.

LOHAN lays mitts on second Iridium sat comms kit

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Re: Live piccies!

Hmm... 25 x 25 using 4 bit greyscale is moderately useful. If converted to 256 shades and upscalled x300 % it is a little better than simple pixel zooming by x3

Happy 20th birthday, Windows NT 3.1: Microsoft's server outrider

Mage Silver badge

Re: SP ?

I even ran a prototype USB stack on NT 4.0, rumoured it would be in SP7. Of course most drivers for it had to be manually installed because programmers IGNORED MS advice to look for FEATURES and not just test for OS Ver > nn. Allegedly SP7 was canned to help Win2K sales as people not upgrading from NT 4.0.

Best Windows NT versions

1) NT3.5 (NT3.51 was just a patch to include gratuitous APIs stuck in Win95 to stop Office 95 running on Win3.11/WFWG3.11). NT3.51 even had an Explorer beta as a option. Only economical for most small offices as a server.

2) NT 4.0 after SP1. Enterprise Server Edition could break 2G/4G barrier for 16G RAM. Most CPU types, 1st 64 bit version and Clustering. Also more than basic POSIX via MS Services for UNIX, though you needed a 3rd party X server. Cool running X and Windows GDI seemlessly on one desktop with CMD console and UNIX shell console.

3) XP and Server 2003

MS OS/2 1989 (not the IBM or joint IBM /MS version) had LANmanager built in rather than an add-on. so is the Predecessor of the 1st NT, NT3.1. It was intended for servers only. Soon with Win 3.0 clients, delayed till 1990. Is it the reason NT starts at 3?

Networking in NT was a LANmanager subsystem and NT also supported OS/2 console mode applications (worked on NT4.0, probably dropped on Vista? Never tested XP).

Linux kernel beta released about the same time as NT in 1993, much to disgust of Andrew S. Tanenbaum who had released Minix in 1987. I played with Minix in 1991 but deployed DR Multidos.

One huge shortcoming in the NT design wasn't security, but no Multi-user, unlike UNIX, Xenix, Cromix and Linux etc. This is partly why there is no Sudo. XP added a half-baked User Switching via Terminal Serivices Subsystem (I always disable those services). It "bites" MS in the Hosted/Cloud market, so much easier for multiple users on Shared Linux hosting, Windows needs the massive RAM overhead of multiple VMs and multiple Windows OS instances to achieve the same properly.

Mage Silver badge


The Security was actually good and still good on later NTs...

But there were three HUGE problems.

By default there was no Ordinary User account created, only the Admin account.

People didn't write applications properly so they could be installed by Admin and used by User. This especially was an issue from NT3.51 when people starting to use the Workstation product and applications written by WFWG / Win95 developers.

Only with PROPERLY configured permissions on NTFS. Out of the box the permissions on directories not set to the idea.

The Token based scheme and ACLs was very powerful for people that bothered to use it properly. The Problem was that folks treated it like WFWG / Win9x (and increasingly MS themselves from Win98). Other often ignored features of serious value:

Named pipes (can't be created on Win9x, but even DOS clients can connector them)

Using files as Arrays (sort of persistent virtual memory)

Streams in Files (a little like Apple Resource Forks).

The problem was that most people never bothered to learn how to configure it or how it worked as 1/10th as much as a Linux/UNIX admin/User. Eventually this applied to MS too, which is why they did REALLY STUPID stuff (GDI to Kernel in NT4.0), gratuitous moving stuff around (W2K, XP, Vista/W7, Win8) for no good reason. Buggy Explorer. Stupid defaults on Share and Device names and security.

So the BIGGEST problem is the install defaults. 2nd Biggest was similarity to WFWG & Win9x. Win9X should NEVER have been released. It and Win98 helped degrade NT4.0 Win2K, XP, Vista/Win7 and Win8 to becoming ever more bloated, unreliable, less secure and more broken.

NT4.0 major security & reliability flaw was GDI moved to Kernel top make video 10% faster. Stupidity given how fast PC performance was improving 1995 to 1996.

I did have NT3.5 on a 386DX-16 MHz with 6M of RAM. Worked fine as a file server. NT4.0 was fine with Internet Proxy (wingate), Mdaemon for Mail, MS-SQL server, File & Printer server etc in 20M RAM on a 486.

So NT3.1 wasn't "bloated" or "Slow" for a 32 bit server, nor even was NT4.0.

NT 4.0 ran on Alpha, PPC, MIPS and 64bit Alpha as well as x86. It had Clustering (developed by DEC) from 1998/1999 that could be implemented really cheaply with two ordinary Servers, SCSI controllers with two channels, two external storage shelves.

Where did MS go wrong? Concentrating in eye candy instead of real suitability and REALLY badly done installer Wizards with BAD silent defaults. STILL. Why is EVERY service on by default?

Intel's homage to Raspberry Pi: The much pricier Minnowboard

Mage Silver badge


I want news I can make ecstatic erudite comments about instead of whinging & Whining.

Apple FINGERED our personal packages every day, claim shop staff

Mage Silver badge

Re: guess

Most shops in the Rag trade lose FAR more.

The door way security systems are to convince staff that "shrinkage" can't be blamed on the public.

They are often set sensitive at first and then turned down to reduce the false positives. Professional thieves know how to beat them.

The Motion sensor for alarm system behind & above till is often covert CCTV.

Move over, Freeview, just like you promised: You're hogging the 4G bed

Mage Silver badge

Re: This could usher in a whole new world of hurt

Yes. over 1/2 a million households ought to get new aerials.

Mage Silver badge


Band III used to be 175MHz to 275MHz?

1800MHz is just 1800Mhz. When did it become Band III?

700MHz & 800MHZ LTE will only be ultra fast if you are the only user on a mast and the window faces it and distance is less than 1km.

The existing 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz are not used efficiently (A RAN is best method). 2300MHz, 2500/2600 MHz are for short range Urban LTE (WiFi Hot spot replacement).

It's a shame that spectrum is now purely seen as revenue source via licence. A very short sighted view for a irreplaceable strategic national resource. Also the current pricing model instead of promoting efficient use of spectrum (the alleged reason) results in a poor service and wastage compared other approaches.

Ofcom of course want rid of ALL broadcast TV. Cable, fibre and Satellite. Mobile can't replace Broadcast for portable or non-fixed infrastructure of Radio or TV. That's proven. Simple mathematics of Unicast vs Broadcast bandwidth per user.

Typical! Google's wonder-dongle is a solution looking for a problem

Mage Silver badge

Re: Dongles all round

"Why should the Premier League have to go through broadcasters to get to users? "

Because folk like Sky pay them far more than they could hope to sell direct.

Ask J.K. Rowlings about "self publishing" vs established Publisher.

Mage Silver badge


But an HDMI cable works better. Most will not able able to deliver HD on WiFi. Especially if other users of the WiFi.

Mage Silver badge

I can't figure ...

It WON'T work on its own to the Internet via the WiFI.

WiFi limits the quality. Decent HD over WiFi is not assured.

Since you need a decent gadget with a Web Browser ANYWAY... what value is it over an HDMI cable or Wirelss HDMI (which will do real HD).

The hypegasm has been amazing.

PEAK APPLE: iPad market share hits the skids

Mage Silver badge

They will take the solution in the past.

Put it in a more expensive box, raise the price make their garden more walled, go up market and be a higher profit margin Niche player.

I'd be surprised if they go the other way and bring out $99 Tablets.

Google's new Chromecast spills its simplistic guts

Mage Silver badge

Re: You missed the point

It's pointless. It's a Google controlled Wireless HDMI spyware cable as it ENTIRELY relies on Google SW running on a gadget which can often use an HDMI cable.


No cable

No Content only on screen

Cheaper than Wireless HDMI.

Allows Gadgets with no HDMI to feed TV


Google might be "spying" on what you access.

Needs a Gadget (Phone, Tablet, Laptop) etc able to view the content.

More limited than an HDMI cable to Laptop.

What is maximum reliable data rate of video streamed?

Google Chromecast: Here's why it's the most important smart TV tech ever

Mage Silver badge

How is it different from a Smart Android Dongle?

Because it needs a Host Laptop/Notebook/Tablet etc.

So $35 is basically a cordless connection to replace the HDMI lead from your "host device".

This is not important and simply a Google Walled garden cordless connection to HDMI. An HDMI cable will give more functionality.

It does get round the cost and problems of a pure HDMI wireless adaptor pair.

London Mayor shows off GIANT BLUE COCK in busy square

Mage Silver badge

Re: Hooker in Dudley...

There are a few Hookers in Galway

in the Bay.

Pacemaker hack legend Barnaby Jack dies just before Black Hat revelations

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Black Helicopters

Re: Snowden connection...

<tinfoil_mode> Snowden is obviously the agency false flag, a paid actor who takes all main-stream media attention while telling us essentially what was already widely known. Now the real house cleaning steps up. </tinfoil_mode>

Fixed for ye

Dell buy-out latest: Big Mike makes shareholders an offer they can't refuse

Mage Silver badge

Oh dear

I'm going to run out of popcorn.

Keep up the the good work El Reg.

How Novell peaked, then threw it all away in a year

Mage Silver badge


Unless they were going to ditch their own NOS, what was the point of the UNIX purchase? They never sensibly built on it. So they sold it again.

Wordperfect and Quattro Pro (was Supercalc and Lotus better on DOS?) once leading products totally screwed the Windows transition and wiped out by Word and Excel, probably MS's best two products ever and ironically released 1st on Mac. (SQL, Visio, MS-DOS, MS-Basic (DOS & CP/M) all either copies or bought in, and even NT owes a lot to OS/2)

So those three purchases evidence EVEN THEN (I remember) that they had "lost the plot". I remember thinking wait a few months or a year and you'll get WP and Quattro for nothing. Why? So pointless they sold it again. Why did Corel bother to buy it though?

Mage Silver badge

running a few meters of Cat 5?


Almost all small businesses were "cheapernet" coax and BNC T-pieces up to 1995. Still some Token ring till 1998.

By 1994 the majority of new installs in small businesses NT Server. or even a WFWG 3.11 box designated as a server. Or clueless people with no server and sharing all on every PC.

In 1989 though when MS had parted with IBM few knew or installed MS OS/2 with LAN Manager and realised that its successor would be the death of Novell. File, By 1994 Print, Files, Wingate Internet Proxy (dialup or ISDN), SQL, Mail Server, Central User database, Native TCP/IP, NT tape backup, Fax Gateway/Server all on one box with a familiar GUI. Novell was toast then for the small business.

Apple earnings slip, but numbers beat Wall Street estimates

Mage Silver badge

Smartphones and Tablets

My two sons and I have all 2 x Smartphones each, but only one has a tablet (he has Kindle too), I have a Kindle too.

But though phone ownership is 120% here and most that want a Smart phone have one, we are not far off Tablet saturation. People that never go anywhere and have a laptop are poor prospects. At bottom end of Market even normally expensive Archos has a €60 / £50 tablet.

The Surface RT was obviously x2 to x3 to expensive for general public, is Apple stuff too expensive for people that haven't bought it yet? A high proportion already of Apple sales are to existing users upgrading. That won't run at current level forever. Apple change strategy and produce a £50 iPad or £99 phone? I doubt it and if they do it will be the beginning of the end.

Laser-wielding boffins develop ETERNAL MEMORY from quartz

Mage Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: "Ultrafast"

3,000x faster (3Gbyte, 30 Gbits) would still be over a day to fill one. About 300 times faster is about 2 weeks for 360 T byte, or a bit more than 1T byte an hour which is acceptable. Only 30x faster on a production version would still be usable, but not so nice.

PHWOAR! Huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, Prime Minister

Mage Silver badge

Re: Normalization with the real world......

# 1 :

The main problem is that Filters and Block lists block stuff that is NOTHING to do with Porn or Sex.

# 2 :

The second problem is who decides? If a Government they can eventually just add anything that annoys them (again need not be Sex related).

In 1920s Ireland the Film Distributors had to pay for the censorship, and a flash of too much leg might get a film banned, so more and more films not even submitted.

The US today fines TV companies millions if there is an accidental flash of nipple. More exposed flesh and more pornagraphic is Free To Air in Germany and Poland (after the watershed times though).

# 3 :

The third problem is that the main issue is the source, if it's illegal content the source ought to be brought to court and tried.

So while I agree with the argument of accessible content vs Shops and Cinema and UK TV, in practice this will "break" innocent content and can be subverted for political ends.

This is extra judicial, un-democratic and doesn't work in so many senses. Today in Ireland the the usual "suspects" are howling that this brilliant UK idea should be copied.

I think it's a cynical attempt to curry votes by Cameron. It will cost subscribers money and make totally unrelated content impossible to access unless you set up a proxy or vpn server in a less stupid Country.

WAR ON PORN: UK flicks switch on 'I am a pervert' web filters

Mage Silver badge

Re: @AC

Worse, it will unintentionally block valid innocent content.

Though should be people be protected from the truth about Scunthorpe?

Windows desktop VDI

Mage Silver badge


Forget about your idea of Virtualisation, unless you want back to dumb graphics terminals, several single point of failure (server & switch) and needing fast network.

Unless the applications are all server centric SQL based. Starting point is What do they need to do (not even the applications).

99% of the time unless you need separate Windows Server Instances or separate instances on a workstation for development there is no point to virtualisation. It adds massive extra CPU and RAM overhead for 30 users. A linux server and Windows or Linux laptops makes more sense. If they "must have" a bunch of traditional Windows applications like Sage, Adobe xxxx, Act2000! etc they need windows. If it's spreadsheet, Letters, email and Internet and shared database/CMS on server, then Linux server and Linux laptops.

Virtualisation is useful for Windows servers, Test Labs and Development. Usually pointless waste of money and less reliable for anything else.

A Raspberry Pi with screen, mouse, keyboard, box, PSU etc can easily add up to the price of a cheap laptop.

Since you need screens, mouse, keyboard and something to drive them to the LAN, how does virtualisation save money?

Confirmed: Bezos' salvaged Saturn rocket belonged to Apollo 11

Mage Silver badge

Re: If the Cosmosphere were on I70....

Yes, I've been in US of A.

But most of us will never be in Kansas, Toto, even if we click magical Apple iHeels.

I'll need my coat. It's a long walk.

Mage Silver badge

Re: If the Cosmosphere were on I70....


How our shaken Reg Playmonaut survived a 113,000ft stratodangle

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Re: Aha!

Why not have a piece of fuse wire in-line on the cord? Or is that not strong enough?

Worldwide tax crackdown planned against tech globocorps

Mage Silver badge

Re: And Russia will be the first to sign up!

Er ... if they aren't taxed how does Russia make more than peanuts?

The problem is that even the "Havens" are making very little out of these rich companies.

There are Russian companies based in Ireland, not for tax reasons, but for safety! Unless you are making or selling in Russia you wouldn't put your financial "eggs" in that basket.

Fever pitch as Dublin tar drop fall captured by webcam

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Re: Anyone know if...

Glass isn't a liquid. That's a myth. Old church glass panes are thicker at the bottom because they were made that way.


Mage Silver badge

Re: You're on a sticky wicket there ...

Actually a nickname in the "real" Ireland for Dublin Area is "Western Britain".

Curiosity team: Massive collision may have killed Red Planet

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Ben Bova's 67 Million Years ago was too recent?

Mars & Return to Mars.

UK investigators finger emergency beacon for 787 Heathrow fire

Mage Silver badge

Plastic Vs Aluminium

Surely ANY fire or risk of fire is worse in this plane than the older ones. Surely it needs higher standard wiring and LOWER fire risk design parts.

Was too much outsourced and cost reduced?

How do you make brittle Teflon (PTFE). That's an achievement.

Also other than Glass or Ceramic or Fibre glass about the most fire proof cable insulation*. Used since WWII for expensive wiring.

*You can burn it, but it needs a lot more heat than say PVC.

Nokia wrings Lumia bling fling, but feature-mobes ding stings

Mage Silver badge

Is Windows Phone the new S60?

I know someone that bought a Nokia Windows Phone because he realised he didn't use Android Apps or Widgets any more and thought maybe better camera and battery life. He thinks the GUI is like a toy though. But how much GUI do you need for phone calls, photo taking, music playing, maps and Browser?

Problem is that a Desktop PC needs more than that. Even a tablet needs better than the Zune GUI Ver 2013.

Mage Silver badge

Phones slumped 32%, In total an operating loss of €115m.

Dying more slowly is not recovery.

Tablets? Check. Mobes? Check. What's next, Apple? Fondlable CARS

Mage Silver badge

Re: Tactile

But not new or original. Just expensive.

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