* Posts by Mage

7753 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Charge of the Metro brigade: Did Microsoft execs plan to take a hit?

Mage Silver badge

Re: March of the neophobes

"Windows 8 is the world's first device-independent operating system."


BSD, QNX, VXworks, GNU-Linux

Even NT Windows around the 3.51 & 4 versions supported MIPS, PowerPC, Alpha, Alpha64, x86(32bit mode only). There is an embedded "GUI-less" version of NT4.

I had a Debian based VOIP 4G handset with touch screen and ARM cpu before iPhone was on sale.

Have a look in the Arch directory of Linux Kernel source. MIPS, ARM, PowerPC, x86 (even on Geode), x64, and many more.

Most Servers, Setboxes, HDTVs, Routers run Linux Kernel on a bewildering variety of CPUs and HW.

Only the non-NT Win2.x, Win3.x, win9.x and ME was limited to x86 only and user computers (no server versions). There was an embedded version of Win3.x for Cash Registers and ATMs, but it was x86 only. WinCE ran on a variety of CPUs originally, only later it narrowed down to ARM on WinPhone version.

Mage Silver badge

Re: Making this make sense

But at least with all the Linux based Distros it's trivial to change the desktop.

Harder with Android. But it's controversial as to if it's really Linux distro or a fork.

Mage Silver badge

Re: What to do, what to do?

Only some editions have a downgrade licence.

It can be difficult to find drivers.

I think this will benefit OS X, Android, GNU-Linux (Such as Redhat, Centos, Debian, Mint, Ubuntu). Migration from XP will be even slower. Over 40% of PC users still use XP.

If you are using a high end Laptop or Desktop bought since 2002 the need to upgrade (other than for gaming) is hardly compelling compared to 1992 to 2002. Especially for business. This is part of the reason for big growth of Tablets vs Laptops/Desktops. People are getting a Tablet and KEEPING their older PC.

I have done support for Vista & Win7. MS has progressively been losing the plot on OS development since NT3.51. I blame the success of Win95.

Windows 7 is nothing more than what Vista should have been and ought to have been free to every Vista user. A lot of machines sold with Vista are now running XP or Win7.

Windows 8 looks like a genuinely new version of Windows. Maybe by Win 10 it may be sensible, but it looks like MS has been seduced by the iPad. They need to notice that Mac Air doesn't run same GUI or version of OS as iPad and iPhone.

With WinCE / Winmobe they made the mistake of copying the Desktop GUI. Now they are making the mistake in opposite direction. Really you need 4 to 6 OS versions and DON'T give them the same name. Or at least 4 GUIs:

1) Small to Medium Phones

2) Very large phones to tablets

3) Regular sized stuff with keyboard and mouse and mostly used for content creation

4) Servers

5) Embedded Devices such as Routers that have only a remote Web/HTML gui

6) TVs & Setboxes with only a simple remote control.

Strangely GNU-Linux can do all of these. Possibly because historically it was worst at (3). Today there is nothing wrong with GNU-Linux desktop, except possibly for Ubuntu Unity. But unlike Win8 on Ubuntu you can easily swap the desktop to one of choice. Curiously MS once had this to extent on NT4.0 you could have Program Manager and File Manager instead of Explorer. Replacing Explorer's File Browser Window with File Manager would have been nice, though really the solution is to open two Explorer Windows.

However File copying & Moving in Windows is still rubbish and unreliable for large amounts of files and where some files have various attributes compared to xcopy and other CLI tools.

UPDATE: GAGA team hunts down grass-smoking ROBOT

Mage Silver badge

10K RPM?

Is only 166Hz. There are harmonics and stuff of course.

Mage Silver badge

Re: Buy a sheep

Just make sure it's not a goat. They only eat grass after everything else. Including oddly once all the buttons off my shirt on the washing line. Without tearing the shirt. Goats are deranged.

Mage Silver badge

Re: I'm too lazy to downvote all the sonar/ultrasonic rangefinder commentards

No difficulty in demodulation of PSK on a 40kHz narrowband carrier. Not a huge o/p from lawnmower at that frequency. 40KHz and 60kHz has been used in extremely noisy environments.

The data rate doesn't need to be high which lowers the SNR needed.

Mage Silver badge

Re: Ultrasound

Two Ultrasound transmitters that are separated and transmitting different but isochronous codes. (This can be done by "slaving one" off the other via IR link, so one transmitter is "dumb" just using an IR remote sensor driving the Ultrasonic transmitter directly).

A sensor on the robot can calculate the distance from each easily. If the robot is told what side of the line between the Transmitters it's on, it knows it's location. if it has a pair of separated sensors it can use the phase between them to calculate orientation.

Put the two Ultrasound TX at two corners of the boundary.

Lawyers of Mordor menace Hobbit boozer

Mage Silver badge

In the 1960s

There was a Hobbit Restaurant in Belfast. I think it was still there in the 1980s. Not really been there since 1983 so no idea if it's still there. I was never in it but I bet they served good 2nd and 3rd Breakfasts though.

Anything a major part of culture should be available under FRAND, like patents incorporated in Standards. Apart from Apple, and occasionally Microsoft and Oracle that works. It's not like these people are a National Franchise. IMO the "loyalty card" is a step too far without talking to the Film company first. Anyone think £200 a year would be reasonable and no photos / images directly from the films or book illustrations?

Cambridge boffins build laser 'unprinter' to burn pages clean

Mage Silver badge


Re-use is more efficient than recycle.

Now if we could go back to returnable bottles that are reused instead of crushing them...

UK kids' art project is 'biggest copyright blag ever' – photographer

Mage Silver badge

Ts & Cs for El Reg

But do any of us Commentards post anything of any Intellectual value?

WTF is... White Space radio networking?

Mage Silver badge

Re: White Space...WTF?

No, the vacated spectrum is NOT "White space", that's the "Digital Dividend".

So called "White space" is the effect caused by the fact that if C23 for example is used for a Station, it can't be reused at the next city, but at a further city. At the intermediate location you are not ensured any reception on C23. But SOME people may have larger poles and Aerials and get either C23 depending which way it's pointed. The Fantasy of "White Space" radio is the idea that at certain locations you can re-use the in use channel because

a) No-one here is using it.

b) you won't interfere with the further off places that do use it.

Both assumptions are false.

Mage Silver badge

Re: I have my doubts

3G networks use dedicated licensed spectrum Each operator plans their own spectrum, or with a RAN the Network Manager manages the Pooled spectrum.

The Spectrum isn't shared with a Broadcast service. So called "white space" is an illusion.

The "Database" is a clumsy attempt to solve the "hidden transmitter syndrome". Just because this sounds cool, or allows licence free kit or is very clever doesn't make it a good idea.

Mage Silver badge


You can't do very large regions with SFN. Go read how it works. The difference of arrival of signal from two transmissions can't exceed symbol guard time.

SFN doesn't enable so called "White space". It just simplifies planning at some locations.

Mage Silver badge

Simple Answer

It's a fantasy that will damage TV reception for 100,000s of people.

An evil genie that should never be let out of the box. Apart from the fact that even if done as planned it's a disaster of epic proportions, people will disable the geo database lookup, the data base will be inadequate and people will add too powerful aerials or amplifiers.

We don't need this Yuppie DIY outdoor WiFi. Proper protected dedicated Licensed Spectrum is the only solution that works.

Windows 8: Thrown into a multi-tasking mosh pit

Mage Silver badge

Re: Maybe...

At least it's not a Cardassian GUI.

Mage Silver badge


They think the 15" 4:3 and 17" 16:9 and larger high resolution screens we have had for 10 years are vanishing and we will all be using 4" to 12" screens on PADDs.

No Roddenberry Icon :-)

Microsoft 'yanked optical drive from Xbox 720'

Mage Silver badge

What about

The 50% of people on less than 4Mbps

Low Caps

10% to 40% that can't get decent broadband.

Forget about mass market downloads of DVD never mind BD size titles on 3G or 4G/LTE. There isn't the capacity.

Decisions made by people on corporate Fibre?

Steve Jobs' death clears way for Apple-Android peace talks

Mage Silver badge


Most of Apple's patent's are either fluff or else really Registered Design (more about Copyright, look and Fell) rather than real engineering as most (all) of the products use no custom parts beyond the case (The Apple CPU is just a variant of Samsung SoC with ARM core).

Software, GUIs and Look and Feel ought only be be copyright, never patents.

Why on Earth would you build a closed Android phone?

Mage Silver badge
Thumb Up

Or Shock...

Simply an easy to use phone for ANYONE that mostly uses laptop, needs reading glasses and mostly wants to make phone calls.

There is a much Broader market than Aged Parents.

Wacom Cintiq 24HD interactive pen display

Mage Silver badge


1920 x 1200 may be HD on a 24" TV screen but not on Computer.

You need roughly 3000 x 1700 pixels for a 24" Widescreen to have the resolution of 1600 x 1200 15.4" screens ten years ago.


Nice product though. But a trifle pricey for a low resolution computer monitor and resistive panel, though of course it's a bit more than both.

Tick-like banking Trojan drills into Firefox, sucks out info

Mage Silver badge

Re: Correction - firefox on MS's rubbish OS's

You are making assumption that the user doesn't install something that carries this.

Also it uses remote configuration, so likely needs no write access once the user has installed whatever carries it. Assuming it's really a Trojan in original SW sense of the word.

Mage Silver badge

Missing info

How is it caught?

Installing a stupid toolbar?

A "trojan" suggests that something is installed by the user that has this in it.

Qualcomm poised to zap wireless charging rival into dust

Mage Silver badge

Re: Apple?

Actually it's totally pointless for a Tablet. If you are using the tablet a cord is better, unless it's so cordless you can be anywhere in the room.

Mage Silver badge


A wasteful pointless gimmick. Probably creates interference too.

What is wrong with

a) A dock (look at DECT phones and most Handheld two way radios)


b) Micro USB or mini USB

It still needs a PSU and cable. Another stage of power loss and conversion too.

UK Broadband flicks switch on Blighty's first 4G network

Mage Silver badge

Motorola Networks?

Sold to NSN, the disastrous merge of Nokia Networks and Siemens Networks.

Mage Silver badge

Unless it's Fixed ...

Nomadic / mobile / indoor / self install on 3.5GHz is rubbish. Only fixed outdoor/roof aerials makes sense.

Google Imagine WiMax and IBB Ripwave.

LTE doesn't fix the problem.


Indoor aerials about x8 less capacity / speed than roof top fixed directional aerials.

Really Fixed Wimax or WiDox (DOCSIS over Wireless) makes more sense at 3.5GHz. So either they are clueless or selling self install "nomadic" "windowsill" kit to save on roll out cost.

Bad investment, bad decision.

Apple snags blockbuster multi-touch patent

Mage Silver badge

More proof, not that we need any

All this was designed and discussed 30 years ago.

We called it Gesture based GUI.

The Patents system is obviously broken. Explain to me how much R&D effort there is in this compared with the effort of drawing up the so called "patent"

Apple spends 2% on R&D. How much of that time is spent advising the Patent guys and how much does Apple spend on Patent Paper work?

41-megapixel MONSTER mobe shutters Nokia knockers

Mage Silver badge

Re: Re: Technology leader

It was a Samsung ARM CPU too.

Also capacitive screens ignored for 20 years because the "holy grail" was believed to be handwritiing recognition (you need resistive for that). Having both would be good.

Molesworth and the New Latin

Mage Silver badge


When is Verity's book out?

I want to pre-order.

Mage Silver badge


My eyes are bleeding...

Call an ambulance.

Death to Office or to Windows - choose wisely, Microsoft

Mage Silver badge

MS Office isn't important

Libre office (the more popular fork of Open Office) now has Intel backing it and for 99.99% people is good enough.

OK I made up the statistic. But seriously iPad doesn't need Office to Succeed and really there are loads of reason to want Windows on a Laptop/Desktop (hardly any on a Tablet and none on a phone), But MS Office is now WAY down the list of reasons.

Hey Commentard! - or is that Commenter?

Mage Silver badge

Commentard of course

Commentators get paid.

Apple files patent for 'polished meteorite' keyboard

Mage Silver badge


I have an old single key that works like that. It's a telegraph key. As others note, 60 to 104 of these have been miniaturised and put in a skinny box before.

Mine's not from the 1800s. But 1940s, just like the J38 on wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telegraph_key

I guess it must be common

Heatmiser PRT-TS Wi-Fi RF thermostat

Mage Silver badge

Re: £200 ?

Apple users.

Hitachi GST waggles nippy 2.5-incher at Ultrabooks

Mage Silver badge

But does 7200 rpm eat twice the power of 5400 rpm or have they done clever stuff?

Ten... sub-£100 mono laser printers

Mage Silver badge

Perhaps sub £250

In reality sub £100 would be useless.

My last laser printer was Brother. I wish I had bought the Duplex version. But I needed it in a hurry and the local shops had NO Duplex printers.

Important is cost of consumables and how many pages they do.

Lantronix xPrintServer

Mage Silver badge

But ...

Why doesn't it have a USB port for a printer?

Or did I miss that?

I have Network Printer servers here. They have connections to drive a printer.

My E65 phone via WiFi can print to any printer on the Network configured to appear as LPR. No extra boxes needed. Of course with the "stock" printer driver I have to emulate an HP laser too.

I can make any linux thing (my Router's USB port) or USB, Serial, Parallel make almost the stupidest printer look like a Postcript LPR device. If I'm really in the mood I can do it on NT4 (even for USB via 3rd party USB stack, but parallel is trivial), Win2000, XP or Win7 too.

So why spend £115 to achieve what almost anything you already have that talks to a printer can do for free?

Or what did I not understand?

Brit sat biz Inmarsat owed $56m by ailing LightSquared

Mage Silver badge

Re: Re: Rabbits from the Hat?

What if you driving an Articulated Truck and the next slot is for bicycles or Mother & Babies?

I think you missed why Light squared can't stick several thousand 20W masts talking to 0.5W handsets next door to receivers listening for picowatts.

Mage Silver badge

Rabbits from the Hat?

Shirley they have a spare frog in their box?

I really can't see it. That's not light (squared) at the end of the Tunnel but an oncoming train wreck.

Why would the Military swap them any spectrum, what band would it be, would FCC agree and who would it impact?

Spectrum planning isn't like swapping parking spaces.

Mine's the one with box of dried frog pill in the pocket. Not for me of course. But for any crazy customers.

Microsoft claims Google bypassed its browser privacy too

Mage Silver badge
Big Brother

Do no evil?

Anyone else see a pattern?

Slurping all that WiFi info during street view was just an accident M'Lud!

Apple lands slide-to-unlock patent blow on Motorola

Mage Silver badge

This wasn't the intention of Patents

These are not "inventions" or innovative. But all obvious if you have touch screen, camera etc...

Cupertino to ban permissionless address book copying

Mage Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: I wonder...

They could have put the procedure in place from the start, years ago. Only acting when you are caught isn't very praiseworthy. You don't honestly think Apple didn't know?

Europeans turn backs on Ultrabooks

Mage Silver badge

1500 lines

For 11.6" long document at 133dpI, you need more than 1500 lines.

Widescreen makes 15" screens too poor on vertical. We need 4 x 3 or even square screens.

The obsession with video is really annoying. Besides most cinema is actually NOT 16:9

To replace a 15.5" approx 1600 x 1200 ten year old 4:3 laptop you now need an 18" machine. Crazy.

Ultrabooks/macair/Ultrathin are a pointless luxury format.

Mage Silver badge

Or only Apple fans prepared to buy overpriced shinyness?

FCC turns auction upside down for $300m rural 3G broadband

Mage Silver badge

3G Broadband?

Rural 3G extends voice coverage and Internet on the go. It doesn't provide broadband. None at all.

Fixed Wireless with directional outdoor aerials can provide broadband, but only if there are NO mobile/nomadic users.


see also http://www.techtir.ie/comms

Ten... Valentine's Day gifts for her

Mage Silver badge

Get Real

This is an insulting collection. Especially #1

I'm amazed you didn't make #10 a Barbie.

Ancient cave girl genome could crack Man's genetic puzzle

Mage Silver badge

Bible? 6000 years?

Says no such thing anywhere in the bible. That's just bad medieval guessing.

It involves people making assumptions.

Nokia axes 4,000, shifts smartphone manufacturing East

Mage Silver badge

Prior Art

Apple will sue for copying the Manufacturing Chain?

Spacemen urge NASA to build nuke ship for Mars trip

Mage Silver badge

Which was first?

Footfall or Project Orion?



I can't be sure the wikifiddlers are accurate.

High Street chains vow to play fair on warranties

Mage Silver badge

It's sickening

These are not Warranties.

They are insurance/gambling and many issues in reality covered by Sale of Goods.

They should just be banned from selling . so called "Warranties" or Insurance at all..

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