* Posts by Alex Taylor

12 posts • joined 16 Mar 2007

Man cracks open floppy disk, inserts USB Flash drive

Alex Taylor

I've done this already...

I work in a school and so far I've found a couple of 1GB flash drives left in classrooms after someone's snapped the USB plug off while plugged in to a computer. So I gutted them, soldered short USB cables cut from dead keyboards to the pads left by the snapped-off connectors, and glued them into SD card cases. I use one of them quite frequently as it's got a bootable image of UBCD on it.

I own a couple of Microchannel PS/2s as well (a 286 and a 486) and I wouldn't hack up the reference diskettes either. You can download images and make copies but the original disk holds more retro value.

Oh, mine's the one with the MCA-16 10Base2 Ethernet adapter in the inside pocket.

Videogame history project successfully emulates CRT on LCD

Alex Taylor

Re: Bring back 8-bit gaming

Why not make/get a 5-pin DIN to 2x phono adapter for the Vic-20 and plug it into a TV's audio line-in and composite video inputs? That's what I did with mine (same adapter works on the C64 too), the picture's miles better than the Vic's RF modulator, which I found was never very good anyway.

Man cuffed for lamppost sex outrage

Alex Taylor

What the hell is a Henry Hoover?

If there was an article describing a Sony XBOX or a Microsoft PlayStation, then I'd be fairy sure to see lots of comments about it.

The "Henry" range of industrial vacuum cleaners is made a company called Numatic. Calling them Henry Hoovers is the same as calling my car a Mondeo Vauxhall, or this laptop a Thinkpad Compaq.

Philips AAA battery handset

Alex Taylor


Taking a spare battery pack involves buying a spare battery pack - often quite expensive - that you may never need. You'll have to carry it everywhere, and make sure you keep swapping it over and charging it, because they can self-discharge in a matter of weeks.

An AAA holder will always be handy, as long as you're somewhere near a shop, or even near something that you can pinch the battery out of (a remote control, for example).

Apple to roll out Mac OS X 10.5 next week

Alex Taylor

@Alastair Dodd

Mac OS X's "point releases" are seen on the end of the version number given here, such as Tiger being released at 10.4.0 and currently being at 10.4.10. Those are free updates.

10.5 isn't a service pack, it's the next version of the OS and contains major changes and new features.

Digital Switchover: town to lose BBC 2 tomorrow

Alex Taylor

Portable TVs?

What happens to portable TVs, like the 5" black-and-white 12-volt type that you might have in a car or caravan? Is there a 12-volt Freeview box that works off a cheap set-top aerial? No.

More stuff rendered useless, fit for landfill. However, I suppose it'll mean more people listening to the radio, reading books or magazines or talking to each other instead.

Asus launches tiny PC

Alex Taylor

XP on 4GB ... yes!

Some time ago I worked in a school where a whole room of computers had failed Maxtor hard drives all at the same time.

As a stopgap, I ended up putting 3.2GB drives in some of them just to keep them going ... loaded with XP Pro SP2, Office 2003, and a bunch of media player type software. It fitted into just over 2GB.

Compact Disc: 25 years old today

Alex Taylor

"VHS styling"

I think the caption underneath the picture of the Philips CD-100 is wrong. It looks much more like a Philips Video 2000 player than any VHS machine. Which would make sense, because at the time Philips would have been marketing their VR2020 player. I had a VR2022 machine, which beat the pants off any VHS or Beta machine for quality (and tape run time), and the tapes looked cool too.

Also, I do like the sound of vinyl, but purely because it sounds "retro", rather than anything to do with fidelity or frequency ranges.

And on the subject of people who don't care about sound quality, this can be no more exemplified by chavs listening to music played off mobile phones in public. This crap really hurts my ears - but there really are people out there who really don't mind listen to MP3 music played through a *piezo buzzer* for a speaker!

'Portable' CD player puts MP3 into a spin

Alex Taylor

Case design

Someone mentioned that the case splitting in two doesn't actually make more room for the CD to fit.

But surely it does create a much more stable device that can be placed flat on a table. Otherwise it would tip sideways and damage the disc edges.

I don't really think it's designed to play CDs while in a pocket. Even then, since when does a CD have a razor-sharp edge? Nobody could possibly be injured by this.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum: 25 today

Alex Taylor

8 colours...?

Should I point out that the Spectrum could actually display 15 different colours?

The BBC website seemed to make the same mistake too.

Ubuntu launch marred by website woes

Alex Taylor


What a stupid thing to say. Not even the most ardent Linux fan is going to say that it's immune to server overload - especially because this is more of a hardware and bandwidth issue than it is to do with the operating system it's being served from.

Wiki elevated to Oxford English Dictionary

Alex Taylor


Am I the only person who finds it vaguely amusing that an article about dictionary entries should erroneously use the word "principle", where it should be "principal"?

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