* Posts by Michael Kean

167 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008


London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found

Michael Kean

Clive Peacock at it again?

Maybe Clive's just annoyed about the amount of airmail being sent these days, and he just wants to keep his job.

Michael Kean

Re: How hard is the approximate localization of a 2.4GHz sender operating in or near an airport?

If they're being miscreants, I'd say there's a strong chance they're using LTE (4G) instead of 2.4GHz.

Microsoft promises a fix for Windows 10 zip file woes. In November

Michael Kean

Re: "file indexing service works brilliantly in 2008R2"

Search Everything is indeed great, but it only searches filenames and not their contents; so there are times when Windows Search is useful still.

I'm an IT guy who fixes random computers so I still end up bringing up an administrative command prompt and using DOS since at least I know dir /s /a file*.* will actually look everywhere.

Samsung's sleek 'n' sporty X5 SSD pledges blazing transfer speeds

Michael Kean


With Win2USB this could give you a very fast, portable full install of Windows 10 etc that follows you around. Might be some rare use cases for such a thing - such as if they ban laptops on planes again.

Oz retro computer collection in dire straits, bulldozers on horizon

Michael Kean


If Blechley Park can have their computer museum, why can't Sydney?

Maybe they can ship them off to Parkes - would go well with The Dish.

Security guard cost bank millions by hitting emergency Off button

Michael Kean

Not all Serial Ports are what they seem.

So many years ago in a remote Australia town, I was asked to check the battery status of a large APC UPS - the likes of which I hadn't seen before at that time. (This might have been the first rack I'd seen.) I was the only permanent IT guy in town.

The only means of communication appeared to be a serial port on the back. So I figured I'd just plug my laptop into it with a serial or null modem cable and have a chat at 9600/n/8/1 if it was in the mood.

The moment I connected that cable, the UPS immediately turned off. Along with a few racks of servers. (I think it was a digital concentrator, or whatever it was that replaced analogue dialup modem racks back then.)

Nice bit of evil design there, thanks APC.

CIMON says: Say hello to your new AI pal-bot, space station 'nauts

Michael Kean


Give me the plant!!

Reminds me of that thing in Wall-E - some sort of talking ships steering wheel thing with a bad attitude. Edit: It was called "AUTO"


Oddly enough, when a Tesla accelerates at a barrier, someone dies: Autopilot report lands

Michael Kean

Re: Car's behaviour makes sense

"Not to make light of it, but why didn't Huang take the 280?"

Might have been aiming for the nine and three quarters...

Apple hit with another faulty hardware lawsuit – this time it's the Watch

Michael Kean

Apple's not alone...

It's a common problem with the Moto 360 range as well.

Life as a battery in a smart watch is not a pleasant thing - a fairly full-on daily duty cycle with occasional deep discharges, a constantly warm environment (especially with wireless charging), and relatively high current usage compared to capacity (>1C) all contribute to short overall life spans on early generation smart watch batteries.

On the plus side, if they engineered them appropriately, you could argue that spontaneous disassembly when you need a new battery is a handy feature! Sure saves all that heating, unclipping, etc.

My three+ year old Moto 360 is on its third battery. Motorola has given up making them.

About to install the Windows 10 April 2018 Update? You might want to wait a little bit longer

Michael Kean

Avast not the cause. Had it on a new install upgrade from Win7

Had a second hand laptop to sell, but it didn't have a Win10 license.

Wiped it and installed Windows 7 x64

Activated same.

Installed latest Windows 10 from the Media Creation Tool

Setup froze twice with black screen, no cursor.

Eventually booted up to the point where it came up with the familiar desktop folder not accessible.

Gave up and sold it with Windows 7 instead.

Michael Kean

Re: PC Updated itself last night

Won't happen to your MacBook?

How about that update that disabled the Ethernet port on some Macs? Bad luck if you don't have WiFi. Microsoft isn't alone in producing crap updates.

Time to ditch the front door key? Nest's new wireless smart lock is surprisingly convenient

Michael Kean


I'm surprised they don't include a solar panel on the outdoor component. If the AA batteries can last six months in standard use, I would think a LiPo battery, trickle charged by the panel during the day, could provide a significantly longer life in some situations.

Australia's new insta-pay scheme has insta-lookup of any user's phone number

Michael Kean

Doesn't seem any different to using Paypal really - except that I can use a phone number instead of an email address if I so desire.

MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)

Michael Kean

Re: Academics

Nor do fireworks, but we have them every year :)

'The capacitors exploded, showering the lab in flaming confetti'

Michael Kean

Re: Finding fault capacitors with high current PSUs used to be the norm

Sadly this no longer works since about 40GB drives I think, as they have specific configuration per pair of circuit board and platter pair.

Tech giants at war: Google pulls plug on YouTube in Amazon kit

Michael Kean

Yes. A laptop or PC connected to a TV is perhaps the most service agnostic option these days. Not the nicest interface perhaps, and having a keyboard / mouse combo is a bit much on the coffee table, but at least it works.

After Microsoft calls out HP Inc over stalled Windows 10 logins, HP bounces back with a fix

Michael Kean

Re: Ooh a success!

Don't worry.

The printhead will mysteriously die before then.

Google to kill its Drive file locker in two confusing ways

Michael Kean

You still have the original "Google Drive" capability that you had before, so that shoudn't be a problem for you.

The only new feature is the ability to select random folders on your computer to have backed up on your Google storage space - not as part of Drive, but as a traditional backup feature. (Some versioning available, but I think the restore of older versions is from the web interface only.)

Will be handy for some customers since Code42 has decided to murder CrashPlan for residential users.

Outage outed: Bing dinged, Microsoft portal mortal, DuckDuckGo becomes DuckDuckNo

Michael Kean

Re: "CMOS" as a sample test query?

Hehe. I use "Cows" - nobody is ever offended by cows.

For fork's sake! Bitcoin Core braces for another cryptocurrency split

Michael Kean

Re: Strong? Stable?

"Bit Coin was to be the big one -- proper unicorn poo and all that."

Bitcoin Cash keeps to the original vision of Bitcoin - that is that it can scale up to Visa / Mastercard size (transaaction wise) simply by having larger blocks. It removes the temporary 1MB limit that has hindered its growth.

The original Bitcoin (with or without SegWit) is still hobbled by the 1MB limit, resulting in much higher fees for use - hence a financial motivation for the miners on that chain to stick to it to the detriment of Bitcoin's growth potential.

50th anniversary of the ATM opens debate about mobile payments

Michael Kean

Just grab the cryptocurrency of your choice :)

Make sure your Skype is up to date because FYI there's a nasty hole in it

Michael Kean

I've migrated away from Skype to Facebook Messenger, Google Duo and WhatsApp. Couldn't trust it to remain signed in on Android and missed too many calls. Finally removed it from StartUp today.

Microsoft officially hangs up on old Skype phones, users fuming

Michael Kean

How long before Duo is killed too?

Google likes to randomly kill things. I've moved from Skype to Duo because call quality is much better; but I guess it's shaky ground too. Oh well, nothing lasts for ever. Good thing mobile phone numbers and email addresses stay put as the technology changes around them. (GSM, 3G, 4G, 5G, POP, HTTP, IMAP, etc.)

Android apps punched out by Judy malware

Michael Kean

Re: Just One more reason

AdAway needs root though. For the unrootable, AdGuard of almost as good. Have to get it as an apk though as Google won't allow it on the Play store for obvious reasons.

El Reg straps on the Huawei Watch 2

Michael Kean

Re: Reasons to be Wear-y

If a motorbike can deafen me legally, I don't see why playing music should be a big deal. I'm yet to hear any cyclist reach the dB of a motorbike or a semi.

O (n^2) Canada! Code bugs knacker buses, TV, broadband, phone lines

Michael Kean

Re: Optional

Can't catch the bus. Can't call a cab. Bad dey eh :)

USBee stings air-gapped PCs: Wirelessly leak secrets with a file write

Michael Kean



I guess you could flash the hard drive LED and watch for that, but that'd take longer.

Or throttle up the CPU fan and listen to the speed changes.

Or play modulated audio over an 18KHz and hope there are no teenagers working there.

Or embed a hub inside the mouse and hide a doohickey in there...

TAFE's troubled tech terminated

Michael Kean

Cert IV in IT?


Seems to me, students could build an SQL database that would work better than this.

Google IMAP losing old security protocols this month

Michael Kean

Outlook Express?


I still have a few customers on Outlook Express because they don't like change. I guess I'll have to forward their email to another address so they can POP it from there.

'I thought my daughter clicked on ransomware – it was the damn Windows 10 installer'

Michael Kean

Re: Slow checking for updates...

If you install a number of computers, try googling 'wsus offline installer' - it stores most Windows Updates on a hard drive / USB stick, etc and will install them all for you without needing an Internet connection.

Hello? HELLO? Major Skype outage hits folk WORLDWIDE

Michael Kean

A temporary boon for Facebook Messenger and the like...

Detroit losing millions because it buys cheap batteries – report

Michael Kean

Re: But it said, "Heavy Duty"

We used to have those blue "General Purpose" Eveready batteries too, not sure if they're still sold.

Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU

Michael Kean


Hi :)

I'm not at all in the world of databases, having progressed only as far as Microsoft Access and VBA; so perhaps this is a stupid suggestion; but with SSDs being so fast these days does it really matter if data is not in RAM any more?

Cheers, Mike.

Dude, you're getting a Dell – with Bitcoin: IT giant slurps cryptocash

Michael Kean

Re: Perpetual money machine

Mining with CPU and GPU are no longer profitable.

A GPU can do approx, 300Megahashes per second using 300 Watts

An ASIC miner can do approx. 5,000Megahashes per second on 8 Watts.

Android SMS worm punts dodgy downloads... from your MATES

Michael Kean

Re: Is this really a worm?

Nope. This is not a worm. Worms don't require user interaction.

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

Michael Kean

Re: @cornz @ShelLuser

Why not just click "Change the way Security Centre Alerts me..." and deselect "Warn me about Windows Update."

It's nice to no longer have to let WUAUSERV chew up 500MB at boot on some old systems now :)

Nintendo is FLATLY UNHINGED: New 2DS is a handful of game

Michael Kean

Nice :)

You could almost get a convincing knock-up of Donkey Kong II on it from the Game & Watch days.

Those were great little buggers.

Tick-tock! 40% of PCs start Windows XP malware meltdown countdown

Michael Kean

I wonder...

... if the Search Companion dog will start to go grey soon. Thirteen human years is quite high for dog years.

Michael Kean

Re: " it has been 13 years"

Did you make an image of the hard drive? It could live on as a 'hologram' in a Virtual Machine, like Rimmer!

Oil giant Total shells out €60m for world's fastest private super

Michael Kean

Another kind of mining?

Hmm :) WIth that much computing power, I wonder if they could potentially mount a 51% attack on Bitcoin - although if they just mined normally they'd probably make a small fortune at the current Bitcoin market values.

Redmond slashing Win8, Office OEM rates for small devices

Michael Kean
IT Angle

Re: Windows Cash Cow on death row

"1) Windows too fat and power hungry to run on cheap hardware"

Windows 2000 ran nicely even with 64MB of RAM. What went wrong?? :)

'Quantum fridge' gets close to absolute zero

Michael Kean

At last...

I knew we were due to invent the Reverse Cycle Microwave...

Storage glitch sends Curiosity into safe mode

Michael Kean

Where's the other one?

Malf f ffff fff ^unction. Need Input...

[Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?]

Netbooks were a GOOD thing and we threw them under a bus

Michael Kean

Battery and Inverter...

Heh :)

This reminds me of 10 years ago when I wanted to keep the Compaq Armada 1500c (400MHz Celeron) going for a day. A 7Ah UPS battery and inverter in a backpack sure helped! Just weighted a lot :( Now you can buy 2Ah USB charging batteries on eBay so for many tablets, phones, and digital cameras; there is a cheap portable solution.

The amazing magical LED: Has it really been fifty years already?

Michael Kean

Re: Overkill?

We put ours outside on a tree, and leave them on a timer to run every evening so they double as a path light.

We usually go through a set a year. Since then I've figured out how to make them last much longer. Dip them in wood glue before hanging :) It's the water sitting between the terminals that rusts them away, and the glue seals them.

WIN! A Viewsonic Pro9000 HD projector worth £1600

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Grinchy Google to shut down another batch of services

Michael Kean


So I am about to lose:

Google Calendar Sync with Outlook. (Was wondering why it was crashing.)

Google Sync (Contacts, calendar) on my Nokia E51, E61.

.. and a few annoyed customers probably who use Google Exchange to sync their iPhone and Google stuff.

.. and my Galaxy Tab just died too - RAM has gone read only.

All they need to do now is kill IMAP and I'm outta there.

Office 2013 now on sale for business customers

Michael Kean

Word 2.0 was good enough ...

... except for floating images.

I helped my partner write a book in Word 2.0 on a 386 with 16MB RAM - including many scanned full page images of maps and microscopy. Back then you had to insert a frame before you could place an image in it, and it was wise to link to images rather than embed them in the document so it wouldn't fall over. I've not seen much change in a practical sense since then in Word; other than improvements to image positioning, etc - although I don't use anything more advanced that table of contents, styles, mail merge.

Access 2007 and above however are soooo much nicer than Access 2003 and below. Still, I guess the only way to keep selling Office is to keep selling computers without Office on them. Office 2003 was the last one that didn't care how many machines it was installed on.

Google+ exec declares Facebook 'social network of the past'

Michael Kean

Deleted mine because...

... I use Picasa.

If you have a Google+ account, you cannot sync photos to Picasa Web Albums as easily. Sure, you can still upload photos, but you have less options - a step backward in functionality.

HP PC chief: Microsoft's Surface is 'KLUDGEY'. There, I said it

Michael Kean

Re: I've got one and it's kludgy

"... but the whole concept is pointless"

After seeing http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/15/review_viewsonic_vsd220_aio_smart_display/ I am not so sure it's pointless. Think also about the Asus transformer for example - an Android 'Laptop.' Think about how many non-computer and semi-computer literate people now have smartphones. And how many of those phones run Android. Perhaps it makes sense that those people can grab an Android-based Laptop or 'PC' and already know how to get around it.

I think Microsoft might be thinking that way and hence trying desperately to make this synergy happen so that Win8 phone buyers would also have that same 'familiarity' experience. But have they left it too late? I guess give them a year and see. Maybe Windows 8-and-a-bit will be what they need.


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