* Posts by Dave K

436 posts • joined 25 Apr 2008


Surface Studio 2: The Vulture rakes a talon over Microsoft's latest box of desktop delight

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Hmmmmm!

Essentially, this does mean that a PC from 2004 can still run Windows 10 - assuming you could find drivers for everything and you have sufficient RAM. Windows requirements have moved very little since Vista first came along. The odd minor tweak, sure, but a far cry from the 90s and early 2000s where a PC 4 years old was below minimum spec for the latest Windows release. It's also worth noting that since Windows 7, the 64bit version of Windows has required 2GB minimum.

Regarding the Surface Studio, it's a nice bit of kit. However I'm never a fan of AIO systems for the lack of upgradability mentioned. Not a specific dig at MS, it applies to them all - they're just not for me. Now what would be lovely is if MS could make standalone 3:2 monitors for use with other computers. Imagine being able to take any old workstation and connect a couple of beautiful 3:2 monitors to it. That would be fantastic for productivity! I'm still using an old ViewSonic 28" monitor from about 2008. Why? Because it's 16:10 and almost all current screens would be a downgrade from the point of aspect ratio.

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Yay landfill!

I still use one. I prefer to have a dedicated sat-nav when I'm travelling as it keeps my mobile free for playing music, taking hands-free calls and such forth. I also have one specially designed for motorcycling that can be operated whilst wearing biking gloves - no way I'm strapping my mobile phone to my handlebars!

Not knocking those who use their phones as sat-navs, but not everyone likes to rely on their mobile for everything...

It's now 2019, and your Windows DHCP server can be pwned by a packet, IE and Edge by a webpage, and so on

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Is it Acrobat or PDF itself?

All depends on whether the client that is opening the poisoned PDF is capable of being exploited by it.

Most of these kind of exploits are very client-specific. The exploit won't be effective if the PDF is being opened by a client that has proper array bounds checking and other such defense mechanisms to prevent the poisoned PDF from getting data into areas of memory that it shouldn't have access to.

Hold horror stories: Chief, we've got a f*cking idiot on line 1. Oh, you heard all that

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Help desk

Welcome to the fun world of outsourced L1 support where agents are graded depending on how many issues they resolve compared with how many are dispatched to L2/L3 support. Result is sometimes an agent receiving a bollocking for having a poor RAL1 score (Resolved at L1), and then faffing about with calls like yours to try and avoid having to dispatch them up the chain...

Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late

Dave K Silver badge

"Thats never been the case, ever.

All software has bugs, some huge.

And hardware dies after 10 years."

Nowerdays, yes. However older hardware/software was generally better built IMO. These days, companies are too quick to release software knowing that they can easily patch it if there's bugs that turn up. Back in the 90s, this was far less common, and companies had to test their software more rigorously. Of course it also helped that software back then was simpler and less bloated which helped make testing more effective and the emergence of bugs less likely - the more code, the greater the chance of bugs in it, and the more effort needed to test it thoroughly.

As for hardware, I own an SGI Indigo2 (from 1995) that is still working fine. Plenty of these systems are still in commercial use today as earlier Indigo2s were commonly used to control expensive MRI machines. Hardware wise, they're built like tanks - a far cry from today's increasingly disposable hardware.

Dave K Silver badge

I miss the good old days where you installed a piece of software onto a server, confirmed it was working correctly, then just left it to it for months/years on end.

Nowerdays with regular security patching, poorer hardware/software etc. you can guarantee that odd reboots and other such issues will arise from time to time.

Years ago when I was with a different company, we found a server running as an additional domain controller hidden in the corner of a comms room at the opposite side of the building. Everyone had forgotten it was there and it hadn't been touched or rebooted for years - yet it was still happily working away without issue.

Pants-purveyor in plea for popularity: It's not just any pork push... it's an M&S 'love sausage'

Dave K Silver badge

Did he follow this up by asking where he could find a good screw?

Only plebs use Office 2019 over Office 365, says Microsoft's weird new ad campaign

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Office 365

I must admit I was quite surprised by the video. They managed to work with Office 365 and complete several tasks without a single freeze or crash from it. I suppose that's the power of video editing for you...

Sure, you can keep Grandpa Windows 7 snug in the old code home – for a price

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Updating to Windows 10

No, they won't open free upgrades again (at least not intentionally). They only did that initially to get a quick boost of Windows 10 users so that their user-based testing would have a sufficient sample size to provide useful test data.

Now that Windows 10 is the most used Windows version, no need to do this again. You want a new Windows (legally), you'll have to pay.

Personally, I did use the upgrade option - just to get the license. I promptly restored my machine to Windows 7 once I'd done this. I'll be running Windows 7 until January next year, then will likely be putting an LTSC build of Windows 10 on after this time. OK it doesn't match the Win 10 Pro license I have, but I frankly don't care. I will not allow my machine to be mired in Microsoft's Windows-As-A-Disservice model.

Windows Defender update: So secure, it wouldn't let Secure-Boot Windows PCs, er, boot

Dave K Silver badge

Re: What are the symptoms

I know the feeling, I drive a motorcycle (BMW), and on previous models the battery used to be under the seat. Nice and easy to change, you just pop the seat off, remove the cables and two straps holding it down and you're away. Or if you need to charge it, pop the seat off, clip on the charger and go!

The newer BMW bike I have? It's under the fuel tank. So you've got to remove the seat, unbolt the faring, unbolt the oil-coolers, remove the fuel pipes, unbolt the tank, disconnect the fuel pump, lift off the tank, then FINALLY you're at the battery! It also means of course that the simple act of connecting a charger to the battery is a pain in the absolute arse as you grovel under the fuel tank with your finger tips trying to clip the damn thing on to the battery terminals (that you can't see).

I do with modern designers would stop to think about ease of maintenance when designing things...

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Again...

It's genuinely impressive just how poor the quality of MS software and updates has become lately. Go back several years and Windows 7 plus Office 2010 was a fairly stable combination. Not perfect, but reasonable enough. Nowerdays though, Windows 10 feels like a flaky piece of beta software and Office 365 is just full of various bugs, issues and annoyances. Sadly the updates seem to introduce more bugs rather than fixing things, it's all kind of tragic.

I'm even running into stupid things lately whereby I cannot save a PDF direct from Excel to Sharepoint - I just get a file access error meaning I have to save it into Temp on my laptop, then cut and paste it to Sharepoint. For companies that unfortunately rely on MS software, the quality of their releases recently has been a joke!

Intel to finally scatter remaining ashes of Itanium to the wind in 2021: Final call for doomed server CPU line

Dave K Silver badge

It's typical of Intel's approach in the late 90s / early 2000s. Develop the technology that you want to develop, then try and force it upon your customers - even if a different approach may be preferred by customers. They tried this with Rambus (forcing it as the exclusive high-end memory option for the P4), and with Itanium (refusing to implement 64bit support for x86 to try and force people over to Itanium).

On each occasion though, they've been undone by their competitors.

SiS and VIA provided DDR chipsets for the P4, plus the high cost of Rambus prevented the budget PC brigade jumping onto the P4 bandwagon - until Intel eventually relented and provided a DDR chipset as soon as they were legally allowed to do so by the terms of their dodgy deal with Rambus. Then AMD released x86-64 to great success - plus Intel's belated response of developing their own (incompatible) x86-64 instruction set fell flat when MS refused to produce yet another version of Windows to support it.

Dave K Silver badge

You're right about the initial segmentation, but Intel's plan was eventually to replace x86 with Itanium. The chip was intended to be Intel's only 64bit architecture going forwards (Intel had no plans to implement 64bit x86), and was boasted as having x86 compatibility built in as well. It sounded perfect - compatibility with existing applications, and a true break from x86 for the 64bit migration, Initially it'd be for servers and high-end workstations, but the plan was for Itanium to continue taking market share away from x86 which would be limited to 32bit.

The three things that screwed that plan were Itanium's woeful x86 performance (and heavy delays), dodgy performance in general (at least to start with), but most of all AMD adding 64bit capability to x86, proving that you could have full speed x86 and x64 capabilities in one CPU. This essentially destroyed Intel's plan to ditch x86 by keeping it to 32bit only, and forced them to adopt AMD's 64bit extensions. This essentially killed Itanium in all but the high-end of the market.

It's also worth noting that MIPS was only essentially dead due to Itanium. MIPS was still very competitive back in 1997/1998 and SGI had the "Beast" project under development for a true successor to the R10000. With Itanium due in 1999 (and full of hype at this point), SGI canned the "Beast" project and decided to migrate. Of course, with Itanium suffering heavy delays until 2001 (2002 if you discount Merced), SGI were stuck with an architecture for which they had already cancelled future development. Hence it's not surprising that MIPS floundered over the next 4 years, and this helped to accelerate SGI's downfall.

Dave K Silver badge

Itanium was a bit like Brexit. Sold as being a perfect solution before reality emerges and bites it in the ass (whether you support Brexit or not, you can't deny that the original fantasy claims regarding it have failed to materialise). The idea was that RISC effectively hits a wall at 1 instruction per clock cycle in an ideal world, EPIC/VLIW potentially allows multiple instructions per clock cycle, so should scale to higher performance without needing additional clock-speed. Hence it was sold as being the future of chip design.

Of course, this was before reality kicked in and people realised that shifting optimisation work to the compiler rarely ever works unless code uses very predictable branches and is carefully optimised. Intel should have known this from their failed i860 project, but they didn't learn the lessons. The result was that Itanium was a performance flop.

In all honesty, if Itanium had provided massive performance boosts over x86, it may have stood a chance. But in reality, performance was disappointing, and why bother breaking backwards compatibility and spending lots of effort porting and optimising code if there's no major benefit to doing so?

Using WhatsApp for your business comms? It's either that or reinstall Lotus Notes

Dave K Silver badge

Wire cutters are my preferred option. I "upgraded" our microwave oven with a pair of wire cutters a few years ago. The thing used to give 5 loud, shrill "BEEP"s when it had finished cooking, followed by a further 5 BEEPs every f**king minute that you didn't drop what you were doing and attend to it. And there was no "official" way of turning the beeping off. Obviously it was designed by a team who catered to people with extreme Alzheimers, and who hadn't read the section in the manual that recommends "letting food rest" for a few minutes after cooking...

Anyway, when you're defrosting some chicken for a curry, having to keep wandering over to it with onion-coated fingers just to open the door and slam it shut again to shut the f**ker up, you eventually lose the final shreds of your patience and attack the internal beeper with a set of wire cutters.

The result is bliss, and made me wonder why I didn't do it sooner. It cooks, it stops when the timer is up, and it just sits there silently until I'M ready to attend to it. Wonderful!

Even Windows 10 can't save the PC market as chip shortages, Brexit uncertainties bite

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Windows 10 can't save the PC market

Windows 10 is an OS designed to make Microsoft more money. It is not - and never has been designed "for the users". And MS's method of improving profit is to massively reduce the cost of developing and maintaining Windows - primarily by replacing paid testers with users, and making it much cheaper to develop Windows as well.

1) By moving to "Windows-as-a-service", MS eventually only needs to support one codebase (albeit with a few different versions of that codebase out in the wild). Far cheaper than supporting 3-4 different editions of Windows at once (ie, supporting Vista, 7, 8 and 10 as they were doing when 10 first came out).

2) By binning most of their QA department, they save a fortune on testing staff. Why pay people when you can use "insiders" to do it for you?

3) Also, by forcing businesses to use Semi-Annual Channel (by crippling LTSC by blocking Office 365 for example), you help ensure lots of businesses also take part in Insider testing.

4) By forcing updates and telemetry, they ensure that home users become the final round of testers. It had nothing to do with improving security and everything to do with MS forcing the updates onto home user's PCs, then using telemetry to spot trends with app/system crashes and other such issues they'd missed during the Insider testing. This allows them to fix these before the update reaches business users (where the real money is).

5) By also forcing driver updates, if a bug is found in a driver you can get the manufacturer to fix the driver, force it to user's PCs so you can quickly resume the forced updating and testing process.

6) To ensure you have a sufficient pool of "home testers", you roll out a "free upgrade" program which aggressively pushes home users onto Windows 10. This maximises your testing pool and ensures your telemetry is providing useful data from a large sample.

7) Finally, by going down the "Windows-as-a-service" approach, you can get away with minor tweaks, rather than having to ship an entirely overhauled OS every 3 years. Look how much Windows 10 has changed in 4 years - only a few minor tweaks here and there. Then compare that with the difference between XP, Vista, 7, 8 etc. In short, it allows MS to put far less effort into developing Windows whilst still making it look like they're doing something at least to keep the cash rolling in.

In short, re-releasing Windows 7 isn't going to happen as it'd cost MS money, and their whole current approach is cheaper development.

Apple: You can't sue us for slowing down your iPhones because you, er, invited us into, uh, your home... we can explain

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Do they still do it? @MattUK

Interesting info! Of course, it doesn't explain though why my 3 year old LG handset (16GB of storage) is nice and snappy, whereas my wife's 2 year old Galaxy A3 (16GB storage) runs like a stuttering turd. She's not a heavy phone user either, my phone probably gets used more.

Not knocking what you've said, but I still stick to believing that Samsung phones are more prone to "performance-rot" than others.

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Do they still do it?

I'd love some confirmation here as well. Personally I feel that Samsung are one of the biggest culprits here - I've experienced numerous Samsung phones that are super speedy and slick when new, but which start running like a dog's breakfast after a couple of years - even without tons of heavy app usage. I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if the updates provided by Samsung have the ulterior motive of making the device run increasingly like crap.

In comparison, my LG G4 is 3 years old and is still very smooth and speedy. I do shun updates where I can for it, I just don't trust them these days - although I have popped a couple on to patch more severe holes.

AyyyMD had an Epyc quarter: Server chip shipments 'more than doubled' Q3 to Q4

Dave K Silver badge

Good news to hear. AMD had a number of lean years after Core 2 Duo came along and Phenom floundered, and the result was a lazy Intel steadily taking its foot off the gas. Now that AMD has worthy products again, it's great to see business picking up for them and Intel having to scrabble around at last. After all, if it means better products for lower money, that's a win for everyone!

Core blimey... When is an AMD CPU core not a CPU core? It's now up to a jury of 12 to decide

Dave K Silver badge

Re: what kind of apps were impacted?

Well, the Intel Core 2 Quad was 2 separate dual-core dies mounted in the same CPU package, AMD's quad core offerings were a single die with four cores on it. That was the basis of AMD's comments at the time. Of course at the time it meant diddly squat to most users as both CPUs contained four processing cores at the end of the day. Current CPUs are all single die to my knowledge, the issue is more about which internal components are shared between cores on the die.

Of course, where do you stop though? Intel's Core Duo had a shared L2 cache between the cores for example. Similarly, modern CPUs usually share the memory controller as well (otherwise you'd need separate sticks of RAM for each core). It'll be interesting to see how much sharing is allowed before you're no longer allowed to call each execution unit a "core"...

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Ahhhh the famous intel 8087

I certainly remember the incredible performance boost in certain applications when my dad fitted an 80387 to our first PC...

Tens to be disappointed as Windows 10 Mobile death date set: Doomed phone OS won't see 2020

Dave K Silver badge

Personally I think that Windows 8 did help to bring down Windows Mobile to some degree. MS were hoping to force a tiled interface on Windows so you'd see a Windows Phone and immediately see familiarity (thus helping sales). It probably had the opposite effect. People hating their Windows 8 laptop saw a Windows Phone and immediately dismissed the interface as the same hated crap that they saw on their laptop without realising that the interface actually wasn't that bad on a phone.

It’s baaack – Microsoft starts pushing out the Windows 10 October 2018 Update

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Windows 10 scares the shit outta me

I use it with a PowerShell script. The script enables Windows Update then runs Windows Update MiniTool. Once it's done, the script disables Windows Update again. Bit of a faf, but does generally work.

It WASN'T the update, says Microsoft: Windows 7 suffers identity crisis as users hit by activation errors

Dave K Silver badge

Windows 95 and Windows 7 are very different beasts however. With Windows 95 (and in fact all Windows up to 2000, plus XP corporate), all you needed was a license key - no activation at all. Heck, you could use the same key on hundreds of machines, Windows would just work, and cloning the HDD didn't really serve any purpose to bypass the activation - because there wasn't any.

Later Windows with activation is capable of telling when you've cloned the drive into a different machine (BIOS serial numbers change, amongst other things). Ultimately though, this issue is about a failure of KMS. Windows Home does indeed activate once and then work solidly after this (unless you change too many hardware components). KMS though requires machines to phone home to the KMS server regularly - presumably to stop people bunging the office version of Windows onto their laptop, activating it at work then taking it home afterwards.

Of course, this is why it's important for activation to work properly...

Just updated Windows 7? Can't access network shares? It isn't just you

Dave K Silver badge

Re: (KB4480970) Also hoses Windows 7 32 bit on Tosh Lappy

Oddly enough, it's reasons like these why I prefer not to install updates the moment Redmond says they're released, but to wait a few days first before installing them (for the issues to surface). It's also a reason why I still run Windows 7 as this is trivial to do with 7, not so easy on 10.

Microsoft vows to destroy Office, er, offices: Campus to be demolished and rebuilt

Dave K Silver badge

... with a sad smiley on it :-(

Dave K Silver badge

No doubt MS will introduce a new "Fluent Design" for the new buildings that they'll abandon once half of them are finished.

And there'll be CCTV and microphones everywhere so MS can "collect data" on the usage of the buildings.

And then the builders will show up every 6 months at the most inopportune moments to "install the latest features" to the office space...

You were told to clean up our systems, not delete 8,000 crucial files

Dave K Silver badge

It's amazing how someone is going around down-voting all of these comments without thinking about it.

FWIW, the *minimum requirements* for Windows 2000 according to MS are a 1GB hard drive with 5GB being recommended.

Hence any machines running Windows 2000 with a 500MB drive would be below MS's minimum requirements and hence a very old and unlikely scenario.

Dave K Silver badge

2GB was the big limit at the time as it's the limit that a FAT16 partition can be. I remember a few Win95 PCs at work (used for video work) that had 4GB hard drives and which were partitioned into 2GB chunks due to the FAT16 limit.

Later OEM releases of Win95 did come with some support for FAT32, but it was Windows 98 before FAT32 became mainstream.

Dave K Silver badge

Sorry, my father's Gateway 2000 PC bought in early 97 had a 2GB EIDE drive and ran Windows 95. I believe he did pay extra for it, the standard drive at the time was nearer 1.2GB I seem to recall.

Certainly I remember my Windows 98 PC at the end of the 90s having a 6.4GB EIDE drive. To suggest that Windows 2000 PCs wouldn't have had more than 500MB, well you're several years out I'm afraid.

There's a Wikimedia chart showing capacities over the years here: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a1/Hard_drive_capacity_over_time.png

I'm just not sure the computer works here – the energy is all wrong

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Ah, the carefree days of yore

Indeed, I remember in the 90s my dad always complaining when my mum vacced the house. Reason is that the vac being used was an old 70s Hoover, and right behind the study wall where my dad's PC sat was the staircase upstairs. Hence every time my mum vacced the stairs and the Hoover was at the same height as the monitor, the picture on the monitor would distort and start bouncing around due to the magnetic fields pumping through the wall.

Think in the end my mum resorted to using the hose attachment for the stairs so the vac only ran at the top or bottom of the stairs, this solved things.

Oh Deer! Poacher sentenced to 12 months of regular Bambi screenings in the cooler

Dave K Silver badge

Re: 'Murica never ceases...

In Germany, hunting is allowed, however there is a strict registration process for this. Population numbers are monitored and surveyed by specialist groups (not the hunters themselves) and each hunter is therefore only permitted to shoot a strict quota of animals within a clearly defined region to maintain population and health of the forests/farms. Any indication that a hunter is exceeding their quota means revocation of the license. And as the license also governs the rifle, this is confiscated when a license is lost.

The system works pretty well. Populations are controlled and hunters know exactly how many deer/boar they can shoot in a particular period. It also ensures that the pelt, meat and everything else are used as this generates the income for the hunter.

It's official. Microsoft pushes Google over the Edge, shifts browser to Chromium engine

Dave K Silver badge

Re: "standards compliance?"

I hate sites that insist on checking your browser then moaning about how its not a "supported" browser. As a user of Pale Moon, I get that a lot unless I spoof a Chrome/Firefox user agent. Then guess what? The site renders fine. If web developers could try detecting what features a browser supports instead of a blanket probe of "If its not a recent version of a major browser then moan", there'd be more instinct for smaller browsers/forks to flourish. As it is, too many big sites try to punish everyone who isn't using one of the top few browsers and its bloody annoying!

Dave K Silver badge

Doubtful. Probably one of the least-complained about features of Edge was the rendering engine. The UI, lack of features, crap extension availability etc. are why it flopped. Maybe using Blink will allow them to Utopias Chrome extensions? If not, and if Edge continues to be ugly and inflexible, I can't see this move turning anything around for MS.

Microsoft polishes up Chromium as EdgeHTML peers into the abyss

Dave K Silver badge

So, MS maybe about to take a hint that their strategy with Edge isn't working.

Now, how about a similar change of heart regarding Windows 10's biggest bugbears?

Support whizz 'fixes' screeching laptop with a single click... by closing 'malware-y' browser tab

Dave K Silver badge

If you completely wipe every machine you find where a user has simply managed to open a dodgy web page, you'd be one-busy chap! So long as the user hasn't downloaded the said "fix" from the hijacked/redirected site, the laptop should be no more infected than any other machine.

Huawei MateBook Pro X: PC makers look out, the phone guys are here

Dave K Silver badge

There's a lot to like, but I have two main concerns with it.

Firstly, although the aspect ratio of the screen is lovely, touch screen = glossy. It's a pity that a none-touch matte version isn't available for people like me that hate glossy screens and have no interest in finger prints all over the LCD.

The other concern I have is with the trackpad. It's HUGE! I already have issues with my wife's Samsung laptop where it's not possible to type without constantly catching the trackpad. I fear this one may suffer from the same issue.

It's a patch bonanza as Microsoft showers its OS platforms with update love

Dave K Silver badge

"...to be told initially that the behaviour was by design..."

I HATE when MS pulls this crap. They did exactly the same thing with the Windows Explorer "folder jumping" bug in Windows 7 (expand a folder in Explorer and it scrolls the view up so you can't see the contents of the folder you've just expanded - a bug that can be fixed with Classic Shell thankfully). It's not an excuse to say that a bug is "by design" just so you don't have to get off your arses and fix it.

Thankfully in this case, common sense has prevailed, however MS needs to be a lot more careful about using the "by design" excuse to avoid having to fix annoying (or sometimes dangerous) bugs.

Microsoft readies the swatter as more bugs wriggle out of the Windows 10 woodwork

Dave K Silver badge

MS should start selling popcorn. It'd be a perfect complimentary product for everyone to enjoy whilst they watch the ongoing carnage...

Consultant misreads advice, ends up on a 200km journey to the Exchange expert

Dave K Silver badge

The story does appear to end mid-way through. What sort of issues were caused by running this procedure on one of the Exchange servers, and how was it fixed? Making a screw-up is all fine and well, but it helps if we can properly visualise the fireworks following this!

Oh, I wish it could be Black Friday every day-aayyy, when the wallets start jingling but it's still a week till we're paiii-iid

Dave K Silver badge

Re: @ Dabbsy

Depends on the country she's from. My wife is German, but unfortunately Germany doesn't allow dual-nationality - otherwise I'd consider it to ensure I keep an EU passport for easier travelling. Ahh well!

Groundhog Day comes early as Intel Display Drivers give Windows 10 the silent treatment

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Drivers?

You'd think though that if MS are going to force out drivers via Windows Update that this would mean they've tested them first...

Dave K Silver badge

Re: MS : From bad to worse to pathetic

"What we need is a large business to issue a profit warning or worse due to thee issues caused by the frankly shoddy stuff that MS calls software they shove over the wall with them saying 'there you go' while they run for the hills."

Not going to happen. Large businesses are often way behind the home-user peons that MS uses for testing. By the time most of them look to roll out 1809, many months will have passed and the bugs will probably have been patched by then. The "very large" company I work for are still on 1703 for most users - those that have Windows 10 that is. I very fortunately had my laptop refreshed one month before they rolled out Windows 10, so I've still got another good 15 months of reliable Windows 7 on my work laptop.

Reverse Ferret! Forget what we told you – the iPad isn't really for work

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Horses for courses

Nothing wrong with that at all. I do use a company laptop rather than a desktop PC (although my main home machine is a tower), but for me the laptop has the advantage that I often work from home as well as travelling on business. Saying that, once the clock reaches 5 to 5:30pm, the laptop goes off and does not come back on until work time the following morning. I like to keep my work life and my family time strictly separate.

Despite using a laptop for work, it's hooked into three monitors, and a proper keyboard/mouse 95% of the time. Even *thinking* about trying to do proper work on a tablet gives me the shivers...

Linux kernel Spectre V2 defense fingered for massively slowing down unlucky apps on Intel Hyper-Thread CPUs

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Hyper-threading itself may be bad for performance.

B-but I like seeing 16 cpu usage guages in task manager :(

Admittedly this would be my only noticeable loss when disabling HT...

If at first or second you don't succeed, you may be Microsoft: Hold off installing re-released Windows Oct Update

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Pathetic

I'm not surprised, I'd imagine the conversation at MS went something like this:

Engineer: There is one notable bug, network drives don't work properly.

Manager: Well, this update is only going out to home users initially and this issues won't affect home users right? I mean, which home users use mapped drives?

Engineer: Some users may have NASs, or may map a drive for sharing files between two home computers?

Manager: Yeah, but they'll be in a minority, and besides we don't really care about home users anyway.

Engineer: I dunno, it's quite a noticeable bug that will affect some people.

Manager: I don't really care. So long as it won't affect business users, we're OK. The update is overdue and our marketing people really want to get it released ASAP.

Engineer: It might also hit some small busine...

Manager: I don't care! Just get it out there now. Meeting our twice-yearly releases on-time is far more important than a few bugs.


Microsoft lobs Windows 10, Server Oct 2018 update at world (minus file-nuking 'feature') after actually doing some testing

Dave K Silver badge

MS deserve criticism for two reasons here:

1) Killing off internal QA that probably would have caught this bug prior to release.

2) The bug *was* reported in the feedback hub, and MS missed it. Hence, the feedback hub is clearly not fit for purpose and needs revising (something MS have admitted).

When you remove proper QA, then implement a "crowdsourcing" alternative that allows critical bugs to slip through despite being reported, you deserve some criticism. Especially when you "force" the buggy update onto people's computers because you've massively restricted users' control over updates.

Updating software to guard against security issues is very important. This is why it's important that users have trust and faith in the quality of updates. Regularly releasing buggy code and forcing it onto your customers machines is a great way to destroy trust in software updates in general, and that's dangerous territory if users start to increasingly see updates as something to fear...

This just in: What? No, I can't believe it. The 2018 MacBook Air still a huge pain to have repaired

Dave K Silver badge

"You can't have thin and lightweight without glue."

Disagree entirely. My wife's laptop is a Samsung Series 9. Very thin ultrabook on a par with a Macbook Air. Opening it up involves removing half a dozen small screws, inside the battery is held down with two more screws (not a drop of glue in sight), and the SSD is replaceable. Unfortunately the RAM is soldered down, so it isn't perfect, but it's a lot more easy to service than an Air - despite being no thicker.

Alternatively, pop open a Lenovo X1 Carbon and there's also no glue, plus the RAM is also replaceable.

You can build an ultralight without lots of glue, and without soldering everything in sight - if you want to. Face it, Apple doesn't want to. They want their products to be disposable so that users keep buying replacements every few years.

Solid state of fear: Euro boffins bust open SSD, Bitlocker encryption (it's really, really dumb)

Dave K Silver badge

Re: "Because MS was just blindly trusting them all, they have to take some of the blame."

Many other suppliers of encryption software don't just trust all 3rd party hardware implementations however. If you encrypt your system disk with VeraCrypt (for example), it uses its own encryption algorithm. Hence the only way your disk can be compromised is if VeraCrypt's own encryption is compromised.

It would be interesting to know if MS was testing and vetting SSD encryption from various vendors before approving BitLocker to utilise it, or whether they were just allowing any device that stated that it supported hardware encryption to go ahead. If it's the former, their testing clearly could have been better. If it's the latter, it's a major risk if Bitlocker is allowing untested and potentially insecure hardware encryption to take the place of its own encryption capabilities.

Dave K Silver badge

Because what MS have done is to effectively "outsource" the encryption. Any SSD that says "Hey, I can encrypt myself", Bitlocker just says "OK, sure thing!" without any further checking.

End result, companies have enabled BitLocker to ensure that their data is safe, without realising that BitLocker is just allowing the drive to use its own encryption capabilities. And now many of those drives' encryption capabilities have turned out to be a bit shit. Because MS was just blindly trusting them all, they have to take some of the blame.

When you allow everyone who claims to be a locksmith to fit their own lock, you're going to be broken into eventually...


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019