* Posts by Dave K

342 posts • joined 25 Apr 2008

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LG G7 ThinkQ: Ropey AI, but a feast for sore eyes and ears

Dave K
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Re: LG? Never again

I have a G4 still and love it. Battery life is ok for me, and I love that the battery is changeable. However what I like most is that after 3 years of use, it's still slick and speedy. I've grown tired of Samsung phones that work great for a year or so before becoming stuttery and sluggish, the G4 is lovely at maintaining its performance over time. Updates could be better, but seeing as every Samsung update in the past drove my phone to slower and slower performance levels, I'd gladly take an older OS that remains fast.

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Security guard cost bank millions by hitting emergency Off button

Dave K
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A number of years ago I worked in IT support for a local council authority. A new guy started (working for one of the systems guys next door) and immediately set a bad impression by asking how he could get copies of some of the software we had.

After a few days, he was tasked with installing some monitoring software for the UPS systems in our server racks. A short while later, PowerChute broadcast messages started being sent out to every PC in the building warning of a system shutdown. New guy insists to my boss that these are in error, nothing is being shut down, it's just a test of the messaging system. My boss is still annoyed about the fact that these broadcasts are being sent every few minutes to all 400+ machines on the domain.

Ten minutes later however, we have a strangely quiet rack, plus a lot of phones ringing due to our mail system, file server, plus several other systems all being down. My boss is fuming, new guy is suddenly very quiet, and about 10 minutes later the new guy is suddenly very unemployed.

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Chrome, Firefox pull very unstylish Stylish invasive browser plugin

Dave K
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Re: Developers becoming jerks.

Developers are (in general) no more corrupt than anyone else. Look at any walk of life and you'll find plenty of honest people, and a handful of dishonest ones who will always think of "making money" above all else.

For example, many car garages will do a great and honest job of fixing your car, but a few will rip you off by charging for fixing things that aren't broken. Plenty of electronics shops will provide sound and honest advice to help you buy the right piece of tech, whereas a few will sell you the nastiest piece of crap they have along with an "extended warranty" and some massively overpriced cables.

Same with developers. Some will rely on a few none-intrusive ads on their site, maybe a Paypal donation system or a premium version of their product with a few more features. Others turn to nasty slurpage and bundled malware. The latter group deserve criticism and for their products to be shunned, but you can't just tar every developer with the same brush because of the actions of a few...

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Automated payment machines do NOT work the same all over the world – as I found out

Dave K
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But why on the floor anyway? I've had several cars with a clear button on the centre console, or cars where you just flip open the filler cap (it locks automatically when you lock the car). That's fine. But a button on the floor? C'mon!

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Dave K
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I had a different issue entirely at a filling station in Italy. Pulled up at the pump in my hire car, before realising that I had absolutely no idea how to open the filler cap - and of course no manual for the car in the glove box. I looked all over the dash, the centre console, nope - nothing. Meanwhile, the filling station attendant becomes increasingly irate. After a trip around the block (to avoid the shouting) and back to the filling station, I finally found the button - passenger side, on the floor - such that it's only visible when the passenger door is open. Bravo Toyota!

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Git365. Git for Teams. Quatermass and the Git Pit. GitHub simply won't do now Microsoft has it

Dave K
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Re: Trolling for comments

They did however rename Lync to Skype for Business, meaning that they have two products with Skype in the name that are totally different and incompatible with one-another. Given how MS then loves to try and bundle Skype (home) with Windows 10, it causes all manner of support issues here when people launch the wrong one then log a ticket because they can't sign in.

Sure MS will manage to screw things up somewhere here!

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Chrome sends old Macs on permanent Safari: Browser bricks itself

Dave K
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Re: Obsolescence

The X201 is quite an upgradable machine however. I have one as well with 8GB of RAM and an SSD in it, runs quite speedily for its age. The problem is more that Apple's later kit has the storage and RAM soldered down so you cannot upgrade it. Once a new MacOS comes out that requires more grunt, you quickly end up with an unsupported boat anchor.

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Happy birthday, you lumbering MS-DOS-based mess: Windows 98 turns 20 today

Dave K
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Re: I dont miss it

It's interesting, When Vista first came out and people hated it, I remember a few people (that actually liked Vista) pointing out that everyone also hated XP when it was first released, however I never did understand this. I remember very quickly liking XP upon release - mainly because XP was such an upgrade reliability wise from Windows 95/98/ME.

Of course, Windows 98 could run on 16MB of RAM whereas XP needed 256MB-512MB, but boy did you pay for it with the shonky reliability!

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HTC U12+: You said we should wait and review the retail product. Hate to break it to you, but...

Dave K
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Re: Interesting.

Some companies just love to try and ignore negative feedback until it really becomes an issue. Remember MS desperately claiming that Metro was awesome? It was only a fair chunk of time after Windows 8 came out that they finally had to wake up and accept that the UI was a failure in the market place.

Lenovo also dropped the ball a few years back with the utterly dreadful "Clickpad" on the ThinkPad T440. Again, this "feature" made it to market - despite being universally panned and the issue wasn't fixed until the T450 when Lenovo quietly binned the hated clickpad and went back to a more conventional (and usable) trackpad.

About the only company I can think of that seems to repeatedly get away with annoying changes is Apple...

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Pwned with '4 lines of code': Researchers warn SCADA systems are still hopelessly insecure

Dave K
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Re: SCADA systems running windows

You think that's bad? At a site I work at, we have a lot of CNC machines running Windows 95 still. They are networked, but are on their own VLAN and are *heavily* firewalled with access only permitted to one share on a server for the upload of new models. All other network access to them is blocked at firewall level.

Of course from the company's point of view, they work, and would cost an absolute fortune to replace, so they keep trucking along. I think the bigger problem is when companies have vulnerable control systems that are just attached to a general network with no extra protection..

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Developer’s code worked, but not in the right century

Dave K
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Indeed, also see here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Cockup) - there is in fact a hill near Keswick called "Great Cockup" and another hill next to it called "Little Cockup". Again, all not censored...

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BOFH: Got that syncing feeling, hm? I've looked at your computer and the Outlook isn't great

Dave K
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Punishing liars

"I have to give the Boss a bit of respect for being able to lie on the fly like this, but he's still got to be punished."

It's great fun seeing just how far someone will dig to try and cover up for one simple, initial lie.

Great start to a Friday as always :)

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Microsoft says Windows 10 April update is fit for business rollout

Dave K
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Re: Wait

Because the update is already on 250 million of them, hence 450 million without that update.

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Microsoft tries cutting the Ribbon in Office UI upgrade

Dave K
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>> "So this presumably means an end to rotating tiles, adverts, self-reinstalling games, forced patches with the inevitable reboots and other such cruft that has crept into the OS"

And don't forget Windows 10's constant binging and bonging about every little thing. My area of the open plan floor I'm on at work has about a 50/50 split between Windows 7 and Windows 10 machines. The Windows 7 machines are pretty quiet, OK the odd little "ding" and other such noise, but not much. But the Windows 10 machines? "Bingy-bong", "Bing-bong-bing", "Bong-bingy-bong", "Bongy-bing". All the bloody time.

It's become a standard process for me when imaging any new Windows 10 laptop to slap the bloody thing on Mute as soon as I get the chance.

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Da rude sand storm seizes the Opportunity, threatens to KO rover

Dave K
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Re: A place in history

>> Not especially. They just didn't fill them with shite. Unlike your watch.

Amen to that! My first PC was a 386 20MHz system with 4MB of RAM. It could run Windows 3.1, Word for Windows, Excel, play various games, handle programming in Turbo C, etc.

We've become spoiled by fast CPUs these days. Fact is, you can achieve a surprising amount with older/slower tech if you are efficient with your code.

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Actual control of Windows 10 updates (with a catch)... and more from Microsoft

Dave K
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Re: @Dave K

I mean almost all PCs to be honest. MS's LTSC version of Windows 10 is deliberately crippled in many areas to try and dissuade businesses from using it on anything but mission critical shop-floor machines. Your standard office PC will be on the Current Branch for Business, and hence will still get bi-annual "feature updates" even though 99% of businesses couldn't care less about a new version of 3D Paint.

Of course, many of them do care about their PCs being down for 90 minutes or so whilst the update applies, and many of them also care when a handful of PCs break during the update process. Hence my question as to why MS doesn't see reliability as a marketable feature for PCs - home as well as business.

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Dave K
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Interesting that MS recognises that their bi-annual updates are a risk to stability and reliability, hence you can pay more if you want a more reliable and dependable Windows 10 (for your IoT device).

Yet if you have a normal PC, or even a typical business PC, MS doesn't offer the "reliable" option. Why doesn't MS see reliability as a marketable feature for normal PCs?

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In defence of online ads: The 'net ain't free and you ain't paying

Dave K
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Re: If only I could pay

Got it in one. I do whitelist several sites that have sensible, none overly-intrusive ads that don't drag my browser to a crawl when rendering.

However these days so many sites moan about my ad blocker, and yet if you whitelist the site, it's then frankly embarrassing how many of them turn into an absolute and utter dogs breakfast:

* Pages that used to load in 1 second now taking 15 seconds to load, meanwhile your browser showing connections to about 2,000 different ad-agencies being steadily cycled through.

* Content that keeps jumping around for 10 seconds after the page has (finally) loaded as yet more ads insert themselves wherever there's more than 10 free pixels of space.

* Auto-playing videos that pop up slap-bang in the middle of content.

* Full-screen pop-ups that block the content whilst you desperately hunt for the 5-pixel-large dark-grey-on-black close button.

* Slow and jittery scrolling due to the thousands of lines of badly-coded Javascript all fighting away to keep the ads ever-present on the screen as I try desperately to read the article I came for.

And then the site wonders why Ad-blockers are such a hot topic these days. Too many sites have destroyed the user-experience through aggressive and excessive advertising. That's why blocking ads has become the norm.

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No lie-in this morning? Thank the Moon's gravitational pull

Dave K
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Agreed! Now, how old will I be once we get that magical 25th hour in each day I wonder...

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Dual-screen laptops debut at Asus' Computex chat

Dave K
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Re: FFS...

I doubt you'd see 4:3 again, but 16:10 or 3:2 would be a nice upgrade.

I'd love to see *anyone* try and make a laptop by thinking, hey why don't we put a good, generous screen (ie, not a cramped 16:9 screen), decent keyboard and top-notch trackpad into a laptop and see how it sells.

Instead, it's gimmicks and thinness meaning that crap screens, lousy keyboards and nasty trackpads continue to be the order of the day...

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Sysadmin's PC-scrub script gave machines a virus, not a wash

Dave K
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Maybe she borrowed a floppy from work? One that had been shared around a lot? Finding the source of the infection is just as important as treating it...

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Microsoft gives users options for Office data slurpage – Basic or Full

Dave K
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Re: Basic or Full ?

If you check, you can see exactly what Canonical collect (if you enable it), as they'll let you view the data they collect, and it's pretty minimal stuff. They're a world apart from MS here...

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ISP TalkTalk's Wi-Fi passwords Walk Walk thanks to Awks Awks router security hole

Dave K
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Re: Dido - Router for rent?

I want to thank you for giving me free wifi from your house

Oh just to be online with you is thanks to free wifi from your house

Push the button, I'm logged in at last cos I'm vulnerable through and through

Then you handed me your passwords I see all is true

And even if my router falls down now, I wouldn't have a clue

Because you've breached me....

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LG chairman Koo Bon-moo dies, aged 73

Dave K
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Agreed, Goldstar were seen as very budget indeed. I remember once having a Goldstar CD drive that wasn't exactly the best piece of kit I've ever used.

Of course, you can give credit to Koo Bon-moo for upping the quality of LG's products, and rebranding them as well to distance from the reputation of their earlier stuff. Result is that LG now make some pretty respectable kit overall.

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Sysadmin hailed as hero for deleting data from the wrong disk drive

Dave K
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I've seen that before. Someone who religiously backed up every day and presented me with a floppy when I asked for said backup.

"How did you perform this backup" I asked?

So they inserted a floppy, "format A:" and then once it was finished - backup complete!

Result, lots of blank floppies, all nicely labeled - and all of course completely blank.

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Want to know what an organisation is really like? Visit the restroom

Dave K
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Re: We need some ...

And of course the obligatory signs warning people that hot water comes out of the hot tap - who'd have thought!

Ours here are also liberally decorated in signs eschewing the virtues of using the hand-dryer over the paper towels due to the environmental impact of paper towels. Of course, it'd help if the hand dryer fitted in each set of toilets didn't have the power and drying capability of a snoring field-mouse...

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Tech support made the news after bomb squad and police showed up to 'defuse' leaky UPS

Dave K
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Haven't had a battery split like that, however I've come across numerous situations where the battery has failed in a UPS, the site has been too lazy to do anything with it for months on end, then when we finally turn up to look at it, the ancient battery has started to swell - such that it's no longer possible to remove it from the UPS. Most sites aren't impressed at being told that the entire UPS now needs replacing due to their laziness...

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Apple MacBook butterfly keyboards 'defective', 'prone to fail' – lawsuit

Dave K
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Re: Quote of the year...

I'm expecting a typical "you're typing on it wrong" response...

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Your software hates you and your devices think you're stupid

Dave K
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>> "Thats why you play CDs on a PC which then looks up the CD online and displays a list of tracks (on the CD you have most of the time!)"

No, that's why you put the CD into your computer *once*, open your favourite ripping tool (which adds the track names) and then dump the tracks to your PC before hiding the CD away in a dark and forgotten cupboard. Then every time you want to listen to that music again, no finding the right CD, loading it, waiting for it to spin up etc, just select the MP3 and away you go.

MP3s (or whatever format you use) have made the management of lots of music a lot easier than the olden days with several dozen CD racks...

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Windows Notepad fixed after 33 years: Now it finally handles Unix, Mac OS line endings

Dave K
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Re: but just like vi you know that notepad and wordpad will always be there.

"News of the change at Microsoft's Build developer conference on Tuesday prompted the loudest cheer of any of the announcements."

When the announcement of fixing a simple issue in a text editor gets the biggest cheer, you've clearly (as an organisation) got your priorities wrong.

Still, this sums up MS perfectly. Windows 10 is full of annoyances that could be fixed without too much trouble, yet MS prefers to focus on improved AI, 3D Paint and other gimmicks instead of fixing core things like the Control Panel/Settings mess etc.

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Admin needed server fast, skipped factory config … then bricked it

Dave K
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Re: That happened to me

At my school, the solution was to glue the little rotating cover in place so the mouse ball couldn't be removed. Of course the downside is that once the mice get clogged up with grime, you need a screwdriver to disasemble the thing in order to clean them. The school rarely bothered, so the result was lots of awful mice where getting the cursor from one side of the screen to the other was a challenge in its own right.

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LG's flagship arrives with <checks script> ... G7 what now?

Dave K
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Hmm, an interesting one. Firstly, kudos to LG for keeping the headphone jack and SD card slot, these are starting to become stand-out features given how many companies are dropping them lately.

As it is, I still love my old G4 - it's been a very good phone, so I do hope the G7 is a success for LG.

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Windows 10 April 2018 Update lands today... ish

Dave K
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Re: "Keep clicking, Windows-lovers! It's bound to come along soon."

I'm not knocking the benefit of having lots of Insiders test it, but there is no substitute for a proper, structured and complete testing programme. Ad-hoc testing will always miss something - for example the webcam issue a year or two back that was missed.

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Leave it to Beaver: Unity is long gone and you're on your GNOME

Dave K
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Re: And yet ...

>> "So now, in 2018 - 12 years on WTF happened ?"

For me, it's still a case of irritating niggles that do hold a number of Linux distros back. I run Ubuntu 16.04 on my NUC (Windows 7 on most my other machines), and immediately noticed rubbish scrolling speed from my scroll mouse after installing it. Nothing in settings to change it, and Googling around reveals various piles of editing config files and the like to fix this.

Then, I upgraded to 17.10 (I originally had the normal 17.04 distro on before switching to LTS last year). Nice big bug in it because if you use your machine with a KVM and effectively disconnect the monitor via your KVM, the user session crashes completely, all programs are terminated and you are kicked back to the login screen. Searching around revealed no solutions (and lots of people with the issue), hence my move to the 16.04 LTS branch instead.

Then finally there's the issues with VirtualBox. The version packaged by Ubuntu is ancient and no longer supported by Oracle, and is also incompatible with the Meltdown/SPECTRE patches Canonical released a few months back. Downloading the one direct from Oracle won't work with a lot of existing guests I had set up, so again lots of messing around in a command prompt editing apt repositories to try and get a more recent and working version onto my system. I managed it in the end, but it was a lot more of a pain than it should have been.

I do generally like Ubuntu a fair bit, and 16.04 is currently working well on my NUC once I'd ironed out the issues above. However as a mainly Windows user, even more professional and well-supported distros do continue to have some silly rough edges.

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BOFH: Guys? Guys? We need blockchain... can you install blockchain?

Dave K
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Pint

Familiar...

"So we're going to fire up blockchain to roll out a non-existent problem in a non-existent project for some untenable result."

I think that sums up a lot of Blockchain projects with remarkable accuracy!

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AMD CEO Su: We like GPU crypto-miners but gamers are first priority

Dave K
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Re: Good for AMD, good for all of us

Fully agree. Intel have rested on their laurels a bit too much lately, good competition means better performance and lower prices, so is a win-win situation regardless of whether you buy Intel or AMD.

Personally I moved back to an AMD Ryzen system late last year after replacing my ageing Core i5. Been very happy indeed with the system so far, Ryzen is a very nice chip!

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Audiophiles have really taken to the warm digital tone of streaming music

Dave K
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Re: Streaming? Nah!

A lot of vinyls these days also come with a redeemable code so you can download a copy of the album in digital format as well. Best of both worlds!

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Windows 10 Springwatch: See the majestic Microsoft in its natural habitat, fixing stuff the last patch broke

Dave K
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Re: In the old days

@AC "Last version of Windows"

Indeed, and MS have never made U-turns before. I agree with what you're saying incidentally, but I'd never put it past MS to do a U-turn at some point if discontent grows enough. Of course, home users don't mean s**t to MS, but if sufficient corporate customers in due course begin to grow tired of the constantly evolving (and breaking) Windows 10 and hence start to look more seriously at migrating in whole or part to a more stable Linux platform, I would never put it past MS to release an LTSB of Windows 10 for business that is far-less crippled than the current one.

After all, it doesn't matter as much to MS whether businesses upgrade or not as volume licensing for Windows has already been an annual subscription for many years now, so the money will roll in regardless so long as companies continue to use Windows.

Yep, in due course once Windows 7 support ends, seeing whether the wider world continues to happily swallow MS's "service", or begins to rebel will be an interesting one.

From an update/version perspective, I preferred SGI's approach in the 90s after they standardised on IRIX 6.5. They also released regular updates every few months (albeit not forced down your throat) and the minor version number of IRIX simply ticked up accordingly - 6.5.1, 6.5.2 etc. Much easier for software to say "requires IRIX 6.5.14" than "Requires Windows 10 Fall Creators Update". SGI also had both a Maintenance stream and Feature stream for updates, so you could choose between getting full-blown updates with new features (required an SGI support contract), or just maintenance fixes (free to anyone with a copy of the OS).

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Dave K
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Re: In the old days

>>"Once upon a time, software updates were viewed with excitement as to what new features might be available."

That's because "feature" updates were typically known as whole new new operating systems. New look (usually), new features, retired features, plus an expectation that the odd app here and there that worked with the old OS wouldn't necessarily work with the new one due to the OS changes. Even Service Packs for old OS's were usually nothing more than a roll up of security/quality fixes with maybe a bit of additional new hardware support added on - XP SP2 being of course a big exception as it added Security Centre, Windows Firewall and the likes.

Now though, MS are in this weird mess of having incremental feature updates to what is supposedly one OS. No matter how many updates are released, it's still branded as Windows 10. Result, a lot more annoyance when updates seem to change very little on the face of things, but still end up breaking certain programs and features. That and of course they're every 6 months instead of every 3 years, so it seems to be a constant battle of moving goal posts, instead of one big round of testing and certification every few years.

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CEO insisted his email was on server that had been offline for years

Dave K
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Re: Deleting emails

I'm a bit of both. I keep most e-mails in my inbox (a few important ones aside that get filed in folders), plus several automated ones with big attachments (regular reports etc) also get sorted into folders. Then every year, I move all the old stuff to a fresh PST for that year and nuke a lot of the repeated e-mails with big attachments that I know I'll never need again. Result is a roughly 5GB PST for each year, and after a few years have gone by without me needing an old PST, I eventually delete it.

I find it gives me the right balance between managing old e-mails, not wasting too much time filing everything, but still having access to an old e-mail if I need to find it.

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Sysadmin’s worst client was … his mother! Until his sister called for help

Dave K
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Re: Dave

If she couldn't figure out document naming, right clicking and looking at the modified date is going to be a stretch.

Plus, can you remember what date you created a certain set of worksheets last year? Helps to narrow things down a bit I grant you, but still hardly a perfect solution!

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Dave K
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Ahh, parents

My mum wasn't especially computer literate either, but as a primary school teacher she increasingly started to use the PC at home for creating work sheets, reports and various other bits of work. Incredibly, she did manage to get the hang of selecting the "Sue" folder in "My Documents" when saving the files, but had a nasty habit of simply accepting the default filenames that Word suggests (ie, usually the first sentence of the document). She also did not get the hang of subfolders.

Result, one single folder after a couple of years with about 400 documents in it, all called things like "Chapter 1.doc", "Chapter 1 (2).doc", "4+3=.doc", "Ben and Sarah went to the shops to.doc" etc. And then she wondered why it was difficult trying to find some earlier work she'd done so that she could modify and update it...

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Huawei P20 Pro: Triple-lens shooter promises the Earth ...

Dave K
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For me, an £800 phone with no SD card slot and no headphone jack is a real deal-breaker. Why would I pay premium money to lose two of the key features from my current phone?

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2018's Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop is a lovely lappie

Dave K
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Agreed. I find several HP trackpads to be too large these days and my wife argues the same with her Samsung laptop. Problem is that if the trackpad is too large, you cannot rest your palms when typing without constantly catching the trackpad and moving the cursor/carat around. Result, my wife has her trackpad disabled 95% of the time and has to use a mouse - which renders the trackpad largely useless overall.

And still a 16:9 movie-friendly screen I see. If Lenovo, HP, Dell or someone could make a nice business laptop like this with a 16:10 or 3:2 matte screen, I'd buy one in a snap! Yes, such screens are more expensive. But then, this is an expensive laptop, so it is annoying to see them penny-pinching over the screen.

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Dave K
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Re: US$2,579.00

@AC - don't need wifi, bluetooth, speakers, mic, video camera built in.

Bluetooth is the only one I can agree with. Well, that and more USB ports and an RJ45 port of course.

For the others, you've obviously never taken your work laptop into a meeting room (hang on, where's my net connection gone), or attended Skype/Jabber calls with one (no mic, camera or speakers)? It's easy to say that headsets solve these, but when I'm working from home, why bother with a headset if I'm in a room by myself? I've also attended conference calls with a group in a meeting room with my laptop - hence speakers and mic become essential.

If you are worried about the camera, some recent Lenovos have had a mechanical shutter you can close over the camera. This is a far better solution than removing the camera altogether.

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It's baaack – WannaCry nasty soars through Boeing's computers

Dave K
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"Anyone care to speculate what would happen if they did?"

Anguished yells from the cockpit of "Hey Cortana, what the f**k" when the Windows-powered guidance system decides to reboot to install critical updates, just as the pilots are in the middle of a choppy and misty approach to a busy airport...

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Microsoft's Windows 7 Meltdown fixes from January, February made PCs MORE INSECURE

Dave K
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Control

Funnily enough, it's situations like this why I demand proper control over updates. As I have an AMD system (hence, no Meltdown), I chose not to apply the January patches. Thought I'd let the worst of the issue blow over, and give chance for any bugs in the (rushed) patches to be sorted out and fixed first of all. As a couple of months have passed, I was now beginning to think about patching, and then this story rises up.

I will apply the patches to my system in due course, but MS's "quality control" doesn't have the greatest reputation lately, hence why I prefer to delay installation a bit first.

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BOFH: Give me a lever long enough and a fool, I mean a fulcrum and ....

Dave K
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Hope Simon unplugged the Management Buzzword Detector before that meeting, otherwise I smell a combustation-oriented workplace depopulation on the horizon...

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User asked why CTRL-ALT-DEL restarted PC instead of opening apps

Dave K
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Re: Feeling Old...

Indeed, I remember having two or three different boot floppies around for certain different games. I still remember today that Dune 2 needed 604k of free conventional memory in order to run. DOS 6 then came along and made the process a lot easier by including "memmaker" that could automatically load as much as possible into high memory for you.

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El Reg deep dive: Everything you need to know about UK.gov's pr0n block

Dave K
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Re: Still at it

People should have a right to be able to access legal content (regardless of how seedy or unpalatable you may perceive it to be), without having their personal details required by law to be logged in a nice big tracking database.

People should also have a right to privacy in their own homes.

Or do you disagree with these?

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