* Posts by Adrian Harvey

101 posts • joined 21 May 2009


We did Nazi see this coming... Internet will welcome Earth's newest nation with, sigh, a brand new .SS TLD

Adrian Harvey

Re: Political correctness running amok?

Juguar famously did. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Cars

Whole company name was changed to that of their most popular model to avoid the branding issues the old company name acquired. Though that was in 1945.

Oz cops investigating screams of 'why don't you die?' find bloke in battle with spider

Adrian Harvey

Although they look a bit scary you’re best off leaving huntsman spiders alone - or just relocating them. They’re both not poisonous and they eat other, poisonous, spiders - thereby saving you time, effort, and cleanup. I lived in Australia for a few years, and this worked well.

Apple iPhone X screen falls short of promises, lawsuit says

Adrian Harvey

Screen measurements in inches are tube size

Screen measurements have always seemed a bit unrealistic because, in the days when most TVs and monitors were CRT devices the measurement given was that of the physical tube diagonal, not the visible screen size. An attempt was made to have the metric measurement for screen size be cmv - ie centimetres visible. Quite confusing, of course as you couldn’t just use the usual metric conversion to work out what size of monitor you were getting for your money - especially where one manufacturer gave only cmv and the other only inches.

Don’t get me started on wide screen diagonals and how they misrepresent screen area compared with squarer screens.

FPGAs? Sure, them too. Liqid pours chips over composable computing systems

Adrian Harvey


Did anyone else misread that headline as compostable computing systems and wonder if there's been a breakthrough in biodegradable systems to lower environmental impact?

Beer icon because I probably need one...

As it turns out, no, you can't just run an unlicensed Bitcoin money exchange

Adrian Harvey

Re: "No, you can't just run an unlicensed Bitcoin money exchange"

Not quite grammatical enough in your literalism - the can’t here applies to the just, not to the run alone. So he can run one, but he can’t just run one.

The reason he can’t just run one is that another thing will also happen - viz: getting collared for the crime.

Clear as mud?

Python creator Guido van Rossum sys.exit()s as language overlord

Adrian Harvey

Re: I like Python and C

“IBM, in it's infinite wisdom, decided to put the system ROM at the top of memory.”

I’m not sure the blame doesn’t sit with Intel there- the 8086 processor bootstrap begins by executing code ar FFFF:0000 - right at the end of memory (for those too young to remember segmented addressing, that’s 16 bytes shy of the 1MB highest possible address on the 20 bit address bus.). So you would have to have some ROM there to handle the bootstrap process. And putting the system ROM somewhere else in the memory map would probably have required a second chip or some custom part.

For all I know it may sit further back in computing history than that....

Shatner's solar-powered Bitcoin gambit wouldn't power a deflector shield

Adrian Harvey

> This year, Iceland, the world's leading geothermal user, doubled its geothermal output to 100MW

Something is wrong with this. A small grid scale power plant is about 100 MW. New Zealand has more than 800MW operational generating capacity. Iceland has 665MW according totheir national authority. So I'm not sure that Iceland is the leader or that they're doubled output...

Beer because it's Friday.

IPv6 growth is slowing and no one knows why. Let's see if El Reg can address what's going on

Adrian Harvey

Re: NAT required

NAT itself isn't but having clients on non reachable addresses *is*. It is because it prevents accidental exposure in a number of circumstances (Misconfigured devices acting a bridge is one example). And NAT enables that.

Microsoft, Google: We've found a fourth data-leaking Meltdown-Spectre CPU hole

Adrian Harvey

Analogy in video incomplete

It would have been nice if the redhat video had extended the quite nice analogy of how speculative execution works to how this vulnerability exploits it. It kind of felt like it leapt from a helpful, high-level analogy - useful for explaining an obscure subject - to "and bad people could exploit this.." It would have been helpful to have an expanded analogy that explained how the speculatively produced bill could lead to another customer receiving your order (or something)

I can't immediately think of a good way though - anyone else want to have a crack at stretching the analogy to it's limits?

Citrix snuffs Xen and NetScaler brands

Adrian Harvey

It’s worse than that... the original product was OEM’d so it was also called WinCenter, NTrigue, or WinDD depending who you bought it off and which extensions were bundled. You might argue that these versions weren’t Ctirix’s... but Citrix bought their code back and combined them into Metaframe.

And it was also named Metaframe XP for a while in the middle there.


(WinFrame, WinDD, WinCenter, NTrigue) -> MetaFrame -> Metaframe XP -> Presentation Server -> XenApp -> Citrix Virtual Apps

Which is why everyone seems to just call it “Citrix” even though that’s the company not the product. It’s the only invariant part of the name.

There will be blood: BT to axe 13,000 employees

Adrian Harvey

What exactly are you downloading to make your line equivalent to a public sewer?

Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

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

Adrian Harvey

Re: Deleting emails

>or turning caching on in which case we're looking at ever expanding .OSTs

Newer versions of Outlook (2013 and 2016) allow for partial offlining into OST files - ie: keep the latest n MB of emails cached, leave the rest on the server.

Airbus plans beds in passenger plane cargo holds

Adrian Harvey

Aparrently the issue is that no one has created such a scheme that can pass the required evacuation tests. A few airlines have had a go with mockups etc.

Any ideas on how to get people off and out quickly from a bunk bed type arrangement?

Adrian Harvey

Seats in the upright position

There is one seat type not required to be returned to the upright position, and that is the Business class seats on Air New Zealand and Virgin Atlantic. They are arranged in a herringbone layout and the (fat) seat belt contains an airbag. My memory is that you can't be in the lie-flat position, (which is on the back of the flip-over seat (really!)) but I'm not a frequent flier at the front of the plane, more's the pity :-(.

I suspect the airbag is key here.

Uber self-driving car death riddle: Was LIDAR blind spot to blame?

Adrian Harvey

Re: Should have seen the pedestrian

It may be harder than that to setup an OR system. Volvo’s XC90 has an partial autonomous driving system of it’s own, not just automated emergency brakes. It steers the car (in lane), recognises speed signs, maintains following distance, etc. Separating out just the one part could cause bugs of it’s own too....

What a mesh: BT Whole Home Wi-Fi users moan over update

Adrian Harvey
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Re: Mesh Networks

Some consumer grade mesh kit can form the backhaul links over CAT5/6 (for example the TP-Link Deco range.) Don't know about the BT kit in the article though.

But my house is not set up for wired networking, so short of some ethernet-over-powerline connecting APs frankenetwork, mesh is what it has to be for reasonable coverage...

Cali cops' Clue caper: Apple technicans, in an iPhone repair lab, with the 1,600 silent 911 calls

Adrian Harvey

I don’t know about that... I do know that 112 is part of the GSM standard and any GSM compliant phone can call that number and it will route to the local emergency services. Useful to know when you’re stuck in some strange country with a random emergency number. (I’m looking at you, Australia. With your 000 indeed.)

Good news, everyone: Ransomware declining. Bad news: Miscreants are turning to crypto-mining on infected PCs

Adrian Harvey

Tax evasion?

> but adds up to $31,000 a year, tax free.

What makes it tax free? My tax form (and I expect most other countries too). Have a box for "Other income - including tips, cash payments and profits of illegal enterprise"

Now I realise that many may not bother to pay, but that isn't quite the same as tax free.... is it? In any case in some parts the wrath of The Revenue is worse, and harder to avoid than the local law enforcement.

Why did I buy a gadget I know I'll never use?

Adrian Harvey

>. Just the place if you want "Magnetic Wooden Toast Tongs".

Those are one of the few gadgets that actually are findable though - as they stick to the toaster they are there when I need them. I was given them, and they haven’t managed to hide yet!

FCA 'gold-plates' EU rule, hits BYOD across entire UK finance sector

Adrian Harvey

Pedant here....

From the article : "privately-owned equipment which the firm is unable to record or copy"

Putting on my pedantic hat here, doesn't the law only disallow equipment which is BOTH privately owned AND which the firm is unable to record or copy. In other words company owned, but the firm is unable to record is ok, as is privately owned, but recordable (say, through BYOD software add-ons)

Might not be what they meant, but it is what they wrote...

Cool disk drive actuator pillar, Seagate – how about two of them?

Adrian Harvey

Does HAMR / MAMR impose any limitations?

Thinking on this concept - in my crude mental model of heat assisted recording - where heat is used to reduce the coercivity of the magnetic surface material in a very narrow track so that the written track can be narrower than the write field from the magnetic part of the head - the disk will need some portion of the rotation time to cool down. If, having two sets of heads, writing neighbouring tracks, there may be some unwanted crosstalk if the track being written by the first heads hasn't cooled fully by the time It reaches the second heads writing an adjacent track.

Does that make sense? And how much of a problem would it be really? I'm not sure how much cooling is really needed... or if MAMR would offer any advantage here...

Citrix cracks Windows Store's monopoly on Windows 10 S apps

Adrian Harvey


<quote> Citrix requires 500GB of disk space and 1GB of RAM to run Receiver </quote>

I think 500MB is more likely... thin client software is not generally given to being fat.

It's time to rebuild the world for robots

Adrian Harvey

We did redesign paper

I remember "computer" paper being incredibly common - you know, the stuff with holes down the side for a tractor feed system to pick it up and pull it through the printer in one continuous stream. And stuff with tear-off holes for printers where you wanted things that looked like sheets of paper afterwards.

Then we un-redesigned it.

Plants in SPAAAAAAACE are good for you

Adrian Harvey

Re: RE: I see what you did there

The trouble with spinning to simulate gravity is that rotational inertia causes some odd effects. If you pick something up it will feel like it's being dragged sideways as it tries to remain on the same course.

It may be ok for plants as they don't move much, but for humans it's quite disconcerting. Try lifting your arm on a spinning fairground ride if you get the chance!

I love disruptive computer jargon. It's so very William Burroughs

Adrian Harvey

Re: Gif.

Oddly enough was only changed in the UK. Or at least it's still called Jif both where I live and other international destinations where I have had cause to wander into a supermarket... see https://www.unilever.co.nz/brands/our-brands/jif.html by way of a citation.

Twitter's 280-char blog mode can be enabled client-side. Just sayin'

Adrian Harvey

Re: Never understood why ..

It's like haiku - in that the prescriptive structure actually forces some creativity and gives tweets a style and uniqueness. Take that away and Twitter becomes just another social media.

Not that I'm much of a Twitter, or any other form of social media, but it's limitation is a special sort of uniqueness.

'I feel violated': Engineer who pointed out traffic signals flaw fined for 'unlicensed engineering'

Adrian Harvey

<quote>This is the same state that's so nanny they don't let you pump your own gas.</quote>

Of course where I live you can't pump your own gas, but you can pump your own petrol. :-) LPG has high safety requirements...

One chain of service stations has re-introduced actual service and named they "forecourt concierges"

Why does Skype only show me from the chin down?

Adrian Harvey

Re: Ethernet fan out

I think you meant 10Base2, not T. T was for Twisted pair - just like the modern stuff...

By the way, does anyone else remember AMP taps? A kind of structured 10Base2 where a cable ran to each wall socket from the previous one, and patch cables (to use current lingo) contained 2 coax cables - one up and one back - and the plug that went into the wall socket broke the through connection and ran the signal up and back when inserted. Not cheap, but solved all those little user issues...

It's time for Microsoft to revisit dated defaults

Adrian Harvey

Re: So, where's the news?

That might be OK for replication but don't sites also determine which AD server a client should use for authentication? So how else does the client localise it's requests?

Adrian Harvey

Novell did like to talk about that, but in practice it made little difference as the Comms links had grown sufficiently that being able to replicate over a 64kbps link wasn't really a winning feature. My experience was that the Novell protocol was much more fragile and harder to fix when it did break. I am not convinced that adding more complexity to AD would improve it. Making a GUI setting for change notification would be a plus though.

Also, using slow replication as a release mechanism is horrendous and risky. Get caught at the wrong time in the cycle and you have no protection anyway. Design a staging area or group and make changes to a copy of the GPO, then re-link to release. Or similar. There's lots of options.

IBM makes meek apology for Oz #CensusFail, offers no fail detail

Adrian Harvey

<blockquote>It's not proven yet that IBM was at fault here. This has happened before; Air New Zealand, if I remember correctly - the CEO went online blaming IBM shortly after the systems crashed, it turned out to be their own fault.</blockquote>

The company I worked for at the time was hosted in the same datacentre when that UPS failed that your talking about. We only had only one issue as for the most part our HA systems kicked in. We had our HA cluster nodes running of different UPS feeds. One system was not migrated to the cluster yet....

I'm told Air NZ had their failover/hot standby system offline at the time.

footnote: That datacentre was old, tier 1, with a history of such problems, and IBM no longer use it having built a new one of higher grade nearby.

Adrian Harvey

Given that IBM have a policy of never blaming the customer as it's bad for future business with them, a bland statement like this frequently means that the customer was at the root of the issue..... Can't be sure, of course, and a train wreck like this rarely has a single cause anyway.

Linux letting go: 32-bit builds on the way out

Adrian Harvey

This (16-bit code on 64-bit OS) is somewhat a Windows limitation, due to the way certain registers are handled. 64 bit Wine on Linux can (and does) run 16-bit Windows binaries. Some more detail here: https://www.wine-staging.com/news/2016-02-10-blog-wine-16bit.html

Patriotic Brits rush into streets to celebrate… National Cream Tea Day

Adrian Harvey

Re: “tea before milk”.

A point of history here: Once, quality porcelain was able to withstand the shock of being filled with boiling water, but cheaper china might crack. Adding the milk first would prevent the thermal shock. Therefore if you were inclined to show off the quality and/or expense of your teacups you would put the tea in first. As a result different social sets/classes developed different tea rituals though few now know why.

Latin-quoting Linus Torvalds plays God by not abusing mortals

Adrian Harvey
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quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur

Anything said in Latin sounds profound...

India orders 770 million LED light bulbs, prices drop 83 per cent

Adrian Harvey

Re: LOVE them LED lights!

Re: greyish-white glare:

Most compact fluorescent bulbs are (and have been for a long time) available in warm white too. In fact as most white LEDs are in fact blue LEDs pumping a phosphor coating your colour range should be pretty close between the two technologies.

Islamic fundamentalists force Yorkshire IT shop to chop off brand

Adrian Harvey

Old problem - SS

The British car maker SS didn't like the associations their name gained so they changed it to the name of their most popular car - Jaguar

iOS banking apps security still not good enough, says researcher

Adrian Harvey

Re: Banking on a phone?

It varies bank by bank of course, but for my bank (ANZ) it's more secure on mobile. That's because when you initially set it up it creates secure device credentials (which you can check from the app and invalidate lost/sold/stolen devices). It is then not sending my password over the net (encrypted or not passwords shouldn't be sent - the web is leading us astray here)

Russian nuke plant operator to build on-site data centre

Adrian Harvey

power plants and Datcentres

We thought about this when I worked for a power generator - but all of out plants got built in relatively out-of-the-way locations - either to make use of natural resources or because no one wants a great hulking power plant on their doorstep. It was hard enough for /us/ to get networking to our sites, diverse paths almost impossible (second cable would have to go over a mountain for one example [we used microwave for out backup path...] ) so just too hard to get the connectivity required for a real datacentre.

Adrian Harvey

Whole new level

It takes it to a whole new level when the assessors ask you whether your datacentre meets tier specifications and want to know that it has a generator on site....

Remember Windows 1.0? It's been 30 years (and you're officially old)

Adrian Harvey

Didn't have to remember

Just visit here:


and see Windows 1.0 in all it's glory running on an emulated PC in JavaScript in your browser booting in seconds.

Love the speed, but the interface leaves a little to be desired...

HMRC breaches job applicants' privacy in mass email spaff

Adrian Harvey

Re: Unfortunately, there was a technical glitch resulting in a confusing email.

Presumably if you were cc:Ed in on the mail telling someone they hadn't got the job, but you had. Or vice versa. Or to turn up on Tuesday for an Interview after being told you missed the shortlist it would be fairly confusing.... Not sure it that's what happened, but it would fit the description.

Take two mobes into the shower? I didn't before, but I do now

Adrian Harvey
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Using it for roaming

I could see me using it for roaming - but i would have to use it by putting my "home" SIM into the device for calls and txts, and putting the "roam" SIM into the phone. Having to fiddle with SIMs might be a little painful, but no worse than SIM swapping for travel generally.

Microsoft points PowerShell at Penguinistas

Adrian Harvey

Re: Like grep? sed? awk?

I don't think you read the doc you link to. It's nothing like grep. It enforces the presence or absence of the lines - adding required lines if not found, deleting lines that the file must not contain.

You could do this with sed or awk, of course, but the point of this is to underly puppet/cfengine like functionality that MS is building into it's management tools. Puppet and friends are awesome products, and the model of managing configurations like software to be progressed from dev to test to production is a good step forward, but current tools are focused on devs in that they work in a programming kind of methodology and need a brain used to working with code to use well. Depending on what tools MS wrap round this engine they could address the market of admins wanting to gain the advantage of dev ops before the existing tools do.

Exchange Server 2016 will be mostly Cloud Exchange ported back on-premises

Adrian Harvey

You'll definitely want to be on-premise next year as it's a leap year. With 366 days you must have a full day outage from Office 365 sometime during the year.

NO, Joe Hockey, a 'Netflix tax' wouldn't raise 'billions'

Adrian Harvey

It'll be spent on what it's spent on now. There's no big new revenue stream here, just a new form of tax avoidance.

Bonking with Apple is no fun 'cos it's too hard to pay, say punters

Adrian Harvey

Photo doesn't match article

The photo on this article is of iPhone 5Cs which is probably the problem. They don't have the NFC circuitry required. Pedant icon because.

Pi(e) Day of the Century is upon us! Time to celebrate 3/14/15 in style, surely?

Adrian Harvey

Re: Americans and PI

I took an engineering course where we used 3 as the value for pi.

Admittedly this was because the gearboxes on the lathes only had a limited set of speeds on offer, so there was no point at all in using more than 1 significant figure. Still 3 is not wrong for pi so long as you only want results with limited precision!

IBM's secret growth plan is … Karaoke?

Adrian Harvey

IBM song

But IBM DOES have a theme song! It's called "Ever onward IBM". and you can hear it sung here: http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/music/music_clips.html

IBM as a company is so old that it dates back to when recorded music was not so common, and group singing was a common social interaction. There was even a whole company song book with both original songs and parodies and remixes of popular songs of the time.

For pity's sake, you fool! DON'T UPGRADE it will make it worse

Adrian Harvey

Why aren't Word shortcuts made to work in the rest of Windows...

In MS Word:

CTRL + ' then e gives é

CTRL + : then o gives ö

etc, etc

These would be fine for most people, and I use them often for typing loan-words, etc, but for some reason the MS guys in the Office team aren't into sharing so they're not built into the OS.


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