* Posts by Greg J Preece

2505 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Is this the world's dirtiest PC?

Greg J Preece

I feel very nerdy right now

I recognised that was a Dell without even seeing the monitor in the background, by the "lift here" arrows and the PSU cage.

I think I need a holiday...

Dell details 'world's thinnest' laptop

Greg J Preece

Who gives a shit?

I really like the hinge design, to give a raised keyboard. That's a neat idea. But can you name one person (who isn't an overly wealthy twunt concerned only with being flashy) who actually gives two shits about ultra-thins?

Oooh, my laptop is so slinky! Pity I paid so much for something that ultimately can't do any more than an Eee.

Though I am amused to see this not only being thinner than the Air, but much, much cheaper.

Motorola Android 2.0 phone Europe-bound

Greg J Preece

Better photo

Full spec here, and a pic with the keyboard tray closed - looks alright like that, actually:


Greg J Preece

Sorry, but I like it

Function over design, TYVM. It's got Android 2, all the kit I need and a full fat hardware keyboard. I buy devices so that I can get stuff done, not so I can flash them at people (my current phone is an Ameo, after all - the ugliest thing ever created by human hands).

Mozilla plots Firefox interface overhaul

Greg J Preece

Oh noes, my browser is ugly

Give me a break. When was the last time your browser's appearance had any impact on:

a) Your browsing experience?

b) Whether or not you used said browser?

c) Anything, on any planet, ever?

I like having menus available, not hunting for them. At the top of my screen I have the menu, then the address bar, then the link bar, and then my tabs. Total screen usage? Not a lot, actually...

Sure, it's ugly as sin. Pity it works.

And for those people claiming this is a rip off of IE, well, you're right. But let's be honest here, IE7 was a complete and utter Firefox rip off. It's six and two threes.

BBC iPlayer to hit Freesat boxes by month's end

Greg J Preece

@Rob - I also have a Foxsat

Hopefully I will be able to use it. Unfortunately the networking config panel on the Foxsat is so broken that it is incapable of remembering any static settings, and once you put static settings up the dynamic ones don't work either. Bloody thing.

Bug in latest Linux gives untrusted users root access

Greg J Preece

Already patched?

I fully expected the issue to be patched by the time I finished reading the article, but it turns out it was patched before I even read the headline.

You'll forgive me if I don't panic.

Skype for Linux set for open source

Greg J Preece

@Richard Padley

Skype for Linux is still stuck on 2.1 beta. They just stopped doing any serious development on it a while back. On the upside, it means you get the old-fashioned barebones Skype without any of that stupid new fullscreen interface malarkey and 200000 alerts per second.

Agincourt: The sensational truth

Greg J Preece


Thanks El Reg, that cheered me up on an otherwise completely shitty Monday. However:

"Thousands of them."

Surely you mean "Faaaasands of 'em" ?

World Wii sales slump by 43%

Greg J Preece

Well duh

I seem to remember getting jumped on around here for calling the Wii a fad a while back. Oh dear.

"We were unable to continue to release strong software."


"We just realised that 95% of the games released for the Wii are total shite."

The Wii was a nice piece of kit that managed to become the Christmas toy fad in the year of its release, but as a console it blows because the games on it are sooooo bad. Almost everything I see advertised for the Wii is either yet another Mario rehash, or another collection of mini-games no-one cares about. I know quite a few people who bought a Wii during the fad, and after 5 minutes playing Wii Sports they got bored, and it's sat there ever since, gathering dust.

Ironically enough, I'm in the market for one, now that every light gun game maker in existence is porting to the Wii because of the instant hardware support. Pity the accessories for the Wii also suck donkey balls. Everything's just a moulded piece of plastic you shove the Wiimote into. No chance of a decent gun to play with (though Sony are guilty of this this time around, too).

The DSi is a pile of shite too. No-one is going to buy a console just so they can take pictures of people and mess with them. No-one is going to upgrade their normal DS for those functions, so what's the point? And if you're going to advertise these things to little kids, remember how long little kids' attention spans last...

Motorola Dext Android smartphone

Greg J Preece

Nice looking phone

I've been desperately looking for an Android phone with a physical keyboard, nice screen, and good battery life. You said that with all that crap on the front page (which I'd never use) the battery life is little more than a day - what happens if you turn all that shite off and run it like I do my WinMobile phone, which is set to connect every so often and then immediately disconnect afterwards, giving it a 4 day battery life despite said battery being 3 years old.

That kind of info would be muchly useful, please. :-)

Tesla Roadster travels 313 miles on single charge

Greg J Preece


And has been previously demonstrated on a certain motoring programme, said pickup will survive having a caravan dropped on it.

Consoles & Gadgets Rapid Fire

Greg J Preece

How much???

Sixty five bloody quid??

You want a really good FPS controller for a console? Then you need to get someone to make an updated version of one o' these:


Might look ridiculous, but it's a brilliant controller. I've got them for PS2 and X-box. Each finger gets its own button, so you can keep your thumbs on the analogs at all times, which makes it easier to reload while running/turning/aiming/all the things that are really easy if you just play FPS games on the PC. Plus, all the buttons can be reconfigured and moved around from the controller, and it stores three onboard game profiles that you switch between with a single button press.

That and the fact that I paid no more than £10 for any of them, I'd say the FPS Master beats the crap out of this thing. Perhaps they should take some lessons from a superior product?

If you'll excuse me, I'm off to find an adaptor so I can use mine on the PS3.

Governator in acrostic 'f**k you' outrage

Greg J Preece


It might take you several days to come up with something like that, but judging by the comments here, not everyone else is that thick. Grow a sense of humour.

Microsoft counters Windows 7 upgrade hack advice

Greg J Preece


"Bottom line is, no, OEM Microsoft Windows licenses do not have any transfer rights and live and die on the original computer they are shipped with and installed on, period."

Yeah, nice try...


Ubuntu's Karmic Koala bares fangs at Windows 7

Greg J Preece


>>>-You can actually connect to the internet wirelessly, out of the box, or with either the drivers that come with it or those that come with most wireless adapters.

>>>-Other exotic hardware (like, um Nvidia video cards) works out of the box.

>>>-Exotic websites (like youtube) work without hours of mucking about (64bit version).

Err, the answers to that are:

1) You already can.

2) They already do.

3) That works fine too.

When exactly was the last time you used Ubuntu?

Greg J Preece

@Pete 2 - A little unfair, mate

"With Win 7 being little more than a service pack for XP, with some new eye-candy and incorporation of applications that used to only be available as freeware, this new version of Linux seems to be following a similar line. It looks to be a fairly minor tweak of the previous version - which was itself only slightly different from the preceding release - which was ....."

Windows releases come out every 5 years or so (or every 18 months if you fuck one up and desperately need to re-release it). Ubuntu comes out every 6 months - it's designed to be a series of incremental steps.

Greg J Preece

@AC 08:08

"What is it with the Linux fraternity and their stupid effing names for things?"

Two words: Snow Leopard.

Greg J Preece

Fast, stable, pissing on Kubuntu

Been using Karmic for donkeys, and yes - it is fast, reliable, and is another noticeable improvement over the previous version in terms of hardware support. However, the guys at Canonical, being GNOME fans, have started to piss in KDE users' cornflakes a little.

For a start, asoundconf is missing from alsa-utils, apparently because of some new (GNOME-based) tool that's coming in. So for those of us who like KDE, and whose bosses have forced them to change soundcard by accidentally destroying the old one, this causes more than a little annoyance, as we can't set the default soundcard any more - the utility in KDE only sets it for KDE-based apps, such as Amarok. Right now I've got sound in some apps and not in others. What would have been so bad about keeping the script around? I know it was removed from the standard alsa-utils package, but who cares?

Also, one or two GNOME apps won't start under KDE if you run the two alongside each other. Guess which ones. So if you want to install/modify apps in Kubuntu, you're stuck with KPackage, which really is a nasty interface.

Virginia corrections officers on 'dog fondling' rap

Greg J Preece

Animal Cruelty?

Eh? Jacking off a dog is cruel to the dog? Yes, it's a bloody odd thing to do, but cruel?

Windows 7 - The Reg reader review redux

Greg J Preece

@AC 20:24

No AV kit running, but I still can't copy files at any kind of speed. Colleague is reporting the same problems, and they don't occur under XP. As far as I'm concerned, Win7 is doing this somehow. Just need to figure out how.

Greg J Preece


That....was the biggest load of twaddle I've read in a long time. It's not the fault of Windows because your hardware isn't as good as a Mac?

Is the hardware in a Mac somehow superior? Does the nVidia in a Mac get blessed before it's installed?

Nothing wrong with my hardware. Something wrong with Win7.

Greg J Preece

Just had a thought

Double post! Following on from my original rant, a colleague of mine has described exactly the same symptoms on much more mainstream hardware, and we noticed something - installations are still really fast. So why does one type of file copying run fast, and one run slow? Is it something to do with privileges? Wonder if disabling UAC would help.


Greg J Preece

File copying/deleting bullshit still there

I really, honestly, truly like Windows 7, and it works perfectly, except for one thing. One fundamental flaw: the little bastard will still only copy files at 1.5MB/s, and deleting them is no faster. WHAT THE FECKING HELL? I've tried changing, updating and reinstalling the storage controller drivers, but nothing helps. I don't want to see 1.5MB/s on anything in 2009 - my net connection's faster than that!

And before anyone starts on with that "crappy hardware" nonsense, this is a quad core box with 15000rpm hard drives. It does *not* dick around, and under XP x64 I would easily get 80MB/s between drives, no problem. I don't think it's the drivers either, because loading from the disk is still fast as hell - it's just anything involving a write that's slow.

I wouldn't pay 90p for an operating system that couldn't do the most basic operations without cocking them up, let alone £90 (or £150, as it now is).

If I can't figure out a way to make this thing...

a) Stop pausing for a couple of minutes halfway through the bootup process (no disk activity, nothing)

b) Start copying/deleting files at a reasonable pace

c) Stop lagging the rest of the system when copying large filesets (talk about kicking a guy while he's down)

...then it's going back under "unfit for purpose", which I believe trumps their EULA any day. Still got my copy of XP x64, and I am not waiting 5 minutes per module for a Maven build because Win7 wants to take its time with copying.

It's a real shame, because other than that, it's great, and worth the upgrade from XP.

Kubuntu Karmic would kick this thing's ass if I could get it to work properly with my Triplehead2Go.

Dell unveils exclusive Microsoft-branded Ubuntu OS

Greg J Preece

@ Lord Elpuss

"You can't use MS Office on [Ubuntu]"

Yes you can! Works just fine for me. The wonders of WINE.

Suzuki unveils fuel cell e-scooter

Greg J Preece

See, that's more like it

Hippie-pleasing tech, a design people would actually buy, and a range that is more than useable for the vehicle type involved. So long as it's not monumentally expensive.

Ares I: What's the point?

Greg J Preece

The shuttle is much better than this

Probably a lot more expensive, but look at it - that's a proper 20th century spaceship, and no messin'. Let's design an updated version of that. Higher payload, greater capability, and let's not forget - more internal space! What the hell happened to Venturestar anyway?

Win 7 users shout: Where's my bloody ballot screen?

Greg J Preece


"MS have a larger browser market share than all the other browsers put together and yet the complaint is that they don't conform to standards. What sort of standard is created that isn't support by the clear market leader... a sub-standard!"

That has got to be one of the stupidest things I've ever read. Worse than BBC tech reporting.

Karmic Koala RC drops into the wild

Greg J Preece

It's goooood

Been running it since the 3rd or 4th alpha, and despite a massive cockup in alpha 5, it's a nice improvement over Jaunty. Faster, definitely, and the tweaks to KDE are very much welcome, along with a network manager that finally works (though still not as well as the one in GNOME, which is superb). It doesn't bring a lot in the way of features, but as with all Ubuntu releases it's that steady march that slowly brings in more speed, fewer bugs/annoyances, and greater compatibility.

As much as I like Win7 (and I do) I still spend most of my time in Karmic.

Microsoft thinks it can sell one copy of Windows 7 for every four people

Greg J Preece


"And for the record, the only reason Vista failed so hard was all of the negative ads from Apple."

You're kidding, right?

Windows 7 - the Reg reader verdict

Greg J Preece


So you installed it on a piece of shit so old they don't make drivers for the graphics card any more (and nVidia/ATI drivers go back quite a way), and you're surprised it's no faster than XP...

Unibody MacBook unzipped

Greg J Preece

Sounds like they took a lot of stuff out


Revolting postmen force early Windows 7 launch

Greg J Preece

Got mine!

Arrived this morning. I'll get that installed tonight. Hopefully they've finally fixed the slow file copying bug and sorted out the weird problem I get with boot times on my desktop...

Greg J Preece

Mate at work has his

But mine hasn't arrived. :-( Ordered on the same day from the same place. Bah.

Apple Time Capsule catches plague

Greg J Preece

I bloody knew it!

The boss bought in one of these for the management types that use Macs, and from day one it has kicked out colossal amounts of heat, considering that it is essentially a hard drive in a box. Wouldn't surprise me if it went the way of the dodo before long.

Child porn threat to airport's 'virtual strip search' scanners

Greg J Preece

And the rest of us?

"ARCH has campaigned against the use of body scanners on children, arguing they are disproportionately intrusive and remove their right to dignity, particularly given many are sensitive about their bodies."

But adults are OK, naturally. How could we possibly object to a full body X-ray every time we want to get on a flight?

Mozilla gets orientation-friendly with Firefox 3.6

Greg J Preece

Please please please

Put it in Fennec

Large Hadron boffin arrested on terrorism suspicion

Greg J Preece

So he's associated...

...with a guy who's associated with a terrorist organisation?

The bastard! Lock him up!

NASA iceberg-finder prangs into Moon's south pole

Greg J Preece

LCROSS, by Atari

Did anyone else see the Atlas logo on the side of the launch tower and think "Atari??"

That's a right royal logo rip-off, right there. One for El Reg's LogoWatch?

Zero-day fixes star in biggest ever Patch Tuesday

Greg J Preece


"Win 7 not even out yet but already needs patching. Ah, I quit, it's too easy."

Be fair mate, the bug's in IE. I've got 70-odd updates a day on my Ubuntu pre-release system, some security, most still on development. So what?

BT to push fibre to 1.5m more homes and businesses

Greg J Preece

Woo yay!

FTTP FTW! FTTC is pointless - just run it the extra ten yards. I'll pay the installation costs! Shit, gimme a cabinet key and I'll install it myself.

Where'd I leave that masonry drill....

Windows 7, Bing and mobile will determine Ballmer's future

Greg J Preece

@Charles Manning

"* Even XBox was a huge cock-up until 360."

*Until* the 360? You wouldn't consider $1 billion in broken consoles a cock-up?

Retailers start PSP Go price war

Greg J Preece

Is this because...

...it's an overpriced piece of shit with no drive?

What? AC can call me a "Sony hating retard" if he likes - I've owned every Playstation up to this one, so it might not stick - but that thing is the aborted child of a brilliant idea. Why the hell would you buy one of these at a premium and then buy all your games at a premium when you can you can get a PSP Slim for a little over half the price, then buy all your games dirt cheap?

Holy hatchbacks! Batmobile spied in Sweden

Greg J Preece

I'm unconvinced by the vid

I'll wait to see it moving. But if the sketchy info is true - a Lincoln Continental? Could you not have picked a better car? I know this is America, land of the shitty automobile, but c'mon!

Beeb unveils new Doctor Who logo

Greg J Preece

Well it's got to be better than the current one

With all its 13-year-old-learning-Photoshop lens flarey goodness.

Ubuntu's Karmic Koala opens its eyes

Greg J Preece

@By Unlimited

Mine does that when it's on full power. Doesn't bother me when it's plugged in, but obviously on battery power it's annoying, so I use Guidance Power Manager to automatically downclock the CPU/drop the brightness. CPU fan almost immediately stops and the heat goes away, and for general surfing/work, I really can't tell the difference.

Greg J Preece

@Adam Williamson 1

Duh, I know more people than Canonical contribute. That's kinda the point. But what end user cares about who slowly improved and then fixed it (though the proprietary nVidia drivers are sexy) - all the end user cares about is that it works. "They" refers to "whoever fixed that", because it's a damn sight more productive than the Canonical lot arguing over what to call the Home folder.

@AC 21:01

FUD? Here's something you might want to consider: your setup is not the same as mine. Perhaps it worked for you and did not for me. Hmm? Next time, engage brain before fingers.

Greg J Preece

Running Karmic Alpha 4

And it's awesome. Fast as hell, compatible with all but one of my machines, and KDE 4.3.1 is very nice indeed. The huge improvement for me was in multi-monitor support. It didn't work at all in Hardy, was a bit mental in Intrepid, was still buggy in Jaunty, but works perfectly in Karmic. Glad they finally sorted that.

That said, the reason I'm still on alpha 4 is how badly they buggered up alphas 5 and 6. A set of updates came down and crippled the entire OS on two of my machines. Fortunately, we're talking about Ubuntu here, so a reinstallation took less than an hour, but it was still annoying. Hopefully the problems are fixed in beta 1. I'll try it in a VM this time...

And why in the hell does GNOME have an option to turn off touchpad tapping, but KDE doesn't? It's infuriating!

Small biz told to sort TV licences for PCs

Greg J Preece

Over-agressive arseholes

I bought my first house last year. Go me. As you might imagine, the minute I walked in the door I got a flood of paperwork. The tone of it all went something like this:

Power company: "Hey, congrats on the house!"

Water company: "Ah, so *you're* the owner. We were wondering for a bit. No problem."

Council tax (FFS!): "This much a year, please."


Aaagh, steady on!


I don't have a fucking television yet!


It was around this point that I phoned them up and politely informed them that anyone stepping on my property without my permission would be ejected. Head first. Oddly enough, no more letters.

Sagem DSI86HD

Greg J Preece


Didn't the Foxsat kinda beat them to the game by a long way? When I had Freesat installed, the Foxsat was the only receiver worth buying. Plus, they already have a version that will record, have done for some time, and this receiver offers little or nothing above Humax's offering.

Fail. Though they would get kudos from me if they could code the Ethernet stuff properly. My Foxsat constantly pisses me off by forgetting its static IP settings every time I turn it on.

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