* Posts by Tom 7

5319 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: No, you don't wish you'd have bought it.

Who needs 32 bits? I got all nostalgic reading this stuff and got SIMH Altair CP/M running. Its amazing what you can do with a >1Ghz Z80 and virtual disks.

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: As a dev system? No, startup biz!

It had a 68008 and 8 bit data bus but it was only half as fast as the 68000 which, as a 32 bit chip was actually pretty damn good. You could write code without worrying about 64k boundaries and if IBM had chosen it instead of 8088 (also 8 bit data) and they'd got CP/M 68K instead of MSDOS the first 15 years of its life wouldnt have been a complete fucking pain.

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: As a dev system?

Even mainframes were slow at the time. They made you think about how to make them work for you, rather than sending emails to someone else to get them to do it or writing a document to pretend you'd done some! I used to use my first at work IBM pc to craft scripts to do all sorts of editing to file listings that would then be modified by another script to create massive batches of jobs to tun on the mainframe, which while slow, could run for a couple of weeks at a time doing my work for me.

A Delta IV Heavy heads for space at last while New Horizons' fumes OK for 'future missions'

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: The Delta IV Heavy.

I'm not sure you can easily get close enough to a synchronised landing to have your organs acoustically smoothied though.

The Iceman cometh, his smartwatch told the cops: Hitman jailed after gizmo links him to Brit gangland slayings

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: "Massey died in a fusillade of bullets"

And if I've read the figures right you are more likely to be shot by a toddler in the US than by anyone with a gun in the UK.

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: "Massey died in a fusillade of bullets"

It is still (alas) worth noting that the mere ownership of a gun (to protect your property and family) in the US makes it far more likely you or a member of your family will be killed by that very gun than a UK person being killed by any gun.

Got a Drupal-powered website? You may want to get patching now...

Tom 7 Silver badge

My favourite software for earning a few quid helping people stopping it doing anything

Drupal, like many web site arseistants, seems to be built on the false premise that something complicated can be made simpler. All it does is move the hard bit somewhere else, where you will have to meet it, rather than face to face, via a whole new bunch of not quite worked out problems. It's the Fourier transform of a Spike, rather than a short click you end up with signals in every frequency.

Microsoft partner portal 'exposes 'every' support request filed worldwide' today

Tom 7 Silver badge

I grabbed a copy and did some analysis.

95% seem to be the three words 'kill me now'.

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

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: A friend of mine was giving a demo yesterday

The ipad would not do what he wanted it to do for any money he can afford. Ditto MacOS.

As for changing to another windows OS he's one of these people that bought into computing is easy so he's not up for that.

I may offer to help him upgrade his machine to Linux but not until he's calmed down. He spent ages preparing his demo and getting the people together to watch it and MS takes over his PC and makes him look like a twat (or so he feels), Why cant they just have the common courtesy to say your machine needs updating and it will grind to a halt for a while is that OK or do you have a living to earn from this shit piece of software we made others put on your computer.

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Please Play Responsibly

Beep Beep Beep All lines are permanently busy. Please contact Microsoft Customer Support.

Tom 7 Silver badge

A friend of mine was giving a demo yesterday

but his computer failed to listen to him while it upgraded instead. Fuck Microsoft.

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

Tom 7 Silver badge

It is possible to produce an idiot proof interface.

But it does the require the extermination of every idiot.

Watch an AI robot program itself to, er, pick things up and push them around

Tom 7 Silver badge

Why can't robots just learn to do things without being told?

Ever heard of teenagers?

Most munificent Apple killed itself with kindness. Oh. Really?

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Re-lightening plug.

And dont use a good scotch. It just makes your hear ache to finish working,

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re:'prevent' [damage]

it does alway amuse me how people go out and buy the slimmest phone/tablet possible and then have to carry it around in something akin to the packaging it came in to keep it working.

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Look it's really quite simple.

Sorry but gel capacitors say you will.

RIP 2019-2019: The first plant to grow on the Moon? Yeah, it's dead already, Chinese admit

Tom 7 Silver badge

That photo

appeared in many papers as a grid that you would look through desperately trying to find the shoot,

I found it on one site - it would have been an inch or two off the the left on all the other ones published. It seems most sites crop (crap) the photo to fit the layout without person with clue checking it.

Do you feel 'lucky', well, do you, punk? Google faces down magic button patent claim

Tom 7 Silver badge

Am I lucky?

I dont think I've ever been offered the 'Feeling lucky' button,

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Legal Certainty

I would suggest that the legal certainty is really the legal vagueness to spread the definition as wide as possible,

Tom 7 Silver badge

The problem seems to be that 90% of the people involved in developing web pages are "definitely not skilled in the art".

I must confess I have my name on a patent but my job was at stake for not agreeing to write about something I'd knocked up the functional core of in a lunch meeting! I doubt it would stand up to any scrutiny but my managers thought its was the dogs bollocks whereas to me it was obvious to anyone reading their first art pamphlet as Viz would describe it. I was probably skilled in that art but 25 years on I'm still learning about computing.

The Large Hadron Collider is small beer. Give us billions more for bigger kit, say boffins

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: The FCC, eh?

People used to brew beer twice from the same grain - the first mash would produce a good strong brew - possibly up to 10%, and then the grain was mashed again and the small beer made.

Modern brewing uses a technique called sparging where a small amount of much hotter water is used to wash the remaining sugars out of the grain after the first (and now only) mash liquor has been drained off.

Conversely there is a pub near Hexham called The Twice Brewed where they used to add more grain for the second mash to make an even stronger ale, Its in a village called Once Brewed!

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: One ring to rule them all?

They call it Clever TeVer!

Army had 'naive' approach to Capita's £1.3bn recruiting IT contract, MPs told

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Actually...

Were LA's doing things inefficiently or did Crapita just manage to sell the idea they were? I worked for one small council that had managed to avoid outsourcing and we had far far fewer IT staff, in house and out, than all the outsourced ones of similar size.

I believe its just another tory myth that public services are inefficient - as outsourcing proves time and time again.

Forget Finding Nemo: This AI can identify a single zebrafish out of a 100-strong shoal

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: sometimes humans have to manually label the pictures

They're already barcoded!

Tom 7 Silver badge

A cool

While I was in NZ I spotted some flies doing what must have been a mating dance but analysis was near impossible as you couldn't tell which of the fuckers was which. You could if you filmed them a slowed them down but it had to be very slowed down. This would help work out what was going on if its possible to identify them.

US Department of Defense to fling $1.76bn at Microsoft

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: That's actually quite insane

That's actually 17600 years worth of developer time.

Silly boy - you forgot to take away the management consultants fees and administration:

That's 5 years of developer time.

It's the weekend. We're out of puns for now. Just have a gander at China's Moon lander and robo-sidekick snaps, videos

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Danger! <insert robot voice here>

I dunno - I remember the joy of holding the specimens after we'd coated them with gold when my dad took me on a tour of his EM lab. And then we'd pop them in the EM and the plopping of the vacuum pump was brilliant for building up the tension!

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: El Reg grammar bonus

And more importantly they were executed by the group itself!

What's the fate of our Solar System? Boffins peer into giant crystal ball – ah, no, wait, that's our Sun in 10bn years

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Boom!

Though I do wonder if there might be mega - atoms, 'Atoms' that consist of a massive collection of crystallised nucleii with some kind of electron coating.

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Boom!

You stop doing chemical reactions when you become a degerate dwarf star. The electron shells no longer exist due to gravitational pressure. Getting colder is not going to help!

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Glad they helped me understand

That's called "The Menopause"1

The D in SystemD stands for Dammmit... Security holes found in much-adored Linux toolkit

Tom 7 Silver badge

I did wonder if System D was sold to RH as the tool that would somehow allow them to OWN Linux or at least some significant part of the market. The complete lack of useful documentation seemed to prove it.

IBM insists it's not deliberately axing older staff. Internal secret docs state otherwise...

Tom 7 Silver badge

And most of the older workers are worth far more than they are paid. Number of times I saved smart young employees from making stupid and very very costly mistakes. Wish I could have done the same in Personnel.

Excuse me, sir. You can't store your things there. Those 7 gigabytes are reserved for Windows 10

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: 32GB HP Monstruosities

Not everybody photographs every last moment of their lives. I know people who have more photos and videos than they can watch before the heat death of the universe but most people who just do a bit of browsing and emailing can live quite happily in a couple of gigs even if their OS cannot.

Fake 'U's! Phishing creeps use homebrew fonts as message ciphers to evade filters

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Custom font download

And yet I control my browser/mail reader* so they can justify themselves to death so they are wasting their time.

*I used to work as the accessibility guy and I just love the look on designers faces when faced with reality.

Marriott: Good news. Hackers only took 383 million booking records ... and 5.3m unencrypted passport numbers

Tom 7 Silver badge

What we need is some kind of programming technique that would prevent this happening

Something where you only expose data to the web via an interface which is thought out by someone with a clue. The sort of thing even stupid people like me have been doing since 1992.

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

Tom 7 Silver badge

Thems my initials thems is.

And were used as a file extension to indicate ownership on our VAX. And of course were also used to denote temporary files too so I used to get all sorts of shit when the disks filled up and the system manager wasn't around.People would come to me demanding I deleted my files so their jobs could run. I could of course work out which .TMP files were generated by their jobs and delete them so their jobs would no longer run when I was in the right mood.

My 2019 resolution? Not to buy any of THIS rubbish

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Smart speakers remind me of Sirius Cybernetics

Its not just smart speakers. My kids got some 'upmarket' BT speakers via the misses who had asked me for something for the kitchen that played CDs and had a radio etc and did BT etc so I got one I could stand listening to.

The look on the kids faces a few days later when they BTed into the kitchen one and discovered a whole layer of instruments they hadn't heard on their music before!

I knocked up an MP3 of a sine sweep and got out the ribbon mike and there is nothing below 250hz on the BT speakers but harmonics!

Dark matter's such a pushover: Baby stars can shove weird stuff around dwarf galaxies

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Alternate theory

Cant argue with his maths. But given he was naming something even he didnt know 'idiot' may well apply.

Encryption? This time it'll be usable, Thunderbird promises

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: The trouble with PGP is that

Agreed. But with 'easy to use' tools things should get better - or at least people should find it easier to send and receive encrypted email etc which I believe is a good thing.

The Great British Curry: Put down the takeaway, you're cooking tonight

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Excellent Article

"How the hell do you get the kind of heat intensity".

I've tried cookers with a 'wok heater' in the middle but even they dont seem to provide the heat necessary. You can get special wok cookers but under no circumstance use these in a normal home kitchen, even if sober.

This means you need an outdoor cooking area which limits the season you can wok cook properly but with a bit of thought you can make a pizza-oven/tandoor/wok cooker using the same rocket stove burner and baffles to send the fire to the different 'ovens'. I say you can - mine got damp and exploded!

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Avoid making teflon frying pans very very hot

My parents left me alone for a summer when I was 17 and I managed to get the frying pan to the point where nothing would stick to it. On her return the first thing my mum did was take a scouring pad to it. Noooooooooooooooooo!

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Post-Pub Nosh Neckfiller

A friend of mine awoke and descented into his kitchen to discover a pan on the floor and an empty steamed putting can on the work surface and a ring on. The steamed putting can looked like it had been attacked by a very hungry and lock in pissed himself so he thought no more of it until he was eating his fry up and some jam appeared in the middle of it and he looked up to see a steamed pudding practically embedded in the polystyrene tiles.

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Cooking Basmati

Never ever use american quick cook rice as is neither quicker than normal rice nor rice.

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: "The only ingredient you may struggle to find here is garlic and ginger paste."

Its best fresh and its by far best when done in a pestle & mortar which is probably not possible post pub without serious kitchen tile/foot damage.

When done properly its hotter than the hottest!

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Garam Masala Beans

Also baked beans with a really good slosh of Lea&Regie and finely grated cheese - mind fingers when pissed yeah right oh fuck,

Mark Zuckerberg did everything in his power to avoid Facebook becoming the next MySpace – but forgot one crucial detail…

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: the best article I've read in 2018

FBP and more adblockers than a cardboard screen filter.

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Guys...

I did wonder - having seen the weaponry that plane watchers employ around airports I was very surprised there were no pictures of the molecular structure of the drone.

Some have said its an organised distraction from the government but it was far too successful to have any government involvement.

50 years ago: NASA blasts off the first humans to experience a lunar close encounter

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Remember

@Neil Barnes

I remember watching the telly as a 10 yr old and being absolutely amazed as this fuzzy thing came down some fuzzy things and jumped down onto a a fuzzy moon. You reminded me of my grandfather who was an engineer on the R33 and nearly made the first E-W transatlantic airship flight but for some forgotten reason ended over the Peace March in London instead!

Suunto settles scary scuba screwup for $50m: 'Faulty' dive computer hardware and software put explorers in peril

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Why run out of air?

I used to be able to last a 'normal' dive on a 12l cylinder. Then all of a sudden I started guzzling air. and even on a 15l tank couldn't last long enough to last a normal 'holiday' dive and often had to resurface on my own, I didnt realise that the paraflu I'd had had eaten away at my lungs to the stage they were barely working. I had kids around then so had to stop diving and it wasn't until another complaint led to some x-rays that revealed the damage the bug had done.

I was diving assuming I'd use air at around the rate I always had and was surprised to find sometimes after only 15min of a 40m dive I'd be down to 75bar and assumed I'd been hyperventilating or something as normal life didnt seem impinged. Fortunately I'd not gone deep enough to need decompression which could have led to a few problems

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