I'm sure Cadbury's will be after them for patent infringement ... after all, they have prior art for surrounding the contents of a creme egg with a material that isn't Dairy Milk chocolate.
249 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009
Re: Still got my ZX-81 and fire it up occasionally for old times sake.
Same happened to me a couple of years back when I was a Scout Leader and we decided to have a computer games night and my demo of historical computer gaing on the BBC B ended in a suitably dramatic "pop" and white smoke halfway through the evening!
Re: 3D Monster Maze
... and looks like a sucessor of Minotaur for Acorn Atom - which according to the interwebs is a game wot I wrote. I worked at Acorn in the year before University and I think this was one of the items I ended up as author because I was the last person to work on them. Think on this I took what was an exisitng 3d maze program and added the "move the gold bars to the safe while being chased by the minotaur" bit. Anyway, it appears I may need to add "inventor of the 3D FPS game genre" to my CV!
Re: PDP-10, PDP-11
Went to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View in October and opposite the PDP-11 exhibit I saw there was a Data General Nova and I suffered a wave of nostalgia (first computer I used - we had one at school) ... had to resist the strong temptation to play with the front panel switches - at one time I knew the bootstrap code form memory ... though the full trip down memory lane would need several shelves of fanfold paper tape needed to for a OS reintsall onto the amazing large (?5MB) Diablo disk drive
Re: Talking spiders in Rama sequels
Was thinking the same .... the spiders are mainly in the later books of the series where ACC was a co-author - Rendez-vous with Rama is a good read, next one is ok as well but series definitely tails off towards the end. I read the whole series after buying it as a bundle for my Kindle and towards the end it defintely felt like reading was a case of "I've started so I'll finish" ... I'm currently feeling much the same reading the last book in Game of Thrones ... with the added incentive that if I finish before book 6 comes out then maybe I won't feel "obliged" to read it.
Your comment is almost as absurd as the Lego catalog from a few years ago when they were majoring on Star Wars sets and it seemed almost every word (and all character names ... apart from, for some reason, Han Solo) were adorned by a ™ symbol. Left a big question as why uniquely it seemed LucasFilms had either chosen not to or more likely had been unable to trademark "Han Solo"
However, there's a further twist I've just thought of - if sites rely on a cookie to say whether you've agreed to cookies then can they now legally ask if you've got that cookie because if you haven't agreed and don't have they cookie then they aren't allowed to ask. Hence its possibly illegal for a web site to ask if you've agreed to cookie (unless they store the info themselves which leads to a whole extra level of tracking)
Re: If cycling power doesn't work...
As opposed to the Acorn Atom where the rule was take the back off and push all the chips back in - Atom was single board with keyboard on one side and all chips hanging from sockets underneath and could slowly work loose as you typed. The Atom also came as a "Build-yourself" kit and one of the computer mags at the time printed a set of helpful tips for people doing this which included "if you are finding it hard to push the chips into sockets try loosening the socket first with a pin" .... sadly some people rather overdid this - had no problems putting chips in sockets but when they finished and turned the board over they'd all fall out!
Re: Good idea.
"I'm glad it wasn't just me. I got a nice shiny XB1 off the Missus and it took me about 90 mins to download the patches and fixes for the 2 games I'd asked for! "
Worsefor me ... my son's Xbox came with FIFA16 via download + XB1 upgrades + Battlefront upgrade and to cap it all we couldn't get wired network to work so had to revert to the marginal Wifi connection (which is why I switched it to powerline for the games console some time ago). Result was son + friends got bored of waiting and connected PS3 up again! Discovered later that a cheap ethernet switch that was on the part of our LAN that connects to the powerline part of the network had chosed Christmas day to die .... fortunately I had a spare available plus an excuse to upgrade that bit to gigabit!
> Well, I've only seen pictures of Windows 1.0 - So I feel young this morning.
I actually used (or tried to use) Windows 1 at work ... and remember the "novelty" of overlapping widnows in win2.
> I do remember having to replace DR-DOS 5 with MS-DOS 6 in order to try out Win 3.1.1
> while at college - and now I've made myself feel old again..
yes, also remember thinking I'd need to move from DRDOS6 to MSDOS if I wanted to use Win3 on my home machine ... but decided that due to this added cost I'd switch to OS/2 2.0 instead as "OS/2 was the future" (and to follow up someone else comment - I also have several stacks of 20+ floopies from, various versions of OS/2!).N.b. the DRDOS/Win3 incompatibility was the old-MS at its worst - refused to allow DR (as a rival) to have pre-release access to win3 and then used an undocumented response from some DOS command to cause it to crash on DRDOS - DR could fix this triviallty but couldn't report this until they were officially allowed to access win3 after launch - hence several weeks/months of "the new win3 looks great ... but not if you're running DRDOS" articles in the press.
Anywaym this means I'm definitely in the "feeling old" camp ... may even start reminiscing about loading bootstraps using front panel switches and stackes of fanfold paper tape if I'm not carefull!
Re: Kitten Kong?
That's because the BBC don't show repeats of "The Goodies" ... though, I think I heard Tim Brooke-Taylor saying once or twice that they are now available on DVDs (including the "infamous" Apartheight episode that was banned for rebroadcast in case it upset the South African authorities)
Polling card is effectively just a reminder of where you are meant to vote and also gives you a number which (a) may make it quicker for them to find you on the list at the polling stations and (b) will make the party reps outside happy if it helps them tick off another one of "their votes" from their canvass reports and avoid them going to knock on your door later to make sure they've got their vote out! The only official statement of whether you have a vote is the roll that they cross your name off in the polling station.
For old school wired communication then go to nearby Porthcurno - see the hut there where the cables from all over the empire came ashore in the UK and there is an interesting museum there as well (plus non techies can go to see the Minnack theatre at the same time!)
Also there used to be a visitor centre at Goonhilly to cover the wizzy new satelite comms which I remember occupying a wet day on a family holiday a few years ago but that subsequently closed.
Re: Next time, Gadget, next time!
Landing a failure? As you say the scientist seem to have got what they wanted (seems that it was planned that they would have enough time on battery power to do the important science stuff) ... and if it had landed better and got solar power to charge the batteries we doubtless end up with the opportunity style articles along the lines of "lander only designed to work for 60 hours still working after 3 months"
Reminds me of one when I was in Germany I went to buy a train ticket and my attempt at German was clearly too good as I got a long question in German back. Turned out that it was asking if I was coming back that day (which was a Sunday) as if so I could get a
The German space character shortage continues!
6 year olds may have the same tech skills as a 45 year old but, from bitter experience, that doesn't mean they can understand that "Granny's TV doesn't have a pause button like ours does". Was a bit of a revelation to realise that our younger son who had grown up with TiVo had no comprehension of what " live TV" was!
Re: What's the big deal with charging every day?
Is charging every day really a deal breaker?
Depends how its done ... if you have to flick a rubber cover off a microUSB port and then plug in a connector (having remembered which way up to do it) etc then its a bit of a pain. If its just a matter of putting the device down on a wireless recharging pad overnight then its not. I've had a Nexus 5 since a few weeks after launch and I bought a Qi charging pad very quickly - sits by my bed and stick N5 on it each night and the full charge in the morning lasts me all the next day. I'm sure for a watch it will be simple to come up with a simple wireless charging device that you place the watch on every night. So in reality charging every day is probably not an issue - in reality if it last more than a day then its got to last almost indefinitely to avoid the unexpeted "out of power" events.
Had an item about this on R4 Today program last week. The person reporting it tried to describe the shape and how and how it didn't look like an old style "zeppelin" airship - he then interviewed Bruce Dickinson and Bruce started off pointing out that the best way to describe the shape to "someone of my age is that its basically Thunderbird 2"!
Nb discovered a few years ago that I was at school with Bruce Dickinson ... I studied hard and now work in electronics ... he got expelled so I assume he never achieved much!
Re: Is it just me?
It is ever the case that the newest and biggest initially commands a premium price. There are those that just have to have it (or convince themselves that they do) and it is only after this market starts dying down that the price adjusts down to mass market levels.
Yes ... I bought a 16GB and then a 32GB uSD card at the point I felt they were "affordable" when they'd come down to the ~£30 mark since I felt I needed the extra space each time (alternatively since I couldn't be bothered to sort out what I could delete from my previous smaller uSD card!) but I did so knowing that a few months later that £30 uSD card would be ~£15 and some more months down the line it would be a £10 commodity item.
Re: Thank you, El Reg
PPS. Only criticism for me is the knowing lines in the script, eg.
Hermann Hauser: “We all want to go with the 6502 processor.”
Nick Toop: “Of course. It’s the only choice.”
Roger/Sophie Wilson: “For the moment...”
,,, well, they were looking at 68000 around that time as a "co-processor" hanging off the tube interface
First the Corporation, then the Government: Kenneth Baker backs the Acorn BBC Micro
They did the "official launch" scene completely wrong as the demo software did a lot more than continuously print "hello, I am a BBC micro" ... I spent 6 months between Oxbridge exams and going to Oxford at Acorn and one thing I did was to hack together a series of programs into a demo loop - think I inadvertently irritated the BBC by adding an acorn logo to some of the displays! Also, to be fully accurate they could have shown that at the launch the "micro" was an empty box with a keyboard connected to a cable that went through the table to the wire wrap protoype board that was the only "BBC micro" in existence ... and even that wasn't complete as it relied on switching memory access between the "BBC micro" and an Acorn System 3 to load programs! They then started taking orders at this stage ... and as BBC demanded that inital production run was limited to something like 10k units with not further production until all those had been sold (BBC thought they might be left with loads of unsold stock) then the massive initial orders caused serious backlog issues (RaspberryPi managed to repeat the BBCmicro experience here!) so loads of disgruntled people kept phoning the phone number that had appeared on all the old Acorn publicity .... sadly all the sales/marketing/management people had moved to new offices leaving this phone in the room where I was - got very used to saying "you have to talk to the BBC - they are handling all the order we can't do anything about it"!