* Posts by /dev/null

309 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

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Scottish pensioners rage at Virgin cabinet blocking their view

/dev/null

Re: It's Scotland

It's probably related to the way that alien planets in Doctor Who all used to look suspiciously like a quarry in Whales

Of course, nowadays, excavating cetaceans is banned by international treaty, so they have to use CGI instead.

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Sci-Fi titan Jerry Pournelle passes,
aged 84

/dev/null

Re: IT angle

Australian Personal Computer magazine was first published in May 1980. It's my understanding that IBM released their PC on 12 August 1981. It's also my understanding that PCs had been around for some time prior to Australian Personal Computer magazine's debut.

Not to mention the British magazine Personal Computer World, which started in 1978.

Anyway, the IBM MT72 didn't really fall into any of these categorizations; it seems it was basically an electric typewriter connected to a tape drive with a bunch of electrical relays.

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Sysadmin jeered in staff cafeteria as he climbed ladder to fix PC

/dev/null

Re: What is this ?

I take your point, but giving your PCs essentially random numbers of the form AN548690249032 doesn't seem great either....

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Radiohead hides ZX Spectrum proggie in OK Computer re-release

/dev/null

Re: C90 cassette, as that medium was the dominant way of storing Speccy programs and data

Until you changed to different tape deck and found the tape counter counted at a different speed on the new one....

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I still haven't found what I'm malloc()ing for: U2 tops poll of music today's devs code to

/dev/null

Re: Eye care

+1 for the late great Sandy... one of the more frequently listened-to artists on the small but perfectly formed music collection on my phone. Check out her exquisite cover of Knockin' on Heaven's Door if you haven't already.

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White-box webcam scatters vulnerabilities through multiple OEMs

/dev/null

Chacon, Thomson, 7links, Netis, Turbox, Novodio, Ambientcam, Nexxt, Technaxx...

Who? Most of those sound like planets out of Elite to me....

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Fortran greybeards: Get your walking frames and shuffle over to NASA

/dev/null

Because software that runs 10 times faster than it did before, will run 10 times faster on the new faster computer too.

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FTP becoming Forgotten Transfer Protocol as Debian turns it off

/dev/null

RFC114

RFC114 might have been published in 1971, but that described ye olde ARPAnet FTP. The Internet (TCP/IP) FTP protocol we all know and love didn't arrive until 1980 with RFC765, updated in 1985 by RFC959 and later RFCs.

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(You can't) buy one now! The flying car makes its perennial return

/dev/null

Rotors "powered by the wind"

Actually, that's pretty much how a gyroplane/autogyro works.

To quote Wikipedia...

"An autogyro is characterized by a free-spinning rotor that turns because of the passage of air through the rotor from below. The vertical (downward) component of the total aerodynamic reaction of the rotor gives lift for the vehicle, and sustains the autogyro in the air. A separate propeller provides forward thrust".

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It's 30 years ago: IBM's final battle with reality

/dev/null

Re: succesful standard

Aaaand... 1.44MB 3.5in floppy disks, which were around for a while too.

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Head of US military kit-testing slams F-35, says it's scarcely fit to fly

/dev/null

Re: Phew, bullet dodged.

Not just one type, they can launch Harriers too.

Just a bit awkward that all the Harrier squadrons have now been disbanded.

The RN still have 9 Sea Harriers in taxiable condition for flight deck operations training though...

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Samizdat no more: Old Unix source code opened for study

/dev/null

All the old UNIX source code you can eat...

...can be found at The Unix Heritage Society.

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UK's 'homebrew firmware' Chinooks set to be usable a mere 16 years late

/dev/null

Re: Usable Life

The RAF is still flying Puma helicopters that were delivered in 1971, and are planning to keep them until 2025, maybe even 2035, so the Chinook HC5 could be around for a while yet...

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Douglas Coupland: The average IQ is now 103 and the present is melting into the future

/dev/null

Re: several pages of pi

JPod was just a self-parody of Microserfs, which was a much better story.

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User lubed PC with butter, because pressing a button didn't work

/dev/null

Re: Back in the mid-1990s. . . .

I thought the padding on Cray-1s and X-MPs was there because the technicians working on the rat's nest of wiring inside the chassis had to kneel on them?

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Dyson backs Britain plc with $2.5bn AI and robotics investment

/dev/null

Re: Airblade, airfield, airware

Interestingly, the XFV-12 (sic), never actually get off the ground (literally) due to incorrect calculation of internal thrust losses. I hope Dyson are better at doing hard sums.

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AWS's S3 outage was so bad Amazon couldn't get into its own dashboard to warn the world

/dev/null

Re: "network designed to survive nuclear attack"

You don't still believe that old myth, do you? ARPANET was designed to allow researchers working on ARPA-funded projects to use each other's computers remotely, back in the day when computers were literally few and far between.That is all.

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PDP-10 enthusiasts resurrect ancient MIT operating system

/dev/null

Re: DECs funny numbering sytem

DEC's PDP models were numbered in chronological order, with no indication of the different architectural families. So the PDP-1, 4, 7, 9 and 15 were 18-bit machines, the PDP-5, 8, 12 and 14 were 12-bit, and the PDP-3, 6 and 10 were 36-bit. The PDP-11 was something of an oddity being 16-bit.

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Oh, the things Vim could teach Silicon Valley's code slingers

/dev/null

"If anything the future looks to be full of more abstractions, more pointless UI rewrites, more frameworks that break backwards compatibility, and more cancer-like growth."

THIS.

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Oh ALIS, don't keep us waiting: F-35 jet's software 'delayed'

/dev/null

Makes you wonder how on earth air forces managed to keep their fleets of old-school fighters - such as the original (BAC) Lightning - flying for decades, without Toughbooks, Internet Explorer, or any of that stuff.

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'F*cking crap' aside, Linus Torvalds says Linux 4.9 is coming along nicely

/dev/null

Re: Linus Torvalds

I thought that was Theo de Raadt?

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What should the Red Arrows' new aircraft be?

/dev/null

Re: Biased poll.

But the last Alpha Jets were built in the mid-80s, so not much newer than a Hawk T1 really.

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Roboats hunt 'mines' and 'submarines' on Ex Unmanned Warrior

/dev/null

" a self-flying helicopter from Leonardo, nee Westland..."

Actually, in the case of the SW-4, it's Leonardo, nee PZL-Świdnik.

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Is Apple's software getting worse or what?

/dev/null

Pages

Pages 4.0 is great, and you can still get it if you know where to look. Just don't update it. Still seems to work on 10.11, haven't tried 10.12 yet.

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Simpsons creator Matt Groening once drew Mac heaven for Apple

/dev/null

Re: " Alpha was sold to Intel, which snuffed it."

Nope, Compaq killed Alpha in June 2001, HP announce the Compaq acquisition in September 2001, and completed in 2002.

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/dev/null

" Alpha was sold to Intel, which snuffed it."

Not quite.... Alpha was snuffed by Compaq, who were persuaded by Intel that there was no point trying to compete with Itanium. As a result, Intel bought the Alpha IP (and engineering team) from Compaq, but only to assimilate into the Itanium project.

Itanium might have been a colossal flop as a product, but it served the purpose of killing off the Alpha (and high-end MIPS) processor architectures.

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Linus Torvalds admits 'buggy crap' made it into Linux 4.8

/dev/null

Re: There is lots of BUG_ON() all over the place

In other Unices, it's called a kernel panic (or a conditional kernel panic to be precise in this case).

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Apple to automatically cram macOS Sierra into Macs – 'cos that worked well for Windows 10

/dev/null

Performa 275?

Is this some El Reg in-joke I missed?

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Sinclair fans rejoice: ZX Spectrum Vega+ to launch October 20

/dev/null

Re: adapted ARM core or 8051 and increased clock speed

Modern 8051-compatible soft cores run a lot faster than real 8051s - around 400MHz or so.

Anyway, wasn't the previous poster talking about the SDCard's Flash controller, not whatever is actually doing the Spectrum emulation?

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Turing, Hauser, Sinclair – haunt computing's Cambridge A-team stamping ground

/dev/null

For the true Sinclair aficionado...

There's also the Cambridge Computer office at Bridge House, 10 Bridge Street (behind the mock-Tudor shopfront).

And (unrelated to Sir Clive) the Xerox EuroPARC office was at 61 Regent Street.

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Emacs gets new maintainer as Richard Stallman signs off

/dev/null

Re: Ugh

I think it's no coincidence that RMS did, in fact, suffer from severe RSI.

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New Skype for Linux Alpha

/dev/null

I wouldn't have thought...

there would be enough people still using Linux Alpha to make porting Skype worthwhile?

;-)

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'I'm sorry, your lift has had a problem and had to shut down'

/dev/null

Another "not a BSOD, but..."

Just today I was queuing to use one of the ticket machines for a hospital car park, when the one with the "Cards Only" sign taped to the front flashed this message up on its 15-inch colour LCD screen in giant screen-filling letters:

OUT

OF\r\ORDER

That's right, someone missed the 'n' out of ''\r\n", and nobody noticed before they shipped it...

And I won't even go into how execrably badly designed the user interface is, even when it is working....

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OpenBSD 6.0 lands

/dev/null

On the other hand...

NetBSD 7 still claims to support various VAXen (as a Tier II platform) *and* Linux emulation (though probably not Linux emulation *on* VAX...)

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F-35 targeting system laser will be 'almost impossible' to use in UK

/dev/null

"Selex ES, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Finmeccanica..."

Actually, Selex ES is no more - all Finmeccanica subsidiaries (such as AgustaWestland and Alenia Aermacchi) were folded back into the parent company, shortly before it renamed itself after the chap from Vinci.

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Microsoft has created its own FreeBSD image. Repeat. Microsoft has created its own FreeBSD image

/dev/null

Re: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish...

Actually I think a BSD-derived TCP/IP stack first appeared in NT 3.5.

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Apple to kill off Mac OS X?

/dev/null

Get with the program....

It hasn't been "Mac OS X" since Mountain Lion. These days, it's "OS X".

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Radiohead vid prompts Trumpton rumpus

/dev/null

In the words of the Four Lads Who Shook The Wirral...

Someone get a message through to Captain Snort

That they’d better start assembling the boys from the fort

And keep Mrs Honeyman right out of sight

‘Cos there’s gonna be a riot down in Trumpton tonight!

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At the BBC, Agile means 'making it up as we go along'

/dev/null

Re: At the BBC, Agile means 'making it up as we go along'

Well, I'd hope most other organisation don't use "Agile" as an excuse for not have a sound business case for a project...

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ZX Printer's American cousin still in use, 34 years after purchase

/dev/null

Re: Not a 'thermal' printer...

Yep, that's what I read too - Timex couldn't sell the ZX Printer in the US, so they got Alphacom in California to design the TS2040 (aka Alphacom 32). As previously noted, this was a thermal printer, unlike the ZX Printer's peculiar spark-erosion technique, but the interface was the same and was software-compatible. I used to have an Alphacom 32 for my Spectrum - think I flogged it on eBay years ago.

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Apple assumes you'll toss the Watch after three years

/dev/null

Re: Support cycles

Did they also mention the infamous Nest Revolv IoT hub, all due to be rendered useless on 15 May?

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Pair programming: The most extreme XP practice?

/dev/null

Re: 1+1 = 3

"The Typhoon is designed as a air superiority dogfighter, with a recent addition of an 'austere' strike package."

Going a bit off-topic, but the RAF's interest in what became the Typhoon started with the AST.414 requirement, which was intended to replace both Jaguar (another single-seat design) in the mud-moving role and Phantom (a two-seat aircraft) in the air-to-air role. The latter took priority (although the Phantoms were actually replaced by Tornado F3 in the meantime), which is why it took about a decade after entering RAF service for the Typhoon to start receiving some air-to-ground capabilities. And, due to a lack of funding for anything else, it's now also partially taking over from the Tornado GR4 (two-seat) bomber.

What this has got to do with pair programming though, I'm not sure...

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Bash on Windows. Repeat, Microsoft demos Bash on Windows

/dev/null

Re: Right?

"Linux system call shims have been done before. Solaris and QNX both have one."

Not to mention NetBSD, which has provided binary emulation of various other flavours of Unix for yonks...

NetBSD Binary Emulation

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True believers mind-meld FreeBSD with Ubuntu to burn systemd

/dev/null

"UbuntuBSD developer Jon Boden..."

Not THE Jon Boden, surely?

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Alice, Bob and Verity, too. Yeah, everybody's got a story, pal

/dev/null
FAIL

Slightly disappointed...

...to see that you didn't take the obvious opportunity to photoshop your stock photo so that the button read STOB instead of STOP....

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Google robo-car backs into bendy-bus in California

/dev/null

Re: Skytran Vs autonomous cars

115 years ago? Pah, this one opened 123 years ago...

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Reminder: How to get a grip on your files, data that Windows 10 phones home to Microsoft

/dev/null

Re: NOPE!

"For personal machines, if M$ decided to release a stripped down version of their OS just supportign DX<x> so people could run it for games, I might be tempted."

Isn't that basically XBox?

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OpenBSD website operators urged to fix mind-alteringly bad bug

/dev/null

Re: Closet? The psychiatric ward, I say.

What's a "psychophant"? - a psychopathic sycophant?

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Sir Clive Sinclair in tech tin-rattle triumph

/dev/null

Planet Sinclair: The Black Watch

The casing was impossible to keep in one piece. It was made from a plastic which turned out to be unglueable, so the parts were designed to clip together. The clips didn't work either and the problem was turned over to a subcontractor. Sinclair later (much later) received a small box on which was written, "We've solved the problem of the Black Watch!". Inside was a Black Watch with a half-inch bolt driven though it.

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