* Posts by Joefish

834 posts • joined 17 Jun 2009

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Confessions of an ebook eater

Joefish
Holmes

Back in the day before that day...

I remember when a book told you about ROM and OS calls, not APIs! Wasn't there a second-hand bookshop near the top of Charing Cross Road (near a similar second-hand CD place) that had a load of computing books? I got a few very informative volumes about the Atari ST from there.

On another note I recall p*ssing off the entire English department of my school without realising it. I'd won a prize of a book token and the deal was we chose a book, bought it, then returned it to the school to be dished out at an awards evening in front of assembled parents. But afterwards, I was subject to derision and abuse from my barking mad, Victorian-attitude English teacher, and I had no idea why.

It was only much later that I realised the deluded staff honestly thought they were instilling a love of literature in their students, and my choice of 'The Complete Spectrum ROM Disassembly' as a literature prize rather tactlessly highlighted their failings. It was apparently referred to as 'not even a proper book'; Doctors Ian Logan and Frank O'Hara apparently not on the department's list of acceptably tedious and departed authors.

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Joefish
Black Helicopters

Re: Foyles

Quite a common procedure if you have to pay an excess baggage fee coming back from a Greek airport.

Except more in keeping with the Russian ethos they'll also retain possession of your passport until you return to the issue desk with a receipt...

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DevOps and containers heavyweights' London meetup: Under 3 weeks to go

Joefish
Devil

"...time is running out to secure a front row seat..."

I'm taking that as meaning they haven't sold a single row of seats yet...

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Another ZX Spectrum modern reboot crowdfunder pops up

Joefish

"There is no connection between Olifiers and RCL"

But you're going to drag it up anyway.

Aren't there any grown-ups at The Register who could cover this story?

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Pong, anyone? How about Pong on a vintage oscilloscope?

Joefish
Happy

Re: Quake on an Oscilloscope.

I've seen the same trick done with a disco laser, playing Pong on the side of the Garden Gate pub in Aldershot (kit supplied by Video Game Carnival).

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ZX Spectrum Vega Plus backers complain of months-long refund delays

Joefish
Holmes

This affair is older and more childish than you can possibly imagine.

You do realise that this whole fudge cluster kicked off at exactly the point where someone tried to follow up on the ZX Spectrum model with a Commodore 64 equivalent?

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Joefish

Given that a crowdfunding is an investment...

Exactly what is anyone telling their credit card company is grounds for a refund?

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New plastic banknote plans now upsetting environmental campaigners

Joefish
Paris Hilton

While there is a lot of over-reaction to tiny amounts of stuff

They probably couldn't have picked a more controversial alternative right now.

Who's in charge of the mint? Wait, let me guess, we've sold that off to China too.

Next up, the 'secret security measure' in the new £1 coin turns out to be dessicated tiger bollocks...

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What a time to be alive: drone pooper-scoopers are a thing now

Joefish
Black Helicopters

Re: Nowhere near enough

I wouldn't trust a Chinook to lift it myself right now...

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DevOps hype? Sometimes a pizza really is just a pizza

Joefish
Pirate

I hate to use the Simpsons as a reference, but

"Marge vs. The Monorail" springs to mind.

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UK Home Sec: Give us a snoop-around for WhatApp encryption. Don't worry, we won't go into the cloud

Joefish
Joke

I can't help thinking she should be in the Green Party anyway...

[ X ] Rudd, Amber (Green)

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Why is the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+ project so delayed?

Joefish
Angel

Re: A rational and reasonable write-up of the issue.

Yes - but similarly the industry moved to teams working together under high-pressue conditions, with 16-bit development kits for 8-bit games paid for by the business and all the management overheads that go with running concurrent projects on tight budgets. The software houses repeatedly shrank and consolidated until there was pretty much only Ocean Software left. And later on the magazines were devaluing the market by competing to give away more and more complete older games (not just demos) every month.

A few homebrew coders like Jonathan Cauldwell just kept going, regardless. And there's been a resurgence in the last few decades using PC-emulation-based development tools. If you haven't seen a Spectrum game since 1990 you may be in for a surprise as to what's been achieved lately. I'll immodestly cite my own 'Buzzsaw+' as a title that has graphics that wouldn't look out of place on an Amiga, yet will run on a genuine original 48K Spectrum from 1983.

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Joefish
Thumb Up

A rational and reasonable write-up of the issue.

Well done to The Reg for keeping it level.

Though you did blow it a bit - what on Earth has this got to do with the late 80's game scene?

I seem to remember that came about because basically all the bedroom coding talent finished school and then realised they were probably owed a competent wage to continue their efforts; hence the financial models of most software companies collapsed overnight!

In this case a lot of (us) developers offered up games for free on the understanding that the royalties portion of the sales would be going to Great Ormond Street. And some of us have a spare room to do the coding in these days... ;-)

Though on the point about the FUSE emulator, I don't see why notifying (or not) the originators of an open source product that you want to use it is relevant, so long as the terms are complied with.

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Amid new push to make Pluto a planet again... Get over it, ice-world's assassin tells El Reg

Joefish
Headmaster

Any definition...

A definition that feels the need to say "regardless of..." anything is not a good enough definition. It's just another argument.

The definition should clearly say what something is; not define it by saying "well, it's not one of those, or one of those, or that thing over there".

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Well, well. Auditors say UK govt procurement body hasn't saved your tax cash

Joefish
Holmes

Value for money, no matter the cost.

Anyway, I thought CCS stood for "Capita's Cash Spout".

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China launches quantum satellite to test spooky action at a distance

Joefish

Re: MITM impossible

The theory seems to be that if a 'Man-In-The-Middle' intercepts the message, by capturing the photons, they then have to send on photons of their own to try and make the other end think nothing happened. (Note that the message is encoded by the photons themselves as with any optical data transfer; the message is not encoded by the quantum states, as they are impossible to fix).

But they won't be able to replicate the quantum entanglements in the photons they send on, so if the sender measures the paired photons they kept, and the receiver measures the paired photons they received, and compare notes, they can tell if the message was intercepted and a fake copy passed on. However, this assumes they then have a perfectly secure way of exchanging the state data to do the comparison...

Here's an interesting question - if you can measure the state of a photon without impeding its passage, does its quantum state collapse such that the dual-slit experiment stops working? i.e. This would mean you could tell if a photon has already had its quantum state collapsed by observation. So I presume not; that any such non-destructive attempt will, like the dual-split experiment, just yield a 50:50 result.

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Joefish
Boffin

Re: Quantum mechanics for Gnomes.

Since you cannot measure the state in any way that shows it to be indeterminate, you have no practical way of proving your assertion. While certain wave-like behaviours of a particle in 'quantum superposition' may suggest it exists in a perfect 50:50 superposition of two states, there is no actual evidence that the state it will collapse into when measured isn't pre-determined.

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Joefish
Holmes

Re: Quantum mechanics for Gnomes.

This also explains an ancient mystery. To hurry an Englishman, one can command 'Left! Right! Left Right!' at a sharp pace. However, with three or four syllables in the words 'Aristera' and 'Thexia' it is fundamentally impossible to hasten a Greek...

Even the Germans understand the importance of brevity in the words 'Links' and 'Rechts', yet with 'Sinistra' and 'Destra' one can begin to understand why the Italian army is always last to the battlefield.

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Joefish
Trollface

Quantum mechanics for Gnomes.

1. We put one shoe in a satellite and launch it into space. And when we look in the box and see which shoe we have left, we find the one in the satellite, way up in space, is miraculously its exact pair!

2. ...?

3. Profit.

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Ofgem sets up database so energy companies can spam Brits

Joefish

Or possibly even

"two thirds of households recognise a 'new customers only' bait-and-switch scam when they see one"

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Got a genius enterprise tech idea? Tell the world about it

Joefish
Facepalm

"Early bird closes in 1 days"

Wow, that website's really blazing a trail with the technologies there. I feel compelled to give money in return for a vague promise of 'exposure' to a site that can't even concatenate a simple

($days != 1 ? "s" : "")

in its script.

(P.S. that one's for free guys).

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

Joefish
Joke

Re: Read between the lines

Apparently the British variant reports:

"Unexpected ally in the bombing area. Please wait for assistance".

(In further developments, the Chinese have just discovered that it can be defeated by a barcode declaring yourself to be a medium sliced white loaf).

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Joefish
Trollface

Of course, the F-35Bs delivered so far have been for the RAF, not the Navy

So are not yet cleared for seaboard operations. And then there's the way the US defines 'seaboard' as within 200 miles of the sea. And then there's the fact that it's impossible to get 200 miles from the sea in the UK. Don't worry, I'm sure someone's planned it all out. The Merlin worked out perfectly, after all...

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Joefish
Joke

Does this mean they have to shout "Behind you!"

and wait for the enemy to look the other way before they can target them?

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The bigger they get, the harder we fall: Thinking our way out of cloud crash

Joefish
Thumb Up

Much as I hate buzzwords and compounds,

(not to mention cloud services outright)

here's a begrudging thumbs up for "Cloutage".

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Google tests its own quantum computer – both qubits of it

Joefish
Joke

Quantum Software?

Have you read and accepted the terms of the licence agreement?

[Yes] - [No] - [Maybe...]

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Lily Cole: Profit still looks almost Impossible.com

Joefish
Paris Hilton

Re: Cameron's Legacy

I just wondered which aide was responsible for counting all his kids out of No. 10...

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Joefish
Joke

Re: Hippo in curtains

Hey, I wanted some of that Superman Ice-Cream.

Just not the Batman-Jelly.

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Teen thugs lure, rob Pokemon Go gamers

Joefish
Holmes

Re: According to the BBC...

Well yes, if by what they said they meant something different to what they actually said, then yes, it makes perfect sense.

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Joefish
Paris Hilton

According to the BBC...

Did I really hear a BBC World News reporter this morning saying 'Nintendo was late to get into mobile gaming'???

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NASA curious about Curiosity's fourth 'safe mode' event

Joefish
Holmes

Re: Out of the Mouths of Babes and Sucklings ..... Heavenly Bliss

Pure speculation; nothing proven empirically. And your disssing is missing anything that whacks lyrically. Your theorising, sir, is incomprehensible. You make David Icke come across as half-sensible. Conjecture on conjecture that cannot be attributed, and to cap it all your capitals are randomly distributed. Your arguments come across as weak as your prose, which these readers' confusion evidentially shows.

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Joefish
Boffin

Re: and its doing science?

Only for the Martians who are still alive.

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Joefish
Coat

Re: Crazy Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems is a SMARTR Front AI Liberation ‽ .

I was very much encouraged when it started to rhyme, but it couldn't keep it up the rest of the time. I thought we were witnessing a posting innovation, but it was just witless drivel about self-preservation.

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Lindsay Lohan ‘happy’ to turn on Kettering

Joefish
Thumb Down

I went to schoool there at a similar time.

That extension to the Newlands centre they took forever to build? They extended the extension too. Last time I saw it a few years ago, most of it that isn't bargain bucket-shops is empty.

For anyone else, the chief employers in the county were shoe factories, which all went down the pan in the 80s and several places never recovered. There weren't any union gobshites or plucky brass bands to make films about, but at least there was a small tranny contingent to give a pathetically short-lived moment of hope before the last factory got quietly smothered in its sleep (ref. 'Kinky Boots').

On the other hand, the A14 does provide an excellent means of avoiding the whole town.

(Although it sadly chops up several sections of old railway track that used to provide excellent countryside walks away from Kettering. At least some of those are being restored around the Stanwick Lakes on the A45, though with less of the fun of traversing the gaping holes in the old Nene bridges between Woodford and Irthlingborough).

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Joefish
Facepalm

At least people who know where Kettering is

Know it's in 'Northamptonshire', not 'Northampshire'...

If only for the purpose of going round...

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I want to learn about gamification but all I see is same-ification

Joefish
Thumb Up

Re: Mew Sick Television is old hat, we use the Internet to watch cats throwing up now...

> MTV wasn't an entire waste... they gave us Beavis and Butthead.

> Er... hmm... nevermind.

'The Maxx', 'Drawn Together'...

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Those Xbox Fitness vids you 'bought'? Look up the meaning of the word 'rent'

Joefish
Devil

Re: Indeed...

Good luck. Frankly, if the button says 'Buy' and not 'Rent' then I should hope there's a fairly clear legal argument that the Ts&Cs can JFO.

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Visiting America? US border agents want your Twitter, Facebook URLs

Joefish
Mushroom

Dear Mexico,

Could you please just make sure that wall goes all the way round?

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Looking for a data driven dev platform? This could be for you

Joefish
Devil

I thought JSON was a data transfer language...

I thought JSON was a data transfer language, not data storage. Still, if the great IBM says that's what it is, then that is what it must be.

But they'd better hurry up and let JSON.org know, as they're still referring to it as 'a lightweight data-interchange format', the antiquated fools...

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McDonald's says bigger fonts cooked up improved profits

Joefish
Flame

Re: Makes sense for people with vision similar to mine

I find coffee shops far worse for using small illegible fonts way up behind the counter, lit by strips that then obscure the prices further. Costa, particularly the one under the stairs in Waterloo Station, are the absolute worst.

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Science Museum maths gallery to offer the perfect pint

Joefish

Re: "three-dimensional curved surfaces"

"three-dimensional curved surfaces representing the mathematical equations of airflow around the aircraft" -

That look nothing like the airflow around the aircraft, and seem to make it quite difficult to actually see the aircraft! Admirable as the rest of the exhibits seem to be, this bit looks to me like another expensive exercise in fannying about...

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Lost containers tell no tales. Time to worry

Joefish
Pirate

Re: Sysadmins no more

Google might have 'operational maturity' in what they're running, but what services they offer are a whole different story. What they do have is enough cash that they needn't lose a moment's sleep over a decision to arbitrarily cancel a service you built your whole enterprise around.

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Joefish
Joke

Re: turtles all the way down.

No, turtles are better, they have secure shells.

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US 5th graders have a pop at paper plane record

Joefish
Meh

Re: "Equivalent to year 6 in the UK"

This still doesn't mean anything to me...

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G4S call centre staff made 'test' 999 calls to hit performance targets

Joefish
Holmes

It seems to me that the real criminals

are the ones who keep awarding public contracts to Group 4...

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New solar cell breaks efficiency records, turns 34% of light into 'leccy

Joefish
Terminator

One thing I just discovered about solar panels...

Energy-saving CFL bulbs are absolutely bloody useless at propelling solar-panel toy cars around. Without the broader spectrum of an incandescent bulb or real sunlight, they're not going anywhere.

In fact, you're pretty lucky all those calculators keep going...

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'Knucklehead' Kansas bloke shoots self in foot

Joefish
Devil

Clearly the only way to stop a gunman who hasn't seen the signs

is to equip the signs themselves with guns.

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Ex-HP boss Carly Fiorina sacked one week into new job

Joefish
Megaphone

Just going to re-iterate a request

for 'Hewlett-Packered' to be officially recognised as rhyming slang...

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Pop goes the weasel! Large Hadron Collider blown up by critter chomping 66kV cable

Joefish
Coat

Must-e-lid be left off the power supply all the time?

Or will that just make ferr-et it to get 'otter?

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