* Posts by Jim 59

2037 posts • joined 24 Jun 2009

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

Jim 59

Re: Limped after Apple II

"...Audi. In the 80s they were quirky aero styled saloons that lecturers might drive, and rally bred coupes. A leftfield choice being left behind by BMW and Mercedes. The B5 A4 took the fight to the 3 series, and the TT gave them a fashionable trendy model. They never looked back."

Not entirely true. The Audi 100 5-cylinder was lovely, and deservedly successful in the early 80s. At the time, the luxury saloon market was highly competative, with BMW, Audi and Mercedes facing stiff competition from the likes of Citroen, Peugeot, Lancia, Volvo. Not to mention Ford and Vauxhall. But by the late 90s, all but the Germans had virtually pulled out of that sector.

Jim 59

1 MB of RAM ?

A little more research could make this an interesting story. Check the bill of materials. My first Google hit for "price of 1 mb of ram in 1983" leads to a site listing the price of 1MB in January 1983 as $ 2,296. And at the start of the quoted Lisa development period (1978) said item was priced at $24,000 (July 78).

Then you have the 2 x twiggy drives, Motorola 68000 and other chips. No doubt Apple could get good deals from suppliers, but even so, components were eye wateringly expensive in that era.

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

Jim 59

Re: One ring to rule them all?

+1 just for "One ring to rule them all"

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP

Jim 59


+1 for honesty.

Jim 59

Interesting to hear that people were surfing the baby web with non-PC equipment. My first browser experiece was again Mosaic, but on an Apollo DN unix workstation at work.

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

Jim 59

"much adored" ?

Hey Reg, *we'll* do the trolling thanks very much.

Techie basks in praise for restoring workforce email (by stopping his scripting sh!tshow)

Jim 59

Re: Accidental DOS on my employer

Should have CP/M'd 'em.

Jim 59

Re: Beware recursion

"...when trying to make it recursive."

Madness. The guy should never have attempted anything recursive, or with the potential to become recursive, on a live server. And probably not even on his own laptop. Absolutely bonkers.

The eulogising of The Mother Of All Demos at 50 is Silicon Valley going goo-goo for gurus again

Jim 59

Article seems a bit small minded, it's main thrust being that somebody, at some point, might have got more credit than they deserved. An uncharitable view taken for its own sake. And a small thing even if true.

Personally I found the demo interesting, thanks. It is hard to think, now, that there was a time when just editing a file, in memory, and on a screen, was huge. But it was.

On the other hand, Silicon Valley is indeed becoming increasingly annoying. Please continue to point that out.

Doom at 25: The FPS that wowed players, gummed up servers, and enraged admins

Jim 59

Re: Stanger in a strange land..

Jamie Jones is outed as a Perl programmer

"It was a list: "British, not Jewish,..." not a clairification ("British - not Jewish")"

Don't anybody come at me with Python nonsense.

Jim 59

Re: Stanger in a strange land..

One of the wiser posts to appear in El Reg forums.

"It's amazing what you can get away with if you simply act like you belong somewhere (and are a cocky gobshite like me!)"

We should all read this three times a day, especially the younger chaps on here.

Jim 59

Re: 386DX

Original Doom was fully playable on a Dan 486DX with 4MB of RAM and a Spea V7 video card, I can report. As was original shareware Quake.

That PC was a snip at only £1700, and that's 1993 money.

Jim 59

@Franco +1 for mentioning "Pantera"

Jim 59

Re: 3D Monster Maze

Hunt the Wumpus. All down hill from there.

Jim 59

"Really? I worked for Sun at the time, and someone decided that Doom would be a cool demo for the new SPARCstations."

Excellent, and not surprising that somebody at Sun would do this, being an innovative place by nature. However, Unix Doom must have come some time after Doom was launched on the PC, which is the era I was talking about. By the time I left in '95, Doom had not made it to our Sun network, but the software engineers had written themselves a version of network Battlezone, seemingly.

Jim 59

Re: Niggling correction

"Wustl stands for Washington University of St. Louis, a private uni in Missouri, while the University of Washington is a state uni in Washington state."

Well well. I never knew that. All that FTP grabbing was actually from Missouri and not Washington. The Wustl archive was an excellent resource at the time, and very large.

Jim 59

"It's amazing to think there are only 12 months between Wolfenstein and Doom. I wish we could still see leaps like that."

That is amazing. Some similarities to the home computer boom of the early 80s perhaps. Huge differences between products launched a year apart. I was lucky enough to have a Dragon 32 and an Amstrad cpc464. Admittedly, the latter was slightly more expensive and launched 20 months after the Dragon, but the difference was enourmous. Double the RAM, almost 5 x the MHz, much improved BASIC, larger keyboard, bundled tape recorder, monitor...

For that matter, look at the Sinclair ZX81 vs the Spectrum. An even starger contrast, only 13 months apart.

Jim 59

When Doom launched in 93, I was a Unix systems administrator. We had no Doom plague on the Unix estate for obvious reasons. What we did have was pre-web Internet, enabling us to grab doom via FTP, copy the zip file and take it home on a floppy (or 3). University of Washington kindly had it in their FTP archive IIRC, one of the biggest on the Internet. What was it? www.wustl.edu or something.

Okay we might have had the Mozilla browser by that time. Memory fades.

Here's 2018 in a nutshell for you... Russian super robot turns out to be man in robot suit

Jim 59

Re: Overlords

"And that is the world in 2018: where people go to great lengths to persuade you of one reality and then, when it is exposed, insist that they never did any such thing and it's all of you that are at fault for claiming it ever happened like that in the first place"

And that has been Russia since 1917.

For fax sake: NHS to be banned from buying archaic copy-flingers

Jim 59

Re: Good Enough

@MyffyW I don't think that cost is the driving factor. Did anybody say it was?

Efficiency and safety seem to be the question, and pieces of paper can go missing. Referrals for life threatening conditions, for example, should probably not lie around in fax trays.

Jim 59

Re: Ban a system that works and is malware free*...

A short lived star, but not as short as Telex.

It's official. Microsoft pushes Google over the Edge, shifts browser to Chromium engine

Jim 59

No members of U2 were harmed in the making of this article.

Awkward... Revealed Facebook emails show plans for data slurping, selling access to addicts' info, crafty PR spinning

Jim 59

"Would you like to login using Facebook", that question that pops up on many non-Facebook sites, is so obvioualy a bad idea that most rational adults will click "no" 10,000 times, even without stories like the above. You really have no idea what Facebook is doing behind the scenes, but you sure don't want it to involve your authentication credentials for any other sites, or any other personal secrets for that matter.

Some will do it though, eg. children, perhaps young people or just the less cynical among us. Therein lies the problem.

Do not adjust your set: Hats off to Apple, you struggle to shift iPhones 'cos you're oddly ethical

Jim 59

"Apple sees nothing from second-hand trade"

...except a replacement purchase by the seller ?

"Apple represents a strong alternative to people creeped out by Google's disconcerting data slurping."

The implication being that Apple is better than Google in this regard. If true, it is an excellent reason for Android users to make the switch, and could be Apple's salvation.

Like Microsoft, who were workstation based and just never "groked" the network, Google is network based and cannot grok people's privacy concerns, and never will. And there is the key to Google's eventual downfall. If Apple or another FAANG can make privacy their main product, they will dominate into the future.

Montezuma's Revenge can finally be laid to rest as Uber AI researchers crack the classic game

Jim 59

Now try it on Roland in Time.

Mobile networks are killing Wi-Fi for speed around the world

Jim 59

Home broadband is predictable. LTE data isn't. Yes, you might stumble upon an urban location where high 3g/4g speeds are available. Perhaps in the middle of a car park, in a half empty business estate, after 6 pm. On one such UK location, I measured LTE upload speeds faster than my home broadband. A novelty but not all that useful.

In places where you actually spend time, so do other subscribers, and the rate drops.

Bomb squad descends on suspicious package to find something much more dangerous – a Journey cassette

Jim 59


It was a DAT tape? Booo! We all wanted it to be a good ol' compact cassette, as did the Reg picture editor, apparently.

Techie was bigged up by boss… only to cause mass Microsoft Exchange outage

Jim 59

"“I had just finished with five minutes to spare, but instead of hitting 'sign-out', I accidentally hit 'shut-down' on the primary server,” Freddie said."

Placing the logout button next to the button for "shutdown" is one of the worst pieces of design in the entirety of Windows, and that's saying something. Freddie must be one of thousands of people who have made and continue to make this mistake.

With Windows 10, the buttons have been parted (but only by half an inch), and are no longer in the same submenu. And they are better marked, but it is still one of the most obtuse and needless mistakes ever to come out of Microsoft. Putting a massive risk at customers' feet for no reason.

RIP Paul Allen: Microsoft cofounder billionaire dies at 65 after facing third bout with cancer

Jim 59

Re: Say what you will

RIP Paul Allen and well done. 65 is too young.

Regards Zuck being a hoarder, Ellison a cretin, Bezos a miser, I think ALL these guys will be giving their riches away sooner or later.

Your RSS is grass: Mozilla euthanizes feed reader, Atom code in Firefox browser, claims it's old and unloved

Jim 59

Re: re: I read this news first from the RSS feed

Sage was once a great RSS reader for Firefox. It was discontinued after Quantum unfortunately, and I still miss it.

Samsung Galaxy A9: Mid-range bruiser that takes the fight to Huawei

Jim 59

@Mat Bettinson - True. Six years after purchase, I am *still* trying to wipe the bloatware from my Samsung S3. Titanium does a good job, but there is so much rubbish to wade through.

These days, Android phones have a life expectency of only about 3 years. After that, you are 2 OS levels adrift, and the first apps start complaining that your OS is not compatible, so bye-bye. A shocking situation that makes buyers of £800 flagships look a bit daft. This is the situation I faced in 2015 with my £500 S3 "flagship".

With that in mind, I am looking at the Android One on the Nokia 6.1. A reasonable midrange phone, but its the device's long and functional future that really attracts, and the absence of bloatware. Gravelly voice: "Someday, all watches will be made this way".

Jim 59

Re: GT-i9300

Time to quote Bill Gates again, re 640k.

Rookie almost wipes customer's entire inventory – unbeknownst to sysadmin

Jim 59

Re: If rm -rf /* doesn't delete anything valuable

Eh? As I read it, Reginald kicked off the rm -rf /*, then hit the power switch before it deleted too much. The tape rescue revealed that "everything down to /dev" had been deleted, ie. everything in / beginnind a,b,c and some d. On a modern system that might include /boot and /bin, but evidently was not a total disaster on Reg's server.

Sysadmin misses out on paycheck after student test runs amok

Jim 59

Re: "Snoopy characters"

It was allways about good ol' wishy-washy Charlie Brown.

Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for my 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help

Jim 59

Ridiculous culture war nonsense going on in this thread. It started with "rainbow haired" name calling, and progressed in a few short pages to all-out homocidal rage, typified by this from steelpillow:

"FUCK YOU, Snow Wombat and co. Some of my best friends are rainbow-haired and your kind of prejudice and persecution is still rife in society. Opinions like yours need to be kept out of sight. Since you like Linus so much the way he used to be, I am sure that you will take this flame in the spirit it is given."


Microsoft: You don't want to use Edge? Are you sure? Really sure?

Jim 59

Re: Links to resolutions, will work with any browser

"I was running wine on Linux thin clients back in.." etc. etc.

Yes yes. We are all experts here. I am sure you rock.

I am happy for Windows to dominate the desktop, which it continues to do because of contractual agreement (and not for any technical reason). In fact I quite enjoy using Windows 10 at work -- where somebody else is responsible for keeping it running. At home, I run Mint 18, preferring it for 1000 reasons.

I do have a Windows installation at home. At the moment it is screeching "I need an upgrade! Download 6 GB now!". Meanwhile, Mint has reminded me that updates are available, when I have time. They include a new kernel and Firefox upgrade. Installation, when I choose to do it, will likely take less than 60 seconds, download a few MB and be completely transparent (even the kernel). Even a full OS upgrade to Mint 19 would probably take less than 15 minutes. Some things Windows does better (ubuiquity related , eg. games) and some things Linux does better (almost everything else).

Jim 59

Re: Links to resolutions, will work with any browser

"Because they're not sitting in their bedroom with one PC, but instead have a fleet of..."

You almost certainly have at least 10 unix systems in your house, doing their jobs so unobtrusively that you don't even notice them.

Milton Keynes: Come for roundabouts, stay for near-gigabit broadband

Jim 59

Re: An impressive challenge undertaken

Peterborough: The rowing lake area is also nice, and the river ajoining.

Dust off that old Pentium, Linux fans: It's Elive

Jim 59

OS programmers should all be sat down in a room, and shown a film about that "chess in 1k" on the ZX81.

A fine vintage: Wine has run Microsoft Solitaire on Linux for 25 years

Jim 59

Re: "We live in a *nix world now"

"I've been consulting for companies for a quarter of a century and I have never seen a Linux workstation anywhere"

I think what you mean is:

"I've been consulting in Windows technologies for companies for a quarter of a century and I have never seen a Linux workstation anywhere".

...which is fair enough and not too surprising. But hear this:

I have been consulting in Unix technologies for companies for a quarter of a century. And I have seen Unix go from a high-end science/engineering/financial platform to an everyday commodity. I am writing this on a Linux "workstation" (laptop). Earlier I took a call on Unix (an Android phone). Later I will check my email on Unix (an Android tablet), probably while watching a Youtube video on Unix (a Raspberry Pi running Kodi). When I click "Submit", this comment will be transmitted by a Unix server (my Netgear router) to The Register's server (unix again),...

...well you get the point. Despite which, I like MS and I like Bill Gates. And I'm happy for Windows to dominate the Desktop.

They grow up so fast: Spam magnet Hotmail turned 22 today

Jim 59


Been using the free version since circa 1998. See no reason to change. Thanks, Bill.

By all means go to bed with Gmail. Be distracted by its slick features, while in the background it gets down to the brutal business of re-identifying your online ID, tracking your every activity, and building a picture of your every internet wandering, down to the last click.

In comparison, a bit of spam seems almost innocent.

Scrapping Brit cap on nurses, doctors means more room for IT folk

Jim 59

From which Tanzanian villages will we be removing doctors ? About 80,000 people die from Malaria annually in that country, many of them children, with about 11 million contracting the disease.

And from which Zimbabwean hospitals will the NHS be taking doctors ? Apart from other health challenges, the rate of HIV infection in Zimbabwe is about 100 times that in the UK.

What we are proposing will relieve some suffering in the UK, only by vastly increasing it in much poorer countries. Immoral?

UK judge appears in dock over Computer Misuse Act allegations

Jim 59

"A person who represents themselves has a fool for a client" is a well-known phrase in legal circles.

"and is also costing us > £1000 per hour in lost income".

You're in charge of change, and now you need to talk about DevOps hater Robin

Jim 59

Regarding stand up meetings, they are just as boring as the old fashioned sort, but more uncomfortable. And they go on longer, because everybody has to say something.

Boss sent overpaid IT know-nothings home – until an ON switch proved elusive

Jim 59

+1 for "terminating a call with considerable prejudice."

Modern life is rubbish – so why not take a trip down memory lane with Windows File Manager?

Jim 59

And it had a little filing cabinet for an icon, very sensible.

Here in Windows 8, the equivalent icon is a sort of tabbed paper folder stuck in what looks like a big shiny metal clip. You know, like we all keep paper files in. Not.

Mind the gap: Men paid 18.6% more than women in Blighty tech sector

Jim 59

Re: apples with oranges again

"I don't know what the point of all this is, but something tells me it's quite sinister."

Yes. The sinister part is that some mainstream politicians are pushing an obvious canard as fact, and using ideology to do it, when everyday observation, common sense and even their own research indicates the contrary.

Even that Reg headline above is jumping on the mendacious bandwaggon. "Men paid ...more than women". The lie starts there. Tell the truth. Here's some: "Women earn less than men". See the difference?

Which? leads decrepit email service behind barn, single shot rings out over valley

Jim 59

An opportunity for vulturecentral.com ?

Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, off you go: Snout of UK space forcibly removed from EU satellite trough

Jim 59

In all liklihood, Britain will continue to contribute to, and use, the Galileo system. In this period of negotiation, both sides are making big public statements, some sensible, some petulant, some bellicose. It is all part of the public negotiation process. Representitives of the EU are likely to make statements like this, in order to scare/influence/bargain with the other side and its citizens. And the UK will be saying similar things in return. This, in fact, is what really emerges from the "Department of the Bleednig obvious".

The UK has much engineering and scientific expertise. As time goes on, engineers, scientists and corporations on both sides are unlikely to repudiate one another's work just for the sake of it. That is also obvious.

Great cake jokes though.

Fleeing Facebook app users realise what they agreed to in apps years ago – total slurpage

Jim 59

Re: well


Dan 55: I think it's time each and every EU privacy regulator rip Zuck a new one...

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