* Posts by BenDwire

107 posts • joined 30 Jun 2009

Page:

A basement of broken kit, zero budget – now get the team running

BenDwire
Pint

Loose change to pay the beer bill...??

Rebecca, I know you're new around here but you really should know your target audience a little better.

Unless you classify a £20 note as 'loose change' I really think that a Friday beer session demands a considerably higher budget ...

Second-hand connected car data drama could be a GDPR minefield

BenDwire
Facepalm

Re: Almost as good as The Dartford Crossing....

Eh? If you've sold the car and not bothered to remove it from the system, then that's your problem, shirley? It only takes a couple of clicks to deregister once you realise you've been funding the new driver...

'Can you just pop in to the office and hit the power button?' 'Not really... the G8 is on'

BenDwire
Thumb Up

Re: Long ago.

I suspect my beard is a little more grey than yours ... I had a similar device that answered the phone line it was plugged in to, and then turned the power on or off depending on the DTMF tones you sent once connected. Back in the day it was put on the line that had 512k ADSL, and toggled the power to the firewall & modem.

http://www.automatedhome.co.uk/reviews/telephone-controlled-mains-socket-adapter-mini-review.html

Ah, simpler days.

Microsoft: We've almost dug Your Phone out behind sofa. But will it make Insiders app-y?

BenDwire
WTF?

No thanks...

I'll just keep using AirDroid.

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

BenDwire
Linux

No mention of Crossover Office?

I find it odd that an article about Wine makes no reference to Crossover Office, admittedly a paid-for bit of software, but one that works well enough for many things I need to do. They put code back into the Wine project, so it seems a good way for me to help out a little.

Trainee techie ran away and hid after screwing up a job, literally

BenDwire
Unhappy

"The phone had its own wee cupboard"

Obviously not enough coffee before reading this, as I initially thought the lift had its own urinal ...

But then the spark of association began to flicker as I remembered the 1970's and the way BT installed all those payphones in little red 'conveniences' on street corners...

La, la, la, I can't hear you! Apple to challenge Bose's noise-proof cans

BenDwire

10) Cut the 3.5mm plug off

11) Profit

Home taping revisited: A mic in each hand, pointing at speakers

BenDwire
Go

Try listening to the FLAC stream on Radio Paradise (.com) - fantastic quality when played through the old amp & speakers in my home office. I suspect I'm the same age as you, so you should enjoy the music that Bill plays ... and there are no adverts either.

User had no webcam or mic, complained vid conference didn’t work

BenDwire
Windows

Re: Once...

I told him that Windows never had that functionality in the first place

Actually it did back in the 3.1 days. IIRC you had to hold the left shift key down as you shut down, and then on a reboot all the windows and icons within those windows were where you left them. After having similar issues in Win 7 I tried that trick and it still worked, so who knows if it's still in there ...

But yes, WinTidy or DesktopRestore do a much better job at handling screen resolution changes.

A certain millennial turned 30 recently: Welcome to middle age, Microsoft Excel v2

BenDwire
Thumb Up

Re: Quattro Pro

Ah, Quattro Pro. The best looking spreadsheet in the Dos/Win3.1 era.

Anyone else remember Brown-Bag Software's PC-Calc & PC-Type? Fantastic DOS programs that just got stuff done, and much cheaper than anything else ... like As-Easy-As (123).

Good times!

BT agrees to cream off less profit from landline-only customers

BenDwire
Thumb Up

Re: That's a YES from me!

There is no voice service at all. I don't know how the sums are done, but I can vouch for it only costing £10. But you do have to pay for A&A's service, which costs more than most other players - but in my experience is worth it.

BenDwire
Pint

I think you are missing something. The article is really about pensioners who don't want broadband, and have been cross-subsidising the rest of the customer base by paying more in line rental than can be justified.

Broadband only customers like myself don't want a voice land-line, as only PPI scum** tend to call the house I might be in as opposed to my mobile. So A&A's £10 copper-only pair suits me perfectly.

I don't bother with SIP/VOIP/DECT ar anything else. Mates ring my mobile that's always near me.

I agree that I'm only saving less than £100 per year, but why not? It helps to pay the bar bills ...

** Other pond-life is available

BenDwire
Thumb Up

I have this at home, and the line has been offloaded to Talk-Talk, but A&A deal with that, not me.

I pay £35 for ADSL and get 13Mbps as I live so close to the exchange. Fibre (VDSL) does cost an extra £10 but I can't get that as my wires go directly to the exchange and there is no local cabinet. (These prices are for a monthly download allowance of 200GB)

So, if I can have a broadband-only line for £10, why charge £11.99 to the pensioners? It's still not fair in my book, and unlike the first poster I don't begrudge the older generation anything. It won't be long before we all join their ranks ...

Credit insurance tightens for geek shack Maplin Electronics

BenDwire
Unhappy

Maplin makes me feel old ...

I have memories of pleading with my mother to drive me all the way to Westcliff-on-sea just to go and stand in their one-and-only shop and buy bits for my latest project (so much easier than buying a postal order and waiting 7-10 days....). I still have a 4 digit customer code that baffles them if every I pop in to a modern store. Anyone else remember the dodgy ELO-style posters and catalogue covers in the late 80's? And who remember the tiny green catalogue with Condorde on it at a time when "Maplin Sands" was the answer to Heathrow's expansion problems in the 1970's?

But yes, it's probably time for them to call it a day, or sort out their stupid prices - 48% gross margin on tat from China? Unsustainable.

Rejecting Sonos' private data slurp basically bricks bloke's boombox

BenDwire

Re: Logitech Squeezecenter

Google "piCorePlayer" and you'll find an excellent project that emulates a Squeezebox player. Audio out on the HDMI port stuck straight into the AV amp, and even shows what's being played on the telly. Admittedly the low accuracy clock on the Pi sometimes drifts when synced up to several players, but for just a £30 outlay I can put up with that.

Dumb bug of the week: Outlook staples your encrypted emails to, er, plaintext copies when sending messages

BenDwire
Coat

...& your privacy can go stick its head in a pig

Isn't that what Cameron did with his privates?

{allegedly, your honour}

Got that syncing feeling? Cloud's client-side email problem

BenDwire

@Astara

TB allows you to select which folders you want to index locally - Right-Click on a folder select Properties and untick the box next to "Include Messages in this folder in the Global Search Results". That seems to work for me.

Ofcom lifts sword, eyes up BT's duct and pole rental costs

BenDwire
Stop

Re: @Lee D - Broadband Only Lines

As above, if you have to deal with customer services on a regular basis, then maybe you need a better provider.

No, absolutely not. In my case it was the exact opposite experience.

A few years ago, when I lived in a house in the middle of nowhere, the broadband went all intermittent and after countless calls to BT culminating in something like 15 engineering visits by BTO people over a period of 6 months I still had a rubbish service. Then someone put me onto A&A who specifically invited people with line problems to sign up. Within a few weeks, wires routed underneath ploughed fields were replaced and perfect service was resumed. OK, so I had to set up a syslog server for my router and email a chap in Bracknell the error logs, but compared to the ‘service’ BT were offering it was amazing.

Now that I’ve moved, I’ve chosen to stay with A&A because of loyalty. More expensive, yes*, but the memories of those dark intermittent times will haunt me forever. Never again.

* I still don’t think that £35 per month including line rental for ADSL with a 150GB cap is that bad? I like M&S pork pies too ...

BenDwire
Thumb Up

Broadband Only Lines

Some ISPs allow you to have a broadband only line. I pay £10 per month to Andrews & Arnold for that, and obviously don't have to suffer any land-line calls. (I think the actual lines have been assigned to Talk Talk, but thankfully I don't have to get involved with them).

Ten new tech terms I learnt this summer: Do you know them all?

BenDwire
Headmaster

Re: AKA iPhone?

Ah, so Steve Jobs took his inspiration from a 1970's school dinner - spam fritter anyone?

SQL Server 2017's first rc lands and – yes! – it runs on Linux

BenDwire
Meh

Drawbridge?

Call me cynical, but that choice of name concerns me. Right now we may be in the Linux "embrace" phase, but if "extinguish" does indeed follow then that would be the act of "raising the drawbridge". Suck people into running MSSQL in the cloud then leave them no option but to upgrade to Win10...

But for now it does scratch the itch at my SMB - only Linux servers here, and someone is requesting an application that only supports MSSQL. That might work for us...

Multics resurrected: Proto-Unix now runs on Raspberry Pi or x86

BenDwire
Pint

Certainly my Uni ran it (Brunel, west London, c1980) and I used to spend hours in the computer centre trying to learn how to program. Now, finding out that I could recreate the experience with a Raspberry Pi seems to illustrate just how far we've advanced in such a relatively small length of time.

I'm just kicking myself for throwing out my original "Multics Pocket Guide" at the last house move ...

Virgin Media admits it 'fell short' in broadband speeds ahead of lashing from BBC's Watchdog

BenDwire
Go

Re: A&A

It's not that bad - £50 a month gets you 1000GB bandwidth on ADSL - and that includes line rental (or £60 for VDSL) OK, so it's a little more than most other providers, but I'd rather sacrifice an Indian takeaway than be subjected to an Indian call centre!

They really are very good.

Cloud sales shift as enormo Microsoft reorg continues – sources

BenDwire
Facepalm

Microsoft's fiscal year ended June 31 - eh?

That might explain a lot. So are they yet to have a financial year end, or are they still using Excel on a 486 to do their accounts? Or do I detect incompetence in the force ...

BOFH: Halon is not a rad new vape flavour

BenDwire
Coat

Tagline: "I dunno, do you have any wheatgrass juice?"

I really wouldn't touch that stuff - you never know who's been running amok in it...

Swedish school pumps up volume to ease toilet trauma

BenDwire

On the bog reading a newspaper

Comfortably Numb

'My PC needs to lose weight' says user with FAT filesystem

BenDwire
Holmes

Doublespace? Stacker? MSDOS V6.x? All very common back in the day. Not to mention that higher density 1.6MB per floppy format MS used on Win95 distribution floppies ... all 20 of them IIRC.

Also drives were often poorly made meaning that floppies wouldn't read reliably between machines anyway - or at least that's how it seemed back then.

Nurse! Pass my commode ...

BenDwire
Holmes

Re: It's been awhile (thankfully!) ...

Perhaps the volume label was "FAT", so typing DIR in a DOS box would render the message "Volume in Drive C is FAT"

And yes, you did just make me run up a VM to check ...

Bye bye MP3: You sucked the life out of music. But vinyl is just as warped

BenDwire
Boffin

Re: On air compression

@CrazyOldCatMan - You need to research "ReplyGain" for your music system. It adds a parameter which has the effect of turning the volume control up or down. In your (our) case it turns newer 'Remastered' discs down, and leaves older original discs alone. No more volume jumps.

It's been a while, but I updated my entire library with one line of command-line voodoo (Linux) and since then used Foobar2000 for everything I've since purchased.

Totally worth the effort.

Manchester pulls £750 public crucifixion offer

BenDwire
Unhappy

Re: No nails required

Many commentators believe that the nails went through the wrists and feet, otherwise they would be unable to hold up the weight of the body without ripping the hands. All pretty brutal.

But I'm surprised that people want to experience the barbariasm of that era - aren't people watching the news anymore? It seems to me that the poor folk in Mosul get to see this most days.

Maybe Ryanair could sink a little lower and offer interested parties an all-inclusive trip for less than £750 ...

Firefox 52 kills plugins – except Flash – and runs up a red flag for HTTP

BenDwire

Re: Cookies...

Did you not know the menus come back if you press Alt? Works in TB too.

Sky fattens up broadband subs as it hovers above Fox's open mouth

BenDwire
Pint

Re: Only game in town

I ditched F1 and Sky when it was 'sold off' to them by the Beeb. Given that it was becoming a fiasco anyway it was no great loss and I regained my weekends!

'Please label things so I can tell the difference between a mouse and a microphone'

BenDwire
Boffin

@Arthur

Those Sun workstations used mice with metal mousepads, requiring a 2-colour printed grid to function correctly. It was really easy to annoy my CAD guys (and any other random PHB) by simply rotating the pad 90 degrees.

It was almost as good fun as the cron job that turned the whole thing into a cuckoo clock.

Oh the fun we used to have...

British Gas wins pre-paid smart meter patent lawsuit

BenDwire
Facepalm

You can guess how old am I by remembering this one ;)

And you can guess how old I am because I've still got one in use ....

Speaking in Tech: Windows is coming to smart refrigerators

BenDwire
Coat

BSOD?

That's about to become BMOD - Blue Mould Of Death

(Mould = Mold for our US cousins)

Adobe reverses decision to kill NPAPI Flash plugin for Linux

BenDwire

Re: Anyone else get this mental image?

I think it's more like The Black Knight - 'Tis only a flesh wound etc. etc.

WhatsApp is to hand your phone number to Facebook

BenDwire
Black Helicopters

Re: FUCK OFF

Yes there is AC. How about your name and telephone number?

Seagate flashes 60TB (yes, sixty) SSD monster

BenDwire
Coat

Hard Card?

My very first hard disk plugged into the motherboard ... all of 10M if I recall correctly (Plus Hard Card, anybody?) The world has come full circle, albeit bigger and (arguably) better.

I felt old enough finding out last week that my kids are older than both Sonic the hedgehog and the web as we know it. I feel positively ancient now.

Pass me those carrier bags; I'm off to shout at the passing traffic ...

Apple kills eavesdrop bug in FaceTime

BenDwire
Coat

Re: The tin-can phone in the article picture...

Of course. They're holding it wrong ...

Stop resetting your passwords, says UK govt's spy network

BenDwire
Boffin

Re: Best password advice I ever had?

Have you looked at NoteCase Pro? I've been using it since I ran Linux on my Zaurus (!) and now use it with Debian, Windows & Android. Encrypted, portable & cross platform. OK, so it costs a few beers, but it's under constant development. Worth it, in my view.

Dell drops next network OS on the waiting world

BenDwire
Facepalm

Re: Not another-

Not another- 'OS' X, 10 , 1010 release.

Marketing for the ID 10 T Generation perhaps?

Boozing is unsafe at ‘any level’, thunders chief UK.gov quack

BenDwire
Facepalm

According to the Beeb: ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35255384 )

"The 14-unit limit has been chosen because at that point, your drinking leads to a 1% risk of dying from alcohol-related causes.

This has been deemed to be an acceptable level of risk as it is approximately the same risk that someone has when they do an every day task such as driving a car."

and,

"Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, an expert in understanding risk from the University of Cambridge, said it was important to put the 1% risk in context. He said an hour of TV watching or a bacon sandwich a couple of time a week was more dangerous."

So, not only can't we get bladdered any more, we can't sober up with a bacon sarnie whilst watching telly.

Please. Won't someone think of the children?

Big Brother is born. And we find out 15 years too late to stop him

BenDwire
Black Helicopters

Re: This was leaked in 1995

Actually he was referred to as a Cyber-dog ... even more proof?

Either that, or it was hatched by the incumbant overlords at the time John PREScot & TONy Bliar ...

Apple finally publishes El Capitan Darwin source

BenDwire
Headmaster

Re: Job's the marconi of his day!!

Don't you mean Thomas Edison?

Hyundai i30 Turbo: Softly, softly, catchee Audi

BenDwire
Headmaster

Re: hmm...

Oh dear; I feel for you. I hope this calms your jangled nerves:

The headline is simply a pun on "Softly, softly, catchee monkey" which has nothing to do with mocking asians, and everything to do with Baden-Powell (of Boy Scouts fame) and possibly even earlier Scottish folk. It simply means "patience and steadiness will accomplish your goal".

And on that bombshell ...

Tear teardown down, roars Apple: iFixit app yanked from store

BenDwire
Headmaster

Re: Information wants to be free!

Or was the logo inspired by Alan Turing? Or neither? Discuss ...

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/06/opinion/apple-logo/

Wheely, wheely mad: Petrolheads fume over buggy Formula One app

BenDwire
Pint

Re: F1 lost me when

Tony H says: Oh do stop moaning and just watch Eastenders, Holby and The Voice...we spend vast amounts of cash on these gems to bring to our loving audience. Just be thankful that Auntie knows what's best for you. The fact that you like motorsport is meaningless when we take your money anyway and spend it how we like. Hic! More Champers, dahling??

FWIW I'm with you and dropped Sky 4 years back and stopped watching F1. After all, it's not like we didn't know the results the 'impartial' marshalls were going to come up with.

Now, if only Mr Farage had got voted in the Licence fee would be a dim distant memory ... (Obligatory beer/Nige icon) Hic! Burrp! Hurrah!

Using Office 365 at work? It's dangerous to go alone! Take this...

BenDwire
Pint

Strewth Mate ...

... I thought it was us Poms who were the whingers? Never mind, at least it's sunnier in Oz than it is here in the Northern Hemisphere ... Oh, wait ...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2643743

Fair suck of the sav! Have a beer to go with that prawn ....

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