* Posts by AndrueC

3810 posts • joined 6 Aug 2009

Nissan EV app password reset prompts user panic

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

Re: Hey, it's a car maker

Yup. Another example of a 'hardware manufacturer' not understanding how to create good software. Honda are no better.

Peak Apple: This time it's SERIOUS, Tim

AndrueC Silver badge
Joke

Re: RE: DJV

"We can't cure you because you're dying the wrong way."

Reg Standards Bureau introduces the Devon fatberg as coastal town menaced by oily blob

AndrueC Silver badge
Happy

When I was a callow youth I once cycled from Exeter to Sidmouth. Not too bad a journey really with a wonderfully long free wheel down to the beach. Of course going home that wonderfully long free wheel turned into a bit of an arse :-/

This escapade can be dated by the fact I went there to see DevonAir doing an OB event :)

Fake 'U's! Phishing creeps use homebrew fonts as message ciphers to evade filters

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

If you make something idiot proof, someone will just make a better idiot.

Encryption? This time it'll be usable, Thunderbird promises

AndrueC Silver badge
Thumb Up

I found out why I changed. I use a DEA system for email so I need to be able to change the From: address to anything when creating an email and I need the mail client to be able to set the From: address from the To: field when replying to an email. Out of the box TB can only do this by requiring the user to manage multiple identities which is a bit tedious. Creating the first email for a contact means first creating an identity for them and over time you'd end up with a lot of identities in the list.

Thankfully there's now a TB add-on called 'Virtual ID' which looks like it can do exactly that. That's actually more elegant than the previous client which required me to write a slightly complicated script.

AndrueC Silver badge
Thumb Up

I moved back to it from TheBat! a few weeks ago and must say I'm impressed. Or at least very satisfied. I forget why I moved away previously but so far Thunderbird is doing everything I need it to. Its IMAP support is a lot better than TheBat!'s in that it actually works and works well. No random connection drops, no random inability to download message content and TB is happy to work with large folders like Trash - I was beginning to think a couple of my archive folders had got corrupt but no, a decent email client shows the contents to still be there and fully accessible. The Thunderbird UI is a little odd but it didn't take long to get to grips with it and it's snappy enough.

Another example of open source software being better than a commercial rival. I'm off to make a donation :)

Grab a bucket and spade: Sandbox open for Insiders again with fresh Windows 10 build

AndrueC Silver badge
Alert

While the original intent was doubtless noble, hearing the dulcet tones of Microsoft's unloved assistant narrating the setup process can get grating.

Pretty much before its completed the first sentence :-/

My 2019 resolution? Not to buy any of THIS rubbish

AndrueC Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Hospitality sector had it coming

One area I thought they might be useful was in helping arrange a winter golf trip. The logistics on that are a little more complex and I felt that talking to a specialist in the area would smooth the process. I've also noticed that booking a couple is far more expensive per person than going as part of a group and thought maybe they'd be able to organise groups from willing customers. So the year before last I called two of them, spent nearly half an hour with each discussing my needs. Both said they'd send me emails with options.

Neither of them bothered. And I never have problems with emails vanishing. I don't use anti-spam or anti-junk software so there's no junk folder where important emails can be placed. I run my own mail server so I can look at the logs and see exactly what emails have arrived over SMTP - neither company ever sent anything.

Huh.

Fast forward to yesterday and out of the blue YGT send me a spam SMS touting for business, over 18 months after my attempt to buy a holiday through them.

Well done, guys :-/

Silicon Valley CEO thrown in the cooler for three years, ordered to pay back $1.5m for bullsh*tting investors

AndrueC Silver badge
Joke

Re: Bah!

And anyone starting an argument about "gif" should have to pay Unisys a small stipend every time they say it in whichever daft pronunciation they've come up with

Beware of geeks bearing gifs.

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

AndrueC Silver badge
Joke

Re: They just need to make the penalty so outsized

Murder was punished by hanging for denturies

Is that where the phrase 'The whole tooth and nothing but the tooth' came from?

Ofcom asks networks, ISPs: Hey, wouldn't it be nice if you let customers know the best deal once their contract's up?

AndrueC Silver badge
Thumb Up

I managed to reduce my monthly bill from £48 to £40 by adding Netflix to my package. Okay so I lost the kiddies package in the shuffle but there are no kids in my house anyway.

It's not all 'great deal!' though because they never notified me of the results of their package revamp in the new year so I've sort of(*) overpaid for the last six months.

(*)Only sort of because I was getting the kiddies package as part of my chosen package.

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

AndrueC Silver badge
Boffin

Much as I'm always the first to moan at the prospect of using anything Apple it's at least partly in jest and merely because they tend to do things differently. It actually harks back to my data recovery days when HFS was a pain in the bum to deal with for the MSDOS/Windows based utilities I was writing and working with. For those who don't know HFS supported the concept of 'forks' which meant that an individual file contained two or three separate streams within it. This is something that the prevalent file system at the time (FATx) just couldn't cope with. Worse still the additional streams mattered so couldn't just be ignored.

In the early days all we could do is perform data recoveries on a solitary Mac in a dark corner of the office. Unsurprisingly with no designated operator the machine was inevitably full of old crap and/or in need of maintenance when you sat down in front of it. All you wanted to do was recover some data and you had to waste an hour or two cleaning the damn' thing up. Hindered by lack of familiarity.

Thankfully NTFS came along which allowed Windows applications to create as many forks (called alternate data streams) as you want. Even better the Windows networking stack provided a way to create specially named streams such that a Macintosh client could recognise them as forks. So I extended our Windows tools to output HFS/HFS+ sourced files in this format and now we only needed the Mac to burn CDs. Even better a year later we bought a utility that could mount Mac volumes under Windows so we never needed to use that ageing Mac again.

But to be fair Apple documentation for HFS and HFS+ was excellent. Not only thorough documentation of the structures but even worked examples of how you'd access them. And their hardware is good quality. I have two old iPods and both still work.

But..the iPods mean I have to use iTunes. Plus recently I've started doing mobile development and I occasionally have to sort my Mac mini out which means remembering how to operate the damn thing. Oh and it doesn't support desktop scaling so I have to run it at a lower resolution in order to expand things so that my old eyes can read them. On the plus side debugging an iOS app is more reliable and more feature rich than debugging an Android app.

So..yeah, it's good quality kit. The problem for me is simply that Apple's ecosystem follows different rules to what I'm used to and that means my occasional need to foray into their walled garden is irritating :)

How the mighty have fallen: Anglian Water knocks Google off perch as UK's best workplace

AndrueC Silver badge
Joke

At least they aren't drip feeding us the results.

Microsoft's .NET Core 3 is almost here, which means time to move on from .NET Framework

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

WPF is much better if you're targeting screens with high or variable DPI. It's also (when you've built up the experience) a better way of implementing complex forms. WPF stylability it also very nice making it easier to customise controls if your bosses give the marketing department too much creative flexibility. However WPF is not a panacea and comes with a steep learning curve. As the saying goes 'WPF makes easy things hard and hard things easy'.

If you're just knocking out simple forms for simple applications the overhead of WPF is a disadvantage and will slow development. However for larger projects with complex forms the power of WPF will probably allow an experienced WPF developer to complete the project faster.

Some more thoughts here.

NB: I'm not an advocate of either particularly. I've used both and will continue using Winforms for our legacy projects. But as/when new projects are started we go with WPF now. We have the experience and toolbox of useful classes and WPF seems to offer a more powerful experience. We supplement both with DevExpress controls.

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

WPF on platforms other than Windows would be good news

Well there's already Xamarin.Forms. Sorta. If you're a masochist :-/

Although Xamarin.Forms+Syncfusion is looking like a reasonable solution for us.

AndrueC Silver badge
Flame

To be honest all I want from the next version of VS is a stable and reliable IDE. The current version even has problems tracking open files. The same thing happened this time last year and they've tried twice to fix it so far this year. And Gawd help anyone playing around in the mobile arena. You never know if a debug session is going to start when you want, crash the IDE or just do nothing at all.

Ffs, stop extending VS. Fix the damn bugs first :(

FYI: NASA has sent a snatch-and-grab spacecraft to an asteroid to seize some rock and send it back to Earth

AndrueC Silver badge
Alien

That seems to be a curiously square sided asteroid. Are we absolutely sure that digging a chunk out of it is a good idea?

:)

Huawei MateBook Pro X: PC makers look out, the phone guys are here

AndrueC Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Cons

I'd buy for a genuine 4:3 ratio because my ageing eyes require me to run with desktops zoomed in (currently 125% at work, 150% at home). At work that means sometimes having to scroll web sites to use them at home on the 17.3" laptop I'm forever having to scroll web pages. What makes it seem worse is that so many web sites today love to waste horizontal space with stupidly wide margins.

I can only hope that as today's web designers age and presbyopia hits them that they will push harder for design to take zooming into consideration. I'm also hoping someone will address the problem with mobile phones but I fear the only solution there is direct visual cortical stimulation :-/

AndrueC Silver badge
Happy

Re: I rather like it, but for one detail

The HP Probook I bought a couple of months ago has one. It also has a 'clicky' mouse pad instead of touch only and a 17.3" screen. Nice bit of kit in fact.

What a meth: Woman held for 3 months after cops mistake candy floss for hard drugs

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

Re: Pretextual traffic stops

The police in the UK have long been able to stop any vehicle for any reason. That includes simply wanting to see your license so being behind the wheel pretty much gives them the right to stop you. But since 2016 they've also been able to search you.

Vehicle stop and search introduced.

However it's highly unlikely that you would be held in custody for three months and you certainly wouldn't be asked to pay money to regain your freedom. Mostly likely, an overnight stay, some questioning then released on Police bail pending enquiries. Even if it took three months to determine that the stuff wasn't drugs you'd still probably only spend a night in the clink and might have no expense other than a taxi if they seized the vehicle.

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

AndrueC Silver badge
Boffin

Re: The report also says...

BT used to have a contention of 50:1 on the ADSL product - not sure what it is now or what it is on different products but probably a lot less

There is no longer a fixed ratio. Hasn't been since ADSL Max was launched because it becomes impractical when different customers on the same product can have different maximum speeds. These days providers manage capacity according to whatever performance/end-user experience they are targeting. Cheaper ISPs tolerate/allow more congestion than the expensive ones.

But basically it comes down 'If a link is not performing adequately then upgrade it'. The difference between ISPs is how they define 'performing adequately' ;)

A 5G day may come when the courage of cable and DSL fails ... but it is not this day

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

I don't think they are proposing beam shaping down to that level. From the sound of it it's just going to divide the mast coverage area into discrete sections. So instead of the mast talking to a single group of 12,000 properties it deals with a dozen groups of 1000 properties. That still involves sharing bandwidth but isn't that far removed from what TPON, FTTC and cable are doing so it's improving.

AndrueC Silver badge
Thumb Up

A very interesting read, thank you. It's interesting to note that the article suggests a massive increase in the number of masts needed which seems to be to be a tacit admission that the technology itself doesn't actually address the shared bandwidth problem. Also one wonders how roll-out is going to be cheap if we have to install ten times as many masts. And what feeds each 'mast-on-a-lampost'? Fibre? The cost of getting fibre to a lamp post is probably 80%+ of the cost of getting fibre to the homes the lampost lights so why not just go FTTP and be done with it? A mast per roadside cabinet would avoid that problem of course but it's not entirely clear from that article if that density would be enough.

Mind you even more 'interesting' are some of the comments on that article. It's clear that some people are still scared about radio waves. Oh and some religious nut job thinks that 5G is the beginning of the End Times.

AndrueC Silver badge
Boffin

It isn't shared, 5G uses a lot of beam steering - see here for what looks like a prototype, but lots of work is being done on this now.

Naturally it won't be able to always have the situation where each user gets their own full capacity beam, but it'll be a lot better than sharing the bandwidth.

Interesting. Do you have any idea how many discrete beams can be created and/or how big an area they cover? As another poster mentioned most modern wired solutions have an element of sharing. Currently all roll-outs are TPON so there is an aggregation node which is shared like a mast is. However aggregation nodes can be upgraded just by lighting/blowing more fibre or upgrading the receivers.

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

5G has the potential to make cable and DSL as antiquated and pointless as using a horse and a cart to drive to the supermarket. And it's already here.

I'm not convinced. 5G might offer 'as much bandwidth as most people currently need' therefore making a wired connection no longer a necessity but it can't ever beat a wired solution for throughput.

Radio waves have limited bandwidth and unless you use beam shaping that bandwidth is shared by the entire catchment area. I can't find any information on what bandwidth is available from a single 5G mast but I'd guess it's a few Gb/s at most. Say it's 5Gb/s. Now put that transmitter in a town so that it covers 5,000 properties. That's a paltry 1Mb/s per property. Now to be fair that's not really as bad as it sounds because it's rare for every property to be downloading at the same time. But still, in this day of Netflix et al. I'd question if an average of 1Mb/s per property was really adequate. By contrast an FTTP roll-out in the same area gives a potential of several Gb/s per property. Of course that's backhaul and ISP dependant but then that's true of a mast as well.

You could increase transmitter density but there are limits on that (planning permits for one but also just avoiding frequency overlapping). And anyway each mast uses a wired connection so eventually you're just approaching one mast per property which is the same as a wired solution.

So radio will only replace wired solutions if/when end user bandwidth requirements cease to grow and if they do so at a point where several hundred properties sharing a single mast can assure that level of bandwidth per property. I'm not saying it'll never happen but I remain sceptical.

Visual Studio 2017 15.9 is here! Fire up your Windows on Arm laptops. All four of you

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

Re: Xamarin.Android build performance improvement

Yeah I've been working with them a bit on improving the mobile development experience. It sounds like they might be getting closer to resolving the 'I just can't be bothered to launch the debugger this time around' that causes so much annoyance. Also it's doing fewer rebuilds which is reducing cycle times.

Still annoying but slightly less painful.

Brits shun country life over phone not-spot fears

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

Re: Internet is fine. Mobile signal sucks.

Vodafone do a device that piggy backs your broadband to provide a better mobile signal

They do but it only supports 3G and if your area has 4G coverage the phone will ignore the SureSignal unless you disable 4G on the phone. Also anything downloaded through it comes out of your mobile allowance. It also used to run disturbingly hot and has been known to burst into flames.

Luckily when 4G came to my area I no longer needed the SS. A single bar of 4G offers a perfectly acceptable service whereas the 3G signal in my area often left me unable to even send a text.

AndrueC Silver badge
Thumb Up

As several have said - this seems like a bonus to me. Meanwhile I live in my 12k pop. town and have a 70Mb/s broadband connection and 4G mobile that can deliver 21Mb/s indoors. Should I be mad enough to want to experience city life I'm only an hour from London or Birmingham.

Just a little heads up: Google is still trying to convince everyone that web apps don't suck

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

Re: The browser is the limitation

Web apps will always be second class citizens because of their dependence on a browser. That doesn't mean that a web app can't look and feel almost as good as a native app but at the end of the day the cart cannot push the horse. Native applications can exist without web apps. Web apps cannot exist without native apps.

France: Let's make the internet safer. America, Russia, China: Let's go with 'no' on that

AndrueC Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Strange bedfellows here...

No, Germany (Allemagne) and the UK (Royaume-Uni de Grande-Bretagne et d’Irlande du Nord) are both there.

Reminds of the the time I ordered tickets to the French F1 Grand Prix. There was a drop down list of countries for some reason and, yes, we were under 'R'. It's fair enough in a French communique but it seemed bizarre for an international purchasing website to list the user's country in a foreign language. Especially since 'The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland' is the official name and 'UK' the official abbreviation.

UK rail lines blocked by unexpected Windows dialog box

AndrueC Silver badge
Joke

Re: headcode

Trainy McTrainFace?

AndrueC Silver badge
FAIL

One of the several things I hate about Windows is focus stealing. Several years ago they implemented flashing icons on the Task bar (and they are still present) but applications can still steal focus. You can be half way through typing a password and and something else grabs the focus and suddenly half your password is in plain sight. And it makes trying to launch an application in the background painful.

Focus should stay where the user put it. If you want to attract their attention flash an icon or - if you must - popup an unfocused message bubble in a corner.

British fixed broadband is cheap … and, er, fairly nasty – global survey

AndrueC Silver badge
Happy

Re: streams rather than downloads?

Um ... the bits are coming down the pipe whether it's a download or a stream.

True, but streaming allows for a thinner pipe because the end-user won't have to wait for the download to finish before they can use it. Although there is also a relationship between 'pipe size' and latency so thinner pipes might only be adequate in theory.

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

But as Thinkbroadband pointed out if people in the UK actually went for the best package available to them rather than the cheapest we could be number one.

Ironic (and sad?) considering how cheap broadband is here compared to most places.

"Combining the ADSL2+ to VDSL2 and a 200 Mbps minimum for cable services would lift our average to around 53.3 Mbps and the Ofcom equivalent to around 75.4 Mbps and potentially lift the Mlabs figure to something like 41.17 Mbps lifting the UK to a potential top 3 position, add in some of the FTTP and G.fast roll-outs already underway and a number 1 position is possible."

Has science gone too far? Now boffins dream of shining gigantic laser pointer into space to get aliens' attention

AndrueC Silver badge
Joke

Re: how to distinguish this laser from pulsars

Well not let's emulate a pulsar then. Broadband never seems to live up to the hype.

Shift-work: Keyboards heaped in a field push North Yorks council's fly-tipping buttons

AndrueC Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Why

I don't know if they were pressure treated as they were very old (might have been from previous property owner for all I know) but they probably were. I would never put them in the recycling bin but I had no idea they were classed as hazardous material. Turns out they are. Thank you for pointing that out.

AndrueC Silver badge
WTF?

Re: Why

You can't take business waste to your local recycling centre, you have to pay.

True. I took some rubbish to my local centre last week. They happily accepted the remains of two flat pack wardrobes, and metal frames from deck chairs but wanted to charge me £2 for two broken slats from a garden fence.

So I took the slats back home and put them in my general waste bin. Hey ho.

If you have inner peace, it's probably 'cos your broadband works: Zen Internet least whinged-about Brit ISP – survey

AndrueC Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Talk talk came third?

They didn't come third on the more tech-savvy survey I posted ;)

AndrueC Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: From A&A to Z?

For another survey (with self selection for generally more tech savvy users) try this one. That puts AAISP at the top with IDNet (also my ISP) second and Zen third. Only those three rate above 90%. You get what you pay for ;)

My assumption would be that AAISP and IDNet fail to appear on the Which? survey because of cost. A lot (most?) people subscribe to Which? to find the cheapest deal.

VM's almost constant appearance at the bottom of the chart is a sad indictment of the way they run their network. Suck customers in with headline speeds but do the bear minimum to provide those speeds in practice.

Budget 2018: UK goes it alone on digital sales tax for tech giants

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

..and the corporations will pass the cost of that tax straight on to us as higher prices. Thanks Phil.

Britain's rail ticket-booking systems go TITSUP*

AndrueC Silver badge
Facepalm

That's true. I got this one last week courtesy of WPF:

'Cannot attach type "TextBoxEnterKeyUpdateBehaviour" to type "TextEdit". Instances of type "TextBoxEnterKeyUpdateBehaviour" can only be attached to objects of type "TextEdit"'

Of course it being WPF meant that when I eventually tracked it down it was only tangentially related to the XAML line where the error was being reported.

Florida man won't be compelled to reveal iPhone passcode, yet

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

Yeah it lies at the heart of the difference between the two legal systems. The US is (supposedly) concerned with protecting the individual whereas the UK system is concerned (supposedly) with finding the truth.

This is why the US has strong legal privilege protections whereas the UK has barely any. Also why in the US tainted evidence can result in a case being thrown out whereas in the UK tainted evidence is still admissible.

In Windows 10 Update land, nobody can hear you scream

AndrueC Silver badge
Joke

Re: Wait til the November update screws up even more computers

Someone should light a bonfire under Microsoft.

Microsoft Windows 10 October update giving HP users BSOD

AndrueC Silver badge
Boffin

Re: HP keyboards are special?

The last W10 update hosed the key I used,

Run the hot key installer.

As per that link my setup was in 'C:\SWSETUP\APP\Applications\HP\HPHotkeyS_SS9NB2\6.2.40.1\src'. Ran that, rebooted and keys were working again. If can't change brightness even from display settings, manually update the graphics driver.

AndrueC Silver badge
Boffin

My HP laptop (ProBook 470 G5) seems okay but I did have a bit of hassle. After the reboot my screen was at full brightness and the hot keys to adjust it didn't work. There were no options in the Windows display settings page either. When I checked Device Manager there was an exclamation mark against the Intel display driver. I manually updated it and it found a newer version. After that the display settings page allowed me to adjust the brightness but hot keys still didn't work. Ran the HP hot keys installer and they came back.

Huge ice blades on Jupiter’s Europa will make it a right pain in the ASCII to land on

AndrueC Silver badge
Facepalm

ASCII

Or as we used to refer to it several years ago 'Arthur's Code'.

This came about because early versions of The Sphere by Michael Crichton spelt it that way.

One of several mistakes in the text, actually. Another was a transmission of a block of digits they receive (and it was only digits in the text) that one character identifies as a hex dump. Shortly after another character claims it can't coming from a 68000 processor "because the 68000 doesn't work in hex".

The film was better. Just.

Microsoft's elderly .NET Framework shakes stick at whippersnapper Core while Visual Studio drops another preview

AndrueC Silver badge
Mushroom

I'd just like the VS team to fix the various stability issues. I just want VS to build shit when I ask it, to debug for as long as I need it and not to crash out at random (but seemingly the most inconvenient) moments.

It used to be a goodtolerable IDE. Now it just gets in the way,

Where can I hide this mic? I know, shove it down my urethra

AndrueC Silver badge
Joke

Re: Oh, go on then

Definitely one of my least favourite medical memories, although I did get to see the inside of my own bladder, which I suppose few people can say.

Are you taking the p...

No. Best not. Not gonna get any respect for such an obvious pun.

Day two – and Windows 10 October 2018 Update trips over Intel audio

AndrueC Silver badge
FAIL

They seem to think that software developers will tolerate it from Visual Studio as well. That's also on a rapid release cycle and is become rank. Nothing serious, mind, just:

* Sometimes can't reopen a source file after it's been closed.

* Builds stalling because of a file saving/locking race condition (possibly fixed in a forthcoming release).

* Debugger sometimes just gives up and will go no further.

* Sometimes just freezes and takes Task Manager with it often along with Explorer.

So it's becoming an IDE that doesn't always allow files to be edited, doesn't always build projects, can only debug for a while and sometimes leaves you no option other than force rebooting the computer.

Way to go Microsoft :(

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