* Posts by ForthIsNotDead

442 posts • joined 4 Sep 2009

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Linux, not Microsoft, the real winner of Windows Server on ARM

ForthIsNotDead

Just remember...

...Windows 10 is so shit that they literally have to give it away.

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Watt the f... Dim smart meters caught simply making up readings

ForthIsNotDead

Two meters

I told Scottish Gas (who I get my electricity from, go figure) that they could put in a smart meter AS LONG AS they left the old analogue meter in place. You know, connect them in series. I can see no reason why this can't be done.

They declined telling me it was technically impossible. I simply wanted my old meter left in place as a confidence check on the new one.

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81's 99 in 17: Still a lotta love for the TI‑99/4A – TI's forgotten classic

ForthIsNotDead

Re: The TI9900

Yes. You use the LWPI (Load Workspace Pointer Immediate) instruction.

Eg LWPI $A000

Now, your 16 16-bit registers (R0 to R15) start at $A000 in RAM.

If you later did a BLWP (branch and load workspace pointer) instruction, R13, R14, and R15 in the *new* register set contain the status register, program counter, and workspace address of the *previous* workspace/context, so you can return to where you were, with the old context fully restored.

It's a lovely system.

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ForthIsNotDead

Re: Interesting machine, but hamstrung by TI marketing

The TMS9995 did not exist then the TI-99/4 was designed. The 9995 was designed by a student at TI Bedford (UK) who went on to design the successful TMS34010 and TMS34020 graphics chips.

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ForthIsNotDead

Re: Double interpretation overhead

There is a reason for the double interpretation. The TI-99/4 (and the later 4A, which has a better keyboard and a better graphics processor) was never intended to have a TMS9900 as its CPU. The intended CPU was going to be a custom made CPU that executed GPL as its native instruction set. The chip (it might have been the 9985, but my memory might be faulty) never made it, and after flirting with 8-bit CPUs such as the Z80, the 9900 was engineered in, on the grounds that TI would be damned if they would help Zilog by putting a Z80 in there, or Motorola etc.)

However, by the time this decision was made, the mother-board had been designed, and it was all 8 bit. Extra hardware had to be added (the 8/16 multiplexor) to do two fetches from memory and present it to the 9900 as a single 16-bit word.

It gets worse. Much worse. But no one would believe me, so I'll just leave it there!

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ForthIsNotDead

Re: Was it really so short lived?

1981 to 1983 then it was all over.

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ForthIsNotDead

Forth

I have a Forth system on a cartridge for the 4A which is still under active development! In 2017!

Check out http://turboforth.net for a home-grown British Forth system for the 4A!

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Passport and binary tree code, please: CompSci quizzes at US border just business as usual

ForthIsNotDead

Ha!

I'd write it in Forth, using only the stack to pass parameters between functions. No local variables, no global variables.

Validate that, bitch.

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Two million recordings of families imperiled by cloud-connected toys' crappy MongoDB

ForthIsNotDead

Re: Think of the Children

"For example, a parent away on a work trip can open the CloudPets app on their smartphone, record an audio message, and beam it to their kid's toy via a tablet within Bluetooth range of the gizmo at home; the recording plays when the tyke press a button on the animal's paw."

Or they could just call them on the fucking phone.

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Tech contractors begin mass UK.gov exodus in wake of HMRC's IR35 income tax clampdown

ForthIsNotDead

I'm off.

Leaving the UK and taking my family with me.

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Nokia’s big comeback: Watches, bathroom scales, a 3310 PR gimmick, Snake, erm...

ForthIsNotDead

6310i

Just give me a 6310i.

Well, no need for me, since I already have two of them. One is absolutely pristine, the other smashed to bits, but still works. Refuses to die.

A 6310i with, say, a calendar, outlook sync, an SD card slot and a headphone socket for MP3s.

I think I'd be very happy with that - not having a browser wouldn't bother me. Bring back WAP that's what I say!

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'Leaky' LG returns to sanity for 2017 flagship

ForthIsNotDead

LG?

Wasn't it LG's telly's that were spewing out all sorts of private data to the LG mothership? Even file names of files from an inserted USB stick.

Why would I want one of their phones?

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EU privacy gurus peer at Windows 10, still don't like what they see

ForthIsNotDead
Unhappy

What information does Win 10 slurp?

Does anybody know what information Windows 10 actually slurps? I don't use it (I use Win 7 and Linux Mint).

I refuse to use Win 10 (with the exception of my employer, where I have no choice) and Win 7 is now my last MS OS. I only use it because there are two programs I use that are not available for Linux.

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Windows 10: What is it good for? Microsoft pitches to devs ahead of Creators Update

ForthIsNotDead

Pretty much nothing.

What does it do that Win7 can't do? Apart from spy on you, that is?

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Who's behind the Kodi TV streaming stick crackdown?

ForthIsNotDead

Why Don't You...

...turn off your television set and go out and do something less boring instead...

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Dear Microsoft – a sysadmin's wishlist

ForthIsNotDead
Unhappy

Wow

It's been many years since I was involved in building and administering Windows servers... In fact, it was the days of Win NT4 and Win2K.

Seems like fuck all has changed. In fact, sounds like it may have got a lot worse.

That's progress.

Meanwhile, I'm running my final MS OS on my old laptop: Windows 7. Took a look at 8 - what a joke, and Windows 10 is fast but they've moved EVERTHING and dumbed down EVERYTHING. I literally give in.

I now run Linux Mint most of the time at home and am very happy with it and increasingly impressed with Linux as I learn more and understand more about it and it's ethos.

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How to secure MongoDB – because it isn't by default and thousands of DBs are being hacked

ForthIsNotDead
Facepalm

Re: Insecure defaults are not capabilities in other modern databases

Indeed.

The ultimate irony would have been, instead of copying and removing data from users databases, actually set the database up securely, with appropriate complex password, and then ransom the password!

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Zuck quits anti-social Hawaiian land title lawsuit

ForthIsNotDead

Shame

That's put the brakes on his JAMES BOND STYLE VILLAINS LAIR ON A REMOTE ISLAND.

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PDP-10 enthusiasts resurrect ancient MIT operating system

ForthIsNotDead
Go

WANT

WANT THAT.

I just don't know why, or what I'd use it for. I know I want one though!

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First Wi-Fi box ever is chosen as Australia's best contribution to global history

ForthIsNotDead

Re: Just a short list... (not meant to be comprehensive)

Fosters

Paul Hogan

Men At Work

Kylie Minogue

Rolf Harris ^M^M^M^M^M^M^M^M

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'It will go wrong. There's no question of time... on safety or security side'

ForthIsNotDead

Waffle

Not at all impressed with this "lecture". A load of intangible waffle.

"We need standards...<waffle garb piffle>..."

He's clearly never heard of IEC-61508, which prescribes an international standard for building, documenting, testing, and proving certifiably safe hardware and software systems.

That's very worrying considering he works for Statoil. Fortunately the Statoil engineers that I consult with daily in Aberdeen *have* heard of it.

Not at all impressed.

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Nuclear power station sensors are literally shouting their readings at each other

ForthIsNotDead

Re: Encrypted Morse code transmitted via sound

I'm inclined to agree. It *might* be useful to tell you when the loos in the gents need more loo roll, but if anyone is using these on mission critical and/or safety loops then they are nuts.

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Microsoft's development platform today: What you need to know

ForthIsNotDead

Any App, Any Platform

Hey Microsoft, 1998 just called. They got something called Java for ya.

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ForthIsNotDead

Oracle

Rather cynically, I see true cross-platform .Net as an attack on the multi-platform block-buster that is Java, and therefore an attack on Oracle.

The fact that SQL Server can now run on Linux is probably not keeping Larry awake yet, but it could be in a little while...

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Google's Grumpy code makes Python Go

ForthIsNotDead

Just port the bloody code.

Typical.

"Shall we go through the original Python code-base and re-implement it in Go, testing as we go?

NAH! Fuck that. Where's the cool in that? Nah. Let's write a Python to Go converter! I mean, hell, the Go code that the converter spits out will be terrible and un-readable/un-maintainable to humans, but... well, you know... it's a freaking Python to Go converter... How cool is that???!!!!

Yes, that's what we'll do.

Can I put it on my CV yet?"

Programmers. FFS.

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British military laser death ray cannon contract still awarded, MoD confirms

ForthIsNotDead

Is this the end....

...of conventional explosive type weapons that go BANG very loudly?

That would be very good. War is so bloody noisy, isn't it?

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Facebook's internet drone crash-landed after wing 'deformed' in flight

ForthIsNotDead

Death

Facebook+Google==CyberNet

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Privacy is theft! Dave Eggers' big-screen takedown of Google and Facebook emerges

ForthIsNotDead

Blind Faith

Reminds me of Blind Faith by Ben Elton.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_Faith_(novel)

Doubleplusgood.

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Hollow, world! Netflix premieres Java in-memory database toolkit

ForthIsNotDead

Re: "In Hollow, we instead use a compact, fixed-length encoding to represent the data"

That's pretty much what I was thinking. I saw "compact, fixed-length encoding" and my bullshit-o-meter hit a 9.0 and I thought "You mean a big in-memory array, you twat!".

I'm a grey-beard and reserve the right to be a miserable twat in an office full of 20 something graduates that don't know what machine code is.

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Online advent calendar offers mystery VM every day until Christmas

ForthIsNotDead
Coat

Forth?

Ooh! Did somebody say Forth?

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UK's new Snoopers' Charter just passed an encryption backdoor law by the backdoor

ForthIsNotDead

Sorry El Reg...

...but I think you missed the big whopper:

"among other things"

AMONG OTHER THINGS? WTF is that supposed to mean? How should one interpret that one in a court?

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GET pwned: Web CCTV cams can be hijacked by single HTTP request

ForthIsNotDead

Java

Wouldn't have happened if the firmware was written in Java. It would have crashed, sure, but the buffer overrun would have been caught by the JVM.

C and C++ are great, and certainly the best choice if performance is a major factor, but the freedom that comes with C and C++ requires responsible coding, and a devotion to quality checking. I'd argue that in a webcam server app, performance is not the major factor. As long as it can stream the video in real-time, anything else is kind of superfluous. A higher level, strongly typed language with dynamic run-time checking might be the better option for developing software of this nature. As I say, it wouldn't stop the buffer over-run, but it would catch it, and Java Embedded can be set to reset/reboot a unit if the watchdog isn't fed regularly.

Heck - even C and C++ would have been fine if the quality hadn't failed at at least two layers (the initial development layer (don't they have shop rules about this stuff?) and the quality/testing/review layer).

There's really no excuse for this in 2016. We have the tools to prevent this, and we have the knowledge of other people's mistakes. What some people appear to lack is pure good old fashioned common sense.

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No super-kinky web smut please, we're British

ForthIsNotDead

That's pretty cool...

Of the Gov. to rate my pr0n for me. Saves me having to do it ;-)

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Emulating x86: Microsoft builds granny flat into Windows 10

ForthIsNotDead
Facepalm

Baby... Bathwater?

I don't pretend to understand the low-level technical concepts of what they are wanting to do here, but the gist and it does lead me to wonder: Microsoft has had a very good CPU-independent program execution engine for at least 16 years: The Common Language Runtime. I continue to be surprised that they have only ever considered it a platform to run applications on. Had Microsoft invested in making parts of the operating system *itself* run on the CLR (or maybe some special version of it) we'd already be years into developing CPU agnostic applications that could run effortlessly regardless of the underlying CPU. ARM or Intel. As application consumers we simply wouldn't care. Sure, some CPUs would be better than others, but CPU manufacturers would have developed new devices specifically to target the environment, maybe the running the CLR instruction set (or a subset) as native on-silicon instructions.

I think Microsoft are 10 years behind where they should/could be on this issue. Instead, they're faffing around changing the user interface (flat GUI, I'm looking at you) with operating system releasing, polishing the same turd over and over.

I think the obsession with always-connected, mobile computing has pushed progress (not necessarily innovation, but certainly progress) back significantly.

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China passes new Cybersecurity Law – you have seven months to comply if you wanna do biz in Middle Kingdom

ForthIsNotDead

Re: Really?!?

Reading the article, the last paragraph reads like it's been inserted either as an afterthought, or by a different writer.

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Want to spy on the boss? Try this phone-mast-in-an-HP printer

ForthIsNotDead
Thumb Up

That's genius.

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Windows 10 market share stalls after free upgrade offer ends

ForthIsNotDead

I'm not surprised...

Windows 7 is *excellent*. Why would I want to change it? I have Windows 10 on my work PC, and, well, it's okay I guess, but the flat user interface just leaves me asking "why?" and continually moving things around in the OS (how many times has the freaking control panel been re-vamped over the years? Stop mucking about MS, FFS) requires me to puzzle-solve, instead of getting my work done.

No pervasive reason to upgrade 10, sorry. ESPECIALLY if you an oldish machine. My personal laptop is a 32-bit Toshiba Tecra M5 with 4GB RAM and a 256GB SSD drive. I bought in 2005 IIRC. It runs Win 7 beautifully.

It also runs Linux Mint beautifully (dual boot), which will probably become my home-use OS at some point in the future, as it's getting easier to install applications in Linux (still a bit of a ball ache though, compared to windows) and there's a great range of free software available that does everything your average home user needs and a whole lot more.

I'm still waiting for printer manufacturers to develop printer drivers for Linux!

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Trick not treat: 123 Reg down on Halloween, DNS borked by DDoS

ForthIsNotDead

Really?

I know nothing about ISPs so this is a genuine (probably naïve) question:

Don't ISPs analyse their traffic in some way? I mean, is there not some analytics that goes "Hmmm this IP address is suddenly sending a metric fuck-ton of pings/http gets/DNS lookups per minute, which is not regular for this user. Looks like he's (probably unwittingly) contributing to a DDoS. Cut him off until he phones us"?

Or is that illegal or something because it would mean inspecting the users data? If that's the case, just get GCHQ to do it.

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iPhone fatigue and fading Samsung. This planet is bored with big brand phones

ForthIsNotDead

Right

I think iPhone fatigue, and smart-phone fatigue just about sums it up. The release cycle of new hardware is far more frequent than the requirement for the average person to upgrade his/her hardware. The whole thing is propped up by operators pushing "free" upgrades to their customers.

Samsung are releasing new models, what, every year?

I'm still using my Galaxy S4 FFS! There's nothing wrong with it.

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October proves to be the cruellest month for Twitter staff as 350 more laid off

ForthIsNotDead

What's it for?

I don't understand it. I must be too old.

I did register. Downloaded the official Twitter app to my phone. Couldn't work out the user interface at all. If a UI requires puzzle solving then it's shit.

#fail

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‘Andromeda’ will be Google’s Windows NT

ForthIsNotDead

End of Android?

So this is Android now on the long tail?

I won't bother installing Android Studio then... :-/

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What's not to love about IoT – you can spy on customers as they arrive

ForthIsNotDead

What a pile of doggy doos...

This guy is a dangerous idiot who likes the sound of his own voice.

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Who hit you, HP Inc? 'Windows 10! It's all Windows 10's fault'

ForthIsNotDead

"Now that's Windows10 installed, now, while it's downloading updates i'll just go and throw my perfectly servicable and fully functional printer in the bin, and go and buy another one."

The above sentence is not echoing throughout the living rooms of the land. If the HP execs thought it was ever going to, then they're a particularly rare type of stupid and have no business (ha!) being in the positions that they are in, earning the money that they do. They're as dumb as a box of rocks.

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Google human-like robot brushes off beating by puny human – this is how Skynet starts

ForthIsNotDead

"Rescue" Bot

If DARPA / BD are building that as a "rescue bot" then I've got some prime beach-front holiday homes in Fukushima to sell you.

Just sayin'.

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Bleeping Computer sued by Enigma Software over moderator's forum post

ForthIsNotDead

I tried to give a f**k...

...but failed.

Sorry about that.

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Putin's internet guru says 'nyet' to Windows, 'da' to desktop Linux

ForthIsNotDead

They did it to themselves

Putting the political issues between USA and Russia (which is enevitably going to spill over to Microsoft if it wants to do business in Russia), they took a perfectly good, if not excellent operating system, and wrecked it. They wobbled with Windows Vista but managed to get firmly back on track with Windows 7, which, remains a great OS IMO.

Then they fucked the whole thing up with Windows 8, and doubled down with Windows 10.

They did it to themselves.

I currently run Win7, which will be my last MS OS. I'm dual booting with Linux Mint. It's taking a lot of getting used to, but it seems to do pretty much everything I need/want to do.

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'Unikernels will send us back to the DOS era' – DTrace guru Bryan Cantrill speaks out

ForthIsNotDead

Forth

Forth has been doing it the exact way he says is terrible for 40 years. When writing an application on an embedded Forth system, the application and the kernal are at the same level. There's no protection whatsover. You're free to f**k up with your poorly written software in any way you want.

Forth has been used in countless space experiments on the shuttle and other space systems for decades. IIRC 10 of the 12 CPUs on the Philae lander and orbiter were Forth CPUs. It's also been used in most of the worlds observatories (controlling radio telecsopes) for years.

Forth is an amplifier. Badly written code shows up real fast as badly written code. However, you *can* write code right on the hardware and it can work just fine. It just takes discipline and good procedures and management. It can be done. It has been done.

All that said; he has a point. These walls between OS and application software are necessary, because software *is* buggy, and software does crash. OS's are buggy too. Part of the problem is simply down to the complexity of modern OS and application software. When a Swing library in a Java program is rendering it's window on the screen and painting its buttons, putting text in a text box etc, how many levels of abstraction are there between it and the graphics hardware? A thousand? Two thousand?

If we want more reliable software, we have to write simpler software.

Forth, which is still around and still used, takes all that away. It is simple enough that (as in my case) the entire workings of the Forth kernal can be understood and held in the head of one person (I should, I wrote my own Forth system) and by extension, the applications written in it, too.

To be fair, the applications written in Forth are vastly simpler than those written on contempory PCs. We tend to write on the metal, in deeply embedded or industrial control environments, where software can be much simpler, and the only code in memory is the code that *you* put there, because it is specifically needed for something that you understand. PCs have the entire kitchen sink in memory and anyone of them could go wrong.

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Software engineer sobers up to deal with 2:00 AM trouble at mill

ForthIsNotDead

Twat!

Dear BT

Your boss was a twat of the highest order. And a crap coder, too! You're better out of it.

I have a couple of cracking anecdotes to share, including a 'men in black' type moment that happened in Signapore, but I don't know where to send them.

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'Powerful blast' at Glasgow City Council data centre prompts IT meltdown

ForthIsNotDead

New pants please!

I reckon you'd need a SERIOUS change of underwear if you happened to be working in there when that went off!

0
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'Unauthorized code' that decrypts VPNs found in Juniper's ScreenOS

ForthIsNotDead

Back door

See title.

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