* Posts by BobChip

208 posts • joined 15 Feb 2010

Page:

Microsoft's foray into phones was a bumbling, half-hearted fiasco, and Nadella always knew it

BobChip
FAIL

No longer "cool" - but quickly going cold

MS were a genuinely great company, back then. They were once THE software company, but no longer seem to care much about that. And Win 10 has certainly not taken off as they had hoped. They have tried being a hardware company - phones, surface, - but have pulled back from that, while losing buckets of money. Now they are going to be a cloud business, and have promised that they will make that work properly. Soon....

Why am I not convinced?

7
7

Mozilla extends, and ends, Firefox support for Windows XP and Vista

BobChip
Happy

Re: Let's be fair - XP has it's uses

I still use XP to run some old Win games, and I love it. It is fast, stable and easy to manage. However, it runs in VirtualBox on a Linux host and it NEVER, never, ever connects to the big bad world outside. I set it up as XP SP1 and then leave it alone, so no need for "security updates" etc.

11
1

Windows 10 Creators Update will add app-level privacy controls

BobChip
Holmes

Data is not necessary ....

"Data that is vital to the operation of Windows" and "when you let Microsoft know the capabilities of your device, what is installed, and whether Windows is operating correctly."

NO it is not necessary. Not when you do NOT USE Windows in the first place. This may be a clue to my present state of security and contentment .....

6
4

Sony wins case over pre-installed Windows software

BobChip
Unhappy

Key purchasing point

This is surely a fundamental point in the argument. I can't buy a bare desktop off the shelf, but it really does not matter as I can - and have done - easily build one myself.

It is much harder to find a bare laptop. And as laptops or similar portables are what most users want these days, the practice of selling machines pre-loaded really does restrict consumer choice. Since the court's decision seems to have been based on a presumption of free consumer choice, which in practice does not exist, I suspect that it could be challenged.

That said, there are a few suppliers out there who will build a laptop for you. The bits must be available from somewhere. Argument for someone to step up and offer to supply DIY laptop kits? Such a machine might not be as slick as a MS Surface, but it would be maintainable, repairable (not glued together for keeps), open to component changes and upgrades, and a damn sight cheaper. It could even run Windows if you really wanted it to

0
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BobChip
Happy

Re: Three heads and bare machines

Dead right. And Currys / PC World are not the supplier I am looking for either, so yes, I am happy. Neither know nor care about how Currys / PC World feel about it .......

4
0
BobChip
Linux

Bare machines again

The PC Worlds of this planet don't sell bare machines because :-

1 It would cut into their profits,

2 They have a cosy marketing relationship with M$ and Apple, where both profit,

3 Next generation PC sales push sales of the latest OS versions, and vice versa, need them or not,

4 And provide an opportunity to load machines with all the data-sucking bloatware they can find.

5 Most consumer purchasers (NOT El Reg readers) would not have a clue about installing an OS from scratch, never mind having the faintest idea that there are perfectly good alternatives to M$ and Apple out there.

The fact that there are lots of suppliers of bare systems out there is of relevance only to those who know, and have clearly defined system requirements. And some pretty uncommon technical skills as well. These are not the people who suddenly have to get a new laptop because their student son sat on his after a night on the booze.

Sad but true. I don't like it, but I can see why Sony won. I'm happy to be in the small minority who can build their own machines - and load Linux - and I expect it to stay that way for a long time yet.

9
0
BobChip
Happy

Three heads and bare machines

Absolutely right. I have asked, and that was the response I got too. It was pointed out to me that if I were so deranged as to not be slavering over Win 10, I could of course un-install / overwrite it with the OS of my choice. Pre-set hardware constraints permitting, of course. And I'd be forever registered as a happy Win 10 user / statistic. And I'd have paid for the b****y thing too.

There is a very cosy (and profitable) relationship between PC vendors and the OS manufacturers. They can push any PC - OS - bloatware combination they wish with complete part-pricing obscurity. An offer to supply a bare machine would seriously undermine a significant part of that business model. Which is why the big outlets will never do it.

Two or three years ago, the only option for the "deranged" buyer was build-your-own from a list of components, and hope you knew enough to spec your bits properly. Ten minutes on the internet today will easily produce a list of a dozen or so suppliers who will sell you a properly spec'd DIY computer build kit (desktop), or a ready built bare bones machine with no OS (desktop or laptop). Competitive prices too, and a warranty saying it will work for specified OS's.

This can only mean that the demand is there, and that at least some sectors of the marketplace are responding. So that's where I shop now.

15
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Dell's flagship XPS13 – a 2-in-1 that may fatally frustrate your fingers

BobChip
Unhappy

Re: Well if good engineers had their say...

Dreams. Ah, dreams. Wonderful things, dreams. Sadly, reality calls.......

4
0

70% of Windows 10 users are totally happy with our big telemetry slurp, beams Microsoft

BobChip
Happy

Re: spends most of its time updating

Linux Mint. This is how updates SHOULD work. Fast, silent, no reboot, keep on working throughout etc.etc. 'Nuf said.

1
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BobChip
Linux

Re: No need to change the default settings! Erase all of WIN 10

Hi David. I'm curious. Why did you buy a laptop with Win 10 pre-loaded, when there are bare machines available out there? I quite understand your wanting to use Linux, but why pay the Microsoft tax on the way there?

That would stick in my throat.

2
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Speaking in Tech: Do I need some weird thing listening to me in my house all the time?

BobChip
Thumb Down

NO!

No. Absolutely not. Particularly when everything you say is liable to be sent to someone else's data scraping operation to be used for heaven knows what. (Actually, we know only too well for what, and I'm not having any of it.)

1
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Windows 10 love to see PC market grow again. Future iPhone to be clear. Elvis to re-appear

BobChip
Meh

IDC thinks....

Like weather forecasts, I'll believe it when I see it.

3
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Windows 10 S forces Bing, Edge on your kids. If you don't like it, get Win10 Pro – Microsoft

BobChip
Happy

Re: Windows 7

Yet another very good reason to be glad that I abandoned Windows (and all things MS) when Vista came along. While I do agree that Win 7 was the last decent (controllable / properly configurable) Windows version, I don't regret for one moment making the switch. The Linux update process has been an absolute revelation - all OSs should work as well as this. I'm a very happy green penguin now.

6
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Will the MOAB (Mother Of all AdBlockers) finally kill advertising?

BobChip
Unhappy

Re: I havent got the bandwidth yet

Even if I did have unlimited bandwidth, I would still block adverts. I pay for my bandwidth, and advertisers steal it. Simple as that.

2
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Cloud price wars resume as Microsoft cuts by up to 51 per cent

BobChip
WTF?

Cutting costs?

I appreciate that I do not know the starting prices from which these price cuts have been calculated, but on the face of it as written ...

To quote from your article, "up to 23 per cent for Linux and 18 per cent for Windows machines". I'd have expected it to be the other way round. Or is it just that M$ greed takes precedence over providing a financial incentive to persuade users to switch to Linux?

Strange company, M$.

3
2

Pirates, pirates, whatchu gonna do? Advertisers cop a visit from PIPCU

BobChip
Unhappy

Trust????

Pretty much everyone you deal with online these days seems to be either untrustworthy or dishonest - or both - to some degree. From blatantly "post-truth" news sites, to gathering every possible bit of information about you "to improve your experience", the net seems to be little more than a sea full of dangerous icebergs.

If advertisers, publishers and manufacturers (eg Google, Microsoft, Volkswagen etc.) now complain that the old business model no longer works for them, they have only themselves to blame.

For the rest of us, be cynically sceptical and trust no-one. Sad.

5
0

Oi, Mint 18.1! KEEP UP! Ubuntu LTS love breeds a laggard

BobChip
Linux

Re: Mint v Updating Windows.

Why Anonymous? I'd give you ten upvotes for that if I knew your name.

5
1

New Windows 10 privacy controls: Just a little snooping – or the max

BobChip
Happy

Re: Or... no snooping at all

The better option is to install (say) Linux Mint, then (say) VirtualBox, and finally Windows (your preferred version) inside the virtual machine. Then disable all Windows internet connectivity. Absolutely and finally.

You now have a fast, stable, fully functional PC with an equally fast, stable version of Windows inside it which is available at the touch of a button. Both OSs running simultaneously on the same machine. If Windows ever needs to talk to the internet - why would you ever want it to? - it can do so safely through the host system.

Simples.

36
4

Microsoft's Blue Screen of Death dead in latest Windows 10 preview

BobChip
Linux

There's a mystery here....

I'm not a Microsoft user, and I don't usually take much interest in any of their stuff, except when it (ccasionally) impacts adversely on my work in another OS. However, when reading many of the posts under this headline I can't help but wonder why so many people seem to stick with Windows in the first place. Yes, the Windows that I used years ago (XP) sometimes crashed, but I don't recall having constant battles to get work done in the first place. It seems to have got worse with each new iteration, not better.

There are other, much better OSs out there. Just use them.

4
0

Sayonara North America: Insurance guy got your back when Office 365 doesn't?

BobChip
Holmes

Re: So...

Any service you buy, in any area of business, IS fallible. Particularly in IT. Keep it in house, with an internal IT team who have documented what they have done, and keep it up to date.

And BACK-UP, BACK-UP and BACK-UP again. Simples.

10
1

Slacker or Team playa? Microsoft's Mr Business takes on messaging's corporate raider

BobChip
Meh

Too late?

A bit too late to try to move into a well established market? Again.......

0
3

'Video on internet may not be entirely truthful': Times headline

BobChip
Linux

Re: This is why

Absolutely! I will only ever run anything made by M$ in VirtualBox on a Mint host. Funny thing is, once (Win 7) has been effectively isolated from it's makers it suddenly becomes stable and well behaved.........

0
0

Buggy Excel patch panned

BobChip
FAIL

Consistency

Whatever else you say about Microsoft, you can't fault them on consistency. It never fails....

0
0

Personal info on more than 58 million people spills onto the web from data slurp biz

BobChip
Unhappy

Trust?

AND we are still expected to trust the slurpers? Microsoft? Google? Linked in? Facebook etc.? We will continue to get all the confident assurances of course. Safe as houses - just like the banks....

Me? I'm working hard to be invisible and untrackable. That's where I aim to be. Hoping El Reg is properly secure though ...

2
1

Windows 10 market share fell in September

BobChip
Happy

Spoofing "request headers"

One upvote to Ghostery. Probably means that none of our (5 - we are small) machines are recorded as running Linux. I'd far rather be anonymous than a statisfic.

0
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Social media flame wars to be illegal, says top Crown prosecutor

BobChip
Unhappy

That's libellous.....

Just when I was beginning to think we were getting our archaic libel laws sorted out, this comes along!

I will absolutely never condone this sort of obnoxious behaviour, but unworkable "legislation" surely can't be the best way to address the issue.

1
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Never explain, never apologize: Microsoft silent on Outlook.com email server grief

BobChip
FAIL

Re: Naughty El Reg

There's a worrying implication here that M$ might actually have been listening...... Realistically though, lets just put it down to incompetence as usual.

2
1

Our Windows windows will be resizable, soooon, vows Microsoft

BobChip
Happy

Don't MS ever learn?

Rhetorical question, I assume? It is abundantly clear that they don't.

It's fascinating to watch from the standpoint of an external observer, a bit like watching a macabre game show where you know bad things are going to happen, but you really can't foresee what's coming next.

Seriously glad I'm an observer, not a participant.

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Good luck displacing Windows 7, Microsoft, it's still growing

BobChip
Happy

Re: You listening Microsoft? HP Drivers

Might as well be unpopular too. HP issue the HPLIP (HP Linux Imaging and Printing) driver for a large number of their printers in a Linux environment. It's fully functional and just works.

0
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Pull the plug! PowerPoint may kill my conference audience

BobChip
Holmes

Presentation methods

Back in the days (20 yrs ago) when I was a visiting lecturer, my preferences were :-

1 Paper. Hand out lecture notes. Flexible and foolproof, provided you remember to bring them. Also ensures that students have to LISTEN to you, rather than doze off in a darkened room.

2 OHP transparencies. Note that each individual transparency can be produced using a different software package if required. And carry / check on availability of a spare bulb. Super flexible, not stuck to one layout format, not stuck to pre-set display order etc... And hand out a printed set of the slides for revision.

3 Whiteboard / blackboard. Last resort as my handwriting is utterly illegible.......

Even though PowerPoint was available, I would not use it then and I won't use it now. it is an intellectual straightjacket.

2
0
BobChip
Joke

Re: Ho Hum

AND saved the conference fee ..... Or did the venue have a spectacularly good bar?

0
0

Windows printer bug fixed

BobChip
Linux

Mountain tops?

If M$ are going to call out all the times their software has screwed users up from a mountaintop, we're going to need a lot more mountains. Seriously, why do people pay good money for this stuff?

(None of this bothers me at all, since I don't use Windows. I have not had any trouble with any of my printers or scanners, throughout numerous system updates over many years. And I can run my OS and software on a fast SSD, while keeping all my data and files on a separate spinning steel HD, without the slightest difficulty.)

7
7

Forgive me, father, for I have used an ad-blocker on news websites...

BobChip
Happy

Re: No guilt at all

I will disable my (fairly fierce) adblocking where experiment and experience show that a site has what I regard as an acceptable advertising policy. Fortunately, El Reg falls into that category. Adblock Plus and Ghostery are disabled here, and I value the content I get to see as a result. I have to add that this is one of only four websites where I have chosen to do this.

By and large, when faced with a decision on content vs adbombing, content usually loses. I have deleted (decluttered?) a lot of bookmarks recently, for sites I will no longer bother to visit, and you know what? I am no worse off, AND I seem to have a lot more time to do productive work.

My personal fallback is to install two (unsynchronised) browsers, one fully adblocked, and the other unprotected. If I really want to visit a less-than-favoured website, I will simply use the unprotected browser. Doesn’t happen often, though.

Do I feel guilty? Hell no.

7
1

Lenovo denies claims it plotted with Microsoft to block Linux installs

BobChip
Linux

Simple. Don't buy Lenovo

Even simpler. Don't buy Microsoft. It has come to a sorry pass when even a "polite" organisation like Which has to slate Win 10.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-37431343

Glad I put on the Penguin Suit all these years ago.......

10
0

Ad flog Plus: Adblock Plus now an advertising network, takes cash to broker web banners

BobChip
Unhappy

"Protection money"

Essentially demanding money with menaces. I thought this was illegal. Mind you, when Al Capone did it, they could only get him for tax evasion ........

1
2

Speaking in Tech: Windows is coming to smart refrigerators

BobChip
Joke

Fail-in-the-making

Windows on a fridge? At least you could see what was in it without opening the door! The exciting possibilities are endless!

I'm sorry, you can't open the door for the next hour and a half. Update in progress.

I can't let you put that brand of beer in here. It's not supported by M$.

Your SAAS subscription has run out. Door is locked. Pay up or everything melts.

I don't like what you said about me on Linked In ........

Oh yes. Endless possibilities.

3
0

Latest Intel, AMD chips will only run Windows 10 ... and Linux, BSD, OS X

BobChip
WTF?

Slow, carefully planned suicide?

If I read this right, you can run anything you like on this generation of chips, EXCEPT for all Windows versions before Win 10. This is a good strategy for defending your consumer base? Really? Seeing that Win 10 seems to screw up everything it comes into contact with, and that every "Windows" release (update) from now on will be essentially a beta at best - faults to be identified first by users?

I have not used anything made by Microsoft for several years now, so I can be quite detached as I observe their decline. But it is still disturbing watching a once great company determined to turn themselves into a toxic brand. Why?

32
1

Linux turns 25, with corporate contributors now key to its future

BobChip
Linux

El Reg on Linux

Nice to see a simple statement to the effect that The Register runs on Linux. After all, "everyone knows" that businesses don't use Linux.

One of the initial drivers that made me look seriously at Linux, years ago, was that so many of my clients were making the move anyway. The other was Vista and a serious lack of support for very wide format (£3000+) printers. Ubuntu did support them. Thank you, Microsoft; that really helped the decision making process. Glad to see that you are keeping up the good work.

Linux users as a "silent majority"? Discuss.

17
4

Windows Update borks PowerShell – Microsoft won't fix it for a week

BobChip
FAIL

Re: Time for a career change

to computer repair? I'd advise against that, as there will be so few Win 10 users left before long that you won't have a sustainable business.

Seriously, just how many consecutive cock-ups can you make in quick succession and still have a viable business at all? Why on earth are MS so keen to earn the "toxic brand" label? How to wreck a once great business....

1
0

Kindle Paperwhites turn Windows 10 PCs into paperweights: Plugging one in 'triggers a BSOD'

BobChip
Linux

Re: is there a comprehensive list of cockups?

Yup. It is called Windows 10. It is comprehensive, all embracing and apparently all destroying. Of course, you do not need to pay anything at all for your next OS......

22
3

Microsoft promises free terrible coffee every month you use Edge

BobChip
Go

Re: I've seen some desperate stuff over the years...

Love it! Definitely worth an upvote. I will certainly use that response the next time someone tries to push a loyalty card on me.

0
0

Happy Anniversary: What’s new, what’s missing in Microsoft’s giant mobile update

BobChip
Meh

Complete?

Complete? I think you meant compete. They are not competing, and have not been competitive in mobile from the outset. I can't imagine why they should wish to turn Microsoft into a toxic brand, but it seems to be about the only thing they can really do well right now. Sad.

0
0

If this headline was a security warning, 90% of you would ignore it

BobChip
Meh

Substantiating the obvious

Sadly, I suspect that the only business sector to study this set of findings and attempt to apply them will be the adslingers. If any of them can actually read and understand the paper (PDF), that is. So some hope remains...

6
0

Windows 10 needs proper privacy portal, says EFF

BobChip
Linux

Not listening ...

M$ still not listening to their prisoners (sorry - customers). Nothing new here. Glad I'm well out of it.

54
6

Some Windows 10 Anniversary Update: SSD freeze

BobChip
Linux

Leaving Microsoft

Why on earth did I abandon M$ all these years ago? What was I smoking back then? Think of all the fun I could have had sorting out borked machines..... Ah well, it is too late to go back now.......

68
5

Farewell Patch Tuesday fragmentation: from October, MS will roll just one monthly patch

BobChip
Linux

Why wait?

Just curious to know why you are switching away from Win "later this year". Why not just do it now, and enjoy the peace and calm it brings.

Oh! Note the automatic assumption that you will be switching to Linux! You are, aren't you?

9
1

Adblock Plus blocks Facebook's ad-blocker buster: It's a block party!

BobChip
Unhappy

FIFY

people don't want ANY adds pushed in their faces. There. Fixed it for you.

Oh ... The only reason adds are pushed is that the pushers know very well that you don't want them.

6
0

Business users force Microsoft to back off Windows 10 PC kill plan

BobChip
Holmes

Re: 'Fraid not

Could it just be this simple? Potential users have recognised Windows for the malware it is, and are (quite rightly) refusing to use it. That's all there is to it. MS appear to realise that they are losing the battle to sell Windows, but every move they make seems calculated only to make matters worse. A bigger hammer is pointless if you can't hit the right nail with it.

For the first time in their history, MS are faced with a marketplace in which there are real, viable alternatives. I'm beginning to wonder if the hole is just too deep to climb out of this time.

15
3

Cortana expelled from Windows 10's new school editions

BobChip
Coat

A brilliant start!

Now they've hit the round running, lets see how much more they can get rid of. There may even be a serious risk of stripping it down to the point of being a serious contender for an operating system. Or is that a step too far........

8
1

Microsoft adds useful feature to PowerPoint. Seriously

BobChip
Unhappy

Re: Still - and incredibly boring

Is it that I detest PowerPoint presentations, or just PowerPoint presenters - or both? Still not sure, and I have been exposed to far too many of both.....

For the ultimate PowerPoint put-down (sorry, critique) I would refer you to Edward Tufte's 2003 short article entitled "The cognitive style of PowerPoint". The words "cognitive" and "style" are of course used tongue-in-cheek. See https://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/powerpoint for the cover page. If you don't know who Tufte is, he is THE guru of effective visual information and content.

PowerPoint remains the ideal straightjacket for presenters who have no ideas or information to impart, but is useless for any other purpose.

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