* Posts by a_mu

181 posts • joined 18 May 2010


72-layer flash die from SK Hynix towers over all, capacity a bit meh


this can't go on for long

Hassle I see, is

every doubling of capacity , doubles the height of the die,

4 more generations and one will need 26873856 dies in a stack !


WD unveils grown-up USB stick in My Passport slab form


g force 1500 ?

Can some one tell us please,

How do they calculate the g force from a less than 2 m fall ?


Did your in-flight entertainment widget suck? It's Panasonic's fault, claims software biz


Terrible software anyway

Come on

how often have you been on a flight and the entertainment has had to be rebooted, or has gone US.

They can't even make a system where when the switch from external to internal power happens the system does not reset.

Its a terrible hack of linux, run on terrible hardware.


Bring it BACK... with MODs! Psion 5 storms great tech revival poll


windows interface

Have / had psions from the 1 up to the 3mx,

the 5 did not have sufficient battery life for me,,,

I'd not have stopped using the 3mx, if it was that it could no longer work with windows,

I could get AA batteries anywhere in the world,

BUT, what would I use the Psion for now ?

word docs / pdfs , web , I use the tablet,

contacts , on the phone, where they should be.

But I still have a nostalgic link to the psion,

if only they had got into bed with some one that made mobile phone modules,

Ah well.


Watch: MIT's terrifying invisible gel robo-eels snatch live fish


Not a robot, JUST a grabber

Accordion type grabbers have been used on robots for years / decades, drive by compressed gas or a hydrolic system..

The only new thing here is the 3D printed hydro gel

And as for a hand, as these are X amount water, wonder how long they last in the dry air /sun,

Even the fish they caught, seems to have been corralled into the glass where it could not escape and grabbed..

Hyped up !


RIP Eugene Cernan: Last man on the Moon dies aged 82


Land speed record

I also seem to remember that he holds the Luna land speed record, for flooring the Luna rover .

something like 10 MPH I seem to remember.

Now that took some bottle... and needs to be remembered,



Customer: BT admitted it had 'mis-sold' me fibre broadband


customer can't get service

If I pay for say 100 mb, and get 60, and then pay for 50 Mb and get 30

same equipment, same supplier, its the supplier that is throttling my link, not the link length,

so they are not supplying ,

What other service can the supplier change what they supply at will and charge us the same amount?

Its like paying for electricity per month, but the supplier will drop the voltage to zero if they want to.

thank god there are regulations on the electricity suppliers on voltage limits.

I bet, if we paid per Gbyte, then the speeds would increase fantastically,


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


Dont you HAVE to have a microsoft account to use this

So you have to 'login'

So do Microsoft then know even more about you ?


What happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas: Razer prototypes nicked


Large screen TVs gone

Attended a show a few years ago in the UK representing a big company.

Last day of the show, it gets crazy, every one trying to get to the lorries first.

so we , having had a great show, went out back of the stand to finish up the complimentary drinks or three.

came back hours or so later, the stand was empty.

8 large screen TVs ripped of the wall stands,


NASA – get this – just launched 8 satellites from a rocket dropped from a plane at 40,000ft


Why is air launch not done more

Is this not 'logical' way to do things,

use the air when yo have it into efficient engines, then rockets when you have no air,

Dons't Virgin Space have this sort of thing in the pipe line ?

or am I missing something,


Sysadmin told to spend 20+ hours changing user names, for no reason


2IC is correct ...

As a contractor, a very familiar situation.

Time to ask the "what colour do you want the new SQL data base" type question.

Just do it,


as your you have outlined its a large amount of extra work with extra risk

, and your already busy,

Present overtime authorisation forms before you do the work,

and remember to thank them

and to have a good Christmas.


More than half of punters reckon they can't get superfast broadband


Why do I need 60 Mb/s

Answer is so that I can get a reliable 8 Mb/s

I wonder, if we paid per G byte of data ,

would we have much less hassle with 'up to', as it would be in operators interest to encorage us to use more data.

Lots of other problems with pay per byte,

like my kids going crazy, but hay..

Companies only seem to understand dollar sign, so no interest in doing more than they can get away with ,


10x faster servers? Pop a CAPI in your dome


Parallel / serial

So we went from ISA and PCI being parallel bus to PCIe / SATA high speed serial, to multi lane high speed serial,

now sounds like were going to parallel data but even higher speed.

Ah well,

wonder if I'l still be around when it goes to the new Super super high speed serial , using multi frequency modulated light, as parallel is to difficult to make work fast,


Freeze on refrigerants heats up search for replacements


why refrigerants ?

Heat pipes move heat without refrigerants,

and solid state peltier coolers move energy from low state to high state ( a heat pump ),

cost ? make more and cost goes down .

efficiency , may be,


Microsoft boffins: Who needs Intel CPUs when you've got FPGAs?


To re count above

Been using FPGAs for decades to accelerate CPU's.

FPGAs are massively parallel compared to CPU's

FPGA's are slow compared to CPU's , 500 MHz as opposed to 4000 MHz.

If your task is parallel, and can be described in a parallel language, then FPGA's fast.

Re configuring FPGA's easily takes milli seconds , a LONG time to a CPU, not something you want to do to often.

FPGAs are register based, CPU designers are Latch based, coming together is 'difficult',


Google DeepMind 'learns' the London Underground map to find best route


Security / GCHQ

Let me think

who wants to look at data to see patterns and links,



BT Openreach boss wants you to know that deep down, they care


10 Mb/s

is that UP TO 10 Mb/s...

I'd be very happy with a constant 10 Mb/s up and down,

as opposed to so variable..


Rise of the Machines at Sea: The British firm building robot boats


A real sailing boat

Have you seen my god daughters sail boat

As she is disabled, she controls it via a sip / puff.

and the computers do the rest.



ABBA-solutely crapulous! Swedish router-maker won't patch gaping hole



do we have a list of affected kit ?


Want a Windows 10 update? Don't go to Microsoft ... please


how do you turn it off ?



BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it


how long is not live

Ignoring the detector van thing

was wondering how long a delay make a stream none live,


BT customers hit by broadband outage ... again


Telephone exchanges


Once apon a time ago, we all used land line phones,

No I'm not thinking of going back to them,

but did the phone exchanges of old suffer these sorts of power outages ?

I could have rose tinted glasses , but I can' t remember not having

a ringing tone when I needed it.

during a power cut, flood or what ever.

Whats changed to our ability to do redundancy or is it my memory ?


Visiting America? US border agents want your Twitter, Facebook URLs


what about employees ?

if a company sends an employee to the states,

can the company require the employee to fill in these details if it becomes law ?

If the employee does not want to give these details, and says he won't go, where does his job stand ?


Those Xbox Fitness vids you 'bought'? Look up the meaning of the word 'rent'


Smart TV's as well

Sony is quiet happy to drop support fro BBC iPlayer off its TV's after a few years

just because you purchased the TV with iPlayer as a big sales pitch, its gone after a few years ,


Energy companies aren't going to slurp your personal data. Honest


OFGEM , one data base for all SMART METERS



Sysadmin paid a month's salary for one day of nothing


I took the other way

Having spent the past few years sorting out the &* *& mess on a few projects,

( COBOL and Fortran 4 on my CV was suddenly of use )

and having done to much OT,

On basis that if things did go &*&*& at midnight 1999 / 2000,

it was going to be a monumental &*&*&

Me and some friends took the other option.

We found a small island in the Maldives,

with no internet, very little technology, analog phones to main land,

a small bar, lots of stock, its own diesel generator, and Great diving ,

On basis it would be a great place to be 'stuck' for a month or two.

When we recovered first week in January, we had mixed feelings about how millennium it had all gone so well. ....


Super-slow RAID rebuilds: Gone in a flash?


raid on chip ?

It does get one thinking.

Assuming the reliability limit is the flash read /write, then if a raid like controler was on the nvme we could have bigger / ceaper but less reliable flash chips on the drivers .

Roll on the 20 T ssd ..


Intel takes aim at Arduino with US$15 breadboard


does anyone still use the original Arduino



with Arduino compatibles like this around for USD 20,

add the Arduino IDE is easy to use,

Ok the Intel has a 9DOF sensor , but so little grunt,


Cabling horrors unplugged: Reg readers reveal worst nightmares


Co ax cable network and tv studios

I doubt this will be read,

But I'll put it here for posterity.

Oh Yes, used to love the 75 ohm / 50 ohm coax days of Ethernet,

And the great big 25mm diameter yellow cable with the self punching taps to fit ..

But funniest I had was with a TV studio,

yes they had decide to keep costs down and also use what they knew, they would use a coax Ethernet network.

Give them their due, they did start off with colored sleeves on every cable, to distinguish 50 ohm and 75 ohm, ( did not last long ..)

And I disagree with a comment above, 75 ohm and 50 ohm do have different size pins, especially on the big N type connectors. Yes its the plastic that gives the impedance, but they decided to use different pins for some crazy reason...

Then , one night had the dreaded call, time critical, program MUST go out, network un reliable,,,,

Stop gap managed to move the info over on mag tape, to the production machine, that yes , was having un reliable network.

In the light of day, went to look at the problem, all worked well.

that night ,

it went very un reliable again.

So did an all nighter, working through the problem.

changed cables, connectors, cable testers, re configured software, all seemed ok.

then , about 2 in the morning, it all started to work fantastical....

Ah must have been that cable I changed, but it did not feel right..

Next evening, down again... NOT best pleased studio manager...

DONT get on the wrong side of them, ever .....

This time I was ready,

I'd managed to not only borrow / steal a few more bits of kit, TDR , and a big scope, second computer, a test computer, and was all hooked up ready .

Oh yes, it was easy once I looked at the scope and saw the Video waveform on top of the Ethernet signals !!!!

Yes in those days, TV went off around mid night, and was not back on till Tea time,

When studio 5 turned its output to transmission, then hay presto, it injected video on to the Ethernet.

Traced it back to a miss placed video patch into the patch panel above of the ethernet.

Managed to get a nice job out of that, a re wiring so separate cabinets for video and Ethernet

which all had to be done in the day time, luxury.


Knackered Euro server turns Panasonic smart TVs into dumb TVs


you only have the TV till 2020 anyway

From 5 years after purchase,

do you think they will still be running the servers ?

do yo think your box will be compatible still ?

think again,

Sony box's, after 5 years can not receive iPlayer et all because Sony do not support them after then.

Will Panasonic be any different ?

welcome to the world of disposable TV's ..


Flash is too fat. A glut of supply means growth is slower and slower



We were happy to have a flash drive and a spinning rust drive,

My next step would be to look at getting rid of the rotating rust drive,

and just having flash, but that price is still way to much,

if I have to have two drives, the flash of 250 G is perfectly fine,

any bigger is too much to be worth while, till it gets to at least 1 TB , preferably 3..


Come in Internet Explorers, your time is up. Or not. Up to you


microsoft being popular

Were our own worst enemies.

IE has been so none standard, but popular that we have all written lots of get arounds for its problems.

But those get arounds just don't work on standard complaint browsers.

But were lazy, under time pressure, and only coded for the most likely browser.

now we all have code that only runs in versions of IE ,

and no money to change code base / big risk.

As for using other browsers,

well , I don't know about your company, but the big ones I see fix the code set, don't allow people to update software or run what they want to, so users can't change.

greatest thought I heard from a manager was "why can't we 'JUST' run the version of IE we want inside a new version of IE", sort of virtual mode ! !!!!


Free Wi-Fi for the NHS, promises health secretary Jeremy Hunt


yet another promise to spend from goverment that costs them nothing

so government promising to give free wifi

So NHS will now have to up rate its IT infer structure to handle this extra bandwidth,

and who will pay, not central government thats for certain,,,


Hapless Virgin Media customers face ongoing email block woes


Does the end user know

The hassle as a end user of virgin is

you don't know when / if an email has been bounced,

its only the sender that gets an error message

what about all those news letters I have signed up to over the years,

now all gone ,

so I moved email providers and all happy again, but come on virgin,

you used to have email ok, then you went to google , and it was ...,

then you junked email..


US military readies drone submarine hunter


sub hunting

Sounds great,

wunder why its got those pontoons on each side ?

Pity its not a sub, best place to hear a sub I thought was from deep under water, below the thermo cline,

as its disposable, it can ping away to its hearts content I guess,

pity the whales etc, the sea is going to get very noisy


Virgin Media filters are still eating our email – Ntlworlders


And so far only a few percent of emails moved

So far, its only the blueyonder and ntlworld accounts that have been moved to the new virgin server.

Just think whats going to happen when the much larger number of virginmedia accounts are moved,

If I was in front line support, I'd either leave or get ready for lots of overtime.


Dont forward to ntlworld.com

DO NOT forward to NTLWORD.com email address's

The virgin system now filters most forwarded mails , and just blocks them .

no spam no warning, just bounced.

Now once upon a time the ntlworld mail just worked, then came virgin with google, and it was OK, now google have dropped virgin, and virgin managment just seem not to have this under control.


Factory settings FAIL: Data easily recovered from eBayed smartphones, disks


Shops even worse

My daughters phone suffered a few problems, so it was taken back to the shop, who lent her a unit whilst hers was being repaired.

she used the phone for a few days, then returned it to shop when her phone returned.

Months after, her friends still get txts from that loan unit, despite the shops promise to reset the phone...


Virgin Media's SPAM-AGEDDON 'fix' silences mailboxes


Virgin email

Yes, the virgin change over seems to have been an on going disaster for many weeks.

The forums now have almost as many complaints about SPF , forwarding and emails going missing than complaints about speed and throttling, and thats saying something.

For a week or so, there was a valiant effort by support on the forums to provide a patch, but for the last week, the admins have been silent.

Many of us have been with NTL world for a long time. in my case almost 20 years, and the used to provided unlimited email accounts.

OK, yes I have my own domain, but that all gets forwarded to my ISP, well it used to till virgin changed and now bounce most mails that come in from a forwarding service.

and the trouble is, unlike spam that gets put to one side, so you can at least find a missing email, ones that Virgin bounce are lost with out trace, nor notice to the user that they have gone !

Personally I think Virgin just want to dump email and become a pure ISP, much less support needed so cheaper.

wonder what happened to all those that used to run ntlworlds email before virgin out sourced them to gmail,

come on back please.


The last post: Building your own mail server, Part 3


linux email distribution ?

Is there not a Email linux distribution ?


Microsoft backports data slurp to Windows 7 and 8 via patches


data security /

How does this sit with the data regulation in the UK ?

I'd have to sign all sorts of stuff that if I kept data on people, I protect it.

As microsoft are in control of what data they grab, can I say I'd be in control of how personal data is used ?


Scrapheap challenge: How Amazon and Google are dumbing down the gogglebox


Yes ,

We have a bunch of sony TV's,

as you say no updates for a few years,

provided they still get iPlayer then we will be ok for a while,


if you purchase a device to receive a service, then one would expect to receive a service for the life of that device.

TV's are not computers,

may be we should all look at TV's as being individual units.

The monitor part, a sound bar and a box to receive the TV !

thats what my TV's are turning into


White Stork mates with ISS, delivers bundles of resupply joy


Just a thought,

Why take up dehydrated food when you then have to take up water to re hydrate it.

As the ISS recycles most of its water, take up some nice food, with water in it.

food A mass = mass water in food A plus dry mass of food A.


Windows 10 Start menu replacements shifting like hot cakes


one of the testrs

Being one of the many many testers of the ten thing,

one thing I can say is

"Microsoft dont listne".

the sorts of QandA one filled in would have told them only what they wanted to know,


Invisible app ads slug smartmobes with 2GB of daily downloads


life of phone is how many months

New sony phone a year ago,


Now, there are so many updates to Android that there is no user memory left.


I'd love to be able to reject adds downloading stuff,

but with no free memory thats not possible,


Hurrah! Windfarms produce whopping ONE PER CENT of EU energy



Yes agree

we need to have more wind and solar and alternative fuel sources.

that was your conclusion wasn't it.

As you say, electricity is one of the few fuels that we can generate from renewable,

so lets go for it.

Yes it can be better, and yes we spend a huge amount of fuel on other forms ,

so lets do what we can.


Why the BBC is stuffing free Micro:bit computers into schoolkids' satchels


October ?

sounds like its too late for this year to me.

Out in October,

The schools are already planning / planed what computing they are offering next year.

I would hope the teachers were familiar with the thing before teaching it,

Say a week of practice before they can teach with it.

and the material, another week or two to plan it into the curriculum,

I dont know about your teachers, but at the start of the year ours are quite busy,with the new class.

they can't take a week or so out to learn a completely new product.

The BBC should have the teaching material with the teachers now,along with a unit to try out

Remember the BBC micro, all those great TV programs,

I seem to remember the programs came out before the schools had micros

it late..


Your servers are underwater? Chill OUT, baby – liquid's cool


capacitors et all


I've designed boards that are liquid cooled,

all the boards are in a big box which is filled with a pink silicon type liquid, and the box closed.

Yes there is room for expansion, and the walls of the box have water flowing through them to conduct the heat away.

Biggest problems,

any oscillators / crystals need special attention

the impedance of the tracks on the surface of the board are different to being in air.

( but as there is no dust / skin cell build up over time, at least its possible to calculate )

Capacitors not a problem, if you use the right ones.

The most common capacitor is a ceramic, and most of them are fine,

just check.

When it comes to analog / rf, then things are a little more difficult, the fluid does tend to kill them,

but digital is just fine.


it does make the thing REAL heavy

and once a board has been in the fluid for long, its impossible to solder to it ever again,

the fluid just can't be cleaned off sufficiently well to make a good joint,

For 'fun' one time, we ran one of the boards in liquid nitrogen,

now that was cool, but we dare not seal the box !!!

Will it catch on at home, I don't think so, but some of these real small PC's that fit in the hand might be interesting in a sealed box full of liquid.


Virgin Media to splurge BEELLIONS on UK network infrastructure expansion


more better in the future


what do we expect,

they have been promising for 18 months to upgrade our line for free , every time I check its 6 months in the future,

One day may be,

but then it will be throttled back / overloaded at peek times anyway,

peek being any time I want to use the thing !


Elon Musk's Tesla set to unveil home storage battery




I've been looking at these from a few suppliers ,

I have a PV system,

and what do I do with extra energy, export it , or use it to heat .

the house base load is around 300 watts ,

so a battery of 'only' 14 KWh would be fine to cover my background needs assuming 50 % efficiency in the DC:AC,

And I generate that each day or more 9 months of the year.

For reference a standard 200 Amp H car battery is around 2 KWh though I'd not use them,

The batteries in the Teslar are 60KWh if I remember, so more then enough to get me off grid most of the




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