* Posts by Robert E A Harvey

3004 posts • joined 8 Oct 2006

A decade to forget - how Microsoft lost its mojo

Robert E A Harvey
Gates Horns


I'd like the competition authorities to see that we have real alternatives of the OS supplied with the hardware. When Dell says "Dell recommends windows 7" and it really means "Dell enforces windows 7" something is wrong.

I do wish Apple would come down off the fence and sell OSX legitimately for generic installation.

DARPA scientists demand lightning on tap

Robert E A Harvey

It's been done

Gilgamish Wulfenbach:



(Where is the mad scientist icon, by the way?)

Privacy group sues DoJ over 'digital strip search' data

Robert E A Harvey


They have these at Amsterdam airport. Every time I am scanned I ask to see my image, and every time I am refused "because of privacy".

Amazon Kindle International Edition

Robert E A Harvey
Thumb Down

Well, quite @AC

When I have finished with a book I lend it out, give it to Oxfam, leave it in a hotel library, or liberate them in public places (http://www.bookcrossing.com/)

I can put it in a box, bury it, and in 400 years someone can dig it up and read it.

When it goes out of copyright, people will still have access to it - they won't have to beg some lomg-dead company to unlock it.

ebooks? beyond the Gutenburg project, no thanks.

Oh, and as for the people who want to charge me 90% of the price of the physical object - just how gullible do you think I am?

Obama banks on NASA's big launcher

Robert E A Harvey


Time for someone to step into the breach:



Alien: 'cos they might offer to sub-contract

Crypto snafu grounds 3D Avatar screenings in Germany

Robert E A Harvey

Quite simple

They don't want me to watch their movies. I won't.

You can't put DRM on live theatre, thank $DEITY

Hackintosher goes titsup

Robert E A Harvey

what next?

Do apple get the 2.7 mill they agreed with these people a fortnight ago, or have psystar evaded that by folding?

Design firm sues Microsoft over Bing trademark

Robert E A Harvey
Thumb Up

Nexus, Bing etc.

it's obvious that we are running out of words, especially if large companies want to own more than one each (Windows, Word, etc).

What we need is to triple the number of glyphs in the alphabet. Similar phonics, just three different ways of drawing each of them. The existing ones would be pronounced in our normal voice, one of the new set in basso profundo, and the other in falsetto.

You see, in the present alphabet Bing sounds the same as Bing, even though the first one was squeaked in a barry gibbs manner.

Then companies could use the squeaky ones for trivial products appealing to mall bunnies and the deep, resonant ones for really serious things like mainframe app generators

Can I copyright this idea?

Nokia sets date for netbook UK debut

Robert E A Harvey

what moron dreamed this up?

I'd give them £190 for it with suse 11.2 or ubuntu, but £649? You can buy a computer for that!

Special Ops robots now do psychological warfare

Robert E A Harvey


One of Terry Pratchett's characters described psychological warfare as keeping the enemy asleep all night chanting "We're going to cut yer tonkers off"

Motorola Milestone

Robert E A Harvey

No outlook sync?

I am supremely indifferent.

What I actually /want/ is a markup language style standard for address books that phones, email systems, etc. can all share, and then to serve it from a server somewhere.

Oh wait, that's LDAP isn't it? Cache it locally in the phone except when on wifi and my desires would be met.

Wireless mics get reduced bureaucracy

Robert E A Harvey
Dead Vulture

most commented?

How very odd. This story was at the top of 'most commented' - with 3 comments.

I've just boosted that by 33.3%, so it should now be unasailable!

'Steve Jobs' repeals AT&T iPhone prank

Robert E A Harvey


The networks started offering data as another way to sell the same cow, and have made promises they cannot keep.

Soot warming 'maybe bigger than greenhouse gases' - NASA

Robert E A Harvey


Why don't we paint all our roofs & tarmac roads gloss white?

Chumby internet-connected alarm clock

Robert E A Harvey

No BBC? No hope

As you say, a wireless that won't get test match special is not worth having.

Google slaps barcodey stickers on Favourite Places

Robert E A Harvey


So I'm standing outside a coffee shop in the Angel, Islingtron, and see a dot pattern.

I photograph it, send it to google, and it says "you are outside a coffee shop in the Angel, Islington"

If this is regarded as cool technology, then I give up. If this is the best we can use all this silicon for, after years of effort, then.. well I don't know what.

Gumtree comes over all queer in blocking 'offensive language'

Robert E A Harvey

Garden Trains

I'm sorry, but to me LGB will always be "Lehmann Gross Bahn" - see www.lgb.com .

The railway items are, in fact, the first 25 odd items returned by google

where is the steam engine icon?

McKinnon family 'devastated' by Home Sec's latest knock-back

Robert E A Harvey

Every word

Yes, they look both incompetent and like bullies.

And our government looks intransigent and uncaring.

There is only one icon suitable for this shameful and miserable excuse for a government.

McKinnon did something very stupid. But the punishment is out of all proportion, contrary to natural justice, and (given his mental condition) contrary to his human rights. Next time they lecture China, I am sure the chinese will have a ready repost.

Cyborg MIT prof touts iPhone-controlled power-jumping legs

Robert E A Harvey


why no pictures

'Alien spies live among us' says Bulgarian gov space boffin

Robert E A Harvey


"all going a bit Babylon 5" is absolute genius. I cannot promise not to nick it for use elsewhere

What ever happened to storing pics with electron cannons?

Robert E A Harvey

Decca Photoplot

In 1969 I used to service a true-track radar system called a Decca Photoplot. It had a tiny PPI crt display (you stared down a microscope to focus it). The ppi was tracked across the tube by separate xy deflection plates, resolving the ship's log and compass. The moving image exposed a 35mm film. After 6 minutes the film moved on one frame, the ppi reset, and incredibly tiny metering pumps flooded the exposed frame with developer & fixer, then the image was projected upwards onto a huge plotting table.

Kelvin hughes had an even wierder system, with a temporily photosensitive glass plate servoed across an ultraviolet ppi crt . There was a TV camera pointing at the plate which was 'interrogated' with blue light and fluoresced where the crt had burned in the target tracks. A few analogue buffers & you could have as many displays as you wanted on raster TVs. The plate was periodically erased with light of a third wavelenght - a flash while the plate movement was re-centered.

I do hope someone kept some of them in a museum somewhere.

Generators and UPS fail in London datacentre outage

Robert E A Harvey


When I was a telephone engineer we har Strowger exchanges run off 80V batteries. A big diesel engine could run the batteries when the mains failed.


We had 2. genies at Grantham. We tested one on Tuesday & the other one on Friday.

Icon design for dummies fanbois

Robert E A Harvey
Paris Hilton

You know what?

The most important thing about software is the functionality, not the pretty pictures.

When are we, as a culture going to grow up and get over this obsession with form rather than function.

There is an obvious way to illustrate my point.

Collisions at LHC! Tevatron record to be broken soon?

Robert E A Harvey
Paris Hilton

all head, Mr Scott

I am amazed that none of the nutjobs who write about the LHC have suggested that it is really a warp drive intended to move the entire planet

I attach a photo of someone with experience of earth-moving

HTC HD2 Windows Mobile smartphone

Robert E A Harvey
Gates Horns

@ Chris McFaul @ IT specialist

Your comments only confirmed what I suspected.

If they offer this with Android, then fine. Otherwise it seems pointless.

Ricoh CX2

Robert E A Harvey


is 1/2.3in 0.43478?

Firefox millions - now only 9 per cent Google free

Robert E A Harvey

I've always paid

I used to pay for Opera when they charged, and I've given a fiver to Mozilla for each machine I've added Firefox to, and a tenner for Thunderbird.

I think we should pay for FLOS software when it is possible to pay the developers

The biggest flash drive in the world

Robert E A Harvey

Ah, the old days

I unforget installing a 'ram disk' on Baker Perkins' IBM mainframe. It was the size of a couple of filing cabinets, and looked like a 10" removable platter disk drive to the OS, while being a hundred times faster.

It used about five horse-power's worth of electricity and contained something like 25Mb as I recall. Or would have done if the tight bastards had ordered it full.

At the time the streetlights outside were still gas-lit.

Hotmail imposes tracking cookies for logout

Robert E A Harvey

well, there you are then

I created a hatemail login to reserve my name in -- ooh, 1999? -- and decided it was horrid. Then it became spam central, theft central, and they started changing it every 15 minutes.

I have been paying for webmail from mail.com since 1997, and it just works. No spam, no security problems, reasonably straightforward technical support.

Don't freeload off Redmond, lads and lasses. They don;t know what they are doing.

Apple pen-tablet plan revives Newtonian handwriting

Robert E A Harvey


I want an ebook reader, true enough. But one that does not tie me to buying books from the hardware vendor.

And, like paper books, allows me to remove it from my reader and give it away to a friend. Or to Oxfam to sell for charity.

Or, like paper text books, allows me to sell them second hand at the end of the year/course to the next bunch of hopefulls

And which, when copyright expires, allows anyone to read it, copy it, archive it.

The obvious solution is to put the books on tiny memory slips, like microSD, and give the reader half a dozen slots and a pocket on the back to keep a few hundred more in. Such memory slips could be read-only, and not available blank, if the trade want to control piracy. I'd be happy with that, as long as encryption was an ISO standard and not proprietary to one supplier.

MS patent looks just like Unix command, critics howl

Robert E A Harvey


Even if sudo is not prior art - and it obviously is - surely the policy editor has been around for more than 5 years. WHy on earth are microsoft granted a retrospective patent?

This whole business of software patents is as foolish as we all said it would be in advance.

3 to start shaping traffic on Monday

Robert E A Harvey

drearlily predicatable

The mobile networks had spare capacity.

They decided to sell it, and pitched it as mobile internet. It was too expensive, and no-one bought it.

Then there was a move to lower prices, similar to ADSL, in an attempt to shift the goods.

That worked so well that they over-sold the capacity they had, and now they are backtracking on the service.

It's all distressingly similar to how they sold the phones in the first place.

Ringback tones outselling ring tones

Robert E A Harvey
Paris Hilton

yawn yawn

The phone companies take quite enough money off me already, thank you very much.

Paris, 'cos its the sort of thing you can only sell to airheads.

Microsoft admits Mac was Windows 7 muse

Robert E A Harvey

Yawn Yawn

Windoze itself was "inspired" by the Gem and Apple Lisa interfaces, who in turn took the WIMP paradigm from Xerox's research place.

the '\' subdirectory separator was added to MSdos when subdirectories were added, in imitaiton of UNix's '/' rather than Digitals '[root.sub.subsub]' convention.

8.3 file names were snitched from CP/M, and the unique OS that was used for the first Intel development systems

Redmond is just an ideas hoover attached to a rather shoddy code factory and a very good marketing department.

Oh, and I agree that the idea that Vista is more stable than OSX is the most laughable case of pissing into the wind I have heard for a long time. Pull the other one, big boy, it has bells upon it.

Intel punts portable text reader for the blind

Robert E A Harvey

Veerrry Clever, but...

OK, so how exactly does a blind person point the gadget at a sign? and, indeed, how does such a user know there is a sign there at which to point it?

T-Orange puts names on dotted lines

Robert E A Harvey

And the competition implications?


Big co. blah - branding blather - snore.

Why did the competition commissioner allow this?

What will happen to the deal with virgin?

It certainly wont do much to improve coverage.

Elgato DTT Deluxe

Robert E A Harvey

'doze, fruit, what about penguins?

Does this work with any of the Linux systems?

STRONG REAL SEX? That's not porn, rules ASA

Robert E A Harvey


>Maybe teenagers just like sex more these days?

Blimey. The poor buggers must be absolutely exhausted then. Or, indeed, shagged out.

Early adopters bloodied by Ubuntu's Karmic Koala

Robert E A Harvey

@sed gawk

Thanks for the audio tips. My dual-audio-card setup is broken *again* like after the 9.04 upgrade. When I understand what you have written, I'll have a go.

More than half of touchphone users will go back to buttons

Robert E A Harvey
Paris Hilton


Why do we keep going round in circles like this?

The phone I want would be 100% voice operated for most things, and would use it's camera to watch me touch typing on the table top for creating documents.

I don't care about touch screens or buttons - when am I going to be able to get DAB radio on it? or stream BBC radio 4 Long Wave by wifi, at least?

stop tiddling about - innovate. Or at least put the SDHC slot on the outside so you don't have to take the battery out to change it.

Paris, cos she doesn't care about being touched either.

Scots slam Germans for 'tight-arsed' slur

Robert E A Harvey

For Glod's sake

Without a bit of racial sterotyping the world gets very dull.

I say, Up with pot-smoking dutchmen with their fingers in Dykes, Hurray for French chaps on bicycles with onions on the handlebars, Welcome the Fat Bavarians in lederhosen with a sausage in one hand and a beer in the other, Well Done to repressed Englishmen in suits, Huzzah for comic-opera Italians gesticulating all over the place, and God bless all Swedes, clever enough to follow you into a revolving door and coming out first!

Russians /have/ to wear fur hats; Irishmen /need/ to carry a shelaliegh; and Norwegians /must/ eat fish 3 times a day. It's traditional. Just as the Welsh /ought/ to be in a running battle with red-haired winking dominatricies of restricted height. [1]

So why on earth should the Scots be exempt? It could be worse, they could be portrayed as dour, humourless, kill-joys standing at despatch boxes and looking in two directions at once.

I'll get me coat. It's got bells and hankies tied on it, and a squeezebox in the pocket.

[1] to be fair, /anyone/ in a running battle with that one deserves public support.

Firefox 3.6 beta promises speed injection

Robert E A Harvey


"Firefox 4.0 introduces a different approach to add-ons that will make such compatibility problems less of a problem in future."

I'm sure they said that of V3 when Iwas running V2

Orange saves callers pennies with iPhone tariffs

Robert E A Harvey

Statement of the bleeding obvious

"Apple's monopoly on supply remains in place"

A bit like Ford's monopoly on supplying a Mondeo?

Windows 7 busts the 3 per cent share barrier

Robert E A Harvey
Gates Horns


I agree, the price is just silly. I won't be paying it till I am forced.

I suspected at one point that Vista would 'cost them the farm', but they seem to have pulled something out the hat.

But given that 7 is 'vista with knobs on' demand might fall once the pent-up demand has been met.

HTC to launch WinMo phone with Android-oriented UI

Robert E A Harvey



Apple Magic Mouse

Robert E A Harvey

Oh come on, it's been 35 years

We are still getting all moist between the legs over a slightly different shape mouse?

We've been using the wretched things for around 35 years - the same time difference as between the Wright brothers and the Spitfire. The damn things should be obsolete by now, like keyboards.

Where are the brain implants that let me type at 560wpm?, the data gloves or triangulation cameras that interpret my finger movements, or the flicks of my eyes?

Where is the matt black hemisphere that we can think at?

It's a joystick on wheels, (perhaps wthout the wheels) not a major technological breakthrough.

last year VW, having fitted 'start' buttons to some cars instead of an extra position on the key, started to talk about 'transferring the technology' to their other marques. My Morris Minor had a 'start' button, and that was built in 1955. Same with computer rodents. For glod's sake, lads, invent something new instead of obsesively tiddling about with what we have and then squealing like some airhead on 'America's next top muddle' about how it looks.

Marvel Comics open on iPhone

Robert E A Harvey
Jobs Horns

hhhow much g-g-granville?

1.99 for something you can't pass on to yer mates and then flog at the exchange store by the bus station?

a quick google suggests that you can subscribe, including postage, to the paper edition for $22.97 per 12 issues. So it costs /more/ on the iphone, and you got to threaten yer eyesight trying to read it?

I'd consider it for 25cents an issue, but I'm not daft enough to pay what they are asking...

Wintel 7 machines freeze out iPhone

Robert E A Harvey

@ K Cartlidge

I almost agree.

Thing is, though, how easy is it for joe soap to advise microsoft of a bug in their code? They don't have anythng like a bugzilla

Karmic Koala RC drops into the wild

Robert E A Harvey

dim today

"??? ?4L4M3rZ?"

sorry. Cannot parse. Out of cheese error.

Can we have a giant question mark icon, please, moderatrix.

Android to overtake iPhone in 2012 - analyst

Robert E A Harvey

What a fine bit of Hokum

"10.8 per cent to 13.7 per cent"

Astonishing bit of precision in predicting the future. Perhaps the authors would like to tell us what the stock market will be standing at, where the hurricanes will make landfall, and who is planning to assasinate president Obama?

It all sounds a bit beery to me:

"Now yer cell phones right?. I reckon..I reckon.. People are going to buy more of them. Right? Not a lot more, obviously, 'cos they've got shedloads already. But more. And shiney ones. Wiv software, and everything. Cos that's what they like. And those Finnish blokes, wot-they-called, Yes Nookey, that's them, they will sell most of them. Stands to reason, dunnit. Are you buying? I'll have one of them Groslch things with the funny top. No, make it two while yer there, I'll give you..."

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