* Posts by Old Used Programmer

222 posts • joined 23 Sep 2010


Accused hacker Lauri Love tries to retrieve Fujitsu lappie and other gear from Britain's FBI in court

Old Used Programmer

Re: "Britain's FBI"

Well... Yes... I'm afraid that most of my fellow residents of the USA have difficulty understanding that "head of state" and "head of government" are actually separate jobs...even though the US combined them into one office.

Fake fuse: Bloke admits selling counterfeit chips for use in B-1 bomber, other US military gear

Old Used Programmer

Re: Treason

In the US, treason has a very specific definition. It's the only crime written into the US Constitution. I don't think this case has the required conditions for that charge.

Heard the one where the boss calls in an Oracle consultant who couldn't fix the database?

Old Used Programmer

Take care what you argue over...

In a book my wife wrote, which I usually describe as "cyber, but not punk", one character refers a dispute as being big endian versus little endian. The copy editor at the publisher changed it to big and little Indian. In the proofs, by wife changed it back and put in a marginal note "See J. Swift". When she mentioned it to me, I noted that big vs. little endian is also a computer architecture issue. That was something she was unaware of when she wrote it.

Now you, too, can snoop on mobe users from 3G to 5G with a Raspberry Pi and €1,100 of gizmos

Old Used Programmer

Re: Form an orderly queue

The Pi3B+ has GbE "class" from it's LAN chip. Officially, it can run a bit over 300Mb/s. Tests by users are mixed. It does still share the single USB 2 connection to the SoC.

GOPwned: Republicans fall victim to email hack

Old Used Programmer

Re: No worries

It's probably just pointing out that US law doesn't reach into Russia and, if anyone tries anything, they'll claim sovereign immunity. The only thing that will happen will be a few more Russians who wn't be traveling much.

Amazon's homegrown 2.3GHz 64-bit Graviton processor was very nearly an AMD Arm CPU

Old Used Programmer

Interesting comparison...

So it's twice as fast as a Pi3B+... Let's see, about 1.5x clock speed (2.3GHz vs. 1.4GHz). Four times the core count (16 vs. 4). Later design (Cortex-A72 vs. Cortex-A53). And you probably can't buy one for $70 (twice the cost of a Pi3B+), let alone the SoC and all the support circuitry.

If I had designed this chip, I'd cringe at that comparison.

A new Raspberry Pi takes a bow with all of the speed but less of the RAM

Old Used Programmer

Re: USB-C port

That's probably because they are all supposed to contain active elements to figure out how to connect. You're not really paying for the connector so much as you're paying fora very tiny processor.

Old Used Programmer

Re: USB-C port

HDMI also allows a simple, cheap cable to be used to connect to any monitor that has DVI-D input...which most of them have had for a decade or more.

Also bear in mind that the VC4 that is in all Pi SoCs to date wasn't new when the first Pis hit the market in 2012. One may surmise that then next gen Pi (popularly referred to as the "Pi4B") will *probably* have sort sort of upgraded version of the VC4, as Broadcom has SoCs on the market with something that fits that description.

The real key to figuring out what is feasible on Pis is to look backwards, not forward, because at the Pis price points, up and coming tech is too expensive. I used to refer to building with that technique, "trailing edge technology".

Old Used Programmer

Please be careful with designations....

The article makes a reference to a "Pi B". Please guys, there *is* a Model B (and a B+). The comparison today is between the Pi3B+ and the Pi3A+. The first generation boards (using the BCM2835) are the only ones that don't usually get a "generation number" included in the common name. (Officially, if you look at the box, the Pi3B+ is a "Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+". That "3" is important to know what you're discussing.)

The real confusion comes when discussing the Pi2B. You have to specify whether it's a Pi2Bv1.1 or a Pi2Bv1.2 as the SoCs are different.

Old Used Programmer

Re: I would rather

Model B and B+ use the same SoC.

Old Used Programmer

Re: Naming Standards clearly designed to confuse...

Actually...all Pis have had HDMI going back to the original 256MB Model B and Model A.

The confusing point is really the Pi2B as the v1.1 used the BCM2836 and the v1.2 uses the BCM2837. Where the Pi3*+ comes in is the shift to the BCM2837B0 with the flipped silicon and the metal heat spreader...plus the addition of 5GHz WiFi, also under a metal lid.

Old Used Programmer

We Got Use Cases

I laid out some use cases for a Pi3A+...back in April on the Pi Forums. I did overestimate how long it would be before it would be on the market. I guessed 6 to 12 months and it was actually 5 months.

Old Used Programmer

Re: This is good.

From what I've seen, apparently it came down to a decision between a $25 board with 512MB or a $30 board with 1GB.

Supreme Court tells Big Cable to shut up for once: Net neutrality challenge shot down

Old Used Programmer

Re: Articulated responsibility.

It's consistent with the Hobby Lobby decision that appears to hold that a corporation can have a religious belief.

Shingled-minded Western Digital insists its latest hard drive sets disk capacity record

Old Used Programmer

Re: Wow, a 7% increase

At a company I worked for, one of the researchers got permission to upgrade his PC to have a hard drive. He was given a budget--do not exceed $1000. He was delighted to find an introductory, discount, offer of a 15MB drive for $985.

It's the real Heart Bleed: Medtronic locks out vulnerable pacemaker programmer kit

Old Used Programmer

Not the only issue...

...though the one(s) I have in mind relate to customer relations.

After my wife had to have a pacemaker implanted late last year, I poked around Medronics website and then queried them about what software they're using and how good their device security. After they answer that "top people" had vetted their security, and I basically laughed at them (in the famous words of Dr. I. Jones, "Who?") I got stonewalled. On the software issue what I got was a link to a page with icons for every license that covers something they are using. Noting GPL in ther, I then asked for a link to the source code of the GPL modules they are using. Silence....

Maybe I should try getting back to them, pointing out that their security is obviously crap and that if they won't supply the source code of the GPL modules, they don't have a valid license to use them.

Or, some energetic type could go after them for refusing to supply or make available GPL'd code.

Broadcom sweeps up winnings after enterprise storage gamble pays off

Old Used Programmer

Small change...

One wonders how much Broadcom made off selling SoCs that go on Raspberry Pis...

A flash of inspiration sees techie get dirty to fix hospital's woes

Old Used Programmer

Re: Noisy phone lines in building

At a company I worked for, we couldn't successfully download data files to the in-store server at night. After a lot of hair pulling and looking at various things, someone finally realized that the DSL line came into the building right next the neon sign.... Move the cable to get it away from the transformer that drove the sign and, no problem.

Anon man suing Google wants crim conviction to be forgotten

Old Used Programmer

Re: Let me get this straight...

I suspect the real issue here is: What was his conviction FOR? If it was, say, drunk driving, that might (or might not) be a problem. If it was for financial crimes, that would be a really big red flag. The former could be ignored as a case of bad judgement. The later implies that you shouldn't trust him with your money without a LOT of evidence that he is truly reformed and regrets his past actions.

Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data

Old Used Programmer

Sauce for the gander

Once again...the first legislation that is needed is a law (with big sharp teeth) that mandates that the intelligence community is required to use the same encryption systems that they want everyone else to use.

Russian volcanoes fingered for Earth's largest mass extinction

Old Used Programmer

Missing Halogen

Interesting that there is no mention of Fluorine, which was a major killer as a result of the 1783 Laki eruption (altogether, killed about 25% of the population of Iceland). If you think losing the ozone layer is bad, try fluoridosis.

Old Used Programmer

Alvarez looked at the Deccan Traps for the K-T boundary extinction and ruled it out because the date is wrong.

Disk will eat itself: Flash price crash just around the over-supplied block

Old Used Programmer

Re: "They would then only be 4X more expensive per GB than disk drives"

It really depends on how you configure a system. At a 4x price ratio, one could put a 512GB SSD boot drive, and a 2TB bulk storage HDD in a PC and each drive would cost the same and still have plenty of room on the SSD and speed as well.

Snap code snatched, Pentagon bans bands, pacemakers cracked, etc

Old Used Programmer

Ah, yes....MedTronics

If you ask MedTronics about their software, they'll send you links, one of which is to a list of the different licenses parts of it are under. They include GPL. Ask them for a link to the GPL'd source code and....silence.

Ask them about the security on pacmakers and they just give back a bunch of bafflegab that amounts the line given at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark..."Top men have said it's good". (Yeah, sure... Who are they?)

Dear alt-right morons and other miscreants: Disrupt DEF CON, and the goons will 'ave you

Old Used Programmer

Followup needed...

...if anything of interest happens around this issue.

Samsung’s new phone-as-desktop is slick, fast and ready for splash-down ... somewhere

Old Used Programmer


Ditroff was a complete re-write of troff. Troff was tightly, and very cleverly, written but could only output to one very specific typesetter (CAT). When UC Berkeley set out to replace their CAT phototypesetters (they had two of them), the original troff programmer was dead and no one could figure out how to remove the device dependencies, so they wrote Device Independent Troff so that they could use their new--APS5 -phototypesetter.

The APS had to go into production earlier than planned because an operator on the CAT, failed to tighten the wingnut holding the glass font wheel and that CAT was suddenly full of very small glass shards.

Crooks swipe plutonium, cesium from US govt nuke wranglers' car. And yes, it's still missing

Old Used Programmer


You mean the one that was clocked at 88 mph just before they lost track of it?

IEEE joins the ranks of non-backdoored strong cryptography defenders

Old Used Programmer

Sauce for the goose

We need a law that requires the FBI to make internal use of any crypto system that meets its standards for public use.

US Congress mulls expanding copyright yet again – to 144 years

Old Used Programmer

Re: The Kings Warrant

Corporate copyrights run for 95 years. Look for that to change soon because "Steamboat Willie" was made in 1928.

Old Used Programmer

Re: And who made copyright possible?

Edison (the phonograph) did pretty well. But before that was the player piano and the printing press. A fair number of composers made good money by writing solo-piano versions of their orchestral works because pretty much every middle-class household had a piano, or other instruments and people that could play them. Sheet music used to be a pretty big business.

Fixing a printer ended with a dozen fire engines in the car park

Old Used Programmer

That brings back memories...

...though not of fires or even false alarms.

A company I worked for installed the first IBM 3800 printer in San Francisco. Our machine room was on the 14th floor of 1 Embarcadero Center.

Paper moved through the 3800 at 31.8 inches per second, so the "lines per minute" or "pages per minute" depended on font size (which could be set over a fairly larger range) and the size of the pages. We used 12" wide by 8.5" high, which trimmed to the US standard 8.5" x 11" when routed though the (optional) "trimmer, burster, stacker" section of the 3800. We had an effective print rate of about 225 pages per minute. Which is why I am less than impressed with any modern laser printer than claims to be "fast".

Another feature was the ability to have a photnegative form that went in a holder and slid in next to the imaging drum. The printer could be told to flash the forms image for each page, giving you a per-designed overlay.

Sysadmin’s worst client was … his mother! Until his sister called for help

Old Used Programmer

Re: mouse golf!

Get him a trackball.

Old Used Programmer

Re: Support for family - no problems.

I got my wife to switch to OpenOffice 9and then LbireOffice) when Word for Windows 2.0 wouldn't install on Win7.

On the other hand, she has absolutely no difficulty logging in (remotely) to our "alarm clock" (a Pi2Bv1.1 running Raspbian) to start or stop the streaming the local classical station. She really doesn't want to change the "alarm" time by modifying crontab, though.

*Thunk* No worries, the UPS should spin up. Oh cool, it's in bypass mode

Old Used Programmer

Disasters I have seen (or seen dodged)

Went through two actual data center disasters at one company in San Francisco.

The first was when a construction project across the street drilled into a 16-inch gas main. Gas got sucked into our buildings air intakes and we had an explosive concentration of natural gas in the machine room. It also transpired that residual oils from the gas compression pumps tended to get into the lines...and the oils were contaminated with PCBs.

The second incident was when a water line separated in the intake side of the water distribution unit that supplied the water-cooled IBM mainframes. The mainframe was on the 14th floor. The feed line was 1.5" soldered copper. It was being fed from a chiller and 10,000 gallon holding tank on the roof...of a 45 story building. (That's right: 30 stories of pressure head.) The shut off valves were under the false flooring and no one had ever told the machine operators where they were. The return drain lines ran above the false ceiling on the 13th floor. Some of the water went around the drain lines and the rest ran into the stairwell where it got into the power ducting for half the building, blowing out a 2 story high bus bar (a replacement was sent by air freight from Chicago...the closest place one could be located on short notice). Most of our offices were on the 13th floor and got soaked. There was water damage for 5 floors below us. The cause turned out to be a manufacturing defect in the distribution unit, so that company's insurance got all the bills.

At another company, there were UPS for the systems, backed up by a diesel driven generator. The company did a quarterly test in which they picked a suitable Saturday and pulled the power to verify that (a) the UPS would pick up and carry the load, and (b) the engine would kick in and the generator would take over the load before the batteries went flat.

Old Used Programmer

Re: All your eggs in one voip

What with living in Earthquake Country (SF Bay Area) that's why we have a POTS line separate from the cable system broadband. If my spaceship ever comes in and I can move to where I'd like to live and in a style to which I'd like to become accustomed, I'd get a dual-WAN router and have broadband from *both* phone company and cable company.

Brain monitor had remote code execution and DoS flaw

Old Used Programmer

Re: It definitely takes

I understand your point, but there need to be some pretty strict limits. The things to really worry about--at least on an individual level--are things like pacemakers. Modern ones can be monitored and adjusted from outside the body. Messing with one of those, if it has been implanted, could have *very* serious consequences.

It is--without a doubt--too much to ask that the manufacturers publish the code the devices run on so that those interested can verify that it is written correctly and securely and that even basic security precautions have been taken, such as not running implanted devices on default passwords--or, for that matter, even *having* passwords.

And one other thing....the medical personnel are very reasurring, but quite obviously have absolutely no clues whatsoever how communications with the devices is handled, nor do they actually know what sort of security the devices have (or, more likely, don't have), but they will say to your face that the devices are secure--because that's what the manufacturers salesmen tell them. Great "bedside manner", but quite transparent BS to anyone with an actual technical background.

Gone in 60.121 seconds: Your guide to the pricey new gear Nvidia teased at its annual GPU fest

Old Used Programmer

Re: I don't know for a fact or even if its happening..

Last I heard (it's been a few years), a new fab cost upwards of $1 billion. So, yes, expensive. A great deal more expensive than you noted.

Google to 'forget me' man: Have you forgotten what you said earlier?

Old Used Programmer

Re: RE : Let's burn all the newspaper archives...

So...while you don't want to burn the archive, you DO want to burn the index to that archive?

It's Pi day: Care to stuff a brand new Raspberry one in your wallet?

Old Used Programmer

Design a carrier with the connector layout you want and use a CM3/CM3L/CM3-16.

Old Used Programmer

Not sure you can get the critial bit any more, but I have a CM3L mounted in a WD SATA Adapter connected to a 60GB SSD. The CM3L has the OTP bit set to boot directly from the SSD, no SD card involved at all. It could be done with a Pi2Bv1.2 or Pi3B by setting the OTP bit to permit booting over USB, or (given what's been posted on the RPF Forums) by a Pi3B+ right out of the box. Yuo'll just need a USB to SATA cable to connect them together..

Old Used Programmer

Re: Dates

Well...also, the Roman year began in March.

Old Used Programmer

Re: Dates

I have been known to write "12M", and "AM" could be construed as "Anti-Meridian".

Old Used Programmer

Re: Dates

"We don't do time as mm:hh do we?"

Crontab does.

Old Used Programmer

Re: Not necessarily

The Pi Ethernet autosenses. You've *never* needed a crossover cable with a Pi.

FBI chief asks tech industry to build crypto-busting not-a-backdoor

Old Used Programmer

Sauce for the Goose

Tell Wray that crypto he can break can be designed...but the FBI and all other government agencies will have to use it. See how long it takes him to see the trap.

Billionaire's Babylon beach ban battle barrels toward Supreme Court

Old Used Programmer

Re: Miserable old git

That's what "eminent domain" is. Problem is, Newsom chickened out. Read *all* of the article.

Australia joins the 'decrypt it or we'll legislate' club

Old Used Programmer

Sauce for the goose...

Require all government agencies (including intelligence services and the military, and especially the legislature and executive) use the same "decryptable" encryption that they want everyone else to use.

Boffins upload worm's brain into a computer, teach it tricks

Old Used Programmer

I wonder...

...if their simulation would run on a Raspberry Pi is something like real time?

Biker nerfed by robo Chevy in San Francisco now lobs sueball at GM

Old Used Programmer

Re: The car will have video of the incident

According to the article, the collision took place at 17 MPH.

US senators vow to filibuster FBI, er, NSA's domestic, errr, foreign mass spying program

Old Used Programmer

There is a way...

If, and I'll grant they are very big "ifs", Shumer can hold his caucus together against it and the two Republicans state in no uncertain terms that they'll vote against the bill as it stands, then there might be a proper debate because the bill will fail under those conditions.


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