* Posts by Wensleydale Cheese

1384 posts • joined 28 Jan 2011


Microsoft licensing hike sparks UK piracy, bankruptcy fears

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

Re: Re: It's welcome news for me in Switzerland

LOL @deadlockvictim

Nope, not in Zug. I've got a great selection of Swiss, French and Italian cheeses 100 metres away from where I am sitting, and in either direction too, but cheese is one of my vices: I also have a good supplier of carefully selected British Cheeses in Switzerland. I picked the moniker when I was enjoying one of them.

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

It's welcome news for me in Switzerland

"My American friends need not worry - no changes for you (that I am aware of) - and my Swiss friends, well you are actually going to see a significant price drop if all goes to plan. Unfortunately I don’t have any Swiss friends so I can’t celebrate with you."

Hurrah for that! Long overdue in my opinion too. Microsoft's Swiss prices make me cringe, simply because they haven't changed since the days when the dollar was worth a lot more than the Swiss franc.

I've just had a look at Swiss price comparison site toppreise.ch for Windows 7 Ultimate. While you'd be a fool to pay the top prices there, the upgrade version of Win7Ult comes in at up to 469.90 Swiss Francs and I know I have seen the full retail version in shops at over 500 Francs.

It's a similar story for Microsoft Office, once you get above the Home & Student version the prices are silly.

To put those prices into perspective, the retail price of a Mac Mini is 649 Francs. Yes that's right, I can currently get a whole computer, OS included, for less than WIndows 7 Ultimate plus Office, and if a Mac Mini isn't your cup of tea, a reasonably swift Intel or AMD box with no OS can be had for a similar price and you can put the *nix of your choice on it.

(For comparison, 1.00 GBP = 1.454 CHF,1.00 USD = 0.918 CHF )

Scroogle: Dear Google, we're not bots, we're HUMAN

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

Google messing around with search terms

@Chris 68: "Google is already pissing around with search terms, offering up what it thinks you probably meant..."

They've been doing that with my family name for a year or two now.

It's bloody annoying to be told that you don't really mean your own name.

And this morning Gmail started giving me personalised ads:

"This ad is based on emails from your mailbox. Visit Google's Ads Preferences Manager to learn more, block specific advertisers or opt out of personalised ads".

Er, they've based that on a total of 4 outgoing emails, all to the same person :-)

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge


I blocked Cuil from crawling all the websites I manage yonks ago.

Google drive cloud to rain on Apple, Dropbox parade

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

Phone number authentication?

@ Matt 89:

"I wonder how Google intend to prevent individuals signing up to multiple free storage accounts? - currently, you can create as many Google accounts as you wish to."

Isn't this where the so-called "security feature" which is authentication by phone comes in?

I can have as many browsers in VMs I want to keep other data separate, but I don't have a fleet of phone numbers to match.

Mozilla releases Firefox 10, adds developer tools

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Update broken (again!) for non-admin accounts on Windows

I thought this one had been fixed several versions ago (sorry, lost count of which one).

When working in a non-admin account in Windows, FF does its download stuff and then, (not entirely unsurprisingly) says that the update failed.

The error message suggests that you have another instance of FF running. Nope, that's not it at all.

Solution: log into an admin account and do the update from there.

NT daddy turns his hand to Xbox

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

"Your average software guy doesn't have hardware skills. Cutler isn't your average software guy,"

True and anyone who has written large chunks of OS level software which talks directly to hardware needs to have a good understanding of how that hardware works.

German ISP doesn't have to block foreign 'illegal' betting sites

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

Surely the number of spams these sites send out should get them taken down

I am getting between 20 and 50 spams per day from internet gambling sites and it is a real Royal / Royale SP Club Casino Gaming Club Pain (ya'll have a few keywords to filer on now).

In a perfect world we'd be able to use anti-spam laws to take 'em down,. no further legislation necessary

Adobe kills two actively exploited bugs in Reader

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

I haven't used Acrobat Reader for years

Preview on OS X

Whatever comes by default on a given flavour of Linux

Ghostview / Ghostscript or XPDF on a variety of other systems

Foxit on Windows

Microsoft copies Google with silent browser updates

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

Firefox updating at the least convenient time

"For me, Firefox always seems to choose the *least* convenient time to update; I'll want to show someone something, or quickly check cinema times and rush out... "PLEASE WAIT WHILE WE UPDATE! - GRRRR!"

Yes, I've had that with Firefox and it is indeed annoying. I've seen it do that right in the middle of other folks' presentations too.

Though with the flavours of Linux I use the latest Firefox comes with a bundled software update which you can apply when _you_ decide to.

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

Will it update itself? Without admin rights?

It certainly can if the system has been set up to allow non-privileged users to apply Windows Update patches.

But speaking of non-privileged accounts, both Firefox and Opera had problems with these until this year.

In my experience, from a non-privileged account Firefox wouldn't even let you check to see if an update was available , while Opera would try to apply the update and fail.

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

Windows update tried to make me miss my train this week

Time for home.

"Do not switch off your computer" it said.

Nuts to that, I ain't missing my train.

(though in fact the relevant instance was in a VM, so I simply suspended it)

The moment a computer crash nearly caused my car crash

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

I should have said "reset" rather than "power cycle"

@Evil Auditor

"On the other hand, there are critical devices whose software is resetted frequently, e.g. once a second, just in case it gets confused, i.e. crashed. "

Yes, that's what I was trying to explain.

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

"The only fix *is* a power cycle at that time."


But as someone who worked in the automotive industry once told me, embedded devices in cars are subject to harsh conditions, with extremes of hot and cold, vibrations etc and so must be programmed "very defensively" - that means to cope with the unexpected.

Such an embedded system should be able to power cycle itself if it gets really confused.

Regulator reckons telly advert caps are just peachy

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

Four minute chunks are what I recall

I haven't checked recently, but when I got my set top box three years ago the ad slots during a film were consistently 4 minutes long, and approximately 20 minutes apart..

Perhaps they cunningly start at 21(ish) minute intervals so that as the first hour's nine minute allowance completes, the next hour's nine minutes starts?

It certainly seemed like 3 lots of 4 minutes per hour.

Microsoft slips out Silverlight 5

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

Support until 2021

@Ken Hagan

That'll be 10 years, which is sort of normal when ending support for a corporate product.

Mozilla denies OS X Leopard 2012 kill

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

I stilll use 10.5 for legacy support

To be honest while I use FF extensively on other platforms, Safari and Opera were my browsers of choice when 10.5 was still current.

A lot of new Mac software doesn't support PPC architecture anyway. OpenOffice hid their PPC binaries somewhere difficult to find ages ago.

Adobe quietly dropped support for Flash Player 10 for PPC architecture a few months ago.

Ditto for Adobe AIr.

It's dead Jim, but there's still life in it for legacy support.

GCHQ code-breaking challenge cracked by Google search

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

Hear hear. @Rick C

Finding a back door is what James Bond would have done.

All's fair in love and war and all that.

Word and Excel creator: How Gates, Jobs and HAL shaped Office

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

@David Haig

"Rayburn - better for heating

Aga - Better for CAKES!"

You can't have your cake and heat it.

I'll get my coat.

Gates: Novell are sore losers, Word trounced WordPerfect

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

I liked Ami Pro too

I had Ami Pro and quite liked it. It had a macro language that I had some fun with. Its successor was Lotus Word Pro, which according to Wiki is now called IBM Lotus Word Pro, and still appears to be available for sale:


Moving on a few years from Windows 95, in 2000 I bought a PC which came with Word Perfect Office Suite. The word processor in that was far easier to use than Word 97 which I had at work, and had a quality rock solid feel to it that was missing from the Microsoft product.

I tried to buy the Linux version of WP Office Suite, but wasn't fast enough off the mark, for it was withdrawn from the market. I honestly don't know whether it was pulled because of "pressure" or because it didn't work as advertised. The other Linux office suites at the time were pretty unreliable in my experience.

Mozilla updates to Firefox 8, disables add-ons

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

TXT files

@Geoffrey W

Looking in FF 7 here, there is no entry for TXT files in the Applications window. IIRC they got hard coded in from 3.6 onwards.

Yes it always asks for this type of file, but the "Do this automatically for files like this from now on" box is greyed out. There would be no problem if I could tick this box.

The default answer in the dialogue is preselected as "Open with" (text editor according to platform).

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

"5 is probably about the cut-off point"

@Old Handle

I've still got a copy of 3.5 here for one specific job. That allows me to download a bunch of .TXT files from a large corp with no fuss. Later versions assume I want to read them in the browser and I have to say, no "download instead" to each and every one.

Well, you try telling Big Corp to change their download format because Mozilla have changed something :-)

For the rest of my work, later versions with NoScript and AdBlock Plus are fine. So far.

Hardware-happy HP has swallowed a Sun death pill

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

The traditional post takeover progress of a UK company by a US one is...


The traditional train of events when a US company buys a UK company:

1. The Managing Director agrees to stay on to manage the company. He/she is normally gone within a year.

2. Sales and productivity targets are raised, so the bonuses staff have come to enjoy every year disappear.

3. US management teams are sent in to advise. Much time is spent on devising new ways of working, writing endless reports. Typically all the printers and photocopiers run out of ink. Staff stop doing whatever they did that made the company so attractive in the first place.

4. Profits fall off and redundancies follow. US corporations are very keen on head count and will often rehire the redundant workers on a contract basis. That's staff loyalty out of the window.

5. Eventually the organisation either heaves a sigh and dies, or is absorbed into the parent company.

I'm not actually talking about the High Tech sector there, but it applies equally well to them.

'Lion' Apple Mac OS X 10.7: Sneak Preview

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

Re: Is there anyway to know what needs Rosetta?

1, Click on the Apple icon on the LHS of the menu.

2. Select "About This Mac"

3. Click on "More info..."

4. Select "Applications"

All installed applications are listed. Check the "Kind" column for "PowerPC"

This won't pick up installers which are PPC only. Some apps (e,g, CS4) also contain helper apps which are PPC only, and I don't think these helpers appear in the above list.

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

Legacy peripherals

The dropping of Rosetta will almost certainly cause problems for those running older but still perfectly serviceable printers, scanners et al.

Dual boot with the older OS is an option of course. So is accessing these peripherals from a VM or across a network to an older system.

There are also apps which are going to cause trouble


Microsoft pounces as Mozilla shuns enterprise

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

The problem with ignoring corporates...

... Is that those very corporates have to provide web sites that are usable by all those end users.

BOFH: CSI Haxploitation Cube Farm Apocalypse

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

The new Hawaii Five-O is just as bad

@Bill Cumming: "...Every action / drama show on US TV in the past 2 years have been heavily sponsored by microsoft..."

That figures. Hawaii Five-O uses what I think is a Microsoft Surface thingy


Those things cost so much it probably left nothing in the budget for razor blades for McGarrett or Danno.

Apple ships removal tool for Mac-menacing malware

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

Outta luck if you are still on Leopard

Security Update 2011-003 is for Snow Leopard only.

Is it time for Leopard users to abandon Safari then?

New Mac scareware variant installs without password

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

@Anonymous Coward 12:43

"So you click on that dogdy site link, it opens the web browser, which should then check the link against Google's Safe Browsing list, right?"

The "dodgy site" in both cases that my browser got redirected to this malware was Google Images.

Google images is notable for its non-functionality if you have Javascript enabled, so even that safeguard is denied. I think you have a point.

images,google.com added to my hosts file

And yes, I do all my work on OS X in a non-admin account, Just like I have always done on any other OS.

Toyota and Microsoft ink e-car deal in a cloud of telematics

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

BSOD in a Tunnel

To the tune of "Message in a Bottle"...

I'll send an SOS to the world

I'll send an SOS to the world

I hope that someone gets my

I hope that someone gets my

I hope that someone gets my

BSOD in a Tunnel

How Google taped up its email outage wounds

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

Another tape fan here

I was using DEC TK50 and TK70 tapes in the late 1980s, and although these were superseded by larger capacity DLTs, many of the drives could still read the earlier formats. Your old archives didn't die through lack of backwards compatibility.

Very reliable, easily transportable offsite and would survive a short drop, you had no excuse for not keeping backups off site. The number of unreadable DLT III or DLT IV tapes I encountered over a span of more than a decade could probably be counted on the fingers of one hand, and I speak as someone who managed the backups for a lot of systems, often with three or more tape drives per server.

On the grandfather, father, son comment: No, because silent data corruptions can easily overwrite all generations. I prefer daily, weekly, monthly and yearly cycles. This is where tape really does win on the cost side.

It is slightly untrue that DLT tapes cost nothing to store, as all tapes will deteriorate faster unless stored within certain limits of temperature and humidity, so aircon is required.

DAT tapes on the other hand drives were to be avoided like the plague...

German data regulators move to tighten IP address laws

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

Data centre solutions adverts on the Sun newspaper website for me

@Mike Shepherd:

I recently followed a link someone sent me to an article in the Sun and was amazed to see adverts for data centre solutions. No Google account involved. This was on a shared PC at work, not "my PC". I had indeed spent the previous day or two looking at high end backup and recovery solutions. Since then I have used NoScript for general surfing and that seems to have helped.

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

Define "dynamic" - Long lasting dynamic here

My home broadband IP is dynamic, but in practice it only changes if I switch everything off for several days or the ISP implements an infrastructure change. I've been on the current IP for over a year now.

Opera fixes critical form-handling flaw

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

Odd - I don't see an update available for my Mac

Still on 10.63, on my Mac, and doing a check for updates says I'm already using the latest version,

(OS X 10.5.8, PPC architecture)


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019