* Posts by GerryMC

54 posts • joined 25 Aug 2011


RIP Dr Peuto, Zilog and Sun's bright SPARC


Re: Halt and Catch Fire

While I never personally used one, there were people in my first real job who did - it was easier to quickly change a parameter card in a stack than open a text editor, edit a file, and send the file to the mainframe.

They were used for batch control on an ICL29 series, but running the old ICL1900 OS (rewrite of old Assembler code in COBOL was under way to run under VME).

I wrote a simple parameter substitution program (replace %A - %Z) with appropriate input on a screen, that almost put paid to them.

We did Nazi see this coming... Internet will welcome Earth's newest nation with, sigh, a brand new .SS TLD


Re: Ah, but ...

It is. His real initials (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

Poor people should get slower internet speeds, American ISPs tell FCC


I'm beginning to think the US ISPs have realised that when the next lot of LEO broadband satellites (StarLink, OneWeb etc) come on line, they will be unable to compete. As a result they are trying to milk as much as possible from under-developed infrastructure while they still can.

Huawei gets the Kiwi 'yeah nah'* as NZ joins the Chinese kit-ban club


Re: 5 eyes can't see into Huawei?

The other two contenders for the kit are Nokia Networks and Ericsson, so not American or UK kit. But they may still be compromised.

Reverse Ferret! Forget what we told you – the iPad isn't really for work


Re: Horses for courses

i7 16GB Laptop with docking station connected to 2x24" screens

only take it home if on call (paid), or planning to work from home (alas, 1x23" screen)

I only use the laptop keyboard in meetings. I cannot use a touchpad, just no...

Old HP keyboard at work, Logitech gaming KB and mouse at home

Proper tower for home gaming etc

Tablet for browsing on the couch

Windows 10 Pro goes Home as Microsoft fires up downgrade server


Re: Just go Linux

OK, I will get Embarcadero to create a Linux version of the Delphi IDE, rewrite a large ERP type system to run on Linux, and get all of the thousands of users to change to Linux as well.

Oh, and move to LibreOffice or whatever it is called now.

Should only take a few years and millions of dollars.

30-up: You know what? Those really weren't the days


Re: "Ooff, that hurt. Citation please."

Embarcadero have dropped the XEn monikers, new versions are all "Delphi 10.n CityName"

Phased out: IT architect plugs hole in clean-freak admin's wiring design


Re: Plot twist? What plot twist?

In NZ, quite happily from the normal 240v single phase on a 20? amp circuit. Ovens are usually on a 32 amp breaker. (Actually IIRC it a 4.2kw unit)

We only use one voltage for household stuff here.

Unless you have a machine shop in the basement

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


Re: That dirty yard in the neighbourhood

Not the bananas?

Men are officially the worst… top-level domain


Re: I'm feeling left out

There are a few NZ businesses using the .kiwi TLD created in 2014, but there is really no real need for it - we survived with various second level domains under .nz for over 20 years.

What most people think it looks like when you change router's admin password, apparently


Re: At the risk of becoming tiresome...

Similar to my router. However there is one mitigating factor - to even attempt login as administrator on the router, I need to connect to it.

This requires either plugging into the box, or a WiFi connection. If some achieves this, they are already able to do a great deal of damage.

This off course assumes that the default WiFi password isn't daft

Skype for Business has nasty habit of closing down… for business


Re: Why are people still on 32-bit windows

Also, many 32bit Windows apps want to interact with Office apps via OLE/ActiveX. This doesn't work if Office is 64bit

Airbus plans beds in passenger plane cargo holds


Re: Glossing a commercial turd

I recently read elsewhere something from Qantas discussing this idea. The point is that to do the ultra long. non stop Sydney to London routes, they may have to reduce the amount of freight that they carry to reduce weight.

As there is less freight, some of the cargo hold will be unused, so they can use it for walking cargo.

Too many bricks in the wall? Lego slashes inventory


Re: ...

Yeah, I'm 54 and recently got the Saturn V for the same reason. It wasn't easy to come by in NZ, they were selling out very quickly and Lego charges $NZ70 for delivery to NZ, so I didn't want to buy direct.

And I "had" to let my 11 y.o. help... (SWMBO)


Re: Lego...

"specialized, much too complicated pieces."

After recently building the Saturn V kit, I can say there are few custom pieces involved. As far as I can see the only custom ones are the lettering (USA/United States) and American flag bricks.

It even uses some 4x2 pieces. However some of the bits are complicated!

And.., Castle! Luxury. All we had were standard 4x2, 2x2 etc, along with some doors and windows, and some roof pieces.

National Museum of Computing rattles the bucket: Help shift war-winning proto-puter


So Bletchley Towers then?

Oddly enough, I will be on-route to a theme park! (and beyond to what my wife thinks is the "real" part of England, but then, she speaks with an accent exceedingly rare)


OK, interesting to note the behaviour of the BPT.

I'm visiting the UK later this year - in your summer, and will be heading up the M1. For a fan of the history of Bletchley (and long time Programmer) is it worth visiting BP, or should I just stick to TNMOC?

It will be on a Monday or Tuesday at the end of June, so only the Colossus Galleries will be open (or is different in Summer?)



Until last week, you could pwn KDE Linux desktop with a USB stick


"these sorts of vulnerabilities get found faster in Windows, right?"

Yes, by the NSA

Wileyfox goes TITSUP*: Smartmobe maker calls in the administrators


Re: A pity

Re Moto G5 plus -

Hmm - I (just) got the 1 November 2017 security patch. Was on August up to then.

New Zealand joins the Space Race


Re: Cool...

"I assume New Zealand is even closer to equatorial launch"

Not on your nelly. The launch site is 39degrees from the Equator at https://www.google.co.nz/maps/place/39%C2%B015'41.5%22S+177%C2%B051'57.2%22E/@-39.1327661,178.2181487,7.5z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d-39.261514!4d177.86588


The Mahia Penisula is in the middle (on a north/south axis) of the North Island, between Gisborne and Napier. not in the Far North (Northland). Same reasons though.

I do wonder if North Queensland woud have some suitable sites, or would the risks to the Great Barrier Reef be too much?

Australia won't prescribe its national broadband network a high-fibre diet


In practice, the Chorus techs sometimes combine the first and second visit (at least they did when I was connected last week). I have gone from 4.8/0.8 Mbps to 100/20Mps!

Also, there are a hell of a lot of Chrous vans in the area at the moment - most of a suburb was connected just before Christmas.

Hot chips crashed servers, but were still delicious


Re: My keyboard stupidity.

Had this recently on my wife's laptop. Of course, being a laptop it wasn't obvious how to toggle it - or how it got turned on in the first place.

New battery boffinry could 'triple range' of electric vehicles


Re: How many battery "breakthroughs" is that this year?

Would you prefer car that can do half the range or the one that goes further but literally effectively has 500Kg of TNT under your ass ?


Unless you mean that you do carry half a tonne of TNT with you. In which case the FBI or MI5 or equivalent may want a word with you...

Official: Perl the most hated programming language, say devs


Re: Poor Delphi....

I suspect it is {} language developers maintaining old applications, and just not really getting it. And misplaced snobbery.

nbn™'s problems were known – in 2008, a year before its birth


Re: NZ vs Aus

Strictly speaking, TelecomNZ wern't forced to split up. They just wouldn't have been allowed to be involved in the subsidised fibre rollout if they didn't. Government pays, Chorus (or other provider) own the fibre.


Re: NZ vs Aus

If only it was done a bit quicker. I've been stuck with a crappy ADSL (5Mbps) link for nearly three years. No VDSL or cable, finally due in December

Customer satisfaction is our highest priority… OK, maybe second-highest… or third...


Re: You lost my sympathy right here:

"Two, what if your home has hard water, making it rather hard to make a good cup of coffee at home?"

My coffee maker has a Water Softener Filter widget - totally pointless where I live, took me a while to figure out what it was for.

SpaceX wows world with a ho-hum launch of a reused rocket, landing it on a tiny boring barge


So, is it like the Ship of Theseus (or Trigger's Broom), or is still "mainly" the same booster?


AWS's S3 outage was so bad Amazon couldn't get into its own dashboard to warn the world


Re: @Phil Kingston

We used to have these things called ini files (or config files or whatever) that you could COPY from one machine to another. Later on, ou could even put them onto cloudy storage if you needed them elsewhere and couldn't be arsed carrying a thumb drive.

Who do you want to be Who? VOTE for the BBC's next Time Lord


Re: Alternative


We're going to have to start making changes or the adults will do it for us


Re: Ok, so...

Sepend on the language of course. a 4 space indent in Pascal looks hideous. 2 in C# looks bonkers. Tabs are for people who can't make up their mind.

(Note: using tabs is almost unheard of in my most common language (Delphi). I know of no third party code, FOSS or commercial that uses them). Perhaps I should use the troll icon?

Don't want to vote for Clinton or Trump? How about this woman who says Wi-Fi melts kids' brains?


Re: Now That Bernie is Out....

Um.. Isn't being ambitious pretty much a prerequisite for anyone to run for POTUS?

Here's a great idea: Let's make a gun that looks like a mobile phone


Re: "Absolutely no one can make sense of the United States' infatuation with firearms."

And no one would want to remove YOUR guns, any more than they would want to remove a New Zealand farmers .22, shotgun or whatever they need for pest control (rats, rabbits, possums etc).

Or a hunters guns for that matter - plenty of them here. Very few handguns or assault rifles as they're designed to kill people, which we kind of frown upon here.

Just don't take them into town - except when returning from hunting. You don't need a handgun to get groceries.

Flash – aaah-aarrgh! Patch now as hackers exploit fresh holes


Re: So, which comes first?

"Vulnerability-free Flash, or the next ice age? "

Do you mean in Hell?

This is why copy'n'paste should be banned from developers' IDEs


Re: I had a user-written script for a National Instrument's interface box...

20 odd years ago I worked with data from an old DOS Point of Sale. It was written in an in-house "database language" - (like dBase but worse). They used two character names for most of the files, so the stock file was st.dat, products pr.dat and customer cu.dat. Memo fields for each table were stored in "notes" files named by adding 'NT' to the file name, so stock was STNT.dat, products PRNT.dat and customers was ....

NZ unfurls proposed new flag


Re: Me no understand

Because the voters in favour of changing the flag would be split five ways, against one option for those in favour of the status quo.

Electrician cuts wrong wire and downs 25,000 square foot data centre


Re: If anything can go wrong...

Murphy is an optimist...

Oh em gee – Adobe kills Flash Professional (it's called Animate now)


Re: Now fucking kill Flash completely!!!!

I suspect that is rather the point of the rebrand - to remind the Flash Professional users that there is an alternative - the "perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future." part of the Jobsian quote.

The easiest way to get rid of flash is to make it easier to convert old projects to HTML5

Microsoft tool-crafter Idera buys database, app firm Embarcadero


Re: Will Delphi survive?

The BDE (Borland Database Engine) has been deprecated since Delphi 6 - which was released in 2000, so hardly a fixation,

Sun? In Blighty? Nah, just build that rooftop data centre, it’ll be fine


Re: Seen this kind of thing

Back in my early days in IT EDP as a lowly Computer Operator, we had a similar problem in NZ. Over winter a number of new washing machine sized HDD drives had been added. Come February (usually the hottest month in Auckland) the central air conditioning system couldn't cope with the extra heat, so several millions of dollars of ICL 2900 mainframe and associated equipment had to be powered down every afternoon from 2pm to 6pm.

The problem was quickly solved by adding some large window mounted aircon units. Upgrading the building systems was too difficult.

Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW


Re: Workarounds

I'm just glad that I tend to disable hideously obtrusive apps like hangouts - I want text messaging, not a social network/video chat/photo app. I like apps that do one thing well, not get in the way with "cute" features.

PEAK PC: 'Most' Google web searches 'come from mobiles' in US


Re: Similar results

...and almost unusable on a PC. Check out aa.co.nz

BBC releases MYSTERY RIDDLE poster for Doctor Who anniversary episode


Re: Old who

SKY TV in New Zealand have been showing old episodes since January this year - one Doctor per month, except for #8 of course - they filled in with a documentary series. It was usually one storyline per week, starting with "The Unearthly Child", then "The Aztecs" Currently up to Ecclestone

Rise of the machines, south of Milton Keynes


Re: 2966 disks?

I can confirm that when I worked with a 2966 in the mid eighties the removable disks were 200MB in covers like the one labelled "122". While I was there they added a bunch of pairs of 80MByte? fixed disks in similar orange cabinets.

So long, Hotmail: Remaining users migrated to Outlook.com


Re: Hotmail

You're assuming that Hotmail would have survived without MS.Far from certain.

Windows Vista woes killed MS Pinball



What part of " but given that this was code written several years earlier by an outside company" don't you understand? It's not like it a core part of the kernel.

The Sons of Kahn and the assembly language of the internet


Re: Delphi was corrupted from within long ago

Delphi isn't dot net - in fact the Delphi.net compiler was Kylixed (see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/26/embarcadero_buys_codegear/) in Delphi 2009. However the IDE (Galileo) still uses a mix of Win32 native code and .Net.

This must have seemed like a good idea in 2003. The IDE stability is almost back to Delphi 7 (2002) level now, and my i7 loads in about the same time as my old P4 took for D7!

(Actually I prefer Galileo to older versions, I just wish it was more stable and faster).

The current version (XE3) of supports Win32, Win64 and OSX (via non-native OpenGL based controls)

Forget fluorescents, plastic lighting strips coming out next year


I replaced most of the large number (25+, stupid downlights) of 40W incandescent bulbs in my house with CFLs when I moved in 7 years ago. Some of the original Philips bulbs are still going, but cheap supermarket bulbs can fail quickly.

The best thing is that I don't have the hassle of constantly replacing bulbs, I would average only 4-6 a year, and will be less once the last of the crappy ones fail. If I used incandescents, it could be 15-20 a year. I also live in a climate where I don't want the waste heat from 6x40w bulbs in summer, and have more cost effective heating options in winter.

Windows 8: An awful lot of change for a single release


Re: Security @RICHTO

I know from personal experience with NT4 that a (accidentally) corrupted Word document could consistently cause a BSOD, on multiple machines (but possibly all the same basic Dell Optiplex system)


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