* Posts by bed

124 posts • joined 3 Jan 2012


Grab a towel and pour yourself a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster because The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is 42


From where I lived the nearest stereo transmitter was some way south so a large directional FM aerial was required to receive a signal suitable for both ears.

Various key words have stuck within the family… brain the size of a planet, pain all down my left diodes, what is that coming towards me – I hope it is friendly, vase of petunias. However, the best one, because I was involved in digitising (using a BBC micro), from admiralty charts, the coastline of Norway, was something to do with crinkly bits and prizes.

Quite a few years ago I had a 42nd birthday party – because that it was one did.

BOFH: Here he comes, all wide-eyed with the boundless optimism of youth. He is me, 30 years ago... what to do?


Museum items

Comment from above noting that you know you are old when the kit you started on can be seen in a museum which is indeed true as The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley has (or had at the time) some DEC PDP 11s very similar to the ones I started on in 1985 - shorty followed by a VAX, then a MicroVAX another and another...

El Reg presents: Your one-step guide on where not to store electronic mail


(not) deleting emails...

As a true hypocrite, whilst imposing mailbox limits on users, I ignored them myself because I never knew when I would need to refer back to some previous event, project, or whatever. Of course users bypassed the limit by using ost files then failing to back them up or failing to migrate them when upgrading hardware. The problem was, in reality, we lacked the hardware resources to support a large exchange server with the associated online, nearline and offline storage and backup requirements. Having moved on, o365 has a 50gb mailbox limit and I see I have barely 40gb free despite having emails going back to, seemingly, the beginning of time and, now, backups are someone else's problem.

BBC said it'll pull radio streams from TuneIn to slurp more of your data but nobody noticed till Amazon put its foot in it



I wonder if GetIplayer will still work?

Apple blinks on iPhone repairs, touts parts program for independent tech mechanics... sort of



I recently repaired a friend's Dell Inspiron 2320 all in one where the HD had died. It was easy to get into. It was a 3.5" HDD (so not a laptop low speed thing) and a spare RAM DIMM slot - so I upped the RAM to 8GB, then screwed it back together. The rest of the seven hour day was spent doing Windows updates and refilling the one drive.

The in and outs of Microsoft's new Windows Terminal


<ESC> sequences revisted

Now that brought back memories from way back when I wrote a PDP11/70 program to change the font / font size on an Epson dot matrix printer connected to the serial port on a VT52, then VT220, and another I called 'lpr', which turned on the printer port, dumped a file to it, and turned it off again. Them were the days.

Flight Simulator 2020: Exciting new ride or a doomed tailspin in a crowded market?


Flying in the clouds

Articles elsewhere on the internet suggest the processing will be done in the (Azure?) cloud which means the client end will have less processing to do but latency issues may restrict usuability and, perhaps, this is more hand held console stuff than full-blown multi-4K-monitor stuff.

UK's internet registry prepares a £100m windfall for its board members – and everyone else will pay for it


Post Brexit...

Post Brexit and Scotland then Northern Ireland leave what is currently the UK, the UK will cease to exist. Perhaps someone needs to start a Former UK TLD, the acronym would be most appropriate.

US kids apparently talking like Peppa Pig... How about US lawmakers watching Doctor Who?



Since no-one, so far, has mentioned the Clangers... I just did.

Attention all British .eu owners: Buy dotcom domains and prepare to sue, says UK govt


dot UK doomed?

Once Scotland achieves independence there will not be a UK to have a dot uk tld and the tld for former united kingdom may be deemed rude.

Palliative care for Windows 10 Mobile like a Crimean field hospital, but with even less effort



The other half has a Nokia 1020 (winho 8.1) with 64Gb storage. The 1020 is the one with a 40Mp camera - Huawei are just catching up. It has had the screen and battery replaced and, hopefully, will last a wee while yet as prizing the device away from the other half would not be worth the grief. Maybe I should lay a Lumia 950 in stock as a backup. I have yet to see a suitable Android app as a substitute for Winho mail and calendar - even MS Outlook on Android, which when I last looked could not display a month's calendar view. OK some of the Android apps are quite nifty, but none seem life threatening essential.

make all relocate... Linux kernel dev summit shifts to Scotland – to fit Torvald's holiday plans


Penguins in Edinburgh

The Holiday Inn would be ideal as it is next to the zoo which is (mostly) famous for its penguins. Maybe, next time, Torvalds should book into Banff (there being one in each country) or Aberdeen (where there are many in several) or Perth etc...

You can take off the shades, squinting Outlook.com users. It has gone dark. Very dark


OLED power usage?

Do dark themes use less power on OLED screens?

O2 wolfs down entire 4G spectrum as pals fiddle with their shiny 5G band


As Always cont’d…

As Always cont’d…

Cell phone masts do not necessarily need a fibre back-haul connection, many using microwave dishes, but, if it is required, there is a surprising large amount of fibre in the ground connecting major conurbations and, increasingly, connecting telephone exchanges – you just don’t hear about it because telcos are somewhat shy about publicising where the fibre is. And, even if there is fibre in a duct passing past your front door this does not guarantee access as it is not something you can tap easily.

Brexit to better bumpkin broadband, 4G coverage for farmers – Gove


Rural bullshit

Not only are our political overlords mostly clueless about Brexit, they seem to revel in remaining clueless, unwilling to admit to or learn about the myriad complexities involved in detaching the UK from the EU. The mainstream media (msm) is no better, unwilling or unable to admit that the complexities exist. Therefore Gove, and others, can spout any old rubbish (here we have Gove blaming the EU for not allowing the UK to fund rural broadband / 4G and commentators above have correctly called this out as bullshit), with impunity. There will be more. Unless the msm puts some modicum of effort into calling out the bullshit and logical absurdities, the gung-ho cliff-edge Brexiteers will drive the UK over the cliff.

We do forget, however, that the reason we are in this situation has nothing to do with the UK’s relationship with its European neighbours; it is all about the Conservative and Unionist party remaining in power. The slow-motion car-crash of Brexit will only conclude when the Conservative and Unionist party decides to start sorting out its internal differences over its view of the UK’s place in the world. Don’t hold your breath though, asphyxia is unpleasant.

From tomorrow, Google Chrome will block crud ads. Here's how it'll work


And then you get cookied

So I block all third party cookies and delete all cookies on exit. Life is so much quieter not being cookied.

2017 tablet market trended towards torpor


Linx Win10 tablet

Last year I got the wife a Linx 1010B 2GB / 32GB windows tablet for £77 which works fine for her - mostly netflix, e-mail and some web browsing. A bit slow installing Win 10 from scratch via USB stick but with USB keyboard and mouse installed subsequent configuration went fine, if a bit slow. It replaced a Tesco Hudl which eventually becaime unusable. I quite fancy the 4GB/64GB version.

Thar she blows: Strava heat map shows folk on shipwreck packed with 1,500 tonnes of bombs


Re: You forgot to mention

Yeah, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaufort%27s_Dyke

The North remembers: York scraps Uber's licence over data breach


Oi!! (II)

Looking at a map of the United Kingdom, York is near the middle not the North. But don't let geogaphy get in the way of a headline.

Windows Update borks elderly printers in typical Patch Tuesday style


Alternative options do exist

Two scenarios for you: When paying for stuff at our local builders yard, I swipe through my account card and their the computer pretending to be a till, prints out multipart invoice/receipt thing on a dot matrix printer my part of which gets recycled (burnt) when I get home. When paying for stuff at a less local establishment, I swipe through my account card and their computer pretending to be a till, e-mails me the details which I keep in a folder.

Car trouble: Keyless and lockless is no match for brainless


Quelle surprise

And the menus will be in some other language which you ignore until changing something becomes urgent and, therefore, inconvenient. A hire car in Sicily spoke to me in Italian every time we went over a bump which, as there was no smoke, I ignored until, while waiting for spouse to return from some retail therapy, I found the menu item to change the language only to discover it was a loose USB socket which, whenever we went over a bump, briefly disconnected followed by a warning about no doing that while driving.

All your masts are belong to us outfit Arqiva confirms IPO plan


Maybe they know something...

We don't know, such as the increasing number of households not watching OTA broadcasts (or not watching at all) leading, eventually, to not needing the infasctructure for OTA broadcasts.

Storms blow away 2017 Solar Challenge field


hollow laughter

(some) people laugh at the idea that batteries are going to replace the internal combustion(sic) engine.

Capacity and (therefore) range: Capacity (power density) is increasing at 5-8% per year. If this continues, when power density approaches that of hydrocarbons, the laughter will appear somewhat contrived and hollow.

Charging times are only an issue because, at present, power density is not good enough. When it is the dynamics change – how often do you fill your car with hydrocarbons? For those people who can charge at home, and whose daily commute is within current capacity, this is already not an issue.

Thirdly – this is a nonsense statement. When battery density competes with hydrocarbons, batteries (and other storage solutions) will smooth the fluctuations of supply from renewables and demand from consumers.

HMS Queen Liz will arrive in Portsmouth soon, says MoD


Scapa FLow?

Not entirely convinced. AFAIK, since leaving Invergordon, it has been trundling around the Moray Firth and has featured regularly on the FB pages of people on the south side of the Moray Firth, especially those with long lenses.

Feature snatcher Microsoft tweaks OneDrive


Onedrive clients and servers

OneDrive is the cloud file system used by PC, HoloLens and Xbox and Windows Phone and Android and Iphone and, via a web browser, Linux. There are two versions of Onedrive - the 'home' version and the 'business' version which is a layer on top of Sharepoint.

Which version of server on what client was this article referring to?

Fancy fixing your own mobile devices? Just take the display off carefu...CRUNCH !£$%!



If the youtube video of someone else repairing the same tablet/phone as you have looks too complicated, it probably is. However, if it looks doable, with the appropriate tools it might be. The USB port on my phone needs replacing (it charges OK, but the data pins are probably bent) but access requires an almost complete dismantle. The same problem on a Samsung tablet was, in comparison, an easy fix. Replacing the screen on a Dell laptop involved an almost complete dismantle (hinges buried inside and various ribbon cables need detaching) an HP laptop was a quick fix. Eventually, when we get used to not having headphone or USB sockets (bluetooth, wireless charging, data synced with cloud), I dare say the devices will become completely sealed and disposal will be the only option.

Labour says it will vote against DUP's proposed TV Licence reforms


Hmm... Politics

In theory, the BBC is ‘impartial’ and provides a ‘balanced’ view on the world. In reality, it is impossible not to have a point of view when creating or presenting media and, whether that is balanced or not, it is likely to irritate some party or other who will call for some measures to be taken – such as abolish the licence fee.

Another reality is that the BBC has, in its charter, the obligation to promote the state, in effect become the mouthpiece of the state, the point of view is state-centric, which make it difficult to also provide ‘balance’. Hence, prior to the recent election, there was very little un-critical media exposure for Jeremy Corbin (during the election period different rules apply), which has somewhat backfired. Scotland is currently getting the same treatment with the party which came second in the general election somehow being treated as if it had won.

So, I got fed up and, two years ago, removed the aerial, cancelled the direct debit and, with the money saved took out a Netflix subscription. I can still watch the commercial channels over the Internet.

What a To-Do! Microsoft snuffs out Wunderlist


Don’t conflate OneNote and Outlook Tasks

Outlooks Tasks/To-Do-List has never, ever, been developed to exploit its potential possibly because, if it did, it would eat into shared Project usage. That is no excuse however for not building some half-hearted functionality into the Outlook android app such as there is, in a limited fashion, in the Windows Phone Outlook app.

Offering OneNote as a substitute misses the point – of integration with calendars, alerts, rules and so on. It would be nice to think that OneNote (a much underappreciated application) might morph into a tasks substitute, provide shared tasks functionality, or fully integrate with Exchange Server, but that would be yet another strategy – so, fully expect such an announcement to arrive shortly – followed by development and abandonment.

Lochs, rifle stocks and two EPIC sea gates: Thomas Telford's Highland waterway


Or you can walk the great glen

Had the author the time and/or money a boat journey is the best way of appreciating the canal. There is also the Great Glen Long Distance Path which, mostly, takes you along the canal side from Corpach to Fort Augustus then high up the south west side of Loch Ness to Inverness.

BOFH: Password HELL. For you, mate, not for me


The insurance scam

Last year I hit a roe deer which bashed in the front of the car requiring new bodywork, raditor, A/C unit etc. Shortly afterwards I started getting phone calls from 01618544845, 01609608992 - (amongst others) trying to tell me I could make a claim against the third party. They didn't seem to know the third party was an ungulate, so could play up with 'will it be deer?" - though only when in the mood to do so. Fortunately the phone allows me to put a block on the phone number (and a growing list of them) so the problem went away.

Busted Windows 8, 10 update blamed for breaking Brits' DHCP


win 10 and BT

I have had this problem and used c:\netconfig / release c:\netconfig / renew to get going again - clicking the Win10 taskbar icon to reconnect doesn't work.

Ghost of DEC Alpha is why Windows is rubbish at file compression



I could be wrong, but, I seem to remember that up to and including NT3.51 there was a Hardware Abstraction Layer between the OS and the CPU which mean the same code ran, slowly, on a variety of hardware. NT4 removed that and moved the GUI layer and only ran on x86 and Alpha - no longer MIPS. Quite a long time ago when we had a couple of 433 workstations and an Alpha server. Eventually ran Linux on one of the 433 boxes - went like stink!

The Great British domain name rip-off: Overcharged .uk customers help pay for cheaper .vodka


and if Scotland becomes independent...

Will there still be a 'uk'? Maybe all the domains would have be renamed using the acronym generated from 'former united kingdom'.

Deep inside Nantero's non-volatile carbon nanotube RAM tech


All change

The implications of memory technology which is a) faster than dynamic RAM and b) non-volatile, are considerable. Presumably there are research projects addressing this – and it would be interesting if these were, if possible, publicised.

Computer architecture has not change significantly since Von-Neumann’s day, i.e. not much change since 1945: “...a memory to store both data and instructions, external mass storage, and input and output mechanisms.” O.K. they have become smaller and faster but they are still separate mass storage and memory systems.

Along with unifying mass storage and RAM, add in a 128bit data bus and you get instantaneous boot, or never off, essentially unlimited RAM (because the whole world is your memory- IPV6 memory) means that somewhere just over the horizon is the potential for a bigger change in computing than anything we have been through yet.

Lowland Scots plunged into panic by marauding ostrich family



Patna is about 47miles from the centre of Glasgow so, from darn sarth, almost the same place. The usual media response, sadly lacking this time, to such unfortunate / unforseen / unusual events is to invoke the SNPBaaad meme - el-reg really will have to try better,

Apologies to those who find more important or interesting things to do than follow Scottish politics.

Prominent Brit law firm instructed to block Brexit Article 50 trigger


Re: Marked down by history

This is perhaps a key, much overlooked point. In over forty years’ worth of legislation there must be much which contains within some phraseology along the lines of, “in accordance with European Directive blah blah blah” and finding, cancelling, untangling, rewriting, tabling, amending and then passing reworded legislation is not something a couple of civil servants are going to do one quiet afternoon. But then the Brexit crowd had this all thought it beforehand, hadn’t they? Or perhaps that may explain why most of them have subsequently buggered off.

EU wants open science publication by 2020


Re: Short-term protection

I think you missed out a step between 0 and 1...

0.5) Does some research

Ordnance Survey unfolds handy Mars map


Site of old folk's home?

It could do with one or more old folk's homes as it seems to be full of old craters.

No, drone owners – all our base are belong to US, thunders military


What? - no proof reading

What? - no proof reading

This is really poor piece of journalism. No meaningful research or proof reading.

What does this " do us a massive solid " mean?

"Thanks to the metal and lithium batteries in the toys, the gadgets pose a significant risk to aircraft."

No. No thanks at all. The risk is because of the mass which may include metal and batteries (which include metal).

In May (of what year?), [the pilot of] a Harrier [Jump]jet landing in Yuma, Arizona, spotted a drone 100 feet away, and in July, a [the pilot/crew/passenger of a ] Navy T-45 Goshawk training aircraft again (again - you mean this had happened to said Navy T-45 Goshwawk before?) came within 100 feet of a drone over (somewhat unlikely to be anything other than over) near the same airfield.

The FAA is trying to set up a database of drone owners. Wrong - the database exists..."Effective December 21, 2015, anyone who owns a small unmanned aircraft of a certain weight must register"


How difficult is using Google?

Not one of Chris William's best pieces of journalism.

Boffins teach cars to listen for the sound of a wet road


why were the cars on the pavement?

Or were they on the sidewalk?

Huawei is the new Nokia: Asian mobe maker sets out its stall


As an oldie, I resent that...

"(no one notices that oldies don’t have phones)".

Depends on how you define oldie; anyone older than you is an oldie. However, this household of happliy retired wrinklies is quite well equiped with windows phones (1020 and 930), a Nokia E7 as a beside clock and an E71 as a standby.

And alll of my contemporaries seem to have phones, though some, those not having had the dubious benefit of a career in IT perhaps, may not make the best use of them.

At Microsoft 'unlimited cloud storage' really means one terabyte


Windows Phone PR cockup

One of the benefits of Windows phone was the option of automatic backup to the (then free) 15GB Onedrive cloud storage which, on 32GB phone, is about right. Reducing that to 5GB strikes me as shooting yourself in the foot which you have just put in your mouth. OK, you can take out an Office365 family subsciption you then get 1TB storage each for up to five people. But, really, what a PR cockup.

SatNad failure as Lumia income drops over 50% at Microsoft


My worthless opinion

My worthless opinion

This article discusses the (lack of) sales of Lumia phones and (again) the commentards have degenerated into a Windows Operating Systems slagging off session – hardly informative or constructive. The most useful comment has been that that the end users generally do not care what operating system is being used providing they can do what they want to do – make phone calls, e-mail, web browsing, photos, music or whatever. And this is my experience too when I provide end-user support for the family and others, who all (bar one son-in-law who likes his iThingies) have Nokia Windows phones of various sorts. As we migrate to Windows 10 on our PCs it is interesting to see that there is some sense in having tiles on the desktop and on the phone – it may yet make for a consistent environment. Yes, I know, it can be frustrating for those who like to open multiple applications in multiple windows on multiple monitors but Start10 or Classicshell is available. So, in the long run, if Microsoft persevere, there may be future for Windows phone. And it actually isn’t that bad an operating system, certainly less confusing for the average end user than some Android offerings I have had to deal with.

Beard transplants up 600% for men 'lacking length elsewhere'


Isn't it a sort of pubic hair?

Beard hair is a form of pubic hair so the best place to transplant from would be, I guess, down there... urgh! Wouldn't the two areas have to closely positioned while the transplant take place? Which then poses the question of where the operator operates from?

Diskicide – the death of disk


Yes, but...

While this pean to flash may justify the salary, there are other technologies over the horizon, memristor perhaps, which will (hopefully) provide access to data at bus speeds and probably render obsolete current computer architectures which haven't really changed in concept since the stored program digital computer was initially developed.

WATER SURPRISE: Liquid found on Mars, says NASA


Pure water can exist only between zero and 10 degrees centigrade???

Pure water can exist below zero, usually as ice, and I am reasonably sure it exists above 10 degrees centigrade as well, though this depends on ambient air pressure - the lower the air pressure the lower the temperature at which water will boil, hence the problems getting a decent cup of tea in Tibet.

Here's why Whittingdale kicked a subscription BBC into the future


and another thing...

I see on this forum two sorts of threads: Do I need a TV licence if I don’t watch live TV (no), and is the TV Licence the best way of funding universal access (pass). In Scotland another thread is rumbling along because of perceived or real bias at BBC Scotland and a number of people, upon realising they have stopped watching or listening to the BBC because of this, then stop paying the licence fee. If you appreciate a good rant, read https://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2015/07/16/bbc-cringe-the-norma-desmond-of-broadcasters/

Bing Maps seen wearing creepy mask that makes it look a bit like ...


Integration with WinPhone?

The changes seem to me purely cosmetic and do not (yet?) address the schizoid existence that is Bing Maps. Let me, if I may, take you briefly down memory lane to my Nokia E7, now in use as a bedside clock because the USB port is almost bust (does power but not data). Using Outlook I could create a calendar entry which had GPS data in the location (latitude and longitude or postcode). Using the E7, the calendar entry showed the location and pressing the location gave me the option of “drive there” which jumped into Here Drive. Doesn’t work on WinPhone. As well as not integrating with Outlook – pretty basic I would have thought, Bing Maps keeps separate ‘favourites’ from Here Maps, which can be used in Here Drive. So, pretty as Bing Maps may be, until it is properly integrated into PC Outlook, WinPhone Calendar and Drive on WinPhone (for example, work out a route on the desktop and download it to the phone), it is just that, pretty. </rant>

Win Server 2003 addict? Tick, tock: Your options are running out


Bandwidth and hosted desktops...

Having had to provide a migration path from SBS2003 for an SME my initial thoughts were Win2008/12 + Office365 except the exisiting asymetric DLS connection had insufficient bandwidth (an outgoing e-mail to your colleague at the next desk has to travel quite some distance out and back again - never mind skydrive for business synchronisation issues) and FTTC was not available. So, I looked at hosted desktops and it ended up ticking many boxes: significantly reduced support costs ( thin client bust? get the spare out of the cupboard), per user bandwidth requirements for rdp are quite low, backups are someone elses problem - as is disaster recovery (though both need to be tested - never were previously), Internet bandwidth is via the hosting company (gigabit), can now implement better spam filtering and web browser monitoring/filtering (costs money but worth the expenditure), MS Office now fully patched and 3rd party applications (Sage principally) are properly maintained. A hybrid solution can be implemented if there are applications on a local PC (Autocad is one, video of sound editing would be others) which chew CPU and/or are graphic intensive, where everthing else is moved off to the hosting company. Now have to dispose of many PCs and an old server.



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