* Posts by BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

873 posts • joined 11 May 2012


'Nun' drops goat head on pavement outside Cheltenham 'Spoons

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Martin the muppet

There are a lot of Moon Under Water 'spoons.

The one in Manchester isn't actually that bad provided you go Only In The Daytime. At night, being on Deansgate, it turns into a noisy scrumfest.

'course, the area is hardly short of proper non chain pubs.

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Alternative interpretation

If you're carrying a whole body, it's bloody heavy, and you might not notice the loss of a head.

..so my friend told me

Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: @Ian Google are cunts

Firefox is generally alright on the desktop. On Android it's awful. Facebook and other sites frequently fail to load elements, and it's necessary to do a manual page refresh.

Everyday doings of a metropolitan techie: Stob's software diary

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Still useless...?

You may not wish to start writing to sector 1 in a number of cases, and to align to a suitable boundary for the SSD. I'd agree that it's easy to use Linux in this case, but that should be to boot a Unix based cloning tool.

Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: No, you don't wish you'd have bought it.

Close encounters? I found the CD32 somewhat underwhelming. I know it's basically an A1200, but there didn't seem to be many standout games, and more than a few were poor Amiga ports that occasionally asked for a keyboard!

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge


SGI was expensive, and Irix isn't the most secure or standard Unix in existence, but it was very well integrated and easy to use. It also multitasks properly, unlike the Mac hardware at the time.

I have an SGI O2 at home, lovely thing, apart from being grindingly slow by modern standards (yes, it was also slow by SGI standards).

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

OS/2 2.0 did not learn from this. In its initial release the shredder (it never had a waste basket) could delete any WPS object, including the ones you really shouldn't be deleting

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Multi-tasking..as a matter of interest..

'worked'. It might have done from a programming perspective, but it's an awful OS. Coming to Mac OS late (as at the time it was out it was ridiculously expensive, and almost no-one at any of the many customers we had used one), and comparing it to OS/2 (which I was using at that time period) it's a horrid mishmash of components which work extremely well (multimedia and colour support), and those that don't (multitasking, on any version of Mac OS - 7.6, 8.6, or 9.2. Also fecking resource forks and Mac compression standards are such a pain).

I'll grant that from what I can see OS X is hardly perfect either, but at least they stuck a fairly solid kernel underneath it (although, again, under any PPC version of OS X the spinning colour beachball appears more than you'd expect).

(To be fair, viewed from a modern perspective, OS/2 is also incredibly creaky. The latest versions only bring up to being mildly irritating)

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: No, you don't wish you'd have bought it.

Depending on the game, it's Not The Same (although some times it's better). Getting the video and audio just right can be tricky, and some games need a much faster system to emulate successfully.

I presume you actually mean Dosbox, rather than the shell that shipped with DOS 5.

For some old games that use Adlib sound, such as the Commander Keen games, I can't tell the difference between Dosbox and physical hardware. For other games that support Roland sound, the use of Munt is not the same as a real Roland sound module, and some graphical tricks just don't work as well under emulation.

Then again, there are the times when Dosbox is better - when a USB joypad just magically appears as an analogue joystick. Alternatively, Copper is a well known demo from the mid nineties that performs various display tricks. It only runs on real hardware with a fixed frequency monitor (some TFTs will work, multiscan CRTs tend not to always), an ET4000AX (but not any other type of ET4000), and a fairly narrow range of processor frequency. Dosbox plays it perfectly!

Personally I think it's worth the effort for some authentic retro gaming, but it did take a while to assemble and configure everything.

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: No, you don't wish you'd have bought it.

Use one of them for basic network diagnostics, serial console, etc. Older 32 bit OS installs too, as not all of them work well on modern machines.

Try something oddball such as Plan 9?

Has to be said, though, it's generally easier to spin up a VM.

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: No, you don't wish you'd have bought it.

You could sell it, last time I looked Risc PC was going for silly money on ebay.

Personally I think I'll just find an emulator to run ArcElite and a few other games

Western Digital deploys heatsink on remodelled M.2 to tempt gamers

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Reviews aren't that great for this

It's a slight improvement over the previous generation, but multiple reviews so far have said Samsung are still a better option. WD aren't really a name in the SSD market yet and need to do better.

Ooh, my machine is SO much faster than yours... Oh, wait, that might be a bit of a problem...

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Silly NIC games ...

It's happened a small number of times by crap clone manufacturers, as Jake says. MAC addresses are supposed to be unique, but if your manufacturing is sub par this is not the case.

That's just one of the more egregious cases of poor kit, you really shouldn't look at the number of pieces of hardware that don't follow specifications unless you want nightmares. My favourite is probably the DVD drive that re-used a commonly used ATAPI sense command to mean 'upload firmware' and bricked the device (covered a few years back on elReg).

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Time machine

Probably wouldn't be Internet based. From an advert at the time

'Salemaker Plus also runs on 3Com, Banyon, and other DOS-compatible LANs, as well as on Novell Netware'

Banyon should be 'Banyan' (Vines) - never touched that. I'm not sure what '3Com' is unless they're using their own protocol.

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Cat-5?

In 1990 DOS 4.0 had been out for a couple of years, and that supported larger than 32MB FAT partitions, as did specific (Compaq) versions of DOS 3.31, and DRDOS. Alternatively you could run OS/2 and have a 64GB HPFS partition, although the real limiting factor was the time and memory needed to check the disk when it wasn't shut down correctly.

40MB wasn't that large - the Amstrad 286 I had at home had a 40MB drive, and it filled up remarkably quickly, ended up using one of the disk compression utilities.

Extra life! Unity tries to undo disunity caused by Improbable cloud gaming toolkit ban

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

I think you need to remember that Unity is *free* for revenue under $100K per year

There's no doubt Unity has dropped the ball a bit on this, but Improbable appear to have not been playing entirely fair either.

In the same way that Microsoft became annoyed when a third party plugin added features to the free version of Visual Studio, free product has to have a reason to push users towards a paid option.

While Windows 7 wobbled, AI continued its relentless march at Microsoft

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Azure not Linux

You'll be lucky. Windows 7 is already in the soft 'semi supported' arena by vendors. Although it is still supported by Microsoft for security fixes, for things like VR it's flat out unsupported for Windows Mixed Reality, and very grudgingly by the Rift. Many new apps target only 10 or 8.1 as a base.

Probably not as bad as towards the end of Vista's lifetime, however, when driver vendors had already dropped support and even Microsoft starting hiding information on their website.

You'd be better moving to 8.1 now, and making plans to migrate to *nix. 10 isn't too bad either, the latest enterprise builds have fixed various issues, provided you're running a standard system on modern hardware. For more legacy/odd systems (pretty much describes 90% of my home kit) it's more of a pain. Work's use of 10 is fine, and the irritating hibernate bugs were fixed in the Fall Creators Update.

xHamster reports spike in UK users getting their five-knuckle shuffle on before pr0n age checks

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: They won't apply to sites on which porn makes up a third or less of the content

They could, but whilst the lesbian and cat correlation is quite strong, there's a very large dog contingent these days.

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

How is the beard, Andrew? :)

Compulink, Pipex, CIX (still on there), Zetnet was the last 'dialup' (routed ISDN) ISP I used. Then Zen, Be, Sky when Be took it over, and now A&A.

The D in SystemD stands for Dammmit... Security holes found in much-adored Linux toolkit

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: I use FreeBSD, and for good reason.

I'd probably suggest Devuan, although I use Salix. I generally use Linux just as a Xen dom0 rather than a day to day OS.

I personally use Salix, because I like a fairly minimal Linux. Other people have mentioned Void which sounds interesting but I haven't tried. I haven't tried Devuan, but I have used Debian pre systemd and it's not bad.

Slackware (without additional software) doesn't include dependency tracking when installing software, which is a right pain. It doesn't include Network Manager, which personally I think is a huge bonus.

Salix does include dependency tracking, in fact there's two different ways of installing software. It uses LILO which is a pain on multi disk or multi stage boots (use mbootpack). Easy to install, works quite well.

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: I guess it's a good time

...to give up sniffing glue

(Poettering was probably on it whilst designing systemd)

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: I use FreeBSD, and for good reason.

On servers, FreeBSD is fine. On desktops it's the most Linux like of the BSDs, and not entirely in a good way.

I've had a fair bit of wrangling trying to get it to work on a Thinkpad X240 (it has issues with EFI, and USB3), and once its on wireless doesn't work. This is after discovering that you have to create the wireless interface - it doesn't just pop into existence like the other BSDs. Then once created the wireless doesn't work anyway, this is probably because the firmware for the Intel 7260 is non free, but this isn't documented in the FreeBSD docs and I haven't bothered to run an install when connected to a LAN yet.

It *is* documented in the OpenBSD manual pages, which tell you a post boot automatic fw_update is necessary to get it to work.

However, whilst I'm a huge fan of OpenBSD, I'd also like to occasionally run things such as Wine, some Linux apps, and use an NVidia card. All those things won't happen any time soon on OpenBSD (although you can get them to work on NetBSD, as long as the Nouveau driver is used)

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

This is one reason why I use BSD and Salix

Slackware by itself with no dependency management is just a tad too painful, therefore Salix (LILO is also somewhat of a pain, may have to move to grub, or just be careful how its configured)

An over complex init system burdened with feature creep that affects other non Linux systems isn't appealing.

I'll grant that Arch Linux boots very fast indeed but I Don't Care. On my main system it takes probably a minute to even reach the boot loader, after its fiddled around with initialising peripherals, counting memory, and starting SAS controllers. On laptops once booted they're mostly suspended or hibernated, and restore is plenty fast enough for my needs.

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

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Wow, it's almost...

I'd predict there may be a fudge to prevent this. Of course, UKIP, SNP, and probably the liberals will object to this, but the former are a bunch of useless bigots, the LDs are a bunch of useless position switchers desperate for power, and the SNP aren't sufficient to sway the two party system.

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Wow, it's almost...

Yes I agree democracy is the will of the majority, with a consensus and considering minorities. That's precisely why a no deal Brexit is a terrible idea.

At the moment there is uncertainty and insufficient time to put suitable systems in place to cope with a hard Brexit, regardless of your opinion on leave/remain (this isn't a matter for debate : suitable systems to cope with customs properly etc will not be ready in time).

We have disagreements with the government and pharmaceutical companies about the necessity of stockpiling drugs, and not all drugs can be stockpiled. Without agreements people will die.

The only sensible courses of action are to extend the transition period or effectively remain in the customs union (either actually or by guaranteeing legislative parity for a defined period) until such deals are in place that there will be no dramatic fallout. That doesn't necessary mean the new deals will be more beneficial than the old ones, but it might at least guarantee the effects will not be sudden.

The systems, supply chain, and legislation in place are incredibly complex. Doing it right is more important than doing it quickly.

Personally I think that if we leave we'll still have long term damage that will take decades to fix, but the first priority is to limit immediate, possibly catastrophic damage.

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Wow, it's almost...

That's not an unreasonable viewpoint, LOL123, but unfortunately we are where we are and can't turn back the clock.

This is also the reason a no deal brexit is causing so many issues - because a large number of people can see the disaster it will cause, and once we're out, there's no quick undo button.

(Course, if the transition period is extended, we'll have to hold elections for our MEPs. Obviously this will happen, as the last two years have already been a complete farce. If that happens, oh fuck, we're going to see the case of UKIP trying to put forward MEPs, aren't we?)

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Wow, it's almost...

There are more than enough people (including leavers) who will tell you very loudly that leaving without a deal will be disastrous.

Whilst I agree that we're generally heading to a no deal brexit with far too much speed, that a second referendum is not an immediately reasonable idea, and that if it is run it has to have a notable majority in order to be seen as valid neither do I agree a no deal is the best option or that it's a foregone conclusion.

'Once in lifetime' deals never are. Democracy can change things, and the reason Brexit is causing so much strife is because the vote is so close. This will happen repeatedly, whatever the result, until public opinion shifts far enough that the minority side are no longer news.

The only reason Scots IndyRef isn't resurfacing is because the SNP know there isn't yet enough public support. When Brexit worsens things for Scotland, expect that to change rapidly.

What *should* happen (have happened two years ago) is an extension to the transition period, and a government of national unity to sort brexit out properly. However, the general populace voted overwhelmingly against AV two referenda ago, so that's out.

So, we'll probably extend the transition period a bit, then either end up in something suspiciously close to Mrs May's deal/a customs union member without power, and bump along like that for years before deciding to go back into the EU.

I just see this whole thing as in incredible display of hubris, that as a country we seriously think our farty little island can really negotiate a better deal than at present. New deals will mean compromises, and many of the conditions won't be to the country's benefit.

I'm just not sure the computer works here – the energy is all wrong

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: No interference?

Absolutely what Kurgan says. Only buy decent LED lightbulbs (i.e. Philips). The rest of them interfere with all sorts of things (possibly wireless, can't remember. I can only recall that the very pretty 'fake incandescent' LED clear lightbulbs from ASDA caused havoc). CFL bulbs often interfere with RF remotes, too.

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

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Fancy syntax trickery

True, I was more thinking of things like


Apart from in loops, it's best to split the variable modifications out.

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Octal problem

Conall: No, << redirects the value to an output which in this case is stdout (std::cout)

A leading zero in C/C++ means 'Octal'. Therefore the first number (001) is in Octal, but it doesn't matter because under all number bases it still outputs 1. The second number is in Octal (010), and as base 8 runs with digits 0-7 per digit position, it evaluates to decimal 8. The third number (100) has no leading zero, so it's decimal and outputs as 100.

Therefore 18100

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Octal problem

That really is an awful test. Yes, I can pass it because I remember the octal syntax, but unless you're in a specific niche that uses octal I've probably used it once or twice, because a specific function specified values in octal.

Surely a test should be to check reasoning and logic, not to trip people up with less commonly used language features.

Likewise I've moved beyond using crap such as ++i in compound statements. Spell it out, perhaps one day you'll be debugging your own code whilst suffering a heavy cold/hangover, and won't be in the mood for fancy syntax trickery.

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Seriously?

I have to admit I've never taken apart compiler code (although I might be doing soon, given that I'm not primarily a coder this fills me with a little fear), but whilst still at college I both wrote a bytecode interpreter in assembly, and tried to write another interpreter in BASIC (it was horribly slow, I gave up. At that point I didn't have access to a C compiler).

At the time I had more interest in using tools to create something, rather than creating the tools themselves.

Crystal ball gazers declare that Windows 10 has finally overtaken Windows 7

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

It's a pain when running a non standard configuration

Windows 8.1 allowed you to mix a Quadro and a Geforce in the same system - 10 doesn't. It will try and install drivers for one of the cards, breaking the other.

Still can't get over how awful the multi boot menu is, either.

Unfortunately it's essential for Windows Mixed Reality, and some other apps, so there's little choice.

Millennium Buggery: When things that shouldn't be shut down, shut down

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

You should never change parameters on a remote system unless there's someone local who can restart it or out of band remote control. Even if it's tested, it will work only 99 times out of 100.

Did a fairly simple change to a server. Told it to reboot, and waited, and waited... Drove half an hour into the office only to see a prompt that hadn't appeared before complaining about something trivial about SCSI. After that, made sure the DRAC card was working. The server never produced the warning again.

2018 ain't done yet... Amazon sent Alexa recordings of man and girlfriend to stranger

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Be Pure, Be Vigilant, Behave

Wondered why the reference sounded different than I thought - because it's a reference to a comic, not a book.

I'm personally of the opinion than Alexa and others are doubleplus ungood

On the first day of Christmas, Microsoft gave to me... an emergency out-of-band security patch for IE

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

You may be amused/horrified to know that Lynx is no longer in OpenBSD base (should be in ports though).

The reason for this is that the OpenBSD team found too many security holes.

FTP in OpenBSD is capable of fetching via HTTP/HTTPS though.

Pork pulled: Plug jerked out of beacon of bacon delight

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Mixed feelings

Either that, or students leave, but always with difficulty walking.

LG's beer-making bot singlehandedly sucks all fun, boffinry from home brewing

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: To brew American beer.....

It's APA - American Pale Ale, using US hops. I'm surprised its taken this long to be the next big thing in beer, I was expecting it to hit mass market ages ago.

Mind, the interpretation of IPA is becoming a tad flexible too.

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Price is key

I don't mind the quantity, if I drink at home it's usually one pint with food, so eight pints over two weeks isn't that far out there.

Pricing is more critical, and probably uneconomic. It's possible to get a reasonable beer for £1.50 from the supermarket, and I bet this beer isn't amazing. The pods probably won't be cheap..

I'd consider buying one if the payback period was under two years, so maximum of around the 600 pound mark including enough pods for two years. After that it saves money. As someone who actually brews also indicated above, that has to be ready to drink, no point in more faffing with this market.

Homebrewing has its attractions, I've tried home brewed beer from friends, but the quantity produced is huge! Most of my drinking is with friends out of the house.

I also worked out just how much I spend on alcohol each year, when calculating how much I need to save for a pension. Alcohol is one of the major expenses, and that's not drinking to excess.

Doom at 25: The FPS that wowed players, gummed up servers, and enraged admins

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Quake vs Doom

You're not wrong, although Quake 2 is the one that really drove accelerator sales as it wouldn't work without one. Comparatively few people downloaded GLQuake, Tomb Raider probably did more on that behalf as it was re-released and bundled with various cards that supported it (from Glide through to S3)

ID's id Tech engines have been pretty consistently popular, although id Tech 3 is probably the most popular one.

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge


First time I played it was co-op at university. We all got to the end of the first shareware episode and screamed as the Barons of Hell ripped us to shreds.

Playing it again through Brutal Doom reveals that the level design is still decent, and its lasted well. Quake and Quake 2 were decent at the time, but have aged a bit.

The mods were outstanding, I'm not going to forget the Death Star total conversion in a hurry.

Of course, then Dark Forces went and did Star Wars far better, and its sequel, Jedi Knight, was better than DOOM in so many ways. However, DOOM pulled all the components together first.

Ecuador says 'yes' to Assange 'freedom' deal, but Julian says 'nyet'

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Yes, but you've omitted the most important bit...

There's some indication on the twitter responses that the cat has moved and is now free of Assange. Hurrah!

College PRIMOS prankster wreaks havoc with sysadmin manuals

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Value added installer

My favourite copy progress bar was the OS/2 Warp 4 installation bar, part way through the installation the bar went *backwards*.

Warp 4 was thrown together in a relatively short time. It showed, even if it was an improvement over the multitude of Warp 3 versions.

Expired cert... Really? #O2down meltdown shows we should fear bungles and bugs more than hackers

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Mandated roaming for critical services is not a bad idea

What is a poor idea is roaming everyone off a failed network, and not having a two tier service, as fixed line installations do.

It's probably forgotten more often these days that in the case of widespread telephone line disruption the average punter will be disconnected, and essential users (doctors, for instance) remain contactable.

I'd be surprised if this isn't part of the mobile networks, and if not, it needs to be.

So, in the event of a major mobile network outage, mountain rescue retain their access (they generally use 2G/pagers for alerts, although they may have radios too), bus availability doesn't as there (should be) a timetable printed on the bus shelter.

You can't work this without a two tier service, because ultimately businesses will work round unreliable networks by implementing their own multi network/SIM solutions.

Total Inability To Support User Phones: O2 fries, burning data for 32 million Brits

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Do people really need reminding buses are still running?

My heart bleeds. Chance would be a fine thing for decent bus prediction times Oop North. Especially late on Saturdays some buses just choose not to turn up and I have to revert to taking the slow way home. I would take a train, but the RMT are on strike every Saturday.

Intel eggheads put bits in a spin to try to revive Moore's law

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Amazing stuff

That's the dumb high level overview.

Each EU member has input in and voting rights on EU law. The UK has used its power of veto many times.

Fundamentally there are 28 (27 soon..) EU countries which means politics via consensus and compromise. It's a matter of opinion whether consensus or majority rule is the better method of governing.

There are some exceptions, but by and large the people that argue about 'laws from Brussels' :

Can't actually name any laws that are unfair

(except possibly for untrue stories such as passport colour being enforced)

Don't realise that the UK happily voted yes to this law

In some cases where it's a law they wanted passed, don't realise it's the UK which vetoed this law (i.e. steel import tarrifs)

For the vanishingly small number of cases where they can actually name a law the EU passed that the UK only grudgingly voted yes to, they have no concept that being part of a large trading block does involve - tradeoffs.

The fundamental rule of all politics is : you don't get everything you want, and you have to choose the least worst choice.

Sysadmin’s plan to manage system config changes backfires spectacularly

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: Why use a revision control system?

It's probably overkill for standard config files. If, however, it's a shell script, firewall configuration, or other fairly complex file than a revision control system could be an advantage.

Support whizz 'fixes' screeching laptop with a single click... by closing 'malware-y' browser tab

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: For old times' sake

Locoscript was its own bootable program; it wasn't implemented on CP/M.

CP/M Plus did come with the PCW, and was pretty decent.

Fantastic machines, the first I really cut my teeth on. Nowhere near as flexible as a PC, but perfectly suited to its given purpose, and an awful lot cheaper.

It was a lit CeBIT see, got teeny weeny, world's biggest tech show yearly party... closed its German fest's doors yesterday

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Re: English..

You only wish you're too old. Timmy Mallett. You may have managed to forget them after years of intense therapy.

They also charted once with 'It was an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini (That she wore for the first time today. oh yeah)'

Huawei MateBook Pro X: PC makers look out, the phone guys are here

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

Too slim

Yes, it looks shiny, but for a business laptop make it thicker and at the very least stick in a network port. Make the battery swapable, preferably hot swapable.

Stick in HDMI or display port.

Two USB-C is 'good'? Not on this planet it isn't. Why has the world moved from the days of yore where you'd use a PCMCIA NIC with a huge RJ45/coax connector to network your laptop, through sensible days of built in ports, back to a dongle for absolutely everything.


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