* Posts by Dave559

159 posts • joined 13 Jul 2012


Lenovo ThinkPad P1: Sumptuous pro PC that gets a tad warm

Dave559 Bronze badge

Re: Lenovo ThinkPad Operating System

It really would be very helpful if every laptop reviewer in The Reg could take the extra 20 minutes or so just to pop in a Linux boot stick, boot up, and check that graphics, sound, touchpad, wifi, bluetooth, hibernate, etc, all "just work" or not.

That's not too much to ask to then have a review that would be very much more useful for many of the readers, is it?

Take your pick: Linux on Windows 10 hardware, or Windows 10 on Linux hardware

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Ah, that's quite some lovely schadenfreude thinking about Windows not being able to run properly on Raspberry Pi's because of poor driver support… :-D

Only plebs use Office 2019 over Office 365, says Microsoft's weird new ad campaign

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Final Writer was the better Amiga word processor, in my opinion…

(So much great software that died a death when the Amiga did, sadly. Lightwave is probably one of the few that made it to other platforms and continued…?)

Techie finds himself telling caller there is no safe depth of water for operating computers

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Re: Comms room vs Pidgeons

An ISP that had implemented RFC 1149 as a backup in case of wired network failure? Excellent!

Dave559 Bronze badge

Re: Header pic

It is a cracking photo, though, you just want to scream silently while looking at it!

$BEVERAGE to whoever picked it!

Boffins debunk study claiming certain languages (cough, C, PHP, JS...) lead to more buggy code than others

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Cargo cult coding

And in the case of PHP (which is perhaps also a problem in itself, although I acknowledge that a lot of work has occurred in recent years to try to clean up some of the worst features of the language), you only have to look at how many books and web tutorials were still churning out advice about interacting with databases using the mysql_* functions (rather than the newer, more featureful, safer, mysqli_* functions or PDO) for years and years, and all too often even *after* advance warning of the deprecation of the mysql_* functions had been announced…

Using WhatsApp for your business comms? It's either that or reinstall Lotus Notes

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Left to their own devices

You missed a trick with the song there: the Pet Shop Boys will be unhappy now!

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Re: No choice

Good to hear that there is at least one business using Signal, although everything I have read about Telegram seems to suggest that their homebrewed encryption technique could perhaps be a bit sketchy, unfortunately.

Perhaps also worthy of consideration is Threema (which doesn't seem to get enough publicity), based in Switzerland, and which also has an app specific for business communications.

'Numpty new boy' lets the boss take fall for mailbox obliteration

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Re: 100% honesty 90% of the time

For "Eddies in the space-time continuum", don't you simply need to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow to resolve that sort of problem?

Sprint subscribers: What do your updated iPhone and Tonga have in common? Both are cut off from the world

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Avoid network-nobbled phones

And this is why it's a good idea to avoid network-nobbled phones, and buy them unlocked.

Not that phone OS developers don't occasionally børk updates themselves, but adding carrier crapware into the mix as well just adds to the opportunities for problems.

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

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Re: From Holland with herring

That's sad to hear. The Reg should do an article about XS4ALL as well.

One of the nerdily fun things about usenet and email lists was seeing the interesting range of countries and domain names that everyone was posting from; now everyone only has a forum username, and the world somehow seems a little bit smaller than it was, although of course there are more people on the internet than ever before.

Border guards probe 'suspicious bulge' in man's trousers to find he's packing fluffies

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Re: IT angle?

@Michael Wojcik: I'm glad somebody got the reference! :-)

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IT angle?

A nomination for the “unnecessary use of cat” award?

Excuse me, sir. You can't store your things there. Those 7 gigabytes are reserved for Windows 10

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Re: 32GB HP Monstruosities @Dave

Yes, I know that what are currently called Pentiums are not higher-end CPUs these days, but I thought that they still came (just) above Celerons in the powerfulness stakes, or is that not the case? I sort of arbitrarily suggested Pentiums as a more usable entry level, as I do actually have a (current era) Pentium laptop and it is both reasonably nippy and has quite impressively good battery life, being reasonably energy efficient. Maybe an i3 might be better for someone wanting to do "real" work, but that's not what netbooks are really for, and it would rather bump up the price somewhat.

That's interesting to know that modern Atoms have more oomph than I give them credit for: they seemed adequate (but not especially great) back in the original netbook era, with the lesser requirements of Windows XP or a less heavy Linux distro, but I had assumed that current Atoms would be similarly low powered (in all senses) and would really struggle. Certainly that is what I have noticed when playing with current netbooks in shops, but maybe it really is the lack of RAM for current OSes that is holding them back?

Dave559 Bronze badge

Re: 32GB HP Monstruosities

The fact that (sort of) netbooks have sort of returned is a good thing in a way, but, yes, they really should have a spec of 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage (possibly 128 GB) as a minimum.

They have basically taken a fairly good idea and chopped an arm and a leg off. And probably they should at least have a Pentium grade processor, rather than an Atom or Celery. You see them in the shops and if you try to do literally anything on them, they all seem to take several seconds to think before reacting at all, absolutely dreadful.

Happy new year, readers. Yes, we have threaded comments, an image-lite mode, and more...

Dave559 Bronze badge

Dark mode theme?

Thanks for all the work!

One thing that I would find very useful would be a dark mode theme, if you happen to have any spare development time?

I don’t know why it became almost standard for most websites to have #ffffff’ing bright searing white page backgrounds (I always turn the CSS down a few notches to pale grey on any sites that I develop), but I do find too much bright white very overwhelming and it would be very much appreciated if an option could be added to select a dark theme instead. Many thanks if you could do this!

Techie basks in praise for restoring workforce email (by stopping his scripting sh!tshow)

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Re: Recursion is difficult

There is clearly a challenge here to see how far the new nested comment layout can be recursed before we break it… ;-)

Google: I don't know why you say Allo, I say goodbye

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Another Google project that they got bored with and gave up on?

The problem is that Google launch new products in about the same way as most animals launch poo.

They now have a reputation for dumping new products out everywhere, so that now nobody is willing to take a bet on using most, or even all, of them.

And then there’s “first mover advantage” where already well known products are hard to take market share from, unless something very obviously better (and that anyone has actually heard of) comes along.

And then there’s the fact that it’s Google, and increasing numbers of people are only willing to “trust” them so far, if at all.

Japanese cyber security minister 'doesn't know what a USB stick is'

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Re: "the mod queue seems a trifle arbitrary"

Re: spinach in your teeth

What, and spoil all our fun? Laughing at particularly egregious errors is a noble British national sport!

(Of course, honest and completely unamusing typos should always be reported via the Proper Channels, he added, trying to avoid being cast into the wilderness...)

Smartphone industry is in 'recession'! Could it be possible we have *gasp* reached 'peak tech'?

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Re: not unless they die.

@JohnFen, your DIY phone sounds potentially worthy of a Special Projects Bureau article?

Macs to Linux fans: Stop right there, Penguinista scum, that's not macOS. Go on, git outta here

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"Well, who wouldn't prefer a proper mouse over touchpad or a pointing stick?"

These are Macs we're talking about: Apple's touchpads really are genuinely lovely, and can be stimulated in many ways with as many, or as few, fingers as you desire…

(Yes, cheap, shitty, craptops do often have cheap, shitty, touchpads, though.)

iPhone XR, for when £1,000 is just too much for a smartmobe

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Still waiting for a proper followup to the iPhone 6S

It looks as though I will still be waiting for a proper followup to the iPhone 6S, then…

No 3D Touch? And this is supposed to be progress? 3D Touch is quite a clever way to bring up additional menus or other functionality. I like it, why get rid of it?

No headphone jack (obligatory grumble). I might actually use Bluetooth headphones more often these days (now that they have come down in price), but it's still nice to have the option, especially if you realise that your Bluetooth headphones have run out of power, or if you want to connect your phone to your hifi, etc.

No Touch ID. It really is just so much more usable than Face ID. It's almost instinctive to press a button with your finger (and suitably discreet). Posing at your phone like a selfie addict instead, not so much. I thought that once upon a time Apple were supposed to be all about usability?

That stupid gimmicky notch.

Prices beyond the level that I am willing to pay. I don't mind paying a bit of a premium for Apple gear, as they are (in my opinion, yours may of course differ) better than the alternative, and usually better supported. By all means have a high end super-bling model for those who want to show off how much money they have, but if you can't make a fairly decent phone for £500 (and all your rivals can), then you really are profiteering just that bit too much.

All I really would like is an updated and slightly enhanced version of my iPhone 6S: a Full HD screen in a body size only slightly bigger (the Plus models are just too uncomfortably big/wide), maybe a fancier camera (although I'm perfectly happy with the one I have), longer battery life, newer chipset if you want, and no removal of existing features that I like and use. Is that really too much (or too little) to ask? Until then, I'll happily stick with what I have.

Google: All right, screw it, from this Christmas, Chrome will block ALL adverts on dodgy sites

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Re: Recaptcha

Yeah, and I have yet to see a black cab in any of the photos when asked to identify pictures of taxis. Perhaps they are hiding behind all those yellow cars that seem to get in the way?

It’s a horribly US-centric view of the world, and too typical of many US companies. I suppose that a significant proportion of people will know what these things are from movies, if not from real life, but that’s not really an assumption that can be global (or can it?).

Web Foundation launches internet hippie manifesto: 'We've lost control of our data, it is being used against us'

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Re: Shame on you.

I’m not sure I’ll say “Shame on you”, but that did seem a rather unreasonably ranty article (no, I am not new here), without really offering much in the way of any alternative solutions instead.

In that context, would mentioning noyb.eu, the Mastodon distributed social network (and various other useful ground-upwards things that I haven’t yet heard of) as possible ways out of the quagmire not perhaps have been helpful, at least?

(And, yes, I do miss usenet (I know it still exists, but it is in long term decline), but while for a time the fact that you needed the smarts to manage a score file meant that those who knew could maintain a good signal:noise ratio, that level of complexity did make it unsuitable for a wider non-techie audience as internet growth increased.)

Planet Computers straps proper phone to its next Psion scion, Cosmo

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Re: Linux

Information about installing Linux was (somewhat quietly) added to the support website:


(and see also: https://developer.planetcom.co.uk/)

As it is a little bit of a fiddly process to reflash/install, I think that quite a few people are still waiting for others to have a go first(!), and I think that Planet Computers are more hoping that the user community will take up the baton for managing Linux for the Gemini.

I understand that, unfortunately, the chipset in the Gemini isn't the most Linux-friendly, which doesn't help matters much, but at least it showed that it was possible, if not ideal.

I do very much hope that Planet have taken this consideration on board for future devices, and that they have taken great care to choose the hardware for the Cosmo very carefully, to avoid any similar compatibility problems occurring again.

Dave559 Bronze badge

Re: Suddenly glad I didn't splurge on the Gemini

But if some of us had not decided to take the risk with the version 1 device, then there never would have been a version 2…

It would be nice if Planet were to offer a discount to all v1 purchasers, and not just those who sign up quickly. I'll need to give some serious thought as to whether I can justify/afford spending more quite so soon (I'm not really an "upgrade every year" person).

We (may) now know the real reason for that IBM takeover. A distraction for Red Hat to axe KDE

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Re: KDE is really good now

"If you want it to be lighter uninstall Akonadi and stop baloo running."

Ah, you mean, just stick to the bear necessities?

Dave559 Bronze badge

Desktop comparisons

I feel sort of morally obliged to mention <http://www.xwinman.org/> for nostalgia reasons, although it's not exactly up to date regarding the current state of desktops…

Shift-work: Keyboards heaped in a field push North Yorks council's fly-tipping buttons

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Re: Del Boy

You should deserve an extra upvote for double punnery there!

Apple emits its much-anticipated updates to Mac, AppleTV, and iOS

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Re: The headline

Bah, you make "drop" (salmiak) liquorice sound massively less pleasant than it is!

(It's a taste not for everybody, admittedly, but I quite like it…)

BlackBerry KEY2 LE: The first budget Android QWERTY for years

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Re: Close but no cigar

The Nokia E7 had a great form factor: a really nice slide out landscape keyboard, which was very quick and comfortable for typing on. Even if you were using the phone in portrait mode, it quickly became almost an automatic reaction to turn, flip, slide, type, if you wanted to write anything more than a few words. And there was nothing stopping you from using the on-screen keyboard in either portrait or landscape mode if you wanted.

(Unfortunately, Nokia set fire to Symbian (and also MeeGo) before I could find out just what the longevity of the admittedly somewhat complicated hinge arrangement really was…)

Mac users burned after Nuance drops Dragon speech to text software

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Apple are rolling in cash…

Apple are rolling in cash, and, in theory at least, usability has always been one of their biggest priorities.

I can see how a software application, and a particularly complex one at that, which is only needed by a minority of the user base, might find it hard to cover its development costs.

Either Apple should do the decent thing and fund ongoing development (they'd never notice the loose change, even if they were so tight-fisted that it might cost a tiny amount extra when spread amongst all Mac purchasers), or accessibility laws should be tightened up to require all commercial OS developers to provide accessibility software at no extra cost (yes, that gives Linux a loophole, but in an ideal cooperative world it would be nice if there were a shared open source library that could be easily ported to all OSes).

Apple breathes new life into MacBook Air with overhauled 2018 model

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The introduction of a retina display is very welcome, but that "old" 1440×900 is, even now, still a heck of a better than the average non-Mac craptop ever ships with!

Is this cuttlefish really all that cosmic? Ubuntu 18.10 arrives with extra spit, polish, 4.18 kernel

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Re: "the system has a more modern and 'flatter' look"

I used to really love KDE, but it sadly lost its way from version 4 onwards, requiring a graphics chipset with quite some oomph at a time when many computers still didn't have one, making it (for the time) bloated and slow.

On the other hand, early releases of Gnome 3 were indeed horrible, but, now, with a useful search box, an unobtrusive dock, a Mac-like launcher, a Mac-like window thumbnail previewer (you might as well borrow other people's good ideas), and good keyboard control, I find that I do actually quite like it.

In a way, it's oddly amusing that the open source community has managed to make something that is perhaps everything that Windows 8 was trying to be (but failed), and did a far, far better job of it.

My only real complaint would be that there are a number of features that are still very desirable and useful that are relegated to the Tweak Tool rather than being properly available via the main Settings window.

I realise that it is not for everyone, however, but I've never been one to have a desktop full of icons, there's no way I'll ever see any of them behind all of my open windows!

UK ruling party's conference app editable by world+dog, blabs members' digits

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Re: Security ignorance?

They don't really need to write any new guidance, there are only two things that they need to do:

1. Ask their potential developers verbally (and with the expectation of an immediate answer, without the help of a search engine) if they know what OWASP is?

2. Go to https://www.owasp.org/ and read and digest the information therein themselves, so that they can ask their potential developers, those who passed the first question, suitable further followup questions, put them into the project spec, and test rigorously afterwards.

That syncing feeling when you realise you may be telling Google more than you thought

Dave559 Bronze badge

Re: UK electoral register

Be sure to tick the box that says that you “opt out of the open register” (Or, in these GDPR times, is it now “tick if you want to opt in”? I didn’t particularly notice this year, because I only had to go to the webform (operated by a third party, annoyingly) to note that none of the details at my address had changed since last year).

But, yes, don’t give them an email address or phone number unless for some reason you really want to (although I don’t think those data get copied onto the open (spammers’) register, only home addresses?).

Apple's dark-horse macOS Mojave is out (and it's already pwned)

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Re: Tried dark mode, didn't like it

I don't know how to vote on your post…

I do like dark modes in OSes and programs (he says, writing from a Linux desktop with rather too many grey on black terminals open (and even more browser windows with many annoyingly so-retro searing paper-white pages open))…

…but at the same time, it really does frustrate me that MacOS is so very minimally uncustomisable (it's supposed to be for creative people after all, isn't it?).

At the very least, Apple, please let me pick more interesting System/Menu, Finder, and program interface fonts (or even Chicago/Charcoal, for some retro amusement)!

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

Dave559 Bronze badge

Re: "who had a computer at home (with a modem)"

spuddy.mew.co.uk ;-)

Dave559 Bronze badge

Re: How the frak did she do that ?

No one who wants to retain their sanity reads the comments on CthulhyuTube; following that trail, the Mountains of Madness lie…

HTTPS crypto-shame: TV Licensing website pulled offline

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Re: Password reset emails

That's a good point, and one of the reasons why conventional email really does need to be replaced by a new, open, interoperable, and of course, secure/encrypted, messaging protocol (as GPG, etc, are just too complicated for almost everyone to use).

At least reset codes usually have a validity window, which restricts the time a black hat hacker has available to try to sniff your email. I have received some recently which have had as little as a 10 minute validity window (obviously, if someone has already intercepted your email account, that's still alarming, but, basically it still comes down to the point that we need to rethink email).

Dave559 Bronze badge

hardcoded http

But would hardcoded http, even if immediately redirected, not send all of your cookies for the site (unless set as "secure" only) with your request, allowing any MITM a bite of your delicious delicacies, before you then get the (redirected) https page back?

Ever wanted to strangle Microsoft? Now Outlook, Skype 'throttle' users amid storm cloud drama

Dave559 Bronze badge

Re: cloistersmurf

Aieee, now I have this vision of smurfs vigorously smurfing in monks/nuns clothing, you bad, bad man/woman/smurf…

It may be poor man's Photoshop, but GIMP casts a Long Shadow with latest update

Dave559 Bronze badge

Re: Forget the geeky stuff, sort out the user experience.

The unabbreviated name does explain what the IMP does, it’s just that its full acronym (including GNU) is one that can’t really be referred to in polite company (or, perhaps worse, in a business context: do they want many people to use their otherwise excellent software or not?).

I think this is one case where losing the GNU from the name really would be a definite step forward (much as I love the tradition of punnery in many open source software names (such as mail clients traditionally being named after dead trees (but of course))).

Besides, as anyone who has ever visited Discworld is aware, it’s well known that it’s imps who do the hard work behind the scenes of image manipulation, not rubber clad dungeon dwellers…

Apple tipped to revive forgotten Macbook Air and Mac mini – report

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Re: Some design tips to help sell this thing

I actually do have half a suspicion that if a new Mac Mini is forthcoming (yay!), then it won’t be entirely surprising if it will be ARM based…

Use Debian? Want Intel's latest CPU patch? Small print sparks big problem

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The Netherlands

But not all of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is in geographic Europe, and I’m not sure whether all EU law necessarily fully applies in all parts…

(I love the quirkiness of politico-historical geography!)

Prank 'Give me a raise!' email nearly lands sysadmin with dismissal

Dave559 Bronze badge

Re: Phenolphthalein

How the phthuck do you pronounce that properly!?

Talk about left Field: Apple lures back Tesla engineering guru

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Re: I really don’t want to start a flame war here

How the mighty have indeed fallen.

Proper Nokia (that is, Symbian) used to have better Bluetooth support than practically anyone else.

I’m perhaps not surprised that an iPhone might have better Bluetooth support than Android, but that you can’t beam address cards, calendar events or files to another nearby phone from an iPhone using only Bluetooth (all things that proper Nokias managed without difficulty) is really rather embarrassing.

netplan, WTF?

Dave559 Bronze badge

netplan, WTF?

«grumbles» I've just built a new Ubuntu 18.04 LTS server, and it seems that this week's new and shiny but pointless thing is 'netplan' for setting up the network configuration…

«sigh» Why can't things just stay the same if there's no genuine really good reason for changing them…?

Encryption doesn't stop him or her or you... from working out what Thing 1 is up to

Dave559 Bronze badge


I imagine that whatever the skunkworks project was, it was most definitely a “coffee intensive” project, no matter how many people may or may not have been working there…

Sur-Pies! Google shocks world with sudden Android 9 Pixel push

Dave559 Bronze badge

Re: The REAL challenge

Neither quiche nor quorn are very desserty, which is the Android naming theme, however.

(Although maybe they did pick the non-descriptive Pie to allow a desperate temporary sideways leap to Quiche, given so few other options?!)


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