* Posts by cageordie

42 posts • joined 12 Nov 2013

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

cageordie

Being oldish

When the IBM PC came out in 1981 there were already 8MHz 68000 machines, because the TDI Pinnacle and Sage IV were reviewed in the same issue and ran the benchmarks faster. So to be producing a 5MHz 68K in 1985 is ridiculous. The Atari 520ST was released in June 1985 with 512KB of RAM and an 8MHz 68K. It cost a fraction of the price of anything Apple shipped and was faster too. Apple made a really good attempt at failing.

What happens when a Royal Navy warship sees a NATO task force headed straight for it? A crash course in Morse

cageordie

Re: Full speed ahead

That's one of those post hoc ergo propter hoc things, which is true, for a change. The reason the Exocet hits where it does is because that's where the CIC is. If the CIC was usually somewhere else then the Exocet would be designed to hit somewhere else. So no matter where they put the CIC that's where the missile is heading for. And Exocet is the least of your problems, take a look at P-500 Bazalt, or more recent things.

cageordie

We told them not to do that

FWIW, which is little. Many years ago we were talking to people like DGDQA and our various project offices and we told them Windows was a really bad idea for realtime mission critical systems on ships and in Army use. For Eurofighter I think they were mandating VxWorks and 68040 when we were bidding. That we didn't have an issue with, it was the late 80s after all. The called it COE, the common operating environment. They eventually told us to use Windows for the management and configuration systems. I dealt with that by automating all the tasks that the management system was supposed to perform in the realtime system, which was bare machine 8051! Because a ten quid microcontroller is what the software guys get in a box containing three and a half grand in Altera MAX 10000 parts, which were the latest and greatest in 1996. No worries about hacking and random crashes in our software. MS were trying to sell us WinCE and Windows NT RT. What GARBAGE. At least we never sank low enough to use Windows. Do you remember when NT stranded a USS Yorktown? 1997 off Virginia. A bad database entry resulted in a divide by zero that took down everything, including propulsion. PATHETIC! It still makes me angry that such amateurs had a job in military software.

Millennials 'horrify' their neighbours with knob-shaped lights display

cageordie

Worthless without pictures

No pictures of a visual story? How's that work? Not very well.

Ex-Intel engineer tried to make off with 3D XPoint secret sauce on his way to Micron, says Chipzilla

cageordie

They were in a partnership. From what I remember Micron were the developers... weren't they?

SQLite creator crucified after code of conduct warns devs to love God, and not kill, commit adultery, steal, curse...

cageordie

Religion has no place in business. Unless your business is a church, and even then only when the employee affected shares your religion, and it doesn't break any other laws.

Sky customer dinged for livestreaming pay-per-view boxing to Facebook

cageordie

Re: THAT Price for one View?

> It's not a single boxing match - it's a night of boxing.

The rest of which almost nobody wants to see.

This is the same argument used to sell packages of cable TV channels, almost all of which are complete garbage, which is why I no longer have any cable, or satellite, TV. If it was available in the US I'd just pay the BBC license fee and watch Aunty Beeb.

Watching people brain damage each other as a sport? Not paying a penny to encourage that anyway.

UK lacks engineering and tech skills to make government's industrial strategy work – report

cageordie

Re: All the jobs were sent offshore to get it for cheap....

That isn't subsidy, it's investment, you tool.

Disk drive fired 'Frisbees of death' across data centre after storage admin crossed his wires

cageordie

Re: Lathes

That sort of thing really is common. In ten weeks of workshop practice we had the same idiot put one piece through the roof while turning between centers and then, not two weeks later, explode the stone on the cylindrical grinder. When a stone breaks at 5-9,000 rpm it has real energy, and the parts head out of the machine at speed. Even old 14" hard disks had nothing like enough energy to get out of the case.

The Next Big Thing in Wi-Fi? Multiple access points in every home

cageordie

Prior art much

What counts are AAA? Symbol was doing distributed wireless switches back in 2003 when I joined them. By about 2004 we had Kerberos and other login security as well as always following the latest encryption standards. By the time I left in 2007 we were meshing access points so we could cover parking lots and large campuses without wiring infrastructure. So what was new in 2012?

Don't install our buggy Windows 10 Creators Update, begs Microsoft

cageordie

Yeah. Whatever. Works for me.

That's what I am running right now. It's not like it's a work machine or anything, just the test and toy machine. So far it's working fine. But then it dual boots Linux, in case it gets too badly borked. I have had to roll back one release.

Mark Shuttleworth says some free software folk are 'deeply anti-social' and 'love to hate'

cageordie

But it was crap

So people didn't like his Fisher Price interface? Well that was predictable. I think the most popular task completed in Unity was replacing Unity. All he's proving is that he's as arrogant as his decision to force Unity on people suggested.

IETF 'reviewing' US event plans in the face of Trump's travel ban

cageordie

Even the Rethuglicans don't argue with the main point

President Bannon. Yup, with his attack dog Trump fronting for him.

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

cageordie

Re: The biggest problem with the alpha chip was yield

Take a look at the early days of any technology and yield is poor. Right now I work on a next generation Flash architecture, almost nothing about it works. It's incredibly poor compared to current Flash. But next year it will be in the stores. That's just how development goes at the cutting edge, and that's what the Alpha once was.

Lessons from the Mini: Before revamping or rebooting anything, please read this

cageordie

The original Mini needed some improvement, but it needed to be a mini. Fiat seemed to get that with the 500. Surely it would have been possible to make a small, cheap, economical car? I have a lovely picture of a BMC Mini parked next to its bloated namesake in Reno NV. And where did the space go? I am 6'3" and used to ride around in my friends Cooper S. The back of a mini was not good for me, it was possible, but not good. The really bad parts about the mini were crash worthiness and susceptibility to damp, the distributor and plugs were on the front of the engine, out in the weather. Could it be done? Well the systems from a Smart car show the mechanicals can be done. Does every car need navigation and a TV display in the dash? No! Most of the time what I need is an engine, transmission, brakes, steering, wipers, lights and seats. For electronics I need a Bluetooth connection for my phone. ABS is mandated as are air bags, but they fit in a Smart so they aren't a problem. Same with the emissions system. Enough with the feature creep.

Can Facebook influence an election result?

cageordie

You mean progressive?

Liberal means weak and limp wristed. What you should be saying is Progressive. Forward thinking. Trying to make positive change.

BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it

cageordie

I use wired on this machine. But then I live in a country where you can shoot trespassers, though sadly not one where I can actually watch the BBC. So who cares what I thing ;-)

Londoner jailed after refusing to unlock his mobile phones

cageordie

Re: Well?

Typical yank pillock trying to prove that owning an assault rifle makes him safe from having his credit card details stolen by scammers. Your 'legal' system can't even stop the "this is your final notice" credit card refinancing scams, because so long as someone rich is making money it can't be illegal. Dickensian era oligarchy pretending to be capitalism. Go buy some guns, keep the companies rich. I bet it won't help you when you do get robbed. Most likely by the Republicans giving your super rich a 'tax break', or in other words shifting more of the burden of running their pleasure park to the cleaners and food service employees.

cageordie

Dude? Years' ? Of or belonging to years? Not years, plural of year? Really? Where'd you fail your GCSE English?

Singapore Airlines 777 catches fire after engine alarm

cageordie

Some aircraft can land at MTOW. MTOW for the 777-300LR is 775,000 pounds but max landing weight is 554,000 pounds, so they have to have a jetison system because stooging around for ten hours burning fuel down to the max landing weight is not a valid option. The 777 dumps fuel from both sides, the controls are in the overhead panel immediately above the fuel pump controls, you can enable the left and right dump separately, select the amount to remain and then arm the system at which point it dumps down to the required remaining amount.

cageordie

Serious questions to answer on this one.

If he had an emergency caused by an fault then was that engine still running? The aircraft can fly very happily on one. Why didn't he evacuate? An aircraft can burn to the ground in minutes and they had a good chance of toasting everyone. They got lucky. You land with a fire, you get everyone off the plane. You don't sit and wait to see if the fuel tanks burn through before the fire crew controls the fire. It is not safer on the plane. There is nothing safe about a burning plane. The moment it stops you hit the parking brake, switch the engines off, yell "evacuate, evacuate, evacuate" to the cabin, secure the aircraft and leave.

Google kneecaps payday loan ads

cageordie

So they won't allow AMEX adverts?

AMEX requires repayment within 60 days. And if you don't I believe they charge high interest too. Don't know how high though.

Pilot posts detailed MS Flight Sim video of how to land Boeing 737

cageordie

This has been done better before

There are loads of videos like this, it is amazing that this one became news. Baltic Flight Academy has a whole series for the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 classic and NG models. In their case they use proper full motion certified simulators. The problem with FSX is that the flight model and cockpit model aren't all that good. X-Plane has better simulations, including very accurate 777 and 747-8 models, among others. The following Youtube video shows a flight attendant landing a Boeing 737.

https://youtu.be/o7WMQUDGDD4

cageordie

Re: Knowing what a lever or button do is just the beginning...

It really isn't all that difficult, humans are very good at learning hand-eye coordination. Chances of watching this and being able to program the approach in to the FMC... not very good.

I never liked FSX, fortunately there's X-Plane, which is a much better flight model anyway. As luck would have it my Boeing certified 777 Worldliner is flying itself from KSFO to BIKF right now.

Come on kids, let's go play in the abandoned nuclear power station

cageordie

Back then the government did know the risks

Regardless of all the statements about the brilliant technology, the government and the MoD scientists at the time knew what they were doing when the put this place as far as physically possible from London. Where they lived. If it was safe they'd have put it in Portsmouth, or Southampton, somewhere convenient for the plutonium they were manufacturing to be shipped to the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment in Aldermaston

cageordie

Re: Steel Fuel Tubes

Reactor design, which my uncles Alan and Richard, and my friend also Alan, used to do for NEI Quick Reactors (aka NEI Fast Breeders) is physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, software engineering, systems engineering and a great deal more. British degrees give you a good start down the road to being useful to a project team. American degrees waste half their time on 'general education' and get you to the start of a Master's Degree which teaches you what the last year of a British degree teaches you. A British degree from a 'good university' also costs a quarter of what an American degree from a 'good university' costs and doesn't require another couple of years and twice the cost of a British degree to catch up. On the other hand we didn't get time for buggering about in classes not taught to any recognized standard by cynical people who know they are just wasting your time.

cageordie

Re: By train: Regular service from Inverness to Thurso

I guess people who don't like this comment don't know the history of the shifting name of Windscale, or Sellafield, depending on how recently it has had an 'incident'.

Cisco: The day of PCs is passing, cloud storage will dominate by 2019

cageordie

Really? Really? Again?

LOL! I must have been hearing this since maybe 1990 when the IT folks realized people were taking control away from them. Every now and again this gets rolled out and dusted off again. Remember the thin client? I saw one of the prototypes at Liberate back around y2k, they had upgraded it with a local hard disk! You expect me to put all the crap I have stored on my 8 terabytes of disk on this machine to some company in the expectation that they will keep it private. Because big companies never have security issues and are always reliable and available? LOL!

A thousand mile Atom merci mission: Driving from Monaco to London in an open-topped motor

cageordie

Ha! Nice to see Paul is still enjoying his driving.

NASA rover coders at Intel's Wind River biz axed – sources

cageordie

Re: Plenty of near misses on Mars missions

Hmm. Where do you make up your 'facts'? Back around 97 NASA decided to ignore advice to set the inversion safe bit on semaphores and had to patch the thing once it got there and something they once saw turned in to a lockup every few minutes. Then there was the autonav failure where the autonav asked for Newtons but the engine folks didn't do metric and gave them pounds, so they slowed too much and burned to a crisp. And there was the weight on legs switch that was set by the legs flipping open, and latched, and not reset when the landing radar got an instantaneous echo... so they switched the braking motor off at around 20m and dropped the lander the rest of the way. There have been memory faults, but those are hardware failures, they are expected when you operate with little shielding in the hard radiation of space for years on end. The Mars shots that JPL engineered, rather than Lockheed, worked and have exceeded their expected life. VxWorks is a proper realtime operating system, not a hacker project or a Microsoft mess.

cageordie

Re: Working @ home...

LOL! Wind never paid well. They employed a lot of H1 slaves and paid well under the market rate to people who were stuck with them because it was that or return to their country of origin.

cageordie

Re: Agism and fools

It's not like they replaced the developers they discarded in the past. At least not in this country.

cageordie

Re: Topical

There was a perception that Linux is free. Well it isn't. When I worked for Motorola our group had four full time Linux maintenance engineers trying to hack the kernel in to a form that worked for us. When I worked on defense programs we bought VxWorks and then didn't need to worry about reworking the code. The code for VxWorks is cheap to obtain now and the Chinese and Indians were shipping fake copies even back in the late 90s. Our embedded Linux machine needed a flash drive and a whole load of RAM, a typical VxWorks system would load from ROM and was only a few hundred kilobytes. People forget that the money they pay to Wind is trivial compared to the cost of feeding and watering a free Linux installation.

Linux spends a lot of time doing its own thing, so you have to code around that and hope you get your event serviced in time. VxWorks had very little latency and wasn't doing a bunch of time sharing machine work when it wasn't doing what you wanted. For many that doesn't matter. But for those working in tight real time, things that are still life or death performance critical, like RADAR, ECM and ESM for example, then Linux just won't do.

cageordie

Re: Topical

Sadly that's what you get when you push most investment in to areas of the product that nobody ships; a graphical tool nobody uses and a stagnating operating system. Very sad.

Wikileaks: We DO NOT approve of OUR secret stuff being LEAKED

cageordie

How ridiculous

For a group that distributes secrets for a living this is ridiculously naive. As resident aliens, now citizens, in the US, myself and my friends have always expected that the US government would routinely monitor us. And an enemy of the US state, and they have made themselves an enemy, thinks that they should be able to scoff at US security laws and then demand special treatment? Hilarious.

Drive-making kingpin WD gobbles Skyera... to give to HGST

cageordie

Re: Nowhere near $400 million

I was told $9M on top of the $90M they were already in for. Basically a small golden handshake to get rid of the execs. The question is why WD would throw more money down the hole.

cageordie

So has anyone seen one working? Is there a third party benchmark?

I interviewed there and so did several of my friends. My service engineer friend asked very directly to see one working. Their 1U box is supposed to have the same capacity as a Violin box and yet they do it in 1U? I just don't see how they'd get the parts in to the box. The Violin box has huge fans and blows like a heater, mostly what is in the box seems to be Flash. So if Skyera has the same sort of capacity and better speed then unless Skyera invented new device physics it must be kicking 1KW out of a 1U box. And it only has a few small, 40mm, fans. At Motorola Wireless we needed a whole load of those 40mm fans to keep a relatively low power processor card cool. I just don't see how they are doing this, and with the absence of 3rd party benchmarks I have to wonder whether they ever really had a product.

cageordie

Re: Flash arrays recoverable?

They are ridiculously fast. They have no seek time. They can have huge data rates. Reads tend to be faster than writes. Companies like Violin deal with the reliability issues with layers of RAID and hardware redundancy. Multiple layers and paths. I saw a Violin demo where they offered customers the opportunity to remove any card at random, the box never missed a beat. On card failure they can hot swap another card in, the system then deals with rebuilding the on that fifth of the RAID group.

Silicon Valley royalty royally slammed for 'persistent, troubling deficit' of diversity

cageordie

Get a grip

It's not diversity, they want a specific diversity that fits the axe they want to grind.

We are a tech startup. We have 29 employees. Of those 5 are women, 5 are Indian, a Russian, two Brits, an Austrian, four Chinese, a German. We hire whoever has the skills we need. We have predominantly late thirties to late fifties, only a few younger folks.

I have never met a female African American software engineer. My previous company had several African American males.

We can't hire people who don't have the qualifications and experience. I have three months to go from bare machine to a working embedded system with closed loop control and monitoring. I can't hire someone without the qualifications and experience required to do that without supervision in the available time.

94% of Brit tech bosses just can't get the staff these days, claims bank

cageordie

Remember the brain drain

I work with another Brit here in silicon valley. Everywhere I have worked there's a bunch of Brits. Maybe if the UK had paid decently we wouldn't have moved over here. I'd be willing to come back for 150 thousand quid a year.

A BBC-by-subscription 'would be richer', MPs told

cageordie

I live in the western US, if I could get full access to the BBC by paying a subscription the equivalent of the license fee, or even a fair bit more, I'd do it. US TV is drivel.

Sadly I think making the BBC commercial would send it where the US TV channels have already arrived, whatever it takes to make a buck for minimal cost.

EMC's XtremIO array: Everything we know about new all-flash box

cageordie

Amazing - quarter of the speed of a Violin Steinway then?

Soooo.... their big announcement is a flash array that is quarter the speed of a Violin Memory Steinway array and is made of bog standard and not all that reliable SSDs rather than their own technology? And it isn't even all that big? I'm sure I've seen 32TB Steinways at some show or other. Doesn't sound all that extreme, or am I missing something?

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