* Posts by deanb01

27 posts • joined 31 Oct 2014

Openreach names 81 lucky locations to be plugged into its super-zippy Gfast pipe

deanb01

Ballcocks

Still stuck on ADSL+ here in South Manchester. Neverreach can't be bothered to put in the remaining street cabinets so our part of the world can benefit from the lovely fibre-enabled exchange just down the road.

Bright spark dev irons out light interference

deanb01

Spark plugs on old Vauxhalls

Back in the day, when you got a mono MW/LW radio thrown in as a luxury item on Vauxhall Nova's standard equipment I noted on mine that there was a connector between the HT leads and the spark plugs. According to my dad (who was a Vauxhall mechanic) this was a choke to reduce radio interference from the HT wiring.

Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms

deanb01

Better inform the car manufacturers

There are other uses of master / slave in systems. For example in cars (clutch and brake master/slave cylinders)?

10 PRINT "ZX81 at 37" 20 GOTO 10

deanb01

Re: Display Memory

It's also possible to fool the display routines into producing a pseudo high-resolution image.

deanb01

Bizarrely the ZX81 did not have an error code for a failed tape loading (just checked my manual). That was introduced on the Spectrum. I think the ZX-81 just stuck in the loading routine.

deanb01

Fond memories

Cut my programming teeth on a ZX-81. Despite it's basic configuration it was a great little micro. The literature in the early 80s was fantastic, and the hardware was simple, so it was quite easy for your average 10-12 year old to pick up a little bit of assembly language or indeed a basic knowledge of digital electronics (the ZX-81 was also available in kit form for the more adventurous).

The manuals for the ZX-81 and Spectrum still hold up as being an example on how to write a technical manual for the layperson.

I remember it being a bit of a pain to write assembly language on it - there being no facilities to store or reserve memory for the code. The solution was to store the code in a REM statement at the top of the code. I must have worn out the tips of my fingers creating REM statements with sufficient characters in to store my code.

Thankfully, by the time I came to do serious coding (games) the Spectrum had come along, and you could reserve the top of memory for code.

1K was a challenge - 16K seemed like an absolute luxury at the time. I still write code with memory and efficiency in mind, despite the best efforts of bloatware runtimes.

Still got my ZX-81 and fire it up occasionally for old times sake.

Openreach ups investment plans: Will shoot out full fibre to 3 million premises

deanb01

A press release designed to impress investors...

...Still waiting for them to enable our cabinet for FTTC. Only been waiting 3 years. Suspect we'll get passed over for FTTH for the same reasons - it costs to dig trenches.

Well done, UK.gov. You hit superfast broadband target (by handing almost the entire project to BT)

deanb01

95% of statistics are made up

So our exchange is FTTC yet less than 50% of the cabinets in the surrounding estates have not been converted. BT / Openreach seem to have a thing for counting a town as 'converted' once they've done the exchange, regardless of whether any of the population can get the service. It's all ballcocks.

'Mummy, what's felching?' Tot gets smut served by Android app

deanb01

True Story

Back in the day, a new guy was being introduced around the company I worked for. All was going well, until he arrived in the developers room. He was introduced by the boss, and one of my colleagues started laughing so hard he nearly choked on his coffee. He only told us why after the guy had left the room.

The new guy's name was Phil Ching.

Itching to stuff iOS 11 on your iPhone? You may want to hold off for a bit

deanb01

App Store still thinks it's in beta

Tried to leave a review of an app on the new App Store and got an error message saying I could not leave reviews on a pre-release version of iOS. Oops.

Atlassian kills God, rebrands as a mountain, a structurally unsound 'A' or a high five

deanb01

That was clearly worth it.

Been using Jira all day and wouldn't have noticed the change of logo but for this article

UK.gov unveils six areas to pilot full-fat fibre, and London ain't on the list

deanb01

Beg my scepticism...

Openreach will do what they did with FTTC - target the low hanging fruit then declare the project a success, like they've done in many towns in South Manchester.

Talk about a hit and run: AA finally comes clean on security breakdown

deanb01

Re: GDPR (as of May 2018)

I use Microsoft Authenticator with HMRC online services. Pretty sure it works with Google Authenticator too; only use MS for Office 365.

Worry not, Python devs – you can program a quantum computer

deanb01

Scratch?

Might be missing the point here, but isn't Scratch adapted from Smalltalk, not Python?

Meet Hyper.is – the terminal written in HTML, JS and CSS

deanb01

Why?

Just visited the website to see if it would shed some illumination as to the point of this project and have come away from it none the wiser.

First World Problems: John Lewis clients forced to re-register after website 'upgrade'

deanb01

Nothing to see here...

I've got a partnership card and received an email on the 7th Oct that clearly stated I had to reregister.

You've seen things people wouldn't believe – so tell us your programming horrors

deanb01

True or False

Whilst working in the software department of a well known fruit machine manufacturer, I was introduced to the following piece of logic. I think it was in C, but the gist was:

if(a == true) {

b = false;

}

else {

b = true;

}

Scout Association's shelved database won't be back until next year

deanb01

Compass Bearings

I use OSM and am dreading the the return of Compass. Nothing like having to use two online systems to manage your group and having to train other non technical section leaders to eat into your spare time.

BT boss: If Ofcom backs us, we promise to speed up UK broadband

deanb01

Doing the bare minimum

According to this press release https://www.btplc.com/News/Articles/Showarticle.cfm?ArticleID=D6BA16C8-6876-4735-B571-C1DAD61512A0 I should have FTTC Superfast Broadband. Oh wait, they only appear to have converted less half of Gatley's cabinets...

We're hardly out in the sticks, less than 10 miles from the centre of Manchester and 3 from Stockport.

Similar story when fitting out remote offices for work. More than half are only served by ADSL. Broadband in this country is a mess.

Scientists love MacBooks (true) – but what about you?

deanb01

Works for me

Purely a practical choice for me.

I've got a late 2013 15" Macbook Pro I purchased from Apple's Refurbished store. Got last years model and saved my company £340. At that point it was cheaper than the equivalent Windows PC.

It spend 90% of it's time booted in Windows 7 with occasional forays into OSX. I'm a software developer working on a mixture of Windows and Linux systems with some multimedia work & app development mixed in. It has its quirks, but so far has been the best laptop I've owned, mainly down to the screen resolution.

All right, who guessed 'street mapping' for those mystery Apple vans? Congratulations

deanb01

Bah humbug

Why stop at two global companies reinventing the ark? Anyone else fancy driving cars around the entire planet to street map it?

Openreach to trial G.fast in Swansea

deanb01

Re: Come the revolution...

Brilliant!! We've now got a new name for Openreach in our office now. Thanks :-)

deanb01

Come the revolution...

Shame Openreach can't get FTTC broadband to our estate in Gatley, South Manchester. I get a faster Internet connection through my mobile phone. Also this year I've set up 7 regional offices in Preston, Norwich, Blackpool, Stockport, Wilmslow, Carlisle & Birmingham and Openreach can only serve "Superfast Broadband" to 2 of those. Not seeing much of a broadband revolution in the UK at the moment.

RAF radar station crew begs public for cash to buy gaming LAN kit

deanb01

The Stark Truth

Fair play to them. Even S.H.I.E.L.D agents get to play Galaga whilst on duty.

Euro broadcast industry still in a fug over that 4K-ing UHD telly

deanb01

My eyes are hardly HD quality, let alone 4K.

What time do you call this, BT? Late, state-funded broadband rollout plods on

deanb01

Half-arsed broadband rollout

Unable to get fibre broadband on the A6 in Stockport to a new satellite office my company is setting up and my home in Gatley, despite the exchange being capable of it, is not fibre broadband ready as BT have only put cabinets on half our estate.

About time BT/OpenReach/Gov pulled their finger out IMHO.

One hard ghoulie: 1985's Ghosts 'n Goblins

deanb01

Great game!

I worked at Software Creations during that era and developed the Amstrad CPC version of Ghouls n Ghosts. A beggar to program on 8 bit hardware and not my finest work. My colleague, Mike Follin, programmed a technically excellent scroll routine on the Speccy version, derived from earlier work on Bubble Bobble & LED Storm, that "chased the raster' to run at 25fps and draw sprites and backgrounds on alternate frames without flicker.

The Speccy version of Ghosts n Goblins was a great game for the time & really pushed the Spectrum to its limits.

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