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.
27 posts • joined 31 Oct 2014
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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