* Posts by Loud Speaker

535 posts • joined 30 Jan 2015


Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

Loud Speaker

Re: Wonder what my 2005 Accord will do

My sister-in-law has a Nissan Note with a built in double DIN satnav - the map upgrade costs more than a reasonable Android double DIN head unit from Ebay.

My Peugeot has a plastic clip which holds an Android phone.

Loud Speaker


It's OK, the bank branches will remember their location

I take it you don't bank with TSB!

Granddaddy of the DIY repair generation John Haynes has loosened his last nut

Loud Speaker

Re: My favourite was "How to keep your car alive "

I had a collection of over 20 Haynes manuals, but was forced to leave them behind when we moved to a smaller house - the family said "Dad - you are never going to fix any of those cars again" - I promised not to fix any 1970's Fiats ever again - although I could probably fix them without a manual - but the odd pre-electronic Mercedes or Volvo might get a look in.

Can't remember which car, but my favourite Haynes instruction was "Using Ford tool XY7/900695* - or any suitable piece of wood" - this was around 1976 - so probably an Escort of some kind.

* Obviously after 50 years, this number may be remembered incorrectly.

Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late

Loud Speaker

Re: 60 bit "bytes" aka word.

I wrote assembler for all those machines.

CDC6400, 6600 and 7600 were 60 bit machines - with 10 6-bit chars in each - or, with huge struggles, 12-bit punch card column images (don't try that at home).

PDP-8s had 12 bit words, and also used 6bit chars.

NO ONE EVER called a 6-bit char a byte. If you did, IBM would probably have sued your pants off. IBM had 8-bits. everyone else did not (until 16-bit machines and Unix).

None of the above machines had any standard way of inputting 8-bit bytes. Nor was there much agreement on how to read 7-bit or 9-bit mag tape - the only agreement seemed to be "Don't use the IBM card punch codes or EBCDIC" - but then again, most sane people would agree not to use EBCDIC.

The ASR33s connected to them processed 8-bit character patterns - but mostly by discarding at least two bits. You either had all lower case (Algol) or all upper case (FORTRAN, COBOL). Of course, real British computers used 5-hole baudot punched tape (Numbers, numbers, letters, letters :-)

Yes, we had IDRIS - UNIX in ALL UPPER CASE - and my ears till hurt 50 years later!

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

Loud Speaker

Re: Ex designer of military kit

If you have to pay for the tests to simulate "on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier at sea" you will know where some of the money goes.

And the design briefing begins (or used to) "remember the chaps using this may be upside down in a ditch with people shooting at them" - which is why you have too be able to identify the controls by feel. Pig ugly is a design requirement.

How big is the UK space industry? It hauled in £14.8bn for 2016/2017 – report

Loud Speaker

Re: Eh?

"No Deal" is careful badging by remainers to make it sound like armageddon, whereas all it means is that UK won't have food and drink.

Fake news? More like ache news. Grandma, grampa 'more likely' to share made-up articles during US election

Loud Speaker

Re: Where did they get these people?

To what extend was it shared in the context of "Hey, can you believe the kind of crap young people put on the Internet?"

I agree there is definitely a component of older people who think "It was in writing, so it must be true" - this is partly because they are of an age group where a large part of the community was illiterate - being literate meant being educated and informed - and possibly from a rich background and financially more likely to be conservative. And being "educated" was somewhat relative.

Forget ripping off brains for AI. Butterflies and worms could lead us to self-repairing intelligent robots, says prof

Loud Speaker


the "lifestyles" of caterpillars and butterflies.

Research reveals their lifestyles are based on what they read in the Grauniad.

Tech support discovers users who buy the 'sh*ttest PCs known to Man' struggle with basics

Loud Speaker

Re: UI Guidelines mandate saying "Press a key to continue"

After having the legendary "My keyboard does not have an any key" call, I got the instructions changed to "space bar" - only to discover that "any" did not include the space bar!

This replaced software featuring the legendary "press any key to continue or any other key to abort". My personal tape backup script still says this 30 years later, but _I_ know that Ctrl-C will abort, and no one else uses the script.

Loud Speaker

Re: Children of the Resolution

Many years ago, I made an interesting observation:

Most pretty girls have bad eyesight. This is because they don't see the flaws in their appearance, and so don't draw attention to them.

Loud Speaker

Re: The right attitude

I still have mice without scroll wheels, and a lot of people have only ever used laptops.

Personally, I favour public humiliation for the shitbags who create scroll bars three pixels wide, and/or hide them, or who create windows with boarders one pixel wide (Seems to be the default for Mate).

My screen is quad HD, and you can't click on such tiny features. Other people have higher resolution than me, and the display manager bloody well ought to know about PPI - I get at least 3 PPI related phone calls a day!

Identity stolen because of the Marriott breach? Come and claim your new passport

Loud Speaker

New ID?

A new passport won't hack it. I want a new (and secret) ID - complete with plastic surgery, new bank accounts and a fake foreign accent.

Loud Speaker

Re: Burden of Proof

Marriott or the miscreants?

Yes - or possibly both.

Boffins build blazing battery bonfire

Loud Speaker


I was expecting to hear about a huge mass of "Enterprise servers" fused together in a box. (Preferably with Larry Ellison in the same box).

3 is the magic number (of bits): Flip 'em at once and your ECC protection can be Rowhammer'd

Loud Speaker

Re: They're not knocking ECC

Anyone who understands ECC and the the maths behind it would know this is part of the spec*. Anyone who does not, probably ought not to be publishing academic papers on the subject.

Many years ago (when 6502's were popular), I worked on a project where we were instructed NOT to correct the bits anyway, because larger numbers of erroneous bits might be falsely corrected and not reported. (This was not in the context of computer memory).

I first read about ECC in the 1960's, and the technology dates back to the 1940's or possibly earlier. This is not news, merely evidence that standards of education have been on the decline for a very long time.

* It is perfectly possible to specify ECC such that the number of incorrect bits that can be detected is higher. However, it might be harder to get anyone to pay for it.

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

Loud Speaker

SunBlade 100 (UltraSparcIII) to some opensource projects, no one wanted to take it (no keyboard,

surely it would run headless, and possibly even diskless (net booted)?

Loud Speaker

Re: I was going to write exactly the same thing

The problem is that you would then find someone had mislaid the irreplaceable cable required to make it work.

Don't worry, I have what you need!

l large amount of Intel based stuff, all of it older than Windows XP, although the really

old stuff went to Sierra Leone some years ago. (I sold the 8" floppies to the Zambian Army).

I did throw away all the modems/routers too old for LEDE.

I have Sun cables for anything so recent it does not have a Motorola CPU. The oldest processor

I still own is an Ultra5.

I also have more SCSI 1 and SCSI2 H/Ds than you can shake a stick at (I tried, just to prove it!)

and quite a few SCSI3's but some of those are still in use, so I would not want to part with them.

SMBs: We don't want to spoil all of this article, but have you patched, taken away admin rights, made backups yet?

Loud Speaker

Office 365?

Isn't that a Microsoft product?

Surely Microsoft is the biggest cause of insecurity in SMBs? (The term is normally SMEs for small and Medium Enterprises - SMBs are something to do with Samba, and yes, prone to serious insecurity).

Our processor tech's got legs, says Arm: 'One million' data center servers will ship in 2018

Loud Speaker

A million what?

Is this a million cores, a million chips or a million boxes?

In this market, a box can hold 128 chips, each with 128 cores, so the potential difference is huge.

Self-driving cars may not have steering wheels in future, dev preview for PyTorch 1.0 is here, etc

Loud Speaker

Re: No wheel is one thing

I can just imagine...

Left a bit, right a bit, down a bit....

left hand down a bit, Mr Pertwee ...

<loud crashing sound, stage left>

London tipped to lead European data market. Yes, despite Brexit!

Loud Speaker

As I hear it from the Remoaners, or was it the Brexiteers? (I forget), after Brexit, every single IP packet will have to be inspected by HM government on entry to the UK (using a magnifying glass to BS standards, of course).

That should put the mockers on any prospect of nasty, foreign data getting in. (or making money).

Watt the heck is this? A 32-core 3.3GHz Arm server CPU shipping? Yes, says Ampere

Loud Speaker

Re: Drivers?

NO SCSI (SAS) in your servers?

Do you mean no tape backup??

Perhaps for a compute server, but database server without backup? I hope not!

Boffins bash Google Translate for sexism

Loud Speaker

Re: What's the problem here?

Wrong: this is not a singular use. "whoever finds himself" in this context delivers a collective result - meaning all the people in this category, ranging from 0 to infinity, hence the use if "They".

This is the equivalent of an SQL "select where X is guilty" which delivers an unknown number of matches.

Loud Speaker

Re: What's the problem here?

"Jo can't afford a Goth costume to annoy their parents with, so they are identifying as non-binary for a bit."

No. You may be desperate to impute that other people are sexist, but the truth is: You are an illiterate imbecile.

A boss pinching pennies may have cost his firm many, many pounds

Loud Speaker

Re: Imagine... No Switches....

Took a while, but eventually I found that one senior manager decided that wall mounted switches for the servers were not really considered cost effective as each server had its own on/off switch already built in......

Copies of this story should be left lying about in boardrooms everywhere (with an explanation of why this is dumb-fuck behaviour, because dumb-fucks can't figure it out for themselves). (Similar to Blinkenlights signs on mainframes).

Canny Brits are nuking the phone bundle

Loud Speaker

Re: Punished if you buy phone from elsewhere

Careful research will reveal that "unlimited minutes" are shorter than normal minutes.

I used to work for a telco where the equipment was configured to provide the user with 6 seconds for every minute he paid for. This was more generous than several competitors.

Never trust a telco further than you can throw them.

Thunderstruck: Azure Back in Black(out) after High Voltage causes Flick of the Switch

Loud Speaker

Re: "For certain uses, you want the datacenter near the users."

Texas is Biiiiiiig, but it doesn't stretch across the Atlantic Ocean yet....

Don't worry, Chuck Norris is working on that!

Microsoft gives Windows 10 a name, throws folks a bone

Loud Speaker

Re: Obviously...

resumé simply because it's in an open source ISO standard format?

Or, why would you submit your resumé in a format that can be edited by someone at the recipient end?

Loud Speaker

Because I, J, K, L, M, O and P, and any variable with a name beginning with those, is an integer in Fortran, and we all learned Fortran in College before BASIC was invented.

No, eight characters, some capital letters and numbers is not a good password policy

Loud Speaker

Re: I've always preferred ..

Worse still, you lose the post-it note you wrote it on, and have to access the account after a month away in a country where you had to speak another language.

I will continue to use "correct-horse-battery-staple" unless money depends on it. (Except for government websites that don't allow passwords longer than 8 characters).

A third of London boroughs 'fess to running unsupported server software

Loud Speaker

Re: Xp is still alive

I have an embroidery machine that needs XP. The manufacturer's suggested upgrade is to buy a new £5,000 machine. I met their UK MD recently, and explained their competitors support Linux, and IF I replace the machine, I will NEVER buy into Windows dependence again. I have learned my lesson.

Unpicking the Pixel puzzle: Why Google is struggling to impress

Loud Speaker

Re: Conspiracy theory.

People piss and moan about how 'boring' the iOS UI is.

That is not people that is reviewers - people who would be out of a job if phones remained in one place long enough for people to figure out what all the features actually did, and where the bloody setting they want has gone now!

However, experience with cars has taught us - if you don't want the brake pedal in a different place in each car, you need to legislate! (And quite possibly execute a few "libaturds" "pour encourager les autres").

Its the same reviewers who think it is a good idea to have notches, remove headphone jacks, and make it impossible to replace broken parts in a device that can barely survive for a year in a home environment. These are crimes against the environment and the reviewers are guilty of aiding and abetting - possibly incitement as well in some cases.

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

Loud Speaker

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

it's not an "experience" it's a "journey".

In the case of Gimp, it is a wrestle - with an alligator!

Just try to add some text in a specific place, font and size. Even one word can take an hour as all your settings get eaten by vultures or kidnapped by aliens - you set 12 points? Well tough - it goes back to 17 pixels before you can press a space bar. You selected "Pillar box red"? Well, you did, but the default is black, so that is what you get?

As for changing the brush size? well you will need to sacrifice more than a goat for that to work!

Self-driving cars will be safe, we're testing them in a massive AI Sim

Loud Speaker

Re: Evidence?

Google cars have currently driven 120million miles with zero fatalities,

Obviously, none of them in Lagos.

Google risks mega-fine in EU over location 'stalking'

Loud Speaker


Does "accessible to advertisers" mean that Google uses the highly personal profile to choose which ads to show to the users, or does that mean that advertisers can read the highly personal profile of the users?


Cheap NAND nasty: Flooding market with chips threatens prices

Loud Speaker

Re: What about demand?! It is about to burst out!

Demand is about to undergo a huge shift. AI in its many flavors, AR, VR

I have a slightly used flying pig if you ever feel the need for one.

Peace pays dividend for OpenWRT as 'baseline' release lands on servers

Loud Speaker

Re: Good news.

> I first used the OpenWRT about 12 years ago.

So did I, but I was also using LEDE for the last couple of years.

Now I have just downloaded 18.06.0 and installed it on my Lantiq based router, and I am a happy bunny. (Obviously not the same router as 12 years ago!)

I'll have two pints of Blockchain Brew and a half of Cloudy Bollocks

Loud Speaker


Large Hadron flavoured ale is my favorite. The small hadrons just don't hack it!

Some of you really don't want Windows 10's April 2018 update on your rigs

Loud Speaker

Re: Not my fault you can't use it right.

If they're trying Linux for the first time, and Linux doesn't yet support their hardware,

Then get them to email me their time machine. its not 1999 any more.

These days its far more likely Windows doesn't support their hardware.

Rights group launches legal challenge over London cops' use of facial recognition tech

Loud Speaker

Re: A fine distinction

Currently, it is more like farcical recognition.

Form an orderly queue, people: 31,000 BT staff go to Openreach in October

Loud Speaker

Re: I wish OR well

You can estimate the effectiveness of support from your BT "support team" by their ranking in the Football world cup. There effectiveness at IT support is roughly two places below that.

I predict a riot: Amazon UK chief foresees 'civil unrest' for no-deal Brexit

Loud Speaker

Re: eh?

Anyone who has worked in distribution (See Amazon) is well placed to observe how the UK distribution industry is so delicately balanced that more than one banana skin on the M25 in the same quarter could trigger mass starvation if it is the wrong kind of banana.

Sysadmin sank IBM mainframe by going one VM too deep

Loud Speaker

Re: Just to mudddy the waters a trifle ...

Maybe we can switch back after Brexit.

Yes, lets. Its no more stupid than anything else to do with Brexit.

Either my name, my password or my soul is invalid – but which?

Loud Speaker

The purpose of using an email address for login is that the average idiot can remember his email address. He probably can't remember a password with more than 4 characters, but he can use the "reset password" button - much easier than typing 32 character passwords.

Loud Speaker

Re: Got to watch those password lengths

SQL (or "a Sequel" if you prefer)


Sequel was something entirely different - an IBM product predating SQL. MS don't want you to know this. Sequel was NOT GOOD.

Emojis of sexually explicit vegetables should only be used for passwords on porn sites. Think of the children!

Loud Speaker

Re: "Wrong" email addresses

I take it your friend's name is O'DROP DATABASE';

Why Google won't break a sweat about EU ruling

Loud Speaker

Re: Another Appstore?

You can't piss off developers in that situation.

Speaking as a developer, they DID piss me off this way!

Loud Speaker

Re: Look at all those wonderful alternatives insight.....Oh wait

You have completely lost the plot here: Google says "if you want to sell a phone with Google Apps, ALL your phones MUST have Google Apps" That is why there is a case against Google at all.<p>

Yes, we do want Google to say "if you offer a phone with Android, you must offer the _same_ phone without Google apps". In fact, we want the EU to say "we are going to fine you $5B a minute if you don't". <p>

The actual result was less impressive, but still much closer to what we want than the present situation. Unfortunately $5B once off is unlikely to be noticed by Google.

Loud Speaker

Re: What I want (i.e. will pay for) in my smartphone OS

The reality is, more and more of my friends and family will not upgrade their present phone because they can't abide the bloatware, and would only buy a flagship phone without it. Bloatware seriously damages the Android experience.

Android flagships are sinking - you don't need Netcraft to confirm it. If EU regulations wont stem the rising tide, maybe consumer dissatisfaction will.

Contracts are dead: SIM free is better because the contracts are scams, and you can buy medium priced phones if desperate because you broke your old one. Here in the UK, grey imports are more attractive to a lot of people because of dual SIM.

No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?

Loud Speaker

Re: Damn

Smart meters are necessary to achieve robust vendor lock-in.


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