* Posts by LisaJK

24 posts • joined 23 Feb 2016

Globo PC sales up for first time in 7 straight years – but market still 25% down on 2011


Desktops can take a long time to become obsolete nowadays

I have an 8 core AMD mini tower running Windows 7 with SSD (upgraded at some point from spinning rust) and 16GB RAM. It was new when Windows 7 was pretty new and cost significantly less than half the price of a typical Apple PC at the time.

It is still used daily, still outperforms many laptops and still works great for multimedia, including 4k video (which is mainly what it is used for).

If Windows 7 becomes problematic, due to end of life, I can put Linux on it and it will even appear to run faster!

It would get hot if it wasn't water cooled, so the only reason to 'upgrade' to something newer is to reduce my electricity bill, but this is marginal compared to the cost of upgrading.

Gone are the days when CPU clock speed on the latest PCs appeared to double annually. We haven't even seen much improvement in the number of CPU cores or RAM on average hardware in the past 10 years.

So it's no wonder that PC sales have fallen, whatever form factor, because we haven't really seen any useful performance improvement in the past 10 years on the average PC. 10 years ago Libre Office or MS office and most other commonly used software ran just as well as they do now on the latest kit at that time, so why would anyone buy new kit???

Of course Microsoft bloats Windows to make it appear that we need new hardware and therefore pay more Microsoft tax, but it's amazing how fast quite a lot of older hardware is after migration to Linux.

Bit of a time-saver: LibreOffice emits 6.3 with new features, loading and UI boosts


I use Libreoffice because...

I use Libreoffice BECAUSE it doesn't slow me down with a useless crappy ribbon and other such nonsense.

I have only encountered one person who prefers the modern MS Word UI and she'd attended a MS Word course and was pissed off she now had to forget all the MS BS and use Libreoffice.

Libreoffice has very few limitations and many beneficial features vs MS. The only drawback I've encountered is the reduced maximum number of rows and columns in Calc vs Excel, but that was only once on a badly designed spreadsheet from someone else.

50 years ago: NASA blasts off the first humans to experience a lunar close encounter


Re: Remember

I remember seeing parts of these missions at primary school aged 5 or 6. I can remember seeing the moon surface moving past the camera, but at that age, it seemed to go on for ages and I had no concept of its significance.

I also saw the first flight of the British Concorde, also quite boring at such a young age as it took ages before it actually took off.

Fast forwards a few years and I feel privileged to have witnessed such feats of engineering.

Sure mobile phones are many orders of magnitude more powerful than the computers of that era, but that is precisely why their achievements are so astounding.

If I were sitting on top of the world's biggest computer controlled firework I'd prefer those machine code programmed low powered 60's era machines.

More computing power and memory means more bugs...!!!

However much effort is spent on trying to eliminate bugs, they will always be there, even on those under powered Apollo machines.

Attempt to clean up tech area has shocking effect on kit


Re: Static

Obviously the ESD controlled area wasn't!

The cleaner's carts and all equipment should have been been ESD control compatible to be allowed into an ESD controlled area. Clearly at least one piece of their equipment wasn't.

I have seen so called anti static dusters, claiming they reduce dust by reducing static buildup. Presumably they are at least partially conductive.


Re: C

Hot British sunshine, when was that, did I blink???

Most UK petrol pumps have had evaporation control suction thingies for a while. So even if there is evaporation, little of it gets to the person holding the trigger.

Germany still allows trigger latches.

British Airways' latest Total Inability To Support Upwardness of Planes* caused by Amadeus system outage



Is it really easier and, more to the point, safer to add all this tech than to just weigh the plane???

Load cells on the parking spots would not be a particularly huge cost, but safety would be enhanced.

Such a system would also overcome issues like that of the Gimli glider, where fuel quantities were mistaken due to confusion between gallons and litres.

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



I first noticed this weird practice in China a few years ago.

I couldn't understand why they were doing it then and was even more surprised when I saw the practice had made its way across the globe.

Cancelled in Crawley? At least your train has free Wi-Fi now, right?


Re: Built in the age of steam?

Mobile phone and radio signals still seem to work in German tunnels, whether rail or road, not to mention that the trains go faster, they have more of them, they are cheaper to use and the cars are often allowed to go faster, except in tunnels!

Maybe they have different soil, or wait, maybe they do something rather radical... actually invest in technology!!!


Re: If only...

Lucky you've got a branch line...!!!

Gemini goes back to the '90s with Agenda, Data and mulls next steps


Waiting for V2

Great news about investment, I'm waiting for V2. Small company, first product will have lots of wrinkles (been there, done that!!!).

External eink status display would be my first choice of extra features, followed by something like Widi for external displays.

Keyboard backlight might be useful, cheap easy addition, nice to have.

Furthermore, I agree with others, flat UIs suck, bring back 3d buttons, so I can see what's a button / clickable / pressable and what's not!

On the subject of crap UIs, no ribbons please!!!

UK has rejected over 1,000 skilled IT bod visa applications this year


Re: Use local

I 'do' Python, but prefer embedded C and I hate the modern term IT for what I do. I'm an engineer not an IT.

I work almost 100% outside the UK now as UK rates are at best pathetic.

Not surprising for a country that uses the term engineer for washing machine repair technicians, among other relatively unskilled so called engineering jobs!

Google, AWS IPs blocked by Russia in Telegram crackdown


Iron fire curtain!

Sounds like an iron fire curtain is being erected!

What's silent but violent and costs $250m? Yes, it's Lockheed Martin's super-quiet, supersonic X-plane for NASA


Typo... shouldn't "unusually long noise assembly" be an "unusually long nose assembly"?

However if the long nose stretches the sonic boom then long noise may be appropriate!!!

It's Pi day: Care to stuff a brand new Raspberry one in your wallet?


Re: Dates

Ok for those who lived in a country which use the crazy system.

Not to mention feet, inches, etc... so called imperial measurements.

Why should the rest of the world learn some crazy system just to satisfy the inhabitants of one country, most of whom never leave it???

Wouldn't it be easier for the inhabitants of that country to learn how the rest of the world does things and deal with it!!!


Re: Dates

I assume that comes from the Germanic roots of English, where the tens are put after the units when counting from 13 to 99. Four and twenty blackbirds... etc.

Then there comes the continental vs British confusion on the meaning of half hour, e.g. half ten in England is half past 10. Halb zehn in German means half past nine!!!

I assume some Americanisms came from the German immigrants. Like waiting 'on' something that is not a table. To meet up; up where??? etc....

Still not on Windows 10? Fine, sighs Microsoft, here are its antivirus tools for Windows 7, 8.1


Could have been good news, but I've had enough of doze and I'm migrating to Linux

Having been forced to get W10 on a new laptop a while ago (1.5 years) I still hate it, even with Classic shell, taskbar tweaker, ribbon disabler etc.

Windows 7 was OK, but I had an old W7 laptop which has always run like a dog whatever I did to fix it (i7 quad core 2.2GHz, 16GB RAM etc) so I recently put Linux Mint 18 on it to see how it would go. Boot went from about 5 mins down to 10 seconds, everything else runs like lightning and I still can't get over how fast it is.

Now my favourite schematic and PCB layout tool runs under Wine on Linux and I use Libreoffice, Chrome, Gimp & Thunderbird for almost everything else, so Microsoft has had all the money they will ever get from me.

The only thing which doesn't work on Linux for me is any web site which requires Adobe Flash DRM. That's only UK TV channel 4 for me and there are ways around that.

Microsoft's 'Surface Phone' is the ghost of Courier laughing mockingly at fanbois


Back to the future...

Why is old always bad???

I'm still waiting for fold or slide out QWERTY keyboards to return on phones and tablets.

Laptop sales are rising at the expense of tablets. I've got a couple of tablets relegated to internet radios as I am just so much more productive with a real keyboard. We see the odd tantalising glimpse of potential smartphone products including keyboards, but nothing real to date.

I could type way quicker on my old XDA exec than anything since. OK the SW was crap (WinCE) and the HW was slow, but it did way more than the iphone which came after it.

Unfortunately I think that a dual screen foldable device is a nice idea, but you can't touch type on a screen. Most info I've found on the web reckons an average of between 50 and 70% speed for screen typing vs physical keyboards, but there doesn't appear to have been many really scientific tests.

Months late, unaudited: ZX Spectrum reboot firm files accounts


I'm thinking of setting up a company to build Austin Allegros or maybe Morris Marinas, they were both crap, are now completely obsolete and were badly built too!

Why would anyone want to pay money for something which was crap and badly built in its day??? Not to mention that it can be emulated far better on almost any modern platform for free!

Payroll-for-contractors company named at centre of AU$165m tax scam scheme


Re: Not surprised...

Well they didn't pull this off... looks like they got caught!

If they thought they would get away with this forever then they are stupid or blinded by greed. If they thought they'd make as much as they could then run, why didn't they run as soon as the bank accounts were frozen?

Scams like this have occurred before and will occur again, it's human nature.

If something seems to good to be true, it probably is, but some will believe it!

You should install smart meters even if they're dumb, says flack



What's the point???

I am an engineer, I know how much energy everything I use consumes. I use what I need to use. Furthermore, every electricity user is paying via their energy bill for those who have smart meters fitted. I don't want to pay for other people to have them and I have no opt out.

Even for an idiot, just turning stuff off when you don't need it will do just as well.

An interconnected meter with variable energy cost is a different matter, i.e. your washing machine washes when energy cost is lowest, etc.

Finally, I have no mobile signal in my area. A centrally connected smart meter won't work. Why can't they all use PLC???

Scammers hired hundreds of 'staff' to defraud TalkTalk customers


Indian scammers still continuing

My parents still get at least one apparently Indian scam call a day claiming to be from TalkTalk, so it's not ended by a long way yet.

I guess that once the phone number list is out there, it's difficult to stop scammers trying the numbers.

Airbus to build plane that's even uglier than the A380


A380 NOT ugly

The A380 has one of the most beautifully curved wings of any airliner viewed directly from the front or rear.

Admittedly the rest of the aircraft looks a bit disproportioned compared to the size of the cockpit windows, however, it is an aerial bus and is no uglier than any other airliner.

In saying that it is ugly (when comparing with e.g. Spitfire, Blackbird, or whatever), is like saying that a bus is ugly compared to a Ferrari.

Let’s re-invent small phones! Small screens! And rubber buttons!


Real QWERTY keyboard

Having owned an XDA Exec (O2 branded HTC QWERTY clamshell) many years ago, I'm still looking forward to the return of clamshell or slideout smartphones with real QWERTY keyboards.

In place of this, for the time being, I have a Huawei X2, 7" Octacore Android device. This does improve the typing experience somewhat, but I'd still prefer real keys with some downward travel!

NASA boffin wants FRIKKIN LASERS to propel lightsails


With that amount of light energy, would't heating of the sail be a problem?

Even the cleanest reflective surface will have imperfections and dust will stick to it, to increase energy absorption.

One further fly in the ointment, anyone or anything getting in the way of the beams or reflected light (be careful where you point that sail), will get rather hot, to say the least!

I guess slowing down could be achieved by swinging around the planet and using the beam to then slow it. Not sure about the G of that manoeuvre though.


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