* Posts by DuncanLarge

160 posts • joined 10 Apr 2017


Friday fun fact: If Stegosauruses had space telescopes, they wouldn't have seen any rings around Saturn

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Distant Origin

"aaaaaand this is yet another reason why i hated Voyager."

Why? It was an excellent episode showing the issues with narrow mindedness and doctrine.

It took us a while to shake it off, although there are still those who think the earth is flat and at the centre of the universe, which cant possibly have any other life in it because we are so so special.

Step in the total perspective vortex!

Oracle exec: Open-source vendors locking down licences proves 'they were never really open'

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

My god its like I'm back in the 90's

What a retro minded individual.

Everything he says about having to "lock the source down" etc is right out of the 90's.

Lock your source down if you like. Leave Open Source (I'm presuming that includes Free Software in his statements). Bye bye, make sure you dont let the door hit you on the way out. Nice seeing you, thanks for bringing the bottle of wine.

Excuse me, sir. You can't store your things there. Those 7 gigabytes are reserved for Windows 10

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Easy way to regain the 7 GB

How much are you allocating for the swap partition?

A little bit more than what you have in RAM if you want hibernation or 1GB would be enough otherwise.

You asked the wrong question. The OP was saying you can reclaim the 7GB reserved for windows, not the space reserved for the pagefile.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

"I think it’s reasonable a computer should last between 3-5 years"

Unless it comes from Apple, who seem to not know what a computer is and have shocked their loyal fans when they said that "PC" users are to be pitied as they end up with machines that are 6 or more years old!


DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: 32GB HP Monstruosities

"You can't get any modern OS to run on 128MB of memory and 2GB of hard drive space. Not even a modern CLI-only Linux will exist happily in that*"

Well I decided to try it.

I downloaded Debian 9.0.6 x64 XFCE DVD#1 and ran the installer on a VM with 128MB of ram and a 2GB drive.

The installer said that it needed at least 167MB of free memory, although I was given the option to continue and a warning that it may cause issues. So I decided to bump up the ram to 256MB only for the smooth installation. I only installed the base system and standard system utilities plus SSH server. No Xorg or XFCE (that was an option). I allowed the installer to decide its own partitions (one partition was the default choice).

The HDD space was 46% used with approx 850MB remaining (some of the 2.0 GB was taken for a swap partition by the installer).

Upon boot the system is using 47MB out of the 256MB ram.

As I needed a more usable system than a base system I installed these:

Midnight Commander


GCC (plus other needed packages)


So although 128MB ram was too little for the installer to guarantee correct operation I was able to get a system running with 256MB and 2 GB of space that can do some useful stuff. It can browse the web, transfer files, connect to a ssh server (and act as one) and develop python,perl and C.

I did try to install the bsd-games package however that was not on DVD #1 and I had not bothered adding a network mirror (I could have done so).

After all that I was left with 565MB of free HDD space. Totally enough to write some text based application code :)

I just wish I had Adventure on DVD 1. Guess I could add a network mirror or have fun writing my own!

The D in SystemD stands for Dammmit... Security holes found in much-adored Linux toolkit

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: I guess it's a good time

To remind of RISC OS

It'll soon be even more illegal to fly drones near UK airports

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Keystone Cops


I would quote parts of what you said however all of it is simply silly.

Use your head. Havnt the police said that they have something like 60 credible reports (out of many more) that indicate a drone? 60 pairs of eyes at least saw something. Thats 120 HUMAN eyeballs that saw something (ok maybe the same pairs saw multiple sightings). If they saw it then the phone in their pocket certainly can. If they saw it multiple times then they are all totally incompetent to to have remembered to whip out the smartphone to grab some evidence. If any of these pairs of eyes were oficials working at the airport they are doubly totally incompetent in not recording anything. Bloody hell it aint that hard.

Thats not to mention the many more pairs of eyes that were present at the airport that could whip out the phone or as they were holiday makers, the enthusiast DSLR's. I'm sure a few of them also had or used drones so maybe they would have been even more motivated to try and capture the perp?

As for monitoring the sky? Its dead easy. You only have to point a few DSLR's in the right directions. You can monitor the whole sky! A 50mm lens covers 40 degrees so 360 continuous coverage would need only 9 cameras on a set of tripods. But get 9 humans to watch the sky together and let them record it when they spot something. You dont need to have these capture the details of the drone, just where this "thing" is and where it went as part of the evidence.

Bird watchers would be best.

WHy hasnt anyone asked why when this happened to gatwick in 2017 that they didnt look to implement anti-drone measures like with Southend airport?



Honestly, it looks like a few people need to get fired or have a stern talking to. If some group of people were to claim that the aliens had landed on their local green and demanded all their women, wouldnt you expect them to have some video or photo evidence or just say "Oh ok there are 60 of you all saying the same shit, I believe you and will go out and get the stuff I need to defend my women".

Found yet another plastic nostalgia knock-off under the tree? You, sir, need an emulator

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

From the back of the room

I'm an Acorn user ;)

Jingle bells, disk drives sell not so well from today. Oh what fun it is to ride on a one-horse open array...

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Always needed bigger and bigger drives.

Do you have any idea how long it takes to upload data to somebody elses computers, oops I mean a cloud service?

Even uploading a small amount of home movies say 50GB of unedited original "master" files makes me think twice. I'm actually about to leave my PC on for the next week to upload more than this to Amazon S3, for off site backup of data I have already backed up on-site twice. A week. And thats just my newest data, not the older stuff I want to preserve.

Sorry but comparing the transfer rate of a spinning HDD or a decent SSD versus the cloud = no contest.

In the early 2000's I was happy with my spinning drives blasting data to and from each other at 150-200MB/s over PATA with SATA giving a more consistent speed between drives later. Show me an ISP that can give me an upload speed that matches a PATA HDD from the 2000's. Thats assuming that that service does not cost more than £50 a month, and ignoring the fact that the endpoint (the cloud service) may have its own issues along with anything in-between adding to the propagation delay.

Just for the sake of it, I'm on Virgin Media, who are really against giving you upload speed anywhere close to your download speed. Right now my upload speed is capped at 6Mb/s. The most expensive packages can double that.

Yesterday I tried sharing a newly taken photo from my phone to someone on FB messenger. I had what appeared to be a decent 4G signal. The single photo took over 2 mins to upload. Sat at 50% for a while. 2 mins to transfer about 20MB. SIgh. This is likely an issue at FB end to be honest but if that was something much bigger that 20MB...

Forget your deepest, darkest secrets, smart speakers will soon listen for sniffles and farts too

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

April is a way away

Is this a f*cking joke?

I've just started watching Black Mirror and the episodes that showed a fully aware digital consciousness performing the jobs we have Alexa doing today creeped me out enough, then I read this.

For fax sake: NHS to be banned from buying archaic copy-flingers

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: There were tantrums when the Trust I worked for switched off their fax machines.

@ Uberior

Right. This is an interesting one.

So, you kill off a simple, easy to use fax machine at that trust. Ignoring the issues with how email is woefully inadequate for replacing the functions of fax, you let them "bike" the stuff to its destination?

Is that progress? Are we to return to riding horses instead of driving cars? Perhaps we should also scrap cruise liners and instead go cruising around the world on rafts. I know, lets get rid of those smelly and dangerous gas powered ovens and make everyone use coal. Progress, rose tinted progress.

My god man. What were you thinking? Biking private details. I really hope that they were on some medium that was not generally accessible to the public, such as LTO tape (I dont think many members of the public have access to LTO drives) and encrypted using public key cryptography before being handed to a spotty kid on a bike.

Why didnt you use something like a securicor van? You know, those vans that can guarentee security and have vans designed to make access to the stuff inside difficult. However even with this there is an issue with moving backwards from using a fax machine to using a van that rolls on the public road on inflated balloons called tires. That is those inflated balloons can leak catastrophically resulting in non-delivery of the contents.

Failure modes for old tech that uses inflated balloons on tarmac:

1. Robbery. Van = more secure, bike = good luck.

2. Balloon leaks. Van = time taken to replace balloon, aka the tire. Bike = rider walks or tries to repair tire and continue. Result = potential significant delay.

3. Dishonesty. Van = driver steals documents and sells them to whoever wants them. Bike = the same.

4. Accidents. Van = Multiple issues such as the van hitting the rider of the bike, the driver has a heart attack or is taken ill, the van collides with a car or other object and so on. Bike: The rider is hit by the van, the rider comes off the bike and goes to hospital.

5. Industrial/political action / disobedience. Your van driver or biker goes on strike and refuses to deliver till the union says its ok. Or they get held up by rampaging mobs of climate protesters who are blocking the bridges over the river because idiots like you wish to have a van spewing out CO2 to deliver data that could be sent down a phone line.


DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: At least 10 years late

"Official guides in how to use a fax and remain secure are big thick binders and it requires all fax machines to be in locked areas and under supervision AT BOTH ENDS when in use."

That is a lie.

"No, faxes are not inherently more secure than email."

Go on then, intercept one in transit.

"Fax messages are unencrypted and unencryptable."

That is a lie. The FAX standard has always used encryption and FAX over the internet uses TLS. I suggest you do your research rather than making things up because you want to look like you know something about how technology works.

"THis is a good, and long awaited, thing."

Yep, it wont be long till we see the headlines and BBC rolling news items about the GDPR data breaches of private medical information stolen while sitting on a third party server somewhere that was configured to be an SMTP smarthost for the NHS by a worm introduced via some secretaries flash drive her 4 year old son found in the plant pot outside and gave to mummy, and the pandemonium caused by an outage of the email system due to someone forgetting to pay for an SSL certificate.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

"Or use one of the many camera apps that store only on your phone "

Or just use a compact digital camera. There are plenty around new or even secondhand. I got a nice 4MP Casio for £2 from a charity shop. It would work just fine for taking photos for a little magazine.

New ones of course have all sort of bells and whistles not to mention higher resolutions.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Total facepalm, now face is bruised.

"Email is much more secure and miles more effective than fax machines"

I'm hoping that you will implement secure email correctly? It can be done just fine as long as you know what you are doing AND TRAIN YOUR USERS to use email in a way that they have never used it before.

Seems like punching a phone number (or even using a speed dial) and dropping a bit of paper into a sheet feeder of a fax machine is quite a lot simpler. Perhaps there are devices that work like fax machines but email securely instead? I swear I have seen them. I swear that modern FAX machines also can email so there must be secure emailing FAX machines about.

"they will require signed directions or prescriptions – something easily achieved "in the real world" by taking a photo on your phone and sending it via SMS."

SMS, are you f*cking serious? You want people to send their prescription requests and signatures via SMS? SMS has been cracked for ages now. It is no more secure against a kid with a raspberry pi, 1TB of HDD space and a software defined radio as a postcard is against a postman. SMS is great for sending that message from the side of a cliff when you are on holiday with only a low strength 2G signal. Its great for sending a message to tell your hubby to get 2 loaves of bread. But for sending a very personal and private communication that if intercepted can be used to help commit ID theft, where have you been?

How come nobody seems to know that just because its easy, or "high tech" or "modern" does not mean its safer? You want to replace an old system with a new one? Ok well do some proper research and prove that every element of the new system can directly replace or improve upon the old. This includes, as in the case of fax machines, understanding how someone today would go about intercepting such messages or tampering with them. I would argue that due to the shift towards using IP networks that most "hackers" these days are ill equipped to intercept faxes and much more likely to succeed with emails.


Boffins build blazing battery bonfire

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Interesting idea

Every time I see someone throw the figure 99.9% about like it means anything at all (it doesnt, its a marketing term made popular on antibacterial spays) I wish I could be paid 99.9% of a pound so within 99.9% of my lifetime I may live 99.9% as a rich person.

Bloke fined £460 after his drone screwed up police chopper search for missing woman

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

"I fly RC models - which cannot maintain stable flight beyond LOS - and unfortunately I and my fellow RC pilots have been caught up in the drone legislation through no fault of our own."

I would HOPE that you did finally come under such laws and regulations considering the much more dangerous activity you are involved in.

Your so called "RC" (read unmanned) aircraft are inherently more dangerous than the typical drone today (above the lowest toy grade) as they, by your own admission, can not maintain stable safe flight beyond line of sight or even loss of signal.

Typically a drone would have GPS onboard as well as other sophisticated devices that enable it to be aware of its position relative to launch point / waypoint, altitude and 3D accelerometers letting it know where it is headed, how far and how fast. Upon loss of signal it will attempt to navigate back to its take off point and land. It will also do this if commanded by the owner and if its batteries are getting too low. Loss of sight is an issue for the operator that can be mitigated by the inclusion of FPV on the drone that can allow the operator to reacquire sight or attempt to land it safely should a return home command be iffy due to a low battery. Also if there is loss of sight the drone can simply hover, not bothering anyone, not simply falling out of the sky or plowing into a family picnic like with your "models".

Your so called "RC models", which is an archaic term for an unmanned aircraft these days, do none of this. They wont return home when commanded, when running low on power or when they lose comms to the controller but will happily fly about in an uncontrolled manner (as you pointed out) till they hit something or someone.

Your "models" are highly dangerous should you lose control. What happens if you have a heart attack? What happens if you get distracted by someone who is in danger or get distracted by your kids who really need an adult. Are you going to always be able to say "hang on, try to stop bleeding while I land the thing, not long now"

If any of those things were to happen to me I can quite simply press the RTH button. The drone, not needing my assistance, while I deal with the emergency will climb to a decent height and slowly make its way back to the launch point where it will then slowly descend till it touches the ground and shuts off its motors.

I'd much rather be near a drone than a flying missile any day. Yep, things can happen to cause the drone to fall out of the sky like a rock but at least its designed to not do that by default.

Up to three million kids' GPS watches can be tracked by parents... and any miscreant: Flaws spill pick-and-choose catalog for perverts

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

How ironic :D

How ironic it is that these devices, designed to spy on children, grooming them into accepting surveillance as a normal part of their lives, coming across as a way to "protect" them in a way that no generation of children before them needed in all the thousands of years past, actually puts them more at risk.

I honestly thought this was a joke. A device designed to track and spy on kids? No child before them has been subject to such horrible invasion of their privacy. You could argue that devices like these will help keep kids from getting lost from parents at a theme park etc where there are lots of people, the devices could help the kids and parents narrow in on each other. That seems fine. But tracking and listening in on them and whoever they happen to be with (or simply nearby) is plain creepy.

I personally know someone who came to me saying that he thought it was very creepy that Microsoft was watching his own kids internet access and emailing him reports on what his son had been up to every week. He works with me in IT.

These devices need to be banned. They should be offered out by the police to help tack and trace celebrities children following messages from a stalking fan etc, not available to the general public. They never get made correctly anyway. We live in a world of bluetooth enabled baby monitors that allow any device to connect from the street, letting them monitor (or even talk to) the kiddies or even to attempt to see if the house is empty and ripe for a rummaging.

We dont need our kids to be carrying around internet connected microphones that condition them to accept tracking as "normal" while allowing anyone to listen in on anything in the vicinity.

I can imagine so many plots for films where there is a scene where the parents send their kid to next doors kids party and use this device to listen in on the neighbors to prove they did indeed steal the giant light up snowman as a way to get back for breaking their lawnmower. Or where a kid is given a fiver to go stand next to those business men looking innocent and cute while Jason Borne gathers some intelligence from their conversation...

Between you, me and that dodgy-looking USB: A little bit of paranoia never hurt anyone

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: A paranoid mount option ?

"Maybe someone could dream that up with a Raspberry Pi ?"

I was just thinking of doing this with an Arduino. No need for the RPi's power.

My solution was to create a device about the size and length of an adults thumb that allows you to plug a USB A device into it. It would then tell you how that device was presenting itself to the host. You would be able to see that a flash drive is presenting as a flash drive and as a HID device at the same time.

If it is a USB keyboard I was going to have this device try to capture any keystrokes. You can use it to test a real keyboard or see what a flash drive is trying to type into your shell if it appears as a keyboard.

I was also thinking of having an option to wipe out the partition table of the flash drive so to reformat it you need not plug it into a computer at first, putting that machine at risk should it do something silly and generate thumbnails for images on the drive when you accidentally open it instead of right clicking ;)

It could also let you confirm that other USB devices seem to be working, so you can check that second hand PS4 controller seems to be trying to connect and has an unbroken cable.

Using a RPi would allow you to do many more things such as check the files on the drive etc.

Thinking about it, an RPi zero would fit the form factor I'm thinking of.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: It'll only get worse

"As you can route PCI over USB-C"

Oh f*ck

Dutch cops hope to cuff 'hundreds' of suspects after snatching server, snooping on 250,000+ encrypted chat texts

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: "End-to-end encryption" isn't?

"I have a distinct impression that the vaunted "end-to-end encryption" of WhatsApp, Telegram, etc., suffers from the same kind of flaw."

Whatsapp uses the Signal protocol. Adopted from the Signal chat app that is fully end-to-end with MITM protection. But as its now owned by Facebook, we might find something changes eventually.

Telegram has always been broken. They were audited and failed as they had "rolled their own" crypto, which you simply dont do. Telegram has the marketing but not the features. Its end to end encryption is off by default and it relies on a homegrown encryption method that is considered to be buggy and untested.

Use Signal, or something that implements the Signal protocol. Or Threema which is also good.

Best thing to do is listen to the EFF and Edward Snowden when they make recommendations. Its worth noting that the EFF have stated they have serious concerns over Telegram. Edward Snowden uses Signal almost exclusively.

Signal is also entirely licensed under the GNU GPL v3 and GNU AGPL v3. Unlike Telegram which has only parts licensed in any "open source" way.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: New???

@Steve 53

"Well, yes, but I'd say paying €1.5k for 6 months with a phone with "unbreakable encryption" and "a panic button if you get nabbed by the fuzz" is probably reasonably grounds to suspect it's not just a private conversation about what groceries to bring home."

Then why dont the police go out and arrest anyone driving a car that has an engine larger than a 1.6?

Honestly, anyone wanting acceleration from an engine greater than 1.6L is intending to speed, possibly while out-running the police after robbing a bank or kidnapping a child.

I saw someone driving what looked to be a Morgan recently. A wooden expensive car with a high top speed and huge acceleration! I shook my head as I drove my Hyundai Getz 1.6 (the "i'm innocent" limit) thinking of how many horrible crimes he must be involved in.

Why are fast cars on the market?

Why dont the police wire tap the phones of those who purchase them?

In a country that has a speed limit of 70/80MPh there is totally no need for anyone to even sit in one of these crim-cars unless its on a track and has a special license like a gun owner would.

Use your common sense man.

British fixed broadband is cheap … and, er, fairly nasty – global survey

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Is this Time Warner's site?

"They mean streaming directly to the player, as opposed to downloading and then playing."

Streaming is what you call downloading without saving.

When you get data, you are DOWNLOADING data. It is impossible to get data without downloading it and your bandwidth directly affects the speed at which you can download data. You want to stream a movie, you MUST download it while playing it. Just because you dont store it makes no difference to your need for fast download speeds.

Even if you are watching the first half of a 1 hour programme you still rely on your available DOWNLOAD bandwidth to be able to watch it in HD or at the same time as another device that is streaming something else.

Remember, there are only two things that you can do with a network connection. UPLOAD and DOWNLOAD. It matters not what you do with the data after or during. Not at all.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Does anyone (other than gamers) actually download a 5GB file?

- Anyone updating Windows 10 to version 1809.

- Anyone downloading an ISO for installing (or live booting) an OS such as Linux, or Windows 10 1809, or the latest MacOS.

- Anyone restoring an iPhone or android device that has a modest amount of apps and pictures/videos.

- Anyone watching Netflix in HD, certainly to more than one device.

- Anyone watching iPlayer in HD, certainly to more than one device.

- Anyone watching Youtube in HD, certainly to more than one device.

- Anyone updating a TomTom satnav (others are available).

- Anyone (school child) downloading the latest OS image to run on their school supplied RaspberryPi

- Anyone with kids who have come home from school and do any of the above.

Need I go on?

Really that statement is as ridiculous as the "640K is enough for anybody" statement made by Bill Gates when everyone was wondering who would need more than 1MB of RAM.

'Pure technical contributions aren’t enough'.... Intel commits to code of conduct for open-source projects

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: What's all the hoopla about ?

* Using welcoming and inclusive language - This seems to suggest that I must meet and greet them offering sweets and cups of tea, rather than getting to the point and moving on. Sure I agree swearing may be not a very good thing to do but I respectfully wont bend over backwards to welcome them into my virtual home/office and offer a virtual biscuit, chit chat about the weather, then talk about why their module needs to be updated to use the patched version of a library.

* Being respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences - That can never be expected to work every time. I may be right, they may be wrong and are stubborn enough to act like an ostrich when you tell them. I know, I was the ostrich and its an instinct, not a choice, but I grew out of it. You may also be talking to someone who literally annoys you just because of the way they eat their lunch while talking. Does this CoC also demand you dont eat with your mouth full? My family did, so dont expect me to be very respectful after a point of you spurting chewed sandwich at me for too long a time.

* Gracefully accepting constructive criticism - This is a nice idea but unfortunately you cant just demand it. This seems to assume that after getting constructive criticism that you are making a deliberate decision to not accept it. Many people simply cant handle it so the person giving the criticism should consider an alternative such as dropping hints that something is up in the code here and its doing this rather than that and could they have a good look and see if they can figure it out.

* Focusing on what is best for the community - This is fine but dont oust those who try to tell the community its going in totally the wrong direction.

* Showing empathy towards other community members - Again, nice I suppose but you cant make the mistake of thinking that empathy is a universal thing.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: what.

@ Warm Braw

"those who lack interpersonal skills

... are capable of learning them and deploying them when they're required."

Easier said than done when you have Aspergers, or exit somewhere else on the autism spectrum. You might learn the skills that everyone else demands you learn, rather than they offering to adapt a little to meet in the middle. Perhaps someone who is wheelchair bound can be demanded to fix it somehow so that they can climb multiple flights of stairs to save your annoyance in having to provide a lift or ramps.

Myself, I get totally drained having to fake who I am only to save neurotypicals from having to deal with the REAL ME. The real me bashes his head against a mental cage wanting to get out and simply relax.

He isnt a horrible person, just fed up of having to constantly think 10 steps ahead to try and decode neurotypicals hidden useless languages and signs they throw at each other. Constantly reminded that he exists on what feels like an alien planet he finds great relief in being very open and verbose on the internet, trying to avoid bringing emotion into the text unless he wants to share a laugh. Yes, he likes a laugh with people.

Watch the Imitation Game. Its message can apply to more than just A.I pretending to be human and humans pretending to not be homosexual. I play it every day.

Take this code of conduct out of what should be an open a free internet. Just ask people to be decent and nice as much as possible and leave it at that. Those who are not decent and nice all the time can be ignored or the listener can grow a thicker skin and deal with it whatever makes more sense at the time.

UK.gov to roll out voter ID trials in 2019 local elections

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

About bloody time!

Ever since I started voting when I came of age I have always wondered who would permit such an insecure system that is so open to abuse. I'm the guy who knows how computers work and will protest against electronic voting machines or counting machines but I simply could not believe that I wasnt even required to prove that I had possession of the vote card that came through my door!

Anyone who knows my name and address can feel free to use my vote. Jesus, why not leave our houses unlocked when we are out, blindly trusting that only persons who live there would dare to enter...

As long as they have no way to correlate myself with my vote and dont record/store/count it electronically I'm game.

Android fans get fat November security patch bundle – if the networks or mobe makers are kind enough to let 'em have it

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Google abandoned my Nexus

I have a fully working and frequently used Google Nexus 7 tablet (2013 model bought in 2015). The last update it got was back at the end of 2015. Since then nothing.

I will be upgrading it to LineageOS to get a secure device, however, I would have bought a new replacement had google not scrapped the whole concept of a tablet and offered a replacement.

Mourning Apple's war against sockets? The 2018 Mac mini should be your first port of call

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

"Macs typically have a longer usable life than Windows PCs"

Really? Well tell that to the genius bar who will try to convince you that your 4 year old mac is a vintage computer.

Apple's launch confirms one thing: It's determined to kill off the laptop for iPads

DuncanLarge Bronze badge


So this delicate slab of glass can replace a laptop or my home tower PC?

So can it:

- Dual boot into GNU/Linux and windows or any hobby OS I can chuck at it?

- Access data I have backed up to optical disc without an adapter?

- Have a firewire card added to it so I can capture SD or HD video off my mini DV tapes.

- Connect to a scanner without an adapter.

- Rip any of my DVD's containing movies I have bought on the cheap from charity shops, without an adapter.

- Run a game I used to play on windows 95 running in a virtual machine.

- Develop applications using an IDE of my choice, in a language of my choice.

- Print stuff to a printer that does not have wifi, without an adapter.

- Keep itself cool while running at full speed all day while I render videos, compile some code and play that game on my VM.

- Connect to a surround sound system using a set of 3.5mm jack plugs or optical cables.

- Access the SD card that is used in almost every DSLR to this day.

- Connect to another ipad via ethernet cable to transfer user data across a gigabit connection faster than using the AC wifi that is already over used by other devices.

- Play Crisis?

- Allow me to add a serial RS232 port to it so I can program a PIC microcontroller using a home built programmer sold as a kit that is sold today on Amazon

- Let me use my IBM Model M keyboard for that retro clicky feel.

Yes, that slab of delicate glass containing components designed to overheat or expire after the warranty, that can not be repaired by myself without me being called a counterfeiter, that will be considered "vintage" by the manufacturer who will refuse to repair even the simplest of issues for less than the cost of a new machine, blatantly lying to my face in the shop, will replace my 2012 lenovo laptop that contains an i7 CPU or my Ryzen 5 6 core PC.

Pull the other one apple. My 2012 lenovo beats your ipad.

Goodnight Kepler! NASA scientists lay the exoplanet expert to rest as it runs out of fuel

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Fuel? Why no solar panels?

It has panels all over it. But you cant use electricity to move a spacecraft (yet). Ion engines are ok for constant acceleration.

To move a spacecraft you must squirt something out with force. That means you need fuel.

Roughly 30 years after its birth at UK's Acorn Computers, RISC OS 5 is going open source

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Good luck

@ cuddlyjumper

Oh yes that is certainly the case, and the developers know it. Its what happens when the parent company breaks apart and the code gets no significant attention. I remember a few years ago somebody was writing a new SSL library to replace the convoluted spaghetti code mess that OpenSSL had become. LibreSSL I think it was callled and it basically chucked most of OpenSSL out of the window to get rid of the mess. OpenSSL is still widely used and became such a mess due to the fact that this heavily used code is developed by a team of...two.

Heartbleed happened because one of the two developers made a typo.

Somebody out there was interested enough to start writing LibreSSL, just like somebody out there is still interested in maintaining GNU Emacs. Someone will enjoy moving RISC OS into a multi-core world.

"and there's no immediate vision of where it's going" erm I think they know exactly where they are going. They even will PAY you to help get it there.


DuncanLarge Bronze badge

@ elgarak1

There are plenty of applications to cover most stuff. In fact there are UNIX/Linux compatibility libraries that allow for easy porting of software from Linux.

RISC OS might not fulfill every need, just like Linux did only 10 years ago. In this day and age though most users tend to use multiple devices and operating systems and spread their needs across many of them. I know of a few people on youtube who say they use Linux for most things but switch to a machine running windows just to use some certain video editing software either because they know that software well or the Linux equivalent does not yet support something.

George R.R Martin maintains a DOS machine just so he can use his fave version of Wordstar to write his novels. He knows Wordstar so well that he sees no need to move to something more modern as that will incur a significant learning curve that he simply doesnt want to bother with. I'm sure for most other things he uses a more newer machine but when it comes to writing it must be Wordstar or bust.

One of my needs is to use Free Software wherever possible as I'm one of those guys who likes what Richard Stallman says and totally agrees with it. I do however remain flexible enough to allow personal exceptions such as booting Windows so I can use Sony Vegas as the Linux equivalents did not fully support the HD DV video format I was using. Then they started to, and now I boot windows to install windows updates and play certain windows based games/steam.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Yay finally!

RiscOS was the first OS with a GUI I ever used. Before I used the machines at school I was solely using a C64 at home.

I have a RiscPC slowly being upgraded to be the best RiscPC it can and all my RPi's run RiscOS 5. All my other machines run Debian, one outcast still runs windows 10 :D

In Risc OS 5 I can program the RPi in BBC basic with full access to the GPIO. Some have said that the BBC basic on the RPi gives you the fastest access time to GPIO pins (next to using machine code). Plus with BBC basic having an ARM assembler built in its a win win for mucking about with a bit of code and GPIO.

Being very into Free Software and the principles behind it and the GPL I have always felt a twinge of uneasiness that parts of my fave hobby OS were still locked up here and there. Now that it has moved to the Apache 2.0 license it feels a lot better now its truly Free Software.

I'm off to play Zarch

Motorola: Oops, phone busted? Grab a spudger and go get 'em, champ

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: So glad Apple was mentioned


Apple : But surely, a 4 year old device is "vintage" right?

Me : Let me ask my 2009 Lenovo thinkpad that runs Debian Linux just fine, goes on holiday with me all the time, acts as an android development workstation and an entertainment centre playing my fave movies in HD while I camp in a tent / caravan.

Apple to dump Intel CPUs from Macs for Arm – yup, the rumor that just won't die is back

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Will Apple finally change?

If they switch to arm, will they finally start making hardware that wont die if you sneeze on the keyboard or look at it incorrectly?


US JEDI military cloud network is so high-tech, bidders will have to submit their proposals by hand, on DVD

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

OMG its soooooo haaard

Oh FFS. So what. They want it on a DVD for some reason.

Wow its so hard to:

1. Capture video digitally and put it onto a computer. (whats a computer?)

2. Open your editing program and edit the video so it looks good.

3. Go to File->project properties and tick the tickbox/select in the "output type" pull down "DVD Video"

4. Click render. Is it too hard to use a mouse too? Maybe Alexa will render for you. Alexa: Render my project? Amazon should get onto that, who uses a mouse these days?

5. Go to the supermarket down the road. The place you get food from. Add some recordable DVD's to the trolley with the stuff that you still need to put in your mouth (pizza). Do we really still need to eat? Its the 21st century after all. Where are these meals in a pill I was promised? (watch demolition man)

6. Stick one of the discs into your computer. Cant do that? Go on Amazon and buy a usb drive for the same cost of a few good pizzas. Sell it on ebay when you are done, the drive, not the pizza.

7. Use dvd mastering software, freely available. This is assuming they want a dvd-video disc and not just a video file dumped onto the dvd. If the latter, burn the file to the disc. its a built in function in windows.

8. Take the dvd and drop it to them so they can see a real human being is bothered to show up and gain some points in a competition.

Honestly, is that so difficult? Its also not tech from the 90's. Last time I saw a dvd burner in the 90's must have been in alternate dimension.

So why would they want it on DVD?

Ready for another list?

1. They are ubiquitous and everyone has easy access (to some degree) to dvd players and drives.

2. They can hold dvd-video, or files. This means they can sit back and watch on a dvd player which are common as muck or play on VLC.

3. They are not evil like USB flash drives. Take a look at BadUSB and think like a secure government organization which might want to avoid having an innocent looking USB flash drive acting like a keyboard and doing any kid of shit with powershell or bash within a few seconds of them plugging it in. Look up RSA and flash drives and how a secretary just plugged one in and lost some of RSA's most valuable secrets putting many of us normal people at risk.

4. You can take some other ancient tech, called a pen, and write stuff on the dvd label. Last time I saw a flash drive with any space for scribbles was back in the early 2000's and that was just enough room for a few letters.

5. They dont stop working when you drop one.

6. They can be put in a thing called... a binder and passed about in bulk. Well I suppose you can chuck flash drives into a box and let them rattle about.

7. They are unassuming, and not embarrassing. Supplying a video file on a Mickey Mouse shaped flash drive might lose you the competition, or win it of the judges like that sort of thing.

The list can go on and on. For goodness sake, having a problem with supplying a video on dvd these days is as silly as posting a story about Amazon still selling books written on ancient crap called paper.

WE STILL USE PAPER. Why isnt this headline in the news. I mean paper! Thats older than DVD by a loooong shot.

Heck I still wipe my ass with he stuff. In the 90's we were promised that we wont have toilet paper any more. Where are my 3 sea shells? (watch demolition man).

Leeds hospital launches campaign to 'axe the fax'

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: But... but...

"Print out the document

Scan to email

Forward the email to the recipient's secretary

It gets printed out and placed on the recipient's desk"

You missed a critical step: before forwarding the email, encrypt it and then sign it using the recipents public key. You were going to encrypt the very secret and personal scanned copy of a patients data wernt you?

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

So they managed to figure out how to replace a fax machine properly? I hope so

I've always been concerned with people thinking that email replaces fax. Lol, how cant it? Its not used because people are lazy. Its used because email was never designed to replace fax, is terribly insecure and unreliable. Today I WOULD NOT email a scan, certainly a colour one of any of my ID documents to a solicitor. I once had to, and it was crazy I had to.

The only thing that can replace fax is a fully implemented GPG/PGP email system with a correctly set up web of trust. This is why GPG/PGP was created, to implement just that.

People have to understand that Email is as secure as using a postcard, and was never designed to be more secure as that. So I really hope for everyone's medical privacy that the nhs.net system that will be used to replace the fax machines has been designed to do so i.e uses some form of email encryption with signatures.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Dangerous

"Insecure maybe"

How are they insecure?

Intercepting a FAX is vastly more difficult these days than intercepting an email, or grabbing the entire mail server with access to all emails ever sent and received.

I'd have to tap into phone lines, digital multiplexed ones at that. Back in the day it was easier when phone lines were analogue and phreakers could commandeer a line by blowing a special kazoo made from a comb and paper.

I've always been concerned with people thinking that email replaces fax. Lol, how cant it? Its not used because people are lazy. Its used because email was never designed to replace fax, is terribly insecure and unreliable. Today I WOULD NOT email a scan, certainly a colour one of any of my ID documents to a solicitor. I once had to, and it was crazy I had to.

The only thing that can replace fax is a fully implemented GPG/PGP email system with a correctly set up web of trust. This is why GPG/PGP was created, to implement just that.

People have to understand that Email is as secure as using a postcard, and was never designed to be more secure as that. So I really hope for everyone's medical privacy that the nhs.net system that will be used to replace the fax machines has been designed to do so i.e uses some form of email encryption with signatures.

Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Scrapheap Challenge

Perhaps we can teach them how impossible it is to create selective end to end encryption that decrypts itself for the police on command by giving them this task:

Put them on scrapheap challenge!

Give them the challenge of creating a lawnmower that must cut grass like a normal mower but on command, when detecting it is being used by a specific person, not cut blades of grass that are of a specified grass species. So the mower must cut all blades of species A normally while not cutting any blades of species B. The lawn has species A and B mixed throughout.

When they say it cant be done, tell them that it will be done because you will legislate that in order to leave the set it must be done.

When they finally convince you it cant be done, legislate that they can no longer use a lawnmower to speed up the process and must instead inspect and cut each blade of species A by hand.

Then maybe they will get that with end to end encryption its all or nothing.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Tide, stop coming in!

I would think that the tide came in years ago, they didnt notice and just recently fell overboard wondering where the beach went.

Redis has a license to kill: Open-source database maker takes some code proprietary

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Oh so you are going proprietary to fight for the little guy eh?

"Cloud providers have been taking advantage the open source community for years by selling (for hundreds of millions of dollars) cloud services based on open source code they didn’t develop," he said, pointing to widely adopted projects like Docker, Elasticsearch, Hadoop, Redis and Spark. "This discourages the community from investing in developing open source code, because any potential benefit goes to cloud providers rather than the code developer or their sponsor."

So, you shun the "Open Source" or should I say Free Software community (as its the affero GPL) by closing off your software because the big guys are not helping fund the projects they use?

I agree that bug corps should help fund these projects, many do, as we nearly lost GPG and OpenSSL ended up with heartbleed because the sole developer made a typo. Its a good thing for a compnay to chuck a bit of cash towards the project, users should do that too. Hmm perhaps projects could thing about using patreon, just thought of that.

Oh so, you removed the freedoms you gave us when using the AGPL because you wanted to help us encourage big cloud users to help fund the project. I.. I dont understand your reasoning.

Its like you have a Dad who owns the local sweet shop and you convince him to close it, because you are not happy that some of the kids in the school were not sharing enough sweets. Instead of suggesting to them to do so, you get your Dad to close the shop, thinking you are helping everyone by removing the problem.

Like your decision my example doesnt make a lot of sense. I have never heard of your software and now I know there is no way I would be able to use it anyway.

Ho hum.

It liiives! Sorta. Gentle azure glow of Windows XP clocked in Tesco's self-checkouts, no less

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Cross platform development is EASY

It shouldn't be hard at all for find a developer who can make a GUI that runs on multiple platforms.

Java does it, .Net/Mono does it. There are no real differences, a button is an instance of the button class regardless of the underlying OS or graphical subsystem. This is precisely the main drive behind these languages. Sure there may be a difference in IDE but anyone who has used an IDE long enough will be able to adapt and anyone who hasnt will just see it as part of the same learning curve as before, assuming they do the development on the LInux system itself! They could just keep using their proffered IDE and simply test on a Linux system.

My god you could even use the most universal of cross platform of interfaces, HTML!

I have developed stuff for android. The IDE runs in Java, on any OS that runs Java. The VM that I test on runs on any platform that runs a supported Java, heck I usually just forgo the VM and push the app to my personal phone, using USB! With full debugging, live over USB. In Linux, just by plugging it in. I dont do it in windows because I cba to hunt down the driver I need.

Also, if anyone is using Visual Basic nowadays to do anything other than making a GUI for prototyping I'd be very worried.

And windows PC's can run virtual machines nowadays. Download a development environment turn-key VM, run it in a hypervisor. Develop on windows, compile, move to the Linux VM, run.

I've been doing this since the early 2000's there really is no excuse any more.

Once all the kiddies with their Linux running raspberry Pis grow up and expect to program on Linux because "everyone had a linux RPi" we will see the opposite argument I bet: "Nobody will develop a GUI for windows because everyone runs Linux and ts hard to find developers who can write a GUI for windows".

Everyone running Linux would be great of course. But that argument would still be stupid just as it is now. Cross platform development is EASY. The hard stuff was done by other very clever people a long time ago.

Hey, did you know? Minecraft runs on Linux, and windows. One executable. What is this sorcery?

Security MadLibs: Your IoT electrical outlet can now pwn your smart TV

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

What the flying F**K


Do these things really exist?


Why do they exist?

Who thinks they need to exist?


I'm assuming diy stores will start selling IOT self tapping screws next.

What about door hinges? Use an app to see which doors are ajar in your home when you are skiving at work. Get home to find your door hinge was used to infect your PC with cryptolocker, taken over your toaster to have it mine monero and installed a backdoor in your front door lock to allow access to your home for anyone with the magic key they bought off the dark web.


Use Debian? Want Intel's latest CPU patch? Small print sparks big problem

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Bless you.

In my workplace, we say "touch base".

I really hate that horrible term. Didnt anyone ever think it sounds a bit pervy to touch base with a stranger?

London's Gatwick Airport flies back to the future as screens fail

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Basic HA

We have 2 connections to the internet. On opposite sides of the building, provided by different providers. One is Virgin, the other is BT.

We can switch between them with ease. It pays to think ahead Gatwick..

ZX Spectrum Vega+ blows a FUSE: It runs open-source emulator

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Pillage of the Open Source projects

GCC has been used to build software in UNIX like operating systems for decades, way before Apple even had much of an operating system.

There is totally nothing unusual from seeing gcc in OSX seeing as its a UNIX. GCC was so popular that its was the compiler used to compile Linux before it was put inside the rest of GNU.

There is totally nothing unusual about any of it and the only time anyone needs to provide code for GCC used in their product is when they have actually modified it. Anyone can use GCC because it is Free Software. Its the whole point of its existence.

Note I said Free Software and not Open Source. Although Free Software is accepted as Open Source by the Open Source Initiative, its still Free Software licensed under the GNU GPL which is designed specifically to protect and enable the freedom of the user to use said software, for any purpose with or without modification and to distribute copies (for money even!) either verbatim or modified. The only restriction is on distributing modified copies, where you (the modifier) must provide access to the modified source code upon request.

"Pillaging" of Free Software projects is only possible if you take the code from said software and insert it into your own without licensing your project under a compatible license. It would be easier to pillage an Open Source project however as these projects can use licenses that do not provide or defend their freedoms, such as a BSD license.

Also, think about it. If they cant use Free Software like anyone else can, what do you want them to do? Give you more proprietary stuff? Or develop something that is Open Source but not Free Software (cough microsoft) where you can see the source code by all means, but dont you dare touch it?

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

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

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

@ Esme

I work in IT as a systems analyst and do a bit of 1st line/3rd line support as needed.

I can see you are not really recently experienced with the true state of hardware found INSIDE laptops these days.

After reinstalling windows via the method of the manufacturer (not necessarily talking about big guys like Dell etc) you find that half the hardware wont work because the stuff they put inside is non-standard enough for windows (8.1 and 10 are used) to not locate a driver automatically via windows update.

So, you go and try to use the vendors driver disc that has ancient and possibly buggy drivers that caused you to reinstall in the first place as recommended you do so by kind windowsy support peeps you found in the internet. This disc, hopefully you did not throw away. Hopefully the vendor provided you with the disc and you dont need to download it.

Hopefully the disc contains just the drivers you need, and not ones for other laptops that throw up errors when you try to install them causing you to talk to the same nice windowsy peeps who will tell you to either reinstall/refresh windows again or to open up device manager (good luck finding that) and googling the PCI hardware ID of the device to locate a device driver.

A device driver that is not provided from the original manufacturer because they are chinese and only make the chip, not the PCB and rely of the laptop vendor to provide drivers, which they may not do so without proof of purchase (pc specialist, I'm looking at you) which you dont have any more leaving you t wonder why you didnt just buy that ASUS machine, as they have a driver for the same PCI hardware ID but it wont install because you are not using an ASUS.

If hardware dont work in Linux, its so much simpler! Its either not going to work for a while or never will. None of this faffing about trying to get something working again only to discover that it having worked at all the first time round was simply a miracle.

Imagine if your TV remote stopped working due to dead batteries. You go and get batteries for it to find that it uses a non-standard size that nobody stocks but some guy from china on ebay can get you one for more than the cost of a universal remote that stakes standard AA's. So you get the universal remote to find that it wont work with your TV but only with the previous model as the codes changed.

You discover that the codes were added later and can be uploaded to your remote!

So you download the update, run it to be told that there is an error. You google the error to find you need to install .Net 3.5 whoch requires running DISM from the command line and having a valid windows install disc...

I think I've made my point about the state of windows driver support vs linux. It can be a load of shit no matter which OS you are using. Your point is moot.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Use Linux...

"Indeed, explaining about the package manager is almost the only "training" I find I have to do when introducing newcomers to Linux."

I would expect you to have to do this less and less now seeing as package repositories on Linux pre-dated the "app store". Most users of phones / tablets and modern versions of windows and Mac would expect to find such a function. My young nephews certainly would think the idea of downloading software off the internet and running an installer as a novel way to do it!

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Use Linux...

Mostly agreed considering the point about windows being preinstalled.


"download an ISO and work out how to burn it to a DVD"

You right click on the ISO...

Just pointing out that windows finally solved that issue!


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