* Posts by cleminan

15 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Dec 2022

Raspberry Pi stock surges after London IPO


Depends on your definition

of 'computing'.

To some its a gaming rig, others a desktop for social media & banking, still others a little box in the corner scrolling through the weather, air quality, news & diary for the day. If you want something inexpensive to learn programming, robotics or Linux on then the Pi is ideal - as are the other SBCs following in its wake.

For you it doesn't seem to be the right choice, but there's plenty out there for you to have at.

For me? After the last update to RISC OS Open my Pi400 now does the networking thing & I'm considering pulling my FDD boxes down onto an old USB stick - they're unlikely to occupy more than 2GB unzipped. Before the Pi launched the cost of the closest ARM powered board, the BeagleBoard, was well out of my price bracket. Possibly the greatest achievement of Raspberry Pi Ltd is that it has brought ARM boards & computing more generally (ie beyond a Windows shell) to a wider audience.

Council claims database pain forced it to drop apostrophes from street names

IT Angle

Re: Tail wags dog

The address of OG Games would become marginally less interesting for one.



Re: I've seen worse

It's not the only one. Also in South Yorkshire and also next to a defunct airport, the South Yorkshire Police Operations Complex in Tinsley also resides on Letsby Ave.


Got an old Raspberry Pi spare? Try RISC OS. It is, literally, something else

IT Angle

Re: I loved working with RISC OS

We used to get an annual presentation from the Soundscape guys at uni in the mid-late 90s. I recall watching enviously as the crappy Windows machines ran rings around my A5000's little parallel port sampler & !SoundLab.

It was a genuinely impressive HDR which applied endless effects to the audio live without modifying the source recording or stuttering, jaw dropping at the time.

There's a largely forgotten article on the company on wikipedia under Soundscape Digital Technology.

Ubuntu 24.04, Fedora 40, EndeavourOS, and TrueNAS 24.04 all arrive at once


Re: Always the way

I upgraded two DNS servers from 18.04 through 20.04 to 22.04 a couple of weeks ago & four desktop machines from 16.04 in the last couple of months.

As long as key packages aren't dropped between releases, on the servers, the biggest headache for me was maintainers changes to config files location or contents (thanks Zabbix), though that mostly related to changes we'd made to make the software operate as we wanted & either not using ../conf.d/ or it not being an option.

On the desktop machines Nvidia's curtailing of driver support for older cards was the biggest issue. One machine was reinstalled from scratch another had the proprietary drivers removed. After that I gave up on trying to fix the resolution for a bit, following a couple of dist-upgrade cycles it seemed to get bored and reverted to the native resolution of the TV.

Silicon Valley roundabout has drivers in a spin


No way around

Interrupting two express roads to whack a roundabout in there feels like the planners don't understand the concept fully.

On a UK road (and any European one I've encountered) this would be a three level interchange, like J25 on the M1. It would at least be a two level junction; allowing the primary road's traffic to flow for vehicles not changing to the other road, reducing congestion.

The turbo concept seems flawed too. Roundabouts allow you to keep going round until you've found your exit. Here, aside from the middle lane, you're on rails as soon as your enter the junction.

Devaluing content created by AI is lazy and ignores history


Drowning in synthesised rubbish.

My current stance on LLM AI content roughly goes along the lines of: If you can't be bothered to create it I can't be bothered to read/watch/pay for it.

LLM models being used to replace creative endeavour feels like employing the technology solving the wrong problem. Pattern matching to spot flaws, infections, the early stage of a potential disaster, tumours, a first pass sanity check on code, they all feel like positive uses of the technology. Outsourcing creativity and media to a probability database smacks of wanting more for the sake of more, there's no added quality & little room for adaptation, invention or interpretation.

The creative LLMs are fun to play with, but they shouldn't be considered more than toys. An amusing sideline, like novelty records.

Anything created from LLMs should also be copyright free.

Twilio reminds users that Authy Desktop apps die in March – not in August


Lots of recommendations here to combine password vaults and 2FA in the same app.

Having both factors on the same device is a high enough risk, keeping them in the same programme feels like it almost completely defeats the point of having a separate authentication vector.

Google dragged to UK watchdog over Chrome's upcoming IP address cloaking


Just two things spring to mind; Her words & her actions.

To my mind she doesn't come across as a particularly likeable person, happy to chuck a hornets nest into the canteen at lunchtime & walk away, 'nothin' to do with me, gov'.

Last rites for the UK's Online Safety Bill, an idea too stupid to notice it's dead


Re: Not holding my breath

No, this is not either/or. It is not public transport or active travel at the expense of personal transport, it is creating that as a viable alternative for those who can, and arguably should be using it more.

More people on public transport or walking, cycling or rollerblading etc. should leave the roads less busy for those who need to use personal motorised transport - there are plenty of people who's jobs are dependent on a car or van too. As far as I'm aware no one has suggested banning *everyone* from having a car. That's just hyperbole from the usual corners.


Re: Not holding my breath

A for-profit privatised public transport system will never offer the frequent and inexpensive service it needs to be to offer a sufficiently attractive alternative to the car. Companies operating solely for the benefit of their shareholders seldom offer a product or service of value, or an environment sufficient staff will consider a long term prospect further worsening the end user experience.

The companies operating the transport systems don't appear to have any effective penalty for offering a bad service either.

The 'Gammon' line is likely a reference to right wing & right leaning media stoking conspiracies like the ones around 15 Minute Cities & greener - usually less convenient/cheap - solutions to the problems we have created, then getting amplified by bots & commenters in mangled or more extreme snippets paraphrasing inaccurate criticisms into outright lies.

Had enough of Android? First 'Focal' based Ubuntu Touch is out


Re: It's a phone


Installation on iDevices is not currently possible as far as I'm aware. It was muted but this is Apple & they don't play well with others, especially as you're not only breaking the iOS shell you're getting the powerful little box to work with something which has nothing to do with Cupertino & that is a threat to the bottom line.

I've been using Ubuntu Touch/UBPorts since the native BQ Aquaris E4.5 was launched about 8 years ago. As intimated elsewhere it's always been not quite ready for primetime - web apps have a nice way of breaking the addictive design of social media's biggest sites, but they mostly still work, more or less.

Calls/texts/emails on the BQ were fine, some reception issues which couldn't be blamed on coverage but otherwise perfectly functional & the contacts app has the option of plugging into your Google account if you want, it uses the same account provider process as desktop Ubuntu/Gnome.

Obliterating Android & putting UBPorts on an LG Nexus5 was very easy, the non-Canonical UBports had left some apps behind as it moved from 14.04 to 16.04 base but the phone was solid enough & survived, 2nd hand, for about 3 years until common N5 hardware issues started cropping up: mic failure on standard hold-it-to-your-ear calls then the screen started to blank at odd occasions & more frequently. Not Nokia quality.

Installing on my current phone, Xiaomi Mi A2, was a chore. It took me a couple of months to get the bits in the right place but that is likely to be as much to do with using Ubuntu 18.04 on my laptop in 2021 as it does with the special hoops Xiaomi need you to jump through to get around Android. It took me another month to be motivated to sort out mobile data but that was just a settings issue as copying over my /home folder (for SMS message cache, call history, contacts, system & app settings) had brought over Nexus settings & confused things.

Aside from a few quirks around rebooting the phone is solid as a phone & for text messages or email. The camera freezes sometimes & media uploads to social media can be hit and miss - but that's not why I have the phone.

Full disclosure, I also have a first edition iPhone SE for work stuff & the kinds of things you can't web-app; bus fare & banking apps, stuff work want me to have and WhatsApp. There's a web app for WhatsApp but it needs to be logged in on a native app to work & for some reason /everyone/ thinks everyone else has it.

In summary; worth it if you aren't going to get frustrated that many things don't work as smoothly & some closed source things don't work at all. I've found it to be a good way to extend the life of cheaper 2nd hand phones at a fraction of the cost of new & flashy. It works, and you may get some of your life back.

Yes, there is some element of not wanting random network traffic reporting home & I appreciate that by using social media I am then generating that traffic. But that is my choice to do so.

Palantir's Covid-era UK health contract extended without competition


Clearly not. More staff working fewer hours has been a desperate need in the NHS for years. But a decade of pay lagging inflation & the private sector hasn't helped.

However, using experienced civil servants to undertake and train colleagues on test and trace - a job already performed by authorities up & down the country for contagious human, livestock and wildlife diseases at a smaller scale - rather than sideline them entirely and getting yer mates in would've been one of many considered and sensible. Augmenting their number with appropriate external suppliers would likely have been necessary.

Recognising that Northern Italy closely resembles the UK's health and societal makeup would also have been a sensible set of lessons to learn from as the virus loomed ever closer.

It's time to retire 'edge' from our IT vocabulary


Re: Egde firewall

Ironically Chrome/Brave/Vivaldi & Edge are the same browser. Its just the icon & a few options being juggled around to differentiate them.

What did Unix fans learn from the end of Unix workstations?


Re: Pinch points

The Derby Computer Museum opened a couple of weeks ago. If you're in the UK they're looking for donations of pre 2000 computer kit. I suspect the cost of donating from outside the UK will be prohibitively high.