* Posts by bob, mon!

196 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Sep 2007


RIP Bram Moolenaar: Coding world mourns Vim creator

bob, mon!

Farewell, Bram Moolenaar. You are missed and remembered.

Inevitable, but very saddening. I met Bram once at some Linux expo or other; he was just a nice, quiet, unassuming man. He will be missed.

(I've been a dedicated vi user since I switched from ed. I love vim (gvim), it's the first thing I upgrade on new OS installs. Three gvim windows open on this machine at the moment.)

AMD says transistor tech will keep Moore’s law alive for 6 to 8 years

bob, mon!

Ironic quote in the sub-headline

...considering that Moore's original observation referred to lowering the cost of transistors. Here's a quote from his 1965 paper (see e.g. https://montcs.bloomu.edu/~bobmon/PDFs/Gordon%20Moore.Law.pdf)

The complexity for minimum component costs has in-

creased at a rate of roughly a factor of two per year (see

graph on next page). Certainly over the short term this rate

can be expected to continue, if not to increase. Over the

longer term, the rate of increase is a bit more uncertain, al-

though there is no reason to believe it will not remain nearly

constant for at least 10 years. That means by 1975, the num-

ber of components per integrated circuit for minimum cost

will be 65,000.

I believe that such a large circuit can be built on a single


After lunar orbit trip NASA's Orion capsule is on its way back home

bob, mon!

unbelieveable accuracy

"Orion carries a trusty bit of equipment leftover from NASA's Space Shuttle era, its main engine, capable of providing 6,000 pounds (over 2,721 kilograms) of thrust "

Other sources suggest that the Space Shuttle's main engine provided as much as 470,000 pounds of thrust. One document does mention the "Orbital Maneuvering System Engines" producing 6,000 pounds of thrust.

Chill out to the sounds of an expert typing on a variety of mechanical keyboards

bob, mon!

Northgate keyboard

I still have a Northgate Omnikey from three decades ago. Great keyboard, even without the Windows key :-] Sadly, I can't get it to work through my KVM switch.

Weighs a ton, should be able to stop a small-calibre round at least.

Bullseye! Debian-based Raspberry Pi OS scores an update with 'less closed-source proprietary code'

bob, mon!

Re: Back to the Past

> Or try the unofficial Debian arm64 edition.

I'm sticking with 64-bit RaspiOS beta for now. I have to maintain both RPi3 and RPi4 with their differing boot methods, so bringing the Debian release up looks daunting. Or maybe I'm lazy.

Check your bits: What to do when Unix decides to make a hash of your bill printouts

bob, mon!

A compromising document

"...an office automation suite compromising the usual suspects: word processing, spreadsheets, email, database and so on."

Is this the office automation suite for scandal mongers? Or just a lot of apps that are vulnerable to zero-days?

I would drive 100 miles and I would drive 100 more just to be the man that drove 200 miles to... hit the enter key

bob, mon!

Re: Just being pedantic...

Well, I would drive 500 miles,

and I would drive 500 more,

to be the bloke that drove 1000 miles to crash into your door....




It just doesn't work with kilometers, does it?

Microsoft doles out Office Long Term Servicing Channel for cloud refuseniks

bob, mon!

Who needs it?

Office XP works as well as it ever did, and does a good 90% of what 90% of the users actually want out of a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation app. And Outlook on the Web does the rest.

Florida Man sues Facebook, Twitter, YouTube for account ban

bob, mon!

Re: Oy!

Oddly enough, south Florida isn't the part that supports him.

I think the Florida Orange Growers' Association does --- he's their office spokesmonster.

Staff and students at Victoria University of Wellington learn the most important lesson of all: Keep your files backed up

bob, mon!

Bad move for an IT department

Sounds to me like they just failed their midterm practical exam.

The good optics of silicon photonics: Light sailing serenely down a fibre

bob, mon!

100Gbps !!!

Oh boy! Multi-Gbps fiber to the desktop! Connected to my multi-Kbps DSL to the house!


Physicists wrap neutrino detector in cosy blanket to shed light on the Sun's secondary fusion cycle

bob, mon!

Re: Astrophysicists love approximations

Way back when I was in college, I was told that an engineering equation was "good enough" if it was accurate to 3 decimal places; a physics equation was good enough if it was within an order of magnitude; and an astrophysics equation was good enough if the units came out correctly.

That was in the days when slide rules ruled....

Retired engineer confesses to role in sliding Microsoft Bob onto millions of XP install CDs

bob, mon!

Much work to generate a blob...

If a million code monkeys beaver away on a million keyboards, for a million years,...

could they produce an encrypted version of Microsoft Bob?

-bob,mon (why yes, I DO take this all personally)

Yeah, that Zoom app you're trusting with work chatter? It lives with 'vampires feeding on the blood of human data'

bob, mon!

I can only hope that this data slurpage applies to the free version. My school system (consisting of 14 state universities) has chosen zoom as its official standard teleconferencing software. I have zero options to change to any other platform. And even if I could, getting people to use zoom was and is an exercise in on-the-fly training, and anything else would have that problem and no official support.

Well, maybe the corporate legal team actually did due diligence and checked out the Ts &Cs. Who knows?

Uncle Sam's nuke-stockpile-simulating souped-super El Capitan set to hit TWO exa-FLOPS, take crown as world's fastest machine in 2023

bob, mon!

Re: Uggghh

Better to simulate them, instead of setting them off for real.

Astroboffins discover Sun is surfing on 9,000-light-year gas wave that acts as Milky Way's stellar nursery

bob, mon!

... Is it a static wave or does it undulate? ...

Quoting from the abstract:

"Remarkably, the new structure appears to be undulating and its three-dimensional structure is well described by a damped sinusoidal wave on the plane of the Milky Way, with an average period of about 2 kiloparsecs and a maximum amplitude of about 160 parsecs."

FCC proudly wastes $90m getting data-capped, pricey satellite internet to tiny percentage of US population

bob, mon!

Re: 98%

Rural Pennsylvania. Rural (western) New York, rural Vermont, New Hampshire. Rural Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, etc.

I'm 2 hours from New York City (at 70 mph), and 4 hours from Pittsburgh. Lots of small towns in between, but lots of farms, forests, state hunting lands and the like as well. My nearest neighbor is across the road, but the next nearest is 1/8 mile away. No cable out here, never mind fibre. Some days "IP over avian carrier" seems like a viable option.

bob, mon!

Re: $80 per month?

"Can you do 3Mb up with a low bandwidth modem on a long phone line?"

AHHHAHAHAHA*kaffkaff* No.

I get less than 100 KB/s (so 800Kb/s) up on a good day... and Verizon DSL doesn't give me good days. I just now got a 44.1KB/s upload of a 300MB file. Yawnnn....

Of course, a true "low bandwidth modem" would be the 300-Baud unit I started out with, back in the previous millennium.

In Rust We Trust: Stob gets behind the latest language craze

bob, mon!

Re: Let

"let z;" - z is a... let? letter? letcher? lett?

It's lettuce. Green, leafy, and silly in a program.

I use C when Assembly isn't good enough...

Seriously: do-while versus while? (Versus for???). Look at the machine code. A decent compiler generates the same code for any version, and it's the most efficient implementation the architecture can provide. Those higher level constructs are so YOU, the programmer, can remember what you meant 6 months from now.

Be still, our drinking hearts: Help Reg name whisky beast conjured by Swedish distillers and AI blendbot

bob, mon!

Re: Valcohol (Valhalla + alcohol)....

Valhallacohol: if you can't pronounce it, you've had enough...

------------------- this should be enough ---------------------->

RIP Danny Cohen: The computer scientist who gave world endianness meets his end aged 81

bob, mon!

"straightforward explanations" ???

That's all you can say about the paper? I met it in grad school in the 1980's, and still have my copy. It's delightful! Here's an excerpt:

"Encouraged by this success, as minor as it is, the Blefuscuians tried to pull another fast one. This time it was on the VAX, the sacred machine which all the Little-Endians worship."

Look for IEN 137 if you want to understand where big.LITTLE came from. Or here's an online copy: https://montcs.bloomu.edu/Readings/ien137.txt

Ohio state's top legal eagle just made it harder for the FBI, ICE, cops to snoop around its DMV DB for people's faces

bob, mon!
Thumb Up

Wow - I wouldn't have expected Ohio to stand up for privacy in opposition to surveillance. It's a fairly conservative midwestern state, overall.

The Pi who loved me: Licensed to SSL

bob, mon!

Hey! I represent that crack!

I 'aven't any attic....

Anyone for unintended ChatRoulette? Zoom installs hidden Mac web server to allow auto-join video conferencing

bob, mon!

On my machine Zoom doesn't start automatically, I have to go through the start menu, and enter the meeting ID number.

Which I'm quite content to do. "Convenience", what a lame excuse for insecurity.

Microsoft has Windows 1.0 retrogasm: Remember when Windows ran in kilobytes, not gigabytes?

bob, mon!

It's a warning...

The 20H1 upgrade will decimate Windows 10.

Nah, yeah: New Zealand's Rocket Lab notches up another launch success

bob, mon!

Re: Yeah, nah...

I've heard similar contradictory speech in the US - viz.,

"Yeah, that's not going to happen"


"No, I completely agree with you!"

The dread sound of the squeaking caster in the humming data centre

bob, mon!

Re: Gone fishing?

I dunno --- these were CHAIN printers, with hammers for printheads - literally. In a percussion contest you would probably lose.

Good news! We may be past peak Windows 10 October 2018 Update

bob, mon!

"...venerable..." ???

I, for one, do not and will not venerate Windows 10. Tiles are for floors, not windows - windows come in pains.

Go fourth and multi-Pi: Raspberry Pi 4 lands today with quad 1.5GHz Arm Cortex-A72 CPU cores, up to 4GB RAM...

bob, mon!

Re: Ethernet

True GigE will be a boon for beowulf clusters running MPI or whatever over Ethernet, as the node interconnect is a bottleneck.

I just built up a 4-node RPi 3B+ cluster for class use, now i need to justify getting 4 new RPi 4's. Also glad to hear that the boards can run on 2.5A, since the cluster doesn't have any peripherals and the current generation of multiport USB P.S.'s max out at 2.5A per port.

Next step - find out whether 64-bit Devuan will run on the new board.

March 2020: When you lucky, lucky Brits will have a legal right to a minimum of... 10Mbps

bob, mon!


We used to DREAM of 10 Mbps! We had to scrape along at 5.6Kbps w/ a dial-up modem, and if wee wuz ba-ad we'd be downgraded to 300 Buad! Uphill, both ways!

The Year Of Linux On The Desktop – at last! Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 brings the Linux kernel into Windows

bob, mon!

Re: But why?

"Might want to up that a trifle. Redmond says Windows 10 1903 will need 32GB."

Finally, we see Windows for what it is:

a 32GB boot loader for Linux. Take THAT, grub!

Micron's new 9300 SSDs are bigger, faster and simpler... which is nice

bob, mon!


"Latency has also been lowered in the 9300s from 92μs/21μs read/write to 86μs/11μs."

Really? Read latency is worse than write latency? I am surprised, would've expected it to be the other way around.

Mini computer flingers go after a slice of the high street retail Pi

bob, mon!

Re: So what do we call a dead Pi?

It's exPIred.

bob, mon!

Re: Can I buy more than one Pi Zero?

Let's see --- 5 times Pi Zero is... Zero?

Things that make you go .hm... Has a piece of the internet just sunk into the ocean? It appears so

bob, mon!

Now waitaminnit

"... like taking a step back in time when webpages were hand-coded HTML and images were frowned upon"

That's how I maintain my website!

*That's not how you maintain your personal webpage!*

Well, I've been meaning to get around to it....

Canadians moot methods to embiggen moose monument and make Mac great again

bob, mon!

It'll all turn out to be a big moose-take.

Just a mutual moose-understanding.

What happens when a Royal Navy warship sees a NATO task force headed straight for it? A crash course in Morse

bob, mon!

Re: After you. No, after you!

> Meeting US Navy ships head on would be rather worrying, given the standards of seamanship exhibited by the US 7th Fleet

VERY worrying, if you think you're in the North Sea --- the 7th Fleet is deployed in the Pacific.

Raspberry Pi fans up in arms as Mathematica disappears from Raspbian downloads

bob, mon!

Free, but compiled for ArmHF (32-bit)

Sadly, it fails on my 64-bit devuan installation.

Distro inferno: Debian's still rocking at 25

bob, mon!


It's the future of 64-bit Raspberry Pi --- even if it is slower than the 32-bit Raspbian variant of Debian....

Julia 0.7 arrives but let's call it 1.0: Data science code language hits milestone on birthday

bob, mon!

They missed one goal for their language...

It should do what I MEAN, not what I typed!!!

As for array indices, there's no such thing. They're all offsets from the array's beginning --- look at the disassembly if you don't think so.

How evil JavaScript helps attackers tag possible victims – and gives away their intent

bob, mon!

color me stoopid....

...but why would IE object to "setTimeOut(10)" ?

A Spectre flaw solution, Cloudflare blips, a bank cyber-heist in Canada, and more in infosec land

bob, mon!

... Like an arrow, I know, whilst fruit flies like a banana.

And butterflies like oleo.

Router admin? Bored? Let's play Battleships using BGP!

bob, mon!

On a ten-by-ten playing field?

For added obscurity you code encode everything in BCD....

And one abbreviation for a battleship is "BB", so you'd be playing

BB in BCD over BGP.

For some reason, you lot love 'em. So here are the many ThinkPads of 2018

bob, mon!

"the many Thinkpads of 2018" ?

Did nothing happen in the P-series? Power users who need big screens for old eyes want to know!

Ethernet sales growing, but routing's been routed by software

bob, mon!

Can we coax you to stop? Find a new Gig?

Or are you too twisted?


bob, mon!

Re: Pedantic

PEIFOTS - Problem Exists In Front Of Touch Screen

Liberating SSH from Logjam leftovers

bob, mon!

2048 bits????

640 bits should be enough for anyone...

oh wait. wrong thread.

How fast is a piece of string? Boffin shoots ADSL signal down twine

bob, mon!

ADSL slow? Shurely not!

Here in the wilds of Pennsylvania, two hours west of NYC, I'm getting well over 200 KBps on downloads - so better than 1.6Mb/s for short bursts. LUXURY. Thank you, Verizon!

Put down the eggnog, it's Patch Tuesday: Fix Windows boxes ASAP

bob, mon!

Re: Top Xmas tip

What if it's not preventative?

Before or after, there *will* be boozing....

To fix Intel's firmware fiasco, wait for Christmas Eve or 2018

bob, mon!

Thank you, Lenovo?

Their list of laptops includes the T440s - "not affected", and the T460s - "affected". So where does that leave my T450s??? "Sort of affected"? "Deeply moved"? "Concerned, but not really bothered"?

Fortunately, Lenovo also listed the relevant firmware numbers, and a reboot and BIOS check suggests that I have an older, unaffected version of the ME firmware. Sure wish they'd included my machine in the list though, makes me feel somewhat abandoned.