* Posts by Steve Welsh

32 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Oct 2007

Harrods web Grotto snowed under

Steve Welsh

The very first Christmas

It was the very first Christmas and Santa Claus was beavering away in his grotto at the north pole making all the toys and goodies for the children all over the world. The King of the fairies heard about this and went over to Santa's grotto. "Please, Santa - if there is anything me and my fairies can do to help, this being the first Christmas and all, just say the word". Santa paused for a moment and thought. "Ah, yes!" he exclaimed. "Out the back is a HUGE shed filled to the top with little trees. What I want you and your fairies to do is to deliver one of those little trees to every house in the world. From now on they will always be known as Christmas trees". The King of the fairies rose to the challenge with "It will be done, Santa!" And off he went. Santa continued at a ever more feverish pace to complete his task of providing toys and goodies for the children all over the world. With minutes to spare before they were laden on his sleigh the King of the fairies turned up. "Please, Santa, me and my fairies have done exactly what you wanted and delivered these little trees to every house in the world." "But please, Santa there is just this one left over. What do you want me to do with it?" So Santa told him exactly what to do with it, and that is why to this day there is always a fairy on the top of the Christmas tree.

Google web search given shot of Caffeine

Steve Welsh
Paris Hilton

Google Searches

Google have been buggering about with their standard search engine within the last few days anyway. A particular search that I do daily has, for the last several years always returned somewhere between 12,000 and 18,000 results rarely going outside that range. One day last week overnight it went from that to over 70,000 results and has been in the range of 65,000 to 85,000 results ever since.

Paris, cos at least you would know what to expect if she started buggering about with you.

Microsoft's web Office: No love for Chrome, Opera

Steve Welsh


Hmmmm - strange!

I paid for something on Ebay using Opera not less than 2 hours ago. Works perfectly for me

Microsoft promises IE web-standards love

Steve Welsh

three tabs?

I'm using Opera on Linux. I'm probably a bit out of the ordinary, but I have a minimum of twelve tabs open every session:

1. a foreign language to English dictionary

2. another foreign language to English dictionary

3. a currency converter

4. my local copy of my blog running on Apache on this machine for proof reading

5. the actual live copy of my blog, from where it is hosted

6. a particular Google search that I perform several times a day

7. The Beeb News

8. The Beeb World Service

9. The WWW Consortium (X)HTML validator

10. The local weather forecast (yes, I know, sad isn't it)

11. A local site with whom I do business, and

12. A spare

I have four desktops (the default in Centos) on which I have a minimum of eleven applications running (including a Konsole session on each one).

Windose - one desktop, three (or is it four?) tabs. And it runs like a dog.

'First algae-fuelled airliner flight' takes off tomorrow

Steve Welsh
Black Helicopters

Algae, schmalgae

And just how much algae, spread over what area, and for how long did it take to produce the fuel for this one flight?

They never seem to want to tell us that

COBOL thwarts California's Governator

Steve Welsh

Missing Nothing

I originally taught myself to program computers by reading CoBOL source code. It was just a little office system, but I got hold of the source. I had been using the system for a while, and it suddenly came to me - "Hey, I understand what this does".

There was not a code comment in sight, but it had been written in a self-documenting way - "GET_DEPOT_OF_ORIGIN" - guess what that call does.

I'm with the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' crowd, and also think that CoBOL is unsurpassed in what it does.

I mean, 'C' pointers to functions - thanks but no thanks!!

Microsoft dropped Vista hardware spec to raise Intel profits

Steve Welsh

@wibbilus maximus

"Dell PC's contain Intel Pentium 4 processors" despite the fact they had advertised in the same advert a PC with a celeron processor. Their defence (and i have the letter from the ASA to prove it) was that they didn't say "ALL Dell PC's contain Intel Pentium 4 processors"

Whatever happened to the rule that the phrase would be interpreted as the common man would read and understand it?

Perhaps ElReg could organise a poll along the lines of:

What do you understand by the following advertising slogan? "Dell PC's contain Intel Pentium 4 processors"

[ ] All Dell PCs contain Intel Pentium 4 processors

[ ] Most Dell PCs contain Intel Pentium 4 processors

[ ] Some Dell PCs contain Intel Pentium 4 processors

[ ] Dell PCs might contain Intel Pentium 4 processors

[ ] Who the f*** are Dell?

[ ] Who the f*** are Intel?

[ ] Why would I bother anyway?

Court must reconsider Microsoft Excel patent damages

Steve Welsh


He should have let RIAA represent him - he could have gone for $10000 a copy ;)

No anti-RIAA icon?

Mine's the moleskin coat, and guinea pig fur hat

Die for Gaia, save the planet?

Steve Welsh

What a very jaundiced (and totally incorrect) piece

"Their sad misunderstanding about the effects of technology blinds them to the truth, that by not constraining technology we don't have to constrain either affluence or population."

Utter bollox!!!

Perhaps you ought to read/listen to/view the work of Al Bartlett on exponential growth.

Having read your piece it's quite obvious you've never heard of, or studied, it. I have. It has scared the shit out of me!

Redmond puts key Vista update on ice

Steve Welsh

Oldie, but goldie

Reminds me of someone's sig file on a newsgroup some years ago. (Apologies to said person).

"The day that Microsoft start building a product that doesn't suck will be the day they start building vacuum cleaners"

'nuff said.

Coat, hat

Tiscali and BPI go to war over 'three strikes' payments

Steve Welsh

Pandora's Box

Some years ago I went to a presentation at my local Uni (it was about the time that the original Napster got taken down).

The presenter was a lawyer, not a techie.

What he said then was that Pandora's Box was open, and the 'labels' would never be able to fix it. His explanation was that the 'labels' employed people to put DRM, or whatever, on tracks. They are 9 to 5 employees. The people that want to break this model don't care if they have to do 100 hours straight for NOTHING - just so long as they can crack the DRM.

Same thing applies now. The 'good guys' will always find a way around what the Corporate arseholes try to do.

And, sorry but yes, any musical group worth its salt should make their main income by doing gigs.

Coat, hat....

Perl.com sends visitors to porn link farm

Steve Welsh


As I recall PERL stands for Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister!!

Heathrow 777 crash flattens servers

Steve Welsh

It's Obviously M$ Update

I'm going to reboot your computer NOW - whether you like it or not!!

Showdown over encryption password in child porn case

Steve Welsh


they are encrypted by the military-grade Pretty Good Privacy program.

Well if that's true, I guess that I'm pleased that I'm using GPG.

I wonder if it's military-grade too????

Government piles filesharing pressure on UK ISPs

Steve Welsh

Well Bollox to the Government

Such as they are!!

I work for a certain (anonymous) organisation that last September tried to unilaterally impose various obligations and restrictions on its staff.

I can tell you that it just /did not happen/!!

So what will they do? Sack us all? Don't think so - they will be left in charge of a defunct and non-operational organisation, and will be personally held responsible by both their ex-staff and their ex, and current [other people that I can't identify].

If the ISPs just stand up to HMGov, and say 'It's not going to happen.' It won't happen.

Sorry the lid came off with Napster - how long ago is that - 9-10 years? And the sooner that all the ***king idiots that have made a hansom living out of ripping us AND THE PERFORMERS off realise that they are dinosaurs, and that they should just slither back into their $$$$$slime$$$$$ the better it will be for humanity.

GM sees future: Cars and drivers full of booze

Steve Welsh
Thumb Down


Then let them stay at home! Play with their children in the 10 acre yard of their McMansion.

Steve Welsh

booze prices sky-high

Not if you have to hand a suitable culture of Saccharomyces cerevisiae

NY corpse attempts to cash welfare cheque

Steve Welsh

@one of the anon

"Dons hat and leaves.."

Surely you actually mean "Dons hat, and leaves.." otherwise WFT were you doing with Don's leaves?

Hundreds of US fighter aces reassigned as drone pilots

Steve Welsh

Hmm - Computers Vs Humans


Have they managed to produce a computer controlled machine that can beat a human at table tennis, on a normal table, using normal bats and normal balls yet?

So WTF is this all about then?


Dell spills its Guts over Ubuntu gear

Steve Welsh
Black Helicopters

@LaeMi Qian

Which, of course, it will do quite nicely :)

I teach students of Computing, and from time to time they come to me with their laptops and a problem.

I can immediately see that they are running M$ Vista, because the response of their super-dooper-up-to-date-64bit-dual-core-whatever is about the same as I get from my old P-II 350 server running FC3-legacy.

Those that know have either downgraded to Windose XP, or upgraded to Centos, Ubuntu... whatever.

Fire stations too much like fire stations, says Govt

Steve Welsh

Many Years Ago in a World Far Away From Now

The local small town fire service used to put on a big open day once a year.

As it happens, I was landlord of the local pub where some of them used to drink off duty, and as a result, they used to ask me to get a Special License and run a bar at their open day.

It was only a small town and if memory serves me, they only had the one engine. But there were always two engines at the open day.

One would be from the nearby city, and the other the local town engine.

I found out why when there was a 'shout' - because the local tender was instantly manned and went do deal with the emergency, whilst the city engine stayed where it was and continued to be clambered all over by the local children.

I asked the local Fire Officer why, and he told me 'Well, it looks bad if [city] fire brigade turns up, and they know that we are having an open day (piss-up) here at

the station.

The good old days before TOTAL POLITICAL CORRECTNESS took total control of our lives

Police shut non-urgent crime reporting portal

Steve Welsh



Been down this particular road before. A 'whois' of .police.uk tells us that it is NOT controlled by Nominet.

Why not, I ask?

My previous efforts came to the conclusion that some organisation calling itself 'public interest internet' are somehow involved. As I recall, something to do withTucows.

As far as trying to chase down police.uk, well I had neither the time nor inclination to follow it further, but the question still remains:


More than meets the eye to this.

I'll expect Plod and the CIA, FBI at my door in the morning...

Why Borland trashed its spreadsheet

Steve Welsh
Thumb Up

Happy Days

AFAIK I still have some (comparatively very mild) live stuff out there that had a supposedly unreachable piece of code that just said "Something very bad happened"

They have never got back to me, so I am guessing that they either found it in my code, or it was truely unreachable

Truth, anonymity and the Wikipedia Way

Steve Welsh

Truth? Anonymity?


Well, yes, Michael. The ability to access the Internet and read probably precludes 50% of the population. The ability to access, read and understand what is written probably precludes 50% of the remainder.

I'll leave those who can read AND understand to do the rest of the maths.

US warrantless wiretapping predates 9/11

Steve Welsh

So Can Anybody Tell Me Why...?

Our bloody government still wants to be the glove puppet of this lot???

Surprise: Ohio's e-voting machines riddled with critical security flaws

Steve Welsh

Voting - electronic or otherwise...

As they say in Ireland "Vote early, vote often"

Why is the iPlayer a multi million pound disaster?

Steve Welsh

Ah, Yes, But

"The BBC has unshakeable obligations to producers who spend vast sums on the expensive telly-making process."


Am I being naive here, or did the patient license-paying public of the UK NOT *actually* already pay for that??????

Ballmer nails Founder to Windows mast

Steve Welsh

Yo Guys and Gals

It's actually the Trade Descriptions Act. Please fucking note where the 's's are.

Microsoft hopes to patent 'automatic goodbye messages'

Steve Welsh
Thumb Down

Utter Bollox

As I recall from an FTP server that I ran MANY years ago, it would greet anonymous users with 'What the fuck do you want?' and it would send them rejoicing on their way when they logged out with 'Good - Fuck Off'

Should have patented it then, it seems.

Hypersonic hydrogen airliner to bitchslap Concorde

Steve Welsh
Thumb Down

@El (not Reg)

"Though, this engine design is spot on. Get it working, ESA!"

You need to read about hydrogen economy when used as a straight fuel. Hydrogen is NOT an energy source, it is merely an energy carrier. As such its EROEI is negative. That's fine if you want to go lemming-like down that particular route to mankind making this planet into another Mars.

Get real!

Dutch Consumer Association declares war on Vista

Steve Welsh

@The Other Steve

Yeah, quite right. It runs fine. It runs just like my old P-II 350.

Like a dog, in other words.

Bloated, DRM-ridden crap!

Steve Welsh

@Emmett Clifford

"I've been supporting MS Products, and I do not work for them, since 1953 and Vista is the cleanest release I have seen for MS"

REALLY??? Was M$ going that long before Wm Gates III was born, then? I'm amazed!

"cleanest release"? You have to be joking! How old are you? 10?

The nearest M$ got to a decent operating system was Win2k. My local supermarket is still running it. The navy is still running it [ed, can you put the Windoze for warships link in here?]