* Posts by E Haines

134 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Oct 2007


El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

E Haines

Top nav bar a bit broken

I use the minimum font size feature in Safari which prevents sites from obnoxiously displaying 3 pt type, and this apparently causes the nav bar to make the "Weekend edition" bit hang down permanently on the next line, covering up anything that might be there. Same thing in Firefox. You'd want to fix it so it doesn't break if the user changes font sizes. Also get rid of the ALL CAPS...nobody likes that. Nobody, ever. (And yes the popup thingy is quite annoying too.)

What a pity: Rollout of hated UK smart meters delayed again

E Haines

Re: assoles

> In the US the meter are called globe.

No they're not; in any place in the U.S. I've ever been, meters are called meters. Maybe in Redneck Hickville (judging from your writing abilities), they're called globes. If you lost your hard drive just because of that, you were going to lose it in the next power outage anyway.

Forget the $2499 5K iMac – today we reveal Apple's most expensive computer to date

E Haines

Re: How much?

"Unless I am missing something here, but, the Atari ST? The Commodore Amiga?"

Yes, not to mention the Mac; it was widely used in home PCs. AC probably meant 68008 instead of 68000.

iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!

E Haines

Re: So WebGL

That's not really an either/or question, since Unity supports WebGL publishing with Unity 5.

The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?

E Haines

Re: It's unlikely to improve

The reason it *is* likely to improve is because it's becoming less and less common to write games entirely from scratch, which need to be ported by hand. Instead you use a pre-made engine of some sort, which has support for multiple platforms out of the box, so the "porting" has mostly already been done for you. This makes it far more economically sensible to make games available for platforms with smaller marketshare.

Apple OS X Yosemite 4 TIMES more popular than Mavericks

E Haines

Re: I want no cloud

@Jim: I'm not synchronizing anything with any clouds in Mavericks. I think you were misinformed.

E Haines

Re: How about some more Mavericks love?

I went directly from Snow Leopard to Mavericks, skipping 10.7 and 10.8, and Mavericks just kinda feels glitchy and slow by comparison. The "slow" bit is primarily because of the file system, which took a major speed hit somehow. Maybe you don't notice if you have flash, but I'm still using HDs. The glitches aren't terrible or frequent but it simply doesn't have that "totally rock-solid" feel anymore. While there are some good features to be sure, the whole experience has been decidedly "sidegrade" overall. But hey, it was free....

The browser's resized future in a fragmented www world

E Haines

This article is just factually wrong (not to mention poorly edited..."bread"?). When the iPhone was introduced, there were no native apps, aside from the included ones. You did everything via the web. Apparently the later introduction of the app store was so successful that it seems to have wiped everyone's memories of how things really were.

Nevertheless, you have only to look at mobile web stats to see that web browsing is far from dead in that arena and access through native apps is limited. Despite dubious claims here that Safari is "bad", it was heralded as something of a revolution in mobile browsing, since it was actually usable on a phone (unlike previous attempts) and for the most part did not require crappy "mobile" versions of web sites to be functional.

So yeah, I don't really buy this article's assertions. Yes, specialist apps exist, and maybe it's not too uncommon to use them for a few of the biggest sites, but that doesn't apply to the web in general.

Q. Can your Linux PC run Crysis? OK, it can. But will it run natively? A. Soon, very soon

E Haines

Re: Crysis

It's incorrect to say that WINE violates any ToS. There are (sadly) plenty of OS X games published using WINE for the "port" and nobody ever has or will ever be sued for using it. Also TransGaming's business is founded on it; Cider is a slightly tweaked WINE, as you might expect from the name.

Having an engine run on a platform is no guarantee that any games using that engine will be ported, although I'm sure it makes it easier. So yes, it is whether 'game x' runs on Linux, and no, it's rarely if ever a matter of just flipping a compile switch. (Aside from Unity, which is something of a special case since you don't normally get source code access, and even then there's still the matter of porting native code plugins, if they are used, and sometimes shaders as well.)

The long war on 'DRAM price fixing' is over: Claim YOUR spoils now (It's worth a few beers)

E Haines

Re: Waste of time for anyone but the lawyers

I won't bother with a claim, in order to increase the odds of the "victims" getting something. How's that for generous? Although it is possible for these settlement thingies to result in real money...sometime around 2005 I bought a graphics card, which was also apparently price-fixed, and was a few years later informed that I was part of a lawsuit but could opt out if I wanted. I didn't, since that would have involved some effort, and a while later I got a check for around $100 more than I had paid for the card in the first place. If I'd known that was going to happen, I would have bought dozens of the things....

It's Grand Theft Auto 5 day: Any of you kids remember GTA the First?

E Haines

Payback was also ported to OS X, and is available on iOS.

Myst: 20 years of point-and-click adventuring

E Haines

Re: No mention of Obsidian?

I actually played Obsidian a few years ago, and didn't find it nearly as hard as you claim. It was less difficult than Riven or Revelation; I finished it (with no cheating--I agree about not going online for hints) in a few days. It's worth playing, certainly, although the first "world" is substantially better than the rest of the game, which makes the overall experience somewhat less satisfying than it could have been.

E Haines


Sorry, but there wasn't any guesswork involved, unless you just weren't paying attention or had no patience. It was all logic and deduction. I completed all four without having to look up a thing on the internet, though Riven and Revelation were pretty tough. (I don't really consider the fifth to be part of the same series...I bought it and played though some of it, but it's not really the same so I kind of lost interest.)

Also I have to take issue with the assertion that "puzzles are typically solved by acquiring long lists of items". In fact there are no items that you acquire, aside from the book pages. That was deliberate, to get away from the often-arbitrary "inventory puzzles" in previous adventure games. Instead, puzzles are typically solved by observation and manipulating the environment. I'm pretty sure these games helped train my real-world powers of observation to be less bad....

New nested comment indentation layout - really?

E Haines
Thumb Up

Re: Skinny columns

And lo, it was fixed! Thanks.

E Haines

A more serious problem is what happens if you zoom your text at all, so it's anything larger than the (tiny) default size. Try it...most nested comments become a single vertical line of text, rendering them unreadable. I suspect someone has used pixels in the CSS somewhere where it really should be ems. I typically have text set to not display smaller than 14pts, because while I can read smaller text, I'd prefer to avoid the eyestrain thankyouverymuch. So basically the recent change has broken the comments view, since this wasn't a problem before. It should be standard practice while developing websites to occasionally zoom your text in and out to ensure you haven't improperly hard-coded something in a browser-breaking fashion.

Limbaugh: If you hate Apple then you're a lefty blog-o-twat hipster

E Haines

So wait...it's always been that if you like Apple, you're a hipster, but now if you don't like Apple, you're also a hipster? How does one avoid being classified as a hipster, then?

May the fourths be with you: Muso John Williams returns to Star Wars

E Haines

Re: Surprised...

> I've seen them all (yes, I'm a sucker for punishment) and can't remember a single notable theme tune.

Seriously? Duel of the Fates, The Droid Invasion, Darth Maul? Whatever else you can say about the prequels, the music was as good as ever.

Laser-wielding boffins develop ETERNAL MEMORY from quartz

E Haines

Re: Is glass not a liquid?

No, it is not. Totally busted myth, needs to die now.

UK gov's smart meter dream unplugged: A 'colossal waste of cash'

E Haines

We had smart meters installed a year ago; as far as I know there wasn't a choice. So far my bills have been the same, maybe slightly lower. The main difference was not having to shovel a path to the meter during the winter, which was kind of nice actually. I'm sorry but I just can't really get worked up about the whole thing.

Ad man: Mozilla 'radicals' and 'extremists' want to wreck internet economy

E Haines

Re: Am I the only one who thinks this is all just a massive distraction?

Yes, Safari does indeed block third-party cookies; you're not wrong. It's a perfectly adequate web browser, by the way, and judging from browser market share stats, a large majority of Mac users don't bother with anything else, so yeah I'd say it accounts for something. Namely, it accounts for evil Mac users destroying the web economy! Woo!

If Google got a haircut, a tie and a suit, would it be Microsoft?

E Haines


Sorry, but no. Hardware-agnostic operating systems already existed before MS-DOS, and there was plenty of competition that drove computer prices far below $5K. Many computers from Commodore, Atari, etc. were typically in the $300-$1000 range (in 1980s dollars to be sure, but nevertheless what you're claiming is demonstrably false).

Microsoft gives away Windows 8 to Mac devs

E Haines

> It's a little harder to see why Redmond wasn't keen to suggest Mac users install Windows 8 using Boot Camp

Because using Boot Camp involves rebooting the machine, which is undesirable, not to mention that it requires that you dedicate a disk partition to another OS. If you're a developer, you're not going to constantly reboot the entire machine in order to test web sites if you can simply run a VM instead, and the virtualised OS can be contained in a disk image. It's not like running IE requires 100% CPU power.

Seattle drinking den bans Google Glass geeks

E Haines

Re: Hmmm..

You don't seem to have read past the headline of the article, otherwise you'd know that it's not just this one device that's banned. They already didn't allow filming/photo-taking anyway.

Apple 'insider' explains why vid adapter hides ARM computer

E Haines

Re: Are you kidding?

Nobody's talking about laptops here. This is about iDevices and the Lightning connector, as the article very clearly states.

SimCity Classic

E Haines

Re: Amiga

Even an expanded A1200 couldn't really run it properly. I ended up playing the Mac version via one of the Mac emulators, since it ran at native speed and 640x480 on a Picasso96 graphics card (yes, my A1200 was expanded far past the point of making any sense, but it was cool anyway) was far faster than the AGA chip.

Google exec defends search snooping, location tracking

E Haines


"I think you should be worried about getting where you want to go if you use Apple Maps, to be honest."

If we're being honest, in my area, Google maps has a street name wrong, and if you specify a particular address in a particular town, it shows you a street with that name, but in the wrong town. (Which almost screwed me over, but at least I had sense not to blindly trust it and said "wait, this can't be right".) Apple's maps doesn't have either of those problems. This is, of course, a sample size of 1, and I'm sure there are still plenty of issues with Apple's maps, but nevertheless I wouldn't consider it wise for Google to be criticizing others too much when their own product is far from perfect.

Shiny, shiny! The window's behind me...

E Haines

At least give me 16:10 instead of 16:9, which is something that's becoming increasingly difficult. Display technology in general kind of sucks actually and in many ways seems to have regressed since CRTs...you're constantly being stuck with choices like "do you want decent color, *or* do you want to play games acceptably?"

Rampaging gnu crashes Microsoft Store, hands out literature

E Haines

re: pierce

So use another desktop.

E Haines

Re: Good effort but misdirected

You're mistaken; OS X isn't DRMed or particularly locked-down. The OS itself has no DRM at all (unlike Windows), so that leaves the App Store, which is completely optional on OS X.

E Haines

The reason they're not protesting in Apple stores is because they recognize that the fact is Microsoft has become more locked down than Apple. OS X software can be installed from any source without restriction (if you don't want the OS harping on you about unsigned apps you can disable that in the preferences easily enough). That's not something you can say about Metro apps.

Windows Vista woes killed MS Pinball

E Haines


In your amusement you seem to have missed this line: "That thinking derives from the fact that Microsoft didn’t write the game: an outfit called Cinematronics did."

Goldman Sachs: Windows' true market share is just 20%

E Haines

Re: I hate to admit it, but...

Indeed, I know several families who barely use their PCs anymore because they've pretty much replaced them with iOS and Android devices. Not intentionally, mind--they get an iPhone or whatever and just gradually turn on the PC less and less, since a lot of what they used it for is more conveniently done on a mobile device. So people talking about "but what about dishwashers and feature phones" are missing the point...yes this is a relatively new thing; this situation with computing devices wasn't possible 10 years ago.

E Haines

Re: Ms hate

Having the "anti trust stuff" be "long over" doesn't really make MS any better of a company now than it used to be. That wasn't even the reason people didn't like MS, and the actual reasons haven't gone away.

Slash A THIRD off Surface RT price or it's toast, Microsoft told

E Haines

Re: No body wants it now, why would then with a 3rd off/

> Most people who want a tablet have one already

Not in this reality, wherein sales of tablets are accelerating and will continue to do so for some time, according to any projections you might find.

Mac gamers a-gog as GOG goes Mac

E Haines

Not quite...

> Various well-known titles, including Syndicate and Wing Commander are apparently available for the first time ever on a Mac.

Those games were available on the Mac when they first came out. Just not OS X (which of course did not exist back then).

'It's not a post-PC world: Just a post Windows one, maybe'

E Haines

Re: @Mad Chaz - I don't quite understand

> Valve don't want that and neither do the other game vendors since they have no intention of coughing up 30% to Apple or MS in order to sell on their respective platforms.

But the other game vendors do have the intention of coughing up 30+% to Valve in order to be on Steam? What difference does it make? Unless you go it alone, you will be coughing up a reasonably hefty percentage to somebody.

Windows Phone 8 stands a chance as Apple, Android dither

E Haines

Re: challenge accepted

Wrong, Unity is a program. How do you think Unity apps/plugin content is generated? (In fact, it was Mac-only for the first several years, so the Windows version is actually a port.)

E Haines

Re: challenge accepted



Sound Forge Pro

Filemaker Pro



Safari (until just recently)


Quicken (bwa ha ha, never mind)



Cinema 4D

Reagan slams webmail providers for liberal bias

E Haines

Re: A Bargain!

Erm, no, .mac is ancient history, and MobileMe closed recently too. Seems you can get a free me.com address with iCloud (also free) though.

Apple TV: Rubbish, you don't like documentaries – I'll just flick to porn

E Haines

Apple has tons of these ridiculous patents, virtually none of which actually end up being used in any products. So just relax, folks.

Ubisoft: 'Vast majority of PC gamers are PIRATES'

E Haines

Oh, and I don't touch F2P games either. Just make a half-decent game without horrible DRM, preferably with a reasonable price, and I'll buy it if it interests me. 100% of my games are legal.

E Haines

The "always connected" schemes cause me to not buy any games that use that nonsense. Steam is as far as I'll go when it comes to DRM.

Curiosity's laser turns Mars rocks to 'glowing plasma'

E Haines

Best. Rover. Ever.

First full landing site and colour pictures back from Mars

E Haines

Re: Shirley...

No, because that would get contaminants all over everything.

Microsoft RTMs final Windows 8 and Server 2012 code

E Haines

Re: Wow.

When did "new things" become something to be desired in and of themselves? New things that are good are nice, new things that are bad are something that I am, indeed, averse to. As should you be. But I guess all you care about is whether it's new and shiny? Marketers must love you.

Apple serves 3m Mountain Lions in four days

E Haines

Re: Upgrade....PATH

> 3) Then I think, pay for 10.7, then pay for 10.8

No. Just 10.8; you skip over 10.7.

Gabe Newell: Windows 8 is a 'catastrophe' for PC biz

E Haines

Re: Analysts - apply pinch of salt

> Desktop gaming has being dying a slow death for years

It's been doing no such thing. In fact, the opposite: http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/97047-thank-you-farmville-pc-gaming-will-soon-overtake-consoles

Apple iOS 6 beta limits number of apps per device

E Haines

Re: 25 screens to scroll through?

Er, no, iOS has had folders for ages.

E Haines

640 apps should be enough for anybody!

iPhone 5 poised to trounce Android, devastate BlackBerry?

E Haines

"Most of the iPhone users I know have DRM protected iTunes music on their handsets"

No they don't. iTunes music isn't DRM-protected, hasn't been for years, and even if they had bought it back when it was, it's somewhat likely they would have swapped it for the non-DRM (256K) versions by now.