* Posts by Bob Kentridge

21 posts • joined 16 Nov 2007

Five amazing computers for under £100

Bob Kentridge


On the basis of this article I picked up an X60 from the Devil's Tat Bazaar (ebay) for £120. It is a fab little thing that can be used for proper work - rather easier to lug about than my T500 but the same great keyboard, and, I guess as it is a Thinkpad, still in perfect mechanical order. The battery is a bit past it (still got a couple of hours life) but that can be fixed for £20 or so.

Thanks for the fun article and thanks for prompting me to get this great machine!

Fanboi rumor mill dances for iPad 2 iPad 3

Bob Kentridge

retina display

Didn't they rather imply that it meant a display at the resolution limit of the human visual system? This is somewhere around 35-40 cycles per degree for near optimal stimuli [1], so, for a comfortable reading distance, a 264dpi display would still be pretty much there.


[1] Smallman, H.S.; MacLeod, D.I.A.; He, S. & Kentridge, R.W. (1996) The fine grain of the neural representation of human spatial vision. Journal of Neuroscience 16, 1848-1865.

Ten... over-ear headphones

Bob Kentridge


Senn HD-25s not only sound pretty good but are almost indestructible. They look old fashioned, plasticky and cheap, but I regard that as good thing.

Wooden spaceship descends into Moscow sandpit

Bob Kentridge

Jefferson Airplane

Let's hope they're young enough not to know 'Wooden Ships' by JA. They might find the bit where the narrators who are sailing away in the wooden ships look back at the people they left behind a little depressing:

Horror grips us as we watch you die,

All we can do is echo your anguished cries,

Stare as all human feelings die,

We are leaving,

You don't need us.

Maybe ESA should consider making the spaceship out of something other than wood.

Unfortunately there is no 'old hippy' icon...

SGI forges overclocked servers for Wall Street

Bob Kentridge


Could they not get them to 4.77 GHz for old times' sake?

The forgotten, fat generation of Mac Portables

Bob Kentridge
Thumb Up

680x0 things

The connoisseur's processor of its time. I had a Sun 3/60 with a 68020 and 68881 math co-processor in it I think. I wrote little bits of 68020 assembler to optimise long-running simulations.

There was a time when Apple's highest performing processor was a 68020 in the Laserprinter IINT (or something) - running faster than the processors in any of their computers....

eBay photocopier data risk ignored

Bob Kentridge

Ancient history

Didn't Apple sell a LaserPrinter II with a hard disk at phenomenal expense in the late 1980's? I think I printed my PhD out on one (not the choicest material for a hacker).

Boffins authenticate Apple 'Antennagate'

Bob Kentridge

The Real Comparison

I'm not a fanboy. I had to program for Macs in the early 1990s and hated them (remember 7.5.3). I'm not that bothered by phones but I do like my 3GS for all of the non-phone things it does so painlessly. I want to know what the difference in performance is between old iPhones and the 4. Is there any point in updating? I'm not going to switch OS because I don't care about phones and like the one I've got, but when I can upgrade from 3GS to 4 should I?

Ten Essential... iOS Travel Apps

Bob Kentridge

Travel Interpreter

I reckon 'Travel Interpreter' by Jourist is pretty good simply because if gives you 23 languages in one app (just basics, but got me by in Polish and I would have been stumped without the spoken phrases).

Geezer eBays 'bastardised, chaved up Skippy mobile'

Bob Kentridge

make sure there is at least six of you

I particularly liked the specialised argot, clearly targeted at the intended audience:

"If your driving ... make sure there is six of you ..."

Inspired, innit?

TomTom iPhone Car Kit

Bob Kentridge

You might not need the car kit

The software alone works pretty well provided you can hear the voice instructions. The speakers on the iphone itself are too weedy, but if you've already got an FM re-transmitter then you can listen to the iphone as an ipod and hear the voice instructions (the music volume is muted) all over the car radio. So it isn't killer expensive (less than a dedicated satnav) if you aleady have the other stuff anyway.

Vampires not good role models for Catholics, declares Vatican

Bob Kentridge


Who cares about whatever this vatican thing is. What does His Noodliness have to say on the matter?

Early adopters bloodied by Ubuntu's Karmic Koala

Bob Kentridge


One 32-bit upgrade, one 64-bit upgrade. Both needed new Nvidia drivers, apart from that just fine... The kernels are both 2.6.31-14.

ps - not a linux fanboi - this is podsted from my XP laptop

Packing heat gets you shot, say profs

Bob Kentridge


You don't even have to read the paper to realise K7AAY is talking bollocks, all you have do do is read the abstract and know what an odds-ratio is.

Bob Kentridge

Ignorance of medical statistics

Lots of people seem to have read the Reg article but not the research paper and are making all sorts of assertions about how stupid medical statisticians are, how they didn't understand elementary logic and how they drew conclusions that were not justified by their data. I too have not read this particular paper. I have, however, read the first author's previous paper on the relationship between shootings and alcohol availability. He analysed a few dozen personal and situational confounds and regressed each out of the final odds ratio based tests of associations between the primary factors being studied. This seems a pretty solid approach to me. I suspect critics are probably more motivated by political predilictions than by specific issues with the method of analysis.

Vodafone joins the iPhone throng

Bob Kentridge

Re: unlocked iphone #

Or a penny under £900 for an unlocked white 32GB 3GS from the same place - actually makes the O2 contract look reasonable!

Don't call me Ishmael

Bob Kentridge

Street names

I've seen worse than the flower street names. Many years ago some of my friends lived in an area of Leeds known locally as 'The Harolds' because all the streets were Harold something - Harold Street, Harold Road, Harold Avenue - truly brilliant bit of planning.

On an unrelated note my work machines tend to be called hagbard, gruad, fnord, shoggoth and so on... At home they're called Upstairs and Downstairs.

Budvar beats Anheuser-Busch in latest Budweiser battle

Bob Kentridge

more evidence

'Budvar had submitted copies of adverts in Germany and Austria and invoices for customers in Germany and Austria for sales of the beer. The CFI agreed with the Board of Appeal "the evidence which Budvar produced was clearly sufficient to prove genuine use of the earlier international word mark 'Budweiser'".'

If they need any more evidence I remember (reasonably clearly) drinking it in Austria years ago in bottles clearly marked 'Budweiser' from Budvar....

Helicopters: President buys British, Queen buys American

Bob Kentridge
IT Angle

Sea King with classes

"The new S76 C++, which will continue..."

Apols for apalling IT pun, coat, door etc.

Drink rats' milk, suggests battling Heather Mills

Bob Kentridge

Rat milking

Been done....


Aussie-Irish boozer ejects 'terrorist' drinker

Bob Kentridge

Could've been worse

He could have been reading recent Nobel Prize winner Doris Lessing's 'The Good Terrorist'....


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