* Posts by Nige

10 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Nov 2007

Huawei wins big intellectual property case in Europe – against fashion house Chanel


Under Armour beware!


Master boot vinyl record: It just gives DOS on my IBM PC a warmer, more authentic tone

IT Angle


Taking this a step further, it should be possible to record that boot 'track' [see what I did there?] to an MP3, then be able to boot the PC from any MP3 player with a lead from the headphone jack.

Same with the old cassette games.

At least with MP3's, they wouldn't wear like physical tape would, or gum up the heads of the tape player. Also no worries about the pop+crackle you invariably get with vinyl. And you could carry an entire games library around with you on a modest 64gig SD card.

Not sunshine, moonlight or good times – blame it on the buggy


The First Law Of Computing

Any error blamed on a computer is the direct result of at least two human errors, one of which is blaming it on the computer in the first place.

UK tax dept's IT savings created 'significant risk', technical debt as it faces difficult conversation with Chancellor


Defer (or cost-cut) regular Tech Refresh at your peril!

> "HMRC has recognised that, due to the need in the past to forgo operational maintenance and upgrades to its systems to secure cost savings, its IT systems now constitute a significant risk to the Department".

It never ceases to amaze me how any company with a significant investment in existing IT infrastructure thinks they can save money (cut costs) by not keeping it up to date. All you do by not regularly upgrading (ideally before you near the end of the hardware and/or software support lifecycles) is punt the problem down the road. You have to do it sooner or later, and the longer you leave it, the more difficulty, risk and expense you have to deal with when you finally have no other option than to finally get on with it.

Not to mention the security risks associated with not keeping up with regular maintenance schedules.

I suppose this is what happens when the company is run by accountants who don't get the importance of IT thats fit for purpose.

Amazon, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft speech-to-text AI systems can't understand black people as well as whites


Learn To Spoke Proper England

The brain has an amazing "universal translator" capability. Whether its due to the amount of training it has - lets face it, we have a lifetime's experience of listening to speech and speaking to others - or if its just an in-built ability when we have to interact with others who speak slower, faster, or with a different tone, inflection, or accent. And they're trying to train these voice recognition systems on a few 1000's of hours worth of recorded dialogue? No chance!

I always cringe when I'm listening to the Radio and you hear some 'hip & trendy' reporter saying "wiv" and "vis" and "vat" and "sumpink", or people who can't seem to pronounce a 'T' and replace it with a glottal stop. FFS!

When you're speaking to a wider audience, or maybe someone who isn't a native speaker of whatever your language is, it makes perfect sense to me to try to speak 'properly' and clearly pronounce and enunciate rather than the usual 'vernacular', shortcuts, slang, and lazy pronunciation that all too easily creeps in to common speech.


Re: Based on my experience

Same here with a South Wales Valleys Welsh accent.

I've given up on all the voice recognition phone lines when I try to call my bank or credit card providers. Its easier to just repeatedly pressing '0' or '*' or find the menu option to actually speak to a person.

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


Re: Is it just me?

ICL 2900 series mainframes had a speaker on the central CPU (in ICL parlance, the Oder Code Processer, or OCP) that would chitter and chirp something similar to the old phone modems and fax machines. An experienced operator could tell what stage a batch job was in - extract, sort, number-crunching, spooling, etc - just by the sound coming from the speaker.

Government rejects elephants for pets e-petition



re: Annonymous John

> glow-in-the-dark elephants. Park one in the back garden and leave the curtains open.

> No more need for electric lighting, and CO2 emissions would be reduced at a stroke.

Not sure this would apply. I remember reading somewhere that the major contibutor to greenhouse gasses are cows farting. Imagine how much worse a country full of elephants farting would be!

Beeb censors Fairytale of New York


Plotical Correctness Gone Mad

Its just another step along the same slippery road to PC madness that insisted on changing the well known nursery rhyme "Baa Baa Black Sheep" to "Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep" (see http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1752155.html).

I once read an article that said all this PC Gone Mad to avoid offending anyone of any race, religion or gender is now becoming Offensive to the indiginous native population as our 'common use' language has to be modified in light of the increasing number of non-indigenous arrivals that CHOOSE to come here then OBJECT to what they find here and INSIST that *WE* change to accommodate them.

Makes perfect sense to me.

You've got OpenSolaris in my System z


re: By Paddy "z/OS does have zlinux bundled in the standard suite"

Oh no it doesn't. z/OS has its own 'Unix Branded' Unix Systems Services component that is an EBCDIC implementation of 'unix'.

IBM can't 'bundle' Linux with any of its operating system distributions. If any software distribution contains open source code then by implication the entire distribution falls under an Open Source agreement. And big blue is not about to turn z/OS or z/VM into 'open source'.

Linux for zSeries and System z is an ASCII implementation of Linux that runs on IBM zSeries and System z processors, either on the tin or as a z/VM guest system.

Software licencing is NOT an issue. You can download a copy of Linux from wherever you can get it for free on t'interweb, and IBM makes the patches to run it on zSeries / System z available so you can patch a kernel yourself if you want to. The patches represent about 2% of the total Linux code, and are in the area of mainframe device drivers - e.g. translate a raw Linux scsi disk I/O call into a zSeries ECKD disk I/O call, etc.

The pre-built and bundled 'Enterprise' Linux editions are packaged with support services. This is where the money changes hands. Linux is an Open Source operating system. You're not supposed to be able to sell it on or charge for it. What you are allowed to do is charge for any value add you bring to the bundle in terms of support etc.

For running vendor software, it is most often a cost saving. e.g. One vendor software licence for a System z CPU which can then run 20 Linuxes - versus - 20 vendor software licences for each of 20 single instances of Linux on 20 seperate Wintel/RISC boxes. No brainer.