* Posts by Pete Wilson

23 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Dec 2007

Hey, Bill Gates! We've found 14 IT HOTSHOTS to be the next Steve Ballmer

Pete Wilson


The obvious choice is Michael Dell, together with a restructuring of both Dell and Microsoft to form two different companies (one a server-and-services company (DellSoft) and one a consumer company (MicroDell) doing phones and xboxes and...)

Dell runs DellSoft, Elop runs MicroDell and merges it with Nokia to form the industry colossus MicroNok.

There. Sorted.

-- Pete

Penguins, only YOU can turn desktop disk IO into legacy tech

Pete Wilson

Extremely Prior Art

Multics, started in 1964, implemented a 'single level store'. No distinction between 'data in memory' and 'files'.


Rogue Squadron: Unit of X-wings Kickstarts in response to Death Star

Pete Wilson

Propulsion system

Time to revive the Dean Drive...


Vote now for the ultimate bacon sandwich

Pete Wilson

The Perfeck Bacon Sarnie

I used to work for Ferranti, and we'd have to drive down to Portsmouth to get on our assigned Grey Funnel Line boat, and when 'twas early enough, I always stopped off at a little caff in a little town not far from Portsmouth - alas, gazing at Google Maps doesn't bring back what town that was - who had a bacon and tomato sarnie that was bludy excellent. Thick white bread, real tomatoes (not the puny grape-sized ones), real bacon.


McDonalds staff 'rough up' prof with home-made techno-spectacles

Pete Wilson

Why Visit MacDo?

The Great Big Secret about MacDonalds in Paris (and elsewhere in France) is they have free wifi, something which is harder to stumble upon in Yurp than the good ole USA.

The coffee isn't too bad, but definitely avoid the MacDo nosh...

Pete Wilson
IT Angle

Why Visit MacDo?

The Great Big Secret about MacDonalds in Paris (and elsewhere in France) is they have free wifi, something which is harder to stumble upon in Yurp than the good ole USA.

The coffee isn't too bad, but definitely avoid the MacDo nosh...

Can Sony's new supremo make the sacrifices to save his biz?

Pete Wilson
Thumb Up

Sony products

After the fall of Minolta, my SLR and DSLR future ended up in the hands of Sony.

It turns out that, at least so far, this has been magic. I own their Alpha 850 24 Mp full-frame DSLR. It's a delight to use, and the images are stunning. And it was way cheaper than approximate Nikon or Canon equivalents.

And although I haven't played with them (yet?) the new cameras with 24 Mp APS-C sensors and beautiful OLED viewfinders seem to be well-sorted and receiving lots of (mass-market photo mag) praise.

So it looks as though at least one part of Sony can do a good job, albeit one without billions in revenue.

US shoots down key Rambus patent

Pete Wilson


"So the patent would be worthless."

No news here, surely? Aren't they all?

Seagate triples up heads/platter ratio

Pete Wilson

Galactic Storage Device

Amehaye - that's a version of the old ICL Galactic Storage Device....

The only reference I can find is this document: http://uk.fujitsu.com/pensioner/localData/pdf/icl_anthology.pdf

Philip Green discovers ugly truth of government incompetence

Pete Wilson

Large Company Purchasing

I'm with Adam Williamson. My ($4B/yr) employer has standardised on Win laptops, all leased, and all centrally 'managed' (downloads of improvements happen when they want). They don't even back up all the stuff on your machine - just what was originally imaged (wtf?). Oh, and it's Exchange 2003 and you get a 100 MB mail limit....


So I spent my own money on a MacBook and el-cheapo external USB backup. yes, it rewards the swine for being incompetent, but it most certainly improves the quality (and efficiency) of my professional life

Software fraudster 'fooled CIA' into terror alert

Pete Wilson
Paris Hilton

Ah, naivety...

Yep; they're called "the electorate".

Really scary, eh?

Conficker borks London council

Pete Wilson
Paris Hilton

Council Security

AC 'Let's get it right' said that "Councils have no idea how to set-up modern IT security. They still believe Security is just closing a door and putting a padlock on the door."

I thought it was well-established that you put the sensitive stuff downstairs "in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'."

Reg reader captures Perseid meteor

Pete Wilson


Yep, full EXIF info at http://www.flickr.com/photos/billius/3813200097/meta/

Strangely, he posted it to Flickr *before* taking it, according to the page:

Taken on

August 12, 2009 at 3.33am BST

Posted to Flickr

August 11, 2009 at 5.47am BST

Wish my camera could do that. Damn, these Nikons are getting good! Mebbe it's Asimov's thiotimoline in use (you know, the stuff that dissolves *before* you add water)

Linux Foundation urges fans to sign up to Visa credit card

Pete Wilson

@UMB Bank # By Reallydo Wannaknow

Ummm... You must be too young to remember ICL Ltd - International Computers Limited Limited. That was in England.

ICL got more limited as time went by :-)

RIP Personal Computer World

Pete Wilson
Black Helicopters

@Frank Gerlach

Ah, yes; it's easy to build something wonderful.

But then you have to get someone's attention, and get enough of those folk to buy the thing to actually make moeny and grow.

It turns out that most people buy computers to run software they've already bought or committed to using.

So a computer which works differently (e.g. by requiring you to chop up your vile pile of C++ into a bunch of threads, and remove all shared data) has a very hard road ahead of it if the goal is commercial success.

And a computer which runs last year's (Microsoft or Unix or..) software is a dead end.

Interesting times, eh?

-- Pete

Royal Navy completes Windows for Submarines™ rollout

Pete Wilson


Hey, An-D - FM1600B???

I'm trying to scare up some documentation for that thing (I worked on CAAIS). Got anything on the 1600B? or the F100L, for that matter...

-- Pete

Man trademarks ;-) emoticon

Pete Wilson
Paris Hilton


Despair Inc had a trademark on the frowny emoticon many years ago...


-- Pete

Paris, to make up for the frown...

What if computers went back to the '70s too?

Pete Wilson

The first 16 bit microprocessor

Hmmm... I think the first 16 bit microprocessor was the Ferranti F100L, which I reckon must have been in silicon by 1974 'cos that's when I left Ferranti. It was a simple single-accumulator thing, and did arithmetic with a fast *serial* ALU (saved space and transistors).

New Scientist goes innumerate in 'save the planet' special

Pete Wilson
Paris Hilton


A few comments.

One big factor missed is that 'resources' includes energy. As one example, while the sun's output is certainly limited, we don't have any control over its output (well, not yet, perhaps). So there's a great pile of free extra resources flowing in to the planet every day.

That said, there are real limits to growth. Even if we had free fusion-driven power, we couldn't deploy so much of it that the energy density was such that the average terrestrial temperature rose 100 degrees, for example.

And the simplest (in principle) method of reducing the rate of real or imagined natural resource depletion is to reduce headcount.

Paris, just because

Apple ARMs up iPhone

Pete Wilson

@peter hawkins

Ha! Real programmers use Ferranti FM1600E processors, programmed in FIXPAC3.

Of course, this does mean that they don't get much work done these days....

Anyone know where a '1600 can be found? Or even a manual?

Mebbe it's in me coat...

Here's the multi-core man coding robots, 3-D worlds and Wall Street

Pete Wilson

Immense challenges?


There's a big difference between

- I don't know how to write parallel programs

- my program is sequential and I don't know how to convert it to be parallel

- my program is sequential and no-one will give me an auto-parallelising tool

- writing parallel programs is hard in and of itself

- there are no good languages for writing parallel programs

- shared memory is an idiot's choice of parallel programming and leads to all sorts of difficulties (even with TM)

As an aside, anyone who's written Verilog (or VHDL) to implement a pipelined processor (or similar) has written a parallel program. Lots of folk seem to do this as part of daily life.

And anyone remember the Inmos transputer? Eh, like any worthwhile British innovation, before its time and crippled by poor decisions all over...

-- P

Opera CTO: How to fix Microsoft's browser issues

Pete Wilson
Thumb Up

Selling XP...

I think it's entirely fair and reasonable for Microsoft to stop selling XP whenever they want. And, then or thereabouts, to halt all support for it.

But of course, at that point they should also turn off any and all "activation" measures - so that anyone with this (in MS' view) undesirable, uncompetitive OS can install it on any machine at any time as often as they like.

-- P

Terry Pratchett has Alzheimer's

Pete Wilson


One word - Aricept.

It works rather nicely.

Puts off the day of reckoning, but that gives time to work on something better.

And, incidentally, I reckon that the best thing in the early Discworld books was the footnotes. Bloody magic. And, of course, the 'Two dogs' joke...

-- P