* Posts by Power Pentode

20 posts • joined 13 Dec 2007

TVs are now tablet computers without a touchscreen

Power Pentode

Re: Oh you optimist

Precisely. I was without a TV for some time (in 2014) while waiting for large 4k sets to come down to a reasonable price level. One day I was shopping for socks at a Target department store and noticed a strikingly nice picture on a TV in their electronics section. It was a 55" mid-range model Samsung and I played with it for a few minutes and bought it that day after checking its specs on my phone.

It has never been connected to the internet, so all of its apps (Netflix, Youtube player, etc.) can happily rot for all I care. It's connected to an old laptop, my cable box, and a blu-ray player. So I have a dumb smart TV.

Yes, it is joined to my wifi network and blocked at the router to keep it from becoming too friendly with any open networks in the neighbourhood.

VMware boss: we rise as Windows falls

Power Pentode

VMWare for way less than 10K a pop.

If you're running a multi-million dollar/pound datacenter, 10K a pop is not that big a deal. If you are an SMB or running a test lab you can download and install ESXi and run it for free. The free license gives you the ability to run ESXi on some number (10? 50?) of servers indefinitely. Unlike the free VMWare Server product, with ESXi you can create and maintain multiple snapshots of your various guests, configure VLANs and such on the fancy included soft switch, pass through up to four CPU cores to a guest, connect multiple ESXi servers to your SAN using iSCSI, etc. I have four of them in my lab right now, hosting from one to four guests each. It's a brilliant solution for testing. The ESXi hypervisor installs and configures in all of roughly five or six minutes. I'm using 4.1 and it is a nice improvement over 4.0 in terms of reduced network latency and jitter on the guests. You can run a lot of less disk intensive guests straight off a low-end SAN if you wish (Openfiler, anyone?).

What you don't get with the free ESXi is the ability to run VCenter (I think that's what its called) and manage all of your ESX(i) servers simultaneously with one tool, move running guests seamlessly from one host to another, etc.

Internet, China and Russia destroying US, rock and roll

Power Pentode

more larger stereo image?

To my ears, the sound from an LP seems to have a touch of added L-R, even when compared to a CD made directly from the same master tape (e.g. early Jethro Tull CDs). I've no idea whether it's due to the phono cartridge, RIAA equalization, special LP pre-processing, or whatever. Plus the low rumble, feedback from the speakers to the cartridge, clicks, pops, etc. I suspect that the larger difference, by far, is due to the choices made by the recording engineers when the LPs and CDs were produced.

If you prefer that extra L-R "larger stereo image" you can play your CD or MP3 on your computer and dial up (slide up?) the horrid "3D spatial enhancement" slider or whatever it's labeled on your system. For an extreme example of vinyl L-R, dust off your Little River Band LP and cue up "It's a Long Way There" on the turntable. Listen closely to the sound image: there's precious little sound coming from the center. I'm guessing that's mostly due to pre-processing in that specific case, but you can always run your CDs through a processor to make them sound more like your albums if you wish. The Nullsoft Signal Processing Studio DSP plug-in in WinAmp is free and a good place to start.

I don't mean to give the impression that I'm dissing all vinyl. Clean 45 RPM vinyl recordings with plenty of space between the grooves, properly engineered can sound incredibly good. I have a few tracks I've ripped from 45 RPM EPs that sound better than their CD counterparts, but only after I've spent 10-20 hours per track removing the worst of the clicks and pops.

If you could dig up (!) the original recording engineers who produced your favorite LP and give them the original master and a free hand to produce a CD version, which medium do you think would give you the best end result in your listening room? I'll hang onto to the CD version of Adagio for Strings (Thomas Schippers conducting the New York Philharmonic), thanks -- even though I can hear the second violin kick the leg of his chair a couple of times in the CD version :) I know that I'm hearing essentially everything that the composer heard when he was helping on the mixing board.

Office 2010 hits testers minus Google punch

Power Pentode
Gates Horns

@another MS FAIL

MS have certainly launched some less than stellar initiatives over the years, but with tens of billions of cash in the bank and a market capitalization of some $206,740,495,600 (NASDAQ), "FAIL" hardly applies to their overall business record. Amoral? certainly. Loathsome? no doubt. Evil? arguably, yes. But FAIL? no.

P.S. Love the icon mouse-over comments :)

French workers threaten to blow up factory

Power Pentode


I use NoScript and also block pop-ups, but never block ordinary adverts. I recon that it's reasonable and fair that I should see the adverts given that they are a source of revenue for the sites that I visit. Also, on rare occasions the ads might even be of interest.

DARPA orders hypersonic Nazi Doodlebug engine

Power Pentode
Black Helicopters

@80 pulse per second

The result of my back-of-the brain estimation for an 80PPS engine at Mach 3 is about a 40-45 foot spacing between doughnuts, depending on the altitude. I don't know whether the individual pulses would be discernible in the exhaust trail.

IBM bricking Seagate SATA disks

Power Pentode

Re: IBM computers

"They have to be formatted with IBM special code, well at least for the lap tops"

FWIW, I have Z60m & T61 ThinkPad laptops, and have replaced the factory drives with off-the-shelf SATA drives in each -- no problem.

Brit, French nuke subs collide - fail to 'see' each other

Power Pentode

Re: What?

> Why would a submarine implode after filling with water? Stop making things up.

Many/most of the internal watertight doors were likely closed immediately, and the engine room (or whatever they call the space nowadays) filled with water. The engine room space is so large that the submarine cannot help but sink when it is flooded.

Assuming deep water, shortly thereafter the remaining compartments began to implode, and/or the doors gave way. Not a pleasant way to go, knowing for a minute or several that you are utterly doomed.

Blackswift hypersonic plane cancelled

Power Pentode
Black Helicopters

Re: Been done?

FWIW, Ben Rich (Lead skunk works dude for the F-117 and other stuff) swears that Aurora was simply the development code name for the D-21 drone project. The D-21 was not very successful. IIRC, there is a D-21 and an SR-71 in the Seattle Museum of Flight.

Boeing gets new raygun-on-a-lorry contract

Power Pentode

RE: Low tech counter?

"Furthermore, high power laser systems are actually self destructive and the beam path mirrors are made of polished copper alloy for easy refurb"

So... polish up a good shine on your copper-cased mortar shell? For added fun, have the spinning mortar shell pop off the tip of its nose on the way down, exposing a flat copper mirror that's not quite perpendicular to the flight path. Then the well-targeted shell reflects the multi-kilowatt laser into an ever tightening spiral Beam Of Death(TM) that slags everyone and everything in the compound even before the shell hits?

Remind me not to volunteer for units testing the HEL TD in the field, thank you very much. I'll just grab my polished copper jacket and be off.

Microsoft searches for meaning with Powerset buy

Power Pentode

MS disadvantage?

I don't get it. MS has their OS on 95%+ of PCs, each has MSN as the home page for the included browser, and the default search in the browser and on MSN is Windows Live Search -- why do they feel that Google has an unfair advantage in the search business? If MS has less than 10% of the search market now, how much would they have if Google was the default search in ie and on MSN?

Ubuntu man says Microsoft's about to 'swallow a hand-grenade'

Power Pentode


No worries; apology happily accepted. I run KDE on my Mepis partition, though with Synaptic, not Adept.


Power Pentode


Schroeder, Thanks for being helpful with the tip, but I just looked again and the 8.04 "Monitor Resolutions Settings" control does not have a locked dialog or an administrator button - it's just that the highest res presented was 800x600 and the "Detect Displays" bar didn't do anything and there was no manual override. Perhaps you're thinking of the "Screens and Graphics Preferences" control in 7.10 accessible from the System -> Administration menu but not available in the 8.04 menu? I looked in xorg.conf to mod the res but all of the usual stuff there is missing in 8.04.

My work desktop is a couple-year-old HP xw4300. It came with a dual DVI AGP NVidia 440-something and over time I added a scrounged Voodoo3 2000 PCI card and later a Diamond branded ATI PCI card with VGA&DVI out. My monitors are two brand-new Samsung 20" LCDs (I have a great boss), two ancient but lovely NEC FP950 CRTs, and an older 19" Samsung LCD that I use from time to time. I was only exaggerating to the extent that 99% of the time I only use four monitors. I ought to be thick-skinned after many years on-line but I am offended at being called a troll for relating a personal frustrating experience. If you ever find yourself on the eastside (east of Seattle) I will be happy to give you a tour of my cubicle.

At this very moment I am running Asterisk 1.6.0-beta7.1 on HH 8.04 in a VM in another window on my laptop.


Power Pentode


> Now, did you try running XP on your box with the voodoo card?

Er, no -- I was running Ubuntu GG 7.10 on it and it ran very well. I installed 8.04 mostly just to try it out.

Power Pentode

Re: 'Just works' clarification

> As to the dual monitor

Well, I dual boot XP and Mepis on my laptop, run a couple of 7.10 Ubuntu guest VMs to play with an open source PBX, and have several XP, W2K3 and Ubuntu machines at work.

I installed HH (fresh) on a box that had run GG 7.10 flawlessly. The monitor is connected to an old 3dfx Voodoo card and the on-board vid is unused. The HH install had me pulling my hair out as it put me in 800x600 vid with no way to get out of it. The Screen Resolution control was worse than useless, couldn't detect my Viewsonic CRT, and was stuck showing "cloned" with no way in the control to manually select monitor or vid drivers. Utter trash.

The XP box on my desk at work has three video cards, mixed ATI, NVidia, and 3dfx AGP and PCI, and FIVE monitors (mixed LCD and CRT)! The XP display properties control "just works"! Forget dual monitors in HH: good luck getting one monitor to work. Yeah, I finally got it working, having to run the old display control on a GG box to see which prog it was in sysmon and calling it from the CLI in HH.

I enjoy using Ubuntu and sticking it to the Redmond monopolists, but its sound and vid configuration is many years behind that of XP.

Heathrow 777 crash flattens servers

Power Pentode
Thumb Up

flight characteristics

it's very good that there was not serious injury to those aboard or on the ground. I'm not surprised to see a number of postings here from people in the know. this is el Reg, not MySpace, eh?

Regarding the glide characteristics of jet aircraft, over the years a number of amateurs have referred to the famous F-104 Starfighter as a missile with wings. I've been close to someone in the 104 programme from way back and they assert that they never once heard that expression from a 104 pilot. What they did hear was that the 104 had "the glide ratio of an anvil strapped to a manhole cover".

Thanks to all the knowledgeable comments from pilots and test engineers. Some have reported that the flaps and droops of the 777 appear to have been in the retracted state upon impact. Would it be typical for the pilot to raise those devices in this situation? Loss of lift traded off for reduced drag and all.

The protection's off, as Warner commits to Amazon

Power Pentode

It's not so bad

Despite an annoying interface apparently calculated to discourage potential downloaders, the Amazon service works quite well. Well over 99% of my music is on CDs. I prefer CDs because they have a high data rate and I can always transcode to any format I wish. Plus they usually come with lyrics and are already backed up to CD :) But for the occasional song or two for which I don't care to purchase the entire CD, the service is very welcome and convenient. I have some McCoy Tyner that is exceptionally well recorded and encoded.

Most of the songs are vbr with a rate somewhere between 225 and 320 kbit, or 256kbit CBR. If you use their downloading tool they will guarantee against corrupted audio or failures. I have about 50 Amazon downloads and only one was bad (a .25 second audio gap). I complained about the bad file using their form and they refunded my money within two days. They also said that they had tested the file on their servers, determined it to be bad, and had arranged for it to be replaced.

P.S. The CD datastream is essentially the same rate of a T1 datastream. Given that T1 was an established technology at the time and components were commonly available, I suspect that it wasn't a coincidence.

AOL tosses Netscape into the dustbin of history

Power Pentode

re: Irony

Well, don't feel like the Lone Ranger; it doesn't render correctly with either FF or ie6 on my laptop. Maybe all of the competent web designers have fled?

Dell's laptop customisation options not very customisable

Power Pentode
Thumb Up

Re: how the...,

I don't mind seeing the occasional ad-ish posting if it's in reply to someone seeking advice or assistance. All in moderation, of course. The large double spaced sig was a tad much, though... :)

A warm and pleasant Christmas Eve to everyone.

Welcome to the El Reg bumper demographic survey

Power Pentode
Thumb Up

Survey Response

At the risk of coming off as one of millions of fawning Reg sycophants, I happily took the time out from juggling scads of real and virtual servers to complete the survey. I have gotten a heads-up here on many issues relating to my industry, and the droll humourous writing is entertaining in its own right.

Please don't change nuthin'. I'd wager a pint of good stout that the percentage of readers responding to the survey was significantly higher than that of most tech news sites.


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