* Posts by Gene Cash

3858 posts • joined 22 Mar 2007

Bye-bye Bridenstine: Outgoing chief leaves NASA in good shape, though Boots on Moon by '24 goal looks doubtful

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Been there done that..

I love people that say "we don't need to do X, until X is closer to perfection."

A friend says this about electric vehicles. "We shouldn't spend money on EVs until we have perfect batteries"

So we'll magically perfect X without spending any effort working on it?

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Lost leadership

> Artemis is a white elephant

Artemis is a jobs program, which is why it'll continue. There's a piece of the Artemis pie in all the Senator's back yards.

Screw you, gadget-menders! No really, you'll need loads of screwdrivers to fix Apple's AirPods Max headphones

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Question

> the one they couldn't immediately identify

Yeah, for me to say that, it doesn't mean much.

For iFixit to go "we don't know that 'un" is impressive.

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Extensive toolkit

I like to refer to it as "percussive maintenance"

You look for the largest objects in the universe and two come along at once: Astroboffins spot mega radio galaxies dwarfing Milky Way

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Re: "more than two Mega-parsecs across, which is around 6.5 million light years"

> The number of stars would be based on the area

Probably meaning "The number of stars would be based on the volume"

Samsung tones down sticky stuff in the Galaxy S21 series, simplifying repairs massively

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: very hard to make a phone waterproof with a removable battery

> I've got one so I'm interested.

Well, if you want to experiment, I'm sure it might be a slam dunk for commentard points!

Facebook tells Portuguese court that a biz called Oink And Stuff makes profile-harvesting browser extensions

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Do as I say not as I do.

Meh. In FaecesBook's defense, they do have a user agreement saying "all your things are ours" and people happily sign it,

The Novell NetWare box keeps rebooting over and over again yet no one has touched it? We're going on a stakeout

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Staking out the culprit

> he leaned around the back to apparently unplug and plug the machine back in

So WTF? Just to screw with things? Bored? Some other reason?

Flash in the pan: Raspberry Pi OS is the latest platform to carve out vulnerable tech

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> The Epsoms

No need to get salty!

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Who Remembers...

I did reinking exactly once! That was enough to decide I was spending more in laundry soap than saving in ink.

Gene Cash Silver badge


I still have my MX-80 programming manual, complete with a 3-part fold-out circuit diagram of the printer, and instructions for installing GRAFTRAX ROMs to add a graphics-printing option. This manual wasn't an option, it came with the printer.

Debian 'Bullseye' enters final phase before release as team debates whether it will be last to work on i386 architecture

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Major apps are still 32-bit

Steam is literally the only reason I have i386 libraries on my machine, and that's because half the games are still only 32-bit as well.

What’s that in CES heaven, is it a star? Or is it that damned elusive flying car?

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Once more with feeling...


The "flying taxi" is already here, and it's called a "helicopter" and Uber already sell rides... at least in San Francisco and London.

However, they're really maintenance intensive and hard to fly, so if someone can come up with a better alternative, I'm all for it.

Pandemic? Check. World in peril? Check. CES is on? Check. So of course Bluetooth Smart Masks are now a thing

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: "Smart" Masks

Yes, at least here in Florida (America's Penis) at least half the people aren't wearing masks at all, and of those that do, a third don't cover their nose.

But then you all already know we're idiots.

Your 60-second guide to what Intel announced at CES. Or in 5 seconds: New laptop chips

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Re: Intel are lagging behind

But Ferrari are still snobbish assholes, and I refuse to play in their walled garden.

(I'm loving this analogy)

All it took was a pandemic to revive PCs: Canalys proclaims sales up 25% in Q4 as world+dog stays home

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: "PCs are here to stay"

The key phrase here is "more than two" and indeed, I have 3 monitors on my machine... one landscape, flanked by 2 portrait ones. And I've never gotten a hub to work.

Two wrongs don't make a right: They make a successful project sign-off

Gene Cash Silver badge

> At a company I used to work for

This sounds like exactly the plot of the 3 or 4 books I have discussing the downfall of the British motorcycle industry. I believe at one point, one of the engine manufacturers had a guy with a special stick pushing on the lathe so it would machine proper crankshafts.

Along came the Japanese who ate their lunch.

Pizza and beer night out the window, hours trying to sort issue, then a fresh pair of eyes says 'See, the problem is...'

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Proof reader

I've got the exact opposite problem. Misspellings pop out at me and annoy me to the point I find it hard to concentrate on the text.

I had a English Lit friend, and I used to annoy the hell out of her by instantly spotting errors in her papers.

Beware the ghost of operating systems past: In which our hero is visited by an old friend

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Thanks, El Reg

Thanks for this series... it did bring much-needed smiles this Christmas. Cheers!

Assembly language, arcade games, and YouTube: The Reg speaks to former Microsoft engineer Dave Plummer

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I got a TRS-80 Model I Level I for Christmas in 1979. I remember upgrading it to Level II BASIC and 16K was something on the order of $250. My mother was an IBM 370 coder and she was not convinced I needed that huge amount of memory!!

I went to Atari computer camp in Asheville, NC, where I met Dr. Alan Kay, and since I knew how to code 6502 with the Assembly Cartridge, he offered me an internship when I graduated from high school. I graduated in late '83. Oops. Oh well. I went on to wrangle dual-CPU CompuPro S-100 boxes running networked with Arcnet for my 1st job.

I just Googled it and apparently my parents somehow paid an ungodly sum for me to attend that. This was held at the Asheville School. Asheville is a beautiful place, and I went back for several of the Honda Hoots held there.

One of the guys at camp with me was Italian and came over on the Concorde. One night the school cafeteria offered spaghetti and he was really looking forward to it. I warned him that 1) it was American "Italian" food and 2) it was school cafeteria food. I still remember the look on his face at first forkful... which he immediately spit out.

Suckers for punishment, we added a crawler transporter to our Saturn V

Gene Cash Silver badge

Scott Manley says "it's crap - don't give them your money"

Here ya go:


I built a shed once. How hard can a data centre be?

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And now I know what "mews" means. I learned something new this year! I should quit while I'm ahead.

As Uncle Sam continues to clamp down on Big Tech, Apple pelted with more and more complaints from third-party App Store devs

Gene Cash Silver badge

This article

... was a very nice post-Christmas present.

I hope Apple takes the beating it so richly deserves. They make Google look good by comparison.

Watt's next for batteries? It'll be more of the same, not longer life, because physics and chemistry are hard

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: So ...

> must be shifting 100A

Eh, my electric motorcycle does 660A at full tilt, and that's literally an inch under my butt. There's some BEEFY cables and connections under there, and I look, but DO NOT touch.

Yes, Microsoft Access was a recalcitrant beast, but the first step is to turn the computer on

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Yep

> since it wasn't needed that day

There was the time the Novell fileserver was shut off for Christmas break to save electricity. Similar to the article, there was the massive panic that no one could log into the network.

Everybody's time is precious, pal: Sometimes it isn't only the terminals that are dumb

Gene Cash Silver badge

Dumb terminals

Ahhh, the fun times when stupdents students stole mainframe terminals, then abandoned them in the dumpsters when they didn't work at home.

Why make games for Linux if they don't sell? Because the nerds are just grateful to get something that works

Gene Cash Silver badge

Kerbal Space Program

It runs pretty damn well on Linux, and was the reason I updated my system to 64-bit way-back-when.

Earth observation chief Dr Josef Aschbacher takes reins at European Space Agency

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In the last update, you can now have official Rocket Lab & Electron logos on your rocket!

Windows might have frozen – but at least my feet are toasty

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Re: xorg.conf

> editing xorg.conf

Before EDID and all that auto-configure magic, you had to calculate the dot clock line for your particular monitor and graphics card. This was a line that described the timings and resolution for the display.

And yes, if you screwed it up, it would kill the monitor. Since a nice Sony Multisync was a big wodge of change, you checked the calculation about a dozen times before actually trying it.

Nowadays, you just cable shit up and turn it on, and it just works.

US Government Accountability Office dumps sack of coal on NASA's desk over Moon mission naughtiness

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None of this was unexpected

We all know you can't dictate a schedule. It will take as long as it needs to take, and it take as much money as it takes to buy all the things and pay all the people.

The reason the schedule is a row of dominoes is that each one builds on the other. If a test fire goes titsup, then you need to stop and investigate why. If an engine produces less thrust than expected or part A does not talk to part B, ditto.

This is why Musk is not afraid to break things. He does it "mostly right" and learns to do it differently as necessary.

NASA expects perfection the first time, because Congress expects perfection the first time, and that costs time and money.

Google Mail outage: Did you see that error message last night? Why the 'account does not exist' response is a worry

Gene Cash Silver badge

I moved to Fastmail because I don't trust Google

Google shat on a bunch of my friends, insisting they weren't using their real names, suspending/deleting their accounts and wanting driver's licenses, birth certificates and crap like that to reinstate them.

With an unusual name like mine, I can see Google doing the same to me, so I moved to Fastmail. I sure as hell am not sending them personal documentation. They're not the bank or a government agency. Fuck 'em.

Overpriced, underpowered, and over here: Microsoft to bring the Surface Duo to British shores in early 2021

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Flop but not fail

it's good enough for me.

Bring it below a 4-digit price, give it a decent CPU and a headphone jack, and I'm buyin' a Microsoft product! Shock!

Australia sues Facebook for slurping user data from Onavo Protect VPN app

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: “deprived Australian consumers of the opportunity to make an informed choice"

Yes, from personal experience, i have to tell you most people are not aware of what Facebook is. They have no idea their personal life is under a microscope.

I have had to sit down personally and individually with all my relatives to explain this in detail, using small words. Sure, most of my friends understand, because they're computer savvy. The normal man in the street is not, and is not aware of Faecesbook's slurping.

Rocky has competition as more CentOS alternatives step into the ring: Project Lenix, Oracle Linux vie for attention

Gene Cash Silver badge

A company like Oracle, he added, "just does not have the trust and the stability that people have come to expect from CentOS."

And it's so sad that it's true. Look at the steaming pile that is VirtualBox. That used to be a good product.

45 million medical scans from hospitals all over the world left exposed online for anyone to view – some servers were laced with malware

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Re: quelle surprise?

Well, most all of the doctors I've met absolutely despise all technology, including computers.

I get the impression they'd be happy with a bottle of leeches and a candle.

Tim Cook 'killed' TV project about the one website Apple hates more than The Register

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Double trouble for Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit as aborted test flight and COVID-19 keep both grounded

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Just one more demo of Calamity before it carries people?

> Thank goodness the failure didn't happen when there were people on board.

This is why you do unmanned TEST flights, and why the Shuttle was so terrifying, you couldn't do unmanned test flights... the first flight had crew aboard.

Cruise, Kidman and an unfortunate misunderstanding at the local chemist

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: We did manage to raise eyebrows at Boots one time

> soap isn't a lubricant

Neither is WD-40, but people keep using it as one...

Ad blocking made Google throw its toys out of the pram – and now even more control is being taken from us

Gene Cash Silver badge

> Get a Raspberry Pi and install Pi-Hole.

Why the hell doesn't OPENWRT have Pi-Hole functionality in it?

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: In a past far far away

Well, Computer Shopper was the same here in the US... it was a 1/2" thick wodge of ads, but EVERYONE was in it, and you could find anything even remotely computer related in there. It was like Shenzen on your table.

Rogue ex-Cisco employee who crippled WebEx conferences and cost Cisco millions gets two years in US prison

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Re: Sudhish Kasaba Ramesh

Hell, I've seen people get raises for being incompetent.

Huawei and top Chinese AI startup accused of building 'Uyghur alarm' facial recognition scanner for govt

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Re: Dzungar genocide

Or as Schlock Mercenary would say "Maxim #29: The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less."

British voyeur escapes US extradition over 770 cases of webcam malware

Gene Cash Silver badge

No kidding... $5K for a virus sweep is pretty extortionate.

That sort of thing makes people non-sympathetic to an extradition to this sort of incompetency.

AWS is fed up with tech that wasn’t built for clouds because it has a big 'blast radius' when things go awry

Gene Cash Silver badge

The Gensets fire immediately on loss of mains

Rather optimistic in my experience...

Back to the Fuchsia, part IV: Google's in-development OS now open to community contributions

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"Google is well known for enthusing about projects and later abandoning them."

This is the meat of the issue. Is this going to be another Google playtoy to be abandoned when it grows bored? Their track record certainly discourages me from contributing or buying their products.

I only have an Android because Apple is worse and Microsoft is gone.

Useful quantum computers will be impossible without error correction. Good thing these folks are working on it

Gene Cash Silver badge

cat state

cat: state: No such file or directory

What's in HP's sack? Pre-built Ubuntu machines for the little data scientists in your life

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"mobile workstation PC"

WTF is that? [click] it's a fuckin' laptop!

[clicks on prices] it's a fuckin' EXPENSIVE low-spec laptop!

GitHub turns on money tap for corporate open-source donations, turns off the lights with dark mode design

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Some developers are getting to a six-figure income

Both of them!

FOSS developer survey: Mostly male, employed... and many don't care about 'soul-withering chore' of security

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It's not just security, but "brittleness" as well

People can't even bother to validate input, or defend against bad data from databases or other programs.

Their attitude is "oh why would they give me bad data?!"

This is not far from "why would people hack my program?"

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Other big 'not do' is good documentation

I think one of the factors in Python's success is the incredibly good documentation.

It's clear with (very important!) lots of simple examples.


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