* Posts by Neil

29 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Dec 2007

2008's top three PMPs

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Archos 5 solid as a rock?

Mine crashes every time I access the net and at least once a day just watching a movie. MP3 files skip if they have artwork and the DVR cant keep sound in sync. All in all it's a fancy clock at the moment.

Oh, wait, no its not, it can't keep time either.

Surely the Cowon is better than this rubbish?

Facebook - The Movie! Exclusive storyboard peek


I was expecting more

Poking, vampires, and poker.

Dancing to power London nightclub

Paris Hilton

At least

when the DJ plays a terrbile song he'll *HAVE* to do something about it as people desert the dancefloor - otherwise they place will just go pitch black!

What will they do at the start of the night, when noone wants to be 1st on the dancefloor?

O2 starts 3G iPhone stampede - and runs away

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On its way apparently

So maybe if theyve pre-authorised your card your good :)


@ John M & Stefan

Well I'll update here if I get a positive response from CPW. I had to email them as I forgot to add my PAC code, and theyve certainly not volunteered any info regarding the order. I opted for store pickup purely because they wont deliver to my work address, and I cant get the time off at such short notice :S



Same here - apparently "It should have arrived by Tusesday the 8th" and is out of stock (would have thought the 2 were mutually exclusive!). Using the online tracking just tells me that it is either "processing" or is "processed" (again, not sure exactly!). All I really know is that it isnt "Despatched", which is no surpirse as

a: Its not out till the 11th and

b: I selected Store Pickup.

So we'll see what happens. The payment is pending on my debit card, so I'd assume that means Ive been accepted to join the club?



Carhpne Warehouse

Just in case anyone's wondering - CPW's shop is selling them and seems slightly more stable. Just in case this helps anyone.........

Jobs Horns


And no 16GB ones? I mean, WHAT?! I dont know. What a pullava!

Staffer spills beans on O2 UK 3G iPhone launch

Gates Halo

5000? Doubt it!

Surely at 5000 per store they cant process that many credit checks in 1 day? I mean 10 staff per store (average - my local store is tiny and probably couldnt fit in any customers if there were 10 staff!) they'd still have 500 applicatiosn each. 1 per minute and thats about 8 hours solid! So I reckon that either thats an exageration or they'll be spreading that allocation ofver a few days!

I reckon they've got to pre-check customers if they can - i mean if you can get checked before hand and just pay for the thing on the day, then 1 per minute is much more doable!

Still undecided if i can give up myu Pro-MS moral stance and buy a jesus phone tho - i mean - the phone isnt great, but - oooo that web browser.........

Pirate Bay bitchslaps Swedish law with SSL


I though pirates were evil?

Thats what it says on my DVDs. But this lot are actually trying to help consumers, while the evil corporations are trying to spy on us and monitor us. It's like everything is backwards man. I'll never trust anything I'm ever told on a DVD again.

Silverlight 2 beta 2 - Go Live if you dare

Gates Halo

Oh yeah, flash is ubiquitous

Last night I was sat in my lounge, and decided to use my Wii to peruse some Flash based video site. But it didnt work - the flash version was incompatible. Tried same on my PS3 - same result. Tried again on my Archos 605, which supposedly supports Flash 9 - ditto.

Silverlight might not support as many platforms as Flash on paper, but at least it will work on the ones they do list! And Flash doesnt support 64Bit IE, which is nice of them, which means I end up switching browsers on Vista 64 as I wait for Adobe to add another partially supported platform to their list - hurray for ubiquity.

Once MS irons out the current mess of getting set up to develop for Silverlight (and hopefully brings more parity between Desktop WPF and Silverlight WPF) I see a great future. Until then, it's the fact that its so damn difficult to set up properly for the people who want to be developing for it that is holding back the number of "killer apps". Ultimately neither will "win" anything, but competition is always good. If MS put a nice thing in Silverlight, maybe Adobe will see it and pop in something similar in Flash, and vice versa.

Windows veteran jumps to second Silverlight

Gates Halo

To the Silverlight haters

One of the reasons Silverlight IS being taken seriously is because its not some proprietary systems lobbed together. It's C# - a proven language which we can all agree is matured and familar to millions of developers. It's XAML - the pinnacle of UI/Code seperation/Designer friendliness. Silverlight 1 was really a toe-tipper - it was Xaml, but no real .net (Javascript was used I beleive). Silverlight 2 is the big one and I beleive will attract a significant amount of development, especially for those c# desktop developers that want to do web-apps, but have no desire to learn the complexities of AJAX or the proprietary ActionScript stuff of flash.

Thus far theres been no compelling reason to use Silverlight 1 - the tools werent mature, and it was still (unfortunately) a bit of a mismatch of languages. IMO Silverlight 1 should *not* have been released as it HAS caused confusion - even amongst those of us who shouldnt be confused by simple versioning. However once Silverlight 2 launches, and MS give us non-beta tools to actually develop in, we'll have the best development tools and a superb runtime compared to the current mess, and the alternatives of AJAX and flash.

I think it's naive to suggest MS are out there developing clients for "alternative" platforms, to simply pull the rug from under them. In what world would any company spend millions developing a complex runtime engine, to then stop supporting it to give its own platform no benefit - I mean do you really think a Mac user is going to go "Oh, my silverlight app doesnt run anymore, so I'd best buy and install Windows"? I don't think so. I mean, is ther anyone out there using Flash for enterprise level systems where its vitally important that Flash works? Or do you use it for youtube, "Yeti throwing Penguin games" or whatever? If you use it for the former, you probably need medical help.

Gates' last act: frees IE 8 and Silverlight second betas

Gates Halo


Except of course, thats Jobs and not Balmer.

Controllers to define consoles in future?


Wii's great, but we still need "proper" controllers...

I have all 3 of the next gen systems, and each one has its merits. I love my Wii, but for more traditional games (ie FPS), the controls just dont work well. Metroid played well, but i was wishing i could just plug in a wired 360 controller through most of it.

Strange controllers have appealled to the masses for a long time - light guns, guitars, microphones, buzzers, webcams. Theyve all had some degree of success, but what singles out the Wii as a *real* success is that it is actually pretty versatile - you can use it for bowliing, you can use it for golf, for a FPS (although not as well as a "proper" controller). Try playing Ratchet and Clank with a PS3 guitar.

The key to these bizzare contraptiosn sellign so well is that they sell an experience which can only be achieved without a conventional controller - half the fun of Guitar hero is looking like an Air Guitar maestro, where that woundnt really work with a regular controller.

However there are still plenty of us "hardcore" gamers who still like to play GTA4, Halo 3, MGS4, and for those games, the sturdy old controller is best.

Perhaps the key is to make all controllers a lot cheaper. One of my pet hates is when you buy your Eyetoy and then theres only 3 games available and 2 are rubbish. If the hardware was cheaper then I wouldnt mind so much that the package cost me the price of 2 games, just so i could wave my hands like a moron. But then I'd end up with a house full of tat, so maybe thats not the answer after all.

Nintendo have merely shown that theres a great untapped market out there, now everyone needs to figure out how to access it - creating a wiimote for the 360 is not enough!

Activist coders aim to deafen Phorm with white noise


Changing aint always so easy :S

I'm on Virgin Media, and aside from the nightly throttling, I'm pretty happy. I pay naff all and get better speeds than I can on ADSL in my area. I habve no BT line in my house whatsoever, so to switch providers I'd have to

1: Get a worse broadband connection

2: Pay a huge installation fee to BT (I mean really - £120 fo put in a wire?)

3: Probably have a hard download limit, as opposed to the current slowing down.

Phorm sucks, and its pretty bad you cant simply opt out (even for a fee), but the other options simply mean changing ISNT an option........

Asus' Atom-powered Eee PC spied on web

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is it just me.....

or have Asus managed to just about ruin the good EEE name?

I mean, the 7" series were good. Flawed, but everybody loved it because they were cheap and small and the limitations were only mildly annoying. Then the 90x Series comes out, and Asus manage to give up all that good will by

a: Making the price so ridiculous that a decent laptop is cheaper

b: Shafting early adopters of each series by releasing newer ones so often

Sure the 90x series is better, but seriously, talk about gouging their customers!

I had a 7" model and sold it when i heard about the larger one, but now I see how they are shafting their (so far loyal) userbase, I cant bring myself to buy the newer ones. So It'll either be a Wind or a "real" lappy for me next.......

Visual Studio update dents Silverlight development

Gates Halo

Agree with Simpson

Anyone who expects betas (even from the same company) to play nice is plain daft. The clue is in the name - BETA! Now if the RTMs dont play well then theres clearly an issue, but seriously, if your not prepared for some inconsistancies/instabilities/incompatibilities then dont use beta software - whether its MS, Apple, Adobe, whatever.

Vista security credentials tarnished in malware survey

Gates Halo

What a pointless investigation

So lets compare an OS used mainly by companies and likely behind corporate firewalls, and have up-to-date antivirus as set up by a qualified network team, vs an OS whose primary users to date are home users, probably their only security is the built in windows firewall and the Windows Defender. Seems like a fair comparison?

I mean, by all accounts take 3 PCs, stick them in the same conditions, visit the same sites and click the same buttons and see which comes out on top. Taking a sample of 1000 PCs running each OS, each with clearly different purposes really proves nothing.

And lets face it, if Vista was more secure you could bet my left butt cheek that Norton and all the other security companies out there would start mounting their anti-competive lawsuits straight away...............

BT bundles MS Office with Linux laptop



Perhaps she hasnt upgraded to the 900 yet?

Blu-ray Xbox 360 to be sold at a loss?

Gates Halo

Surely a Bluray addon makes more sense

I mean - you have 2m potential UK customers to sell to, as well as any new ones. Plus the rest of the world. Plus HD customerds have happily stumped up >£100 for the attachment alone, when they werent guaranteed a format that would win the "War". In what world would it make economic sense to create a whole new 360 with bluray intergrated? If MS do this, I see it dead in the water.........

HD DVD promo body dissolves itself


Bluray vs everything else, round 1 - fight!

Disclaimer - i have a PS3, so I might be slightly biased.

For the forseeable future I cant see flash based storage really holding up against optical media. I have Over 1TB of storage on my main PC and still cant fit all my SD quality DVD collection on it, so the chances of my storing as many HD films on in the near future is about nil. The music industry has tried selling us flash drives with songs on, and AFAIK its only been a gimmicky promo, with limited scope for real success.

I'd definitely buy flash-storage based HD content, so long as I "own" it. I cant see a day when I'm happy with downloading (and paying) everytime i want to watch a film - even as Broadband speeds ramp up (and my pay (effectively) goes down as inflation goes up). Provided I can replace my DVD/BluRay collection with dinky cards where I only pay once for them - I frankly dont care what format I use (and hopefully the PS3 could use those USB ports for playing back off these other media types?).

Seriously - WHO CARES if the movie is on DVD/Bluray/USB Storage so long as our rightgs arent compromised to the point where life becomes MORE difficult by the adoption of new technology? Anyone who nails themselves to the "Bluray or die" camp is probably shortsighted. Anyone who says "Never Bluray or evil Sony" will probably be happy when we can get Films on our flash media. But only in 10 years..........

Tom Cruise does splits in birthday boogie vid



Is that Joe Satriani on Guitar there? Sounds like him, but last time I saw him he was completely skin-headed..........

Stroustrup and Sutter: C++ to run and run


I used to love her, but i had to kill her.....

Surely one of the main reaossn there are so many C++ developers still out there is the amount of lagacy stuff that you can get for it. Importing a DLL into c# may be easy, but try doing that with a lib file and a header. I came from the ASM, C, C++ lineage, and currently enjoy the benefits of C#/.net. Going back to C++ reminds me of how painful some of it is, but also how simple and elegant some of it is too.

When I was taught C, the main benefit was apparently the fact that it was portable (I laugh in retrospect). My main grpe with C++ these days is that most people Ive met dont realise where C++ ends and MFC/Win32/whatever begins, negating most of its portability. A friend of mine told me that writing to a database was easy in C++. All the code was MFC-based. Try porting that to *nix, or whatever other system you can think of. Good C++ programmers will always be in demand, and bad ones will be too, as C++ is considered by almost everyone I know as a "low level" language, thus carries some Kudos with it these days. Bear in mind these people learnt nothing but Java at Uni, and pointers are hardcore, apparently.

I miss the hackery of my early C and C++ days. I think each language signifies an era in my life - assembler i did in Turbo Assembler. C in Turbo C in DOS. C++ in Turbo C++ on Win 95 (writing graphics apps in Mode 13H - those were the days - back when these was Windows sat on DOS). C++ Builder on Win 98, and C# on XP. Each iteration has added something to the last, but also lost something on the way. I keep meaning to find the time to go back and write some small assembler apps, just to reinforce some of those basic principles that we take for granted..........

Adobe throws weight behind SQLite



Yes! Just look at Silverlight, XAML, WPF, etc.

Firefox 3 beta is live


@ Phil Rigby

Apologies if my remarks offended you, as they werent particularly aimed at you. Especially as you pointed out inteligently that no software comes with no bugs. But a lot of the people out there DO say thing like that (even above in some posts) - "I paid for this - it should work 100%" mentality is what I'm berating. If what I said doesnt apply to you then you can ignore it.

But my point IS valid. People are moaning that Vista SP1 fixes bugs that shouldnt have been there in the first place. So MS release a BETA of the fixes, as a fair amount of the issues are fixed and good at MS head quarters, but unfortunately they dont own every single configuration of everyones PC in the office right now, so have to let it out to users at some point, but as theyve only tested it on a few thousand PCs they let a few million play (if they want to). But when MS do this, everyone cries foul - why should we test MS software? Well, for one thing noone is making anyone do anything they dont want. Secondly, the same people who just moaned are heralding the beta release of some other (open source) software as the 2nd coming of Jesus himself. They are so blinded by their hatred of MS that they cant see that they are being hypocritical. And thats really what I have beef with.

And your absolutely right - my DVD burner is probably the bone of contention with Vista (I did point out it was my hardware that was at fault). But as I didnt *really* want to spend money upgrading a burner that worked fine under XP I reverted to XP. All these other people that moan have a choice too. Linux, Mac, XP, C64, whatever they want.



Here we go into la-la land. So in la-la land, VAST pieces of software are completely bug free, with no security holes and work perfectly all the time. Oh wait - isnt that a Mac? Maybe not........

Now I'm no massive Vista advocate - I tried it and my printer didnt work and my DVD burner became a coaster maker, so I went back to XP, but I'm also a realist. I didnt expect everything to work. I didnt expect it to be bug free. Other than MY hardware I quite enjoyed Vista and had no other *major* troubles with it. Does that mean there are none. Absolutley not. Back in the real world, we live in a place where you CANNOT make software that runs on every machine. MS have managed a great feat in making each successive OS as compatible as it has. To complain that Vista is a beta and that you expected a system with ZERO problems just goes to show how little you understand about what is actually going on under the hood, and really you shouldnt be allowed near a Playstation, let alone a PC. If software was 100% perfect from the off, we'd be running Windows 1.0, Office 1.0, and not wanting anytihng new. Should bug fixes be a reason to upgrade to a new system? No. Should improvements be the reason - yes. Can all those improvements be 100% bug free? No. Get real.

Of course Firefox has zero problems, oh wait, no, that not right either, but because its free, a completely different set of rules apply apparently. You cant complain Eclipse is a resource hogging maniac compared to Visual Studio because Eclipse is Free. Hurray! You cant complain that Firefox is horribly unintuitive and leaks loads of memory compared to IE because Firefox is Free! Hurray! And because theyre open source I can waste my time trawling through masses of code to find out why they are so slow and improve it for everyone, and because I live in la-la land I can make it 100% bug free and we'll make the world a better place!


Gates Halo

@The Anti-MS Estaslishment

I dont recal saying Firefox<Opera<IE or anything like that. The point was that any time MS release some Beta software, all these people (usually open source advocates as they have some flag to burn with MS apparently) start shouting "MS shouldnt do beta software" and "Look MS are using you to test their software for free!!!!!". But when Firefox comes out with a Beta they stand up and cheer, hailing someone elses buggy software as being brilliant *because* they are releasing beta software.

Why Open Sourcers seem to have such beef is beyond me. If you hate MS so much then there are alternatives out there for you. Feel free. But the fact that probably 90% of these moaners are running on Windows in some flavour means that ultimately, for all the moaning, these people do nada, zip, zilch in showing MS how terrible they think they are and how they wont put up with it anymore. They are the worst kind of users. They complain endlessly and when given several viable alternatives their tails go between their legs faster than Steve Jobs running from a fanboy.

Feel free to hate IE. Feel free to hate Windows. Feel free to hate Office. But DONT moan when MS do something and then your precious Mozilla do EXACTLY THE SAME THING and then hail it as a brilliant idea.

Gates Halo

@Anonymous Coward

"Vista is an operating system, Firefox is an application."

And? SP1 is free, and so is Firefox 3. These open source fools are once again fooled into believing that when an MS project has a beta phase its bad, but when anyone else does it its good. This is why I stay completely away from open source advocates, as they are on the whole, idiots.

Peter Jackson to lord over 'Rings' prequels


Clerks 2

Of course, they managed to make 3 movies out of a bunch of people walking to a volcano, so 2 films for the hobbit will be a cinch for these guys.

The Hobbit Part 1 : There

The Hobbit Part 2 : Back again