* Posts by Lennart Sorensen

307 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Jan 2008


Firefox points the way to eradicating one of the rudest words online: PDF

Lennart Sorensen

First thing I had to do with firefox introduced their built in PDF support was to figure out how to turn it off since it failed miserably at rendering the first PDFs I encountered with it. If it doesn't work 100%, do NOT make it the new default without asking and making it really easy to turn off. I don't care if they add markup and editing support since they apparently can't get basic rendering right.

Nvidia admits mistake, 'unlaunches' 12GB RTX 4080

Lennart Sorensen

So alternatives like intel that can't make anything with decent performance or ATI/AMD that has never figured out how to write stable drivers (which is a shame since their hardware is good).

Upgrading what might be the world's oldest running Linux install

Lennart Sorensen

Re: Triggers Broom

Well the Debian installer has only been used once for the installation. The root user has only been created once in the passwd file, although clearly with the password updated over time (I would hope). So yeah I think it can be considered the same install. It's not the same physical machine anymore though. I have a 486 around with Debian installed on it and upgraded for years. It was installed in around 1999 or 2000, as far as I remember using potato that was under developement because slink just didn't want to install. Haven't used the machine for about 7 or 8 years now because the poor HD sounds terrible (ball bearings don't last forever) and I don't believe Debian supports running on a 486 anymore since 2015. I think I should put a compact flash IDE disk in it and use it for DOS gaming instead. It used to be good at that before it became a dedicated linux server for many years.

Lennart Sorensen

Re: LVM over RAID over LVM

I suspect LVM at the bottom to allow combining different disk types and sizes into pools, then raid on top of those pools to redundancy, and then LVM on top for flexibility in allocation of the disk space.

I have never done that, by just throwing money at the raid layer to keep things identical and hence simpler, but I can see how lvm would allow doing it cheaper and with less initial planning required for handling future upgrades.

Lennart Sorensen

Re: Triggers Broom

Yeah no way is it using the same motherboard/cpu/ram that it was originally installed with. That would not be 64 bit for sure. Nor would it have had USB ports at all.

VMware walks back ban on booting vSphere from SD cards or thumb drives

Lennart Sorensen

So if you can't boot your server from USB how do you install the OS in the first place? Clearly vmware is being incredibly stupid if they want to remove USB boot support from servers.

BeOS rebuild / Haiku has a new feature / that runs Windows apps

Lennart Sorensen

Having had the "pleasure" of using BeOS on an actual BeBOX, I guess to me BeOS never had a chance because it was a bad design. It wasn't designed with multiuser in mind from the start, and other annoying issues that were inexcusable at that time. Sure it did some multimedia, but so did my Amiga years earlier. Of course I was already not convinced object oriented was a good solution at that time, so the design didn't win any points there either. Apple certainly made the right choice by switching to nextstep rather than considering BeOS as a MacOS replacement.

Time to party like it's 2002: Acura and Honda car clocks knocked back 20 years by bug

Lennart Sorensen

Re: how hard can it be

Using GPS makes sense when you have a GPS navigation system already and you want accurate time without the user having to keep fixing it. Of course Honda has managed to show that they are not good enough to actually use GPS correctly for this. My Prius which does have a GPS system does not use if for the clock. It has a couple of buttons for me to set it. Maybe the Toyota engineers were on to something when they kept it simple, even though I thought it might have made sense to let it at least have an option to set it by GPS. Or perhaps they thought since not every trim level had a GPS, the clock might as well work the same in every trim level.

And at least in the case of linux, they have already been working on the unix epoch issue. 64 bit systems no longer have any problem, and 32 bit ones are close to fixed, so at least they seem to be working on it with about 16 years to spare, which is a lot better than the Y2K work that was rather last minute.

Lennart Sorensen

Re: how hard can it be

GPS is trying to fit a lot in a small message. So they went with 10 bits for week number and 19 bits for seconds of the week. So 29 bits handles the entire date + time for a 20 year period. Newer GPS signal formats did extend the week to 13 bits making the entire message 32 bit and handling 157 years with second level precision. A rather efficient format really. Unfortunately only the newest GPS satellites use the 13 bit week format, most are still 10 bit, and almost no receivers are taking advantage of the 13 bit option yet, probably since most of the signals they receive wouldn't contain it yet.

Keeping crap like day of week, length of each month in days and such out of the format simplifies things a lot. Converting to human format can be done in software from the raw signal afterwards.

So GPS managed 20 year cycles with 29 bits (less than half of your proposal) while the newest GPS does 157 years in 32 bits (exactly half your proposal). I think the designers were rather clever.

Never mind the Panic button – there's a key to Compose yourself

Lennart Sorensen

Well I could see for very infrequent use, your click in a window method might be convenient, but compared to the convenience and flexibility of wincompose, it really doesn't seem like a match. And of course hard to compete with free and open source in the case of wincompose. But using a compose key certainly does have a higher learning curve for sure.

MySQL a 'pretty poor database' says departing Oracle engineer

Lennart Sorensen

Re: Moved to MariaDB

But so is postgres, in fact I would say it is even easier to get started with and it works better. So there is no reason to use mysql at all. Except of course for the fact so many other projects insist on you using it as the backend unfortunately.

Server errors plague app used by Tesla drivers to unlock their MuskMobiles

Lennart Sorensen

Re: Physical key

The relay disconnecting the hybrid battery stays off unless you turn on the ignition and the computer checks everything is OK. They don't want that done unless you are actually going to start the car since depleting the hybrid battery is a much much bigger hassle than dealing with a drained 12V aux battery. I have only seen it drained when the lights were left on in the car.

Lennart Sorensen

Re: Physical key

Or you could just: unlock driver's door with physical key, pop hood, connect charger to the terminals for boosting the battery, hit power button to turn on car, and the car computer will fire up and start charging the aux batter from the main battery instantly. Totally trivial. Only had to do it twice when someone left the lights on in the car (would be nice of toyota had made them turn off after a while like VW has been doing for multiple decades).

Lennart Sorensen

Re: Internet dependency

My toyotas both beep at you if you take the key fob out of the car while it is on. If both people have their keys then it doesn't of course as long as one of them is still in the car, but if only one key is with you and you try to leave, you will know. This is not a problem.

Magnanimous Apple will allow people to fix their iPhones using parts bought from its Self Service Repair program

Lennart Sorensen

Oh don't worry, Apple's prices are much higher than that.

Lennart Sorensen

Re: Fair?

Well apparently to replace the keyboard on a macbook requires buying an assembly containing the entire top of the case (case, touchpad, keyboard, battery, etc). Apple won't sell you just a keyboard. SO that makes your keyboard repair $400 rather than $50 that most other laptops would be.

I suspect most people would rather go to a repair shop that knows what they are doing (which means one that isn't authorized by apple of course) and pay $100 than pay apple $400 for an assembly to do it themselves. Of course Apple has no interest in allowing that. They only want to pretend they are allowing repairs.

Lennart Sorensen

Well using glue all over is a choice they made that they didn't have to do.

Boeing's Starliner capsule corroded due to high humidity levels, NASA explains, and the spaceship won't fly this year

Lennart Sorensen

Re: probably a case along the lines ...

How is spacex intel? spacex at least tries to innovate and compete. intel looks a lot more like the old dominant players in the business happy to keep selling people more of the same until someone comes along and starts to eat their business (like AMD sometimes does). And intel has made plenty of flops in terms of design (pentium 4, iAPX 432, itanium, etc, not to mention failing to get new process nodes to work while their competitors catch up). intel reminds me of boeing these days. They think they know everything better than everyone else and then things go wrong, but they manage to fix it eventually and claw their way back.

So no spacex is not like intel.

tz database community up in arms over proposals to merge certain time zones

Lennart Sorensen

Re: Don't mention the...

Well turns out 1980 was also when Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, and a bunch of others introduced DST. So unfortunately they do in fact match since 1970.

After quietly switching to slower NAND in an NVMe SSD, Western Digital promises to be a bit louder next time

Lennart Sorensen

Oh like the Dlink DGE-530T where revision A and B were 3Com/Marvell Yukon chips and then revision C was a DGE-528T (which no one wanted) using a realtek 8169. Far inferior network card and of course totally incompatible with drivers, and since dlink didn't want people to know it was a realtek it had it's own PCI ID so linux didn't even know it was a supported chip until someone (me in this case) added the PCI ID for it to the kernel. We of course told IT to stop buying those cards anymore.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G: Sub-$600 midranger makes premium phones feel frivolous

Lennart Sorensen

Re: a new outdated phone.

Well they came out pretty much the same time.

Of course given the A12 gives half the storage, half the ram, slower video, LCD rather then AMOLED screen, at lower resolution and refresh rate, weights more, is bigger, has much lower quality cameras, runs an older version of android, no IP67 water resistance, etc, I would hope it was only half as much. But if none of those differences are things you would use, then half the price is great. In my case I bought the A52 (not 5G) since I like the features, but have no use for 5G and saved some money that way, even though Samsung doesn't even offer the non 5G version in Canada, so I bought it on ebay from the US instead, where it appears it was aimed at the puerto rico market (it defaulted to spanish).

Lenovo refreshes workstation ThinkPads with 11th-gen Intel CPUs, RTX graphics, 5G

Lennart Sorensen

16:9 is outdated? Well I remember 4:3 and then 16:10 (1920x1200 monitors were great) before 16:9 took over because everything wanted to match HDTV resolution. So 16:10 is going back to a better resolution in my opinion, but it certainly isn't because 16:9 is outdated, rather 16:10 seems to be the one that became outdated.

Dependable Debian is like a rock in a swirling gyre of 'move fast and break things', and version 11 is no different

Lennart Sorensen

Certainly doing specific architectures is no problem using the official mirroring tool:


Doing specific releases you can't, but that's not nearly as huge a problem given how much is often shared between stable, testing and unstable.

Director, deputy director, CTO of Free Software Foundation quit after Stallman installation

Lennart Sorensen

So the board regrets it but not enough to undo it? I guess any board that would let RMS rejoin will be too stubborn to admit they made a mistake, and given RMS said he isn't going to resign, I guess the only way he is leaving is that someone kicks him out, and clearly that won't be the current board planing to do that.

WiMAX? 'Dead with no known users': Linux tips code in the recycle bin

Lennart Sorensen

Well I do know of one company still making and selling Wimax gear, but I believe they run vxworks, not linux on their hardware. Certainly not much life left in wimax at this point.

'It's dead, Jim': Torvalds marks Intel Itanium processors as orphaned in Linux kernel

Lennart Sorensen

Unfortunately it is much easier to switch over a few programs at a time to 64 bit x86 while keeping your existing 32 bit code running using x86-64 than it is to migrate everything to a new platform all at once.

At least AMD did a better job cleaning up a bit while adding 64 bit than intel has ever done in the past when extending the x86 architecture. x87 had to die and adding more registers was desperately needed. AMD did a very good job on the polishing of intel's turd.

Lennart Sorensen

Re: Not the 2nd 64 Windows

NT 4 was only ever 32 bit, and that was all that ever ran on the powerpc, mips and alpha. There were 64 bit development work on the alpha, but it was canceled before release, so only itanium got 64 bit windows released initially to be joined by x86 later, and eventually arm.

As for being portable, well maybe for Microsoft code, but it only works on little endian, which certainly prevents some CPU targets from ever running windows. Only the fact powerpc, mips and arm can run both ways allowed windows to be ported to them, since they always run them in little endian mode for windows. Alpha and x86 of course were only ever little endian. Motorola 68k of course would never have a had a chance to run windows.

If you think Mozilla pushed a broken Firefox Android build, good news: It didn't. Bad news: It's working as intended

Lennart Sorensen

I guess apkmirror can come in handy for that. Installing firefox 68 from there seems to be no problem.

Appeals judges toss out FTC win: What Qualcomm did to its rivals was 'hypercompetitive, not anticompetitive'

Lennart Sorensen

Re: Future standards

Wasn't that called GSM?

If you own one of these 45 Netgear devices, replace it: Kit maker won't patch vulnerable gear despite live proof-of-concept code

Lennart Sorensen

Re: It'd be interesting

I looked up one, the AC1450, and it is from 2013.

Lennart Sorensen

Re: Time to check how many on the list support DD/Open-WRT?

Quite a few of them are broadcom based which tends to mean openwrt is not an option due to lack of open source drivers. dd-wrt handles some of them though.

Amazing anyone buys their products anymore given how it seems every year a major security hole is found in just about all their products, and then they fix half or 2/3 or them, and ignore the rest.

Tesla sued over Tokyo biker's death in 'dozing driver' Autopilot crash

Lennart Sorensen

Since when is it illegal to be stopped because of a collision? And what do you know about Japan's traffic rules? They could be stopped because the road was jammed with other vehicles, or the car broke down. Lots of reasons that a vehicle can end up stopped. Tesla's autopilot isn't what its name suggests and doesn't work well at all.

I'm doing this to stop humans ripping off brilliant ideas by computers and aliens, says guy unsuccessfully filing patents 'invented' by his AI

Lennart Sorensen

Re: Its all binary

All numbers from zero to not a number? Not even sure what that means. Not sure how a number is an invention either. I think you fail big time. Perhaps 2^infinity big.

NASA dons red and blue cardboard 3D glasses to drive Curiosity rover because its GPUs are stuck in the office

Lennart Sorensen

Re: Flashback

Or included free with kids magazines or activity books.

Pretty sure all movie sheathes are using polarized glasses these days.

Lennart Sorensen

Re: Sounds like they are using old GeForce 3D Vision kit

What does the moon have to do with a mars rover?

They are viewing data so they can plan what commands to send to the rover on mars. They are not driving it live (the latency would be insane).

Samsung calls it a day on liquid-crystal display, says quantum dot is really hot

Lennart Sorensen

Re: QLED is brighter than OLED, potentially superior.

Well the OLED is vastly superior in contrast ratio and in viewing angle (which matters to some people's livingrooms). If you care about color accuracy, the QLED even with professional calibration can't actually be made accurate, while the OLED is usually quite close even without calibration, and can be made very accurate. The QLED is over saturated (apparently many people think that looks better so it sells). The QLED also has blooming issues due to the backlight and being an LCD, and often has to severely dim to reduce the visible blooming, which of course OLED never has a problem with. An OLED can do full contrast difference on adjacent pixels. A QLED (or any other LCD) can't because of the backlight zones (and those are only on the higher end LCDs. Lower end ones only have a single backlight for the hole screen so everything has to dim or brighten together).

Now Internet Society told to halt controversial .org sale… by its own advisory council: 'You misread the community mindset around dot-org'

Lennart Sorensen

Re: The bloody obvious

Well it is possible that Ethos (and company) came along and said "Hey, how would you like to secure tons of money for your organization? Just keep this our little secret. You sell us .org and we give you all this money to focus on instead. Trust us, we won't harm your members that rely on .org domains, we know what we are doing."

Of course if they bought that then they have no business running ISOC in the first place.

Lennart Sorensen

Re: Corruption

Too bad it doesn't even help the pocketbook of the voters. They are harming themselves. It only helps the pocketbooks of the major campaign donors. But apparently a large percentage of americans have been raised to think anything that helps society in general is socialist (or as they think of it: communist) and hence awful. Never mind that there is plenty of corporate welfare to go around, but for some reason that doesn't count given it only helps a few, not society in general, so that's "capitalism" not "socialism" and hence A-OK.

Xerox grabs $24bn from banking titans to fund hostile takeover of HP Ink

Lennart Sorensen

Well when Carl Icahn is in favour of it and calls it a no-brainer, then obviously it is a bad idea. I can't imagine a company surviving with a debt load like that, but he is only interested in short term profits for himself after all, not long term viability of the company. I don't even have a clue how many companies he has ruined so far, but it's quite a few.

Chef roasted for tech contract with family-separating US immigration, forks up attempt to quash protest

Lennart Sorensen

Re: Flaming idiot, social justice warrior and political hack

Showing up at the border and applying for asylum is not illegal. It is a legal way to enter a country.

Sneaking into the country and not applying for admission would be illegal. That is not what is happening though.

Locking them up and mistreating and abusing and neglecting them to the point of having many die is also illegal.

So it is pretty clear who is doing something illegal.

One teeensy little 13-minute power cut, and WD you look at the size of that chip supply cut!

Lennart Sorensen

Re: Maybe I am cynical...

Might be good for the market, but if you don't have any product to sell, it will be your competitors that benefit.

Legal bombs fall on TurboTax maker Intuit for 'hiding' free service from search engines

Lennart Sorensen

Re: A lot of commies in here

Why is the US tax system so complicated? In Canada doing it on paper for most people should take less than half an hour. Doing it with software is perhaps a 5 minute job (and the software to handle an entire family is like $20 (Canadian) so vastly cheaper than the US rip offs, although the same software will do it for free if you make less than a certain amount too, are a senior, etc). I used to do it on paper, but all that writing the same numbers on multiple pages and punching the numbers into a calculator gets annoying, and with the software you can even download the contents of most of the forms from the government too (after all they already have the data in most cases), making you have to enter very little at all. I think it took me 15 minutes to do a family of 4 (I was verifying that it had done it all right).

Of course the same tax software companies are lobbying to make sure the tax system isn't made sane and simple enough in the US for people to just do it trivially. They don't want to loose their lucrative business after all.

Seems the US tax system is like the US election system. Too complex, too incomprehensible, ineffective and has lots of companies trying to make money of it while claiming they are helping. Canada does elections on paper, can have results counted in a few hours, can do recounts when needed in a few more hours, and are verifiable. It is just so much simpler and it works. Of course it helps to not make people have to vote for hundreds of things at the same time (and really, why do you even get to vote for judges and sheriffs and who knows what anyhow?)

Trust the public cloud Big Three to make non-volatile storage volatile

Lennart Sorensen

Re: Will we soon be reading about...

I believe a single TRIM command to the drive should wipe it, so I doubt they haven't implemented that properly. Issue wipe command before attaching to new instance.

Really not any different than the all other storage for the cloud.

Time for a cracker joke: What's got one ball and buttons in the wrong place?

Lennart Sorensen

Re: You can also get...

That sounds like an eSATAp connector. Not that weird, other than not being an official standard. Many systems have had them.

What's big, blue, and short on Intel? The supercomputer world's podium: USA tops Top500 with IBM Power9

Lennart Sorensen

The core counts for the Power9 boxes look to be totally wrong. I suspect they were counting threads instead of cores given they mention 4600 nodes with two 22 core Power9 chips each, which does not equal over 2 million cores. At 8 threads per core though (if that is the version of the power9 they are using) it gets close. The numbers for the second place machine don't even divide by 22 evenly, so that's just more wrong. Someone somewhere goofed.

Do not adjust your set, er, browser: This is our new page-one design

Lennart Sorensen

Well it has been quite clear that every time the register changes the layout, they ask for feedback, get lots of it, and ignore 99.9% of it. The opinion of the readers simply doesn't matter here.

Nokia reinstates 'hide the Notch' a day after 'Google required' feature kill

Lennart Sorensen

The notch is an indentation in the screen where the speaker (usually) is. So the screen is not actually a complete rectangle. Hiding the notch is done by not using the part of the screen next to the indentation so that you only use the part of the screen that is a complete rectangle.

Oldest swinger in town, Slackware, notches up a quarter of a century

Lennart Sorensen

Re: Cheers, Slack

Yeah I went:

SLS 1.03 (Wow something better than DOS)

Slackware 3.0 (Wow shared libraries but same dreadful package system as SLS)

Redhat 2.0 through 6.0 (Wow useful package management)

Debian 2.0 through today (Wow package dependencies that actually work, upgrades in place, and packages that aren't full of bugs)

I haven't seen anything improve on Debian yet, so no need to switch.

You wanna be an alpha... tester of The Register's redesign? Step this way

Lennart Sorensen

As if it matters what we think.

Maybe you could just undo the previous change and go back to a proper page width? I don't want the page to look the same on my phone and my desktop. They have vastly different screen sizes and shapes. I still want my screen width used properly.

And I am not convinced by the idea of highlighting anything. I go daily to read the days stories in order and don't care to have them shuffled around since that just makes catching up a pain.

But well what we thought didn't matter last time I have little hope it will this time either.

Oh and having the area outside the articles on the home page be a clickable link to some add or other sponsored content should be punishable by death. I have only ever clicked on it by accident when changing focus of my windows. If it doesn't look like a button it should not be a button.

Well at least so far the new layout doesn't seem obviously worse than the current one, unlike the last update. Of course it also doesn't fix any of what the previous update screwed up.

Intel confirms it’ll release GPUs in 2020

Lennart Sorensen

The term GPU is much older than nvidia making it popular (in 1999). The i740 was 1998. So GPU was a thing, and the i740 probably qualified (as a bad one) even if people tended to call them graphics accelerators at the time instead.