* Posts by Christopher Reeve's Horse

308 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Jan 2008


A brand new Linux DRM display driver – for a 1992 computer

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Good.

I got my ST out of the attic a couple of years ago, and after sourcing a nice new RGB Din plug to SCART cable it booted straight to TOS, first time used in over 25 years! Unfortunately, the floppy drive had failed, but finding a replacement wasn't too hard.

It was very nostalgic and everything, but also a fairly bleak reminder of how far we've come. Back in 1991 I was amazed at the loading speed of floppy disks, but then my previous computer was an Oric Atmos with a cassette tape interface.

Anyone else remember The Carebears demo discs?

Christopher Reeve's Horse

About time

Could 2023 finally be the year of the GEM / TOS desktop?!

Elon Musk to abused Twitter users: Your tormentors are coming back

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

One of the things about these forums I find is when I'm just about to make a profound, well formed and intelligent contribution [obviously], is that someone else has already said it! This is where the voting buttons are really useful.

Twitter set for more layoffs as Musk mulls next move

Christopher Reeve's Horse


Even if the vote was fully legitimate, there's still the very strong likelihood that 50% is not an adequate enough result to justify the action. Yes, there was a small majority in favour, but surely the barrier should be higher, especially considering the quite appallingly obvious pretensions.

It reminds me of another, similar, close to 50/50 vote that had disastrous consequences and left strongly divided opinions in the UK's recent history.

OpenPrinting keeps old printers working – even on Windows

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Never have any problems printing ever again!

You want one simple platform agnostic ubiquitous transferrable solution that works for practically every version of every OS that has ever existed?

Simply screenshot with a polaroid camera!

Meta accused of breaking the law by secretly tracking iPhone users

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: "We have carefully designed our in-app browser"

And they're not the only ones with this shady type of behaviour. Every link I open from Gmail in iOS opens a prompt to select a browser: Google, Chrome or Safari. I don't have Google or Chrome installed, Safari is the only browser in use, and furthermore, the option to 'ask every time' is set to off but gets ignored.

That's not quite as bad as directly opening an IAB, however every attachment from within Gmail opens firstly in a Google equivalent software (in app), completely ignoring system app defaults.

That's not to say they're doing the same injection/data skimming activities, but why would they need this functionality otherwise?

Excel's comedy of errors needs a new script, not new scripting

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Excel is like any other tool

It's a very useful hammer! Perhaps it's a matter of the user needing to be worthy of holding it!

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Make Spreadsheets Better?

Exactly this. Then also factor in continuous development requirements! The cost / complexity step of moving from a Subject Matter Expert managing their own Excel data model to a corporate IT controlled tactical application that the SME can still operate and improve is HUGE.

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Oo! Oo! I have one!

Again, the answer here is using structure tables and formulae. This way, the sort and filter controls will always apply to your entire databody range (table). Use 'Format as table' from the Home ribbon, and then reference the table name and columns/rows in your formulae directly using the table1[column1] type format. This table method even keeps column formulae consistent in most usage cases.

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: first step

This is where adhering to using the structured tables features in Excel can eliminate most of these kind of errors. If someone isn't using structured references in their excel formulae then they really should learn to.

Automating Excel tasks to come to Windows and Mac

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: People will die

Why indeed.. It's usually because the people tasked with whatever job they're trying to accomplish don't have the training, tools, time, support, resources or funding to create a database management system, they typically have other technical skills and responsibilities.

Additionally, a database represents a certain level of crystallisation of processes which may not yet have settled down yet in an excel model.

Excel @ mentions approach general availability on the desktop

Christopher Reeve's Horse

I see the disdain for Excel here so often. So, I ask again, what are the alternatives? (Genuinely, I'd like to know)

There's a lot of IT experts commenting here, and I'm sure many of you could take a big Excel model and develop it into a proper structured database, with a nice shiny front-end and all the bells and whistles etc. But what then?

The point is that this is your jobs, and your skills. The typical Excel user is not usually an IT expert, but has other skills in other disciplines, and is merely using Excel as the easiest tool to get done what they need to do. It takes a big step in needs and complexity before any kind of budget is ever made for taking something out of Excel and moving it into 'IT world', where people with specialist IT skills take over development.

Unless I'm blatantly unaware of something obvious, there's simply nothing else that's anything like as ubiquitous available in this gap. Is there a database and frontend development software package that has a nice GUI, is accessible to non IT folk, and at the same time meets the approval of the IT specialists? Until there is, every business is going to have 1000's of mission critical excel workbooks kicking around.

PS. I know Power BI covers some of this, but it's really just a fancy dashboard, and doesn't overlap with most of what Excel can do with data.

Warning: Colleagues are unusually likely to 'break' their monitors soon

Christopher Reeve's Horse


So basically, continuing the trend of forcing more & more functionality and features into fewer and fewer devices, which superficially sounds good, but in reality just provides more routes to a quicker obsolescence.

Switch off the mic if it makes you feel better – it'll make no difference

Christopher Reeve's Horse
Big Brother

If you can turn almost anything into a speaker, then I have bad news for you...

With the right electronics behind it, a speaker is already a microphone too! Just like any motor can become a generator, any speaker can become a microphone - albeit a poorly optimised one. With the sheer complexity of modern devices who really can tell what the hell is going on though?

Volvo car sales tumble amid ongoing chip shortages

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Re: a non chip filled would be bliss

Yes indeed, safety trumps everything else. I own a Volvo with adaptive cruise control / radar assisted braking, and I don't think I'd ever buy a new car again that didn't have similar features.

Oxidation-proof copper could replace gold, meaning cheaper chips, says prof

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Why is oxidization a problem?

Well perhaps in the future oxidation won't be such a problem - once we've destroyed the natural environment sufficiently for oxygen levels to plummet that is. Nature always finds a way.

Hear us out: Smartphone lidar can test blood, milk

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: About Time

That was 'liar', not 'lidar'...

Google expands Privacy Sandbox to Android

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Go on, say it...

Google's plan also puts disreputable ad tech firms on notice.

You mean Facebook don't you?

Happy birthday, Windows Vista: Troubled teen hits 15

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: The main issue...

Totally true, but if Microsoft had more of a customer centric focus on good outcomes, they could perhaps have done more to help smooth things out. Or perhaps the device manufacturers didn't really want them to - who knows!?

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: At least Vista was not...

Not sure the coke analogy really works as part of that rant. A new fizzy drinks recipe is arbitrary, updates to a commercial OS are not. OS updates are - and always will be - necessary.

There's a brand loyalty with coke, and people want a familiar experience when they buy a familiar branded product. With an OS there's brand loyalty too, but part of the customer experience of using an OS is to want new features and functionality - it's just that getting the appropriate balance of familiar comfort and new stuff is difficult, and won't please everyone.

This will always be the way - If it wasn't I'd still be happy with using GEM on my Atari ST.

Christopher Reeve's Horse

The main issue...

...was that all of a sudden, lots of connected devices didn't have working device drivers anymore. Arguably this is the fault of the vendors of that equipment for not providing updates, but more could have been done. Lots of perfectly functional equipment was rendered useless all of a sudden. I'm looking at you, HP desktop laser printers!

Web daddy Tim Berners-Lee on privacy, data sharing, and the web's future

Christopher Reeve's Horse


Sounds good, but who's looking forwards to the onslaught of dumb-ass users struggling to manage complex permission models with access/denial conflicts?

Facebook may soon reveal new name – we're sure Reg readers will be more creative than Zuck's marketroids

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Better than Life

This whole Metaverse crap reminds me of Red Dwarf, although with tedious prediction I suspect it will be substantially Worse than Life.

Chiptune to brighten your afternoon: Winning 8-bit throwback music revealed

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Talking of classics...

The music for Spectrum version of Robocop will always be a nostalgic highlight. Transcends the game itself massively.


ICO survey on data flouters: 50% say they receive more unwanted calls than before pandemic

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Land line calls

Landline numbers have been made effectively obsolete and unwanted, I can't even remember the last time I used mine that wasn't picking up a call from a robo-dialler. In fact, it's no longer even plugged into the socket and I don't regret it.

Mobile calls are heading the same way due to the overwhelming surge of spam calls and messages. Caller ID can't be trusted anymore, so calls that aren't made through a proprietary messaging system (WhatsApp, Teams, Facetime etc) have a very low level of trust.

Smuggler caught with 256 Intel Core processors wrapped around him in cling film

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Must have taken ages

to clean all the thermal compound off him...

Hubble memory errors persist despite NASA booting long-idle backup payload computer

Christopher Reeve's Horse


the telescope has taken one PEEK too many?

Maybe it just needs a POKE?


Listen, son... Monster trucks just aren't cool anymore. Real winners drive Tesla Roadsters

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Happy Meal tat

I'd still much rather have paper based crap than plastic based crap, thank you very much

And actually, the kids have really enjoyed the recent 3D dinosaurs...

Beloved pixel pusher Paint prepares to join Notepad for updates from Microsoft Store

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Yeah but...

Surely someone is going to mention the cynical ploy that's behind this? To access the Windows Store you need to be logged in with a Microsoft Account. Providing updates to Paint aren't anyone's priority, it's just being used as a user behaviour steering device surely?

Machine learning devs, rejoice: You can now rent up to 16 Nvidia A100 GPUs on a single machine via Google

Christopher Reeve's Horse

So that's where all the GPUs are...

I'm surprised even Google has the financial resources to find GPUs these days!

It's wild the lengths Facebook engineers will go to find new ways to show you inane ads about tat: This time, AR...

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: More agency?

I came here to say pretty much exactly that. Basically any agency other than the individual's own free will. Do I want every waking moment of my life turned into a nightmarish version of a Facebook live feed, which is constantly trying to direct and influence every interaction, movement and thought I have? No, no I don't. Or for the Aussie translation; Facebook can Get F*****.

Customer comment and contributions no more as Microsoft pulls the plug on Office 365 UserVoice forum

Christopher Reeve's Horse

While the likes of Excel and Word continue to listen...

Thank god for that, or I literally wouldn't know how to fill my working day!

Google says once third-party cookies are toast, Chrome won't help ad networks track individuals around the web

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: You're alright, Jack?

Quite a lot of routers don't allow you to change the DNS address - all the Homehub devices provided by BT for example. Sure, there are workarounds such as setting up different DHCP servers, but it's less than ideal.

Either way, DNS content filtering is already on shaky ground with the advent of DoH, as the local client can specify whatever DNS it wants. At this point solving the filtering content becomes much more complicated than your average home user is going to be able to manage.

FortressIQ just comes out and says it: To really understand business processes, feed your staff's screen activity to an AI

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Or, you know...

Perhaps in a modern, ethically run business with an engaged workforce, they could just talk to employees about how they work, and what systemic issues they encounter in achieving their outputs and goals. Just a thought.

Microsoft's underwhelming, underpowered dual-screen Surface Duo phone arrives in the UK this month for £1,349

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Trusting M$?

There's approximately 37 Windows RT owners that would like a word with you...

The Fat iPhone, 11 years on: The iPad's over a decade old and we're still not sure what it's for

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: There's no mandatory App Store to act as a gatekeeper, so you can run whatever software you want

But yet it's Microsoft that are actually trying to pull that kind of bullshit with Windows 10S or whatever it is... TBH for some people a good bit of restriction is probably good idea. Oh, hi Mum!

Christopher Reeve's Horse

The other obvious usage cases

I can't believe no-one's mentioned that they double up as high quality wipe clean kitchen chopping boards...

Robinhood plays Sheriff of Nottingham as it pauses GameStop, AMC, BlackBerry etc stock sales, gets sued

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Piggly Wiggly

It's only now 'worth' that much because the hedge funds upped the stake by betting heavily against the company. In poker you can have a very high stakes game with everyone holding low value hands, and this situation in the market is more like a casino bet than a valuation of the company.

What happens when the internet realizes the stock market is basically a casino? They go shopping at the Mall

Christopher Reeve's Horse

The Big Short Squeeze

I'm not sure this is the same as a pump and dump at all. I think it's been identified (someone please say I'm wrong if this is the case) that certain Hedge Funds are hugely overexposed to their own short options, like I think I saw the number that 140% of the entire float of GME shares is in short options. That's right, there are apparently substantially more shares being shorted than actually exist!

By my limited understanding the big funds are obliged to have to buy the stocks on expiration of their options, so there's every chance that the price will continue to increase and the hedge funds loose billions more by being forced into buying at super inflated prices - which continues to drive the price further up. It's not like loosing an investment, this is like turbo-charged hyper loosing. Obviously I'd love to be sympathetic etc. A big bluff is being called by lots of people with relatively low risk individual stakes. It's hilarious.

Just to be clear - I have no financial position on GME (or anything else). I think the phrase is "we. just. love. the. stock"

One careful driver: Make room in the garage... Bloodhound jet-powered car is up for sale

Christopher Reeve's Horse


I don't get it. To the average billionaire or international corporation with an alignment of brand character, the amount of money to complete this would be trivial, and the marketing opportunity staggeringly enormous. Record breaking machines, and pictures of their iconic liveries and partner's logos go down in history forever, take F1 for example.

Sure, there's a risk of catastrophic failure and the resulting 2 mile long meat crayon, but hey, you know, life is for living and everything...

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says Trump ban means the service has failed

Christopher Reeve's Horse

No acknowledgement

For enabling 4 years of utter insanity. They chose profit and promotion over responsibility and accountability, even by only the standards of their own T&C's.

You can now pepper your Windows 10 desktop with Android apps... if you have a Samsung phone, that is

Christopher Reeve's Horse

What? Why?

Why would I want Android apps displayed on a PC? What on earth does this help achieve? Especially if there's a long list of exceptions and work around's, it hardly seems worth the personal investment in comprehending a use case, never mind keeping on top of these exceptions as they inevitably change going forward. High effort, low reward.

America's democracy on the brink, Brexit looming, climate crashing... when better to get the first fast radio burst from our own galaxy?

Christopher Reeve's Horse


Even a neutron star fails to be the densest thing in the news this week!

Run Windows on a Chromebook: All the details. Not so fast, home user...

Christopher Reeve's Horse

The madness comes full circle

The browser became an operating system, and now an operating system becomes the browser.

Excel Hell: It's not just blame for pandemic pandemonium being spread between the sheets

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Relax...

Technically incompetent at every level?

Yes, your argument is very good, but typically the user of excel has an entirely different area of technical competence. You clearly have a technical competence for Bash scripts, and that's great, but the problem is the overlap of responsibilities and the management of resources, and probably not the technical competence of the original user.

Now Nvidia's monster GeForce RTX 3090 cards snaffled up by bots, scalpers – if only there had been a warning

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Hefty price

Oh not another one... "tHE hUmAn EyE caN oNLy seE 30 fPs"

Although I suppose maybe some people don't notice the difference, but I suffer from noticing motion judder on almost every camera pan, especially is there's moving text.

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: About Time

I'd completely agree with that. And to add, even if you can get a 3080 right now you'd obviously get extra performance over a 1080ti, but you also consume significantly more wattage. TDP is up from 250W to >320W.

Unless you're using a 4K display, using high end VR, or you specifically need the RT or Tensor capabilities beyond gaming, I recommend sticking with the trusty Pascal cards for a while longer yet.

Ever found yourself praying to whatever deity runs Microsoft Teams? You're not alone

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Typical Microsoft

They already use DAX as an acronym for the Data Analysis Expressions in Power BI, and now there's a new DAX with a completely different meaning.

I'll admit that you're not likely to get them confused, but come on, it's a bit of a lack of imagination isn't it?

I AM ERROR: Tired of chewing up your RAM? Razer tells gamers where to stick its special gum for the RGB crowd

Christopher Reeve's Horse


I think I'd rather eat their hardware.