* Posts by Fab

23 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Jan 2008

Dabs warns staff: Your roles are 'at risk of redundancy'



I was a massive fan of Dabs. I remember in the days before you could buy online, they used to have 3-4 page adverts. I remembered ordering by phone around 6-7PM and was completely surprised when the goods arrived the next morning.

Then when they went online I liked them just as much. Their system of filtering was and is still one of the best in the industry. We take it for granted now but they were the first company I used to have it.

I still use them as long the prices are about right. But they are not as good as they were. Firstly they dont have the best prices anymore. They also dont have the stock.

So over the last 18 month I probably I only placed around £5k worth of buisness with them. I can cope with ok pricing but when you can get the goods , you shop elsewhere.

I still wish them well and hope they bounce back.

41-megapixel MONSTER mobe shutters Nokia knockers


My god there is a lot of crap written in these posts

From the muppet that said that it would be difficult to port the software to a new OS?.... its an algorithm, ports really easy.

To the guy that questioned how much light they can get through a F2.4 lense? the answer is a LOT. F2.8 is considered a big apperture and F2.4 is even bigger.

Anyone that questions the use of more pixels is generally talking out of their ass. Appart from the fact you can digitally process the picture to get a better quality lower res picture, it also allows for cropping.

Now as for the claim of 41 megapixels, how good the sensor, lenses etc. Heck I dont know and but it appears a bunch of posters have ... somehow.....??

Sony NEX-5N 16.1Mp APS-C compact system camera


re: ISO Test Images @ Felix

Its quite difficult to test.

Firstly, they could have kept the shutter speed at something more realistic. Something like 1/10th , a speed that people can hold so a bit more realistic for realworld use. Then they can change the apperture to control the light. This has some issues as it does effect the final picture due to depth of field differences but ultimately its another way of doing it.

The issue with measuring ISO quality though is you need to test in bright light and low light conditions.

I have a Canon 5D MII and a Canon 450d. As you would expect the 5D is much better picture all round. The difference though with high ISO ratings is marked dependent on the level of light. The 5D at 400 is absolutely perfect in good light conditions. The 450D not so. You really want to go down to 100. However, in low light conditions, even 5D can be a bit grainy at 400 (obviously nothing as bad as the 450D).

Sony: PS3 sales ahead of target


PS Vita rowboat

Hopefully PS Vita will fair better than the rowboat Sony sponsored.....

The BBC Micro turns 30


@jim 59

I disagree your summation of the BBC. It was a good machine if you take into account of what it included.

Its almost like the Xbox vs PS3 comparison. The BBC came with a lot more as standard and the quality of the equipment was superior when compared to all the other mainstay machines, this drove the cost. I don't know many Spectrum owners who hadnt blown up their machines. C64 faired better but not as reliable as the BBC.

The BBC also the best BASIC and was the fastest machine of the bunch even though there were other 650x machines. The connectivity on the BBC was amazing. Printers , Harddrive, analogue controllers, etc.

For what the BBC was designed to do, it was the best thing out there. Yes it got an unfair boost because of the advertisement that the BBC gave it. So what? Good. Its a British company that ended up spawning the company ARM. Horaaah!!!

Disclosure - I'm a BBC B owner

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Funny hearing the old war stories....

Funny hearing all the old war stories above.

30 years on the BBC vs Spectrum vs C64 debate is still going on lol.

As well as being a proud to own of a BBC B, I had access to a lot of machines as I worked in a computer shop at the time. The only within a 25mile radius and saw just about every home computer that ever hit the UK.

The list seems endless but from memory:

- Sinclair ZX81

- Sinclair Spectrum


- Commodor Vic 20

- Commodore 64

- MSX (cant remember which brand)

- Memorex

- Oric (I got one in the loft)

- Dragon (got a colour one in the loft)

- Jupiter Ace (no-one could use as it used Forth - made out of yoghurt cartons)

- Tandy TRS80 (friend had one years before BBC - it was cool)

- Oliviti

- Kapro (a CPM Compaq clone - a portable.... errr luggable computer)

- Atari ST

- Commodore Amiga (cool machine, I really ought to have had one of those)

- Acorn Archimedes

- Apple Clone ( we left that alone)

- Amstrad (there were a few)

- Lynx

I probably missed some real obvious machines... happy days..

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Planetoid = Defender

Indeed the posters comment that Planetoid was released as Defender is 100% right. I own an original boxed version of Acornsoft Defender. I think that Pacman suffered the same fate.

I was on that original waiting list for my BBC Model B although I had the second generation board. Thats a good thing as the first one used to die even more frequently than the second generation. My ASIC died as well.

Totally , totally LOVED that machine. It is in my atic gathering dust of course and maybe I will request it will be buried with me when I died. With my boxed Acronsoft games of course, Elite, Defender, Revs, etc.

I think I've also got that poster with the pyramid as well and the original review by the magazine PC World. Think writen by Guy Cheney.

Awesome... happy days....

Fragged, fragged and thrice fragged! 20 years of id Software’s Doom


The start of an addiction

I played Wolf... 3D. I remember how it was kind of neat how you could slide move but other than that I didnt really enjoy it.

Then came Doom. I was told by a friend to play it and eventually did when I had to recover from a knee surgery and ended up back at parents’ home. I remember members of my family, mother, brother, etc watching me playing the game. They were just as fixated as I was , although we were all suffering from motion sickness. It’s the first game I ever played that totally immersive.

Some time later came the full version that was multiplayer. And that changed the gaming world. You could only play up to 4 players and the network setup was a pain, mainly because networking then was a complete ball ache. But the game was fantastic.

We had a few interludes, like Heretic, Triads, Duke , etc all good fun but gimmicks.

Then came Quake, the daddy of all proper 3D games. That is the game completely defined how 3D games would work. I used to run lan parties every few months and we would get 5-8 people playing.

Carmack is as far as I’m concerned is the man, hope people remember where this all came from!!

Ten... wireless keyboards


@Sorry... - no keypad comment

I disagree concerning the comments on the keypad. I got one of those MS Sidewinders X6 keyboards. It has a detchable keypad that you can plug in either side. I like it because I can detach the keypad and put in the draw. This makes my keyboard smaller. So really, its down to choice. My choice, no keypad :)

Court orders seizure of PS3 hacker's computers


If dont like the PS3, then fair enough but...

If dont like the PS3, then fair enough but stop going on about how aweful it is , how you would never buy from Sony and it seems you never had anyway.

Its that simple, dont like the PS3/Sony, then shut up and go away. This has nothing to do with you!

We have all the current consoles in our household (PS3/360/Wii). I happen to prefer the PS3. I dont want to go into a bitch fest to why, but its the one I like.

I'm also quite happy that Sony is trying to keep the PS3 locked down. It means that if I play online I can play against other people that havent got a cracked copy with some rampant cheating.

I dont delude myself to thinking that Sony is doing what they are doing to benefit anything but their business but the way I see it is that NOTHING they are doing is going to me any harm. In fact, SHOCK HORROR, I'm pleased.

Benefit to me:

- No cracked game allowing online cheating

- Games can be shared between friends as they not locked down to a machine/account

- No piracy means that the PS3 is a sustainable platform for game developers


- None

If you want "Freedom", get Linux and develop away. If you want "Free", get an Xbox or PC and download pirated from the Torrents. Why the anti-Sony brigade keep bitching is beyond me .....

Flame on...

Vince Cable: Feel my mighty SME love



This is hardly fair.

For a start there is a difference between consumer lending where they really did very little due dilligence and money lending is free and easy and business financing where they take time to check out business plans but for years its been impossible to get any credit.

There are bank loans which are available where the bank is only exposed to something like 20% of liability. If the loan defaults, the government will foot most the bill. They been around since before the financial collapse but the banks STILL didn't provide loans.



Yes I agree without your post.

Go to a bank manager now and you get a pimple faced dimwit that doesnt even really know what the bank's products are yet alone how they can be applied to your business.

Secondly, as you correctly stated, unless you can demonstrate that you dont really need the loan, you not going to get it. The only time they seem to offer you any credit is if it is because you have a cashflow issue.

Investments they have no interest in.

Business: "I need to borrow XYZ for lead generation. It will cover the costs of advertising, travel to customers , etc."

Bank: "Of course, no problem. Show me your order book".

Business: "Well my order book is quite empty because I dont have any budget to promote my goods."

Bank: "I'm sorry, come back when you have an order book".


High Court rules software liability clause not 'reasonable'


@Not Caveat Emptor - Moronus Emptor - brycec

NO - you are assuming that software is simple shrinked wrapped product.

Some products require configuration, setup and are sufficiently complex that product evaluation is either too difficult or in some instances completely impossible until the software is deployed.

Every vendor knows that the customer has the right to return if the product isnt fit for function. In situation like this, the vendor needs to do his own due diligence to ensure that what they are delivering is suitable for a customers needs.

I'm in the software industry and we have "products". That is is an equivelent to shrinked wrapped product with licensing governing the features enables. If a customer asks whether the product can do something but I know that the product cannot I will spell out the fact that it doesnt.

Customers will often put trust in the vendors to be honest because the vendors have the expertise required. (are you a washing machines engineer? no? heck how can you buy a washing machine if you havnt evaluated it? )

Its scumbags like that vendor that causes people to have scheptism about software and IT in general. So I've got EVERY reason to be watchful of this type of ruling but I think in this case it excelent!


@Caveat emptor

No... you missed the point completely.

The Hotel was advised by the vendor that it would meet their needs. The hotel may not have the expertise to evaluate the software and has to rely on the vendor to understand the hotels requirenments.

Its a typical example of a vendor overselling or turning a blind eye to requirenments that they know they may not be able to meet.

Good verdict and another good article by Out-LAW.

Chips make you chipper: Official


Caviar, Oysters and Champagne

I think that if you fed me with Caviar , Oysters and Champagne I would have aced it with my response.

In fact , I wouldnt just be content, I would be positively happy.

Repeat this a few times and in a "Clockwork Orange" kind of conditioning, you would find me associating nuking large cities with pleasure.

Virgin Media battles privacy campaigners on P2P monitoring



"They are going to assume that all bit torrent traffic is illegal files being transfered? "

No, they going to assume that most popular delivery method for illegal files is Torrent and its ilk. A pretty fair assumption methinks. This is totally different to them assuming that all Torrent traffic is illegal files as we can all write essays to how Torrents are used for legitimate purposes.

"Statistics will obviously be fixed so they can show what the government want them to say."

Or you can stick your finger up in the air and come up with some silly guess.

So... whats your point?

Storage start-ups fail to set the world on fire


@A Different View

No offence, but I fail to see the "Different View". Unless I'm mistaken but Islon is an expendable NAS. If anything it re-inforces what Chris was saying. Its more of the same, albeit with a different twist (and I am sure it is very very good).

Would quite like to hear the justification for "was clearly the best solution to address their challenges going forward". I am not disputing it, just want to know why/how/what. (chance for a good marketing rebuttal)

There are still other ways achieving similar goals though using commodity hardware. For instance, there is Parascale ( www.parascale.com ) who can scale out using inexpensive hardware. For the AC above that had the issue of a multitude of fileservers, you could copy the data from the servers to this one platform but keep all the existing shares the same (i presume you would still have to change the logins) and have them all point to virtual IPs on this box.

Then there are companies that are approaching the problem from a different angle and adding value to the management of the data. Its not just dumb storage, the storage does data management things. Companies like Tarmin ( www.tarmin.com ).

Lastly, we have other companies that take a more holistic look at data. Rather than it all being about just "storage" , they manage the "data" through the whole lifecycle. Cofo ( www.cofio.com ) have a product that start the data management form the primary and will move it down the food chain in a true ILM paradigm incorporating replication / backup / CDP and archiving. So rather than managing a whole bunch of disjointed products, you manager it through one seamlessly, even if the final destination is a different storage vendor.

So there are a quite a few companies that offer technology that are designed to reduce cost. By using commodity hardware, reducing the data retained by managing it intelligently, decreasing the man management burden etc.


I agree, sort of....

My first response to the article, possibly because of the somewhat hard line opinions was to say this is all wrong. Actually on reflection, its probably not far off the mark but there are more factors involved here which werent discussed and distort things somewhat.

For instance, Centera had a major advantage over new startups because all Object stores require the application’s adoption of the store’s API. Would you modify your application to work for Centera and get a bit of free EMC marketing or modify your application with a complete unknown? No brainer really. CAS vendors are at the mercy of the application vendors. If however your application isnt that well known and you can get kudos for supporting a particular CAS then you will support that CAS. Case of the tail wagging the dog.

I certainly agree that the massively scaleable systems arent much use to most companies.

But also think that there is a general lack of adoption for new products isnt always because of lack of need for the products, but a reluctance to move from the norm. I think a perfect example is Data Domain. They make existing technologies better. Ie they de-duplicate data from legacy systems. Too me this is a band aid. But because its a band aid that makes legacy products perform better , its going to get positive press (or at least not negative press) from those vendors. What would be better of course is that you dont duplicate the data in the first place. Products that do this would save customer money. But those products are new paradigm and existing vendors cant compete and consequently the band aids get the press.

Another example are file redirectors (file virtualization ) . For me it seems to simplify a storage problem. Everyone points at one place and the system will get you the data. If you need to tier the storage , keep redundant data, track usage, NAS migration etc you can do this. But the problem is who the heck is going to promote this technology? Its not going to be the NAS vendors for sure as their storage just been commoditized. Consequently that technology is doomed to failure. (PS I am not a provider of such technology and in facts partly compete with what we do, but still it makes sense)

But the storage and data management industry is steered by the old guard storage companies and the storage analyst ,who largely voice their last client’s opinions or the big storage companies. (ps not all analyst , there are some who do provide an honest outlook).

So I am not saying that some of the solutions created for a market that didnt really exist but I think there is also prevailing attitude of screw what the customer needs, lets focus on the vendors.

RIP Personal Computer World



"PCW was universally known as being crap"

Really? I think you are universally known as being a prat.

PCW was simply the best magazine in 80s. Well written and in depth articles. AC was probably some spotty kid who wanted to copy some broken code from one of the code magazines into your ZX81. You probably found the long words in PCW a challenge to you.

Guy Kewney is actually the only computer journalist I have ever remembered because I found his articles interesting and well written. (I was most amused when he appeared as a Nigerian IT guy on BBC2 a few years back). No disrespect to the other journos, its just Guy that I remember.

I believe I still have some early PCW magazines. Including the BBC Micro review. A well thumbed edition. I think I may also of the ZX Spectrum review.

It was certainly was a golden age of personal computing. I used to work on weekends in a computer shop (a rare thing at the time) and remember the odd ball machines that never really made it, uhm Lynx? Memorex? Jupiter Ace (a computer whose programming language was Forth and was manufactured out of Yogart cartons).

They were fantastic times and I think made all the better by publications like PCW.

At some point PCW lost its interest for me. But I generally stopped reading computing mags. When I did pick them up again I did find PCW a bit stale and found PC Pro more interesting. Cant remember why but anyhow it is sad to hear that PCW is gone. It was certainly an institution.

Microsoft slackens VM licensing rules


To Mike..

A few people have already responded to your post but I feel so strongly about how wrong you are that I feel compeled to chip in too.

Sure any business that has such things as "Virtualisation Goals" is doomed to failure. VM is a tool. You shouldnt have goals to use tools. Same can be said about SaaS , offshoring or other trends.

You should be looking at solving problems and if VM is the most cost effective tool for the job then you should use it, but the tool shouldnt drive your business.

We use VM effectively. We have two servers serving a total of 9 VM machines. Each machine has fairly light use, ie document management, source control, fault management etc. So for us VM has meant that we can keep things managable by having the different functions on different VM machines, yet dont have the hardware costs , rack usage or power consumption issues associated with 9 real machines.

We also use VM for development and testing.

I'm not advocating that everyone should use VM, I am just pointing out that its a good tool and certainly not a gimmic.

Your "Virtualisation Goals" is the problem. You should have goals that reflect business objectives like reduce cost and increase uptime. VM may offer the answer but maybe not, maybe the answer is upgrading hardware, or using a SaaS service or something.

As for the actual topic, it was only a matter of time before M$ acknowledged that licensing needs to be done differently with the advent of large scale adoption of VM.

HD DVD player sales share slumps


@Sony formats have a strong history of failing in the long run

So CDs which was Sony & Phillips, those were a comptete failure?

In fact the whole premise of the statement "Sony formats have a strong history of failing in the long run " is flawed.

Whether a Sony format succeeds tends to be obvious in the short run. Now of course Sony will keep a format going forever but its success is normally evident quickly. MagicGate Sticks, Betamax, etc.

Universal represent 25% of the market. They are hence huge but not the winning card of HD-DVD. Also, I would be amazed if Universal dont support BD when they come out of contract with HD-DVD. Even if they still support HD-DVD, that would be end of HD-DVD.

US HD DVD sales hit new low




Errr, yes so there *might* have been a drop in sales post Christmas, I assume there probably was. The point of this news article is the relative market share.

My collegue suggested that rather than posting the above statement I should applaud moronic statements like yours, but somehow I just couldnt do it.

Oh heck lets try,

@james - "Yeah, good point mate, I wish I thought like that!"