* Posts by Chris J

42 publicly visible posts • joined 31 Jan 2008

Microsoft's Surface Pro 9 requires a tedious balancing act

Chris J

Re: I used to have a Surface Pro

Marvell chipset. Loads of issues. Later versions use Intel which is more stable.

Chris J

Why would anyone buy a device with a form factor they don't like or a keyboard they can't stand? Both very personal choices. I've used Surface Pros for years and for me they've been a good compromise between laptop and tablet. I also had the same form factor X1 at work which was also very effective albeit heavier. For travel especially, the flexibility works well. In my experience, it is much easier to use a Surface on a train or plane, than it is to use a clamshell laptop. Perhaps my legs have more natural padding, but I don't find it uncomfortable to use on my lap occasionally. Only real issue with that is the cat likes to knock it over; I don't think we can blame Microsoft for that. Biggest complaint is serviceability. My current Surface Pro 7 has slowed to a crawl. I suspect a faulty SSD but this is the generation before they made them replaceable.

Getting that syncing feeling after an Exchange restore

Chris J

I had a RAID array fail and the backup software then sync the empty mount point to the backup.


The old New: Windows veteran explains that menu item

Chris J

Re: An idea

Ah.. putting dates in the filenames... what can go wrong...

C:\Users\CJ\Documents\Project X\Report\2021\July\Project X Report July 2021 v12.1 FINAL3 22072021 COMPARE CJ comments.docx

CentOS Stream: 'I was slow on the uptake, but I get what they are doing now,' says Rocky Linux founder

Chris J

Would have been better if his first name was "Relax"

>> We need to change our servers' operating system software.


>> Something to do with upstream changes.

OK, as long as it's a nice, calm, stable migration. What's the new software called?

>> Rocky Linux

Wine 6.0.1: For that one weird app on that one weird Mac

Chris J

It's not an emulator

I'd like to see the copy of this article before it was edited.

I bet the author wrote "WINE is not an emulator ... "

BlackBerry says it’s virtualised macOS for M1 on an x86 CPU

Chris J

Re: It's easier if

I assume so you can you your existing vulnerabilty testing toolset?

Salesforce fell over so hard today, it took out its own server status page

Chris J

Re: It was the engineer in the DC with the keyboard

Salesforce in a bit of a BIND

Yes, there's nothing quite like braving the M4 into London on the eve of a bank holiday just to eject a non-bootable floppy

Chris J

Re: To be fair...

Most important question for an IT forum: can you overclock an overlocker?

Wipro buys London-based banking and tech consultant Capco for US$1.45B

Chris J

Re: Another load of jobs going to

Capco is a consulting biz that they are buying for the client access. Not sure how fungible the roles will be.

CD Projekt Red 'EPICALLY pwned': Cyberpunk 2077 dev publishes ransom note after company systems encrypted

Chris J

Re: Look for the hackers behind a hedge (fund)

I love that Gen Z now know what short-selling is. Thanks, Reddit.

The power of Bill compels you: A server room possessed by a Microsoft-hating, Linux-loving Demon

Chris J

Re: This is why...

I don't have capacity for much more of this.

Sophos was gearing up for a private life – then someone remembered the bike scheme

Chris J

Re: Cycle scheme generally is poor value

The vouchers have a ~ 10% handling fee paid for by the shop. Bikes are often on massive discount, e.g. at the end of the summer. Bike shops often disallow use of ctw vouchers for discounted bikes. Especially if you are prepared to work out your geometry and fit and so go mail order, it's easy to save the equivalent amount of cash but without all the hassle. CTW vouchers are good if you prefer to deal with a LBS or a specialist retailer. God only knows how much people like Condor must take in vouchers each year.

Chris J

Re: De minimis

She won't be concerned

Y2K? It was all just a big bun-fight, according to one Reg reader

Chris J

But are they GDPR compliant?

Being cookies and all?

Prank 'Give me a raise!' email nearly lands sysadmin with dismissal

Chris J

Re: Asking for a what?

Looks like the OP got a rise out of you there

How a tax form kludge gifted the world 25 joyous years of PDF

Chris J

Re: Ahem

If you are comfortable with the command line, ImageMagick, OCRmyPDF and PDFTk will probably meet those needs. It looks like you could even script LibreOffice to do the Word file creation from the OCRd PDF: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/44342224/pdf-to-doc-docx-converter

Lester Haines: RIP

Chris J


I have thoroughly enjoyed El Reg's Spanish flavour. Lester will be sadly missed by his readership.

Show me the money, America! It's time to learn how to pronounce 'Xiaomi'

Chris J

Re: Americans

Or Aluminium...

Oracle tosses its Linux into Docker's repository

Chris J

"Oracle Linux is free, so there's no reason developers won't be interested."

That's a reductive statement. FOSS is about more than just price. Oracle have a tumultuous history with open source and some developers may well be put off by that.

Slough isn't fit for humans now, says Amazon. We're going to Shoreditch

Chris J

Re: Will Amazon invest in...

I'm not sure a country where private companies would build transport infrastructure just to get their workers too and from their offices is one where I want to live.

Help us out readers: How would you sniff and store network traffic?

Chris J

MikroTik SwOS devices appear to offer port mirroring, and are cheap.

Combine with NtopNG running on raspberry pi perhaps to get overview of what is being sent and received in real time?

Will Apple's $130bn cash infusion keep investors onboard?

Chris J

"And of course, due to the fact that US corporations have the legal status of people"

Not quite. Both natural persons (i.e. people) and corporations have legal personality. Subtle difference.

Motorola teases with Moto X 'design your own' phone

Chris J

Re: Oooh, goody! Can I design mine to be able to have the latest OS?


Although Google must surely recognise how badly dented Moto goodwill has been by their erstwhile hokey-cokey approach to upgrades. After all, Google understand the value of long term support, right? I wonder if the phone integrates with Google Reader....

...wait a minute...

Magpie Apple plunders the competition for cosmetics, as egos run wild

Chris J

Sometimes you're up; sometimes your down

Apple have always innovated in fits and bursts. iOS remains the most usable of the mobile OSs I have tried, in terms of real world usage rather than headline features.

Having recently moved from Android to iPhone, iOS 7 looks good to me. It will bring some of the eye candy of Android and Windows Phone to the iPhone whilst retaining the iOS usability.

Even better, I know I will get the benefits on my existing iPhone 5 rather than having to wait to see if my Android OEM will bother to port the latest version; and if my network will bother to release the port.

There are plenty of other annoyances with Apple, but I don't see a refreshed design as one of them.

Ancient thumb-driven whirly-wheel smartmobe UI ported to Android

Chris J

It looks pretty...

... but inability to change default apps a killer for me. Tip: Smart Launcher by Jarvis.d. is a great, slick, no frills launcher if that is what you are after.

Not cool, Adobe: Give the Ninite guys a job, not the middle finger

Chris J
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Re: It's worse than you think.

Insightful and entertaining. Reg should give you a column.

RIM ends Reg headline pun filth (and launches two new phones)

Chris J
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Re: I hope they make it

For sure. Blackberry is still fairly embedded in enterprise and I think this is now the natural upgrade path for those firms. Apple will have a tougher time getting traction there.

To be honest, I like the look of this phone. I'd be delighted if my employer decided to upgrade me to it.

Sorry, Apple-haters, but Cupertinian doom not on the horizon

Chris J

Re: Competition is good.

Android is open software but the hardware it is dominated by four or five major handset manufacturers, all of whom seem inherently conservative, unable to innovate without Google's help, and as a result none of whom seem to differentiate their products significantly.

Worse, the handset manufacturers seem to be using Android version upgrades as an excuse to shift new handsets, rather than adequately supporting their existing user base with timely, reliable updates. My Atrix was effectively "end-of-life'd" by Moto only a few months after I purchased it. Its replacement, a HTC, is stuffed with gimmicks and bloatware that cannot be uninstalled.

On that basis, I'm not convinced that the Android ecosystem for me long term. As an Apple desktop user, I will probably move to iOS. If I were a Windows user I'd definitely move to Windows Phone, dare I say probably a Nokia. I'll be interested to see if I am representative of the market over the next 12 months.

I agree that it is good for competition and I dearly hope that Apple will implement a more ICS-like notifications screen, and a proper 'services' hooks to allow inter-app sharing / integration like Android does so well.

Dealer bosses jailed for flogging fake Cisco kit

Chris J

The trouble is that software is even easier to pirate than hardware.

Ford unwraps Evos cloud-connected concept car

Chris J

Clearly Ford were inspired by...


Game gears up for Mac OS X Lion release with... Panther

Chris J
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If no-one notices that they're obsolete...

... the beancounters can still count them as assets.

£99 iPhone stunt backfires

Chris J

...there is a law against this!

It is an unfair commercial practice according to the nattily titled "Directive 2005/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market" (also known as the ‘Unfair Commercial Practices Directive’). This is implemented into UK law by The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

In particular, Schedule 1 para 5 provides that "Making an invitation to purchase products at a specified price without disclosing the existence of any reasonable grounds the trader may have for believing that he will not be able to offer for supply, or to procure another trader to supply, those products or equivalent products at that price for a period that is, and in quantities that are, reasonable having regard to the product, the scale of advertising of the product and the price offered (bait advertising)" is considered automatically unfair.

It's late, I can't sleep, but I don't feel the need to set out the consequences of unfair trading. Knock yourselves out... http://lmgtfy.com/?q=The+Consumer+Protection+from+Unfair+Trading+Regulations+2008+(No.+1277)

School IT quango to be expelled

Chris J

The world needs more spreadsheet monkeys than coffee machine engineers.


Steve Ballmer's Windows 7 dance party

Chris J
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My favourite para from a Reg article for a while...

"Sadly, Ballmer was a lot less, um, energetic we usually find him at such public appearances. He didn’t yell. He didn’t turn red. He didn’t even stomp on an iPhone. He seemed very, believe it or not, scripted."

ISP redesign unites the web in nausea

Chris J
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Looks good to me

I actually really like this design. Courier is underrated. Minimalist is underrated.

All the info is there and it looks different, not JustAnotherWebsite.

Asus Eee Linux-based Skype Videophone

Chris J

Is it simple enough to be used by Grandma?

As that is the only real point of this phone as far as I can tell.

SanDisk Sansa Clip MP3 player

Chris J

Have a look at iRiver LPlayer

In a fit of "antiPod" sentiment, I recently purchased an iRiver LPlayer. It is a little larger (approx 6 x 4 x 1.2 cm by my ruler) but is still smaller (though fatter) than the iPod nano. It might be a good alternative to the reviewed player.

It has a 2" LCD screen and a nifty control system whereby you click the edges of the screen.

Sound quality is very good as long as you are using decent headphones. I use Sennheiser CX300 - the genuine ones not the fake £8 ebay ones - and they sound great for the price.

It reads a whole host of formats including mp3, ogg and flac. No AAC though. There is a little bit of a hiss at low volumes but this only starts when I play an mp3 so it may well be the fairly low quality encoding of my tunes. Most of my music is downloaded from eMusic at 128kbps.

It's not an iPod and won't win any awards when compared on the iPod's traditional strengths: user inferface and software integration. That said I use it on a Mac in drag and drop "MSC" mode, but I am told that on Windows it comes with a nice client called iRiver Plus 3, which works in MTP mode. Either that, or apparantly it will sync with Windows Media Player.

Personally I am very happy to leave it in drag and drop mode and use it as a USB drive too. That, and the sound quality, makes it a worthwhile purchase and perhaps an alternative to the Sansa range?

Apple iPhone 3G

Chris J
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Nice device shame about the operator

After queueing for two hours and spending another hour trying to get o2's systems to accept my address, I gave up trying to buy the iPhone.

Apparently if your address is incorrectly registered with the Royal Mail then you don't stand a hope in hells chance of passing the credit check. (This is despite my having been recently approved for a credit card to the same address, having a bank statement and a driving licence proving that address, and already having a mobile phone contract with another operator to that address.)

Even the Apple Store employees claimed they were amazed at how picky o2's systems were being (when they were working, which they weren't for much of the time I was trying to purchase the phone). There was a general sense of embarrassment on the part of the staff. Hilariously, for example, they were using Microsoft Windows (via VMWare) to access to the o2 registration system!

I bought an iPod Touch instead. Got it home - it asked me to pay an extra £5.99 for a software update, which I reluctantly did, and now it's dead as a dodo (after telling me there was an unknown error - helpful). I've since followed every instruction on the internet to no avail.

Bad day for Apple. I am going to take it back, get a refund, and consider my options. I've been a fan of Apple products but the shine is definitely wearing off.

Police seek two for C&W network robbery

Chris J
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I know a man who fits that description perfectly...

He's a white man with short brown hair, between the ages of 20 and 30, wearing blue jeans and a white t-shirt.

I saw him in the mirror recently.

easyJet warns 'several websites' to stop selling its flights

Chris J

Re: Pictures instead of number woldn't work...

Tony - it would be easy to write a script that generated images with a unique URL. Not every URL is a file - many (most?) are caught and the content is generated automatically by a script. This can be done with images too.

Chris - it isn't illegal to use text only as graphics. The law says the site operator must make 'reasonable adjustments' to make it suitable for disabled users.

If there is evidence that the site is being 'scraped' - it might not be reasonable to make the prices available as text (unless there was a better way to stop the site being scraped).

Even then, websites could allow alternative methods - e.g. a button that will play a sound file of the price.

As EasyJet.com is a very well known website, EasyJet would have to be careful to make sure any changes they make complied with the law, but - as ever - nothing is black and white.

Apple ships Air

Chris J

Re: Why would you hate a computer?

I agree - the amount of hatred this computer seems to have drummed up is crazy. It's also a bit suprising that people are talking as if this is revolutionary product.

It seems to me that the concept (thin, light, easy to carry around) and the implementation (no optical drive) is very similar to the Toshiba Portege 2000. If you're familiar with other Portege models, search for this one - it was significantly thinner and smaller than even other models in that series (except the Portege 2010, which was identical in form factor).

I owned that computer around 2001 - 2006. Like the Air, it was less powerful than its contemporaries and, as it got older, it struggled to keep up with newer applications designed for faster machines.

But it was perfect for carrying around and using in the places you're likely to need a laptop (at clients', in coffee shops, on the sofa etc). I was a student and a freelance developer at the time; the Portege was powerful enough to run Word and my IDE of choice (can't remember what it was, mind). Perfect.

I understand why people get irritated with Apple but there are plenty of alternatives. If you don't want the Air but fancy a small laptop you have plenty of options from Toshiba, Sony, Samsung etc. Likewise if you want screaming performance you probably need a desktop (or at least a "desktop replacement" laptop). Personally I think OS X is an excellent operating system (Unix + usability = perfect) and am happy to pay a slight premium for the hardware to gain access to that, not to mention the creative software and ease of use it offers.

I don't need one right now, but the Air will sell in crate-loads to its presumed target audience of designers and media executives! The Air isn't an innovation or a revelation; it's just a skinny computer.