* Posts by Peter Mount

193 posts • joined 14 Feb 2008


Analogue tones of a ZX Spectrum Load set to ride again via podcast project

Peter Mount

Re: Software via teletext...

I got my hands on one of the teletext cheese wedges for the BBC back in May.

Been meaning to do a youtube video about it with the intention of getting it to work. I've got everything needed to do it & sending a valid teletext signal except Time :-(

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

Peter Mount

I still play Chuckie Egg every so often as I've still got 2 BBC's working & occasionally still write stuff for them.

NYC subway SNAFU probably caused by someone turning it off accidentally, say reports

Peter Mount

Re: Who dun it?

Those covers on the big red switches are called Molly Guards for a reason ;-)

Icon because it looks like a baby/little person

Astro Pi 2: New Raspberry Pi hardware with updated camera, sensors to head to the ISS this year

Peter Mount

They did say earlier that are working on 3D printable cases just like the original Astro PI case.

Italian stuntman flies aeroplane through two motorway tunnels

Peter Mount

Re: Wings

Taffy Holden but I'd agree with you I'd prefer that one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4d7VKvG1z0&ab_channel=TheHistoryGuy%3AHistoryDeservestoBeRemembered

Docker Desktop no longer free for large companies: New 'Business' subscription is here

Peter Mount

Need better examples out there...

A lot of the large image sizes are down to badly written Dockerfiles - most examples show the basics which become the "standard" & you get bad images.

However with some simply care & the use of stages you can keep the image size down to a minimum.

I do that with my builds, e.g. use debian as a base, then a stage adding gcc or other compilers, then a stage to do the build & install into a custom directory then a final stage extending the base (no gcc/sources) & copy the compiled version into the destination.

I prefer alpine when needed as it's far smaller but sometimes have to use debian as a base depending on the project.

Come fly with me. But first we need to find a boot device

Peter Mount

About the same as "London Ashford Airport" which is actually located just outside Lydd on the Kent coast... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lydd_Airport

Have you turned it off and on again? Russia's Nauka module just about makes it to the ISS

Peter Mount

It's not over yet

About an hour ago Nauka decided to randomly fire it's thrusters, throwing the ISS 45 degrees off axis.

Sounds like they've now got the errant thrusters under control but it's a bit worrying that they've still got issues with this new module even though it's docked.

Google: About that whole getting rid of third-party cookies thing – we're gonna need another year or so

Peter Mount

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.

The first thing I thought when I read this:

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

Global Fastly outage takes down many on the wibbly web – but El Reg remains standing

Peter Mount

Re: implications and questions

That was the weird part, amazon's own site lost their images which made me thing they were down.

Why would they use a 3rd party CDN?

File this next to Mars bars under 'things that should not be deep-fried': Marks & Spencer's Colin the Caterpillar

Peter Mount

Re: Deep Fried *

Down south in the 80's we had Deep fried Shepherd Pies...

Consisted of a core of Lamb mince & veg wrapped in a mash potato shell then covered in batter & deep fried.

Don't know if it was just a Kent thing but they were lovely

Looking for the perfect Valentine's gift? How about a week of retro gaming BBC Microlympics?

Peter Mount
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Re: Who needs an emulator?

I've got one for the internal tube interface on my BBC Master. I did a video for Doscember showing DOS (DOS Plus not MSDos) running on it with a couple of PC games working fine.

Just search for "Running DOS on a BBC Master 128" on YouTube

Bare-metal Macs-as-a-service come to AWS. Intel for now, M1 silicon in 2021

Peter Mount
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It's not cheap

"Sadly, Amazon’s pricing pages had not caught up with its announcement"

It's there under https://aws.amazon.com/ec2/dedicated-hosts/pricing/ - mac1 $1.207 per hour, so it's not cheap, especially when the linked article states "with a minimum tenancy of 24 hours"

The GIMP turns 25 and promises to carry on being the FOSS not-Photoshop

Peter Mount

Re: A heartfelt 'Thank You' to everyone who has ever contributed.

As you I had some exposure to Photoshop in the past so some concepts like Layers came naturally to me when I started using GIMP 20 years ago.

Some tasks I need to lookup but those are the odd ones when I want some special effect or a task I rarely do.

Most normal tasks I just get on with it

Halt don't catch fire: Amazon recalls hundreds of thousands of Ring doorbells over exploding battery fears

Peter Mount

Shows people don't read the instructions

I got one of these a couple of months ago, mainly as I'm moving my home office indoors & needed something like this to answer the door (i.e. camera not just a dumb door bell).

Anyhow, the thing is it had a warning inside the box about this exact problem & not to mix the screws up.

The security screws (which they provided the appropriate tool) is to attach it to the mounting thats screwed to the wall so it's difficult for someone to nick the door bell.

The warning clearly stated the overheating problem as the wood screws could "puncture the battery".

2020 hasn't been all bad – a new Raspberry Pi Compute Module is here

Peter Mount

Still not pleasing some

All morning I've seen people complain about the lack of USB3... totally ignoring that on the PI4B the USB3 is actually hogging the sole PCIe channel - some have hacked their pi's removing the controller to get at the PCIe.

Unlike the earlier dev boards, the new one allows existing hat's with it (one of my gripes with the old ones) but again some complaining about that.

It'll be interesting to see how one of these compares with the 4B & earlier CM models, I've just got to wait now until early/mid November for mine to arrive

'Get out of my office, you're being a pest!' Yes, son. Toymaker releases work-from-home-themed play sets

Peter Mount

A meme going real?

I wonder if they saw the various joke pic's of Fisher Price toys during the rounds during lockdown & though why don't we actually do that?

Burn baby burn, plastic inferno! Infosec researchers turn 3D printers into self-immolating suicide machines

Peter Mount

Not really new

Any 3d printer can catch fire, which is why they shouldn't be left unattended.

Remember, 3D printers run at high temperatures, I'm usually running the extruder anywhere between 180C & 200C

All you need is either a head crash or the filament to fail to extrude so it builds up as a blob around the nozzle & it will overheat. I've seen pics of print heads encased in a plastic cocoon which effectively needed them replacing, but if left longer could have been more serious.

Whenever I use my printer I'm always around & can literally pull the plug if things get serious.

Dutch Gateway store was kept udder wraps for centuries until refit dug up computing history

Peter Mount

Some Gateway stuff is still out there unopened

RetroManCave did an unboxing of a Gateway CRT last week (I'm a patron so saw it before the public release yesterday) on his channel so there are some unopened stuff out there - here's at the point showing the classic cow box with an unusual for them black crt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCQuUwHH45w&t=969

I do remember Gateway back in the 90's - was working in local government back then & Gateway was out supplier for a few years so saw hundreds of those machines. Some of their tower cases had an interesting design where you could convert to a desktop simply by moving the logo - there was no difference in the design between the two other than the logo

We're going underground, and this time it's not an inebriated banker crapping themselves, but Transport for London

Peter Mount

That API is public

I consume a lot of those API's from TfL, National Rail & Network Rail & it's quite normal for those feeds to contain data not for public consumption, even though the feeds are freely available.

Normally that information isn't to be presented to the public mainly to stop confusion - i.e. for NRE you can get a platform number for a train but it's suppressed so you shouldn't show it - mainly to stop people crowding on a platform before it's known the train will actually go there - e.g. late platform change. Busy stations can also suppress them again for crowd control.

The TfL one you can get from https://api.tfl.gov.uk/

Oh Hell. Remember the glory days of Demon Internet? Well, now would be a good time to pick a new email address

Peter Mount

Re: Sad to see it go

They never did archive images back then so a lot of my early stuff is now gone, although some text is still there, e.g. http://web.archive.org/web/19970821205517/http://maidast.demon.co.uk/finder/postgres/index.html

Ah those were the days when you only had a text editor to create anything...

Ofcom waves DAB radio licences under local broadcasters' noses as FM switchoff debate smoulders again

Peter Mount

Had one of those

I had the ICF-SW100 when it first came out & was a brilliant little world band radio - up until I lent it to my father & broke it. Gah.

These days I have an Eton G3 which is bigger but has similar battery life & slightly better SW coverage.

In reserve there's the emergency radio that has a manual charger (literally a handle you turn to charge it).

In both cases no way would DAB work & around here DAB signal is very poor

If you don't cover your Docker daemon API port you'll have a hell of a time... because cryptocreeps are hunting for it

Peter Mount

Their own fault opening the socket?

It must be a cloud thing as most Docker installations have their API sockets as a unix socket, so it appears as a file in the host's filesystem & as such isn't accessible from any network interface.

Instructions on how to expose the socket on the network is out there but even Docker's documentation states why that's a bad idea.

So for them to be exposed it's either someones done that manually or someone's provider has exposed the API socket without any appropriate Firewall rules against them

LibreOffice 6.4 nearly done as open-source office software project prepares for 10th anniversary

Peter Mount
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Re: Choice

I did the same thing back in the 90's when it was the original StarOffice (before Sun bought them & open sourced it as OpenOffice & hence before the fork to Libre).

I had back then users saying their Excel files were corrupt so I'd load it into my copy of Star, resave, hand it back & it worked for them - it was a life saver

Pi in the sky as ESA starts testing encrypted comms on International Space Station

Peter Mount

Re: Rad hardened Raspberry Pi

Reading the press release fully it's not in the crew area, that beige box in the articles photo is it.

"CryptIC measures just 10x10x10 cm."

“A major part of the experiment relies on a standard Raspberry Pi Zero computer,” adds Emmanuel. “This cheap hardware is more or less flying exactly as we bought it; the only difference is it has had to be covered with a plastic ‘conformal’ coating, to fulfil standard ISS safety requirements.”

Peter Mount

Re: Rad hardened Raspberry Pi

You do know there have been 2 PI's on board for a few years now?

What got me is that this one has a plastic case - the other two are in machined aluminium cases & had to go though all sorts of testing before they were allowed to go up there.

Fed-up graphic design outfit dangles cash to anyone who can free infosec of hoodie pics

Peter Mount

Re: Wish I would wear a hoodie at work

Fortunately I've not worn a strangulation device (tie) in years.

That said I can wear whatever I want - working from home has it's benefits :-)

LightSail 2 successfully unfurls its silvery solar sails, prepares to become a truly solar-powered satellite

Peter Mount

Re: Lightsail-assisted

It does have solar panels, batteries are for when it's got the Earth between it & the Sun & they wouldn't have lasted the 3 weeks or so since launch otherwise.

The momentum wheel is for attitude control. Can't use gas jets etc as there's no room for fuel & that could affect the sails as well.

Now it's deployed the next year is to attempt to change it's orbit using just photons from the sail. The momentum wheel will be used to tack, just like a traditional wind sail - so when it's orbit takes it towards the sun it's edge on so it has no effect & when going away from the sun it's full on to get the full benefit of the photons.

SpaceX reveals chain of events that caused the unplanned disassembly of Crew Dragon capsule

Peter Mount

Going by this description of what happened the 3d printed components of the Super Draco actually survived - it was a lump of fuel that hit a non-return valve that then blew the poor thin to bits that caused a fire (burning the Titanium piping at that point)


The thing is, this is why they test spacecraft & they used the already flown hardware because they wanted to know how it would cope when it's reused,

It's good this happened as they know what went wrong & they have a fix - better than having a "bag of mostly water" (STTNG reference there) on board when it failed.

We regret to inform you the massive asteroid NASA's all excited about probably won't hit Earth

Peter Mount

Re: What's in a name?

During one of the Apophis talks a couple of days ago the speaker started his talk with "Jaffa Kree" followed by "OK not many understood that one"

Peter Mount

Re: At Michael H.F. Wilkinson, re: shipping.

I don't know about now but 16 years ago took a small ETX telescope with me from the UK to South Africa & back. Just packed it in the middle of the rucksack with clothes wrapped around it & it survived the trip perfectly fine.

What's 23 times the size of Earth, uncomfortably warm – and has astroboffins excited?

Peter Mount

Re: Names

Pi Mesae a would refer to the star itself so b is the first planet & c the second.

New Horizons probe reveals Ultima Thule is huge, spinning... chicken drumstick?

Peter Mount

Next news briefing is at 7pm

Hopefully we'll see some of the first encounter images (low res) this evening at around 7pm UK time (2pm ET) as that's the next scheduled one on NASA TV

Tesla autopilot saves driver after he fell asleep at wheel on the freeway

Peter Mount

Re: Arrested for being drunk

You can still get charged for that:

Every person . . . who is drunk while in charge on any highway or other public place of any carriage, horse, cattle, or steam engine, or who is drunk

so you can lose your license when drunk whilst being taken home by your cow


Russian computer failure on ISS is nothing to worry about – they're just going to turn it off and on again

Peter Mount

Re: Which computers is this?

I meant iss bloody autocomplete & can't edit a post on mobile whilst in the pub, nor select the beer icon

Peter Mount

Which computers is this?

I presume this is a core system. The 100+ laptops on the issue were switched to Debisn 6 years ago

F***=off, Google tells its staff: Any mention of nookie now banned from internal files, URLs

Peter Mount

Re: Americans Don't Know...

Those who've spent any time over here in the UK know's what Bollocks means but most don't.

Hence why you have Wilma Flintstone say it in an episode & get away with it (Channel 4 broadcasted that episode specifically for that 1 line), or at the end of the film version of Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy you have one of the mice say "Oh bollocks!" - again got away with it as the American's involved didn't know ;-)

JAXA probe's lucky MASCOT plonks down on space rock Ryugu without a hitch

Peter Mount

There's more to come...

Not got a date for it yet but early next year the 4th rover is due to land & before the end of next year the orbiter does a few sampling landings before coming home... this is one busy mission

Amazon Alexa outage: Voice-activated devices are down in UK and beyond

Peter Mount

Re: 42

Or Captain Kirk has asked Alexa to calculate to the last digit PI

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This suggestion has been deleted by a moderator

Space station springs a leak while astronauts are asleep (but don't panic)

Peter Mount

Re: Duct tape

It's also good at both low & high temperatures, hence why there's some on the bed of my 3D printer

It liiives! Sorta. Gentle azure glow of Windows XP clocked in Tesco's self-checkouts, no less

Peter Mount

Some taxis still run XP

Ok it was about 4 years ago but was in a London Black Cab & the display's inside were in the middle of rebooting XP Embedded edition

Butcher by name, Butcher by nature? Capita finds new CFO

Peter Mount

Govia != Network Rail

Not sure why the subheadline says from Network Rail when he's from Go Ahead Group - i.e. they who runs Thameslink Southern & Southeastern.

As someone quoted me on Twitter earlier this morning: "From one **show to another, Seems appropriate", more so when dealing with Crapita

Google shaves half a gig off Android Poundland Edition

Peter Mount

Re: Old Linux ?

In recent months I've been playing with ESP8266 chips with NodeMCU - quite refreshing using something again with limited ram

Peter Mount

Re: Old Linux ?

Oh yes, a 386sx33 with a math co-processor & a then massive 4GB IDE drive. I had slackware running on it

Mastercard goes TITSUP in US, UK: There are some things money can't buy – like uptime

Peter Mount

Is still happening

I'm in the pub & a couple had had both their MasterCard cards #fail with transaction blood so ours still playing up.

No beer icon as its not offering me the option on my phone

Who fancies a six-core, 128GB RAM, 8TB NVMe … laptop?

Peter Mount

Re: What does it run?

That was a reduction hence I put -$107

Peter Mount

Re: What does it run?

So would I. Just took a look & hidden under a "more" button is this:

Ubuntu Linux 16.04 - $107.85

So they are definitely penguin friendly

Pi-lovers? There are two fresh OSes for your tiny computers to gobble

Peter Mount

I use alpine for most of my Docker containers due to it's small footprint - ~5MB for the base. Compare that to the basic Debian or Ubuntu images that ends up a big saving if all you want to run is some small app & none of the cruft.

I've not used Alpine on a standalone machine, but will be trying this one out, could be a good alternative for my cluster

Done and dusted? Vast storm gobbles NASA's long-lived Mars robot

Peter Mount

Opportunity already has her own XKCD




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