* Posts by Peter Mount

230 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Feb 2008


NASA's Lucy probe scores a threefer as it flies by first target in 12-year mission

Peter Mount

Yes trojan on it's own means for a specific planet not just Jupiter.

Venus has 1 (temporary)

Earth has 2 known at L4, none at L5

Mars has 14

Jupiter over 11 thousand

Neptune 28

Uranus 2


Peter Mount

"Launched on October 16, Lucy will study Trojan asteroids."

Just for clarity, Lucy was launched on October 16 2021 and not this October (2023) ;-)

Mac daddy Woz hospitalized in Mexico over mystery malady

Peter Mount

According to the BBC it was a minor stroke https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-67366306

Revamped Raspberry Pi OS boasts Wayland desktop and improved imager tool

Peter Mount

Not all PI hardware works with Bookworm yet

I mentioned this before, when Bookworm first came out for the PI I tried it on a PI4.

It worked fine, except for the attached official touch screen which would display but the touch interface would not work under Wayland. Switching it back to XOrg allowed the touch screen to work fully.

So as I mentioned back then, Wayland has a long way to go for some setups, even with official Raspberry PI hardware

GNOME developer proposes removing the X11 session

Peter Mount

RaspiOS going wayland - add touch screens to the list of things that break

I updated a PI4 yesterday to RaspiOS bookworm and it now defaults to Wayland on PI 4's and higher.

It started up fine, but as I have the official RPI Touchscreen on that machine the touch didn't work.

In the end I had to disable a driver which then broke Wayland. I had to revert to Xorg to get a working machine with touch.

A lot of people keep pushing Wayland but to me it's nowhere near ready for a lot of people with specific usecases.

Eta Aquariid meteor shower peaks this weekend, and will be one for the ages

Peter Mount

British weather

The OatMeal has a cartoon about "celestial events" and the weather obliging by getting in the way.


Looking at the forecast for here, that would be true for tonight. Sunday night (3am Monday) looks possible though

US watchdog grounds SpaceX Starship after that explosion

Peter Mount

Re: Car

Yes, it was the NSF camera van so was intentionally placed there & they knew the risks.

There is a members only video showing the damage to it up close. One camera attached got totally destroyed with the main part of it currently awol, unknown if they will find it & it's SD card. The aluminium mount it was on was snapped cleanly at the welds to the base.

The car, however, surprisingly did start up afterwards so they could remove it to an other location.

Smallsats + solar sails = Photos of exoplanets at 1970s digital camera resolution

Peter Mount

Re: Proper sailing spaceship????

You might want to look up the Light Sail 2 mission by the Planetary Society. It showed it was possible to perform orbital maneuvers using just the sail.

Meta confirms decentralized Twitter rival in the works

Peter Mount

The opensource world has already done a Failbook style frontend for the Fediverse https://friendi.ca/

Stats about follower count and reach don't apply in the non-commercial world & yet the businesses seem to think they know best.

For example, Mastodon and PeerTube is doing pretty well for me. In the past week I've had more interaction on Mastodon alone than I've had on the old bird site for the past year. That's with no algorithms pushing content to people.

Shows how many don't want stuff pushed to them - oh no adverts, so they can't make money... a win for us

AmigaOS 3.2.2 released for those feeling nostalgic

Peter Mount

+1 on item 3 as today is the 45th anniversary of the H2G2 radio series first airing!

Peter Mount

Part of that confusion with 3.x is down to who made that release.

Commodore did 3.0 and 3.1

Hyperion released theirs under 3.1.4 and 3.2 and worked with all 68k processors.

Haage Released 3.5 & 3.9 - both of these needed a 0x020 or later and min 4MB ram

Peter Mount

Time to update

Looks like I need to find a spare moment to upgrade my Amiga A1200

BT in tests to beam down 5G coverage from the stratosphere

Peter Mount

Even areas near existing masts don't get coverage

Where I am I get 4G easily - don't have a 5G phone but near by Maidstone does have it so that's even close. However if I go to my local Pub, which is a 10 minute walk from home I rarely get anything better than 2 or 2.5G let alone 3 or 4G, sometimes nothing at all. The nearest masts are about 1.5 miles away in several directions.

Somehow I don't see that part of Kent getting any improvements from this - this would only work for the wildest areas.

The plus side is that I can have a few pint's without people being able to get in contact other than the Pub's WiFi (if that even works)

Virgin Orbit doesn't

Peter Mount

That angle wasn't really that odd - you should look at the launch angles most polar launches from the US (both East & West coast) take.

Normally the initial launch is at an odd angle to avoid land but then the second (or later stages) then perform a dog-leg maneuver to change it into it's desired orbit.

That said, I did see somewhere the trajectory was something like 137 degrees which is still east of south. Some of the maps used in some diagrams were pretty poor which would help to confuse things

Twitter engineer calls out Elon Musk for technical BS in unusual career move

Peter Mount

Re: The app doesn't make RPC calls?

You have heard of RFC 1149?

Twitter begs some staff to come back, says they were laid off accidentally

Peter Mount


As someone who used to use Twitter a lot, it is definitely noticeable.

I joined Mastodon back in April and it's been refreshing, none of the bitterness that you would normally see on the birdsite is visible.

However over the last week it has been evident that his takeover has had an effect - in that my timeline has definitely slowed down. It used to be really busy first thing in the morning or in the evening UK time, but it's now like a ghost town (hence the title).

From what I can see, mainly from the daily email/spam of whats been happening, of those new accounts, they seem to be porn bots. Before it used to be handy seeing 6 tweets I probably missed over the previous day. For example this morning's email is 2 useful tweets & 4 scantily clad images which I don't want & could get someone in trouble if they opened it up in a work setting.

Xiaomi reveals bonkers phone with bolted-on Leica lens that will make you look like a dork

Peter Mount

Samsung 10 years ago?

Sort of reminds me of my old Samsung Galaxy Camera from 2012 - which was an android 3G phone with a big lens attached to the front.

I've still got it, although it's a tad slow and under-specced compared to today's offerings.

He's only gone and done it. Ex-Register vulture elected to board of .uk registry

Peter Mount

Re: Chew gum and kick ass?

Sadly that video is unavailable :'(

Twitter edit button coming later this month ... for some

Peter Mount

Mastodon has Delete & Re-draft

Been using Mastodon since April and that does have a "Delete & Re-draft" option which does as it says, deletes the post & put's it back in the editor so you can re-draft it. Any interaction between the original post & delete is then lost which is a good thing as that prevents misuse.

So if this is not an undo but a true edit then expect it to be abused. They could do one version, people interact then change it but the interactions remain and if the context has changed it could get messy

GitLab plans to delete dormant projects in free accounts

Peter Mount

Always keep a backup, cloud/remote sites can vanish

Although unlikely Github would do the same thing I've been using gitea locally to keep a backup of all of my public repositories as it has a handy mirror mode which can keep itself in sync with anything pushed to the remote.

It's also handy for local stuff I don't want public (like personal ansible scripts etc) or stuff not yet ready to be made public.

I remember a similar issue when Sun's code hosting Kenai went offline after Oracle bought them.

Meta proposes doing away with leap seconds

Peter Mount

Are you thinking of the 1024 week number rollover in GPS (about 19.6 years)?

The last time was 2019 and the next 2038.

There is a new version of the protocol which adds 3 bits to the week number so it's first rollover is in 2137.

The underlying second count however remains constant so when a leap second occurs then the offset is just increased (or rarely decreased)

First-ever James Webb Space Telescope image revealed

Peter Mount

Re: Correction or have I misunderstood...?

It's in a halo orbit around L2 so the Sun is never actually behind the Earth from JWST's point of view.

The Raspberry Pi Pico goes wireless with the $6 W

Peter Mount

Re: Pounds?

Just ordered one & it was £5 + VAT & Shipping, so £6 + shipping

IETF publishes HTTP/3 RFC to take the web from TCP to UDP

Peter Mount

Re: TCP needs a few back-and-forths

That was the case when delivering maps online, think openstreetmap etc

Although you might have the server maps.example.com before http/2 it was best to have a.maps.example.com, b.maps.example.com, c.maps.example.com & d.maps.example.com so that you could request the map tiles across all of them & get more throughput as browsers limited it to 4 connections per domain name.

Since http/2 however, it's now better just to have the original maps.example.com site as it can send just as many down the single connection. Most libraries now support this, so if the connection is http/2 it ignores the alternates.

Brute force and whiskey: The solution to all life's problems

Peter Mount

Re: Narrowing it down

Going by some of the early history of the JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) that probably has more truth to it.


Four times that day they tried to test fire their small rocket motor. On the last attempt, they accidentally set fire to their oxygen line, which whipped around shooting fire! These were the first rocket experiments in the history of JPL. They tried again on Nov. 15, 1936, and their experiment finally worked.

Logitech Pop: Stylish, portable, but far from the best typing experience

Peter Mount

I made the foolish mistake of looking at their site - there are other colour schemes which are even worse than that one

Google keeps legacy G Suite alive and free for personal use

Peter Mount

I've already migrated

As I only used it for email & didn't use any of the other services at the end of April I migrated away and I'm back running my own mail server.

To be honest it's making things a bit easier and more flexible.

GitHub to require two-factor authentication for code contributors by late 2023

Peter Mount

Re: Git is distibuted, so I hear

I'm the same, GitHub is good for making a project discoverable.

I run my own instance of Gogs locally for hosting private repos. Handy whilst working on a project before pushing it to GitHub to make it public.

It also supports mirroring so you can make a local copy of a GitHub (or any other git repo) and it will keep it in sync.

Rocket Lab to attempt mid-air recovery of descending booster

Peter Mount

Stream URL now available

Here's the Youtube link for the actual stream of tomorrows launch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nODVPGHQcc&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=RocketLab

It's scheduled to start at 23:05 April 29th, weather permitting

Peter Mount

Re: I would love to watch this!

Usually on their stream on youtube https://www.youtube.com/c/RocketLabNZ

IoT biz Insteon goes silent, smart home gear plays dumb

Peter Mount

Re: Only just started with Home Automation

They'll be docs as well as multiple git repositories for the software ;-)

Peter Mount

Re: I'll allow myself a smug grin

See my comment I just posted below - Zigbee does work with no external connection required as I've just built a system from scratch.

Peter Mount

Only just started with Home Automation

As I've just bought the house I've been renting for quite some time I've finally got around to automating it.

No external services, just a Raspberry PI 4B with a Phoscon RaspBee II which connects to the GPIO pins & running zigbee2mqtt & some custom home written software.

Tried OpenHAB & Home Assistant & I either had issues with the UI not working or it was overkill for what I wanted it to do.

So right now it's all Zigbee based lights, light switches even the smoke detectors link up to it - with no external services in use*. If a switch fails it's probably a battery replacement but they are all standard batteries.

* I tell a lie, it is submitting stats to Graphana so I can monitor stuff but that's also my own server so my own fault if it goes down.

Amazon opens MASSIVE AI speech dataset so Alexa can speak your language

Peter Mount

Re: Note to self:

Obligatory XKCD https://xkcd.com/1807/

Three Twilio developers charged with insider trading

Peter Mount

Re: Profitable development

That was part of the plot line for one of the Superman movies with Richard Pryor doing exactly that

Dev rigs up receipt printer to spit out GitHub issues

Peter Mount

Re: PI Pico would be tricky

I do have sitting here for another project an add-on board for the RP2040 with an Ethernet jack on it (did see they had one with the pico chip on the same board).

50 lines of Bash to bring a Wordle fan out of their shell

Peter Mount

Re: Prior art?

TechTangents released a video yesterday showing both Mastermind and an electronic game which does look like a calculator.

Link should show the calculator in that video


Crack team of boffins hash out how e-scooters should sound – but they need your help*

Peter Mount
Thumb Up

The last couple of years there's been one locally

In 2020 & 2021 there's been a young lass who's been riding a scooter past my house on a semi-regular basis.

I know when she's passing by when there's this beep-beep-beep as she goes past.

It's actually a nice, clear & plain to alert someone near by that she's there.

She probably doesn't realise what good she's doing but one to push forward as the way to go,.,,

Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes found guilty of fraud: Blood-testing machines were vapourware after all

Peter Mount

20 or 80 Years?

The BBC was reporting earlier she could get 80 years, so was surprised to see 20 here?

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