* Posts by Rob Willett

38 posts • joined 13 Jun 2008

Problems at Oracle's DynDNS: Domain registration customers transferred at short notice, nameserver records changed

Rob Willett

Re: Yet another reason Oracle sucks.

I use VMware Fusion on my Mac, used VMWare on my PC and also run ESXI 6.7 (?) on a server at home.

It's always run Linux on all the VMWare's at leats back to 2003 when I first got it. The licensing around Mac OS X is more severe but thats not the point.

I run ESXi 6.7 on a Z97X with 32GB of RAM and have around 12 Linux hosts including an Open Streetmap Server (and thats a memory hog). Fairly easy to setup but there is a bug in ESXI 6.8 which makes life difficult. However I reported another issue with licensing for the free version and got a US based rep call me to talk me through the issue. This was for the free version and I was in the UK. I was utterly astonished and still am.

So VMWare work well for me. The ESXI servers are great and save me building lots of dedciated servers.


Post Office faces potential criminal probe over Fujitsu IT system's accounting failures

Rob Willett

Re: Ooooh first post....

I think the downvote was because I put a holding sentence in whilst I wrote what I wanted to say, well I hope that was what the downvote was for... I never get first post and was delighted when I did. I have to take my little pleasures and successes as I can.

You could be right and it was somebody in PO who didn't like my comment.

There has been a mass of publicity about this, I'm hoping it keeps on coming. The SPM's deserve better than what they got and thankfully they have managed to get things into court and won against a far better funded adversary. Clearly the PO strategy was deny everything, fight everything and admit nothing. Mmmm... sounds very familiar.


Rob Willett

Re: Good for them & the judge

I think that if a malicious prosecution is brought and is successful, then it may well trigger a referral to a review board. Any lawyers here?

Rob Willett

Ooooh first post....

Wow, wow and wow.

I can't recall another trial with an IT element thats been so interesting. Autonomy/HP is really all about accounting and valuations <meh>.

This is about the stuff you and I do day in/day out, build, test, deliver, debug, repeat.

I wonder if the people who were giving evidence on behalf of FJS and PO thought that this was just another delivery board or SLT meeting and that being somewhat economical with the actualite was acceptable? Clearly not now. The revelation of a referral to the DPP means some of these people will now be consulting very expensive lawyers indeed. The boot is on the other foot.

Also how FJS/PO could keep a straight face when they said there were no bugs is beyond me. Any system of this size will be plagued with them, especially a client server system.

I also recall Private Eye taking up the cudgels on behalf of the SPM's as well.

I think this one will run and run, not perhaps as long as SCO/IBM and Groklaw but might be fun.

All the best to the SPM's, my advise is when your opponent is down on the floor, thats absolutely the best and right time to administer a damm good kicking.


Oi, Queenslander who downloaded 26.8TB in June alone – we see you

Rob Willett

Re: Quick maths

That made me laugh....Brilliant


'Literally a paperweight': Bose users fume at firmware update that 'doesn't fix issues'

Rob Willett

No upgrades available for Mk1 Soundlink

Unlikely as there isn't one.

It does sound very good through and I've compared it to a number of similar priced units. None sound much better or much worse at that price

Enjoying that 25Mbps internet speed, America? Oh, it's just 6Mbps? And you're unhappy? Can't imagine why

Rob Willett

The land of the free...

I live in rural England, in the Yorkshire Dales. BT were asked to wire the village and quoted some large figure and were told to go f*** themselves.

We then went to B4RN (sic) and we laid the cables for the ISP. We did all the donkey work, trenches, wayleaves, across fields and laid pipes to each house. B4RN did the techie stuff with fibre tp each house. We have 1GB fibre to the house as do most people in the village. 880mbit download and 890Mbit upload. Total price £30/month which is about $36/month. No restrictions on usage or downloads apart from not sharing. B4RN also offers pretty free services to charities and schools.

The only downside is I can't change the Genexis router to a decent one. I'll live.

I can't get over how screwed the US public is, You have no choice, crap service, politicians who lie (ok same as us). I thought America was the land of the free, From where Im sitting, I know who has the best deal...

Elections are coming, vote with your feet,

Stiff penalty: Prenda Law copyright troll gets 14 years of hard time for blue view 'n sue scam

Rob Willett

Agreed - Why black

I've been following this and the SCO nonsense from the start.

I've read the judges comments and never wondered if he was black, white, gay or straight. Don't care to be honest.

The judge did the right thing. The colour (spelt correctly) of his skin is immaterial.

Would you have said the White judge?


Drama as boffins claim to reach the Holy Grail of superconductivity

Rob Willett

Not the part of the civil service I work in

Am just doing a piece of work to exit a project within HO.

I can assure you that the team reviewing my project do not buy into "they seem like nice chaps, we don't want to cause any trouble"...

I will be grilled on budgets, timescales, resources, contracts, process maps, business usage, business change. Any slip up and I get to stand on the naughty step and start again. Most of the management are women and they appear to have no problem ripping into me and giving me a good kicking.

Though to be honest, I should be held to account, that's my job, deliver a project on time and to budget. Rather reckless of me, but not everything in the civil service is late or over budget.

Google Flutter hits beta: Another go at cross-platform mobile dev

Rob Willett

We have two Cordova apps, in the Apple and Google stores, "Jambuster" and "Jambuster Blackwall Tunnel". They provide personalised London traffic information and use a wide range of IOS and Android features. Both are written in TypeScript using Cordova and Ionic. Both work quite well. Whilst they aren't as fast as a native app, for us they're fast enough and look pretty native, e.g. dialogue boxes, notifications etc etc.

We also have a lot of plugins that work very well. The cordova plugin infrastructure is very important so unless this new framework from Google supports all the plugins, we won't be using it. We would also be concerned that Google will kill it in a years time leaving us high and dry. We've been burnt before.

We've also found that as the smartphones get faster and faster, the fact the code is JavaScript matters less and less.

We'll wait a year and see what happens. Let somebody else blaze the trail

Apple Cook's half-baked defense of the Mac Mini: This kit ain't a leftover

Rob Willett

Old Mac Pro's - Why they aren't so good

There's a couple of reasons why the old Mac Pro's aren't quite as good as we'd like.

1. The CPU's are quite old now. They are power hungry and noisy and not that fast.

2. There is no EASY way to add two decent graphic cards, I know because I did it, you can have dual 5770's but you can't put dual 280X cards in as the MB won't take the load. There are ways round this but they're not easy. This is the number one reason I didn't replace my old one.

3. USB 3.0 isn't built in, I know you can add an internal card, but thats more hassle. There's also not many PCI slots.

The big issue for us was the lack of dual GPU's. We really, really wanted to buy a new Mac Pro but the lack of expandability, the lack of decent GPU's, the sheer high cost meant we didn't buy a new mac pro and replaced our old Mac Pro with a hackintosh. if Apple get their act together and get a decent expandable mac for the 2018 market, we'll look again. Until then, forget it.

iPhone lawyers literally compare Apples with Pears in trademark war

Rob Willett

They're not trademarks so nothing to sue.

LinkedIn U-turns on Bluetooth-enabled 'Tinder for marketers'

Rob Willett

Re: Whats this GUI thingy?

No big deal. Just deleted the app. Never really used it so no loss.

PDP-10 enthusiasts resurrect ancient MIT operating system

Rob Willett

Re: DECs funny numbering sytem

I think the benchmark for this would be my cheap Fitbit or my coffee machine, never mind a cheap smartphone :)

UK's new Snoopers' Charter just passed an encryption backdoor law by the backdoor

Rob Willett

Re: Whats this GUI thingy?

I produce a free Android and Apple app for personalised London Traffic information, Jambuster.

It's made in the UK (I wrote it), it's only available in the UK, I only use https for traffic as Apple more or less forces me to.

Because I use https (and its not a banking app), I had to fill in and get US govt approval for my UK app if I wanted to put it on the Apple store, an Encryption Registration JBL0001. I had to submit this to Apple manually for the first few times for each release. Apple now give me a key to put in my XML file which means I don't have to submit the PDF again.

So a free UK app for a UK market needs US approval for the 'standard' cryptography in it, https. No data is stored in the US, no money passes through to the US, its free, I don't have any US traffic.

It may be box ticking, but its a pain for me.


Google man drags Emacs into the 1990s

Rob Willett

Re: Whats this GUI thingy?

Agreed, each of my emacs sessions has multiple frames within it.

As I survey the disaster zone that is commonly known as my desktop, I can see three sessions, two of them are editing multiple docs within the same session, basically a split session with a total of six docs being carefully edited (or as my colleagues would say, hacked together with little regard for coding or professional standards).

Another is ssh'ed through a number of servers to run some tests in our servers located abroard.

Another is setting up test data on a different server. Again with multiple sessions.

Ctrl-X-2, 3, Ctrl X-b, Ctrl-X-o are well know key combinations. So much so, I had to stop and think what the actual keypresses are.

Whilst I could run everything in one window, I have three HD monitors so use them.

Rob Willett

Re: Whats this GUI thingy?

We've invested a hell of a lot of time in notifications as they are a core part of what our app does. I have to say that the support for notifications is pretty poor though across the board.

We've experimented with OneSignal, OpenShift and finally went to PushWoosh as they were the only ones that had a model that worked across Android and IOS, specifically at the time with silent notifications for IOS. They didn't do silent notifications for Android but they do that now, just that their documentation is about 10 years out of date so they didn't announce it or tell anybody. Their model wasn't great, but at least it worked. Hence we built our own notifications system that work the way we think that mobile notifications should work. Our system handles silent and rich foreground, background, suspended and app not started in a consistent single code base across IOS 8, 9, 10 as well as Android 5.0 and 6.0. Whilst we're rather pleased with it, we shouldn't need to write a framework like this, it should be standardised and open to all.

We don't get into the structure of the local notification, so hadn't picked up on the at modification. That doesn't sound good. We are aware of the limitations and are looking to see if PushWoosh can pick up the local notifications. However we're trying to keep our notification framework vendor neutral. So we keep an eye on OneSignal and every few months check we can use their systems if need be. We don't want to be too tied into a paid for vendor.

We'd seen the PR's on GitHub and as you say, it doesn't bode well. I hadn't checked the fix for IOS 10, I do suspect/hope/pray thats an Apple cock up.

We don't touch Objective-C or Java. We detest and hate Java and everything about it. We're C hackers really. We think Objective-C is OK-ish but far too high level for us :)

Rob Willett

Re: Whats this GUI thingy?

Not sure, we use the local notifications plugin which worked well for us until IOS 10 and then it broke, There's a fork from EV that works so we use that, We also use the PushWoosh plugin. That also broke (badly) for IOS10. However to be fair to PushWoosh they worked with us pretty well to get the bug found and fixed.

We need both plugins to provide a sensible notification system that works when IOS and Android are both foreground, background, not started and to handle silent notifications for IOS and Android. Our use cases are pretty exacting :)

None of the plugins do this by themselves, especially the Android silent notifications, so we wrote our own hybrid system to do it all.

After saying that, notifications are by far the biggest chunk of code in our app. Handling the differences is a complete nightmare, hence we wrote our own hybrid to hide the pain,

I want to remotely disable Londoners' cars, says Met's top cop

Rob Willett

Re: I've seen this work!.......in cartoons

>> there's a crime in the Capital, load Sir Bernard in it and 'Twang' him in the general

there's a crime in the Capital, load Sir Bernard in it and 'Twat' him in the general

There fixed that for you...

Gov to pull plug on online ID verification portal Gateway in 2018

Rob Willett

Re: Pull the plug?

if the Dell Enterprise kit was as bad as I inherited at my last job, there was no need to type shutdown or hot the big button, the kit managed to do all that by itself.

Autonomy ex-boss Lynch tells of poisonous life within HP in High Court showdown

Rob Willett

Re: Better hope he has documentation

Seems like he's put down a lot of stuff that could easily be refuted if it was false.

Let's see if HP deny each of his claims. Easy enough for them to do at the right time.

I know a little about HP and the picture he paints rings a bell with me. But then again it has to for his case to stand up.

Vodafone: Dammit Britain, your emergency services need 4G!

Rob Willett

Re: Is there any 4G in the UK?

London is pretty good for 4G, at least where I live. I'm currently sitting in Greenwich Park with a coffee watching the Thames roll by. Very relaxing and I have three bars of 4g according to Apple.

Now how reliable that indicator is is another story.....

POW: Smut-seeding copyright troll slammed as 'extortionate'

Rob Willett

No, no, no.

Don't take them out and shoot them, please....

We lost the SCO show as that ran off the rails in the litigation with IBM, this is the next best thing. In some respects this is even better as I never got to see any video from the SCO show.

If this was on HBO I'd pay for it.

We need the Prenda team to get their day in court. I'd actually buy a plane ticket to the US to watch them. I've never seen some compelling drama. Stuff Poldark, sod Downton Abbey, forget about the new Star Wars. This is the place to be.


REVEALED: Reg trails claw along Apple's 'austerity' 21.5-inch iMac

Rob Willett

Re: Mundane, these days, includes home videos

Not sure I agree that you need 8GB to run iMovie.

I run Final Cut Pro X on my Macbook Pro (I know its a far better processor (i7 etc etc) but only has 8GB of RAM) with no major, or to be honest, minor issues. Just put together a six minute video for my daughters birthday which had hundreds of transitions and effects. I sometimes used the laptop display and sometimes a 23" monitor, it worked OK.

Final Cut Pro X does work even better with 16GB of RAM, but its perfectly usable with 8GB.

I never use iMovie anymore so can't comment on its memory usage, but would be a little surprised if the consumer version consumed more memory than the supposedly professional FCP X.

Facebook pays $19bn for WhatsApp. Yep. $45 for YOUR phone book

Rob Willett

The cost per user just went up...

Since discovering that Facebook has brought WhatsApp I have just deleted it from my phone. Not that I ever used it, not even once, but other friends have it and suggested I try it. Now I can't comment on what Facebook will do with WhatsApp but I'd hate to know. Now I need to look at what information WhatsApps did capture on me and see if there's the slightest chance I can delete it before FB gets their mits on it. I do realise the FB probably have a mass of data anyway, but I'll do what I can to fly against the inevitable...

I'd also like to thank Facebook for freeing up a few precious MB on my phone by their actions.

Rotten to the core: Apple’s 10 greatest FAILS

Rob Willett

Just seen the Hitler spoof

Just seen the mandatory Hitler spoof and have had to leave the office because I was laughing so much. Utter fucking genius.

I actually do use Final Cut Pro X and have never used the previous version so can't comment on the differences. I like Final Cut Pro, but it I have to say it does have a 'we'll do it for you, just trust me' type feel with it. Given I'm a complete noob on video editing, this may be very good for me, but I can see how it might drive seasoned professionals up the wall.

I suppose the difference is Emacs vs a fancy IDE. I do know Emacs, I write programs in Lisp under Emacs and use them for development, I know its foibles and I have learnt my C development workflow for the last 20-30 years using it, if I had to move to Eclipse or an IDE I suppose I'd struggle as well. Of course Emacs and C is the one true religion and all other editing systems (with the exception of sed, vi and cat) are apostasy. Now that has given me an idea for my own Hitler spoof :)

Oi, bank manager. Only you've got my email address - where're these TROJANS coming from?

Rob Willett

Similar issues...

I have had exactly the same issues with a number of sites. I register using a unique e-mail address that is only ever used for registration. I run my own mail server which uses certain rules to forward the unique mail address to a real e-mail address. If the rules don't match then the mail is simply discarded. I can then add specific e-mail addresses that are blocked.

I registered with the no2id people and have started receiving spam e-mails to that specific e-mail address. I tried to contact them and got zero response which is fairly ironic given how much they claim to value our privacy.

I've just looked through my blacklist and can see magazine subscriptions, easyjet4ski, worldpay, Adobe, easydns hammersnipe, appdev, groupon and other real outlets who appear to have lost, sold or given out a unique e-mail address. I have tried to contact every one and complain and with the exception of Adobe, none have ever admitted a problem. Its always been my issue never theirs.

My solution is easy, I simply block the address (15 secs) and then never do business with them.

What experiences to other people have when they try to complain about this?


Mac OS X, Safari and Cookies - Can't seem to get rid of message

Rob Willett

Re: Mac OS X, Safari and Cookies - Can't seem to get rid of message

I know it's bad form to reply to your own message, but having tested this in Chrome and Firefox, I have identical results.

Does this mean that the black cookie bar at the bottom is always there, on first entry, no matter what cookies are set?

Rob Willett

Mac OS X, Safari and Cookies - Can't seem to get rid of message


I'm unclear who to ask so thought I'd throw this open for anybody to help.

I'm running a Macbook Pro, OS X 10.8.4 with Safari 6.0.5.

Every time I go to www.theregister.co.uk, I get the banner along the bottom of the screen asking if I am happy with cookies. I always accept this, but I still always get this when I return to the front page. I only get this type of constant asking for cookies on www.theregister.co.uk.

I have checked in the Safari Preferences ->Privacy that I accept cookies, I have checked that three cookies are actually set in Safari, regmedia.co.uk, theregister.co.uk and theregister.com. I can delete these cookies, I go back to www.theregister.co.uk, I am presented with the black bar along the bottom of the screen, I accept, the cookies are stored in Safari, I do not delete them, I go back to www.theregister.co.uk and I'm still presented with the black bar. I do not get the black bar on a number of other pages, such as these forum pages.

I have worked my way through blocking all cookies to allowing anybody to set a cookie, all with the same results. I always without exception get the black cookie bar at the bottom. As already said, I do not get this on other sites.

I don't have any extensions loaded to manage cookies.

Any help or sensible suggestions welcomed.

What's most important? Bandwidth over kilo-miles, or milli-watts?

Rob Willett

Re: You don't think of laser beams with millimetre ranges,

This won't be used in a air open environment. There will be solid state devices perhaps a couple of mills in size which will have these lasers in. They will not be open to dust, or air or anything like.

Forget value-added broker jokes: Could YOU shift nuclear plant scrap?

Rob Willett
Thumb Up

I enjoyed it...

No idea why a poster thought it was dull, I thought it informative and entertaining.

A side of the business I know (and knew) nothing about, I'm not sure I know much more now, but the next time I'm off loading a whole heap of older stuff, I'll be a lot more demanding about how much to ask for.

Vatican shrugs off apocalypse, fiddles with accounts dept

Rob Willett

The Vatican is actually very enlightened and their Observatory is actually well respected in astronomy circles. They do real research and don't put their head in the sands re Bible etc. Indeed George Memaitre was one of the first people to propose the universe is actually expanding before Hubble proved it was. He also hypothesised the Big Bang and crossed swords with Einstein. A very, very clever man indeed who managed to combine his Catholic faith and Astronomy with apparent ease.

Not everybody in the Catholic Church believes the Sun goes around the Earth, though apologising for burning you at the stake for believing this can take some considerable time.

Google Adwords scammer charged premium to call NHS Direct

Rob Willett
Thumb Up

Tried this and couldn't get the scammer up...

...and then realised I had AdBlock running.

Since every computer I own has this I have forgotten all about ads. Wonderful add-on to your browser, mandatory in my view.


The forgotten, fat generation of Mac Portables

Rob Willett

The 68000 range of CPU's

The CPU's weren't RISC but CISC.

They were very nice to program down to assembly level. I recall writing a boot loader for one in the early 90's . It had a nice regular instruction set and "just worked".

Microsoft loudly disses secret 'Cloud Manifesto'

Rob Willett
Paris Hilton

Pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot...

Gosh who would have thought it, Microsoft complaining about lack of openness.

It must be in a different universe where Microsoft had deliberately obscured or not release some of the following information.

NTFS file system

SMB File system

Active Directory

Office .doc format

Hidden Windows API's

etc etc

Why Paris, well there's nothing secret about her!

IBM 'advises' staff to opt for a Microsoft Office-free world

Rob Willett
Paris Hilton

Not in the UK

I've in the UK and have not received any memo from IBM advising me to use anything else but Office.

As an exercise I just uploaded a 201 page contract I'm working on into Open Office and had a look at it. Mmm....looks nothing like the Word document I'm working on. The equivalent Track Changes in Open Office doesn't seem to work as well (not that Track Changes in Office is anything to write home about), table layout is a mess as well as how landscape/portrait handling is displayed. I've no doubt that Open Office would be able to do what we wanted if we had started using it from the outset, but it's not up to importing complex word docs and thats the problem. Whilst most of the world + dog have docs stored in whatever proprietry Office doc they use, they still need Office or some version of it.

One day we might be able to dump that bloated hog that is office, but not yet.

Paris as she's as much idea about formatting Office as OpenOffice has


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