* Posts by Colin Critch

106 posts • joined 21 Feb 2008


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

Colin Critch

Re: Forgotten memories

Standard SD cards will fail eventually if they do not have global or static wear levelling. If you are putting standard SD card into product you can not easily get to and replace you will be in a world of pain. There are techniques you can use like read into ram then never write which will make a standard SD card last a long time ( based on number of reboots). You could maybe use SPI flash for write storage instead with read and write disturb aware file-system or just use NOR flash with it’s slow erase time.

If you are gong to use a standard SD card then chose one that has android run support A1 or A2 as the flash endurance will make it last longer (like Sandisk).

So the way SD cards fail is that with read disturb multiple reads cause adjacent flash cells levels become harder to differentiate between a one or zero then you get bit flips on reads. These bit flips cause invalid files and file-systems, this makes your PI a bit flaky. If you reformat the SD card the it will be fine but the fact the pi can’t boot makes this difficult to solve remotely. If you are going to put PI in the field running from SD card make sure it has global wear levelling SD card as this is the only thing that can stop read disturb issues, they are expensive for a reason!

'Non-commercial use only'? Oopsie. You can't get much more commercial than a huge digital billboard over Piccadilly

Colin Critch

Re: Free for non-commercial use?

Try zoho assist it's only 200 a year for 25 unattended.

Meet the Frenchman masterminding a Google-free Android

Colin Critch

Re: At its foundation, it will be forked from LineageOS

Copperhead OS is dead the main dev deleted the update keys. No more updates!

Linux Foundation backs new ‘ACRN’ hypervisor for embedded and IoT

Colin Critch

Lets not do this

Essential ECU functions should be on a separate MCU in a separate box isolated from non critical systems like entertainment or LIN based open the windows devices. There is very good reason to isolate functionality and that is the TIME DOMAIN.

IT peeps, be warned: You'll soon be a museum exhibit

Colin Critch

Re: Starting on the Museum exhibits, ending on them.

I still do a tear-down just encase I can fix it.

PC not dead, Apple single-handedly propping up mobe market, says Gartner

Colin Critch

Re: Another reason private PC sales are flatlining

Crypto-asset miners have got a lot to answer for, including wasting power and putting up hardware prices.

I know in the old days it was cheaper to put together a box with a mother-board bundle that getting a price all in. Today it may be cheaper getting last years kit second hand, if you want bang for your quid.

Now even the AMD CPU are as expensive as Intel even though the heat-sinks are massive. Also people don't understand that more cores does not necessary mean a faster machine, some times its better to get less cores by higher frequency, dependant on your type of workload. Is a quad core at 1.2Ghz faster than a dual core running at 3.2Ghz?

Colin Critch

Hardware lasts

I agree. I am still using a 2009 era PC ( i7 8 logical cores, 24GB of RAM 60GB SSD and 3TB Disk and a GTX 750 TI) and a 28 inch screen. It still gets the job done! No plans to upgrade.

Firefox 57's been quietly delaying tracking scripts

Colin Critch

Making Firfox a bit better

I found these to make firefox a bit more better.

Add these add-ons

Cookie AutoDelets 2.0.1

Disable WebRTC 1.0.18

HTTPS Everywhere 2017.12.6

uBlock Origin 1.14.22

Type "about:config" in the address bar and press enter proceed by agreeing to the warning.

stop html5 from automaticly playing change media.autoplay to disable

Switch off cache if you are developing websites and want changes to be shown

There are browser.cache.*enable prefs like these: to disable



Allow https in browser bar "browser.urlbar.trimURLs" preference to turn its value to false.

Now type any website URL in the browser, HTTP:// will be shown greyed out/not highlighted for a change in Firefox 7 when compared to the previous versions.

Set “browser.urlbar.formatting.enabled” preference to false after the above mentioned steps to remove the highlighting.(Thanks to Anonymous commenter).

Fresh bit o' Linux to spruce up that ancient Windows Vista box? Why not, we say...

Colin Critch

Re: boys flogging themselves

Q40S seemed to be quite zippy for me compared to the KDE (Mint 18.2) I use everyday.

Colin Critch

Re: If you want to change the default browser from chrome to firefox

I could not find the graphical way of changing the browser. I tried it out yesterday in virtual box. Seems it comes with two chromes, one firefox and Konqueror web-browsers installed.

I bet as things progress this choice will be added to the graphical settings.

Colin Critch

If you want to change the default browser from chrome to firefox

If you want to change the default browser from chrome to firefox this is the command.

sudo update-alternatives --config x-www-browser

This seems like a good effort for a vista / XP replacement.

The Co-Op Bank's online banking has gone TITSUP*

Colin Critch

Punch tape

They had to edit together some punch tape to update the SSL cert

Webroot antivirus goes bananas, starts trashing Windows system files

Colin Critch

Re: They're running Norton Antivirus too...

GData seems good on Windoz 7 and has 2 scanning engines. Also F secure seems to have it's a good set of software.

Avoid the others



'Trash-80' escapes the dustbin of history with new TRS-80 emulator

Colin Critch

Re: Dragon 32

I will be firing up my Dragon 32 in June I still have the DASM cartridge :-)

Miss Misery on hacking Mr Robot and the Missing Sense of Fun

Colin Critch

Halt and catch fire

I found Mr Robot very good and also found the hidden fantastic gem "Halt and Catch Fire".

I tried slowing down some of the command line stuff show in Mr Robot, most of it made some sense. Mr Robot's brain does jump about a bit and I like some of the surprises that I got caught out on.

After 20 years of Visual Studio, Microsoft unfurls its 2017 edition

Colin Critch

Re: Always been clunky

SharpDevelop is free and good for small applications and services too

Don't worry, slowpoke Microsoft, we patched Windows bug for you, brags security biz

Colin Critch

I wonder if they signed it

I wonder if they signed it!

Windows code-signing tweaks sure to irritate software developers

Colin Critch

Re: H/W vs S/W vs cloud

I think the clown would object!

Finally, that tech fad's over: Smartwatch sales tank more than 50%

Colin Critch

Re: Garmin

Dear Anon,

I am far from advocating use of mobile phones for such things like texting, browsing or even sometimes talking hands free. I do use my phone as a satnav that sits in my line of sight in a holder. I set it up before I set off. I refrain from touching it while driving ( the phone that is). Is this more distracting than the mirror, oil light or the Speedo?

I sometimes see two people sat in car in front of me with the driver turning their head to talk to their passenger often completely oblivious to the speed limit they just broke. I don’t do this with my passengers because it seems safer not to. I also don’t have a problem with telling the passenger to shut-up either ( and it helps to reduce the number of future passenger requests).

Colin Critch

Re: Garmin

About as distracting as passengers or a speedo which obliviously need to be banned too.

US reactor breaks fusion record – then runs out of cash and shuts down

Colin Critch

Re: We should not forget

Just getting my Brownian motion generator ( and biscuit ), already wearing tinfoil today.

2,000 year old man found dead near 2,000 year old computer

Colin Critch

May be the blue circle of life wasting was around before windows...

Latest Intel, AMD chips will only run Windows 10 ... and Linux, BSD, OS X

Colin Critch

Re: Microsoft continues to destroy the PC

Correction . Microsoft killed windows not the PC.

Windows 10 needs proper privacy portal, says EFF

Colin Critch

Windows 2

Windows 2 only had 3 Floppies, it went down hill after that.

Eye of Sauron-themed trojan targets Russia, Sweden

Colin Critch

It could have been Nobbits!

It could have been Nobbits!

Microsoft axes 2,850 more Windows Phone, sales staff – a week after Justin Timberlake sang on stage for them

Colin Critch

Re: Also a name change-

Because they don't know anything else. Only eat the what you are given.

Microsoft's Windows 10 nagware goes FULL SCREEN in final push

Colin Critch

Re: A final throw of the Minty dice before

I have two old codgers on Linux and both have less issues than my windows users. You see, if you have never used a M$ OS there is nothing to relearn ( or to forget).

A perfect marriage: YOU and Ubuntu 16.04

Colin Critch

Re: kubuntu 15.10 to 16.04 works but 12.04 to 16.04 does not

Sorry my mistake. The years roll on too fast these days. I did mean 14.04 (and not 12.04), so I was a bit surprised when only 15.10 seemed to work.

kubuntu 15.10 to 16.04 works

Xubuntu 14.04 to 16.04 ( PVR + mythtv + kodi) (intel atom x 4). No upgrade

Kubuntu 14.04 to 16.04 ( i7) . No Upgrade

I think the kubuntu chaps are still preparing the 14.04 to 16.04 upgrade docs.

Colin Critch

Re: Why LTS?

Yes sometimes it is best to wait. Depends on what procument and software bashing you are planned to do in the next few months. It think it will be another year before I upgrade to 16.04 for web-servers.

Some laptops which need a bit of work already will get it sooner.

PC World's cloudy backup failed when exposed to ransomware

Colin Critch

Re: No! No! No!

Yeah Backup and Archive are two different things. I use RestoreSure because I can get older revisions back and users can restore ther own files without all the gettting an Admin involved.

Terrified robots will take middle class jobs? Look in a mirror

Colin Critch

Re: Terrified robots?

Or threaten to upgrade its OS to Windows 10 and stop .net 4 security updates

Microsoft buys SwiftKey, Britain's 'stealthiest software startup'

Colin Critch

Yet another paid for app I will now have to uninstall

Yet another paid for app I will now have to uninstall

Coding with dad on the Dragon 32

Colin Critch


I found my DASM cartridge in May when I had to move house. I loved the Dragon 32. I will try to get it running again over xmas. I wish I had rescued more of the programs now! Remember Donkey kong, Phantoms.

Turn-by-turn directions coming to Ordnance Survey Maps

Colin Critch

Re: Other products are available

Viewranger is the best I find for walking and it uses OS map tiles off-line and open street maps.

RIP Windows RT: Microsoft murders ARM Surface, Nokia tablets

Colin Critch

Re: hmm

Yes I have found FreeRTOS to be very good also on the ST Arm chips. Also there is good task and Queue support on the IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM.

Pity the poor Windows developer: The tools for desktop development are in disarray

Colin Critch

Re: I've given up writing applications for Windows full stop.

Just get a code signing cert and sign the exe and dll. Package with an installer using the code cert there. Warning will vanish.2 years for 120 quid.

BBC offers briefest of teasers for the next Doctor Who

Colin Critch


Tripitaka I think. Possibly one good use of a "Cloud"

Bugger the jetpack, where's my 21st-century Psion?

Colin Critch

Re: Now that no-one is using Symbian...

You could but it would take a long time having custom ASIC inside. I still have a psion netbook running epoc and a development one running debian ( before they got desperate and tried a CE port ).

Anyone interested it is just gathering dust?

500 MEELLION PCs still run Windows XP. How did we get here?

Colin Critch

Re: Hardware problems and upgraders.

I agree with you on this one. One problem that is not well know is that adobe made the latest flash require SSE2 CPU extension. So older PC can not play flash any more.

So for a usable Linux intall you need CPU with SSE2, 1GB Ram, SATA1 disk ( get a £60 SSD hybrid for ebuyer ). 64 bit and dual core is a nice to have, a CD rom drive. Distros that run well are SolusOS, Debian and Kubuntu.

Colin Critch

Re: What about fitness-for-purpose?

You run AVG! good luck with that. You know firewall don't stop zero day exploits? Guess you wont be running an software built on higher than .net 4 then.

Microsoft: YES Windows 8.1 is finished, but NO you can't have it

Colin Critch
Thumb Up

Just be carefull of the Adobe Flash SSE2 required problem ( and blue smurfs )

Hi Bob, good plan but.... I started to see blank video on BBC iplayer and youtube when using the latest flash on Debian and Ubuntu based distros (gnash was not good enough) when instaling on older PC's.

Currently Adobe have screwed older Linux PC's that don't have SSE2 in the CPU and don't seem to care.

See below


O2 pulls plug on OAP-monitoring service

Colin Critch

designs so wrong

Considering that manufactures of DECT and Mobile phones are still getting the designs so wrong for older and disabled people, this never had a chance of working.

Basic stuff they get wrong for people with parkinsons, memory problems and deaf:

1) Automatic answer and put on speaker phone at loudest volume. Why this cant be done staggers me.

2) Speak time and DATE every 30 minutes during the daytime for people that have memory problems

No point on having gps stuff if the person cant remember to pick up the phone. Much better to have camera tracking in the home to check against falls.

Author Iain (M) Banks falls to cancer at 59

Colin Critch

RIP Iain

Thanks for the fantastic SF. Here is to you.

Thirty-five years ago today: Space Invaders conquer the Earth

Colin Critch

Re: I miss the invader's sound

Thanks PaulyV. It was Astron Belt. As you say stunning only 5 years after Space Invaders. Now does anyone remember that 3D film Treasure of the Four Crowns a bit later that blew me away at the time.

Well now stuck on Crysis 3, but still enjoying Skyrim at level 51, off to write some code now.

Colin Critch
Thumb Up

I miss the invader's sound

I remember playing Space Invader with my mates through the night like until 5am and the next day just hearing space invaders all the time. The Tron and Star Wars arcade games that popped up later got lots of attention from me too.

Now there was a video disc arcade game on Margate Pier, I can’t remember the name of ( leading edge at the time ) that was fantastic, but not as profit generating as the penny tilt machines ;-)

Who should play the next Doctor? Nominations needed!

Colin Critch

Nick Frost

Nick Frost playing the doctor like in "Attack The Block"

More than half of Windows 8 users just treat it like Windows 7

Colin Critch

Try http://www.solusos.com

Try http://www.solusos.com it is good on low resource PCs

Serial killer hack threat to gas pipes, traffic lights, power plants

Colin Critch

legacy software

I suspect that many of these systems use convertors because they are a bit legacy and do not have the credential functionality built in to the main control software. Some will be truly distributed and will need to be connected from different IP addresses while others can be locked down to a single IP. Even in the locked down case it will still be vulnerable from man in the middle routing attacks if the packets are not encrypted. The safest way in the single IP case would be to have paired convertors, doing certificate based SSL. This would mean the two legacy systems being connected would not need software change, just best practice IT configuration control and some routing rules.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021