* Posts by Jim Willsher

156 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Mar 2008


Riding in Sidecar: How to get a Psion online in 2023

Jim Willsher

Someone with clearly too much time on their hands.

Apple aims to replace Broadcom, Qualcomm wireless chips with its own

Jim Willsher

and so Qualcomm is expected to continue to supply all the 5G chipsets for iPhones in 2022.


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

Jim Willsher

As a child at high school, I fell for the long weight thing. I still haven't forgiven my CDT teacher and I think he's dead now.

Vodafone to move SAP S/4HANA ERP system to Google Cloud

Jim Willsher

Re: They’re HUUUUUGE.

I was going to say the same. Yeah huge! All 300!

Microsoft's Surface Laptop Go 2: $599 for 11th gen Intel CPU

Jim Willsher

MS still quotes 4GB as being the minimum required for Win 10/11. We all know that's bollocks but I guess if they launched the lowest spec machine with 8GB or 16GB it would blow a hole in their story.

Tweaks to IPv4 could free up 'hundreds of millions of addresses'

Jim Willsher

I'm willing to bet my house that I'll not see it overtake IPv4 during my lifetime, and I'm only aged 49.999999.

Jim Willsher

Re: Party Line

And it works, but it's impossibly to host anything. Great for Joe Public, but probably not for most of the readers of this website.

Jim Willsher

Most carriers support it; backbone providers etc. But most ISPs - in the UK at least - who provide the last mile. BT, Virgin and EE are three, and they probably cover 80% of the domestic endpoints. I know you asked about non-domestic but the reality is that most users and probably most SMEs use domestic-class connections.

China again signals desire to shape IPv6 standards

Jim Willsher

We can pontificate all we like. The fact that IPv6 adoption is hovering around 37% a full ten years since IPv6 Day tells us that it has been a fundamental flop. We can all speculate on the reasons - firewalls, ability to memorise addresses etc. But TEN YEARS? Really?


Toshiba reveals 30TB disk drive to arrive by 2024

Jim Willsher

Never in a million years would I trust that much data to mechanical hard drive. Impressive feat, but no thank you.

James Webb Space Telescope has arrived at its new home – an orbit almost a million miles from Earth

Jim Willsher

Re: thank you

Yeah but Guardian and quality aren't normally used in the same sentence.

Jim Willsher

It doesn't matter how you look at this, it's a pretty damned good bit of work by some very clever people.

Spend 10 years building something that's several metres tall, sit it on top of a "bomb waiting to happen", sling it into space, let it hurtle along at ~10 KM/s (gradually slowing) for around a million miles, and it arrives on time and is exactly where it's supposed to be. No options to retry it or "have another go", and no-one forgot to remove that last cable-tie.

Good design and proper planning really is worth the effort.

IPv6 is built to be better, but that's not the route to success

Jim Willsher

Re: Won't happen in my lifetime

I'm also 49, I've worked in IT for 27 years (developer, networking, now a global CTO) and I agree. The IETF needs to fall on its sword and accept that it has failed.

Look at the failings of IPv4, look at the barriers to adoption of IPv6, and find some middle ground. IPv6 throws the baby out wit the bathwater.

Take NAT for example. Yes, people see it as a challenge. But it's great for having simple firewall rules, where the default is to disallow all inbound traffic.

Take addressing. Anyone in IT can easily remember IP addresses as they walk from one end of the office to the other; IPv6 address blocks are longer, with hex, and are just less memorable.

Take the concept of all devices having a public IP address. Maybe I don't want that?

I'm not posting this as an AC, and I'm happy to be shot down. But I don't think I'm wrong. If IPv6 brought enough advantages, the challenges would be overcome, people would find a way. But there are very few advantages at the "IT department level" and the "end user level", so there's simply no appetite for the effort.

VMware recalls full vSphere update over driver dramas

Jim Willsher

The update to Workstation last month shipped with the VM Compatibility dropdown displaying "Beta" instead of the actual version. So yes, VMWare's QA department seem to have gone AWOL.

Reg reader returns Samsung TV after finding giant ads splattered everywhere

Jim Willsher

Re: Opted out

We watch a few things on iplayer, but that's about it. We do have a TV in the house, a 2016 or 2015 23" Bravia, which does Freeview.

Relics from the early days of the Sinclair software scene rediscovered at museum during lockdown sort-out

Jim Willsher

And I didn't even know this place existed :)

I've been to a similar museum in Seattle, which is fantastic. But now that I know about this, I feel a visit to Swindon is due.....

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair: British home computer trailblazer dies aged 81

Jim Willsher

Re: Rest in peace

POKE 23609, 255 still sits in my memory. 30+ years on. I have no idea what it did but bizarrely I can still remember it. I must google it and see if anyone else can weirdly remember what it did.

Jim Willsher

Re: Part of wished I had met him...

I was fortunate to do so. Every now again there used to be computer fairs in London - Earls Court I think. My dad took me down there (from Cheshire) for the day and we visited, bought some stuff, toured the stands etc. Sir Clive was there (I don't think he was a Sir back then) and we had a brief chat and shook hands etc. Probably well over 35 years ago now but I still remember it vividly.

Jim Willsher

Sad. I was born in 1972 and learned programming on a ZX81; my dad had a QL. Yes, the microdrives were horrific and yes, it was annoying loading games from cassettes. I still have a copy of a program listing (in BASIC of course) I wrote for the Disciple, a third party storage system for the Spectrum.

But it's where I cut my teeth. Fast forward to now and I've been a tech lead in software services companies and I am now a CTO, so in retrospect he was responsible for mapping out much of my career.

Those ZX and X keys really took a hammering on Daley Thompson's Decathlon though. And I didn't buy a C5.

Microsoft's Cloud PCs debut – priced between $20 and $158 a month

Jim Willsher

As others have eluded to....I really don't see the point.

- If you have a low-end PC and you want a high-end experience, the money you spend on subscription would be better spent on your own tin

- If you have a high-end PC then you achieve nothing, you already have what you are striving for.

- If you have an phone/tablet and you want a PC you'll go demented without a keyboard and mouse, and after a year's subscription you could buy a low end PC anyway.

Absolutely pointless.

The PrintNightmare continues: Microsoft confirms presence of vulnerable code in all versions of Windows

Jim Willsher

Re: As much as I like to dump on microsoft a pile...

Company size doesn't and shouldn't matter. Think of all those small companies, charities/not-for-profit that probably only have one server, and who probably also have a userbase that could fall victim to malware. Remember that any authenticated user can now own the domain....or put differently, Mary in Accounts just needs to run some code from an email or URL and she just potentially created a new domain admin account.

Mark it in your diaries: 14 October 2025 is the end of Windows 10

Jim Willsher

Re: Obvs

This. And a likely trickle-feed (daily) of updates, same as O365, which we know breaks things….

Copper load of this: Openreach outlines 77 new locations where it'll stop selling legacy phone and broadband products

Jim Willsher

So 2025 is Openreach's target stop-sell for coper.

2025 is also the UK Government's target date for 85% of the country to be able to get gigabit broadband.

Assuming both are using fibre as the medium, what happens to the 15% if they want a new phone line? Think rural here.

The swift in-person response is part of the service (and nothing to do with the thing I broke while trying to help you)

Jim Willsher

I did something worse.

Remote Desktop onto a server, happily working away editing code in Notepad++. Cue 5PM and I suddenly remember I’m late and will be slaughter by SWMBO.

Ctrl+S, exit, start, shutdown, confirm, grab coat, run.

I’m now sitting in the car on my way home whilst rest of office is wondering why they can’t access stuff.

Broadband plumber Openreach yanks legacy copper phone lines in Suffolk town of Mildenhall en route to getting the UK on VoIP

Jim Willsher

Yep that was what prompted me. I’m connected to ESESS which has precisely zero cabinets….

Jim Willsher

Honest question: what does it mean for rural exchanges (like the one near me) where everything is copper and nothing is fibre. Will it still be copper to the house, and it's just VoIP from the exchange side of things?

We were 'blindsided' by Epic's cheek, claims Apple exec on 4th day of antitrust wrangling

Jim Willsher

I think the IE vs Netscape as about MS promoting its own browser and making it the default. They never actually prevented people using Netscape, they just made it harder for the people who thing browser == computer == internet == www etc. Whereas Apple flatly block it. You can't install apps without going via App Store, and you can't pay for them (or in-app purchases) without also going through same store.

Highways England seeks vendor to replace Windows 2003-based pavement management systems

Jim Willsher

Re: pavement == road

Sounds like they maintain their IT landscape with as much love as they maintain the roads/pavements, e.g. ignore it.

Openreach out and hike prices on legacy fixed-line products: Broadband plumber pulls trigger after Ofcom gives the nod

Jim Willsher

And for those of us who can't even get FTTC, we must be on the legacy legacy legacy kit. And who has responsibility for that? Yep, Openreach.

OVH data centre destroyed by fire in Strasbourg – all services unavailable

Jim Willsher

The data centre used, until 3-4 years ago, is housed in a very tatty part of Milton Keynes, on an industrial estate (yeah, industrial estate in MK doesn't exactly narrow it down). To gain access it's a side door, like you'd have to get into your garage, with a letterbox and a doorbell. The little nametag under the doorbell simply says "private morgue".

Apple iOS 14.5 will hide Safari users' IP addresses from Google's Safe Browsing

Jim Willsher

Does anyone still use Safari on an i-device? Chrome all the way.

The Fat iPhone, 11 years on: The iPad's over a decade old and we're still not sure what it's for

Jim Willsher

I use my iPad for one thing, and one thing only, and that's for watching downloaded Amazon Prime films when I am criss-crossing the Atlantic on a plane, and there's nothing I like the sound of on the IFE.

So clearly it's sat on a shelf since last March, unused.

When it dies, it won't be replaced.

Apple suffers setback in epic Epic Games games fight: Federal judge zaps damages counterclaim

Jim Willsher

Despite not being a game player, and owning several I devices, I am firmly in support of Epic here. 30% is greedy, I am sure if that were cut to 15% Epic would be satisfied.

I can subscribe to Amazon Prime, Netflix, Spotify, Office365 etc outside of the App store, yet download apps from the App store for free, and Apply is happy with this. So the precedent is already set, for Apple to be happy for apps to reside in the store and have those apps serve content an functionality which are paid for outside of the App store.

Microsoft? More like: My software goes off... Azure AD, Outlook, Office.com, Teams, Authenticator, etc block unlucky folks from logging in

Jim Willsher

I was in the middle of reconfiguring my home LAN and thought it must be something I had screwed up. I wasted a good hour before giving up and going to bed. Sigh.....

Halloween approaches and the veil between worlds wears thin – the Windows 10 October 2020 Release walks among us

Jim Willsher

20H2 build showed up on our WSuS at the weekend, and we are not in any beta or early release channels. I went ahead and installed it anyway on laptop, and it is indeed now running 19042.508.

Can't say I can notice any differences to 2004 release.

Ancient telly borked broadband for entire Welsh village

Jim Willsher

BBC article covering same story also says second-hand.

Trucking hell: Kid leaves dad in monster debt after buying oversized vehicle on eBay

Jim Willsher

Re: Unlikely story

>>>19000 is above credit limit.

My personal Amex has a £32k limit, and I once (two years ago) had to purchase a server for work and claim back on expenses, all £30k of it.

Amex didn’t bat an eyelid (although to be fair I had made several expensive flight purchases in the previous few weeks).

My Avios balance did well out of it.

Mainframe madness as the snowflakes take control – and the on-duty operator hasn't a clue how to stop the blizzard

Jim Willsher

This reminds me of the BBC computer network we had at 6th form college at the tail end of the eighties. Part of the class (a level) covered assembler.

Two of our class (names withheld) wrote a keyboard logger that sat in RAM and looked for a sequence of characters - LOGIN I think, and then stored the following 10 keypresses to RAM. It was planted on a few PCs and at the end of the day the miscreants checked the RAM. Eventually they struck gold and found the teacher's credentials - I can still remember his username and password to this day, 30 years later.

Armed with the keys to the kingdom, and after much snooping around and high jinx messing with users details, the final act of fun was to change the "logout" screen.

Those of you with long memories of said BBC networks may recall the logout command was *FW, and it displayed a huge FAIRWELL screen. For the best part of the Friday of that week, the logout screen now showed FUC*WELL instead (with a K, obviously).

Much giggling took place, and the lab was shut for the whole of the following week.

The names of the guilty students were never identified, although I can probably be bought.....

It could be 'five to ten years' before the world finally drags itself away from IPv4

Jim Willsher

So I'll play devil's advocate here. I just checked my RUT950 screen and BOOM there's an IPv6 IP address showing. This is on EE 4G.

What next?

If I did want to get IPv6 enabled on my LAN, where IP(v4) addresses are handed out by my Windows server DHCP, what do I need to do next? Do I need to configure default gateways somewhere, if so what? Using the online IPv6 websites suggests I have no IPv6 connectivity, so what do I need to configure/enable? IPv6 is enabled on my NIC.

And is there a recommended forum or group of users willing to help others get stuff working? Yes I know there's a ton of documentation out there, but it's always easier to get real help from real people.

Jim Willsher

Re: If Only...

You may be winning on the technical front, but 20 years down the line and only 30% adoption, something about it ain’t palatable!

Jim Willsher

Re: One for every grain of sand...

You are right, it does work. 70% of the world hasn’t adopted it is 20 years. Game over.

Jim Willsher

My ISP is EE, a 4G provider. They cannot provide me any IPv6 connectivity, even if I wanted it. I don't have any other providers available due to my location.

Spot the problem.

Watchdog slams Pentagon for failing – for a third time – to migrate US military to IPv6

Jim Willsher

20 years down the line, low adoption, and even the DoD can't do it. The IETF needs to admit defeat and launch something that has the simplicity of IPv4. And that means a nice NAT setup that makes security and setup easy for everyone to adopt.

Come kneel with us at UK's Cathedral, er, Oil Rig of the Canal: Engineering masterpiece Anderton Boat Lift

Jim Willsher

Brilliant. I grew up in Little Leigh, which is surrounded by the Trent and Mersey canal, I recall using the boat lift in the early eighties (I must have been aged 8 or 9) on a day trip; this was shortly before it closed when the "save the boat lift" publicity boomed. I then moved to Scotland, but visited the lift last year and was amazed to see not only the lift but also all the surrounding Brunner Mond salt flashes had been transformed to parkland and joined up with Marbury Country Park.

The lift was a magnificent bit of engineering, and I remember following events as it was refurbished and reopened..

One day I'll make that trip from the T&M to the Weaver on a boat again.....

You. Drop and give me 20... per cent IPv6 by 2023, 80% by 2025, Uncle Sam tells its IT admins after years of slacking

Jim Willsher

Re: Crap

Same with me.My home internet connection is provided by EE over 4G, and there's no IPv6 option, just IPv4 and CGNAT.

I'm not Boeing anywhere near that: Coder whizz heads off jumbo-sized maintenance snafu

Jim Willsher

I'm reading this somewhere over Canada using onboard wifi on one of BA's finest.........eek.....

Y2K, Windows NT4 Server and Notes. It's a 1990s Who, Me? special

Jim Willsher

Closest I've come is being on an RDP session all day, then finishing my work in a hurry and clicking Shutdown. GPO had been configured to not display any warnings so I clicked Shutdown then left for the day.

Completely unaware that I had shut down a remote server and left my own PC chugging away merrily.

Premiere Pro bug ate my videos! Bloke sues Adobe after greedy 'clean cache' wipes files

Jim Willsher

Bug or no bug, serves him right for having no backup of such valuable data.

'World's favorite airline' favorite among hackers: British Airways site, app hacked for two weeks

Jim Willsher

Yes, and I always use the old one via BAEC as the new one is fugly and horrid to use.

Jim Willsher

I have a BA Amex and I make bookings every week with BA. I just phoned the BA Amex card number (from India, where I am now) and there's a recorded message "We are aware blah....you are not liable blah....there is no need to take any action at this time".

So no panic from them, it seems.

My previous booking (in the time frame) was done on ba.com whilst logged in and I used my saved card details, just having to enter my CVV. I wonder if that helped or not, given that I didn't have to actually key in a bunch of stuff? Depends where the malware was plonked, I guess.