* Posts by Dave K

696 posts • joined 25 Apr 2008

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Western Digital shingled out in lawsuit for sneaking RAID-unfriendly tech into drives for RAID arrays

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Forcing us to the Cloud 'Solution' and Subscription Hell?

Yep! I have an old NAS I liberated from the bin at work which I use for backup purposes. Maximum drive size it takes is only 1.5TB (four slots) and write speed is pretty crap due to the age of the thing (roughly 10MB/s maximum - despite having a 1Gb Ethernet connection). Thing is, that's still nearly 10 times my broadband upload speed (roughly 1MB/s), so although syncing 100GB to it takes a few hours, it would take *days* if I were to try and sync an amount like that online.

Dave K Silver badge

I do. 1TB SSD as the system drive, two 6TB rust spinners for data storage.

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it

Dave K Silver badge

Re: 128MB USB? Did they stole them from a time capsule or what?

Have you not seen the price that rare antiques can fetch these days?

Twitter ticks off Trump with new 'Get the facts' alert on pair of fact-challenged tweets

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Ooh, fun!

You mean #barnardcastle

The longest card game in the world: Microsoft Solitaire is 30

Dave K Silver badge

Re: The interface formerly known as....

I see the point, but this doesn't excuse the flatness. Back in the 90s, IRIX (SGIs version of Unix) used vector graphics for all the icons, you could scale them to be as large or as small as you wanted without any impact on quality, yet everything still had a pleasant (for the time) 3D look to it. You can make nice looking vector graphics that scale properly on larger/smaller screens - if you can be bothered with the effort. Problem is that MS have gone for the blandest, most minimal design possible and it looks dreary as a result.

Dave K Silver badge

Re: "an ill-advised redesign"

I'm so thankful that the people behind WinAeroTweaker also created a bundle of all the Windows 7 games that will install correctly on Windows 10. Hence no crappy Store versions, you get the cleaner and far more pretty Win7/Aero versions of Solitaire, as well as Minesweeper, Mahjongg etc.

Project Reunion: Microsoft's attempt to tear down all those barriers it's built for Windows developers over the years

Dave K Silver badge

Could not agree more.

Although W10 has numerous issues such as the updates, telemetry etc, the primary reason I don't like it is because the UI is a complete and utter mess.

There's a complete lack of consistency due to "modern" bits and "classic" bits all mis-mashed together, plus the modern bits look flat, bland and utterly lifeless. With Windows 7, the interface looked pretty polished and it looked as if designers actually cared how it looked and how functional it was. You don't get that feeling with Windows 10, there's no "wow" factor at all, it just looks shit to be completely frank.

Micros~1? ClippyZilla? BSOD Bob? There can be only one winner. Or maybe two

Dave K Silver badge

Agreed, I quite liked that one. I'm also fond of Microsoft (not responding) due to how many times bloody Outlook does that with me.

Latest Microsoft 365 'wave of innovation' really just involves adding or renaming a bunch of update channels

Dave K Silver badge

Re: All I want to know is ...

I also hate how every UI update seems to introduce more and more white space everywhere. Alongside my main work laptop, I have an older customer laptop which only has a crappy 1366x768 display. Originally it was manageable, but lately Outlook is almost unusable on it due to the ever increasing bumpf and spacing all over the place. And the thing is, it isn't as if there's a single bit of useful additional functionality I've noticed, it's just a constant stream of pointless dicking about with the user interface, with each update steadily making things worse.

The end really is nigh – for 32-bit Windows 10 on new PCs

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Amazed it took them this long

Not saying there isn't still a market for 32bit Windows, this is about MS discontinuing the OEM "pre-installed" Win10 32bit images. Retail/volume license versions still continue, so no issues with using Win10 32bit on an older machine, VM etc.

Dave K Silver badge

Amazed it took them this long

I'm honestly surprised it took them this long. Pretty much the only people using 32bit Windows these days are either existing people with older PCs, or some machines in certain circumstances that run applications/hardware that doesn't support 64bit Windows (possibly an ancient 16bit app). These are unlikely in home use and mainly just in some certain business situations, plus for these the 32bit media is still available for companies to install.

Either way, no reason at all for PC makers to pre-install 32bit Windows 10 with their kit in this day and age.

Driveway karaoke singer who wanted to lift lockdown spirits cops council noise complaint

Dave K Silver badge

It's about choice

People doing daft things, streaming them online for people to choose to watch - this is fine. The problem here is that by blaring away for 3 hours in front of your house, you're *forcing* everyone nearby to have to listen. It doesn't seem to have occurred to the guy that some people might not want to listen to karaoke - especially not for 3 hours.

I appreciate he meant well, but he should find another outlet for this, rather than forcing his idea of entertainment down the ears of all his neighbours.

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you

Dave K Silver badge

Thunderstorm

Because they used to create software for microcomputers (hence Microsoft), but have gone all cloud lately. And when you move everything and more into the clouds, you'll eventually end up with a thunderstorm.

Plus using Microsoft products often gives you that dark grumbly feeling when they keep changing/renaming everything every 5 seconds.

The iMac at 22: How the computer 'too odd to succeed' changed everything ... for Apple, at least

Dave K Silver badge

Actually, you'd be surprised. The O2 was a bit of an oddity, but it did have a unique "universal memory" architecture for the time. The graphics weren't the most powerful, but it could do pretty cool things by using videos in system RAM as textures in a model by simply passing the pointer (as the memory was shared between graphics and system).

Unfortunately it was mis-sold by some SGI sales reps as a replacement for the older and far more graphically beefy Indigo2, this did hurt SGI's reputation a bit when some customers found the graphics performance of their new systems to be poorer than their old ones.

UK IT contractors slipping back into old ways of working now IR35 tax reforms delayed

Dave K Silver badge

At my place, contractors are more expensive than employees and for the work we do, we have a mixture of about 60% employees to 40% contractors. Why do we have contractors if they cost us more? Flexibility. Workload and demand are constantly changing, and contractors are far easier to source and release than employees are.

Microsoft puts dual-screen devices and Windows 10X in the too-hard basket

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Dual Screen Woes

This! Although I love multiple screens, apps frequently open on the wrong screen, if I close an Excel sheet on screen number 3, a different spreadsheet steals focus on screen 2 (why?). Custom screen scaling also causes problems for multi-monitor setups (use a custom value and it must be applied to all screens). Hence, plenty MS could do first to improve regular W10 for this.

Saying that, improving W10 and fixing its various faults has never been a priority for MS anyway, so I'm not surprised here.

Who's still using Webex? Not even Cisco: Judge orders IT giant to use rival Zoom for virtual patent trial

Dave K Silver badge

It does for me, Teams has been pretty solid and reliable, whereas with SFB I've had customer calls I couldn't join due to "network issues", randomly being kicked out of calls, breaking/crackling audio, flaky screen sharing, and that's before we go into the awful "fisher-price" user interface. Teams on the other hand has been pretty solid for me so far!

Dave K Silver badge

WebEx is pretty crap, however after being forced to use Skype for Business for a couple of years on a customer site, WebEx actually didn't feel bad in comparison. Saying that, it isn't a patch on Teams (one of the very few Microsoft products that seems to work pretty well I've found).

Lars Ulrich makes veiled threats of another Metallica album during web chat with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Most bands are in it for the money

Yep! It's also why albums from a lot of the larger bands actually sound pretty crap from a quality perspective. There's no love or desire to create something that sounds good (so long as it sells well, that's all that matters). Both Metallica and the Chillis have been guilty of releasing some of the worst mastered albums I've ever listened to over the past 20 years or so.

You can get a mechanical keyboard for £45. But should you? We pulled an Aukey KM-G6 out of the bargain bin

Dave K Silver badge

I have a Ducky Shine 2 mechanical keyboard with Cherry Brown switches. As I work from home, it is used both for personal use/gaming as well as for work during the day (connected into a KVM so I can switch it over to my laptop dock for work).

Personally I find it excellent for working on and I can type very quickly and accurately with it. The only issue at all is that you have to mute yourself if you're on a conference call and need to type anything otherwise there will be complaints from other people on the call about the loud clatter of keys.

We're in a timeline where Dettol maker has to beg folks not to inject cleaning fluid into their veins. Thanks, Trump

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Give a child the information in the wrong order.

> And is there a way we can do something like that […]

And the answer, to anyone with even a quarter of a brain cell is "NO".

The problem here is that Trump has these thoughts and instead of discussing it privately with medical experts who would quickly point out why this is dangerous, pointless, completely doomed to failure and why it hasn't been mentioned before, he goes and rambles it out in a press conference - forcing numerous medical professionals and bleach manufacturers to have to fire out statements telling everyone not to ingest/inject toxic chemicals.

That's the problem with Trump. He opens his gob in front of the TV cameras without engaging his brain or discussing his thoughts first with those who know better. This is dangerous stuff and can risk lives. Well, the lives of stupid people who might actually be tempted to try something daft like this anyway.

There's nothing particularly wrong with having wacky ideas, but there is a lot wrong without fact-checking them before you shout your gob off on TV.

Vivaldi browser to perform a symphony of ad and tracker blocking with version 3.0

Dave K Silver badge

Re: If my trusty Pale Moon fails me...

Same here, Pale Moon for 95% of stuff, Vivaldi on the occasions where a site breaks in Pale Moon, or where it just runs like crap with a none-Chromium engine (ie, Google Maps). Also got an extension for Pale Moon that allows it to send a site direct to Vivaldi if required.

Samsung's Galaxy S7 line has had a good run with four years of security updates – but you'll want to trade yours in now

Dave K Silver badge

Re: "but you'll want to trade yours in now" is, in my mind, complete marketing bullshit

Doesn't bother me personally. But like you say, it depends what you do with it. Would I use it for online banking or for work? Definitely not. However idle web browsing via a 3rd party (and hence still updated) web browser, a bit of Facebook/WhatsApp, playing the odd game or MP3 when I'm travelling? Of course.

My current phone is an old LG G4. That's no longer supported either, yet I don't really care. I don't use it for anything particularly private or important. Should it become infected with malware (which is unlikely as I'm careful with what I use it for), I'd use that as the excuse to replace it.

Bose shouts down claims that it borked noise cancellation firmware to sell more headphones

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Er ...

I agree, but the fact that this new firmware is supposedly being rolled out silently and without choice isn't good. I have a pair of Sony's finest and although the app on my phone nags when new firmware is available, it is entirely up to me whether I install it. Generally I don't bother unless it adds some new functionality that I think may be useful, plus only when the new firmware has been out for a bit without any stories of problems/issues.

Remember that clinical trial, promoted by President Trump, of a possible COVID-19 cure? So, so, so many questions...

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Precisely

Excellent point. In fact the Thalidomide scandal helped to introduce a lot of the current testing and regulation of drugs and is an excellent case in point of what can happen if poorly tested and understood drugs are taken en-mass.

Thalidomide is still a widely used drug today, but now that the side effects and risks are properly understood, we know where we can prescribe it safely and when we can't.

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Precisely

There is a major issue here, which is that until you've completed proper clinical trials, you don't know if it is a treatment or not. Until there is clear and proper evidence to suggest a treatment works, it is just an "experimental drug". Plus, proper clinical trials involve double-blinds where neither the patients, nor the researchers know whether a particular person is on the treatment or the placebo. It's necessary to eliminate any placebo effect from the results.

Covid-19 isn't the only serious disease in the world you know. Cancer killed nearly 9m people in 2015, diabetes is estimated to cause up to 5m deaths a year. We're constantly working hard on new treatments for these diseases, yet you cannot just pump everyone full of an experimental drug each time one is developed because you cannot then gauge clearly whether a drug works or not, what effect different doses of the drug may have, etc. etc.

Yes, it's tough to say this, but if you want an effective treatment for Covid-19 as quickly as possible, you MUST follow the proper scientific processes to test the drugs first. Otherwise, you'll end up wasting time down blind alleys, approving flawed drugs that may not help much (or which may unexpectedly make things worse), plus all manner of other issues.

You're correct when you say that many large trials have been abandoned when a group shows increased mortality - this is because the trial is being performed in a proper and controlled way and it can therefore accurately show that the drug isn't working properly. In these cases, the trial is halted. Pump everyone with the drug however and where is the baseline? How do you know mortality has increased? Simple, you can't tell without a proper, blind control group to compare the results to.

Believe me, I want an effective treatment for Covid-19 to be developed quickly just as much as you do, but if you piss away hundreds of years of scientific process in a blind state of panic, you won't end up with an effective treatment. All you'll do is cause more problems than you will solve.

Dave K Silver badge

You have a shocking lack of understanding of science and clinical trials in general. Yes, Covid-19 is a serious issue and people are dying, but pumping poorly-tested drugs into people in the "hope" that it fixes things is not the answer. Many drugs have serious side-effects that need to be carefully understood, and they can cause other issues and conditions as well. Using drugs like this widely when we don't understand the ramifications is unbelievably risky and stupid and has the potential to kill more people than Covid-19 is doing.

So why is Trump saying these things? Two reasons actually:

1) To boost his own standing. He wants the average dumb American to look at him in admiration for having fixed the issue so quickly.

2) To cover up for the fact that he sat on his fat arse for far too long initially. He wasted far too much time blaming everything on China and the Democrats instead of putting plans and resources in place to minimise the impact. Now America is paying the price for this.

So what should happen? Isolation where necessary, social distancing, lots of testing to implement the correct controls in areas that need it, urgently boosting supplies of ventilators and equipment to treat people. This flattens the curve, allows hospitals to treat people effectively, minimises deaths and buys time. Meanwhile, fund science and allow proper clinical trials to be run to eliminate ineffective "cures", find ones that do work, understand the limitations and impact of such drugs so that they can be safely and widely deployed, then ensure sufficient manufacturing capability exists so these can be handed out once they are proven to be beneficial.

You don't just open your fat gob on Twitter having read one deeply flawed "paper".

Finally – news that something is guaranteed to be healthy and well looked-after for the next six months. That something is Windows 10 1709

Dave K Silver badge

Wow, MS accepting for once that upgrading Windows 10 all the time is a faf. Now, how about making LTSC more widely available and supporting O365 on it? Or am I being hopelessly optimistic here?

Captain Caveman rides to the rescue, solves a prickly PowerPoint problem with a magical solution

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Understated..

Almost any tree can be a loo-roll tree, assuming you have your own portable paper mill :)

UK government puts IR35 tax reforms on hold for a year in wake of coronavirus crisis

Dave K Silver badge

Re: One-nation Barmy

So contractors don't also have bills, mortgages, families to support etc?

In times of Coronavirus and the uncertainty of work, contractors are in a far more perilous position than employees as contractors have no legal protections for the work they do and can be easily let go at a moments notice.

Also, it's worth noting that IR35 targets contractors doing pretty standard work, ie IT support, delivery drivers and whatnot. Those doing specialised consultancy work on short-term contracts often fall outside of IR35 scope.

And just to note, I say all this as a full time employee myself - I'm not a contractor.

It's Baaaaaack (or is it?): Microsoft Teams suffers a Tuesday totter

Dave K Silver badge

Not just Teams. WebEx has been down for us since mid-morning as well.

Control is only an illusion, no matter what you shove on the Netware share

Dave K Silver badge

Re: "Or heard the sphincter-loosening words: 'What's a backup?' "

Oh, been there before with this!

Had a user a few years back, his laptop was playing up so one of my team offered to re-image it for him. He backed up the user profile to an external drive, quickly checked the root of drive C for any other folders that looked none-standard, then ran one of our build sticks to re-image the laptop before transferring the guy's profile back and handing him the laptop.

10 minutes later, the guy returns: "Where's all my data?". Turned out the guy had created an incredibly vague folder on the root of drive C (something like C:\inf) and was storing all his files there, my engineer had missed it due to the vagueness of the folder name. We asked him if he had a backup "nope", and asked if he'd installed CrashPlan (the provided backup tool we have) "also a nope".

I explained his files were toast, only for him to suggest a specialised data recovery firm - adding "when the hard drive failed on my previous laptop, they managed to get the data back". My jaw dropped at this point. He'd almost lost everything only a couple of years earlier and STILL hadn't implemented backups.

Sure I re-iterated to all engineers the importance of double checking with all users in future to ensure we'd retrieved their old data before re-imaging. However when it comes to protecting data, some people are simply unbelievable beyond words...

Butterfly defect stripped from MacBook Pros, Airs by Q2 2020, reckons Apple analyst

Dave K Silver badge

Re: I liked the butterfly keyboard..

Hmm, I understand where you are coming from, however as someone who owns an X201 and an X1 Carbon with the chiclet keyboard, I still much prefer the "classic" keyboard. Don't get me wrong, the newer chiclet one is still one of the best laptop keyboards out there, but the classic one was a triumph of function over style. It's a pity these days that "stylish" but poor functionality is now the norm.

The Reg produces exhibit A1: A UK court IT system running Windows XP

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Is this as ususal software related?

Yep, that's the solution. I've seen this with CNC machines controlled by Win95 and WinXP consoles. The machines cost a fortune and still work fine, so much cheaper to heavily firewall the controller PCs than replace the CNC machines.

My wife also has a Win XP machine in her university research lab. It's not networked and is there to run an old but expensive 3D motion tracking system. Of course, if she had £60k laying around she might replace it, but as long as it isn't networked then it is fine and still ticks along nicely.

Of course when you're running 2,000 XP laptops then you're likely to have bigger problems than the odd firewalled or standalone system controlling an expensive and critical bit of hardware...

Hello, support? What do I click if I want some cash?

Dave K Silver badge

Living in Aberdeen, deep-fried Mars bars are common. Especially as it was invented in Stonehaven which is just down the road.

Thing is, they're actually pretty damn tasty. Have to admit to having a couple myself over the years - although mainly when visiting Stonehaven with guests (always nice to buy one from the original source of the craze).

Microsoft's Cortana turns its back on consumers as skills are stripped from Windows 10

Dave K Silver badge

Local account

Interestingly from what I've seen, Cortana will require a Microsoft account for the remaining few bits to function. Which means a nice, easy new way of disabling what's left of it. Sign into a local account and bam! No more Cortana at all.

This is your last chance, HP. There's no turning back. You take blue poison pill, the story ends. You take the red Xerox pill, you stay in Wonderland

Dave K Silver badge

Re: It's called "leveraged buyiut"...

Its also a similar thing that helped kill Maplin. Multiple changes of ownership - many of which placed the financial burdon for the change back onto Maplin, meaning that eventually the costs of servicing the debt - combined with a drop in sales were enough to push the company under.

Not saying Maplin would have survived forever, but having a massive debt on your shoulders both saps your profits with interest payments, and makes the threat of insolvency uncomfortably close if the company struggles at all...

AMD takes a bite out of Intel's PC market share across Europe amid microprocessor shortages, rising Ryzen

Dave K Silver badge

Agreed, I'm calling that as bullshit. Sure, the corporate image may need to be updated to tweak drivers, but that's about it. I contract at a major international company, and we had some budget AMD Dell desktops in our portfolio a few years back. No problem at all!

Larry Tesler cut and pasted from this mortal coil: That thing you just did? He probably invented it

Dave K Silver badge
Joke

Re: Xerox NoteTaker

5GHz in 1978, wow! I take it the 22kg was mainly the heat sink?

Microsoft brings the pane: You'll be looking at Xamarin and React Native to design apps for dual-screen gizmos

Dave K Silver badge

Developer fatigue

Wouldn't surprise me if the majority of devs give this a wide berth initially. Too many have been burnt by MS's incessant u-turns, direction changes, product abandonment and whatnot over the last few years. It'd be a brave developer to throw significant resources behind another MS project that might quietly fade away after a year or so...

These truly are the end times for TLS 1.0, 1.1: Firefox hopes to 'eradicate' weak HTTPS standard by blocking it

Dave K Silver badge

Re: Good

I have no problem with flagging it up. That's fine. The problems are firstly that it is a global override (enable for one site and the shaming stops), and that they will soon remove altogether. It should be overridden by site. Plus when they remove it altogether it will cause problems for accessing old, internal systems that use these older encryption methods and which cannot feasibly be updated. Really looking forward to using an outdated portable browser for those said pretty much no admin ever...

Who needs the A-Team or MacGyver when there's a techie with an SCSI cable?

Dave K Silver badge

Re: HOWTO Move Your Server

That's not a nail, its just a special fuse with a 200A rating...

Built to last: Time to dispose of the disposable, unrepairable brick

Dave K Silver badge

Its the pricing but that is the issue. If there were flexible subscriptions that cost roughly the same over a 10 year period as a standalone Office license, not much of an issue. However if you have (say) 2 computers in your house, the costs are miles higher than they used to be for a couple of standalone licenses. Same with Adobe products as well (not just picking on MS here). I dont have a problem with a limited support limit that is well known when I buy a product, but at least I can use it beyond this time (albeit at my own risk). With subscriptions, stop paying and the software goes away completely, and as long as you do pay you're paying much more once you add it up.

Hence why companies love subscriptions!

Dave K Silver badge

Re: One reason to replace and old desktop is power consumption

Thing is, desktop PCs often use less than you might think. I built up a new PC for myself a couple of years ago (previous system was an 8-year old 1st gen Core i5 system). 8 core Ryzen 7, GeForce 1079 Ti, 5 mechanical hard drives, so a reasonably powerful system. Thing is, when its doing basic things like running a web browser, it only consumes around 130w. A laptop will be less, but I'm honestly surprised how little it pulls given its a pretty high end system with lots of storage and a beefy graphics card!

Dave K Silver badge

Couldn't agree more. I was sad last year when my trusty Viewsonic 27" monitor finally gave up the ghost after more than 10 years of service. Thankfully, Dell do still make 30" 16:10 screens. Not cheap, but it was worth it!

Dave K Silver badge

It doesn't help that modern devices can result in some downgrades or missing features. I still use an old Lenovo X201 laptop. Why? Because it's the last one Lenovo made with a 16:10 screen before they downgraded to 16:9 on future models. If I buy a new Lenovo laptop today, I can be assured of a poorer screen aspect ratio, worse trackpad, worse keyboard, no status LEDs etc. Given that the X201 still runs fast enough for what I need (and has good battery life due to a recent replacement), why should I replace it with a newer laptop that is inferior in many ways?

Similarly my phone is a 4 year old LG G4. It still runs plenty fast enough for my liking, has a headphone jack, SD card slot and easily replaceable battery. Many of these are again features I'd lose if I replaced it.

The modern approach of removing functionality and dumbing bits down is another reason why people are hanging onto older kit longer than they used to do.

Oi! You got a loicence for that Java, mate? More devs turn to OpenJDK to swerve Oracle fee

Dave K Silver badge

Re: licence

Well obviously you'd expect El Reg to post basic, factual articles with no hint of slang, comment or other such colourful language popped in. I mean, they never use puns, cultural references, fake accents or anything else in headlines. Do they now...

Researchers reckon 500k PCs infested with malware after dodgy downloads install even more nasties from Bitbucket

Dave K Silver badge

Re: exfiltrating so many different types of data

I was thinking the same thing. Install genuine versions and you'll still find your bank account steadily drained and all your data slurped...

Bada Bing, bada bork: Windows 10 is not happy, and Microsoft's search engine has something to do with it

Dave K Silver badge

Re: This is Mircosoft after all

B..but SAAS. You know, if it ain't broke, improve it until it is.

The BlackBerry in your junk drawer is now a collectors' item: TCL says no more new keyboard-clad phones

Dave K Silver badge

It's possible to get some tactile feedback, although not on the same level. Plenty of 3rd party keyboard apps allow a "vibrate on key press", so you do get a small amount of tactile feedback when you touch a key. Not saying it is the same, but could be worth trying to see if it helps you to find touch keyboards on phones a bit more palatable.

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