* Posts by Geoff Campbell

1614 posts • joined 13 Jun 2008

In the '80s, satellite comms showed promise – soon it'll be a viable means to punt internet services at anyone anywhere

Geoff Campbell

Re: There's also the antenna technology.

Ah, yes, British Satellite Broadcasting, back in 1990:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squarial

GJC

Geoff Campbell

Re: There's also the antenna technology.

Wasn't there a short-lived satellite TV service that used phased array antenna right back at the beginning of the century?

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Bandwidth

See my post above - it's completely wrong. Bandwidth is in the hundreds of megabits per user.

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Boffin

I just want an RJ45 coming in to the house.

That is, in fact *exactly* what Starlink gives. They do supply a router as well, but I threw that into the network spares box and plugged the "dish" straight into the back of my pfSense firewall.

We've not had a landline here for, oh, about 8 years, I think?

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Bandwidth

You're quite a long way out on Starlink's bandwidth. I've just run a test and got 207Mbps down, 37Mbps up (and 24ms latency, which is nice). I've seen speeds up to 350Mbps down, and 60Mbps up, but not both at the same time.

It is, I have to say, a very, very nice system. We did have one of the original bi-directional systems using a geostationary satellite, and the bandwidth was astonishing for the time (14Mbps in a age of 128Kbps from ISDN, from memory) but the latency was also astonishing, at over a second. Quite usable for web browsing, as they had an intelligent proxy that bundled up the whole page and squirted it to the user in one big burst, overcoming some of the HTTP latency sensitivity. Telnet sessions were hilarious, though.

GJC

Good news: Jeff Bezos went to space. Bad news: He's back

Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

Re: Worse than vanity

Sure. If you're determined that nothing that either company ever does will be right, you could view it like that.

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Re: Worse than vanity

New Shepard burns hydrogen. No carbon footprint at all.

SpaceX's Starship is burning methane, specifically so they can manufacture it on-site from the atmosphere, using electricity from renewal sources. No carbon footprint at all.

Surprising though it may be, these guys have thought about this stuff.

GJC

Richard Branson uses two planes to make 170km round trip

Geoff Campbell
Black Helicopters

Re: Awaiting FlatTards....

We should start a GoFundMe to send six of the most prominent flat-Earthers on the next flight. Put me down for £50...

GJC

Black screens in Windows 11? Bork has seen it all before

Geoff Campbell
Windows

Re: W11

Where's your sense of adventure? C'mon, live a little!

GJC

Developing for Windows 11: Like developing for Windows 10, but with rounded corners?

Geoff Campbell
Windows

Re: New here

Yup, all of that, and more.

I've never understood why people get so wound up about an OS. It is what it is, it works, and it works better than the alternatives (FTAOD, I don't see MacOS and Windows as direct competitors, given the vertical integration Apple have enforced down the years - two very different approaches, of which the Microsoft approach suits me better).

<shrug> I can't help coming to the conclusion that a lot of this is simply about badly shaved apes allowing their tribal subconscious to rule their more rational side.

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Windows

At least until 2025, and probably further.

But why wait? If you prefer Linux, install it now. It's fine, it's been a viable alternative on the desktop for years now. I don't understand all these people saying "I'll go to Linux, the moment you force me to! Just watch!".

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Go

Re: I'm impressed

You're new here, aren't you?

Yup, I quite agree. I'm running 11 now, and I rather like it. I'm also running it on a couple of machines that aren't on the quite restrictive HCL, interestingly.

GJC

What you need to know about Microsoft Windows 11: It will run Android apps

Geoff Campbell

That's your choice to make, knock yourself out. But the choice should be made on the basis of actual real facts, rather than rumour and falsehood, yes?

Me, I run a whole range of OSs, for a whole range of tasks. Windows on the desktop, various flavours of Linux and OpenBSD for server and network stuff, VMware hypervisor underpinning a lot of them, Android on phones and tablets. I think there's a couple of VMS machines in the loft, but that's ancient history. It's all good.

GJC

Geoff Campbell

1) You don't need a working Internet connection at all times, only when you are initially installing Windows. It works perfectly well off-line with a Microsoft account, even if your files are stored on OneDrive (they can be cached locally and will sync when you next connect);

2) You don't need to give Microsoft anything other than a valid email address to set up a Microsoft account. And that email address can be dedicated purely for use with a single PC if you like.

GJC

Geoff Campbell

Re: Windows 10 like Windows 7

> this is going to slow down take up massively

It occurred to me this morning that perhaps something Microsoft learned from Windows 10 was that a slower take-up can be beneficial for them. Windows 10 as it exists today is very different to the launched version five years ago, it has evolved and changed as the population has grown. And today, they have 1.3 billion live instances, which isn't too shabby.

I wonder if perhaps this has been seen as a good experience for Microsoft?

GJC

Geoff Campbell

Re: Linux Subsystem - Android?

No. Android Apps don't go anywhere near WSL, as far as I can tell.

GJC

Mars race: China dreams of nuclear rockets, manned bases, and space elevators

Geoff Campbell

Walking distance?

We had lunar rovers in 1971. You can bet that some form of light utility vehicle will be in the very first cargo to be set to Mars.

I mean, sure, the distances will still be limited. But that's the least of the problems to be overcome, really.

Also, 24 hours? They can live on board ship after landing for weeks, if necessary.

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Ah, now...

...that should get the whole of the USA lined up behind Elon Musk. They like nothing better than a good testosterone-fuelled race to a distant rocky ball, and they also hate nothing more than being beaten to that rocky ball by foreigners.

GJC

Windows 11: Meet the new OS, same as the old OS (or close enough)

Geoff Campbell

Re: They have said that

To be fair, Powershell has been the recommended management interface for this sort of stuff for years.

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Re: They have said that

Powershell - [environment]::osversion.version

GJC

Hyundai takes 80 per cent stake in terrifying Black Mirror robo-hound firm Boston Dynamics

Geoff Campbell
Go

Re: Random

Step eight, take over the entire demilitarised world with just a small fruit knife.

GJC

Apple's Find My network can be abused to leak secrets to the outside world via passing devices

Geoff Campbell

Re: "Faraday-shielded sites that are occasionally visited by iPhone users"

My experience was that rank did not matter, everyone was expected to comply. I do not profess to have carried out an exhaustive study, however.

GJC

Geoff Campbell

Re: "Faraday-shielded sites that are occasionally visited by iPhone users"

I can't speak for our colonial cousins, but on MoD sites in the UK it's very common to have armed guards requesting that one put any mobile devices, memory sticks, or digital media of any sort into a locker before entering certain areas.

Which can make administration work on servers a bit of a chore.

GJC

But can it run Avid? The Reg hands shiny new M1 MacBook to video production pro, who beats it with Blender, Handbrake, and ... Hypercard?

Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

Re: Apple really has done an amazing job here...

There's nothing special about me. I just have a history of getting involved in fights with Apple evangelists, and not really caring about it.

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

Re: Apple really has done an amazing job here...

You really think anyone is going to be stupid enough to raise their head above the parapet in this tsunami of fruit-love?

Nah, even I'm not biting.

GJC

Microsoft's Surface Laptop 4 now includes AMD options for biz customers, boasts up to 19 hours of battery life

Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Re: £999?

I find it *hugely* amusing that worshippers at the Church of Jobs have been telling us for years that the hardware specs don't matter, it's the user experience that is key.

Now the M1 chip has come along, and all we have heard for the last six months is hardware specs, quoted endlessly as if they are the only thing that matters.

Here's a thought for you. It's going to come as quite a shock, you might want to sit down. Here goes:

Most users don't need high performance in a laptop. They run Office applications, and do a bit of web browsing. All these Apple weenies showing how fast they can edit 4K videos and manipulate 3D models? We're just not interested.

GJC

NASA's Mars helicopter spins up its blades ahead of hoped-for 12 April hover

Geoff Campbell
Mushroom

Re: Nothing there....

That rather depends on the actions and reactions of the various nation states in the face of climate change.

In an extreme worst-case scenario, dwindling resources and growing populations could easily trigger WW3, and I for one would rather be watching that from a bunker on Mars than a bunker on Earth.

Of course, that rather presupposes that the bunker on Mars is self-sufficient, which is going to take a while to achieve.

GJC

A word to the Wyse: Smoking cigars in the office is very bad for you... and your monitor

Geoff Campbell

Re: Ah, that bought back memories...

Lil' bit, yes. Especially '80s black cabs, which were particularly primitive - based on the 2.25l unit used in Land Rovers since about 1843, if I recall correctly.

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

Ah, that bought back memories...

Not least of working for a Televideo distributor in the '80s. One of their "terminals" was actually a PC, with an all-in-one motherboard in the bottom of the stand, which talked to the Televideo Novell Netware servers via RS-422 fast serial links. Quite advanced for the day.

Anyway, one of our customers was a company that maintained London black cabs, in an underground workshop somewhere on the outskirts of central London, I forget where exactly. They had something like 20 bays, and a constant stream of cabs coming and going.

I went up there one day to change out the BIOS ROM chips on their half-dozen PC. The outsides of the systems were reasonably clean, by the standards of other workshop PCs I have known. But, oh my, the state of the motherboards...

GJC

Microsoft unveils swappable SSDs for Surface Pro 7+ but 'strongly discourages' users from upping their capacity

Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Re: What's the point

Oh, and also officially according to Microsoft, who make and sell the thing:

"Removable SSD

Maintain control of sensitive information with a removable solid-state drive for data retention."

Ref: https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/p/surface-pro-7-for-business/8p43n3k93409

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Re: What's the point

Officially according to working procedures in every organisation I've worked with or in.

It is exactly as you say. The SSD can be removed, so that the device can be sent off for repair without the danger of data leaking. Whether the SSD is then destroyed, or filed securely for re-fitting to another device for the same user, is largely irrelevant.

That was, in fact, pretty much what I wrote, so why did you feel the need to argue, whilst re-stating the same position?

It's instructive that the Surface Pro 7+ is only sold through the Surface for Business channel, don't you think?

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Re: What's the point

Officially, for corporates and government departments, so they can keep their data secure when the machines get sent off for repair, or re-allocated to other departments.

Unofficially, installing non-approved SSDs works just fine.

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Go

Yup

I bought a Surface Pro X last year, and immediately upgraded the SSD to 512GB using a Dell unit bought from eBay. Worked perfectly, and is still working as my daily driver today (and is, by the way, a lovely machine, highly recommended).

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Re: Presumably each SSD has a unique hardware ID

Nope.

I have a Kioxia 512GB SSD made for a Dell machine in my Surface Pro X. Works beautifully.

GJC

No fair! Space Launch System gets cool stickers even though monster rocket failed test

Geoff Campbell

Re: The project is meeting all of its goals

What's your point? Pretty much every single step of human endeavour is built on the developments that have gone before. DC-X does not invalidate what SpaceX are doing now, and neither do pragmatic decisions about getting fuel from existing sources, for now. There are plans to move on to synthesised fuels, later.

GJC

Geoff Campbell

The project is meeting all of its goals

However, it should be noted that said goals are basically "maximise the amount of cash we can screw out of the US government".

Meanwhile, SpaceX continue to establish an actual, genuine spaceport, complete with a production line to build as many Starships as they can find space to queue up.

GJC

SpaceX small print on Starlink insists no Earth government has authority or sovereignty over Martian activities

Geoff Campbell
Go

Re: Remember...

<shrug>

I think we all know how it will play out. How many countries would pass up the chance to be amongst the first snouts in the trough of the natural resources to be found out beyond the orbit of Mars?

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Go

Re: Remember...

I'm sure there are nation states that would be happy to give access to their airspace if the USA don't want to play.

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

Re: 240.0.0.0/4?

It is a sad indictment of the lack of forward-thinking employed that Starlink uses IPv4 and CGNAT, as I understand it.

IPv6 as default would have been way nicer. Ho hum.

GJC

Microsoft's underwhelming, underpowered dual-screen Surface Duo phone arrives in the UK this month for £1,349

Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Re: Target Audience?

I would say that the target audience is business people who travel to meetings. This might just be the mythical device that I have been chasing all my working life, that allows me to finally ditch the corporate ball and chain that is my briefcase.

I've already slimmed down what I carry immensely, courtesy of a Surface Pro (and now a Pro X, which is very lovely) in combination with the OneDrive service, which means I no longer have to carry any paperwork at all.

The Duo may well allow me to go to a lot of meetings without a briefcase at all. This, I approve of.

Whether or not it works in practice, well, we'll see.

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Boffin

Phones

Microsoft are playing this rather intelligently, and not calling the Duo a phone. It's a portable computer that is capable of making phone calls.

Now, this might seem like sophistry of the worst kind, but for me it was rather accurate. I try where-ever possible to avoid either making or receiving phone calls, but the ability to do so is occasionally useful.

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Stop

Lest anyone think I'm a completely uncritical fanboi...

The Duo does have one bad flaw, in that the two Apps running side by side have to be different. There is no way that I can find to have two Word documents or two Excel spreadsheets open, one on each screen. This is a shame.

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Pirate

The Gemini gets pretty good reviews. It's rather bigger than the old Droid-era phones, but then, what isn't?

https://store.planetcom.co.uk/products/gemini-pda-1

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Boffin

"Apple chucks out a £1000 phone it's going to be good"

Oh, have they dropped iOS now?

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

<shrug>

I bought one. I like it, a lot. It's good to see manufacturers trying new things.

I will like it even more when Windows 10X lands.

GJC

Malware monsters target Apple’s M1 silicon with ‘Silver Sparrow’

Geoff Campbell
Stop

Re: This cannot be true!!!

"Nobody, anywhere in the whole of the world, seriously believes that Macs are invulnerable."

Sorry, but that is complete tosh. Every single non-technical Mac owner I know has at some point told me that one reason for their decision to buy a Mac was that they don't have any viruses or malware.

GJC

Loser Trump's last financial disclosure docs reveal Tim Cook gave him $5,999 Mac Pro, the 'first' made in Texas

Geoff Campbell

Re: He's not finished yet

I was thinking "...out of a cannon", but your way works, too.

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Pirate

Re: He's not finished yet

Can't we just have him shot?

GJC

Kremlin hackers are right now exploiting security hole in VMware software to hijack systems, NSA warns

Geoff Campbell

Re: If I....

Indeed, it's very much a Red Queen race all the way with these things. I try to avoid common words, and throw a few symbols in between, just in case.

GJC

Geoff Campbell
Facepalm

Re: If I....

"battery safe"? I need more coffee.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021