* Posts by Chris Evans

579 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Jun 2008


Looking for a holiday DIY project? Build your own pen-plotter, for under $15

Chris Evans

Reminds me of the Penman Plotter

We used to sell the Penman Plotter (It was designed and made in Worthing by part of Eurotherm where our shop was)

It was aTurtle Plotter relying on dead reckoning so any wheel slip ruined a plot, the one advantage was as it it had quite a long tether so could do quite large plots.


OpenPrinting keeps old printers working – even on Windows

Chris Evans

For the ignorant like me: WSL = Windows Subsystem for Linux


China's first domestic single-aisle jet, the C919, scores 300 orders

Chris Evans

How big a backlog of 737's & A320's in time is?

The question that immediately popped into my head was how long in time is the backlog of "4,277 Boeing 737s. Airbus' combined A220 and A320 backlog was reported at 6,772"

Boeing production rate is put at 31 a month so at that rate over 11 years!

Airbus production rate as far as I can make out about 85 a month combined for A220 and A320 so nearly 7 years!

USB-C iPhone, anyone? EU finalizes charging standard rule

Chris Evans

Limited period?

If they made it mandatory for a limited period then at the end of the period anything new would mostly[1] have to have significant enough advantages to be acceptable in the market place.

[1] Unfortunately Apple doesn't follow the normal rules and would do its own thing.

Woman forced to sell 4-bed house after crypto exchange wrongly refunded $7.2m

Chris Evans

Re: an account number was accidentally entered into the payment amount field

Not all banks. Barclays insist on £1.00 minimum or certainly did last time I tried.

Modeling software spins up plans for floating wind turbines

Chris Evans

Re: Rickover rolling over.

"....someone ran both Marmite and Vegemite samples. Unfortunately, I can't find the results online at the moment ... but I know they are out there."

Googles first hit for "Marmite and Vegemite spectrometer" might be what you came across!

Rocket Lab CEO reflects on company's humble beginnings as a drainpipe

Chris Evans

Re: 110%

Thanks for explaining that. I'm so used to being annoyed by people in sport asking for 110% effort I hadn't realised the subtilty of exceeding design output.

Chris Evans


I was very impressed with what he was saying until he said "the engines were at 110 per cent the whole time" hyperbole is not something you want to hear from a rocket scientist, so downgraded to 'impressed'.

We were promised integrated packages. Instead we got disintegrated apps

Chris Evans

Cloud access?

Don't many (most?) of these apps rely on Cloud access?

Alistair can add that to his list, it certainly could add a significant amount of extra time.

GitLab versus The Zombie Repos: An old plot needs a new twist

Chris Evans

I don't understand the suggestion...

"What if the free tier was contingent on offering 10GB of your local storage to the community, with the resultant aggregated free tier storage managed by GitLab as the hosting system" I don't follow!

GitLab plans to delete dormant projects in free accounts

Chris Evans

Re: Author not around to do changes!

There must be many people who use software from gitlab etc. who aren't programmers, just users, who wouldn't know what to download, how to do it or what to do with it if they did download it.

Chris Evans

Author not around to do changes!

What about software that is usable by others but the author doesn't need to update, doesn't have the inclination any more or is isn't able to (Some authors will be ill or have died). If no changes AND no downloads for say three years then it might be appropriate. If you see no updates or comments for say six months when downloading something may be we should make a comment of Thanks.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch: Now 100,000kg smaller

Chris Evans

Who's paying

I applaud their efforts but wonder who's paying the bills? My thanks to whoever it is.

About that $1b... IBM says Watson Health assets fetched $230m in pre-tax profits

Chris Evans

Re: mmm

Yes the way I read it they'd written off most of the $4bn but managed to sell it for slightly more than expected. i.e. a $2.7bn loss not $3.0bn I would have thought the article should have made that clear.

My smartphone has wiped my microSD card again: Is it a conspiracy?

Chris Evans

Re: Too hot to handle

I don't think heat is the problem with my phone (Moto G10). It regularly stops recognising the two branded SD card bought from official distributors I've tried. It is very lightly used. 30-40 photo's a month and I almost never take videos. Glad to hear it is not just me.

We've got a photocopier and it can copy anything

Chris Evans

A similar story

Shortly after colour photocopiers appeared I heard a story that a pair of dimwits found a particular Canadian bank note photocopied well, so they got their own copier and made a killing! They were only found out because they didn't pay the for the copier hire and it was repossessed. Sheets of bank notes printed only on one side were found in the copier!

RISC OS: 35-year-old original Arm operating system is alive and well

Chris Evans

Still baffled!

I still use RISC OS most of the day and get really annoyed when I use Windows and the right mouse button doesn't reverse the direction of scroll buttons as RISC OS does. I wonder why Windows doesn't do this! Anyone has done a hack to implement that? n.b. Most of our four man business is selling and supporting new and second hand RISC OS systems and Acorn BBC's.

Know the difference between a bin and /bin unless you want a new doorstop

Chris Evans

only be a matter of time...

"And if two words have the same contraction, there is always the risk that at some point there will be a misunderstanding." more accurately: ".. it will only be a matter of time before there is a misunderstanding."

The next time your program is 'not responding,' (do not) try these steps

Chris Evans

Re: That joke is international

What is the one about asking the milkmaid the time?

My google mojo has failed me!

Qualcomm among queue of suitors chasing a stake in Arm

Chris Evans

Wishful thinking.

To afford $60Bn and not worry about the profit you'd need to be in trillonaire territory!

n.b. Google tells me there are only six people in the world worth more than $100Bn (None in the UK)

Nice Acorn reference. My business is still nearly all Acorn related after nearly 40 years!

NASA's 161-second helicopter tour of Martian terrain

Chris Evans

FYI 5.5 meters per second is about 20 kilometers per hour

Meters per second is not something I can relate to easily.

Spam is back with a vengeance. Luckily we can't read any of it

Chris Evans

A little Spam is useful

If I log into my webmail after a few hours and there is nothing there, I do start to worry that emails aren't getting through, a couple of spam emails is actually reassuring!

My biggest problem is big companies sending me emails I want, that get through the filters but look to me very like spam or fishing. I've lost count of the number of companies that send emails from 'Sales' or 'Customer Support' with either no 'Subject' or one that looks highly suspicious.

ServiceNow ordered a year's worth of hardware to avoid supply chain hassles

Chris Evans

Scheduled orders

Scheduled orders are fine, buying a lot extra, just in case, causes everyone problems.

Swedish firms ink deal to make green hydrogen with wind power

Chris Evans


"Just remember, folks, that round trip efficiency through electrolysis and fuel cell is at best 50% efficient, which is a spectacular waste of valuable electricity."

True but green hydrogen is very helpful if it's electricity that would otherwise be wasted (wind blowing in the night etc.). It also has the benefit of then being transportable. Yes transportation will further erode the efficiency.

If anyone can up with a more efficient reasonably economic way of storing electricity then the world wants to know.

Google focuses Lens on combined image and text searching

Chris Evans

google search syntax


Has info on: Refine web searches & Common search techniques

Also various scattered info @





I'd like a full, authoritative, up to date list.

In the graveyard of good ideas, how does yours measure up to these?

Chris Evans

Missing Biog icing:-(

Disappointed with today's Biog at the end of the article, it is often the icing on the articles cake!

One person's war is another hemisphere's developer crunch

Chris Evans

For those that don't know of 'The Last One'


Wikipedia says it came out in 1981! I thought it was late 1980's or was there another 'Last One'

The zero-password future can't come soon enough

Chris Evans

When miscreants get a password file (like in the Bitly, Disqus,Gravatar,Kickstarter & TalkTalk hacks) and they have to use a brute force attack or similar do they get the password for just one customer at a time or every customer in one go?

Google blocks FOSS Android tool – for asking for donations

Chris Evans

Re: duh!

Please explain how this helps?

Online retailers delaying sales of Raspberry Pi 4 model until 2023, thanks to a few good chips getting scarce

Chris Evans

Misleading figures

The: "62% is Taiwanese, 17% is Korean, 7% each for China and the US, 1% Israel and 5% the RoW."

seems to relate to where the companies HQ is, so not the full picture. According to: https://www.tsmc.com/english/aboutTSMC/TSMC_Fabs

One of their four 12-inch GIGAFABs is in China

One of their six 8-inch Fabs is in China

One of their six 8-inch Fabs is in USA

Still mostly Taiwan.

In the '80s, spaceflight sim Elite was nothing short of magic. The annotated source code shows how it was done

Chris Evans

Re: Joysticks

£375 in 1984 was more than pricey for a joystick I doubt there are many joysticks available now at that price. Bitsticks do very occasionally turn up on ebay and sell for nearly what they cost new!

Chris Evans

<£4 on ebay

A number of sellers have them on ebay for under £4 including delivery. I've just ordered one!

BT's Plusnet shows Google how it's done as email woes enter their third day

Chris Evans

We have our own domain but route emails through our ISP (Plusnet) our domain hoster only offers limited email receiving and like most people we wouldn't want to be doing our own email hosting.

What would you suggest?

Chris Evans

How do you communicate?

How do you communicate with your customers and suppliers then?

Please don't suggest web forms or webchat. I'm sure webchat is the work of the devil.

Waterfox: A Firefox fork that could teach Mozilla a lesson

Chris Evans

"Some of these ex-Mozilla products are doing relatively well. Rust is doing great. Waterfox is thriving. Thunderbird enjoys regular releases and remains a best-of-breed tool. But another has more users than all of them put together."

What is the 'another' they are referring to in the last sentence? I can't make sense of it!

Opt-out is the right approach for sharing your medical records with researchers

Chris Evans

Very sensible approach to my mind.

I have no problem with:

"The NHS cannot analyse all information on its own, so we safely and securely share some with researchers, analysts and organisations who are experts in making sense of complex information. We only share what’s needed for each piece of research, and wherever possible, information is removed so that you cannot be identified." From: https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/about-the-nhs/sharing-your-health-records/

Why? Well:

I'm nearly finished treatment for Prostate Cancer (They say the treatment should 'cure' me). I had a friend (half my age) who died of cancer last week leaving a wife and two young children.

If my medical history could help others I'd be more than glad. They do need make sure the safeguards are strong and there will probably be breaches, but to help my fellow citizens it seems a no brainer to me.

What if Chrome broke features of the web and Google forgot to tell anyone? Oh wait, that's exactly what happened

Chris Evans

Re: Page loading speeds

I hate to think what the size of the https://one.network/ home page is!

I can't I'm surprised they used to be called: roadworks.org/ which was exactly what it said on the tin.

Do they now teach that the KISS principle is bad or something?

Chris Evans

Firefox are almost as arrogant

Several months ago they decided (with no reasoning given) to double space menu's, tab list, etc. resulting in only about half the number of pages being visible when you have more than about 20 tabs in a list:


Apparently this is being reverted later this month.

I found it a real pain and suspect some disabled users will have found it extremely awkward. I'm not sure if it didn't break disability access legislation!

Macmillan best-biscuit list unexpectedly promotes breakfast cereal to treat status

Chris Evans

Royal Scot

I must admit they are not top flight but I miss Royal Scot. They don't normally sell them any more but occasionally McVities included them in their Christmas box of mixed biscuits. They have a distinctive salty taste. For a moment google seemed to tell me I could buy a packet for £1.20 https://shepherdminiatures.com/product/royal-scot-biscuits/ only to find it's a 20mm long miniature for a dolls house:-(

Chris Evans

Re: Madeleine?

Even if it was a biscuit it's very much an also ran.

Electron-to-joule conversion formulae? Cute. Welcome to the school of hard knocks

Chris Evans

Re: Passing the buck?

Why the thumbs down?

Please explain your logic.

"Col" immediately deduced the effect the door closing vibration had had, which implies a known problem.

Chris Evans

Passing the buck?

"The client had failed to mention the fire door upgrades during the initial fault finding, meaning that the time spent dealing with the problem was therefore chargeable." If I was the client I'd dispute the invoice, as the equipment should have been more robust. The cause wasn't obvious to the university grad as well as the customer. Maybe spit the bill 50:50?

So I’ve scripted a life-saving routine. Pah. What really matters is the icon I give it

Chris Evans

Photo of a wall re delivery to the wrong address

Twice now we've sent parcels that tracking showed had been delivered but the recipient said it wasn't to them. We were sent a snapshot of a map showing with a pin symbol (the van?) outside the flats and a photo showing a wall and a bit of floor which could be anyone's hallway. Why they didn't include the flat number in the photo is beyond me. Fortunately on both occasions the parcel did end up at with the customer, but with no help from the courier company who, when I asked them to send the driver to the address they actually delivered it to, said we can't do that. By the time they were delivered one of the buyers had left us very negative feedback, fortunately they did agree to remove the feedback. After 40 years of using couriers I have a few tales to tell, none of them good.

Couriers don't seem to realise that whilst their legal customer is the sender the real customer is normally the recipient.

Problems will happen, it is how courier companies deal with them that shows how good they are.

Catch of the day... for Google, anyway: Transatlantic Cornwall cable hauled ashore

Chris Evans

Re: cable effort

My last house was built in the 1950's and had a conduit from the loft to the lounge right next to the TV. It was for a radio ariel in the loft. The diameter was just too small for two standard sized satellite cables so I found some slightly smaller diameter cables and F type connectors. I pulled the two satellite cables, a CAT 5 and a telephone lead down all in one go. My son was feeding it in in the loft and I pulled at the bottom. Very effective until the house was knocked down three years ago.

In my current house the satellite cables are fed into the loft and then along with network cables they go down through the airing cupboard which abuts a wall above the integral garage, so cables go into the garage and then back into the lounge. As we did a lot of work before moving in (new ceilings, floor boards up for pipe work etc) I was able to run network cables to every room. I've not yet had time to run the power and network cables to the brick sheds.

G7 countries outgun UK in worldwide broadband speed test

Chris Evans

South Korea, Singapore & full list

I'm surprised South Korea or Singapore aren't mentioned they normally do well on speed!

The full list is here: https://www.cable.co.uk/broadband/speed/worldwide-speed-league/

South Korea is 35th!

& Singapore 11th

Australia gave police power to compel sysadmins into assisting account takeovers – so they plan to use it

Chris Evans

Annoyed by unexplaimed Acronyms?

Is it just me that gets annoyed by unexplained Acronyms?

Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). The full text does appear towards the end of the arcticle but not with the acronym.

I'd only expect a small proportion of readers to know the above meaning and others may be confused knowing of: CSAM, Customer Support and Maintenance (electronic commerce)!

Big Blue's quantum rainmaker jumps to room-temp diamond quantum accelerator company

Chris Evans

What no mention of AI?

Maybe they thought the BS detector would overload!

Spraying a boot error up the bathroom wall

Chris Evans


For non french speakers like me, google translate says:




Spring tears down math geek t-shirt listing because it dared to mention the trademarked word 'zeta'

Chris Evans

Same sort of problem here.

We sell into the retro market and have software in stock that we bought in the 1990's which we listed on ebay a year or so ago. The publisher went bust a few years ago. A new software company has now set up (Nothing to do with the old company, no transfer of assets or IP) they registered their name as a Trademark earlier this year. They then complained to ebay who deleted the listing for the "New but old stock" titles. ebay have no procedure for appeals for take down notices saying I have to get the new company to confirm I'm not breaching their Trademark. The new company doesn't seem to understand that registering a trademark doesn't stop the marketing & selling of goods that already exist with the 'mark' applied to them.

Bumble fumble: Dude divines definitive location of dating app users despite disguised distances

Chris Evans

never do it from.....

"never do it from any place you frequent (home, work favourite coffee shop or pub, etc.)?"

Sounds like never use a dating app then!