* Posts by Toastan Buttar

803 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Jul 2008


What is your greatest weakness? The definitive list of the many kinds of interviewer you will meet in Hell

Toastan Buttar

Re: Missing type

"And if the weather is bad, are you certain you want to run outside even if it's just across the street?"

Only if it rains...


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

Toastan Buttar


I always pronounce it that way. That's why "an SCSI" in the headline sounded all wrong to me.

Register Lecture: Can portable atomic clocks end UK dependence on GNSS?

Toastan Buttar

Re: bring back DECCA

But guitar groups are on the way out, Mr Epstein.

Cubans launching sonic attacks on US embassy? Not what we're hearing, say medical boffins

Toastan Buttar

In the event of sonic attack on your embassy

Use your wheels, it is what they are for.

Think only of yourself.

Junior minister says gov.UK considering facial recognition to verify age of p0rn-watchers

Toastan Buttar

Shut Up and Dance (Black Mirror)

That would never be hacked by miscreants, would it?

"- I only looked at pictures and - "

"And beat one off on camera? That's what they got, yeah? Your hot little face, blurred fist, dick burping f_cking spunk everywhere?

"Your mum's gonna love that on Facebook, Twitter, Insta-f_cking-whatever.

"And her friends.

"All eyes on you, giving it that.

"Toss in the c_nts at work, calling you Spurty McGoo.

"Laughing at your come face, making it their desktop wallpaper"

Army Watchkeeper drone flopped into tree because crew were gazing backwards

Toastan Buttar

I vote for a voice going "Weeeeeee!" when it takes off.

Excuse me, but have you heard the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Chr-AI-st?

Toastan Buttar

Eighth Day

On the Eighth Day, Machine just got upset,

A problem Man had never seen as yet.

On the seventh anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, we give you 7 times he served humanity and acted as an example to others

Toastan Buttar

Re: All true


"At least, his kids seem to have turned out well, unlike other billionaire's kids."

Yeah, he did a great job of ensuring that Lisa turned out well.

Boffins build the smallest transistor, controlled by an atom

Toastan Buttar

More akin to a relay than a transistor

When the gate atom is in place and closes the circuit, is it persistent until moved back into the 'off' position? This could be a new type of non-volatile memory.

Will the defendant please rise? Utah State Bar hunts for sender of topless email

Toastan Buttar

Hotlinking to image files

Google "The Man Who Goatse'd Myspace" for how to deal with people nicking your bandwidth.

Be warned, though. Some of the linked articles might actually show you the replacement image in question, so definitely NSFW.

Batteries are so heavy, said user. If I take it out, will this thing work?

Toastan Buttar

MS Edit vs Edlin

My brother worked for a bank before retiring. During the '90s, he would sometimes have to demonstrate something on another department's PC (running some variant of MS-DOS and 16-bit Windows). I was visiting him one evening and he explained what he was going to demonstrate the next day, which involved editing a text file through the command line (it may have been CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT). He was reasonably familiar with the MS-DOS commands and EDIT, having a PC at home in those "pre-internet" days. However, I warned him that older versions of MS-DOS wouldn't have EDIT available - he'd have to use EDLIN instead. I gave him a quick tutorial on the basics.

Turns out that he did in fact have to revert to EDLIN. Thereafter, he was held in awe as some sort of programming guru by his banking colleagues.

RIP, Swype: Thanks for all the sor--speec--speedy texting

Toastan Buttar

Re: Why type....

Glaswegian accent, trying to sound like an American so voice recognition software will work?


Third NAND dimension makes quad bit bucket cells feasible

Toastan Buttar

Fractional bits are pure madness

Using an integer number of bits per cell already leads to inefficiencies.

For example, in order to read a random page of data from a 3BPC flash device, the controller firmware has to perform the following steps:

1. Read the wordline at 3 different comparison levels

2. Store these intermediate wordlines in RAM

3. Perform a series of Boolean logic functions on the intermediate worldines to extract the noisy page of data and its noisy ECC bits.

4. Combine the noisy page and ECC data to extract the original, uncorrupted written data.

If your storage system spreads the ECC data between the three stored pages, then you must read the entire wordline at 7 different comparison levels in step 1. Store 7 intermediate wordlines in RAM. Perform 3 times the number of Boolean logic functions that you did in step 3 to extract all three noisy pages of data and ECC bits. Combine all three pages of noisy data and ECC to extract three uncorrupted pages as written initially.

Extending this to fractional numbers of bits per cell would necessitate reading MULTIPLE WORDLINES at MULTIPLE THRESHOLD LEVELS and applying bizarre Boolean logic functions to extract your noisy data+ECC pages. This ignores the complex maths involved in applying something like BCH to generate ECC in a fractional bit scenario. Yes, it's possible in theory, but in practice it's ugly beyond belief. The complexity (and hence cost) that this would add to firmware design and testing would swamp any possible gain in storage.

In short, you'd have to be certifiably insane to propose introducing fractional bits to commercial NAND devices.

Toastan Buttar

"Genuinely, why is SLC called that?"

Possibly because there was a single /threshold/ voltage comparison level to determine whether a cell represented a '0' or '1' on read.

MLC (for 2 bits per cell) covers the use of three comparison levels to fully decode two stored pages.

This however does not justify the extension of the nomenclature to TLC for 3-bits-per-cell technology.

Why the industry didn't just call it BPC (Bits-Per-Cell) from the beginning, I'll never know.

Why Boston Dynamics' backflipping borg shouldn't scare you

Toastan Buttar

Re: Boston Dynamics Scottish Department

The original northern English one is far funnier


Let's make the coppers wear cameras! That'll make the ba... Oh. No sodding difference

Toastan Buttar

Re: History of Digital Telepathy

To Harry Stottle. A wonderful piece of work. Have a thousand upvotes. I had the exact same thoughts about a month or so ago, but I do not have the gumption or the talent to put them together in such a way. Thank you for articulating the concept.

My extension to the idea was to have a central AI which had access to everyone's recordings, and which could 'join the dots' between various experiences of the same situation. If judgement was requested by any of the participants in an incident or dispute, then the AI would reveal the encrypted evidence as required.

I think most people would allow recordings 24/7 because every time an injustice was resolved, the benefits would outweigh any doubts.

A twist in the tale: A Messiah figure who decides from an early age that he wants no further personal recordings. Haven't thought through the implications, yet. Of course, there will be a million EXTERNAL recordings of his actions from other citizens, which could be stitched together by the AI. Unless he lives as a recluse.

Samsung to let proper Linux distros run on Galaxy smartmobes

Toastan Buttar

"It's emulators all the way down..."

WINE Is Not an Emulator

90 per cent of the UK's NHS is STILL relying on Windows XP

Toastan Buttar

Re: Yummy ransomware target

How very, very true! :)

iPhone lawyers literally compare Apples with Pears in trademark war

Toastan Buttar

Re: Pear for Apple already in use for 10 years on Kids TV

Joke news.

Until today.

Base specs leak for Windows 10 Cloud – Microsoft's wannabe ChromeOS assassin

Toastan Buttar

"When you're not connected, it's pretty much a brick."


Manchester pulls £750 public crucifixion offer

Toastan Buttar

Make the price £666

Rather than £750

Londoners will be trialling driverless cars in pedestrianised area

Toastan Buttar

Think once, think twice, think don't drive your car on the pavement


Dark net webmail provider Sigaint still in the, er, dark

Toastan Buttar

"The service has run for years despite deanonymisation attacks by Federal agencies and OTHER hostile parties."

Says it all really. :(

You're taking the p... Linux encryption app Cryptkeeper has universal password: 'p'

Toastan Buttar


Could I have a 'p' please, Bob?

Will Wikipedia honour Jimbo's promise to STOP chugging?

Toastan Buttar

Re: What to do?

If you feel that £20 is fair payment for years of free use, then you shouldn't reclaim.

I've paid into the fundraiser for at least the past three years, and I will keep doing so in order to keep it ad-free, if nothing else. It's one of my (if not THE) most used sites on a daily basis.

Apple’s macOS Sierra update really puts the fan into 'fanboi'

Toastan Buttar

Have to disagree

Best. Dabbsie. Evar.

Several splutters and genuine LOLs will testify.

Don't want to vote for Clinton or Trump? How about this woman who says Wi-Fi melts kids' brains?

Toastan Buttar

Re: Members of the the House of Lords agree

SG might well be right about the effects of online technology on brain development. But be careful not to suggest that she thinks Wi-Fi itself is a credible threat to anyone's brain development.

Good gravy, Toshiba QLC flash chips are getting closer

Toastan Buttar

4 bits per cell tech is so last decade.

SanDisk had a 43nm 4-bits-per-cell (x4) die in production in the noughties.


The ‘Vaping Crackdown’ starts today. This is what you need to know

Toastan Buttar

Re: Regulation is sensible the article is not

"There will still be a negative imapct on health"

It's a 95% LESS negative im-ap-ct on health.

Toastan Buttar
Thumb Up


Don't normally 'do' online campaigns, but I found this a significant cause. Very few people in my extended family have ever smoked, and neither have I. However, I truly sympathise with those who attempt to quit for good, or who want to continue, whilst reducing the harm of their addiction.

If I could give you 100 upvotes for all your posts on this topic, I would.

Alphabetti spaghetti: SanDisk adds SLC cache to TLC SSD

Toastan Buttar


Each block in a MLC die can be erased as desired (MLC or SLC) by the firmware on board. Same goes for TLC. It usually makes sense to permanently partition the blocks in such a way that the important stuff (or stuff which is going to be re-written many, many times) is stored in SLC. Whilst it would make more sense to keep this partitioning static, as you say there's nothing in the physics to prevent you doing it dynamically. It's just FAR more difficult to keep track of wear-levelling, etc in the dynamic case, with very little benefit to be gained in real-world use-cases.

Alice, Bob and Verity, too. Yeah, everybody's got a story, pal

Toastan Buttar

Re: Don't forget the rest of the staff

Where's Wally?

Sir Clive Sinclair in tech tin-rattle triumph

Toastan Buttar

Re: Hard to take seriously

"Only the suicidal would actual take one on the road and few of them did it twice."

Sounds like a lucrative (if niche) market.

Longing to bin Photoshop? Rock-solid GIMP a major leap forward

Toastan Buttar

@Old Handle

"As best I can tell the commercial UIs suck on purpose"

What does that even mean? The commercial companies have deliberately set out to make sucky UIs? Why would they do that?

Periodic table enjoys elemental engorgement

Toastan Buttar


Following on in the same manner:

Harpium, Grouchium, Chicium and Zeppium.

Microsoft to OneDrive users: We're sorry, click the magic link to keep your free storage

Toastan Buttar

@jeremy 3: Re: Never clear

"It is so integrated with Windows, it is practically impossible to not use it."

Bullshit. Just don't use it and you......erm.......not use it.

I have used Windows 7 for yeeears and Windows 10 for a couple of months, and there is nothing which enforces use of OneDrive. Please explain your nebulous assertion.

Toastan Buttar

Re: Oh Microsoft,@ Roq D. Kasba

"I suspect Roq D Kasba is a US based Microsoft apologist."

205 posts would make me suspect that you are a cockwomble, AC. Grow some yarbles and post under your Forum Name so that we can check out YOUR posting history. If you have any yarbles, you eunuch jelly thou!

BOFH: How long does it take to complete Friday's lager-related tasks?

Toastan Buttar

Re: Before that they all went out for an english.

"Waiter! Bring me the blandest thing on the menu!"

Think Fortran, assembly language programming is boring and useless? Tell that to the NASA Voyager team

Toastan Buttar

Re: Competent C programmers

Actually, there are quite a few working in embedded software. Low-powered processors and kilobytes of RAM are still commonplace in that area.

If MR ROBOT was realistic, he’d be in an Iron Maiden t-shirt and SMELL of WEE

Toastan Buttar

Re: Say what you like about Hollywood Hackers

90 90 90 pronounced "neunzig neunzig neunzig" used to mean something quite different in the early days of analogue satellite broadcasting.

DMCA takedown bots must respect 'fair use' of copyright – US appeals court

Toastan Buttar

Re: People like you are the ones I remove from the job.

You don't have the power to remove anyone from any job. You are a teenager with a small penis.

Scotsman cools PC with IRN-BRU, dubs it the 'Aye Mac'

Toastan Buttar

Re: I know the face...

Lorne sausage and 'a square slice' are one and the same. Even more inexplicable (even less explicable?) is the term "roll in sausage".

Now Ashley Madison hackers reveal 'CEO's emails and source code'

Toastan Buttar
Thumb Up

Re: The hackers were doing it wrong...

A la Monty Python 'Blackmail' sketch, with the 'ransom' demand increasing by the second?

I like your thinking! :)

Watch out Sonos! Here's the second coming of Yamaha MusicCast

Toastan Buttar

Re: Good luck to Yamaha with this

You mention the DX-7 and ignore the classic CS-80?

Yet another Android app security bug: This time 'everything is affected'

Toastan Buttar

Collective term

A mop of flaws?

Windows 10 is FORCING ITSELF onto domain happy Windows 7 PCs

Toastan Buttar

Re: "And it’s all happening despite Microsoft promising – here – that it wouldn’t."

Meghan Traynor has a fantastic natural voice. If she ever uses Autotune, it would only be for an obvious effect.

Hacker-friendly Chrysler hauled into court for class-action showdown

Toastan Buttar

"Chrysler could have solved all its problems if it had only used a basic"...

...air gap between anything to do with the mechanics of the vehicle and any form of remotely-accessible computer system.

How f***ing hard can it be?

New study into lack of women in Tech: It's not the men's fault

Toastan Buttar

Re: Maths especially sadistics would be very important

Sadistics is hugely important if you're applying to be the BOFH or the PFY.

Invisible app ads slug smartmobes with 2GB of daily downloads

Toastan Buttar

Re: The poor advertisers...

All fingers are digital.

Happy birthday, Amiga: The 'other' home computer turns 30

Toastan Buttar

Re: 16514

That was the first character after REM, if a REM statement was the first line of BASIC. Before POKEing in a HEX machine code program, you had to make sure you had enough characters after REM to support your Z80 machine code routine(s).

One of the most exciting moments of my teen life was writing a Z80 routine

LD BC, nnnn;

LD HL, mmmm;





10 REM xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (appears as Sinclair-esque nonsense once values POKEd in)

20 PRINT USR 16514

And seeing it produce the expected answer (mmmm + nnnn) on screen! Seriously mind-blowing and I've always wanted to know what was REALLY happening inside every computer (and every high-level language) I've used ever since.

Started with 1K ZX-81, graduated to 16K, then Spectrum, then A500+, and finally threw in the towel and got a PC once they had decent enough graphics and sound to replace the Amiga.