* Posts by Bob Ginger

22 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Aug 2008

Morgan Computers: Your memories

Bob Ginger
Dead Vulture

Farewell then Morgan, we hardly knew thee...

A sad, sad day.

Got my first evah pc from Morgan. It was, IIRC, a Fujitsu with 386dx, 4MB, 50MB and a B&W VGA monitor.

Built like a brick shithouse it was. It had some kind of push-rod going from the power switch at the front of the case to the actual power supply at the rear. The motherboard was crammed onto (it looked like) a3/4 length expansion card-type daughterboard which slotted into some bus or other on a sparse "motherboard". Poor, naive fools that they were, they intended you to upgrade by slotting in a more powerful processor card, rather than by chucking the pc in skip and getting another.

Sold it to a guy at work when I upgraded to an Olivetti, again from Morgan. 486dx 50Mhz, 8MB, 500MB, 15" SVGA...

...Do not ask for whom the motherboard beeper beeps, it beeps for thee.

Boss frogmarches bound employee to cop shop

Bob Ginger
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The cops *did* go easy on the boss...

I suspect they did actually let the boss off quite lightly.

Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to lock someone in a cellar and send a note demanding money to their worried relatives to commit a kidnap.

All it takes is to move someone from one location to another via threats, force or deception. It's long, it's broad, it's very easy to prove and it attracts quite harsh sentences. The absolute minimum would be around 18 months, for what the CPS describes as "...circumstances which barely qualify as kidnapping...".

Pilots survive night on Hudson Strait ice sheet

Bob Ginger
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@Roy Ward


An office worker in temperate climes will find 2000-2500kcal plenty.

Meanwhile a single 24h military arctic ration pack contains up to 6000kcal.

Also, in arctic conditions, "water discipline" is usually enforced. That is to say, soldiers are *ordered* to drink at frequent intervals, as they are unaware of their increased rate of respiration (in order to keep warm) which requires a corresponding increased input of water to avoid dehydration and degraded performance.

Reg readers in the dark over extreme porn

Bob Ginger

@RotaCyclic - "What BS is this?"


Ok, I'm no legal expert but if the new legislation will only catch images which are already illegal under the Obscene Publications Act of 1959, then why the heck do we need a new batch of legislation to make something illegal which is already illegal?

So, this new legislation to going to clarify things huh? I think pretty evidently, it won't but will in fact do the opposite.



The OPA concerns itself with publication and distribution only.

This is of little help to our moral guardians when the producers of material they find distasteful ("extreme porn") are happily working outside UK jurisdiction, eg. The US of A, where their first amendment protections generally safeguard them from state intrusion.

Hence the introduction of a strict liability offence of "posession", thus shifting criminal responsibility fimly inside England and Wales.


Armed anti-paedophile cops swoop on video site uploader

Bob Ginger

Worst thing in article...

"...Biggles9 did not ask for a lawyer to be present because he did not believe there was any case to answer..."

Stupid, stupid stupid...

As soon as the state has leaped into action with both size 11's at the same time, they will damn well make sure there's some kind of case to answer.

Witness the case of the supply teacher in the US, Julie Amero, who was charged with child endangerment when an unsecured win 98 pc in her classroom started blatting up porn pop-ups.


She eventually pled guilty to disorderly conduct and avoided any jail time, but her teaching license has been revoked and the state got the scalp it was after.

Because she took a plea bargain, she has waived the right to appeal and cannot make a civil claim regarding any of the state's conduct or actions.

Every single time you are questioned by the police, you need your new best friend, a lawyer, sitting right beside you. It might not do any good, but it sure as hell can't do any harm.

World hunts CherryPal cloud PC chimera

Bob Ginger

@Andy Barber

You still use a QL. What for?

I nearly got one and it was the week before my birthday when my old man got a call from the headmaster who clued him in about what was *really* going on at school, rather than the "tractor production" figures that I'd been giving him...

Retro piracy - Should the Royal Navy kick arse?

Bob Ginger
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@AC -"Swedish Navy response"

Yes, the Visby class corvette might well be a good match for this type of role.

If you like war porn or are interested in the capabilities of its 57mm cannon against soft and armoured targets, mosey on over to...


...and have a look at a test-fire video.

Bob Ginger


"...And why would we have any need to worry about China or Russia?

Of course, they have killed far fewer of our service-men than the Septics have, but the leadership of none of these is entirely on our side at the moment...."


Sure about that? The number of Sino-Russian casualties, that is...

Never heard of the Korean war (China) or British involvement in the Russian revolution? Or the Crimean war, for that matter (Russia again).

Tut tut, the state of edukashun these days...

Paris, for her skill and enthusiasm.

Bob Ginger

Frigate suitabilty

One poster commented that frigates bring along all sorts of weaponry that isn't of any use against small raiders.

Largely true, at present.

But, as another poster commented, they have speed, their size gives them an extended loiter capability, plus the ability to bring along some useful friends such as marines. And a nice handy helicopter - helicopters which *have* been used as a maritime sniping platform from outside miscreants' effective range.

Although the ship used in the current incident was a type-22, the type-23 is being fitted with a naval variant (roll / pitch / swell compensation) of the Bushmaster 30/40mm cannon precisely to provide offensive capability against small, fast attck boats. A gun that can twat armour at 2000 yards should be pretty handy against soft targets using HE rounds.

Preventive policing? Don't even think about it

Bob Ginger

Before this item drops off the scope completely...

...Would one of the "armed populace" folk tell me where I've gone wrong?

I could use som good news right now...

Bob Ginger

@Frank Gerlach - "Violence DOES work"

The point I was making, was that trotting out the complacent "an armed country is a free country" stuff doesn't really hold water, in my view.

But, basically you agree with me that in order for the armed populace to counter oppressive government, they *would* have to form some kind of militia, as per my final paragraph?

BTW, yes I have heard of the provos, but never *heard* them - I slept through their kind donation of £30 million worth of urban regeneration funding for Manchester, but my GF claimed it rattled the windows.

I think the example of the IRA is a good one in this context, because unless you view the Turner Diaries (minus the apalling racism) as a credible fortelling / strategy guide, I don't really see any mass armed resistance arising. I reckon only a very small number of people would be willing to give up their relative comfortable safety, cross a big, thick, black line on the ground and actually begin war against their own government.

And how the hell would this group of terrorists - for that is what they would be labelled by the compliant media - operate? How can they apply pressure to the government? You say the provos "Killed and bombed Whitehall into compromise". Largely true, but for the armed US patriots, traditional terror tactics are out - no bombing planes or shopping malls or or placing car bombs in urban centres for that would be murdering your own people. No attacking big business targets for the same reason.

Government buildings are being progressively hardened and protected. Security screening is becoming the norm. Military bases are pretty well placed to secure and defend themselves. Police and police stations? Maybe... local / state government? Again maybe. Low-level political assassinations aplenty? No idea...

Add in the fact that government is incrementally increasing its powers to spy on its own citizens thus making coherent organisation more and more difficult. Anything other than face-to-face communication or hand-delivered messages would be to invite discovery and exposure. Oh, and expect infiltration by military intelligence and a few informers...

I just don't see how it would work, *unless* a sizeable portion of the populace were to partake in rebellion and I don't see it happening. People have different pressure points. No one thing is going to set them all off at once, allied with the theory of frog boiling techniques.

Like I said to a previous poster - I'm quite willing, almost hopeful to find out I'm utterly wrong. At least there would be hope somewhere. I'd be interested to hear your ideas about the ultimate role of the armed populace (ie. ultimate = the arms get used) in warding off oppressive government.

Unless you don't want to give your plans away, that is ;-)

Bob Ginger

@Danny "2nd amendment... "

"...Now you know why we made the right to keep and bear arms the 2nd amendment right after the right to say what we want and associate with who we want.

An armed society is a free society...."


Danny. In light of my previous post, can you please explain how this works in a first-world setting, such as the US?

I'm quite willing, even hopeful, to find out that I'm mistaken.

If it were the case that I'm completely wrong, at least there'd be some hope, somewhere...

Bob Ginger

@So is anyone in the UK going to do anything about this?...

So exactly how much use is your gun against this kind of government intrusion?

Say you live in a US state where open or even concealed carry is legal.

You go to bar, but are prevented from entering until your friendly local LEO has taken a hand swab for the portable drug test. You refuse. You are not permitted to enter the bar. Do you:

a) Go somewhere else, in which case they've won as per UK.

or b) Attempt to enter the bar despite the LEO's orders not to.

if "b", what will happen next? Of course the situation will deteriorate somewhat. If the cop stands in your way then any attempt to push past can probably be built up into assulting a police officer. Wups!

Say you decide that the situation's going *really* badly and the cop's attempting to make a trumped-up false arrest for assault and you draw on him, what happens next? He backs off and forgets about it - I think not! He probably withdraws to cover and radios for backup? You're in a whole world of shit now.

What if it goes incredibly badly, you draw your weapon and the cop too tries to draw his. What happens next? At best you're going to have to drop your weapon incredibly quickly and be ready for a world of shit. Say you decide that your life is in danger, don't back down and you shoot the cop, double-taps aimed at the centre of mass. Congratulations! You're now a merciless mad-dog killer with the entire attention of the criminal justice system focussed on you. Does anyone seriously expect a defense of "self defense" or some other justification being made to stick? No, the DA will be calling for the harshest possible penalties against this stone-cold, ruthless cop killer.

Now I sense that you are making a larger point about the utility of an armed populace, but I just don't see it. You can take the two preceeding paragraphs and project them into any situation where the individual is confronted with "legitimate", armed, oppressive authority. A traffic stop, being served court papers, being arrested at a demonstration. That's the way ot happens - at the individual level, piece by piece. They have the power, the backup and the laws, you have only your own life. Unless of course, you *do* organise with like-minded folk into a well regulated militia. Unfortunately, that kind of thing tends to attract attention from three-letter-acronym agencies, plus the BATF and may well end in an ugly seige...

Royal Society of Chemistry requests 'Italian Job' ending

Bob Ginger

Mathematician's answer

First, assume a 90 tonne crane...

Windows 7 borrows from OS X, avoids Vista

Bob Ginger
Black Helicopters

@Thomas, Re: Dock Haters...-

Thomas says:

Incidentally, if you want to feel a bit of Microsoft's frustration, try dragging and dropping a file onto an open program on the taskbar. You'll get a window that says "You cannot drop an item onto a button on the taskbar. However, if you drag the item over a button without releasing the mouse button, the window will open for a moment, allowing you to drop the item inside the window" - i.e. "we know what you wanted to do and wish we had a mechanism for doing it, but we don't and it's a bit too late now".


Could it be that they're being *just* different enough to avoid running up against somebody's patent or other?

Hoon: Not building überdatabase would be terrorist licence to kill

Bob Ginger

Road Deaths etc...

I continue to watch the seemingly never-ending intrusions into our private lives and our freedoms with slack jawed disbelief. Seriously, someone needs to ask Hoon if there are any measures he WOULDN'T consider, if they could prevent the death of just one child, er,sorry, UK citizen...

Meanwhile back at the ranch, my main point is that very many people in very many discussions invoke the numbers of deaths on the roads, doing DIY, being thrown from horses etc as an illustration of the disproportionate fear of terrorist attacks.

What these folk fail to take into account ispeople's reactions to different kinds of risk. I urge abyone of an enquiring mind to read Prof. John Adams' excellent essay "What Kills You Matters" at the Social Affairs Unit:


It is not, by any means, an apologia for the current government paranoia and frenzied lawmaking, but it may go some way towards explaining the factors that influence or distort peoples perceptions regarding the terrorist threat.

PS. John Adams is is emeritus professor of geography at University College London. He's undertaken a great deal of work in the field of "risk" generally, often with surprising and counterintuitive findings. He writes in a pithy, straightforward manner and a lot of it is very entertaining. Have look if you're interested: http://john-adams.co.uk/

Marketing body condemns 'draconian' Olympic law

Bob Ginger
Paris Hilton

They're worrying about nothing...

Honestly, who's going to even *want* to be associated with the London olympics?

Still four years off, but it contains the seeds of an expensive, embarrassing, world-class cock up of the sort that only us Brits can produce.

Paris, 'cos she knows a thing or two about cock-ups.

Cambridge tech boss rips gov over innovation cash

Bob Ginger
Black Helicopters

@Master Baker

"...When you see stories like this (including the many stories about the NHS scrambling for cash, and the increase in council tax because of central government funding cuts) it makes you wonder WTF do we still, as a nation give hundreds of millions of pounds a year to 'developing countries'... such as India, which is a rapidly growing economy,and is actually taking IT work *away* from our shores..."

Fecked if I know. Maybe it's a long-term strategy to keep 'em reliant on aid and help slow their growth? If you can come up with a less-barking justification I'm all ears!

Black helicopter for sinister international financial conspiracies...

Artemis Fowl scribe to pen sixth Hitchhiker's novel

Bob Ginger
Dead Vulture

Ambivalent, but mainly against...

It was plain that by the end of "Mostly Harmless", DA was kackered, pissed-off and sick of just cranking the handle.

In "So Long and Thanks For All the Fish", he snipes briefly at authors who pad their text with tedious, superflous description. In "Mostly Harmless", he was doing this himself, in great, inelegant, indigestible chunks. I reckon he just wanted to:

a) Hit the word count


b) Wrap the whole thing up in a non-resurrectable manner and move onto something new.

Maybe, a new author, not being so jaded, *could* inject some fresh thinking, and that might not be such a bad thing... But, I do feel that the whole thing has been done to death, especially by the originator, so the main good that will come will be in the form of royalty cheques to the Colfer fellow & the DA estate.

My vote, on the whole, is to let it lie.

UK.gov told not to subsidise superfast broadband

Bob Ginger

History repeats...

Unless my frail old memory is playing tricks, didn't BT - or would it be the post office back then? - propose to start laying fibre to the door throughout the uk? At the tme, I think it was for telephony, TV and the like plus "future services" (which would, of course, become the interwebs).

Again, IIRC, the idea was nixed 'cos Maggie was aghast at the sheer audacity of a state monopoly proposing to steal the crusts from the very mouths of the poor, starving private entrepeneur...

Anyone confirm or deny?


DARPA funds radical disco-copter concept

Bob Ginger

@Nux Vomica: "air-to-air chopper combat"

"Just wondered how much air-to-air chopper combat there has actually been?"

AFAIK, none, apart from exercises.

But the humble chopper *is* a fearsome weapons platform. Fixed-wing pilots are advised that the chopper's air-to-air misslies will be pointed at them 100% of the time. Heli's can hide right down on the deck, lose themselves in terrain, urban clutter or peek over the horizon with their sneeky radar/optronics masts and turn much faster to acquire a target

In all 1-on-1 fixed vs. rotary wing exercises, the fighter / ground attack pilot gets spanked He/she never even lnows what killed 'em.

Chopper vs. chopper would be much more... ...intersting.

S&K, 'cos heli's are deadly.

Sun double teams Xeon chip

Bob Ginger

[Off-Topic-ish] Xeon Bargains

All those reg readers with a hankering for a dual-core Xeon home server should mosey on over to:


They're flogging an HP ProLiant ML110 G5 - Micro tower - Dual-Core Xeon 3065 2.33GHz / 1Gb Ram / 250Gb HD. This, for the princely sum of £94.99 ex VAT. But wait, there's more: Three year's on-site warranty is included.

No connection to Insight, but my mate got one and it's a solid, well-built piece of kit with plenty of expansion possibility, I've just ordered one and at that price it's no surprise that they started the week with 700 in stock and they're down to under 400 today...