* Posts by Andy Miller

136 posts • joined 9 Sep 2008


Energizer Hard Case H280S: A KaiOS-powered blower that can withstand a few knocks

Andy Miller

Lanyard anchor point?

All very well being waterproof, but if it's 30 fathoms down it's not going to get a signal. In many of it's use cases, I'd like it tethered to me.

I heard somebody say: Burn baby, burn – server inferno!

Andy Miller

Re: Tricks of the trade.

I had one colleague who always complained about the heat. One morning he came in early and super-glued the thermostatic valve on the office radiator shut, but still he complained.

At some point he decided to stop drinking coca-cola by the 2-litre bottle full. Soon he stopped complaining about the heat, and actually closed the window....

The self-disconnecting switch: Ghost in the machine or just a desire to save some cash?

Andy Miller


In a previous century the company I was working for wanted to port their software from HP Rocky Mountain Basic workstations to these new PC things. We hired a sub-contractor to assist, which involved loaning them one of the large and expensive optic fibre test machine that we made.

At some point I got a whiff that the subby might be having cash-flow problems, so I suggested to our TD that it might be worth us moving the kit back to our site. The subby could carry on working on it, but in our office. So the TD and I get into the biggest car we could borrow, and set off for the subby.

Shortly after, we are sitting in the subby's MDs office, and the MD was denying that there was a problem, when the secretary pops her head round the door to say that there are a couple of bailiffs in reception. The MD kept the bailiffs talking whilst me, my TD and the subbies software engineer passed our large optical instrument and the subbies development machine out the window, into the car and away....What fun !

Windows takes a tumble in the land of the Big Mac and Bacon Double Cheeseburger

Andy Miller

"Is it true some now serve beer?" It certainly is in Naples.

And it's correctly pronounced "MuckDonald's"

Microsoft boffin inadvertently highlights .NET image woes by running C# on Windows 3.11

Andy Miller

Re: "Visual Studio is a paid-for product"

"Turbo Pascal didn't make you pay for its dev environment, nor did Borland ever do that"

Apart from confusing the product with the company, my copy of Byte from 1989 shows Turbo Pascal going for £99, or £169 for the Pro edition. They did do a free version later in the Windows era, but that had a limited licence and Microsoft had a similar edition.

Crash, bang, wallop: What a power-down. But what hit the kill switch?

Andy Miller

Re: Placement of kill switch and other quirks

This placement makes a lot of sense when you are leaving and turning the light on. When you're coming in and groping for the switch to turn the light on, line of sight is not that relevant. Motion sensors for lights people... At least this story has made me feel better about taking out all the customer support gateways....

Come mobile users, gather round and learn how to add up

Andy Miller


Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4. f that is granted, all else follows

Well that went well: Polycom sold for the same figure it fetched two years ago

Andy Miller

Better than most

At least they got back what they paid for it. Bettr than most folks manage in these cases.

User had no webcam or mic, complained vid conference didn’t work

Andy Miller

Re: This one, every time

You must be a wizard. Muggle pictures don't move

How many Routemaster bus seats would it take to fill Wembley Stadium?

Andy Miller

I still hear "Olympic-sized swimming pool" in a Welsh accent

Drone perves defeated by tinfoil houses

Andy Miller

Re: 410 Shotgun is your friend :)

410 Gone

User asked help desk to debug a Post-it Note that survived a reboot

Andy Miller

Re: This kind of idiocy is not confined to matters IT

I recall an undergraduate experiment that required refluxing from boiling petrol. The instruction clearly said to use a water bath. Most of us used the electric water baths. One genius got a large (glass) water bath, and stuck a Bunsen under it. The fumes crept over the edge, and soon his desk, his lab-book and his hair was alight. He was put out before he suffered any lasting damage....

Boss visited the night shift and found a car in the data centre

Andy Miller

Elfin Safety....

Not in the server room, but one of my colleagues used to work on his mini in the barn we rented for noisy engine tests. This was after hours and in his own time, so not an issue. Until one winter evening, whilst removing the radiator, his hand slipped and his arm got jammed between the radiator and the front of the car. Luckily, the hand-brake was off, and he managed to drag the car across the barn to the phone, and contact a another colleague who came and extracted him.

Software update turned my display and mouse upside-down, says user

Andy Miller

Upside down you're turning me

When I was working for a TV equipment manufacturer, one of the image processing scientists had a film clip that they used for image quality testing. To decouple the image from reality, this was turned upside down. One Friday we went down to his office to see if he was coming to the pub. He wasn't around, but this clip was playing on a rather expensive, broadcast quality monitor. We decided to fix this by turning the monitor upside-down (hard work, those things were heavy). When he reappeared, it took him a couple of minutes to spot what we had done. We all had a laugh, and then turned the monitor back over. Then we realised that the screen had become magnetised, and there were nasty colour fringes everywhere. A couple of degausses helped, but didn't cure it.

What was to be done? We went to the pub. When we came back the monitor had settled, and we were all very relieved.

US Navy developers test aircraft carrier drone control software

Andy Miller

Would I be right in thinking that this is a cats and traps only design? So not something us Brits can buy for our catlass Queen Lizzies? Who exactly thought a catless carrier was a good idea?

Gone in 70 seconds: Holding Enter key can smash through defense

Andy Miller

Re: Missing item in the series?

is a specialist Linux distro that uses the whitespace language as it's default shell

Virgin Galactic and Boom unveil Concorde 2.0 tester to restart supersonic travel

Andy Miller

Re: No so great in time savings

I share your reservations. To make it work the airlines are going to have to put some effort into streamlining the time from check-in to take-off, and landing to check-out. With a small, business-class only plane, mostly full of frequent fliers, this shouldn't be beyond the wit of person. Even BAA may not worry too much; business travellers spend most of their time in their lounges, so there may be little point in holding them for 2 hours in an over-priced shopping centre.

Andy Miller

Re: whoop!

But you won't be able to take your Note 7 aboard

‘Penultimate’ BlackBerry seen on 'do not publish' page as fire sale begins

Andy Miller

A "convenience key" ? Can it unlock public toilets? That would be the first innovative feature I've seen on a smartphone for some years.

The developer died 14 years ago, here's a print out of his source code

Andy Miller

Re: Portrayal of computer tech guys in films/tv.

Have you tried turning it off and on again?

Vodafone hints at relocation from UK

Andy Miller

Re: Bye Bye Then

Tell that to the staff.

Label your cables: A cautionary tale from the server room

Andy Miller

Also, your phone has a camera. Take lots of pictures as you move stuff. You can always delete them later.

Linux command line mistake 'nukes web boss'S biz'

Andy Miller

Re: Format C:

At one time 'format' defaulted to the current drive. So all you had to do was miss off the A:... IIRC they fixed that one (probably around DOS 4?)

Samsung Galaxy S7: Big brand Android flagship champ

Andy Miller

We've got five phones, four tablets, two kindles and an smattering of wireless headphones and keyboards. All micro-USB. Cables and chargers all over the house and in both cars. Any device can be plugged into any charger.

The thought of going back to having one device where I have to hunt down The Cable was the only reason I passed on the Nexus 6P.

Microsoft wants to be your phone company, at least for voice

Andy Miller


Can't see them getting much traction until they get serious about OS X. Those of us on Macs (I'm not a fanboi - I need to develop for iOS) are still using the wonderful Lync 2011; the wonder being that this was deemed suitable for release in 2011, and hasn't been fixed yet.

There may not be huge number of Mac users, but lots of the decision makers love there shiny Macs, and a business solution kind of has to reach everyone.

Facebook casts a hex with self-referential IPv6

Andy Miller

A55 ?

Are you in north Wales?

Scout Association's shelved database won't be back until next year

Andy Miller

Re: Kill It

As others have said the alternative to a central database is Scout leaders having stuff on bits of paper and local machines. Which do you think is going to be more secure?

Bad guys who are looking to exploit Scouts are going to be largely targeting local kids. Much easier to nick Skip's laptop than hack a properly implemented central database.

Assuming the central database is properly implemented.

Volkswagen Passat GT 2.0-litre TDI SCR 190 PS 6spd DSG

Andy Miller

Tech angle?

Did you not get one with the "Trailer Assist" automatic trailer reversing gadget? I think lots of caravanners will be interested in that and it's an interesting new bit of applied technology.

EE 'best' of the UK mobile network bunch, but how good is that?

Andy Miller


I've sampled EE's "customer service". I don't care how good their coverage is, how fast the back haul is or how cheap their tariffs, I will NEVER deal with them again.If it was a choice between EE or nothing, I would forgo my phone.

I know other companies have bad customer service, but EE is breathtakingly terrible.

UK Scouts database 'flaws' raise concerns

Andy Miller

Most of what you say is true, the bulk upload was a bloody nightmare. Kept failing, no message about why. Took me most of Christmas to nail the damn thing.

However, one point. Two parents aren't compulsory. I thought that at the start, however I discovered the small print that says IF you enter a name for the second parent THEN all the fields for that parent become compulsory. Missing out the second parent completely is valid.

I'll build a Hyperloop railgun tube-way in Texas, Elon Musk vows

Andy Miller


"cornering could make passengers nauseous due to sideways G forces", could they bank the curves, so the pod tilts? Then the acceleration is downwards, where humans expect it. BR nearly made it work....

Notebook news: Dell does density, but Lenovo's a lot lighter

Andy Miller

Re: But what is the screen resolution?

My company spent the extra on a 1600x900 display on my 15.6" (sorry 396.24mm) laptop, and I wish they hadn't. It spends most of it's life tethered to a 1920x1080 584.2mm monitor. As the OS doesn't let me set a font size per screen, I either have the text on my main monitor insanely large or the text on my laptop screen unreadably small. You pays your money...

Cheap Android phones? Bah! How about a $29 mobe from Microsoft?

Andy Miller

Re: No 3G? Useless in some parts of the world...

Closer to home (the UK in my case), 3 only support 3G phones. If it worked on 3 I'd buy one for festivals and walking holidays.

UK's non-emergency police and NHS Vodafone systems go titsup NATIONWIDE

Andy Miller

Anyone else?

I got a similar message this morning from the Nationwide BS. Are they using the same service provider?

Right, suits off: Windows 10 preview Internet Explorer is here

Andy Miller

WebRTC is here

You need to look again at WebRTC. It's in Crome and Firefox stable (and Safari I think), and it is is now usably stable. It is being used right now.

Satisfy my scroll: El Reg gets claws on Windows 8.1 spring update

Andy Miller

A touchscreen optimised UI on a desktop PC is as useful as a steering wheel on a washing machine.

Thought you didn't need to show ID in the UK? Wrong

Andy Miller

Re: Humph!

I was in a branch of a well known DIY store with my 12-year old son. They seem to only have self check-out tills these days. Being 12 he wanted to put the items through the till. All was well until we came to a set of putty knives (about 100mm long and made of flexible plastic). For this the till needed approval. The large, steel brick bolster had gone through without complaint....

PS B&Qs self service tills are by far the worse I have ever used. They are a complete heap of junk.....

Digital radio may replace FM altogether - even though nobody wants it

Andy Miller

So we should all replace our radios (the factory fit one in my 2 year old car is going to be expensive) so you can listen to your favourite radio station? Where do you work? The House of Commons?

Samsung Galaxy Note 3: Once, twice, three times - a Very Large Phone™

Andy Miller

I was looking forward to swapping my Note 1 for a Note 3, but I now have concerns about the SIM region locking. If I go abroad I want to be able to use a local SIM in my phone, and it is not clear to me whether this will work with the Note 3. I'm getting mixed answers to this basic question.

Oh, and no FM radio I see...

Have you tried turning it off and on again - oh, you did: IT Crowd RETURNS

Andy Miller

Damn you !

Now my complete DVD set isn't complete !

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid: Eco, economy and diesel power

Andy Miller

Re: If I don't need ...

• 1,800 kg towing capacity

• Up to 280 horsepower working at the same time

• Up to 640 Nm of torque

& 4WD

Should pull a pretty big van very well. If only I could afford one, and over-come my anti-Volvo prejudice...

PM Cameron calls for modern, programmable computers! (We think)

Andy Miller
Thumb Down

Re: *Actual* computer science, rather than fluff

If that's what he means, then I'd agree. However, if that is what he meant, then he would have said "more core" or "more technical"; rather than "more modern". I was taught programming at school, before Word was invented.

If he believes that in the beginning was Word, and coding came latter, than he neither knows his facts (which Mr Gove thinks is bad) nor can he find them out (which I think is bad).

Andy Miller

Modern is relative

Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) is widely regarded as the first programmer. That's pretty modern for the reformation re-enactment society we have as a parliament.

Interview: Steve Jackson, role-playing game titan

Andy Miller


Can we have a higher res copy of that photo of the shelves, please? I've worked out about 25% of the games, but there are some I don't recognise.

Doctor Who? 12th incarnation sought after Matt Smith quits

Andy Miller

Re: Justin Bieber for the next doctor!

Nah, Matt Smith has already done the turning up late bit....

Andy Miller

Fountain of Youth

The Doctor is getting younger. My money is on Tyger Drew-Honey

STROKE this mouse to make apps POP, says Microsoft

Andy Miller

Re: Yeah, about that Windows button...

You could consider getting a screwdriver under it and levering it off. If you're lucky the switch itself will still be usable, but it will be below the hight of the other keys and take a deliberate action to press it.

This is at your risk. I take no responsibility if you break your (or your companies) keyboard,

US boffin builds 32-way Raspberry Pi cluster

Andy Miller

Re: Fans overkill?

OK, so what if you mounted the boards at 45º within the rack? Would that generate a convection current (and look quite cool without increasing the foot print much) ?

The IT Crowd returns to Channel 4 for a final episode

Andy Miller


Now my complete box set will be incomplete.....

ISPs: Get ready to slurp streams from Murdoch's fat pipe

Andy Miller

Re: Who else has left already?

My Mums leaving as soon as I get some free time to help her.



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