* Posts by zenkaon

120 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Oct 2008


Scientists love MacBooks (true) – but what about you?


CERN use of MacBooks

The simple reason people at CERN use MacBooks is because when you open a terminal you have unix.

Most other people at CERN are using Ubuntu, only a small small percentage actually use windows

Microsoft tightens grip on OEM Windows 8 licensing

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So what happens in a years time when I decide to upgrade my motherboard? Do I have to buy a new version of Windows 8?

Seize your moment, Microsoft: iPad is RUBBISH for enterprise


Lock down

How do I lock down 100 iPads and ensure that they all have the same software on them? How do I roll out upgrades and new apps to all my users iPads? If the answer involves me having to physically touch any of the iPads then it's a fail.

My iPad sits on my sofa where it belongs.

Red Hat: Keep clouds open, like Linux

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I love clouds

clocked up somewhere between 35 and 50 years of wall time so far this year, all distributed globally.

I had a look at some of the machines about 2 years ago, needed ear protectors on of course

RHEL is awesome, keep up the good work guys. I'm a happy user.

Apple issues invitations to March 7 iPad roll-out


Have I turned into a fanboi?

I just sold my iPad 1 on ebay for £250. Planning on getting whatever they present on the 7th. My logic was that from the 8th, I'll never get £250 on ebay for my iPad 1.

To be honest, iOS5 absolutely crippled the iPad1. Fifa12 is completely unplayable. I like Fifa12 on the iPad. The recommended solution to the crippling of the iPad 1 is not a software update but to buy a better iPad.

In a reflective drunk sort of manner (I am drubk,btw) [I may be rambling now] I wonder if I'm slowly turning into a fanboi. Lining up with my wallet open ready to swallow whatever kit they want to shove down my throat. Or have I made a cunning move and cashed in while I can and accepted that my iLife can continue without an iDevice for a few weeks??? Hmmmm gonna have to open another can and move onto another article

What's that sound? It's PC sales plummeting into abyss

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Just bought a new PC

Well, I assembled it from components I bought from about 6 different online stores. I paid just over £600 for a machine that kicks the crap out of a £1000 PCWorld machine.

Other than the cost, and the screwdriver fun, the big advantage of a DIY system is that you get exactly what you want

Ubuntu republic riven by damaging civil wars


I really like unity

Very happy with unity. It's a bold move by Ubuntu, but a good move. They took a long hard look at gnome-shell and decided to go there own way.

I find it very usable and logical (warning - my logic may differ drastically from yours - but we all know I'm right ;) and am looking forward to seeing where they take it. The dash definitely needs work.

Ctrl+Alt+T opens a terminal. What more do hardcore users want?

For the doubters (I used to be one), try it for a week. That way you can give it a proper scathing

Use of Weapons declared best sci-fi film never made

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Not Use of Weapons

I've read most Culture books and find that "Use of Weapons" is one of the worse, or more accurately the least best.

It seems unfocused, the wars Zakalwai fights in seem vague and are never explained and once you realise the twist......It was a big disappointment after reading "consider phelbos" and "The player of games", which are much better books. Consider Phelbos would make a much better film.

IMHO the film industry should leave this well alone, they will ruin it

Red Hat: Cloud will anoint next Microsoft

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As a user of Red Hat clouds

I say bring it on! I love cloud computing. I clocked up 257 hours of CPU walltime last night, distributed all over the world. Going to be submitting a bigger job for the weekend.

Red hat all the way. At some point in the future we may swap to another Linux, but not for years to come. Microsoft cloud solutions are seen as a bad joke.

Apple sues Samsung over Galaxy look-and-feel

Jobs Horns

They're completely different

Samsung has put the time all the way over on the right hand side.

SCO trading suspended in US


SCO is a zombie company.....

They will never die, never stop going for the unix brains they want to eat and think they own.

Apple brings multi-touch, full-disk crypto to latest OS X


Off site backup is the only backup

Backups are great until you house is burgled, catches fire or the police decide to take it all - you get to loose all your data several times.

Full disk encrypted backup at least stops the burglars looking at your extensive "photo" collection, but legally you have to give the filth the keys. They just lock you up for longer if you don't.

Off site backup, preferably in a different country, is the only real backup. Although that should get you worried about who exactly has, or could have, physical access.

Lion sounds like incremental improvements, nothing radical. I think that this is a good thing.

Intel demos MeeGo 'tablet user experience'


@ Levente Szileszky : Simplicity?

I was half expecting someone like you to accuse me of being an apple fanboi. Ha Ha...

You need to realise that tablets are toys, they are not PCs. Any tablet trying to be a PC is in for FAIL. The Intel MeeGo thing looks like it wants to replace my laptop....it will fail badly. The iPad is a toy that can't do shit but surf the net and play crappy games. I love it for that. I am under no illusions regarding the iPads limitations. IMHO it's not even worth jailbreaking

If I am a fanboi, then it'll be for Linux. Typing this on my Debian testing laptop, see that I did over 2300 hours (walltime) of computing last night on Red Hat clusters around the world.......

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After looking at the video...

....I'm sure glad I got an iPad.

Everyone now-a-days thinks that their devices are going to change the way we interact with the world and revolutionise computing. This looks like a great big FAIL.

Too much going on, too many slidey panels, too much stuff that wants to constantly update itself. Looks like it may be halfway useful in a work environment but not quite.

What I love about the iPad is it's simplicity and the fact that it's impossible for me to do any serious work on it. It's for sitting on the sofa, surfing the net and playing crappy games while watching the TV. Tablets will never be anything more than that.

Microsoft's IE9: Don't believe the hype


I just don't see me leaving Chrome

It's slick, minimalist (with all settings in the spanner) and fast. I just don't see me leaving Chrome

Fedora 14: haven for Ubuntu's homeless GNOMEs


Debian Squeeze anyone??

Debian squeeze is now frozen and very very usable. I've been on it for a few months now. Much nicer than ubuntu. All the good debian stuff without the ubuntu fluff. Buttons in the proper place and no MyFace Twatter IM crap integrated into the desktop

You can be sure that Debian will not force you to use gnome shell or unity, they will simply be an option. If you want gnome 2.30 for the long term, then squeeze is a very good bet.

Not so bothered about Fedora 14, but very much looking forward to getting RHEL6 on the racks at work to give it a bloody good thrashing and see what it's made of

Ubuntu demotes Gnome for Unity netbook look


gnome shell is the new kde4

Gnome are about to do what KDE did a few years back. Complete redesign of a stable product with the new version full of bugs and very difficult to use.

Gnome-shell is awful, I built the latest version a few weeks back and I really can't see how this isn't going to be a complete disaster.

Ubuntu are correct to move away from gnome, although I'm not that impressed with unity screenshots so far (I'd need to test it to give a proper opinion).

Me?? I run Debian squeeze (they've frozen it now, only a few bugs left) and run avant-window-navigator with lots of compiz. I've completely removed the gnome taskbars and am very happy.

HP whips out iPad challenger Windows 7 fondle-slab


@Jimmy Floyd

Yep, your right, tablets are useless for any productive work. Any employee who claims they can do their work on a iPad or other tablet must be doing such remedial work that they may be better off with a mop and bucket

Tablets are toys and any company trying to go up against apple will find out that their toy isn't nearly as shiny as the iPad

Ryanair wins ihateryanair.co.uk because of £322 ad revenue


watch this


Boffins riot as Hadron Collider upgrade is delayed


@NHS IT guy

Oh, you must mean:


Windows malware dwarfs other viral threats



"You're not allowed to drive a car, own a gun or even rent a chainsaw without some basic instruction ... why the heck do people think something with the potential power of a PC"

When the el reg headline is "Government introduces mandatory test to use internet" what will the comment section look like???

Microsoft always has and always will be a platform for others to make money. Including malware authors.

AV protection on Linux is actually quite good, most of the major AV firms have clients and the update definitions are the same as for windows. If you run email servers you should use it. If you run Linux email servers for a company you should pay for AV protection. If your an umbongo user you'll be fine without it.....just don't do:

sudo ./someRandomScript.sh

As this is turning into a rather lame (thankfully) flame-war, I'll side with beer

The Large Hadron Collider's mega-pic churn

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Some numbers and graphs

For the Atlas experiment


Have a poke around

Shuttleworth spears Natty Narwhal for Ubuntu 11.04


Debian Squeeze

As I'm sure you all know, ubuntu is derived from Debian. The next Debian release "squeeze" has now been frozen and is well worth a look. It's by and large got more recent packages in it than ubuntu 10.04 and I am very impressed with it.

I got fed up with ubuntu around 9.04 (or was it 8.10) and have been using debian ever since. I've tried out the odd ubuntu every so often on a test machine but it just seems so bloated and never really works as well as a debian machine.

I suspect that the 11.04 release may have gnome-shell in it (aka gnome 3) which requires hardware acceleration - maybe that's Shuttleworths "modern graphics". Gnome-shell has a black theme which you currently can't change, I suspect that this was behind the drop of the poo-brown theme and the new dark theme in ubuntu 10.04....getting everyone ready.

Try gnome-shell on ubuntu (or debian squeeze) with

sudo aptitude install gnome-shell

gnome-shell --replace

Ubuntu will be an early adopter of this. OK, what's in the repos it's still far from release quality, but this may be gnome's KDE4 moment of crapness.

I agree with the other posters, I'm looking forward to RHEL6, it should be real nice (just don't plug a monitor into it - stack the machines in as many racks as you can buy)

Pictures of Ubuntu: Linux's best photo shots at Windows and Mac


KDE Vs Gnome flame war

sigh - any excuse to relight the tinder box that is the KDE Vs gnome flame war.

My opinion is that KDE3 Digikam rocks, anything KDE4 is tainted, and that's why the momentum is now solidly with gnome until they fsck it all up with gnome shell. I tried Digikam (KDE4) on the latest ubuntu and it was so so so slow and full of bloat. KDE4 Digikam reminds me of the disaster that happened to amarok.

I've never liked f-spot and am personally happy using gthumb for my photos. I don't need anything to manage them for me, I'll design my own directory schema thank you very much

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A brilliant photo tool that I use all the time in Debian is hugin. It's a photo stitcher for creating panoramic images.

It's great for creating panoramic pictures, I typically scan whatever I'm trying to photo - leaving some overlap between each image. Lets say 10 photos for a 360 view and 10 more going around again giving me a high and low 360 that will give more hight to the panoramic.

Pop all 20 images into hugin and let it do it's thing for 30 minutes and out pops a massive 300MB tiff file which has all the photos stitched together nicely in a whopping 10000x3000 (approx) pixel image.

sudo aptitude install hugin autopana-sift-c

You'll need the debain multimedia or medibuntu repositories for autopana-sift-c as it's not GPL but licensed from the university of British Columbia and it's good for non-commercial use

Russian spy ring bust uncovers tech toolkit



I really hope the FBI aren't using NetStumbler - that's an active scanner. It sends packets out at regular intervals. I'd pick up that someone was using it in a jiffy.

Kismet is a much much better option for this sort of thing. Fully passive. Plug in a wifi card to your PCMCIA slot and set kismet to put it into RFMON mode and scan and record every packet within range and monitor the activity (it'll see shit like NetStumbler no problems bumbling around like the active muppet it is). Then use your regular wifi card to do the spy SIGINT stuff.

I assume that el reg was just having a guess about NetStumbler - because surely the FBI/NSA know what I've just said in much greater detail than I do.

Ten Essential... Travel Speakers



Get the Altec Lansing, works great in muddy fields. Standard 3.5mm jack, AAA batteries, very small and compact, great sound.

I got mine from Tottenham court road a few years back and tried about 6 or 7 different speaker systems that work from batteries and have a 3.5mm jack. The Altec Lansing was by far the best option.

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The Altec Lansing is awesome

I've got the Altec Lansing iMT237 Orbit (or maybe an earlier version - had it for 1 1/2 years now) and it is absolutely brilliant. Highly recommended.

Excellent sound definition across the spectrum, and you can turn it up loud without it distorting. It's not got a volume control, which IMHO is a good thing, your music player should control that. Works great with my mp3 player and is my preferred laptop speaker. AAA battery powered, you can pick those up anywhere and have a reserve pack.

The build quality is superb, it's solid and compact - I think if it fell out of a 2nd story window it'd probably be OK. It's also really small, so excellent for those ryanair flights where space is everything or you have to fork out for a suitcase. Perfect for holidays and watching films on your laptop in the hotel on business trips.

Linux game-time refined with latest Wine



...Get a console, job done.

I got fed up upgrading my graphics card and CPU all the time and just shelled out for a PS3 and Wii, which is probably cheaper in the long run than a decent CPU+GPU package.

I'm all in favour of wine development, but like the author struggle to think of anything I could use it for......What do people actually use wine for (Photoshop and games aside) on a day-to-day basis?

Re photoshop - Shouldn't the people in the coloured pencil room all be using macs anyways??

Beer, because it's better than wine

Windows 7 Backup gets users' backs up


rsync anyone??

My wife has vista, I've installed cygwin with rsync on in. She clicks a button and enters her password for the server. rsync then backups up all changes over an ssh connection to our server (which is also backed up)

Never had a problem, always runs pretty fast, she can do this from anywhere in the world.

Of course, I don't use Vista....I open a terminal, type backup and get the same results.

FOSS vendors lick chops over ConLib IT plans


I can't stand OOo

I tried to write a presentation in OOo the other day and it was a nightmare. I though, fsck that, and went straight back to LaTeX where everything goes where I bloody well tell it to go and everything is the size that I have specified it to be. And before anyone starts, yes - I do think everyone should be forced to use LaTeX, preferably in vi

While giving the open-plan office monkeys open office will save a packet, the real savings come from private cloud-computing (or big PC farms as we used to call them). Grid software is really advanced nowadays. Want to run your calculation, budget forecast, etc etc??? Then click a little button that submits it to the grid, have half of it run in Manchester and the other half run in Newcastle, and get the job back after lunch time. A general rule if you want this sort of thing to work is that everything in the back-end should be running on red hat (or derivative). And before anyone starts, No - I don't think people should be forced to use red hat on their desktops. If you've plugged a mouse into a red hat machine you've made a mistake, if you've submitted a complex job to a rack of red hat machines you've made a good move.

Osborne to 'get Britain working' - except for ID contractors


bye bye ID cards

Home office website says they're going


Let's hope they tear down the surveillance state


Not a title for the post but for the country

The people of Britain, now living together in ConDemNation

RHEL 6 - your sensible but lovable friend


@AC who's doing a review

Hi AC,

my organisation has just gone through a lot of pain going from RHEL4 to RHEL5, the majority of the difficulties came from changing gcc and the QT libraries.

We have a lot of code, with many many developers. I''m interested in how easy it would be to migrate from RHEL5 to RHEL6. Will my existing code (c++, java, python) be easy to port?

Is it possible to upgrade a RHEL5 machine to RHEL6 without a clean install? Like you can with ubuntu 9.10->10.04

SCO: jurors too busy Facebooking to rule on Unix claim


Let me be (one of) the first to say

fcuk off and die already SCO.

Google to open source $124.6m video codec, says report


Looks good

Shame I'm about a week into re-encoding my entire DVD collection to h.264 (currently using xvid and it's a bit blocky)

Anyone know when there will be a gpl'd encoder?

Mandy quango says Apple, Amazon are too obscure


Panic breaks out in apple marketing

The people in apple marketing must be having a fit at the moment, throwing iPads at pictures of Mandy etc etc

All official security announcements and developer news MUST go through apple marketing first, it's all about brand image etc etc etc......now they are going to get a nu-labour hijacking!!!

What's more, after the way apple has shafted the music biz over the years, the record execs are not going to be too happy having to shell out on apple ads.

Big FAIL icon, any nu-labour policy/recommendation in a long time

One in four UK schoolkids admits hacking


In my day....

I would hack into my classmates accounts and nick their coursework, then delete their copy and leave pron in their user area.

Me and my mates also had several teachers login details which was a lot of fun. We also used to play doom and duke nukem 3d in IT classes, with (the same) 5 PCs rebooting at the same time when the teacher came back.....good days.

I ended up being banned from all IT (including the IT class) for the last year and a half of my GCSEs....

It's official: Adobe Reader is world's most-exploited app


What i'm confussed about

is why photoshop is so good. What's going on? When Adobe hire people do they give them a competence test?

dev gets a A - you go and work on photoshop

dev gets a B - you go and put vulns into reader

dev gets a C - you go and make flash even "better"

Or am I deluded? Is photoshop also riddled with the standard adobe "competence"?

Apple to stick padlocks on books for iPad


Give me a paperback any day

I know it's all very low tech, but I like paperbacks. They feel good, don't run out of battery, it doesn't really matter if you spill tea on them and you can happily throw them at people/cats/out-of-the-window without much worry.

I have the right to sell my paperback, I wonder if apple would offer me the same terms?

I can also take a paperback out of my local library and return it after I've read it, I wonder if apple will let me do the same?

I can easily lend my paperback to my mate, who can then lend it to his mate to read after he's finished. Will apple let me do this?

I'm sure the iBook store will be very shinny, but I miss a rummage at a car boot sale

Archos 9


How does it do 1080p??

You say that it plays 1080p content with WMP12 - How is it going to properly show 1920x1080 content on a shitty 1024x600 display?? Might as well encode the video at 1024x600 and give that piss poor HDD and processor a chance.

This is not the year of the tablet PC, very disappointed with this, very disappointed with the iPad.

Microsoft's innovation mission explained

Gates Halo

I know a few MS PHD students

....they're at cambridge (UK), Billy G funds them. All the ones I know use macs and do all their computing on red hat clouds. OK, so I only know 2....but they both use macs

Good Billy G, as he is actually paying people to do whatever the research comunity wants. As in Cambridge gets to decide what they do.

Dear Adobe: It's time for security rehab


Bring on html5

Really like the Canvas part of html5, no need for a plugin. Now if they can just agree on a codec.....

Apple's iPad - fat iPhone without the phone


How will it play with networks??

Sure this big iPod touch will connect via wifi to the internet, but when it gets onto my network will it be able to see my fileserver???

If it will connect to nfs, samba or uPnP then it may be reasonable, if not then how am I going to watch my 400GB+ video collection on it?

My bet is that I'd have to share it with an iTunes server, which is NOT going to happen.

I was seriously considering getting one of these before they announced it. Very much doubt it now. No usb, no DVI for hooking it up to a big monitor, single tasking (WTF!) closed off shiny thing.



Looking at the specs, my first thought is - What, no usb port?? I can't plug in anything I like???

My second thought is - Will this thing let me bring up a terminal?? Can I put gcc on it and compile my own stuff??

God Damn it, I was hoping this thing would run snow leopard not some "simple" ipod os. Another poster got it right. This is NOT A COMPUTER

What it really looks like is something that finds your wallet and drains it every month with apps, iBooks, iTunes, and leaves you iBankrupt

Microsoft yanks leaked Windows Mobile 6.5 tools



Ok, so this SDK isn't a finished product, but how long do they expect developers to sit around for? We don't twiddle our thumbs, we read el reg while waiting for stuff to compile!

I expect most developers are working on iPhone iSlate(or iWhatever_it_is) or Android. Why are MS so late to the game all the time, I thought I saw a youTube vid of monkey boy Balmer shouting "Developers developers developers".

Ladies put off tech careers by sci-fi posters, Coke cans



..."my stack of disposable coffee cups is nearly as high as my monitor", he says looking around at the stacks of hardware (working and knackered piles) and large technical diagram of custom boards and FADC chips.

Maybe I should clean up that coffee stain seeping through the unsorted mess of documents to my right and possibly hoover the crumbs out of my keyboard.....nah, I'll get on with writing some code.....

Mozilla lights fire under Thunderbird


What ubuntu have done

One feature in the latest ubuntu I really like is that you can set your contacts to be stored in the ubuntu one cloud. This means that my 2 laptops and desktop have a synced contact list. Add an address to my contact list on 1 machine, and it's there for all machines!

You need to use evolution as your email client, and that's fine with me, I don't see anything thunderbird can do that evolution cannot. Syncing my evolution calender to gCal was way easier than it is in thunderbird. Evolution is suppose to play well with MS exchange servers....but I have no experience with MS exchange servers so can't offer an informed opinion on this one.

Border agency to start fingerprint checks


very popular then

"1,107 people had voluntarily applied for identity cards" - from a population of over 61m.

Office 2010 fights Google with SharePoint bloat



We use sharepoint at work. It's a word we tend to spit out, much like how the Irish say "Thierry Henry"