* Posts by Nick Woodruffe

55 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Oct 2008


Lester Haines: RIP

Nick Woodruffe

RIP Lester.

Thanks for the email chats about rockets and rocket regulation.

British Airways slaps 'at risk' sticker on nearly half its app delivery dept

Nick Woodruffe

Re: I've used the BA boarding pass app

If we all had a unique QR coded tattooed on our foreheads, we wouldn't need any of those boarding pass thingies.

Hmm maybe I'll just wait for retina scans to become the norm.

<fx>picks up phone

"Hello, Tattoo fixers?"

"I have this tattoo I would like to hide...."

McDonald's says bigger fonts cooked up improved profits

Nick Woodruffe

Re: Yes but...

When I worked in McDonalds (mid 1980's) the old fat was collected in 50 gallon drums and given to the local farmers.

We may all knock the food but working there taught me quite a lot about processes.

Nick Woodruffe

Re: Happy Meal

Ah, what they mean is the meat used in the burger is 100% beef with no horse, chicken or other substitute meats added. What the burger actually contains is more likely to be the beef along with binding agents, fillers and other crap.

Mushroom farm PC left in the dark and fed … you know the rest

Nick Woodruffe

I helped a small shop with a problem with their POS and wifi link. Got paid in several truckles of cheese

Florida man, Chinese biz fined $48k, $35m on mobe signal jam raps

Nick Woodruffe

how was he caught

Considering he was a mobile jammer, did the authorities home in on his jamming signal?

I would like to know how they singled him out for prosecution.

US 5th graders have a pop at paper plane record

Nick Woodruffe


Lester, I know we have spoken in the past about the license issues of the rocket motor and being allowed to fire it in certain countries. What about picking a motor that is allowed to be used in Spain or even the UK?

Symantec cloud portal goes titsup after database crash

Nick Woodruffe


Are you inferring that the Messagelabs product was shite to start with or just shite after Symantec got hold if it mangled it up?

Which keys should I press to enable the CockUp feature?

Nick Woodruffe

Audio sounds

I seem to remember setting up an audio sound for the insertion of 3.5" floppy discs into an Apple Mac. Once the user inserted the disc the mac would reply loudly with a sultry female voice "oh, it's so big".

On windows machines we would set the startup sound to be of a noisy couple making love and then make sure the speaker volume was turned up high. Works great for female users who are more embarrassed than men.

Back in the old days of green CRT, you would turn the vertical position knob so that the command line was off the bottom of the monitor or turn the brightness way down so although it was powered up, no display was seen.

CSC boss Gossain is now an ex-exec

Nick Woodruffe

No trust

I hear so much crap about CSC from friends who are unfortunate to have to work there that if they ever tendered for a contract at my company it would go straight into the shredder without opening the envelope.

How to help a user who can't find the Start button or the keyboard?

Nick Woodruffe

monday morning?

About 20 years ago I had a user pop into my cubicle and ask if there was a problem with the printer as every time he printed his document, only one sheet of paper came out. I looked at the sheet of paper he was holding, took it out of his hand, turned it over and gave it back to him.

The printer was defaulted to double-sided printing and the poor guy had spent the last 30 minutes trying to figure out why it only printed one sheet of paper.

The look on his face was priceless and one I shall cherish for many years.

Hipsters ahoy! Top Ten BOARD games for festive family fun

Nick Woodruffe

Ticket to Ride!

No mention of Ticket to Ride and also Ticket to Ride Europe

The STEALTH Plug-in Hybrid: Audi A3 e-tron Sportback

Nick Woodruffe

No mention of the Mitsubishi PHEV in your article

The Mitsubishi PHEV is a similar vehicle as it is also based on the same Hybrid class of 30 miles range as the Audi. I'm surprised it wasn't mentioned in the article along with BMW and Volvo considering the Mitsubishi has been available to buy for six months.

I'm slightly biased as I own one and yes it is damn good so long as you spend most of your time with 30 mile or less journeys. I particularly like parking at the motorway services to get my free rapid charge (80% capacity) although that coffee and doughnut you buy will wipe out the saving in petrol.

Unlike a Prius it has plenty of power and I treat it no different than any petrol or diesel I have driven. I do however enjoy the quieter journeys and the much smoother ride.

Sinclair is back with the Spectrum Vega ... just as rubbish as the ZX

Nick Woodruffe

Re: Nah

line 10, add a space after the exclamation mark otherwise the last and first word will run into each other.

Running the Gauntlet: Atari's classic ... now and then

Nick Woodruffe

about time it was revived

I still play both Gauntlet and Gauntlet II on MAME with my daughters and even the neighbours when they pop round for a cuppa.

The game still has legs and having no ending means you just keep going until bored or passed out.

Gauntlet Legends in the arcade didn't seem to catch on and my Mame box doesn't have the horsepower to simulate it properly at the moment. Really looking forward to this new version for the PC.

Who remembers the space themed game that was also similar as a 4 player with health requiring constant 10p input? I forget it's name but in Swindon the local arcade had this and Gauntlet.

It's finally happened: Bloke builds BOFH-style goofing-off cattle prod

Nick Woodruffe

Re: Major downside

I'm not sure about "exercising my wrist" when the shock is liable to cause un-commanded muscle contractions. Either that or it's likely to cause me to tug it right off.

Could be fun for some

Firefighters deliver trapped student from GIANT GERMAN LADYPARTS

Nick Woodruffe

I guess in the UK we would call that kind of monument "petrified beef curtains"

HP Enterprise Services staff feel the burn as managers turn off the cash taps

Nick Woodruffe

Oh dear...

Over the last ten years I have watched the quality of HP laptops drop. Everything is now so flimsy and the internal hardware is likely to break at the sneeze over the keyboard.

Every batch of 30 laptops that we order will have at least one DOA upon delivery. Getting HP to take that one away and give us a replacement is like trying to get blood out of a stone. We have had engineers arrive (eventually) to replace the motherboard in a week old laptop.

Our servers are HP in a blade chassis and thankfully this gear is still excellent but it seems to be the only product I would recommend. Just steer clear of their laptops.

The DIY spy-in-the-sky: From kites to octocopters

Nick Woodruffe
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Quadcopters, hexcopters and octocopters. Make brillaint camera platforms partly due to their excess thrust left over from using brushless motors.

Yes you can buy off the shelf or better still if you like playing with a soldering iron, make your own. I built my first using a small square of laminate flooring for the center plate and two lengths of 10mm square alloy tubing bought form B&Q. The control board can be pruchased for under 30 quid, add 4 speeed controlers, 4 props, 4 motors, transmitter and recieiver and have the whole lot ready to fly for under £200. Capable of lifting an SLR, I use mine with a Go-Pro as it's more durable when I crash.

Advise you get insureance by joining the BMFA for £30 per year but not sure how you would be covered flying in a built up area. Most model flyers have airfields or farmers fields to fly safe and uninterupted.

Its an interesting area and allows you to mess with Atmel, Arduino and other simple electronics. Just search for "Multiwii" or "kkmulticopter" on the internet to get a taste of what you can do with no more experience than mecanno.

If you reaaly want to see how well they fly in sport mode then search our "warthox" in vimeo.com That guy really can these things to the limit.

Twenty classic arcade games

Nick Woodruffe

Re: tastes changed over time

Found it!


Images on google

Nick Woodruffe

Marble Madness

Was once on holiday playing Marble Madness in a seaside arcade. Unbeknown to me, my mum was stood behind me watching. When I finished the game her only comment was "So that's where all your money goes!"

Nick Woodruffe

tastes changed over time

Having grown up in the 70s I found my game of choice changed over time. Starting with:

Space Invaders



Space Duel


Never a real fan of platformers so shootem ups continued to see my coins.






Star Wars





Last Resort

There was also a pinball machine that fired hundreds of ball bearings at light targets traveling up the sides of the table. You used two handles to rotate your gun barrell to aim at the targets. Anyone remember the name of this table? Would love to own one of these.

Time to dust off mame and my mame console tonight

Nick Woodruffe

Re: Tempest and Space Wars

Space Duel was one of my favourites with your asteroid style ships tied together by a boom.

Official: Sky to buy O2 and BE's home broadband product in £200m deal

Nick Woodruffe


Such awful news for a Friday. Started with Demon. Moved to Nildram which once sold became unusable. Moved to BE and am very happy with setup.

Now looking for a new ISP. How much longer before we are left with no independent ISP?

Kids as young as FIVE need lessons in online safety - NSPCC

Nick Woodruffe

Re: Optional

Just tried that in Google search. The first ten pages were all screwfix links....and then I got bored.

Nick Woodruffe

Re: Oh dear

Draytek Vigor routers have parental controls built in for web filtering but I believe it is a paid for service which is why I have not tried it out on my router. Damn good router but expensive when compared against that free TalkTalk shite.

The problem is, how many parents who are not working in IT know how to configure their router.

When building laptops for parents, I install K9webprotection from Bluecoat. It's free for home use and works brilliantly for stopping kids access areas of the internet. You only need 15 minutes to show the parents how to login and adjust the settings.


Nick Woodruffe
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Re: IPv6

yep, just use opendns.

Free to register and use. Just pick the categories you want to block.


Nick Woodruffe



That took me to Screwfix!

What happened to comics for kids? Hell, what happened to COMICS?

Nick Woodruffe
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"Battle" and "Warlord" were my comics of choice when I was a kid. 2000AD sort of passed me by until my teens. Bit of a shame really as Rogue Trooper and Halo Jones are just brilliant.

Can you get any of the above on an ipad?

iFixit CEO launches open Toshiba service guide scheme

Nick Woodruffe

No Tosh for me then.

Was considering a Tosh cheapo laptop for general use around the house. I think I'll skip that now and also my recommendations for Tosh gear to punters who ask in the office.

Ever considered putting a rocket up someone's backside?

Nick Woodruffe

Oh yeah! Vasseline for protection??? It's petroleum jelly. That's like spreading napalm on your jewels.

Granted you have to warm the vasseline up but a rocket exhaust at several hundred degrees (even hotter if its a zinc based motor) will have no problem.

Ten... PC games you may have missed

Nick Woodruffe

What about "World of Tanks?"

Foundering Nokia pushes 10,000 bods, 3 veeps overboard

Nick Woodruffe

Whatever happens to the hardware sales of Nokia, they will continue as a services company earning money from the IP list of Patents.

What did Apple pay them in Patent charges last year? $350M??

Barclays Online Offline again

Nick Woodruffe

I had a business account with them for a number of years about five years ago but switched after the usual terrible service. Every quarter I would be sent a letter telling me who my new business manager is.

Well they were never in the local branch and if you rang the so called direct number, all you got was a call centre.

With Natwest the business manager is still the same one. I can go in and say hello and grab a coffee in the branch and when required he has actually visited my office with paperwork that required a signature. I'm sticking with the more personal experience and an online banking system that works.

Game goes titsup in Australia

Nick Woodruffe

"uk stores to remain open and fully staffed"

I would prefer to see "remain open and fully stocked". Oh well back to play.com

Look back in Ascii: Computing in the 1980s

Nick Woodruffe

Ooh memories

Started with a zx81 saved from paper round and bought 2nd hand just as everyone started to save for the Spectrum.

Built a joystick adapter to take the Atari vcs joystick which was directly soldered to the keyboard header in the zx81. Sold quite a few of these to friends and family.

Used to visit my schoolmate John and his dad Dave Looker who wrote Zuckman and Frogger for the zx81. They continued into spectrum, Dragon32, and cpc464 games and never looked back.

Moved on to the Texas Ti99/4a whilst the schools had BBC and Econet with Wordwise for the word processor on Rom chips.

The college had Atari ST before the OS was on ROM. Upgraded a few months later.

Started work in 1986 on Sperry (unisys) and Tandem and ended up on ICL, IBM and AS400 gear.

Moved over to Novell in 92 when Ethernet cards were £1000 quid each. Windows NT in 1998.

Now it's all AD, GPO and not so much fun. Can't wait to get a Raspberry PI.

Apple profits almost double on iOS product sales leap

Nick Woodruffe

Yes but Samsung would rather sell their LCD to an external company and make a bigger profit margin than sell to the internal Galaxy department.

Now that Samsung has setup the LCD arm as a separate business, I suspect that the above is even more relevant.

RIM to exit the consumer phone market

Nick Woodruffe
Black Helicopters

Re: Security banned!

We use "MobileIron" in our company.

Similar to Good Tech where corporate data is help in a separate encrypted sandbox on the smartphone or tablet. If the employee leaves we can selective wipe just the corporate data from the device or completely nuke the device if we are feeling nasty.

New iPads to hit Apple stores on Friday

Nick Woodruffe
Thumb Up

New users here

Got my two pads on order as I opted for the engraving option.

One for me as since I have had an iPhone for the last 4 years, the number of times I turn the PC on to browse the web whilst watching TV has dropped significantly. Instant on is brillant for browsing during TV adverts.

The second is for my mum who has her 70th Birthday next week. She asked for a Kindle as her mobile library has closed (council cost cutting). I figured the the ipad3 screen would be less eye strain than the ipad2 and as she also likes soduko and scrabble, it would be the better choice. She also paints watercolour so very tempted to add that Autodesk sketch app to the device.

So two new customers here.

I think with the icloud backup, no requirement for itunes, retina displays; that the iPhone and iPad along with the iOS have all finally come of age.

Ten... top iOS games

Nick Woodruffe
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Carcasonne for me. Great on iOS, no idea if it's available for Android

Dead gamer sat unnoticed for nine hours in net cafe

Nick Woodruffe


I wonder if he started to smell?

Raspberry Pi Linux micro machine enters mass production

Nick Woodruffe

MAME console??

So I have a PC behind my TV running MAME and a couple of home made joystick boards. Baesd on the number of low powered old games that I play (Invaders, Asteroids), it will be interesting to see this board fired up to play Mame.

Then I could build the entire system into the underside of a joystick board.

Microsoft's uphill battle to push Win8 tabs into punters' paws

Nick Woodruffe
Black Helicopters


Take a look at MobileIron. We have rolled this out in our Company. It allows us to manage those iphone and ipads.

Install/recommend apps

Block apps.

Install our own apps (apple dev license required)

Change wifi settings

remote wipe geo locate.

add passkeys and lock the device

MobileIron also works with android devices but I wouldn't bother as the functionality is severely limited until ICS is released.

BlackBerry stumbles to feet, full of apologies

Nick Woodruffe

Says it all right here


The internet ate our homework

Nick Woodruffe

i have to disagree (UK)

I do not agree with this. In the UK and certainly in my local area, the bike shops are very friendly and know their regular customers by name. Even when they did not know me, they gave great support on sizing cycle helmets for my children.

What you will also find is that quite a few of the bike brands require you to collect from a shop so even when bikes are advertised on the web, they cannot be delivered. This is part of the contract the shop has with the supplier along with not discounting 2011 model year bikes for the first six months.

Yes some brands can be delivered but Trek and Specialized are (when I last checked) a collect only product.

Google Android 3.0 on track for New Year tablet launches

Nick Woodruffe


Just in time for the Apple announcement a month later for iPad 2.

Apple wipes smile off FaceTime in the Middle East

Nick Woodruffe
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not pointless

I guess we all have different requirements but facetime for me is very good.

In the last month I have used it with a colleague to discus a circuit design using the camera pointed at the paper where I could see what he was drawing. That was an hour long conversation and saved a long journey and petrol costs.

As I'm in Spain next month and away from the wife and kids then it will be useful to say goodnight to them each evening. Granted i could do similar over the phone but actually seeing them is a huge plus point.

Also it just works.

Nokia E72 smartphone

Nick Woodruffe

have you actually tried it

I am aware that the messaging client built into the firmware has mail for exchange capability. Just try and use it in anger and tell me that it works for you. In my experience of using the firmware version, it's a dog.

Yes you could by Profimail like the review has mentioned but what company is going to shell out more cash because the messaging client is not up to the job. If Blackberry and Iphone can get it right then surely Nokia can.

Nick Woodruffe

Huge Nokia Fail

Another good phone buggered by crap software.

Just like the E75, you are stuck with the built-in Nokia Messaging suite which must have been written by a complete idiot. It has to be one of the most useless suites for integrating with your MS Exchange system.

With the E71 you install Mail-for-Exchange as a free download and everything just works.

Mail-for-Exchange will not even install on the E72 and the Nokia Messaging suite will crash, fail to connect or even slow your phone down to a crawl.

Stupid Nokia.

Thank god my company bought loads of E71s before they were discontinued otherwise we would be forced back to a Microsoft OS phone to get good email connectivity.

Nokia sues Apple over iPhone

Nick Woodruffe


Nokia....the new SCO?