* Posts by Stuart johnson

27 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Apr 2007

Apple unveils hints of Monday's new-product announcements

Stuart johnson

What's the fuss?

So it's 3.43am and I can't sleep. I managed to read the whole article AND all the whiney comments, on my iPhone, and I'm still awake.

Glad to have a sneak into the conference centre, will keep an ear open on Monday for any interesting news. Re homogenisation, I think apple have a golden opportunity to learn from M$' mistakes with win8. We don't have touchscreen computers folks, please remember that...

GE study pimps ‘industrial Internet’

Stuart johnson

There is so much this article doesnt say.

Ok, so this isnt new? Well in fact it is new - this is about MONITORING systems and NOT control systems. Dont ask me how I know, I just do. The scale of this is far greater than anything anyone has done before. Yes, Rolls Royce may do a small amount of this, but whilst currently a certain amount of data goes back to the black box, that is tip of the iceberg. What's being looked at here is ADDING new monitoring systems that can be fitted in areas of both engines and the rest of the craft, that dont currently exist, and getting, as earlier comment says Rolls do, this information out in real time. Its all about accident prevention and maintenance. Its likely to allow engineers and designers to trend failures, to extend maintenance intervals or reduce them as appropriate. It is likely to result in a)reduced cost of flights b)extended life of aircraft c)reduced failure and accident rates. All of these are real, measureable deliverables in this field.

I'm all for it - If the stress fractures on one plane immediately resulted in vibration in the turbine - and the plan im on has vibration in the turbine. I'd want to know right now. And someone to tell the pilot, and get that plan out of the sky before it falls of its own accord!

Don't delete that email! Why you must keep biz docs for 6 YEARS

Stuart johnson

This suggestion is partially against the law

The subject of this article misses out the fundamental principle that you should not keep data for longer periods than are reasonable. Unless employees do actually separate out personal data, then keeping that data ad-infinitum is in direct contravention of the Data Protection Act 1998.

I'm surprised El Reg didnt pick this up in the article...

Peugeot 508 RXH estate car review

Stuart johnson

The equivalent A6 is MUCH more expensive. Its more than the A4, but then its not a 308!

And as for long term reliability?

My 306 is due for retirement next year, when it will roll 300000 miles, original engine and gearbox at 296000, one clutch, one electrical fault, and rear suspension rebuild. How many other manufacturers can do that?!

And its still fun to drive.

Stuart johnson
Thumb Up

Re: Peugeots + electrics =

Yes, you could. You still can...

Would have one of these if I got another job with a company car...

Hardy handymen handed handy hardened handheld hardware

Stuart johnson

So whats so special?

Ok, well done Fife. Super. Only. The rest of the world started using computers years ago. I was putting these motorollas out to Housing Repair operatives ('workmen') two years ago to enable them to do the end to end ticket/job management. In a small housing association in West Norfolk. Why on earth has this even made a news article? Is it because that concept hasnt reached Scotland? I find that hard to believe. Tesco have managed most of it for the last ten years!

Nice headline tho...

Should all hard drives be encrypted?

Stuart johnson

Flashdrive encryption

Its a shame the article didnt end with the deliverance of Bitlocker-to-go and group policy to start the process of locking down those 'pesky usb ports' as per the author...

Chinese boffins crack invisible-shed window problem

Stuart johnson

Why a dark patch?

Because the most elegant solution would be to duplicate the light, digitally or with lenses, polarisation and mirrors, and allow some of the light in and some to pass round...surely?

If I've got the wrong end of the stick, well, have a laugh anyway!

Dabs.com courier goes titsup

Stuart johnson
Black Helicopters

@Mr Wilson

What a highly informed comment you make. (not?!) I have a day job. just like the couriers. Only, my day job starts at half past seven, and stops when everyone else has finised. I provide whats called a service to people, which means that I work when they need me to work, not when I fancy it because its convenient to me.

As was mentioned earlier, if Courer companies cottoned on to the 'outside working hours' delivery slot they would make a fortune. When I did a stint as a Tesco '.com' driver I worked from 5pm till 11pm. Because thats what the customer wants.

So: 1: Dont rant and abuse a myriad of highly intelligent contributors and readers.

2: Try responding intelligently to the points raised.

3: A polite argument carries a lot more weight than aggression.

Yes there is credit card fraud out there. Its not up to couriers to try to fix that. Its up to consumers, vendors, and banks. If I have a contract with a courier to deliver, its up to them to fulfill it. Citylink have some horriffic practices, but I have to confess in Norfolk I've not had to claim from them once, and only occasionally have to pick up from the depot. Royal mail are pretty good. However, without fail, UPS are the best I deal with, always delivering in my area in a 2 hour window. It helps if you understand how courier companies work.

PS Black helicopter as these are the White Vans of Urbanity...

PPS Couriers use white vans when they break their own...

Japan kicks off electric car format war

Stuart johnson
Black Helicopters


Ok, so this is an IT rag and we're using 18th century (s)language?!

Connection? Whats wrong with that?

Black helicopter cos "White vans are the black helecopters of Urbanity"

Dell hits all the wrong keys – again

Stuart johnson

Anyone remember Gateway2000s remappable keyboard?

I had a great keyboard - it could remap any key anywhere else, and any series of keys to one single one. I'd still have it if it were'nt for the lack of windows key!

Wish you could still get programmable macro keyboards but with the W/Key!

IBM one-ups Sun with terabyte tape drive

Stuart johnson

Ok, here's the catch

That a HP Ultrium 690 drive, 400/800Gb drive at £1200 or an LTO-4 800/1600 drive at 3000USD seems to be a similar end result, same data rates, same tape style backup, for one hell of a lot less! Even if you bought a new one every year it would work cheaper, or even had an array of them for redundancy and speed...i just cant quite add this up.


I too love the timing tho! :D

Prius hybrid to get rooftop solar panel

Stuart johnson

@matt @ Steve Evans

Cooking oil and HM revenue...

According to HMRC.gov.uk you can use 2500 litres for your own consumption in one tax year before you need to declare or pay duty.

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/si/2007-1640-em.pdf (pdf warning)

You do have to be careful, but not 'cause of seals, but because the viscocity of veg oil (google 'SVO in diesels' ) when cold and the glycerine in it. Older low pressure diesels cope ok with 75%/25% mixes, common rail ones don't! In fact their pumps fail spectacularly with the extra load of thicker oil

Tumble dryer bites woman in Weston-super-Mare

Stuart johnson

@Steven R

Your 'main breaker' is probably the only one that is RCD protected. Any slight earth leakage current trips the whole house. I know only two well, as an electronic engineer who currently has a new washing machine motor sitting in the back of the car for exactly the same reason!

Climate supremo deploys knitwear in war on patio heaters

Stuart johnson

Daylight running lights

Is the best thing to come out of Europe for a while! In countries that have adopted it the accident rate droped by at least 20%. Bear in mind for the negligible amount of extra fuel used, if you save one serious accident, you avoid three police cars, an ambulance and possibly a fire tender, all racing to an accident, and then spending an hour or ten idling at the roadside. The amount of fuel used to respond to an accident is enormous.

And in response to the motorbike lights becoming less conspicuous, make all dipped beam bike lights either yellow or purple, and you solve that problem too.

French court fines eBay for sale of counterfeit handbags

Stuart johnson

Obviously it has no effect anyway

Because if you go and look at ebay.fr (as of 5-6-08 10:10 at least) there is no reference to any of this on the home page. So ebay obviously dont give a rats arse about it. Bet they dont pay the fine either!

Its good to see that someone is actually able to prosecute an organisation as large as ebay, and succeed. Maybe suggests that Napoleon's systems are less subject to the influence of might or money.

Yet again we could learn something from them!

Microsoft pays people to use its search engine

Stuart johnson

@US Only

Clearly no-one researched this properly. As already suggested possible, the conditions for this scheme are that you are "A US citizen or legal resident". Unless I am mistaken I didnt see this referenced in the article or comments...

Sucks to be the rest of the world! (So they get money back AND the right to call Cults Cults!)

'Crazy rasberry ants' target Texan tech

Stuart johnson

Groan Warning

I may have been beaten to it, but surely the headline should have been:-

Ants take a Byte out of PCs or something similar?


Ants are a Bit peckish?


Gates calls on Feds to plug tech investment gap

Stuart johnson

Whatever you think of Microshaft

Whatever your views, Bill Gates has a keen accumen and a fair amount of public weight. At least he is prepared to speak out for things that he thinks matter, and fyi James, Bill has very strong opinions on the poor, starving etc etc of this world. That's why he's resigned his key interventions at Microsoft, to concentrate on his Charitable foundation.

Healthcare at your fingertips - a Choose & Book roadtest

Stuart johnson


Well, at least the NHS are trying! (albeit very!) Unless we go through with systems like these, then we'll never progress...just a shame that it seems to have had the development phase of a mosquito's lifespan and the testing of a nuclear bomb!

At least the helldesk operatives dont have power user or admin access!!!!

Inside the Windows 2008 stack experience

Stuart johnson

Good Luck!

I await your trials and tribulations with interest...just don't try throwing any symantec products in there for good measure as you will doom yourself to failure!

Becta exec admits mistakes on education IT

Stuart johnson

Not quite accurate guys!

Im a Sysadmin in Norfolk. First point is that Regional Broadband Consortia are NOTHING to do with the actual provision of network service to schools and never have been. RBCs are about content. E-learning platforms, such as E-schools (Netmedia, Moodle, LP+ etc) are sourced, hosted and maintained by RBCs and the amalgamation in this respect generates huge cost savings for schools. (Not that cost should be the only factor, and thats where the issue is.)

Secondly, MrT, you are half right in that some IT support staff accept cheap naff PCs as they think they can get more for the money. Wrong. They need to learn a bit about market forces and the good old tradition of HAGGLING! I buy top spec HP PCs which have a life cycle of 4 years in my school, and I pay £300-£400 tops for them including TFTs. They more than pay for themselves in reliability.

Where is linux in UK schools? Where it should be - underlying the rest of the infrastructure! Doing the tasks that matter, and leaving the masses to Windoze.

BOFH: Friday madness

Stuart johnson

that makes three of us!

Oh how I wish there were even a pub across the road to look enviously at! Just four cream walls and screaming children running around M. Control looking for ways to break in! Give me strength...or send me home early! Pleeeeeeeeeeease!

BOFH: Spreading the festive cheer

Stuart johnson

We could learn a lot...

Evidently the BOFH is following the trend of an early christmas start...perhaps more time to plan the downfalls...still the PFY seems to be suprisingly green after last year's episode!

VMware slaps SWsoft with hosting play

Stuart johnson

Ah, but VMWare can be free!

At least as far as I can see, there is no rival from SWSoft to allow really small users and experimenters to use their software for free. VMWare is working in similar ways to AVG and Zonealarm, which I think will pay off more than keeping their pricing structure quiet will harm them.

And its a good product. That always helps! :p

So what's in a URL? The Reg URL?

Stuart johnson

.co.uk please!

Please dont go .com. I share the sentiments of the pro-co.uk movement here!


Dell finally switches on PC network in Glasgow schools

Stuart johnson

From a High School Network Manager

Some thoughts...

1. To Mr 'Oh ffs' yes we still use microsoft products in school. And whilst the majority of industry does likewise, it will be thus. We have a duty to provide our students with the most relevant skills set for when they leave and move to bigger and better things. Teaching them how to use an OS and Office Package that a tiny proportion of people use does that how?

Yes, I run Xp across the network. Actually it delivers a pretty reasonable solution. But where I dont need it, I use linux. Where its prudent to use linux, we do - web servers, remote access servers etc.

2. When will local government read up on suppliers before placing contracts? We could all have told them it would never work. And thats why I laugh in the face of salespeople who try to undercut my hardware with 'Dell PCs'. But HP and Microsoft proactively support education with education pricings. As a school HP pcs cost me about 300 quid each, and Vista licenses 28 quid each. Which is less than I can pay for anything else decent. With three year onsite warranty that will actually deliver. Not that Ive had to call on it for any of the 80 odd pcs from HP in the last 18 months.

3.The old 'when I was at school' argument is, with all due respect ROT. The three things employers demand from us is Numeracy, Literacy and IT skills. With IT skills forming usually the most important! And it has been long proven that children learn by example better than any other way. So acutally, a data projector is a powerful tool to teach students in the background whilst learning about other subjects. Learning ICT by osmosis.

Isnt that efficient? Isnt that what we are supposed to aim for?