* Posts by peter collard

23 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Jan 2009

Oracle 'systematically denies' its sales reps their commissions, forces them to work to pay off 'debts', court told

peter collard

Leopard doesn't change his spots

I've been out of IT for 15 years and it seems Oracle has not changed. We always used to say that the only platform oracle performed on was the OHP.

The Raspberry Pi: Is it REALLY the saviour of British computing?

peter collard

Managing Server farm

Having worked in the City a few years ago, the idea of running Windows server farms soon gave way to Unix/Linux simply due to the flexibility and networkability of being able to run shell scripts that standardised operations. After seeing entire windows server networks crippled by one GUI misclick on one machine by an "expert", the whole unix/linux concept of scripting - while appearing antiquated - was really very appealing in terms of robustness, repeatability across multiple servers. If you have 1000 databases to manage and don't want to be kept up doing support every night then standardisation and scripts are the way to go - forget windows unless you are good at Perl.

UK plant bakes its millionth Raspberry Pi

peter collard

Got no further than this...

" than to use the technology they will sit in front of when eventually they enter the workplace"

Perhaps if author had done his sums he would have realised that what you teach a 10 year old will have no value at all applicationwise by the time he's 21. Its a bit like training someone to drive a ford focus as a precursor to flying a spaceshuttle.

10 years of applications is a long time. Just think back 10 years - twitter didn't exist, no kindles, no ios or android

The next 10 years - quantum computing, or. wiped out by a EMP bomb and back to core memory.

Water, sunshine or pig s***: How will YOU power your data centre?

peter collard

Wrong question being answered

Why generate the heat in the first place?

1) Scrap the Xeons and replace by I7 - reduces power/performance by 30%

2) Run shop at 12V rather than 240V and consolidate all the inefficient power supplies, applying diversity to optimise power supply - this could give you an extra 20% reduction or more.

3) You can now cut the cooling by half - saving more electricity.

You could always make the ops sweat by raising the temperature from chilly to say 30 deg C

Plans for fully 3D-printed gun go online next week

peter collard

UK airports picked up plastic guns 14 years ago

My 8 year old son tried to "smuggle" his toy gun thru Liverpool airport 14 years ago - it got picked up despite having no metal parts. Liverpool was probably state of the art then due to the Irish troubles.

Sir James Dyson slams gov's 'obsession' with Silicon Roundabout

peter collard

How much does Sir James pay HIS engineers?

I wonder how much Dysons engineers get paid? At most engineering companies the finance department are much better paid than the engineers. Perhaps Sir James should show us how fantastically well his engineers are paid - that would encourage students to take engineering seriously

Which qualifications are worthwhile?

peter collard

Re: Don't bother....

"We don't manage, we don't sell" - there's your problem. As someone who made a quarter mill in the year before the millenium as a DBA and then retired to become a plumber, my advice is to change your view. Selling:- work out who your customer is - mine was the development teams, Then work out who their customer is (Traders in my case) and understand their problems. At this point you can 'sell' solutions to your customer and get promoted. Managing:- always have a plan - even if you have to tell your boss to get stuffed while you put a plan together to handle an emergency. Bosses like to know their people are in control. People who know what they are doing get paid more.

Party like it's 1999: CDE Unix desktop REBORN

peter collard

CDE was outdated before it was launched

From memory CDE was a collection of bits that no one wanted individually. It didn't have anything really to commend it other than it followed IBMs "standards" for desktops produced in the days of 3270 dumb mainframe screens, and copied by Windows.

I suppose the main thing to commend it is that there would be no patent issues as it preceded such rubbish. So that just leaves the copyright issues.

Is this really the best that the younger generation of programmers can produce? Cant they produce something better than us grey hairs had to contend with?

So, what IS the worst film ever made?

peter collard

The Mexican (2001)

Is the only movie that I've slept thru - walked out after an hour of boredom/snoozing and don't have a clue what it was about..

Woman spanked for dissing ex in Facebook snapshot

peter collard

I guess a lot of visitors to Spain will have to revise their wardrobes

Are the Spanish police going to clamp down on all dodgy T-shirts? I thought that was the point of having a T shirt.

Surely a plain T-shirt is a vest (in UK that's an undergarment to keep you warm).

I guess in times or hardship the judiciary has to make sure the lawyers have plenty to do.

Ellison: 'There'll be nothing left of IBM once I'm done'

peter collard
Big Brother

What's Larry smoking?

Database performance is directly proportional to specints (assuming other bits as constants) - any database person would know that - but Larry has never been good at detail. Just look at the tables if you want proof.

So what Larry is really saying is that Oracle databases on Sun will never match those on IBM unless Larry cripples the IBM version.

Seven lessons from the HP Touchpad fire sale

peter collard
Thumb Up

Web site performance

What a surprise! As someone who spent 30 years in IT doing performance and tuning as a specialist it always amazed me. How many times did I hear the phrase "the new processors/disks are so fast we will never have performance issues again" - yet I was still in great demand. The problem I found was that the focus was always on new functionality (which always excludes performance measures), so none of the programmers every really understood how to make a system perform. As a database expert who saved one investment bank 2m GBP in 2 years on hardware upgrades it doesn't surprise me at all that the web sites crash.

Google: The one trick pony learns a second trick

peter collard

Most IT companies are one trick ponies?

Oracle - database, Microsoft - Windows, IBM - Mainframes, Compaq (who? - taken over by HP) - PCs, Lotus - 123, and Google -search, the connections are endless.

All companies have a primary cash-cow and try to find a second - and keep trying with varying degrees of success - its been going on in IT for 40 years that I know of.

Google have taken an interesting approach of accepting that that is the case, and building on it. Instead of trying to find an alternative revenue stream, they are encouraging people to use their existing one by removing competition to that stream. You can coexist with Google quite easily if you don't compete with their search and ads, but if you do compete they will take action.

Trust Google to change the game - they have a history of it!

Wake up, Linux hippies: No one 'morally obligated' to give back

peter collard

Unfair to Amazon

As someone who uses Perl with the HTML::Mason framework, I think you could reconsider your slating of Amazon. They provided the Mason project with a great deal of feedback and improvements - both to performance and more importantly stability.

One of the biggest benefits a large user can have is to improve stability in a product. They tend to stretch the product to its limits and beyond. Perhaps this is where the open source community should give credit and encouragement.

Slack bank practice creates opportunity for phone phishing scams

peter collard

Interesting solution found by one bank

Having challenged my bank in the past, and refused to give them any info until they can authenticate I note they now have found an interesting solution by offering 3 values and asking you to pick the correct one. This serves as a lightweight arbitration protocol for their internet transaction fraud detection.

The fact that one of the values is correct gives you a degree of confidence, and your confirmation of the right one gives them the same.

This is obviously too lightweight for actual transactions, but they are just confirming that you are happy with a recent transaction.

£1bn+ Royal Navy destroyer finally fires 'disgraceful' weapon

peter collard

Remember Hubble before slagging off British tech

Perhaps before going on about American tech Lewis might like to remember Hubble - someone managed to forget to allow for the curvature of the mirror in their calculations and it took years and a couple of refurbs and zillions of dollars to get it to focus correctly!

And as for using Windows - big mistake - even Microsoft don't know how it works, so can't fix it. I'm sure the Russians, Chinese and probably the Indians have got it hacked by now - you don't need to blue screen it - just get it to chew up memory and go into page demand mode so it takes hours to launch a missile rather than seconds.

Android is turning a profit for Google

peter collard

Long term play

Google have a very clever strategy - which Sun kicked off many years ago with "the network is the computer" - their goal is to get people using the internet more so they can make more money. If you have Android - you put your contacts into Google, Email into Google and calendar into Google - docs (notes) into Google and they all sync so you can access them from your desktop and even let your wife (aka Social Secretary) book social activities into your schedule. It works - its brill - and I don't have to worry about my phone crashing/ getting lost and loosing my contacts. The maps work - my car sat nav crashed - leaving me in the wilds of Yorkshire trying to find Croft racing circuit - the Android gps got me there without any difficulty. I've given up newspapers - the saving pays my 15 GBP/month contract and I don't have to get out of bed to read the news.

Want to use WD diagnostics? Buy Windows

peter collard

WD are a load of rubbish anyway.

I had a problem with a WD 500gb green drive and a particular motherboard (AMD 780G), reproduced it in both Linux and Windows XP and 7, proving it was doing blocking ios, and WD didn't care less. Bought a Samsung disk and problems went away. Don't buy WD!

Duff French missiles for Royal Navy finally fixed

peter collard

Is this guy sponsored by the US?


When we buy US weapons the government simply exports britsh jobs to the US. If we want to make upgrades - guess who we have to go to, so its not just a one off purchase - its a commitment to spend for years to come. Guess who sets the price for the upgrades.

As regards the delay - has no software integration project ever been late? Maybe it might be better to ask has one ever been on time. Having worked in the City, where a lot of system integration goes on, I would say not.

Green Berets to get Judge Dredd computer smart-rifle

peter collard

Snipers rule ok

Perhaps you've not heard of Corporal Harrison who took out 2 Taliban on a machine gun post with his L115A3 british made sniper rifle at a range of 1.54 miles - with only 2 shots.

The gun is rated at 1100m+ for first shot kill and the ammo costs the same as a pint of beer.

As it weighs only 6.8kg I suspect its a lot more practical for rapid deployment

Blighty's first home grown war robot takes to Welsh skies!

peter collard

Netbook with Linux surely

The xbox has a fundamentally flawed os - I think I would want a bit of reliability so would be using Linux. You could always replace X with a Java windowing system to give a faster and more flexible interface - whoops - I've just invented Android.

peter collard

About time you learnt some economics

Think of it this way...

If the government spends 1M in the good ole US of A it costs 1M. (more - cos theres upgrades to follow)

If the government spends 1M in the UK it costs nothing!

How come?

Well firstly those well paid armsbiz jobs pay tax and NI, and then VAT on what they buy - so the government gets 51% back immediately. Then the remainder get spent in the british economy and more Tax and NI and VAT is paid. After a couple more cycles the government has got 100% back in tax and has kept a whole load of people in jobs.


Tories put toes on Linux bandwagon

peter collard
Thumb Up

Torys get it right for once

Seems they have listened to people who know how to deliver projects on time and on budget.

-Project size, complexity and risk correlations were known about in the 80's but no one bothered to read the research as it didn't look good on the CV.

- Why pay M$ when you can get what you need for free - and the support is better too. If you need features adding, a small amount of money spent on it works wonders - eg Amazon & HTML::Mason