* Posts by Clive Summerfield

30 posts • joined 18 Feb 2009

RAF Eurofighter gets a Battle of Britain makeover

Clive Summerfield

Re: eh?

The Eurofighter Typhoon is 16 metres long, whereas the Hurricane is a bit over 9 metres. In that picture they look to be almost identical in length so I reckon that the Typhoon is almost as far behind the Hurricane as the distance between the photographer and the Hurricane. Probably a huge incorrect assumption there though, which I'm sure someone will pick up...

Clive Summerfield
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Re: Five minutes of internets sleuthing..

Using Google to search for similar images turns up a 3500 x 2333 version of the image on the Aviation Week site at the following url:


This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup

Clive Summerfield

What's in a name

So being the son of Adam Hart-Davis, grandson of Sir Rupert Hart-Davis, nephew of Duff and indirectly related to both Elizabeth II and David Cameron didn't help to open any doors to receptive listeners then?

Bizarre Tolkien-inspired GCHQ Xmas card CAN'T BE READ by us PLEBS

Clive Summerfield

Re: All these dark, foreboding posts...

Personally I preferred Irving Berlin's take on such matters:

If you're evil and you don't know

Where to go, why don't you go

Where Sauron sings

Putting on the Rings

Evil king in pitch black cloak,

Rides black beast with loathsome croak

Mordor brings

Putting on the Rings

Dressed up like a old king from Numenor

Trying hard to look a bit like Gorthaur

Hordes roar

Let's match words where Haradrim

Carry swords, and bow to him

Who hates all things

Putting on the Rings

Getting it right on the second attempt: Sony Xperia Z1

Clive Summerfield
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Re: Never buying SONY again

Likewise. I've an Xperia T. That's the phone with the 13mp camera which compresses images down to 2.5mb jpegs full of compression artifacts and noise. And no option to control the compression factor. And the phone which chews through sd cards. And the phone which can no longer tether since the upgrade to Jellybean. All of these issues could be fixed by Sony, but they're too busy pumping out the next flagship phone to bother fixing issues in previous phones. I used to be a Sony fan, but ditched them quite a few years ago. The Xperia T is without a shadow of a doubt the last Sony phone I will ever buy.

Google makes Opera bloggers an offer they can't refuse: Use Chrome

Clive Summerfield

Re: Chrome

"Plus, I rely upon NoScript and ABP. Until Chrome can offer similar (or Opera, or...), then sorry, no deal."

Hmmm, looks up to top right of Chrome browser window and spots the NotScript and ABP icons. There are many reasons for not using Chrome, but those aren't two of them.

Huge PDP-11 in a lorry: How I drove computers into schools

Clive Summerfield
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VMS - still my first love

"those were the days. Gosh, can anyone explain why we had to mount the backup tape as foreign ?"

The /FOREIGN option was used to mount devices with a file structure other than Files-11. It tells the operating system to make no assumptions as to the file structure on the device.

Virtual server farm goes titsup TWICE in a month

Clive Summerfield


People still host with Fasthosts. Their domain registration is okay - no better or worse than many others, and not too bad on pricing - but their hosting services? When it comes to hosting, after their handling of the Usmanov affair a few years back, I wouldn't touch them with a 10m Cat6 cable.

Woomera: Ghosts of Britain's space past

Clive Summerfield


1. Dunno, looks a bit like a Fireflash, but without the boosters

2. Black Knight

3. Jaguar?

4. Black Arrow

5. Ikara - Australian torpedo carrier

6. Sea slug?

7. Canberra PR7 or PR at a guess

8. Meteor T7 though the nose looks a bit odd, as if the nose of a PR10 has been grafted on

Enormous orbiting solar raygun power plants touted

Clive Summerfield

Pournelle had plenty of "good" ideas back in the day, and was worth listening to if you could handle the rather hectoring style and right wing ranting that sometimes accompanied his utterances. Wasn't he part of the "Rods from the Gods" brigade?

Natwest net and phone banking goes titsup

Clive Summerfield

In-branch ATMs seem to be working around 10:30am this morning. But external ATMs such as Link machines were refusing to process transactions. Haven't tried paying by debit card as yet, but grabbed a wad of cash from the ATM just in case.

Farewell then, Sony Ericsson

Clive Summerfield

First Ericsson was an analog NH74 waay back in the mists of time. Stuck with Ericsson and then SE through the T610i (awesome bit of kit) until the W850i. The Walkman line just didn't seem quite there, in terms of software and user experience. All I wanted was a decent mobile with a camera good enough for snaps and a decent music player. For all the vaunted Walkman branding, the W850i just wasn't good enough as a music player, and in the end my music mobility came courtesy of an iPod 30Gb - the only Apple product I own. Hung on to the W850i for a couple of years, made a massive mistake with the Nokia XpressMusic 5800 and now am firmly in the HTC camp. Wouldn't buy a Sony phone on principle now. Shame really, SE should have built on the T610i.

Microsoft: Mango arrives in two weeks

Clive Summerfield

"Malware vendors"? I know some phone manufacturers put out some pretty poor hardware, but calling it malware seems a bit strong

Celebrating the 55th anniversary of the hard disk

Clive Summerfield

Fond memories

"And of course, the excitement when the price dropped to a milestone £1/MByte."

Ah, I well remember the thrill of unpacking and installing a Digital DSP3105 1.05GB SCSI-2 hard disk in my 486DX266 machine with 16Mb of memory. £850 for just of 1GB seemed amazingly cheap, and I never thought I'd fill all that space....

Out of this World science fiction exhibition

Clive Summerfield


"introduced by the criminally underrated British writer Keith Roberts"

Not sure underrated is the right word. Anyone who has read Pavane or Grainne would probably agree that they are excellent novels, written decades apart. The problem is that so few people have even heard of him.

Apple sues Amazon over 'App Store' name

Clive Summerfield


>>Brilliant, but that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about "app store", not "app".

Huh? I event went as far as to quote the appropriate part of your comment:

"Sure, people sometimes used 'app' short for application, but nothing like as universally as they do now, and certainly not when applied to mobile devices."

More specifically:

"... people sometimes used 'app' short for application... ...certainly not when applied to mobile devices."

Certainly there appears to be a certain degree of uncertainty as to the certainty of your statement that people certainly didn't use 'app' in a mobile context. Of that we can be quite certain...

Clive Summerfield


So this statement of yours...

"They even called it "mobile software" back then."

... was more than a little disingenuous, as Handango were refering to "mobile software" as "apps" way back in 2001.

Now I buy things from shops or stores, so Handandgo were selling "apps" in a "store" back in 2001. Therefore "App Store" and "Appstore" are realistically too generic, though the latter has the advantage of being a more artificial construct.

Clive Summerfield

They also called them apps back in 2001


Bottom right of front page:

"Developing the next killer app for handhelds? Become a Handango Software Partner."

Clive Summerfield

Prior usage

Rolf, try looking beyond your email archive:

"Sure, people sometimes used 'app' short for application, but nothing like as universally as they do now, and certainly not when applied to mobile devices."

"Seriously, who else had anything remotely resembling the Apple App Store, or referred to anything as an "app store", before Apple introduced theirs?"

Thanks to the wayback machine we have, from 2nd Nov 2001:


Bottom right of front page:

"Developing the next killer app for handhelds? Become a Handango Software Partner."

DEC: The best of systems, the worst of systems

Clive Summerfield

Oh happy days.

I can't understand how anyone can denegrate VAX.

First encountered DEC kit in the form of a 2060 running TOPS-20 at the Poly of Wales (now the University of Glamorgan), programming in Pascal and COBOL using LA-36 teletypes at first and then VT52's. Managed to cajole the ops staff in to giving me a login on the 11-750. Spent a year working for DEC at DECPark, Reading as part of my BSc course where I got to use various VAXen, Pro-350's and -380's, the odd Rainbow. Fell in love with VMS at version 3.7. Sponsored by DEC for my final year project doing data warehousing in Rdb/VMS then went back to work for them after graduating. Moved to a software house developing on a MicroVAX 2000 and then a 3100, before contracting for them at various times. Messed around with LAVC and VAXstations (kinda had a love/hate relationship with DECwindows).

For me VAX/VMS and the layered products were the business, providing superb development and production environments. Alpha could have taken up that mantle with better management. Seeing the emasculation of DEC as products and divisions were sold off, then the Compaq takeover and the subsequent HP takeover leaves me feeling sad still, even though I've not touched a VMS machine for 7 or 8 years.

DEC founder Ken Olsen is dead

Clive Summerfield
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@VAX Notes

The EuroForum notes conferences are not forgotten. Though I thought it was 2.12 not 2.13?

VAX Notes was the best social networking product written to date. Compared to the gibbering racket of Web2.0 social networking or the nightmare flame wars of usenet, VAX Notes had a signal to noise ratio that will never be bettered.

NASA 'naut falls off bike, misses shuttle launch

Clive Summerfield
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Landing 69 miles off the ground....

"although when Collins was fit he took Lovells spot on Apollo 11 and landed on the moon instead of Lovell."

Hmmm. Given that Collins stayed in the CSM in orbit while Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the surface in the LEM, it's a bit of a stretch to say that Collins landed on the moon. In reality he never got any closer than about 69 miles.

How a Tory gov will be the most tech-savvy in history

Clive Summerfield


Yup, between battling with a temperamental internet connection and irritation at bl***y Grant Shapps mouthing off again, I totally missed that one. Facepalm indeed. Guilty as charged.

Clive Summerfield

Grant Shapps - 1234

Did you really want to post a stream of electioneering drivel from Grant Shapps. Not only does he a) not understand what "open source" really means and b) has a disturbing faith in Web 2.0, but he is also one of the more incompetent MPs when it comes to IT. Back in 2007 he - and remember, we're talking about the Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party - was caught astroturfing as a LibDem during the Ealing and Southall by-election.


And Mr Shapps' masterful excuse when caught out? According to Iain Dale, Britain's "top blogger" (or is that Paul "Guido Fawkes" Staines?), someone had guessed that the password to Shapps' account was 1234!!!!


So really El Reg, if you're gonna invite party political comment and electioneering during the next 4 weeks of childish petty sniping and boring spin, please get people who know what the hell they're talking about.

Clive Summerfield
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re: That was a party election broadcast....

"... on behalf of the Liberal Democrats."

Wow, you're really engaged on this one, aren't you AC? Shapps is (or was until recently) Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party with special responsibility for campaigning. And the password for his YouTube account used to be the ultra-secure 1234....

NSA plans massive, 65MW, $2bn data center in Utah

Clive Summerfield
Black Helicopters

Re: North Yorkshire??

>> Where abouts ???

RAF Menwith Hill, an alleged part of ECHELON, located near Harrogate.

RIP Personal Computer World

Clive Summerfield

Those were the days my friend

Started reading PCW back in 1980. School had just got an RML380Z, and the ZX80 was kick starting the ZX range. Read it religiously through tech college and polytechnic (another institution gone the way of the dinosaurs) and through my first couple of jobs in IT. For me it lost its way around 1993-95, about the same time that PC Pro kicked off. I suspect PCW hung on longer that it should mainly as a result of a loyal if dwindling readership. In spite of its decline, I'll always have fond memories of the new computers it dangled in front of me every month in the 80s.

Geeks make least selfish lovers: Official

Clive Summerfield

Re: Of course...

"...or find a bug in 1,000,000 lines of code, what's taking the time to warm up a clitoris in comparison to that methodical tedium?"

To quote John Cleese from Monty Python's Meaning of Life:

"What's wrong with a kiss, boy? Hmm? Why not start her off with a nice kiss? You don't have to go leaping straight for the clitoris like a bull at a gate. Give her a kiss, boy."

US Navy orders new electric hyper-kill railgun

Clive Summerfield
Black Helicopters

RE: re Phalanx - Project Thor

Barking mad Jerry Pournelle made a serious proposal along these lines back in the 50's when he was working for Boeing (rather than writing right-wing "God Bless Yankee Knowhow" hector excuses for sf novels). Was called Project Thor and was basically supersized crowbars with guidance fins, a simple guidance computer and a small rocket motor for de-orbiting. The supersized crowbars were supposed to be about 20m long, and coming in at orbital velocities (~10km/s) would have the same effect as a small nuke, with none of the longer lasting side effects (apart from p**sed off natives whose loved ones were in the way).


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