* Posts by Dave Stevenson

24 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Mar 2009

Loathsome eighties ladder-climber levelled by a custom DOS prompt

Dave Stevenson
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Re: "Four Yorkshiremen" moment

I remember that, particularly the crashing part!

That was, of course, assuming you could get it to load off cassette in the first place, and then the wobble-pack didn't wobble.

Thinnet cables are no match for director's morning workout

Dave Stevenson
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Re: 10Base2 - Luxury

That sounds a very familiar story. Under the bridge by the library?

I'm assuming this AC is JH, not AG.

BOFH: What a beautiful classic car. Shame if anything were to happen to it

Dave Stevenson

Re: Classic cars...

Close with an electric Westfield back in 2010 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJmUv3P88O4

When is an electrical engineer not an engineer? When Arizona's state regulators decide to play word games

Dave Stevenson

Re: So... is he an engineer?

I'll agree that SonofRojBlake gets the benefit of calling themselves a "chartered engineer", but shouldn't claim rights over "engineer".

I did an IEE (as it was at the time) accredited electronic engineering degree, but have never had the need to progress to chartered status, and it's not held me back.

The one service I used from the IET was their email alias, and they cancelled that scheme earlier this year, so I've cancelled my membership. Am I going to stop referring to myself as an engineer? Nope.

'The capacitors exploded, showering the lab in flaming confetti'

Dave Stevenson

Exploding chips - not fun

Been there, done that, though fortunately not taking out any other equipment.

Again as an electronics undergrad, I was building a relay drive circuit using ULN2803 Darlington drivers. Due to a wiring fault one output had been shorted to the supply rail instead of via the relay. When that output was energised the driver exploded, and a small lump of the IC plastic hit me just under the eye! Yes, I counted myself very lucky that it didn't hit about 5mm higher and take out my eye, but it did narrow the fault down to between one or two pins.

Blowing things up - it's the only way to really learn.

Three challenges UK watchdog to a duel over mobile spectrum rules

Dave Stevenson

How about sorting out 3G or 4G first?

I'd be happy if just one of the networks offered me any real coverage at home (about 7 miles outside Cambridge).

We used to have perfect O2 2G coverage, but they then deployed 3G/4G from the next village and turned off that 2G cell. Now we get nothing from O2. None of the other networks offer sensible coverage either.

So much for fixing not-spots, and the complaints process gets nowhere either :-(

Watt the f... Dim smart meters caught simply making up readings

Dave Stevenson

Re: Errrmmm....

"Before anyone gets too worked up; all UK domestic supply is single phase, and won't be using these 3 phase meters."

Nope. I have 3-phase at home.

A previous owner had a swimming pool with a 3 phase heater (and presumably a huge energy bill!).

Needing more than 24kW (100A single phase) is rare in a domestic situation, but not impossible. A friend is also looking at it - adding up electric car charging (7kW), induction hob (8kW), and air-air heat pumps (7kW) he's getting pretty close to the limit. Don't go boiling the kettle at the same time.

EU ends anonymity and rules open Wi-Fi hotspots need passwords

Dave Stevenson

Identifying the user

Am I missing something here?

If the connection after the hotspot is via NAT, then how can "big media" identify the user from the internet side? Or are hotspot providers going to have to go for the full ICR logging that the Snooper's Charter is imposing so that they can identify which of their users (who have proved their identity) it was that downloaded the dubious content?

Just setting a password and making users identify themselves to the hotspot operator seems insufficient.

Totally barking.

Sony wins case over pre-installed Windows software

Dave Stevenson

That makes me wonder now.

About a year ago I bought an Asus laptop preinstalled with Win8.1. Secure boot was enabled so I couldn't get into the BIOS to tell it to boot from USB without entering magic runes at a Windows terminal prompt. So how was I meant to install an alternative OS without accepting the Microsoft EULA?

World eats its 10 millionth Raspberry Pi

Dave Stevenson

Re: I thought I'd buy one to try when they first came out..

@Voland's Right Hand

"1-2 cameras (due to Pi's own refusing to work with uvc and motion had to use ELP modules)"

Why would a non-USB device conform to the USB Video Class, aka UVC? It's a MIPI CSI2 sensor, so you may as well complain that is doesn't support SCSI.

And it works perfectly well against motion, so I'm not sure what your problem is there.

But then again you do like to have the same rant every time the Raspberry Pi is mentioned on El Reg - eg http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2016/05/17/raspberry_pi_zero_gains_a_camera_connector/#c_2867035

(Still doing volunteer Pi support for camera stuff)

Latest Intel, AMD chips will only run Windows 10 ... and Linux, BSD, OS X

Dave Stevenson

Re: Unless you are Really Big Biz this...

Generally Windows Update service for me.

Go to task manager. Right click on the svchost.exe instance consuming all the resources. "Go to Service(s)". If it isn't wuaserv, then I'll be surprised.

You can right click the service and stop it, but it will restart automatically a little later.

As to why it takes so much resource, damned if I know! Perhaps it's another attempt to push us all onto Win10.

Wanna build your own drone? Intel emits Linux-powered x86 brains for DIY flying gizmos

Dave Stevenson

Motion detection?

"The board also sports a MIPI CSI-2 camera interface and a USB3 connector to an Intel RealSense motion-detector cam, if fitted."

Realsense is predominantly depth sensing, not motion sensing. Minor detail.

Raspberry Pi Zero gains a camera connector

Dave Stevenson

Re: expensive

Lovely rant. However I haven't noticed anyone post on the forums about V4L2 being broken. On the odd occasion when things do get broken they are then it generally gets fixed PDQ.

Details please as I'm not a mind reader.

(Volunteer Pi support for camera stuff)

Caterham 270S: The automotive equivalent of crack

Dave Stevenson

Re: Now that ElReg is...

Buy the kit - much more fun, and you get to know the car.

I built mine about 8 years ago, and it took me about 2 months in evenings, weekends, and about 8 days off work. At the time they reckoned 80-100 hours for someone with basic engineering skills, and with everything being new it's all relatively easy - really big boy's Meccano (although with slightly fewer pictures than ideal in the build instructions).

I've still got the car and it still makes me smile when I drive it.

Dave Stevenson
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Re: Not a word

(yes I did see the joke alert icon!)

I've got a 1.6l Rover K-series powered Seven and normally get mid to high 30 MPG out of it when on the road, so actually not as hideous as it could be. Put your foot down sharpish and you can drop that number, particularly on a track.

Audio tech upstart DTS takes on Wi-Fi speaker juggernaut Sonos

Dave Stevenson

Don't need a Bridge.

Sonos Bridge required? Really? I don't have one as I have ethernet run to a ZP100 or ZP80. Almost all of the products have at least one ethernet port and thereby remove the need for a bridge. The baby units (Play:1 and the like) may not have them though, but supposedly only one node needs the connection.

Then again the mesh network performs so badly at my place that I've ended up with ethernet to 4 of my 5 zones and a switch that supports spanning tree. Perhaps the updated mesh in the ZP90 and ZP120 would perform better, but upgrading costs too much for limited gain.

EE still has fastest, fattest 4G pipe in London's M25 ring

Dave Stevenson
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Re: Not a Ring

You beat me to it! It's one of those useless pub quiz bits of trivia.

Not just bicycles, but any vehicle that is prohibited from motorways (eg tractors).

BBC boffins ponder abstruse Ikea-style way of transmitting telly

Dave Stevenson

Re: Justification

Memory says that The Matrix DVD has multi-angle stuff on the behind the scenes bit about the shooting of bullet-time or the like. Also Men In Black had a deconstruction of the tunnel scene (where they drive on the roof of the tunnel), and you could switch between the layers that were composed into the final sequence.

My memory could be failing me though, and they weren't great uses of the technology at that.

UK malls use Google in desperate stab at luring shoppers off the web

Dave Stevenson

Re: Oxford vs Cambridge

Not so sure I agree with you on the Cambridge P&R. By the time you have a couple people in the car you can get almost half a day of parking at say Queen Anne or Park St car parks for the same price, and you've saved up to an hour each way (ask my other half!) on the bus.

And the Longstanton P&R is just confusing as it depends which bus operator you use as to the cost of a ticket into town, and they're not transferable between the two.

Grand Arcade - OK, enough said there!

The Hardware Hacker's Guide to Home Automation

Dave Stevenson

Re: Question?

I'm looking at doing almost the same thing but via openenergymonitor.org hardware rather than RPi. OEM can monitor the power being generated by the PV, and that being consumed by the rest of the house, and (with a little extra code) turn on the immersion heater if there is sufficient surplus.

RPi will need some interfacing to be able to monitor power (unless your inverter already has Bluetooth or similar for remote monitoring). It does have onboard GPIO so that it could drive a relay directly (no USB interface required), although a Gertboard (search the RPi blog) may make life easier.

As a further trick, drive your immersion heater via a high powered dimmer circuit (triac), and you can make use of all the surplus power from your PV, even if it doesn't exceed the threshold to turn your immersion on at full power. Read the OEM forums for various discussions on that.

AdBlock Plus man disputes Mozilla add-on tests

Dave Stevenson

@heyrick Re:Yup

You want to try BarTab (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/bartab/) instead of toggling Wifi off when restarting Firefox. It stops Firefox reloading all but the active tab on restart, and then automatically loads those tabs when you select them. It's made a big difference to me.

Sonos ZonePlayer S5

Dave Stevenson

Half the price of a BU250 bundle...

.. but also under half the functionality. The BU250 includes a CR200 controller and two ZonePlayers (one with amplifier, one without), but an S5 and ZoneBridge for £429 is only one zone and no controller. Makes the price comparison a bit daft.

I should add that I'm a very happy Sonos user, but I'm unlikely to add one of these as an extra zone.

Aussie censors implement six degrees of separation policy

Dave Stevenson
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How about tinyurl.com?

So if an Australian web site wished to link to a "banned" web site, why not just create a tinyurl.com shortcut to that particular site and publish that link? Same end result for the surfer, but the website isn't publishing a direct link to "banned" content, so (potentially) no problem.

If links to links aren't permitted, then go through 2 tinyurl.com URLs (although I've never tried that to find out if it works).

I think the idea is to make themselves look foolish and waste a lot of taxpayers money - they're succeeding.

Brussels: Old-school lightbulbs to be gone by 2012

Dave Stevenson
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And what about those with reflector bulbs and/or dimmers?

Great, so anyone with reflector bulbs is now expected to pay over £10 per bulb, compared to about 50p. They better be incredibly efficient if I'm to save £9.50 in electricity over the life time of the bulb (I guess it may be a bit less as the bulb life is meant to be longer).

And so few of the low energy bulbs can be dimmed, so anyone with dimmers is forced to buy the more expensive versions.

Cheers Brussels - I'm off to stock up on spare bulbs.