* Posts by Charlie van Becelaere

484 publicly visible posts • joined 3 May 2007


BOFH: Good news, everyone – we're in the sausage business

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: The _real_ AI

"Just don't look up a Ritchey Nipper aka a Burdizzo. And as for the Lane Ram Ejaculator...

Animal husbandry is an area best left to those with a strong stomach."

Ah - many are culled, but few are frozen.

BOFH takes a visit to retro computing land

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Short, shameful confession

"Lucky you. I so regret not keeping a few of those, and mark-sense cards and paper tape - in those days digital data was actually visible and tangible."

Ah, I know exactly where I've stored my stack of punch cards (with a COBOL inventory control program) and my roll of paper tape (with something in BASIC approaching the level of a "hello world" program).

Unfortunately, it was on a shelf in my cupboard two houses ago.

Windows Insider Dev Channel flies again as very flighty Canary Channel

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Who.

I think you missed the "right minds" part of the question.

Can we interest you in a $10 pocket calculator powered by Android 9?

Charlie van Becelaere

"If we want real advances in performance, it has to come from smaller, simpler software,"

Imagine - developers encouraged to write tight, efficient code, rather than count on an endless increase in clock cycles and available RAM? Heresy!

Now we're building computers from lab-grown brain cells

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Hackers

Oh dear, we have a system failure due to cirrhosis of the computer.

PC tech turns doctor to diagnose PC's constant crashes as a case of arthritis

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Don't get me started...

Trevor H. - is that you? Haven't seen you since University, but I'd know that wince at forty paces!

What's up with IT, Doc? Rabbit hole reveals cause of outage

Charlie van Becelaere

Understatement as a rhetorical device

Some of us make no small use of litotes.

No, you cannot safely run a network operations center from a corridor

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Huh?

Or possibly it was M. Hulot?

WINE Windows translation layer has matured like a fine... you get the picture

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Ribbon interface holdouts

Actually, my pain is not self-inflicted, it's employer-inflicted ... along with Windows 10 and the whole Teams/Sharepoint monstrocity.

NASA, DARPA to go nuclear in hopes of putting boots on Mars

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Where is the handbrake?

It's a game of two halves - however quickly it's played.

Other than hockey, aren't they all?

Elon Musk to step down as Twitter CEO: Help us pick his replacement

Charlie van Becelaere

How about

Jodie Whittaker? I hear she's got time on her hands now as well.

As a bonus, she seems to know about reboots

After lunar orbit trip NASA's Orion capsule is on its way back home

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: unbelieveable accuracy

"Orion carries a trusty bit of equipment leftover from NASA's Space Shuttle era, its main engine, capable of providing 6,000 pounds (over 2,721 kilograms) of thrust "

My question here was the units of thrust. Kilograms? Shouldn't that be Newtons?

'What's the point of me being in my office, just because they want to see me in the office?'

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: If everyone is back in the office..

My feline coworkers tend to sleep on the daybed behind me.

Of course, once I'm on a Zoom or Teams call, they need to jump on me.

IT manager's 'think outside the box' edict was, for once, not (only) a revolting cliché

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Static wouldn't have been the only problem

"This is a important lesson for everyone in IT, even machines kept in a relatively clean offices get full of manky dust and fluff, and it's always easier to take them outside to open them for the first time."

Imagine the interior of a machine in an animal clinic. I don't have to imagine it, as my wife works in one and I'm the "volunteer" PC expert. She opens and cleans out vast amounts of dust, dander, fur, and hair on a very regular basis now.

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Hide and seek at El Reg

We'll know El Reg are well and truly un-vultured when we start seeing Apple execs consenting to interviews - or even answering requests for information.

What ever happened to all the fun in the world?

Just follow the instructions … no wait, not that instruction to lock everyone out of everything

Charlie van Becelaere

"* El Reg's readership is very old

* The younger generation is smarter, more skilful, and less prone to making mistakes."

Then again, perhaps the younger generation is simply less willing to admit to those mistakes, as the passage of time makes such admissions feel somewhat less threatening.

Hot, sweaty builders hosed a server – literally – leaving support with an all-night RAID repair job

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Builders

"they'll still cut holes in the ceiling and just let the carp land on your desk."

I've always hated finding piscine intruders on my desk. (the icon might have a different reaction)

Microsoft and Meta promise facehugger PCs piping cloud desktops into VR headsets

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Time for a clockwork orange remake

Or we might simply be upgraded to full cybermen.

French court slashes Apple's €1.1b fine to pocket change

Charlie van Becelaere


"cut by two-thirds to just €372 million ($363 million)"

By my current calculation, that's £327 million. What's happened to El Reg?

Removing an obsolete AMD fix makes Linux kernel 6 quicker

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: The older the OS...

"Or how about BeOS, still clutched tightly by Access Ltd of Japan"

Could there be a better company name than Access Limited in this case?

Nicely done, Access!

Keeping printers quiet broke disk drives, thanks to very fuzzy logic

Charlie van Becelaere

Wangs for the Memories

At one of my first jobs we had a set of networked-ish Wang word processors with fabulous 8" floppies.

They were connected to some pretty amazing daisy-wheel printers, each of which resided in its own sound-insulated enclosure. Those printers made the dot-matrix variety seem like whisperers. They were even capable of being modified to print Braille - imagine the force required to make those raised dots on the thick paper required for that task. They also needed a different platen that had a hard interior, but a softer exterior to allow the raised dots to stay raised.

Just thinking about the noise of those things makes my head hurt.

Meta's next-gen Oculus headset kit left in a hotel room

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Kit was "left" in a hotel room

"My thought too. The improbabilities being far too high. Kit left in hotel room. Improbable. Someone other than cleaner gets access. Highly improbable. Said "someone" being a techie reporter. More chance of winning the lottery. Twice."

Maybe the chap just had a Heart of Gold?

Scientists pull hydrogen from thin air in promising clean energy move

Charlie van Becelaere

Just wondering

If they're going to pull water from the (relatively) dry atmosphere rather than take what little groundwater there is there to support the locals, won't that affect how much water ends up in the ground for those locals?

I'm not a hydrologist, but it seems reasonable that taking the water from either land or air affects the total amount of water available there.

Now, if they're planning to do this in totally uninhabited locales, that's a different story, but will it all be operated by solar-powered robots that need very little maintenance?

Amazon has repackaged surveillance capitalism as reality TV

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Sorry, but

"That is the one thing Orwell got wrong with the Telescreens in 1984. It is not government watching - it is the salesman working out what to sell you next..."

Whilst working out what to tell the government to do next.

'I wonder what this cable does': How to tell thicknet from a thickhead

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: adapter

"Yep, the sort of "adapter" that Thor carries around."

Sometimes called a "persuader" by those who carry them.

Surprise! The metaverse is going to suck for privacy

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: I think this gives too much credit to metaverse

"t's a nice theoretical case study but hopefully as relevant as 'what happens if triffids invade'"

So what you're saying is I need to drop my headset in a bucket of sea water?

Probably good advice.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch: Now 100,000kg smaller

Charlie van Becelaere

Units, Please

"The cleanups swept a 3,000 square kilometer [sic] area of the Pacific, roughly equivalent to the size of Rhode Island or Luxembourg."

Rhode Island? Luxembourg?

3,000 square kilometres is better understood as approximately 144 MilliWales or .098 Belgium. (And one assumes the Luxembourg referenced in the article is the nation rather than the Belgian province.)

Where are the editors?

Microsoft warns Windows 10 patch broke printing for some

Charlie van Becelaere

At least I know where the blame lies

as my default printer has disappeared from printing dialogs this week.

Oddly, not in all applications, and it shows in the Printers and Devices - as the default - but, maddeningly, it's gone from the one application I wanted to use.

Perhaps after another patch Tuesday I'll get it back?

Choosing a non-Windows OS on Lenovo Secured-core PCs is trickier than it should be

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: M$....leopard, spots.......and so on

"Once upon a time, BillG engineered MS-DOS so that DR-DOS would not run."

A bit later it was, "Windows ain't done till Lotus won't run."

Plus ça change.

AI's most convincing conversations are not what they seem

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Sentience? Meh...

Lasers? Now you're just asking for sentient sharks.

Know the difference between a bin and /bin unless you want a new doorstop

Charlie van Becelaere

That would be 0.3128 NanoWale-metres (a measure related to the acre-foot from days of yore).

Consultant plays Metaverse MythBuster. Here's why they're wrong

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: "where they fill a room with LED screens"

Well worth reading - especially if you haven't - and at this price it's doubly enticing.


Brute force and whiskey: The solution to all life's problems

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Hmmm

That's what I was expecting to read.

Shameful waste of whisky (or whiskey for that matter), but better than setting retired farmers alight.

When management went nuclear on an innocent software engineer

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Next time

A noirmange, one supposes?

Beware the fury of a database developer torn from tables and SQL

Charlie van Becelaere

translate it into Belgium

"In a previous job - had an app that supported some European major languages (can't remember which ones), and a saleman that promised a Belgium customer that "We can translate it into Belgium for you, no problem!""

I'll be happy to proofread it for you, for an appropriate fee. (see icon)

GPL legal battle: Vizio told by judge it will have to answer breach-of-contract claims

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: GPL: Compliance Web Page

>They could simply not sell user data, but then they'd have to sell the hardware at a far higher price than the competition, because all the competition also subsidise the hardware using sales of user data.<

Which is precisely why none of my TVs are "smart." I'm sure I'll have to give in at some point when that's all that's on offer, but so far mine are all still dumb screens.

Switch off the mic if it makes you feel better – it'll make no difference

Charlie van Becelaere

Or the Cone of Silence

(see title)


Meetings in the metaverse: Are your Mikes on?

Charlie van Becelaere

Sure, blame it on the kids!

I remember hearing early in the "remote learning" phase of the school lockouts of "students" who would change their on-screen name to "Problem Connecting" and put a still photo up.

Teachers were generally not amused.

There are nearly half a billion active users of Start news feed, says Microsoft

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: I was

"ahhh much better.... oh an update.... OH FFS I GOTTA DO ALL OF THE ABOVE AGAIN !"

Precisely. I think that line should have read half a billion monthly activated users. Every patch Tuesday they activate half a billion again, then we all go turn it back off.

Not to dis your diskette, but there are some unexpected sector holes

Charlie van Becelaere

Closest I come

is a stack of punch cards with an inventory control system written in COBOL.

I did lend a local government agency a 5.25" floppy drive a few years ago so they could read old records that were somehow necessary despite their having been inaccessible for ages.

No tax rebate was forthcoming, the ingrates.

You can buy a company. You can buy a product. Common sense? Trickier

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: 'twas ever thus

How was copper wire invented?

Two cloggies fighting over a cent. *

* You may know this one with Schotchmen in it.

For some odd reason, I've even heard it with two Belgians in it. Quelle horreur!

IBM deliberately misclassified mainframe sales to enrich execs, lawsuit claims

Charlie van Becelaere

Fraud Detection?

Perhaps they should think twice about the customer list for their new Z16 mainframes with AI for real-time fraud detection. There could be some embarrassing discoveries down the line.


If you fire someone, don't let them hang around a month to finish code

Charlie van Becelaere

My notice period was

a bit different to this one.

I gave my notice, and was promptly trained on some new software systems during that final two weeks.

My new employer reaped the benefits of that training, as it was a large part of what I was being brought in to learn and do.

A bit odd, that.

The first step to data privacy is admitting you have a problem, Google

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Reality check

Indeed. Just as Tom Lehrer told us about that old dope peddlar, doing well by doing good.


Alphabet spins off quantum AI 'Sandbox'

Charlie van Becelaere

Which will be first?

Fault-tolerant quantum computers or workable fusion power generation?

That's a signature move: How $320m in Ether was stolen from crypto biz Wormhole

Charlie van Becelaere

Why do I keep remembering this?

Sticking it to the man? To Serve Man?

Whichever, It's a cookbook!

Twelve years after Intel was fined $1.2bn for unfairly running over rivals, an EU court says: No need to pay

Charlie van Becelaere

I don't think that means what you think it means.

"We welcome today's ruling by the General Court as we have always believed that our actions regarding rebates were lawful and did not harm competition," a company spokesperson told The Register in an emailed statement.

If the rebates weren't meant to harm their competition, what were they meant to do? Surely this is doublespeak of the most double plus ungood variety.

Robot vacuum cleaner employed by Brit budget hotel chain Travelodge flees

Charlie van Becelaere

Paging Thomas Disch

All it needed was a brave little toaster from the breakfast area to make a successful escape.

What begins with a 'B' and is having problems at tsoHost? Hopefully not your website

Charlie van Becelaere

It's due to a trauma

they suffered as a sbhoolboy - frightened by a bat.

Developer creates ‘Quite OK Image Format’ – but it performs better than just OK

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Pronouncing...

A l'eau. C'est l'heure!

Oh good lord! That took me a few tries to get it. Thanks for the groaner!

What, new in town, mate?