* Posts by Charlie van Becelaere

465 posts • joined 3 May 2007


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?

Wi-Fi not working? It's time to consult the lovely people on those fine Linux forums

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: "first read the fine forum thread until the end"

"It's actually a two-step move, not just a 360 degree flip. You need to unplug it, turn it 180°, curse because it doesn't fit, turn it 180° a second time, and then plug it in."

I've always wondered (but never bothered to do the research) whether the second 180° must be in the same direction as the first, must be in the opposite direction to the first, or it doesn't matter at all.

I'm not going to check Google - someone here surely knows the answer.

Orders wrong, resellers receiving wrong items? Must be a programming error and certainly not a rushing techie

Charlie van Becelaere

I'm so obsolete

that I had to use punched cards to program an inventory control system in COBOL.

If I had maintained any of those skills I might have been very popular at Y2K parties.

Facebook may soon reveal new name – we're sure Reg readers will be more creative than Zuck's marketroids

Charlie van Becelaere

I was disappointed

that the illustration didn't show "Fiend Requests" - that seems more appropriate to NewCorp's likely operations.

Scoot on over for a wheely tricky mystery with an electrifying solution

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Yes, static is a thing

or a Playmobil reenactment!

Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the BBC stage a very British coup to rescue our data from Facebook and friends

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: the Scottish game

"However, I'd really like it if the BBC (and other media outlets) were tougher with political interviewees and stopped booking those who side-stepped or waffled nonsense. Of course, if they did this then there would be no political interviews."

Are you saying that would be a bad thing?

Computer shuts down when foreman leaves the room: Ghost in the machine? Or an all-too-human bit of silliness?

Charlie van Becelaere

Deja Vu

I had nearly the same experience at my father's house recently.

His garage door opener suddenly decided to stop working. Neither the remote control nor the keypad outside could make the thing budge an inch.

I returned the next day to see if a power outage had erased the codes or some such, only to be asked, "Is the light switch turned on in the garage?"

Yes, there's a light switch that also turned off the power to the outlet wherein that motor was plugged. A bit of tape to prevent its being toggled accidentally was applied, and all has been well since.

I suppose that could be a security feature, as it's only operable when a switch inside the house it thrown, but it's more inconvenient than I want to deal with.

Check your bits: What to do when Unix decides to make a hash of your bill printouts

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: I quietly disagree

I very much enjoy driving, but I do not miss the daily commute in the least. Not only is my day a bit longer (at least the part that's my own), but my petrol costs are dramatically down - and I can still drive when I like.

So the data centre's 'getting a little hot' – at 57°C, that's quite the understatement

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: I once had to do something similar in a Skoda...

Mine was a 1964 Rambler in about 1985, so the poor machine had a right to be a bit touchy. Driving in 35C+ temps with the heater blowing as much heat as possible made for a less than wonderful drive home from the office.

The web was done right the first time. An ancient 3D banana shows Microsoft does a lot right, too

Charlie van Becelaere

Web Slowing

"Alas, the Cambridge Coffee Pot is no more."

One can but surmise this is the reason for the web's deteriorating performance. I know I'm not nearly as efficient (nor as fast) without some coffee in me. In my experience, my computers have always performed better when there was a cup of hot coffee nearby.

btw, why no coffee or tea icons?

Wireless powersats promise clean, permanent, abundant energy. Sound familiar?

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Lets do the maths

"Then you have all the stuff from the 50s and earlier without any form of insulation or cavity walls. Pretty much there the only option is to start again so you are back to square one."

I don't know about that. My 1920s home is actually very well insulated and requires very little cooling help in Summer - especially with a large-ish tree out front shading us much of the day.

The steam heat through radiators is surprisingly efficient (and comfortable) and we've had several tradesmen warn us against getting anything new to replace it (barring a total breakdown or other disaster) as nothing around is nearly as good. I don't know that they're correct, but I do like my utility bills being as low as they are (relatively speaking, of course).

At our latitude, solar is only an option for Summer bonus energy.

BOFH: They say you either love it or you hate it. We can confirm you're going to hate it

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Where are you going with that tape

Careful with that tape, Eugene.

Are you a 1%er? Windows 11 turns up in the usage figures

Charlie van Becelaere


I miss Windows 7 these days. If I could just get rid of Teams, that might help some.

Dell won't ship energy-hungry PCs to California and five other US states due to power regulations

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: As a Californian, all I can sat is "Who cares?".

"Naturally, expect the current generation of smart meters being rolled out in the UK to not be smart enough to broker the supply negotiation between EV and network, so you'll be spending much time queuing at places with public chargers..."

Was I the only one to read that as smart meters being about to bork the supply negotiation?

Windows 11 comes bearing THAAS, Trojan Horse as a service

Charlie van Becelaere


"Lest we forget, embrace, extend, extinguish"

I think you forgot exsanguinate.

Exsparko-destructus! What happens when wand waving meets extremely poor wiring

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Cage nuts and cable monkeys...

(after we got rid of the Frame Delay setup that was delivered at first)

Perhaps I've simply missed it, but I love this term and will use it henceforth.

Have one on me!

Everyone cites that 'bugs are 100x more expensive to fix in production' research, but the study might not even exist

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Go agile, go!

It's bugs all the way down!

Try placing a pot plant directly above your CRT monitor – it really ties the desk together

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: Adjust the monitor settings?

"Or remove the fridge magnet holding the bit of paper with their passwords to the side of the monitor."

My SVGA (Yes, I was one of the lucky ones!) CRT had a lovely rainbow effect on the base blue screen which disappeared when I realised I had a magnetic paperclip holder sitting atop the monitor, just above the fun part of the display.

I may have admitted that to a coworker (but I doubt it).

Five words everyone wants to hear: Microsoft has 'visually refreshed' Office

Charlie van Becelaere


please just stop changing the keyboard shortcuts from version to version!

Surely I'm not the only one who tries to keep his hands on the keyboard and finds their changing of muscle-memorised keyboard shortcuts from version to version to be frustrating.

Facebook granted patent for 'artificial reality' baseball cap. Repeat, an 'artificial reality' baseball cap

Charlie van Becelaere

Re: "hats solve the problem presented by AR glasses"

"I also propose a change of acronym. Facebook Artificial Reality Tat Hat. As in, 'Hey Hiro, see you're wearing your fart hat today...'"

Very nice. I was thinking of Augmented+Simulated Sight Hat.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022