* Posts by Martin 37

60 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Jun 2009


Grab your Hammer pants – it's the '90s again: Facebook brings Virtual Reality back

Martin 37


How come this has been posted for 3 hours and no one has mentioned Adult Entertainment? Porn is always a driver of adoption of technology, especially technology accessible to male teenagers.

So when your teenage son spends EVEN MORE time alone in his bedroom with his Oculus "playing Call of Duty" and starts getting hairy palms ...

This is obvioiusly the market Zuckerberg is aiming for, unless he just wants some of the action himself.

Soon your car won't let you drink. But it won't care if you're on the phone

Martin 37

Mobiles vs alcohol

If something deserves your attention, it is much quicker to stop using a phone than to sober up.

The last PC replacement cycle is about to start turning

Martin 37

Re: Weak points...

"Coding in higher level languages will ALWAYS produce programs that are slower than what they would be if they had been written in assembly. The reasons for this are obvious; Assembly is difficult and time consuming to code in."

Sorry, have to disagreee on this. I would say instead

"Coding in higher level languages will USUALLY produce programs that are slower than what they would be if they had been written in assembly. Sometimes this is important, more often it is not as silicon is cheaper than prgrammer time. The reasons for this are superficially obvious; Assembly is difficult and time consuming to code in, so is best left to an opytimising comiler to do"

Days since IBM last reported revenue growth: About 810

Martin 37

Rober Cringely

Has written an ebook on the decline and fall of IBM. A very good read - has been following IBM for decades and personally I think he is well informed.

Check it out - a WKSE can help you. (Well Known Search Engine).

You're inventing the wrong sort of tech for bad people who want to buy it. Stop it at once

Martin 37

Re: "Men have become the tools of their tools" Henry David Thoreau

Tim - you should try it some day!

Microsoft introduces warning on child abuse image searches

Martin 37

Clippy says ...

It looks like you are searching for illegal materials. Would you like help with that?

'Liberator': Proof that you can't make a working gun in a 3D printer

Martin 37
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I did see a quote from the muppet who made the thing saying "there are states all over the world where you are not allowed to have guns".

No, they actually countries and there is more than one of them.

Friends with money: Dell's big bet on private finance

Martin 37

Re: Turmoil - Probably just a rant.

You might want to invest in a carriage return key and read up on what paragraphs are. You might well have written an interesting and informative item, but after the first four inches of unrelieved text, I lost the will to live.

HP maintains seat atop wheezing, spavined PC market

Martin 37


Ok, I give in, WTF is a phablet?

Microsoft snaps up Slingbox mastermind's home control biz for Xbox

Martin 37
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Re: Underrated

@Fred Flintstone - contact me offiline register@cybercontrolsystems.co.uk and I'll give you the full gen. Basically it was a homebrew in 1990 which I replaced in 2005 with off-the-shelf Dupline via Carlo Gavazzi with Red Lion HMI and commercial interface to Fronius PV inverter. There's better out there now.

Martin 37


I have a home automation system - and it's real home automation, ie lights and heating, not the vastly expensive "home cinema" scenario that gets called home automation. It's wonderful, I couldn't live without it, but why is there such microscopic take up?

Some of the comments on Cringely talk about it taking off in order to meet more stringent energy saving requirements on heating.

Martin 37

See Cringeley

There's some interesting comments over at Cringeley:


Basically, what has happened or failed to happen to home automation? Why?

Who's using 'password' as a password? TOO MANY OF YOU

Martin 37

Re: Talk about useless security

I work there! Company initials are Hardly Profitable?

The early days of PCs as seen through DEAD TREES

Martin 37

Journalist desperation

I watched the evolution of the computer magazine over that period, through Byte and PC World.

At the beginning .. there were genuinely interesting computers - Sirius, Apricot, anyone? Then along came the IBM Pc and all its clones.

I remember a review which wasn't called "Another 20 indistinguishable beige boxes" but should have been, and could hear the desperation in the writer's mind as he struggled to find something, anything to say about these boxes. Even the internal wiring came in for comment, and tiny percentage difference in the specification and performance made into column inches.

Since by then everything ran Windows, there was nothing else to distinguish one clone from another.

And yes, in those days you bought the magazines for the adverts, to compare specs and price up a new system.

While reminiscing - PCW used to run competitions that actually required thought and mathematical ability, usually involving 10 digit number so you couldn't use 16-bit ints or floating point. (Of course the BBC Micro had 32-bit ints which made it ideal for these puzzles!)

My favourite was the following:

Using the digits from 0 to 9, generate all possible permutations, and list the billionth. How long will it take take you to work this out either with pencil and paper or a 68000-class processor?

Facebook: Give us your credit card and pals' addresses as GIFTS

Martin 37

The Family

I don't see a horse head delivery service. But then again the intended could always change it for a cupcake, so the point would be lost.

Martin 37

Re: Please Stop

There is a big difference - your footnotes[1] were sequential, his were recursive, hence more sophisticated, amusing and generally Pratchett like.

[1] - Not supplied

Coders grill Herb Sutter on future of C++ at Microsoft

Martin 37

a version 1 release of ARM

They should use gcc for ARM. It's quite good and used by loads of people already.

Snake-fondling blonde nude punts Polish coffins

Martin 37

Re: "The Catholic church is, again, getting nudity confused with sex. Will it ever learn?"

Yes, I agree. In fact I prefer to get dressed up in long purple robes and carry a sceptre when I fancy a shag.

Are you an IT pro? It's no longer safe to bet your career on Microsoft

Martin 37

WTF is Integrity Constraint?

It has too much? Too little? What are you trying to say?

Martin 37

Re: Good one! -Notes

We all know that Notes is a distributed database system that does email as a side effect. I think the Y2K killed off most Notes installations?

Mmm, what's that smell: Coffee or sweat? How to avoid a crap IT job

Martin 37

Re: "Where do you see yourself in five years' time"

1) Permie job - standard answer is "in your seat"

2) Contract job - correct answer is "on twice what you're offering"

Microsoft's 32GB Surface RT has 16GB of free storage

Martin 37

Re: iThings

And did you explain that she can't get pregnant as long as she keeps hold of her chips?

Big Blue beats off rivals to push out first LTO-6 tape drive

Martin 37

Re: GB > MB

Even though the typo had already been pointed out, in your experience can you fill a complete tape in 5 seconds? Thought not.

Chancers try to flog lame Mac malware for $60 a pop

Martin 37

Re: Why is this worth reporting?

Slow news day? On a bank holiday weekend when it's actually sunny, (for the moment), you're posting stuff on the Register?

Get a life!

Martin 37
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Re: Sort of reminds me of scanner applications...

Oh Christ, Canoscan.

Started everytime you booted up and ran at 100% CPU all the time. Since I scan about once per month (timesheets!) it had to go. Luckily it wasn't hard to kill, but it sounds like it made better malware than this Netweird thingie.

Watch out, PC disk drive floggers: Cloud will rust up those spinners

Martin 37

Re: Paperless office, anyone?

"Have you tried the Selective Sync? (Preferences > Advanced)"

Wow - thanks.

Never spotted that.

Makes me look like a nob.

Martin 37

Paperless office, anyone?

Sorry, I don't buy it. I use Dropbox and the major limitation on its use is that my Notebook hard disk is so small I can't keep everything I want inside Dropbox.

Dropbox is a replicator not a network drive. I wish I could tell Dropbox I don't want THAT folder on THAT device. (You could simulate the effect by having multiple logons and sharing folders between accounts but I've got one paid for account and don't see why I should have to have multiple paid accounts to make up for a product deficiency)

Time Machine also sells disks. When my Time Machine cheap USB drive is full, I label it, put it on the shelf and get another from Maplins. I've got 5 on the shelf.

Also just bought a pair of 1TB cheapo USB drives for a media server. Wishing I'd bought the 2TB ones now. Of course I can add another pair of 1TB drives but that's 4 mains sockets (and power supplies) just for the disks.

We are a Very Long Way from being able to use The Cloud as the one and only storage medium. For backup it has its uses but as a primary storage medium, no way Jose. How did it go with Chrome OS, again?

Just remembering when Office Automation meant the advent of the paperless office. As I recall the main beneficiaries of that were HP, Epson, Canon.

Designer punked fanbois with asymmetric screw

Martin 37

Engage smug mode ....

.. but I pointed it out as fake based on the thread, not the head.

It is easy in 3D software to create a helical coil, much harder to create a good sharp helical thread. And although there are machine screws with helical coil threads they are for huge things like machine tools, and not down at the size of a small casing screw.

NOW will you all believe when I say we are ruled by 6 ft lizards in human suits?

Party like it's 1999: CDE Unix desktop REBORN

Martin 37
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Brings back memories ..

..and not good ones. Motif - Ugh. Take it out and bury it but make sure it's dead first. The Hello World programs were about 200 lines. Even Windows can do more with less.

The colours, as you can see were grotesque. Wow! We got more than 16 colours! Lets see how many we can use at once! What do you mean turquoise and pink don't go well together? Add in orange and purple and we're good to go. That was the days of named X11 colours.

About the only good thing was that you could save sessions, so next time you logged in all your terminal windows opened up again in the same place. Something Apple has just "invented" in 2012. Of course, I never used anything except terminal windows - since you did everything serious via the command line, why would you?

Is that really a graphical calculator taking up 50% of the screen space? Real men use bc.

Snap suggests Apple out to 'screw' hardware hackers

Martin 37


That doesn't actually look like a thread.

SCO keeps dying, and dying, and dying

Martin 37

Learned from GNU ...

If, as the article says, they are now The TSG Group, they have learned the recursive acronym trick at least, on the basis that TSG is The SCO Group.

Why women won't apply for IT jobs

Martin 37

Re: seen job adds lately ?

Sitting in a chair!

Paah! Sometimes you have to go under the desk and wiggle a cable. It's hell down there, i tell you.

Microsoft unveils fondle-ready keyboards, mice

Martin 37
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Wonderful to see Microsoft continuing their long and illustrious history of always innovating and leading the industry!

* In compliance with the Americans With Disabilities act this post has been fitted with <irony> tags for the hard of thinking.

RBS collapse details revealed: Arrow points to defective part

Martin 37

Re: How much

There are no equivalent jobs in the UK. That's the problem.

Real Networks will refund $2m to grumpy punters

Martin 37
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Exactly what I'd expect of RealNetworks

It, and other products like it (AVG and so on), are what made the Web feel so grubby and commercial after the initial heady days of text browsers.

New smart meter tells Brits exactly what they already know

Martin 37
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Re: Better budgetting method?

Yep, been there, done that. Most incoming circuit are 100A, so that's your limit. Just try and draw more than 23kW and see what happens.

Facebook beds silent-bonking mobe coupon biz Tagtile

Martin 37


This gets the prize (this week) for the most obscure, unhelpful headline. Ever.

Did it make me read the story?



Lego readies kit for Minecraft lovers

Martin 37

Diggy diggy hole, diggy diggy hole ...

This seems rather pointless - a block / brick construction toy firm releases a kit to do what the block / brick construction kit they are emulating already does better.

Inventor flames Reg, HP in memristor brouhaha

Martin 37
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*this* is why I still read the Register - serious and mostly researched articles - as well as Verity Stob.

Greens threaten to sue over solar power cash slash

Martin 37
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Wrong, wrong, wrong.

It is indeed funded by other consumers, but the amount added to bills is between £1 and £3 per household per year. There is a lot of ill-informed noise (yes, you, Andrew) about it being too burdensome on "poor people".

The price of solar equipment has dropped faster than expected, so a cut in the rate was inevitable and part of the mechanism of the scheme - but a cut of over 50% with virtually immediate effect is knee-jerk bureaucracy at its worst.

The PV installation (surprised?) firm I work for had been scheduling jobs into January before this announcement was made, so we already have many unhappy customers who will not be getting what they have paid their deposit for.

Solar panel selling scam shown up by sting

Martin 37

Monitoring is vital!

I got a system from a company in Wimborne, and it came with a little Wattsure inverter monitoring thingie that sits in the loft. It's no good waiting to read your meter every three months; you want to know how well the system is performing and more to the point if is stops working or is producing under expectation. As well as getting graphs, it notifies me if there is a sudden change in output.

Seems like all PV systems should have something like that.

And yes, SAP procedure is based on irradiation levels in Bromwhich which is where the BRE are based - the company that develops the SAP procedure. So anyone south of there should be doing better than expected, anyone north is likely to do worse.

dabs.com says sorry for delivery debacle

Martin 37
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Artificial Stupidity

My experiences have been the same as everyone else - no order processed since 27th Feb. I used to be a loyal and frequent purchaser, but no more.

This is a genuine email received in response to trying to fill in an online contact page requesting cancellation of an order:

Dear Sultana,

Unfortunately, there was no content included within your query. Please re-submit your form via the 'contact us' link on our website, ensuring that you complete all the fields and any comments you may have and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you in advance.



Customer Services

dabs.com Plc

(I have of course no idea who Sultana is)

LinkedIn goes ballistic following IPO

Martin 37

Short them.

Look it up.

TiVo calls time on ageing set-tops

Martin 37

RIP old friend.

I got one of the first Tivos in the UK - within a few weeks of introduction. It did exactly what I wanted then and still does now. I had spent some time and money trying to cobble together a PC and tuner-based alternative to a VCR, which plainly didn't work.

I have upgraded the disk from 40GB to 400; I'm on my third handset.

I never watch TV live. Even if there's a program I want to watch I'll let the Tivo get about 10 minutes ahead, so I don't have to sit through the adverts.

I paid my £10/month to Tivo and then Sky for 10 years. I was convinced the £300 (?) one-time fee was not the best deal as there was bound to be something faster/better/cheaper along in less than two years. There wasn't.

Yes, it would be nice if it would carry on forever, but whining about it isn't going to help. And I for one am not going to Virgin or Sky - the content available on Freeserve is more than enough for me, I just want a Tivo service to record it for me so I can watch what I want when I want.

So the ugly great big silver box is going in the bin, I suppose.

So long.

DEC founder Ken Olsen is dead

Martin 37

Snake Oil

Ken was lambasted in the trade press and by the competition for being misquoted. Unix was the up and coming thing; making its way out of academia into commercial use. Ken is stated to have preferred the undoubted reliability of the home-grown VMS and was reported as saying Unix is so much snake oil.

The full quote was that Unix of itself was so much snake-oil, by which he meant it was not a silver bullet to all problems of cost, performance, application availability. To that, I think he was right.

but his blind spot of not seeing the need for a computer in every home was a real blind spot.

Ofcom okays Derren Brown psychic-baiting

Martin 37
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Where's the IT angle?

Yes, we al love Derren ...

Hot babes discriminated against by some employers

Martin 37


@Pete 2 - please go and look up the definition of prologue.

"I do not think that word means what you think it means"

HP's Hurd quits quickly on sexual harassment probe

Martin 37

What was it like this time?

I was in the HP premises in Bristol at the time of the announcement of Carly's departure. There was an astonishing outburst of cheering and applause. Someone had a trumpet and played something - I can't remember what.

The overall feeling was summed up in Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead. Hurd was seen as 'mostly harmless' at the time.

iPhone customers lay into Apple after iOS 4.0.1 update fails to install

Martin 37

@Beaker's love child ..

Aaah Grasshopper - never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence.

Southpaws up in arms over iPhone 4

Martin 37
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I'm a lefty but I hold a phone in my right hand. I can then type or write with my left hand, or even push buttons on the phone with my left hand.

So if I was a righty I would be MORE likely to hold the phone in my left hand and experience these signal problems?

I have a ShinyPhone 3GS and have it in a leather case to protect it from scratches. This case often interferes with the phone's ability to tell when I am trying to use the touchscreen. This is an example of hardware that Is Not Perfect. Am I ranting about it? No.