* Posts by Tom 7

7981 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

Ubuntu Touch OTA-23 is coming: Do you have one of the older model phones that can test it?

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Great, and with so much potential

I had a nexus 5 for 7 years till the battery went. A few quid on a new one and it was as good as new - then one of the brats broke their phone just before exam results were due and borrowed mine. And put it in the back pocket and sat on it! I may see if I can find it and get a screen replacement.

Bipolar transistors made from organic materials for the first time

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Just a small elephant...

I'd imagine that's why they are looking. But from what I remember of the physics I cant see a reason why it wouldnt work. An FET involves electrons or hole moving under the gate so the distance they have to travel is the minimum you can get from the lithography. With bipolar they have to travel through the base which can be made a lot smaller by diffusing the things you add to the silicon. The last time I worked on this you could make a FET with three masks and IIRC 7 to achieve very thin bases (14 overall for 3 levels of metal interconnect) but we did get 9.6Ghz parts in 1989/90 from transistor that were about 30u square when sub micron FETs were starting to appear. We were doing ECL with 1ma tail currents whereas CMOS of a similar size were u amp.

There was a paper around then that outlined a 600 gate 16 bit CPU which I could have done in bipolar at 2.4Ghz and it would have been the fastest CPU in the world and consumed 60W. A meg of ram would have been about 20Kw in bipolar though - and a large tropical island in GaAs.

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Just a small elephant...

Bipolar is around 100 times faster for the same scale of process.

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Totally of subject

Given there are more than twice the population of this septic isle with that surname it would be cheaper to educate the fuck out of a few morons here, or just wait till they grow up a little.

RISC-V International emits more open CPU specs

Tom 7 Silver badge

I worry that that will only be legal for a day!

Micron aims 1.5TB microSD card at video surveillance market

Tom 7 Silver badge

Crickey

According to the back of my fag packer for around £100 and one of these you can put together wildlife surveillance box (PV/pi zero/camera) with motion detect software that could easily record a years activity.

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: What does that do to bandwidth?

Fly that high enough and the universe could write a 3d message in the cards with cosmic rays!

Spain, Austria not convinced location data is personal information

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Start to publish politicians, judges and other "VIP" location data...

They tend to have exclusions to various things - cant have people in a democracy talking to politicians!

RISC OS: 35-year-old original Arm operating system is alive and well

Tom 7 Silver badge

Just downloading now

Tried it on the original Pi when it came out - fast fast fast , but not much software. Hope it comes wit a development suite - all hell will break lose if it does.

Seems development is there - alas no 16GB spares. Tomorrow!

AI's most convincing conversations are not what they seem

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Avian...

I think its a bit premature to say avians and mammals have separately evolved intelligences. I think we have two different end results but I bet the core of it is shared from possibly before we left the sea and certainly by the time reptiles and mammals split.

Looks like our split from the EU may not help us getting brighter either!

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Chinese Room

Can we go to a Chinese bar and discuss this?

First details on TSMC's 2nm node: Chipmaker reveals nanosheet transistors

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Isn't this...

The order to leave an Irish pub?

US must adopt USB-C charging standard like EU, senators urge

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: USB-C connectors suck

Not sure iPhone/iPad charging cables are any better. We've got a lot of them in the electric recycling bin - dont use them myself. It could be that the youngsters in the place leave things on the floor and tread them but there are 8 genuine Apple jobies and only two USB we've collected in the last 3 years or so. Interestingly you can tell a non-functional cable because the live ones twist and turn and have to be untangled but the dead ones are always the first ones you can pull out!

Look to insects if you want to build tiny AI robots that are actually smart

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Memo to developers:

Saw my first horsefly of the year today - lifetime maybe 3 seconds.

Atos, UK government reach settlement on $1 billion Met Office supercomputer dispute

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Re: Seriously

Without reasonable accurate weather forecasting most outdoor events would be local. Weather insurance for events is vital - apart from Glastonbury.

IBM ordered to hand over ex-CEO emails plotting cuts in older workers

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Re: Buh buh buh Female Executives Are The Best!

A new group to define - inCEOs

EV battery can reach full charge in 'less than 10 minutes'

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Full charge in 10 minutes?

How about a backup battery dropped in the boot? Not a full charge version but something 'portable' that will get you another 50 to 100 miles or so? Only take a minute or so to swap out.

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Full charge in 10 minutes?

Or you could have replaceable batteries.

Or even just use batteries to store charge for people who really are in a hurry and charge (get it?) a little more while charging others more slowly at whatever rate you can get for a decent price.

TSMC and China: Mutually assured destruction now measured in nanometers, not megatons

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Vehicles

My 70 year old tractor has fuel injectors.

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: When did Scorched Earth ever work?

The thing is if China invaded and the fabs destroyed themselves then China is left with half a billion unemployed. Not good for a continuity government.

Record players make comeback with Ikea, others pitching tricked-out turntables

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: That vinyl sound

Records have a form of frequency adjustment call RIAA. Every preamp will have a reverse frequency adjustment so in theory the sound should be unaltered.

Some old record cutting equipment had similar sound adjusting properties and so the master tapes used to drive the cutters were adjusted the other way so the end result from a record player should sound as near as possible like the 'original'. Some companies used these to make early CDs and a few people claim to have noted the difference and this seems to be the origin of the current audiophile folk myths.

The best way of looking at this is CD is spot on - any audio features added by digitising are less noticeable to humans than the effects of a candle bending the air between your ear and the speaker. Don't try that with headphones!. Vinyl is a serious downgrade to the audio signal but some people like the way it does it and prefer it to the far better quality and reliability of CDs possibly because of the ritual involved which is very reminiscent of opening a present.

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: That vinyl sound

!n 1969 (IIRC) a Quad invited the golden ears of the hi-fi industry to listen to their new current dumping amp with 0.001% distortion, The also played the same music through the MkII valve amps - 1% distortion and 33 series amps at 0.1% distortion in a series of double blind tests. The golden ears of the industry couldn't tell the differences between them! Rather than the golden ears admit they made a living writing bollocks for the hifi mags and other press reports they just decided not to take part in any more double blind tests.

Quad went from trying to make their equipment more Hi-Fi as in accurately reproducing the sound on offer to , shall we call it "Knowing your market" equipment.

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: That vinyl sound

As far as I can tell no-one has ever been able to tell the difference between CD quality non-compressed sound and larger/higher bit rates in double blind tests. The compressed versions seem to add features you can learn listen out for and people use these to identify differences in longer word/higher bit rate compressed versions.

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: That vinyl sound

You dont lose information that your ears can hear though. Vinyl loses information - its easy to prove this is true by playing the record back and comparing it to the mastering medium. The info lost and distortion added is orders of magnitude higher than that from digital conversion.

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Digital transmission?

From an audiophile perspective nothing is real enough.

openSUSE Leap 15.4: The best desktop on the RPM side of the Linux world

Tom 7 Silver badge

There were reports today that the Death Clown could earn £5m a year when he stops breaking the country. He had a job as a journalist before so something to consider if you are a really appalling journalist with a serious aversion to knowing anything about what your meant to be doing.

Meteoroid hits main mirror on James Webb Space Telescope

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Disappointing

We've had satellites floating above the earth for 70 years now and many of them have been able to see meteoroids of this size impacting our atmosphere. As a result we have a pretty good idea of the amount of shit and how big it is flying around out there. This one is a bit of a surprise I believe but its not evidence the mission will be shorter than expected.

Having said that and looking to Ukraine we might not be here to receive the data.

NASA to commission independent UFO study

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Intelligent Life exists

There's no mention of Eno in their contracts!

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: We're not advanced enough to understand "aliens".

Amazing we have pictures of peoples meals, minor activities and genitalia in full focus and well lit and yet any UFO sightings seem to be hearsay or recorded by drunks totally unfamiliar with how their phones work.

There is intelligent life but I dont think it is involved in the UFO crowd.

Google calculates Pi to 100 trillion digits

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: spot the difference

OOps I lied - the Sinclair Scientific says 3.14159 and the calculator itself thinks pi/2 is 1.563

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: spot the difference

IEEE 32 bit float gives 3.14159274101257324 as pi.

Not sure what the Sinclair Scientific calculates it at but it did have 3.12415926 on the case.

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: spot the difference

Pi could easily introduce rounding errors!

I love the Linux desktop, but that doesn't mean I don't see its problems all too well

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Snaps noy (yet) essential.

I've disabled Snap and will continue to do so. I find it very instructive to git clone and make and then wonder about all the bizarre libraries people use. It often speeds things up enormously because the snap is never configured for 16 threads or whatever CPU/GPU I'm pissing about with,

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Shell-shock-trauma (of sorts)

That's when experience meant you didnt write things experimentally - you pretty much had the code or whatever worked out in your head and debugged there before opening a new file. And you could move the cursor to anyhwere in your file by some keystroke involving line number and position on the line...

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Shell-shock-trauma (of sorts)

Ah the good old days - before security became a noticeable problem. Running things on other peoples xterminals - upside down, reversed left to right or melting.

Farewell to two pivotal figures: The founder of Inmos, and the co-creator of MIME

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: I think the eternal question I've never really understood about the transputer is

It came at a time when the major problem in computing was segmenting in DOS/Windows. I imagine if someone had stuck 16 of these on an IDE card and written some games/graphics handling software for them we would be in a different world now. The company seemed to go for MOD and big customers seriously restricting the number of people to get to play with it and make inroads into a new world.

Its easy to diss the company's handling of their product in hindsight, many wrong turns were taken in the 80s - 8088 for the IBM PC and not the 68008 is probably the worst - but these toys were new and no-one knew what games they'd be used for, and who would have predicted games would have more effect on PC development direction than millions of engineers and scientists and a few warmongers!

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: What A Shame

Assuming the transputer was the future (probably not) then it was the company that killed if off by not selling it to the PC market. It needed a huge number of people playing with it to really make it work - not just a few MOD shops.

Tough news for Apple as EU makes USB-C common charging port for most electronic devices

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Optional Chargers

Seem to have about 10 of the bloody things. Mind you they seem to be fragile little unrepairable buggers - nearly broke my wrist trying to plug in something into a socket that already had an earth pin in it more than once.

What is fun is some chargers seem to be pathetic - good for overnight phone charge, and others will do it in a couple of hours. I may have to get some of those glasses with magnifiers and led lights so I can read the microscript on the chargers before use!

Microsoft: You own the best software keyboard there is. Please let us buy it

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: That was dissapointing

I have a feeling it might be possible to write language dependent keyboards. Code is ideal for some predictive text and I used to use swiping commands 40 years ago so it should be possible to come up with some multi-fingered commands for inputting language features. I guess I'll need to write it on the PC to start with!

Tom 7 Silver badge

That was dissapointing

when they said software keyboard I was hoping for a keyboard for writing software! Which all the ones I've tried on a phone are pretty shit at. And as for the predictive text, it makes it almost impossible.

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

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Rockets...

I was in the town of Malcesine on Lake Garda when they had a festival. They simply held the sticks of rockets in their hands to launch them. Hundreds of men were doing this - possibly due to the rather nice 12p a bottle RIcc.io Rosso Spumante local red champagne with a plastic cork. Never quite had the guts to try it myself despite seeing so many people doing it without any signs of injury.

That time a techie accidentally improved an airline's productivity

Tom 7 Silver badge

I didnt say do the work you were set. Just do something. My motto is laziness is the mother of invention so if I cant bring myself to do something I've been told to do cos my bolshie switch is jammed on hard I'd write some code to make my life easier - often the code I'd been told 'we dont have time to write so do that the inefficient way without it'. Or just some code that intrigued me. Just something to keep you active and the day passes far more quickly than swinging the lead. I'm not a team player but if making things easier for the team will make my life easier then so be it.

Tom 7 Silver badge

The stupid lazy make life worse for themselves. The day really drags when you avoid work. Knuckle down to something and you're home in no time!

Taiwan claims ‘breakthrough’ in EU semiconductor cooperation talks

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: I don't get the China invading Taiwan hype

So why did China deliberately overfly Taiwan this week? Have no doubts they regard Taiwan as theirs and they will do what they can to get it back CF Russia and Ukraine. Its not what YOU think its what they think and China thinks Taiwan is theirs by right.

Algorithm spots 104 asteroids in huge piles of data

Tom 7 Silver badge

ADAM::THOR

I wonder how long before we get space name space conflicts!

I hope they extend it to the point I can point my 16 incher at the sky and not get half blinded by starlinks flashing by. Though I'm guessing I cant afford the go-pro update!

IBM ends funding for employee retirement clubs

Tom 7 Silver badge

The long term viability thing is quite important when it comes to pensions. It seems the only things that are expected to last as long term investments are property and fossil fuels. It aint going to end well!

Tom 7 Silver badge

Musk seems at the bell end peak of the bell end curve for these people. He's trying to buy twitter and Trump!

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Not even that

Mostly it doesnt contribute to inflation because its taken out of the economy and hidden offshore in tax havens. But it doesnt contribute to the UK economy either.

Tom 7 Silver badge

That would be better for the company, employees and shareholders. However not for the other embedded parasites who will of course either undermine or corrupt the new execs.

Tom 7 Silver badge

Re: Warning: Old-Git Post

Except you dont get starter homes - a place like this would be 4 or 5 bedroomed luxury houses.

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