* Posts by captain veg

782 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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Windows 11 comes bearing THAAS, Trojan Horse as a service

captain veg

Re: "and in a few short years we were liberated."

VS Code seems to be establishing itself as the go to IDE for web development on Linux, for better or worse. You can't escape them*: the company is a major contributor to Linux itself!

-A.

*Well, not unless you're in to compiling kernels yourself from source.

captain veg

Re: Browser History

Firefox did sterling work, but Opera was what did it for me (up to version 12). Not only the fastest and most standards compliant, but also the one which did what I wanted it to do, not (necessarily) what the web site owner wanted. First to block unsolicited popups, for example.

Definite honourable mention to Konqueror, without which we wouldn't have Safari. Without which we wouldn't have Chrome. Without which Edge would still be trying to hide its Trident heritage.

It's a real shame that Opera and Microsoft gave up on their own rendering engines, though, in favour of just repackaging Chrome/Blink. Competition is good. Edge notwithstanding.

-A.

captain veg

Re: "and in a few short years we were liberated."

Have to say that I've been pleasantly surprised by Teams on Linux. I'm using Mint Cinnamon, mostly.

On Android, that's another matter.

-A.

The cockroach of Windows, XP, lives on in London's Victoria Coach Station

captain veg

Re: Ironic

If they're actually running on a Pentium 4 then you would probably save money by moving to a cheap Atom (or similar) powered box just on electricity costs.

Unless it's part of your home heating, of course.

-A.

Cloudflare slams AWS egress fees to convince web giant to join its discount data club

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Autonomy founder Mike Lynch loses first stage in fight against extradition to US

captain veg

Re: Popcorn.....

What, execute innocent people to deter other innocent people?

-A.

The old New: Windows veteran explains that menu item

captain veg

IBM relented

Actually IBM wanted multiple message queues from the outset. They did already know a thing or two about timesharing systems. Microsoft insisted on having just the one.

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Verified: UK.gov launching plans for yet another digital identity scheme

captain veg

Re: D'oh

This is indeed the point. I feel no need whatsoever to be able to prove who I am. I already know very well who I am, and it's me that defines it, not government.

If there is any practical application of this kind of technology (which I doubt) then it should address a different question, viz am I authorised/qualified/entitled to (do) the thing at hand. This depends in no way at all on my identity.

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Ad tech ruined the web – and PDF files are here to save it, allegedly

captain veg

Re: of all people

No it wasn't. It was Trident with as much cruft removed as they dared. There's a reason why there was a succession of security updates which targeted both browsers; it was to fix the same holes.

-A.

captain veg

of all people

> The complexity is such that it is impractical to build a new browser engine from scratch - Microsoft of all people tried and gave up.

Ahem. Microsoft has never built a browser from scratch. The first version of Internet Explorer was simply Spyglass Mosaic with a different badge.

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Windows 11: What we like and don't like about Microsoft's operating system so far

captain veg

Re: CPU Requirements

> one core of a 2nd generation Pentium.

Pentium II only had one core. Mind you, that was also true of the Pentium IV that I first ran VirtualBox on, and that went tolerably well despite the lack of any kind of hardware virtualisation support. I also remember running Windows XP inside a VirtualBox VM on an XP host, which had done that Microsoft thing of slowing to an inexplicable crawl due to nothing more than the passage of time. The virtualised instance ran just fine, much better than the copy running on bare hardware. Pentium M, that one.

-A.

captain veg

Re:stale fish wank

It's also a pondful of pongy piscine poo-poo if you've got Windows running in a VM (the only sane way to run Windows) and not in full-screen mode. Same for remote desktop.

-A.

Paid antivirus? On ads? Think of all the beer you could buy without that subscription

captain veg

"However auto-renewal has not happened here."

Doesn't the globe icon in the notification area indicate that the machine is disconnected from the internet? Which would seem like a good idea, in the circumstances.

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Richard Branson uses two planes to make 170km round trip

captain veg

You can see the curvature of the earth while standing on it.

Loads of rockets are fired into the sky every 5th November. None make it to space.

Die very quickly when outside, also known as drowning, possible at zero altitude.

Weightlessness is easy. Just put a big aeroplane into freefall.

I can see the blackness of space every night, weather permitting.

Now, if it had gone into *orbit*, that would have been a different matter.

-A.

OK, you're paying data charges in the EU, but you can still roam free in, er, Iceland

captain veg

Re: HMG cutting red tape...

You seem to have missed the point that this is red tape which had already been comprehensively slashed, ground up and the resulting dust jumped up and down upon thanks to membership of the EEA by virtue of the EU. Its resurrection was wholly and exclusively the consequence of Brexit. And now a tiny little bit of it has been peeled back again and this is presented as some kind of win for Global Britain instead of what it really is, the trifling mitigation of a huge loss.

-A.

Good news: Google no longer requires publishers to use the AMP format. Bad news: What replaces it might be worse

captain veg

Re: Use Bing!

I use Bing translate over the Google equivalent. Both are crap, but in different ways.

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Dependable Debian is like a rock in a swirling gyre of 'move fast and break things', and version 11 is no different

captain veg

Debian is great

... so long as your hardware is supported*. For everyone else, there's Ubuntu and Mint.

-A.

*If it's a server, it probably is. New model desktop or portable? Maybe not.

Just when everyone thought things might be looking up, Dido Harding admits interest in top job at NHS England

captain veg

expectations

According to the Graun she claimed of test and trace that "expectations were set too high”.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/jun/07/dido-harding-defends-test-and-trace-and-says-expectations-too-high

I would say that 38 billion quid buys quite a lot of expectation.

-A.

openSUSE leaps to 15.3 – now built with 'same binary packages' as SUSE Enterprise

captain veg

Re: way back...

Of course it is indeed just perception. I'm talking about a time before the RHEL/Fedora split (and CentOS), and certainly to my perception it seemed like "Linux" and Red Hat were pretty much synonymous. As it happens, the first distribution I ever tried was Slackware. Gnome notwithstanding, Red Hat felt like less hassle.

-A.

captain veg

way back...

My first Linux dabblings involved Red Hat when that was the default choice not just on servers, and there was no separate version for curious desktop users who didn't want to pay for commercial server support.

It was OK but I hated Gnome, which looked like it had been crayoned by small children. So I tried SuSE, which also at that time had no separate versions for desktop enthusiasts and support-contract server users. It used KDE, which was *much* better. And YaST, which was great. I soon tired of the RPM package system, however, which all too often required you to resolve version conflicts on your own and *never* managed a version upgrade without, at least, killing X.

Ubuntu, then. Debian's package management just works, mostly. In place upgrades, ditto. UI not to my liking.

So now I'm on Mint. And it's OK. The default UI is a bit grey, but I can live with that. Still prefer, KDE, though. Tried TrueOS, with KDE, which was fine until it came time for a version upgrade. Same with Neon. Kubuntu? Yes, probably.

I get that software sometimes has to be patched. I would really, really like it to be totally unobtrusive. Please?

-A.

How to use Google's new dependency mapping tool to find security flaws buried in your projects

captain veg

write your own

I just don't get why people import third party libraries to do trivial stuff like string manipulation. A relational database, sure. Some kind of cool UI widget, maybe. But at the very least you should ask yourself "could I write that?".

If the answer is no then maybe you should find another career.

If the answer is "of course, but I don't have time" then the supplementary questions are (a) how long will it take to learn and master the library, (b) have you got time to read and validate the library's source code, and (c) how much additional effort will it take to get that third party thing to do exactly what I need it to do rather than what the author presumed I would need.

The "it's been tested lots and ought to work perfectly" proposition is attractive, but flies contrary to experience.

-A.

Seagate finds sets of two heads are cheaper than one in its new and very fast MACH.2 dual-actuator hard disks

captain veg

Re: Is this new?

I'm a Luddite, but it's solid state all the way even for me when it comes to secondary storage, if only for the noise reduction.

Backup is a different matter.

-A.

FYI: Today's computer chips are so advanced, they are more 'mercurial' than precise – and here's the proof

captain veg

so...

... we've already got quantum computing, and no one noticed?

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Cloudflare stops offering to block LGBTQ webpages

captain veg

Re: only a few minutes in

You can think that, if you like.

-A.

captain veg

Re: only a few minutes in

Can I call you stupid for not being able to spell "its" correctly?

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captain veg

only a few minutes in

.. and already a downvote.

Come on, tell me why it's great that CloudFlare willingly provides service to criminals.

-A.

captain veg

Go ahead and down vote me again

I give no shits at all about what CloudFlare does or opines while it continues to knowingly take money from criminals, which it does in spades. Same goes for anyone stupid enough to use its services.

-A.

Internet Explorer downgraded to 'Walking Dead' status as Microsoft sets date for demise

captain veg

Re: I love it when they say my browser isn't secure enough...

> stripping naked for privacy.

Worked for the Invisible Man.

-A.

captain veg

fewer than

> According to StatCounter fewer than one per cent of of browser users still bother with IE

No.

It's "fewer than" strictly for countable quantities, i.e integers. Percentages can (and do) have a fractional part. So less than, not fewer..

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Microsoft hits Alt-F4 on Windows 10X: OS designed for dual-screen PCs axed

captain veg

Re: slower to update and less secure version of windows

Maybe peak Microsoft, but secure it wasn't. At the time a 56K modem was the best internet connection most people could hope for, and at that speed downloading the critical security patches post-installation took longer than the average time to being pwned while connected to the net.

-A.

captain veg

I'd just like to add...

... That Windows 8, at least in its .1 incarnation, is still in support (of a kind), and so a viable alternative to the to-be-avoided-at-all-costs Windows 10 abomination. For a short while, at least.

Put Classic Shell on it, and don't move your mouse too near the right edge of your (primary?) monitor, and it's almost usable.

-A.

captain veg

All of those other things actually happened, for worse or worse. WinFS was more plasma-ware than vapour.

-A.

captain veg

slower to update and less secure version of windows

Here's a radical idea. How about they make a version of Windows that doesn't need frequent involuntary updates and is already secure?

-A.

captain veg

Re: Reminiscent of Microsoft Bob...

That's what I thought when I read "Bill Gates hinted was his greatest regret at the company".

-A.

Space is hard: Rocket Lab's 20th Electron launch fails

captain veg

Re: "Space is Hard"

Er, Robert Calvert?

He was mad.

-A.

Visual Basic 6 returns: You've been a good developer all year. You have social distanced, you have helped your mom. Here's your reward

captain veg

Re: It wasn't the only tool...

Not sure about your example, but sure, "If 3 And 4 Then..." would never be executed. Because, in C syntax, while 3 && 4 makes 1, 3 & 4 is zero. More fun awaited if you introduced Not.

Of course, the answer was simple: "If 3 <> 0 And 4 <> 0 Then...".

-A.

captain veg

Re: Why not bring back REXX too!

Actually it was DoEvents without parentheses, in the classic BASIC style.

-A.

captain veg

Re: Bring your VB projects to 21th [sic] century

One of my colleagues insists on writing [n]1rst, no matter how many times I tell him that we don't do that, ever, in English. He's French.

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captain veg

And, as I recently discovered when attempting to run some ancient VBA code which called 32-bit API functions, or rather didn't, is now 64-bit in equally wordy versions of Office.

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captain veg

Re: Nice

Well, it could have been "kewl", I suppose.

I never got why Java is so named.

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captain veg

Re: It wasn't the only tool...

I expect you're right about serial interfaces, but And, Or, Not and Xor are all bitwise in classic VB. This was broken with extreme prejudice in VB.NOT.

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captain veg

Re: OK...

Have to say that On Error GoTo Bed can often be a lot more succinct than Try... Catch.. Butterfingers. It treats exceptions as, well, exceptions, without interfering much with the normal program flow.

-A.

captain veg

Re: Why not bring back REXX too!

Only in as much as you could call pretty much any API function with varying degrees of pain. The ones related to threading caused an awful lot of pain. The language itself offered no support at all.

-A.

captain veg

Petzold

Learned Pascal and C at (what is now a) uni, but first job was in Pick shop, so back to BASIC. I tried to make my code as Pascal-like as I could, which bemused my colleagues.

The PC revolution happened and I got a gig writing DOS programs. In C, natch, with some assembler. And then Windows took off. Like everyone else I acquired a copy of Charles Petzold's "Programming Windows" and was horrified to learn that simply putting the words "Hello, world" on the screen required 80 lines of code. That's why VB took off. Not because of BASIC, but the Visual part. You could put the words "Hello, world" on screen without writing a single line of code. The language itself was slow and pretty clunky, but you could still write the serious stuff in C and compile to a DLL and call that.

The BASIC part got better over time, swallowing a lot of Pascal along the way and a little bit of Java. By the end, you hardly ever needed to code anything in C unless you were doing *very* low level stuff. All it really lacked was proper inheritance, strongly typed generics and the option to base collections at index zero instead of one. But instead they gave us the almost completely incompatible VB.NOT, so we switched to C# and, later, JavaScript.

I've still got quite a lot of old code to maintain. Firing up the IDE is certainly a trip down memory lane, but it takes hardly any time to get back into the swing of it. There's precious little code-completion, and I miss the ability to just magic up an object without having to add a tedious boilerplate class definition -- in its very own source file -- but it's still perfectly usable. Even under Wine on Linux.

Being able to target 64-bit platforms would be nice, but for new projects, no, I don't thinks so. When VB was king there was nothing like it for quickly knocking up a GUI. Now there's plenty of choice, and you don't have to fight the limitations of BASIC. Had something like this been around in 2002 it might have been a different matter. Right now, I don't see much point.

-A.

Tesla Autopilot is a lot dumber than CEO Musk claims, says Cali DMV after speaking to the software's boss

captain veg

I don't get it

I don't like even my car cancelling the indicators for me. Automatic handbrake? How will I do handbrake turns? Automatic headlight dipping? Oddly enough, everyone else shows their appreciation my furiously flashing theirs.

Who actually wants self-driving cars?

I get that there is a different culture in the US, but in Europe we even prefer to change gears manually.

Ask yourself this: if you were in danger of missing a plane (or train, or whatever), would you (a) press on, turning up the spatial awareness so that you can stretch the rules a little bit on speed limits, or (b) accept that the computer won't go any faster no matter what.

If (b), which is a perfectly valid choice, why have a private car at all?

-A.

captain veg

Re: Christ Almighty…

During the public transport strike in 1996 I found myself gridlocked on l'Etoile on my motorbike. Facing head on an artic cab, nowhere to go. Vive la priorité a droite !

-A.

captain veg

Paris is easy. Try Athens.

-A.

captain veg

Re: failure to yield the right of way to the car

My driving instructor told me, after testing me on emergency stops by saying STOP, that in the actual exam the tester won't actually say STOP... at which moment I hit the brakes and he mashed his forehead on the windscreen. I guess my young reactions were better than his. In retrospect, not sure why he wasn't wearing a seatbelt.

-A.

Nasdaq's 32-bit code can't handle Berkshire Hathaway's monster share price

captain veg

Way back when, Microsoft released version 3.11 of Windows, also known as Windows for Warehouses because it brought no new features for anyone not connected to a networks, which was most people at the time. There was much merriment that the Windows Calculator app asserted that 3.11 - 3.1 = 0. This wasn't fixed, IIRC, until Windows 98.

-A.

Microsoft reassures Teams freebie fans: We're not going to delete all your data, honest

captain veg

Re: two bugs

Indeed. In JavaScript there really ought to be three equals symbols, but this is not required or enforced. Because it treats you as an adult.

-A.

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