Line printers were the most fun!
You could play tunes on them.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lu4SxJqU9I4
134 posts • joined 17 Jun 2009
The successor to Teleswitch is, of course, 2G Phone services - lots of "Smart" meters only work on 2G. Came across a problem with one we were using in a trial in eastern Brighton - where they'd redeployed all the 2G facilities in the local cells to 4G and there were no 2G signals at all.
Yes. And IF it doesn't work (which I really hope it does!), AZ are proceeding at risk and won't get paid by anyone else. No government money goes to them...
They have also said they will sell it "at cost" for the duration of the pandemic - they're gambling that they are going to make their money when the pandemic is over and people need a booster ever 1,2,5,... years (it isn't known how long the antibodies will last yet, obviously, for a new vaccine!).
... which is completely ridiculous for a (relatively) small software project...
(The government has given the Oxford vaccine group £20M to do the trials - OK Astrazenica are putting some money in now for the later phases particularly outside the UK and ramping up the production trials but still nowhere near another £88M)
A number of years ago I had a tangential involvement with the communication to smart meters....
One scenario the were looking at was the control of a second output from the meter that could be turned off remotely. The idea being that a house could have non-critical circuits connected to that output so that they could be turned off for a short period to cover for spikes in demand (the "make a cuppa in the ad-break in Corrie" scenario). The sort of things that might be connected to that output would be the immersion or other forms of heating where you wouldn't miss it for the duration of an ad-break...
The idea was a discounted tariff if you used the 2nd output as you would be "load shedding" when required.
Not having a smart meter, I don't know if these second terminals have been implemented!
Having done a little research, it looks like:
You can change default search engine
You can change default browser (and the defaults for most other types of content)
Yes, you may have the google apps installed, but you're not forced to use them.
You can change the default search engine
You CANNOT change the default browser - you can open things in other browsers from Safari, but not you have to initially use Safari to view pages
Apple are one of the largest single manufacturers of phones - shouldn't it be a level playing field?
If manufacturers of phones that use Android don't want to use Google Search / Chrome / ... its pretty simple to configure the phone not to use them by default (unless its in their contract to use them - I've never seen the contract!)
Obviously, all the Android-using phones that are in the supply chain (really anything after design!) won't be compliant with the EU ruling - and many non-Google phones will never get a software upgrade to fix the situation even if Google / Android release it...
Used to find an excuse to walk round to Maplin in Westcliffe in the late 70s when visiting my girlfriend's (now wife!) mother... Was always an interesting place to wander around...
Cirkit used to be at the end of the road I lived in in Acton (or was it Ambit at the time?). There's a Cirkit multimeter on the table next to me at the moment!
I don't know how many lines are "exchange only" (XO) but AFAIK there are no plans for anything faster than regular broadband for these (we get a tardy 6Mbs...)
We don't have anything BT Openreach recognise as a cabinet (it seems our concrete pillar doesn't count...) so its a bit more than a mile to the exchange.
This situation exists everywhere - town and country alike - and there's still no plan that will actually work...
... as Gigaclear are in many rural areas round here (just not ours, that is stuck with BT!)
Why BT can't even manage to get a decent solution to their "Exchange only" lines that are more the 1/2 mile from the exchange is also beyond me (and the solution of "putting a cabinet in the exchange" won;t work as ADSL2 gives better performance than VDSL over the distance)..
I'd love to get faster than 6Mbs...
We're about 1 mile from the exchange (as the cables run) and are serviced by a "Pillar" (an octagonal concrete thing that contains all the telephone interconnects for the village - apparently they are quite rare nowadays).
Openreach deem us to be "Exchange Only" - so we get 6Mbs at best and no prospect of fibre. They talk about "putting a cabinet at the exchange" - but at a mile away, VDSL wouldn't give any better speed than ADSL2+ does so that's pointless.. They need a better solution!
Maybe if they connected one of the fibres that goes through the underground cabinet to a box on the surface connected to our pillar... But that's just a dream
I'm sure we're not alone on XO lines and I'd like to know if any of the much touted government money is going to actually help us - though I doubt it as I expect its already been trousered...
One of the best ways to encourage the use of HTTPS would be for hosting companies to permit the use of cost-effective (i.e. free - like Letsencrypt!) certificates rather than (like 123-reg do) insisting customers purchase certificates from them at a premium prices.
At least some virtual hosting environments (like BlueOnyx) are encouraging the use of free but full featured certificates and manage them automatically
~680 tonnes of hydrogen/oxygen in the main tank
~450 tonnes of solid rocket fuel per SRB
So that's ~1130 tonnes that can't be recycled as it has burnt!
That means that 900 tonnes aren't burnt - so its about a 1/3 that got reused. I seem to remember the bit that didn't was the aux fuel tank...
(why do NASA quote everything in lbs so I have to convert to tonnes?!)
I do agree that the design of the SRBs was suspect - as was shown when one failed. But like much of the early space stuff, it was very much seat of the pants design!
TRS80 Model 1 with an expansion box and 2x 5.25 floppy disks... Bought it second hand in about 1980...
Added a Disk Doubler, purchased from the US to go from 80kB to 160kB per disk! (though you never left the SuperUtility+ disk far away in case you had to mend a disk! Became very adept at mending errors...)
Even built and added a serial board to talk to Compu$erve through an acoustic coupler later! (which was actually the means of getting stuff OFF the system later!)
I remember putting all the (48k!) RAM into the main box which greatly improved the reliability so it wasn't sending data and address signals over the interconnect cable... Also seem to remember putting a Z80A into it and increasing the clock speed (double?)
I was always impressed that it WAS modifiable and mendable! Mainly plug-in for anything significant and regular 74LSxx (might not have been LS!) for everything else.
Scripsit: yes, we used that (PhD thesis) : disassembled it, altered it (print simple graphics / greek letters with an IDS Microprism dot matrix printer and various other improvements). Later connected it to a daisywheel to print the real thing out multiple times.
Also doodled up a BASIC program (OK, it ran with compiled BASIC...) that analysed signal sequences (really analysis of strings of letters!) for DNA that provided the data for a published scientific paper that has become somewhat seminal: it has over 700 citations! Embarrassed to show the "back of fag packet" design when someone from New York wanted a copy - had to tart it up a bit and add some comments :O
Had it running until the 90s when finally we finally got an IBM-style PC to run DOS and WordPerfect...
Think its all still up in the loft...
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be :)
... by driving off with the mast up and take out power/telecom/.... lines?
(very few of this sort of vehicle has any sort of interlock to stop them driving off :) )
Incidentally, how will they manage backhaul in these "very remote" areas? Can they have a chain of the trucks providing links back to the main network? (I'm thinking of remote Scottish areas...)
BTW can we have one permanently parked round here to provide us with 4G?
That's hit the nail on the head as to why the proposed solution for so called "exchange only" lines is going to fail (basically, put a cabinet at the exchange and connect fibre to it...). Whilst it might work in some urban areas, there are pockets of houses served as "Exchange Only" round here that are >800m from the exchange even as the crow flies let alone as the cable runs - so VDSL will be lucky to manage the same performance as ADSL2....
I just wish they would acknowledge that our cute little concrete pillar that has all the phone joints inside it really is a cabinet (it is, but its not green and isn't very big!).
Doubly frustrating as the fibre to the next cabinet down the road actually goes past our concrete cabinet through its underground chambour!
Maybe they could make the current, orphaned "Exchange only" lines FTTP? After all we MUST be close to the exchange, mustn't we? (well only about a mile from the exchange...)
Currently there is no plan for the "exchange only" lines to get faster connections. I'm lucky that I get about 8meg but many don't.
(they don't seem to count our "concrete connection pillar" to be a cabinet - nor will they make it into one. If they did, we could probably latch onto the fibre that already goes through the underground chamber next to our pillar and give us FTTC...
We have a so called "Exchange Only" line (that funny little concrete pillar containing all the telephone line joints clearly doesn't rate being called a cabinet!).
Whilst the local exchange has been "upgraded" to fibre to the cabinet (though I'm seeing lots of complaints that the speed isn't anywhere near what was advertised!) we are still on regular ADSL... There seems to be no real plan for our sort of line. There's talk of a cabinet by the exchange - but I can't see that will give any faster connection that we have via ADSL (the "Max" version) which gives about 8Mbs as it has the same line length limitation.
Wish we could get Gigaclear here but as BT are in the exchange, we can't...
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