* Posts by Paul Shirley

2284 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

BT keeps the faith in 'like fury' fiber broadband buildout as revenues dip

Paul Shirley

Re: Moving to FTTH

No plans for our exchange either and probably won't be now City Fibre are in the 'removing the posts where we blocked peoples drives' post-install phase. Which is unfortunate because despite regular pestering to sign up, none of the links City Fibre supplied have yet led to an actual offer of service!

Astonishingly there are still Virgin subscribers here despite using decades old cabling, a complete lack of maintenance & customer support trained to deny there's any problem to fix when it regularly goes tits up. VM and BT just don't seem interested in competing for our custom here. Left wondering what will happen if they ever notice 5G is cheaper and performs better than either of them currently do (with a caveat for gaming).

NOBODY PRINT! Selfless hero saves typing pool from carbon catastrophe

Paul Shirley

Re: aaargggh!

...print to PDF?

Not to dis your diskette, but there are some unexpected sector holes

Paul Shirley

Re: Such memories...

I was only slightly surprised when my C64 tape loader tested as faster than the 1541 drive...

Apple seeks patent for 'innovation' resembling the ZX Spectrum, C64 and rPi 400

Paul Shirley

Re: ZX81

If they want to play the miniaturisation game I'll point at the 2008 HTC G1 Android phone, currently sitting on my 'obsolete mobiles' shelf. Packing a QWERTY keyboard, rollerball, screen and undeniably it's a computer pretending to be a phone. About 115x55x20mm small.

And AFAIK not the earliest computer in that form factor, just a lot more computer like.

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

Paul Shirley

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

I thought the rule was always check the index A: exists, B: looks plausibly useful & comprehensive

Then we wait for failure before confirming the index is a lie.

Paul Shirley

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

TBF ADB has always had an annoying habit of needing new drivers with every new phone you use. Don't remember any problems just connecting my Xiaomi phone normally in Win10 but did need another ADB driver change to get it working with the hacking tools.

But XP? Does it even know how to mount the driver install image most Android phones I've owned present?

DDoSers take weekend off only to resume campaign against UK's Voipfone on Monday

Paul Shirley

Re: against a DDoS

The most significant defence against attacking phone lines on POTS, in the UK at least, was the crippling price of making the call(s) needed to tie up each line!

Reason 3,995 to hold off on that Windows 11 upgrade: Iffy performance on AMD silicon

Paul Shirley

Re: Good to see

This batch of AMD slowdowns have nothing to do with security.

As far as I can tell they've removed support for AMD hardware features in the scheduler, for no obvious reason. So Win11 is experimental software you should stay far,far away from for the next decade.

Ex-health secretary said 'vast majority' were 'onside' with GP data grab. Consumer champion Which? reckons 20 million don't even know what it is

Paul Shirley

Supposedly if you already opted out of GP data being shared with the NHS last time they tried this datagrab (years back) you don't need to do it again. Does no harm if you do though.

Paul Shirley

Re: NHS Stealth Secretary

The real NHS, in the form of my GP, pro-actively mailed all patients inviting us to opt-out. Not long before that my Twitter feed was full of NHS staff alerting the world to this fiasco, none in fear of their 'real NHS' bosses sanctioning them.

When doctors are regretfully announcing they will be opting out you know something bad is happening.

'Strangely' I've not seen anything from NHS Digital for or against. Funny that.

Microsoft's Azure Quantum hits preview: Not so much quantum computing as it is quantum-inspired computing

Paul Shirley

Re: The actual benefits of quantum computing...

It's useful to train people for new tech before it becomes widely available. Even if we might be looking at a lifetime early for this one.

Always have to wonder what throwing the same amount of cash at classical algorithm development might achieve, instead of mostly relying on relatively few academics fighting to churn out enough results to stay funded at all.

Institute of Directors survey says most bosses expect no mass return to the office if COVID-19 crisis ever ends

Paul Shirley

Re: Caption Oblivious

Team building happens at the pub, preferably on the company credit card, during company hours.

Help! My printer won't print no matter how much I shout at it!

Paul Shirley

Re: HP

My Dell c1765nfw has appallingly slow scanning performance over WiFi or wired Ethernet, compared to usb. Don't know if it's because it's a cheapish, older device but worth checking before buying. Printing works identically fast on all connections.

It's too big a beast to fit in my office, good thing I rarely need to scan things.

Paul Shirley

Re: HP

"I'll pop to Tesco and print photos there"

And save money doing it!

Family wrongly accused of uploading pedo material to Facebook – after US-EU date confusion in IP address log

Paul Shirley


There are no other very commonly used 'backwards' humanly readable date formats, multiple forward formats. yyyymmdd being the 'most backward' format make it ideal to replace them all, it's logically simple with no room for ambiguity and little risk of confusion with rare alternatives.

The power of Bill compels you: A server room possessed by a Microsoft-hating, Linux-loving Demon

Paul Shirley

Re: The frisson of Y2K

I struggle to believe they couldn't hear a floppy drive failing to boot...

Paul Shirley

Re: Power!

Cat5e cable turns out to be just right for snaking out limescale deposits in the water channel in the rim of my toilet bowl. With the useful side effect from association with toilets that I no longer feel any temptation to try resurrecting the other 19m from the unreliable cable I butchered!

Mate, it's the '90s. You don't need to be reachable every minute of every hour. Your operating system can't cope

Paul Shirley

Re: Perhaps

Yet I still manage to not even notice anything but the phone ringing. I wait for my wife to answer that.

The joy of living in an age where 'dealing with the mail' means bulk deleting it with as little effort as possible once a month or so.

You're stuck inside, gaming's getting you through, and you've $1,500 to burn. Check out Nvidia's latest GPUs

Paul Shirley

Re: "You forgot this new techno for decoding SSD traffic"

The Nvidia teaser suggests 'decoding' means decompressing resources on the GPU. SSD relevant only by being fast enough to be bottlenecked by CPU decompression and write bandwidth to the card.

In a world where AMD power both gaming consoles and AMD aren't dead on the PC I wonder how many games will adopt this Nvidia solution?

If you think Mozilla pushed a broken Firefox Android build, good news: It didn't. Bad news: It's working as intended

Paul Shirley

Re: "it's the new version of Firefox for Android"

...sometimes (always?) the entire browser closes, instead of switching to another tab!

Really loving having to drag down to get the menu, click 3dots the click reload. NOT! Idiot UI designers looking for jobs at Microsoft?

Ever wonder how a pentest turns into felony charges? Coalfire duo explain Iowa courthouse arrest debacle

Paul Shirley

Re: "the team said the plod were actually rather cordial"

....because us ordinary folk steal their words and do whatever we want with them.

If it annoys grammar or spelling pedants we score bonus points ;)

You had one job... Just two lines of code, and now the customer's Inventory Master File has bitten the biscuit

Paul Shirley

Re: Adding a comment sometimes caused compile failure

You reminded me of the brain dead Pascal compiler on the university mainframe that reacted to missing or wrong punctuation by throwing multiple errors for each line of the rest of the file... on the printed job report. 1 mistyped char in 100 lines could cause 1000's of lines of error and a quick dash between the shared printer and console to kill compiles to unblock the queue.

First alligators, then dogs, now Basil Fawlty is trying to standardise social distancing measures

Paul Shirley

my sort of distancing guide

this fits pub use better

Though I'll need to calculate what 24 cans is in bottles or cider boxes

Linus Torvalds pines for header file fix but releases Linux 5.8 anyway

Paul Shirley

Re: Google Sharing

I'd be impressed if Google found a way for the source to share your stuff with them... Showing epic metaprogramming skills

AMD pushes 64-core 4.2GHz Ryzen Threadripper Pro workstation processors

Paul Shirley

Re: ARM will rule them all

You haven't used a mass market consumer grade laptop recently have you? It's a very low hurdle.

Android 11 will let users stop device-makers from killing background apps, says Google

Paul Shirley

Re: So...

Gmail is a required part of the Google apps bundle. Want any of them, they have to install all of them. On recent versions of Android Gmail is also trivially easy to disable, at worst you might need to show system processes. Google don't prevent it and I'm surprised a vendor would. You can't uninstall without root though.

The only catch is it's also trivially easy to reenable.

Analogue radio given 10-year stay of execution as the UK U-turns on DAB digital future

Paul Shirley

Re: DAB+? Where's the +?

Probably worth looking at dirt cheap RTL2832U usb dongles and software defined radio. My dvb-t2 versions came with dab support in the useless bundled software. Seems to be plenty of SDR support for them including DAB+ and customised versions with different antenna connectors and tweaked hardware. Wouldn't be hard to build a Pi based DAB recorder.

Paul Shirley

Re: dabshite

Not quite clear on how squeezing bitrate allows more advertising in a linear audio format? Do they magic up extra seconds in each minute?

Paul Shirley

Every Freeview device we've owned let's you enter the channel number and wait for it to tune. Even works on our Kodi boxes. A single jab at 1,2,3,4 or 5 gets you to the 'main channels'. My wife actually remembers the dozen or so 2 or 3 digit channel numbers she watches, I *choose* to complicate it by reordering them and working by channel name on the guide screens.

Roughly the same on satellite or cable TV.

Paul Shirley

Once they started concentrating on selling DAB into noisy car environments, after it was DOA in the home, sound quality stopped being relevant. Not helped by excessive licencing costs on a format that allows trading quality against cost.

It was doomed from the start by launching before the technology was affordable anyway.

Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds

Paul Shirley

Re: It normally the Caps lock

My favoured wireless keyboard has all the status LEDs on the receiver pod. Which is usually sitting out of sight behind piles of paper on the desk. Still having regular WTF! moments after gaming sessions & frantic kbd mashing, before remembering it might be capslock.

Beware the fresh Windows XP install: Failure awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth

Paul Shirley

Re: There's a rat in mi kitchen...

When my wife went to throw stuff into one of the compost bins she disturbed a rat, which started running at high speed... circling partway up the wall of the cylindrical bin like a motorbike on a wall of death. She just left it to its exercise!

Paul Shirley

Re: There's a rat in mi kitchen...

My wife discovered the homing instinct the hard way, after failing to fully read the extremely short instructions for the humane mouse trap. 2nd time we caught it we hiked to the local nature reserve and released it near enough cover for a fighting chance of surviving more than seconds. Cute little beast as long as not in our living room!

Health Sec Hancock says UK will use Apple-Google API for virus contact-tracing app after all (even though Apple were right rotters)

Paul Shirley

The antenna design guide I just skimmed tells me BT signals (2.4-2.4835 GHz) are strongly absorbed by human bodies. If your phone is in a pocket you'll get severely reduced coverage for up to half the area around you, + some variation from omnidirectional antenna never quite being fully spherical.

It's also a noisy band, shared with too many other services.

BT is inherently unpredictable in real life. Any distance calculation little more than a bad guess. No amount of political wish making beats physics.

Paul Shirley

...but a loss of income stream from dead ex-customers if they don't do it.

'One rule for me, another for them' is all well and good until it sinks the entire company's ability to receive emails

Paul Shirley

Re: At Tip PC, re: 2Gb RAM.

If fails because they dump installer files into TEMP before rebooting into a pre-logged in state that hasn't loaded the rd. Just point the TEMP (and probably TMP) environment variables to a real drive or comment out to revert to defaults before installing, point back to ramdisk after and reboot again.

This may have been fixed, the last update just worked before I remembered to apply the fix. Or it might just be leftovers from the previous install and I got lucky.

Ooo, a mystery bit of script! Seems legit. Let's see what happens when we run it

Paul Shirley

Re: Efficacy of warning messages

"IIRC each cluster entry (in the allocation table) would point to the next cluster. So chkdsk could've checked "is the next cluster in use by a different file by now..?"

CHKDSK does detect cross-linked files. Can't fix them for obvious reasons.

If Daddy doesn't want me to touch the buttons, why did they make them so colourful?

Paul Shirley

Re: When HP engineers were actually engineers!

I remember the fear first time I hotplugged a pcie graphics card, long ago enough that it working was more an aspiration than expectation. Spending extra on a high end mboard paid off that day.

OK Windows 10, we get it: You really do not want us to install this unsigned application. But 7 steps borders on ridiculous

Paul Shirley

does filter out friend&family support calls

The click 'more info' stage is going to stop most normal users, even if it wasn't deliberately low contrast and easy to completely miss it doesn't really hint it will bypass the block.

So many less friends & family demanding free computer servicing. I'll put up with the annoyance and Firefox skips the 1st half of the obstacle course anyway.

Legal complaint lodged with UK data watchdog over claims coronavirus Test and Trace programme flouts GDPR

Paul Shirley

Re: Bluetooth? Really?

You read the signal strength and make very bad guesses about how that maps to proximity. If Bluetooth was in any way predictable or reliable that might work. Might even be able to self calibrate by tracking beacons move in and out of range. If it was predictable.

My experience of Bluetooth between phones is serial, random failure. Radio reception usually defies understanding in the busy environments this needs to work in. Seems designed to fail, theatre not solution. The UK version is so inept probably best to have it die quickly before wasting more human resources.

Brit MP demands answers from Fujitsu about Horizon IT system after Post Office staff jailed over accounting errors

Paul Shirley

Re: Pointless letter.

Ignoring questions from a parliamentary committee is unwise but doable, lying to them much worse. Fujitsu have been given a choice between looking guilty or very guilty. Innocent is long gone.

Unfortunately the current gov will ignore the whole affair whatever happens but creating doubt might help get justice for the victims.

Everything OK with Microsoft? Windows giant admits it was 'on the wrong side of history' with regard to open source

Paul Shirley

Re: So...

...if life is long another Balmer scale asshole will inevitably end up in control again

You can't have it both ways: Anti-coronavirus masks may thwart our creepy face-recog cameras, London cops admit

Paul Shirley

I take that as confirmation it doesn't work well and covering your face doesn't make it much worse because it simply can't be much worse!

NHS contact tracing app isn't really anonymous, is riddled with bugs, and is open to abuse. Good thing we're not in the middle of a pandemic, eh?

Paul Shirley

Re: Clowns in a Blue Rosette

For far too many politicians having a real job before joining the gravy train just provides the enabling contacts for corruption. Work experience is not the problem, politics enabling corruption and protecting the corrupt from punishment is. And corruption hangs around politicians like flies around shit.

UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal

Paul Shirley

Re: It asks for your location?

If everyone entered SWA1 the trackers will have a headstart working out where the diseases attacking the UK are spread from.

OK, so you've air-gapped that PC. Cut the speakers. Covered the LEDs. Disconnected the monitor. Now, about the data-leaking power supply unit...

Paul Shirley

Re: Hours???

You've apparently never tried to kill Cortana in Win10...

UK snubs Apple-Google coronavirus app API, insists on British control of data, promises to protect privacy

Paul Shirley

Re: Difficult choice

There's no comparison between the damage a profit driven private company will be prepared to do by abusing surveillance and the ability, willingness and mild consequences (and the ability to exempt themselves from them) a government or political movement has to abuse surveillance.

The current malign, incompetent UK gov and majority of politicians infesting all parts of our supposed democracy are infinitely less trustworthy than the worst anyone believes of Google/Apple/Amazon etc.

If tracking is needed, I'll go with the provider with less motive&ability to shit on my life through doing it.

Got room for another probe up there, Google? Jobs sites ask EU antitrust tsar to look at how search giant ranks them

Paul Shirley

Re: 'by restructuring its websites to follow Google's rules'

Sounds more like opt in to me and usable unlike the sledgehammer of robots.txt the clueless suggest for every Google problem.

Having been on both sides of the job agency process, I'm firmly on the “they're parasites“ side of the debate though. Anything that lets direct job adverts compete will be a valuable service.