* Posts by Ross 12

72 posts • joined 24 Jun 2009


Amid drama at .NET Foundation, Microsoft's De Icaza reveals it was meant to be like GNOME Foundation

Ross 12

I think what's needed is

a foundation of foundations founded by successful foundations to found new foundations and help all the other foundations to run themselves and behave the way the foundations were founded to

Redpilled Microsoft does away with flashing icons on taskbar as Windows 11 hits Beta

Ross 12


Why the hell don't they have a slider for 'user advancedness' or whatever you want to call it, with 'beginner/casual user' at one end and 'enthusiast/power user' at the other end and 'intermediate user' in the middle.

Then all aspects of the Windows interface can configure themselves around it. I.e. presenting simpler sub-sets of options, doing more hand-holding, etc depending on the setting. Allow applications to also access the setting.

The Register just found 300-odd Itanium CPUs on eBay

Ross 12

"Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing, and its IA-64 instruction set"

Wait, is AMD's EPYC a sly two-fingered salute at Intel?

Sir Tim Berners-Lee's World Wide Web NFT fetches $5.4m at auction while rest of us gaze upon source code for $0

Ross 12


If you shell out stupid money for an NFT like this, then surely you'll also make a backup or two of your 'valuable' possession? In which case you've just made another perfect digital copy. Every time it's transferred over a network, it's copied. The sooner this insanity ends the better.

Beyond video to interactive, personalised content: BBC is experimenting with rebuilding its iPlayer in WebAssembly

Ross 12

WebAssembly, rust, webgl, canvas... just missing the blockchain element

Samsung reveals DDR5 memory module that’s ready for Compute Express Link

Ross 12

Re-invention of the wobbly RAM-pack

Does it come with blu-tak?

Google proposes Logica data language for building more manageable SQL code

Ross 12

No no no no no

The 'problem' they seem to be trying to fix isn't SQL's readability but how it's not componentised. If you want a big reporting query for example, generally a single dev will have to write the whole thing because you can't just re-use little snippets (unless you have a really well designed database and you really know what you're doing).

It seems to me that they want devs to be able to pre-define little bits of logic that other devs can then collaboratively drag and drop into a big query without having to actually understand what they're doing.

Because, you know, having to actually understand what you're doing with code and data is /hard/ and all code should be able to be worked on by all devs *shrug*

As for comparing the two languages, I despair. SQL *is* arcane, old-fashioned, and can feel intimidating and restrictive at first. But bloody hell it's actually easy to follow and is amazingly powerful - well beyond what you expect from first impressions.

So how's .NET 6 coming along? Oh wow, Microsoft's multi-platform framework now includes... Windows

Ross 12

".NET 6.0 is expected to be completed in November. Like .NET 5.0, it is no longer designated .NET Core, though it remains distinct from the Windows-only .NET Framework"

AAARRRGGGHHH! So it's the .NET that used to be .NET Core not the other .NET? What could be clearer

Over a decade on, and millions in legal fees, Supreme Court rules for Google over Oracle in Java API legal war

Ross 12

Re: Wah Wah Wah! Oracle! They don't like the ruling!

Javascript and Electron may not be an improvement, but they've opened up the cross-platform GUI application space that Java spectacularly failed to get to grips with.

It's not entirely Java's fault mind you. The hardware running Electron apps is mindbogglingly powerful compared to what was available 20 years ago. The dreadful and jarring look and feel of Java applications though.. that definitely didn't help.

Google reveals version control plus not expecting zero as a value caused Gmail to take an inconvenient early holiday

Ross 12


The thing about Facebook is that because of their size and dominance, people assume they're professionals and know what they're doing. But I get the distinct impression that they're mostly staffed by excitable but amateur coders who think they're pioneers and treat everything as an opportunity to 'do something cool' which amounts to badly reinventing the wheel. The bugs and weird behaviours at occur in facebook's mobile app and web front-end often suggest that the architecture is an unholy un-tamable mess

Asus ROG Phone 3: An ugly but refreshing choice – for gaming fans only

Ross 12

Re: Aspect ratio?

:9 has become the marketing standard for screen ratios sadly. My OnePlus 6T has an '18:9' screen, which is actually 2:1 but that doesn't sound as 'big'.

Reminds me of the old story when Wendy's (or some other competitor?) sold a 1/3lb burger to compete with McDonald's 1/4lb-er at the same price, but most people thought 1/4 was bigger than 1/3

Apple's M1: the fastest and bestest ever silicon = revolution? Nah, there's far more interesting stuff happening in tech that matters to everyone

Ross 12

That was an article?

You may as well have added 'just do your research!!!' to the assertion that there's 'far more interesting stuff happening in tech that matters to everyone'

Visual Studio Code 1.50 goes hard on extensions support, but tackling add-on bloat is becoming more onerous

Ross 12

"If anything can impede the growing popularity of VS Code, it will be when the number and sophistication of its many extensions become a burden."

Ahh yes, the Firefox trap.

Classy move: C++ 20 wins final approval in ISO technical ballot, formal publication expected by end of year

Ross 12

Some of these features sound like it's taking ideas from Rust

In the frame with the Great MS Bakeoff: Microsoft sets out plans for Windows windows

Ross 12

They still don't get it do they?

Nobody is going to port old code to a shiny new framework just because there's a new API - no matter how much nicer it is. That's simply not the reason anybody writes code. And for as long as Windows supports running win32 apps, people will keep win32 code around, and keep writing new apps in it to reach a wider audience than anything new.

There's 25+ years of Win32 code out there in the wild. Half the developers have probably died, retired, or changed career. Half the source code probably no longer exists. Just as with COBOL, there'll be Win32 code out there running that people don't even know about and that probably hasn't been looked at since Y2k was a thing. There'll be code propping up businesses large and small all over the world who's in-house developers and external vendors have long since disappeared.

Microsoft will never be able to rid itself of Win32 by trying to tempt developers to use something new. The only way they'll do it is to put their foot down and stop supporting it whilst making sure there's a clear and definite stable alternative - something that Microsoft are pretty much incapable of.

I really think that Microsoft need to accept the fact that they're a 'boring' business software vendor - not a hip and trendy brand. They got the corporate world hooked on Windows, Office and VS etc, and that means they're stuck with them for the long term.

Geneticists throw hands in the air, change gene naming rules to finally stop Microsoft Excel eating their data

Ross 12


This is another great example of why CSVs are shit and need to be left in the past where they belong.

HP hostile takeover warms up: Xerox queues print job cash_and_shares.pdf, mails it to the board to mull over

Ross 12

Xerox are such a weird company. Outside of the US, they're just kinda known as that american photocopier company. And then you find out that they invented the GUI, WYSIWYG editing, and ethernet.

At last, the fix no one asked for: Portable home directories merged into systemd

Ross 12

Cloudless hot-desking? Great. Still, if it's just an option to be used by whoever it is that needs it, then that's ok. Really don't want it enabled by default though thanks

How bad is Catalina? It's almost Apple Maps bad: MacOS 10.15 pushes Cupertino's low bar for code quality lower still

Ross 12

Re: comments were hurtful

Wow, so your explanation is that management are no longer bullying arseholes and that they need to bring back a culture of fear amongst staff?

GIMP open source image editor forked to fix 'problematic' name

Ross 12

Re: Divide and rule

That's rarely how it works though. It's more likely like this:

School: What's the name? And how much does it cost?

Me: The GIMP and it's free

School: free? hmm what's wrong with it? and it's called _what_? All sounds a bit amateur.. we'll stick with our Adobe corporate licensing

Tangled in .NET: Will 5.0 really unify Microsoft's development stack?

Ross 12

Jesus wept

What a mess. And why oh why did they use the name .NET Core for something that isn't the core of .NET?

It's a hard drive ahead: Seagate hits the density problem with HAMR, WD infects MAMR with shingles

Ross 12

Hmmm the shingling sounds like a kludge. It's clever and I'm sure they'll get it to work, but it sounds like reliability might become an issue and the write speed penalty doesn't sound good

Welcome to the sunlit uplands of HTTP/2, where a naughty request can send Microsoft's IIS into a spin

Ross 12

Ever get the feeling that HTTP/2 tries to kill too many birds with one stone?

Is this a wind-up? Planet Computers boss calls time on ZX Spectrum reboot firm

Ross 12

Re: £751

I guess it's just a way of defining 'more than £750'

Microsoft hopes it has a sequel better than Godfather Part II: SQL Server 2019 previewed

Ross 12

Re: sqlite is the most popular database

It's definitely available everywhere, but it's not a server, and therefore has completely different usage cases. You wouldn't use it to power a busy multi-user system, just as you wouldn't stuff a copy of Oracle into a set-top box to store some user settings.

UK.gov finally adds Galileo and Copernicus to the Brexit divorce bill

Ross 12


When you delete a file on a computer, it generally asks 'are you sure?', so that you can have a think about what you're doing and confirm whether you really want to proceed or not.

Same for when you purchase something.

Same goes for pretty much any decision where there is a lot at stake or may have bad consequences.

But for some reason, brexiters deem it inappropriate to exercise this same level of caution when doing something monumental like leaving the EU. Even though 'leaving the EU' still hasn't been defined. We still don't know what exactly that will entail. Or what the consequences will be. Or what we should do to prepare.

What we *do* know is that all the promises were either lies or fantasy.

We also know that the various Leave campaigns not only broke the law, but were backed by Russian money and deliberately used data harvested from social media to target the victims with emotionally manipulative ads and fake activity.

We also know that nobody in any of the Leave campaigns had any actual plan or idea of what would be involved.

We also know that businesses are already suffering from supply, labour and financial problems just in the negotiation period. Nobody knows how bad it'll get when March comes around and we actually leave. Because still nobody knows what Brexit will be.

We also know that workers and visitors from the EU are avoiding coming here because of uncertainty and because they now see us as a backwards, racist and hostile nation.

The list goes on. and on. and on.

But sure, we definitely shouldn't have an 'are you sure you want to proceed?' second vote. Because 'the will of the people' only mattered that one specific time. Right?

Official: Google Chrome 69 kills off the World Wide Web (in URLs)

Ross 12

Re: Good news for the owner of www.com!

'paypal.www.com' would just show as 'www.com' - I very much doubt they're just doing a string replace for 'www'.

HTC U12 Life: Notchless, reasonably priced and proper buttons? Oh joy

Ross 12

"My experience of the same chip in last year's BlackBerry was that it was fine to start off with but slowed down under strain"

Is it really the processor that's the problem here? Everyone always seems to ignore the quality of the internal storage, which seems more likely to be an issue when it comes to degrading performance over the life of the device

ZX Spectrum reboot latest: Some Vega+s arrive, Sky pulls plug, Clive drops ball

Ross 12

Crowdfunded projects are risky definition, because you're financially backing something, not merely purchasing an item.

But I don't think that's necessarily something to be scared of - just be cautious. And with that in mind, whenever you see a crowdfunded project by a **company**, run away, because it means they're not risking their own money.

Just compare this sorry Vega+ tale to the ZX Spectrum Next. Yes, it's running late, but the first stage of developer boards went out. There's been regular monthly updates from the team which actually detail and show photos of the production process and how it's going. And the team is made up of passionate people who actually care about what they're doing, and are doing it not-for-profit. There's no shareholders and directors siphoning off money and bickering with each other. And the community of backers are actively involved - helping out with documentation, OS and firmware, writing emulators and games for it..

Microsoft devises new way of making you feel old: Windows NT is 25

Ross 12

Re: 25 years and the clustering is still not as good as VMS...

Also NTFS does have 'streams', so you'd just do 'file.txt:1'

or perhaps move the current version to file.txt:previous before saving file.txt

It was a badly supported feature though and as far as I know, barely ever used

Ross 12

When I built my first PC in 97, NT4 workstation went straight on it. This was because I was an A-level student and MS were doing an offer where you got Win95/NT4wks for ~ £35 I think it was. The dumb thing though was that the Windows 95 license was upgrade only, and my machine had no OS to upgrade, so I went for NT4 instead and it was pretty damned good. Although I did have to throw ram upgrades at it pretty sharpish.

HTC U12+: You said we should wait and review the retail product. Hate to break it to you, but...

Ross 12

Oh HTC, you always manage to thwart your brilliance with something stupid :(

What's up with that ZX Spectrum reboot? Still no console

Ross 12

Re: This is a trivial design...

This is being done in a completely unrelated project - The ZX Spectrum Next https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1835143999/zx-spectrum-next which, despite some delays with the case, has already sent out the completed bare boards batch, and the team, which *isn't* a company with shareholders and directors bleeding it dry, is pretty good at engaging with the backers and keeping everyone informed of what's going on. Was also the last device designed by the late Rick Dickonson.

Spring is all about new beginnings, but it could already be lights out for Windows' Fluent Design

Ross 12

Poor old Microsoft

They spent all those years ruthlessly dominating the corporate desktop, but all along, they desperately wanted to be one of the cool kids.

For a while, they owed the home computing market too, simply because mum and dad knew Windows at work, so knew how to use a PC running Windows at home too. That, and Microsoft made sure they had no other choice.

But they missed the attack from the other end. PCs are old-fashioned and corporate. iOS and Android are the consumer OSs, and the devices they run far exceed the laptops and desktops. For many people, smartpones and tables *are* their primary computer devices and their internet terminals.

A whole new wave of apps have come along for which Windows doesn't really matter any more. Technologies such as Electron and Node mean developers can write cross platform apps without ever having to go near a Windows machine *and* provide a consistent app UI across every platform.

That's not to say that Windows is dead. But Microsoft need to know their place. Windows is still king of the corporate desktop/laptop. And that's where it's strengths are. It still runs ancient obscure bits of corporate code, and still has all the enterprise lockdown and management features.

Microsoft need to recognise and accept that Windows isn't for the cool kids and consumer devices. It's for the office. And that's not a bad thing - they just need to embrace it. Microsoft need to accept that they belong with IBM and Oracle - not with Apple and Google.

The only thing Windows is *necessary* for outside of the workplace, is PC gaming. And because Windows is such a massive overhead, if they're not careful, they might lose this market too in the long run. A 'Windows Gaming Edition' would be brilliant here - reduce it down to the bare OS and whatever's needed to support gaming, slap on the Xbox UI and leave it at that.

Then take the corporate Windows back to more sensible and 'boring' UI, like refreshed Win2k based style - because in the office, people don't want the UI to completely change every time there's a new release.

It's Pi day: Care to stuff a brand new Raspberry one in your wallet?

Ross 12

Re: Dates

YYYY Month DD at least has some logic to it, as each part is of decreasing significance.

I can only assume that MM/DD comes from accounting and paper file storage

Raspberry Pi sours thanks to mining malware

Ross 12

What if it's clever enough to use the Pi's GPU for calculation goodness?

Forgetful ZX Spectrum reboot firm loses control of its web domains

Ross 12


You are correct, the ZX Spectrum Next has *nothing* to do with this sorry Vega+ lot, thankfully

Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?

Ross 12

The ultimate example

The Windows start menu.

You log in, Start button appears, you click on it, it chugs, you click on the thing you want, then either some more items load and something else takes the place of the entry you clicked on, OR it finishes chugging and the whole of Windows Explorer refreshes and the Start menu closes and you've no idea if you just launched anything or not, so you have to wait and see if something appears. Then, when you think it's all settled, you try again to launch your app, start using it, and then another instance appears.

Is it the beginning of the end for Visual Basic? Microsoft to focus on 'core scenarios'

Ross 12

Re: Using it here

C# is closer to Java than C. If you already do VB.Net then it probably won't be as big a leap as you think. I don't know if it's still the case, but MS's .NET documentation used to have examples in both VB.Net and C# - comparing the two would be a good way of getting an initial feel for C#.

Microsoft goes retro with Vista, Zune-style Windows Neon makeover

Ross 12

Stop trying to be cool

MS need to realise they're not a cool brand and never will be. Aside from PC gaming, Windows is mostly for corporate machines. The should stop trying to be cool and just accept that their platform is the boring corporate workhorse for office desktops and workstations.

If they really want to continue this UI 'innovation' adventure then they really ought to completely separate the UI so that business users can keep the functional classic UI (Win2k or 7 perhaps?) style but still have shiny new features. And the poor old home/casual users can have whatever the latest UI innovation is.

Since Windows 8 they've been alienating both.

Microsoft ❤️ Linux? Microsoft ❤️ running its Windows' SQL Server software on Linux

Ross 12

Re: Target audience?

Think small-time PHBs who don't trust anything open source because they don't understand it. They like free stuff but also like the warm fluffy safe feeling of using products from big commercial vendors.

VW Dieselgate engineer sings like a canary: Entire design team was in on it – not just a few bad apples, allegedly

Ross 12

Re: If the government had better tests...

Ahh, the tell-tale illiteracy of a Brexiteer

Ultra-rare WWII Lorenz cipher machine goes on display at Bletchley Park

Ross 12

Re: I wonder how Silicon Roundabout would have gone about cracking Lorenz ?

That only applies to publicly visible government IT projects. Somehow, when it comes to seemingly impossible shit like spying on all electronic communications of the entire population for example, they can apparently make it happen quite successfully.

Behold, Microsoft SQL Server on Linux – and a firm screw-you to Oracle

Ross 12

Re: Yes and No


HTC teases yet another make-or-break comeback flagship

Ross 12

HTC are good at the software side, but they've always been a bit shit at the hardware.

My smartphone life started with the HTC Hero, then the Sensation, then the One (M7). But after sticking with the One for so long, I needed to upgrade, and there just wasn't anything that felt worth upgrading to. So I eventually abandoned ship and got a Nexus 6P. And I love it!

I've always loved the SenseUI, and some of the HTC apps are great. I do miss some of it - particularly the contact merging and social media integration. But I can't see them ever tempting me back unless they really pull something out of the bag.

HTC are such a frustrating company, as, in *some* ways, they *are* 'quietly brilliant'. But in others, they're bloody useless. Their flagship phones never stay flagship for long at all, and until the One series, they'd be dropped, forgotten and left without updates well before a contract cycle was up.

With hardware specs, there's always an critically underpowered bit, such as the GPU or memory or storage, so that it undermines everything else.

They also have a habit of flooding the market with mid and low range models with way too many revisions that barely differ from each other, yet you get the feeling that they actually put a lot of development into them, and miss the mark every time. Whereas, at their peak, Apple made it look easy and got great results, HTC make it look like really hard work and get results that weren't worth the effort.

They remind me of the second incarnation of Atari. I had an ST(e) back in the day, and I loved it, but despite some clever bits, it was flawed and just not as good as the Amiga. Then came the Mega ST, the Falcon, the Lynx, the Jaguar... all had the potential to be brilliant, but all ruined by flaws and weird business decisions.

Brit uni rattles tin for ultra-low latency audio board

Ross 12

Musically, it does nothing, as it is. Instead, it's a pretty powerful tool that you can use to make something musical, like a custom affects processor, or a synth that takes some kind of unusual analogue input (I dunno, temperate sensor or a pressure pad for example).

You could think of it as a kind of Raspberry Pi geared for audio.

Struggling to understand Docker? Let's start with a Minecraft demo

Ross 12

Re: I like this game...

Politicians and bureaucrats have Tropico

Microsoft starts to fix Start Menu in new Windows 10 preview

Ross 12

The Start menu was one of the key UI components that really helped Windows 95 take off. It's hard to imagine Windows ever being so dominant on the desktop without it. And now they've absolutely pissed it all away.

It's one thing to ditch it and try something new in 8, that was bad enough. But to bring it back but completely fuck it up so that it fails to perform its main function - to provide access to all available apps, is just insane.

Yahoo! parties! like! it's! 1999! with! retro! billboard! revival!

Ross 12

How does Yahoo! even still exist? Who is using them for, well, anything?

North America down to its last ~130,000 IPv4 addresses

Ross 12

I can't help but wonder if one of the big reasons people have been avoiding adopting IPv6 is because it's such a big jump from IPv4 and 'looks scary'. IPv6 addresses for example look alien to people who are familiar with (but don't really *understand*) IPv4 addresses (think PHBs). Perhaps if there'd been an IPv4-XTRA as a stepping stone with addresses like FFF.FFF.FFF.FFF it would have been less of a culture shock and easier to swallow.

Maybe that would never have been workable, and maybe looking too different isn't really a factor at all.



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