* Posts by Malcolm 1

345 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Jun 2009


Apple exec defends 8GB $1,599 MacBook Pro, claims it's like 16GB in a PC

Malcolm 1

Re: Insult to injury

Windows has had memory compression since the introduction of Windows 10 (in 2015) - so the Mac is hardly unique in this regard.

ASUS's Zenbook S 13 is light, fast, and immediately impressive

Malcolm 1

Hinge & Bezel

I feel the criticism of the hinge/bezel is a bit unfair - seems quite a clever design that elevates the laptop for improved cooling and a more ergonomic keyboard angle. As a consequence, if the bezel was smaller the bottom of the screen would disappear behind the base of the laptop.

Intel's 13th-gen CPUs are hot, hungry, loaded with cores

Malcolm 1

Too much

I was sceptical of the benefits of massively power hungry components, and then I (reluctantly) upgraded to a 280W (high mid-range!) 3070Ti when they actually became available for a tolerable price. While the performance is nice the fan noise to keep it cool under load is horrible. Seems liquid cooling (or truly massive heatsinks/fans) is now required if you don't want to sit next to a hair-dryer. Fortunately I paired it with a modest 65W AMD 5700X - adding one of these new 250W monsters here sounds like an awful idea for a whole host of reasons (both practical and moral).

I very nearly went for a NUC-style barebones PC from Zotac (packaging high-end laptop parts into a less thermally and power constrained box), but the pricing was a big deterrent. I think next time I probably will. Loss of upgradability is a bit of a downer but compared to a 750W space heater ... I think I can cope.

You can liquid cool this Linux laptop to let the GPU soar

Malcolm 1

Re: Many laptops already use liquid cooling

I think most would describe that as a vapour chamber, rather than liquid cooling.

Malcolm 1

Re: That makes for quite a docking station


Malcolm 1

Re: Looks familiar

Not a copy-cat, just a white label product being resold under various brands. Linus reviewed it as the Eluktronics Prometheus (but also found an alternatively branded version while the supposed "original" was still a prototype).

LTT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4HtrqVWH-k

Eluktronics: https://www.eluktronics.com/lpp

Logitech Bolt devices support secure Bluetooth Low Energy – but forget the 'Unifying Receiver'

Malcolm 1

Their mice are still excellent, and I've been a happy user of their headsets for several years. I hear good things about some of their gaming keyboards, but all their "productivity" keyboards seem to have some compromise or another (still lamenting Microsoft discontinuing their "Comfort Curve" series... but that's another issue entirely).

The old New: Windows veteran explains that menu item

Malcolm 1

Raymond Chen's blog is most definitely aimed at software developers - so for the intended audience his comment is entirely apt.

LibreOffice 7.2 release candidate reveals effort to be Microsoft-compatible

Malcolm 1

Re: Use early Microsoft formats where possible for interchange

All the "old" office binary file format specs have been published since about 2012, here:


Microsoft releases Windows 11 Insider Preview, attempts to defend labyrinth of hardware requirements

Malcolm 1

Most likely that your wife's computer already has TPM 2.0 in the form of fTPM integrated into the processor (enable it from the BIOS). But ... if it's a first-gen Ryzen CPU then it's not currently on the supported list for reasons Microsoft have so far not elaborated on.

Microsoft sheds some light on perplexing Outlook blank email incident: Word was to blame

Malcolm 1

The Outlook web client is pretty good these days and didn't suffer from this issue for obvious reasons.

House of pain: If YAML makes you swear, shout louder – the agony is there for a reason

Malcolm 1


Microsoft bows to the inevitable and takes Visual Studio 64-bit for 2022 version

Malcolm 1

Re: I guess I was wrong

Never going to happen

Seems more likely that the work required to remove 32bit assumptions might come in handy if you wanted to create, say, an ARM64 version.

Malcolm 1

Rico Mariani posted a couple of blogs on the advantages of keeping VS 32bit over the years. He has since left Microsoft, but has revisited the subject earlier this month (I wonder if he got a tip off?)


Boldly going where Elon Musk will probably go before: NASA successfully tests SLS Moon rocket core stage

Malcolm 1

Re: multi-million dollar Space Shuttle engines

According to this: https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/01/nasa-defends-restart-rs-25-production/

The deal was $1.5 billion to "modernise" the 16 existing engines and build 6 new ones. So, a little under $70 million per delivered engine.

.NET 6 preview 2: Microsoft confirms no visual designer for WinUI 3.0 at launch

Malcolm 1

Re: phew

If you needed to do Windows desktop development, WPF has probably been the best choice for the last decade (since Visual Studio 2010 migrated to WPF and they fixed many of the issues that had plagued earlier versions). With good support in .NET 5 and beyond I would be surprised if we bothered to port our desktop apps to WinUI3 although I suppose some of the Wiin 10 desktop integration features are quite handy.

Excel-lent: Microsoft debuts low-code Power Fx language... but it is not really new

Malcolm 1

Re: Why YAML?

Hopefully there will be some smarter VS code tooling to provide syntax highlighting etc within the code blocks rather than just the YAML markup.

Linus Torvalds went six days without electricity, swears smaller 5.12 kernel is co-incidental

Malcolm 1

Key person risk?

Seems a bit insane to me that Linus is the only person merging pull requests? I assume that there is, in fact, some established protocol if he ceases to be available for a prolonged period.

How Apple's M1 uses high-bandwidth memory to run like the clappers

Malcolm 1

Isn't this what AMD are already doing with their "Infinity Cache" - currently only 128MB on their latest GPUs but you could easily see how that could be expanded (manufacturing tech permitting).

Various of their previous GPUs have featured HBM but I gather it was prohibitively expensive and now only appears on their datacenter/workstation products.

Microsoft to charge $200 for 32 GPU cores, sliver of CPU clockspeed, 6GB RAM, 512GB SSD... and a Blu-Ray player

Malcolm 1

Re: Can we finally just accept that these are PCs in all but name now?

Assuming Microsoft haven't changed their approach significantly from the Xbox One - games will run inside a highly optimized VM which only implements the bare minimum of functionality, so while the APIs may be largely the same as running on Windows, the overhead of the Hardware Abstraction Layer will be massively reduced. Also background processes and the like will be far more tightly controlled.

Google gives Gmail's collab chops a good buffing to make it the 'home for work' while we're working from home

Malcolm 1

I'm still mourning Google Inbox. Everything else seems very cluttered in comparison.

When you see PWA, Microsoft and Google want you to think Programs With Attitude: Web app release tool tweaked

Malcolm 1

Apple are doing their best to spoil this particular advantage by dragging their feet on implementing newer browser features in Webkit while also prohibiting you from installing competing browsers on iOS (yes I know you can now set "Chrome", "Edge" and "Firefox" as the default browser but all are just wrappers around Webkit on iOS). Anyone would think they had a vested interest in forcing you to use the appstore.

Malcolm 1

Re: Someone make the Electron-driven bloat stop

PWAs are not Electron - that's rather the point. It avoids the bloat of having to bundle a whole browser with each application in favour of the already installed one.

FWIW I've pretty much abandoned native Outlook in favour of outlook.office.com installed as an app, seems generally faster, with some nice new features that are not present in the thick client. Memory usage seems to be very similar at about 280MB and CPU usage is negligible. YMMV of course.


Microsoft emits a colourful Windows Terminal preview

Malcolm 1

Re: it ain't json

I seem to remember the very early JSON spec did support comments, but then various ne'er-do-wells decided that comments were an excellent place to encode unofficial parser extensions, breaking compatibility between implementations. So Douglas Crockford felt forced to remove them entirely. This is why we can't have nice things...

Malcolm 1

Re: I'm getting old but..

You may already know this, but "Copy as path" is available by default if you shift right-click on a file or folder in explorer.

Microsoft puts dual-screen devices and Windows 10X in the too-hard basket

Malcolm 1

Re: Keyboard & trackpad location

I think you may have misinterpreted the photo there - the keyboard is a completely separate piece which can be moved to the top or bottom of the "lower" screen, or removed entirely and used wirelessly. When located at the top of the screen the bottom part became a giant trackpad, when removed entirely the whole screen became a second touchscreen monitor, identical to the main one.

'VPs shouldn't go publicly rogue'... XML co-author Tim Bray quits AWS after Amazon fires COVID-19 whistleblowers

Malcolm 1

Re: "XML"

It's better than YAML.

You want a Y2K crash? FINE! Here's a poorly computer

Malcolm 1

Excel is that way exactly to maintain compatibility with Lotus 1-2-3. There's a nice blog post from Joel Spolsky on his days as a Microsoft Excel PM which mentions this.

Built to last: Time to dispose of the disposable, unrepairable brick

Malcolm 1

"I think Apple are the only ones still making laptops with 16:10 screens, and having both (Dell XPS13 and (latest) Macbook Air), I can confirm it Makes A Difference."

Dell seem to have got the message and have reverted to 16:10 ratio screens on the XPS line.

Microsoft have pretty much standardised on 3:2 ratio screens too of course.

Flipping heck: Footage leaks of Samsung's upcoming bendy smartphone in action

Malcolm 1

Re: Where's the advantage?

The large size of modern phones is a significant deterrent if you want to keep it in your pocket. It's probably still tolerable if you are wearing typical male clothing, but most female clothing has ridiculously small pockets, if any. In the absence of smaller phones (like the Sony Xperia Compacts of old), this is probably the next best thing (apart from the fashion industry recognising this discrepancy and correcting)

LG announces bold new plan for financial salvation: Trying to actually make phones people want to buy

Malcolm 1

Re: Competition

I'm not 100% certain on this, but I think the issue is that Android's current architecture relies on the SoC vendor (ie Qualcomm) to provide updated binaries for some updates - so if Qualcomm fail to do so for "old" SoC then the manufacturer is S.O.L.

I would like to think that that the recent "Project Treble" improvements which migrate to a PC-like Hardware Abstraction Layer model may make longer support time viable, but I'm not holding my breath.

Devs getting stuck into Windows 10X on Surface Neo will have to tussle with UWP

Malcolm 1

Re: "avoiding registry bloat"

Registry cleaners are not only unnecessary but often extremely hazardous. [Citation]

Microsoft emits .NET Core 3.0, C# 8.0, Visual Studio 2019 16.3, and more at e-conference

Malcolm 1

Re: The missing piece is ...

Have there been any good cross platform GUI libraries?

From the .NET stack WPF is probably the most suited for the job given that it re-implements much of the Windows UI library anyway, so has fewer dependencies unlike say, winforms which is a relatively thin wrapper around Win32 or UWP. No small amount of work though.

Microsoft drops 'Go Live' preview of .NET Core 3, complete with desktop app support

Malcolm 1

If the PWA platform was that good then Electron would not exist.

I am generally in favour of PWAs where appropriate, but implying that they can do everything that WPF or WinForms can do is naive.

npm uninstall co-founder --global: Laurie Voss rides off into the sunset waving goodbye

Malcolm 1

Can NPM survive the github package registry?

Seems to me the recently announced github package registry puts NPM in quite an awkward spot.

Will you be inspired by Inspire? If Microsoft's Slack-for-suits Teams is your cup of tea, perhaps

Malcolm 1

Re: Active users?

I'm fairly sure its Electron

Vulture gets claws on Lego's latest Apollo nostalgia-fest

Malcolm 1

As far as I know the only truly bespoke bits in the Chiron set are the wheels. Like many other flagship sets it introduces a few other new elements, but these will most likely reappear in other sets in the future. The rest of it is all standard Technic parts (which admittedly underwent an almost complete reinvention about 20 years ago from the earlier "bricks with holes" era).

I've recently rediscovered Lego - the main difference these days is the sheer number of different shapes and colours of pieces compared to ye olden days. There does seem to be quite a lot of thought about how these pieces fit into the underlying system though, and when you encounter one you can see the gap in the system it it fills.

Most kits have do still have one or two alternative models to construct though, but you often have to download the instructions for those from the website or via their app.

I'll, er, get the tab? It's Internet Edgeplorer as browser pulls up chair to the Chromium table

Malcolm 1

Re: Reaping what they sew ...

I think you are being revisionist. At the time of IE6 Web Standards weren't really a thing - you had the IE way or the Netscape way and they had some degree of overlap. Web Standards were embryonic and intitally at least IE6 was more compliant than Netscape.

After that of course Web Standards started to become a more concrete concern and Microsoft dropped the ball spectacularly - I'm not going to defend that.

Malcolm 1

I'm fairly sure that's exactly what it's doing

The Year Of Linux On The Desktop – at last! Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 brings the Linux kernel into Windows

Malcolm 1

Re: But, but, but ...

Emoji are just the friendly face of full unicode support.

For decades well-meaning people have tried and failed to get software to fully support multi-lingual script, turns out all they needed to do was add a range of faintly amusing pictograms.

Ooo shiny! First Visual Studio 2019 sneak peek here in time for Chrimbo

Malcolm 1

Re: wot?

VS Code has good powershell support.

Malcolm 1

My eyes!

Some nice improvements here but the new default "blue" theme is a fairly grim purplish colour that mostly reminds me of the C64 basic prompt.

It may be poor man's Photoshop, but GIMP casts a Long Shadow with latest update

Malcolm 1

Re: +1 about the GUI ...

In my limited experience Linux UIs tend still to give the impression of being wrappers around console apps. Which is the Linux way of course (and provides the scripting superpowers) but doesn't lend itself to fluid user experiences which often require deeper interaction with the application runtime.

Malcolm 1

Re: Forget the geeky stuff, sort out the user experience.

Have you tried Affinity Photo? It's fairly amazing for about £50

You're indestructible, always believe in 'cause you are Go! Microsoft reinvents netbook with US$399 ‘Surface Go’

Malcolm 1

A good windows ink device?

I realise that looking for any positive feedback on a Microsoft product here at El Reg is a fool's errand, but I wonder how good this would be a digitial notebook? I've always been quite interested in the idea OneNote + Stylus combo for digital notetaking but lugging but a 13" tablet costing > £800 seemed a bit excessive.

Chrome sends old Macs on permanent Safari: Browser bricks itself

Malcolm 1

Re: Mavericks isn't exactly a spring chicken

Except for the need to maintain the codebase (ifdefs increase complexity dramatically) and to test it - which means mainting an obsolete and unsupported OS.

Microsoft tries cutting the Ribbon in Office UI upgrade

Malcolm 1

Keyboard shortcuts were unchanged with the introduction of the ribbon. They added a new way of navigating the ribbon using the keyboard, but the old shortcuts still work.

Industry whispers: Qualcomm mulls Arm server processor exit

Malcolm 1

Microsoft already have the top-tier ARM architectural licence AFAIK. And I can't see Qualcomm wanting to sell their design team any time soon.

Malcolm 1


CloudFlare seem to be going all-in for ARM. Naively I would expect them to have a sufficiently signficiant scale to cause manufactures to take notice?


Facebook gives its 007s license to kill M, its not particularly intelligent AI

Malcolm 1

I always wondered...

... what that random blue icon unhelpfully suggesting animated gifs was ... and now I know. Seems that particular "feature" may survive - shame.