* Posts by MrPatrick

44 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Jul 2009

Buy a household 3D printer, it'll pay for itself in months!


Step 4 profit ...

...is to sue the person responsible for the design or distribution of the CAD drawing, the people or persons responsible for not advising that printing guns is not supported by cheap snot-plastic

then selling your story to low brow tech tabloid websites who can have another cheap shot at emerging technologies...

Man who pulled gun during chess game surrenders to robot cop


so brave...

...that you let us comment on this one Lewis.

What a hero!

Out with a bang: The Last of Us lets PS3 exit with head held high


I understand your argument...

...I really do and agree completely. but if you like the sound of this game see if you can borrow a PS3 from somewhere.

I agree that exclusivity and corporate lock in is disagreeable but this game, well don't not play this game to make a political point. Save that for Halo and/or Uncharted.

New material enables 1,000-meter super-skyscrapers


then perhaps you should undertake your civic duty and got and update the page with this new information.

Then future lazy journalists won't be embarrassed in the same way.

Headbangers have a gas, gas, gas in mosh pits


Re: "beats exceeding 300 beats per min"

You'll not find any Techno at 300BPM!

The genrenerds would have that techno can't exist at anything over 160bpm (not proper techno anyway).

Gabber would be closer, up into the two hundereds but I really can't think of anything that goes at 300 BPM*. Certainly not any metal I know of.

*There was a band** that did a song that was 1,000,000 bpm. But they were just taking the piss.

**a quick google gives no results so I can't confirm who this was

Is the next-gen console war already One?


Re: Morphing more and more into PC's

You are completely missing the point.

You list requirements for a PC, but you can't specify exact components, so you can optimse for those components. API calls are a 'generalised' way og accessing hardware.

The way an Intel i7 works is different to the way that an AMD Opteron works.

Yes they both respond in similar ways to 'call X' to 'API 13', but not identically.

With fixed hardware (console) a developer knows that the user has a specific device, and they can tune their game to work to best to that. Look at the first games on the PS1 and compare to the last games.

The difference in quality is amazing.

As an example. PS2 emulated PS1, in that it simulated all the API's available on the PS1. However you load up a later game on the PS2 (eg Rollcage Stage II) and it will barely work. This is because the game, designed for PS1, was using code that used the PS1 hardware in a way that was beyond the simple use of API calls.

This is simply an example.

The point being that on a console you don't have to support the slight but significant variations of the hardware.

If you tried to run PC Skyrim on a pair of SLi'd Nvidia 7850x's (which i believe is a pretty close approximation of the GPU in a PS3) it would be shite. On the PS3 however it still looks great. This is because the developers of Skyrim knew the exact specs of the system it would be running on and could optimse accordingly.

Its got nothing to to do with a gamer having (for example) specific conflict, that was a slightly misleading example on the previous post. Its got everything to do with knowing exactly how a certain system call will respond and you don't get that certainty with Windows OS level API calls.

UN to call for 'pre-emptive' ban on soulless robot bomber assassins


Re: There is potentially a difference.

And as soon as someone so much as picks up a stone on a field of conflict you vaporise them from orbit with your automated PeaceSat.


Re: There is potentially a difference.

Its fairly easy to spot a huge metal object floating on a flat sea, as opposed to distinguishing that group of vehicles to this one.


Re: Not sure I get this

" But then I suppose trendy "freedom fighters" don't have submarines....."


I think you'll find, brains, that you don't get a huge amount of civilian submarines.

You do get lots of civilian cars/trucks that could be mistaken for enemy combatants though...

Belarus becomes world's top country ... for SPAM



...to The Guardian this morning Belarus is also the worlds top country... for Beaver Attacks (and Deaths).

Coincidence? I think not.

Barnes & Noble bungs Raspberry Pi-priced Nook on shelves


Re: In or out of stock?

Just ordered mine, just received a 'scheduled to ship' email, so perhaps try again?

Console content can cause crime, claims cop



New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scorpion reckons there's "nothing more potentially damaging than the sort of violence [kids are] being exposed to, be it in movies or console games they're playing", right after this Scorpion was seen to remove his police cap and breath white fire of damnation from his skeletal mouth.

War On Standby: Do the figures actually stack up?



Surely the whole point of these studies is to highlight waste. We all don't want our lifestyles to change, so the idea is to make the small changes to allow things to largely carry on in the way that we currently enjoy.

To do this we need to introduce efficiencies and reductions where we can, with out having to regress to a lifestyle reminiscent of the 1950's.

All I see in Lewis Pages articles are stories highlighting some research or recommendation that he rubbishes as not being worth the effort and frankly all it does is make him look short sighted.

What is at issue in this particular article is aggregate wastage.

Wastage. What is your TV/Satellite Box/Media Centre/PS3/xbox/laptop actually doing in standby. Absolutely nothing.

How much electricity is it using to do absolutely nothing. A little bit (a tiny bit even).

What benefit do you get. slightly speedier start up? Not having to walk across the room and power it on manually?

And at what cost.

Well - lets assume that each person in the UK wastes just 2kWh a year (I would probably suggest its more than this but lets go low so it doesn't sound like I'm trying to overstate my point).

Across every person in the UK.

Thats 120GWh. Which isn't a huge amount of energy. But lets have a quick glance at Lewis's other articles. Lets see:




The main thrust of which is all "Its not worth the effort to make any changes because the benefit is so tiny'

Well - I put it to you. These changes, not wasting milk, not wasting water and reducing the amount of meat we eat* are all tiny but they aggregate over a nation of 60 million (or a world populace of ~7billion) to become significant savings.

Lewis Page is taking numbers, taking tiny bites and arguing each tiny point down and refusing to accept that there is a larger potential for efficiency and saving that needs to be considered. He is doing this to support his own short sighted ideology of profits before sustainability.

Why he chooses this destructive selfish approach I can't say, I just wish he wouldn't.

Free tool inspects all your personal 'ware automatically


Re: Why?

Gets their name out there.

They make expensive enterprise products. Some sysadmin out there (or heaven forbid, the CIO) installs this at home and finds that it works well, next time patch management comes up as a topic their enterprise product will be put forward as an option... "Well I use their free version t home and it works very nicely, thank you very much".

The fact is that they have developed the technology and its simply not something that most people would want to pay for for home use, so they might as well bundle up a free home version and at least get some advserising from it.

Brit global warming skeptics now outnumber believers


Re: I hear that in a democracy

You obviously don't understand how British politics work then.

The party (or coalition of parties) that gain a majority vote on a 4 year election cycle are given a mandate to represent the country.



AKA More Brits happy to accept short term benefits and ignore the long term cost.

Half the team at the heart of the RBS disaster WERE in India


According to this article

According to this article :

- The issue was caused by someone backing out of the CA7 upgrade.

- CA7 is wholly supported in the UK

I don't see what the offshore angle is. I can see the 'reduced numbers' angle. Although perhaps the offshore team aren't very experienced in restoring the batch jobs after they were wiped by an onshore engineer.

I worked with (went over and trained) a large offshore team so I can confirm whole heartedly and completely that the quality of work can be... patchy? Despite enthusiasm and individual talent, but I do wonder if perhaps people need to take a breath and wait for facts (or press for more facts before finger pointing).

Greenpeace releases 'Cool IT' rankings



I feel I should point out that I

a) think that this Greenpeace report is a load of bullshit

b) I'm pro nuclear power, anti wind turbine. Although I think it should be backed up by significant increases in efficiency, decreases in waste and things like microgeneration where its effective (does that make me hippy?).

I was angry because this kind of worthless attack, not on the bollocks report but on the whole idea of people who push an agenda of reducing waste and decreasing our impact on our planet. Any argument with that I view as short sighted and ultimately self destructive.

The reason I pulled my own post was that it had descended into vile incoherent rage, mainly that this dick is allowed to publish his voice and get paid for it.

Thumb Down

something something

Fuck you Page.

I've just spent five minutes writing an ad hominem directed at you, and at Dickheads on the whole, but I realise that you would dismiss me as a hippy or some other throwaway term used by the simple minded.

Fuck you and your fucking tedious attack pieces.

*Yes - I am aware that this could seem hypocritical. Fuck you too.

Cnet slammed for wrapping Nmap downloads with cruddy toolbar



This, I always used to go to download.com for... downloads(!). Was getting increasingly unpleasant to use and I stopped completely when, like you, they introduced a download manager.

Softpedia now is what download.com used to be about 6 years ago.


Don't think so

I did a big rollout for update 27 not so long ago and I'm fairly sure it wasn't an issue then...

Thumb Down

Java is worse

I just used Java's built in updator to go from the preloaded update 22 to update 29 on a customers laptop and it attempted to put the Ask toolbar on.

And that is as part of a built in updator for a piece of software that is already installed.

Oracle updates Java to stop SSL-chewing BEAST



Glad I haven't just finished updating our whole estate to 6_27

German Foreign Office kills desktop Linux, hugs Windows XP


@Goat Jam

Frankly mate, you sound like you don't know how to use a computer. Obviously this isn't the case but your points are all over the shop. I'm afraid I don't have time to go over each point individually so lets take one example:

"...experience with Windows [...] must use MSN/Live Messenger [...] I relent and decide to install "Windows Live Messenger" from MS website."

I Agree, MS's Live Messenger package is a bloated nightmare and the installer is ridiculous.

You then go on to say "...Empathy on Ubuntu took about 15 seconds..."

So - on one hand you make no active decision to attempt to think about the potential for alternatives, picking the one that you've heard of and downloading that (a la the typical end user), on the other hand you are suggesting that you actively have made a decision about the flavor of Linux you use, and have a specific favourite IM client on that platform.

If you had applied your Linux mind to the Windows problem you would have spent 15 seconds installing MirandaIM or Pidgin and not had to reboot.

Surely the argument *for* Linux is that there is a wealth of software that if you apply a minor amount of thought and intelligence to looking for you can locate, well the same works for Windows too.

Your argument is a failure, you apply one semi-rational reasoning process to the Linux side of the argument and then act like a fucking retard when you use the other system.

And then you have the audacity to get all shouty at someone who had posted a reasonable argument.



"Word97 is still the standard at my company: a huge insurance comp.

This never happens with OpenOffice 3.2 I use in parallel."

Well - you aren't exactly comparing like for like are you.

I remember using OpenOffice Version 1 (And StarOffice before that too). It was fucking shit. Office 2010 is loads better.

Doesn't sound like a fair argument does it.

Sony threatens to ban PS3 jailbreakers from network


Hang on a sec...

They aren't going to brick the console, you can still play your pirated games and watch your pirated movies and frankly do what the hell you want with it.

You just can't get online and fuck it up for the rest of us who prefer playing within the defined rules of that game.

Someone I work with was saying how he was playing Black Ops and joined a game that had infinite ammo, rapid file grenade launchers. If that was a game I was playing and every other lobby I joined had stuff like that going on I'd be sorely disappointed. I've heard that CoD4 and MW2 are both unplayable these days. I would imagine that other new, big releases are going to go the same way.

Hack your console, fine, I thoroughly believe in being able to do what you want to hardware that you've bought.

PSN is a service that Sony run as an ongoing concern, its theirs and they let you use it (for free I might add). You haven't bought it, you don't own it. You have no 'right' to it. And I thoroughly believe in their right to protect that and maintain a reliable service for the legitimate users. If it gets a reputation for every new game's multiplayer being overrun with idiots cheating then no-one will want to play.

Action gamers make better drivers, soldiers, surgeons


Jack Thompson

Wasn't one of Jack Thompson's widely derised arguments that we were training our kids to be soldiers? Doesn't this kind of tie in with that?

I suppose that his shotgun approach to blaming everything on games was going to get something right eventually.

T-100, I'm sure some of the people playing counterstrike aren't human...

Radical hypersonic glider vanishes above Pacific


Catch 22?

Catch 22?

AMD ATI Radeon HD 5970 two-GPU graphics card


The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Radiator outside is all very well until its the middle of summer. Then you need the radiator next to an air con unit :/

Millions of mobiles blocked by Indian authorities


In india...

In India you have to provide a copy of your personal photgraphic ID whenever you purchase a mobile phone, so there is a way of associating the IMEI number with an individual user.

However I know from personal experience that this ID situation is pretty straight forward to bypass*

That said I still agree that this is a dubious decision by the government, much as you say, impacting the innocent private individual and simply forcing those who are up to no good to do something slightly different. Then again I'm not entirely surprised, this is from a country that has a 15 year backlog in its justice system.

*the mobile phone shop I went to had a generic fake ID and a small box of a hundered or so passport photos. They found a photo that bared a passing resemblance to the guy I was with and made a copy of that instead.

Facebook status bolsters alibi in armed robbery case



the FAIL is for all you commentards who have failed at reading. You're all so smart about how you coul SSH from your iPhone to up date your facebook, but you missed a pretty important line here

"since the accused already had witnesses to provide an alibi"

Errm - so he was off the hook already.

What are you doing about refreshing the PC estate?



We're supposed to be replacing XP with Vista as we speak, fortunatly the recession came along and paniked everyone out of spending on a new OS rollout. Its been pushed back to Win 7 in Q1-2 2010 (thank god). however I'm not sure how that'll go down on the ancient NX8220's and 7010 laptops that we've still got out in the wild.

I suspect that they'll be bothed on for the sake of completeness and then we'll find that mysterious accidents happen to the worst ones until everyone is on relatively new kit.

Man gets 3 years in clink for eBaying Adobe prods


@Adam 38

"The first rule of pirate software is, you do not sell pirate software."

Should surely be:

The first rule of pirate software is, you do not BUY pirate software.

Man dissects Apple's Magic Mouse


Now all we need...

Now all we need is someone to hack together a driver for the PC and I'll be happy.

Who does the helpdesk really help?


In theory...

...the helpdesk is already the interface between the business and the internals of the IT dept. Well trained and knowledgable staff on the front lines will fix problems and identify future needs based on their interactions with the users.

In reality you have poorly trained helpdesk stff who simply do the minimum they have to, ramping up numbers to get their bonus, and if you do get someone who is up to speed who tries to feedback int othe internals of the IT dept they'll be institutionally ignored.

This is my experience anyway.

Currently I work in a place thats small enough to be able to react to nascent trends in customer requirements so this isn't a problem but I've worked in a big helpdesk environment where it was all metrics and stats and nothing to do with the actual solving of issues.

Microsoft's browser ballot bodge gets the nod


Butt surely...

....when I buy a Mac I'm limited to my choice of OS. What about when I buy a Nokia, I'm stuck with their crappy T9 system, how about my Playstation, they don't allow me to play Xbox games?

Its not like browser is even a thing that you pay for. If MS were blocking the use of 3rd party-paid-for products then I could understand this anti competition stuff but there is no barrier to anyone who'd want a third party system.

I just don't understand why MS are getting done for this but Apple are allowed to limit access to their iphones via the app store and don't get done for it?

The state of desktop support


The single biggest cause of problems...

...on our (major clients) network is that we've taken over a stack of legacy systems that have been poorly managed by incompetent fools who have little understanding of anything even approaching best practice.

The users generally don't cause that many problems, certainly not major stuff, its maintaining their rickety folder structure on the thousand year old file server, the million OU AD structure and the most incomprehensible distributed network devised by man that cause me the most headaches.

And then no-one carse when you suggest that they need to spend a couple of quid and fund a small project to reorganise it they freak out. So then you try and do it on the cheap (which means thath tey need to get involved) and they freak out 'I haven't got the time'.

Best of luck to ya when it all goes breasts in the air.

Helpdesk Heroes or unappreciated geeks?


Too many to mention

As with everyone who's done front line support the number of stories is nearly endless, some of the few I remember...

Worked for a prestigious Norfolk based sports car manufacturer. There was a guy who dealt with displays outside of the dealers, lots of stands and displays. However he insisted in using the word 'erection' to describe most of them, I'd daily have to unblock a mail that was blocked due to profanity. The mail filter was ancient and wouldn't accept new words in the 'allowed' list, he simply refused to use a different term. Nice chap though so not a problem.

At the same place I ducked a call due to being lazy, turns out that a laptop was losing its connection to equipment attached to its serial port, turns out that this laptop was owned by a testing engineer, and the problem only occured at over 90mph on a particularly exciting chicane on the companies test track, colleague got a go in the passengar seat of the new Exige whilst being sped round the track :( (it was a dodgy cable, and we both knew it straight away, didn't stop him going over to 'confirm it' though)

Major insurer, based out of Norwich (recently renamed!). 'Customer' as we were forced to call them* called. her mouse pointer wasn't moving smoothly. Basic checks were performed, she was asked to look at hte rollers in the mouse, which were covered in filth. When it was explained that she needed to give them a quick scrape to get the cack off she refused. She busted out with the whole 'don't you know who I am, I'm too busy to do this, I want an engineer over immediatly' line. After much too-ing and fro-ing she got put through to a team leader, who immediatly capitulated (as usual!). So an engineer was sent, with ear buds and some rubbing alchohol. 3 days later (all within SLA ;) )

Also heard about someone from the Premier Support (look aftr the bigwigs/vips) getting called out to remove a wasp from some VP's office. I believe he picked up a copy of a tabloid en-route and beat the poor guy to death (the wasp that is). Didn't go down to well apparently, they wanted it dealt with humanely. Had a good laugh about that one.

*apparently the term user made 'everyone sound like they had drug problems', when I suggested that it didn't sound like that to me, and asked what that said about the incumbent head of's personal habits I was asked to leave the meeting :(

Current place - mysterious virus sprung up, over and over again. Our AV was capturing it as it tried to launch itself across the network. The infrastructure guys honeypot machines were getting hammered though (VMWare, incoming stuff only!). Some diligent tracing led to an office in some godforsaken town somewhere, whilst attempting to track down someone on site who we could ask what the hell they were doing it became apparent that said office had been closed some 6 months before. However no-one had informed IT, therefore the ADSL line in and switch were still in place and live. Someone in the office who'd taken over had obviously found it and was attempting to get some kind of connection on it. And when I say switch, this wasn't some netgear shit that cost £20 from ebuyer...

I understand that huge public facing support desks have to have what is tradionally a first line (ie call loggers, working from a script that is unbendable and is forced to confirm to statistical requirements) any company with a limited user base of internal customers really need to review what they want from their helpdesk. From my experience your single best bet is to have well paid, competent people on your first line. Basically when customers ring they get someone who is 2nd line. Your first call fix goes through the roof, call times drop to next to nothing, customer satisfaction is up and generally things work. Of course this requires a more relaxed attitude towards the frontline staff, less of a concentration on performance metrics and more of a concentration of 'softer' targets like customer satisfaction. I know for a fact that if people call helpdesk and the phone gets picked up by someone who sounds like they know what they are talking about and who apparently have a genuine understanding of the issue in hand they are going to be far more accepting if their problem can't be fixed immediatly.

The major problem I see with this at the moment (sorry - its challenge these days isn't it).

Moving to having a a 'service desk' (looking at you ITIL) which is interpreted by adopters as being a script based, call logging call centre. Not a helpdesk at all... The problem that this causes is that in the unlikely event that someone who knows what they are doing is employed, they immediuatly look to move to second line and end up off the phones. Or they get promoted to a 'team leader' and end up off the phones. Basicallly all progression within a helpdesk, for the talented people, ends up with the good people leaving the phones, leaving only those who are only capable of basic script following left.

I actually *enjoy* talking to our customers. So I'm still on the helpdesk, but I've found a place that agrees with my beliefs. I'm good at what I do, I'm a 2nd line tech but I still answer the phones. But when people call me (or my 'helpdesk' colleagues) they know that we'll know what needs doing and do it straight off.

Having worked for a large Helpdesk (120 1st line staff) where they generally employed students who are looking for a summer job, or people with a 3rd in CompSci or other people who weren't techy at all I can say that this drives the very issues that the company were looking to get rid of. They thought that call metrics were how to drive improvements, so we *had* to take at least 60 calls a day and answer 10 emails. How much time do you think this left us (especially the few of us who were useful) to actually help people. Very little is the answer. So everyone moved on. Except for me. Their solution, reduce costs and move half the call centre offshore. Admittedly I got 3 months in Chennai living large with a personal driver, in a plush hotel but the model of getting people on the phones over there was a mess. Middle management had a desperation for it *not* to be script based, but then watching the guys over there floundering, unable to think of the right questions meant that we ended up with a list of 'suggested' questions, which was followed religiously. It was impossible.

Unfortunatly the Indian team I was working with, who were exceptionally intelligent and twice as hard working as my English colleagues, were entirely unsuited to the style of work (most of them anyway).

And once again the company devised metrics to keep everyone in check.

The problem really comes down to this. Offer a decent wage to your 'first line' team and you'll get genuinely capable people who'll stick around for a few years before naturally progressing to the next level, making space for the next talented individual who wants to get in on the act.

Helpdesk is stil lone of hte most valuable tools for learning how IT fits in with the business you are supporting, you talk to people who'll explain why they urgently need this email fixed, or how this loss of data will impact peoples lives (or any other thing that they've generally caused). Once you have that understanding moving to a backoffice team means you'll be able to continue to sympathise and therefore provide a far superior service.

Basically most customers are o.k. if you treat them as if they have half a brain, and they think you know what you are on about. Most of them, some of them are just retards.

Conficker borks London council


Manchester Council...

Manchester City Council still have confiker, there is a requirement for data to go between them and us, a USB stick is used as FTP appears to be too complicated for them. We get a weekly report from our AV after this stick is plugged into our machine.

I've tried to explain, they've tried to fix it. Been going on for a year now.

Sony explains PS3 Slim's loss of Linux option

Thumb Up

Its not noisy

I don't know what everyone's problems with. People complaining about hte noise? Really? Have you heard an Xbox360?

Have you tried to build a HTPC thats the same size for the same price that has the same power and functionality and the same noise levels?

I understand that there are a few people who are disappointed about hte loss of Linux compatibility, but if thats the issue then pick up a cheapo box and install Linux on it.

Its a great bit of kit, both fat and thin. Its not perfect but it has its place.

FSF launches Windows 7 anti-upgrade letter campaign

Thumb Down


Because Linux is, you know, 101% secure and has always been.


plus, from a support perspective, I simply can't imagine the chaos if we attempted to move our big corporate clients to a linux distro. They struggle with Windows XP and they've been using that for donkeys years. At least Win 7 will maintain a modicum of consistancy in interface.

Plus, quite frankly, a lot of open source software is bollocks. There is a reason that I still recommend MS's Office, its vastly superior.

Plus no third party vendors supply anything other than Windows applications.

Them : "We need to install this CCTV control application as part of our critical operations centre rollout, as mandated by the CEOs"

Us : "Is it a windows only application? Well then we can't as we made the brave decision to move you all to Linux! (Aren't we clever!)"

Them : "No you aren't clever, we're terminating your contract. You fucking retards"

I do appreciate the open source/non-monopoloy movement, and have no theoretical objections to using it at our clients, but its simply not up to scratch. This is the same argument we've been hearing for years, and will continue to hear for years more. Until their software is actually as good as the 'pay for' alternatives its never going to happen.

Government unbans dirty vids but bans 'legal highs'


@John 104

Really, a federalist Europe consisting of individual member 'states' really seems that ridiculous to you, as an american, living in exactly the same system?

Hitachi catches up with new 2TB drive


Why bother

what does it matter who's 2TB drive is sucking up the least wattage, they are all under 10W these days (green/energy efficient ones anyway).

I've got an 800W PSU in the back of my PC, the watercooling tower gets too hot to touch. The energy wastage isn't in the drives is the vast quantities of heat that performance components (CPU/NB/GPU) put out.

When it comes to disks we should be interested in how much they can hold and how quickly they can deliver it.

Conficker left Manchester unable to issue traffic tickets

Paris Hilton

Manchester City Council

"Council chiefs have banned the use of memory sticks, which were blamed (extracts from memos here) for causing the infection, as well as disabling all USB ports in response to the incident."

Manchester City Council have not blocked s**t. I do IT for a company that works closely with them, and we are still blocking the mighty confiker one a thrice weekly basis, and do you know how we are getting it? Through a USB memory stick.

Its not hte end of the world, we quarantine and clean the stick automatically, but its only coming from MCC.

And do they take responsibility, or even care to have a look?

Paris as its nicer than Manchester.