* Posts by mad clarinet

26 publicly visible posts • joined 10 May 2007

Tesco store bans shopping in pyjamas

mad clarinet

Could be worse...

I submit....


I rest my case......

US makes travellers go online, before getting onboard

mad clarinet

I like it

I quite like the process. Much easier to fill the form in online and print it out. I got 'approved' within seconds when I filled it in for when it first started last year.

Updating it for my current trip (I am currently in the US and flying back to the UK tomorrow) was easy enough and painless.

Much easier than trying to write on a green form when you are on an airplane, remembering where you are staying a contact telephone number etc. Especially when the plane could be going through turbulance.

I think its a change for the better - but a lot of people hate change.....

Historian slams 'absolutely crazy' UK time zone

mad clarinet


Again the 'heated discussions' occur. Next thing we'll hear is that the EU will want to move the meridian.

It works - if people want to win Darwin Awards for doing something stupid as its lighter or darker then so be it. It gets dark earlier or later anyway depending on the weather so why change it. Changing stuff just because it hasn't been changed is stupid - if it works it works.

I work in 3 timezone - GMT/BST and two of the US zones (EST/EDT and PST/PDT). The US is changing its clocks a week later - I'm not complaining about that. Instead of -5 and -8 it'll be -4 and -7 for a week.

Mines the one with GMT on the back

MP asks UK.gov: Why are you still using IE6?

mad clarinet

Same here

I work for a univeristy - we're still stuck on IE6. They finally allowed Firefox last year and it hasn't been updated since it was first allowed so its one of the version 2 builds.

Most staff in the university are stuck with IE6 by default. Thankfully, I'm one of the few outside of the main computing dept which has full admin access on their PC. So, I have the latest Firefox - although not installed IE7 or 8..........

I'd wish they'd upgrade though - I'm getting fed up of having to create webpages that still work in IE6.........

Oh well, luckily I'll be leaving sometime next year anyway... maybe they'll have updated to IE7 by then.....

University emails 'blocked from Hotmail'

mad clarinet

What a surprise

Email problems with hotmail is nothing new with universities, we have this problem at the university I work on a regular basic.

Then we get moaned at as the emails from students haven't been replied to...... and they wonder why we insist on them using their university issued address.... (mind you, since we moved to MS exchange we've had more problems).

Kettering to London: 18 hours by rail, bus and pack mule

mad clarinet

Not surprsing

Why does this not actually surprise me.... Maybe its after I worked out that the normal East Midlands Train fares were more expensive than driving to London, paying the conjestion charge and somewhere to park.

Luckily I got the cheaper tickets after a small fight with their website. Plus when you go the price changes. I took a 'CalTrain' train last year while in San Francisco (to San Jose). The price was good and stayed the same the entire day (and they have overcrowding issues there too).

Anyone think the railways should have never been nationalised in 1947 by a Labour government - I certainly do, we had a world class network then. Not anymore.....

Microsoft conjures imaginary 'Apple Tax'

mad clarinet
Thumb Up


A couple of months ago my manager and myself specified out a PC and a Mac for another manager. A 20inch iMac and a similar spec PC - the PC came out more expensive by about £100. We checked some other sites and including prebuilt PC's and one where we bought the parts.

Like for like (or close enough) always turned out a cheaper Mac.

Most undergraduates 'show fear when asked to do maths'

mad clarinet

Not surprised

I work at a university - and most of the students I deal with aren't able to do even simple maths. They mostly go for their mobile 'phone calculators or have a wild guess.....

After discussing this with people I know who work in similar positions in several universities we have come to the conclusion that they have all been give very substandard maths teaching (ie, this is how to pass the exam). Instead of the real world stuff they need.....

Okay, I'll get my coat. Mines the one with the 'long serving uni it techie' logo on....

BMW driver follows satnav to edge of cliff

mad clarinet

The funny thing.....

How many people don't trust the computer on their desk but totally rely on their Satnav. Many times I've pointed this out to people - and they don't like it because they are relying on a computer to tell them where to go.

Would have made a decent Darwin, maybe he should get a 'special mention'.

I have a Satnav and its come in very handy for me. I don't, however, follow its instructions blindly. Its a tool - it assists you but does not replace the person looking where they're going.

Then again - its a BMW driver so I'm not surprised.....

Sky channels return to cable

mad clarinet
Black Helicopters

The channels of adverts are back then???

Oh - I get the channels that I didn't really watch back.

I got fed up of having to watch adverts with a bit of TV programme every so often and way too much plugging of their own programmes.

Then again - it'll be fun to laugh at the Sky News sensationalism again.

World's biggest ISPs drag feet on critical DNS patch

mad clarinet

50/50 result

I checked my Virginmedia DNS last night and it reported okay.

I tested the one at work this morning and its not patched (but I'm not surprised at that result).

Okay... mine's the one with the CV's in the pockets....

Let air passengers smoke dope, say Denver potheads

mad clarinet


Ah yes, thats the same place where my girlfriends grandma's flight was diverted to after a woman started smoking on the flight (drunk and also assaulted an air steward).....

Probably Denver was the best place for her to end up in (and people thought T5 was a problem).

Mines the one with the BAA logo

Force listeners onto DAB by killing FM

mad clarinet

DAB - local radio please???

I would like to get a DAB radio, but I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for OFCOM to get off their backsides and sort out getting a mutiplexer!!! for my local area so I can hear the local station I want. Why bother changing if I its not worth my while doing so.

Until then - I will be staying on FM and LW (for the cricket).

Mine's the white one with the white hat....

Taser gun usage soaring among UK cops

mad clarinet

taser or gun


Shot or taser???? Which would you prefer.

Stop the media panic - I'd prefer the police to use them, they have to protect themselves too. If someone is brandishing a knife at a policeman/woman then they have to defend themselves. If, when trying to 'get the knife' or whatever item it is off a person a 'ranged' shot from a taser would be safest for most people (even the person brandishing the weapon.

Mines the one with the earthing cable.....

El Reg celebrates 10th birthday

mad clarinet

Happy Birthday el Reg

Thanks guys and gals for the years of fun and (sometimes information).

Here's to a lot more years ahead of excellent stories and fun.

Not pictures of the BOFH himself????

(any chance of a Reg staffers meet the reg readers or would that be too scary) - I'll get my coat while I pass them on my way through the window.

T5 opening turns into Airplane 3.0

mad clarinet

Well maybe....

...they'll have some of it fixed and working by the time I use T5 in June

well - hopefully. Maybe... possibly....

Mines the one at the back - I probably need to get there now to be in time

BBC Micro creators meet to TRACE machine's legacy

mad clarinet

Good memories

I remember spending days typing in programmes from magazines - then spending weeks debuging them. Good fun, excellent machines and had a lot of excellent games.

I made it to 'Elite' on both the BBC B and the 'cut down BBC' (Electron). Not managed to beat Repton 2 though.

I have still a working BBC B and a BBC Master (rescued from a skip) at work as well as 5 1/4 and 3 1/2 disk drives and a 6502 tube... (yes, sad geek but oh well).

If you want the 'retro' you can get 'BeebEm' for free as well as a lot of games too.

Anyone remember 'Magic Mushrooms' or designed any fun levels for it?

Okay okay - mines the one beige one with the red lapel.

DAB: A very British failure

mad clarinet


I would get a DAB radio....

IF I could get my local stations (esp the BBC one) on DAB, until this happens I won't get one. Until that happens I'll have to stick with my FM/MW/LW/SW radio. Or the internet when I'm at work (my office is almost a Faraday Cage so the mobile doesn't worth either).

The question should really be how much is the takeup in the parts of the country with 'full' DAB coverage (local and national).

Do we need computer competence tests?

mad clarinet

Computer test or common sense test (or both)

not so much computer competence test (although useful) - more likely 'common sense' tests (although I suspect a lot of people would fail that.

I'd settle for the competence test though, some of the people I have to deal with shouldn't be let anywhere near a computer.

Supersonic stealth jumpjet rolls off production line

mad clarinet


The early versions of the Harrier were VTOL - the later versions are heavier and carry a larger payload.

This extra weight had the effect of making the Harrier unable to take off vertically - so its not STOVL. (i.e. it needs to do a running jump rather than a standing jump).

Yeah - I'll get my coat

Virgin Media network collapses nationwide

mad clarinet
Thumb Up

Ah ha

I wondered what it was - I lost the connection and one of the lights on my cable box disappeared. Several reboot of the cable box and my unix firewall/router (as well as some testing from said firewall) later I decided to have an early night and see if it worked today (not checked yet as at work).

I think this is the second problem I've had this year with Virginmedia - not bad at all compared to the trouble some of my colleagues have had with their ISP's. Luckily I had already done my online shopping (but may do some more tonight)

Battle of Britain pilots actually crap shots

mad clarinet
Thumb Down


Everyone knows (and have been commenting) the differences.

8 .303 machine guns weren't powerful enough to easily bring down and aircraft - thats why the later marks had cannons - still, it made a mess of the aircraft and crew.

Numbers and statistics are only a part - the result speak for themselves.

Oh and in the later parts of the battle the enemy pilots said 'here they come again, the last 50 fighters' - intelligence failures too, use of the first integrated command and control system (radar, sector stations etc).

I could carry on but remember 'There are lies, damn lies and statistics'

Jailed terror student 'hid' files in the wrong Windows folder

mad clarinet


A /bin/laden 'excuse' appears on the 'both excuse server'


Oh well, hearing of some of the dumb things people have tried to 'hide' stuff I'm not surprised. Thats the Windows user for you....

rm -rf /bin/laden anyone.......

Britannia triumphs over Johnny Metric

mad clarinet


I was taught the 'metric' system at school but my parents always used imperial measurments (as a lot of others did). When asked to estimate weights at school I couldn't estimate in 'grams' but when I estimated in the imperial 'oz' and converted (in my head) it to grams I was always very close to the actual weight.

I'm happy that I can still use the pounds etc - I can work in metric but I find it hard to work out how far/heavy something is in metric - convert it to imperial and I'm fine.

For the record - I'm in my early to mid thirties and I'm glad the UK can still keep some of its charm.

Ebuyer.com runs on a Commodore 64

mad clarinet

Now I see

I've worked out why their site can be such a pain at times then.

I'd have used a reliable BBC Model A or B - maybe upgrade it to a BBC Master (maybe even add the 65C02 co-processor)...........

Essex University offers online degrees

mad clarinet

The first - nope, no and not

Derby university has been offering online degrees (as well as distance learning) for a while now.

The psychology degree is now accredited by the BPS and is the first (and so far only) that they have accredited.