* Posts by simon 43

35 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Jul 2009

SpaceX in ROCKET HOVERSHIP PRANG: 'Close – but no cigar,' says Musk

simon 43

Not a bad result!

SpaceX have said the experiment was a failure... I still think they did extremely well to bring it back to the 100m wide barge - just repeating that is going to be impressive (then perhaps they can move the landing site to terra firma?).

It'll be interesting to hear what happened with the landing itself, as I recall reading previous tests (over the water) have achieved a 'hover', the 'hard' landing would tend to indicate that they might not have achieved it (hover) this time around.

Beer entitlement achieved!

Want faster fibre? Get rid of the glass

simon 43

patent pending

If we're after propogation closer to the speed of light in a vacuum, why not evacuate these hollow fibres? ;-)

Royalties via cheque or transfer, I'm not fussed.

Cue someone who has the time to read the research to point out that's already factored in..... oh well, back to the time machine build!

Boeing outlines fix for 787 batteries

simon 43

D'oh, its not described as thermal runaway... just a build up of heat and pressure in one cell which vented and caused another to build up heat and pressure which vented and...

Still not sure of the wisdom of giving these cells an overcoat!

- Reg, we need an edit button!

simon 43

So they describe the non-fire as thermal runaway and the add extra insulation around the cells and enclose it all in a box....

Note too the technical fix of 'wrap the cell in insulation (electrical) tape - sounds like they got Jim the 'leccy in for that one!

I really hope that this does sort the problem, new ways of doing old things (Apple innovations) often have teething trouble, and so far no one has been seriously injured - long may that continue!

Ethernet sales fizzle, but self-aware networks set to explode

simon 43

I deployed a Brocade 10Gbe solution in our datacentre this Year, mainly for VM consumption - works a treat and good value when compared to the previous Cisco 1Gbe kit. The only time the bandwidth 'tops out' is during overnight backups (which now take considerably less time of course!)

Merry Christmas one and all!

LOHAN's cold heart beats beneath silicon breast

simon 43

Is that really???

...an HP-41C being used to support the design of this critical LOHAN component????

Apple must apologise for its surly apology on its website on Saturday

simon 43

Just checked the UK Apple website. No posting yet, using the site seach on the home page for "uk ruling design" gave me a laugh......

Internal Server Error - Read

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Reference #3.aa4a212e.1351926220.6f05a686

LOHAN's fantastical flying truss sprouts tail

simon 43

Re: Ice

I can't remember if it's been mentioned before (probably, I'm just back in the office after 3 weeks on Olympic duty so I'm having difficulty remembering anything at the moment!) but what about passing an electrical current through the guide rod as an anti-icing mechanism?

Pegasus rocket lofts NuSTAR X-ray telescope into orbit

simon 43

no strings attached

Pah, no 'flying truss'??? Better get someone from el Reg Special Projects to go and have a word - they've obviously got a lot to learn!

LOHAN seeks failsafe for explosive climax

simon 43

I like the simplicity, but the 'failsafe releaseline' is bound to become tangled and wrapped around the parachute cords during ascent which will stop the parachute from opening.... as mentioned by a previous commentator - you'll need a rigid guide tube of some sort to stop the entanglement.

At least scale-model tests should be easy to arrange!

Loyal NASA rover Opportunity enters 9th year of Mars boffinry

simon 43
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Lest we forget...

Opportunity is doing a great job out there, but let's spare a thought for it's twin, Spirit which delivered it's own set of sucesses!

At least 10 days till hot Phobos-Grunt chunks rain down

simon 43

7.5 metric tons of fuel... is it likely to be visible to the naked eye when (if) it goes off???

The BBC Micro turns 30

simon 43

no mention of OS0.1

Had my EPROMs replaced when the 8271 disk interface was installed...

Happy Birthday!

Psst, kid... Wanna learn how to hack?

simon 43
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@ davidUK

Head over to the RPi forums, it's discussed there... I'm sure we'll see emulators running very soon after they're made available - which is great, but it's not really the point.

simon 43
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I've been following the project for some time and am eagerly awaiting the on sale date announcement.

I was at School in the 70s and 80s and strongly agree that the change from 'computer science' to 'ICT' was good for overall 'computer literacy' but bad for development of the industry as a whole. If this bit of kit can generate anywhere near the level of enthusiasm that we saw during the 80's microcomputer boom then it'll be a good thing!

Britain's Harrier jump-jets reprieved to fly and fight again

simon 43

I began reading this piece and agreeing with the author - the Yanks seem to have spotted an opportunity to extend the useful life of an aircraft by quite some margin - at our expense!

Forcing myself to look further than Lewis' traditional Light Blue/Dark Blue rant I found myself asking the question "Will the US Marines even bother to order off the initial production run of F-35s?"...

Amazon revamps E Ink Kindle line

simon 43
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"Special Offer" Sponsored pricing

Almost everyone is reading the headline pricing...

The US (standard, keyboardless) 'new' Kindle 3 is only $79 when sold with 'special offers' (read adverts) instead of normal screensavers. The non-advert version is being sold at $109!

$109 at 1.5$:£ gets you to around £72, by the time you add VAT (because you have to) the pricing is £87 and a bit.

What will be interesting is the pricing of the touch screen models if they ever make it to this side of the pond..

Brits not keen on 3D, reveals poll

simon 43

No suprise there

then, it didn't work the last time either... even if you don't have to wear Quality Street wrappers on your glasses any more!

Now holographic telly?? Different story altogether, that's what I'm going to wait for (yes I know it might be a rather long time...).

Oh and BTW Hollywood - just because it's '3D' doesn't mean you can make a silk purse from a pig's ear!

End of an era: Atlantis hits the tarmac

simon 43

orbit 200

I was thinking the same as banjomike... the imagery would have been so much better.

They even published information for the orbit 201 deorbit burn which would have seen touchdown at around 0730hrs local - in the early morning daylight!

Still, an era has ended today - I followed the programme from early on and remember the Enterprise trials as much as STS-1... not sure a 'man on a stick' will be quite the same!

Cheers to all those involved in making the last 30 odd Years interesting for an Earth-bound nerd!

iPhone 4 SURVIVES plunge from plane

simon 43
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oh, I need one of those?

Don't forget this one from WW2


Those pine trees are damned handy!

Final mission of shuttle Discovery postponed until February

simon 43


I'm not surprised they've postponed - the quality of that foam sculpting is awful!

Brits blow millions on over-priced ink

simon 43

Brother MFD

This story gets bubbled up to the surface every few Years doesn't it... My current family workhorse is a Brother MFC-620N, few Years old now, and other than one set of original replacement inks (from Argos in a special offer) I have used Tesco replacement cartridges (no problems), and both Tesco and ASDA ink refills (a little fiddly and needs care to avoid spillages but certainly work OK). In terms of quality, the originals are *very* slightly better than compatible/refilling - but not enough to warrant the increased cost.

I have needed to replace the waste sponges from a donor 420N but it's still going strong and used on a daily basis for colour and B/W.

I have a Canon 4600 which I use exclusively to print photoraphs and DVD labels, and so far have only needed to buy one set of inks - they *were* original because the unit was only 6 Months old at the time - and a recent check of prices in the high street shows little saving over compatibles... presumably this model isn't popular enough for the really cheapies!

High volume printing is done on a Panasonic B&W laser which I have managed to buy a small stock of original toner cartridges on Ebay a Year or two ago!

The only clogged print head I have had was with a Canon ip500 which had been standing unused for many Months - yes it had compatible cartidges in it, but it was the non-use that killed it.

In general, I would imagine the majoriy of problems people have is from using the cheapest compatibles they can find, which oddly enough are probably not remanufactured all that well!

PARIS nursing mother of all hangovers

simon 43


Well done chaps!

Last I saw yesterday was that she was lost somewhere over Spain - so this really is a welcome sight; PARIS lying a kimbo in the woods on the front page of El Reg!

Congrats to all, and get the pics/vids up! We have a right to see them you know!

PARIS launch tomorrow come hell or high water

simon 43

Nothing ventured

...nothing gained!

Technical glitches... too much brandy I think!

Anyway - best of luck tomorrow, we're all waiting with bated breath!

White iPhone 4 delayed again

simon 43

How hard can it be?

Not that I'm bothered about getting one (the iPhone5 - or will it be iPhoneV?) but really, how hard can it be to get colours to match?

I'm not really convinced by the 'redesign' theory either, it's only a different colour case??? I think someone's just thrown their toys out of the pram!

Vulture 1 spaceplane launch countdown on hold

simon 43

so it is

Weather here in Blighty doesn't look good tomorrow either... fingers crossed for Sunday then guys!

Presumably your 9am on site is *local* time..? Best set the alarm then, don't want to miss this one!

Good luck chaps!

Vulture 1 sprouts wings and a tail

simon 43
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Space saving folding wings then

The fuselage/wing interface fulcrum will surely present a downwards force on the ends of the wing spars inside the fuselage (and an upward force where they pass through the fuselage).

You can see that the spars from each wing have been bonded together this isthe weak point in the design; as the air density increases and the wings begin to resist the downward force of gravity the loading on this central joint may be sufficient to break the bond, resulting in the wings folding together and a rather faster return to Earth than we all want to see...

Lancaster bombers had a 'main spar' which ran through the fuselage as a single unit and into the wings for mounting and therefore creating a stronger joint for the wings to attach to the fuselage and the wings to support a higher loading.

Of course, unless we are expecting to undertake some aerobatics on the way down (increasing the wing loading) then picking PARIS up by the wings and giving her a bit of a shake should show if any strengthening under the central wing spar joints and/or *above* the wing/fuselage interface or attaching via a 'main spar' might be required.

Excellent job everyone, here's to clear skies and no wind!

Crash grounds RAF Eurofighters - for Battle of Britain Day!

simon 43

Not quite classic Page

but not a bad attempt Lewis - certainly up to "Navy News" standard, but not really what we've come to expect...

I mean, only one reference to the "F-22 superfighter" tsk tsk - sort yourself out man!

Beer - well I for one say "cheers" to those who built, flew and maintained our air defences 70 Years ago, and those who still try today!

RIM lights a candle for the BlackBerry Torch

simon 43

must contain

Nooooo... we wanted a sideways slideout keyboard and a landscape screen...

I suppose this is a small step in the right direction, I guess we'll only have to wait another few Years to wait until they get it right.

DfT 'unwittingly' bigged-up speed camera benefits

simon 43

@David Lawrence

I don't think the majority of drivers object to cameras being used to catch those who are endangering other road users, unfortunately the ones we're discussing here don't have that level of discrimination. As was said in an earlier reply, the time of day, weather and traffic conditions play a major factor in the likelyhood of a collision occurring - just because the limit on the Motorway is 70Mph doesn't mean you should use that speed in a torrential downpour.

The "speed" (not "safety") cameras simply operate in your simpified mode, either you're over or under a set speed - that in itself does not equate to increased safety - they do not 'catch' drivers who cause accidents through poor standards or plain stupid acts of driving.

I've not been 'caught' by one of these or the average speed cameras, but then I try to ensure that I observe the limits - even if some of them seem quite unjustified. What I'd prefer to see is a reduction in the camera numbers but a hefty increase in the number of traffic patrols which *can* tell the difference between a 'dangerous' driver and one who makes 'rapid progress'.

Teletext toddles off as licence taken

simon 43


Now that was a blast from the past - 'modern' comms with my ex-GPO modems, happy days!!

Windows 7 lessons - the must know before you buy

simon 43

W7 Family Pack

Dave129 - I've just picked up a 3 licence family pack from my local Currys for...£129.95 - a shade over £43 per shot, 32 or 64bit version both on the DVD.. PCWorld (obviously) and Amazon are also listing the Family pack.

Futuristic head-mounted PC launching in 2010

simon 43

deja vu

Anyone else remember a 90's corporate promo video with their engineers wearing something veeeeery similar...?

Tomorrow's World comes back to the future

simon 43
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memory lane

Now they've done TW, I wonder what the chances of seeing something similar with Horizon from the days when it was actually a science program? There's not even any information on the Beeb site for programmes earlier than '96!

Perhaps my videoed episodes might come in useful afterall!

NASA patches Endeavour's leaky plumbing

simon 43

@Steve X

They could pay me nothing (except a return air ticket to Florida) - I'd be on it tomorrow

In miles flown there must be massively higher risk getting on the 'plane at Heathrow than crewing a Shuttle mission?