* Posts by Neil Woolford

81 publicly visible posts • joined 10 May 2007


Linux Kernel of the Beast 6.6.6 exorcised by angelic 6.6.7 update

Neil Woolford

Sulphurous Satan? Bombastic Beelzebub? Dancing Devil?

Continuations to the theme welcome...

Errors logged as 'nut loose on the keyboard' were – ahem – not a hardware problem

Neil Woolford
Big Brother

Usually attributed to Sir Josiah Stamp in his book "Some Economic Factors in Modern Life",

"The Government are extremely fond of amassing great quantities of statistics. These are raised to the nth degree, the cube roots are extracted, and the results are arranged into elaborate and impressive displays. What must be kept in mind, however, is that in every case, the figures are first put down by a village watchman, and he puts down anything he damn well pleases!"

The crime against humanity that is the modern OS desktop, and how to kill it

Neil Woolford

Re: windows 11 makes me cry

When I 'pushed' film it was by (under)exposing at a higher (faster) ISO setting and then extending the development time.

So a nominally 400 iso film (Tri-X, Delta 400, Fujipan 400, whatever) would be used with the light meter set to 800 or 1600iso (one or two stops more sensitive) and then the development time extended. This would generally produce reasonable shadow detail but could run into problems with 'blocked' highlights and of course much increased apparent film grain. (Choice of developer and working dilution also had effects on characteristics. I seem to remember Kodak HC110 being quite good at the job.) The resulting negatives could be challenging to print well.

I did quite a few years of theatre photography in the pre-digital age of photography...

Even in the studio, some transparency materials (Fuji 64T???) could give a touch of extra 'snap' if pushed about a third of a stop, my E6 lab recommended that as routine. 'Pull' seldom had any great benefits in my experience.

Microsoft: You own the best software keyboard there is. Please let us buy it

Neil Woolford

Any thoughts on the MessageEase keyboard?

I'm not saying it is better or worse than any other particular keyboard.

But, while I'm a reasonably proficient and fast touch typist on a standard querty board, I find the querty layout on a screen is just bizarre and difficult to work.

MessageEase uses a completely non-querty grid with swiping and circling motions.

I find it pretty damned good, but have never knowingly met anyone else who uses it.

Are you out there? Or did you try it and decide against using it?

It is unclear why something designed to pump fuel into a car needs an ad-spewing computer strapped to it, but here we are

Neil Woolford

Re: Huh?

Happy days. The series one Landrover trumped all others. Anyone fancy a guess?

My Reliant Scimitar has a central filler at the rear, but above rather than behind the number plate.

Neil Woolford


That's a great (antipodean) term for these establishments.

Behold: The ghastly, preening, lesser-spotted Incredible Bullsh*tting Customer

Neil Woolford

Re: Yes the users are bad

Ah, that moment when you have to ask then "What are you trying to do?". Often repeatedly, to cut through the mix of panic and bullshit. Also "What can you see on the screen?", again repeatedly to get to the error message or status indicator that actually starts you on the path to working out what is actually happening.

My brother (never do family support, but you knew that) has a speciality, which is that he begins to read the message, then about five words in starts saying "... dah de dah de dah..." rather than just reading what it says out to me.

Square peg of modem won't fit into round hole of PC? I saw to it, bloke tells horrified mate

Neil Woolford

Re: soft modems

Packard Bell being one of the names that would have me backing away from the box...

Listen up you bunch of bankers. Here are some pointers for less crap IT

Neil Woolford

Why I tried Monzo.

I'd not heard of fintech or Monzo until I read https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/jul/07/heres-how-scammers-get-away-with-it

I immediately opened an account with them, as their approach to security didn't appear to involve excessive secrecy and obscurity or denying that there is a problem but was an integrated part of growing the business.

I trust that more than anodyne soundbites about 'robust systems', how many bits of encryption are used and other such 'nothing to see here' statements.

A Bombe Called Christopher, or A Very Poor Imitation

Neil Woolford

Even the trailer featured leaden exposition...

Hollywood's made an intelligent science vs religion film?!

Neil Woolford

Do I spot a Great Gatsby reference in the still?

The eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg overlooking the Valley of the Ashes

Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE

Neil Woolford

Re: meanwhile in the real world

And they always buy the catering size and *leave the lid off day and night* just to ensure that it is disgusting and nothing at all like coffee.

CAPTCHA challenges you to copy pointillist painter Seurat's classic

Neil Woolford

Am I alone in seeing the word...

...cunt in challenge two?

Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol

Neil Woolford

Paracetamol - the truth?

Or is it just me. I've never found it the least use as a pain-killer or anti-inflammatory.

Aspirin seems pretty good if your gut tolerates it, Ibuprofen certainly acts well as an anti-inflamatory for me (as do Diclofenac and Naproxen) but for pain relief the opiates are the way to go. In the UK Codis (Codeine and dispersible Aspirin) is pharmacy only but doesn't need a prescription. However it has moved 'behind the counter' and risen in price a lot recently.

But yes, if you are getting chronic back pain, then posture, working arrangements and the right excercise are probably as important as anything.

Look what's screeching into the Internet of Stuff: Self-driving cars

Neil Woolford
IT Angle

Hotel decor.

What scary, scary carpet!

Eight hour cleansing to get all the 'faggots' and 'bitches' OUT of Github

Neil Woolford

Something from the old jokes home is relevant here.

"I say I say I say, how do you tell if a person is a vegan?"

"I don't know, my good man, how do you tell if a person is a vegan?"

"You don't have to, they'll tell you soon enough!"

"I do not wish to know that.. cont p94.

Battery vendors push ultracapacitor wrappers to give Li-ions more bite

Neil Woolford

Wrapper, Lion, bite...

Is it just me, or is the standard of Register article titles being proudly upheld here?

The one with the brown stains round the pockets please...

Hey, IT department! Sick of vendor shaftings? Why not DO IT, yourself

Neil Woolford

Lovely writing. The "possessed multi function device on the 8th floor"...

I'd especially advise not working on that one after hours; the lights will start flickering, and it won't go well for you.

Your encrypted files are 'exponentially easier' to crack, warn MIT boffins

Neil Woolford

Re: Breaking messages 101

Very much the reason that Enigma was breakable in practice, unnecessary volumes of traffic and the sending of stereotyped or guessable message content. I mean, sending the daily met reports on the same machines and with the same settings as strategic information...

Sysadmins: Everything they told you about backup WAS A LIE

Neil Woolford

Re: Well, yeah.

Aviation was the original home of the checklist for complex but routine operations. The use of them came out of a crash that nearly bankrupted Boeing.

More at http://www.atchistory.org/History/checklst2.htm

BBC abandons 3D TV, cites 'disappointing' results

Neil Woolford

Re: Where's the ASA?

Well, it isn't trivial. There's an excellent research white paper from the bbc at http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/whp/whp-pdf-files/WHP209.pdf which details the problems.

And yes, I do agree that ameliorating them would be much better than faffing about with stereoscopic technology of dubious value...

Woolwich beheading sparks call to REVIVE UK Snoopers' Charter

Neil Woolford

Old lawyers saying...

"Hard cases make bad law."

Layman's translation; if you base your laws on the worst behaviour possible it is a poor basis for a general law which would cover a wider range of less extreme cases. In other words, a general law is better drafted for the average circumstance as this will be more common.

So don't use this vicious and unusual crime to pass legislation that will creep into general surveillance for many purposes.

What’s a computer? Eat yourself fitter!

Neil Woolford


Eidophor projectors, with oil films and schlieren optics. Surely someone else remembers them...

Facebook testing $100 fee to mail Mark Zuckerberg

Neil Woolford

Cheap at..

fifty dollars a word.

The amazing magical LED: Has it really been fifty years already?

Neil Woolford

Reverse biased diodes don't pass (significant) current.

So where is the energy coming from to create the light?

Every time one has lit up for me, it's been forward biased, with a ballast resistor or other arrangement to ensure a sustainable current level and avoid self-destruction.

As I've been tinkering with them since their infancy I think I've got them the right way round.

Forget value-added broker jokes: Could YOU shift nuclear plant scrap?

Neil Woolford

Interpersonal skills...

Explain pleasantly that it is for your prized vintage Rogers Ravernsbourne amp, and a free 'sample' may well be forthcoming... Worked for me.

RIP heroic SPB playmonaut

Neil Woolford

For Pudney

Do not despair

For Johnny-play-in-air;

He bobs around

To certainly be found.


Send out no boats

For Johnny-off-the-coast;

And keep your tears

For him in after years.


Better by far

For Johnny-the-bright-star,

To forge ahead,

And launch again instead.

Forget fluorescents, plastic lighting strips coming out next year

Neil Woolford

Always nice to see an oscilloscope

It must be *real* science if there is a scope with a couple of traces in shot.

Snake-fondling blonde nude punts Polish coffins

Neil Woolford
Paris Hilton

Re: Spoilt by.....

Some poor sods work in places where any display of nipples on computer is considered to be an HR department matter...

Serenading mice can sing along if you hum a few bars

Neil Woolford

Re: I heard mice sing...

Sticky traps. Please don't, people.

Fans revolt over Amazon 'adware' in Ubuntu desktop search results

Neil Woolford

Read the original material from Canonical, peoples.

It is referenced in the original article.

Most of the comments above are clearly made in ignorance of what is actually proposed, and how aspects of the Unity desktop (specifically lenses) work...

Fader pushers mourn Fritz Sennheiser

Neil Woolford

I'm having a memorial listen on my original HD414s right now.

Bought when I were a lad. From Hamilton Electronics in Southampton, in case anyone else remembers them. Still a superb sound as far as my aging ears can tell, natural, clean smooth and detailed. Good for a very wide range of music types and speech too. If things sound poor on them it is due to bad engineering in the origination or poor equipment in the reproduction chain. By the way, their current earbud production isn't bad either...

LHC boffins crank beams to 3.5 TeV redline

Neil Woolford

Dr Fronkensteen...

Frau Bluecher!

What hump?


See Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein" it that means nothing to you.

Watch it again if it does!

Google goes cycling

Neil Woolford

New to Google perhaps, but old hat at ViaMichelin

Those cheese-eating surrender monkeys at Michelin have been offering a bicycle option on their route finder (viamichelin.com) for ages. It does a pretty good job, but doesn't seem to know about the Sustrans network, which is a shame.

Hotmail imposes tracking cookies for logout

Neil Woolford
Jobs Horns

Hotmail chagged my browser!

That is all.

Skype for Linux set for open source

Neil Woolford


Actually, I rather like the sound of that...

Microsoft howls as Google turns IE into Chrome

Neil Woolford

A Chatterley moment.

"Is it a browser you would wish your wife or servant to use?” after Mervyn Griffith-Jones QC.

Firefox 3.6 trots into first alpha

Neil Woolford

Not Wagner indeed.

"Also sprach Zarathustra" by Richard Strauss.

Microsoft's Bing in travel trouble

Neil Woolford

I think I'm with Kayak on this one...

I know there are certain elements that will always be common across sites doing similar jobs, but I've spent a few minutes playing with the hotels section of both sites, and they are very similar, not only at first sight but also when you get on to the way the results pages function and are laid out. Though for my money Kayak is tidier and has some useful bookmarking features.

If you compare Kayak and Bing to, for example, laterooms.com you'll find a very different look, feel and functions for the same task of finding accommodation. (Only laterooms has a crumb trail, results presented as a table rather than a series of individual panels as in the other two, very different map presentation...)

I think there's a case to answer.

And I just have to use that icon! Whacko! (Though not Wacko, not any more anyway.)

Watchdog bans Natasha Richardson ski helmet ad

Neil Woolford

@AC about Brunstrom

Not in an advertising campaign. One off use in a presentation, according to the Telegraph website if you care to search. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1549846/Decapitated-motorcyclist-used-in-speeding-campaign.html if you want to have a look.

"The presentation included details of a T-shirt worn by the motorcyclist which bore the message: 'P**s off and catch some real criminals.'" That's a nice detail. I must get one for my mate who's learning to ride a bike and foams at the mouth in the pub about speed cameras...

UK police bust lottery scam centre in Somerset

Neil Woolford
IT Angle

Stupid people deserve to be parted from their money....

Do you include my then aged and now late mother in the class of fools who *deserve* to be parted from their money?

For the last few years of her life one of the problems I had to deal with was her willingness to send cheques for five to ten pounds to this kind of scammers at a rate of several a week, sometimes several a day.

Initially she'd show me the letters, and I'd explain that they were from swindlers and that she should throw them away. Later she concealed them from me because she didn't want that advice.

If you had sat at the Sunday tea table with your octogenarian mother and said "Mother, I am worried sick that you are being targeted by confidence tricksters from across the world. Please do not send them any money, please do not respond at all to any of their approaches." without it having any effect on her behaviour, perhaps you might have a different opinion on this problem.

Until the end of her life she was capable of shopping, holding a sensible conversation, personal care and (limited by mobility and eyesight) housework. Her critical faculties were not totally impaired, as letters from 'psychics' were always shown to me and laughingly chucked into the bin as ridiculous.

However, she was preyed on systematically by confidence tricksters who used carefully crafted letters to steal money from her. (Letters managed by sophisticated mailing techniques and response monitoring, undoubtedly using computers. Look, an IT angle!)

So tell me why she deserved that?

I am glad that the police have taken action here; I know that there are many other similar crooks who also need to be pursued.


Pirate Bay prosecutors get jiggy with charge sheet - again

Neil Woolford

Weak Google-fu there mate

The term you want is "Coldplay torrent" (no quotes...)

800,000 results in a tenth of a second.

Many of them allowing you to download dreadful dirges...

Jaunty Jackalope alpha 3 spotted in wild

Neil Woolford

Oi, grumpy AC

The silly names are actually for development versions, on release they get a sensible, boring number. This one will become 9.04 (assuming it makes the planned release date).

Of course, those of us who never grew up will persist in using the funny names, because they are fun...

Violet Mir:ror DIY RFID kit

Neil Woolford
Thumb Up

Good thing I wasn't drinking my coffee...

"when she next uses her rabbit, she has the pleasure of aural text"

And only Wednesday.


What the Freetard Photo book tells us

Neil Woolford

I'd never make a good troll...

@ AC at 20:08 Friday...

I'm perfectly aware that there is no "Leica Look" Photoshop (or indeed Gimp) filter. That was entirely the point of my naive query.

The hint is "Googling hasn't helped much yet."

It was a joke, just in case we are in a totally irony free zone.

Otherwise, happy to see some sharp responses to the original article, including yours.

Neil Woolford

Do tell me more about this "Photoshop effect"

The "Leica look". I really want to use it, but my copy of Photoshop doens't have a filter by that name. Where can I find out more? Googling hasn't helped much yet.

Clickfree Backup external hard drive

Neil Woolford
IT Angle


I know this is off topic, but perhaps the most important reason for disabling your front passenger seat airbag is the carrying of a baby in a rear facing child seat. The seat already restrains them well, but the airbag deploying will strike the back of the seat violently...

The site http://www.childcarseats.org.uk/faqs/index.htm gives more information. According to them it is actually illegal to fit a rear facing child seat to a front seat which has an (active) frontal airbag.


Road warriors offered office in a suitcase

Neil Woolford

Brilliant. Turn a laptop into...

...an Osborne! Way to go eh?

Mobile broadband: What's it for?

Neil Woolford

If you've forgotten how to work minicom, u cn still txt.

As John posted, "I can happily report that the Huawei E220 modem works under Fedora 9 and Ubuntu 8.04. To get text messages you need to know a bit of minicom, but we all remember how that works, right?"

I've forgotten the minicom AT command stuff that I had to learn to get a GPRS card working under Ubuntu a few years back; this time round I'd suggest using the Vodafone Mobile Connect Card driver for Linux (it's on betavine, google including 'Linux'). Despite the Vodafone Card branding it configures easily for other services and devices (ok, I've not checked it with a USB device, but it looks like it should...).

The icing on the cake is a nice easy text message interface.

The software isn't perfect, with some interface glitches and for some reason it doesn't seem to receive system texts like "you have topped up" but it is usable.

McKinnon UFO hack 'looked like cyberterrorist attack'

Neil Woolford

Did he DDOS them then?

No, thought not...

Could we add the current state of the 'anthrax letters' investigation to the related links please? Own goal, it appears.

Oh, and read Clifford Stoll's "The Cuckoo's Egg", it's a cracking yarn!