* Posts by IvyKing

150 posts • joined 3 Jul 2009


Original killer PC spreadsheet Lotus 1-2-3 now runs on Linux natively



Lotus 1-2-3 was even available for HP-UX on PA-RISC, but don't know about HP-UX running on 68040's.

FTC says Frontier lied about its internet speeds amid $8.5m settlement


Re: I had Frontier service, and TBH was perfectly happy

IIRC, the copper wireline Verizon transferred to Frontier was mostly the former GTE service, as opposed to te Bell Atlantic service. I suspect that Verizon also transferred a fair amount of debt to Frontier as well with the expectation that the debt would be canceled in Frontier's almost inevitable bankruptcy.

French court pulls SpaceX's Starlink license


Re: Local tin foil shortage?

Tucows just happens to be in the fiber-optic to the home internet service. They're busy placing conduit in the street in my city, and they should be blowing fiber Real Soon Now.

The wild world of non-C operating systems


Re: What about Assembly Language?

CP/M was written in PL/M, which was suggests it was developed to be a micro-computer version of PL/1. The original PL/M compiler was written in FORTRAN and the source code had been put i the public domain a few years ago.

A lot of early MS-DOS applications were written in Pascal, with the compiler running on a VAX - remember a review of a circa 1982-83 MS Macro Assembler where the reviewer said it seemed to be more Pascal oriented than 8086 assembly code oriented.

The 8086 was designed to make it easy to translate 8080/8085 assembly language to 8086 assembly language. The 8080 was designed to be make it easy to re-use 8008 source code, so the latest and greatest intel processors are still carrying baggage from the 8008 announced in 1972.

Unable to write 'Amusing Weekly Column'. Abort, Retry, Fail?



I remember triggering the BDOS ERR ON A: when trying out a friend's CP/M machine. My personal computer experience started with 86-DOS/MS-DOS, so didn't get to enjoy the BDOS ERR messages at home.

Would like to know how many El Reg readers have actually encountered the BDOS ERR message.


Re: Abort Retry Fail

Ah, someone else remembers the original 86-DOS version of the error message, though it might of slipped into early versions of MS-DOS.

Fedora inches closer to dropping x86-32 support


I'm in the same boat with a 2018 era MBP, as I am staying with Mojave because there is one 32 bit app, rpnScientific, that is very useful. Figure I have a couple of more years of getting support for applications, then upgrade to an M2 MBP.

US DoD staffer with top-secret clearance stole identities from work systems to apply for loans


Looking to buy the "Magic Twanger"?

Lessee, Kevin Lee was a Chula Juana -er- Chula Vista resident, so guess he was getting the money for the Gypsy so everyone would be attracted to him.

If you wondering what in the hell I'm referring, search YouTube for Homegrown Chula Vista.

Linux kernel sheds legacy IDE support, but driver-dominated 5.14 rc1 still grows


37 year old interface standard?

IIRC, the IDE interface started out as a Compaq proprietary standard in 1984. Not quite as old as RS-232, but still up there.

Open Invention Network adds Microsoft's exFAT to Linux System Definition, Satan spotted throwing snowballs


Re: Does anyone here use exFAT?

The 4GB limit on FAT32 dates back to 1980 when Tim Paterson was implementing FAT12 for QDOS/86-DOS while using some 4 byte block from the the Pile Control Block structure under CP/M for the file size under DOS. This was at a time when 8" DSDD floppies were good for 1.2MB and the relatively rare users of hard drives were content with 5 and 10MB capacities.

Finally, that cruel dust world Mars proves useful: Helping scientists understand Earth's radio-scrambling plasma



Best working theory I've for Sporadic E is thunderstorms. The connection between T-stroms and Es was brought up in the VHF column in QST, by someone who correlated the center of a large number of Es contacts with weather reports of a large T-storm. Further evidence is the discovery of "sprites" in the mid-1990's traveling from the tops of thunderstorms and the upper atmosphere.

European Space Agency launches planet-hunting Cheops while Rocket Lab starts on a third launchpad


Re: 30 sec tests (at most) once a day at most?

Having grown up 10 to 15 miles from Rocketdynes Santa Susanna test site, the noise from the rockets is very noticeable, but not objectionable. I was more aware of the things in the house rattling as opposed the very low pitches rumble without much energy in the voice frequency range. I've also gone to high school that was under the flight path of F4 Phantoms, which had a lot of energy in the voice frequency range.

Tech giants get antsy in Northern Virginia: Give us renewable power, there's a planet to save... and PR to harvest


Build their own electric supple

If the tech companies are that gung-ho on renewables, they are certainly free to set up their own electric infrastructure, with all the joys of establishing transmission corridors. Bunch of hypocrites, arguing for regulation of utilities (e.g. net neutrality) and wanting government to keep hands off their business.

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin unveils 'Blue Moon' lander, making it way too easy for manchild Elon Musk to take the piss


BE-7 an updated RL-10?

The RL-10 has been around since the early 1960's, curious on what improvements the BE-7 has over the RL-10.

Two Soyuz launches, Starhopper hops, sats play chicken with Indian weapons test fallout


Nixon does deserve a bit of credit

The space program was really Eisenhower's baby as he wanted the capability to do photo recon of the Soviet Union. There has been a lot of speculation that he wanted the Soviets to be first to launch a satellite so they would not be in a position to complain about American satellite overflights of the Soviet Union. Von Braun was in the position to launch a satellite in 1956, but Ike had orders to make sure he didn't try.

Kennedy's goal for a landing by the end of the 60's would not have been possible without the F-1 engine, and development started in 1958. Kennedy was also making a lot of noise about the "missile gap" when Ike knew the Soviets only had a handful of operational ICBM's in mid 1960.

Geiger counters are so last summer. Lasers can detect radioactive material too, y'know


Re: Invited here first!

With the exception of the neutron detector, symetrica's technology is nothing new, though refined with respect to previous implementations.

There are a couple of potential advantages to the IR laser based detection. The first is a much larger detector volume, since sensitivity is related to how many of the particles or photons interact with the detector - that's why neutrino detectors are HUGE. The flip side is that the detector can affectively b placed close to the source, getting around the inverse square law. The second is getting much quicker localization of the source.

One item not discussed in the article was spectral response, identifying a specific radionuclide may require energy resolution of better than 1%, and the method of operation suggests a very broad peak for a given energy (e.g. Tc99m at 140keV).

Microsoft liberates ancient MS-DOS source from the museum and sticks it in GitHub


Re: Commodore

Back in 1980, 86-DOS supported 1.25MB 8" DSDD floppies. Weirdest aspect was supporting double sided single density floppies as separate drives for each side.

Not surprised to hear about Paterson's code for the inner workings of MS-DOS 1.25 as I've read his code for IO.SYS used in 86-DOS 1.14 and MS-DOS 1.25. Another thing about Tim's code is that he paid attention to Intel saying DO NOT USE interrupts below 20H, unlike IBM/MS with the PC ROM based BIOS.

Hell desk to user: 'I know you're wrong. I wrote the software. And the protocol it runs on'

Thumb Up

The story I read about an interview with David Korn was that was more amused than annoyed and was letting the MS keep digging a deeper hole. Someone else in the audience apparently was anxious to rub it in by telling the MS guy that the person he was arguing with was David Korn.

NASA whistles up electron noise from the Van Allen belt


Re: Erm

Wonder if you read about it the same place I did - either Popular Electronics or Electronics Illustrated. Gist of the article was that Whistlers were discovered during WW1 by people attempting to listen in on field telephone conversations, which typical used ground return.

Swedish school pumps up volume to ease toilet trauma


Donovan's Intergalatic Laxative

If shitting is your problem…..

Another oldie, "It's a Gas" by Alfred E. Newman.

Don't think Svensk cuisine would hold a candle to Tex-Mex for gas production, then again holding said candle could be a fire hazard.

Bloodbath at LeEco US as Chinese tech upstart implodes with layoffs


I've seen poorer taste in headlines (unfortunately)

Perhaps not the best choice of words in regards to Manchester, but bloodbath is a common term used to describe mass layoffs.

On a different note, the picture of the Sepulveda dam brought back a lot of memories, with some dating back almost 60 years. Do wonder if that site was chosen as a Buckaroo Bonzai reference.

Ad men hope blocking has stalled as sites guilt users into switching off


I'm not running an adblocker, but have Firefox set up to block auto play, third party cookies and tracking ads. Funny thing is that many websites claim that I'm running an adblocker and ask me to turn it off. I don't mind ads, but do mind the intrusive crap that comes with these ads.

Climate change bust up: We'll launch our own damn satellites if Trump pulls plug – Gov Brown


Brown earned his "Moonbeam" moniker

Brown has given quite a few examples where he is as much of a science denier as Trump. One was when the Mediterranean Fruit Fly was causing havoc in Nor Cal, most scientists agreed that Malathion was a safe pesticide to use, but he went through the effort of finding one that disagreed. Another is his opposition to nuclear energy, if CO2 is so bad, why is he so intent on shutting down the let plant operating in the state?

He is also one heck of a hypocrite, using state resources to determine the oil/gas potential of his property.

Wannabe Cali governor gives up against beach-blocking billionaire VC


Re: Get a grip

It sounds more like the California Coastal Commission is being its usual wussy self when it comes to the very rich, look up the history of Barbra Streisand's refusing to give beach access.

It is also very funny to see a Democrat kowtowing before a potential donor...

Going underground: The Royal Mail's great London train squeeze


Re: Side note

Chicago had quite a network of freight tunnels that were last used in the 1950's. The Royal Mail tunnels appear to be similar and may have been based partly on the experience with the Chicago tunnels.

Hello, Star Trek? 25th Century here: It's time to move on


Re: I was introduce to ST in the US on NTSC tellies

I was careful not to set the color saturation at reasonable levels to give a somewhat realistic color rendering and didn't see much of the red shirt blooming. Speaking of red shirts, the very first red shirt fatality occurred just a few minutes into the first episode aired 50 years ago tonight.

Now for the bad news - I watched all but the first five minutes of that first episode when it hit the airwaves in the Pacific Time states.

Read the damning dossier on the security stupidity that let China ransack OPM's systems


Re: What on earth was going on over there?

Unfortunately this has been very typical of the Obama administration. In OPM's case, the top management was more focused on "diversity" than doing their job. In HRC's case, the Benghazi mess could also be traced to HRC not focusing on her job as SoS, which in itself is not criminal. OTOH, there is very good evidence that she mishandled classified material in violation of the law on such material, and many sections of the laws she violated do not require "intent" for connection.

Ad-blocking ‘plateaus’, claims hopeful ad industry


Re: Maybe if they weren't so in your sodding face

I know what you mean. I use the private viewing feature of Firefox to take care of that ungodly behavior. Main way it works is deleting cookies after you close the session, and also deletes history. I've also removed Flash from my main system and that removes another vector for cookies.

On a somewhat different note,I've also configured FF to not auto play video and reject site redirects, and apparently this in combination with private viewing's blocking tracking ads seems to fool sites such as Wired into thinking that I'm running an adblocker.

DoJ preps criminal charges for VW over Dieselgate


Re: double standards?

Presumably the other corporate entities have made contributions to the WJC Foundation to atone for their sins. Doesn't help that VW is in competition to Government Motors...

Google Chrome will beat Flash to death with a shovel: Why... won't... you... just... die!


Re: Thank you

I wouldn't be quite so fast in praising Google, they still require Flash for the interactive stock price on Google News. Seems to me they could lead by example and code some of their own webpages into HTML5.

West country cops ponder appearance of 40 dead pigeons on A35



It's not against any religion, to want to dispose of the pigeon...

Don't want to vote for Clinton or Trump? How about this woman who says Wi-Fi melts kids' brains?


Looking to be a long drawn campaign fight between Cthulhu and SMOD for the November elections. Cthulhu's campaign slogan is "picking the greatest of two evils" while SMOD is promising a huge wall of incandescent rock.

And now we go live to Nashville for the latest on Google Fiber v AT&T and, yup, it's a mess


Re: A cynical part of me wonders if...

From the stories I've heard about fiber crews, the Google installers were likely in no need of help from Ma Bell to muck things up as they seem to be capable of making a mess all by themselves.

Tesla whacks guardrail in Montana, driver blames autopilot


No cell phone reception??

Highway 55 sounds like a funny place to not have cell phone reception as it doesn't go very far south of I-90. If he was driving highway 200 near Winnett, the lack of cell phone reception would be a bit more believable.

Lester Haines: RIP


Sad news indeed

I enjoyed his writing and am sad hear about his passing.

New solar cell breaks efficiency records, turns 34% of light into 'leccy


Re: Watts per Dollar is the only efficiency that actually matters

Watts per total dollars for an installation is what matters. Dirt cheap cells with efficiencies of a few per cent could end up being more expensive when all of the support structure is taken into account.

Getting the efficiency up to 50% can get some interesting benefits for warm to hot climates, having such panels on the roof would lead to a significantly cooler roof.

Russia poised to unleash 'Son of Satan' ICBM


Re: Not solid

Another reason is that the IR signature for UDMH/N2O4 is much lower than for the usual aluminum and ammonia perchlorate solid fuel mix. The IR signature is also less than the RP1/LOX mixture but greater than LH2/LOX.

FWIW, the Titan II was fueled by UDMH/N2O4, but there were a few nasty accidents involving fuel leaks.

Japan loses contact with new space 'scope just weeks after launch


The change in observed orbit implies a fairly significant impulse (momentum), the fact that the debris is in almost the same orbit implies high mass & relatively low velocity. High velocity would cease a large debris plume as what happened when an Iridium satellite collided with a cosmos satellite. My bet is a propellant tank let go.

A Logic Named Joe: The 1946 sci-fi short that nailed modern tech


Re: A million monkeys is a bit unfair...

I agree in that Computer Science was very poorly predicted in the Golden Age of SF, with A.I. postulated to be a much easier problem than it is and giving hort shrift to the need for numerical solutions to real world math problems. This may have been driven in part by the plot device of "man vs machine" that goes back to the story of Jawn Henry, if not earlier.

One of the big laughers was the manual piloting of rocket launches, the reality is that humans don't react fast enough to be effective. On the other hand, Heinlein did a fair representation of docking in his 1939 story "Misfit".


Admiral Bob

His story, "Blowups Happen", has one of the best descriptions of a nuclear power plant despite the 1941 version being written almost two ears before Fermi brought the Chicago Pile to critical. There were a few errors due to lack of knowledge of the fission process, in particular delayed neutrons, but he had a plausible work-around with an accelerator driven neutron source. One of the fairly close calls was stating that the energy of 2.5 tons of U235 fissioning would be equivalent to 100MT, where the actual yield would be half that.

The story also postulated that peoples lives would be saved by "artificial radioactives" - I probably wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for a Tc-99m screening.

Hillary Clinton private email server probe winding up – reports


Could get interesting

Investigators are not likely to grant immunity in a case where they think the prime target is likely to be innocent. Keep in mind the classified e-mails are only one side of the coin, the other is public corruption where HRC and WJC were getting money for favorable rulings from the US State Department. May end up having the first ex-pres in prison, though my guess is that HO would pardon both of them.

NASA boffin wants FRIKKIN LASERS to propel lightsails



I remember racing the story in my brother's Boy's Life magazine back in 1964 and reading "The Wind From the Sun" maybe a decade or so later. Depressing since the first read was almost 52 years ago.

Kudos to Richard Chrigwin for mentioning "The Mote in God's Eye", though a Niven story of visiting traders had a similar plot device two to three years before "Mote" came out. This is unlike Scientific American that couldn't be bothered mentioning Niven or Pournelle with respect to laser powered lightsails back in the late 1990's - that was about the final straw leading to dropping my SciAm subscription.

China wants to bring home moon rocks in moon vacuum


Dealing with lunar dust?

I wonder how they are planning to deal with lunar dust, can't imagine the dust doing any good for vacuum seals.

ESA's Sentinel satellite to ride converted ICBM


Re: Converting war tools into science tools

The Soviets' motive of the NTO/UDMH ICBM's was that the exhaust plume had a far smaller IR signature than the Aluminum/ammonium perchlorate solid fuel exhaust..

Looks like the SS-19 was the Russian version of the Titan II.

Norks uses ballistic missile to launch silent 'satellite'


"Deke" Parsons figured out a why to keep tubes (valves) functioning while being launched from a 5 inch naval rifle in the 1940-41 era. The VT fuses were first used in combat around Guadalcanal about the end of 1942.

Come on kids, let's go play in the abandoned nuclear power station


Re: EBR-1 was the First Fast Breeder Reactor

You are correct, but I do like to indulge in ark humor.


EBR-1 was the First Fast Breeder Reactor

EBR-1 was the first Fast Breeder built and the first reactor to be used to generate electric power in 1951 (a few hundred watts). The follow-on reactor, EBR-II was the prototype for the Integral Fast Reactor.

Mushroom cloud icon for obvious reasons.

How to build a starship - and why we should start thinking about it now


Re: Coms

If we have the technology to build a probe capable of reaching 0.05 to 0.1c, then it would be no problem a large space based receiving antenna that can pick up the signals from a probe 4 LY away. This would also get it away from all of the earth based interference.

Since the DSN can pick up signals from 100 a.u. with 70m dishes, this implies that 70 km diameter would pick the same signal source from a couple of light years.

IRS 'inadvertently' wiped hard drive Microsoft demanded in audit row


Pretty much the same thought I had reading the article. OTOH, the IRS was destroying evidence requested in a lawsuit and the personnel involved could end up being found in contempt of court.

Mozilla: Five... Four... Three... Two... One... Thunderbirds are – gone


Re: They got it the wrong way round

@Herbert Thunderbird on the Mac works very nicely, also worked nicely on Solaris as well. Porting it to several platforms can be a pain, but it also brings out a lot of bus that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.

One of the things that I like about T-bird over Outlook is that the local folders are stored as separate files without any binary conversion.



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