* Posts by Gordon 11

322 posts • joined 27 Jul 2009


Happy with your existing Windows 10 setup? Good, because Windows 11 could turn its nose up at your CPU

Gordon 11

Re: What gen?

I must be imagining the fact that I have 21H1 installed on two 3rd gen and one 4th gen Intel chipped devices then.

I have it running on an i5-2500K in a 9-year old desktop.

Perfectly fine (as far as Windows is ever "fine").

Was creaking 2 years ago, but replacing the HDD with an SSD fixed that.

NHS COVID-19 app is trying to tell Android users something but buggy notification appears stuck on 'Loading...' screen

Gordon 11

Neither does the venue check in but no check out fill me with much confidence
I've always been able to check out of a venue once I've checked in.

United States Congress stormed by violent followers of defeated president, Biden win confirmation halted

Gordon 11

Re: Unfortunately ...

Trump can't be charged with Treason, because our Constitution only provides for that charge in times of War.
Aren't most of us still at war with North Korea?

There's been a ceasefire for ~65years, but no declared peace.

Gordon 11

Re: ...and where exactly do you live in the US?

I'm old enough to remember LBJ's last year in office. Now that really was a scary sh*t year.

Obviously, as Nixon was on his way in.

'Following the science' rhetoric led to delay to UK COVID-19 lockdown, face mask rules

Gordon 11

Re: The Institute for Government, a bunch of non-scientists

Basically what has come to pass for being locked down to long.

I think you mean, "for being locked down longer than they would like".

An even longer lockdown was actually needed.

TalkTalk marches OneTel users into a brave new email world

Gordon 11

Re: Begging for Trouble

Can't imagine why anyone ever used an ISP email account.
Perhaps because that was what was available when the ISP for first used ~20 years ago, and it continues to work?

All I want is some place that lets me download via IMAP and send with SMTP.

This TalkTalk migration seems to be affecting all of their legacy domains. And whereas OneTel seems to have a valid SPF record after migrating, Pipex does not.

This follows on from Pipex having an invalid MX record earlier this year (it pointed to an Alias, which isn't allowed and some other ISPs refused to play ball as a result).

No doubt a result of lots of GUI admin tools, and hence less understanding of the underlying reality.

Wow, Microsoft's Windows 10 always runs Edge on startup? What could cause that? So strange, tut-tuts Microsoft

Gordon 11

Slightly different Edge issue

KB4559309 is rolling out on Windows 2004 update.

When this "installs" (read on) after the restart it fires up Edge at the next login (for every user) and gets them to configure it.

But this has left my system believing that it always has a pending update for KB4559309! So Windows is always going to schedule a reboot for it. Since Windows doesn't believe it is yet installed I can't uninstall it.

After half-a-dozen reboots had no effect on this I decided to fire up Edge. When I got to the "About" screen it reported that it was 81.0.416.81 and then started to update itself. After that update it was 83.0.478.45.

Still had no effect on the status of KB4559309: Windows Update still thinks it has yet to do it.

Gmail and Outlook sitting in a tree, not t-a-l-k-i-n-g to me or thee

Gordon 11

I can never understand why people read email in a browser, rather than 'modern' it seems totally antiquated to me.
Whatever happened to the idea of separating data presentation and data display?

I expect a mail server to be able to supply the mail data, and then I may run whichever mail client I wish to display it to me in whatever way I can persuade it to do, in a way that best suits my needs/wishes.

Similarly, why do people assume that mail is sent from an application by a user typing at a keyboard?

I have a few dozen mails sent to me every day by the background process that check the health of my systems and backups (and this is just for my systems at home - when I worked I had far more doing similar things there too). How would I get that to work with OAuth (or similar)?

Microsoft decrees that all high-school IT teachers were wrong: Double spaces now flagged as typos in Word

Gordon 11

Re: memory's the 2nd thing to go

Re: memory's the 2nd thing to go

The first being memory.

It used to be the mouse balls....

Gordon 11

Re: Isn't it just a historical anachronism?

Today, with proportional fonts and justification, surely there is no need (and smarter programs might detect dot-space and leave a slightly larger gap?).
Agreed. Any reasonable word processor would put additional kerning after the end of a sentence. Whether MS Word does so I can't tell.

Decent type-setting software (such as TeX) did it for you...and couldn't care less how many spaces (or tabs) you put there.

We're in a timeline where Dettol maker has to beg folks not to inject cleaning fluid into their veins. Thanks, Trump

Gordon 11

Re: POTUS Supporters

Apparently 8% of UK voters in a survey believed 5G spread coronavirus.

Some of them believe there is no Coronavirus at all, and the whole thing is just a ploy so that the Government can implant a tracking device in everybody (and every body) under the guise of a vaccination.

The fact that this would require every NHS worker in the country to be in on the scam seems to pass them by.

Not sure what they think has happened to those who have died.

Android 11 Developer Preview 3 allows your mobe to become a router via USB Ethernet – if you can get a decent signal

Gordon 11

Re: Hasn't it been able to do this for ages?

Perhaps the difference is that "toggle a switch" bit. Which might mean it can become a router on its own, rather than requiring you to set that up on the system directly connected to it. Although how this works with a USB-C hub is something I'll need to get my head around. Perhaps you need one with a Ethernet port, then plug a switch/hub into that and then plug any other system into that.

Gordon 11

Re: Hasn't it been able to do this for ages?

No. https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2018/10/three-uk-quietly-removes-tethering-caps-from-4g-mobile-plans.html

That's a phone operator removing a block - nothing at all to do with whether Android was able to do it.

And all they did the was to remove the usage cap - they was never an outright ban.

I'm with 3 and, as mentioned, was able to do this 5 years ago on Android 6.

Gordon 11

Re: Hasn't it been able to do this for ages?

My recollection of various methods of tethering over the years was that although the manufacturers often provided it, some (most?) carriers (e.g. Verizon) would disable it.

So how is this change going to make them change?

The 5-year old phone I've just replaced allowed me to do this, and it was running Andoid6.

And using this on a Windows system was a PITA, as Windows sees it as an Ethernet connexion and so doesn't allow me to mark it as metered. So feels free to download the next Windows10 update over it.

So what change has actually occurred here? It seems to imply some ability to connect it to a router for network sharing, but where is there an Ethernet port on the 'phone?

We regret to inform you there are severe delays on the token ring due to IT nerds blasting each other to bloody chunks

Gordon 11

Imagine a single tube carriage going round and round London's circle line forever.

That might have been true in the 1990's (well, not "might have", rather "was"), but not a good analogy for the younger members of the audience, for whom the "Circle Line" is now more @ shaped.

As for Token Ring speeds, Pr1me had one that was definitely faster then the 10Mb/s Ethernet that came along later.

Hyphens of mass destruction: When a clumsy finger meant the end for hundreds of jobs

Gordon 11

Re: SCO Unix

What about trying rm *.o, but leaving the shift key down for slightly too long after the "*"?

It becomes rm *>o - definitely not what was wanted. I ended up left with just an empty file called "o".

Devonitely not great: Torbay and South Devon NHS declares 'major IT incident'

Gordon 11

Are we sure this isn't just part of the Government's "Get ready for Brexit" campaign?

Micron's new 9300 SSDs are bigger, faster and simpler... which is nice

Gordon 11

Re: 16 TB. And if it fails?

RAID is a perfectly adequate backup.

Not if your system, or machine room, catches fire.

Man drives 6,000 miles to prove Uncle Sam's cellphone coverage maps are wrong – and, boy, did he manage it

Gordon 11

Why 40mph?

When I drove through Vermont the state-wide maximum speed limit was 45mph, so it might be to not scare the natives.

Windows 10 1809: Now arriving on a desktop near you (if you want it)

Gordon 11

Re: Edge in 1809

Some people have found Edge will not load websites if IPv6 is not enabled on their system after installing 1809. The current fix being to enable IPv6.

Surely a simpler fix is not to use Edge?

Gordon 11

No doubt it will probably tie my PC for the best part of a day...

My laptop has 16GB of memory and an SSD - it's pretty fast. It still took ~3.5 hours to update (I wasn't doing anything on the system other than watching it...) after the download started.

What are these updates doing for all that time?

Europe is living in the past (by nearly six minutes) thanks to Serbia and Kosovo

Gordon 11

Re: Mains powered clock

Is there such a thing at all nowdays? It is cheaper to throw in a quartz osciallator or a real time clock than to measure grid frequency.
I have one on my bedside table. I've had one (not the same one) there for the last 45 years.

Unlike a quartz clock it never needs to be reset (unless there's a power failure).

Bright idea: Make H when the Sun shines, and H when it doesn't

Gordon 11

Re: carbon monoxide as byproduct???

CO2 for plant growth CO for asphyxiation.
CO2 will asphyxiate - CO is poisonous (it binds to haemoglobin tighter than O2 does).

Gordon 11

Re: carbon monoxide as byproduct???

Probably the same as all cars used to do - release it into the atmosphere. It is short-lived and at sea-level pressures soon oxidises into carbon dioxide.
So the hydrogen may be a "zero-carbon fuel" but it's production produces a greenhouse gas, which is seemingly ignored?

Or is the assumption that it's OK because it's removing methane (which is worse)?

Your connection is not Brexit... we mean private: UK Tory party lets security cert expire

Gordon 11

Re: Leading by example?

...they just want their blue(?) passports back...
I always thought the most-liked part was the stiff cover, not the colour.

Microsoft emergency update: Malware Engine needs, erm, malware protection

Gordon 11

Because it is an out-of-band critical fix, however, it should be installed as soon as possible. For most users, this will happen automatically.
Odd then that when I fire up my two Windows systems to look for this, only one of them finds it.

And even that one has it scheduled behind a "2017-11 Cumulative Update" that has been sitting at a status of "Preparing to download - 100%" for over 15 minutes without progressing.

Official: Perl the most hated programming language, say devs

Gordon 11

The Human Genome Project...

...was saved by Perl.


What’s the real point of being a dev? It's saving management from themselves

Gordon 11

Essentially it added higher-level abstractions (databases, menus and reports) to what previous languages had had
You mean it added new syntax to the language to do things that could be (and in practice probably were..) done by library code.

What always amazed me was the unwillingness of academics and managers to believe that you could, and should, write commonly-needed functionality into callable library code.

Windows Fall Creators Update is here: What do you want first – bad news or good news?

Gordon 11

Re: Inivitably!

Nope. There is no option to turn it off completely in the GUI. Windows 10 ALWAYS warns you it's going to reboot for an update with an option to postpone.
What you don't get is an option to delay the patch/update in the first place. So once Windows has decided to "upgrade" you're forced to go through the let's-reboot-3-times reboot when you next shutdown.

In my case it was "worse" (it didn't really matter to me, but it could have done so).

Last night I asked my laptop to look for updates. It reported it had found none. I then looked at the Microsoft blog page about how to force an update (happy for my laptop to go first...) and suddenly the update page (open next to my browser) decided it had two updates - an Adobe Flash one (again) and Windows 1709.

That was the better part of 3 hours (and that's on a system with an SSD).

So it downloaded them and installed them. Except the 1709 download failed to install, so it downloaded it all again. This time it installed OK and I was left with a Restart option. Whcih I selected and 3 reboots later I had Windows 1709. I then had to go in a patch the registry to switch off auto-login on accounts with no password (which MS always decides to reset for me...how kind) and remove the login page image.

London Tube tracking trial may make commuting less miserable

Gordon 11

Do you seriously make sure you switch wifi off every time you leave the house / office / girlfriends house....
No. I only have it on when I want to use it (same for mobile data). That means when I am looking at it...

Big question of the day: Is it time to lock down .localhost?

Gordon 11

Re: Silly "private" dns stuff abounds.

Yes, reserving ".localhost" and ALWAYS returning "no such name" is probably a good idea.
Which is not the same thing as "localhost".

".localhost" is a DNS zone, and as such can have a large number of sub-entries (although putting in a wildcard match would handle returning a consistent reply with one config line).

"localhost" is a key within a zone (roughly - it will depend how you have your name resolver configured). So if you have name resolution configure to search zones, say, ".me", ".info", don't have a specific "localhost" entry defined, look for "localhost" and someone has defined "localhost.me", then you'll get that record.

Gordon 11

The relevant RFCs covering use of localhost say that the IPv4 block
Isn't it a class A subnet, so that would be

I've always though that 16777214 usable address was a little bit of an overkill for loopback...

Gordon 11

Re: I've just had to add our "companyname.com"

IMHO, besides "locahost" a local domain (".local", ".localdomain"?) should be reserved to create internal networks, and ensure they cannot be resolved from outside even if a mistake has been done.
Unfortunately .local has already been taken for the Zeroconf protocol.

Gordon 11

Re: Is localhost even needed?

I can't think of a single use-case where we wouldn't be better off using the machines real name or IP.
Machines don't have IPs - network interfaces do.

None of the interfaces on a system needs to be resolvable using the hostname.

systemd'oh! DNS lib underscore bug bites everyone's favorite init tool, blanks Netflix

Gordon 11

It "is legal" but not in hostnames.

Which is the source of the problem.

The assumption in the original DNS was that an A record (although this is an AAAA, since the offending item appears to be IPv6) would point to a host.

This was always wrong - it only ever pointed to an interface (given that you can have multiple ones on a single host it clearly can't be a hostname), but the rule was built into the RFC IIRC).

So bind 4.x disallowed it.

The workaround was to set up a PTR records containing "_" to your A record, which contained "-" instead (since thy were aliases they could be "anything").

Then someone added a compilation option to allow "_" in A records. That must have been in the mid 90's.

Along came bind8 and made it a run-time option.

For someone to have got this wrong 20 years later is just a terrible piece of coding.

Set your alarms for 2.40am UTC – so you can watch Unix time hit 1,500,000,000

Gordon 11

Re: Signed Integer

Uh, for an absolute value, why would you store that in a signed integer? In what scenario is a negative time since epoch useful?

Well, I was born before 1970, so it's useful to represent my date of birth.

And dates BC(E) are also times before a data point.

Just so we're all clear on this: Russia hacked the French elections, US Republicans and Dems

Gordon 11

Kettles and pots?

Of course, this is a US report.

So it says nothing about whether the NSA hacks other countries elections. I take it that it's their job to do so, and if they do it they can't really complain about others doing it.

Oh, the things Vim could teach Silicon Valley's code slingers

Gordon 11

Re: The trouble with Emacs

The trouble with Emacs...is that it's an overly complicated operating system
Which is why I use microemacs. A version which has been following me around since the late 1980s. With only a few bug fixes for buffer sizes (screens can now be wider than 132 characters...). It ran on Windows (DOS window), Atari and anything that looked like Unix (so including MacOS). And I still run it on my arm, mips and x86 Linux systems - every one I have that has command line access.

All it does it edit files - quickly and simply.

First World Problems: John Lewis clients forced to re-register after website 'upgrade'

Gordon 11

but did they take the opportunity to say "Oh BTW you will have to reregister on the new website"? Of course not.

Well, they did in the email that I received.

But then - I did read it all.

Reg Programming Compo: 22 countries, 137 entries and... wow – loads of Python

Gordon 11

Re: I'm with the picture editor

At least they know what a proper language is.

Perl was designed for tasks such as this.

Want a Windows 10 update? Don't go to Microsoft ... please

Gordon 11

Re: Possibly helpful on a local network by why on earth with the broader internet?

But what is a "local network"?

I presume that it is any system with the same broadcast address.

Now, when I'm at home I trust these.

But when I'm attached to a free Wifi spot in a coffee shop - I don't.

BHowever, MS doesn't let me distinguish these (not sure how it could).]

Much the same as it not letting me set an Ethernet connexion (which I only get when I'm running via my 'phone's data allowance) as a chargeable connexion. It works for the MS developers in the MS developers' environment, so it must apply globally.

Big Pharma wrote EU anti-vaping diktat, claims Tory ex-MEP

Gordon 11

The Earl of Error took a crumb of comfort...
I was living in hope that this title was correct, but I suspect that was the Earl of Errol.

Woman charged with blowing AU$4.6m overdraft on 'a lot of handbags'

Gordon 11

"failed to notify the bank that she was not entitled to the money"
Yes. A bit like finding £1000 pounds in the gutter. You are supposed to hand it in at a police station. Not doing so is theft.

India orders 770 million LED light bulbs, prices drop 83 per cent

Gordon 11

Re: Have they finally solved strobing?

Most people I know don't complain about this in LEDs...
It exists in incandescents too. It was how you used to get the speed of your turntable deck correct (if you had one with adjustable correction).

'I bet Russian hackers weren't expecting their target to suck so epically hard as this'

Gordon 11

Re: endianness @#define

Having less-significant bits at higher byte addresses is illogical.
Given that you should be looking at a 2-, 4- or 8-byte number as a single entity there should be no such thinking as "higher byte address". Each number has one address/location.

When asked 'What's a .CNT file?' there's a polite way to answer

Gordon 11

Re: What's a .cnt?

strange on any windows box the help works (apart from the occasional ancient - 25 year old help file)
It displays content. Whether it works as "help" is more hit&miss in my experience.

If you don't know how to use a command line program you just add a -? to the command line
Clearly you never need help then, as that is only for commands it has had to import from Unix. /? would be the MS Windows one.

Winning Underhand C Contest code silently tricks nuke inspectors

Gordon 11

Re: VW?

Pretty sure that code would be considered proprietary.

Perhaps the winning entry was also "proprietary", in that someone else is currently using it?

Not that they'd ever sue for copyright...

After-dinner Mint? Stylish desktop finale released as last of the 17 line

Gordon 11

Re: Maybe next time

But it definitely hasn't been plain sailing and has required more than one arcane GRUB intervention on my part, various bits of the UI have stopped working at random and things have never been 100% in terms of getting security/elevation and package installation/update to work properly.

Which sounds very similar to my experience of MS Windows.

When the Windows10 part2 update came along in the autumn my desktop system upgraded on day one. My laptop, on the other hand, stopped getting any updates at all! I knew it was a "staggered" upgrade, so waited. After 6 weeks (still no updates of any sort) I gave up, downloaded the manual Win10 update again and re-installed that.

The UI has many annoying features, which MS do not let me change.

  • I can't configure a click-to-focus window policy as MS doesn't give me the option (although the Window manage does have the ability).
  • I can't configure window border thickness, nor colour (properly)
  • If I don't set a password on an account (on a home desktop system, why bother) then Windows10 will auto-login the last user - and MS gives you no way to prevent this.
  • If I plug-in my phone to use it as an on-the-go network connexion MS Windows will see it as an Ethernet connexion. And MS doesn't let you mark Ethernet connexions as chargeable: so it feels free to download any updates (e.g. the 3GB Win10 upgrade) over it without asking me.

Linux, however, lets me do what I want, how I want.

'Powerful blast' at Glasgow City Council data centre prompts IT meltdown

Gordon 11

Too much gas... and you can blow the walls out.
You're only supposed to blow the bloody walls out.

(Not take the systems down...)

Microsoft quietly slips out patched patch for Outlook – in camouflage

Gordon 11

resulted in the email client crashing as soon as some emails were scrolled through.
Nothing new there, then. Thanks to MS having little idea about how to handle mime-types in Outlook (they still assume that all attachments have an associated filename with a meaningful suffix) it was easy to send a mail which would crash Outlook 2007. And if the user had previews on it would crash it as soon as it started up.

MS did provide a fix. It stopped the crash (but wouldn't actually show the text content which it was being told was there). But the fix was only in Outlook 2010 - never put into the version where the bug was actually reported.



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