4185 posts • joined 6 Aug 2009
Re: The current Windows dev process is horribly flawed...
I mean what the hell is Microsoft doing to break printing?
Has anyone mentioned Visual Studio yet?
* Sometimes takes a couple of seconds to respond to basic cursor commands.
* Sometimes loses the ability to respond to the keyboard (or retains that ability while losing the ability to render to the screen).
* Randomly changes the names of document tabs to '%2' and then sometimes leaves you unable to close a document that has changes.
* Fails to Rebuild until you've done a Build (had that one today).
* Doesn't always clean things properly even when you've asked it to.
An application that loads really fast..but then it turns out you can't actually do anything meaningful with it for <insert random delay here>.
Now granted only software developers use VS but farking 'ell it's like the VS development team don't care or assume that as fellow programmers we are more tolerant of crappy applications.
Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram
Re: Me too
Same here. I am 1.81 metres tall and weigh approximately 78kg.
The only time I use imperial units are when driving and when playing golf. I keep meaning to change the latter but I have enough problems on the course as it is without suddenly switching from yards to metres. It's surprising how much of a difference it makes.
I went to school in the late 80s where we were taught only in metric.
I went to school in the early 70s and was only taught metric. That might have been because the school - Blackfirs in Congleton - was newly built and only opened the year before (my brother was in the first ever intake). But still, I don't understand why anyone under the age of 50 struggles with the metric system and especially not why so many of that age or younger prefer the imperial system.
It's always struck me as something of a systemic failure.
Re: I keep trying...
Who is your ISP? Because when I switched to IDNet IPv6 'just started working' and as far as I can tell continues to 'just work'. I had to get to grips with it a bit because I run a mail server but that's my 'fault'. I have Thinkbroadband quality meters set up for IPv4 (pings my router) and IPv6 (pings my server) so I can see what kind of uptime I have. And it's 99%. The only time I see a glitch on the IPv6 side there's a similar one on the IPv4 side.
I am willing to criticise the complexity of IPv6 and bemoan the imminent death of NAT but IPv6 as a protocol (in my experience) 'just works'. If that's not your experience then it's either your ISP's implementation or a flaky router.
Re: 30% in the UK
If you're a recent fixed-line subscriber to BT/PussNet or Sky in the UK in the last couple of years, you likely already have IPv6 enabled and it just works.
I'm not sure if Plusnet support it yet. According to this:
"A Plusnet Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk:
“We’re committed to the roll out of IPv6, as this an important evolution for our networks and the service we provide our customers. We’re in a good place with our internal testing which means we are hoping to start making this available to customers in Spring next year.”
Meaning Spring 2020.
Re: Doomed to eternal limbo
Thanks for answers, all. I have to admit I'd not want to use IPv6 is a business setting - my experience is simply as a home user.
And I also dislike the 'everything has a public address' side of IPv6. Now that you've mentioned NAT someone will probably be along to have a go at it saying that it has ruined the internet. My response to that is that I've never had problems with NAT and never found that it breaks anything.
IPv6 is more complicated than IPv4 and I'm pretty sure I don't have a full grasp of it so thanks again for providing some insight.
Re: Doomed to eternal limbo
- It missed the explosion in home devices. Netgear, Belkin etc were never going to make the DHCP on their home routers dole out IPv6 by default when all the home TVs and lightbulbs dont support it. At best you end up with dual-stack, and then you have a support nightmare on your hands (given that we are talking about consumers). Ugh.
Not wishing to pick a fight but my ISP (IDNet) has been providing dual-stack IPv6 for over a decade and I've been a customer for nearly that long. I run a mail server from my spare bedroom and it communicates happily using both protocols. If a device only supports IPv4 it works on my LAN just fine. If it supports IPv6 it works just fine.
What problems have you experienced, and why?
Oh and why would a router need to dole out IPv6 addresses using DHCP? All my routers had that disabled by default and everything uses SLAAC.
Pinging theregister.com [18.104.22.168] with 32 bytes of data:
Pinging google.com [2a00:1450:4009:814::200e] with 32 bytes of data:
Pinging forums.thinkbroadband.com.cdn.cloudflare.net [2606:4700:10::6814:349] with 32 bytes of data:
Spot the odd one out.
Re: It isn't just code that can be wide
If you're a programmer you can spring for $2000+ in screens, no problem.
That depends who you work for. In 30 years of programming I've never worked anywhere that would spend that kind of money on me. And in any case - what about the rest of the team? £2k+ per seat is a very expensive way to run a team of programmers.
Re: I used to feel the same.
Also a lot of older programmers (like me) tend to use larger fonts. Now granted 80 characters is too restrictive but where I work we go with 150 because that's about all I can fit across a single screen. I can only assume that Linus can afford a much higher resolution monitor than me along with a large enough desk to fit it on.
I agree that splitting lines can impact readability somewhat but having parts of a line completely off screen impacts it far more. It does no good for my productivity if I have to scroll both vertically and horizontally to browse through code.
Twitter, Reddit and pals super unhappy US visa hopefuls have to declare their online handles to Uncle Sam
The first 15 years of my programming career were based on Borland's various Pascal versions. From CP/M all they way to D3. But then I moved away to C++ and Borland Builder (thankfully the VCL was accessible so that made life easier). For the last 15 years it's been C# and with luck that'll be the end of it. Another seven years at the most I'm off to play golf full time :)
Thank you Nicklaus and Anders :)
cmd.exe is dead, long live PowerShell: Microsoft leads aged command-line interpreter out into 'maintenance mode'
Re: simple shit so much easier with cmd
.\example-script.ps -PowerShellSuckage=doesnot -VeryMuch -ButCanResultInCommandLines=VeryLong
The execution policy helps protect you from scripts that you do not trust. Changing the execution policy might expose you to the security risks described in the about_Execution_Policies help topic at
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=135170. Do you want to change the execution policy?
[Y] Yes [A] Yes to All [N] No [L] No to All [S] Suspend [?] Help (default is "N"):
..and safe but sometimes quite annoying.
Record-breaking Aussie boffins send 44.2 terabits a second screaming down 75km of fiber from single chip
There's more to computer networking than the final mile, you know. Something has to connect head-ends/exchanges together. Something has to carry signals between ISPs. Something has to carry data between countries. Those somethings have to be high capacity because they carry the data being consumed by end-users such as yourself.
If every residential property in the UK had 50Mb/s (which on average it probably does) that's over 140Tb/s. Now as it happens no-one gets or needs 1:1 contention so there's a lot of sharing of bandwidth going on. But still, cables such as these are going to be very useful over the next few years.
It's unlikely they will ever be used to connect to your property but they could end up being used deeper in the network.
Apple, Google begin to spread pro-privacy, batt-friendly coronavirus contact-tracing API for phone apps
Beer gut-ted: As many as '70 million pints' spoiled during coronavirus pandemic must be destroyed in Britain
Re: Milk consumption?
Flour does not keep indefinitely long. Especially wheat flour (the really fine, white one).
I thought it was whole grain that doesn't last long because of the oils remaining in the husk. I was under the impression that white flour can last a year more even without refrigeration.
Go on, hit Reply All. We dare you. We double dare you. Because Office 365 will defeat your server-slamming ways
Re: That sucks!
I'm not following your complaint. If someone is only working half days and being paid accordingly where is the problem? I'm not that far off retirement myself (though I'm not a consultant) and one way my boss could persuade me to stay a couple more years would be a reduction in hours during the summer months precisely so that I could play more golf.
If you're arguing that consultants are overpaid then that's another discussion but being overpaid for half a day's work is actually slightly less aggravating (to others) than being overpaid for a day's work. Similarly I'd rather that a 'knob' only be working for half a day because then they have less time to be a nuisance. Although if they are a 'knob' outside of work then I would rather they stay away from golf courses in their free time :)
Re: User education
To be fair I find that a lot of IT support staff are guilty of 'speed reading' as well. I've often wondered if it's laziness, an automated system or ignorance. Perhaps they've learnt that most of the time their guess at what someone is complaining about is correct so there's no need to waste time carefully reading the first message.
But in my experience you mostly only get a thoughtful and accurate response on your follow-up query.
Re: Seems to me ..
Of course it is also worth pointing out that EU consumer protection law shields consumers for 6 six years from inbuild faults.
No it doesn't. EU law requires member countries to implement a two year guarantee but that is still subject to various forms of redress. It also allows for the burden of proof to shift from retailer to consumer. For example in the UK if a good fails within six months it is assumed that a fault existed and it's for the retailer to prove otherwise. After that period of time the onus is on the consumer to prove it. In addition the retailer has various forms of redress they can attempt and they are allowed to take fair wear and tear into consideration.
There is no legal requirement for a retailer to replace a hard drive that fails after seven months with a new one. Legally the customer would have to find an expert that would attest to it being an existing fault and then retailer could replace it with a refurb, or make a partial refund. Of course most retailers have more sense than to get embroiled in all that so most will just replace it for free with a new unit but that's going above and beyond what the law requires.
UK law does extend the time in which you can make a claim to six years but that's not a guarantee. It just means you don't have to make a claim immediately and can therefore make one after the fact. In effect it's a statute of limitations.
O2 be a fly on the wall during BT and Vodafone's video calls: Telefónica's UK biz, Virgin Media officially merge
UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal
Re: Stick to the tech, please
There's another (rather grim) reason why the virus becomes less of a problem over time. It primarily targets 'vulnerable' people and if we do nothing to protect them there will eventually be no vulnerable people left and the mortality rate drops to almost zero.
That has to be worst possible outcome but it's the ultimate end game if we fail at everything else. We lose 5% of the population and the surviving 95% are safe. Helluva price to pay though.
Britain has no idea how close it came to ATMs flooding the streets with free money thanks to some crap code, 1970s style
Re: Test, test and test again...
In my defence when you're writing data recovery tools for the engineers that are using them you can't always afford time for thorough testing. Most customers want their data back yesterday so you bodge up a fix for whatever is blocking that particular recovery and worry about the code later. But then there's a dual nature of the job where sometimes you had to drop the programming you were in the middle of and actually recover some data. In the early days we even had to answer the phone and give quotations to customers. Can you say 'context switch'?
I think on balance looking back over the 15 years I did that (15 years during which the main tools were ported from DOS, to Win16 then to Win32 using both Pascal and C++) we did a damn good job.
Happy days but history now.
Many years ago I was a data recovery engineer. I was also responsible for writing and maintaining our data recovery tools. Every now and again the hardware engineers would whine about the time it was taking to image hard drives. Sometimes I'd offer sympathy and agree to investigate. It was a way to avoid real work since I could usually blame the network or the (NetWare) servers. Other times I'd just shrug it off and do something more important.
Anyway this one time the engineers were adamant things had suddenly taken a turn for the worse. So there was a department-wide investigation. The network was checked and found to be fine. The servers seemed okay as well. Eventually we gave up and forgot about it for a week or two. Then while I was investigating another problem I happened across the main I/O loop for our disk imager. And there I found a debug statement, left in while investigating our 'non-BIOS' disk reading. This was code that used ATA to talk directly to the disk. We needed that because sometimes the BIOS just couldn't handle the state the drive was in and occasionally we took in a drive so large that the BIOS couldn't access it all. Anyway this code could be a bit temperamental and it often came down to timing.
Hence the debug statement I'd inadvertently left in. The I/O loop read 64kiB of data then wrote it out. Then it waited 10ms before going round for more data. I toyed with the idea of pretending I'd discovered a hitherto unknown way to improve I/O but we were a friendly team so I 'fessed up. Sometimes it does you good to laugh even if it makes you look like a chump.
Browse mode: We're not goofing off on the Sidebar of Shame and online shopping sites, says UK's Ministry of Defence
While we're dissing Microsoft UIs can I also throw in a moan about focus stealing? Surely the one thing any GUI should do is respect which control the user is interacting with? Windows is a multi-tasking OS and if one application is a little tardy in responding we should be able to switch to another application and use that without the tardy application suddenly shoving itself in our face and demanding our attention.
Hands up anyone who hasn't accidentally typed half a password in plain text into an application that suddenly thrust itself in front of another application's log on dialog?
Oh and (a bit specialist this one) FFS guys. Trying to make Visual Studio start up quicker by deferring tasks is pointless. Yes, it renders immediately, but there's then damn' all you can do with it anyway. It will occasionally respond to a click or a key press and you think you're finally on your way only for it to stall as yet another 'startup' process wakes and blocks the UI thread. It is not clever, it is bloody irritating. It would be far better if it just displayed a 'Please wait, I'm initialising' dialog so that it at least I wouldn't keep having to try and do stuff on the off-chance it was finally ready.
Oh and it focus steals as well. It steals the focus only for you to discover that it's not even ready to respond. Sometimes it's so busy at startup that it steals the focus and then you can't get back to the application you were trying to use.
Forget tabs – the new war is commas versus spaces: Web heads urged by browser devs to embrace modern CSS
Re: "optional and reorderable"
I remember when left-clicking once on an edit box that didn't have the focus just focused it and moved the cursor. Double clicking selected all the text. These days single clicking selects everything and you have to click again to position the cursor where you want it.
And all these flat buttons - often without any indication of whether they are enabled or not.
And a lot of UI 'designers' apparently have no knowledge of what an accelerator key is nor what an accept or cancel key is.
The original rules made sense. Then arty-farty types decided they wanted to 'differentiate' their product and that it would be 'cool' to look different.
Re: 'ordered' by one of our Cisco routers
how the hell did it know its postal delivery address?
I assume that it was registered with Cisco by our corporate IT department when they installed it. All that then needs to happen is that it notifies Cisco HQ of the failure and their support systems look its serial number up in a database and arrange for the fan to be sent out to the registered address.
It's technically possible Cisco offers monitoring services that will raise the alarm. I just can't immediately find any specific service that includes ordering spare parts. So maybe it was our IT department sending it out but usually they came and visited us (anything to get out of London for the day, lol).
Edit: I have found this document.
"Devices equipped with Smart Call Home technology can be enabled to continuously monitor their own health. Once enabled, this feature can notify you of potential issues using a secure, personalized web portal that contains messages, detailed diagnostics, and recommendations. If a serious problem arises, Smart Call Home can automatically generate a service request with Cisco TAC that is routed to the right team for your particular problem"
It doesn't specifically mention sending out spare parts but it shows how they have the technology to know that 'Router 3 in Bucknell has a failed fan" from there to "Send a replacement out" isn't far :)
Had a similar issue with the first SSD I bought (think it was a Kingston unit though). After three months it would shutdown. After power cycling it would run for an hour then shut down again if I remember correctly. So I went to the manufacturer's website and discovered that a firmware fix had been made available the day before. Apparently some counter was rolling over and originally only had enough bits to count three months worth of hours.
On the Cisco front I remember a few years back when I was working as part of a small team in a small office. The office was actually a converted barn but because we were a satellite office of a large multi-national we had quite a decent server room. Still - for the most part we just got on with some programming and a bit of hardware poking and ignored anything what happened in the server room.
Then one day a small packet arrived. In itself not unusual - we often had personal stuff delivered and even occasionally work-related hardware gubbins. But on opening it we discovered a small fan. No-one knew anything about it. So we checked the paperwork that came with it and discovered that it had been 'ordered' by one of our Cisco routers. It turned out that one of its fans had failed and apparently instead of just letting itself get all hot and bothered (we'd never have noticed until it finally went into melt down) it ordered a replacement part. I have to admit to being somewhat impressed by that.
There are always two sides to every story – except this one, which is just a big billboard borked in all directions
Re: "even in these interesting times, artisanal dough prodding will endure"
Aye, plenty of bog roll but there weren't any eggs tonight (I didn't want any but noticed the shelf was empty). I can only assume everyone is spending their lock down baking cakes and/or bread. I do have enough wholemeal flour to make a couple of loaves but whilst you certainly can make wholemeal pizza base it detracts from the taste and it can be tricky to get the water content right.
On the plus side there was no queuing tonight and it was fairly empty so I was in and out in fifteen minutes.
Re: "even in these interesting times, artisanal dough prodding will endure"
Icon: need to bake soon, almost out of bread.
If you can find any bread flour. I've been having to buy store bread for the last month because it seems like suddenly every other bugger wants to bake their own bread. Rather unfortunately it was my last failed Tesco order that was going to replenish my own stocks so I was caught on the hop.
After this last weekend I'll now have to buy store pizzas as well. I wonder if they've finally worked out how to mass produce pizzas whose bases don't immediately turn into dry cardboard when cooked?
Re: Confusing for those that dont .NET
Did you miss the bit when I said it hadn't been released yet? I mean, sure, we could ship it (hopefully this year) still targeting .NET 4.5 but it's hardly an auspicious beginning for an application suite with an expected life time of a decade. It also doesn't help our team if we prevent them using new technology while working on new developments. Would you be happy to work on a new project that was targeting .NET 4.5 as part of a team where no-one had any practical knowledge of Core?
The project is still under development so we want to be using the latest tools and latest framework. We also want our team members to be up to date with developments so that we remain competitive and retain staff.
Our existing applications, sure, they pretty much stay where they are although we had to upgrade them to .NET 4.7 in order to get TLS1.2.
Re: At its best, it is like magic
Yup, I call it implicit code (or sometimes automagical). It can save a huge amount of time and effort but one day when you least expect it your magical black box stops working and then good luck trying to fix it. Maybe you get an arcane error message but mostly you just have to hope someone else has encountered the problem and has a fix. Failing that you can only hack around in the hope of stumbling onto the magic incantation that gets it all working again.
Re: Confusing for those that dont .NET
.NET Core (which is now just .NET) is the way to go for all new developments
It must be nice to work somewhere that you only have to think about new developments. During the lifetime of our current project (not yet released after three years) there have been two significant changes to .NET and we've had to port our solutions twice in order to stay current - we've still yet to move some projects over to .NET Core. I've been developing for .NET for nearly 15 years now and it seems to get more confusing every year.
Not just the number of framework versions that you have to understand (and the various bodges needed over the years - remember the BCL bodge for async/await?) but also the different ways that the tools work (references are handled differently for .NET Core). How many iterations of Nuget package managing has VS gone through now? Is it four, five?
If .NET Core hangs around long enough it will start to simplify things but those of us with several years of projects to support are going to have to keep struggling through the confusion. I don't say it's a huge problem but trying to pretend that it isn't a problem is hiding an uncomfortable truth.
Re: Cables with labels on
Much like comments in source code. That's why I prefer to use good identifier naming to indicate what the code is doing. The compiler doesn't care about comments so won't ever alert you if they become out of date. Plus in my experience most programmers don't read comments anyway.
Sadly I don't think there's any equivalent for wiring.
BepiColombo probe swings by Earth on way to Mercury – the Solar System's must-visit coronavirus-free resort
“[The] eclipse phase was the most delicate part of the flyby, with the spacecraft passing through the shadow of our planet and not receiving any direct sunlight for the first time after launch,” said Elsa Montagnon, ESA's BepiColombo Spacecraft Operations Manager.
Good news! The probe will soon be receiving a great deal of sunlight on its panels :)
It also sends a useful message to these scum: Don't bother attacking us again - you're just wasting your time and risking your freedom for nothing.
If everyone did that in such situations (and including kidnappings) the crimes would be far less common. Every time someone gives in to extortion they propagate the evil practice.