* Posts by PaulM 1

78 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Aug 2009


Ghost in the DCL shell: OpenVMS, touted as ultra reliable, had a local root hole for 30 years

PaulM 1

I knew about systest when I was a vax manager in 1985

I changed the passwords on the three standard accounts in 1985:




It always struck me that SYSTEST was the account most likely to have the original password.

Wileyfox goes TITSUP*: Smartmobe maker calls in the administrators

PaulM 1

Re: A pity

> Nokia are pretty good, but my Nokia 6 is still on the December's security patch.

> They're generally about 2-3 months behind. Better than most though.

My Nokia 8 has Android version 8.0.0 and Security Patch level 1 January 2018. It is always up to date. The interesting thing is that the low end £79 Nokia 3 is also kept up to date also and also runs Oreo. This proves that other manufacturer's claims that old phones are too low spec to run Oreo are untrue.

US nuke arsenal runs on 1970s IBM 'puter waving 8-inch floppies

PaulM 1

Re: It costs more to write new software than to maintain old hardware

The VAX applications that I mentioned used VAX RS232C interfaces. The well supported VAX simulator bought from HP perfectly simulates VAX RS232C interfaces and so there were no glitches when the old VAX software was run. The only downside was the cost. I think that both companies paid about £50,000 for two HP PCs running VAX emulation software. HP owns the remnants of DEC and so HP employs many ex-DEC programmers who could be expected to write a perfect VAX simulator.

PaulM 1

It costs more to write new software than to maintain old hardware

Mission critical software developers only write around 6 lines of working code each day. It is usually cheaper to spend £50,000 a Year on maintaining an ancient mainframe than writing a million lines of new code.

An important consideration is that legacy software will usually work just as effectively on a simulation of an old computer as on the computer itself. Many legacy computers can be simulated on a PC and will run faster than they did on the original hardware. I know of two different companies who have replaced a Vax minicomputer by a HP supported Vax simulator for a PC.

Many people run Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Atari St and console games on their PCs with no problem.

Is China dumping smartphones on world+dog?

PaulM 1

Re: How much?

This would not be such a problem if they were Android One compatible phones running standard software builds supported by Google. As it is many of them run old insecure versions of Android and some come pre-loaded with malware. I am glad that I have a Nexus 5 running Marshmallow.

Screw YOU, Apple – Netflix teases world+dog with its own 'coming soon' SMARTWATCH

PaulM 1

Re: The LG 20 is the best wearable smart phone

Here is a link to a £1.99 wrist strap for the LG 20 smart watch:


PaulM 1

Re: The LG 20 is the best wearable smart phone

Anyone caring to put my crazy idea to the test can now buy an LG 20 as a Pay As You Go upgrade for £0.99 from Carphonewarehouse.com. If you have an old PAYG SIM from one of the main networks hanging around that you have used to make a phone call in the last 3 months then you probably qualify for a 99p LG 20 with free courier delivery. To get to the Carphonewarehouse upgrades page, hover your mouse over "UPGRADES" and then click on "Pay as you go all phones".

PaulM 1

The LG 20 is the best wearable smart phone

The £20 LG 20 has a 3 inch display and is nearly square in shape and so is probably the best smart phone to wear on your wrist:


Does anyone know of a smaller android phone that I could buy instead to put on my wrist?

'Camera-shy' Raspberry Pi 2 suffers strange 'XENON DEATH FLASH' glitch

PaulM 1

Re: Bizarre, but in the interests of science...

Surrey satellites told me that they sometimes use lead plates in front of and behind commercial grade microprocessors as an alternative to buying space certified micros costing a hundred times as much. Perhaps you could run your Raspberry Pi 2 in a lead box when you take it to the ISS.

Microsoft just saved Windows Phone... Now stop whining

PaulM 1
Thumb Up

Windows Phone 8.1 is not a complete failure

I have a Lumia 630 which cost me £49.95 which has a nice IPS LCD screen and a £14.95 Lumia 530 which has a lousy TFT LCD screen. Although there are not as many Apps as there are for Android I like the unique Windows Phone apps. I carry both a Lumia 630 and a Huawei Y550 around with me so I have access to all of the Android apps anyway. The most interesting thing about Windows Phone apps is Microsoft's willingness to allow free ported Gameboy Advance games into their library. I have installed dozens of free Gameboy Advance games onto my Lumia 630. I like the fact that I can install apps directly onto my Lumia 630's MicroSDHC card. I also like the integration of Windows Phone into iTunes. I can download all of my latest PC iTunes video podcasts onto my Lumia 630 by pressing just one button. The Lumia 630 HERE Drive+ app works offline which is a help when I am driving about in rural areas with no phone signal.

It's 4K-ing big right now, but it's NOT going to save TV

PaulM 1

4K monitors do not need to be bigger than 32 inches in size

My son has a 26 inch 4K monitor which he used with his PC for software development, playing games and watching Youtube clips. He gets the full 4K effect because he sits two foot away from it None of my family really ever watch our 720p 22 inch TV and so we will never buy a 47 inch 4K monster.

Nokia's N1 fondleslab's HIDDEN BRILLIANCE: The 'Z Launcher'

PaulM 1

Will Nokia be properly supporting the N1 tablet?

My question is whether the N1 runs stock Android which is guaranteed to be kept up to date by Google? If not then I am concerned that the N1 will not be updated to Android M (Mars Bar?) next Year.

The Great Smartphone Massacre: Android bloodbath gathers pace

PaulM 1

I want an upgradable OS and more than 4 Gb of flash on a bargain Android phone

I have seen lots of cheap Android smartphones around. Unfortunately many of them are running old insecure versions of Android and because the manufacturers have written their own UIs they can never be upgraded to the latest version of Android. Also if you have a phone with only 4Gb of on phone flash then you can never install more than around 10 apps at the same time on the phone. It is unfortunate that you can no longer move apps to the microSDHC card as you could in the days of Android 2.2. I recently bought a Lumia 630 to try out Windows 8.1 and was pleased to find that you can install apps onto your microSDHC card. I currently have around 60 apps on my Lumia. Google take note you would sell more apps if people could install them on a microSDHC card.

Watch out, Samsung and Apple: Xiaomi's No 3 in smartphones now

PaulM 1

I will only buy a stock Android phone

Xiaomi make the same mistake as does Huawei and all of the other Chinese mobile phone companies who have managed to enter the Western phone market. They customize the Android user interface to "differentiate themselves from other suppliers". The problem with this is that this means that they do not keep the copy of Android in their mobile phones up to date. I am on the market for an Indian manufactured Android one phone that is kept up to date by Google themselves.

Windows XP refresh will DO NOTHING for lame PC market next year

PaulM 1

A major driving force behind the sale of PCs is for use as gaming machines

People with $1000 to spare are buying modern gaming PCs because they realize that so called next gen consoles are slower than even 2010 vintage high end PCs. The XBOX ONE can in theory run games in 1080p but because of limited video RAM most games are limited to 780p and 30 frames per second. I predict that the sale of gaming PCs will accelerate when the price of a Haswell i7 system with three high end graphics cards capable of running games at 4K resolution and 60fps falls below their current $6000 cost. http://www.cnet.com/uk/products/origin-pc-millennium-2014/

Was Nokia's Elop history's worst CEO?

PaulM 1

Do not write off the low-cost Series 40 featurephone platform

S40 feature phones do a better job of making voice calls than any smartphone. They also have a standby time of up to 30 days which is useful when you do not have access to a charger (for example when camping). The S40 range is making Microsoft huge profits. Unfortunately a company which is focused on writing incredibly complicated software may not value the S40 range.

Microsoft buys Minecraft for $2.5bn. Notch: I'm getting the block outta here

PaulM 1

Its time for Notch to write a new game

I cant imagine Minecraft ever getting better. Minecraft reminds me of the greatest game of 1989 Populous. Populous went through 3 iterations and then it was time for Peter Molyneux to move on and write the completely new game Fable. Presumably Notch is planning to do something new soon and so he may as well do it out of the company (with money in his pocket) as within.

Amazon axes hated Fire Phone price: 99 pennies but a niche? Ain't none

PaulM 1

Keeping up with the Joneses

Do you ever wonder how much other people's possessions are worth but are frustrated that you do not have the technology to find out? Do not worry, The Amazon Fire Phone includes a feature called firefly. What you do is take a photograph of each your neighbor's possessions. The phone then identifies the possession and automatically adds it to your Amazon cart. It has never been so easy to keep up with the Joneses.

Hey hipsters: Tabs are so last year, fat phones are where it's at

PaulM 1

Putting a tablet to your ear is not cool

Any phone bigger that 5 inches in size looks ridiculous against your ear. What you need is a sub-5 inch phone and a tablet. If you want to go on the internet outside the range of wi-fi then you can tether your tablet from your phone.

Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015

PaulM 1

Apple fanbois will buy anything with an Apple logo on it

Jimmy Kimmel put an Apple sticker on the back of a $20 Casio watch and Apple fanbois said that they thought it was great:


The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?

PaulM 1

Re: Microsoft will hijack Steam Boxes just like they hijacked netbooks

"You linux fanboys are hilarious"

The only Linux programming that I have done has been for embedded Linux systems. My desktop PC and my Netbook are Windows systems. To me the value of desktop Linux is to stop Microsoft becoming too controlling and greedy. I have a Windows 7 Netbook and I am grateful to Linux for forcing Microsoft to cut the cost of Windows 7 on my Netbook from $100 to $10.

PaulM 1

Microsoft will hijack Steam Boxes just like they hijacked netbooks

I have noticed that Steam Box suppliers such as Alienware have been shipping PCs originally designed to be Steam Boxes with Windows 8. I suspect that Microsoft will charge next to nothing for Windows 8 on Steam Boxes. Gamers will then have a choice between running 100% of their Steam games under Windows 8 on their Steam Box or only 25% under Steam OS. This is what happened with the Netbook where Linux was killed off by Microsoft offering Windows 7 virtually for free on Netbooks. Windows 8 Steam Boxes are not completely bad news for people wanting cheap games. A steam game can cost 90% less running under Windows 8 than it does running on an Xbox One.

Giving your old Tesco Hudl to Auntie June? READ THIS FIRST

PaulM 1

Its not difficult to wipe 99% of the data from a device

The best way to wipe an Android device is to do a factory reset, completely fill the device with music or video podcast files and then do another factory reset. There may be fragments of old directory information left left but the majority of the data will be gone. This works because each location in flash memory can only contain data from one file and so when a device is full then to all intents and purposes the old data has gone.

Sony reads the future, quits e-reader market says German report

PaulM 1

Sony eReaders display technical PDFs better than any other eReader

I bought a SONY eReader from my local Tesco supermarket 18 months ago. It was discounted because sales were poor. I bought it because I had read that it displayed the A4 pages in technical PDFs better than the Kindle. Diagrams are not distorted and each half A4 page of text can be read clearly in landscape mode.

If you have another eReader then please tell me if it successfully displays the following free tutorial about TCP/IP:


Home-grown Xiaomi crushes Samsung in world's biggest market

PaulM 1

Buy a phone that runs standard Android

I will not be buying an Xiaomi phone because they have a custom User Interface (MIUI). I will stick with my Nexus 5. The problem is that when a manufacturer branches from the standard Android software build to produce a custom UI then this makes it unlikely that the phone will receive Android security updates. My tip for buyers is to buy a Nexus phone or one of the new Google One standard phones because they run standard Android. Samsung, HTC, Huawei and Xiaomi all think that customizing their UI helps to differentiate their phones in the market place and so improves sales. It does not.

Elite Systems promises to order ZX Spectrum revival in two weeks

PaulM 1

Re: Alternatively

Old games are often very well suited to portable hardware such as mobile phones and the PSP. The games I most like to play on my PSP are those on the Activision Hits Remixed UMD. Playing games like River Raid and Pitfall 2 is much more enjoyable than playing COD Ghosts.

PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users

PaulM 1

No need to upgrade your hardware if you buy a Nexus 7

I also have a (2013) Nexus 7. It is well supported by Google. I am already running Android 4.4.4, which not many other tablets or phones are running. I understand that my Nexus 7 will get all of the security updates that I need for the next 4 years or so. My Nexus 7 will run any current game well. I imagine that there will be games that my Nexus 7 will not run well within 2 years time but I will delay upgrading my Nexus 7 until it no longer supports the current version of Android.

Apple and Samsung UNDER THREAT from local brands – study

PaulM 1

Re: I am very satisfied with my Huawei Y300 phone

I bought an unlocked Y300 phone as an upgrade from Carphone Warehouse. It is normally £59 but has twice been reduced to £39. To qualify for the upgrade I bought a Pay As You Go Virgin SIM for an old candy bar phone which I topped up up by £10 every 6 months. Virgin may not be the best network to use for upgrades at Carphone Warehouse because it is not usable in all upgrades. I recommend O2, Vodafone or Orange PAYG SIMS for Carphone upgrades. I think that the best Android upgrade deal at this moment might be £79 unlocked Moto Es from phones4U.

PaulM 1

I am very satisfied with my Huawei Y300 phone

This only cost me £39 and seems as fast as a mid-range Samsung phone costing four times as much. It also runs standard Android rather than the annoying Samsung touch-wiz interface,

Apple stops caring about Samsung kit everyone else stopped caring about years ago

PaulM 1

iPhones are boring

About 2 years ago I walked into my local Tesco store and to my surprise saw a large display of old black small Samsung phones. I then looked more closely and realized that these phones were new iPhone 5s. IPhone 5s look really dated.

X marks the chop: Microsoft takes axe to Nokia's Android venture

PaulM 1

I like smart phones, but the real purpose of a phone is to make voice calls

Microsoft should not be stopping the production of S40 phones because smart phones are unusable for making voice calls because of their very low battery life. I have recently bought three Nokia 105 feature phones, which have a one month battery life, to guarantee that my family can still phone home even when they have been camping for two weeks. I generally use an Asha 205 as my main phone because I only need to charge it every few days. Also I can answer more quickly by pressing the green button on my Asha 205 than by using a swipe. I do sometimes use my Android HTC CHA CHA as a talk phone because it has a green button but still find I miss more calls than I would on my S40 phones.

Say goodbye to landfill Android: Top 10 cheap 'n' cheerful smartphones

PaulM 1

Only buy stock Android phones

Sadly all of these Android phones with the exception of the Moto E are destined for landfill long before they break. The reason is that because they run customized versions of Android they generally only ever support one version of Android. They can not therefore benefit from Google Security fixes such as the many that were introduced with Android 4.4 Kit Kat. I have a Nexus 5 phone and a Nexus 7 tablet which means that they will be supported by Google for at least 4 Years. The thing to look for over the next Year if you can not afford a Nexus phone is a Google One certified phone. In a Years time an Indian designed and manufactured Google One phone with stock Android will be a better investment than the Galaxy 6 or whatever Samsung is trying to sell you then.

Korea’s third biggest phone maker faces $180m OBLITERATION

PaulM 1

Pantech seems to only sell low end Android phones. I can how the Google One standard Indian Android phones will wipe out these phones. People are prepared to pay for all of the fancy features of a high end none upgradable Samsung phone. What people do not want is an unremarkable Android phone which can not be updated to the latest version of Android.

Android is a BURNING 'hellstew' of malware, cackles Apple's Cook

PaulM 1

Buy a Nexus phone to get security updates

This is very true. However, the answer is to buy a Nexus 5 phone for £280 or Nexus 7 tablet for £190. Nexus devices are guaranteed to get all Android security updates. The new Google Silver branding program will overcome this issue. Phones will only receive Google Silver certification if they run standard Android.

Dixons and Carphone Warehouse confirm £3.7bn merger

PaulM 1

What about phones4u?

Presumably the phones4u franchises will now be closed in all the Currys/PC World stores.

@AceRimmer. I actually think that Carphone Warehouse and phones4u are briliant. They are the only stores that sell unlocked phones and they give you a £20 discount on every phone if you upgrade from an existing PAYG SIM. I have six 99p candy bar phones with Virgin PAYG SIMs in them that I top up once every 6 months so that I can always take advantage of Carphone Warehouse and phones4u upgrade offers. I bought two Huawei Y300s for only £39 each that way.

Intel sees 'signs of improvement in the PC business' but earnings remain 'Meh...'

PaulM 1

Re: PCs are much faster than they were 3 years ago

I think that everyone in a work environment deserves a new PC. If I can run software tests in 10 minutes instead of 40 minutes then it makes sense to buy me a £200 i3 PC to do my job. An important question to ask is "what would the PC on my desk cost on eBay". If the answer is £40 then your company think that you are only worth £40.

So far as games are concerned the Xbox One and PS4 were built using standard low end PC components. If you want to to run the latest games at a decent resolution then you need a £600 i5 gaming PC. Many PCs (such as my £200 i3 work PC) will run games better than the Xbox One if you buy something like a £280 Nvdia GTX760 graphics card for it.

PaulM 1

PCs are much faster than they were 3 years ago

Intel's marketting have totally failed to explain to the person in the street how much the performance of PCs has improved over the last 3 years. 2 years ago I started a new job and was routinely given the cheapest PC money could buy to do my work. What I was given was a HP Sandy Bridge i3 PC costing about £300. All my colleagues who had similarily bottom of the range Dell Pentium 4 PCs were shocked to discover that the software tests that we were running ran 4 tmes as fast on my PC. No one (not even the IT department) appreciated that a dual core i3 processor was much faster than the single core Pentium 4 processors that they were running. Also the Sandy bridge interface to DDR3 memory on the i3 performed memory reads and writes much quicker than memory reads and writes on the ageing Pentium 4 PCs in the office. The fact that my i3 PC had a SATA disk interface also helped.

The problem with thinking that tablets have replaced PCs is that the processors in tablets are roughly equivalent to 10 year old Intel Pentium 3 processors. Tablets run angry birds really well but will not run a serious PC app such as Battlefield 4.

Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS

PaulM 1

Re: What everyone needs is a £280 Nexus 5

The Nexus 5's camera is very good. I was recommended an SONY Xperia SP when looking for a cheaper Android phone with a good camera. I was told that like the Nexus 5, the Xperia SP includes a quality SONY camera mechanism. I do not know personally if the Xperia SP has a good camera. What I do like about the Nexus 5's camera is that you can take a photo at sunset and on phone processing makes it look like the photo was taken at midday.

PaulM 1

Re: What everyone needs is a £280 Nexus 5

The £99 Moto-G is great but the £99 model only has 8 Gb of on phone flash memory, which can not be expanded. Also the Moto-G camera does not get good reviews. From what I can see, you need to pay at least £180 for an Android phone with an 8 megapixel camera (Sony Xperia SP).

PaulM 1

What everyone needs is a £280 Nexus 5

I have previously used Samsung phones with their annoying touchwiz interface. When I upgraded to a Nexus 5 running Android Kitkat I was surprised how well thought out the true Android Kit Kat experience was. The camera, together with the camera software is fabulous. My Nexus 5 has a very long battery life. The Nexus 5 is so much better than an old style small iPhone and is also half the price.

NASA quandary: Should Curiosity channel Fast and Furious for Martian dune-buggy jump?

PaulM 1

Re: Depth of field

The blurry hill behind the outcrop is Mount Sharp/Aolis Mons which is Curiosity's eventual destination and is still about 5 km away. Presumably it is blurry because Curiosity's camera was focussed on a point about 5m away. One thing to remember is that distant views on Mars can be blurry even when the camera is focussed on infinity because of dust in the atmosphere.

PS: If you want proof that Curiosity has crossed the Dingo Gap dune on Mars/Arizona, here it is:


PaulM 1

Re: It looks like curiosity is already over the crest of the dune

Here is a panorama of the lovely strata to the left of dingo gap. Notice that is you do no processing at all of Curiosity photos then the sky is blue. Perhaps Mars photos are realy taken in Arizona after all. The conglomerate and sandstone beds in this view certainly look very Earth like.


PaulM 1

Re: It looks like curiosity is already over the crest of the dune


"The Sol 533 toe dip went well, leaving the rover's front wheels on the crest of the dune. The Sol 534 plan was to drive over dune into Dingo Gap, but late in the day it was cancelled. The Rover Drivers had some concerns about the terrain and it was decided that delay the drive to Sol 535 in order to give them more time to plan the drive."

PaulM 1

It looks like curiosity is already over the crest of the dune

The best place to look for information is unmannedspaceflight.com.


Bottom falls out of Nokia's network rump

PaulM 1

Nokia Hardware Is Very Good

Nokia produce good hardware. The battery life of Nokia S40 feature phones is is much better than most iPhones and Android phones. I carry a Nokia S40 feature phone along with my smart phone so that I can allways guarantee that I can make a phone call. That is after all what phones are for. Also Nokia phones have superior antennas to many other phones and so can often communicate in remote areas that others can not. My hope is that Nokia Windows phones will combine the best of both worlds: good hardware and good software.

Thought sales were in the toilet before? Behold the agony: 2013 was a PC market BLOODBATH

PaulM 1

Re: What's the point of upgrading

Intel has done a very bad job of explaining how PC performance has increased dramatically in the last few Years. I started working in a new job a Year ago and was given a brand new bottom of the range HP PC. My existing colleagues already had 4 year old bottom of the range Dell PCs. Everyone was shocked when tests that took 25 minutes to run on their PCs took only 5 minutes to run on my PC. Intel has simply not explained to people who buy PCs that in an I/O intensive task a sandy bridge i3 PC with a SATA disk drive has 5 times the performance of a Pentium 4 with an IDE disk drive. If the 64 bit copy of Windows 7 that had originally been installed on the new PC had not been downgraded to 32 bit Windows XP then the PC would have been even faster. Intel please pay for some TV ads explaining how amazing a Haswell i5 and i7 is.

Valve uncloaks prototype Steam Machine console specs

PaulM 1

Re: It's a PC

When my family play games we play Steam games on PCs. The huge advantage that PCs have over consoles is that recent PC games can cost as little as £2 in steam sales whilst the cost of next gen console games will take many years to fall below £50. For example you can buy Bioshock Infinite for £11.89 in this weekend's Steam sale.

If £11.89 is too much for a game then try www.humblebundle.com, where I bought 9 top EA games including Battlefield 3 and Dead Space 3 on Origin 3 weeks ago for $5. There are 1 or 2 new humble bundles each week and and the 5 oldest games in each of these bundles can be got for $1.

I have bought 15 Humble Bundle Windows steam games which would work in the Steam Box under Linux. These games cost me a total of $10 and include popular Indie games such as Fez.

Chips in spaaaaace: old tech is in

PaulM 1

Re: Intel is therefore arguably irrelevant

Intel do not sell any 8051s of their own any more. What I was talking about was 8051 compatible microcontrollers from companies such as Siemens.