* Posts by RachelG

77 posts • joined 2 Sep 2009


COBOL-coding volunteers sought as slammed mainframes slow New Jersey's coronavirus response


COBOL coders came out of retirement to help fix the y2k bug.

That (the work done) was more than twenty years ago. They came out of retirement to do it twenty years ago. A lot of them probably just aren't around any more.

Technical debt always comes due, but it can be paid in installments. Maybe "if it ain't broke don't fix it" isn't such a great idea after all.

Built to last: Time to dispose of the disposable, unrepairable brick


I think Apple are the only ones still making laptops with 16:10 screens, and having both (Dell XPS13 and (latest) Macbook Air), I can confirm it Makes A Difference.

Still with the butterfly keyboards though. Nothing gets everything right.

Bada Bing, bada bork: Windows 10 is not happy, and Microsoft's search engine has something to do with it


had this today and thought it was just me. Had absolutely no idea Bing was involved in what I thought was a local-system search.

Just when i was starting to think windows was almost ready for the desktop ;-) back to mac i go...

Cheapskate Brits appear to love their Poundland MVNOs as UK's big four snubbed in survey again


Good thing about GiffGaff: Very easy/low commitment to give it a try.

Even better: When you do, you find out very quickly that the bandwidth available to data is absolutely appalling. IIRC less than a tenth of what I get through Three at the same location/time.

So, you don't waste a lot of time and commitment finding that out. Although you will be spammed for some time afterwards with offers for that hour or so of experimentation.

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


Re: Can we please edit the press release or flag as advertorial?

What "we" may have here is a failure to communicate. :-) "We" in this sense is a common figure of speech - possibly not everywhere - and not necessarily an unedited press release.

But yeah, it's useless without a price.

Microsoft: New icons, new drivers, AI! Everything is awesome!



Wait, isn’t that Apple’s unique brand of evil? (You’d think, from the comments under those articles)

Joke alert, because I can’t select the comment icon on the reg mobile site ;-) (Also can’t post emojis it turns out)

Microsoft slips ads into Windows 10 Mail client – then U-turns so hard, it warps fabric of reality


Re: Got Linux?

Yep, Thunderbird works fine for me on both. Oh, and Windows too. ;-)

Upgraders rejoice! The 2018 Mac Mini heralds a return to memory slots!


Re: I really don't care that much about upgradability....

time machine backup will be completely adequate for that, and it doesn't even have to be a *fast* external drive for that.

and that would be the main answer to whether to make RAM or SSD internally upgradable: There are plenty of options for external storage, from your basic USB attached drive to a 10Gb USB-C gen2 drive or a thunderbolt3 raid array.

But you can't do that with RAM. It has to be on the main board. So making *that* upgradable is the one that really matters, if it must be one or the other.

I do think they could have put in a M.2 socket for an NVMe card. But i can't bring myself to care all that much.

Counterpoint: My XPS 13 came with a 500GB SSD. It's split into two partitions, for Windows and Linux. Both of them are still well under half full. If/when I do buy one of these Mac Minis it's likely to be with the 256GB SSD option and that's only because I think I *might* be running VMWare Fusion on it one day.

You need to be editing 4K video in quantity to start really needing huge amounts of *really fast* storage. And in that case you'll probably want something external anyway.


it looks like the space was used instead for cooling. That "hulking great fan". That seems to be the other reason for sticking with this form-factor as opposed to going smaller (the other being easy swap-in-ability when replacing previous models in datacentres and other tight spaces). I'm hoping for a machine with the highest cpu option that won't be throttled back to oblivion if you actually ask it to do some work for more than a few seconds at a time. It's looking hopeful, but hoping for a bit more corroboration than one reviewer's informal ffmpeg test. Almost ready to fork out. It looks like the Mac I've wanted for some time.

Apple WWDC: There's no way iOS and macOS will fully merge as one


Nature "documentary"

The narrator was Stephen Fry wasn't it?

Does my boom look big in this? New universe measurements bewilder boffins


It's getting faster quicker. Big Rip is on its way.

I'm sure this is Brexit's fault.

*Wakes up in Chrome's post-adblockalyptic landscape* Wow, hardly anything's changed!


yes i don't expect i'll be uninstalling ublock origin in honour of this... (even if i was on chrome and not firefox at the moment ;-))

The eagle has been grounded: Dutch anti-drone squadron retired


"For now though, it would seem that, contrary to the teachings of the novels of JRR Tolkien, there are some tight spots that not even eagles can get you out of."

The eagles were fighting their own war! ;-)

Intel stuffs extra cores into latest mobile Series U Core i5 and i7 chips


That would be good. My Haswell (OK, 2013) desktop is still the fastest computer I have, and I don't want to buy any more desktops. But a laptop that can even match it and still be reasonably carryable would be awfully nice for the next company hardware refresh ;-)

Software dev bombshell: Programmers who use spaces earn MORE than those who use tabs


What about spaces *and* tabs?

Yes, there *is* such an indenting style. Java Style Guide used to mandate this in ye olden days, not any more: tabstops set to 8, but indent by four. So one indent is four spaces, two indents is tab, three indents is tab, four spaces, four indents is two tabs, etc.

No, I don't use it, not now I have a choice. I have nothing but hate for it. Most editors can't even support it for both viewing and typing. But some nutters seem to actually prefer it.

Me? Used to be all-tabs, now all-spaces, but it doesn't seem to have much impacted my salary.

She cannae take it, Captain Kirk! USS Zumwalt breaks down


It's crying out in pain because Zumwalt is no kind of name for a self-respecting ship.

'Leave EU means...' WHAT?! Britons ask Google after results declared


Re: Seriously...

I'm sure Gove has a plan to fix that. ;-)

Adblock wins in court again – this time against German newspaper


ironically acceptable ads will probably kill adblock

did for me anyway, for whatever anecdata's worth. I was so persistently annoyed by the Taboola ads still turning up that I chucked Adblock Plus ages ago in favour of uBlock Origin.

The Nano-NAS market is now a femto-flop being eaten by the cloud


and it always ends up making more sense to just make, or even repurpose, a linux server and choose a case that has the number of bays you need.

AdBlock Plus, websites draft peace deal so ads can bypass blockade


Adblock plus was already letting through too many ads provoking me to switch to uBlock Origin a while back. Oh god that was a bit of a hipster thing to say. Sorry. True though

LogMeIn adds emergency break-in feature to LastPass


Re: AgileBits

@JimmyPage then what's the difference between [1Password] and LastPass?

Well the one that clinched it for me was not having the vault stored on their servers. So removing the "emergency access" questions above (although also not having that feature of course). I'd ideally have it in my owncloud but make do with it in dropbox for the sake of syncing to my iOS devices.

No Linux support in 1Password. I use macs now but this is one reason I've lost being able to say I stick to platform-agnostic software. (The other being Ulysses.)

Doctor Who: The Hybrid finally reveals itself in the epic Heaven Sent


There have been little moments when he's sounded just like Tom baker right from his first episode. I'm certain it's not accidental. He, personally, is such a lifelong fan of Doctor who, and skilled enough as an actor, that it couldn't possibly be accidental

Chips can kill: Official


Re: What about that 'High Fructose Corn Syrup' then?

Adopting a preference for savory foods is a much better long term plan.

Dunno; for a point of anecdata, I've never had much of a sweet tooth, and reckon I got fat on rice, potatoes, and bread. Starchy carbs basically.


Re: What about that 'High Fructose Corn Syrup' then?

Actually I think there's been recent research showing it might be the artificial sweeteners contributing to T2 diabetes in obese people. After all (and speaking from experience) obese people *do* make continual efforts to lose weight, and one of those efforts is to use stuff with artificial sweeteners.

Nothing about any *specific* low-calorie artificial sweetener; rather the general effect of consuming something which your body is initially fooled into thinking is sugar, triggering a release of insulin to process said sugar - which never arrives in the gut. And then we wonder why our blood-sugar regulation goes on the blink...

If you want something sweet, probably best to have something with normal cane sugar in it, or honey or somesuch. Just not too often.

Multiple fondling on the MIGHTY 12-INCH iOS 9 SLAB — so, so close now


Funny how the multi-user aspect is mentioned as an afterthought (everywhere) but imho is the bigger deal.

Force your hand: Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display


Re: Looks ok but...

Keyboard is backlit

Bite my shiny metal Ask: Java for OS X crapware storm brewing


am a Java Dev, albeit mainly server-side. But this pisses me off so much. I mean, client-side Java has *enough* problems with end-user acceptance already, much of it ill-informed (say as valid as refusing to use Windows now because of my experience with Windows ME) but nevertheless there, without *this* too. It's really, really unhelpful. I can't believe (especially after the Lenovo debacle) that they really get enough from it to be worth the reputational damage. No-one, but no-one wants the bloody ask toolbar!

I think if I was to be trying to develop something for the desktop now I'd be looking at the Packager stuff, to just create it as a standalone app, that bundles a minimal JRE for its own use, work hard at seamless OS integration, and really just quietly not bother the user with even the knowledge that it's Java. But if you're going to do that you're probably better off going native anyway.

BTW if you install the JDK rather than the JRE from Java.com, no ask toolbar. And there's a setting in the Java control panel to turn off future prompts to install ask, but it's really not good enough. They reserve the worst experience for the poor bloody end user.

Just WHY is the FBI so sure North Korea hacked Sony? NSA: *BLUSH*


We know they lie

We're just finally at the point in the "cry wolf" story when the villagers don't believe it when there might actually be a wolf.

I don't suppose they'll get the aesop though.

Google+ architect: What was so great about Reader anyway?

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The fact that it was *just* an rss reader, without all sorts of irrelvant social media crap, and can be used seamlessly across many devices.

Trying to get used to Feedly for the last 24 hours. It's so... bloody... annoying...

But I think we're reminded of the saying: If something's free, you're not the customer. You're the product.

Review: The ultimate Chromebook challenge


Re: Multiple accounts?

Haven't used this latest version of chromeos, though i doubt it's worse. In the original, when you turn on, or log out, you find yourself at a login screen where you use your google login. So switching is a matter of logging out, then logging into the other. I expect current chromeos would be the same, but don't actually know that.

Which means having both active on the screen at the same time probably isn't going to work.

Latest exoplanet discovery is a virtual CLONE of Earth


well the first thing is to point a radio telescope at it, surely?

Review: Apple Mac Mini 2012


agree, as a multiple-mac user myself; the mac mini under my tv is running linux, but only because it's spare and capable. i wouldn't be buying a new one just to be a media player.

Although I did once, running Plex; but I was feeling richer than I was in reality, and it didn't work out (aforementioned HD3000 bug wrt 23.976Hz) so that machine ended up on different work anyway, and I a little wiser. :-}


Re: If you want cheap

any old thing these days can do 1080p, including raspberry pi; the difficulties is in dealing well with interlaced material. Ideally you want temporal/spatial deinterlacing, for which the gt520 is needed. The 320m in my mac mini can't do it, only getting as far as vdpau-bob (although to my eyes there's not enough difference to be worth the extra outlay).

Needed if you watch a lot of BBC HD output through it. :-)


Re: Urrr, no

you're right; i'm off-by-one on the year. This one I have is a 2010 mac mini *server* originally, so didn't have the optical drive slot and is, thus, identical in appearance to the current models. :-)


the 2009 mac mini (which looks identical) has an nvidia GT320M on it and as such runs XBMC on Linux through HDMI just perfectly; although thanks to their odd EFI implementation it's a bit of a fight getting the initial linux installer to boot.

Buying a media player outright now, I'd rather get a Zotac ID80, with an onboard GT520 - rubbish for gaming apparently, but therefore cheap and perfect for media-playing. Even if cost isn't an issue, these Intel HDx000 integrated GPUs seem to have been a bit of a disaster for media-player-type use. The HD3000 models couldn't even lock to 23.976Hz for movies; I don't know if they finally fixed that for HD4000, but shipping with this HDMI bug doesn't give confidence that they're paying attention to that use-case.

I think the current crop of mac minis are great, but not as media players. They're fine desktop machines if you want to choose your own monitor, and great little servers.

Half of us have old phones STUFFED in our drawers


the two old iphones i have in a drawer are dead, nonfunctional, in different ways that have resisted repair. (one was dropped on a slate floor; computer still works but screen is dead. the other had a dead mute switch which i tried to treat by jailbreaking (to replace it with a software switch) but ended up bricking it.

would they be interested in those?

Nvidia heralds Steam for Linux debut with 'double-speed' drivers


not a gamer - but i always presumed the game-players fps figures were with respect to a benchmark example gameplay of some sort; and thus that if it could play *that* at X hundreds of fps, it could play newer stuff with far more detail at the monitor's actual refresh rate with ease.

Is that actually so, or am I making the fallacy of assuming a logical explanation when it's probably as arbitrary and variable a unit as women's dress sizes?

Seagate: Our tech will be better than WD's helium-filled hardness



uh, helium is already a pretty scarce resource (although it amazes me people are still allowed to put it in party balloons) which is going to cause problems later this century... are they *trying* to make storage more expensive again?

Western Digital cuts revenue forecast, cites 'muted demand'

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again. i'm running out of drive space, i could use more, and i've usually bought from WD... but waiting for prices to fall. actually can't *afford* the prices for the amount of storage i need right now...

Curiosity success 'paves way for Man on Mars by 2030s'


Re: Nice one...

humans have knees, and padding, and can auto-right themselves, and can probably just drop safely from skycrane height in mars gravity.

Yet another OSX/Java Trojan spotted in the wild


Re: So, basically...

that, the fuck, is old. Might as well bring up Gates saying no-one will ever need more than 640K...

Game of Thrones Blu-ray disc set


iTunes not an option

and no, not an apple-hater. iTunes not an option because it hasn't been released on iTunes UK. A problem I'm already heartily familiar with as a brony without piratical instincts... :-) But in this case I'm actually a bit surprised given it is being shown in the UK and - as this article notes - the bluray is out.

(I'm renting them from lovefilm; seeing it for the first time.)

Use the holy word of God to stay secure online, says bishop


It's actually not a bad idea. In a similar but more secular vein I got my mum to start using decent passwords by suggesting the same thing with lines from Shakespeare. Take a line you'll remember, use the first letters from it; change one or two into 'matching' numbers and one or two into caps if digits or mixed case required by whatever you're setting the password on...

Dr Who scores new companion from Emmerdale


Oh come on...

She's young, I think we can forgive her a little display of excitement about being offered the Companion role on one of our most iconic TV shows. Us old farts and fartessas who've been offered that role *hundreds* of times are bound to get a bit blasé about it, and forget how exciting it all was the first time.


Proview offers Apple peace talks amid Shanghai iPad ban bid



How quickly can they get the Brazil plant up and running?

Heartland Institute documents leaked


"Say, where's Lewis Page when you need him?"

In one of the leaked documents?

Europeans turn backs on Ultrabooks



People always say Apple kit is overpriced. But hey, see what happens when someone else - companies known for producing cheap kit - try to match them. They can't get them significantly enough cheaper than the Apple to make it worthwhile for non-Apple-haters to not choose the apple.

So is Apple's stuff really overpriced?

Asus UX21E Zenbook 11.6in Ultrabook

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Very like an 11" Air

Like the one I have; almost the same hardware spec, slightly cheaper than mine was. USB3... OTOH with the thunderbolt on mine you actually can plug it into that 27" monitor and use it fully (if it has DisplayPort); with the mini-hdmi on this one you can't.

But... it still looks like a very nice Ubuntu laptop in the making and the closest yet to being competitive with the MBA.

Apple Thunderbolt Display 27in monitor


Guys, could you say if comments are closed on a topic; saves us writing long hopefully-non-offensive replies that just disappear into the ether...


I'll second that, having got a Dell U2711 on my new 2011 mac mini server.

In comparison to the Apple TBolt display (which in fairness I haven't used, but have lusted after before getting this)...


Need separate displayport (or one of the other video interfaces, but i'm using displayport) and USB leads. Messy.

Doesn't have speakers. Dell speaker bar is good though, but it's extra. It clips onto the bottom of the screen, power plugs into the monitor, and audio plugs into the monitor's own line-out socket given audio goes into the monitor via displayport or hdmi. But the long speaker lead on the speakers still has to loop around somewhere back there. Messy.

Doesn't have a webcam/isight. I didn't want one so no loss to me (if I did, it might have tilted me to the apple). If you want one, you gotta clip it on somewhere. Messy.

No ethernet or firewire interfaces that the tbolt monitor has. Nor of course the ability to daisy-chain that tbolt itself offers. So you'd still need separate interfaces/hubs etc. scattered around your desk to give you that. Messy.

No power-out for a laptop. Doesn't bother me as mine's a mac mini and you can't plug those into a magsafe (another thing that might have swayed me to the apple monitor if you could). So if you *are* using it with a recent apple laptop, there'll be an extra lead trailing around. Messy

I think there's a theme there.


Cheaper. I paid £589.00 from aria.co.uk, which was persuasive.

Stand is more flexible. Apple stands can only tilt (no swivel contra the review, although that may have changed in a way the picture doesn't reveal). Dell stand tilts *and* swivels and has height adjustment too, and is in fact basically a vesa stand, and monitor easily vesa-mountable. (Apple's is with an extra kit.)

More inputs. You can only plug the Apple into a machine with a displayport or a thunderbolt port. At the moment that's only recent macs. This has a plethora of inputs as recited above, although you'll need displayport or Dual-Link DVI to take full advantage of the resolution. HDMI doesn't go that far. VGA would be such a waste of a monitor, though useful to have for emergencies I guess.

And finally, The display is to DIE for. Oh, and non-glossy, for those that are bothered by such things. (Wasn't a deal-breaker for me as I arrange my workspace accordingly anyway.) Some people have moaned about antiglare coating, but it all seems shiny to me, despite being non-glossy. ;-)



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