* Posts by ben_myers

218 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Jan 2010


AMD is a rounding error on Intel's spreadsheet and that sucks for us all



"AMD crushed Q3 revenue guidance by 9 per cent..." Since when is beating revenue projections by 9% a "crushing"? Must be the higher match done by a PR flack, a species not noted for mathematical prowess.

Had AMD beaten revenue guidance by 25%, THAT would have been a crushing.

Lenovo exec: Nope, not building Windows Phones


A no comment comment

Lanci already commented. Why comment further?


Re: Microsoft & Nokia

Stupidity? Seems to prevail when a company drinks its own Kool-Aid. Nobody at Microsoft has ever turned down a glass of its Kool-Aid.

Windows 10 backlash: Which? demands compo for forced upgrades


Re: Computer Misuse Act

And the EULA can be challenged if it can be proven that it was changed by Microbloat after you accepted it. You know, these clever on-line folks keep changing EULAs made of binary bits. Back in the day, the EULA was a piece of paper or two, and it was very difficult to change.

So... print out all the EULAs that you accept. Or, at least. make PDFs of them.


Re: @Adam

Your buddies at Microsoft forced the upgrade. You did not select the wrong option. Microsoft did not give you the option to not install. That's what all the complaints are about.


Re: Am I been too technical, in saying the 3P&3Bs: prepare, prepare, prepare + backup,backup,backup.

Yes, Win 10 did install itself even when "dismissed", if dismissed means clicking the X of the dialog box that asks whether you want to install it. For a time, anyway, the X did not have the effect of killing the process, so the install just went on its merry way. So how in the world does one prepare for something unexpected? Yeah, I know, "prepare, prepare, prepare + backup,backup,backup". And people have more things to do with their time than to back up every hour.


Yes, installs without permission

As usual, we get Microsoft propaganda rather than true and accurate facts. For a time, Windows 10 DID install itself without the permission. (I have bailed out people who came into the office in the morning to find Windows 10 staring at them from their computer screen. And, no, they did not authorize either the download or the install.) Once it is installed, it gives you the option to accept or decline the license agreement. If you decline and you are so lucky that everything goes swimmingly, the software rolls back to the previous release: 7, 8 or 8.1.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise bigwig chuckles at talk of buyout talks


HPE on a parr with “3M, Nike and McDonalds”

So HPE will broaden its product line to include Scotch Tape, shoes and burgers?

And, please! Keep Meg out of politics. Not even close to being as awful as Carly, but not cut out for politics. Especially at age 60.

IBM lifts lid, unleashes Linux-based x86 killer on unsuspecting world


Re: Yes, but how much does it actually cost?

When can I buy one on eBay? I have a lot of PayPal dollars to spend.

Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?


Re: Windows8.2=10 is a fraud and a scam! (Nothing new, tho)

Beginning with Windows 7, if you changed out a motherboard, the Windows running in the computer is deemed (HORRORS!) counterfeit!! This is not something new with Windows 10.

This really screws over people whose motherboards or laptops fail. So you replace the failed motherboard or laptop with an identical model. Should work perfectly, right? Just like Windows XP. Nope. When you activate Windows, the Microsoft borg ship records not just the make/model of the motherboard, but also the serial number. The only recourse here for those who really know hardware is to change the motherboard serial number to match the old one. There are programs squirreled away in vendor web sites to do this, but it ain't easy.

Question: What's missing in Microsoft's data science professional degree?


More proselytization of the Microsoft way

One of the ways Microsoft achieved its operating system monopoly was to get software developers to do things the Microsoft way, using Microsoft ASP, .NET, Active X, and all the other features that lock one into the Microsoft operating system and the Microsoft (at the time) Internet Explorer. (Had they seen fit to give away all of their software development tools, too, we would not be having any conversation at all about OS X and all the Linux distros.) What Microsoft is doing for and to data scientists with this course reeks of the same odor. In the old days, they did not call their product managers evangelists for nothing.

Falling PC tide strands Seagate's disk drive boats. Will WDC follow?


It's not just SSD speed!

It's not just speed that sells SSDs. Especially in laptops and convertible tablet/laptops, SSDs are way more reliable. Just drop a laptop on its head while it is running, and the odds are good that there will be a hard drive crash. Not so good, you say? Well, any odds greater than 1 in a million are too high for my precious data, even if I do back it up every data. And to have laptop die because somebody nudged it during a sales presentation? Unacceptable.

At least WD had the smarts to buy SanDisk, to transition itself into the SSD business.

You can buy Windows 10 Enterprise E3 access for the price of a coffee


Windows 10 as a subscription

I saw this coming with the original Windows 10 is free announcement. And I had my naysayers, who tut-tutted me. Well, here it is, certainly for enterprises, large corporations, governments.

Will the next announcement be Windows 10 subscriptions for those of us unwashed and not part of some large volume licensing deal? Stay tuned!


Per month?

Per month? Oh, crap!

IBM caps '20 years' of deep MS love with Surface deal


Brilliant sub-headline

"As Seattle surfaces surface as a service service. Serious...." Brilliant!

As for OS/2 and who dumped whom. I was there back in the day. OS/2 began as a collaborative effort between IBM and Microsoft. IBM wanted to be 100% sure that OS/2 would run on its meagre 286-powered PS/2 Models 50 and 60. This crippled OS/2. Microsoft responded by pulling the plug on its part of OS/2. IBM limped along with OS/2 for a while and then gave up.

So in hindsight, in return for Bill Gates becoming a made man with MS-DOS/IBM-DOS at the hands of IBM, Bill goes ahead and shivs his Godfather IBM and OS/2, assuming control of the computer family. Definitely overtones of an ancient Greek drama, or something by Willie the Shake.


Re: Microsoft would sell wiping your arse as a service

Just wait! That feature is part of Windows 11, along with a proctology service. Talk about IoT!

IBM scraps loyal staffer gifts in favour of... a congratulatory social page


A huge pile of stinking horse manure

"...re-imagining how to celebrate years of services across the world." This is a huge pile of stinking horse manure. And "re-imagine" is my choice of the year for a word that should never have been. Who in hell invented it? But it does enhance the smell here.

Microsoft: Enterprise Advantage will be 'a step in quite a long journey to modernize our licensing'


Long journey?

A long journey, eh? I've got my backpack ready and my waders are just high enough for me to make it through all the bullshit.

PM resigns as Britain votes to leave EU


Brexit Winners and Losers

The biggest Brexit winners are ISIS and Putin. People voting for Brexit had no idea who the winners really are, but a much-weakened EU is exactly what ISIS wants and Putin is now all smiles. Let's believe that Putin will crow that democracy does not work. Biggest losers are the entirety of Great Britain and Angela Merkel, who has shoved austerity down the throats of the smaller weaker and less discipined EU members like Greece, Portugal and Italy, all of whom may bail out next. The EU as a whole loses out and the Euro as a single currency may well be at risk. The EU bureaucrats are shown up as arrogant.

Dell tempts hordes with MASSIVE DISCOUNTS on PCs


I'm sure Dell can afford $0.99

This is so comical, that I had to save a screen shot of it for posterity.

Windows 10 market share jumps two per cent


Extend the free Windows 10 upgrade

Microsoft would do well to extend the free Windows 10 upgrade after its current deadline and relax the nagging a bit. What they never tell you is what software and hardware will not work with Windows 10, forcing people either to roll back to Windows 7/8/8.1 or to replace hardware and software newer versions that run with Windows 10. That ain't free, Satya!!!

Disk death: Three-quarters of PCs will run SSDs by 2020


For once, I might even agree with Gartner

Having replaced failed no-longer-spinning hard drives in three laptops in the last few days, I agree that the world needs to move full speed ahead to SSDs. Now let's get the SS price points down!

Samsung: Don't install Windows 10. REALLY



Wow, does this imply that Samsung uses different hardware that requires different drivers than the other manufacturers' kit? If so, shame on Samsung. If not, shame on Samsung anyway for being too damned lazy to go to the hardware vendors and get drivers for Windows 10.

But, wait! Didn't Samsung withdraw from the computer biz in the EU? So there is no motivation for Samsung to provide drivers when they no longer sell computers.

One final comment: Give me a Samsung lappie sold with Windows 7 or 8, and I will bet that I can find and install the drivers needed to make Windows 10 work right. Well, unless they chose some really oddball hardware, that is.

These big-name laptops are infested with security bugs – study


Kit accessed???

The kit accessed are all computers that can be bought cheaply in mass market big box stores, i.e. cheap consumer grade computers. Of course the vendors will load crapware on their crap computers.

How about if the company doing the study does some heavy lifting for a change and repeats its analysis with business-class computers such as Lenovo Thinkpads and Dell Latitudes? Betcha the results would be different, as with Snapfish, found only on Lenovo consumer models.

It's a shame that the chart with the green check marks and red X's does not have an accompanying legend. Is green "good", i.e. no vulnerability, or is it an affirmative check that there is a vulnerability?

Surface Book nightmare: Microsoft won't fix 'Sleep of Death' bug


'Sleep of death' may be more widespread

I have dealt with many laptops running Windows 7 or 10 having very similar symptoms. My hunch is that they are related to the 'Sleep of death'. Here is what I have seen. Customer calls and says her system won't start up, even though she pushes the power button repeatedly. She brings system over, I remove the battery and hold the power button down for 30 sec, put the battery back and the system boots right up. Questioning customer, she tells me she closed the lid on her computer while it was still running and it went to sleep. Well, even sleeping, it draws power from the battery. Finally, the battery runs down to zero, and the system is in a deep coma. When the power button is pressed, the laptop does not respond for some reason known only to Microsoft. or, in their sometimes blithering incompetence, UNknown to them. This problem has been around Since windows 7. I don't know about earlier.

HP seems to know about this problem:


And it's not only an HPee problem. Happens with Lenovos, Dells, etc. It is a serious Windows problem, and maybe a pervasive hardware design problem.

This all gets to to wondering whether or not Linux suffers from the same issue. I think I'll find out, setting up Linux Mint (as good as any) on a laptop, running down the battery to 5% charge or less, then closing the lid, and disconnecting the power. If the laptop starts up just fine from its sleep state and a fully discharged battery, the smoking gun will point a Microsoft. If the Linux laptop can't start up from its comatose state without intervention, then we know it is a serious design issue with laptops in general.

Bank in the UK? Plans afoot to make YOU liable for bank fraud


The answer is easy!

Keep all your money under your mattress. Don't trust the damned banks!

The PC is dead. Gartner wishes you luck, vendors


"Gartner reckons by 2019, it'll be the largest segment of the PC market in revenue terms, account for just under $58m in revenue." Is this an actual statement by Gartner? Just under $58m? Not much at all. If an accurate prediction, how much revenue does the rest of the PC market generate?

What mind-altering substances are used by Gartner to create these fantasies? It was apparent that the last Gartner report was paid for by Microsoft. This one? Paid for by Verizon? Sheesh!

The Windows 10 future: Imagine a boot stamping on an upgrade treadmill forever


Win 10 on a low-specced computer? Balderdash!

"Windows 10 is happy on low-specced hardware so you can upgrade without also buying new boxen if you choose." Well, how low is low-specced? If Gartner can't be more specific, they should not be presenting and writing about the glories of Windows 10. Oops! Betcha Microsoft is pay Garter good money to do so.

Microsoft has always touted that their latest greatest will run on some piece of hardware that is essentially unusable for real work, because it is so insufferably slow. The miracle is that Win 10 will run at all on the minimum. You would not want your worst enemy to use it, though.

To refresh our memories, here is what Microsoft says is the minimum hardware needed to run Windows 10, direct from the Microsoft web site:

Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC

RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit

Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS

Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver

Display: 800x600

Network & audio: not specified.

Pathetically slow!

Ding-dong, reality calling: iPhone slump is not Apple's doom


Spot on analysis

Spot on analysis. The smartphone market is near saturation in N America and the EU. So why wouldn't sales level off? And not only Apple.

Why we should learn to stop worrying and love legacy – Fujitsu's UK head


Re: Legacy Code / payroll etc

Dilbert! Perfect! How much legacy spaghetti code churns about in the computer farms of the finance and airline industries? They, along with government, were the first to use computers in a big way, and they are stuck with all that old COBOL. And maybe assembly language subroutines that nobody can decipher.


Re: Heresy

Give a listen to Joe Walsh's "Analog Man".

Mud sticks: Microsoft, Windows 10 and reputational damage


Re: Interesting timing for article

Others (especially Satya Nadella!) may disagree, but the pathetically slow Windows 7 updates are just another stick to get you to munch the free Windows 10 carrot. If you want to fix the slow Win 7 updates, install KB3083710 and KB3102810.

And Microsoft keeps whacking everyone with a stick to get them to go to Windows 10. THAT is the real problem with Windows 10.

Having set up and used Windows 10 a lot on two of my computers (and also for quite a few of my customers), my reaction is that it is OK, but unexceptional. Or, it does not live up to the Microsoft hype. I am paranoid about all the Windows 10 features that intrude on ones privacy, but it is just as easy to disable them and move on.

Toshiba denies it will exit the PC market


Toshiba brought itself down

Toshiba brought itself down with awful unreliable laptop designs, difficulty of repair, lack of spare parts, and no service manuals available to the public. This approach might have worked 20 years ago, when hardware repair was a more close world. But it is a recipe for disaster today.

"It says Toshiba would continue R&D..." Gimme a break! What R&D? Chipsets are standard, and so are processors, memory, network cards, hard drives and SSDs. What R&D needs to be done? Industrial design of a chassis with a consistent look-and-feel? Yes, but that is hardly R&D. Board design and layout? Outsourced.

Exeunt Toshiba stage left. Please!

Microsoft Surface Book: Shiny slab with a Rottweiler grip on itself


Re: The Dance while you wait to get permission to remove a drive/device

Careful about premature ejection. It can be troublesome!


Break a Surface Book and see...

Hmm, let's follow up by breaking a Surface Book, then seeing how easy it is to repair, considering availability of spare parts, availability of repair manual, use of custom tools required for repairs and, finally, ease of disassembly and reassembly.

Hey Windows 10, weren't you supposed to help PC sales?


A no-win for Microsoft

Microsoft painted itself into a corner by releasing its ill-conceived and bloated Windows 8. So it had to recover some credibility with end-users via its free, albeit imperfect, Windows 10 upgrades. Had it not done so, there might well have been mass defections from Windows to OS X and Linux. Microsoft sweetened the Windows 10 pot by finally finally finally trimming down the bloat and finally finally finally implementing the fast startup that has been technically feasible since XP days. (Windows 10 post-install hard drive footprint after the mandatory updates is around 20GB, instead of the 40-ish GB of 7 or 8.) Microsoft seems to have also crippled the Windows 7 update process so that the 215-or-so important updates take a long long time to install.

The net result of all this is that people are upgrading computers to Windows 10 that have no business being upgraded. Add to that the fact that the Moore's Law dictum of doubling CPU capacity every two years has slowed down, and you have a perfect recipe for a slowdown in sales of new equipment.

So computer manufacturers are blaming Microsoft? Well, somebody has to, because Microsoft has always looked out for itself, never considered the best interests of those with whom it deals. Satya, the bloom is off. It has been for years.

Tech biz bosses tell El Reg a Brexit will lead to a UK Techxit


As an outsider

As an outsider weighing the hypothetical gains v losses from a Brexit, the UK would lose a lot and gain little. In other words, I agree with Cameron, who has stated his position very eloquently.

Steve Ballmer: Get the Facts. I 'love' SQL Server on Linux


Ballmer's Immense Ego

Ballmer's immense ego qualifies him as running mate for Donald Trump, or maybe Secretary of State of Trump ever gets elected. Once a windbag, always a windbag.

Microsoft herds biz users to Windows 10 by denying support for Win 7 and 8 on new CPUs


That's not all

My job requires me to install operating systems from scratch, then run the updates.

After installing Windows 7 SP1 on a system, you can watch paint dry while the Microsoft borg shovels 216-or-so IMPORTANT updates at you, bloating the space used by just the operating system to over 40GB.

After installing Windows 10 on a system, and turning off all the "Custom Settings" that give Microsoft all the data about you that it wants, the important updates get installed 1-2-3, quick as a bunny. Result is an OS that occupies less than 20GB.

Not too long ago, the Windows 7 update process went pretty quickly. Methinks there is a coincidence here.


Carrot & Stick?

Microsoft sure knows where to stick the carrot, asking everyone to bend over in unison. They've arrived at the perfect strategy to drive people away from Windows, Bing and all their cloud crap. But let's see how the world reacts. Unfortunately, there are a lot of corporate sheep who bought into "You can't go wrong with Microsoft", a serious absence of critical thinking, no different than the IBM-Think of (OMG, was it?) 50 years ago.

Sad thing is that Windows 10 is quite OK, once Microsoft surveillance and ads are shut off.

Finally, it's a large steaming pile of horse manure to say that drivers from Windows 7 won't work with Windows 10 and vice versa. I'll bet some school of hackers figures out how to make those Windows 10 work with Windows 7. If not, it will become yet another lame excuse to make perfectly good hardware obsolete. No surprise here. Microsoft always screws up the driver model to make it easy for IHV's to render hardware obsolete. And, THAT, is what keeps the Wintel computer industry alive in this age of people already using alternatives like tablets, phablets, smartphones, and Apple i-stuff.

Pretty, Nimble, but these financials just aren't nimble enough


The larger the revenue, the larger the loss

The larger the revenue, the larger the loss. This is not a good trend.

Toshiba, Fujitsu and Vaio may be about to merge laptop ops


A combination of like

Toshiba = crap

Vaio = crap

Fujitsu = well, sturdy well made crap.

All three are complete horror shows to maintain. Godawful to disassemble/reassemble. You can't get spares for them. And you can't get repair manuals. I guess they don't want anybody to fix them.

By comparison, Lenovo (and previously IBM), Dell and HP (dragged kicking and screaming by public pressure) make repair manuals easy to download from their web site. Spare parts are readily available for all three. HP laptops are still somewhat of a pain in the ass to tear down, and so are some Dells.

And then there is Acer. As far as I am concerned, they might as well merge their Acer, Gateway and eMachine crap with the other three. Except they are Taiwanese. Maybe they could build a facility on the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, neutral territory. Disputed, too.

Seagate’s triple whammy: Disk numbers, costs, and flash


Re: Seagate's click of death.

I, too, eschew Seagate drives because of poor reliability.

Islamic fundamentalists force Yorkshire IT shop to chop off brand


A smart move...

to no longer be associated with ISIS.

Apparently we have to give customers the warm fuzzies ... How the heck do we do that?


It's how you handle the customer

Treat customers with respect, and you'll get respect. Treat them like crap or somebody you can walk all over, and they will hate you. Microsoft is a perfect case study of the latter.

Microsoft hammers first nails into Enterprise Agreements' coffins


Microsoft motto

The Microsoft motto is "Screw the customer, screw the end-user, screw the distributor, screw IHVs, screw them all." Or to put it differently, whatever the occasion, Microsoft says take it or leave it after its first, last and best final offer. Looking at the world that way, what's new here?

Recall: Bring out yer dead and over-heating Microsoft Surface Pro power cords


Re: SW company?

True. But mice and keyboards are much simpler than a computer with all of its accoutrements. Take a laptop-tablet and you have a product 1000x more complicated to engineer and build than a tower or desktop computer.


Re: Are "electronic" components involved in the failure?

YES! Blame Microsoft for not setting decent standards for all the parts that make up a Surface Pro, and making sure that subcontractors meet the standards. But this is a SOFTWARE company still, despite the successes of the XBox and Microsoft-branded mice, and software companies rarely have the necessary know-how to be in the hardware business.

Big reader? Toshiba tweaks endurance, wrings out low-write SSD


A cheap crappy product

Toshiba's posturing here reminds me of the sorry Quantum BigFoot drives. Quantum moved to a new process for sputtering magnetic media onto drive platter material. The results were below mediocre in terms of reliability. So Quantum built 5.25" IDE drives using the crummy platters. The reasoning was that the surface area of a 5.25" drive was over 2.5x of a 3.5" drive, so the added area would compensate for all the bad spots on the drive media. Quantum even conned Compaq into using the Bigfoot. What a mistake that was. Very high rate of failure.

You know what will happen with the cheaper and less durable Toshiba SSDs. People will rationalize buying them on lower price, and deploy them in heavy use environments, where they will fail all too soon. And Toshiba will get another black mark alongside its awful laptops and perhaps more awful laptop drives.

Toshiba is in deep doo-doo as a company.

Come in Internet Explorers, your time is up. Or not. Up to you


Re: The Tying of IE to the OS

Microsoft embedded IE deeply into the Windows XP operating system, rather than sandboxing it, in response to the US DOJ and EU anti-trust actions against Microsoft for not giving the Netscape, Opera and any other browsers a fair chance to compete. Microsoft was thus able to say with a straight metaphoric face to technology-phobic judges and regulators that its browser was truly a part of the operating system, as it became.

Microsoft further peed in all of our soup (popular Slavic metaphor) by taking Sun's Java, integrating it into IE, BUT co-opting Java by changing it to suit its own megalomaniacal desires for world domination.

We all paid for this foolish mistake, because it made XP far more vulnerable to outside intrusions than otherwise.

Microsoft peed in our soup some more by force-feeding the Microsoft IE development way down the throats of gullible corporate web developers. I'm sure that along the way, there were some close talks with deaf-dumb-and-blind technology-wise corporate bigwigs, taking a page from IBM's FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) book. Y'know you can't go wrong with IBM (back in the dark ages) or Microsoft. So now major financial, airline and other large institutions are totally screwed, left with legacy code that will never ever run with Edge or IE 11 in a thousand years.

What tangled webs Microsoft weaves, ensnaring us all, as well as itself. Then they complain that nobody is moving quickly enough to the bright and shiny Edge.