* Posts by SleepGuy

51 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Feb 2010


Online retailers delaying sales of Raspberry Pi 4 model until 2023, thanks to a few good chips getting scarce


I need my Pi!

Been a real problem for me as well. Been selling a Pi4-based product this year and board availability has tanked. Sure I can get one here or one there (max order quantity of 1), but that doesn't work out so well when I need 10 every month or two. I was able to find an alternative board. It will require some case changes but should actually simplify the build as this board has a selectable OTG USB port as well as Pi-compatible CSI and GPIO. Worst part will be getting the OS/Software to run! Will see how it works when the first board arrives soon!

Munich mk2? Germany's Schleswig-Holstein plans to switch 25,000 PCs to LibreOffice


We are on the same path.

We switched to LibreOffice about 8 years ago (for over 95% of our PC's), we are now preparing to shift ~75% of our desktops to Linux. Windows 11 was a big part of us finally pulling the trigger. There's one critical application which doesn't work (due to limited networking support in WINE) and we've commissioned a developer to write a Linux application which performs the same function (work is almost done on that). Once it is complete we will resume/complete testing (all functions apart from the new application have previously been tested), create installation images, and begin rollout. Setting up the systems is very simple, install OpenSUSE and run a custom script which does all the legwork (sets up prerequisites, firewall, user profile, WINE container, shortcuts, etc) besides site-specific things (IP address, printers, camera links, etc).

Cisco warns 'unintentional debugging credential' left in some network switches can be abused to hijack equipment


Same experience here with pfSense, bad updates & questionable decisions by them. Transitioned all our routers (~30) to OPNSense this year. Additionally, the NetGate ARM hardware is horrible and can't handle a power loss. Trashed that this year as well.

In Microsoft's world, cloud email still often requires on-premises Exchange. Why?


Typical Microsoft, take something relatively simple like email and weave it so tightly into every fiber of your platform that managing it is a nightmare. Oh, and because it's so huge and unmanageable, it also gets hacked constantly. Sounds like a great email platform to me. /s

Dell SupportAssist contained RCE flaw allowing miscreants to remotely reflash your BIOS with code of their creation


This is why it’s best to boot off a Windows thumb drive, delete all partitions and install Windows fresh the first time you turn it on. Oh, and don’t connect the network cable or WiFi until you’re at the desktop. Lenovo, HP, Dell, they’re all getting worse with the crapware again like they were in the late 90’s and Naughts.

Microsoft hits Alt-F4 on Windows 10X: OS designed for dual-screen PCs axed


Can confirm, have well over 100 dual-screen setups in the company I work (and quite a few triples) and we don't have any engineers or developers, just office people and medical techs! For most any situation which requires multiple windows to be open, having multiple displays is a huge productivity booster. I absolutely hate using my laptop not because it's bad, but because it only has one display!!

But can it run Avid? The Reg hands shiny new M1 MacBook to video production pro, who beats it with Blender, Handbrake, and ... Hypercard?


Re: Multiple monitors

Can confirm DisplayLink works well, running 3 displays on my M1 Mac Mini.

Last chance to grab an iPhone Mini as savvy analyst reckons Apple will scrap it next year


Re: iPhone Pro Micro, please!

2 light taps on the fingerprint sensor and it brings the top down so you can do anything with one hand!


Re: Cannibalism

Exactly. I think the new SE cannibalized a lot of 12 Mini sales. I wanted a 12 Mini but the 2020 SE was only $150 (during a 25% off promotion, it's $200 normally) through my carrier, the 12 Mini would have been $730. Would have paid $300 or so for the 12 Mini over the SE, but not almost 5x the cost!

To have one floppy failure is unlucky. To have 20 implies evil magic or a very silly user


This was my experiences with 3.5" floppies back in the day as well. Never had an issue prior with the 5.25" inchers though. Never could figure out why so many failed on me but I ended up doing the same, multiple copies of everything before moving them!

Windows comes to Apple M1 silicon as Parallels delivers native desktop hypervisor


Re: Grumble.. grumble..

Same, I needed to keep Windows on-hand when I switched to an M1 Mac. I loaded up my old Linux Box (Intel NUC) with Windows, stuck it on my shelf and RDP into it. Granted, I have a triple-monitor setup, so I end up just keeping the RDP open on my 3rd screen.

Cherry on top: Dell shoves MX keyboard into its Alienware m15 R4 ultrabook


dat girth tho!

Is your Windows 10, 8 PC falling off the 'net? Microsoft doesn't care


Static DHCP

I've had issues with a percentage of Win10 PC's with static IPs having their DNS reset to every day or so. Funny enough, to resolve the issue I set the PCs to DHCP and give them DHCP reservations in the router...

Did you know iOS 10, macOS Sierra has a problem with crappy VPNs? You do now


Re: Really?


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Re: Im glad PPTP has had

A few years ago we switched away from PPTP/IPSec to OpenVPN for both site-to-site and road warriors and it's been absolutely outstanding. Reliability has been amazing and it "just works."

Forget security training, it's never going to solve Layer 8 (aka people)


It's true

In our company, people who are entry-level employees get concerned enough to open a phishing "invoice" that was sent to them. I've had 2 cases in the last 6 months where the concerned low-level employee forwarded the email to their manager who then attempted to open it.

It's insane and no amount of training seems to help...even though they have never purchased anything on behalf of the company, don't have a company card or anything, they want to feel important and think these phishing emails matter.

Windows 10 still free, even the Anniversary Update, if you're crass


Re: Twisting in the wind

"Let's not forget the forced advertising in the start menu."

Right-click desktop, Personalize, Start, turn off Occasionally (Microsoft-speak for always) show suggestions in Start.

BOFH: Free as in free beer or... Oh. 'Free Upgrade'



Sounds like the typical RIcoh/Lanier crap that keeps getting dumped on us. Thanks a lot operations.

No means no: Windows 10 nagware's red X will stop update – Microsoft


Re: Gun, meet foot

Agreed Baldy50. 98% of the 250 computers in my company use LibreOffice, those that don't are the bean-counter types that need Excel functionality. We also dumped our terminal servers (Server 2003) when the cost to update them was just shy of $500k of licenses. Switched to web-based services, implemented a desktop management system and we're done with it for 1/3 the cost...also no more single-points-of-failure since the data center is no longer mission critical for the other 30 offices to keep working.

I too (as an IT manager) love Linux. It's been my desktop OS for going on 5 years, many of our on-premise servers run on it (time clock, webdav, etc) and Linux-based office PC's are in beta testing.

Chip company FTDI accused of bricking counterfeits again


No more FTDI for me

I can verify it has been going on for quite a few months. We purchased some (we thought) FTDI USB-RS232 adapters (specifically for the form factor...the electronics being in the USB end and leaving bare wires for us to solder to an oddball connector to make new download cables for an obsolete product). Unfortunately these turned out to be fakes and has caused lots of time to be wasted on both the user's end and for my department. I am replacing these and will most certainly not be using FTDI chips in the new version or in anything ever again.

Intel lobs out new Core m3/m5 Compute Sticks, shouts 'Fetch!'


Re: Media PC?

Hell, you don't even need a $100 stick...I use a FireTV Stick which was only $20 to bring "Smart" functionality to my Dumb TV...even better, everything on it is constantly updated.

Windows 10: Major update on the Threshold as build 10586 hits Insiders


Re: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

"No - because once we had, there wasn't much more to say. :D"

Exactly. I settled on LMDE a couple years ago for my desktop and love it. I have Windows available in VMWare Workstation for when I need it but that's not very often.

Lenovo to customers: We only just found out about this Superfish vuln – remove it NOW


STOP the preloads!

I just acquired a few Lenovo AIO desktops for work and could not believe the amount of crap-ware pre-installed on them! WAY worse than HP, Dell or Asus. I did not except this from a more "premium" brand.

Additionally the BIOS/UEFI is horrible on them. I never could get the computer to boot from USB or DVD (After I selected USB or CD on the boot menu it would instead boot to "Lenovo Recovery" instead of Acronis.) Ended up yanking the drives out to image them.

Don't touch me up there! Photoshop creator appeals for 'ethical' use


Re: Bring out the GIMP!

I miss the Corel products as well, they were always my favorite. I am a GIMP user now and even though it's a bit clunky, it gets the job done (that I need to do).

Yahoo! starts $1.99 'watch list' to recycle old usernames


"Require-Recipient-Valid-Since header" = BAD idea. Sounds like it wouldn't help anyone but spammers.

Seven all-in-ones that aren't the Apple iMac - and one that is


Re: Lot of money....

I can only speak for the Dells, but their recent (last couple years) all-in-ones are extraordinarily easy to work on. One or two screws and the back cover slides off with the hard drive and other important bits readily accessible.

Smart TVs riddled with DUMB security holes


Re: Sir

Yeah, but then it wouldn't be as interesting! These types of articles seem to presume that people at home give their TV's (or whatever device is so "insecure") a public IP address.

Microsoft: All RIGHT, you can have your Start button back



I really want to go back to TYPING the application I want to run. I miss DOS 5.1. Ooooh, maybe Microsoft can make it so I have to fiddle with IRQ's and work at getting TSR's loaded into high memory also! Are you trying to say that typing the name of the app you want to run is PROGRESS? It's not. It's a workaround to make a shitty UI somewhat usable.


Re: Halfway there

I agree...which sadly is what I like about Windows 8 the best....the fact that I can install startisback and have the fly-out style start menu back...the nested-scrolling start menu was a step backwards for usability since most times you have to scroll once you get to the start menu. Windows 8 is a BEAST under the hood and I hope they really get the UI fixed to match!

37,000-machine study finds most reliable Windows PC is a Mac


Re: More Suggestion than Paul McKenna

Running Windows in a virtual machine is the most reliable way....barely any drivers to load so the system just hums along. Even Vista in a virutal machine will run for years without needing a reboot...

Are the PCs all getting a bit old at your office? You're not alone

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Extending refresh cycles here also

The reason is simple...there's no compelling reason to refresh. We have maintained a 4-yr refresh cycle on our lab machines (approx 160 PC's) and should be coming up on starting the next one in 3-6 months. After reviewing it, we have no reason to do so. It's not like the past refresh cycles where the PC's being replaced were showing their age and were nearly ready for the bin, aside from a Dell model with bad power supplies (which we've been refitting with a different p/s when they fail) the failure rate has been very close to zero. I think we'll easily be able to stretch the cycle to 6 or 8 years with the current batch and hopefully even longer with the next one!


Google startisback for Windows8. The licences are cheap ($3 each or less for business use) and it is just like using Win7. Our users don't even notice the difference.



Re: Spamhous must really be hurting those parasites

It's difficult to run a mail server at home any more due to the lengths mail server administrators must go through to limit incoming spam. Dynamic IP? Sorry, my mail server won't accept your messages. R-DNS or MX doesn't resolve correctly? See ya. Listed on Spamhaus, SpamCop or Manitu? Not takin' your message. Oh yeah, send more messages my honeypots so my bayesian filter get even better....those addresses have been spread far and wide! Throw in a good dose of greylisting, backscatter protection and tarpitting and I manage to block *almost* all incoming spam (which currently makes up 57.5% of my servers' incoming messages). It really does make it rough for the "guy at home" trying to run a mail server though...nobody but the spammers to thank.

As for getting de-listed from Spamhaus...I've done it, shortly after switching providers a few years ago. It was not a huge deal, I contacted my ISP (again, you probably won't get much help from them with a "consumer" account...I didn't have problems since I have a business-class service) and it was resolved within a day.

Here's the $4.99 utility that might just have saved Windows 8


Agreed, I just bought a business license pack for Startisback for our Windows8 standard build. It's a great product with a lot of flexibility (I am also partial to the "XP Style" flyout menus...it's just more efficient)...

Amazon yanks SimCity download from store


Re: There is a kickstart project that looks like a better bet.

I pledged $30 for 2 copies of Civitas on Kickstarter last night...no way it can be worse than this POS EA is trying to sell!

SimCity 3000


Re: Dons cynical hat

Check out the new SimCity on Amazon...out of 700 reviews (currently), 619 of them are ONE STAR!! In addition they are charging an outrageous $60 for it...it's SimCity for crying out loud.

I would have pre-ordered if it had been $30...after hearing about all the problems I think I'll just skip it.


Re: Rush Hour?

SimCopter was an add-on to SimCity 2000 where you could fly through your city....was a great concept but the graphics and depth of view left a lot to be desired.

Dell takes aim at iPad, uncloaks enterprise-level Win8 tablet


Re: Not my experience

My experience has been very good with Dell PC's and servers except the Vostro 320 (of which we deployed 120). They have a power supply problem (capacitors) and last approx 1.5 years before going titsup. In addition, it requires the removal and replacement of 37 screws to replace the power supply (absolutely horrid design). Dell has never acknowledged the problem, provided a revised power supply or anything. Replacement power supplies are unavailable through Dell now so it's a major dent in my budget for PC's which should have lasted until planned replacement next year.


Dell tablets

We used the Dell Latitude "convertible" tablets for years, recently switched to Galaxy Note 10.1's due to the much better price and battery life. Dell severely over-estimates battery life, it's a shame because it just leads to disappointment. The Latitude XT2's we have had an advertised 11-hr battery life. In reality, you're doing good to get 4 hrs. out of them. I can also buy 3 GN10.1's for the price of 1 of the Dell convertibles.... I seriously doubt you can get 20 hrs of battery life out of these as claimed...probably closer to 8...

Microsoft: Office 2013 license is for just one PC, FOREVER

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Re: Who actually buys office anyway ?

Uh, many of us *HAVE* tried. Try opening an RTF file that uses tables and form fields in LibreOffice. The file is completely mangled. Try document protection (the little padlock that is on Office 2003) to prevent the main document from being edited by allowing only the form fields to be filled. How about just try tabbing from form field to form field when the document is locked (Of course locking and unlocking is a multi-step process in Libre Office). It's a huge mess. So yes, I have a stack of Office 2003 licenses for the "small business" I work for. I've tried every alternative but we must use .RTF for compatibility with other software we use and the alternative office suites just don't work.

Unbelievably vast quasar cluster forces universe-sized rethink


Buses, huh?

Well, assuming the standard London double-decker bus length of 8.4 m, then the Milky Way would measure 112,627,743,721,200,000,000 buses across! I suppose we could round this up to 113 sextillion buses...besides, sextillion has a certain ring to it! As far as the Virgo Cluster, it's 113 septillion buses across.

Apple iPhone 5 hands-on review


Re: What STEVE said..

".you could go to almost any hotel and know that you could usually plug your iPhone into the clock radio or even the audio system. "

Do the research, the Apple Lightning - to - 30-pin adapters DO NOT support video or iPod out...so you will get NO AUDIO through the speakers. The new connector is all digital and will require speakers to basically have a small computer in them to perform the D/A.


Re: "Apple have never taken the "rip it up and start again" route"

The iPhone is more like a Toyota Camry. It looks decent, it's reliable and it has good resale. Beyond that it's boring as f*ck!


Re: Adaptor

Yes, but even WITH the adapter there's NO ANALOG OUTPUT so your existing speaker dock will most likely not work.

All-in-one PCs: bright star of the desktop biz, says analyst

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All in ones are the way to go

No clutter, nothing. We use Dell computers in our company and have been installing nothing but All-in-ones for the last couple years. 2 cables...power and network since they all come with wireless keyboard and mice.

Touchscreens are worthless. Some of the models we've used have them and nobody gives a crap after the novelty wears off during the first week. Desktop is NOT the form factor for touch screen.

As far as repair, the new models are a joy to work on. External laptop-like power supply, 2 screws and the back cover comes completey off making for a very simple hard drive replacement. The newer ones (FINALLY) have a port to connect a second screen to (no more USB adapters!!).

As far as standards, we wouldn't have the great variety and innovation if manufacturers had to stick with antiquated standards for everything. Try making a super-thin notebook or a all-in-one PC utilizing standardized components...it either can't be done or would look like a piece of crap.

Who honestly give a sh*t about the super-high resolutions? My experience with these hi-resolution displays is that personnel turn the resolution down so things are "big enough" for them to see. I am sitting 3 feet from a bog-standard 20" 1680x1050 display and can't make out a pixel with my 20/20 vision if I had to. I guess it makes for great marketing hype...and makes the hardware driving everything have to work 4 times harder. Retina is purely marketing BS...the hi-res displays have been out for a very long time (1920*1200 15" laptops have been around for many years...and they suck to use for the 99% of us who aren't doing CAD).

Windows XP support ends two years from now


Re: No Problem

My FAVORITE are the tablet users who go all out and add a keyboard and all these other things to end up with an $800 sort-of laptop. Tablets are great...for putzing around...anything that requires data entry is not only slow but you lose half your screen real estate for the keyboard, the capacitive touch isn't accurate enough for most business applications and when you rebuild the application where everything is larger so it can be "touched," you can't fit squat on the screen. They are counter-productive in most (not all) enterprise environments. Tablets have ONE thing that laptop-makers need to take note of - battery life. A new laptop should last longer than 90 minutes on battery...I don't care that the specs say "up to 4 hours" or whatever, laptops have poor battery life in comparison to good tablets. Tablets are getting ready to go through some real growing pains with the high-res displays...New iPad upscaling is terrible and it's only the first to come...Android tablet will soon follow and will have the close to the same (Android developers have a leg up because they already build their apps to scale up or down to different screen sizes). The data usage is going to balloon...either that or users are going to complain that everything they see is being upscaled...and then what's the point of a high res display?

Windows 8 is going to fail on tablets not just the desktop. It's the Windows Millenium / Windows Vista of the present. Enterprise adoption will be minimal and those home users will likely hate it. It will fail on tablets because it's nothing but lipstick on a pig. Once you get past the lipstick, you see the pig...and he's not touch friendly.

I have tried switching my desktop to Linux about every 18 months....it fails every time....NVidia video card this time, something else the next time, Compiz used to rotate the screen if I put my mouse to either side and scrolled...try to find the setting to make that happen. Oops, my screens are backwards...what, I have to go to the command-line and edit files or run a config utility as root after searching for 15 minutes on the internet? I want to USE my computer, not sit and f*ck with it all day. I can say it HAS gotten better...PPTP VPN's actually work, Open Office is OK (until you get into formulas in Calc) but it STILL doesn't handle document templates (which is THE reason we went to fillable PDF's in my company instead of using Open Office for office forms).

Windows 7 is the new XP...it's rock-solid, stable and fast. The network stack blows XP out of the water! Linux is still relegated to the server room here where it appears it will remain.

SPRAY-ON antennas waved about at Google's techfest


Complete and utter BS

No coating is going to reduce the power "consumption" of an antenna. And a coating to reduce heat....first of all, heat has nothing to do with an antenna's broadcasting/reception capability...but let's play along....since when does putting a coat of something on anything reduce heat? Unless it's water (which evaporates rapidly) or freeze spray (same issue as water).

Randomly spraying crap on a tree isn't going to help squat. This is the exact same things as those little stickers that you stick inside your battery compartment on your phone...just a complete waste of material/product.

Secret docs reveal Dell knew PCs were faulty


Another reason to research...

Won't save you every time, but I was able to avoid the OptiPlex fiasco by researching forums and talking to other customers when picking a new model of PC for our company. I started using the Dimension line (now use Vostro's) and haven't had any model-specific issues, in fact, out of nearly 300 machines purchased through Dell in the last 5 years have only needed 1 motherboard replacement (it was a laptop) and some scattered hard disk failures.

What's funny is the reason we were switching manufaturers at the time was the "faulty capacitor" issue....those things were EVERYWHERE in 2000-2005'ish! I still have a habit of looking at capacitors in every computer I open.

Windows 7 Backup gets users' backs up

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I use Acronis regularly and have noticed that setting compression to HIGH results in faster backups & restores, not the other way around as M$ is claiming. With the fast processors in today's PC's, on-the-fly compression is nothing...especially when writing to a USB or Networked drive!


It's definitely a piece of crap

The Win7 backup utility is horrendous. It is dog slow. Features do NOT work (set it to "overwrite" previous backups and it doesn't) as advertised. I have messed with it and messed with it....give me NTBACKUP any day over this steaming pile!