* Posts by TWB

276 posts • joined 19 Feb 2010


Excel is for amateurs. To properly screw things up, those same amateurs need a copy of Access


Re: I meekly raise my hand to confess...

Don't worry, I used LibreOffice spreadsheet to design a brick wall recently - I did not have enough pieces of Lego....

Oddly not a single number on the sheet, I counted the bricks off the display then did the maths with pencil and paper to decide how many bricks to order.

As others have said, you use the tools you've got and this was the best way for me. It also allowed me to show my client different designs much faster than if I had draw each out on paper..

From the Department of WCGW: An app-controlled polycarbonate lock with no manual override/physical key


Welcome back

We've missed you (13th March.....really?...)

Teracube whips out cheap, fixable phone with removable battery and four-year warranty


I don't need one but...

I hope to keep my current Honor 10 lite for several years as it seems to work fine and has not slowed down yet, so I will not be getting one of these just yet, but I almost feel like giving them £20 for at least trying to be a bit different.

The power of Bill compels you: A server room possessed by a Microsoft-hating, Linux-loving Demon


Re: The frisson of Y2K

@AC - in some ways I agree, but my experience has been that the 'obvious' and 'simple' will often be overlooked or just not considered in some situations.

(sorry Nunyabiznes beat me to it)

Intel screams Tiger Lake is 'world's best processor' (then quietly into its sleeve: for thin Windows, ChromeOS laptops)


What's wrong with "times"?

When did '3 times' become '3X' (said 'three-ex')?

Or is he reading dumbly from a script?

Or am I getting old?......

Brit retailer John Lewis to catapult 111 tech bods over to Capgemini weeks after dumping 244 on Wipro



I like the JLP idea/principle call-it-what-you will, but sadly think this is definitely the beginning of the end and JLP will become JL soon and just another company competing by being the same.

I think the fact that JLP are now making a big thing of the 'partnership' is a clue, a bit like countries with descriptive words like 'democratic' in their names, rarely are.

SD cards hop on the PCIe 4.0 bus to hit 4GB/s with version 8.0 of storage spec


Still not fast enough

For uncompressed 4K... (I know, not many people use it)

But still impressive.

A real loch mess: Navy larks sunk by a truculent torpedo


Re: Too many return() statements in the code?

Upvote for GOSUB - not done any BASIC (or other) programming for years now, but good memories.

RetroPie 4.6 brings forth an answer to 'What do I do with this Pi 4 I bought last year?'


Re: Pi-based resurrection of the long dead home computer in the attic.

Upvote for the Round Tuits reference

This hurts a ton-80: British darts champ knocked out of home tourney by lousy internet connection


Re: Professional Failure

Yes, but he may also have poor 3G/4G/5G where he lives.

Also bear in mind, many people (not necessarily this chap) actively like to be ignorant of technology and what it can do - they wear it as a badge or pride that they are not "geeky nerds" - they are useless in many ways but somehow get by in the World. I know many people will wait weeks for me to come along and sort something out for them rather than let me try and talk it through with them on the phone.

NASA mulls restoring Saturn V to service as SLS delays and costs mount



Why did I not think of that?....

Maybe the RAF could get all those wasted Spitfires out of the museums as well! Much cheaper than these new fangled VTOL jet thingys.

Leaks point to Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra with mammoth 108MP camera and ... what? 16GB of RAM


Re: Problem with too much RAM

Oddly, I don't mind that (in fact I like speed for that kind of thing), it is when you get what should be a really small simple app that takes GBs when it should be KBs.


Problem with too much RAM

Developers will start to think it is 'normal' and write even sloppier code. It's the same as having a bigger work bench, you just fill it up with more junk - unless you are well disciplined.

This is not aimed at those developers who still believe in and strive to make lean, compact apps which manage and use resources efficiently.

Tea tipplers are more likely to live longer, healthier lives than you triple venti pumpkin-syrup soy-milk latte-swilling fiends


My problem with tea

I love it, but I always want a biscuit (or many) with it, so tea may shorten my life indirectly.

The thing is with these 'xxxxx extends your life' claims, is that longer lives are not always more enjoyable, you may suffer for longer at the end. It's a bit like when people/commentators/journalists/politicians say "we're all living longer - which is a good thing" - really?.....I can think of loads of downsides to people living longer.

El Reg presents: Your one-step guide on where not to store electronic mail


Some people

I agree that people really ought to understand 'how to file (email) properly' but there are many people who are just plain messy, even without email their desks are a mound of paperwork - they know where everything is - even if it is not organised as such.

I cannot get my wife to use folders in email or on her computer - she refuses to try and understand and she has been using computers for at least 20 years.

It drives me mad and I'm not that tidy myself but I do try to have some semblance or organisation on my computer, at home, in the shed etc.

In tribute to Galaxy Note 7, BBC iPlayer support goes up in flames for some Samsung TVs


Re: Vice versa

Analogue signal specs were relatively straightforward as they were designed so that the receiving kit could be cheap and simple.

Digital TV specs are far more complex and have loads of possible variations/options/choices - the MPEG2 spec I believe is over 800 pages and allows for improvements in coding when the technology comes along.

Sadly everyone - the online streamers and the broadcasters - are now in a race to keep 'improving stuff' and come out with new stuff - even though to many viewers they cannot tell the difference and really they'd just like to watch TV.

You looking for an AI project? You love Lego? Look no further than this Reg reader's machine-learning Lego sorter


Re: If I have enough lego to need sorting

"Also known as 'your kids'"

You have not met my son have you...trying to get him to do any sort of tidying takes 10 times more effort than doing it myself.

Yep, I'm a terrible parent.

Complete with keyboard and actual, literal, 'physical' escape key: Apple emits new 16" $2.4k+ MacBook Pro


Re: "The £2,399 portable"

Are you sure? I had to check...

Base model 13inch - £1299, then £1499, £1799, and £1999 for higher specs.

Aw, bad day at your air-conditioned, somewhat clean desk? Try shifting a 40-tonne fatberg


Re: What actually happens to the fatberg?

I wondered if it could go into an Anerobic Digester....


What actually happens to the fatberg?

So they break it up - but where do the bits go? does it/do they actually reach the sewage treatment plant and finally get broken down into .... whatever?....

BTW - when people ask me the best ever invention, I always say sewage treatment.

I'm not Boeing anywhere near that: Coder whizz heads off jumbo-sized maintenance snafu


Re: 767

My Moke fuel gauge was duff for years and I just got passengers to pul the cap off an have a look for me. I usually asked that they did not use it as an ash tray.

[When I finally restored the car, I replaced the sender in the tank and all worked perfectly after that]

Not LibreOffice too? Beloved open-source suite latest to fall victim to the curse of Catalina


Re: Productivity? I really don't see the benefit of Catalina over High Sierra.

Snow Leopard is also my favourite from a usability POV, but as someone who still runs it on an old Macbook (it can't take any further updates), it can be annoying for internet stuff.

I wonder if Linux will be my next OS.

Fancy yourself as a bit of a Ramblin' Man or Woman? Maybe brush up on your cartography


Other options....

...I use Viewranger and have got used to it and IMHO it works quite well - you have to buy maps seperately but they stick on the device. When I bought some paper landrangers recently I got the free OS downloads and liked the look of it but stuck with what I was used to.

How do we stop filling the oceans with Lego? By being a BaaS-tard, toy maker suggests


Any plastic experts out there?

I agree that Lego usually gets handed down and never thrown out, but some of mine/ours is over 45 years old now and it has teeth marks and some is a little weakened or some bits are broken.

Can the plastic be melted down and re-cast/remoulded into new bricks? I know Lego has been made from different types of plastic over the years. I'm sure it could be sorted by colour (I'd be happy to do it, but then I'm weird....)

Second MoD Airbus Zephyr spy drone crashes on Aussie test flight


Re: brushless

I remember overhearing many years ago from my electrical tutor at university, that synchronous motors are the most efficient. DC to AC conversion is very good these days. Maybe the efficiency of a synchronous motor with a DC to AC converter just wins the maths....?

(though I would also imagine that one speed props have their limitations unless they are variable pitch)

That lithium-ion battery in your phone or car? It has just won three chemists the Nobel Prize


Re: Isn't Chemistry, Physics?

Physics is particle engineering (and other fundamental stuff)

Chemistry is atomic engineering

Biology is molecular engineering

And they all overlap one another - e.g. molecules feature in Chemistry and electrons feature in Biology, and physicists are predominantly biological (all the ones I've met)

Cosmo Communicator: More phone than the Gemini, more pocket computer than phone


I'd love one

But really don't need one.

The top three attributes for getting injured on e-scooters? Having no helmet, being drunk or drugged, oddly enough


'You just described 70% of bicycle riders'

I suspect your estimation is off. Good cyclists are everywhere but you don't notice them. "they are all the same is" is a dangerous assumption to make in many situations.

Yes, sounds like an idiot in the case of your sister's car, but it is not representative of all cyclists.

Giffgaff goody-baddy-bag billing faff: Ofcom fines operator £1.4m for overcharging folks by almost £3m


Re: Forgive them.

Like you I used them for a bit and had no problem.

I only moved away from them as my ISP offered a slightly better deal.

Guess who reserved their seat on the first Moon flight? My mum, that's who


Re: Wonderful

I do similarly.

When something seems like it is going to be a saga, I keep a written log of dates, times, who I spoke to, what they said, what I said etc, as when push comes to shove and the inevitable complaint letter is written, a clear history of events is difficult to argue with.

Bulb smart meters in England wake up from comas miraculously speaking fluent Welsh


Re: Am a happy Bulbster, but they can shove their smart meters ...

'i fyny eu hasesiadau'

That's what Google translate says English to Welsh - interestingly it comes out as 'up their assessments' - Welsh to English.

Any Welsh scholars out there able to shed any light? - not important, just curious.

How an ace-hole AI bot built by Facebook, CMU boffins whipped a table of human poker pros


Re: "learned how to play the popular card game by playing trillions of games against itself"

If a computer plays something a trillion times, it can remember every detail of every game and then run the analysis on best strategy.

I suspect your tongue is in your cheek, but if not, please can I borrow your memory?

Now, what did I come here for?.....

Monster magnet in my pocket: Boffins' gizmo packs 45.5-tesla punch and weighs just 390g


Re: The numbers are not tautological.

I'm also confused. I thought in superconductivity there was no resistance? Maybe it is resistance outside the 'superconducting bit'

I've not worked in the field - in fact when I studied* superconductivity it was all fields round here.

(*OK 'came across',I've never done anything with it except be scanned in an MRI scanner)

Tim Peake's Soyuz lands in London after jaunt around the UK


@jmch Larndun

I live in London and like living here and think it is a great place, but I fully agree with your sentiment.

Time to reformat the old wallet and embiggen your smartmobe: The 1TB microSD is here


I'm still stunned

By the number of bits per mm3 and we all know that the actual chips in these things are even smaller.

Years ago when domestic tape based video cameras were evolving into smaller and smaller packages, we all joked that the Japanese had a shrinking machine since there was no way they could fit that many rec/play heads onto such a tiny drum.

Maybe that Tardis technology has come on really well.

Hello, tech support? Yes, I've run out of desk... Yes, DESK... space


Tea Cosies

Apparently the definition of a genius is: someone who left alone in a room with a tea cosy will not try it on.

[Back to the original subject....]

Ex-Mozilla CTO: US border cops demanded I unlock my phone, laptop at SF airport – and I'm an American citizen


Re: This is the thought that wakes me up in the middle of the night!

A friend of mine has been trying to renounce his US citizenship for years and it is painfully slow and difficult at least for him. From his POV, the US seem mostly obsessed with TAX. He has lived in the UK all of his life since a baby.

Granddaddy of the DIY repair generation John Haynes has loosened his last nut


Mini flywheel

I remember reading and re-reading the instructions about removing the flywheel and how you had to use a special tool and it might come off with a bang. We had the engine out so it should have been easy but after 3 hours and my dad on the end of a 3 foot pole and me bracing the engine I re-read and noticed a rather incidental line 'remove the drive washer' - a comparatively small part which was holding everything together..... Once removed the flywheel then came off with a proper bang - my dad thought it had shattered at first.

Like many here I had 2 mini manuals - a clean one for reading indoors in the evening and the oily one for use in the workshop. I got others for later cars and I'd get one for my current car but they don't do one for my model...

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?


Least effort

This sounds like the human condition where we want to do as little as possible to get by. It starts young when children ask something like "what is 12 times 3?" - you try to tell them how to work it out but all they want to know is the answer. Later on in their school careers - "will this be in the exam?" - if the answer is no then no need to learn it. 'Grown ups' are similar.

I met a chap who only could use his computer by following a list of steps - I have no idea how he coped if he clicked on the wrong thing in error. I hope he did not drive.

OnePlus 6T: Tasteful, powerful – and much cheaper than a flagship


Re: I don't know phones anymore

Fairly happy Moto(rola) owner here - fairly cheap and also would consider Wiley Fox. Not too overloaded with bloatware (IMHO - please comment if you think otherwise) Don't know about the unlocked bootloader as I'm not that adventurous.

With the 6T, OnePlus hopes to shed 'cheeky upstart' tag and launch assault on flagships


Re: Why the front-facing camera hullaballoo?

I suspect most of your figures are from the "80% of statistics are made up on the spot" and I think your tongue might be somewhere in your cheek - but I upvoted you as I think your last point might be the most accurate.

Do I hear two million dollars? Apple-1 fossil goes on the block, cassettes included


My first ebay sale

Several years ago I wanted to try selling some old unwanted stuff on ebay for the first time, I decided to see if anyone wanted a non-working NewBrain computer I had had sitting around for many years . I was expecting maybe £5 to £10 so was quite surprised when it sold for nearly £190.

Sadly I don't think I have any more good old tech which will get that much - eMac anyone?.....

Apple pulls iOS 12 beta 7 after less than 24 hrs


Re: Rollback

"And Mrs Page wonders why I wait months before I'll update her iPad."

My wife is the opposite - never wants anything updated, prefers the old ways of doing things, thinks updates breaks things (which is often how it seems). She used to work with journalists and they all much preferred using Xywrite (IIRC) - with visible control characters and text only clunky non-wisiwyg display - over having Word forced upon them.

Sur-Pies! Google shocks world with sudden Android 9 Pixel push


Re: Waze

I've recently been using Waze, I tired it originally on a 3G phone and found it to be useless but with a 4G phone much better (YMMV - a friend who recommended it said he had not trouble with it on 3G)

I've not been able to contribute much back though as I don't like touching the screen while driving - too distracting. I guess it is monitoring my speed, location and progress though.

I wonder when and how it is going to be monetized. Quite like it though so far.

Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual


Revealing weaknesses

What I don't understand is why so often when someone like "Guy" reveals a security shortcoming and shows it to his clients - they get so upset with him and give him a hard time. The article suggests he was completely open and IMHO should have been thanked immediately.

New Monty Python movie to turn old jokes into new royalties


Re: topical

A pal of mine who used to lecture on international politics used Life of Brian to illustrate many aspects of political theory to his students.

As a youngster (slightly underage) I went to see it when it was first released and loved it. When I saw it when I was older, the socio-politcial jokes made far more sense meaning that I got more out of it later.

Still love the "You're all individuals....." etc bit - best joke ever IMHO in so many ways.

We just wanna torque: Spinning transfer boffins say torque memory near



I'd love to think that one day there will be no difference between storage and memory and programmes will run from where they are and merely be added to the 'stack' or running applications - rather than having to write them from one place to another in RAM et*c, but I am not sure if computer architecture and OSes are ready for this yet.

I mean, how much technology is every really ready and finished when you buy it these days?

*Having said that, I wonder if having storage ('HDD/Flash: a bit more permanent') versus RAM (dynamic, expect it to change, easy to flush out etc) is maybe a good architecture which serves us well.

Take-off crash 'n' burn didn't kill the Concorde, it was just too bloody expensive to maintain


Re: Brooklands

A bunch of my colleagues/friends went to Brooklands a few years ago and were lucky enough to be there on a day when the chief test pilot (IIRC - or at least a very knowledgeable and experienced Concorde pilot) was there. Being a weekday and it was fairly quiet, apparently they had him to themselves for ages and he was more than happy to talk - and all being engineers - they more than happy to ask questions. Wish I'd gone along.

Apple's magical quality engineering strikes again: You may want to hold off that macOS High Sierra update...


No issues here

But I am not doing very adventurous stuff....The upgrade went fine, as far as I can remember.



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