* Posts by Richard Crossley

120 posts • joined 24 May 2007


Toshiba formally and finally exits laptop business

Richard Crossley

Re: Variable quality

19V, it probably is. Thanks.

Richard Crossley

Variable quality

I remember the excellent Toshiba Satellite laptops of yesterday year. Dad had one for taking on site. In around 2010, I bought an NB200 netbook, which I still have. Lovely quality, if a little slow now.

In 2012, I bought a Satellite p875-102, oh dear. Within a week it was having the back space key repaired and over the years; the USB ports have corroded, the hinges broken and the speakers disintegrated. Despite being an i7 with 16Gb of RAM it surfs the web at 90C (Tjunction) and has been stood on bricks to keep the underside cool for years.

I guess the accountants were involved in the design.

Mind the airgap: Why nothing focuses the mind like a bit of tech antiquing

Richard Crossley

Re: I have a few of these babies!

I have an old laptop with a reasonable 1400x1050 screen which I use as an RDP client. It means I can run modern software on a VM in the office and use the RDP client software to connect whilst I sit with the family.

Uber plans to ride out of stable Singapore, move APAC HQ to high-tension Hong Kong

Richard Crossley


Given that taxis don't like crossing the harbour and don't take Octopus cards, which are taken on almost every other form of public transport, it might wake up some of taxi drivers.

Linus Torvalds drops Intel and adopts 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper on personal PC

Richard Crossley

Re: New PC

Another +1 for Fractal Design. R7 here with no windows either in hardware or software. Best case I've ever worked on.

AMD Ryzen 3900X inside, it seems the Linux Lord and I share several preferences.

Das reboot: That's the only thing to do when the screenshot, er, freezes

Richard Crossley

Re: Seriously though...

Annotation, I use rather easily visible drawn shapes, but does the same thing

Former Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman calls on UK govt to legally protect data from contact-tracing apps

Richard Crossley
Big Brother

Re: Wow

I think she's just woken up.

The end really is nigh – for 32-bit Windows 10 on new PCs

Richard Crossley

Re: Catalina

I feel your pain.

Richard Crossley


Wasn't it Catalina that ditched 32bit applications on macOS?

Pew-pew woo-hoo! Hong Kong reopens video arcades shut by coronavirus lockdown

Richard Crossley

Re: Dense city

Hong Kong has done remarkably well, I guess that was the impact of SARS being recalled.

The Hong Kong Government dragged it's heals for quite a while and wouldn't even address the issue of the border between HK and China remaining open when everyone wanted it closed. I believe medical workers even striked over that.

Icon, now is the time for a cold one.

UK COVID-19 contact-tracing app data may be kept for 'research' after crisis ends, MPs told

Richard Crossley


Who's to say this app won't be updated to send this information when ever it wants to?

RIP Katherine Johnson: The extraordinary NASA mathematician astronauts trusted over computers

Richard Crossley

Re: this is a role model

... single mother as well, 3 children and the other challenges. What a contribution.

What a role model

Life in plastic, with a classic: Polymer £20 notes released into wild sporting Turner art

Richard Crossley

Re: money saving tip

Tell me about it, toilet paper is being stolen in armed robberies now.

The 2020 Mong Kok Toilet Paper Heist

Duped into running bogus virus scans at Office Depot? Dry your eyes with a small check from $35m settlement

Richard Crossley

It's not enough, not even close

Let's start with 541,247 victims.

$300 per victim


Now double this to act as a punishment and that's just the fine.

The victims should also have their costs + interest at a punitive level also returned.

25 years of Delphi and no Oracle in sight: Not a Visual Basic killer but hard to kill

Richard Crossley

Re: "Thinking back to 2002-2005,"

I had a play with Kylix, it sucked donkey balls.

A shame really, because I liked Turbo Pascal, Turbo Pascal for Windows and something modern and Linux based would have been a very useful.

FPC and Lazarus sorted me out though.

Richard Crossley

Re: Progman Error

Upvote and this for your honesty, it's appreciated -------------->

Atari would love to ship its VCS console but – would ya believe it – there's yet another delay. This time, it's the coronavirus's fault

Richard Crossley
Big Brother

I've no idea how you do it.

Every time I travel to China (fairly frequently until the middle of 2019), I try and read El Reg and it succeeds. Other far less critical organs fail to reach those behind the Great Firewall. Loving the 100 CNY note!

Beer necessities: US chap registers bevvy as emotional support animal so he can booze on public transport

Richard Crossley

Re: No beer on the train?

I seem to recall it took about 3 hours. Having moved a way from London I don't make the journey now. I travelled the route between 2007 and 2012.

Traveling back on Sunday required patience.

Richard Crossley

Re: No beer on the train?

Not can you drink beer & wine on the train in the UK they will sell it to you.

TFL, which is a London centric organisation, only controls the trains operated for TFL. Those would be London Underground, the "Tube" if you like and London Overground, normal trains on specific routes.

In the rest of the UK, the trains allow the consumption of alcoholic beverages. I've occasionally boarded a Friday evening train at Kings Cross and arrived ready to party in Newcastle a few hours later.

Great Western Wine List

Microsoft boffin inadvertently highlights .NET image woes by running C# on Windows 3.11

Richard Crossley

What's not to like?

* [Program Name] has caused a General Protection Fault in module [module name] at [memory address].

* Limited "resources".

* 16 bit memory models.

Agree with you on slurping/adverts/bloat though.

Smart speaker maker Sonos takes heat for deliberately bricking older kit with 'Trade Up' plan

Richard Crossley
Thumb Down

Re: Sonos said

It's about revenue protection.

Senior health tech pros warn NHS England: Be transparent with mass database trawl or face public backlash

Richard Crossley

Opt in only

That's the first requirement and even then do you believe them?

If you later demand to opt out, what removes your data and what guarantees do you have it was removed.

Tin foil hat? Maybe, but the data is far too tempting for ne'er-do-wells to ignore.

Revealed: NHS England bosses meet with tech and pharmaceutical giants to discuss price list of millions of Brits' medical data

Richard Crossley

Re: Once again. It is not *their* data to sell.

Specifically GDPR is an EU directive. The EU requires directives to be implemented as laws in the member countries. The UK implemented this directive with Data Protection Act, 2018

Immediately post Brexit this will still be on the UK Statute. If it is subsequently removed, the UK will not be allowed to and process data pertaining to EU Citizens.

Remember the Dutch kid who stuck his finger in a dam to save the village? Here's the IT equivalent

Richard Crossley

Re: Once upon a time in Brighton...

That's why when modifying users, groups etc I've learned to have another session open so the change can be tested. Boring, yes but hopefully our collective experience saves a PFY from that gut-wrenching feeling.

Two can play that game: China orders ban on US computers and software

Richard Crossley

Re: China already has one...

I'm sure that Kylin is based on BSD (earlier versions) and Linux (later versions) so they will undoubtedly have non-Chinese components.

IT protip: Never try to be too helpful lest someone puts your contact details next to unruly boxen

Richard Crossley

Re: Where were you 20 years ago?

Freezing my butt off in a computer room testing the company's systems for Y2K compliance. Found some bugs, but not much Y2K related.

Icon, mines the one with the Sybase ASE 11 document set. Please bring it, I need wrap myself in something.

Xiaomi the way to go phone: That would be with a 108MP camera by the looks of things

Richard Crossley


Earlier today, it announced a new R&D facility in Tampere, Finland, which will focus on developing camera technology.

Nokia is quite close to Tampere, I wonder if there's a connection with that decision.

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority asked drone orgs to email fliers' data in an Excel spreadsheet

Richard Crossley

How does this work?

Excuse me if this is a silly question, but I don't fly drones or planes.

Having the registration database tells the CAA who has a drone, but does it tell them when and where it is flying? Do drones have transponders or something now?

Apple insists it's totally not doing that thing it wasn't accused of: We're not handing over Safari URLs to Tencent – just people's IP addresses

Richard Crossley
Big Brother

Re: Exactly

China actively tracks people's online activities and makes decisions about what they can do in "real life" as a result.

Social Credit System

Hong Kong ISPs beg Chinese govt not to impose Great Firewall on them

Richard Crossley
Big Brother


The last time I looked, which was July, El Reg was readable from the People's Republic of China. The BBC less so. They may have already banned you :-(

Electric vehicles won't help UK meet emissions targets: Time to get out and walk, warn MPs

Richard Crossley

Re: 50 miles???

I used to happily drive from London to Glasgow without a stop, took about 6 hours, traffic willing.

Will that old Vulcan's engines run? Bluebird jet boat team turn to Cold War bomber

Richard Crossley

Mark III's, they look like Mark IIDs or later

According to the source of all knowledge, Wikipedia Mark III's had their underfloor workings enclosed, the picture at the top of the article shows carriages without the enclosures.

Mark II Picture

Mark III Picture

Thumb up for mentioning Class 37s working on local hauled trains, I miss their "grumble"

If the thing you were doing earlier is 'drop table' commands, ctrl-c, ctrl-v is not your friend

Richard Crossley

Re: Shortcut curious...

CTRL-DEL, CTRL-INS and SHIFT-INS was IBM's Common User Access


Yes I still use it.

My birth computer was "use the cursor keys to find the text on the screen you want to copy on to the command line and press the COPY button to the copy the characters and edit as necessary"

Richard Crossley

Not all RDBMS are the same

Some don't allow DDL inside a transaction.

Some commit the transaction once the DDL has been executed.

Probably best to have multiple levels of access:

1) Read only for "inspecting the data"

2) Read-Write for "modifying the data"

3) Read-Write-Destroy* for "altering the schema"

* Other adjectives are available, but given the nature of the story it seemed appropriate.

Just a thought, were the transaction logs available?

Was point-in-time recover available as an option?

Facebook: Yeah, we hoovered up 1.5 million email address books without permission. But it was an accident!

Richard Crossley

Re: It's time...

Thanks for pointing that out, I didn't read the article well enough and realise they only stopped last month.

Richard Crossley

It's time...

FB and friends were taken down a peg or to. Not sure how yet, GDPR has some teeth, but won't apply to this.

Are you sure you've got a floppy disk stuck in the drive? Or is it 100 lodged in the chassis?

Richard Crossley

Re: Reliability

Upvote for BBC Micro Elite

Microsoft gives Windows 10 a name, throws folks a bone

Richard Crossley

Re: only roll it in sprinkles.

Icon, because you earned it with that comment.

Thanks for the laugh after a hard day.

IBM fired me because I'm not a millennial, says axed cloud sales star in age discrim court row

Richard Crossley

Take the money

I'm not familiar with US or Texas employment law, but consider this.

IBM have been having troubles (plural used intentionally) since the mid 1990s. They have been trying to be hip like someones older uncle since I was hip.

Being made redundant is unfortunate, especially if you're an older person. Mr Langley has been working for IBM since 1993 so hopefully he has built up a retirement pot and potentially a redundancy package. No details are mentioned in the original article, nor were any conditions attached to such a package. Given he's already proceeded with legal action I imagine the package, whatever it was is off the table.

Since he's engaged lawyers he's already spending whatever resources he has with the hope of reclaiming: lost pay, benefits, damages and legal fees. I have no appreciation of what the "damages" may be, but would the lost pay and benefits match the package he has already lost? The legal fees will be a win for the lawyers and zero for Mr Langley.

I'd be surprised if he recovers any serious wedge as a result of this action; whilst trawling his name through the headlines.

Personally I would have made taken the package and let my partners know of some newly found availability. After 25 successful years in sales he must have made some contacts.

♬ Finland, Finland, Finland, the country for new cloud DCs ♬

Richard Crossley

1000 Lakes?

Wikipedia says 187,888.

List of lakes of Finland

It used to be a great place for a quiet holiday, fond memories.

Microsoft loves Linux so much its R Open install script rm'd /bin/sh

Richard Crossley

Re: EEE play


Thank you for adding that to my vocabulary.

Icon, because it's worth it.

Every bloody gadget in the house is ringing. Thanks, EE

Richard Crossley

Re: Won't hurt

I don't have any IoT things and this sounds terrifying.

Airbus windscreen fell out at 32,000 feet

Richard Crossley

Re: Well done that Captain...

I was going to offer Blue Sky Spirit

Admin needed server fast, skipped factory config … then bricked it

Richard Crossley

Re: 80186

Sounds like RM Nimbus

Apple's QWERTY gets dirty leaving fanbois shirty

Richard Crossley

Definitely prefer the older Macs

I have a 2015 Macbook Air, 11 inch. Bought for being able to use in cattle class and on trains. The keyboard is truly excellent. If I buy another I'll be scouting around the used computer mall a couple of miles away to pick up a Macbook Pro that doesn't have one of these horrible keyboards.

Right now, typing this on an Apple Polycarbonate keyboard plugged into a Linux laptop.

LESTER gets ready to trundle: The Register's beer-bot has a name

Richard Crossley

Re: In loving memory

When I worked in London there was a bar in the basement, now it would have to come from The Beer Bay* and negotiate a shopping mall and multiple lifts.


* Shameless plug for the ladies running the Pier 3 bar "The Beer Bay" who stayed open a little later than normal so I could quench my thirst after hot and sweaty encounter with "The Twins" at Ching Ming Festival

Office junior had one job: Tearing perforated bits off tractor-feed dot matrix printer paper

Richard Crossley

Re: I know that printer!

My LX80 certainly didn't have a colour option, just various shades of grey depending how many times you reprinted the same line.

Most of my O level and A level homeworks were done using it. Out put from Wordwise!

Richard Crossley

I know that printer!

That graphic is either an Epson LX80 or LX86 (I see it was sold under supplier badges too) a rather noisy and slow 9 pin dot matrix printer from the 1980s.


Sad, I know, but it's nearly beer o'clock here.

Microsoft says 'majority' of Windows 10 use will be 'streamlined S mode'

Richard Crossley

Re: Computing as a vacation..

Mac OS is like a vacation at a 5 star resort. You can have everything, if you pay for it.

Mines the one with no money in the pockets, I vacation in the Linux woods.

Richard Crossley


I can see this being a fail.

My folks, octogenarians, they've been using PCs for about 15 years. Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Imagine they go to the store, I'll be generous and say John Lewis and purchase a new desktop with Windows 10 and S mode deployed out of the box.

They set this up and try and run their beloved "Spider", some card game that I can't fathom but made by Microsoft. The version in the App Store is the current version, but not the one *THEY* want.

Since this doesn't do what they want my guess would be to return it, because:

1) It's new

2) Doesn't meet the requirements

3) I'm not going to talk them through some random Windows 10 SNAFU, because it will be complicated

4) I'm not getting a plane and flying a 12,000 mile round trip to fix MS Windows and MS aren't going to repay my time/costs



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