* Posts by Danny 4

82 publicly visible posts • joined 18 May 2010


Debugging source is even harder when you can't stop laughing at it

Danny 4

Re: I missed a lot of fun.

If I remember correctly, the Fortran compiler would stop with an error if it found swear words being used in the source.

USB4: Based on Thunderbolt 3. Two times the data rate, at 40Gbps. One fewer space. Zero confusing versions

Danny 4

I'm holding out for USB5, to be referred to as...

Enough with these number things: USB Pentium.

Expired cert... Really? #O2down meltdown shows we should fear bungles and bugs more than hackers

Danny 4

Re: <strike>Acronyms</strike> Initialism

Abbreviation = Shortened word E.G. St, Dr etc

I always thought St and Dr were contractions but never bothered with the apostrophe.

What if tech moguls brewed real ale?

Danny 4

The 8 Bitter

Nostalgic trip down memory lane when beer was tasty and affordable and the computer games weren't so complicated...

User fired IT support company for a 'typo' that was actually a real word

Danny 4

Re: Validation Vs verification

modem or modern

I read the whole of Neuromancer thinking that Panther Modems was a cool name.

10 PRINT "ZX81 at 37" 20 GOTO 10

Danny 4

Re: Gateway Drug

dkTronics Rampack

I had a Memotech 16K Rampack. Seems they used the same solution of velcroing a shaped metal-cased rampack to the back of the '81. Very stable and ran cool.

Adding memory was the only way to make the ZX81 usable. Much like a the 16K vs 48K Spectrum.

Wowee, it's Samsung's next me-too AI gizmo: The Apple HomePod

Danny 4
Big Brother

They could have called it iEye ...

iSpy, perhaps?

PC survived lightning strike thanks to a good kicking

Danny 4

Re: Interfering mice

You can prise my PS/2 mouse and keyboard out of my cold, dead hands...

Astroboffins stunned by biggest brown dwarf ever seen – just a hop and a skip away (750 ly)

Danny 4

Re: "Gigayears"...?

According to my dictionary gillion is a British term for thousand million. [giga- and million.] Though I've never seen it used anywhere. Time to re-introduce it?

(source: Chambers English Dictionary, 1990.)

Robot cars probably won't happen, sniffs US transport chief

Danny 4

Re: I'm not sure I understand

I think I'd want a car programmed with self-preservation.

A car that considers itself and its occupants expendable isn't much of a selling point.

Australian geoboffin discovers 3.7 billion year old fossils after ice melts

Danny 4


Or, for us Brits gillion is also 10^9.

(Not one I've heard used but should El Reg reintroduce it to avoid this confusion?)

Source: Chambers English Dictionary (1990).

Humans get 'aroused' fondling robots in their private areas – study

Danny 4

Fondling Robots

Reminds me of the Björkbots making out in the All is Full of Love video.

Google human-like robot brushes off beating by puny human – this is how Skynet starts

Danny 4

Have they not seen The Terminator?!

Scary stuff. It makes Asimo look quite lame.

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Danny 4

Antipodian Cousins

G'day, guys! Life in Britain is much like Oz but upside-down!

Another chance to win a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive

Danny 4

Spiders Everywhere

"You know everything's connected to the web now?" said the spider.

"But I don't want Windows 10!" cried the woman.

Camera-carrying DOLPHIN SPY caught off Gaza

Danny 4

Re: Whatever next?

Urchins with Uzis

Boffins: The universe is DOOMED and there's nothing to be done

Danny 4

EOU Party

Didn't Douglas Adams cover the pointlessness of existence in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe?

Buffoon in 999 call: 'Cat ate my bacon and I want to press charges'

Danny 4

Re: Too polite

The guy deserves neither girlfriend nor cat. Or even access to bacon.

I'm embarrassed that he's a member of the same species.

Q: What's black and white and read all over? A: E-reader displays

Danny 4

double sided tablet?

Apart from the extra weight and cost etc, could a tablet have an IPS LCD on one side and epaper on the other? Just power up whichever is most suited for the task...

The Martian: Matt Damon sciences the sh*t out of the red planet

Danny 4

Re: xkcd

Me too.

VR rift OPENS UP: Total Recall Technologies hurls lawsuit at Facebook's Oculus

Danny 4

Re: There's no legal requirement to sue as soon as possible

"There are two reasons to sue if someone stole your idea..."

You don't patent an idea. The patent is for an invention that implements that idea. At least, that's how it should work.

Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says

Danny 4

Re: L stands for ?


Loxley Lozenge.

Hackers' Paradise: The rise of soft options and the demise of hard choices

Danny 4

Re: Learning curve


"The concepts of VAX VMS and Unix..."

Good post. Linux is now their spiritual successor for the modern world. No reason to continue using Windows...

Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

Danny 4

Re: Here you go

Nearly, but that item's description pointedly fails to describe its display technology - I'm betting it's not OLED or it would harp on about it. Probably LCD with LED backlighting. (ugh)

All we need is a proper OLED monitor (and affordable too.)

Internet of Things fridges? Pfft. So how does my milk carton know when it's empty?

Danny 4

Re: Devil's advocate says...

@John H Woods

That was my initial thought. But if you picked up two objects simultaneously - or rather put them back simultaneously on the same shelf... (It would know what was taken from the fridge and therefore already knows the previous weights.)

The scanning sounds like a lot of faff. Though I'd be up for one if, across the door threshold, the scanner was the laser mist from Alien. It would also keep the nasties inside the fridge (or the other way around - keep them out?)

Otherwise, I agree: a solution to a non-existent problem.

Microsoft issues less-than-helpful tips to XP holdouts

Danny 4

Install Linux

"Or install Linux, an operating system utterly likely to leave an XP machine eminently usable and secure."

Seems an eminently sensible solution to me. Been using Debian for years now and never looked back...

THOUSANDS of Tesco.com logins and passwords leaked online

Danny 4

Re: Is this Tesco's fault?

If your customer base is in the UK and the IP address come from somewhere else, then this is not likely to be your customer.

That's a parochial view you're adopting of how people use the Internet. Being able to order from overseas is v.handy. I ordered bottles of wine from Tesco for the folks while I was in Australia.

Deploying Turing to see if we have free will

Danny 4

Re: Stop making me think about sex. It's irrelevant.

I was taught that their is the non-gender specific possessive form.

MS Word deserves DEATH says Brit SciFi author Charles Stross

Danny 4


Why not give TeX or LaTeX a go? Edit using any text editor you choose - no obscure binary file formats. Multiplatform. Source code easily available. Powerful and portable. What's not to love?

Bill Gates: Yes, Ctrl-Alt-Del salute was a MISTAKE

Danny 4


Don't know about Windows, but on Linux you can revert that useless and annoying Capslock key back into a Ctrl key (where the Ctrl key should normally be) by adding XKBOPTIONS="ctrl:nocaps" to /etc/default/keyboard.

Or get a better keyboard like the HHKB that, along with the Windows keys, does away with it all together.

Danny 4

Re: Amiga reboot keys

@graeme leggett

"nickname of Vulcan death grip (or similar..."

The Ctrl-Amiga-Amiga combination is also known as the Vulcan Nerve Pinch.

Roses are #f00, violets are #00f. This witty code is a boffinry breakthrough

Danny 4

Programmer Joke

How many functional programmers does it take to change a light bulb?

One. But they have to build an entire identical house with a new bulb in place of the old one.

Mass Sony DVR seppuku riddle: Freeview EPG update fingered

Danny 4

Re: bad EPG data from Sky

@Lee D

I don't understand why you're sorry?

Did you read my post? The casual fault is bad EPG data. Yes, this should have been avoided by better software, both the software used by the EPG preparer - it should verify the data before committing to broadcast - and the firmware in the recorder should not trust external data even from non-belligerent sources. I reiterate, "to all involved: more testing, guys!"

Also, there appear to be a fault on your keyboard. It seems to be outputting occasional words in all-caps. Unless this is a wetware fault?

Danny 4

bad EPG data from Sky

I'm one of those Sony users affected by the broadcast of out-of-spec EPG data.

It's not and has never been about a firmware update from Sony. The BBC article is factually incorrect.

Some knowledgable people have tracked the error down as corrupt EPG data from Sky, or its EPG data supplier, being broadcast on COM5. It would appear to boil down to a missing "/" in the data.

Other makes of Freeview devices gracefully handled this error; the Sony HXD boxes made by Pioneer and some Pioneer boxes (and a few others) choked when presented with this data stream.

Retuning using France as the location was a temporary workaround. They must use a different EPG ident or structure or something so the UK EPG packets in the broadcast stream were discarded and hence no recorder crash. You could select either Guide++ or digital EPG (though the EPG was still empty) to affect which timer controls to use. Selecting Guide++ while using a UK location did not help.

By Sunday afternoon, Sony, DTT and other big nobs had got together, kicked bottom and the broadcast stream was fixed. Everything seems to be back to normal now.

You can follow the whole EPG Black Friday saga here:


As a developer I know it's the dull boring bit but, hey, to all involved: more testing guys!

Sci-fi and horror scribe Richard Matheson: He is Legend

Danny 4

Re: The novel's pretty hard to adapt without bombing

"Hadn't heard of the Price take before, really want to see it."

This adaptation of the book can be found on archive.org. Look for The Last Man on Earth (1964).

Spaniards deploy self-propelled ROBOT BALLS

Danny 4

The Prisoner

Ballbots? How soon before we can have Rovers chasing hapless humans along the beaches of north Wales?

Boffins read memory bits with light

Danny 4

Ferrite-core memory

That's what I was thinking. Ferrite-core (magnetic-core) memory was one of the earliest implementations for random-access memory. And gave us the term core memory.

I seem to remember many years ago, Thompson were investigating reading magnetic tape using a laser. It would have eliminated the rotating head on VCRs but DVD was already looming so it never appeared.

Put the two together...

BBC boffins ponder abstruse Ikea-style way of transmitting telly

Danny 4

Re: So we can disable the laugh track.

I'd like to disable the pointless pre-introductions and post-title-introductions in documentaries and just get on with the programme.

Who should play the next Doctor? Nominations needed!

Danny 4

Re: First female Doctor

Kylie Minogue. Though she has been in one of the specials which could complicate things.

Danny 4

the other one

Or for that matter Stephen Fry?

FLABBER-JASTED: It's 'jif', NOT '.gif', says man who should know

Danny 4

Re: giga

I've always pronounced giga with a J as in giant, gigantic etc. Isn't that the logical pronunciation?

Does anyone know the pronunciation for the Latin (or is it Greek?) source for these English words? Has the sound of the first G transmuted on its way into English?

Oh yeah, GIF is a hard G - isn't JIF a household cleaning product?

One of the world's oldest experiments crawls towards a fall

Danny 4


Wasn't this myth debunked on that fount of all knowledge, QI?

Ubuntu without the 'U': Booting the Big Four remixes

Danny 4

Re: I'm just waiting

@h3 "The only thing I am bothered about is focus follows mouse with no autoraise."

I'm with you on that point. It is so much more productive. Ditto for for Alt+mouse button for move, resize and raising. This should be the default behaviour on all desktops, including Windows and Macs which are unusable because of this. Also mouse middle-click for paste is something I really miss when I'm forced to use Windows.

New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

Danny 4

fixed-width pages?

Is there a good reason why El Reg pages are fixed-width HTML?

My complaint is that it's only using half of my monitor's screen. And it scales horribly if I attempt to make the fonts larger.

I know, from personal experience, that creating HTML that fills the entire screen and gracefully scales takes a little more effort.

Just curious. Lots of other sites do the same thing. I'm sure I've read the W3C recommends that one should not make assumptions about target screen resolutions. Yup, graphics will look smaller but I went for a hires monitor so fonts can be scaled larger and still be crisp.

Seagate squeezes out 4TB desktop monster

Danny 4

Re: But%20at%20what%20price%3F@El Presidente

I live life on the edge. Otherwise there wouldn't be enough room.

My first was the colossal 20 Mb Seagate ST325N SCSI HDD. It came as part of the Amiga A590 for £400 I seem to remember. It was a joy to use after living from floppy disks.

Why do Smart TV UIs suck?

Danny 4

one function per button

I disagree. My folks are from an era where equipment had a single function per button. They fully understand this type of UI. The modern style of menus with control a cursor with direction keys and OK is an utterly alien concept.

As an example they had an old JVC VCR whose timer could be set from the front of the machine itself. Mum would have no problem setting this. She now gets lost immediately having to navigating on-screen menus and gives up. She doesn't get the concept at all. I understand where she is coming from. Simple things should be simple and complex thing should be possible. It seems things are going to get more complicated and using less buttons.

As the article says, press the red button and OK to go straight to iPlayer. Or it could even be on its own iPlayer button... (Hopefully Mum will comprehend the subsequent iPlayer pages...)

Danny 4

Re: “Click here for additional assets”

Tim Berners-Lee et al say a good UI design should not mention the mechanics of navigating...


Google data center spies on ITSELF: 'Like a boring version of Doom'

Danny 4

Re: Is that C3P0 really small.....

Maybe that's a normal R2D2 but the stormtrooper and front door are very, very large. Presumably so all Google's big nobs can get through...

Pints all round as Register Special Projects hacks hack off feet

Danny 4

Re: missed the poll


"...a man who is 5"6'..."

Do you really mean 5'6"? As 6'5" is 196 cm.

Go and (re)watch This is Spinal Tap (1984) for the consequences of mixing up minutes and seconds symbols.

Endeavour: donuts and a Toyota ease shuttle's drive through L.A.

Danny 4

Lightweight Pickup?

Error in original article? Isn't a half-ton pickup a little on the light side. Land Rovers are about 2 tons.

Some googling reveals the 2012 Toyota Tundra CrewMax has a curb weight of 5,280 lbs which would be 2.36 tons here in Blighty or 2.64 tons to our septic cousins. Or in the newly established reader-voted Reg standardised SI units of 2 395 kg.