* Posts by Martin-R

95 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Jun 2010


Tinker Tailor Soldier Pi? Asus's 'NUC-sized' SBC aims to out-Pi the Raspberry


They're in stock at https://www.pishop.us/product/raspberry-pi-4-model-b-8gb/ as of Saturday PM Check https://rpilocator.com/ to see who else has 'em

Turning a computer off, then on again, never goes wrong. Right?


Re: Reminds me of an old (early '80s) AI koan ...

> I am reminded of all the times that stuff starts magically working as soon as the relevant expert is watching

And all the stuff that breaks only when one particular tester goes near it...

Microsoft's AI Bing also factually wrong, fabricated text during launch demo


The Heidelberg Conjecture

The problem I have is that the ones I've tried all give plausible summaries of the Heidelberg Conjecture, which I just made it up - and none have responded with "that doesn't exist".

It's been 230 years since British pirates robbed the US of the metric system


in America [and] pints are only 16oz

Don't forget the fluid ounces are different sizes too, the US version being everso slightly larger than the UK one!

BOFH and the office security access upgrade


And now we know...

who wrote the online appointment booking system for my GP!

Hive to pull the plug on smart home gadgets by 2025


Had enough of Hive a year ago

Great system in principle but lousy implementation even with the cloud data... Binned it a while back, switched to Drayton Wiser which is far more flexible and works locally - no cloud required. It also offers nice add ons such as connecting a smart meter to the system so I can see actual usage and cost in the app.

And another vote for Eufy doorbell and other cameras - just works, local hub, no cloud

CAPSTONE mission is Moon-bound, after less rocketry than expected


I think it's more "went righter" than "went wrong". They will work to a range of outcomes from each burn and eight will (probably?) have been the worst case. If you look at the JWST coverage, they ended up with a lot more fuel for station keeping than the 10 year baseline thanks to a very precise launch and mid-course burns - see https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Webb/Precise_Ariane_5_launch_likely_to_extend_Webb_s_expected_lifetime

Microsoft veteran on how he forged a badge to sneak into a Ballmer presentation


IBM Catering

I worked on a couple of IBM sites during the OS/2 era and while I can't remember much about the coffee, I do remember multiple real ales in the sports and social club at lunchtime in the UK, and beer and wine in the canteen in Rome :-)

Open-source leaders' reputations as jerks is undeserved


Arrogance and rude behavior are rampant in just technology circles?

Particularly post-Covid, I'd argue that "Arrogance and rude behavior are rampant in many (most?) circles". I've seen some pretty appalling displays that have nothing to do with technology.

There are nearly half a billion active users of Start news feed, says Microsoft


Re: Fixed it for you

I quite like the weather widget; what I detest is all the crud that opens up if I'm not very careful with the mouse down in that corner of the screen. I suspect this makes me one of the half billion 'active' users!

Tomorrow Water thinks we should colocate datacenters and sewage plants


Re: unlike your typical UK green energy project

Could you hear me shouting at the radio too…?

I know people who were looking at something like this about 10 years back and the key arguments were, yeah, small reactor less efficient than big, but

1) small reactor much easier to build and manage

2) if you 20 50MW reactors it’s easy to take one off line each month for maintenance rather than losing 500MW for a year or more

As to the technology being unproven, I just assumed RR would be delivering something based on the submarine reactors they’ve been building since about 1966

I say this as someone who lives about 5km from several nuclear reactors and 7km from a recently decommissioned coal plant - I know which worried me more!

Reg reader rages over Virgin Media's email password policy


Re: TP-Link print server

Ah I wondered where MetroBank got their password setup code from...

One decade, 46 million units: Happy birthday, Raspberry Pi


Re: "I can't go out today and license a RISC-V core,"

The problem is having staff skills and time to support it. I was lucky to have staff who could & would go the extra mile when I went off-piste with the curriculum (eg the biology teacher who just happened to have her 2m handheld in school for me to borrow the day I told her my ham radio licence came through - first QSO at lunch time from outside the science block :-) but that was a while a go and funding has got tighter since then (and curriculum much more prescribed). There are some schemes out there which will stretch the brightest without too much staff input, eg UK Mathematics Trust offer mentoring for their challenges, but you're still dependent on the school's awareness of such things - and then of course the volunteer mentors.

Google kills download-shrinking Lite Mode browser tech


Re: Obligatory XKCD

There is of course an XKCD for that too!


UK.gov threatens to make adults give credit card details for access to Facebook or TikTok


Re: Idiocy

Got any recommendations for UK cards that offer this? Google was particularly unhelpful :-(

Smart things are so dumb because they take after their makers. Let's fix that


Re: "Server error 500"

Oh if only... I was recently locked out of my business banking for 10 days due to a 500 error while they'd been telling other people with the same problem there was no problem... Posting the error message from the Chrome developer console to their Twitter support desk at least got them to admit there was a problem, but it took several more phone calls and them physical posting me a 'magic word' to get it resolved :-(

Hats off however to the Ocado developers who put their recruitment links in the console complete with Ascii art of the logo :-)


Re: What are error messages for?

don't forget the hits on 'error x' but produced by a completely different product :-(

Hyperconverged infrastructure provider Nutanix reports bigger loss than turnover


Re: A way with words

Putting all your eggs in one basket?

Calendars have gone backwards since the Bronze Age. It's time to evolve


iOS/iPadOS do a reasonable job

My "calendar of record" is the iPad... The *many* Gmail calendars I'm interested in reach it via one Gmail account, and my multiple exchange accounts are configured on it too. It seems to work pretty well - certainly much better than trying to show Gmail calendars in Outlook, let alone something rash like trying to see all the Exchange calendars together in Outlook without ticking multiple checkboxes that won't stay ticked next time you visit!

Somewhat amusingly, the iPad also seems to be the best place to use Teams... at least there I can easily switch between accounts instead of having to log out and log back in again as on the Windows Desktop client.

Reg reader returns Samsung TV after finding giant ads splattered everywhere


Re: Can you opt out of the data collection on smart TVs?

Yep, my 'smart' tv is used as just a display with no internet connection, then I retain at least some control over the rest of the devices that are internet connect (+1 for pi-hole!)

Google deliberately throttled ad load times to promote AMP, claims new court document


If only it would block AMP as well :-(

Research finds consumer-grade IoT devices showing up... on corporate networks


Re: News at 9....

I dunno, the pet feeder was a new one on me! Though I suppose if you have an office cat...?

Metro Bank techies placed at risk of redundancy, severance terms criticised


Re: Industry standard redundancy terms?

I snorted at that too... For 'industry standard' meant 'statutory minimum'...

Oh! A surprise tour of the data centre! You shouldn't have. No, you really shouldn't have


Re: year 2000

Oh that's just evil :-) Have a ====>

Arm says it has 'successful working relationship' with Chinese joint venture run by CEO who refuses to leave


About those analysts...

Always fascinates me how headlines talk of "results miss analysts expectations" rather than "company announces results; analysts get predictions wrong again"

Arms not long enough to reach the plug socket? Room-wide wireless charging is on the way


Re: Repurpose as insect zapper?

If you bumped up the electric field enough for it to actually zap them, not sure I'd want to go in the room myself while it was on... But maybe you could put an electric charge on the mosquitos and then a high enough magnetic field would deflect them all out a window?!

When everyone else is on vacation, it's time to whip out the tiny screwdrivers


I read the instructions on ifixit.com for doing exactly this surgery and it was something like step 39 before you even got near the battery... luckily I found a local shop that would do it, and for not a lot more than I could buy the battery!

Redpilled Microsoft does away with flashing icons on taskbar as Windows 11 hits Beta


Re: Don't get TOO far out of the way

There's a warning? You get hibernate? First I know about the power lead having been knocked out an hour ago is the machine just stops :-(

Tech support scams subside somewhat, but Millennials and Gen Z think they're bulletproof and suffer


Can’t be bothered with baiting them any more, just installed a call blocker. Once I’d remembered to white list the kids (they always call my mobile rather than the landline, except that once…) it’s been pretty seamless. And from the reduction in calls in the logs, I think some of the scammers may have blacklisted *us* :-)

The old New: Windows veteran explains that menu item


I find myself using right click, new more and more as Word etc make it more and more clicks to do ‘save as’ to a folder… Why Alt-F-A can’t just open a proper file dialog is beyond me :-(

Ordnance Survey to take a poke at Pokémon-style gaming with outdoorsy AR adventure


Re: Hm...

Last time I looked at the OS Maps app, it was pretty horrible to use - limited zoom, dreadful offline capability, printed maps with an inch border all round. People like Anguet do that side of it just so much better - shame about the UX of rest of their app though :-(

BT to phase out 3G in UK by 2023 for EE, Plusnet, BT Mobile subscribers


Driving around the Highlands on winter climbing trips, I've come to the conclusion that a lot of the time, the best way to listen to FM radio was to stream it on 4G...

Windows 11 still doesn't understand our complex lives – and it hurts


Browser Profiles

Chrome supports multiple profiles, they just open in new windows rather than different tabs. Works a treat for keeping all the different O365 accounts separate (and that increasingly includes for voluntary groups as well as work clients)

The frustration with the Teams client for Windows however is quite justified... Outlook is sitting there quite happily supporting six different Office 365 accounts simultaneously, letting me receive emails from any of them and send with little more fuss than a dropdown to select the account. Teams on the other hand is struggling with my work account and one client 'guest' profile; to support any more requires major logging out and and in again. Ironically the best client I've found for Teams so far is on the iPad...

IBM insiders say CEO Arvind Krishna downplayed impact of email troubles, asked for a week to sort things out


4.2 billion emails a week?

A rough calculation says that's about 1,600 emails per employee per day, or a bit over 3 per minute. Do they ever do any work?!

New Yorkers react to strikingly indifferent statue of Elon Musk with cheerful hostility


The High Line

Skip the statue, but do visit the High Line if you get a chance - it's a 1.5 mile stretch of disused, elevated railway converted into a public park. Great place for a stroll on a warm evening!

The M in M1 is for moans: How do you turn a new MacBook Pro into a desktop workhorse?


Re: A Mixed Bag for me

I seem to have my MacBook (which probably counts twice as I use Bootcamp when I need Windows) plus three different client laptops... And that's as someone who usually works on servers over RDP!

Apple warns kit may interfere with implanted medical devices at close proximity


Re: kit may interfere with implanted medical devices

From reading the AHF paper, it would appear that these implants have a 'magnet reversion mode' that triggers a certain behaviour when a doughnut magnet is placed over the device. Normal phones have 'little to no risk' of interference but the Magsafe alignment magnets are in a ring that appears to do more than a passable impression of the doughnut magnets - 3/3 devices for their in vivo tests vs a previous study that found none in 148 patients with an iPhone 6

Who would cross the Bridge of Death? Answer me these questions three! Oh and you'll need two-factor authentication


An upvote for flagging the colour blindness issue...

It's often not even that I can't see a difference in two colours, but move them away from the 'key' and I have no idea which colour is which. These bands would certainly give me a problem, and the London Tube map is a nightmare!

Hubble Space Telescope may now depend on a computer that hasn't booted since 2009


Re: Informally.

If it's becoming the active machine, doesn't that make it formerly known as the backup payload computer?

Linux gods at last turn their gaze to Pi 400: Computer-in-a-keyboard receives mainline kernel support with v5.14


8GB Pi 4 Model B is showing as £73.50 inc VAT. chuck in an SD card and PSU and I guess we're at ~£85 a pop, plus the mess of extension leads for the PSUs. So if you're only doing something short term, or experimenting with say a cluster, then may be it is worth it. 'Course if you do buy them outright, you have to be wary of the damn things breeding - I seem to have 3 running full time at home doing various jobs plus the one I tinker with...

Australian cops, FBI created backdoored chat app, told crims it was secure – then snooped on 9,000 users' plots


Re: * The Man:

Oi, I'm sure the Ada, Fortran and Pascal we covered in my degree will come in useful sometime :-) The C I taught myself for the final year project on the other hand has kept me happily employed for the last 30 something years...

BMA and Royal College of GPs refuse to endorse NHS Digital's data grab from surgeries in England


Re: Sneaky in the extreme.

Wow, they kept that well hidden! We shall see what the surgery make of the form...

Desktop renaissance? Nope, rebound of hefty PCs is just because there's notebook shortage – analysts


Fair enough! I've been running a single Pi-Hole for about a year now without noticing any problems. About the only time I log on is when it blocks something I actually want to access for testing purposes


*two* Pi-Holes?

All that Lego has a purpose: Researchers find that spatial memory improves kids' mathematical powers


Re: ummm...

Errm, yes, I was trying to work where Lego fitted in too!

Protip: If Joe Public reports that your kit is broken, maybe check that it is actually broken


To which I can add "have you turned it off and left it for four weeks?" Power shower stopped working after a couple of power cuts in quick succession. "The Internet" says yeah, can happen, turn it off for an hour, it'll reset. Nope. Left if off 24h. Nope. Decided to survive on feeble shower for a few weeks as bathroom needs completely refitting anyway. Chap comes out to do survey and estimates, turns it on, works... aargh!

Crane horror Reg reader uses his severed finger to unlock Samsung Galaxy phone

Thumb Up

finger in glove

Having mashed a finger rather painfully once, I can sympathise with not wanting to look too closely in the glove, or even take the glove off at all... I got lucky, nothing more than a snapped tendon in the end, but by $deity did it hurt!

PCs continue to sell like hot cakes and industry can barely keep up with demand – analyst


Mostly I'd agree with you - in the last year my laptop's lid has really only opened for access to the power switch. But in normal times I'd have to visit clients one or twice a week so then I do need a laptop. Running a laptop and a desktop and keep everything in sync (even with all the cloud tools) is more grief than I can face, aside from the expense of two machines :-(

Also open to suggestions on a small screen laptop that will drive two external monitors - I don't need a QHD touch screen when the lid is shut, but all the smaller ones I've found seem to only support one external monitor

'No' does not mean 'yes'... unless you are a scriptwriter for software user interfaces


Oh for yes/no/cancel

My least favourite remote access tool has a helpful popup with words to the effect of "this will disconnect your session" followed by an OK button and only an OK button. No it's not OK, it's far too easy to click the button that ends the session accidentally, give me a cancel button!

I also love applications where closing a record with unsaved changes usually says "do you wish to save your changes first?" and at other points says "this will discard your changes, do you wish to continue?" - but at least there are yes and no options in both!

AdGuard names 6,000+ web trackers that use CNAME chicanery: Feel free to feed them into your browser's filter


PiHole is great but

I've now got so used to it that I almost forget it's there. So it took me a while to clock why scripts I was testing this morning for a product review weren't working :-( (and yes that will get the product marked down)