* Posts by qwarty

248 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Jun 2010


Apple gives world ... umm ... not much new actually


Re: In slight fairness to Apple...

I could use a new up to date Mac system for cross-platform software development. I was hoping to see a new Mac Mini - I've no use for a desktop screen limited by the lifetime of the processor etc. Having got used to the benefits of a touch screen no way am I going to spend £1000 on a basic laptop with no touch input.

So, as an independent developer I'm stuck. Best bet seems to wait until end of the year to see if Apple finally get their act together and meanwhile focus on Android and Windows.

Who do you want to be Who? VOTE for the BBC's next Time Lord


Next Timelord

I'd like to see a female timelord as the lead character.

Not a regeneration of the Doctor. A new character (the Doctor himself can be lost for a while).

That way we dispose of much of the baggage of the Doctors personal history and avoid the embarassing suggestion that a woman needs a few thousand years of experience living as a man before she can cut it as a superhero.

Microsoft splashes Virtual Reality-slinging 'Scorpio' Xbox


Re: Bravo

As in nobody buys a PS4/iPhone etc. Duh ... I know Microsoft marketing sets a low bar but you've limbo'd even lower.

Windows 7's grip on the enterprise desktop is loosening


Re: Picking the data that suits your argument

The Windows games market is literally over 100 times larger than Linux, despite the valiant efforts of Valve/Steam to provide the alternative. You'd have to be nuts to develop games for Linux except where its unpaid work for fun or a fairy godmother steps in. Windows 10 DirectX performance is considerably better than Windows 7 in critical areas and thats before adapting to DirectX 12. Vulcan should help level out for better performance on Linux over next year or so.

The slow arrival of 64 bit is really just a consequence of the slow upgrade rate in the PC world from the 32 bit version of Windows that ought to have been sent to the scrapheap 5 years ago. This meant some dev. middleware/engines...were going lowest common denominator 32bit for years with consequences to game devs that used it.


Re: Does everyone need Windows at work?

iPP cheaper? - sorry to break it to you but you can buy a modern transformable laptop with far more functionality, memory and SSD for far less than the £1000 for Pro+keyboard. Nice screen and all for a premium tablet but hardly anywhere near a notebook replacement.

PC sales will rise again, predicts Intel, but tablets are toast


Re: Tablet

When NVIDIA and AMD shift from 28nm to finfet 14/16nm next year small desktops for gaming/graphics apps get more interesting but the Intel guy could hardly say that.

He's right about 2 in 1. I couldn't go back to an old style laptop and as more people are experiencing the benefits and prices fall the interest among non techies seems to be growing. Anyone here found otherwise?

What upgrade cycle? Tablet sales crater for fourth straight quarter


Re: What me! Upgrade?

Its remarkable that a one product company can be so hugely successful as Apple has been with the iPhone. Its a risky business nevertheless and Apple has been very reliant on the US carriers in particular caring more about Apples profits than their own (apparently).

OK, Apple has its PC and tablet products too but seeing this part of their business shrinking must be a big concern knowing the phone business can't continue to grow at recent levels forever and only needs some combination of events to push it into decline.

HP boss hopes MS Surface Book will jack up notebook prices


Re: Personally, I hope it increases the number of laptops with a 3:2 screen ratio

Developer too. 16:10 works best for me - field of view on 16:9 just too wide at comfortable viewing distance and this seems to be the consensus opinion.

For 2 in 1, 3:2 seems to hit the sweet spot for portrait and landscape modes. Its a mystery to me why most laptop manufacturers (except Apple) persist with the unloved 16:9.

PC shipments slump in Q3, thanks to free Windows 10


Re: Last quarter's fall

Low availability of systems with modern (Skylake) processors. Crap 16:9 shaped and low res laptop displays still featuring in many models on sale. Lots more reasons not to upgrade from older models.

Windows 10 marks the end of 'pay once, use forever' software


Re: Solitaire has Adverts on Windows 10

Solitaire has displayed adverts for several years on Windows 8 so no change there with 10. A long term experiment from the Sinofsky era of arrogance to see if people will buy into the Windows store. Annoying.

MORE Windows 10 bugs! Too many Start menu apps BREAK it


Re: Ermmmmm

It took 3 months from release for the Android 5.0 update to arrive on my Nexus 7 with little information in the meantime except what I could pick up from anecotal reports of show stopping bugs on forums from those who had received the update. Google themselves were silent on the issues and the exceptionally long delay.

I expect we'll start to find out today how much better or worse Microsoft is performing on their dramatically higher and more varied installed base. I'm not starting to update, not even my test system, today. Will see what reports surface first. At least Microsoft seem to be keen on keeping users better informed on bugs.

Nexus 9: Google and HTC deliver Android 5.0 'Lollipop' at iPad prices


I'm using around 20Gb on my 32Gb Nexus 7 (illustrated books, photos, couple of games, music and some video). Imagine I could pare it down to under 16Gb but why should I bother when NAND costs less than $1/Gb retail?

I like to think a new tablet will give 3+ years useful life and can imagine plenty of ways future apps will benefit from greater storage. Given the devices are not expandable, why should I support built in obsolescence aspirations of manufacturers by saving a few quids worth of parts on a £300+ device? I expect (speaking as a developer) we are going to see growth in 1-2Gb apps over next couple of years which will make the 16Gb systems look old fairly quickly.


Re: Maybe...maybe not.

Same here. I like the Nexus 7 and look forward to the Android 5.0 update, the appeal of a stock Android device is we don't need to wait for Samsung or the others to decide whether to offer the update on our devices or delay the release to incorporate crapware.

I'd been looking forward to a 2014 update to the Nexus line so this Nexus 9 is a big disappointment. I prefer a 16:10 or 3:2 display to old-school 4:3 on a larger tablet. But the deal-breaker for me with the 9 is inadequate SSD storage. £399 for 32Gb is expensive for an Android tablet and to move forward from my Nexus 7 I expected to have the option of 64Gb (or a SSD expansion slot). The 64-bit Denver is a great choice for SoC but I can't understand why the entry level remains 16Gb (same as the £200 Nexus 7 2013).

I hope Google recognize how badly the 9 compares with the 7 and move entry level to 32Gb, adding a 64Gb option as should have been done in the first instance. And review pricing.

Pixel mania: Apple 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display


Re: 4k video editing

Video editing 4K far easier (and much cheaper) dual monitors (4K + whatever) - I've been experimenting with GoPro 4 footage.

All in ones still have their place in consumerland but serious use there's still enough happening with CPU and GPU to want to upgrade a desktop more frequently than monitor so most professional developers will want to avoid the AIO format lock-in.

Apple seem to have grabbed most of the early production runs of 5K panels for iMac so we will have to wait to see what monitor pricing turns out like, I'm guessing ballpark £1000 (Dell have announced 5K but as far as I know no pricing yet - this article speculates $2500 but sounds an unlikely rumour/fud figure). Presumably Apple will refresh their monitor lineup within months too.

Incidentally the reason for 5K (5120x2880) is fact its exactly twice the height of the traditional 1440p display so 2x scaling works nicely.

Apple CEO Tim Cook: My well-known gayness is 'a gift from God'


Yes its a very strange thing to say. If he has worked hard to help reduce discrimination on basis of gender and sexuality that would be a matter of pride but "proud to wear glasses" or whatever makes no sense at all.

Reg hacks see the woods or the trees In the Forest of the Night


Re: Was it just me?

Since the Dr Who Universe continues to move further and further from our own place in the multiverse, yes I'm all for the destruction option. Perhaps that way the Doctor can be encouraged to find his way back to our universe where he lived for the first 8 incarnations.

The notion of a sex-changed Doctor regeneration is such a bad idea. The concept that a strong female character needs to be based on a 2000 year old male is both ludicrous and insulting to women and why, apart from perversity and 'because you have the power to', would you want to introduce such an idea into a series aimed at children and adults?

Incidentally I would very much like to see a female timelord take over as the lead character in the series. Not with the baggage of the history and character of the Doctor himself but an interesting woman in her own right with a different attitude to the role of traveller in space and time. The Doctor needn't die but a long vacation would be a smart move.

Aboard the GOOD SHIP LOLLIPOP, there's a Mobe and a Slab and a TELLYBOX


Been looking forward to the Nexus 9 so very disappointed no 64Gb storage option, the +$80 for the few dollars worth of SSD to make for the should-be-entry-level 32Gb option, and with no SD slot, its a no go here. Had been expecting to buy one for 64bit Android development but guess that can wait a few months until something more suitable is on the market.

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro Ultrabook flexes new 'Watchband' BENDO hinges


Re: Clearly a droolworthy piece of kit.

Its good to see the 4.5W TDP parts but the Core M-5Y70 (1.1Ghz) is going to offer poor performance compared with Core i5 U series processors so a step backwards for many potential customers using more demanding software than Microsoft Office and such. Not convinced this Core M generation is going to be more than a flash in the pan except where an extra hour or so battery life or a few millimetres thickness is ultra important. Unfortunate the Intel 14nm process delays have pushed OEM roadmaps into 2015 so we aren't seeing what most people would expect of a successor to the Yoga 2 etc. Nice enough machine on face of it but I'm surprised it is being priced as high, guess they are hoping customers won't be aware of the compromised performance.

You like jumping out of planes? Try the new GoPro 4. Short walks? There's a Hero instead


Windows control app support still missing?

I've a Hero 3 with remote control apps for Android and iOS but still no Windows software release despite the fact that an x64 tablet makes a far better mobile solution for professional video use.

Great device in its way but let down by a poor UI so remote control is virtually essential.

Come on, its only a few weeks dev work surely a billion dollar company should have this sorted already.

Monitors monitor's monitoring finds touch screens have 0.4% market share


chicken or egg?

This summer I was looking for a 17-19" touchscreen monitor - seemed useful to have something portable for demo purposes as well as development. Nothing available at a price compatible with assembly costs.

Apparently manufacturers just aren't making touchscreen monitors nor is anyone marketing them except for specialist purposes such as kiosks.

Its hardly surprising sales are low when they aren't being made for sale to the desktop market, we can't draw any conclusions about whether people would pay +£50 for the touchscreen version of a monitor if they aren't offered the option.

Size matters – how else could Dell squeeze 15 million pixels into this 27" 5K monitor?


Re: Sounds nice but

A 27" 16:9 has roughly the same height as a 24" 16:10 - if you think of it as a 24" 16:10 with wider fov its actually not too bad (unlike 24" 16:9 which I find forces me too close to the screen for comfortable desktop in turn making graphics look too pixelated at the aging but still popular 1080p resolution).

Get ready: The top-bracket young coders of the 2020s will be mostly girls


Re: No.

Indeed, although even a growth to 4:1 translated into the practicing developer space would be a significant step forward on the path to gender equality. != mostly - what a daft headline.

Is it an iPad? Is it a MacBook Air? No, it's a Surface Pro 3


Re: Camera

How about banning the 20th century technology stupid looking camera that is the SLR ... such old tech should never be used for photography now image processing lets us work with much smaller lenses.


Re: Just too expensive

The cheapest model with 512Gb storage is £1,649 - add cost of keyboard and its getting into top of the range MacBook Pro territory with much less CPU, RAM, GPU and screen than the Apple competition.

Excellent screen aspect ratio and a neat device IMO but, speaking as a developer, way too expensive to entertain unless your PC requirements are satisfied by a low end model.

A-level results: Before you smile at that jump-for-joy snap...


Good contract advice.

The Windows 8 dilemma: Win 8 or wait for 9?


Re: Not everyone works in an office

Curious why its ok to touch a keyboard but not a screen?

Cambridge Assessment exams CHAOS: Computing students' work may be BINNED


Re: In response to Several posters.

I agree.

Rather disconcerting to observe the number of commentators who don't understand the difference between ICT and Computing GCSE but don't let that minor fact stop them sharing their wisdom with us.

Microsoft hopes for FONDLESLAB FRENZY as Surface Pro 3 debuts


Re: 3rd Time Lucky for MS?

My experience of video editing on Surface 2 level Core i5 - runs less than 25% performance of my standard 2013 Haswell quad-core i7 desktop - passable for simple edits but not sfx so not ready to replace desktop yet for me.

The Pro 3 doesn't offer improvements CPU-wise over Pro 2 so not worth upgrading for most work, although I'm a big fan of the new 3:2 screen format nice to see Microsoft lead the way for once. I suspect the intention was to launch with broadwell silicon but Intels 6+ month slip spoiled the plan.

Crucial MX100 256GB SSD: Cut-throat competition in flash land


Re: meanwhile...

Have you seen the price of a 512Gb Surface Pro? Apple territory.



Meanwhile we'll still hear apologists for Apple and Microsoft explain why we only need a pathetic amount of storage on our devices or if we really do need more we should be grateful to be allowed to buy at >4x cost markup.

Nokia Camera guru: I'm finished being Finnish, and off to 'the company you're thinking of'


Re: iPad and tablet photography...

Although I've not yet used a tablet for public photography in a lot of cases it seems to make sense if the camera is good enough. You get to preview what you are shooting far better than peering though some pokey viewfinder or tiny back screen, useful for some shots. Add in software for light metering and other aspects of image analysis and it gets more interesting than the fixed software provided by Canon, Nikon and others.

Looking stupid? We are used to SLR cameras and the huge lenses popular with pro cameras. But if we weren't used to them surely seeing people waving about these ridiculously large objects to take photos would make us laugh. Utter tools would spring to mind far more readily than anything the tablet wielders do.

Microsoft forms 'Special Projects' black ops team


Re: Surely this is just Microsoft Research under a different name?

Most tech companies do have 'special projects' departments, including Microsoft.

Microsoft Research is a different kettle of fish as an international organization working with academics to explore new ideas without profit-making goals. Occasionally some product oriented work hits the public eye, such as kinect research done at MSR Cambridge. IBM Research used to be more like this but has scaled back (its no longer present in the UK) and become more commercially oriented. Other large companies like Apple, Google and Oracle have nothing similar so in this respect Microsoft should be commended for putting resources into an activity aimed at the public good.

Microsoft may slash price of Windows 8.1 on cheap 'slabs


Re: 8.1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...

In my experience, Windows 8 is a very usable desktop OS, more versatile and improved over Windows 7. Not sufficiently better that most enterprises should feel in any hurry to go through an upgrade program as has happened in recent years with the move to Windows 7.

Turtle - I'm curious, what is it about Windows 8 that you find unusable?

Certainly introduction of Windows 8 and subsequent marketing has been shambolic and its been like watching paint dry waiting for Microsoft to take the obvious steps needed, technical, licensing etc.


Re: Make it free

Anyone who cares about the presence or absence of the sodding start menu is not a power user by definition, surely. No need to look for powershell or dev tools.

Murdoch's BSkyB stares down Microsoft: Redmond renames SkyDrive to OneDrive


Re: OneDrive

IMO its not a bad name at all. Whats wrong with it? Actually connects with their aspirations (One drive to rule them all). Considering the disaster zone that is Microsoft Marketing normally, I'm surprised they chose such a good name, better than SkyDrive I reckon.

Apple’s Mac turns 30: How Steve Jobs’ baby took its first steps


Re: A Mac article with no mention of Xerox or PARC...

I personally wrote a pull down menu implementation in 1977 (PL/1, used a trackball rather than mouse for input, ran on mainframe with 'smart terminal' not PC, but functionally and visually the same). Overlapping (character-based) windows were definitely around by then, probably on bitmapped displays too.

In fact none of the GUI concepts introduced by Apple on Lisa then Mac were new, not by any means just a Xerox PARC thing either. Apple did a fair job at assembling a mass market oriented product a year or two ahead of others working in the area, although at the cost of poor performance to get there early (this approach would be reprised more recently with the iPad 1).

4K-ing hell! Will your shiny new Ultra HD TV actually display HD telly?


Re: multicast is already here, but 4k is not the answer you were looking for

DisplayPort v1.3 is due later this year - I understand this allows 4K at 120Hz over a cable so a good reason to wait for dust to settle with 4k monitors. Presumably HDMI 2.1 will allow for clearer motion in 4K - anyone know when this might be happening?

Tales from an expert witness: Prior art and patent trolls


Skilled in the art

Unfortunately, the language of patents has been contrived by lawyers to make the text totally unreadable or understandable by everyone actually skilled in the art to which the patent claims purport to apply.

Also, after 30 years in software development, R&D etc. I have yet to meet anyone who has read a software patent in order to find out how to solve a problem.

Thought sales were in the toilet before? Behold the agony: 2013 was a PC market BLOODBATH


Agree 'think smaller' is the key and disappointing how lacking in imagination the OEMs have been recent years. HTPC and compact desktops in general have been a neglected market opportunity for ages. Not just great for enthusiasts indeed many businesses could benefit from replacing towers with compact boxes which can start very low cost as don't need screen, battery, and enclosure constraints of laptops.

The new Gigabyte BRIX hardware sounds neat at performance end although I'd personally go for larger than NUC ultra compact to enable thermal management for near silent operation, and ideally faster graphic card option.

Hopefully the interest in Steam Box will encourage OEMs to wake up here. Amazing how many 'desktops' on sale are still pointlessly large tower units.


Re: Ummm..

Yes and a lot of these are not replacements for aging systems that still do the job - this kind of article would be more interesting if it placed the sales figures in the context of the size and composition of the installed base. e.g. what % growth in number of PCs used regularly does this represent? Age profile of PCs in use?

Our Vulture strokes Dell's ROBUST 15 INCHER: Inspiron 15 Core i7


Re: Why the angst about quad-core

Its 2013, not 2003. Most modern PC software is multithreading and takes advantage of multicore. Browsers, developer tools, image and video processing (which often also use a GPU for computation). The other benefit of quad core designs is with well thought out power management they can do at least as well as dual core for power consumption (although I don't know how true that is in practice for Haswell generation or latest AMD).

Desperate MS flaunts UNDEAD SPLAT TALLY to pep Xbox One fans


Re: Thank God it Failed...

OP AC, if you are really a game designer as you claim you should study both consoles more carefully and not take your development input from fanboyism like that 40% headline.

Failed to do what?

Yes the PS4 GPU is more powerful than the XBO equivalent and GDDR4 a better design call by Sony than the ESRAM+DDR4 chosen by Microsoft (in my opinion) and this shows on certain benchmarks and lets us turn out slightly better graphics on PS4 (though realistically neither here nor there in most living room situations). Bottom line for the game developer this hardly translates into a 40% better system. Both are a step forward from their predecessors and let us advance what we can do with our games. Sure I'd like higher performance consoles personally but at least both vendors have chosen a platform design that gives the option of a faster 'pro' version (perhaps in 2-3 years when they do a 14nm process shrink) while maintaining compatibility with released games.

Both consoles offer voice control so your comments about Microsoft just establish you as a partisan, and sorry to have to say this but you do come over as a tinfoil hat.

DEATH-PROOF your old XP netbook: 5 OSes to bring it back to life


You can also configure 8.1 to login directly to desktop.

Dear-ly beloved: Apple’s costly iPad Mini with Retina Display


Not exactly fair, all these devices have their strengths and weaknesses.

For instance the Venue 8 Pro has access to the largest ecosystem (Windows applications) including a vast army of open source programs but on the other hand doesn't have quite the range of tablet optimized programs as iOS or Android.

Nexus 7 and iPad Mini retina have great displays and colour quality (although iPad Air does better than Mini for the purist). Venue not so great.

The old iPad Mini and iPad 2 look worst value of the bunch now, couple of years time when all the cool iStore apps require 64bit A7 these will look very sad indeed.

Tho I must admit this resale value we so often hear about is something of a mystery to me, never encountered anyone in real life from this apparently bottomless pit of people prepared to buy generations old technology for a modest discount over the up to date models.

HUMANITY STUNNED - Apple Retina iPad Mini arrives. A solemn moment


Re: Nice display

The point is to use the same pixel scaling factor as the larger model so as to be able to run apps without need for change software.

Win 8 PC sales plunge as retailers, disties shave orders by HALF A MILLION in Q3


Re: D'Oh

Interesting anecdote Nigel but why are you offering them an OS at all? Students and lecturers I know buy their own PC, tablets, whatever. I suspect your group of postgrad students is not at all representative of the real world.

Also curious about the reasons they give for choosing Windows 7 over 8. Apart from a few inconsequential or cosmetic UI differences, Windows 8.1 boot to desktop makes no functional difference to me apart from improved performance.


PC installed base

Yet the installed base of PCs (notebooks and desktops) continues to increase as commercial and consumer users hang onto kit for longer.

Aside from games business its hard to see much in the way of new software around to encourage replacement of even 5 year old machines, one area where Microsoft has definitely dropped the ball.

Surface 2 and iPad Air: Prepare to meet YOUR DOOM under a 'Landfill Android' AVALANCHE


Re: the keyboard conundrum

No, presumably they wanted both tablet and notebook functionality without having to buy and carry around two devices as is the case with older style mobile PCs.

Remember the days when Apple enthusiasts used to lug around an iPad and a MacBook Air?


the keyboard conundrum

The snag Microsoft faces with Surface 2 is nobody uses them without having a keyboard cover to hand. Even their own advertising emphasises the point. The cheapest 'touch cover 2' option adds £99.99.

So for many consumers faced with iPA vs S2, its an easy choice to take the well known established iPad over a more expensive and unfamiliar Surface package.

Microsoft need to cost reduce the key covers (if expensive to manufacture) or accept lower margins so the Surface 3 with keyboard can compete with iPad without, price to be paid to challenge an incumbent I'm afraid.

Less of a problem with a Surface Mini which should stand as a viable product without keyboard.

LIVE CHAT: You, El Reg, experts chat about Win 8.1 and Surface 2


Re: Surface Pro 2

I was going by Anandtech, usually a reliable source "Surface Pro 2 also retains the same front and rear facing cameras as its predecessor, both 1.2MP units and it doesn’t get the new 3.5/5MP sensors from Surface 2". Anyone know which is correct?