* Posts by PerlyKing

321 posts • joined 23 Jun 2010


We have bad news for non-US Microsoft fans: The incoming Surface Duo is underspecced, overpriced, and over there

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Why?

At the risk of taking obvious bait, maybe it indicates that their OS doesn't sell on its merits?

Apple's at it again: Things go pear-shaped for meal planner app after iGiant opposes logo

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Not the first, won't be the last...

I think my favourite example of overzealous trademark defence was when Triumph the bra maker sued Triumph the motorcycle maker for having the same name. As I recall the judge made some fairly pithy remarks about there not being much danger of confusion, and threw that one out with extreme prejudice!

Wrap it before you tap it? No, say Linux developers: 'GPL condom' for Nvidia driver is laughed out of the kernel

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: free sandwich

The one time I was upgraded was on a flight from London to Paris. Yes, the seats were identical, although there was a curtain between first class and the plebs. And I don't remember any sandwiches, but I do remember that you can drink a surprising amount of free champagne in 45 minutes %-}

'I'm telling you, I haven't got an iPad!' – Sent from my iPad

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

I think it was a finger .sig (.plan?) rather than email, but in my early days at university one of my brighter classmates discovered animated ASCII art (this was a while ago!) and added some to his .sig (and/or .plan), much to the joy of the long-suffering sysadmin :-)

VMware to stop describing hardware as ‘male’ and ‘female’ in new terminology guide

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Reversi disks

I hope you're not planning on using racist Reversi disks which are black on one side and white on the other!

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Whatever will I do

Move to Scunthorpe?

IBM job ad calls for 12 years’ experience with Kubernetes – which is six years old

PerlyKing Silver badge


This must be one of those "must have lots of experience in concurrency" situations :-)

Heir-to-Concorde demo model to debut in October

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: No seat due to overbooked flight

It's been a while since I flew anywhere, but surely the airlines are still obliged to honour your ticket on a later flight? Inconvenient certainly but not always the end of the world.

Many years ago I was flying home on an overbooked flight and they were offering an overnight stay, next day flight plus cash for people to stay behind. It wasn't convenient for me at the time but it didn't seem like a bad deal.

Around the same era BA had an offer on their London <-> Edinburgh flights that if your flight turned out to be overbooked they'd lay on a plane just for you. Of course, that is quite expensive. A friend of mine ended up in that situation and settled for £500 cash and a later flight.

Two out of three parachutes... is just as planned for Boeing's Starliner this time around

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Pedant alert

How about pointing out basic reading comprehension to a commentard? The ungrammatical sentence is in double quotes denoting a direct quote from a third party, in this case almost certainly an American so all grammatical bets are off.

Fasten your seat belts: Brave Reg hack spends a week eating airline food grounded by coronavirus crash

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Price...

I caught part of a documentary a while ago in which it was stated that economy-class airline meals cost around $2 each. And first class might be up to $4!

After huffing and puffing for years, US senators unveil law to blow the encryption house down with police backdoors

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Yay! Its groundhog day!

I think part of the problem here is that IT folks (and mathematicians, scientists and other experts) are used to dealing with reality, which cannot be changed or argued with. Politicians are used to dealing with perception, and with human beings who can generally be persuaded, bribed or bullied into doing what they (the politicians) want.

A disagreement between rational individuals about the colour of something can generally be resolved by looking at the thing, problem solved.

If a politician has decided that the sky being pink would benefit them, they're likely to try to bluster and bully everyone into saying that the sky is pink. It's worked in the past, and it's what they know how to do. And if it blows up in everyone's faces a year or two down the line, they've probably already made their pile and moved on to mess up something else. They just don't seem to grasp that some things affect everyone, even them!

Apple to keep Intel at Arm's length: macOS shifts from x86 to homegrown common CPU arch, will run iOS apps

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Plenty have tried this whole mainstream ARM thing before, and all of them have failed

This is what Apple does so well: watch other people fail a few times, figure out how to do it a bit better, put some rounded corners on it and start printing money ;-)

Facebook caves to Australia's call for explanations of News Feed algo changes

PerlyKing Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: I'll give the Australians this...

Agreed. I hope they tell FB to stick it where the sun doesn't shine. Knowing Australians, they won't be that polite :-)

Russia drags NASA: Enjoy your expensive SpaceX capsule, our Soyuz is the cheap Kalashnikov of rockets

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Why reinvent the wheel if something is working?

This would indicate that the Soyuz design is a good design because that design has been flying for 60 years now. Why reinvent the wheel if something is working?

Because that's how we make progress. The trick is to not replace your current wheel until the new one is working better.

Additionally, NASA itself is reusing tried and true designs for their new Space Launch System (SLS) which will be the most powerful rocket ever. They are using the designs of the Space Shuttle rocket engines in it. Once again, if something works, why change it?

Do you know anything about the SLS that doesn't come from Boeing press releases? It will be the most powerful rocket ever if it flies, but it's unlikely to fly more than once per year, compared to nine launches so far this year for SpaceX.

Using the designs for Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs) is not a plus point in this context. An SSME is an engineering marvel, and is possibly the most complex, expensive rocket engine ever made. Because it was designed to be reused many times. What is the SLS going to do? Run them for a few minutes and then dump them into the Atlantic Ocean along with its expendable first stage.

SLS is reusing "tried and true" designs in order to efficiently direct money from the US Government to Boeing and a select few others. In that sense it's working brilliantly, but in the sense of launching stuff into space they definitely need to change their approach.

Trump's Make Space Great Again video pulled after former 'naut says: Nope

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: the irony of Starship Troopers

What irony was that? I haven't read it for a long time, I always thought Heinlein was dead serious.

For a counterpoint to Starship Troopers try Joe Haldeman's The Forever War.

If Daddy doesn't want me to touch the buttons, why did they make them so colourful?

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: When HP engineers were actually engineers!

In the early nineties the place I was working was a Sun shop - SPARCStations on desktops throughout (it's been downhill ever since!). We had an HP-UX workstation in for evaluation and for some reason it was running on someone's desk with the lid off, with most of the team gathered around it. One of the senior (software) engineers wandered over, said "what does this do?" and pulled something (graphics card?) out of the heart of the electrickery. The screen went black and everyone's faces went grey. Some brave soul turned the power off, reseated the card, turned the power back on and it all worked perfectly!

At least one of these to the HP engineers of yesteryear! -->

The UK's favourite lockdown cheese is Big and Red but doesn't require a stinking great audit after consumption

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Cheddar why?

Why cheddar? I caught part of a documentary recently which asserted that cheddar was chosen by the UK government as the "cheese" part of World War Two rationing at least partially on the basis that it cuts fairly well without making wasteful crumbs. The population became used to cheese == cheddar and we're still living with the results.

Dude, where's my laser?

PerlyKing Silver badge


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

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Prices not adjusted

You may not have adjusted the prices, but the euro didn't come into use until 1 Jan 1999 ;-)

UK takes a step closer to domestic launches as Skyrora fires up Skylark-L

PerlyKing Silver badge

Rocket names

Is it these Union Jack shades I'm wearing, or are British rocket names so much better than the rest? ;-)

Huge if true... Trump explodes as he learns open source could erode China tech ban

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Re: 1% are the 1%

The Goons probably borrowed it from the Marx Brothers, recycling is nothing new!

Ying tong iddle aye po!

Russia admits, yup, the Americans are right: One of our rocket's tanks just disintegrated in Earth's orbit

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Telescope should be put where the cost/performance tradeoffs work out best

The point is that if Starship works out (which it probably will, as Musk seems to have the money and determination to do it), it will drastically change the cost of putting things into orbit. And also make it easier to launch larger items - a lot of the problems with the JWST are to do with having to fold it up into a small fairing for launch and then get it to unfold itself.

Britain has no idea how close it came to ATMs flooding the streets with free money thanks to some crap code, 1970s style

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Test, test and test again...

This sounds lovely. I must be in the wrong industry :-(

You can get a mechanical keyboard for £45. But should you? We pulled an Aukey KM-G6 out of the bargain bin

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: What kit are you using it with?

Mine is plugged into a MacBook Pro running Ubuntu, connected through Citrix to a Win10 machine at work %-}

While we're talking about Model M keyboards, I turned mine over to see when it was made and it says "Date: 03-04-19". It has been in my possession since 1995 (or maybe 1996) so I can't make head or tail of this! Does anyone out there know what it means? Did an early Y2K issue truncate the year? Virtual pint for any help! -->

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: are these mechanical keyboards any good for actual work?

It's very subjective of course, but I like the feel of mine (IBM Model M "borrowed" from a server which ended up in a rack :-) more than any other keyboard I've tried in the last 30 years or so. It is too loud for a crowded office but is getting a lot more use now than it has in the last few years!

It's like using really good hand tools instead of cheap and cheerful - they both get the job done (usually) but one feels better than the other, and that makes the whole experience more enjoyable. I think it's well worth paying a premium for something that improves your life for eight hours a day or more.

Dumpster diving to revive a crashing NetWare server? It was acceptable in the '90s

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Overtime <CR>

This reminds me of a proto-BOFH I knew at university. Faced with a choice between working all night on a project which was due the next day, or going drinking, he spent all afternoon reading up on and experimenting with the "at" command so that he could send an email in the middle of the night begging for an extension %-}

Getting a pizza the action, AS/400 style

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: In 1999 the Internet was thirty years old

Alright, maybe I was being a bit picky :-)

My main point was that you would have had a lot more trouble ordering pizza via your computer in 1969 than in 1999. Networking had been around for a while, but the Internet as we know it today was if not in its early days at least in its early years, and still mostly a time-wasting toy. Maybe some things never change :-D

PerlyKing Silver badge


The worst pizza I ever had was also in Edinburgh, more like 30 years ago. I have no idea what the toppings were, but it was folded in half, battered and deep-fried.

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: In 1999 the Internet was thirty years old

Yeah, no. Not according to Vint Cerf, Jon Postel et al. There were networks such as ARPANET, but not the Internet.

Upstart Americans brandish alligators at the almighty Reg Standards Soviet

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Standard seconds

Also the OhNoSecond - the length of time between hitting "Return" and realising what you've just done.

Boeing 787s must be turned off and on every 51 days to prevent 'misleading data' being shown to pilots

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Build it into the aircraft's own software to reboot automatically every so often

This is bad enough when Windows reboots in the middle of your pr0n Powerpoint session - picture the pilots' faces when the aircraft decides to reboot on final approach!

Announcing the official Reg-approved measure of social distancing: The Osman

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: dubious benefits

Thank you sir!

That awful moment when what you thought was a number 1 turned out to be a number 2

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Been screwed by something similar

I support a, er, user who still won't save Word files until they're finished. Although why Word doesn't still doesn't create a default file is beyond me.

My default (in any editor) is to Ctrl+S (or equivalent) any time I pause during typing.

Asterix co-creator Albert Uderzo dies aged 92

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: O tempora, o mores!

It didn't really work for me. I "studied" latin at school until I had the chance to drop it. But I still have a vivid memory of my Latin teacher asking each of us in turn whether we knew any Latin expressions and I trotted out "timeo danaos et dona ferentes" (Asterix the Legionary). Then he made me translate it, or at least tried to.

Thank you, Goscinny, Uderzo, Bell and Hockridge!

Captain Caveman rides to the rescue, solves a prickly PowerPoint problem with a magical solution

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: It deifies rationality

That makes a change!

Tinfoil hat brigade switches brand allegiance to bog paper

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: an anti viral chicken preparation

Chicken soup? Which my wife always calls "Jewish penicillin" :-)

Broken lab equipment led boffins to solve a 58-year-old physics problem by mistake

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: What's the difference?

Well, "egg-shaped" or "oval" is often misused to describe ellips{e,oid}s. Eggs are usually bigger at one end than the other, which can lead to All Sorts of Trouble ;-)

Microservices guru warns devs that trendy architecture shouldn't be the default for every app, but 'a last resort'

PerlyKing Silver badge

Jack of all trades

the developer has to be a DBA, security engineer, systems engineer, and programmer who understands the flows of *everything* in and out of their environment

Sounds like rubbish to me. Just because a service is, er, micro doesn't mean that it has to be developed in isolation by one person. Even if the function of each service is distinct that doesn't mean that you can't use the same security layer in each one, call on a DBA for support, and so on.

And surely "the flows of everything" becomes a lot simpler for a microservice?

As the article says, microservices are not the answer to everything but they should be understood for what they are, the same as any other tool in the box.

Hey, fatso. If you're standing desk-curious, the VariDesk Pro Plus won't break the bank

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Learn to touch-type

Definitely not Spartacus:

Can't you have paper at a similar distance to the screen?

I hadn't thought of that, but it doesn't really suit how I work. If I'm reading from paper it usually means that I'm scribbling making notes on the same piece of paper. Or (more likely) I'm fiddling with my phone.

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: One pair of glasses

I know what you mean, but I'd have to say you've got to roll with it: accept that you need glasses and work around that.

I didn't wear glasses at all until about ten years ago, when I started getting frequent headaches. Reading glasses cured those immediately, although they were a bit of a pain to carry around, take out of the case and then put away again, especially on my commute. I tried one of those neck chain things but didn't get on with it.

Then I needed distance glasses as well. I tried varifocals but couldn't get on with the blurry transitional areas, especially in my peripheral vision. So now I have one pair of bifocals for computer work, and another pair for everything else. And I have to change glasses every time I leave my desk. It's not ideal but better than eyestrain. All part of the fun of growing old, and on the whole better than not growing old.

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Learn to touch-type

I can sort of touch type, but I also occasionally need to read stuff on paper ;-)

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Glasses

I have what my (UK) optician describes as "occupational bifocals" for work: the lower section is my reading prescription which works for the keyboard and the upper section is a mid-range prescription which works for monitors.

I have to wear different glasses for walking around, driving and so on. Such is life :-/

If it's Goodenough for me, it's Goodenough for you: Canuck utility biz goes all in on solid-state glass battery boffinry

PerlyKing Silver badge

This is not the first time Goodenough's ideas have met resistance

I see what you did there ;-)

Vivo's APEX 2020 concept smartphone grabs life by the gimbals to shoot stable snaps

PerlyKing Silver badge

The proof of the pudding

From the fine article:

as always, the proof will be in the pudding.

You will write out 100 times:

the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

See details here.

As you were.

The Wristwatch of the Long Now: When your MTBF is two centuries

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: such craftsmen could not possibly survive

I think there are a few Swiss watchmakers who might disagree. Not many, and it's definitely a luxury segment, but that's how it was 200 years ago.

Auf wiedersehen, pet: UK Deutsche Bank contractors plan to leave rather than take 25% pay cut for IR35 – report

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: I currently collect £24k VAT

...which is then reclaimed by your client. So that's £27k to HMRC, not £51k.

I'm a contractor too and I agree with the thrust of your argument, but leave fudging the numbers to your accountant ;-)

Best buds? Apple must be fuming: Samsung's wireless earphones boast 11 hours of listening on a single charge

PerlyKing Silver badge

$150 == £159


Not that I'm in the market, but still. WTF?!

UK contractors planning 'mass exodus' ahead of IR35 tax clampdown – survey

PerlyKing Silver badge


VAT is a tax on the end user. VAT-registered companies in the supply chain reclaim whatever VAT they pay out (with minor differences for those on the Flat Rate Scheme) so it makes no difference to them.

It's a Bing thing: Microsoft drops plans to shove unloved search engine down throats of unsuspecting enterprises

PerlyKing Silver badge

Office 365 ProPlus

Is that the student edition?

Not call, dude: UK govt says guaranteed surcharge-free EU roaming will end after Brexit transition period. Brits left at the mercy of networks

PerlyKing Silver badge

Re: Enjoy your self-inflicted wound Brits!

If we were a province of Russia, why would we be singing in German??

Otto wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Otto: Apes don't read Nietzsche!

Wanda: Yes they do, they just don't understand it.



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