* Posts by Daniel Bower

134 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Jun 2007


How one techie ended up paying the tab on an Apple Macintosh Plus

Daniel Bower

Re: "I thought MacWrite needed no explanation"

Reminds me of when I was a trainer at a call centre at a large utility company in the mid-90's.

One of my trainees came to me convinced the fax machine had broken. I asked them what was up and they said they did not know.

So I asked why they thought it was broken.

Well, I've just sent this fax [flapping a bit of paper in my face]

Yes, and...

Well, I still have the bit of paper so it's clearly not sent

Wait, so... No actually you genuinely think the fax machine shreds the paper into component atoms and fires the whole lot down the phone line to be reassembled the other end don't you

Well is that not how they work?

A tiny typo in an automated email to thousands of customers turns out to be a big problem for legal

Daniel Bower

Not quite an email...

...but I used to design flyers as a side line. My mum was a GP and one of her colleagues wanted a flyer doing for a surgical course he was running.

I had the main speaker down as Mr Soandso - consultant plastic sturgeon...

Apple's M1 MacBook screens are stunning – stunningly fragile and defective, that is, lawsuits allege

Daniel Bower


It just breaks...

Airline software super-bug: Flight loads miscalculated because women using 'Miss' were treated as children

Daniel Bower

I am not a software engineer but...

This is the bit that struck me from TUI's response. Paraphrased - 'We fiddled with some potentially safety critical code which was meant to make things better and wasn't meant to break anything but we couldn't be sure and launched it over the weekend without having anyone on stand-by in case we had broken it'...


"On 20 July, 2020, the programmer was making enhancements to the program to improve its performance," the report says. "This should not have stopped the program from working, but as this was a 'fix,' it could not be known for sure. A combination of the [TUI] teams not working over the weekend [to make manual corrections] and the 'online' check-in being open early on Monday 20 July, 24 hours ahead of the flight, meant the incorrectly allocated passenger weights were not corrected."


Could some of you more knowledgeable folk confirm or deny that this is a pretty shocking response? Surely you'd do some proper testing on something like this. Christ our compliance team have us run 50 pointless iterations if we make so much as a minor change to a formula in Excel...

Google patches WebView component to end unexpected Android crash fest

Daniel Bower

Rolling back the update or Force Stopping

Android WebView worked for me as a temporary fix. Caused a bunch of third party apps to crash out but a quick scout of the interwebs showed these as likely fixes and both did the trick until Google pulled their finger out of their arse...

Apple now Arm'd to the teeth: MacBook Air and Pro, Mac mini to be powered by custom M1 chips rather than Intel

Daniel Bower


'Select industry benchmarks'

ie we ran all of them and on many of them the chip is only as fast or slower than Intel/AMD so we selected the ones that showed a nice speed bump :).

Can't say I blame them, everyone is at it, but i'd rather wait as see some proper independent benching before deciding whether to jump ship

Former Microsoft tester sent down for 9 years after $10m gift card fraud

Daniel Bower

Re: But what's it for?

<Back in the Ukraine!>

That lesser known Beatles song, as yet unreleased...

Putting the d'oh! in Adobe: 'Years of photos' permanently wiped from iPhones, iPads by bad Lightroom app update

Daniel Bower

I wrote this five years ago on these hallowed pages

OK it was about Amazon acting as a cloud storage provider however it applies equally here. When will people realise that cloud storage is not proper back up?! Obvs you need to replace Amazon with Adobe etc but the sentiment is the same now as it was then.


Unfortunately this is just the sort of thing my mum (for example) sign up to and not realise that you actually need to back your data up locally as well as 'in the cloud'.

I can see the email now:

Dear Amazon Cloud User

We are terribly sorry but due to a SNAFU at our data centre, all your photos and other precious memories have been deleted.

As per clause blah blah blah we are not responsible in any way for this loss and if you do not have your precious, irreplacable photos and memories backed up else where then tough titties.

However, as a gesture of good will we would like to offer you a free 30 day trial of Amazon Prime.




ZX Spectrum reboot promising – steady now – 28MHz of sizzling Speccy speed now boasts improved Wi-Fi

Daniel Bower

When/why is any rational justification need?

I can't afford one, have no need for one and have made enough unauthorised purchases over the years to potentially end my happily married life without buying another thing, but...

I still want one of these. No of course it's not got much poke compared to modern machinery and the games are pretty basic but christ, I spent more time playing Jetpack than I ever have any modern games and enjoyed myself more. Do you need to justify something like this? IMO no absolutely not. It's to be bought and enjoyed just because it's a thing. And that should be celebrated :)

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

Daniel Bower

Paid per word

As a slight aside you may not be far wrong - at least historically. Lawyers did charge per weight of the file and one London law firm still does or at least did until recently (can't recall the name but it is one of the old school and very expensive ones!). It is also where 'weigh the evidence' comes from. You could quite literally be found guilty if the prosecution evidence had enough physical heft to it

Virgin Galactic pals up with Rolls-Royce to work on Mach 3 Concorde-style private jet that can carry up to 19 people

Daniel Bower

Re: Short and sweet.

Probably more effective as people were in very close proximity for far longer sailing around than flying...

Beware the fresh Windows XP install: Failure awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth

Daniel Bower

Keeping it simple

Checking the simple stuff first is the best advice anyone can ever give. In days gone by I would find myself at a party or two only to be called over to try and get the sound system working. There would always be four or five people tugging at wires, flicking switches on the mixer, power cycling the amps etc. I would always suggest tearing the whole thing down and starting again only to be told that was a silly idea.

Trouble is, without ruling out the obvious you're shooting in the dark and after another 30 minutes of silence I would invariable get called over to strip things down and put it back together bit by bit. It was always something simple in the end - duff interconnect, dodgy deck or whatever - the problem bit just needed to be isolated...

RetroPie 4.6 brings forth an answer to 'What do I do with this Pi 4 I bought last year?'

Daniel Bower

Re: Shove that in your Pi-Hole...

Agree - I have finally found a use for my Pi v1 that has been sat in the loft unused and unloved. Works brilliantly on sites plagued with ads... like El Reg for example :)

Getting a pizza the action, AS/400 style

Daniel Bower

Never mind the actual pizza

When is 'Charles' going to lob an IP infringement bomb at Just Eat et al?..

LibreOffice 6.4 nearly done as open-source office software project prepares for 10th anniversary

Daniel Bower

Just don’t save on OneDrive

MD only has you by the balls if you save on OneDrive.

You can still run all applications locally and save locally and this is what I do with auto back to OneDrive. No short and curlies to grab me by :).

We asked for your Fitbit horror stories and, oh wow, did you deliver: Readers sync their teeth into 'junk' gizmos

Daniel Bower


Well they did buy Pebble’s IP so maybe they’ve implemented their screen tech...

Finally in the UK: Apollo 11 lands... in a cinema near you

Daniel Bower

Re: Amazing...

The detail the conspiracy theorists overlook is that the whole point of the Apollo missions was basically to prove to the Russians that America was the more mighty country.

No one on Earth would, particularly at that time, have more interest in proving the landings to be fake than what was then the USSR. And if they were fake the Soviets would have been singing from the tree tops. To be fair I’d imagine Putin (who most theorists seem to hold dear to their hearts) would take great pleasure in proving it all to be made up. Yet strangely the Soviets accepted the landings to have happened.

You also have the detail that no one would make up if it were fake. The surfers who were brought on board to help apply the insulation to the fuel tanks, the seamstresses who stitched the suits with such precision, the hard wiring of the ‘memory’ of the LM etc.

If it were all to be faked they simply wouldn’t have needed to go as deep into things as they did.

As regards to the g force of the LM. Gs are, funnily enough, relative to the gravitational force of the body you’re on. The moon has a fraction of the gravity of earth hence the Gs on take off of the LM would have been equivalently lower.

Not that this common sense, logical explanation will make any difference to their beliefs but hey.

Easter is approaching – and British pr0n watchers still don't know how long before age-gates come into force

Daniel Bower

My mate John

Who we, for good reason, referred to as Honest John would have made a killing at our school. Knocking out vpn access for a fiver a month.

I imagine it’ll be his kids first business venture instead.

UK pr0n viewers plan to circumvent smut-block measures – survey

Daniel Bower

How do you...

Set up a VPN? Asking for a friend.

Amazon meets the incredible SHRINKING UK taxman

Daniel Bower

Re: £32m Income tax on £72m salary

Only if you were PAYE which at £72m you wouldn’t be. You’d be paid gross and hire the same accountants as Amazon.

Daniel Bower

Cash in hand

My roofer and I both agree that Amazon are a tax dodging pile of shite as he agreed I could pay him cash in hand for a ‘hefty discount’.

We all cheat (or play by) the rules when we can.

The great wearables myth busted: Apps never, ever mattered

Daniel Bower

Fenix 5 owner having tried a Gear S3 and its miles better. Sure the S3 looked all pretty and could 'dp stuff' but the Fenix 5 does everything I want (eg I can check whether the text message I just received is worth reading etc) has all the fitness metrics you could possibly want AND has a battery life of 2-3 weeks.

And that is with the watch face constantly on! Closest thing to a Pebble Steel out there...

TalkTalk plans to sell family B2B jewel to Daisy Group for £175m

Daniel Bower

Broadband providers I’ll never use...

1/ TalkTalk

Let's kick the tyres on Google's Android P... It's not an overheating wreck, but UX is tappy

Daniel Bower

And this is why...

I have moved to Apple. I never in a million years thought I would buy an iPhone - I hate most things about Apple but the divergence in Android (both in the OS and also the shear number of differences between devices app developers now have to consider) coupled with the fact the M & N were actually worthwhile updates but with O & P it looks like they are just changing stuff so they can say they have added 'features' mean I no longer have faith in it.

iOS is by no means stellar but I just about prefer the UX at this time.

Any social media accounts to declare? US wants travelers to tell

Daniel Bower

What if you just don’t tell them?

I mean they’re asking you so they probably don’t know. Just your hotmail account set up for the purpose and nothing else...

'Tis the season: Verizon first in line to flog Palm phone resurrection

Daniel Bower

Re: The Treo and Pre were Better than modern phones

The Sony XX2 compact would just about fit the bill.

Does not have WebOS though so only half way there...

Wearables are now a two-horse race and Google lost very badly

Daniel Bower

Re: Why is Garmin

Agree - I owned a Pebble Steel and the Fenix 5 is as close to that as I can get. The one thing it is missing is reply to text message (although the Vivoactive 3 and 645 have this to a limited extent). Other than that it does everything I used my Gear S3 for.

Bloody love it too. In to my third week off a single battery charge and am showing 25%. No GPS use in that time but some indoor exercising. Supremely well built also and is smart enough (looks-wise, not features) to where in the office.

Accused Brit hacker Lauri Love will NOT be extradited to America

Daniel Bower

Re: Excellent news

No, the US can appeal the ruling on those grounds.

TalkTalk starts offering punters choice to shift-shift to O2

Daniel Bower

Re: The beginning of the end .....

'Trouble is, who is good value and provides good customer service?'

On a pedantic note surely 'good value' takes in to account things like customer service. It could be argued that Zen is good value as they are pretty much perfect as an ISP.

You seem to be looking for a provider who is *cheap* with good customer service.

/pedant mode off - down-voting can commence.

Surprise: Android apps are riddled with trackers

Daniel Bower


It'll be interesting to see what if any teeth the forthcoming GDPR has on all of this. Particularly around specific consent.

Tesla launches electric truck it guarantees won't break for a million miles

Daniel Bower

Re: Fnar, fnar

'Grow up, and don't be too hard on him.'

Semi and you said hard on...

More fnar fnar

Parity calamity! Wallet code bug destroys $280m in Ethereum

Daniel Bower

Re: This is when I know I'm getting old...

I *can't* remember those days.. ;)

TalkTalk glitch causing mobiles and landlines to go off at the same time

Daniel Bower

Talktalk will be first up against the wall

When GDPR kicks in. And I for one cannot wait..

Jeff Bezos fires off a blue dart, singes Elon Musk and SpaceX

Daniel Bower

Re: SpaceX are working on a bigger engine also

Truly dreadful sir - have a thumbs up on your way out...

Google adds planets and moons to Maps, but puts bits in the wrong places

Daniel Bower

It depends

If you want to view the edge or the face of a planet ;)

MH370 final report: Aussies still don’t know where it crashed or why

Daniel Bower

Re: If you found the plane it wouldn't bring the people back.

We've spent £11m on a search for a single missing girl so far. $300m for a plane load of missing passengers seems good value by comparison.

Note I don't agree on either amount being spent...

Vodafone won't pay employee expenses for cups of coffee

Daniel Bower

This sounds no different to every company I've worked for. If I'm buying my own lunch it's never allowed on expenses.

If I take a 'client' out to lunch for a coffee and a sarnie the whole lot can go on expenses. You know I never eat lunch on my own...

The life and times of Surface, Microsoft's odds-defying fondleslab

Daniel Bower

Surface 2 RT

I still use my Surface 2 RT - its perfectly serviceable for browsing and light office work. The battery life is still good and the device has held up well despite mild abuse.

I also have a Dell XPS 13 which is very very lovely but am still tempted by a SP 2017 model for 'convertable' use.

Samsung Galaxy S8+: Seriously. What were they thinking?

Daniel Bower

Try the iris scanner

I wear gears with a very noticeable anti glare tint and it works perfectly when I've got them on even in very low light...

Daniel Bower

Re: Fingerprint sensor

I'm not sure why you got a downvote for saying it works for you!

As it happens I agree with you and find my finger falls fairly naturally on the scanner (more so on the S8 than the plus to be fair) but then I find the iris scanner works perfectly when I'm wearing glasses and contacts also.

Daniel Bower

Iris scanner

Note I have the S8 but the plus (but that will change at lunchtime).

Either way I find the iris scanner near flawless. Yes it's a bugger to register but after that I've found it works very well 95% of the time and that includes when I'm wearing both contacts and glasses where the lenses have a heavy anti reflective coating.

It is every working very well in very low light, again when wearing the same glasses.

Honestly I'm pretty astonished how well it does work given the negative reviews on this aspect.

With regards to Bixby I've just never set it up and the phone's not nagged me to.

Payday lender Wonga admits to data breach

Daniel Bower

Re: APR! = interest

That's exactly my point though. You are not borrowing for a year hence the comparison is meaningless.

Short term finance is an expensive form of borrowing as the lender still needs to make a return and if they where to charge a monthly interest rate nearer to a loan - say 5% - the model is even less viable than it currently is.

Note I am not defending or otherwise the underlying principle of lending money to people that can't afford it-simply removing the hyperbole attaching to interest rates.

Daniel Bower

APR! = interest

I'll probably get downvoted for this but seeing as I expect El Reg to not jump on the tabloid hysteria.

Wonga's apr is undoubtedly very high but the apr calculation is complicated and designed to enable consumers to compare similar products on a like for like basis and is skewed when it is applied to something like short term finance as it is comparing it to 25 year mortgages and everything in between.

So use the apr to compare products in the same category and not across categories and it works pretty well but try and use it to compare completely different products and its not a great tool.

I think for a 30 day loan of 1000 the amount to repay is around 1200 so a true interest rate of nearer 20%.

Still very high but not 100's of %.

Ubuntu UNITY is GNOME-MORE: 'One Linux' dream of phone, slab, desktop UI axed

Daniel Bower

Re: When prototypes go too far

The Galaxy S8 drops in to a custom gui when docked - it actually looks quite natty so will be interesting to see how it feels in action

UK's 'homebrew firmware' Chinooks set to be usable a mere 16 years late

Daniel Bower

You could...

Paint a figure on the side of a helicopter and promise that to the NHS...

Intel's Atom C2000 chips are bricking products – and it's not just Cisco hit

Daniel Bower

Just went to log a ticket with WD support

As I have a new DL4100 which uses an affected chip. Their website is down! Cooincidence?! (Well yes it probably is but I found it far more amusing than I ought...)

Ham-fisted: Chap's radio app killed remotely after posting bad review

Daniel Bower


Is the best piece of ham radio software going. Tried HRD and thought it terrible!

Howard (Nurse) author of Commcat provides first class support also. Usually responds to me within a couple of hours regardless of time differences.

Not affiliated with him at all-just putting it out there as an alternative!

73 de Danny M0SDB

Banks 'not doing enough' to protect against bank-transfer scams

Daniel Bower

I work with some some crime underwriters and some of the scans are very sophisticated.

Fire example having into a solicitors email system and watching house conveyances go through the process and at an opportune time get the buyer to transfer the deposit to a scam account.

All very convincing as they've been watching the whole transaction and a) pick the right moment and b) use the right language-none of this uncle in Nigeria nonsense.

Personally I don't think the banks should be liable but the institutions who have so poor security their emails can be compromised in this way.

Donald Trump confirms TPP to be dumped, visa program probed

Daniel Bower

Re: oh yea..

I am slightly offended by the term 'grammar nazi'. I much prefer the term alt-write...

Fitbit picks up Pebble, throws Pebble as far as it can into the sea

Daniel Bower


Oh granted. I do however make the comment being both the owner and massive fan of the Pebble Time Steel and an S3 so have lived with them both and used both extensively.

The Pebble is extraordinarily functional given its ( intentional) design limitations however now the battery life of something like the S3 is at least passable imo it surpasses the Pebble on almost every measure.

Ymmv etc etc