* Posts by alanturingslefteyebrow

13 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Aug 2010

IBM lifts lid on latest bid to halt mainframe skill slips


Re: Encourage z/OS and z/VM on Hercules

IBM did try that in 2001 by donating a mainframe to Warwick University ( https://12ft.io/proxy?q=https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/ibm-puts-warwick-ahead-in-grid-quest/156954.article ) as part of the Grid initiative. (Did anything ever come of that initiative?)

However, only a few years later the mainframe was decommissioned (there's a photo online somewhere of it being unceremoniously shunted out of the Computer Science building, presumably on its way to the Land Where Legacy Hardware is Eternally Blessed), and my suspicion is that the closed nature of the platform stood no chance in an environment where Linux and open source was exploding in popularity. The mainframe must have appeared to be as incongruous as a headmaster at a school disco.


Encourage z/OS and z/VM on Hercules

IBM could drop their opposition to using z/OS and z/VM on the fabulous Hercules emulator. This would encourage people to tinker with the OSs and get some interest from people who might never otherwise encounter them.

Microsoft's Garage band offers album of experimental Excel jazz


Make Power Query faster, or at least give it some better performance analysis and profiling. It's often glacial and offers no clues as to where the problems are. Other than that, it's very good and very much an undiscovered gem for many Excel users.

In a time before calculators, going the extra mile at work sometimes didn't add up


Re: Honesty kills

Weeeeellllll, strictly speaking wouldn't it be "Chefs' kiss", i.e. the "kiss of chefs" (chefs plural), rather than the kiss of one individual chef?

I'm happy to be talked down on that point, but it does remind me of a protracted argument across multiple issues of Private Eye magazine about whether a popular PE column on the topic of picky corrections should be titled "Pedants corner", "Pedant's corner" or "Pedants' corner".

In the end the magazine renamed the column "Pedantry corner".

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day


Re: assuming you know what it is

Bag of cheap velcro ties from eBay will sort that problem out.


Several boxes of DD 5.25" floppies. I'm sure I'll need them one day.

Mm, Linux-on-mainframe admin brains: IBM wolfs down Israeli upstart


z/VM on Hercules

Now we just need IBM to provide a non-commercial or hobbyist licence to permit modern z/VM releases to run legally on the excellent Hercules mainframe emulator. Come on Greg Lotko, how about kick-starting a new wave of z/VM enthusiasts?

Only buy Huawei or ZTE if you like being SPIED ON - US politicos


The Economist speaks

The Economist published a good article on this a few weeks ago. In it, Ross Anderson makes the point that pretty much all kit has some China-sourced components, and not buying from Huawai or ZTE would provide a false sense of security.

Article is here: http://www.economist.com/node/21559929

LONDON iPHONE 5 MADNESS: 'You must be CRAZY to buy Apple'

Black Helicopters

Shopper plants?

Maybe some of those enthusiastic shoppers were Apple plants, intended to make other genuine shoppers not feel so bad about behaving like obsessives.

Softphones strangled by smartphone battery life

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Lync - yes

We use Lync and it's great, even when I'm working from home. Previously used the Cisco IP Communicator softphone. Call quality was fine but the application itself is an unusable clunker.

TalkTalk is yet again the most griped about telco in Blighty

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Re: Surprising

Agree about Phorm. I like the look of BT's current offerings but will NEVER move to BT, simply because of the whole Phorm thing which, in my mind, never got properly investigated or resolved.

The BBC Micro turns 30

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Music 5000

Ah, the Music 500/5000! The hours I spent doing stuff with that little genius of a box. An 8-channel polyphonic synth add-on which could make a decent stab at emulating the commercial (and expensive) synths of the time, albeit in a somewhat fuzzy and grainy way.

The Music 5000 software was great too. A FORTH-like music language that allowed data structures and access to the Beeb's hardware, and synth hardware driver in ROM, with a complete "studio" environment (including 8-channel mixer, text editor and rudimentary music notation GUI for entering and editing music, plus bucketloads of sounds) in disk-based overlays.

Brilliant! Thanks Chris Jordan and Hybrid Research for your efforts!

Black helicopters circle 'Welsh Roswell'


It was a teaser!

"Unfortunately I got stuck on the Earth for rather longer than I intended," said Ford. "I came for a week and got stuck for fifteen years."

"But how did you get there in the first place then?"

"Easy, I got a lift with a teaser."

"A teaser?"


"Er, what is ..."

"A teaser? Teasers are usually rich kids with nothing to do. They cruise around looking for planets which haven't made interstellar contact yet and buzz them."

"Buzz them?" Arthur began to feel that Ford was enjoying making life difficult for him.

"Yeah", said Ford, "they buzz them. They find some isolated spot with very few people around, then land right by some poor soul whom no one's ever going to believe and then strut up and down in front of him wearing silly antennae on their heads and making beep beep noises. Rather childish really." Ford leant back on the mattress with his hands behind his head and looked infuriatingly pleased with himself.

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