* Posts by Old Used Programmer

431 posts • joined 23 Sep 2010


SSD belonging to Euro-cloud Scaleway was stolen from back of a truck, then turned up on YouTube

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More than one way...

My niece worked at specialty steel fabricator. When they replaced a bunch of PCs, they took the drives out to the fabrication yard, neatly laid them out on the ground and then brought over a crane with a "magnetic hook" rated for 50 tons. Lowered the hook over the drives and turned in on.

Apparently, this caused all the drives to stand up on end and wave back and forth until the hook was turned off.

Checking random drives afterwards showed nothing on them, not even formatting.

I've got a broken combine harvester – but the manufacturer won't give me the software key

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End user options

If we could get all the people buy stuff to (a) not buy anything that doesn't have some minimum iFixit score (and the required score could go up over time) and (b) insist on standard parts, the companies making repairs difficult to impossible might see their businesses shrink or go away in favor of ones that will meet those criteria.

Windows 11 comes bearing THAAS, Trojan Horse as a service

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Re: We have been moving AWAY from standards since years, unfortunately

The internet firms *love* standards. Lots and lots of standards. Standards are a wonderful thing, because there are so many to choose from.

Yes, I understand your point.

What I'd like to see would be a single standard for videochat so they 'd all be interoperable and one could use what one liked and.or run best on ones system. Then the different providers could duke it out on how well they could make it work and what additional features they could provide that users actually want.

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Re: "and in a few short years we were liberated."

Curiously enough, the school district where my grandson goes to school settled on Meet. They run it on school-distributed Chromebooks (if you need one). I had it set up and running well on a Pi4B-4, using a PiCamera v2 for the video input.

For a true display of wealth, dab printer ink behind your ears instead of Chanel No. 5

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Re: Setup cartridges......

It's the business model invented King Gillette. Sell razors at or near giveaway prices and then make your money selling the blades to go with.

A few years ago HP threw a hissy fit because people weren't buying their massively overpriced cartridges. So they announced that they'd sell the printers at a profit. (Big part of the reason why what was a $400 HP-2055dn is now a $650 HP-2055dn.)

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Or buy used

I picked up a refurbished HP 2055dn last year for $127. New price at the time was around $650. Since those older HP office printers are built like tanks, I expect my kids will inherit it.

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That's my reasoning, too.

Read enough stories about problems with ink jet drying out, so I've gone directly to color laser. But even there, it would cost nearly as much as the printer to replace cartridges with ones from the manufacturer.

Windows 11: What we like and don't like about Microsoft's operating system so far

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Only one question...

...in two parts.

I really only have one question: Can all telemetry be disabled? Can it be does easily and obviously?

Try placing a pot plant directly above your CRT monitor – it really ties the desk together

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Re: The call

We had a cat that liked to lie on top of my CRT with his front claws hooked just over the edge of the bezel. So, not wanting the vents blocked, I cut a piece of plywood to size, put a couple of standoffs on the back and put that on top of the monitor, leaving a clear 4+ inches of space over the top vents. The cat was still happy to hang out on top, but now without the possible adverse consequences.

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Re: Back in the olden days

Back in the early 1950s, my father took 8mm movies of cadets at the Maritime Training Center practicing putting out oil fires with water. (My father was an instructor for electrical and electronic systems at the base.)

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Re: Adjust the monitor settings?

One sort of like that I was able to provide a solution for (and it wasn't even my job).

Huge--for the time--expensive (ViewSonic) CRT monitor. Lousy image. The actual problem was an unshielded power distribution panel on the other side of the wall. The Powers That Be were unwilling to spend what it would have taken to properly shield the panel. So I suggested a somewhat better graphics card for the PC so that the refresh wouldn't be 60Hz. That was done, cranked the refresh to 85Hz. Rock solid image.

SteelSeries Apex Pro plays both sides of the mechanical keyboard fence – and wins

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On the other hand...

I'm a retired programmer and my wife writes. We are both very happy users of Unicomp Classic keyboards.

Radioactive hybrid terror pigs have made themselves a home in Fukushima's exclusion zone

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Re: If Marvel taught us anything

That really was an excellent movie.

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Re: Why do Brits sometimes drop the definite article "the"?

Southern California (e.g. Los Angeles) inserts a definite article before Interstate Highway numbers, such as "the I-10" where in northern California (e.g. SF Bay Area) doesn't, such as "I-80".

No idea why (or why not), but you can tell a transplanted newscaster by which way they do it.

Go to L: A man of the cloth faces keyboard conundrum

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The Joy of Date Routines

I had a go around with the guy who wrote the date routines at I company I was working for. On the first pass, he had 1900 as a leap year. I pointed out that that was wrong. On the second pass he had 2000 as NOT a leap year. So Pointed out that error (I'd given the correct--Gregorian--formula the first time). On the third pass, he got it right.

What I want to know is...If the localization in Linux is NOT an English speaking country, is the date shift between Julian and Gregorian calendars correct for that country?

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Re: Ah. Well, ahem...!

If I have to write something like that down, I distinguish lower case L from one by using a script lower case L.

We hope this hotel has a nice spa because Windows sure looks like it needs some R&R

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Been done...

Even that's overkill. Some "smart sign" companies a few years ago discovered that the Pi A+ (list: $20) could handle a sign and cleaned out the supply chain.

Since then, NEC has done a couple of lines of display monitors that can have embedded Pi Compute Modules built in.

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

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Not the only class of device...

The documentation (sparse as it is...it's mostly to reassure the excessively--ignorant--timid) that comes with pacemakers warns about getting too close to induction cooking devices.

Wish you could play tabletop Dungeons & Dragons but have no friends? Solasta: Crown of the Magister offers a solution

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Another way to get in your table top gaming....

Gaming conventions have thrived in recent years (the past year plus being an obvious exception). Find your local convention(s) and treat your spouse/SO to a weekend away from home.

A hotline to His Billness? Or a guard having a bit of a giggle?

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Not Liz?

Eben responds to posts from time to time. He also responds to comments on the blog posts. Still, for a problem with the forums, I'm mildly surprised it wasn't Liz Upton responding. She is, after all, Director of Communications, while Eben is CEO...of the wholly owned subsidiary, Raspberry Pi Trading (Ltd.).

(One can see why the Uptons staunchly refuse to have a "smart speaker" at home...listening in.)

Dependable Debian is like a rock in a swirling gyre of 'move fast and break things', and version 11 is no different

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Re: Pi's

So I'm not the only one reading this that will be upgrading a lot of Pis. I think by the time I'm done, It'll be closer to two dozen...

Global Fastly outage takes down many on the wibbly web – but El Reg remains standing

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Re: At Savvo...

For the only thing I do to which that might apply--a convention registration system--360 days out of the year, I am the only user. The other 5 days, it's physically moved to the convention hotel and entering new con members into the system is done by volunteers under my direction.

So why would I put it in the cloud and risk having the system go down because the databases can't be accessed?

I certainly won't claim to have eliminated all SPOFs, but I've gotten down to relatively few and for most of those I have spare equipment to swap in to cover.

Need some chips? The Raspberry Pi Pico's RP2040 is heading to a channel near you

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Re: No competition

The "Arduino line" includes an RP2040 based board.

Nature is healing: Shhh. It's a lesser spotted Pi Bork nesting behind the bushes at IKEA

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Minimal model....

With 4 Raspberries at the top, it's at least a Pi2B, though a Pi3A+ is also possible.

There was a time that Pi A+ boards practically disappeared because the East Asian "smart display" makers discovered that an A+ was adequaute to the task and really cheap ($20).

Qualcomm hopes to attract devs to Windows 10 on Arm with new testbed, spins up 2nd-gen 7c cheapbook chips

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If it's cheap enough, I can run the browser I choose and can run PuTTY and LibreOffice, I'd have a use for it. I'm considering building a system around a NUC, but I could be persuaded otherwise.

Samsung shows off rollable and foldable displays, suggests they'll arrive in 2022

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Let's see where this goes...

I've been wanting roll-up monitors for years. I'd like to see a 19" 1280x1024 that rolled up into a tube, around 1.5" to 2" in diameter.

Can't get that printer to work? It's not you. It's that sodding cablin.... oh beautiful job with that cabling, boss

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As for software system names...

Company I worked for had a "Leaking Underground Storage Tanks" system.

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Re: Blame the Cable

Rant time...

No such animal as "DB-15". The series is: DA-15, DB-25, DC-37, DD-50, DE-9.

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Re: Time was...

One company I worked for had a problem with PCs disappearing. A company employee found a system for sale at a flea market that was full of company software. Eventually, the "problem" was traced back to a night shift security guard who would back up his car to the loading dock and fill the trunk with PCs.

Google's FLoC flies into headwinds as internet ad industry braces for instability

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Re: John Wannamaker

One of my more common specific product searches is when someone in a forum I read and comment on regularly has a problem, but hasn't given the specs of the device causing the problem. So I look it up to see if I can find any clues to what is going wrong. No intent to buy the item or anything like it.

Texan's alleged Amazon bombing effort fizzles: Militia man wanted to take out 'about 70 per cent of the internet'

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As for sites going down....

I was recently watching the stream from a particular web cam. It went down "due to technical difficulties." The next day, the company running it got to the site to try to find the actual problem and fix it. They found the problem and that it couldn't be fixed. The web cam is in Iceland and was overrun by a lava flow.

Prince Philip, inadvertent father of the Computer Misuse Act, dies aged 99

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Re: No TV

And--via a comment from the Italian premiere--Turkey.

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Re: Bad greek

The usual US examples are Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Rio Grande River. However, I think the UK takes top spot with Torpenhowe Hill.

Yep, the 'Who owns Linux?' case is back from the dead

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How to mess with IBM

As I recall, the received wisdom was that IBM would simply pay claims for less than $10K as not being worth fighting. Over that, and they'd call in the Nazgul to fight it. Just to keep down the spurious clams, every now and again, they *will* fight a less than $10K claim. So it's a case of...feeling lucky, punk?

A floppy filled with software worth thousands of francs: Techie can't take it, customs won't keep it. What to do?

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Sampling French customs...

A story told my sister by a work colleague...

A company he had worked for was sending source code decks of *cards* of large FORTRAN programs to a company in France. The programs would fail to compile (throwing all manner of errors) when they got there. Eventually, after several rounds of this, they sent a programmer carrying the box of cards. He was rather horrified when the French customs inspector decided to take a few of the cards from random places in the deck as "samples" to keep. did explain the problem, though.

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Re: re: Welcome to the information age!

Well before the widespread information age, my son (now mid-40s) did a science fair project of designing a nuclear bomb. It rather upset a physicist who was one of the judges because it came very close to being a workable design. My son was in 7th grade at the time. (He'd gotten the required mass of the fissionables to within a factor of two, working from publicly available sources.)

Android, iOS beam telemetry to Google, Apple even when you tell them not to – study

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Re: GDPR ...

I will believe that corporations are persons when Texas executes one.

IBM, Red Hat face copyright, antitrust lawsuit from SCO Group successor Xinuos

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Call in....

...the Nazgul. Again. And throw in MoFo as well, for good measure.

Bad news for automakers: That fire at the Renesas chip plant was worse than expected

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Timing is everything.

Is there ever a *timely* fire?

The silicon supply chain crunch is worrying. Now comes a critical concern: A coffee shortage

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Re: ...or give me death...

Coffee is made with water *above* the boiling point of water....? (Bring kettle to a boil. Immediately use it to make tea.)

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Well....this retired programmer has always been a tea drinker.

The kids aren't all right: Fall in GCSE compsci students is bad news for employers and Britain's future growth plans

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Re: Regurgitation

I would argue that the reduction in power requirements has driven IoT, not the other way around. A lot of what drove, at least in the US, into reducing size, weight and power requirements was the inability (at the time) to get much mass into orbit. The US space program *had* to make major weight (and, thus, power) reductions because we lacked sufficiently powerful boosters at the time.

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Get more Raspberry Pis out there....

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I have maintained for decades that nearly anyone can learn to program. However, there is a vast gulf between knowing how to program and being able to hold down a job as a programmer.

The rudiments are useful pretty much across the board. Those who actually enjoy programming and show an aptitude for it can move on to make a living at it.

Micron: We're pulling the plug on 3D XPoint. Anyone in the market for a Utah chip factory?

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Maybe there's a way...

If the plant could manage 28nm and 40nm logic, perhaps they could be contracted to turn out BCM2711, BCM2837, and BCM2835 SoCs and RP2040 MCUs.

Raspberry Pi Foundation boss waves off listing rumours, says biz discussions may have been 'over-interpreted'

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The way to solve the RPT(L) production capacity problem would be for them to buy Sony, as they're the ones who seem to be doing a lot of the assembly work. (Pi4s in Wales, Picos in Japan.)

Apple, forced to rate product repair potential in France, gives itself modest marks

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Re: 3rd Party Verification should be law.

Require all published repairability scores be generated by a competing company.

Hero to Jezero: Perseverance, NASA's most advanced geologist rover, lands on Mars, beams back first pics

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Re: jaunting

Have an upvote for the Alfred Bester reference.

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Re: Life on Mars

Actually... One would expect far fewer Earth rocks hitting Mars than Mars rocks hitting Earth.

To begin with, any rock ejected from Earth has to travel fast enough to travel outward against Solar gravity to get to Mars. The escape velocity is higher for Earth than for Mars (leading to fewer rocks escaping). And Earth is a larger target. Plus, the Moon tends to focus incoming objects towards the Earth.

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Re: Repulsive!

Not a song about a dead white woman with 'er 'ead tucked underneath 'er arm?



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