* Posts by Vin

20 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Oct 2010

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


Re: Bank Accounts

Oh one, 811 8055?

Got a train set to swap?

Makers of ad blockers and browser privacy extensions fear the end is near


Re: Freedom of choice

I’ve started using Tor browser more and more.

If I end up on a site that I want to view, that insists I disable blockers, I paste it into Tor browser and view there.

Also gets around “x free articles per month” etc.

ZX Spectrum: Q&A with some of the folks who worked on legendary PC


Re: Thanks!

I had the Currah μSpeech that slot into the rear of my Speccy. Cost about £30 at the time. Had the “benefit” that the Speccy audio was redirected through the tv speaker, with added RF noise!

I loved my μSpeech. Certain games would support it, too. Buck Rogers being one that I remember.

It was amazing, at the time, to hear your computer speak!

Not looking forward to a greyscale 2022? Then look back to the past in 64 colours


Re: Angel Delight

Yeah, because no bugger will drink it! :D

Can you get excited about the iPhone 13? We've tried


Re: Iphone to linux?

I, personally, use the Files app to connect to a samba share on my Linux server.

This is my primary method of copying photos and video from my iPhone to a computer. Once in the shared folder I can access it from any machine.

I also have a selection of FLAC, and video files on the server which the Files app can stream over the network.

I was as surprised as anyone when iOS got native support to access network shares years ago. It’s proved invaluable, though.

I also use it to quickly copy photos to a windows desktop machine, via samba share.

Developer creates ‘Quite OK Image Format’ – but it performs better than just OK


Re: Ok… but

I can still remember trying to view jpg images on my Amiga.

That was a fairly painful process, watching the image slowly decode on the screen.

Now I think about it, they wouldn’t have been particularly large images, either.

Cherry on top: Dell shoves MX keyboard into its Alienware m15 R4 ultrabook


Dream keyboard

Slightly off topic, but I’m still awaiting my dream keyboard.

I’ve been using Microsoft Natural (ergonomic) keyboards since the late 90s.

I’ve loved them all, except for the horrible, spongy black 4000 model.

Currently I use a grey, Surface (natural) keyboard on my workstation. Not sure what switches it uses, but it feels nice to type on.


There’s no backlight. What I’d love to be able to buy is a Microsoft Natural shape keyboard, with a backlight, and mechanical keys, plus to have a cabled option (or even the option to use it wired, or wireless)

I actually write this in the hope someone will respond “what, you mean one of these?”

I’d be prepared to pay a fair amount, for this Natural shape, mechanical keyboard, with backlight, and preferably with a wired option.

“A keyboard? How quaint! Hello, computer!”

Google to pull plug on Play Music, its streaming service that couldn't beat Spotify, in favour of YouTube Music


Re: Very moderately quite aggravating

I’ve been using amazon music for years.

If you already have prime you can get a steep discount if you pay yearly. Works out something like £6.66 per month.

There’s also a ‘hd’ tier addon that I subscribe to. Most stuff available, at minimum, as standard Flac, with most new releases being 24bit audio. That’s also cheaper if you pay yearly.

They also do a family plan, though I’ve never used it.

No, I don’t work for amazon. Just, if you have prime already, it may work out cheaper than the competition.

They also do trials, in fact the only reason I joined in the first place was an initial 4 months for 99p offer.

It worked, because once it expired, I stayed on.

Australia to refund $720m in 'debts' determined by dodgy algorithm


Just read that themonthly.com.au link.

Humorously written, great article.


Not going Huawei just yet: UK ministers reportedly rethinking pledge to kick Chinese firm out of telco networks by 2023


TLA backdoor

Isn’t it possible that the US want to get Huawei banned from as many countries infrastructures as possible, not because they believe Huawei have any kind of backdoor, but rather, because any government who installs Huawei kit won’t have a US backdoor built in, which they could potentially achieve if the world is strong armed into buying US originated kit?

Good luck pitching a tent on exoplanet WASP-76b, the bloody raindrops here are made out of molten iron


... from a lacerated sky

Just wanted to say that I appreciate the Slayer reference

EU court tells prudish IP office to fack off for balking at 'fack ju' trademark application


Fucking video!

You often read in the comments that “you owe me a new keyboard”

I’d never ACTUALLY spat out my coffee, personally, until just now.

Watching that Fucking video on my tablet.... when the presenter delivered his “here is the Fucking school” he caught me just so in he humour dept, I chuckled once but caught the coffee in my mouth, and then, it just sprayed out all over my tablet, my tshirt, and the floor.

So thanks for posting that Fucking video!

Don't use natwest.co.uk for online banking, Natwest bank tells baffled customer


Re: 2FA

Check if your phone supports Wi-fi calling.

It’s been a real life saver for me.

Beware the trainee with time on his hands and an Acorn manual on his desk



Damn, I went to an ITeC too, all the way down in Cornwall.

We did our initial training on Sanyo MBC 555s, running MS-DOS 2.1.

There were a handful of IBM XTs (with fantastic Cherry keyboards)

I still remember when we got our first 286, with the turbo button! IIRC it ran at 12Mhz!

We also got used to using Wordstar, with the trainers telling us that if we could learn to use that, we could use anything.

Thing is, after having used it for a while, I got used to it and preferred it to anything else.

Anyway, we had a great time, learning ms-dos inside and out, programming in PASCAL, and it set me up for a life in IT. Thanks for the memory.

Eight... HD camera smartphones


iTunes not required for video

I can't comment on the latest and greatest iPhones, but I have an old 3GS here.

When I want to retrieve photos or video from it, iTunes isn't required at all.

Just connect the iPhone to any PC via USB, and it appears like a digital camera under "Computer" and you can just drag and drop photos and videos from it, although not to it.

So it works "nearly" as well as a mass storage device for retrieving your photos and video, but only one way traffic is permitted.

The Commodore 64 is 30

Thumb Up


Just sat here mesmerised by the Deus Ex Machina demo, just as I used to be back in the day.... I probably had more disks of megademos than anything else.... same goes for the Amiga when I got one.

Incredible what those guys could get out of the hardware.

Thanks for that, that really took me back. My original C64 is still set up here, with the 1541 still clunking away, I think I may have to take it out for a spin later.

Thanks for the memories.

Humax HDR-Fox T2 Freeview HD DVR



Thanks for that.

I was pretty sure that was possible, but just wanted to be 100% before parting with any cash!

By the way, how do you find the responsiveness of the box, particularly whilst navigating the EPG? Have you used the Foxsat FreesatHD PVR, so you know what I'm comparing it to? It's a great box, just that the responsiveness can be a little frustrating, when you press a button... wait, think "has it worked?" ... "no" press it again, and then the menu jumps two places or whatever. ;)

Sounds like a great FreeviewHD PVR though, so I may well pick one up to compliment my Freesat HD PVR.




Can you back up recordings to external storage?

I'm still wanting to confirm that recordings can be backed up, either via USB and/or Ethernet?

I've just been having a skim through the PDF manual, and have found the following note on page 37.

"When a file is moved to a different storage, it will be copied. However, video recordings cannot be copied to other storages"

This makes it sound like you cannot copy recordings to a USB drive.

I imagine this would be wrong? After all, I regularly copy recordings from my Humax FreesatHD PVR to a USB drive.

So can someone just confirm that this is possible? (and I imagine this is only possible with SD recordings, not HD?)

Years ago, a friend of mine got hold of an old Nokia DVB-C box (I think it was a D-Box2), which had an excellent feature. It would stream live TV through the Ethernet port, meaning he could use the PCs in his house as TVs, with no further hardware/tuners. I've been wishing for such a box to be available here as either DVB-S or DVB-T. I guess this isn't possible with this PVR? I know it's a long shot, but I keep hoping for such a feature.

It's also interesting to see another device with DLNA.

So please advise on at least whether this PVR can definitely back up recordings via USB or Ethernet, and I think I may well have to get one of these, and finally retire the Topfield.

Many thanks,



Backing up recordings

Hi there.

At the moment, I too have a Topfield TF5800 for my Freeview needs, and a Humax Foxsat HDR for my FreesatHD needs.

I've been waiting to see if Topfield would release a FreeviewHD product, but after having used the Foxsat HDR for over a year now, I'd be quite happy to go with this new FreeviewHD box.

One thing I need to know, is can you copy recordings off the PVR?

With the Topfield of course, it can be done by connecting the PVR to a PC.

The Foxsat allows you to connect a USB drive, formatted as FAT32 or, I think, EXT3 (for the larger than 4gb recordings) Of course HD content is protected and cannot be backed up.

Another thing I'd like to know, is how responsive is it, compared to the Foxsat?

My only niggle with the Foxsat is how utterly sluggish it is to do almost anything. I can wait 5 seconds after a keypress for a reaction on screen sometimes, particularly when scrolling through the EPG to set recordings.

If I do go from my Topfield TF5800, I will miss some of the taps.

I love my old JAGS, that I still use, that automatically searches the EPG for all my favourite programmes when it boots up, and automatically sets timers, which can be invaluable if going away for any amount of time, but I guess I could live without it.

Anyway, mainly I'd like to check if programmes can be copied off, either via USB, or better, LAN?

Also I want to check if this unit is faster responding than the Foxsat.

Thanks Nigel.

Your reviews have indeed been invaluable, as to has toppy.org.uk over the years! :)

All the best,