* Posts by mdava

111 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Feb 2011


Debian spices up APT package manager with a dash of color, squishes ancient bug


More than just colour changes

Having browsed elsewhere for screenshots of the new APT, it is more than just colour changes - there is a more structured, less dense presentation of what is being installed and removed that seems a material improvement to me at least.

Tiny Core Linux 15 stuffs modern computing in a nutshell


Re: investigating whether it can turn some geriatric laptops into useful tools once again.

I don't know why this is being downvoted - there come a point where all things are past their useful lives.

I have a netbook from around 2008. I *could* install even a normal linux os (say xubuntu or lubuntu) and it would run fine, but in 2024 day-to-day use means a browser and 2Gb RAM is going to make that slow and painful.

Or I could buy a laptop from a few years ago with 16Gb RAM and a hugely faster processor for under £200.

If you have a specific use case for an old, low-powered machine then have at it.

Logitech, iFixit to offer parts to stop folks binning their computer mouse


I have bought several Logitech M705s (they are a nice size and shape) over a decade - the weak link being the micro-switches which eventually become erratically responsive.

I did once watch a YouTube guide on how to carefully extract the switch and tweak the spring back to the right shape so that it would work again. Then I did that. Which rendered the mouse fully inoperative, then I bought a new one.

My God, it's full of tabs: Vivaldi's coolest new features shine on phones and cars


Re: Autoplay blocking

I tend to browse a limited selection of sites, but it does seem to work as intended (to the extent that I had to permit auto-play on Twitter, as that's one of the few places that I want videos to)

Most Londoners would quit before they give up working from home


Re: As a dev....

This has reminded me that when I started work (in the 80s) I sat in a large room in which almost everyone else smoked. The hard line about WFH may actually turn out not to be that important if the alternative is no salary, but I absolutely *would* *not* work in an office where people were allowed to smoke.

(1) I appreciate that this is at least part of the OPs point - that they can smoke while working without affecting others.

As recession looms, Workday warns that legacy HR systems need updating


Re: Workday is perfect for inHumane Resources

I can't upvote this post enough. Fellow Workday sufferer here - it must be the single least intuitive piece of software that I have ever had the misfortune to deal with.

The answer to 3D printing equipment on Mars might lie in the Red Planet's dust


Cory Doctorow's short story, The Man who Sold the Moon, is so like this that I wonder if the scientists read it and got the inspiration from it!?

Elon Musk orders Tesla execs back to the office


Re: Tesla obviously don't use workday

Workday is the most utterly shit software imaginable. I cannot imagine why the firm I work for chose it - years after we transitioned it is still difficult / impossible to do the most basic things.

Is it decadent that I use four different computers each day, at different times?


Re: Landscape mode

Why do you have to click through 4 "options" to do something that can be done automagically...if only Amazon put a sensor in the thing to understand its orientation.

I prefer it not to - reading in bed I don't want to have to tell it to show the text in portrait whether I am lying on my back or (either) side. I think the use-case for a Kindle is very different to a phone or tablet in this regard if you are reading novels (and it is probably not the best tool for anything else like comics, reference books etc).

Does the boss want those 2 hours of your free time back? A study says fighting through crowds to office each day hurts productivity


Who got the extra time?

I'd be interested to know where the commuting time has gone to?

My personal experience is that it is the employer, not the employee that has benefitted from the extra couple of hours that have been made available each day.

LastPass to limit fans of free password manager to one device type only – computer or mobile – from next month


Re: Goodbye LastPass.

I did the same - didn't take very long and now I am a Bitwarden user.

As an aside, I would much rather pay Bitwarden $10 a year than LastPass $3 a month. Both are essentially trivial, but one feels much more reasonable than the other in some way.

Vivaldi offers users a 'break' from browsing. No, don't switch to Chrome... don't sw..


I disagree - I much prefer Vivaldi's approach - ad-blocking built in, mouse-gestures, tab-stack, tab-preview, side-panels and probably lots more that I use all the time but don't remember now.

Logitech G915 TKL: Numpad-free mechanical keyboard clicks all the right boxes


Re: Sounds excellent all round

Fair point - I hadn't realised that TKL was a generic term (thought this was logitech marketing dept at work).


Sounds excellent all round

But quite pricey (and appears not to be available on Amazon this morning).

Anyone got alternatives for good keyboards-without-numberpads at a more budget price point?

Motorola bounds out the G8 with a harder, better, faster smartphone for the thrifty


Hits the sweet spot

The Moto G series seems to offer the best balance of features and value for money to me (how people can countenance spending >£1,000 on a phone is incomprehensible to me).

I am a convert to the range and have recommended it to various people, the only thing preventing me from getting a G8 being the fact that my G5 keeps on doing all the things that I expect it to. The only reason to upgrade might be that (after several years of very regular updates, for which I give Moto much credit) they seem to have stopped updating the firmware for the G5.

Bloke forks out £12m, hands over keys to tropical island to shoo away claims that his web marketing biz was a scam


Re: One born every minute

I had almost completely forgotten about these "auctions"! They used to be a regular feature of Oxford Street but have now disappeared.

What happened or changed to make them vanish (as even back then they must have fallen foul of some legislation)?

Firefox Preview for Android: Mozilla has another go at a mobile browser


Funny that, having the address bar at the bottom of a phone that most people use with their thumb seems entirely logical and sensible to me. Far more so than leaving it at the top where I have to move my hand to reach it.

Those darn users don't know what they're doing (not like us, of course)


Re: brought a tear to my eye...

In the 80s a friend's dad fitted a cut-out to the fuel line in his Capri as a safety device (in a country where car-jacking was a possibility). It was based on sound logic that the thieves would be half a mile away when it cut out and therefore unable to immediately turn around and beat the location of the cut-out switch out of you.

Hot on heels of 2.0, Vivaldi 2.2 adds tab session management among other goodies


Re: Another quick question

Auto play videos are one of the worst things that ever happened to the Internet.

2018's Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop is a lovely lappie


Re: US$2,579.00

Work laptops should have more USB ports and an RJ45 connector and don't need wifi, bluetooth, speakers, mic, video camera built in. Those are things that can be added as peripherals and carried in your laptop bag.

In 2018 work laptops absolutely need wifi.

Bluetooth you might argue against, but it can always be turned off.

Speakers, mic and video camera, in the days of ubiquitous Skype, Hangouts, Lync etc are pretty close to essential as well.

Vivaldi Arms onto Raspberry Pi


Re: So long...

embedded borderless PDF browsing

I don't even know what that means. Is it useful (ie, should I)?

Lenovo spits out retro ThinkPads for iconic laptop's 25th birthday


Re: Leaving Thinkpad after 20 years

What are you going to replace it with? (Asking out of genuine interest)


Re: +1 for X220 mention

I have a very similar X220, except with Xubuntu, and I swear that it boots in well under 45 seconds (although maybe it only feels fast by comparison to my work issue X220 with Windows that takes aaaaaaaaaaaaaages to boot).

Perhaps I should time it.

You lost your ballpoint pen, Slack? Why's your Linux version unsigned?


I agree, but perhaps it would be simpler to implement a this-is-bullshit font.

'At least I can walk away with my dignity' – Streetmap founder after Google lawsuit loss


Re: Disgustingly Evil

He's right that Google maps display far, far less information than the paper maps from OS that we used when orienteering as kids.

I agree entirely.

However, I don't use Google Maps for orienteering (and I'm certain that 99.99% of other users also don't). For that I would want a paper map (for anything "serious") or find another app that provides this (Ordnance Survey) for walks in the woods.

For finding addresses, finding businesses or restaurants, getting directions, sat nav with live traffic information, street view, traffic data etc etc etc Google Maps is streets ahead (apologies for lazy pun).

Two words, Mozilla: SPEED! NOW! Quit fiddling and get serious


Re: Tab groups


Streetmap loses appeal against Google Maps dominance judgement


... even though its satellite imagery is often extremely out of date 10 years+ old.

I love this comment (to be clear I'm not disputing it or mocking the AC) but isn't it incredible that we can see unbelievably detailed imagery of essentially every single place in the world, zoom in and out, see changes over decades, Street View for ground level view etc etc?

My mum can remember the first radio that her parents bought!


I just had a look at the Streetmaps page, looks like it hasn't evolved for about 10 years.

I agree entirely. There are some things to like about Streetmap (and I used to use it back in the day before Google started doing maps) but overall Google Maps is in a completely different league.

Uber's self-driving cars can't handle bike lanes, forcing drivers to kill autonomous mode


Re: Copied the idiot's answers

Google's cars also turn across the bike lane illegally but they've been programmed to halt and cause a major traffic jam rather than hit cyclists.

For the avoidance of doubt: stopping, whether it causes a traffic jam or not, is always the correct alternative to hitting cyclists.

Loyalty card? Really? Why data-slurping store cards need a reboot


Re: Nope

I had half a TV once. I'm not saying it wasn't cheap but it was a bit shit all told and I don't think I would go for it again.

Well, it probably wasn't the best TV on the market, but for the price it was unbeatable. Both TVs are still in use after 1 and 3 years (approximately) respectively, so they can't be that bad (or maybe my standards are just low).


Re: Nope

They are paying you - it's up to you to decide whether it is worth it.

I've had one-and-a-half free tvs and three free radios out of Nectar Card (as well as various smaller things, days out etc). To me that's acceptable.

More than half of punters reckon they can't get superfast broadband


Re: Upload drives demand?

@ smartypants

I'm intrigued to know what sort of volume you are backing up to the cloud - and where to and at what price?

What went wrong at Tesco Bank?


Why isn't this bigger news?

As in the title: I don't understand why this isn't getting more (and more vigorous) news coverage.

Admittedly it is early days, but this is a hack of Tesco's systems, not info harvested from phishing creds from individuals. The nature and scale of the attack is worrying.

PayPal patches bone-headed two factor authentication bypass


Re: 2fa choices

I don't really understand this - there are very few people left who don't have a mobile phone already (the only one I can think of out of everyone I know/meet is my mother-in-law) so why would you need to buy another?

Forgive me, father, for I have used an ad-blocker on news websites...


Off-white list?

I use ad-blockers on every machine I use.

However, I would happily (for sites I like and use regularly, such as this) tick an off-white list that permitted only text adverts or static images.

Anything that is animated (especaially flash), autoplayed movies, popped over/under/across the screen or generally is a pain in the @rse should 100% be blocked all the time.

Drone speedboat isn't


I did wonder

Why an unmanned boat had such a big windscreen.

If you haven't changed your Dropbox password for 4 years, do so now


Re: Spotify resets too

And Opera Sync too (email this morning).

Man killed in gruesome Tesla autopilot crash was saved by his car's software weeks earlier


"Personally I'm not comfortable with using something labelled "beta" at motorway speeds"

This is exactly my thought. It seems insanely reckless to do so.

Google doesn’t care who makes Android phones. Or who it pisses off


Re: Why upgrade?

I upgraded (and was only able to because CyanogenMod exists) for various reasons:

- security

- ability to run some apps that won't run on old Android versions

- control: removing all the bloatware that comes pre-installed and unremovable

- control: better permissions and privacy management in latest android and CyanogenMod


@James51: Clearly you haven't checked for a long time.

Cars to run ... on Android



I am currently driving a Citroen C4 Cactus, which is admirable in many ways but not for its centralisation of all controls on a 7" touchscreen.

Where, for example, turning the heating and/or fan down could previously be done by reaching across grasping a knob and turning it without taking your eyes off the road the touchscreen requires touching once to activate the HVAC screen and again once / many times to adjust heat / fan speed, all of which require you to look at the screen (and brace your hand on the bezel) in order to achieve the required touch accuracy.

Touchscreens in cars are Really Not a Good Idea for most things.

Opera claims 50 per cent power savings with browser update


Re: "Firstly, cognitively you can't keep 200 items in the stack"


I have often wondered why people want to keep hundred of tabs open in their browsers and yours is the first explanation for keeping 200+ tabs open that actually makes any sense at all to me (even if I probably won't take to doing it myself).


Review legacy code: Waking dragons is risk worth taking, says Trainline ops head


Re: Business model?

Which is a good moment to remind everyone of the wonderful http://traintimes.org.uk, which as well as providing clean, simple information can also do journey-splitting to find cheaper fares.

It helps that you can simply type an url like http://traintimes.org.uk/london/eastcroydon/1000/tuesday/ and it will show you the scheduled services.

Stagefright flaw still a nightmare: '850 million' Androids face hijack risk


Hooray for Cyanogen mod

On the one hand, 97% of users will never consider using it, but on the other hand last week I updated my phone from stuck-on-4.4.2 to 6.0.1.

Which shows that it can be done, just that the manufacturer / network operators can't be bothered.

Mystery Kindle update will block readers from books after Wednesday


Re: Non-cloudy thinking

To all the previous commentards:

Yes, I agree, Amazon / whoever having control of your purchased books is not great. On the other hand, for c.90% (or maybe more) of all the fiction I ever read I do not have an urge to read it again.

For reference publications, I am unlikely to buy those as .mobi files. They are more likely to be hard copy or pdf or something else I can access on multiple platforms.

Therefore not something I am losing any sleep over.

Chrome 49 goes live as Google pays bug mercs $51k to patch 26 holes


Re: Ditched for Linux ?

Only for 32 bit systems. Apparently this was announced ages ago, although I didn't notice until Chrome started flashing messages at me.

I've updated to a 64 bit install, not really sure why I originally went with 32?


Yes, me too. Simple fix is here with an explanation.

Facebook paid £4k in tax. HMRC then paid Facebook £27k – for ads


Re: Down vote this

@ AC - No, I think everyone should pay the amount of tax that they are due to pay, and there is clearly a problem that has arisen from the globalisation of trade, but that still can only be dealt with by changing the "rules" and then applying them.

In terms of filling potholes etc, corporation tax is actually a very small piece of the funding - see here - and the bulk of the revenue comes from income tax, NI and VAT all of which are generated by the trading / employment of people in the UK.


Facebook currently employs 850 people in the UK

While I appreciate that the corporation tax figure is derisory, as already pointed out, it undoubtedly reflects Facebook following the laws regarding transfer pricing etc. If they have not, then it is HMRC's duty to challenge and/or prosecute them.

What is always omitted from these headlines is the other taxes paid by facebook etc. Assuming that Facebook's UK employees are paid more than the median average, say £50k each, then Facebook paid c£5 million in employer's national insurance alone last year.

New Monopoly version features an Automatic Teller Machine


Misses the point entirely

Which, as I realised as an adult when I started playing with my own kids, is to teach children addition, subtraction while they learn some strategy and negotiation as well.