* Posts by dajames

1390 posts • joined 20 Mar 2011


Boolean bafflement at British Airways' Executive Club: Sneaky little Avioses - Wicked, Tricksy, False!

dajames Silver badge

More borkage ...

I wonder whether I received one of these EMails ...?

I can't tell, because for the last few weeks whenever BA have EMailed me I have received the same EMail about a dozen times over a few hours (all with the same send date/time and message-id) and I've lost patience and deleted every one!

Tony Blair tells Russian infosec conference that cross-border infosec policies need more gov intervention

dajames Silver badge

Missing the point?

He still misses the point that giving data to technology companies may get you scammed or spammed but it won't get you falsely arrested, tracked and targetted like the government can do.

Do you really think that governments -- and worse -- can't get their hands on the data that have been collected by the technology data-whores? Governments can just demand it with warrants, the others with money or menaces.

Don't fall into the trap of thinking that the likes of that nice Mr. Zuckerberg have your best interests at heart, especially when lining their own pockets is a possibility.

(Not wishing to defend Bliar in any way, of course!)

TomTom bill bomb: Why am I being charged for infotainment? I sold my car last year, rages Reg reader

dajames Silver badge

Paper maps ...

Surely you meant "out of date 6 months BEFORE you purchased them".

... despite having next year's date on the cover.

dajames Silver badge

Re: NEVER put your home address in your GPS!

If the house has an alarm, check the keys for an RFID tag.

Don't get me started! RFID tags for alarm systems are SUCH a stupid idea.

dajames Silver badge

Re: As I read that

I use my car's Bluetooth for phone calls, but when I sold my car it didn't cancel my phone contract. Find me a lawyer!

If your phone was supplied by the car manufacturer when you bought the car, then you might have a point!

dajames Silver badge

Re: I don't know what constitutes a lifetime in TomTom's eyes

I had one of their older models, with 1GB of SDram. I got a mail a year ago saying that, because the hardware could not follow (ie not enough storage), they were dropping support and would no longer be updating the maps.

I found myself in a similar position -- 2GB TomTom came with maps for the whole of Western Europe, but the maps are now more detailed/comprehensive and require more storage.

As I've been running the thing with the maps on an 8GB SD card for some years, I found their excuse for dropping support a little thin.

So I bought a Garmin.

I will NOT be buying a Garmin. SWMBO has one, and I hate the interface.

dajames Silver badge

Re: As I read that

I reallu don't know why I need to download 33Gb of maps every months for the Here device.

You don't -- the roads don't change that much ... but you're lucky updates are available at all, for a built-in SatNav. A friend with an Audi tells me that he only gets offered updates every couple of years, and Audi want the cost of several new TomTom or Garmin devices for the privilege.

Why do I need road maps of Russia?

You don't -- they're there so that when Russian organized crime gangs steal your bike and send it home in a container the new owner will already have the local maps installed.

.NET Core: Still a Microsoft platform thing despite more than five years open source

dajames Silver badge

Re: What would be the point?

Given that Kotlin started off as an alternative to Java and its Java version depends on the Java Class Library, I'm not sure what you would gain by targeting the CLR.

Kotlin's original design goal was to produce a more expressive and safer language than Java running within the Java ecosystem. Kotlin doesn't have to target the JVM, though. Kotlin Native is "a thing", and Kotlin.NET could be too, were there the will for it to exist. I see C# as about on a par with Java so far as safety and expressiveness go, so I think the idea is sound.

One of Rust's features is a lack of garbage collection, so again it's not clear why you'd target a system that uses GC extensively.

Rust's main objective is to provide a syntax that supports rigorous compile-time checking, to eliminate (or, at least, drastically reduce) runtime errors. Rust does also position itself as a system programming language, and eschews garbage collection for that reason, but a lack of garbage collection is not one of its primary goals. Methinks the question is whether you consider the elimination of runtime errors to be desirable in .NET, and if so whether you like Rust's approach to that goal.

Visual Studio + C# is probably the most productive development environment I've ever used, ...

Many people have said that ... but is that really anything to do with .NET, or is it that Microsoft have chosen to support .NET by providing a lot of programmer productivity tooling for C# (in particular) that they haven't provided for native code development? I would argue that had .NET never existed and all the development resources that went into it had instead been spent on making Visual Studio a more productive toolset for native code C++ development then Visual Studio and C++ would be just as productive a development environment as VS+C# is, today, with the added benefit that the resultant programs would be smaller, cleaner, and faster.

dajames Silver badge

What would be the point?

I have a lot of trouble seeing anything in .NET that offers any real advantage to developers on any platform.

When .NET was a new shiny thing Microsoft made much of the fact that Visual Studio could generate a lot of boilerplate Windows GUI code for C# automatically, and I can see that that may have offered a productivity boost on Windows ... but only on Windows. Mono never supported Windows's GUI APIs on other platforms. This led to a drop in popularity for Microsoft's previous favourite language, C++, on Windows, and a big "Meh" from people working on and targeting other platforms.

Microsoft have since lost the way badly on the GUI front with ribbon bars, their fascination with the abomination formerly known as "Metro", store apps, and suchlike, and all that old C# GUI code is looking less and less like a good investment.

Meanwhile, other languages have appeared on the scene and gained in popularity, but are poorly served by .NET -- making .NET itself seem less and less relevant. Where are Kotlin.NET and Rust.NET, for example?

A volt from the blue: Samsung reportedly ditches wall-wart from future phones

dajames Silver badge

Re: Orphans

Unless the charger does something special (and I have no idea what that might be) it would be a good thing if all phones shipped without chargers.

Most of the chargers I have lying around provide a maximum of 500 or 750mA. Some of them have captive cables with micro-USB B plugs, rather than a USB A socket and an A to micro B cable.

My current phone wants a charging current of 1500mA or more, and is USB C. I think that may count as "something special", as my old chargers can't provide it.

What I'd like the manufacturers to do is always to include a cable (sync and charge variety) in the box, as I never seem to have enough of those, and to include a voucher for a wall-wart (NOT the sort with a captive cable) in the box, so people whose old phones charged at lower current can have a free upgrade.

LibreOffice community protests at promotion of paid-for editions, board says: 'LibreOffice will always be free software'

dajames Silver badge

I even licensed PKARC. I was probably the only one in Europe who had the official 5¼" floppy in its thick white plastic cover,

Oh, no you weren't!

... but I wonder where mine is ... and whether I still have a drive that can read it ... or a PC that can talk to that drive ...

Oh, I do wish USB 5.25" disk drives were a thing!

Utilitarian, long-bodied Nokia 5.3 has budget basic specs - but it does cost £150

dajames Silver badge

And my phone case as 2 slots for holding credit cards, so i can pop a bank card in there and still tap my phone on the card reader if i want to pay contactless and no apps to open up.

You can. The use case for NFC payments, though, is that there is a positive authorization step before payment can be made so the system is more secure and your money better protected. That's why contactless payments from cards are typically capped at a few tens of pounds while Android Pay is capped at several thousand.

Your method also means that when someone nicks your phone they get your payment card as well!

[I don't actually use Android Pay -- and I certainly wouldn't want to enable it for my main bank account -- but it does offer far more security than a contactless card (used without a PIN) in exchange for just a little convenience.]

dajames Silver badge

Two years of updates? That really is atrocious.

It's "Android One", so it should get two Android version updates and fixes/patches for three years from the launch date.

I do agree, though, that that's setting the bar quite low. I'd have hoped for at least five years worth of security patches. Not everyone wants (or can afford) new Shiny all the time.

Baroness Dido Harding lifts the lid on the NHS's manual contact tracing performance: 'We contact them up to 10 times over a 36-hour period'

dajames Silver badge

Re: Two out of three ain't bad

If all 27,000 had provided 7.65 contacts; 206,550 need contacting.

Unless, of course, some people were identified as contacts more than once ... which, given the nature of the exercise, seems more than likely.

Well bork me sideways: A railway ticket machine lies down for a little Windoze

dajames Silver badge

Re: Train Station?

Trains were a goner in the US for passenger travel as soon as air took hold.

I haven't been a frequent visitor to the USA, but I have had the opportunity to sample the rail services on a couple of occasions.

In 1984 (I think it was) I travelled from Philadelphia to Washington DC by train -- no sorry, it wasn't a train it was a "Metroliner", which was slightly more expensive, made the same journey slightly faster, and (more important to me, at the time) was leaving in only 15 minutes. That was OK -- a bit like an Intercity train in the UK. As I recall the main booking hall of Philadelphia Station was quite magnificent -- I rather wished I had more time to enjoy it.

More recently (but still around a couple of decades ago) SWMBO and I travelled from Boston (not in Lincolnshire) to New York by train. That worked, too, though we rather got the impression that this was not regarded as the prestigious way to travel. Cost more than flying, but only about the same as taxis to and from the respective airports would have done, and the stations were conveniently placed.

Purism's quest against Intel's Management Engine black box CPU now comes in 14 inches

dajames Silver badge

Pre-orders for the Librem 14 opened today priced at $1,199.

... and the spec looks quite nice.

It would have been nice if the review had stated the actual amount of memory and storage included in that price of $1,199.00, though.

Health Sec Hancock says UK will use Apple-Google API for virus contact-tracing app after all (even though Apple were right rotters)

dajames Silver badge

... the app would also work once international travel resumes.

Methinks this is a very important point, and I've not seen it mentioned anywhere else.

International travel has not stopped completely, international trade continues to take place, people resident in different countries are still encountering one another in various ways and there is some risk of cross-infection at most of them.

A contact tracer that relies on the database of interactions within one single country can never provide a complete picture, as infections may occur off-stage, as it were. The decentralized solution wins here by a mile.

NASA scientists mull sending a spacecraft on a 13-year mission to visit Neptune's 'bizarre' moon, Triton

dajames Silver badge

Re: Quibble:- Trident...Triton... Neptune

Neptune was just a foreign Johnny-come-lately who nicked the whole IP right down to the logo. And, apparently, a planet.

That's one way to view it ... the other is to consider that Poseidon undertook a rebranding exercise in order to exploit opportunities for new temples in the expanding Roman empire.

Gods take the longer view, not being subject to the same mortality issues as we mortals.

Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram

dajames Silver badge

Re: Spelling

We are not in the USA (yet). Please spell it correctly.

"Gramme" is the original French spelling from the late 18th Century. The internationally accepted spelling for the SI unit of a thousand grams is (and has always been) "kilogram". The Oxford English Dictionary allow both the "gram" and the "gramme" spellings, but prefers "gram", as does the Weights and Measures Act of 1985.

If this offends you, you may instead refer to 772 scruples.

Kilogram certainly isn't USAian, their spelling is "two pounds" (or near enough, for some purposes).

Microsoft unshackles WSL2 Linux kernel from Windows 10 image for future fettling via Windows Update

dajames Silver badge

Re: Yes, they'll sell you PCs without OSes.


That says that certain Lenovo models are "Certified for Linux". I have one of the machines listed, and I do run Linux on it, but I was unable to find any way to buy it without Windows preinstalled.

Maybe if I'd been a big corporation wanting several hundred machines with the same OS they'd have been prepared to oblige, but buying online from Lenovo UK there was no option for either a bare machine or for any non-Windows OS.

Yes, you can get some PCs without Windows -- Dell do some, for example -- but not everyone makes it easy.

MacOS on Arm talk intensifies: Just weeks from now, Apple to serve up quarantini with Kalamata golive, reportedly

dajames Silver badge

Re: "I’ll never forget you, Windows Mobile 6.1."

Don't forget that back in those days the only alternative was a Blackberry.

In 2008? There were plenty of Symbian phones then ... and the first iPhones were already on the scene ... Android first appeared in September of that year ... and SWMBO had a Hansdpring/Palm Treo.

Microsoft's own operating system should finally start working on its own hardware ... 'in the coming weeks'

dajames Silver badge

Re: Sums up Microsoft's quality control

They really do need to hire another tester. They can afford it...

Their own hardware is clearly so expensive that they think it would be an unnecessary luxury to allow their tester(s) to use it ... if the testing department's budget is that small they probably can't afford another (any?) tester.

BoJo looks to jumpstart UK economy with £6k taxpayer-funded incentive for Brits to buy electric cars – report

dajames Silver badge

Re: That's sure to jump start Tesla sales...

They've just introduced an electric London Cab if that counts?

They try to keep it quiet ... but the LEVC TX taxis are actually hybrids (or, rather, electric vehicles with a petrol "range extender"),

The 64-mile range on batteries is pretty good, though; about twice what most electric private cars can offer.

Had a bad weekend? Probably, if you're a Sectigo customer, after root cert expires and online chaos ensues

dajames Silver badge

Re: Yesterday (1st July), (3rd July)

Someone somewhere thought that Secure Certificates that expire was a good idea.

Expiry of key certificates is a crude way to ensure that old, obsolete, certificates get retired -- it was introduced before key revocation lists became commonplace . The idea is that if we believe that there won't be a practical attack on a given cryptographic key (for a given algorithm and key length) for N years, we can issue a certificate that's valid for no more than N years and can be reasonably confident that the key will be safe to use until after its certificate expires..

Of course, those who issue certificates commercially do so as a business. They make a profit each time they re-issue a certificate, so they have no incentive to sell very long-lived certificates.

Commercial certificates that offer financial guarantees against fraud are backed by insurance, and insurance companies are understandably reluctant to sell long-term policies, especially when the degree of risk increases unpredictably over time as attacks on the algorithm involved become more sophisticated. They want to asses the risk and set a premium for a relatively short term so that they can to set a higher premium or insist on a more secure algorithm on renewal if the degree risk has increased.

I'd suggest, in fact, that certificates should routinely be issued with a predictable short term -- say: one year -- so that updating them became a routine, well-understood, and unsurprising process.

dajames Silver badge

Re: It is not only old stuff

... fill everything with self generated certificates instead of having to pay the SSL racketeering mob $ 100,- every year for each certificate ...

Issuance of SSL/TLS certificates is not necessarily expensive -- the likes of Let's Encrypt provide free TLS certificates, after all. Some commercial certificates do look expensive by comparison, but some carry insurance against any fraud that may take place despite the security afforded by TLS. In those cases a large part of the payment is a premium paid to an insurance company.

Without that insurance the certificate has no material value, so it's not all racketeering.

Bite me? It's 'byte', and that acronym is Binary Interface Transfer Code Handler

dajames Silver badge

No only System/36

For the uninitiated, accessing help on the System/36 required the user to hit the F1 function key. Users were trained that if they were stuck, pressing the F1 key would show some text to tell them what to do next. Simple stuff.

I remember when pressing F1 could magic up some help in lesser systems, too. Even in Microsoft Windows!

It seems no longer to be fashionable to know what you're doing, or even to be able to find out.

Western Digital shingled out in lawsuit for sneaking RAID-unfriendly tech into drives for RAID arrays

dajames Silver badge

Re: Forcing us to the Cloud 'Solution' and Subscription Hell?

... although syncing 100GB to it takes a few hours, it would take *days* if I were to try and sync an amount like that online.

It's a corolary of that old saying: "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a truckload of hard drives".

It's easy to overestimate the usefulness of cloud backups when one fails to realize the connectivity bandwith one would have to have to restore from the cloud as fast as one can from a storage array or even from tape.

80-characters-per-line limits should be terminal, says Linux kernel chief Linus Torvalds

dajames Silver badge

Fixing the wrong problem

Linus seems to be worried that people splitting statements over multiple lines unnecessarily makes line-oriented tools harder to use effectively -- he cites grep, but there can also be problems with other tools, such as diff when a line is split after an edit because the statement got longer.

However, as others have noted, text over about 80 columns is harder for humans to read.

The answer, surely, is to improve the tooling -- produce searching and differencing tools that understand the syntax of the the language being used and work on a statement by statement basis, rather than treating sourcecode as plain text. We can't change humans, so we're stuck with the readability limit ... but we can change the tooling.

I'm not in favour of hard-and-fast rules, but I am in favour of easily-readable code ... and that leads me to favour multi-line statements over long lines, while not eschewing longer lines completely -- sometimes there's a need for them.

Linus Torvalds drops Intel and adopts 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper on personal PC

dajames Silver badge

The hardest part of writing an Operating System is not writing an Operating System, it's getting other people to use it.

From what I recall (it was a *very* long time ago) the hardest parts about booting an OS were dealing the bullshit involved in switching from 16-bit mode into protected mode. (Yes, all x86 based PCs *still* start in 16-bit mode.) Not an impossible task, obviously, but it could have been easier.

That's not that hard ... certainly not as hard as switching back again (without rebooting) used to be.

I did have fun writing the floppy (that's how long ago this was) boot loader though.

The bootloader works in the same way on a hard disk (in pre-UEFI machines), fortunately the BIOS does the actual reading and writing of the disk. The standard hard drive bootloader is only 512 bytes (including the partition table) but the rest of track 0 is unused, so you can use your bootloader to load a more sophisticated bootstrap from the rest of that track. I've worked on bootloaders that enabled booting from an encrypted drive, and they work like that.

Podcast Addict Play Store ban: Android chief says soz for incorrect removal, developers aren't impressed

dajames Silver badge

You'll be telling me next your eyes don't a zoom function!

I'm waiting for the Zeiss Ikons ...

ALGOL 60 at 60: The greatest computer language you've never used and grandaddy of the programming family tree

dajames Silver badge

Re: Algol 68 is not ALGOL 60

... Algol 68 actually bears a distinct resemblance to C++. Algol 60, on the other hand, begat Pascal.

Algol 60 begat both Algol 68 and Pascal ... and quite a few other languages along the way (Simula, anyone?). There's no "on the other hand" about it!

C++ was certainly influenced by Algol 68 -- Bjarne Stroustrup says that he would have liked to write an "Algol 68 with classes" rather than a "C with classes" but he realized that if he wanted his language to gain widespread adoption it would have to be based on C -- but that was around 20 years later.

dajames Silver badge

Re: Algol 68 is not ALGOL 60

If you have a Raspberry Pi: "sudo apt install algol68g", compile using "a68g filename"

Indeed. The same works on any Debian-based distro.

Algol68g is also available for other systems, including Windows ...

It's an interpreter, not a full compiler, but it is a pretty full implementation of the language of the Revised Report.

The end really is nigh – for 32-bit Windows 10 on new PCs

dajames Silver badge

Re: When is 64bits 32 bits?

b) Lots of 64 bit Atoms could do with one more address pin at least. Insane HW limitation to 2 G byte addressing!

Done for financial rather than technical reasons.

Make a machine that's limited to 2GB and sell it with Windows 7 Starter (also limited to 2GB). You can sell it cheap, because you know that nobody is going to be able to upgrade it to a sensible amount of RAM and run a real OS on it -- it serves a very price-sensitive market and can't hurt your profits for grown-up machines.

dajames Silver badge

Re: I honestly thought it never existed

These limitations really boil down to the decisions AMD made when x86 was extended to 64 bits. The VM86 mode is not supported when running as a 64-bit CPU.

... and yet, for a while, at least, one could run Win16 software under Wine on 64-bit Linux. I'm not sure why that was discontinued, but it was really useful for those few legacy applications that never made it kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

Microsoft doc formats are the bane of office suites on Linux, SoftMaker's Office 2021 beta may have a solution

dajames Silver badge

Re: Seems like a losing battle, and there's an elephant in the room

... using alternatives to MS Office just isn't a viable option any more.

What do you mean "any more". I grant you that there are edge cases in which LO can't quite match MS Office's functionality, but these are becoming rarer and rarer as time goes by. I use LO almost exclusively and nobody ever complains that they can't use my documents in the MS equivalent. A few years ago that would not have been the case.

... there's an elephant in the room - Outlook. We have tried this time and time again, and practically nobody likes to use alternatives (e.g. Thunderbird). People like Outlook because it's virtually biquitous.

People who are used to Outlook and know nothing else tend to dislike change ... but Outlook is a truly dreadful piece of software. It is really sad that there are only a few big-name EMail packages and this is one of the best the world can offer. Thunderbird is OK-ish ... Nothing really works.

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you

dajames Silver badge

Re: Gates never made the 640K comment.

The supposed "640K limit" was an IBM hardware limit, not an MS software limit. The IBM hardware spec was already firmly in place before Gates even heard about the project, so even if he had made the comment (which is extremely doubtful), he would have just been agreeing with IBM. And it wasn't really 640K, it was more like 704K, if you knew what you were doing. I find it absolutely amazing that this piece of incorrect trivia is still being parroted as fact after all these years ...

I think the words attributed to Bill Gates refer to the fact that the IBM PC's design placed the video memory at A0000H, leaving only the address space below that (640k) for RAM accessible to the OS (or to an OS that required its address space to be continuous). The 8086 could address 1MB, and some MS-DOS computers (I'm looking at you, Apricot) were designed to allow RAM to use as much as 896k of that (at the cost of reduced compatibility with IBM), but IBM's design limited the RAM to 640k.

The original IBM PC was available with 64k and a cassette deck. IBM didn't foresee that PCs would be used for applications that required more.

It was 640k, on the original unexpanded PC. The hardware/firmware didn't support anything more.

The point of containers is they aren't VMs, yet Microsoft licenses SQL Server in containers as if they were VMs

dajames Silver badge

I don't really see an issue with this. Why would you not be charged for every instance you deploy?


You bought a DBMS Why should it matter how many cores you run it on, or how many different databases you manage with it -- how would you like it if MS licensed Word on a per-document basis, or charged more for copies of Word that could handle more than a set number of pages in a document, or more than a certain number of documents open at a time?

Licensing per-core or per-instance is just gouging.

Eclipse boss claims Visual Studio Code is an open-source poseur – though he would say that, wouldn't he?

dajames Silver badge

CMake really has entered the industry in a big way (unlike GNUtools) leaving the Visual Studio way of managing project settings fairly legacy.


Visual Studio's project settings became too arcane for mere mortals to use without the aid of sacrificial chickens a decade or so ago, but too many people still blindly forge ahead with them without even looking for a better alternative.

Square peg of modem won't fit into round hole of PC? I saw to it, bloke tells horrified mate

dajames Silver badge

Packard Hell

Packard Bell was the bane of my existence at one point.

There's nothing wrong with a Packard Bell PC that can't be put right with explosives!

Three things in life are certain: Death, taxes, and cloud-based IoT gear bricked by vendors. Looking at you, Belkin

dajames Silver badge

What's inside?

As I read this article my first thought is: Can these be repurposed? A few WiFi-connected cameras that I could program myself would be fun to have, and I expect these can be picked up fairly cheaply, now. Surely someone has done a tear-down?

Off to the web to search ...

Star's rosette orbit around our supermassive black hole proves Einstein's Theory of General Relativity correct

dajames Silver badge


Don’t mistake our inability to disprove a theory for our acceptance that it is 100% correct.


Falsify would imply the use of deliberately made-up data to demonstrate that the theory didn't hold, and I'm sure we're perfectly capable of doing that!

Paranoid Android reboots itself with new Android 10 builds

dajames Silver badge

Meaningful ...

The vast majority of Android vendors release phones with their own bespoke environments. ... this trend allows vendors to differentiate themselves in a fairly meaningful way.

Yes, indeed. I can and do choose to buy a phone that has not been spoilt by unwanted customization. This is certainly a meaningful distinction, for me.

A paper clip, a spool of phone wire and a recalcitrant RS-232 line: Going MacGyver in the wonderful world of hotel IT

dajames Silver badge

Re: Oh god

Back in the old days writing code to read serial data from an RS232 line was hell on earth - everything would work most of the time but never all of the time until I "discovered" Interrupts!

Interrupts? Luxury!

I was contracting at one of the parts of the Racal empire in the late 1980s. Our standard workhorse was an Olivetti M24SP running DOS, with no networking.

One of our suppliers tried to interest the company in the newfangled "PS/2" range from IBM, and someone managed to wangle the loan -- just for a day, because they were in short supply -- of a Model 30 (the crap one with the 8-bit CPU and, more importantly for us, an ISA expansion bus rather than MCA). We had developed an ISA bus encryption card, and wanted to see whether it would work in the PS/2.

What could be easier? Just copy the software onto a diskette and ... Oh, No! Our Olivettis all had 5.25" floppy drives, but the PS/2 had a 3.5" drive.

So, we found a laplink cable to connect the machines together. I wrote a little file sending routine in C to run on the olivetti, and a file receiving routine in assembler, in debug (it was all we had) on the PS/2, using the awful ROM BIOS serial port routines because that was the easiest thing to do. I implemented a very, very, simple handshake (I think I just echoed every character received) and ran a simple test. I don't think it worked first time, but before long it worked well enough to transfer the laplink software (and we all went for coffee while that transferred) and then we were in business.

Our hardware did work in the Model 30, and we were able to return the machine at the end of the day having run all the tests we needed. Before we gave it back, though, we got the supplier to give us a 3.5" floppy and we kept a copy of laplink, for the next time.

My little program, written in debug, is one "temporary fix" that was NOT kept beyond the first use.

dajames Silver badge

Re: Proper lash up

... we continually see commentards here saying the comments are not needed in code because any competent programmer can always just read the code.

Aye, the code tells you what it does (which may or may not be the right thing) ... the comments tell you what it was meant to do (which may or may not still be relevant).

The sad thing is ... nobody knows why it does it!

OK brainiacs, we've got an IT cold case for you: Fatal disk errors on an Amiga 4000 with 600MB external SCSI unless the clock app is... just so

dajames Silver badge

Re: 600MB?

By 1992, when the 4000 was released, 1Gig drives were readily available ...

Indeed. I bought a shiny new Dell '486 box to play with the Beta of Windows NT 3.1, and that came with a 1.4 GB drive. NT 3.1 was released in 1993, so that was about the same time.

Stop us if you've heard this before: Boeing's working on 737 Max software fixes for autopilot, stabilization bugs

dajames Silver badge

Re: Flying less

Then you will have the best town to be: Paris without Parisians!

You get that every August, anyway, in the fermeture annuelle.

Commit to Android codebase suggests Google may strong-arm phone makers into using 'seamless' partitioned updates

dajames Silver badge

Not only Pixel

My point is simply if you want regular security updates then you need a Google device as they update each month.

An Android One device is also supposed to update each month for three years, and several of the "usual suspects" (Moto, Nokia, etc.) make them, at much more reasonable purchase prices than a Pixel.

Microsoft attempts to up its Teams game with new features while locked-down folk flock to rival Zoom... warts and all

dajames Silver badge

Re: Please don't kill Skype

... MS have made Skype gradually shitter ...


Shitter (noun) One who shits.

Shittier (adjective) That which is more shitty.

Please, just stop downloading apps from unofficial stores: Android users hit with 'unkillable malware'

dajames Silver badge

Re: "and assume root privilege"

No, it has to exploit security holes in Android 6 and 7, which are old and out of date, to achieve root.

That may be the case, but I have several devices that cannot be upgraded to Android 6 or 7, let alone anything newer. Until Google mandate that all manufacturers must provide timely security fixes for older versions Android for the lifetime of the devices it's not really a defence.

The lack of software updates should never be a reason for good, working, hardware to end up in landfill.

Something something DANE cook: Microsoft pledges to wrap its email systems in secure anti-snooping protocol

dajames Silver badge

Cloudflare may have made DNSSEC available to all customers for free, but nobody bothers to configures their domain to use it due to (see above).

Methinks that that's more because people don't trust Cloudflare than because they don't think it's a good idea.

I mean: Cloudflare are doing this for free ... what's the catch?



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