* Posts by Aurelian2

19 posts • joined 30 Jun 2011

Sony takes $1bn writedown: Streaming has killed the DVD star


Writing backups to optical media may be unwise

I went through a TV-watching phase about ten to fifteen years ago, and I wrote 300 DVD-Rs. The first few were done on a tower PC with Pinnacle, and the rest were done on a DVD recorder - a Panasonic DMR-E85H.

Lately, a friend, wanting someone to trailblaze the process for him, talked me into ripping the collection to my NAS, and I went through those off-air DVDs with MakeMKV and VLC Player.

Approximately 10 percent of them ripped perfectly. I got something off another 8 percent. The rest had become unreadable, despite being held in light-tight boxes with sandal-wearing organic tofu sleeves which were specially designed not to degrade DVDs.

Many of the unreadable DVDs looked absolutely pristine.

So owners of home-recorded optical media are advised to get cracking and back up their home-recorded DVDs to hard disk before they evaporate.

I do not regret the loss of the recorded material. I'm over TV nowadays and I don't have a telly. Anyone who wants to deliver propaganda and subliminal assumptions to my home can put pen to paper and buy a postage stamp. I have a cross-cut shredder and I'm not afraid to use it.

Windows 10 market share stalls after free upgrade offer ends


Final new Win7 PCs

Last month I bought two final ThinkPads, being careful to stipulate the Windows 7 downgrade. I just got in under the wire, since Windows 7 is now no longer an option.

I had to clear out KB3035583 and all the GWX paraphernalia. I set Windows Update to "never check".

The new ThinkPads will be on an air-gapped LAN. An independent Linux Mint ThinkPad is the sole Internet-facing machine.

Days are numbered for the Czech Republic



It will always be that for me.

You should install smart meters even if they're dumb, says flack


Re: It won;t help

Being retired and reclusive, I'm free to timeshift my day. In winter 2008/9, I did this to see how much money I could save.

My all-electric house is on the Economy 7 tariff so I got up at 1am, lunched at 7am and went to bed at 5pm. The novelty soon palled, though I did still get to be awake during the daylight hours.

I won't weary you with the details of every pettifogging economy I used, but I pretty much halved my bills. Mostly this was down to using the juice during the seven-hour period in which the cheap night rate applied.

The moral is that extreme economising is no fun and you don't need a smart meter for it.

I run an Excel workbook that records my meter readings, analyses them for usage and pricing trends, and predicts my bills to the penny. That's the only tool I need.

How Microsoft copied malware techniques to make Get Windows 10 the world's PC pest


No sale

I fancied a new ThinkPad but when I went to the Lenovo UK site I found they all had Windows 10 on them.

There's no point in paying for an operating system that I'd immediately replace with Linux Mint.

I expect I'll just buy another refurbished ThinkPad instead.

Tech biz bosses tell El Reg a Brexit will lead to a UK Techxit


The EU is not the EEA

The EU is not the EEA, and leaving the EU does not necessarily entail leaving the EEA. It's a matter for negotiation.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are members of the EEA despite not being members of the EU.

Norway's representation on world bodies upstream of the EU means it has a say which Britain no longer has in the formulation of regulations.

Brexit will be a gradual process and there'll be little if any visible change during the early years. Forty-plus years of integration cannot be undone at a stroke.

For the full story, see "Flexcit: The Market Solution for leaving the EU", available as a free download from both EUReferendum.com and LeaveHQ.com.

Bank fail: Ready or not, here's our new software


Some airy theorising ...

We live in a post-Blair world, in which all problems are borne simply of defective nomenclature.

In the spirit of this new age, the term "software engineering" should be changed to "software sketching".

I think you'll agree that this simple and effective fix is much cheaper than mucking about with rigorous testing -- an activity which any beancounter rightly views as self-indulgent.

The priority is to get the product to market and capture customers. The product can always be rectified later, and the developers can be blamed for its inadequacies.

Microsoft’s Get Windows 10 nagware shows signs of sentience


Re: how to nuke this krap


On my Windows 7 machines, "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them" mutated on 15OCT15 into "Install updates automatically (recommended)"

That was the last straw.

I air-gapped the home LAN and now use Mint 17.2 Cinnamon on an old X200 ThinkPad to access the internet. It's fine.

Pause Patch Tuesday downloads, buggy code can kill Outlook


Patch Tuesday bliss

This month's Patch Tuesday was blissful here.

The Windows LAN is now air-gapped.

A Linux Mint 17.2 laptop is now the sole Internet-facing machine.

Next year's Windows 10 auto-upgrade is MSFT's worst idea since Vista


Jumping ship any day now

I'm almost ready to cut over.

I now have a Linux Mint 17.2 laptop which will be the sole PC connected to the Internet.

The LAN will be unplugged so that the Windows 7 machines dotted around the house, including the Windows 7 Pro 64 rig and all its VMs, will be protected from Windows Update.

I think Mint 17.2 is very good. Installing it is easy and the Cinnamon GUI is both visually attractive and familiar.

There's a very helpful YouTube video by "Frank's Helpdesk" which tours the system and shows you how to configure it to your liking after installation. Frank's laconic delivery is very informative, and there's no techie scriptwriting involved. It's perfect for newbies such as I.

Microsoft now awfully pushy with Windows 10 on Win 7, 8 PCs – Reg readers hit back


Re: Linux Mint

I find that WINE under Linux Mint 17.2 runs Quicken 2002 and Photoshop 5.0 LE just fine.

No special tweakery was entailed -- I just ran their installation executables as I had done under Windows. Afterwards, I copied my Quicken database files across, launched Quicken and opened the QDF file via the File menu to pick up my account registers and other financial records.

That very old Photoshop limited edition was bundled with the Epson scanner I bought in 2000. The scanner's still going, though nowadays I use the excellent Vuescan to drive it.


Re: Problems and Solutions for KB3035583

@Asok Asus

Many thanks for the detailed information and the BAT file.

Last night, the Windows Update icon was on the Shut down button again. I'd done Patch Tuesday the day before, but KB2952664 was being offered yet again in my Win7 virtual machines and on their Win7 host.

As I hid this update yet again, I noticed that Windows Update was now set to install updates automatically -- replacing the previously-selected "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them" option.

That's the last straw, and I have now selected the "Never check for updates (not recommended)" option.

Windows Update was for many years our defence against inimical software. It is a bitter irony that it itself is now the most immediate threat. In my astonishment, I can only think that the minds at Microsoft have been addled by mobile telephony.

Here, meanwhile, the Linux Mint 17.2 host machine is nearly ready to take over.

HP creates laptop for SITH LORDS


KB3035583 yet again

@Michael Habel

KB3035583 reappeared yesterday on my Win7 rigs and I hid it yet again.

Preparations for their migration to Linux Mint are well advanced.

Fed-up sysadmins beg Microsoft to improve pisspoor Windows 10 update notes


Re: Feeling antsy


Many thanks. That's very helpful.

I can see I've got some homework to do.

I'd ruled out Apple. Nice kit but I'm a longtime ThinkPad man myself.

I use VMware Workstation for the resilience it affords, and I'll be using it on the Windows-free rig.


Re: Feeling antsy


I'm disconcerted.

Which personal computing operating system do you recommend?


Feeling antsy

After three decades on Wintel, I considered myself to be strongly pro-Microsoft. I admire such products as Word, Excel, Visual Studio, and SQL Server. I earned my living with them.

Recently, I was disconcerted to see advertisements for Windows 10 in my Windows 7 PCs and VMs.

My disquiet was intensified when Windows Update presented yet again the Windows 10 promotional updates which I had uninstalled and hidden.

I'm not sure I credit the stories about Microsoft's co-opting our PCs into its Windows 10 distribution mechanism, or about Microsoft's downloading the Windows 10 ISO onto the PCs of those who have not reserved a copy of it. Such stories are unsettling, however, and they prompted me to consider the Linux alternative.

This weekend, I installed Linux Mint 17.2 with the Cinnamon desktop on a spare laptop and it impressed me. I went on to install the free VMware Player 5.0.4, which entailed finding and applying a patch -- a valuable exercise which taught this utter Linux ignoramus some useful terminal commands and revealed the vast array of online expertise available to the novice.

I'm now embarking on an evaluation of my computing missions, the tools used, and the available alternatives.

Who wants a classic ThinkPad with whizzy new hardware? Lenovo would just love to know


Reading these comments, I'm reminded yet again of all the classic ThinkPad virtues we used to take for granted -- that keyboard; the trackpoint; the clip-on battery pack; the durability, practicality and maintainability.

So make it a late IBM-era or early Lenovo-era model with at least 32GB RAM, i7 processor, SATA-3, two SFF bays for SSDs, 1Gbps Ethernet, and plenty of USB3 ports. Aspect ratio 16:10 or 4:3. Windows 7 Pro 64. I don't care how thick it is or how much it weighs.

I do hope Lenovo goes ahead with this idea.

So what would the economic effect of leaving the EU be?



The EU is a political project, not an economic project; trade is its pretext, not its objective.

The UK can still remain part of the EEA (European Economic Area) while leaving the EU, so departure can be cost-neutral. It's a matter for negotiation.

The regulations which the EU hands down to us are crafted by global bodies in which the UK, after leaving the EU, could resume its former participation. This would put the EU downstream from the UK in the rule-making process.

After departure, the UK would need to reform its political system to prevent its leadership giving the country away again. Careerists, the wrong kind of people, are being drawn to public office.

Read the "Flexcit" book by Richard North. It's a free download from eureferendum.com.

Lenovo Thinkpad X220T 12.5in tablet PC


Not hard to find

This longtime ThinkPad lover has five in the house, the oldest being a seven-year-old T41 still happily running WinXP all day and every day.

The reason for this laptop cornucopia is Lenovo's excellent online selling operation, which tempts all too often with discounts and special offers on new models. If you fancy a ThinkPad, go to shop.lenovo.com, choose your country from the dropdown list, and take your plastic firmly in hand...


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