* Posts by trog-oz

39 posts • joined 5 Aug 2011

If you're ever lost on the Moon, Ordnance Survey now has you covered for Apollo 11 anniversary


Apollo 11 Scrap Book

During the mission, the Adelaide Advertiser produced a scrap book and printed pictures in the newspaper for you to cut out and stick in. I still have mine. Cover Inside The flour and water glue is showing its age!

Why does that website take forever to load? Clues: Three syllables, starts with a J, rhymes with crock of sh...


When my employer decided to have a new website, and they decided not to trust it to the IT department, they went to a two man company. The site regularly hangs with a little message "Waiting for fast.fonts.net...." I find this quite funny.

UK transport's 'ludicrous' robocar code may 'put lives at risk'


I assume that self driving BMWs, Mercs and Audis still won't use their indicators.

Big data at sea: How the Royal Navy charts the world's oceans


Somebody has to say it

I hope the engineer is a Scot and regularly says "The engines won't take much more of this Capt'n!"

5G can help us spy on West Midlands with AI CCTV, giggles UK.gov


Birmingham had spy cameras in the past with Project Champion. A specific religious group complained and the cameras were removed. It will be deja vu all over again.

Happy birthday, you lumbering MS-DOS-based mess: Windows 98 turns 20 today


Re: The ONLY things going for it were

I kept 98 SE until XP Service Pack 3 made XP usable.

I always felt SP3 slowed it down too much and XP SP2 was a point at which M$ should have stopped developing o/s, the other being W3.1 and W2000 (with service packs). NT4 wasn't bad, mostly because it didn't do anything.

After XP, IMO M$ o/s's got more and more bloated and slower and slower. I did some bench marking once and found W7 ran a quarter the speed of XP and W8.1 a twentieth.

As to W98, I had to upgrade my relatively stable W95 machine to it, and the box was never the same. Crashed several times a day.

Activists hate them! One weird trick Facebook uses to fool people into accepting GDPR terms


Facebook can scrape my data

Every "fact" about me on my two FB profiles are fake.

Commodore 64 owners rejoice: The 1541 is BACK


1541 green light

Quote from the 1541 manual "Never remove the diskette when the green drive light is on!"

How many are still sat in front of a 1541 waiting for the green light to go out? I always risked changing diskettes on mine with the green light on and there wasn't a problem. :)

Microsoft's latest Windows 10 update downs Chrome, Cortana


Re: GIMP is pretty good

No CMYK, but if you know what you are doing, GIMP can record and replay actions, there are a shed load of plugins available, and you can get some PS plugins to work. At work I have the latest version of Adobe Suite available to me but I prefer to use GIMP as I find the user interface much better. The price is unbeatable too!

MPs: Lack of technical skills for Brexit could create 'damaging, unmanageable muddle'


Re: But it will be worth it

"And we'll be getting blue passports.

But I don't want one of those newfangled blue passports. If I can't have a proper black cardboard one, then what is the point of Brexit? Of course, the black passport will be inscribed

Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State

Requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty

all those whom it may concern to allow

the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance,

and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection

as may be necessary.

Voyager 1 fires thrusters last used in 1980 – and they worked!



So the Queller Drive worked again after all this time. I'm glad they waited until it was a long long way away before they fired it up!

PS I wonder if it now has V'Ger written on the side?

PPS Yes, I do watch too much sci-fi...

New coding language Fetlang's syntax designed to read like 'poorly written erotica'


We used to do this back when I was a COBOL programmer in the 1970s

You could :




etc, etc

Germans force Microsoft to scrap future pushy Windows 10 upgrades


"great Upgrade experience", "most secure" "most productive"

Microsoft really do need to invest in a dictionary.

They probably looked it up in the Encarta Dictionary. Personally, I would have used a Funk & Wagnalls or my Websters (which, of course, is Morocco bound).

Ubuntu Linux now on Windows Store (for Insiders)


There are only three comments about it on the M$ store

The first basically says "good", the second "could be better" and the third, the most telling "won't install". Also interestingly, on the PC supplied to me at work, W10 x64, the store tells me "This app does not work on your device."

Hundreds of millions 'wasted' on UK court digitisation scheme


"... sources claiming only one meaningful service has so far been delivered: an online self-service system for magistrates to manage their sittings."

Would that be an office suite calendar per chance?

Microsoft's Blue Screen of Death dead in latest Windows 10 preview


Have they fixed the bug whereby Edge keeps insisting that it is a better pdf reader than Acrobat? I very much doubt it.

That naked picture on my PC? Not mine. The IT guy put it there


When I was in a similar position...

I work in schools and some time ago, a student came in asking me to look at his laptop, which had been loaned to him by the school. Finding it full of porn, I had to report it. Normally, this would go straight to the principal but in this case, the chap's mother worked at the school, so I told her instead. I doubt he'll ever look at porn again!

Dodgy software will bork America's F-35 fighters until at least 2019


Re: WaitWhat? Affordability challenges?

I took "in service for 40 years" to mean "being serviced (that is in the workshop) for 40 years".

Remember Netbooks? Windows 10 makes them good again!


Mine came with XP and I upgraded it immediately I got it home

As soon as unpacked my Asus 1005HA I installed Fedora 16 and it's never missed a beat. I've never changed it and it travels with me when I'm away.

World finally ready for USB-bootable OS/2


Re: What problem will it solve ?

"I'm currently struggling to run Linux Mint as a VM under a Windows 10 host using Virtual Box"

Is there any reason that you're not running Mint natively?

I feel a bit left out, as I have never actually seen a computer running OS/2. I was working on Pick systems back then. I think I'll have a look at the demo and see what the fuss was all about.

GCHQ wants to set your passwords. In a good way


One uppercase and one number. Password1 is "strong" same when it come to 1 upper case and one special, so Password! is good to go.

I have to change my disposable hotmail password the other day. "Password1" and "Password12" were disallowed - too insecure, but "letmein1" is fine!

Mad Max: Fury Road – two hours of nonstop, utterly insane fantasy action


I saw it Friday and I agree with the author of the article that it was 30 minutes too long. Also, the story was boring, there was too much cgi and absolutely no humour. There have been less jokes in each successive Max film, and we have finally reached zero. Where are the classic one liners such as "I am the Nightrider. I'm a fuel injected suicide machine. I am the rocker, I am the roller, I am the out-of-controller!", "Greetings from The Humungus! The Lord Humungus! The Warrior of the Wasteland! The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla!" or "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls... Dyin' time's here."? Only Nathan Jones saved this film from being a complete waste of time. In the next installment, I think the script writers should kill off Max in the first couple of minutes and devote the rest of the story to Rictus. Or better yet, put it out to pasture. Some things should not be rebooted.

Snapper's decisions: Whatever happened to real photography?


Film cameras have a very long life

I regularly use an Exakta Varex VX, of 1952 vintage, which is 7 years older than me. I also still use my first "proper" camera, a Ricoh KR5 which I bought with my first pay cheque in 1979. My newest film camera is a Pentax LX of 1982, which I bought second hand in 1999. A truly beautiful camera to use. I very much doubt even the most expensive DSLR will be viable after 65 years. I think I'll stick to film. I do have a happy snappy digital, but if's really junky and the Kodak Brownie Starmite that I was given when I was 7 or 8 feels much nicer. Shame 127 film is almost impossible to find as I'd love to use it again.

Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really


Re: Death support systems

The Royal Navy already runs "Windows for Warships" in it's submarines. I assume Clippy pops up and says "Would you like help launching that Trident missile?"

RIP MSN Messenger, kthxbai. Microsoft finally flicks on KILL SWITCH in China


If you are going to use a Russ Meyer film title as a teaser for the article, shouldn't you also use a picture of Tura Satana / Haji / Lori Williams?

Thirteen Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS


Brimingham screwdriver

My Dad was a Brummie and he always called it a Yankie screwdriver. He owned a couple of Yankie screwdrivers (which I now have) but he always called those pump screwdrivers. One of our favourite pastimes was seeing how many No 8 S/Ts we could get spinning like tops on the bench. I don't think we ever counted them, but I guess we got around 30 going at once. When I show this trick to people they are amazed but most can't do it.

'Burning platform' Elop: I'd SLASH and BURN stuff at Microsoft, TOO


Re: Effect on WP

If bing was binned a simple DNS entry would redirect bing.com to google. Simples!

The importance of complexity


I agree with chris lively

I graduated with a computer science degree in 1979 and we never had terms like NP. It all just data and you fiddle with it.

Dev writes comments as limericks and other coding secrets


I'm childish too

"Whenever I have a queue of files I prefix the field names FQ:"

All of my quicky shell scripts contain :

for f in `blah blah`

A lot of the production scripts do to! Back in the day, I was a COBOL programmer, and every one of my programs contained variables INSULT and INJURY, just so I could ADD INSULT TO INJURY.

Is the IT industry short on Cobolers? This could be your lucky day


Typical "rc" bollox

I've never obtained a job using a "consultant". They are just salespeople, full of hype and buzzwords and low on action. When I hire staff, I gets lots of head hunter companies calling and I tell them to sod off! I suggest they get the prospective candidate to send in a CV directly. I'm also very good at spotting CVs written by professional writing services; these go straight into the bin.

The article is full of this typical hype and poor use of language.

"... that when you say your last job was fiveyears where you used..." WTF does that mean?

"...toxic symmetry..." WTF?

"Talking about re-architecting is a high risk strategy..." WTF!!I assume this means replacing one system, with another is fraught with problems.

After 35 years in the game, the legacy furrow has served me well and I predict it will do so for the remaining 10 years of my career. I've never had a problem getting work, always using a mix of the old and the new.

Linux in 2013: 'Freakishly awesome' – and who needs a fork?


Re: And yet, and yet ...

Yes, I used to be the systems administrator for an etailer and there was no M$ products at all in use. Everything ran on Debian machines, both servers and desktops.

The ten SEXIEST computers of ALL TIME


Motorola PowerStack

Little known but damn sexy, looking like a high end 80's hi-fi system. PowerPC 604 processors too! What;s not to like.

Billionaire baron Bill Gates still mourns Vista's stillborn WinFS


Database as filesystem is so 1980

We had that when I worked on the Pick Operating System back in the 1980s.

Search engines we have known ... before Google crushed them


I've always gone for shorter URLs

I've always typed everything into the address bar, so opt towards yahoo simply because it is one character less than google. When I discovered that Ask Jeeves could be accessed via aj, I've always used that. I wonder how many keystrokes I've saved over the years?

Pints under attack as Lord Howe demands metric-only UK


Australian managed to change all it's road signs to metric in 1970 and it's a bigger country than the UK. We have more signs as well. At a junction there isn't just a sign telling you how far to the next place (like here in the UK) but distances to all the places the road goes to. The little men did it in a long weekend too,.

Employers' group: New comp sci GCSE driven by vendor agenda


Old news

I started working in schools 9 years ago as ICT technician and even then the mood was (not helped by BECTA) that schools should be training students in the use of M$ products, rather than teaching transferable IT skills. The school that I was working at ran Linux on the student desktops; this was an initiative pushed by IT staff. The school was very innovative in this regard. The other staff waged a constant battle to have Linux removed from the school as they thought it was damaging the students prospects. After I left, Linux was removed and all student desktops replaced with MACs.

The school also ran a scheme to get each student to leave with an ECDL and while the initial 6 students on the scheme did get the ECDL the scheme was dropped by later management as they didn't see the benefit of an industry recognised qualification.

Daily students just need a web browser and an office suite and the operating system and products are irrelevant. It could be argued that they don't need IT at all; a pen and paper was good enough for me, and there is a surprising volume of written work still required, especially in English and modern foreign languages. As an aside, when I was school in the 1960's and 70's, if you broke your arm, you wrote with the other one. Nowadays, if kids break their arm, IT are expected to lend them a netbook so they can do the work.

The school that I work at now is entirely M$ and the students really do have no knowledge of alternative technologies. Neither do the staff.

HUD's up! Ubuntu creates menu-free GUI



"In a video demo here (beware – it downloads to your desktop)"

It didn't download to my desktop, it just played in the browser, and I am using one of Bill's inferior operating systems too!

I can't see HUD being of any use to me. Since I've installed my PC, I know every application that is on there and where on the menu it lives. I also know how to access every application from the command line. The only problem I get is knowing what application to choose to install. For example, I used to use kuickshow as an image viewer, but when I upgraded from KDE3.5 to KDE4, kuickshow didn't work. I don't see how HUD would work any better than Google in helping to decide on gwenview.

Beeb rescues old Who episodes


The may have censored Dr Who & The Goodies, but we did have Number 96. Who can forget Abigail as Bev Houghton and Deborah Gray as Miss Hemingway? Dribble! Dribble!

Linus Torvalds dubs GNOME 3 'unholy mess'


KDE4 has the same usability problems

I have similar experience to Torvalds. I've always used KDE; I like KMail and KOffice, etc and I loved the KDE3.5 desktop. When I installed Fedora 11, I went through great pains to install KDE3.5. It worked wonderfully. Sometimes, we watch BBC iPlayer and rather than huddle around the PC monitor, I plug the PC into the TV, configure X for two monitors and watch the program on the TV. Recently I upgraded to Fedora 15 and bit the bullet and went for KDE4. I found it to be unusable. When trying to use BBC iPlayer, the picture would constantly pause for 3 or 4 seconds, while the sound carried on playing normally. I didn't want to upgrade my hardware just to cope with KDE4, so I upgraded to IceWm. KDEapps play nicely with it and it is very quick.


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