* Posts by Wilseus

445 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Sep 2011


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


Re: Angel Delight

Instant Whip was miles better, and unlike Angel Delight, contained real ingredients instead of mostly E numbers. Angel Delight does set much quicker though, which is an advantage if you are in a hurry.

My dad used to make a simple but yummy dessert when I was a kid. A single Ginger Nut biscuit, moistened with just enough rum to make it soft, is placed in an individual dish, with butterscotch Instant Whip (or Angel Delight if you really must) on top. Awesome.

I've got a broken combine harvester – but the manufacturer won't give me the software key


Re: Only half the story

"More recently, I picked up a 20 year old Bosch washing machine, for which all the parts are still available from secondary sources and I've repaired it myself twice. My parts supplier told me that machines made a decade later are essentially unrepairable."

Yeah. My 10 year old Bosch washing machine had a worn out drum bearing. Guess what? You can't replace the drum bearing on newer Bosch machines. I ended up shelling out £1000 on a Miele, because you still can with those. The only other make where you can do that is Ebac, which as a nice bonus are also made in England, but I had store credit with a shop that doesn't stock those, so I couldn't consider them.

It pisses me off because they keep going for higher and higher energy efficiency ratings, yet the poor repairability of modern machines must be very bad for the environment.

Smart fridges are cool, but after a few short years you could be stuck with a big frosty brick in the kitchen


Re: There are 2 dates on these things

"There will always be a market for cheaper non IoT stuff"

Want to bet? You try and find a "dumb" TV anywhere. There's no such thing.

Nine million logs of Brits' road journeys spill onto the internet from password-less number-plate camera dashboard


Re: Massive invasion of privacy

"Immigration has been broadly positive for our country, but not universally so. There's a sensible debate to have been had, and I'm pretty sure the public would have come down broadly in favour of it with some reforms."

This is so true. If the left, not just in the UK but elsewhere as well, were willing to actually engage in reasonable debate about those things, then yes, it would likely have turned out positively for everyone. But no. Instead they decided to smear people whose views they didn't agree with as stupid racists.

It turns out than when you insult people, it doesn't convert them to your way of thinking, it actually makes them vote for the other guy. Hence they got Brexit, Trump and the Tories enough additional votes for them to win. Surely, after all these drubbings, they must by now have learnt their lesson? I wouldn't bet on it.


Re: Massive invasion of privacy

"And nationalism is purely right wing."

Utter rubbish.

If you really believe that then I'd suggest it's your opinions that aren't worth bothering with, not mine. I didn't even mention Hitler or the Nazis either.


Re: Massive invasion of privacy

"Economic policies are one way to analyse politicians, and leads to the left-right dichotomy. The analysis that I take into account, however, is authoritarian-liberal. That axis is perpendicular to left/right."

Indeed. Hence why it is entirely accurate to label the BNP as left wing, for example.

But that causes problems because other leftists don't like that!


My parents live in Warrington and it's pretty much the same there according to what they tell me. The Borough council can do whatever they hell they like, and boy do they.


Re: Massive invasion of privacy

"Surely that means mass surveillance is ok, if the left and the greens are fine with it?

Yes, because policies like mass surveillance, identity cards, privatising parts of the NHS and the London Underground etc are all OK when they are introduced by the left because they are all done in good faith!

Snapchat domain squatter loses comedy £1m URL sellback attempt


Re: As I recall...

Well that's ironic!

Keen to go _ExtInt? LLVM Clang compiler adds support for custom width integers


Re: Sounds like a good idea

"Or bit fields, which are easier, nicer, and let the compiler do the hard work."

They have their own problems though, unfortunately.


Re: Sounds like a good idea

"I've come across some real pigs to debug later when the bits "unexpectedly" overflowed into each other."

That can be avoided by only ever setting the bit(s) using carefully written macros that mask out the untouchable bits.

Boffins examine interstellar comet Borisov to find out what its home was like. Pretty unpleasant, it seems


Re: Why a red dwarf?

"they are by their very nature difficult to see"

Yes, it rather puts that into perspective when you realise that none are generally visible to the naked eye, although it's possible that on an exceptionally good night, in an place with zero light pollution some people might just be able to glimpse Lacaille 8760.

UK govt probes Brit chip biz Imagination after growing Chinese ownership sparks national security fears


Re: Ah yes... Imagination Technologies...

I see you have commented as AC. I can understand that, as I wouldn't want to put my real name to such dross either.

Ofcom waves DAB radio licences under local broadcasters' noses as FM switchoff debate smoulders again


Re: Complete the migration to DAB+ before faffing with FM

"DAB as with digitial music will never be better than an top analogue signal (due to sampling)"

Not true. A sampled signal is capable of perfect reproduction of the original analogue signal, provided it was encoded correctly and the sample rate is high enough.

Not exactly the kind of housekeeping you want when it means the hotel's server uptime is scrubbed clean


Do not unplug this EVER!

Quite a few rears ago, the car parking in my local railway station was operated from a portakabin in the car park. There was a power socket on the wall in the customer area, with a plug in it, the cable from which disappeared through a small hole in the wall into another room. Above the socket it was written "Do not unplug this EVER" or something very similar. On a couple of occasions I was very tempted to turn it off, partly to see what would happen, but mostly to get my own back, since on those occasions the attendants had managed to royally piss me off.

Yes, the Red Dwarf joke about car park attendants IS true, well it was true where those two clowns were concerned anyway!

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



I fell out with NatWest a good few years ago when I had an "Advantage Private" current account which cost me a pretty penny in yearly charges. One day I ended up going overdrawn by about £4 for literally a few hours and they still decided to charge me a £40 fee for doing so. I asked my personal manager to refund it, and she basically said "computer says no." Hardly a personal service then, was it?

Later that week I took my custom across the road to Nationwide where I've been ever since. They have also had their moments of being shit mind you, but at least they didn't try and charge me £££ a year for the privilege.

Auf wiedersehen, pet: UK Deutsche Bank contractors plan to leave rather than take 25% pay cut for IR35 – report


"Ahhh... that comment explains it. Jealousy is a bitch isn't it."

It's envy actually.

Remember that Sonos speaker you bought a few years back that works perfectly? It's about to be screwed for... reasons


Re: Seriously Cheesed Off !

You could get a hell of a traditional separates system for £12K!

It's a no to ZFS in the Linux kernel from me, says Torvalds, points finger of blame at Oracle licensing


Re: The problem is not Oracle (for once)

I've not been able to find any evidence of that. In some parts of the USA such as Colorado, this already applies however...

British bloke accused of extorting victims for 'Dark Overlord' hacker crew finally gets his free trip* to America


Re: The Dark Overlord Face

Surely you mean gaol?

UK political parties fall over themselves to win tech contractor vote by pledging to review IR35


Re: There are an estimated 4.6 million contractors in the UK.

"As for promises to repeal IR35 or even review it? More chance of me believing in the tooth fairy"

Indeed. I seem to recall a certain Mr Cameron pledging to repeal that law in the 2010 election campaign.

Bose customers beg for firmware ceasefire after headphones fall victim to another crap update


Re: thank god.....

"the over 40s really don't have the ears to distinguish unless the sound is distorted enough to make it obvious"

I don't buy that. If it were true, the over 40s wouldn't be able to tell the difference between sitting in front of their hifi system and sitting in front of a real live band, choir, orcheshtra etc.

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


VDU 21

'Until the fateful day Drew discovered "an ASCII code that disabled output to the terminal."'

Ah, good old VDU 21. You could also use that to hide part or all of a BASIC program. What you did is use the ? operator (the equivalent of POKE on other systems) to insert that character into the BASIC program in a part that was ignored by the BASIC interpreter, such as the text after a REM command.

When the LIST command was typed to show the program listing, it would only output up to the where the ASCII 21 was inserted. You could re-enable output later on in the listing with the ASCII 6 character.

For example entering the following listing:

10 REM Hello Earth

20 PRINT "This is hidden code!"

30 REM Goodbye World!

Then typing:



PAGE is a system variable which holds the start of BASIC workspace. Typing this would cause the LIST command to output:

10 REM Hello World!

I just tried this on a BBC emulator :)


You don't need to trap any vector to wipe the memory on CTRL+Break, IIRC there's a *FX command that will configure the OS to do that. I think it's *FX200, something but I can't remember exactly.

We lose money on repairs, sobs penniless Apple, even though we charge y'all a fortune


"I am not saying there is anything wrong with BMWs, just that the power of brand image can be truly astounding."

I'm actually on my second BMW in a row, but I wouldn't touch any model that came out after about 2004. That should tell you something.


"I don't know your dad's situation, but this did remind me of an old marketing trick..."

The car in question was a nearly new Passat. It was a good car in general, but there were a number of issues with it that they refused to sort out. One was a buzzing in the roof at certain engine speeds, which seemed to be audible to all humans except ones that worked for the dealership. Another was the dual mass flywheel that kept overheating and failing. Another issue was trying to charge him for parts that didn't need replacing.

The best one was when he wanted cruise control retrofitting, which they told him was problematic as the computer was different so they'd have to replace that, at an absolutely ludicrous total cost. That was a big fat lie, the computers were actually all the same, and in the end an independent garage managed to do the work for a couple of hundred.

Stuff like that.


"In the meantime, Amazon pays AU$20 mil in taxes on >AU$1 BILLION in revenue."

Perhaps, but at least companies like Amazon don't seem to treat their customers with the absolute contempt that Apple seems to.

They go back for more as well, my Dad did, I have no idea why. He went back to a certain emission-cheating car company as well, even after they treated him like absolute shit when he bought his last car from them.

I think companies like these employ clever psychological tricks to keep you going back.

Labour: Free British broadband for country if we win general election


Re: The 1980s called but British Telecom still hadn't connected your phone yet

"Sure, we'll pay you back your subsidies if you give us back our Oil Fund investment ala Norway.

I'm sure most thieves are sick of being reminded of their thefts."

That reply seems to imply that I suggested Scotland pays those subsidies back, which is strange, given that I said no such thing.


"> voters who think Corbyn is cool

I have died a little"

I think 'cool' might be a misspelling.


Re: The 1980s called but British Telecom still hadn't connected your phone yet

"We have free education here, free prescriptions, like you used to, and the place hasn't went to hell."

Isn't that because the rest of the UK subsidises Scotland though? Presumably if Scotland gets independence, those payments would stop. Not that that would overly bother the SNP I suspect, as by that point they will have got what they want.

I and many of my fellow English people are fine with Scottish independence because we are sick and tired of hearing about it.


Re: LOL's

"Then you'll have no problem linking to it then? There are plenty of nationalised / subsidised public services in the EU so I'm dubious."

Indeed there are. What governments are not allowed to do under EU rules is create new monopolies.

Any promises to extend rights of self-employed might win an election, hint Brit freelancer orgs


Re: Waste of time

If people really don't want to vote, then they should spoil their paper. If a significant number of people did that then maybe they would have to take notice.


Re: Tories?

"The "Tories" are putting their core voters on the dole - or should I say ex-core-voters - just to appeal to a bunch of student union types who will never vote Tory regardless of their policies."


I've said similar myself before, about Guardian readers rather than student union types, but it's the same argument. It doesn't make any sense to me either.

Not just adhesive, but alcohol-resistant adhesive: Well done, Apple. Airpods Pro repairability is a zero


Re: Removable stem seems like a reasonable suggestion...

"That would be MY ears. I've tried other earbuds of the same configuration (except they were discount-store wired ones). The only earbuds that work for me are the straight-in ones with the rubber tips."

That's me too! I thought I was the only person in the world with this problem, not that I give a crap about not being compatible with Apple's overpriced trinkets.

Criminalise British drone fliers, snarl MPs amid crackdown demands


Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

That's right. East London and the City are highly representative of the other 99.9% of the UK.

Plusnet is doing us proud again with early Christmas present for customers: Price hikes


We'll do you proud!

The last I heard, Plusnet was one of the most highly regarded ISPs. What happened?

Astroboffins baffled after spotting solar system with great gas giant that shouldn't exist


"What, exactly, is this supposed to mean? Do you mean half as far away?"

That's what I took it to mean.


"The English language is well on it's way down the toilet."

Ahem, its.

However I agree with your sentiment.

The purple SIM of fail: Virgin Mobile punters left in the dark with batch of borked cards


Re: Am I the only person i nthe world who doesn't have problems with Virgin services?

I had no end of problems with NTL then VM in the few years I was with them:

- No end of billing irregularities.

- The TV red button services hardly ever worked.

- Couldn't receive all TV channels, including Sky 1 (before they withdrew it)

- TV picture used to drop out for a few seconds at midnight every day.

- Broadband was always dropping out, so much so that YouTube rarely worked reliably.

- The phone line got wired up incorrectly in the green box so that I was connected to someone else's line, so they presumably got billed for my calls.

I think that's it. Problems I've had with the much-maligned Sky:

- None.

Dixons hits back at McAfee's £30m antivirus sueball: Your AV didn't work on Windows 10S


Re: install a vanilla copy of Windows

Yep, my ex wife's father was a painter and decorator and his house was a total shit tip.

It will never be safe to turn off your computer: Prankster harnesses the power of Windows 95 to torment fellow students


I changed mine to say "It is now safe to piss off home!"

Brit couch potatoes increasingly switching off telly boxes in favour of YouTube and Netflix


Re: Smart speakers?

"Remember no female has ever said "Oh god you are so sexy talking about your Hi-Fi!"

I'm struggling to understand what women and sex has to do with the subject at hand.

I mean there are a lot of hobbies that are traditionally seen as male pastimes, such as messing with cars, building computers, basically anything that involves tinkering. And that's the thing that a lot of people don't get, hi-fi buffs like tinkering with their systems, that's one of the reasons turntables are still popular.

Few women I know are interested in those things, but men do them because they like doing them, not because they want to attract a partner.


Re: Smart speakers?

"Ahh but as with all Naim gear, do you then have to add the optional £800 power supply and £200 power cable to get it 'sounding right'?

Like an item costing several hundred or thousands of ponds shouldn't sound right out of the box on its own."

I don't think Naim has ever claimed that. I think it's fair to say that if it doesn't sound right out of the box, no amount of tinkering with upgrades is ever going to fix that. There is a lot of misinformation peddled in places like hifi forums, but it's usually from fools with too much money.

While a beefier PSU can improve things like headroom, other "upgrades" such as expensive speaker cables are complete snake oil. Due to comb filtering in a room, moving your head two inches is going to change the perceived sound more than changing a cable could ever do, which is why people swear they can hear such differences.

In actual fact, the main issue in the vast majority of cases is the listening room. I'm sure that a £1000 system in a properly treated room, which needn't be ugly nor expensive, will piss all over a £10000 system in a typical living room.


Re: Smart speakers?

"The Mu-so is not a smart speaker though as there's no microphone."

Yes, I was referring to the earlier comment, "I'm sure you can get better quality bluetooth speakers!"


Re: Iconic satellite dish ?

"Still, looking forward to the time when Sky feel obliged to maintain their satellite fleet at great expense, because the clue is in the name, but enough people have moved to on-net provision"

It was worth them doing it back in the 1980s when hardly anyone had satellite TV, so I don't think this will ever be a major issue for them.


Re: Smart speakers?

Naim makes a pretty nice one - at a considerable price.

Crunch time: It's all fun and video games until you're being pressured into working for free


Re: How do people with children do it?

"we don't. We moved to other jobs, where the pay is shittier, but the (office) hours shorter."

Really? When I got out of games (which was the best thing I ever did) I got a pay increase.

Google settles a four-year age-discrimination battle with 227 engineers by dishing out... $11m


Re: Google is laughing all the way to the bank

I'm a technical lead/hiring manager at the company I work for and I'd much rather employ over 40s. They're on average more experienced, reliable and aren't afraid to tell me if they think I am wrong about something.


It's not just age

Age isn't the only thing they discriminate against, as James Damore found out. Allegedly.

Boris Johnson's promise of full fibre in the UK by 2025 is pie in the sky


Re: Rural rage

Is there any reason we can't run fibre above ground using existing telegraph poles?