62 posts • joined 16 Sep 2011
That's how we roll: OWC savagely undercuts Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels with bargain $199 alternative
Re: Cow boxes
My first PC was a Gateway, I seem to remember the adverts dominating the inside cover of my magazine of choice at the time (Practical PC??) a spot previously occupied by Fountain Highmead, they were a value choice tho' for sure, a DAN of similar spec would have cost more. A P75 with a 15"? Vivitron monitor, IIRC the monitor was an upgrade from the default unit on what was otherwise a pretty basic model at a pretty fair price. Of course this was still the era of computers coming with bundles of slightly shitty free software. I think we got Works rather than Lotus but I forget what else. The ~£800 price tag was probably less shocking than the sums spent later on what are now standard items. £130 on a sound card, £50 on pretty crap magnetically shielded speakers, another £100+ on doubling the RAM to actually handle running a soundcard
OK but what do you have to do to an egg to make it genuinely stinky, rather than just an egg?
When on holiday in Egypt we took multiple trips that meant the Hotel packed us a breakfast to eat on the delightful heavily guarded convoys such trips involve, they always included a hard boiled egg, and smelt perfectly fine. In the UK I wouldn't hesitate to break out a scotch egg on a train, down the hatch what what! (In no circumstance one of those travesties you can buy in a supermarket)
There are far more irritating things than food odours you can encounter on public transport, pissed up tramps that decide you want to talk to or fight them, arseholes in your reserved seat, that twat who's keeping a seat for his bag, football fans, football fans on the phone ...
A few years ago one of our customers went bankrupt and we ended up acquiring what was left. This included the account details for the supposedly defunct BT account which (for reasons best known to them) was in charge of not just their phone lines but also their email and their website hosting. To this day I can still log in to that account, edit AND register domain details seemingly charged to thin air.
The two most persistent pieces of electronics with very silly "normal" high street prices I keep seeing are Dyson vacuum cleaners and the fancier electric toothbrushes, they both spend about 50% of the year at the silly price and then the rest at 30-50% off. Unlike the examples in the article they do seem to (maybe) stick to the rules as to how long it was available at the normal price but they do also compare the discount to the even more ridiculous RRP in big text and the selling prince in much smaller text. I find this almost as snakey.
If you have inner peace, it's probably 'cos your broadband works: Zen Internet least whinged-about Brit ISP – survey
the number thing is weird
When I switched to Vodafone I forgot to tick the "I want to keep my number box"; I realised after ordering but before it was set up. When I called to say "hang on a sec I don't don't a new number" they told me they couldn't let me keep the old one anymore as they weren't allowed to transfer it but they could cancel the whole process. I figured sod it that is a few cold callers who won't have my number...
The service itself - for months/years they refused to tell anyone how to use their own router (they had family based ussge control focus to start), the supplied router is pretty poor, and had many weird quirks including at one point not letting the LAN devices talk to the WiFi devices.
I don't get sync speeds anything like BT/Vodafones tool think I should get 41M instead of "61 minimum" but I have no idea if that is the router or the fact my house still has a twin solidcore drop not the modern multicore cable. Like any other ISP the DNS is pants but otherwise uptime has been perfectly adequate and it is cheap as chips and has got cheaper. For gaming I get pings under 40 for a decent number of servers and Netflix/Prime/iPlayer work as they should, what more do you need?
From the (terrible) forums I get the impression the support if you need it is shockingly bad and from experience if you use the online support they will take you through your security questions check your account and then tell you theres nothing they can do you have to call the sales line (all I wanted to do was renew).
Back when self install was new I used Zen (and 8IPs because old routers couldn't handle the NAT table for hefty piracy).. it was great but if you don't need the support, why pay for it
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They all suck to some extent
...LG, one can feel as bad for them as you like about the ThinQ but updates for previous GX flagships have been sporadic at best, and that's before the various hardware issues that seem to blight each one.
I've got my hopes pinned on Android One, so while the Play looks alright, its the Nokia 7 Plus for me, which should give the Play a run for its money anyway Adreno vs Mali is rarely a fair fight.
Re: A pity
No so much if you picked one of their less popular models, like my total flop of a G5, very sporadic updates, never moved to 7.1.1 let alone 8.
This unit as well the (always was doomed) naff "friends" modules has a number nasty glitches which as far as I can tell are pretty common, getting warm for no apparent reason, epic battery drain with no clear culprit.
Buying a "flagship" doesn't always get you what it should I'm seriously wondering about something like the Honor 9 Lite
Re: King Arthur's Labyrinth
There are further tunnels without cheesy welsh folk tales that you can visit separately http://www.corrismineexplorers.co.uk/ and of course the slate mines of Blaenau Ffestiniog https://www.llechwedd-slate-caverns.co.uk have been open to the public as an attraction longer still. (Includes this insanity https://www.zipworld.co.uk/adventure/detail/bounce-below )
It sounds like a good idea, until you have your phone on the table, now you have pick it it up to unlock it to read that message you just received...
While it is in your hand it is more convenient as you normally have a finger there anyway, conceivably having it on the edge could be the best of both worlds...
Re: It was Ubisoft.
You can add Gentings online casino to that, amongst others. That allows you to create a long password but then the standard login form, and mobile page tells you the maximum is 16 characters. Switch to an alternative login page (possibly the password reset one) instead of the popup and suddenly the long password is acceptable
Re: Is the satnav
If, as would make the sense, autonomous vehicles make extensive use of "sat nav" and mapping data, the ridiculous errors everyone likes to keep pointing should be no issue. There's absolutely no reason why a the maps can't rapidly update to exclude the tiny single track lanes, unclassified roads, and low bridges as those errors are encountered. Just as with live traffic data, road type and suitability for the vehicle in question can be rapidly learnt by what will undoubtedly be largely cloud based systems updated by millions of drones (us).
Most of the existing issues are caused by locally stored very outdated maps on primitive devices that provide little or no options for feedback. And in some case, idiots... I would expect a "smart" car to be able to spot a cliff or a river...
Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone
One: Well the amendment specifically says "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" which opens up all manner of possibilities/legal wrangling even while leaving that in place. Moves to extend that right still further are actually quite recent. Also the constitution can be amended if the political will exists, the threats to persons,state and property when this document was written are different to those today.
Two: In phases with amnesties much as other nations have done in the past, you start with the most ridiculous and work your way down. There are also other options to outright bans, a legal requirement to hold and use certain firearms types in designated/certified ranges for example.
Oh bollocks, IOT is a buzzword for something that has existed for decades, you could phreak a connected box in the 90s and and you can attack it over a normal network now, same problems, slightly different interface. Some things are connected because they need to be or because it makes it or you SAFER. Imagine that...
Re: Maybe everyone from Pentium FDIV bug days has retired?
For something more recent, how about the Sandybridge chipset, in that instance an issue that according to them was fairly unlikely to manifest itself in the working life of the product was deemed sufficiently serious to recall and rework every motherboard that (barely launched) chipset was on. A stark contrast between their approach to a fault they became aware of while the product was in production and this.
There are technically ways to do this by customising the install but it is still a total kludge, a seamless storage system like Linux/Unix has but without the quirky fractured historical structure would be great . There is also the issue of the C:\ProgramData, a folder you never get to choose the location of that Visual Studio (and others?) insist on copying what appear to be vast portions of their setup files to and are apparently incapable of uninstalling/updating if that folder is removed/unintentionally altered. I guess they might argue that they would be designing a feature into Win10 that could be irrelevant in 12-18 months, an affordable 2TB SSD and the issue is gone for me.
Re: Mission creep
Economic unions are political, else they could not function, much of the mission creep was inevitable. The mistake was to appear to extend beyond simply creating a level playing field with fair rules. Poor communication from MEPs and other parts of the EU Administration has resulted in widespread distrust and a lack of understanding of any of the work they do.
Somewhat ironically we will now start to negotiate all over again with multiple nations and bodies to establish our new place in the world, there will be wins and concessions and the body of this work will be carried out by non-elected, faceless civil servants.
So presumably, if they had got there first 3/O2 would have been just fine and Orange/Tmobile->BT would have been blocked.
To my mind EE should never have been allowed, that made something altogether too big, by contrast I have real issues with BT (or maybe Openreach splitting off cleanly and owning a cell network with BT and others being an MVNO on top of that) owning a Cell network, it makes sense in terms of product offerings and many consumers like getting everything in one place.
However 3 networks on one piddly island that loves to use mobiles should not have a real problem being competitive. If it proves to be, I guess we could just sell some of their spectrum to a new entrant.
How about Jungledisk
While its a shame it only seems to have a US base which can make uploads slow, it does provide us with a fairly effective offsite backup that we find more convenient and reliable than taking home some kind of rolling incremental tape/drive backup.
When I have looked at alternatives they are usually very expensive, to the point where you might as well just go back to taking a disk home, running Owncloud or perhaps rsyncing to a NAS/HP Miniserver at a remote location.
I would love The Reg to do a summary review of this kind of service at some point or perhaps suggestions in here folks? Brownie points for services that don't require you to generate and debug scripts to get it all setup and aren't soley tied to MS Server OS' AD or any of that other bling.
So go prepaid instead and plan a little. Long term it is quite hard to get true value from a phone contract,few of us have usage patterns that fixed and repeatable so we buy data and minutes we might need for those rare occasions. Buying your own phone and going prepay allows you to shop around for the handset you want unlocked meaning you can switch it out abroad, change providers when you please and sell it easily when you trade up. That said at the cheaper end of the scale prepay is less appealing than it used to be.
I don't travel a great deal but I've found roaming flaky. On a recent trip to Switzerland it connected to a network called Salt and I go the welcome message etc and small batch of Facebook/Whatsapp notifications (over what I have no idea). However the phone was telling me there was no data available, further into the mountains Salt vanished and instead my phone could see Swisscomm or OrangeCH but it didn't think I was allowed to connect to them, until 3 days later at which point suddenly OrangeCH was an acceptable network but data only triggered after I toggled it on and off (phone reboot didn't have the desired effect).Youtube certainly didn't work but Facebook did and so did uploading my photos to the googly cloud.
I'm pretty certain I had a similar experience in Belgium a few years ago with the stubborness about joining certain networks and lack of data.
As to contracts, I have a fairly old 3Pay SIM, Three's website states they promise to never take this tariff away. That gets you the ability to add 2Gb of data for £5 of your credit. Now admittedly this is nowhere near the apparent usage they claim people are up to these days, but when you have WiFi at work, at home and quite possibly several places in between how are these people burning through so much and would they be doing so if the allowance was lower?
Re: XP or wallpaper? And.. uhm, so?
I'm pretty sure I recall a similar article right here on El Reg describing the newest US ships (Destroyers IIRC) as running Windows 2000 so I wouldn't count on the US being any more agile. This was several years ago however and I cannot be bothered to find it,
Re: @Voland ...This does not happen just to sysadmin
It also seems to be pretty standard with sales reps, handing in your notice = instant garden leave. As if should the oportunity have existed you woudn't have already pilfered client data while you were job hunting.
In the context of Sales it makes LinkedIn/Social Media use somewhat dangerous, you already have all the relevant contacts and relationships parcelled up to take with you. If you are any good you already know what you sell them with reference to records.
As a nexus 5 owner I was somewhat unexcited about last years Nexus 6 but it didn't really matter all that much as the 5 is plenty good enough. However at 2 years old battery life is now pretty poor so I was keen to see what the rumoured 5X had to offer.
The answer seems to be pretty much exactly what we were expecting but perhaps these days that is no longer enough.
The LG G4 has the same CPU, more RAM (meh), Higher Res Screen, (again, meh) , removable storage (good), removable battery (also good), apparently takes nice pictures (I don't get nice pictures out of the Nexus) and I suspect is about to get quite a bit cheaper inside of 6 months.
The LG G3 may not be quite as powerful but it is a perfectly good minor upgrade from the original Nexus 5 and it is cheap.
It is under £30
CDKeys and similar will sell you the "Limited Edition" fir under £30, granted that does not include the season pass for future DLC, but you can often pick that up very cheap at a later date.
What this review doesn't touch on because it was done on PS4 is that the PC release cannot apparently be reviewed until they release a patch today, so those who want the game on release day don;t have much if any warning as to any gameplay issues at launch.
For possibly related reasons, it ,as of this morning at least, still wasn't possible to preload the game ready to play on UPlay.
This is a lame cludge tho' surely. Most users who this affects, will still be unaware as to why text from their friends fail to arrive so won't know they need to use this tool. To my mind the fix needs to be automated so that iMessage "de-registers" numbers automatically if they have not signed into the service recently.
I do know someone who will be very happy this fix exists however.
Seriously, the hyped up "supercapacitors" tech articles love to refer to in the vaguest terms these days are actually boring old "Tants" as used on just about every board you might care to pick up from the last 20 years? Never seen on explode that wasn't backwards.
A typical lead free solder alloy such as SAC305 has a melting point of 217C, to ensure every joint reaches at least this temperature some parts of a PCB can easily hit 250C, most lead free process compatible components can handle up to 260C for a few seconds. The reflow profile for any given product is tuned such that all components reflow while staying within their defined limits for ramp rate and maximum temperature. In the more common convection reflow process this is achieved by selecting an appropriate speed for the conveyor through the oven and the temperature of the hot air forced through nozzles in zones along the length of the oven. The alternative is condesation/vapor phase, whereby the PCB is immersed in a vapor and so heats evenly and gets no hotter than the boiling point of the Galden used.
You don't hand solder surface mount parts, if you find yourself needing to, your process is shit. More to the point what would be the point in that device being surface mount? Hand soldering a component with a soldering iron infers heating first one lead then the other, this induces stresses (thermal and mechanical) on the component and it could snap in two.
Automated through hole soldering processes do exist in numerous forms:
Flow Wave - the whole pcb runs over a wave of liquid solder, only really works if the underside of the PCB has no components on it (OK only true at the pitches involved here).
Robot - an arm that essentially mimics manual soldering.
Selective Soldering - The PCB is moved in x and y over a very narrow wave of molten solder soldering only the required areas.
Pin in Paste - place the though hole part with your surface mount machine, and reflow it on your surface mount process
Of course as Mike says, none of this matters, or helps you choose a drive.
On the pictures I have seen from reviews of consumer grade drives, the zoomed in detail of banks of capacitors appear to simply be high capacity MLCC capacitors - probably something like X7R or Y5R. (on the basis of them not being black/yellow/orange and having no polarity markings). These are far inferior to Tantalum based caps in many respects, unstable and they degrade over time.
I quite like it
I think the WiiU is a little underrated. Like many others we had a Wii and it did quickly fall out of favour for any kind of actual gaming. However unlike many of the other people who had one we also have a PS3, 360 and a well specified PC. Many of the titles we did pick up for the Wii were really quite quirky while others seem to struggle to make full use what the controls offered. There was little incentive to buy non-exclusives as Wii versions.
If you play with the WiiU, you will find the new controller does in fact offer a wealth of new possibilities, conceivably it may have been cheaper to offer some kind of dock that adds physical controls to your existing phone or tablet, but that would almost certainly introduce problems with crappy underpowered hardware, poor chipsets and crappy sensors.
There is surely a place for Nintendo and its consoles in the market, steering clear of the violent, stressful or intense gaming that typify what is offered by the other platforms is surely a good idea. Why not focus on the fun, playful, family friendly stuff that befits a device located in the family living room (where the Xbox wants to be) rather than being consigned to the bedroom of a spotty teenager.
The online stuff could do with some work, and so could game pricing. Nintendoland is great fun but it feels like a tech demo and so could really be much cheaper.
Re: Where's the incentive
Well I will freely admit my scepticism is heavily coloured by my own scrooge like tendencies. I do follow the odd project that interests me but have as yet never backed one. If I were to I wouldn't back at any level that did not either get me the product or a kit to make it, this is in no small part influenced by the fact I don't consider myself to have the spare income to gamble. I am probably happier than some to wait for the market to produce something on its own rather than fund the now now now. A prime example being 3D printing, Kickstarter is full of these, I consider them all too expensive and too primitive, so I will wait. We've seen what happened with conventional printing I am gambling on that happening again, I simply choose not to do so with money.
Starting a business can indeed cost a lot of money, it does depend how you do it, what you are doing and what your plans are. I work in one small business and grew up in another I am well aware of the money and sacrifices that go into making them happen. Neither of them went out with a begging bowl to get started.
Re: Where's the incentive
Pot kettle black Mr Pott, I am struggling here to understand how your intervention in this is much more than trolling in of itself.
I don't read the OP as demanding anything, merely offering the opinion there might be better and dare I say it fairer ways such fundraising could be done. From a purely altruistic POV, I truly appreciate the (perceived) inspiration for Kickstarter and similar. It's a nice idea to help someone get something off the ground that they may otherwise find difficult to do because they do not have the credit, the history or charm to raise those funds elsewhere in a more conventional manner. This particular project is a good example I think of one that is close to those ideals and so are many others. I think open source/hardware project are more suitable still as others can then take what was created and run with it, moving manufacturing closer to home, making it better, all good stuff that helps innovation.
My issue with the concept comes with established companies and individuals using these platform to raise funding for projects that essentially mean they can embark on risky ventures with no risk to themselves at all. In many cases they would have no problem doing this stuff themselves and in many others the need for capital is frankly illusional. In manufacturing there are all sorts of deals you can strike on pricing that do not require you to spend huge sums of up front cash or quire large stocks. These projects I think raise moral questions, why are we prepared to give other people money for them to turn into profit for themselves? Even if we don't get a return should we not at least make it so when/if the project is a success they give it back.
Should such platforms have greater regulation and indeed clearer and greater responsibilities as to how they operate.
Should people who solicit funds in this way be obliged to be more open about how they are spending our money.
Frankly I don't care if some of these alternative platforms exist already in some form, Kickstarter is the one everyone is using. Kickstarter gets all the press and many of the rewards are token at best, maybe it should have tiers and types of project that fund and deliver differently.
Without serious questions like these, I fail to see how its anything other than exploitative capitalism at its cynical worst.