* Posts by Tridac

153 posts • joined 30 Oct 2011


John Deere tractors 'bricked' after Russia steals machinery from Ukraine


Remote bricking is a bit tenuous, as the tractor would need either a hardware network connector, usb or wifi to get a network address via dhcp. Only then could it respond to external commands and the commanding node would need to know the target address. For security reasons, it's probably programmed at the factory to only respond to a known address dhcp server at the local dealer. If it can't be connected to the web, it can't easily be bricked, if at all. Sounds liike a load of marketing fud to me...

Research casts doubt on energy efficiency of 5G


Re: The article is pure greenwash.

So what ?. And their point being ?. Coming from Sussex, more than likely greenwash with an underlying agenda...

BT Wholesale wants the channel to give SMBs a nudge before copper sunset in 2025


Re: Dear Mr OpenReach...

Only problem with providing a pots socket in the router is that it will need a 50 volt supply for the line and also a 13Hz, whatever ring generator, if older style bell ring phones are to be supported Just an engineering problem, but will need a bigger wall wart to power it. Perhaps that's why they haven't done it already ?...


Re: The reality is that it's happening now

I had a small apc smart ups which used a 7ah 12v battery, but fitted an connector and run that to a 28ah battery externally.The router and a couple of switches are probably not more than a dozen watts / va, so should keeo the system up for at least 10 hours. Greatest power cut we have had here in decades is about 4 hours, once, so should be ok so long as the street cabinet stays powered up. Lab has it's own ups, good for few hours, which should cover it.

It may indeed be a problem for emergency service access, even though most have at least on mobile these days. I wonder if BT have thought much about that, or even at all ?...


Re: The reality is that it's happening now

Have bt business, fixed ip and a pots line which works well, but no pots socket on the router, which seems an obvious thing to do for a seamless transition. Let BT worry about how that gets integrated into their digital system. Should not have to worry about anything voip, just expect pots it to plug in and play...

Apple is about to start scanning iPhone users' devices for banned content, professor warns


But we know that Apple has years of form for being a greedy, grasping and dictatorial company, but go ahead fawn over and worship them if you will...


Re: Semantics

Looks like the shill for a certain repressive regime is out and busy today then ?...

SpaceX's Starlink: Overhyped and underpowered to meet broadband needs of Rural America, say analysts


Re: Current user here

We already have contention with cable or other internet services, with charges scaled to speed. So long as the total system bandwidth is adequate, contention should not cause any more problem than that with cable. Waving arms around is not fact. Radio is cheaper than cable for installation and upkeep, so however it's done, 5G, satelite, whatever, it is the long term future. Cable TV was quite popular in uk in the 1950's, right :-)...


So who paid them for that survey ?. Hype or not, even if only partly successful, the more competition there is in broadband provision the better. Have cable here in Oxford, with 4g auto backup from BT, but have been experimenting with Netgear 4g modems / sim card as well, just to evaluate the tech. As for bandwidth, don't use streaming services and what is there already is more than enough. Good chance of success for a project like that and there are few who have the breadth of vision, resources and drive to take on such a project. Can still remember 56k and lower dial up modems years ago, glacial, but got the job done...


Re: What's the problem?

If we are talking about a user node, middle or nowhere, don't know where you get 100 watts from ?. A receiver and associated computing could be done for 20 watts or less, a single solar panel. How do you think portable sat phones work, same technology, a handful if watts ?...

Red Hat pulls Free Software Foundation funding over Richard Stallman's return


Faux outrage, red hat are big business and would not trust them or their motives an inch. If you want an example of power grab on open source, look at systemd, where it came from and it's tentacles into every part of Linux...

Free Software Foundation urged to free itself of Richard Stallman by hundreds of developers and techies


So enlighten me, what did he actually do to fall into such a "state of disgrace". Did the "lifelong transgressions" ever result in prosecution and conviction, or was it all just rumour and smear ?. Truth matters, so does due process...


Democracy at work, the free exchange of ideas and opinions. Evrerythnig should be open for discussion, then let each individual make their own mind up, without coercion, blackmail, or use of force.

I've never met RMS, but he sounds typical of many creative types. Probably a bit socially clumsy and perhaps misses the signals that would warn of excess. In the old days, as an individual, you just had to deal with that, but now we have posh names for it, such as borderline autistic, or similar. Just the sort of thing one would expect the socially aware and sensitive types to have sympathy for, but no, mob rules, let's crucify him and declare victory. Sorry, but such attitudes say much more about the accusers, than the accused....


It works like this: RMS has been annoying people for years, he is controversial, speaks his mind and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. So much so that those with an agenda spend weeks trawling through everything he has ever said in public, to find something to attack him with. They find a comment that he made 17 years ago ffs, and that is enough to condemn him for evermore ?. You could argue poor choice of words, but the accusers intentionally miss the underlying point about freedom of speech and action, live and let live, assumptions of innocence and other values that are the foundation of our civilisation. Even if he regrets saying it at the time, why would would he apologise, when the underlying dishonest agenda of the accusers is plain as day.

The new morality, completely devoid of ethics, due process, fair play and natural justice. Always assuming the worst, rather then understanding and giving benefit of the doubt. But of course this is RMS, so the ends justify the means. Same sh1t, different wrapper, social control and repression by other means. The Mary Whitehouse crowd would be proud of them.

If that’s the sort of world you want to live in, good luck, as you may be next for the ducking stool...

The Year Of Linux On The Desktop – at last! Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 brings the Linux kernel into Windows


Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. @Tridac

So ?. Server 2008 is a supported os for that model, so they say. Is it so unreasonable to expect it to work and simply install from the dvd ?. Win 7 finds most of the hardware and installs without complaint, same vintage, so why is server 2008 such a pita ?. Obstructive, opaque, total lack of serious tools. Just falls over and says "start again". Pathetic really...


Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

In this case, no. Have used Smartstart on earlier generation Proliants, no issues, but if you are trying to bring a up a later s/h machine without the software support packs that came as new, good luck. There seems to be no smart start for >= G8 machines. To be fair, you can download the drivers from HP for free, but the install process has changed considerably and not for the better. It's slow, fussy, unhelpful and a pita in general. Finding anything relevant on the HP sites is a saga in itself, with broken links all over the place. Spent nearly a morning finding all the drivers and it still didn't install properly, though it goes through the whole process before reboot stops on the driver issue, rather than just continuing to fix after login. Win 7 install just needed the Broadcom net driver after reboot, so why can't server 2008 do the same, as it's the same vintage with much in common ?. Anyway, windows and HP here on sufferance only and will be looking at IBM or Dell in future, with the latter probably far more " industry standard".

Perhaps we are spoiled these days with Linux and the BSD's, as they install out of the box with no issues normally. Having installed Vax VMS from magtape years ago, a typical install now no longer takes all day. Such is progress I guess...


Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

> Don't even get me started on how MS is illegally blocking the use of older versions of Windows on any hardware newer than a 6th gen Intel. No drivers means the best you can hope for is basic functionality *if it functions at all*. Try to install Win7 on an 8th gen I7 & the installer shits itself because it can't find the DVD/USB device, the same device it used to launch the installer from in the first place. So you could find it to boot from, but not to finish loading from?

Had fun and games trying to install server 2008 on a dl320 G8. Install ran fine, but then barfs on reboot telling me it can't find one of the raid driver files. Checked the directory and the file is there large as life. One would expect a proliant of any flavour to run win server out of the box, but no. Spent quite a bit of time on it, even put in a sas controller and drives, but still the same message. Eventually gave up and installed Windows 7, which runs fine other than for manual install of the network driver. Have heard that the G9 and later machines won't accept drives without an HP disk id, so a rerun of the ink business ?. That's before you even get to firmware update lockdown and as for "intelligent provisioning" ?, hah, you can keep that as well. Overcomplex, slow, buggy and not fit for purpose. Who knows how bad the G9 and G10 series are. HP used to be the pinnacle of tech prowess in the old days, but now ?.

In comparison, FreeBSD 12 finds all the hardware, installs + a few packages, up and running in < 1 hour complete wih a mate desktop, no errors or fussy "I might condescend to run if I feel like it" BS. It just works and has the full range of packages. Have run Proliants for years, but will be looking elsewhere in future...

Intel to finally scatter remaining ashes of Itanium to the wind in 2021: Final call for doomed server CPU line


From usenet recently, comp.arch newsgroup, a different and slightly more cynical take on Itanium, or Itanic, as it was known:-

In article <d80eb54f-8835-41fa-84ae-0393b61e1dac@googlegroups.com>,

Quadibloc <jsavard@ecn.ab.ca> wrote:

>Even if the performance problems of the Itanium architecture could be fixed, so

>as to make it something almost rivaling the Mill, Intel right now is rather too

>busy looking over its shoulder at AMD to worry about that.

Fix IA-64? There's nothing to fix.

IA-64 was a wild success that achieved it's top 2 goals before Merced

hit the market:

1) It got HP access to Intel's fabs, making PA-RISC CPUs much more

competitive for 2 years.

2) It got several mid-level managers in HP Servers promoted to outside


IA-64 started in HP Labs as PA-WideWord (called PA-WW). This was basically

the final IA-64, with the added fun benefit of fixed data cache latency

with no interlocks. (Don't laugh).

Once interlocks were added, the result was pretty much IA-64: rotating

registers, the register stack, speculation with Not-A-Thing bits, predication,

fixed bundles, etc. All the details weren't finalized, yet.

And PA-WW wasn't going anywhere inside HP.

So, midlevel managers at HP knew about PA-WW, and with evil genius

they sold this to Intel as IA64: a solution to Intel's 64-bit problem, and

as a solution for HP to have access to Intel's fab's to make PA-RISC

CPUs run faster. HP had success moving to new architectures with emulation support, so they knew they could move PA-RISC and x86 to IA-64, with a penalty of course, but it would work. And they had the detailed HP Labs data showing how fast PA-WW was going to be.

Once Intel bit, IA-64 became a train that could not be stopped inside HP.

And Intel's internal politics worked similarly: this was a way for a

down-and-out design group in Intel to show up the x86 guys.

Technically, inside HP, IA-64 was viewed as just the next thing to do:

Not much better, but not worse. And it had the "potential" to be much better.

And some folks liked the idea of working on something other people would

use (HP servers made good money, but were not popular in universities).

So there was no strong pushback. And there definitely were interesting

technical challenges that sucked folks in: VLIW, speculation, etc.

And IA-64 had the mantra "the compiler can handle this", which lots of

people suspected was not true, but which is hard to prove. IA-64 is the

proof the world needed that in-order was dead (performancewise).

And, within 3 years (and before Merced shipped), all the mid-level HP managers

involved had been promoted to positions outside HP. It's a skill to

get out before your chickens come home to roost. And PA-RISC CPUs

hit new MHz targets, doubling in speed in 2 years, on Intel fabs.

So IA-64 was clearly successful.

Oh, you mean as a computer to actually buy? Oh, that's different.

And PA-RISC CPUs got even faster on an IBM SOI fab, doubling in speed in

another 2 years, making access to the Intel fabs unnecessary.

IA-64 was foisted onto the world so some managers could be

big-wigs for a while and get promotions.

I can hear the light! Boffins beam audio into ears with freakin' lasers


Re: Hearing light? That's nothing

That was in the 60's, but different source...

Core blimey... When is an AMD CPU core not a CPU core? It's now up to a jury of 12 to decide


Re: Is it a jury of twelve?

No, diining philosophers, where ony one gets to use both tools at once..

Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again


Re: Lisa was more minicomputer than PC

>> The Lisa team came from DEC where they had been building minicomputers so Lisa had the capabilities of a minicomputer of the time,

Nice fantasy, but not even close. A pastiche of the real thing, more like it :-)...


Re: Workstations

You can't compare Lisa with things like SGI, Sun, HP or any of the other workstation vendors. It's like comparing a Trabant to a Mercedes. They both look shiny and new, but the difference is under hood. Quality costs money, both in develpment, manufacture and support. You bought a higher end machine and you could be pretty sure there would be no bait & switch, it would work as per spec and have uptimes of years. Old engineering saying: Cost, reliabilty or performance, pick any two :-)...



No, 68020 on all Sun 3's bar the 3/80, which was 68030. Had memory management capability, though sun used their own gate array device. Restore old Sun machines for fun and from memory, a Sun 3/60 was around $20K. Engineers hat on, insides of Mac were always cheapskate consumer quality, whereas Sun of that time were fully modular, VME bus with loads of peripheral options. More in the Dec Microvax mini class, but much, much faster. SunOs (bdsd derived unix) was a far better os than any pc or mac offering, but was aimed at a different market; technical workstation, industry, academia etc. Of course, SGI were the graphics leaders for years and a even a low end Indy Webforce, IRIX 6.5 box is till pretty impressive for a desktop workstation even if the sw is dated. I ran an Apple II in the early 80's, 6502 hardware and software dev for embedded work. Videx 80 col card, keyboard enhancer, wirewapped printer card, forget what else. Also developed a 128K memory board using the then new 64kx1 devices. Hacked 3.3 dos to turn it into a 128k ssd. Great machine for it's time...

It'll soon be even more illegal to fly drones near UK airports


How about all drones above a defined size have a transponder for identification, just like rest of the world of aviation.. Standard avionics tech and could be made lightweight, cheap and mass produced in China, whatever. Using current standard protocols, could be seen on the screen in airports. Of course, that wouldn't stop the bad guys though...

Open the pod bay doors: Voice of HAL 9000 Douglas Rain dies at 90


Re: Fun IT facts about HAL's song

Another trick is to put a-d converters onto the high and low bytes of the address bus and feed that into the X & Y inputs of a scope. Same with the 8 bit data bus and use that to intensity mod the z axis. A fair bit of hw, but interesting patterns on the screen. Useful for debugging before the whole world + dog had proper logic analysers...

HP Ink should cough up $1.5m for bricking printers using unofficial cartridges – lawsuit


Ditto. Needed an replacement for the old LJ4 and bought an LJ5000N. Big, clunky, double sided, a4 and a3 etc, great for schematic cad, network, low page count and all for less than 100 ukp on Feabay with shipping. That was 11 years ago and have just replaced the toner cart for 20 ukp, original hp, same source. The pro models are designed for 10's thousands of pages a month and wondering if it will ever break. In comparison, inkjets are rubbish, clog up and expensive...

IPv6 growth is slowing and no one knows why. Let's see if El Reg can address what's going on


"If everybody did that, the honest answer for that IPv7 would probably be IPv4 with the addition of an extra 2 coulons to the address space, leaving everything else the fuck alone."

That's the most sensible comment in this thread, and is an engineering solution that solves the problem at hand. No added BS just for the sake of goldplating things. Trouble is, protocols are designed by committees, with each member wanting an input.

There's also the serious security issue when every device on the net must have unique worldwide identifier, rather than being behind nat, which again was an engineering solution designed to solve a particular problem. IPV6 is disabled in everything here, and even removed from kernel rebuild options...

You love Systemd – you just don't know it yet, wink Red Hat bods


Re: Ahhh SystemD

Agreed, Solaris svcadm and svcs etc are an example of how it should be done. A layered approach maintaining what was already there, while adding functionality for management purposes. Keeps all the old text based log files and uses xml scripts (human readable and editable) for higher level functions. Afaics, systemd is a power grab by red hat and an ego trip for it's primary developer. Dumped bloatware Linux in favour of FreeBSD and others after Suse 11.4, though that was bad enough with Gnome 3...

Windows Notepad fixed after 33 years: Now it finally handles Unix, Mac OS line endings


The Earth Moves

Over 4 pages of replies, must be a major fix for MS then :-/. Never used much here, but PFE in the old days, then NP++, which has a the essential rectangular cut and paste. On PDP & VAX, EDT for 5 or 6 years. On several unix variants, still using NEDIT, does every thing this programmer needs from an editor and can be built from source in minutes...

Pentagon in uproar: 'China's lasers' make US pilots shake in Djibouti


shake in Djibouti ?, no, "Sheik Djibouti"...

Leave it to Beaver: Unity is long gone and you're on your GNOME


You want lightweight ?. FreeBSD + Slim + Mate. Takes around an hour to install and configure everything. ZFS, jails, no systemd, no bloatware Gnome 3 etc...

Microsoft Lean's in: Slimmed-down Windows 10 OS option spotted


Re: The funny thing is that...

Win 2K was pretty good, very few bsod's and stable in a controlled environment. Used that for years after it's sell by date. It just worked, as did NT4 before it, providing you had the service packs installed. Only upgraded because some app versions would not run under it, but isn't that the only reason why we install new os versions anyway ?. A deadly embrace between the os and app vendors, with MS in control and no way for either to escape. Still, the windows monopoly becomes more and more eroded by the year, with ms desperately trying to stem the rising tide of open source...


Re: Beast mode

If you want that, you need to start with one of the server versions. server 2003 ~ Xp, 2008 ~ windows 7 etc. Much better tools for stripping out unwanted stuff, defining roles and locking down. Have been running a stripped down server 2003 machine for years here. All it has to do is run a few apps and provide stuff like a file manager and current task list and i'm happy. Finally dumped Office this week as well, in favour of Libre Office, which is almost instant loading. All serious s/ware dev is done on FreeBSD, Linux pre systemd, or Solaris, but still need a Windows for some legacy software. Apart from initial service packs and a few updates, it's not been changed for years as well. An OS should just run tasks, manage memory, io, networking, screen etc and otherwise keep out of the way. Can't believe how bloated windows has become, but Linux is going the same way. I know this solution wouldn't work at corporate level, but can work fine elsewhere. Cheap, effective and gets the job done...

Oi, drag this creaking, 217-year-old UK census into the data-driven age


Re: Anonymised linking == Deanonymisation

Link the data from the various data sets *after* anonymisation ?...

TalkTalk sees red after chucking £75m on restructuring bonfire


Couldn't happen to a nicer company...

SCO vs. IBM case over who owns Linux comes back to life. Again


Re: Just in time for Halloween ...

"Someone sell 'em systemd"

+100, definately comment of the week :-)...

Man facing $17.5m HPE fraud case has contempt sentence cut by Court of Appeal


Re: This used to be how commerce worked isn't it?

Once again, someone else was better at getting the deal done than HP, just like the Autonomy case. Not too smart these days at HP, it seems. Greedy for the business blinds oversight, then butt hurt when someone else takes all the profit. You couldn't make it up...

Open-source world resurrects Oracle-free Solaris project OmniOS


Thanks for that, never heard of the some of those. Would be good to have a Solaris like OS available for Sparc, to make use of all the cheap but good Sun hardware, espcially if it has zones and zfs. There's quite a bit of work going on with Debian Sparc, though you have put up with systemd. However, i'm getting good results with FreeBSD Sparc. Seems rock solid, though it's not fully supported and you have to build packages. Running Xvnc at the server, with a client on X86 windows / Linux for X login and gui. Still trying to build mate etc, but so many dependencies...


Sounds great, but is there a Sparc version ?...

Virgin Media to close flagship Oxford St store in August


I’ve been with VM since NTL first came to Oxford with dialup, over 16 years ago and in general, it just works. Speedtest at 50-70Mb/s consistently. Don’t use the wifi or tv though so can’t comment on that. However, when I wanted a fixed ip address for a server / work, I called VM and after negotiating a deep tree of menus, still couldn’t get a real person to talk to. Called BT and a real person answered the phone in seconds, so they got the business. That just works as well with similar speedtest results. May be different now, but it seemed like VM just weren’t serious about business internet at the time…

Canadian sniper makes kill shot at distance of 3.5 KILOMETRES


Re: Am I missing something?

Bringing it back to computing, old ww2 / 50's books on analog computers, fire control radar etc, often use balistics and time of flight equations as an example....

Silicon Graphics' IRIX and Magic Desktop return as Linux desktop


I still have an Indy Webforce in store, but not sure if it would still boot, nor if the psu caps are still ok. The monitor was given away years ago, but a TFT would work fine. Had Photoshop, Illustrator, a good flight sim, web and video apps etc, out of the box + of course, the Indy Webcam. Years ahead of it's time and beautiful artsy desktop, but too expensive for most. They really were the king of colour graphics at the time...

BA IT systems failure: Uninterruptible Power Supply was interrupted


Re: Electrical Interlocks

...Or the generator crankshaft or coupling gets sheared off with the shock load. Seen examples of that...


Re: A data or application problem most likely

2) 480 volts. BS: There's no way that any UPS i've ever seen could operate or be wired so that could happen. The only possible thing that might have happened is that grid power was restored out of phase with the UPS inverter output, which could cause a big bang. However, UPS's are specifically designed to deal with that, with state change inhibited and the UPS phase adjusted until it's in sync with the grid input. No UPS could work without that logic.

UPS systems are usually either true online, or switched. With true online, the UPS inverter always supplies the load, with the grid input powering the inverter and float charging the batteries. With switched, the grid normally supplies the load directly and the batteries are idle, on float charge. For the latter, when the grid goes down, the inverter starts up from batteries to power the load, which is switched over from grid input, to UPS inverter, within a few cycles at most. All these things have smart microprocessor control, which continually samples mains quality and has lockout delays to ensure that brief transients don't cause an unnecessary switchover, Also, delays to ensure that grid power is clean and stable before re connecting to the load.

We've now had several stories abouty this, none of which seem real and ignoring the giant elephant in the room, which is that their disaster recover failed completely. The tech to do this has been around for decades, so how could it go so badly wrong, in a company of that stature ?...

BA Article Deleted ???...


Thanks, couldn't find any links to it this morning from any of the pages. Can take my tinfoil hat off now :-)...


BA Article Deleted ???...

Am I missing something, or has the BA IT meltdown article and comments been deleted ?. If so, why ?...

UK hospital meltdown after ransomware worm uses NSA vuln to raid IT


Re: It doesn't have to be connected to t'internet

Opening an email doesn't run anything if scripting is disabled and if you click on an attachment without being sure who it's from then it's your own fault :-). For linfrastructure and large arganisations, secure setup can be handled via initial machine provisioning and automated, with application software settings locked down. The OS config should be bare bones, with all but needed services disabled by default. Perimeter firewalls should have all but needed ports blocked by default, ideally with separate hardware firewalls between each internal subnet. Wouldn't surprise me to hear that they have smb shares across the global internet with no vpn, but that's a worse case scenario.

Even Win Xp is fine in a properly configured and protected environment, but the whole system must be configured to design out the vulnerabilities. Assume that any network can be broken, given enough resources. Think systems engineering...


Re: Using Windows?

Ok, so what is the main culprit, or is that just a bollocks response as well ?...


Re: It doesn't have to be connected to t'internet

One of the simplest, things to do on machines is to disable autoruns on all drives, a primary access method for malware. Teach users to delete any emails that they don't recognise, disable script and stick to plain text emails only.

The stupidity anmd cluelessness of this amazes me. All critical infrastructure should be on private networks with no direct access to the internet. Where access is needed, it should be via a single point, with firewalls and mail and attachment scanners that actually work. Those resposible for all this must be asleep at the wheel, unbelievable...

Brit ISP TalkTalk scraps line rental charges


The guys that started Pipex must be ashamed to have ever been asociated with them. I wouldn't touch them with yours and that's being mild about it...



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