* Posts by Tridac

173 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Oct 2011


Loongson CPU that performs like 2020 Core i3 makes its way to Chinese mini PCs


Re: Probably not exactly a bargain.

Your opinion is also irrelevant, but yes, the Chinese are coming and we had better watch out and be ready...

We never agreed to only buy HP ink, say printer owners


Re: It’s about the use case

Not here, for serious photo work, the only real way is dye sub printing, though very expensive. Would use a colour laser, corrected, for quick proofs, then the local photo lab for final prints...


Re: Instead of hiring lawyers

While it would be difficult and expensive to physically build a printer at scale for mass production, all current printers really are just embedded system devices with some printer specific io and hardware capability. The LJ2, for example, used a MC68000 processor. If you know what processor family they are using, an astute embedded systems engineer should be able to reverse engineer the frimware. There are any number of firmware hacks for all manner of products out there now, many to get round manufacturer lockin. One of which, concidentally, is one to control fan speed on Proliants to get round the full fan speed problem, with none HP branded hard drives. Did it different way here for a DL380 last year...


Some might, but colour lasers are not that expensive now second user. I paid around 1500 for a LJ2 new, around 1987 and that lasted nearly twenty years. Now, an ancient LJ5000, networked, that will still print perfect A3 for schematic cad, and A4. A Dell all in one colour in the house for the odd occasion that a colour print is needed, but gave up on inkjet decades ago. Far more trouble than they are worth...


Re: never again

Proliants always were rock solid but they were originally a Compaq product, one of the main reasons why HP bought the company.. Agree about the Gen 8, rock solid workhorses, and a very complete spec out of the box. Can be fussy about sas drives, fans full speed with non HP badged types, but there are workarounds for that Have yet to try Gen 9 or 10, but doubt if they are any better.


Re: never again

Have a home lab full of HP test gear. Fixable if it goes wrong and just refuses to die. The Agilent name change days were still pretty good, but the new Keysight won't even deal with you unless you can prove you are a company, one man businesses / consultancies excluded. Quite a bit of talk about that on the EEV Blog site, but still more than enough 2nd user kit to get round that. The older stuff had copious manuals, full schemtics for servicing, but the modern kit is useless in that respect and often runs Windows (Yuk) under the skin. How the mighty have fallen...

TrueNAS CORE 13 is the end of the FreeBSD version


Never seen the need to use Freenas or any other such dedicated system like that. Takes about 20-30 minutes to install FreeBSD and the usual tweaks, setup ntp etc, then run NFS and Samba for the server functions. Updates are trivial and the system is simple to maintain otherwise. So, why would I need Frenas etc ?...


Re: Some backtracking here, maybe

Agreed. As Linux gets ever more bloated and complex, with too many interdependencies, (systemd, anyone) it's about as far away form the oiginal unix idea as it's possible to be. Give me lean, lightweight and transparent, any day of the week...


Re: Doesn't TrueNAS Scale work just as well on the HP Microservers?

Have an N54l here for archive backup. Removed the blanking plate for the cdrom, bit of metal bashing. Fitted a cdrom sized supermicro 4 x 2.5 sas disk enclosure, a pcie sas controller and have 3 x 3.84 Tb ssds in a zfs pool + 1 x bsckup spare. The original 3.5" drive bays hava adapter plates fir the 2.5 FreeBSD system disk, mirrored pair.. Run nfs server from that and typically use rsync scripts to backup the main lab server, and other machines. Has 2 x 8Gb sticks and did tune the zfs memory usage parameters...


Re: the caching services zfs requires

ZFS witl use all the memory it can by default, but there are several tunables to limit that to defined amount. Not a problem really...

How governments become addicted to suppliers like Fujitsu


Re: They don't

Rotten Boroughs is no myth...


Re: Time for legislation

I've been listening to some of the inquiry session, in detail (must have too much time on hands these days), and there were Fujitsu technical people saying that there were problems with the systems early on, (data reliability is endemic) and that the Post Office were warned about it, but continued to prosecute anyway. No project of that complexity is ever bug free, especially early on and the Post Office should have been aware of that and and dealt accordingly, especially the trainwreck at the changeover from the early, to later horizon system. Corporate group think and a culture of deference also seems to have payed its part at Fujitsu, but a lack of true leadership and transparency are the real culprits in this story...

What if Microsoft had given us Windows XP 2024?


Still have XP on a couple of old laptops, mainly used things like network monitoring, or apps for old stuff like eprom programmers. Windows 7 is quite usable, but have been using windows server for desktop here for years. Starting with server 2003, (aka XP), currently on ws2012, (~windows 8) with the "classic shell" plugin added, for customisation. Far better system management tools and just about everything is disabled as a default. Even has an nfs client / server included which is essential in a unix shop. Very reliable, uptimes of months if need be, and no ms nanny state...

UK bans Chinese CCTV cameras on 'sensitive' government sites


Re: Good idea anyways

If they phone home, they can also download code to probe the network they are connected to. Initial firmware may be innocent and verifyable by agencies, but dynamic update capability can never be completely covered. Same with router or any other network based kit. Only way to be sure is to ban all kit from suspect countries...

It's official: UK telcos legally obligated to remove Huawei kit


Correct. To verify just one set of firmware against supplied source code would be very time consuming, but possible, but you would need build info, complier settings etc. Updates a few a year for several different pieces of kit would be very difficult, if not impossible in terms of manpower. Iirc, Nokia also built 5G kit, so not just stuck with US built, and probably others as well. Well documented theft of IP, firmware and complete designs means some players are not playing by the rules and we should not be dealing with them...


About time as well. Whie gchq and security agencies may have been able to verify the source code for backdoors in the original kit, there's no way the regular firmware updates could all be verified. Sup with the devil, use a long spoon etc...

Broadcom's VMware buy got you worried? Give these 5 FOSS hypervisors a spin


Re: Lackluster article

Not forgetting Joyent Smartos, bare metal,based on open solaris and designed for cloud environments...

Systemd supremo Lennart Poettering leaves Red Hat for Microsoft


Re: Here are alternatives

I saw that as a power grab by RedHat from the start, but was anyone listening ?. Now he goes to usoft, where his inside knowledg of Linux could be very dangerous, as usoft *embrace* it...


Right. SMF is just set of xml files on top of what was already there. Another *layer* that you can bypass if you wish. svcadm and svcs being the main management utilities at that level, but all the trad text config files etc are where everyone expects to find them...

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"...