* Posts by PeteA

129 posts • joined 10 Dec 2011


Relying on plain-text email is a 'barrier to entry' for kernel development, says Linux Foundation board member


Welcome back, amanfrommars

See title


Dear Microsoft....

How about you bugger off and get your own house in order. When you've caught up with the processes pioneered in OSS to deliver reliable software at scale, we'll talk.

Thank you.

Geneticists throw hands in the air, change gene naming rules to finally stop Microsoft Excel eating their data


Re: I must be missing something...

Perhaps tweak the first line identifier to "#!/bin/vi" ?


Re: Happens in Google sheets as well.

Unfortunately, the day doesn't really have "an end" point - there's a concrete *start* at 00:00, and various times leading up to that such as 23:59:59.9999. But no specific end point, just an analogue rollover. There's also no such time as 24:00; the constraint is 0 <= HH <= 23. So midnight is always YYYY-MM-DD 00:00, where DD represents the day that is just starting [which feels a bit counter-intuitive].

FWIW, the most serious Excel issue here doesn't seem to have been noted: the default association of a CSV with an application that doesn't handle CSV's properly. All one of those scientists has to do to destroy their data is double-click the file and then hit "Save"; there is no point at which it is even possible to intervene during the "import". This has caused grief in just about every business I've worked in, particularly when the marketing team have been involved.

Mine's the one with the group policy to associate CSV's with notepad....

It's been five years since Windows 10 hit: So... how's that working out for you all?


Re: Windows 10 worked out super-great for me

"As a consolation, I can use Raspbian on my Raspberry Pi, and it's based on Linux. Apparently they now have a version that can run on a PC "

OK - I sympathise with your desire to use Linux on your desktop, but think you might need to do a bit of reading around before the assertion that you're not able to use any current distribution on your machine [presumably PC]. It may also be useful to quantify "not a one of them will work" into HOW they don't work; are they all the same [i.e., possible hardware-vs-Linux-defaults issue] or different [i.e., possible distribution-specific issues]


Finding files? `find` works pretty well, or `locate` if you want to be efficient. Just setup the config in wsl ...


Re: Nope

No joke ... after enduring 1.5 hours of the latest upgrade I rang a colleague to warn them and generally grouse. Too late - they started the conversation by complaining of the 2 hours just spent upgrading.

Why is it that my [multiple] linux boxen at home upgrade within a few minutes and rarely with any issues, whereas my work machine with Windows always takes "forever"? Admit to no recent [in last 2 years] issues though, this has gotten better in my personal experience

Dems take a crack at banning Feds from using facial-recog tech. Congress will put it on todo list after 'learn Klingon'


IT news sites in the UK?

Does anyone know of a good UK-based IT news site, ideally with good journalism backed by sarcastic British cultural references? There used to be one here, but some American outfit seems be cybersquatting. I really miss El Reg '(, you were part of IT's good times where craftmanship, elegance and creativity were seen as aspirational virtues rather than potential impediments for hordes of generic code-monkeys.

Outages batter UK's Virgin Media into wee hours as broadband failures spike 77% globally


Not caused by a spike in usage or a lack of network capacity

So just sheer bloody incompetence then?

Chrome suddenly using Bing after installing Office 365 Pro Plus... Yeah, that might have been us, mumbles Microsoft


Re: Antitrust


All three of the Insiders on Arm64 can now muck about with Windows Subsystem for Linux 2


Windows kind of works on Raspberry Pi, but it is extremely slow and driver support is very buggy.

So it's just like Windows on x86 / AMD64 then.

You're not Boeing to believe this, but... Another deadly 737 Max control bug found


Real solution...

Fix the aerodynamics, lose the band-aid.

Essentially, the problem is that the aircraft is inherently unstable because of the engine positioning compromises. Boeing's initial test pilot (Ray Craig) recommended a hardware [aerodynamic] fix during simulator testing, but Boeing went with software compensation instead. Unfortunately, more issues emerged during real flight testing, and the software was "enhanced" and given more control. The rest, as they say, is history. Very good analysis available at engineering.com.

IMnsHO, this is a typical greed-induced clusterfsck resulting in an essentially unsafe design without the knowledge of anybody important (engineers, pilots, technical regulators etc.). I've no doubt that the approved "fix" will involve various changes so that the calculated probability-of-failure is inside some arbitrary threshold value, but the aircraft will continue to be unstable by design. And one day, everything will align in just the wrong way, the tiny probability of MCAS failure will come to pass, and more people will die. Refer to swiss cheese, or the old software development adage is that "If something can happen, soon or later it will happen".

The in and outs of Microsoft's new Windows Terminal


Re: CHUI: CHaracter based User Interfaces

OK, I'll bite ... it's not infrequent that I use vim from WSL (at work - at home I can use gvim). In general, I can open up vim, change code, recompile & get the changes pushed before Visual Studio's even got around to opening. So terminfo's still very important for me :). Excellent point about a terminfo entry for the shiny new terminal (ROFL - MS've caught up with the noughties. Next thing you know, we'll even be able to split it into a grid! OTOH, why you'd want to try doing anything serious on Windows eludes me anyway unless you've got a sadistic employer.)

Icon because it's what I look forward to after a week of fighting Windows at work.

Microsoft throws lifeline to .NET orphans in the brave new Core world


Re: "Orphans?"

Middle bit? <seealso cref="wsl" />

We don't know whether 737 Max MCAS update is coming or Boeing: Anti-stall safety fix delayed


Said for a while I prefer Airbus as a passenger - though the Embraer 190's are very nice, the ride feels very 'crisp' with none of the wallowing that I associate with this size of aircraft [and the 737 in particular].

Accused hacker Lauri Love to sue National Crime Agency to retrieve confiscated computing kit


Go Laurie!

That's all! Innocent until *proven* guilty (not charged, smeared, innuendoe'd, or anything else).

Sudden Windows 10 licence downgrades to forced Xcode upgrades: The week at Microsoft


Re: Insanity

You mean suspend/resume, I think


Re: Solidarity

Most Valued Capitali[sz]er...

Rejoice! Thousands more kids flock to computing A-level


Re: Fundamentals of IT

I have doubts that justice will ever be served.

You're an optimist then - I'm quite certain won't be.

Open plan offices flop – you talk less, IM more, if forced to flee a cubicle


Re: What about disturbing others?

I'm just human. I like to talk to my fellow human beings F2F. It's how you get to really know them.

What you doing on the El Reg fora then?

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


Re: The ONLY things going for it were

OS/2 Warp holdout here, until finally forced to admit defeat and use XP. Soon changed to SuSE though... then through lots of experimentation and distro-hopping to a stable environment with Windows relegated to a VM :).

Is your gadget using secondhand memory? Predictable senility allows boffins to spot recycled NAND chips


Re: I'm suspicious of the age of...

I'd like to help, but my core's gone rusty :(

Bloke fruit flies enjoy ejaculating, turn to booze when starved of sexy times


Re: Either good research or bad reporting

Don't ... feed ... don't ... feed ... ah sod it, I can't help it

But there is no reason to suppose whatever that this would have been forced to occur by "evolution".

There's every reason. Why do you think they looked where they did [a PET bottle dump] for "PET-eating bacteria"? In other words, they formulated the hypothesis that bacteria might evolve which could digest PET, then they proved the hypothesis, and then they started studying the discovery. It's evolution being predicted and exploited. Consider reading the abstract of A bacterium that degrades and assimilates poly(ethylene terephthalate).

Mad Leo tried to sack me over Autonomy, says top HP Inc beancounter


Re: Sounds liek the lawyer is trying to muddy the waters.

Are incompetence and being on the take exclusive conditions?

The first rule of maths class: Don't start a fight club


Re: Norwich

Oh, I assumed it was just your local dialect. Guess it's from across the pond, eh?

eBay has locked me into undeletable Catch-22 trap, complains biz bod


Re: unregulated rip-off site

Interesting - I prefer buying independently where possible (just got some kit from ebuyer, who were actually the cheapest of the 'usual suspects' for standard gear). Direct was (very roughly) 5% lower than Amazon price, and I really loathe the way Amazon treat me with the constant devaluation of their products.

What the @#$%&!? Microsoft bans nudity, swearing in Skype, emails, Office 365 docs


Re: Linux Torvalds

... and thereby demonstrating the reasoning behind Richard Stallman's viewpoints.

Brit regulator pats self on back over nuisance call reduction: It's just 4 billion now!


Scary recent exchange

This is a phone call I had last week:

Hello (my name), how can I help?

(Sales bullshit)

Are you aware that this number is TPS registered?

Yes, but I don't really care


First one I've experienced which was that brazen.

libcurl has had auth leak bug since 'the first commit we recorded'


Re: location trusted

Indeed. Props to the libcurl team for helping people not to shoot themselves in the foot, but the (previous) behaviour is exactly what I'd expect from the man page:

-L, --location

(HTTP) If the server reports that the requested page has moved to a different location (indicated with a Location: header and a 3XX response code), this option will make curl redo the request on the new place.

Headers are part of an HTTP request, so I'd expect them to be sent to "the new place".

Windows Store nixed Google Chrome 'app' hours after it went live


<quote> Windows 10 S is Microsoft's answer to that by trying to ensure that applications installed do pass basic quality assurance.</quote>

Ha ha ha. That's an interesting explanation for the windows app store...


Re: So...

Sorry, I'm only allowed to upvote you once.

Pest control: Eggheads work to help RoboBees dodge that fly-swatter


Re: Robot bees?

But regulated by whom? Our respective governments with their long histories of respect for peoples' privacy?

A million UK homes still get crappy broadband speeds, groans Ofcom


Need USO for > 1 provider

Otherwise we'll end up with the country carved up between a duopoly, or maybe an oligopoly if we're lucky.

In my area you can only get Vermin Media who are a bunch of crooks* that claim that (1) a Hitron-aka-Rogers CGNv4 is "business grade" ADSL, (2) it's acceptable to provide a "static IP" by using a GRE tunnel, and (3) that prohibiting the use of your own [decent quality] hardware is reasonable for an ADSL "business grade" connection that I use for private hosting.

* Not proven in a court of law. Virgin, if you wish to sue me for libel then I've kept all the correspondence and documentation needed to correct.

A day will come when Azure Active Directory 'classic' portal is killed. But it is not this day


Re: Microsoft is here to help!

Hi Adam,

Thanks for chipping in and being keen on improving things. For what it's worth, that attitude's the real solution to this type of problem. However, as this is a broader conversation and you'd like to hear us all, let's discuss this in public so that everyone can join in and benefit :).

Speaking broadly and bluntly, the majority of the Azure Portal is a buggy UX disaster that feels like "My First Single Page Application". It would appear to be designed for tablet use (presumably as part of the MS UI revamp, whatever they're called now. Quick list of annoyances:

- Constant horizontal scrolling required, actual content area constricted by nested panes/trees/blades/whatever

- Poor HTML forcing me to either use the mouse or learn your keyboard shortcuts. Incorrect element choices break my keyboard-shortcut software bindings that are part of my muscle-memory.

- Inconsistent behaviour, sometimes an X icon will close a "thing" (dialog-like behaviour), sometimes it'll shove me back on the dashboard. Thanks.

- Unbookmarkable URI's. I want to bookmark things I use all the time in my browser, just like other websites. URI's have to change when the logical location changes ... otherwise they're kinda worthless. Distinct URI's are for the customer's benefit, they are not the designer's optional choice.

- "Something went wrong"... gee, thanks. WHAT went wrong (these messages appear asynchronously - humans need context too)? Some details please?

Hey, you asked - I can't imagine I'm alone with these frustrations. Usable? Yes. Pleasant and easy? No.

From DevOps to No-Ops: El Reg chats serverless computing with NYT's CTO


Serverless vs Wordpress

Speaking as an experienced software architect & developer, there's absolutely no comparison between the "serverless" design idiom and something like Wordpress (as suggested by another commentard above). Essentially, we're outsourcing the entire webserver all the way from the tin to the actual endpoints ["Azure Function" in my case]. As always, there are tradeoffs involved particularly with respect to lock-in*. My _personal_ view is that the flexibility is very appealing, but I wouldn't want to tie a large long-term design (such as an entire company infrastructure) to a single proprietary platform. From a business perspective this seems analogous to the engineering mistake of a critical system with a single point of failure. On the other hand, for short-term applications (e.g. 2 year lifespan) it's highly appealing. To me, Subbu Allamaraju's absolutely bang-on in with his quoted views, though my gut feel is to do like Polvi and wait for an OSS alternative whilst the early adopters find both the technical and real-world pain points.

Windows user, because my employer's assessment of the tie-in is similar to Rockwell's. In a couple of decades we'll know who was right.

* there's also the uncomfortable fact that although Microsoft do the maintenance, it's still our responsibility to get the configuration right in the first place. Turns out that making settings very easy to apply doesn't help people that don't grok security ... see Red Disk & AWS et al. along with the ridiculous numbers of home routers with default passwords.

Microsoft downplays alarm over Windows Defender 'flaw'


Re: *Boatload*

1 shitload : 0.89 shedloads in my neck of the woods. And don't forget the fucktonne, which is so big I can't imagine it.

US engineer in the clink for wrecking ex-bosses' smart meter radio masts with Pink Floyd lyrics


Re: Well, at least he has good taste in music

Only if she can get past The Wall

Attempt at building kinder, gentler Reddit downvoted off the Web


Re: Give me the goods

The internet in general, and WWW in particular, was built on a model of co-operation and resource sharing. HTTP/HTML in particular were created by Sir Tim for the explicit purpose of freely exchanging information between disparate systems which at the time had no other of talking to each other "simply". After this took off and became popular the usual group of w***ers promptly decided to "monetize" (vomit) the system with things such as paywalls or advertising. In many cases this has been done by initially providing services "for free" initially and then starting to demand ongoing payment once the market's been cornered.

The sad fact is that these people have effectively destroyed the WWW as it was intended. However, this behaviour (1) is remarkably similar to that of either a drug dealer ("first hit's free") or an extortionist ("you wouldn't want anything to happen to your data now, would you?") and is morally unacceptable to me. Moreover, some of us were here before Eternal September and still hold by the codes of conduct that existed before the apparently successful psy-ops efforts to persuade people that somehow they have an *entitlement* to treat me as a revenue stream. You would appear to have been a victim of said efforts if you really believe that those of us ***who built the thing in the first place*** are the people with an entitlement issue.

Chap 'fixes' Microsoft's Windows 7 and 8 update block on new CPUs


Re: So? - Addendum

And, sadly, I doubt that GNU/Linux ever will be ready for the mainstream (although it's been my personal choice for over ten years). The distinction between Linux-the-kernel and GNU/Linux-the-OS is becoming more important than ever when one remembers that the ?majority? platform is now Google/Linux, aka Android. Linux is a nice kernel which, at least in my experience, is significantly superior to the Windows kernel; unfortunately, outside of Android, userland is at best clunky and at worst downright hostile.

I'm willing to go through the pain of periodically having to reconfigure the bluetooth setup because of some breaking change in bluez/alsa/pulse/$PACKAGE and that of having to type some cryptic commands to get an A2DP connection in exchange for the computational efficiency, decent file systems and ability to build an environment that fits with my preferences, but that's the last thing that my (Mac-user) wife would want to have to contend with.

Just for a rant, I personally don't think that __any__ of the mainstream OS's actually get things right because the security contexts are defined in terms of users (UID in *nix, SID in Windows); that worked fine for non-networked machines with trusted code and ensures that the machine can't be hosed by a rogue process. Unfortunately, it doesn't take process isolation into account ("Facebook can access my photos, but Word can't") or the "soft" context (my holiday photos vs my "personal" collection) - even worse, a web browser is a single process from the OS perspective but can be doing almost anything across multiple different contexts. In my mind, we can't achieve real security until these types ideas (properly thought out) are baked-in to the kernel itself.

Cowardly Microsoft buries critical Hyper-V, WordPad, Office, Outlook, etc security patches in normal fixes


Time to buy an AMD Carrizo?

Sounds like it might be time to consider a hardware refresh if AMD have found a way to permanently disable automatic updates (assuming that they can still be installed locally).

Microsoft taking CodePlex behind the shed and shooting it by Christmas


Makes sense

Makes plenty of sense to me. As a developer, I like git and appreciate the "added value" from github et.al. In practice, CodePlex has long been abandoned for active development, so I would only look there for something old and obscure. As Microsoft, what do they gain from maintaining a product that's been effectively abandoned by end-users? Given that they've (1) given plenty of notice, (2) are providing migration assistance [how effective remains to be seen...] and (3) will be providing a "sensible" archive of the site available I'm not personally unhappy with something that feels like a pretty sensible decision.

Lloyds Banking Group axing hundreds of jobs again



I think those statements illustrate the commodification of IT. A hundred and fifty years ago, if I could afford electricity then I might have started to consider outsourcing the generation instead of having my own generator. Now, I don't even consider it as outsourcing - I just use a public utility provider and pay for what I use (as measured by a dial on the little box where the wire comes in). We outsource the vast majority of our lives these days, with the trend having been present from the dawn of civilisation as we specialised our roles and skills. There are very few people [in the UK] who grow their own food and rely on domestic electrical generation these days.

Squirrel sinks teeth into SAN cabling, drives Netadmin nuts


Re: Best traps

Ours are faulty! We've got four, and they're all very good at catching pests and bringing them home but haven't grasped the killing bit. The cuteness bit's broken too, there's nothing cute about a mouthful of rat being paraded into the living room before release under the sofa. We've taken to having (properly enclosed and protected) traps in strategic positions to deal with unwanted live gifts.

Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?


Re: @Unicornpiss

What do you mean, "back in the day"? I routinely get this still on Win 8.1 (corporate install, not my choice). Combined with the other silly things like being able to checkout files with a path length >254 chars but then being unable to delete them. And of course, the all-time classic message "Access Denied" when you try to delete a file, which really means "Hey sucker, somebody else has it open and our file sharing model's broken".

Please come back! TalkTalk woos customers with broadband offers


Re: Cant stand that Dildo woman

because you'd need to pay me to use them?

Learn to code site Code.org loses student work due to index bug


You wont't get ANY of them back, not just EVERY hour.

BBC surrenders 'linear' exclusivity to compete with binge-watch Netflix


Re: Great!

Well, they already broadcast the day's new in the morning now: "Mrs. Bah Humbug will make a speech today in which she will ...". So it shouldn't be that hard then.

This is your captain speaking ... or is it?


Re: Whoa, hang on

Ah, so it was NT 4.0 then - secure to C2 standards as long as you unplug the keyboard and network interfaces. https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc767090.aspx

Why your gigabit broadband lags like hell – blame Intel's chipset


Re: From the original article

From the viewpoint of someone who maintains about 8 Arch Linux boxes at home [plus the wife's MacBook] and a few hundred Windows machines at work, I don't think there's any comparison between the two. My Arch boxes have been typical Linux, i.e. lots of mostly simple configuration work and a few head-scratchers followed by years of solid service with occasional WTF's (such as when CUPS dropped support for parallel printers.... grrrrr....) and the Windows boxes at work have been typical Windows, i.e. a nightmare to configure followed by years of misery and "random" problems.



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