* Posts by mdubash

45 posts • joined 19 Jan 2012

Arm at 30: From Cambridge to the world, one plucky British startup changed everything


Ah yes, the BBC Micro. The first computer I ever bought, learnt to program on and - most importantly - how to play Elite.



Agree. Anything but Softbank.

I worked for a company that was bought by Softbank. Masoyoshi Son was full of - shall we say politely - unfeasibly high expectations, boasts and claims, none of which clearly had the remotest chance of coming true. He eventually sold the company, having sucked the profit out of it by loading the purchase borrowing onto the bottom line.

Result: nothing new got done, shareholders got a lot richer. Us grunts on the ground just got frustrated and a lot of good people departed. I don't think that fundamental biz model has changed much.

You only live twice: Once to start the installation, and the other time to finish it off


Re: I think Noel & Noel win the who, me trophy

Better than Soggy Bottom...

You can't spell 'electronics' without 'elect': The time for online democracy has come


Re: Bought votes?

So what if the minority parties did end up kingmakers? The point of PR is to enfranchise those who don't get represented because of the binary nature of FPTP. The world isn't that binary any more, old tribal loyalties have melted. So with PR, at least some of those whose views are not represented at all - and because of 'safe seats' aren't likely ever in their lifetimes to be so - will have some of their views turned into policy. That's a win for me.

Ancient telly borked broadband for entire Welsh village


Re: 18 months?

He might need it because most services are still ridiculously asymmetrical.

Take Virgin (please). I got mildly excited when they started laying cables around the periphery of my home town but as soon as you burrow deep into the Ts&Cs to find the actual bandwidth promised, it may be 300Mbps downsteam but upstream it's a niggardly 20Mbps. All for a not-so-niggardly £50+ / month.

All moot since they gave up digging up pavements and roads before they got to my house...

Start Me Up: 25 years ago this week, Windows 95 launched and, for a brief moment, Microsoft was almost cool


Re: Start me up!

Well, you can't always get what you want...

Dude, where's my laser?


Re: Not unbelievable

And I recall being shown a working laser at a school physics lesson in the mid-1960s so not so unbelieveble.

A real loch mess: Navy larks sunk by a truculent torpedo


Re: Pure 'Carry on ' gold.

The Navy Lark, Beyond Our Ken, Round the Horne, The Clitheroe Kid and other Sunday lunchtome programmes I listened to (yes, I'm that old) as my parents near chain-smoked and the living room filled with blue smoke. Ah, those were the days - no such thing as secondary smoking then. <cough>

Microsoft puts dual-screen devices and Windows 10X in the too-hard basket


Mangled language

"Our customers are leveraging the power of the cloud more than ever, and we believe the time is right to lean into this acceleration in a different way." WTAF does that mean?

That awful moment when what you thought was a number 1 turned out to be a number 2


Re: Trying to teach...

Many's the time I've watched users painfully mouse their way around the screen (using crappy laptops left in the default Windows configuration, which doesn't help it must be said) to select a menu option or minimise a window, when one or two keyboard shortcuts would do it in a fraction of the time. I gave up suggesting Ctrl-O or Ctrl-S and Alt-F4 (let along Alt-Space-N or Alt-Space-R) after being being told for the third time that they don't have time to learn that.

So painful! Now every time they waste 30 seconds or more finding the right menu option whne a half-second prod of the keyboard would do it, I have to look away...

Control is only an illusion, no matter what you shove on the Netware share


You did better than I did.

As part of a regular networking column I was writing for Practical Computing (we're talking 1987 here), I got an IBM shop to install a TR network in the editorial office. Everyone was very pleased - until we fired up the PCs and found that there was only just room in 640k to run the network stack - but not to run anything useful, like WordPerfect.

Out went the network on everyone's PC apart from muggins here, who had to write about it every month. I had two config.sys files, and rebooted to write, then rebooted to connect as this was before EMS. Those weren't the days...

We regret to inform you there are severe delays on the token ring due to IT nerds blasting each other to bloody chunks


It was late: the battle agaionst VG-AnyLAN and Token Ring was well and truly over by then. Sadly...

I heard somebody say: Burn baby, burn – server inferno!


Re: Oh so special's

Shame on you for not wearing an afghan coat as well. Preferably inside out...

C'mon SPARCky, it's just an admin utility update. What could possibly go wrong?


Same here: the horror stories around R-M have made me very wary.

On the other hand, I once gaily installed an experimental data compression NLM on my NetWare server, as the 20MB full height Seagate was filling up, and I couldn't afford the the squillions it would have cost to buy a bigger one.

Guess what? It was very good at compression, decompression, not at all. Lost everything before 1991. I still have an ARC file somewhere that nothing has ever been able to decompress...

From Soviet to science fiction icon, the weird life of Isaac Asimov 100 years on


Yes, I remember listening at the time - and cassettes (!) of a copied version were among my prized possessions at one point A Long Time Ago. But I don't recall ever re-listening to it more than once...


Re: frustrating genius

Yes, he did struggle to distinguish between his characters - they all spoke the same, without humour, and in an explacatory manner. It was him, really...


Great summary

Thanks Iain - good to be reminded of the man's attributes -- good and bad. He who brought SF to the world...

LibreOffice 6.4 nearly done as open-source office software project prepares for 10th anniversary


Re: @vtcodger - I think you underestimate it...

And then there's the not unlikely possibility tht a cloud vendor decides to change its business model or gets bought, in which case all bets are off: your sub suddenly goes up by 500%, or you lose all your data, or they get hacked... All of which have happened.

My MacBook Woe: I got up close and personal with city's snatch'n'dash crooks (aka some bastard stole my laptop)


Sorry to hear

Horrible experience, Kieran - I hope you get it back soon - and more importantly, get over the distress.

TalkTalk returns to the email hall of shame as Pipex accounts throw weekend-long wobbly


Nope. I was on BT's 2Mbps trial in 1998.

If the thing you were doing earlier is 'drop table' commands, ctrl-c, ctrl-v is not your friend


Occasionally still see it on browser password fields, believe it or not. Keepass (my preferred password manager) types in passwords as fast as it can normally, but for one or two sites, I haveto insert a delay between characters or the (presumably) validaiton routine throws a wobbly. In this day n age too...

So you've 'seen' the black hole. Now for the interesting bit – how all that raw data was stored


What am I missing? I though radio telescopes were impervious to weather conditions.

Sure, we've got a problem but we don't really want to spend any money on the tech guy you're sending to fix it


Train travel helps cut the carbon footprint too... FWIW.

Hands up who reuses the same password everywhere, even with your Nest. Keep your hand up if you like being spied on by hackers


Luddie mode on?

Hate to sound like a Luddite - but the alternative is not to fill your house with shtuff that not only steals your data and listens to you all the time so as to fill your head with advertising, but also costs money, needs managing, and becomes deliberately obsolete within three years.

Who needs that level of tech management at home?

Nobody in China wants Apple's eye-wateringly priced iPhones, sighs CEO Tim Cook


Re: Overpriced kit

Xiao Mi A2 Lite - around £130. Why pay more?

Disclaimer: no commercial connection

With the 6T, OnePlus hopes to shed 'cheeky upstart' tag and launch assault on flagships


Re: No headphone jack

I'm in exactly the same position: the slowness of security updates is a worry. Decided to sit tight until closer to Christmas, whenever the sales start (whenever that is, these days).

I've got way too much cash, thinks Jeff Bezos. Hmmm, pay more tax? Pay staff more? Nah, let's just go into space


Re: I disagree...

Actually, itis a left/right issue.

The question is whether it's right for one hyper-rich guy to decide where to spend his billions, or whether some of that money, which was generated by a business that's subsidised by the rest of us in the form of transportation, environmental management, education, defence, and all other other public services that enable his business to continue operating, should be spent in a manner determined collectively, so that its benefits can be distbuted to those who need it most.

BOFH: Give me a lever long enough and a fool, I mean a fulcrum and ....


Re: cellphone, mobile, handy

'Cept of course, Canada is way way bigger than the US (do USanians know that?).

Less than half of paying ransomware targets get their files back


That headline: Fewer... (please?)

Flying on its own, Thunderbird seeks input on new look


Re: To be honest

The whole point of a GUI is that programs look alike and so are easier to use. Mozilla forgot this a few iterations ago and made Firefox almost unusable. And now the same bastardisation is about to be visited on TB which, although a bit creaky in places, has been a fine, rich email client for years.

I despair.

Virgin Media only adds another 127,000 homes to Project Lightning


VM are building a network in my town and I have to say that, on researching it more thoroughly, I'm just not that impressed with the offering.

It's mostly gazillions of channels full of crap I wouldn't want to watch anyway, plus the much-vaunted 300Mbps broadband speed with the top bundle. I'm now on VDSL over FTTC which gets me 70Mbps and that's fine for high-res video streaming and the odd download. As for content, Freesat delivers most of the stuff I watch anyway (er) free, and the odd bit of content I do want really isn't worth the £100 a month that VM is asking.

What's not OK about the VM offer is the upload speed, which is pegged (if you look hard enough for the details) at 20Mbps - which the same as I have now. Were VM offering a more symmetrical service, that would make it more attractive. But at £40 a month and up, this offering doesn't cut it for me.

Amazon Drive bans rclone storage client


Too good to be true

As a user of rclone for automated server-side off-site backup onto Amazon Cloud Drive, it seemed too good to be true that I could upload terabytes for just 55 quid a year. I should have known better.

My guess is that the bandwidth of thousands of people uploading massive datasets didn't help to make it an economic proposition for Amazon.

Self-driving Google car T-boned in California crash


I was there

I was a few metres away at the time - it was quite a crash. The junction is on a road that leads directly off the freeway, and I'm told it's quite common for cars to speed across that junction at near-freeway speeds. So I'm not surprised that the an accident has happened there; maybe if the G car had stepped off the lights smartly, the van might have gone behind it.

Lester Haines: RIP


RIP Lester :(

Shakes on a plane: How dangerous is turbulence?


Wing test video

What a wing test looks like.


IBM storage revenues are very reliable. Four years of steady decline and counting


It would be instructive to compare those IBM revenues with those of EMC, HP, and/or NetApp to give context. Is IBM doing worse than the others?

Mozilla: Five... Four... Three... Two... One... Thunderbirds are – gone



Agree re Fastmail - been a user for years - but that's an email service (which works perfectly with TB ofc) rather than an email client.

Crash this beauty? James Bond's concept DB10 Aston debuts in Spectre


God Finger/GoldFinger

The film and the book were called Goldfinger. Sigh.

'To read this page, please turn off your ad blocker...'


Re: liability....

And the business model needs to include paying people who generate content, not shoving malware-laden visual crap at the user.

Life after HP cracks off into two: Execs spill the beans – tiny little beans


And yet, as consumer technology continues to invade the enterprise, not just tablets etc but datacentre hardware such as consumer-grade storage, HP decides they are two entirely different things and splits them apart. Not convinced....

Do any REAL CIOs believe we're in a post PC world? No.


Nice job, Dominic, and a very interesting insight into the real world (rather than that of the PR execs!).

Look, pal, it’s YOUR password so it’s YOUR fault that it's gone AWOL


Why complicate things? Use a password manager like KeePass and run it on all your machines and phones. Easy...

Factories are too DULL for Google's robo-dreams: Behold the GATAMAMs


So is the start of the possibility that I can live that life of leisure I was promised in the 1960s because the robots would abolish work?

Still waiting...

BSkyB-owned BE slams into traffic pile-up over 'unlimited' broadband lie


Ditto on the ship-jumping. Murdoch will not get a penny of my money. And I didn't want to join the throng of helpless bandwidth-throttled subscribers that Sky's pile-it-high sell-it-expensive policies will undoubtedly morph Be's users into.

Nuke support in UK hits record high


Nukes make more sense for today's carbon-sensitive world, no matter what happened in Japan. In fact, that old nuclear plant was never designed for the size of quake that it withstood remarkably well, considering.


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