* Posts by mdubash

84 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Jan 2012

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tsoHost pulls plug on Gridhost service with just 45 days' notice

mdubash

Re: Posting on CPanel?

Totally agree. I have sites on there, and I've had no emails. Not until someone told me the site was gone did I find out. So crap.

Evernote's fall from grace is complete, with sale to Italian app maker

mdubash

Obviously, it can't have been worth it, for me, paying for when Evernote decided to limit the free tier to two devices as I switched to (eek!) OneNote in 2016. Veery happy with the experience, good UI, cross-platform, no device limit....

Logitech, that canary in PC coal mine, just fell off its perch

mdubash

I want an update to the last keyboard they made which has a set of 12 function keys running up the left-hand side of the device - where God intended them to be. Mine's worn out. The F keys are fully configurable, so you can make it work just like an IBM AT keyboard. If only...

Firefox points the way to eradicating one of the rudest words online: PDF

mdubash

Re: I don't mind PDFs

Which is why I use an old version of Nitro. It reads and saves PDFs, allows you to comment, fill in forms, and extract text and images. Best of all, it's not needy. What more do you need?

mdubash

Re: I don't mind PDFs

And the Adobe Reader constantly begs to be updated, about 10x more often than any other app. Or it did, last time I touched it 15 years ago....

Laugh all you want. There will be a year of the Linux desktop

mdubash

It's not the users who choose

What's often forgotten is that the hardware vendors have a huge incentive to package Windows with their devices. Users get what makes vendors the most profit, not what they want.

He's only gone and done it. Ex-Register vulture elected to board of .uk registry

mdubash

Well done Kieren!

Have a large Scotch on me.

Cheers!

Serious surfer? How to browse like a pro on Firefox

mdubash

Re: This article describes perfectly…

I suppose it might be that many people left before Eich did because they didn't like his attitude towards them or their colleagues. Let's compare apples with apples. Either way, it would be interesting to see the numbers.

Fixing an upside-down USB plug: A case of supporting the insupportable

mdubash

Re: Supporting the Unsupportable?

About right. No point trying to push water uphill...

mdubash

Reminds me of someone who for <reasons> shall remain nameless.

He inserted an SD card into his new digital camera - this was back in the early noughties. It didn't want to go in. So instead of turning it round and trying again he used welly. It broke the socket and he had to pay to get it repaired.

It's all of a piece. Given that users will use way more force than you'd imagine necessary, why are we still designing connectors that only work one way round? If it were me, I'd design a card with contacts on both sides so it wouldn't matter which way round it was inserted.

Oh wait: costs....

Mozilla drags Microsoft, Google, Apple for obliterating any form of browser choice

mdubash

Re: Shot their own paws

Yeah, they have pissed me off so many times with their crowd-following UI changes - not to mention the time they decided to change engines and broke my favourite add-ons. But not being Google, Apple or MS counts for a lot with me.

mdubash

Re: Not seeing it

Give it another try: it's better than it used to be. Speaking as a user for - ooh - 20+ years?

mdubash

Re: Chrome on desktop

Don't want to come across as a Google fanboi, but using FF, I've accessed dozens of G services for years and never encountered a Chrome nag...

mdubash

Re: Chrome on desktop

This is exactly my experience too with the most technophobic family members.:(

Document Foundation starts charging €8.99 for 'free' LibreOffice

mdubash

Re: Does that mean there's will be a version with proper accent entry?

Goodness, that's so helpful.

You need to RTFM, but feel free to use your brain too

mdubash

Re: Documentation

Sadly, not just managers. Lost count of the number of times I've shown people that crtl-s is way way quicker than mousing over to the File menu, dropping down to the Save option and clicking. Only to be told that they need to get the document finished by xxx time, and can't be bothered with learning new stuff. Sigh.

mdubash

Re: ASD-STE100

Consistent naming is a real problem.

Vendors are the worst for renaming technologies in order to claim them. When I was starting out in tech journalism, it drove me crazy chasing down various definitions only to find they all meant the same thing.

But it seems that many (most?) people who write stuff, instructions or not, don't think about the confusion they cause. I call it write-only writing.

Voyager 1 space probe producing ‘anomalous telemetry data’

mdubash

Re: Choice of technology.....

Sounds like my phone's ringtone...

The sad state of Linux desktop diversity: 21 environments, just 2 designs

mdubash

Re: The curse of overchoice

Yep. Most people aren't interested in computers, or in operating systems. They want to run apps. Oh look, Linux is free and light on resources, I'll try it on this old laptop as I only need web browsing and emails.

Two hours later, they're still reading through the multiple distro lists....

Not to dis your diskette, but there are some unexpected sector holes

mdubash

Re: Such memories...

I was never so excited as the day I brought home a twin floppy disk drive box, plugged it into the BBC Micro and could load stuff in seconds rather than minutes - reliably too. <sigh>

Help, my IT team has no admin access to their own systems

mdubash

Wasn't there a (maybe) apocryphal story about an IBM storage tech doing just that, only with a hard disk? And when I say hard disk, I don't mean one of the piddling little 16TB things we see in servers these days but a proper, two-person-lifter jobbie containing a humongous 5MB...

Reg reader rages over Virgin Media's email password policy

mdubash

Another Fastmail user here - over 10 years now and no glitches, security issues - or indeed anything upsetting.

Bouncing cheques or a bouncy landing? All in a day's work for the expert pilot

mdubash

Re: VGA port = serial port

Then there's a certain someone who plugs the USB-ended Ethernet dongle into the power socket on my laptop...

mdubash

Re: In the pilot's defense...

He got that from Michael Flanders, presumably, refrring to that famous plant-animal hybrid, the Wompom.

To err is human. To really screw things up requires a wayward screwdriver

mdubash

Re: is there a reason

Why did I read that as 'orgasm session'?

Wi-Fi not working? It's time to consult the lovely people on those fine Linux forums

mdubash

Re: Doctors waiting room?????

I guess it would be churlish of me to suggest that long waiting lists and overloaded GPs might have a different, more political root cause other than the use of a landline...

Calendars have gone backwards since the Bronze Age. It's time to evolve

mdubash

...and you'd still have it as an aide-memoire for decades....

mdubash

History? What's that?

One more problem with calendars: there's no history.

I can look at my old diaries going back to the '70s as a reminder of what I was doing around then. It sparks memories (such as they are). Then in the mid-80s, I switched to an electronic calendar. It was so cool!

But of course, there's no way any of that data has survived the holocaust of changed and abandoned standards, crashed computers, forced hard disk wipes and all the other ills that ether-trapped data is heir to.

So my memories are gone. Wish I knew who it was I went out with that day - but probably just as well that I don't still have her phone number....

It's time to delete that hunter2 password from your Microsoft account, says IT giant

mdubash

And if you use a password manager to generate and use long, obscure passwords, will MS insist that you throw that away?

We can't believe people use browsers to manage their passwords, says maker of password management tools

mdubash

Re: password managers

My KeePass database is stored in numerous places. It's 256-bit encrypted. And it requires the presence of a particular piece of data in a specific location to be unencrypted. And it doesn't stre finance-related PINs, as they're only in my head. That's safe enough.

Somebody is destined for somewhere hot, and definitely not Coventry

mdubash

Do women still wear slips?

Is it broken yet? Is it? Is it? Ooh that means I can buy a sparkly, new but otherwise hard-to-justify replacement!

mdubash

Re: Right to repair?

I can't wait for my 10-yo NEC 30-inch monitor to die so I can buy an utra-wide. Trouble is, the NEC cost so much (1k) that it needs to work for a minimum of 10 years to make me feel I've got enough value out of it....

Can I replace it now?

Radioactive hybrid terror pigs have made themselves a home in Fukushima's exclusion zone

mdubash

Re: Please, Dr. Syntax

We talk of stats as a short form of statistics. So maths as a short form of mathematics makes sense.

mdubash

Re: “Re-wilding”

It started with the Enclosures Act...

Who would cross the Bridge of Death? Answer me these questions three! Oh and you'll need two-factor authentication

mdubash

Re: LinkedIn posts

Best thing to do Ali is retire...

Today I shall explain how dual monitors work using the medium of interpretive dance

mdubash

Re: Laptop + Monitor = two computers?

Just like people refer to broadband as WiFi - as in "the WiFi isn't working", when the connection goes down. Sigh....

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes-Benz? Detroit waits for my order, you'd better make amends

mdubash

Re: Modem warbling WAV file

Yep, had that ringtone too. Until, yes, someone asked why that noise... :(

'No' does not mean 'yes'... unless you are a scriptwriter for software user interfaces

mdubash

'Mirror' would work.

1Password has none, KeePass has none... So why are there seven embedded trackers in the LastPass Android app?

mdubash

Re: "Only problem was keeping all my devices in synch"

KeePass allows you to use 2FA. Keep the key file separate and secret - and the database is encrypted until you ring the two together with our master password.

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

mdubash

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

Sigh...

mdubash

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

mdubash

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

mdubash

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

mdubash

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

mdubash

Re: Start me up!

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

Dude, where's my laser?

mdubash

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

mdubash

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

mdubash

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

mdubash

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

mdubash

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...

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