* Posts by tmcd35

26 posts • joined 18 Apr 2012

HTML is a sexually transmitted disease, say many Americans


Well that explains Internet Porn...

Dark matter killed the dinosaurs, boffins suggest


Dark Matter?

Never quiet understood "Dark Matter". A fudge to make our current best physics models work? Mmm, maybe dark matter doesn't exist? Maybe it's our models that are wrong?

Can't wait for 4G? Take heart, 5G is on the way



But, if you free up the frequencies used by TV and convert them for IP use, would that not provide faster than 3G coverage for the existing freeview channels to be streamed over? Just means everyone will have to replace their freeview box with 5G IPTV recievers, no?

Who’s Who: a Reg quest to find the BEST DOCTOR


Don't know if I can actually agree with myself on an order. Each Doctor had their qualities. I'd say this though, Colin Baker was much underated as The Doctor. His second season show some of the best performanced of The Doctor from any of the actors.

Patrick Troughton has to be number one though. The lovable rogue. Glint of Michief in his eye. Jouvial but can turn on a dime and out wit everyone in the room.

So this list starts...


2.C Baker

God knows where it goes from there. Tom Baker should be quiet high. So should Matt Smith. I recon Paul McGann could have been great given half a chance.

Too many choices. And I have a feeling Peter Capaldi is going to make it even harder to settle on a definitive order.

Sony's new PlayStation 4: Early faults ENRAGE some buyers


Re: Silly squabling

> ...and the console doesn't have ANY dedicated graphics memory. PCs have dedicated graphics memory because of performance, and the consoles have shared memory because of cost.

Oh my, Please tell me I'm misreading this? Someone needs to go and do some research on the Unified Memory Architecture being used in both consoles - hint, it's not the same as dynamic shared memory used on low end PC's. Another hint - AMD are actually working hard at introducing the technology to PC's because it will enable serious performance gains.

Also, most previous consoles have had "dedicated" graphics memory. The PS3 has 256mb for graphics and 256mb for system, for example - although this probably analogous to PC's shared memory..

Your kids' chances of becoming programmers? ZERO


Exception Error: Invalid Title

Not sure where you're going with the article itself, seems like a rose tinted trip down memory lane to me ;)

Should programming be taught a bit more in schools? maybe. Should ICT in schools focus more on computer science (as the curriculum changes suggest)? No, we need to be offering a more balanced ICT curriculum that includes programming.

But, to the point of my comment - I take exception to the title. Kids today, or those that really want to, have a far greater than zero chance of becomming programmers.

Here's a story.

A kid grows up playing computer games. He likes games a lot and wouldn't mind making his own one day. He starts making Youtube videos of reviews with his friends. He becomes the techie kid whose job it is to add captions, edit and convert formats. His friends start asking him his advise, he likes that. He starts reading around the web and finding out more about this thing called programming. He discovers MS DOS and writes a basic adventure game in DOS script. He then discovers Visual Basic and writes a (very impressive) fully working Web Browser.

Now, that kid is 13. He's my nephew. He's got a long way to go. I know he hasn't actually done any real programming yet (the web browser was all visual design with minor code editing). But he's showing interest and promise. He wants to do this, and can really make it. I encourage him, as should everyone else. It's unfair to say he has zero chance in this industry.

This half term his school is teaching him Scratch. A nice little language for making simple games. It should help him understand a bit more how the coding actually works. From there I can gently point him in the direction of more advance material like Greenfoot or Pygame.

The fact is, the same starting point. The same route to entry is still alive and well, in the same way it was with 8bit computers built in BASIC interpretors and high schools that only had computers for word processing. We just need to encourage those who show an interest/aptitude.

No, it's NOT Half-Life 3 – it's Valve's lean, mean STEAM MACHINE


Missing one thing...


Where are the games? (Yes, I know Steam on Windows has tons of games, and on Linux it's possible to run WINE).

The concept is interesting. As a console gamer they can sway me. I tend to think they can take a slightly tighter reign on the hardware than it seems is being suggested. Current plans look a little too fragmented in the hardware. If they want to take on consoles and bring PC gaming to the living room then I feel they need to be a little more focused.

Running Linux is fine, The prototype box looks OK, Could get used to the controller, And they have a 10-foot interface.

Now give me a sub-£500 price point and a roll call of AAA titles from major 3rd party developers and I'd consider ditching the PS4 in favor of it...

Ubisoft's Watch Dogs muzzled by delays


And in other news car thefts, hit and runs, and bank jobs have all increased 10 fold since the release of GTA V. Who'd have thought?

I've looked in Apple's App Store and I'm struggling to find the iPhone app that lets me change the lights on the junction at the end of my turning :(

I thought about hacking the locl cities computer systems. Then realised that, like all public IT projects, it's not actually working yet. Already 10 years late and £30m over budget. I've decided to catch a train to London, if I get lucky I can't swipe the information I need from a convinent laptop or USB stick some government bod will undoubtably leave there.

Yep, a video game about hacking is a real threat. Thales are right to be concerned.

Full Steam Ahead: Valve unwraps plans for gaming hardware


Re: Watching with interest

"Once you've played in 1080p & hi-res textures you'll never go back."

Funny you should say that, this year I've finally got around to playing (and completing - yah me!) Hitman 2 and both True Crime games on the original XBox.

Especially True Crimes: NYC - I was amazed at how good the graphics where and New York really came alive for me. And that's on last generation consoles.

Good story and gameplay trump resolution and textures everytime. What can I say, GTA:V is game of the year!


Re: Aren't we ignoring the elephant in the room?

"One of the great things about PC gaming is the superior controllers - the keyboard and mouse. These allow for more precise and complex interactions than console controllers.

But how do these comfortably fit into a living room environment?"

They don't which is why I prefer to game on a PS3 than building a "superior" PC for the TV. The thing PC gamers never seem to "get" about console gamers is the fact we prefer the large TV screen, surround sound, comfy sofa and gamepad.

I'll happily pay the price of poor graphics and dodgy controls to play games like Last of Us and GTA V in comfort.

I'm not sure Valve are demonstrating they understand the gameplay differences and why some choose console over PC and vise-versa.



I wish them well, but I keep being reminded of 3DO in the early/mid '90s.

Add to that but so far all I've seen is vague announcements and no detail. Detail on SteamOS and SteamBox partners needs to fleshed out to convince me it's a better choice than an existing console or building a gaming PC. We've also heard of nothing from publishers, so who other than Valve are supporting the device?

I also question the market it's aimed at. PC gamers who want to play in the telly? Isn't that the XBox One (x86 and Direct-X)?

Sony sets dates for US and Euro PS4 unleashment amid Xbox heckles


Re: $399....

"They also have to be shipped to the US"

While that is true, economics of scale and distance means it's almost certainly cheaper to ship to the US than the UK. Assuming they're built in China/Taiwan (what isn't now days?) they only have to go across the Pacific and in greater numbers. Alas our's have to go through either Suez or Panama, probably dropped off in mainland Europe - somewhere like Rotterdam - and then reshipped over to Felixstowe.

Any anyone wanting to buy a "cheaper" US model online still has to get over the Atlantic somehow...


Re: $399....

Don't forget shipping costs. It's not Sony, et al, screwing us over - we live on small little island

Essential maintenance website down for, er, essential maintenance


Who googled google...again?

First goolge, then amazon.com, now B&Q. The internet seems to be falling apart over the past few days. Come on admit it, whose googled google, again, and brought the whole thing crashing down?

(or is .gov.uk trying out their new chinese bought filtering solution?)

Microsoft cuts number of countries that will have Xbox One by Christmas


Re: But why?

"The Xbox One has an HDMI input and can control / integrate with STBs. Major advantage in the living room...."

If you live in America and one of the supported STBs. Why can't I see Sky, BT, TalkTalk, Virgin Media or YouView going along with this?

Xbox One: £450 voice controlled TV remote.

PS4: £350 games console.

Wii-U: £200 door stop (sorry couldn't resist ;))

Wii U sales plunge: Nintendo hopes Mario and Zelda will shift some kit


They can still turn this around...

The problem with the Wii-U is two fold, a console that's barely more powerful than PS3/360 and a total lack of content.

Right now the world is screaming (ok, if we were out of recession we might be) for a viable second console. PS4 and XBox One are practically the same console being sold by two different companies, there's nothing to really differentiate between them any more.

What Nintendo need to do is - Release the most powerful console they can aiming for a £199 price point (3.2Ghz CPU and 4Gb Ram would be nice); Get even closer ties with Sega (Shenmue III would be great); sort out the Virtual Console so all Sega and Nintendo games from all Sega and Nintendo consoles are there and available at a reasonable price; Actually release some new 1st party games!

Sony and Panasonic plan 300GB Blu-Ray replacement for 2015


First news story for the Playstation 5?

and the PS4 hasn't even been released yet.

If Sony are true to form the PS5 will have a 300Gb optical drive just to make sure it get's into living rooms and rival systems don't take hold.

It worked for both DVD (PS2) and Blu-Ray (PS3) despite HD-DVD being the better tech...

Microsoft haters: You gotta lop off a lot of legs to slay Ballmer's monster


Re: Game Over.

Alas, It seems MS actually believe this "no one buy's PC's anymore" BS. Would explain a lot about Window 8/Phone/Xbox/etc.

Remember - phones and tablets are great, until you want to write a letter and print it... (or code, or edit media, or manage a database, or ...)


Re: The next 24 months is Microsoft's true window of vulnerability.


Both Amiga and ST where long buried by Win'95s release. I think even Escom (bought Amiga from Commodore) had gone bust by that point! And yep, Apple were still 6 years away from a usable OS. I don't Linux even entered the public consciousness much before '97/98.

Yep, there was no real competition to Windows '95 at the time. I remember their being some fleeting talk of OS/2 Warp in magazines of the time but that never really panned out. And yes, if I recall correctly it was *only* available on floppy disk. I think Win98 was the first to boot from CD (CD installers where eventually available for '95 but required a boot from floppy first).


Re: Missing the bigger picture?

I posted this somewhere else recently, seems apt here...

I'm all for diversity but Microsoft appear to have both forgotten who their core customer are and are now fighting too many battles across too many fronts.

For years MS's primary focus has been shifting copies of Office. Even selling Windows to a greater or lesser extent was ultimately about shifting Office licenses. It's this lock-in that captured the SBE space for them and it's this core business they should be fighting for fiercely. Instead they appear to be ignoring/taking these customers for granted and focus their efforts of fighting numerous bush fires.

Just who are MS's competition? Is it Google/Apple in the mobile space? Is Sony/Apple in the living room? Is it Google/Yahoo in the web space? Oracle/VMWare in the server room? Amazon in the Cloud? Most of the time they look like they want to be Apple, the rest of the time the want to be Google. What they need to do is focus on being Microsoft.

I read this somewhere else recently and am beginning to agree - Microsoft should have broken their business up in to smaller concerns years ago.


Re: The next 24 months is Microsoft's true window of vulnerability.

I agree up to a point. MS certainly have achieved a high level of business lock-in with the Windows/Office cash cow. But the more they travel down the Windows 8/Office 365 path the more attractive Linux and Open Office look.

They have best of bread product in Active Directory, System Center, Windows 7 and Office 2013. But the more they force a touchscreen UI and SaaS based Office on end users who don't need/want the more their core business market is eroded.

It's true their core business monopoly can't last forever and they do need to diversify to protect themselves from the inevitable. But there's no reason to be actively quickening the process.

We're fun while Windows 7 Pro and Office 2013 are still here and supported. I'm not convinced by Microsofts current direction of travel that they will have viable replacements lined up for us when the time comes. Since OpenOffice/LibreOffice is free maybe the cost savings in licensing can help fund a switch to the more expensive Apple desktop?

Oh, Sony, you big tease: Mystery PlayStation reveal date set


Re: What's funny...

I've been download only for a while now thanks to the PS+ subscription. But then I'm on VM so I only have to avoid peek times to get usable internet speeds.

As for a second hand market. It'd die. I'm sure players who bought second hand would either what for the inevitable price drops, the game to be released as a 'PS4 Classic' or "PS4 Essential' title. or (as I do) what and see what is given away in the PS+ subscription.

For me a combination of PS+ subscription, PS1, PS2, Mini's and PSN titles keep me suitably entertained without having to pay £60 for the latest and greatest releases.


Re: Backwards Compatability ?

Backwards compatibility? Zero, especially if the rumoured AMD specs are true. It's possible software emulators for PS1 and PS2 might be included to enable disk loading of those games but I bet that the only PS1 and PS2 compatibility available will be via PSN Store purchases. As for PS3 - that's what they've bought Gaikai for, no?

That new 'Microsoft GCSE': We reveal what's in it



So we go from teaching MS Office to teaching MS VB. Once again the designers fail to ask anyone with an ounce of intellignce what real world transferable IT skills kids need.

No computer history? Networking? Hardware/System Builds? Operating Systems? File Systems?

Theres more to computing, and more useful areas in IT, than either Office or Programming. Also there are whole ecosystems outside the influence of BIll Gates!

Educating Rory: Are BBC reporters unteachable?


Re: Err...

I've been thinking about running an extra-curricular/lubchtime course for interested students here and, having thought about it, I've come to think that HTML is the perfect starting point.

You need to discuss networking, ip's, client/servers, files systems and ftp, just to get going. Once you've done a bit of HTML you can move into CSS. Then maybe some PHP and Javascript. Add in some SQL and round it off with a bit of AJAX.

By using web design you get two wins in my book - fast visual results to keep the kids hooked, and exposure to more than just programming (networking, databases, file systems, etc). Because in this discussion about "IT is not Word and Excel" people seem to forget that "IT is more than just programming".

Compulsory coding in schools: The new Nerd Tourism


Theres more to computing than programming

I agree whole heartedly that ICT lessons should not focus on the mundane Word, Excel, Powerpoint activities. These are cross-curricular applications that should be taught in a cross curricular way.

That said, a a nation of Scratch, Visual Basic and Logo coders isn't what we need. The kids would be better served with a broader ICT curriculum coving things like File Systems, WIMP and GUI's, Networking, Systems Architecture, etc.


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