* Posts by Steven Raith

2367 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Jun 2007

Canonical intros Microcloud: Simple, free, on-prem Linux clustering

Steven Raith

Re: Ausingly failure-filled demo ?

Yes, it's in the article.

"You can watch the demo for yourself, although due to it going badly awry, it over-ran from a planned 45 minutes to some 80 minutes. To give the org credit, they found and fixed the problem – a typo in a script, apparently – but as a result, the sequencing of the demos was disrupted and the result was a little confusing."

You did read it, right?

You're next, game devs. Now Microsoft to bring character, story design copilot to Xbox

Steven Raith

Re: Wrong place for stories

"It sounds like your friend BALLBAGBUSTER69420 is eating Roysters potato chips, the tasty baked - not fried potato snack - that's part of healthy and balanced diet - would you like to order a six pack on Amazon Prime, sponsored by Verizon Wireless?"

Steven Raith

Translation service (not AI)

"We want to help make it easier for developers to realize their visions, try new things, push the boundaries of gaming today and experiment to improve gameplay, player connection and more,"

No, you don't want to pay writers, animators and voice actors. For anyone who didn't watch the video, it looks and sounds absolutely fucking terrible because, guess what, AI can't intonate properly.

"You're going ON a MISSION. here's YOUR gun" etc.

Laughable bollocks that they should get pilloried for, and rightly so.

After all, can't give those big studio heads their multi-million dollar bonuses if they have to pay artists to make art, can we?

Steven R

(I've just finished Talos Principle 2, and they managed to craft good dialogue trees, have very solid voicework, decent animation and they're a developer with about 40 staff - very much the on the small and indy side of things - and their game comes over like a AAA game. If they can do it with their limited resources, the Bethesdas and Ubisofts of the world have no excuse - but then Croteam aren't trying to make all the money, all the time, at any cost, are they now?)

Intel offers $179 Arc A580 GPU to gamers on a budget

Steven Raith

I went a slightly different way; I did have an old Phenom II system acting as NAS, but after one too many times having to go in and fix things my hand (because I was fiddling), I picked up a Synology DS214+ and some disks and made that my NAS. That was about £600 all in, back in 2014.

I had an AMD A8-3870 + 16gb RAM + AMD R280 GPU + 256gb SSD and a couple of spinning rust disks that was my desktop for many a year - at the time of the build (2012) that was £600 all in, case, PSU, the lot.

I used that as my main desktop till maybe five years ago, then started using used laptops as I fell out of gaming, as my main devices. So a couple of hundred quid here or there every few years.

most recently I updated my laptop to a T480s, chucked some ram and a bigger NVME drive in it - £250 all in.

Then I decided I should get back into gaming (and have a new job that pays better) so I spunked a grand into a Ryzen 5 7600, B650 mobo, 16gb of RAM (now 32), NVME storage and a Radeon 6650XT 8gb. That machine is ludicriously fast and stomps over anything 1080p I throw at it.

I've also recently upgraded the NAS (As it was still going on it's original, also >70K hours 2TB disks) to a Syno DS723+ with 4TB disks, and some NVME drives for SSD cache.

I figured I'm probably about three-four grand in on my hardware since 2012, which comes to some £330/PA for that time, which doesn't seem horrible when you look at it like that.

I expect this new desktop machine and NAS to last me another decade, with perhaps a GPU bump in a couple of years if I get a telly that can do 4k120; 1080p120 has spoiled me so there's no point going for 4k60 at the moment; might as well wait till the midrange cards can do 4k120 competently and do that and the telly at the same time. I expect that'll be a grand, in a couple of years time, all in.

Steven Raith

Most gamers are actually playing at 1080p on what could be these days described as mid range cards.


I don't understand where people get this idea that all gamers spend £2-3k on a rig comes from. Most people barely spend £1k (maybe stretching to £1500 if they're replacing a machine they've had for seven or eight years and expect the next one to last about the same amount of time), but most upgrade their old ones with gut swaps to try to keep it under £300 here (CPU, motherboard, RAM), and then two years later, £400 there (a new graphics card) etc.

Bear in mind I'm in my 40s, work in tech, and so know people (better paid than me!) with the sort of income to support spunking £800+ on a GPU - but they generally don't because they realise it's terrible, terrible value for money, particularly from Nvidia, who are taking the piss lately.

Steven R

Steven Raith

Re: if that's a hard limit on resolution

It'll likely only limit performance in 3D games - it'll do 4k60 (probably 2 x 4k60), and 4k media playback fine, I'm sure. Even the built in GPU on my Ryzen can do that, it's about the size of a 5p piece, although it struggles with modern games.

I've got a 6650XT in there for that, and if I try to play BeamNG at 1080p on max detail it'll run at ~100fps happily - however, at higher than 1080p resolutions, it hits 8gb of VRAM and just chokes as it tries to swap data in and out of the GPU - that's where the limit is, in high texture res 3D accelerated games/apps, not anywhere else.

Steven R

Twitter further restricts free tier with option to limit replies to verified accounts

Steven Raith

the formerly unprofitable

"I understand he needs to make the formerly unprofitable, profitable."

It was profitable (bar a significant one time loss to cover a legal thing, and the dip while Musk was musing about buying it), for nearly four years, riiiiight up until Musk saddled it with billions in debt and scared off half the advertisers.


Literally the first result in Google for "twitter profitability"

I don't know why people think it wasn't profitable before Musk bought it - unless they think Musk is stupid enough to pay over the odds for a loss-making business. The tech press even reported on it quite a lot at the time as it's continued profitability was quite a surprise given it's time surviving off VC money.

Steven R

(edit, whoops, posted twice)

Raspberry Pi 5 revealed, and it should satisfy your need for speed

Steven Raith

Looks decent

Desktop performance based on some video reviews up looks much more like it, it'll just about play 1080p 60fps youtube out of the box (I imagine some mild overclocking or tweeking will sort that), but I see they're still using a weird power spec - 5v, 5a - so I can't run it reliably off one of the multiple USB PD chargers I have that stick to the spec of 5v/3a. Yeah, it'll probably run fine 90% of the time, but that one time I idly plug in a USB HDD and it craps out due to power issues will be the one time I could really do without that happening, etc.

I know that it would require additional componentry to step down from say, 9v 3a, but as with all these things it means one more plug socket, which means in my case, having to replace a mains extension from being four gang to six gang etc - so the cost of £60 for a 4gb would actually be more like £75-80 when you take the custom power supply and a decent quality new mains extension into account.

I'm still rocking a 3B so it'd probably be a worthwhile update (Especially with the CPU and IO performance improvements, which are useful and healthy) but I think I'll wait a bit and see if the stuff I plan to use it for (media centre/emulation) is equally improved - not much in the way of comprehensive reviews on that as yet, and it'd need to be properly good to justify it.

A big swing and a bit of a miss IMHO, but a welcome update to keep the Pi (and it's bloody good ecosystem) in pace with the competition I guess.

Steven R

The Anti Defamation League is Musk's latest excuse for Twitter's tanking ad revenue

Steven Raith

Beggars belief

I mean, it's not like one of the worlds most public and well known antisemites was banned, then let back on and warmly welcomed back by Musk with open arms - before being banned again for more antisemitism.....and then let back on again. I mean, that would be absurd, and suggest that actually, Musk and Twitter are, broadly, fine with a bit of extremely public jewbashing from a multiple offender on the subject.

Entirely unrelated link


Truly, I cannot imagine why anyone would come to this conclusion.

Steven R

What does Twitter's new logo really represent?

Steven Raith

Re: "...put on a pedastal."

Yeah, I have no idea where pedastal came from.

Certainly one of my better mistypes of late, and exactly what I get for posting before going into a meeting and not re-reading after sending.

Steven Raith

Re: Let's hope it stops the hate comments

"but you do have to give him credit for making things happen. Without Musk, where would Tesla be now? Space X?"

I mean, I literally covered this:

"For example, I won't pretend that SpaceX landing boosters isn't wildly impressive, but he didn't engineer that - and it wasn't even a new idea - he just paid people to make it happen out of his functionally infinite money supply that wasn't tied up in civil service/govt red tape. He just said "make thunderbird one", and threw money at the problem. It was the money and talented engineers with a free hand who made it actually happen."

I'm not going to give literally every example of where he has - or more specifically, his money has - been useful to a company. Doesn't mean he's any less deserving of mockery.

"If Twitter users wanted a different outcome, somebody amongst the 350m users could have put together a better bid - in fact nobody cared that much."

No-one was flat out stupid enough to pay such a massively overinflated price for Twitter, not even Musk - which is why he was sued by Twitter when he tried to walk away from the deal he signed to buy it, at that massively overinflated price so that he could put a meme number in it.

Steven Raith

Re: Let's hope it stops the hate comments

Oh, you want constructive feedback?

Musk is a trust fund clown who has no formal engineering chops, but made a lot of money from his PayPal shares - which they didn't take from him when they sacked him for incompetence.

Since then he has ploughed that money into tech adjacent companies, which got him some kudos, but by all accounts at those companies there were entire teams set up to manage him - to stop his bad ideas from being actioned, and to make his less bad but still silly, unworkable ideas, into something useful.

For example, I won't pretend that SpaceX landing boosters isn't wildly impressive, but he didn't engineer that - and it wasn't even a new idea - he just paid people to make it happen out of his functionally infinite money supply that wasn't tied up in civil service/govt red tape. He just said "make thunderbird one", and threw money at the problem. It was the money and talented engineers with a free hand who made it actually happen.

At Twitter, he has no management team to contain him, and we're seeing him raw and unedited. And that raw, unedited Musk is a rampant right wing bigot with serious fascistic leanings who has no idea how to run a company and barely any idea how to communicate publicly, berates people below him with no concept of what he's doing in the process (See the special member of staff on the 'do not fire' list who he fired, and who almost cost him tens of millions of dollars on the spot, because he didn't pay attention to the massive warnings on the HR file....), and demonstrably has no idea how to run a business.

The reason there is hate for him is because had he not had his PayPal shares, he's just be another trust fund loser causing problems for a small amount of people, instead of right now where he has already caused major problems for thousands of people through his actions at Twitter directly, and with his ludicrous mismanagement of the platform, he's risking the livelihoods of tens of thousands of more who used Twitter for marketing, comms and research.

For the rest of us, we're laughing at him for demonstrating that no, billionaires are not special - it's entirely possible to become rich while being dumb and lucky, and that's exactly why they shouldn't be worshiped or put on a pedastal.

If you want go drink Musks piss, that's fine, but don't for a moment pretend that it's out of some egalitarian desire for 'constructive criticism' - if you knew of Musks history, as many of us here do, then you'd know that the negative feelings towards him are entirely justified and watching him crash and burn publicly is hilarious.

Neuralink reportedly under investigation by Uncle Sam for 'animal welfare violations'

Steven Raith

Doing Agile

Move fast and break things works in software (with appropriate dev, test and prod segregation etc etc etc)

Move fast and break things in animal testing?

Yeah, best not. But very on brand for Musk given his recent behaviour - I mean, two years ago, this would have been shocking. Now? Barely raises an eyebrow.

It's always fun to watch billionaires not only shit themselves in public, but to rub it in their own face while desperately shouting at the passers by that it's "totally chocolate guys, I didn't shit myself, I'm super serious, you're still my friends right??".

I look forward to the next bout of publicly exposed moral, ethical and managerial diarrhea from the man who only has status in the world because they couldn't take his Paypal shares away when they booted him out of the company.

Steven R

Twitter, Musk, and a week of bad decisions

Steven Raith


Perhaps Musk is going on the idea that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

And presumably, as a rich kid who hasn't been told 'no' enough, no-one told him about Gerald Ratner, as that might burst his precious little bubble.

Google it.

Steven R

Japan tests probe to land on Martian moon Phobos, bring a chunk of it back to Earth

Steven Raith


I hope nothing is odd about the rock.

It might end up being a Phobos Anomaly.

Steven R

(yes, I play Doom too much,to this day)

This tiny Intel Xeon-toting PC board can take your Raspberry Pi any day

Steven Raith


Slap a cooler on that and it seems it'd be less SBC and more like just the motherboard from a multi-node 3/4U server without a chassis and backplane. :-/

Steven R

Activision to begin union negotiations with workers from Raven Software

Steven Raith

I wonder if Activision Blizzard...

...considers the Raven staff to be Heretics.


Steven R

Legacy IT to blame for UK's inflexible benefits system

Steven Raith

Re: My BS-o-meter just shot off the scale

You're assuming they didn't sack off the COBOL engineers and try to replace them with contractors versed in .Net and Ruby.

Steven R

Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W: Nippy stocking filler for the nerd in your life – if you can get one

Steven Raith


I've been running an original Zero W to host my PiHole DNS adblock thingy for a few years now, and while it's never missed a beat, it'd be nice to have some overhead to try other things on it; that single core always made me concerned (probably unjustifiably, with modern schedulers etc) about, say, trying to also run some minor home automation/sensor/network logging/monitoring stuff on it at the same time.

I imagine with a quad core CPU in it, it'll take a lot more to make this new one complain.

Payday tomorrow, hopefully there'll still be stock.

Steven R

Off yer bike: Apple warns motorcycles could shake iPhone cameras out of focus forever

Steven Raith

The obvious answer...

... Is to get one of those older motorbikes with a creamy smooth straight six.

Yes, those exist

Steven R

Italian stuntman flies aeroplane through two motorway tunnels

Steven Raith

Re: Hopefully...

I don't know, he's been dead for five years and I'm not a pilot so perhaps there's a difference between the terms he used and the terms you're reading into.

He flew at night, and navigated through some storms, and around others using instruments and wasn't arrested or penalised by the relevant governing body, imply from that what you will.

Christ alive, some people are never happy are they?

Steven Raith

Re: Hopefully...

I could probably go to the storage locker and dig out his meticulous flight logs and check, but I'm not going to for a forum post, arf.

He was fully instrument rated, and flew all year round - I expect he learned a few tricks with respect to avoiding bad weather.

Bear in mind he died over five years ago so I can't ask him!

Steven R

Steven Raith

Re: Hopefully...

It used to work, at the very least, to beat congestion and crappy roads.

My old man used to have to journey from the far, far north of Scotland to Manchester/Brum for work, as he oversaw some factories down there.

Driving? At best a working day to get down there (6am to 4pm or so), hotel, freshen up the in the morning to be professional, then after the (often just one or two hour) time on site, either drive back through the night like a bat out of hell, or hotel and do the trip back the next day. Trains were worse.

The problem was (and still is to a degree) the stretch from Wick to Inverness, which back in the 70s was all small A-Road with no dual carriageways etc - that 100 miles could take well over three hours depending on the number of tractors that buses got stuck behind, etc.

So he was looking at light planes from a hobby standpoint, did the math, and worked out that commuting to sites via aircraft would be significantly cheaper, faster and more efficient than anything else.

He put the business case together, and it was agreed that he could expense aircraft fuel and airport space, and other business use costs. Very much like sorting out company use for a personal car, but with wings.

He ended up buying a part finished two seater Cessna-like, built it, got it certified (including stall and VMax testing...*) and got his PPL. He proved that his use case was correct, and he got instrument rating so he could fly on days that weren't nice and sunny (or at night) meaning that used to be a three day trip (drive down, hotel, meeting next day, meeting drags on, hotel again, drive back the next day) could be done in about ten hours flat.

Important points:

A:This was the 70s, the running costs for a light plane were less back then as he explained it - insurance, airport space, etc.

B: His case was a real edge case - if he'd lived slightly south of Inverness (and thus had access to real main roads without a three hour stint beforehand) it would never have crossed his mind.

C: He stopped using the plane once he stopped needing it - it was a bit dangerous as a 'jolly' and mother dearest was quite insistent after they had kids. Especially after a few of his friends in the flying club had...unscheduled landings, killing them. Sort of focusses the mind when a chum ends up flying into a wall at 90mph because he didn't adjust his altimeter properly when flying on instruments.

He kept his nose in the aircraft stuff, but reverted to RC planes and choppers after that - less dangerous.

He kept it in a field over the road from our house owned by a friendly farmer, so yes, he did use it to go and get milk from the airport two miles away. Because of course he did.

Not sure what the point of relaying the above is - just one of those things that me old man did that makes me smile with the sheer audacity of it, the crazy old bugger.

Steven R

* Got a photo of him standing by the plane looking nervous, with the engine running but the cowling off. It was the day of the stall testing and VMAX testing and the pic was taken as he was doing final engine tweeks and checking levels etc - if he hadn't built the plane right, it would have been the last picture there'd have been of him other than the coroners report....

84-year-old fined €250,000 for keeping Nazi war machines – including tank – in basement

Steven Raith

Re: Did I miss something?

I doubt the tank has moved more than twenty feet back and forward since he took out out snow-clearing, so while it may be running there's no guarantee it was fully and safely working.

If the steering controls and throttles were, unbeknownst to them, not working properly, the first time you stick it in gear and dump the clutches, it could do a rapid 180 and take out the entire house. That's assuming that the tracks were safe, parts of the fuel system hadn't rotted away and couldn't handle full fuel pressure under load etc - none of which would likely be easily 'checkable' in a private basement without fairly serious risk.

As such, it's massively safer to call in the local armed forces, use their modern tank recovery gear, winch it out, and not even try to take it out under it's own steam - that's for a museum workshop to do where they have the time and space to make sure everything is safe for use.

'Running when parked' is never a guarantee that things haven't broken or degraded in the meantime - applies to anything with an engine, from a moped to a Panzer.

A moped is less likely to kill you by accident though. Well, slightly less likely...

Steven R

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

Steven Raith

Twenty year old three litre straight six petrol lump here, but same argument can be made.

Steven Raith

Songs For The Deaf is also excellent, but not one to drive to.

To be honest, QOTSA haven't had a 'bad' mainline album, ever IMHO - they're all highly enjoyable.

Vaguely related to the article, my monitor (second display for a laptop) has developed a habit of putting vertical lines on the panel. Ooh, thinks me, possibly get a high refresh rate higher res display....

...nah, laptop isn't capable of that.

Ho hum, 1080p 60hz panel it is.

Steven R

How to keep your enterprise up to date by deploying the very latest malware

Steven Raith

Re: Nostalgia and Netware.

No, thankfully I wasn't involved in that, based on your reaction....

Steven Raith


Ah, reminds me of being back in the day in a London borough, building custom 'gold master' Ghost images for various departments (Births, Deaths and Marriages still used Lotus Notes so custom image for that, etc), and remembering to make sure the UUIDs were set to be changed on first boot, etc.

I do recall that any 'master' machine I used was kept locked in a cupboard that only I had the key to, in a secure/maglocked workshop. Was the easiest way to keep unwanted hands away. Something I image a few people telling stories here learned as they went along - I was lucky enough that it was policy that no-one touches the master machines without written authorisation/project involvement, upon pain of actual, real disciplinary action.

Mind you, I built most images from scratch for each image every time anyway as with Win XP and downloadable service packs it was feasible to do that fairly quickly - I haven't worked on images since Windows 7 (and the wonders of Server 2k8 and WDS - pushing out 30 machines in 30 minutes from bare metal to working desktop, correct AD ownership, Office installed etc was doable) and I do linux these days so I'd assume it's a lot easier now, what with VDI being a thing.

Bloody glad we don't have to deal with Novel Netware and it's application deployment framework. Just take the bits that the application needs to run, and deploy it to the workstation.

Now, what does Docker do again....?

Truly, nothing is new.

Steven R

(just a nostalgia trip really)

Impromptu game of Robot Wars sparks fire in warehouse at UK e-tailer Ocado

Steven Raith

"The grid"

*Tron Legacy soundtrack kicks in*

Yeah, sorry about that.

Steven R

Try placing a pot plant directly above your CRT monitor – it really ties the desk together

Steven Raith

Re: Your headline reminds me...

I moved from the far north of Scotland to Hertfordshire for work, and one of the first things I learned was that people get confused by the word criac.

This was after I was pulled into a managers office for asking someone "what's yer criac was today?" (Scottish for how are you) and they interpreted it as me offering them drugs.

I really wish I was making that up. Good job I didn't do the c-bomb (as is standard in casual Scottish conversation), they'd probably think I was pimping...

My accent and language have mellowed since.

Steven R

House of pain: If YAML makes you swear, shout louder – the agony is there for a reason

Steven Raith

Re: Ubuntu server networking

Well, at least it's not just me.


Upvotes for all!

Steven Raith

Ubuntu server networking

Discovered the other day that Ubuntu Server uses Netplan these days, which uses YAML for it's syntax in the config files.

Took me over an hour to get the YAML right.

What the hell was wrong with a .conf file for networking?

Steven R

(Yes I know, old man shouts at clouds, or more likely, cloud-inits, etc)

From cash machines to commercial kitchen appliances, Doom really will run on almost anything

Steven Raith

To be fair, Duke Nukem (and Blood) both cribbed heavily from Ash Williams/Evil Dead, so really it makes little difference. :-)

Steven R

Steven Raith

I saw the original video....

...about the bump bar running an industrial-esque X86 CPU and figured it'd only be a matter of time before Doom appeared on it.

In terms of running Doom on odd things, I ran Doom on a Rockbox-firmwared iRiver H320 (I think) some....oh god, knocking on twenty years ago it'd be now.

I'm getting old, I fear. It had to happen eventually I suppose.

Steven R

PS: It was only borderline playable, but it was playable.

University duo thought it would be cool to sneak bad code into Linux as an experiment. Of course, it absolutely backfired

Steven Raith

Re: If these things never became commits, then whats being reverted ?

I think they are referring to previous, legit additions to the kernel (come to our Uni, look at the contribs we've made to real world projects like Linux!), rather than the attempts at malicious ones.

Steven R

A word to the Wyse: Smoking cigars in the office is very bad for you... and your monitor

Steven Raith

Re: One benefit of the reduced number of smokers...

You can still get problems though, is they've converted to ecigs, although it is rarer.

The more cloudy devices use a high vegetable glycerine mix (glycerol) which pulls moisture out of the air, then settles.

Or gets pulled into the computers PSU intake. And then pops it.

Not an urban legend; when I used to use cloudy vapes a lot, I killed my own PSU doing this. Protip if you vape like a fiend - dont have your computer in the way of your exhaled clouds :-)

But yeah, smokers pcs, even as a 40 a day roll up smoker, were foul, and a good incentive to stop, as another has commented here...

Steven R

Red Hat defends its CentOS decision, claims Stream version can cover '95% of current user workloads'

Steven Raith

Re: Wow

That's a fair summary - I was thinking more of my own experience coming from

Windows at home/Windows at work

Linux at home for a few years/Windows at work

Linux at home/Linux at work.

I found Ubuntu quite useful as a 'soft-change', although I had the benefit of being used to server-sensibilities - like not filling the system with unnecessary crap.

....which is why I eventually moved off to more focussed platforms, like Debian (I've not taken the Devuan plunge yet, but it'll happen one day I'm sure).

Steven R

Steven Raith

Re: Wow

Ubuntu server is a pretty good intro to the Debian landscape as it does a reasonable amount of handholding (pre-spun distros, lots of meta packages (that's what it's called, innit, when you get one package and it gets lots of 'sideways dependencies' as well as the downstream dependences?), generally more modern base packages etc and a huge, huge amount of guides and documentation for it.

Ubuntu is fine as a server, but if you've been running stripped back, well optimised servers for a while, i expect some of Ubuntu will be frustrating, but there's genuinely nothing particularly wrong with it.

If you were to bung services on an Ubuntu LTS instance, and test with Debian in the background, by the time the LTS ends, you could probably comfortably migrate to straight Debian at that point.

Or you could go the whole hog and microservice the crap out of everything and abstract the base OS into relative obscurity.

Horses for courses, innit.

Steven R

Worn-out NAND flash blamed for Tesla vehicle gremlins, such as rearview cam failures and silenced audio alerts

Steven Raith

Re: Flash wear

"What kills the device (especially SOC) is using the flash to store log files or other data files that are updated regularly; most on board flash is not designed to be use like this."

I know this just from bumbling about with Raspberry Pi's. What are the Tesla engineers excuses?

Steven R

GitHub restores DMCA-hit youtube-dl code repo after source patched to counter RIAA's takedown demand

Steven Raith

Re: Youtube

Yeah, using NewPipe, as a non-dev, has involved me using Github a lot more than I used to - getting hotfixes for when YT cocks about with stream encryption, etc.

If nothing else, I suppose I'm learning something, eh?

Steven R

Need a new computer for homeschooling? You can do worse than a sub-£30 2007 MacBook off eBay

Steven Raith

Re: Been There, Done That...

Is the wireless module in those swoppable? I think my 2k8 unibody was, and if it is, it's just a PCI-E device, so as long as you have drivers - which Mint will - then you're sorted.

Steven R

Steven Raith

I'll agree that second hand desktops can give a lot more bang for buck, but if you're spending <£100 on a laptop:

A: It'll be of a certain vintage

B: If it's a popular one,being of a certain vintage that means *tons* of teardown tutorials on Youtube

C: Parts will generally be cheap.

Broken screens can be replaced without too much trouble, just a little patience. Same for trackpads. Batteries are cheapy cheap, and the power input? most are on a daughterboard that can be swopped in a fairly straightforward manner.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm a twenty year, died in the wool IT tech so I have certain skills and attitudes that make me think things are easier than they are to a layman, but on the flipside, I fucking hate working on laptops - all those fiddle bits - and even I have done literally all of the above, while drunk. if I can do it after a bottle of Merlot while singing along to Death in Vegas songs, you genuinely can too.

Buy something really cheap, and broken, and just try it. Chances are you'll spend a takeaway dinner and an evening in the pub on it.

Worst case, you have a brick on your hands, but have learned something.

Best case, you can charge beer for swapping screens out.

Steven R

Powered by red wine and anger at laptop manufacturers for using plastic clips bloody well everywhere.

Steven Raith

Re: Did this with a BlackBook

I can highly recommend a good thermal paste do-over - I had an, er, 2008 perhaps Macbook and it would run fans full blast all the time (and to be fair, I was hammering it) but once I redid the thermal paste and cleared out the vents, sure, it'd still run hot when being pushed, for just general odds and sods it was pretty quiet and cool.

Steven R

Trucking hell: Kid leaves dad in monster debt after buying oversized vehicle on eBay

Steven Raith

Re: Christ, what assholes

Oh, sweet summer child. You've never had a dispute with PayPal, have you?

Friend of mine had £4k - literally his income to cover him for three months - arbitrarily frozen by PayPal, and it took three months for them to claim 'unusual account activity'.

It took two years and a subsequent grand and a half of legal fees (after he had thrown himself into his business for 18 hours days for three months cover his rent) for him to get his money back. And yes, he got his legal fees back, eventually. Because he won.

I was on the dole at the time, and even I loaned him a fiver here and a quid there to get food. Because he was self employed in the early days of Universal Credit so dole wasn't exactly being helpful for him.

Paypal do not care about you. Paypal only care about their bottom line. Anything they can do to get out of releasing funds of lettings debts drop, they will do, absolutely without exception.

Unless you have the money to take them to court, obviously.

Do not, ever, put any serious funds in Paypal. Period. They are the most mercenary shitheads out there.

Steven R

Oh what a feeling: New Toyotas will upload data to AWS to help create custom insurance premiums based on driver behaviour

Steven Raith

Re: I'd much rather have my insurance rate...

As someone else with knocking on 15 years of zero tickets and zero accidents, it could just be because you're good at not getting caught or having *big* prangs. I've had a couple of brown trouser moments in my driving time, but never been pulled by a copper, or out of a ditch.

That said, I do tend to use common sense and don't take the piss - haring through blind corners at speed, mashing and sawing in town, etc.

I mean, famous last words and all that....

Steven R

Steven Raith

Re: So now the consumer needs to contemplate owning a "burner car".....

I mean, a Morris 1000 Traveller would be nice, but anything from up to the mid-noughties should be fairly hands off, data wise.

I've got an E46 330i - no remote gubbins in that.

Basically if it didn't come with GPS as standard, it's probably a good bet it's got no cellular access either.

Steven R

That's how we roll: OWC savagely undercuts Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels with bargain $199 alternative

Steven Raith

Re: Still Overpriced

To be fair, for a low volume, presumably high quality (or at least, good enough for the company it keeps) set of castors where people along the design process need to be paid, tooling set up, etc I can see it being pricey to set up for* - economies of scale and all that. I don't imagine they'll be expecting to sell 100k of them.

I'd put a shiny penny on OWC making at least 100% margin on these though, easily. Likely more.

Kudos to them - if they can completely take the piss and make money off them, I suppose they win regardless.

Steven R

*my old man worked in manufacturing and engineering maintenance - some of the costs of dies and machining and generally tooling up for production, even in an existing manufacturing environment, can be eyeopening and eyewatering...

Edit: Having had a look at the OWC kit, it looks more sensibly engineered than the Apple ones too - pretty much tool-less. I think OWC might actually have earned that $200-250!

Remember when we warned in February Apple will crack down on long-life HTTPS certs? It's happening: Chrome, Firefox ready to join in, too

Steven Raith

Shame that some one year certs....

.....are actually two year certs that presumably get revoked if you don't renew, it seems.

Welp, that makes things a bit more annoying.

Steven R

Russia drags NASA: Enjoy your expensive SpaceX capsule, our Soyuz is the cheap Kalashnikov of rockets

Steven Raith

Foot in mouth

"Rogozin is known for being outspoken. In 2014, after the US announced economic sanctions against Russia over its annexation of Crimea, he hit back and suggested America could deliver its astronauts to the ISS with a “trampoline” instead."

Funny looking trampoline, that Dragon Crew Capsule and the rocket that launches it - and can land itself for re-use, innit?

Steven R

(I'm no SpaceX/Musk fanboy, but I bet those words proper sting today)