* Posts by NXM

122 posts • joined 12 Sep 2012


Electron-to-joule conversion formulae? Cute. Welcome to the school of hard knocks


Re: Ask the dog - it has an 80% success rate

I ask the Pixies.

I know it sounds mad, but if I've lost something I ask the Pixies to help me find it. They don't hide things, its me who does that by accident, but they know where they are. Last time I'd looked for a pair of glasses for days, no sign of them. So I asked the Pixies, and 5 minutes later I spotted them in plain sight, right where I'd left them.

I'll try asking them for answers to difficult questions next!


Re: Fluke logging multimeters

If you have to ask the price of a Fluke meter....

Intuit branches out into email marketing by splashing $12bn on Mailchimp acquisition


I ditched QuickBooks years ago when it turned out to be incapable of calculating vat returns properly.

Not too bright, are you? Your laptop, I mean... Not you


Re: me too

The company I worked for in about 1989 had a luggable PC with an LCD screen and a VGA socket, but you couldn't just plug a screen in. Oh no.

You had to flick a set of tiny dip switches hidden on the side to a particular state with the machine off, then plug the screen in and boot it. If you didn't set the switches back to LCD mode afterwards, it killed the LCD.

That didn't last very long.


Re: Ah, a first time user

I'm still bashing away on my Model M which I got when I was ordered by the PHB to swap it out with a new one on a Glasgow shipyard in 1992 as the boss thought it was too dirty.

It'll still be used by the radioactive evolved cockroaches who'll replace us after the next war.

SAP 'investigating' after viral video allegedly shows anti-mask employee coughing on shoppers


Re: Covidiots DO exist!

I think it probably would be a criminal offense, at least for right-pondians, if this gentleman's conduct and punishment is anything to go by:


Glasgow firm fined £150k after half a million nuisance calls, spoofing phone number, using false trading names


Re: How do you find them?

I often use my 'old confused bloke who doesn't have the right glasses on" routine and make up credit card numbers to waste their time. Fun for boring afternoons.

Lenovo pops up tips on its tablets. And by tips, Lenovo means: Unacceptable ads


Re: You ain’t seen nothing yet

Tells you a lot about the viewers: nothing but ads for bladder problem solutions, mobility scooters, stairlifts, walk-in baths as you say, cook-chill meals, on and on and on.

I'd hope it I ever get that old I'd want adverts for heavy metal, dope, and posh wine.

The unit of measure for fatbergs is not hippopotami, even if the operator of an Australian sewer says so


If you do home brewing courses I'll sign on immediately

Volkswagen to stop making its best-selling product for Wolfsburg workers: VW-branded sausages


Re: the global meat reduction plan you probably don't know about

A friend of mine and his 13-year old vegetarian daughter recently came to visit. They had to go home early because she'd developed anaemia. Being a veggie isn't without risk.

Full disclosure: we own a free-range beef farm.


Re: "Processed food [...] "bad" [...] for your health because of the preservatives."

I'll have the man-made chicken.

You just cut it up like regular chicken.

Rumors of satellite-comms-capable iPhone abound. The truth could be rather boring


If this worked, authoritarian governments would have to ban the phones (good luck with that) since they'd be able to bypass forced local mobile outages during protests, and allow users to organize without being monitored.


Re: Inclusive-Or

Where do I find that on YouTube?

Engineers' Laurel and Hardy moment caused British Airways 787 to take an accidental knee


Re: The engineer's careers

Welcome to every IET (formerly IEE) letters page for the last 50 years

So the data centre's 'getting a little hot' – at 57°C, that's quite the understatement


Re: I once had to do something similar in a Skoda...

Old mini's were pretty similar. No electric radiator fan, it was driven from the crank by a pulley.

Senators urge US trade watchdog to look into whether Tesla may just be over-egging its Autopilot, FSD pudding


Re: I am kind of surprised...

I'm not going to pay for a Tesla. And I'm not going to pay to alter all the roads so people who did can use their pretty toy. They can pay for it.

Scientists reckon eliminating COVID-19 will be easier than polio, harder than smallpox – just buckle in for a wait


Re: Nope, don't believe it.

I'd have a pet less heavily defended, like the illo

Woman sues McDonald's for $14 after cheeseburger ad did exactly what it's designed to


I love Pot Noodles for the same reason - since they're not food, they can't contain any calories.

THX Onyx: A do-it-all DAC for the travelling audiophile


Nyquist rates again

Yep, I saw. Very good video, particularly the advice about old equipment and analogue scopes - they're not digital, so they can't lie to you.

But his assertion that you don't get a stepped output from a DAC isn't totally right. The DAC takes the input value and converts it to a voltage which stays the same until the next update, which makes the stepped effect. All DAC's do this. Ways of overcoming it is by oversampling and filtering the output at the Nyquist frequency, which removes the steps and takes high-frequency step-change artefacts out. I find the idea that the samples represent a lollipop graph isn't true in the real world.

My experience is indeed with cheap DAC's, and oversampling the output really does help. More expensive DAC's can do this without any external circuitry. When I designed an audio player years ago when triggerable players were really expensive I did used 16-bit data, oversampled on the fly, with 11KHz sample rate to get decent quality voice output. 8KHz didn't work very well at all.

Most of my experience is with ADC's, and I still don't get the result that sampling near they Nyquist rate results in a good rendition of the original wave. If your input is slightly less than half the sample rate for example, you get a gradual increase then decay of the amplitude all the time. I've found that you can feed it up to 1/5 of the sample rate if you want a decent result, and even then it's ragged. I find the Nyquist rate tells you more about aliasing filters than input frequency limits.

He's right about the bit depth though.

Thanks for the comments though, other peoples views are always informative.


I feel I do know what I'm talking about, because I build these things and am telling you what I see whenever I try it.

You get a gain rolloff and worse rendition as you increase the input frequency.

If you don't believe me, make yourself an adc circuit and feed the results to a dac, ensure the gains match, then put both into a scope set to subtract one from t'other. You'll see.


Re: I do love a great digital to analogue decoder

Have you got your glasses on? HAVE YOU GOT YOUR GLASSES ON?? HAVE YOU oh never mind.


" the sample rate determines the highest reproducible frequency"

Technically true, but if you send a sine wave into a sampler and observe the sampled wave compint out of the other end, you see the wave gets increasingly inaccurate above about 1/10 the sample rate. You can get a decent rendition of the original wave at half the sample rate, but only if you happen to sample at the peaks - ie it only works for certain frequencies.

So the higher the sample rate the better the result, depending on where your hearing tops out.

Following being at many very loud gigs in my youth I can no longer hear bats, but even crumblies like me benefit from higher sample rates than that offered by CD's.

Please, no Moore: 'Law' that defined how chips have been made for decades has run itself into a cul-de-sac


Re: About time too

I totally agree about the code bloat problem. I write real-time stuff in assembler for cheap processors because it's fast and small. Also, if I save £1 per chip that's extra profit in my back pocket, where it belongs.

I wouldn't get away with it in C because it just doesn't run fast enough. The downside it that it takes bloody ages to get it right.

Right to repair shouldn't exist – not because it's wrong but because it's so obviously right


Re: Even maintenance can be hard

1 minute, no glue. Fairphone.

Hungarian tech store closed by World War II bomb


I weel not buy thees tech store, eet iss scratched.

Beige pencil stockists on high alert as 'Colouring Book of Retro Computers' hits the crowdfunding circuit


I've still got an 8-pin Epson in the Dead Format Museum! Along with an RCA Selectavision player, Philips N1700 vcr's, BBC computers, a Nixie voltmeter, Atari computer, original Laserdisc players, etc etc. Young uns don't appreciate how difficult and expensive it was to do anything such as store & replay media then.

UK celebrates 25 years of wasteful, 'underperforming' government IT projects


Re: small proportion of permanent secretarieshave first-hand experience of digital business change

Latin, hmmph. But can they write a decent haiku?

Exsparko-destructus! What happens when wand waving meets extremely poor wiring


Reading that, I was so relieved that the short wasn't the cause of his lateness!

NHS England staff voice concerns about access controls on US spy-tech firm Palantir's COVID-19 data store


Re: Gain of Function

"a government or private company can find a common vulnerability in the group of people they hate"

Time to take your dried frog pills

Hungover Brits declare full English breakfast the solution to all their ills


Re: Monopoly

Thank you Nanny. Mine's a pint with a whiskey chaser.

Hubble Space Telescope sails serenely on in safe mode after efforts to switch to backup memory modules fail


Re: And shut the door on your way out ...

Space baler twine. Fixes everything including keeping your trousers up.

It's 2021 and a printf format string in a wireless network's name can break iPhone Wi-Fi


Re: Free coffee would never be an issue there.

Couldn't agree more. I got some of their 'coffee' once and took it back because it tasted like grilled cardboard in hot water. The replacement wasn't any better.

Roger Waters tells Facebook CEO to Zuck off after 'huge' song rights request


On one of the circuit boards I designed, it says 'There is no dark side of the moon really. As a matter of fact, it's all dark'.

Been on there for years. Nobody's noticed.


Re: Worth ?

Are there any women here today?

Mensa data spillage was due to 'unauthorised internal download'


Re: Wow

No chance of me suffering from that, I'd probably spell my own name wrong on the exam paper. Glad she's found a way of dealing with life though.

We don't know why it's there, we don't know what it does – all we know is that the button makes everything OK again


Re: Dummy thermostats

I've worked in hvac and believe me, they're not jokes. Not when you've seen a setup you left working perfectly under automated control to integrate hearing or cooling to keep rooms at set temperature, then gone back a couple of years later to find chillers festooned around the windows, all on full blast, fighting against the heating, also on full blast.

Because people apparently don't understand how thermostats work.

EE and Three mobe mast surveyors might 'upload some virus' to London Tube control centre, TfL told judge


We have a wayleave payment for overhead power lines across our field, but not the underground BT phone cable.

I'll just put the plough on the tractor.....

Tesla owners win legal fight after software update crippled older Model S batteries


Re: Fuel is the least of the cost in the total life of the car

Our landrover has actually increased in value since they stopped making them and replaced them with yet another pretty boy urban pile of tripe. That you can't pull a trailer of sheep with.

Protip: If Joe Public reports that your kit is broken, maybe check that it is actually broken


That's very good - I'll steal that idea.

US declares emergency after ransomware shuts oil pipeline that pumps 100 million gallons a day


Re: Shut down all pipelines!

All you need is a nice fatberg for that!

Intel laid me off for being too old, engineer claims in lawsuit


Re: So he waited

I graduated 34 years ago and still have no idea what I'm doing or why I'm doing it myself most of the time.

It's a good day when I don't scorch the desk with a new circuit that fails in an unexpected way (I really ought to expect that by now).

Watchdog 'enables Tesla Autopilot' with string, some weight, a seat belt ... and no actual human at the wheel


Re: Hmm ...

Father Ted setting the autopilot on the milk float on 'Speed 3'

Harassers and bullies succeed in tech because silence is encouraged


Re: Illegal in the UK and EU

I live a few miles away from Carlisle.

There used to be a health food shop run by an elderly gent (a lot older than me, anyway) who was very helpful and courteous, but not snappily dressed.

He owned a huge chunk of the city centre. Don't judge by appearances! Except if it's me, as I'm shabbyly dressed and a total pleb.

God bless this mess: Study says UK's Christian beliefs had 'important' role in Brexit


Re: AKA: People

If it were a parliamentary election I'd agree with you. But the brexit vote was one single issue presented to the entire population and not a 'safe seat' where the same party gets in every time.

There were effectively three choices: leave, remain, and don't care (represented by not voting). A third of people chose don't care.


Re: AKA: People

Most people /who voted/ voted to leave. A third of the population couldn't be arsed to vote at all, so can't complain about what happens to them.

Prince Philip, inadvertent father of the Computer Misuse Act, dies aged 99


Re: Bad greek

Torpenhow Hill definitely does exist, it's about 5 miles from us.

Incidentally the residents pronounce Torpenhow as 'Tepanner'. No idea why.

Apple iPad torched this guy's home, lawsuit claims


Re: Phone or Battery Problem?

If it was a Sony, they're known for doing that. Mine got retired when I realised what it was doing, before it set my trousers (and contents!) on fire. An expensive hand warmer.

Gummy bears as a unit of measure? The Reg Standards Soviet will not stand for this sort of silliness


Re: I see you still think linguine is 14cm...


I can remember Curly Wurlies being about four foot long when I was a kid, and they're tiny now. Nothing to do with me being bigger of course.

Just when you thought it was safe to enjoy a beer: Beware the downloaded patch applied in haste


Re: I haven't seen a good game of Reply-to-All Tennis in years

I was on the receiving end of a text tsunami a few years ago.

The local neighbourhood watch (run by the police) had set up a text service that was supposed to alert people to the presence of bad 'uns, but hadn't made it clear exactly what you were singing up to. Lots of people joined. At some stage those running it sent an incomprehensible 'test' message from a number nobody had heard of. Some people responded with a 'what the hell was that's response, which was copied out to the entire group. Followed by more 'what the hell" responses which were also copied to the entire group. The result was constant txt pings from the tortured, and evidently non-monitored, server.

I had to turn the phone off as it became unusable. The only way I worked out what was going on was some fierce googling on the sending number which turned out to be owned by the plod.

Some time later they decided to simultaneously phone all numbers on their database at 4am because of another test message put in there months earlier by someone who forgot to remove it. Both my landline and mobile going off at that unholy hour almost caused me a coronary.

They scrapped the service after that.

What's that, Lassie? Dogs show signs of self-awareness according to peer-reviewed academic study?


Re: Of course dogs are self-aware

I've seen cows dream, but no idea what about. Grass? Arguments with other cows?



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