* Posts by Moonshine

50 posts • joined 20 Nov 2012

Linux Mint 17.2: If only all penguinista desktops were done this way


Re: Goodness.

You might like to compare the following workflows for updating my wife's laptop (say) compared to a Win updateathon:

$ssh me@wifeslaptop

$pacman -Syu

<hit a few keys and then ask her to reboot when she's ready or not bother mentioning it, it'll still work>

I notice your wife isn't doing the updating. She might if it was Windows.

What I'm trying to say is that to most of the population, a command-line is about as inviting as a swimming pool with a shark in it. The mistake that Linuxistas sometimes make is to dismiss this type of user as ignorant or stupid. The fact they have different life goals and interests and computers are not interesting gadgets, just the tools they're forced to use.

Cinnamon 2.6 – a Linux desktop for Windows XP refugees


Re: blimey!!

Yes I've been holding back from Windows 95 especially, and now I feel the time is right. Bye bye Windows for Workgroups!!!

C++ Daddy Bjarne Stroustrup outlines directions for v17


Re: C++

C++ is a langues designed by comp sci profs, for comp sci students; to appeal to an ideology

By "ideology" i think you mean "methodology". Well... Perish the thought that we should be using the proven OOD methodology to successfully develop increasingly large and complex applications over the last 20 years.


Re: C++

Software development is not engineering. It is abstraction.

Well that's killed of 1000,0000+ software engineers in one stroke!


Re: C++ haters: What about performance?

As for unpredictable, take a look at the varying behaviour of STL implementations

STLs vary across implementations, but each implementation is predictable in itself. However, a single implementation of a JIT, garbage collector plus other runtime management routines is unpredictable and uncontrollable by its very nature. You cannot have it both ways.

C is lighter and more predictable. For higher level stuff

C it's just as predictable as C++, because both compile into machine code executables (not bytecode), and are consistent at runtime; there's no comparison to be made here.

Java runs rings around it unless you can waste many magnitudes more time fine tuning your C++ code.

No, the opposite is actually true. C++ is compiled into machine code and runs, end-of. Java is compiled into bytecode which needs a JVM at runtime, which cannot hope to optimise to the same degree as a compiler. For evidence, google "performance c++ vs java" or see:



Re: C++ haters: What about performance?

Apologies, I didn't realise I was addressing K&R Fundamentalists. I respect that some feel compile-time Type Checking be the work of the Devil, also that the K&R blessed holy syntax checker is sacred.


Re: C++ haters: What about performance?

Define "OS"

By OS I mean Kernel, Monitor, Hardware drivers, UI Shell, plus a bit of the "shovel-ware" such as browser, editors, whatever. Performance is everything on these components, it can make-or-break. C++ can give you this and allow some OOD implementation. Absolute no-brainer.

All K&R and/or assembler, not C++.

By K&R you mean C? Why not say just "C"? It's less to type. Yes, that would be a good choice also, but why choose it over C++? That does not make sense, it just smacks of personal choice, idealism, stubbornness and missed opportunities.

Assembler? What, your joking right?, lots of development time, no portability, hard to maintain.


C++ haters: What about performance?

I don't think C++ is going down the pan any time soon, simply because of one thing: If you have performance-critical systems then C++ is a sound choice. There's no interpreter, unpredictable JIT or garbage collection. It has proven success record, excellent support (paid and free) and huge developer community.

OS development, real time systems, network software and drivers: Without C++ they would slow your whole system down and instead people would be complaining about "too many layers of cr@p, inefficient software, I remember when..., etc).

C++ is here to stay and keeps doing its job.

BTW I'm not a C++ evangelist, I like Python too.

Mono Magic: Photography, Breaking Bad style


Re: "Knowing you only have 36 exposures at a time can impose discipline."

That's luxury. In the 90s I switched to 10-expure medium format because I thought 36 exposures was causing me to be too slap-dash. Medium format (in my case a second-hand Mamiya TLR) was a great because developing and enlarging it was easier that 35mm (detail and tones was fantastic, dust was less obvious, handling it was easier).

In the early 2000s I remember the great Usenet flame-wars about 35mm-vs-digital and later medium format-vs-digital.

Nowadays my 20MP Sony Xperia Z3 Compact phone can probably pick out more detail than Fuji Velvia, but it still doesn't have a colour, tonality and veracity of film. RIP silver.

Apple Watch: Wait a minute! This puny wrist-puter costs 17 GRAND?!



I cannot work this out. IPX7 says one metre is OK. Would have expected more. My £20 Casio is good for 50M and it's been swimming with me >20 times. Yes I know Casio != iWatch but if a £20 watch can be usefully waterproof IMO then why can't a $300 smart watch? Would have been a good selling point I think.

Are you a Geek Dad/Uncle/Mum/Aunt? Ten Techy Gifts for kids this Xmas



Interesting(ish) factoid: The original price of the BBC in 1982 was £399. The effect of inflation means that in today's money that's about £1300. That will get you (for example) a Toshiba Satellite P50-B with an i7, 4K display, 8GB RAM, etc. However the Tosh won't generate the same excitement in the average household as the Beeb did in 1982.

iWatch 'due November'... Y'all know what time it is? Now you do


Agreed it's not directly hyped by Apple.


This is the most over-hyped non-existent product in history. Why someone would wear a watch that will surely (unless something exceptional emerges) need charging every few days is beyond me. Other smartwatches have bombed but this may be different, but only because the iSheep will obey and "go buy".

Expect queues in Oxford street, ecstatic young males looking like come weird church sect, high-fiving the blue-shirted iClergy.

Psst. We've got 400Gb/s Ethernet working - but don't tell anyone


"Is my life 43690.67 times better for this technology though?"

I asked myself a similar question when I purchased a Raspberry Pi last year and calculated that BBC Basic runs about 2,500 times faster on the Pi (running RiscOS) that on the original beeb (and the Pi 1/20 the price in real terms).

Is the Pi 2,500 better than the BBC Micro? Not quite ;)

FSF slams Mozilla for 'shocking' Firefox DRM ankle-grab


"I don't have any use for a group of corrupt criminals."

These are strong words. No substance unfortunately.



Re: "Microsoft Office 1002014 cannot read this file"

Then why oh why don't future civilisations use LibraOffice 9538485.3 on Ubuntu 58486324.1 instead, thereby "sticking it to the M$ man"? It's free, stable and and they've finally got the Desktop UI and printer drivers nailed, (remaining printer, UI and network issues TBA in release 58486324.2 and later).

Excise Xmas prezzie indecision MISERY with El Reg’s gift guide²


Jingle bells, batman smells...

...Robin flew away / The bat mobile lost its wheels / On the M1 motor way

That is how I recall this historic 70s playground verse.

Birmingham 1978 (ish).

OHM MY GOD! Move over graphene, here comes '100% PERFECT' stanene


Re: Resistance is futile

@Charles Manning:

"The only way to get charge out of a capacitor is to run it down to 0 volts."

I didn't think that "zero volts" were absolutely required, whatever you mean by that.

"... but then you're really making a perpetual motion machine"

No you are not "really" making anything of the sort; in fact you are not even trying. You are just trying to make a more efficient machine. I don't know how you got to perpetual motion machines.

BBC's 3D blunder BLASTED OUR BRAINS – Doctor Who fans

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Stick a Post-It note (or some other sticking thing) over the D.O.G. Post-It will appear in both eyes. Problem solved.

What’s new in SQL 2014?


Re: SQL 2014

"Pretty much. Except maybe in freetarded companies.."

Erm... What about "Oracled" companies?

Yes, I too was expecting an article about the SQL language "standard" being updated, not SQL Server. I think it's very bad that "SQL" is becoming synonymous with a single database product (if this is true).

Phantom Flan flinger: The story of the Elan Enterprise 128


I remember drooling

I went to a computer fair at Earls Court (1985?) with my father and brother and remember getting lots of leaflets about the Elan Enterprise and thinking "wow, this has everything and it looks pretty". As a 15-year-old I didn't realise at the time that this wasn't the future but instead the present (which already had one foot in the 8-bit grave). I remember going home to our BBC Micro, not realising how lucky I was to have got one of the best machines of this magnificent era.

Proof that looks are everything (if you're an adolescent)...

Can you trust 'NSA-proof' TrueCrypt? Cough up some dough and find out


Re: If you don't like it, overwrite it

Agreed. This is a very good first step which is relatively simple. It doesn't conclusively prove anything but if TC keeps working then it raises suspicion a little higher.

New! Yahoo! logo! shows! Marissa! Meyer's! personal! touch!


Alternative logo design - Marissa!

I'm a big fan of MM you understand. Instead of the silly lettering how about a Andy Warhol style picture of Marissa as the logo? She's the best thing about Yahoo right now (or should I say the best thing about any Yahoo story which shows a picture of her ).

Google chap reverse engineers Sinclair Scientific Calculator


Re: long lost art of efficient programming

I concur with all this. Back in those days programs weren't "written", they were crafted. Another example that springs to mind is ZX81 Chess (1K).

See http://users.ox.ac.uk/~uzdm0006/scans/1kchess/

Hey, Bill Gates! We've found 14 IT HOTSHOTS to be the next Steve Ballmer


It has to be Marissa

I'm a big fan. Not sure how she'd get on. Hair tossing not chair tossing. The DEVELOPERS won't know what's hit them.

Star Wars revival secret: This isn't the celluloid you're looking for


And use real stopmotion special FX, while you're at it

CGI has never IMO come close to the models and painstaking animated composite action scenes of the original episodes. Yes, yes, yes.

Pikmin to the rescue: Can Nintendo revamp revive Wii U fortunes?


But it's cheaper. And it's out now. And it doesn't look like an 80s VCR. And the games are cheaper.

Yahoooo! - Activist! investor! leaps! overboard! jingling! with! cash!




Apple needs help: iWatch, 'Retina' iPad mini delayed until 2014?


Re: First mover advantage??

"Since when did the iPad or iPhone enjoy a first mover advantage in the tablet computer/smartphone markets?!"

Apple have occasionally set the scene for other manufactures:

...Retina Display? It was damn cool at the time, admit it.

...iTunes & Apps Store? Love'em or hate'em, it's set the landscape for Android and Windows.

...Round Corners? Ermm, there's another one.

BTW I have switch to Android in the last 6 months (not a fanboi)

Prince of Persia: Baggy trousers and curvy swords


One of a number early PC classics (yes, I know started on non-PC hardware)

Yes, very fond memories of playing this classic game on my Amstrad PC. Other classic games I enjoyed around that time:

.....Gods - A platform glassic.

.....Xenon 2 - Vertical scroll space shoot em up.

These games were polished; Pure quality.

Apple: iOS7 dayglo Barbie makeover is UNFINISHED - report


Captain Rum to Lord Blackadder: "You have a WOMAN's PHONE, me'lord."

Film crew plans dig to find lost burial ground of Atari's E.T.

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Re: Here's a playthrough

OK, here's a US receipt for 1981:


So the answer is between about $20 to $30 which would have been (guessing) £15 to £25. A retail price index calculator (http://www.hl.co.uk/news/inflation-calculator) tells me that in today's money that would have been £52 to £87.

That's not good value. No wonder only my "rich kid" friends had A2600. The rest of us had ping pong selector consoles playing on our Grundigs.


Yes, they'll be next to the Facebook phones.


Re: Here's a playthrough

Ok, it not actually as bad as I thought I would be (if you can ignore the negative commentary). How much were A2600 games in those days? I'm guessing too much to justify this level of 8-bit bleepware.

I guess you have to remember the A2600 was no arcade board.

Facebook bows to pressure, vows to rid itself of sexist hate speech

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Right idea

A welcome announcement. In other news the stock price continues to bomb. It's a daily ritual for me: Look at the price and shake head slowly, occasional facepalm.

New Lumia 925: This, loyalists, is the BIG ONE you've waited for


Re: I don't understand people who want removable batteries

...But you still have to pre-charge the other battery, which *is* hassle. Just saying that "I always have a battery pre-charged" kind of hides the extra hassle of managing more that one battery, I think.

Also I'm guessing that it's actually more that 10 second to change a phone battery if you include power-down/power-up/relaunch. More like 30 seconds on a good day.

You don't have to pre-charge a charger.


I don't understant people who want removable batteries

Why? I know lots of people with Samsungs and they never swap the battery. Why? Because you have to:

1. pre-charging the spare battery

2. powering the phone down,

3. swapping the battery,

4. booting it up again and

5. relaunching the app you were using...

...which is far more hassle that carrying a wall charger or car charger. Unless you are going on an expedition to the dark ages, you will always find a power-socket.

The SD card slot - May be. But the battery? After a 2 year contract you get a new phone anyway.

Facebook to plonk $1.5bn data centre in Iowa - report


I wonder if *this* story will now kick-start to FB stock price. Something's gotta work.

... time machine. Iranian Dr Who claims he invented a ...


"It's the size of a PC"

Does it actually need to be? I've started a Raspberry PI project for this already.

Martian 'lake' said to hint at 'deep biosphere'


Re: Why should there be life on Mars?

"Mars dried out a billions of years ago...What an earth makes these scientists think that life will have survived".

Which scientists think that life will have survived????


Re: Meh?

"Actually finding no evidence of life is as interesting as finding evidence of life"

Ermmm... I don't think so. OK, maybe if you are devoid of any emotions whatsoever.

VIA bakes a fruitier Rock cake to rival the Brit Raspberry Pi

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The CPU is mounted diagonally?

The RPi cannot possibly compete with this. I'm getting 3.

Unbelievably vast quasar cluster forces universe-sized rethink


...and how many times the size of Wales?

Please can we have all future measurements in "Wales", please. Use of the imperial "bus" measure is non-standard and frankly insulting to anyone under the age of 40. I was a child of the 70s and by then the "wales" was already established in geography classes when measuring rainforests. Anyone knows these days that 1 hectare = 5 nanoWales.

It's JUST possible, but Apple MIGHT not make an iWatch in 2013

Paris Hilton

Re: "Wouldn't it be self winding"

Paris, a woman with the potential to keep thousands of iWatches wound.

Lego quad-copter: your ultimate drone nightmare



In our house you would be summarily executed for such a crime. OUTRAGEOUS!!

Glorious silicon globes could hold key to elusive PERFECT kilogram


It's a kg!

Can't they just agree that 1 Kg is exactly 1000 grams? A gram is too small to worry about, so problem solved! Now the boffins can concentrate on more pressing things like the time travel, x-ray glasses, invisibility and teleportation.


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