* Posts by David Haig

96 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Jan 2007


Transcribe-my-thoughts app would prevent everyone knowing what I actually said during meetings

David Haig

Re: It's a business meeting

I always found meetings when the French were involved to be very civilised. Arranged with people who had something to input, a lively knowledgeable discussion, adjournment for lunch and I presume something happened after that....

The Novell NetWare box keeps rebooting over and over again yet no one has touched it? We're going on a stakeout

David Haig

Re: Fluorescents...

.....and wheeling around a flight case with a mixing desk in through the foyers at lunch time was so much fun 'flashing' unsuspecting yuppies.

Deloitte's Autonomy auditor 'lost objectivity' when looking at Brit software firm's disputed books, says regulator

David Haig

Ten years on from Enron...

And still the same audit shenanigans.... Twenty years on and we have Carillion

Can any of them be trusted?

Nokia rolls out midrange 5G mobile, but will struggle to fight off Motorola and pals. Plus: New platform for suits with bulk-ordered SIMs

David Haig

Where is the 7.3?

That is all....

ZX Spectrum reboot promising – steady now – 28MHz of sizzling Speccy speed now boasts improved Wi-Fi

David Haig

Re: The keyboard was key

There was an F1 game on the 48k Speccy that you used the tin from a sellotape roll as the steading wheel over (I think) fghjk keys - brilliant!

And you got to see the other cars coming up in your wing mirrors - years ahead of other technology, the Hass team still hasn't got it working properly for Roman Grossjean

Well, that's something boffins haven't seen before: A strange alien streaks around Jupiter

David Haig

Re: Looks like a job for...

Not read John Wyndham's "The Kraken Wakes" then?

Can AI-enhanced virtual sports presenters do the job? It's a big ask

David Haig

Oooh nice speakers - always wanted a pair but only got a pair of Gale 401s.

Tried a pair of wall hanging B&Os once but not nice.... And for most things you can't beat a pair of JBL Control 1s

Clunk, whirr, buzz, whine. Shared office space can be a riot and sounds like one too

David Haig

Re: Welcome to the world of the Tinnitus Sufferer

Earlier Cavalier estates could do a great impersonation of bagpipes at any speed over 50....

Flying taxis? That'll be AFTER you've launched light sabres and anti-gravity skateboards

David Haig

Re: @ Warm Braw

Scariest thought - flying cars designed by geniuses, built by robots, driven by Italians ..

It's always DNS, especially when you're on holiday with nothing but a phone on GPRS

David Haig

As a long time fan of the Nokia Communicator, and owner of one of each version, have an up vote - but there was a better small roving machine for fixing problems, and with a proper serial port - a Toshiba Libretto 70T. Proper pc with a colour, if small screen, great keyboard and pcmia slot for network or floppy drive in (https://3.14.by/en/read/toshiba-libretto-50ct)

Remember the 1980s? Oversized shoulder pads, Metal Mickey and... sticky keyboards?

David Haig

Re: Olivetti?

I can vouch for the quality of Olivetti keyboards, one Saturday morning walked in to the office and found a user with a keyboard in a washing up bowl of soapy lukewarm water whilst still plugged in to the computer. Apparently 'someone' had spilt a beer over it the night before and 'it was sticky'. Keyboard kept working both during and after its bath....

My other beer meets keyboard story was in a previous life as a lighting engineer. Halfway through a show one night my full pint slipped and flooded the Galaxy lighting board. Board never missed a beat even when we opened it up to try and soak up the beer....

30-up: You know what? Those really weren't the days

David Haig

Re: The Meaning of Stob

And Dollis Hill was where one of the GPO's research facilities was located Before Adastra Park....

User had no webcam or mic, complained vid conference didn’t work

David Haig

El Reg had a T shirt for BOFH in the nineties that said on the front "Your PCs broken..." and on the back "....and I've got a problem?" .....


Mozilla to Thunderbird: You can stay here and we may give you cash, but as a couple, it's over

David Haig

Re: And now for something completely different....

Sort of my point - unable to finance itself it has died ...

David Haig

And now for something completely different....

Pegasus anyone?

User loses half of a CD-ROM in his boss's PC

David Haig

Re: I always wondered...

Ummm, with a 3D printer and a scanner could you copy a vinyl disk?

David Haig

Re: Paper yes...

Even more fun if you try to photocopy on to acetate sheet on your last day at work.....

Need the toilet? Wanna watch a video ad about erectile dysfunction?

David Haig

Re: Curved Air

Sonja khristina !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another career suicide as reporter leaves The Register for broadcaster

David Haig

Has anyone noticed she disappeared around the same time e.l. James appeared ....

Palmtop nostalgia is tinny music to my elephantine ears

David Haig

Re: Buyer beware

A new Communicator would be the thing, or a revisited Toshiba Libretto

A webcam is not so much a leering eye as the barrel of a gun

David Haig

Re: Black tape for the mic?

Blutac - works for both camera and mic, obvious when in place, easy to remove without much residue and also helps deaden the resonance of the casing that the mic will also "hear"

Hard numbers: The mathematical architectures of Artificial Intelligence

David Haig

Intelligence or Sentience

Is not part of the problem here that we, as humans, regard intelligence and sentience as one? Computers are already extremely 'intelligent' in that they can process data and take decisions - nominally based on previous experience - but they are not 'sentient' in that they are not yet capable of extrapolating from that to awareness of their surroundings (the baby 'learning' its parents from the various physical stimuli it has at its disposal) or to belief in larger constructs (faith /philosophies) that have little or basis in data, maths or statistics.

AI has been here for some time - Deep Blue and Watson are supremely 'intelligent' machines - but sentient computers are a long way off. Even HAL was really 'just following orders'.

Lester Haines: RIP

David Haig

RIP Lester

Just posting my condolences - such a shame.

Please remember the donkey

Let’s re-invent small phones! Small screens! And rubber buttons!

David Haig

Nokia Communicators - the best of all phones! A phone with proper buttons and small screen on the front, folds out to a bigger screen and qwerty keyboard (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_Communicator) - All-in-one Phone, Fax, Computer and offensive weapon ....

El Reg uncages its truly demonic BOFH t-shirt

David Haig

Old style BOFH T's

What happened to the BOFH T shirts with "Your PC is broken and I've got a problem" on the back? My wife finally threw mine out a few years back - just before I got a new carpet ....

No, really, the $17,000 Apple Watch IS all about getting your leg over

David Haig

B Ark

... That is alll

DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned

David Haig

Re: Society for Rational Network Management, War Trackers Interest Group

Thanks, will look it up

David Haig

Re: Society for Rational Network Management, War Trackers Interest Group

Sounds an interesting book, excuse the ignorance but what is it?

'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster

David Haig

Re: Ahhh.

.. No, the minimum specs for Windows 10 to run the Start Menu ..

Troll hunter Rackspace turns Rotatable's bizarro patent to stone

David Haig
Thumb Up

Re: Another feature I could live without...

Upvote for the Communicator - had every one from the 9000 "brick" onwards to its demise as the e90. Some of the keyboards were better than others, and towards the end the software lagged behind the smartphones, but as a business phone brilliant. Fax, data and voice - ideal for setting up multifunction printers 'on site'.

They don't make them like that anymore .....

Eight EXCELLENT languages for the fondleslab-friendly Intranet of Thingies

David Haig

Clipper - there's a blast from the past!

Soylent Corporation prepares to DEFEAT FOOD

David Haig

God's own food?

"A substance whose creators aim to "free your body" from the need to eat solids ever again"

Isn't that Guinness?

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7in Android tablet review

David Haig

Steve Hillage

Wow, Steve Hillage .... Must dig out the old Gong / Planet Gong vinyl, there's no way it would have made it to digital ....

The hoarder's dilemma, or 'Why can't I throw anything away?'

David Haig

Re: Same boat

And somewhere I've got the HP calculator thingy that it plugs into.

I think it's with the HP 100 hand held which had a stylus and keyboard, ran graffiti and came out at the same time as the Newton. And all the nokia communicators are still boxed (9000 - 9500)

No garage anymoreso it's all in the back of the car ....

Slideshow: A History of the Smartphone in 20 Handsets

David Haig

Re: Nokia 9000

Had every Communicator from 9000 to 9500, still have them, and their boxes (I'm that kind of geek) loved them all. Missed out on the e series - no fax, how do you install mfp's without testing the fax - until the E7-00 belle. Usable, good looking, great screen but no a Communicator.

Ps once got pulled by the police with a 9000 in my jacket pocket- they classed it as an offensive weapon!

Blazing new comet may OUTSHINE THE MOON in 2013

David Haig

Re: Have they checked for 100 mile long spaceships nearby?

Nothing wrong with naked space vampires of the (insert gender here) kind

LOHAN rolls out racy rocketry round-up

David Haig

Re: battery disconnect from heater

How about a 1 inch audio jack plug and socket? Have used this technique to power a dress made of fairylights (before leds) on stage. 2 x 12volt lead acids desguised as a 'dougal' dog on wheels, cable up the lead to jack / socket which pushed together to turn on the dress, pull apart for off. Inbetween lots of prancing around so connction had to be impervious to shaking etc but easily separated with a straight pull.

Only thing to remember is the socket should be conected to the batteries - doing it the other way round can cause at least a one octave shiftt higher in your local panto dame's voice....

BOFH: Shove your project managementry up your mailbox!

David Haig

Thank you Simon - Crap week, great Friday now!

Ten... Qwerty mobiles

David Haig

More Nokia

What about the wonderful E7? Or any of the E / Communicator series?

Pope's PR says Vatican in grip of WikiLeaks-style scandal

David Haig

@Burn them all as witches (AC)

Miracles - Boring stuff about raising the dead, visions of fully clothed virgins, occasional wedding with water cabernet sauvignon.

Witches - Fully undressed virgins in the flesh, significant amounts of herbal stimulants, boring stuff about raising the Devil ...

Shakira attacked by sea lion who mistook BlackBerry for a 'fish'

David Haig

@I aint Spartacus

The bad news is that they already did it - unfortunately using real people not celebs and allowing long lenses. Can't remember what it was called though .... But Channel 5 might be interested in reviving it even if it would cull most of its presenters

Christmas headaches? We prescribe a year long course of BOFH

David Haig

And the other T-Shirt ....

"Your PC's Broken .... And I've got a problem?"

Word and Excel creator: How Gates, Jobs and HAL shaped Office

David Haig

@John 62

Rayburn - better for heating

Aga - Better for CAKES!

Stonehenge finds hint at rituals far more ancient than the stones

David Haig

Nice one Sutekh!

But, has anyone every wondered why ancient man would have bothered to make a Summer solstice based Sun powered calender / computer /observatory / temple /abbatoir in the UK? With our weather, the chances are they never got to see if it worked.

Now if they'd invented a rain powered version .....

Huge PDP-11 in a lorry: How I drove computers into schools

David Haig


Late seventies Aldermaston replaced their PDP4/7. They couldn't sell it, for obvious reasons, so they gave it to a school outside Reading - but all the manuals were 'unavailable' under the official secrets act (they let us have lead boxes with 1/2 inch tapes in that had 'Danger - exposed in irradiated area' on the box but didn't give us the pin out for connecting the D-Type connectors from teletype to CPU).

It arrived on a flat bed in two CPU / core memory towers, a teletype, light pen & screen, a startup unit with flipper switches similar to the PDP11 and a 1inch bootstrap reel to reel, with two 1/2 inch tape drives all at 110 volts (with the most dangerous 110/120 - 230/240 transformer I have ever seen). Luckily, the PDP team at Digital in Reading wanted a look at the machine - they'd been denied access whilst it was in a British military establishment. - and we got it fired up as a bunch of 15 -18 year olds running Fortran 77.

May not have got it to do as much as our PDP11 (argghhh moon landing sim on papertape) or Apple II (god knows how we got hold of that) but learnt a lot about computers from one that needed a whole room to work in.... Best time in my computer life, and that core memory - fix it with a wire wrap tool!

Mind you, typing up a lighting plot on a telex machine - some other bugger had nicked the Lisa - was another highlight of necessity over technology....

And they don't know how good they've got it now!

The new touchy-feely Doctor Who trend: Worrying

David Haig

Ok ...

Couple of things ....

Was once in the Coach & Horses (if you don't know where this is ...) with Dr Who (Tom Baker) when Romana (Lalla Ward) phoned Norman (Landlord) to send him home for tea ...

And the second thing, RTD and SM have tried to put an 'overarching' story (very American series) into Dr Who - nothing wrong with that - and upped the production values to those of the new US series. But 'The Twilight Zone' (original) had the same tacky sets and puns as the first Dr. Whos so they learnt from us, and later, we them. I enjoyed the early 70's Dr Who / Blake's Seven / etc as it and I were of that time, and I like the new ones since Ecclestone as they are 'of this time', as is the new Gallactica and the revamped Star Treks.

But the spinoffs - That prequel to Gallactica, and Torchwood on this side of the Pond, don't really measure up - liked the idea of Miracle Day but there really was only 5 episodes of material there.

Sorry, where were we .....?

Where are all the decent handheld scribbling tools?

David Haig
Thumb Up

@Andrew Garrard

Hope you're speaking of the Toshiba Libretto - brilliant little machine with everything you need (admittedly small full colour screen, nearly full size keyboard, hard drive, proper 'hibernate' mode that actually worked) in a case just bigger than the original Nokia Communicator. Had it as my main machine for years until some b******d nicked it. Could use it as a full laptop (used to configure routers/switches/muxes with it) or as a note taker / word processor. Wouldn't mind another now.

Oh, and then Nokia got it right with the next 2 Communicators - 9000, 9100 - which, once you got into the keyboards, could be very quick for typing (and had a fax machine built in! - amazing how many times you need to send a test fax when installing these Multi purpose printers! Got a new E7 now but it's not quite the same ......

SSL authority stops issuing certificates following breach

David Haig


No offence, but the people who read El Reg know what a CA is - the targets for any SSL/CA fraudulent attack don't - for example they just want to go shopping on the internet and think it's as safe as your local mall - they wouldn't expect to have their CC cloned in a shop, so they don't think it will happen on line.

It is up to those of us that have the way withal to make electronic 'life' as secure as we can - we should have a fair grasp of what can be sublimated and we need to protect the general user as much as we can.

An ode to rent-a-nerds and cable monkeys

David Haig


Can I defend the developer please? All they do is take the specification from users / PM's / bloke in the pub*, ask the pertinent question 'Is that EXACTLY what you want ? There's no other way you will use this programme?' get the reply 'Yes, that's all we want' and build what's been asked for. Along the way they supply mock ups and test beds for the users to test, and await feedback as to whether they have grasped the essence of what is required.

Finally they hand over the finished product to the project sponsor, who at last gives it to the users that will actually use it only to find that they don't actually work the way that has been described to the developer. Nobody in control asked the right people about what they wanted! Developer now demoralised and bald, due to all the hair pulling.

Sysadmin arrives to try and wedge square programme into round hole - blaming developer, who is now completely bolshy as it is a fixed price contract. No surprises the sparks fly.

Meanwhile, some beancounter with o-level VBA has created a workround in Excel that does what the users want but the internal logic is known only to them and users some form of self modifying macro linked to multiple other worksheets. Works fine till he/she leaves and collapses in heap 2 days later. Now its both the Sysadmin's and Developer's problem.

By the way, I'm on both sides here - and I've done the func spec stuff as well. In the end, never trust anything you are told in a meeting called to thrash out a spec - find the person who is actually going to use the software and take them to the pub ......

* = The bloke in the pub probably has a better grasp of what he wants than the others - once (in a former life) had a designer draw a plan for a stage set on a packet of Gaulois in a pub for us to build and we got it out on time and under budget. He won a prize for it as well!

Microsoft staff savage Ballmer at company confab

David Haig

Not yet ready for the grave .....

The imminent demise of M$ has been touted before and it is still here - look at all those tech titans that aren't :- DEC, Data General, Novell, Compaq, Systime, Amdahl, SCO, etc They may be in less than optimum shape at the moment, but so were Apple and IBM not so long ago and they have pulled through rather well.

Never write M$ off - its unlikely as many of us wouldn't be in a job now if it wasn't for them & IBM.