* Posts by cambsukguy

895 posts • joined 31 Jan 2013

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Microsoft announces official Windows package manager. 'Not a package manager' users snap back

cambsukguy

Who boots a computer these days?

My laptop wakes from standby in about 1 second, not exactly snappy but I can live with it.

I reboot on occasion, it happens about one a month and takes about 10 seconds. My browser re-instates all previous pages in (maybe) 2 seconds of the first click.

But then, I am running a 6-yr-old laptop with a tiny SSD (and large HDD). Perhaps it is because it is Windows 10 and (new) Edge?

Apple owes us big time for bungled display-killing cable design in MacBook Pro kit, lawsuit claims

cambsukguy

Haha, the good old days when you could replace a cable.

ISTR it is a bonded dohickey, at least on one end. No chance of replacement, which would also fail unless it was longer of course.

Microsoft picks a side, aims to make the business 'carbon-negative' by 2030

cambsukguy

Re: I call marketing bullshit

I am sure the extra CO2 will help put the Australian wildfires out too.

Win-Win all round, dunno what David Attenborough is worried about really.

cambsukguy

Re: Truly hope this is not just a marketing ploy

Wow, this is a truly terrifying post.

GlaxoSmithKline ditches IR35 contractors: Go PAYE or go home

cambsukguy

Re: Play by the rules

I think an issue here is that contractors doing essentially regular jobs also have a sensible place in companies, namely, doing regular work for shorter periods.

Sometimes there is just more work than the staff can do in the time required. But, it would be nasty to lure/hire new staff to do this work and then simply fire them (or their less useful colleagues), make them redundant technically, because the work is finished.

Obviously, this happens a bit always, companies absorb extra work, staff work later etc. and then, at other times, there is a bit of housekeeping and coasting, holidays are taken, all totally reasonable.

But, large 'lumps' of work that need extra personnel are perfect for contracting.

This should remain. Something like six months or a year is reasonable (because it is unreasonable to fire someone after a year knowing in advance that would be the case).

The only IR35 solution would be to hire contractor from the likes of Logica (Capita?) that actually have jobs but get some of the dis-benefits of being contractors whilst earning a regular salary - I did this once, before I became a contractor of course.

cambsukguy

True, if it is super-important design etc. don't trust it to a contractor unless it comes with serious design docs/seminars etc. to pass on the knowledge at that time (not when they given notice for instance).

Sometimes internal people just don't have the skill-set (and the company may not need that design skill in future - much). But, it may be much easier to pass on a design to someone else.

It really is much easier to maintain well-designed code that it is to design it in the first place.

Contractors have a place for this sort of thing.

Most of my contracts in the past few years have been 'fixing' systems that don't work or are super late, mostly because the in-house staff, some of whom were intelligent enough, were just in-experienced for instance.

Some are just not good enough of course but were entrusted with the task anyway.

Btw, many contractors of my experience are also not good enough for they are doing, it is not a permie thing, it is a person thing.

cambsukguy

Yes, I can see this will be right at the top of the first cabinet agenda.

Nothing else they need to get 'done' right?

Things Microsoft will be glad to never see again: Windows 10 1809 and Windows Phone Office

cambsukguy

At least the office stuff will be supported for quite a long time yet - and will still operate after that.

Since my phone design is now 4 years old (950), I guess that is long enough.

But, the problem is this: How do I find a) Hardware that is as good without paying what amounts to a grand and b) Android has loads and loads of 'extra' little features but doesn't have the elegance and usability of WP, even now (using Android Pie that is).

For a) I investigated a replacement phone "for a friend" wanting to meet at least most of the spec that the old Lumia 950 has... Hi-res AMOLED display (550 ppi), not stupidly large (under 6 inch for sure), biometric device (950 has an iris scanner - very secure), replaceable battery (impossible these days I think). SD card expansion, High dynamic range microphones (950 has 4, for recording and noise cancellation), Optical Image stabiliser, 20MP or similar camera (HDR, RAW etc.).

The 950 was under £500 when new (I paid 320 a short time later and 70 for one recently )but, it seems like £500 doesn't get anything like that any more.

We plumped for a Nokia 9 Pureview mainly because a) The pictures are pretty good despite the reviews, some look sharper than the 950's exquisite pictures despite the lower pixel count (which can be seen when zooming in). The colours seem less true but there is powerful editing and insane depth recording.

The Nokia also has High Dynamic range mics (3, enough I suppose). It doesn't have OIS but, apparently, can perform similar magic for video and the Photos gets HDR and stabilisation inherently (because it has 5 cameras and post-processes the images I presume).

The fingerprint sensor (it has face login too but we haven't tested it) is poor but is 'fixed' in dry-finger conditions but the clever use of touching a finger to the forehead and oiling it up, works every time!

No removeable battery, not really wanted by that user (just me), but 128GB of (faster) storage makes no SD expansion much, much less of an issue.

The price of £350 makes it a third of the price of a flagship - which makes all the reviews comparing the pictures to an iPhone XS or Pixel 4 etc. really stupid price-wise.

What iPhone costs £350 even second-hand - nothing remotely comparable camera-wise, storage-wise or even speed-wise I suspect. Certainly, it won't come with a warranty for two years.

Given that Nokia guarantee two version updates (android 10 is imminent as the first I guess) and is AndroidOne and very clean with zero bloatware, it was an easier choice.

Added to that, the good news that the camera is getting a specific update which, I hope, will bring the camera closer to its initial promise, it is a good choice really.

It is a nice looking phone and is waterproof, in both cases superior to the 950, although the 950 is nice looking enough.

So, Android. Launcher 10 is laughable so given up on immediately, no updating tiles (what's the point then?).

Android doesn't allow Pin-to-start for things like settings, which I have several of, one for quickly accessing the screen-lock system for instance, less needed if your phone truly unlocks instantly every time, without fail and without having to pick up the phone say. This is why I operate unlocked most of the time, it is simply aster - important shit like Lastpass and banking access have extra protection anyway.

The scrolling start screen is just so much easier than side to side scrolling of multiple pages with stupid little Windows 3. icons in them.

BBC news widget is hopeless, you have to manually scroll the damn items when all she wanted was them to appear as she simply looked at the tile, like before.

And Dark Mode? Jeez, acing like it is a revelation, it doesn't theme across the system, is app-based, useless and annoying. Apparent Android 10 makes it system-wide properly (to help YOU save battery!), years and years later.

And don't get me started on the fucking notifications, right there on the screen, in my face, for everything! including SW updates.

I even get adverts as notification from fuckers like WIzzair - presumably you can disable the notifications but you might bloody well need them when you have a flight - what a useless system.

So, I am sticking with my shit phone until Edge stops working with too many web pages to stand (basically when the BBC stop working). I can only assume the ones that have stopped are out of laziness or spite since they do nothing that Edge 16 (17?) can't do anyway.

Been wanting to get that off my chest for a while now.

European smartphone market rallies but Apple didn't get the memo

cambsukguy

Re: Nike shellsuit owners like their Apple's

> "Game over, man. Game over!"

Bill Paxton, not Pullman, Aliens.

Royal Bank of Scotland IT contractor ban sparks murmurs of legal action

cambsukguy

Re: Cuts for Christmas

Contractors should expect to be out of contract with short notice for longish periods because the nature of the system dictates it.

I have both walked off contracts with only notice at the very start (say 5 days, usually reduced to zero by mutual agreement) and later when things have changed unacceptably (such as a new Manager forcing Friday work when Mon-Thu was the original agreement).

Contractors should able to (easily) survive long periods without work because of the risk and the ability it gives to not take crap - I because a contractor only because of this latter need.

I suppose it is just possible to be in a situation of earning contractor income but still having so many legitimate drains on their income that are valid such that no 'buffer' exists. However, I suspect that that is rare to say the least and that 'broke' contractors (in my experience) nearly always drive expensive cars, take expensive holidays and have large mortgages.

It is hard to have sympathy for people who earn so much money - I have only even worked about 50% of the time since I was fifty and still don't want for money (yes, I paid for my own house, had two kids, got fleeced in a divorce and have a girlfriend without serious means of her own). I am not even a well paid contractor according to some of the numbers I see here, my rates always seems to be at the lower end of the numbers and nothing like the £600/day I see for working for banks or even more for working in the 'City' - I wouldn't know how to deal with that much money - I would have just stopped working even earlier I suppose.

cambsukguy

Re: Never mind

I think the post was suggesting that, if someone writes a phrase such as that incorrectly it means (in their view) that that person simply doesn't know the correct grammar - I seriously doubt that someone changes their brain mode to use incorrect grammar for a forum post - the difference is that the poster may not re-read and proof a post as much or at all compared to (say) a job application cover letter.

I usually give a post a check for stupid grammar and spelling errors but little more (more this time perhaps).

It is worth noting that an MP recently asked those who 'mock' to remember that he (the MP) is a severe dyslexic and cannot easily ensure all his tweets (particularly) are error free.

There are also those who might not have English as a first language and thus might make more errors (although in my experience, most learn English grammar which exceeds our own education standards).

Perhaps the poster was simply like me, educated in the 'Comprehensive' system where what you say matters more than how you say it. I disagree with this, mainly because, while text speak such as m8 might be obvious, bad grammar and using the wrong words, can cause serious miscommunication and misunderstanding.

And, as a contractor, I am currently working to rescue a project utterly destroyed by bad design and slapdash coding by someone who doesn't take care in either their code or their communication.

Let's make laptops from radium. How's that for planned obsolescence?

cambsukguy

Re: Stop it.

I endeared myself to my future in-laws when, told that the microwave didn't work any more, promptly asked for a screwdriver, disassembled it and pinched the spade connectors.

Since they were WW2 vets and considered waste a sin, they were made up.

Fixing the TV power switch (by passing it completely in fact so they had to use the wall switch for power - no remote control for them) only added to the admiration.

Fixing stuff that appears totally broken is very rewarding. I met my girlfriend 'repairing' her laptop.

Swapped out the phone camera from a broken unit for my girlfriend last week to 'fix' a focussing problem and replaced the system board in this laptop to keep my favourite laptop going, for 40 quid. Added a cheapo 60GB SSD to make it zoom - having not realised it could have that capability until I repaired it!

cambsukguy

Jeez, that's 400 miles a day, every working day, every week, for 5 years.

Even if they had it longer, still amazing.

Very American.

Want a good Android smartphone without the $1,000+ price tag? Then buy Google's Pixel 3a

cambsukguy

If they were leaving out expensive things but leaving in useful things then taking out the fingerprint sensor but leaving in the Wireless Charging would have my vote.

It's interesting to note that my current 4-year-old-design phone has a 563pp screen, wireless charging, iris recognition, SD card slot and removable battery - and can be got for 80 quid second-hand. Sure the camera is only 20MP and (I assume) the camera on the front works. Sure, the case is plastic, seems fine - never used an extra case myself, plastic shells seems like a sensible shock-absorber system to me.

I like wireless charging and don't wanna lose it, at least until batteries last a week.

So, won't be changing phones just yet then.

Artificial Intelligence: You know it isn't real, yeah?

cambsukguy

Re: the error is in call it "AI" !!!

Perhaps one day but we simply do not have systems that 'know' a ball may be followed by a child. That particular scenario may well be currently 'coded' for but even recognising a ball is a tough task in many conditions (for machines that is).

We have not crossed (and may never cross) the threshold where the machine 'thinks' such that it can determine actions well in new situations dissimilar to previous ones.

It is true that a future system (including the car, other cars, roads, traffic lights, 'bend sensors' (tm)) may well yet make us incapable of killing ourselves or others with vehicles.

But not yet and not for some time.

Use an 8-char Windows NTLM password? Don't. Every single one can be cracked in under 2.5hrs

cambsukguy

The requirement mentioned earlier about ensuring that your passowrds are not 'remembered' by someone watching you type it is not a problem for password managers.

When setting up a PC for my son I used his MS password about 8 times in several different cases across two PCs (old and new) as well as a phone.

Despite typing it that many times, I could not, under any circumstance, recall the password when trying to type it, even after a delay a few minutes.

This is because password manager passwords can be made eminently un-memorable; you would have to be the mentalist to remember 12 characters, case and all, just by watching someone type them.

I was typing from a displayed password and I still couldn't recall it.

Of course, we use 2FA so OneDrive etc. are even less likely to get hacked even if the correct password is entered on a new device, so the hacker would have to access the PC, steal the phone, know the phone PIN *and* have the password.

Hardly worth the effort to see his student debt (always assuming they managed to access the bank).

I think the honest truth is that £24 a year for four (I think) people to have LastPass is very good value indeed and it really does make site login (and address/CC details entry) super easy.

What was disappointing was not knowing if 12 random characters (with specials where allowed) is enough - from the looks of the article and the fact that NTLM is weaker than most systems in use - it seems so. I assume that it adds perhaps another 28 bits making brute forcing that much harder.

But how much is what I would like to know.

Treaty of Roam: No-deal Brexit mobile bill shock

cambsukguy

Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

Pretty certain it has not been ratified - and won't be until it is a signed deal, possibly not even then.

cambsukguy

Re: So predictable !

Don't include me in 'people'.

Many of us knew reasonably well that 45 years of connection to Europe could not be easily undone.

Many of us knew how much more difficult trade and travel were prior to joining.

Many of us knew that £350m quid a week was a bullshit number.

Many of us knew that the poorest areas gained most of the benefit.

Many of us knew that immigrants are a net benefit to a society and have shown it to be so time and time again.

Some even knew that Churchill himself believed that a 'United States of Europe' was the future ideal to prevent future catastrophic wars on this continent.

People who voted leave without the minimal knowledge described above were truly led by donkeys (apologies to donkeys everywhere - they are very hard working and nice animals).

What I do know is that the amount of people misled and wish they had known easily exceeds 2% and, regardless of those who now want to leave when they voted remain (because they are tired or believe the EU is 'bullying' us) are doing so not because of extra knowledge but mostly spite.

The cries of FUD every time a story occurs detailing the problems we have remind me uncomfortably of the climate change debate... "Look, it's cold, where is your Global Warming now".

Firstly, we have spent inordinate time and treasure on this already so there is already a loss, it cannot be recovered unless there is a requisite *extra* gain that comes later and covers *all* that was lost and adds as time goes on, possible but unlikely indeed.

We are taking an extreme risk for no visible benefit - the laughable 'benefit' of sovereignty suggest that a given voter has a 'voice' - most people's votes are meaningless because they are thrown away by the First Past The Post system - I know, I lived in John Major's constituency so my vote has never counted.

The loss of sovereignty for the greater good has always been a benefit, England no longer has wars with Scotland (honestly, we don't).

Isolationism is a poor mechanism for self-improvement - it should be obvious since that dolt Trump believes in it, and he heads a stupidly rich country which could stand alone, unlike us.

And that is notwithstanding the fact that our membership also helps those (financially) less fortunate than ourselves - even if we made a net gain (which we will not - it is far, far from a zero sum game), we should consider the help that we give others via the EU - more easily accomplished that us doing it alone.

And, shame on our MPs - especially the Labour Party, for not biting the bullet, telling the truth, and saying that the referendum was advisory and they will use the result to pressure the EU for changes to reflect some peoples' unhappiness and stay in the club to help make improvements.

Ouch, Apple! Plenty of iPhones stuck in tech channel. How many? That's a 'wild card'

cambsukguy

Re: OS Slow downs on the way then

Still using my 5 year old non-Apple phone, because it still gets updated and still works well.

I think 4-5 years is not too much to ask really, I have yet to lose a phone to breakage despite never having a case for any of them.

I prefer to self-insure, get the benefit of a sleek caseless design and simply buy a phone and look after it well until breakage seems less of a problem.

Stage fright or Stage light? Depends how far you dare to open your MacBook Pro's lid

cambsukguy

The perfect opportunity...

...to express disappointment at new laptops generally.

My second lad needed a new laptop, having done fairly well with an old Thinkpad (Edge, the cheaper one) which is now showing signs of thermal shutdown and refuses to be fixed with new thermal paste despite my best effort.

So, trawling the web for while made it clear that <£500 quid (which bought me an HP Touchscreen Envy 15 several years ago) would only buy a similar laptop without a touchscreen now (say an HP with 1TB disk or 256 SSD, 8GB RAM and a Core i5 Gen 7/8). Furthermore, no keyboard backlight or fingerprint sensor - both of which I find useful.

I asked him what he preferred and we decided that (despite being almost 5yrs old), he preferred the same laptop I bought for mew and his brother - both of which still work just fine, converted to Win 10 from the Original Win 7.

So, £250 quid bought another and I upgraded the Win 10 and the BIOS and he is very pleased, especially as the touchscreen really helps in his usage patterns.

Oh yeah, and the old laptop has a dedicated nVidia GeForce graphics card to rub it in - also much desired because he actually plays games occasionally (I don't).

Give me a solid unit with decent cooling any day - though so since I saw someone showing off their brand new MacBook Air to me and it Black-screened after 10 seconds as thermal shutdown cacked one of the cores.

Cortana and Search to innovate separately in an amicable Windows 10 Insider split

cambsukguy

Linux is so reliable...

...it even works when 'broken'.

You can blame laziness as much as greed for Apple's New Year shock

cambsukguy

Indeed, and, as iPhones become less and less ubiquitous, it will be more and more difficult to share using iPhone-specific mechanisms.

I still see quite a few iPhones (I think the UK is more USA-like in this respect compared to Europe). However, they are hardly the default, de-facto or otherwise.

I hardly see them at all in my regular trips to Spain for instance.

cambsukguy

I find iPhones exactly the opposite of 'play well'. They may do so with their ecosystem but try taking a photo and sharing it with nearby phones users in all its 20MP glory.

"Just WhatsApp it to me", nope, quality is shit. FB, quality is shit. email? - I don't wanna give you an email just so you can save a 5MB file on the email system forever.

"Well, obviously, the answer is simple - Bluetooth it via NFC preferably. No Pairing, No fuss". Oh, right, you can't do that with an iPhone can you?

I pass 10 photos directly (when required 'right now' because the person wants it now or we don't wanna email OneDrive links etc.) just by NFC/BT sharing.

I am not gonna pay loads more money to lose the facility.

That's besides the rip-off prices, dubious robustness, lack of OLED screens (until recently), UX I despise (Jesus Christ, if you pop up a MODAL dialog that says the battery is flat, a la Windows 3!, at least REMOVE it automatically when I actually plug the thing in).

And, as for the notch, well, 'nuff said I think.

Whatchu got for us this week, Microsoft? Skype, Powerpoint tweaks and – oh – another foldable

cambsukguy

Just make a Windows PC...

… the size of a phone - even a biggish one.

Make sure the 'skin' makes it as much as possible like WinPhone, including a good, I mean GOOD, camera.

Add folding, add running 'real' PC Apps by ARM emulation if you wanna.

Make it thick, make it heavy, just MAKE it! Soon, my 950 is like good for another year, tops.

And yes, you may call it a Surface phone - it will have surfaces after all.

Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location

cambsukguy

Re: As someone who currently designs chip-enabled cat interface devices...

Climb a Ladder! That's Nothing!

When I got two kittens many moons ago, I would occasionally put them outside to get used to it.

Occasionally I would look out the window to check on them and one or both would often be a considerable distance up the outside wall of the house to my second floor 'office' window using nothing but razor sharp claws on ridged house brick for traction.

Amazing to watch.

OK Google, why was your web traffic hijacked and routed through China, Russia today?

cambsukguy

Re: According to the BBC...

At least someone thinks IPv6 might be the solution.

I suppose there must still be attack vectors but it does have some security-conscious thought in the design so perhaps would considerably more effort to hijack such large amounts of traffic.

Palliative care for Windows 10 Mobile like a Crimean field hospital, but with even less effort

cambsukguy

Re: Must have been a regional thing.

Or just a new battery, I bought an original one for £9 on eBay.

cambsukguy

Re: Shame to see it end like this.

My view was that allowing the project to run most Android Apps on WinPho would have allowed the platform to still exist.

This would have allowed the few (MS) Apps to be used for real work like email, office, browsing, maps etc. but also supported running the myriad Android Apps people must have.

MS could have curated the 'best', well-written Apps and put them in their own store, used MS services instead of Google and gained traction there too.

Their customer base would have been all those people who wanted to stick with WinPho and Google-haters in general, along with iPhones-cost-too-much folks and Android-is-a-basket-case people too.

Why did they cancel it? Because it was felt it would stop people developing for WinPho - well, that has already happened so why not just finished the project so that the phones could remain extant and the UX paradigm for touch etc. at least still had a reason to exist.

cambsukguy

Re: Shame to see it end like this.

If you had wanted to stick with WinPho, replacing a 925 with a 950 would have been a quantum leap in performance, and it has a removable battery. I picked up a perfect second-hand one for £70 on eBay to replace my son's 920 (of course still working but ever more difficult for Apps/battery etc. - at least it can be used as a weapon/doorstop/hammer/cutting board).

Of course, it is WP10 and has few or no Apps, except all the ones most people need of course.

There are three of us using 950s (and one using a 650) and none of us saw this email problem at all - literally the worst complaint, from a few weeks ago, was that tapping a mail notification did not always go to the mail but just opened the mail client at whatever point it happened to be, annoying but hardly a problem.

I am not saying it didn't happen, it obviously did for some, I am just wondering about the numbers.

Having a 950 gives me a about year or so more use and hope that there will be a reasonably-priced Android phone where I can switch off Google services and have a decent camera etc.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro: If you can stomach the nagware and price, it may be Droid of the Year

cambsukguy

Re: Can anyone tell me the advantage of face/print unlock?

My phone uses the Iris's so the eyes would have to be opened at least.

I think fingerprint scanners must be the easiest to use for sleep access, gently pressing the phone against the fingertip sounds simple indeed.

Where can I hide this mic? I know, shove it down my urethra

cambsukguy

Re: re. micro sd, etc.

Toilet roll inners, free and plentiful.

One or more cables per tube, depending on whether it is a mains lead, AV, audio, USB etc.

Obviously all the same type in any one tube.

I use twist ties for the smaller cables prior to tube insertion so I can one tube, extract one and toss the tube back in the box.

Why are sat-nav walking directions always so hopeless?

cambsukguy

Re: never seems to taste the same?

You just can't get the amps through a reasonable cable in the US though.

However, if you are ever required to live there, wire a socket to the 230V outlets (they have different but available plugtops) they use (often without realising) for their washer/dryer setup. Dryers need insane power of course so they use two phases.

Thus (almost) all the Brit Kit that works only on 230V happily operates near the dryer cupboard on an extension.

cambsukguy

Re: never seems to taste the same?

Except where said Spanish people know Brits, seen our kettles, promptly purchased a 'proper' 3kW jobbie in the UK, asked said Brit to pop down the Spanish DIY store and re-wired it to prevent plugtop burnout and happily enjoyed boiling water on demand ever since.

With 'imported' Tetley's (though they do sell it there these days) and hard-to-find 'proper' milk (they have it, one has to look hard is all), one can make almost the same tea there as here.

My trick at the Lyon's Tea house (oh, the irony) in the US was to ask the waitress (as she always was all those years ago), to 'please, please' just put the water, in the cup, in the microwave, for just maybe two minutes and not, whatever their feelings, to touch, stir or jog the cup until they gave it to me (along with continuous warnings and a signed release about how it will kill me to even approach it let alone drink it).

Placing a teabag in the cup produce instant boiling water to infuse the teabag I (obviously) brought with me. Not perfect but a revelation compared to the pitiful effort they would have produced.

Spoiler alert: Google's would-be iPhone killer Pixel 3 – so many leaks

cambsukguy

There isn't a mid-range priced iPhone - although there is a mid-iPhone-range priced iPhone.

My phone is 4 years old, gets updates monthly, works better than when I got it and has a removable battery (replaced for £9 for an original part), very good camera, even by today's standards, hi-res screen, even by today's standards, huge SD card capability, even by today's standards, Qi charging (today's standard).

The list goes on, it cost £330 at the time and would sell for maybe £75 at best, like that will happen.

It therefore represents much better value than even a mid-range iPhone, whilst actually giving me the features I require (see above list). A removable battery and an SD card are not techie requirements really.

There are features that I would like (e.g. IP68), but I am not paying the premium asked for something that 'nice-to-have'.

Android Phones are 10: For once, Google won fair and square

cambsukguy

Good to have an audio jack but...

> lacking features like a 3.5-inch audio jack

I should hope so, that is enormous.

I prefer the 3.5mm one for phones and 1/4 inch for proper kit. if I use one at all that is.

I want to buy a coffee with an app – how hard can it be?

cambsukguy

Another reason to keep on truckin' a WinPhone

There are none of these Apps available on WinPhone.

I am sooo broken up about not having a loyalty App and paying by contact-less is so easy I am amazed anyone bothers with other mechanisms.

Not that I would be in a coffee shop, especially one with a queue.

First 'issue-free' build of Windows 10 October 2018 Update arrives

cambsukguy

Banking Apps

> Users have 60 days to make the jump from the moribund mobile OS, or find other ways to check if they've saved up enough to buy an iPhone XS

Or stop using the App and use the web version, not quite as good but perfectly serviceable.

Or... Stop using that bank and switch to, er, OK, use the Web page version.

Mind you, RBS have told me I was 'selected' for the forced switch to another bank anyway (as agreed to get their massive bailout after the 2008 financial crash) so I could not have stayed using their App past about February regardless.

Microsoft gives Windows 10 a name, throws folks a bone

cambsukguy

Re: With the Lenovo Explorer now down to $132 (from an original $349) ...

And postage from a US supplier is? Even with VAT added it sounds like a lot less.

cambsukguy

No, you get up to six Office subscriptions, all you need is someone to give them too, children, spouses, significant others etc.

Or does Dropbox plus also allow six separate users of a single account.

And, surely, for a non-business user, isn't 1TB enough? Video addicts/hobbyists or folks who have DLSRs and just have to keep everything in RAW excepted I suppose.

Your Phone prematurely ejected, Skype texting on the way, and 900 more years of Windows

cambsukguy

Been texting from Skype

On PC and Phone for ages and ages, didn't even realise that others can't.

But then I am mad, I use WinPhone.

Now, if they could just make this Edge browser on the phone let me carry on with Edge tabs on the PC and vice versa - that would be magic.

Time to party like it's 2005! Palm is coming BAAAA-ACK

cambsukguy

Re: The mistake of a non compatible OS....

I had Palms from the second Pilot to the Sony Clie.

I loved them, never lost my data, not once.

I got really good at data entry having spend mucho time playing Giraffe.

I didn't like it when they changed Graffiti to make it easier for regular folk to learn but I got used to it.

The age of hard drives is over as Samsung cranks out consumer QLC SSDs

cambsukguy

Luxury!

When we got a fancy new 286-based PC with removable drive technology so we could all use it as ourselves, the drives had a ridiculously large 5MB on each one!

Given that we used floppy net, often with the Royal Mail as the (literal) transport layer, the speed increase was something else.

And 'git' was done by saying 'Now press delete four times and type this instead...'

cambsukguy

Re: QLC? It's not the one for me

and yet data 'digital' transmission for cable Internet and digital TV transmission gained massively from using QAM16, QAM64 and QAM256 etc.

This works by using analog levels to cram more bits into the signal, which itself is carried on a carrier wave.

All we care about as consumers is the end result, price, reliability, performance etc. If they make it work and it keeps working, the magic required, be it error correction or redundancy will not matter.

After all, the thought of the head distance to the platter for spinning rust and Giant Magnetoresistant heads had all the naysayers telling us it could never work/be reliable - I think modern hard drives are a miracle to this day.

Pleasant programming playground paves popular Python path

cambsukguy

Re: Excellent

Python is very useful for corralling large data sets using numpy etc.

My other half uses it as a scientist and it saves using R, works more like matlab and allows huge amounts of processing on an HPC with minimal effort.

The algorithms employed are difficult to say the least and I dread to think how hard it would be to do it all in C++ even, let alone C.

Having taken over a python project in a consumer electronics device (running Linux) which used python for everything and almost worked, I can vouch for the fact that it can shorten dev times whilst still working - I only had to code up some serial stuff and replace some BLE node-based interfacing with proper C Bluedroid clients and it ran pretty smoothly on a fairly ordinary bit if kit (because the heavy lifting for the radio stuff in this case was done by HW, as would be normal).

Edge, Azure and Windows Phone receives a Telegram. Yup, it's the week at Microsoft

cambsukguy

Used Ringo App on WP Phone

The other day. It failed at the payment page.

I went to the website, exactly the same, the App was just a crappy wrapper for a crappy website.

The Website worked no problem, probably some change in bank security or something, Edge had no problem of course.

Which is why I can keep using WinPhone - I just don't need or want almost every App. Most of the time a webpage works, train times, plane arrivals (there are working Apps for both mind you, FlightAware works perfectly including the cool Sky Camera thing).

Of course, I would love the Apps to all be there but I am not running all-Google, all-data Maps etc. and having to perform all the work to switch to a different launcher, HERE maps, none of which will work as well or are as tightly-integrated as maps/office etc are on WP.

It is about what you use the most, for me that doesn't mean FB, snapchat, instagram or the next latest must-have.

Luckily, dinosaurs can use a dinosaur phone, at least for a while yet.

Microsoft's cheapo Surface: Like a netbook you can't upgrade

cambsukguy

Nothing wrong with a netbook

I gave my youngest an Asus Eeeeeee something ages and ages and ages ago.

The battery lasted forever (ie 8 hours), it was functional and had a real keyboard of sorts.

When the time came it updates to Win10 and ran just fine although I suspect the Atom Win10 version had bits missing to keep it running reasonably.

The disc was only 320GB but wasn't a real problem. It even ran an external HD monitor and real keyboard/mouse combo for 'proper' school work (like Netflix).

Now, having given him my last laptop, which was languishing because I treated myself to a 'new' pre-loved laptop 2 years ago, I put Ubuntu on it and it runs as a portable debug collector for my work thing no problem - it even dual-boots when needed.

Sine my laptop is only 'portable' in the loosest sense of needing a power cord 'just in case' and being heavier than a slim modern (expensive) laptop, a cheaper, long-battery-life, netbook-alike would suit me and my pocket better than an expensive ultra-light laptop.

Having touch-screen/tablet functionality would be an added bonus.

2TB or not 2TB: Microsoft fiddles with OneDrive as competition offers twice the storage

cambsukguy

Re: So. Kicked in the crotch twice, eigh?

correct, except that I get 5 users, which I use so I know it is 5.

It is a pretty good deal really, 1TB for each of those 5, plus 60mins/months of calls to foreign numbers on Skype, including mobiles, which can matter in a pinch.

And an always-up-to-date, legal Office suite on multiple platforms for each person.

Honestly, a no-brainer.

Every step you take: We track you for your own safety, you know?

cambsukguy

Re: Get out more?

ooh, thanks for the reminder... gf on a plane in a minute, must check.

cambsukguy

Re: Battery life ?

Given that GPS devices shouldn't use much power and that WiFi locating does, albeit usefully for location purposes, it is the cell transmissions that will do for it.

If a blue dot was seen traversing a garden etc. then either the device was transmitting continuously, goodbye battery, or it transmitted more rarely and AWS filled in the gaps using interpolation or stupidity.

Either way, transmitting and mapping all day will break even the baddest regular phone so charging is a near certainty.

And, given the requirement to have it on the person and the fact that they might have to get out of the van every few minutes, I would have thought wireless charging was a must.

It just so happens that I work on a product that tracks location, checks for danger via several vectors and continuously updates a server with multiple sensor readings, whether it be heart rate or noise levels etc. We aim at a minimum 12-hours using a smartphone-sized battery (3000/4000mAh).

Of course, we don't have a powerful processor, a big screen or loads of apps installed so it is more do-able.

A slick phone Linux for your pocket PDA? Ooh, don't mind if I do, sir

cambsukguy

All well and good

But will it run Windows?

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