* Posts by Uncle Ron

345 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Feb 2013


Ex-Microsoft maverick takes us on a trip through vintage Task Manager code

Uncle Ron


In the 1970's IBM tried to abandon it's stupid attachment to naming it's products (usually) 4 digit numbers, like 3480, 6670 and on and on. They named it's newest typewriter the "Etron." It wasn't much of an advancement in tech, but it was attractive looking and sturdy. All the marketing brochures and ads and all the rest were prepared and printed and distributed, and trademarks were registered all over the world. Announce day loomed. Then, someone had the bright idea to see if "Erton" was a word in some other language. Do a Google search and see what "Etron" means in French. The biggest scramble since an 18 wheeler full of eggs crashed on I-95 took place at IBM HQ.

Halley's Comet has begun its long trek back toward Earth

Uncle Ron

Will We Be Here

I wonder if anyone will be here in 2061 to see it. And if there are any people, will they have been educated well enough to even look for it? The far-right doesn't seem to care much about education.

AI weapons need a safe back door for human control

Uncle Ron

How Much is Twice as Much?

To say that China spends "twice as much on AI as everyone else put together" is really a nonsense politician's statement. China's top "best and brightest," most brilliant coders/math wizards/innovators get paid, MAYBE, 25% as much as Western geniuses. If that. So, if they're spending twice as much *money* as the West, they're getting at least 4 times the progress we're getting? If they're spending twice the "manpower" were spending, it's like the old adage, "9 Women Can’t Make a Baby in One Month." I believe there are practical limitations to how much progress you can make in this brand new science no matter how much man-power you throw at it. (Just my $0.02 worth.)

A right Royal pain in the Dallas: City IT systems crippled by ransomware

Uncle Ron

Sure. Limited Government

The headline says, "Texas officials preach limited government." Sure, except when it comes to unlimited intrusions into women's reproductive rights, voting rights, big business vs the little guy, minority rights, and more. In these areas, government is unlimited.

NYPD blues: Cops ignored 93 percent of surveillance law rules

Uncle Ron


Collecting, storing, and disseminating this data should be OUTSIDE the "cop-house." Huh?

Uncle Ron

Re: Separate law and order

Isn't it called cops and judges? Or cops and courts?

Uncle Ron


I'm not so much worried about what they officially, trackably share with other gov't agencies. I don't actually foresee NYPD sharing fee-paid. personally identifiable information with a commercial entity. What I am worried about is some NYPD clerk or bureaucrat tapping in to this stuff for personal information or something to sell. The same as I am worried about some tin-pot deputy sheriff or county clerk anywhere in the country looking at the wealth of NCIC data for the purposes of blackmailing an ex-girlfriend or spouse or celebrity. I don't trust -any- of the "safeguards" on -any- of these systems.

IDC gets even more pessimistic about PC sales

Uncle Ron

I, for two...

When support for 10 goes away, so will I. Either Linux Mint or Zorin OS. There is nothing, truly nothing, in 11 that I need, and a LOT I don't need/want. I installed Zorin OS on my sandbox and it took, really, a few hours to get it to 90% of what I need. Of course, that pesky 10% will take some time, Now that purveyors of malware are selling 'kits' to get around 11's HW security, it's all over. To me, the only thing 11 offers is Microsoft's desire to instrument your PC to send everything about your life back to the mother ship. To out-Google Google. Not gonna happen.

It's official: BlackLotus malware can bypass Secure Boot on Windows machines

Uncle Ron

Only a Matter of Time

I certainly knew this was coming. Only a matter of time. The only surprise is that it took so long. I knew it would take the miscreants a nano-second to bypass all the Windows 11 roadblocks and make all those new PC buyers feel like fools. I'm sure MS knew it too. But it was too good an opportunity to give them and their PC mfg partners a big boost in sales, and a chance to re-engineer Windows with all sorts of data-collection capability to sell. There is now NO benefit to move to 11. It is nothing more than Windows 10 with more sensors and collectors and transmitters. When support for 10 goes away, I'm going away too. Either Linux Mint or Zorin OS. What I'm seeing so far in my sandbox is sparkling. And NONE of this "This PC doesn't meet the minimum requirements..." BS.

Tech job bloodbath comes to IBM, CFO links layoffs to Kyndryl, Watson Health

Uncle Ron

Cut, Cut, Cut

IMHO, "client-facing research and development" means stuff they can immediately sell to customers, not the basic research in physics, chemistry, materials science, and more, that IBM has been truly and rightfully famous for in the past. Again, IMHO, you don't win Nobel prizes for "client-facing research and development." Arvind is cutting everything he possibly can. He is a true penny-pincher. It will show in IBM's reputation, respect, credibility, and results--and already has.

Uncle Ron

Re: Why RUST is needed

IMHO, "client-facing research and development" means stuff they can immediately sell to customers, not the basic research in physics, chemistry, materials science, and more, that IBM has been truly and rightfully famous for in the past. Again, IMHO, you don't win Nobel prizes for "client-facing research and development." Arvind is cutting everything he possibly can. He is a true penny-pincher. It will show in the reputation, respect, credibility, and results--and already is.

FAA grounds all US departures after NOTAM goes down

Uncle Ron


Cloud? Mainframe? X86? AIX? Windows? Oracle? Unix or Linux? DB2? I'd sure like to know these details. Somebody knows.

Tesla driver blames full-self-driving software for eight-car Thanksgiving Day pile up

Uncle Ron


Here's what I think: How many 8 car pileups on that same day had nothing to do with self-driving? No headlines for those.

FCC calls for mega $300 million fine for massive US robocall campaign

Uncle Ron


Why aren't these guys in jail?

Corporate execs: Get back, get back, to the office where you once belonged

Uncle Ron


Entire layers of expensive and redundant "middle management," and therefore "upper management," are not needed when workers are at home. I spent 42 years at a global company and my observation was that "middle management" spent more of it's time justifying it's existence than actually adding any value to our products. And "justifying it's existence" almost always meant useless, unnecessary, and unproductive work for the real workers, and calling meetings and preparing reports so their uppers could justify --their-- existence. The axiom of 'management by walking around' goes out the window when 'walking around' isn't possible. It is these unnecessary layers of management that are really opposed to this remote trend. Coming back into the office adds very little or no value. It costs money, inflates egos, and, IMO, lowers innovation and productivity. So, IMO, C-Level execs should absolutely resist, and demand justification for, suggestions by their underlings to get 'em back into the office. The workers who can't write and can't Zoom need to go back to the welding shop.

More than 4 in 10 PCs still can't upgrade to Windows 11

Uncle Ron

Re: There is (of course) a registry hack to disable TPM checks

I would do this tomorrow if I felt MS wouldn't break my machines at some later date. I can see some MS message pop up like, "Windows 11 cannot update because of unsupported registry modifications." or some such. No thanks. When 10 goes out, so do I. Going to Linux.

Uncle Ron


I have 8 PC's in my home network: Movie server, backup, e-mail, daily-driver, sandbox, etc. When 10 goes out of support, I'm moving them all to Linux. Either Linux Mint, or Zorin OS. I will be gone from Windows forever. If I thought for one nano-second that 11 had *any* performance, security, or feature benefit, or any benefit to anyone other than Microsoft, I might consider GETTING RID OF ***ALL*** MY YEARS OF WORK ON THESE MACHINES and buying new ones !?! No, I won't do that. Goodbye Microsoft. (I already have one machine running Zorin which took me about 1/2 day to get 90-95% there. Almost all the stuff I really care about is just fine...BTW, anyone know why I can't get VNC to work?)

IBM to book $5.9b non-cash charge to transfer its pension liabilities

Uncle Ron

Re: So…

"At least they had a pension plan..."

1) For this reason, it will be hard to get any sympathy from -anyone- if this goes down the drain. Almost nobody has one anymore. They don't care. IMO, neither does IBM.

2) Fidelity Investments has -always- "administrated" IBM's pension plan. This is different. This isn't just changing administrators. IBM is actually SELLING off the whole thing to a third party. During "The Big Short" period, many, many companies in Prudential's industry don't exist anymore. If Prudential goes away for some reason, what happens to my pension?

I would like to see the T's & C's of this sell-off. Will the IBM pension assets be somehow fenced off from Prudential's other money playground? "I have a bad feeling about this."

Uncle Ron

One More Arm in the Length

I view this as IBM placing it's remaining pension plan participants at a further arm's length--maybe completely detaching them. If something bad happens, the announcement will come from Prudential or some nameless third party, and not IBM. Don't bother contacting IBM any more if you have an issue, problem, or complaint. Call Prudential. Good luck with that. IBM avoids any bad publicity, law suits, and acrimony. Fidelity Investments manages the IBM pension plan now and, IMO, does a good job. I assume the assets now are still owned by IBM. I also assume that IBM is "selling" the assets to Prudential or whoever and the whole shootin' match will now be O&O by Prudential. This looks like very bad news to me.

NASA scrubs Artemis mission yet again because SLS just can't handle the pressure

Uncle Ron


Time to move on.

NASA scrubs Artemis SLS Moon rocket launch

Uncle Ron

Re: Fireworks

Except for the higher pressure, hydrogen is no different than gasoline. It's volatile, highly flammable, etc. Nothing solves engineering problems like this like mass production. Whatever government that gets behind it first will lead the world.

Uncle Ron

Subtitle of the Article is "This science stuff is harder than it looks."

IMHO, this has nothing to do with science. It's straight-up engineering. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge dedicated life-long fan of space-flight and space technology. Almost all this Artemis stuff is used and/or repurposed technology. Again, IMHO, there is just no excuse for this crowd to have had so much trouble putting Artemis up on it's feet. They should stand down, fire a bunch of people, then hire SpaceX. I'm sick of it.

SpaceX: 5G expansion could kill US Starlink broadband

Uncle Ron

Don't Forget

Don't ever forget that the cable-owned FCC specifically excluded the cell business from limitations on data-caps, throttling, and metered billing. People will be charged by the drink for watching movies, TV, ball games, and all of it, if they rely on 5G for their broadband. Their old cable TV bills will look quaint compared to the multiple hundreds per month they will be charged for 5G. I'm being charged $80 per month today for 50 GB of 5G per month. Currently, I use about 900 GB per month on my cable-delivered home internet for streaming TV, movies, ball games and all surfing. NINE HUNDRED GB. Do the math. It takes 4-5 GB to watch a single movie, and 7-9 GB to watch a baseball game.

IMO Starlink is under NO threat from 5G. I wish ElReg would get smarter before running inflammatory, click-bait stories like this.

Wi-Fi hotspots and Windows on Arm broken by Microsoft's latest patches

Uncle Ron

Re: Testing?

Yeah, sure. But what should be tested is the presence or absence of "BEST ENDEAVOUR. Huh?

Uncle Ron

Re: Testing?

It is a time-honored legal position in the US, tested by multiple legal proceedings, that you CANNOT "sign away your rights." Not sure it has ever been tested in the software industry, but somebody should test this against the OS monopoly that is Microsoft, huh?

Uncle Ron

I Wonder

I wonder if even some of these "patches" or "updates" that broke things were actually aimed at fixing or updating MS's ability to collect data, monitor usage, protect MS IP, move MS strategic objectives, or anything that benefits MS and not anything that actually benefits the user. I can't wait to move to Linux.

GitHub drops Atom bomb: Open-source text editor mothballed by end of year

Uncle Ron

EVERYTHING MS does is aimed at "potential recurring revenue, vendor lock-in, and information gathering enabled by cloud-based apps." MS wants to own ALL computing everywhere to the maximum extent possible for the author-stated reasons. I'm done with MS asap.

I love the Linux desktop, but that doesn't mean I don't see its problems all too well

Uncle Ron

Ok, Here's My Problem:

Most of the Linux desktops are just fine and dandy for me. IMO, they all work more or less the same. It took me about a half-hour to install Zorin OS (dual boot) and get it up and running on a new-to-me refurbed Lenovo desktop shipped with Windows 10. If it came pre-installed and customized by one of the top-tier vendors, it would be every bit as good as a pre-installed Windows machine. As with most things in my IT experience, it takes 10% of the time to get 90% of what you want. The remaining 90% of the time is required to get that pesky 10%, which, in my case, is 1) VNC to and from my other local Windows machines, and, 2) NETWORK SHARES !!! There are a few apps that I love that don't do a Linux version (like FastStone Image Viewer) but I have found a decent Linux substitute, and I will find substitutes for the others.

My point is that Linux (on the desktop--not Android) could certainly become the dominant desktop. The 4 or 5 or 6 'top' distros are, IMO, interchangeable. They ALL use the same kernel, so again, IMO, they really don't represent fragmentation. I would truly love just forget MS with the insulting Windows 11 and see them just go away.

VMware customers have watched Broadcom's acquisitions and don't like what they see

Uncle Ron

Re: Broadcom does do software

"What is it with US companies?" It's called "Wall Street." Of course not only US companies, but you get the idea.

Uncle Ron

Re: EMC, Dell and Broadcom - one of these does not go with the rest

IMHO, some one else already has created a "new virtual management landscape." It's called Red Hat. Huh?

Microsoft slows some hiring for Windows, Teams, and Office

Uncle Ron

What This Says to Me

Slowing hiring/headcount for Windows says to me that they're done with 11. Maybe a little spit and polish (IMO that is all 11 is anyway.) Unless MS rescinds the TPM, UEFI, 8th Gen nonsense, I'm leaving the Windows world when security support for 10 is abandoned. Linux Mint or Zorin will be my desktop. BTW, have all the hacks, ransom-ware attacks, leaks, malware, identity theft and whatever else, been stopped, slowed, curtailed, reduced or ANYTHING in the Windows 11 world? Huh?

Patch your VMware gear now – or yank it out, Uncle Sam tells federal agencies

Uncle Ron

All Will Be Well

I guess Windows 11 will solve all these problems, yes?

Yandex speaks out from front line of Western sanctions against Russia

Uncle Ron

Not Enough

What the West has been doing economically to Russia is NOT enough. Russia is still not ceasing their criminal invasion. As painful to Europe as cutting their energy purchases from Russia would be, it has to be done. Now. Europe is FUNDING this criminal government. The Russian government is a criminal enterprise. In total. As painful to the Russian people as a complete cutoff from the West would be, it has to be done. The Russian mobsters have to be stopped.

Windows 11 usage stats within touching distance of... XP

Uncle Ron

Goodbye MS

f I believed for a nano-second that 11 would place even a *dent* in the vulnerability of every Windows computer on the planet--viruses, malware, hacks, leaks, ransom-ware, identity-theft, etc.,-- I might be interested. But evil-doers all over the world will take said nano-second to get around TPM and whatever else is in this "new" spaghetti code. And I'm not at all interested in spinning up and maintaining virtual machines in order to run Windows 11. Forget it. The only beneficiaries of this HW BS are the HW manufacturers. New PC's will be required for +50% of EVERYBODY. No Thanks. When support for 10 ends, it's Linux for me. Goodbye MS BS.

When support for 10 goes away, I'm going to Linux Mint or Linux Zorin. My 8 home machines (email server, Plex server, backup machine, sandbox, etc.) run just fine now, but not one will run 11. I suspect when I get them all moved over to Linux, next year, they might run even better/faster/quicker--for a LONG time. I predict (and hope) that the other big beneficiary of 11 will be LINUX: Linux consultants, Linux app developers, Linux-skilled friends and neighbors, and ME.

Uncle Ron


Windows 11 growth at a standstill amid stringent hardware requirements

Uncle Ron

Bad Joke

I couldn't care less what Microsoft's "plans" for Windows 11 are. Until they rescind their elimination of ALL my home PC's and notebooks from using it, MY plan is to go to Linux Mint or Zorin when support for 10 is dropped. I'm gone from MS forever. Goodbye. (It wasn't so nice knowing 'ya.)

If I believed for a nano-second that 11 would place even a *dent* in the vulnerability of every Windows computer on the planet--viruses, malware, hacks, leaks, ransom-ware, identity-theft, etc.,--I might be interested. But evil-doers all over the world will take said nano-second to get around TPM and whatever else is in this new spaghetti code. And I'm not at all interested in spinning up and maintaining virtual machines in order to run Windows 11. Forget it. The only beneficiaries of this HW BS are the HW manufacturers. New PC's will be required for ~50% of EVERYBODY. No Thanks. When support for 10 ends, it's Linux for me. Goodbye MS BS.

When support for 10 goes away, so do I.

Google Maps just got lost for a few hours

Uncle Ron

Not Just Maps

I'm in Texas, USA. Speedtest reports 60-100Gbs. Win 10 machine reporting no problems. Modem and router re-booted. EVERYTHING Google is as slow as a snail. Gmail, Maps, Search, YouTube--all of it. It has been this way for 24 hours. I have seen NOTHING about this anywhere but El Reg. IMO, it's either Russian hacking or a HUGE Google glitch. I don't know which is more worrying. And NO other service or site is slow. Outlook is fine, bank and credit card sites are fine. Just EVERYTHING Google. WTF ???

Why Nvidia sees a future in software and services: Recurring revenue

Uncle Ron


If there's one word I hate in corporate discussions in any industry, it's "monetize." To me, it usually means "charge money we didn't charge before for a twist on the same thing," or, "extract revenue without having to do anything new for it." In other words, "our stuff is successful and popular, (they're hooked on it, ) so let's disable it they don't pay up every month. Sounds to me like the policy or protection rackets, or drug dealers who get you addicted then milk you blind. If I was an Nvidia customer (including the OEM's,) I'd be looking for somebody else--right now. I dropped everything "Adobe" and "Playon" for the same reason.

Internet backbone Cogent cuts Russia connectivity

Uncle Ron

Re: Difficult choice to make

Vladimir Putin most likely has the strongest personal security of any human being ever in the modern age. Credible sources have said that he has never used a computer. Experts from around the world have said that he grossly miscalculated this move. I believe there are no "patriots" in Russia. Only abusers and victims.

US imposes sanctions as Russia invades Ukraine

Uncle Ron

George Washington

In a letter in 1779, General George Washington referred to the "black gentry" as those who put their own profits and riches ahead of their country. They would carry out acts that hurt their country and their countrymen if they benefited. We still have those types today in the US and across the Western world who need to be targeted in any of the "sanctions" that are imposed by us or any country against Russia. The Russian government is engaged in a criminal land grab. As Margaret Thatcher said in 1990 to Geo. Bush, Sr., we can't go "wobbly" on this thing. We need to impose ALL the sanctions available NOW, and enforce them ruthlessly. against both Russia and the "black gentry."

Uncle Ron

My Problem With the Left

I'm a Progressive Liberal, but my problem with the Left is that they are wimps. They are naive. Leaders who walk into other countries don't play by the same rules as we do. (see Japan's invasion of China and Germany's invasion and further invasion of Czechoslovakia.) They don't play by any rules. It's time to declare that we're executing ALL the "tranches" of sanctions (including "SWIFT" and any other possible financial cutoffs) that there are, and maybe some that there aren't.

It's time for us to declare several of the "republics" in the Russian Federation to be "independent states" and send peace keeping forces THERE. And we need to declare that we intend to enforce the sanctions in the harshest possible manner, including NOT waiting for international courts or the UN or trade groups to decide that some company or country has violated the "rules," as they most certainly will. All finance from the West should be cut off NOW, and all "suspected" Russian assets need to be seized. We know what has been laundered, even if we can't prove it. It will be painful for us now, but a lot less painful than failing to stop Japan and Germany was.

Russia's GDP is about the same size as Brazil and has FEWER people than Brazil. Russia is nothing more that a third-world country with nuclear weapons. And like most third-world countries, Russia has a dangerous narcissist in charge. We need to make Putin's enablers feel more pain than they fear he can inflict on them.

In any case, we need to do these things NOW. And not be like the frog in a pot of water on the stove not realizing that the water is moving to the boiling point.

Machine learning the hard way: IBM Watson's fatal misdiagnosis

Uncle Ron

Monkey Wrench

I posted this here after another Watson Health story and got flamed, but I still believe there is at least -some- truth to it:

"Isn't it possible that [at least some of] the cause of Watson's failure in medicine is that the people charged with making it smart and good were the very people that it would replace?"

Also, that people with 10 years of medical training don't necessarily know jack about computers?

Uncle Ron


Isn't it possible that the cause of Watson's failure in medicine is that the people charged with making it smart and good were the very people that it would replace?

Suspected Chinese spies break into cloud accounts of News Corp journalists

Uncle Ron


IPv6. Everywhere. ASAP. Huh?

Google Cloud started running its servers for an extra year, still loses billions

Uncle Ron

HW Cost

HW (all of it) makes up a substantial minority of the overall cost of IT setup. By minority, I mean <20-25% of the TCO. SW, power, space, people, etc. make up much more. Further, since they use exclusively commodity HW, GC's ratio of HW to EE (everything else) is probably considerably lower than yours or mine. I don't see how they could have reduced their loss so much with such a large increase in revenue just by extending the life of HW by one year. Something else is happening here... Huh?

Uncle Ron

Here's my take on this: I'm certain I would never do business with a vendor that consistently loses money on whatever s/he was selling me. Never. A company doing this (and can afford to) is clearly doing it to put unfair pressure on it's competitors (Amazon, MS, IBM) and should not be able to take the tax losses. They have no real hope of making a profit. They reduced their losses in 2021 only by using older and older equipment. Which also would make me steer clear. Huh? Is it fair for a HUGE company to pressure competitors by selling a product at demonstrably below cost? For YEARS?

Kyndryl spins out of IBM, stock starts trading on NYSE – and shares tumble

Uncle Ron

No Guts, No Glory

Whatever is left of the IBM psyche* of the last 20-30 years at both companies will have to die off before either company will be interesting/relevant again.

*Risk averseness, no guts, ignore the engineers/Fellows/technologists, cleave to the stock market, pay yourself first, greed, no vision, no vision.

Alien life on Super-Earth can survive longer than us due to long-lasting protection from cosmic rays

Uncle Ron

Zombie Cells

I have recently become deeply interested in the concepts surrounding "Zombie Cells," also known as senescent (aging or deteriorating) cells. They stop dividing, and they also stop working, i.e., doing their job. Think about it: Diabetes, arthritis, immune system--all of it would be affected. Life on any planet that has figured out how to target them and either get them back to doing business, or getting rid of them, would become ageless. Maybe Methuselah figured it out. Anybody smart about this? What's the latest?

Uncle Ron


Aren't cosmic rays one of the prime drivers of evolution? A planet with intense shielding wouldn't have this driver, no?

For those worried about Microsoft's Pluton TPM chip: Lenovo won't even switch it on by default in latest ThinkPads

Uncle Ron

"Trust Me"

"Pluton is designed for Windows, and using it with Linux "is currently an unsupported scenario," a Microsoft spokesperson told The Register."

Trust me, IMHO, Pluton is a DRM extension that aims at nothing else but to lock out every OS but Windows 11. Again, IMHO, the only Linux that will work on Pluton machines will be the Linux embedded in Win 11. Suppose you have plans to use a dual-boot scenario. Pluton must be turned on to get 11 to load, but a Linux distro may vomit unless Pluton is turned off. Trust me again: Unless MS rescinds it's decision to make all my home desktops and laptops obsolete, when 10 goes out of support, I'm going out the door, to Linux Mint. or Linux Zorin.

If I had even a nano-second of belief that this mess would stop even -some- of the hacks and hijacks and ransom-ware and spyware and malware and identity theft and all the rest of it, I would scrap my multiple thousands of dollars of HW and acquiesce. But I don't have that belief. IMHO, It will take the evil-doers and government bad actors that said nano-second to jump over all of it. Make TMP/Pluton optional for 11, or MS is gone from my life. They're history, they're in the archives, they're in the rear-view mirror. RIP.