* Posts by calmeilles

85 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Mar 2013


In a time before calculators, going the extra mile at work sometimes didn't add up


Re: The d in £sd

The shilling's symbol is the solidus ⧸ (U+29F8), derived from the long-s, ſ (U+017F) and is not a slash / (U+002f).

£4 7⧸8, four pound seven and eight. £1 10⧸–, one pound ten shillings. 2⧸6, half a crown.

Terraria dev cancels Stadia port after Google disabled his email account for three weeks


Re: The legislators need to get involved

« their incompetence in re-enabling the account »

Lack of familiarity with the process.

Which is likely undocumented and untested… after all, it never gets used, right?

Microsoft runs a data centre on hydrogen for 48 whole hours, reckons it could kick hydrocarbon habit by 2030


Convince me

The thing that baffles me is how does one make the fuel cell system overall more economic than batteries in a static installation such as a data centre.

To charge batteries the infrastructure already exists. The national electricity networks bring the renewable-generated (by whatever means) to where you store it. The efficiency of a hydrogen fuel cell is impressive, but there are so many other things from the robustness of the cell itself through the need to create new infrastructure to handle the hydrogen to the costs and inefficiencies of producing it by non polluting methods in the first place.

I'd like to see some references to research and stuff because I just don't know, and I'm not seeing how it all adds up.

It's been five years since Windows 10 hit: So... how's that working out for you all?


Okay, but…

Last load of corporate master were mostly a Windows 10 shop and with the efforts of a significant (and surprising competent) team kept it well corralled. Acceptably stable and fast, UI made as classic as possible to minimise the learning curve and so on.

Mostly it just worked. The odd places where it didn't — such as Edge not working with Sharepoint — were irritations rather than blockers.

But it wasn't impressive in any sense. It was not going to persuade me to move desktop or laptop back from Linux, or upgrade a VM and other laptop from Win7.

Microsoft's commercial advantage never has been and still isn't the absolute quality of their product but their market share.

IBM job ad calls for 12 years’ experience with Kubernetes – which is six years old


Re: A lot of adverts are more like fiction

So are a lot of applications.

Never knowingly under-digitally transformed: Retailer John Lewis outsources tech function to Wipro


Re: That will be 244 people looking for a job very soon

My own, and therefore purely anecdotal, experience is that the stores are less durable, quality household goods and more shiny, shiny, bling.

You'd hope that retailers would have a good grasp of their market, and maybe they do, but if so I — middle class, middle aged, willing to pay for nice things — no longer seem to be it.

Someone got so fed up with GE fridge DRM – yes, fridge DRM – they made a whole website on how to bypass it


Re: home use printer that doesn't dry up between uses

I've no idea how the financial side works out though.

A quick Google suggests $prohibitive… though to be honest I didn't look far, stopping at the £400 set of inks.

80-characters-per-line limits should be terminal, says Linux kernel chief Linus Torvalds


Re: not the terminal, the punch card

"The keyboard is 530 millimeters (21 inches) by 210 millimeters (8% inches) by 100 millimeters (4 inches) and weighs 6 kilograms (13 pounds) each. The keyboard may be moved to service the machine."


C'mon SPARCky, it's just an admin utility update. What could possibly go wrong?


Haven't we all…

On one occasion a $software_vendor was in to do an upgrade. Upgrade successful… then clean-up with rm -rf * as root in /

It was a very clever system that replicated data very fast (for the day) to a partner machine for failover in case of failure. Sadly the deletes were replicated just as fast.

Okay, so the good news was that we had backups of the data and we knew they were good because they were tested. But the OS needed a bare metals install first. The OS was SCO Unix. It came on floppy disks. Boot from the first and see the message…

"Please insert disk 2 of 96"

It was a long night.

Not just adhesive, but alcohol-resistant adhesive: Well done, Apple. Airpods Pro repairability is a zero


Ecosystem trap

Those who've bought a pair of the $250 buds will…

…just shell out another $250.

It's the Apple way.

Linky revisited: How the evil French smart meter escaped Hell to taunt me



«savvy robbers case a joint before donning the stripy sweatshirt»

Sling a string of onions around their necks and no one would give a second glance…

UK parliament sends snippy letter to Zuck and his poodle Clegg as it seems Facebook has been lying again


Re: Quantum Truth

The quantum of truth is, of course, the iota.

As in "There's not one iota of truth in that." Or "Beneath all the blather there is an iota of truth."

By a special application of Pauli's exclusion principle only one iota of truth can exist in any location. Two truths in close proximity will result in mutual annihilation causing irreversible confusion of the facts.

Not very bright: Apple geniuses spend two weeks, $10,000 of repairs on a MacBook Pro fault caused by one dumb bug


The classic one from the Geniuses is "But there's no way to recover your data."

Naturally this was not true. The simplest way was to remove the SSD from the old board and put it on the new one.

It is assumed that forcing life to conform to Apple's Genius Script was why they started soldering SSDs onto the boards.

Now there really is now way to recover your data... unless you have a soldering iron.

RIP: Microsoft finally pulls plug on last XP survivor... POSReady 2009


Re: Still SHIPping

No citation...

Ships generally get what is current, or slightly behind the current for stability and development time, when they are built and then stick with it. So ships running ancient OSs are no surprise.

Equally it would be unsurprising if the the newest built had some Win7 aboard... and downright gob-smacking if they had anything as old as XP.

Curiously this subject was addressed in this venerable publication less than six months ago. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/11/09/royal_navy_old_os_at_sea/

Apple, if you want to win in education, look at what sucks about iPads


Re: Hmmmm

The price difference between any cellular and non-cellular device (not just Apple) is usually around £100.

For a Kindle Paperwhite it's exactly £60 but that includes lifetime (of the device) data use.

iPad you pay a premium to have a sim added and still have to buy a data plan of some sort do you not?

SpaceX releases Pythonesque video of rocket failures


So what's the success to failure ratio?

Amid new push to make Pluto a planet again... Get over it, ice-world's assassin tells El Reg


Re: * Orbits the Sun

An exoplanet or extrasolar planet, a planet that orbits a star other than the Sun.


Brexit could further harm woeful rural payments system


Agricultural subsidies are ultimately limited by World Trade Organisation rules.

For the European Union the permitted quota is held by the European Commission. When the UK exits the EU it will have no WTO approved subsidy quota in its own right.

Post Brexit the UK will have to negotiate its own WTO agreements. However long that takes in the interim it will have two choices: either cease paying farm support or continue paying illegally and consequently creating a block to the necessary negotiations.

Frankly DEFRA's inefficiencies are going to be the least of the problems facing farmers who rely on CAP payments for significant parts of their incomes.

Cattle that fail, not pets that purr – the future of servers


I don't mind swapping pets for cattle. There are advantages and economies in running a herd.

What I don't like is killing my pets and having to put my (limited) trust in someone else's cattle.

Pimp my racks: Scale-out filer startup Qumulo bangs up its boxen, er, '4U'


Re: About 10Gb networking

More practically in a datacentre which did have CAT6a* structured cabling but did not have similar OM3 10 years ago*, even 5 years ago SFP+ switches and nics were expensive but readily available while 10Gb BaseT switches and nics were excruciatingly expensive and rare as hen's teeth.

Whatever the other benefits fibre was the only realistic choice for a number of years.

[ * I'm aware the CAT6a standard wasn't formally defined until 2009 ]

Zuck off: Facebook's big kahuna sues Hawaiians to kick 'em off their land



What's not mentioned is that because of inheritance laws dating back to the Kingdom of Hawaii a lot of Hawaii land has what is termed clouded title, which is to say uncertain who has a valid claim.

The equally long established process of quiet title is designed to locate potential title holders and compensate them. Not mentioned in the Star Advertiser piece is that not only known claimants are involved but searches are required to locate as many potential claimants as possible.

There is nothing scandalous here, thousands of such suits are filed annually. This one only makes a headline because of Zuckerberg's name.

NHS IT bod sends test email to 850k users – and then responses are sent 'reply all'


Re: OMFG, usage of the 'singular "they"' - ew

If it was good enough for Caxton it might be time to drag yourself into the 15th Century.

Page 39 line 3 https://archive.org/details/rightplesauntno4400caxtuoft

OVH decides to Fauquier the cloud in America


Re: Oh great, more places for hackers to hire

Just looked at mine, hosted on OVH. 21 in the last 6 days. None from OVH.

Anecdote or data?

Top interview: Dr Patrick McCarthy – boss of the world's future largest optical telescope


Re: Invention Time

How would you do that? the AO should present a focused image to the CCD. How would a CCD correct an unfocused image?

In addition the large CCD camera will be just one of a number of instruments that will be attached to the telescope — 4 currently being built plus a fibre-optic feed, more will be developed. The adaptive optics technology on the mirrors means having to do the job just once and hopefully do it well.

The alternative would be to have correction systems on each instrument, some of which might not be suitable to such manipulation.


Brexit at the next junction: Verity's guide to key post-vote skills


Re: Dissenting voice

I'm 53 and was taught both Imperial and metric at primary school. My sister is only four years younger but by the time she went there it was metric only so you're probably spot on with the 50 years demarcation.


Re: Guineas

The mark was 13 shillings and 4 pence. Being 160 pence or ⅔ of a pound.

Mine's the one with the duodecimal abacus....

Sysadmin gets 5 years for slurping contractor payments to employer


Re: "And he would have got away with it too,"

You just can't get the staff these days...

A-dough-be: Photoshop flinger pumps profits 50 per cent


I said this in 2013:

For me at least. As a hobbyist user of Photoshop I've been an Adobe customer since for ever and, to save money, bought only every other release these last few.

Doubtless this behaviour is what riles Adobe. But the subscription model is far more expensive than I can justify for a hobby. My guess is that the same is going to be true for many, perhaps the majority, of private users. So Adobe rather than make more money out of me you've lost a little.

However what will make the difference will be the take-up by corporate customers. That I cannot guess about. So far it doesn't look good but corps. are notoriously slow so maybe Adobe will keep them as CS6 becomes too old to use.

I guess we've now seen.

A while back I discovered that a new camera needed a new RAW plugin that needed a newer version of CS. Seems that Photoshop is now, after 25 years, no longer useful to me.

EU ends anonymity and rules open Wi-Fi hotspots need passwords


Re: Users required to reveal identities

That's so they can write your name on the cup. Wifi access will require much more.

Light at the end of Intel's Silicon Photonics: 100Gbps network tech finally shipping, sorta


"technology, which uses light through thin glass fibers to replace copper wires" Reads like a press release circa 1994.

CERN staff conduct 'human sacrifice' at supercollider site



...that the damned thing has worked this long with only a single sacrifice.

Osram's Lightify smart bulbs blow a security fuse – isn't anything code audited anymore?


All your bulb are belong to us.

Remember those stupid hoverboards? 500,000+ recalled in the US after they started exploding


Exploding hoverboards? Self correcting problem.

Inside Electric Mountain: Britain's biggest rechargeable battery


Re: Wonky math

Transposed the feet and meter figures. Silly billies.

Is uBeam the new Theranos?


Re: Worlds best tranducer, Worlds best microphone

"The unspeakably omnipotent members of the Complector Council were bound by nothing else save the laws of physics, and were generally held to be putting considerable effort into getting round those."

The Internet of Things edges toward a practical reality


Life changing features you never knew you needed.

Yesterday someone told me that they'd bought an oven with built-in webcam.

Great. Now you can watch your soufflé rise from the comfort of your armchair. And so can the rest of the world.

I can't help feeling that the IoT might have jumped the shark, but only if the shark is 802.11b/g/n enabled.

Good enough IT really is good enough. You don't need new hardware


Re: It's all about balance...

If six floors are all that you have...

Sysadmin given Licence To Perve shows why you always get it in writing


"A long time ago* in a galaxy far, far away...."

Or in a windowless cubbyhole in the depths of IT we ran a Usenet server for legitimate business reasons.

Enter person demanding (also for allegedly legitimate reasons) to see some pron. Preferably really nasty pron.

No, quoth we. It would be against all policy. So pron-fixated person goes to boss who dutifully gives him the same chapter and verse. On to boss-squared for the same result. Boss cubed and so on through the exponents until it arrived at the very top. From whence came the diktat "Do it!"

We quailed and genuflected and timorously prayed "Put it in writing." And lo the verse of the chapter was amended to say "...yea dismissal and dole will be upon ye except for this, which you must do." And we read the Revised Version and in obedience thereto added numerous binary groups to the server, supplied the means to assemble and view whatever might arrive and righteously averted our eyes.

Each day the valiant pron-seeker waxed wroth and wrother verily until the fourteenth dawn when he went full Lucifer and accused the minions of censoring his feed, impeding his noble purpose and even keeping his pron unto themselves.

We minions were puzzled. Had we not offered up the finest pron the interwebs had to offer? We mused, we pondered long — about 15 seconds — and dug out a binary viewer...

Now good and bad are often subjective values but we all (five of us) agreed that the "worst" a fortnight's binary collection had produced was a scantily clad lady of substantial build interacting with a widely available root vegetable.

Sadder and not notably wiser we returned the server to it pristine condition, scrubbed the evidence (such as it was) and turned our attention to less stimulating affairs.

[ * 1996. Any connection to other events of the time or the creation of the IWF will be denied.]

Pair programming: The most extreme XP practice?


After two cycles of management change pair programming became why do we have so many programmers.

At least, that's what it looked like from outside the programmers circle.

Hey, tech industry, have you noticed Amazon in the rearview?


Re: IT sales

I know that when I tell vendor that the budget is £X they'll come back with an overspecced quote nudging £2X.

Weeks will then be spent paring down the spec and "negotiating" the discounts until I get what I wanted in the first place at the price I was prepared to pay.

Vendor's seem to think that this ridiculous process will endear them to you for offering an extra special "good deal" but it doesn't.

Amazingly however it still seems to work on whole classes of PHBs who will, with apparent sincerity*, offer congratulations on said "good deal."

The willingness to forego the stupid price/product merry-go-round is why Dell — through a re-seller — got my last order over potential vendors $c, $h and $i. I have no idea if that was good vendor or good reseller but I do know that enquiry Monday, quote Tuesday, purchase order Thursday resulted in delivery following Tuesday. 9 (7 working) days from interest to install will result in return custom.

[ * Yes, I know it can be faked: but few PHBs have the skill-set.]

Call the Cable Guy: Wireless just won't cut it


Re: Direct wiring

Yup. At last gig it was the PoE IP-phones with pass-through for computer that ensured every desk had at least one live port from the get go. It was the 2nd device people who were the cause of patching.

How one developer just broke Node, Babel and thousands of projects in 11 lines of JavaScript


Re: Looks like everyone is being a dick

> Koçulu seems to be less than professional and not particularly polite in his responses.


Not impressed with Kik and not entirely convinced by NPM either.

But frankly when interacting with a community there's a minimum degree of politeness required and interacting with a business a minimum degree of professionalism.

Koçulu displayed neither and stamping his feet and taking his toys elsewhere just reinforced that impression.

French publishers join Swedish 'Block Party' to pester ad refuseniks


I was amused to find that acquiescing to one nag screen ended the nag but did not reveal any ads which were served from different domains. I suppose they'll get wise to this eventually... but it's been six months so far.

'Contractual barriers' behind geo-blocking could breach EU rules


The negotiation of publishing rights has yet to catch up with the EU's internal market.

Typically US/US English Language books will have three rights sales. North America, United Kingdom ( sometimes including Aus and NZ) and the rest of the world (with translations being another set of contracts). The details vary for other languages and origins but the principal is much the same, French being typically divided into France, N. America and ROW.

When you had the rights for one region case law said that it was okay to sell into any market to an individual but it was a transgression of another holder's rights to market a book in areas other than your own.

In practice this meant that a bookshop could order you a copy of an out-region work but could not shelve such copies for general sale.

Amazon's US and UK operations — on the advice of lawyers — has tried to replicate this model to stave off being sued by publishers who might claim their rights were being infringed and the same was done as other national markets were opened.

Unfortunately within the EU this is antithetical to the EU's borderless trade laws.

In my view it's long past time that the Commission shook both the retailers and the publishers out of their traditional practices and mandated EU-wide retailing which would in turn encourage similar scope in publishing deals.

Power outage in Sheffield kills e-commerce at Insight UK


Re: Rebranding?

It's not just immediate cash costs but also reputation.

Tender from Insight? Oh! Those guys who can't even keep their own data centre running...

Top rocket exec quits after telling the truth about SpaceX price war


From the 1817 Bonus Bill to the 2005 Gravina Island Bridge, two centuries of congress-critters buying the votes of the folks back home. Not a purely American tradition, but they must rank among its finest exponents.


Your 30 second guide to the past three months on Planet Adobe: Talk about sitting on cloud 9


Re: The 'jumping ship' bonus?

"moving from a high cost relatively low volume house targeting pros to the mass market for hobbyists"

Really? As a hobbyist I'd maintained a licence for Photoshop through upgrades from version 3.1 onwards. The subscription model pricing is what finally decided for me that it was no longer justified for my light use.

I'd rather assumed that I was typical in this — and that work forking out massively for CC was also, suggesting that Adobe's only interest was the corporate market.

So I'd be interested to know if there is any evidence that this in not in fact the case and that individual users are taking up CC in large numbers.

Dropbox slips 500PB into its Magic Pocket, not spread over AWS


Re: Easy

A terabyte is too much does strike me as an odd response.

If it's functional and affordable then surely 1 TB at £80/year is a better deal than say Amazon's 500GB for £160/year even if you don't expect to fill it.

Uncle Sam's boffins stumble upon battery storage holy grail


Re: @uncle sjohie

In the UK there is funding for on-street residential charge point installations which means that in principal it's possible.

But it means getting your local authority to do it, which means the practice might be very different.

And nothing there will solve the bar steward parked in my spot problem even if you do manage to get one installed.


E-borders will be eight years late and cost more than £1bn


Re: Government IT?

Yup. Moving goalposts are a problem everywhere but with government it seems to be ($numberofdepartments*$numberofmpsonthecommittee) orders of magnitude larger.