* Posts by RobDog

54 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Oct 2013


Chinese Tesla owners protest another round of price cuts


Hello Ford? About that Focus

That I bought a year ago. It’s cheaper now. I feel I’m due some money back.

<click brrrrrr>


Same. Stupid pay the price and stop complaining.

The CES tat bazaar: Bike desks, AI-powered bird feeders, and the smelloverse



I know what that is without looking. In my Desktop screensaver slideshow along with Tyre Nails and Junior Beer.

Don’t expect a Raspberry Pi 5 in 2023, says Raspboss Eben Upton


Big up for Explaining Computers

Great channel. He does the research to a depth I don’t have time to do and often puts a spin on it that I enjoy. So yes thanks Chris Barnatt too.

Zinc: An Ubuntu remix that dares to be different


Re: Another day, another distro

And how long did that take you?

And how long will it last?

My point is, why do ‘they’ keep reinventing stuff, instead of choosing a a jumping off point and continually improving it?

and yes, for my Linux requirements I have done what has been suggested; Mint and Raspberry Pi OS. And very satisfied I am too.


Another day, another distro

That’s different, just like everyone else

Another ‘different’ desktop

Another package manager

Yada yada

It’s this that makes me not go Linux

Tesla recalls 40k cars over patch that broke power steering


Re: Maybe the roads will last longer

Surely the other way round?

“This is why cyclists and motorcyclists don’t chow up the road surface and massive lorries do”

Motorcycles and cyclists can turn their tyres against the surface like PS vehicles can and do, but the contact patch is miniscule compared and they hardly ever do it because it’s a crap way to maneouvre two-wheeled vehicles.

What planet are you in?


Re: Power steering

I learned to drive in a non-PAS Vauxhall Cavalier. My instructor gave me a stern rebuke when I tried hauling the steering wheel round whilst stationary because of the damage/premature wear it would do to his steering rack. That was 40 years ago, I’ve never forgotten it and taught my son to listen out for a power steering pump struggling to turn the tyres against the road surface, and that will be cheaper for him in long term maintenance to just keep the car moving slowly whilst maneouvering.


Re: Power steering

To be fair, the massive size of an original beetle helped in that respect. Before your compensated for the lash in the steering box that is….

Killing trees with lasers isn’t cool, says Epson. So why are inkjets any better?


Epson R200 owner for a long time

At the end of my tother with it, i bought used broken ones because they often had part used and unused carts with them. Cheaper than buying new carts, people have them away for a fiver or tenner.



Hardly print at home but when I had an ink jet it clogged and dried up between jobs (weeks or months apart) total waste of ink.

Bought an £300 laser - instantly ready to go anytime. I reckon I’ve recouped that money already, still on the ‘intro’ carts

Twenty years on, command-line virus scanner ClamAV puts out version 1


It takes one to know one

That’s all.

Aviation regulators push for more automation so flights can be run by a single pilot




Delivery drone crashes into power lines, causes outage


Re: Undue Risks

Hang on a minute lads, I’ve got a great idea…erm…

Terminal downgrade saves the day after a client/server heist


Help yourselves

I worked for a UK clothes and home retailer (defunct quite recently actually) in early 90s, and one morning we arrived at HO to find, on one floor, monitors disconnected and placed on the floor (15inc crt so some effort required), little piles of screws neatly beside the Elonex desktops, lids lifted and the 4MB/8MB sticks of RAM gone. Probably about 40 machines. Hey ho, we’d heard it was going on and we were a victim. You’d think a lesson would have been learned. Except that 2 weeks later, a different gang (maybe) returned and this time were not so civil, and a number of the monitor signal wires (fixed connection, not plugged) had been cut to speed relocation, the lids of the pcs wrenched off with some kind of pry tool and again, the RAM nicked. Just for good measure, they didn’t bin the remains of their sustenance; crumpled sandwich packages, crisp packets and coke cans.

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


Re: The d in £sd

Do you know the address of OJ Simpson’s website?

Slash slash backslash escape


Re: Bank Accounts

I offered to swap my Magic Robot game for a skateboard. No takers, unsurprisingly.

“Matt Bianco? Bunch of w*nkers.”


Re: Honesty kills

I up-arrowed your comment for that paragraph in italics. The rest was good too of course.

Insurance giant Lloyd's hires DXC to migrate org off legacy mainframes to AWS cloud


Re: DXC? Is it really still alive?

Same. I was with the other half of the forced marriage that resulted in DXC - that’s CSC and they were terrible then. I got the hell out 4 years after I was TUPEd from one of their first UK contracts. Empty promises of career progression and opportunity. All I ever did was my best.

Post-quantum crypto cracked in an hour with one core of an ancient Xeon


SIKE or ‘ha! Psyche!’

It serves then right for giving it such a stupid name. Are they 8 year olds?

After 40 years in tech, I see every innovation contains its dark opposite


Similar happened here in England

Newspaper report some years ago showed estate agent photos of a house in Dungeness, Kent, lovely and appealing but photographed from angles where you couldn’t see the nuclear power plant a couple of hundred metres away.

Found it!



Re: Agree, Agree ..... 1000 times agree !!!

I visited EMC World in 2011 and we were shown internet-connected vending machines that recognised your phone as you walked by, and shouted out to you offering wares based on earlier purchases from wherever they took place. Not necessarily the same location, they just knew who you were. Creepy.

Microsoft tests CD ripping for Media Player in Windows 11


Rip those CDs

I’m still working through mine but for about the last 15 years I’ve been using Audiograbber with and added LAME dll. So fast, gets the cd track list for me. It belongs to the XP days but maybe that’s why I like it.

Hive to pull the plug on smart home gadgets by 2025


Re: Reciva Radios

I bought A Netgear MP101, internet radio, one of the first IOT devices, before the cloud, bit ropey, but the service lasted 17 months I think before the put the kybosh on it. Waste of money. No prospect of re-configuring for any other streaming service. In the loft.

NOBODY PRINT! Selfless hero saves typing pool from carbon catastrophe


3 copies, yep

The British defunct retailer I worked at, used to print all manner of stuff on 2 or 3 or 4 part through the IBM tractor feed hammer printer, white green pink and blue (with carbon). These might be 5-10 thousand pages which we then had to run through a Moore-Paragon decollator, to separate the copies and wind up the carbon paper, then EACH COPY through a Moore-Paragon burster. These ancient machines had the propensity to completely transform those carefully aligned pages to scrunched up waste, if not carefully managed which was no small feat at 3am. When all this was transferred to a super fast IBM 3800 laser, yes four mono copies were printed and down the side in small letters each copy had printed the colour it used to be.

The perfect crime – undone by the perfect email backups


One for me, one for you

When I worked on the employee service desk for a large British retailer, I was once asked to remote in to a IBM 4680 terminal and watch the transactions go through, whilst CCTV observed the same terminal. A certain shop worker was making refunds, but to balance the cash drawer, she would slip herself a £10 or £20 here and there during a real transaction, and slide a Polo mint (‘Lifesavers’) from one pile to another to keep track of her gains. By making refunds, and sliding then Polos back to pile 1, at the end of the day they all had to be back there to balance the drawer.

Record players make comeback with Ikea, others pitching tricked-out turntables


On balance, that reply gave me the needle

Apple's Mac Studio exposed: A spare storage slot and built-in RAM


Re: Reasonably priced Mac Pro

I’ve sold two iMacs in the past of year and both of them were at least 8 years old when they were re-sold. Both were immaculate and had never given me a lick of trouble. In both cases the buyers said they had got them at a very reasonable price - shows what I know - and both emailed me subsequently to say Thanks.

My wife still uses the 2011 MBA I got her (in 2011 for clarity). My brother has a second-hand 2014 iMac and converted from Windows.

In other words 100% of the 5 Macs I have known, have been 100% reliable and never let their disappointed their owners. Interestingly none had needed an upgrade, same spec they came with from day 1. Performed most acceptably.

Trio of Rust Core Team members take their leave


Re: Seems like...

Them leaving suddenly must have been like a blow from a hammer, right?

Ceefax replica goes TITSUP* as folk pine for simpler times


Booked it packed it f’d off

‘That’s a good one there…Malta, self-catering, fortnight….where’s hold on here?? Where’s hold?? Don’t make it big, what are you making it bigger for?? Get a pen!! Nope it’s gone. That’s it, finished.’

Spot on


You've stolen the antiglare shield on that monitor you've fixed – they say the screen is completely unreadable now


Two reminiscences here

Where I still work, there used to be a smoking area that was essentially a corridor with swing doors at each end, with a few tables and chairs for a coffee and fag break. Problem is, it was (and is) a very handy shortcu between two significant offices. To use it, you stood at one end and gulped in a lungful of air, opened the ‘airlock’ door and Olympic-walked the 50m and released the air at the other end. It saved your lungs but your clothes still scoope up the smoke and you could smell it on you.

Secondly, my older brother had an Atari ST but only ever played games on it, but fags were cheap then and he routinely went through 20 a day. But he was the brawn of the family; every couple of weeks I was paid a fiver (lot of money when you’re 15 in the mid 80s) for opening up his ST and giving it a clean out, after I’d told him all the ash was the cause of it overheating and causing disk read errors.

Does the boss want those 2 hours of your free time back? A study says fighting through crowds to office each day hurts productivity


Re: Who got the extra time?

Exactly the same, except that being at the end of a branch line meant my services were first to get the chop in the event of signal failure or other excuses and then forced on to a stinky old bus replacement service.

I try to use the time I’ve got back usefully…I’m not much of a gym goer but a whole backlog of diy has been cleared, breakfast is less rushed and I take a ten inure stroll around the adjacent park a couple of times a day. Better than spending a fiver on Costa Ona crowded street.

Fatal Attraction: Lovely collection, really, but it does not belong anywhere near magnetic storage media


Tried something similar

I had built up a batch of 20-odd disks removed from a Proliant ML750 which was being scrapped but we wanted to ensure the disks got special treatment, I took them down to the maintenance engineers and asked them to drill holes through with the drill stand in the area where the platters were and through the pcb. He called me back and said come and get the rest, I’ve managed 2 of them, any more and I’ll have to start charging you for broken drill bits.

Fast forward 20 years and now I get them destroyed by a company that brings in machine no bigger than a photocopier but it has a scissoring blades at one end of a slow conveyor. You put the disk on one end of the belt, a camera takes a picture of the disk’s barcodes etc, the the blades come down and slowly slice the disk into bits the size of Twix bars. It’s awesome to watch and the crunching is totally satisfying.

The bits then drop into plastic boxes, where - because the disks were no longer whole maybe - I expected them to miraculously lose weight. No. I nearly pulled my kipper lifting the first one with the equivalent of 15 hard disks in it.

Rookie's code couldn't have been so terrible that it made a supermarket spontaneously combust... right?


RAM gone - and gone again.

I worked for a UK clothes and home retailer (defunct quite recently actually) in early 90s, and one morning we arrived at HO to find, on one floor, monitors disconnected and placed on the floor (15inc crt so some effort required), little piles of screws neatly beside the Elonex desktops, lids lifted and the 4MB/8MB sticks of RAM gone. Probably about 40 machines. Hey ho, we’d heard it was going on and we were a victim. You’d think a lesson would have been learned. Except that 2 weeks later, a different gang (maybe) returned and this time were not so civil, and a number of the monitor signal wires (fixed connection, not plugged) had been cut to speed relocation, the lids of the pcs wrenched off with some kind of pry tool and again, the RAM nicked. Just for good measure, they didn’t bin the remains of their sustenance; crumpled sandwich packages, crisp packets and coke cans.

A word to the Wyse: Smoking cigars in the office is very bad for you... and your monitor


Home computers too

I was an Amiga user, non smoker, but my brother - 40 or more JPS per day - was an Atari ST owner. But an electronics enthusiast he was not, I was really the computer kid, so he used to pay me a fiver periodically to open it up and clean it out when the disk drive played up. Good money when I was 14.

Facebook accused of trying to bypass GDPR, slurp domain owners' personal Whois info via an obscure process


Re: What do you think it is about

Back in 2011 I visited an expo by a large eel know storage company in Las Vegas and it was the first they were bandying around the term Big Data and where it lives.

In one of the keynotes, the guy told of a project where HR depts had started trawling your socials to get a flavour of what kind of person you were, and then also of a project where vending machines in Japan called out to you by name, offering you tempting treats, based on your purchasing history and the fact it had recognised your device details as you strolled by.

Sky customers moan: Our broadband hubs are bricking it


Re: I have a PLEX server at home

I use Serviiio and a bunch of mains network connectors with a couple of hubs for things like CCTV and printer in the summer house/office. When I got my Sky Q equipment (multiroom including new hub/router) my network went haywire. Stuff just stopped being seen; printer, Serviio, XBOX problems. Also, Q multiroom as standard is all about WiFi which caused a massive pain for the numerous mobile devices here. I reverted back to my pretty TP-Link and found the Sky network access credentials easy enough online. Now everything works again, and my own router meant I could tweak access controls etc which I couldn’t get to in the Sky router. Also, with a bit of googling was able to make the Q stuff work over cabled Ethernet not WiFi which made a big difference.

The short version is, the Sky supplied (customised TP-Link) equipment disrupted what my own environment so much it was with the time and effort to deploy kit I could manage completely myself. Their box is in the loft, in its box.

Apple's revamped iPad beams a workhorse in from Planet Ludicrous


2017 pencil charging

Just for clarification, it doesn’t only charge by plugging in to the iPad lightning socket, which does make it bizarrely stick out. You get a little dongle (free!) with the pencil with female both sides, so you can charge from a standard lightning cable. Looks like a large paracetamol or mint and easily loseable.

UK.gov plans £2,500 fines for kids flying toy drones within 3 MILES of airports


Re: Droning on

I absolutely agree, there never was/were any drone/s, it was a false flag event concocted as an excuse to state that multi-million pound anti-drone equipment was being installed. Got to to counter good news with bad - in this instance, feed us the fear and hysteria (so what if a few thousand people missed their flights, they only saved hard for their holidays).

Slightly related, I believe that all these high-profile IT ‘failures’ by Big Corp are no coincidence either. There’s something going on but I can’t put my finger on it. Some sort of agenda or plan or something. I’m not being specific because I can’t be. Just suspicious.

Windows XP? Pfff! Parts of the Royal Navy are running Win ME


Re: Few comments

I had something similar. The tills in the restaurant were DOS machines, all worked ok even had touch screens. The provider came in and told the managers a costly upgrade to Windows 2000 was required, many improvements, including supporting two card readers etc. I did my bit and watched them install the kit, then came the testing where they promptly fired up the SAME DOS application just running in a DOS-emulating window.

The best part though was the two card readers part - ‘twice as many customers!’ they puffed - ‘still only one till operator!’ I retorted - as experience went on to show, nothing improved but the frequency of windows crashes and patching accelerated.

Which scientist should be on the new £50 note? El Reg weighs in – and you should vote, too


Notable by their absence

John Harrison - as a maritime nation it’s shameful that he hasn’t had a mention as the man who solved the longitudinal navigation problem.

And where is Isambard Kingdom Brunel ferchrissakes?

Life's a beach – then you're the comms nexus of the British Empire and Marconi-baiting hax0rs


More on FLAG and undersea cable history here


It’s quite a read

Reg reader turns Geek's Guides to Britain into Geek's Map of Britain


For more on Porthcurno

This is an excellent read


Bloke, 22, in knockoff Microsoft Xbox ring gets 18 months in the cooler



...I have you now!"

Grandmaster FLUSH: Chess champ booted for allegedly cheating with iPod app in the loo


Re: Sub-optimal

I visited a chess tournament & convention at a hotel once

but I left soon after I got through the door, I couldn't stand the bragging.

If there's one thing I can't stand, it's...chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.

Marconi: The West of England's very own Italian wireless pioneer


Worth a read, on a different site

OK so on the subject of telegraphy, since this topic veered that way a little - this (link below) is WELL worth a read, from Wired:


Takes a while to get through but is very interesting

Hollywood vs hackers: Vulture cracks Tinseltown keyboard cornballs


You've missed one - The Italian Job (1969)

Yes - the scene where they creep into the computer room bridge (note: NOT server room!) and swap out a loaded tape with one containing 'deez new program'. To do it, Benny Hill (Professor Peach, looking after the technical end) is offered a screwdriver??! And when the tape is mounted, it's clearly twisted....and making some sort of bup bup bupbupbupbup noise..now, in all my years as an op, no 3420 made that sound...

Scoff ye not: Chap carves crunchy carrot-copter


Drone/quad/UAV - please use in context

This isn't a UAV, as most quads aren't. I am a quad enthusiast, not a UAV builder, and not everyone who builds quads wants to strap an Arduino & GPS to it and have it fly away to A then B then C under it's own control...most of us build a quadcopter then fly it ourselves...at which point it is just another hoverable RC aircraft.

So please - don't get all Daily Fail and mix up your terms and frighten people...

Brits: Wanna know how late your train is? Now you can slurp straight from the source for free


Branch line woes

Agree with all Tom 38 points, and as a commuter at the end of a branch line, will add this - that when there is a problem on the main line, the branch line services suffer first; invariably services are cancelled and a bus laid on...and it descends into an uncomfortable, overheated, crowded pukey nightmare.

But - because the mainline soldiered on and a bus replacement provided, there's no recompense for the inconvenience. Carry on paying. At least, reduce my annual fare pro-rata but no; I still pay the same per-mile cost as the travellers on the mainline whose service is disrupted less or kept going because they represent the bulk of the travelling public.

Lastly, one train an hour?? Look - just lay on a branch shuttle to the nearest mainline connection, would you please, Abellio Greater Anglia? And make it one every half an hour. I would accept a change of train for a more regular service to get home after a long day!

Google adds a sense of history to Street View with archive footage


I think what I would like to see

as a logical extension to this, would be the (eg) Francis Frith collections of photos of yesteryear slurped and cleverly integrated into StreetView. So rolling back the years, but much much further, and checking out how things have changed since Ye Olden Days