* Posts by cageordie

62 posts • joined 12 Nov 2013

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Phone jammers made my model plane smash into parked lorry, fumes hobbyist

cageordie

Re: Failsafe?

Seriously, you think a receiver can't tell it's being jammed? This isn't high end electronic warfare, it's just noise. Why would loss of control signal not allow a failsafe to operate. These things are pretty crummy and simple, but spotting a loss of good control signal is trivial.

cageordie

Re: Failsafe?

Believe it or not this was thought about half a century or more ago. The solution was to apply some rudder, cut the power, and wait to see what happens. A well setup plane will circle down slowly to the ground and, with luck, land somewhere accessible without getting trashed too badly. Even uncontrolled gliders used this, they stuck a glowing wick, known as dethermalizer fuze, which burned down and broke an elastic band which allowed the rudder to be pulled to a set position. People have been ingenious and attached to their many hours of work for many decades.

We're all at sea: Navigation Royal Navy style – with plenty of IT but no GPS

cageordie

Re: Reg units need not apply

It says here that 1 nautical mile is 2025.37 yards.

Originally the nautical mile was one minute of latitude at the equator, but was standardized at 1852 metres.

Always helps to actually be right when correcting other people.

cageordie

Re: Reg units need not apply

The fuel gauges were unserviceable. Broken. The 767 can usually tell you fairly well what it has in the tanks. With the gauges U/S they had to calculate the fuel load instead and set it in the FMC. Normally the three digital readouts below the fuel pump switches in the middle of the overhead panel tell you what you have in each wing and the center fuel tank, plus the total, and the fuel temperature.

cageordie

Re: Reg units need not apply

Check your facts. It was a 767. Actually, go and check all your facts. Neither the crew nor the ground crew could do the numbers. They did worse than run short, they found out by getting low fuel pressure on a fuel pump, followed closely by the other three. They flamed out when they were still at high altitude.

Here, I checked for you:

At this point, Quintal proposed landing at the former RCAF Station Gimli, a closed air force base where he had once served as a pilot for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Unbeknownst to Quintal or to the air traffic controller, a part of the facility had been converted to a race track complex, now known as Gimli Motorsports Park. It included a road race course, a go-kart track, and a dragstrip. A Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs-sanctioned sports car race hosted by the Winnipeg Sports Car Club was underway at the time of the incident and the area around the decommissioned runway was full of cars and campers. Part of the decommissioned runway was being used to stage the race.

cageordie

Re: Reg units need not apply

No dude, it's THE Royal Navy. The Royal Navy was the first Royal Navy, so it gets to call itself The Royal Navy. All other Royal Navies, like the Royal Australian Navy, have to say whose they are. The RN owns that term. Permanently.

American gliders use knots and feet.

cageordie

Re: "two main reasons why the Royal Navy no longer uses [paper charts]"

Believe it or not, the military has heard of EMP and they have been taking steps to avoid being killed by it for decades. Back in the 1980s Nuclear Event Detectors were standard parts in the weapons I was working on. EMP isn't the only way a nuke can kill outside its blast radius. But still, I'd like to think I'd sneak a few paper charts aboard, just to be on the safe side.

Everyone cites that 'bugs are 100x more expensive to fix in production' research, but the study might not even exist

cageordie

Well, I can name one that cost a fortune to fix

We worked with a company that put WiFi in hotel rooms with little short range transmitters in the Ethernet sockets. They worked OK in test and each single one was OK. When they got to the real world customers used both wired and wireless at the same time. Badness happened and network connections were dropped. They hadn't used interrupt driven I/O. When the load increased the system couldn't cope. So switch on interrupts. Easy. But no, they had not included a remote programming technique. So the fix was to visit every hotel room, take the cover plate off, plug in the jtag, reprogram the fpga and software. That cost a hell of a lot more than 100 times.

If I fix a bug now, in development, it's just fixed and nobody even hears about it. I was rotating a frame of reference for a sensor and one axis came out as zero all the time, easy fix, I'd copied to the Y axis twice, so Z was always 0. Even if the problem was found in testing it's going to be at least hours, and then the release it was intended for will be delayed and the regression testing will take a month. Testing a complex system takes a long time.

So 100 has always seemed very conservative to me.

Gung-ho tank gamer spills classified docs in effort to win online argument

cageordie

Re: Does OSA apply if you are outside UK?

UK and US work closely together. So the UK will not be impressed at anyone leaking US secrets. Post Trump I think it will be a long time before the UK trusts US security though.

cageordie

Re: In the public domain

Serious question? No. The OSA does not require you to have signed it, that's just icing on the cake. Ignorance is no defense. Classified is classified and the laws apply. Just like speeding when you claim you didn't see the limit sign, even if you turned on from a side road and there wasn't one. So if you find something interesting and decide to give it to the BBC that's pretty bad, if you decide to sell it to the Russians or Chinese then you may not have to worry where your next meal is coming from for quite a few years.

How to keep your enterprise up to date by deploying the very latest malware

cageordie

Re: Been there - on a Nuclear Power Plant

You trusted PCs to run the reactor? Holy crap! I interviewed at Rolls Royce Associates once, they do reactor controls for nuclear subs. They told me in the 1980s obsess over analyzing every component mode failure for discrete and small scale integrated parts, then throw their hands up and say it's too complex for the large scale ICs. I did some not entirely unrelated work for UK MoD. We didn't trust any commercial operating system for our safety critical work. PCs later killed US Ticonderoga class guided missile cruisers. Over the years the USN has talked down the severity, but I took some classes with one of the engineers who was on the ship at the time and he said they were dead in the water and needed a tow. To this day I would not use a PC to run a critical system.

Pre-orders open for the Mini PET 40/80, the closest thing to Commodore's classic around

cageordie

OK, but why?

Tynemouth huh? I started on a 32kB pet just ten miles from there. I got used to "Please press play on tape #1". I got started in software by learning to cheat at Battleships by taking out limits. But those machines were desperately slow. I just don't need something that reproduces the waiting experience. And if it doesn't then it's just a keyboard reproduction, except the one I started on in 1979(?) had the proper keyboard. It was a good trick, but that was all.

Samsung Galaxy S21: Lots of little downgrades, but this phone is more than the sum of its parts

cageordie

Re: MicroSD

Oh, right, the one that didn't sell. I went from the S5 to the S7 because of that. The S5 wasn't good enough, but the S6 wasn't acceptable, so we waited for the S7. That was OK until the S10 came out. I don't see a compelling case to upgrade to the 5G phones for my current use. I wonder if S21 will go the same way of the S6 and be a flop because of this one missing feature.

EU says Boeing 737 Max won't fly over the Continent just yet: The US can make its own choices over pilot training

cageordie

Re: If the software hasn't been changed to use redundant sensors

It's not just the three sensors. Internally the aircraft has a dual redundant control system, not triple like the 747/757/767/777/787, or more. Airbus can lose whole sets of systems and still keep flying. The 737 has plan A, and plan B. If a single failure happens in both systems then you are back to their much vaunted pulley system. Basically the 737 has a flight control system from an earlier era, tarted up to look modern. All other Boeing commercial aircraft since the 747 have reasonably logically laid out triple redundant systems. Just take a look at the overhead panel on the 737, it shows the history of the aircraft in the mixture of display and switch technologies used when each feature was added.

cageordie

Re: @DS999

The Loughead brothers would be rolling in their grave. Lock-Mart is a separate company. Boeing bought MD and inherited the bean counting corporate cockroaches that ran the Douglas company into the ground. They are serial offenders, but they have become rich along the way.

cageordie

Re: @DS999

The MCAS software was done by an Indian subcontractor. Boeing's own engineers did the fly by wire system for the 777, which works very well. Boeing took the cheapest possible route on the 737, to maximize profit come what may. Well that worked out for them, didn't it? Boeing proves again that their management didn't learn the harsh lesson from contracting out work on the 787.

cageordie

Re: MAX design

LOL! You so missed the point! The 737 is a cut down 707 designed in the 60s but based on a late 50s design. The low bypass JT8D engines allowed short undercarriage legs to be used and got the 737-100 close to the ground so that stairs could be used easily. Older 737s are still in service in the far north of America since they are the only western passenger jets than can be fitted with a gravel kit for operation from dirt strips. Boeing is stuck with the consequences of the design choice they made in the very early 60s. Even with the changes they made to accommodate the larger engines the MAX still has an 8.6" smaller fan on their LEAP-1B engines than Airbus has on the A320neo's LEAP-1As. Do you want me to explain why size matters to fuel economy? This is a crappy old aircraft. But Boeing management wouldn't pay the money to design a modern aircraft. So now they have lost the money, an more, in a PR disaster. This is the second time that their attempts to prove their own engineers are over paid and self important has cost them billions. At least $20 billion on the 787 program and then the thick end of another $20 billion here. Do you need that explained?

cageordie

To be more accurate it was contracted out to Indian software subcontractors who did it cheaper than the self important Boeing engineers that Boeing management despise.

Fancy renting your developer environment? Visual Studio goes online

cageordie

My company PC developers might, but I'll just stop updating

I am fine with Visual Studio 2017. I only use it for prototyping algorithms anyway. My company is vast enough that there are probably IT types who will go for this, but on engineering programs I'll use Linux if I need a PC hosted tool. I mostly develop for embedded operating systems, but I don't rent anything.

Flight Simulator 2020: Exciting new ride or a doomed tailspin in a crowded market?

cageordie

Will it have more accurate aircraft models than X-Plane? By more accurate I mean engine performance, including modeling fuel burn and thrust changes with weather and altitude. Will it fly correctly? Will MCAS shove you into the ground on a 737 Max? Will it have all the switches on the overhead live and controlling the right systems models? If it won't then it's another junk toy. If it will then I'll take a look.

Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again

cageordie

Being oldish

When the IBM PC came out in 1981 there were already 8MHz 68000 machines, because the TDI Pinnacle and Sage IV were reviewed in the same issue and ran the benchmarks faster. So to be producing a 5MHz 68K in 1985 is ridiculous. The Atari 520ST was released in June 1985 with 512KB of RAM and an 8MHz 68K. It cost a fraction of the price of anything Apple shipped and was faster too. Apple made a really good attempt at failing.

What happens when a Royal Navy warship sees a NATO task force headed straight for it? A crash course in Morse

cageordie

Re: Full speed ahead

That's one of those post hoc ergo propter hoc things, which is true, for a change. The reason the Exocet hits where it does is because that's where the CIC is. If the CIC was usually somewhere else then the Exocet would be designed to hit somewhere else. So no matter where they put the CIC that's where the missile is heading for. And Exocet is the least of your problems, take a look at P-500 Bazalt, or more recent things.

cageordie

We told them not to do that

FWIW, which is little. Many years ago we were talking to people like DGDQA and our various project offices and we told them Windows was a really bad idea for realtime mission critical systems on ships and in Army use. For Eurofighter I think they were mandating VxWorks and 68040 when we were bidding. That we didn't have an issue with, it was the late 80s after all. The called it COE, the common operating environment. They eventually told us to use Windows for the management and configuration systems. I dealt with that by automating all the tasks that the management system was supposed to perform in the realtime system, which was bare machine 8051! Because a ten quid microcontroller is what the software guys get in a box containing three and a half grand in Altera MAX 10000 parts, which were the latest and greatest in 1996. No worries about hacking and random crashes in our software. MS were trying to sell us WinCE and Windows NT RT. What GARBAGE. At least we never sank low enough to use Windows. Do you remember when NT stranded a USS Yorktown? 1997 off Virginia. A bad database entry resulted in a divide by zero that took down everything, including propulsion. PATHETIC! It still makes me angry that such amateurs had a job in military software.

Millennials 'horrify' their neighbours with knob-shaped lights display

cageordie

Worthless without pictures

No pictures of a visual story? How's that work? Not very well.

Ex-Intel engineer tried to make off with 3D XPoint secret sauce on his way to Micron, says Chipzilla

cageordie

They were in a partnership. From what I remember Micron were the developers... weren't they?

SQLite creator crucified after code of conduct warns devs to love God, and not kill, commit adultery, steal, curse...

cageordie

Religion has no place in business. Unless your business is a church, and even then only when the employee affected shares your religion, and it doesn't break any other laws.

Sky customer dinged for livestreaming pay-per-view boxing to Facebook

cageordie

Re: THAT Price for one View?

> It's not a single boxing match - it's a night of boxing.

The rest of which almost nobody wants to see.

This is the same argument used to sell packages of cable TV channels, almost all of which are complete garbage, which is why I no longer have any cable, or satellite, TV. If it was available in the US I'd just pay the BBC license fee and watch Aunty Beeb.

Watching people brain damage each other as a sport? Not paying a penny to encourage that anyway.

UK lacks engineering and tech skills to make government's industrial strategy work – report

cageordie

Re: All the jobs were sent offshore to get it for cheap....

That isn't subsidy, it's investment, you tool.

Disk drive fired 'Frisbees of death' across data centre after storage admin crossed his wires

cageordie

Re: Lathes

That sort of thing really is common. In ten weeks of workshop practice we had the same idiot put one piece through the roof while turning between centers and then, not two weeks later, explode the stone on the cylindrical grinder. When a stone breaks at 5-9,000 rpm it has real energy, and the parts head out of the machine at speed. Even old 14" hard disks had nothing like enough energy to get out of the case.

The Next Big Thing in Wi-Fi? Multiple access points in every home

cageordie

Prior art much

What counts are AAA? Symbol was doing distributed wireless switches back in 2003 when I joined them. By about 2004 we had Kerberos and other login security as well as always following the latest encryption standards. By the time I left in 2007 we were meshing access points so we could cover parking lots and large campuses without wiring infrastructure. So what was new in 2012?

Don't install our buggy Windows 10 Creators Update, begs Microsoft

cageordie

Yeah. Whatever. Works for me.

That's what I am running right now. It's not like it's a work machine or anything, just the test and toy machine. So far it's working fine. But then it dual boots Linux, in case it gets too badly borked. I have had to roll back one release.

Mark Shuttleworth says some free software folk are 'deeply anti-social' and 'love to hate'

cageordie

But it was crap

So people didn't like his Fisher Price interface? Well that was predictable. I think the most popular task completed in Unity was replacing Unity. All he's proving is that he's as arrogant as his decision to force Unity on people suggested.

IETF 'reviewing' US event plans in the face of Trump's travel ban

cageordie

Even the Rethuglicans don't argue with the main point

President Bannon. Yup, with his attack dog Trump fronting for him.

Ghost of DEC Alpha is why Windows is rubbish at file compression

cageordie

Re: The biggest problem with the alpha chip was yield

Take a look at the early days of any technology and yield is poor. Right now I work on a next generation Flash architecture, almost nothing about it works. It's incredibly poor compared to current Flash. But next year it will be in the stores. That's just how development goes at the cutting edge, and that's what the Alpha once was.

Lessons from the Mini: Before revamping or rebooting anything, please read this

cageordie

The original Mini needed some improvement, but it needed to be a mini. Fiat seemed to get that with the 500. Surely it would have been possible to make a small, cheap, economical car? I have a lovely picture of a BMC Mini parked next to its bloated namesake in Reno NV. And where did the space go? I am 6'3" and used to ride around in my friends Cooper S. The back of a mini was not good for me, it was possible, but not good. The really bad parts about the mini were crash worthiness and susceptibility to damp, the distributor and plugs were on the front of the engine, out in the weather. Could it be done? Well the systems from a Smart car show the mechanicals can be done. Does every car need navigation and a TV display in the dash? No! Most of the time what I need is an engine, transmission, brakes, steering, wipers, lights and seats. For electronics I need a Bluetooth connection for my phone. ABS is mandated as are air bags, but they fit in a Smart so they aren't a problem. Same with the emissions system. Enough with the feature creep.

Can Facebook influence an election result?

cageordie

You mean progressive?

Liberal means weak and limp wristed. What you should be saying is Progressive. Forward thinking. Trying to make positive change.

BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it

cageordie

I use wired on this machine. But then I live in a country where you can shoot trespassers, though sadly not one where I can actually watch the BBC. So who cares what I thing ;-)

Londoner jailed after refusing to unlock his mobile phones

cageordie

Re: Well?

Typical yank pillock trying to prove that owning an assault rifle makes him safe from having his credit card details stolen by scammers. Your 'legal' system can't even stop the "this is your final notice" credit card refinancing scams, because so long as someone rich is making money it can't be illegal. Dickensian era oligarchy pretending to be capitalism. Go buy some guns, keep the companies rich. I bet it won't help you when you do get robbed. Most likely by the Republicans giving your super rich a 'tax break', or in other words shifting more of the burden of running their pleasure park to the cleaners and food service employees.

cageordie

Dude? Years' ? Of or belonging to years? Not years, plural of year? Really? Where'd you fail your GCSE English?

Singapore Airlines 777 catches fire after engine alarm

cageordie

Some aircraft can land at MTOW. MTOW for the 777-300LR is 775,000 pounds but max landing weight is 554,000 pounds, so they have to have a jetison system because stooging around for ten hours burning fuel down to the max landing weight is not a valid option. The 777 dumps fuel from both sides, the controls are in the overhead panel immediately above the fuel pump controls, you can enable the left and right dump separately, select the amount to remain and then arm the system at which point it dumps down to the required remaining amount.

cageordie

Serious questions to answer on this one.

If he had an emergency caused by an fault then was that engine still running? The aircraft can fly very happily on one. Why didn't he evacuate? An aircraft can burn to the ground in minutes and they had a good chance of toasting everyone. They got lucky. You land with a fire, you get everyone off the plane. You don't sit and wait to see if the fuel tanks burn through before the fire crew controls the fire. It is not safer on the plane. There is nothing safe about a burning plane. The moment it stops you hit the parking brake, switch the engines off, yell "evacuate, evacuate, evacuate" to the cabin, secure the aircraft and leave.

Google kneecaps payday loan ads

cageordie

So they won't allow AMEX adverts?

AMEX requires repayment within 60 days. And if you don't I believe they charge high interest too. Don't know how high though.

Pilot posts detailed MS Flight Sim video of how to land Boeing 737

cageordie

This has been done better before

There are loads of videos like this, it is amazing that this one became news. Baltic Flight Academy has a whole series for the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 classic and NG models. In their case they use proper full motion certified simulators. The problem with FSX is that the flight model and cockpit model aren't all that good. X-Plane has better simulations, including very accurate 777 and 747-8 models, among others. The following Youtube video shows a flight attendant landing a Boeing 737.

https://youtu.be/o7WMQUDGDD4

cageordie

Re: Knowing what a lever or button do is just the beginning...

It really isn't all that difficult, humans are very good at learning hand-eye coordination. Chances of watching this and being able to program the approach in to the FMC... not very good.

I never liked FSX, fortunately there's X-Plane, which is a much better flight model anyway. As luck would have it my Boeing certified 777 Worldliner is flying itself from KSFO to BIKF right now.

Come on kids, let's go play in the abandoned nuclear power station

cageordie

Back then the government did know the risks

Regardless of all the statements about the brilliant technology, the government and the MoD scientists at the time knew what they were doing when the put this place as far as physically possible from London. Where they lived. If it was safe they'd have put it in Portsmouth, or Southampton, somewhere convenient for the plutonium they were manufacturing to be shipped to the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment in Aldermaston

cageordie

Re: Steel Fuel Tubes

Reactor design, which my uncles Alan and Richard, and my friend also Alan, used to do for NEI Quick Reactors (aka NEI Fast Breeders) is physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, software engineering, systems engineering and a great deal more. British degrees give you a good start down the road to being useful to a project team. American degrees waste half their time on 'general education' and get you to the start of a Master's Degree which teaches you what the last year of a British degree teaches you. A British degree from a 'good university' also costs a quarter of what an American degree from a 'good university' costs and doesn't require another couple of years and twice the cost of a British degree to catch up. On the other hand we didn't get time for buggering about in classes not taught to any recognized standard by cynical people who know they are just wasting your time.

cageordie

Re: By train: Regular service from Inverness to Thurso

I guess people who don't like this comment don't know the history of the shifting name of Windscale, or Sellafield, depending on how recently it has had an 'incident'.

Cisco: The day of PCs is passing, cloud storage will dominate by 2019

cageordie

Really? Really? Again?

LOL! I must have been hearing this since maybe 1990 when the IT folks realized people were taking control away from them. Every now and again this gets rolled out and dusted off again. Remember the thin client? I saw one of the prototypes at Liberate back around y2k, they had upgraded it with a local hard disk! You expect me to put all the crap I have stored on my 8 terabytes of disk on this machine to some company in the expectation that they will keep it private. Because big companies never have security issues and are always reliable and available? LOL!

A thousand mile Atom merci mission: Driving from Monaco to London in an open-topped motor

cageordie

Ha! Nice to see Paul is still enjoying his driving.

NASA rover coders at Intel's Wind River biz axed – sources

cageordie

Re: Plenty of near misses on Mars missions

Hmm. Where do you make up your 'facts'? Back around 97 NASA decided to ignore advice to set the inversion safe bit on semaphores and had to patch the thing once it got there and something they once saw turned in to a lockup every few minutes. Then there was the autonav failure where the autonav asked for Newtons but the engine folks didn't do metric and gave them pounds, so they slowed too much and burned to a crisp. And there was the weight on legs switch that was set by the legs flipping open, and latched, and not reset when the landing radar got an instantaneous echo... so they switched the braking motor off at around 20m and dropped the lander the rest of the way. There have been memory faults, but those are hardware failures, they are expected when you operate with little shielding in the hard radiation of space for years on end. The Mars shots that JPL engineered, rather than Lockheed, worked and have exceeded their expected life. VxWorks is a proper realtime operating system, not a hacker project or a Microsoft mess.

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