* Posts by Zenco

10 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Nov 2013

Could a leaky capacitor be at fault on ESA's Sentinel-1B?


I was under the impression that only polarised capacitors could leak. In my experience the only fault mode of a ceramic capacitor is mechanical failure, where it goes open circuit.

UK schools slap a hold on facial scanning of children amid fierce criticism


Shouldn't those responsible be held to account for their wilful ignorance and stupidity regarding data protection and privacy. They want to throw computer tech at everything that moves because they think it makes them modern and hip. A spell in the corner with a dunce cap perhaps.

Roam if you want to: China’s Zhurong rover begins trundling on Mars



I am impressed with the result, but when you consider the years of effort and money spent, repeated tries and experience gained by America, Russia, Great Britain and Japan, going into space, I am curious to know from whence does China's success derive, having no track record at all.

FSF doubles down on Richard Stallman's return: Sure, he is 'troubling for some' but we need him, says org


Let those without sin, cast the first stone...

Thousands of taxpayers' personal details potentially exposed online through councils' debt-chasing texts


Private individuals get picked on and bullied by arrogant incompetent faceless bureaucracy. Would it be too much to ask that all officials are named and held personally responsible for every action they take, with systems designed so that there is no wriggle room. They want all the perks and the kudos, but never the comeback. If a lowly functionary screws up, their immediate superior should take the flak, and the person above him likewise, all the way to the top, they are just the hired help after all. Zen.

The 40-Year-Old Version: ZX81's sleek plastic case shows no sign of middle-aged spread


I sent off for the ZX80 kit and an assembled ZX81 was delivered. A year later I attended a computer show in London, where Haven Hardware (father & son) were selling a colour add-on for the ZX81. Shortly after the Spectrum appeared. It's hard to explain the thrill of that early computing and the magic of colour. I've forgotten the Poke number you could enter at switch-on, to extend the keyboard beep to give much needed feedback for 'touch-typing'. Such larks Pip old friend, such larks. Gavin.

'Following the science' rhetoric led to delay to UK COVID-19 lockdown, face mask rules


As the epidemic left China in December 2019 and turned into a pandemic, I assumed we would close our borders in early January 2020. I remember learning about this sort of thing at school in the sixties, when discussing border controls to keep rabies at bay. I couldn't believe my ears when I heard reports of people arriving at Heathrow airport from China, and just being waved through. In mid March, before the lock-down, Matt Hancock was on Radio 4, explaining that we mustn't overreact and cause inconvenience to travellers and business. We are an island nation, and should have been saved from all the unnecessary deaths and economic destruction. As for the government following the science, tell that to Professor Nutt, who was promptly sacked for telling them their drug laws were rubbish.

Windows 7 will not go gentle into that good night: Ageing OS refuses to shut down


Interminable Win7 Updates

Am I the only one receiving Win7 updates on a daily basis since 14 Jan? Security Intelligence Update for Microsoft Security Essentials - KB2310138, running from Version 1.307.2308.0 (14 Jan) to 1.309.742.0 (11Feb). I also received four other updates on 16 Jan - KB4534310, KB4535102, KB4536952, KB890830.

What's going on?

Microsoft: 14 January patch was the last for Windows 7. Also Microsoft: Actually...


I logged into the forum to ask why I have had MS Security Intelligence Updates for my Win7 laptop, every single day since 14 Jan (31 so far). The discussion about Win10 is illuminating. I hate the touchscreen concept and implementation, and object to Windows as a Service. To use my computer it should not be necessary to be online, so I also deplore the concept of browser based applications. I have laptops with Vista and XP ready as backups, but I do worry about security. What to do?

The micro YOU used in school: The story of the Research Machines 380Z



I had no idea that Sintel & RM were the same company.

My friend and I bunked off work (Racal Electronics in Wembley) and drove to Oxford one rainy November afternoon in 1974 to purchase some digital clock chips ( Mostek), strips of bare i.c. socket pins and 7-segment LEDs. They were very friendly and accomodating, considering we didn't have much to spend.

I will never forget the thrill of building our first digital clock, and the unique glow of the multiplexed red leds behind the purple magnifying lens. Digital clocks were not available in the shops those days, so we started knocking them out for friends and family. I even made my landlord one for his touring car (flared wheel arches and go-faster stripes) in lieu of rent.

As it happens I still have a 380Z in the loft which I rescued from a skip, along with numerous Acorn BBC B and Archimedes machines.

Nowadays I am getting to grips with the Raspberry Pi.