* Posts by Peter Ford

317 posts • joined 13 Jul 2007


Microsoft confirms pursuit of TikTok after Satya Nadella chats to Donald Trump

Peter Ford

Better still...

... troll Trump on Teams and get him to ban Microsoft : the whole world (well, except China) will benefit from that

Dutch Gateway store was kept udder wraps for centuries until refit dug up computing history

Peter Ford

The SMB I still work for had Gateway2000 machines in the 90s when I joined - I got a new one in it's cow box when I started. I seem to remember them being made in Ireland, or was that just the european HQ?

At least one of them was later repurposed as a server laid on it's side in a rack, although it needed some packing to accomodate the curved sides of the case...

Elite name on Brit scene sponsors retro video games preservation project at the Centre for Computing History

Peter Ford

Re: Screenshot

The screen split wasn't that hard to do - one of the magazines at the time had an article with a demo done in assembler that did much the same thing. Revs used the same trick to get the track view and dashboard in different screen modes - that might have been a Braben game too...

Mind the airgap: Why nothing focuses the mind like a bit of tech antiquing

Peter Ford

Re: At a loss

If you turn off the wi-fi you then can't work for the howls of anguish coming from the kids...

Oh, you meant turn off the wifi on the laptop?

Hey is trying a new take on email – but maker complains of 'outrageous' demands after Apple rejects iOS app

Peter Ford

Re: Not very smart

'Or maybe offer in-app purchases with a 100% mark-up. People who know better will go to the website and buy the service at a discount. People who have no sense will pay both you and Apple for their cluelessness.'

Nope - Apple have that covered: they won't let you charge more for the in-app purchase than it is available for elsewhere, and they're very good at tracking that down.

I've been here myself - trying to get a subscription-based service into the App store that also has a WWW client and an Android version. The whole pricing structure for our subscriptions is constrained by the requirements Apple set. That 30% is just something you have to include as a cost centre if you're a small business, apparently.

Microsoft's little eyes light up as Oscar-winning Taika Waititi says Apple keyboards make him 'want to go back to PCs'

Peter Ford

Re: Ermmm, they have USB ports you know.

Yeah, but the f***ing " is still on @ and | is on # and # is an option-modifier (sorry, left-alt) away...

I have one USB keyboard with Apple layout but I now have a Mac mini too and forgot to order a keyboard for it...

We've found it... the last shred of human decency in an IT director – all for a poxy Unix engineer

Peter Ford

Re: Champagne

My wife and I once drank a magnum of Moët from pint glasses because they were the first glasses we found after we had just finished unloading the removal van. We didn't get much further with the unpacking...

I've had it with these motherflipping eggs on this motherflipping train

Peter Ford

Re: On the other hand...

Tobermory harbour has coin-operated showers available for sailors. Probably cheaper than using the pub: what you save might pay for more than one whisky...

Heads up from Internet of S*!# land: Best Buy's Insignia 'smart' home gear will become very dumb this Wednesday

Peter Ford

That review...

"I would look at another brand that is more invested in their product"

Good luck with findin gone of those...

Margin mugs: A bank paid how much for a 2m Ethernet cable? WTF!

Peter Ford

Re: Not just business

My response to them selling me insurance is something along the lines of

"So you want me to bet £X/month that this (TV|PC|Toaster) will break in the next two years? If the product is really that bad why do you sell it?"

If they can work out what I've just said then they stop trying to sell it to me. Otherwise I find that repeating the word 'NO' eventually soaks in.

And in any case, the (TV|PC|Toaster) will break just after the warranty has (would have) expired.

GIMP open source image editor forked to fix 'problematic' name

Peter Ford

Re: Dick

Hey - my daughter Amy is an A Ford - what's wrong with that?

Apparently I was destined to be Peter Craig Ford until my parents realised that P.C. was a poor choice of initials (at least in the UK)

I know of a family who named their daughter N.O. Chance

Worse is that she has an aunt who is Miss A. Chance

I collaborated on a project at one time with a client who's rep was called Jenny Taylor - I had to explain my childish snigger to my PM after the first meeting...

And as for Mr. & Mrs. King calling their son Wayne...

Electric cars can't cut UK carbon emissions while only the wealthy can afford to own one

Peter Ford

Re: I actually own one

Given that the RX-8 would be second-hand, then you should really compare second-hand prices for a Model S - but that's still £30000+ so the point stands,,,

Rise of the Machines hair-raiser: The day IBM's Dot Matrix turned

Peter Ford

Re: Try a Lathe

There's a reason why Police Officers (and most schoolkids these days) wear clip-on ties...

Guy is booted out of IT amid outsourcing, wipes databases, deletes emails... goes straight to jail for two-plus years

Peter Ford

Re: on the theory that some data might be on that but not yet in the backup

I had a RAID6 fail with three drives dying in quick succession - I suspect the first chucked up some nasty vibrations in its death throes that took out the two next to it...

And it was on Christmas Eve...

Still, the on-site backups worked well enough to get me through to the New Year on a reduced array (and a couple of hot spare machines) until I could get hands on to sort it out...

Got an 'old' Tesla? Musk promises 'self-driving' upgrade chip ship by end of 2019

Peter Ford

Forget about autonomy

It's 2019 - where's my flying car?

Seriously, autonomous flying vehicles would be a lot easier than trying to avoid all the clutter at street level.

So, vertical take-off from your driveway, fly to the nearest highway/motorway and then autonomous driving from there.

Might need some improvements in battery energy density though...

Google's Fuchsia OS Flutters into view: We're just trying out some new concepts, claims exec

Peter Ford

Re: It's BeOS, it's the OS

The "what's not to like" is in the correct pronunciation of the name: Fucks-ya ...

BOFH: What's Near Field Implementation? Oh, you'll see. Turn left here

Peter Ford


Pick Handle? fancy...

I thought the LART was a piece of 4x2 with some nails hammered through one end...

Oblivious 'influencers' work on 3.6-roentgen tans in Chernobyl after realising TV show based on real nuclear TITSUP

Peter Ford

Re: Can someone explain...

Ah, but surely everyone knew that the Sunday Sport was just Viz with a bigger budget...

Apple's tailored SwiftUI makes coding Mac and iOS apps RAD again

Peter Ford

Been using Qt to build cross-platform (Android,iOS) apps for a while - I also thought this looked a bit like QML.

It would be neat if the Qt guys could leverage this by a translation from QML to SwiftUI: one run through with a perl script instead of adding all the abstraction and implementation libraries that Qt needs to build for iOS?

If poking about Doctor Who's TARDIS in VR sounds like fun to you, better luck next time

Peter Ford

It's Children's TV

Some people around here seem to forget that...

BOFH: Tick tick BOOM. It's B-day! No we're not eating Brussels flouts...

Peter Ford

Re: My OCD is firing up

I'd refuse to eat anything but Pink Lady - with luck the cost will bankrupt the project...

Easy-to-hack combat systems, years-old flaws and a massive bill – yup, that's America's F-35

Peter Ford

the most expensive weapon system in history?

What, more than the B1B, or the B2?


Just Android things: 150m phones, gadgets installed 'adware-ridden' mobe simulator games

Peter Ford

Re: Any suggestions how to check these

In answer to my own question, with my phone (developer mode enabled) connected to my Linux PC by USB, I can grab the list into a text file (bad-andoid-packages.txt) and then

for PKG in `adb -d shell pm list packages`; do grep $PKG bad-android-packages.txt; done

which should spot any matches.

So now all I need to do is get the tablet unlocked and developer-mode-enabled, and it should be easy...

Certainly easier than watching over his shoulder every minute to spot him installing stuff he shouldn't, although I do try ...

Peter Ford

Any suggestions how to check these

My Android phone is pretty clean - there are very few apps on it and they're from fairly reliable publishers.

My son's tablet PC, though, is a different matter.

So, given the length of that list and the arcane naming of the apps, is there any obvious way to list the installed apps on the device and check it with that list? My eyeballs don't fancy an old-school eyeball grep today...

Hipster whines at tech mag for using his pic to imply hipsters look the same, discovers pic was of an entirely different hipster

Peter Ford

Re: We have surely reached peak beard.

I run Linux: I think that probably scuppers your argument...

Telecoms kit supplier shut down for carrying on work of two firms that had been... shut down

Peter Ford

Re: to summ up ...

The director connections suggest that Bradwell may not have *accidentally* done work for dodgy companies...

Team America tries to crash Little Rocket Man's Joanap botnet from within, warns owners of infected boxes

Peter Ford

That explains a lot

"the Feds can alert people who have been infected, by monitoring the IP addresses of the systems joining the network. Folks were, or will be, tipped off via their ISPs"

So that's what all the robot calls about my IP address being compromised are about...

Um, I'm not that Gary, American man tells Ryanair after being sent other Gary's flight itinerary

Peter Ford

I had two email dopplegangers using my peterford@ISP email address. One had cleary used it in the various spare-time activities he participated in (nothing dodgy) so many other people were trying to contact him using the address. I eventually noticed his middle initial and tentatively sent a message to peterxford@ISP, which turned out to be correct. he has since sorted things out with his friends, and since I ignored the flurry of GDPR messages in 2018 most of the businesses he used that address with have given up.

The other had a different spelling, rather than a middle name, which had been used on an order form. I again had enough info to guess the real address: unfortunately I left it too late to help him recover his order...

Both were polite an aplogetic (of course they were, they're British)

Astroboffins spy a rare exoplanet evaporating before their eyes

Peter Ford

That's no moon...

It's a very early prototype of the Death Star: they just haven't quite got the power output up to production levels yet...

I ship you knot: 2,400-year-old Greek trading vessel found intact at bottom of Black Sea

Peter Ford

Re: Leave it there

Or better still, an intact version of the Antikythera mechanism...

New Zealand border cops warn travelers that without handing over electronic passwords 'You shall not pass!'

Peter Ford

Re: In the near future

I cant see Apple cluttering their design with a government-mandated port in the near future...

Sysadmin misses out on paycheck after student test runs amok

Peter Ford

Re: Naming Schemes

One UK university I worked at had servers named after colours red, blue .. white, black. Then sable followed black. Then ermine followed sable. Then weasel, and possibly even wolverine. God knows where it went after that...

My own research cluster of five HP-UX workstations had gordon (the big one), and then henry, james, edward and thomas

Voyager 1 left the planet 41 years ago – and SpaceX hopes to land on Earth this Saturday

Peter Ford

Re: 3.6AU per year

As my wife has just pointed out, 3.6 isn't much more than pi, so 3.6 AU per year is only slightly faster than the speed the Earth is travelling around the sun...

Robo-drop: Factory bot biz 'leaks' automakers' secrets onto the web

Peter Ford

It's PR, and rubbish PR at that.

The correct response should be

"Ooh, bollocks: better get that fixed. Sorry Mr CIO, your bonus just got spent on some sysadmin overtime"

Priceless: The cost to BT for bothering you with spam? 1.5 UK pence per email

Peter Ford

Re: % of income

Big Corps' C-suite should be fined a % of their salaries and bonuses, with no pay increments or other rewards paid until the fine has been cleared (and perhaps a few years afterwards)

Otherwise $BIG_CORP just puts their prices up or squeezes their customers some other way to pay for the fine. You have to make the people at the top of the corporation feel the pain otherwise nothing will change...

Braking news: Tesla preps firmware fling to 'fix' Model 3's inability to stop in time

Peter Ford

Re: Bah!

ABS systems usually detect the wheel slowing down abnormally, so they can release the brake before the wheel stops, so it is entirely possible that Tesla haven't quite nailed that.

Still sounds a bit poor though...

ISP TalkTalk's Wi-Fi passwords Walk Walk thanks to Awks Awks router security hole

Peter Ford

Ralink router?

All the TalkTalk routers I've seen for years have been Huawei - doesn't mean there's not an exploit for them though...

Engineer crashed mega-corp's electricity billing portal, was promoted

Peter Ford

or 'oops'

The one word you don't want to hear from someone sat at the console of a live production server...

Microsoft vows to bridge phones to PCs, and this time it means it. Honest.

Peter Ford

KDE Connect

... does some of these things

but it doesn't show the phone display on the PC, or make calls (yet...)

It certainly notifies me of incoming alerts and SMS, and I can do file transfer like the phone is a network drive.

It can also use the phone as an input device, like a touch pad and a keyboard: might be useful in a presentation environment...

Brit MPs brand Facebook a 'great vampire squid' out for cash

Peter Ford

Re: Not one to big up our Members of parliament

"Effectively, though, this just amounts to giving Facebook more information - even if it’s in the negative, it's equally telling about your personality. And this speaks to the fundamental disconnect between the business and the public."

Does anyone else see the irony of British MPs accusing someone of a disconnect between them and the public?

I might have misread - perhaps that was only an editorial comment, rather than an actual quote from a politician, but the point is still there: one of the worst groups of people for not understanding the mood of the public is the membership of the House of Commons...

X marks the Notch, where smartmobe supercycles go to die

Peter Ford

Re: Economics

I see your £6/month, and say my (dodgy chinese brand) phone cost £85, is IP68-rated and generally damage-resistant, dual SIM (plus SD card), and is on iD @ £5/month (including 2.25GB data with rollovers)

Not only is the package cheap, but the phone is more likely to survive my lifestyle than a £999 iPhone X. The money I save pays for the wear and tear on my trouser pocket (it's not exactly a lightweight phone...)

There is no perceived IT generation gap: Young people really are thick

Peter Ford

Re: "It’s about pressing a button on your keyfob to find out where you parked your car"

I do a lot of kayak racing: my car is easy to find in a car park (except at kayak races...)

Elon Musk's latest Tesla Model 3 delivery promise: 6,000... a week

Peter Ford

Re: The Model 3 is coming.... er??? 2019 or is that 2020?

"the Model 3 is the wrong car for Europe in that it is a sedan/saloon "

"What do they drive in Europe? I had thought the truck/SUV dominance was primarily elsewhere."


In the UK at least the top-selling car is the Ford Fiesta (and pretty much always has been)

The next seven (at least for 2017) are hatchbacks, with the Mercedes C-class (at no. 9) being the only sedan in the top 10. BMW 3-series is probably just outside the top 10, but aside from those it's hatchbacks (including SUVs and MPVs) most of the way.

France is similar in it's love of hatchbacks - pretty much every French car model is a hatchback and the French are fairly partisan in their choices.

Germany likes their BMWs, Audis and Mercs as sedans, but even those makers have a lot of hatchback variants (BMW 1-series plus all the Xs and GT variants; Merc A-class, CLA and all the Gs; Audi A1, A3 and all the Qs)

Uber self-driving car death riddle: Was LIDAR blind spot to blame?

Peter Ford

Re: Intimidation ...!!

"Soon we'll be able to stagger drunkenly across motorways with impunity :-)"

Until *all* cars are self-driving, that sounds like a new form of Russian Roulette...

SpaceX blasted massive plasma hole in Earth's ionosphere

Peter Ford

Re: Yawn

Surely in the future we'll have a space elevator and rocket launches will be a thing of the past...

Samsung’s DeX dock clicks the second time around

Peter Ford

KDE Connect

I can do the touch pad and remote keyboard thing with my Android phone and the KDE Connect app, as long as my PC is running the KDE Connect widget and can be paired. No cables required, just having the pone and PC on the same network.

BOFH: Honourable misconduct

Peter Ford

Re: Script for Leave

When I was a student I had a jacket with pockets capable of carrying up to four bottles of Newcastle Brown, even if they were opened at the bar to avoid carry-outs...

Teensy plastic shields are the big new thing in 2018's laptop crop

Peter Ford

RAM? Overrated...

My little old HP EliteBook has a quad-core i7, an 256GB SSD and 4GB RAM.

It works fine, running a full Apache-PHP-PostgreSQL stack, NetBeans IDE and usually several browsers. The fan runs hard if I start up Candy Crush in a browser, but the memory is never an issue.

Of course, it's not having to stagger under the weight of Windows 10...

Dori-no! PepsiCo boss says biz is planning to sell lady crisps

Peter Ford

Re: Do project managers live in the world?

I don't see the problem with this: it doesn't actually say anything about being a "ladies tool kit" aside from the Amazon categorisation. It does have a connection to a breast cancer charity, but how is that gender-specific?

If someone wanted a pink toolkit, maybe just to differentiate it from others, then this is cool. It might stop all the dickhead "alpha" males stealing it...

Take a bow, TalkTalk, Post Office, Vodafone! You win most-whinged-about telcos award

Peter Ford

TalkTalk is a roller coaster...

On the one hand, they have done reasonably well at providing me and my family with phone, broadband and mobile at pretty low cost.

On the other, they seem to have dropped mobile without actually telling any of their existing customers: the first we heard of it was when my daughter got a warning about approaching her text limit. She was on an unlimited text deal... but apparently her deal ended and she is now on some less favourable deal with no warning!

All our mobiles are now going elsewhere as they get to the end of their current deals. Broadband and phone are definitely being looked into.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020