* Posts by Sgt. Pinback

15 posts • joined 8 Dec 2013

RIP Prince: You were the soundtrack of my youth

Sgt. Pinback

Re: Seems to be a mass die-off of celebrities at the moment

it will be extinction when the San Adreas fault finally pops

"learn to swim learn to swim learn to swim learn to swim learn to swim learn to swim learn to swim learn to swim"

London seeks trials of Google's robo-cars

Sgt. Pinback

fire all the meatsack drivers

Seriously, I cannot wait until the cars are 100% autonomous. It's clear to me that us bloated meatsack drivers are the real problem, not road capacity.

Traffic is a behavioural problem first and a capacity problem last. Don't believe me? Easy observational experiment:

find a stretch of road with 2 or more lanes

watch how drivers will fight to occupy every lane, reducing the free road capacity immediately behind them to zero

Regardless of how slow or fast the lead cars are going, when either of the lead cars need to slow below the speed of the flow of traffic, every car behind a lead will start banking up because there is literally no room to go around the lead cars without reducing speed, which then reduces the speed of the car directly behind the lead, which reduces the speed of the car behind the car that's behind the lead...that effect will ripple back to every car in that lane who cannot move around the obstacle now in front of them.

Or watch drivers approaching a red light, they will move to pointlessly occupy any empty lane even though they themselves cannot proceed. A car now approaching that light, that would have otherwise been able to pass through without slowing down is now forced to stop. Which then causes the car behind them to stop, and the car behind that car to stop etc etc.

This is traffic, it's a human effect. Hundreds of self-important douchebags somehow thinking they're magically going to get to their destination that much quicker than the other douchebags by occupying an otherwise empty lane. You can expand those lanes to four, five lanes wide and the problem will persist even on a seemingly empty road.

(or is it just in my country this happens?)

And why would autonomous cars even need separated directional roadways? Or even lanes and traffic lights for that matter??? Those are features designed to help us dumb humans avoid colliding into one another.

Our networking software long ago nailed the algorithms needed to avoid collisions between computer controlled objects, surely it's just a matter of time before these new computer controlled vehicles make all our human road design completely obsolete?

This mayor has a ridiculously narrow mind. Even if traffic was still a problem after implementing 100% automated vehicles (I'd place a large bet it won't be), you're free to do whatever you want inside the cabin (wink wink) as you no longer need to divert all your attention to driving. sheesh, has this lady never even completed a crossword during a train commute before!

Can't happen soon enough for me. Fire ALL the meatsack drivers!!

end rant

Why solid-state disks are winning the argument

Sgt. Pinback

Re: Reasons for traditional HD

yup, m.2 is the current answer

Samsung have a ~$500 512GB m.2 SSD out that does 1000MBps read and write, you will need a 15-30 dollar adaptor to fit in a regular PCIe slot though (needs v2 4 lanes).

More are coming, wait until the end of next year and you'll get your economical PCIe blazing storage fix.


Sgt. Pinback

ok, sure, for 10gbps ports in high capacity environments you probably need leading edge shiny but that's a pretty damn specific use compared to what (I think) the article is getting at

10gbps retail pricing for the rest of us in normal IT land is pretty prohibitive and the storage speed has been demanding something faster than gigabit since SSDs hit the scene. I imagine gig port switches with 10gbps uplinks (to a fast server or two) are starting to become popular on the secondhand scene. You might be surprised how much <12 months old kit is around on these secondhand/ex-lease stores if you haven't looked already.

There's going to be a huge disparity in networking performance vs storage performance even down in consumer land over the next 18 months as SATAexpress (and whatever that other PCIe storage standard is called) start to become commonplace. I see that pushing more and more people into the ex-lease purchasing market whether it's a better idea or not, it's not like most people's IT budgets are increasing to allow them to get away with retail purchases when something secondhand will suffice.

Sgt. Pinback

ummm Ruairi, they're not cheap switches they're really friggin expensive switches that are a year or ten old (see poster above who saved nay on $11k on his overpowered home-mega-router)

best read the article again bro

Aside from junk sourcing, consumer tech gets better and better. I use consumer tech for small biz linux servers and the stability is pretty impressive. Downsides like single power supplies and no iLo but in the (very) small biz world they barely have a UPS or rack let alone two independent sources of leccy. I do miss iLo though, waiting for that to move into a standard software stack instead of hardware.

Getting exciting with current consumer tech levels too, this year I'm offering 1000MB storage read/write on a server the size of a shoebox consuming 40w for less than $2k. I'd need like +$10k in enterprise spending to achieve that.

The secondhand market is now flooded with heaps of sexy kit that corps don't want. Not like enterprise kit breaks easily anyway, lasts for ages unless you're talking about a disk.

junk sourcing ftw!

NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden

Sgt. Pinback

Re: re: smtp

That was Netmail, myrealbox was like a hotmail service run by Novell to show off the tech. I remember deploying Netmail to a small high school to supply about 600 email accounts for students and staff. It stood out against others like Exchange/Groupwise/Notes at the time because of the software specs, super efficient. I think it was rated at something like 500KB memory needed for every logged in account, fast fast fast on a dual PIII.

Sgt. Pinback

are they really deploying Netware?

Seems unlikely they'd be using Netware, will Novell even sell new licenses? Surely they're talking about Open Enterprise Server on SLES?

Given a certain society's keenness for all things piratey I kind of doubt that many in the middle kingdom are paying Novell for much of anything. just sayin

So long, Rory: AMD board names Lisa Su president and CEO

Sgt. Pinback

Re: It's nice to see...

Same here, totes amazed a boffin is going to be running the show. I was prematurely mourning Rory before reading his replacement's CV. I liked that Rory guy though, he had a dreamy name, made me write words like totes (sorry).

AMD have some really interesting products across a broad and *"very sane" collection of different markets, Lisa looks like she can give them as reasonable a chance as a company could want - whilst avoiding the harvard-lackingethicsandimaginationTM-downsizeandacquisitions-tard style of CEO.

(think recent HP or maybe MS CEOs if you're not sure what I mean by that)

Good luck to Lisa leading AMD into the fiery crucible.

I like Lisa's short-term chances of success too.

AMD have quite a few bets going around the place and most are looking realistic and nicely sellable in 2015, it would be weird if at least one of them didn't pay off for the company. I guess the video console coup is the first big one outside of the consumer/corp x86 world, APU success may come when stuff like the Steambox hit the stores.

*very sane ie. think the opposite of pretty much anything Cisco acquired/tried to start through the mid-2000's

What's inside AMD's life-support machine? A big pile o' PlayStation 4s and XBox Ones

Sgt. Pinback

The World (still) Needs AMD

Like Bruce said, we owe a lot to AMD. An Intel without AMD is a very scary scenario from a consumer value standpoint, but everyone (surely) knows this already. ARM is a fortunate counterpoint to the duopoly.

AMD doesn't need to compete with Intel, it's been good since the early 2000's at delivering measurable value purely by differentiating. Nintendo learned that early on with the Gamecube (using, then, ATi), MS and Sony have since figured it out. AMD need to market that message to the rest of the world to be successful.

My biggest complaint of AMD is similar to the first commentard's. I can't buy the AMD solution that I want!

(although I suspect it's more a case of shite motherboard makers lacking imagination in my case - I want small form factor AM3+ for steroidal linux virtualisation)

As for whether or not their processors are good for the average consumer, I think the reflex is to compare them to the older approach of making a PC where the thing is large, noisy and has to have a discreet video card and mechanical disk - that is not what new consumer PC deployments look like. They want small, they want quiet, they want 3D and they want it to playback their pirated TV and movie files without skipping or distorting. This is AMDs exact strength with their APU line of processors, there's no technical reason they can't profit on those use cases.

And I like AMD's new C-level guys. Having Papermaster (Apple's doomed antenna-gate patsy) and Read (who doesn't like an ex-IBMer?) driving the direction of the company sounds like a really good start. Any time I read an interview with either man they just reek good sense. Hopefully this important computing company survives well past the post-PC era.

*in full disclosure: there is not a single AMD processor active in my house at the moment (I'm ignoring my Geode powered firewall). I'm not a fanboy. I just respect that they seem to make some really good shit - Sony/Nintendo/MS seem to agree

How Microsoft's cloud aims to cover the world

Sgt. Pinback

what is the meaning of cloud?

I think your definitions suck young man.

The word cloud has and does mean exactly nothing while trying to describe everything. It has come to replace the terms internet, hosted, virtualised, cluster, web service, blah blah blah farking blah. "Cloud computing" as a term is the closest I've heard to any of these tossed about cloudy pseudonyms that even begins to describe something remotely specific. Vendors abuse the term enormously and customers pay the price.

And to say someone doesn't have a private "cloud" for one reason or another is bollocks because the term means literally nothing specific at all. I can have a private freaking cloud running on my laptop, google has a cloud (seemingly) without virtualisation, I can have a single server with many virtual machines all managed and orchestrated by something like chef/ansible/puppet and call it a cloud as legitimately as someone like Microsoft does. Businesses across the world have had clouds for decades, they just used to call it a network.

I doubt I'm the only guy in the industry to be sick to death of the misuse of this word. Your article has just enforced the stupidity just a little bit more, well done.

(we are all dumber for having read your article, I award you no points and may god have mercy on your soul)

JJ Abrams and Star Wars: I've got a bad feeling about this

Sgt. Pinback

this author really hates JJ

fair enough then, personally I think he'll do ok directing Star Wars episode 70 million or whatever it's called


Pinning hate of JJ on Cloverfield is a bit harsh though I reckon. That was Matt Reeves and Drew Goddard's baby. JJ fronted the money and encouraged Matt to play with visual effects from what I've heard, Drew wrote it. I sense (not like force sense, regular sense) a fair amount of ignorance surrounding the work discussed by The Reg author. I enjoyed reading how obviously he hates JJ though. Maybe JJ stole his girlfriend or bacon sarnie once?

(personally I thought Cloverfield was really excellent, on par with Chronicle for positive modern scifi cinema surprises)


Whatever anyone thinks of JJ's directing chops EVERYONE HAS TO AGREE that, at his worst, he will be a measurable shit-tonne better than Georgie Lucas directing/writing. Freaking Michael Bay would probably be better.

Lucas came up with a great franchise but he was unusually bad at bringing the story* to screen. So many really dumb writing moments and bad direction. I mean, surely, universally, everyone vomits in their mouth just a little bit any time Anakin and Padme have a scene together where they speak! uurrk, word vomit

(http://www.vgcats.com/comics/?strip_id=150 sums up Anakin/Padme moments pretty well)

By default Star Wars always looks amazing, it's surely a given for this new one too. The music is also automatically killer. The music is as iconic as the Star Wars universe.

And if Ben Burtt is involved in sound effects like he has in the last 6 movies you can expect this new Star Wars to bring great aural personality to the creatures, vehicles and weapons as he always does.

Plus, the script of any Star Wars movie is usually ludicrously bad and the direction (I'm looking at you episodes 1 through 3) is at best cheesy. To say JJ will screw the job anymore than George would've is a very, very big stretch. It could be so much worse than this, fans are already extremely lucky.

And Disney. I don't know what they're capable of after swallowing so many other companies but I do know that they have a fuck load of very talented artists. ILM had quite a lot but ILM + Disney + Marvel is a very interesting conglomerate to have beavering away at any creative job. The film will visually be spectacular no matter how hammy the story.

Point is, Star Wars was always about the team making it, not the director. It won't be any different with Ep7. Doubly so because Disney now own all the previously used teams! I'm reserving judgement until I see it, it really doesn't matter so much who's directing it.

*Visual effects and sound were always Star Wars' strong point. Remember that in the early days of the Star Wars releases they pioneered new sound technology (THX) because current cinema audio tech just didn't do the films justice. George was an excellent business man and team builder but he was very lucky that Star Wars was received so well, because so many parts of it were (and still are) so very, very bad.

So you reckon Nokia-wielding Microsoft can't beat off Apple?

Sgt. Pinback

Re: When Nokia teaches Microsoft about phones

I think the reg needs an n9 icon.. tux will stand in for now

That's the big question of the MS-Nokia buy, can the culture of Nokia's superior design chops improve Windows Phone? I kind of doubt it but it's probably somewhat possible now that there is finally a new (less sweaty and monkey'ish) MS CEO.

(I have a feeling all the decent designers at Nokia may have already left though, not ideal)

Got a one-of-a-kind N9? Get ready to adopt Meego's baby Sailfish

Sgt. Pinback

Re: Christmas Pressie

They're still fine as a phone with maps and facebook, youtube and all those acronyms (NFC, 3G, WiFi, GPS). If he's in to alternative ways of doing things he'll love it. If he loves Angry Birds type gaming fads then you're sheet out of luck (app store is closed next year), although I think most firmware images actually come with Angry Birds installed on the n9.

and get him some martial arts training after you hand over the n9

the body of this phone could be used as a deadly weapon in a fight, it is one tough mahter farker*

*my 2 year old n9** flew out of pocket onto concrete or rocks so many times and it it got were little chunks taken out of the body, one or two tiny scratches on the screen. THING IS TOUGH

**must stop talking about n9, must stop talking about n9

Sgt. Pinback

not for the faint of heart

I couldn't see a link in that article that actually explains the process so here it is:


Pretty messy procedure, you wouldn't want to try this if it's still your primary phone.

I sold my original n9 to a friend today to replace his lumia-whatever (the early model that shared mostly the same body/innards as the n9). As soon as he turned the device on and it recognised (correctly) his location and timezone information he was gobsmacked. That and the contact management were enough to completely thrill him. Such an amazing piece of software, it screams of thoughtful coherent design and it's somehow open source. Still feels like a minor miracle that this thing even exists, I guess it is in a way.

and what did I replace my n9 with? a new 64gb n9 of course

you can pry this phone out of my cold dead hands and I hope jolla stick around long enough to make some more impressive second and third generation devices (AMOLED screens on the next ones please jolla)

El Reg's contraptions confessional no.2: Tablet PC, CRT screen and more

Sgt. Pinback

nice collection but a bit on the boring side

Props to the HP printer that still runs, I've got one of those.900 series printers and it's still rock solid. Like those old Laserjet4s or whatever they used to make.

Anyone here own a FingerWorks iGesture keyboard? Mine's still getting used everyday, got it around 2002. I can't imagine a working life without this keyboard. Analog text cursor ftw!

Or own any H3D Glasses from back in the first days of 3D accelerated games? Used to play a lot of quake 2 in 3D with those specs back in the day (when I thought it was somehow cool) on my Pure3D (that's right Voodoo 1 chip but with 50% extra VRAM! oh yeah)

And then there's the collection of minidisc players that just never break. I still use the amazing powered condenser mic for speech in tf2 and online gaming. Fantastic little mic, it's like having Steve Austin ears when you listen to it through earphones - picks up the sound the little gears make inside the minidisc unit ffs. sensiteeeve.

come on reg commentards, I want to hear more about the crazy UNIQUE tech we own

(Alternative modern tech is getting pretty rad as well. My mate coded me up a webapp for my Pi that takes automated time lapse photography then renders the frames into a movie. I was amazed at how quick he got it up and running using BootStrap and the Pi.

And I just bought my second nokia n9 off ebay but this time it's basically brand new with a valid warranty and is the 64GB thing - going from sixteen gig to sixty four fucking gig is going to be ridiculous. Love those n9s, miraculous little product from before Nokia chewed the cyanide pill.)


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