* Posts by keithpeter

1607 posts • joined 14 Jul 2007

What you need to know about Microsoft Windows 11: It will run Android apps

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: What . . . why?

To encourage the purchase of new computers in the absence of large increases in computing power?

tpm.msc tells me that the perfectly serviceable Thinkpad X230 that my partner uses to run Windows 10, teams, zoom and her basic software has a TPM 1.2 standard chip fitted, and so will not be able to run Windows 11 if we believe the press release.


TPM 2 devices have extra memory locations that can store a set of SHA1 hashes between boots. Perhaps some form of hardware fingerprint?

Free upgrades: anyone taking bets on an auto-upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 failing to check the TPM standard and refusing to boot once installed?

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: So, SatNad...

"We need to be empowered to choose the applications we run, the content we consume, the people we connect to, and even how we allocate our own attention,"

Well, that is what the man said.

PS: the choice of the word 'even' in that last clause really bothers me.

'Lots of failed startups came out of Campus': Google axes London hub because startup scene 'doesn't need' another 7 floors of workspace

keithpeter Silver badge

Coffee and Power

"Unlike competing workspaces, literally anyone with a laptop could show up and toil from the Chocolate Factory's public areas, provided they'd registered in advance."

Someone up the page said that what people need is just a cube farm and Internet. I'd agree with that and I would remind people about the Second Life geezer's Coffee and Power work space experiment in (of all places) San Francisco back in the teens.

As I toddle around the centre of Birmingham, I see football pitch sized areas unused in former shops and I see reception areas the size of medium restaurants with security guards and loos in office foyers. Just wondering why we can't find desks and tables for people to drop in and do stuff. Perhaps charge a 'badge fee' towards insurance and costs &c.

Vissles V84: Mechanical keyboard hits all the right buttons for Mac power users

keithpeter Silver badge
Black Helicopters


Quote from original article...

"Linear key switches are preferable for those playing gaming titles, where you want to exert the least amount of force to register a keypress. They're also virtually silent, meaning you can use them in a crowded office without annoying your co-workers."

Otherwise, I shared your logic almost step by step.

Roger Waters tells Facebook CEO to Zuck off after 'huge' song rights request

keithpeter Silver badge

Has he got it yet?

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: Money...

"...occasional hard stares when someone wakes up and starts applauding at the end of a movement..."

which response makes me chuckle quietly given performance practices and behavioural norms in the historical periods you mention.

Dependable Debian is like a rock in a swirling gyre of 'move fast and break things', and version 11 is no different

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: If, on the other hand, you're one of us many disgruntled former CentOS users

"a long track record of bad decisions (including some really bad security fuckups)"

Have you got a list of these? Would be educational.

keithpeter Silver badge

Might be worth mentioning that Debian is one of the few distributions that provide a good chunk of the packages on a series of downloadable isos. The DVD1 and DVD2 images will cover most of the common desktop software, very occasionally you might need DVD3. There is also a blue ray iso available with a huge range of binary packages.

Apt can be set up so that it will use the image(s) as a repository so, if you are planning to be seriously off grid for a year or so, you can install any software you might want to cover unforseen needs. A setup like this is also handy for demonstrating Debian (no Internet related glitches).

Debian also publish update DVD images periodically. There used to be a bloke in the UK who would post DVDs to you in the days of optical disks!

(Once you enable the online repository you have to keep using that repository of course)

I mention this only because it is so unusual.

EE and Three mobe mast surveyors might 'upload some virus' to London Tube control centre, TfL told judge

keithpeter Silver badge

Yes, that had occurred to me as well. Perhaps there should be a regulation for buildings like this? Carefully written to make sure its not open season for jobsworths &c.

Today I shall explain how dual monitors work using the medium of interpretive dance

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: Laptop + Monitor = two computers?

I bow to your knowledge of the standards.

What do I call characters such as #!~|?%@ used with their special meanings in regular expressions &c when engaging in informal discourse? Is there a collective noun?

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: Laptop + Monitor = two computers?

Science developed originally from alchemy and magic, and also the need to entertain patrons with 'demonstrations' of various phenomena.

Google John Dee for an example of someone who was in transition from magus to mathematician. Arthur Koestler's The Sleepwalkers is a good story about early science, if not fully historically accurate. Hooke and Galileo were paid 'demonstrators' - demonstrations before society members and aristocrates morphed into experiments slowly.

We are only something like 10 to 15 generations from Dr Dee, and a couple or three away from when there were 32 kilowords of memory in the world.

Coat: mine's the one with the unix escape characters embroidered on the sleeves.

The common factor in all your failed job applications: Your CV

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: Older applicants

"That I call the "Schreckensregime der Wichsfrösche", which I cannot properly translate (anyone?)."

I can't translate it either but it sounds superb.

Surviving eclipse season and resurrecting 25-year-old software with Windows for Workgroups 3.11: One year with Mars Express

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: air filled, so lucky!

I'm a tad confused (it does not take much).

So helium leeches out of a newer electro-mechanical hard drive, being a small molecule and all. Presumably, it is replaced by air (e.g. mostly nitrogen)? Or is the helium at a significant over-pressure and the drive aerodynamics (heliodynamics?) dependent on the overpressure?

UK Special Forces soldiers' personal data was floating around WhatsApp in a leaked Army spreadsheet

keithpeter Silver badge

Issue new service numbers?

And credit those new numbers with accrued service to ensure pension entitlements &c?

This one needs proper mitigation methinks, not a subscription to a credit reporting agency.

Firefox 89: Can this redesign stem browser's decline?

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: Please, Firefox, just go away already!

I just use the default browser that comes with the Linux distribution that I use, at present the browser is Firefox.

* perceived performance: pretty OK on a Core Duo 2 laptop with 4Gb ram, lowest spec device currently in use (keyboard).

* privacy: I turn Javascript off in about:config and use a host file to block ad servers where possible (also battery/cool running). Would like a toolbar button to toggle js. I also disable studies/experiments/some telemetry in about:config

* UI: as long as I can press Alt when I want the proper menu I'm cool

Icon: semi-retired gentleman tutor with no furlough for sessionally paid staff

Ubuntu, Wikimedia jump ship to the Libera Chat IRC network after Freenode channel confiscations

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: "confiscated by the new freenode management."

"You want canonical policing which entities can and can’t run Ubuntu?"

No. I was on about ubuntu the trademarked name, not the software

keithpeter Silver badge

Most fleenode domains are not registered including the .org. Only fleenode.net has been registered.

Very tempting...

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: "confiscated by the new freenode management."

I know nothing about IRC or trademarks but that isn't going to stop me having a thought...

Ubuntu is a registered trade mark of Canonical, a company in the UK I believe. I also gather that one of the freenode related companies whose sale to Mr Lee has caused all this kerfuffle is based in the UK. Would Canonical's legal people perhaps be sending letters about the use of Ubuntu on Freenode servers sometime soon? Can Canonical stop having their Ubuntu brand 'represented' on Freenode's servers?

Lessons have not been learned: Microsoft's Modern Comments leave users reaching for the rollback button

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: Well... there's always...

troff (with eqn pic tbl and chem)... or just

echo "words" > file.ps?

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: Efficiency?? Ha ha ha ha….

@Roland6 and all

I understand what you are saying, and I worked for many years as a 'supported end user' (see icon) in a public sector organisation that used Microsoft everything. It worked generally very well, stuff got done. The platform supported the databases around which the organisation's activities were structured, and various 'business logic' applications from third parties with the usual borderline useable interfaces worked well enough for us to do our jobs. Shared drives housed various caches of documents and the usual Excel shadow IT applications disguised as spreadsheet files.

More recently, I work on a part-time casual basis (see icon again) for an employer that has migrated to Web everything. Currently it is MS 365/Sharepoint plus Moodle. People are working from home on their own devices (not all laptops/desktops) and getting stuff done. The 'business logic' applications are mostly subscription based services from externally accessed Web sites that do not depend on the core systems we use. The migration process involved changing email servers and losing older email. Noone seems to have missed it.

It strikes me that the 'cost' of moving over to Google Education or something else will now be *much lower* than it used to be. Younger colleagues are very comfortable hopping from one system to another and getting their head around a new interface. I have had no issues whatsoever accessing the various systems from a Webcamed laptop with Mint Linux (needed Zoom quickly, it was the easiest solution).

Perhaps the moat is drying out?

Best of luck all.

We'd love to report on the outcome of the CREST exam cheatsheet probe, but UK infosec body won't publish it

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: " "step-by-step instructions" on passing theory and practical exams"

"[...]what's actually needed is the ability to work out reliably and fast what the hell is going on in the face of the unexpected and come up equally swiftly with an appropriate course of action"

What assessment process would test those skills?

I'm guessing something like they use in medical schools ('circus' where candidates move around stations and read real diagnostic reports from things like scans and x-rays with made up medical histories. Candidates have to recommend treatments/procedures based on the evidence).

Would this kind of thing be too expensive?

Protip: If Joe Public reports that your kit is broken, maybe check that it is actually broken

keithpeter Silver badge


Original article has a smell of the Millennium Dome to me.

(Iain Sinclair's Sorry Meniscus sprung immediately to mind)

SolarWinds CEO describes overhauled Orion build system after that 'very small, unique' security breach

keithpeter Silver badge

@swineherd and all

I'd quite like to see some prudent planning around 'what do we do if the IT stops working' for public sector organisations and perhaps some of the logistics companies in the food/sewage/medical/energy supply chains.

Remember 2ky? Local shops and temples had emergency kitchens stocked up just in case on a purely voluntary basis.

Icon: Not just foreign aggression. What chance of a Carrington event within the next 10 years?...

Words to strike fear into admins' hearts: One in five workers consider themselves 'digital experts' these days

keithpeter Silver badge

Just wondering...

>> "CIOs," said Andrews, "should extend worker-to-worker lateral mentoring and training to ensure that no employees are left behind as technology mastery becomes the expectation." <<

In a College we had student mentors helping out with *use* of interactive whiteboards and the VLE. Was useful for (tactful) support of less enthusiastic teachers.

Any mileage in use of (suitably selected) peers to reduce IT support requests?

Or would that be icon?

Shadow over Fedora 34 as maintainer of Java packages quits with some choice words for Red Hat and Eclipse

keithpeter Silver badge

Is this a case of xkcd 2347?

I'll chuck R in as well (although they are working on a way of pulling out dependencies required for a given script as a snapshot).

Icon: It's 2037 and Mildred is doing her Phd and trying to make sense of a mix of Python and R scripts used to process data back in the 20s...

But can it run Avid? The Reg hands shiny new M1 MacBook to video production pro, who beats it with Blender, Handbrake, and ... Hypercard?

keithpeter Silver badge

Company car syndrome?

"Compared to the 2015 MacBook Pro, the M1 unit is still superficially very similar – I can clearly remember that feeling of dorkiness you get being the only one at a meeting with the unfashionably thick previous-generation MacBook Pro, so this is good news."

Is above quote from OA typical in the industries around end user computers (media, design &c)?

If so, would it apply to (say) a nice large iMac assuming that the M processor based iMacs will be thinner/quieter/cooler and in many colours?

I'll be keeping my eye out for a second hand Intel iMac with a large screen if so...

Icon: the more architectures the better.

Google's FLoC flies into headwinds as internet ad industry braces for instability

keithpeter Silver badge
Big Brother

Opt in or opt out?



Which one of these pages is correct? What can shared host Web site owners do to make sure their pages are not used in FLoC calculations?

Reference: Lex Fridman's podcast #135. Long but good, and analytics that allow clustering of people also allow surprisingly accurate prediction of future behaviour...

Oh hello. Haven't heard much from you lately: Linux veteran Slackware rides again with a beta of version 15

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: Why I'm a Loyalist...

The paying for Slackware bit has entered the modern world - there is a Patreon page now as the Slackware Store that sold the DVDs was found to be passing only a small portion of the revenue to the developer.

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: My friend has a 14.2 box that's still running.

The fat install and no dependency graph is the unique selling point for slackware I suspect. I think it may be the only distribution providing that short of LFS. I gather crux linux has some dependency tracking system now.

The unofficial isos mentioned in OA are available as live images in a variety of flavours or as an installer. The installer is text based and assumes you know how to partition the hard drive, but the travails of yesteryear have been smoothed over for the most part now.

PS: where is Jake?

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

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: Bye Bye FSF

The wheel turns, the prayer flags flap in the wind. The rice bowl must be filled each day.

Best of luck with the stuff you do.

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: Bye Bye FSF

Sadly, I suspect there needs to be an organisational fork for the reasons outlined in posts above this.

However, there is now a membership sifting process occurring with those who find FSF 1.0 unsustainable moving on. This leaves those who are comfortable with FSF 1.0 in place, and therefore unlikely to actively manage the change process in a sensible way.

We shall have to see what transpires.

UK's National Cyber Security Centre recommends password generation idea suggested by El Reg commenter

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: Set up for dictionary based attacks?

Do password cracking systems based on rainbow tables make provision for permutations of the letters in each word?

If not, would writing the pass phrase in (say) a 5x5 square left to right then reading it off top to bottom juggle the letters around enough to force the cracking software to go to brute force?

You can probably spot the phrase I've jumbled up below, but could an algorithm?


Icon: I've reached the life stage where I have to write stuff down anyway...

And the Turing Award for best compilation goes to... Jeffrey Ullman and Alfred Aho

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: What happened to Ravi Sethi?

@ Crypto


Dr Sethi is in honourable retirement from Bell labs and another research based company, and is emeritus professor status in a US university. Seems to have had a good career.

Later versions of the Dragon book had a variety of co-authors.

Yes, there's nothing quite like braving the M4 into London on the eve of a bank holiday just to eject a non-bootable floppy

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: A near weekly occurrence

"The first would say "I need to play this DVD/Video/youtube stream for a class at the end of the week. Can you help me test it?"

The second would say "I can't get this DVD/Video/Youtube steam to work, the class started 10 minutes ago...""

The former category are likely take an OFSTED visit in their stride. The latter might have a challenging time (something like two days notice now I think). Stress in teaching can be reduced considerably by forward planning. Don't ask me how I know that...

Shedding the 'bleeding edge' label: If Fedora is only going to be for personal use, that doesn't work for Red Hat

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: s/Red Hat/IBM/g

"IBM/Red Hat might start to think Fedora excess to requirements."

My (limited) understanding is that Fedora releases act as the source of future RHEL/Stream builds, so that a given Fedora release is identified as being a suitable basis for future RHEL, then the packages are forked and the RHEL bug squashing and testing process begins.

If I have that right, a Fedora like activity resulting in an actual 'release' with RPM style packages and a coherent set of libraries &c would need to continue to feed into the RHEL/Stream refinement process whether or not the outcome of the Fedora like activity was publicly released.

As the Fedora project gets a fair amount of support from outside of RedHat staff, IBM/RedHat might well decide that the free work was a good trade for server space and some publicity and funding. We'll see.

Chairman, CEO of Nominet ousted as member rebellion drives .uk registry back to non-commercial roots

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: The next move

Perhaps a staff meeting by new acting chair as well. Reassure that the actual work will carry on and probably become more important as the organisation focuses on its actual core role.

The Audacity of it all: Version 3.0 of open-source audio fave boasts new file format, 160+ bug fixes

keithpeter Silver badge



A chap called Jouni Helminen is, apparently, working with the Audacity team "on a redesign of the UI/UX". He mentioned this on the third comment about the Audacity announcement over on the orange and grey news forum.

I'm sure the Audacity people will keep his feet on the ground, so no need to panic just yet...

With Nominet’s board-culling vote just days away, we speak to one man who will publicly support the management

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: there should be a dialogue – not a double-barreled shotgun

FOOF sounds fun.

The only fluorine compound I have had to work with was hydroflouric acid. That was OK but needed very careful planning beforehand.

Good luck to those involved at the EGM. Look after my £7.80 now won't you.

Brit college forced to shift all teaching online for a week while it picks up the pieces from ransomware attack

keithpeter Silver badge



Gentle reminder: remember who is on the end of this particular sewage farm incident.

keithpeter Silver badge

Honest views

"It is relatively unusual for an organisation to state outright that it has been hit by ransomware [...]"

Didn't surprise me at all from South City (the being honest bit).

I worked in FE/Adult in the West Midlands for 30+ years (never at South) and people in this sector are generally honest about the challenges. The Association Of Colleges (I think it's name changed a bit ago) do the public relations stuff for the sector when needed and spend money on glossies.

Icon: for the teams going round re-installing and doing all the crap.

Desperate Nominet chairman claims member vote to fire him would spark British government intervention

keithpeter Silver badge

As an OFSTED inspector once suggested to me just burn it all(*). It is a lot quicker than a shredder.

He had a brazier in the back garden for burning garden waste. Made short shrift of the yellow pads.

But seriously: bank records, auditors, contracts and other documents lodged with solicitors &c

(*) they are - or were when I was on active service - required to destroy all paper records after completing an inspection

keithpeter Silver badge

Ah, but then the new administration would have access to the records and accounts. In full detail. Original documents.

Disclaimer: I have no skin in this game and no real knowledge of the issues, and I don't earn money from Web sites or the Internet (alas, see icon).

Microsoft customers locked out of Teams, Office, Xbox, Dynamics – and Azure Active Directory breakdown blamed

keithpeter Silver badge


"Starting at approximately 1915 UTC on 15 Mar 2021, a subset of customers may experience issues authenticating into Microsoft services, including Microsoft Teams, Office and/or Dynamics, Xbox Live, and the Azure Portal,"

A set with N elements has 2N subsets if we include the null set and the set itself, so the above quote isn't really saying a lot.

I wonder why Microsoft does not become the first large computing supply company to actually give a very rough percentage of user accounts affected? Think of the kudos they would acquire through transparency.

Huge if true: If you show people articles saying that Firefox is faster than Chrome, they'll believe it

keithpeter Silver badge


A psychologically informed sales pitch is probably cheaper than hiring computer programmers to work on the actual browser and rendering engine. Depressing but I can see the logic.

keithpeter Silver badge

two ways of learning about the world...

Most of us are bricoleurs, some are engineers.

Touch of the structuralists on a Friday, time for wine and tappas in a few hours.

Four women, including TV star, thought they were investing in a software business. It was a scam. Now the perp's going to jail

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: A different interpretation of the article

I thought the sleeping in the car period was in the past and the family were now living in the apartment rented by the con man?

UK: safeguarding, if you give a car as your home address to your children's school the social services people will be paying a visit.

Linus Torvalds issues early Linux Kernel update to fix swapfile SNAFU

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: The clue is in the name

Hopefully the number of such early adopters that use a swapfile as opposed to a swap partition will be quite small given the default partition setup in most of the installers that I am aware of.

icon: we definitely need a 'waiting for when it is safe to go to the barbers' icon for the UK at any rate.

I haven't bought new pants for years, why do I have to keep buying new PCs?

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: Cognitive decline

I have similar thoughts. Older people I know, some retired academics, are still sharp as razors on their own area of knowledge. On the everyday life navigation stuff they seem to do OK just going a tad slower and more deliberate.

I'll probably move sideways to a chromebook with Ubuntu/Debian in a chroot/crouton session (whatever the proper name is) for applications.

Icon: needs to be a mullet for the lockdown look

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: When you say "pants",

Thinkpad T42 here (2005 ish) is the oldest. Can run OpenBSD and Slackware fine but there are limits to what you can do with 1Gb, mainly Web browsers. I just disable javascript in Firefox.

Claudio Magris is an Italian national and a professor of German literature. His book Danube is worth tracking down if you like a slow episodic non-fiction read. I was brought up sharp by his comment at one point that the coat he was wearing had lasted longer than the Thousand Year Reich (10 years). I have a coat and a few shirts from around the Millennium but they are like tents on me now (been losing weight to stave off type 2).

Back on topic in a vague sort of way: would links and something like alpine have run under DOS on a 286? or were they just too advanced. Was there a tcp/ip stack even?

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

keithpeter Silver badge

Re: 40 YEARS OLD?!?!?

Have a look at


An account of the impact of a TS1000 on a 7 year old... with some food for thought in the final paragraphs. Was on the orange and grey IT message board the other day and I thought it was interesting.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021