* Posts by Roadcrew

30 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Jul 2014

Microsoft quits giving us the silent treatment on Windows 10 updates


Re: Total Desperation...

> WTF do I do now?

One option is to pick your/her favourite flavour of Windows (Win 7?) and install this on a VM under the Linux of your choice.

Make certain that it cannot contact the web, and you have a safe environment in which to work offline using mature Windows tools.

We did this in 2008 using KVM and Win XP, for the usual business software legacy reasons. We used a reasonable 2007 Acer laptop with VM-aware CPU, and compared the performance of the installed-on-bare-metal XP with the virtualised one.

Surprisingly, on many benchmarks XP applications under KVM on LInux ran fractionally faster than on bare metal, which was spooky. Turned out that all the anti-virus/malware/whatever stuff was the reason. These were no longer needed on the VM image - that was scanned 'offline' by Linux.

Web browsing/email was all done in Linux, and it all worked surprisingly well.

Don't recall the knotty details, sorry! The need for it went away, and we no longer have that system up. Might have an HD image somewhere, but can't be sure.

Nowadays there are a host of virtualisation things around with fairly friendly GUIs - a light LInux with some VM software and Win7 installed might be the answer...

Good luck!


Re: Question...

...and don't forget Chrome OS, folks.

I reckon one might use data-hoover OSes if one takes great care not to do anything one cares about on them.

TV schedules, cartoons, reading El Reg - they can hoover all that up, and good luck to them.

MS is pretty late to the show in that regard, but wasn't Billy Gates first transaction based on a lie?

"Gates and Allen called MITS and lied by telling them they were working on a BASIC software program that could run the Altair 8800."

See:- https://sites.google.com/site/billgates9004/growing-up

Lying can get to be a habit.

Remember Netbooks? Windows 10 makes them good again!


Re: Netbooks were never bad..

We still have a couple or three - use an HP Mini (Cedarview Atom) daily and still have a couple of earlier efforts - the second-hand Linux-loaded AA1 that came with an early (slow,small, unreliable) flash drive (with unique nasty connector) has borked yet another drive and these are now too expensive to consider buying, so it boots its Linux from one of those truly tiny USB sticks, and makes good use of the SD slot too.

The HP Mini standard battery lasts even better than the mahoosive upgraded lump on the back of the AA1, its processor/gpu is swifter and its easy internal access is a joy, so it gets more use. In fact the only HP Mini aspect that annoys us occasionally is the screen - which had a pixel missing from new, and now has a bunch of them gone. Ah well...

Think I prefer using -slightly- larger-than-traditional-netbook screens, but they are so perfect for stuffing in a bag or even a poaching pocket. It was only £130 new from a high street store, so it may get a new screen one day, if it behaves well... ;)

Oh, and there's an early EEE PC in a cupboard, loaded with Linux kid's stuff (Childsplay, Gcompris, etc). This EEE comes out when small people are visiting. It's survived surprisingly well, although the battery is getting tired. :(


Netbooks, Chromebooks, whatever....

They do all seem to run faster, more securely and usefully without Win 10.

This comes to you from a Chromebook that dual-boots Linux.

Not the most versatile, Chrome OS, but it works reliably here.

For us, Win 10 kinda works, but took an age to install (on a new Win 8.1 box from Lenovo that came with two free viruses installed out-of-the-box), and (comparing with Linux & Chrome OS) it's a memory hog with all the usual security nightmares...

Win 10 is really only suited for Windows enthusiasts, imho. You have to be prepared to work with all the after-market protection suites and so on.

Ready for a nostalgia kick? Usborne has put its old computer books on the web for free

Thumb Up

Re: The curse of having an Amstrad


I was a Dad who typed that in for our 464.

Happy days....

It took some BASIC-fu to get it running, iirc.

Then we hacked it about with local/family/school references inserted and the like.

Had done something similar on the ZX81 previously, as well as a couple of

self-published 'action' games. So it was not hard to fix, just tedious.

Happy days indeed.


Shome mishtake, Shirley?

Links not working as expected downunder in VIC...

The varii tempting .PDF links tried all take us to:


....and downloading merely downloads that page.

So at least it's consistent.

Is this, perchance, a conspiracy against Vulture South?

Prejudice against hard-working convict descendants?

Revenge for the cricket results....?

Ahh..... that'll be it.

Australian government urges holidaymakers to kill two-factor auth


Re: Bean Counting?

Beans, beans, food for the heart, the more you eat the more you....

Rock reboot and the Welsh windy wonder: Centre for Alternative Technology


Over 35 years already, is it?

Used to drop in at C.A.T. when our kids were little - en route to (or returning from) our annual Tal-y-bont holiday chalet, back around 1978/9.

Learned how to make a half-decent hot water solar panel there, using an old heating radiator, double glazing units, black paint and straw/paper insulation. Thoroughly cleaning out the old rad and removing any layers of previous paint was part of the recipe, iirc.

It was -amazing- how much heat this would impart to a tank full of water, even on a typically not-very-sunny day near the middle of England.

On a sunny one, it was too hot to bathe in.

Yes, really.

The people there really impressed us, helped to change my thinking too.

Big mistake, Google. Big mistake: Chrome OS to be 'folded into Android'


Chrome OS works OK for our lot....

...be a pity to lose it, imho.

(grabs coat and runs out to pub)

For myself, I install Linux with bigger M.2 SSD &/or fat USB3 micro-sticks which work well.

Bodhi Linux in particular seems to integrate really well with the not-at-all-expensive Acer 720 - Jeff Hoogland the Bodhi lead developer uses one himself.

For aged relatives, refugees from MS and the like, Chrome OS seems to work really well, although it does not do all that I like to do on the same hardware. I usually tickle their config to minimise exposure to data hoovering, not that they seem to care.


Yes, we had a malware incident on one, a dodgy (free) game from the Play Store thing. Just deleted the offending item, made sure the user data was synched, did the Power Wash, and rebooted and logged him in again. Seems to be good as new.

Beats the shiny new Lenovo Win8.1 box I bought that arrived pre-loaded with malware!

Be sad to see Chrome OS diminished.

Snakes in the aircon, killer crocs in the river, virtualisation for apps

Thumb Up

...and way down in VIC

You can get a pretty good curry experience in Bendigo - the "Curry Garden" up on the first floor near The Fountain in the Bendigo CBD.

It's a pretty broad menu, with Anglo-Indian choices that please our wandering Pom palates.

There are others there, too.

Altogether some pretty good eating is available.

Trickle-down economics works: SpaceShipTwo is a prime example


Re: Government Tied up in Bow


When working in Dallas I was told that Bob Biard at TI was a GaAs pioneer in the early 60s - the IR LED specifically. They were around the industry in the late 70s, I'm sure.

Think there may have been a GaAs front end to the TI GSM 'phone chipset in the '90s?

The RF & IC development did come much later than the IR LEDs - wasn't there even a rad-hard CPU from someone?

Original IR LED was allegedly a TI private venture....

Remember SeaMicro? Red-ink-soaked AMD dumps it overboard


Hope they make it...

...but it is looking less likely, now.

@peter2 - yes, I was one of those using AMD CPUs pretty often. Our first totally dedicated Linux box was a mildly clocked early-ish Sempron that still works fine after.. ummm.. some 9 or 10 years?

Mates of mine who worked there did OK, mostly.

One of them who went to the USA with AMD was really well looked after despite health issues.

That's pretty unusual.

Be sorry to lose AMD.

Get yourself connected: GrovePi+ Starter Kit


Re: Oscilloscopes

Got one for about £80 from Amazon last year, should probably have spent more on it to get higher speed...

Pro: It works OK, pretty much as described, fair enough value/quality

Con: Not a huge advance over software-on-standard-PC-audio-card for audio stuff

Windows only at this price point - but TinyXP in a VM under Linux does the job after some fiddling.

When I get round to it (hah!) plan is to dedicate an ancient-but-repairable low end XP laptop to become the dedicated 'scope box. Now where did I put that laptop?

Bottom line - haven't used it much for a few months now, but have projects in hand that will surely need it.

What's the manufacturer? Model number?

Darned if I can remember - and the lab is like a tip right now. Maybe tomorrow.

I've been retired all this century, age is advancing, usual excuses....

Australia's Akamai ranking has nothing to do with the NBN


Re: String

...but surely it's an embiggened pipe we need?

Lots of spare lengths of water pipe stacked up where they abandoned the drought relief plan when it rained.

Oh, wait...

Google crashes supposedly secure Aviator browser


Own goal by Google...

Until today, Aviator was a movie to me....

(OK, I'm out of touch)

Now it's a browser that sounds kinda interesting.

Thank you Google!

Get your special 'sound-optimising' storage here, hipsters



Where's your KickStarter page? Bound to succeed...

...and there's even a fairly logical reason for it to 'work'.

Humans are not good measuring instruments. We 'feel' things, have intuitions, inspirations, etc.

Placebo effect is real, proven science. Hence double-blind screening.

Beer goggles are pretty well known, too...

So if the numpty (sorry, _customer_) is convinced that AudioNAS sounds better, it does.

To him anyway, even if nobody else agrees...

Little foil corners for your speakers, Feng shui, malt whisky, whatever. If it makes you feel better, it will probably make the sound better, subjectively.

Malt whisky works for me! ;)

YEAR of the PENGUIN: A Linux mobile in 2015?


Re: Very pleased with Linux.... Apart from Pulse audio ....

I'd have agreed with that some 18 months ago, but then was pointed at the excellent Pulse Audio Volume Control (pavucontrol) which does more than the label on the box. Fixes all our probs, might help yours?

Linus Torvalds releases Linux 3.18 as 3.17 wobbles


Re: a couple of people....

Unless, of course you include all the Linux Kernel users (notice that this is on topic!) - Android is not much of a desktop, although it can be made to work, sorta.

I'm referring to Google Chrome OS, which works well enough for us (and gazeeellions of others it seems), so long as one improves the storage on the ChromeBook/Box. USB3 sticks are pretty effective for that, we find.

It's surely true to say now that most of the Linux kernels crafted by Linus T and his team are installed in something other than a regular GNU-Linux distro.

Pretty surprising....

Virgin Media customers suffer YET MORE YouTube buffering blues


Seriously, now

.... but VM just suck balls at support.

Time for a teabagging party then?


Good luck with getting them sorted.

VW's Scirocco diesel: A sheep in Wolfsburg’s clothing


Re: wot?

Well, it's "not quick" for a 2+2 with that amount of horsepower (148bhp) and truly stonking torque (250 ft-lbs), not to mention the ridiculous price - but yes, 8.6 seconds is more than enough to keep up with the traffic!

The reason for the missing performance is the serious obesity - a ton and a half.

What? That's two 5-door 5-seat Maestros.

I could not claim that Austin-Rover production quality was even... err... adequate?

But our rusty, rattly, but beloved A-series Maestro HL was no porker, and this VW clearly is.

What a pity.

Nice to see a reference to the truly mighty Leonard Setright. Great chap.

Experimental sci-fi novel Elysium is ALMOST irritating ...

Thumb Up

Sounds intriguing....

....think I might give that a try.

Review was tantalising enough to get the curiosity going!

The devil is (as ever) in the detail, of course. Hope it lives up to expectation.

Vertigan killed FTTP but the battle for scalable FTTN has not begun


It's not rocket science, surely?

Sadly, we're getting all these NBN leaflets in our snailmailbox that seem to have little to do with what we can actually have when we call in and ask - a whole 7Km from the CBD.

Seems they mailed the promo stuff out haphazardly, much like the whole bl**dy NBN thing. <sigh>

Fibre to Node or Premises isn't our issue - it's when we'll ever get anything fibrous at all in this 'burb. As far as I can tell, it's Telstra that keep blocking anything good for their customers, by various means.

They are entirely happy to keep milking the sheeple the way they always have. We've visited remote Atlantic islands that have better service.

Telstra's pricing/performance is already pretty third world, we reckon. Third-rate, for sure.

Walmart's $99 crap-let will make people hate Windows 8.1 even more


Re: stick linux on it, and use it to read books

>>There have been instances recently where a warranty was voided because the purchaser installed Linux.

Then *removing* Linux before returning it is probably a smart idea.

Stuffing anything onto the media that resembles the original Win thing would probably help....

But if in doubt, saying something along the lines of " Musta gotta virus then, innit?"

...should hopefully cover most warranty avoidance issues.

Even better, "It stopped working!"

Who wants to be a millionaire? Not so fast, Visa tells wannabe pay-by-bonk thieves


'Tinfoil' is good, in some cases.

Re-lining my card wallet with aluminium cooking foil does inhibit certain RF links. Worth a try, anyway.

Of course, my wallet has a Palm E2 in it as well, which probably helps.

Fire fighters call for no-drone zone around bushfires


Yup, that came over the ABC wireless a while ago...

... and then the sirens went off - the local CFA volunteers scrambled a couple of engines in a minute or three. One engine slowed to pick up a neighbour who was struggling into his gear by the kerb, which brings it all home.

You can understand why the firies would not want some twit with a Parrot thing flying it in people's faces.

But I suspect that most of these drones (80%?) actually sold are those tiny short range Hubsan-or-similar $40 jobs that cannot do a whole bunch of physical harm.

They weigh about 30gm, but could clearly be a distraction.

What would be seriously sad would be a journo with a big camera rig in the air, and who's to say that won't happen soon?


Firefox decade: Microsoft's IE humbled by a dogged upstart. Native next?


Re: Forgetting something Mr Chemist?

Dillo, Lynx, Midori, etc.... Oh! YOu're using WinDoze!. Sorry.

GCHQ staff 'would sooner walk' than do anything 'resembling mass surveillance’

Big Brother

GCHQ peeps...

When visiting GCHQ and varied offshoots in a technical capacity most of the people we met were (on the face of it) pretty decent. Quite a few very relaxed individuals, doing an important job.

Very nearly ended up working at one of the varied offshoots, and in hindsight that could have been more fun than what I ended up doing.

The impression I had was yes, these were people who (on the whole) would rather walk than be involved with Orwellian mass surveillance.

But I have also seen what happens anywhere when jobs are on the line and Mighty Masters of Management start putting on the pressure to do evil stuff - good people can end up part of a moderately machiavellian machine.

To all the good people at GCHQ - hello!

It's your masters' motives we distrust....

And it's about time there was someone effective in government with a proper education and some decent experience of the world we live in. Malevolent muppets, most of them.


Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'


|But to be fair to Linus....

...he did say that both of his best-know works (Linux and GIt) were named after him!

Ada Lovelace Day: Meet the 6 women who gave you the 'computer'


Strange, isn't it?

Pre-teens of both genders seem(ed) about equally happy to 'play' with computing in my experience.

I used to do 'Tech' stuff for UK middle schools for years - rock up with bean cans, string, oscilloscope & microphone, electric guitar, swanee whistles, synthesiser, Video Genie computer & TV, etc.

Around age 9 or 10 everybody took part, pretty much.

My own daughters were soldering stuff before primary school - and were encouraged to code on their kit-built ZX-81s.

OK it was in Sinclair BASIC, but it's getting the coding ice broken, or throwing a starting double.

That's what I thought, anyway.

But they had other interests which prevailed, which was grand.

On the way there were some fun visits to 'Technology Centres' with them as little kids, though....

Computer demonstrator: "Now, kiddies, any questions about the big com-pu-ter?"

Tiny little daughter raises hand: "How often do you back up your files?"



Xiaomi: Hidden Android dragon is growing fast, despite being unknown in the West


Strategy makes sense....

...looks like they're not innovating much yet, just churning out me-too phones with low risk and pretty much guaranteed returns. Building up the war chest and keeping their powder dry.

Who'd bet against them dominating the industry in (say) five (or ten) years?