* Posts by Ivan Headache

875 posts • joined 24 Jul 2007


Macmillan best-biscuit list unexpectedly promotes breakfast cereal to treat status

Ivan Headache

I’ve taken a liking to Dutch Stroopwaffles since I found them during my last trip to Costco.

It says to each them with coffee.

They don’t crunch so I suppose that makes them non-biscuits.

With regard to chocolate hobnobs. Is it possible to eat only one?

It seems that once I open the packet I run out of them..

Apple debuts iPhone 13 with 1TB option, two iPad models, Series 7 Watch

Ivan Headache

I enjoy these Apple Events but

agree that the superlatives are somewhat excessive - as is the walk to the right, clasp hands, walk to the left, unclasp hands routine.

What I do find interesting is they way they use the video effects in the intros and transitions between subjects.

Yesterday wasn't spectacular but TC's walk from the desert onto the stage at the beginning was particularly neat.

The WWDC presentation had plenty of tricks - as did the earlier events .

Big kudos to the guys & gals who put them together.

The unit of measure for fatbergs is not hippopotami, even if the operator of an Australian sewer says so

Ivan Headache

Re: I want to know how you can weigh a bridge.

Had a problem with that.

Step one was fine but step two got me into real trouble.

I compromised by doing step one, the taking a shoe off and doing step two without the bridge.

I got back on the scale for step three.

Now I know how much I weigh with only one shoe on.

Ivan Headache

For some reason I can’t fathom…

I want to know how you can weigh a bridge.

Think you can solve the UK's electric vehicle charging point puzzle? The Ordnance Survey wants to hear about it

Ivan Headache

Re: Park for Night

Some time ago (perhaps 5 years - not sure anymore, things are getting hazy) around the time when the idea of using hydrogen as a fuel became a popular topic, the Sainsbury's filling station in Hendon installed a Hydrogen recharging station. I seem to remember it having blast walls to separate it from the petrol pumps.

Last year I called in to acquire some bonus sector points and noticed that the entire hydrogen bit had gone, blast walls too.

Tesla battery fire finally flamed out after four-day conflagration

Ivan Headache

Re: Flow batteries?

Just this last week


Apple patches zero-day vulnerability in iOS, iPadOS, macOS under active attack

Ivan Headache

Re: Dogs are really fast

Why do commenters suggested that things should be "nuked from Orbit"?

Surely that would present even bigger problems.

Space Force turtle expert uncovers $1.2m Cape Canaveral cocaine haul

Ivan Headache

Re: So happy together

It washed up on the Flo and Ebbie

Report commissioned by Google says Google isn't to blame for the death of print news

Ivan Headache

My local paper comes out once a week

It’s website is there every day. Some days they update it with a poorly written piece with lots of Twitter screenshots about something of minor interest in a neighbouring borough.

The stories are rarely topical. Today there was a story about dangerous things in your car which could get you into trouble.

There was an advert for a wonderful miniature air conditioner that could cool my whole house in thirty minutes and an amazing telescope that turns my phone into a sniperscope. There was also an interesting piece about the benefits of using vinegar in my garden, sticking roses into potatoes, something about using WD40 in my toilet and endless stories about things that are taking the UK by storm.

Thankfully the print edition doesn’t have those. It rarely has proper news either.


It does have useful local ads though.

University of Hertfordshire pulls the plug on, well, everything after cyber attack

Ivan Headache

Re: Learning without a computer

It’s a good job mine doesn’t take the rubbish out to the kerb on Wednesday.

The bin men come on Tuesday .

Quality control, Soviet style: Here's another fine message you've gotten me into

Ivan Headache

Re: Skodas and Ladas

Was that a 2-stroke or a V4?

We had a 2-stroke in the late 60s and loved it. I think it only had 3 forward gears - might be wrong, it's 50+ years ago - but the automatic free-wheel system gave it great economy.

It did have one minor issue though. Every now and again, for reasons only known to itself, the motor would start up running in reverse. The only way you could tell was by releasing the clutch!

Didn't take long to learn to stop doing sprint starts!

We had a pair of big Cibie Oscars on the front so it looked (a bit) like one of the rally cars (apart from being powder-blue and not cherry-red) until some nere-do-well sawed them off one night.

Prince Philip, inadvertent father of the Computer Misuse Act, dies aged 99

Ivan Headache

Re: Bad greek

Ah, algebra.

We had some of that growing up our wall.

Lovely flowers.

Today's 'sophisticated cyber attack' victim is the Woodland Trust: Pre-Xmas breach under investigation

Ivan Headache

Re: Investigation to be run by........

I wonder if the hackers thought it was a hedge fund.

Watt's next for batteries? It'll be more of the same, not longer life, because physics and chemistry are hard

Ivan Headache


it's the Twizy not the Twingo

Ivan Headache

Re: On the subject of EV recharging

That’s the idea used in the Renault Twingo.

Funny looking car. Even funnier is that you see so few of them.

I wonder why.

Ivan Headache

Re: For an expendable battery, such as a lead-acid battery

Where does it say that?

I can’t find a reference to expendable lead-acid batteries.

If you are referring to “the little cylinder of metal and acid” then I think you are reading something that isn’t there. All the lead-acid batteries I have seen are not little, neither are they cylindrical nor made of metal.

Google rejects Australia’s revised pay-for-news plan, proposes its own plan instead

Ivan Headache


I'm permanently in awe of Google (and to a point, Facebook too).

They seem to think that they make the decisions and Governments should just fall into line and do what Google says.

Somitting has to be done before we are all ruled by Google.

Raven geniuses: Four-month-old corvids have similar cognitive abilities to great apes at same age, study finds

Ivan Headache

Re: An unkindness of ravens

In that case I’ve got Italian squirrels.

It’s had no effect here.

Ivan Headache

Re: An unkindness of ravens

Yes but how do I stop the Squirrel(s) from cleaning out my bird feeder.

I don't buy the peanuts for him.

My current stainless tube feeder is the first one he's not managed to destroy. All the wire mesh ones - even those made with stainless wire are easy for the squirrel to unravel and break,

Ivan Headache

Re: Size bias

Thanks for that. I was thinking along similar lines for much of it but didn't want to get out of my depth.

An additional about the Robin.

I say Robin, but we have three of them in our garden fairly regularly so it could any one of them.

When we first put up the peanut feeder he sat on the fence or the holly bush which is adjacent and watched the Tits having a feast. He tried and failed to copy them, not managing to grasp the Stainless steel tube (this on isn't a mesh). However, it only took him a day or so to realise that the Tits kept dropping bits as they did their look out for predators head flick. then he world turn up and hop around under the feeder and pick up all the bits that got dropped. If he turned up and the Tits weren't in attendance he would would have a go at emulating their routine. It took him a while but now he can do it first time. He doesn't do the upside down stuff though.

He loves the Flutter Butter and will go for that in preference. This morning he was sitting on top of the window feeder just staring back at me.

Interestingly, there is one Great Tit that will go after a bit if he drops it. He's incredibly fast and generally retrieves his bit before the Robin has had chance to spot it.

The Pigeons have tried to get into the feeder but gave up after several days of trying and now ignore it.

There are a couple of Jays in the neighbourhood. We rarely see them together at the feeder as they are a bit on the big side, but occasionally they will both come. One will feed while the other sits on the ground below. Then they swap places until they decide to leave. Similarly the Parakeets.

I tend to see them flying but every now and again one will come to the feeder. I remember one morning there was a pair of them. one at the feeder (upside down as there wasn't much left in it) and the other sitting patiently in the top of the support with its head cocked to one side watching.

Just like the Jays they took it in turns.

Right that jigsaw isn't going to finish itself.

Ivan Headache

Re: Size bias

Ive wondered about bird brains for a while now.

We have a couple of peanut feeders outside our kitchen window. I spend quite a bit (probaby far too long - I should be doing a jigsaw puzzle) watching the antics of the Blue Tits, Great Tits, Robins and Sparrows that frequent them.

First. How did they locate the feeder in the first place and how did they know it was a source of food?

Second. There is a third feeder attached to the kitchen window. This contains Flutter Butter (other peanut butter based feeds are available) How did they work out that this thing attached to a sheet of glass also contained food. (they love it by the way and can empty a pod in almost the same time tha the squirrel can empty the nut feeder.)

Interestingly the Tits tend to queue to use it. The Robin won't come to it if there is a Tit feeding. If it's free then it will come and sit on it and hog it for a while.

The Sparrows won't come anywhere near it - perhaps they're chicken.

There's anorher feeder for Finches. We haven't seen a finch all year - but not one of the other birds will touch it.

What has intrigued me most is the birds' reaction time. That and their communication.

Example, two House Sparrows sitting on the fence about 20cm apart. With no obviously link between them they took flight as one and flew away as a pair in the same direction side by side.

A slo-mo film might have detected a difference in their launches, but I couldn't see it.

The Tits (both varieties) are very acrobatic when feeding. It's always intrigued me that they land on the feeder (a vertical stainess steel tube with holes spaced for they to get at the nuts) without making mistakes. Their feet are always in the right place to get the peanuts nearest to top of the tube. If the squirrell has been lunching and the nuts are now only at the bottom, they instantly switch to an upside down position. Again, lightning fast. The Robin on the other hand took two or three weeks before he could land on the feeder like the Tits do.

I watched a Sparrow today trying to imitate a Humming Bird, trying to get a peanut while in hover mode. He could only manage about 3 seconds before giving up. He did manage to get his beak in the feeder but couldn't maintaing the hover long it enough to pull a nut out out.

There are other occasional visitors with their own quirks and tricks but I think I have rambled on long enough now.

Where's the mysterious metal monolith today then? Oh look, it's atop a California mountain

Ivan Headache

Re: One has appeared in my back garden too!

I’ve got a column of parrots in my garden.

I’m calling it a pollylith.

Uri Geller calls off 20-year ban on Pokémon trading card that 'stole' his 'signature image'

Ivan Headache

Re: made his millions by proclaiming himself a psychic

That sign was seen regularly on the door of ‘The Psychic Bookshop’ on Great Queen Street in the 80’s

[Checks meeting agenda...] Where does it say 'Talk cr*p and waste everyone's time'?

Ivan Headache

Drum solo

Two missionaries found themselves in a bit of a pickle after they were captured by cannibals.

As they were tied up, the drums started, Two hours later the drums were still going. Into the night and the drums kept going.Next morning , the same, and on into the evening.

"Don't the drums ever stop?" one of the missionaries begged in exasperation.

"The drums must never stop." one of their captors replied.

"Why? What will happen if they stop?'

"Bass solo."

Let's... drawer a veil over why this laser printer would decide to stop working randomly

Ivan Headache

I'm sure everyone must have seen this.

"Help! all my typing has disappeared."

Go to have a look. An empty page greets me.

"What did you do?"

"Well I was working on this proposal and the phone rang, so I answered it.

When I turned back all my proposal had gone."

"How much had you written?"

"I was on page 3."

Then I pointed out that she was on page 99 (or something equally large) and that if she rested her notebook on the enter key again it would add on a few more empty pages for her.

Deleting the 96 odd empty pages earned me a rather nice Almond Magnum later in the day.

Google screwed rivals to protect monopoly, says Uncle Sam in antitrust lawsuit: We go inside the Sherman parked on a Silicon Valley lawn

Ivan Headache

Re: People have a choice?

I have a little app on my Mac called ‘Little Snitch’, it reports every time an application wants to send something to a remote server.

Most of the time it sits benignly telling me that every now and again Apple wants to check out my software updates, and similar things like that.

However, should I launch a web-browser it goes bonkers. I went to a site today and as the home page loaded there were six or seven separate warnings about Google wanting this that and the other.

The site had nothing to do with Google but it was there. Occasionally it happens when an email is opened.

Often when I’m out servicing one of my many domestic (I.e. senior) clients I get told “I can’t get on to Google”

For many people, and not just seniors (techies not included), Google is the internet.

I regularly get emails from the BBC advising that tickets are available for various live and recorded shows, and over the years have been to many. Since the lockdown and the stock of recorded material has been used the BBC has started doing virtual recordings for shows. the News Quiz and The Infinite Monkey Cage are a couple of examples, where the ‘studio’ audience actually take part from their own homes. There have been a couple where I would like to have been involved. However, in order to take part one must use Google Chrome.

0ops. 1,OOO-plus parking fine refunds ordered after drivers typed 'O' instead of '0'

Ivan Headache

Re: And this ladies and gentlemen...

That’s what I thought until this afternoon while following a car in London with the reg comprising the letter V and three Os or 0s and three Is or 1s.

I commented to the lovely Ivana that I thought that it was odd as I understood that those where never used because they led to confusion

For the rest of the journey she kept pointing Out cars and vans with the offending characters In their plates.

The Battle of Britain couldn't have been won without UK's homegrown tech innovations

Ivan Headache

Spitfires and that engine sound

From where I live in north-west London I can see Bentley Priory from my upstairs windows.

Every year until a couple of years after RAF sold it (it's now an estate of executive houses), at about 1800 on 16th September I would hear that wonderful sound. Looking out, there would be a lone Spitfire performing aerobatics over the priory for about ten minutes.

Did't hear anything today.

Chinese State media uses new release of local Linux to troll Trump

Ivan Headache

Re: Google Translate at its best...

Ah, but.....

Milky Bar and Milky Way are two different chocolate bars

At least they were when the Milky Bar Kid rode into town.

Co-inventor of the computer mouse, William English, dies

Ivan Headache

Re: Trackerball?

The trackball - a ball-resolver - was an integral part of the NBS (Navigation Bombing System) of the V-Bomber fleet. It was inside the large unit with all those windy-handles and counters at the bottom of the photo http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/cockpit-knobs.html.

All the input was via those handles and (IIRC) from the various radar systems on board.

I remember doing a course on it but now, for the life of me cannot remember how it worked or what was done with the output!

A real loch mess: Navy larks sunk by a truculent torpedo

Ivan Headache

Re: Of course it was going to hit the boat!

My brother was always the lucky one.

While working in the Emirates he mixed with the wealthy and carefree.

One day he was out with one of his 'mates' flying their Tiger Moth styled microlight. Something they did on a regular (almost) daily basis.

This particular day they were up in the air somewhere both of Abu Dhabi and the motor malfunctioned and stopped. They were unable to restart it but thankfully the gliding capabilities of the microlight where quite good so they weren't particularly worried. and looked for somewhere relatively level to land.

A nice stretch of sand came into view and was chosen as the spot and the approach made.

Just as they touched down they hit a car tyre half buried in the sand and tipped over.

He said that looking around afterwards that there was nothing else there. Just the one car tyre.

Absolutely everyone loves video conferencing these days. Some perhaps a bit too much

Ivan Headache

A and M were brilliant

They had Joan Armatrading.

Clunk, whirr, buzz, whine. Shared office space can be a riot and sounds like one too

Ivan Headache

Re: So many things emit 50Hz noise, or a harmonic of it..

Our diswasher (a Miele) started playing up on Boxing Day (annoyingly with a house full of freel..guests.

When the engine came to fix it he sat on the floor switched it on and listened for a moment or two then said, "Something's obstructing the pump."

10 minutes later he's got the dw on its side and the pump in his hand, 2 chewed-up bay leaves and an olive stone are removed from its innards and he puts it all back together (with a new rubber seal of course) and its as good as new.

Out of curiosity - what it the purpose of a bay leaf?

EU declares it'll Make USB-C Great Again™. You hear that, Apple?

Ivan Headache

Re: What problem are they trying to fix?

We've been redecorating at Headache Towers (I think they call it 'remodelling' in some parts).

This has entailed several trips over several weeks to our local recycling/waste disposal centre.

We have to separate metals from other recyclables and green waste from general waste. etc.

When I look into the electronic waste bays I am amazed by the numbers of tower computer cases and microwave ovens being chucked away. (I remember microwave ovens lasting for donkeys years).

But I am absolutely staggered by the number of massive flat-screen TVs in the skips. - recently they have introduced a skip especially for them.

I wonder , are all these TVs failing or is it the marketing hype that's making them be replaced?

Back on the USB thing. We bought a new (electric) reclining sofa for the lounge. When It arrive we discovered a USB A charging socket at each end.

Boeing aircraft sales slump to historic lows after 737 Max annus horribilis

Ivan Headache

With Amazon Prime you can get one delivered tomorrow!

Silicon Valley Scrooges sidestep debt to society through tax avoidance to the tune of $100bn

Ivan Headache

Try getting a ticket for a Just A Minute recording. They're like rocking horse poo.

Only managed it twice in the last ten years.

(getting a ticket that is)

I'll get my coat - it's the one with an invite to the IT consultant's Ball in the pocket.

Halfords invents radio signals that don't travel at the speed of light

Ivan Headache

And my oven!

Technically it's the lovely Ivana's oven but...

The old oven had two knobs and some push-buttons - easy as pie to use.

The new one has two knobs and a baffling touchscreen that isn't wide enough to display its messages so they scroll by much worse than the messages on a London Overground train.

It's taken her 3 months to get the hang of it and produce reasonably consistent results.

And don't get me started on the controller for the underfloor-heating.

Teachers: Make your pupils' parents buy them an iPad to use at school. Oh and did you pack sunglasses for the Apple-funded jolly?

Ivan Headache


You were lucky.

We just had some stones.

MacOS wakes to a bright Catalina sunrise – and broken Adobe apps

Ivan Headache

Re: Forget Adobe, use Affinity Designer, Photo & Publisher

I've been looking to move and have indeed bought the Affinity apps.

I'm rather impressed.


I want all my images marked with copyright information, along with who, what, when and where.

The Affinity apps have no equivalent to Photoshop's 'File Info' panel.

Apparently there are third party apps that would allow me to do this - but at what cost to my work-flow?

That said I'm using CS3 on a 10.6.8 Mac Pro. If it ain't broke I see no reason to change it.

HP to hike upfront price of printer hardware as ink biz growth runs dry

Ivan Headache


I recently had to replace an Epson printer for a domestic client.

He specified that he wanted one that used the same inks as his defunct model as he had already a stack of expensive cartridges in a drawer.

After a little searching I found a suitable model at a decent price (£45.00) in PCW.

As I collected it I thought I would just check the cost of his expensive cartridges.

An eye-watering £93.00 for a full set!

EU's top court says tracking cookies require actual consent before scarfing down user data

Ivan Headache

Re: That was nice

I have found lately that that is the case.

Some of the sites I visit on a daily basis have the usual Accept button - but in the small print above it there is a blue HERE word.

Clicking that takes me to a accept all/reject all panel.

Thankfully it does remember that I previously checked Reject all yesterday - but why does it ask me every single time to accept when I visit afresh?

But... How does it remember that I clicked Reject all yesterday?

Orford Ness: Military secrets and unique wildlife on the remote Suffolk coast

Ivan Headache

One Christmas when I was a lad

I was was given a book called 'The Runners of Orford' by Tyler Whittle.

It was a typical children's thriller about 2 kids convinced that the strange Eastern European people living near the ness were Russian spies.

I remember enjoying it very much and deciding that one day would goto Orford. Fifty five years later and I still haven'y been.

Thanks for the article. Brought all those memories flooding back.

My MacBook Woe: I got up close and personal with city's snatch'n'dash crooks (aka some bastard stole my laptop)

Ivan Headache

Re: The secret to security is to make your neighbour a more attractive target

Vauxhall is the oldest car maker in England, founded in 1857. The vauxhall name was adopted in 1863 and made its first car in 1903.

It became part of GM in 1925 and then became part of Groupe PSA in 2017.

Ohm my God: If you let anyone other than Apple replace your recent iPhone's battery, expect to be nagged by iOS

Ivan Headache

Re: Back to cars

It's a Ka+ which is not a very common model.

There are sites advertising pads for this car - 2014 model

Problem is - the car wasn't available until 2016 - she got the first one from the dealer in January 16.

The Kwikfit chap said that there were no pettern pads available from any of their suppliers. The only ones he could locate were from Ford and they would not supply them.

Chances are that they are Fiesta pads as the Ka+ is based on the Fiesta.

However - it's best not to assume when it comes to brakes.

Redarding Kwikft - we've been using them for 20+ years and never had an issue.

Experts: No need to worry about Europe's navigation sats going dark for days. Also: What the hell is going on with those satellites?!

Ivan Headache

ah ephemeris?

We had some of that growing up our wall.

Lovely flowers.

Hell hath no fury like a radar engineer scorned

Ivan Headache

Ah viscera

We had some of that growing up our wall.

Lovely flowers.

Will that old Vulcan's engines run? Bluebird jet boat team turn to Cold War bomber

Ivan Headache

Re: Bluebird next starring role

And he'll know exactly what to do to drive it.

That magical super material Apple hopes will hit backspace on its keyboard woes? Nylon

Ivan Headache

Moving a moving mirror

So that's why so many research bods have beards

Mine's the one with a gillette in the pocket

No Huawei out: Prez Trump's game of chicken with China has serious consequences

Ivan Headache

Re: ARM, the Japanese chip maker

Wasn't it Kraft, who renamed itself with a Swiss sounding name and then made the chocolate in Poland?

We regret to inform you the massive asteroid NASA's all excited about probably won't hit Earth

Ivan Headache

Re: 3 football fields?

Just realised.

We should see it coming as there'll be animated illuminated adverts all round the edges.



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