* Posts by frankgobbo

57 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Jul 2007


New nbnTM roadmap reveals HFC tests to start in Q4


Re: Here we go again...

Not sure how Sensis maps is in any way relevant to the speed of the nbn rollout.

Oh and also Telstra sold Sensis a couple of years ago.

Google Chrome suffers brain freeze on Android Ice Cream Sandwich


Moving on..

That's great and all, telling people to move on already.

Perhaps then, they could instruct all of the handset manufacturers to actually RELEASE a new version for their phones? It surely isn't up to everybody to jailbreak and hack their devices?

This is the main issue with Android. As soon as the manufacturer decides they can't be arsed supporting a model anymore, you're stuffed - and it's not a long support period.

Oracle posts flat revenues on slow software sales


Our 10 x T5-8's have arrived. I look forward to building the clusters. Bring on the T6

Oracle's new T5 Sparcs boost scalability in chip and chassis



Awaiting delivery of our T5-8s (*20). Looking forward to it, they look like very nice machines. The virtualisation options available are great too.

TCO running Oracle's software stack will be much lower than HP, IBM etc - the per core licensing multiplier is much lower on Oracle hardware than the competitors (frankly a smart move).

Looks like the Sun of old is back in business, I can't wait to see it.

SimCity owners get free game, EA will get A NEW CEO


I bought Sim City and have never had an issue with playing it - no lost saves, never failed to connect to a server (granted I didn't try in the first ~3 days after release).

The 'free' game is worthless to me as I don't want any of the games they're offering. If I wanted them, I'd have bought them already.

My biggest issue with Sim City itself is the map size. It took me about 30 minutes to fill my city to bursting point. Sim City 2000 had larger maps, I'd have thought in this day and age, especially because apparently EA's servers do most of the processing that my 6 core, 12 thread 3930K can't do, that we could have significantly larger maps than yesteryear.

I know that I can start multiple cities in a region, but a) the other cities pause while you're working on them, and b) who the hell wants to restart constantly with bugger all money or infrastructure? Where's my rows of industries and arcologies? It's a real shame. The game itself seems pretty solid, a fair amount to do (though I actually used to enjoy running pipes and power, none of which you need to do anymore).. but it just seems too small and incomplete.

Apple banishes Java from Mac browsers


Of course, what would you expect from the company that made me download a 180MB update which forced a restart of my laptop to add RAW support for 2 Canon cameras that I don't own last week?

I remember back in the day all the fanbois gave Windows users crap about the 'you must reboot your computer' stuff that used to go on. I haven't rebooted my Windows 7 desktop for months and it's been fine, all patches installed etc - yet rebooting my Macbook *EVERY SINGLE TIME* Apple puts out a patch of any description has got beyond a joke.

Don't get me wrong, you don't have to reboot for every patch - but in a given 'update' of 3 or 4 patches, you can bet your bottom dollar that one of them requires a reboot.

Windows 8 pricing details announced as preorders begin


Full version?

No, an *upgrade* costs $20. The full version you paid for when you bought your Mac.

Frankly at least MS is trying something different. I can't tell the difference between OSX 10.5, 10.6 or 10.7.

Don't get me wrong, I won't be rushing out to upgrade my Win7 desktop or indeed replace my Macbook, but from what I can tell there's a hell of a lot of people here who are complaining because they've read on the Internet how horrible Metro is.

All you need to know about nano SIMs - before they are EXTERMINATED


Re: The SIM is the whole point!

quote: I'm sure it's not beyond the wit of man to have a system where you can transfer your "SIM ID" between phones through a web interface, a USB cable, NFC, iTunes, a text message, bluetooth, or a million-and-one alternatives

And so when Im at the pub and my battery has gone flat and I need to call somebody whos number is on my sim, how does your suggestion help me? Right now i could borrow a friends phone, throw in my sim, call away. Your suggestion means we'd, what, go online, transfer ownership of his phone to me so I can access my cloudy-based phonebook, and then have to transfer it back? That's just crap

There's a million good reasons for keeping the sim and as far as i can tell none for scrapping it. Hopefully apple don't get their way

Oracle hurls Sparc T5 gladiators into big-iron arena


I'm really excited by the new T5's. The organisation I work for is heavily moving into the utility computing space, and virtualising with LDOMs. We're a heavy Sun user (but also have installs of everything from HPUX to AIX to Linux).

The project I'm on has recently taken delivery of around 50 fully populated T4-4 systems, and they're simply amazing machines.

I can't wait.

Foxconn receives Apple smart TV order - report


All well and good but I don't expect it to be a mega hit even if it does come to fruition.

TV sets, user friendly or not, are still fine several years after you purchase them. They're not like phones or other gadgets which suffer from "got-to-have-it" - My 50" Pioneer plasma is still just fine, ticking along just the way it always has since the day I bought it. Why would I throw it out to replace it with one that has an Apple logo and a pretty UI?

Sure, some will.. but I can't imagine it being anywhere _near_ the level that will happily toss out an iPhone 4S the day the iPhone 5 comes out.

WTF is... Li-Fi?


I'm sure this is probably covered by others, but .. seriously - this sounds great!

So there I am, putting on my media PC in the lounge room to stream a video onto the TV off some form of networked device (a fileserver in a distant room/youtube/some internet source/whatever). Now, when I watch movies, I like to turn off the lights for that full 'cinema experience'.

Nope, can't see a single problem with visible light design :/

Mars rover Opportunity spots WALL-E in crater ramble


Re: Not a Disney/Pixar design!

Think you'll find it was number 5 who was alive...

CEO takes leave of Sensis


Figured there was a reason my single volume yellow pages is smaller than the old A-K volume was

I spent 3 years at Sensis. They were a good company to work for but was pretty clear there was no vision there

Optus rolls out IPTV with Fetch


Sounds good. Now Fetch just needs some content. There's a reason why iinet recently said they only had a couple of hundred subscribers to it - and it's obvious by the fact half the channels they're promoting are free to air with any digital set top box

I'm dying for a decent iptv system, I can't get Foxtel here but I do have a 20mbps downstream connection. But Fetch just isn't it.

If Foxtel gave Lifestyle channel over the xbox live service I'd just get that (even though I'm with iinet & would have to chew up my data limit to do so)

Apple cofounder Steve Jobs is dead at 56



is all I can say.

Love him or loathe him (I sat in between, I have an iphone and had 2 macbook airs, but also have had probably 3 dozen PCs in my time and 20 nokia phones) you've gotta give the guy credit for literally shaping the world in his image in the past decade.

I really do wonder what Apple will do over the coming years. I simply can't see them staying at this level without Jobs at the keel.

Star Control


Star Control 4 life

I love Star Control - but nowhere NEAR as much as Star Control II.

Having hung around on the efnet IRC channel of the same name for over 15 years, I've dedicated half my life to the game, and The Ur Quan Masters is an awesome reinvention of the classic SC2.

SC3 had nothing to do with the guys who made SC1/SC2 which is why it sucks.

Sign the petition to get Toys For Bob to make a real Star Control sequel, and do SC2 review on the antique code show


Apple Mac Mini 2011


Permanently doubling the size?

Given that the physical size is identical to last year's, which HAD the slot loading drive, I fail to see your point in "permanently doubling the size for a one time install".

What they have done, if you want to pull it completely apart and mess around with it to the nth degree, is leave almost enough space to slot another HD in.

I'd rather the DVD drive than 2 HDs in this thing, and it's not easy by any stretch of the imagination. My mother struggles to turn a computer on, let alone get things off a network (which, funnily enough, she doesn't have). And this is precisely the type of machine that should be aimed at her.

Can you handle LOHAN's substantial globes?


Changing pitch

Unfortunately I think this is a bit more complex than they're going for. I could be wrong, but to do what you're proposing you'd need hydraulically controlled wing flaps, etc.. I think that's probably outside the scope of this project.

It'd be great if it wasn't but.. yeah :) This one strikes me more as a 'fire at the sky and see what happens' experiment


Launch platforms

I don't know how to help with your question, but I do have a thought about the launch platform - watching videos of all those who have sent balloons to "near space", one thing is particularly clear, and that is it's a VERY rough ride up. It really wouldn't take much to rip something with a 2 metre wing span off a launch platform unless it was really firmly connected. And if it's really firmly connected, how exactly do you break that connection to launch?

Also, with the rapid (verging violent) spinning you see them doing, even in low oxygen/high atmosphere, you really couldn't guarantee a 5 degree launch angle would clear the balloon. It's just as likely it'll be spinning as the launch occurs and the rocket will fly straight into it.

It's a really, really tricky one.

REALLY wish good luck for this - can't wait to see it!

Bullfrog Syndicate

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Oh man, one of the best games I ever played. I adored it! I was around 13 at the time it came out, just got a new PC.. my mother hated this game :)

As others have said, ending up with a complete army of zombie followers was terrific. If your powers were strong enough you could pick up cops, anything. I think the mission in NSW (Australia) which involves killing all the corrupt cops I made it my mission once that, aside from killing every enemy agent, I would 'pursuade' every single other person on the map including the police to join me.

I'd love to see a remake, but of the classic version. Isometric, but with the ability to spin the world perhaps. Not first person...

Would just be awesome.

How to lose 375k customers the Vodafone Hutchinson way



It's actually a lot better than it's been for a very long time. I was one of many customers who called to cancel my contract, and in the end they kept me by giving me 6 months free (which took me to the end of my contract).

I'm now paying again, but I'm still with them - service has improved dramatically. I work in the Melbourne CBD and live about 5km out and had struggled for months and months with data, calls etc but now everything works pretty well. Data speeds still aren't lightning fast but they do work and are reasonable.

Now i'm waiting for the new iphone to come out to replace my ageing 3GS and I'll decide whether to go Telstra or stay Voda but at the moment I'm leaning towards staying.

Qld police warn against Windows service scam



Unfortunately happened to my father in law a couple of months ago. A really trusting, not massively computer savvy guy but happy to give anything a go; he'd been complaining his computer was running slowly, so of course when "Microsoft" called up and told him his computer had problems he believed it.

$200 debited from his (now cancelled) credit card later, I found numerous problems with the PC not limited to the full admin remote access tools that were installed and the dyndns client so they could find him again.

It's really sad. They don't understand (or at least care) about the psychological impact these things have on people. Fortunately he jumped straight back on the horse. Asked me to order him a new PC, threw out the old 'slow' one and is now rapt with his 24" screen and speedy hotmail access.

Intel: 'PC makers took the light out of Light Peak'


confused much?

He was clearly saying the copper data & power lines need to be shielded from each other, not an optical/copper combo


DRM checks

That's what Steam is for. Who uses physical media anymore? :)

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I want optical. I love the idea of wrapping everything up into one.

Imagine my home mini data centre that I have in the roof cavity, all my servers, games PC, whatever. A single optical cable runs from there down 2 storeys to my office whereby my monitor, keyboard and mouse sit, PC 50 metres away, unheard.

Sounds like paradise

Make it happen!

Vulture One spaceplane NOW AIRBORNE!

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Plane vs Balloon?

It looks to me like the balloon has hit the ground, and looking at the google maps image on this article it looks like the plane is exactly where the balloon is, roughly north of Villa Del Prado.

Does this mean the plane didn't separate?

Great work no matter what happens though guys

PARIS grounded by whipping wind

Paris Hilton


It's now Wednesday; I'm assuming it didn't go ahead.

Any update on this one? Any thoughts on when the next attempt will be? Are you still planning on doing the live internet tracking for everybody?

WD rolls out 3TB today


Catching up to do

I think that's in reference to the platters.. Seagate required 5 platters to do 3TB, WD has a 4 platter drive; hence, Seagate have some catching up to do.

But yes, Samsung and Hitachi presently don't offer a 3TB disk and none of them offer a SATA option for me to install in my Thecus NAS..

Ten... iPhone 4 cases

Dead Vulture


I can't believe El Reg still isn't invited to the Apple WWDC after reviews like this? :)

Nigerian perv scanners lay Lagos ladies bare


Buying perv scanner


I have sent the sum of $40,000 UNITED STATES DOLLARS to your western union contact, however have yet to hear back a scheduled delivery date nor a tracking number.

Can you please advise when I will be receiving my items?


PARIS acquires visual tracking capability

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Good work

.. but when's it going to launch?

We're an impatient lot, and you're heading towards missing any summer window before the 8 month UK winter cloud rolls over.... :)

2009's Top Nas boxes


Wot no Thecus?

Thecus released a 7 and 8 bay NAS this year.. and the Thecus N5200B Pro is still an awesome product.

Thecus! Yeah!

Vodafone says termination rate clampdown would hit the poor


Re "Choice"

Yes, you can choose whether to receive a call, but if it's from an unknown number who knows what important business you could be missing --- or cold calling telemarketers.

This is just a ridiculous idea. If I want to talk to a friend, I pay to talk to them. If I want to go over to their house, I don't rock up and say "You owe me a fiver for the petrol".

What absolute, complete and utter crap. The US system is one that should be mocked, not copied.

Sun unfolds 1TB of tape


Tape versus HD

I recently did a stint at a very large hardware/services vendor, managing backups for a very very large Telco and I can tell you tape isn't dead.

As much as new hard drives are coming into the market, no enterprise would be caught dead storing long term data on a SATA hard disk. We were managing something around 30 silos per site, each with 6,400 tapes in it, a great many of which had to be stored offsite.

Until a) hard drives have the reliability of tapes (as said above, HDs can fail even when not in use) and b) there's realistic HARD DRIVE robots which can physically eject them and send them for storage, they're useless.

I can't imagine the man hours it would have required for a person to do all that tape swapping.

When you're pushing 60+ PB of data in a month, there is simply no better way of doing it than tape, and at that kind of level the companies involved REALLY don't give a toss about the cost of the operation. They need customer records and tax details RELIABLY kept for anywhere from 7 to 100 years.

Nvidia launches GTX 200 series GPUs

Black Helicopters

@Daniel Hobson

Umm, unless your PSU is made in England, you're paying import tax on it already.

Comcast mulls overage fees for bandwidth lovers


Oh my god..

You people saying 250GB isn't enough are insane. I download far more than most and my 90GB/mo connection (in Australia) is ample.

I realise that the internet isn't a one-size-fits-all model, but seriously, 250GB EVERY MONTH? What legitimate use could you have for it? "I play some online games"

I love it when massive downloaders threaten to leave their ISP if they begin limiting them. Back in the day when Telstra was charging downstream ISPs $0.25/MB, we used to offer a $30 'unlimited' account.. you'd get people on downloading 2-3GB on a dialup account, then when we put in a limit all of them called and threatened to cancel.

We were more than happy for them to do so, as it would save us hundreds of dollars per user, per month. I'm sure Comcast would be happy to lose the people who are an undue burdon on their network too.

London store brews £50-a-poop cat-crap coffee

Paris Hilton

Customers can't get it anywhere else in the world..

Except the countries and coffee houses mentioned here nearly a year ago.


Paris because she'd be crap in coffee too

Afghan networks start nightly shutdown


@ You can run but you can't hide

That's a nice idea in theory, but the second some poor villager fires off a flare to let the world and its uncle know where the Taliban are, it also lets the Taliban know where the person trying to alert the world to their presence is.

After the first few people trying to help out the military are tortured and then killed, I doubt the practice would continue much longer.

Toshiba Portégé R500 slimline laptop


Portege vs Air

I currently own/use a Toshiba Portege R100, a predecessor of the R500. When I heard a few months ago the R500 was on its way, I was really looking forward to it, and planned on replacing my now ailing R100 with it (it is, after all, over 4 years old now and has traveled the world many times). I've been exceptionally happy with the R100, the build quality was fantastic and it's never set a foot wrong - and I was hoping the same of the R500

When the Macbook came out I decided that I probably would've bought one if it was thinner and lighter. When the Air came out, I decided that I will buy one, with the SSD (due to favorable taxation in Australia, I can salary sacrifice a laptop purchase then claim the rest as a tax expense. In other words, the laptop is (ultimately) free, so price is no object).R

Replacing the R100 with an Air isn't that hard a stretch, though. For all its ports and slots, I never swap its battery, I never use its ethernet port, I never have more than 1 USB device connected at once (and very very rarely even have one), and I like the idea of a posix based operating system. The Air wins for me, and will be my next purchase.

My ONLY hesitation with buying the Air is the lack of a Kensington lock port. In my opinion, Apple's biggest mistake.

It was the MacBook Air sub-notebook


Rah rah rah and all that noise

Geez, you'd be hard pushed to find a bigger bunch of whiners anywhere. It's pretty simple, if you don't like it, don't buy it.

Now, I for one am pretty anti apple. I'm writing this from an IBM/Lenovo T60 (work supplied), and my personal laptop is a Toshiba Portege R100 (check out its size, and the specs of the delicious R500). Awesome.

But I've had the R100 for 4 years now. And I'm looking for something to replace it. And quite frankly, this is it. I work in IT, which means I can claim any such machine on my tax - up to 100% of its value. So over 3 years in Australia, the machine is free and I can salary sacrifice and pay 53.5% of its RRP immediately.

So, for somebody in a field that you can either salary sacrifice or claim this on tax, I really don't see any issues. Battery? Who REALLY gives a shit? You replace it when it's knackered. It'll be a couple of years, I won't stress about it now. One USB port? I've got a mini USB hub which weighs about 12 grams and has 6 ports on it. Jesus how hard is that? Enough for your ethernet dongle, your modem, your CDrom drive and anything else you need.

And who the hell needs a cdrom drive on the move anyway? Frankly, the 1.1kg of my Portege is nice to carry around and do presentations, and even the 2.5kg of the IBM/Lenovo is alright.. but thinner and lighter IS better as far as I'm concerned. Those asking who it's for -- it's for me. People who want a nice machine, preferably POSIX based, which they can use as a daily box.

We've got wifi at work, I've got wifi at home. I need a cd drive maybe once every .. ooh I dunno, never? I have NEVER needed one as long as I've had the Toshiba, and the last time I reinstalled the OS (windows) I did it via network with a VMWare "Ultimate Deployment Appliance".

This machine is frankly exactly what I wanted. I'll be sure to let you know what fails first on it, though :)

Revealed: USB 3.0 jacks and sockets



Because an RJ45 connector would be so convenient for my super slimline mp3 player, or my phone? Sure, the data rates would've been much higher than initial versions of USB, however now they're SIGNIFICANTLY faster than anything your twisted pair cable can provide..

Mini USB is the way to go, personally I'd like things to go that way. As devices get smaller, big connectors are just holding us back.

Western Digital drive is DRM-crippled for your safety

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Happy to help.

Try googling for mybook world edition hacking, and there's loads of forums and precompiled software (and somebody is working on a version of FreeBSD's Ports collection for it), but so long as you're comfortable compiling/installing libraries and software and your requirements aren't massively CPU intensive, it'll do most anything you want.


This is easy

I own one of these drives (500GB version)

Try going to this URL: http://martin.hinner.info/mybook/

There you will find instructions on opening up the sshd on the MyBook World Edition drives. From there, you have access to a normal, ARM-based Linux distribution, whereby you can install anything you want. Mine's running Squid and a caching DNS server, as well as being a sharing point for media and does MRTG graphing for all the SNMP devices on my network.

It's a 266mhz ARM cpu with 32 meg RAM, and does a very nice job of standalone services.

Personally I think it's a brilliant product, who gives a toss about the inbuilt Mionet rubbish?

Sony unveils third-gen 'portable' PS2


XBOXes burn houses down

I've been using my original, mod-chipped XBOX now for 5 years. And in that time, it has spent maybe a grand total of 2 weeks powered off.

It runs XBMC for all my media and plays all my games.

Yet somehow it hasn't burnt my house down, even with that ~44,000 hours of usage.

There were some isolated cases of the power coard causing problems, but Microsoft replaced them for free years ago now. I've not heard of anybody's house burning down due to the (original) xbox itself.

As for the PS2.3 - I agree, I don't see the point. Yes, it's currently outselling all of the current gen consoles. But that won't last. This is a last ditch attempt to cash in on a dead platform.

Publishers are NOT going to continue publishing games for this old thing long term, and even if it was just 50 quid to buy it, I'd feel rather ripped off when I can't buy a single new game in 12 months time. Or 6. Or 3. Aside from the Japanese (language) releases, how many are really scheduled into the Euro/US/Australian markets?

Apple gives MacBooks some Santa Rosa loving


Sales tax

GST in Australia is a flat 10%, so $1317AUD for the USD price converted vs $1599 - it's still nearly $300, or nearly a 20% premium.

My apologies for being so uninformed and thinking that Apple was ripping off non-US residents when they so obviously aren't ....

I won't even start on the $300 AUD price premium for "black".

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Apple (and most of the world's companies) really annoy me with their pricing. I know it's an issue for the UK, with many items doing an almost pound/dollar conversion, but looking at Apple's current pricing:

$AUD 1599 for the bottom range MacBook

$USD 1099

Fair enough, with the worthless Australian dollar.. but that's just not true anymore. Right now, $1099 USD is $1198 AUD. How is it that it costs $400 more to buy in Australia than the US?

I don't buy the whole market forces/cost of doing business usual spin either. The same can be said for toys like the iPod Touch - $299USD in America, $384USD in Australia.

I'd consider buying an Apple, I really would. But with the fact that Apple is already overpriced in the market, coupled with the fact that if you don't live Stateside they'll rip you off even more.. I just can't bring myself to do it.

Domino's pizza prices may rise



I used to eat Dominos occasionally in the UK. For 13 quid you could create a pizza online that was almost edible.

In Australia, they're *CHEAP* - $5 for large pizza, 2 for $7 style (that's about GBP 2.50 for one, 3.50 for 2).

But they're DISGUSTING. Seriously very, very bad.

You lot in the UK don't know how good you've got it.


And another thing

Why is the ad at the top of the page trying to sell me Dominos pizza through eBay?

It's bad enough as it is, without waiting 7 days for delivery!

Lenovo ditches IBM from ThinkPad early

Black Helicopters

Re: Quality

I've been using a Lenovo T60 (badged as IBM on the palm rest) for 6 months now and have been totally happy with both the build quality and performance of the machine.

But then I didn't have much choice in my machine, being an IBM contractor and all..

Web host breach may have exposed passwords for 6,000 clients


LT hack

I'm another LT customer. The incident in question doesn't exactly bother me, as the first poster said I changed my login details the second the box was delivered.

I was more worried about the photo ID scans and CC details they collect when you open an account. What a gold mine that would be for an unscrupulous hacker!

What surprises me more is the fact that they completely omitted any information regarding CCs/IDs in the advisory they sent out - surely they'd realise most customers would be concerned about this.

Although they've assured us that they don't keep CC numbers in the affected system, as it's just their helpdesk system, I'm also aware of the fact that when you order a new server it raises a helpdesk ticket to their provisioning team -- therefore, surely CC details WERE in those systems, regardless of if you raised a support ticket including them?