* Posts by Roopee

138 posts • joined 5 May 2015

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Florida man might just stick it to HP for injecting sneaky DRM update into his printers that rejected non-HP ink

Roopee
Headmaster

The best overall solution is: "Don't buy HP"

Couldn't agree more, where printers are concerned. This has been my mantra and heartfelt advice to all clients who ask my advice for longer than I can remember.

It's not just the cartridges; HP printer driver software accounts for more troubleshooting time than all the rest put together.

Such a pity that the printer division isn't like the laptop division - I have more HP laptops than all my others put together, because I actually like them.

So how do the coronavirus smartphone tracking apps actually work and should you download one to help?

Roopee
Headmaster

Re battery-draining radio broadcast

I leave BT on all the time, and have done for years with my current iPhone SE and my previous HTC One S, simply so that I can use it hands-free in my car without any messing. I've tested both phones to see how much difference it makes to the battery life and the answer is not a lot, in fact no noticeable difference at all, unlike GPS and (on the HTC only), WiFi. If I don't make any calls or use the phone for anything else during the day, but leave BT on, the iPhone uses <10% of its battery.

I used the HTC for 6 years and its battery was still fine for a heavy day's use when I reluctantly abandoned it in favour of a 'new-fangled' phone with 4G mobile and 5GHz WiFi so I suspect that if BT flattens your battery with a day's use, it's probably time you bought a new battery or a better phone!

Whoa, someone actually texted you in 2020? Oh, nvm, it's just Boris Johnson, telling you to stay the f**k at home

Roopee

I agree, spelling aside.

Roopee
Facepalm

Fake News

I received it earlier today, but I assumed it was spam and possibly malicious - until I later saw an announcement on a trusted news site. What a silly thing for the government to do without telling people in advance that it was possible, and having some means of checking its validity! Cue a spate of fake announcements...

Step away from that Windows 7 machine, order UK cyber-cops: It's not safe for managing your cash digitally

Roopee

Re: Options

How about a Hackintosh? As long as you follow the hardware guidelines of one of the instructional sites, and you have access to a real Mac (borrow one?) it's not too hard. My Hackintosh is newer and faster than any of my real Macs, for much less ££s than an equivalent, though not as pretty of course.

Roopee
Headmaster

Re: F.U.D.

I agree with some of what you say - eventually support will peter out as it always does, but while there are still several hundred million PCs out there running Windows 7 I don't think it's imminent.

My advice has to be aimed at a level that is appropriate to my clients, most of whom are very low-tech, and mostly hate change. I try to get them to understand the behavioural risks, because that is likely to be a far more effective way of protecting their identity etc than any amount of upgrading.

I think I can truthfully say that every single security incident that I've had to sort out for a client has been basically their own fault, either through ignorance, carelessness or stupidity, in fact often they tell me that themselves. And for proof, just as many have been on Windows 10 as any other - it's not the OS that's the problem.

You may have rather different clients.

Roopee

Seconded

I've used the same USB image to install several Windows 10 VMs and a couple of real PCs, using both Win 7 licence keys (not even upgrades) and hardware W10 keys, without reimaging the USB.

Roopee

F.U.D.

My advice to my clients who ask is that unless they feel they are a high risk target, stick with Windows 7 if they like it. It has been out far longer than Windows 10 and isn't continually being changed, with every change bringing the likelihood of yet more bugs. The only exploits that are being found are so esoteric and difficult to make practical use of that nobody is going to bother unless you are a high value target.

I also advise them to keep their browser(s) updated and use a good, paid-for antivirus and most important of all, use common sense. By far the biggest risk factor is the user, not the OS or the hardware.

When I eventually have to stop using Windows 7 because of lack of browser/e-mail client support, I certainly won't be switching to Windows 10.

If I were a betting person I would put good money on the sky not being about to fall in on Windows 7 users, much as the technical establishment would like us to think so. They have a vested interest in pushing sales of new PCs.

I'm sure some El Reg readers will have differing opinions!

Stand back, we're going in: The Register rips a 7th-gen ThinkPad X1 Carbon apart. Literally

Roopee
Headmaster

GXL?

GLX Shirley, and it wasn't the top of the range, that was the Ghia. Below the GLX was th GL, then the L.

/childhoodcarnerd

Video-editing upstart bares users' raunchy flicks to world+dog via leaky AWS bucket

Roopee
Gimp

What sort of idiot...

...would upload their home-made pornography to an online video-editing website, least of all a free, unknown one?

Complete with keyboard and actual, literal, 'physical' escape key: Apple emits new 16" $2.4k+ MacBook Pro

Roopee
Thumb Up

Re: Selective deafness

Really wish I could give you many more upvotes!

I'm a technician, not a dev, but I do have quite a few Apple devices, and apart from my iPhone SE none is newer than my thoroughly upgraded and very nice-to-use 2010 MBP, for exactly the reasons you give and the fact that I have more sense than money...

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

Roopee

Re: Simple answer to HP's problem.

The last Epson I installed for a client was already showing 'low ink' by the end of the installation process, not kidding!

Roopee
Headmaster

Buying Advice

I've been advising clients for years that the way to choose a printer is to start with a list of requirements (which I help them with, including things like 'at least 4 inks, not Lexmark or HP', draw up a shortlist without looking at the printer price, then look up the price/availability of cartridges from 3rd party sellers (my favourite is prink.co.uk) and choose the cheapest. This will often be a Canon or Brother because of their simple large tanks that are cheap to clone.

Basically TCO of course, but that concept seems completely alien to a lot of people, judging by the surprise exhibited at my 'cleverness'! Or maybe I just happen to have a relatively stupid client base.

Roopee
Thumb Up

Re: At the risk of topic drift, can I ask for a recommendation for a mono laser...

I'll second that; I acquired a Brother mono duplex networked laser that a business client was throwing out as it was "constantly jamming". I looked where it was jamming, the toner cartridge, installed a new one for £10, now it works perfectly. Very fast start from sleep, no fuss, and it has two paper drawers for the icing on the cake. It had only had 5 toners, so plenty of life left in the critical/expensive consumables. It now saves wear and tear on my ageing colour laser.

In case you're wondering, the client had already bought a replacement before calling me in, they just wanted me to install the new one, so I just offered to dispose of the old one on the off chance that it was salvageable.

What is this, 2016? A rummage around in 7th-gen iPad innards shows repurposed tech within

Roopee
Thumb Up

Re: I looked at upgrading my 3rd Gen iPad

Well I read el Reg on one of my iPad 2s most days. I keep it in the bathroom :) The browser does tend to crash a lot due to running out of memory, but I just fire it up again and carry on.

Switch about to get real: Openreach bod on the challenge of shuttering UK's copper phone lines

Roopee

Why?

Unless I blinked and missed it, nowhere in the article does it suggest what possible benefit there might be for customers (or even for the telcos).

Presumably there is a long-term cost saving otherwise the industry wouldn't be spending its own money on it, but surely there are much higher priorities - in particular getting decent broadband connections to the people who are crying out for them, such as rural businesses and even domestic customers in new builds where the new infrastructure is insufficient or non-existent. I have several clients in both categories.

700km on a single charge: Mercedes says it's in it for the long run

Roopee
Unhappy

Shame it's so ugly.

As an aside, I'm looking forward to the council installing kerb-side sockets outside all the local terraced houses so we ordinary people can charge our electric cars without trailing extension leads across the pavement. Like that's going to happen.

Service call centres to become wasteland and tumbleweed by 2024

Roopee
FAIL

I was wrong

When I read that headline I thought "that's so stupidly wrong it's got to be Gartner", but I was wrong, it was Forrester. Same difference.

Right-click opens up terrifying vistas of reality and Windows 95 user's frightful position therein

Roopee
Facepalm

The 1990s haven't gone away yet...

I regularly come across people who never use the right mouse button and have no idea what it does!

New lows at Bose as firmware update woes infuriate soundbar bros

Roopee
Thumb Down

Downvoted

@AC for the gratuitous language - it's not clever and there's simply no need.

Our hero returns home £500 richer thanks to senior dev's appalling security hygiene

Roopee
Headmaster

Re: College passwords

A ream is 500 pages so your printout was just 60% of a single ream, not "reams"!

Bulb smart meters in England wake up from comas miraculously speaking fluent Welsh

Roopee
Thumb Down

Re: monoglot English speakers' arrogance, a wistle in the darkening wood

Down voted for wasting my time having to scroll past it. There's a time and a place for posting an essay, El Reg's comments are not it.

Scientist, war hero and gay icon Alan Turing is new face of the £50 note

Roopee
Coat

Soon? End of 2021?

In what world is 2.5 years "soon"? Personally I'm much more interested in when the new plastic £20 notes will be out, so many of the old paper ones in circulation are disgustingly grubby and tatty.

Mine's the one with plenty of cash in the pocket so I don't have to leave a digital footprint everywhere. And no NFC cards.

DoH! Secure DNS doesn't make us a villain, Mozilla tells UK broadband providers

Roopee
Big Brother

Re: Talk-Talk blocks sites by site accessed

Are you sure about Talk-Talk blocking sites by DPI on the Host: header? I found out that TalkTalk blocks the domain of my remote support provider Splashtop (and other similar ones such as TeamViewer), but I can easily get around it by changing the supportee's DNS to an uncensored alternative such as 4th Estate. From this I deduce that they filter via DNS, not DPI, but correct me if I'm wrong.

Good news! We may be past peak Windows 10 October 2018 Update

Roopee
FAIL

1803 is still the most common on PCs I've seen this year.

In fact I've hardly seen any other versions of Win 10 in the past 6 months on my clients' PCs. Second most common is probably 1607, on machines that won't update for one reason or another (such as not enough space on the 32GB non-upgradeable SSD).

IVE HAD ENOUGH! iQuit. Jobs done. Jony cashes out at Apple to run his own design biz

Roopee
Thumb Up

Re: Good riddance!

Beat me to it! Surprised I had to scroll so far before I read it. Apple's designs went downhill after Jobs' influence and tight control waned. Say what you like about Jobs (and there are plenty of unflattering things to say) but he did at least keep in check the worst excesses of "form over function" designers such as Ive.

Having bank problems? I feel bad for you son: I've got 25 million problems, but a bulk upload ain't one

Roopee

Re: I call bullshit

I was sorely tempted to downvote you, but decided it would be unethical (impersonation)!

We knew it was coming: Bureaucratic cockup triggers '6-month' delay of age verification block on porno in the UK

Roopee
Gimp

Phew!

There was me, just about to sign up to AirVPN - now I can save at least 6 months' subscription, assuming the very ill-thought-out and almost completely useless censorship ever starts at all...

Why are fervid Googlers making ad-blocker-breaking changes to Chrome? Because they created a monster – and are fighting to secure it

Roopee

Re: What we need

I'm pretty sure that's what we've got - Pale Moon with NoScript anyone? I use it all the time but wouldn't for a minute suggest that combination to the vast majority of my IT Support clients - NoScript itself is quite literally beyond comprehension for most people.

Roopee
Headmaster

Re: Ok, so it's useful and dangerous at the same time

"If they even realize it's the browser"...

Conversation I had recently with a client (abbreviated):

Me: how do you access your email?

Her: it's just there on a button when I start my computer.

Me: oh, I thought you were using webmail, do you know what your email program is called?

Her: it's just a button that I click, it says email, you helped me put it there.

Me: according to my notes from my last visit you are using Internet Explorer as your browser, is that what you're using for your email?

Her: it's not a browser it just says BT email.

...and so it goes on while I work out that she uses a desktop shortcut (which I made for her about 3 years ago) to open her BT webmail in IE (but "not in a browser").

So after 3 more years of using a browser she still not understand/remember what a browser is, and is quite sure she isn't using one. She is not untypical of my clients, though perhaps at the dimmer end of a spectrum skewed slightly towards dim.

Nothing that Google does or doesn't do will have much effect on the average person's susceptibility to the wiles of corporate marketing - they are simply cannon fodder for advertisers, and 'twas ever thus. Everyone who reads El Reg is well above average intelligence (simply by virtue of reading ability), but some of us seem to forget it, and/or we're not all above average common sense!

Roopee
Coat

Re: Netflix is a BAD example, however.

I watch Netflix nearly every day and have no problem finding where I left it, in fact usually it's already the highlighted program, and if I'm part way through it always gives the option to resume or start again.. Also I don't see those annoying Android-style trailers, though I do agree that the continual randomisation of my watch list is really frustrating.

I watch Netflix on an Apple TV in case you were wondering, and can't recommend it highly enough, in fact both Netflix and the ATV. It isn't what I originally bought the device for but it is certainly the main thing I use it for now. I've never bought any content from Apple and doubt I ever will.

Mine's the one with a dinky aluminium remote in the pocket.

What's in store for Microsoft's US pop-up shops? Not much, they're being closed

Roopee
Big Brother

Re: What would you buy?

You call 10 years 'aged' - I still have working examples of the original white MS mouse in my museum, though not my very first one that came in the box with my first copy of Windows.

I confess I was an early Windows evangelist. That all stopped years ago I hasten to add, I'd now call myself a Windows 7 die-hard, and my next OS of choice will not be Windows.

Icon - slightly predates mainstream Windows of course, but nicely describes the current one.

I'll just clear down the database before break. What's the worst that could happen? It's a trial

Roopee
Headmaster

Re: never trust a PM

1GB RAM in a 486, B-S! I still have one in my attic and I remember when it was new that if you had 8MB in a desktop PC you were doing well, being as RAM was about £40/MB. Mine had 16x 1MB SIMMs, plus 2MB on the disk cache/controller and a top-of-the-range 1MB graphics card - all just so that Windows itself would run quickly, not for gaming. Cost about £2k in 1993 money, plus nearly another grand for the 17" FST monitor!

G Suite'n'sour: Google resets passwords after storing some unhashed creds for months, years

Roopee
Headmaster

Not Necessarily...

" skilled intruder, could still access the logged passwords as plaintext – they have to be decrypted at some stage"

Surely if the passwords are encrypted separately then stored, then the typed password could be ecrypted and compared to the stored cipher text in the same way that typed passwords are hashed then compared to the stored hash, i e no need to decrypt the stored password.

Hi! It looks like you're working on a marketing strategy for a product nowhere near release! Would you like help?

Roopee

No, Tail Up sounds like amanfromMars' secondary account that he runs through Google Translate and back.

Roopee
Thumb Down

Re: Cost centers

@amanfromMars

Please turn your random word generator off and start posting real comments, or better still stop posting here and go troll somewhere else!

Sky customers moan: Our broadband hubs are bricking it

Roopee
Headmaster

Re: Why use a third party DNS?

Several reasons, which can probably be summed up by 'censorship' and 'monetisation' and 'privacy'.

One specific example is that TalkTalk block remote control software such as TeamViewer and Splashtop (which I use to give remote support to my clients) so if a client is on TT I have to change the DNS in their router to bypass this stupid block.

Brit spy chief: We need trust or we won't have a 'licence to operate in cyberspace'

Roopee
Headmaster

Re: He would say that, wouldn't he?

You're in the wrong section - this is the "Comments" section, not the "Essay" section.

President Trump sits down with Twitter boss for crunch talks: Why am I losing followers?

Roopee
Thumb Up

Re: I do not now have ...

Upvote for publicising Parkruns :)

Strong-willed field support op holds it together during painful customer call

Roopee

Re: Software Install Technical Support

Pretty sure I've got a copy of Borland Paradox on floppies somewhere, awaiting removal to my apocryphal PC museum.

Turn me up some: Smart speaker outfit Sonos blasted in complaint to UK privacy watchdog

Roopee
Meh

Re: Makes mental note...

I made that same mental note, and the more pertinent one (from Sonos' point of view) to actively advise people against buying Sonos, when I had the pleasure of setting up a Sonos system for a client and noticed the non-optional agreement to their unacceptable T&Cs.

Personally I use normal hi-if speakers with amps and network streamers that don't need to connect to the Internet unless to access streaming services, and can be controlled by non-proprietary DLNA apps or AirPlay. Some even have 'legacy' IR remotes, and even, gasp, real knobs and buttons. Slightly more work to set up but no harder to use than locked-in systems, especially considering that really 'technically challenged people are not even going to consider this sort of wizardry!

Prince Harry takes a stand against poverty, injustice, inequality? Er, no, Fortnite

Roopee
Thumb Down

Re: Thanks Harry

At least he's only a royal, not someone influential.

Personally I think they should be disbanded and all their assets returned to "the people" (from whom they were taken in the first place).

Netflix wants to choose its own adventure where Bandersnatch trademark case magically vanishes

Roopee
FAIL

I would love to comment on Bandersnatch, but...

...it won't play on any of the devices I use for Netflix - my 3rd gen Apple TV, an older iPad, and any of my usual PC browsers, so the only comment I can make is "complete fail" Netflix. A great pity as Black Mirror is otherwise one of the best series I've ever watched.

The HeirPod? Samsung Galaxy Buds teardown finds tiny wireless cans 'surprisingly repairable'

Roopee
Stop

Re: Wireless?

Listening to music through head/earphones while cycling - suicidal! And in the UK it's illegal too, for obvious reasons.

What happens when security devices are insecure? Choose the nuclear option

Roopee

Re: Cocking up personal data

In the interests of fairness, I should tell you that the best optician I have ever had was and still is a Boots employee. She diagnosed the rare genetic condition that manifested itself in my early 40s (map dot fingerprint dystrophy) and referred me to an eye surgeon for confirmation. Since then the only time I have allowed my routine examinations to be by another optician was when she asked me to allow a final year trainee to do it under her supervision, because my condition is usually only seen in textbooks, and she assured me that he was technically excellent - which he was.

The worst optician I have had was in an Asda concession - he couldn't even tell that I need prism correction, despite using one of my current pairs of glasses as a starting point. Needless to say I binned his prescription. My advice - have 2 or 3 eye tests and compare the results if you're not confident of your current optician/prescription.

Iranian-backed hackers ransacked Citrix, swiped 6TB+ of emails, docs, secrets, claims cyber-biz

Roopee
FAIL

That would be the Citrix...

...that owns Duo Security...?

Foldables herald the beginning of the end of the smartphone fetish

Roopee

Re: Yeah I can see it

@apressbutton

I think you mean NT3.1 which was actually NT1.0 and superficially resembled Win 3.1.

Is Google's Pixel getting better, or just more expensive?

Roopee

Re: RE: Topperfalkon

"required more reboots" - ?? You have to reboot your phone? What's all that about? I can't recall ever having to reboot my HTC One S.

Mind you I have had to reboot my fancy Siemens desk phone a few times over the past 5 years and every time feels like one too many - I'd never buy another Siemens phone regardless of the excellent sound quality. Phones should just work, every day, all day. You know, like they used to!

Microsoft: You looking at me funny? Oh, you just want to sign in

Roopee
Paris Hilton

I Don't Get It...

I get that they know it's your device you're using to log on from, but if you aren't providing a password or biometric key then how do they know it's you, and not just the person who's stolen your device?

If at first or second you don't succeed, you may be Microsoft: Hold off installing re-released Windows Oct Update

Roopee
Headmaster

Re: Q(&A)

Re "Quality Control" means insuring the quality"

I think you mean "ensuring" - insuring is something you pay DirectLine for.

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