* Posts by Christopher Slater-Walker

52 publicly visible posts • joined 31 Jul 2007


If you fire someone, don't let them hang around a month to finish code

Christopher Slater-Walker

Re: Extra credit

Ah, those good old Indian outsourcers! I once had to condense a 5-day course in Cisco QoS into 1 day in order to train offshore staff, before I was made redundant by an Indian company (not Wipro).

UK govt finds £200,000 under sofa to kick off research into improving mobile connectivity on nation's crap railways

Christopher Slater-Walker

They manage it in South Korea

I was in South Korea 5 years ago, and I travelled by train from Seoul to Busan and back again - at up to 300Km/h. There was continuous, high-quality wifi coverage throughout. If they can manage it, why can't we (irony warning).

Cancelled in Crawley? At least your train has free Wi-Fi now, right?

Christopher Slater-Walker

Five years ago I went on a business trip to South Korea. I took a train from Seoul to Busan, right in the South. There was fast WiFi throughout the whole journey, besides the fact that the trains could do up to 300Kmh.

Of course this was done with trackside equipment, not by messing about with mobile phone infrastructure. It can be done; it just needs the will to do it.

IPv6 growth is slowing and no one knows why. Let's see if El Reg can address what's going on

Christopher Slater-Walker

Indeed, it is easy as long as you have a real public IPv4 address.

Personally I don't know whether this is a thing or not, but I've been hearing rumours about carrier-grade NAT and how it's going to be widely used by ISPs in the near future. This means that one public IP address gets shared by multiple users, each of whom has a private (RFC1918) IP address.

It's already used (and has been for years, I think) on the mobile networks. At least I assume it is, since my phones always seem to get an RFC1918 address from the network.

Fancy a relaxed boozy holiday? Keep well away from Great Britain

Christopher Slater-Walker

Go to Bulgaria. Cheap beer & fags, great summer weather. Cold in winter though.

I need an ISP that offers IPv6. Virgin Media: Whatevs, nerd

Christopher Slater-Walker

Re: My tweet was mentioned...

You do not need a static IPv4 address in order to use Hurricane Electric's tunnel service. Before my BT Infinity got IPv6, I was using HE. They have a way for you to tell them your non-static IP address. I'm sure you can find it on their web site.

On another note, BT, to their infinite shame, do not do static IPv6, either for domestic or business customers. I got that from one of their techies. You get a nice /56 delegated prefix, but if your line goes down, when it comes up again, you've got a different prefix. Stupid.

Soz fanbois, Apple DIDN'T invent the smartphone after all

Christopher Slater-Walker

"The iPhone dominates."

No it doesn't. Android dominates, however you measure market share.

'I'm sorry, your lift has had a problem and had to shut down'

Christopher Slater-Walker

I'm just waiting for someone to post one from the flight deck of large airliner/nuclear submarine carry nuclear weapons/insert your nightmare here.

IPv6 now faster than IPv4 when visiting 20% of top websites – and just as fast for the rest

Christopher Slater-Walker

Not entirely on topic, but...

I'm i

on BT Infinity at home, but using a Cisco router rather than the HomeHub. I recently discovered that I've been IPv6 enabled, and configured the router accordingly to get the /56 delegated prefix. All well and good, or so I thought...

After a test reboot of the router, I find I get a different /56 prefix. It's not static.

I raise a complaint with BT, who tell me that there is no way they can do static addresses on domestic broadband. They can't even tell me if the IPv6 prefix will be static on a business-type connection. I'm waiting for them to find out. (The IPv4 address would definitely be static).

Since we're all supposed to be moving to a world with countless connected devices at home, at work and indeed everywhere. How will I be able to access my house controls etc. on IPv6 when I don't know what their address will be from one day to the next? I find this decision by BT to be incredibly stupid and short-sighted.

If we can't find a working SCSI cable, the company will close tomorrow

Christopher Slater-Walker

Start with the basics...

Always start with the physical layer, in the absence of any other clues. It's common sense, innit?

Our CompSci exam was full of 'typos', admits Scottish exam board

Christopher Slater-Walker

English, 1st language?

Regrettably, I've worked with quite a number of people whose first and only language is English, who were nevertheless barely capable of writing a meaningful, mistake-free and precise sentence. This is in an industry where precision and the avoidance of misunderstanding is often a matter of importance.

I'm only reporting what I've seen and read. I don't know why it is so; did we go through a long period where educational policy (for which I do not blame the teachers, who were or are only implementing policy) determined that it wasn't of sufficient importance?

Admin fishes dirty office chat from mistyped-email bin and then ...?

Christopher Slater-Walker

Did the company make this policy known to everyone?

It seems to me that the company in question should have made this policy known to all employees (the one where undeliverable emails end up in a mailbox visible to admins) with a very strong warning that all such emails are liable to being read by people other than their addressees. And if you use company email for that kind of thing, you're an idiot anyway.

HERE: We're still, er... HERE

Christopher Slater-Walker

Re: No re-routing?

If you already know where you're going, why do you need maps?

FaceTime, WhatsApp UDP streams AWOL on iOS 9 beta with T-Mo US

Christopher Slater-Walker

Why NAT64?

Can someone explain why NAT is even required with IPv6? With so many addresses available, everyone can have their own globally unique address. Or is there something I'm failing to understand here?

Full of fear at work: Blame the boss, or yourself?

Christopher Slater-Walker

Fear and change are mutually exclusive?

OK, I understand what you're saying here. Pre-existing fear prevents change, fair enough. But change itself, or the prospect of change, itself can, and often does, induce fear. For change to be successful, people need support and guidance through change as well.

Voda UK CEO says one thing about not-spots, Minister of Fun says another

Christopher Slater-Walker

Ministers know nothing, strictly speaking

What I mean is that he's is almost certainly not a specialist in radio networks, and all the knowledge that entails to do with radio coverage, frequency sharing etc. (and neither am I, as you can probably tell).

He just repeats what his minions tell him, and if that doesn't sound right, he probably just makes it up on the spot. Which to my untrained eye, looks very much like what he's done here.

Brit smut slingers shafted by UK censors' stiff new stance

Christopher Slater-Walker

Re: Normality

That's the trouble (or rather one of the troubles) with religion. It's whatever someone says it is. Generally those with the loudest mouth/biggest ego/smallest intelligence, or some combination of all three.

Stephen Elop: 'Hello there' (and goodbye to 12,500 of you)

Christopher Slater-Walker

Re: Dear Jasper

That should be "WHOSE purpose in life..."

"Who's" means "who is" or perhaps "who has."

Volunteers slam plans to turn Bletchley Park into 'geeky Disneyland'

Christopher Slater-Walker

I did what a previous posted suggested, and put this on BPs comments page at


Copy it to your heart's content, but send it to them!


What do you people think you're doing?

Colossus, Tunny etc. were an integral part of what happened at Bletchley Park. "Integral" means that those things that did happen, could not have happened without them.

Therefore it is beyond my understanding how these items are considered by the Trustees of Bletchley Park as non-central to the whole story of the place.

I note that you continue to receive substantial rent from TNMOC, yet you consider that Colossus and Tunny are no longer worthy of being part of your guided tours. (I count myself lucky, therefore, to have taken the tour some time ago, while they were still part of it).

Also note that TNMOC say that the inclusion of these items in the tour formed an important part of your successful Lottery funding bid. It looks very dishonest indeed to now exclude them.

Please reconsider this matter. How can you possibly give a full understanding of the technological and intellectual brilliance which was so much a part of Bletchley Park's wartime success, when you don't take paying visitors to see the concrete results of that brilliance?

Regards, etc.

Glassholes, snapt**ts, #blabbergasms, selfies and PRISM: The Reg's review of 2013

Christopher Slater-Walker


"By the end of 2013 was getting market down by analysts concerned by growing competitive pressure from the cloud while investors fell CEO Larry Ellison wasn't worth his remuneration and in a symbolic vote rejected annual package of nearly $80m."

Who wrote this stuff? And did anyone proof-read it? It doesn't look like it.

Station to station: Ten DAB-Bluetooth combo radios

Christopher Slater-Walker

...and I've just heard on Radio 4 (12:32 on Monday 16th Dec.) that there will be no switchover to DAB in 2015.

Nevertheless they (the completely unqualified government ministers) still say that it's "the future" of radio.

Your kids' chances of becoming programmers? ZERO

Christopher Slater-Walker

Re: Old Manuals

My school had an Elliott 803 (with expanded memory, floating-point unit etc. etc.) and Algol60.

I remember a couple of the Algol error messages, and the OP got one of them (not a valid Algo60 program). Another amusing one was "Program too large or complex to be compiled at all'

I tried to write an Algol program specifically to generate that error message but I never quite succeeded.

Digital radio may replace FM altogether - even though nobody wants it

Christopher Slater-Walker

Politicians are liars (but we knew that anyway)

It was on Radio 4's You & Yours in the last few days that Ed Vaizey (I think it was he) came on a feature about DAB (note: DAB specifically, and not the more generic "Digital" radio) where he said - and even contradicted the presenter - that the sound quality of DAB is "better than FM." And he repeated himself with emphasis.

How can it be reasonable or even possible to make such a claim, when we have stations on DAB which now broadcast in mono? And where data rates are sometimes so low that the quality is clearly so much poorer?

Almost in the same breath he also muddled up "Digital Radio" (that is, all platforms: DAB, Internet, via Freeview, Satellite) with DAB. This, of course, is the only way the politicians can make it look good - by deliberately confusing the issue in the minds of those who can't tell the difference, i.e. the great majority of the population.

Anyway, by the time the DAB switchover actually arrives, the UK's DAB system will be so old and so obsolete that it will be a laughing stock, if it isn't one already.

Rise of the machines, south of Milton Keynes

Christopher Slater-Walker

Elliott 803, paper tape and teletype

My secondary school in Loughborough had an Elliott 803 donated by a local company, and it was on that machine that I cut my IT teeth. It had a paper tape reader and teletype output, as well as a few other decidedly non-standard output devices crowbarred in by fellow enthusiasts, so I'm a bit surprised to read that it was with the 903 that paper tape input became available.

Also we had the memory expansion, which I remember as being from the default of 4K to 8K, so once again my memories of the 803 don't quite tally with the article.

Standard Model goes PEAR-SHAPED in CERN experiment

Christopher Slater-Walker

Re: Antimatter and anti-gravity anyone?

I thought the point about the apparent asymmetry of matter and antimatter was that there was an excess of matter, and so I suppose that almost all, or perhaps indeed all of the antimatter was annihilated. The same happened to _most_ of the matter, but since there was an excess of matter, what was left after the mutual annihilation is what we now see.

Nevertheless I stand ready to be corrected.

On International Woman's Day we remember Grace Hopper

Christopher Slater-Walker

We are so enlightened

No doubt all of us in the modern, enlightened world are completely down with the girls doing science and maths and stuff. However there are large areas of the world where it is perfectly obvious that women are still on about the same level as the furniture or the farm animals. And that, I think, is just one reason why we have, and should have, an International (note: INTERnational) Women's Day.

In any case, it's always seemed completely illogical to me that 50% of the world's intellectual capacity should in any way be excluded from professions where such capacity is a prerequisite of competence.

Throttled customers rage over Virgin Mobile UK's tight cap

Christopher Slater-Walker

What is the point?

Exactly what is the point of a 4G contract if the maximum bandwidth is being restricted in this way? I thought it was all about "super-fast" mobile data, not "reasonably fast/comparable with your average domestic ADSL service" mobile data. Especially given the price the networks are charging.

Ten… top tech cock-ups of 2012

Christopher Slater-Walker

It's an American point of view over maps

There is another mapping app besides Apple and Google and that is Nokia's "Here" app. In my opinion it's at least as good as anything else. Typically, our American friends don't even think of anything beyond Apple and Android.

The Sons of Kahn and the assembly language of the internet

Christopher Slater-Walker

The app looketh - the apps look

You need to sort out your 3rd person singular ending from the 3rd person plural.

Mother of All Whistlers: Virgin Media superhub. Listen to recordings

Christopher Slater-Walker

Switched-mode power supplies are often like this

I've heard similar noises coming from a lot of switched-mode power supplies, although to be fair, if you can hear it at a distance of more than an inch or two from the power supply, then it would be intensely annoying. I suspect low manufacturing and quality control standards.

Patrick Moore: Lived with cats, accompanied Einstein on the piano

Christopher Slater-Walker

Good job he wasn't a diplomat

I have absolutely no doubt that he was inspirational and utterly devoted to his subject. However he maintained an opinion that "The only good German is a dead German" until the end. I find it remarkable that one can be so educated and intelligent and yet continue to harbour such bitterness and, frankly, I hope most people would be able to move on from that place. I guess his wartime experiences didn't allow him to do so. Fortunately I have had the luxury throughout my life never to have experienced what he went through.

Nokia out $99 dual-Sim Asha

Christopher Slater-Walker

NOT Symbian

As others have said, these phones run S40, not Symbian.

S40 has been around a long time, but it has also changed a lot over the years, and a major change came with Nokia's acquisition of Smarterphone, which off the top of my head happened earlier this year.

Virgin Media wipes out websites with routing blackhole

Christopher Slater-Walker

Not really a layer 3 problem, it seems

It seems reasonably clear from a good proportion of the comments here that this problem lies above layer 3 in the networking stack, i.e. the "routing" part. I would suggest that it's with layer 7, which means that VM are mucking about with deep packet inspection, and getting it spectacularly wrong in the process.

Why they may be doing this I leave to you to guess. Others have already suggested possible reasons.

Pilots asking not to fly F-22 after oxygen problems

Christopher Slater-Walker

Established processes?

If requests not to fly the latest aircraft are unprecedented, how can there be an "established" process for dealing with such requests?

Google and Facebook remove 'offensive' content from Indian sites

Christopher Slater-Walker

The lunatics have taken over the asylum

Lunatics = professional offence-takers, e.g. religionists, special-interest groups, you name it...

Christmas gamma burst stupendo-explosion DEATHMATCH

Christopher Slater-Walker
Thumb Up


I don't know if it exists as a word, but if it doesn't, then well done for inventing it...I love it.

Mixing network traffic types on Ethernet

Christopher Slater-Walker

And what about voice and data, which was the last "convergence" fashion

Your article seems to studiously avoid any mention of voice and data convergence, which many companies have been doing for quite a long time now. We were always told that voice had to have top priority on the network, and now it seems that in fact storage traffic also has to have top priority.

What would be more interesting - to me, at least - is how to make app traffic, voice and storage all work together nicely on the same network.

Local radio stations band together against DAB

Christopher Slater-Walker

"It's not a limitation of DAB..."

I think it is a limitation of DAB, that is, the implementation of DAB in this country. Too many stations using too little bandwidth. We seem to have taken a technological step backwards, from stereo to mono in certain cases, from quality FM sound to compressed DAB sound, from wide coverage to limited coverage, from low power consumption to high consumption, etc. etc.

Microsoft Skype: How the VCs won and Ballmer overpaid

Christopher Slater-Walker

Apple FaceTime

The generally poor experience of video calling is why Apple insist on your having a WiFi connection in order to use FaceTime, is it not?

I should own up that I've never experienced FaceTime (although I have tried Skype video calling), but once again, this is an example of Apple calling the shots, and making sure that the User Experience is as good as it can be, but on Apple's terms.

Virgin Media says sorry over Superhub snafu

Christopher Slater-Walker

VM Customer Service

The call centre in India is woeful. I'm not saying that's due to the people who work there, just that the conditions imposed on them are limiting and what they are allowed to do is restricted.

If you can get UK support, you're in much better hands.

Christopher Slater-Walker

I wonder...

Well I've been mostly happy with my 50Mbps service from Virgin, which is all I've ever had from them. No outages to the best of my knowledge.

I don't have, and never have had, the supercrud; just a cable modem, to which I connect my Cisco router.

However it did seem to be quite a bit slower to make initial connections to various services yesterday (19 April). I hope that's not a sign of things to come.

I would also be interested to know if I can continue with this hardware when/if the 100Mbps service becomes available in my area.

Dig deep! Radio asks taxpayers for blank cheque

Christopher Slater-Walker

My kitchen

I have an old Sony FM radio/cassette/CD player in the kitchen. It stopped playing CDs years ago but I keep it just so I can have my favourite radio stations on when I'm cooking. Reception is not perfect but it is more than acceptable.

Now under those reception conditions, I suspect that DAB will be (a) worse due to the usual "bubbling mud" problem; (b) worse in terms of overall sound quality; and (c) definitely more expensive in terms of up-front equipment and running costs. So it's going to take a lot to convince me to switch to DAB. I'm certainly not going to go to the expense and effort of putting up an external aerial just to listen to what I can already get.

When I'm relaxing at home, I get radio through my Freesat box, at high quality and with plenty of choice.

In the same way, I'm not changing the radio in my car (which is a unique-fit type) just to hear what I can already hear.

FM reception degrades gracefully under worsening reception conditions; DAB just stops working. It has nothing to recommend it under my own circumstances.

Illinois scrubs death penalty

Christopher Slater-Walker

If it's such a good deterrent....

...then why are there so many people on death row in the USA?

Perhaps Americans are all naturally so murderous that without capital punishment, the population of the USA would halve itself overnight?

Personally I've always felt that capital punishment has much more to do with revenge than justice. Easy for me to say, however, since neither I nor anyone I know has been at the sharp end of murder.

What sealed Nokia's fate?

Christopher Slater-Walker
Thumb Up

IPV6? My iPhone 3GS does.

How do I know this? Because when I connect it to my wireless network at home, it receives an IPV6 autoconfiguration address; if I SSH from my iPhone (there's an app for that...) to my linux box, enter the "who" command, I can see my iPhone's IPV6 address right there.

BT accidentally chokes bandwidth to 'superfast' customers

Christopher Slater-Walker

VM 50Mbps

Well I'm on VM 50Mbps, and curiously, whenever I use their "recommended" speed test site, www.speedtest.net, I always get very close to 50Mbps downstream and 4.5Mbps upstream. But any other speed test site always reports a lot less.

Even more curiously, downloading from fast sites (mirrorservice.org, mirror.ox.ac.uk etc.) using FTP is always faster than HTTP, sometimes a lot faster.

Now VM say there is no downstream traffic management on the 50 Mbps service but I'm not convinced. I should be able to watch iPlayer through my Freesat box, but it's always full of stops an starts if it even starts at all. In the evening, the updating of Usenet newsgroups is always a lot slower than at other times.

I tried to tell them I wasn't using wireless at all, but they seem convinced that the only way for me to use VM at home is over WiFi using the router they supply. But I have my own Cisco box (2821 for those in the know) and I don't use WiFi unless I really have to. But trying to get them to understand this is like beating your head against a brick wall.

The latest is that my cable modem is receiving an excessively strong signal from the CMTS (I think) and that's causing packet drops. However that doesn't explain the apparently regular pattern of slow downs which I seem to be getting.

So let the buyer beware of VM's claims.

BT boss brands Britain illiterate

Christopher Slater-Walker

Language does change, but...

Couple of things:

Language change is real and inevitable. That's why we don't still speak Anglo-Saxon or whatever its various predecessors were. Nevertheless, it is my opinion (for all I have is an opinion, not being particularly qualified to comment on this subject) that change in the written language is much slower than in spoken language. The effect of this difference is that we can still understand, for example, almost all of the King James Bible without having to think about it. At school I also studied a bit of Chaucer, which again is understood with some effort, but not all that much.

So it seems reasonable to expect that applicants might understand and reflect this difference when submitting CVs.

But for me the most important thing is not the simple fact that your CV is gramatically and orthographically sound, but that you MADE THE EFFORT to make it so, thus creating the right first impression.

DAB lobby launches radio scrappage scheme

Christopher Slater-Walker

So who do we write to?

I was hoping that our new masters in the coalition government might see though all the "digital is best" BS generated by the last lot but my hope is getting more threadbare by the day.

Is there someone we can write to in government to let them know that:

1. DAB in the UK is an ancient (in technology terms) system, and is already obsolete;

2. It is not in any way environmentally friendly to (a) force people to throw out perfectly good receivers and (b) force people to consume lots more power/batteries to receive what they could already get on their old receivers.

3. While I understand that on low-end equipment, any perceived difference in sound quality is likely to be small to indistinguishable, for those who are concerned with overall quality, DAB is rather poorer than conventional FM.

4. DAB coverage is far complete, when compared with viable FM coverage.

5. DAB reception is all or nothing; it either works or it doesn't. FM reception degrades proportionally with the strength of the received signal, meaning that it's a much more viable option for mobile receivers (i.e. in your car), especially when considered alongside my point 4 above.

Add your own favourite argument here as well.


Apple shrugs to iPad Wi-Fi problems

Christopher Slater-Walker

Same old...

Apple are no strangers to wifi problems, in my admittedly limited experience. I had a Cisco 1811W wireless router at home with 802.11b/g and a (i.e. 2.4GHz and 5GHz) simultaneously. I was using Cisco LEAP and WPA2 authenticating against a RADIUS server. While my WinXP machines would connect easily and solidly to either b/g or a, the MacBook had huge problems all the time. I eventually had to resolve it by using pre-shared key WPA2 just for the MacBook. WEP encryption worked just fine however, but there was no way I was going to use that (I know the potential problems with LEAP, before anyone tries to tell me, you just have to choose your passwords carefully). I'm not using that 1811W any more for wifi; interestingly, the MacBook connects just fine to a dedicated Cisco non-router access point.

Talking DAB and the future of radio

Christopher Slater-Walker

Sound quality again

It's just utter, utter bollocks to say that sound quality, even under perfect reception conditions, is good enough. If you're a serious music fan or audiophile (perhaps not even that serious) you know within the first few seconds of listening that UK's DAB is totally crippled in terms of sound quality. Bit rates have been squeezed harder than they ever should have been, and we're dragging around this ancient codec like a ball and chain.

This guy really, really needs to get real. I think he knows he's talking BS. Surely nobody is deluded enough to believe that load of nonsense.

T-Orange: And then there were four

Christopher Slater-Walker

But can I get an iPhone?

I've got 2 contracts on T-Mobile for family members and they both want an iPhone. I'd like to know if this merger is going to put a spanner in the works of the rumoured expansion of iPhone availability to T-Mobile.

Mine's the one with the iPhone in it, obviously.