* Posts by Diodelogic

93 posts • joined 20 Sep 2015


Mate, it's the '90s. You don't need to be reachable every minute of every hour. Your operating system can't cope


Is Power Optional?

While working at Microsoft as a front-line tech, another tech who was having a major problem with a customer's system asked me for some help. I was known as the "hardware guy" since I built my own machines, etc. The computer would not boot, would not display anything, would not--well, anything at all.

After hearing the t-shooting steps that had been tried, I said, "The computer isn't plugged into the wall."

The tech went back to the customer and asked him to make sure the system had power. The customer blew-up at him (I'm sure you've all had the experience) and let him know that he was a doctor and not some ignorant doofus off the street, and the problem was Windows and so forth. A week went by like this, and finally the tech asked the customer again to check that the computer was plugged-in.

You can almost certainly guess the answer. No, the computer was not plugged-in.

Lizards for lunch? Crazy tech? Aliens?! Dana Dash: First Girl on the Moon is perfect for the little boffin-to-be in your life


An interesting review

This book reminds me (vaguely) of a book I read when I was in the third grade: The Angry Planet, by John Keir Cross, which was full of unpleasant scenes with illustrations to match. It didn't have what I would call a "happy" ending. If a nine-year-old can enjoy Dana Dash then that's a good thing, with it's emphasis on STEM.

Dr. Cavor sure gets around the time stream!

It's been five years since Windows 10 hit: So... how's that working out for you all?


No real issues

Except for the last upgrade to 2004, when I did have a problem ("not connected to the Internet") and decided to install from scratch rather than fight with the upgrade. I fully admit that I'm in a position to do this anytime I want without repercussions, as this is not a work computer and everything I need is local. The only serious trouble I've had came from a failed hard drive.

I don't think Windows 10 is perfect. There are numerous things I wouldn't mind seeing changed. However, I use applications which are Wiindows-only and see no need to deal with a non-Windows OS.

If Daddy doesn't want me to touch the buttons, why did they make them so colourful?


My solution

When my daughter was a little bitty, she would visit me in my "computer room" at home and demand to play one of her games. Of course, this was always while I was busy writing software. One day she escalated the situation by randomly pushing buttons and pulling cables. My solution was to get her involved in my work so she would have something to do besides reboot the computer(s).

I had a leftover from college days: A set of two large plastic buttons, one red, one green. The red button had "Total Destruct" printed on it; the green button had "Reset." Both had squeakers inside. I stuck these to the side of a heavy tower case and told my daughter that she had to be ready to press the red button at any moment to keep my work from being lost, and then press the green button so I could keep working. She accepted these instructions very solemnly, and volunteered to help me at anytime. I made sure to ask for button presses often enough to keep her happy without completely destroying my workflow, and for many months we were both content.

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it


Re: 5G Facts Summary So Far = Not Much

"The only other major differentiation related to frequency is if the EMR is Ionising or not, i.e. contains enough energy to actually harm biological cells in plants and animals. You need to be at ultraviolet or above for that to be the case, anything from visible light or below, which includes all radio frequencies, just doesn't contain enough energy to do any direct cell damage."

Please be a little more careful about saying such things. If you were indeed completely correct, my microwave oven wouldn't be worth anything.

IBM, Microsoft and Linux Foundation link arms to fight patent trolls with 'multimillion' scheme


The only way Microsoft could make some people happy

And I include The Register in this, would be if the ownership of the company were to be handed to Linus Torvalds gratis, along with the right to employ anyone he wanted in all corporate positions (CEO, CFO, etc.). While I would never say that "Microsoft can do no wrong"--I know better--apparently there is no other way for them to make amends for past mistakes and a comment made nearly twenty years ago from someone who doesn't work there anymore.

Yes, of course I will be downvoted about a gazillion times but I have little patience for anyone who can't let go of the past and look at the present instead. Being cautious is all well and good, but ignoring potential benefits because of old news is just asking to have a bullet removed from your foot.

Guess who reserved their seat on the first Moon flight? My mum, that's who


I have one of those

I've got First Flight card #1062. I've had it since 1969 when I signed up for a moon flight at the Montreal Exposition. I like to take it out now and then and sigh heavily, then put it away for another few years.

Incidentally, and not related, I also have a "I Ate Just One" gold medal from Lay's Potato Chips. I would happily eat their potato chips on a flight to the moon.

Now that's just offal: Heap of pig guts hog road after truck spills load in Kansas City



Oh, you get it all right.

Amazon boss snubs 'expensive', 'sub-optimal' relational databases. Here's looking at you, Larry


'Would you like a black, always-on cylinder in your kitchen...'

Why, no. I wouldn't, I haven't, and I won't.

Phew... Oi, was that you, Curiosity? Euro Mars sat inhaled mega methane blast, boffins baffled



Uhm, I almost hate to break it to you folks, but methane doesn't have a distinctive smell--it is colourless and odourless*. That's why tiny amounts of hydrogen sulfide are added to the methane in natural gas pipelines and storage containers--so that the human nose can detect a gas leak. At least, it is added here in the US, I don't know what other countries may do, if anything.

*Look it up.

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


Re: At MonkeyCee, re: nuke plans.

My family lived in Roswell, New Mexico, many years ago, adjacent to the Walker SAC base (long since shut-down). At the local elementary school we were made to practice "duck and cover" by filing into the interior hallways and sitting, facing the walls, hunched over with arms covering the head. For some reason it was thought that we needed to practice this rather often, at least until That Day when, just as everyone was settling into place, a B-58 Hustler (yes, it was that long ago) from the airbase went supersonic over the school. Nobody knew if it was intentional or not--personally I never thought so but you never can tell with Air Force pilots. The school declared a half-day and we all went home.

Microsoft readies the swatter as more bugs wriggle out of the Windows 10 woodwork


Re: I Just Don't Understand


Nope. I'm so sorry that it bothers you that I refuse to piss and moan about problems I'm not having.


I Just Don't Understand

Features and functions reported as being "broken" in the 1809 update work properly on my Windows 10 x64 install.* I'm following the steps people claim to fail or break, and there's just no problem. There hasn't been any problem with updates/patches since I installed Windows 10 on three computers (a desktop, laptop, and tablet) the first or second day it was released. As I've said before, I'm using the same bits as other people so I cannot for the life of me understand why failures are being reported when I never see them.

I am NOT saying this in an effort to refute the claims, but rather to suggest that perhaps some other fault may be involved.

*I want to note that I do not use some of the software said to be experiencing problems, such as iCloud or Windows Media Player. However, I can associate file extensions with any Windows app that I want all day long and it works as it is supposed to work (as one example.)

Grumbling about wobbly Windows 10? Microsoft can't hear you over the clanging cash register


Re: Conditioning.

Windows users will put up with *anything* and they simply don't believe that other systems can run for multiple years without a single problem.

I haven't had an issue on a Windows machine since 1998 that wasn't caused by a hardware problem. That was the last time I got a BSOD, which is why the date stands out. So I have no idea what you are going on about.

It walks, it talks, it falls over a bit. Windows 10 is three years old


Windows 10 seems just fine to me

I've been using Windows 10 since the day after it's initial release. The problems I've experienced have been:

1. None at all.

2. See 1.

Please don't bother to tell me how "lucky" I am. I'm using the same bits as everyone else. NO broken updates, NO update interruptions (I tell Windows to perform the updates in the middle of the night when I'm sleeping), NO issues with application software, NO BSODs, a faster UI, and frankly, I couldn't care less concerning someone else's opinion of what the interface should look like. Every piece of hardware I use has worked flawlessly with Windows 10.

If the above offends you, tough.

BOFH: Give me a lever long enough and a fool, I mean a fulcrum and ....


A Coincidence

The webcomic Doc Rat is using this same idea as a storyline, though perhaps without quite so happy an ending.

http://www.docrat.com.au/comic/ad-overview/ and a few more strips following.

Elon Musk invents bus stop, waits for applause, internet LOLs


Re: High tech for the sake of high tech

Well the last few stabbings I read about in the news occured on the top deck of a London bus...

Research suggests UK consumers find 'fibre' advertising misleading


Strange advertising here

I was visited by a couple of ATT representatives who informed me that fiber was available for my home (ATT had been digging and burying fiber lines for about three months). I asked a few questions: Was it fiber all the way to the modem, and what were the upload/download speeds I could expect, and what was the cost. I was told that it was fiber to copper at the "box" on the outside of my house but I could expect gigabit speed down and about 750Mbs up. The cost would be the same as my current service.

The actual installation was all fiber to the modem and gig down and gig up, which I verified using a wired connection to a computer. The installation was free, the connection is unlimited, and costs the same as my previous 45Mbs, including five static IP addresses. I'm not complaining.

Sophos waters down 'NHS is totally protected' by us boast


Re: If the statements of Sophos were true...

@ Christian Berger:

Your description of the halting problem didn't sound right to me...

"The halting problem is the problem of determining, from a description of an arbitrary computer program and an input, whether the program will finish running or continue to run forever."

Lyrebird steals your voice to make you say things you didn't – and we hate this future


At Least the name sounds right (especially for politicians)


Oracle refuses to let Java copyright battle die – another appeal filed in war against Google


Or a vermicious knid.

SQL Server on Linux? HELL YES! Linux on Windows 10? Meh


Re: Windows ME was worse

"I regarded Win9x and ME as game consoles. Never sold or installed them for business."

All I have to say about it is this: Back in the 90's I was a support tech for Windows at Microsoft, first-line support as it's called. I "graduated" to the Premier Support group after awhile, meaning that my team provided phone support for customers paying for it. Fortune 500 companies, smaller-but-still-quite-large companies, occasionally a rich person who was showing-off. I took thousands of calls from businesses. I supported Windows 95, 98, 98SE, and ME. All business, all the time. And I will just mention that the vast majority of calls were exactly the same kind as for free support, and most of the rest were just barely more challenging.

Pentagon anti-missile-on-missile test actually WORKS, for once


Re: Good news or bad news?

This dredged-up an old memory of mine: Back in the late '70s I was seated at a private dinner with a guest who a missile officer on a US ballistic-missile submarine. I tried to question him about nukes, the ONLY thing he would confirm for me was that the Little Boy bomb functioned by jamming two masses of uranium-235 together. I was disappointed (physics major in college) but I understood that he was sworn to secrecy. Imagine my surprise when, in reply to someone else's question about politics and nukes, he said, "We all know that maybe one in ten H-bombs will go off." I have no reason to think that he made a deliberate mis-statment, because there would be no point in doing so. He said no further word that evening concerning anything other than sports. He did take me to one side as he was leaving and said, sotto vocce, "We never had that conversation. Right?"

Elon burning to get Falcon back on the launchpad


Oxygen is not flammable

Something is missing from the SpaceX report, or wasn't mentioned in the article. Oxygen is not flammable--it supports the burning of other materials or compounds, but does not by itself burn. Therefore the oxygen in the buckled tank could not have ignited.

Botched Microsoft update knocks Windows 8, 10 PCs offline – regardless of ISP


Re: Only Britain? Short answer: No.

MSGrrrrl: I saw this when I Googled it: "It's thus worth adding that the Windows 10 technical preview has these requirements". The articles below this say that the Windows Acccount and Internet Connection were not required in the release version of Windows 10.

Slight confusion, perhaps not really Microsoft's fault, but the user's for not reading the first article properly or completely.

Cargo capsule goes AWOL, explodes on its way to Space Station


50 years on, the Soviet-era Soyuz rocket is still our favorite space truck

Or is it?

Mac book, whoa! Apple unveils $300 design tome


For anthonyhegedus

You're holding it wrong.

Twitter rolls out troll controls


Re: Hurrah!

ooFie and AC: Are you saying that if I want to use Twitter, I should be willing to tolerate bullying, harassment, etc.? As long as the choice of who I "listen to" remains mine, I don't quite understand what you are commenting-about.

Cloudian clobbers car drivers with targeted ads


Re: So how long

Amazingly enough, I've actually built a paintball Gatling gun. It's not belt-fed, but feeds from a "powered magazine" to keep stuffing paintballs into the gun as fast as it can fire. Got it up to 6000 paintballs/minute but then realized just how many paintballs I was going through--it gets expensive after a few minutes.

Brits don't want their homes to be 'tech-tastic'


Re: IoT

Upvote for the "Outer Limits" reference.

Prof Hawking to mail postage-stamp space craft to Alpha Centauri using frickin' lasers


More information for those interested


Windows 10 debuts Blue QR Code of Death – and why malware will love it


Had to laugh at myself

It's been so long since I've seen a BSOD on a Windows box that it took me a few seconds to remember what a BSOD is. The last time I had one was when I installed some defective "brand new" memory--around about 1999, or maybe 2000 (memtest confirmed the problem for me). After that happened, I kept a small spare machine around just for testing new hardware of any kind, or for testing older hardware that seemed to have failed.

The closest I've come to such a problem was a few months ago, after updating my video driver. A resizing operation inside of Photoshop suddenly starting failing, but at least I got a nice clear message that the problem was, in fact, in the video driver. Not really a crash, more of an inability to perform the operation. Rolled-back the driver and was fine.

Adobe preps emergency Flash patch for bug hackers are exploiting


Flash Flushed

I got rid of Flash several months ago and haven't really missed it at all. Every time I think that maybe a particular Flash animation on a website might be worth a look, I remember the potential consequences of installing it again and simply shrug my shoulders.

Tesla books over $8bn in overnight sales claims Elon Musk


Re: Great looking but...

One thing that isn't mentioned is the percentage of orders coming from which countries. If the great majority of orders are coming from the US, then the lack of charging outlets in another country isn't going to matter very much, at least for some years.

Apple's fruitless rootless security broken by code that fits in a tweet


Re: randomly deleting files in C:\WINDOWS

I once watched a guy dump his entire Linux computer system in his backyard, then proceed to chop it to bits with an axe. No one would risk getting close enough to him to ask why he was so angry.

Go nuts, brother: Ubuntu 16.04 beta – no more auto data-spaffing


'No more "spyware" turned on out of the box'

Wait, what?

FBI backs down against Apple: Feds may be able to crack killer's iPhone without iGiant's help


Iceberg aircraft carriers

"You do know the Yanks seriously considered converting ice bergs into air craft carriers during WWII?"

You do know that the idea originated with the British? Project Habbakuk?

A typo stopped hackers siphoning nearly $1bn out of Bangladesh


Re: What surprises me

According to the article, the bad guys made off with maybe 10% of the total of nearly one billion dollars. I wouldn't mind having the rest.


What surprises me

I had no idea that Bangladesh HAS that much money in the bank.

What's next? FBI telling us to turn iPhones into pocket spy bugs? It'll happen, says Apple exec


I seem to remember...

...that there is malware around that can remotely turn on cameras and microphones on desktop/laptop computers without the user being aware. Does any of that apply to phones as well?

Or am I misremembering?

Is there anything left to ask Bill Gates? (Other than gissus a million?)


A Story

When I worked for Microsoft years ago, I had several occasions to meet Bill Gates at after-presentation lunches, and such. At one lunch, I saw him standing in the middle of a circle of middle-management-to-peon (like me) people, answering questions, all of which were tech or tech industry related. I walked through the circle--no one was closer than about six feet to him--shook hands with Bill, and asked him how he was doing. We chatted for a moment, then I asked how his wife was doing (pregnant with his first), if they knew the sex of the baby, and that sort of thing. I could see him switch gears, and he smiled as he answered my admittedly-personal questions.

When I left him, I was inwardly pleased by the looks I got from the other people. Perhaps, like many others, they didn't really believe that Bill was human, with human feelings. Of course, they hadn't made much effort to find out...

Pentagon to Dept of Defense: Give us $580bn for cyberwar and spacewar


Re: Necessary?

"Unless we're expecting to be attacked by aliens"

My personal, unsubstantiated feeling is that most of the toys involved--railguns! lasers!--are just too cool not to build and improve. There's no need to envision using them in a conflict, they are their own justification.

Who hit you, HP Inc? 'Windows 10! It's all Windows 10's fault'


Re: Win-10-nic lowering new PC sales (as expected)

Well, maybe you're right. But why aren't the hundreds of millions of Linux and other non-Windows operating systems users not purchasing printers? The sales of printers fell even further than that of PCs in percentage terms. Are Linux, etc., users not buying printers either?

Or are people buying other brands of printers, just not HP printers, perhaps? I don't know... it's a question, not a comment.

Linux Mint hacked: Malware-infected ISOs linked from official site


Re: With success, comes malware..

Curiously enough, from reading about this event on several blogs, the Linux Mint website was hacked, restored, and then hacked again. The website is offline as I write, while the Mint people work on the server.

I downloaded the KDE 17.3 version of Mint because the 17.3 Cinnamon package wasn't ready at the time, but I couldn't make it work. I was thinking about downloading Cinnamon yesterday but didn't get around to it, and for once my laziness paid off. Although I'm still planning to get Mint and try again.

UK to stop children looking at online porn. How?


Somewhat surprising!

What's that? you say.

It's somewhat surprising that everyone (I think) has missed the obvious. The UK government doesn't expect this plan to work and never did. What they do expect is that that they will pick up goodwill points for being anti-pornography and for saving-the-children, plus maybe some extra shine by successfully prosecuting a few sites. These are the things that matter to career politicians.

Twitter CEO Jack's off to the settings page, adds robot-sorted tweets


Twitter CEO Jack's off to the settings page

Rule 34?



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