* Posts by damiandixon

69 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Feb 2016


Forgetting the history of Unix is coding us into a corner


Re: Also...

The one bit they seem to have done well is control of services...

The rest I'm not so sure about.

HP customers claim firmware update rendered third-party ink verboten


The last time I bought ink for my epsom was 2015. Then it was 3rd party. Since then ink has been obtained from the local neighbourhood free sites... I've probably got 4yrs worth of ink in a box.

Why pay for a subscription?

The only other cost has been replacing the printer potty content and resetting the print count...

Boris Johnson's mad hydrogen for homes bubble bursts


Re: Capacity

"(also, incidentally, in many places where it's humid, a dehumidifier can work as well as a heater)"

I'd suggest looking at heat recovery and ventilation units. I've 3 in-wall units. Way cheaper to run then the two dehumidifiers I used to use and way more effective.

I did look at the whole house solutions but they were difficult to retrofit and would have cost significantly more to fit (pipes to a large number of rooms).

The key is to significantly reduce your heating input requirements by insulation, draft proofing and effective ventilation.

That will reduce the load on the boiler meaning it will last a lot longer, cost way less to run and when it finally dies years later there might be a better heating solution available.

I've only turned the heating on for two hours so far this autumn...

As it prepares to abandon its on-prem server products, Atlassian is content. Users? Not so much


Earlier this year I was looking at using Jira, Confluence and bitbucket for a small team.

We have to have on premises or under our control due to security requirements from customers.

So I've gone with gitlab premium...

While the majority of the functionality is fine I can't quite get the Wiki"s to be as good as confluence. I'd love to see a tutorial or write up on how to achieve something similar or just a more feature rich wiki with the ability to export as a document.

Apple demands app makers explain use of sensitive APIs


Re: Oh the irony...

Having the referrer as the register makes us reasonably unique at 0.02% of visitors.

English as a language, particularly GB gives a reasonable uniqueness. Not as good as Dutch...

Interesting that device specific reasonably static data is not being used such as IP address. Forget Mac address as mine changes more frequently than IP address.

The choice: Pay BT megabucks, or do something a bit illegal. OK, that’s no choice



I like my M$ ergonomic keyboard (I use Linux for work by choice...)

Before WFH it kept the odd desk surfer off my work machine...

I remember the fun using Sun keyboards, which had a subtle different layout from the standard qwerty pc keyboard.

Three signs that Wayland is becoming the favored way to get a GUI on Linux


Re: How to do this with Wayland? Don't know!!

I use nomachine when I can install it on the server (windows & Linux).

I use remmina for windows remote desktop otherwise. Windows RDP turns off graphics acceleration and the only way to turn it back on is reboot or local logon.

vnc I've not used in a long time.

This malicious PyPI package mixed source and compiled code to dodge detection


Re: The more things change the more they stay the same

ChatGPT, Bard... Google, bing... You should always check the references to make sure they make sense.

I've used ChatGPT and Bard for reasech into how to program an area that I'm unfamiliar with. I did not copy any of the code snippets as I had no idea where they came from. I did do searches on the library calls though which helped a lot in understanding call sequencing.

They are an interesting tool and came up with more relevant information than Google/bing search.

However the way the material is presented as an authoritative narrative is seductive.

I've added a policy at work to ban the copying of code from the internet without a clear copyright, licence and attribution that is acceptable to the project manager and legal.

Asahi Linux developer warns the one true way is Wayland


Re: It's worth reading the Mastodon thread in full

Try nomachine for accessing a remote desktop.


Re: Nope

I've been using nomachine for almost a decade for windows and linux. It's way better than vnc and does not muck up accelerated graphics .

Rust Foundation so sorry for scaring the C out of you with trademark crackdown talk


Rust treatment

I always treat rust when I find it so it does not cause perforations.

More ads in Windows 11 Start Menu could be last straw for some


I tend to use Libra Office from day to day.

However for a release I have to check the docs using Microsoft Office.

The online Office 365 is still not quite there IMHO for large content rich docs.

Libra Office has it's issues and so does M$ Office. I often use one or the other to fix broken docs.

Ideally I'd like to stick with Libra Office as almost all my development is on Linux now but customers require docs to be useable in M$ Office...

Energy efficiency starts to rock telcos' 5G infrastructure choices


Re: Still waiting for 5g at my house

So far every time I've managed to connect to 5g I've been disappointed at the apparent available rate. Yes it's reported as fast by it takes forever so there is either a bottle neck or high contention.

Either way where I live 4g is not great even standing on the roof of the house. 5g no chance anytime soon, I'm more likely to get fftp.

John Deere urged to surrender source code under GPL


Re: Has there been any progress on the chipped parts?

I've an epson that's run into the pads problem.

It's actually a real problem that has to be dealt with.

You can get 3rd party replacement pads and reset software. It's not expensive.

Look for printer potty.

The quest to make Linux bulletproof


Re: Snap is a single compressed file,

I've run into problems on a number of occasions with permissions and defaults while using a snap package.

The normal package worked fine.

Alphabet reshuffles to meet ChatGPT threat


Re: ChatGPT

I've had a play with a couple of topics.

It did provide some additional interesting points and links. However more than half the links were useless or very much out of date.

The risk was that the presentation of the information was very good and that if someone was naive they may not double check the results or if not sufficiently verse in the subject or similar subjects may be fooled by the results.

I do think it's a useful tool though and it is likely to get better. I'm just not too sure what I mean by better. I hope it's in the results rather than the presentation.

No, working in IT does not mean you can fix anything with a soldering iron


Re: Customer pushback

Yes Mum's are a special case. I'd buy a new cable and do the 100 mile round trip to make sure it was all working.

Wind, solar fulfill 10% of global electricity demand for first time


Interesting web page.

The UK equivalent is: https://gridwatch.co.uk/

Wind: 45%

Solar 4%

Renewables: 51%

Nuclear 13%

Gas 33%

Coal 0%

Exporting 2GW to France and Nsl

Here's how 5 mobile banking apps put 300,000 users' digital fingerprints at risk


Re: Here's the list of safe apps:

LOL in spades.

PowerShell pusher to log off from Microsoft: Write-Host "Bye bye, Jeffrey Snover"


Re: Powershell is very good

I'm only automating builds so I stick to bash or CMD.

I don't need to use either that often so learning powershell has not interested me.

I've occasionally used powershell but only when CMD is not upto it. I can understand why admin's like it though.

Graphical desktop system X Window just turned 38


Xlib mapping to wayland & gpu's

I'd like to see a document or written tutorial on how to migrate from using Xlib to using Wayland. Along with code examples that work.

It's dead easy to do a lot of simple things using Xlib that I've wasted way too much time trying to figure out how to do in a wayland environment.

Remote X is however the killer USP. ssh can be used for security if needed.

VNC/RDP has is it's place but I find neither satisfactory.

I tend to use nomachine but only with Windows and X servers. Not tried with a wayland session.

I use also use Nvidia graphics cards and I'm not changing. The reason is that I need the graphics debuggers. The debuggers for other gpu's just don't cut it. I've also bumped into too many issues with both AMD and Intel implementations of modern OpenGL, so I develop for Nvidia first then fix elsewhere.

I am however very impressed with Intels development of thier Mesa drivers. I wish Nvidia would move quicker to embrace a similar approach.

Whatever you do, don't show initiative if you value your job


Sometimes it is better to leave it to the experts.

I recently watched a you-tube video of someone trying to fix a laptop that someone else had tried to clean. The laptop prior to cleaning was working perfectly fine.

It looked like the person who had done the cleaning had tried to lift a number of chips without understanding how heavily integrated electronic components are now.

They had also pulled ribbon cables so hard that pins were broken.

I did learn some interesting fault finding techniques watching the video.

Windows 11 usage stats within touching distance of... XP


Re: Enterprises.

My daughter is at college. I installed all the tools she needs on my small light weight flip dell. It's running Linux. She has not said anything as most of here work is done in a browser using the college office365, SharePoint and servers.

Hackers weigh in on programming languages of choice


Re: 93 percent have five or more years of programming experience

My Uncle gave me a DAI personal computer in 81. So I've been programming for 41 years on my own machines. Professionally for 33years. I started being taught intermittently to program by my uncle over the four years prior to that on his mainframe (he had his own software company). He would sit with me and we would write small programs to turn lights on and off or create moving shapes on the single line led matrix.

Fibre broadband uptake in UK lags behind OECD countries


HS2 or FTTP?

I keep thinking that if the government used the HS2 money on fibre to every house the return to the economy would be significantly higher then the return from continuing with HS2.

Nobody cares about DAB radio – so let's force it onto smart speakers, suggests UK govt review


It's a waste of silicon and customers money.

There is also likely to be a licencing cost for DAB+ technology..

I've one naff DAB radio in the house. I tend to use my smart speakers to stream radio.

I'd prefer a cheaper product.


Re: Sorry, why is this about DAB?

It used to be that simple until BBC decided to force the use of Sounds.

GitHub merges 'useless garbage' says Linus Torvalds as new NTFS support added to Linux kernel 5.15


Re: All very fine.....love it when the anoraks get excited about stuff like "git"........

Could always try ArchLinux... Tried it for the first time last month took me back to last century installing Linux.

Docker Desktop no longer free for large companies: New 'Business' subscription is here


Re: Can they not just jump straight to an unscaled per user price please?

Text books cost a lot because the paper version has such a small run. But I get the point.

I pay for my own O'Riley ebook subscription to get hold of the books I need. Spending less then I use too on paper books that sit on a shelf gathering dust.

Personally I'd like a textbook size colour ebook.

Hey, AI software developers, you are taking Unicode into account, right ... right?


Re: You can treat some of it as spam

The code to reverse the direction is used when you mix left and right written languages.

For example Hebrew with numbers or actually names of streets in Jerusalem...

'Set it and forget it' attitude to open-source software has become a major security problem, says Veracode


Re: The Solution is Simple for Those who Mislike Open Source

From my experience most commercial libraries don't get updated either and given that you can't see the source you can't check nor fix either...

Version 8 of open-source code editor Notepad++ brings Dark Mode and an ARM64 build, but bans Bing from web searches


Re: the text editor for granddads

So I'm a zombie....

I use vi because it's the first editor I used on Unix and it's easy to do some fancy search and replace stuff with. I can easily navigate around the command line and open files... works when I'm using remote SSH. But it's not for everyone as the learning curve is high.

I use notepad++ to quickly load huge files and simple text as well as unicode conversions.

I also use VisualStudio on windows as an ide.

I also use CLion and qtcreator.

I pick what's easy to use for the job at hand.

Google will make you use two-step verification to login


Re: Er ...

Gdpr only applies in some jurisdictions.

It's a pain to implement even for the most trivial things such as a membership list for a youth group where you need name, age, emergency contacts and some medical information.

The amount of paperwork generated and thus time and resources consumed is out of all proportion for volunteer organisations.

Gdpr needs to be simplified and made a lot easier to understand and comply with.

Sign of the primes: Linux Foundation serves up free code-signing service


Cost for signing installers is expensive

It's well out of reach for most open source developers and one man bands...

Anything that reduces the cost and provides an audit trail should be welcomed.

Self-supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server virty users see stealth inflation


Re: GPL, anybody?

Qt also has a commercial model which trys and does confuse people.

Only a few of the Qt libraries are GPL and can be completely avoided.

The sales people say if you develop using Qt under LGPL you have to pay them a large sum of money before you start using the commercial version. There is nothing in the LGPL that supports this...

Given that we only use it for the GUI it's very expensive when compared to a full msdn developer licence.


Re: History repeats itself

Purifyplus was one of the best debugging tools out there. Then bought by IBM and not invested in. TBH rot had probably set in before as the tool had been sold on multiple times.

Rational Rose... while not great worked but no upgrade or migration path...


Why tie yourself to a single distro?

At my last place board level management required us to release on redhat enterprise.

So we had one licence left in its box. We did all development and testing on Mint, CentOS and RedHawk and told sales it would work on any Linux version given a particular minimum kernel and GCC/G++/clang version...

I never quite understood why people tie themselves to one variant of Linux distribution.

If you as a developer know what you are doing you should be able to do a single C/C++ build that works on multiple distros, given a minimum kernel, GCC and required dependencies installed (or shipped).

Linux Mint emits fix for memory-gobbling Cinnamon – and future version may insist on some updates


If you have a device driver that is built from source a kernel update can stop it working. Had this happen twice now with unbuntu. I'll keep the systems upto date until they are commissioned, but once commissioned the updates are stopped and only applied after being reviewed. It's a security balancing act. Luckily for me most of the systems once commissioned are not connected to the internet.

Linux Mint sticks by Snap decision – meaning store is still disabled by default in 20.1


I've had a few issues with applications installed with snap particularly around permissions and local directory access.

I've now made the conscious decision to install the non snap versions.

I do wonder what snap is really attempting to solve.

Microsoft submits Linux kernel patches for a 'complete virtualization stack' with Linux and Hyper-V


Re: X server

Been running an X server on windows for decades. Having one capable of being run from wsl just makes life a lot easier for the less technically capable admin's.

DPL: Debian project has plenty of money but not enough developers


Re: Window of Opportunity?

Yep... Lack of folders and ability to pin frequently used apps on the menu is still missing. I also liked to order the apps/folders.

If you wanna make your own open-source chip, just Google it. Literally. Web giant says it'll fab them for free


If you use low powered IR leds and IR camera eye tracking becomes a lot easier as the iris shows up better . Just need to make sure the eye does not heat up too much. This was the basis of an eye tracking system used in the early 90's in the R&D department I worked in at the time. It worked quite well except the issue around the eye feeling slightly warmer.

Microsoft unshackles WSL2 Linux kernel from Windows 10 image for future fettling via Windows Update


Re: @bazza - @martinusher - It's not an OS

You missed the announcement from Lenovo about first line support for Linux preinstalled with upstreaming of all of the drivers.


Just saying... Kernel updates require a reboot.

Brit MP demands answers from Fujitsu about Horizon IT system after Post Office staff jailed over accounting errors


CPU/GPUs are designed by humans and mistakes are made.

I've run into issues with sin/cos on Intel GPUs while running mathematical formula's. Had to fall back to min/max polynomials and MAD instructions.

cmd.exe is dead, long live PowerShell: Microsoft leads aged command-line interpreter out into 'maintenance mode'


Re: Hmmmm....

Postscript... I remember the days of News...

Everything OK with Microsoft? Windows giant admits it was 'on the wrong side of history' with regard to open source


It's the 'not invented here' and 'nobody will pay for the open source we are using' philosophy of senior and middle managers. Personally you are paying for my time. If I can get the job done quicker and cheaper by using open source I will use it (as long as the licence permits me too)... especially as it will give me more time to spend on the value part of the project rather than reinventing the wheel yet again...

Sky Broadband is not the UK's cheapest, growls ad watchdog


Re: Disappointingly

I've used my low light 48mega pixel phone camera with an attachment to fit on my telescope. I've had some really stunning photos as good as those using SLR cameras fitted to the same telescope. Only issue is light bleed around the edges but that's easy to fix.


It was cheaper to buy a mesh system then get halo 2 from BT.

The point of containers is they aren't VMs, yet Microsoft licenses SQL Server in containers as if they were VMs


Re: Licencing is easy

Or you pay for a postgres developer fulltime to work for you on postgres and then ask oracle for a very deep discount because look you can jump ship anytime you want too... Know a company that's doing this....