* Posts by Rob Davis

222 posts • joined 13 Aug 2007


Canonical and Microsoft get cosier with Active Directory integration in Ubuntu 21.04

Rob Davis

Microsoft Windows will have a Linux kernel I reckon

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has said that Microsoft Windows will be running on a Linux Kernel at some point.

This news release to me seems it can only help gradual moves in that direction. Also with WSL2 and what Microsoft are doing in the cloud with Azure, running Linux there.

There will be reverse compatibility with apps written on Windows, to support the NT kernel.

It makes for a compelling offering from Microsoft, by having the Linux kernel at the centre rather than as it is with WSL2 now though the work that's gone into that seems to me to be very good having used it.

All this alongside Visual Studio Code, github and LinkedIn.

Android has been using Linux kernel for years. Did that mean Google embraced, exstinguished etc Linux? Answer - no - well I don't think so. So why would Microsoft?

And for a future ARM based Windows based around the Linux Kernel, that could mean being able to run Android Apps natively. This would help respond to Apple's M1 platform being able to run iOS apps. With Windows already a touch screen supporting OS, they might have the edge here.

I actively work with Windows, Mac, and Linux and enjoy the strengths of all platforms and want to see them thrive. Competition is good and I am excited about what I've speculated on above.

Nokia 5310: Retro feature phone shamelessly panders to nostalgia, but is charming enough to be forgiven

Rob Davis

Re: nokia 207 3.5G (works with three) no camera, basic phone, also acts as modem

+1 upvote - Indeed - I had one of those as well, gave the 208 to an IT recycling charity and kept the 207.

I deliberately wanted the 207 because it didn't have a camera. Particularly because I wouldn't want to worry about scratching the lens plus the bonus of the other reasons I mentioned. Also because the camera would be basic in this price bracket and also because I'd want to try and stay in the moment when at an event rather than record or photo something I'd never watch later. The 208 doesn't have a flash.

I love the simplicity of the 207 phone but it being well appointed in essential specs such as 3.5G and USB modem. It's smaller than the 208 too.

I should also add that the 207 supports bluetooth and connects to headphones like bose very fast.

Rob Davis

nokia 207 3.5G (works with three) no camera, basic phone, also acts as modem

If you can find them on ebay, the Nokia 207 phone is worth a look, I got mine for around 15 pounds.

It's 3.5G so will support HSPDA and 3G internet as well as 2/2.5G. Which gives you the option to use three which only supports 3G and up, as well as the others in the big 4, and the MVNOs.

There has been talk in some places in the world dropping 2G to support 3G and up.

It has a built in browser and email client to make use of that 3.5G connectivity. But also, it can be used as a modem, via USB tethering to provide internet to your computer.

That 3/3.5G connectivity also means higher quality mobile to mobile calls.

It has a removable battery, charged by micro USB, lasting around a week on standby. It supports up to 32Gb storage with microsd and can be used as a USB pen drive.

It's based on S40 operating system so I'd assume that it is similar to the 5310 in terms of functionality.

But - no camera. I think this is actually a bonus - it's simpler, and cameras in this sector may not be spectacular, some with fixed focus and limited video. Also, no lens to get scratched. Finally - great for privacy and for taking places where they have an aversion to cameras, security sensitive environments - and - some music concerts.

With all that, I don't understand why Nokia stopped making them.

SE's baaaack: Apple flings out iPhone SE 2020, priced at £419

Rob Davis


Looks great - powerful flagship hardware under-the-bonnet.

However, doesn't seem to have support for 5G.

For less than 419 pounds, at 399, one could buy a Samsung A90 5G, with 128Gb and microSD card support.

From an owner of an iPhone 7 Plus and Android phones.

ReactOS 'a ripoff of the Windows Research Kernel', claims Microsoft kernel engineer

Rob Davis

32 bit hardware driver support on 64 bit Windows and Linux

ReactOS should focus on the part of Windows that handles drivers, so that hardware with 32 bit drivers only can be used with 64bit hardware and Linux - IF drivers would not be available there for such hardware, without the need to buy an additional Windows 32bit license.

Run ReactOS as headless i.e without the UI, as a guest inside a VM on a 64bit host. The host must have Intel Vt-d I/O (or equivalent / IOMMU) on both its motherboard and CPU for the guest OS in the VM to be able to see the hardware in the host.

Zorin OS 15 nods at Ubuntu and welcomes Windows escapees

Rob Davis

Quality Assurance (QA) and SIMs and Mobile broadband support

With my x86 tablet PC when booted into Ubuntu 18.04 Linux I've been unsuccessful getting the mobile SIM in it to connect to the operator's broadband service.

Same tablet works fine booted into Windows 10 - it recognises the SIM and connects to mobile broadband.

In Ubuntu, there is a section in the networking settings in the desktop manager for setting up mobile broadband but I've not been able to get it to work, despite trying several different values in the configuration settings. I would therefore conclude that the code has bugs.

I'd like to revisit and see if recent updates have fixed this issue - I've raised it in their bug queue after much research and asking on forums.

In any case it does make me wonder what QA (Quality Assurance) testing is done for Ubuntu and other Linux distributions and where the records of this testing are kept. I would think testing is done but I'm none the wiser as to what.

Some distributions like Ubuntu are backed by a commercial entity, so I would expect there to be some testing as this is why they have releases, with LTS and non-LTS.

I am a regular user of Ubuntu for other things, on the Desktop but would like to see if they've fixed the mobile broadband issue I mention above.

Ofcom to Openreach: Thou shalt prise open thy network for firms targeting biz customers

Rob Davis

toob.co.uk soon too

toob.co.uk will be offering 1Gb symmetric / up & down, in Southampton, over a G.PON - Gigabit Passive Optical Network.

This is great news but it's unclear to me how competition will take place. I can see 3 technical options.

First that other operators use the same G.PON as toob, with DWDM - separate wavelengths up to 32 or even 96 could mean 16 to 48 symmetric broadband services, respectively, are possible, in theory over one fibre. From a simplified high level viewpoint, this is an equivalent of openreach where services are delivered over the same last mile copper connection. But in practice, one company such as toob may own that infrastructure and not be willing to let others compete on it.

Second: multiple separate fibre optic networks are laid. But what would be the physical limit to number of fibres laid and therefore competition?

Third, combination of first and second.

Then there's the implementation at the customer end, which can vary, particularly with multiple customers in a building, e.g. residential. In that regard, Toob are offering full fibre G.PON into the customers premises or home - FTTP. Meanwhile hyperoptic have offered FTTP which is FTTB - to the building terminating at a Gigabit ethernet router which serves each customer via Gigabit ethernet (electrical). Inside a building can get more complicated and restrictive, physically to offer competing separate services.

In conclusion, with new fibre services it seems some more clarity on regulation and how competition can operate, is needed from Ofcom.

Holy high street, Sainsbury's! Have you forgotten Bezos' bunch are the competition?

Rob Davis

Re: They deserve each other

All Sainsbury's own brand meats have the British Farm Assured logo as far as I can tell when last looked.

Same can't be said of Asda, where some poultry comes from outside the EU, for example the far East. It's not going to harm you but the quality and farming practices might not have the same ethics or standards as the EU or UK. Similarly sourced items have been on sale at Tesco.

Also Sainsbury's was among the few retailers not caught up in the beef / horse meat scandal a few years ago. Similarly, unlikely to cause harm but betrayal of trust for those involved.

Apart from that, many items at Asda keenly priced. However fruit and veg variety seems limited, compared with my local fruit and veg man - more of these please rather than the lame vape shops and rubbish quality mobile phone case shops, please.

Rob Davis

Re: Amazon to buy Sainsbury's......?

Indeed. And with Argos (part of the Sainsbury's group) providing click and collect points for eBay purchases, this could be an interesting move with regards to fulfillment of Amazon's orders.

Pssst.... build your own machine learning computer, it's cheaper and even faster than using GPUs on cloud

Rob Davis

up-board.org and other edge AI solutions for low latency

Check out up-board.org up-shop.org and other edge AI solutions as well (I don't work for them nor have financial interest)

By "edge" we mean that the AI is done locally rather than remotely in the cloud.

Such AI on the edge has the benefit of low latency - minimal delays for sending and receiving information to be processed.

After all, lifeforms with intelligence don't rely on a remote service.

It also means complete control over your system, benefits include data privacy and security.

The difference between October and May? About 16GB, says Microsoft: Windows 10 1903 will need 32GB of space

Rob Davis

Re: No probs here

Is that Windows 10? Sorry to ask but you don't mention OS. If so, then great you aren't having problems.

Rob Davis

Re: Compulsory Upgrades

Agree. That's really bad for the environment what they are doing though.

Make America buy phones again! Smartphone doom 'n' gloom crosses Atlantic to cast shadow stateside

Rob Davis

Nokia pure Android, services, lens protection cover

To address the preinstalled Android issue, get a Nokia Android. These are relatively affordable, for example the Nokia 6.1 can be bought for 170 pounds or less. It runs Android Pie (Android 9) pure stock Android and has guaranteed at least 2 years of upgrades.

Perhaps the downward trend and maturity of the market is a foresight Apple had when they launched the Apple card financial service and streaming service this week. They see their future income growth coming from these.

Proper camera lens protection that the Nokia N95 and N82 had are something I miss in modern smartphones even with the "sapphire" coating. We have eyelids so why don't phones anymore?

ReactOS 0.4.11 makes great strides towards running Windows apps without the Windows

Rob Davis

ReactOS VM PCI passthrough to host to support more hardware

Encouraging news, particularly possibly for older hardware with 32bit driver only to be supported on 64bit hosts.

If ReactOS guest run in VM on a host that has PCI passthrough support in both motherboard and CPU, then that ReactOS guest in theory could see the hardware on the host which the host itself doesn't have drivers for. However with the Windows 32bit drivers installed in the ReactOS guest then this itself can utilize the hardware.

Some progress has been made here, with graphics cards but I'm interested in other hardware such as the Yamaha SW1000XG sound card which runs fine on 32bit Windows 10 with its Windows XP drivers but not on 64bit Windows nor Linux at all. The solution proposed here could resolve this.

Vintage but useful hardware could have its life extended, costs reduced for user not having to buy new hardware and reduced landfill. Good all round.

Fancy a .dev domain? They were $12,500 a pop from Google. Now, $1,000. Soon, $17.50. And you may want one

Rob Davis

dot theatre ( .theatre ) rip off

Dot theatre names are a rip off at around 800 pounds for ANY name not just "popular".

There is .theater which is much cheaper but some may prefer the British English variant.

Why is this?

Money can be the tight in the theatre sector. The high cost of the domain denies smaller community theatres the esteem of a stand out name.

ICANN should regulate but they won't - I contacted them. Spineless. The regulation should be that domain applicants should be affiliated with a recognised industry body first, e.g. guild of small theatres and then that upper price limit should be capped to be affordable. Because using price as an excuse to deter squatting is rubbish.

Sure, you can keep Grandpa Windows 7 snug in the old code home – for a price

Rob Davis

Re: Not funny caption

Yes I know it's satire.

Icon for "you don't say" ?

But cheap satire.

Not OK to be racist, sexist. But the elderly - yea that's alright. No - no it's not! It's ageism. A form of discrimination, like racism and sexism.

Punkt: A minimalist Android for the paranoid

Rob Davis

Nokia 207

Nokia 207 though not Android ( it's series 40) nor 4G is still a simple cheap 3G/3.5G phone with Exchange and IMAP support. Replaceable battery good time between charges i.e several days. Fast startup time. Micro SD card storage up to 32Gb. On that basis, ticks many boxes for the minimalist fan I would think. In a robust little candy bar form factor. Colour but non-touchscreen display with physical keypad.

And it can be used for tethering, via USB. Great for environments where WiFi or Bluetooth might not work so well - e.g at trade exhibitions from personal experience - where the radio spectrum is crowded by others trying the same.

The 3/3.5G connectivity is great for the tethering capability as well as for email and the phone's built in web browser. Also better sound quality in calls with 3G calling. 3/3.5G adds future proofing - for countries that are looking at switching off 2G coverage to reuse radio band for higherspeed data. 3/3.5G also means phone works with Three in UK which is a 3G and above mobile network.

With all these features though, one would still wonder why anything more than Series 40 is necessary. Therefore use of Android in the Punkt seems excessive.

The Nokia 207 is what the resurrected 3310 should have been. The original 3310 had no camera and nor does the 207. This is great for several reasons: makes it suitable for those environments where cameras are not permitted like some high security workplaces and some rappers concerts! Secondly encourages you to be in the moment of an experience rather than recording it. Thirdly no camera lens to worry about scratching. Adding a camera in the resurrected 3310 was feature creep.

BT Yahoo! customers: Why! can't! we! grrr! delete! our! webmail! accounts!?

Rob Davis

migration of IMAP email using maildev, also backup

If you need to move all your email to a new provider, this tool is fabulous: maildev.com/msgextract-email-migration I used it to migrate an IMAP account from an old service to a new one. The tool is available as a trial and then, to my mind is very reasonably priced. I don't work for them or have any financial interest in them. Very easy to use GUI. It also has a backup facility for backing up the emails as files and extracting attachments. Non-proprietary backup format.

See also: http://imapsync.lamiral.info/ - but I haven't use that

A dual-SIM smartphone in your hand beats two in the bush

Rob Davis

Re: Saygus dual-sim dual microsd waterproof android phone

David Paul Morgan: "nice unit, but not dual-sim (and a bit chunky for my taste). however, worth a look!"

Thanks David - but I have some good news - the phone is dual sim:


- https://youtu.be/UL0FbvymfBo

- "Up to 464 GB storage|Wireless HD beaming|Harman/Kardon sound|21 MP OIS Camera|Dual sim|Waterproof" - "Saygus Team Email Verified" - https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/saygus-v-squared#/story

- twitter @saygus https://twitter.com/Saygus/status/610494731143884800 "Yes, that is Type-C you see. Yes, we now have dual-sim. Yes, prior backers will receive new features. Yes, yours will ship before indiegogo."

Rob Davis

Saygus dual-sim dual microsd waterproof android phone

Hi folks, checkout this phone: https://www.saygus.com/

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/saygus-v-squared#/story - for more detailed specs and video.

(I don't work for them or have any interest in them financially, only discovered them myself recently)

Is Google prepping an ARMY of WALKING ROBOTS?

Rob Davis

Take on amazon in online shopping fulfilment centres?

I had a similar thought to what The Mole posted here, but that Google would use these as pickers in 'dark stores' / 'warehouses', as part of expansion of Google Play into physical goods?

Vodafone flashes bulging package at Brits: New 4G service to rival EE, O2

Rob Davis


Everywhere please!

Review: Crucial M500 960GB SSD

Rob Davis

I really want to like this Crucial drive, but...

I got a Crucial M4 128Gb and it failed on me after about a week, sudden death. Very good customer service from Crucial as it failed within the 50 or so days (not sure what they would have done after that), I got a full refund. And I would like to think that there are many happy M4 users out there and that I was unlucky.

Side story: When the Samsung 840 Pro was announced last September (2012) I was very excited, but it took ages to be available -eventually November/December. I got one for a 3-4 year (or more) Core 2 Duo socket 370 desktop and installed Windows 8 Pro 32bit on it. Result: boot time like a rocket, once past BIOS, Windows 8 takes only a few secs to boot. So I would second other's points about Samsung's apparent reliability (perhaps because they make all their own stuff) and the fact that SSDs run very well on older hardware - my case in point.

Back to point, if I could be convinced that Crucial is as reliable as Samsung then this new Crucial would be very attractive indeed. But I am hesitant from that bad personal experience.

In forums (such as these) one more often tends to hear about the problems than when things go well.

Review: HTC One

Rob Davis

+1 upvote. This to me is a crucial feature of a phone, a communications device that is used for mobile internet which the review neglected. Don't give a t*ss about pixel density, speakers or ui or quad core - none any good if the network is crap - can't download that content to view on such nice hardware.

Rob Davis

Re: Luddites

Cloud is *a* useful place to hold files, as is SD. Neither should be the sole place, they compliment each other. Remember a golden rule about backups: multiple ones. Also bear in mind a recent google drive outage which illustrates it's not infallible.

Also consider *connectivity* - can you get a decent reception / signal AND at speed to connect effectively to the cloud in the first place? The review mentioned none of these vital facts.

Rob Davis

Re: here you go

Thanks thomas k. for the specs - shame the reviewer didnt mention / discuss them. Instead they went on about pixel density, speakers, design. No good if you need to get on the internet and have a high speed internet connection. Thanks for doing what they should have done.

Rob Davis

No mention in the review about 4G, LTE higher speed internet - the phone supports multi-band LTE

Nowhere in the review did you mention 4G or LTE capability which would afford the phone faster internet speeds where such networks are available. That's not to say it doesn't. My point is that the this is a glaring omission of the review.

Looking at the official spec page, the phone does indeed support multi-band LTE, http://www.htc.com/uk/smartphones/htc-one/#specs

From that I would guess that the phone will run on other operator's networks other than the current EE 4G network?

To be frank I think the review was largely superficial: screen pixel density, camera, UI, speakers as all of these are criteria that could be review in many non-phone devices. This is supposed to be a review about a *communications* device, a phone (which I must add in the general trend is that used more for data communications than voice, before you think that I'm on about the basic purpose of a phone to call people; I'm not). Therefore, review should have given attention to the various network types that this phone supports and whether or not they would be compatible with Vodafone's, O2's etc 4G higher speed networks when they roll out, as well as trying it out on EE. And whether or not it can use three's enhanced 3G network technologies.

High speed mobile internet access is patchy in coverage and performance, in the UK anyway, and your review should highlight phones that are compatible with the newest networks that aim to address these issues, as well as keep this issue in the reader's consciousness. It's no good having a phone with a fast quad core processor and fancy features if it is connected to a poor performing network - it might as well be any other non-phone device with those features.

Also agree with other: no microSD, no removable battery - would be handy to have a spare battery on days of heavy usage. USB OTG useful though.

Netbooks were a GOOD thing and we threw them under a bus

Rob Davis

Agree - netbooks are still usable - love my Toshiba NB100 1.6Ghz Atom netbook

Got it in 2009. Upgraded the memory to the max 2Gb and put in a 128Gb Samsung 840 Pro SSD. Runs Windows 7 Pro 32 bit very capably. Swift little dinky work horse. Can change the battery too, the larger expanded battery appears to give me around 6 hours of charge.

Web is turning us into kid-ults with no 'private identities' - report

Rob Davis

Write-only memory: Posts are sometimes more for the benefit of the poster than the readers

Be it attention seeking, approval, need to impress etc.

...which goes against the idea that imparting information is for the benefit of the recipients.

In computing we have Read Only Memory, ROM, that permanently stores data, information. With social media and networking, I suggest we now also have Write-Only Memory, more of a concept about people's interaction than the technical description that ROM is. Write-Only Memory is where *some* are self-concerned with their own output and not anyone else's and they write stuff which is seldom read or valued. What's noticed is that they are saying *something* not the content, goes back to Marshall McLuhan's The Medium Is The Message.

Tell Facebook who's the greatest: YOU are!

Rob Davis

Atom not pixel, moment not memory

Great article. Perhaps the advice is to get out of the bubble and enjoy the randomness of reality more, as the title says: Atom not pixel, moment not memory

2012: The year that netbooks DIED

Rob Davis

2009 9" 1024x600 Toshiba NB100 going strong - replaceable battery - Win7, 2Gb RAM, Samsung SSD

Still like my Toshiba NB100 netbook - while many netbooks have 10" 1024x600 displays, the Toshiba has a 9" display at the same resolution, with a thin bezel/border around the machine making it a dinky little machine indeed. It has a 1.6Ghz single core Atom. It's handy when spare is restricted - e.g. on train journeys.

It's still in use by me today and I have upgraded the RAM to 2Gb from Crucial and replaced the harddisk with a Samsung SSD 840 Pro 128Gb. It runs Windows 7 Professional 32 bit competently with Norton Internet Explorer. The Samsung SSD I fitted means boot time is fast, and once booted, less "settling down time" so that apps can start quicker.

While today's tablets and smartphones are capable of doing many tasks of the Netbook, I still find this netbook relevant for running well known full-blown content creation and "housekeeping" applications. My Toshiba runs Adobe Audition 3.0, Adobe Photoshop Elements 7.0, Beyond Compare 3.0 file comparison, ImgBurn DVD/CD/Blu-ray burner, LibreOffice as well as Chrome for browsing the web. Its VGA out means that I can extend the desktop to a 1920x1080 monitor which it shares with my other machines via a KVM switch.

Another great thing about this netbook is the replaceable battery, which many tablets and some smart phones don't have. Once one battery gets low, I can swap for another one, which means I can be away from a mains charger for longer. Ebay still sells such batteries, including double capacity ones.

Like some have said and for me, the netbook is a handy secondary PC and for while travelling. At home/office, I can leave it doing a job such as backup to a blu-ray writer while I do something more intensive with a main machine.

The hoarder's dilemma, or 'Why can't I throw anything away?'

Rob Davis

Help is at hand: IT recycling, charities, museums and scanners

I've been throwing out stuff for the last few years and feel all the better for it. I don't worry about hoarding something "that might become valuable". Apart from a few sourvenirs of travels, concerts, family and loved ones photos, most things I am disposing of in the following ways, see below. Life is about experiences not things.

IT recycling charity: Jamie's Computers: http://jamies.org.uk/

- Proceeds from re-sale, salvage of materials goes to homeless (they are part of St James charity)

- they take anything IT or electronics: working/broke - from consumers/households for free - if delivered to them during their opening hours

- If it works they may sell it in their ebay store: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/jamiescomputers/

- If it doesn't they will dispose of it following WEEE guidelines or (I believe) sell to scrap dealers (rare earth materials)

Sell or give to friends/family the stuff that is still useful, still works, but not any use to you anymore

- I've done this a few times

Computer Museum: http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/

- Took my Acorn RISC PC (I DHLed it from Staples for 25 quid out of my own pocket - I'd rather do that than just dump it on the local WEEE tip, gone to a good home to give others pleasure). I have a RaspberryPi now - so I will be able to run RISC OS on that.

IT recycling: http://www.viridor.co.uk/

- they take old floppies and CDs/DVDs: break them down into pellets to be used as low-grade mouldings OR as fuel to heat homes

Old Documents - scan in with Double-sided auto document feeder (ADF) all-in-one printer/scanner: Epson Stylus Office BX635FWD


Old film-based (pre-Digital) photos: Major town/city branches of Boots The Chemist on your local high street with a dedicated onsite Photo department and processing service do a great, efficient negative scanning service to CD.

Games, music, DVDs: Charity shops: British Heart Foundation, OxFam music and book shops etc.

Finally - some wise words on clutter - The Many Reasons We Rely Upon Our Clutter written by Leo Babauta.


(I gain no benefit from any of the organisations mentioned, nor work for them - I've simply found them all useful)

That said, I still have quite a lot of stuff: One MacBookPro, Desktop PC, netbook (all of which I've upgraded in one way or another, I love to rejuvenate, the netbook, a Toshiba NB100 will be getting a Samsung 840 Pro SSD soon - why replace - upgrade!), 2 digital radios, 2 TV/monitors, freeview boxes, CD/DVD/Blu-ray burners, speakers, audio mixing console, synthesizer, digital camera, external drives,ebook reader. But all of these are being used actively - when they cease to be, they will be disposed of in one of the ways I mention.

I'm enjoying a less cluttered, minimalist-ish flat.

Fanboys order 2m iPhone 5s in 24 hours

Rob Davis
Thumb Up

Re: Not surprised.

+1 I agree about the evolutionary product philosophy. My iPod Touch will be able to run iOS 6 (though perhaps some features absent). This shows Apple recognises that longevity is quite important to the consumer; it makes them more willing to part with cash with the knowledge that the device will still be relevant 1, 2 or 3 years or more.

Ten iPhone 5 challengers

Rob Davis

But are they all 4G / LTE capable?

...did I miss something but I couldn't see any mention of 4G / LTE compatibility. The iPhone 5 supports one of the standards.

If these phones don't support at least one of the 4G / LTE standards then the claim that these are equivalent iPhone 5 alternatives is incorrect. Preferably for them to have a real edge over the iPhone I think they should support the same standard that the iPhone 5 supports AND the other standards -- for when O2, Vodafone etc. eventually catch up with Everything Everywhere in offering 4G / LTE faster mobile broadband.

(Not an Apple/iPhone fanboi, a HTC Desire Z owner)

Google's stats show few Android tablets in use

Rob Davis

Ergo Electronics have some nice Android-based machines

Birmingham UK based Ergo Electronics have some nice ideas based around Android, some of their products are available now while others have just been announced. http://www.ergoelectronics.com/

I don't work for them but think their site is great and the functionality of their products is relevant: USB host, microSD slots, HDMI outputs, keyboards...

Ten digital radios to suit all budgets

Rob Davis

Roll on 4G & more WiFi hotspots - TuneIn Radio already works well on 3G & WiFi, Revo RadioStation

Assuming mobile internet availability continues to improve, DAB will become less relevant.

TuneIn Radio is an great mobile app - works well on Android on iPod touch in the home. Instead of spending 100 pounds on these radios why not spend it on a cheap Android phone such as the Orange San Francisco or similar, download TuneIn radio from the Android market and hook up some speakers. For the same cost of many radios here, you would have a more versatile, multi-purpose device, that is portable around the home.

Also, my three year old Revo RadioStation portable WiFi/Internet/DAB/DAB+/FM radio is still going strong.

I'm looking forward to forthcoming 4G / LTE roll out this/next year and the expansion of WiFi networks such as in London. Both of these are set to improve the availability of mobile internet to support internet radio apps such as TuneIn. I can already listen to internet radio in my car and hope that the drop-outs due to lack of mobile coverage will reduce as these new mobile networks are rolled out.

Why Java would still stink even if it weren't security swiss cheese

Rob Davis

Programming is embedded in another career as much as it is in devices

I think what the author of the article and some posters may not realise, when they talk of mediocrity or worse among Java programmers (and perhaps those of other languages) is the trend of programming being part of another job. There are many jobs which involve programming but aren't purely software engineering or development roles. Much as a lot of software is found in machines and devices that aren't general purpose computers themselves but something that performs a specific task or tasks: TV, washing machine, car, etc. (However I would say that those who write software for embedded applications need a high level of discipline in memory and CPU usage, ensuring code executes when expected (real time constraints) and extensive testing.)

Would it not be a good thing for those whose job title is not 'programmer' but who can write programs to solve the problems in their field: empowering. This is a development of the trend whereby use of computers is no longer the preserve of computing professionals but for everyone. Further along, the trend suggests that just about *every* job will involve some kind of programming in the future.

Rob Davis

In support of Java: reader "colin the aardvark"'s sensible viewpoint in another Reg article forum

I thought that this post from fellow Reg reader "colin the aardvark" was a sensible viewpoint in support of Java and is realistic about it's limitations but with a real world view of Java's technical competencies as well as the industries it can work within and the skillset issues too:


'Young people don't want to become like us', say IT pros

Rob Davis

Theatre plays are like real time software

I would agree it's all about presentation and context. I was in a lovely theatre play a few years back and if I wanted to put an "interesting" (define that!) spin on computing (if it ever needed it), I would describe a theatre play as having things in common with real time software:

Multiple-threads of execution - multiple actors doing different things

Real time nature - things HAVE to happen at certain times

Synchronisation - some things have to happen in sync with others

Testing - rehearsals

Debugging - removing/modifying troublesome parts of a script (actor's lines or sequence)


Version Control - we all had to edit our scripts in the same way at the same time to be sure we knew what we were supposed to be doing

Subsystems - different parts of the the Theatre's Company (different roles)

Can you think of any more?

Apple introduces 'next generation' MacBook Pro with retina display

Rob Davis
Thumb Up

Impressive specs, would buy but I will remain content with my 2010 MBP for a few more years at least

Impressive specification in the new Mac Book Pro.

Apart from the performance, the build quality of Apple notebooks are very good - clean, light and strong. And I will remain content with my 2010 MacBookPro 17" for another 2 years at least. I'm no fanboi - I also use a Windows 7 / Ubuntu dual boot desktop and a Windows XP netbook.

By then, if I was considering replacing, in 2 years time perhaps hexacore or octocore notebooks with multi core graphics chips, 100Gbit optical Thunderbolt and even faster and bigger flash would be the new state of the art, making those who buy today's latest release as envious then as I would be of them buying this latest update out now.

One can't win at the game of having the latest, as technology marches on. The key is to accept this and be content with what one has for the useful life of the item and realise that most tasks can still be done on that, even if it involves a little more waiting.

Ten... Qwerty mobiles

Rob Davis

Sony X10 Mini Pro and HTC Desire Z

+1 for everyone here praising the Sony X10 Mini Pro. It's a dinky little marvel!

I don't own a X10 Mini Pro but I have a HTC Desire Z which I am happy with.

Google+ dying on its arse – shock new poll

Rob Davis

Give it time. Facebook going for 8 years. G+ underpins other services.

Facebook has been going for 8 years.

G+ is a relative newcomer which is its disadvantage competing against the established.

People's tastes will change too which may work in the favour of G+

G+ shouldn't be directly compared to Facebook. G+ binds lots of services good in their own right together (Gmail, Youtube, Blogger), providing convenience of sign on and sharing.

Too much focus on G+ itself when it is more a underpinning fabric for these services.

A Facebook weakness I can see is being too time-oriented: it's not easy for example to see all the things you Like as a list, there is no notion of favourites or categorised tagging.

Ten... freeware gems for new PCs

Rob Davis

PFrank File Renamer, ImgBurn, Fast Duplicate File Finder, Picasa, Folder Size, Truecrypt

PFrank File Renamer

- Probably the most powerful and flexible Windows-based filename renamer there is and it's free. Well supported in forums. Powerful regex, derived names, generate logs of the renames, etc, undo, with built-in commonly used presets - all done from a Windows application.



Reliable CD,DVD,Blu-ray burning software, burn files direct to disk, or make image files and burn those. Very comprehensive logging, preset Wizard quick guides. Well supported in forums. Free.


Fast Duplicate File Finder

Free basic non-trial version (pro, paid for version provides extra features). Find same files with different names. Uses CRC. Exclude folders from being purged as duplicates (i.e. define the master location).



Photo image browsing across multiple folders. Define which folders get looked at by the program. Free.


Folder Size

Adds the missing folder size feature to Windows 7 - see how much space the contents of folders are taking up. Free basic non-trial version. Paid version provides extra reporting.




All this talk of erasing sensitive data using Eraser or CCleaner. Use truecrypt instead to encrypt the data before it gets written to the hard drive in the first place. Transparent and integrates with Windows, requires you to define a password that you enter once on boot up or if accessing an encrypted drive. Free.

NHS's chances of getting world's best IT: 80% ... maybe*

Rob Davis

Re: Two different languages

+1 Good point. This seems to be a common problem in my experience of working in 5 organisations. For example, different departments have a different name for the same thing.

Wasted conversations clarifying things, confusion among new hires, poor training. At best people agree at worst people don't get this, let alone a solution.

There needs to be a recognised job function - "master term dictionary" maintainer or something.

Content management systems can help like the open source Drupal provide taxonomy (category) management, including synonyms. Another example is the stackexchange.com sites - see how tags for things are well managed here.

Rob Davis

Re: Disunity

+1 on interoperability.

And to further support the point, different systems is a fact of life and this is not a problem if they can interoperate electronically (APIs etc) and automatically (if required) to achieve what is required.

HTC to produce exclusive Facebook smartphone, bitch

Rob Davis

Root phone and forfeit using apps like PingIt money transfer

Barclays PingIt won't work on rooted phones apparently. Quite a useful app for paying people you owe money to. Well phone users in Kenya seem to like the idea of phone based money transfer - which is where the idea gained popularity before it came here - and we're all tech-aware people here, embracing new ways aren't we?

Reason being for not allowing it on rooted handsets is there is a risk perceived with rooted phones and perhaps possible extra support costs.

The risk being that even though the published modded/rooted source and firmware are available, you have to take the supplier of these word for it that the firmware was produced from the source. Ideally you want to believe them (and probably can for some rooted vendors) but the risk is there.

I can see the sense in this policy, given that in the past some freeware sites have been hijacked with malware (always check the MD5 checksums) and the concerns over security on smart phones (perhaps some hysteria but still...) Indeed Barclays offer internet security apps to those who wish to use PingIt.

Panasonic DMP-BDT320 3D Blu-ray player

Rob Davis

Indeed it looks great, but will it compete against Sony Playstation 3 at that price?

For that money one could buy a Playstation 3 and have some change.

I'm guessing the Panasonic has more refinements aimed at the audio fan (like the Super Clarity Mode) as mentioned and perhaps the disc transport itself is quieter.

I hope it does well but there is competition as said.


Getting rich off iPhone apps is b*llocks, say UK devs

Rob Davis

Difference between getting rich and earning a respectable amount with correct app pricing

I'm wondering if the article and posters here have confused the article with getting rich and making a decent amount of cash.

It seems unnecessary black and white to me: the incorrect inference seems to be: "if you can't get rich doing it then why bother at all?" when actually there are shades of success and some might be able to earn a decent income - particularly if apps are priced sensibly.

Moreover perhaps some developers might rightly view success as income from an app being a secondary income to supplement a main one. Sure they can't live off it alone, but it's jolly handy and compensates for their time spent in front of a screen when they could have been doing something else.

I do hope there isn't an artificial debate about app pricing, saying that apps aren't worth more than 99p when some should be priced more.

And what about application rental? This might be another option of developers and actually Adobe for example has launched more rental schemes with its CS products for desktops.

Laptop computers are crap

Rob Davis

Love my 9" Toshiba NB100 XP machine

Dinky versatile swiss army knife of a machine.

Three years old running Windows XP home on 2Gb and a 1.6Hz Atom, 120Gb HD and still a swift little work horse.

Carry it around like a hardback book on the move. At home it hooks up to my 22" 1920x1080 display for extra space and I then forget I'm using a sub-notebook/netbook. Love it. Best of both worlds.

Ice Cream Sandwich gives Android mobes brainfreeze – Sony

Rob Davis

If it doesn't help provide faster mobile internet and longer battery life...

then I'm not interested. Of course software alone would never make these possible -capable network hardware and phone hardware are required.

But I'm looking at a smart phone from a black box point of view, from the experience of it. In other words, any Operating System version beyond Android 2.3 is low on my list of wants.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021