* Posts by Rob Davis

241 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Aug 2007


Asahi Linux project shows progress in graphics drivers on Apple's M1

Rob Davis

Enables something else not thought of yet. Also: Linux support for installing on APFS like NTFS?

Technical challenges like these always have value: for the satisfying intellectual challenge, comradeship but also they may well enable a further feat not thought of yet that will have further value. Inherently worthwhile. As well reuse of ideas, ways of working for other projects, friendships nurtured.

Running Linux directly on the NTFS filesystem was something fairly recently reported by TheRegister. This would mean that one could install Linux on an existing Windows installation. Highly useful in several cases I think: no need to partition, can share files more directly.

Linux on APFS then too? This takes the same concept of Linux on NTFS as outlined above but for Apple machines. This would compliment the work being done here with running Linux on M1. The work required would be for Linux kernel to support being run on APFS like has been done for NTFS.

OpenVMS on x86-64 reaches production status with v9.2

Rob Davis


Perhaps a port to ARM and RISC V might be something to consider.

DEC alpha was RISC and could run VMS, though the alpha's ISA would be significantly different from ARM and RISC-V tand so go against being able gain a lot of the original knowledge gained to re-use for these newer chips.

Did you know Twitter has an open-source arm? This is what it's been up to

Rob Davis

maildev.com desktop tools help email migration and archiving (no affiliation)

Check it out. Awesome. Visual tool for building the migration you need - to move all your email and folder hierarchy to another email provider.

Also does archiving - each email as a file, folder structure retained. Can define file name title in custom format e.g. email title, sender, receiver, date. Handles titles with same name. Handles attachments - separate folder etc.

Very comprehensive tool.

No affiliation, incentive or referral to me.

Atlassian Jira, Confluence outage persists two days on

Rob Davis

Host your own opensource with Drupal Burndown agile/kanban, though self-host will not suit all

https://www.drupal.org/project/burndown - this provides a Kanban or Agile Board ticketing system.

1. Get a digitalocean vps for about 10-20 pounds per month. Or host on a raspberry pi. Rationale for these smallish servers is that if the ticketing system is only used by the business, then a large scale server for a public site is not necessary.

2. Map to a web domain, if hosted on a raspberry pi over a non-static IP, use a registrar with a dynamic dns server, like joker

3. Setup a LAMP stack on the server

4. on the server get and install drupal open source CMS, and add the burndown module, also open source, free

5. setup email to send notifications, perhaps use zoho mail - low cost

6. manage backups yourself and security updates

No affiliation, financial incentive or referall benefits of the above to me. There are likely other similar open source solutions out there. Bugzilla comes to mind but I'm not sure how well it works for most recent processes these days, having not used it for many years.

The above will not suit all. There is always going to be a cost and risk whatever approach and that includes consider self-hosting. With the greater control of self-hosting, comes a requirement to have the knowledge in-house and manage the server which means billable time out of one or more staff, along with a process for absence and when those staff move on, offboarding, onboarding.

Cloud has the benefits to those whose business core competence/reason for existing is not to manage a ticketing system. Which makes the cloud a valid consideration. I've used cloud services includingJIRA in some roles as a developer, as well as trello and pivotaltracker.

Still, having options is healthy and the self-hosting may suit some who already have teams in the business of doing that kind of work already with the related skillset.

Windows 11 growth at a standstill amid stringent hardware requirements

Rob Davis

What actually is it in the processor that Windows 11 needs? x86-64 is x86-64 right?

Apart from the TPM, the secure boot and any other periphery that Windows 11 dictates, what actually is it in the processor that Windows 11 needs?

When I go on the Microsoft site about the supported CPUs, I can't find anything that says why those CPUs are the supported ones.

They all run x86-64, like the non-supported CPUs, which some folks have got Windows 11 to work on.

Do these supported CPUs have new instructions in their instruction set that the non-supported CPUs don't.

I suppose the other way would be to run Windows 11 in a VM on non supported hardware so that the VM software emulates the additional CPU instructions.

Some VM software is thin or light, in that it runs directly on the metal at boot time, so this could be a viable option.

Canada invests in chip and photonics future

Rob Davis

Back to something like the good old days when Nortel was around?

Good news!

It generates a feel good sentiment that resembles that during Nortel Networks reign, in a region dubbed Silicon North. Nortel being something big in the opto electronics market with it's fibre optic network hardware.

This time around, I'd imagine the industry sector is more mature in terms of it's outlook and so would be more likely to avoid any dotcom bubble that posed a challenge to companies including Nortel. I'd hope so.

Meet Neptune OS, an attempt to give seL4 a Windows personality transplant

Rob Davis

Windows 32bit Driver support?

Good to see.

Windows compatible operating systems solve the problem of 32bit windows going officially end of life in 2025. Windows 10 32bit is the last 32bit mainstream desktop Windows OS from Microsoft, which one could therefore say is the last official one.

With WINE, major inroads have been achieved with running Windows applications without Windows.

But what about drivers? That to me is where a full alternative to Windows OS (or, at least something like that) appeals, rather than just a compatibility layer. Unless that layer includes driver support.

That's why ReactOS appeals (and maybe Neptune?) But it is not there yet - from personal experience - I can't get it to install on real hardware (yet) - reference: https://jira.reactos.org/browse/CORE-18045 . Maybe it works for hardware other than mine (I hope so). And I'm optimistic. I will cheer ReactOS on.

Good on "The register" for giving ReactOS coverage, too, that can add fuel to the cause.

Related: FreeDOS article and my post: https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2022/02/23/freedos_13/#c_4418876

FreeDOS puts out first new version in six years

Rob Davis

ReactOS open source 32bit Windows, following a similar journey to maturity hopefully.

As FreeDOS is to MSDOS, ReactOS is to Windows NT 4 32bit and further 32bit Windows.

Though FreeDOS seems to be much further along with its maturity, let's hope ReactOS continues similarly. I say hope, because the last of official support for 32bit Windows ends with Windows 10 going EOL in 2025. There is only a 64bit version of Windows 11.

Beyond 2025, one can still run Windows 10 of course, it won't receive updates. Though there may be some special cases as was with previous Windows EOL. Just that from the general public standpoint, I would not expect it to be.

What better then, to have a drop in replacement in the form of ReactOS, which aims to be a 32bit Windows, which will run all that vintage hardware. Great to avoid landfill for perfectly good hardware. Although some say ReactOS is an equivalent for Windows NT 4.0 32bit, I'd say it's reasonable to assume this includes Windows XP 32bit, some of the demos of software running on it imply as much.

And as this article's author says "Retro computing is a valid hobby in its own right, of course". Totally agree - it's a passage back to the nostalgia of perhaps simpler times, along with the satisfying intellectual challenge of keeping old hardware going or resurrecting it, along with the camraderie of community, getting more value for money out of hardware because it lasts longer and addressing that e-waste landfill issue. Good all round!

For me I have an old sound card, a classic Yamaha SW1000XG that runs perfectly under Windows 10 32bit Pro, with XP drivers. I have it in a very good looking Node 2 Box from Fractal systems, attached to a fanless Gigabyte J3455N-D3H with built in Celeron. I call it a vintage MIDI sound module that just so happens to run Windows, rather than the other way around! So, by 2025, if ReactOS has come along further, I'm hoping to run that instead of Windows 10 32bit. If not, I'll just carry on running W10 but detached from the internet.

Intel's plan to license x86 cores for chips with Arm, RISC-V and more inside

Rob Davis

Exciting. They're having to evolve their business model just like Microsoft.

Microsoft have changed tack in recent years: Visual Studio Code, cross platform. WSL2 (which from experience is very good). Integration with Android. Open sourcing some other software too. Enhanced developer relations. I think they're saying: "we still have Windows, and Office but we do lots of other things too that can run on other platforms."

Now, Intel are doing something like this: "Yes we have x86 but we recognise other platforms and will work with them." Even, integrate them together. Provide solutions - answers to questions, rather than just answers without a question. The hybrid concept of x86 and ARM on one package has always interested me, the ability to run x86 Windows and APPs alongside Android apps natively, in tablets or even some phones. Good to see RISC-V on the table, they're not missing a trick there.

It's what a business should do, move with the times. Enlightened Pragmatism.

No affiliation from me.

Worried about occasional npm malware scares? It's more common than you may think

Rob Davis

to store packages in git or not that is the question

Good article for awareness, thank you.

It resurrects the dilemma I have about what to store in git and wonder what other readers think: to store whole dependency packages in git or not.

If one stores everything in their project in git, including the dependency packages complete source code, the whole project and exact code is stored, which can provide assurance that where it is deployed, it will always be the same. And when any changes from a package update will be seen as git changes. So this can make it quicker to see changes. However, pull requests could be large, making it take longer to find changes to the project's own code by a developer, if the changes required dependency updates to be included in the same commit. I suppose it depends on how git commits are managed.

On the other hand, if one only stores the dependency list files i.e. the .json etc files and not the dependency code itself, then code reviews can be quicker and docus on changes to the project's own code, more time to focus on them, picking up more faults that might have been missed otherwise. But, by just including the package list in git, then the code in the packages won't be seen in the review if changed, which is where security issues can creep in.

This is consideration for other development platforms such as php and php composer, too.

What do you folks think?

I guess there might need to be more stewardship at npm source. I think microsoft have some involvement (ownership?) so their experience of malware and counteracting tools could be useful here.

Just because you can do it doesn't mean you should: Install Linux on NTFS – on the same partition as Windows

Rob Davis

APFS support in future?

Would be nice for Apple's file system to be supported in the same way:

- So that one can run "triple" boot macOS/Windows (boot camp)/Linux more simply - getting more out of machine

- Better performing Docker based local dev environments direct on Linux

- Repurposing inevitable x86 mac obsolescence - keep macOS for benefits of that, and perhaps a bit further beyond when x86 update support stops, before it gets too dated but in parallel start using Linux more on same machine - still very capable. Though drivers for touch/trackpad may need some work - work quite well in alpha for mac trackpad on Linux when I looked over a year ago. Could of course do Linux boot native on mac if install on Windows bootcamp partition now already (as this very article suggests), and work out how to point boot option at this - https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/378754/triple-boot-mac-win10-ubuntu-how-to-restore-original-copy-of-windows-efi-to-ens

I'm all for extending life of hardware on many levels, help environment, save money, thrill of innovation as well as actual benefits of reusing what one has now.

Open hardware smartphone PinePhone Pro starts to ship – to developers only, for now

Rob Davis

HiSense eink a7 cc colour phone, android permissions

For those interested in eink devices, checkout the hisense colour eink android 10 phone, a7 cc, there's also a black and white version.

Eink fans might also like the Boyou Likebook P78. Hires Black and white eink and one of the few ebooks that has a microsd slot, support for up to 256gb. I own one with said card and it us superb. Android 8, so can also run google books and even kindle on it. Uk online store onbuy good place tk buy from, i did. No affiliation.

As for privacy issues, Google/android permissions ate attrocious: very coarse granuarilty: why let an ebook reader have full read, write and delete access to your entire google drive, that's why the microsd appeals.

Ive raised the permissions issue with Google here: https://issuetracker.google.com/issues/204692011

Thought NHS Digital's wind-down meant it would stop writing cheques? Silly you. It's gone on an IT buying spree

Rob Davis

IT helps administrate treatments

Agree: a computer isn't going to cure someone. Medicines, surgery and other professional care will.

However, IT is an essential instrument in helping administrate all of the above: appointment bookings, patient self-service such as prescription ordering, analytics for resource planning. All to get the best value from efficiencies.

As for these spending rounds, I would think these would be applicable under the new organisation. If a need for them was identified, I would want to think that need would still be the case after the reorg.

Facebook sues scraper who sold 178 million phone numbers and user IDs

Rob Davis

solidproject.org - Tim Berners-Lee - profile information stored at the edge and permission to share

This issue with regard to contact sharing looks like it could benefit from the work Tim Berners-Lee is doing, as reported in TheRegister recently: https://www.theregister.com/2021/10/04/column_data_privacy/

I think this is about his work on the solidproject.org

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

Rob Davis

Re: Sounds like they're trying to protect the livelihoods of the buggy-whip makers

They should look at Digital Radio Mondiale.


Rob Davis

Re: Don't touch FM!!!!

Touch AM instead - find out listening figures for AM and consider rolling out Digital Radio Mondiale on there - https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2021/10/22/smart_speakers_dab_dcms_radio_review/#c_4355668

Rob Davis

Digital Radio Mondiale - digital AM

In that goverment doc, there was a short paragraph mentioning Digital Radio Mondiale - and that no plans for UK broadcasters to develop in this area.

No further comment was given as to reasoning.

I feel this is a real shame. There is so much potential with Digital Radio Mondiale on AM. The codecs these days are so advanced at low bitrates that good quality stereo audio can be achieved on AM bands as has been proven elsewhere in the world. The power requirement and coverage range of Digital Radio Mondiale is impressive and it will also work on FM.

A vested interest in DAB seems to me to deter attention to AM. The transformation difference between analogue mono and low quality AM sound to higher fidelity stereo audio is much more stark than going from FM to DAB/DAB+, as well the coverage range.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but we might have gone in too early with DAB at the beginning, when codecs were more primitive, MP2 (not MP3) was the original DAB standard and also the apparent lack of error correction perhaps contributing to the characterist mud flat burbling when interferences. Further on the codec point, DAB being touted by some, it seems, as CD quality was a lie really - with 96Kbs or 128Kbps DAB on Mp2, some mono! could never have been CD quality. Radio 3 fought for 160Kbps Mp2 stereo I'd imagine. But then we could be applauded for trying by being among the first to implement.

I guess it might also depend on if a broadcast only standard is worth investing in versus internet broadcasting - which is also an exciting area, having made amazing progress over the last 20 years particularly with mobile networks. But at least with a simple one to many broadcasting system, the reception may be better in more places, save mobile bandwidth, as well as direct relationship between the broadcaster and listener, without any data analysis and associated privacy concerns. Mind you, such analysis might be necessary for recommendation engines to help keep services viable.

Now we have advanced codecs such as AAC+, eAAC+ and the open ogg-live opus standards too.

I'm sure Andrew Orlowski would have something to say if he was still writing at TheRegister!

Analogue tones of a ZX Spectrum Load set to ride again via podcast project

Rob Davis

Vinyl music record album - with BBC program

I recall from the 1980s that one rock/pop band had a BBC program on at least part of one side of their vinyl record LP album release.

This was designed to be played into the BBC micro tape input just like the usual tape machine, to load the program in. As such this would have therefore been the same variant, CUTS, of the Kansas City Standard for digital storage on analogue tapes - so I would understand, from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansas_City_standard#Home_and_personal_computers

Back in the mid-late 1980s, I saw that rock/pop band on Number 73, Saturday Morning Kids/Youth ITV show, talking about it in an interview. I can't remember the band name. However some searching suggests it could have been one of these: Mainframe - Talk to Me ( ref: https://stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=15405 ) or Kissing the Pink - The otherside of heaven ( ref: https://orchardoo.com/histsingle2.htm ).

Such a concept of combining music audio and digital data on physical analogue media resembles the concept with the CD: where CD mixed mode and CD plus CD extended standards. CD audio was the red book standard, CD-ROM was yellow book and CD plus (separate audio and CD-ROM parts on same CD) was the blue book standard - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Books Some of those latter standards appeared to come after the aforementioned here vinyl with computer program concept - wonder if that inspired those later CD standards?

Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the BBC stage a very British coup to rescue our data from Facebook and friends

Rob Davis

This looks like the Solid Project

Looks like the article is referring to: https://solidproject.org/ https://solid.mit.edu/

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: 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.