* Posts by fobobob

323 publicly visible posts • joined 18 Nov 2016


Will Flatpak and Snap replace desktop Linux native apps?


Re: Performance isn't free...

Nothing like needing to reboot a machine quickly and have to wait 1.5 minutes per filesystem for it to figure out there's nothing left to do (and with no easily accessible explanation of what exactly is causing it to wait). It's all configurable, and can be quite useful, but the defaults that seem to have been pushed out are not particularly great.

LAPD cops who preferred playing Pokémon Go to tackling robbery can be fired, appeals court rules


Re: Yup yup yup!

I like to dabble with DCSS ('crawl') while i'm waiting on processes to complete - it's nice and non-committal as well. For my dad, it was Freecell/sol/winmine.

Fans of original gangster editors, look away now: It's Tilde, a text editor that doesn't work like it's 1976


From that screenshot, one might think they maybe ported EDIT.COM to Linux...

Remember SoftRAM 95? Compression app claimed to double memory in Windows but actually did nothing at all


I am recalling that my dad had to include a dial code in the connection string to get this to stop. Thankfully, decades have passed since I last *needed* to use a dial-up connection.

If you have a QNAP NAS, stop what you're doing right now and install latest updates. Do it before Qlocker gets you


Re: Infection vector

Only time (that i'm aware of) that i've had a device get comped - I forwarded SSH(22) to a machine that I had forgotten had a users/pass combo test/test lying around. Several weeks later, the computer suddenly began DoS'ing... log analysis suggested it was entirely automated, and took around 8 hours (and many thousands of tries) to guess test/test after it was found (with maybe a few dozen entries from the weeks prior, almost entirely from myself) .

Googler demolishes one of Apple's monopoly defenses – that web apps are just as good as native iOS software


I'm not sure that the distinction is all that significant...

El Reg checks in with Rocket Lab's Peter Beck to see how that hat tastes amid reusable rockets and swelling payloads


Re: That's a new one!

Indeed, even empty, it's more than twice the weight of the record-setting helicopter lift of some ~57 tons (Mil Mi-26)... So at least it seems like it's within the limits of human technology.

British gambling giant Betfred told to pay stiffed winner £1.7m jackpot after claiming 'software problem'


Re: Minimal Viable Product

I see you've read some of O'Reilly's latest works:

"Just Getting it Out the Damned Door"

"Leveraging Your Customer QA Base"

What happens when a Chrome extension with 2m+ users changes hands, raises red flags, doesn't document updates? Let's find out


Re: Who still uses extensions in Chrome anyway?

Keeps runaway tabs from ever being able to consume more than 2GB of RAM within a single process. I can't really think of any other fringe benefits.


Re: They go after the older weaker members of the herd

+1 - also rtorrent if you like ncurses.

After 11 years, Australia declares its national broadband network is ‘built and fully operational’


Re: "tri-state binary"

Close - "scuzzy logic"

Roma, we've had un problema: When every flight's final destination is a date with Windows Boot Manager


It would appear that the Windows registry has been unregistered.

Buggy chkdsk in Windows update that caused boot failures and damaged file systems has been fixed


The Microsoft way.

Productising your beta testing for fun and profit.

Windows might have frozen – but at least my feet are toasty


Re: Fire hazard

A slight one-up - the warehouse inventory computer at a custom bolt+fastener shop. Metallic dust that I vacuumed as best I could, but otherwise didn't want to mess with. Was working on a software issue, though provided a similar solution: put the tower inside of a large cabinet to minimize the death-glitter incursion.


Power supply fan

Had a power supply fan that was making a noise, and I kept putting off replacing it... one day, I guess it seized (never checked, but the assumption seems reasonable), and the other fan in the front of the case was moving just enough air to draft the blue-white smoke from the PSU's internal immolation out the back. Computer stayed running up until I shut it off at the power strip.

Mysterious metal monolith found in 'very remote' part of Utah


Re: Period

All too often, I find myself pining for the fnords...

The GIMP turns 25 and promises to carry on being the FOSS not-Photoshop


Re: Can you really get a version that says "Bringing on........

Most of the slow instances of Gimp I've encountered stall while loading fonts. Start it with the -f option and see if it loads any faster. Why it sometimes has issues with needing to regenerate the font cache on every load, I do not know.

Police chopper chasing a crim near an airport? Ideal time to use my laser pointer, says Texas idiot now behind bars


Re: Retroreflectors?

Retroreflectors ideally reflect photons parallel to their original course (i'm ignoring the specifics of how photons interact with mirrors, as i feel it needlessly pedantic), with a varying degree of offset dependent on the original course and mirror arrangement. If designed properly, they come very close to what you say they are not. A simple mirror just deflects light dependent on the angle of incidence.

Does not mean they're actually useful for this application, just I feel they've been mischaracterized here.

Hmmmm, you know what Azure PowerShell is lacking? Some Predictive Intellisense


Re: But why?

Never got certified, but I took a few classes in the XP/2K3 days and can say my experiences aligns well with yours. Between those and a full Cisco CCNA course (never certified, again) in high school, it provided me with a pretty robust set of skills for dealing with all things Windows/networking. I have never felt it was wasted effort/money despite never having administered a corporate domain or deployed/managed an extensive Cisco network.



It's already huge and slow to launch (seems like 2-3 seconds is the fastest I've EVER gotten a prompt, and the range is normall 5-30) compared to cmd.exe ... so why the heck not? Would certainly be more approachable if you could get some context-sensitive help as you were typing, rather than just cycling through lists of CamelCase-Hyphenated tokens. Otherwise, I find I frequently have to abort the command to invoke contextual help, or do it online.

When you tell Chrome to wipe private data about you, it spares two websites from the purge: Google.com, YouTube


Re: *cough*Bollocks!*cough*


Ethernet failure on Swiss business jet prompted emergency descent, say aviation safety bods


Re: Back to the future

Meanwhile in America https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornfield_Bomber

(I can't recall when our first fully automatic *intentional* landing was, but this has always amused me)


Re: Aerodynamic forces just get beyond human muscles

DC-9 in particular has control tabs (operated directly by the yoke and pedals) for all primary flight controls. The rudder is hydraulically powered, but will fall back to tabs automatically if lost. Also has a hydraulic pusher for the elevators that would be used when trying to recover from high AoA situations where airflow might be insufficient to allow the control tabs to move the elevators properly. It is a very 'analog' plane by today's standards.

To elaborate, control tabs are a smaller control surface that moves opposite the desired control deflection, and basically fly the control surface into position. As their effectiveness increases with speed (up to a point), controls remain reasonably light on a smaller aircraft.

For more details on this and secondary flight controls (flaps and spoilers are also hydraulic), see http://www.hilmerby.com/dc9/flap.html

- I had originally written in 'servo tab', but that is a related concept used to reduce control forces on otherwise directly linked surfaces... on DC-9, the control tabs are the only thing linked directly to the controls.

Trucking hell: Kid leaves dad in monster debt after buying oversized vehicle on eBay


Re: Flashback

Monster Truck Madness predates Midtown Madness by several years (1996/1999, respectively). Really enjoyed dialing up the horsepower and other vehicle parameters in the game data files of Midtown, leading to such fun as accidentally driving up the sides of buildings and other glitches. :) ...

Both great games, along with Motocross Madness. Each of them have at least one follow-on version that provide additional content, improved game engine, etc. Still good fun if you're not looking for photorealism, accurate physics, or realistic damage models.

America's largest radio telescope blind after falling cable slashes 100-foot gash in reflector dish


Re: Don't forget...

I only watched it for the first time a few months ago, but played the Nintendo 64 game extensively as a child. The faithfulness of the game to the movie is pretty impressive, given its being segmented into discrete missions, and the limitations of the console itself.

You may be distracted by the pandemic but FYI: US Senate panel OK's backdoors-by-the-backdoor EARN IT Act


The world is a deceptively small lift, hurtling through space.

Devuan Beowulf 3.0 release continues to resist the Debian fork's Grendel – systemd


Re: "It solves a problem that people have."

Being able to reorder and enable/disable your boot scripts with nothing more than 'mv' comes in handy from time to time, and can even be done through init=/bin/sh if something went wrong.

'Beyond stupid': Linus Torvalds trashes 5.8 Linux kernel patch over opt-in Intel CPU bug mitigation


Re: @devTrail - What kind of opt-in was it?

Need a multi-GHz 64-bit analog to the i8080 - no out-of-order anything, no pipelining, no nothing.

Software bug in Bombardier airliner made planes turn the wrong way


Check the radar range!

Boeing brings back the 737 Max but also lays off thousands


Re: What will insurance premiums be ?

737-MAX 10 has main landing gear that extend by several inches when fully down: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4IGl4OizM4

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you


Handicapper General

Handicapper General?

Seems almost everything they've done in the past 10 years has made my job/general use more difficult than it needs to be.

You've duked it out with OS/2 – but how to deal with these troublesome users? Nukem


Re: Error

Very true, though with 4x ~2GB partitions on 5x ~8GB SCSI disks, it might be possible to make that much storage available.


Re: Downgrading OS/2 to Windows 3, really?

I remember seeing the lonely Warp machine languishing at a standalone desk with a burned in Mag CRT every time I went to my dad's office as a kid, well into the early 2000s. I was told never to touch it. Would not be shocked to learn that it still exists in spirit form, in a VM.



""so the process took only 1 to 2 to seconds to run, even on old 40GB IDE HDDs. "

Just noting here that it should probably be 40MB not 40GB; 40GB would have been rather expensive when Win 3.x was relevant.

BOFH: Here he comes, all wide-eyed with the boundless optimism of youth. He is me, 30 years ago... what to do?


Re: Mixed Feelings

Mine turns out to be 07-13-91. Forgive the date format, it's 'Made in the U S A' (as am I), according to the rather wide lettering at the bottom of its label. I am not much older than it, and acquired it relatively recently, but I don't plan on parting with it any time soon.

Going Dutch: The Bakker Elkhuizen UltraBoard 950 Wireless... because looks aren't everything


Re: "as your mum once told me"

I'm probably somewhat biased as I never got to use a new one, but at a previous job, those were the standard deployment. Unfortunately, it seemed that about 3/4 of them had 'sticky' keys that couldn't be depressed smoothly (key support tube binding in its channel), making it impossible to do more than 40wpm without significant error rate.

Early adopters delighted as Microsoft pulls plug on Mobile Backend as a Service. Haha, only joking – they're fuming


Re: not sure anything programmed will last more than a few years

As further testament to this fact, Bungie updated the original Halo for PC to run properly on Windows 10. It's tiny, as far as game patches go (~6MB), so I doubt they had to change all that much.

If you're running Windows, I feel bad for you, son. Microsoft's got 99 problems, better fix each one


Re: Just how many lines of code

Several, but I think they're mostly comments.

Built to last: Time to dispose of the disposable, unrepairable brick


Re: Given that the X201 still runs fast enough for what I need

Recently upgraded my ~7 year old Latitude E5430 to the fastest Ivy Bridge dual core (higher clock is more desirable than more threads in my use case) I could get my hands on; with 8GB of RAM and a decent SSD, it's more than enough for most tasks. Sandy/Ivy bridge was about the point in time where it seems like Intel stopped trying, until recently, so it has worked out quite well. Sadly, can't upgrade the machine past 8GB, though it seems a factory option was available for 16GB. At work, we have a few Ivy Bridge laptops with 4x DIMM slots, and support for 32GB RAM, good for a few more years running Windows 8.


16:10 monitors are a wonderful thing, especially when one must work on 16:9 content. Trying to work on 1920x1080 content on a same-sized screen is a nuisance. I finally got my hands on a lot of 5x ~7-8 year old HP 1920x1200 monitors for work and home, and couldn't be happier. Heck, I even found the 2x 1680x1050 monitors I had been using previously at work to be significantly less annoying than a single 1920x1080 monitor, as the 30px vertical loss isn't noticeable when you already have to scroll.

LCD pwn System: How to modulate screen brightness to covertly transmit data from an air-gapped computer... slowly


Re: Ben-Gurion University

Next up: Method of data exfiltration involving the modulation of the user's head scratching and/or wincing from frustration. A calibrated skin cell/dandruff detector hidden on the user's chair provides feedback of the user's state.

Time to patch your lightbulb? Researchers demonstrate Philips Hue exploit


Re: Is this just Hue?

The CVE mentioned in the article is for a buffer overflow exploit in Philips' firmware; the exploit does seem to be doing something within the ZigBee software stack (ZigBee Light Link), as implemented there. That does raise concerns that maybe this is not limited to one manufacturer.

What are those Windows 10 PCs running? Several flavours from 2019, by the looks of things


Re: Mine is running an old windows 10

32GB (eMMC) ought to be enough for anybody.

SAP co-CEO: I'm leavin' on a jet plane... Davos knows that I'll be back again...Oh babe, I hate to go (back to work)


Re: Airliner fuel efficiency

As a note for posterity, I did not take time to read the flight taker's name and have misgendered them. Oops.


Airliner fuel efficiency

On long hauls, modern airliners with very high passenger loads can easily rival or exceed the fuel economy of the best ICE/hybrid cars. On average, they seem pretty comparable, especially when considering the amount of driving done with only 1 or 2 passengers. Of course, I'm guessing this guy's flight wasn't particularly packed.

Clunk, whirr, buzz, whine. Shared office space can be a riot and sounds like one too


Motion detector

Recently had an ultrasonic motion detector at my office go haywire and emit a high frequency whistle at an unusually high volume. The pitch was roughly what one might expect from a large CRT television, but much louder. It also created hot/cold spots (constructive/destructive interference) where it was unbearable/inaudible. Even older employees whose ears had poor high frequency sensitivity could hear it at times, or at least feel the sound pressure. Solved by wrapping masking tape around it until the interference patterns were 'adjusted' to not bother anyone while they were at their desks. It eventually stopped emitting noise, having failed entirely. Still has a working PIR module on the same unit, so all is well.

Blackout Bug: Boeing 737 cockpit screens go blank if pilots land on specific runways


After having seen more photos of the damage (more available now at that link), in this case photos of both sides of the vertical stabilizer (i suppose they flipped it over), that puncture (seems to have gone clean through it) does suggest something of relatively high velocity striking it, from the side. I've seen more than my share of crash photos, but I don't recall having seen anything like that on a relatively undamaged tail; the vertical tail seems to be the one flight surface that often survives relatively intact, in all but the most forceful of impacts... plenty of exceptions, but it's quite often the single largest contiguous section of aerodynamic surface that remains after impact.


Large photo of the purported 'shrapnel' damage can be seen here (there's a link above the photo to load the large version), and turns out to be rocks/other debris:


There's a large hole torn above one of the passenger windows, but also inconsistent with warhead penetrators.

LibreOffice 6.4 nearly done as open-source office software project prepares for 10th anniversary


Re: Usability

For an example of a piece of computer software with a truly terrible ribbon, look to Articulate Storyline. Totally non-customizable, beyond being able to kind of set up some quick access shortcuts. The whole program is like a post-lobotomy PowerPoint; no VBA, no custom keyboard shortcuts, glitchy drag-drop...


Re: Usability

A colleague of mine and I have come to refer to this as the Linux philosophy... Have good depth and breadth of features, but terrible, terrible defaults.