* Posts by Smirnov

218 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Dec 2016


Time for a Geeko remix: openSUSE is looking for a new logo


Re: Priorities

"Seriously though... what does SUSE have to offer as a distro these days? What distinguishes them? Why would I choose them over, say, Devuan?"

SUSE, like Red Hat, offers an enterprise grade Linux distribution called SUSE Enterprise Linux (SEL), supported by enterprise-level support. SEL also happens to be the prime platforms for a number of software packages like SAP.

SUSE also is, like Red Hat, one of the main contributor to the Linux ecosystem (even more so than say Canonical, which actually contributes less than even Microsoft).

Devuan, well, is pretty much the complete opposite of SEL, and mostly built for people who hate modern Linux and prefer an OS stuck in 2008 or so.

Besides, the article is about openSUSE (the community which builds free/non-commercial openSUSE distros, based on SEL packages) and not SUSE (the enterprise Linux vendor).

Chromebooks are problematic for profits and planet, says Lenovo exec


Re: Bad for the environment?

"A Chromebook is typicaly low-spec"

No, it's not. Not everyone buys computers at a Target Sale or at Walmart, and not all ChromeBook customers work in education.

ChromeBooks are very common in many larger organizations, also because the TCO is so much lower than with Windows. For example, the lowest ChromeBook config we use are 10th gen i3, 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD, although these days most standard laptops are 11th+ gen quadcore i5 and 256GB SSD. We also use models with fast i7 processors, 16 or 32GB RAM and larger SSDs. All inside business grade laptops (which look and feel the same as any other premium business grade laptop).


Re: chromebooks suck

"I bought an asus chromebook and it sucks."

No, you bought an Asus computer and it sucks. It sucks because Asus is crap.

"had it 2 months before the touchscreen died, not repairable, no longer in stock even though it was only build 10 months ago and half my android apps wouldn't work on it."

And you came to the conclusion that the touchscreen died because it's a ChromeBook how, exactly?

Steam client drops support on macOS, but adds it on Linux


Re: The entire x86-32 platform is declining

"That's been true for quite a while."

No, it hasn't.

"My Windows box is a P4, 32 bit. A few months back I got a Linux magazine with cover disc for €1 (to shift old stock). Put it in, rebooted, saw a tiny text message saying I needed another 32 bits for it to work. Nowhere was this mentioned (I'd not have bought it if it said it was x86-64 as I know I don't have that). I think, these days, it's just assumed that all the ancient hardware is either dead, forgotten, or landfill."

Seriously? The last Pentium4 that was 32bit only was Northwood which came out in 2002, that was *two decades ago*. Subsequent P4s all had intel64 (intel's variant of AMD's x64 extensions) and likely would have booted that Linux disc.

While I'm all for keeping older systems running, 22 years is really stretching it, especially when the processor in question has been a POS since the day it was released. And considering the horrific performance/Watt ratio of intel's dreadful NetBurst architecture, recycling is where anything with a Pentium 4 should have been (and mostly has been) headed many years ago.

Pretty much any PC that is given away for free to a willing taker is likely to run circles around that antique in terms of performance and energy efficiency. There is really no point holding onto that P4.

Google Drive misplaces months' worth of customer files


The data isn't gone - it's the GDrive Windows client

Had this happen to me today on all my GDrive accounts - lots of newer files gone AWOL.

This was on Windows. Checked Google Drive on the web, all data there. Checked Google Drive on my Macs, all data there. Checked Google Drive contents on Linux (GNOME), all data there.

Only on Google Drive for Windows the files are missing (on all my Windows machines).

So it seems that no data has actually been lost, it's just that the Google Drive client for Windows fails to show data beyond a certain date.

Take Windows 11... please. Leaks confirm low numbers for Microsoft's latest OS


Re: Millions of people do manage to work with Windows

"Millions of people do manage to work with Windows, often on large deployments of hundreds or thousands of pcs."

That's like saying "eat shit, billions of flies can't be wrong!"

It's probably more accurate that millions of people are forced to work with Windows and Microsoft applications, mostly because of the heard mentality of their employer. Which is also reflected in their TCO, which is notably higher than for other platforms like Macs or ChromeOS (both easier to manage across large fleets than Windows).


Re: I also don't get the bit about the online account.

"You are basically forced into making one if you buy a Mac... No one complains about any of those, but when Microsoft does it, the entire village comes out with their pitchforks and torches. It's fascinating to me from an anthropological perspective."

No-one complains about it because what you wrote is BS, plain and simple. There is no online requirement for Macs, and never has been. During installation, users are asked if they want to login using their Apple ID, but that's optional (and unlike Microsoft, Apple doesn't even hide the option).

"I also don't get the bit about the online account. "

My feeling is that this isn't the only thing you don't seem to get.

Intel offers $179 Arc A580 GPU to gamers on a budget


"Yes, but gamers are not "realistic" people. They are the kind of people who max out their gaming rigs to get the total experience"

Only in e-Sports and in ads. In the real world, PC gamers rarely splurge for the upper tier, in fact most gaming rigs are mostly in the middle class. Simply because aside from synthetic benchmarks the benefit fo spending >$1k for a GPU even in AAA titles is negligible.

Not even the ghost of obsolescence can coerce users onto Windows 11


Re: not happening

"Oh come on! That security incident was 6 or 7 years ago and lasted ONE day!"

It lasted one day because the hackers were idiots (they managed to replace install media with manipulated ones, but didn't change the checksum files), which is why it was discovered so quickly.

It could have easily ended worse and the fact that this was even possible suggests a lack of security hygiene.

"Microsoft has been hacked many times and its entire Windows source code has been leaked."

So your argument is it's fine because someone else is worse? That's a rather stupid argument to make.

"And tens of thousands of highly confidential government emails were pilfered by Chinese hackers because Microsoft couldn't be bothered to properly vet a digital certificate in its Azure infrastructure! Mind you, this is supposedly the "highly secure" government Azure domain, not the commercial one used by businesses."

Yes, Azure is shit, but still, comparing the complexity of a global cloud infrastructure with the website of a community Linux distro is a bit silly, really.

Fact is that, if you want Linux, there are much better options than Mint. Which, as mentioned, is little more than an clone of Ubuntu. Which is one of the worst Linux distros there is.


Re: Advert

Mint is based on Ubuntu, which itself is known as the "Windows amongst Linuxes". So flakey-ness is part of the program.

I tend to stick with distros based on enterprise Linux (openSUSE Leap, Alma Linux) where stuff tends to work more reliably. Especially openSUSE has been great on the desktop, aside from being the most user friendly one (thanks to YaST).


Re: not happening

" You keep referring to "companies" but private individuals, especially those in poorer countries, have great interest in moving to Linux."

I keep referring to companies because the reality is that consumers, even in rich countries, are small change compared to the revenue software vendors like Microsoft make from business and enterprise sales.

Even people in poorer countries tend to use Windows, often either an expired version (even XP) or a pirated version of something newer.

"Even in wealthier countries the notion that you're forced to ditch your hardware just because Microsoft wants to up its profits will prod many to give it a try. And if all of them rally around Linux Mint the flock could jump ship."

There won't be a mass migration to Linux (and even less likely to something like Mint, a community distro which is little more than a clone of Ubuntu, built by a community who got hacked because they couldn't be bothered to do security properly). That's a pipe dream.

If anything, we'll see an increase in ChromeOS Flex adoption, which does most of what the majority of users want off a PC anyways. The rest most likely will simply buy a new computer eventually.


Re: not happening

"Retraining will be required for the different applications staff will need to use. Despite many applications moving to the cloud, there are still a boatload of legacy Windows based applications still in use"

Training for specialist applications is a different issue, and one that's not related to the operating system. Such training also doesn't really revolve around user interfaces but rather on specific processes.

"Considering we have end users who shit a brick if an icon moves or the background colour changes, moving to a different OS and set of applications won't be as easy as you seem to think it will be."

If you really have users who "shit a brick" when they face any minor change then you'll be in a world of hurt anyways as there are a lot of changes in Windows 11. And Microsoft already said that a lot more major changes are coming, whether you like it or not. And not just to Windows, but to Office and other Microsoft applications as well.

If you want a platform with a stable UX environment then Windows has been the wrong choice for a very long time.

"One VIP user logged a category one case just because his applications had moved on his multi monitor setup, demanding someone on site immediately. These are the people you have to deal with in enterprise environments."

I know this type of user, but the matter of fact is that you'll have to deal with these things one way or another. And I can tell you from experience that the amount of stupid complaints has dropped dramatically (i.e., >85%) once our clients moved off Windows. Not just because a lot of the BS that is necessary on Windows doesn't exist on other platforms.


Re: not happening

"I wish I would stop hearing this dream, that there will be this huge onrush to Linux after Windows does something "X". It's not going to happen."

Probably not with Linux. But Windows is already losing market share left and right to Mac OS and ChromeOS. Because the TCO of both platforms is notably lower, and user satisfaction a lot higher than with Windows.

"Companies will not spend man-hours to upgrade and retrain"

Strange argument, because the same companies clearly need to upgrade to something because Windows 10 will be dead soon.

And retrain, for what? For employees which, for most part, have zero trouble using tablets, phones and any other kind of devices with widely varying user interfaces? Or the now completely revamped interface in Windows 11, or the constant UX experiments Microsoft forces onto its users of its on-prem and MS365 offerings?

"and no industry that runs industry-specific software - be it the creatives, pharmaceutical, retail, financial, manufacturing, accounting, and more - will *ever* be satisfied with hearing "Just run it in a VM / emulator!"."

Outside a few niches, most business specific software is already running in a web browser, connected to the cloud (and the ones that aren't will be there soon!). If you haven't noticed, even Microsoft has been busy killing off its on-premises software one by one to get its customers into their cloud offerings.

What's left are a small number of businesses with niche applications which have to be run locally for one reason or another, and a larger number of businesses who made the stupid move to buy into some shitty software which is built on top of Microsoft Office. These are literally the only edge cases which need to stick with Microsoft and the Windows platform, but the second group wholeheartedly deserves what it gets.

"No. Not happening. Dream on. We've got decades of proof that this won't happen yet every Linuxhead keeps trying to revive the dream."

You're not wrong, we "day of the Linux desktop" has been coming soon for a quarter of a century. So no, Linux (as in regular Linux distros) are not going to replace Windows in businesses anytime soon.

But other alternatives already are. And the outcome has been universally much lower TCO and much more satisfied users.

Windows won't go away, but in the not too distant future it'll only be the OS of choice for the kind of businesses that still think it's hip to have fax machines.

"Windows 11 isn't being adopted because of a combination of locked-in hardware requirements and a known level of integrated telemetry, "

Telemetry which already exists in Windows 10 (and which has been retrofitted to Windows 7 and 8.x as well).

If you think that's new then you must have been in a coma over the last decade or so.

Why Chromebooks are the new immortals of tech


Re: Chromebook total success for me

"Word has had that setting for about a quarter of a century."

I guess you missed the "Word for the Web" part, which means the comment was about Word online, not standalone Word.


Re: ChromeOS Flex

"Horse, battery, staple?"

Yeah, not really:



Re: Dafuq?

"I took offence at the Anon Coward's comment of "so it can better lie to you", and called it FUD, because that's what it was. Do you disagree?"

Yes. Because it's not FUD. ChatGPT (on which Copilot and the Bing AI experiments are based on) is known to lie (like all LLMs do), and in some instances Bing's chatbot even tried to manipulate its users to help it circumvent its own limitation to achieve its goal.

It's only FUD if you're completely oblivious to what's going on in technology because you've been living under a rock the last year or so. Because examples where LLMs made stuff up has been all over the news for months now.


Re: ChromeOS Flex

Especially older users can't really remember complex passwords, while complexity is part of keeping your Google account safe.

Just because you're clearly happy to enter a 20 character mixture of letters, numbers and special characters every time your computer has booted doesn't mean everyone is. And the sheer fact that biometric sensors are so widespread should have told you already that there likely is some demand for not having to type in your full password.

But yet here we are.


Re: Dafuq?

That's what Microsoft says it collects from Office:


That's a lot of potentially identifying information.

As for ads, Windows has had them for years, like in the Bing Widget sidebar and in search, and the ad platform uses user telemetry data for targeting. Windows also pushes Microsoft subscriptions to its users left, right and center, for example in the "get you started" wizard following larger updates. Edge has monetization built in (Shopping with Microsoft), and users of standalone Office are also shown various MS365 ads and nag screens.

And Microsoft is planning even more ads in Windows.

As for AI integration (Copilot), I guess you have been living under a rock or in a cave for the last couple of weeks as this was mentioned everywhere:


Getting to the bottom of BMW's pay-as-you-toast subscription failure


BMW was also at one point a byword for quality engineering-first thinking.

I'm not sure this is entirely correct. Many generations of BMWs came with inherent design flaws, such as the 7 series E32 which had the tank inside the rear deformation zone (so the car would catch fire when rear-ended). Or the cracking prone rear subframe mounts in the E46 3 series.

The PCB soldered NiCd batteries that kept the service interval indicator, various board computer features and often even the odometer working across several generations and models, and which when inevitably leaking would started eating away the PCB are probably legendary as well. BMW could have positioned them in a separate, easily accessible compartment so they could have been replaced easily but just didn't.

BMW was also the first German car manufacturer which declared the ATF in the ZF automatic transmissions (like the ones used in E32 and E30) a lifetime item, while ZF itself mandated regular ATF changes for the same transmission variant. Consequently, BMWs suffered transmission failures at around 150'000km/94'000mls while the same transmission in other cars had much lower failure rates.

Overall older BMWs were decent cars, and most of the engineering was good, but maybe BMWs Bavarian workers should have kept their hands off the beer when designing some of these things.

Microsoft to kill off third-party printer drivers in Windows


Re: business reasons for annoying policies

>> Since many printer vendors would only provide a Windows driver, it made OS2 and Linux second-class operating systems.

Only for bottom-of-the-barrel printers which were too cheap to have their own processors and relied on the host CPU instead (like GDI lasers).

Pretty much everything business class supported at least one HP LaserJet emulation, and in most cases PostScript as well, and these worked just fine under OS2, Linux or MacOS.

And even for cheap printers, many manufacturers still offered drivers for other operating systems than just Windows.

>> That helped Windows go from "dominant" to "monopoly"

I'm pretty sure that it wasn't printer drivers which made Windows a monopoly OS on desktop PCs, but rather Microsoft's anti-competitive practices such as paying PC vendors to only offer Windows with their PCs.

It also ignores that Macs have, over the last 30+ years, been the dominant platform in the DTP space. Which would have been impossible if the platform didn't have excellent printer support as designers still had to pre-print before sending jobs to the EFI.

>> A truly compatible printer wouldn't need a new driver, but the user might not realize it was supported via another vendor's driver.

I'm not saying such users don't exist, but in general the overwhelming majority of users have been able to use compatible drivers since at least the early 80's (using compatible drivers like Epson FX for line printers has been pretty common).

I would be lying if I said what you wrote here made any sense.

After injecting pop-up ads for Bing into Windows, Microsoft now bends to Europe on links


Re: "reduce task switching across windows and tabs to help stay focused"

>> "Focus" is the new marketing buzzword.

Not quite, "Focus" is another word for "being productive", used by Microsoft to make it less obvious that MS365 also generates productivity reports of employees using the software so employers can monitor what employees are doing.

The other "focus" stuff in MS365 is just window dressing to create the (false) impression that it's supposed to help the user.

Zoom CEO reportedly tells staff: Workers can't build trust or collaborate... on Zoom


This could be difficult to exploit for Google, although Pichai was at least honest and admitted that RTO is really about showing use of the empty office buildings.

LibreOffice 7.6 arrives: Open source stalwart is showing its maturity


Re: I miss AmiPro 3.0

I miss WordStar. CTRL sequences, once memorized, were much quicker than newfangled mouse-driven WYSIWYG word processors.


Re: Long March

>> Of course, get them while they're young and impressionable so they don't think about the privacy and IP risks of using Google when they grow up.

As compared to the even worse privacy and IP risks when using MS365 you mean? Aside from the fact that Google has a much better track record than Microsoft when it comes to security.

SUSE to flip back into private ownership after just two-and-a-bit years


>> I have to say it hasn't been pleasant with OpenSuse lately. Yast seems to be replaced or supplemented with opi.

How so? YaST is a system management tool doing all kinds of stuff (including being an UX front-end for zypper), while opi is apackage installer for software on OBS.

What's missing is YaST integration of opi, but they're working on that.

>> I have a fresh SSD and had planed on going Ubuntu. However maybe I should go Debian given the complaints about Ubuntu.

Good luck with that. Also considering that Ubuntu is known as "Windows amongst Linuxes" for a reason, and neither distro doesn't even have anything like YaST to begin with.

Ultra-rare Apple sneakers from the 1990s on sale for $50,000


Lost in Translation

There's an error in the English translation of Einstein's letter which loses the original meaning:

The German part of the sentence

"Wenn man aber daran geht, die Bibel symbolisch zu interpretieren, ist es nicht mehr klar, ob Gott als eine Person zu denken ist, die den Menschen irgendwie analog ist,"

has been translated as

"If you are however to interpret the Bible symbolically (metaphorically), it is not clear anymore whether God is in fact to be thought of as a person [and therefore not a monotheistic deity], which is somehow analogous to humans"

which conveys a different meaning than the original (Einstein wants to express that God can't be thought of as a person the same way a human can be, while the translation suggests that the fact that it's not clear whether God can be thought of as a person is somehow analogous to humans, which makes no sense).

The translation of the first part of the sentence is also not quite right, as "wenn man [...] daran geht" means starting or beginning to do something. And the German "man" is really "one" in English, not "you" (like in "one goes to the pub to drink")

A better translation for this sentence would be:

"However, when one begins to interpret the Bible symbolically, it is no longer clear whether Gott can be thought of as a person in a way that's at least somewhat analogous to humans."

Microsoft whips up unrest after revealing Azure AD name change


spell checker changed it to "Microsoft Encarta"

Funny enough, Encarta was actually quite good, un-typical for Microsoft I know.

Asus blames 'thermal stress' for fried SD card readers in Ally handhelds


"AAA games still consume much less than 100 GB."

Yeah, right:

Read Dead Redemption 2 - 119.45GB

Far Cry 6 - 133.11GB

Assassins Creed Valhalla - 146GB

Borderlands 3 - 94.38GB

Doom Eternal - 89GB

GTA V - 109.42GB

Hitman 2 - 98.86GB

Uncharted - Legacy of Thieves - 124.12GB


Bosses face losing 'key' workers after forcing a return to office


"This is quite possible.. but if WFH had no effect, then there should be no change between "before WFH" and >"after WFH", and we are observing this effect."

I'm not saying WFH had no effect, but the cause is not that WFH is bad for productivity or people who are working diligently when in office are "slacking off" as you seem to believe. What WHF does is to exhibit a lack of organziational leadership that was there before, but which was hidden behind performative working.

The data is irrefutable, there have been numerous studies of WFH and they all show that productivity gains an additional 2-5% on average vs working in office.

The only group which benefits from workin in office are the under-performers who struggle to do the work they are hired for and who need constant supervision and micromanagement to get them to get anything done. But again, the solution is not to force everyone back into the office, the solution is to put these under-performers on a PIP and if they don't improve, they should be let go.


"Regrettably, I have observed both these situations, usually in large, often govermental organisations where nobody really cares whether work gets done, because they are funded anyway."

When the same people are back in the office then the same work still doesn't get done. The only thing what onsite presence does is to force people into performative working patterns (i.e., to "look busy").

What you see as a problem of WFH is in reality a problem of incompetent leadership, unable to correctly task its workers and monitor the actual output/value the worker generates.

It's a problem that long predates the shift to WFH, and doesn't just affect public service but most businesses as well.

Forcing people back into the office so everyone can participate in the performative sharade is not a solution, it's little more than a sticking plaster aimed to cover up that "leadership" has no idea how to properly lead and manage a workforce.

Microsoft’s Azure mishap betrays an industry blind to a big problem


Re: Industry wide phenomenon

>> I think your assessment is somewhat accurate. But, a lot of this also comes from lack of experience.

Azure and GCP both launched in 2008, that's 15 years ago. And AWS is even older. After one and a half decade I'm not sure lack of experience is a good explanation.

>> The trend is to dump the experienced and hire the fresh out of university or tech school lower cost bright youngun's. So I think it is an industry wide problem. Azure is the canary in the mine though.

GCP is full of experienced cloud engineers, and so are AWS and Azure. I'm sure they have their fair share of people fresh from university but they most certainly don't maintain their infrastructure.

Instead of staff, it's much more likely that Microsoft's problems are simply rooted in the fact that it's cloud infrastructure has grown out of its legacy software stack (Windows and Hyper-V), and while Azure today is a lot more than that (most of it is Linux, actually) the traces of this past can be found everywhere, carrying with it the same problems. In addition, Azure reflects a lot how standalone Microsoft software has been designed. So it's not really surprising that a simple user error can bring down large parts of Azure.

Neither Amazon nor Google were carrying the same legacy baggage. Which, clearly, has resulted in a lot more robust cloud platforms than Azure.

As I said, I don't believe it's an industry problem, because no-one else in the industry suffers from the same issues as Microsoft.


Industry wide phenomenon

>> But these excrescences are corporate and cultural: the typo-induced Azure outage is an industry wide phenomenon that good people perpetrate. Simple typos and their cousin, Mr Misconfiguration, can unleash chaos to anyone.

And yet it is predominantly Azure which suffers from a high amount of self-inflicted outages, while most of its competitors seem to do a lot better on that front. .

And this is already on top to Azure's tendency to also fail for a number of other reasons, simply because Microsoft's shitty software stack is built from old toilet roll cores and bubble gum on a platform of quicksand.

So I have to disagree with the author, it's not a industry wide phenomenon, it's pretty much a Microsoft-specific problem.

Since when did my SSD need water cooling?


Re: Progress

On HP's z4 G4 (and I suppose on the G5 as well) the M.2 slots (z4 G4 XEON machines have two, Core i versions have one) are located on the right side of the mainboard (toward the front of the PC) so that the SSD protrudes outside the mainboard area (it's essentially side-by-side with the mainboard). This way it doesn't take away mainboard space for other components (or slots) and, because the SSDs are now directly behind the front fan they see good airflow.

Despite this, I still don't use the M.2 slots in my z4 G4 as my SSD is a U.2 SSD mounted on a PCIe adapter.

That old box of tech junk you should probably throw out saves a warehouse


Sun box

"Roland recounted, adding that he thinks the Sun box was an Ultra 5 workstation. Whatever model it was, the machine had PS/2 ports for mouse and keyboard, and an ATAPI optical drive."

No Sun workstation had PS/2 ports. There may have been one port (not two, as it's common for PS/2 ports on PCs) which looked like PS/2 but that wasn't PS/2 but Sun's proprietary keyboard/mouse interface. Like Apple ADB and the mouse/keyboard interface on old SGI systems, it uses a single cable to route mouse and keyboard signals to the computer (the mouse is connected to the free port on the keyboard).

Sun Ultra 5 and Ultra 10 were the last workstations with the Sun keyboard interface, later models (Blade 100/1000 and upwards) all had USB.

First ever 64-bit version of Windows rediscovered … and a C compiler for it too


Re: Errors in the article

"You only mention 2000/XP versions made for OEM with specific machines. No other way to get them. I wouldn't call that "out of the box" support for 64-bit, like it is with Vista when you buy it."

Of course I only mention IA64 Windows which was sold as OEM version with specific systems, for the sole reason that there were no wide range of IA64 white-box systems or custom build components so hobbyists could build an IA64 PC as there was for x86/x64 (the only IA64 white box system were intel's OEM version of what was sold by HP, SGI and others, and it wasn't even openly available), which means there was no reason for a retail version of IA64 Windows to exist because there was no-one who would have bought such a thing (also IA64 wasn't exactly targeted at consumers, with entry level prices for something like a single processor HP i2000 starting around $10k).

I really fail to see the connection between the channel an operating is sold through and the operating system's architecture. Probably because there is none.

"It is like saying "Windows Storage Server 2003 was officially widely available" while it was actually bundled with hardware."

I surely hope you're not suggesting that, just because Windows Storage Server 2003 was only available as OEM version, it didn't exist or wasn't publicly released, because frankly that would be silly. Many operating systems are only sold in combination with specific hardware, for example mac OS, Google Android (only AOSP is free), or the remaining commercial UNIXes (such as AIX or NonStop UNIX).

Besides, outside the USA (the land of shrink wrap licenses) Windows Storage Server 2003 OEM licenses were widely available without hardware.

So you really want to suggest that, say, mac OS isn't a 64bit OS in a way Vista 64bit was simply because it's only sold with specific hardware?


Errors in the article

"The first desktop version of Windows to officially support 64-bit processors out of the box was Windows Vista in 2006. However, if you were really keen, it was possible to obtain Windows XP Professional X64 Edition – in fact, based on the Windows Server 2003 codebase rather than XP per se – sometime earlier. [...] Before AMD's Sledgehammer range of processors, announced in 2000 and on sale in 2003, the only official 64-bit Windows were server versions for Intel's ill-fated Itanium processor family, which The Register was already referring to as Itanic back in 1999."

Actually, the first 64bit Windows release version was "Windows XP Professional 64bit Edition" which was for IA64 (Itanium) and which was released in 2001, long before the "Windows XP Professional x64 Edition" for AMDs x64 architecture was released, and this was a desktop version which could be regularly ordered as part of a HP's Itanium workstation (i2000 at first, zx2000/zx6000 later).

A couple of years after "Windows XP Professional 64bit Edition" there also was "Windows Server 2003 64bit Edition" (the first Windows server release version) and another desktop Windows variant ("Windows XP Professional 64bit Edition 2002") which was based on the Windows Server code base.

"A preview 64-bit version of Windows 2000 Server for Itanium was released to Technet subscribers in 2001. All the other non-Intel versions of Windows 2000 were discontinued before the product was released, although 32-bit beta versions running on Alpha, MIPS, and PowerPC had been spotted in the wild. At launch, Windows 2000 was x86-32 only."

Indeed, there also have been a number of W2k Professional and (Advanced) Server previews for IA64, although none of them made it to release.

I remember this because back then we got some of the first Itanium machines from HP and SGI, as well as some pre-release hardware. I ran Windows XP Professional 64bit Edition on a HP i2000 as one of my workstations back then, plus a number of rx4610 and rx9610 running some of the W2k Server pre-releases. Plus another block of these machines running HP-UX.

BOFH: Ah. Company-branded merch. So much better than a bonus


Re: Cheapo USB key

"Why on earth are they still stocking and selling these? "

I'm happy they do because I have a number of test equipment and industrial kit which refuses to boot from USB3 sticks.

Yes, in theory, USB3 sticks should be backward compatible, but in reality that doesn't always work.

Just because on-prem is cheaper doesn’t make the cloud a money pit


Re: It's not just about the technology

That works until your business finds itself on the receiving end of a worthless SLA which is designed around protecting your cloud provider from having to take responsibility for service interruptions or security issues, which, if your business is fully reliant on the cloud, could quickly turn out very damaging or even fatal (to your business).

Good example is OMIGOD, a security hole in Azure's Linux management stack (which is invisible to Azure customers), giving attackers root access to Azure customers' Linux instances. Microsoft was informed about the security hole early on but didn't do shit for months while the hole was already actively exploited. Eventually, they came up with a fix, but at first not with a way to easily patch existing installations. It took Microsoft forever to come up with a workable solution.

Of course, OMIGOD was one of the worse ones but not the only security hole of that caliber. Any business which during OMIGOD has been an Azure customer and had sensitive data on an Azure Linux instance has been at very high risk of being powned. Depending on the nature of the business and the sensitivity of the data, that pownage could have easily caused major damage or even kill the business for good. And because it runs on someone else's computers, there is literally nothing the business could have done to protect itself (other than not using Azure of course).

And this is on top to the usual Azure/MS365 outages, which we already had several of, even this short into the year, and which make any at least half-decently run on-premises solution look like Fort Knox.

That's cloud SLAs for you. I wonder how much the beancounters [*] which prefer OPEX over CAPEX have factored in to compensate for the potential complete loss of control of what often is a company's most valuable asset (data).

[*] in reality, it's not accountants which prefer OPEX over CAPEX (they usually don't care), it's often someone higher up the food chain (usually someone who isn't "a numbers guy").


You're missing the most important point, which is that economics of scale only really work in your favor if you're the buyer/operator. If you're just a customer however, it rarely does, as the bulk of any savings will simply go into the pockets of your provider/supplier.

So yes, large datacenters may well be able to achieve lower running costs but that doesn't mean they pass on the savings to their customers. A large cloud operator may well buy 1000 of nearly identical servers at hefty discounts (although the big cloud providers don't use standard servers but bespoke inhouse developed server systems, with manufacturing contracted out to ODMs, so it's not the same as a regular server), but they will still charge you close to MSRP (or the equivalent in leasing fees) because they can. As customer, you'll generally see little to nothing from that discount on your bill (also remember that the big server vendors like HPE and Dell already provide pretty good discounts to business customers even for low order numbers). And the same is true for any tax breaks, local incentives or other incentives the datacenter operator may get. They'll lower customer pricing only when absolutely necessary, and only far enough to stay competitive.

And as far as staffing costs go, you may well remember that even this short into the year we already had a number of Azure/MS365 outages caused by Microsoft staff making stupid configuration errors, which suggest that paying only 1/12th of their time I'm also getting only 1/12th of their attention (which is nonsense of course, because at the current going rates for cloud computing I'm paying a lot more than just for 1/12th of their admin's time, while getting a lot less than 1/12th of their attention).

The very fact that cloud costs have been very high and have been increasing further at an accelerating rate proves that services providers will forward little to no cost or efficiency savings to their customers (in case of Microsoft, they simply increase Azure attrition rates by simply killing off their on-prem software offerings).

Cloud is only cheaper for the service providers, not for their customers.

For any business contemplating whether to go on-prem or cloud, the cost savings the cloud providers see from their large-scale operations are completely irrelevant, the only thing that matters is how much they are charging their customers for their services. If that's more or less than what an on-prem solution would cost depends on the individual case but more often than not on-prem turns out to be cheaper (and comes with the added benefit of not being completely dependent on a nearly worthless SLA).

Google to kill Dropcam, Nest Secure hardware next year


Re: You get what you pay for

I guess you never had to deal with ADT then, because they have a well deserved reputation of being shit (both their kit and their services).

The simple reason these companies rent out their solutions is because they can make a lot more $$$ by squeezing customers monthly instead just selling some kit for a one-off price.

If you believe the higher costs would translate to anything approaching better service then you're dreaming.

Ubuntu 23.04 'Lunar Lobster' beta is here in all its glitchy glory


Re: Ubuntu

"Having started life with HP-UX, TWM and FVWM I’ll comfortably use almost any Linux distrib and DE that’s fit for purpose and I’m the sole grumpy old man here who enjoys SystemD and use it a lot."

You're not ;) And I, too, started with HP-UX (as well as AIX, Solaris, IRIX, Tru64, DYNIX/ptx, SPIX, ReliantUNIX and probably some others I no longer remember).

"I default to distributions with APT though for my own machines, usually KUbuntu for the desktop. "

I rather stick with the modern version of the mentioned old-time UNIX variants, which is enterprise grade Linux. That means Red Hat (RHEL/Alma Linux/Rocky Linux/Oracle Linux) and Suse (SEL/openSUSE), although on the desktop that's almost always SUSE.

I don't like Ubuntu, not just because there's always something that's broken (it's called "Windows amongst Linuxes" for a reason), but also because Canonical is mostly a taker rather than an upstream contributor (I believe even Microsoft contributes more to Linux than Canonical, while Red Hat and SUSE are both major contributors to Linux and a wide range of FOSS projects).

The most bizarre online replacement items in your delivered shopping?


...or you could opt out of receiving substitutions altogether.

Yes, you can. Doesn't mean your choice will be considered. Because you still may end up getting substitutions (looking at you, Tesco).

Microsoft begs you not to ditch Edge on Google's own Chrome download page


Re: Cease and desist

FWIW, we have a handful of clients who were fed up the lacklustre quality of MS365 and migrated to Google Workspace. Yes, it's less bling but it works reliable when MS365 is taking another break. Some of them are Windows shops, others a mixture of Mac, Windows and Linux. Very few complaints. Most standard users are happy with G apps instead of Ms Office, too (and for those that aren't they can use something else, even MS Office).

But at the end of the day it comes down to what you need (such as whether your business dependents on MS Office).

Take the morning off because Outlook has already


Re: Heh heh heh

To be fair, Google Workspace has been working fine as well, and has been so during all the other MS365 outages.

LibreOffice 7.5 update: A great time to jump on this FOSS productivity suite


Re: Ribbonphile

I agree with #1 but as far as #2 is concerned, as another poster already suggested it's not free from problems, especially if you use it together with SharePoint (but then, everything has problems on SharePoint). And depending on what you use it for, there are alternatives like Google Keep, Bear, Evernote and others.

Wind, solar power outstrip fossil fuel generation for EU


"Also Germany relies on that same French nuclear power to help them out when their renewables can't keep up."

Is that why Germany continues to export electricity to France becuase of their failing nuclear infrastructure?


"Germany will keep exporting electricity to neighboring France despite calling on people to help fend off winter shortages by saving energy at home, officials said Wednesday.

Problems at French nuclear plants have driven up electricity prices there in recent months, prompting power companies in neighboring countries to sell excess energy to France.

“Only half of France’s nuclear power plants are operating,” said Patrick Graichen, Germany’s deputy economy and energy minister. “That’s why we, as well as the Italians and others, are all basically exporting to France. That’s the way the electricity market is in Europe.”

Here's a diagram showing the energy trading Germany's with other countries:


Fact is that Germany has a net exporter of electricity to France for years. France was also a net exporter to Germany, but not for electricity but for gas, and that's a more recent thing due to the activities of Mr Putin.

Global network outage hits Microsoft: Azure, Teams, Outlook all down


Re: At least with outlook.com you know the driver can afford to pay for mail services.

No, you can't. Outlook.com is a free webmail service like Gmail, although you can pay extra for more storage and less ads.

Dridex malware pops back up and turns its attention to macOS


Re: LibreOffice to the rescue

I'd rather use Pages, which already comes with mac OS and which, at least in my experience, handles Word documents much better than LibreOffice anyways.

Dell said to be planning purge of Chinese chips from products by 2024


It wasn't just about finding the cheapest supplier. Shenzhen is literally the only place on Earth where you can get literally anything made in large numbers in record time. There simply is no other place where you find such a large number of suppliers for every component under the sun (and if you need something that doesn't exist yet then they can make it for you).

You simply can't get this anywhere else.

And the reason that place is Shenzhen and not somewhere in the US, Europe or any other Western place is that here in the West, subsequent governments have always hesitated to really invest in long-term manufacturing infrastructure (just look at the debacle that is the current discussion around funding for new chip factories), and businesses these days only plan for near to short terms (2-3 years, maybe 5). China on the other hand is in it for the long run.

This is entirely on the West, and Apple is currently experiencing what it means to have all eggs in one basket.

openSUSE Tumbleweed team changes its mind about x86-64-v2


Tumbleweed is the future of openSUSE.

"Tumbleweed is taking on increased importance. Its main corporate sponsor SUSE is aiming its next-gen enterprise distro towards an immutable root filesystem and containerized workloads. That pulls the rug out from underneath openSUSE Leap, which is the current stable-release version of openSUSE. Leap releases have been synchronized with SLE since 15.3, which means that if SLE is replaced by ALP, Leap no longer has a base to draw from."

Seems the author doesn't really understand the relation of the various SUSE Linux distributions.

The source is Factory, where the packages are built and QA'd. Once they pass, they go into Tumbleweed. Certain snapshots of Tumbleweed which are mature enough then form the basis for both, SUSE Enterprise Linux (SEL) and openSUSE Leap.

Essentially, Tumbleweed is to SUSE what Fedora is to Red Hat, and openSUSE is what CentOS has been before it was "repurposed" by Red Hat.

ALP, which is one potential(!) candidate for the next major version of both SUSE Linux Enterprise and openSUSE Leap. ALP is also based on MicroOS, which sits between Tumbleweed and SEL/Leap (although closer to the latter). Should ALP end up becoming the next major version of SEL and its openSUSE Leap equivalent (whatever it will be named), which is still highly questionable as no decision has been made (at this time, ALP is more like an experiment with uncertain future), then these versions will still sit behind Tumbleweed (which might also be named differently by then).

In any case, SEL 15 and with it openSUSE Leap still have many more years to come, and even if the decision is made to progress with ALP then it will take several years before becomes a real product. So any concerns about the future of openSUSE Leap at this point are pointless, and whatever the next version of SEL and openSUSE LTS will be there for sure will be an easy migration path once SEL 15 and Leap 15 become EOL.