* Posts by Simon Round

91 posts • joined 16 Aug 2007


'Fastest storage in the WORLD' plugged into mighty boffinry Cray

Simon Round

Re: ... Start button

No. It's running Windows ME.

Hardware hacker unifies 15 retro consoles in format frenzy

Simon Round

I'm torn...

... On one hand i'm very impressed as it is quite an achievement.

One the other hand I have this purist streak in me that say consoles (and retro computers) should be in their original case. I seem to have this internal struggle as I sometimes think of building an old retro computer (like a BBC model B) into an old DVD player case and sitting it under the TV (of course with some kind of external keyboard).

Pint of Beer because he deserves one after all that hard work.

Movie bosses demand Google take down takedown notices

Simon Round

Re: This is a reasonable request

@Thomas K

Interesting stance you have regarding the lawfullness of online links.

Should links to Product manuals in PDF format also be removed at the original manuals will most likely have copyright notices in them? Even though they may be linking to the original manufacturers website?

If you start making online links illegal then suddenly everything on the internet become illegal and we may as well just pull the plug!

Right. Now I've got my popcorn. I'm ready to watch the arguments on this one.

Beer because it's Friday.

Wealthy London NIMBYs grit teeth, welcome 'ugly' fibre cabinets

Simon Round


...if they don't want it then they don't needs it and will not use it.

So why don't BT spend the money deploying FTTC in places that want it..... like outside of london and indeed outside of any city.

Just a thought.

Mines the one with the drum of fibre in the pocket.

BOFH: My HELPDESK HELL - lies, phones lines and statistics

Simon Round


I wonder where the BOFH redirected the calls to? Perhaps a premium rate line taken from a card in a phone box.

Or perhaps a premium rate line that the BOFH owns!!!

Infinite loop: the Sinclair ZX Microdrive story

Simon Round


"and he worked at Argonaut Software to create the Super FX graphics hip used in SNES games"

Hip? Should that be Chip? Or was this an early prototype replacable Hip for serious gamers developed in conjunction with the NHS.

Reg readers brew up the ultimate cuppa

Simon Round

Re: It all depends on the water!

@The Serpent - "I drink old women's piss nowadays"...

Is that with or without Milk and Sugar?

Simon Round

Re: Where can I find...

@ Goldmember

You seriously think you'll only get a 1 month ban. Oh Dear!

Simon Round

Re: To confuse things, masala chai

@ Locky

Away with you this instant. We'll have none of these heathen ways in here. Thanks you very much.

Simon Round
Thumb Up

Re: It all depends on the water!

Yorkshire Tea is always a good on in our household. They also make a version for hard water areas.

Twenty classic arcade games

Simon Round
Thumb Up

Re: Bestest Game Evar!

+1 - That made me chuckle. Personally I was 12-16 in the late 70's early 80's. Oh the memories.

Me looks wistfully into the middle distance. Must Build Cabinet.

Simon Round
Thumb Up

Re: Dragons Lair

+1 for Space Ace. Spent many an hour playing and completing that one.

If I remember correctly there were a couple of decision points in thengame where you could go one way or another. Basically you could choose the easy or hard route. And it wasn't always obvious that there was an alternative decision to the one suggested by the game play.

Simon Round

Early Vector Graphics Cabinet

I remember a very early sit down arcade game called 'Rear Gunner'.

Simple stick joystick with a fire button on the top. Waves of 3 enemy would come down from the top of the screen to be shot as quickly as possible. There was only about 3 or 4 wave patterns so it was easy to learn and play for hours. The graphics were very simple. The enemy were triangles and there was a small cross hairs.

A true classic. Must have been in the late 70's, early 80's and predates games such as Battlezone and Star Wars

Simon Round


A great list. Many of my all time favourites on there. It takes me back to to days spent on tript to Scarborough or in the 'Harrogate Computer & Video Centre' (I think that was what it was called) down in the basement arcade playing games.

My all time favourite though has got to be Nemesis. I could always complete this on 10p and often stopped to discover a crowd had gathered to watch. These days I don't get to arcades so use emulators to get my fix when I have the time.

Alien in lieu of a space invader icon.

Here we go again: New NHS patient database plan sets off alarm bells

Simon Round

I also agree that everywhere should be able to run their own electronic patient records system.

However I do see the benefit in a central database but only one that provides a pointer to where a persons medical records are stored based on their NHS number. This way GP's, A&E departments, Hospitals and even dentists could store their own data on a patients. Provide that data upon receipt a suitable, secure, electronic request via a clearly defined data interface standard.

Using this type of approach a GP, for example, could request the records for one of their patients and their own ePatients system would not only pull the data from it's own database but would query the data from other external databases based on the central NHS Number database. The resulting data retrieved from other sources could be locked as read only and sorted into date order with the GP's own data giving a full history. Queried data would then be purged after use.

Such a system should be easier to implements as a central database of people against NHS number probably already exists. Just setup a new table with a one to many relationship listing all the locations where that persons records exists. When new locations present themselves then add them to the table.

Setup an access rights table to control who can have access to what data from which sources.

Define the standard for data interchange and for communication with the central database for either queries or update/addition of locations.

Finally the software vendors who provide the ePatients databases would then needs to add the data interchange functionality, central database query functions and finally the views of the data.

Simples. Job Done. Ok sounds simple but won't be. But there does not need to be a central cloud of all patients data. There just needs to be a better way of pulling it all together when appropriate.

Just my two pence worth.

Time has already run out for smart watches

Simon Round
Thumb Up

Having an opaque lcd layer over a real watch could cause the watch to become more bulky. The watch would have to have the read watch gubbins and mechanisms along with the smart watch electronics and a suitable battery to power the whole thing for a resonable period of time.

Simpler to just have a smart watch that can emulate a real watch therefore saving the space used by the real watch mechanisms allowing the design of the watch to be no bigger or bulkier than current watches but still have all the functionality of a smart watch.

Simon Round

Or perhaps we can discount his comments because Loo Wee Teck is a toilet design technician :-)

Simon Round

All the current smart watches I have seen tend to be clunky both in operation and design.

Now they were able to manuafacture a round oled colour screen with a high enough resolution then the smart watch could be designed to look just like a traditional watch and the screen could emulate a watch face of any design when not being used for it's smart capabilities (e.g. reading sms, emails, calendar appointments, etc).

Sort out the battery life and make a ring of solar cells around the bezel (blend it into the design) for charging on the go. Make it waterproof for use in all weathers or in sports such as swimming. Make it eather touch screen or have buttons that also blend into the desn.

Do all this and maybe, just maybe, you would be onto a winner. For this to happen companies from both technology and watch design/manufacture would have to come togther.

I see smart watches as being a logical step in technology to make both communication and data even more accessible in all situations.

Forget 3D: 13,000 UK homes still watch TV in black and white

Simon Round

Re: I hear what you say....


I did work hard at school and have worked hard in every job I've had since school and have a pretty good job at the moment.

In my comment I am just playing Devils Advocate. Basically saying that there is an assumtion being made that it is low income family with B&W tv licences and that this is not necessarily the case.

I also have no problem with "people not being allowed to starve to death in one of the richest countries in the world cos they cant get a job".

Simon Round

Re: @ Simon Round

@Lamont Cranston

You are quite right. Mind you I blame all MP's and political parties for the state of the country.

Wouldn't want to be accused of favouritism.

Simon Round

Totally Agreed.

John Trenouth's suggestion that it is low income house holds that will have a B&W TV just doesn't hold water for me. It always strikes me that the 'low income' household tend to be on every benefit they can apply for and have all the latest technology such as large TV's, games consoles, iPads, Cars and holidays every year.

Eaqually likely that it is working families with 2 or more kids that have had to cut costs due to the cost of living shooting up like a rocket these days and wages not keeping pace.

Satnav-murdering Google slips its Maps into car dashboards

Simon Round

Re: Hmmm. Android!

@ Dave 126: "there is little in what you have outlined that can't be achieved by the car-owner themselves"

Quite true. It's something I've been considering for a while. Not to use as a Sat-Nav as I have a perfectly good TomTom for that but for an incar entertainment system for the kids on long journeys.

Currently playing with an old Android phone with the aim of setting it up as an wireless AP and DLNA server.

Simon Round
Thumb Up

Hmmm. Android!

Probably wont be long before car manufacturers are building Android tablets into the Dashboard and the rear of the front seats.

The driver could have sat nav running on the tablet in front of them, the front passanger could be browsing the internet, shopping or controlling what streaming video the kids in the back are watching on their tablets. The kids could be either watching streaming media (from a local source e.g. usb stick) or playing games.

Put a USB port somewhere so you could plug in your external HD or USB stick that contains your media for streaming. Build in Wireless connctivity so that the system can connect to your home network (or free open networks) to update apps and data.

There needn't be worries about 3g usage/costs as the google maps and data for your chosen country (or countries) could be pre loaded in the car and only updated when connected to a suitable wireless network.

Considering how cheap android tablets are these days then it should not add more than couple of hundred quid to the car price.

SPUDS ON A PLANE! Boeing boosts in-flight Wi-Fi with tater tech

Simon Round

Re: Why Oh Why Oh

Or they could have called it Managed Aeronautical Signal Hazzards. or MASH for short.

Cameron defends U-turn on web filth ban, leaves filtering to parents

Simon Round

Re: How?

"Easy. He was lying. You could tell because he had 'MP' after his name."

No. Not lying. Because he has MP after his name by default he has no clue about anything he talks about.

All MP's just waffle and hope that nobody notices.

Swedish teens GO BERSERK in Instagram sex pic slut riot

Simon Round

Re: Tch!

I seem to remember having a life.

Micro-computer bakers open Raspberry Pi shop

Simon Round

Typing listing in on a ZX81 membrane keyboard with the fear of a rampack wobble. Now that makes you a very carefull coder.

Simon Round

Re: Pah!

Pah! We didn’t have these new fangled apps stores and computers when I was a lad.

We had to work in’t mill on Jethro’s patented Loom Powered ‘Calculating Blending Machine’. T’was powered by water wheel set outside mill building set in’t stream for both power and water cooling.

Problems were set out in binary by placing 64 bobbins of threat on’t top of machine and feeding thread through metal eyelets called ‘Bits’. We used to call then 64bits.

Threads would be fed into the Central Pulling Unit. The CPU would gather all 64Bits and feed then into a pipe and a metal bar called the Rigid Angle Mover would gather up the threads. The threads would come off the other end of the RAM and be rearranged using the Gilling Picking Uptwister. The GPU would feed the threads onto a piece of board with pins on it called the Loom Carding Dyer where inks would be dripped onto threads. The results of the calculation would be read from the LCD then dumped out the other end to the Loom which would have a Shuttle called the Head would move side to side to bind the threads together to give us a permanent record of the result.

If anything broke then there would be a great wailing and gnashing of teeth until the soft-thread-wear engineer would either cut the thread that was locking up the machine or join a split thread together. We used to call these times Bite ‘Ur Gums or BUGs for short.

We also used to get a nice line in jumpers out of the Calculating Blending Machine.

But tell that to the youth of today and they won’t believe you!

Register readers mostly too ashamed to cop to hideous hoard horrors

Simon Round
Thumb Up

Re: Must not throw old computer kit away...

@BinkyTheMagicPaperclip - If the drive does work then let me know on 'thedysk at gmail dot com'

Simon Round
Thumb Up

Re: Must not throw old computer kit away...

I have kept an older PC that has a bios that can use the old 1.2mb drives.

Simon Round

Re: Must not throw old computer kit away...

Now there's a thought. I still have a laplink cable and the softwarre should be easy to find if I dont have it. I could rig up an old laptop that I have and copy the data over that way. It would just be a bit slower than I would like and thereare about 300-400 discs to go thorugh.

I'll still keep my eyes open for an old 1.2mb floppy drive. May take a trip down the tip and talk to the guys who run it to see if I can have any drive I find in the electronics/electrical bins.

Simon Round

Must not throw old computer kit away...

... at least that's what I keep telling myself.

I occasionally have to have a clear out and get rid of the old kit that hasn't been used in years. Either that or the wife get's all upperty.

Trouble is I have been given an Amstrad PC 1512 with a shed loads of 5.25" Public Domain discs. I decided to archive the lot of them to zip files to preserve the software. I can't interface the Amstrad to the network (it would probably be more trouble doing than it's worth) and I can't find my stash of 1.2mb 5.25" floppy drives. I kept a computer to hook them upto that could connect to the network but after turning the house, loft and garage upside down I can only guess that they went in one of the periodic clearouts. Damn!

It's getting harder and harder to preserve old data these days as storage systems become defunct. This is what I keep explaining to the missus.

So if anybody out there has any old 1.2mb 5.25" floppy drives that they can bare to part with then let me know...

NASA: THE TRUTH about the END OF THE WORLD on 21 Dec

Simon Round

Arrrggghhh! My calender end today, 30th November. OMG!!!!

Oh. Hang on. there's another page. Yippee.

BOFH: Hasta la Vista... luser

Simon Round

We've all been there haven't we!

Reminds me of the time a (L)User brought their daughters laptop to me that she was using at collage.

"It's running a bit slow. Could you take a look at it" he asked.

I was feeling generous that day. I soon regretted my benevolence.


It took about 1 hour to startup and about 15 minutes between mouse clicks. Popups all over the place. Toolbars galore. antivirus software having a meltdown. Malware trying to download more rubbish. Hard drive thrashing itself to death, Dialers looking for modems and the network card being hit big time by software trying to replicate over the network. No way was it getting connected to my network.

In the end I booted using a LiveCD and cleared out the Malware. In total I found over 1500 seperate instances of malware. Once these were gone the computer could actually run reasonably well allowing me to clear out the rest of the rubbish.

Possibly the worst case I've ever had to misfortune to sort out.

Beer: Because the cheeky git didn't even buy me one.


Simon Round

Re: Idea

@Elmer Phud

Indeed the bacon Sandwich is a cure for vegetarianism. My wife, when she met me, was a vegetarian. All it took was one bacon sarni on a sunday morning to cure her.

In fact her mum used to cook bacon on sunday mornings and waft to smell through the kitchen door and upstairs to entice her away from the dark side.

Needless to say I get on very well with the mother-in-law.

The Grundy NewBrain is 30

Simon Round

Re: Picture - bottom of Page 3

On Page 4 - "Promoted peripherals, such as floppy and hard drive controllers, expansion modules and a special multi-module housing, launched much later than announced, if they arrived at all."

I expect box in the picture is the 'special multi-module housing'

Look back in Ascii: Computing in the 1980s

Simon Round

Re: @Simon Round

@Peter Gathercole & @AC

OK. You both got me bang to rights. I've used the term 'mainframe' without really thinking about it.

To be honest I never had anything to do with the PDP 11/84. I worked on the PC, MAC, Unix side of things and the 11/84 was, to me, a beast that sat in the corner that the editorial and pre-press department used.

Simon Round

Re: Ahhh....

Quite scarily similar to my story.

1. My first computer was a ZX81 which I got in the 3rd year of comprehensive school. Learnt to program it and had wonderlust for computers since that day.

2. Didn't move onto Commodore computers. Instead moved to Acorn BBC's and as these were the computers we used at School.

3. When I started working I bought a modem and rigged up a telephone point in my bedroom. Also got addicted to BBS's. Somewhere I still have my little red book of BBS numbers, usernames and passwords. Of course the BBS's are long gone but it was happy memories.

4. Got addicted to some of the online games on the BBS's. Shame I can't remember the names of any of them.

5. Ran up a big phone bill. Game my dad a few grey hairs and worry lines until he mentioned this big bill and he did not know how it had got so big. Of course I confessed as, like many others, I did not associated what I was doing with the cost of the time online. Luckily as I was working I was able to pay the bill and was very very carefull after that.

6. Moved onto an Amiga 500 and later a 1200. Joined a local computer club where we met up every few weeks in a rented room at a social club where everybody setup their kit and demoed the latest software, hardware, etc.

7. Work bought Amstrad 1512 and 1640 computers for the accoutants which we then networked using some third parts expansion cards, cables and a 1640 (with hard drive) as a central server. These were the days of Lotus 123 and Supercalc. Long before Microsoft Office. I remember using an early Norton Tools to defragment 300k 5.25" floppy disks.

These days I don't have a rack of severs bit do have computers in practically every room of the house. The wife won't let me put one in the toilet.

I agree with your last sentiment. Those days were very exciting. There was a certain euphoria every time you open a new game, read about the latest computer or Hardware addon. I just don't get the same feeling with modem gadgets.

Simon Round

Re: First laptop?


You are right about reporter using the TRS80 Model 100's. I worked for a newspaper in the IT department back in the late 80's/early 90's. We had these built into attache cases with a specially built rechargeable battery pack and an acoustic coupler. This made the computer useable over prolonged periods of time and allowing the reporter to send in their copy from any telephone that was available (including public phones). The receiving computer was a PDP 11/84 mainframe.

Wish I had kept a few of them. Alas they were binned many years ago and are probably at the bottom of a land fill.

Crytek: Schemes to strike second-hand games biz 'awesome'

Simon Round

It Strikes me...

... that they want to reduce the use of borrowed or second hand games and at the same time reduce piracy.

Simple solution is not to ban or otherwise engineer out second hand or borrowed games but to reduce the cost of buying the game brand new.

In the good old days (I'm talking about the 80's and ealry 90's) games cost around £10-£15. Everybody could afford to buy the game new. Ok I know piracy still happened but not on the scale it does not.

Alright modern production costs for developing games is vastly more than the old days but not everybody can afford between £30-£50 for a game. Thats why some people borrow games or wait for them to be available second hand. And many more pirate games.

Time for the industry to grow a set of balls and try selling games at half the price. They may be surprised at the outcome. Personally I feel that their revenue would increase as those who borrow or buy second hand would start buying new, less piracy would occur due to games being more affordable.

Piracy will never be stamped out as there are always those out there who want something for nothing.

Personally the cost of games put me off investing in a modern console. I'll stick with my Retro computers for retro gaming, my PS2 for other gaming and my PC for the latest stuff when I can afford it.

Punters want BBC iPlayer in TVs, not 3D

Simon Round
Thumb Up

Re: My perfect telly!

Agree with the specification. Just need to add Wireless networking to enable access to online content and TV services without the need for Cat5 Cable.

Death Star dinosaur aliens could rule galaxy

Simon Round

Re: FTL Velociraptors

And don't forget your towel.

Hubble snaps exploding star's near-fatal weight-loss bid

Simon Round

"Whenever it does eventually go off, the star will be one of the closest to Earth to explode when there was someone here to see it, giving an impressive view to folks on the surface."

Given that the start could go supernova anytime in the next million or so years then how can you be sure there will be somebody here to see it?

We may have become extinct by then or moved elsewhere due to noisy neighbours.

PARIS soars to Guinness World Record

Simon Round


Congratulations. A beer will be downed later today in celebration.

RIM shot at Android: Free PlayBooks for devs

Simon Round

eBay anyone?

I imagine a lot of Playbooks will suddenly appear on eBay following this give away to Devs.

Mines a pint. It's Friday.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020