* Posts by Mozzie

22 posts • joined 4 Apr 2017

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair: British home computer trailblazer dies aged 81

Mozzie

Re: Fraudulent too...

It was a different era, and at least Sir Clive delivered.

This was an era where you made the promise and did everything you could to deliver on it because you believed yourself it was possible. These days taking pre-orders is about building up some capital that you can fall back and you still get paid even if you get caught out on the bullshit you're spinning. You don't even have to provide a finished product.

For me is was the ZX 48K. It got upgraded with a Saga 1, had an astonishing Saisho cassette player that never to failed to load anything except LoTR. Chuckie Egg, Dizzy, Wriggler, Harrier Attack, Target Renegade and even HiSoft Pascal.... thanks Clive for giving me the means to feed my family the last 16 years.

Lenovo says it’s crammed a workstation into a litre of space – less than three cans of beer

Mozzie

If the last 12 months had left cash in my wallet...

I'd be buying one of these workstations, especially for the dedicated serial ports.

I often have a number of VM's running in a test lab setup and I'd say 40% of what I interface too is RS232 based. Very reliable and no issues when hooking up to dev boards where I've built stuff myself. I get a fair chunk of relatively modern equipment to work on that just works straight off when connected RS232 whereas with USB there's almost always some kind of driver issue, proprietary lockout or OS incompatibility.

USB-to-serial dongles in my affordability range are also flakier than a box of Kelloggs and the last professional one I bought costing a few hundred quid lost driver support 14 months after I bought it.

Linux Mint 20.2 is a bit more insistent about updating but not as annoying as Windows or Mac, team promises

Mozzie

Daily driver, but...

I've got to agree with some points made already.

Systemd is a horror. Poeterring sympathisers tried taking me down whilst looking for advice on forums but last year I set up a home lab to try some new distros, learn some stuff (LFS etc etc) and spent three weeks learning init systems inside out as it's where my knowledge faltered in day to day work. Systemd is an abomination with no justification. It's been the loss of a number of hours of work on all three of my Mint machines so presume updates to it have been the issue.

Someone mentioned jumping ship to XP. Sometimes having to deal with older CNC controllers, legacy databases, old storage media I've needed to nip into XP for one off tasks. On the hardware mentioned (Q9400, 2GB Ram) unfortunately I can confirm that XP feels much speedier than Mint ever since 17.1 and even the browser is fine for most non-streaming sites.

I've found myself rebooting after updates a lot but then there has been a lot of kernel, microcode and firmware updates so hardly surprising. Cinnamon is a bit of a dog on my machines but it doesn't seem to like crappy Intel onboard graphics like on my i3-8100. Mate is great, stays out of the way and except systemd I've yet to experience a crash with Mint 20.x across six machines up to 11 years old.

Plus, PPA's are bloody useful.

Things that needn't be said: Don't plonk a massive Starlink dish on the hood of your car

Mozzie

The vehicle was the problem

They could have bolted Jodrell Bank on to the hood on to that well known US city runabout, the F-150 and nobody would have noticed. Even better with less obstructions like a semi in the next lane now being below the height of the dish.

Guido van Rossum aiming to make CPython 2x faster in 3.11

Mozzie

"Did Bill ever do any actual coding?"

He did, and he did it well in the early days.

No matter my personal opinion of Microsoft, their business tactics, their senior employees from chairman to 'Chair'man, their modern coding practices (since 1986).... Gates and Allen were pretty talented and worked hard early on.

In my head IBM were to blame for the focus to shift from technology to business, and shareholders in hand with Ballmer were to blame for taking technology around the back of the shed for a quick bang. Take that how you will.

As a mainly python oriented developer I feel a little concern at the future with Guido suddenly chipping in again from Microsoft's turf, especially after their 'assistance' with javascript and anybody thinking asyncio is an attractive implementation.

Chill out, lockdown ain't over yet – perhaps FUZIX on the Pi Pico could feature in your weekend shed projects

Mozzie

Re: Young people these days...

"No real laptop I remember had less than 2M RAM"

Zenith ZL-1,Toshiba T1200 or Amstrad PPC?

Fancy a £130k director of technology role with the UK's Ministry of Justice? All you need to do is 'fix the basics'

Mozzie

Re: "Court digitisation has gone poorly in the UK"

"Could someone please point me to a Government IT project that has not gone poorly in the UK ?"

Bletchley Park?

That's my one, don't ask for another.

Planet Computers has really let things slide: Firm's third real-keyboard gizmo boasts 5G, Android 10, Linux support

Mozzie

Re: CEO Dr Janko Mrsic-Flogel

Please don't equal his business or ethical powers, one lot of RCL is enough in the retro/reboot industry.

Freed from the office, home workers roam sunlit uplands of IPv6... 2 metres apart

Mozzie

Re: Plusnet Party

Hmmm, I've got IPv6 with Plusnet (via John Lewis Superfast Fibre). The Zyxel router actually wouldn't let me disable it either which turned into a lot of messing around last year with pre-configured VPN apps to try and stop them leaking. Fortunately the apps have improved greatly since then.

Plusnet have failed to provide me with just about everything it should have in the way of service, not even half of the advertised speed which is an ongoing issue, but I definitely have IPv6.

Meltdown The Sequel strikes Intel chips – and full mitigation against data-meddling LVI flaw will slash performance

Mozzie

Re: One day, not to far in the future,

"the biggest problem with anti-virus is not CPU or memory utilisation"

It's certainly CPU utilisation on my Windows machines. If I turn anti-virus off I get roughly 7% CPU back. Add to this the consistent fan operation under Windows on both of the laptops I run it on, idling at between 4% and 18% (Mint 0.5-1%) with no desktop applications running and occasionally even mouse jitters with background processes on a desktop i3-8100.

Broadband providers can now flog Openreach's new IP voice network in bid to ditch UK's copper phone lines by 2025

Mozzie

The audio bandwidth might not free up much but what about a much reduced SNR margin due to the audio no longer being a consideration?

The BlackBerry may be dead, but others are lining up to take its place

Mozzie

Are there any protective rights over the Q5/Q10 designs?

I'm probably in an incredibly small minority here but I actually can't use most touchscreens; my fingers just don't register anything with the sensors. This has been a problem for me with smartphones, ATM's, POS units, McDonalds new we-no-longer-provide-cashiers-cos-they're-stuck-in-the-back-of-the-plastic-straw-cupboard systems and a very expensive touch-lamp gift.

For me the Blackberry Q5 and Q10 were the best phones I ever owned. Not purely down to the excellent keyboard but the fact I could put the handset in my pocket without any pleased to see me jokes, the batteries lasted 3 days with moderate use, the screens were fantastic and well suited to browsing most reasonably well designed web pages as well as a full screen terminal emulator. Call quality was good, signal range excellent regardless of how I held them and as I got both my handsets towards the end of their popularity I paid peanuts for them.

I see somebody mentioned the Gemini above somewhere with similar experiences to mine. This could never serve as any kind of an alternative to a phone.... or a keyboard.... or a palm top.... or anything else functional. If you could get a 9mm thick Nokia Communicator I'd be interested though.

Gemini goes back to the '90s with Agenda, Data and mulls next steps

Mozzie

Re: Are you watching this RCL?

They're probably watching closer than you think. Janko is quite involved with the Vega+ (CTO of RCL).

A friend has a Gemini and retreated back to his very well maintained Series 3mx for writing on. He describes his Gemini as 'like a cheap Chinese smartphone hinged on to a not so bad keyboard' (none of the usual issues). Again the disappointment is being on Android. Also mentioned the buzzing audio issue and gone back to using his Nokia Xpress Music on the train.

Indiegogo grants ZX Spectrum reboot firm another two weeks to send a console

Mozzie

BBC Covering Backsides Too

I've noticed that the BBC are downplaying the fiasco too. Their last article certainly brings across IGG as getting caught up rather than anywhere near responsible for any part in it, and no mention of Suzanne Martin and her colourful history.

In fact, reading that last article (ZX Vega+ console faces Indiegogo's debt collectors) I'm starting to feel like David Levy has worked his magical self-promotion (just like the last four decades) to being a world renowned AI computer scientist and trusted businessman.

Mozzie

Re: Fools and Their Money

Well the 'lots of people' also read that the development was done and funds were needed for manufacture right at the beginning of the campaign, on the IGG website. A judge has also deemed that the go-goers have actually placed an order, not an investment or a pledge. RCL did state that the product was ready for production on the campaign page.

Munich council finds €49.3m for Windows 10 embrace

Mozzie

Re: and i doubt anyone on the El reg Forums does either

Your doubt is incorrect.

I'm pretty sure most of us have a similar opinion as to how this reverse migration has come about but unfortunately there were quite a few genuine issues that may have given the recent decision the back up and support of a number of users. I'll just add I've been primarily a Linux user for almost 20 years so no bias or trolling intended:

Firstly, the Limux desktop environment feels dated and depressing. Many of the comments here have emphasized Linux' problem of software availability, some about quality, but look and feel plays a big part in a users 'usability'. Dated interface, dated applications, dated functionality. Many users of Limux have got Linux distros installed at home, but all up-to-date, modern desktop interfaces and applications. People have a whole list of complaints about Windows 7/10 but one thing I hear fairly often is that the desktop still provides a 'professional warmth' that just feels right.

Another issue is functionality. Limux has not just been installed on council desktops but attempted on laptops too. Munich civil servants occasionally have to make presentations or show training videos for example, or demonstrate something over the internet. Simple things like switching to an external monitor, data projector, dual monitors really did just work on Windows but turns into a huge headache on some Linux machines. USB data transfers suddenly crawling down to 970Kb/s are a pain when you need to get away from your desk quickly.

Then there is software availability and quality. Little things like poor font quality on PDF's, logistics client software that won't run, quality issues with video playback, lack of decent presentation software (with smooth animations/video), no reliable fully integrating email client, outdated office software, convenience utilities (right-click USB format)......

Otherwise, Calculate Linux has shown that Linux can integrate seamlessly with Windows networks and servers whilst easily maintained. Combine that with a stable desktop distro like Mint Mate and it really wouldn't be much effort to migrate again from what they have now to a much more modern Linux ecosystem, and keep their Windows pool flowing.

TalkTalk posts 3% sales drop, says Openreach should walk the WalkWalk

Mozzie

Re: TT's TV Adverts

"They also have sales reps in most supermarkets and shopping centres, they really are trying to mob customers left right and centre"

FTFY.

My mother in her 70's now travels 2 miles on the tram to get to Tescos than walk the 120 metres to Morrisons to avoid what is, borderline, a mugging by these clowns. I've been over to visit her recently and they completely ignored the reply that they would need a 6500 mile fibre cable to reach MY home and the rep just kept putting his hand out to shake mine and asking what my name was.

systemd-free Devuan Linux hits RC2

Mozzie

Because the distros that the major distros are built on adopted it.... mainly.

Debian switched to systemd which in turn pushed distros like Ubuntu on to systemd, which then resulted in Linux Mint (based on Ubuntu) shifted on to it as well. Red Hat (and thus CentoOS and Fedora) are responsible for systemd in the first place, with Lennart Poettering, Kay Seivers and Harald Hoyer all being Red Hat engineers and the authors of systemd.

Have a quick check on Distrowatch to see how many of the top 20 distributions are based on these two base distros, it pretty much covers the large majority of installs out in the World.

There is also the issue of desktop environment dependencies. As the article mentioned Gnome, KDE and Cinnamon somewhere along the line depend on a library that is systemd dependent, with Gnome going full steam ahead with systemd reliance.

Arch Linux is systemd based but also offers a way to remove it and is also available systemd-free via Manjaro-OpenRC, otherwise I personally am just ever hopeful a number of traditionally Debian-based distros will move over to Devuan.

Staff, projects shed as Ubuntu maker Canonical tries to lure investors

Mozzie

Live by Linux, but it's getting more Windowsy every day

I've been using Linux as a primary OS since Suze was bundled in a box with manuals, CD's and a cool gecko sticker (about 1999 I think), there's still nothing that can beat it in my opinion but distros seem to be going a bit backward and frustrating recently.

I'm on Ubuntu Mate 16.04, could never settle with KDE and it's glowing halos round everything or Unity and anything with a side-mounted task bar. Whenever I've mentioned performance of current DE's I always get a response that with today's computing power you don't notice how long a window takes to open/switch or a menu to slide out.... or the several tens of extra processes sucking life out of my laptop battery in the background. There must be a reason my out-of-date Crunchbang install lasts 4 hours longer than Ubuntu or Fedora when I'm on the move?

Add to this the PITA of systemd. I know somebody will pick me up on this, but it really is an absolute horror and I'm sick of spending hours looking for solutions to it's random problems it keeps throwing at me. Gnome is basically falling head-first into systemd lock in and likely KDE in the not so distant future.

.... then there is generally stability. Atril Document Viewer experienced a problem, Mate Panel experienced a problem, Firefox 52 being unable to handle Ebay's ridiculous background scripts (okay, probably Mozilla's fault, but it got shoved in my updates and Microsoft-style won't roll back), having to reboot each time I've used Gparted because the kernel didn't recognise blah blah blah....

I'm willing to pay for Linux, when openRC kicks systemd to one side, when OpenBox supports Wayland, USB file transfers don't grind to a halt and when Canonical will let me buy an end users desktop version of Ubuntu with at least some kind of direct online support.

Windows will never see light of day on my main machines again, but I'm getting to the point where TrueOS gets moved from my 'nerd' partition and pushes Ubuntu into the same box. Please Mr Shuttleworth, see if some of those developers you're looking at shedding can start working on ousting systemd from what was a fantastic OS.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021