* Posts by dermotw

13 posts • joined 7 Jun 2017

Doors closed by COVID-19, Brit retro tech museums need your help


Well worth visiting

Well worth visiting and supporting for anyone with a history in either computing or indeed electronics of any sort.

Register Lecture: Hidden heroes of Alan Turing's Enigma


Me too... I'd like to be there but I'm in the wrong country :( :( ....

Microsoft debuts Bosque – a new programming language with no loops, inspired by TypeScript


Re: Ah, the loop

Z80.... errr I'm beginning to get the feeling we're a bunch of OLD GUYS. Soon there will be discussions on 4004's.... :v)

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019


Base Stations

Every 10+ year old BS that we use has an external "professional level" GPS device to maintain the long term RF clock accuracy, we don't care about the time/date.... But still they all reported errors the first time this happened, but likely they've all been swapped out for newer by now... I hope... :)

Mobile networks are killing Wi-Fi for speed around the world


Re: Yes its cost...

ohhh they haven't finished yet... :) and yes, the fibre upgrade by Etisalat was free, originally it was hardwired... :)


Yes its cost...

Well, I am in what is I suppose an emerging country, namely Dubai, UAE, with fibre to the wall of my living room. And local WiFi is a much better deal than the 4/5G here, in terms of cost and speed. I don't see that suddenly changing....

Britain mulls 'complete shutdown' of 4G net for emergency services


Re: How much?

Well, back in the day... Moto won the original Airwave contract because they committed to introduce AIE (Air Interface Encryption) to a timescale which Nokia, the only other contender, who in fact initially won, would not commit to. They then used AIE with fixed keys, and only changed this much later, whereas Nokia went straight to (imho) proper AIE in one step (but took longer)...

Forget cyber crims, it's time to start worrying about GPS jammers – UK.gov report


Re: Time synch

That is so, however the Telecom ones I deal with these days use PTP for this, and it IS accurate enough (uS or better)...


Re: FFS - Measure the risk first

Guys, guys... I've been going down though this thread...

Its true that all the mobile phone system masts (or at least the systems I am familiar with!) use GPS as a clock reference (but usually not primarily as a time reference, they use it to maintain clock accuracy). So what happens when its jammed? Well nothing, really. The clock accuracy starts to degrade. On the kit I am familiar with, it will take 6 MONTHS to a year for anything to shift enough to matter. I routinely see GPS fails on TETRA or GSM sites, its not critical.


GPS is used, but its not REQUIRED. The 'ol TETRA system can operate when its missing...

World's first dedicated computer centre declared 'irreplaceable' by Historic England



It's pleasing to see that we are managing to preserve this, I visited NMOC myself a year or 2 back, it's well worth it imho. Flowers, Turing and the (many) others that did some astonishing things deserve the recognition as well! Jack Copeland has an interesting book on Colossus, well worth a read imho.

Sci-Fi titan Jerry Pournelle passes,
aged 84


One of the giants, I am sorry to see him go... :(

Europe to upgrade its continental GPS


"I'm having extreme difficulties trying to imagine a scenario in which rescue workers within 17 metres of a person in distress are having major difficulties locating it. Sure, more precision is always a good thing, I just don't see it making much difference in that case (let alone for any aircraft - I don't think any of them is expected to fly within 17m of any treetops...) ..."

Errr well, how about a burning building, person on the other side of a wall? Or ditto & add smoke... High precision is wanted for aircraft as well, because then GPS can be used for navigation (proper, airplane navigation). That is one of the things Galileo is supposed to bring, it should have sub-1M accuracy, allowing you to e.g. land a plane with it.

Phone GPS chipsets are spec'd basically for US accuracy level GPS, i.e. not very...


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