* Posts by rcw88

30 posts • joined 1 Feb 2018

Frames per second? Windows Terminal brings back text animation with the VT100 blink

rcw88

Oh the joys of VTXXX, when I worked for BL back in the early 80's we had a Z80 ICE microprocessor development system made by GenRad, it cost about £20,000, we also had a multi user USCD p-system Sage micro with 6 async ports to which you attached a VT100 or similar. We had a very able apprentice who'd cut his teeth coding on a Sinclair ZX80, said apprentice, with my guidance, wrote a VT100 terminal emulator in Z80 assembler that we could run on the GenRad, thus turning the infrequently used MDS into a £600 dumb tube. Getting a £600 purchase past Finance in Gaydon cost considerable less than an apprentice writing the emulator. In fact I spent most of my last year there trying to get a 5k Apricot, yeah, don't laugh, past said Finance team. Gave up, joined a proper IT company and within 6 weeks had bought two fully loaded, at the time, IBM PC's. 5 grand apiece with an IRMA card, Lotus 123 and an AST 6pack plus card. Then played with Vax clusters and networking for the next nine years.

Dido 'Queen of Carnage' Harding to lead UK's Institute for Health Protection because Test and Trace went so well

rcw88

Re: well..

Except in Scotland where it pays for free university education, except for the English.

Cambridge student rebuilds Polish Enigma-code-breaking box that paved the way for Turing ... and Victory!

rcw88

Re: Well done

Tommy Flowers WAS an undoubted genius, and Bill Tutte never got the credit for solving the High Commands super-encryption device, Lorenz, without ever HAVING SEEN one. If you try reading Turing's Cathedral it will have you spitting microchips at the false claims made about the computing efforts at Princeton being the first. My dad always said the Poles had had a rough time for centuries and he was right, we should never forget their contributions to decoding Enigma and as pilots in the Battle of Britain, we must always welcome them as or visitors or permanent residents, irrespective of our status with the EU.

Nine million logs of Brits' road journeys spill onto the internet from password-less number-plate camera dashboard

rcw88

Don't think much to their camera numbering convention

I thought 3M made sticky tape, not sticky databases.

WTF is camera number 0. The Peoples Republic of Sheffield strikes again.

Never underestimate the ability of a PUBLIC SERVANT to royally screw you over at any and every possible opportunity. They seem to forget who pays their wages and their pension. Local councils don't quite have a monopoly on this, but they sure get close for officials of councils ducking their responsibility and abusing their position when confronted with a legitimate complaint by a member of the council tax paying public.

Australian state will install home surveillance hardware to make sure if you're in virus isolation, you stay there

rcw88

Totally agree, except there are some who clearly think the rules don't apply, there's a popular rock face not far from where I live, there were three people with climbing gear walking back to their hire car - easy to spot as they never have local plates, i.e. they are always from SOUTH of Hadrian's Wall.. Today I saw a camper van driving up the hill from my kitchen window... People don't generally own camper vans, this is pickup country - so yet more unwelcome visitors - the pubs and hotels are shut, the campsites are shut, the food shops know their customers, so WHY ARE YOU HERE?. #shouldhaveshutthesnowgates

Stay at home, keep your bugs to yourself. Do what you have been told to do, yes, you at the back, that means you an' all.

NASA mulls restoring Saturn V to service as SLS delays and costs mount

rcw88

Genius.

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

rcw88

Re: As for me and my house...

Thanks for the tip - next time I'm shopping for ATX power supplies to turn into bench PSU's I'll be searching eBay for a job lot of FlexATX units. A day's worth of 3D printing and job done.

rcw88

Another one bites the dust?

Its not just laptops - how about the tens of thousands of HP Inkjets that have gone to recycling / landfill all for the sake of a .001 cent sprocket that splits and breaks the paper load mechanism. I bought an A3 HP inkjet off eBay, yeah caveat emptor, absolutely, it was dusty, but worked. The web page said it had only done 4000 pages. It stopped loading paper. Following a grainy YouTube video I dismantled almost the entire printer, reassembling cause no end of random 0x6000**** errors, but you still can't get to the paper load mechanism from above... Bit more googling - aha, take the cartridges out, invert, examine. Some HP printers have a window in the bottom of the paper tray and you can see the drive sprocket, alternatively take a guess and enlarge a hole that's already there.. If you can see knurling, the gear has moved on the shaft..

The fault?, rubbish engineering - there's a knurl on the drive shaft that the sprocket is force fitted over and over time, the lack of material at the root of the gear tooth results in the gear splitting, then merrily rotating on the shaft - so no paper loading mechanism any more.

The fix?, slide the gear back over the knurling, making sure it aligns with the next gear in the chain, see if you can find the split in the gear and then apply a good drop of superglue, not so much it goes over everything else but just on the sprocket. Leave to dry. Put everything back. Mine's done over a 1000 pages since.

The precise location of the gear varies by model so YMMV but its worth a try. I'm on a mission to fix the next common fault, broken touchscreens.

N.B. HP's website has hundreds of 'customers' aka victims, with the same problem, solution?, buy a new printer... OK I can get one on end of line sale for a tenner occasionally at the local supermarket, but that's not the point is it? And neither is HP's extortionate ink pricing, in the race to the cheapest devices, everyone loses, because we are all inhabiting a precious place.

P.S. I use the Raspberry Pi Foundation's Pixel x86 on ten year old laptops for STEM / Code club - works a treat, and its no biggie if it breaks, I can just reinstall in half an hour.

iFixit surgeons dissect Apple's pricey Mac Pro: Industry standard sockets? Repair diagrams? Who are you and what have you done to Apple?

rcw88

And what exactly is wrong with a 2 bed house in West Yorkshire

An awful lot of cars cost more than houses all over the country.

The overwhelming benefit of ANY house in ANY part of Yorkshire is that its not ANYWHERE near the obnoxious git who picked on God's Own County, who is obviously a lancastrian.

A car depreciates like a stone, some faster than others, your 40 grand Mac won't.

BBC tells Conservative Party to remove edited Facebook ad featuring its reporters

rcw88

But HIGNFY isn't editorial content - its supposed to be funny, except it isn't any more. Like all real time television, stopped watching a long time ago. Don't have terrestrial TV or Radio - no signal - and its SO liberating not even thinking about the garbage on the news channels and the perpetual misinformation represented as fact.

Hey, it's 2019. Quit making battery-draining webpages – say makers of webpage-displaying battery-powered kit

rcw88

You know the day the web died when the Text Only button was removed - so I'll carry on using ad blockers and NoScript and disabling autostart videos because hey - its my bandwidth that your websites are using without permission. Could call it theft.. on a similar topic I read the First Minister, ever chasing publicity like a pap chases celebs is all over 5G like a rash, completely disregarding how many masts would be required, not to say backhaul. Can we PLEASE have a functional 3G network FIRST, EVERYWHERE?.

Electric cars can't cut UK carbon emissions while only the wealthy can afford to own one

rcw88

Greatly exacerbated by low profile, wide tyres, on the wrong compound. If you want ultimate traction, an old mini on narrow tyres works best. Wide tyres work great in the dry, but you need a small contact patch and lots of weight over the driven wheels in snow conditions. Event 4wd rally cars use 4inch tyres in heavy snow, not 8 inch slicks. A friend of mine works in the motor industry reminds me that standard tyres only work well with road surface temperatures above 7 deg C. but when the average road surface temperature is below 7 degrees C - and in the Highlands of Scotland that's about 8 months out of 12, winter or cross climate tyres perform better.

Entertaining rants on here though - sifting the facts from the misinformation.. I understood emissions for manufacture greatly exceeded emissions from use - irrespective of fuel system - so it makes more sense to use existing vehicles for longer. WHY did I sell my 1981 mini? DOH.

Hey China, while you're in all our servers, can you fix these support tickets? IBM, HPE, Tata CS, Fujitsu, NTT and their customers pwned

rcw88

And your evidence for making such derogatory statements? Fake News without irrefutable proof.

Chernobyl cover-up: Giant shield rolled over nuclear reactor remains

rcw88

Re: If I had lived in Russia in that time..

And my grandfather died of cancer induced by radioactivity when my mum was 15 - he was a radiographer using X-rays to locate shrapnel in airmens legs 1939-1945 - they simply had no idea just how dangerous the X-ray sources were, because of the intensity. There's a whole load of misinformation and fake news about just how dangerous radiation is. If you live in a Radon area you are much more at risk than a concrete encased oil drum buried somewhere underground. And you get dosed with more radiation from the Sun and other particles the further you get above the Earth's surface. Get a grip. But Chernobyl still isn't on my bucket list.

Hacking these medical pumps is as easy as copying a booby-trapped file over the network

rcw88

Pumps

Problems with insulin pumps are old news - try searching for One Touch Ping.. As IoT and security cross over into industrial control and all sorts of things I've spent 40 years working with, the breathtaking stupidity of running windows in an embedded device still beggars belief. It took 30 years of pain before windows became almost secure.

Own goal: $280,000 GDPR fine for soccer app that snooped on fans' phone mics to snare pub telly pirates

rcw88

Re: Data Spoof

Its really quite straightforward, Android leaks info to Google and anyone else smart enough to ask - or mostly not - so if you have an Android device, you are the product, the phone is cheap because you are the product. If you've been given an Apple phone, which of course costs money, because you are NOT the product, you can turn practically everything off, simply denying an app the ability to use mobile data kills off the microphone feed. Its all a matter of trust, Google / Faceache et al are giving services away for free in exchange for your personal data so they can flog you stuff - so clear out your cookie cache and enable NoScript and AdBlockers - but not on ElReg, OK?

rcw88

Why would you let any app access the microphone? Unless its an app that actually NEEDS it, like a VOIP or voice recording app..

Cannot educate pork..

There's a reason why my cat doesn't need two-factor authentication

rcw88

Until there's a power cut, then the battery UPS kicks in, if only all battery UPS's could be implemented with a 9V battery... More than once my UPS has squawked in the middle of the night when there's a brief outage and the two year old 12v cell has already expired,.. Grrr, what's the point...

Gather round, friends. Listen close. It's time to list the five biggest lies about 5G

rcw88

Re: Chinese law

Human rights where?, China or the USA.. if the poster above is correct and someone can be extradited to the US without legal proceedings and then have no rights, then we are just dealing with two different sides of a coin... Its a question of whether you'd rather be up in front of a tank or a rifle wielding lunatic in the NRA.

Overhyped 5G is being 'rushed', Britain's top comms boffin reckons

rcw88

Re: Impressed

Where there's a usable signal, I've found EE 4G in places most other providers cannot reach - including half the Outer Hebrides, but there are loads of places with no coverage.. the centre of Edinburgh, too many sandstone walls to mess the signal up. Most of the way from Stirling on the A811 to the Erskine Bridge. EE? niet.

Other commenters have said the coverage maps are not available, its all on Ofcom's website, mast locations, the lot.

rcw88

Re: Marketing BS >>> Technological Reality

You STILL need BACKHAUL, which needs fibre or dishes, as pointed out by another commenter.

Line of sight doesn't work well when there's a 3000 foot hill in the way.

Fibre only works when someone's paid real money to dig up the side of the road, EE put a mast in recently not far from where I live, it covers a NOT spot where there's about ten houses spread over about five square MILES. but I only have to drive about four miles down the road to reach another much bigger NOT spot with hundreds of residents.

I really don't give a hoot about people running out of 4G in a city, tough, get off Faceache, I'd like 3G coverage EVERYWHERE first. I had a femto cell EE box in my house but it only works if the ADSL uplink is fast enough, it isn't, so its turned off. Wifi calling seems to work OK so there it is.

Dear Britain's mast-fearing Nimbys: Do you want your phone to work or not?

rcw88

I can tell you from personal experience there are THOUSANDS of locations in Scotland where there is zero usable coverage - not even a usable mobile signal to make a phone call, let alone 3G data. 4G? not a chance. 5G - pipedream.

Anybody who expects to be able to use GPS on a mobile phone whilst walking in the Cairngorms needs to be prepared for the genuine feature of Scottish Highland weather - four seasons in a day. Its not a joking matter, people die for lack of adequate preparation and clothing.

You don't even need to leave the Central Belt to have no mobile signal, despite tens of thousands of people living nearby and passing through on major roads.

Since half of Scotland is already plastered in sprouting white wind turbines. camouflaging mobile phone masts would be easier if they are just as tall as the masts and painted white. There's a mast near the A9 / M9 roundabout near Dunblane that looks like a tree - so its NOT hard.

The record shows I took the blows, and did it... Huawei: IT titan will start tackling GCHQ security gripes from June

rcw88

Re: Just change the name

I think it would - the days of cutting off your enemy's head are over.

Unless you live in a totalitarian state.

It is all a question of trust, and on a simple level, you wouldn't put the keys to the safe in the hands of an organisation physically located and ultimately controlled by governments who's response to demands for freedom is to put dissenters in salt mines or run over them with tanks.

Equally I wouldn't run chunks of critical national infrastructure with systems originating from the same places.

Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again

rcw88

It still will if you shop around....- We had a 68k system running UCSD p-system - multiuser, at that time in 1984 I spent an entire year trying to get finance in BL Technology to approve 5k for an x86 clone [an Apricot, don't ask why]. I moved to EDS in 1985 and bought two IBM PC's within weeks of joining, at 5k a pop. My SLT386 is still in my garage, as is a gaming console with a box full of games, not sure what it is though, must have a look.... Many of my Apple machines come off eBay - you might knock the purchase price, but Intel ones retain value long after a windows box is fit only to run Raspbian Pixel x86.

Vodafone signs $550m deal with IBM to offload cloud biz

rcw88

Well you can see how that's going to end. Q here for your P45. You don't have to be over 50, just working in the UK will do.

Windows Notepad fixed after 33 years: Now it finally handles Unix, Mac OS line endings

rcw88

Re: but just like vi you know that notepad and wordpad will always be there.

OMG they might even fix the UI they screwed up completely with digit sized controls, but no, there's even more UI nonsense to come with 'Fluent Design'.

It wasn't broken, M$ borked it and now there's more white on platinum white on bright white coming. Makes my eyes hurt and gives me a headache trying to find buttons that HAD colour but now look like everything else.

Oh and don't get me started on Edge perpetually hijacking PDF file associations.

Take-off crash 'n' burn didn't kill the Concorde, it was just too bloody expensive to maintain

rcw88

Re: The most amazing engineering

Me too, I saw her overflying Gaydon, and Scarborough on a previous tour. There's a Concorde at East Fortune, tucked away in a hanger, saw XH558 there as well.

There's a Concorde prototype at Yeovilton, I can nearly touch both sides from the centre of the aisle its that small.

But a thing of beauty - ABSOLUTELY, I use a picture of one taking off in a STEM presentation to show STEM isn't about creating 'things' - its about creating things with great design and solving problems.

rcw88

Re: The most amazing engineering

Vulcans used to fly quite often over our house when we lived just east of Leeds, at about 300 feet. Part of their training routines of low level flying. An awesome machine, XH558 carries my mums name in perpetuity [hopefully], she loved that plane and helped pay to get it back in the air.

The Vulcan howl, the best thing. Ever.

Microsoft's Windows 10 Workstation adds killer feature: No Candy Crush

rcw88

Re: A thought.

I have an H760 8 core, it runs Win10, the hardware is great, the OS simply awful.

I use a mouse, not a digit, I don't need tiles, or Cortana, or Groove, or any of the other myriad of spyware that occupies that thing the pretends to be a front end for idiots with a touchscreen.

If you have average eyesight a flat, colourless UI just sucks, are you listening?

Virgin Media skulks in disused public toilets

rcw88

Ironically, Bazalgette's sewer, which relied on the tidal effect to sweep everything out to sea failed to flush the problem properly... and there was buffer overflow.. which was very unpleasant..

Good plan though, hide network nodes in plain sight - leaving blank areas on OS maps didn't fool Soviet mapmakers. Perhaps VM locations are not considered critical infrastructure...

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