* Posts by LenG

238 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Feb 2018


Intel's top-spec Raptor Canyon NUC can double as a 700+W space heater


I bought one of the 5th generation NUC's with an i5 processor when they first came out and installed linux on it. It has been running more or less continuously ever since acting as a gatekeeper to my system from the big bad web and a backup when my main PC is down for some reason. Lovely and useful device. Can't see a real use case for this monster.

Oh, great. By peering into twilight, boffins find 'planet killer' asteroids in our system


A cure to global warming?

"If 2022 AP7 were to collide with Earth, it would be a mass extinction event as dust would be blown up into the Earth's atmosphere for years, blocking out the precious needed sunlight."

So we're dead if it does and dead if it doesn't?

Juno offering Linux-powered tablet PC for pre-order



I could probably find a use for this as-and-when it is ready to ship. The website flags it as a beta product and there is a status list of various work items. The Mobian OS itself is flagged as unstable and the two alternatives as very unstable. Various other significant modules require work. I was amused by the entry for "suspend"

"Suspend but does not wake up". I think that is more commonly known as shutdown.

I'll bookmark the page and check in occasionally to see how it is progressing. Meanwhile my plans for a homebrew linux touch device based on the Pi are on hold.

Serious surfer? How to browse like a pro on Firefox


Re: Palemoon

In an ideal world you would be correct, but two points arise:

1. I am not in a position to know whether Palemoon is behaving correctly.

2. The problem websites are numeroius, and include a number of banks and the NHS. Suggesting to such institutions that they change code which works perfectly in all major browsers for the benefit of a single minority-use broiwser is an exercise in futility.

A suspect a good compromise would be for PM to detect this particular error condition and allow users to permit this error. Oddly, an early userland workaround, involving disabling HSTS via the Palemoon Commander utility, is no longer available as the disable option was removed from the utility.



Several people have mentioned Palemoon. This is still my browser of choice for many things but unfortunately there is an ongoing issue with various buttons (often in popup forms etc) in websites being unresponsive. The Palemoon response seems to be that they are doing the right thing and everyone else is wrong in allowing the button to be pressed. Which seems a little ... arrogant(?).

The crime against humanity that is the modern OS desktop, and how to kill it


The most scarey phrase in a product update description

"Exciting new user experience"

If you see this, run. And it is not just computer OS's. Virgin Media recently updated the interface to their TV box. There are now several screenfuls of lines of small pictures taken from the show they represent. Not that you will recognise most of them unless you are a real TV fanatic.

The general idea behind most modern interfaces seems to be make them as bright and flashy as possible and leave plenty of opportunities to advertise (even if they call it "recommended for you".

As for windows, I spend quite a bit of time with each new release, if I take it, trying to make it look as much like win2000 as possible. I've been moderately successful with Win 10 but you need to resort to settings, registry hacks, group policies and third party software to get close to anything I find accessible.

Win 11? Unless it changes dramatically I can't see myself ever taking it voluntarily. TBH almost the only thing I need even win10 for is gaming, I can do everythign else I want on linux and I don't even have to pay for it.

Our software is perfect. If something has gone wrong, it must be YOUR fault


Sounds like the new VirginTV homepage.

Massive ammounts of useless function, no way to disable or configure the thing, and some very strange bugs.

Rufus and ExplorerPatcher: Tools to remove Windows 11 TPM pain and more


Minor Correction to article

Making some tweaks like these easier may help it win over some of the doubters.

Should read

Making some tweaks like these easier may help it con the stupid.

Microsoft brings tabs to File Explorer


Re: Still awful to use

Yup. Personally I use MultiCommander which is similar (two panes) but offers tree-sidebars in each window if required and a lot of extra stuff. Lacks the FTP support (I use filezilla) but has an interesting "flat filesystem" view which is sometimes quite useful.

I just wish file selection dialogs could be trained to use something other than bits of File Manager.

Clustered Pi Picos made to run original Transputer code


Just for consistency

The reference to A Fire on the Deep confused me somewhat. It is a superb book which I have read several times but I did not recognise the use in that book. Turns out the extended quote is actually from "A Deepness in the Sky" - the second book in the universe of AFotD.

Engineer gets Windows 11 working on a Surface Duo


The reason for the hardware requirements

I'm personally quite certain that the main reason for the strict requirements is to encourage the purchase of new equipment which will, in all likelihood, come with win 11 preinstalled. Otherwise most people will be quite happy to continue with Win10

Why the Linux desktop is the best desktop


Re: How about Quicken?

I managed to move my data to gnuCash, which is a perfectly competent freeware home accounts package, but I honestly cannot remember how I did it.

Microsoft brings Cloud PCs and local desktops together in Windows 365



"are just the beginning of our Windows and Microsoft cloud integration." Possibly the most frightening thing I have heard from M$ since they first announced Win 10 as an operating system for life or whatever the marketing shite was at the time.

Given that nowadays the only thing I actually NEED windoze for is games I'll have to keep a close eye on Gamebuntu and its ilk.

Brit data regulator fines five cold-calling fiends £405k


Still at it

I had a call this morning from someone telling me the extended warranty on my washing machine had expired and they were ringing to renew it. I found this strange since I never take out extended warranties in the first place and I declined immediately. However, I'm pretty sure the woman said she was from Appliance Cover. Fortunately, although elderly, I am not particularly vulnerable (except to physical violence)

France says Google Analytics breaches GDPR when it sends data to US


Re: Pi-hole

Actually, pi-hole does not block the text ads at the top of a search as they are served from google.com. However, it does block http://www.googleadservices.com so if you click on the ad you will not see it. In some ways this is the worst possible outcome as it can leave you with a completely unclickable page of crud when you do a seach. Fortunately, if you run an in-browser adblocker as well and block google.com with that then the ads vanish (at least they do with Adblock Latitude).

Heart attack victim 'saved' by defibrillator delivery drone*



but I will be really impressed when the drone applies the defibrilator without an expert on hand!

Gnu Nano releases version 6.0 of text editor, can now hide UI frippery


Vi forever

Sorry, can't see any advantage in changing from vi. It is a bit of a pig to learn but once you have it works more or less everywhere.

FYI: If the latest Windows 11 really wants to use Edge, it will use Edge no matter what


Microsoft telemetry

You can block it all with pi-hole.

AI algorithms can help erase bright streaks of internet satellites – but they cannot save astronomy


Time will solve this problem

Once the human race has died off as a result of global warming/pollution no more crap will be thrown into orbit. By the time the tardigrades have evolved intelligence enough to be curious about the universe the current crop of orbital rubbish will have fallen to earth so they should have clear skies ... unless they also develop social media

New World: Grindy? Check. Repetitive? Check. Fun? We hate to say it... but check


Another plotless hack'n'slash?

I've played many MMOs, starting with Everquest, but I really prefer games with an overarching storyline. The classic example is SW:TOR, which provided 8 different storylines for the classes. It becomes more linear after the endpoint of the original game but even then there is a storyline to justify the actions required of the character. This one looks to fall into the pit of "get better loot so you are strong enough to get even better loot" school of game design(?) which can be fun for a while but can find it hard to maintain enthusiasm. However, many people seem to like them and so they make money and keep coming out.

Perhaps the best storyline game was The Secret World (TSW), which also had an innovative and complex character build/weapon system. Unfortunately to keep such a game going you need to generate more story content which proved too much for Funcom. The game was dumbed down and re-released as Secret World Legends (SWL) with the promise that more story would be added. This never materialised (with the exception of a trivial subzone which added absoultely nothing of interest). Despite being unsupported and bug ridden the game limps on as a cash-cow for the current owner and a tribute to the quality of the original game.

Windows XP@20: From the killer of ME to banging out patches for yet another vulnerability


The interface is not the OS

This is one of the things Linux has over windoze or, come to that. IOS. You can choose from any number of desktop appearances/user interfaces without affecting the underlying functionality. Come to that, you can also choose from a number of different file systems depending on your workload.

A major problem with M$ is the "our way or the highway" attitude. When I first installed Win 10 I was immediately struck by the fact that all the taskbars were white. This is a real pain if you generally work with a lot of open windows. Even to this day although you can set the active window titlebar through the settings thing (or possibly the control panel) you can only set the inactive title bars via a registry hack. Actually, there is a significant amount of customisation possible if you are willing to hack the registry but how many people can be bothered with that and even if they can it is often very difficult to find out what needs to be changed.

Orders wrong, resellers receiving wrong items? Must be a programming error and certainly not a rushing techie


Dropped cards

Out of university I worked in an engineering department for the now abolished GLC. All the data for our structural models was entered on card for overnight runs, which could take many hours. When the night operators wanted to go home early they would simply drop a box of cards and return them to us for resorting the next day.

Google Pixel 6, 6 Pro Android 12 smartphone launch marred by shopping cart crashes


Re: Pixel Pha

It all depends what you use your phone for. I recently upgraded my Pixel 2 to a 4a when the battery in the 2 gave up the ghost. I wanted a small light phone with a decent camera and an uncluttered interface without extra bloatware. Once I had turned off the new gesture controls in favour of the 3-button model the 4a gave me what I wanted at a very reasonable price.

I should add that I do most of my web access via a desktop system with a large screen. I've never come across a phone which provided what I would regard as a comfortable web activity interface.

Windows 11 Paint: Oh look – rounded corners. And it is prettier... but slightly worse


Re: Continuing the trend

Come on, there is no way that windows 8 can be described as "slightly worse" than windows 7.

Computer scientists at University of Edinburgh contemplate courses without 'Alice' and 'Bob'


In fact, this sort of triviality creates more than angst - it generates antagonism to the whole concept of diversity by trivializing genuine problems amongst a prethoria of garbage.

Reason 3,995 to hold off on that Windows 11 upgrade: Iffy performance on AMD silicon


Deferring Upgrades

My Win10 system automatically defers function upgrades by 12 months (I bet that is not possible in Win 11)

I will start thinking about a Win11 upgrade in 2025 when win 10 support terminates. Or maybe 2030 ...

Windows 11 in detail: Incremental upgrade spoilt by onerous system requirements and usability mis-steps


Windows 11 brings more into the modern UI but it remains a hybrid.

This is supposed to be a benefit? I very much prefer the old look & feel of windows ... Win2000 would suit me.

Does anyone know if Classic Start Menu runs on this abberation?

Microsoft's problem child, Windows 11, is here. Will you run it? Can you run it? Do you even WANT to run it?


The new Win 7

Windows 10 will be supported until sometime in 2025 and I am betting that at that stage there will still be more Win 10 users than Win 11. Win 7 reached EOL at the beginning of 2020 and in August this year still had 16% of the Windows users. On that basis I figure I am good on Win 10 until the end of the decade.

It's time to delete that hunter2 password from your Microsoft account, says IT giant


Re: No MS account

Last time I installed a fresh WIn 10 (pro), last year, it was easy enough to bypass the M$ account restriction by disconnecting from the internet at the right point. When it cannot reach the M$ servers it allows you to continue with a local account and doesn't demand any change after you reconnect.


No MS account

Are we approaching a point where I will have to have a M$ account just to log into my Windoze desktop machine? Time to start migrating my games to linux ... after all, games are the only good reason to have windoze to start with.

Microsoft does and doesn't want you to know it won't stop you manually installing Windows 11 on older PCs


Prehaps, but not what M$ want it to mean

"It'll help software vendors as well: "This game requires Windows 11" will actually mean something."

Yup. It will mean "play a different game". Besides, no game developer (except perhaps M$ in house) would issue a game with that restriction unless Win 11 already had a massive user base.



I have no intention of upgrading in the forseeable future but the first hurdle were I to relent is the requirement for a M$ account. I don't have one and never will.

Start or Please Stop? Power users mourn features lost in Windows 11 'simplification'


Windows 10 to be the new Win XP?

Certainly I will not be upgrading for a variety of reasons and I suspect many others will stay with the devil we know,

So, in 10 years time M$ will still be trying to move people off Win 10 in the same way that they are still trying to persuade some users that Win XP is not a good idea.

A bunch of apps will be able to bypass Microsoft's new store and use own update methods


Why bother?

I've never used the MS Store. I doubt I ever will.

The old New: Windows veteran explains that menu item


Old old timer here

I don't think I was aware of the context menu as such - the only time I rightt-click on the desktop is when I want to open the display settings/personalise items. I was genuinely unaware of the "New" option. I am marginally impressed that it offers me OpenDocument instead of MSOffice formats, though.

Snail mail would be a fool-proof way to inform patients about plans to slurp GP data, but UK govt won't commit


Consent should be opt-in.

The title says it all. Data should only be shared with positive permission from the subject of that data. If the government wants to share it has the responsibility to ensure that every participant is fully informed, which can only be the case if explicit permission has been given.

The likelihood that the number of people who would give permission would probably be so small as to make the whole excercise worthless says something about the trust people have in the apes in parliament.

Windows 11: What we like and don't like about Microsoft's operating system so far


Remove a few things - the useful ones.

Oh, goody. I can get the start button back in the left hand corner. Unfortunately I can't put the task bar up the side of the screen where I like it (with the start bar at the top). On an ultrawide monitor I have horizontal space to spare but vertical is at a premium. Has anyone tested classic shell on this abberation?

As for file manager improvements, it is another piece of software I have basically abandoned. The multicommander two panel arrangement suits me far better. Bulk rename is a good addition as well.

I suspect the holdouts using win 10 for the forseeable future will outnumber the WinXP enthusiasts significantly.

Cyberlaw experts: Take back control. No, we're not talking about Brexit. It's Automated Lane Keeping Systems


Re: I Have A Lane Awareness System

My car has a form of haptic feedback - if I drift into the lane marking it pulls the steering wheel in the appropriate direction unless I am indicating a lane change. I really don't know if it would actually stay in lane reliably if I took my hands off the wheel - I'm too much of a coward to try that - but it will certainly alert me if my attention (and direction) wanders. It is also clever enough to engage only on major roads so I regard it as akin to anti-lock breaking ... driver safety assist not self-drive.


And it is not always the car's fault

I have the occasional misfortune of having to drive through the roadworks where the M3 and M27 join. New lane markings have been painted over partially scrubbed out old markings and the car fights me over which set of markings we should follow. I figure we both have about 50% accuracy except when the road is wet and the sun is glinting on the puddles, at which point we are both bloody confused.


I've always felt that the standard of driver awareness would be considerably enhanced if the driver side airbag was replaced with a spring loaded spike which shot out of the middle of the steering wheel in the event of a crash.

Black screens in Windows 11? Bork has seen it all before


Useful code?

Many many years ago you could buy(!) a TSR to recolourise the Blue Screen of Death. At the time it superceded the detector of "cat like typing" in my ranking of the most useless piece of software ever written.

Since then I have acquired a couple of cats and realised the cat-like typing detector might have been a good idea.

Microsoft releases Windows 11 Insider Preview, attempts to defend labyrinth of hardware requirements


Move on folks, nothing of interest here

My brand new home-build (AMD 5950 cpu, 32GB memory, 8TB local SSD storage) failed the compatibility checker because I have not enabled TPM. Hopefully that means the upgrade process will not badger me with advice to switch to Win11. Not that I could anyway as I do not have a M$ account.

Win 10 no longer makes installation without such an account easy, as I discovered when I attempted to install Win 10 pro on my new build recently. However this is easily bypassed by disconnecting from the internet at the appropriate time. I'll be curious to know if this works with Win 11 when it is generally available, but not so curious as to actually attempt the upgrade.

I can see myself like some of the Win7 diehards, still running this OS for the forseeable future. Mind I mostly use it for games - any significant / sensitive work is done on an ancient Intel NUC running linux.

I have to honestly say that of the list of new features there is nothing I want. Of the other changes described I applaud the removal of live tiles but Classic shell does that for me anyway. As for "lively interactive animations", the very thought brings me out in hives.

What Microsoft's Windows 11 will probably look like


Oh, yawn

Why the obsession with rounded corners? I vaguely remember they were a thing about 2 decades ago (along with non-rectangular windows) and seem to have quietly disappeared since.

I tried the new sound. Unfortunately I had my speakers turned off. Amusingly just as I clicked on it a police siren went off outside. This was actually far better than the tedious bing-bong which finally managed to hear.

At least they are removing live tiles. Mind, with Classic Shell running I've already done that for myself.

Microsoft hits Alt-F4 on Windows 10X: OS designed for dual-screen PCs axed


There is a huge range of functionality that a genuine multi-display box could offer rather than simply to provide more sceen real estate which you have to arrange manually all the time. There have been some valiant attempts to provide software to offer such features but generally these fail as they cannot keep up with changes in the underlying os.

As another vendor promises 3 years of Android updates, we ask: How long should mobile devices receive support?


Re: I would rather NOT have support

I've never had a problem caused by an android update. My Pixel 2 has gone from 8 thru to 11 without a hitch. This makes me wonder if the problems you have seen are caused by the added gorp many vendors add to the base OS.

As for windows, I am not a fan or defender of that system but it is easy to set up so that updates do not occur at inconvenient times. TBH, my system also autoblocks OS updates by 1 year and non-security patches by 30 days or thereabouts. If you cannot access these sorts of settings because your provider has locked down the system on a work phone I would suggest you should loudly at your IS support department.

Of course neither of these systems can compete with linux for ease and reliability of upgrades. It is not perfect but certainly it is light-years ahead of android or windoze.

Mayday! Mayday! Microsoft has settled on a build and Windows 10 21H1 is inbound


Windows taskbar

"In case you were in any doubt about who is really in charge of your taskbar, the patch includes News and Interests function on the Windows 10 taskbar."

Does anyone use the windows taskbar?

Microsoft demotes Calibri from default typeface gig, starts fling with five other fonts


Re: Microsoft’s new default font options, rated

Yup, thanks for the link.

TBH, if someone had changed it without telling me I probably wouldn't have noticed (except for Seaford, which is horrible). Overall I would prefer to stick with Calibri as the default default. But then I generally set the font to Verdana for things I have to look at for any length of time.

Won't somebody please think of the children!!! UK to mount fresh assault on end-to-end encryption in Facebook


once upon a time

when I was young and the internet was far more open than it is now almost all messages (generally email) were in plain text and it was well known that various government organs from both the east and west were tapping into and monitoring such information. I got into the habit of putting blocks of random numbers at the end of mail labelled "encrypted message follows" or something similar. Hopefully it wasted somebody's time somewhere.


Once again the tired refrain

"think of the children" - whenever I hear a politician using that appeal (or anything similar) I immediately assume that the proposal is something which would be completely unjustifiable and unacceptable if subject to any rational review. In this case the implication is that if you oppose end-to-end encryption you are clearly a paedophile or some other sort of vile pervert.

Brit authorities could legally do an FBI and scrub malware from compromised boxen without your knowledge


Make them pay

If companies had unlimited liability for any damage caused to third parties by their failure to apply a patch in a timely manner they might be more responsive to supplied security fixes.