* Posts by itzumee

76 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Feb 2019


40 years of Turbo Pascal, the coding dinosaur that revolutionized IDEs


>>There was even a cross platform version - CLX

You mean Kylix?


IIRC OWL was bought by Borland from a third party and whilst it nicely abstracted all the Win API stuff, it had a steeper learning curve than MFC which was essentially Win API but without the window object handles, and given that most C and C++ devs had previously used the raw WinAPI, MFC wasn't much new to learn and so took off as the framework of choice.

Share your 2024 tech forecasts (wrong answers only) to win a terrible sweater


Apple's Tim Cook resigns, handing the reigns over the Steve Jobs daughter Lisa.

Apple releases MacOS and iOS and all other proprietary tech to open source, free-licencing it and declaring a reduction in App Store cut to 1%, resulting in smartphone makers focussing on iOS rather than Android with a massive surge in apps developed for iOS. Apple's App Store revenues shoot through the roof and a new feature is added enabling those already invested in Android apps to acquire the iOS versions for free, with Apple paying all necessary developer recompense. All of this results in the slow death of Android and record profits for Apple, who finally agree to pay tax on their profits in all of their operating jurisdictions.

Microsoft says VBScript will be ripped from Windows in future release


Re: If MS is binning crap...

+1 for binning Entity Framework

I recently migrated an ASP.NET web app that used EF to ASP.NET Core, I decided it'd be better to ditch EF and use Dapper instead. Result: much less code and a much faster application.

EF is an abomination, if I were interviewing someone for a .NET dev role and they recommended it, I'd terminate the interview


Re: I'd choose PowerShell over bash every time...

>>I know way more PowerShell than bash and have been using PowerShell for over ten years.

>>I still hate it with the white hot passion of a thousand burning suns.

How odd... do you hate it because you think it's lacking? Some other reason?


I'd choose PowerShell over bash every time...

... given that .NET Core and PowerShell run on Linux and MacOS. Despite being a seasoned bash user, I'd have to be crazy to choose bash or any other Linux shell over PowerShell for writing scripts or doing sys admin-type stuff. Of course, if you don't know PowerShell but know bash, then you'll continue to use it, but anyone dismissing PowerShell is doing so from a position of ignorance.

PowerShell isn't hard to learn and it's an evolutionary step from bash, well worth taking the time to learn and you'll be far more productive than if you carried on with bash.

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ASP doesn't need VBScript

The myth that ASP or Windows needed VBScript was the biggest con perpetuated by MS - most if not all of the Windows scripting and ASP documentation and coding examples they provided used VBScript, leading developers to believe it was VBScript or nothing. Javascript (or JScript as MS called it) could be used to write ASP pages and Windows scripts and indeed that's what I used from the get-go. In fact, any language that was an Active Scripting Language (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_Scripting) could be used but JScript was provided alongside VBScript as part of ASP/Windows.

In a way, I guess I should be thankful for VBScript - I had a lot of lucrative contract work refactoring existing poor-performing ASP websites to use JScript, with the refactored application making use of JavaScript objects (I wrote a controls framework that did parsing and validation that pre-dated ASP.NET) and all the other nice stuff that the language provided, plus the code ran much faster than VBScript; it was certainly a revelation to some of my clients that server-side code could be written in JavaScript/JScript just like that.

"web developers tended to favor JavaScript for client-side tasks."

They could've used the same language for ASP server-side code - that they thought they had to learn VBScript to develop an ASP website beggars belief.


"Unfortunately, Microsoft never managed to get other browser makers to support VBScript"

Surely the first word should've been "Thankfully" or something stronger like "Thank f***".

Soon the most popular 'real' desktop will be the Linux desktop


I downloaded the MX 23 ISO file and tried installed it into a VMWare Workstation Pro VM, never got past the splash screen after the initial setup, the VM itself was nothing fancy, just a single processor, 8GB RAM a 40GB disk and I selected the correct option for the guest.

It's time to mark six decades of computer networking


Re: Wonder....

Ah, token network puns

Virgin Media email customers enter third day of inbox infuriation


Since PlusNet's email became flakier and flakier, I decided to take the plunge and pay tried a trial of FastMail and haven't looked back. FM provide an email import facility which works perfectly and in the background - you set it off and get an email notification when it's complete. I did spend a lot of time checking that the import worked and also imported my GMail account to a separate folder as I stopped using GMail too (still keeping it though).

FastMail also provide calendars and the ability to use my own domain (hosted elsewhere) and unlimited email aliases, plus masked emails to help dealing with potential spam id you're a 1Password user.

Highly recommended.

File Explorer gets facelift in latest Windows 11 build


Re: The Recommended File feature


Your mistake lies in assuming that this is for your benefit and that MS care about what *you* want. They don't.

This is purely for MS's benefit because- as with many apparently illogical UI decisions- they want to railroad you into doing something or using a particular service that benefits *them*.

Unless you're a huge, influential corporate customer, MS really doesn't give a toss what you want.


Apple do much the same


Re: xyplorer

I've used a free version of XYPlorer that came with PC Pro mag, it's good but then I came across Directory Opus and on sale with a 40% discount, so I've no need for XYPlorer now.

Telco giant Vodafone to cut 11,000 staff as part of its turnaround plan


That's what I always do now, it's never more expensive than buying the phone with contract and the phone isn't locked to the provider.

Will LLMs take your job? Only if you let them


Multiplan was made by Microsoft


Fancy trying the granddaddy of Windows NT for free? Now's your chance


Re: Those were the days

IIRC from my days working with VMS, you could write executables in any of the supported compiled languages and then define a DCL command that acted as a wrapper around one or more executables, complete with parameter validation and parsing all done by the DCL interpreter before calling the executable(s) with the appropriate arguments. It was very powerful and saved tools developers a lot of time, the nearest I've come across in recent times for parameter handling and validation is PowerShell.


Re: VMS 1.0...

VAX Pascal was DECs darling language in the 80's, it had all the language extensions needed to make it suitable for writing "proper" applications (a bit like Turbo Pascal did for PCs) and indeed London Underground's then-newly rolled-out computerised ticketing system (1987 onwards) had a datacentre in Baker Street comprised of a bunch of VAX 11/785s to which each tube station was connected via an on-site PDP-11 station computer to which all of the local ticket machines were connected; the ticket machines talked to the PDP which then packaged up and forwarded the ticketing data to the VAXes at Baker St. The central control and accounting software running on the VAXes was written in VAX Pascal and the UI used DEC's SMG screen windowing library, basically a character-based GUI of menus, pop-up windows and the like. All very cutting edge back then.

Psst! Infosec bigwigs: Wanna be head of security at HM Treasury for £50k?


Re: Can't pay more

Yes, you'd be a scapegoat, but you probably wouldn't get fired, after all no-one gets fired in the public sector. Plus the lovely golden pension you'd get if you stuck it out until retirement age. When I was much younger, there was no way I'd have looked at a public sector job, but my life-long-public-sector-worker neighbour has just retired with a golden pension that provides more money than he knows what to do with, which makes me think maybe I should've gone down that route?

Thought you'd opted out of online tracking? Think again


The only problem with pihole is...

.. that some sneaky websites rely on the addresses blocked by PiHole to provide functionality, so you end up with a partially or completely blank page when visiting certain websites, HolidayExtras being one (I use it to book airport car-parking) and invariably my wife complained regularly that many web pages (mainly shopping sites) weren't loading or working properly with PiHole filtering all DNS traffic.

These days, the only devices filtered by PiHole in my home are the TVs, PVR and media streaming devices.

Tech job vacancies hamper England's digital health plans


Re: Pay seems low

That's not gonna you someone highly skilled with loads of experience.

Apple complains UK watchdog wants to make iOS a 'clone' of Android


Re: Apple - the anti-choice champion

How'd you come to that (incorrect) conclusion?


Apple - the anti-choice champion

Long long overdue. Safari is the shittiest browsing experience of all, if I had a choice of non-WebKit browser on my iPhone it'd be Edge or Chrome, or maybe Firefox? Apple need to shut-up, get real and get on with it, then maybe, just maybe, Safari will be a better web browser than it is currently. But if Apple Maps is anything to go by, it probably won't.

Cost of living crisis less of problem for tech pro retirees than others


Re: Cold day in hell

MFC was essentially raw Win32 API without the handles wasn't it? That's all the abstraction it provided IIRC

Using the datacenter as a dining room destroyed the platters that matter


Dining in the datacentre?

Reminds me of my days as a service engineer, when London Underground rolled out their fancy new computerised ticket machines and entry gates back in the late 1980s and early 90s.

Each underground station had at least one DEC PDP-11 minicomputer which was responsible for talking to the local ticket machines and gates and gathering data from all of those devices, which would then be sent to the data centre (comprising DEC VAX 11/785s) in Baker Street via a proprietary network specially developed by the supplier (Westinghouse Cubic at the time). Each of these PDP-11s were located in a purpose-built station computer room which was sealed and air-con and only service engineers had a key for the SC room, which on hot days was used by service engineers to cool off and have lunch or even the odd spliff. As far as I recall, there weren't any rodent ingress incidents and miraculously, no spillage of drinks on the PDP-11 cabinet used as a drinks table, though I suspect that was due more to luck than the service engineers being careful.

Mouse hiding in cable tray cheesed off its bemused user


Re: "Out of Cheese" Error

oh fur f**** sake

Jeffrey Snover claims Microsoft demoted him for inventing PowerShell


Re: I would get it fired for inventing Powershell

My understanding was that PowerShell syntax was designed to make it easier for Bash-heads to pick up PowerShell?

Distributor dumps Kaspersky to show solidarity with Ukraine


If you've already paid for Kaspersky...

... the only reason to stop using it is that you can no longer trust them, you're not gonna deny them any further revenue until your subscription expires

The right to repairable broadband befits a supposedly critical utility


BT Openreach are pretty hopeless

I had a problem with my FTTC service dropping my broadband connection, contacted Plusnet who confirmed it was a line fault and booked a BT Openreach engineer to investigate. Guy turns up, fixes the problem but a few days later it recurs, so not fixed after all. Another service visit, another part replaced in the cabinet or junction box on the telegraph pole, but speeds are way down on what they were before the fault, but the connection is stable so left it at that.

Days later, the connection keeps dropping again, another service visit and after much bleeping of his diagnostic gear, the guy is telling me it must be the wiring from the junction box inside my front door to the master socket - his diagnostic gear was telling him so. He proposes replacing the cable, but the problem is the tiled floor would would need ripping out to do it, so he then suggests laying the new cable and nailing it to the skirting board, drilling a hole in the wall so get the cable to the master socket.

Given that I'd seen the original cable being installed and that it's relatively new cable, I told the guy I'd leave it and see how it goes. Days later the fault fixed itself. I contacted Plusnet again to see what'd fixed the issue, the report from BT was that they didn't know exactly what had fixed the fault, as replacing parts in the exchange cabinet hadn't fixed it, but something else had.

Reg reader rages over Virgin Media's email password policy


I ditched my Plusnet ISP email about 4 months ago for FastMail, after issues with their IMAP servers meant that email was slow to arrive and/or connections would be randomly terminated when retrieving email. The difference in performance now is like night vs day.

Just two die for: Apple reveals M1 Ultra chip in Mac Studio


"the iPad Air is available with either 64GB or 256GB of memory"

Why not 128GB? I see Apple are up to their usual cynical marketing tactics...

JavaScript survey: Most use React but satisfaction low


What do we want? Static typing!

Why not just use TypeScript then? Yes, it's a lot more than just a strongly-typed Javascript but it also gives you so much more.

When forgetting to set a password for root is the least of your woes


Re: Hitting Enter....

Reminds me of when I was working for a well-known (but now sadly defunct) software tools developer's tech support team decades ago and took a call from a pompous tw*t working for PC World, who was trying to blag free support for an issue that required a support contract. When I pointed out that he'd need to pay a small sum of money for me to open a support case, his response was "... but I'm from PC World, do you seriously not know who we are?!" to which I replied "Yes, you're part of Dixons". His response was a "WTF are you talking about!?", I suggested he read that day's newspapers where the headline was PC World bought out by Dixons Retail Group.

Microsoft rolls out Files On-Demand with tighter macOS integration – but it defaults to 'on' and can't be disabled


All your documents are belong to us

When I recently installed OneDrive on my new Windows 10 machine (to which I had previously copied all the documents and other files from my old machine), it promptly set my standard local user folders Desktop, Downloads, Documents and Pictures to point to OneDrive and it moved the contents of those folders there too, but barfed when it realised there wasn't enough space on my (free) OneDrive subscription and wouldn't proceed until the issue was resolved. I checked the original local folders in c:\Users\myusername\ and they were all empty so I decided the safest way to handle this would be to upgrade my OneDrive sub for £1.99 for sufficient space for OneDrive to do it's thing and complete, which it did.

The annoying thing here is when installing the OneDrive Windows app, there was no option to specify that you don't want OneDrive to suck up your user folders and empty them! Yes, there's an option in the installed OneDrive app's settings but by then it's too late!

Anyway, I've since copied all of the files back to their original local folders and reset my default user folders to point to those too, but the way the installer works makes me think it's a ruse to get you to cough up money, and it worked, but I've since cancelled the auto-renew so MS will be getting no more dosh from me for OneDrive. I hope.

BTW, when installing Windows 10 (and I guess 11), never ever ever provide your Microsoft ID, otherwise all of your user folders will be on OneDrive and you'll probably never notice until it's too late.

GPU makers promise relief is at hand over chip shortages, prices expected to fall in second half of the year


I doubt prices will come down to pre-GPU-shortage levels this year or next. These days if you need a GPU without paying over the odds then eBay is where it's at unfortunately. I've almost completed my latest self-build PC which includes a 1 year old used GTX 1650 Super which, according to Currys PCWorld retails for £170 (but of course they've no stock) so I've paid £100 more for a used GPU. I don't feel too bad about it though, Amazon lists the same GPU for £385.

Replaced several times but still live and kicking: Windows Forms updated for .NET 6.0


OWL was a proper abstraction of the Windows API, unlike MFC which was essentially the Windows API without windows handle arguments, which meant a less steep learning curve for MFC, not that OWL had a steep leaning curve.

BT's Plusnet shows Google how it's done as email woes enter their third day


Re: Free email?

They've had email issues for years, it's gotten worse this year and has come to a head more recently.


They've had email issues for years now

I've been with Plusnet since the early noughties but since around 2012, I noticed that emails took a while to arrive in my Inbox (didn't matter whether I was using their WebMail or my favourite email client), which was especially noticeable with password-reset emails, registration confirmation emails and the like, which would take at least 15 minutes to show up in my inbox. I often used my GMail account to register with websites and I'd get the confirmation email immediately, so it was obviously Plusnet's email wasn't that great. I've always used Thunderbird email client connecting to PN's IMAP server and occasionally TB would report connection issues, but it still retrieved my emails so despite that I was still happy, but when I recently started using another client (eM Client) because of it's superior filtering function making it much quicker and easier to cleanup my PN email, I found that it couldn't download all of my email from PN's IMAP server, a look at the logs showed that the IMAP server was randomly dropping the connection causing eM Client to stop what it was doing and throw it's hands up. I remembered trying to use Outlook 2019 with Plusnet a few months previously and it couldn't see any IMAP folders for my PN email except for Inbox, which I dismissed as Outlook being a POS and left it at that. A look at the eM Client forums and Plusnet Community forums revealed that many others were experiencing issues with the IMAP server connection being unexpectedly terminated, with forum posts going back to January 2021 and still the issue hadn't been fixed.

I decided to check out a some other paid email services (I didn't want to become the product of a free email provider) and settled on FastMail because it integrates with 1Password (which I've used for years now) to provide on-the-fly masked email addresses (makes it simple to identify any websites that have sold your email address) and provides loads of other useful features, plus it lives up to it's name and "just works".

Migrating my email from Plusnet was a doddle thanks to FastMail's import facility, though it took hours to complete because of the spurious dropped IMAP connections, but when it eventually completed, I was presented with a detailed log confirming that every email and folder had been imported. Just to be sure I eyeballed the contents of my PN IMAP folders with my FM IMAP folders just to make sure everything was there.

So with my email "out-sourced", there's now less to keep me from migrating to another ISP, though I'm happy with my Plusnet broadband connection. Sure, email is now costing me money but it's not too expensive and I found a 25% discount link. Plus a pay upfront 1 year, 2 year or 3 year subscription saves money.

If you're a Plusnet customer affected by their email issues, I'd recommend moving on to another email service. If you're not affected, you may well be sometime soon.

Former Broadcom engineer accused of pinching chip tech to share with new Chinese employer


There - fixed that for you:

It's only a matter of time before China invades Taiwan to get TSMC's semicon litho equipment and when they do, they've basically lost all dependence on "the western world". At that point, there will likely be trouble.

50 years have gone by since the UK's one – and only – homegrown foray into orbit


Yeah, I also thought that photo was a screenshot from an episode of Thunderbirds

Report: Apple short of 10 million iPhone 13s this year due to ongoing chip shortage


Re: Pisses me off

Also the latest IR35 tax rules in the UK have put off many contract HGV drivers and has led to smaller haulage companies shutting down because of the risk of a lengthy and costly IR investigation makes it unviable.

Fake 'BT' caller fleeces elderly victim of £30k in APP app scam


I'd agree that at least a few of these scams are triggered by insider information, as evidenced by my wife paying a monthly care home bill for her mother via online banking, then at around 5pm the same day, getting a phone call from someone purporting to be from the bank saying that the payment hadn't gone through because the payee account details had changed and could she re-do the bank transfer but to a different account number.

Of course, being a council-estate girl made good, she was immediately suspicious and phoned the care home directly to confirm they'd received the original transfer, which they eventually confirmed they had.

British gambling giant Betfred told to pay stiffed winner £1.7m jackpot after claiming 'software problem'


I'd like to know whether the judgement was based on the fact that 49 pages of T+Cs is excessive and that, frankly, no-one could reasonably expected to fully read.

If so then it means that overly long/verbose terms and conditions are a weakness in legal cases brought in front of a judge.

Name True, iCloud access false: Exceptional problem locks online storage account, stumps Apple customer service

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Re: My name is

'; DROP TABLE Users;--


1Password has none, KeePass has none... So why are there seven embedded trackers in the LastPass Android app?


Re: Just justified the reason to leave.

As a long time 1Password user, I can recommend it


Re: KeyPass as an alternative? Are you sure you didn't mean KeePass?

You mean there's a CPM-86 version? Well I never...

Troubling news for JSON tinkerers? Windows Terminal unveils The Settings


Re: I sense a sea change at MS. And I'm not sure it is all swells from here on....

"nearly, but not quite, bash"

Do you mean PowerShell? If so then yeah, it's not quite bash but it _is_ a lot more than bash

Microsoft Edge goes homomorphic: Nobody will see your credentials... but you'll need to sign in to use it


Re: Huh?

Wahey! I'm an innovative software developer who's way ahead of the infosec curve

Visual Studio 16.9 Preview 3 brings Chromium WebView debugging, noisy tests for visually impaired, and more


Just had a quick look at the MS docs for WebView, seems pretty limited in what it can do compared with the old IE-based equivalent which allowed manipulation of the DOM.

For every disastrous rebrand, there is an IT person trying to steer away from the precipice


My university work placement was at Wang's manufacturing plant in Limerick, Ireland and because the Mr Wang's first name was An, he was known as The Wang, which makes perfect sense in that part of the world and would probably do so in Scotland too.

Apple to halve commission for developers turning over up to $1m in sales via App Store


"It can't be a coincidence that Apple's gesture also comes as myriad large developers make forceful complaints about the practises of Apple and the 30 per cent commission it charges devs."

So refreshing to see the correct use of "myriad" rather than the all too common and incorrect use such as "a myriad of".

Aside from that, I can't see how Apple can justify taking a 30% cut of App Store purchases when said store hasn't changed much in years and so ongoing development costs would be either very low or close to zero, unless Apple employs huge numbers of dedicated App Store-related staff?

They're just a greedy company who are willing to shaft both customers and developers, and they mostly get away with it because of the lock-in to their walled garden.