* Posts by mmonroe

81 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Jul 2019


Farewell WordPad, we hardly knew ye


Re: Kids nowadays ... Sigh!

Unixplex and a Wyse 60 terminal for me.

Fed-up Torvalds suggests disabling AMD’s 'stupid' performance-killing fTPM RNG


Re: RE: prerequisite for Windows 11

Windows secure? An oxymorn surely.

NASA mistakenly severs communication to Voyager 2


Re: Off topic 300 baud

When we went to 2400 baud, we thought all of our Christmases had come at once!

The last time I had anything to do with baud rates was 1999, when I worked for a large foundary. The server was stolen and dumped in the canal. A replacement server was sourced and after a couple of weeks, I thought everything was back up and running. I received a visit from somebody who wanted to know why his area was down. I didn't recognise him and he said he was from a portacabin, way down the back of the site. He had a Wyse 50 terminal and a printer, connected via two modems running over some copper than had been strung to the server room in the main office block. I had seen these modems in there, but assumed they were left over from something in the past. So I connected them to the server and his equipment started working. Checking, it was running as 1200 baud. I tried 9600, but the connection was unreliable. It worked at 4800 baud and he very impressed at the lightening fast prints.

First of Tesla's 'bulletproof' Cybertrucks clunks off production line


Garage 54 did theirs 3 years ago


Man who nearly killed physical media returns with $60,000 vinyl turntable



It doesn't look like you can turn the needle over to play 78s. My old 1960s portable turntable can.

Inclusive Naming Initiative limps towards release of dangerous digital dictionary


Re: And by "solving" a non-problem ...

" Who prints manuals anyway in this day and age?"

Who reads manuals? In 1981 I wrote the manual for the accounting software the company sold. Somewhere I included "If you read this and contact me, I'll give your $10". I never had to pay out.

Strange that "whitelist" is on the list, but "blacklist" isn't; whilelist has been blacklisted :)

I'm pleased INI have seen sense and allowed kill, otherwise Unix users would be stuck.

Australia to phase out checks by 2030


Banking apps

"For individual users, NPP transactions appear in their preferred banking apps within seconds..."

How does this work when my preferred app is the old fashioned bank book? I still have my BankSA passbook and a Nationwide passbook here in Blighty. Both have money in them.

That old box of tech junk you should probably throw out saves a warehouse


The boss chucked mine out

I had a filing cabinet drawer full of power supplies for laptops, tablets, etc that the collage had scrapped. These often came in useful. The bloke who PAT tests everything used to complain about having to go through the drawer, and I suggested he didn't and I would get the supply PAT tested if I issued it. While on was on holiday, the boss decided to chuck the lot out. A few weeks later, his wife came to ask if I had a power supply that would fit her laptop. "I probably would have had, but you had better talk to your husband". I understand the replacement was quite expensive...

Boffins claim to create the world's first wooden transistor


NAND gate

Team it with a bit of pencil for a resistor and you could make a NAND gate. Or maybe a couple of razor blade/pencil diodes. It had been 50 years since I did NAND gates when I was doing my degree and the knowledge is a bit fuzzy.

Microsoft pushes users to the Edge in Outlook, Teams


Re: Well, it's approriate

Hubert's solution might be the right way. I booted my PC using a Linux USB stick and completely removed the C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft directory. To stop it coming back, you could just delete what is in the directory and set the Unix perms to 000. Windows honours them.

The return of the classic Flying Toasters screensaver


Pipes and Johnny Castaway

I have fond memories of Pipes and Johnny Castaway. Having Johnny installed was a sure fire way to get no work done.

Potatoes in space: Boffins cook up cosmic concrete for off-world habitats


Growing potates in space

"The paper assumes future interplanetary explorers will grow them [potatoes], but offers scant detail."

Matt Damon managed it.

Capital crunch: Virgin Orbit confirms all ops on pause until Tuesday


Re: Thoughts

There were only five lauches of Black Arrow, with two successes. The final lauch carried Prospero, which is still in orbit. More successful then Europa, with it's Blue Streak (British), Coralie (French), Astris (German) and Italian payload. A wonderful example of international co-operation. When I lived in Australia, a documentary was on TV, which explained the failure of Europa. Scientists from each country spoke their own language and translating technical information from one language to another was never going to be ideal.

I remember the launches from Woomera very well. Two of my uncles worked on the Bulgunnia Station, which was inside the Woomera prohibited area. Each station had underground shelters the workers were supposed to sit in when a launch was scheduled. They sat on the roof instead to watch the firework display!

The Stonehenge of PC design, Xerox Alto, appeared 50 years ago this month


Proper paper orientation

I've always thought the portrait screen is the correct way to go. At work, they have finally supplied a monitor I can rotate.

China debuts bonkers hybrid electric trolley-truck


Re: European Pilot

There have been several similar trucks ove rthe years, starting in 1945 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolleytruck

If we plan to live on the Moon, it's going to need a time zone


We should ask The Clangers or Mr Squiggle. I assume they solved the problem years ago.

UK consortium set to bid for £480 million NHS data platform


Re: The real question for me is

£480m is cheap - it's not even 1.5 times the amount Bozo painted on the side of his bus. It will paid for in a fortnight.

Eager young tearaway almost ruined Christmas with printer paper


Overflowing the burster

During 1980, I started my second job with a building society. This was back in the days when banks, etc had branches and actually cared about their customers. The society used to hand back some of its profit to depositors, and I was given the job of writing the code for the years run. There were rules based on how much the depositor had in their account, how long they had held an account, etc. The code had to check each account to see if it passed, calulate the amount to be paid back, which was a percentage of the pool based on rules, print certificates at 4 per 19x11 sheet of paper and produce the necessary deposit record. I had tested it thoroughly and it was ready to go as part of an overnight run. It was estimated there would be 12,000 eligible receivers. I arrived next morning to be greeted with "Can you please see operations and ask them to show you the burster?" (Remember bursters and decollaters?) Clearly there was lots more than 12,000 certificates, something like 150,000. The burster room was overflowing. My boss checked my code against the specification and it was correct. Whoever came up with the bonus rules stuffed up big time. I breathed a sigh of relief.

UK Online Safety law threatens Big Tech bosses with jail


big bosses will avoid jail with use of brown envelopes

That's probably how Nadhim Zahawi avoided jail over his £3m tax fraud. Meanwhile somebody on benefits accidently claims an extra couple of hundred pounds and receives a jail term.

This is the end, Windows 7 and 8 friends: Microsoft drops support this week


Re: 2023 is the year of the Linux desktop /s

I've been running Linux on my desktop at home since 2001, which was when I first got a PC. It has never been a problem. Everything just works. Plus I have a choice. Having fallen out with Redhat because they insist on systemd, I moved to Slackware. Easy peasy!

Windows at work (XP to W11) has always been a pain - the UI is so primitive. Only one desktop? Only one item in your clipboard? A search that doesn't? Having to run extra software to fill in missing features of the o/s?

It's time to retire 'edge' from our IT vocabulary


Egde firewall

The edge firewall sits between your network and the internet. In my experience, this does a better job of protecting your data than the firewall on your PC.With a decent edge firewall you don't really need a PC firewall and the PC will run quicker.

As somebody else said, edge is also a rubbish web browser, which I call that tool Microsoft supply so you can download Chrome/Brave/Vivaldi or whatever takes your fancy.

Europe's USB-C deadline: Lightning must be struck from iPhone by December, 2024


Re: EU market size.

"Apple won't want to waste time & money shipping a different type to the UK"

Maybe they will. Reported on 18th Nov, India will require the USB-C so that it doesn't become a dumping ground for obsolete phones. The UK govt explicitly stated the UK won't require USB-C, and Apple has to get rid of the Lightening fitted phones somewhere.

End of an era as the last 747 rolls off the production line


Smoking sections

I flew Air India once, on a 747. First class had these really beautiful hosties. Non-smoking the hosties weren't bad looking. In smoking they were dogs.

This was back when the in-flight movie was a from a projector in the ceiling. With great ceremony, a steward turned the picture around on the bulkhead to reveal the screen, while another lowered the projector with it's red, green and blue outputs. He switched in on and smoke came out of it. No inflight movie that day.

Just before landing, they also used to walk down the aisle holding four cans of aerosol disinfectant, which made everybody cough.

Travellers today, with the back of seat personal screens, featuring games, movies and audio programs, don't know they were born!

Windows 11 still not winning the OS popularity contest


You can if you toggle off Microsucks own limitations but you shouldn't have too.

That's true of updates and new versions of every M$ product. You spend ages switching off stuff that nobody asked for and nobody wants. Case in point. The two blue arrows which magically appeared in W10 file explorer to indicate a compressed file. There is an option to display compressed files in a different colour, which had been there for years, and I have never seen enabled on any users system. Why you want to know a file is compressed when the o/s handles it transparently, is anyone's guess.

Huawei teases bonkers gadget combo


Re: Security Alarm

My 2cm x 1.5cm watch set the alarm off going through the metal detector in Kuala Lumpur. Security didn't understand and neither did I. Its a £20 Sekonda, which tells the time. They got one of the jewellry concessionaires to whip the back off for a peek inside. I don't know what they were expecting to find, but I was soon on my way.

Just 22% of techies in UK aged 50 or older, says Chartered Institute for IT


Re: hmmmm

I'm 65 and still at the coal face. I have ploughed the legacy furrow for most of my computing career. When I started, it was at the end of the punch card era. There was always lots of work for people who understood old technology.

For the last decade, I have worked in a college, doing a small amout of development, but mostly keeping the printers, projectors and all the stuff that nobody else wants to do, going. I like the easy life. The others in the team generally try to fix things remotely and when they can't, begrudgingly go and see the user. Me, I always use the personal touch, visit the users and besides the less I have to do with this newfangled M$ stuff, the better I like it.

Massive energy storage system goes online in UK


When I worked at a large facilities management company, we did a disaster recovery test. The diesel generator fired up lovely and then a few minutes later conked out due to lack of fuel. The chap who drove the van to deliver the tape offsite, used to fill his van from the generator tank, rather than going to the garage. Now you might have thought the finance people would have wondered why he wasn't putting receipts for diesel, or why the monthly account at the garage was so small, but apparently not.

Croatian EV maker Rimac claims 412km/h speed record


Re: Not enough range.

It would do me. I drive a whopping 5 miles a week.


Garage 54

Have a look on youtube, and type "garage 54 supersonic tyre". They calculated they got a standard tyre to 1332 kph. The guys at Garage 54 do all kinds of things to cars (mostly Ladas), things the Top Gear lot wouldn't dare try. I used to own a Lada and it was pretty bullet proof. The Garage 54 guys regularly confirm just how tenacious Ladas are.

To make this computer work, users had to press a button. Why didn't it work? Guess


I used to work for a compay that sold conveyancing systems running on the Pick Operating System. We had an urgent call from one of the clients to say the terminals were working, but the main console wasn't. I rushed over, walked in the office and said "You've moved that", pointing at the box and console. The client said, "We were really careful when we moved it. The console is connected but it won't display anything. I slid the brightness control on the monitor to the middle position and presto - it lit up. We decided not to charge them for a service call....

Laugh all you want. There will be a year of the Linux desktop


I guess I have been doing it all wrong for the last 23 years...

One of the schools that I worked in had Linux on all of the student PCs and we never had a problem. Students really only need an office suite, a web browser and some disk space to store their work on.

Microsoft leaves the Office, rebrands everything as 365


Re: Survey missing option

>> while I hate the ribbon interface as much as everyone else

Does this help? https://www.ubit.ch/software/ubitmenu-languages/ I have been using it for years.

USB-C iPhone, anyone? EU finalizes charging standard rule


Re: I look forward to the "UK only" versions

I hear the UK govt is going to insist all mbile devices are fitted with an IEC C14 socket, to enable enable a kettle lead (C13) to be used.

Microsoft debuts Windows 11 2022 Update – now with features added monthly


Re: New features every month?

I think the last reliable and stable o/s without annoying asa was XP.

Meta proposes doing away with leap seconds


"Millions. All those cron jobs set to run between 1AM and 2AM on Sundays."

I run mine at 3:00 AM avoiding the problem.

Microsoft resorts to Registry hack to keep Outlook from using Windows 11 search


Re: What about Windows 10?

Which is why I have cygwin installed - grep works. SuperfinderXT is fairly good too.

NOBODY PRINT! Selfless hero saves typing pool from carbon catastrophe


Uniplex "my God, it chills me just mention the dark lord's name,"

I have fond memories of Uniplex. The documents were stored as plain text files - very efficient and you could fix problems with vi. It was very easy to generate letters too. I had a shell script that did it. My record/cassette/CD/VHS/DVD database system is all written in bash, using text files. Yes it has been suggested I have "problems".

openSUSE Leap 15.4: The best desktop on the RPM side of the Linux world


Re: btrfs - ready for prime time. Not.

When I installed openSusue, I firstly installed btrfs, but mounting the suse disk when I booted into Fedora, was difficult and it buggered up my Fedora install. I fixed Fedora and reinstalled Suse selecting the ext4 option - no more problems for me.

Now if only I could get rid of systemd on both, I would have for me the perfect distros - rpm based and svr4.

NHS England seeks £240m data platform to tackle COVID recovery



That's less than a weeks money Bozo said we send to the EU.

UK spy boss warns China hopes Russia will help it take over tech standards


Standards created by the USA

China is trying to introduce "undemocratic values as the default for vast swathes of future tech and the standards that govern it."

I don't remember the standards introduced by the US govt and companies, being decided upon democratically. Some are good, but others are dire. The fact that M$ Word format is the default standard for documents is dire.

Microsoft backtracks on lack of easy Windows browser choice


Re: Microsoft doesn't have...

I've got an IT degree and I can't find my way around M$ operating systems.

Lost your mouse cursor? Microsoft's PowerToys 0.55 has you covered – with a massive crosshair


Re: Less with Windows

"I can usually find the Windows cursor with a quick flick of the mouse."

The Mac does this correctly (IMO). Wiggle the mouse quickly side to side and the cursor becomes huge. Only a blind person could miss it.

UK, Australia, to build 'network of liberty that will deter cyber attacks before they happen'


"That last phrase refers to a promise that Australia will become the first nation allowed to build and operate nuclear-powered submarines that employ tech from the USA or UK."

These are US designed subs, and the UK involvement will be a few brackets and some tins of paint.

Planning on buying a new motor? Chip shortages set to hit UK carmakers this year and next


There is Morgan and Caterham too.

UK government has 'no clear plan' for replacing ageing legacy IT estate, MPs report


There is an upside

I've ploughed the legacy furrow for my entire IT career of 41 years. I've pretty much always been in work and I haven't had to be bothered with learning the latest newfangled nonsense. I leave that to the wet behind the ears, know it all whippersnappers.

Microsoft gives Notepad a minimalist makeover to match Windows 11 style


Re: Pointless

Dark themes are nothing new. NT had a colour scheme called black leather jacket. It may have been in 3.1 too, but I can't remember.

The pandemic improved the status of IT workers … forever


It was all a hoax

In 20 years time I can see a bunch of know-it-alls claiming covid was all a con, just like know-it-alls today claim the Millenium bug was all a con.

UK schools slap a hold on facial scanning of children amid fierce criticism


Re: Won’t somebody think of the children!?

Nah, a barcode tattooed on their forehead.

How Windows NTFS finally made it into Linux


Am I missing something?

My box at home is Fedora 29 and Suse Leap15 and both Linuxes can write to NTFS disks just fine.

LibreOffice 7.2 release candidate reveals effort to be Microsoft-compatible


Re: Use early Microsoft formats where possible for interchange

I go for rtf and csv for maximum compatibility, when I send files to somebody.