* Posts by mmonroe

63 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Jul 2019


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.

Windows 11 still doesn't understand our complex lives – and it hurts


That syncing feeling

We foolishly ditched shared drives and had everyone move their files too Teams. Apparently, company hosted shared drives weren't secure enough !?! Now we get regular calls that Teams hasn't synced. "I've put a file on Teams and nobody else can see it" or more inconveniently "I did some work on my home PC and it isn't here in the office". Thankfully, I still use a shared drive and memory sticks and I never have sync problems.

During lockdown, Team meetings were a nightmare. I couldn't use it on my Linux box (not a fault of Linux - it doesn't have mike or speakers), so I had to take an M$ laptop home. The installed program was unreliable; at least the web version seemed to hold up.

Lenovo says it’s crammed a workstation into a litre of space – less than three cans of beer


a pair of PS/2s

I can still use my ancient (15yr old) Logitech trackball and my even older Compaq keyboard. I really like the keyboad - no useless Windows key and it clicks when you press a key.

What you need to know about Microsoft Windows 11: It will run Android apps


Classic Shell and UBitMenu are your friends here. When the new IT manager took over, he wanted to know why I was still running XP and the rest of the company are on Windows 10. Looks ARE everything after all...


They will probaby do an Adobe...

Long ago, we purchased CS6 with cold hard cash. It does everything we want and need, but we're not allowed to install it any more as Adobe has withdrawn the licence. M$ might well do the same in near future.

Do you come from a land Down Under? Where diesel's low and techies blunder


Re: Gee…

Generally they eat, root, shoot and leave. Ooooo Matron!


Me too!

When I worked for a large facilities management company, they decided to do a disaster recover test at our site. The power company shut down the electricity supply, the UPS's told the genny to kick in, which it did, and management were all beaming smiles, showing the assembled clients how safe our site was. Beaming smiles right up until the genny ran out of diesel after about 10 minutes. Seems the blokes who drove the nightly backup tapes to the off site storage had been filling up the van from the genny tank.

43 years and 14 billion miles later, Voyager 1 still crunching data to reveal secrets of the interstellar medium


Re: Often overlooked

I think digital TV was a bad idea. Back in the analogue days, I could always get a picture. It might have had snow, but I could always watch the program. Now, if it rains, or if the atmosphere isn't right, I get extreme pixalisation and the picture keeps freezing. I have line of site to the transmitter too.

As to Voyager, long may it continue on it's merry way.

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


Shouldn't they be calling it Windows 11 by now?

Windows 8 release 2012. Windows 10 release 2015. 5 years seems a long time for M$ not to change the number.

Not that I really care - I'll stick to Linux at home and the Mac my empoyer has me use.

Words to strike fear into admins' hearts: One in five workers consider themselves 'digital experts' these days


Re: Buried the lede

"This year will be the 40th anniversary of the IBM PC and the 45th of the Apple 1."

There-in lies the source of these "experts". When I was a young, spotty faced programmer, working on various Big Irons, you really had to know what you were doing if you wanted to use a computer. When I was doing my Computer Science degree in the 1970s, we learned about logic gates, truth tables, DeMorgan's Laws, etc, all things which has been the foundations of code I write. Ask any of these "experts" about this stuff and you'll draw a blank.

Putting a computer on every desk was a double edge sword. Democratising computers was good; creating these "experts" very bad. At the college where I work, most teachers, whether they teach Biology, Mathematics or Languages, consider themselves an IT expert. They will discover a random piece of software on the Internet or have it recommended by a friend, and then find they can't get it to work. They think a quick call to IT support will help. Nup! We don't support random bits of software, only stuff that we approve of. Trouble is, the teacher then goes crying to the Principal pleading "I really need this to teach" and we in IT lose countless hours trying to get whatever piece of carp to work.

When I first started out on the long and frustrating road of a Computing career, my first boss told me the definition of an "expert". Ex - a has been, Spurt - a drip under pressure.

To have one floppy failure is unlucky. To have 20 implies evil magic or a very silly user


I've done the same thing

The Pick Operating System that I worked on back in the early 1990s was mostly floppy based. A client had sent us some of their data so I could test a new report before sending it to them. I inserted the floppy disk, without really looking what I was doing and got a read error. No worries I thought, I'll eject the disk and try it on anther machine. Back then, you could often read a disk on a different machine - something to do with floppy drive head alignment. I was very mystified when no disk popped out.

Quality control, Soviet style: Here's another fine message you've gotten me into


Re: Such value for money

I don't know why people diss Ladas. I had one for a decade. An annual service and the odd tank petrol, and I did many trouble free miles. I rate it as the most confortable car I had for long distance travel. It was a Samara, the GL model. This meant it had sunroof and speakers. If you wanted a stereo, you had to fork out for the GLX model. A £10 radio/cassette player from a market stall saw me right. Always started first turn of the key on the coldest of mornings - it laughed at the UK idea of winter.

If you want to see how tenacious Ladas are, pop onto Garage54's channel on youtube. Vlad and the boys subject Ladas to all kinds of abuse and they always rise to the challenge.

Beloved pixel pusher Paint prepares to join Notepad for updates from Microsoft Store


Re: MS Paint has never been so bad

I find MSPaint really useful. If I want to wack some text on a screen shot, it is far easier to do with Paint than GIMP, or Adobe suite, both of which I have on my work box.

Notepad has its place too, as a scratch pad.

Sometimes you just don't need all the bells and whistles.

IBM creates a COBOL compiler – for Linux on x86




I'm sure I wasn't alone in putting these and similar statements in my code when I was a spotty faced programmer.

Yep, the 'Who owns Linux?' case is back from the dead


I wonder by Xinous has it's headquarters in the Virgin Islands?

Use Windows and POS in the same sentence... Yes, that's right: Point of Sale. What were you thinking?



A lot of ATMs here in Blighty, still seem to be on XP. I've seen a few with BSOD. People wonder why I still take my money out by seeing the cashier.

Another Windows 10 patch that breaks printers ups ante to full-on Blue Screen of Death


Re: @Totally not a Cylon - "in some apps"?

"Pardon me for asking, the 8in were they single sided ?"

I've still got a box of 8" DS/DD floppies from when I worked on System/34s. I have no idea what is on them and I have nothing to read them with. I tried holding them up to the light but that didn't help...

8" disks where quite robust. Many a time we received data from a client on a disk with a crease and you would leave it overnight under a filing cabinet to flatten it out, so you could read it. It wasn't unknown for us to iron them - not on the cotton setting and definitely no steam!

NASA sends nuclear tank 293 million miles to Mars, misses landing spot by just five metres. Now watch its video


Matt Damon

When are they sending Matt Damon to drive it?

This product is terrible. Can you deliver it in 20 years’ time when it becomes popular?


Wired remote controls

When I was a poor uni student late 1970s Australia, colour TVs were getting more affordable, and TV shops were accepting old b/w sets as trade-ins. What happened to the old sets? They sat out the back of the shop for the taking. The share house had a big console model, all polished wood, with doors to hide the TV screen. The wired remote would roll up automatically when you pulled the cable. The remote even have two 3.5mm headphone jacks, so two people could watch TV and not annoy anybody else in the room.