* Posts by Nick Fisher

43 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Feb 2007

Scientists discover Tatooine-style world 200 lightyears off

Nick Fisher

Good point, I should have added a 'IMO' there. DLY is a cracking read, agreed.

Nick Fisher

Freyr and Batalix?

I do. Aldiss' finest works, without a doubt.

The Cube: Apple's daftest, strangest romance

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I agree

I had 10 years fault-free service from my PowerMac G4. My Intel iMacs have likewise performed faultlessly.

Apple iMac 27in

Nick Fisher
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Very impressive bit of kit.

I purchased the 21.5" quad-core i5 model and it goes like the proverbial off a shovel. The screen, as the reviewer noted, is a marvel. It's an excellent machine.

Mac OS X Lion debuts in July as $29.99 upgrade

Nick Fisher

Not quite

It's a 4Gb download. Unpleasant, yes, but you can install on it all machines which use the same AppleStore ID. Make a disk image on a DVD (or memory stick) for future use.

(and given that Apple rely on the honesty of its users with regards to OS installs - no licence code or serial number shenanigans here - you could probably install it on as many machines in your household as you care to)

I'm puzzled why your XTools d/l failed. You can break/resume Apple Store downloads ad infinitum.

Apple Mac OS X: A decade of Ten

Nick Fisher

OS X public beta

The beta was time-limited IIRC. Judicious resetting of your system clock may allow it to boot.

Amazon: 'iPad LCD tablets no threat to Kindle'

Nick Fisher


As somebody who reads a lot of books and spends a lot of time away from home, the Kindle was a no-brainer purchase for me. I love it.

Would I like an iPad? Of course of I would. But I wouldn't use it as an e-book reader.

John Lewis pitches 80-quid colour e-book reader

Nick Fisher

LCD vs e-ink

LCDs are backlit. e-ink screens aren't (- they're reflective, like regular paper).

They really are much easier on the eyes.

Ten Essential... 500GB Portable Hard Drives

Nick Fisher


Do any of these drives have a Firewire port? (I'm guessing you would have mentioned this in the review if so)

Ten free apps to install on every new Mac

Nick Fisher


El Reg is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Monolingual - use with caution

Monolingual is a great way to save some disk space, but beware, it can completely break your Office suite. After using Monolingual, Word 2008 became extremely unstable for me (crashing every few minutes), and the Auto Update procedure ceased to work.

A Time Machine backup saved the day, at the cost of several hours productivity.

Google mocks Steve Jobs with Chrome-Flash merger

Nick Fisher

Curious minds want to know

How slightly are you hoping for? 3%? 5%? A little bit more slightly than that?

BBC ices launch of free iPhone news app

Nick Fisher

Leave the BBC alone

The only people interested in breaking up the BBC are those people in direct competition with it. Well, them and the swivel-eyed loons and fantasists of the rightwing blogosphere.

Incidentally, don't forget BBC Radio. Radio 4 alone is worth the licence fee IMO.

Tories ask: Why BBC3, BBC4?

Nick Fisher


...is the serious documentary ghetto (and not just arts). It's arguably home to the finest programmes BBC television produces.

Leave it well alone, please.

BSkyB yanks more cash from HP's hide

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The Murdochs. Dontcha just love 'em?

I think I'm not alone when I say I'd like to see a far, far smaller News Corp.

Scenic overlook bolted onto ISS

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Talby would approve.

Steve Jobs dubs Google's 'don't be evil' motto 'bulls**t'

Nick Fisher

Apple and Open Source

Well there's WebKit, of course. Chances are your phone uses it.

Apple's 'latest creation' debuts January 27

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Apple are re-entering the inkjet printer business with the introduction of the StyleWriter III.

("It's a really beautiful thing. We're really pleased with it. Look at that, two pages per minute in HQ mode, boom. Available July, $399")

'Plutonium pinch' nips NASA

Nick Fisher

Copy boo boo

"One programme already feeling the "plutonium pinch" is New Horizons, which recently announced three contenders for a 2018 mission to either the Moon, Venus or an asteroid"

You mean New Frontiers. New Horizons in the Pluto/Kuiper mission currently en route.

Hackintosher's new line: Linux and T-shirts

Nick Fisher

OS X retail IS the full version. Not an upgrade.

No, they aren't upgrades. If I put a new HD in my MacBook I can install a retail copy of OS X on it and boot from it. I've done this on more than one occasion.

Tories oppose charges and speed cameras

Nick Fisher

The thing about the congestion charge...

...is that it works. Roll it out nationwide, do us all a favour.

Best thing Ken Livingstone ever did IMO.

Apple's move to kill Hackintosher suit denied

Nick Fisher


"If I want to buy OS X and install it on my hardware, with the understanding that I get ZERO support from Apple, why shouldn't I be able to?"

Apple aren't stopping you doing this. Go ahead. They don't care.

What they DO care about (and what many posters here don't seem to get) is selling non-Apple hardware with OS X installed on it (or bundled with it). That's a big no-no.

Apple banishes Macs to old folks home

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Fine machines

In contrast to Stevie, my '99-vintage Sawtooth G4 is still giving sterling service, and has been trouble-free since the moment it was unboxed. A Mac that can boot both OS 9 and X 10.4 is a handy beast to have around.

Send old Shuttles to Mars, says Scotty ashes prang man

Nick Fisher

Stephen Baxter

As Jeff pointed out above, this was the plot device in Baxter's 'Titan' novel (an excellent read btw, far better than his later stuff). In the novel, a crew of 5 took around 6 years to reach Titan in a one-way trip in shuttle hardware, prior to descending onto the moon itself in Apollo CMs. As you might expect, bad things happen on the way.

(Read 'Voyage' for his alternate history manned Mars mission)

In the ditch with DAB radio

Nick Fisher

One reason to buy a DAB set

Good luck trying to listen to Test Match Special on R4LW.

Apple update purges 21 security vulns from OS X

Nick Fisher

No engineering or scientific applications available for Macs

Odd, could have sworn I was running Mathematica and VMD on mine yesterday.

Apple tells Mac users: Get anti-virus

Nick Fisher

A pedant writes

The plural of 'virus' is 'viruses'.

There are no such words as 'viri' and 'virii'

Elgato EyeTV DTT Mac digital TV tuner

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Nice bit of kit

I purchased one of these for my iMac. It's an excellent little device, and the DVR software works flawlessly. Thumbs up.

Judge dismisses Hackintosh maker's anti-Apple lawsuit

Nick Fisher


Of course Apple sells 'the full OS' in a retail box. Every shrink-wrapped OS release that I can recall from System 7 upwards could be installed on systemless bona fide Apple hardware.

I replaced the HD in my MacBook over the weekend, installing 10.5 from scratch from a Leopard retail DVD. No target disk mode, no slurping from a Time Machine, nothing.

Thrust SSC team to build 1000 mph 'Bloodhound' car

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Waste of Research Council money

Makes me glad I'm not submitting a grant application to the EPSRC this year.

Apple tops customer satisfaction poll as rivals' ratings slide

Nick Fisher

@Daniel B

Yep, my first Mac was a 2 Mb LC running System 6.0.7.

I remember paying for the VRAM upgrade so I could have 8 bit colour on a 13" screen.

Happy Days!

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Makes sense

I bought my first Mac back in 1991, and I've been using them ever since.

How many hardware problems have I had with them? Er, none.

Days lost due to dodgy software/OS upgrades? Zero.

Viruses and malware? Zilch.

As with everything in life, you get what you pay for.

Apple, reassuringly expensive since 1976.

Terry Pratchett donates £500k to Alzheimer's charity

Nick Fisher


Not being cynical here, just realistic.

£500k certainly is a lot of money, but it doesn't buy many postdoc lab years.

(I work at the bench in biomedical research myself and know very well how quickly grants get drained away, and how small a percentage actually goes to fund wet science and salaries).

Nick Fisher

In this day and age

Generous as it is, £500k doesn't fund a lot of biomedical research these days. It should be sufficient for 2 or 3 three-year postdoctoral posts, plus support for a few graduate students.

Cassini to surf Enceladus's icy plumes

Nick Fisher

Not even remotely risky

Cassini will be at an altitude of 200km when sampling plume material (which, incidentally, is thought to consist of massively dispersed micron-sized particles). So to all intents and purposes it's still flying through vacuum, and not passing through a car-wash.

Steve Jobs unveils plans to dominate RIM BlackBerry, Life, the Universe, and Everything

Nick Fisher

Fat binaries

Older readers may recall that fat binaries first surfaced in Apple's 68K/PPC transition back in 1993 or so.

Toshiba Portégé R500 slimline laptop

Nick Fisher

Apples and Oranges

I agree with Paul - if it doesn't run OS X it's of no use to me. Windows is an irrelevance as far as I'm concerned.

Apple ships Air

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Lovely little device - have three on order for the lab here. Perfect as 2nd machines and mobile presentation/modelling/data-logging systems.

I fail to understand why people are getting so steamed about the lack of an RJ45 connector. What's the problem, worried about naughty wireless h4c|<z0rz?

French police plan Windows-free jails, offices

Nick Fisher
Gates Horns

C'est merde pour le MS

Nice one - there's no real need to run any MS software these days anyway.

(although I suspect that the decision was taken for financial reasons rather than technological ones, sadly)

Germany flicks off-switch on DAB

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DAB is good for one thing, at least.

Test Match Special, 'nuff said.

Turkey blocks YouTube, part II

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Nice one

Considering the unadulterated tripe that exists on YouTube, is it too much to hope that the UK govt will be following Turkey's lead?

It was the MacBook Air sub-notebook

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Who uses RJ45 connectors on laptops these days? Er, that's right, no-one.

Notice it doesn't have parallel ports or those splendid PS/2 DIN connectors either. Those fools at Apple, what were they thinking?

Mac OS X firewall blocks Skype and online gamers

Nick Fisher


I've been playing WoW with the Leopard firewall enabled for the past week or so with absolutely no problems whatsoever.

But why let the facts get in the way of a good story?

Genes offer excuse for beer fear

Nick Fisher

A pedant writes:

Actually the causative agent of malaria is not an amoeba, but an Apicomplexan parasite of the genus Plasmodium.