* Posts by laughthisoff

27 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Sep 2019

The New ROM Antics – building the ZX Spectrum 128


Re: CP/M on VAX ? interesting...

Side note: I had a microvax 2000 on my desk, running Ultrix, in my first full-time job. A wonderful bit of kit. My colleague, on the desk that backed up to mine, had one running VMS. We called them 'bonnie' (the Ultrix machine) and 'clyde' (VMS). Fond memories.


Yeah, that pricked my ears and piqued my curiosity as well...


"Old habits die hard – but a recapped Spectrum goes on forever."


Well, until the ULA dies.

(Excellent article, more please).

The ZX81 finally gets the keyboard it deserves


Re: Well...

"Swetland basically invalidates half the existence of anyone who played Jet Set Willy, Horace Goes Skiing, Knight Lore, etc."

He didn't, as no-one has ever played those games on a ZX81... ;-)


Impressive work and swank indeed. I just need one for my Speccy(s) now...


After 40 years in tech, I see every innovation contains its dark opposite



Shiva! Now there's a blast from the past.

I used to work with one of Shiva's earliest UK distributors (late 80s, early 90s). Originally with their Apple networking kit, then the LANrover PC/Mac dialup boxes. But even before that, however, was (what I assume is referred to as Shiva's "IP Gateway" in the article) the "FastPath", originally from Kinetics, but which arrived at Shiva after a brief (and rubbish) stint with Novell. Cut my first real job and networking teeth on FastPaths... hot little monsters that they were.... and that was on the earlier versions before Apple got their EtherTalk stack properly in gear. My first ever US trip was a training session for FastPaths. That brings back memories. Visited many a UK university and Apple dealership with one of those in tow, way before the likes of Demon started plugging normal businesses and people into the webs in the UK. By the early 90s it was then LANrover dial-up gateways taking up the time...

ZX Spectrum, the 8-bit home computer that turned Europe on to PCs, is 40


Re: Nostalgia Isn't What It Used to Be!

I also started at school on an RM 380Z - oh to have one of those tanks again!

On the home front, I narrowly missed buying a second-hand ZX81 from a friend (probably a wise move) and managed to save for a Spectrum which I finally acquired in the Summer of '83. To use a familar phrase: "the rest, as they say, is history".

Oh, and the Spectrum? I still have it, along with several others of its original and modern kin as well.

Microsoft tweaks Teams and Viva to help bridge gap between frontline workers and their managers, among other things


What features?

Is it just me, or does this article say "there are new features" ... and then not actually tell you what they are (or even provide a link)? Kinda pointless.

Water's wet, the Pope's Catholic, and iOS is designed to stop folk switching to Android, Epic trial judge told


Re: Pot calling Kettle

No, it's more like they want to sell the front-cover of the magazine in the shop and then sell you the rest of it in a dodgy deal afterwards. In-game content and subs are not like buying Product X from Vendor Y who placed a (paid) advert in Magazine A published by Publisher B. Vendor Y and Publisher B are not necessarily the same company or financially related, the paid advert is a business transaction between separate parties. That's not how in-app purchases work.


Re: Pot calling Kettle

I think if someone came along and wanted to sell something in my shop but not allow me to make a cut when I'm providing the shop, then I'd be a bit miffed. Putting the exact details and the percentages to one side for a moment, I can see Apple's point here.

Boeing puts Loyal Wingman robot fighter jet through its paces... on the ground



Is this the genesis of Cylon fighters* in our universe?! By your command.

(* the grown ones, not the original ones with humanoid bots in)

Up from the depths, 864 servers inside, covered in slime, it's Natick!


Hmmm... so is there a potential market for cooling gaming PCs by submerging them in the garden pond via a suitable 'underwater case' type product?!? :-)

Outage: Faulty UPS at data centre housing London Internet Exchange causes grief for ISPs and telcos alike


Re: Turtle magic

To some of us, 'HEX' will always mean Redbus, not Telecity ;-) #borgedbyequinix

ZX Spectrum reboot promising – steady now – 28MHz of sizzling Speccy speed now boasts improved Wi-Fi


Re: Backed. My first ever kickstarter.

I was on KS1, thus I have a Next. Yes, it is awesome. It really is. It's awesomer that I thought it would be. It's also way more than just a faster and better Spectrum, which is awesome in itself and is a major success (did I say it's awesome?!). As well as the improved Spectrumness (and backward compatibilty to 48k) it also runs other cores (FPGA, not emulation) like arcade boards and other retro cores like BBC Micro etc. I'm well chuffed with mine.

(Just a punter, not affillated to or friends with anyone on the ZXN team).


That's how we roll: OWC savagely undercuts Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels with bargain $199 alternative


Re: There's 360˚ of rotation

I presume they mean laterally (i.e. 'swivel')? But your comment made me properly lol. Thank you! Many images of wheels that only do 359˚ now in my head. :-)

University of Cambridge to decommission its homegrown email service Hermes in favour of Microsoft Exchange Online


Old and other mail servers

I ran a bunch of CommuniGate Pro servers for years. It was unfortunately commercial (and, latterly, expensive) software, not open-source, but they were like tanks. CGP just sat on top of a bare-bones Linux-with-networking stack and just ran... and ran... and ran... and ran.... so much so that one of them lasted a good decade longer in production than it should have done. The vendor added some wobbly microsoft-facing bells and toys to it over the years in order to try and compete beyond their competency, but we never used those. We just stuck to your standard SMTP/IMAP/POP3/LDAP schenanigans. It never broke. As near to a 'bulletproof' set-it-up-and-walk-away system as I've ever run for anything. (Just my experience).


What the duck? Bloke keeps getting sent bathtime toys in the post – and Amazon won't say who's responsible


Storks bring babies, not rubber ducks

"Is there a storker in our midst?"

I think that should be 'stalker'. Someone shoot the sub-Ed, or at least book him a different mode of baby delivery.


Microsoft to pull support for PHP: Version 8? Exterminate, more like...


Re: Reality check?

Just because the development workstation is Windows-based it doesn't necessarily follow that the development *server* running on it is also Windows. Firstly, if you're fully developing locally then your 'server' may be running in a local VM (or container or similar) and be, say, Linux to more accurately reflect your production environment. Or, similarly, it could be in a VM (or container or similar) just to keep it separate from your local workstation environment. There are of course other options; for example, even if you code locally you might have an actual separate dev server parked nearby (or far-by). Your dev server doesn't necessarily have to be on your dev machine any more. None of those options *requires* Windows to be the dev server host OS - it only applies if you install a server stack directly on to your local workstation OS (if you're still that way inclined?!)


Official: Office 365 Personal, Home axed next month... and replaced by Microsoft 365 cloud subscriptions



> "We’re always looking for ways to simplify," explained Jared Spataro, corporate VP for Microsoft 365

Jared, you're always looking for ways to simplify because you can obviously never find them.

Microsoft Teams usage jumps to 32, no, 44 million as Windows-slinger platform slides onto home workers' PCs


Re: all the cpu resources

Been logged into Teams all day on my Mac as well. It's mostly spending its life hovering between 1-2% CPU usage. I'll check and compare on the Win10 PC tomorrow.

Do I love it? No.

Do I hate it? No.

Can it be improved? Yes.

Are there things about it that annoy me? Yes.

Is it useful to us right now? Yes.

Is it keeping my users in touch? Yes.

Is 'free' a good thing? Yes.

Does using it on an RDS server really fork me off? Yes. :-(

Are there any little things I like about it? Yes.

Are there any little things I hate about it? Yes.

Are we going to keep using it? For now at least, Yes.


It's only a game: Lara Croft won't save enterprise tech – but Jet Set Willy could



I backed the 'accelerated' version, so I'm still waiting — patiently, and with an increasingly happy and lunatic smile — for its arrival. I'm really looking forward to getting mine 'in the flesh'. It's been great hearing about others receiving theirs in the mean time. There's been a great buzz in the community about it. I hear the 1980s calling me back :-)

Ever wondered what Microsoft really thought about the iPad? Ex-Windows boss spills beans


In a similar vein, I've still got a pair of Apple Newtons from the first half of the 90s as well, although maybe the less said about the Newton the better.

Which reminds me of my all-time favourite joke: "How many Newton engineers does it take to change a lightbulb? Foo! Therefore to and eat fish."

(The youngsters here won't get it).



Pen-based what?!

"Sinofsky said that Microsoft was "blinded" as to where Apple was heading, and was expecting a "pen computer based on Mac"."

What? From what I recall every idiot on the planet knew it was going to be an iPhone (iOS) with a big screen. What were Microsoft smoking to think otherwise? No wonder they lost that particular race, they were at the wrong sports event.

Snakes on a wane: Python 2 development is finally frozen in time, version 3 slithers on


"Snakes on a wane"

As headlines go: nice!

It's always DNS, especially when you're on holiday with nothing but a phone on GPRS


Re: Ah, but....

Yeah, it's amazing how long it takes to type four characters (ESC, :, w, and q).

Downvoted, I'm afraid, because vi can (and has) saved the universe on many occasions, and still does.

If you've wanted to lazily merge code on GitHub from the pub, couch or beach, there's now a mobile app for that


Backups... where?

Regarding the 'Arctic Vault': if we're really concerned about very-long-term backups - be it of wobbly code on Github or actual flesh machines - should we not really be investing in something off-planet? Y'know, just in case this single-point-of-failure that we orbit upon has either a slow- or rapid-disassembly moment? Svalbard would be part of the same failed component/subsystem in those cases.

How bad is Catalina? It's almost Apple Maps bad: MacOS 10.15 pushes Cupertino's low bar for code quality lower still


Re: Apple is deprecating Macs

"As much as I dislike Apple, blaming them for Intel's failure is a bit much. What you can blame them for, though, is 'designed-to-fail-early' hardware."

Whilst I could rib Apple on many, many points, long-term personal experience tells me I'd have to disagree with you on this particular one.

I've been an Apple and a Windows (inc Server) - and Linux - user for more years than I care to remember or tell and, for longevity, Apple's hardware *generally* outstrips anything even Lenovo or HP have thrown at me, at least on the desktop, laptop front. Ditto for phones. Servers are another matter entirely (cut me and I have the letters HP DL through me like a stick of rock :-). Yes, there are exceptions both ways, with odd bits dying early or living extra long on both sides of the fence, but *overall* the Apple stuff has generally had a longer *useful* (or trickle-down) lifespan, in my personal experience (excluding swapping some PCs to 'lite' Linux installs maybe).

YMMV of course.


Multitasking is a myth: It means doing lots of things equally badly


Re: What do you do?

"The thing with holes is that they are consistent, half a hole or a hole twice as big are still both whole holes."

You mean a smaller hole, or a hole half the size, surely? By your own description you can't have half a hole; half a hole is a whole hole, just in a more portable size.