* Posts by Mark

15 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Sep 2007

LSI mans up on bandwidth


So what about 3Ware ?

Since you've finaly got around to writing about LSI, are you going to talk about the implications in the RAID market of LSI's purchase of 3Ware ?

Today is not Hadron Collider Day


Since when did El Reg do sanity ?

Wow - a voice of sanity squeaking from under the table.

I've been pointing this out for a while. In fact it's great fun winding up the doom mongers, they've been wetting themselves that today was the end of the world. I've been enjoying telling them that they got it totally wrong. It's not today they have to worry about, it's sometime in the coming months when, as you put it, they turn up the big knob.

Microsoft dashes hopes for 'major' Windows server upgrade


Move along - no story here

Why the fuss ? Where's the story ?

As far as the server road map is concerned it's been around for 5 years. Two years after the initial release there is the R2 release.

The reason for an R2 release is that it should coincide with the release of a new version of the workstation and keeps client/server functionality aligned.

There's absolutely nothing new here, the information is at least 5 years old.

Russell Crowe to play Bill Hicks?


Re: Bill Who??

Only an evolved being could play Bill Hicks - Crowe's still asking "Where's my thumbs ?"

What I learned from a dumb terminal


Users of memory lane

Dealing with end-users in this way is something that all developers should have at some point in their career. The user's aren't always dumb, but as you say, their contextual references can be in totally different dimensions to the techie.

Reminds me of back in the mid-80's. The beginning of the IBM-PC market, my boss would sell a PC to some manager who would then typically present it to his secretary with the comment "do something useful with it". So we ended up with a lively business in writing bespoke applications for a number of local businesses where the primary user was the secretary. You had the whole project, from gathering requirements, to proposing a solution, writing it, delivering it - and above all supporting it.

Now someone who is a PA to a managing director isn't dumb, but they have a different frame of reference. I learned a lot about dealing with customers back then - patiently explainging that CTRL-C meant holding down the CTRL key to break in to a .bat file. And as for guiding them over the phone through the usage of EDLIN taught invaluable patience.

Windows Server 2008 is better than Vista, but why?


2k8 rocks

About 8 weeks ago I went through the pain of upgrading Vista to SP1 on my laptop, it kind of felt better but still left me wondering if it was time to upgrade the laptop.

About 5 weeks ago I scratched the lot and installed Win2K8, the difference is startling. It feels like I have a new laptop, the apps respond quickly, throughput is up and it works just great. Almost everything works and I don't have a clutter of useless crud that Vista seems to think I should have.

The only app that doesn't work is Microsoft's own MSN Messenger, but Trillian sorts that out.

Vista always seemed to be busy constantly trawling through the hard disk for no known reason and quite reluctant to stop when you wanted it to do something important.

If you can afford it, or most likely get it from an MSDN subscription, this is the best Windows desktop you'll have until the mythical Windows 7 pops up.

The kernel between the two systems is virtually identical, but then the kernel is only a few MB of core functions, it's what you do with it that makes all the difference. It's the server group who write and control the kernel and then write the higher level services that manage applications and shovel data. I think this pisses off the workstation group who aren't allowed to touch those bits, makes them feel like 2nd class voles. To make up for it, they design piles of shit to go in to the workstation version and pretend that they're "top gun" programmers.

BAA boots Vulture from T5 frequent flyer club



T5 becomes the new home of BA.

Use any other airline for long haul and you're back in the shithole that is T3.

No fly BA - No use T5.


T5 - No chance

I haven't flown with BA since about 1996 die to their shit service, so there's no chance of me having an invite to be fingerprinted in T5.

As for the rest of Heathrowup, I now use regional airports and pick up transatlantic via Schiphol or Frankfurt.

Microsoft warns on Home Server bug


MS Workstation group should NEVER be let loose on server code

Windows Home Server is what you get when the Workstation group think they can build a server. They have made a complete f*** up of it. Quite how someone can take a system as rock solid as Windows Server 2003 R2 and turn it in to something as reliable as Tony Blair's sincerity takes truly remarkable incompetence.

Somebody had the bright idea of extending the file system and gave the job to a bunch of George bush clones. You can bring this file system crashing to its knees just by copying files back and forth and as a special treat it will randomly lose files until it gives up the ghost and loses lots of them ... 325,000 at the last count on my own WHS test setup.

This "innovative" file system needs about 2 years more work by real developers before its ready to be trusted. Of course, the really good bit is that the new file system is incompatible with VSS. To the uninitiated, this means that no backup program will work on WHS, so you can't backup and save any of the data that it's going to eventually lose.

There are some interesting ideas behind WHS, but letting the Workstation group do them was guaranteed to f*** it up. WHS needs to be withdrawn and given to the Server group to fix it before it sees daylight again.

My own data is now safely hosted on Windows Server 2008, WHS is now out of the loop after testing it.

Antarctic Xmas punch-up airlift cost £45k


what does the Telegraph know

Yes, I first saw this item in The Telegraph. Just as well they disabled comments since they finished with the line "Cabin fever is more of a problem in winter when personnel have to endure total darkness 24 hours a day"

I'm sure it is a problem, but right now in the Antarctic it is high summer, it is daylight 24 hours a day. No doubt the Telegraph will also tell us there are polar bears in the area.

Microsoft releases battling OS release candidates



Always funny when presenting information to closed minds. It's like talking to Apple fanatics.

I said above that I don't care for the workstation products, and please don't tell me that Linux is a better workstation than any MS workstation product. Workstations compete by putting in bloated crappy applications, and I've seen some pretty useless bloated crappy Linux applications that can even make Vista look like a saint.

"Shared Source Tree" --- The Windows Kernel is the Windows Kernel, be it XP, Server 2003, Vista or Server 2008. When you have client/server code the distributions share that source tree ... DOH !! I suppose Linus Torvalds has separate source trees for the Linux Kernel depending on what mode of distribution it will have ? Get real.

NetWare was the best PC based server system for years, Server 2003 and now Server 2008 starts matching it.



What a perverse conclusion !!

XP has a shared source code tree with Server 2003, in exactly the same way as Vista does with 2008. Would you recommend someone try Server 2003 as a look and feel example of XP ?

User mode (where the applications are) and kernel mode are two different things. Workstations and servers are aimed at vastly different audiences and the difference is in what applications goes with it. Vista's problems boil down to having tons applications badly conceived and written applications ... that's the result of the workstation group. Servers don't have to have applications to teach granny how to use Wi-Fi, instead they tend to do useful things like maximise network and storage data throughput.

Since Windows 2000 when the single Windows kernel was introduced its the server team who have owned and written the kernel, the workstation group are rarely allowed to touch it ... largely because they tend to code on the infinite monkey prinicple.


Poor understanding

You show no knowledge of the MS development cycles regarding the releases of workstation and server products when you write "Of course, development cycles slipped, and Vista came out long before the server OS".

That's shoddy journalism married with the usual cliches to disparage anything from Redmond. Server releases and Workstation releases are scheduled to be 2 years apart. It's supposed to work like this:

year 0: Initial Workstation Release

year 1: SP1 for Workstation

year 2: R2 Workstation Release : Initial Server Release

year 3: SP2 for Workstation : SP1 for Server

year 4: Next Gen Workstation : R2 Server Release

Obviously the time wasted by writing Vista and chucking it away a couple of times has made a mockery of any timescales within the workstation group, but the server group generally keep more or less on track. The fact that in this case Vista SP1 coincides with the release of Server 2008 is no accident. There are many client/server technologies built in to these products to make them work better together, this is how you synchronise the functionality out in the field. The same happened when Server 2003 was released, there was an XP Service Pack at the same time.

Of course the two products share a source code tree, they are both Windows products !!!! The kernel in both is essentially the same. In the same way that Server 2003 and XP shared the same source tree.

Assassination by association does not work, the server product does not have all the crappy, bloated junk applications inside it that ship with the workstation.

The jobs required of both products are universes apart. I have never had much faith in the MS workstation group, they are arrogant beyond belief because they know they have you by the balls. In comparison Windows Server has never held a monopoly, they have always had to compete against mainframes and minis in the data centre and other good products like NetWare by providing what works in a stable environment.

I don't hear you decrying Windows Server 2003 as a bad server. Why don't you download a copy of Server 2008 and test it before sniffing down your ignorant nose ? You might be very surprised, assuming you have the ability to keep an open mind.

Vista provokes user synaptic collapse


MS error messages

My current favourite weirdness in Microsoft error messages comes from their Driver Test Manager - a whole bunch of weirdness in itself used to certify drivers.

For a failed test it cites under 'Root Cause' - "INFORMATION : Marking RunJob Task "RunJob - Copy of CHKINF and INFTest Library Job" As Failed as the LibraryJob "CHKINF and INFTest Library Job" has Failed"

And just to be helpful, under 'Resolution' it adds - "The Library job that was called by this RunJob task has failed. Hence this RunJob task will also be marked failed."

It's all so obvious !!!

Church hall bans 'unchristian' yoga for nippers


Carry On up the Altar ...

"... when we let rooms out to people we want them to understand that they must be fully in line with our Christian ethos."

Presumably that means taking the kids to meet the vicar for quick feel and fiddle.