* Posts by Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

80 posts • joined 28 Jan 2020


We give up, Progressive Web Apps can track you, says W3C: After 5 years, it decides privacy is too much bother

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: Optional

I can't tell whether you're being sarcastic or not. All you've achieved is to (yet again) push the tracking to a different part of the URL - presenting: tracker-12345.com

Yeah, it'll cost me $5/year or whatever. Assuming I can't get free domains*. So all I need to do is add $20 to the price when I'm selling all your data and then cancel the domain after 3 years of inactivity.

Also blocking subdomains would cause a bunch of headaches. Having to register a new domain for my-app.com rather than using myapp.mycompany.com shouldn't be necessary and would be a pain for all the little guys out there.

The fact that there's money involved now means that this scheme would disproportionately affect individuals / small / open source projects while leaving the huge corporates (who are the ones doing the most tracking and slurping the most data) almost unaffected.

*if I'm large enough, I'll just buy a TLD (or use the one i already have, *cough* .google *cough* .amazon) and not pay that $5/year/user in the first place.

And it's off! NASA launches nuke-powered, laser-shooting, tank Perseverance to Mars to search for signs of life

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist


Well then I'm thankful for JB Hi-Fi right about now. I've ordered a couple of things lately and they've been delayed, but not by much (~7-10 days instead of the usual 3-4). Thank bob for local retailers with local stock, I guess.

Might not work if you're buying something obscure or not available in your country, though.

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist
Thumb Up


I'm sure that those people who say "yar" and hang out in a bay would be happy to share a good quality copy. Hypothetically speaking. And then once you know it's worth the money (it totally is) you can order the DVDs. If DVDs are still a thing.

Personally I'd rate Black Books as a "make the time: take a day off work" level priority. But to each his own. ;)


Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist


Black Books is conspicuously absent from that list

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist


I think it's more like a Triganic Pu

If you own one of these 45 Netgear devices, replace it: Kit maker won't patch vulnerable gear despite live proof-of-concept code

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

dammit, of course I noticed 11 mins after posting that it's actually not overflow-x, it's widths set in element styles on every td element in the table (zomg!), combined with nowrap. I can't decide whether that has been added by a braindead web author or a braindead javascript library.

Interestingly, the table only displays properly in chrome because chrome is ignoring the nowrap attribute they've added for some reason I can't be bothered to debug.

it affects waterfox, too, not just pale moon. I'd be curious to know whether it shows up in the latest firefox (but not curious enough to install the latest firefox).

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

The right edge of the text is unreadable in Pale Moon

Well obviously that's your fault for not using chrome. Duh. You can hardly expect people to write CSS that works in a compatible way. It's not like it's a well-defined standard and pretty straightforward to do for anybody half-way competent.

overflow-x is sooo overrated and soooo 2017. No way anybody could possibly want to scroll horizontally on a table full of data. Didn't you know? Everybody uses chrome running maximised on a desktop at 1920x1080.

I almost expected a "This page best viewed in IE6" logo at the bottom of the page.

There's no need for a "web designer" for something this trivial

Yeah. Like the input validation thing: if they had done any UAT at all this would have shown up.

I said in my support ticket that it looks like somebody's twelve-year-old nephew has just figured out how to install Visual Studio. Now I'm thinking that I overestimated them and it was actually an eight-year-old.

The problem, of course, is finding anything better.

Indeed. Cisco perhaps? Are they terrible as well as expensive?

But I think this sounds like a problem for future AntiSol to deal with - I think I'll just hope that none of my current kit breaks. Ever ;)

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

I contacted them to advise them that they'd been added to the "do not buy" list.

Damn, their support website is embarrassingly terrible: trying to validate input while I'm still entering it, sending me verification emails with no verification link(?!), and when I try to upload a screenshot to illustrate how their support site is broken and terrible, I get a 403. Lol.

Maybe avoiding their kit won't be a pity after all.

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Well I guess I won't ever be buying any more netgear kit then.

And I suppose I also won't be able to recommend them for business use in good conscience.


51 years after humans first set foot on the Moon, a deepfaked Nixon mourns how Armstrong and Aldrin never made it home

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

I just had to self-reply to say that I LOVED "For All Mankind". It might be my new favourite thing. Thanks so much to our hack for mentioning it!

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: Bad Joke in Bad Taste

You, Sir, are a scholar and a gentleman.


You, Sir, are a cunt.

why I didn't read your rant

Who cares? I sure don't. And we all know the real reason: because you're a cunt.

Grow up.


Since we're offering unsolicited life advice: Stop being such a cunt.

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

cyanide is quite dangerous

That's a really good point.

I imagine that went against the grain of being a steely eyed missile man

You know I was just thinking after I wrote that last post that if I was in that situation - trapped on the surface of the moon with limited air supply and food and whatnot, I would hope that I would use all the time I had do as much exploring and science and stuff as possible. Do all those risky experiments that nasa wouldn't approve: How far can I run in the moon's environment in a spacesuit before I get tired? Just how messy is it when you rub one out in moon gravity? Will those hypergolic propellants burn through Aldrin's helmet visor? And when the air is getting really low: what actually happens when a human is exposed to the vacuum? It's not pleasant, but maybe you'd get some useful data. Make it count as much as possible.

I'd like to think that Neil and Buzz would have just kept on exploring until the bitter end.

Another thing that I was thinking after writing the previous post was that if there were cyanide pills, they were handed out in secret and without any paper trail. And that would be real unusual for Apollo: there's basically documentation on the complete history of every rivet that went into the truck that delivered the needles that were used to stitch the emblems onto their uniforms. Having no documented trace of something like a cyanide pill would be uncharacteristic, and I feel like if it was a secret it would have come out (either leaked or declassified) by now.

Aldrin just punches the Moon


Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: Bad Joke in Bad Taste

I can't be bothered to read

...which will tend to impinge on your ability to refute any of my points...

...and is the action of a cunt.

...and almost certainly a lie, anyway.

Thanks for playing!

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: Bad Joke in Bad Taste

So just to be clear, what you're saying is that you can't refute any of my points and you're just going to continue to be a cunt.

Okie dokie.

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

these two brave men relied on a single engine in the Lunar Module ascent stage to return them from the moon's surface.

It's not as risky as it sounds. That engine was a known point of failure, so it used hypergolic propellant - two chemicals that couldn't not ignite when mixed. Lots would have had to go wrong for them to be stranded there.

I wonder if they were provided with a means to expedite their ends if they did find themselves stranded

There have been persistent rumours for ~50 years that they (and others right up into the STS program) were given cyanide capsules. This has been repeatedly denied by all involved. The justification given is that it wasn't necessary - if they wanted to kill themselves quickly all they had to do was open the hatch.

Lots of people don't buy this. It's been pointed out that asphyxiation is not pleasant, and that a painless suicide pill would be a practical and sensible thing to have on such a mission for almost no extra mass.

I don't know who I believe. Both make good points. I'd have given them cyanide pills if I was in charge.

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

I has just talking in another post about how the editing of that section is really awful. The repeated audio is jarring and bad. I suspect they didn't put very much time into it - the point is the deepfake, and doing a good job of something like that would be a lot of work.

I wasn't aware of 13 Minutes to the Moon, but it's now open in a tab and will be on a disk of mine within minutes. Thanks!

I have also heard quite a lot of Gene Kranz - he is a great man. "Let's not make things worse by guessin" Is pretty good, but I think my favourite Kranz moment is a much simpler one: "It was neat". Hits me right in the feels every time.

If you like this stuff, I can highly recommend Apollo in realtime and From The Earth To The Moon.

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: Bad Joke in Bad Taste

Lose the two-cent Internet psycho-analysis. No-one appointed you

perhaps you should seek professional help.

Heh. Hehe. Hehehe.

Haha. Hahaha.


Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: Bad Joke in Bad Taste

Are we having reading difficulties here?

As someone who finds himself unfairly accused of being "hostile" somewhat regularly due to the language/tone I tend to use, and who therefore tries to be particularly tolerant and to not assume hostility when others use similar language, I'd just like to say: Wow, such unnecessary and unprovoked hostility. Did someone accidentally leave their "medicinal" cannabis at home today?

The humor is implied in the fake video

It doesn't come across as funny, or attempting to be funny, at all to me.

I'll grant you that the start section before the deepfake - the "problems" where they "lose the ship" are crappy: they're poorly edited, obviously reuse obvious footage and sound (such as the famous 1201 alarm) from various sources, etc. But the point of the video is the deepfake. I suspect they just didn't put very much effort into editing that together (to do a good job at that kind of thing would take quite a bit of editing work).

But funny? Attempting to be funny? No, I don't see it. And it seems neither does anybody except you.

Maybe you should consider doing what a rational, sensible person does when confronted by a video that offends them - stop watching it.

I find it kind of funny that you don't seem to be able to spell "humour" :P

You'd have to be willfully blind not to understand the failed attempt at humor by absurd that's both implied, and explicit, in the video.

I disagree. It could be that I (and seemingly others) are just really dense. Please explain exactly where the humour, both implied and explicit, is located. And what part is absurd?

Joseph Goebbels reading the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

1. A fan of Godwin, I see. No faffing about here!

2. The universal declaration of human rights wasn't written for Goebbels to read, and had nothing to do with him.

3. I would actually find that pretty funny. But I would agree that that would be in bad taste.

in bad taste

I don't see how this is in bad taste. Armstrong and Aldrin didn't die on the moon. Nobody has died on the moon. Nobody died in any of the Apollo missions (that ever went to space - we should all remember Roger Chaffe, Ed White, and Gus Grissom as heroes). The only people who have actually died in space were the three cosmonauts on Soyuz 11, a totally unrelated ship, program, and country that had nothing to do with Nixon.

This was a speech written for Nixon as a contingency plan. This is a "what could have been" thing. It's not (really) trying to deceive anybody - anybody with even moderate intelligence knows that Armstrong and Aldrin didn't die on the moon and that Nixon didn't give this speech. I suppose some might be fooled into thinking it's a pre-recorded speech that was never used, but I still don't see how that's harmful to anybody or in bad taste (all it would take to dispel that notion would be 5 minutes research, or showing the video to ~80% of the population of the planet).

But maybe you can explain how it's in bad taste after you've explained how it's funny.

Just like there's exactly zero educational purpose to this MIT pile of garbage.

As just one possible example: This video might alert a person who didn't know that a contingency speech was written to the existence of that speech, teaching them a factoid about the Apollo program, serving educational value, and making its educational value nonzero. QED.

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

TV series "For All Mankind"

How did I not know about this? I must dow...uh...legitimately acquire this immediately!

impressively laden with cheese at its start

Their website and the first 60% of the video just about had me retching.

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: Bad Joke in Bad Taste

I understand (and share) your distaste for Nixon, but the article never said it was a joke or implied that there was any humour in it. I'm not sure where you got that idea?

But Nixon absolutely does belong in educational material: There's an old saying that applies here: "Those who do not learn from history...uh...i forget the rest".

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: Alternative fakery

No OJ Simpson?

.NET Core: Still a Microsoft platform thing despite more than five years open source

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: Always seemed an uphill task

I only just spotted this old ad-hom and felt compelled to address two points:

dearth of applications

Someone has never see the list of software available in apt.

Would you want somebody as pedantic as you are for a customer? Think about it.

I sure would. But then I'm confident in my abilities and I actually take pride in my work, so I view it as a good thing that that customer would push me to provide the best product I could and would hold me accountable to my word.

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: Always seemed an uphill task

Most developers outside of Apple's walled garden couldn't care less about a framework that limits you to developing for iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

I literally laughed out loud for five minutes at the hypocrisy and lack of self-awareness required for a .net guy to say this.

I'm being 100% sincere when I say thanks so much for that. Laughter is good for the soul and you brightened my day by adding a dash of the truly absurd.

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: Always seemed an uphill task

So, just to recap:

!. We've established that you don't know what "multi-platform" means (I'm still chuckling at "multi-platform linux kernel").

2. We've clearly demonstrated that you don't know anything about embedded devices.

3. We've just now established that you don't know what a derivative work is, and/or just don't care about copyright (at least, those belonging to other people).

At this point a paranoid person might accuse you of working on microsoft's marketing team.

Not me, though. Instead, I'm reminded of a man named Hanlon. He used to talk about a razor, or something.

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

I'll be waiting.

I just thought I'd jump back in to let you know that I'm not able to see any response to my challenge.

I expect that this is probably due to some kind of bug in the reg's forum software (probably caused by it not being written in .net) which is causing your reply to not show up, I'm sure the problem is that the reg's forum isn't capable of displaying the huge spreadsheet of backing data that you posted 15 minutes after my challenge, and not because you can't find a single example of the setup that you claim is common.

I guess I'll keep waiting

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

No, they tend not to actually

Oh really? Then you shouldn't have any trouble backing up this assertion by providing a bunch of examples of this in real world embedded systems. Why don't you start off by finding me an example of an IP camera that comes shipped with an SD card pre-inserted and the system software on the card. That should be pretty easy for you since you've asserted that it's a common setup. I'll be waiting.

unless they're ancient pieces of junk that should be replaced.

1. Oooooh you're just the type of customer MS is looking for: nothing wrong with it, but it's 18 months old, so we'll throw it away! Keep at it - those landfills aren't going to fill themselves! I'm sure you'll be very happy together.

2. The router I bought last year has 256mb of internal storage and no SD slot.

And even if they don't, they come with 4GB internal flash MINIMUM.

1. You realise that there are other embedded devices out there that aren't amazon echoes, right? Your comment makes it very clear that you've never actually seen an embedded system.

2. The router I bought last year has 256mb of internal storage and no SD slot.

the most irrelevant constraint

I'm not sure where you got the idea that not having enough storage is an "irrelevant constraint". But sure, fine, whatever, it's not like you're clearly and obviously talking out of your ass.

It seems to be your primary objection

Someone hasn't been paying attention. I didn't even raise the point in the first place.

Seriously, if your sorry job requires you to write programs that are less than 28MB because your employer is too cheap to buy modern embedded equipment, go find yourself different career.

Firstly, for a mass-market embedded device, you can save yourself big dollars if you can squeeze your code into a smaller capacity. It's kind of like how you can go to a car shop and buy something other than a Lamborghini. It's not about buying "modern" equipment, it's about only paying for what you actually need, because you're not so incompetent that you'll happily slap a 60mb library into your product for no benefit.

Secondly, Wow. This is a textbook example of the type of attitude you see from graduates who know one language and aren't actually interested in engineering - the ones who are into programming because they want sports cars. Sort of like the dunning-kruger effect, only amped up to 11. I wonder if it's a coincidence that these type or people are almost exclusively microsoft. It's an attitude that leads to horrible fucking kludges, terrible inefficiency, and boneheaded security mistakes - the types of mistakes I often get paid to un-fuck. In fact, next time you fuck something up (let's face it, it'll probably be monday), do me a favour and let your boss know that I'm available on contract basis and I have plenty of experience correcting the mistakes of dumb kids who don't know or care what they're doing.

Seriously, please do me (and the rest of the world) a big favour and promise that you'll never ever work on anything that could possibly endanger lives.

I'd also tell you to stay away from embedded but it's clear that your knowledge and skill levels will keep you out of that field.

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: Always seemed an uphill task

I'd be shocked and surprised by this development if it wasn't for my complete lack of shock and surprise.

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: Always seemed an uphill task

You might want to ask the mac os team what they think of this novel philosophy you've come up with.

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: Always seemed an uphill task

run top of a multi-platform .NET 5.0 but only in Windows


Wow, you must be tired from those gymnastics. I'm seriously going to print out a banner with that sentence and hang it up on my office wall. That's gold.

multi-platform Linux kernel

Ooooooh I see: You don't know what "multi platform" means. Maybe you should leave this discussion to the big kids.

Also you might be interested in https://github.com/thp/apkenv

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

The assembly file names from may have changed from .NET framework to .NET Core, but the namespaces have largely remained the same. Still, even in the oddball case where a class has moved from one namespace to another, it usually takes a simple modification of a using statement.

So to summarise all that, what you're saying is that they're not compatible with each other.

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

And those places are not usually candidates for greenfield applications. Stick to the maintaining your existing C/C++ code in those cases.

So what you're saying is that .net isn't suitable for this use. Right, thanks for clarifying.

Most embedded devices come with microSD slots.

1. most != all

2. The SD card slots tend to be for extra storage. The software on these systems tends to be installed on internal memory. Some of these internal memories are still in the ~256Mb range even today. I don't think I've ever seen an embedded system that shipped with an SD card inserted and the software installed there. So that argument holds no water.

your objections are pretty weak and probably just serves to hide some ideological bent

Or it might be that you're in a situation where you actually care about size.

But nobody said it was their primary objection., not sure where you got that idea. I make no attempt to hide my ideological problems with it. But I also don't think they're quite as serious as the technical problems.

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

nit sure how else it'd work?

Well, I mean, you could just not be shit and lazy and do backwards compatibility.

> When was the last time you actually compiled 20 year old .net code?

One of the things I learned from my first boss is that if you move job every 5 or 6 years you never have to do this for any language. So far he's been right.

So all your arguments about the longevity of .net code are academic. It's easy to avoid responsibility for your earlier work if you make yourself hard to reach. I guess that's an approach that could work for some people :P

Seems unfair given your earlier point about VB6, no?

My earlier point was that sticking with VB6 wasn't really a reasonable path, it was a path that would lead to increasing resistance and hostility and incompatibility from MS, culminating in last year when they finally cut you off and your code stops running (something I didn't know about, thanks for the ammo!). And all this for no reason at all other than to sell the replacement MS product.

Ironically, now that they have dropped the VB runtime the best upgrade path for that guy who stuck his head in the sand and kept using VB6 is to switch to Linux and wine, where it still works just fine and will continue to work for the forseeable future.

So, no, I wouldn't say unfair, I'd say factual.

In fairness, they only dropped backward compatibility for the run time last year,

Yeah, but that was not done for any technical reason. If MS loves open source so much these days, why didn't they open source the VB runtime and let the community maintain it? Did they forget that they love open source on that day? But hey! look! They open sourced their calculator! And Windows 1.0! Wow! Aren't they kind and caring and giving and not at all just releasing useless crap as open source in an attempt to manipulate their public image?

so he wasn't completely wrong. They even offered VB.NET as a migration path for VB devs to ease the pain...

As of last year he is now fucked unless he refuses to upgrade to a modern MS OS, making him vulnerable to all kinds of nastiness. Or he could switch to Linux and wine.

VB.Net was not "a migration path", it was an opportunity to rewrite all your code in an incompatible language inseparably tied to a godawful platform with unknowable future support run by an organisation which had just dropped your tech stack leaving you with no migration path.

not a lot more they could do really.

Well, I mean, they could have just not been shit and lazy and done backwards compatibility. Or they could have offered an actual migration tool. Think "File -> Import VB6 project". But no, that would have cost them a little bit to develop. Instead, let's make it an externality and force every VB6 dev in the world to "just" rewrite all their stuff.

So I'm guessing you're not a vim or emacs user then?

No, not so much....

30 year old code mate. I run it every single day. There's a bunch of it in the FOSS world, where we're not on a forced obsolescence treadmill so that MS's stock price can stay steady, and where things tend to stay compatible with themselves so you're not forced to rewrite your stuff all the time.

An interesting side effect of running this 30 year old code is that because it's 30 years old it's diamond solid - more solid than rock solid. When software reaches this kind of maturity you get to the point where it might even be possible that it has zero bugs in it. I know right, what a thought.

that 17 year old code.... is it multi-threaded to leverage multiple CPU cores?


Does it make effective use of the GPU for math intensive stuff?

Doesn't need to. It's just some business logic. But there's no reason why it couldn't if it needed to. Instead, we didn't spend any money buying a GPU.

How does it feel about 64 bit OSes?

You mean like the one it's running on? It doesn't seem to mind. The OS upgrade from 32 to 64 bit was really not even a thing, went really smoothly, no downtime.

Have any libraries you used been patched?

Every single library it uses (and the whole OS) are automatically updated weekly without anybody even bothering to look at the logs. This has caused 0 problems in the time it's been running. Unless you count the couple of times that there were internet problems and it had to try again the next day or whatever, or the time I logged in and manually upgraded stuff when heartbleed happened

I presume the client hasn't been able to move datastore to something more free?

One of the beauties of using free software is that the concept of moving to "something more free" doesn't really apply. It's already free. There are several implications that go with this. One is that the vendors don't make it hard to move to something else. I know right. This means the client can do what they want with it without artificial encumbrances imposed by the bottom line of some company that doesn't care about them at all. If they wanted to switch to a different database engine, for example, that wouldn't be a huge issue. We've switched fileservers and upgraded storage capacity a bunch of times. Fun fact: the first fileserver we used way back in the olden days was a windows server box. As someone stuck on the MS stack, this is a phenomenon you might not be aware of. We call it "interoperability" :P

they're all problems I've solved before.

Damn, I'm sorry. I hope that doesn't happen to me - I'm only at 3 decades and I'm still finding things. Maybe you should think about game dev? I hear you can do that on .net.

Louts 3rd Law of Coding: Write it in COBOL and it'll live forever. Cobol McCleod of the Clan McCleod, as they said in Highlander.


.NET is built to last

...exactly as long as the overlords decree it will last, and they haven't announced that they're dropping it yet, and they only drop tech stacks causing hundreds of millions of hours of unnecessary work for millions of devs the world over every decade or so, so let's just assume it's staying around forever!

(I will grant you that open sourcing it does alleviate some of this, but they haven't open sourced the whole thing, so that's not really an argument)

you just *might* have to prod it a little every 5 or 10 years

...assuming it doesn't get deprecated tomorrow, something that the company in charge has only done a couple of times before...

20 years is way beyond the lifespan of modern hardware so unless you build it cloud native, you're going to have to do maintained somewhere down the line.

yes, but that maintenance doesn't tend to be imposed on me by the political whims of some third party who explicitly doesn't care about my use case. Rather, it tends to be for technical reasons. Which means that a) it's more reasonable and b) less frequent.

You won't believe this, but the place you bank with does what my bank does - they buy failed technology museums so they can asset strip the mainframes for parts. I shit you not. They always look for firesales when old companies fail too - Woolworths and others had a few that went for a good price because all the banks were interested and bidding against each other.

Oh I totally do believe it. That's awesome and hilarious. And I want the job of mainframe wrangler, that sounds fun. I heard a story that one of them banks wrote an emulator for the mainframes rather than trying to reimplement the system running on them.

This has been a fun chat. Thanks. :)

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

You're splitting hairs and playing semantic games. OP says "potentially massive" and then goes on to clarify that their definition of "potentially massive" in this context means "compared to the size of the program". Hard disk size is irrelevant to that discussion, and you're clever enough to know that full well.

Further, there are still places where 60mb is actually pretty massive. Embedded jumps immediately to mind. installing a 60mb .net framework on my openpandora or your router would take up a massive amount of the internal storage on these devices. In both cases it would almost certainly be the single biggest thing installed on the internal storage.

You apparently didn't realise that "installed" doesn't mean "on a hard disk". There are plenty of other storage mediums that come in a range of storage capacities. SMH.

How about Rick, with a silent "p"

Ooh, burn! But I'd prefer Richard ;)

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: Always seemed an uphill task

Sounds like they've skipped the "extend" and jumped straight to "extinguish".

Wow, that's totally not something I predicted 8 seconds after they announced an open source .net version.

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: Always seemed an uphill task

Front end is always web these days

Yeah, and it's a real PITA - I've been really struggling to implement a web browser in HTML5. It's not easy. Keeps giving me some error talking about a bootstrap paradox.

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: Always seemed an uphill task

Which other language can do that with the same amount of ease?


Why not play to your strengths?

Simple: doing so would have allowed developers to easily target Linux for their desktop apps, potentially undermining windows' market share.

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

60mb is huge compared with a few kilobytes, which is what the parent said. Nobody made any claims about hard disk sizes until you came along.

And your cock probably is huge compared with that of a housefly, so all you need to do is get your wife a microscope for her birthday and show her that fly cock and I'm sure she'll appreciate you more! You're welcome, just remember to name a kid after me ;)

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

credit where it's due, that's actually a pretty damn good response :)

target older frameworks for specific projects

You mean "I need to have 5 different versions of the same thing installed at the same time"?

My average migration across frameworks has involved approximately 2 minutes effort per application

What you're actually saying here is that you're not doing desktop apps :P

Try working in finance and refactoring 40 year old COBOL mainframe code

oh OF COURSE you had to be that guy doing that job, the one that nobody can argue should be a refactor. Curse you!

In 20 years of working with .NET I've never actually had a problem.

When was the last time you actually compiled 20 year old .net code?

How's that for a bold prediction?

That's not bold at all, that's pretty mundane. But then C++ isn't under the sole control of a company with a track record of dropping tech and leaving users in the dark with no migration path, is it?

MSFT can't drop .NET because most of their core products are written in it

That's an assumption. In fact it's a whole bunch of assumptions. And I remember hearing similar arguments about how VB would always be around due to the inertia it had and the millions of lines of code written in it. There was I guy I knew back when the whole .net thing happened who was adamant that one day soon someone will release a compatible VB6 replacement. I wonder how that went.

Its literally mostly the same thing.

The main diffs are around WPF GUI's for the desktop

unless you're doing desktop apps in which case you want to stick to .NET Framework.

So it's the same, but it's different. And it's cross-platform, but only if you don't want to make a cross platform desktop app, in which case it's not really cross platform. And it's compatible with itself, except when it isn't. And it's open source, but under Microsoft's control. Sounds like a great environment to be working in. Strange that it isn't being adopted more.

I find it pretty ironic that the one use case where I might have been marginally interested in this tech - for rapid, cross platform, gui app development - is the big thing that it can't do. But if you give it a little bit of thought it's pretty obvious why it's this way - we wouldn't want people releasing their desktop software for Linux, would we?

Building stuff to last is the sort of academic argument you'd find in a university, but out in the real world people already know that everything changes and the pace of change always increases

So I'm guessing you're not a vim or emacs user then?

my 1980s colour telly still would work, I've replace dit with a massive LED back lit monster. Still works, but is no longer useful.

So I'm guessing you haven't tried to play duck hunt (on real hardware) recently then?

(send me your old 1980s telly, they're getting hard to come by, and required for all the old light guns)

There aren't any real businesses these days that don't sufficiently change their processes over 2 decades for you to keep a static codebase, so you have no argument.

I build stuff to last. Granted, this is mostly because I'm lazy and only want to build it once, but that's beside the point. I have 17 year old code still running in production in a couple of businesses. I have no reason to think that this code will be replaced or changed in any way in the next three years. Hell, it's gotta be close to 5 years since they called me to look into whether something was a bug.

I'll grant you that this is the exception rather than the rule but that doesn't mean that planned obsolescence is a good idea. I run code ranging from 10-30+ years old hundreds of times a day.

I'll also grant you that it's not great for the billable hours - I'd have a nicer car if I'd had the foresight to write it in .net so that it needed to be rewritten or upgraded or whatever every 3 years. But on the other hand I'm also never bored out of my skull solving a problem I've already solved 15 times before.

It seems to me that making an assumption that your work won't last is just an excuse to do a half-assed job.

(I admit I have taken this attitude too far in the past - I probably didn't need to write Y10K-compliant stuff early in my career)

I hadn't thought about that code in a while. I might have to have an adulthood birthday party for it in a few months ;)

Yes, sure, there is finance and the mainframes, but while I work in finance, we don't touch the mainframe stuff because that's how RBS keep knocking out their cashpoints.

So, to summarise: Nothing lasts 10 years, except the 40 year old mainframes you're still running. And there's no point in doing good engineering and building stuff to last, it's just an academic argument. But we can't seem to understand these old machines well enough to make changes to them, something that engineers were able to do 40 years ago.

Out of curiosity, what's the DR plan for a hardware failure on the old mainframes?

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

.NET is 20 years old. 20.

.net core is not the same thing as .net. It's ~5 years old. 5. It's supposed to supersede .net and is not completely compatible, meaning that .net has effectively already been dropped.

That most of my 20 year old .NET code is no longer executed isn't down to the platform or language choice

Hasn't .net changed hugely over the years? is your 20 year old code even compatible with the current versions? I seem to recall hearing from a few people about huge pain migrating from .net version X to version X+1. You can assert that you don't run it for business reasons all you like, but you also can't just run it as-is on the current version for technical reasons.

rewrites to make things cloud native

...you rewrote, rather than refactoring? I mean I guess that's cool if you're billing by the hour.

Microsoft aren't dropping support for it in our lifetimes

1. I presume you have this in writing from microsoft? I mean surely nobody would make such a bold statement like this without having it in writing, right?

2. They already effectively dropped .net by switching to ,net core. see my first point above

I'd probably not bother - I mean, th...(blah blah blah)

...way to miss the OP's point. Was that intentional?

what would by then be my legacy products

Oh, maybe not intentional: I see now: you're not building your stuff to actually last. You see it as a feature that you have to rewrite the same thing every 5 years (billable hours amirite?).

virtual Win 10 machine for development

"I'll just keep using VB6. It'll be fine."

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: Always seemed an uphill task

"I just didn't see people on non-MS platforms enthusiastically adopting it. Most developers on those platforms would have a natural reluctance to invest time and effort in a Microsoft technology."

This, but I'd add "especially when there is no advantage and a bunch of big potential disadvantages in doing so"

"I kind of expected that all MS would achieve was to gut .NET features for compatibility and as a result lose some of the advantage of having a Windows specific framework, while achieving hardly any market outside of Microsoft devices"

And that's exactly what happened. Fun fact: did you know that .net core doesn't include a cross-platform GUI library? Yeah.

Another factor might be that we know how Microsoft operates and we're all just waiting for the other shoe to drop and for the "extend, extinguish" phases to kick in. Personally, given their track record, they'll need to keep up this whole "we love open source" act for another 20 years or so before I start considering their tech on any merits it might have (not that I've seen any).

If Fairphone can support a 5-year-old handset, the other vendors could too. Right?

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

The Light Bulb Conspiracy

For anyone who would like to know more about planned obsolescence, I highly recommend the excellent docco The Light Bulb Conspiracy

Devuan Beowulf 3.0 release continues to resist the Debian fork's Grendel – systemd

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: "It solves a problem that people have."

"What actual benefit does systemd bring?

I can only speak from my personal experience, but I have to say that quite separate from the improved startup times, the new shutdown duration is also a great new feature.

A lot of people poo-poo the decreased startup times, which in many cases are only a fraction of a second faster, saying they're really not that big a deal. But these people are forgetting the big picture, which is rebooting - you need to take both startup AND shutdown times into account.

For instance, take my laptop running xubuntu 14.04: I'd issue a 'sudo reboot' and 15 seconds later it would have completed the reboot sequence and be at the login screen waiting for my input.

This is a huge waste, because when I type 'reboot' I'm usually doing it because I'm about to go make coffee, which takes 5 or 10 minutes. So if making coffee takes 5 minutes then there's 4 minutes and 45 seconds where the machine is just sitting idle!

OTOH, when I "upgraded" that machine to 16.04 with systemd, I found that the shutdown process was suddenly taking 5+ minutes. So after upgrading I'm now able to go make that coffee, secure in the knowledge that the machine isn't sitting idle and being wasted. Also there's no risk of me typing in that reboot command and then getting distracted by a machine which shuts down too quickly, causing me to forget to make that coffee.

Systemd truly is a boon for coffee lovers everywhere.

"Why does it take so long to do this task that used to take literally one second?", I hear you ask, in your whiny, perfectionist, nitpicky, aspie, "expects things to improve rather than get worse" nerd voice. And I'd love to tell you the answer. But since there's zero feedback or log messages of any kind that I can see during this delay, and the system doesn't respond to anything (e.g sysreq hotkeys) during this time, I still haven't managed to figure it out. I suspect it's something to do with network mounts. I would spend time looking into why I have this amazing and exciting new 300+ second delay, but there was apparently a plague of locusts some time between 2014 and 2016, and they've absolutely decimated the field where I grow my fucks.

Interestingly, devuan lacks this...uh... "feature".

So to summarise and and to directly respond to your question: systemd brings coffee, because we now have more time to make it while it spends 5 minutes unnecessarily doing god-knows-what during shutdown.

There's a new comet in town and you don't need a fancy multi-million-dollar telescope to see it. Just regular eyeballs

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

This is not visible

I was trying to get a look at this a couple of weeks ago, when it was still above the horizon.

I'm not sure where The Reg is getting their info (or maybe somebody's not paying attention), but according to all the info I have this is no longer visible as it's dropped below the horizon. I'm at about -40S and it hasn't been visible for about a week IIRC. Even the site that the article links to says that it rises for me at 06:30 and sets at 15:00, which are... not ideal astronomical observing conditions.

Cosmo Communicator: Phone-laptop hybrid is neat, if niche, tilt at portable productivity

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: I threw some money at this....

Thanks for this, I found it informative. I have been looking into the cosmo and waiting for Linux to become available for it (I didn't know they released it recently, a good step in the right direction). But I want something usable - It sounds like I should wait a little longer for it to stabilise and get the bugs ironed out.

The article's comments on battery life are a bit of a concern, too. Could you give some more detail as to your experience with battery life / usage? Thanks! :)

Looking for a tech job? Have a browse – there are plenty of roles in our biggest listing yet

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist
Thumb Up


This job listing thing you guys are doing is great, but I think it would be useful if these listings were a little more explicit about the work arrangement and the areas they're willing to consider hiring from. I assume all of these jobs are remote at the moment, but will the job stay remote after life gets back to normal? is the company looking to hire somebody in a particular country or region, or do they not care? Would help to narrow things down a bit WRT the jobs I might be interested in. Don't forget that your audience is global :)

We're number two! Microsoft's Edge browser slips past Firefox in latest set of NetMarketShare figures

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: Does it matter anymore?

It's clear that this is simply not true anymore

It's not? Who makes chrome again?

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist


I for one would like to congratulate Mozilla. Their continued efforts to turn firefox into chrome have successfully alienated what user base they had, so much so that even a Microsoft browser is now beating them. Good job! #achievementunlocked

ZX Spectrum prototype ROM is now available for download courtesy of boffins at the UK's Centre for Computing History

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: known and loved (and argued over) in 1980s playgrounds across the land.

Yeah that sentence struck me as really inaccurate: It wasn't just playgrounds, or the 80s. And nobody who counts ever loved a speccy - all the sensible people were Commodore users ;)

On a more serious note, this is really cool news. I never really used a spectrum (just once or twice back in the day) but I'm all for any preservation efforts and particularly for making the rom available.

For the past five years, every FBI secret spy court request to snoop on Americans has sucked, says watchdog

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

Re: I'm shocked, I tell you!

Unethical system ripe for abuse is being abused and used unethically. News at 11.


These can also be granted retroactively if the agency needs to move quickly.

Oh that's just gold:

"Let Us In!"

"Do you have a warrant?"


"Can I see it?"


"Why not?"

"We don't have it yet"

"So... you don't have a warrant then?"

"No, we do"


"We just don't have one right now"


"We will have had a warrant right now. After we apply to get one later. Assuming we actually get it"


Planet Computers has really let things slide: Firm's third real-keyboard gizmo boasts 5G, Android 10, Linux support

Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

I've been waiting for the cosmo to get proper Linux support before I order one. It's unfortunate that it hasn't happened yet (or at least it hadn't last time I checked), I'd love to give the my money.

this looks even more interesting, if the Linux support is there.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020