* Posts by Binraider

28 posts • joined 7 Jul 2020

Linus Torvalds pines for header file fix but releases Linux 5.8 anyway

Binraider

There's a reason even the Linux dictator-for-life has been mulling over Rust. David Braben's criticism of systems-level programming languages is a fascinating read. C++ versus C is a never-ending argument; though I would tend to suggest that the 'unpredictability' of C++ when mis-used is an issue for OS programming in said language. C clearly has no shortage of bad code submissions too; and the advantages of the dictator-for-life in control of what does or does not make the Kernel is perhaps symptomatic of the language and compiler's ability to deal with crud.

One does somewhat feel that despite Linux' established base; that there is probably space for a research / hobbyist OS to be built from ground up using modern paradigms.That is, after all, precisely how Linus got started with Linux; out of desire to use the x86 chipset in full and expand a bit beyond the capabilities of other educational OS of the time (Minix being prime example). At the time, C happened to be the best compromise available between programmability and performance.

Elite name on Brit scene sponsors retro video games preservation project at the Centre for Computing History

Binraider

I stopped playing at all the moment they added the randomised upgrades. Hiding the purchase of certain ship models behind arbitrary thou-shalt-do 2000 identical boring-as-hell courier missions for one faction. Or the ability to create more than one character on PC - though on Console it is possible to create more than one without buying the game twice.

Regarding the absence of consequences, EVE online were looking at this very problem for multiplayer 17 years ago. Secured space have police that; while they don't prevent you taking actions, are 100% effective in causing the loss of your ship.

Binraider

I’m probably in the minority that didn’t enjoy the original elite or the 2014 remake. I was an early backer on Kickstarter, and ran a huge group on Facebook for a while to drum up more support. Ultimately, I think it comes down to the choice to make all ships handle by pitch and roll. In an aircraft, yes. In a space game, all my favourites have yaw as primary way to turn. ED looks spectacular but the weird substitution of time acceleration for FSD grates me for some reason too. Yes, I know, because multiplayer. That feature all games have had to have for 2 decades, and usually sucks. Core systems should not be trolled consistently by player character pirates, while “anarchic” systems are basically safe.

Frontier, and the bugfest that were First Encounters were the ones that hooked me. Kerbal, strangely enough, probably is the next iteration on that form of handling and at time of writing has well into the hundreds of hours of screen time. Can’t say the same for ED.

Venerable text editor GNU Nano reaches version 5.0 and adds the modern frippery that is scrollbars

Binraider

I bash ms at most opportunities through I have to admit edit.com served very well. Column, row indicators and a simple but not obscure UI. A far cry from what they produce today. I never really got on with amiga Memacs, on the extras 1.3 disk. 30 years on various Emacs flavours still dont float my boat. There was one that used to ship with Mandrake Linux I quite liked. Vi and edlin were and are masochistic for anything beyond a one line edit. Nano is somewhere in between. Expanding on the UI turns it into something else so I don't half wonder if v5 should be a fork!

It's been five years since Windows 10 hit: So... how's that working out for you all?

Binraider

Re: Nope

Yep. Mint 19 and 20 find everything but my LTO tape drive just fine. Replace video driver with the non free AMD and its good to go.

Binraider

Re: Win10 is a good OS

The raft of Windows-10 fondleslab owners with 16 or 32GB of storage will probably disagree with you on this one. Impossible to update; yet Win10 enforced updates inevitably bricks these machines.

Repaired a perfectly good example of such a machine by installing SparkyLinux instead; and it is infinitely more capable with an OS that is not dominated by daft overheads and bloat.

I've had absoutely endless problems on high-end hardware from 4 years ago (i7-6700k, Z270 motherboard). Unexplained audio glitches being the chief concern. Given that the only use I have for Windows now is to run Propellerhead Reason and a few games; audio glitches aren't acceptable. And swapping my GFX card out & adding an NVMe drive qualified it in the eyes of Windows Activation as a new PC; so MS now are insisting I buy a new license.

I am far from alone in such experience and the number of stories plastered here confirms, that, even if you have had an acceptable experience; the many power-users that typify El Reg readers are extremenly unhappy with it, if not actively moving to alternatives. I'm one of them.

Binraider

Re: practical alternative

Thank you, I will check out sconfig!

Binraider

Re: Nope

I can set my clock by WIn10/O365 failures. 11.30 every day without fail (just about the time my US colleagues are logging into the AD) O365 apps go into a crash/reload/"repair now" cycle that is only cleared by a reboot.

It's just like Win95 all over again.

No such issues on Win7. Even in corporate environment.

Binraider

practical alternative

Server 2019 free trial, install as desktop. Enable audio service, disable unnecessary server elements. What you are left with at that point, is more or less everything you could want a Win7 sequel to be. Stripped back and with user control over software.

Works well for me for the few applications that still insist on windows of some flavour. More importantly, it is zero cost.

I still begrudge a gfx card change was refused by win 10 activation garbage. So won't be paying for Windows, legitimately, for some time to come.

Microsoft wants to show enterprises that Edge means business, rather than the thing you use to download Chrome

Binraider

On calling the MS hell-desk; they were quite insistent that new GPU were a new PC and have to buy a new license. NOPE!

Honestly had it with such shenanigans, it amazes me that so many go along with it. Then again, I don't use laptops with a 3 year throwaway lifecycle that seems to be the default for the uninformed.

Binraider

You're not alone. Win10 is an utter dogs breakfast that sacrifices the user's sanity in the name of deploying ever more spyware. Bugger that. If you need to run Windows executables in Windows environment, at minimal cost; go and get a Server 2019 trial. 180 days. Install it with the desktop mode; disable server manager; enable audio service, uninstall IE, add a copy of Firefox. Done.

Certain device drivers can be finicky under server 2019; particularly embedded chipset networking is poorly supported by Intel. A separate NIC solves that. Consumer radeon drivers can be installed by pointing device manager to use the folder with the installer in (though the installer itself refuses to play).

Low and behold; the resulting system is more or less what I'd want for an enthusiast update release of Windows 7.

Microsoft trying to charge me again post-gfx card change for a license for windows was the last straw and I won't be buying their product ever again short of a COMPLETE change of direction. I do encourage others to do the same.

Binraider

First thing that's uninstalled from Server2019 as a desktop. IE. And no edge in the install either. Copy of Firefox standalone installer brought over from the network instead.

Want to make your software appealing to business? Stop making it harder than ever to manage with stupid activation and licensing policies.

Intel couldn't shrink to 7nm on time – but it was able to reduce one thing: Its chief engineer's employment

Binraider

As a physics student in the late 90s... Uni lecturers were all adamant that Quantum Tunnelling represented a hard limit on CPU die shrinking - with the limit somewhere of the order of 5 to 12nm. 20 years on, those limits are being poked and prodded by CPU manufacturers. It's remarkable that AMD's supply chain has managed to pull anything working off at this range at all given the esoteric and incomplete knowledge we have of operation in that space. It is equally remarkable that Intel has missed out. One assumes the IP is being carefully corralled by the scientists and lawyers that "can" while intel missed the boat.

Rather less esoteric - Intels recent decisions to lock out low-end motherboard chipsets from basic options that have been available since the very first Core CPUs are pure profiteering that serve to drive budget customers further away. Performance driven customers almost universally look to AMD now. I do wonder with ARM-on the desktop becoming reality whether they starting to retarget their efforts away from X86. Wintel isn't what it used to be and they may want to dis-associate.

AMD fans forced to sit out latest Windows 10 Insiders build due to 'bug impacting overall usability of these PCs'

Binraider

Sound handling has been gripe of mine in Win10 for some time. Propellerhead Reason + Win7 on Juli@XTe worked perfect with a Z170 chipset. . Throw the same hardware and software on Win10; same motherboard; unexplained pops, clicks and hiss on the output.

Swapping to a Z270 chipset with more PCI express lanes helped. Bizarre. I assume it is the interaction between the new sound APIs in 10 with the motherboard and chipset driver that cause the differences.

Linux-land one of course has fun with ALSA, PULSE & JACKD to contend with; though I've not had any out of box problems in Mint like I did with WIn10. Oh, to persuade Propellerhead and others to port their software.... They already have an Apple version so it can't be too hard to port. Can it?!

Binraider

Probably because most peoples experience of Windows 8, and 10 have been less than stellar. There are several points of contention. Firstly, the dubious activation rules - changing my video card apparently invalidated the activation rules necessitating multiple calls to the MS helldesk to get it reactivated. At one point, to be told buy a new license because "it's a new PC". err, no, swapping a Geforce 970 for Radeon 5700XT and installing an NVME drive into an available slot on the mobo does not a new PC make. MS still haven't resolved this issue. To this end, I'm now using a trial of Server 2019 instead as a desktop OS (though Mint is the daily driver).

Second, the crapware; between Metro Apps, telemetry that cannot be disabled, and the advertising plastered everywhere. Yuck. Ironically, the above mentioned Server 2019 avoids much of the crapware.

Third, the loss of control of your PC. Yes, in Win98 days I was absolutely the first person that whinged about a PC that didn't work properly to do a Windows Update. But Automated updates were ALWAYS disabled. Precisely to avoid the shambles that have been the roll out of patches. Giving willing volunteers the Beta test is fine. Don't use regular customers for it.

Our experience of 10 Enterprise in corp environment hasn't exactly been a raging success either, never mind home use which one has come to expect to be nobbled from install.

All things considered I only keep windows around to run a few select programs at this point; and software purchases are now limited to those that offer Linux or compatibility verified through the various hacks to get windows code up on Linux. If Propellerhead got of their arse and released Reason on Linux I would ditch Windows entirely. Considering I, like most other users, have been using MS products for the past 35 years in production environments and finding it increasingly a liability; something is seriously sick and wrong with it.

We were promised Win10 would be the last version of Windows. Small hope that it's true.

Binraider

Should be seen as another win for AMD. MS gets to beta test it's crap on Intel victims first.

Capita's bespoke British Army recruiting IT cost military 25k applicants after switch-on

Binraider

Re: Why haven't we banned Capita

Rather stupidly, procurement law concerning using past performance to judge a current bid is frowned upon if not illegal. One must therefore get your tender scoring process absolutely bang on to ensure you aren't delivered a turd. MOD has a long history of getting this wrong; Boeing and the Chinooks come to mind. Capita deliver what's asked for - garbage in, garbage out. If it weren't garbage in, Capita wouldn't get the job. What do I know, 20 years experience of writing tenders...

Microsoft accused of sharing data of Office 365 business subscribers with Facebook and its app devs

Binraider

Yep home>pihole>VPN>corp.

I’m intrigued by the hard wired ip usage. Might be added to the block list too.

Binraider

The performance difference is undetectable in my experience, if anything slightly better because less traffic. The corporate stuff gets pushed over a VPN anyways so it's just an extra crap-filter before the request goes into the VPN.

Binraider

I've noticed an awful lot of traffic from our corporate mandated windows 10 / O262 messes trying to go to Microsoft Aria and associated addresses. Pihole blocks these addresses. What exactly do they want to phone home? At what point did I agree to phone home, or indeed when did the corporation do so? What GDPR violations are being made accidentally or otherwise by the telemetry? Had quite enough of this bollocks.

You've had your pandemic holiday, now Microsoft really is going to kill off TLS 1.0, 1.1

Binraider

Sounds like more layers of tape to me. Library programming is meant to take the tedium out of common functions - yet what we see here is just more layers of dependency hell that only someone close to the architecture can ever unpick. Makes it hard to keep an application stable from one version of Windows to the next, or implementation of .net to the next. We've seen life-critical equations give different answers to the same inputs due to hidden away changes in library functionality over the years. It might be old but I sleep somewhat better knowing that the maths function libraries I have in Fortran 77 remain consistent, even if the poxy UI over the top does its damnedest to tell you otherwise.

Binraider

Project reunion? Has the sopping mess that is the windows api suite finally clicked with its creators? One can’t help but think that with all the layers of duct tape a clean start might be what’s really necessary rather than adding yet another plaster on top.

Here's why your Samsung Blu-ray player bricked itself: It downloaded an XML config file that broke the firmware

Binraider

Samsung smart telly plus pihole here. About 20 percent of requests made by stuff on my network is blocked by the pihole, and then, the majority of that is Samsung. What I really don't understand is the value attributed to the advertising / data mining. Facebook thinks I like bikes, so I get endless adverts for luminous Spandex. I can assure you the combination of 16 stone of electrical engineer/pc nerd is not a good one with it. Data mining is overrated. Try producing knowledge, not data.

Companies toiling away the most on LibreOffice code complain ecosystem is 'beyond utterly broken'

Binraider

Re: It's quite clear where the money is:

Using the default MS templates and probably Comic Sans doesn't look professional either. We have corporate minions to come up with branding and file templates. No reason they can't do that on LibreOffice either.

Yes the defaults suck, but they are mostly there to show what is possible, not to actually use!

Binraider

Re: It's quite clear where the money is:

Given how ineffectual MS Support is; plus the extortionate licensing costs and hopeless unreliability; I'd be delighted to see our corp IT dump 365 for LibreOffice even if that meant chucking Libre a support contract on the side.

I should also point out the latter has been able to recover and repair files representing hundreds of hours of work, that MS Office actively damaged and were unable to recover itself. My limited corner of experience from one office. I'm sure it's replicated elsewhere.

NASA delays James Webb Space Telescope launch date by at least seven months

Binraider

While the launch of any spacecraft has the shadow of boom looming over it, one cannot help but think that with this one it is even more so than normal. There is something to be said for assembly of components on-orbit carried on a number of smaller launches rather than an all-eggs-in-one basket terrorfest that will be the eventual launch of the Webb telescope. I don't believe in luck so I shall wish the engineers and technicians on the ground intelligence that they can get away with it.

Four years after swallowing Arm Holdings, SoftBank said to be mulling Brit chip biz sale

Binraider

With RISC-V being more viable by the minute, one cannot help but think that ARMs business model is under threat. When selling phones as cheaply as possible cutting out every last license possible feels advantageous

Linux kernel coders propose inclusive terminology coding guidelines, note: 'Arguments about why people should not be offended do not scale'

Binraider

Ports & Cables

So, pray tell how does one politically correctly identify Male and Female ports & cables? Do we have to adopt gender-neutral cables throughout? Do such things exist? (USB-A is close, but not completely neutral).

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