* Posts by Binraider

851 posts • joined 7 Jul 2020


RISC OS: 35-year-old original Arm operating system is alive and well

Binraider Silver badge

Re: RISC OS needs to be rewritten in a high-level language

If the core of the project is kept small and tight, with objectives of making the OS fit in the same footprint as existing RISC OS it's not so unreasonable for a team of 20 or so really skilled developers to be able to manage.

For a spare time project it's a bit of an ask; but where did Linux come from too?

In taking the ARM Assemblerness out of RISC OS of course, would no longer make it RISC OS.

The OS from scratch tutorials for RasPi are a fun diversion; though I certainly do not have the knowledge or experience to build much on top of where the tutorial leaves you.

Binraider Silver badge

Re: Good and yet a little disappointing at the time...

Starfighter 3000 on the Archimedes was perhaps the biggest indicator of what ARM and vector handling could do - and where the future was. That's an absolutely amazing game. It took a significantly beefier, and much later X86 PC to run anywhere near as well as the Archimedes could handle it.

Amiga was legendary for it's custom hardware for sprite / blitter object lobbing capabilities. Arguably, the best design of it's kind for that job ever made in fact. But as soon as you started throwing 3D and/or non-TV resolutions at the system the advantages of the custom graphics hardware were lost. A technological dead end so to speak. The AAA chipset was, according to some, a step towards the Playstation style vector handling - binned by incompetent commodore management for the more incremental AGA that saw the platform fall behind at a rate of knots. The 68020 wasn't a viable competitor on brute force to the 486DX; and certain titles (MS Office, DOOM, Xwing) more or less sealed amiga's fate.

On balance, I am glad I had the Amiga over other systems of same era; mostly because of the enormous software catalogue. Archimedes or even the Atari ST never came close to what was available in Amigaland.

Acorn never really were able to compete on price (nor did they intend to) but I never doubted the capability of those systems I had the chance to use.

RISC OS is a nice thing to go and play with occassionally, but the RasPi spends most of it's time in Raspbian.

PCIe 7.0 pegged to arrive in 2025 with speeds of 512 GBps

Binraider Silver badge

Re: And, as with anything, faster means hotter

1) Working optical transistors means you have working Optical RAM and CPU; and optical interconnects. Permanent storage would need a photon/electric conversion. Things like a BIOS ROM might need some silicon still during boot. Driving human I/O; monitors; speakers, keyboard etc would need some electronic elements too.

2) If you can build the major components of the system optically, then the latency can theoretically be reduced; and risk of cross talk between parallel signals is avoided.

If you were really sneaky, you might even be able to run multiple wavelengths down the same pathways to cram more data in parallel.

Optical computers are of course just fancy R&D projects in present form, but they do offer an alternative beyond silicon / Gallium Arsenide with copper traces.

Binraider Silver badge

Needed, no. But enforced obsolescence may drive the upgrade path... How else do you continue selling a motherboard every three years!

Binraider Silver badge

Re: And, as with anything, faster means hotter

Photonics? Optical transistors are a thing; so you don't even have to convert to/from electrical and photonic systems.

An optical CPU doesn't have huge advantages over a silicon CPU in terms of performance or dimensions; but it might be able to win on heat output. Optical is clearly better when signals need to go around a circuit board than copper.

The physical limits of copper; as well as the cost of the raw materials are a factor too that might help justify a completely different physical architecture.

Halfords suffers a puncture in the customer details department

Binraider Silver badge

Yep, I saw some warning signs to this effect booking an MOT last Dec.

For "unknown" reasons their booking system slapped completely the wrong address on the order. It is as well I took the car in in person or it could have been returned to completely the wrong location.

Leading Arch Linux derivative Manjaro puts out version 21.3

Binraider Silver badge

I'd not seen that, but it is an accurate description.

Binraider Silver badge

I don't think I'd recommend Manjaro as a first distro either. Mint was the first distro I used 8-hrs a day; though it's conservative update policy was eventually the prompt to move.

With a year or two of experience in the bag jumping over to Manjaro worked very well for me; when I started wanting the "extra" power while still having some cuddly UI around it. The AUR functionality is particularly useful.

I still can't run all of my hardware in Manjaro; and have to keep a copy of CentOS7 around on a spare partition to push an LTO drive around in the absence of Windows.

Interpol anti-fraud operation busts call centers behind business email scams

Binraider Silver badge

Re: "Some of the fakes are getting very good."

Personally I think email is a bit of a dated format as far as authentication of origin of communications is concerned. Spoofing IME headers is not exactly a difficult or new thing.

It's not hard to register a webmail address with hundreds of services to make your spam mail look like it's coming from a legitimate domain name "@outlook.com".

Solutions to these sort of problems usually breed other problems can be privacy / tracking nightmares e.g. DNS tracking techniques to target adverts.

No easy way to resolve this; but I am sure a consortium of the best minds could think of something better than email.

Binraider Silver badge

I've lost count of how many times one of our older and somewhat technophobic friends had had their accounts pwned.

They have fell repeatedly for reasonably legitimate looking messages asking for you to click a link to reset a password because reasons. Anyone can pilfer FB or MS artwork to craft a legit looking page.

Teaching people to recognise the signs of a fake is an uphill battle. Some of the fakes are getting very good.

AMD to end Threadripper Pro 5000 drought for non-Lenovo PCs

Binraider Silver badge

Re: Here ya go, Intel

Intel aren't exactly competing in the many-thread desktop scene. 7 years ago it was a different story; with their 5000 series offering (for the time) large numbers of threads and lots of RAM support. The latter point was in fact why I took one of those systems on; because I needed $ludicrous RAM for finite element analysis.

AMD trumped those CPU's with their desktop offerings; and Intel more or less left the market not long afterwards. My home PC has been upgraded to an AMD 5950; while the work workstation is still trundling along happily. I could upgrade it, but honestly unless I can go much beyond 64GB RAM for reasonable cost there is no point as the workload has to swap to disk if model size goes > RAM. No amount of threads helps once the workload has to swap to disk. (And yes, I have filled a 4TB swap file before - tortuous to use... the sort of workload that occassionally warrants a really fat server)

There's blatantly an opportunity here for Intel to throw it's hat back in the ring, but with enough problems figuring out regular desktop offerings I can't see them trying to do a new product line to sit between Xeon and 12000 series desktop CPU.

The many-threaded CPU definitely has it's uses for workloads that can exploit it, and do not end up limited by other bottlenecks. I would suggest such workloads are usually pretty specialised and a more regular desktop setup is probably a better choice for many.

Microsoft readies Windows Autopatch to free admins from dealing with its fixes

Binraider Silver badge

MS has already implemented elements of autobork to a fashion, with staged rollouts of patches clearly serving as a way to beta-test without exposing the entire population at once.

From a policy perspective; enterprise W10 in our case a has countdown timer on when one must reboot to apply an update. This gives 24 to 48 hrs notice, which seems a reasonable compromise for rolling out patches the enterprise has decided it wants to apply. (With the odd exception where I need to run a really long numerical analysis job).

It is less reasonable for "Personal" devices that you do not have the choice over what is being applied or not.

Both the terms "personal" and "reasonable" have been forgotten in the Windows consumer space. I'm sure I'm not the only one to express concerns of "where are the next programmers coming from" on our highly locked-down autoconfiguring boxen?

For personal machines, Linux obviously has the advantage of freedom of choice - the likes of Manjaro and it's package managers can recommend updates; or you can choose to blacklist. But that level of functionality isn't particularly great in an enterprise where you want to get multiple machines patched to same standard on a schedule.

Somewhere between the two paradigms is a reasonable and effective approach to be had. I know of no solution, commercial or otherwise that manages to deliver well on both fronts.

Abortion rights: US senators seek ban on sale of health location data

Binraider Silver badge

No doubt some republican trash will be offended by the article. Not that if expect many to read el reg, or even if they did, had the ability to read the article.

Adobe apologizes for repeated outages of its Creative Cloud video collaboration service

Binraider Silver badge

What do we want? Software that runs offline without obligatory phone home to HQ.

What do the current 'must have' apps offer? Subs, subs and more subs.

Even my DAW of choice has gone the same route, which is particularly awkward for live performance of your network connection on the road is shonky. At least it will still accept a usb dongle to work offline.

Counting the days till we lose that option. I'm half about hopeful other developers will see a market opportunity to step in.

AI and ML could save the planet – or add more fuel to the climate fire

Binraider Silver badge

Re: "It's good to get ahead of this issue"

Your whining is not even remotely funny.

Keep on discrediting yourself.

Binraider Silver badge

Re: "It's good to get ahead of this issue"

Thorium would help, but the only solution to insatiable total demand is working fusion.

Either the species will figure out how to do that or we destroy ourselves, taking a bunch of other stuff with us.

Binraider Silver badge

Re: err, economics

You describe the classic Jeavons paradox. As steam engines become more efficient and cost effective, more demand appears because lower cost. Increasing total demand.

Jeavons extrapolated out GB coal reserves and equated that to the decline of the empire. It as a surprisingly accurate prediction, not withstanding the transition to oil.

As power is limited, I would much rather invest its use in things that matter than burn it on advertising, bitcoin and AI nonsense.

There are such things as good enough solutions. Endlessly squeezing the rock by throwing ever more weight at it does not alter the rocks limits.

Microsoft's Surface Laptop Go 2: $599 for 11th gen Intel CPU

Binraider Silver badge

Re: 4GB???

The secure boot shite bundled with them by default (And a bunch of other manufacturers) is often a blocker to using a real OS.

The surface is also unrepairable trash held together by gallons of hot glue. Con yourself all you like, but it is an utterly terrible product line. A symptom of throwaway society.

I assume you’re an MS employee or retailer of MS shite to hold any other view.

Of course, lots of other laptops are also awful.

Binraider Silver badge

Re: 4GB???

It'll probably be locked down in BIOS to prevent such good ideas...

Binraider Silver badge


Utterly useless for Windows 10/11. A perfect example of taking perfectly good components and sending them landfill via consumers on short timescales.

I'm not the audience for such junk, but I'm sure they'll still fall off the shelves.

Makers of ad blockers and browser privacy extensions fear the end is near

Binraider Silver badge

Other browsers are available. Use them. Whine at your IT people to make sure they are available if you don’t have admin yourself

New York to get first right-to-repair law for electronics

Binraider Silver badge

It's a start. Ever had to get a CPU board for a washing machine?

A standardised, simple embedded controller with I/o interface would go a long way. Would not be at all difficult to create, though of course everyone would want to sell their version.

Maybe there's space in this world for a DIY appliance toolkit? Just as we build our own PCs. I mean is it that far a cry from Arduino to do it?

Starlink's success in Ukraine amplifies interest in anti-satellite weapons

Binraider Silver badge

Re: Would ground/plane based laser be effective ?

Nothing a dousing of Kessler syndrome wouldn't take down the lot.

How much other stuff remains usable and/or access to space in the process is a different question.

Sick of Windows but can't afford a Mac? Consult our cynic's guide to desktop Linux

Binraider Silver badge

Re: Not be happy ... to reinstall my OS from scratch every year or two

Re-installing OS over and over was a necessary evil of 98, NT and XP. I don't miss having that faff.

I don't know what you are doing to your poor systems to trash them so comprehensively in the space of a month; but I assume whatever you re-install after flattening it must be the cause.

More likely, I think you have some sort of OCD trigger (which I certainly did) over "Progra~1" being the new default rather than C:\games or c:\apps of DOS era and you, the user, being in control of how stuff would be laid out.

Today, I more or less just use steam as a console and ignore the "mess" that I know lies underneath. Knowing windows is MORE of mess is somewhat comforting for the OCD trigger.

Binraider Silver badge

Insert obligatory "but why didn't you list $OBCURE_DISTRO" of choice!

I'd used linux on the desktop intermittently right through the early 2000's, but it took the launch of Win8 to make me seriously look for a daily driver. Mint worked well for me as a transition from 7. As my needs expanded jumping into Manjaro and the AUR repo did almost everything without "much" user knowledge.

There are odds and sods that are awkward like getting my tape drives working under linux. Perfect on RedHat / CentOS 7 with pre-compiled binaries. But never got it installed successfully on any other distro. I guess there aren't many of us idiots that try and use such things away from server-appliance land.

Binraider Silver badge

Re: choose how the OS will annoy you

This is a very true statement IMO. For better or worse, Sony Vegas; and Adobe are big reasons to have win or Mac. If you’re into music, logic, ableton, reason, cakewalk etc lack support. Ardour works but it’s not a substitute.

The most prominently missing is of course autodesk. CAD and spin-offs in BIM world are big business requirements. Most Linux CAD apps are pretty poor.

Office - fine, go LibreOffice. MS has some advantages but the lead is diminishing; as the cost of living with it rises.

I was very happy to find COMSOL had a Linux release.

And don’t mention games (but support is generally improving with Vulcan and proton).

I use Linux maybe 95 percent of the time outside of work. When I have to fall back; Server 2019 as a desktop is a lot nicer to live with than 8/10/11. Video drivers can be a faff but otherwise it’s largely like a cleaner copy of 10.

Fusion won't avert need for climate change 'sacrifice', says nuclear energy expert

Binraider Silver badge

Re: From the cheap seats: NO SACRIFICE IS NEEDED (and you KNOW China will not do it ANYWAY)

China is practically talking about covering the entire Gobi desert with renewable generation; enough of it to put very significant numbers of kwh per head on the table. That's a big bill for importing fuel they can avoid; and a way to avoid political leverage from hostile or opposing states that might take offence at their actions on the world stage.

Climate change goals are a bonus over and above the economic rationale.

The major difference is, of course, that China's power is state owned; and no dividends leaching off at every single level to prop up ailing pension funds and/or the uber-wealthy.

Regardless of how abhorrent you view the CCP, this particular area of their strategy is a good one.

Binraider Silver badge

Re: I hope that nuclear fusion will be too cheap to meter

Billpayer, rather than taxpayer due to privatisation. But yes, those that want their pound of flesh will continue to demand it somewhere.

Binraider Silver badge

Assuming working commercial designs can be up and running within 28 years (Hmmm....!), one then has to stamp them out in adequate numbers to meet demand; plus transmission and, most crucially, the distribution capacity to use them in all the places where oil and gas need to be substituted.

Given the lead time on even a bog standard CCGT is at least 5 years one does not suppose the transition away will be especially quick.

I don't dispute the potential of fusion to end a lot of the worlds problems with energy, but companies don't just decommission perfectly good equipment with decades of life left in it.

Not unless you outlaw / hard end date the older technology through other means.

Keeping your head as an entire database goes pear-shaped

Binraider Silver badge

WORM tape backups have their uses.

Quite popular in the legal profession for this reason in fact.

Binraider Silver badge


Deltree *.*

Kill "C:\" (a VBA classic)

rm -rf

:(){:|:&};: (please dont use this on something that you don't regard as expendable / rebootable).

Amongst another commands that exist for legitimate reasons but very, very easy to misuse. Deltree was particularly vicious, seen as it doesn't operate from the currently selected directory, but rather from the drive selection.

IBM ends funding for employee retirement clubs

Binraider Silver badge

The lack of perspective and empathy on the part of stereotypical boomers is more or less precisely the problem. By definition, boomers are the ones that voted in Thatcher and successors; and the complete destruction of any sort of long term planning for national need.

I was "lucky" enough to be able to buy a first house in 2004, when at the time a mortgage was property was 4x salary before tax. An average property was also, approx 4 to 6 times the average salary. This was a quite achievable level in mere mortal average jobs.

Today, the pricing is massively more vicious; with average national house prices running at 8 to 10 times the average salary.

Throw in a mix of sky-high rent, rip-off student loans and very high operating expenses in; saving up the 50k+ needed to get started on a shoebox of a house is simply not viable even in a well above average job.

$DEITY help you if you are in a line of work that isn't a trade or professional. And equally, why do we value those "low paying jobs" so low if we, the reasonably well paid professionals don't want to do them!

There is absolutely some truth to the statement that the death rate and reduction in Tory voter are more or less synonymous.

Is it any wonder that very large proportions of the working population want change, and/or are disenfranchised with politics full stop.

France levels up local video game slang with list of French terms to replace foreign words

Binraider Silver badge

Gurps Terradyne postulated the future common language would be "Janglish", though I have to admit Chinglish seems rather more likely a future.

$DEITY help us all, because literal translations between the two usually go horribly wrong.

Binraider Silver badge

Re: E-sports professionals?

E-sports, nope. No interest in bad twitch shooters; especially those being played by caffeinated, sugar-rushed 17 yr olds.

However, the speedrunning / glitching communities can be incredibly entertaining. Kaizo mario is a whole rabbit hole all of it's own. Try "Summer games done quick 2019 SMW Blind Kaizo Race" and you will see why it's worth a watch.

Another one I'd recommend is Heinki's speedrun of Deus Ex (SGDQ 2018).

The old Gamesmaster show had quite an audience in the 90's for people watching people play games (sometimes).

China offering ten nations help to run their cyber-defenses and networks

Binraider Silver badge

Re: a nice island arc there

The Dutch had a pre-WW2 philosophy that the Chinese seem to be taking lessons from. 1000 unsinkable aircraft carriers; referring of course to the islands out there that could be turned into airbases.

Now, I'll grant the number that are suitable for a 3000' runway is rather less; but a good number are.

A carrier force against those is at a marked disadvantage with regards survivability.

Binraider Silver badge

Re: There are two ways of taking over a country

China is pretty good at the long game; however much we disagree with aspects of CCP policy.

The situation in Taiwan is, however, an extremely confusing play. Sabre rattling to draw off resources diverted to a European war; or a prelude to actually trying it on?

Para Bellum.

Big Tech loves talking up privacy – while trying to kill privacy legislation

Binraider Silver badge

Ad revenues!!!!!1111!!1

I still haven't got out of FB, because of a few legacy connections. The pervasiveness of the ads and "recommended" posts is so severe now that it's in the firing line to be closed down.

Given the choice of smartphone OS boils down to Android or iOS I'm open to suggestions for how to clean those up. Clean-ish versions of android are available but by no means perfect.

Desktop OS - Windows (mandated by work); Mac (for the missus, and my sanity) everything else, Linux, BSD.

I suppose I should mention the embedded environments I work in; where I generally have to use VXworks; which is not without merit.

New York City rips out last city-owned public payphones

Binraider Silver badge

Is this a way to prevent Blade Runner from becoming the future? You know, the scene where Deckard takes his flying car to a bar & uses a pay phone…

This Windows malware uses PowerShell to inject malicious extension into Chrome

Binraider Silver badge

Re: How about a new OS?

The totally secure OS is a myth, because people. Even an embedded, off network system usually have some means of personnel interaction at some level. And it might not be so off network as you thought.

Checks and balances; multiple layers, audit and penetration testing are necessary to stay on top of ones game. Changing personnel and skillsets doing those tasks is also recommended.

This is paranoid, but working on the assumption that everything either is, or will be broken in your tenure is a necessary evil when you actually do have something worth securing to that extent.

In consumer OS land; WIndows, Apple, Android or iOS; basically you're screwed. So don't put material you care about securing on them. (Some variants are better than others - but none by any means ideal).

Confirmed: Broadcom, VMware agree to $61b merger

Binraider Silver badge

Fortunately, the license it exists under is a defence against such tricks. Probably the nastier ask is finding specialised enough developers to look after it outside of one of the big development outfits.

Binraider Silver badge

I know it’s oracle, but, err, VirtualBox is a thing!

Minimal, systemd-free Alpine Linux releases version 3.16

Binraider Silver badge

One more to go on play in a VM pile

Ransomware grounds some flights at Indian budget airline SpiceJet

Binraider Silver badge

Ever been in the electronics space in a 747? Or, a lot of other jets for that matter? Floppy disks for updating software and databases are still a thing in those environments. Mostly because of the certification required to put the drive there in the first place.

Version 251 of systemd coming soon to a Linux distro near you

Binraider Silver badge

Pretty much, yes. I like the concepts of avoiding systemd but as a desktop consumer; the distros without need significant user knowledge to get anything out of them. Manjaro, mint, even Arch I can be running steam in 5 minutes from a blank ssd.

I’ve fought with gentoo as a learning exercise from the ground up; and while it obviously works; it is wholly unsuited as a daily drive. Cue someone saying ‘I daily drive it’. Good for them! Was the DIY element fun/interesting? To a certain extent. Would I want to be in that world all the time? Nope. Is the option a good thing? Yes.

As for “why don’t I like windows” don’t get me started on that one. Absolute hatred since win 8. And barely tolerant before back to 95.

The downvotes above are amusing and demonstrate the fallacy that while making your own furniture is possible; sometimes you just want the kit from IKEA. And consider a mass market user. They don’t give a hoot what systemd is; if you want to encourage users to try something else; it needs to be every bit as convenient or they will give up on it. Devuan, and Debian are both bloody awful to an uninitiated user. Both would do well to act on that (akin to pushing water up a hill that request. Especially debian). C’est la vie.

Binraider Silver badge

To systemd haters: make me a Devuan that is as easy to use as Manjaro and I'll be there.

I get the arguments against systemd because Windows registry hell. Instead of arguing, go and create it.

I'd do it myself, but you know, teams of developers needed. And some of us have jobs & mortgages to pay. Funny that, redhats commercialisation creating income.

Binraider Silver badge

Re: Software Junk

I got a Commodore 64 in 1986; got rid in 1989, and then got another one in 2010. Still does what it says on the tin, still got (limited) numbers of people writing software for it, and frankly, still a lot more fun than anything modern.

No, I can't do finite element analysis on it. But a very potent gas pipeline simulation still in professional use was originally developed to run on such limited hardware.

An occasional replacement of the capacitors or the PSU is warranted. All readily available parts, and of course, the system came with the schematics.

So yeah, I'll raise you your anti-Google consumerism and point the middle finger at the entire supply chain built around enforced obsolescence. Old shit is so much more fun, the sweet spot for me being mid-80's.

AMD reveals 5nm Ryzen 7000 powered by Zen 4 cores

Binraider Silver badge

Very, very happy with my current 5950X. Given PCI-Exp 4 gfx cards are barely an established thing, I am sure I'll have that system for at least 10 years short of some radical move in capability.

If part pricing improves somewhat I'd maybe consider swapping more often; which would of course be predicated on selling the older machine on.

Florida's content-moderation law kept on ice, likely unconstitutional, court says

Binraider Silver badge

The Orville did an absolutely hilarious episode of a world governed and law-enforced by upvote / downvote. It's really not so far removed from the arguments played out here, or in social media, or politics in the here and now.

FPTP has a lot to answer for as far as the them-and-us mentality goes; if you're not with them, you're against them. Baked in at the highest level of our politics, and the trickle down to everything else is very apparent.

Binraider Silver badge

Though there is (some) censorship of some material.

Whether the majority agree with a thing or not, does that dictate whether a fringe political group should get a say?

Some Ultra-right wing groups have been outlawed in the UK, indeed membership in them is a crime. Some ultra left groups operate freely and publicised heavily in media in fact.

Do the have a right to espouse their views? Perhaps. Do they have a right to be ridiculed for them? Absolutely. Do they get to super glue themselves to trains, legally? Nope.

For the record I am firmly centre-left, and largely believe in education being the best way to ward off the encroachment of lunatics into our politics and media.

The Return of Gopher: Pre-web hypertext service is still around

Binraider Silver badge

Gopher. Only one step removed from BBS territory!

The bad old days really were much more fun.



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