nav search
Data Centre Software Security DevOps Business Personal Tech Science Emergent Tech Bootnotes
BOFH
Lectures

* Posts by ThomH

2504 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Huawei's just changed the way you'll use Android

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: This one amazing trick...

In the early noughties, David Bowman was a promising astronaut on his was to Jupiter. You won't believe what he looks like now!

0
0

Shopping for PCs? Ding, dong, the Dock is dead in 2017's new models

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: For the USB "Which side is up?" crowd...

Just look at the cable: the side with the USB logo is up. Problem solved unless your cable cleverly carries the logo as black plastic on black plastic and/or your port is vertical.

2
0

Up close with the 'New Psion' Gemini: Specs, pics, and genesis of this QWERTY pocketbook

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: It was the software that made the Psions so great

This reflects my feelings; the Psion worked well because of the combination of hardware and software. Producing a modern version of the hardware alone isn't the main part of the task.

There's a System 3 emulator that escaped from Psion beach in the day for DOS compatibles; you could DOSBox away the problem if only needs hadn't changed. But now the first thing somebody is going to ask for is email, then the ability to edit those Word documents and Excel spreadsheets that he keeps getting by email, then why not throw a browser on, then please just show a normal desktop. So I don't really think you could recapture what the device was.

1
0

Nokia’s big comeback: Watches, bathroom scales, a 3310 PR gimmick, Snake, erm...

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Makes you wonder

It's not just Google that benefits from Android; Microsoft makes quite a lot of money too, via patent royalties.

0
0

Artificial intelligence 'will save wearables'!

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: You'd need a generation of early adopters first...

Isn't that what the Pebble was?

1
0

Omg, that is, like, sooo 2007... Retromania set to grip this year's MWC

ThomH
Silver badge

Says it all about smartwatches

The two use cases suggested — discreet step counting plus a buzz whenever I receive a message — are just about all I am interested in. But then why would I buy a smartwatch at all?

1
0

Elon Musk promises Tesla investors Trump won't send him to Mars

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: At Tesla forever?

With Jerry Van Dyke to star in the short-lived sitcom spin-off?

0
0

Nokia's 3310 revival – what's NEXT? Vote now

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: 3 1/2 inch floppy drive?

My understanding, from The Italian Job, is that only the country's topmost computer expert is sufficiently qualified to replace the reel-to-reel tape on a computer.

7
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Snoop-proof

Sir, your Snake score is in the same range as those discovered on the handsets of previous national threats. Therefore we are detaining you as a national threat.

8
0

Vinyl, filofaxes – why not us too, pleads Nokia

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: At 7 bytes per stored phone number

If there are only 13 options then you can store log13(2^56) digits, which is around 15.13.

1
0

Microsoft foists fake file system for fat Git repos

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Git Submodules?

One suspects that the Windows repository has been ported from repository to repository going back to time immemorial and is not modular because an earlier system did not allow it to be modular, and it'd now be an unfathomable amount of work to refactor.

0
0

Who do you want to be Who? VOTE for the BBC's next Time Lord

ThomH
Silver badge

I believe it's (i) a courtesy to the departing actor, who doesn't need to be coy about seeking work; and (ii) a convenient opportunity for marketing.

1
0
ThomH
Silver badge

He could finally clear up the average episode's ambiguity as to whether it is Christmas?

2
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Absolutley Brilliant

Just do a Never Mind the Buzzcocks/etc and line up a series of single-episode guest Doctors?

1
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Not that bothered..

Joseph is tied up with US-based time travel right now, alas.

0
0

Apple weans itself off Intel with 'more ARM chips' for future Macs

ThomH
Silver badge

I'm pretty sure they spun-off ClarisWorks

Didn't they? Suggested correction: "The Cupertino maker of HyperCard".

7
0

Imagine a ChromeOS-style Windows 10 ... oh wait, there it is and it's called Windows Cloud

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Windows RT

Google is also in the process of heading in the other direction. Per an announcement a couple of weeks ago, all Chromebooks launched in 2017 will run Android applications. How does the Universal Windows Application application library look next to Android's? Even if you keep only the applications that work well when scaled up and/or given a hardware keyboard?

1
0

God save the Queen... from Donald Trump. So say 1 million Britons

ThomH
Silver badge

There is now a petition supporting the state visit; it's at 3,132 signatures having collected 2,136 in the last hour. So I assume it's a bit more than an hour old. Making any potential comparisons a little premature.

I signed the no-state-visit petition because it's a way to express sentiment that passes before the government's eyes. I'll have an infinitesimal effect, but it took a negligible amount of time. So the return on my time investment is acceptable.

13
0

Boffins explain why it takes your Wi-Fi so long to connect

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: hold your phone upside down

WiFi was invented in Australia about as much as email was invented by Shiva Ayyadurai.

0
0

Apple sings another iTune following Brexit as prices rise by up to a third

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: More more more.... like Apple less less less @macjules

A top of the range 15" MacBook Pro is $2,799 **before tax**.

$2799 is £2269.89 today. The UK government then wants VAT. So that's 2269.89*1.2 = £2723.89.

Apple charges £2,699.

Therefore Apple charges **less** in the UK than in the US.

0
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: More more more.... like Apple less less less

99 cents = 80.26 pence. 80.26 pence + VAT = 96.312 pence. Assuming a completely stack less exchange rate, Apple is greedily overcharging by 2.688 pence! Clearly everything everybody has ever said about them has been right all along.

20
0

Drone biz Lily Robotics takes $34m in pre-orders, ships nothing, shuts down, gets sued by San Francisco DA

ThomH
Silver badge

Sounds like incompetence then?

Some deceit, clearly, on the video, but to shut down with $25m+ now frozen in the bank suggests either a genuine intention to deliver thwarted by inability or a substantial fraud not quite completed.

7
0

Now that's a Blue Screen of Death: Windows 10 told me to jump off a cliff

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Inspirational messages should take account of region

"Bloody Nora that first step is a tad knackering, but don't be a numpty..."?

4
0

Crumbs. Exceedingly good cakes, meat dressing price hike in wake of the Brexit

ThomH
Silver badge

Yeah! The metric martyrs didn't give their lives for nothing!

6
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: it's easy to resolve...

Anybody? Anybody? Something-d-o-o economics. Anybody?

9
0

Google's Grumpy code makes Python Go

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Calling BS

Surely if converting to Go and then compiling produces a faster result then the problem isn't Python the language, merely Python the implementation? In this use case Go is merely an intermediate code. Compiling Python directly into LLVM IR might have been the route less insistent on throwing Google's own language in _somewhere_?

1
0

Snapchat coding error nearly destroys all of time for the internet

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: WTF is an App doing quering network time?

In a former life, working on an app that displayed time-dependent data, we found that some very negligible quantity of people had devices with the wrong time, most likely because they have their iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone without an international SIM, then when they land they adjust the time to wherever they are, not realising that it's much easier just to adjust the time zone. They've had to disable automatic time setting to get to that option. They end up with a device that says the same time on it as the clock on the wall so you try telling them they've done it incorrectly.

I guess somebody at SnapChat decided they don't trust users not to have disabled the built-in OS time synchronisation.

3
0

'Upset' Linus Torvalds gets sweary and gets results

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: I wonder about the devs

They tested KVM host but didn't test KVM guest. So it's not true to say there was no effort, merely that the attempt was incomplete — this cuts to testing for regressions elsewhere in addition to whatever your headline issue is, I think. Maybe you're all better at your jobs than I am at mine but I find that slightly easier to forgive; though shouldn't continuous integration have caught the thing prior to human inspection?

3
0

Microsoft's nerd goggles will run on a toaster

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Ahem...

I dare imagine people are voting on the conflation of minimum and minimal, and because as stated above, the HoloLens does all its processing on-unit, meaning that the PC really doesn't do much of anything at all. Almost certainly giving minimal requirements.

0
0

Why I just bought a MacBook Air instead of the new Pro

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Depends on your needs, though.

I think it's meant to be an opinion piece. One person who made one decision writing it up because it's a site about that sort of area.

My experience is even more contrary than most, I think — no major performance hurdles or developing hardware issues with a 2011 Air and its 4gb of RAM, used primarily for native Mac app development — but the weight of evidence suggests I'm massively in the minority.

2
0

Living with the Pixel XL – Google's attempt at a high-end phone

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Speedy?

The iPhones are very speedy, especially for anything with 3D graphics. From owning a Nexus 5X and having briefly used a Pixel, both of those are also very good stuff. There may be a few microseconds between them in loading your favourite content, but I doubt you'll notice.

7
0

Why Apple's adaptive Touch Bar will flop

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: And what does the surface run?

Apple doesn't use entirely off-the-shelf components even if the custom parts tend to be minor; a good recent example is the display controller in the 5k iMac. A more relevant example is that the touch bar MacBook Pros contain a small ARM processor running something derived from iOS to maintain the bar, which is a spin-off of the homegrown iPhone processors of recent years, which go quite a bit further than being mere respins of one of the reference cores.

It's not a huge amount of exclusive silicon, but it's not nothing.

6
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Worth $300 /400 extra?

The BBC Micro had a little plastic pocket built into the keyboard above the F keys to house keyboard overlays.

But, no, it's not worth $300 extra. But it's also not the only additional thing you get for your $300. You also get a decent bump in baseline processing — from 2.0 Ghz to 2.9Ghz — and a couple of extra Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports.

8
4

Get that trash out of your cache

ThomH
Silver badge

It definitely seems to be devoid of content, and inexplicably assumes familiarity with Hazelcast and Striim (what? no, me neither). Based on the internal link to previous articles on Hazelcast (though, no, I still couldn't tell you) I guess there's an extended deal?

2
0

Google man drags Emacs into the 1990s

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Already in the 1980s

You obviously weren't using modes 0–3.

3
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Would this work over a simple telnet/ssh connection?

How could a terminal emulation double buffer? They're character oriented and half the character sets are control codes. After how many characters is that the end of the frame? How does the terminal know when to show its double buffer?

1
0

Cynical Apple gouges UK with 20 per cent price hike

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Win-win

Like some sort of upside-down Laffer Curve: don't price anything as mid-tier?

4
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: US prices?

The most expensive non-build-to-order MacBook Pro 15.4" on store.apple.com is £2,699*. So that's £2249.17 without tax. At the current exchange rate, that's the same as US$2740.84.

The US price (also without tax) is $2,799.

* I didn't bother playing with the build-to-order options to get to El Reg's quoted £2,999 but it trivially goes quite a lot over that if you want: e.g. adding a 2TB SSD adds £1,080 immediately. Getting to £2,969 was easy but still not what I was aiming for exactly to match the story.

11
0

Zilog reveals very, very distant heir to the Z80 empire

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: How exciting

I have no evidence but have always assumed that Sinclair's button-per-keyword was a means to avoid the space and time of writing a tokeniser; I guess it may partly also have been because the ZX80 can't run the display and process a key press simultaneously so one screen shake per word was preferable to one per letter? Then anything else he said about it was just marketing.

1
0
ThomH
Silver badge

I don't think the one in the Master System was customised. Just vanilla as far as I'm aware. Ditto the other Sega usages. The graphics chip was a highly-customised TMS9918 though.

1
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: How exciting

My understanding, at long arm's length, based on the literature and with no direct experience, is that the Z80 was often preferred to the 6502 because it had built-in DRAM refresh logic.

One of Sinclair's smart moves in the ZX80 and '81 was to use static RAM and repurpose the DRAM refresh counter as part of the video counter, saving some external logic at the cost of having to force the processor into a NOP/HALT cycle during pixel periods because exact refresh timing depends on the instruction stream but variability doesn't work when you're synchronously driving video. The program counter forms the other part, thanks to NOP conveniently being 0x00, meaning that one can easily steal the real value from the bus and then force a NOP before the CPU checks via open collector logic. I'm pretty sure the [proper, non-CPU-assisted] video fetches are used for DRAM refresh on the ZX Spectrum but if you've already tooled up for the Z80, why change?

3
0

Four reasons Pixel turns flagship Android mobe makers into roadkill

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: It's the age old problem...

Obligatory Tizen link. I have no firsthand experience, but Bada was certainly oddball. Two-step construction, custom containers rather than the std:: lot, and probably more that I've forgotten.

1
0

Google's home tat falls flat as a soufflé – but look out Android makers

ThomH
Silver badge

Maybe it's time they looked at cofunding some sort of foundation to steward their preferred open source platform? Ummm, but in a way completely unlike that time they tried that with Symbian.

6
0

Oops: Carphone burps up new Google phone details

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Wonderful news @Khaptain

Surprisingly, in America it's still normal for the waiter to take away your card, return later with it and another two copies of the receipt you already saw, one of which you need to sign.

I have no idea why fraud doesn't happen more often there.

6
0

Apple's Breaxit scandal: Frenchman smashes up €50,000 of iThings with his big metal balls

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: "sang froid"

I don't find it all that understandable — the world view that if I feel somebody has done me a wrong then that gives me licence blamelessly to do absolutely anything I want feels very juvenile to me. I hope they throw the book at him.

5
0

Before Bitcoin, digital cash was called Beenz – all that's left is a T-shirt

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Ppshaw

Being a York undergraduate that just caught the tail end of Mondex, I'd describe it as this: an additional step, involving an additional machine, in getting your laundry done. An early lesson that extra technology does not always help.

1
0

World+dog to get retro classic Commodore 64 for Christmas

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Likely lineups for those

If only he'd decided to do the ZX81, he'd have been finished several times over by now.

0
0
ThomH
Silver badge

"Let's just give it a franebuffer and an AY and let the programmer figure the rest out" — the ST is the Speccy of 68000 world. Or something.

2
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: And I want this...

I think the SID has just been emulated poorly historically because it's a digital-analogue hybrid with unknown analogue logic. So it's the combination of incompletely documented, expensive to emulate and slightly outside of the normal emulator author's core competencies. There are good soundalikes now though, despite the obstacles — e.g. reSID seems well-reviewed.

3
0
ThomH
Silver badge

?"WHO NEEDS DIR ANYWAY?":-A$

1
0

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing