168 posts • joined 6 Aug 2016
Re: Deleting emails
At one company for which I worked, we generally kept check on mail users whose archives were above 5GB, which seemed a reasonable figure (this was 10 years ago). Any use above that resulted in a chat with the user, to make sure that we weren't backing up and DR'ing cat videos, or, as in one case, supporting his moonlighting activities. One mail user's space approached 12GB. He was head of the compliance department. He was aware of retaining pretty much all email, the result, he said, of having been involved in a complex case where emails had been deleted, and which was a nasty enough event to have a profound effect on him. I asked him if he wanted a more robust email archival system. He said, not, he preferred to maintain it himself. I wished him well and we flagged his use as appropriate.
> Maybe just don't have beans the day before the event ?
Well, if both eat beans, a certain principle of Mutually Assured Destruction may help, but it's still not worth the risk
> with the carried person's face pointing toward the carrier's bottom.
Err, I think I'd prefer the dislocated shoulder...
Hypercard was brilliant. There were numerous studies done on how non-programmers were bale to develop really useful little stacks in very little time, but somehow that leap to what was called "end user computing" never quite materialised - development became more entrenched and specialised (except for that one block in Accounts who discovered, then "developed" everything in terrifying and broken Access - I am sure every el Reg reader knows one....)
After Jobs canned Hypercard, there was an attempt at a Windows based alternative called Supercard, if I recall, and Oracle bought and badged it as OracleCard. But it didn't have the utility of Hypercard, as they thought of Hypercard not so much as a generalised if inefficient applications environment as a database frontend. Another problem was cost - several hundred quid for a not really great product. In the Free Software world, there was a half hearted attempt with Pythoncard, which again missed the boat, this time thinking that the development environment was the key.
Hypercard's many inefficiencies, generalised nature and small but genuine barrier to entry was what gave it its power - its warts gave it its beauty. It even had a sort of pseudo object-oriented way of drag n drop working if you wanted to push definitions.
As an aside, I have often wondered what a hypercard on RaspberryPi would have done for the education space, where they have done wonders with scratch and teaching python. The understandable English of Hypertalk, almost like pseudo-code. would be more inclusive than the overt codiness even of python, opening creativity to yet more, and surely creativity was one of the things that attracts about technology in the first place.
> Ohhh SFT III...I set that up for a company that used to make bricks for kilns.
Making bricks - how appropriate for SFTIII. Having inherited an SFTIII installation, I found that as long as you didn't want to change anything ever, it was fine, but in a dynamic environment, it was a ball and chain on change.
Who remembers those "demonstrations" at the Networks show in Birmingham in the 90s, where Novell dropped anvils on one of a pair of running servers to show, er, gravity or something. That kind of 90s loadsamoney waste was one of the reasons I was turned off Netware and started heading towards this new NT thing, which turned out to be rather good, and cheaper too. Imagine that - MS cheaper, no doubt as Netware had to pay for demo anvils.
Re: Feeling Old...
> For not needing an explanation of TSR!
My Sidekick agrees too....
> There are countless features
Countless? Not another Excel bug....?
Re: Ah, the "good old days" ...
> I think we even experimented with re-inking an old ribbon,
Ah yes, using a ribbon until it literally fell apart. Not sure what was worse, messy fingers from ribbon re-inking or a messy mind from remembering the dreaded ESC-P codes. Those were... Hang on, no, let's never go back to the printer hell of the 80s and early 90s.
> Well I've got a mixed estate of 8 Pis
Quite a few here too. Main RPi3 runs off a 2TB disk, serves NFS, runs a USB weather station, email (postfix, dovecot) for three domains, Nextcloud with numerous apps against postgresql (fewer resource demands than MySQL) and various other thngs previously run by an x86 server. The big thing to get over was the deep seated uncertainty about the USB disk, but actually it's been trouble free.
Another one (Pi Zero) is plugged into the telly and runs OSMC, getting the data from the main server via NFS. Control is via Kore on various tablets, phones around the house.
Another (Model B) is fitted with a Hifiberry device and is plugged into the old and wonderful sounding hifi amp directly. This one mainly runs mpd, and a web based control interface, but also does some cron jobs for the network. Also run minidlna for local streaming to tablets etc.
And another is in a data centre Somewhere In Europe running as a fallback MX, a few lowish traffic web sites, a Nextcloud instance used to share data with friends, family and other collaborators.
Another one runs in the house of a friend, who needed a nextcloud instance to get him round a short term difficulty, but the Pi turned out to be so useful a much wider range of local services are now run.
The new Pi just ordered will replace the "main server". That leaves me with an original Pi, ordered in the first wave, a Pi ZeroW, and a spare Pi3 and a Model 2, all of which are used at one stage or another to play.
The most astonishing thing about the Pi to one who does not use them in their originally intended way, for education, is that they are as capable as they are. When one runs out of grunt or otherwise hits the inevitable limitations of the nature of the device and its price point, the creativity required to get things working well is a reminder of the most satisfying times in IT. When I find myself wishing for more RAM, or disk connections, or whatever, I remind myself that we in technology are probably too conditioned to expect bigger or faster, and that very often, being disappointed when an ideal is unattainable gets in the way of what is actually achievable. Or as Miranda says, "such fun."
An elderly family member is ill and probably heading for his last few weeks. The rest of the family uses WhatsApp to stay in touch about this, and the pressure to succumb and join is severe. I found out about this last slurp, or alleged slurp, or slurp but not a slurp if the ICO thinks we're slurping,when looking to see if the Ts and Cs were at all reasonable. At a time like this, I can't expect the family members to research an alternative, like Wire, but at the same time, I just can't bring myself to gift myself to Facebook even if the utility of the present moment is overwhelming. What to do, oh, what to do...?
TL;DR - Look at all the good that can be done with WhatsApp, but the price is just too high.
> I soldered in some heavy wire to connect a deep cycle marine battery
Absolutely agree with the views in this, but there is a practical issue, which is that deep cycle wet lead acid batteries really need to gas from time to time. We're off grid, where admittedly the batteries are worked harder than is expected with a UPS. and there are a lot more of them than in a simple 300VA UPS, but when the batteries are charging the whiff can be a rather strong clunk of the egg-and-baked-beans-with-6-pints nature. Theoretically not too good for you, so those who operate on the assumption that any risk is unacceptable would find the wet lead acid option good grounds to exert their power.
Re: 44 allegations
> Only a single case found to be true.
But in spite of this, the wrong lizards keep getting re-elected.
Dame Sally is Chief Medical office for England, not the UK. Some parts of the UK have been ignoring drinking guidelines for years.
I read somewhere that during the filming of "The Battle of Britain", the aircraft used constituted effectively the 9th largest air force in the world at the time. Nice factoid, if the case.
Also re the flight of Galland and Stanford-Tuck, I grew up in Namibia in the 1970s, in an area with a strong German heritage, and a number of German expats. There was an ex-services club, open to all who had served in armed forces. The Allied ex-servicemen and their Axis counterparts used to spend hours working out if they'd shot at each other when at the same battles.
> .Just picked up and shook my Thinkpad. It rattled. Fantastic.
..As did mine for years until the screen hinges just couldn't keep it up any more (being unhinged can affect your.... etc etc) The solution was epoxy putty, squished well in, doing duty as screws. Six year old crappy thinkpad still going strong but I'll not risk trying to get it through airport security...
ABI finaly available
Anything But Intel may finally be not just preferable but possible.
> The Admiralty is living in the past.
This issue has nothing to do with strategic defence or anything similar. It's all to do with broadening the trope-du-jour of demanding more MOD-spend from the Treasury. We've had widely trailed speeches, dutifully reported on the front page by the BBC, about some military type seeing reds under the bed, and other drips of info creating a new threat against which to spend money. The strategy is not defence, it's pork.
Re: The worst customers...
Not strictly IT related, but some years ago, I boarded an early morning flight from Edinburgh to Heathrow, one of those 10am meeting, 12 noon flight home occasions. Soon after door closure a smell of burning plastic filled the cabin... It turned out ground crew had used a starter generator not designed for the aircraft type, and had reversed it too close, and the hot exhaust pointed straight and too close to the skin of the aircraft - something plastic behind the skin was melting. Not unreasonably, the pilot said he wanted an engineer to check that all was well before departing.
We stayed on the ground for about 2 hours, very frustratingly, of course, but we were all in the same boat, as it were, and the situation was a clear one. Eventually they said if anyone wanted to leave the plane, they could, and as I had missed the meeting I went to wait at the door. Somebody came up from the back of the plane, and absolutely ripped into the poor stewardess, saying he had "very important" clients with him, and this was unacceptable, and he wanted the captain to come and apologise personally to him and his guests etc, a real over-the-top rant, far more to do with his ego than the problem with the aircraft. The stewardess did her best, and as he calmed down, for once in my life I said the right thing. I turned to her and loudly asked "DO you have to deal with arseholes every day?" Self-important glared but slunk off, and the stewardess looked at him, turned to me and said "Thanks."
Oh, don't spoil the gag - it was early when I posted that...
(Mea culpa anyway)
echo "I wonder what will happen to CUPS" >> lpr
> There's nothing in PC, modern or 30 years old, that could have caused this.
Speaking as one who, in the early 90s, had to install am internal modem (those plastic-encased jobs) in a tower system under a desk, switched on the PC following the rule never to close the case immediately after installing something, because cockily closing the case straight away means it's guaranteed not to work, and saw a large spark emanate from said modem, followed by a definite conflagration, I would say your confidence in equipment and power supplies of 30 years ago is somewhat misplaced.
I did discover that it is possible to leap from under a desk straight to the wall-mounted fire extinguisher and back under the desk in two easy bounds. But after this episode, I never used internal modems again.
Re: RPI not reliable
RPI not reliable? Then use some other ARM-based single board computer...
Picture the scene: Late 90s, running the fabulous AMEOL CIX off-line reader under WINE, suddenly noticed a WINE process under htop when none should have been active. Discovered that WINE is quite capable of running Windows viruses too... No damage done except to confidence and bragging rights about Linux's malware resistance.
Re: To be honest
> I really don't care what the paint job looks like as long as it works.
The group that developed Palemoon as an improved version of Firefox also developed Fossamail, apparently using similar techniques to develop a fast, sleek, working Thunderbird. The last few years of Thunderbird, like Firefox, have seen it getting slower and more bloated. I wonder if this is because of all the old crufty Firefox stuff in T'bird. It is still such an important, useful bit of software to so many, and needs years of layers of paint removed, rather another layer for today.
...would want to do business with Doug and Dinsdale Piranha?
Re: Old school
> This is refreshing in a world where I see people burning insane amounts of money on their ...
A pity only a single upvote allowed.
Infrastructure-by-auditors-tickbox is rarely universally satisfying.
The technology is very impressive of course, but what's missing is the terminology. Was the ISS, we need to know, within 3 miles of sector ZZ plural Z alpha?
Re: They will never work in an urban environment.
..or a very rural environment either. In our area, where there are many single track roads, the car would need to understand the concept of give and take, fairness, light gestures to invite one to continue past a passing place, etc. Mapping passing places won't work, as the passing places may be closed, iced-over, or full of tourists with caravans.
What a relief that someone has finally said that, if the emperor is wearing any clothes at all, at best its an itsy bitsy yellow polka dot bikini
"prizes turned out to be wretched hives of malware and villainy."
Bravo, Richard Chirgwin.
These are not the USB sticks you're looking for...
> terrible performance on the test system with zfs+compression+lustre,
One aspect I have been wondering about, regarding apparent performance hits, is whether the choice of filesystem has any bearing on performance loss. Back around 2003, someone produced a set of benchmarks on various Linux filesystems, and one of the criteria was processor impact. If memory serves, jfs, followed by xfs, was especially light on processor cycles, while one would imagine zfs or btrfs would be fairly heavy on the processor. So I wonder if there is variation on performance of the patches depending on filesystem choice.
I suppose it is very early days on this issue, though, and those with most at stake will be testing these variables.
Re: Redmond office hours only
You're drinking the wrong kool-aid - yet another "news" outlet actually saying Meltdown and Spectre "are not bugs, all they're doing is abusing the normal function of Intel, AMD, and ARM processors."
Re: timing attacks
> Cant you just reduce timer accuracy for untrusted code and get all your performance back?
There is a good discussion on this at LWN this week - https://lwn.net/Articles/742702/
As comments there are by People Who Know, I can only understand every fifth sentence or so, but it boils down to the fact that nothing is simple any more.
Re: @ Tinslave_the_Barelegged
> You're missing the point.
Fair enough, but it was a general comment about culture using this issue as an example.
Intel execs - a warning from history
Mildly off topic, but maybe not. Many years ago, I attended some tech conference at the corporate suites of a London premiership football ground. Among the great and the good presenters was due to be an Intel exec, one whose engineering background made me especially look forward to his talk. His time slot came and went, so other talks took his place until he finally graced us with his presence. He then ranted about how it was ridiculous that his helicopter was not allowed to fly directly to his destination and that, can you believe it, his pilot said he wasn't allowed to land on the football pitch. He never really got into his presentation.
I spoke to him afterwards, and he was still fuming, and the only thing I can recall as a takeway about Intel was a mistrust owing to the disconnect and disdain this exec showed that day, his audience was one that was not appropriate to his petulance. He may just have been masking his embarrassment about being late, but it came across as not seeing why air traffic rules should not be bent for him, made worse by a football club wanting to protect its ground.
I know this is an anecdote about my own prejudice based on one incident, but it has coloured my view of the processor world, and processor choice, since.
> And what about PowerPC or MIPS?
If only Apple had stayed with Power chips, providing a bit more diversity. And if only China's MIPS (moonsong, was it?) processors made it to the west.
While the way we measure the utility of technology remains by "winners" and "losers", we will continue to build insufficiently diverse environments, and be forced to allow the likes of Intel to get away with statements like "it's all working fine - reality is at fault."
Re: Old is new again?
> I haven't heard about anyone "this time" mysteriously jumping any gun, what do they mean by that?
As the article reads like a cut 'n' paste job, it's not worth while trying to analyse it. The layers of obfuscation are geological in complexity, suggestions it's just a software issue, poor Intel with some fearful leaker being nasty to them, suggestions of it all being sorted if only they'd had time etc etc. Even El Reg has had to conflate two separate issues, and each is complex. Expect colleagues, family and friends to start conversations with you today with "I don't understand what they mean..."
Re: Old is new again?
> And people say I'm crazy for using SPARC.
No, Intel have made clear that it's not anything to do with your OS or your CPU - its your source of news. X-ref this El Reg article with, eg, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-42561169
Re: Basic arthimetic
> and it is STEALTHY (somehow "stealth" is wrong in caps, so: *whisper* "stealthy") - oh so *whisper* stealthy,
You mock, but have you ever even SEEN one of the them on our fabulous carrier? THAT's how stealthy they are....
Re: The most disturbing thing...
> Personally, I know half a dozen people called "John", yet miraculously
> I have no difficulty telling them apart.
How many identical twins both named John do you know?
Re: If you want Ubuntu laptops there is System 76.
> UK keyboard
In the UK, there is Entroware who sell Linux, especially, Ubuntu-based, laptops. Herself has one, and is very happy with it. I'll probably go for one when my old Thinkpad, currently held together with epoxy putty, gives out. I think they are quite a small outfit, but al went well with the purchase of my wife's machine.
> the commissioner Lord Igor Judge
The Igor said "Thir thould not thnoop tho much."
(Sir Terry Pratchett Applies...)
Re: That explains a few things.
> It's quite an impressive improvement.
Must agree. I became a convert to Palemoon some time back, as Firefox took forever to load (on OpenSUSE), became slower and slower, and used more and more system resource, especially memory. When Qauntum came out, it was worth a go, as I would be losing nothing. I cant stand the default look. and of course the themes I have used for years no longer work, but I found some CSSs on github that improved the look no end. As I use a small screen, use of space is important, but several more tweaks resolved that too. uBlock origin and Privacy Badger were the most important add-ons, and they were ready, as was Zotero.
Now Firefox is back to being my main browser, and apart from the irritating warnings when sites load slowly, it feels like firefox in the days when Mozilla subscribed to the "we try harder" mantra.
The info from this article re-inforces that conviction. I am grateful to Palemoon et al, but I think the issue they were trying to resolve has been sorted. Hope they continue, though, for diveristy's sake.
Re: So Openreach get to pick up the bill?
> Or do you think all that fibre was in the ground back in the '80s?
What fibre? The proposed USO is for merely 10mb/s, so fibre is hardly needed. In areas where fibre has been rolled out, it's already exceeding this modest target. In the intervening 30+ years, BT have been getting line rental, from which one imagines they might just out of the goodness of the hearts do a touch of investment. No, BT's record on infrastructure at the national level really cannot be defended.
Re: So Openreach get to pick up the bill?
It's not a free market except in some selected areas. Most of the country outside cities is dependent on BT's OpenReach infrastucture. That is what they inherited or were gifted. As this proposal is for a USO, it is not unreasonable that the effective monopoly supplier, for whatever reason that is, is obligated to provide a decent service.
Re: a summary of all possible ways to stop information being collected...
> and cannot download unless you have their online account.
Chances are one's life will continue without such a device, and possibly be happier.
To misquote Spock, the good of the many is outweighed by the good of the corporate.
Re: Step one
> Also, take the time to dig around google's privacy settings pages and disable everything.
Also add a recurring diary entry to check again every few months, in case they unilaterally change the rules and/or an "update" modifies your settings.
Re: July and August must Go!
> Can't we get rid of May?
Jason means JASON.
Re: How many battery "breakthroughs" is that this year?
> Would you prefer car that can do half the range or
> the one that goes further but literally has 500Kg of
> TNT under your ass ?
If you drive a petrol car, that's exactly what you currently have, give or take a spark.
(As "arse" is spelt donkey-like, for "petrol" read "gasoline".)
Re: How many battery "breakthroughs" is that this year?
>We do see modest increases in capacity, but all the
>while keep hearing of massive capacity breakthroughs
> that never seem to make it into production.
Yes, it's the use of superlatives that is frustrating. However, we seem now to be at a point where thee is so much invested in lithium that if an alternative to that chemistry was developed, it may well face pressures from big business keen to exploit the eggs they find in their basket. So lobbying/politics/vested interests may be the block on development.
Re: All the jobs were sent offshore to get it for cheap....
> There is a cheap, however rapidly closing window to solve that
Or move to Scotland. We don't have undergrad tuition fees here. And our academic record's not too shabby either.
Disclaimer: Relatively recent graduate of UHI, at an unfeasibly unlikely age.