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Comment: Re:For me it's Windows NT 3.1 (Score 1) 352

by johnw (#49757313) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

Windows 3.0 (and subsequent in that series) was not an operating system, it was a windowing environment. Remember, it still ran on top of MS-DOS, and it was still effectively single-tasking in that switching tasks paused the previous task.

I remember a frequent help-desk issue from certain users. Once you'd started Windows 3 (on a 386-grade computer IIRC) you could invoke an MS-DOS command prompt from within it, either within a window or full screen. Having started a full screen prompt, the user would then want to return to the windowing environment and so would type "win". This started a second copy of Windows 3 within the first one. I think you could get to about 3 before it stopped working and the plaintive cry for help came. Funnily enough, it was always the same people it kept happening to.

Windows was not a true OS until Windows 95, as I recall the history.

I recall a lot of modifying of the definition of "Operating System" to try to get MS-DOS recognised as being one.

Comment: Re:OS/2 better then windows at running windows app (Score 3, Informative) 352

by johnw (#49757285) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

Wasn't there some kind of licensing arrangement that allowed IBM to either use Microsoft libraries or else to have access to the APIs for 16-bit Windows, that did not extend to 32-bit Windows applications?

How short memories are.

When OS/2 was launched it was a joint Microsoft/IBM product, and it was touted (by both) as being the replacement for Windows. That's why and how it had good Windows API support from the start. Then Microsoft saw Windows 3+ starting to become a commercial success and decided it wanted to stay with the Windows branding. It was already working on the next version of OS/2, but split from IBM's path and re-branded the new product as Windows NT. IBM then started their own separate development path and produced OS/2 2.0. Existing agreements with Microsoft enabled them to carry on shipping Windows API binaries.

I still have a t-shirt and bag labelled "Microsoft OS/2" which I picked up at a launch event in Geneva.

Comment: Re:Maybe they will move to court instead? (Score 4, Informative) 137

Microsoft hasn't been perfectly open about support ending last April.

Well, not quite open. They have consistently portrayed the situation as being one of support ending last April. The truth is, support for XP did not end last April, and was never planned to. What actually happened is that support went from being free (or at least included in the price of the product) to being a very expensive add-on.

Comment: Re:Datacaps? (Score 1) 132

I have BT infinity option 2 (Fibre to Cabinet):
- Unlimited bandwidth
- No throttling
- 80mbit download / 40mbit up, 24/7

Even BT at their most optimistic don't pretend to offer that. BT Infinity 2 offers up to 76 Mb/s downstream and up to 20 Mb/s upstream. I think you're confusing your upload speed with the download speed of BT Infinity 1.

Comment: Re:Finish the FTTC rollout first pls kthxbai (Score 1) 132

BT has more precise data, but history tells us that idiots ruin it for everyone.

[snip rant]

You're using an argument technique known as "putting up a straw man". We're discussing the tendency of BT to upgrade exchanges long before they do the corresponding cabinets (which they do), so you raise an imagined case of one person behaving unreasonably because, although his local cabinets have been upgraded, he can't get service.

No wonder you posted as an AC.

Comment: Re:Telegraph poles mostly gone in UK (Score 1) 132

by johnw (#48946535) Attached to: BT Unveils 1000Mbps Capable Broadband Rollout For the United Kingdom

Imagine the work which would have been involved if what you are saying was true. They'd have had to dig underground ducting in to everybody's garden. How did they do it without us noticing?

You are right in saying that the bulk wiring - the connections which feed the telegraph poles - are now pretty much all underground. There aren't the masses of overhead wires which there were when I was a boy. The final connection to the houses though for the most part remain unchanged. Yes, new builds are all done using underground connections, but most houses are not new builds.

It would be phenomenally expensive to go around replacing all the final connections with underground ones. They haven't done it, and they aren't going to unless there's a separate reason to do it. Indeed, the poles in our road were all replaced recently, in quite an impressive operation. They carry both power and telephone connections to the houses. To replace a pole they had to disconnect everything at the top, temporarily support all the connections with a crane/platform thing, remove the old pole, fit a new pole, and then re-attach everything to the new pole. Now why would they do that if the connections were no longer in use, or even if they had any plans ever to put them underground?

they generally don't bother properly disposing of the telegraph poles: they just let them fall down.

ROFL. Can you imagine the trouble they'd get into if they did that? The ambulance chasers would have a field day.

Comment: Re:Telegraph poles mostly gone in UK (Score 1) 132

by johnw (#48946105) Attached to: BT Unveils 1000Mbps Capable Broadband Rollout For the United Kingdom

Complete nonsense!

Try this - go to Google Maps, pick a residential location at random and then drop in to Streetview. Unless you've picked a very recent housing estate, you will find you can see lots and lots of telegraph poles.

It might be true to say that new developments don't now have telegraph poles, but the vast majority of the UK still does.

Comment: Re:Finish the FTTC rollout first pls kthxbai (Score 2) 132

by johnw (#48945845) Attached to: BT Unveils 1000Mbps Capable Broadband Rollout For the United Kingdom

My local telephone exchange has been enabled for fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) for a year and a half

The street cabinet my line connects to has not been upgraded.

This seems to be a common problem. It was nearly three years from when they upgraded our exchange to when they did the cabinets. For the interim period you're in the weird position where querying the rollout information tells you that your exchange is in a state of "AO" (Accepting Orders), but if you try to order it you're told you can't have it. You can't get any projected date when it will be available, because if you go to the "When will FTTC be available?" pages you're told your exchange is already enabled.

I suspect it's a marketing thing - they do the exchange so they can claim that they've got a certain percentage of the country covered, then do the cabinets much later.

That said, having now got FTTC (not from BT obviously) it is very nice. Solid 40 Mb/s (which you won't get if you go with one of these ISPs who advertise stupidly cheap service) is suitably nippy. 80 Mb/s is an option, but probably not worth it unless you have some very unusual requirements.

Elegance and truth are inversely related. -- Becker's Razor