Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - Pay What You Want for the Learn to Code Bundle, includes AngularJS, Python, HTML5, Ruby, and more. ×

Comment Try 16 point text in your browser (Score 1) 197

I like to use Linux Firefox with DejaVu Sans 16 point (minimum font size set to 16 as well, plus I don't allow pages to use their own fonts) and it's quite shocking how many sites break with this. Web designers don't seem to think anyone would ever use than 10 point fonts (which are ludicrously tiny on my monitor). It's annoying how Web fonts have crept into sites in recent years as well. Rather than images, they set up Web fonts for navigation icons, social media icons etc. which come out as hieroglyphics (random bitmaps almost) if you don't allow site to use Web fonts like I said I don't. Again, site designers never test their designs with Web fonts disabled, ho hum...

Comment Re:amanda (Score 3, Informative) 118

Amanda is great if you're backing up only Linux clents, but the Windows Amanda client is a total abomination. Not been updated in over 2 years (don't believe the version numbering - check the timestamp of setup.exe), pointlessly uses a MySQL DB on the client side (ridiculous!) which the Linux client *or* server doesn't use, regularly times out, regularly crashes, produces byzantine error codes without any description/documentation of them, much slower than the equivalent Linux client and produces ZIP64 backups that are pretty well impossible to extract from on Linux (which is annoying, because the Amanda server side is Linux-only).

We have a Ultrium tape drives with multi-slot autoloaders/barcodes, so there are very few Open Source backup solutions that can handle this (including tape-spanning if needed) out-of-the-box. Bacula was another potential solution, but it's horrific to set up (makes the dreadful Oracle DB install process look like a breeze) - just reading the Bacula install docs brings me out in a cold sweat :-) I guess business-level backups just aren't sexy enough to warrant a decent Open Source solution...

Comment LG G Pad 8.3 with CyanogenMod (Score 1) 283

Although LG have come up with newer models, my trusty old LG G Pad 8.3 is still my "go to" tablet for when on the move. 1900x1200 resolution (none of this 4:3 nonsense seen in recent tablets) and an SD card slot are nice bonuses, though watch out for colour calibration issues and a somewhat darker display than other tablets.

I *strongly* recommend that you put CyanogenMod on the G Pad 8.3 - it's an officially supported device and CM lets you tweak the colour calibration too in the Settings. I just wish LG would come up with a decent successor to it - all their later models just don't do it for me.

When it comes to Android, there's only three solutions to getting decent updates: a Nexus device, a device that ships with Cyanogen OS or a (preferably official) CyanogenMod custom ROM install.

Comment UK TV has worsened as the channel count increased (Score 1) 307

> The British did perfectly well on four channels.

Yes, they did, but with the advent of cable and satellite in the late 80's (and Net-streamed channels in recent years), the number of UK channels exploded and are now probably approaching 1,000. Of course, 950 of those 1,000 channels are completely hopeless and probably have viewers in the hundreds or thousands.

The quality of British TV has nosedived in inverse proportion to the number of channels available - the "big 5" UK channels are now so bad, that I'm down to recording maybe 5-6 shows a week (it used to 40-50 about 20 years ago). BBC and ITV compete for the lowest of the low-brow now - endless quizzes, soaps, reality shows and "talent" shows dominate prime-time viewing and it's been many years since I've liked any UK TV comedy (Have I Got News For You remains the only regular UK comedy show I'll bother recording).

I'm finding that the best US shows are just so much higher quality now than their UK equivalents, so a decent broadband connection is all I need to satisfy my viewing needs...

Comment Hope that includes dumped dog poo bags (Score 2) 177

I have a long grass verge by the side of the road and several dog owners have taken to dumping their dog poo bags on it, which is bewildering. Why make the effort to collect the dog poo in a small black plastic bag, only to illegally litter it right afterwards? It's an on-the-spot 80 pounds = $120 fine where I live, but unless I install CCTV and review the footage (and even then identifying them might be impossible), they're never going to get caught by the local council.

Some scoundrel even *saved* 10 of their poo bags and then dumped them at various intervals along my verge. And, no, I'm not enemies with anyone local before anyone asks...

Comment Hopefully this means Google Play app reviews too (Score 1) 172

Quite a while ago, Google made the onerous and 100% unnecessary requirement that reviews of Google Play store apps *required* a Google+ account. I very begrudgingly created a Google+ account which I have everything turned off on because I do like to review apps, but hate everything to do with social media garbage.

If they remove the Google+ requirement for Google Play app reviews, my Google+ account is gone. BTW, does this mean that the Google Play Games service doesn't need a Google+ account (unlikely I guess - I loathe that it defaults to sharing everything to the world about your gaming by default and I always have to turn off the options for each game)?

Comment Not upgrading mine for another 18 months (Score 1) 558

I buy a customised white box tower with no OS and the least hardware the whiteboxer will ship. I did this in early 2012 with an Asus motherboard, i7 2600 and as many silent/quiet components (including soundpoofing) as possible. I do think PCs should be decibel rated - there's nothing worse than a noisy PC!

Stuff added in the 3.5 years I've had it: 32GB RAM (109 pounds - bought almost at the bottom of the pricing curve), 128GB SATA 3 SSD, 480GB PCIe SSD, muliple 3TB and 4TB fast HDDs, lowly HD7790 card (I rarely play games), an old combo CD/DVD/HD DVD/Blu Ray drive I keep moving to my latest PC cos it's impossible to get such a combo drive new now, 27" 2560x1440 DGM monitor (same LG panel iMacs use).

Problem is that the tech for my next "twice as good" PC (64GB DDR4 RAM, 8-core CPU, USB 3.1, M.2 SSDs, 8TB HDDs, 30" monitor maybe 4K?) probably needs around 18 months more to mature and come down to sane prices, so I'm going to be not far from 5 years between PC replacements, which is the longest for me to date as far as tower desktops go.

Comment Linux Google Chrome disabled it with version 35 (Score 1) 208

Google picked on Linux first to disable NPAPI support with version 35 on the platform just over a year ago. This immediately disabled all Java applets including browser-based VNC clients used for server management (e.g. HP's iLO, Proxmox etc.). Yes, noVNC is around and the latest Proxmox supports that, but it was poor for Google to do this without any JVM having PPAPI support for its browser plugin.

Bizarrely, Google Chrome on Linux has gone the other way with Flash support. It's been baked into the browser via a sneaky Adobe deal who only supply the latest Linux Flash plugin ( at the time of writing) as a PPAPI plugin to Google and have left their NPAPI plugin for non-Chrome browsers at version 11.X (equally strangely, they are actually updating it periodically for security issues, even though it's 6 major releases behind).

Comment The replacement, sucralose, tastes even worse... (Score 1) 630

Aspartame is being replaced in Diet Pepsi by sucralose, which is the worst-tasting sweetener I have ever encountered. Britvic, who license Pepsi in the UK, scrapped all their Robinsons sugared cordials ("squashes") in the UK this year. Simultaneously, they switched the no-added sugar squashes to using sucralose.

I taste-tested the sucralose-based apple & blackcurrant flavoured squash recently and it had a seriously nasty chemical aftertaste. It was so bad, I actually had to gargle with water afterwards to try to get rid of the very unpleasant taste. Needless to say, I'm now boycotting the entire Robinsons squash range after decades of enjoyable consumption of their (sugared) product.

Comment I had flash failure out of the box with a Nexus 10 (Score 1) 179

This bricking sounds similar to the first Nexus 10 the Google Play UK store sent me. I could boot it initially, but then the device would spontaneously reboot. Each time, the reboot intervals reduced (and weird graphical glitches started appearing) - within a matter of hours, it was just stuck on the Google logo and never got any further.

It was indeed Google I contacted to return it and they sent me a pre-paid courier wrapper (I had to weigh and measure the Nexus 10 packaging/tablet), but they also charged me for a second Nexus 10 (which they then refunded when the second one was delivered, but it made me uncomfortable to be 656 pounds down for a short period!).

BTW, the courier promptly "lost" my broken first Nexus 10, but I still got the refund for it. The second Nexus 10 has been working fine since, but I've had the odd storage slowdown, prompting me to completely wipe and re-install (it's on CyanogenMod 12 at the moment - I kept the stock ROM for about one day :-) ), which speeded it up. I've no idea, though, if Google (or Asus) will do anything about out-of-warranty bricked N5's/N7's though.

Comment Re:Is the smartwatch fad stillborn? (Score 1) 60

Your first and last sentences utterly ludicrously claim that tablets are a "fad". Actual facts show that they've been selling in bucket loads every year, although the market is approaching saturation point with them (i.e. those who want a tablet have got one now and they're "good enough" to use for years, unlike the early tablets).

Personally, I find tablets give a much better user experience than mobile phones, simply because of the larger screen dimensions. This makes video viewing and game playing more pleasurable and onscreen keyboards actually usable (I have severe trouble with onscreen keyboards on mobile phones - even turning the screen landscape still makes it an uncomfortable experience).

Smartwatches are a nice idea, but wake me up when battery life is in months or years like any dumbwatch and the price is under $100 for a decent model. This is why smartwatches are indeed currently a fad - only patient people who like charging their watch almost daily and have more money than sense are buying them. I'll stick with my Casio Wave Ceptor - battery life in years, radio controlled time adjustment, countdown alarm, stop watch, second time zone, alarm - all for $50.

Comment Re:Became ARM (Score 1) 106

The BBC Micro was the best 8-bit micro ever, but the price was very expensive (it was sort of the UK equivalent of Apple I guess, except it was *far* better than the Apple II). I'm not sure about the wisdom of internal floppy drives and cassette tape mechanisms - makes them tougher to replace if anything goes wrong with them. The BBC Micro needed a disk interface chip adding, but once that's done, any sort of external floppy drive could be used.

The BBC Micro had a 2Mhz 6502 - it wasn't until 1987 that the Acorn Archimedes had the ARM 2 processor (ARM 1 was actually part of a TUBE-based add-on for the BBC Micro). I had both machines and loved the two OS'es and their respective BASICs (with a built-in assembler, which was a touch of genius).

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously. -- Booth Tarkington