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Comment Re:...and... (Score 1) 346

OK ... and what drives a hydroelectric power plant, then? It also uses "fuel", in the form of the gravitational potential energy of water. Which it gets for free, essentially. You can even use "spare" power from e.g. intermittent wind power to pump more water in to the dam (pumped storage).

Besides, plants and animals don't get their fuel from sources that were formed deep underground over millions of year.

Comment (Open)Processing (Score 1) 414

I'm playing with graphics stuff at the moment, and so I want a language that makes graphics easy. There are dozens of languages that can happily puke text stuff out on the console, but which make you reinvent the wheel if you want to throw some shapes. There's even a web-based system, for it, OpenProcessing.

Comment It's Warped (Score 1) 406

I remember trying ti buy a train ticket at the Charles de Gaulle airport station after flying in, in 2005. The queues were horrendous, and then one of ticket machines crashed, and all the people in queue swore and walked away. Except for me, since I recognised that the machine was running OS/2 Warp. By having the patience to wait a couple of minutes for it to reboot, I effectively jumped the queue. It took only three tries to get the machine to accept my credit card ... I hope their systems are a bit better today.

Comment Why the Compaq bashing? (Score 1) 198

The acquisition might have been a problem financially, but it brought a lot of good people in to HP, including many DEC veterans from Compaq's takeover of them. In the past I've seen HP staffers confuse bad corporate policy with bad people or bad technology.

HP's Server business was a joke before they acquired the Proliant line, and their Storage business model was to resell Hitachi. If HP is an Enterprise player at all today, it;s thanks to Compaq (and, by extension, DEC).

Comment Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (Score 1) 345

I deal with this kind of user regularly, some of them being in (shall we say) advanced years. They aren't interested in the computer for its own sake at all, it's basically an appliance to them. It may as well be a washing machine or a toaster, and they simply aren't willing or able to handle any more complexity than that. Some modern TVs are too much e.g. the idea of multiple source inputs is beyond comprehension to these users. I'm not exaggerating.

Now think of what it means to install Linux. First you have to get the PC ready for it. If I was new to Linux, I would want to do it on a 2nd PC, say a cheap laptop - rather than just blow away a working system. OK, so you have to create a boot disk ... and it's game over. The pinball machine just went in to Tilt.

Now picture these users behind the wheel of a car, on a road near you ... oil? Whassat? The "check engine" light came on, so I checked the engine, and it was still there ...

Comment Someone didn't read the screen, methinks. (Score 5, Informative) 210

I know LinkedIn offers to read your existing email accounts for contacts, so that you can connect to them, but you can just ignore that. It isn't mandatory, but if you don't read what it says on screen, you might think it is. So I'm more inclined to suspect that's what happened: the complainant entered his email address and password when prompted, and now thinks he's been hacked.

Comment It's Big Business (Score 1) 329

I'm of the opinion that Class A addresses were behind some of the large IT mergers. For example, DEC ( was taken over by Compaq, who were later taken over by HP ( So HP owns two adjacent Class A address spaces. That's got to be worth a pretty packet, and they don't really need 32 million addresses, do they?

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