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Comment Re:OSX is better for laptops (Score 1) 268

Couldn't agree more. I have a number of Linux machines at home running services like Asterisk, Plex, web services and so on. I have one Linux machine for music production, and I used to have a Linux laptop - BUT the controls didn't all work, it failed to suspend all the time, and occasionally on resume the mouse would cease to function. I had to tab round to find a command prompt and do the "sudo rmmod psmouse &&sudo modprobe psmouse" to wake it up again.

And then there are the MS Office applications. I have used OpenOffice and LibreOffice for a number of years, but eventually the frustrations of silly little things happening when transferring between .doc, .docx and .odt file formats meant I gave up and went for a Macbook; my customers demanded Microsoft formats for my work products. I tried, I really tried to be a non-Microsoft person, but in that respect I decided that life is too short to pursue an idealistic vision too far.

As a contractor, I often have to use what I am provided with to do my job, so I have ongoing experience with Microsoft Windows, and I can say with some conviction that the user experience of a Mac is still better. The gap is shrinking, but it is still there. If Apple continue to obsolete perfectly good working hardware, including power supplies and USB 4G sticks, I might have to reconsider.

Comment Re:needed government transparency (Score 1) 56

.. and get back to just generic hypocritical government bashing.

What is so hypocritical about government bashing? I didn't vote for them. Actually, I think it's fair to say I have never voted on the side of a winning party. Pollsters really should start using me as a bellweather for losing political candidates.

Comment Re:Minority Report (Score 1) 131

When I was in the business of designing stuff, our company would only normally patent implementations that found their way into a product. The process for a patent was too expensive to be frivolous with. They published everything else in a house journal to put a mark in the sand for demonstrating prior art, or obviousness should any other bunch of idiots try and patent it.

However this meant that we were an early victim of a patent troll, which might have been avoided if only we had patented something that might be regarded as 'obvious'. Basically a bunch of lawyers in California had bought up the patents for a number of methods, including the use of exclusive-or to put a graphic representation of a cursor (arrow, bar, cross-hair) on a monochrome display, and using the same exclusive-or to remove it again, returning the display back the way it was. In our investigations we realised that we had several hardware products out in the marketplace that this patent pre-dated that used the same method.

A meeting between IP lawyers was convened, our guys went in with $3M in their pockets as a reasonable outcome, offered $300K as a starting offer which the trolls accepted gleefully. I suppose it was a win-win. It still rankled.

Comment Too easy .. (Score 1) 225

Ask me a more difficult one, like

"Do you remember using an acoustic coupler?"

"Did you write the code for your final year project on an ASR33 teletype?"

"Do you remember having to write the bootloader for the paper tape to the core memory, using the front panel switches of the computer?"

"Remember when changing the font involved changing the golfball on the 2741 terminal?"

Comment Having is not the same as using powers (Score 1) 282

I mean, the Queen has the theoretical power to have peoples' heads cut off, but she doesn't go around doing it.

I have a number of NHS Trusts among my customers. One reason they need to have end-to-end encryption is to secure patient identifiable data in transactions. If a reporting radiologist is on call, working out of his home, how is that traffic going to be sent across the Interwebs without breaking the rules in the Care Record Guarantee about keeping patient data safe, and only available to those who have a genuine clinical need?

Let's hope they never use these powers.

Comment Like The New Statesman without the humour (Score 2) 238

We are seriously going to run out of simile soon. This is quite the most bizarre and unlikely position to be in, truth being stranger than fiction and all that.

She's put Bam-bam in as foreign secretary, and she's left a homeopathy supporter in charge of the NHS. However she HAS had the good sense to get rid of Michael Gove (snake in the grass has been returned to the green pastures of the Back Benches).

Where is Spitting Image when you need it?

Comment I have an HDMI equipped home cinema amp (Score 1) 507

... which really implies that what I am looking for is an HDMI equipped dumb monitor that does nothing more than that. No speakers, no volume control, no add-ons, no scaling, not even a second HDMI port or a DVI-T tuner or a smart card socket or USB or wifi or RJ-45 or ANYTHING apart from an on/off switch and a power cord.

Comment Disk is cheap enough to RAID and backup (Score 1) 229

My MacBook uses Time Machine to an external USB drive, but all of my important stuff is also backed up to a Cloud provider. That shares the data with my Linux machines; on the main one I have a boot drive which is backed up onto a USB drive, and a RAID 1 mirror containing my home directories. Home directories, the music, videos and pictures are all NFSed out to the house. I also back them up to an internal separate RAID 1 mirror.

My only trouble is that my drives are getting old now, and I tend to leave the main machine always on, which means that sometimes in the event of a power cut, one of the drives will fail to spin up again and I have to go rebuild the mirror before the other one lets go.

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