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Chris Hill

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Jul 19, 2002, 10:13:33 AM7/19/02
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As some of you remember, I work for a company that makes bits which go
on computer motherboards.

It came to our attention recently that a lot of these bits are now
starting to appear on high-end graphics cards. Since part of our job is
researching present and potential future uses of our bits, it was
decided that we should start taking a close look at graphics cards.

Of course, we really need to do this with the cards fully powered up and
working "under load". So they need to be built into fully working PCs...
and, of course, should be running contemporary graphics-intensive
applications...

Yes, folks, I am *this* close to making it my job to play Quake 3 for
extended periods of time.
--
Chris Hill
Wummen're the most contrary creatures God put free on His earth.
Never seem ta unnerstand ya just gotta do what ya gotta do.

Keith

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Jul 20, 2002, 1:35:43 AM7/20/02
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In message <rmdIDuAN...@chris-h.demon.co.uk>, Chris Hill
<ch...@chris-h.demon.co.uk> writes

>As some of you remember, I work for a company that makes bits which go
>on computer motherboards.
>
>It came to our attention recently that a lot of these bits are now
>starting to appear on high-end graphics cards. Since part of our job is
>researching present and potential future uses of our bits, it was
>decided that we should start taking a close look at graphics cards.
>
>Of course, we really need to do this with the cards fully powered up and
>working "under load". So they need to be built into fully working PCs...
>and, of course, should be running contemporary graphics-intensive
>applications...
>
>Yes, folks, I am *this* close to making it my job to play Quake 3 for
>extended periods of time.

Ma Hill: "At last he's got a *proper* job..."
--
Keith

Chris Hill

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Jul 20, 2002, 5:35:30 PM7/20/02
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In article <+ejosdIv...@ilf0rd.demon.co.uk>, Keith
<Ke...@ilf0rd.demon.co.uk> writes

<snip>

>>Yes, folks, I am *this* close to making it my job to play Quake 3 for
>>extended periods of time.
>
>Ma Hill: "At last he's got a *proper* job..."

I don't know about that... the greater part of my career to date has
been spent doing little more than indulging a hobby.

But getting back to the subject at hand... I don't know if anyone's had
a look at the latest graphics cards coming out of Asus, Matrox, MSI et
al, but they are some seriously impressive bits of kit. So far we've
looked at the ones based on the GeForce4 chipset. Circa 300 quid each,
128Mb of Ram onboard, and a graphics processor with a huge fan cooled
ducted heatsink. Did a quick calculation - one of these babies is
consuming as much power as a Pentium MMX, and that's just to handle
graphics. Next we're gonna look at ATI. Such power could be considered
overkill, but one look at the screenshots for e.g. Doom 3 (due out next
year) and I'm wondering if even that's going to be enough power.
"Cinematic" is the word I'd use to describe it.
--
Chris Hill
For each of you we will set fire on the candles in the churches.
The god stores all of you!

Ben Newsam

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Jul 20, 2002, 6:31:24 PM7/20/02
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In message <PKWB4sAi...@chris-h.demon.co.uk>, Chris Hill
<ch...@chris-h.demon.co.uk> writes

>Did a quick calculation - one of these babies is
>consuming as much power as a Pentium MMX, and that's just to handle
>graphics. Next we're gonna look at ATI. Such power could be considered
>overkill,

I don't think so. The graphics probably use more actual cycles than
anything else that the poor old pooter is asked to do, so it makes a lot
of sense to farm the job out to something that knows what it is doing.
--
Ben

Chris Hill

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Jul 20, 2002, 7:10:09 PM7/20/02
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In article <+U4Sv4h8...@microser.demon.co.uk>, Ben Newsam
<b...@microser.demon.co.uk> writes

Absolutely. The point I was sort of making was how games in particular
drive the PC hardware industry.
--
Chris Hill
I got wild staring eyes,
And I've got a strong urge to fly,
But I've got nowhere to fly to.

Andy Botterill

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Jul 21, 2002, 4:26:12 AM7/21/02
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In article <PKWB4sAi...@chris-h.demon.co.uk>, Chris Hill
<ch...@chris-h.demon.co.uk> writes

>ducted heatsink. Did a quick calculation - one of these babies is


>consuming as much power as a Pentium MMX, and that's just to handle
>graphics. Next we're gonna look at ATI. Such power could be considered

For the graphics processor and card (in my old job) we were not sure we
would keep within the allowable power rating for a standard slot on PC.
We were also not allowed to use a fan because that would decrease the
reliability of the card. The result a heatsink like a porcupine.
--
Andy Botterill

Pete Bramley

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Jul 21, 2002, 6:50:08 PM7/21/02
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In message <65K80fBR...@chris-h.demon.co.uk>, Chris Hill
<ch...@chris-h.demon.co.uk> writes

>>I don't think so. The graphics probably use more actual cycles than


>>anything else that the poor old pooter is asked to do, so it makes a lot
>>of sense to farm the job out to something that knows what it is doing.
>
>Absolutely. The point I was sort of making was how games in particular
>drive the PC hardware industry.

Ever since the PC first reared its head the driving force behind all
improvements has been the game designer/player. The designers are all
trying to produce a game that will make the players sit up and take
notice and therefore buy their products. This means that the designer
has to produce something new and interesting in their games to grab the
attention of the gamers, who are, in the main male
teenagers/twentysomethings with money to burn. The designers produce
something that really pushes the limits on current technology which in
turn increases sales on hardware (I just gotta get a puter that will
play Quake Or Flightsim without all those stutters). This gives the
hardware manufacturers the money (from current sales) to research what
is the next must have gadget and then go away and produce it. I seem to
recall a recent survey (Don't ask me where from) that suggested that the
serious PC user (this includes hardcore gamers, IT professionals and CAD
users) buys a new PC every 12-18 months just to keep up with current
technology.

Luckily I am not quite that bad and only upgrade my PC every 24-36
months. But this is usually driven by the release of the latest version
of Flight Simulator from Microsteal. My current box was home built with
parts carefully chosen to give the absolute maximum in frame rates with
the gear available in November 01. Luckily it still manages to do the
job, and I get to play with Linux when I'm not flying a tricky approach
into Denver with gale force winds. The Laptop though is beginning to
struggle (HD too small & Graphics slowing up), I may have too splash out
and buy myself a brand new toy for Christmas. If there is a non
Christian festival available before Dec 25 please let me know as I may
be tempted to convert just to justify the big spend (Oh bollocks, why
bother with justification, I have nobody to justify it to). Any advice
on a top line Laptop that may require my interest is more than welcome.

Having scribbled more than I expected, and slowly degenerating into that
nether world caused by a good Sauvignon Blanc (Californian), I will quit
whilst I'm ahead and can still recognise the typos.

--
Pete
184k

Chris Hill

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Jul 21, 2002, 5:30:39 PM7/21/02
to
In article <FWbYlJAk...@plymouth2.demon.co.uk>, Andy Botterill
<d*@plymouth2.demon.co.uk> writes

>In article <PKWB4sAi...@chris-h.demon.co.uk>, Chris Hill
><ch...@chris-h.demon.co.uk> writes
>
>>ducted heatsink. Did a quick calculation - one of these babies is
>>consuming as much power as a Pentium MMX, and that's just to handle
>>graphics. Next we're gonna look at ATI. Such power could be considered
>
>For the graphics processor and card (in my old job) we were not sure we
>would keep within the allowable power rating for a standard slot on PC.

Some cards (ATI, I think, we haven't looked at them yet) now have their
own PSU connector and are intended to be powered straight from the
silver box. Presumably the ratings of the PCI slots have been exceeded.

>We were also not allowed to use a fan because that would decrease the
>reliability of the card. The result a heatsink like a porcupine.

Reliability? Why? Vibration causing degradation of the solder joints or
integrity of the connector. Onboard fans now seem de rigeur, but we will
have to wait and see for any long term reliability problems.
--
Chris Hill
Buggrem?
I told 'em, spyin' on me with rays!

Chris Hill

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Jul 22, 2002, 2:04:34 PM7/22/02
to
In article <kTyOitCg...@lro-g.demon.co.uk>, Pete Bramley <pete@lro-
g.demon.co.uk> writes

>In message <65K80fBR...@chris-h.demon.co.uk>, Chris Hill
><ch...@chris-h.demon.co.uk> writes
>
>>>I don't think so. The graphics probably use more actual cycles than
>>>anything else that the poor old pooter is asked to do, so it makes a lot
>>>of sense to farm the job out to something that knows what it is doing.
>>
>>Absolutely. The point I was sort of making was how games in particular
>>drive the PC hardware industry.
>
>Ever since the PC first reared its head the driving force behind all
>improvements has been the game designer/player.

Of course, and long may that continue to keep me in a job.

>The designers are all
>trying to produce a game that will make the players sit up and take
>notice and therefore buy their products. This means that the designer
>has to produce something new and interesting in their games to grab the
>attention of the gamers, who are, in the main male
>teenagers/twentysomethings with money to burn. The designers produce
>something that really pushes the limits on current technology which in
>turn increases sales on hardware (I just gotta get a puter that will
>play Quake Or Flightsim without all those stutters).

This is all helped by the fact that it is much easier to upgrade a PC
these days, thanks to electrical and mechanical standardisation. No
longer do you have to buy a complete whole machine - you can just
upgrade bits as required and as you can afford.

--
Chris Hill
Thatch and trouser, a blewit the grawney man.
I told 'im. I told 'im. Millennium hand and shrimp.
Buggrit.

Andy Botterill

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Jul 22, 2002, 2:26:40 PM7/22/02
to
In article <L1RwH5A$fyO9...@chris-h.demon.co.uk>, Chris Hill

<ch...@chris-h.demon.co.uk> writes
>In article <FWbYlJAk...@plymouth2.demon.co.uk>, Andy Botterill
><d*@plymouth2.demon.co.uk> writes
>>In article <PKWB4sAi...@chris-h.demon.co.uk>, Chris Hill
>><ch...@chris-h.demon.co.uk> writes
>>
>>>ducted heatsink. Did a quick calculation - one of these babies is
>>>consuming as much power as a Pentium MMX, and that's just to handle
>>>graphics. Next we're gonna look at ATI. Such power could be considered
>>
>>For the graphics processor and card (in my old job) we were not sure we
>>would keep within the allowable power rating for a standard slot on PC.
>
>Some cards (ATI, I think, we haven't looked at them yet) now have their
>own PSU connector and are intended to be powered straight from the
>silver box. Presumably the ratings of the PCI slots have been exceeded.

Hmm interesting. I'll mention it to the guys.


>
>>We were also not allowed to use a fan because that would decrease the
>>reliability of the card. The result a heatsink like a porcupine.
>
>Reliability? Why? Vibration causing degradation of the solder joints or
>integrity of the connector. Onboard fans now seem de rigeur, but we will
>have to wait and see for any long term reliability problems.

The fan had a lower (estimated) MTBF than the chips on the card hence
the card would fail. This was not acceptable to customers so we had to
comply.

--
Andy Botterill

Keith

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Jul 22, 2002, 5:40:27 PM7/22/02
to
In message <2TDfuhAy...@chris-h.demon.co.uk>, Chris Hill
<ch...@chris-h.demon.co.uk> writes

>In article <kTyOitCg...@lro-g.demon.co.uk>, Pete Bramley <pete@lro-
>g.demon.co.uk> writes
>
>Of course, and long may that continue to keep me in a job.
>
>>The designers are all
>>trying to produce a game that will make the players sit up and take
>>notice and therefore buy their products.
>
>This is all helped by the fact that it is much easier to upgrade a PC
>these days, thanks to electrical and mechanical standardisation. No
>longer do you have to buy a complete whole machine - you can just
>upgrade bits as required and as you can afford.
>
This is all very well, Chris...

..but are you still employed? Have they given you the heave-ho that some
may think you deserved for letting the team/company down?
--
Keith

Pete Bramley

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Jul 22, 2002, 6:46:27 PM7/22/02
to
In message <2TDfuhAy...@chris-h.demon.co.uk>, Chris Hill
<ch...@chris-h.demon.co.uk> writes

>>The designers are all
>>trying to produce a game that will make the players sit up and take
>>notice and therefore buy their products. This means that the designer
>>has to produce something new and interesting in their games to grab the
>>attention of the gamers, who are, in the main male
>>teenagers/twentysomethings with money to burn. The designers produce
>>something that really pushes the limits on current technology which in
>>turn increases sales on hardware (I just gotta get a puter that will
>>play Quake Or Flightsim without all those stutters).
>
>This is all helped by the fact that it is much easier to upgrade a PC
>these days, thanks to electrical and mechanical standardisation. No
>longer do you have to buy a complete whole machine - you can just
>upgrade bits as required and as you can afford.
>
I remember the first time I managed to get up the courage to grab a
screwdriver and delve into the Black magic of the PC innards. Great
trepidation that I might completely f**K it up and leave myself with a
Beige box useful as a foot-stool. Luckily the first bit of surgery was
successful (adding an HD), and since then I have proceeded to the dizzy
heights of building a complete system from parts selected from a wide
range of vendors.

Its fun (sorta) and it keeps me out of the pub for long periods cause I
can't afford to drink and buy all sorts of PC bit at the same time.

--
Pete
184k

Chris Hill

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Jul 23, 2002, 5:19:03 PM7/23/02
to
In article <uVrcuLGL...@ilf0rd.demon.co.uk>, Keith
<Ke...@ilf0rd.demon.co.uk> writes

<snip>

>This is all very well, Chris...
>
>..but are you still employed?

Very much so. In fact, I seem to be taking on *more* responsibility -
though of the kind that I like.

>Have they given you the heave-ho that some
>may think you deserved for letting the team/company down?

No, and it was never on the cards even though I'd thought it might be
and didn't care. Been very supportive overall. Buggrem.
--
Chris Hill
A wobbly bobbly dribbly squiggly dog!

Chris Hill

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Jul 23, 2002, 5:23:16 PM7/23/02
to
In article <FYr2w3AD...@lro-g.demon.co.uk>, Pete Bramley <pete@lro-
g.demon.co.uk> writes

<snip>

>I remember the first time I managed to get up the courage to grab a
>screwdriver and delve into the Black magic of the PC innards. Great
>trepidation that I might completely f**K it up and leave myself with a
>Beige box useful as a foot-stool. Luckily the first bit of surgery was
>successful (adding an HD), and since then I have proceeded to the dizzy
>heights of building a complete system from parts selected from a wide
>range of vendors.
>
>Its fun (sorta) and it keeps me out of the pub for long periods cause I
>can't afford to drink and buy all sorts of PC bit at the same time.

I can't ever imagine buying a complete system again. I built this box up
from a collection of bits. By the time I'd finished with my previous
machine (which I'd bought complete) it had practically none of the
original bits left. Just the case and PSU, now I come to think of it.

Been looking at TFT monitors recently. Very nice - good colours and
brightness, incredibly light, run cool, don't stick out 18" behind the
screen and aren't too expensive. Now, where did I put my credit card...
--
Chris Hill
It is only an ass. You must overcome the ass with your mind.

James Follett

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Jul 23, 2002, 8:44:41 PM7/23/02
to
In article <3refwiAE...@chris-h.demon.co.uk>, Chris Hill
<ch...@chris-h.demon.co.uk> writes

>Been looking at TFT monitors recently. Very nice - good colours and


>brightness, incredibly light, run cool, don't stick out 18" behind the
>screen and aren't too expensive. Now, where did I put my credit card...

Pat Flannel monitors are great. I've got a big enough desk -- a
breakfast bar work counter laid across several two-drawer steel filing
cabinets -- but one can never have too much space. To be able to shove
the monitor aside and free up an acre or so for map-reading is luxury,
sheer bloody luxury. Dylan and Thomas hate them; my old 20-inch CRT
monitor had room enough for both of them to sprawl out across the
cooling slots.

My supposed "17-inch" monitor has a picture width of 13-1/2-inches.
Someone ought to whisper in the ears of these yellow-skinned Burma
Railway employers that that CRTs were measured by their diameter because
the tubes were blown round, but LCD monitors are not produced by glass
blowers. They should also be advised that Merkin inches are no longer
acceptable in Europe.

Apart from the trifling snag of truly awful speakers, they don't seem to
have a vertical size screen control. All okay on horizontal size,
vertical position, horizontal position, but not vertical size. It's as
if a lot of Far Eastern clever clog makers held a meeting and decided
that this feature should not be included on Pat Flannels. Similar
meetings were held to decide that VCRs should have detachable power
leads but not DVD players, and that all laptops should have unusable
keyboards with the rows of keys grouped tight against the screen.

Another peculiar decision the rice monkeys took was to coin the term
"fast-forwards" as the name of a control on VCRs. Bad English. If one is
going to have such a ludicrous term, it should be accompanied by "fast
backwards". What the little yellow-skinned horrors meant was "wind".

--
James Follett Novelist (Callsign G1LXP) http://www.davew.demon.co.uk. "The
Silent Vulcan" -- the 3rd and final book in the trilogy that started with
"The Temple of the Winds" then "Wicca" -- will be published by Severn House,
NY and UK August 2002.

Keith

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Jul 24, 2002, 1:44:30 AM7/24/02
to
In message <+bOd8WAH...@chris-h.demon.co.uk>, Chris Hill
<ch...@chris-h.demon.co.uk> writes

>In article <uVrcuLGL...@ilf0rd.demon.co.uk>, Keith
><Ke...@ilf0rd.demon.co.uk> writes
>
><snip>
>
>>This is all very well, Chris...
>>
>>..but are you still employed?
>
>Very much so. In fact, I seem to be taking on *more* responsibility -
>though of the kind that I like.
>
That's quite a volte-face for them, innit?

>>Have they given you the heave-ho that some
>>may think you deserved for letting the team/company down?
>
>No, and it was never on the cards even though I'd thought it might be
>and didn't care. Been very supportive overall. Buggrem.

Excellent... a result.

In general it appears that the <larger> employer is now taking workplace
stress far more seriously than in the past.. should be part of their
risk assessment under H&S I suppose..
--
Keith

Keith

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Jul 24, 2002, 1:50:04 AM7/24/02
to
In message <NxoT38A5...@marage.demon.co.uk>, James Follett
<ja...@marage.demon.co.uk> writes

>In article <3refwiAE...@chris-h.demon.co.uk>, Chris Hill
><ch...@chris-h.demon.co.uk> writes
>
>>Been looking at TFT monitors recently. Very nice - good colours and
>>brightness, incredibly light, run cool, don't stick out 18" behind the
>>screen and aren't too expensive. Now, where did I put my credit card...
>
>Pat Flannel monitors are great. I've got a big enough desk -- a
>breakfast bar work counter laid across several two-drawer steel filing
>cabinets -- but one can never have too much space. To be able to shove
>the monitor aside and free up an acre or so for map-reading is luxury,
>sheer bloody luxury.

The best space-freer I've found, since having a refurb in my work office
a month ago, is cordless keyboard and mouse.

At the end of the day I just stick 'em in a drawer and the whole
U-shaped desk is free of clutter except monitor and printer.
--
Keith

James Follett

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Jul 24, 2002, 5:25:21 AM7/24/02
to
In article <0HK66fBM...@ilf0rd.demon.co.uk>, Keith
<Ke...@ilf0rd.demon.co.uk> writes

>
>The best space-freer I've found, since having a refurb in my work office
>a month ago, is cordless keyboard and mouse.

Mouse mats need cutting down to size. My x/y mouse movement is
approximately 30mm/20mm. I was surprised just how little movement is
required. I'll cut my next mouse mat into quarters. Just think: four
mice mats for the price of one. Us OAPs have to consider these things
(1).

(1) My pension portfolio valuation for the 2nd quarter of 2002 has just
arrived in its distinctive HSBC James Capel envelope. I daren't open it.
I just daren't. Most of the holdings are in corporate depts but it seems
that even blue tac companies aren't safe these days. I'm braced for even
a reasonably well-run outfit such as AstroturfZeneca to announce that it
has discovered a major accounting error in its staff coffee vending
machine fund, or a several billion pound hole in something or other that
they hadn't noticed before.

Andrew Wilkes

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Jul 24, 2002, 6:11:00 AM7/24/02
to
In message <3refwiAE...@chris-h.demon.co.uk>, Chris Hill
<ch...@chris-h.demon.co.uk> writes

>In article <FYr2w3AD...@lro-g.demon.co.uk>, Pete Bramley <pete@lro-
>g.demon.co.uk> writes
>
><snip>
>
>
>Been looking at TFT monitors recently. Very nice - good colours and
>brightness, incredibly light, run cool, don't stick out 18" behind the
>screen and aren't too expensive. Now, where did I put my credit card...

Just bought a 17" Iiyama tft. I'm well pleased with it. Tried the 17"
mitac first (cos it was cheaper) - it was absolute crap. (I'd also
tried the 15" samsung which is good).

I got the Iiyama from pcworld - thru work. Pcworld "business" is good
if you know *exactly what you wan*t - we get a "matched price" deal and
all prices are way below caalogue cos we do a fair bit of business with
them.

Certainly (pace previous pcworld discussions) it is a pit if you don't
know what you want and/or need helop from the pubescent sales droids on
the floor.

And speaking of toys, I have now dumped my palm colour pda amd moved
(gasp, shock, horror) to a pocket pc. But not just any pocket pc - one
of those new fangled xda - mobile phone/pc - jobbies. I'm well smug.
Luckily, work bought it (another good pcworld biz deal) and pays the not
inconsiderable monthlies. Great having always on gprs net at about 40k
on a mobile:))

yours in considerable smugness,
--
Andrew Wilkes

Keith

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Jul 24, 2002, 3:34:05 PM7/24/02
to
In message <rJGaZLAB...@marage.demon.co.uk>, James Follett
<ja...@marage.demon.co.uk> writes

>In article <0HK66fBM...@ilf0rd.demon.co.uk>, Keith
><Ke...@ilf0rd.demon.co.uk> writes
>>
>>The best space-freer I've found, since having a refurb in my work office
>>a month ago, is cordless keyboard and mouse.
>
>Mouse mats need cutting down to size. My x/y mouse movement is
>approximately 30mm/20mm. I was surprised just how little movement is
>required. I'll cut my next mouse mat into quarters. Just think: four
>mice mats for the price of one. Us OAPs have to consider these things
>(1).
>
Ha! <INSET> 'em! A quick routing.. Saves the secretary's bruises..

>(1) My pension portfolio valuation for the 2nd quarter of 2002 has just
>arrived in its distinctive HSBC James Capel envelope.

Sent on 4th last month, no doubt...

> I daren't open it.

Hmm..

>I just daren't. Most of the holdings are in corporate depts but it seems
>that even blue tac companies aren't safe these days.

..might as well stick 'em in your wardrobe.. like the old China Railroad
Bonds...

> I'm braced for even
>a reasonably well-run outfit such as AstroturfZeneca to announce that it
>has discovered a major accounting error in its staff coffee vending
>machine fund, or a several billion pound hole in something or other that
>they hadn't noticed before.
>

Ah. Just reviewed the printer's final proof... checked AnderKiPliMG's
figures... oh dear...

... you're not gonna like it... tuppence a share and that's my final
offer..
--
Keith

Keith

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Jul 24, 2002, 3:36:06 PM7/24/02
to
In message <e1ysbwRR...@indaal.demon.co.uk>, Malcolm
<M...@indaal.demon.co.uk> writes
>In article <rJGaZLAB...@marage.demon.co.uk>, James Follett
><ja...@marage.demon.co.uk> writes
>

>>(1) My pension portfolio valuation for the 2nd quarter of 2002 has just
>>arrived in its distinctive HSBC James Capel envelope. I daren't open it.
>
>I was paying for my petrol yesterday at the local pumps and the local
>man looking after them married a girl from Buffalo and lived in New
>York State for some years before moving back here. He looked at my HSBC
>card and said that each time he sees those initials he is reminded of
>the saying:
>"Holy Shit Buffalo's Cold".
>
<weakly> Thank you for that..

<thunk>
--
Keith

James Follett

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Jul 24, 2002, 4:18:28 PM7/24/02
to
In article <e1ysbwRR...@indaal.demon.co.uk>, Malcolm
<M...@indaal.demon.co.uk> writes
>
>In article <rJGaZLAB...@marage.demon.co.uk>, James Follett
><ja...@marage.demon.co.uk> writes

>>Mouse mats need cutting down to size.

>>
>I'm surprised to discover that you are still using a mouse that needs a
>mat. May I extol to you the benefits of a wheel-less mouse - no more
>fluff in the works, no more bothering how large or small your mouse mat
>is, or how much room it takes up,

Oh no. What's this then? An "ashamed of your mouse?" campaign? It'll be
a long time before I need to think about buying a mouse because I bought
a carton of them off Pooter Pete at Chichester market about a year ago.
Technicolor things covered in the Boo corporate logo. I bought them
because I was getting through mice at the rate of about two a year but,
in the perversity of things, the present one seems determined to outlive
me.

>>(1) My pension portfolio valuation for the 2nd quarter of 2002 has just
>>arrived in its distinctive HSBC James Capel envelope. I daren't open it.
>

>I was paying for my petrol yesterday at the local pumps and the local
>man looking after them married a girl from Buffalo and lived in New York
>State for some years before moving back here. He looked at my HSBC card
>and said that each time he sees those initials he is reminded of the
>saying:
>"Holy Shit Buffalo's Cold".

That's one of the better offerings from Pop Kumar's Joke Book. My
favourite is: "Tell me, (guest's name). Have you ever been camel
wresting? The reason I ask is that I know a hilarious thing that
happened to a pharmacist friend of mine who went on a camel wresting in
Cairo. On Monday he wrestled one camel; on Tuesday he wrestled two
camels; and on Wednesday they ordered the replacements."

Even copying it out has me in hysterics.

youare.w...@ntlworld.com

unread,
Jul 24, 2002, 5:24:20 PM7/24/02
to
On Wed, 24 Jul 2002 13:22:41 +0100, Malcolm <M...@indaal.demon.co.uk>
wrote:

>
>In article <rJGaZLAB...@marage.demon.co.uk>, James Follett
><ja...@marage.demon.co.uk> writes


>>In article <0HK66fBM...@ilf0rd.demon.co.uk>, Keith
>><Ke...@ilf0rd.demon.co.uk> writes
>>>
>>>The best space-freer I've found, since having a refurb in my work office
>>>a month ago, is cordless keyboard and mouse.
>>
>>Mouse mats need cutting down to size. My x/y mouse movement is
>>approximately 30mm/20mm. I was surprised just how little movement is
>>required. I'll cut my next mouse mat into quarters. Just think: four
>>mice mats for the price of one. Us OAPs have to consider these things
>>(1).
>>

>I'm surprised to discover that you are still using a mouse that needs a
>mat. May I extol to you the benefits of a wheel-less mouse - no more
>fluff in the works, no more bothering how large or small your mouse mat

>is, or how much room it takes up, just use it wherever there's a space
>on your desk 30 x 20 mm!

You don't even need a space on your desk. Bob just rubs his up and
down on his leg.

--
NancyB
you are what you is

phil

unread,
Jul 24, 2002, 11:08:45 PM7/24/02
to
On Wed, 24 Jul 2002 21:24:20 GMT, youare.w...@ntlworld.com wrote:


>
>You don't even need a space on your desk. Bob just rubs his up and
>down on his leg.
>

My wife has told me to stop doing that.

--
Phil.

Brian {Hamilton Kelly}

unread,
Jul 24, 2002, 6:10:16 PM7/24/02
to
In article <NxoT38A5...@marage.demon.co.uk>
ja...@marage.demon.co.uk "James Follett" writes:

> Another peculiar decision the rice monkeys took was to coin the term
> "fast-forwards" as the name of a control on VCRs. Bad English. If one is
> going to have such a ludicrous term, it should be accompanied by "fast
> backwards". What the little yellow-skinned horrors meant was "wind".

Ahem! Somewhere or other, I still have the instruction manual for my
Collaro Tape Transcriptor Mk.III, of ca.1954 vintage. This has groups of
piano key controls on each side, and the manual (and the annotation on
the keys[1]) refers to play, fast forward, and rewind. I don't believe
the Japanese, or any other Asian races, were producing electronics of
that calibre back then.

[1] This was before the days when "symbols" were used on tape and other
devices.

--
Brian {Hamilton Kelly} b...@dsl.co.uk
"We have gone from a world of concentrated knowledge and wisdom to one of
distributed ignorance. And we know and understand less while being incr-
easingly capable." Prof. Peter Cochrane, formerly of BT Labs

Brian {Hamilton Kelly}

unread,
Jul 24, 2002, 6:14:36 PM7/24/02
to
In article <rJGaZLAB...@marage.demon.co.uk>
ja...@marage.demon.co.uk "James Follett" writes:

> Mouse mats need cutting down to size. My x/y mouse movement is
> approximately 30mm/20mm. I was surprised just how little movement is
> required. I'll cut my next mouse mat into quarters. Just think: four
> mice mats for the price of one. Us OAPs have to consider these things
> (1).

If you use OS/2, it has a form of "Proportional control" on its mouse
movement: if you move the mouse /quickly/, it moves at a higher velocity,
such that one can go across the entire width of the screen in about half
an inch of travel on the mouse mat, yet _slow_ mouse movement will take
the entire width of a mouse mat to move only half-way across the screen.

It's one of those ergonomic things that IBM took on board from Xerox
PARC, whilst Microsoft ignored the concept. It's also supposedly very
useful to the "differently abled".

newsb

unread,
Jul 25, 2002, 4:48:57 AM7/25/02
to
In article <$WnUD57G...@indaal.demon.co.uk>, Malcolm
<M...@indaal.demon.co.uk> writes
>One has to feel just a wee bit sorry for the late Lord Weinstock

Because he's poorer or because he's dead?

And I disagree with the sentiment anyway:)

--
regards andyw

Ben Newsam

unread,
Jul 25, 2002, 5:58:09 AM7/25/02
to
In message <102754...@dsl.co.uk>, Brian {Hamilton Kelly}
<b...@dsl.co.uk> writes

>In article <rJGaZLAB...@marage.demon.co.uk>
> ja...@marage.demon.co.uk "James Follett" writes:
>
>> Mouse mats need cutting down to size. My x/y mouse movement is
>> approximately 30mm/20mm. I was surprised just how little movement is
>> required. I'll cut my next mouse mat into quarters. Just think: four
>> mice mats for the price of one. Us OAPs have to consider these things
>> (1).
>
>If you use OS/2, it has a form of "Proportional control" on its mouse
>movement: if you move the mouse /quickly/, it moves at a higher velocity,
>such that one can go across the entire width of the screen in about half
>an inch of travel on the mouse mat, yet _slow_ mouse movement will take
>the entire width of a mouse mat to move only half-way across the screen.
>
>It's one of those ergonomic things that IBM took on board from Xerox
>PARC, whilst Microsoft ignored the concept. It's also supposedly very
>useful to the "differently abled".

I hate that when it happens. Many Windows mouse drivers enforce variable
pointer acceleration. Without it, it is possible to position the pointer
accurately with a single movement; with it, there is no telling where
the pointer is going to end up as it all depends on speed of mouse
movement.
--
Ben

Murff

unread,
Jul 25, 2002, 5:02:20 AM7/25/02
to
Brian {Hamilton Kelly} wrote:
>
> If you use OS/2, it has a form of "Proportional control" on its mouse
> movement:

[snip]

I believe this was given the rather enchanting label "ballistic mouse".

Murff...

Chris Lawrence

unread,
Jul 25, 2002, 3:30:11 PM7/25/02
to
On Fri, 19 Jul 2002 15:13:33 +0100, Chris Hill
<ch...@chris-h.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>Yes, folks, I am *this* close to making it my job to play Quake 3 for
>extended periods of time.

One of our customers wanted to use a Cobalt Qube as a games server for
Unreal Tournament and Half-Life so we bought the games on expenses and
then did some, ahem, "in-depth parameter testing". Well that's what we
told the bosses.

Regards,
Chris

Chris Hill

unread,
Jul 25, 2002, 5:14:37 PM7/25/02
to
In article <rJGaZLAB...@marage.demon.co.uk>, James Follett
<ja...@marage.demon.co.uk> writes

>In article <0HK66fBM...@ilf0rd.demon.co.uk>, Keith
><Ke...@ilf0rd.demon.co.uk> writes
>>
>>The best space-freer I've found, since having a refurb in my work office
>>a month ago, is cordless keyboard and mouse.
>
>Mouse mats need cutting down to size. My x/y mouse movement is
>approximately 30mm/20mm. I was surprised just how little movement is
>required. I'll cut my next mouse mat into quarters. Just think: four
>mice mats for the price of one. Us OAPs have to consider these things
>(1).

I find continually swapping between the keyboard and mouse to be very
fatiguing - typically when I'm editing graphics in Paintshop Pro. I've
found it much easier to take the time to learn how to get around using
mainly the keyboard. It's also fun to watch people's expressions when
they see you busily tapping away without using the mouse at all.
--
Chris Hill
I get knocked down but I get up again
You're never gonna keep me down

Chris Hill

unread,
Jul 25, 2002, 5:16:45 PM7/25/02
to
In article <gjQ9KbD0...@benevolent.demon.co.uk>, Andrew Wilkes
<an...@benevolent.org.uk> writes

>In message <3refwiAE...@chris-h.demon.co.uk>, Chris Hill
><ch...@chris-h.demon.co.uk> writes
>>In article <FYr2w3AD...@lro-g.demon.co.uk>, Pete Bramley <pete@lro-
>>g.demon.co.uk> writes
>>
>><snip>
>>
>>
>>Been looking at TFT monitors recently. Very nice - good colours and
>>brightness, incredibly light, run cool, don't stick out 18" behind the
>>screen and aren't too expensive. Now, where did I put my credit card...
>
>Just bought a 17" Iiyama tft. I'm well pleased with it. Tried the 17"
>mitac first (cos it was cheaper) - it was absolute crap. (I'd also
>tried the 15" samsung which is good).

Despite the fact that TFT technology is vastly improved over the
original LCD technology, you should still see the displays used "in
anger" before making a decision to buy. I had a play with a couple in PC
World and was very impressed.

Chris Hill

unread,
Jul 25, 2002, 5:18:30 PM7/25/02
to
In article <3d405007...@news.gradwell.net>, Chris Lawrence
<ne...@holosys.co.uk> writes

Well, quite. And why not? We're going to have a bunch of nearly-new,
functional, nVidia GeForce4 cards lying around doing nothing soon...

<whistles...>

Chris Hill

unread,
Jul 25, 2002, 5:19:10 PM7/25/02
to
In article <Tg2DzoA+...@ilf0rd.demon.co.uk>, Keith
<Ke...@ilf0rd.demon.co.uk> writes

>In message <+bOd8WAH...@chris-h.demon.co.uk>, Chris Hill
><ch...@chris-h.demon.co.uk> writes
>>In article <uVrcuLGL...@ilf0rd.demon.co.uk>, Keith
>><Ke...@ilf0rd.demon.co.uk> writes
>>
>><snip>
>>
>>>This is all very well, Chris...
>>>
>>>..but are you still employed?
>>
>>Very much so. In fact, I seem to be taking on *more* responsibility -
>>though of the kind that I like.
>>
>That's quite a volte-face for them, innit?

I think they were faced with the choice of losing me or changing the job
slightly so I would stay. Fortunately, my technical skills are
sufficiently valued, and not duplicated elsewhere, so that they chose
the latter option. Ultimately they would still like me to do visits, and
I'm not completely against that, but I want more control and more say
over where, when and how. For the visit that I just missed, I was
unintentionally blackmailed by our Far East office into agreeing to go.
I was asked during a conference call, with a lot of other people
listening. In such a situation it was impossible for me to say anything
other than yes. To be fair, I don't think the guy who did the asking
knew that he was putting me in an awkward position - quite the opposite,
in fact, he would have seen it as paying me a big compliment. All the
same, it won't happen again like that.

>>>Have they given you the heave-ho that some
>>>may think you deserved for letting the team/company down?
>>
>>No, and it was never on the cards even though I'd thought it might be
>>and didn't care. Been very supportive overall. Buggrem.
>
>Excellent... a result.
>
>In general it appears that the <larger> employer is now taking workplace
>stress far more seriously than in the past.. should be part of their
>risk assessment under H&S I suppose..

Ours has started taking workplace stress *very* seriously in the past
few months - to the extent that they'll even pay for counselling in some
cases. There's also been a big employee awareness scheme highlighting
the symptoms, causes and possible remedies for stress. As I've said
before I'm not sure whether this is pure altruism, enlightened self
interest or a combination of both.

Have an ice time this weekend, BTW.

Keith

unread,
Jul 25, 2002, 4:50:13 PM7/25/02
to
In message <gvT95$C5t7P...@benevolent.org.uk>, newsb
<ne...@benevolent.org.uk> writes

>In article <$WnUD57G...@indaal.demon.co.uk>, Malcolm
><M...@indaal.demon.co.uk> writes
>>One has to feel just a wee bit sorry for the late Lord Weinstock
>
>Because he's poorer or because he's dead?
>
Or, being dead - which is indisputable - left a legacy which is
polluting the industrialised world?

>And I disagree with the sentiment anyway:)
>

<applause>
--
Keith

Keith

unread,
Jul 25, 2002, 4:54:40 PM7/25/02