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Phaedrus Systems Soapbox


When not working Phaedrus Systems and a few selected individuals have been musing on various topics: some arising from Phaedsys conference papers, some from things in the news and others items that are to big to go into the Phaedsys Newsletters. The guilty are using pseudonyms as they are writing for themselves not their employers but are going to be well known to many of you (and their employers)..

KilroyIoT – Internet of Things/Its only technology

By Kilroy
July 2018


We hear horror stories in the media on such a regular basis about security breaches that we have possibly become immune to them unless like me you are in the industry. It never ceases to amaze me that large can make such fundamental mistakes, but I guess that what keeps in me a job! I am an independent Senior Security Consultant, grey hair, needs glasses to read the laptop screen, although happy to say not much spread around the middle, but enough! Who, has been in the security industry since before it became trendy. The last newsletter prompted me to think back and ask myself why we keep making the same security faux pax...... .>read on....

Flora McDonaldDriving fearlessly for the future

By Flora McDonald
July 2018


Profanity is an odd thing. My children come out with stuff that would make a docker blush and, yet, it is a rare occasion indeed when I resort to a curse. My parents almost never swore; I think in all my years my Mum has only ever sworn twice and although my Dad did swear a little more (and not the obscenities that even the BBC seem to think is OK) it always reserved for the car. I remember, as a youngster, going on a family outing and my Dad would always make sure he had his toolbox in the boot of the car because “the ruddy thing” would breakdown before we got to our destination and he would have to get out and fix it at the roadside. That’s when Mum would tell us all to block our ears. .>read on....

Flora McDonaldGetting your IoT development under control

By Flora McDonald
June 2018


The whole world seems to be going IoT crazy at the moment with Internet connected fridges that tell me if I’ve run out of milk (because I’m too busy updating my status to open the door), Internet connected toasters that let me set how brown my toast is via an app on my smartphone and Internet enabled door bells that tell ne’er-do-wells that I’m not home right now and the nearest police are (according to their Twitter feed) at least 20 minutes away. All of these are making my life more fulfilled whilst..... .>read on....

FORTH/C/Ruby/ADAHow to remove all bugs from software!

By Chris Hills Feb 2018


There is a faily simple way lf not having any "bugs" in software. This solution has been used by many for decades (saving both time and money in the process. So lets make 2018 the year we finally get rid of "bugs" in software .>read on....

FORTH/C/Ruby/ADAForth Vs C Vs Ruby Vs Ada Vs....

by Chris Hills and contributors

December 2017.


A fascinating article on why "my language is best" and why none of them are. Where are the other 450 languages Ada was supposed to replace? Why isn't everyone using SPARK? .>read on....

Windows 7 instalation and maintenance

The Wicked Witch of the West

March 2017


The Wicked Witch in her work in setting up and maintaining some MS Windows 7 computers, has written some notes which may be of interest to development teams (or their IT support depts) who are not rushing to Win10. The project was for a compiler validation exercise, where you have to be very precise in the setup which often leads to some deeper questions being asked read on....

TradeshowsGo Forth and Design your own Language
By Juegen Pintaske January 2017


A fascinating article on the lexicon of writing your own programming language and an introduction to FORTH .>read on....

TradeshowsTorvolds and ARM
By Roger Sheperd of Chipless December 2016


Chris is a great campaigner against the religion that open source software is inherently better and more secure than closed source. However, at times I he goes too far, and assumes anyone from the open-source community can’t be talking sense. One case is Chris’s recent reaction to Linus Torvalds’ commentss.>read on....

TradeshowsTradeshows and conferences:
Why bother isn’t it all on the ‘net?
By Chris Hills
January 2016


Why bother with Trade shows and conferences?  Aren’t they just full of salesmen trying to make commission and all the information is on the Internet anyway?  Well, not exactly and it is not a simple as it sounds.  This became obvious as I attended a raft of conferences and trade shows over the last 5 months.>read on....

ECC Paranoia

Elliptic curve cryptography - now comes the paranoia (and legal action)

Gareth Greenwood January 2016


After last month’s missive in these pages, your author wondered whether his article might have been a little complacent. Probably it wasn’t, but some other developments have put things in an alternative light.... > read on...

Chipping away the Rust – Part1: Avoiding memory errors

The Wicked Witch of the West

January 2016



TWW signed out last year with an heads-up piece on Mozilla's new language Rust. This month she gets into some details. Rust fans speak of the trifecta of Rust which refers to its safety, speed and concurrency. Let's deal with speed first. > read on....

Cloud today?The weather forecast: today there is cloud, tomorrow there might not be…
By Chris Hills
December 2015


This article discusses the IoT is not static, everything changes. The cloud is virtual and, like real clouds, it can move or evaporate altogether leaving you with nothing. In some cases the cloud will move location or change ownership and the new owners change the rules. You may get caught out or locked out if your cloud services evaporate>read on....

NSA (again)

What the NSA does not want you to know

Gareth Greenwood December 2015


A recent article in ArsTechnica reports that NSA can break 512-bit elliptic curve cryptographic keys to facilitate “man-in-the-middle” attacks on internet communications. Apparently, to initiate key-exchange dialogues, most internet servers use numbers generated from only a limited set of elliptic curves..... > read on...

The Wicked Witch of the West attacks RUST [Part 1] December 2015


The Mozilla Foundation has become the latest outfit trying to provide a language that extends C without creating the disadvantages of C's successors, C++, Java and C#. The language, called RUST, has an eclectic approach to language design, citing many earlier languages as influences. Mozilla has supported the development of RUST as a language for its future client/server products. > read on....