back to article A Register reader turns the computer room into a socialist paradise

Monday is here, and with it comes another tale of student hijinks in the computer room courtesy of our not-feeling-that-guilty Register readers in our weekly Who, Me? feature. Today's trip down memory lane comes from a reader we shall call "John", and is set in a 1980s educational establishment. Computer gear was not quite as …

  1. Paul Herber Silver badge

    Socialism

    Socialism - is that like "Share and Enjoy"?

    1. David Robinson 1

      Re: Socialism

      Go stick your head in a pig!

      1. Chloe Cresswell

        Re: Socialism

        a flattened fifth out of tune I take it?

      2. ForthIsNotDead
        Coat

        Re: Socialism

        ^^^^^ Help, help! He's being oppressed!

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon
          Pint

          Re: Socialism

          Come and see the oppression inherent in the system!

      3. Paul Herber Silver badge

        Re: Socialism

        Considering the Labour Party's current furore over anti-semitism ...

        1. J. R. Hartley

          Re: Socialism

          *New Antisemitism. FTFY.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_antisemitism

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            New Antisemitism - Useful Link

            Thanks for the link: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_antisemitism

            I had become really uncomfortable with the characterisation of Corbyns meeting with anti-zionist jews as anti-semitic, the demands to address labour's 'anti-semitism' by making criticism of Israel against the rules and when I looked into criticism of Chris as Anti-Semitic mainly for saying that Labour had given too much ground in responding to criticism of anti-semitism and in tweeting support for another Jewish anti-zionist.

            I don't like Corbyn or WIlliamson but nothing they have been accused of seemed to amount

            anti-semitism which was puzzling.

            The link makes sense of all of this with the redefinition of anti-semitism to include anti-zionism and criticism of Israel. Incredibly foolish IMHO probably leading to an increase and legitimisation of old fashioned anti-semitism.

            1. Cederic Silver badge

              Re: New Antisemitism - Useful Link

              I have no idea whether Corbyn is an anti-semite or not - but criticising Israel, a nation with a mixed race population that's in breach of UN resolutions has fuck all to do with race of some of its inhabitants.

              (Which can lead to some very amusing conversations with certain Israelis who spend the entire conversation trying to trap you into mentioning race while they repeatedly that their country is doing anything improper and infer that you're criticising them for racist reasons)

    2. TeeCee Gold badge
      Meh

      Re: Socialism

      Socialism is where everyone gets to use a machine whenever they need to. The only downside is that all the machines are antique 8086s with 10" monochrome monitors.

      Anyone mentioning the rumour that party members get a Ryzen 7 with a 27" widescreen QHD job is sent for political re-education.

      Short version - Yes.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Socialism

        Socialist theory: If a man has everything he needs he will not try to get more.

        Real world: If a man has everything he wants he will want something more.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: Socialism

          It's sad how little people understand socialism these days.

          The workers control the means of production and are entitled to a sufficiency of the things they create. If you're delivering food for a restaurant your children shouldn't be going hungry.

          It's really simple, bleeding obvious and completely misrepresented in popular media.

          Whether it's ever been actually tried anywhere in the world is open to debate.

          1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            food deliverers dont create food.

            well , when i went to a really boring canal barge museum in Glousecter , I learned that the canal men were never short of a few things.

            As for the people that created those things ... who knows?

          2. fandom

            Re: Socialism

            "Whether it's ever been actually tried anywhere in the world is open to debate."

            Indeed, just because you have heard socialists and comunists praising the regimes in some countries during the last hundred years, doesn't mean those regimes were implementing socialism.

            After all, when they can no longer deny those countries have been, pretty much, destroyed they will insist on how those regimes had nothing whatsover to do with it.

            Nothing at all, of course not.

            After all, there are still many countries to destroy while they learn to implement it right.

            1. Muscleguy Silver badge

              Re: Socialism

              All Animals are equal but some Animals are more equal than others.

              I have reread my paperback copy of Solzhenitsyn's Cancer Ward so many times it is now seriously fragile. Hard back copies are serious money alas. I should check Gutenberg . . .

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Solzhenitsyn

                I have reread my paperback copy of Solzhenitsyn's Cancer Ward so many times it is now seriously fragile. Hard back copies are serious money alas. I should check Gutenberg . . .

                http://lib.ru/PROZA/SOLZHENICYN/rk.txt

                Oh, and I hope you didn't mean you need an English translation ...

            2. Rol

              Re: Socialism

              I remember back in the early 80's submitting my arguments for and against socialism for an economics module in my accountancy course. It contained the usual stuff, but argued it could only really work in total isolation. Having the overbearing influences of a determined capitalist elite, hell bent on stopping socialism in its tracks would result in the social fabric that binds that community, being unravelled by greed and desires fuelled by western propaganda.

              In a world where the deadly sins are not paraded as a celebration of the individual, then socialism could work, but it's all or nothing, as the likes of Trump would prefer to nuke the entire planet, than have to rely on his personality and abilities to rise above the crowd, instead of his inherited wealth buying him favour.

            3. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

              Re: Socialism

              You end up with such regime when you try to implement Socialism.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Socialism

            > The workers control the means of production and are entitled to a sufficiency of the things they create. If you're delivering food for a restaurant your children shouldn't be going hungry.

            Most workers already feel "entitled to a sufficiency of the things they create." It's the working hard to enable others to also have a sufficiency is the bit that usually fails.

            1. Glen 1

              Re: Socialism

              "It's the working hard to enable others to also have a sufficiency is the bit that usually fails."

              Capitalism at its purest is effectively a return to serfdom. Socialism (distinct from communism) at its purest depends on a perfect arbiter.

              Everything else is just deciding where on the spectrum you feel you are. Would you be happy if police only answered calls from the 'insured'? If every road was a toll road? Universal healthcare? Higher education payed for from general taxation? You mark your X and make your choice.

          4. TheSmokingArgus

            Re: Socialism

            Ah yes the tired trope of Not Real Socialism™️ ever having been tried. Well the un-real versions led to the death of 10 to 100 million bloody carcasses depending on the historian cited, so no need to attempt the "real" version.

            As for it being hopelessly maligned and misunderstood, at the end of the day, it is a philosophy whereby the collective supplants the individual and is managed by a central authority. Moreover Socialism is rooted in Marxism, which itself traces back to left-wing Hegelianism, i.e. a disdain for the common person and their achievements.

            So no thanks, you can keep the "equally" poor, starving, disarmed, genderless utopia of Tax Cows mindlessly wandering the free range federal plantation.

            Thank heaven for free speech & private firearms, still the best tools to push back against murderous lying Marxists.

            1. Teiwaz

              Re: Socialism

              at the end of the day

              Those who toiled under communism were told they were living in a socialist utopia, those who toiled in a capitalist distopia were told they were living in the free world.

              Free speech is all very well, but even with the free soap box of the internet it's mostly yelling in the face of the braying din of the other cattle, and the moment you raise that private firearm, the farmer will set the sheepdogs on you and burn your compound* to the ground.

              * provided you have one.

            2. Kiwi
              Mushroom

              Re: Socialism

              Thank heaven for free speech & private firearms, still the best tools to push back against murderous lying Marxists.

              Sadly with what you quote also leads to severe educational malnutrition - and your " led to the death of 10 to 100 million bloody carcasses - unless you're in a Zombie Utopia "bloody carcasses: are, by definition, dead and therefore cannot suffer death.

              The numbers may not match, but the US certainly kills a lot of people. You still have state execution, have some pretty high murder rates, and then there's the number of people who die from exposure or from not being able to afford medical care. Many in the US consider NZ to be a despicable socialist or communist country as we have health care for all - and that makes us nasty. Us terrible Kiwi's don't have people freely dying in the street from lack of affordable health care.

              Yup, Stalin et al did some pretty nasty stuff and were utterly evil people, but until you clean up your own back yard you really have nothing to complain about. Why are you proud of your nation (which isn't anywhere near as 'free' as you try to claim!) when all you should do is be hiding in the corner crying in shame over how your nation treats it's weakest people?

              Most of you yanks utterly disgust me. Those who waffle on about imagined 'free speech' and the gun laws that lead to so many of your children dying violent deaths are absolutely beyond contempt.

              Your attitudes are why you live in the most oppressed and most despised nation in the world. You have nothing of value, and the sooner your twat of a president wipes you all out the better. I'll lose some good friends, but the world itself will be a much nicer place.

              If you didn't live in the US I'd suggest you get an education - but the sort of country that voted in chump is obviously far too dumb to learn.

              1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                Re: Socialism

                Well that escalated quickly!

                1. Kiwi
                  Pint

                  Re: Socialism

                  Well that escalated quickly!

                  What can I say, that's my high!

                  <See wot I did dere?>

            3. strum

              Re: Socialism

              >Moreover Socialism is rooted in Marxism

              Tosh. Marx came to Britain to study a socialism that owed more to Christianity than to materialist philosophies. I believe he got it wrong, but there can be no doubt - Marxism is rooted in socialism.

          5. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

            Re: Socialism

            When the means of production belong to the State, the dictatorship comes inevitably.

            As for “the workers controlling means of production” it is a lie. The reality is that under Socialism the means of production are controlled by the State bureaucracy.

            1. Kiwi
              Unhappy

              Re: Socialism

              When the means of production belong to the State, the dictatorship comes inevitably.

              Shall we compare the "Free"[cough] USA with that statement - and have a good look at how things are turning out over there or...?

              As for “the workers controlling means of production” it is a lie. The reality is that under Socialism the means of production are controlled by the State bureaucracy.

              I'm yet to be convinced any large nation has actually implemented an actual socialist system. Many have claimed it, and a number perhaps have tried but corruption and ego have destroyed things, most pretending to live under it are run by corrupt evil people.

              If it was ever to be properly implemented, it'd probably be quite close to anarchy as well (I mean proper anarchy of course). The idea of people working to benefit their community (which of course benefits each member by making the whole stronger) - that's been around at least a couple of thousand years. I mean the early Christian church worked like that for a start, people did what they could to support the community and make sure there were no poor or orphans amongst them. Israel did that too in her early days, although they kinda screwed that up not too long afterwards :(

              I'd love to see true socialism given a decent go somewhere. Sure as hell can't carry on with capitalism much longer, the greedy people running that are sure making one hell of a mess of this world! All the garbage we pour into the oceans is making a mess of things, and the way we're wrecking the land. Yeah nah I don't think Capitalism is exactly the best thing for us to be following right now, at least not as we know it. Lets try something else and clean up after ourselves a bit eh? Your 'free market' isn't exactly going to look so shiny when you're struggling for the next breath and clean air is anything but 'free' :(

              (of course, most so-called 'socialist' implementations thus far haven't exactly been bastions of good housekeeping either :( )

          6. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Socialism

            Impossible to implement without Fascism and fails over the reality of Human Nature.

            Without realizing this and that other powers use it as a carrot to temp them will be our end.

            1. Kiwi
              Pint

              Re: Socialism

              Impossible to implement without Fascism and fails over the reality of Human Nature.

              I'd love to hear why you believe the first part of that sentence.

              I partly agree on the 2nd part - I've actually grown up around partial community-based applications of it, eg farming communities that share resources (thus the workers also own the means of production quite literally) and communities (especially 'deep rural') that work together to deal with a lot of issues. There's been the likes of community centres that build community gardens and deal with the needs of the community as well - volunteer-run places that exist to see the whole area improved. Most of these have done very well.

              But in many cases egos get in the way - so while it can be done (maybe) it is hard, especially being rid of the wrong sorts of ego and pride. The early church managed to do it for a time, but the modern church I doubt would get even close - too many people demanding their 'rights' and 'blessings' and rejecting the idea that they should 'work' to improve things :(

        2. Teiwaz

          Re: Socialism

          Socialist theory: If a man has everything he needs he will not try to get more.

          Real world: If a man has everything he wants he will want something more.

          If only we can channel that 'more' into intellectual pursuits or creativity rather than one upping neighbours.

          We may have to put a legal framework around it, humanity cannot afford a consumer society while locked to one planets resources for much longer. Mining or disposal.

          1. Dal90

            Re: Socialism

            Commons are not always -- or necessarily often -- tragic.

            "in the real world, small farmers, fishers and others have created their own institutions and rules for preserving resources and ensuring that the commons community survived through good years and bad."

            The Maine lobster fishery for a modern example; centuries of mountain side farming in the Alps and South America for older ones.

            But it does take adults agreeing on and enforcing rules. No one is going to make U.S. healthcare -- or education -- any cheaper by making it single payer because the most of the adults long left it and the rest are overwhelmed by complexity. The systems need to be freed from most bureaucracy and broken down to smaller units that can be reformed.

            This guy and I probably would have a Venn diagram of voting records that looks like a shocked face O_O but it doesn't mean the critique is that far off:

            https://climateandcapitalism.com/2008/08/25/debunking-the-tragedy-of-the-commons/

            1. Kiwi
              Pint

              Re: Socialism

              https://climateandcapitalism.com/2008/08/25/debunking-the-tragedy-of-the-commons/

              That author quoted Marx, therefore is a vile piece of garbage who warrants not a moment's more thought, other than how to dispose of his mangled corpse....

              All kidding aside, thank you very much for posting that link. I've learned a lot today, and am the better for it!

              Again, thanks to you and to the original author!

            2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

              Re: Socialism

              The Tragedy of the Commons is misquoted, it's the Tragedy of the *Unmanaged* Commons. All the examples of debunking the Tragedy of the Commons are actually examples of *managed* commons.

          2. Kiwi
            Pint

            Re: Socialism

            If only we can channel that 'more' into intellectual pursuits or creativity rather than one upping neighbours.

            Yup . I've been loving learning to do more with less. Less waste, less resources used, more enjoyable life, better health, better/warmer home etc. ]

            It can be done, but I still don't know how to deal with other people's egos. A lot of us working together for the good of all can do a hell of a lot, but one egotistical person can screw up a years work in a matter of days! :( They can destroy months of work building a decent harmony in a matter of minutes as well.

            1. Intractable Potsherd

              Re: Socialism

              @ Kiwi - Ego is a serious pain in the arse. I am starting to think that there is a survival trait in ASD - ego tends to be less of a driver than working towards a mutually satisfactory goal.

          3. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: Socialism

            The failure of Socialist theory is the thought that if a person has all their *needs* satisfied, they won't have any *wants*.

            I don't "need" Dr Who, I don't "need" Pratchett novels, I don't "need" access to pre-WW2 archive information. Most of my needs are satisfied, which allows me to pursue my wants.

      2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Socialism

        To each according to his needs [ManagerTeam Leader: I need a 4k 50 inch monitor to do Gantt charts]

        From each according to his abilities [ManagerTeam Leader: I'm gonna need you to go ahead and work the weekend. That'd be greeeeeat.]

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: Socialism

          @Antron Argaiv

          I think you are confusing wants with needs.

      3. bpfh Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Socialism

        And that 8086 would still be sufficient for most of the guys I’ve worked with over the years to run a simple editor to edit hand coded html and php and not test it before going live...

        1. Kiwi
          Boffin

          Re: Socialism

          And that 8086 would still be sufficient for most of the guys I’ve worked with over the years to run a simple editor to edit hand coded html and php and not test it before going live...

          Given most of my computer time these days is spent reading, I could probably use that just as effectively as I use this. I have a 46" screen as my monitor - I can also use a 10" tablet at 1/4 the distance for the same portion of my eyespace (though I may not be able to keep as much of the screen in focus at one time)

          If you have one of those lamps with the rotating shade with cats engraved on it, you'll also get rid of most people's need for faster hardware.... (Or just get a real cat - though if you piss it off you'll quickly learn just how 'cheap' a $5,000 video card can be by comparison... :) )

        2. bpfh Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Socialism

          and in a case of eating my own dog food, I was given a MacBook Air for Mac app development purposes... only to find that the non-retina display is too small to fit all my screens & IDE on comfortably and that Mojave makes all my tools fuzzy, so I’ve had to request a MacBook Pro for mega bucks, just to have better than 1440 x 900 px...

          Remembering back to my first project, created in DOS Edit, compiled in Symantec C. Screen resolution of 80 columns x 24 lines and and 64 kB COM files were big enough for anyone. Ohhh the First World Problems!!

      4. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Socialism

        In Socialism and Capitalism, the managers/supervisors get the latest kit in order to send out email missives to their minions.

        The worker minions meanwhile have to make do with old decrepit hardware that is a few iterations behind that of the chosen few.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Socialism

      A bit late to the party, but anyway...

      Most people (including myself) seem to want a combination of the best of capitalism and socialism - that is to say, the ability to compete and strive to better yourself and improve your children's chances, but not at the cost of destroying the lives of others - therefore a progressive tax system and a decent (not lip-service) safety net in the form of free healthcare and minimum living standards appears to be a reasonable balance.

      The problem with some on the far right / 50% of America is that any suggestion of a safety net for others, that might just come from their taxes, is instantly and ignorantly (or manipulatively) condemned as full-throated socialism.

      It's not. Grow up.

      / While you're at it, read the parable of the good Samaritan. You know, the one Jesus told.

      1. Kiwi
        Pint

        Re: Socialism

        A bit late to the party, but anyway...

        I often do that myself, so all is forgiven :) -> Grab one of these and join the fun!

        Most people (including myself) seem to want a combination of the best of capitalism and socialism - that is to say, the ability to compete and strive to better yourself and improve your children's chances, but not at the cost of destroying the lives of others - therefore a progressive tax system and a decent (not lip-service) safety net in the form of free healthcare and minimum living standards appears to be a reasonable balance.

        Yup, that'd be me. I do love the benefits of the modern age and living in a free country. And I love that I could start and grow a business (and have several plans in the works). Hate the piles of waste and 'entitlement' I see around me though, and the sheer mind-killing stupidity like those who'd rather pay $9.99 to Ali Express than $10 to a local shop!

        The problem with some on the far right / 50% of America is that any suggestion of a safety net for others, that might just come from their taxes, is instantly and ignorantly (or manipulatively) condemned as full-throated socialism.

        It's not. Grow up.

        Have another beer. Wish I could give you another upvote or few.

        I had a close friend in the US - he'd done very well for himself, quite well off, family home etc all paid off. Then he had an accident that stopped him working. Medical bills came in. Insurance ran out. Savings ran out. Sold the home. That money ran out. Still unable to work. Once the money ran out that was it. Joel died in the gutter, abandoned and literally tossed out on the street because he'd become too poor. He'd become poor by having outrageously high medical bills - things that in NZ I can get over the counter for the price of a cheap chocolate bar are beyond the GPD of small nations on the Far Side of the Pacific (or so I hear).

        Me? I'm on duty tonight here in NZ. I'm at the house of a person who was a basic labourer. In her late 50's she got sick and stopped working and has been on taxpayer-funded care the last few years. She doesn't exactly need round-the-clock care but she can have sudden and severe problems, plus she's not as mobile as she'd like to be. I've cooked us dinner, cleaned some of the house (I do kitchen and lounge, the other carer does BnB), and so long as the wrong 'beeps' don't occur I'm free to do whatever I want so long as it's on the property, which is also state-funded. As is her medical alarm. She never was a big earner, never had private insurance, never had any real wealth, but is a great person with something of a social life (when she can) and lots of friends around and she does contribute to the community.

        That's our horrible socialist health care system with our no-fault no-sue accident compensation system. Our poor get cared for, their 'rich' can wind up dying in the gutter.

        While you're at it, read the parable of the good Samaritan. You know, the one Jesus told.

        One I sometimes like to remind others of.... As well as the whole "Love your neighbour' bit - which means showing compassion for others. "Pure religion is just this: to greet the widow with a kiss,

        Feed the orphan, love the poor..." (Rez, ""Land of Stolen Breath" - maybe something similar in James as well...)

        I have to go, work calls.... :( (not an alarm thankfully)

        1. Intractable Potsherd

          Re: Socialism

          The phantom downvoter is out again, I see!

  2. Rich 11 Silver badge

    College in the 80s

    It had a Pavlovian side effect of training everybody to save their work more frequently

    I learnt to save my work frequently thanks to the lack of a No Smoking rule in the computer labs and the build-up of tobacco by-products on the heads of the two 360K 5.25" drives in each PC. When I later worked there, I had the pleasant job of cleaning the interior of every PC and repainting the lab walls each summer.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

      Re: College in the 80s

      Even if you did save frequently, and in the absence of smokers, floppies could so easily completely mess up your day/week/month/year. I remember spending hours with one of Norton's recovery tools piecing together all the chapters of a friend's PhD thesis on a dsk that had gone TITSUP. Managed to retrieve over 95% of it, but some stuff was permanently stuffed when a disk threw a wobble. Painfully slow work, but thank goodness WordStar had a quite readable storage format, so it wasn't too difficult to work out which chunk of text followed which. Cost me an afternoon and an evening to sort out, and then make two back-ups of the whole lot. Did result in a big hug. She learnt her lessons about proper back-ups, fortunately without too much loss of work.

      I had all my PhD thesis work on a hard drive (such luxury!) which I backed up fully every week, and important changes on a daily basis. One back-up was stored at work, one back-up at home, and a weekly tape back-up of the entire system was stored in a safe off site. As Lu-Tze might say: "There's no such thing as too many backups"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: College in the 80s

        "There's no such thing as too many backups"

        Someone will be along soon with a tale of the racks and racks of religiously taken backups that turned out to be completely useless the first time they were needed in anger because no one had ever thought to test them

        1. NorthIowan

          Re: College in the 80s

          Not first hand knowledge. But I think the local SA's found that out with a Novel server. You must test your backups at least once in a while. Otherwise you may not have any backups.

          I don't remember if it was a big problem as I was doing mainframe work at the time.

          But I also found it out myself in backing up my Amiga to tape. I had a weird cross linked file or some such. I decide that extra backups where a good idea as the previous tape had problems and of course I discovered it while backing up to the "new" tape. So 2 bad tapes and I think I was rotating through 3 tapes at a time.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Danny 2 Silver badge

            Re: College in the 80s

            Novell, not Novel. It's the company Eric Schmidt destroyed before he moved on to Google.

        2. Glen 1

          Re: College in the 80s

          PTerry had a man come over and engrave his stuff on to stone tables and buried them in the back garden.

          1. Allonymous Coward
            Joke

            I back my SQL databases up onto stone tables.

        3. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

          Re: College in the 80s

          Testing is indeed essential. I did this by restoring the week's full backup from my work PC onto my home PC, ensuring all was well, after first zipping the contents of said directory into a separate zip file so the possibly faulty backup couldn't ruin the previous week's version.

          Not perfect, but it served its purpose.

        4. Updraft102

          Re: College in the 80s

          ""There's no such thing as too many backups"

          Someone will be along soon with a tale of the racks and racks of religiously taken backups that turned out to be completely useless the first time they were needed in anger because no one had ever thought to test them"

          Indeed, that would be a case of too few backups. A backup that does not work is not a backup at all.

        5. Rich 10

          too many backups

          a backup over 30 days old is not a backup, it is an ancient archive - back up and back up frequently! I might use many different forms of backup, but I also use them often.

          1. Kiwi
            Paris Hilton

            Re: too many backups

            a backup over 30 days old is not a backup, it is an ancient archive - back up and back up frequently! I might use many different forms of backup, but I also use them often.

            That would depend on the "rate of change" of your important data though.

            I know a lot of people where a one-off backup covers their OS/software needs (set up the machine, image the disk, repeat in a couple of years) and their price lists (if provided) are basically static, as is their web page (sorry Google but no, sites don't need to be changing every bloody minute to be useful!), so there's only the months accounts to back up and that is done already by the simple fact that it gets sent off to the "accountant" automatically at the end of each week.

            ("accountant" in quotes because these days many firms do little more than let automated software automatically run on their automated servers, automatically getting the data from the client and automatically sending the automatically-generated reports back to the customer and the automatically generated tax returns to Inland Revenue etc - all said "accountant" usually needs to do is make sure the automatic systems are still in automatic mode).

        6. Kiwi
          Coat

          Re: College in the 80s

          Someone will be along soon with a tale of the racks and racks of religiously taken backups that turned out to be completely useless the first time they were needed in anger because no one had ever thought to test them

          Most of my time spent doing backups has been an utter waste of time.

          Thankfully.

          And a few times, the utter waste was where I didn't have decent backups and had to employ recovery softtware. And dealing with the output of that.. A word processor and other such software often saves automatically every 5 minutes. Every 5 minutes there is a new version of the document you're working on while the old one is deleted. If you have a lot of space, then a large document may have many copies of it on disk. Also, you may have other things creating multiple copies of said file (eg the cache where windows keeps new/changed files before sending off to MS to make sure they're not causing your computer to crash). Sometimes finding the correct version after a crash can be a nightmare.

          And that will, of course, only happen when you've had an inspired weekend and spent the entire time awake and working on $project, with auto-saves to a disk and a broken save-to-cloud feature that you've been too inspired and in too much of a flow to stop and check. Only when you finish the masterpiece of a lifetime and go to do that final save do you realise that your disk is toast..

          Or you save it fine, but somehow it's corrupted by the time you get it to your backup, and by the time you find out it's corrupted you've rotated through your entire backup stock.

        7. File Not Found

          Re: College in the 80s

          Yep - well, nearly. Amstrad, 1990, wrote the code myself, cabinet full of 5.25 floppies. At least I found out whilst *testing* the non-functioning back-up crud-code after a month or so, not in a real crisis. My amateur code just backed up the name of the file multiply enough to make the size of the outcome look like a real file...

        8. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: College in the 80s

          My backups live on external drives, but I have copies of my last couple on a separate local drive to be quickly accessible. (eg, oops, didn't mean to overwrite that, never mind, just restore it.) Last month Avast updated itself, then started chewing through the online backups stripping stuff out of them, including the entire backup disk image of my DOS development system. I restored the local backups from the off-line backups, but Avast promptly chewed through them again. I'm now extremely reluctant to plug in any backup disk at all as Avast will chew through the archive backups.

          Well done Avast, you've just re-invented head-crashing the restore drive.

      2. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: College in the 80s

        one of Norton's recovery tools

        Your personal hell didn't appear until about eight years after mine, sunshine. An afternoon and an evening? You had it bloody lucky. We used to have to lick gravel clean before we woke up....

        1. Kiwi
          Flame

          Re: College in the 80s

          We used to have to lick gravel clean before we woke up...

          You only had to lick it clean? LUXURY! I'm the poor bastard wot had to make the gravel by me kidney stones in the first place!

    2. Kiwi
      Pint

      Re: College in the 80s

      and the build-up of tobacco by-products on the heads of the two 360K 5.25" drives in each PC.

      Urgh. Just before bloody dinner time as well, ya bastard!

      I used to make a point of showing smokers what the insides of their machines looked like, before suggesting successful ways of stopping (what worked for me was Alan Car's "Only way to stop smoking permanently" book - also good evidence for the effectiveness of various forms of brainwashing and de-programming (aka the other side also brainwashing)

      It did help lead a couple to a place where they stopped smoking, but they were held under the spell of the pro-smoking propaganda from the likes of ASH (yes, they're pro-smoking - if everyone stopped there goes their existence, and by promoting the myth that quitting is hard they make it so much harder for smokers to quit!)

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    PCwrite? Luxury!

    We had to make do with EDLIN. :) :p

    ha.

    Back in the days it was WordPerfect 4 or 5 on DOS for me. Best wordprocessor ever. With SuperCalc 4 or 5 for spreadsheeting. And the odd Harvard Graphics should you need to massage your spreadsheets so that the higher-ups can understand the figures.

    And it ran like the clappers on an 386SX/DX - and did the job and did it properly. Not like today's bloatware that tend to flake out when trying to insert or add some arb stuff to an overdue document, not to mention macro viruses that tend to make life interesting for you.

    1. Christoph
      Boffin

      Hey, EDLIN was very useful. You could redirect input to it, so you could do automated edits by reading the commands from a file.

    2. GlenP Silver badge

      Edlin? Sheer luxury!

      Try editing your program files on a teletype.

      1. Diogenes

        When filling out coding sheets for the lovely keypunch ladies to type in for us , I dreamt of teletype

        1. Nick Kew

          I dreamed of the lovely keypunch ladies as I sat waiting for the next flurry of line noise to appear on the teletype.

        2. BebopWeBop

          Toggled my thesis in on the main console - I dreamed of keypunch ladies (in a completely innocent way.....)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I had to clean the heads manually with a magnet, before I got up from the lake and worked 400 hours a day...tell young people that today and they won't believe you!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              You had it easy...

              I used to wake up 3 hours before I went to sleep. Had a tablespoon of cold poison for breakfast, then it was uphill to the asbestos mine for my 26 hour shift. And we were happy, I tell you !

      2. Nick Kew

        The teletype of course accessing an antiquated mainframe down a phone line dominated by line noise. Just the one parity bit is wholly inadequate.

        1. John R. Macdonald

          @Nick Kew

          The joys of an APL session using a 2741 terminal hooked by POTS to a mainframe at the other end of the country in the early 1970's ...

          Cryptic APL and line noise are visually similar.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Try editing your program files on a teletype.

        It's easy, just use *Tipp-Ex!

        <Coughs>

        *Correcting Fluid / Wite-Out (other brands are available.)

      4. boxplayer

        I HAVE edited programs on a teletype. As far as I remember, edlin was very like the sort of editor you'd use on a teletype.

        1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Re: I HAVE edited programs on a teletype

          One way to do this was to use the integral paper tape punch to "print" your program, then "edit" it using splicing tape and a column puncher, then feed it back using the integral paper tape reader.

          http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/3366/intellec-8/

          This is the first system I used that kind-of necessitated this method of editing. The bootstrap of the machine itself was performed using the rocker switches to write an assembler JMP instruction at machine code level, then hit execute. This executed a routine built into EPROM which then gave the ability of the unit to accept instructions from the teletype.

          A paper tape editor was supplied, but you had to load it first to be able to use it, which was a lengthy process (in all senses of the word "lengthy"), hence the splice and punch method was frequently quicker.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "And it ran like the clappers on an 386SX/DX"

      I remember having to switch off auto-recalc on some larger, more complex spreadsheets because the recalc after every cell entry/edit was slowing things down too much.

      1. Cxwf

        Sure, but I still have to do that today on an up to date pc with some of the abominations we call spreadsheets at my office.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Excel abominations

          Here's one from my Helldesk days, some years ago. It's etched into my brain as it's a brilliant example of what imagination unchecked by experience can get up to.

          We'd had rolled out some new boxen, reasonably powerful for the time (Dell i7 based, 8GB RAM, SSD). I gets a call asking if we can upgrade this user's brand new workstation as it 'wasn't fast enough'. I was told to check it out.

          Now without wanting to reveal too much let's just say it was a distance calculators. 15,625 endpoints of one sort, 125 of another. So far so good.

          The user had decided to use Excel for this. Basically look up the eastings and northings of both points, do a bit of pythagoras on it, and you've got a reasonable approximation. So far so average.

          What they hadn't done was any design, like get the eastings/northings into a column - they were in this big lookup table. They were working with vlookup, because when the only tool you know is a hammer and all that. And they were calculating automatically. Let that sink in.

          Every change that triggered a recalculation caused 125 * 16525 * 4 = 7.8M vlookup operations.

          I took one look at this work of surrealist art and offered that no, instead of throwing hardware at it they would need to think this problem through a *tad* harder.

          The bugger was also getting an allowance for being one of the professions - a statistician.

          Logged in but posting a/c because I still work there - not in helldesk, thank fuck.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In a parallel universe...

    ...Ajit Pai is looking after said computer lab.

    The lack of available PC's clearly indicates excessive demand and the PC manufacturers are allowed to charge a "fair" rental rate approaching 75% of the cost of a PC.

    "Socialism" takes root when students cobble together a PC and share it amongst the entire student body avoiding the steep rental rates.

    Pai was last seen lobbying to ban the manufacturing of PC's from a list of approved manufacturers to prevent the spread of socialism...

  6. jake Silver badge

    "Before Norton and the others arrived."? Not really.

    The first official release of Norton Utilities was in 1982 ... Prior to that, many folks used his personal computer tools after acquiring them through various user groups. Even earlier, in the late '70s some of us used Peter's code to access diagnostic RAM in Mainframes that IBM would rather we didn't (amongst other things). So no, not before Norton arrived.

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: "Before Norton and the others arrived."? Not really.

      In those days I had a copy of Golden Bow defrag utility before finding SpinRite, Norton Disk Doctor and Norton SpeedDisk.

      Good days having to resuscitate/fix crosslinked FAT entries!

      Those old defrag programs were the dangerous sort as they tend to move files before writing to the FAT - and will cause data loss should the power go off during a defrag operation. More modern ones were a bit hardened that they first copy the file, then change the FAT, so the file will not be lost should the power go off for whatever reason.

      1. GrumpenKraut
        Meh

        Re: "Before Norton and the others arrived."? Not really.

        > Good days having to resuscitate/fix crosslinked FAT entries!

        For some curious definition of "good". I remember fixing MBRs with a hex editors, never struck me as something pleasant.

        I once talked to an admin (ex GDR guy) who occasionally had to fsck a 10 MByte filesystem by hand(!). He had some choice words describing it. Sometimes this takes a week, he said.

    2. ChrisC Silver badge

      Re: "Before Norton and the others arrived."? Not really.

      Surely the "Before Norton and the others arrived." comment was in the specific context of developing anti-virus tools, not in the wider context of developing code of any variety...

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: "Before Norton and the others arrived."? Not really.

        Norton didn't get into the AV business until the 1990s. If that was the point being made, Shirley they should have said "Before F-Prot, McAfee, NOD and the like arrived ..."?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I spit on your socialist paradise...

    ..totalitarian dictatorship is the only way to go.

    And I speak as the once absolute ruler of the computer room in a mid 1970's secondary school computer room. The power. Oh, the power..

    The secondary school I went to was I think among the first in Europe with it own on site mini computer. A PDP 8E and two ASR 33 teletypes. It had 16K of core memory and ran a BASIC interpreter that had to be loaded from a paper tape. The paper tape was loaded by a boot strap loader that had to be manually entered on the front panel switches. In octal. Well the computer was old and flaky , which is why it was donated to the school by local BigCorp, so it crashed al the time and the BASIC interpreter had to be reloaded manually from paper tape every time. Which took about 20 minutes on the ASR 33 tape reader. When it actually successfully read the whole tape. Without jamming or tearing the paper tape. BigCorp takes pity on us and gives us a PDP11 high speed paper tape reader. Which takes about 90 seconds to read the paper tape.

    Problem solved. Well not really. High speed paper tape wears out in about 6 to 8 weeks and it takes a few weeks for replacement tape to be sent. By this stage maths teacher in charge of computer gives listing of bootstrap loader to several of us brighter students because he got sick of being called away several times a week to do it himself. So we did the reset and reboot.

    Some time passes and I find a hardware manual for the PDP 8 in second hand book store. And there is an octal listing for the instruction set. I decode the boot loader and notice that there is not only a load from paper tape instruction but a load and punch paper tape instruction. So next time I have to reload the BASIC paper tape in goes to the paper tape to the read, I make a small modification to the bootstrap loader, and out comes an exact copy on the high speed paper tape punch. I can now make as many high speed paper tape copies as I want.

    To me the situation was just, well, that was interesting, but everyone else, include the teacher, now treated me as some kind of shaman who could now communicate with other worlds. I tried explaining, I just changed the 5 of this instruction to a 3. That's all. But it made no difference. I seemed to have acquired some kind of aura.

    Being a very nerdy clueless 15 year old it took me a while to realize I now had absolute power. I was the one who knew how to make copies of the master tape. And held the copies. So I did what all computer nerds did in this situation. I allocated 13K of memory to the good teletype, 3K to the dodgy one. Myself and my friends hogged the good teletype and left the dilapidated teletype with the bad ribbon to the rest of the class. And if someone was using the good teletype when we wanted to use it, we just crashed the computer from the front panel. Forcing them off.

    See, that's how you do cyber bullying the old fashioned way. Move or we will crash your teletype.

    Even after all these years I can still hear the tak-tak-tak of the ASR 33 ringing in my ears. I love the smell of fan fold paper in the morning.

    1. DropBear

      Re: I spit on your socialist paradise...

      ...as if there was more proof needed that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I spit on your socialist paradise...

        Eh..no, not exactly.

        What it meant was that those with a serious interesting in programming got all the time we needed and those who were just arsing around got a terminal to play with. Of those half dozen people who were serious about learning and got all the time on the good tty all but one of us ended up in high tech. The last guy ended up in computational chemistry.

        The following year i got access to the computer facilities of a major research institute so the last 18 month or so at secondary school I made little use of the PDP 8. I was basically just tech support. The guy who rebooted the machine and made fresh copies of the tape. The Apple II I had unlimited access to in the research institute was about 20 times faster than the DEC. At least you did not have to manually bootstrap Woz's integer BASIC. It was in ROM.

        My minicomputer career was basically over by early 1978. Better toys to play with. Never did do mainframes and punch cards. Which I believe was a whole new dimension in pain and frustration.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I spit on your socialist paradise...

          No, it sounds like people *you* judged to have a serious interest in programming (i.e. your friends) got access to the good equipment, and other people who *might* have had a serious interest in programming but who didn't curry favor with your group were put off by being forced onto dodgy equipment.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I spit on your socialist paradise...

            Nope. Not at all. Someone must have a sense of humor failure.

            In our computer room if you wanted to write something new or interesting you were in the good tty group. No other cost of admission. If you just wanted to type in one of the canned exercises given out in class the 3K tty was more than adequate to type it in, type RUN, then punch it out on paper tape. You did not need 13K of core for that.

            This was in the period 1975 to 1977. There were no UK PC magazines. I saw my first issue of Byte and Creative Computing in early 1977. There were photocopies of the listings for programs like Moonlander and such being brought in. That made you an instant member of the good tty group. The guy who brought in a few battered chapters of David Ahls book for DEC had as much good tty time as he wanted.

            As I said the only qualification for membership was a genuine excitement at the absolute wonder of being able to actually use a computer. Control it. A computer was no longer something with lots of flashing lights and whirling tapes in a big glass room surrounded by an army of men in white coats.

            Thinking back over the decades nothing has quiet matched the utter wonder, a thunder bolt from the blue, the first time I saw an ad for the Altair 8800 in the Sept 1975 issue of Scientific American, The transition from mainframes to minis was pretty gradual the previous decade but the start of the personal computer revolution really was very sudden, and very dramatic, for those of us who were around at the time. The summer of 1975 changed everything. and it was my supreme good fortune to have written my very first >RUN a few months before. Even though the end result of my first RUN was a @#$# bugger, infinite loop. Cntl C

      2. Terje

        Re: I spit on your socialist paradise...

        All power corrupt, absolute power is even more fun!

    2. Nick Kew
      Thumb Up

      Re: I spit on your socialist paradise...

      Some time passes and I find a hardware manual ...

      Ah, the power of TFM!

      Now of course anyone who can google has it.

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: I spit on your socialist paradise...

        "Now of course anyone who can google has it."

        If they would but bloody use that power! The number of questions I've been asked which can be solved by ten seconds and a search engine is ridiculous.

        Alas, my boss has banned me from using 'Let me google that for you' links in communications with customers. I suppose I see his point, we do get to charge them good money for me to explain simple things to them.

        1. WonkoTheSane
          Headmaster

          Re: I spit on your socialist paradise...

          You could use "Let me Duck Duck Go that for you" instead.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I spit on your socialist paradise...

          If you want a real education in the inability or unwillingness of people to just fscking Google it, try howtomendit.com

        3. Kiwi
          Coat

          Re: I spit on your socialist paradise...

          Had a friend who kept telling people about how great I was with computers, getting me to fix other people's stuff and so on.

          On day I started to hype up some "secret knowledge" to him - there was this one sheet of paper that could teach you how to fix every computer problem in existence, but mere users weren't supposed to know the secret codes. Why, the entire repair industry could collapse over night if this got out!

          He wanted in, but I kept him at bay for a while. Special knowledge, only a few people supposed to know, is what gave me my success in computing though.

          Eventually I caved, and invited him out to a special lunch where he would be checked by others, and if approved told what was what. That day, over lunch, I introduced him to the some real computer knowledge, and brought him into the world of being able to fix any fault himself.

          I gave him this 'cheat sheet'.

        4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: I spit on your socialist paradise...

          "Alas, my boss has banned me from using 'Let me google that for you' links in communications with customers. I suppose I see his point, we do get to charge them good money for me to explain simple things to them."

          PAYG customers. Be polite, do anything they want, and charge for everything.

          Contract (all you can eat) customers: Spend time educating them so they call less often.

    3. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: I spit on your socialist paradise...

      I had my own KSR33. Got a job repairing them at the Univ Computing Center. Which came with a no-holds-barred login to the mainframe (a CDC CYBER 74, if anyone cares). Which was nice. And I programmed the answerback drum on my machine to enter my username and password.

      I can still, I believe, by muscle memory alone, strip and rebuild a 33 typing unit power shaft. Which I did every summer for the ~25 TTYs owned by the computing center. They became obsolete, almost overnight, when the microprocessor got used as the basis for video terminals, and the DECwriter replaced printing terminals.

    4. MarkieMark1

      Re: I spit on your socialist paradise...

      In Soviet Russia, your socialist paradise spit on you

      1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

        Re: I spit on your socialist paradise...

        In Soviet Russia, your PC terminates you.

  8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I wish I could remember exactly how this worked but it was over 40 years ago back in the days of CP/M.

    I'd built a microspectrophotometer. The computer consisted of a Z80 in a B I G S-100 box with MicroSoft FORTRAN (in those days MS had camel capitalisation). The printer, IIRC, was some sort of thermal teletype device.

    Having acquired a spectrum I wanted to be able to print it whilst getting on with the lengthy task of acquiring the next one. There were a few spare K in high memory above the BIOS which started at 48K. Somewhere the video board had another small slice and either above or between them was some spare memory. AFAICR I shoved the data into this memory but I can't remember whether the code to sling it to the printer was also up there or whether it was part of the main executable. Whatever it was, once the user started the print option the printer would start plotting the spectrum with full stops and the console would be ready for the next command.

    MicroSoft FORTRAN for CP/M had some handy borrowings from BASIC, PUT, GET, PEEK and POKE which made interfacing with H/W easy. I could make the spectrometer motor step and read the photomultiplier via the ADC without having to drop down into assembler.

  9. werdsmith Silver badge

    I used to love making TSRs, purely for pranks. Would be sacked for doing something similar today.

    1. GrumpenKraut
      Windows

      > ...TSRs, purely for pranks.

      My first (and last) TSR was meant to be a friendly prank, but zeroed out the MBR.

      Embarrassed me, fixing MBR from the hex print-out I luckily had. ------->

    2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: I used to love making TSRs

      Our TSR's were designed to give our customers' bumps...

      (Braille screen readers)

  10. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
    Gimp

    Off and on again

    Power corrupts, power cycling corrupts absolutely...

    1. Steve Aubrey

      Re: Off and on again

      Stolen - thanks!

  11. Richard Tobin

    Mainframe???

    "We had one mainframe terminal room and one room of PCs" ... "Vax and Unix terminals"

    When did Vaxes become mainframes? They were mini-computers!

    1. Tim99 Silver badge

      Re: Mainframe???

      Er, the (not very successful) 9000 series? Although a VAXcluster of smaller VAXen minis could act a very good facsimile of a “proper mainframe”.

    2. navidier

      Re: Mainframe???

      > When did Vaxes become mainframes? They were mini-computers!

      Not always. I was sitting in my office in a certain Swiss physics/nuclear research establishment in the mid '90s when the head of computing passed by, holding a box about 30 cm on a side. "Guess what this is? It's worth CHF1,000,000." "No idea." "It's an array processor for our VAX 9000." As far as I know, not many people besides me ever used it; I think it was on loan and eventually returned to DEC.

  12. Evil Auditor
    FAIL

    Word.

    A cynic might suspect Microsoft had deployed similar tech in its occasionally wobbly products...

    I did it again. I used MS Word for writing more than, well, just a word. Silly me, I dared to having it compare two documents. Inevitably it crashed and while it tried to recover the file I skived off to El Reg to read today's Who, me?

    Icon for Word, certainly not the column.

  13. niio

    "Socialist paradise" is an oxymoron.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Any sort of paradise is an oxymoron. The entire point (unless you take the original meaning of garden) is that paradise is unattainable.

  14. JeffyPoooh
    Pint

    Embedded backspaces

    ^-- hours of fun

    If your display environment respects backspaces, then anything seems possible.

  15. swschrad

    fixing the format C:/ issue

    we had a lab, too, and the students were supposed to format a floppy early in their ways. every day, at lease one hard disk would be formatted. so I got Norton out and finagled the format command, so that it asked which disk. but only allowed A: and B:

    eventually the instructor came around in a huff and asked why.

    things improved a lot after that. and I didn't even get in much trouble. saved a LOT of 2-hour reloads, especially with Lotus on there.

  16. DWRandolph

    Two Cows

    Sorry, but the Socialism threadlets free-associated into an old joke, parts of which:

    SOCIALISM

    You have 2 cows.

    The State takes one and gives it to your neighbour who doesn’t have a field to put it in.

    SURREALISM

    You have two giraffes.

    The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

    one version of the list from;

    https://www.wired.com/2008/02/new-and-improve/

  17. Chozo
    Devil

    Happy days at GITeC

    Five minutes before the end of a programmers exam, miscreants over in the electronics lab were drawing straws to see who got to trip the site breakers.

  18. TheresaJayne

    Back when I was at college, we were in the first year of a BTEC computing, and we discovered a backdoor on our unix SysV system, we had the mini and about 50 terminals round the area, we used to do password grabbers so when we logged out it gave us a fake login prompt which captured password credentials, But they had set /dev/tty to RWX------ root root meaning to access your own terminal you needed root permissions so they had set the command more to run Set UserID, This meant that at the end of first page it would prompt for next page but you could use commands to go back a page search or even get a cshell !csh

    unfortunately because more was suid it would give you a root shell, Knowing this would be quickly found I myself wrote a small C program that worked exactly like su , it would do all the correct logs and such and even allow all the command parameters (the only problem i later found out was that I didnt use fork to spawn the new process) but if you did su to become root and password of CTRL-Y <Enter> it would log you in as root with no logs. We were about to become 2nd years and the sysadmin was about to leave for a new job, and we had been asking him <read pester> for the root password all year. Every time we asked he would say "I've got half a mind to tell you, but Nah!"

    On his last day he walked up to us and slipped us a piece of paper,

    it had one word on it "mind/2" Mind divided by 2 = half a mind. We could have killed him....

    The following year was hectic, and we even managed to get our work done whilst monitoring the system and keeping the 1st years from crashing the system.

    When we left apparently the following year, the server would crash / reboot / lockup daily multiple times as the now 2nd years would log in as root and do kill -9 -1 when only meaning to kill their own process, The su hack remained for another 1.5 years until someone senior noticed and they had to completely reload the system from scratch. Oh for a more primitive age, BTW one of the teachers was ex IBM and disagreed with most of us on what should classify hacking, We said if you connect to the modem that was ok but trying to log in when it was obvious it was not the system you were trying to find was a crime, her view was that if you accidentally misdialed the modem the moment the other modem answered you had committed the crime and should be arrested immediately. Needless to say her view was thankfully not followed.

  19. ForthIsNotDead
    Mushroom

    Irony

    The delicious, yet simultaneous puke-inducing irony of reading posts from highly educated, and highly paid IT professionals living in democratic countries where they are free to say what they want, vote for who they want, and are free to earn as much money as they want, yet espose the merits of communism.

    Try walking a mile in Solzhenitsyn's shoes.

    Idiots.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Windows

      Re: Irony

      But Magic Grandpa's got his own song, so it must be cool.

      And the Scandinavians have something different but with a similar name so it must be OK?

    2. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

      Re: Irony

      Errr... I think one might label someone who didn't know that there is a difference between socialism and communism with a pithy epithet!

      1. ForthIsNotDead

        Re: Irony

        Malcolm,

        I don't disagree. But all too often, the quest for Socialism has resulted in Communism. That point is not in doubt, is it?

        Despite the oft repeated mantra of Daily Mail readers that "Socialism has never been sucessfully implemented" there are exceptions. Granted. Norway is a notable exception that springs to mind. However, there are around 10 million dead 'communists' that were either murdered, or starved to death, that would like to express an opinion on the matter, but can't.

        Cheers

        FIND

  20. steviebuk Silver badge

    I like this one

    Having a keen interest in virus' back in the 90s in college, they always fascinated me.

    The first virus I managed to get on floppy was the Form virus. Used to mess around in a hex editor looking for the messages that it never displayed. Can't remember what they said now. Always infected the boot sector.

    Found it

    "The FORM-Virus sends greetings to everyone who's reading this text. FORM doesn't destroy data! Don't panic! Fuckings go to Corinne."

  21. Jon_x

    Back in the day....

    main{;

    system ("csh");

    }

    compile,

    chmod 4777 and chown 0,0 and w00t :D

    Apologies if not 100% accurate - am old and senile now so memory fading......

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