back to article Vulture Central team welcomed to our new nest by crashed Ubuntu that's 3 years out of date

As eagle-eyed readers may have noted, Vulture Central UK is on the move. Our migratory path has led us to London's Grays Inn Road and, well, you can see what was waiting for us. We normally like to feature Windows machines in various states of distress, be it a Tesco or Boots self-service till, or the odd railway terminal …

  1. nojobhopes

    Brave new world

    Maybe because the old red telephone boxes didn't need patching every week, or even every three years.

    1. gcla72
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Brave new world

      Just a good hosing down with bleach and removal of "calling cards"

      Paris because she would have had a card or too in there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Brave new world

        What about replacing the smashed bits of glass?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Brave new world

          What about replacing the smashed bits of glass Indeed.!

          (shades of Peter Cook here)

        2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Brave new world

          Ohhh the pane, the pane....

    2. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Brave new world

      Anyone else remember this BT ad from the mid 80s, trumpeting their efforts to keep phoneboxes in working order?

      https://youtu.be/GBnM-HF-Zlg

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Brave new world

        >Anyone else remember this BT ad from the mid 80s, trumpeting their efforts to keep phoneboxes in working order?

        Expect to see an updated set trumpeting xyz's efforts to keep public EV charging stations in working order.

  2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Timely...

    A timely story seeing as I'm just in the process of migrating my two home PCs to Fedora from Windows. Frustrating for me though as I've not administered any form of UNIX since being a SUN systems engineer back in the late 1990's and I think I've forgotten more than I ever knew :-)

    1. CAPS LOCK

      Fedora? Try Linux Mint XFCE...

      ... you might be surprised at how little you have to learn.

      1. Reg T.

        Re: Fedora? Try Linux Mint XFCE...

        Fedora - Mint Whatever - all systemd - fsckd by RedHat, now International Bowel Movement, that old Nazi appeaser gang who provided computers (such as they were) to the Nazis.

        And, the chap to whom you addressed the reply said "administered", not "mouse-clicked".

        13 up-votes for "don''t have to learn nuttin".

        1. IGotOut Silver badge

          Re: Fedora? Try Linux Mint XFCE...

          Reg, put down what ever device you are typing on. Find a park or go to the countryside, turn off any electronic devices, take a deep breath and RELAX.....

        2. CAPS LOCK

          It's true...

          ... I am worse than Hitler...

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: It's true...

            You didn't want to go to a technical school, you wanted to become an artist? That would certainly explain why you prefer Mint over learning Linux ...

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Timely...

      Instead of learning Fedora, you might want to give Slackware a spin and learn Linux. On the desktop it's a modern Linux, but under the hood it's a lot closer to the Sun systems of old. It's also one of the most stable distros out there. The only thing I need to change for most people is to get rid of Calligra and install LibreOffice (or just leave Calligra in place after installing LO; it won't harm anything just sitting there). Try it regardless, it won't hurt and you might like it.

      Slack -stable will suit your needs admirably. For the record, the more up to date and modern -current (Slackware's version of a rolling release) is almost as stable as -stable.

      1. Nunyabiznes

        Re: Timely...

        While good recommendations are abundant in this thread, it also shows why *nix is having a tough time knocking Windows off of the desktop.

        Almost every time I see a useful comment about how to move from Windows to *nix there are multiple competing statements about which flavor to try. Now, on a forum such as this it can be a good thing because sometimes you hear of obscure releases that might be just what you wanted. However, most typical computer users just get confused and fix their issue by buying a new computer pre-loaded with Windows. That might keep the hardware manufacturers solvent but it doesn't help the *nix to desktop cause.

    3. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: Timely...

      Why not use Debian 10?

      Debian has all the stability you want!

  3. Luiz Abdala
    Holmes

    Even the crashed-out screens in Linux are more understandable than your average BSOD.

    You can follow and understand every line of code there.

    1. Neal L

      You might be able to but my Microsoft is struggling. I'm still trying to get to grips with Linux it all it's flavours.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Neal I - Good news is

        you don't have to get to grips with all Linux flavors. Just chose one and stick with it.

      2. jake Silver badge

        If you want to learn Linux ...

        ... run Slackware.

        If you want to learn $DISTRO, run $DISTRO.

        One gives you the skills to use any distro out there. The other gives you the skills to run $DISTRO. Choose wisely.

    2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Coat

      Erm but I can't see anything from the screenshot showing it is reporting an issue.

      I assume its hung during initialising the program used to display the ads, however I'm more used to seeing Kernel panics or if anything has failed, Failed showing in red on Linux based Operating Systems.

      Edit: DOH last two lines clear state error and failed. I clearly need to go to specsavers (Other opticians are available)

      1. CrazyOldCatMan

        go to specsavers (Other opticians are available)

        And I would encourage people to use anyone other than specsavers.. (speaking as an habitual user of opticians since about the age of 5..)

        1. Mark Exclamation

          "And I would encourage people to use anyone other than specsavers.. (speaking as an habitual user of opticians since about the age of 5..)"

          Care to advise why?

          1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
            Mushroom

            The last time I got glasses from Specsavers, they didn't fit.

            Thats when I found out my ears were at different heights.

            They also scraped paint off my main set of glasses.

            1. j.bourne
              Thumb Down

              And my personally favourite - rounding your prescription to the nearest (specsavers) standard numbers to reduce the number of unique lenses they need to buy. And yes it does make a great difference when you're given some specs that actually match your exact prescription (especially when these are the parameters for astigmatism: i.e. anyone over 40).

        2. Teiwaz

          Last time I went looking for an opticians - I purposefully strode into the nearest locally owned practice - I prefer patronise local rather than big chains if possible.

          Unfortunately, all their qualified staff were off sick, on holiday or not scheduled to work today or that week. All that were instore were the non-skilled.

          So chainstore concern it had to be.

      2. jake Silver badge

        "Failed showing in red on Linux based Operating Systems."

        Not on the distro that I run. Not that I have seen a failure on boot (outside kernel development systems, of course) in well over a decade. Slackware is funny that way.

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          I must admit I have never run Slackware.

          1. Teiwaz

            I must admit I have never run Slackware.

            Tried it once, years ago, ran into trouble with a lack of firmware for my hardware. As it was the broadband, I'd need to have been fairly adamant of getting Slackware running to sort that out.

            I grabbed another install disc, this one did get my problem hardware running.

  4. Blockchain commentard

    Cost of the OS. Free. Cost of an engineer to keep it running? Too much for the bean counters.

    1. Dave K Silver badge

      Although you are correct, which idiot didn't use the LTS version for these? The fast release ring of any OS is an utterly dumb thing to run on a system such as this!

      1. LDS Silver badge

        "which idiot didn't use the LTS version for these?"

        Probably the usual Linux-me-too kid which accepted the offered pay...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Dave K - Or DevOps

        they usually can't be bothered by OS, network security and all other non-essential stuff.

      3. jake Silver badge

        And why on earth use Ubuntu?

        Systems like this are screaming for a cut-down version of one of the BSDs.

  5. silks

    Unwanted

    There's a few of these BT InLinkUK kiosk things here in Leeds. Can't recall ever seeing anyone using them.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Unwanted

      Let's be honest, who would trust some more or less random street furniture to connect their phone to? How do I know it hasn't been compromised?

      1. CrazyOldCatMan

        Re: Unwanted

        How do I know it hasn't been compromised?

        You don't. Just like you don't know that those handy USB phone charger sockets that are springing up in coffee shops and pubs haven't been subverted to silently install malware.

        Paranoia isn't always a bad life choice.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Unwanted

          What I really want to get is a USB-to-USB adapter - something that ONLY allows through the handshake necessary to get the power flowing, but blocks all other data traffic. Would turn even a computer's USB port into something the phone sees as only a charger.

          Anybody know where I can buy some? From a reputable dealer, of course.

          1. David 132 Silver badge

            Re: Unwanted

            They’re called “USB data blockers”, or more colloquially “USB condoms”, and here’s one of many on Amazon:

            https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T0DW3F8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_TuLEDbGBCBS7W

            Life tip: do not google for “USB condom”, at least not from a work device. Some sixth sense tells me that it would be inadvisable.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Unwanted

              "Life tip: do not google for “USB condom”, at least not from a work device."

              Too late! :P Did a quick search after my post, and came across the USB condom. Not sure if Amazon counts as "reputable" these days (too many counterfeits!), but the reviews seem to indicate these are pretty good. (Just one seller, a good sign.)

              1. MatthewF

                Re: Unwanted

                Portapow make such USB charging cables. Power only - no data

            2. HelpfulJohn Bronze badge

              Re: Unwanted

              "Life tip: do not google for “USB condom”, at least not from a work device. Some sixth sense tells me that it would be inadvisable."

              Why not?

              I did - not from work as I don't do that any more but from my home pootah - of course I didn't use the Evil Empire, I used www.startpage.com which says it's safer.

              The first link up was this : https://int3.cc/products/usbcondoms which looks appropriately safe and nicely technical.

              Most of the rest were of a similar vein and some were even Amazon.

              As far as odd looks from bosses go, mine would have understood the need for something like this after a brief look. They might even have turned it into company policy. Not all employers are 14th Century Luddites smashing printing presses.

            3. HelpfulJohn Bronze badge

              Re: Unwanted

              And thank you for the good information. I may even buy a few, maybe even some for sisters.

          2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

            Re: Unwanted

            You could use a public USB power socket to charge your power-bank, although I think that's considered cheating.

            There also are charger-only cables (multi-port cables often are this, see packaging), but I think USB-C doesn't allow dumb cables, so even the microprocessor in your power cord could get a virus!

        2. j.bourne

          Re: Unwanted

          Re: power ports in coffee shops etc.. - make sure to use a power only lead to connect with these.

        3. HelpfulJohn Bronze badge

          Re: Unwanted

          "Just like you don't know that those handy USB phone charger sockets that are springing up in coffee shops and pubs haven't been subverted to silently install malware."

          I had a similar thought about the USB chargers on buses but my paranoia ran more along the lines of USAlien Border Control Agency tactics, sooking the data from phones and cameras to sell off to the nearest Spooks. Not that I would ever think any large enterprise in UKland would *ever* do such a thing because they are *far* too ethical but it could offer someone less so a small additional revenue stream and profit is mostly all that matters, today.

          "Paranoia isn't always a bad life choice."

          No, not always, a healthy dose of constant concern is slightly better than walking into heavy traffic for example but it is possible to overdose.

          Not charging your phone because you suspect the bus may be watching you, linking your face to the device and creating a profile for the busies may just be over the safety limit.

          Or not?

      2. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: who would trust some more or less random street furniture to connect their phone to?

        My guess would be 99.5% of mobile phone owners.

        Do you not get out much?

        1. Tom Paine

          Re: who would trust some more or less random street furniture to connect their phone to?

          Terrifyingly true

      3. Charlie van Becelaere

        Re: Unwanted

        Right you are, and it's been out there for ages.

        Even this bizarro-world blog had it a long time ago:

        http://iheardacouplethings.blogspot.com/2011/07/h2o-and-usb.html

    2. Teiwaz

      Re: Unwanted

      Saw something like it in Northampton the other day

      weird triangular free standing jobbie not last a minuet (or a minute) in a good old british riot (also know as clothing bargain sale) - old dears and housewives on a budget will demolish it in seconds.

      The good old proud to british (or prodded) should have gone for a tried and tested phone box design. Red or Blue (for the tourists).

      Post box for something more compact.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Unwanted

      "Can't recall ever seeing anyone using them."

      No-one needs to use them .... they are allowed to install them without many planning rules because people could use them and once they are there they earn money from having several walls that can be used to serve adverts from.

  6. joshimitsu

    Langkawi airport:

    Two check in counters for Air Asia - one queue is domestic, the other international.

    The screen over both just shows the "Air Asia" logo, they're not showing a helpful indicator and instead rely on a member of staff to guide people to the right queue.

    One screen rebooted to the Raspbian splash screen.

    Might as well just have big cardboard signs up there.

    1. Allonymous Coward

      Re: Langkawi airport:

      But, but... technology! It's always a good thing right? Some guy from the Bay Area said so.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Langkawi airport:

        This guy from the Bay Area says "technology is usually a good thing, but how it is used is often the opposite. Caveat Emptor.".

    2. Public Citizen

      Re: Langkawi airport:

      Cardboard signs have the virtues of never crashing, unless they physically come unstuck from whatever is holding them up, not consuming any power so they are impervious to any disruptions in the power supply, and are easily updated using readily available analog tools.

  7. Kevin Fairhurst

    So which local boozer should I avoid? :)

    Cittie of Yorke, Chris Hatton or do you cross over to Inn of Court?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: So which local boozer should I avoid? :)

      In the old place, they had beer on tap. I'm shocked at the thought of hardened journos moving from such a place. Probably took three Pickford moving vans for all the physical junk and a few heavy duty tow trucks to drag the staff.

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: So which local boozer should I avoid? :)

        At first I thought they'd got their marching orders from WeWork due to that unflattering coverage of the IPO plans. I guess loss of the on-tap beer is as good as that

        https://www.wework.com/en-GB/buildings/fox-court--london

        Does this mean the LESTER the Beer Robot will be refitted to deliver ...

        Micro-Roasted Coffee

        Stay caffeinated throughout the day with an infinite stream of freshly roasted coffee.

        1. Kevin Fairhurst

          Re: So which local boozer should I avoid? :)

          "Refreshing fruit water to keep you and your guests hydrated throughout the day."

          GAK!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please do the needful

    Dear sir, can you please do the needful.

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: Please do the needful

      I'm assuming that will be backed by an incident number that you've have raised in Service Now with the Indian helldesk?

      1. Psmo
        Stop

        Re: Please do the needful

        Problem not reproduced, ticket Closed.

  9. Bitsminer Bronze badge

    Removing enables held for handed off, err, clocks

    Self exculpatory, that.

  10. Steve Graham

    systemd

    It's not broken. It's still booting. Come back in another few years.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: systemd

      Eh? From my perspective systemd is b0rken by design and implementation.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: systemd

      Let's improve the start up sequence.

      Then, just for the hell of it, let's just sit there waiting if a dependency failed.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: systemd

        The only thing it's waiting for is sombody/thing to login.

  11. jake Silver badge

    I finally embiggened the pic ...

    ... and discovered that the computer had not crashed after all.

    What that screen shows is a simple failure to launch a program ... The OS is happily waiting for someone/thing to login, in all its uncrashed glory. Blaming Ubuntu for the inlink startup script's failure is rather unfair, don't you think?

    1. stiine Silver badge

      Re: I finally embiggened the pic ...

      Depends what they paid Canonical to write it...

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: I finally embiggened the pic ...

        "Depends what they paid Canonical to write it..."

        I seriously doubt inlink paid Canonical anything. That's why fly-by-night companies use the likes of Ubuntu ... it's free. Chances are it boots a complete, full bells&whistles, vanilla OS, and they simply added their own startup script to it. It's probably that script that failed.

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: I finally embiggened the pic ...

      For a kiosk, pausing at the text login prompt is a fail. I don't think Ubuntu is being blamed, though - although systemd is. Rather, not only has this device crashed, but it's done so to reveal a firmly out of date software version.

      The basic joke is the same as in a television blooper show - the serious business of, um, whatever this thing does is interrupted by a breakdown of the means by which it is done.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: I finally embiggened the pic ...

        "not only has this device crashed"

        No, it hasn't. See that login prompt? Do you know what it signifies?

        "a firmly out of date software version."

        That's a different kettle of worms.

    3. Luiz Abdala
      Windows

      Re: I finally embiggened the pic ...

      Yes. It appears it tried to load something that it couldn't find, and went back to the login prompt.

      If I know these kiosks/terminals, everything they show is just an autorun powerpoint running ads on loop or something, maybe reading a database (like airport schedules). That's the only thing the OS didn't find.

      Someone booted it without payload or network.

      Icon, because I'm totally guessing.

  12. Booty003

    Spurt

    Unlike the embedded Windows XP we often find disgracing itself in the capital.....

    Mouth -> Coffee -> Desk.....

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    currently upgrading to 16.04?

    Not kicking the can very far down the road, are they?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: currently upgrading to 16.04?

      Ubuntu LTS are every couple of years so current is 18.04. Maybe they think that needs a bit of time to settle down.

  14. Tom Paine
    Pint

    Gray's Inn Road?

    Heh, I was just walking along there on Friday evening. Very pleasant nowadays, thanks to the "regeneration" up around King's Cross pushing a lot of the unwanted-by-most, very-wanted-by-a-few ne'erdowells who used to lurk around street corners further north and east out into Camden and Islington. There are some fabulously old-fashioned proper boozers up a lot of the sidestreets in the area, was that a site selection criteria?

  15. tomyuvi

    wow thats amazing I didnt know about that!

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022