During my time in front line IT support I've seen things
I feel a strange sense of kinship with "Sarah"
Phew, March is over. Everything will be OK now, right? Right? Oh well... join us in nervously welcoming April with another tale from that special breed tasked with answering the phone, even when the subject matter is perhaps less than savoury. This week's protagonist, assigned the sobriquet of "Sarah" by the Regomiser 6000, …
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My best advice is to use the work phone ONLY FOR WORK and your own phone for anything else.
Oh and now that people are quarantined and forced to work from home, is better to have a dedicated computer just for that.
That avoids... accidents.
My best advice for Sales and Marketing?
1) Never have notifications switched on when presenting: we really do not need to know that PornHub has an exciting new video just for you.
2) Never answer your phone while on Webex: especially if it is your ex-wife calling you a dirty scumbag for missing the last maintenance payment.
3) Oh, and ALWAYS check your Powerpoint presentations. Sometimes a junior who hates your guts might sneak in an audio slide featuring you trying to sing "My Way" in the gents whilst on the throne complete with effects, so to speak.
After 35 years of this I find it a lot easier to let Sales open the trap themselves and drop right through it.
Well working in retail you do see the odd image that makes you wonder about the sender. There are a number of people who send in high resolution pictures of their purchase. They include (hopefully) accidentally a view of copies of 50 Shades of Grey or worse on the shelves is amazing. I've seen magazines of the very adult variety through to R18 films. I've also seen seen email conversations which have started long ago and end up being forwarded with a request for help with the product. There was the request for 'him not to forget the lubricant', through to the one explaining 'they might need a new bed after last night'.
Years ago I worked on a computer for a friend of a friend that somebody had managed to bork. The odd thing was he was quite upfront in telling me that the browser history and the download folder would be full of porn. I didn't look too closely as it wasn't relevant to what I was doing but there was stuff on the desktop that had 'interesting' titles. As it was, the issue turned out to be the Dell DVD player software had lost a needed file and stopped running as a result. He didn't trust Windows Media Player so I added VLC instead and said to use that. Strangely for such a porn filled machine there wasn't any malware that could be detected. I did use my own usb keyboard though just in case.
For a while our email system was set up to forward student emails that violated certain policies - profanity and hate speech mainly - to my inbox so that I could forward them on for disciplinary action if necessary. Invariably the rule always got triggered after a long back and forth of one-line emails. I convinced them to let me change that setup to forward them directly to the principal after the fourth time I accidentally found out exactly which secluded nook a pair of too-young kids were meeting at between classes to work out their hormones. The one that sealed it for me was "Did you get a condom this time?". From a high school freshman. Ick.
I think I need some of that mind bleach, whiskey flavored please.
"Strangely for such a porn filled machine there wasn't any malware that could be detected"
If he's willing to admit it's full of porn, he's also likely to actually think about the malware that comes from such sites and fit a rubber glove to his machine.
It's people who deny they ever went near bustybabesdoingdonkeys.com that are the ones carrying problematic viral loads (wetware and silicon) - and you'd be surprised at the kinds of people who go there (not just the usual suspects)
Posted anonymously for reasons which will immediately become obvious (apologies in advance)...
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Erect members fired up off the shoulder of Orion. I watched Cum-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
Please, downvote me for despoiling a thing of beauty.
Couldn't help a little embellishment....
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Erect members fired up off the shoulder of Orion. I watched Cum-beams glitter in the dark near Tannhäuser's Rear Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
Yeah, same here
Around 2008 i was working as 3rd party IT support in medium sized business, one of the jobs was to change user's computers to new ones and copy all data they needed, to new computer, as they did not have external hard drives or network/cloud storage nor the know-how to do much (usually)
One customer specifically asked me to copy this "important folder" from his C: drive called "work data" to the new computer... he propably did not understand, that while copying, i could see the filenames :D
Guy had 120 GB of certainly very different kind of adult entertainment in that folder, specifically something that included the words "midget" and "huge" in many of the video files. The many laughs i have got from that one when explaining it to my colleagues...
I had to fix the PC of the CEO of a car dealership chain early in my career. Once I'd removed the anal sex porn from his hardrive to free up some space it worked fine. I never said what I did to fix it, he never mentioned the loss of his stash.
There was a brief surge of related incidents at my workplace shortly after the internet was introduced on client PCs. Not many employees had home internet so it was common to stay at the workplace a little later to do this new thing called "surfing the net". Some were pretty reckless with their times and types of browsing and word began to travel... eventually reaching upper management.
That was when I was instructed to monitor and report on internet usage on company equipment. As a result of this program two people lost their positions and one more was demoted. Monitoring was then expanded to company email and phone, which resulted in three more persons losing their positions.
At the time, employees could be punished equally severely for browsing porn, extra-marital affairs as they were for industrial espionage. One of the most unpleasant experiences of my working life and a hard lesson for everyone involved.
I once had to do a day trip to a sister company there, essentially all I did was deliver a laptop that they didn't want (wrong keyboard, QWERTY not AZERTY) and have a nice lunch* before spending several hours in the concrete hell of CDG's Eurohub due to a cancelled flight.
Afterwards people were saying, "Paris, how lucky you are!" Business travel ain't glamorous.
*And deliver a magazine to a colleague. He kept asking on the phone if I could take him a copy of Whateefee. It took ages to figure he meant What HiFi.
A Spanish colleague of mine was really happy to have tickets to see "da-bee-dee-bin". No clarification possible, all that came out of his mouth sounded like "da-bee-dee-bin". For all that I tried, I couldn't fathom what he meant, so I finally gave up and asked him to write it down.
I ended up also enjoying David Byrne's performance.
While going to University I worked at a wholesale lumber yard.
We had a Vietnamese emigrant working there. One day he was talking about "yourye". But I couldn't figure out what he was saying until I realized he was complaining about the new foreman who's name was George. No one like George.
talk of wiffy, or maybe weefee, when they actually mean wi-fi.
I know exactly what you mean. In general the Dutch speak English pretty well, perhaps hampered only by an accent that floats somewhere between South African and bad American TV series. But it confused the hell out of me when everybody asked me: "Do you need wee fee?"
I know the Dutch are trying to charge you for everything they can, but I thought it was pretty steep if they wanted you to pay for using the company loo...
I once briefly went out with a young lady from South Africa - quite a long time ago. I remember a conversation that went something like this:-
Shall I play some music? Anything particular you'd like to listen to?
Have you got any brid?
Brid? Oh - Bread!
I once dated a girl from Louisiana. Bloody hell their accents are so thick you could lay a road surface with it. At a gathering I went to, I got a drink and her uncle came out with something that my brain misparsed as "D'you want some ass?". And he was equally confused by the horrified look on my face. After a couple of attempts at repeating the line (which really didn't help) he picked up the bucket of ice.
When I told her what happened, she reacted like that was the funniest thing she'd heard all year. And her sister, who was there when it happened, said she could tell something was very wrong but couldn't fathom out what.
"hobos with bindle sticks"
And as a UKian, I'd probably not have understood that at all if I'd not read James Blishes Cities In Flight books many, many years ago. We don't use the term hobo here and I think I've only ever come across bindle stick in Blishes books and it was a strange enough term that I looked it up and so it stuck in my brain. I doubt I've heard or thought about between then and now.
From spending time in Canada and watching too much yank TV I got the meaning, however my mind first went to the idea of dropping buttocks/asses/arses on Japan - which if divorced from the body they belonged to is potentially more horrifying than having a nuke dropped on you...maybe....
You did remember to travel with carry on hand luggage only, didn't you?"'
The best idea is to never set foot on CDG at all. So crowded and if you need to go to the men's room, plan at least 30 mins of queuing.
And it's probably the only european airport who killed people ! And there's no trial in sight yet ! I feel for the families of the poor 6 killed people.
Sounds like further justification for why I have never travelled to Paris on any thing other than the train for the last 30ish years. Before that it was mostly train with a bit of ferry or hovercraft(*) in the middle, and that was with a period of working in the Loire in the late 90’s.
* Top tip: catching the last hovercraft service before they cancelled the service that day because the sea was too rough wasn’t the brightest idea. A hovercraft mostly rides on the surface of the water, so you go up to the crest of one wave and then just drop in the base of the next. At the start of the trip the hovercraft seemed so futuristic, but by the end I never wanted to see one again!
In the early 80s (I think), I used to commute back and forth between Rugby, England (where my employers were) and Dormagen, Germany (where we had a test installation of one of our products). I used to drive down to the hovercraft terminal, cross the channel in 35 minutes, and drive across Belgium and so into northern Germany. I was transporting electrical equipment which was too heavy and sensitive to send by courier, so I built a special trailer and towed it with my car (Mk111 Cortina Estate). On one return journey, when the channel was positively mountainous, the hovercraft suffered a torn skirt mid channel, which meant it lost all its lift and became a rather small displacement boat. It took several hours for the propulsion fans to push us through the waves to safety, by which time everyone on board was feeling very green. (I was sitting next to a certain Mr. E. Burden, who was a member of The Animals).
Hence why I know someone who wears speedos aka swimming trunks as underwear, theory being if luggage (even hand) goes missing, you can wash them in the sink before bed and they'll be clean and dry by morning, doesn't cover the rest of the ensemble though I'll grant you though....
"Remember, hand luggage only... Unless you want to wear the same undies for the time you're there..."
Transferring through CDG in 2002 was the only time I ever had luggage end up in a different location from me (this was before I learned that I can take enough clothes for a week in one hand-baggage, especially since I acquired an e-reader!) Of course, YMMV.
Think of all the bad things you've heard about JFK and Heathrow. Add them and multiply by 10. CDG is still worse.
You're being generous. Then add to that vistiing some grotty building (maybe it has improved since 90s but I've seen nicer council estates than that) on outskirts of La Defense.
And yes definitely, just carry-on bag with laptop and change of clothes.
"It can't be that bad... can it?"
Yes. Yes it is. I went through CDG several times from LHR to my wife's home country. You'd think 2 hours would easily be enough for a connection. We only just made it Every. Single. Time. Thankfully now there are direct flights. Well, not right now, obv.
Slightly off-topic (Finland, not France). I once flew from Stanstead to Oulu, supposedly a direct flight, but they make you go through Immigration in Helsinki on both the outward and return flights. We landed at Helsinki and deplaned, went into the International Arrivals hall to clear Customs, then had to walk nearly a mile to the very far end of the building to the Local Departures lounge. After some 3/4 of an hour wait, we were shepherded onto a bus and driven back up outside the length of the building to climb back on board the same plane we had just left, with the same cabin crew and everything. On the return flight we went through the whole farce again, only this time in reverse, and one of the cabin crew had been replaced by another, who had us in stitches all the way to Stanstead.
Oh man, how I hated those AZERTY keyboards. I spend a few weeks in France once running around a factory doing stuff on all sorts of systems. I was switching between AZERTY keyboards on the local machine's to the QWERTY keyboard on my own laptop all the time.
The worst thing was a pretty random password that was nicely committed to muscle memory, so much so I needed to visualize a keyboard to actually be able to spell it out. That password was needed fairly often, and contained a Q. Getting it right at the first go became a rare thing.
The lunches where very nice though...
Damn confusing AZERTY and QWERTY. I had an AZERTY laptop in France but configured to use English for the OS. After I set up full disk encryption I couldn't get back into the computer after bootup.
Took a while for the penny to drop that during bootup it treated the keyboard as QWERTY not AZERTY and only switched to AZERTY afterwards. So I had to type in the disk password pretending the keyboard was QWERTY.
One of the people I work with doesn't bother setting the language to en-GB when he installs an OS.
Now, as 99% of the time we're accessing it via SSH so it's not a problem.
But that one time when I had to log into the console, with a UK keyboard, it took me several minutes to work out why my password wasn't working. It was (as I'm sure some of you had guessed) that the OS was expecting an en-US keyboard, with it's keys in the wrong places.
Had a similar problem logging into something via a Mac, when I had a
# in my password.
Good thoughts. I don't have that need, but it looks like a reason to lay off punctuation as well. I do that if I can - sometimes it's forced - just because an adequately cryptic password (I hope) of almost purely random letters, in fives, is easier to type (some systems forbid repeated letters as well).
Or in theory it is; actually I find myself struggling to remember - for each meaningless "word" - what belongs to the first system password, the second system password, the third system password, or the first system password which expired yesterday and had to be changed.
I was using something like Mxyzp26 for one of our systems until we had penetration testers and they cracked it somehow. Meeting with management ensued.
As for punctuation, I strongly suspect that at least two of our former or current customer facing systems have had a feature of us setting the password containing, say, $ but when the user types $ in the password it doesn't work. So I adopted reset policies of (1) alpha numeric randoms only, and (2) I set the password and then personally test that the system accepts it from me to log in. After that we make the user change it anyway.
" I strongly suspect that at least two of our former or current customer facing systems have had a feature of us setting the password containing, say, $ but when the user types $ in the password it doesn't work."
What repeatedly catches people out is using £ € ¬ ` or _
Stick to US-ASCII-127 for passwords or Bad Things Happen (and memorise the US layout - it's almost always that at bootup, no matter what you may think)
What is it with language settings and keyboard layouts? Win 10 at work keeps defaulting to ENG, even though I have tried to set other layouts (mainly CYM - at least they have it!). I write an occasional email or other thing in Welsh and the standard ENG layout doesn't let me compose characters for accents. CYM and International English variants work perfectly well but I even find that I might change when writing an email, but when I switch to Word it's back to ENG. Why won't it stick?
I've generally had better luck under Linux, but I'm struggling at the moment with an Acer laptop running OpenSuse which insists on US layout for the keyboard, no matter what I have actually set - a pain for ", £ and @ in particular. It used to be perfectly fine so I don't know why it's decided to apply for a Green Card just now. The only software recently installed is Zoom for piano lessons...
I use an AZERTY keyboard at home, but then its a mechanical keyboard that I got for £20 vs the £120 normally asked for the thing and since I've been a touch typists since I was a nipper (aged 6 I got taught to type on an LCD 286 powered compaq laptop as an attempt to sort my dyslexia out which failed but at least gave me a life skill early on).
Still keep forgetting that 'm' is the '?' on this keyboard though from time to time. Really ought to buy some new cherry mx key caps.
At least you could read what was on the keys!
I once worked for an outfit in the UK in the time before smoking in the workplace was effectively made illegal.
We had a combination of machines running DOS, Windows 3.1 and a Dec MicroVAX with serial terminals running the main finance stuff. One senior person in the accounts department was a chain smoker. The keyboards were the usual light brey/beige - except this persons. Dark brown!
They had started life as the usual colours - no prizes for guessing where the dark brown sticky stains came from. Anytime I had to look at a problem on that persons kit I wore nitrile gloves - which stuck! Should have had a full hazmat suit.
This one time, I was working a few days on the outskirts of Paris. The works canteen was not quite Michelin-starred, but definitely a cut above everything else of that ilk.
Another time, I had three days' teaching in Monaco (well, Cap d'Ail). Bookended with a day each side in Nice and Schipol airports. Saw nothing of the place.
I used to supply electronic timing and in-car telemetry to F1 teams (1990's). Occasionally, I would have to go on-site for a test session. Oh, the glamour - NOT! Just one example: drive overnight from the UK to Monza, spend all daylight hours and quite a few more at the circuit, struggle into a nearby hotel (rinse and repeat 3 times), then drive overnight back to the UK.
I had a boss who hated it if anybody got to go somewhere exotic that he hadn't been to. He had to be ordered by his boss to let me go to a conference in Brazil that the mothership wanted in on. But then an urgent job came up in Puerto Rico, and all he knew about PR was that they were all Spanish speaking drug dealers, so I was duly packed off to this hell-hole for a week or two.
It was terrible having to spend time in a 4-star hotel on the beach, watch your breakfast being cooked in the open-air restaurant, be taken out to an enormous lunch by the MD of the extremely nice company I was visiting, and spend nearly two days actually doing the job. Even worse was being asked to get back as quickly as possible and finding the only way to get back quick included a layover in Antigua.
The one time I was approached by what I thought were mildly shady looking characters it turned out they were members of a local camera club and, seeing my kit, had some suggestions as to good places to visit.
Pretending to have had a hell of a time next week was quite difficult, especially as they asked me before I left if they should have a problem in a few weeks that necessitated a return visit so we could organise a better social program, as they had never had a visitor from England before.
"... a problem in a few weeks that necessitated a return visit ..."
Life can be so hard when you get these important clients in exotic locations with their constant problems. Sometimes they even become convinced that you are the only person who understands the thing, and insist that you come and fix it in person.
Just make sure that if the boss goes, he does get booked into the hotel with drug dealers in the lobby...
I was taught in writing papers to spell things out before using the initials. But, to be accurate, my then boss wouldn't have known what public relations was. Sucking up to his boss was about as far as that went. When the company decided to organise a 180 degree staff review, he went very quiet and hid in his office for a while.
> Afterwards people were saying, "Paris, how lucky you are!" Business travel ain't glamorous.
One place where I worked we engineers had to travel a lot - it was absolutely hellish. Long hours, travelling cattle class, getting berated by customers, plus the inevitable extension to the trip length by at least a week. Totally shit. But nobody back home would believe it. Including the top management and the admin staff. They assumed that it was a paid holiday with a little light work on the side.
Expenses worked by getting an advance in travellers cheques and cash and interminable form filling on return. There was a big problem with engineers not having time / inclination to do the admin on return, so there was always a backlog of expenses to fill in.
The management / admin came up with a brilliant plan to clear the backlog of expenses. They announced that no trip would be approved for an engineer if that engineer had not done all their previous expenses.
The inevitable happened. Not one engineer in the company filled in an expenses form. Not one. Business trips for engineers came to a dead halt. Not a single customer visit happened for a couple of months. Management and admin were baffled; they could not understand why their cunning plan failed.
Not a single customer visit happened for a couple of months.
And how was this (to engineers) welcome state of affairs changed? I can hardly believe management and admin started believing engineers didn't like those trips, that would require too much common sense from management and admin.
"And how was this (to engineers) welcome state of affairs changed? "
Most likely by customers telling manglement that if they didn't have XYZ engineer stepping off the next available flight, there would be rapdd rearrangements of both maintenance contracts and repeat sales to "someone else who doesn't fuck the essential staff around"
Back in the early days of internet connectivity being delivered to the desktop I was part of the internet police for a Large Government Department. We had a visit from the headest of honchos who was interested in all things internet, as part of which we were to demonstrate the tools we were using as Marshals of the Wild West Web. After giving the broad outline of the principles and process and assuring that the money they were spending with us was worth every penny and more, I gave him a quick practical demo of how we could capture what the users were browsing, how we worked out whether it was a Bad Thing, how we tied this in with a machine and the user logged into it and how we reported it the Powers That Be.
"So you can see that this user thinks that it's a good idea to look at chickswithdicks.com over lunchtime".
"Who is that?".
"XXXX XXXXXX based in XXXXXXXXX".
"Ah. I know who that is. Before you start the rest of the process, let me have a word with him at tomorrow's board meeting".
We heard about a sideways career move a couple of months later.
I remember the magazine.....
Staying at a hotel in Amsterdam, and was talking to an employee there - he showed me his collection of magazines that he finds left behind in the rooms when people realise that they can't take them home.
Quick glace at the cover - attractive topless lady wearing stockings. Second glance, that's not a lady.....
Avoided him for the rest of my stay there......
This reminds me of that time (not that long ago) that a colleague had to show another chap something on his pc, and he didn't know about a space-age thing called "desktop sharing". He instead put his laptop in front of his secondary monitor, so the webcam was seeing the screen. All great until i passed by and noticed 1. that there were the usual post-its with passwords on the monitor (if you haven't done it or seen anybody do it you're a liar!) and 2. that the chap on the other end was connected to the projector in the meeting room, thus showing everything to everyone in that office.
I was once in a videoconference connecting our development team with the outsourcer's opposite numbers. The PHB, as was his way, led the meeting and asked all the questions, only consulting us when there was something technical to clear up. The outsourcer's team dutifully gave their answers and the boss carefully wrote them down. When the link was over, the boss asked us if we had anything to add.
One developer raised his hand and said "It seems they don't expect to deliver any of the outsourced modules on time, and have not even started working on some of them. They also don't want us to find out about this". The boss looked annoyed and asked what made him think that.
My colleague replied, "The whiteboards on the wall behind them contain notes from their pre-conference meeting. They either forgot to wipe them, or assumed that nobody here would be able to understand them. They were wrong - that is my first language".
Had a PHB who thought the greatest thing outsourcing dev of a simple app was that they would project manage it as well....
I left that shitshow 9 years ago, last i heard they still havnt hit all the 6 month milestones (it was slated as an 18month project) from 9 years ago, including such cutting edge concepts as repository pattern for data access, loose coupling and 70% test coverage, the fact that the first bit of code we received from them was an abomination of vb and c#, when c# was the specified deliverable language failed to raise any alarm bells for this PHB as outsourcing was his pet project because the dev team were lazy (if you had this asshat as a boss you would be unmotivated as well, actually wonder how hes coping with lockdown, because remote working was not allowed because if he couldnt see you, from his desk how could he know you were actually doing work) and not cost effective (ignoring the fact said PHB veto'd the use of SQL lite as a local datastore, and mandated the use of full fat oracle for everything because thats a real DB that business trust [more like thats what he heard of], which also meant cheap celeron embedded board was replaced with an i7 or xeon based embedded board at more than 20x the cost!)....
@Stevie good point well made, lets just say that when discussing this certain individual its very hard to keep rage it in check. If there was an 'ism to posses he had them all (That and i wrote it on a toy input device [phone]).
Best candidate for a role we were interviewing for possessed XX chromosomes, veto'd because "Dont be stupid it will get pregnant, and want a week off each month".
Xmas Meal as a company we wanted to go to the local (very good) Indian restaurant, veto'd on grounds of "Im not eating that <racial slur> foreign shit!".
Recruiter sends a candidate who travels from hull to bristol by public transport for interview except this PHB forgets the interview, makes him wait for 3 hours, discovers he's legally blind and from the sub continent, hides in his office and makes me send him on without any grounds for not interviewing him and refuses my expenses claim for giving him taxi fare to get to train station, his reason for being such a CNUT "I dont want to buy him an expensive (aka bigger than his) monitor, and i dont want the office stinking of curry every lunch time"
Last i heard of him he had been diagnosed with parkinsons, shame....
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Whilst working on an outsourced IT delivery, the external provider used to talk in their native tongue, even in meetings in the UK. A colleague had a real-time translation app on their phone and used to let it listen during meetings. Its amazing how many things were said that were covering up for larger problems.
After a bit, he used to ask direct questions about things and they looked puzzled by where the questions had come from, he covered well and said he was learning their language in his spare time - even throwing in a couple of words here and their in their native tongue.
There's a quick way to get from Köln to Paris with the high-speed Thalys train - which I guess what she took. So maybe not an absurd request - just they could have setup her travel - my company would have done it.
I understand Britons still not understand well this way to travel across the country - maybe with Brexit BoJo will attempt to build some high-speed lines to justify it....
In one of my travels on it, on the other seats there was a couple of nice German women who used it for a shopping day in Paris...
Two thumbs down? Have you actually been reading the news other than the spin in the tabloids?
5:30 announcement: 100 000 tests a day by the end of the month. Duly appears in tabloids.
Next morning: Oh, that's a target.
The pattern (announcement in time for papers, retraction next morning) also applies to ventilators, both supply and taking up the European joint purchase scheme.
They are on something. Suggesting it might be cocaine is actually relatively benign compared to what I might suggest.
Yeah, we know that Britain pretty much only has "medium speed" lines for the most part, by today's standards, but, given the hassle of air travel and getting to and from the airports, rail travel is still nevertheless a pretty good option if you're near an InterCity line. Even Edinburgh or Glasgow to London is do-able in a day for sensibly timed meetings, and not a few people do actually do that. And quite a number of combinations of cities are within 2 hours' travelling time of each other.
That's not to say that a network of proper high speed lines that could shave at least an hour off the journey time isn't long overdue, however (Long overdue = should have started building in the 1980s like everyone else did. With world-class British organisational excellence, it would be just about ready by now.).
Back in the old days, I used to use a railway line called Aitchesswan, which was pretty damn fast, and reliable too. And it meant that there were more services just between the small villages (Tonbridge, Orpington and the like).
It's all grass nowadays, but I'm told you can still hear the trains in the middle of the night, if you listen hard and the moon's right...
Lets see if Bojo does actually reopen ALL the beeching closures or chokes at the cost, going to have a hard problem with that locally, the railway station and depot was demolished and turned into a private housing estate in the 90s and the bridge demolished soon after (quite why they built private houses there eludes me as it backs onto a large industrial estate) and much of the route further north has been sold off or built over either way. Said estate blockades the link between north and south as the line runs east to join the southbound mainline so short of bull dozing the housing estate or laying a LOT of track its not going to happen, not helped by the local council "forgetting" to include restoring the rail line in a succesful bid to central govt for funding (read virtual blank cheque type funding deal). Then again the salaried officers are nearly ALL PHB wannabes and virtually all the elected members are well north of 70 (some well past 80) and those who aren't are either wet behind the ears and just out of university with the last being a radical "men are to blame for everything" type feminist in addition to being a failed nurse turned "crystal healer" with puritanical prude (1910s type) morals (i.e. all forms of sex are "dirty and exploitative") and to cap it off thinks everyone should wear second hand clothes. Wasting council bandwidth touting some newspaper report about it being the "fastest growing sector in clothing" while ignoring that selling an extra jacket a week is likely to double some second hand clothes shops sales figures, that "vintage" (and quality vintage not random second hand tat) is a passing fad likely driving the minor uptick. (apologies for that monster last sentence)
Railway lines were almost always built away from habited areas as much as possible and if there was a village stop it would almost always be on the edge of the village at the time (or even some distance outside of it). Routes were determined by the cheapest available land (and where canal companies hadn't deliberately bought up tracts to block railways)
People being people, when you remove a railway, you can never put it back where it was, because all the habitation and urbanisation has clustered around the former line, making that land far too expensive to ever justify putting a railroad on again.
One town I lived in had the railway line running up the main street (yes really) because the town grew out both sides from the line. For safety's sake in the 1960s it was diverted 3 miles to the (then) edge of town, railway easements installed and a new railway station built - meant to mark that side of the town because beyond that point was floodprone floodplain.
40 years later, that railway station on the edge of down and line which mostly had fields each side of it is now in the middle of dense suburbia (and industrial estates closer to the station).....
" within 2 hours' travelling time"
Yyyeees, but when it takes an 45mins to get to the station from many places *within* that city, not counting connections at the other end, slippage etc suddenly you have a 3 hour+ journey time...
You'd have to be a masochist to do that as a regular commute IMHO
Edit: I suppose it depends on the level of comfort. 2 hours uninterrupted with a seat vs pack 'em in and pile' em high makes a difference to your viewpoint.
they've just uploaded a mega-giga-pixel image
Well, I used to be anal about these things, but an avatar that starts out at 64 pixels will eventually look pixelated sooner or later. E.g. Plex running on a TV will show the avatar upscaled, forcing the user to increase the resolution quite a bit.
No excuses for polluting word docs though.
Blame that on the "ICT" curriculum, at least as it was 10-12 years ago (can't speak for the current state of play but I doubt it's changed much).
I wasted countless hours arguing with ICT teachers about how images should be cropped before insertion into documents. When working on (for example) a sports equipment sale brochure, the kids would need a postage-stamp-sized image of, say, a rugby ball and would obtain this by scanning an entire page of a sports equipment catalogue directly into Microsoft Publisher at 300dpi then using the built-in "crop" (i.e. "mask off areas") function to select the bit they wanted. A dozen or so of these images would inflate the file to a quarter of a gig or so, instantly accounting for half of their storage quota at the time (not to mention the effect it had on the network when the teachers in both main IT suites, shortly before the bell, would simultaneously call out, "Everyone save your work!")
The teachers' response was invariably something along the lines of "that's how the syllabus says it must be done". My protestations that they should limit the scan area to a little more than they needed then just use the crop function to fine-tune the image were met with, "That's too difficult and anyway, it's not in the syllabus."
"Blame that on the "ICT" curriculum"
Not in this case. One of the authors is well into her 80s & the other is in his 70s IAFAIK).
I think it's more likely that if you drag an image into Word or whatever and then crop it there's nothing to tell the user that it's not actually cropping it, just framing it. It's only when you click on Edit with external tool and Gwenview shows you what's actually there that such little UI shortcomings are exposed.
"I wasted countless hours arguing with ICT teachers about how images should be cropped before insertion into documents. "
I think the point was made in the days of 28k8 modems when they found their fabulous web pages were taking an hour to show up on the client browsers
It wasn't just ICT teachers either. One of the standout memories was when demonstrating the web to teachers: one of them went to a major fashion house website - which stayed blank, and blank and blank, despite the lights on the modem going furiously. I demonstrated a bunch of other stuff and after about 15 minutes hit "stop" (this was back in very early mozilla days) to find it had only downloaded about 10% of the images on the front page.
Which made a great introduction to the appropriateness of sizing of images. "graphics" fiends were determined that things should be as high rez and possible and insisted that people would wait - at which point just about everyone in the audience would laugh at them.
You should add it to the site so the rest of us can generate random names of our own.
That way all those goobers coming up with usernames like "038282840502818173793472717187482487234i03042034824551298545298354230549245" could be turned into something infinitely less fucking moronic like, say, "Quackmaster Limbergertoaster".
I promise not to park on the page & place a "bobbing bird" sculpture over the "generate random name" button & have it generate trillions of names in a constant DDOS attempt. =-)P
I get to tell the story of the time I went onsite to fix a problem with a young woman's computer. This was around 1999 or 2000, maybe 2001. This was also when hi-speed internet was just becoming a thing in Canada.
She was complaining that her computer was very slow so I looked at the hard drive properties and saw the drive was full. While checking the file system I found a huge folder. Looking in the folder (with the woman looking over my shoulder), I discovered thousands of videos of her "performing".
It turned out the young lady was into the business of being a cam girl. She had joined a site which men would sign on to and use their credit card to view live webcam videos of the girls and also chat. The girls would receive their cut from the site.
I told her she didn't need to keep the videos and she should delete them regularly to keep the drive running smoothly - or get a second drive. Then I deleted most of the videos.
I got several more jobs from her and she recommended me to her friend who had a 2 camera setup.
I ran into a similar situation when sorting out a user who was having trouble with her home system.
Afterwards I suggested she segregate her accounts and NOT give "that" one out for serious business correspondence anymore due to what might show up if anyone google searched for it.
No serious mind bleach needed but it underscored how little thought people give to their privacy
Someone abruptly left from our establishment due to family emergency situation and the pandemic.
Good terms, great person, quite saddening.
While cleaning out the contents of their desk, at their request, to have someone courier it to them, a small bottle with the following ingredient list was found:
Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Purified Water, Methylparaben, Polyquaternium 15
Specifically, the "warming" variety.
After a laugh, copious use of Lysol, and some awkward jokes, the owner of the company tossed it in the box with the rest of the stuff.
We can only surmise that the bottle of Purell was what they had intended to bring with them, or so we hope.
Although, if the two were mixed up, and it was not found in the dark before application, then woe betide their partner.
The truth is stranger than fiction.
I once followed a link to a really good Commodore 64 historical article... on playboy.com.
This was long before proxies that just simply slapped your hand about it being a non-business site.
Of course that immediately lit up all the lights and I got called in, but they examined the logs and since that indeed was my one-and-only visit, I was spared.
I had to do the rounds of the adult boutique shops a few years back, looking for a particular issue of Playboy. In the end none of them had it and I bought it unopened off Amazon.
Said issue had a very much safe for work multi-page graphic novel spread commissioned from one of the web cartoonists I follow.
I can, honestly, say I bought that only for an article, and it was the only time I ever bought a "dirty mag".
A coworker informed me Playboy has/had a publishing house that would publish author works that may be too different/small/niche for mainstream. I believe it's Playboy Press?
For those interested in the comic/novel (safe for work as far as most standards):
I was working in a college a decade or so back. We would get students (who lived on site) come into the office all the time with "There's something wrong with my computer" which was normally because they'd been cut off from the college network because we detected god only knows what awful malware coming from the damn thing, or because we'd received a cease-and-desist notice because they'd been torrenting something that on a *good* day was a movie or TV show not hardcore porn. The number of times I powered on a machine and the desktop was covered in porn videos, or had to open a browser to download a driver update and the homepage was porn, or the first dozen autocompletes were porn, or the actual desktop wallpaper was porn...
But of all of these, the actual stand out has to be the time that a young lady showed up in my office at about quarter to 9 in the morning desperate to get something printed before her coursework deadline at 9. This was a time when a lot of students still had desktops not laptops, so I had to go to her room to look at the problem. I got there to the remains of a... party. There was a guy passed out face down on the floor surrounded by empty beer cans, and a very naked girl desperately trying to hide behind a pillow.
Apparently they'd promised to be gone before I got there, but seeing as they were both still very drunk had just fallen asleep again instead.
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