The pilot sounds more like an egg-spurt! And the cheque bouncer just a run-of-the-mill shyster.
Not nice people at all.
Some users are less than bright, and some are just slightly dim. But few are quite as dim as this high-flying employee of the world's formerly favourite airline. Welcome to On Call. Today's story of tribulation by telephone comes from "James" (for that is not his name). It takes us back 10 years or so, when James was making a …
Like when a local motorcycle club run got pulled over by a jam sandwich. The club leader pulled something out his pocket and said something, the two plod looked at it, reacted like Satan himself had manifested before them and fucked off at Warp 10.
Apparently, if you like cruising around in a nice, warm pursuit car rather than pounding the beat in the pissing rain, annoying the Chief Superintendent Instructor at Hendon by criticising the riding style of him and his mates is to be avoided at all costs.
Some years ago I was visiting friends and being a Sunday we decided to drink lunch at the local. This is in a small village in the middle of nowhere. The actual boozer fitted most of the preconceptions I had, including the elderly but still sprightly landlord and a barman of similar visage. Anyway, closing time is approaching and one of the locals we were chatting to goes to the bar and orders another round. The landlord demured, pointing out that he would need a magistrates order to extend opening times. The putative customer looked pointedly at the barman who simply shrugged, poured himself a double and said "granted".
... being a former one myself (of mere bugsmashers, mind you):
The "down" arrow is the one that points towards you, the "up" arrow away from you. Which correlates to yoke back, i.e. towards you, to go *up* and yoke (or stick) forward, away from you, to go *down*!
I suspect your* right. But if your* going to be a "pedantic grammar Nazi", I would suggest getting you're* contractions right (as in, including the apostrophe), especially when there* in bold...
PS – I'd love to hear some of your poetry before you throw me out of the airlock.
*Yes, I know. And I hope it hurts.
Yes, very "interesting". Just look at the direction of twist of a motorbike accelerator. You open it up fast, underestimating the power available, fall back in the seat, hold on tighter to stop falling off, and intertia does the rest. Positive feedback.
Just speaking on behalf of my brother who did that as a learner on a BMW 650 single....... He went off backwards, leaving the bike to slap its way down the road until friction took over. Fortunately it had "sissy bars" on either side of the block. The instructor's observations in his earpiece are NSFW.
Quite. I learned and did my test on a 500 (I think it was a GSR 500 IIRC, but it was some years ago). The single cylinder "big bikes" have a nice broad power band, so are fairly forgiving to learn on. When I then went and bought an old FZS600 a few years later (the older model with the R6 engine in it), it was significantly twitchier on the throttle, and prone to doing impromptu wheelies if you opened it up too quickly...
Oh my lord, takes me back to the late 60's - yes I'm that old.
Started biking on a 200cc Tiger Cub, then bought a 650cc BSA Rocket Gold Star that needed an engine rebuild.
All ready to roll, pointed it up the road and whacked open the throttle like I did on the Cub - to promptly find that I was sitting on the rear number plate and hanging on for dear life! Did manage to avoid actually throwing it down the road though.
Years before that, my uncle's first ever bike was a 650 Beezer (no limits for learners then) - of course he put it straight through a hedge.
It's not just the extra power. I passed my test and went from a Suzuki GS125 to a Honda CBR600F. Got to the first corner and, oh, totally different feel and experience. Still, somehow I got round it, then learned to ride a big bike properly and had lots of fun on that CBR (until some complete b*stard nicked it).
I was totally behind when they put in the progressive access / direct access licence distinctions, hopefully saved a few people doing the same as me and coming off a lot worse!
Had this happen to me when I was at Uni. Borrowed a mate's scooter to nip into town, and as I bumped down the kerb into the car park, my hand slipped and opened the throttle. Inertia took over and I slid backwards off the seat, my gloved hand unwinding the throttle as I went. I landed on my bum on the kerbstone (painful), and the scooter shot off across the car park access road. Luckily (or maybe unluckily) another mate's car was in the way, the front tyre of the scooter hit the car's rear wheel and it stopped dead, fell onto it's left side on the grass, and spluttered to a halt. I owned up, and was charged with buying a new hubcap for mate #2 and straightening mate #1's scooter's front mudguard and giving it a lick of paint.
"One of my past jobs used to be to document standards."
Made a living suckering companies becoming ISO 9000 compliant? Me too ... it was good money for a while, but after a couple years I couldn't stomach the sheer uselessness of it all anymore, and dropped it from the list of services my company offered. Chasing paperwork in the name of mediocrity gives me hives.
On a Citroen 2CV, 1st is back and left, 2nd is forward and middle, 3rd is back and middle, 4th is forward and right. Like everything else on a 2CV it's superbly well designed, because when you are pushing the car hard 2nd - 3rd or 3rd - 2nd are the gear changes you want to make, 4th being a cruising overdrive.
The standard French line is: "It is the most intelligent car."
Which I found, like yourself, quite hilarious the first time I heard it.
But then you take a close look at it. Especially the way it's engineered-in solutions for real-world uses and problems. From the famous "can a farmer take his eggs to market across bumpy fields without breaking any?" (Yes), to the ability to drive casually on snow/ice that defeats most 4WDs, to the ability to disassemble it for repairs using almost no tools (single spanner + screwdriver, IIRC; a lot of things just twist & lift out). And... yeah. It's brilliant.
The Swiss Army Knife of cars.
Engineers in particular love it, as do farmers. ISTR it was MythBusters who did an episode on an "obviously bullshit" story about it (breakdown in desert, chap using only the built-in toolkit disassembled & rebuilt it as a pseudo motorcycle and drove out). And they laughed at and mocked the car. By the end, they concluded (a) 100% possible, (b) what a brilliant car.
You're both Engineer and Farmer, jake! You should get one! The ultimate backup machine for when even the steam engines are stuffed. :D
Now hang on a moment.
Having driven trains both in Train Sim World and in Real Sim World; I can tell you that you are not alone.
Some trains have a switch you turn the big arrow forward to go forwards (and back to, you know) -
Some trains you turn them back -
Some, the arrow is actually under your hand as you turn it -
Some the the arrow is in view.
But then as we only recently upgraded our train management systems away from Windows 95.....
I would not be trusting a user to turn the brightness up on a laptop . any number of things could go wrong , as did in the story.
It not being switched on being #1
then not using the 'fn' key properly , next
still ,not much choice in that situation and "James" got there in the end
If forced to due to geography , i'd be googling the laptop so i knew exactly which key was brightness up and down and the colour and location of the 'fn' key
On my latest Dell laptop you can't see which Fn key is which, the labelling is too small, and they (in their infinite wisdom) didn't make the Fn labels transparent for the LED backlight.
So I had to make a label to stick across the top in nice big letters. Takes me back to the days of the Fn key labelling we used to have on our PC AT keyboards for wordperfect etc....
"then not using the 'fn' key properly , next"
I must admit, it wasn't the resolution I was expecting. I was expecting it being Fn+whatever for switching between internal/external display device. Modern laptops tend to be more automated nowadays, autodetecting external screens but often still have that key.
I think you mean "autodetecting external screens, and then deciding randomly whether to use the same settings as the last time they were on this screen configuration, or to turn some screens off at random just for the hell of it."
At least that's how my work laptop behaves. Plug it in, see whether all the screens come up, and if not (about 10% of the time) go to display settings and put it back to "Extend" rather than "Show only on monitor <whichever one it likes today>".
Not on any laptop I've had. Ethernet is usually RJ45 and phone connector for a modem tends to be RJ11.
You can force RJ11 into RJ45 (as I've on some occasions had to do on a patch panel (yes, i know it pretty much kills the socket...)), but RJ45 is not going to go into RJ11 socket.
Phones tend to use RJ11 connectors, which are only 6 pins, instead of the 8 in an RJ45 (ethernet) connector. However, you can fit an RJ11 connector into an RJ45 port (the cable retention clip does a good job of centring it), but I wouldn't recommend it.
The painful part is that it's not even that expensive compared to other high-end mechanical keyboards.
(I've got one with actual writing on, which I picked up for about £80, and I can confirm it's built like a brick outhouse. You do get what you pay for. Unless you get the one with blank key-caps, in which case you don't get what you didn't pay for.)
Ethernet port connected to an RJ11 connected to the phone line. Generates a line fault for BT to play with.
RJ11 plugs really shouldn't fit into RJ45 sockets.
My late father (a professor) discovered that one. At least I caught it before BT got called out at considerable expense.
AC cos well you know....
There was a tale from a past life where someone decided that if it looked like a duck it was a duck... and plugged something that definitely fitted into something that wasn't meant to be receiving those particular signals on those particular pins. it was 25 pin D IIRC.
This had the effect of breaking a large, eye-wateringly expensive, floating, piece of equipment and, no doubt, the learning of much new language, by the hapless plugger, from the guys who had to fix the now un-working equipment
Always read the specifications boys and girls and never, ever, assume that becasue something looks like something it actually is something!
I managed once to destroy a computer while plugin a printer cable in the proper socket.
What the PC didn't expect was to have a cable with all the pins connected (it was used for a CTOS system), so when power started coming from an unexpected location it promptly decided to start fuming...
It was powered down before going in flame, and never restarted since some components had melted.
The hardware technician was properly impressed by the result when I gave it back since it was still under warranty (we had it running for a full 2 hours...)
... the more educated a person is in any one field, the more likely they are to think they know more than anybody else in all other fields.
Three groups I refuse to do IT work for, in any capacity, are Doctors, Lawyers and Politicians.
Life's too short, I have better things to do with my time.
As a techy in a school I can confirm that. Teachers are some of the smartest and dumbest of people AT THE SAME TIME!!
I once asked a teacher whose laptop was playing silly buggers when the last time she'd rebooted it. 'Every night' came back the reply. I got her to bring it in to the lab where I work & show me how she reboots it - yup, closes the lid! 'But it's turned off as I have to log in when I open the lid again.
When I checked the uptime, it was on 128 days and change. Oddly enough, doing a full shut down & then starting it again made all her problems go away :)
At my wife's school, the IT support person insisted that the serial port on the back of one of their smartboard displays could be driven by laptop VGA, it just needed an adapter and went through ordering, well some kind of thing that didn't fit. Even the "RS-232" label on the socket wouldn't convince the support person that it was a serial port, likely for firmware updates /diagnostics (check the manual, was I mad?), even pointing out VGA is analogue and serial is digital (let alone anything else) wouldn't dissuade them ("you just need a converter!!"), despite it never working.
Many years ago (in the last century) I worked for a large electronics engineering company. One day one of the senior engineering managers (of the female form) came into the lab/workshop, holding a wall-wart power supply, complete with flimsy DC output cable. This being in the day when wall-warts had a full mains transformer, not a SMPSU. Expecting the usual "the cable/connector is damaged - can you repair it please" I was rather taken aback with "This plug is too bulky to fit in the socket behind my desk - could you cut it off and fit a normal sized plug instead?"
Yep, the difference between 240V AC and 12V DC had escaped her attention.
Yes they do! I used to design PSTN equipment and had to get my kit approved by BABT (The green circle people in the UK) It's all far too long ago for me to recall details, but the words "creepage and clearance" still haunt me to this day.
I still remember one BABT guy insisting that every fuse in my equipment had to be tested to ensure it ruptured within the specified time at the correct current. And he refused to accept that it was in any way a stupid request. Thankfully his superior allowed us to sample test a few from each batch, and use the rest in production.
I knew someone who took that a step further and actually wired up the mains plug, then plugged it in. It was for his DECT phone base, which unsurprisingly never worked again.
Can’t remember the brand but it might be BT who have an odd power supply plug going into the base station. It looks like an RJ10 but has the top retaining clip to one side not in the centre. It’s also coloured red as is the port on the base station it’s supposed to fit into. However this also acts as a red rag to a bull in some cases.
I was asked to go round and help a friend of my parents who was having difficulty with her new cordless phone. I inspected the device, the power cord and spotted the retaining clip on the red power connector was broken off. She confessed she’d broken it off because it didn’t fit into the “hole” on the base station. So having plugged the power into the phone cable port it hadn’t worked and the power cord unsurprisingly fell straight out.
I told her in future red to red on the cables and never to alter the plugs in any way if they didn’t fit. Also said that this base station was probably buggered. It certainly didn’t work for connection to the phone network after that. I said she shouldn’t use it just in case it had damaged something that caused a fire later on. Told her to buy a new phone with base station and another charger station too. Then she could have another phone elsewhere in the house.
I was in a quasi-technical program at a college, and one of the younger students showed me this image: https://cdn.quotesgram.com/img/28/67/1517862763-funny-picture-there-is-always-a-way.jpg
He insisted that this would work, and would merely be very slow. No amount of "but you are connecting a serial USB device, via a PS/2 adapter of unknown construction, to a parallel SCSI interface" would convince him.
He wasn't that bright.
I had to do something even more ludicrous to look at, a long time ago.
I wanted to access a current-spec SCSI drive via a near-original spec SCSI Mac, without an expensive converter. I had a daisy-chain of variously accumulated interstitial-spec drives, gradually stepping up the SCSI spec via each's N-1 backward-compatibility port using each format's standard cables, until finally reaching the heady heights of the last drive. ISTR either 5 or 6 drives due to the port+cableplugs matches I had available to hand. All drives unpowered except the final: boot the Mac and the drive mounts.
Lovely jubbly. I loved SCSI -- made everything so simple. Never understood these people moaning about "the dark art" of "trying" to get SCSI to work -- baffling.
The result was a genuinely hilarious Rube Goldberg spectacle of mismatched cables&arcs (hard heavy sky-reaching armoured bows and consumer-"grade" rats-tails snaking around) and mismatched boxes+naked-server-sleds, mad piled+placed due to the armoured-cables' stiffness mandating some distances/available arcs. Final drive (necessarily on a high pile of books, as were a couple of others) beside the Mac so I could casually reach the power switch. Everyone who saw it did a massive double-take, and another when they realised it genuinely worked perfectly -- always amused me.
Ran like that for years. Because it made me smile every time.
I've never gotten that far, but I once spent a couple hours searching every nook and cranny of a very disorganized workshop looking for every single SCSI thing we had, so I had the best possible chance of getting computers and drives spanning two decades to work together.
Centronics, 50-pin external, 50-pin internal, 64-pin, 80-pin, VHDCI, various generations of terminators, powered drive boxes...and in the end, I was just about able to get some machines to behave themselves and communicate with something.
In fact, I ordered a bunch of 50-pin external SCSI cables on Saturday so I wouldn't have to do yet another IRIX installation with the case open and an ODD hanging out, running of the internal SCSI connector...
"The EIA once labeled all its standards with the prefix "RS" (Recommended Standard), but the EIA-TIA officially replaced "RS" with "EIA/TIA" to help identify the origin of its standards."
Officially the (latest) standards are called: ANSI/TIA/EIA-485-A (R2012) and TIA TIA-232-F (R2012)
> The Internet standards are still officially called "Requests For Comments"
After receiving comments and updating the documents they did consider formally re-issuing them, in which case they would be renamed Post Request Adopted Technology Standards but for some reason the idea didn't catch on.
I had to get out my box of miscellaneous serial adapters just a couple of weeks ago... Bit of second hand* network kit wasn't talking on the default IP address, and I couldn't immediately work out what IP it was on. It wasn't asking for a DHCP address anyway, plus I had suspicions that if I did find it, it'd be password protected. But, it had a DE9 on the back. Connected the breakout box via an adapter, and it had lights in all the right places for a serial port. Plugged in the other side to a USB>RS232 adapter, again via an adapter and a quick crossover adapter, and was able to talk to the thing. Single user mode was easy by just interrupting the boot process, and I managed to factory reset it.
* eBay "seller refurbished, fully working." Hrmph. I didn't even power it up until I removed one of their asset stickers that completely covered the air vents at one end..
You know how things go round in a full circle?
My new job (When I start it) includes making up RS232 cables 38 years after I stopped having to make them as part of my (First IT) job role.
I think alas what remained of my serial breakout box & LED status kit was robbed from my unit in August.
If part of your job is supporting hardware that has a serial port labelled RS232, it's probably a good idea of knowing what it is before insisting that it's a VGA port. Even Spitting Image knew what it was back in the day :-) Sadly that video is copyright blocked, now have it rattling around in my head.
Or even better yet BNC, RS-422 and SCART --- Got tonnes (i.e. LITERALLY TONNES!!!!) of such equipment still at home!
Mostly controller equipment for aircraft video recording systems, old weapons radar (SAR), even the the massive radar Tubes we scavenged back in the day when the head-honchos literally threw it ALL into the public garbage! They make GREAT analog tubes for custom-built music amplifiers - Very warm and natural sounding music is the result!
I also used plenty of old BLANK FULLY HARDENED MIL-SPEC motherboards for my pet ROV projects. They were going to dump it all in the bins and I asked to take it all home! Many MILLIONS of dollars wasted in specialty ruggedized tech design and manufacturing just because they were too lazy to recycle or re-use!
That old connector technology STILL has lots of uses these days! High end BBC/CBC video cable and BNC connectors can carry a LOT of current so I use them for my ROV aircraft hobbies! I repurpose high voltage RADAR dishes/emitters/receivers from various milspec aircraft for my home-made 150 km range unlicenced band MM-wave and unlicenced-RF-band data links. Not many people have 250 Megabits upload/download in the middle of nowhere in Northern Canada!
Old gyroscopes made into fully stabilized hobby astronomical camera systems. 1990's era Hi-Def Zoom Lenses that once cost $100,000+ USD now used for personal astrophotography. I think I even have an old MICRO-SATELLITE that never got launched somewhere in my collections of old tech gear!
This old connector and tech gear is HEAVY BUT SUPER WELL-BUILT and very stable, so I reuse and recycle them for my personal hobbies! The amount of WASTE in the mil-spec tech industry is utterly unfathomable to most people. I like it because I know what to look for AND I get to re-use and recycle something that was built to super-rugged standards for my own personal electronics projects!
On my first exposure to VGA I managed to plug it in upside down when connecting it by feel. Whereas the original 2-row D-Subminiature connectors had a different number of pins in the upper vs. the lower rows, the three-row HD-22 pin pattern is symmetrical, and the flimsy metal D-shell on the plug was easy to re-form to match the unyielding plastic insert on the socket. Didn't harm any pins, just reshaped the shell on the plug. The screen displayed nothing. IIRC the supplier replaced the "DOA" monitor once before we realized what happened. I gathered at the time that I was not their first customer to make this mistake.
> Serial to VGA? All you need is an adapter!
In defense, I point out that the IBM PC MDA, CGA, and EGA video was on a 9-pin DE-9 D-sub connector, which does look like a 9-pin serial port. (Is the sex wrong? We all had gender-benders.) (Input? Output? What's that??) It is not the most stupid thought to think one video can be adapted to another. Between CGA and NTSC display, there are several conversions (but none to EGA or VGA).
Wikipedia: Monochrome Display Adapter, Color Graphics Adapter, Enhanced Graphics Adapter
Going way back, we all had glass (not paper) terminals hanging on serial ports. Terminal, monitor, what's the difference?
Connecting a lump of diagnostic equipment in a medical lab to it's associated computer and a second computer that fed the signals to a database for storage (don't ask me why it needed two, you'd have to ask the manufacturer (to protect the innocent, they weren't called Costello...)) was carried out using an octopus of cables with identical connectors on the ends, some of which were serial (small RS232) for the PCs, some were propriety to fit the sockets on the analyser. They were identified with these little shrink tabs on each end which was frickin useless when you were crawling behind this thing (space is always tight in a Microbiology lab which was designed before we progressed beyond Pasteur and into the machine age) to determine which plug goes into which socket. Phone support from the company tried their best, but each installation in the country had a unique set of connections depending on Lab systems and other ancillaries... Took me three days per machine. (we had three analysers)
Then just before I retired, they added a new technological identification system that required yet another PC and connection, two of which had dual serial cards and one had a USB-serial converter...
And don't ask me what IT services said when I explained the need for yet another node point...for three analysers...
Cables do indeed have a life of their own.
I once had two graduates assisting on a job connecting a generator to the switchgear: 14 cables, 25 metres long, 120 sq-mm each. Big, heavy cables. As is my wont, I insisted on the cables being laid neatly, side-by side. Come the evening, when the cables have to be stowed to avoid likely theft, these geniuses showed off their brute strength by dragging the whole set together into the secure area. Well done.
Next morning, my rules again apply, so they spent hours and hours untangling those unwieldy cables. I explained that cables go to a disco or play Twister in the dark hours.
A lesson well learned for the next evening.
So you have obviously encountered the effects of the tangle monster, even if you haven't seen one directly. I understand that they are related to both the Bigfoot and the Loch ness monster and live in the dark areas of cupboards where cables are often stored.