* Posts by Eion MacDonald

24 posts • joined 9 Oct 2007

Height of stupidity: Heathrow airliner buzzed by drone at 7,000ft

Eion MacDonald

Re: Cue loads of people saying...

I have seen what the keys in a fitter pockets can do , when he crossed in front of an air intake at a test bay for aero-engines. No engine and big and small jigsaw bits for assets. Wondrous thing - the chief test engineer almost throttled the fitter while asking him what he had put through 'my engine'. Nothing 'squiggy' or not should be allowed near an operational aircraft (aeroplane) engine.

HMRC's IR35 tweaks have 90% of UK's IT contractors up in arms

Eion MacDonald

Re: Can someone explain to me how it works in the UK?

1. UK has different tax (lower) rates for dividends compared with "earnings" (Salary or wages or emolument).

2 If you take sensible dividends, [say one fifth of total billings] e.g. between paying BOTH company shareholders (self and wife, as wife does the books) a dividend (for risk of running company) and then

3 Pay salaries/wages for employment part as contractor where Salary is 'comparable ' with or above an actual employee, you have no IR35 worries.

4 It is the distortion of 'remuneration' by paying Minimum Legal Hourly Wage to employee part and taking large dividend, that IR35 tries to catch.

5. You also need to demonstrate independence and ability to work without supervision and contract should allow you to provide a substitute, if 'contractor cannot attend' for contracted period; or contract says contractor may work at his own pace and has no need to comply with any time request of customer [ a form of 'direction' that turns you into an employee if you MUST attend at customer's direction].

6 I bill out at 5/2 times a permanent employee's 'salary'. Company would for employee incur 3/2 times stated gross employee salary with taxes, insurance, holiday, social security and pension costs . So I cost a goodly amount more than the advertised amount for my job as a salaried employee; but then the advert does not pull in a capable replacement so I continue in contractual employment.

Hey cloud lawyer: Can I take my client list with me?

Eion MacDonald

Re: Copying a client list is a stupid thing to do...

If you "follow a person" who changes jobs, there are very great litigation possibilities, as it may be statutory criminal, (gaol & fine), civil offence (damages) , inability to practice in future if you (self or company) need to be licensed. e.g. scene: Person A leaves, contacts old client, Person B at client ; client swaps allegiance or places new work with Person A at his new firm. BOTH A and B and B's company and A's new company can have a lot of problems. Ultimate well understood penalty for this at national level is Petty Treason (Gaol) or Treason (Death penalty) and a lot of case history over many centuries. NDAs apply at personal, firm and National levels. Just do not transfer information obtained via one employment or consultancy to another.

Bank card fraud

Eion MacDonald


If you only use your card(s) in UK, register with your bank you will advise if you ever travel outside UK before you travel. this allows them to block any foreign attempts. PS do not allow anyone to take card to a POS (in restaurant etc.). When in county with a new card a colleague had his card read in restaurant to pay our meal and within 6 hours it was used to buy silver in USA (about 7000 miles away!), as no history of use, it got through.

If you could force an honest answer from a tech company what would it be?

Eion MacDonald


what do you do with the information you gather?

Ever been asked fro your Facebook password ?

Eion MacDonald

FB or not never give a password to anyone without a court order.

Never mind FB (I only use rarely to obtain my kids pictures of offspring, as they do not send by email), however what about the new Windows 10 'feedback' does this nullify any NDA you signed, when you do work in Windows 10; as you cannot 'guarantee' no one else has seen what work you do on windows 10.

No pass word should ever be revealed to any third party [but does Win 10 have it?] (except in your will for your lawyer to close accounts etc.).

Sneaky Microsoft renamed its data slurper before sticking it back in Windows 10

Eion MacDonald

Re: I'm off to Change.org

Two ways to try. One Download a Knoppix Linux ISO and burn to a DVD disc (note Not COPY). Run a computer with Knoppix DVD as a Live Linux (google 'live linux'), then make a USB Key of Knoppix from inside Knoppix. You can then run any machine provided you have BIOS set to start from DVD or USB key as aLinux system without altering your windows set up.

Second the same applies to other Linux distributions, but I find Knoppix is better to find and work with unknown hardware on a first attempt.

Third , if Live Linux of your choice is OK. Just dual boot or use Linux.

Eion MacDonald

Re: FTFY @badvok

Nowt! At least in public. This shows the level of IT incompetance in our 'classics' educated civil serviec.

Next year's Windows 10 auto-upgrade is MSFT's worst idea since Vista

Eion MacDonald

Re: Cinnamon Mint so far...

MS Office. I run a number of machines (6 ~7, some in different locations, 3 on Win 7, others older MS OSs dual boot to a Linix OS), I am only on Win 7 as I have to have a 'reliable' method of download of MS Outlook attachments used by clients. . However the MS Outlook attachment problem is only partly solved in Thunderbird!

All machines run Thunderbird, and LibeOffice, while two run MS Office (one with Outlook).

Any help on MS Outlook attachements? I have one solution but not great.

Eion MacDonald

Re: What about tax time?

I am still using Quickbooks 2010 to do company books, ( and some charity books) but transitioning to KMyMoney to be sure of a Linux system workable when Win7 machine dies.

Microsoft now awfully pushy with Windows 10 on Win 7, 8 PCs – Reg readers hit back

Eion MacDonald

Re: Tool

Regret, while *nux for personal use, I have to use MS software (from home computers) to interact with the company which pays me!

Publishing non-fiction book/feature article

Eion MacDonald

As the source is 'rambling' (i.e. many disparate incidents) I suggest magazine articles or series , then when interest aroused expand to a short or long book. Hard work is finding the magazine.

Run Windows 10 on your existing PC you say, Microsoft? Hmmm.

Eion MacDonald

Re: @codejunky Ha

I refurbish XP machines on a low demand Linux system (not all signing -dancing graphics) to allow these old folk to keep their email (on Thunderbird or webmail) and browsing going. They do not want as pensioners to do two things: A) spend money on new stuff; B) much more important learn a new OS which is very different to old systems [Age, memory, learning - it, is easier to give a similar to XP machine in Linux nowadays with many varieties. Some just work with a USB Live system without alteration of XP machine.]

Sick of the 'criminal' lies about pie? Lobby the government HERE

Eion MacDonald

Re: @ I ain't Spartacus (let the flamewar begin)

Had squirrel when young on farm in UK, ( as many other things excess cats, rats etc during war time and rations) but now illegal to kill squirrels, I believe. Acidents may occur though.

Crack open more champagne, Satya, XP's snowballing to HELL

Eion MacDonald

Re: Where did the XP users go?

Where an installed for paid software ONLY runs on Win XP, we have dual booted to Linux for 'downloads, email, normal browsing', and run XP disconnected from internet. Not the best solution, but company supplying software went out of business years ago with regard to that product. (I think the company was called M..S...). . I think thus many XP boxes working, invisible to MS or others.

Eion MacDonald

Re: Vista

Has MS given a cheap upgrade to Win7 to Vista and Win XP users, theywould have kept the market.

Eion MacDonald

Re: And?

OpenSUSE13.2 works well on Old Dell (Circa 2004) originally XP 1Gb RAM< Browsing email Libre Office.

What data recovery software would you suggest?

Eion MacDonald

Paragon software Hard Disk Manager

Foks, I have used Paragon software for both back up of system Image and data files for some years now and find it very good. It has saved me on two occassions since the 1990s.( Also almost monthly back in XP days, easier to restore last image than screw about with XP faults).,It allows an image so metal to meta recovery , and separate if wanted MBR back up (useful if you screw up grub and Manufacturers Windows MBR) system files only , or back up data.

They also do a free edition. Essentially it is a Linux image back up and many file transfer and other itesm including make a VM image. I find it reasonable and run it on all my Windows systesm (from XP , Vista Windows 7). Restore Linux program is available to make on CD or USB memory

Comprehensive security in the home

Eion MacDonald

variety per device

I would use multiple Anti-virus programs and other programs on each of the same type of device, eg 3 PCs then at least two AV programs so not all are caught by a single instance infection. AND it should be different to the AV used by your ISP . (For example my ISP BT internet uses and offers McAfee , so the some machines are McAfee while one is not). Problem is roaming, the tablets and phones can pick up anything outside your network. The key of no adds is well put but that would restrict the add revenue to some legitimate sites that need it to pay bills. I would treat it as a three ship problem , each ship (device type) being handled separately. No one solution fits all. However this is a market you have spotted and no vendor is as yet moving to support it

Headmaster calls cops, tries to dash pupil's uni dreams - over a BLOG

Eion MacDonald

Re: Truth or consequences

Ah! Now they take the action of removing the fingerbowl from in front of potential 'drinks over fingerbowl' folk. I know they did it regularly when I was dining in.

Microsoft offers 60-day free trial of Office 2013

Eion MacDonald

Re: Or...

It is NOT MS office that ties busines to MS Word/Excel etc but MS Outlook and its integration to MS Communicator and also the MS Office suite. MS Outlook is the tie in , not the word processor /spreadsheet. The MS Office bit is supplementary to MS Windows/MS outlook for most businesses.

Join the gov consultation on net porn ... and have your identity revealed

Eion MacDonald

only this HMG site?

On HMRC site they get sort codes to bank addresses wrong. This in their payment procedures. They say enter account number and sort code with warning check if bank below is correct , then instead of showing the bank branch ( which is tied to sort code) they show a back office regional centre the account holder probably never has known.

Desktop refresh cycles: How long is yours?

Eion MacDonald

Shifting to Linux, continue with old machines

1. Computers all PCs circa 1999. Ran Win98 then XP, Decision to run Linux with Firefox, Thunderbird and Open office when recession hit. Works well. Some specialised printers essential to an old application, so cannot shift (code to old too large and no one to rewrite) so buy spare old printer and stockpile as emergency .

2. For 90% users OpenOffice FF and TB sufficient.

3. New folk get second hand equipment from 'leavers' due redundancies in recession.

4. IT budget, simple , if broken beyond any hope of repair then buy new, cheapest oem and convert.

BT home router wide open to hijackers

Eion MacDonald

BT HomeHub - WEP & Dell

Previously all wireless laptops set to WPA. This is OK with BT Voyager series. Using BT HomeHub I found they crash out, irregularly and unpredicatably, when WPA is enabled in BTHomeHub, so using BT's equipment "HomeHub" I had to reset to WEP to enable continuous use of my Dell Laptops. [No useful help from BT help-folk on this problem when reported, indeed a misunderstanding like 'what is WPA?' I am thinking of going back to old Voyager router or do folks have a better recommendation when using BT as an ISP?


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