* Posts by Steve Cooper

76 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Oct 2007


Calling all the Visual Basic snitches: Keep quiet about it and so will he...

Steve Cooper

Re: Sounds Awful

Yeah. The likes of Azure run on a 36 hour release cycle. Something that you're using might simply not work tomorrow. That's "cloud" and "progress" for you :)

Apple programs Siri to not bother its pretty little head with questions about feminism

Steve Cooper

Re: Are you a feminist?

You can teach Alexa to recognise you (repeat a dozen sentences or so) and so it already tailors its responses.

Just thinking it would be quite funny if Alexa/Siri/whoever refused to play a song you requested because it didn't like it!

Firm fat-fingered G Suite and deleted its data, so it escalated its support ticket to a lawsuit

Steve Cooper

Loving all this cloud bashing folks :)

People also don't realise how important backups are when you look at the cloud provider's SLA - with 'cold' Azure or Google storage you're only guaranteed a 99% chance that your read/write will actually work - https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/support/legal/sla/storage/v1_5/ / https://cloud.google.com/storage/sla

If I had a RAID array or similar only guaranteeing 99% success of a read/write operation I'd be sending it to landfill immediately!

Facebook celebrates Independence Day by lighting up American outage maps

Steve Cooper

Funny reading posts from people - "WiFi is down" or "the Internet is down" as all they know of the Internet is Facebook/Instagram or WhatsApp.

It's us, only backwards. DXC registers new corporate entity: World, meet *drum roll* CXD Infrastructure Solutions

Steve Cooper

Back when I worked for Rebus (which went on to become Xchanging, which went on to become DXC eventually), we were bought out by a company called 'Suber' in order to become Xchanging so nothing changes!

Can't get infected via email if your messages aren't delivered: Seven-hour slowdown hits Symantec cloud filters

Steve Cooper

Twitter was surprisingly quiet on this problem yesterday - drove me mad! Waiting hours for a 2FA email or something before it eventually makes it through. Maybe not many people use it any more - I remember back in the day, Messagelabs was the email filter of choice! Makes me smile how it's still called Messagelabs all over the place and not Symantec.Cloud.

Could you just pop into the network room and check- hello? The Away Team. They're... gone

Steve Cooper


I do love it when you reach under floor tiles in a comms room to pull a cable and your hand comes out wet...

No Huawei out: Prez Trump's game of chicken with China has serious consequences

Steve Cooper

"Japanese CPU designer Arm" This sentence makes me sad :(

What's that? Uber isn't actually worth $82bn? Reverse-gear IPO shows the gig (economy) is up

Steve Cooper

Re: Doesn't work but it was free

Ah e-scooters at least attempt to clean up the gene pool - https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a27372767/electric-scooters-mobility-safety/

Mods I have known, Mods I have loved, Mods I have hated: Motorola's failed experiment is now a savvy techie's dream

Steve Cooper

I still love my Z2 Play - the wireless charging back is the one that's normally on, but if I'm going to be out all day/night I'll put on the extra battery in efficiency mode and won't worry that I'll be too drunk to remember to charge the phone the next morning. The phone's showing its age now though with its built in battery not what it used to be, and the USB C connector rather choosy on what cables it'll accept.

I wish they did a more of a jump in spec to the Z3 Play, I might be quite tempted by a Z4!

Sky customers moan: Our broadband hubs are bricking it

Steve Cooper

Re: Sky Broadband FAQ

I have zero devices between the Sky router and my Sophos firewall so they can look all they want :)

QEMU 4 arrives with toys for Arm admirers, RISC-V revolutionaries, POWER patriots... you get the idea

Steve Cooper

Argh I can't read QEMU without reading QEMM(386)

Take your pick: 0/1/* ... but beware – your click could tank an entire edition of a century-old newspaper

Steve Cooper

Re: Earth slide? Well, yes ...

NEVER delete any files

TalkTalk returns to the email hall of shame as Pipex accounts throw weekend-long wobbly

Steve Cooper

0845 088 5336 wow that number is over 20 years old and I still remember my Pipex dial up details! The number no longer works though :(

Packet's 'big boy' servers given a shot in the Arm with 32-core, 3.3GHz Ampere CPUs

Steve Cooper

Re: Could do with that in a laptop.

Back to the Pentium 4 days!

Sure, we've got a problem but we don't really want to spend any money on the tech guy you're sending to fix it

Steve Cooper


I had one many moons ago where I had to go to the CEO's second home in Paris to fix his home WiFi, so off I go onto the Eurostar, traipse across Paris and find his amazing 'apartment' (floor of a huge building) and see his hilarious outdoor WiFi antenna (complete with lightning arrester) and he's there complaining it's got no range. As I test I find it's an amazing signal, walk down the corridor still amazing, then all of a sudden it drops to zero. Confused I look up and see I'm now in line of sight with a large window and filling the view out of that window is the rather large transmitter (bit bigger than his router and even his outdoor antenna in the hallway) - the Eiffel Tower. Then he proceeds to tell me taxi's radios don't work here either and even TV/radio is hit and miss.

Not much I can do apart from tell him try installing cat5 everywhere and put at least one access point in every room on that side of the property!

I was on holiday in Dublin a few hours later so three capital cities in about 12 hours.

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

Steve Cooper

Re: Yay landfill!

Nothing's free remember - *you* are the valued item.

Disk drives suck less than they did a couple of years ago. Which is nice

Steve Cooper

Ah they were fine if you didn't let them get too warm!

NASA's Opportunity rover celebrates 15 years on Mars – by staying as dead as a doornail

Steve Cooper


You're an admin! You're an admin! You're all admins, thanks to this Microsoft Exchange zero-day and exploit

Steve Cooper

For once I'm glad we still use Exchange 2010 SP3 :)

Um, I'm not that Gary, American man tells Ryanair after being sent other Gary's flight itinerary

Steve Cooper

All people with the same name should be friends and share a mailbox - so all Garys have one, all Steves etc. Bring the world together, get rid of religion and class, then the Steves can rise up and form an army and take over the world.

Scrubtastic end to 2018 as SpaceX, Blue Origin, Arianespace all opt for another day on Earth

Steve Cooper

The chances of anything coming from Mars...

I'm still uncomfortable with a space company called UUULLLAAAA!!!

Do not adjust your set: Hats off to Apple, you struggle to shift iPhones 'cos you're oddly ethical

Steve Cooper

Re: no just no

No one is allowed to say a bad word about NetWare 3.12 - it was amazing :)

Total Inability To Support User Phones: O2 fries, burning data for 32 million Brits

Steve Cooper

Not often being on Three means I have more data throughput than others around the City of London :smugface:

Azure, Office 365 go super-secure: Multi-factor auth borked in Europe, Asia, USA

Steve Cooper

My MFA is fine - just checked my logs and have had a dozen or so people since noon get auth'd on our Azure MFA, but I have as much on-prem as possible and only the actual 'contact the end user' bit in Azure.

Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location

Steve Cooper

Someone at my work recently accidentally opened the office door using their Oyster card - yes the last 8 digits that the door reader uses actually matched a valid office pass!

Townsfolk left deeply unsatisfied by Bury St Edmunds' 'twig' of a Christmas tree

Steve Cooper

Southend's tree is more pot than tree - https://www.southendstandard.co.uk/news/17197000.is-it-too-early-for-southends-christmas-tree-to-go-up-column/

Chinese Super Micro 'spy chip' story gets even more strange as everyone doubles down

Steve Cooper

The chips are probably available on AliExpress with a badly translated PDF datasheet :)

SpaceX touches down in California as Voyager 2 spies interstellar space

Steve Cooper

Re: Lack of Astonish!

The software has had regular updates since launch - I believe at least one major upgrade (in 1990) to make it more autonomous has taken place. It's also a small amount of code (64KB RAM I think on them, with a tape drive for storage!) so when picked apart by a team at NASA you'd hope all bugs are caught early in development.

Super Micro China super spy chip super scandal: US Homeland Security, UK spies back Amazon, Apple denials

Steve Cooper

Re: Strong denials

"Unequivocal, immediate, clear, unprecedented denials.... and therefore rarer than rocking horse shit."

Almost like they had them all pre-prepared in case this story ever got out?

Resident evil: Inside a UEFI rootkit used to spy on govts, made by you-know-who (hi, Russia)

Steve Cooper


Many moons ago I worked in a local computer shop and we started noticing that when we built new PCs a Freeserve icon would appear on the desktop after a fresh Win95/Win98 installation. Turned out to be a particular motherboard (probably PCChips) we started using somehow installed an icon onto the desktop during the Windows installation. Pretty clever for the 90's!

Attempt to clean up tech area has shocking effect on kit

Steve Cooper

Flickering lights

In a previous life I installed a dozen TVs up on the walls around the office displaying various monitoring information running via HDMI over Cat5 adapters from a PC 30 metres away in the comms room. I couldn't work out for ages why the TVs would randomly go blank for a few seconds then back on again until I stayed late one evening and found they worked perfectly when the office was empty. Turned out to be interference from the IR motion detectors that kept the lights on in the office was somehow inducing enough noise into the Cat5 to upset the HDMI signal when people moved! Shielded Cat 6 rather expensively fixed the problem.

Voyager 1 left the planet 41 years ago – and SpaceX hopes to land on Earth this Saturday

Steve Cooper

More power captain!

I wonder if they could power up the camera one last time to take a photo? OK it might take until 2025 to download the photo but still could be interesting to literally see what it can see at the moment.

Azure North Europe downed by the curse of the Irish – sunshine

Steve Cooper

I wonder how hot it got in there! My little rack in my shed is currently 42'C in the nice weather we're having (28'C in my garden in Essex at the mo) and I have four PCs, switch, home theatre amp and a CCTV DVR unit in there and they're all running fine. The APC UPS is emailing me every minute with an over temperature alarm but it's still working. The Cisco 2960 switch fans are screaming but it's also working fine.

Sysadmin hailed as hero for deleting data from the wrong disk drive

Steve Cooper


I had an awful Apricot (what happened to them?) NT4 server once at work that the RAID controller went nuts and decided to break any drive that was connected to it. I thought it was a bit odd that all three drives failed at once, so replaced them and the new ones also failed almost immediately. Put the drives into another server and they didn't work there either - no idea what the controller was doing to them. Decided to scrap the controller and use NT4's built in disk mirroring - at least if the onboard SCSI controller dies then any old PC can read the disks in the future! Worked this way for years.

Many many moons ago I did a del *.* not realising I was in c:\win directory on my dad's work IBM PS/2 P70 luggable he used to bring home at the weekends. Spent an hour or so with undelete making slightly educated guesses at the first character of each file! I got Windows 3.1 back up and running though in the end and my dad never noticed.

Tech support made the news after bomb squad and police showed up to 'defuse' leaky UPS

Steve Cooper

Re: A wise person once wrote...

I don't 'live in the sticks' (Rayleigh, Essex) but have a power cut probably on average once a month, lasting for a second up to an hour - my couple of UPSes keep my kit running happily each and every time.

I love UPSes, especially the danger element. If I ever get a power cut at night I'll pop a spanner across the 48V battery pack and sit back and watch my new MAN TORCH light up.

Steve Cooper

Had similar with a load of old racks in the comms room had 10+ year old APC units in the bottom of them where the battery had less capacity than a potato and were just being basically used as multiway plugs, with a building-wide UPS having been installed years ago. Cue a black building power down test. Turn it back on again and not a single 10+ year old UPS turned back on (how dare they). Cue running down to the local Robert Dyas/Maplin to buy a load of 4/6/10 way adapters and kettle leads.

CEO insisted his email was on server that had been offline for years

Steve Cooper

Ever since Outlook/Exchange 2010 sorted out the search function I've never worried about filing mail. I always have tens of thousands of mails in my inbox, fully instantly searchable - my own personal Google, especially as I email myself things I've learnt all the time.

Tech bribes: What's the WORST one you've ever been offered?

Steve Cooper

I need that corporate policy

Steve Cooper


We just had a great one - a security company sent us a box of chocolates in a locked box and said we can get the key if we have a sales meeting with them. A colleague simply smashed the box to pieces :)

Microsoft Office 365 and Azure Active Directory go TITSUP*

Steve Cooper

I love the prelim root cause analysis and fix: "Engineers determined that instances of a backend service responsible for processing authentication requests became unhealthy preventing requests from completing.

Mitigation: Engineers performed a recovery of the impacted backend service . "

So no info at all. Someone unplugged something and plugged it back in? Someone shut down a service and restarted it? Someone ran too many copies of Doom II on a 4mbps Token Ring IPX/SPX network then went to lunch once victorious?

User asked why CTRL-ALT-DEL restarted PC instead of opening apps

Steve Cooper

Re sound cards and CD ROMs - I don't think I ever saw a Sony (non IDE) CDROM drive. I remember the Mitsumi ones though!

And re TokenRing/3com - 3c619b was a card that still gives me nightmares.

Batteries are so heavy, said user. If I take it out, will this thing work?

Steve Cooper

You could edit MSDOS.SYS as it was a text file from Windows 9x days - earlier than that it was a binary file.

Steve Cooper

Re: Hmmm

A bit like the stickers on cars that say 'Powered by fairy dust'.... really FFS

'The capacitors exploded, showering the lab in flaming confetti'

Steve Cooper

Everyone's set their multimeter to measure current and shorted out a circuit, haven't they?

Steve Cooper

I remember in my days working as a teenager in the 90's in a local PC shop I put a floppy ribbon cable on one pin out (can't remember if it was to the side or just connected to one row of pins) and when I turned that PC on a few of the wires in the ribbon cable lit up like a light bulb.

A few years before that I remember putting in a random 4mb 72 pin stick of RAM into an IBM PS/2 model 70 and when turning that on the RAM caught fire and a thick, heavy, flow of purple smoke ran across the motherboard, onto the table and nearly made the floor before dispersing. That smelt nice.

One more credit insurer abandons Maplin Electronics

Steve Cooper

Re: Ah the early days

Didn't their old shop become Allego music or something?

That shop upstairs ah Sendz components - fantastic place where you get any replacement remote control ever.

Steve Cooper

Ah the early days

Maplin's first shop was opposite it's current Westcliff store on London Road in Southend in the 70's I believe - I know it from the late 80's. A blatant rip off of Bi-Pre-Pak (in West Road) from whom my dad bought components for his Heathkit style radios and amplifiers. These days they're just a bit too expensive, but still the only actual shop you can really get components from. They should be doing astronomically well with the PIC/Arduino/RaspberryPi world we're in now, just they seem to be failing at this.

They're the type of outfit Alan Sugar should be interested in - same home town as where Amstrad once were :)

The award for worst ISP goes to... it starts with Talk and ends with Talk

Steve Cooper


I have never had a problem with Sky (ADSL then fibre) on 3 properties over the last 8 or so years. I've never met anyone who has a problem with Sky broadband either.

Shock: Brit capital strips Uber of its taxi licence

Steve Cooper


Just the name made me hate it enough to never use it.