* Posts by The March Hare

81 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Oct 2007


French pensioner ejected from fighter jet after accidentally grabbing bang seat* handle

The March Hare

Flight authorisation

ISTR from my days in the mob that all military flights had to be 1. planned and 2 authorised by the flight commander. There were always mission briefs as well so this looks more than a bit lax - but then again, <Gallic shrug>

Beware the Friday afternoon 'Could you just..?' from the muppet who wants to come between you and your beer

The March Hare

Captive Wonk

I take a 30 minute ferry ride to work & other users know I'm in I.T. so it's not unusual for someone to sit down beside me and proceed to tell me their computer related problems, while everyone else earwigs madly in case pears of wisdom drop from my lips.

Bit difficult to say "look, piss off will you I'm trying to look at farcebuk" so I listen intently (you know that look where the face says yes but the eyes say out for lunch) and then offer some banal advice such as "That's unusual, when did you last update it?" or "who else has access to your PC and what did they do last time?". This usually foxes them completely because they often have trouble remembering what colour underwear they are wearing today.

They still keep doing it though .... <sigh>

My daughter tells me I'm too nice... when she's not asking me to fix the computer because the kids have been on it again that is.

Forget sharks with lasers, NASA kits out an elephant seal with a sensor-studded skullcap

The March Hare


Think Iorek Byrnison might have something to say about that...

Divert the power to the shields. 'I'm givin' her all she's got, Captain!'

The March Hare

Re: Measuring standards pedant alert!

1 acre is 10 chains per side if I recall correctly! :)

Storied veteran Spitfire slapped with chrome paint job takes off on round-the-world jaunt

The March Hare

Re: harmonising the guns

I used to harmonise gun pods on Phantoms in the '70s and we certainly didn't fire the thing - would have blown the front leg off for a start - all that paperwork!

We use to look through a shufti-scope on the barrels of the gun and tweak the pod until it lined up with the target - can't recall how far away it was now but probably no more than 200 yards or so...

50 years ago today Apollo 11 slipped the surly bonds of Earth to put peeps on the Moon

The March Hare

Further reading

I can recommend Gene Krantz's "Failure is not an Option" book - a bit dry and technical but does give a very good idea of the mindset of the people involved

User secures floppies to a filing cabinet with a magnet, but at least they backed up daily... right?

The March Hare

Floppies and radiators

back in the 80s I was providing IT support for a military establishment, more than one shiny orifice with their own office (I know, I know!) decided that it was a good idea to keep their religiously taken 3.5" floppy backups in a lockable disc box that they then stored on the radiator behind the desk.

Never mind magnets - heat is a pretty good destroyer of floppies as we found out the hard way....

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

The March Hare

Re: Yay landfill!

errm - my less than 6 months old motorcycle has a built in GPS so yes, we do still use them.

Ever tried reading a mobile phone GPS on a Harley doing 70?


A few reasons why cops didn't immediately shoot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

The March Hare
Black Helicopters

Dropping the drone is not the answer!

OK let's say you come up with a safe and foolproof method of taking the drone(s) down - you still don't know who/ how /why do you?

so all the perp does is move to another airfield and do it all over again, having proved the concept beyond doubt.

icon - obvs!

Convenient switch hides an inconvenient truth

The March Hare

Re: Bah!

Oh Walter, really...

Ongoing game of Galileo chicken goes up a notch as the UK talks refunds

The March Hare

Re: "the UK again reiterated its position on the project"

Yay! I got the reference... Vivian ...

Happy 100th birthday to the Royal Air Force

The March Hare

RAF fixed wing kills

I think you'll find the RAF successfully shot down one of their own in Germany 1982

Phantom killed a Jaguar with a Sidewinder AIM-9L - pilot ejected safely.

Disclosure: I was there but on a different squadron (phew!)

Li-quid hot mag-ma: There's a Martian meteorite in your backyard. How'd it get there?

The March Hare

Fossilized life under the surface..

Can we just rename the planet LV-426 and be done with it?

Hollywood has savaged enough sci-fi classics – let's hope Dick would dig Blade Runner 2049

The March Hare

Re: For me the moment of Roger Batty's death is extraordinary and deeply moving.

I believe he also ad-libbed quite a lot of it - the original script called for a boring long speech that had no impact - so he cut most of it out.

User worked with wrong app for two weeks, then complained to IT that data had gone missing

The March Hare

Deja vu

I know this! it's a UNI... sorry. sorry.

Actually, I work with a system that does exactly this: a revsnbens system, live and test instances (how else to you experiment with patches/training/customisation?) and colour changes to the interface for differentiation.

the colour changes are per user so you have to hope the user doesn't get creative and the point of having Live and Test systems is that they should be identical in operation (but maybe not in function) - otherwise you are NOT testing reality.

Also, it's not the function of IT to manage operational staff - the system belongs to them, they understand it better than IT and they set the rules of use - we are just there to clear up the mess when the crash happens.

I feel sad now.

Want to go home.

but at least it's Friday!

Sysadmin jeered in staff cafeteria as he climbed ladder to fix PC

The March Hare

Re: Windows for Worgroups

Aye we ran a quake server on Friday arvo's

guess who forgot to turn the sound down in the middle of a frag-fest as his boss walked into the office.


Pirates hack was a hoax, says Disney boss

The March Hare

Hump? what hump?

I misread Bob Iger's name as Igor and had a Young Frankenstein flashback!

Frau Blücher!

heh heh :)

China launches aircraft carrier the length of 13.6 brontosauruses

The March Hare

Re: Why not?

But you get the medals for tonnage sunk.....

RAF pilot sent jet into 4,000ft plummet by playing with camera, court martial hears

The March Hare

Re: Low level loss of concentration

I was on crash guard for a Phantom vs Pawnee smash in the 1970's - can't recall date exactly - 73-74 I think.

Crop sprayers didn't file flight plans in those days...

Spinal Tap’s bass player sues former French sewer

The March Hare

Re: Best comedy of all time?

They are

It is

New Brit Hubble analysis finds 2,000 billion galaxies, 10x previous count

The March Hare

Is it too late to say.. My God, it's full of stars!

the cashmere one please...

Assange returns to Earth

The March Hare

The 6 fingered man

Count Rugen! is that you?

Star Trek's Enterprise turns 50 and still no sign of a warp drive. Sigh

The March Hare


" A gigawatt (one billion watts) of energy" is that nearly 1.21 jigawatts?

just send for the DeLorean!

Sysadmin sticks finger in pipe, saves data centre from flood

The March Hare

Re: Miaow

Medlab - get to Medlab!

NIST spins atomic gyroscope to allow navigation without GPS

The March Hare

Re: dead reckoning without a starting referencence would be useless

you are in the dessert you do not know where you are and you want to get out. You could use dead reckoning to ensure you don't go round in circles and head off in the direction you think a town or road might be.

Dessert - wot, like custard?

I'd want to get out too if I landed in it - not sure about towns -as for the road, yellow brick I presume...

Radio astronomy pioneer dies at 92

The March Hare

Re: Tea chests

and with a broomstick and a bit of string you could make a bass!

Lester Haines: RIP

The March Hare

Bloody Hell.

sincere condolences to his family - I always enjoyed what he had to say

RIP Lester


Astroboffins' discovery gives search for early life a left hand. Or right

The March Hare


Hah! so $Deity was left handed too!

Yay for us downtrodden sinister people - it's about time!

North Korea hacks 140k computers in planned mass attacks on Seoul

The March Hare

Re: Kim jong-un 'crazy fat ugly fecker'

and the 23 people in NK who actually have a tv set will know what they already know.

Smartwatches: I hate to say ‘I told you so’. But I told you so.

The March Hare


Can I just say that if anyone feels the need to get rid of their "so last century" wristwatch, I'll take it off their hands - but only if it says Omega on the dial.....

or patek philipe, or Rolex, or....

36 idiots running SAP under attack after flubbing 2010 patch

The March Hare

Patching Policy

Given that these companies have had 6 years to patch their SAP estate and failed - what else have they not patched?

Can't believe they said "Oh, SAP is too hard - but we did everything else!"

Dwarf planet intumesces before astronomers' gaze

The March Hare

Re: 1920x990

A 4K space sausage - stirs the imagination :)

Database man flown to Hong Kong to install forgotten patch spends week in pub

The March Hare

KaiTak simulator

Once flew a large military transport simulator into Kai Tak - literally! the sim staff red handled 3&4 on approach (it was late on a Friday and they wanted to go home) and I totalled about 4 blocks of flats

Even though I knew it was a sim it still made me go half-crown sixpence...

Brits seek rousing name for polar research vessel

The March Hare

Dr John Rae

A sadly forgotten and reviled explorer, purely 'cos he theorised that Franklin's crew indulged in a bit of long pig - which upset the Victorian sensibility...

TTIP: A locked room, no internet access, two hours, 300 pages and lots of typos

The March Hare

Voice your opinion - or not

If you are at all interested in a (fruitless?) gesture to vote against the TTIP, see this:


The planets really will be in alignment for the next month

The March Hare

Re: Yeah but no but

So a political alignment then?

Beware the terrorist drones! For they are coming! Pass new laws!

The March Hare


birdstrikes do actually cause aircraft accidents - see this for an example:


Obama: What will solve America's gun problem? What could it be? *snaps fingers* Technology!

The March Hare


As a Brit (ex military) I can see the uses for a firearm (hint: to kill) and can also see that the USA has a long history of permitting it's citizens to own and use firearms - it is extremely unlikely that this will change.

It is also very unlikely that some magic technology will come along to stop The Wrong Person (TM) from firing the weapon, but why not do the thing that is possible to do now and force mandatory repeated training for all licensed owners?

OK the criminal element will just laugh and they are uncontrollable anyway but regular refresher training and a once yearly loony check by your local doctor would surely go a long way to making gun ownership a bit safer?

FAA introduces unworkable drone registration rules in time for Christmas

The March Hare


I have a set of bagpipes and that has 3 drones :)

but I'm not paying $15 for the privilege of throwing it in the air

Internet's root servers take hit in DDoS attack

The March Hare

Re: But I thought...

Actually the internet is located in a black box on Jen's desk - here:


I think you hack it with a can opener or something.

IBM kills Hack A Hair Dryer women-in-tech vid after backlash

The March Hare

Re: It's Lamarr.

I hate that cliche...

DC judge rips into the NSA over mass surveillance

The March Hare

magic stone

cost you 3 dollars?

ICANN: Just give us the keys to the internet – or the web will disintegrate

The March Hare


Ook! OOK!!!

Sysadmins rebel over GUI-free install for Windows Server 2016

The March Hare

Re: and in the real world...

fair comment - I must admit to not dealing much with IIS or Exchange if i can help it so I bow to collective wisdom..

However, there are still other vendors products that aren't amenable to being configured via a command line - we use some 3rd party web parts for a sharepoint installation that seem to need juju beads, incense and a full moon to get working correctly.. as well as a good understanding of JapanEngrish

The March Hare

and in the real world...

maybe my employer is atypical (local government) but quite a few of our windows servers run middleware and client/server stuff that absolutely must have a GUI to allow it to be configured and interrogated.

there is a huge legacy of windows based server-side software that is not in any way command line based - including IIS and Exchange for example.

It's always disappointing to see how stupidity prevails in areas where you don't expect it.

Infusion pump is hackable … but rumours of death are exaggerated

The March Hare

Lowest Common Denominator

Found myself wondering why a telnet port would be left open in the design of this thing, and then realised that it's been built down to a price - and security costs money.

Ergo, the company that makes these has an eye on costs.

Ergo, their other products will also have the same design ethos.

And so will anyone else in the same market (if they want to compete on price that is).

Unless/until someone important (hah! define that one!!) or maybe a lot of people get severely damaged/worse by this type of design flaw then adding cost (security) into a huge range of small cheap devices will just not happen.

UK's annual PCB waste = 81 HMS Belfasts, says National Physical Lab

The March Hare

Re: Yes indeed

Don't forget a metre of fallopian tube...

Never mind those touch apps, full Office 2016 is coming this year

The March Hare

Re: My new Office wishlist

Curiously enough quite a few people who use Office for a living would be quite happy if it still looked like it did in 2005 and not get metamorphosed into some childish disaster area every year, just to satisfy the whims of a deranged moron who thinks we all need a new 'compelling experience'



Pitch Black: New BlackBerry Classic is aimed at the old-school

The March Hare


My Z30 is on the latest vodaphone version and seems to be stable now regarding BBS and battery life.

Only problem is the screen cracks too easily when you drop the thing!

Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register

The March Hare


"most people would consider 660bhp and 1,650ft/lbs of torque adequate for road use" - I should chuffin' cocoa!!