* Posts by Mark Allen

306 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Mar 2007


Microsoft may store your conversations with Bing if you're not an enterprise user

Mark Allen


Anything in the Ts and Cs as to how I opt-out of the AI data collection \ Co-Pilot stuff in Win11 and Office?

Why does this stuff not go two ways?

Microsoft Azure OpenAI lets enterprises feed corporate secrets to ChatGPT

Mark Allen
Black Helicopters

Re: Turn it off?

Argh - the one time I forget to hit the "post anonymously" switch...

Mark Allen

Turn it off?

But how do you turn this stuff off? Any geek tools out there yet that can do this for us?

Why is there no off switch on this ChatGPT stuff? Surly this is breaking all kinds of data protection laws?

I keep finding AI.exe running on client machines. Which comically is then flagged by AMD Gaming Tools as "Alien Isolation has been running for 8 hours...."

I just want to turn it off as I will not use it. Seems a simple request.

Did I or did I not ask you to double-check that the socket was on? Now I've driven 15 miles, what have we found?

Mark Allen


Are you thinking of Apple? Amazes me how stupidly thin and ungripable they make their plugs. Design winning over Useability.

Or was that just the older laptop chargers?

Tech can endure the most inhospitable environments: Space, underwater, down t'pit... even hairdressers

Mark Allen

Chinese takeaway

PC used for CCTV in a Chinese Takeaway. PC sat on a shelf in the kitchen. Open that one up - everything covered with a thick layer of grease. Not ideal for keeping fans spinning.

Another job, another case. Large barn where they made paving slabs, kerbstones, etc. Concrete dust was an inch thick on every surface in the PC. Hate to think what state the hard disk was in as that dust would have got through the breath hole.

Do not combine fluffy cats with wooden floors. A Dell sitting on the floor is an excellent hoover. Pull the front off of that case and the hair was so thick and jammed that it came out as one solid lump.

Never assume IT knowledge. One person I knew would store important documents in a special folder on the desktop. You know the one. It has a special icon and sits in the corner. When fixing her PC it was lucky that I checked with her before I emptied the recycle bin! I don't blame her, no one had taught her to use a PC.

Another bizarre thing I learnt from her was the total lack of understanding how one window could sit on top of another window. No concept of the 3D way the GUI would stack windows on top of each other. Meaning she would only run one program at a time and get totally confused if a window disappeared.

I'll censor some of the rest... like the house of the mad cat woman with a least a dozen cats. Dried cat sick down the side of the case. I learnt to carry gloves after that visit...

A History of (Computer) Violence: Wait. Before you whack it again, try caressing the mouse

Mark Allen

Re: Pain and Fear

When my clients tell me a printer is playing up, I tell them to place a hammer on the scanner and take a scan. Remind the device who is in charge.

CIA traitor spy thrown in the clink for selling secrets to China. Stack Overflow, TeamViewer admit: We were hacked...

Mark Allen

Re: team viewer

Yeah... not telling anyone about a hack is always a good idea for Share Holders and Protection of Profits.

Digs into El'Reg search back to June 2016


"the biz said. "There is no security breach at TeamViewer."



It was the was the last straw for me, I took my subscriptions elsewhere. Especially after a few other issues I had with them. This level of dishonest is not on, and I also thought it was illegal now? Anyone going to sue them?

£12k fine slapped on Postman Pat and his 300,000 spam emails

Mark Allen

Junk confusions

There is also the Junk Mail that the Post Office are paid to dump in my letter box. Every week or so there is the heap of flyers that get dropped through my letterbox along with the post. Mainly local discount shops, and takeaways.

If you want to stop this it is like some Hitch Hiker's Guide joke. IF you persevere you can find a page buried on the PO website that allows you to opt out of getting these leaflets. BUT the catch is it takes "up to 28 days" to opt-out. And then the opt-out is only valid for three months... and then the just ignore you and start they junk drops again.


My favourite trick with junk mail is to take each junk leaflet, find an address, then get an envelope and fill it with random rubbish - ideally heavy like the Yellow Pages \ Phone Book. Address it to the sender of the junk mail... and forget to add any stamps. This leads the spammer to get a parcel delivered... but lack of stamps means he has to pay extra. I call it recycling.

Rejecting Sonos' private data slurp basically bricks bloke's boombox

Mark Allen

Re: "The sound was better"

Same as Beats headphones - cheap tatt rebadged with a brand name sells. There are some good salesmen out there who can sell anything. Amazing what people will accept when dressed up in fancy words.

My main hifi is wired up, but for other rooms I make use of Bluetooth adapters on decent speakers then just use KODI to push the audio to the different rooms as needed. £10 of Bluetooth parts added to speakers I already owned. Never at risk to updates killing the system.

UK NHS 850k Reply-all email fail: State health service blames Accenture

Mark Allen

Reply All Fun...

Reading this story on the BBC website there are some Twitter posts quoted.

I like the person who mentions that someone in that email chain hit "reply all and requested read receipts..."

Really – 80% FTTP in UK by 2026? Woah, ambitious!

Mark Allen

What about the 20%?

This is getting ridiculous. What about getting that 20% group up to speed? It is too easy to flood a high density populated city with fibre and make easy profits. But there is zero incentive for Openreach and the rest of the to bring the countryside up to speed.

I have clients in large towns that don't happen to be in a city. And they are suffering from 4Mbps and below. Try running a business on that kind of bandwidth - just a total headache.

An example bad case I have is a client on the "wrong side" of a trading estate. At the North End there is fibre. But the Southern End is connected to a different exchange with no fibre available.... and he has ten people in the office trying to use a 4Mbps connection.

BT are playing games with them as they are trying to get one of the business on the estate to stump up the £10K to get the exchange upgraded. (Or some other random cash figure)

There needs to be something built in to these deals when a high density area is cabled up so of those cost savings should be used to fund the out of the way locations.

Microsoft thought of the children and decided to ban some browsers

Mark Allen

Re: Think of the market share

Yeah, that was the one where MS were forced to give a list of alternate browsers. Yet Apple were still allowed to keep it Safari only on their OS. As well as a lot more pre-bundled and locked in software that MS ever had.

McAfee-the-man wants McAfee-the-brand, Chipzilla says no

Mark Allen

Maybe change it to Peter Norton?

If I was John McAfee I'd just keep going around being John McAfee. At some point Intel will almost beg him to take his name back from them as I don't think his character fits the stuffy Intel image too well.

Mozilla's trying on seven hot new spring/summer logo looks

Mark Allen


Yeah... Moz://a is also going to work so well as a file or folder name.

Mark Allen

Is that an Opera logo?

The first one looks like the Opera "O". So an admission as to where they nicked many of their ideas from.

Either that or it is an Eye of Sauron admitting a level of spying on users.

I never understand the need to redesign a logo that everyone recognises with something that just looks like a mess. Maybe it would make more sense to be a violin in the old "Nero fiddles while Rome burns" sense...

Gigabyte BIOS blight fright: Your megabytes’ rewrite plight in the spotlight

Mark Allen

No surprise

How far back does El'Reg's comment search go? I bet if you find the news of the original release of UEFI BIOSes, there will be hundreds of comments predicting exactly these bugs\backdoor.

Carbonite online backup accounts under password reuse attack

Mark Allen

Re: Puzzling

It's all about the patterns. Clearly Carbonite were seeing multiple logins from a new range of IP Addresses. I'd assume that Carbonite keeps track of IP Addresses where the software is running. So if lots of accounts login from new IP Addresses - that would cause an alert. And if those addresses all come the same range - it has clearly trigged a full reset response.

It shows the place it run by Engineers and not Marketing people.

Dropbox gets all up in your kernel with Project Infinite. Cue uproar

Mark Allen

Re: What do Competitors Do?

This is where it can get funny. I have Home User or Small Home Business clients who have installed half a dozen different cloud services without even realising.

They get sent one file as a Dropbox link, but then end up signing up for Dropbox in error and installing the application. (Very aggressive website that one, designed to confuse) We then add OneDrive from their Win10 upgrade. Office 365 adds OneDrive for Business.

They then updated iTunes and along came iCloud... so they click on it because their Apple "Genius" told them it would bring world peace. And they then wonder why their copy of Outlook 2010 has now gone mental.

And just to get the full set, they have a Google Drive running - but nothing in it. And no idea where that came from.

Oh yeah... and don't forget the OEM clouds that the laptop makers try and sell. Demos installed and never removed.

Add in a dozen apps that all busily checking online for updates, or "syncing" settings... and it does start to get a little bonkers.

Sometimes it is amazing that computers manage to boot up at all!

Bank in the UK? Plans afoot to make YOU liable for bank fraud

Mark Allen


Due to having a bank steal money from me previously when I used an automated paying in machine, I always do bank interactions with humans. And only Northerners and not some call centre in a random country. Have moved banks and utility accounts to all have UK Telephone based support. Makes a HUGE difference to ones sanity. (And the nice feeling of keeping someone in a job).

This means I have never used online banking. The idea being that I can't be liable if I have never used it. Yet two months ago my online account got hacked. Which is a little clever as it had never been enabled or used by me.

Or maybe it is just because my stupid bank has passwords, IDs and access codes as all numbers? How is that security? Especially as the numbers are too long to memorise.

When I got my access codes for the Telephone banking re-issued I was then told these are the same details as Internet Banking. Which I don't want to use. I asked them how do I change the passwords for the telephone banking to be more secure? I can't, unless I login to the Internet banking to change them.

So who would be liable for that? A system I never used, "protected" by a weak set of numbers that cannot be changed, yet it was still compromised by a random drive by attack which I only ever found out about when I tried to do some Telephone banking.

'Acts of war in a combat zone are not covered by your laptop warranty'

Mark Allen

Re: For insurance purposes...

IIRC it was "The Falklands Conflict" because a "War" would have officially forced a response from NATO based on NATOs own rules. I don't think that NATO, especially the US, were too keen to get involved with the politics of it all.

Big telco proxies go full crazy over cable box plan

Mark Allen

Re: Won't someone think of the children!

Look at the bottom of the boxes - it will say "Property of Sky/VM/etc". Same with the routers supplied by some ISPs, which is why someone like VM will replace routers for free.

TV boxes or old routers - it is the same deal. End of contract the ISP should come and collect the old hardware for disposal. (Especially with EU WEEE rules) Very rarely happens. Kit is obsolete so quickly they don't usually bother. I know a number of people who still have "waiting to be collected" kit of some form or other.

ESET blocks news sites

Mark Allen

Re: Just reboot

Or maybe learn how anti-virus works? This was clearly a bad update to one feature of the product. So turning off the feature that it had broken was still safe. The resident shield was still in place and working fine. If you had tried to click on an infected file or a bad script was on the site, the anti-virus would still have screamed loudly and blocked it.

The only thing that was broken today was the "Dodgy websites list". So turning that off for a while and using your own personal common sense for a few hours is totally safe.

Mark Allen

Just reboot

Even a reboot solved it... It popped up on my PC, then I spotted it on a PC I was remotely connected to. Five mins later a client was on the phone about it. After a bit of a dig around, a reboot of the PC cleared it.

While investigating it was possible to just disable "Web Access Protection" and that also let you get on with your day. :)

You can't dust-proof a PC with kitchen-grade plastic food wrap

Mark Allen

Random jottings...

I worked in one of those road construction Portacabins back in the early 1990s. Looking after three 386s used by the Consulting Engineers. It was when I witnessed my first hard disk failure. The disk had literally frozen. I don't mean frozen not moving... I meant it was a block of ice after the Portacabins had dropped to minus somehing silly overnight....

Or a few years back when I looked at the CCTV system of a Chinese Restaurant. That was an "interesting" gunky mess on everything inside!! Not much you can clean when it is that bad, so had to make do with replacing fans.

Or the farm building where a company made concrete kerbs \ slabs \ etc. Concrete dust into moulds. Wow!! That PC was at the far end of the building away from the workers, but EVERY service inside was covered with an INCH DEEP of fine concrete dust. Gawd only knows what was happening to the hard disk as it would surely get through the breath hole.

As is always the way, the concrete guy didn't want to pay out for expensive dust proofing. So my ideas came up with ways of reducing the dust into the room. They didn't like anything so fancy as a *door* - but I managed to at least get them to put a curtain up. That PC also got a new external box built for it. So the PC Tower case then sat inside a separate filtered cage made from wood and material. Did the job...

Millions menaced as ransomware-smuggling ads pollute top websites

Mark Allen

Someone needs to sue

Someone needs to put down a test case. If a high street store had a mugger in the building for 30 minutes taking customers wallets then the shop would be liable. It would also get splashed over the news. The fact the guy was in the building for a noticeable length of time and security did nothing would get the shop in trouble. You expect a level of safety when in a shop.

So why do website owners get away with this? I have had a few clients over the years who visit big name sites, but happen to turn up during that couple of hours at the weekend when an infected advert was being run. The results of this have lead to those clients following down a rabbit hole towards infection. Thankfully, in most of those cases I had built enough paranoia in my clients that they stopped clicking when it started looking dubious...

So uBlock Origin or AdBlock all the way now. If a website wants me to turn off the adblocker, then they need to take responsibility for the data they serve to me in their name.

Borked ESET antivirus update says entire web is too risky to browse

Mark Allen

Glad my clients don't get to work too early

So what time did the fix roll out? I have Eset with many many clients... but didn't hear any problems. Maybe my clients get to work late. Or maybe when they get to work they do weird things like work instead of accessing the net.

Was this both the Home and Business editions? Or only one of those? Just a puzzle as to how I missed all of this fun...

Stray electronic-magnetic leaks used to harvest PC crypto keys

Mark Allen

White noise jamming

Surely this is trivial to jam? My office is full of various PCs and electronics - often without cases. Are they going to pick out that one signal of the encryption being decoded? And what happens when I turn on my Plasma TV - that blasts MW and LW radio in a wide area.

This seems a little too much of "proving a theory" but not being practical in real world use.

Virgin Media spoof email mystery: Customers take to Facebook

Mark Allen

ntlworld email

Virginmedia moved their email hosting to Google in 2010. Only had to move it back because Google decided to stop doing ISP email any more. (Or at least that is the story I heard)

I have all ten of my VirginMedia (ntlworld) ISP email accounts in use. Used on forums like this when I don't need to be tracked back to my own personal or business domains. Or online sites I know will send spam. Or plain don't trust.

This makes spotting scam emails trivially simple. In my case there are two huge magnets for spam. My ebay\paypal address (probably sold on from EBay sellers, or hacked out of their infected PCs, or plain lifted from the insecure Ebay\Paypal sites). My other spam magnet is the email address on my website - that one is on lots of spammers spam lists.

Where I don't get any problems is with my own NTL addresses. The only problem ntlworld address I have is one that used to be owned by someone else which I picked up in 2008. That gets some weird spam. Spam that is very common to ntlworld users. I can often contact a small handful of my clients and "compare spam" and find that we have been sent the same spam from the same spammer in the same run. But this only ever happened to that one reassigned address. Never happens to the original accounts I setup in 2003.

If this hack works on the basis of an address book on the webmail site, then this explains why I have never been hit. BUT if, as is claimed, the scam also trawls the emails in the inbox for addresses then I would have expected to hear something.

As some above said - 70 reports out of the millions of VM customers does point towards a very small but weird issue.

Could be worse... just look at TalkTalk!

Ex-TalkTalker TalkTalks: Records portal had shared password. It was 4 years old

Mark Allen

Poor customers - literally

The depressing side of this is what is happening to the TalkTalk customers when they get hit with this phone call. It is a clever call involving a number of "departments".

People on TalkTalk are often on it because it is "cheap" and they don't know better service exists. They are rarely computer literate. A lot of retired people are on this network. Unluckily a lot of retired people are too polite to hang up on phone scammers. Among my clients it is noticeable that those who have fallen to scams tend to be older and believe the scammer on the phone. I know of three people (aged 73, 80 and 96) who were all caught on this TalkTalk scam. They lost between £1500 and £7000 each! And they have no one to turn to as bank can't recover the cash due to the way the customer hands over all their financial details to the scammer. I also don't expect local police to get very far on this either.

I don't blame the scammer for the loss - I directly blame TalkTalk. Someone needs to take them to court over this mess.

Microsoft showers Office 365 sellers with gold in Google snub

Mark Allen


Have you never heard of a "salesman". These are people that sell a stuff that isn't made by them. In this case the news item is talking about people signed up to Microsoft's Partner programme selling Microsoft products.

This isn't part of your paranoid dream where everyone who disagrees with your view is a "paid shill". This is just normal business of paying a salesman to sell something.

(Wow - that must be the first time I've ever dived in to defend the reputation of sales staff!!)

Wanted! A browser to replace Xombrero

Mark Allen


Go check out Vivaldi.net and the Vivaldi browser. It is being created by the guy who brought you the Opera browser (and all those innovative ideas that were then stolen by everyone else like tabbed browsing, searches in the address bar, speed dial, script blocking, blah blah blah)

It is being based on Chrome, but customised heavily. Which includes taking out Google tracking. Go read their forums about it. It is still on version 1.0, but no doubt will tick a lot of your boxes.

Broadband-pushers expand user piggyback rides on private Wi-Fi

Mark Allen

Re: So how does this work

THIS is the biggest PITA I find with all the BT-FON networks. In some blocks of flats in a city you get major problems finding a clear channel. Nothing more annoying that doing a scan and finding 20 odd networks crossing a property. Then finding a third of these are these BT-FON guest networks. If other ISPs are jumping on this it will become a nightmare!

So far my record for a single property is 72 different wireless networks crossing it!! Yes SEVENTY TWO. The client couldn't even connect to his own Wifi router when standing right next to it. Only when we moved out to the less used channel 13 did we get any success.

I also want to know what happens in a countryside area where the ADSL is already slow, and no fibre available. Does that mean that the poor 2Mbps line is now shared out to random passers by? Who gets priority in those cases?

Yahoo! Mail! Had! Nasty! XSS! Bug!

Mark Allen

Re: Regular problem

This has puzzled me to. When Yahoo! is so bad that even BT want to leave, it is a puzzle why their exodus is so slow.

When Sky left Google for Yahoo! that all happened pretty quick. Similar when VirginMedia left Google - matter of months and job was done (yeah, yeah... just a different set of bugs in the spam filters but that is a different story)

It is just bizarre that BT can take so many years to get away from the Yahoo mess. I always find it funny if I am on the phone to BT Support on behalf of a client. You notice that disconnect as an issue passes from BT's Support Team to the Yahoo! Support Team. I've had a few clients who get stuck in a finger pointing exercise of BT blaming Yahoo and Yahoo blaming BT.

Standard advice to clients - RUN AWAY and get a gmail.com, outlook.com, vivaldi.net or ANY other "free" email account and break free of this mess.

(Trouble is the evil Yahoo makes it very hard to export folders as they keep breaking their IMAP access... does Yahoo get *anything* right?)

Mark Allen

Regular problem

I have a couple of clients who regularly get their Yahoo accounts hijacked. Older clients so will have fairly tame surfing habits, though one of them visits a lot of hotels. Maybe that is the route. Hard to tell.

The same pattern happens each time where the scammer mails out "Help I need cash" messages from the yahoo account to everyone in the address book. They then delete your address book. The ReplyTo: address will have been changed on the account. Often to the same name but at a different free mail host. So anyone replying to the scam will be directed to the scammer.

Last time this had happened the broken Yahoo mail interface was stopping us correct the issue due to a bug in the interface, but I flipped back to the old interface and all was well again.

You really have to dig deep into all the settings to remove all traces of the scammer's control of the account. They tend to go in and change as many of the contact details as possible.

2FA is now enabled, but as it is Yahoo I am still expecting to hear back from one of these clients again soon the next time the account is hijacked.

And to the commentard above who claim this is just idiot users... with my clients there have been no typing in details on phishing sites. I train a healthy level of paranoia into my clients which means they have certainly not done anything as daft as that. I wish I could get them off of the Yahoo accounts, but they often don't like change.

Crummy Samsung gear no one wants, now no one can get – well done, Apple

Mark Allen

What about the second hand market?

Does this also ban second hand sales of these old Samsung phones?

Linode: Back at last after ten days of hell

Mark Allen

how wide is the geo-block?

Have they published how wide their geo-block is? I have a client with a website on Linode who does business with Azerbaijan. He is not going to be happy if the block is thrown too wide.

Watch out, er, 'oven cleaners': ICO plans nuisance call crackdown in 2016

Mark Allen

I put them on "hold"

I tell them I need to get the "boss" to answer their questions. Then put them on "Hold". Slinging the phone handset under my speakers while I select a few new tracks for them. I have an interesting selection of Hold Music. Generally some nice lively aggressive Punk music. Though for the next few weeks playlist has been changed to Motörhead.

Hapless Virgin Media customers face ongoing email block woes

Mark Allen

Re: Who the hell uses ISP-provided email anymore?

Use it for the spammy rubbish. Junk you don't care about.

I have a work domain and a personal domain that covers work clients and friends\family. The ISP mailboxes come in for those junky anonymous places like forums, shops, etc. The main reason being that for my domains I have to put my personal home address into the WHOIS information. Junky ISP accounts keep the junk as anon junk. I also keep my work and personal mailboxes spam free this way.

Meanwhile... my biggest hassle has been one specific spammer who has worked out how to bypass the Virgin filters. Loads of regular email following an obvious pattern that pours into one of my ntlword.com addresses. Not unique to me as I have seen clients with ntlworld addresses that are getting the same spam. The frustrating part being how obvious the pattern is to this guy's messages.

Mark Allen

Re: I hope you're not with rackspace

> 24x7x365¼ would be fanatical. A whole 6 hours off every year? Slackers.


Errr... try that maths again. 24 hours in a day, 365¼ days per year. So why is the 7 in the equation?

Lenov-lol, a load of Tosh, and what the Dell? More bad holes found in PC makers' bloatware

Mark Allen

Re: New machine?

Wipe and rebuild may mean that some of the things you paid for don't work any more. And most ordinary users won't have the (extra, paid for) copy of the OS just hanging about.

What is going to be missing? Some cruddy half working bloatware. It is this kind of cr*p that is making a mess of the Windows OS experience.

Clean install, add a few bits of decent freeware from Ninite and you're up and running.

What annoys me the most is how badly written the Manufacturer tools are. These security issues don't surprise me. Too many of these computer makers pile heaps of dubious software onto all their computers. This then makes their lower end laptops run like sludge and drains all the life out of the better machines.

Plusnet ignores GCHQ, spits out plaintext passwords to customers

Mark Allen

Not anymore...

I have just updated it for you to something more secure...

Why Microsoft yanked its latest Windows 10 update download: It hijacked privacy settings

Mark Allen

Surely a simple answer

That old thing called System Restore. Or whatever they call it now. The same method that lets you uninstall an update would allow them to find out your previous settings and put them back in place. No data would need transmitting to MS for that.

Yahoo! Mail! is! still! a! thing!, tries! blocking! Adblock! users!

Mark Allen


Yahoo's adverts are not very nice. A client phoned up last month asking for help to get rid of the adverts. This guy is 75 years old and was getting obviously annoyed that every time he looked at his email the top message in the inbox was an advert banner from Yahoo advertising Funerals!!

The huge advert down the right hand side was as bad. Can't remember what that one said, but it was close enough to "you are going to die soon".

We found our way onto the old Classic Mail interface and he was fine again.

It is very weird as to how so many of Yahoo Mail users just plain refuse to change their routines and use a proper mail client. Just by the definition that these people are using Yahoo Mail shows how little they understand the technology.

And as to the constant hacks and password thefts... I have one client who is hit every 18 months. He'll have his address book spammed with one of those "I am stuck in a foreign country, send me £5000" emails. The scammer will also delete his contacts from within Yahoo. And then change the reply addresses so it is being redirected to a different scam account. At least with that guy I have finally got him using a mail client!

TalkTalk hush-hush on compo for up to 4 million customers after mega cyber attack

Mark Allen

Scam Emails

So when will be the first batch of fake phishing emails with TalkTalk logos on them?

If I was the scammer I would be readying a whole batch of emails "From TalkTalk Compensation Team" asking customers to login to my fake talk talk site to hoover up even more data. I expect wording the emails as a claim for compensation should hook a good number of people in.

This is going to be an interesting few months for TalkTalk customers.

Apple quietly swaps out MacBook Retina displays to fix skin-peeling stains

Mark Allen


Surly this should be stainjob?

Android users left at risk... and it's not even THEIR FAULT this time!

Mark Allen

Re: Name and Shame

This is the feature I want. If a manufacturer decide to stop supporting the device then at least give us the ability to support it ourselves with Cygenmod. I have an annoying Asus tablet here that had updates abandoned barely three months after purchase! I expected support to at least get to the end of the one year warranty....

It's alive! Farmer hides neglected, dust-clogged server between walls

Mark Allen

Paving Slab Construction

Visited a client working in a big old farmer's barn. Making paving slabs, kerb stones and similar. At the other end of this barn was the office. No door. When opening up the PC case there was an inch deep heap of fine concrete dust on top of every surface. Hate to think how much of that had got inside the hard disk breath hole as this stuff was really fine grained.