* Posts by Herby

3008 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Today I shall explain how dual monitors work using the medium of interpretive dance


Two monitors...

Back many moon ago (1987) my nephew showed me a two monitor setup on a then new Mac II. I was suitably impressed. My experience before was possibly two monitors on a PC, one monochrome, and another color. Not much integratoin between the two at all.

The moving between two monitors with the mouse pointer truly amazed me.

Of course now it is second nature, but 35 (more or less) years ago. it kinda blew my mind.

Time marches on.

Can't get that printer to work? It's not you. It's that sodding cablin.... oh beautiful job with that cabling, boss


Re: Blame the Cable

Wow! Someone who got it right. Of course, a DE-15 is the standard VGA connector. Yes, the letter is the SIZE of the connector!

Penguin takeover: We tried running some GUI Linux apps on Windows the official way – and nothing exploded


I'll believe they are SERIOUS when...

I see Microsoft Office running on Linux and supported there.

Until then, I'll watch the movie, and eat my popcorn.

A floppy filled with software worth thousands of francs: Techie can't take it, customs won't keep it. What to do?


Re: Times change

Punch cards, and shuffling them? Of course I can do that. No problem. Oh, what are those numbers in the last columns?

A quick trip to the sorter later, and all is well with the world.

Must 'completely free' mean 'hard to install'? Newbie gripe sparks some soul-searching among Debian community


Real men....

Use something wonderful: OS/360.

Given today's expanse of disk and main memory, it would easily be done now.

Yes, the '60s have called and they like their OS.

Me: I used an os on a different group of machines. They used EBCDIC and had nice "big endian" attributes, and bits numbered from left to right!

Red Hat defends its CentOS decision, claims Stream version can cover '95% of current user workloads'


Wasn't Fedora supposed to be that?

As I understand it, Fedora was the upstream of RHEL and then to CentOS. Why change this? Who is in charge for these things? It seems that somebody is using mind altering chemicals to come to this silly conclusion.

Me? My work uses CentOS (Usually 7.x), but at home I'm a Fedora guy. Both have worked for me, and I really like yum/dnf as a package orchestrator. I don't know the next step.

Linux Foundation, IBM, Cisco and others back ‘Inclusive Naming Initiative’ to change nasty tech terms


Re: Sigh...

On the other hand, the school across the town (David Starr Jordan Junior High School) was recently renamed because some professionally offended person didn't like some of the words they guy said. Yes, I attended that school a LONG time ago. Education has gone a bit down hill, nobody can get through the "correctness" that really isn't.

Funny how schools named after prominent people associated with the local university of great repute can get thrown under the bus.

Life goes on for most, but some need to complain!

Swiss spies knew about Crypto AG compromise – and kept it from govt overseers for nearly 30 years


Can you keep a secret?

So can I!

As the saying goes, "what do you have to hide?". The answer is that everyone has something to hide, plain and simple!

BOFH: You might want to sit down for this. Oh, right, you can't. Listen carefully: THIS IS NOT AN IT PROBLEM!


Red Staplers?

This talk of funtiture reminds me of the Red Stapler fiasco. How it will turn out is anybody's guess.

Stop asking for Amazon, Google and Microsoft cloud with 'no justification': US Library of Congress told to drop its 'brand-name'-tastic RFP


RFP writers?

Looks like those vendors haven't taken lessons in RFP writing! The really good ones specify the vendor without specifying the vendor outright. "Must own ajor newspaper", will get you Amazon, etc...

Some vendors of items actually have the "RFP language" right in the sales brochure. Seems like school got dismissed early!

When a deleted primary device file only takes 20 mins out of your maintenance window, but a whole year off your lifespan


Re: /dev

Four .....

Thought you'd addressed those data-leaking Spectre holes on Linux? Guess again. The patches aren't perfect


Reminds me of....

...Back to the Future. Change the time-space continuum, and bad (biff) things happen. Got to go back and correct them before things change the wrong way.

Of course, meanwhile in Redmond......

It could be 'five to ten years' before the world finally drags itself away from IPv4


One for every grain of sand...

The planning for IPv6 didn't include a very good transition phase, and it isn't that good. All of those nice home routers/nat boxes might have been good to accommodate IPv6 at that point, and then it might have worked out better.

Alas, my DSL provider wants to do PPPoE with IPv4 addresses, and that is what routers support. I haven't seen any IPv6 home routers, but they may exist.

No more installing Microsoft's Chromium-centered Edge by hand: Windows 10 will do it for you automatically


IE 10 (or whatever it is today or tomorrow)

Yes, at work we still run IE because even though it is "obsolete" some of the stuff needs to use it to work. If someone discovers a security thing with IE that is in the "won't fix" (but it isn't a problem in (insert browser here), it might change things.

Yes, I exist in a "administrated by central" environment which is pretty locked down, and I wish I could get a proper persuasion device activated on the proper people, but I dream...

This'll make you feel old: Uni compsci favourite Pascal hits the big five-oh this year


I am reminded of the quote (title of a paper)...

"Why Pascal is not my favorite language" which can be had here. Of course the opinion may be biased, but is probably relevant.

Tech's Volkswagen moment? Trend Micro accused of cheating Microsoft driver QA by detecting test suite


Fixing with Duct tape...

As the saying goes, if you can't fix it with Duct Tape (or whatever it is called) you aren't using enough of it!

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you


Magic names...

To me they are the "Redmond Robbers!"

OK, so you've air-gapped that PC. Cut the speakers. Covered the LEDs. Disconnected the monitor. Now, about the data-leaking power supply unit...



So, if you have a program that is running for hours at a time MIGHT transmit something. Makes me wonder, what program will last that long to execute something. If you believe that it will run on a Windows box, I'll let you believe your fantasy!

As Brit cyber-spies drop 'whitelist' and 'blacklist', tech boss says: If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother


"Black Power"

Was really a thing in the 60's and the place where I worked (PPFY days) one of the grad students got inventive and labeled the power cord as "black power". Subtle humor, but VERY good.

I suspect you had to be there.

COBOL-coding volunteers sought as slammed mainframes slow New Jersey's coronavirus response


Just remember...

Micro-Focus Cobol is written in (are you ready for this?) Micro-Focus Cobol.

Maybe that is a clue...

Of course, we all know that S/360 Fortran 66 (H level) was written in Fortran-H. But that actually worked (most of the time, save for some instances of OPT level 2).

That awful moment when what you thought was a number 1 turned out to be a number 2


How to write directions...

I am presently writing a set of instructions on how to do a task for my company. It is a LONG and tedious task, as I have to make SURE that the 1D10Ts who will be attempting to do the instructions will be able to do it. The whole thing includes MANY screen shots and paragraphs of explanations. Then after I write the thing, I force myself to "follow" the directions like a normal idiot user would. We live in such trying times, that it seems that I need to go over about 3 iterations of this to get it right. The sad part: God will invent further 1D10Ts that I haven't accounted for.

Life goes on.

After 20-year battle, Channel island Sark finally earns the right to exist on the internet with its own top-level domain



Scotch it is!

...I'm on the way out...bye.

(I couldn't resist).

Control is only an illusion, no matter what you shove on the Netware share


For my thesis my backup was IBM cards.

Of course, you had sequence numbers on them as well. Don't want to "drop that deck"!!

No sequence numbers?? If you weren't too clumsy then the cards might fall is such a manner as they would be easily picked up "intact". I got lucky a couple of times, but not always!

Back in the the 60's Rowan & Martin did a sketch about the "One minute news", where after rehearsal, the cue card guy dropped and shuffled the cue cards. The result was what you might expect, pretty funny!!

BOFH: Here he comes, all wide-eyed with the boundless optimism of youth. He is me, 30 years ago... what to do?


As was said before...

Avoid Windows.

Going Dutch: The Bakker Elkhuizen UltraBoard 950 Wireless... because looks aren't everything


A key between Shift and 'Z'??

What are they thinking? They tried it with the VT220, and it was a massive fail. Come on guys, you don't put a key there!


Built to last: Time to dispose of the disposable, unrepairable brick


Re: This has always been my expectation

Yes, the speed increases were there, but so were the Windows speed decreases as well. What Intel gives, Microsoft takes away.

Yes, I use Linux.

Rockstar dev debate reopens: Hero programmers do exist, do all the work, do chat a lot – and do need love and attention from project leaders


First rule about "rockstars"...

If you say you are a "rockstar" you probably aren't.

Of course the second rule is "never admit you are that good". Just show what you can do. No more, no less.

Oh, and programmers aren't "fungible". Skill sets vary, and without absorbing more knowledge, the half life is very short!

IT exec sets up fake biz, uses it to bill his bosses $6m for phantom gear, gets caught by Microsoft Word metadata


Re: idiot

You are implying that criminals are "smart". My observations are to the contrary.

I'm sure there are examples everywhere on the internet. Possibly this article is but one.

Alphabet, Apple, Dell, Tesla, Microsoft exploit child labor to mine cobalt for batteries, human-rights warriors claim


Cobol...what's all this I hear about Cobol...

I thought that Cobol was a perfectly good programming language. I mean it does things like write checks, and keeps my utility bills all correct. Even my cell phone bill was produced with a Cobol program.

So what is the problem with Cobol...



Emily, its Cobalt... The element Cobalt... Not Cobol.

...Never mind.

Hate speech row: Fine or jail anyone who calls people boffins, geeks or eggheads, psychology nerd demands


Sounds like...

A "professionally offended" person. They seem to multiply at times, and have NO relation to the actual offended people.

I've been doing computer stuff for over 50 years, so yes, I am a geek of sorts.

In the words of those across the pond: SOD OFF!

Wham, bam, thank you scram button: Now we have to go all MacGyver on the server room


Re: Isn't there an old adage that simply states 'locks keep honest people honest'.

"Looking for a pen"??

So that's why they call them "Pen Testers"

Attention! Very important science: Tapping a can of fizzy beer does... absolutely nothing


Re: "Researchers"?

I wish I could "waste" my time doing excellent research like this. Sounds like something Mythbusters would do in a heartbeat.

Where do I sign up!

So many variables, so little beer!

Since the FCC won't act, Congress finally moves on robocalls by passing half-decent TRACED Act


Maybe the solution is...

Put the sum of the fines in a year-end bonus pool for the agency that does the most to get rid of these. Financial incentives work quite well. No cost to the government. Everybody (except the spammers) wins.

Customers in 'standoff' with SAP over 2025 end of support for Business Suite: Who'll blink first?


Just move to "some other computer"

That's what the cloud really is. Something that you have NO ultimate control over, and are at the mercy of the provider.

Now what was that uptime guarantee??

That's Microsoft price: Now you can enjoy a BSOD from the comfort of your driving seat


Re: Disk failure

Keyword here: "Proper".

Enough said.

In Rust We Trust: Stob gets behind the latest language craze


With every new language that comes out...

It seems that more and more I go back to my first: FORTRAN (66 mind you). You actually needed to wrote comments to understand what YOU were doing. These new fancy ones encourage you to skip this step much to the chagrin of the "next guy" who inevitably will be your own next assignment in 6 months.

Oh, and yes it had one time do loops!

Bose customers beg for firmware ceasefire after headphones fall victim to another crap update


On ony guy's VBlog...

He mentioned that Bose items "Were built to a price". Then there is the advertising budget.

Enough said.

We are absolutely, definitively, completely and utterly out of IPv4 addresses, warns RIPE


This just in.....IETF announces IPv7

Oh, it will be compatible with IPv4 as a subset. It adds a byte in the middle, so becomes if routed. Lots more addresses only TWO more bytes in the header. Easy for things to translate as needed. Oh, 256 times more addresses. Sorry not enough for every grain of sand on earth, but it should last a few years.

Well, we can always hope. Wishful thinking.

That code that could never run? Well, guess what. Now Windows thinks it's Batman


For some reason this reminds me of...

Making the first line of my C code say:


And that DOES go back a ways!

HP to Xerox: Nope, your $33.5bn bid falls short of our valuation


Of course there are other options....

Perhaps another sillycon valley company (which has a bunch of $$$ floating around) that has IP addresses that start with 17 (one more than HP's) might be in the market, you never know....

The other option might be for HP to acquire Xerox. It has happened before.....

One man's mistake, missing backups and complete reboot: The tale of Europe's Galileo satellites going dark


And we wonder why people want to exit the EU

Bureaucracy is one of those things that just grows like a virus. Unfortunately there is no cure.

Then again, planting a BOFH in the right place might have some results. We can only hope.

I'm not Boeing anywhere near that: Coder whizz heads off jumbo-sized maintenance snafu


Re: On optimizer flags

Some people don't learn. When designing optimizing compilers, you need to try it out. Compile the compiler with optimization on and off to see if you get workable results.

IBM found this out back in the 60's when working on their Fortran H compiler. It was written in (of course!) Fortran, and compiled with "OPT=2". Then tested again to see if it made the same compiler. They did a bunch to get it to work. Sometimes it would "optimize out" complete sections of code it thought didn't do anything.

One must ALWAYS realize that any optimizations are fickle things.

BOFH: What's the Gnasher? Why, it's our heavy-duty macerator sewage pump


Idea for ages...

1) Invent an ISA socket that works via USB.

1a) Or as an alternative, one that interfaces with the Raspberry PI.

2) Design..

3) Sell, profit...

Stallman's final interview as FSF president: Last week we quizzed him over Microsoft visit. Now he quits top roles amid rape remarks outcry


I thought...

...that the "Big Bang Theory" ended its run earlier this year, and the Sheldon character was put out to pasture. Now I know it has!

Scott McNealy gets touchy feely with Trump: Sun cofounder hosts hush-hush reelection fundraiser for President


Your popularity...

...is measured by how many protesters come to your event.

Of course, the more you try to keep things "private" the more people want to not make it happen. Sometimes you want to be left alone.

I just wonder the reaction to Elizabeth Warren would be in Midland, Texas.

Right-click opens up terrifying vistas of reality and Windows 95 user's frightful position therein


Re: Taking the Trash

Take out the papers and the trash

Or you don't get no spendin' cash

If you don't scrub that kitchen floor

You ain't gonna rock and roll no more

Yakety yak (don't talk back)....

Sorry, couldn't resist..

For real this time, get your butt off Python 2: No updates, no nothing after 1 January 2020


Why didn't they...

Make a simple transition tool. Takes in "python 2(.7)" and emits "python 3". The parser for python2.x already exists, just change what it outputs. Sure it might not be "optimal", but it ought to work. If it doesn't (something that doesn't translate) emit a nice message and a couple of suggestions, and let it go.

Sounds like the way to go for me.

Of course, I prefer nice ANSI C89, which doesn't have such fluff as '//' comments and the like (and MISRA seems to agree!). Of course YMMV!

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


Toothpaste tube caps...

These are actually called "wire nuts", and have a small helical sprint thingy inside. They actually work quite well and can handle the required current and are VERY sturdy.

Yes, we here in the USA (and Canada to some extent) have pretty strict electrical codes to follow, and for the most part it works quite well.


Re: Specifications

Schiphol Airport, which happens to be several meters below sea level.

Do the full environmental test, and go to Death Valley. Temperature and elevation in one simple test. Of course it might be more comfortable at night.

One person's harmless japery can be another's night of LaserJet Lego


You laugh...

Back in the 80's or so, the engineers at Apple hooked up a voice command unit to an elevator. Posted a note about it, and nobody believed then somebody actually demonstrated it, and it did work. Sometimes you can take everything on April 1 as a joke.


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