* Posts by Herby

3020 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Know the difference between a bin and /bin unless you want a new doorstop


Re: Clean desk policy

A clean desk is the sign of a sick mind...

The perfect crime – undone by the perfect email backups


Traffic Citations??

Isn't that what speed cameras are for?? (*SIGH*)

BOFH: HR's gold mine gambit – they get the gold and we get the shaft


Re: Favourite CPU socket?

Sorry M6800's are the way to go!

Then there was the 64 pin M68000 (1 inch centers!).

BOFH: All hail the job cuts consultant


Are we sure that....

Gerard wasn't an AI invention of Simon's? Properly programmed to do the "dirty work" that really needed to be done (in a much more "clean" way)? Maybe all those shell companies and memes are just a figment of someones imagination.

We may never know, but if it were, Simon might end up running the company (it has happened, you know).

Beware the techie who takes things literally



I just remembered, the sequence is:

<Instant Stop><Reset><Insert>4900796<R/S>

Where <R/S> is the release-start key on the keyboard.



Well that goes back a FEW years!!

IPv6 is built to be better, but that's not the route to success




BOFH: On Wednesdays, we wear gloves


On drum printers and punch card equipment...

Yes, drum printers can make LOTS of noise. One I worked with had all the characters lined up, so a row of say '$' characters would generate a big THUMP as they were printed (the operating system did this for the trailer page). The capacitor bank for this behemoth as about 1/2 Farad at 35 volts or so, and I'll let someone calculate the energy stored (bazzert is too mild). Eventually we swapped it out for a chain printer, and the line changed to "zing.." which was a bit easier on the ears.

As for punch cards, the reader was blissfully silent compared to the punch. Sometimes one would attempt to punch out "lace cards" and the racket was terrible (if it didn't jam in the process). Thankfully we didn't punch too many cards, except for keypunches (they are loud as well).

Ahhh, my youth.

What came first? The chicken, the egg, or the bodge to make everything work?


Bootstrap from long ago...

I remember it as if it were yesterday:

3400032007013600032007024902402111963611300102 (then the R/S key).

Boy, am I getting old! I was also lazy as I didn't want to feed a card into the hopper.

When civilisation ends, a Xenix box will be running a long-forgotten job somewhere


Re: Never call soomething "NEW ...."

Two things come to mind...

New York

New Scotland Yard

Orders wrong, resellers receiving wrong items? Must be a programming error and certainly not a rushing techie


Re: Punch cards?

Sorry, form 5081's

BOFH: 'What's an NFT?' the Boss asks. In this case, 'not financially thoughtful'



Yes, sleepless nights in Sillycon Valley, and surely that is VERY non fungible. Have it for (enter value here) in bitcoin.

Remember, it only has value if you can get someone to pay for it, or someone thinks it is worth something in exchange.

And then there is paper money......

I've got to go to bed. ZzZzZ...

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.


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