* Posts by Herby

3029 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Windows XP activation algorithm cracked, keygen now works on Linux


Re: DO NOT go on the Internet with XP


A reasonable experiment would be to build a machine with XP and yes, connect it to the internet. Then you time how long it takes for it to get taken over.

Of course I don't run XP anywhere, but it would still be a valid experiemt.

p.s. Do this on older piece of hardware, and salt the disk with lots of Loren Ipsum files.

BOFH: Get me a new data file or your manager finds out exactly what you think of him


Re: and the Bay City Rollers reforming

Being of a certain age (old), I thought this was a reference to the Bay City Bombers. Of course this is a completely different thing, but possibly one that an older BOFH might understand

Somehow my silver badge went away. I suppose that's life..

Cheapest, oldest, slowest part fixed very modern Mac


Computer wiring & busses...

If you want something that always worked, not much better than good old "bus" and "tag". Pretty standard in its day.

As for SCSI, had Compaq and Western Digitan gone that route back a long time ago, we wouldn't have various incantations of SATA/ATA/IDE to deal with and more than two drives easily connected a long time ago. Oh, well (*SIGH*).


Re: Its always the simple things

Toaster to 11?

Windows 11?

EU's Cyber Resilience Act contains a poison pill for open source developers


Re: Well

Emily Litella lives!

BOFH: Ah. Company-branded merch. So much better than a bonus


Re: When do people understand that cash rules?

Cash rules. Now for the company logo. It can be either on the company check, or on the nice pieces of paper with either the Queen's picture on it or deceased presidents, or other elder statesmen from the country in question. If you need to apply a logo (WTCLOI) a rubber stanp ought to function nicely. I'll take it in $100 bills please!

I don't think there are any notes with the newly anointed King on it (yet).

Techie fired for inventing an acronym – and accidentally applying it to the boss


Re: Supreme Head of Information Technology


EIEIO was a 68040 instruction.

Of course they also had a "Sign Extend" instruction as well.

A tip for content filter evaluators: erase the list of sites you tested, don't share them on 100 PCs


It happens all the time!

Two instances:

whitehouse.gov legit government site that relates to the occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave in Washington DC (I prefer not to mention the current occupant)

qhitehouse.com At one time an Adult site of "questionable repute" I'll let others find out if this is current

Recent activity:

Our company recently crammed down Zscalar filters down our throat (the company is actually around the corner from where I work). Initially is didn't like logging into iCloud. It became difficult to trip off "find my iphone" that I seem to use frequently for my wife (she calls me from home). It since has been resolved (thankfully).

Yes, many things are NSFW. Life goes on.

BOFH: Generating a report the Director can show the Board – THIS is what AI was made for


Re: Guess ....

Watch the movie 9 to 5 about what to put into coffee. The whole movie has a kinda BOFH theme, but different circumstances. Good result though!

BOFH: I know of a small biz that could deliver nothing for a fraction of the cost


Cow ointment? I've heard it is called "bag balm". From a senator from Wyoming to be exact.

To make this computer work, users had to press a button. Why didn't it work? Guess


User interfaces being bad

Unfortunately the complexity of user interfaces is dictated by sales droids. They need the bells and whistles to justify the new and improved, and vice versa. A microwave oven I had in the late 70's had three controls: a logarithmic (mechanical) timer that had a wide spread between 1 & 2 minutes, but about the same between 20 and 25, an "intensity" control (I usually kept it at 100%) and a "go" button. I have yet to see modern design that is any better, and I've seen lots worse. The same holds for user interfaces, you get "modern" ones that have so many controls you need a five yer old to understand them, probably ALL dictated by someone who wants to justify a price increase.

Remember when a radio had TWO controls. Just a tune control for the station, and a volume control. Not much has improved on it since!

'I wonder what this cable does': How to tell thicknet from a thickhead


Re: colour me sceptical

N connectors and BNCs. Well they may not be fully compatible but if you are in a pinch, you CAN connect a male N connector into a female BNC socket. It is a bit unstable, but it can work in a pinch. Of course don't try this when the N connector is an over 100 watt transmitter, and the BNC socket is a VERY sensitive receiver. I suspect that it might work in a networking sense, but it is fragile.

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.