* Posts by Herby

2999 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

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.

BOFH: Oh, go on, let's flush all that legacy tech down the toilet


Sounds like...

A S**t storm to me. Pay toilets all around.

Fix LibreOffice now to thwart silent macro viruses – and here's how to pwn those who haven't


Re: Why, oh, why?

"Quite so. In accordance with the Unix tools philosophy - each tool should do one thing as well as it can be done. To do complex things, you chain the tools together."

Spoken like someone who hasn't installed EMACS (yet).....

He's coming for your floppy: Linus Torvalds is killing off support for legacy disk drive tech


You can do alot with a floppy...

Sometimes a physical connected floppy is a good thing. You can fudge all the parameters and get a bit more storage (1.7Mb) to play with. Also some other devices (I have an EPROM programmer) use them for programs/data transfer. Yes, 1.44 MB IS limiting, but very useful. To be sure, the driver hasn't changed (I suspect), so there isn't any real reason to NOT keep it around.

Of course, the driver might be larger than the drive it is to support, which is normal these days.

Now about that printer port.........

Rise of the Machines hair-raiser: The day IBM's Dot Matrix turned


Four Yorkshiremen... (aka the first liar doesn't have a chance)

My story (admittedly second hand, but I know the protagonist) was back in the 70's. We had nice IBM 2741 terminals in use and there were all over the place. The female programmer (yes, even in the 70's) with long hair leaned over and got her hair caught in the works of the Selectric mechanism, while it was nicely typing out things. She reached for the on/off switch, but not before a couple of inches were tangles up. The IBM CE (Costumer Engineer, aka repair guy) was called, and his solution was (as observed here) "cut the hair". Barbara (her real name) didn't like this solution, and being surrounded by LOTS of male engineers, they came up with the solution. You see there was an identical terminal right next to the subject one, which lent itself to investigation on how to disassemble the problem one. The end result was: No hair cut, and two disassembled terminals for the CE to put back together. The CE wasn't to happy about this, and the whole incident was written up in some note published periodically by the computer center.

I fully suspect that Barbara is retired by now as she was born during the war (as I was told). She was an excellent programmer!

Let's talk about April Fools' Day jokes. Are they ever really harmless?


Finding error messages...

The 'strings' command is your friend. One can find ALL sorts of stuff about a program with this. Much like spelunking in an unknown cave.


Re: That code..


The PROPER three states of a Boolean are:

True, False, and "File not found".

Everybody knows that!

Amazon: Carbon emissions from our Australian bit barns aren't for public viewing


Pardon me sir.....

You are mistaking me for someone who actually gives a damn.

It is all kinda silly. Look at their annual report. It might have a line item for "power costs" or some such, and go back from there.

On another note: I made a cross country (USA) plane trip reservation. Lo and behold, they now include how much CO2 the trip is emitting. Like I really care!

Oh, yes, burning wood is "carbon neutral".

US Cyber Command warns that the Outlook is not so good - Iranians hitting email flaw


Now where is the patch for.....

That Windows XP machine that is still being used by my bank... Fixed two years ago, we can't do that...

Oh, yes, I don't use any Microsoft products at home. Work, another matter (*SIGH*).

If servers go down but no one hears them, did they really fail? Think about it over lunch


"Black power"

Is usually found in power cords, but I digress. Usually the outlet corresponds to the voltage delivery system. At least you hope that that is the way it is. Back in my 3rd form days (a LONG while ago), the place I was schooled at we VERY "british" for being in the USA. A couple of older buildings were actually wired for 240 volts (yes, they were VERY old). Since everyone knew what to expect, transformers abounded for such mundane things as record players, and refrigerators (very big transformer). We didn't have much other stuff, as this was decades before PC's. I was tasked to make a recording with a nice reel-to-reel tape recorder in a place that I didn't know was a 240 volt building (ooops!), and promptly blew the fuse. The outlets were the same as the 120 volt power elsewhere, so I didn't know. My clue was that the light bulbs were 240 volt, so I quickly got another tape recorder and did my work. I suppose someone else changed the fuse.

Ah, youth. Yes, it was over 50 years ago.

In my garage, I do have a nice 240 volt outlet, and it has the proper NEMA 6-15 socket that has the horizontal blades, not the vertical ones for a 5-15 outlet normally used. Yes, it is labeled 240 volts as well!


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