* Posts by Michael Kean

176 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Jan 2008


After 10 years, Google Cloud Print will finally be out of beta... straight into ad giant's graveyard

Michael Kean

Re: Oh no

AnyDesk has remote printing options, although I'm not sure how useful that would be.

I'm currently using a paid addon for Microsoft Outlook which auto-prints emails sent to a specific address for our community radio station. That email address isn't publicised anywhere. We have the HP E-print option too, but it doesn't handle image attachments nicely compared to the outlook one, and I often email Facebook screenshots to it. (Community announcements etc.)

You'e yping i wong: macOS Catalina stops Twitter desktop app from accepting B, L, M, R, and T in passwords

Michael Kean

Re: Apple's Annual PC OS "Upgrade" Cycle

Tell that to my customer who lost all her business emails due to the Catalina upgrade IMAP email bug.

Windows 10 update slips past Aussie border force and borks access to its Integrated Cargo System

Michael Kean

Re: job opportunity

Just needs a few Windows 2000 boxes running Remote Desktop :)

Pitch of the week: Helping to stamp out e-cigarettes while removing hurdles to digital learning

Michael Kean

Re: PoE

Shouldn't be too hard to make. Just need to down-convert the 48 volts to 5.

The dread sound of the squeaking caster in the humming data centre

Michael Kean

Not all serial cables are made equal...

So, back in the'90s I was asked by a third party to check the status of the battery in a UPS at a remote location.

I guessed a null modem cable attached to the serial port on this APC UPS would let me talk to it on 9600,N,8,1.

I guessed wrong. Immediately upon connecting the serial cable to my laptop, the rack became much quieter.


We were all young and naive once.

Microsoft: 2TB or not 2... OK, OK! 2TB. OneDrive dragged kicking and screaming into selling more storage

Michael Kean


Well, I think Google still wins with the ability to select random folders from your computer to be backed up, whereas OneDrive still requires the files to reside within the OneDrive folder.

Although, admittedly, Google's backup and sync does like to break some apps from time to time by holding their files open during backup; and to mysteriously create gigabytes of files in %temp% for eternity.

RIP Dyn Dynamic DNS :'( Oracle to end Dyn-asty by axing freshly gobbled services, shoving customers into its cloud

Michael Kean

Re: I use no-ip ; too cheap to pay for one


Only drama is that it gets blocked by Facebook etc, so I couldn't publicise the backup stream for our community station that I was running back then. Ended up using a different streaming platform so the problem went away; but was annoying that it was automatically flagged as evil.

Chrome ad-blocker crackdown preview due late July. Here's a half-dozen reasons why add-on devs are still upset

Michael Kean

Firefox on Android?

How are you finding Firefox on Android?

For me it's not as fast as Chrome. It's getting better but it's not on par yet.

There's a reason why my cat doesn't need two-factor authentication

Michael Kean

Re: figuring out

Could have been a soldering iron.

Some flux.

Or maybe a Solder Sucker was required!

AI can now animate the Mona Lisa's face or any other portrait you give it. We're not sure we're happy with this reality

Michael Kean


Does it work on pets too?

Overzealous n00b takes out point-of-sale terminals across the UK on a Saturday afternoon

Michael Kean

Re: Men with chainsaws, and monkeys?!?

Gotta be careful though - if you were to put a rope around yourself and the tree's trunk, and the tree decides to split down the trunk while you're tied to it; you might find yourself suddenly quite narrow at the waist as your body attempts to arrest the split. Results may vary.

BT Tower broadcasts error message to the nation as Windows displays admin's shame

Michael Kean

Re: Oh if only...

Error: Tape CRC Error.

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found

Michael Kean

Clive Peacock at it again?

Maybe Clive's just annoyed about the amount of airmail being sent these days, and he just wants to keep his job.

Michael Kean

Re: How hard is the approximate localization of a 2.4GHz sender operating in or near an airport?

If they're being miscreants, I'd say there's a strong chance they're using LTE (4G) instead of 2.4GHz.

Microsoft promises a fix for Windows 10 zip file woes. In November

Michael Kean

Re: "file indexing service works brilliantly in 2008R2"

Search Everything is indeed great, but it only searches filenames and not their contents; so there are times when Windows Search is useful still.

I'm an IT guy who fixes random computers so I still end up bringing up an administrative command prompt and using DOS since at least I know dir /s /a file*.* will actually look everywhere.

Samsung's sleek 'n' sporty X5 SSD pledges blazing transfer speeds

Michael Kean


With Win2USB this could give you a very fast, portable full install of Windows 10 etc that follows you around. Might be some rare use cases for such a thing - such as if they ban laptops on planes again.

Oz retro computer collection in dire straits, bulldozers on horizon

Michael Kean


If Blechley Park can have their computer museum, why can't Sydney?

Maybe they can ship them off to Parkes - would go well with The Dish.

Security guard cost bank millions by hitting emergency Off button

Michael Kean

Not all Serial Ports are what they seem.

So many years ago in a remote Australia town, I was asked to check the battery status of a large APC UPS - the likes of which I hadn't seen before at that time. (This might have been the first rack I'd seen.) I was the only permanent IT guy in town.

The only means of communication appeared to be a serial port on the back. So I figured I'd just plug my laptop into it with a serial or null modem cable and have a chat at 9600/n/8/1 if it was in the mood.

The moment I connected that cable, the UPS immediately turned off. Along with a few racks of servers. (I think it was a digital concentrator, or whatever it was that replaced analogue dialup modem racks back then.)

Nice bit of evil design there, thanks APC.

CIMON says: Say hello to your new AI pal-bot, space station 'nauts

Michael Kean


Give me the plant!!

Reminds me of that thing in Wall-E - some sort of talking ships steering wheel thing with a bad attitude. Edit: It was called "AUTO"


Oddly enough, when a Tesla accelerates at a barrier, someone dies: Autopilot report lands

Michael Kean

Re: Car's behaviour makes sense

"Not to make light of it, but why didn't Huang take the 280?"

Might have been aiming for the nine and three quarters...

Apple hit with another faulty hardware lawsuit – this time it's the Watch

Michael Kean

Apple's not alone...

It's a common problem with the Moto 360 range as well.

Life as a battery in a smart watch is not a pleasant thing - a fairly full-on daily duty cycle with occasional deep discharges, a constantly warm environment (especially with wireless charging), and relatively high current usage compared to capacity (>1C) all contribute to short overall life spans on early generation smart watch batteries.

On the plus side, if they engineered them appropriately, you could argue that spontaneous disassembly when you need a new battery is a handy feature! Sure saves all that heating, unclipping, etc.

My three+ year old Moto 360 is on its third battery. Motorola has given up making them.

About to install the Windows 10 April 2018 Update? You might want to wait a little bit longer

Michael Kean

Avast not the cause. Had it on a new install upgrade from Win7

Had a second hand laptop to sell, but it didn't have a Win10 license.

Wiped it and installed Windows 7 x64

Activated same.

Installed latest Windows 10 from the Media Creation Tool

Setup froze twice with black screen, no cursor.

Eventually booted up to the point where it came up with the familiar desktop folder not accessible.

Gave up and sold it with Windows 7 instead.

Michael Kean

Re: PC Updated itself last night

Won't happen to your MacBook?

How about that update that disabled the Ethernet port on some Macs? Bad luck if you don't have WiFi. Microsoft isn't alone in producing crap updates.

Time to ditch the front door key? Nest's new wireless smart lock is surprisingly convenient

Michael Kean


I'm surprised they don't include a solar panel on the outdoor component. If the AA batteries can last six months in standard use, I would think a LiPo battery, trickle charged by the panel during the day, could provide a significantly longer life in some situations.

Australia's new insta-pay scheme has insta-lookup of any user's phone number

Michael Kean

Doesn't seem any different to using Paypal really - except that I can use a phone number instead of an email address if I so desire.

MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)

Michael Kean

Re: Academics

Nor do fireworks, but we have them every year :)

'The capacitors exploded, showering the lab in flaming confetti'

Michael Kean

Re: Finding fault capacitors with high current PSUs used to be the norm

Sadly this no longer works since about 40GB drives I think, as they have specific configuration per pair of circuit board and platter pair.

Tech giants at war: Google pulls plug on YouTube in Amazon kit

Michael Kean

Yes. A laptop or PC connected to a TV is perhaps the most service agnostic option these days. Not the nicest interface perhaps, and having a keyboard / mouse combo is a bit much on the coffee table, but at least it works.

After Microsoft calls out HP Inc over stalled Windows 10 logins, HP bounces back with a fix

Michael Kean

Re: Ooh a success!

Don't worry.

The printhead will mysteriously die before then.

Google to kill its Drive file locker in two confusing ways

Michael Kean

You still have the original "Google Drive" capability that you had before, so that shoudn't be a problem for you.

The only new feature is the ability to select random folders on your computer to have backed up on your Google storage space - not as part of Drive, but as a traditional backup feature. (Some versioning available, but I think the restore of older versions is from the web interface only.)

Will be handy for some customers since Code42 has decided to murder CrashPlan for residential users.

Outage outed: Bing dinged, Microsoft portal mortal, DuckDuckGo becomes DuckDuckNo

Michael Kean

Re: "CMOS" as a sample test query?

Hehe. I use "Cows" - nobody is ever offended by cows.

For fork's sake! Bitcoin Core braces for another cryptocurrency split

Michael Kean

Re: Strong? Stable?

"Bit Coin was to be the big one -- proper unicorn poo and all that."

Bitcoin Cash keeps to the original vision of Bitcoin - that is that it can scale up to Visa / Mastercard size (transaaction wise) simply by having larger blocks. It removes the temporary 1MB limit that has hindered its growth.

The original Bitcoin (with or without SegWit) is still hobbled by the 1MB limit, resulting in much higher fees for use - hence a financial motivation for the miners on that chain to stick to it to the detriment of Bitcoin's growth potential.

50th anniversary of the ATM opens debate about mobile payments

Michael Kean

Just grab the cryptocurrency of your choice :)

Make sure your Skype is up to date because FYI there's a nasty hole in it

Michael Kean

I've migrated away from Skype to Facebook Messenger, Google Duo and WhatsApp. Couldn't trust it to remain signed in on Android and missed too many calls. Finally removed it from StartUp today.

Microsoft officially hangs up on old Skype phones, users fuming

Michael Kean

How long before Duo is killed too?

Google likes to randomly kill things. I've moved from Skype to Duo because call quality is much better; but I guess it's shaky ground too. Oh well, nothing lasts for ever. Good thing mobile phone numbers and email addresses stay put as the technology changes around them. (GSM, 3G, 4G, 5G, POP, HTTP, IMAP, etc.)

Android apps punched out by Judy malware

Michael Kean

Re: Just One more reason

AdAway needs root though. For the unrootable, AdGuard of almost as good. Have to get it as an apk though as Google won't allow it on the Play store for obvious reasons.

El Reg straps on the Huawei Watch 2

Michael Kean

Re: Reasons to be Wear-y

If a motorbike can deafen me legally, I don't see why playing music should be a big deal. I'm yet to hear any cyclist reach the dB of a motorbike or a semi.

O (n^2) Canada! Code bugs knacker buses, TV, broadband, phone lines

Michael Kean

Re: Optional

Can't catch the bus. Can't call a cab. Bad dey eh :)

USBee stings air-gapped PCs: Wirelessly leak secrets with a file write

Michael Kean



I guess you could flash the hard drive LED and watch for that, but that'd take longer.

Or throttle up the CPU fan and listen to the speed changes.

Or play modulated audio over an 18KHz and hope there are no teenagers working there.

Or embed a hub inside the mouse and hide a doohickey in there...

TAFE's troubled tech terminated

Michael Kean

Cert IV in IT?


Seems to me, students could build an SQL database that would work better than this.

Google IMAP losing old security protocols this month

Michael Kean

Outlook Express?


I still have a few customers on Outlook Express because they don't like change. I guess I'll have to forward their email to another address so they can POP it from there.

'I thought my daughter clicked on ransomware – it was the damn Windows 10 installer'

Michael Kean

Re: Slow checking for updates...

If you install a number of computers, try googling 'wsus offline installer' - it stores most Windows Updates on a hard drive / USB stick, etc and will install them all for you without needing an Internet connection.

Hello? HELLO? Major Skype outage hits folk WORLDWIDE

Michael Kean

A temporary boon for Facebook Messenger and the like...

Detroit losing millions because it buys cheap batteries – report

Michael Kean

Re: But it said, "Heavy Duty"

We used to have those blue "General Purpose" Eveready batteries too, not sure if they're still sold.

Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU

Michael Kean


Hi :)

I'm not at all in the world of databases, having progressed only as far as Microsoft Access and VBA; so perhaps this is a stupid suggestion; but with SSDs being so fast these days does it really matter if data is not in RAM any more?

Cheers, Mike.

Dude, you're getting a Dell – with Bitcoin: IT giant slurps cryptocash

Michael Kean

Re: Perpetual money machine

Mining with CPU and GPU are no longer profitable.

A GPU can do approx, 300Megahashes per second using 300 Watts

An ASIC miner can do approx. 5,000Megahashes per second on 8 Watts.

Android SMS worm punts dodgy downloads... from your MATES

Michael Kean

Re: Is this really a worm?

Nope. This is not a worm. Worms don't require user interaction.

OK, we get the message, Microsoft: Windows Defender splats 1000s of WinXP, Server 2k3 PCs

Michael Kean

Re: @cornz @ShelLuser

Why not just click "Change the way Security Centre Alerts me..." and deselect "Warn me about Windows Update."

It's nice to no longer have to let WUAUSERV chew up 500MB at boot on some old systems now :)

Nintendo is FLATLY UNHINGED: New 2DS is a handful of game

Michael Kean

Nice :)

You could almost get a convincing knock-up of Donkey Kong II on it from the Game & Watch days.

Those were great little buggers.

Tick-tock! 40% of PCs start Windows XP malware meltdown countdown

Michael Kean

I wonder...

... if the Search Companion dog will start to go grey soon. Thirteen human years is quite high for dog years.