* Posts by Martin

1111 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008

Page:

So you really didn't touch the settings at all, huh? Well, this print-out from my secret backup says otherwise

Martin
Happy

Re: Load?

Obligatory xkcd....

https://xkcd.com/1378/

eBay users spot the online auction house port-scanning their PCs. Um... is that OK?

Martin
IT Angle

Puzzled

If I have no incoming ports open on my firewall (and surely that's the default for most people on a normal NAT router) then what can they do? I'm not saying I approve of eBay trying to do anything on my computers, but surely most people these days (whether malicious or not) will be behind a standard NATting router in it's default state. So I don't see what eBay are gaining from this.

Or am I completely misunderstanding what they are doing?

---> nearest we have to a "?" icon.

In case you need more proof the world's gone mad: Behold, Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels

Martin
Happy

Re: About Time

Would it sound better with £50,000 speaker cables? Probably not.

But lets say is did. Would I notice? No.

Trust me, if you'd paid fifty grand for your speaker cables you would be absolutely certain that they sounded better and you'd be totally convinced you could tell the difference.

Real-time tragedy: Dumb deletion leaves librarian red-faced and fails to nix teenage kicks on the school network

Martin

Re: How to get Colossal Cave installed

Well, that's embarrassing. I've just checked again. It definitely doesn't need a hyphen.

I'm going to blame that on lockdown brain fade :)

Martin

Re: How to get Colossal Cave installed

Hmm. I definitely need the hyphen.

I did actually check it on a Kubuntu system and my rPi before I typed in the command here.

What distribution are you using?

Martin
Happy

How to get Colossal Cave installed

Well, in these lockdown days, it seems an excellent reason to revisit it!

On any Debian-based linux, (including on an RPi), go to the command line and type:-

sudo apt-get install bsd-games

Then type:-

adventure

Welcome to Adventure!! Would you like instructions?

And off you go. That'll keep you occupied for the next few weeks.

(What do you mean, you don't have a linux system?)

Absolutely everyone loves video conferencing these days. Some perhaps a bit too much

Martin
Happy

Re: heefee, heefy, weefy, wiffy....

I once briefly went out with a young lady from South Africa - quite a long time ago. I remember a conversation that went something like this:-

Shall I play some music? Anything particular you'd like to listen to?

Have you got any brid?

Sorry? Brid?

Brid !

Brid? Oh - Bread!

Yis!

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

Martin
FAIL

It astounds me that some modern e-books are apparently created using OCR. Given that they are presumably originally submitted to the publisher via a computer file, why would you then print the book then OCR it to make an e-book??

The worst recent example I saw of that was the Kindle version of a book about the collapse of Bear Stearns - about 50% of the time, the text referred to "Bear Steams" !

Not exactly the kind of housekeeping you want when it means the hotel's server uptime is scrubbed clean

Martin
Happy

Oh, that's evil. I love it!

Martin
Facepalm

...I bet the cleaner would HAVE normally read and obeyed the sign...

Still, I upvoted you for the comment. But please, please, PLEASE don't use "would of" or "should of" - you have no idea how much it pains me.

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

Martin

Or project managers.

Raspberry Pi goes 2GB for the price of 1GB in honour of mini-computer's eighth birthday

Martin

Or, possibly, a 4G memory chip costs significantly more than the 2G memory chip taking up the same space.

Time to svn commit like it's the year 2000: Apache celebrates 20 years of Subversion

Martin
Joke

Don't see what was wrong with sccs myself....

US Homeland Security mistakenly seizes British ad agency's website in prostitution probe gone wrong

Martin

In that respect they made a fundamental mistake in not setting up a .uk domain so they could continue to use email. Get the business going again and argue back at leisure.

Easy to be wise after the event. I mean, why would you suspect that your dotcom site was going to be intercepted by some US government security outfit?

So you locked your backups away for years, huh? Allow me to introduce my colleagues, Brute, Force and Ignorance

Martin
Happy

Re: My Uncle Hughie

there was no limit to how gently you could hit something with a big hammer but there was a limit to how hard you could hit something with a small hammer.

Have you ever tried putting up picture hooks with a sledge hammer?

Not call, dude: UK govt says guaranteed surcharge-free EU roaming will end after Brexit transition period. Brits left at the mercy of networks

Martin
Unhappy

Re: Hmmm.

Yes, but isn't it funny how they all, every last one of them, charged 39.9% ? You'd have thought with competition, there would have been some variation?

Surely there couldn't have been collusion? Naah - that wouldn't happen - it's illegal.

Take DOS, stir in some Netware, add a bit of Windows and... it's ALIIIIVE!

Martin
Happy

And to this day HP drivers still cause grief...

On Windows, yes. Fantastic bloatware.

But they are the best printers to use on Linux, without a doubt.

hp-setup on linux just works - no matter what your HP printer is, or where it is on the network.

(They also support Chromebooks!)

Well, well, well. Internet-of-Things speaker biz Sonos to continue some software support for legacy kit after all

Martin

I still use well-over-ten-year-old Squeezeboxen with my amp and speakers.

Sonos has always seemed an expensive solution for what it actually does.

Beware the Friday afternoon 'Could you just..?' from the muppet who wants to come between you and your beer

Martin
Happy

Re: The obvious get-out phrase...

There is a story that Mark Twain wanted to borrow a neighbour's book, but the neighbour said "You can read it, but you have to read it in my library. I make it a rule not to let books out of my house."

A couple of days later, the neighbour asked MT if he could borrow his lawnmower. "Certainly," said MT. "But you have to use it in my garden. You know I make it a rule."

Are you getting it? Yes, armageddon it: Mass hysteria takes hold as the Windows 7 axe falls

Martin
WTF?

Re: Microsoft Win10 Specs

""In order to run Windows 10, PCs must have a 1GHz processor, 16GB of hard drive space, and 1GB of RAM memory.""

Bollocks. I have a 32G hard disk on my machine and it RUNS Windows 10. It's complaining that I need to update it to the latest version. But if I try to upgrade it to the latest version, it fails for lack of disk space.

I don't believe 16G is anywhere near enough.

Y2K? It was all just a big bun-fight, according to one Reg reader

Martin
Happy

Re: When I were a lad...

A good opportunity to retell one of my favourite jokes.

A freelance Cobol programmer had made so much money by August 1999 fixing Y2K bugs, he decided to spend some of it. So he got himself cryogenically frozen, to be woken up in 2015, when, he hoped, any Y2K issues would be well fixed and the world would be a better place to live.

He work up...and looked round. He was in a hovering bed with robots looking after him. He was massively impressed by the level of the technology. Suddenly a voice spoke to him, saying "How are you feeling?"

"Fine" he said. "But I'm amazed by the technology you'd managed to get to by 2015".

"Ah" said the voice. "Actually, it's 2096, and we're a bit concerned about a possible Y2.1K bug. So we've woken you up as you're the only Cobol programmer we can find."

Your duckface better be flawless: Huawei's Nova 6 mobe has a needlessly powerful selfie camera

Martin
WTF?

Duckface?

A shade off-topic, but am I the only person in the world that thinks this duckface pose just makes good looking women look stupid and unattractive?

I've had it with these motherflipping eggs on this motherflipping train

Martin
FAIL

Re: Eggs on a train?

A Darlek has boarded the train...

Dalek. Sigh.

Not eggsactly eggsellent spelling.

I'm still not that Gary, says US email mixup bloke who hasn't even seen Dartford Crossing

Martin

Re: Capital One

Nice thing is with post, you can "absent-mindedly" open someone else's letter in among your own. It's perfectly understandably and no-one could easily accuse you of malice.

But if you're getting someone else's email, you can't legally "absent-mindedly" log into their account, do a password reset and cause mayhem.

I still get emails from Amazon (US) which are for someone else's account. I assume he only uses his phone number to log in.

Beardy biologist's withering takedown of creationism fetches $564,500 at auction

Martin

Re: Darwin, top bloke.

Best summary I know is the very last paragraph of the book. It's also a beautiful bit of writing.

It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

Help! I bought a domain and ended up with a stranger's PayPal! And I can't give it back

Martin
Happy

Re: Trying to report when people sign up with my addresses is painful

I cancelled the hotel booking some dumb cluck made using my email address...

I was a bit kinder than that. The booking included his home address, so I sent him a letter explaining what he'd done. Bit old-fashioned, but it worked.

He emailed me back, very apologetic!

Martin
Happy

Re: "...they take my personal data and privacy very seriously."

+1 for the Cream quote (though I see from a quick Google that they in fact covered the song).

But you're showing your age a bit....

When the satellite network has literally gone glacial, it's vital you snow your enemy

Martin
Headmaster

Re: Snow...

All these comments about the use of "separated" rather than "connected", jokes about four buildings rather than two - but no-one has been picky about the spelling error?

Well, I'll do it then. It's not "seperated", it's "separated".

Two years ago, 123-Reg and NamesCo decided to register millions of .uk domains for customers without asking them. They just got the renewal reminders...

Martin
Happy

Re: Maybe it is past time to call Trading Standards.

Actually, both my wife and I wrote to our MP, by email, complaining about the suspension of Parliament.

My wife wrote quite a rant. I wrote a more restrained email.

I got a very polite reply, by letter. My wife did not.

I suspect that he thinks that I might be persuaded to vote for him, but my wife certainly wouldn't - so why waste a reply on her?

The time a Commodore CDTV disc proved its worth as something other than a coaster

Martin
WTF?

Re: BAUD

To my UK Southern, pretty well RP accent, "paw", "pour" and "poor" are all quite clearly homophones. What accent are you, and which of these three quite short words has more that a single syllable?

Martin
FAIL

Re: BAUD

Well, I've always pronounced it to rhyme with "toad"....

Presumably that means I deserve ---------------------------->

Generous Google gives Chrome users Inbox Zero: Sign-in outage boots own browser out of webmail, services

Martin
WTF?

Re: dumbing down error messages

"Error #0068410B" - really?

There is surely something between "Something happened", which is so vague it's pointless, and "Error #0068410B" which is massively precise but also basically useless. Yes, you can Google it, but why not give us something more useful?

I remember when I was having trouble updating a PC to the latest Windows 10, I had a collection of several different magic numbers. But they all basically meant "You haven't got enough disk space". Would it have been so hard for Microsoft to say that?

'Hey Google, remind Greg the locks have been changed, and he should find a new place to live. Maybe ask his mistress?'

Martin
Facepalm

Re: Smart reply

Which is why I switched those "helpful suggestions" off as soon as I could work out how to do so.

(And it wasn't that straightforward, either).

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

Martin
Happy

Re: The invisible button

Indeed.

I sometimes wonder when I had time to actually go to work.

When I retired, I was given a mug which said "The problem with retirement is that you get no days off."

Y2K, Windows NT4 Server and Notes. It's a 1990s Who, Me? special

Martin
FAIL

Re: All hash prompts look the same

And, as always, the question has to be asked - why did he even have a remote root prompt into a server, rather than using sudo? Especially if it was a production server?

Even at home on my own linux box, I never never use a root prompt, unless I can find no other way of doing it. Just too easy to make a mistake.

GDS, what is it good for? According to a UK parliamentary committee: 'Increasingly unclear'

Martin
Headmaster

"...they kept LOSING long-term funding..."

Sigh.

Poetic justice: Mum funnels £100 into claw machine to win single Dumbo teddy for her kid

Martin
Happy

Re: Did she learn nothing?

All my team decided to play together and I just joined them because I didn't want to be the one stuck at that shite job if those sodders ever won it!

I once saw where a manager of a small firm had written to the financial advice section of a national paper, saying his team had formed a lottery syndicate - could he take out insurance against the risk of them winning and all resigning? They said that, no, you can't get insurance. They then suggested that the best thing to do was to join the syndicate...

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

Martin
Facepalm

Re: DEC Engineer

Pah! only ONE server?

A friend of mine (really!) was once decommissioning an array of servers in a machine room. He'd carefully shut them all down, and then went into the data centre, and walked along a row of server racks, powering off each server in the rack with the switch on the front.

Only it was the wrong row....

Cyber-IOU notes. Voucher hell on wheels. However you want to define Facebook's Libra, the most ridiculous part is its privacy promise

Martin
Happy

Re: Just because I noticed it ...

"One wonders at the overall intelligence level of those "YES" votes ..."

I'm surprised it's as low as 5% YES, from a country who voted for Donald Trump as their President.

One man went to mow a meadow, hoping Trump would spot giant grass snake under flightpath

Martin
WTF?

Re: childish

"...whilst taking jabs at his appearance..."

It was your president that said that Sadiq Khan was as incompetent as the NY mayor, only half the height.

If he feels it is reasonable political discourse to attack people based on their appearance, he can't complain when it happens to him.

It's 50 years to the day since Apollo 10 blasted off: America's lunar landing 'dress rehearsal'

Martin

Re: 50 years since men first landed on the moon

And America has not been able to replicate it since 1972.

What's really tragic is not that the US has not been able to replicate it, it's that no-one has even tried to do so. With 50 years of improved technology, there ought, by now, to have been a regular scheduled flight to the moon, and people living up there permanently. By now, the first children born on the moon should have been growing up.

And all we've done is doubled our population, and basically fucked our planet.

That's the truly epic fail.

Want a good Android smartphone without the $1,000+ price tag? Then buy Google's Pixel 3a

Martin

Re: Am I the only person in the world left who wants a SMALL SCREEN?

Due to smaller bezels and a different aspect ratio, they're not much wider despite the diagonal screen measurement being much bigger.

The ZX compact is right on the edge of being able to use with one (quite small) hand. Anything "not much wider" is still going to be too big.

(And what's with the two downvotes? Is it SO unreasonable not to want to carry around something that, only a few years ago, would have been considered to be ridiculously huge?)

Martin
Unhappy

Am I the only person in the world left who wants a SMALL SCREEN?

I use a Sony ZX Experia compact. 4.5" screen. I can use it one-handed.

Sony's new "compact" phone has a 5.3" screen, and it's about as small as you can get these days.

Come on Google. Do a Pixel 3a compact, with a smaller (and not quite so high quality) screen, at, say £349. Watch it FLY off the shelves.

Sigh.

Martin

Re: more convenient that having it on the front.

Well, I use a Sony ZX Experia compact, and the fingerprint sensor is on the side, on the power button. Really elegant - I like it a lot.

So Sony have decided to follow the crowd and put a sensor on the back instead on their latest phone :(

Dedicated techie risks life and limb to locate office conference phone hiding under newspaper

Martin
Happy

There was the shouty man who once rang me to ask what was wrong with the system I supported at a large US bank. I started to explain, and he interrupted me to say "I'm a Managing Director - what grade are you?" I told him I was a lowly VP, and he shouted "I want a Managing Director to ring me back and tell me what is wrong!"

I might have tried to find one for him (it would have had to have been my boss's boss, I think, and he wouldn't have had a clue what was wrong), but he slammed down the phone and hadn't told me his name or number....

We regret to inform you the massive asteroid NASA's all excited about probably won't hit Earth

Martin

Re: <|<|

Thanks to both of you. Should have thought of that, really.

But what's with the person who downoted the question? It wasn't THAT stupid a question, and it was asked in good faith.

Martin
IT Angle

It was first discovered in 2004 by a team of astronomers working at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona, United States.

They only managed to observe it for two days, however, due to technical problems and poor weather conditions. The faraway visitor remained lost to astronomers until another group at the Siding Spring Observatory, Australia, caught a glimpse of it.

This time they were able to piece together its trajectory.

How do they know that these two were the same lump of rock, given they couldn't work out it's trajectory until they saw it the second time?

(We really need a "?" icon for when you're actually asking a question.)

Internet industry freaks out over proposed unlimited price hikes on .org domain names

Martin
WTF?

And what about .info?

I have two .info sites, which are (blimey!) information sites about two of my favourite authors and their books. They are not official sites (though in both cases, I have been told that they are happy for me to run them), so I don't feel right using the ".com" moniker (or .co.uk or similar). ".info" seems right.

I'm happy to pay a few quid a year for each of them. But it's a labour of love. If I have to pay more than a few quid a year, I'll just shut them down - and two useful resources will vanish from the internet.

Is that a stiffy disk in your drive... or something else entirely?

Martin
Unhappy

I have seen people plug a VGA cable in the wrong way round.

I'm embarrassed to admit I managed that, on my first PC. As it was my own personal computer, and it had cost me a lot of money, I spend a long time carefully straightening the pins with needle-nosed pliers. Plugged it back in, kept my fingers crossed - and it worked! I screwed it in firmly and never unplugged it again.

(Well, I suppose I must have done eventually, as I no longer have it...)

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