* Posts by James Anderson

867 posts • joined 5 Apr 2007


Trump's Make Space Great Again video pulled after former 'naut says: Nope

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Trump's campaign slogan..

Yes but people are still dieing at about 500 per day, lock down is non-existent and there is much under reporting as you need to pay for medical attention (like getting your death certificate filled in correctly).

Just a matter of time before the death rate exceeds the appalling UK total.

OOP there it is: You'd think JavaScript's used more by devs than Java... but it's not – JetBrains survey

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Python !?

Nice language but it eats cpu. FORTRAN is the poster child for long lived languages, closely followed by COBOL which tends to prove longevity is not a good metric.

James Anderson Silver badge

No. The server side is coded in php.

Someone got so fed up with GE fridge DRM – yes, fridge DRM – they made a whole website on how to bypass it

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Entirely legal

Congratulations on challenging the Budwieser/Molson duopoly. But please learn how to brew beer properly -- most American craft beer taste like someone stuffed a handful of dried hops in your mouth, bitter doesn't come close to describing the experience.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes: UK man gets 3 years for torching 4G phone mast over 5G fears

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: He used the wrong excuse

Not unless he had a couple of you children to throw in -- otherwise it lacks credbility.

Legal complaint lodged with UK data watchdog over claims coronavirus Test and Trace programme flouts GDPR

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Last month's solution?

Compare and contrast with Spain.

In early March they had the worst statistics of any country in Europe thousands of new cases and hundreds of deaths per day.

After 12 weeks of strict and strictly enforced lock down we now have tens of deaths per week and several consecutive days with no deaths reported.

With a committed government, a competent civil service and a properly funded health service the pandemic can be beaten.

Its a pity that the UK has a gifted comedian for a prime minister, a shambles of a civil service, and a health system that was failing long before the pandemic struck.

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: So what's the problem?

So where is the ink between track and trace and vacine development.

Vacines are developed in laboratories using a few samples of the vairus taken from a few patients.

No amount of data on how many people have been infected where will speed up or slow down the painstaking process of finding something that will fool your immune system into producing anti-bodies for a virus that is not here (yet).

Having said that the proposed implementation of test and trace is laughable -- a ridiculous call centre trying to trace contacts rather than switching 'leccy companies.

Its all an excuse to end lock down early and get the economy going again albeit with another 20,000 deaths.

I am so glad I can watch the unfolding disaster from a safe distance.

Brit MP demands answers from Fujitsu about Horizon IT system after Post Office staff jailed over accounting errors

James Anderson Silver badge

er studies suggest that there are approx. 15 bugs per thousand lines of code.

Not all of these get caught during testing. Its just good professional practice as a coder to assume that its your fault when something goes wrong.

Devuan Beowulf 3.0 release continues to resist the Debian fork's Grendel – systemd

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: "It solves a problem that people have."

Window NT. Was the fourth main stream OS architected by Dave Culter.

He is very talented software engineer and while NT was not as good as VMS it was very good.

Microsift may have since mucked it up but NT and its immediate successor XP were solid operating systems which established MS as a serious player in the Server room.

The services part of the OS was very well thought out and very well implemented. So I am not surprised that systemd looks very similar.

James Anderson Silver badge

.. relics of history! Join Judnetum the only truly representative of the people of Judea -- we know whats right for them.

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: "It solves a problem that people have."

The problem is the previous init solution rc.1, rc.2 etc. required several messy scripts, and, did not include any monitoring, and left everybody to come up with thier own shutdown strategy.

On HP-UX this got even worse with their practice of combining all of the above into a single script which then had to work out where in the statup/shutdown cycle it was.

I recently had my first experience of implementing systemd control for a service and was surprised how simple, effective and straightforward it was -- given the opprobrium heaped on it by the youngsters.

It seems to be a better implementation of the excellent Windows NT service interface!

It works well, its easy to use and offers far more control than other solutions -- get over it.

Laughing UK health secretary launches COVID-19 Test and Trace programme with glitchy website and no phone app

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Good and bad

However as the most likely route of infection is from an infected surface to victims hand to victims face/food, the likelihood of knowing who sneezed on said surface two hours ago is almost nil.

At least a location based app could send enough data to identify sufferers who were at the same place and notify anyone else who was there to go and get tested.

IBM Sametime could rise again as HCL makes shortlist for India's home-grown Zoom clone

James Anderson Silver badge

Well not as dumb as the UK gov. which pays over the top for mostly American software, and, lets thier shrinking software development industry wither and die.

Incidentally one of the many harmful side affects of selling local companies to foreign conglomerates is that any locally sourced software is ditched for the corporate standard usually Microsoft and Oracle/SAP.

Man responsible for least popular iteration of Windows UI uses iPad Pro as a desktop*

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: So it doesn't even do what its creator needs ??

As any ful kno.

The users do not know what they want. Which is why generations of systems analysts and designers never ask. Always ask "what do you do", " why is it done that way","what are your problems" if you ask them what they want they will deny ever asking when you deliver the resulting mess.

IBM cuts deep into workforce – even its Watson and AI teams – as it 'pivots' to cloud

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Cut loose, foot loose

It was a great pity when they failed to step up to the mark when Motorola bottled out of the PowerPC market. IBM had all the expertise to produce a viable chip somewhere between the low power Xbox games console chips and the mega Power server chips.

James Anderson Silver badge

The one thing they are really good at.

Not P45s (Pink Slips) which has certainly become a core skill, but hardware.

Which has been abandoned by management in spite of the fact that the niche zSeries mainframe line is the only real money maker the company has left.

While power series may be overpriced it is superb kit.

Ditching the laptop and PC market may have pleased the Wall Street analysts but it pleased Lenovo even more as they acquired a very profitable line in [prestige laptops. (Thinkpads just get better!).

SAP proves, yet again, that Excel is utterly unkillable

James Anderson Silver badge

Been doing this for years

Rather than go through the pain of speccing reports, messing around with headers footers etc. only to be told "we need the widget id on the item line and subtotals by tax period" two days before go live.

I just dump anything useful is a downloadable spreadsheet and let the users work out what they need in real time. Works a treat.

What does not work so well is using spreadsheets as primary input. I have done this rather than go through a massive data entry re-work of a semi manual system where most of the data was in spreadsheets we just read the spreadsheets. About 20 different variations in the format over a few thousand files, and, I will gladly de-sanguinate anyone who even thinks "merged cell".

It all went relatively smoothly - bet then they insisted on continuing to enter data via spreadsheets.

If you're appy and you know it: The Huawei P40 Pro conclusively proves that top-notch specs aren't everything

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: What's to stop you logging in to Google's apps via whatever browser they've included?

Yet people (probably you) spend 30 minutes plus commuting to work an 10 minutes plus cuing for the till at the cheaper supermarket. Really what’s three extra clicks.

Swedish data centre offers rack-scale dielectric immersion cooling

James Anderson Silver badge

Interesting but .....

Coolants -- what exactly are they using. The PCBs they used to use in transformers were incredibly toxic.

Fire risk -- oil leak, lots of electrical wires gotta be a risk.

And worst of all-

Condensation -- water condenses on cold surfaces, water dripping on to your expensive electrical toys cannot be good.

Xiaomi Mi 9 owners furious after dodgy Vodafone software patch bricked their mobes

James Anderson Silver badge

Android One

Next time you buy a phone make sure its in the "Android One" program.

You will then get timely updates direct from google and keep the phone company out of the loop.

The Rise of The (Coffee) Machines: I need assistance. I think I'm running Windows. Send help

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: What annoys me intensely ...

Is not time a wonderful thing. Once upon a time I actually knew what that message meant and what to do about it. Thankfully now I neither know nor care.

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Not quite Windows

When I did real work before powerpoints and agile I used to get loads of beer vouchers for being “on call”.

Which ironically meant not using those beer vouchers for said purpose a couple of evenings a week just in case you actually did get called.

On one such occasion it was serious, at 2am the big box was not happy and refused to work. Never mind I was the shit hot “Systems Programmer” and was trained to deal with these problems.

On arrival I dully went through the procedures and unearthed the fatal and meaningless error message which read something like “No TLAs in FOO” . Looked up the error code in the trusty manual which advised “Please contact your systems programmer”. I did not actually cry but would have jumped out of the window if we were not in the basement.

Ex-Imagination Technologies boss tells UK Foreign Affairs Committee: Britain needs to stop overseas asset stripping

James Anderson Silver badge

Stock market is not fit for purpose

The current Uk financial services industry does not invest in anything.

They just asset strip, either by forcing the management to hand over dividends each quarter by cutting costs, cancelling needed investment or selling of assets.

If that does not work then selling to the first foreigner that comes along.

Great for bankers bonuses.

However there is no investment in new technologies, innovative companies . Worse when the overseas owner gets into trouble they shut down the foriegn operations -- i.e. the UK operation because its easier and cheaper to sack workers there. Even worse valuable brands are squandered, how long before you hear the word "Cadburies" and think YUK?

We beg, implore and beseech thee. Stop reusing the same damn password everywhere

James Anderson Silver badge

Passwords are sh*t but what’s the alternative

In my work fincial personal and domestic live I have close to 100 passwords to rememberer somehow manage.

It’s impossible, I am pretty good about this I use password safe for the important stuff but the rest mostly relies on my fading memory, the browsers memory or the “forgot your password” link.

The banks have forced two factor authentication on me , which is pretty much a good thing ... but I am glad I was not finalising a house purchase when I ( something to do with wine) left my phone in the back of a taxi.

You need to establish a hierarchy of what’s important work, banks and the email where your “forgot your password” gets sent to. Forget about the rest, if you cannot remember a password you made up good luck to anyone else.

P.S, You really need to change and remember your router password. It’s a PITA to do the hardware reset just to change your WiFi password.

Xiaomi what you're working with: Chinese mobe-flinger proffers two Redmi Note phablets for UK market

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: This is more than a little disturbing...

I got one of these purely because of the “AndroidOne” o.s.

My prevoius phone an otherwise excellent and fully functional HTC, became gradually unusable as newer apps refused to install on a 4 year old OS.

So if you want your phone to still be useful in five years time make sure it’s “One” branded.

Browse mode: We're not goofing off on the Sidebar of Shame and online shopping sites, says UK's Ministry of Defence

James Anderson Silver badge

Could explain why government service are so excremental

The Daily Mail rots your brain.

Unlike the 5g nonsense this is a proven fact. Daily mail readers are afraid of there shadows, too frightened to venture out because of black/asian/asylum seeking muggers. They think any government spending is wasteful (probably true given the article). They will hate anyone they are told to hate.

From attacked engineers to a crypto-loving preacher with a questionable CV: Yep, it's still very much 5G silly season

James Anderson Silver badge

Really sad.

The west and particularly the UK and latterly the US has enjoyed 300 years of economic growth largely on the basis of the pioneers of modern science Hook, Boyle, Newton.

Public discourse and our ideas of right and wrong have been largely based on the humanist philosophers Hume, Payne Bentham et al. and not some schizophrenic from 3000 years ago.

The combination of scientific advancement and rational civil discourse allowed the western world to shoot ahead of the rest of the world ( at about 1600 China was the most advanced civilisation, the Mogul empire not far behind Europe was level pegging with the Ottoman Empire and a hairs breadth above the Incas )

So the great beneficiaries of all this are now abandoning science and looking to cruel and ancient texts for guidance.

Patently dogged: Apple unleashes lawyers to slash $454m patent rip-off bill – even after Supreme Court snub

James Anderson Silver badge

Don’t they understand the law?

.. the unwritten rule of law which has held for 246 years

“ he who holedef the the largesf purse shall prevail “

IBM Watson GPU cloud cluster Brexits from London to Frankfurt – because GDPR

James Anderson Silver badge

Law of un expected consequeces

Pleople seem to regard the EU as guardians of citizens privacy and they do seem to try very hard if somewhat in fee tally.

One side affect I have noticed is that the annoying “ we use cookies , agree out terms or go elsewhere “ message on many sites you are not just agreeing to host their cookies but much much more particularly agreeing to receive notifications.

So if you are getting p**ded off with your browser gong ping notifying you of something you have no interest in every ten minutes, give thanks to the EUs efforts to protect you.

IBM == Insecure Business Machines: No-auth remote root exec exploit in Data Risk Manager drops after Big Blue snubs bug report

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Does not compute


Hey those locks you installed in a 1000 house can be opened with a paper clip.


Sorry can’t hear you, lah lah lah

Cloudflare goes retro with COBOL delivery service. Older coders: Who's laughing now? Turns out we're still vital

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Enter Assembler

IBM OS/MVS assembly language —- the language of the Gods.

A thing of beauty that beats many so called high level languages for elegance and power.

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: “Old Hardware” is fake news

The big problem with migrating COBOL off the mainframe is not the language itself which is reasonably portable, if you are prepared to accept the minor differences between compilers.

However most COBOL is dependent on the unique and complex mainframe environment. CICS or IMS/TM, plus DB2, VSAM IMS/DB IMS/Fastpath not to mention the horrors of JCL.

Not only does it need an almost complete rewrite to move the code into a *nixy or wndows environment, but while the above software environment may be old fashioned and sometime awkward it performs and scales like nothing else.

Compare the resources taken by say a CICS/DB2/COBOL based system with a J2EE/Java system doing the same job -- the java will consume about 5 times the resource for half the performance.

(P.S. as zOS hosts a 100% complaint J2EE, Java environment you can do like for like tests on the same hardware).

James Anderson Silver badge

“Old Hardware” is fake news

The current line of Zseries mainframes is the most advanced server hardware available, and, you pay a substantial premium to get it.

One of the reasons there is still so much COBOL still running is the continuous development of the 360 hardware. A three year refresh cycle that has been sustained for 50 years.

This combined with a zealous commitment to backward compatibility means that the sensible choice has always been upgrade the hardware and maintain the old code, rather than risk a rewrite.

Not to mention the sad history and high failure rate of “let’s move this of the mainframe” to minicomputers, clusters, unix windows and currently “the cloud” projects.

So what we have is lots of 40 to 20 year old systems running on slick hardware, some of which has been well maintained and most of which has been running for years with few changes.

ICANN's founding CEO and chair accuse biz of abandoning principles in push for billion-dollar .org sale

James Anderson Silver badge

Who owns Ethos?

Given the secrecy surrounding the ownership there are some interesting possibilities.

The board of ICANN

The board of “.org”

The Chinese government.

The North Korean government.

One of the Silicon Valley millionaires

Ernst Blofeld and his cat.

One thing is for sure nobody ethical with the interests of the internet users or the owners of .org websites at heart would go to so much trouble to hide their identity.

Watch out, everyone, here come the Coronavirus Cops, enjoying their little slice of power way too much

James Anderson Silver badge

I always wondered about the British allergy to ID cards.

The rest of Europe has them, you cannot live in the US without a driving license, even if you cannot drive.

Instead you have rampant identity theft, totally unregulated Credit Rating agencies being used to establish your ID, and, a massive illegal immigration problem. The reason they pass through Italy, Spain and France to get to the UK is they know that once you get past the border you can work and move around freely.

James Anderson Silver badge

So glad I don't live there anymore

What a bunch of self-centred, whinging whiners you lot have become.

As far as I can work out the U.K. police have been decidedly under zealous in there enforcing the life saving social distancing regulations.

Here in Spain the various police forces have been rigorously enforcing the lockdown. And whenever there are reports of someone being fined or arrested there is a general "cheers -- well done lads, keep up the good work" reaction.

From Amanda Holden to petrol-filled water guns: It has been a weird week for 5G

James Anderson Silver badge

Tell them not to worry

Placing a plastic bag over your head will ensure you do not receive any harmful 5g radation.

Please do this at home to avoid littering the streets.

COBOL-coding volunteers sought as slammed mainframes slow New Jersey's coronavirus response

James Anderson Silver badge

Just guessing

But given the almost infinite scalability of zOS based systems I would guess they are stuck on the one architecture thar did not scale well. CICS/VSAM.

The problem being only a single CICS region can own a VSAM dataset. So it rapidly becomes a bottle neck when the system is under heavy load.

Back in the 80s most shops migrated their VSAM to DB2, allowing dozens of CICS regions to access the data simultaneously.

New IBM CEO Arvind Krishna says hybrid cloud will be bigger than mainframes, services, middleware

James Anderson Silver badge

Few companies HAD the trust, ....

I think he got his tenses mixed up there.

Over the last 10 years has squandered its customers trust in order to meet quarterly revenue targets.

The cumulative wisdom has been fired and replaced with cheaper easier to bully youngsters.

I wish him luck but I think Ginny has hollowed out the once great company and its beyond recovery.

Still makes a ton of money of the ancient zOS platform.

Half of organisations willing to be led into the first circle of hell, or what Dante might call upgrading an ERP system

James Anderson Silver badge

Ah the endless optimism of deluded management

Imagining a new ERP implementation will solve your problems is up there with "Oh it'll be different when we are married" pit bull terriers are "just gentle little puppies".

We need a new generation of managers that looks at numbers and facts, rather than shiny sales brochures.

I'd like to see a scientific study comparing the success of commercial ERP implementations with say ones based on an abacus and knots in string.

Official: Office 365 Personal, Home axed next month... and replaced by Microsoft 365 cloud subscriptions

James Anderson Silver badge

Joy to dodgy thesis writers everywhere

Did I read this right. The plagiarism detection tool, will not only warn you that your cut and paste authoring is inadequate it will give you some hints on re-writing to avoid detection.

Finally – news that something is guaranteed to be healthy and well looked-after for the next six months. That something is Windows 10 1709

James Anderson Silver badge

Windows 10 updates always break something.

The only serious windows laptop belongs to She Who Must Be Obeyed. Every two months or so it goes out of action for a couple of hours going through the painful update process and when ot returns something is always broken. Currently it will not connect to a bog standard Epson wireless printer which all the linux boxen have no trouble using, been a problem for weeks now. Last update borked skye which was easily solved as the update pushed the crappy "TILE" version to the fore obscuring the working proper windows app.

Recently it totally borked an ASUS stick PC as 32GB is not enough to hold a copy of windows with no extra apps installed plus the update.

I know the solution is move to Mint Cinnamon -- but she is stuck with a couple of windows only applications.

Unfortunately I think most windows users are in this position they would happliy move away from the increasingly weird Windows 10, but depend on

Viseo, and bizarrely in the wifes case Apple Itunes. with 15 years of music most of the early downloads are DRM encumbered and do not transfer easily.

And NO I am not paying through the nose for a MAC.

The show Musk go on: Tesla defies Silicon Valley coronavirus lockdown order, keeps Fremont factory open

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Yes, it can kill people, it's true.

I live in Spain, we are in lockdown but there is no actual panic.

People are generally playing by the new rules and staying home, but the shops are full of all the normal stuff and nobody is filling trolleys with bog roll.

So far there have been 500 deaths with the fatality rate increasing by the day. This in what is officially the healthiest country in Europe with one of the best healthcare systems in the world.

So a total lockdown is not an over reaction, if fact anything less would be criminally negligent.

Butterfly defect stripped from MacBook Pros, Airs by Q2 2020, reckons Apple analyst

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: I liked the butterfly keyboard..

Thinkpad keyboard is still the best,

I know their were lots of complaints about the “new” keyboards, but, honestly they are just have a different feel from the older ones. When I went back to an older thinkpad I was surprised how much I did not like the older style keyboard after 3 years of using the newer style.

IBM's outgoing boss Rometty awarded $20m+ in 2019 for growing revenue 0.1%

James Anderson Silver badge

My part in Ginnie’s bonus

I signed up for a free account six years ago to run a quick test.

In spite of reminders to renew my subscription from a credit card that expired 5years ago I still seem to be a customer.

with apologies to Spike Milligan.

Stop us if you've heard this one before: HP Inc rejects Xerox's $36.5bn buyout plan as takeover saga drags on

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Strategy Option?

But that would require actual cash. These buyouts are based on taking out loans using the bought company shares as security, then, transferring the debt to the bought company.

Basically it’s a sophisticated form of asset stripping.

This is your last chance, HP. There's no turning back. You take blue poison pill, the story ends. You take the red Xerox pill, you stay in Wonderland

James Anderson Silver badge

Xerox ... how sad

Remember this is the company that brought you GUI interfaces, the mouse WYSWYG editors, ethernet.

All of which made a fortune for Steve Jobs. Just goes to show imitation beats innovation when it comes to profits.

And they said IoT was trash: Sheffield 'smart' bins to start screaming when they haven't been emptied for a fortnight

James Anderson Silver badge

Move to Spain

Our rubbish gets collected three or four times a week.

For this we pay about a tenth of the amount in local taxes.

I know it’s not really your councils fault as they are only there to implement orders from Whitehall and take the resulting flack.

Private equity ponies up £2m to help launch satellites from sunny Shetland by next year

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Ideal

Shetland is so windswept there are no trees!

What chance a has a rocket got of staying upright long enough while waiting for a break in the weather?

Auf wiedersehen, pet: UK Deutsche Bank contractors plan to leave rather than take 25% pay cut for IR35 – report

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: The bank has paid $18.3bn in regulatory fines since 2008

Actually the one thing you can rely on bankers for is to lose vast amounts of money.

The history of banking goes like this:

Bankers make foolish investments, lose their customers money and cause financial crisis

Government bails them out and introduces regulations to stop them being so stupid next time

Bankers find a way to circumvent regulations and take enormous risks for small profits and larger bonuses.

Back to step 1



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