* Posts by T-Bo

39 posts • joined 22 Feb 2008

It will never be safe to turn off your computer: Prankster harnesses the power of Windows 95 to torment fellow students



Macs were great for this sort of thing ... you could change pretty much any menu or dialog box in the System, given the proper editor. Anyone using my Mac would have found the Eject Disk and Erase Disk commands reversed ... the warning dialog for Erase was adjusted to reflect Eject also. Caught more than one unwary visitor with that one.

Once dropped a little startup program on my roomate's Mac Plus ... used Macintalk to call him very rude names, in a loop. Only way to exit was to hold the mouse button down through 2 full executions of the loop.

Ah, the 80's ... Fun times, those ... :)

Humans may be able to live on Mars within halls of aerogel – a wonder material that can trap heat and block radiation


Re: "supercritical dryer device"

You might go plaid ...

Sexbots could ‘over-exert’ their human lovers, academic warns


Re: "you're probably not going to be that bothered about human sex"

And of course, it wouldn't demand "palimony", expensive gifts. It wouldn't gripe at you for no reason, lie about you to your friends/enemies and/or take you to court, etc. etc. etc.

That'll be version 2.0 then ... or optional Service Packs perhaps?

I'm just not sure the computer works here – the energy is all wrong


As a young man, I worked temp in a store-room, pulling parts for electronic assemblies at a company that made digital printing equipment. All of the inventory control was centered in a U-shaped arrangement of desks, holding 8 PC workstations. Company decided to build a beautiful steel mezzanine over this, steel poles all around, to reclaim that part of the footprint for storage.

Every time the welders working on the decking above would strike an arc, the images on all of those monitors below would go absolutely crazy.

Entertaining, it was ... :)

China's loose Chang'e: Probe lands on far side of the Moon in science first, says state media


Ranger 4

The US tried in 1962 with the Ranger 4 probe, though boffins lost control of the spacecraft and it slammed into the surface.

Pretty sure all the Rangers slammed into the moon... ISTR they were sent for rough photo recon, never intended to soft-land ...

Abracadabra! Tales of unexpected sysadmagic and dabbling in dark arts


Same for me - used to work at a Kodak Rapid Turnaround repair depot back in the 90's, repairing TI laptops and Laser Printers ... techs would often ask me to come over and touch a recalcitrant piece of gear so that it would start working and they could button it up and send it back to burn in ...

Wasted worker wasps wanna know – oi! – who are you looking at?


He was only half-a-bee ...

Prank 'Give me a raise!' email nearly lands sysadmin with dismissal


Re: Incognito Mode?

Sol: How you doing, Vincent?

Vinnie: I'd be doing a lot better if you'd stop using my name ...

Time to party like it's 2005! Palm is coming BAAAA-ACK


The more unlucky among us, especially in healthcare, still do ... :(

Sysadmin’s worst client was … his mother! Until his sister called for help


Re: My Dad... - installing stuff

Back in the day, my brother loaded up his Win 95 clone PC with every bargain-basement, shoddy-drivered expansion you could think of ... crap SCSI adapter for knock-off scanner, TV tuner card, FM radio card, you name it. No name brands, all stuff bought cheap from back-page ads in magazines.

Every time I would get the mess sorted, he'd add something else or load another crap app and one or more of the drivers would break. Always claimed he'd done nothing at all ... It was obviously some mistake I had made. He had just innocently rebooted one day and it had all gone wrong.

So -- I took a day and rebuilt it from the ground up, finally found an install and config sequence for all of the sh*t drivers that allowed them to coexist, and then called him to check it out. He verified that all of the sh*t peripherals he'd installed were working with the sh*t drivers and sh*t apps they required.

Made him shut it down and restart it, cold. Three times. Each time repeating all of these verifications.

When he grudgingly agreed that all was well, I told him never to load anything else, and never to call me about it again. Family are the worst customers.

Leaning tower of NASA receives last big arm


I got the impression that he was referring to the one Shuttle in particular.

However, 'gliding' would hardly be an appropriate description for those engines' return to the Atlantic.

10 PRINT "ZX81 at 37" 20 GOTO 10



Indeed - Apple told me that in 1985 when I first asked about upgrading my $2500.00 128 Mac to a 512, and I was floored. Though they did eventually get round to offering an upgrade (for $1000.00), by then I had bought a 2nd hand IBM XT clone with a CRT, a stack of software, and dot-matrix printer, all for the princely sum of $400.

Had a blast with that thing, learning about expansion boards (anyone remember the CopyIIPC boards?), upformatting old full-height HDD's, adding a RTC chip (which the early XTs sadly lacked) ... I learned a ton off that little investment.

I've never looked back, and have never purchased an Apple product since.

Another day, another meeting, another £191bn down the pan


In the run-up to Y2K, I was a consultant, converting/correcting clinical integration systems for that event. While working at a hospital system in Philadelphia with others like me from various vendors and consultancies, the Project Manager for the health system came round and requested that we all join her in a meeting room ASAP.

We assembled there to find a number of circular tables with dozens of neat piles of documents arranged around them, a number of 3-hole punches, and a stack of empty binders in one corner. Her idea was that we would each grab a binder and walk round the tables assembling the notebooks (which were apparently Y2K project updates for senior management/board meetings), repeating until the stack of empty binders was exhausted.

I gently reminded her in front of her boss that she was paying $400.00/hour to have me on-site ... I asked whether she felt those hours were more profitably spent building interfaces, or building notebooks for her meetings?

Her boss immediately returned us all to our duties ... never did hear how the notebooks turned out.

‘I crashed a rack full of servers with my butt’


Re: #metoo with a big arse

Indeed - we have a large, well-equipped meeting hall with powered window blinds, powered projector screens, various spot-lighting arrangements, etc ... all controlled by a cosmos of switch panels strategically placed at hip-height about the perimeter of the room ... rarely does an all-hands meeting pass without blinds, screens, and/or lights being triggered at intervals by folks leaning on the wall ... endless fun.

Voyager 1 fires thrusters last used in 1980 – and they worked!


Re: Here's a thought...

Just be sure to exit through the window, not through the door.

Storms blow away 2017 Solar Challenge field


Re: Much better....

... or aorist rods, perhaps?

Gulp! Drones dodge spray from California's gaping moist glory hole


Original Star Trek

Obviously the planet-killer from TOS episode, the Doomsday Machine.

Just need a wrecked USS Constellation circling it for good measure.

Elon Musk: I'm gonna turn Mars into a $10bn death-dealing interplanetary gas station


Re: Link to slides

They'll want to be careful with those floodlights on Europa ... just sayin' ....

'Please label things so I can tell the difference between a mouse and a microphone'


For anyone in a long-ago office who was silly enough to leave their workstation open and unattended, we used to replace the Windows error sound with a WAV from the cowboy line boss in Blazing Saddles: "Hold it, hold it -- What the hell is that shit!?"

Sounded glorious, eventually ringing out across a dead-quiet office.

Good times, back in the day ...


Re: Easily fixed...

there are people genuinely incapable of ever learning which side is left and which one is right

This is not completely uncommon ... My Pop once got directions to someone's home, to look at a piece of furniture that my Mom was interested in. After driving for nearly an hour in confusion, he went back home and decided to retrace the route, substituting left for right and right for left in the directions had had been given. Straight to the house he went.

Stripped of its galaxy, this black hole is wandering naked in the cosmos


re: (untitled)

"I'm just a brain surgeon... :-)"

No, no, no, don't tug on that. You never know what it might be attached to.

--- Buckaroo Banzai

Police raid India call centre, detain 500 in fraud probe


Re: Hello, my name is [Anglicised], I'm calling from [major corporation/department]

Agreed ... trolling them can be quite fun, provided you don't have better things to do at the moment. The sillier the better. The longer you engage them, the less effective they are overall.

That's cold: This is how our boss told us our jobs are at risk, staffers claim


Done traveling

In the run-up to Y2K, I was all over the US, upgrading/replacing data integration engines for larger healthcare and utility companies. After around a year of being on the road for weeks on end, supporting one site locally and 3-5 others remotely from my hotel room in the evenings, I finally got smart and caught on with a big hospital system to run their integration team.

Gave my current employer 4 weeks notice, as this would allow me to get my main client site in Arkansas through their go-live. Thought this would be a great way to end up for them. On Thursday of the final week, go-live week, I received a call from a colleague who was also in his final week with the company, saying "Check your credit cards ... mine have been cut off".

I checked, and so had mine. Amex, phone card, everything. 3 weeks of hotel, long distance bill, car rental, etc ... and I was on the hook for all of it. I went to my contact at the client site, explained the situation. He was livid. Insisted on paying all of my bills, and charging it back to the my soon to be ex-employer, with a significant markup for being idiots. Go-live was flawless, and I hopped the plane home on Friday, footloose and fancy-free.

Haven't considered a traveling job since.

If we can't find a working SCSI cable, the company will close tomorrow


Devil's in the details

Years back, I worked for 3D Systems, supporting their old resin/laser-based stereolithography systems. Customer had just taken delivery a of shiny new SLA machine, and the elevator stage had a mind of its own, with the stepper motor bucking and intermittently running the opposite direction as commanded. Two regional support techs and their senior supervisor visited the site, replaced nearly every component in the subsystem, but still the problem persisted.

After three weeks of this, the customer was ready to crate it up and send it back. So - I'm dispatched with a one-way ticket to Oregon to figure it out. First thing I did was unplug/check/reseat each connector on the harness involved. Sure enough, in manufacturing one of the pins in a molex block had been improperly soldered to its wire, connected by just a few strands. Sometimes the motor got correct current to all windings, and sometimes it didn't. 15 minutes with a crimp and portable soldering iron and all was well. Cabling is always a playground for failure.

Lester Haines: RIP



Stunning news - RIP Lester, you will be sorely missed.

TITANIC 'UNLIKELY' TO SINK AGAIN, says prof - apparently


Re: The chances of the Titanic being raised somehow from the freezing ocean depths

(AND Justin Bieber)

Fixed that for you ...

IT guy answers daughter's Facebook rant by shooting her laptop


You've missed it ...

He wasn't looking for sympathy, nor complaining to the world ... his intended audience was his daughter and perhaps a number of the teenage frinds to whom she undoubtedly bragged about her video rant ... the world was just invited along for an enjoyable ride.

Ministers kill off failed £12.7bn NHS IT revamp

Thumb Up

On the right track ...

"It is no longer appropriate for a centralised authority to make decisions on behalf of local organisations. We need to move on from a top down approach and instead provide information systems driven by local decision-making."

If only governments would extend this same logic to themselves ...

'Rock star' spewed guts after emitting vast pearl necklace



A spokesman for Disaster Area was later quoted as saying that it had been "a good gig"...

Lightning bolt smites 60ft Jesus statue


Consider this:

Larry Flint's Hustler Superstore is right across the freeway from the statue and it was perfectly fine after the storm. And no, I'm not kidding ... :)

Hawking: Aliens are out there, likely to be Bad News


Nature imitating art?

"I don't know," said the voice on the PA, "Apathetic bloody planet, I've no sympathy at all." ... It cut off ...

NASA flying car engineer shoots down Reg coverage



Always called that the "Mexican Speedwrench"

X-Men helmsman to fly Battlestar Galactica

Paris Hilton


That would be a "pink slip" ...

Paris, because I'm sure she has many pink slips ...

Bloke uses nail clippers to go roundhead



Ouch Ouch Ouch Ouch Ouch Ouch Ouch

Obama eyes next NASA boss


Experience, just for a change

Being a merkin myself, I think it's good that BO is tapping someone with practical experience and proven leadership skills for this position. Much of NASA's management sorely lacks these, and has for some time.

Also -- RE: the race scrap above -- give it a rest, guys ... too early in the week .... :)

'Bolt removal issue' hits Hubble spacewalk


Percussive Maintenance

"If it jams, force it - if it breaks, it needed replacing anyway"

ISS urinal/drinks-machine combo still buggy



Share and Enjoy ...

Google eyes Cleveland medical records


Not just a Clinic ...

The Cleveland Clinic is actually a Health System with 10+ large hospitals and dozens of outpatient/ambulatory clinics as members ... this move actually has huge implications for those of us in Healthcare IT...


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