Re: Nothing New
Yupp... been there.. seen that... had to fix it anyway because the boat was leaving in 4 hrs regardless....
2456 posts • joined 10 Mar 2008
industrial robots?... is it April the 1st again? this covid pandemic has really screwed up my sense of time..
We dont want the robots to program themselves or analyse the task or do anything other than what we tell them to. because they are bloody expensive when they break.
our way is that repeat work is saved as programs, the machine tool is loaded with a part number, the robot is loaded with a program matching that part number, and away we go making bits (I've simplified the process a lot here )
Any new work is designed up and tested as best we can off the machine, followed by teaching the robot howto hold and move the part.. everything done nice and slow so we can see the problems as they occur so where is the AI going to fit in?
20 years learning machining and programming? or is it just going to find 'best fit' from a huge database of knowledge without the specific knowledge that always catches us engineering types out
Or put it a shorter way "would you fly on an aircraft thats had its flight control software written by an AI?"
to be able to come up with an accidental boss replacement tool and yet no trace of how the foul deed was done
We are learning so much here it defys belief.
Now if only he could teach us the best way to protect our keyboards....
although on the subject of teaching, our work experience guy left today, an older and wiser man, for although he never wants to have anything to do with the likes of us robot wranglers again, he has learned that in any future employment to seek out the oldest grumpiest employee and offer him coffee in the morning, then sit at his feet and learn the wisdom from him. And especially run any new idea past his eye and wait for the possible reactions:-
1. laughter : forget about your idea and go get more coffee
2. 'The look' : run away if you want to live and return after 30 mins with more coffee
3. The raised eyebrow : your idea has some merit , fetch more coffee, notepads, pens, drawing equipment, laptop, CAD station, another coffee, a full cost analysis of your proposal and how best to sell it to the manglement.
In our case when a customer refused to pay on 'such and such' grounds where they were a sub-contractor to another company, we moved all their work to 'holding' and got on making other people's stuff
Then we found out that our valued customer was in the process of stiffing other suppliers in the same way.
Their aim was to bankrupt their sub-contractors so that they wouldn't have to pay their bills. thus keeping all the profits we'd make(and other suppliers make) for themselves
Must have been hard for them to explain why the project was being held up for a lack of pressure housings we had no intention of finishing until we'd been paid for the 1st batch.
And people wonder why I always want to go with the boss for the annual visit to a Birmingham customer..
There is a reason for the systemic failure of government IT projects
Perhaps a discussion among el-reg regulars would reveal a couple more , but the primary cause is 'mission creep' (something us engineers suffered from when I were a civil servant in <redacted>)
What would happen in our case is that some non-technical mangler would try and keep up with us techies by spouting "wouldn't it be a good idea if such and such was implemented" after reading our prototype report.
To which our most respected team leader (science qualifications coming out of his ears) would answer "f*** off, you dont know what you are talking about, the design is fixed"(he taught me so much.. )
of course software is a different kettle of fish when outside contractors are doing it, because "sure it can be done, lets stick a varience in the contract and away we'll go, subject to the extra time taken to implement it" is the standard answer, and if delivery is in 9 months time, and you are retiring in 6 months... who cares anyway
repeat after a change in government, followed by the comittee(a great way of avoiding responsibility for cock ups)approving yet another change , and you can see why a simple job to display the time on a display in the house of commons lobby takes 5 yrs and 40 million quid.....
Speaking as an Elite vet, you're going to be far better served by asking for a Kerbal space program veteran with 10 year experience in flying rendezvous orbits (usually by planning but mostly by the seat of their pants.)
You see the latest batch of elite pilots have been spoiled by something called 'an autopilot' whereas us true kerbalnauts distain the use of such devices and thus able to calculate orbital mechanics in our heads.
Plus we have a rather nifty universal docking claw...
You just had to mention Fujitsu.
Just as a paper exercise(after reading another load of posties were cleared of theft) I considered howto make a transaction client/server system that could do what horizons did.
The short answer : I could'nt.
the longer answer : the only way I could finally do it was to get the transaction log from the client, and send it unverified onto further processing. any transmission errors went too
And these are the sorts of people the government want handling "One ID to rule them all "
Oh dearie dearie me
When it comes to revolutions I agree with Orwell
That the revolution is led by the middle classes saying to the proles "rise up look how badly the aristos are treating you", then once the aristos have been safely guilotined/shot/thrown down a mineshaft and the middle class revolutionaires are in charge, suddenly we have a new bunch of aristos and the proles go back to being treated as bad or worse than they were before. and the revolutionaires make sure no one can topple them by shooting all the remaining middle class people on the basis they are 'class traitors' or something
Stalin was good at that.
clubbing and socialising tonight... no mask... Boris said its was all ok
And Boris would never lie to us would he? would he? .... would he?
Actually bozo the clown has made this pandemic worse with his mixed messages, failure to cancel sporting occasions last year , failure to close borders, failure to ensure isolation measures were followed... and spending money like a waterfall on entirely the wrong things(but gave his ministers companies a fair amount of cash).
And with the latest 'freedom' day bozo will ensure that covid casulties among the younger and poorer generation go up as 'who needs them anyway.. they'll never donate 10 million to the tory party in exchange for a knighthood and a 1 billion pound bung to their company.'
Our problem was never the security on the gate, our problem was always the brain dead squaddies/matlots left to guard whatever room we were installing the kit in.
Come back from lunch and its "Cant let you in there , its all secret stuff"
And my team leader would then point out that he'd designed it, bob had built it and I'd installed it and we all knew exactly what it was and what it did... and in any case you were here 30 mins ago and watched us all come out of that room saying we were off for lunch.
I wonder if the military hand out awards for mindlessly following orders...
Rebooted my Linux file server into windows 10 to check something.
Then hit the reboot button to get it back to being its usual self.
Please wait windows updating.... ok time to go cook anyway
Come back 30 mins later "Please wait windows updating".. F.you , power off and boot it into Linux
I have bitter memories of win10 doing that at work and wasting a whole morning when our CAM system 'updated' (and me getting a kicking from the boss too )
"I can see the PFY reaching for the workplace accident report form, but I shake my head slightly ..."
That line would have destroyed yet another keyboard.... had work experience guy(who to say the least, is one of the nicest people I've ever had to teach/corrupt ) managed to throw a plastic sheet over said keyboard thus preventing my lunch time pre pub coffee from coming into contact with it.
Maybe a full afternoon session in the pub will have some effect on him.... but must teach him to art of turning off the phone first. cant have the boss calling up and disturbing the lessons...
came from a relative
"Moniters dead.. went fizzle fizzle pop"
Duely turned up, and the nice 19" crt is dead as a dodo.
Spun it around on the desk and whipped the cover off and WTF!.... cat fur and god knows what all over the innards
"Oh yes, tiddles likes sleeping on top of the moniter because its nice and warm there....."
Wheres the vomit icon?
I had my first back in feb
Then in may just before the 2nd was due , got messages from the NHS demanding I had my first....
Gave in after checking with GP they were'nt fake, booked a 'first' and got my 2nd
People at clinic (the same one as first) had no record of me having the jab... until I showed them the appointment sent to my phone and the card they gave me at the first.... then they went "Another missing record" updated everything and jabbed me
If NHS england cant even record a simple jab , you've got no hope of NHS scotland even thinking of talking to NHS england.
"We're schooled in the long obsolete notion that Asians work for peanuts (or rice or whatever). They don't. They earn good money, comparable with the wages paid to US workers (here I mean 'workers', not executives). Land and utility costs in the US can be low, especially in states like New Mexico. So where's this "Costs 30% more" coming from?"
Speaking from the industrial plant end of the IT game, pretty much the machines cost the same where ever you are, shipping and import taxes apart, and then the primary costs are labour and power in that order.
The cost advantage in Asia is that employee protection is much laxer, along with enviromental laws.
So we have to fit lock out cages around the gear adding to the cost, and have to pay someone to recycle used oil/coolants rather than pouring them in the nearest river also adding to our running costs.
The biggest downer on what we do is is always the customers going 'I could get it made cheaper in China with the same plant" to which our response is nearly always "we give a quicker turn around(no 8000 mile ship voyage for delivery), plus you can come in and discuss your needs when its clear your designers need new crayons"(we're slightly more diplomatic than that with the last one).
GPS for a start , now we can use a simple mobile phone to locate us when we get lost.
It also lets us explore our own origins, like how and when the moon was formed.
But the most revealing thing is just how much tech was developed aroudn the idea of ICBMs and launching stuff into orbit
But lunch time for me on the night shift was a wander to the local refreshment center (that closed at 11pm) to partake in a light snack (liquid)
The pub had 2 bars and you could see from one into the other.
Ordered lunch, glanced into the other bar... then pointed out to the barman that the man in the blue shirt would be paying for lunch.
The man in question was the owner of the business I attended. needless to say, he came storming round to where I am with "WTF you doing in the pub while you should be at work" and "I'm not paying for your lunch"
"ok" I responded "I'll just walk back to work without my lunch, and when I'm back there, I'll call your wife with the news you were in the pub with a lady and your tongue was so far down her throat I'm sure you were tickling her vocal cords...."
I find blackmail such a dirty word, I prefer "Performance enhanced gift giving"
much to learn from the BOFH, partly on adding extra clauses to our contracts, but especially where to insert said clauses
Speaking of inserting, the departed PFY left me a present, all boxed up neat as you like and sealed in plastic... on unwrapping it I'll only use the word 'keyboard' for it as its rectanglar and has a USB lead hanging off it... dried up coffee and hobnob bits are the least of the things in there.
On the bright side though, we have a work experience guy starting monday so rather than calling Porton down's biological warfare department to get rid of the thing, I'll use work experience guy on monday... baptism of fire and all that..
some of our stuff, the operators could just hit e.stop and then turn off the plant/robot/machine at the isolator before ending the shift....
When the PC based machines started appearing , it took ages to persude them to do a proper shutdown of the machine from the control interface rather than walking around to the isolator and pulling the nuke lever... why... because the proper shutdown saved all the in use data files to the HDD ready for the reboot... pulling the plug leaves the machine in a indeterminate state because the controls only seem to save to HDD every 10 mins or so....
Anyone for a 2 foot long tool spinning at 7000 rpm and the machine beliving its a tool only 3 inches long..... and people wonder why I keep a spare set of underwear at work..
1st one was when I were a young and keen apprentice at all things CNCery... we had a spiffing 5 axis mill, the hallowed area of the gods(well the guy with 5 years experience of loading punch tapes anyway), one bit of it was water cooled for some reason, trickled through and then dumped. until the maintance guy decided "whats this pipe here? " and cut it off.
Luckily we never started the machine as no one could get near it due to the stench coming out of the drain pipe where the water was dumped into the street sewer.
The other was a few years ago, when the alledged mangler could'nt get the HP coolant circuit running after the coolant tank was cleaned, however he had seen me prime the pump by loosening a hose fitting on the HP circuit when the pump was replaced..... and we all know that this one ends up with the coolant tank being emptied in about 10 secs by a 300 PSI pump .... was impressive how far it went too ...
If only he'd listened... loosened.. and not while the pump was running....
a nice story to the 'green' lobby about saying "windows 11 wont run on an earlier than 2017 pc resulting in a huge amount of e.waste being generated as companies/people are forced to upgrade"
Should get them frothing at the mouth, making lots of noise and having m$ change the specs to keep them quiet.
Then again my spare/network storage box from 2011 running an I7-2600 with 8gig of ram struggles to run windows 10 (Linux mint 20 runs like a dream) so theres no chance win 11 will run on it.... even if I wanted to
denied my usual round of keyboard destruction by being dragged to a customer's site by the boss for the day("Be nice Boris, and say things like 'That idea could cause some production issues' instead of 'That idea is a load f'ing shite.. who came up with it? a deranged monkey with a box of f'ing crayons?' ")
I could really really do with a set of those headphones.... and glasses however the boots (steel toed) I can provide for myself but have no one to use the cattle prod on as my PFY handed his notice in today :(
is why bozo the clown and his cronies were the worst people ever to take charge of brexit
Because they have no idea how anyone beyond their bubble actually lives (labour are nearly as bad now...) and whats important to people.
The instant brexit was voted for, the Queen should have taken over the talks, appointed a bunch of experts to run them instead of a twat of tory davis who turned up minus his laptop and a list of terms to discuss, and got a proper deal between neighbour nations who want to trade despite differences on the way they are run.
Instead we have that there maybe a border between Northern Ireland and the republic, but it maybe in the sea.. or not..... or in Wales.. actually who knows where...a border agency that insists on triple checking form 5637374282H/P78 part 3 regarding the export of a resistor, but has'nt a clue of how many people are here illegally, and finally some bozo in 10 clowning street who takes credit for the vaccination program, but not the decisions that resulted in there being 1000s more cases here before taking any action...
And I used to think Thatcher was bad....
"Another policy was to tell the operators that, if they made a mistake, to talk about it and they would not get in to trouble."
This is the line I use all the time on our operators, own up, confess to have borked things, then we can either give you a bit more/different training or re-write the programs to prevent you(or anyone else) from making the same borkage.
Had one machine smash a 6 inch tool straight into the job when the operator hit start... needless to say this was very loud and everyone went to brown alert.
On finally persuding said operator to confess , it turned out that he'd slammed the safety door shut faster than he should have done, the PLC picked up the the door as being shut and allowed start to be pressed, which then commanded the door lock to come in and lock the door.... however the lock bolt could not engage, and so the machine threw an error "door not locked".
Operator then shut the door properly and hit start.
Everything locked, but the machine had a read ahead buffer of 5 lines, so when it hit the first error , it dumped the buffer, on the 2nd start it started from 5 lines in.... and missed out a vital setup command... hence the crash. (this fault diagnoses took me the better part of 1/2 a day)
So procedure and training were changed than on a door not locked alarm, the operator(s) were to find a setter and get them to reset the machine. and no more crashes.
plus the operators were far more open about borkages as they saw that they would not be fired for causing a major borkage.(unless they did the same thing 3 times in a row and got told to leave the building via the wood chipper....)
Especially when the boss tells you that there is'nt time to validate and slow mo the code to prove
A. it works
B. It wont destroy anything (or anyone in the process)
Playing catch with a 100lb tool turret after its rammed a chuck spinning at 2000rpm is NOT fun. especially when it comes to changing your underwear
The controls we have are all either a custom OS (a popular Japanses brand) or a german application running on top of a Linux OS with an XFCE desktop.
However the germans did offer a version that ran on top of windows and there was a big note in the mantainance manuals saying "UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ALLOW WINDOWS TO RUN UPDATE"
so everyone bought the linux version instead and now they dont offer a windows version.
Slightly more seriously, it really doesn't matter what OS is being used.... if the software has a fault it will crash the machine regardless (in my line a crash means more than a BSOD).
We had one machine move without being commanded....... then it did it again while I was trying to fault find the thing.... with the door interlock on... eekk (the whole control system got ripped out and sent back to germany to find out why it did it)
Anyways.. back to windows... the next version should be called POS because thats what windows is.. also I would not be surprised if the next version of windows after that would be a windows UI running on a Linux kernal...
I used to drive upto oxford and then take the A40 or A44 to go west (much more fun than droning down the M4/over the bridge)
However what was a simple roundabout(with gas station/MacDs ) they've turned into some god forsaken mess where you now have to drive into Oxford through 14 traffic lights to a roundabout with no signposts and the lane markings that seem have been splashed on at random.
(maybe oxford council thinks we're still at risk of invasion and came up with that scheme to confuse the invaders)
Anyway , back to the subject, I think mine will be a choice of 2, the classic roman
"As you are now, so was I, As I am now, so will you be"
"Here lies Boris the cockroach and he's bloody annoyed"
printing out the new cockroach coat of arms (2 crossed dead keyboards on a mound of dead keyboards), the BOFH has given me another good idea for making sure the irritating production 'engineer' has an accident.
Just need to google up "Earthed anti-static mats" and know a suitable sparky who can be bribed into doing less than stellar work behind the filing cabinet in said engineer's office.
Followed by a monday morning request "Could you just get that drawing out"......
I cant wait... when us engineers can say "just needs couple of thou" instead of "move it 51.8 microns"
Back to the great days of yore when the drawings arrived in metric, got converted to imperial, converted it back to metric because the machines and measuring gear were all in metric too....
Actually its more about making sure the 'hancock is a cock" headlines stay out of the daily w(m)ail and daily excess while winding up the guardian to cover said story (also keeping the "hancock is a cock" story out of there too)
Such reckless hate for a simple idea.....
With office running on Linux, those linux geeks will make damn sure office will run.
For m$ it opens up a whole new revenue stream, plus the chance they can move away from the legacy of windows(and all its faults)
But FOSS.... whaa
I used closed source applications on Linux EVERY DAY, the machine tools run a custom Linux OS, then they install a closed source application on top to interface with the hardware.
If you so wish, you can contact the manufacturer and get a copy of the OS (asking for the source of the application gets a robust f-off)
It is possible to make money selling software that goes on Linux and m$ should do it(by making office for Linux)
PS Mount a USB via the command line in linux?. ... I've never done that once and I go back to Fedora 6 !
We manufacture parts for <redacted>, we make them something like 100 000 + parts of various descriptions per year(we never bother counting after a while)... so we made them 1000 6mm pins.
and had to argue over the price (about $0.05 each).
Imagine my surprise when I discovered one of these parts in a shop ... nicely wrapped in blister pack for $15 .....
And then started investigating the mark up on some of their other products......
keyboard bites the dust
Not mine... or the PFY's, but strangely my boss has unblocked the register at the firewall and taken a look at the articles within to see if he can find a clue as to why so many keyboards are broken on a friday.
According to the PA, when he read the BOFH , he stood up and shouted "Thats where that damned cockroach finds his ideas!" however his coffee was knocked over in the act of standing up and yupp you can guess where it landed.
Ruined the weekend ..... after all that time and trouble I spent sweet talking the PA so she would'nt notice the PFY dropping the laxative in the boss's coffee... hey ho always next week
Has figured out the connection between el-reg and the routine destruction of keyboards on a friday
Hence he got our IT gurus to block el-reg at the company firewall.... the bast
However, he does not realise he is dealing with a fiendishly cunning beast.... whos noticed that the new machine is controlled by a custom application running ontop of a XFCE linux installation... however.. the machine does not have internet connection... or didnt until someone plugged a USB lead into the port on the back and set his phone to 'tethered' mode, then rebooted said machine.
Minimise the control application and I have a desktop complete with browser to play with.
Although after reading the bit about Dave retiring, I now have to explain how a machine less than 14 days old has a keyboard that looks like its been in use 14 years.......
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