* Posts by Absolute Cynic

21 posts • joined 24 Mar 2008

Today's 'sophisticated cyber attack' victim is the Woodland Trust: Pre-Xmas breach under investigation

Absolute Cynic
Thumb Down

Re: Investigation to be run by........

Oh dear. Does this mean someone in IT will get the chop?

You had one job... Just two lines of code, and now the customer's Inventory Master File has bitten the biscuit

Absolute Cynic

Business BASIC

Ah yes, I remember Business BASIC. My first job after college was at a company that used Business BASIC on Data Generals. I was horrified to find that their exception handling was to deliberately cause a divide by zero error.

So a customer would ring up to say they had an arithmetic error at line XXXX. You had to pull out the printout of the program, work out how it got to that line, ask the customer to print out the values of involved variables and decide what the problem was. Then get the customer to reset some variable and issue a GOTO to get it restarted.

How did they get away with it?

Brussels changes its mind AGAIN on .EU domains: Euro citizens in post-Brexit Britain can keep them after all

Absolute Cynic

Re: Do you want a second referendum

Scotland is not a region. It is a country.

Absolute Cynic

Dear me, Mr Carter

You must believe everything you read in the Daily Heil.I cannot find anything that is factually correct in your post.

Let's talk about April Fools' Day jokes. Are they ever really harmless?

Absolute Cynic

Error message

My first job after college was maintaining a suite of programs written in interpreted BASIC. The standard error handler was to put in a line with a division by zero. The customer would see an 'arithmetic error at line nnnnn' and phone in. We would then get them to print out the values of various variables and work out from the code what the problem was, reset a variable and then GOTO a line to restart the program.

Microsoft hikes SQL Server 2012 price 'by 20 per cent'

Absolute Cynic
Thumb Up

Re: Why use SQL Server

You really should check out Firebird. As far as track record is concerned, it started life back around 1982/83, long before SQL Server was though of. It has existed in different incarnations, notably InterBase which is still marketed by Embarcadero.

There are plenty of large, mission critical installations of Firebird around the globe. But no cost means no marketing. Do not be blinded by the Microsoft marketing machine.

As for support, I've never needed in the 14 years I've used it. But there are companies who do support and they have close links to the development team.

Absolute Cynic

Why use SQL Server

A client was using one of my applications which uses a Firebird back end. They asked me to write a bespoke application for them but company policy was to use SQL Server. 2 years later, they asked me to switch the new app to Firebird. It is robust, reliable and fast. The fact that it is free was an issue but only in the sense that they could get for nothing what Microsoft charge and arm and leg for.

Why pay Microsoft these inflated licence fees?

btw As a member of the the Firebird foundation I pay to use it.

Solicitors from hell website unplugged by libel judge

Absolute Cynic

The name Mr Justice Tugendhat is known to readers of Private Eye. I think I will forward a link to this article to the magazine.

Voting reform finally on the agenda

Absolute Cynic


The AV, STV systems depend on people accepting that their vote may be transferred to a person who does not represent their views, or at least, less well than their 1st choice.

There can never be a truly representative system unless there are multi member constituencies based on counties or regions. In parliament, the vote of any member should be weighted according to how many votes they received instead of one member one vote.

Still, it will be interesting to see how the parties address the issue. Since no party is in favour of the AV system, how can any of them advocate the change? My own prediction is that electoral reform will be put back decades. And the Lib-Dems will be totally discredited and disappear into oblivion. So long, beardies!

Scroogle resurrected once again

Absolute Cynic
Thumb Up

Getting bored?

Google provide a service and deserve to be recompensed. So I don't mind the ads, and I tolerate the ordering of results. But I don't like Google tracking my searches. That should be illegal and since it is not, Scroogle will continue to get my thumbs up.

Microsoft roasted for Office 2010 standards FAIL

Absolute Cynic
Thumb Up

Good News

Surely if the new version of Office does not support ODF and does not support OOXML then it does not support any international standard. So governments committed to software that support standards will ban it.

Absolute Cynic
Thumb Up

Good News

Surely if Office 2010 does not support ODF or OOXML then it will be banned by governments who are committed to software that conforms to international standards.

Monty launches frantic 'save MySQL' web campaign

Absolute Cynic

And then there is Firebird

Can I mention the free database that beats them all? I have been forced to use SQL Server and Oracle for projects by IT departments who are frightened to acknowledge that a free database can do it just as well. IMO Firebird leaves them behind. One client was so impressed with the performance and reliability of my application that uses Firebird, they asked me to switch the application I wrote for them which they originally insisted used SQL Server.

The original architect, Jim Starkey, was commissioned to write a decent backend to MySQL. Nuff said?

Don't waste tears on MySQL.

Block McKinnon extradition, MPs tell UK Home Secretary

Absolute Cynic

Not alone

In all this discussion, there is no mention of Brian Howes and his wife. They had a legitimate business selling chemicals online, based in Scotland. This was correctly licensed and inspected by the authorities.

They sold a chemical to a customer in the US which is banned on that side of the Atlantic but perfectly legal here. But they find themselves fighting extradition and have already spent a considerable time in jail here and their children were taken into care. Yet, unlike McKinnon, they have not broken any law.

Check out: http://extradition.org.uk/

BT network 'vulnerable to Chinese attack'

Absolute Cynic


Since when has Patricia Hewitt been on the BT board? What hope is there of government action against PHORM when they are actually involved in introducing it? Is it a route to internet surveillance on all of us under the cover of a commercial operation?

MySQL daddy quitting Sun?

Absolute Cynic
Thumb Up

@Anonymous Coward

You should have mentioned Firebird. Anyone working with databases should try it out. It was originally the brainchild of Jim Starkey who was head hunted by MySQL to write a new backend incorporating ideas he has developed since the original for Firebird. He has now left MySQL ....

El Reg nails Street View spycars to Google Maps

Absolute Cynic

Spotted in Aberdeen

Just saw one 10 minutes ago. It went 1 and 1/2 times round a mini roundabout.

How many of these things are there? What is the collective noun - plague, infestation?

BT's 'illegal' 2007 Phorm trial profiled tens of thousands

Absolute Cynic
Thumb Down

How do they know?

"The trial invitation will be presented through a special web page that will appear the first time those customers start a web-browsing session after BT Webwise becomes available. At this point, those customers invited can choose to click YES, NO or Find More to get more information"


- how do they know it's the first time the customer starts a session? From a cookie? But I have disabled cookies. Does this mean I will be hassled every time I go online?

BT 'security upgrade' causes email headaches

Absolute Cynic

Wot, no warning?

Surely somebody at BT could have foreseen the havoc this would cause? I can see the point of making this change but just implementing it without giving users time to prepare was lunatic.

And why direct you to a Yahoo help page? I have no relationship with Yahoo. And I failed to find any page with a button marked Options at the upper right corner. I attempted to find it by logging on to BT but failed because the user name and password I was successfully using to send emails through my @btinternet.com account were not accepted.

And then there is Phorm ...

Beware of BT

UK postal vote system 'not fit for purpose'

Absolute Cynic

None of the Above

..is not enough. We need NO CONFIDENCE as an option.

The purpose of an election is to elect a parliament which represents the people. The UK First Past the Post system guarantees an unrepresentative parliament.

ICO queries Heathrow T5's huge fingerprint scam scan

Absolute Cynic


So. They want to prevent an international passenger swapping boarding cards with a domestic passenger. Em.. every international passenger has a passport with a photograph. If the photo doesn't match the passenger or the name on the passport isn't the name on the boarding card then they are caught!

What is the problem.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021