* Posts by Elfoad Regfoad

34 publicly visible posts • joined 31 Mar 2008

Intel CEO Bob Swan is stepping down to be replaced by VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger

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Re: Good Lord, he's still alive ?

He's a solid engineer who also knows business. Intel should be happy to have him back. However hope he doesn't show the anticompetitive a-hole-y behavior he has shown in the past which has hurt consumers and the market overall. Otherwise FTC should strongly consider breaking Intel up.

Techie studied ancient ways of iSeries machine, saved day when user unleashed eldritch powers, got £50 gift voucher

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Re: Lucky it was an "elderly" bit of code...

Re the "disaster to read if you aren't extremely familiar with it" - before IBM introduced "free-form" support in RPG IV, all RPG was formatted in a fixed column style, so Operand1, Operand2, Opcode, Conditional indicators, and Result indicators were always in the same place on the screen. This created a sort of tall tree with side branches pattern when you scrolled through it. Maybe I was "extremely familiar" with it, but this sort of regular pattern (as compared to free-form, Pythonesque spacing, arbitrary curly brackets etc.) often made it easy to find problems in the code due to an incongruity in the expected pattern, particularly if you used the option that wrote the indentation level into the comments field. Just sayin'.

British Army does not Excel at spreadsheets: Soldiers' newly announced promotions are revoked after sorting snafu

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There's no point linking to a site that requires logging in to view

Especially one as odious as Facebook.

Mainframe madness as the snowflakes take control – and the on-duty operator hasn't a clue how to stop the blizzard

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Those Were the Days

Many years ago, back when CDC Cybers roamed the earth, the data centers still had a few punch card machines for the researchers to use (and one of my professors made it a class requirement that we use them to create a card with our name on it, so we can say that we used a punch card machine (like I'm doing now)). One day, I noticed that there were discarded punch cards in the trash. I picked up a couple and discovered that one of them had a valid username and password. I didn't get into much mischief, but I had fun exploring the account and looking at the archived files.

Made-up murder claims, threats to kill Twitter, rants about NSA spying – anything but mention 100,000 US virus deaths, right, Mr President?

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any chimp can play human for a day

Soundtrack for this post is Rilo Kiley, "It's a Hit"

Mirror mirror on the wall, why will my mouse not work at all?

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Re: Not so obvious

Years ago, I had a "My First Mouse" from Logitech. It was shaped like a mouse (tear drop shaped). The large ears were the mouse buttons and the cable emerged from the rear of the mouse. It was a great mouse. I would have kept using it, but it has an old-style PS2 connector and it predated the popularity of mouse wheels.

OK brainiacs, we've got an IT cold case for you: Fatal disk errors on an Amiga 4000 with 600MB external SCSI unless the clock app is... just so

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Re: Printer prevents disk corruption

If you hadn't said the printer was attached to a parallel port, I was going to suggest that if the disk drive and printer were both SCSI, that possibly the SCSI hard drive wasn't properly terminated if the printer was removed.

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

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Re: How to get Colossal Cave installed

i'm running ubuntu 18.

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Re: How to get Colossal Cave installed

Try it without the hyphen.

$ adventure

Command 'adventure' not found, but can be installed with:

sudo apt install bsdgames

sudo apt install colossal-cave-adventure


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

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An old joke

Is it time to trot out the joke from 20 years ago about the about the COBOL programmer fed up with dealing with fixing Y2K programs? He has himself frozen until a better time. Unfortunately, there's a bug in the machine and he remains frozen for 9,800 years. When he's woken he's told it now the year 9998 and he's asked if knows COBOL because they have a Y10K problem.

Icon: Perhaps it's time for me to leave

The self-disconnecting switch: Ghost in the machine or just a desire to save some cash?

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Re: How much?

In 1986, someone investigating an unpaid $0.75 USD computer bill in California found it was caused by a German hacker, who worked for the KGB, was using their system to break into military computers.


(If you aren't familiar with the story, the book and the NOVA TV episode are both interesting)

Who needs the A-Team or MacGyver when there's a techie with an SCSI cable?

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> Now I never dappled in the hard stuff (servers), just soft stuff like Macs and their often well-behaving scanners, CD-ROM, hard-drives and zip-drives.

In the mid-90s, a friend had a Mac with an internal hard drive and a printer and connected via SCSI that was experiencing intermittent hard drive failures. She brought the Mac to the a local shop and it tested fine. She went home and the problems returned. She went back to the store with her Mac and this time she brought printer (but not the scsi cable for the printer). Using the shop's SCSI cable for the printer it all worked at the shop, but when she went home, it still was having problem. Once again she went to back to the shop with the Mac, the printer, and this time she brought the printer cable. At the shop, they were able to verify that there was a problem with the hard drive. It turns out that one of her cats had nibbled on the scsi cable leading to the printer. Replacing the printer cable with one that didn't have tooth marks fixed the hard drive problems.

Remember the Dutch kid who stuck his finger in a dam to save the village? Here's the IT equivalent

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Re: RE:waitresses and glaziers

"glazier"? Someone who works with Windows and other Microsoft programs?

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Re: From Experience (and In Hindsight)...

My cat has repeatedly walked across my USB and stepped on the power button. I've covered the button with large metal washer taped in place that protects the button from the cat, but allows me press the button with a pinky or a pen.

Beware the trainee with time on his hands and an Acorn manual on his desk

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Re: Tandy

Back in the day, I took a university 6502 assembly language class that used tiny AIM65 computers (tiny keyboard, oneline display, 2.5" wide printer roll). It used a cassette tape for storing your projects. The cassette player had a speaker, so I'd put music on one side and save my data on the other side of the cassette.

IT protip: Never try to be too helpful lest someone puts your contact details next to unruly boxen

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Re: Where were you 20 years ago?

25 years ago, I was working on a network analyser for token ring networks. Proteon made a token ring card (1345 IIRC) that could go into promiscuous mode. This worked well until one of the employees at Proteon cleaned out their office and tossed the masks for making to chips that were capable of going into promiscuous mode (she didn't know that she had the only copy). Once Proteon realized what had happened, they quickly grabbed all of the old TR cards and gave them a new part number, so folks who wanted a TR adapter that could go into promiscuous mode could still order them.

For testing purposes, we had our staff on PCs using a very convoluted network (best way to test our network stacks was to have the employees use it). We had Ethernet (coax and twisted pair), Starlink, Token Ring (IBM and Proteon, 4 and 16). We even had a couple of computers using SLIP and X.25.

And in keeping with the original topic of this On-Call, I was at work late when someone called. I was the only one there, so I foolishly answered the phone. It turned out it was one of the founders of Proteon. Fortunately, he asked a question I could answer. I told him that the info he wanted was in appendix of the manual. The next thing I heard was the sound of shrink wrap being torn off the manual.

When 2FA means sweet FA privacy: Facebook admits it slurps mobe numbers for more than just profile security

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So whats the solution?

I want 2FA or even places I don't really need 2FA, some ask for phone numbers. I don't want to give our my number, but they simply won't let me create accounts. Even places that say they do landline auth (eg Ebay), it doesn't actually work. So what are my options?

I can get multiple numbers, an ensure only 1 profile (email account etc) get ever tied to that account.

The problem is then I will need multiple phone numbers, which I am sure cops/government will assume as I am up to no good. Also how many phones do I need?

In any case I will have to maintain a x number of phone, if one of them times out and I lose the number, when I come back to recover an account in say 5 years I won't have the phone number!

Come mobile users, gather round and learn how to add up

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The truth will set you free

Years ago, a friend wrote a program in Pascal that had as its first three lines:

tmp = TRUE;



I don't know if it did what he expected but it was a bit scary. The rest of the program did some very cool stuff that shouldn't have been possible on the minimal OS on top of a batch system (old CDC Cyber 175).

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

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Re: Ah, the carefree days of yore

What happened to the good old days of wrapping ferrite rings around power cords and cables?

Montezuma's Revenge can finally be laid to rest as Uber AI researchers crack the classic game

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Re: Would you like to play a game?

A strange game.The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?

LG: Fsck everything, we're doing 16 lenses in smartphones (probably)

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Light L16

A startup called Light has something like this, it has 16 separate sensors with different focal lengths (28mm, 70mm and 150mm) that are combined to create 52 megapixel images. the idea was to replace a DSLR and a bag of lenses, though I haven't had a chance to play with one to see if it lives up to the hype. interesting idea though.


BBC clamps down on illicit iPlayer watchers

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Who wrote this crap?

What an idiotic, biased piece of rubbish! You might want to mention that third party apps (which by the way are not illicit or illegal) are not the only things that rely on RSS feeds from iPlayer, Smart TVs with official addons are also affected. I am a TV license holding resident of the UK and am completely on the right side of the law.

Dell launches Sputnik Linux Ultrabook

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$1500??? Why wouldn't I get a MacBook for that price?

Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro gets laptop-level price

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Wowww, what a brain dead mistake

Apple and Google are selling stuff because its good UI. Big fail by MS.

US Army gets eco-conscious, preps mega solar plant

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Black Helicopters

tank warfare

Ft. Irwin is used for simulating tank warfare. If a tank round goes astray out in the desert, it's no big deal--unless there's a thousand-mirror solar power plant in the area.

Firefox 3 Download Day falls flat on face

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working great

Running it on two XP machines, OSX and Windows 2000 without any issues, certainly faster then Firefox 2.0 imho :)

Windows Server 2008 is better than Vista, but why?

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Gates Horns

no thanks

I feel this whole "server 2008" babble stems from the fact that Vista ME2 is so dire that noone is daring to speak up for it anymore. So if you're astroturfing MS products, you're left promoting this one. MS on the server is such an obviously absurd idea that server 2008 may indeed be best used on a desktop. But not on my one!

Since I've gone to Linux (straight from Win2K/XP in 2003), the hardware upgrade cycle has ceased. All PCs I had at that stage are still in operation as servers or secondary terminals. The newer laptops I've bought since then are of course much faster than the previous ones. Moore's law thus finally arrived in my household/office- following stagnant performance from win 3.1 to XP.

And I'm not toughing Vista!!!

Ballmer bitch slaps Vista

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@James Szmak

@James Szmak

"1) Get as many cores and as fast a CPU as you can afford. I got a quad core Pentium Q6600 @ 2.4Ghz

2) Get memory. Lot's o' memory. I got 4 Gig's.

3) Get video memory. As much as you can afford. I got 500 Meg of dedicated memory.

4) Get a big, fast hard drive – I got a 7200rpm 500 Gig drive."

sounds great. one might add:

5) Install Linux. Watch it zooooooooooooooooooom along!

'Virtual strip search' arrives at JFK and LAX

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never again

"d) *Don't go to America.*"

that would be my preferred solution! reasons:

a) it's a hell-hole without history nor future!

b) you can get the whole benefit of US cuisine at any mcdonalds branch in any country.. if you feel you must..

c) we have fat girls here too so you're not going to miss out on anything there!

US court waves through border laptop searches

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never again

"So for the time being, if you plan on crossing the US border into the Ninth Circuit, it's probably best to just leave the laptop at home."

a) Having been fingerprinted and questioned there by some imbecile enforcement joker before, I have sworn that I shall not visit the US ever again. It's a cultureless hellhole without history nor future.

b) My hard drive is inside encrypted linux, so should I be dragged over there by CIA operatives, they probably STILL wouldn't get in.

IT depts under threat as City braces for 20,000 job cuts

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Or even 40 000


Story withdrawn

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Is this the future of British education then ?

A PhD in Slapper-spotting ?

Mr. and Mrs. Boring sue Google over Street View pics

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Like leaping up and down naked in the middle of the road and demanding no one look at you...

ImaGnuber: "I can't imagine what it's like to live in Britain where government streetview is live all the time"

Yeah, because Britain is the only place with street CCTV... where do you live that's so surveillance-free?

Paul M. "But the subtext of the article is that they deserved it. Why? Because they live in Pittsburgh? Because they're rich? Because they've got a funny name?"

They didn't "deserve" to have photos taken of their house, but they do deserve ridicule for attempting to get $25000 for ridiculous claims of mental damage and loss of property value - the photos have already been removed, that should've been all they were seeking. Anything else is just greed - an attempt to grab a fast buck they did nothing to earn. And if their privacy was such an issue, then it kind of backfired - the lawsuit has brought the photos to the attention of many many more people than would ever have noticed them otherwise.

Also, I wouldn't call them rich - it wasn't exactly an expensive house (unless property is a hell of a lot cheaper in the US than it is in the UK), and it's no mansion - the house and the lawn look pretty rough - again, something we wouldn't be aware of if it wasn't for their quest for "privacy".

They do have a funny name though, and let's not pretend we don't enjoy making fun of people with funny names.

Virgin Media in talks to trial three strikes regime against P2P

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On a mission

Virgin really are on a mission to make friends and influence people aren't they? Would it be quicker if they just publish a list of who they aren't selling my data to?