* Posts by Simon Millard

51 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Apr 2007


Today's budget for application improvements is brought to you by the letters "Y", "K" and the number "2"

Simon Millard

A very big bank

Whilst working for a very big bank in 1999, Y2K testing was done in a Ring Fenced Environment. The RFE wasn't ring fenced enough. The testers forgot to ring fence UDP connections and, unfortunately, when testing a shutdown process, the system sends a call to the servers in the cluster via a UDP port - can you guess what happened?

The live system shutdown with a WTF happened moment. Later we had a grovelling apology once the service was restored and the RFE had it's barn door closed, now that the horse bolted.

Additionally at 11pm, we suddenly lost one of our French servers. Some bright spark decided not to risk have the system running at midnight (GMT-1) and had forgotten to tell the support team who were doing 24/7 monitoring.

Hey ho. Fun times.

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

Simon Millard

Ah, yes, I remember it well!!

I was and YTS ITeC trainee in the 80's.

Those were the days - listening to various mixes of Frankie Goes To Hollywoods Two Tribes.

I managed to do both software and hardware curriculum's in my year there.

I too played around with BBC B's and even built an interface to connect a Beeb to a Commode PET.

We have memories of popping capacitors into prototype stations and blowing them up with the pleasant smell of burnt shredded wheat.

Setting of the CO2 fire extinguishers with the lights off just to see the static discharge.

Last two weeks our entire year group was invited to Ullswater for an outward bound adventure. Note, when sitting on a raft in the middle of the lake, don't let one of your daft mates start to undo the ropes holding the things together.

However, on a positive note, a few years later, I was working for the local NHS and invited some of the current ITeC trainees to come for works experience and ended up making them permanent employees

Having bank problems? I feel bad for you son: I've got 25 million problems, but a bulk upload ain't one

Simon Millard

Remeber Y2K?

In 1999 I worked for a big blue bank in the UK and was involved in the periphery of Y2K testing.

We'd set up a ring fenced environment to do our testing.

It wasn't ring fenced enough. When testing a remote restart processes, the port the instruction went out to was missed in the RFE and as the test machine was an exact copy, it shut down the live service as well! Oops.

Tesla driver killed after smashing into truck had just enabled Autopilot – US crash watchdog

Simon Millard

Making a drink

Wasn't there a story many years ago, or an urban legend, that I winnebego driver set the cruise control on and left the drivers seat to make a drink?? Have we learned nothing.

IMHO, there is too much reliance on technology and not enough on the skill of the driver.

Can you imagine the cost of insurance?

Just my two-pennarth!

All good, leave it with you...? Chap is roped into tech support role for clueless customer

Simon Millard

While I got you here

This happens all the time, especially when fixing things via phone.

"Oh thanks for fixing my smartcard. While I got you on the phone, my colleague...." and so starts another 10 minute call, and another!!

Tell the public how much our tram tickets cost? Are you mad?

Simon Millard

Love the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy reference

Blake's Seven Returns

Simon Millard

Re-defining the everyday object

I am a bit of a blakes 7 fan and have all of the episodes.

I just love the way they give fancy names: A graphite writing stick? A pencil

In once episode, they tried to make a drill futuristic by putting some chevron tape on the chuck so when it rotated, it made a pretty pattern.


Jokes of no more than 2 lines

Simon Millard


Doctor, Doctor, I've got a mince pie stuck in my bum.

No worry's, I've got some cream for that.

Tea deathmatch?

Simon Millard

Re: Tea deathmatch?

You cant beat a good strong cup of Yorkshire Team.

FAIL - the most incompetent IT pros

Simon Millard

Cream Cake Anyone

Back in the days of old, I did some works experience in a City Councils computer ops suite. It was my first experience of an air conditioned envrionment.

A week into this placement, one of the secretaries was arranging a farewell party and though as it was nice and cool.

Does anyone remember removable disk pack? This lady decided to plonk a gateux on top of one of these units without realising exactly why there is air conditioning. The gateux decided to "dissolve" all over the drive unit. What a mess.

Space: 1999 returning to TV?

Simon Millard


I could never work out why they needed photo id's - especially Maya!

BT Tower falls over, crushes X Factor hopefuls

Simon Millard

Andrew Lloyd-Webber has written a musical about Frankie Coke-Coza. It's called Superstar - Jesus Christ!

So, what's the best sci-fi film never made?

Simon Millard

It's has to be..

Fobidden Planet - and don't call me Shirley!

Spurned nonagenarian lets rip with semi-automatic

Simon Millard


She's got a moustache........

Council busts breast milk ice cream parlour

Simon Millard
Black Helicopters

Cows Milk Screening

Cow's milk is tested as part of the milking process. If there are signs of infection or blood in the milk, then it is automatically dumped.

Doctor Who co-star Nicholas Courtney dies at 81

Simon Millard

Brigadier Quotes

Mordred: My Mother will destroy you!

Brigadier: Just between you and me, Mordred, I'm getting a little tired of hearing about your mother

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart: Not this time, Doctor. Armour-Piercing, solid core with a Teflon coating; go through a Dalek.

The Doctor: A non-stick bullet.

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart: UNIT's been very busy, Doctor. We've also got high-explosive rounds for Yeti's and very efficient armour-piercing rounds for robots. And we've even got gold-tipped bullets for you-know-what.

The Doctor: No silver?

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart: Silver bullets?

The Doctor: Well, you never know...

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart: Sergeant, Have we any Silver Bullets?

Cobol cabal will take over THE WORLD Australia

Simon Millard

Ah yes, I remember it well

I loved COBOL coding. Could never remember how to spell Enviroment - sorry environment division the first time round and could work out why it would compile.

DEC founder Ken Olsen is dead

Simon Millard

Tape Towers

Anyone remember upgrading MicroVax's with a tower of TK50 tapes?

Apple eyes kill switch for jailbroken iPhones

Simon Millard

Apple doing a Microsoft

Isn't Apple doing the same as microsoft did with Internet Explorer?

UK.gov pledges licence fee 'rethink' over heavy catch-up use

Simon Millard

Let me get this straight..

You need to have a TV licence to watch live tv. But...people are moving to watching catchup TV which doesn't need a licence. The powers that be have realised that their income stream is drying out. Now they are thinking of licencing any form of streaming video?

NHS spunks £7.5k on porn room

Simon Millard


Do they have lino or carpet on the floor?

Simon Millard
Black Helicopters


I suppose after a few punters have been through the cubicles, it would be hard to open the mags.

Lindsay Lohan: The interactive court drama

Simon Millard
Paris Hilton

It's making my cry..

.. with tears of laughter!!

Gov hits brakes on vetting scheme

Simon Millard

Only useful...

...if a person has been caught.

If you don't get caught, you won't be reported on.

Quit Facebook Day flops

Simon Millard

Where's my invite

I didn't get a facebook invite to this

Ticket site sorry for pisspoor password wrong

Simon Millard

Thank You

This story brightened up my day.

Jobcentre ejects Jedi Knight

Simon Millard

Perhaps he should..

use the force to find a job.

NASA finds cocaine in Space Shuttle hangar

Simon Millard

It's a

Cheaper way of getting into orbit!

Serial slurry fetish man jailed again

Simon Millard


Living in the locality to the farm, it was quite funny to hear, but not for the land owner, that a water trough was filled with manure. The farmer found both buttock and hand prints as well as numerous discarded tissues.

Barclays computers suffer Monday morning meltdown

Simon Millard

Retail vs Business

Being an ex-Barclays IT Guy, I was told, on numerous occasion, that Bracleys aren't that interested in the retail side of banking. Private, Business and International were the money makers.

Doctor Who fans name best episode ever

Simon Millard

E-Space Trilogy

Just bought and watched the E-Space Trilogy. Full Circle was interesting, the deciders reminded me of some of the managers I work with. State of Decay was a bit lame. I first heard this on Audio Tape and was much scarier. Warriors Gate had an awful lot of bad acting and maniacal laughing in it.

People also need to remember that at the time time of broadcast, the TV SFx were cutting egde. Dr Who was the first TV serial to use CSO and boy, was some of it crap - Underworld in particular.

I'm glad that Talons is in the top 10 as it is my favourite, but the Key to Time Saga was an excellent season.

People also have to remember that Dr. Who has been going on for 46 years, not 4.

It shouldn't happen to a vetting database

Simon Millard

Not worth The Paper their Printed On

There are a couple of problems with CRB's and Vetting lists.

1. Like MOT's they only give a statement of the data for the day the search/recording is carried out.

2. If you've been naughty, but haven't been caught, nothing will show.

I'm a scout leader and have to renew my E-CRB every 5 years.

Barclays to lay off more tech staff

Simon Millard

Bunch of Clowns

I used to work for "Barclays Technical Services" and I had two managers! One to manage my workload and the other for *cough* pastoral care - wtf!

Darth Vader tops movie misquote poll

Simon Millard

Steenken Badges

I thought this was from Blazing Saddles?

Brit, French nuke subs collide - fail to 'see' each other

Simon Millard

It's obvious

The English were sailing on the left. The French were sailing on the right. They were bound to hit each other.

M42 closed by marshmallows and beer

Simon Millard


A police spokesman said "Yum Yum"

BOFH: The paperless cafeteria

Simon Millard
Black Helicopters


Should have replaced the loo rolls with sandpaper so the bean counters can take the rough with the smooth!

Concrete-jet 'printers' to build houses, Moonbases in hours

Simon Millard


And when it runs out of concrete, it'll be cheaper to buy a new printer

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard: Further poster outrage

Simon Millard

Captain Pugwash

It's Roger the Cabin Boy - ooh!

BBC to 'reimagine' The Thirty-nine Steps

Simon Millard


Don't forget the version with Robert Donat. And I'm sure there was a fourth.

Cornish lingo gets standard written form

Simon Millard

proper job

Send them all to Porthemmet

BOFH: The PFY's comeuppance

Simon Millard


I nearly fell of my chair laughing

NHS IT four years late and over budget

Simon Millard

Choose & Book....

only works on Internet Explorer v6

Richard Branson dupes entire wireless industry with Google on Mars gag

Simon Millard

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Perhaps this will be the infamous B Ark.

BBC Micro creators meet to TRACE machine's legacy

Simon Millard

Hacking the User Port

In 1984, whilst attending Portsmouth ITeC, I built an interface to connect a BBC to a Commodore PET - how sad is that.

It worked though and allowed me to print from the BBC to the printer attached to the PET via the IEEE-488 bus. Crikey, how the memories flood back.

Clarkson's 'steal my ID' stunt backfires

Simon Millard


A sort code and account number is not enough. Add the name and address and Robert's your mothers brother!

Apple targeted in DRM monopoly suit (again)

Simon Millard
Thumb Down

Why bother?

If she wanted to play Microsoft format media files then why didn't she buy a better "mp3" player? Not one that would only work with one type of media file.

BOFH: Spreading the festive cheer

Simon Millard

Recycle for Christmas

Love the chocolate topping. We have a christmas card that is stuck on our wall. We just cross out Christmas in Happy Christmas and substitute our own holiday season. A perpetual celebration card for want of a better term!

Remembering the Commodore PET 2001

Simon Millard
Thumb Up

Those were the days

I learnt to program in Basic and Comal on one of these beauties when I did my YTS at Portsmouth ITeC.

It had a IEEE488 bus with 5¼" disk drive.

I wrote a snazzy, text graphical, fruit machine simulator with it

Tho' if you hit return at the READY. form, it did throw a "Can't read Y." error message.


BOFH: Computer room deluge

Simon Millard

I've had the waders out

In the computer room at a certain Portsmouth Hospital, the engineers had contrived to put the overflow pipe from the air handling units at an angle - upwards.

I may be known a miracle worker, but even I can't get water to flow up-hill.