* Posts by Franco

742 posts • joined 11 Apr 2008


Trump issues toothless exec order to show donors, fans he's doing something about those Twitter twerps

Franco Silver badge

"How can you get both sides of a story"

That's exactly Trump's endgame, to make sure you can't. Classic dictator tactics, he has denounced most of the news media as "fake" and told his supporters to get their news from him, which worked as long as Twitter was playing ball and not treating Trump's account the same as all the others

Franco Silver badge

Re: Hitler, literally

You can try, but logical and reasoned arguments citing sources don't mean anything to these people, hence why we're having to have this conversation over Trump being fact checked.

A part of me would be quite happy if the cesspool of social media was removed from the Earth though.

cmd.exe is dead, long live PowerShell: Microsoft leads aged command-line interpreter out into 'maintenance mode'

Franco Silver badge

Re: Tried bulk rename?

Yeah, that's going to be the issue for me too. I have lots of little CMD files in various Task Sequences in SCCM, because things like registry adds and file moves are much quicker to write and much easier for people to understand once I'm gone in CMD than they are in PowerShell.

A prime example is installing .NET 3.5, which is still an often required pre-requisite sadly. IME (this might just be me) the PowerShell methods for installing this are wildly inconsistent and less than reliable, whereas doing it from a CMD file via DISM is pretty much bulletproof.

SAP proves, yet again, that Excel is utterly unkillable

Franco Silver badge

Re: Excel excels

Not disputing that Excel can do the job, hell I use it myself a lot when working with CSVs for data input to PowerShell scripts etc. I've even used it on rare occasions to produce rack diagrams as the cells map nicely to rack units, even though Visio is a much better (albeit much more expensive) tool for the job.

The problem (IME) is that in my long-past helpdesk days I've been on the receiving end of more than one incandescent user ranting about my crappy network because 15 of them are trying to edit the "Sales Database" (an Excel doc with about 100 subsheets) at the same time across the network. This has happened even at companies who have purchased software for this very purpose to replace Excel that the users don't like and won't use, and no amount of explaining that the file created 15 years ago when all this was fields and there were 2 users isn't designed to scale to a multi-user environment ever gets the message across.

Excel is a prime example of the mantra "if the only tool you have is a hammer everything starts to look like a nail"

Franco Silver badge

Re: Excel excels

No doubt there's a lot to like about it, but also a lot to hate. Mostly (for me) the people who think it's a database program and expect it will happily keep 20 years of sales data and be usable in a multi-user environment

Huge if true... Trump explodes as he learns open source could erode China tech ban

Franco Silver badge

Can I sneak the code out of the USA if I inject the sauce? Asking for a friend.....

Baby Diesel? Little d'Artagnan? There is another child of Musk in the world

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Lars Ulrich makes veiled threats of another Metallica album during web chat with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff

Franco Silver badge

Re: Great v Good

I would agree about the emotion aspect, which is why I would put Bleeding Me for example as one of the all time great Metallica songs given James's well known addiction issues. Metallica would probably be much more highly thought of as a band if they put a muzzle on Lars to be honest.

Agreed also on missing live music, I was lucky in that on Friday 13th March just before we went in to lockdown in the UK I saw The Subways in Glasgow which was a really good show. Should also have seen Hands Off Gretel last month but that has been postponed till November.

Franco Silver badge

It's pretty harsh to say they haven't made any great music in the last 30 years. I'd rephrase it personally as since they stopped listening to external producers and trimming the fat from their albums that things are much less focused and not as good. By all account James would prefer this approach, but Lars has always wanted to fill every available minute on a CD.

St. Anger aside, it's a hard listen, but Load and Reload would have made one really good album, and trim the bloat from Death Magentic and (especially) Hardwired and they would be much better IMO.

Microsoft decrees that all high-school IT teachers were wrong: Double spaces now flagged as typos in Word

Franco Silver badge

I wasn't even aware this was a thing until recently. I was taught to always use 2 spaces after a full stop, and about 2 months ago I submitted a document to a fellow contractor for his feedback and he went off on a rant about single spaces being the way to go. He was the only one in the team, everyone else defaulted to 2 as well.

Surely though this should be an either/or option in Word? There's no way anyone is going to break the habit of years of bashing away on keyboards just because Microsoft say so.

We're in a timeline where Dettol maker has to beg folks not to inject cleaning fluid into their veins. Thanks, Trump

Franco Silver badge

Re: Is he even capable of a full sentence?

If you're a fan of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, he did a show a few weeks back (5th April) about how Fox is no longer Trump's go to channel. Now it seems to be something called One America News Network, which is even worse

Intelsat orbital comms satellite is back online after first robo-recovery mounting and tug job gets it back into position

Franco Silver badge

Interesting article, but did anyone else see the acronym MEV and immediately think of Captain Scarlet?


In case you need more proof the world's gone mad: Behold, Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels

Franco Silver badge

Re: MacBook Wheel

That was my immediate thought too, that life had imitated art.

I actually re-watched that video recently and shared it with an Apple-loving colleague. He found it hilarious to be fair.

Can't wait to see some of the justifications Macolytes will come up with for why they need these and why the price is justified.

Doom Eternal: Reboot sequel is cluttered but we're only here for the rippin' and the tearin'

Franco Silver badge

It's referenced in the game, it's to do with the "eternal" struggle between good and evil.

Or it's a cynical excuse to keep making new games, depending on your point of view.

Franco Silver badge

Re: Sorry, not interested

Thankfully there aren't too many of them, but those arena fights with either a buff totem or (even worse) an Arch-vile are at least as challenging as the boss fights.

Franco Silver badge

Re: I prefer the original

I play both, along with Duke Nukem 3D and a few other games, quite regularly on DOSbox on my laptop.

Anyone who pre-ordered Doom Eternal also gets a free download of Doom 64, and there's an easter egg in Eternal where you can play the original 2 games similar to the vintge levels in the 2016 game.

Franco Silver badge

Re: I suck at FPS...

Hehe, that reminded me of the old Sierra online games such as Space Quest where you had to save every 14 seconds because of all the ways there were to die.

Franco Silver badge

Loved the first 2. Doom 3 was more Alien to the first 2's Aliens though, closer to horror/survival than the run and gun roots of the series.

Lots to like about Eternal for me, and lots to hate. It got a bit repetitive for me at times, massive arena fight then move on through some puzzles to the next massive arena fight. The puzzles were just annoying to me, rather than the old style Doom method of finding keys and switches to progress there were loads of jumping/platform style sections with really erratic mechanics (particularly the ones with the chain of circles to boost you the next platform in one level) so almost all of my extra life power ups were lost to repeated falls rather than combat.

Good array of weapons though, good level design, as always sterling work from Mick Gordon on the soundtrack (also did Doom 2016 and the recent Wolfenstein games among others) and some new twists on old enemies and bosses kept it mostly interesting. Might end up trying the Battlezone mode as well, purely because I don't have much else to do right now like everyone else.

Ofcom waves DAB radio licences under local broadcasters' noses as FM switchoff debate smoulders again

Franco Silver badge

Re: Great timing...

It is weird, but unfortunately it's (IME) the only option. I drive from Glasgow to Edinburgh every morning (when not on lockdown) and BBC Scotland's Good Morning Scotland travel reports are the best available (low hurdle to clear admittedly). The "local" stations are Radio Clyde and Radio Forth, who only ever seem to report on traffic issues actually in either Glasgow or Edinburgh respectively and not anywhere in between.

That said, I did recently have a courtesy car as someone ran in to the back of me on the M8, and got good reception of Planet Rock on DAB all the way along the M8. Which was nice.

Franco Silver badge

Re: Nope.

"even smart meters struggle to work........

.....unless Ofcom can overcome the laws of physics."

With my usual cynics hat on, I bet the laws of physics are no deterrent to either Ofcom or the utility providers, who are determined everyone will have a smart meter whether it works or not.

I kind of want a James Doohan as Scotty icon for any posts concerning the laws of physics BTW.

Microsoft qualifications will pad the CV for another year, Teams for ventilator boffins, and Windows 10 threatened with very retro news app

Franco Silver badge

I'm working towards the optional Hearts Specialisation.

Good news for me though, I bought a voucher to finally do my 2016 upgrade exam and was afraid I'd lose it cos the test centres and online bookings are always mobbed at the best of times when there's exams expiring, never mind with the current backlog.

Whoa, someone actually texted you in 2020? Oh, nvm, it's just Boris Johnson, telling you to stay the f**k at home

Franco Silver badge

I'm obviously special, I got the message twice. Thought it was a bit pointless to be honest, till I saw the queue outside the local pharmacy with less than half the people observing the 2m distance and then got home from the supermarket to read about idiots having barbecues.

Tech won't save you from lockdown disaster: How to manage family and free time while working from home

Franco Silver badge

Fuck that, those OCD types will be too scared to touch a member of the opposite sex so humanity would be doomed anyway.

Franco Silver badge

Re: Add to the singing ban

I'm OK, I am the neighbour with the electric guitar. Trying to avoid 11 though....

Freetime is set for me, Doom Eternal arrived yesterday.

Already have the office, am supposed to be moving house next month so had a trip to IKEA yesterday to buy new office furniture for the new house. Also had a chuckle on our catch-up call yesterday afternoon at couples who are already fighting over who gets to use the living room and it's TV screen as their home office.

Remember people, this too shall pass. Look after yourselves and each other.

Microsoft Teams gets off to a wobbly start as the world and its cat starts working from home

Franco Silver badge

I'd be quite happy with that, would give me a break from idiot users who refuse to read instructions and demand that IT do everything for them.

Firefox 74 slams Facebook in solitary confinement: Browser add-on stops social network stalking users across the web

Franco Silver badge

Re: No FB for me, ever

I use it as a Firefox downloading tool.....

Grab a towel and pour yourself a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster because The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is 42

Franco Silver badge

Indeed, I am glad that I don't sass him. He's probably a fan of Vogon poetry.

What's inside a tech freelancer's backpack? That's right, EVERYTHING

Franco Silver badge

Must forward this to the people around me at my current contract, who think I'm MacGyver for the amount of stuff in my backpack. Assortment of cables, wallet containing USB flash drives, pens, pads, MucOff cleaning kit, roll of insulating tape, Leatherman multitool, maglite and most importantly my cafetiere mug and coffee.

Enable that MF-ing MFA: 1.2 million Azure Active Directory accounts compromised every month, reckons Microsoft

Franco Silver badge

Re: enforce MFA - base level security policy

We're trying to roll it out here. Myself and the other contractors and the IT managers are pushing hard for it, but user resistance is high. They're about to receive this article in their inboxes as a pre-emptive reponse to "why are you doing this?"

It's only a game: Lara Croft won't save enterprise tech – but Jet Set Willy could

Franco Silver badge

Any mention of a Miner Willy game immediately causes me to have "In the Hall of the Mountain King" on continuous loop in my head, so thanks for that El Reg.

Death and taxis: Windows has had enough of clinging to a cab rooftop in the London rain

Franco Silver badge

Re: Digital signage fail

That was probably lost in the intolerable air of smugness generated by the door as it was about to open.

Sure, check through my background records… but why are you looking at my record collection?

Franco Silver badge

Re: I suppose they'd raise an eyebrow or two ...

Apologies in advance for this one.

A former colleague was rather fond of using wireshark as a deus ex machina. In fact his favourite phrase was "just wireshark the fuck out of it."

Sadly, whilst he was wiresharking the fuck out of it he would also sing wireshark instead of baby shark.

Jeff Bezos: I will depose King Trump

Franco Silver badge

Re: Who voted for Bezos as President?

Good to see the Chewbacca defence is alive and well.

Franco Silver badge

Re: Pot calling Kettle?

No one ever said that the UK was free of issues, that's not the argument here and only a total fuckwit would try and defend his country by comparing it to the situation in another.

By your logic we in the UK can justify our own situation by saying that France is gridlocked by Mouvement des Gilets jaunes protests so we're OK. That's an utterly false equivalence, or "twitter logic" if you prefer. The sort of thing Trump does when confronted about gun control, when he says it's not as bad as knife crime in London.

Franco Silver badge

Re: Who voted for Bezos as President?

" Democracy means whichever side gets the most votes, wins."

By that argument, your leader is Hillary Clinton who won the popular vote, despite what Trump says.

Microsoft crack habit reports: User claims Surface Laptop 3 screen fractured again after repair

Franco Silver badge

Re: "Physical damage do[es] not happen if there is no external force"

Yep. Many years ago I worked for a PC manufacturer and laptop screen issues would not be logged for replacement without pictures of the screen. This was due to the cost of sending engineers out to replace parts which were clearly user damaged from the visible outline of the pen they had left on the keyboard when they closed the lid. Or in one case, a tin of Vaseline lipbalm.

Auf wiedersehen, pet: UK Deutsche Bank contractors plan to leave rather than take 25% pay cut for IR35 – report

Franco Silver badge

Re: I do wonder..m

I can only speak for myself, I wasn't extended at a public sector role when the changes came in there (they let all contractors go) and went back several months later with a much more tightly defined contract scope but doing exactly the same projects. I know a lot of people in the same situation then, and it meant that the public sector quickly got their ducks in a row and stopped blanket classifications like the banks are doing because they couldn't get any projects moving without contractors, again exactly as the banks are going to find.

I won't accept an inside IR35 role unless it's pretty much on my doorstep and there is no other choice available, becuase to me it isn't worth the risk. I'm certainly not going to travel the distance I would for a contract for the same rate as a permie with none of their benefits.

Steve Jobs, executives shot down top Apple engineers' plea to design their own server CPU – latest twist in legal battle over chip upstart Nuvia

Franco Silver badge

Re: I find this rather sad

To be honest even their marketing approach is largely a refinement of other peoples. I remember a lot of Macolytes I was working with at the time gushing over wireless charging, when I'd had it for years on a Google Nexus 7 tablet and a Nokia Lumia 925 phone.

The removing a feature and jacking up the price approach is a favourite of car manufacturers, particularly the German companies. Back in the days when all cars had ashtrays and lighters as standard BMW were amongst the first to remove them and charge you for the privelege of them not being fitted.

Can AI-enhanced virtual sports presenters do the job? It's a big ask

Franco Silver badge

Re: Dabbsy, go enjoy a pint on me...

"I remember when a "remote control" was the act of sending one of your kids out to do the manual labour while we sat back on our fat arses in comfort amid the furs at the back of the cave."

Still is in my case. The only time that I think a Hive thermostat is a good idea is when I get a text from my Mum asking me to go and turn her heating back on a few hours before she gets home from her latest holiday. Then I remember that she can't be trusted to change passwords from default or not use the same one for everything and the moment passes.

Microsoft brings the pane: You'll be looking at Xamarin and React Native to design apps for dual-screen gizmos

Franco Silver badge

Re: Having had...

Agreed. Sadly the android launchers that are supposed to be WinPho aren't really all that good IME, although the Microsoft Launcher (although nothing like WinPho) is actually pretty good.

As others have said I don't see much 3rd dev party interest, at least initially, on the "fool me once" principle. However if MS take the lead and make sure that all of the mobile Office apps work well on dual screen then that covers one of the major use cases that I can see for the device

Dual screens, fast updates, no registry cruft and security in mind: Microsoft gives devs the lowdown on Windows 10X

Franco Silver badge

Re: What's in a Name?

"Windows Phone 7 Series" being another very silly example of such naming

UK contractors planning 'mass exodus' ahead of IR35 tax clampdown – survey

Franco Silver badge

Re: A bloke called Norman

That just made me think of Clerks, and the moral question of accepting a contract to fit out the Death Star.

NSFW, but highly entertaining. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQdDRrcAOjA

Franco Silver badge

Re: re: contractors are not prepared to be unfairly treated

Indeed it isn't. I have no intention of changing, unless HMRC essentially make it impossible to carry on, but not everything is for everybody.

I love the freedom, the technical challenges and (mostly) the lack of having to deal with HR departments or office politics. Some of my friends visibly get the fear though when I tell them I don't have another contract lined up and it might be a month or 2.

"They're happy to be paid twice as much as a permie while not taking any responsibility for what they deliver"

If that's the case, your company is hiring bad contractors and giving them bad contracts that don't have clear deliverables in them.

It's a Bing thing: Microsoft drops plans to shove unloved search engine down throats of unsuspecting enterprises

Franco Silver badge

Re: Questions II?

I largely try to avoid Google myself, and have been using DuckDuckGo. Unfortumately it just isn't as useful as a search engine, whether that's due to the searching algorithms or whatever else I don't know.

Hear, hear: The first to invent idiot-cancelling headphones gets my cash

Franco Silver badge

I honestly can't remember if that was an option, it was a good few years ago. Virgin took over the old BMI Edinburgh to Heathrow route, but I don't think they ran it for long before folding the subsidiary cos they were trying to run a premium service at budget prices (Little Red or something like that?)

My main memory of the trip is buying a bacon roll and a coffee in Edinburgh Airport which cost around £10, and then being offered the same for free as soon as I got on the plane. Naturally I decided to have a larger than normal breakfast and skipped lunch!

Franco Silver badge

Re: Had a recent train trip myself

Can't speak for other UK train companies, but Scotrail have introduced an RFID smartcard which is tap and go. Works pretty well IME. You buy tickets online or at a ticket office and tap it to a machine to load it up.

Franco Silver badge

Re: Had a recent train trip myself

That doesn't annoy me nearly as much as the people who won't take their backpack/rucksack off when the trains are full. Invariably, because it is very heavy, they move constantly and bash in to everyone, but won't do what sensible people do and put it on the floor between their legs to minimse the space they take up. They are like (some) cyclists though, in that they are invariably extremely aggressive and/or condescending to anyone who dares make a comment about their bag.

Franco Silver badge

Re: Had a recent train trip myself

I'd love to know what that train company would have made of the woman eating eggs for breakfast, that resulted in a £1500 fine for another woman for hurling abuse at her because of the smell.


Franco Silver badge

I remember once trying to get through a gate at Heathrow using the QR code I had been texted by Virgin and having all sorts of fun. Too much brightness, not enough brightness and for some reason almost any app I've ever used that requires scanning a bar code or QR code seems designed to make the phone's accelerometer crap itself and the screen spin around like Pete Burns in the 80s.

Yahoo! hack! payout! nearly! approved! and! the! question! is! how! to! spend! 60! cents!?

Franco Silver badge

Re: Yahoo

I'm willing to accept your criticism of Microsoft and Google as valid, but defending Yahoo over them in the comments of an article stating that they have been proven to have exposed users personal details to hackers 5 times does rather undermine your argument.



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