* Posts by Franco

1244 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Apr 2008


Goodbye Azure AD, Entra the drag on your time and money


Great prescience from the BOFH's recent column on giving employess useless tat WTCLOI (with the company logo on it for anyone who didn't read the column) instead of a bonus. You would think in the current climate with companies desperate to prove their sustainable green credentials that a massive rebrand and a mass clear out of branded promotional items would be a thing of the past, never mind the pointless amounts of money spent on the marketing people who came up with this and all the graphic designers etc doing new logos and banners, and that's before you consider the cost to all the customers of re-writing their documentation and updating their websites to reflect the name change.

MS are far from alone in this (I hate to think how much money Standard Life Aberdeen spent to become Abrdn for example) but it really needs to stop when it serves no purpose and techies will contine to use the old name anyway.

Microsoft whips up unrest after revealing Azure AD name change


Everyone will still call it Azure AD anyway. It's only been 15 years since Terminal Services were renamed Remote Desktop Services, and I'm still yet to hear the term Remote Desktop Services used by anyone other than pedants or people teaching Microsoft courses.

See also SCCM, which is still SCCM or just Config Manager in general use, despite being renamed Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager 4 years ago. Office is still Office and not Microsoft 365 Apps for Business as well.

Musk sues law firm for overcharging Twitter when Twitter was suing Musk


Fatal Error?

I really hope El Reg has not pooh-poohed their pooh-pooh. I'd hate for this place to be shut down because morale was destroyed. By pooh-pooh.


Brit broadband subscribers caught between crappy connections and price hikes


Re: I will admit I use BT

Almost precisely what's happened to me, I'm with Origin who I was very happy with for a long time but they ran in to difficulties and got (very quietly) bought over by TalkTalk, a fact that I never even knew until certain websites stopped working correctly and I started getting regular CNAT issues that would force me to bbc.com instead of bbc.co.uk for example.

Free Wednesday gift for you lucky lot: Extra mouse button!


It still amazes me that people don't know that the wheel is a button, the number of times people ask me how I opened a link in a new tab without right-clicking is unbelievable given I work in IT.

Disappointing as well that forward and back buttons positioned for the thumb on the mouse are becoming a rarity as well IME.

The death of the sysadmin has been predicted for years – we're not holding our breath


The death of the sysadmin appears to be the new version of "this will be the year of Linux on the desktop"

Elon Musk's Twitter moves were 'reaffirming' says Reddit boss amid API changes


Re: He needs an icon -->

It's also very noticeable that anyone defending Musk posts as an AC.


1. Steal Underpants

2. ?????

3. Profit!

Seems to be Reddit's business model.

UK smart meter rollout years late and less than two thirds complete


My sister booked an appointment out of sheer frustration, after years of telling her company that she can't get a mobile signal at her house, so a smart meter is pointless. They duly came out, fitted it, spent a day trying to get it to work, removed it and left.

The next week the spam continued....


Re: Still resisting the blandishments

I have a Smart Meter now, as I moved in to a new build house that had one already.

However in my old flat I used to get emails from my utilities company regularly with pcitures of 80s/90s brick mobile phones saying "you wouldn't use a phone like this anymore, why do you use a meter from the same era?" as if that is in any way a valid comparison.

I suspect the Government has other things on it's mind though, at least today anyway.....

It’s official: Vodafone and Three to tie the knot in the UK


Re: The resulting company has yet to have an official name



Don't fancy their chances of getting this past CMA given Three's merger with O2 was vetoed on the grounds of number of network providers dropping from 4 to 3

WFH mandates bad for staff morale and stunt innovation


Re: Some people work better WFH

That's happened to me too, I worked for a small company and reported directly to the Technical Director. As it got bigger they hired an Ops Manager who was utterly incompetent and made his dislike of the engineers, me especially, very clear to all. Complained about him so many times I was told to stop, written complaints from others were dismissed as me rabble-rousing and encouraging them to complain. He was such a micro-manager he wanted every hour of every day blocked out and refused to allow other engineers to call me to talk about issues when I was in the field as liasing was his job (in his words), despite the fact he was non-technical, couldn't pass messages accurately and didn't realise that a collaborative discussion was often a good way to come up with fresh ideas.

I quit in disgust, as did every other engineer within 6 months of me leaving. He's still there, so he must play the game better than the engineers did. All of us are in better paid jobs and much happier though, so silver linings.


I got really annoyed using Jira and Confluence and Insight (their asset tracking plug-in) on one project and thought it was the worst thing I'd used since BMC Remedy.

Then on my next contract they used ServiceNow.....

Thousands of subreddits go dark in mega-protest over Reddit's app-killing API prices


Re: Meh

Yeah, Reddit is pretty much a microcosm of the internet. Porn, memes, people screaming in to the void, mis and dis-information and yet there are a few sub-reddits that are useful and well-moderated.

Some of the tech pages such as the SCCM sub have been pretty useful to me in the past, and some of the UK Cycling groups are pretty good too.


Most of them earn nothing, the sub-reddits are community moderated hence why so many are going dark, as the apps are the only way they can keep on top of their communities.

Microsoft’s Azure mishap betrays an industry blind to a big problem


Been saying that for a while, pretty much every major player uses Cloudflare for example so when they go down half the internet's most popular sites go with it.

Sysadmin and IT ops jobs to slump, says IDC


This is from the same pile of shite as bosses at large tech firms who say "we won't promote you if you want to work from home" and once again makes invalid assumptions.

Do developers want to manage systems? Do professionals in infrstructure want to be code-monkeys? There may be some who answer yes to one or both questions, but the constant assumption that jobs in IT are interchangeable is one that needs to be challenged.

Windows XP's adventures in the afterlife shows copyright's copywrongs


It's another of those examples where existing laws were applied to computers and software and internet before the real world applications were fully understood.

The problem is that even though XP is "dead" in terms of support, it's still being used commercially and legally in plenty of cases. I've worked on several migration projects where embedded systems are still running XP and will be until the hardware they are attached to dies, because the 5-6 figure investment in (for example) a new saw system to produce timber frames for houses isn't practical - the old systems are just moved to an isolated VLAN with no internet access. I know of systems far older than XP still being used as well.

Microsoft has made Azure Linux generally available. Repeat, Azure Linux


Re: In love of Bill Gates..(i hate callcentre VPs turn CEOs)

If only the quote you use wasn't accurately sourced in the very article you are replying to. Hint, Bill Gates didn't say it.

That's probably the least of the issues with your post though.

Ex-Twitter sextet sues Elon Musk for 'stiffing' them on severance


Off to get some popcorn, now that the Autonomy trial is over this might by my new favourite show.

Don't panic. Google offering scary .zip and .mov domains is not the end of the world


Re: what about .google

That will really freak out the people who used to say typing google in to google would break the internet

Elon Musk finally finds 'someone foolish enough to take the job' of Twitter CEO


Re: he'd be stepping back into an exec chair and CTO role

I'm just waiting for Tesla to say "actually Elon, will you fuck off back to Twitter please?"

BOFH: Ah. Company-branded merch. So much better than a bonus


I do still have a drawer full of pens, post-it pads, USB sticks and other such rubbish WTCLOI. The best promo item I ever received, currently in the tool kit on my bike for emergency use, is a Leatherman Fuse though.

Dell reneges on remote work promise, tells staff to wear pants at least 3 days a week


Re: wear pants

I'm in Scotland, which is a backwater country in as much as our 2 major cities that are only 40 miles apart have terrible infrastructure between them, so 90 minutes is a "good" morning commute for me.

Thankfully, on my curent contract, they had us all in 2 days a week until I'd been there a month or so, met everyone and learnt the common issues we see, so we're now back to 1 day a week and sometimes not even that if people are on holiday etc and only 1-2 people are going to be in.

The world of work is broken and it's Microsoft's fault


Nothing to do with the software or the tools, because meetings and emails and things like that are the metrics by which middle management justifies its existence everywhere in the world.

Owner of 'magic spreadsheet' tried to stay in the Lotus position until forced to Excel


Reminds me of the "Operations Manager" at a place I used to work, job title in inverted commas because phrases involving piss-ups and breweries don't fully convey how useless this guy was.

He couldn't work Outlook or shared calendars, so every bit of scheduling was done via an Excel "calendar", and he would constantly go in the huff because engineers like me would put appointments in our own calendars and then he'd ask us to do something and we'd say we couldn't because we had something else scheduled.

He'd also schedule jobs 100 miles apart with an hour gap and not give people time to have lunch and various other similar easily avoidable errors, but his utter refusal to adapt or change and the directors refusal to get involved in any sort of conflict caused me and every other engineer to leave in a 6 month period, which I later heard was attributed to me "rabble rousing and turning everyone against him" :-D

Microsoft may charge different prices for Office with or without Teams


Re: Deja vu all over again

"Knowing Mickey$oft, they'll probably charge more for the version without Teams."

There's plenty of precedent for such behaviour in Germany, BMW used to charge their customers for removal of ashtrays and lighters in their cars.

It'll be like Windows XP Edition N (No Media Player) though, it will technically exist and there wil be a SKU for it, but it will be rarer than rocking horse shit in the real world.

Unlike your iPhone, Apple's batterygate controversy refuses to die


It was a big problem on laptops years ago as well though, largely because it was a new thing.

Anyone who dealt with large numbers of D-series Dell Latitudes will remember Quickset, Dell's power management utility. It turned off unused devices on battery to preserve battery life, but it wasn't well documented that one of those devices was the ethernet port, to the point that many users got new motherboards that weren't required because of "faulty" NICs that were actually just turned off.

It was never an undocumented feature and Dell honoured the warranties, but cost themselves a huge amount of money by not making the feature well known.


"Let us be clear. The only winner here is the ambo chaser and not the individual users who will get about £1.20 each before admin fees."

That's true to an extent, and the lawyers always win, but stopping Apple (or Google/any of their OEMS, or anyone else) rolling out features like this and not telling anyone in the future is (IMO) a good thing

Working from home could kill career advancement, says IBM CEO


Only a manager would assume that everyone wants promotion or advancement. Every company I've worked for that is like IBM (Certain large makers of PCs for example) assume that every engineer wants nothing more than to become a team leader and can't understand engineers who just like being engineers.

Just another of the many, many reasons I started contracting.

Strike three: FTC says Meta still failing to protect user privacy


I find it very odd that Faecesbook takes to Twitter to tell the world that in their view the FTC is doing this for political reasons.

Crying "witchhunt" is very popular in the US these days though.

Biden proposes 30% tax on cryptominers' power bills


It's not necessarily the tax, but the intent. Does anyone genuinely think it's a good thing to be reopening coal-fired power stations just to mine Bitcoin? These people may now own that station, but there are more examples.


You can see the logic in this when people are re-opening power stations just to serve as cryptocoin mining operations.


Academics have 'no confidence' in Edinburgh University's response to its Oracle disaster


Huh, not just the Government up here that can't manage projects then.

Microsoft cries foul over UK gaming deal blocker but it's hard to feel sorry for them


I'm far from an avid gamer, and have an Xbox only because I won it from Microsoft, but it's clear they're trying to slowly wean everyone on to Game Pass and then will stop making it so easy to get it for free. Also more than one title from Bethesda had it's PS5 version canned and became Xbox/PC exclusive, so likely they would do the same with Activision titles.

Microsoft pushes users to the Edge in Outlook, Teams


Re: Chrome

For the moment, until Google and MS fall out over the direction Chromium takes or something like that.

I'm forced to use Edge at work at the moment, and most Enterprises force one or the other or give the choice, sadly unless Firefox gets the same level of integration with Group Policy it won't get any Enterprise traction

Online Safety Bill age checks? We won't do 'em, says Wikipedia



Yes, spotting someone reading the Mail (online or otherwise) instead of The Metro is an excellent way to decide who not to sit near on the train.



Usual totalitarian nonsense from the Government, as usual under the guise of "will no one think of the children" we have nothing to fear as long as we have nothing to hide. And I'm sure they will exempt themselves too, just in case one of them wants to "look at tractors" on his phone in the commons.

The end of Microsoft-brand peripherals is only Surface deep


I absolutely loved the first Arc Mice with the dongle, but when they changed to the version (Arc Touch I think they called them) that folded flat with the scroll pad rather than a wheel they were, IME anyway, very fragile.

Still got 2 optical mice, one of which is connected to my desktop and the other in a drawer, and a Surface Mouse which I use with my Surface Book 2

UK emergency services take DIY approach amid 12-year wait for comms upgrade


Re: Two systems cannot become one

It was always too big a project to ever be done in the given timescale though. Even just improving contention in areas like London was hard enough, without factoring in vast tracts of Wales, Northern England and the Highlands and Islands of Scotland that had at best patchy 2G service, never mind 3G or 4G.

BOFH takes a visit to retro computing land


Good option for a lot of games from that era, but there are also a good few that only ran on top of Windows as well. A few I had that I can remember were Need for Speed (II SE and 3: Hot Pursuit), Wipeout 2097 I think. Quite a few were also rewritten from their original DOS versions to run on Windows, Doom and X-Wing are some I remember.


I moved house a few years ago and had a clearout, sold an old Win98 PC that had a Soundblaster (AWE32 I think) and a 3DFX Voodoo3 GPU in it. Couldn't believe how many people were bidding on it and emailing me offers to end it early.

No more feature updates for Windows 10 – current version is final


That's certainly been one nice feature for me as an admin, with the Win 10 release model as it was change were very much incremental rather than wholsesale.

I'd say it's obvious that Microsoft wouldn't want to upset the Enterprise channel, but they frequently do, so it's not something to take for granted.


"I don't know, I think both Windows 10 and [Show more options] Windows 11 are turds. Perhaps Microsoft are upping their game and we now need to skip to the third re-release."

You might well be right, I haven't used 11 at all to be honest. Given my day job is (usually) image creation and deployment, I generally ignore new versions of Windows until such time as I'm starting to deploy them. Apart from a few well-publicised bugs Windows 10 has by and large been very stable in the places I've deployed it, although a lot of that stability does come from locking things down sufficiently to A: stop MS patching things and adding features and B: stop users from breaking things.


Feeling nostalgic now, we're back to the old days of skipping every second version of WIndows cos it's a turd, with the version after just being a re-branded and (mostly) fixed version of the one before.

NASA tweaks Voyager 2's power supply to avoid another sensor shutdown


Truly incredible, 46 years and bods at NASA are still finding new ways to keep them running.

For comparison, my company sent out a 6 month notice email recently for users with Samsung A40 phones that they're going EoL cos they're too old and no longer supported in September.


Nah, payroll is still going to be handled by the "database", an Office '97 format Excel spreadsheet.

Microsoft may stop bundling Teams with Office amid antitrust probe threat


Re: Are we learning yet?

They'll never learn, or perhaps more accurately will never have to learn. If any Government really goes to town on Microsoft over antitrust, then they'll have to do the same to Google and Apple for the similar degrees of bundling in their mobiles operating systems. As much as all of us here are capable of choice, the average user isn't and doesn't want to, they want things to "just work" out of the box and that very user apathy is exactly how Chrome became so dominant - the average user wouldn't even notice a drive-by download never mind try to reverse it.

Microsoft makes Windows Server 2022 licenses a little less cynical


Re: it wasn't just Ballmer

They are embracing, at least as much as they are developing versions of their software that they can sell to Linux users. Much the same as Apple "embrace" Windows as a means to give Windows users a gateway to purchase things from iTunes.