* Posts by Paul Johnston

392 posts • joined 13 Apr 2007


Claims of AI sentience branded 'pure clickbait'

Paul Johnston

Re: generally agree...

Can you quote your sources for that please

BOFH: Where do you think you are going with that toner cartridge?

Paul Johnston

Band Name

I was told once "Rage against the machine" was clearly about a printer.

Sounds plausible to me.

FreeBSD 13.1 is out for everything from PowerPC to x86-64

Paul Johnston


Anyone got thoughts on the version of OpenSSL being 1.1.1?

Seems Linux is moving to version 3 and we for one are having issues with it and our Palo Alto boxes.

Cheers Paul J

One in five employees at top Indian outsourcers left in the past year

Paul Johnston

Bloody hell

You mean that it can get worse?

Windows 11 usage stats within touching distance of... XP

Paul Johnston

Upto 8 and counting

Seems we have 8 Win 11 machines in our Active Directory, I love ADFind!

AlmaLinux comes to Windows Subsystem for Linux

Paul Johnston

Re: Serves a roll

Sorry didn't specify enough these are not people wanting to go into IT, per se CFD is computational fluid dynamics.

Paul Johnston

Re: Serves a roll

Best of luck with that. We have students paying huge amounts to study an engineering discipline. To tell them that they have to spend a shed load of time in the operating system realm when they are only concerned with the application level just isn't going to happen. Sometimes we forget that end users are end users. It's not slagging them off, just realising for them it is a tool to and end and not the end game itself.

Paul Johnston

Serves a roll

Whilst WSL may not be everyone's cup of tea I find it really useful. We don't have a managed Ubuntu image yet and using WSL2 allows people to run CFD tools like openfoam without having to resort to dual boot machines. If they actually need lots of raw processing power they can prototype on their laptops or desktops before moving to bigger iron. Most students have no knowledge of sys admin so why not keep that away from them unless they actually want/ need to?

Patch now: RCE Spring4shell hits Java Spring framework

Paul Johnston

Re: Whose?

Love the optimism but by that way I don't think anything would get done. Have known people who just want to get stuff out asap and others who are incapable of this as they need "one more check" . It's all a case of balance. Finally it's not as if the bad actors play like that. Offense and defence are both advancing and so will it ever be.

Linux 5.17 debuts after 'very calm' extra week of work

Paul Johnston

This one has lost me!

>>Version 5.18 of the kernel is tipped to feature the debut of Intel's plans for "software-defined silicon" – a tech about which Intel has remained virtually silent, other than hints on mailing lists about features that would allow payments to enable different features in processors.

How do you feature something we know nothing about, well your guess is as good as mine?

Linux Snap package tool fixes make-me-root bugs

Paul Johnston

Not looking good

Just went to update one of my Ubuntu installs and got this, not encouraging.

Preparing to unpack .../12-snapd_2.54.3+20.04.1ubuntu0.1_amd64.deb ...

Unpacking snapd (2.54.3+20.04.1ubuntu0.1) over (2.54.2+20.04ubuntu2) ...

Setting up snapd (2.54.3+20.04.1ubuntu0.1) ...

Installing new version of config file /etc/apparmor.d/usr.lib.snapd.snap-confine.real ...

error: cannot read the state file: open /var/lib/snapd/state.json: no such file or directory

RAID expansion comes to OpenZFS at last

Paul Johnston

Re: Modern File System Clarification

No I meant AFS hence the joke alert!


I work for an organisation which is claimed to make as much as Man Utd and Man City put together and runs a mission critical business system on the Andrew File System

Paul Johnston

Modern File System


Linux distros haunted by Polkit-geist for 12+ years: Bug grants root access to any user

Paul Johnston

Oh dear

I know 9 is essentially in beta-ish and this is just a learning box, nothing in production but doesn't inspire confidence

(base) [paulj@e-uxxmcasspj5 ~]$ cat /etc/redhat-release

CentOS Stream release 9

(base) [paulj@e-uxxmcasspj5 ~]$ ./cve-2021-4034--2022-01-25-0936.sh

This script (v1.0) is primarily designed to detect CVE-2021-4034 on supported

Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems and kernel packages.

Result may be inaccurate for other RPM based systems.

This script is meant to be used only on RHEL 6-8.

ASUS recalls motherboards that flame out thanks to backwards capacitors

Paul Johnston

Re: It was fun when I saw that happen

Not sure how you type Morse word by word but anyone who can do Morse is better than I ever was, despite doing O-Level Seamanship and have tried to get a "Full Amateur Radio License". Passed the electronics exam but never the Morse for the full fat version :-(

Paul Johnston


“In our ongoing investigation, we have preliminarily identified a potential reversed memory capacitor issue in the production process from one of the production lines that may cause debug error code 53, no post, or motherboard components damage,” said ASUS in an announcement.

I'm going to start using "debug error code 53" for when it all goes pear shaped.

Obvious icon usage!

Nottingham University awards cloud finance and HR deal in £29.75m deal 2.5 years after Unit4 upgrade

Paul Johnston

Not sure

How an HR system, yes we do need them, will create a step change in Teaching and Research?

Here the biggest complaint about HR is the time taken to recruit staff and issues with extending fixed term contracts.

Even sorting that out isn't going to make much difference YMMV

£42k for a top-class software engineer? It's no wonder uni research teams can't recruit

Paul Johnston

Re: IT person

The pensions scheme you mentioned probably isn't as good as you think.

The recent industrial action at universities has multiple causes but the pension is probably the biggest.

Windows Terminal to be the default for command line applications in Windows 11

Paul Johnston

Re: When will I be able to ...

When the GUI in Windows 11 goes TITSUP what else is there?

Can understand that from a server point of view but we are talking about desktop OS here.

NixOS and the changing face of Linux operating systems

Paul Johnston

After much wracking of brain cells

Reminds me of SmartOS where the OS is in memory and sort of immutable

Alpine Linux 3.15 bids a fond farewell to MIPS64 support

Paul Johnston

What really interests me is...

"There is also some initial support for UEFI secure boot on x86_64"

At the moment we have to set machines which are going to be dual boot (Win 10/ Scientific Linux 7) to legacy boot.

Don't as why Scientific Linux 7 please :-(

Academics tell Brit MPs to check the software used when considering reproducibility in science and tech research

Paul Johnston

Sounds familiar

Is it raining where you are?

'Automate or die!' Gartner reckons most biz apps will be developed via low-code by the people who use them

Paul Johnston

Don't knock it

There are a lot of things I haven't tried that I am willing to knock.

Morris Dancing ....

Ex-org? Not at all! Three and a half years after X.Org Server 1.20, 1.21 is released

Paul Johnston

Dear Povilas Kanapickas

Please see icon

Windows terminates here. Please remember to finish setting it up on arrival

Paul Johnston

Re: It's a sign I tell you...

Perhaps they should look at using Ruby!

Severe joke alert :-)

We're all at sea: Navigation Royal Navy style – with plenty of IT but no GPS

Paul Johnston

Re: Another thing to make me feel old!

You would probably enjoy reading

The Observer's Book on Astro-Navigation Parts One and Two

Written by a certain Francis Chichester and first published in 1940

Amazing what you can find in old book shops

Paul Johnston

Another thing to make me feel old!

When I was at school one of the O-Levels it ran was Navigation.

If anyone happens to have any old papers I'd love to see one (cursory google in progress!)

Linux 5.14 had plenty of commits, work has gone smoothly – and it should debut next week

Paul Johnston

Oh dear

No more heroes in the Linux world!

See that last line in the access list? Yeah, that means you don't have an access list

Paul Johnston

Oh yes!

Was once told of a contractor from a "Very Expensive" outfit whose build scripts for cloud VMs included the line

chmod -R 777 /var/data

Warning, just because you sign the contract with a company which seemed during the tender process to have some very good people no guarantee you won't get the apprentice doing the coding.

Obviously you need your best people getting contracts not actually doing them.

About half of Python libraries in PyPI may have security issues, boffins say

Paul Johnston

Well at least I'm secure

No mention of anything amiss in CTAN

The coming of Wi-Fi 6 does not mean it's time to ditch your cabled LAN. Here's why

Paul Johnston

WiFi it's the future honest!

New plan at work, wired out, wireless in.

So see which wired sockets have not been used for a year and then disable them.

Then reduce the switch capacity to cope with the reduced demand.

Oh yes we have been on lockdown, and peoples sockets will not have been on for a year if they turned their kit off before they evacuated the buildings, but it will save us money honest.

This one could be fun when people return to work.

Western Approaches Museum: WRENs, wargames, and victory in the Atlantic

Paul Johnston

Well worth a visit

Interested people may want to read "A Game of Birds and Wolves" by Simon Parkin to get a fuller picture.

As an aside I playfully complained whilst there that they were offering discount to present and ex members of the armed forces but not present and ex merchant navy people.

They said they would look into it, so if you are serving or former MN suggest you bring your discharge book. (let the jokes commence)

How hot is it right now? 'Water park catching fire and burning down' hot

Paul Johnston

Danger Mouse

Does anyone else think the logo in the video should have been credited to Cosgrave and Hall?

Just a thought.

Up to £80m on the table in University of Nottingham's search for service provider to lace together IT support

Paul Johnston

Good luck!

You are going to need it!

We don't know why it's there, we don't know what it does – all we know is that the button makes everything OK again

Paul Johnston

Re: The knob......

Video rental membership card!

Old school, have a beer to watch your video with.

Computer security world in mourning over death of Dan Kaminsky, aged 42

Paul Johnston


One of the good guys!

Canonical releases Ubuntu on Windows Preview with early builds, new tools for the brave

Paul Johnston

Re: Strange People

Sometimes they need an application which is only available on Linux

Staff and students at Victoria University of Wellington learn the most important lesson of all: Keep your files backed up

Paul Johnston

Re: The only things

Er more than you would believe!

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's just a very unhappy Windows installation

Paul Johnston


I saw that same screen with a python library error.

Tata Consultancy Services wins £4m deal to carry out Oracle 'reimplementation' for University of Manchester

Paul Johnston

Lets see how it goes

Sure I'll be able to report on a successful implementation!

Lay down your souls to the gods of rock 'n' roll: Conspiracy theorists' 5G 'vaccine' chip schematic is actually for a guitar pedal

Paul Johnston

Re: Ha ha ha.... but it's not funny

Please correct me if I am wrong but unless the vaccine gives sterilizing immunity people will still be able to be infected by the virus if they have been vaccinated. They themselves may not go on to develop serious health issues but will be able to pass it on. I was under the impression that the testing of the vaccine only shows people who get it are less liable to fall seriously ill but does not show they cannot pass it on.

CentOS project changes focus, no more rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux – you'll have to flow with the Stream

Paul Johnston

Re: Looks like Debian ...

Did not finish oh how true.

FOSS developer survey: Mostly male, employed... and many don't care about 'soul-withering chore' of security

Paul Johnston

What surprises me is...

Security comes lower than writing the documentation.

Just saying!

All it took was a global pandemic confining millions to their homes to remind businesses how much they appreciate the IT crowd

Paul Johnston

RE: putting people on Office 365

You forgot the bit where after doing that the e-mail team is "let go" as we don't need them.

'I'm telling you, I haven't got an iPad!' – Sent from my iPad

Paul Johnston

How to spot a lie

A couple of decades ago I had just started a job at Uni, running all the Unix stuff, workstations DNS server, NIS NFS, Mail,the whole shebang!

I was invited to go to the pub on Friday night early on and one night late on the tales of who did what to whom and who got caught started! As the newbie I just sat and listened.

First thing Monday morning I got a mail from the head of school, who wasn't one of the drinkers to the effect I shouldn't spread rumours and that doing so might end up bad for me at this time I was still under probation. Never one to sit and consider the options I went straight to his office and pointed out I wasn't the one saying anything as I had only been there a few weeks and all this stuff predated me so he should look to others as the issue.

Typical senior prof, ummed and ahed and said he wasn't picking on me and had actually sent it to all staff involved.

Nipping back to the office looking at the mail server I saw (without looking at anyone's mail I hasten to add) the modification stamp on my mailbox file was when the prof had sent the mail to me and no one else in the pub gang had been modified at the same time. (I always got in early Monday just to check before start of play).

Later spoke to people and they said no they hadn't received a mail about conduct off premises outside work hours about stuff which it was nothing to do with the boss!

Welcome to academia!

Venerable text editor GNU Nano reaches version 5.0 and adds the modern frippery that is scrollbars

Paul Johnston


Nano is not cult.

Now vi v emacs let battle commence!

UK's Co-operative Group to centralise IT teams across various divisions, warns redundancies 'inevitable'

Paul Johnston

Looking for a CIO

Is Gerry Pennell available?

Drupal drops first big upgrade in five years and looks forward by looking backwards

Paul Johnston

Please no!

Thought I was finished with this nightmare.

When one open-source package riddled with vulns pulls in dozens of others, what's a dev to do?

Paul Johnston

What can you expect?

"The second step, however, isn't to triage across the org, but rather to start fixing issues. Teams who overspend energy triaging at the expense of fixing end up incurring greater risk.

When a very large proportion of the team are "managers" whose sole job it to push bits of paper around and try to look busy where is the incentive to actually fix something?

Here's a headline we never thought we'd write 20 years ago: Microsoft readies antivirus for Linux, Android

Paul Johnston

Whatever they do...

Cannot be worse than McAfee!



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