* Posts by eldel

160 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Jun 2009


IBM Software tells workers: Get back to the office three days a week


Re: I can see good reasons for being together as a team...

Yeah. My closest colleague is 1 time zone (albeit 1200 miles) away, the others are all between 3 and 11 time zones away. There's an office only 15 minutes away. The conversation normally goes

Why aren't you working from the office

What for?

To cooperate closely with your colleagues

Sure, which one?

Well, all of them

Great, a round the world trip, there goes your travel budget for the year.

Ah, hmmm, well then, we might make an exception. But you really should be there


PEBCAK problem transformed young techie into grizzled cynical sysadmin


Re: Assumption

Pardon? What's that? Oh, it's you. Yeah, me too

Musk's mighty missile is ready for launch once FAA says OK


Re: No

Which is provably incorrect. The development costs for space-x in total is less than that of the SLS. Systematic simulation is great, as long as it's accurate. How do you get that accuracy with no actual testing.

Sure, you can spend 13 years and huge amounts of money if you are the recipient of the bottomless pork barrel. On the other hand you can test to destruction with lots of instrumentation and know where it went wrong then fix and try again.

The orbital launch totals for space-x this year stands at 62 out of the global total of 144. Pretty damn good for the result of a process that does not work well anywhere.

BOFH: What a beautiful tinfoil hat, Boss!


Re: I remember well...

I used those a couple of times when I had a CRT screen that would catch sunlight (or other bright light source) - it really cut down on the reflections. Of course - a decent matt glass screen would do the same.

I'll see your data loss and raise you a security policy violation


Re: Outlook...

Indeed. I call it the geologic filing system. Every 6 months you just lift off the top inch and throw everything below it away. With a reasonable amount of care it actually works.

Cage match: Zuck finally realizes Elon is full of twit


Re: Pathetic

To be fair - he did manage to get Gwynne Shotwell to run SpaceX. Granted it was probably anomalous but it was a good move.

Linux Mint cuts slice of 'Victoria' as 21.2 beta lands with dash of fresh Cinnamon


As a grumpy old git I fully support the disdain for UI 'improvements' which add nothing apart from giving the vapids something to chatter about.

Techie wasn't being paid, until he taught HR a lesson


Re: Proof if needed

In my last job we had a director who was an ex naval aviator. Nice guy but with a zero tolerance for bullshit. We were starting up a new project team and all the techie types agreed that the perfect person to be the tech lead was a guy who had left to join a startup the previous year but was now available. HR objected on the grounds of "we don't re-employ people with X months" (I don't remember the actual number). The response from the director was along the lines of "You seem to be under a misapprehension. You work for me not the other way around. Either you send the offer this afternoon or your replacement will do so in the morning".

The guy took the job. Never saw that HR flunky again.

BOFH: Cough up half a grand and we'll protect you from AI


Re: Its a cunning wheeze

Though it should be said that if you've been hit almost anywhere by a 50 cal round any subsequent damage is somewhat superfluous.

Apple stomped all over NYC store workers' union rights, judge rules


Re: The managers who removed the flyers ...

The Theranos case is a learning opportunity for con men (no gender implied). Don't rip off the rich and powerful they will bury you. As long as you stick to denuding the peons of their meagre wealth then you will get the traditional slap on the wrist.

In the States it's even more unbalanced as the supreme court is now shown to be just as corrupt as the rest of the government. Not that anyone should be surprised, after all look who does the selecting.

SpaceX's second attempt at orbital Starship launch ends in fireball


Re: Starship hasn't had the most successful history?

>Just lifting off is simple and no test.

Really?? I look forward to seeing your entry into the orbital rocket business. Clearly you are all knowing.

A moment of silence for all the drives that died in the making of this Backblaze report


Re: It's all relative.

Yeah, I've been a Hitachi loyalist for HDDs for years and was really smug when the Backblaze stats seemed to validate that bias. Now that they're owned by WD though I expect them to reduce the QC and thus fail more often.

I did the last refresh 2 years ago so I'm hopeful that by the time they are ready for replacement there will be viable SDD options (home NAS).

Corporate execs: Get back, get back, to the office where you once belonged


Re: We all traipse into the office for that critical meeting that HAS to be face-to-face..

Which is, just about, justifiable. However ...

How many 'business critical' meetings are just about some asshat middle manager exerting his/her ego or wanting to justify their existence?

Why does that 'business critical' meeting need to be in person anyway? Because you have a luddite who can't deal with simple tech?

The point is that zoom/teams *are* available - at least they are to the vast majority of businesses.

If your management knows what you are doing and are measuring output, not input, location is largely irrelevant for most office workers. Unfortunately most middle managers have no freaking idea and just want to measure input as a function of bums on seats. Upper manglement seem to just think in terms of ego and viewing their empire.

FCC gives SpaceX OK to launch 7.5k Gen2 Starlink satellites


Re: Smaller batches

I think it's a volume issue as much as weight. You're still, more or less, restricted to the same volume as an F9. Unless you design a whole new 3rd stage. Which would change all the aerodynamics for a start. So I can see why they only want to use starship.

What worries me is that a whole lot of things appear to be reliant on that working. I'm sure they can make it work, eventually. I respect Ms Shotwell's abilities to get shit done as much as anyone but it's huge step from F9 to where they need to be.

World's richest man posts memes as $44b Twitter acquisition veers off course


Re: Waah

The decline started when we lost the moderatrix. The current manglement would have a shit fit with that sort of stuff.

No, working in IT does not mean you can fix anything with a soldering iron


Re: family support

Which is, on the face of it, total bollocks. I have Brave, Firefox and Chromium on this here Mint box and they're all up to date (I just checked to make sure) and it all happens automatically.

I rather think you've not configured the update manager correctly - which, in itself is quite a trick. File | Software sources | Restore default settings.

Rust is eating into our systems, and it's a good thing


Re: Meh!..Meh, Meh

Ah memories of a Nascom 1. Fondly remembered even though, if I were to be completely honest, it caused me to learn and invent many more swearwords.

NASA scrubs Artemis mission yet again because SLS just can't handle the pressure


Re: Third time's a .... ?

..er - safer

Mouse hiding in cable tray cheesed off its bemused user


Re: Wireless Mice

My preference for laptops is Dell as they seem content to keep drivers available until the heat death of the universe. I have a couple of 2014 M4800s which, probably due to their brick outhouse build quality, are still running beautifully. One on Win10 (needed for Fusion360) and the other on Mint. Bought as refurbs for about the same cost as a chromebook.

Elon Musk 'buying Manchester United' football club


Re: Strangely I feel an urge to mis-quote Martin Sheen in Wall Street

<whispers> Bolton


Re: Strangely I feel an urge to mis-quote Martin Sheen in Wall Street

I'm sure this will come as no surprise to anyone - but that particular reference can get you into some fairly heated (on one side at least) arguments where you have a participant going through incredible mental and conversational contortions trying to avoid the 'b' word but still telling you are are wrong.

'I wonder what this cable does': How to tell thicknet from a thickhead


Re: Fun with RJ-45!

As I recall from those dim and distant days the argument was that TR was deterministic, i.e. you "knew" that the data packet would get to its destination whereas ethernet was merely statistically probable. In real life this just meant unnecessary overhead on TR but the banking, legal and health types seemed to think it was the killer argument.

Bad news, older tech workers: Job advert language works against you


Re: Anon CVs

Probably the technical knowledge free screening in HR. In a previous job I was amazed at the applicants that HR was trying to reject once a (very senior) VP decided to bypass them as we weren't seeing anyone vaguely suitable.

What was more interesting was the responses when they were challenged on the matter. It consisted basically of <shrug> and the HR director backed them up.

Everyone back to the office! Why? Because the decision has been made


Re: that jerk with the annoying voice and that other bastard who sniffs all day.

I resemble that remark.

Signed a boomer who is pig sick of the fuckwits that think screwing up a planet is a virtuous act and are now hell bent on screwing up the political system for their own short sighted advantage. That's without considering the theocrats that are turning the US into a radical christian theocracy - and they have a habit of exporting their crap.

Micron aims 1.5TB microSD card at video surveillance market


Re: "a mean time to failure rating of two million hours"

Probably fail to turn on. Safer that way. You never know when a "convenient failure" inadvertently fails to happen and leaves awkward evidence.

Sick of Windows but can't afford a Mac? Consult our cynic's guide to desktop Linux


Re: Windows didn't suck...

Hmm, dunno, 1700 BCE sounds about right. End of the neolithic, start of the Mycenaean project. Yeah, I'd say lawyers probably came crawling out from under their rocks about then.

Seriously, you do not want to make that cable your earth


Re: almost whoops

24 I think since they perished. Loved working there. Not unlike the 60s if you remember the parties ( Xmas, launch etc) you weren't there.

When they went into liquidation everyone had to go get their personal stuff from the office and the receivers had a couple of heavies on the door making sure that nothing else was taken out. What they didn't seem to realize was that the 'machine room' was on the ground floor and had opening windows. Apparently by the time anyone twigged to this there wasn't a lot left. It would appear that the windows were large enough to get HP 'N' (?) Class servers out through. Allegedly.

How ICE became a $2.8b domestic surveillance agency


I hadn't realised that we had a cross posting agreement with THE TRUTH. 4 posts in the last month - looks like we got all of it as well.

I do love watching the trumpettes whining about "globalists" when the USA has been exporting its inflation to China for decades to allow it to finance its military empire. Of course when their fuhrer employs dubiously documented peons to work in his money losing ventures that's somehow OK. Or the MAGA hats made in Pakistan. Note to trumpettes - Pakistan is not a town in Pennsylvania. It's an actual country out there in the grey mist called "not the lower 48".

In the graveyard of good ideas, how does yours measure up to these?


Re: Examples.......and more to come!

I think the python example is a little disingenuous. Putting proper unicode support into P2 broke so many things that they just said "screw it - let's put all the breaking changes in at the same time". Which made the transition larger than anyone wanted (anyone who's had to port some badly implemented nested dictionaries that 2to3 can't handle can probably appreciate this) but hopefully a one time event.

Yes - this was caused by the poor initial design of P2 - but given where they were it was probably the correct decision.

Microsoft claims breakthrough in quantum computer system


Re: Whatever next? Spiders from Mars? RATs from Venus?

I have to admit - I (tried to) read the article and thought you'd written it.

Geomagnetic storm takes out 40 of 49 brand new Starlink satellites


Re: At least they're not additional, long-lasting space garbage

And if you design and build sensitive enough detectors to actually measure that amount of ionized debris in the atmosphere (not just at the putative point of "impact" with said atmosphere) then I suspect you've got either a Nobel prize or a very lucrative DARPA contract coming your way.


Re: Skynet

To the best of my knowledge the only satellite with a sail that's currently up there is Light Sail 2.

You could try asking the Planetary Society (who own and operate it) if the storm had any effect.

Bouncing cheques or a bouncy landing? All in a day's work for the expert pilot


Re: Expert?

Some years ago I was visiting friends and being a Sunday we decided to drink lunch at the local. This is in a small village in the middle of nowhere. The actual boozer fitted most of the preconceptions I had, including the elderly but still sprightly landlord and a barman of similar visage. Anyway, closing time is approaching and one of the locals we were chatting to goes to the bar and orders another round. The landlord demured, pointing out that he would need a magistrates order to extend opening times. The putative customer looked pointedly at the barman who simply shrugged, poured himself a double and said "granted".

Spruce up your CV or just bin it? Survey finds recruiters are considering alternatives


Re: Coding is not the end

The only 'coding interview' I ever had to suffer was a few years ago. It was in one of those all day multiple session interviews that the tech bros seem to love. By the time the coding part came around it was already pretty clear that I would be a poor fit - not least because I was probably 3 decades older than everyone else and apparently that meant I wouldn't be able to keep up.

Anyway - comes the coding section and tech bro hands me a problem statement and asks me to code a solution. I did it in Python the way I normally code - simplest suitable constructs and methods. TB looks at it and asks why I didn't use a lamda expression in one part. I just shrugged and said why? The answer was that it would be 'more pythonic'. At which point I'd decided this was a lost cause so I asked would it make it more efficient at run time? No, would it be easier to maintain? No, then why bother - I don't code for style points.

Unfortunately for my ego I can't claim that rejecting me was a calamitous mistake on their part, a mutual contact that knows the place tells me they are going gangbusters and I probably missed out on a very healthy stock distribution. Ah well.

Nothing's working, and I've checked everything, so it must be YOUR fault


Re: Blue flash

Many eons ago, for my 40th birthday, my wife bought me a day at a 'tank driving experience'. Great fun. I even got congratulated by the ex Armoured Corps sergeant who said he'd never seen anyone get an SPG (Sexton?? Abbot?? memory fails me - big bastard anyway) sideways before and would I please not do it again.

Offering Patreon subs in sterling or euros means you can be sued under GDPR, says Court of Appeal


Re: So if a UK based business

US courts typically assume everyone is subject to US law. Lord Palmerston would be proud of them,

A lightbulb moment comes too late to save a mainframe engineer's blushes


Re: Surgical Safety Checklist

Heh - I had a neurologist who was on the point of booking neck surgery for me due to the state of my neck (many decades old injury) contributing to the pains in my left arm. Until I pointed out that the problem was in my right arm.

The ideal sat-nav is one that stops the car, winds down the window, and asks directions


Re: My experience

>I can even navigate a map on my computer, and push it to the device !

You can do that on google maps as well. Along with rest stops, fuel stops etc. An interesting twist I found on this the other day is that if you 'export' the route as a link - you can just save that link. That way you can have a list of routes in a file which you just click to activate in gmaps and then push to the phone. Actually works quite well.

I don't know if they've pushed this capability to the civilized world yet - but combining that with the maps download means that you effectively have a standalone gps unit.

Survey shows XP lingers on while Windows 11 makes a 0.21% ripple in the enterprise


The coming of the Borg

Took delivery of a new laptop yesterday. Booted it up and the Win10 install promptly upgraded itself to Win11. OK - let's try that.

Start with - create admin user that isn't a microsoft account. Hmm - nope. Lots of web searches and trials. Still nope - all the helpful suggestions are no longer valid. OK - create a fake new account, complete the login process. Create local user, reboot and log in with that.

Install Brave browser, set DDG as search engine, set Brave as default browser (which, in itself, took 20 minutes and a lot of reading). Click on a link - get Edge. Reboot. Try again. Same thing.

Check pi-hole and see a *huge* amount of traffic going to microsoft sub domains that I've not seen before. Blacklist domains. Random stuff stops working - e.g. volume control. WTF?? And I thought Android was bad.

Put Mint 20.2 on flash drive, boot from that, install with complete wipe of disk. Fully working laptop with no stupidity 20 minutes later.

NASA delays crewed Moon landing until 2025, citing technical infeasibility


Re: So NASA will *never* make it to the Moon

it needs to land 100s if not 1000s of times from orbital velocities before you put people anywhere near riding on top of it

Yeah - I don't think so. A dozen, maybe 20 tops. How many 100s of Dragon capsules do you think they landed before the crewed ones?

Rolls-Royce set for funding fillip to build nuclear power stations based on small modular reactor technology


Isn't there a (theoretical) design for a fast breeder variant that will "burn" the plutonium in a second stage? I'm pretty sure I read about one.

Calendars have gone backwards since the Bronze Age. It's time to evolve


Re: Day planner. On paper.

Well, yes - but how do you know where you are supposed to be? Collect someone from doctor's appointment - better be on the calendar. I'm going to be out at a match on Sunday this week, then at the sanctuary next Thursday, then I'm going to a concert with my daughter in a month. Whatever. How do I communicate that to everyone else? Can it be done - sure - I did it successfully for decades. Is it easier to do it with a shared electronic calendar that everyone can see? Yup. For us at least.

I'm talking family here of course. I've found over the years that a healthy dose of honesty and reality tend to get one disinvited to corporate meetings, Which suits me just fine. I don't call meetings - if I have information that I think someone needs I will impart that in a direct and succinct way and avoid wasting time on feeding some managerial ego. I will even take the time to write it up - thereby increasing the clarity of my own thinking - instead of blurting out whatever comes to mind.


Re: Day planner. On paper.

Meh - I loved my Time Manager dead tree planner. Used it for many years - then Psion brought out the 3a. The planner lasted about 2 months after that. Whilst I agree that the current computer mediated calendars need serious improvement - there's no freaking way I'm going back to trying to synchronize different people's schedules on paper.

Especially at home - goodbye and good riddance to the schedule on the fridge door.

Yahoo! shuts! down! last! China! operations! as! doing! business! becomes! 'increasingly challenging'!


Re: Applaud The Move, Despise The Reasons

legally take their IP

I don't think legality has much to do with it. Well, not according to international norms anyway.

Orders wrong, resellers receiving wrong items? Must be a programming error and certainly not a rushing techie


Re: Fun with punch cards

Little known factlette - punch cards are the ideal thickness for setting spark plug gaps. At least they were for the Ford 'engine' (and I use the work loosely) in my Cortina in the 70s.

Boeing's Calamity Capsule might take to space once again ... in the first half of 2022


A customer dilemma

I noted the issue of 'turnaround time for ULA rockets'. You mean you don't just pull one off the shelf?

"If Sir would like a new booster please choose from the right hand side of the warehouse. Otherwise please feel free to select one of our flight proven models from the center and left aisles. Yes, of course we can have it ready for next week"

<mumble mumble>

"Ah, Sir would like a bigger booster. Of course Sir, which 3 of these would Sir like us to strap together?"

<mumble mumble mumble>

"Ah, no Sir, I'm afraid we don't stock that model. The recovery accuracy of that model is not quite adequate for our rather small barges. Apparently they can only specify which ocean they expect to hit"

Globalfoundries files for IPO


I'm sure I've seen this mentioned before - but 2 chip factories, which need a huge amount of water, in one of the driest states in the US, during a historic drought which shows no signs of abating any time soon. Using, no doubt, the rapidly shrinking aquifer as a supply. Seriously WTF??

BOFH: You'll find there's a company asset tag right here, underneath the monstrously heavy arcade machine


Re: Personal heaters

I have a pair of ML350s which are much quieter than the pizza boxen but provide nicely adequate amounts of heat.

Some stayed in Croatian castles. Some hid in cars. We speak to techies who experienced lockdown in very different ways


Sometimes you just get lucky

The project I was working on (80 hr weeks - crappy management - all on-site) got 'rightsized' just as the COVID shit was hitting the fan. I scored a full WFH job with sensible management and decent planning. I actually went to my previous boss and thanking him for canning me. I don't think he was expecting that.

Updated Python support in VS Code brings browser editing and ditches open-source language server for Pylance


The problem (for some of us anyway) is what's the alternative. Some large US corps banned Jetbrains stuff because "reasons", Eclipse is a dinosaur and Pydev seems to be stuck in the neolithic (let's not get into it's Git workflow). Sublime is just Vi on steroids (not that there's anything wrong with that per-se) and Atom could be great if I want to spend a not insignificant amount of time getting the customization sorted out.

VSCode is free and does the job better than anything other than PyCharm. The Flask and Django support are also free - the last time I looked PyCharm was still charging for those.

All in my opinion of course - but as it's my time and effort spent using it - that's the only one I really care about :-)