* Posts by Simon Robinson

23 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Data loss prevention emergency tactic: keep your finger on the power button for the foreseeable future

Simon Robinson

Not exactly the same situation, but once had to spend close to an hour holding a damaged USB memory stick in exactly the right position while I copied all the data off.

Needless to say, the person I did this for showered me with prasie and gifts for rescuing their un-backed up work. Not.

Buying a USB adapter: Pennies. Knowing where to stick it: Priceless

Simon Robinson

Re: itemization


Simon Robinson

In a previous employment, back in 2003, engineer call-outs were charged at £75 an hour with a minimum half-hour charge. One client called us out so much, for minor things, their minimum was bumped up to a full hour - and they happily paid...

Dutch Gateway store was kept udder wraps for centuries until refit dug up computing history

Simon Robinson

Reminds me...

...of the long closed computer store in Northampton, not far from the train station, which was still displaying an Apricot Computers 1996 calendar well into the 2010s, until it was converted into a convenience store.

Nissan EV app password reset prompts user panic

Simon Robinson

Re: WAIT! Hang on, back up a second ...

"What does that do to your range? How does it affect battery longevity?"

If the car is still plugged in to charge, there is no use of the car battery to pre-heat/cool, so you get a car at the required temperature without losing range.

Olympics volunteers urged not to blab online

Simon Robinson

It'd be nice to know my role before talking about it...

Having been for an interview at the beginning of December as part of the "technology team", I was told a role would be offered to me in the next week. Six weeks later, and only one message from LOCOG - a "Happy New Year, sorry we can't sort it out yet." At his rate, there won't be any time to fit the training in before I have to run the scoreboard in the 100m final...

BOFH: The day the office budget bombed – literally

Simon Robinson
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IT purchasing

Far more believable than, say, a small network-addressable incendiary device inside the boss’s “4-port switch”.

Where can I buy these? Need a few here...

Suspended-animation cold sleep achieved in lab

Simon Robinson

Low body temperature...

I once scared the bejesus out of a St John's Ambulance man after he read my body temperature (in ear) as 31.5C - apparently I should have been dead, or at least unconscious, rather than just complaining I didn't feel well and barely being able to walk.

Annoyingly I'd recovered by the Monday (this was at a rugby game on a Saturday afternoon) and could go back to work.

BOFH: Made of win

Simon Robinson

Just what I needed

...to get through a 14 hour day at work, stuck here until 9.30 for the second day in a row. Do I get an award for "most excessive reduction of personal time to accomodate additional workload unrelated to job description"?

Pork industry in 'swine flu' tag beef

Simon Robinson

@AC 19:33

The reason it only affect Mexicans is because they kept upsetting the A-Team. Amazing how cequickly BA and Hannibal Smith can put together a highly contagious flu virus with an acetylene torch and an old Army Jeep...

Knee X-ray biometrics plan to fight spoofing

Simon Robinson


Great, as someone who suffers from a degenerative joint disorder I'd never be able to fly again! Can't see this really working too well, far too many exclusions and variables.

Royal Society of Chemistry defines perfect Yorkshire pud

Simon Robinson

Complaints about fluid measures

As far as I understand it, "Half milk, half water to make a thin batter" means you add the milk/water gradually until the mixture is a thin batter. Therefore exact measurements are impractical. However, they should define the dry measures better (especially as that seems an excessive amount of salt).

The best solution to this, as any other culinary problem, is "Muuummm....."

/off to tease Chemistry lecturer friend

1980s Apricot reborn in noughties as netbook seller

Simon Robinson

What goes around, comes around

Maybe the office just round the corner from me which still has Apricot promo stuff in the window will start selling these? They might want to change the 1996 calendar though...

Ambulance Service not patient enough for Vista

Simon Robinson

Thankfully not...

I recall one of my unviersity lectures on systems implementation was about the LAS going from a manual system to computerisation - a complete disaster. I think going to Vista would be a similar step. Why bother upgrading the system if it can cope now?

Sainsbury's punts 'Innocent kids juices' for £2.99

Simon Robinson

Darn it!

If I'd have known they were squishing kids when I worked next door to them many years ago, I might have turned down all those free bottles...now I'm hopelessly addicted. Really bad as I now work at a school.

Of course the grammar would have been easy if they'd just labelled them "Innocent juices for kids".

Swede packs off GPS to make world's biggest sketch

Simon Robinson
Black Helicopters

Looking at the istructions...


Looks like the route DHL normally take to deliver stuff here...

The journey from just south of Iceland to just off the African coast looks a bit convoluted, I hope they weren't diverting other important packages for a publicity stunt.

Cops hunt charred power cable thief

Simon Robinson


When recently working for a signage company, one of our installation guys was setting up an external sign outside a large office building. He was told to move the sign to a different location as the original site was over a 35kV main line. He moved, and procedded to excavate using a mini-jackhammer. Five feet down, he hits said 35kV line. He's a big chap but he still managed to jump straight out of the hole...

Jackhammer melted beyond repair. Installer OK though.

One thing - the offices belonged to e-on...

100Mbit/s sewer broadband rollout coming your way

Simon Robinson


I'm assuming you referred to my post in the "biggest town" debate (note: that's NORTHAMPTON, a town, not NOTTINGHAM, a city). It all depends on what measure you use - Bolton has become a unitary authority so it's debatable whether it's a town or not.

One thing's for sure, we've got the biggest town centre market square in the UK, and a massive increase in Polish people who'll be the ones Dynorodding the drains and cutting off my broadband halfway through a HD film.

Simon Robinson


As someone who lives in one of the aforementioned places (Northampton - the country's biggest town, awaiting city status for the last three hundred years or so) I can't wait. We've been used as guinea pigs before, the Chip and PIN system was used in the town before the national rollout (and that was fun, working in retail at the time and explaining to EVERY SINGLE CUSTOMER what to do...)

BOFH: Spreading the festive cheer

Simon Robinson
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BOFH on form as ever

Laxatives, redirecting Christmas gifts, collapsing chairs AND stuck lifts - tis the season!

Facebookers bring HSBC to its knees

Simon Robinson

Changing times

When I graduated in 2003, my HSBC account had a sliding scale free overdraft, starting at £1500 and decreasing by £500 a year. I was lucky/financially astute enough not to need it, but it seems their policy has changed a bit in the last few years.

Teachers vote to ban internet

Simon Robinson

Great news

Teachers ban all computers and electronic devices from the school.

First: how will they spend their break times now they can't go on facebook/myspace/chat with friends over MSN?

Second: will I still get paid to sit at work (school) all day now there's no computers to fix?

Go green with a double-glazing mortgage, say Lib Dems

Simon Robinson

Existential housing shortage?

"Since the majority of the houses that we live in already exist"

I personally don't know anyone that lives in a house that doesn't exist, then again maybe this is a solution to the property price boom? Also, surely a house that doesn't exist will have zero carbon emissions?