* Posts by Peter Mc Aulay

251 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Apr 2007


Watt's the worst thing you can do to a datacenter? Failing to RTFM, electrically

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: Did monochrome monitors blow up?

Yes indeed; I blew the fuse on a Herc mono tube that way.

It's been a week since engineers approved a new DNS encryption standard and everyone is still yelling

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: where are the implimentations ?

Not only that, but .local clashes with zeroconf/mDNS.

Developer mistakenly deleted data - so thoroughly nobody could pin it on him!

Peter Mc Aulay

I worked at a place that did this (duplicate uid 0 user). Until someone did a "userdel -r" of that user, not knowing what it was for, following an audit recommendation.

Is your child a hacker? Liverpudlian parents get warning signs checklist

Peter Mc Aulay


I eagerly await the day my children break my network security. Or discover the stash of philes from my BBS days. They're not going to listen to their dad, that would be lame - I mean, did you? But they can learn from the same sources I did.

Then, of course, I will roll out the real security. Don't play all of your cards at once.

Days are numbered for the Czech Republic

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: CzechMate

Bruges and Zeebrugge are in fact two separate towns. The Flemish name is Brugge, which is pronounced as written but with a very hot potato in your mouth.

BOFH: The current value of our IT ASSets? Minus eleventy-seven...

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: Budgetary crazyness

I used to work for a company like that, and we ended up buying Exchange because of it, which I guess is its own punishment. (The company no longer exists.)

Boffin snatches control of colleague's body with remote control brain hat

Peter Mc Aulay

Triggering a radio relay taped to your car's throttle /is/ in fact remote controlling it, Mr Killjoy.

Mint 15 freshens Ubuntu's bad bits

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: Alternative to Windows?

Raise your hand everyone who recently installed a fresh copy of Windows with all the proper drivers, updates, applications and customisation & had it take less than half a day.

No, thought not.

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: Alternative to Windows?

Big endian or little endian?

AC, I see your Linux FUD and raise you one Regedit. Q.E.D.

Nissan to enter 300 kmh electric car in Le Mans endurance race

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: The questions remain ...

The question is also locale dependent. Le Mans for instance, being in France, will have a largely nuclear-powered mains grid, which creates only solid wastes rather than venting it into the atmosphere. That will affect the ecological footprint of the EVs used there.

Spin doctors brazenly fiddle with tiny bits in front of the neighbours

Peter Mc Aulay


You've got to marvel at a computing technology that relies on hot phosphene gas.

So you want to be a contractor? Well, here's how it works

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: What's not to like?

Best of all, when the client company goes down the tubes it's their problem, not yours.

Fashionably slate

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: Smart TV, dumb name

They said that about Windows XP too.

Paper computers: Not mere pulp fiction

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: Paper loses

That's alot of "if"s. I've never seen a bookworm, but I have seen plenty of dead machines, defunct service providers and corrupt backups. Also, my books can sustain damage and still be readable; yours do not degrade so gracefully.

Discrete unpowered storage media readable by eye still has alot going for it, even though the storage density sucks, and it doesn't have backlit displays, automatic bookmarks, search or internet connectivity.

I may move to e-books at some point, but not yet.

LibreOffice 4.0 ships with new features, better looks

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: @Eenymeeny

Hear hear. I used to work for a bulk fax company that accepted Word documents from customers. That never worked very well, even if you factored out the users who just had their default paper size set to Letter instead of A4.

Happy birthday, Lisa: Apple's slow but heavy workhorse turns 30

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: History

Not that much faster, TBH.

Asteroid miners hunt for platinum, leave all common sense in glovebox

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: This is assuming the products are the same

I think the point is that that not so distant past is distant enough for a commerical enterprise to collapse while waiting for the market to change.

Astroboffins to search for mega-massive alien power plants

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: We are

Maybe the Von Neumann machines do not use the same criteria for selecting target systems as we would. Perhaps they avoid systems with short-lived yellow stars, cold gas giants and life-bearing worlds and instead go for long-lived red dwarf stars with hot Jovians and/or lots of asteroids, and no pesky natives.

Or how about:

4) Civilisations generally don't do this because landscaping an entire galaxy is rude. But it only ever takes one, so perhaps:

4a) Species that engage in this sort of thinking tend to go extinct because they take the same approach towards their home system and hit Malthus's limit before they can spread too far. We may well kill ourselves off before we reach the necessary tech level, for instance.

Using fewer assumptions there are still a few other options:

6) It has in fact been done, but colonising civilisations are sparsely spread through space and time so that we simply missed them. If the last lot in the Milky Way disappeared a mere 50000 years ago, no trace of their works would remain visible from here (unless they left megastructures behind). In fact, we could go extinct again without ever being concurrent with a single other civilisation in the Local Group, even if generally speaking life is abundant in the universe.

7) Colonising the galaxy turns out to be really hard and its history is full of single-planet cultures wondering where all the aliens are. Most go extinct without ever seeing any.

Why Java would still stink even if it weren't security swiss cheese

Peter Mc Aulay
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Study shows half of all websites use jQuery

Peter Mc Aulay
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Re: And a bloody good thing too!

Word of the day: "Copypasta", possibly a typo but I love it!

Patent troll Intellectual Ventures is more like a HYDRA

Peter Mc Aulay

It has begun

These are merely the intial stages of Economics 2.0. Prepare to be rendered obsolete, humans.

Deadly pussies kill more often than owners think

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: Makes no difference,

Heh. Mine are lazy buggers. They like to watch *me* hunt insects.

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: Vermin

BB guns work, but I would recommend the semi-auto type unless you can track & aim really quickly. Repeat the procedure over a few weeks and make sure to shoot from cover. If you don't they'll just learn to fear armed monkeys instead of the hand of Zeus and it won't work as an area denial effect. (Cats are very superstitious.)

Party like it's 1999: CDE Unix desktop REBORN

Peter Mc Aulay

Not even the rose tinted glasses of nostalgia...

...could make me look back fondly on CDE. It was a bloated rotting pig and saying it runs quickly today is like saying Windows XP (or indeed, 3.1) is lightweight and elegant: very, very relative.

Beer, because obviously those neurons need more scrubbing.

IT support bod? Whatever you earn, it's not enough

Peter Mc Aulay

Installing web apps on users' computers

Not helped by the advent of the iPad, which requires you to do exactly that if you want it to work properly (ok, technically you install an app rather than a web site, but still).

What happens when Facebook follows MySpace?

Peter Mc Aulay

Reliable technology

Call me old-fashioned, but a LAN server (of whatever type du decade is appropriate) and regular maintenance (and backups) are all you need to host your own data indefinitely.

By 2042, my house will still have a server, a network and a backup system, even though they may no longer look like tentacled gray boxes in a closet. Face-what?

The Higgs boson search continues ... into ANOTHER dimension

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: If you knew SUSY like I know SUSY...

Just goes to show that to a serious mathematician, "familiar and everyday" does not mean what it does to you and me...

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: @Nigel 11

Apart from that, the "uniform sea of low-energy photons all outside each other's light cone" final end state idea depends on proton decay, which is not demonstrated to happen. So, no Big Rip.

Arts & social-sci students briefly forced to do useful work at Foxconn

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: Students Complain At Having To Do Work!

Not so very long ago the Chinese were forced to refine steel in their own back yards, and doing manual labour was the most highly regarded form of employment.

Truly, Maoism is dead.

Office 365: This cloud isn't going to put any admins out of a job

Peter Mc Aulay

Just say no...

...To mail servers with arbitrary limitations and per-user licencing costs. Save the money and get a hosted Linux VM with Exim/Postfix, Dovecot and Kronolith. Maybe Apache and IMP or Roundcube. Maybe some anti-spam and AV tools as well. Bam, done. Then you can fairly easily write some scripts to generate a reasonable config for your other customers, make it cloud-deployable, whatever.

Yes it takes work and some command line skills to admin that, but evidently so does Office365, and as a bonus it requires no Exchange-fu and causes much less rage.

(A recovered Exchange admin.)

How to put "Stuxnet author" on your CV

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: No. Just no.

Actually, only people have ethics - corporations do not, and will indeed happily hire such people.

AMD crashes Windows 8 tablet party with ultrathin hybrid

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: resting?

It'll be less under acceleration, no doubt.

Earth bathed in high-energy radiation from colossal mystery blast

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: Yay

Certainly he is well preserved.

'Dated and cheesy' Aero ripped from Windows 8

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: New and intuitive

No doubt the most often used gesture will be the one involving the raised index and middle fingers.

Microsoft ejects DVD playback from Windows 8

Peter Mc Aulay

Hardly matters

Yes, this idea of removing DVD playback capability from Windows is prima facie absurd.

However. Windows users already are accustomed to having to hunt down and install third party software in order to perform even the most mundane of tasks. They'll hardly notice. As others have noted it'll merely result in an increase in VLC downloads.

'Perfect storm' drives electronics stores to EXTINCTION

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: A shame in one sense

"[Y]ou can't run a business off of nothing but techie-emergencies."

Apparently you can if you diversify enough. There's a local PC/electronics shop that sells anything from disco lights to Maplin-type kits to hard disks and VGA cables. When asked about e.g. low ESR radial polarised electrolytic capacitors they hand you a thick catalogue to choose from, and ask how many you want. Bless.

Most PC shops aren't like that though, in fact I've avoided most of them since the 1990s (the incompetence of PC salespeople is of all ages).

Google shows off Project Glass augmented reality specs

Peter Mc Aulay


Another reason why these things have traditionally failed to gain any traction with the mainstream is that they look incredibly dorky.

You're crap and paid too much for the little work you actually do

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: I stopped reading after the first point

The reality, though, is that nobody cares about backup processes. What counts is restore processes. (Demonstrating the need for the latter so you can fund the former is left as an exercise for the reader.)

Windows 8 tablet freezes in Microsoft keynote demo

Peter Mc Aulay

"Dynamics, delete!"

Voice control is the future for business apps. Really, Microsoft?

Just imagine an open plan office in 2014 full of suits frantically shouting at their tablets. What could possibly go wrong?

Microsoft accused of leaking RDP attack code

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: Who is even affected?

Two words: Virtual Machines.

Windows 8: Thrown into a multi-tasking mosh pit

Peter Mc Aulay
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From small screens and single-task systems to big screens and multi-tasking systems to... small screens and single-tasking systems. Full circle in 30 years, a little slower than the fashion industry but still, well done Microsoft.

I blame the mobile computing hype. Everything is a phone these days, even things that are not phones.

How a tiny leap-day miscalculation trashed Microsoft Azure

Peter Mc Aulay


Then again, experience with SharePoint (not very recent but proving very resistant to alcohol) long since convinced me that Microsoft sucks at anything to do with time zones, date handling, etc. so this comes as absolutely no surprise at all.

Feds apply for DNSChanger safety net extension

Peter Mc Aulay

Re: how will they fix their machines?

They take it back to to the shop and pay the ignorance tax, just like in the old days.

Microsoft raises 'state of the art' son of NTFS

Peter Mc Aulay

"The art in this case was probably pottery."

Pirate Bay dropping torrents after magnetic attraction

Peter Mc Aulay

Piratebay and neo-Nazism

Sure. I bet you're the type of guy who opposes Walt Disney cartoons for ideological reasons, too.

Foreign sabotage suspected in Phobos-Grunt meltdown

Peter Mc Aulay

Exit strategy

Sounds like maybe he's preparing to apply for a job with the Syrian government.

Microsoft de-cloaks Windows 8 push-button lifesaver

Peter Mc Aulay

Save a lot of pain...

Except perhaps for the kind of problems that are caused by a broken user profile, of which unfortunately there are many in previous versions of Windows.

We live in hope.

Ubuntu hoists skirt, flashes 'concept' gadget at CES

Peter Mc Aulay

You're a geek (or this issue would not arise in the first place). You already *have* a media server :)