Hey, people were paying serious money for Netscape Navigator once upon a time.
7265 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Jun 2008
I once had the pleasure of watching someone demonstrate the resilience of Veritas multi-path volume management.
Unplugged one of the arrays - no problem.
Plugged it back in - massive problems as system started yelling about duplicate network addresses.
Seems that the system would fall over, but could not get back up.
Some wag suggested hanging a "life alert" on the frame, but was made to sit in the uncooperative corner.
See that and raise you the guy who cooks the curry, then jams the bog with the inevitable results and the other bloke who doesn’t recognise the situation despite the bi-weekly replay, and “adds” the the janitorial experience.
Oh, and the colleague who must use copious amounts of water during their bizarre bathroom ritual which leaves the entire cubicle soaked and every scrap of paper a soggy mush.
And the guy who conducts experiments to see if half a toilet roll won’t flush on the first Friday of the month, whether the same laws of plumbing apply every Friday that follows.
Hard to believe we require proof of education before we employ anyone.
Unlike the SFX tour de force that was the TV show’s version?
“How will we convince the audience the fake head is alive? It looks like a mardi-gras head!”
“We’ll have it asleep for the entire show!”
“Great idea! Make it so!”
“Every time the actor moves the fake head bounces around enough to give it a concussion!”
“Hence why it is asleep all the time … ?”
My dad (a chartered electrical engineer who taught industrial electronics at college level) rented a Sony Trinitron with which he was extremely happy. We had suggested he buy one, but his motto was “let them sort the problems out and I’ll buy when it’s a mature technology”.
When the rental period expired he asked if he could buy the set, but the rental company declined.
So he bought a new one.
And entered a personal hell.
In the interim, Sony had cheaped out on the build. Instead of using I.F. cans to adjust the scan characteristics of the electron beam, a technician now drove plastic wedges into the x-y coils to distort them and the magnetic fields they produced to adjust the convergence.
The results were “good enough”.
We would be watching a show, and suddenly dad would leap up, jab his finger at some part of the picture and yell “SEE THAT? AARGH!”
Naturally, none of us could see that.
He was blocking the view.
I worked in a place where there were four or five security checkpoints with wire cages and closed circuit tv between the front gate and the shop floor. Then an ordinary door to the computer staff office. Then an ordinary door to the mainframe room, which turned out to be in a wooden extension to the main building (ie a big shed). Then a hole in the wall gnawed by rats to the carpark.
I don't know why.
Here in NY we had a guy get on stage during a broadway play to plug in his phone.
He was outraged to be told to get off stage and stay off, and had the nerve to ask "well, where can I recharge my phone, then?"
There is no bottom to human stupid.
I was flying to the USA in ‘84 on an 18 month contract (that turned into a lot longer but that’s another story).
Pan-Am, 747, you could still smoke and drink.
I walk to the back of the plane to use the bathroom and there’s a bloke there with a six-pack of beer standing in the part where the seats stop and the fuselage starts to narrow, one can being swigged, the others dangling from the other by the little plastic harness.
“Yeeaarrgh argaaa mcvoot jimmeh!” He bellows at me as I pass.
“I’m terribly sorry, I’m English. I didn’t understand you” I say, ingenuously.
“ENGLISH? WADDAYA MEAN, ENGLISH? AHM FR’M NOOCASTLE!”
Absolutely true story.
I have to commute using the bloody Long Island Rail Road.
Periodically they have problems that will take a long time to fix. Police activity, derailments, downed trees, snow drifts etc etc.
It isn’t the problem stranding us for hours that is the primary annoyance. It is that despite having met these same issues many times over the 100+ years of “service” they never have a f*cking clue about how long it will take to fix.
“We’re being held indefinitely here at <some station> due to an police activity unauthorized person on the tracks” (translation: The cops and EMTs are picking up various organs). “Indefinitely”? Really? You know how long it typically takes to do corpse cleanup in the dark from gthe umptytump times before. You know what the backed-up congestion is on the tracks. How about “We won’t be moving for an hour at least. Best you get an uber ride back to your car”?
Stupid, and predicated on a captive audience.
A depressing number of stories resemble Sir Walter Raleigh’s tale of the time he fell overboard and was almost eaten by a hammerhead shark, and the magic phrase “flames shot out” has been completely absent for years.
This is not The Register’s fault, it is that of the authors or these, well, one hesitates to call them Tales of Woe, centering as they do on conflagration-free non-firings. The young IT professionals of today are simply not trying.
It has to be said that the world of modern electronics to which they are exposed does not lend itself to loud detonations, people jumping around with their skeletons flashing on and off, and breakers at the substations tripping. One simply cannot get the same Oomph from a wall-wart designed to deliver 3 anna bit volts at a current so small it barely fibrillates the heart as one could in the late 1960s, when the St John Backsides Comprehensive “computer club” would turn on the floor-mounted socket with a three ring binder because there would be “some arcing” As the old IBM 1301 they were rebuilding from scrap began to stagger into half-life.
How I yearn for the days when a casually misplaced finger while pulling a crystal from a shortwave set could result in a loud cry of “OOYAH!”, an impressive standing long jump - backwards I might add, a hand-shaped burn in the desk top and the smell of frying finger flesh redolent in the air.
Not for the young engineer the exciting experience of leaving a screwdriver stuck in the ceiling after the reassurances of a colleague that the chassis of the TV was indeed unplugged turn out to be less-than definitive, nor shall their ears ever receive those energizing words: “SHE’S GONNA BLOW!”
Ha! When I tore out the wall of an upstairs bathroom I found that the previous owner had approached the laying of Romex cable over a wall stud in an inventive way.
One *should* run the wire *up* the stud, and cross it in a rebate cut deep enough to house the cable, then cover it with a metal plate so johnny next owner doesn’t drive a screw through it.
What Mr Bodge had done was lay the cable on the nailing face of the stud. He had used half-thickness wallboard, cut a slot in it to situate the cable, then laid another piece of half-thickness wallboard over the whole thing.
That was it.
Add in that this was 1950s, silver lizard-hide insulated wiring, so two conductors only with grounds arranged “locally” to a water pipe if the “electrician” remembered (never did).
I have a big reel of green wire so I can run grounds when IO discover yet another one isn’t there.
Pikers! Not one “flames shot out” in the whole comment section so far!
I’ll fix that.
I worked in an enterprise where an electrician was asked to run a new circuit. He decided to save time by not pulling the main breaker, then drilled into the breaker box with one of those long electrician’s drills.
A sad mistake.
His corpse set fire to the building.
I wasn’t there at the time, but I think “Flames shot out of the electrician” can be assumed.
I had a “colleague” who was a total slob. I worked in a different room, but was prompted by the filth and squalor to ask why didn’t anyone complain about his filthy, food-and-mouse-turd-strewn desk.
“That guy’s a genius.”
When he finally retired they started pulling out the piles of greenbar stacked under his now-cleaned desk and found one stack had embedded in it a nest of mummified dead mice.
Personally, I don’t tolerate people in close proximity who are so smart they pose a health hazard.
So obviously not really compiled then, and even more obviously, not real Cobol, but some silly compiles-to-C (or worse: compiles-to-Java) toy computer nonsense.
@ACOB,CRYPES lads, with special option 7 for those times your team can't figure out why the damn thing guard modes unless MONITOR ALL is compiled in.
Now: Get off my Zen sand garden c/w fishing gnome!
Wind and solar are not "endless" of course, otherwise Britain would already be roofed in solar panels and every house would have a windmill and the electricity Board would have taken a well-deserved hike yonks ago.
Solar works when the sun is out bright enough and long enough, and even then it works only kindasorta otherwise Walt Disney World wouldn't need to be on the grid despite acres of solar panels all over the Orlando/Kissimmee area and baking hot sun most of the year.
Why would you put them in Earth's orbit?
Inverse square law means that somewhere closer to the sun would be ideal.
Not sure what CO2 or Water have to do with anything.
One is talking about clean power, not CO2 fracking.
Power is sent back using high power maser which is converted nearby into usable electricity.
That can be cleanly used on Earth, at very low cost once the infrastructure is established.
Once can do all sorts of things with large amounts of clean electricity.
One could, for example, cook CO2 into syngas - just to get rid of the atmospheric carbon, since we'd have all the electricity for traveling that we could use.
Nonononono, you fail to understand how private company owned electricity grids drive prices down because of competition in the free market and power companies absolutely do not use the lobby and political donations to form a monopoly or collude with each other like what did NOT happen in California to drive prices so high they can be clearly seen by astros in the ISS without recourse to binoculars.
Why would someone put their humongous, red-hot data center in Texas of all places rather than, say, Iceland, where it gets nice and cold (at least for the time being)?
This outfit is missing a trick. They should contract soonest with The Finns to commission a sand battery* in which to dump all their bitcoinheat, then sell *that* to the consumers in Winter the next time the governor decides to decamp for warmer climes.
Given the truly silly amounts of heat thrown off by bitcointronics they might need two or more sand batteries.
And the costs of the Finnish Sand Batteries of Heat Storage could be leveraged using Texas’ liberal corporation-tax-avoidance rules.
Huzzah! Everyone wins!
* A “Sand Battery” is what was known in the UK years ago as a Block Storage Radiator, except those were made of concrete and the Finns don’t waste time dicking about with cement mixers and have scaled the idea up to match the stupid levels of heat data centers produce in places already too hot for most people.
Our SAs who Must Not Be Questioned set up all the trad Unix versioning tools as "SA permission required", for reasons that passeth all understanding.
I asked my Boss - who was hot to trot on getting rid of blah.old, blah.<date> files littering our servers for a copy of the git software (I had no download or install privs). Refused.
I explained it was in use around the world *and* by all our vendors. Refused. He told me we had a "Microsoft product" that would do nicely.
"What's it called?" Dunno.
"Is there any training to be had for it?" No.
"Where's the documentation for it?" Dunno.
"Who's the admin?" Dunno.
So I went away and in a rage wrote a perl script that would make copies of any file into a .old version. You typed notgit myprog.sql and would get notgit.sql.old but - and here is the !clever bit - it would first look for all .old files and move them to .old versions.
So if this was your fourth "version" of myprog.sql there would be myprog.sql.old, myprog.sql.old.old and myprog.sql.old.old.old too.
I showed my boss when he came round to nag me. He was livid. I explained with my best "keen innocence" look that one could keep track of changes and fork from old versions by simply counting the "old"s and subtracting one, but he was unimpressed and shouted at me for not using the Microsoft product.
I did my "hurts borne manfully" face and explained that I would have done so but that I did not know what it was called, how to use it, where to find the documentation for it and could not contact the admin for guidance because I was unaware of his name, at which point my boss started to make wheezing noises and stomped off.
Later, we were in a meeting and he announced our dotnet devs had a new version of Toad that had a versioning engine in it. He said he did not know what the underlying technology it was. I told him I did. He asked me for the name.
Ah, but you forget that as soon as the Clever Young Things are hired they fall under the powerful illusion that companies buy, maintain and replace computers for a living.
Ollie White had a radical suggestion in his course on Material Requirements Planning: Take your software staff onto the shop floor and show them what the company does and who does it. That way, that bill of materials breakout is no longer a report that can be delivered just so good, a bit late if necessary, but a vital cog in the wheel that grinds the grain to make the bread for the table of the programmer.
I did a contract a large concern that manufactured postage machines where they turned this on its head and had manufacturing bods as IT team managers. Unfortunately, they forgot to do the walk-through for the team members too, so there was still a basic disconnect with what the IT team hunchbacks thought they did for a living.
It is truly depressing the number of System Administrators in my current workplace who believe they are the top of the heap - and therefore must not be questioned when they make decisions - rather than plumbers needed to unblock the too-small pipes they installed for the real job we do.
Time for a snack and a cuppa.