* Posts by Nigel Titley

19 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Jul 2008

'Login infrastructure issue' blamed as sustained Xero outage threatens payrolls

Nigel Titley
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Back up

Seems to be back up. No word about what happened yet, though

Everyday doings of a metropolitan techie: Stob's software diary

Nigel Titley


My wife is French and for many years rendered her native "Si tu veux" as "If you want" until I managed to convince her that this was borderline rude in those of us who use Home Counties English. In French it's a genuine literal question. We now have the disambiguating question "French or English?" to be used when clarifying the meaning.

Fixing a printer ended with a dozen fire engines in the car park

Nigel Titley

Re: Had the fire brigade called to a five star hotel, in Malta....

Or the baby bottle warmer which we inherited from my parents. It had two bare mains contacts in the base and a bakelite ring that you put the bottle on. You put a couple of teaspoons of water into the base, put in the bottle and plugged it in. Mains shorting through the water brought it to the boil and it warmed the bottle. Once enough water had boiled off the mains contacts were no longer shorted and it stopped heating.

We used it a couple of times, more to appreciate the full horror than anything else...

Sysadmin told to spend 20+ hours changing user names, for no reason

Nigel Titley

Reminds me of the time just after I left a certain Large Telco. We had a standard email scheme.. <firstname><optional disambiguating digit>.<lastname>@xx.com. Worked fine... even mapped nicely to X400 which was the Up and Coming thing in those days. Then the chairman got his knighthood. The email system had to have a special exception added that so that his email address was sir.<firstname>.<lastname>@xx.com. Drove a coach and horses through our carefully crafted scheme and caused my successor to tear his hair out.

Pair programming – you'll never guess what happens next!

Nigel Titley

Nothing new under the sun

Anyone remember Brookes and "The Mythical Man month". He wrote about ego-less programming of which pair programming is just one variant. This was back in the sixties. Even then it was shown to produce better code.

The Revenue achieved RECORD numbers of e-tax returns ... by NOT shifting to GOV.UK

Nigel Titley

And still no IPv6

And there *still* isn't an IPv6 AAAA record for it.

Whitehall at war: Govt’s webocrats trash vital digital VAT site

Nigel Titley

Re: Small business are packing up because of it!

This doesn't appear to be the official line (which is that you need to register but not charge VAT on your UK sales). Any chance of pointing to official corroboration?

Nominet seeks royal approval for pisspoor .uk domain name push

Nigel Titley

Re: Will it go to the .co.uk holder? Or .org.uk? Or...

It will go to the .co.uk holder. It's buried in the proposal somewhere.

Blighty's laziness over IPv6 will cost us on the INTERNETS - study

Nigel Titley

Re: IPV4 best for the general public

Yes, there's a good reason for the report to have 2012 written all over it: it was written in 2012 and DCMS has been desperately holding on to it trying to work out how to emasculate it every since. Now I don't know about you but when the government tries to suppress something I tend to think that it might be worth looking at.

Inside Adastral: BT's Belgium-sized broadband boffinry base

Nigel Titley

Worked there for 20 years

When I started in the late 70's it was a real research labs. So many things got invented there: the first long life transistors, blown fibre, modifications to trawl nets to reduce the damage caused to undersea cables, stored program control exchanges, DSL, echo cancellation for local lines, video on demand, high speed bi-direction telephone signalling, the list was endless. Then in the late 80's it started to spiral downhill as the bean counters took charge: the library was closed to make space for admin offices, the maths group was disbanded, less and less blue sky research got done and more and more software development and project management. Most of the inventive and imaginative "beards and sandals" folk (including myself) left for horizons new. It's a sad shadow of its former self; all glitter and little substance.

Sheffield ISP: You don't need a whole IPv4 address to yourself, right?

Nigel Titley

Re: The Department for Work and Pensions

That gives us a couple of months at the current run rate.

IPv6 will be here at some point, how quickly depends on how many people are willing to put up with workarounds like CGN and for how long. The folks who are currently riding on the IPv4 transfer market reckon they have about 3 - 4 years to make their killing and then IPv6 will out number IPv4 and the internet will flip to IPv6. I think they are probably right.

Personally, these days I don't buy service from someone who can't offer me IPv6. I reckon if they are too stupid or too mean to manage it then I don't really want to be on their network.

Behind every great athlete is a nervous network engineer

Nigel Titley


And don't forget Ipv6. We had it for the Beijing Olympics but the UK can't seem to manage it.

Bletchley Park gets £7.4m to tart up WWII code-breaking huts

Nigel Titley

Re: Why do they need 7m

Well, partly to get rid of the asbestos. The old huts were clad in asbestos board.

Gov web boss: Our sites look like bleak council estates

Nigel Titley


And while we are at it, what about showing a good example and making some of them reachable on IPv6?

Google Chrome beta turns on native code machine

Nigel Titley

Segment registers


No, segment registers in 8086 were just an excuse not to do supervisor mode correctly. The 68000 did it right but got to market 6 months later, which is why the world is 8086 based and not 68000 based. Indirectly that led to the ascendency of DOS and thus Microsoft and Windows.

IPv6 uptake still slow despite looming address crunch

Nigel Titley

More IPv6 hype

Interesting. So you have 7600 addresses that you aren't using? You are aware that the condition of retaining IP addresses is that the reason for requesting them is still valid? You'll be returning them to the appropriate Regional Internet Registry won't you? As per your contract?

The IPv4 shortage is real. Yes, there are a fair number of unused address blocks (like the 7600 you have), but at the current rate of usage, even if we recovered them all we would only be gaining ourselves a couple of years at the most. Sooner or later a broadband customer will be connected who doesn't have an IPv4 address. V4 - V6 NAT will enable them to reach the V4 world for a while, but isn't a long term solution for the reasons enumerated above. However, content providers are increasingly dual-stacked and all modern operating systems: Linux, Mac and Windows (from Vista onwards) work perfectly with Ipv6 with no configuration required.

IPv4 runout will happen sometime in the next couple of years. Many people won't notice as long as ISPs and content providers manage things properly. But that is the crux...

Church of England takes on Ofcom

Nigel Titley


The problem is that many of the congregation these days is elderly and deaf. The sound system is mainly used to drive the current loop that links into their hearing aids. Otherwise most churches could manage without a sound system at all, just like they used to, even when they were full.

Parcelforce website cold-shoulders Linux lovers

Nigel Titley

Doesn't surprise me

I'm afraid this doesn't surprise me. Parcelforce has yet to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. What other courier service would send you a second class letter telling you that your parcel is in the local depot awaiting customs payments. My small business tries to avoid them for this reason. Either you sit on their track and trace facility (which is so brain dead that it can't even remove spaces from the tracking number) or you wait for an extra two days while your urgent package sits in the local depot waiting for you to turn up with your credit card.

Every other courier we use can either take a cheque when they deliver, or can deliver and charge afterwards. I'm afraid they deserve to fail.

TSA says 'checkpoint friendly' laptop bags on the way

Nigel Titley

Flying Pigs

About 2 years ago, my wife and I went for a trip to Amsterdam. While there we found, in an antique shop, a pair of beautiful cast-iron money boxes in the shape of pigs with wings which we duly bought, wrapped in bubble wrap and put in my wife's carry-on bag.

When we came back through Schipol security the security goons were obviously having trouble with the image on the X-ray and eventually asked my wife what was in the bag. "Flying Pigs", she replied, and was waved through without further comment...