* Posts by Mike Cresswell

14 posts • joined 23 Jul 2008

COBOL-coding volunteers sought as slammed mainframes slow New Jersey's coronavirus response

Mike Cresswell

Someone contact Scott Adams

Bob the Dinosaur is a COBOL programmer if I remember correctly.

Car tax evasion has soared since paper discs scrapped

Mike Cresswell

Here's a possible solution

I saw this at the end of an article written by Richard Aucock for Motoring Research. Seems like a good plan to me.

The treasury will be keen to solve this dilemma, particularly as the amount lost due to licence evasion has gone up so dramatically. The answer, it seems, is simply a better reminder system.

Motoring Research has one idea that might work: a brightly-coloured piece of paper on the windscreen telling everyone who looked at it if the vehicle was licenced or not, instantly, at a glance.

Even if the car’s owner forgot, their partner, or kids, or neighbours might spot it. It would be very obvious indeed if you’d evaded road tax – and who wants the embarrassment of displaying to the world that they’re a tax-dodger?

We estimate it could only cost £10 million a year to enact, a mere fraction of the amounts being lost to road tax evasion. It’s such a strong idea, we’ll certainly be sending it on to the DfT. We’ll let you know how we get on.

Full article at


Humanity is doomed: We watch 45 BILLION hours of YouTube a month

Mike Cresswell


For some reason the thought which flashed through my mind on reading the headline

"We watch 45 BILLION hours of YouTube a month"



OK, I'm off to take my medication now.

NHS reply-all meltdown swamped system with half a billion emails

Mike Cresswell

Re: Not Accenture

Umm, the article clearly says that the system admin sent the message *to* the problem distribution list which means the sender would have been the system admin and not the problem distribution list. In every implementation I've seen, a "reply" only goes to the sender of the message and it takes a "reply to all" to go to the entire distribution list.

So it seems to me that the issue *was* people doing "reply to all", a problem which is as old as email.

To use an old joke, "We try to make our systems idiot proof but they just keep making better idiots"

Half-ton handbuilt CPU heads to Centre for Computing History

Mike Cresswell

Awesome, asolutely awesome!

Can we look forward to Megaprocessor II built with thermionic valves?

Icon to reflect the likely power requirement!

Anyone else old enough to have seen a working National Elliot 405?

The real Nellie the Elephant!

Irish electricity company threatens to cut off graveyard

Mike Cresswell

They should talk to British Gas

They should talk to British Gas who claim the ability to contact the dead.

Some six months after my father died I received a letter addressed to him from British Gas. In it they said that as he had failed to keep a pre arranged appointment to inspect the gas meter they were now going to seek a warrant to force entry to his house.

I phoned British Gas and asked how and when they had contacted my father. The person said by phone and gave a date about a month previously. "Really?" I replied. "Could you tell me what number you called him on?". At this point the person asked why I wanted to know so I answered "Because he died six months ago, I never got to say good bye and it would be really nice to talk to him one last time".

Cue stunned silence followed by desperate search for excuses.

Energy minister gives grudging nuke endorsement

Mike Cresswell

A source of limitless free green energy?

I'd suggest that all our energy problems could be solved forever if we could only find a way of harnessing all the hot air that comes out central and local government :-)

BT superfast home fibre plans fall behind schedule. Again

Mike Cresswell
Paris Hilton

Someone has to say it

Should have got Paris to do it. I hear she's an expert on blowing!

Wales says no to outing Wikipedia users on Facebook

Mike Cresswell

@Shannon Jacobs

Liked your comment but you forgot one :-)

In Italy, everything is permitted, especially if prohibited by law.

Moderatrix kisses the Reg goodbye

Mike Cresswell

All the Best

All the best in whatever you do. We're all going to miss both your great articles and your marvellous put downs.

I'm sure that if you ever become a mother you will find that your four years as moderatrix have been excellent preparation.

Halifax cuts investment accounts off from the web until April 2012

Mike Cresswell

It's not just their Web Site

Seems to me that what is really going on is that Lloyds are dumbing down the HBOS systems to their level. "We bought them so they have to be transferred onto our systems and processes even if theirs are (marginally) better"

In the past, when you went into an HBOS branch to pay in cash or a cheque all they needed to do was swipe your debit card and take the cash or cheque. Then they automatically gave you a printed receipt.

Now you have to manually fill in a paying in slip (like you have always had to do in Lloyds). So that's more great progress eh?

Still, at least they still automatically give you a receipt unlike Lloyds where you have to ask for one and get funny looks for doing so. Wonder how long before HBOS adopt this part of the Lloyds model as well?

I agree with the comment above about "Gringots" but I think it applies to Lloyds even more than to HBOS.

UK pol touts canine chip implants

Mike Cresswell

Dog "bites" or "fights"? Big Difference!!

I think Rik and others should have read the original article more carefully (follow the "Johnson was quoted" link).

I just did and noticed it says

"The RSPCA says the number of complaints about dog fights has risen 12-fold between 2004 and 2008."

Notice the word is "fights" not "bites".

Now to me, a dog fight is usually a fight between two dogs and doesn't necessarily involve any harm to a person. Rik has translated this into "dog attacks" which may well be what Alan Johnson was hoping for. So sounds suspiciously like a politician using skewed data to push his own agenda...Naaa...they never do that do they?

Regardless of the reasons, it won't produce the result which any sane person would hope for (reduction in dog related aggression, attacks, injuries etc) because the people who are the cause of the problem simply won't comply. It is just yet another way for the government to extract extra revenue from the law abiding while those who ignore the law get away with it as usual.

HP packaging madness continues apace

Mike Cresswell


Nope. Never worked for Strategix.

Mike Cresswell

Hornets Nest

Hi All

Well, I sent the picture because I saw the previous article about excess packaging, it made me laugh and I thought "Yeah, I've seen that". So my intention was only to amuse. But it seems to have stirred up a Hornets nest so just a few comments.

The picture is genuine. It wasn't staged, artificially created or Photo Shopped. The way I described it was exactly the way it happened.

I agree that the tape says Kuehne and Nagel. But my company outsources all its IT support and procurement to HP so this was ordered through HP.

I did say "It was a while ago". But this isn't the first time I've seen excess packaging nor I suspect will it be the last. This was just the most excessive example I've ever seen.

To anyone I've offended, I apologise

To anyone I've amused, you're welcome

To anyone who doesn't believe me, you are entitled to your beliefs.

Here's hoping someone can top this and win the 5000 rolls of packing tape :-)



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