* Posts by Anonymous Custard

2741 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Jul 2008

Bank boss hated IT, loved the beach, was clueless about ports and politeness

Anonymous Custard
Trollface

Re: bullshit detected

Based on my experience with some engineers, any two items can be made to fit...if they don't, then you just need to use your hammer some more.

I was going to say something similar, except normally it's manglement rather than engineers, and they will be made to fit by use of increasingly excessive force to jam one into t'other.

And of course, once they are "fitted", normally they will neither be removable ever again without breakage, nor will they work either as they now are or when actually put into their correct orifice.

Share your 2024 tech forecasts (wrong answers only) to win a terrible sweater

Anonymous Custard
Trollface

Re: Solar flare

China finally takes over the world with the aid of an abacus.

Anonymous Custard
Trollface

Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft et all all agree on a single universal cable and connector design that will work for all devices and applications for data, power and communications.

A handful of such cables are included for free with every new device sold.

All such new devices sold will be easily openable and repairable by anybody, with parts available at a sensible price and availability.

Anonymous Custard
Headmaster

The UK realizes the error of its ways and rejoins the EU, just as all the other member states follow the Netherlands and leave...

Google, Amazon, Apple et al all pay their taxes in all member states.

FAA stays grounded in reality as SpaceX preps for takeoff

Anonymous Custard
Headmaster

The trick is building your next castle on top of your previous ones, thus making use of your failures...

Lawyer guilty of arrogance after ignoring tech support

Anonymous Custard
Pirate

Re: Some places do get it right

*sigh* if only we could do that with computers.

If only we could still do it with the bloody photocopiers too.

Either that or employ the paper and toner loading pixies.

Anonymous Custard

Re: Are you sure, this isn't the plot of an IT Crowd epsiode?

I make no comment....

Anonymous Custard
Coat

A 230 error sounds more like something for the dentist to fix....

Mine's the one with the terrible 80's pun jokebook in the pocket.

Bright spark techie knew the drill and used it to install a power line, but couldn't outsmart an odd electrician

Anonymous Custard
Boffin

the main tech (no longer with them)

Quit, fired or vapourised?

CompSci academic thought tech support was useless – until he needed it

Anonymous Custard
Trollface

Re: Literally (computer) illiterate

Did you ever have to tell him where the any key was?

Anonymous Custard
Headmaster

Re: "supposed expert who turned out to be anything but"

Add in security to the holy quartet, especially if you end up working out of hours...

Making the problem go away is not the same thing as fixing it

Anonymous Custard
Headmaster

Re: Sensible to a point

TEMPORARY FIX - NEEDS FOLLOW-UP

As is often repeated around here, there's nothing as permanent as a temporary fix, except perhaps a temporary tax increase.

Anonymous Custard
Trollface

Re: So, shoot the messenger is still well and alive

Yup my old Peugeot sprang the Adblue one on me too.

Generally I'd had it services at the dealers (laziness as they're across the road from work), but that time I'd had it done at Kwikfit.

Cost about half as much, but presumably the dealers had topped up the Adblue as part of their service which Kwikfit hadn't.

Anyway up pops the warning about Adblue needing topping up within 1000 miles (or somesuch) or else the car would refuse to start.

Quick scan of the service manual and a hunt turned up the filler cap under the floor in the boot, and £10 at Halfords got me a 5l bag of Adblue to fill it with.

Only real issue is the car design meaning that even with a funnel it was a pain to get the liquid actually into the tank without some ending up in the boot (knowing when to stop filling so you didn't end up with excess in the funnel and no way to drain it) as the cap was basically horizontal and level with the boot floor, but that's yet another of the design niggles that Pugs are famous for I guess...

Anonymous Custard
Headmaster

You'll often see notices in hotel bathrooms about this very issue, as presumably with the number of rooms/showers involved it would be happening with annoying regularity...

One door opens, another one closes, and this one kills a mainframe

Anonymous Custard
Black Helicopters

Get to the chopper!

...rebadged version of the General Electric GE-600 series

I'm obviously showing my age here, but when I read that the first thing that crossed my mind was the image of a mini-gun.

Still at least we had Buster and not Arnie or Jessie...

Workload written by student made millions, ran on unsupported hardware, with zero maintenance

Anonymous Custard
Boffin

Re: The staying power of powerpoint

When I started in my current job (just over a quarter of a century ago) I collated the relevant bits of the various PowerPoint presentations that got chucked my way as part of my training into something a bit more cohesive (and a little less repetitive).

Then people saw it and wanted copies, and at last check it's currently seems to be the standard training material for at least one of our platforms, used across 4 continents...

Anonymous Custard
Pint

Re: As a student?

Yet another example of there being little as permanent as a quick hack fix...

Resilience is overrated when it's not advertised

Anonymous Custard
Gimp

Re: This story and thread ...

Also giving cushy "jobs" to relatives.

Except for the job of their secretary or assistant, which is for someone young and cute and who get given something else...

Anonymous Custard
Coat

Re: Failover backup redlining

You could predict that backup server would plod...

Datacenter fire suppression system wasn't tested for years, then BOOM

Anonymous Custard
Trollface

Re: Tempt fate

Just don't mention the war...

Anonymous Custard
Trollface

Re: Can Confirm.

And was the female operator named (or thereafter forever nicknamed) Marilyn?

Thanks for fixing the computer lab. Now tell us why we shouldn’t expel you?

Anonymous Custard
Trollface

Re: How secure *IS* your system

Ah the memories of sixth form and BBC/Archimedes networks.

In the lower sixth, we just had normal (non-priv) accounts, but the network manual was to be found in the (always open) server area (aka the walk-in cupboard at the back of the classroom with the server on one of the shelves around the edge of it). And it had full details of all the OS commands, including how to "write" them in assembler.

Hence almost all of the priv user commands ending up being available via self-written versions. And a surprising amount of them actually worked perfectly, even without the account actually having any elevated privs.

And in upper sixth, when we started doing A-level projects that (mysteriously) needed priv users, we got them.

Queue two of the lower sixth, who hated one another, independently coming to me and asking for the password for the other's account.

So I did what any self-respecting BOfH would do, and swapped their account passwords over, without revealing to either what their "new" password was.

Mexican stand-off ensued, with the two trying to find ways to extract their new password from the other without revealing their own password.

Teacher walking in half-way through, stood there for a while watching before intervening. Then afterwards took me aside, waggled a finger and said mock seriously "don't do it again...", only spoiled by the rather huge grin on his face before wandering away into aforesaid server cupboard from which much pent-up laughter was then heard.

Anonymous Custard

Passw0rd for beancounters.

Either that or whatever's written on a post-it taped underneath the keyboard.

Anonymous Custard
Headmaster

Security, secretaries, storespeople and techinicians - the holy quartet.

If you can get in the good books of those, you can get absolutely anything done in the place...

Anonymous Custard
Headmaster

Re: Sometimes you do what you have to do.

So which of them was the Bronte fan?

Europe finalizes €43B Chips Act it hopes will help free it from foreign fabs

Anonymous Custard
Headmaster

Re: A drop in the bucket

They were offered a subsidy of about 6.8 billion Euro, but with costs rising they are now looking for about 10 billion. That's the bit which may or may not be the deal-breaker.

So the 43 billion pot will certainly help, but once it's spread between the sites and companies, it possibly won't go as far as would be needed to hit the targets for the project.

The Magdeburg project was estimated to cost about 17 billion overall, to put things in further context. Although that was a while ago, so aforesaid rising costs will probably have pushed that towards or indeed over 20 billion by now.

The company's also not doing so well lately which won't be helping matters either...

Parisians say au revoir to shared e-scooters

Anonymous Custard
Headmaster

Re: Spin class ...

And even in Paris, a pedestrian who is walking in a pedestrian area or sidewalk is somewhat more likely to get hit by an e-scooter than a car, e- or otherwise...

I wonder how many of these things are also to be found in the Seine by now (resisting an insanity pun there).

Western Digital confirms digital burglary, calls the cops

Anonymous Custard

Nah, they're just being pro-active in ensuring no-one will buy their junk in the future now that they realise quite what "My Cloud" actually entails these days.

Speaking as someone who moved from WD to Synology years ago...

Defunct comms link connected to nothing at a fire station – for 15 years

Anonymous Custard

Space dust that regularly hits Earth could contain proof of alien life

Anonymous Custard
Boffin

Re: Great Science!

The other key factor is that whilst the circumstances required may make the chance very small, you have to couple it with the size of the universe and the amount of planets therein, which is very large.

That's even leaving aside the valid points raised about what constitutes life. Given that up until the last couple of hundred years or so, Earth would have been missed by anyone just looking for radio emissions...

So even if the chances of getting the right conditions are slim, the number of "tries" at achieving them is large and the two factors mitigate one another somewhat...

Potatoes in space: Boffins cook up cosmic concrete for off-world habitats

Anonymous Custard
Trollface

Re: Then potatoes are what you need, according to researchers at Manchester University.

Wasn't the shit needed to grow the potatoes in the first place?

Techie fired for inventing an acronym – and accidentally applying it to the boss

Anonymous Custard
Trollface

Re: Bloody Amateur...

The simplest response there is "Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday..."

Don't worry, that system's not actually active – oh, wait …

Anonymous Custard
Headmaster

Re: This is poor planning

Sounds like going to work in our French office, unsurprisingly replete with AZERTY keyboards.

They still get very confused when I go there and am then merrily typing away on their keyboards without any glitches.

At least until they notice I've set the input language to English and am happily touch-typing away without actually looking at the keyboard, and what is coming up on the screen doesn't correlate 1-to-1 with the keys I'm pressing on said keyboard...

Anonymous Custard
Trollface

Re: Change window - cue the drums

To quote Groucho Marx, along similar lines -

“Clear? Huh! Why a four-year-old child could understand this report! Run out and find me a four-year-old child, I can't make head or tail of it.”

Anonymous Custard
Boffin

Re: pizza is the perfect food

So you make each wheel a tyre made from a cut strip of carpet tile carefully glued face outward to it?

Service desk tech saved consultancy Capita from VPN meltdown, got a smack for it

Anonymous Custard
Headmaster

Re: The old truth

I'm just wondering about having such sales & managers still on XP when there are Win7 laptops around.

From my experience, those loudly self-entitled ones are always the first to insist that they're so important that they must have the latest and greatest...

If you have a fan, and want this company to stay in business, bring it to IT now

Anonymous Custard
Joke

Re: air CON

If you've got snowflakes, your aircon is set too cold...

Anonymous Custard
Boffin

Re: air CON

We have something similar here. Rented building with general open plan layout, where the air-con initially worked fine.

Then various managers decided they were so important that they needed their own little offices, and so at their insistence various stud-wall partitions got put up to make them their precious boxes to sit in. And of course it totally screwed up the airflow in the building, bits were now hot or cold, especially in aforesaid little boxes as of course they had airflow in from the ceiling but no outflow or specific control.

Guess who now routinely complains that things are too hot or too cold...?

US military spends weekend shooting down Useless Floating Objects

Anonymous Custard
Boffin

Re: "Anyone can launch a balloon"

If only...

RIP big man

Learn the art of malicious compliance: doing exactly what you were asked, even when it's wrong

Anonymous Custard
Trollface

Re: Rate your skill level

Or more accurate and more problematic - garbage in, gospel out.

When the garbage gets sanctified and becomes even more difficult to remove or correct.

No, you cannot safely run a network operations center from a corridor

Anonymous Custard
Trollface

Re: Corridor story

OK, so maybe he thought DC stood for designated corridor?

Anonymous Custard
Headmaster

Re: Losing face

Been there, done that. The joy of working for the European arm of a Japanese company.

The worst one is asking something from them, and then getting the silence back. This actually means that they cannot do what you're asking, but they are not allowed to lose face by saying so. So you just end up swinging in the wind with silence coming one way and overly loud shouting from the other from your actual local customer who is waiting for the fix that you were asking Japan about.

Generally speaking though they are a wonderful culture to work with (the Japanese, not the local customers), but there are certainly skills and tricks that need to be learned along the way to optimise and smooth communications.

Similarly just knowing to accept that no matter your knowledge, experience or standing, in any discussion you will always be a gaijin and so never fully believed or trusted (and not to take it personally, as it's rarely meant that way or even something that they are conscious of a lot of the time).

NASA Geotail spacecraft's 30-year mission ends after last data recorder fails

Anonymous Custard
Boffin

Re: Space probe lifetime

And then divide the final calculated value by three, at least if the engineer was born in Linlithgow in 2222.

Just to maintain the reputation as a miracle worker when the thing goes on forever...

Anonymous Custard
Boffin

Re: Say what you want about NASA's inefficiencies

I'd be more impressed if they could predictably make something last exactly 6 months.

Then the boffins would be snapped up by industry to make washing machines and toasters rather than space probes...

User was told three times 'Do Not Reboot This PC' – then unplugged it anyway

Anonymous Custard
Trollface

Or take the best of both worlds with the old "Clue by four"...

Failing that, try a baseball bat (large nail optional).

Anonymous Custard
Headmaster

Re: he pressed the main power breaker switch for that factory unit

“Never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

Attributed, almost certainly incorrectly, to Mark Twain...

Shag pile PC earned techies a carpeting from HR

Anonymous Custard
Trollface

Back in uni days at the student rag, we discovered that all those sounds were reconfigurable, including the ability to sample from the microphone.

So one of the previously innocuous "ping" errors suddenly became "Don't Do That!" in a rather evil voice. Was quite funny to see the various writers and sub-editors jump when they pressed the wrong key combination or made the wrong click and triggered the sound.

I should also possibly mention that my partner in crime for that went on to be a Lib-Dem MP and, for a while at least, a junior government minister. Says it all really...

Anonymous Custard
Devil

Re: Spoof

Way back in the day we had a mini-craze of doing something similar to people who'd walked away from their desk without locking their laptops.

Basically quickly defined a new Outlook contact that looked like senior management but with a fake email address, then sent a suitably unsuitable email to it, copying the victim on cc (plus sometimes other fake management email addresses or even some of our real ones). So they received back the mail "they" had sent, apparently to all of the senior managers with dodgy content.

Looked quite convincing to a quick inspection, after of course you then deleted the bounce-back non-delivery emails from the fake accounts.

Well it got us through a few boring afternoons, and the amount of unlocked laptops dropped drastically, at least until it became a more well known prank and we got bored with it.

BOFH and the case of the Zoom call that never was

Anonymous Custard
Headmaster

Re: "during a lunch hour for a meeting"

I'm UK-based but work for a European company, so there is the annoyance of my colleagues (and customers) booking meetings "after lunch", meaning during lunch for me.

I've gone the same route of routinely blocking out my lunch hour in my calendar as a meeting (a private one, but it still shows as busy) but get the same irritation all too frequently.

And for certain repeat offenders, I don't deny I occasionally book "late morning" meetings with them to do the same in reverse as there seems to be no other way to get the hint across.

Two signs in the comms cabinet said 'Do not unplug'. Guess what happened

Anonymous Custard
Headmaster

Re: Physical Methods Trump Signs in Any Language

And in many cases use so much force that they physically mangle the socket so that it cannot be reused without replacement even once the "problem" has been identified...