* Posts by Anonymous Custard

2337 posts • joined 25 Jul 2008

What are you gonna do? Give me detention? Illinois schools ban pyjamas in online classes

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Pint

Our (europe-wide) place has gone quite the other way.

We have bi-monthly (as in every other week) "formal" meetings for all-hands in which everyone is on mute (enforced) and senior manglement present, but we also have on the alternate weeks regional local office meetings.

And in those we're actively encouraged to bring kids, pets and whatever you want and it's run as almost a social get-together to keep team spirits up and engender community and mutual support (kinda water-cooler meetings) and let everyone get to know everyone else and their wider family better.

Have to say it is actually working very well, was most pleasantly surprised given how some of our manglers used to seemingly consider anything like sociability and working from home as a major threat to their little control empires.

Sadly there is one thing we're still not allowed, at least officially --->

You had one job... Just two lines of code, and now the customer's Inventory Master File has bitten the biscuit

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Adding a comment sometimes caused compile failure

Maybe they should ask (Baroness) Floella Benjamin for a lesson in how to count?

Along with perhaps Big Ted, Little Ted et al...

First alligators, then dogs, now Basil Fawlty is trying to standardise social distancing measures

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: That episode of Fawlty Towers

Indeed, yet another example of Alf Garnett syndrome, and some people who are unable to appreciate or in too many cases even identify satire and ridicule.

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Standard rose

@Chris G - nope, unless it was a very large rose indeed (and without a flower on it)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mv0onXhyLlE

I got 99 problems, and all of them are your fault

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Trollface

I'd have been tempted to turn to the class and ask if they can spot the problem that is clearly eluding their teacher...

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Rudest, Dumbest - same thing no?

My favourite variation on that one was when one of the drones on the helldesk I had the misfortune of managing sent an email to a user to let them know he'd fixed their email.

It could be worse - they could have been sending it to inform everyone that the mail system was down...

You think the UK coronavirus outbreak was bad? Just wait till winter: Study shows test-and-trace system is failing

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Trollface

Re: If a rule or piece of local bureaucracy gets in the way of this ..

If a rule or piece of local bureaucracy gets in the way of this, let NHSX know and Serco and its previous failings will be found to be the root cause of that too...

Aviation regulator outlines fixes that will get the 737 MAX flying again

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Low passenger numbers

I'd say the latter. Personally the next time I fly on one will only be when there is a pig zooming along 100m in front of it guiding the way, and even then the preferred seating would be on the pig...

What evil lurks within the data centre, and why is it DDoS-ing the ever-loving pants off us?

Anonymous Custard Silver badge

Re: Update (mis)-scheduling

It didn't last too long, as senior manglement weren't too impressed by more or less the whole building having an enforced four hour coffee-break on the first Monday morning of every month.

A new AV product was fairly rapidly procured, and this one more carefully configured not to gorge on processor cycles.

We humble minions on the other hand generally put on a stoic face and got busy doing nothing except coffee and gossip about the weekend/football/telly/whatever...

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Update (mis)-scheduling

Similar experience here (this time from the userland perspective) back in the day where our lot used to schedule a full monthly anti-virus scan in the same way.

Problem was, that due to the *ahem* spec of our laptops and how things were configured, the AV software basically grabbed as much CPU capacity as possible and everything ground to a halt whilst it trawled through the hard discs of each machine poking its nose in everywhere.

Most people had reasonably large drives (for the time, we're going back a bit here) and all were spinning rust, so it wasn't unusual for the scans to take all morning, and on some where the disc was majorly full the whole day. And whilst it was going on, basically all you had to work with was the phone and the coffee mug...

Oh what a cute little animation... OH MY GOD. (Not acceptable, even in the '80s)

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Not my doing, but...

And indeed did she feature in the images?

Heir-to-Concorde demo model to debut in October

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Lost Opportunities

I don't think this accounts for it. There definitely was that problem, but what stopped the US, say, from building their own version which would conveniently have been deemed sufficiently quiet to evade the bans? I think that lack of demand stopped them.

That would probably be the Boeing 2707?

It did begin to happen, but got canned due to funding, environmental and a few technical issues before it became an actual thing.

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Joke

Re: Depends on the "boom"

rather than Concorde's distinctive, and allegedly greenhouse-smashing, "Boom-Boom",

Or maybe it was Basil Brush with a half-brick?

Hungry? Please enjoy this delicious NaN, courtesy of British Gas and Sainsbury's

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Salesforce upload attachment progress bar has a lot of decimal digits

I still smile at my WD elements drive, connected to a WD MyCloud NAS box on my network.

Every time my mouse rolls over their system tray app, it reports that the drive is 217% full. Now that's what I call data compression...

Keep it Together, Microsoft: New mode for vid-chat app Teams reminds everyone why Zoom rules the roost

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: There are reasons (and^and)

@cbars - you might find repeated single stars work better than single digits in getting the message across?

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Not puppets...

Hey, don't insult the memory of the great Jim Henson by comparing his creations to these cretins!

Finally, a wafer-thin server... Only a tiny little thin one. Oh all right. Just the one...

Anonymous Custard Silver badge

Re: "We ran out of available outlets."

Oh go on, we won't tell anyone. And they'll even give you a shiny new name too.

You know you wanna...!

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: "We ran out of available outlets."

As the saying goes:

"A wise man learns from his mistakes, but a truly wise man also learns from other peoples..."

Working from home on Virgin Media's broadband? Too bad. Outage hits English capital

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Trollface

Let's play Blockbusters!

into a mega entity in a "blockbuster merger".

So they can take the P please, Bob?

Fasten your seat belts: Brave Reg hack spends a week eating airline food grounded by coronavirus crash

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Lufthansa meals

We have certain customers who like to insist on face to face (or mask to mask, as they're now being called) meetings. Seemingly they think that if it's via some online remote media they won't be able to harangue, harass and generally shout at us quite as well (whether it's deserved or not).

Oddly enough we insist on remote meetings, generally for much the same reasons...

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Would I eat airline curry?

Discussions like this always remind me of the peach flan that I was once served on a domestic BA flight back in the day (at least a decade ago). Looking at the ingredients list started off something like:

Apple (30%), Peach (25%)...

Which always made me wonder why they called it a peach flan? Although to be fair when you ate it, that was what you actually tasted (due to low cabin pressure or whatever).

That said they did used to do a semi-acceptable breakfast on that flight (Gatwick to Edinburgh), set you up reasonably well for a days work once you got there.

GitHub redesign goes mobile-friendly – to chagrin of devs who shockingly do a lot of work on proper computers

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Trollface

Re: It's not just micros~1

It wouldn't be the first time that MS has done this. It is almost as it the words 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' are not allowed inside Planet Redmond.

On current (and previous) evidence, the MS mantra seems to be more "If it ain't broke, we'll soon fix that..."?

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Mushroom

I'll tell you what you want...

Some feel that the redesign was rushed without any real consultation.

And therein lies the rub. Once again looks like they're just trying to be "trendy" and catering for an audience that basically doesn't exist (those who code and suchlike on a phone or similar sized screen). Was nothing learned from the whole Windows 8 debacle?

We know what we want, and it doesn't line up so well with what you somehow think we want. Ask us and we'll tell you - not the other way about.

Anyone would think they were Microsoft! Oh, wait a moment...

Things that make you go foom: Destruction derby as NASA and SpaceX test rocket components to failure

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Hot LOX

Oxygen actually liquefies at a slightly higher temperature than Nitrogen does, so you can use one to create the other (either deliberately or accidentally). So there is still some small risk, even if you use L-N2.

Back in uni days it was one of the (many) demonstrations we used to do on school (and prospective student) open days. Take a large metal coffee jar (the kind that caterer supplies come in) and mount it at an angle using a retort stand. Fill it with L-N2 and after a while you'll get L-O2 condensing on the outside and dripping off the bottom edge. Stick something around the upper rim to deflect the N2 outflow forwards, and put a candle underneath the dripping L-O2. It's quite a nice demonstration of stuff like distillation and liquification.

Segway to Heaven: Mega-hyped wonder-scooter that was going to remake city transport to cease production

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Ahh, those were the days...

The donut holders are riding them...

Faxing hell: The cops say they would very much like us to stop calling them all the time

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Fax as scanner.

Did something akin to that back in the day when staying in hotels for business.

One particular one seemed to like to charge (an inordinate amount) for printing stuff out for guests, but I found out that for some reason were happy to accept faxes for self-same guests.

So as this was the dial-up era, ended up faxing the file I wanted to print out to the hotel's fax machine and used it as a cheap printer. Not the highest quality, but it did the job well enough for the needed purpose.

Anonymous Custard Silver badge

Re: Also works the other way round

I just decided that rather than being nice and giving the correct number, I'd just tell the callers to contact the company back and complain that they're giving out the wrong number.

That way as they'll be getting multiple people per week telling them rather than just me, it might actually get sorted.

Either that or I'll get HR to have an official and formal chat with ABTA or whoever the relevant body may be about it as I'm sure like others have said it could be an open goal to phish for personal and banking details.

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: Also works the other way round

My office desk phone direct dial is one digit different from a local insurance company.

Unfortunately a national airline/holiday company is showing their usual (in)competency and has decided to start giving out my number instead of the insurance company one to some of their irate customers who want to claim back on cancelled flights and holidays.

Even after alerting them 3 times to it, I'm still getting the damn things (the last one about half an hour ago). Particularly irritating when you're on a Zoom/Teams/Skype/Webex (we have all of them for the convenience of various customers) conf call and you get interrupted by one.

It is certainly becoming very tedious indeed...

NASA to send Perseverance, a new trundle bot, and Ingenuity, the first interplanetary helicopter, to sniff out life on Mars in July

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: future generations may well recognize the women and men of Perseverance

Challenge accepted. Off the top of my head:

Crew - Armstrong, Aldrin, Collins.

Flight directors - Gene Krantz, Chris Kraft

CapCom's - Charlie Duke, Jim Lovell, Ken Mattingly, Bruce McCandless, Bill Anders, Harrison Schmidt

Geologist Adviser - Gene Shoemaker (as in the comet).

There were certainly more of each of the directors and CapComs (4 or 5 shifts overall, with one or two for each). But those are the ones that spring to mind.

Admittedly I can only remember the CapComs as they're all Astronaut heroes in their own right, and Chris Kraft as he died not so long ago (and got a decent amount of his due credit during the recent anniversary) and was almost as much of a dude as Gene Krantz is.

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Alien

Re: "When we see the landscape at Jezero Crater for the first time"

...or a red weed.

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Trollface

Can't see the wood for the trees?

I guess if nothing else, Ingenuity should be great for finding the first tree to be discovered beyond the Earth by the usual drone search technique of crashing into it...

PC printer problems and enraged execs: When the answer to 'Hand over that floppy disk' is 'No'

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Trollface

Re: "I'm the IT director for ..."

Humph! A slander on a fine name and dessert :-)

Roobarb, roobarb, roobarb!

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Stop

Re: "The IT manager turned up clutching a clipboard"

Ah, the technical equivalent of the quality department drone who wants "everyone to be above average"...

Winter is coming, and with it the UK's COVID-19 contact-tracing app – though health minister says it's not a priority

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Headmaster

Friend or foe?

So after years of ignoring or putting the phone down on cold calling call centres trying to spam us with crap or other scams, the Govt now seriously expects people to start answering the phone to random callers who are telling them they have been in contact with someone infected?

Shirley it doesn't take a genius to work out how well that will go down, or indeed how long it will take for all of these scam peddlers to start the impersonation game and use this as yet another way to hook the gullible and vulnerable (given that iirc it's actually started already even before the contact tracing has)?

Would you trust a cold call on such a subject?

'One rule for me, another for them' is all well and good until it sinks the entire company's ability to receive emails

Anonymous Custard Silver badge

@keithpeter - nope, I've got the paper bound book copy on the shelf behind me, and I'm sure if I dig around somewhere I might have an electronic copy somewhere. In the worst case, it's more or less a text file with some now non-processed mark-up.

But as it was 22 years ago (eeek!) I must say it's not something I've really ever gone back to...

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Trollface

And if you were lucky and rich, 16K of wobble...

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Good riddance

Remembering that in some irredeemable cases, the right position is at worst not in your organisation, and at best with a competitor.

It reminds me of a comment I got when I was leading an install team once and was a man down. The leader of the larger team working at a nearby customer offered to lend me one of his engineers (who wasn't the most useful tool in the toolbox), and one of the other straight-talking Scottish engineers in his team came back with "don't do that, then he'll be two men down!"

Suffice it to say, we made do with who we had until my engineer returned.

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Headmaster

The natural evolution of secretaries photocopying floppy disks...

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Al

I doubt he returned the calls...

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Headmaster

@JimboSmith - my kids (teenagers) initially didn't believe that when I was their age, the internet basically didn't exist (at least for Joe Public). Neither did mobile phones.

And then I pointed out that today I have more storage space on my person (phone and thumb drives on my keyring) than the entire department had when I was doing my first degree, and that their phones (not exactly cutting edge models) have more processing power than the Space Shuttles did, and their calculator probably has more than put man on the moon.

To put it in context, my PhD thesis (written in LaTeX) was entirely stored (including diagrams) on two floppy disks (and backed up on several more plus the tiny HDD of the machine), and written on a 486 PC with less memory than my current watch.

As Uncle Sam flies spy drones over protest-packed cities, Homeland Security asks the public if that's a good idea

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Headmaster

Arguably it's more that on all too frequent occasions, government is a comedy, or at least it would be if it weren't so scary and/or tragic.

In the worst case it's one of those topics that you can't even parody, as it's so absurd in its own right.

And also don't forget who actually wrote Yes (Prime) Minister, and who covertly advised them.

Japan to test self-destructing satellite to shrink space junk with string and an inanimate carbon blob

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Nice idea, hope it works.

Either that or they're having flash-backs to Reagan and Star Wars?

Or at least back to May 4th...

US Air Force wants to pit AI-powered drone against its dogfighting hotshots in battle of the skies next year

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Trollface

Golden years

So at least we now know what Captain America has been doing since he retired and passed on the shield.

He doesn't seem to have learned anything from the events detailed in that Ultron documentary that was declassified a few years back though...

Ooo, a mystery bit of script! Seems legit. Let's see what happens when we run it

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: There is a reason for test systems

No doubt leading to the normal scenario of the manager who requested the new feature taking all the credit and glory for it, but of course if anything at all goes wrong it's entirely your fault and nothing to do with them at all.

Not that this has ever happened around here, oh no...

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Joke

Re: Not quite the same...

At least he had a paper trail to work out what the problem was...

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Headmaster

If at first you don't succeed...

He should just think himself lucky that the normal response didn't kick in when it just did a quick hour glass change.

I've known many who would just sit there trying it again and again, presumably expecting something different or more enlightening to happen at some point. I think the record I've seen is something tried 25 times.

If Daddy doesn't want me to touch the buttons, why did they make them so colourful?

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Many years ago...

You think he has a spare entendre about his person so he can give you one?

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Pint

Re: More of a Who Me? except he got away with it

And once again we're back to the age-old Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice.

A glass for Sir pTerry, as ever.

Hooray, space boffins have finally got InSight lander's heat probe back into Martian ground again

Anonymous Custard Silver badge
Headmaster

Murphy's Law?

I wonder if the attraction between moles and rocks is similar to the recently proven one between drones and trees?

Tech set responds in wake of American protests, police violence and civil unrest

Anonymous Custard Silver badge

Re: The next step...

As the saying goes, "they who don't know their history are bound to repeat it...".

Sadly that seems rather apt at the moment. We can but hope that sense and decency prevail.

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