* Posts by Bruce Ordway

409 posts • joined 22 Apr 2007


Bloke robbed of $800,000 in cryptocurrency by fake wallet app wants payback from Google

Bruce Ordway

Fortune favours the Brave

Linux may soon lose support for the DECnet protocol

Bruce Ordway


...Quake, oh yeah, I remember concerns about a slowing network sometime in the 90's.

The sites hardware was pretty simple, two hubs and one bridge.

When I checked the equipment room I noticed several ports indicating constant activity?

A quick walk around the building revealed that the entire customer support department had discovered Quake.

Multiple staff meetings ensued, new company policies and finally upgraded from hubs to switches.

Shortly after I believe the internet was "discovered" by the same dept. and spawned a similar wave of policy changes.

Bruce Ordway

tcp... too slow...

Reminds me of a site and user complaints after NetBeui was eventually replaced by TCP.

TCP was required when upgrading from dumb terminals (coax/bnc) to PC's & terminal emulation (cat5/rj45).

Complaints because of the noticeable increase in file transfer time on the local network after NetBeui was removed.

Boris Johnson set to step down with tech legacy in tatters

Bruce Ordway

Just another opinion on Boris

Viewing form the U.S. I find myself want to blame the people who have enabled Boris ( much like "The Donald" here ).

I've had mixed emotions about Boris as a person though.

He does seem like he might actually be an amusing drinking partner to hang around with on the weekend?

However I can't imagine why anyone would EVER rely on him to manage anything responsibly?

Consultant plays Metaverse MythBuster. Here's why they're wrong

Bruce Ordway


Snow Crash? Yes what a fun book! Thanks Neal Stephenson.

But a MetaVerse in real life?

ugh... I've never been very interested.

( although... that might change if I could access to a HoloDeck ).

No more fossil fuel or nukes? In the future we will generate power with magic dust

Bruce Ordway

risks, but so do most things in life

Sure there are issues with using coal, nuclear, plastic, etc.....

However, isn't the real problem the massive scales of use?

So why isn't there more discussion about population growth? Probably because leaders know that it isn't possible to manage.

HP turns back on $1b in annual sales by quitting Russia and Belarus

Bruce Ordway

For some reason....

This reminded me of the Johnson administration and the Viet-Nam peace plan


Different times back then for sure but... as old foes of the U.S. moderated seems like the world did experience a long period of "peace without conquest"?

But.. TBD how long peaceful relationships can really be maintained?

If a country like Russia ( and maybe China ) will blow things up - prioritize ideology over economy?

When management went nuclear on an innocent software engineer

Bruce Ordway

cloned disks....same DECNet address

I think I've met this person somewhere.

Safari is crippling the mobile market, and we never even noticed

Bruce Ordway

go to what is arguably a better phone

Until there are smartphones capable of replacing the desktop... I'll be happy with flip-phones.

My opinion, smart phones of today are really only good at a few things and the interface sucks

(and got developers to ruin the interfaces for a lot of software that primarily runs on PC's).

I've always had this fantasy that we'll eventually get mobiles that are compatible with Linux / Windows and all related applications. e.g. docking system for power, keyboard, multiple monitors, etc...

I would think there would be a market.. if ever became practical to manufacture?

Microsoft tests ‘Suggested Actions’ in Windows 11. Insiders: Can we turn it off?

Bruce Ordway

Re: Oh god, no...

>> if Excel accepted.....

Yes, I already spend too much time dealing with MS "helpful" features.

Excel for example - I often find it easier to format an entire worksheet as text during data entry.

After my data is in place, I'll change column/cell formats so that calculations can function.

A REAL pain in the neck but... trusting the default formatting can be worse..er.

Engineer gets Windows 11 working on a Surface Duo

Bruce Ordway

Re: The reason for the hardware requirements

>> Otherwise most people will be quite happy to continue with

Win 7

Linus Torvalds 'starting to get worried' as Linux kernel 5.17 rc6 lands

Bruce Ordway

Re: I'll do it!


That reminds me I still have an old tri-fold instruction card "HP-UX system administration handbook and toolkit vi". I keep it near the staircase, tucked between baseboard and sheet-rock. Approx 20 years since I've used vi but... as I walk by it, every day and I'm just sure I still need it.

Beware the techie who takes things literally

Bruce Ordway

Delete vs. ceasing to function

I've experienced straightforward software expiration and offer no complaints (even though it can be irritating when it happens).

On the other hand I have never had anything delete itself & my feelings are mixed.

Personally I use a lot of "stuff" and try to keep legal and compensate authors but... I know I'm nowhere near 100% on this.

Even if someone were clearly in violation of terms and deletion was a known consequence... automatic deletion seems a little extreme to me.

One thing I'm sure of, I'd avoid software if I knew ahead of time it had the ability to delete itself.

Maybe not in this specific instance but... I can imagine scenarios where deletions would result in unforeseen, collateral damage.

Wonder how term and conditions would hold up in such cases?

CIA illegally harvested US citizens' data, senators assert

Bruce Ordway


Except... if enough random people have unlimited access to my history...I'm afraid at least one scrutineer would find a reason to flag me.

Bouncing cheques or a bouncy landing? All in a day's work for the expert pilot

Bruce Ordway

A person has mad skillz in one discipline or...they know someone with "them"

"interesting" discussions ensue...

I wish I could say I've never been the one who "had the skillz"

US-China chip cold war? It's only helping the Middle Kingdom, silicon makers warn

Bruce Ordway

Re: Sanctions

>>stop allowing Russian and Chinese students to study here

Ouch... there might be some areas that deserve a little more scrutiny/restrictions

but..a wholesale stoppage seems excessive, counter-productive.

Db2, where are you? Big Blue is oddly reluctant to discuss recent enhancements to its flagship database

Bruce Ordway

Re: Throwaway society mentality comes to IT

>>changing products every few years as old legacy tech is mothballed

Yes, I've mostly just learned/used what was in fashion at the time and then moved on.

the list useless knowledge I have accumulated keeps growing, Unidata, Universe, OpenEdge, MS SQL, etc... (maybe that last one will remain useful for a while longer)?

I do enjoy deep diving into the guts of things but there just isn't a lot of time I can devote to exploration, experimentation.

It's the day before the grand opening but we need a firmware update. It'll be fine

Bruce Ordway

Re: Friday rule

>>Touch nothing unless you have no alternative.

And at one site I remember the presidents motto was... "doing nothing is never an option".

Insurance firm Admiral fails to grab phone location data of 'fraud' claimant's mother

Bruce Ordway

phone call and location details

"...not just a reference source, available on demand..."

Hopefully insurance companies, credit agencies, etc... will always have to go thru the legal process.

My opinion... these entities have already been given too much leeway to operate as legal "rackets" already.

At least here in the U.S.

What came first? The chicken, the egg, or the bodge to make everything work?

Bruce Ordway

Remote connection and mapped drives

Reminds me in the early 2000's when people first started connecting remotely to a site.

User connected to a Windows domain OK but... complained they were missing all of their mapped drives

Everything worked when the user was on-site, hard wired.

Discovered that the script that was supposed to map the drives ran before a remote PC actually had access to the domain.

How do you call support when the telephones go TITSUP*?

Bruce Ordway

run out of paper...stop everything

Brings back memories of the old Lucent Legend PBX's, back in the 90's.

After working in engineering with PLC programming, the Legend system seemed familiar, like a close cousin.

In general I liked that old hardware. the voice boards were pretty sturdy, except that ports used to blow in the spring ( lightening strikes ).

The admin computer had an interface board, OS was an AT&T version of unix pretty straightforward.

The management software though... wasn't exactly "user friendly".

I can't remember any details today but I'm sure that software was at the root of one or two strange outages.

Server errors plague app used by Tesla drivers to unlock their MuskMobiles

Bruce Ordway

Re: Thermostat

>> battery powered monstrosity...

Yes, everyone I know hates their "smart" thermostats.

(Difficult to operate, nuisance battery maintenance and easily "friable" electronics).

>> instead of.... a dial

New "old fashioned" dials are a very popular item in hardware stores - in the USA at least.

I know I am so much happier since I replaced my "smart" controller with a dial ( and it wasn't difficult).

There's something to be said for delayed gratification when Windows 11 is this full of bugs

Bruce Ordway

Re: Windows Update makes me happy

>> useful improvements over its predecessor are hard to identify

I found this statement pretty uplifting too.

Calendars have gone backwards since the Bronze Age. It's time to evolve

Bruce Ordway

Wishful thinking...

I've been freelancing for at least a decade and have accumulated several site specific email addresses/calendars that I currently monitor via Outlook Web Access.

In a perfect world I'd be able to keep track of how I'm spending my time as well as scheduling events and... sync with my other, site specific calendars.

I have searched a few times for a simple personal calendar but...not found anything for centralizing calendars.

So... I just keep doing things manually, Excel for tracking activity times and a separate Google calendar for pending events.

And I know a few people who still swear by their old day planners.

Hmmm... this article reminds me of another "red headed stepchild"... reporting software.

e.g. PowerBI, Report Builder, Crystal, etc... don't we all just love to hate these?

Windows 11 Paint: Oh look – rounded corners. And it is prettier... but slightly worse

Bruce Ordway

Re: Continuing the trend

>> fashionable....rather than functional.

>> Microsoft's love affair with the ribbon UI is fading

I hope.

Then if the flat look would go out of style too?

At least from anything running on a Windows PC, which is where I spend most of my time.

EasyJet flight loadsheet snafu caused by software 'code errors' says UK safety agency

Bruce Ordway

Complex systems

"...alert...spot the...discrepancy..."

Sounds like the kind of person I'm a big fan of.

Systems and automation... compared to a person with "know how" who can evaluate situations and perform tasks "on the fly"?

Think your phone is snooping on you? Hold my beer, says basic physics

Bruce Ordway

Laptop electrical noise

On a related note....

I swear that I can hear my laptop "working" since I hooked it's video/audio up to my TV.

Usually most noticeable while transferring large files in Windows.

Then it defiintely sounds like a transmitted signal rather that just random noise.

Boeing 737 Max chief technical pilot charged with deceiving US aviation regulators over MCAS

Bruce Ordway

Re: Automation and Safety

"So you'd just better hope..." for so many other things too?

I remember listening to a presentation about 30 years ago.

The talk was given by the current head of DARPA at the time. (hmmm.. can't remember his name).

He discussed the level of ability for graduating programmers and where they can expect to end up working.

He started with the "A" programmers who went to places like NASA or CERN, then the "B" programmers, etc...

The thing that stuck with me all these years is his example of the "C" programmers. How he stated that they would be the ones most likely to work on your automobiles ABS. Just one of many critical systems that would be at increasing risk in the future ( in his view ).

My gut feeling is that his observations and conclusions were for the most part, correct.

Config cockup leaves Reg reader reaching for the phone

Bruce Ordway

Re: Sun kit

"but I actually typed.... "

"....learn(ed) to re-read everything VERY carefully before hitting the enter key"

Yes, my first cockup was many years ago and made a big impression on me.

Enough that I am will slow "way down" and re-read commands multiple times before hitting that enter key.

I should probably review of my emails/comments more before committing too.

As I'm routinely surprised by the differences between what I wrote and what I intended.

So the data centre's 'getting a little hot' – at 57°C, that's quite the understatement

Bruce Ordway

Reminds of a site in northen U.S.

HVAC related but... much lower potential hazard at a site in northern U.S.

They had a small server room, original install/setup occurred during the summer.

On an especially cold winter day I had to perform some maintenance and noticed it was too cold where I was working and very hot in the opposite corner.

It din't take long to identify the reason, central heating duct was blasting hot air and the AC was trying to compensate... 24 hours a day.

As a temporary workaround I plugged the heat vent with rags.

However, I heard that my temporary fix remained in place for several years before operations finally got around to closing off that heating duct.

Full Stream ahead: Microsoft will end 'classic' method of recording Teams meetings despite transcription concerns

Bruce Ordway

Re: @Henry Wertz 1 -- Ridiculous

and of course.... Users with specific concerns are invited to contact support

Please, no Moore: 'Law' that defined how chips have been made for decades has run itself into a cul-de-sac

Bruce Ordway

That reminds me of the Three Body Problem


Just got around to reading the series... and I did enjoy the "computer"

"Using hundreds of thousands of soldiers who act as bits (they hold a flag up or down to indicate 1 or 0), they create logic gates, a CPU, a bus (people racing on horses between different parts of the human motherboard), and more. "

Tolerating failure: From happy accidents to serious screwups … Time to look at getting it wrong, er, correctly

Bruce Ordway


>>> unplugging everything in the old data centre

>>> reconnecting it wrongly in the new one.

Ha, I've been called in to several sites to resolve cases exactly like this.

What is your greatest weakness? The definitive list of the many kinds of interviewer you will meet in Hell

Bruce Ordway

Re: My greatest weakness...

Advanced age and being a product of my time.

I don't know about the rest of you but I find it increasingly harder to get interested in many of the new directions.

Seems like not very long ago I went back to school. I know I should probably repeat that exercise one more time but... I'd rather go on tinkering with "stuff" I like personally.

If only I didn't need to "make a living"?

Exsparko-destructus! What happens when wand waving meets extremely poor wiring

Bruce Ordway

Reversed polarity

After powering up a test system I heard an awful humming, shut everything down before any damage.

Turns out that all extension cord reels in the shop had been installed with reversed polarity.

I stuck with wall outlets from that point without any problems.

I also notified the building manager but I'm not sure they were rewired (or if he understood what the problem was).

UK celebrates 25 years of wasteful, 'underperforming' government IT projects

Bruce Ordway

Re: The apple doesn't fall far from the tree

You could also replace the first 3 words with "Enterprise IT projects".

I don't know about others but I personally have not seen an IT project that has actually lived up to its expectations, where people felt like it was really worth the trouble.

Best results, systems with minor disruptions, worst... barely functional.

But, landscapes are changing so fast, companies are damned whether they do/don't take on these projects.

Troll jailed for 5 years after swatting of Twitter handle owner ends in death

Bruce Ordway

System failure?

A LOT of teenagers have been reckless in the past (myself included)

but... today it seems like tech has unleashed those bent on unscrupulous behavior?

Wonder how/when systems will catch up?

The lights go off, broadband drops out, the TV freezes … and nobody knows why (spooky music)

Bruce Ordway

Re: Supply pipe location

Slightly different - where my house was built in the 1920s and it is waaay back on the lot.

The city was replacing gas lines recently and first they used a tool to check/measure the existing pipe. Unfortunately their tool had a limited reach, designed for modern homes located nearer the front of the lot. They finally ended up estimating from the location of the meter.

Luckily it doesn't interact with my cable (at least I don't think it does).

Report: 83% of UK software engineers suffer burnout, COVID-19 made it worse

Bruce Ordway

problem is we are repeating over and over again ...can't wait for retirement

>> I used to get such a kick out of my job.

Yes, seems like most of my time is spent reworking old "stuff" because of system upgrades.

Sure, it is nice to have some work/income but... it can get pretty boring too.

This always-on culture we're in is awful. How do we stop it? Oh, sorry, hold on – just had another notification

Bruce Ordway

Re: Not office hours? No contact

>> I do no always remember to take a phone

Just send me an email - clearly stating the task/issue.

I always respond, usually under 4 hours, evenings and weekends (but never mornings).

I keep my overhead and rates low - so companies are happy to accept my schedule.

Or if they aren't, I really don't want to work with them anyway.

Developing for Windows 11: Like developing for Windows 10, but with rounded corners?

Bruce Ordway

Windows 11?

If I remember the Windows 10 launch correctly, it was announced as the "last" version forever?

Now we have a better idea of how MS defines "forever".

I'd be happy to see the version where MS finally cleans out some of the schizophrenia.

Some consistency in the areas of computer admin, settings, etc... would go a long way in winning back some of my original affection for Windows.

(Which I lost at Windows 8 and have not found since).

‘What are the odds someone will find and exploit this?’ Nice one — you just released an insecure app

Bruce Ordway

why would anyone want to hack us

Since there is an (almost) infinite number of monkeys are out there hitting keys.

The question should probably be "how bad will it be after I've been hacked"?

Windows 11: Meet the new OS, same as the old OS (or close enough)

Bruce Ordway

Re: What is an OS for?

Same as our friendly GOM...I'm gonna pass on W11 (like W10)

>> compared to Windows 7.... Windows 10 has won hearts


>> 8, let alone Vista

OK, I'll concede that I'd use Win 10 before those two

Excuse me, what just happened? Resilience is tough when your failure is due to a 'sequence of events that was almost impossible to foresee'

Bruce Ordway

Re: When it comes to imagining failure modes…

>>Murphy has a better imagination than you

This remind me of an upgrade where (I believed) I had every potential for failure fully accounted for.

I swapped out an HP K400 with an L1000 over the weekend.

Sunday afternoon... congratulations all around.

Monday morning.... chaos, no file access for users.

I quickly discovered that a power supply for an unrelated file server had failed early AM.

Even though a coincidence... this and any other issue was blamed on that weekend upgrade for several days.

Lesson learned... I now avoid making public announcement of IT upgrades/projects.

So that I'm more likely to get credit for "the fixing" rather than "the breaking".

Whoop! Robot/human high-fives all round! Oh, my fingers have disintegrated

Bruce Ordway

Re: We're the grumpy old men of IT

>>Shopping for books used to be a.... sociological expedition

Yes... once upon a time,

I used to go to the library every Saturday so I'd have a fresh stack of books at home. For good measure, on the way back home I'd also check out the used bookstore by the university. I gave up the habit sometime in the 90's and reclaimed quite a bit of living space when I donated (almost) all my books. The way I get/store reading materials today may be more efficient but not very many "fond memories" generated along the way now.

How much would you pay me to develop a COVID tracking app that actually works? Ah, thought so: nothing

Bruce Ordway

Ursula Le Guin

Good stuff

Lessons have not been learned: Microsoft's Modern Comments leave users reaching for the rollback button

Bruce Ordway

Re: "Modern Commenting"

Larry...."IT is more fashion driven than ladies' fashion"

Too late for me to be quoted I guess. (I was talking about this just the other day).

China all but bans cryptocurrencies

Bruce Ordway

Re: Self Interest, Public Interest

Cryptocurrency is one of those things that sounds good (to me) in theory but...

none of the current implementations seem like they are ready for "primetime".

Too erratic for me to gamble and when I read about the energy being consumed... ugh!

Cloudflare launches campaign to ‘end the madness’ of CAPTCHAs

Bruce Ordway

Re: Hardware dongles?

>>>That happens to me periodically, but I'm on a VPN

Apparently Google doesn't like my VPN anymore.

the last few months, whenever I try to use Google search I'm confronted with multiple image selection challenges. What irritates me is that there doesn't appear to be no rhyme or reason to the number of challenges I must complete before I'm allowed to proceed to my search results.

(On average must deal with 10 challenges... talk about madness)?

So... I've set my default search provider to DuckDuckGo.

Occasionally I still want to run a search thru Google and just deal with the related annoyance.

At least picture challenges work eventually whereas text based captchas never seem to end (for me, my VPN)

Compsci boffin publishes proof-of-concept code for 54-year-old zero-day in Universal Turing Machine

Bruce Ordway

nothing is totally secure

I sometimes think insecurity is just part of our nature, on an emotional level.

I trust myself so... why shouldn't I be granted full access?

"Other" people though, yeah probably need some rules for "them".



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