* Posts by Matt Horrocks

58 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Apr 2007


Think twice before moving to SaaS office

Matt Horrocks

re: confidential?

I thought he was saying that everyone sharing the same single Yahoo account is crap for sending confidential stuff to one person since everyone can see it.

Schoolkids learn coding at GCSE level in curriculum trial

Matt Horrocks

I did A level Computing (AQA) in 2001/2002 and we did a little bit of assembler, some pascal and some prolog stuff. We were taught VB for doing the projects (first year the exam board gave us a problem to solve, second year we had to find our own problem). Although the school dropped this course after I finished as there weren't enough people interested in it and of those who were only a few were intelligent enough to cope with it.

HP ProLiant power supplies 'may die when dormant'

Matt Horrocks

What else would you expect...

...from HP support? Had a long argument with them once about their 32bit version of a driver for a particular printer missing a feature present in the 64bit version and was told it was a "problem with the 32 Windows" (the feature in question was to do with reducing print margins so that it would get closer than 20mm to the edge). Ended up at the complaints line with the "most senior" person who basically said "tough, wait for a new driver which may never be created, go away I don't care".

"HP believes it was environmental – that the power supplies or the servers were stored in an area of high humidity, water, etc" - maybe they've taken water cooling to the extreme in Paris and just flooded the data floors...

Launcher Pro

Matt Horrocks

Expired Version

I had that problem too, it let you launch the web browser to download the updates - but at the time mine failed the site was down for what seemed like a week. The only way round (since it would launch a web browser) was to find a direct link to the updated package somewhere and enter the address into the browser - download and install and all working again. (Then switch to a different launcher once menus work again)

PC World website went titsup on Boxing Day

Matt Horrocks

Even better deals...

Went in looking for a laptop power cable (C5), the only power cable they had (standard PC lead) was at the bargain price of £22.99

Wish I could shift the filing cabinet full of power leads I have spare at work for £20 each!

IBM tries to patent offshoring

Matt Horrocks

And then...

Now they have to patent the reverse process (get money out of companies shutting down their offshore operations), another for the business process of operating out of a building, another could be having a company website.... etc....

You're barcoded: The sneaky under-25 route to compulsory ID

Matt Horrocks

Stupid useless shop people...

Once I was buying alcohol and an 18-rated DVD. They scanned the alcohol through without asking for ID then refused to sell me the DVD as I didn't have any ID, so I just took the alcohol... muppets!

Birmingham drops the possessive apostrophe

Matt Horrocks
Thumb Down


“It would be tragic if the ambulance couldn’t find your street if you forgot to use the possessive apostrophe.”

It would also be tragic if they went ahead and couldn't find your street because you *did* use the apostrophe. How about they strip out the punctuation when comparing against their database then you don't die as a result of your own poor grammar or as a result of this scheme going ahead...

Windows 7 public beta end date named

Matt Horrocks

@Martin Budden

No, it went like this.. two competing lines of 'Windows', one for the home one for businesses/anything that requires less-crap networking than the other

Windows 1

----LAN Manager floating around somewhere here

Windows 2

Windows 3

----Windows NT 3 series

Windows 4 ("95")

----Windows NT 4

Windows 98

Windows ME

----Windows NT 5 ("Windows 2000")

----Windows NT 5.1 ("XP")

----Windows NT 6 ("Vista")

----Windows NT 7 ("7")

Since they binned off the crapness that was DOS+GUI shell after WinME.

Europe-wide emergency number is go

Matt Horrocks

And to 9112...

Or where I work, 112 connects you anyway without having to prefix it with '9'. Our extensions are 100-199 so when we set it up... you can see the picture when we assigned extension 112 to someone - every time we call them we get emergency services.

Now everything over 111 is one out on the patch panels as we had to skip 112 on the exchange.


Drug dealing sysadmin cops to hacking and burglary offences

Matt Horrocks


"counterfeit barcodes"? Since when was it illegal to print a barcode... maybe to slap it on a box to get it cheap but printing a barcode isn't illegal.

BOFH: Shiny new computer room

Matt Horrocks

@Jay Zelos

"He missed the air con installed to such a high standard that it leaks at one end, right over top of the phone* system UPS."

What is it with air con and phone systems being so close together?

We have two wall-mounted air con units, on one of them the tube that takes water away became blocked causing the unit to leak. I was blamed for "leaving the door open" (it was locked shut) and "causing the unit to over work". This unit happens to be positioned above the PBX unit and its UPS (cardboard box of batteries on the floor, with a cable running up to the wall mounted PBX) - luckily the dripping water *just missed* it. Five leaks later (and a huge puddle almost reaching the first floor sockets in the first rack) they agreed it was a fault causing the leak rather than me.

Spam filtering services throttle Gmail to fight spammers

Matt Horrocks

@Matthew Banwell

E-mails about Adwords are most likely spam, it seems they have moved on from online banking phishing to Google Adwords phishing - receiving messages about Adwords which links to a dodgy domain on accounts with nothing to do with adwords myself.

Sales slide at PC World, Currys

Matt Horrocks


"Wanted some memory....forget it...PC world prices for 1MB buys you 8MB from CRUCIAL."

Wow - didn't know anywhere still sold 1MB and 8MB sticks of RAM ;-)

Brown ignores scientists and pushes pot reclassification

Matt Horrocks

Oooh jailtime fun...

Yes, good idea - who would have expected the Gov to actually listen to advice? Let's bang everyone up in prison as if they aren't full enough already. I know, they could let all the murderers and rapists out early so there's room for the potheads.

They're as good at running successful IT projects as they are at anything else.

El Reg reconstructs Heathrow T5 chaos

Matt Horrocks
Thumb Up

Thanks for that...

Laughed out loud and got a few weird looks - priceless! Could do with something like this every Friday.

Royalties are the admission price, Microsoft tells freetards

Matt Horrocks
Gates Horns


"The tricky part is Microsoft will not publish details of those patents..."

So.. don't steal our ideas or we sue, but we aren't going to TELL you what our ideas are when we do start to sue - you have to guess!

That just makes no sense at all...

Apple sued in server-to-iPod song shift patent clash

Matt Horrocks

And the next patent is...

...using speakers/headphones to play back said music! Oh no, sue everyone for doing that, someone must own "using speakers/headphones to listen to music".

Utter nonesense.

Microsoft cuts Vista price

Matt Horrocks

@Steve Hewitt


Vista is Windows 6.0 compared to XP which was Windows 5.0.


How about... 2000 was Windows NT 5.0, XP was Windows NT 5.1, Vista is NT 6.0

If you're classing non-major version increments as "service packs" then by your definition XP is a service pack to Win2000 which costs money.

Apple sued over iPhone caller ID

Matt Horrocks
Thumb Down

Another stupid patent...

Wonder if every other mobile manufacturer has licensed this patent... and anything that uses caller ID on a landline. Doubt it.

They'll sue us for reading the number off the display, performing a look up against a directory (in memory) and thinking "ah, it's Joe calling me" next... only difference is the display.

eBay makes nice with MercExchange

Matt Horrocks
Thumb Down

Bloody stupid patents

I know, let's invent a way to buy things by clicking a button! How the hell can something like this be patented, just the same as someone patenting the idea of a shop where you pick items up and take them to the till and pay...

Bloody morons.

London Congestion Charge becomes CO2 tax

Matt Horrocks
Dead Vulture

RE: Some of you need to learn to read

"...The punitive £25 charge applies to pre-2001 cars and long-cab pickups with three-litre engines or bigger..."

Could do with someone to clarify if it means:

(pre-2001 cars) and (long-cab pickups) with 3L+ engines


(pre-2001 cars) and (long-cab pickups with 3L+ engines)

Kid's 'new' MP3 player was preloaded with smut

Matt Horrocks

Sure buy another

Yes, because there's no such thing as Delete to get rid of those nasty files. Throw it away and buy another!

Morons. Also would have been a better present if they had preloaded some songs that the kids liked on, at which point they would have noticed the dodgy stuff on there before the kid did.

Now RIAA says copying your own CDs is illegal

Matt Horrocks


How about - we stop copying CDs onto our PCs when you replace CDs that break or get scratched to hell. Also, please supply me with a 25-drive CD tower so that I can pick randomly from 25 CDs when listening.

Bloody morons. The R.I.Ass.A needs to piss off and die, where do they make up these figures for "damages" anyway - sounds like they pulled them out of a hat, or other dark orifice.

Police launch hunt for bogus bobbies

Matt Horrocks

Data Centre Security

I've once had to give visitor passes back to security - who were asleep at the desk! Had to wake them up when we got there too... this was about 4 years ago mind.

Mozilla rubbishes IE Firefox security study

Matt Horrocks

Better comparison...

...if they're comparing IE to when Firefox was released.. how about compare bugs fixed since IE v1 with bugs fixed since Firefox v1.

They could spend their time a lot better, like by finishing that new file system they promised for longhorn and vista but then dumped.

Air France compensates 170kg passenger

Matt Horrocks

Full flight?

"He was then told that since the flight was full, he'd have to pay for the seat next to him to ensure some breathing space."

If it was full, then there wouldn't be an empty seat next to him for him to pay for... unless they booted someone off.

Skype faces 020 7870 cut-off

Matt Horrocks

Pulping mailshot

Yes, let's be clever and use skype for a business line... which I assume is rather for your business if you end up pulping the lot. Because VoIP is so reliable at the moment.

Fools - the thing I don't get (unless they're doing it over cable internet) is that they will have already got a phone line waiting to be used from BT - use that as business and the VoIP for home (if you're using the same premises/line for business and home).

Vietnamese cops jailed for death row pregnancy ruse

Matt Horrocks

1.5m dong

Imagine a "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" over there... you start off at 100 dong (about £0.003, i.e. a third of a penny), work you way up the easy questions to 1000 dong (a whole THREE PENCE!) then up to where most people seem to get stuck at 32000 dong (woah nearly a pound there, 96p). Or if you're very lucky you can get the MILLION! (30 quid).

How I wrote an iPhone application

Matt Horrocks


Works on Opera under Windows too, although (surprise surprise) not IE7 (although I'm sure you could persuade MS to add functionality in if they know it's being used to have a dig at Apple). Nice to see it reported as the "SHiTEphone" after running the app :-)

Tiscali loses IPTV punters

Matt Horrocks


Doubt their network can cope with what they're wanting from it, doesn't help that they end up with no new money to upgrade it by giving out (according to the linked tiscali page) free set top boxes, wireless modems, installation...

Although from what I have experienced from what could roughly be desribed as "IPTV" (since it's TV stuff over IP) - Channel 4 on demand - it's all good (apart from that horrible application they wrap it in), not stuttery at all (however that's over work's decent connection, not tried it at home yet).

Dutch teen swipes furniture from virtual hotel

Matt Horrocks

How much...

How much are they bloody flogging this virtual furniture for anyway?! 4000 euro! Either there must be some rich sad people around or he "nicked" a hell of a lot of cupboards.

Tesco slaps cutlery ban on under-18s

Matt Horrocks


Surely kids wanting to go on an attack spree armed with a fork or knife (those knives couldnt even cut butter they're so blunt anyway) would nick said cutlery from the drawer at home - or from the canteen at school - rather than buy new?


Camelot pulls scratchcard amid numerical anarchy

Matt Horrocks

Shop just as bad...

"so I thought I had won, and so did the woman in the shop. But when she scanned the card the machine said I hadn't."

Surprised the woman in the shop wasn't stupid enough to hand over the prize anyway and think "the machine must be wrong".


Music DRM 'dead by next summer'

Matt Horrocks


If they hadn't bothered sinking vast lumps of cash into the waste of space that is DRM in the first place then they'd probably be better off - 1) by not wasting money on pointless DRM, 2) as this shows people will pay for non-DRM digital media.

The usual senior management being confused by technical issues. The fact is, if you can hear it with your ears then you can record/copy it, trying to stop this is a pointless waste of time.

Hooray for the (hopeful) death of DRM!

Mum sends stripper to teenage son's school

Matt Horrocks

@John Imrie

"I was under the impression it was legal to buy them under the age of 16, just not legal to sell them to anyone under that age."

Recently (starting either this month or last - I forget which) they changed it to being illegal to sell them to anyone under the age of 18 - although as with alcohol, I don't *think* it is illegal to *buy* whatever your age, just illegal to sell it to someone under 18.

Topless Liverpudlians confined to tropical fish stores

Matt Horrocks

Upside-down Stamps

So what do they do, install CCTV at every post box to make sure you aren't posting "illegally stamped" letters? Or does the Post Office, upon detecting an upside-down one, rip it open in attempts to find out who sent it. Maybe they just jail the recipient as an accomplice.

L1NUX number plate roars onto eBay

Matt Horrocks


And when it ends some unfortunate sod finds out it's just for the plates (i.e. worth £20) rather than the actual reg number. Wouldn't surprise me really.

Fasthosts customer? Change your password now

Matt Horrocks

Lack of encryption

"Historically, Internet companies have rarely encrypted passwords to aid customer service."

How's this "aid customer service"? Luser 'phones up asking for the password? Wouldn't it be just as easy to go "No, we can't tell you it, but we *can* reset it to "dogfood24", done".

Just hope they don't lose their "security warning" e-mail in transit from themselves to their customers via.. their MTA. Reckon it's a likely chance of them losing most of it then.

Ofcom: no comeback for TV on analogue spectrum

Matt Horrocks

TV Licence

Of course, if you don't use it to receive broadcasts and therefore don't pay you *do* have to put up with their inspectors banging on the door demanding to take a look around. A friend of mine didn't have a TV set at all and they were threatening to fine him and all sorts for "not allowing them to inspect" (despite having shown them around the house a couple of times, no TV set to be seen). Bloody stupid really.

If the BBC pays for any of the infrastructure upgrades to support their TV over IP plans, you can guarantee the licence fee will shoot up.

Seagate says storage demand better than expected

Matt Horrocks


No mass demand, except from businesses who waste loads of HDD space with "business data" rather than films and other goodies.

Yahoo! accused! of! lying! to! Congress!

Matt Horrocks


They get a telling off for giving out the IP/e-mail addresses in China, yet if the old RIAA was after them they'd get a telling off if they *didn't* do it.

Shame they couldn't "accidentally lose" the logs and get away with it really.

Exchange Server 2007 - it's here, and it's waiting

Matt Horrocks

Shame they cut lots of existing features...

We use 2007 now, they've dropped loads of stuff from the GUI admin (ok to be fair there's the powershell thing now which is neat), but they've dropped stuff like creating personal distribution lists through the webmail "until SP1", which is ready "second half of 2007". Been waiting bloody ages.

Porn-star cop's job not saved by First Amendment

Matt Horrocks


It'd be called the "World Prison", since they seem to think they *are* the world (e.g. the World Series, which only has American teams?)

Fancy an invisible dog that dances on stilts?

Matt Horrocks

Nearly every feedback reply...

Noticed how nearly every feedback reply begins with: "As we promised: NO LIES OR SCAMS!" - dodgy....

Then people saying "It didn't make me invisible" - "This isn't harry potter and the invisibility cloak" - no, it says "become invisible". That implies that you will become invisible.

Who would buy this anyway, must be a load of people with more money than sense, they should just all give their money to charity (or me).

Get a passport, enjoy casual sex with foreigners

Matt Horrocks

Stupid Daily Mail (but also stupid government)

Bit of a poor attempt to "get with the kids" (who cares if they apply too late, their own fault for being unable to read a normal advertisement)

However, the Daily Mail is throwing its arms in the air because they are "not suitable for a family newspaper". Since when were the mags listed, or night club walls, a family newspaper?!

Channel 4 cans Celebrity Big Brother

Matt Horrocks

It's a load of crap

Just 30 seconds after turning on to channel 4 at 9:27pm on Friday was enough to get me contemplating suicide - or at least, killing everyone in the bloody BB house.

How can they think anyone with half a brain cell *wants* this sort of crap after 6 or however many series of it they've subjected us to. Should have been binned after the first series - shame the other channels all copied it with "I'm a celebrity*, get me out of here" on ITV. I can't remember what the BBC version was. At least we get a few months without the celebrity* version of it this time round.

*Term used loosely

Nashville strippers finger net forger

Matt Horrocks


In England we have different size and colours for each denomination, smallest being £5 and largest being £50. Add to that the textured "paper" (cotton based IIRC so it lasts longer), raised print in certain areas, water marks, the metallic woven strip and the foil hologram thing, they look far better than other currency notes I've seen

Google Adwords dive-bombed by American Airlines

Matt Horrocks


So they don't want them to let people use 'AA' as a keyword? There's countless companies whose initials are AA - e.g. the Automobile Association.

It's just a typical American sueing-frenzy.

Email has workers tearing their hair out

Matt Horrocks

'Phones *are* worse

We use Exchange/Outlook, so I don't need to check my e-mail, I get a notification when I receive a message. Then it waits until I'm not busy for me to read it.

However the worst thing is the 'phone, especially if something like the mail server has gone down - endless calls with "Did you know e-mail is broken" - yes, but how am I meant to fix it whilst telling everyone on the 'phone that I *know* it isn't working. Results in me hitting DND when anything big happens and getting an angry boss after me when I forget to unset DND afterwards.