* Posts by Lone Gunman

42 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Feb 2009

France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours

Lone Gunman

Set your boundaries

I think the French will likely ignore this to be honest or at least a lot of them will.

Personally my boss and I have this arrangement: emails don't need to be answered there and then but phone calls will be urgent/important. We rarely call in the evenings/weekends/holidays unless its important anyway which sort of helps (as do the apologies for disturbing personal time). Generally I answer mails too if its a quick question, but the big thing is that I am not expected to and its my choice.

But I'm management and far enough up the tree that ignoring a call can be disastrous for either the business or our staff so maybe I see it a little differently.

Lefthand mice

Lone Gunman

Re: Lefthand mice

I don't think I've even seen a proper left handed mouse.

I'm using an HP wireless laser comfort mouse currently which is an ambi one as for me it was more about how wide the mouse was to make it fit properly in my palm - more coverage is less stress. I do have it setup for left handed use which is much easier and means I use my index finger for click and middle finger for right click. I do recommend using a mousemat with a wristrest though as that really decreases the stress on the joints/tendons.

Also like JulianB I'm right handed but had to switch when I was diagnosed with a tendon problem in my right wrist. Its incredibly practical though being able to scroll round a screen and still be able to jot notes down at the same time.

US indicts Brit bloke over backdoor blagging of US troops' data

Lone Gunman
IT Angle

Re: Cost millions ...

Can't believe they are using the "costing squillions" line again. Weren't they supposed to have spent squillions putting the infosec right after McKinnon went looking for aliens? I mean this goes back as far as 1986 and The Cuckoos Egg (Clifford Stoll but most of you should know that), if not further.

Doubt they will ever learn ...

IT? Well they sure as hell don't get it

Child porn hidden in legit hacked websites: 100s redirected to sick images

Lone Gunman

Re: On TV

Doesn't say anything about malware on the IWF press release - which is pretty much repeated verbatim in the Reg article.


Nominet sacks freshly-hired exec implicated in hospital 'cover-up' scandal

Lone Gunman

Re: "Reported that...", "Alledged that...", "Accused", "...said to be involved".

AC11:563: "Jeremy Forrest alleged to have kidnapped that girl" Seen on CCTV on a ferry together, caught red handed in France.

Now found guilty of kidnapping and just pleaded guilty to 5 counts of sex with a child. No need to use alledged anymore on this one.

The bunker at the end of the world - in Essex

Lone Gunman

Seriously creepy place

I went there a couple of years back with my mum as something to do one quiet afternoon. Whilst the place is indeed fascinating, we both got a serious case of the creeps as I think we were the only people there, the smell, bad lighting and the odd noises the place makes. Add in the mannequins and we were seriously glad to get out of there.

Growing up with the threat of nuclear attack should have really bothered me but I don't remember it freaking me out particularly. But then I suppose it was because it was always there, in the same way that we were always alert to the IRA attacks.

More Brits ditch Apple tablets for Amazon, Google, Samsung kit

Lone Gunman

I'll stick with my iPad thanks

Whilst I'm interested in the MS tablets as I'm far more familiar with a Windows environment (yeah I know!), having invested a serious sum in my iPad2 less than 2 years ago and its still fine for what I use it for (mail, web, games, books) there is no point swapping out. Yes the walled garden can be annoying, the lack of bluetooth mouse support rendered it useless for VDI for me and I would like it not to weigh as much as a housebrick too, but mostly it does the job.

Furious Stephen Fry blasts 'evil' Reg and 'TW*T' Orlowski

Lone Gunman

Re: you know,

Yes, all penii barers are, by definition, sexest pigs. </irony>

Anyone baring that particular appendage are likely to be arrested for indecent exposure (which isn't of itself sexist).

BlackBerry CEO: iPhone past its prime

Lone Gunman

Re: I guess fancy UIs matter to some people

That's exactly what I'm about to swap my personal phone back to - a cheap old school Nokia that will just make calls/do text messaging as that's all I need on that particular number.

Work though is different as that's where I need the email/calendar. We have moved to iPhone from Blackberry and its the worst bloody thing we did in most end users opinion. Damn thing is a rubbish phone (although EE need to take some blame there), doesn't really integrate properly with Exchange, tends to stop syncing the calendar and/or email. Looks pretty though. Recently needed to get it upgraded to the new iOS having not touched it since I got it (4.2.2 if you want to know) - wouldn't do it, hardware refusal so brand new 4S got handed to me as a device that was less than 3 years old wouldn't take an OS update.

Give me back the blackberry that worked with Exchange properly (well most of the time) and was fully featured in email and calendar and I'd be a very happy woman.

Microsoft issues manual on Brits to Cambridge exports

Lone Gunman

Re: you can keep the 'Have a Nice Day' meaningless words

@ Steve Davies 3:

"Now if the Yanks went up to Norfolk, they would feel quite at home. There is a lot of strange folk in them their flatlands."

There is a reason we have the phrase "normal for Norfolk" and the stereotype about webbed feet :-)

(some of my relatives are from Bungay)

1 in 7 WinXP-using biz bods DON'T KNOW Microsoft is pulling the plug

Lone Gunman

End of life?

Seriously, how can any IT manager not know that XP is nearing end of life? I mean its mentioned regularly in the IT press, particularly when MS have launched the next OS (7 and 8) usually in the same sentence as don't forget to get rid of IE6. I find that far more worrying than whether the systems will be left "naked" or not after April 2014.

Reg readers brew up the ultimate cuppa

Lone Gunman

Re: What is wrong with you all?

"You might as well serve in a styrofoam cup while at it"

Actually there is a lot to be said for builders tea served in a styrofoam cup, when its a cold miserable day and you would kill for a hot drink. Has to be the right situation though and a decent brew.

SpaceX Dragon eventually snared by ISS

Lone Gunman

... am I missing something?


Yes as others have pointed out Wales has a bloody great red dragon on their national flag and St David is the Patron Saint of Wales.

Wales has always been linked to dragons since the dark ages (AD829 first recorded use). As for why? Well its nothing to do with St George and is believed to be connected to King Arthur and other Celtic leaders and their battle standards.

Lone Gunman

Launch date

I just like the fact that Dragon was launched on St David's Day

No mobile signal? Blame hippies and their eco-friendly walls

Lone Gunman

Re: walls aren't my problem ...

We've noticed it more in the last few months since BT put Infinity live in the area, so maybe you are right with the "use best channel" settings. Whatever it is I wish it would stop it.

Lone Gunman

walls aren't my problem ...

its all the poxy BT routers that keep interfering with the wifi at our place. Fast as we change frequency, another bunch pop up. Pain in the arse doesn't quite cover it!

Really old walls can be a serious issue though when they are around 2 foot thick and solid stone. You have to find some creative ways of getting wifi round the house.

El Reg contemplates the ultimate cuppa

Lone Gunman
Thumb Up

Fancy a cuppa?

The perfect tea for bacon butties has to be Builders Tea from the same greasy spoon that you got the bacon buttie from - strong enough to stand the spoon up in, hot and with a splash of milk (presumably full fat). If making at home - then Yorkshire Tea (other similar blends work well too), bag in mug, pour in boiling water, mash bag till water goes a dark black, splash of milk (skimmed at our house).

I do however like going to Fortnum's to take tea as they make it beautifully. Loose leaf Afternoon blend served in a warmed silver pot big enough for 4-5 cups. Leave tea to brew for about 5 minutes, splash of milk in the cup, pour tea through silver strainer. Absolute nectar of the gods.

Lone Gunman

Re: It's not a proper mug of tea unless it's a double bagger

Denture tablets work much better than dishwasher tablets. No idea why though and no I don't have dentures!

Lone Gunman

Re: Assam only

@AC 13.35

You do know that they grow tea very succesfully in Cornwall on the Tegothnan estate? So those adverts aren't quite as misleading as you think.

Love English Breakfast tea, although I also like the Afternoon blend too. Preference is Fortnum & Mason and should be loose leaf, can't tell you how they brew it though as I only drink it when visiting the store.

'Online sex abuse of children is growing trend', warn Brit net cops

Lone Gunman

Show me the money ...

Saw this on the news this morning and my first thought was CEOP must be after some more funding. They seem to pop up when they think they might get a handout (it is budget time shortly after all).

It's good to see them raising parental responsibility though as its about time more parents did take responsbility and teach their children about the pitfalls of being online (along with any other sort of dangers) in the same way they should be teaching them the Green Cross Code.

I watched Excel meet 1-2-3, and beat it fair and square

Lone Gunman

oh god the memories!

Far too many years ago (somewhere around 1992) I was taught how to use 1-2-3 on a college course (along with WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS and something else which completely escapes me now). Learning all the keyboard commands was pretty painful, but it seemed amazing to me at the time having never even heard the word spreadsheet before. I vaguely remember the Windows version I used in the real world, but moving to Excel was a bit of a revelation but I hated switching over. Took me ages to learn it too, particularly the more advanced features.

The application market seemed to move pretty quickly back then from what I remember, no sooner had you got used to something then the industry standard changed. Everyone used WordPerfect pretty much then suddenly switched to AmiPro (remember the hidden game?), which was fairly quickly replaced with Word. We saw the same thing in the browser wars (Netscape anyone?) and search engines too.

These days there doesn't feel to be much that's new really or that is a real gamechanger because of the user experience or a particular function. Shame really but I'm very glad that I saw it happen all those years ago.

So: 6,500 Win 8 laptops later, how are BT's field engineers coping?

Lone Gunman

Re: What a waste

Have you got any frigging clue what telecoms engineers do? Coz it really isn't sat drinking tea reading the Current Bun all sodding day (some of that may happen but its pretty rare in most telcos).

A large proportion of the software they need to use is bespoke and will probably only work in a Windows environment unless they want to start again. Even off-the-shelf software is very platform limited. Add to that the multiple types of diagnostic tools now required because they are dealing with multiple types of network and you need something very capable to deal with it. None of it is cheap and whatever you implement is likely to be in use for the next 5-6 years (hardware at least).

Anything that helps when they are at the customer site, untangling problems in green boxes, in the exchange or down a manhole repairing fibre is a damn good thing. Automating anything in the paperwork will make a huge difference, let alone being able to see routing plans, wiring diagrams, full details about the job will make a massive difference.

Huddled immigrant masses face 'British values' quiz

Lone Gunman

Re: British values?

Complaining? But that's not the British way - you should tut or sigh deeply whilst not saying a word as you don't want to cause a fuss (particularly relevant for queue jumpers or bad customer service)

Record numbers of you are reading this headline right now

Lone Gunman

same here

Was very surprised I didn't need to defrost the car and it was much warmer this morning (only -2C instead of -7C). Snow didn't hit here in London till around 9am but everything seems to be running OK, albeit with revised timetables on the trains.

No chaos yet but then we haven't had the worst of it yet!

Amazon-bashed HMV calls in administrators, seeks buyer

Lone Gunman

Another one bites the dust

Surprised no one else has commented on the fact that last year they installed a new CEO - the one that used to run Jessops.

Both of these companies appear to have fallen victim to a number of different problems but the biggest one seems to be that both got bought out by a bunch of finance shysters. Embark on an expansion plan, whilst running down the genuine USPs and treating them as cash cows/convenient debt writeoff. Add in all the other problems that you've all noted (along with some very unsound business plans) and watch it all go tits up.

One thing I really don't like about the various closures we've seen over the last couple of months is the unseemly haste at which the administrators lock the doors. There seems to be no effort to attempt to keep the business running whilst finding a fix/buyer like we used to see where it would be a few months before they got to that stage.

Official science: High heels make you sexy

Lone Gunman


I wonder whether the colour of the shoes makes a difference to how men perceive them? I notice I get far more comments for my scarlet heels or my leopard print ones (which are mid-height) than my black ones regardless of the height.

Can't say a 2.5" heel really counts as a high heel these days - needs to be 3" or greater IMHO. Several people have mentioned the engineering required to be able to take the weight and balance properly, something that seems to be sadly lacking in a lot of heels along with getting the size right as many places don't offer a half size, so you either end up with shoes that you walk out of as they are too big or stuff your feet into something too small and feel as though your feet are in a vice.

Being of the female pursuasion I like wearing heels and the height of them depends on how much walking I'm likely to be doing or the overall look I'm going for. Some outfits look better with a kitten heel and some with a killer pencil thin 3-4" spike. Finding a pair that isn't ankle breaking height or look like they should be gracing the feet of a prostitute is a problem these days. Will be very glad when that trend buggers off.

As you can tell, shoes are a bit of a specialist subject for me!

Who cares about your archives anymore?

Lone Gunman

Be careful with the delete button ...

Fully agree with points 4 & 5 as .psts are a serious liability. However be careful about what you think isn't important to be kept in the archives - you may find its actually useful and save your arse in some legal situations.

I have always kept good archives of my email, if for no other reason than we have stupid mailbox size limits on Exchange. We have now rolled out an archiving system linked to Exchange (Enterprise Vault), which although it isn't perfect does mean everything is on a backed up server and not on my hard drive. We also had the foresight to import the .pst files so nothing has been lost.

I regularly refer back to emails from the last 18 months anyway, but I had cause recently to go back to mails from 2009 and beyond to find information for our legal teams. These particular emails wouldn't normally have been kept as it wasn't information that should be retained as a legal or business requirement. However I did have it and all the supporting documentation too - something my legal team are now very happy about.

How can UK TV product placement do better, asks report

Lone Gunman

Re: None on the BBC?

Re: @AC 12:18

No covers when Jake first started to use the iPad on the F1 a few years ago. I remember rather a lot of complaints about it at the time. It took them a while before they started to do the different covers to match the races.

El Reg mulls Forums icon portfolio shake-up

Lone Gunman

Re: Sort the troll icon

Depends whether you want a Nordic furry troll or a Discworld rock troll.

Credit card-sized mobile simplified for oldies

Lone Gunman
Thumb Down

cute but not practical

Thought that might be good for my mum, but like everyone else has said its not really the right size (although I can't find the actual dimensions listed on the website), the charger is likely to be fiddly, volume buttons are possibly tricky and its not PAYG. Also no clues on porting an existing number onto it. I do like the real on/off slider on the back though, something I miss these days is a real off switch on my phones.

Yes they should have supplied a cradle charger, but I seem to remember that all the manufacturers (except Apple) agreed to use the same charger type a few years ago so their hands are tied a bit.

Will stick with the basic £10 Nokia on the tesco PAYG plan then.

Debenhams cafes ban outré terms like 'espresso' and 'cappuccino'

Lone Gunman

Re: No. I asked: you for coffee?

Which is probably why my French teacher very patiently taught us the very useful phrase cafe au lait.

Bond fans: Test your 007 trivia, now!

Lone Gunman

20/50 for me

I was mainly guessing to be fair. Good fun though

Ailing Comet at last prayers: Cawing of accountants and VCs fills air

Lone Gunman

Re: Hands up who's actually bought anything from comet?

I had almost the same experience when I replaced the washing machine. Researched it online and then popped to the local indie who not only pretty much price matched, delivered and installed it less than 2 hours later! Even took the old one away along with some old desktop kit we had waiting to go to the dump :-)

Bought a TV for my mum earlier this year and got that from Tescos as they had them on offer and we could take it home the same day.

Whilst I feel for the people that face an uncertain future jobswise, I have no sympathy for Comet at all. There is stuff all use in having a showroom the size of an aircraft hanger if you make punters wait weeks before you can deliver the thing. And then not show up/call to say you aren't coming at all - which was my last experience of them 10 years ago and I haven't touched them since.

From Dr No to Skyfall: The Reg's one month of Bond

Lone Gunman
Thumb Up

Fantastic! This will definitely make my month

Reg - any chance of doing an article on Fleming and his ties to Bletchley Park? There's some fascinating stories there that outstrip anything that Bond gets up to.

Favourite bonds .... hmmmm .....






Shocked no one has mentioned Moneypenny yet or any of the Bond girls. Pussy Galore anyone?

IT support bod? Whatever you earn, it's not enough

Lone Gunman

Won't somebody think of the users ?

I dread calling our helldesk and will only do so if the problem is urgent (otherwise I use the chat function on our intranet). We do have some very good 1st line people, the problem is finding them. They rest can't cope with a user that has at least half a clue what the issue is and are determined to stick to the script to the point of insanity. A lot of them don't listen to what the user is telling them either which isn't great for diagnosis and fault fixing.

Oh and AC 11:19 yes I do expect IT to keep spares of some things - you know power supplies, mice, keyboards, headsets and not make me go through hoops to get them. If I'm asking for one it normally means that someone has nicked the basic setup off a hotdesk and I have user that needs it.

Seize your moment, Microsoft: iPad is RUBBISH for enterprise

Lone Gunman

not quite there yet ...

I've had my iPad for nearly a year and its not quite there yet to be a functioning office machine but its definitely close. I have VDI on it so remote into my desktop and I have no problem typing on the touchscreen keyboard so long documents/emails are fine. I can even plug it into an external monitor or projector.

What it does seriously need though is the ability to use a mouse as its damned difficult to use Windows using a combo of different touches for mouse clicks and trying to scroll round stuff is a bloody nightmare. Fix that and I will have a viable laptop replacement.

Bletchley Park gets £7.4m to tart up WWII code-breaking huts

Lone Gunman
Thumb Up

Marvellous news

I visited earlier this year and found it an amazing place. Was really glad it wasn't Disneyfied and that there were so many knowledgeable people on hand to explain more about what went on there. The website is worth reading if only for the humour (check out the cafe page).

Girl Geek Dinner lady: The IT Crowd is putting schoolgirls off tech

Lone Gunman

So many issues but where to start ...

I'm of the female persuasion and I work in technology. There I said it and I didn't even cringe. I don't have a technical job, but I do have a serious inner geek that likes me to read sites like this one, watch science programmes, and actually coo over new shiny kit. I can hold relatively technical conversations with our IT teams and scare the pants off our support desk because I don't fit into their script. I know that I'm respected for my knowledge and that I show an interest even when it isn't broken!

You can blame the IT Crowd for many things (painfully unfunny and too many reminders of places I've worked, IMHO of course) but not for why girls avoid IT careers. There is a definite issue with the way its taught in schools even if you ignore the curriculum. You need to inspire them to do something creative not bore the poor sods to death for a start. As has been pointed out, IT is a huge subject with many specialisations its not just wires and programming.

There is also a huge problem now with the rise of the smartphones/tablets era. So much of how to make it work is now completely hidden from the user to even start to become interested. Its the same with Windows and OSX to an extent. You switch them on and use an app. No clue on what the hardware does or how the apps interact with the OS, let alone how to fix them when they have their "moments". All the interesting bits are now hidden away or locked down and its not so easy to poke them just to find out what its doing.

I think one of the biggest problems of all though is actually the media. Its wall to wall celebrities (and I use that term loosely) with a definite lean towards those that using their looks for all they are worth. Those with a brain barely get a look in and if they do usually end up with the moniker "thinking man's crumpet" attached to them - yes it is the exactly the same for the men too particularly if they are relatively easy on the eye. Its all bloody WAGs or becoming famous without having done anything (preferably rich too but that seems optional).

If all the role models are people like Colleen Rooney or nobodies from Big Brother, then what bloody chance do we have?

'Geek' image scares women away from tech industry

Lone Gunman

Why are these things so patronising?

Maybe I don't have the feminist gene, but I find these types of initiatives bloody patronising. Did any of you look at the website? Damn thing is pink for god's sake, only surprise is there isn't a picture of Justin poxy Bieber on it.

Yes I'm female, yes I work for a technology company and yes I do like to meet other female professionals in this industry so that we can share the stories and learn from each other. What I don't need is someone telling me how to feel comfortable walking into a meeting at a "Women in Technology" seminar that our company held. Its hard enough to be taken seriously in a male dominated environment without being made to feel like we are on the special bus because someone in HR thinks we need a special programme.

Feel we need a pair of shoes to go with this handbag. What do you mean its Spawn of Satan?

MPs blast dole-office-online plans

Lone Gunman

Except the councils are closing the libraries in their own cost cutting.

Maybe the reason why only 17% of the applications are online is that people don't know they can apply online?

Sony distribution centre engulfed by fire

Lone Gunman

Still burning

Just seen some photos and its still pouring out thick black smoke.

@AC 09.29 "Do find it odd that a major warehouse is in London though, shift it a few miles away and save a fortune in costs."

Enfield is a few miles away from London proper as you can see the warehouse in question from the M25.

@AC 09.30 - Sainsbury's depot hasn't been hit probably as its on a different site with several fields and a river between them. The depot is much bigger than the Sony warehouse too as the building itself is just over half a mile long.

Ticketmaster and Live Nation forge unholy alliance

Lone Gunman

excessive charges

I try not to use Ticketmaster unless I absolutely have to anyway. What does really annoy me (and they aren't the only ones) is the way they charge you a booking fee per ticket not per booking. Surely this can't be right?