* Posts by J.G.Harston

3013 posts • joined 4 Mar 2009

Yeah, we'll just take that first network handshake. What could possibly go wrong?

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: The guiding principle

Every few weeks I have to do a clean-up of our Active Directory system because people have left trailing spaces in various fields and it breaks the reporting system that takes exports from it. You'd think either one or both would strip leading/trailing spaces on entry/import.

The many derivatives of the CP/M operating system

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Re: Was CP/M an operating system?

That's not "an OS", that's "an OS with all these specific bits".

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Re: Was CP/M an operating system?

It was a DOS and a MOS - it provided the API to access disk systems, and the API to access character I/O.

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Re: Origins

*and* for the vanilla 48K ZX Spectrum with the CS-Disk addon. link

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Re: Yeah, no

EX=function, DX=>control block, CALL 0x0005. Where did that come from then?

Major IT outage forces UK emergency call handlers to use 'pen and paper'

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Re: To doctor or not to doctor...

I was surprised when my dentist Mrs X retired her replacement was a Dr Y.

Bad news, older tech workers: Job advert language works against you

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Re: I worked ageism into my life plan

Computer programming is a form of writing, so there's a goodly overlap there.

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Re: Other job ad wank that “works against” me

The ones that really annoy me are those that ask "how much do you want to be paid?"

Beg pardon???? *YOU'RE* the ones who make the pay decisions, not me. You've got the embedded agency all the wrong way around. I can't afford to let *my* wants get in the way of being able to afford to eat.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Anon CVs

In my current job I was recently asked what IT training I'd done. So I sent them a list of all the jobs where I'd taught IT and office skills, the usual "introduce user to new system" stuff, as well as some basic programming teaching, and school science and maths.

No, no, what IT training have you *received*?

Well, none actually.

Have you got any qualifications?

Well, BSc: Bronze Swimming certificate. ;)

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Anon CVs

I've been overqualified for every job I've had. If I used that to decide not to apply for any of them, I'd have starved decades ago.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Anon CVs

How does that work with listing previous experience and education? Somebody who went to uni in the 1980s isn't going to be under 30. If you remove the dates, somebody with two degrees is likely to be older than somebody with one, somebody with 10 previous contracts is likely to be older than somebody with five. My CV includes a list of published work, that would have to be stripped out, removing some valuable information.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Examples?

Well, one example is that it's "two CVs" not "2 CVs". The latter is a car.

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Isn't "they prefer the younger folks" another way of saying "they prefer inexperienced incompetants"? That explains a lot.

Be careful where you install software, and who installs it

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Gawd, the old "just add /usr/home/bob/bobsprogs/bobsbin/ to your PATH" nonsense. blah blah T-shirt.

'Nobody can control TSMC by force': Exec dismisses fears China could seize fabs

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Why are they going all nuts about Pelozi? She's not a member of the government, she's not a minister or nuffink. She's just A.N.Other legislator who happens to chair meetings.

Linux may soon lose support for the DECnet protocol

J.G.Harston Silver badge

I thought the underlying point with Linux was that you added whatever drivers to your installation that you wanted yourself, just like RMLoading a module on RISC OS. After all, I wouldn't expect the operating system I bought to come with a driver for my JayEx LED display board (what's that? exactly!), I'd load the driver myself when I needed it, or as /my/ default build.

Microsoft thinks there are people on 2G networks who want to use Outlook

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Re: "only 1GB RAM"

MEGAbytes? Phshaw! I can use 12K View for the editor and about 8K of support software for the dialup and send/fetch/debatch on my BBC to do email.

I paid for it, that makes it mine. Doesn’t it? No – and it never did

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Re: Dubbed Content

They should use Eric Thompson's method for the Magic Roundabout: don't even bother with the original script, just make it up!

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Re: You know you're old when...

A Teasmade wouldn't have been popular in the US because hardly anyone drinks tea in the morning.

Ok, a coffeemaid.

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Re: Waste of money

Though I think Peter Serafinowicz is probably the only person who could have stepped into Patrick "Brock Sampson" Warburton's shoes.

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Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

We had a pair down the road, Young Mr Oates in his 50s and his father Old Mr Oats.

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Re: You know you're old when...

Yeah, a nice cup of tea made with milk that had been standing on your bedside table overnight. Wonderful.

Psst … Want to buy a used IBM Selectric? No questions asked

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Re: IBM Selectric Terminals

BINGO!

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Re: Sarah? Is the Moderatrix back again?

My bathroom scales are clearly broken, there's no way the dial should go all the way to 17.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

I remember projects in Practical Electronics (or simla) on wiring up electric typewriters so you could use them as printers for these new-fangled computer thingies.

I even started an attempt to steampunk my Remington International into a printer for my ZX Spectrum, even wrote the driver, but was stymied trying to find a way to electrically actuate 48 mechanical bash bash bash key levers.

Battle of the retro Unix desktops: NsCDE versus CDE

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Re: Digital alchemy

Everybody seems to put lots of effort into implementing (and documenting) terminal output, but always seem to completely forget about keyboard input. It took me months of trawlling through the intertubes to actually track down actual documentation of what various non-typewriter keys were supposed to emit and/or actually emitted, and all the inconsistancies and incompatibilities.

Eg:

<esc>[14~ - F4

<esc>[15~ - F5

<esc>[17~ - F6

WTF? What happened to <esc>[16~ ? ? ?

Apple-1 prototype hand-soldered by Woz up for auction, bids expected to reach $500k

J.G.Harston Silver badge

That's why you gently breathe out as you are soldering.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Didn't he have enough fingers? I easily manage soldering with iron in one hand, solder in the other, and holding something else with the fingers that aren't holding the solder.

This credit card-sized PC board can use an Intel Core i7

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Re: Fahrenheit?

If you're drilling a hole, the fact that you're working in the physical universe means that difference between sizes is smaller than the margin of error resulting from using real physical materials.

A character catastrophe for a joker working his last day

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: BSoD screen saver on Exchange

The old Windows shut-down screen said "blah blah... you may now turn off the power". Way WAY too many people interpreted this as "I need to use the computer, to do so I have to turn it off and back on again", so one of my earliest Windows fixes was to change that to say "blah blah... or Press Ctrl-Alt-Delete to restart".

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: get-aduser | set-aduser

xxxx_read() and xxxx_write() ( or _rd() and _wr() )

With the added advantage that all the xxxx functions are alphabetically together, instead of having all the GetXXXX listed then all the SetXXXX listed. I don't *CARE* what other GETs there are, I want to know what functions I can use to manipulate the XXXX entity.

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DO NOT PRESS THIS BUTTON

arrgghhhhhh.... can't...... stop...... myself............

Chinese smartphone sales sink to levels not seen since 2012

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Well, once everybody's got a smartphone, yes, you run out of people to buy smartphones.

Meta proposes doing away with leap seconds

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Yay, get rid of leap days as well. Who cares about keeping civil time syncronised with celestial time? Who cares that one year the spring equinox will be on 1st January?

Boffins release tool to decrypt Intel microcode. Have at it, x86 giant says

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Sigh. What happened to the good old days when b0-b2 selected a register, and b3-5 selected the ALU operation, and it all just flowed through electronically. None of this program code all the way down stuff.

Tavis Ormandy ports WordPerfect for UNIX to Linux

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Re: Who needs it when ... ?

No wordcount? Gee, even Tasword Two displays a word count.

British intelligence recycles old argument for thwarting strong encryption: Think of the children!

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It seems to be an automatic knee-jerk reaction amongst humans to be absolutely aghast that humans have mouths and ears. How *DARE* humans have the ability to communicate. Something Must Be Done.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

"These safety systems will be implemented by the service owner in their app, SDK or browser-based access,"

So, BrowseBork 2.6 will have the new-fangled SmutMonitor(tm). Ok, I'll just use BrowseBork 2.5.

We've got a photocopier and it can copy anything

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Re: modern technology will prevent such counterfeiting efforts

Why even both using a GPU to make fake money, why don't you know, banks make real money by just typing it into a computer.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Bank of England notes.

Surely you'd steal the really manky end-of-life ones, that showed the evidence of being in legitimate circulation for years, not decent ones that would draw attention by their "new-ish"ness.

UK lays world's longest autonomous drone superhighway

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Re: If it has to be AC/DC ?

I'm trying to picture the geography and I think they mean a "t" shape, not a "T" shape.

Engineers on the brink of extinction threaten entire tech ecosystems

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Re: I don't want to be an electrician

After uni I did C&G Electrical Engineering and Installation, and got a distinction, but because I haven't handed over dosh to prove I've understood the 17th 18th are we on 19th yet? I'm not allowed to certify my own work. :(

And don't get me started on bloody Part P....

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Re: Chip in

In that situation I'd be going mad saying "why can't I do any software stuff for four years?" and hopefully the employer half would be sane and let me do software development *and* electronic development /at/ /the/ /same/ /time/. Shock Horror!

J.G.Harston Silver badge

How long will she stay after he tells her he does electronics?

This overlaps with Ken Cheng's gig last week. At uni I found the Japanese girls were fascinated by my being a hands-on electronics/programming nerd, the British ones thought it a snooze fest.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

The problem is, as I mentioned earlier, is the Computer Science courses are what funnel you into IT, not programming, backed up by recruiters for inkwell-fillers and pencil-sharpeners demanding a Computing Science qualifiaction. If you want to "do programming" you shouldn't be doing Computer Science.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Bring Back Heathkits

I started with the Radionic kits at about 8 years old, along with the aformentioned Build A Radio Ladybird book.

Ooo, I think I've got summut in me eye. ;)

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: I don't want to be an electrician

But that's exactly what I mean. At 18 an "Electrical Engineering" course would be telling me that was the path to becoming something "big" in the *electricity* industry, certainly nothing to do with microprocessor interfacing and programming, what I and my peers back then called "computing". But we (and the careers advisors) didn't realise that "computing" isn't that, "computing" is akin to "driving" not "automotive engineering".Nobody told us, and none of us realised, that "computing" is "driving a car", and we should have been working out what the equivalent of "automotive engineering" was.

On top of which, when I got to university I was gobsmacked to find the "computing" faciltities were about ten years behind my ZX Spectrum and a five-year-old BBC micro!

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Exault to that. I cannot believe that as a service desk monkey my job title is IT *Engineer*.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: In my school...

After "doing" electronics for at least two years at primary school age (anybody remember the Ladybird Build A Transister Radio book?) when I started at secondary school I noticed there was an electronics club and joined it. Only be so disappointed by how crap it was.

After 40 years in tech, I see every innovation contains its dark opposite

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Tie me down

Wearing a tie is a trivialising redundant piece of bodily ornamentation which insults my religious beliefs, I'll see you in the employment tribunal BIGOT!

I'm still holding waiting for the opportunity to (factualy) use this line.

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