* Posts by J.G.Harston

2232 posts • joined 4 Mar 2009

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

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Not blown one up, but it helps if they are live....

"Even the stuff right at the bottom...…."

My knees don't bend that far. Anybody putting stuff at floor level is declaring that it is superflous to requirements.

Beijing's tightening grip on Hong Kong could put region's future as an up-and-coming tech hub in jeopardy

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Anyone remember Spain?

And the majority of Hong Kong residents *fled* the Communists. My ex-wife's family piled into a boat and rowed across 50 miles of open sea hours before the Cultural Revolutionary fanatics were due to slaughter them.

Edit: I've just measured on Google Maps - 80 miles of open sea, fleeing for their lives, in an open human-powered boat.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Welcome....

We didn't give the expelled Ugandan Asians passports, they *already* *had* british passports, because they were already British.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Beijing is insistant that Hong Kong is Just Another Chinese City, and the best thing we can do is just say: ok then, it's Just Another Part Of China. So, no HK membership of the WTO, no HK membership of the Olympics, no HK trading deals, no HK membership of the ITU, no HK membership of the Post Office Union, no Hong Kong trading territory, no Hong Kong international entrepot trade arrangements. You insist that Hong Kong is Just Another Bit Of China, ok, it's Just Another Bit Of China.

Beijing is trying to kill the Golden Goose but want to keep being supplied with Golden Eggs. That's not possible.

Beware the fresh Windows XP install: Failure awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: There's a rat in mi kitchen...

There was a mouse. Where? There on the stair.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

In one home office I ducked under the desk to check the cables - then couldn't get up again. My knees were glued to the carpet by some sort of.... excretion....

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

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: I mourn the fax machine

Last week I missed a Royal Mail parcel delivery. Due to Crow Plague the opening hours of the local office have changed to 6am-8am. WTF??? There's a 6am now?

I managed to drag myself out of bed at bird crack, sat down with a cup of tea and the telephone ready to go through several levels of phone hell to try and get it redelivered. Realising I needed their phone number I went to the Royal Mail website.

Amazingly, there was a "have you missed a delivery?" link. Out of curiosity I clicked on it. It asked for my house number and postcode, allowed me to select "blind bambie" for the "when did you miss the parcel" and immediately claimed they would try to redeliver the parcel in three days.

And I hadn't even had a sup of tea yet.

Three days later, and <insert Bloodnok quote here>, the parcel arrived.

I don't know what's been happening at the Royal Mail, but keep it up!

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: I used to repair fax machines...

"It's a photocopier, with the output tray in somebody else's office"

Lightbulb comes on. ;)

When I was working in Hong Kong and trying to fax mortgage documents to my bank in the UK I had to come into the office at some ungodly hour as my bank couldn't get it into their head to leave their fax machine switched on overnight.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Why didn't they....

How would you have stopped consumers plugging their fax machine into a non-overlay landline?

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

J.G.Harston Silver badge

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

I had one contract where I had to phone in before leaving home, phone in when arriving on site, email in completion documents before leaving the site, and then phone in before getting back into my car to go home. Anal doesn't cover it.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Ah IT 'managers'

It's like: the best programmers know how to program. Not "program in C" or "program in Pascal" or "program procedurally", but know how to program full stop.

Amazon's not saying its warehouse staff are dumb... but it feels they need artificial intelligence to understand what 'six feet' means

J.G.Harston Silver badge

I was going to complain that those pictures show six feet *diameter* circles, meaning a three-foot radius, but of course when your three-foot radius fondles somebody else's three-foot radius you're six feet apart.

Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram

J.G.Harston Silver badge

No they're not, a point is 1/72 of an inch.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

'Cos my car does 45mpg and 4.54 litres is one gallon, that means 1 litre is 10 miles, so when filling up I mentally fill up with "300 miles" of petrol.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

+1

I can't visualise an acre, but I can visualise 100m x 100m 'cos its marked out on maps innit. :)

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Ooo, a bit dodgy, defining a term (the second) seperately in two seperate paragraphs. One should be the definitive, the other should refer to it.

Whose side you on, Nominet? Registry floods .co.uk owners with begging emails to renew unwanted .uk domains

J.G.Harston Silver badge

But the *whole* *point* of the hierarchial....

sigh

can't be arsed.

Overload: A one-way ticket to a madman's situation

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Not me...

32 columns? In the 19*eighties*???? I was using a small telly perfectly satisfactorily display *80* columns.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Not me...

A few days ago I was randomly browing information about 1980s era terminals VT100s, VT220s, and the likes, and my brain clattered to a halt when reading "....typically cost $1500..." "several thousand dollars..." etc.

WTabsoluteF???? Several *THOUSAND* dollars just for a ****ing monitor and keyboard! When you could get an actual *computer* for just a few hundred quid that could do everything a terminal could do *plus* it was an actual computer! How the actual F was this ever a viable business?

I remember back at uni in the 1980s wondering if I asked the computing department nicely about the bashed-about terminals if they'd skip one in my direction as they'd make a nice cheap monitor better than the TV I was using.... never realised the contents of the terminal rooms probably cost close to a million quid.

GitHub to replace master with main across its services

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: If you look for offence, you will find it

One of my great-great-grandmothers may have been Jewish. So, as a decendant of slaves, where do I get my compensation?

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

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Out of Office...

X-DoNotReforward?

Brit MP demands answers from Fujitsu about Horizon IT system after Post Office staff jailed over accounting errors

J.G.Harston Silver badge

In following this I've been reminded of a film that I can't remember where something similar was happening in a bank. The denumount was somebody saying in exaspertation:

It's as simple as two (cranks adding machine) and two (cranks adding machine) makes... (reads adding machine) five?

Why on earth was there no human observation of the system working in operation to pick up these flaws?

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

J.G.Harston Silver badge

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

Same with electricity consumer units. The proper Wylex jobs you could beat off a mugger with. Modern crap warps as you try to screw the damn cover on.

Doors closed by COVID-19, Brit retro tech museums need your help

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: The Centre for Computing History

You don't need to load the DFS ROM on the Master, it's in, well, ROM.

Hooray! It's IT Day! Let's hear it for the lukewarm mugs of dirty water that everyone seems to like so much

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Upvote to the author for the Star Trek reference.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

800ml? Lightweight! A friend of mine has 1litre mugs. It always catches me out when I put my normal amount of sugar in, and have to go reaching for another spoon.

As Twitter blocks white supremacists posing as anti-fascists, FBI appeal is flooded with images of cop violence

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: What bothers me most is this one

The UK doesn't have police departments, they are independent authorities in their own stead. That could actually be a source of the failings of the US states' police system, the police are a department of local government and subject to all the failings of any corrupt local government. We are in danger of following them with the ridiculous Crime And Police Commissioners where the head of the local police force is now somebody dependant on a popularity contest to keep their job.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: He's moving the army in

Trump can't pardon Floyd's killers, as he is the head of the *Federal* government, not the head of the *state* government whose laws were broken. Unless Floyd was a Federal employee, his killing is not a Federal crime.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

"Antifa" WTH's that? Palistinian terrorists innit?

They even pronounce it AN-TEEFA. What the hell's a teefa, and why are you preceding it with /an/ instead of /a/? If you're speaking English use bloody English. If you're an anti-fascist organisation, call yourself something like antifash or antifascist, and damn well pronounce it ANTI-something.

Defending critical national infrastructure... hmm. Does Zoom count as critical now?

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Does Zoom count as critical now?

Over the last month or so I've successfully had a couple of club meetings and a test Parish Council meeting using Zoom. At some point in the last few days Zoom has updated from 4.92937645631279 to 5.0078236459871235676 resulting in it refusing to run on my tablet. I went through six cycles of: You must be using Zoom version 5 -> download update -> install update -> welcome to Zoom 4.93128746572635 -> Join meeting -> You must be using Zoom version 5 -> -> -> ->.

80-characters-per-line limits should be terminal, says Linux kernel chief Linus Torvalds

J.G.Harston Silver badge

My copy of StrongEd defaults to 1024 characters per displayed line.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: None of this is a new problem

It's also weird as it's not any multiple of pixels. Most printers and terminals could switch between 80 columns and 132 columns, and you can't even get a mathematical explanation such as something like 80x8pixels divided by 7 pixels gives 91x7 pixels, or 106x6 pixels, or 128x5 pixels. There must be some mathematical justification for 80 x K = 132. K is very close to 5/3, that would give 133 characters, but why 5/3? 800 pixels gives 80x10 and 133x6 which is a 5/3 ratio.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

As does the Soviet UKNC/Elektronika. I've been doing a bit of programming on it, it also defaults to smooth scrolling!

Dude, where's my laser?

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser

My cat used to follow me to the supermarket, then follow me home, thereup I would open a tin of cat food and feed him. I came to believe he clearly thought we were hunting. After all, we went "prowling", came home, and ate.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

"Yes, it had indeed activated. But where had the beam gone?"

That's the introductory McGuffin in one of Asimov's novels. Impenatratium beam accidently passes through the test equipment, through the wall, across the city, through a passerby and transports him into the future, along with lots of small slightly tapered cylindrical bits of building and passing pigeons.

Das reboot: That's the only thing to do when the screenshot, er, freezes

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: ID10T error

A long time ago, on logging on the splash screen said something like:

Remember: Save your files in your HOME directory on drive H.

To my amazement I saw multiple people respond by carefully pressing H.

Mirror mirror on the wall, why will my mouse not work at all?

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: RISC OS allowed this by design

Don't need to go to BASIC, can do it from the command line. *MouseMultiplier <x> <y> or some such.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Plain english

Well, what do you expect, that's what the instructions tolder her to do.

The mouse is on the desk, not the screen. The thing on the screen is a pointer.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: All been there

* I've barricaded the door

* Yes, but it opens outwards!

I can picture where I've seen this, but can't quite put my finger on it.

The Rise of The (Coffee) Machines: I need assistance. I think I'm running Windows. Send help

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: we obviously also cannot trust what it might spit out when asked for "tea."

Next time I go to Japan I'm taking a 120-pack of Tetley's with me. Y900 for 25 teabags???

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Brings back memories of coaxing strange error messages out of the Dynex library access system back in the '80s.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: First person

Argh! Earworm!

Choo choo, I'm a train, I say choo choo I'm a train.

Danger zone! Brit research supercomputer ARCHER's login nodes exploited in cyber-attack, admins reset passwords and SSH keys

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: I blame

Ah, yes, Fisherman's Wife and Fisherman's Wife II - The Retentacling.

UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal

J.G.Harston Silver badge

We've had 100 years of experimentation with central planning, and it's never worked. How is this going to be different?

Does a .com suffix make a trademark? The US Supreme Court will decide as Booking marks its legal spot

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Actually seems reasonble

VAX Computers and VAX Cleaners came to an agreement not to tresspass on each other's product range.

Britain has no idea how close it came to ATMs flooding the streets with free money thanks to some crap code, 1970s style

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: The past is another counttry.

Six pints of beer, and keep the change.

From a fiver? Thank you very much sir!

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Uh ho ...

Reminds me of when I was called out to bug-fix an application in the early 1990s. On startup the screen would be drawn, then very quickly disappear and be replaced by a buffer overflow error. Couldn't work out what was happeneding as it happened so fast, and it worked perfectly on every other machine we tested it on.

I ended up just running it again and again and to see if I could use persistance of vision to see where it was bombing out. It drew a line-draw window, printed a few headings, then bombed out. Hmm. So it's managing to /start/ outputting to the display. Hmmm. Can I run the code with the text output redirected to a file? Ooo, yes.

Run application, let it bomb out, examine redirect file. It ended with:

Disk space free: Buffer overrun

Hmmm. Run FREE.

Bytes free: 102,000,000 bytes (or summut).

Chap had bought a brand spanking new shiny soopadooper huuuuge hard drive with more than 99M of free space (yes, huuuuge!) The application was trying to write a 9-digit number into a 8-digit string buffer.

Quick fix: Save some dummy files to reduce the free space to under 100M and it worked prefectly. :)

Nine million logs of Brits' road journeys spill onto the internet from password-less number-plate camera dashboard

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: If I lived there

Motorways are Highways England/Transport Scotland. Different people.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Massive invasion of privacy

You did notice that there are 49 Labour to 35 Others, meaning that it's a Labour council. And with the Leader And Cabinet model, even the Labour backbenchers have no hands on any levers of power.

J.G.Harston Silver badge

Re: Massive invasion of privacy

Local councils are not part of national government, they are local government. They are part of "governance" in the abstract, but they are not part of "government" as it is usually used meaning Westminster.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020