* Posts by Mike Lewis

172 posts • joined 18 Apr 2009


If your apps or gadgets break down on Sunday, this may be why: Gpsd bug to roll back clocks to 2002

Mike Lewis


That's one reason why certain companies keep getting government contracts even though their previous projects failed. They know how to wade through the paperwork. Programming? Not so much.

If it's going to rain within the next 90 mins, this very British AI system can warn you

Mike Lewis

British Weather

They're still waiting for it to stop raining more than ninety minutes so they can test it.

BOFH: Pass the sugar, Asmodeus, and let the meeting of the Fellowship of Bastards … commence

Mike Lewis

Re: Kickstarter

Can it tell when one of your feet has gone flat and needs pumped up again?

Microsoft approved a Windows driver booby-trapped with rootkit malware

Mike Lewis


Leave off Microsoft QA. It's just one guy and he's doing the best he can.

In a complete non-surprise, Mozilla hammers final nail in FTP's coffin by removing it from Firefox

Mike Lewis

My memory of FTP

I once rewrote 2,650 lnes of C as a seven line shell script.

The previous programming team had written a data transfer program with its own implementation of FTP. I just used the one that was already on the UNIX computer.

Windows 11: What we like and don't like about Microsoft's operating system so far

Mike Lewis

CPU Requirements

I'm confused about the CPU requirements as it ran fine in a VirtualBox VM using one core of a 2nd generation Pentium.

The UI is something I can get used to without grumbling too much. My main concerns are (1) will I have another battle to prevent its trying to install itself on my mum's antique laptop and (2) will Microsoft drop its "ready or not, here I come" approach to installing buggy updates.

‘Fasten your seat belts, raise your tray table, and disconnect your Bluetooth headsets from the entertainment unit’

Mike Lewis

They can buy as many new planes as they like

I still won't fly with them. For the last four years, I've been counting good and bad news stories about airlines and they are right down at the bottom of my list at -89. Personal experience confirms that.

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

Mike Lewis

Re: win 10

Never mind the quality, feel the width.

What you need to know about Microsoft Windows 11: It will run Android apps

Mike Lewis

All I want to know is...

1. Will I have another frantic battle to stop it trying to install itself on my mum's antique laptop?

2. Are all the settings in one place now?

3. Will Microsoft drop its "ready or not, here I come" installation of buggy updates at the most inopportune time?

Mensa data spillage was due to 'unauthorised internal download'

Mike Lewis

Re: Wow

I got into Mensa years ago with a surprising amount of room to spare and I didn't last long. I was disappointed to find that they were no more intelligent and a little more crazy than my fellow team members writing safety-critical software.

Their attitude towards intelligence was odd, like that of a teenage boy who thinks he knows how to drive fast just because he has a car with a big engine. Skill and effort are required, not just raw mental horsepower.

Norton dodges UK courts after telling Brit watchdog it will be nicer to consumers

Mike Lewis

Re: Hot Deals With Your New Laptop.

When I was doing volunteer work at the local community computer centre, there was a steady stream of people who had saved up what little money they had to buy an HP laptop then were quite upset that it was running so slowly. I replaced the pre-installed Norton Antivirus with the free version of Avira and they went away quite happy.

UK.gov's new single enforcement body does not cover rogue umbrella companies, contractor campaigners complain

Mike Lewis

It's been a long day

I thought "Why umbrella companies?"

Indian Finance Minister throws Infosys under the bus as new e-tax portal fails on first day

Mike Lewis

Re: That's weird

Yes but this one is supposed to reduce the wait for tax refunds.

Today I shall explain how dual monitors work using the medium of interpretive dance

Mike Lewis

Re: Laptop + Monitor = two computers?

You would be surprised by what you can expect from the company accountant.

At one place I worked, the CTO didnt know much about technology. When a network or computer started acting up, he would sit down in front of it, tap a few keys to confirm it wasn't working then hand the whole thing over to our accountant who was quite good at fixing it.

This was a company making medical equipment, by the way.

Desktop renaissance? Nope, rebound of hefty PCs is just because there's notebook shortage – analysts

Mike Lewis

Is your cupboard-under-the-stairs datacenter a HP?

UK Computer Misuse Act convictions declined last year despite pandemic explosion in online criminal activity

Mike Lewis

Re: So in summary

It's "waved the rules".

IBM, Red Hat face copyright, antitrust lawsuit from SCO Group successor Xinuos

Mike Lewis

Re: Not an April Fool

Do try to keep up.

The wrong guy: Backup outfit Spanning deleted my personal data, claims Cohesity field CTO

Mike Lewis

Re: If you cannot touch it do not complain when it evaporates

I've always followed the policy that backups are not done unless I do them myself. I once returned from a hoilday to find that the sysadmin had reformatted my hard drive and deleted the backups because he thought I had left the company. Fortunately, I had my own backups on computers in other cities that he didn't know about.

Does Samsung want you to buy new phones? Asking 'cos Galaxies now get four years of security updates

Mike Lewis

Re: Pointless

A replaceable battery used to be important to me until I bought two for my five-year-old phone. The first was clearly a fake and died after only three charges. The second was much better but the battery connectors hadn't been tinned properly.

I have found that keeping the batteries charged to around 40%, as recommended by the lithium-ion battery manufacturers for long-term storage, works well for prolonging battery life with five years for my mobile phone, seven for my tablet and twelve for my laptop batteries.

Healthy 32-year-old offered COVID-19 vaccine because doctors had him down as 6.2cm tall with BMI of 28,000

Mike Lewis

Re: At least they handled it well

As part of vaccinating the elderly, my friend in Phoenix was offered appointments at 11:55 p.m. or 4:20 a.m. She was warned she might have to stay in her car for hours and there were no bathrooms.

New Jersey blames Microsoft for weeks of outages, glitches plaguing coronavirus vaccine sign-up website

Mike Lewis

Writing the ATC software was interesting.

I was told when I got the job that I would be allowed one bug in my code. A second one meant termination.

My code was gone through with a fine-tooth comb by the two most senior engineers before I was even allowed to run it on the test bench.

There was a lot of redundant hardware. Each communcations card had a full set of backup channels. There were backup cards in each rack, backup racks and two generators.

Although we were some months behind schedule, there was no pressure at all to cut corners.

Mike Lewis

Why anyone uses Microsoft software to do anything important is completely beyond me. When I was writing safety-critical code for medical equipment and an air traffic control system, we used Linux so we didn't kill people.

Facebook and Google’s Australian pay-for-news nightmare finds a European admirer

Mike Lewis

There's always the robots.txt file.

And now for something completely different: A lightweight, fast browser that won't slurp your data

Mike Lewis

Re: Brave Browser

After starting Chrome with computer already maxed out:


Mike Lewis

Brave Browser

I use Brave instead of Chrome as the latter goes into a loop when the CPU is pegged at 100% and there is hardly any free memory.

'We've heard the feedback...' Microsoft 365 axes per-user productivity monitoring after privacy backlash

Mike Lewis

Re: Half baked

Not to mention seriously defective support.

Someone on Microsoft's Technet website asked how to add Copy to Folder and Move to Folder to the context menu of Windows Explorer on Windows 10. A Microsoft rep told them to reinstall the operating system.

I knew it was a simple registry change for Windows 7 so I ran Windows 10 in a VM, made the changes and it worked. After I reported my findings, I got an email from Microsoft congratulating me on having solved my problem. Good grief.

Frenchman who wanted to 'smash a guy's face in' fined €135 – despite correctly filling out paperwork stating why he left home during lockdown

Mike Lewis

Re: various

In Australia, a number of thieves were surprised to be fined £900 for being away from home during the lockdown.

Time Magazine didn't use to fire people. It moved them into an office and gave them nothing to do, hoping they would quit. Someone used the opportunity to write a best-selling book. She was moved back by an annoyed management.

Now that's a Finnish-ing move: Finland offers free 90-day tryout of Helsinki tech scene with childcare thrown in

Mike Lewis

Re: Finland in winter...

My friend who moved there says the Californians don't have a word for rain. He says they call it "sky water".

McAfee seeks $2bn return to stock market after Intel unpleasantness

Mike Lewis

McAfee asserts its brand will help it grow consumer sales

Not to me. While I was doing volunteer work at a community computer centre, there was a steady stream of very upset people who had spent what little money they had on a HP laptop and found it was quite slow. I replaced its factory-installed McAfee with the free version of Avira and they went away quite happy.

Vinyl sales top CDs for the first time in decades in America, streaming rules

Mike Lewis

Re: You are all thieves

That's a safety feature. It stops you from driving, quickly at least, and changing tapes at the same time.

Competitive techies almost bring distributed disaster upon themselves – and they didn't even find any aliens

Mike Lewis

Re: Other BOINC projects

BOINC and Folding@home make a good combination. BOINC uses a lot of memory while Folding uses a lot of CPU. I've had both running on my antique Intel i5-2400 for several months. It keeps my home office warm in winter.

The only problem is when I add subtitles to the enormous number of videos my deaf and disabled mum watches as she can't do much else. I have to set the priorities of the Folding client and video converter to low then the BOINC client to high to keep it going at a reasonable rate.

Twitter says hack of key staff led to celebrity, politician, biz account hijack mega-spree

Mike Lewis

You could tell Trump's account had been hacked when it started making sense.

Trump issues toothless exec order to show donors, fans he's doing something about those Twitter twerps

Mike Lewis

Re: Simple Response.

My mind added a hula skirt. Sorry.

Remember when Republicans said Dems hacked voting systems to rig Georgia's election? There were no hacks

Mike Lewis

It would be interesting...

...to add up all the costs of the investigations.

In the old days, i.e. fifty years ago, we used to blame errors on the computer. Now that they are so common, we have to blame errors on hackers. Perhaps future AI will blame errors on us.

Lawyers hail 'superb result' in Facebook biometric privacy battle: They'll get 25% of $550m, Illinois gets the rest

Mike Lewis

Re: Fucking lawyers...

The laws won't stick until people are sent to jail. Otherwise, the fines become just another cost of doing business.

Small business loans app blamed as 500,000 financial records leak out of ... you guessed it, an open S3 bucket

Mike Lewis

Are S3 buckets insecure by default?

Woudn't it be better to make them secure by default instead?

Official: Apple debugs MacBook Air of sucky Butterfly keyboard

Mike Lewis

Who knew...

a butterfly could cause so much trouble.

US Homeland Security mistakenly seizes British ad agency's website in prostitution probe gone wrong

Mike Lewis

> signing a waiver reneging any claim against the US government for damages

Isn't that extortion?

AMD takes a bite out of Intel's PC market share across Europe amid microprocessor shortages, rising Ryzen

Mike Lewis

David Dunning quote

People will often make the case, “We can’t be that stupid, or we would have been evolutionarily wiped out as a species a long time ago.” I don’t agree. I find myself saying, “Well, no. Gee, all you need to do is be far enough along to be able to get three square meals or to solve the calorie problem long enough so that you can reproduce. And then, that’s it. You don’t need a lot of smarts. You don’t have to do tensor calculus. You don’t have to do quantum physics to be able to survive to the point where you can reproduce.” One could argue that evolution suggests we’re not idiots, but I would say, “Well, no. Evolution just makes sure we’re not blithering idiots. But, we could be idiots in a lot of different ways and still make it through the day.”

Fire Brigades Union warns of wonky IT causing dangerous delays in 999 control rooms

Mike Lewis

Stress testing

They've heard of it...

One man is standing up to Donald Trump's ban on US chip tech going to Huawei. That man... is Donald Trump

Mike Lewis

Re: Demented?

Old interviews of him on Youtube from 1980 show he was a lot more mentally competent then.

Don't Flip out or anything, but the 'flexible glass display' on Samsung's latest pholdable doesn't behave like glass

Mike Lewis

Why can't they...

Make the two flat parts of the display out of Gorilla glass and the hinge out of transparent plastic?

Game over, LAN, game over! Windows software nasty Emotet spotted spreading via brute-forced Wi-Fi networks

Mike Lewis

Virus writing teams

Somewhat OT but I wonder if virus writing teams have the same problems we do - clueless managers, impossible schedules, inadequate resources and obdurate HR but with a termination package that really means termination.

This AI is full of holes: Brit council fixes thousands of road cracks spotted by algorithm using sat snaps

Mike Lewis

Can't they just run a defragger on it then fill in the big hole at the end?

Windows 7 and Server 2008 end of support: What will change on 14 January?

Mike Lewis

Sticking with Windows 7

I decided to stick with Windows 7 as I figure the chances of its being infected by malware are fewer than the chances of Windows 10 being disrupted by Microsoft's "ready or not, here I come" delivery of buggy updates. Also, Microsoft wants £120 for it in Australia which is a bit much.

What could go wrong? Redmond researchers release a blabbering bot trained on Reddit chats

Mike Lewis

Easier than the Turing test?

Now we have the DIALOGPT test to determine whether or not a computer is capable of thinking like a Redditor.

Firefox 68 arrives with darker dark mode, redesigned extensions dashboard

Mike Lewis

Re: Back to the... past

Thank you.

Mike Lewis

Back to the... past

Just installed 68.0 ESR, doesn't handle XML files so it's back to 60.7.2 ESR and the elusive hunt for 60.8.0 ESR in GB English.



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