* Posts by disgruntled yank

1876 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

You need to RTFM, but feel free to use your brain too

disgruntled yank Silver badge

Re: Check you can complete before you start

Saw that in sixth grade. I'd love to say it reformed me.

First steps into the world of thought leadership: What could go wrong?

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Link Din

There was a brief period a few years ago when I saw a number of stories that were essentially Somerset Maugham's short story "The Verger", but with details changed and presented as fact. There may only have been three such that I saw, but it did surprise me.

Given that Horatio Alger and Samuel Smiles are long since in the public domain, I don't see what's stopping anyone from posting lots of inspiring borrowed stuff. For every grouch who recognizes the source, twenty or fifty will give a thumbs-up.

disgruntled yank Silver badge


I thought perhaps it was shedding the cognitive load required to comb his hair. (American politicians at least put a great deal of thought--well, consideration--into hair management.)

Keeping your head as an entire database goes pear-shaped

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Perhaps fifteen years ago, I got a call from a co-worker:

Co-worker: I tried to query IMPORTANT_TABLE and the system says it doesn't exist.

Me: [After a quick check] It doesn't.

Co-worker: ???

Me: [After another quick check] As a matter of fact, you have about three tables left in your schema.

This was Oracle 8 or 9, though, and it was quick to get them back from the recycle bin.

Well before that, some co-workers found that ANOTHER_IMPORTANT_TABLE in a different database kept disappearing. I don't know how that happened, but I wrote them a DDL trigger that would raise an error if one tried to drop certain tables.

New York City rips out last city-owned public payphones

disgruntled yank Silver badge

Re: The past is a foreign country...

And a sufficiently large public library would have telephone books for other cities: New York, Chicago, etc.

disgruntled yank Silver badge

Re: Redundancy?

I am sitting in a residence in NYC right now. There is a broadband connection, but no landline telephone. My impression is that Americans under 35, e.g. the relative who lives here, generally don't bother with landline telephones.

Foxconn factory fiasco could leave Wisconsinites on the hook for $300m

disgruntled yank Silver badge

Re: A lesson learned...

The University of Wisconsin is quite good, and at least at one time had a strong CS program.

Ex-spymaster and fellow Brexiteers' emails leaked by suspected Russian op

disgruntled yank Silver badge


I gather that somebody has published emails between persons known to have advocated Brexit, in which they discuss ways of advocating Brexit. That in itself hardly strikes me as a big story. Did the emails advocate misleading the public? Bad if so, but isn't that sort of thing--within limits--taken for granted and discounted in political discourse?

(Yes, I could RTFEmails, but I am an American citizen and so this does not seem to form part of my civic duty.)

Palantir summons specter of nuclear conflict as share price collapses

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Re: In the News Again

"Perhaps more curious given Ukraine's been in the news again, not just for hacking, but potentially what influence they may hold over the Bidens."

I wondered what all those headlines referencing Ukraine were about.

"Or just the politics behind using Ukraine as a puppet to attack Russia, and weaken the EU."

Yes, the fighting around Smolensk says it all, doesn't it?

Thinnet cables are no match for director's morning workout

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Re: Full names please.......

Cherri Pancake was president of the Association for Computing Machinery from 2018 to 2020, and remains a professor at Oregon State University.

Eggheads demo how to fool share-trading bots with carefully crafted retweets

disgruntled yank Silver badge

Semantically similar

I don't see that "filled" and "exercised" are semantically similar. Replacing the former with the latter does yield a sentence that is syntactically similar, but I would argue not semantically similar.

Putin reaches for nuclear option: Zuckerberg banned

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Re: Might as well add me.

The visa requirements were odd, perhaps burdensome. (Last three employers, when one had folded and another had been merged out of existence into Yoyodyne General United Federal Business Systems.) It was not horrendous as in requiring blood samples or blood oaths.

But I did greatly enjoy seeing the Hermitage, even if the management of light and air seemed to be awfully casual.

Not to dis your diskette, but there are some unexpected sector holes

disgruntled yank Silver badge


Many years ago, my boss and a co-worker returned from a site visit saying "You'll love Robert Smith". When I got to the site, I learned what they meant. Robert Smith sat behind a desk and smiled. The smile did not vary with what one told him, that I could see, good news, bad news, or mere indifferent information. As far as I could tell he did nothing but smile. However, the powers that were had given Robert an assistant, Roberta, who did not smile, and who did respond to the environment, and who did accomplish things.

For certain work, they needed hard-sectored 8.5" floppies, and had come up with floppies of the correct size, but soft-sectored. I explained that these would not work. Roberta tested every floppy in the box to be sure that I wasn't bluffing them.

(Names regomized, but they were of that pattern.)

You can buy a company. You can buy a product. Common sense? Trickier

disgruntled yank Silver badge

Re: 'twas ever thus

In the US: yes and no. Generally, an appliance will be marked as "Does not convey" if the owners are planning to take it along.

But I do recall a case where the wife, then about six months pregnant, went ahead to the new house to get some cleaning done while the husband and his friends loaded the moving truck. She called the husband to ask that toilet paper be included in the first load of goods, for the prior owners had taken it all.

IBM deliberately misclassified mainframe sales to enrich execs, lawsuit claims

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration concerns itself with physical dangers and injuries in the workplace, not with violations of employment laws. Perhaps you had in mind the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

How not to attract a WSL (or any) engineer

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Not just tech

An acquaintance of my wife's once had an interview with a small publisher. The interviewer asked about standardized test scores, though I no longer recall whether they were from the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) or SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test). Americans commonly take the GREs in late college, aged about 21, and the SATs in late high school, aged 16 to 18. The woman was in her early 50s, I believe, and couldn't see the relevance. My guess is that one of the owners had scored very well on one of the tests, and so thought it an excellent measure of everything.

Saving a loved one from a document disaster

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Back at the beginning of the teens, I went off to a meeting as the token IT manager. ("Token" as in, the other IT staff were perfectly competent to manage everything without supervision.) I did a little troubleshooting, and was astonished when a legal secretary complained that a printer did not properly enclose a table from her WordPerfect document. I gently suggested that Microsoft Word might be the better option, but she wasn't having it.

disgruntled yank Silver badge

Re: Mad dash...

Perhaps "cue hours"?

File suffixes: Who needs them? Well, this guy did

disgruntled yank Silver badge

File types

Long ago, I worked with Data General minis running AOS/VS. This had a rich list of file types, and a convention for extensions: OL for for overlay, .EXE for executables, etc. However, it was quite possible for file type and extension not to match. I went spent sometime frustrated at the the cryptic error message I received trying to compile (or was it assemble?) some source. Eventually I discovered that the extension was correct, but the file type was the AOS/VS default, which I think was UDF (user data file). In a case like that, one ran

create/type=aok newfile.aok

copy/append newfile.aok oldfile.aok

and proceeded. I was not the only person to be caught by this--somebody I emailed some C files got bit by it, too.

Make assistive driving safe: Eliminate pedestrians

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"despite the fact that pedestrianism is the natural state for most of us"

You're not from Los Angeles, then, are you? I have fond memories of a young woman from Los Angeles I worked with, who would drive fifty yards to a convenience store rather than walk. Even in a very car-happy county this stood out as unusual.

Suspected Chinese spies break into cloud accounts of News Corp journalists

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Re: Olympic coverage?

I can't say what's on TV. However, the New York Times and the Washington Post both are giving pages and pages to the Olympics. Otherwise, how would I know that the Australian curling team had just beat the Canadians?

He ain't heavy, he's my brother: Bloke gives away SpaceX ticket because he was over weight limit

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@Fr. Ted:

Depends on whether the Wales is Edward the Caresser, or the rather slimmer incumbent.

disgruntled yank Silver badge

Re: Let me fix that.


The last grown man I've known of roughly those proportions had an out-of-control thyroid. I don't think it would be a bad idea to check in with the physicians.

(In my 20s, I ran a lot of marathons, in decent time for a recreational runner, but I don't think I ever dropped below 19.7 BMI.)

'Please download in Microsoft Excel': Meet the tech set to monitor IT performance across central UK government

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Re: Ideal for data

@gobaskov: I know that you meant to write "self-hosted", but at least in American slang "self-hosed" can be case of in typo veritas

Weed dispensary software company's ambitions pruned after Spotify trademark clash

disgruntled yank Silver badge


The could call it Potifex and go to law with the Vatican.

JavaScript dev deliberately screws up own popular npm packages to make a point of some sort

disgruntled yank Silver badge



The old big 3 of *x scripting languages were Perl, Python, and Tcl, no? There was not at time of creation anyone in particular that they were undercutting, that I can think of. Perl allowed one to do things that were inconvenient or difficult in an awk | set pipeline, Python in its early days might have been considered to undercut Perl, and I can't think of what in the "glue" space Tcl would have competed with.

So it seems to me that there are fair-sized areas of open source where the intent is to supply a perceived need, not to write a better X, or a worse but free and still usable X.

Of course, you could point to Postgres as competing with and undercutting Oracle and SQL Server. But if sympathy were electricity, I don't think I could power an LED Christmas-tree light with the Commentariat's sympathy for Larry Ellison and Bill Gates.

Log4j and Omicron: Brothers in harm, mothers of invention

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If only I could get a fifteen-minute answer on log4j.

SMACKDOWN! Reddit hires wrestling's investor relations head to helm IPO

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There used to be a joke popular among professional wrestlers, running more or less as follows: Q: What has an IQ of 75 and 15 teeth? A: The first three rows at a professional wresting match.

Timekeeping biz Kronos hit by ransomware and warns customers to engage biz continuity plans

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Over Here as well

According to this morning's Washington Post, the Kronos attack has affected Prince Georges County, Maryland (the county bordering the District of Columbia on the east). The Post says that this affects timekeeping but not payroll, and that timekeeping for now is "manual", which is suppose could mean paper-and-pen or Excel.

OK, boomer? Gen-X-ers, elder millennials most likely to name their cars, says DVLA

disgruntled yank Silver badge

Name that guitar!

B.B. King said that early in his career, a fight started in a bar where he was playing, two men fighting over a woman named Lucille. In the course of the fight a fire started. King left, but when back in to rescue his guitar. He said that he named his guitar Lucille to remind himself never to do something that stupid again.

disgruntled yank Silver badge


Among American Boomers, it was mostly women who named their cars, and I can remember only two who did. An acquaintance in college called her Fiat "Tazio" after the driver Tazio Nuvolari. A friend of about 25 years ago named a VW of some sort, but I can't remember the name--a woman's name, not a man's.

AWS wobbles in US East region causing widespread outages

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A reminder from two years ago: https://twitter.com/pragmaticandy/status/1168916144121634818

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Like the electrical grid in Texas?

Fail: Exam paper marked by Elon Musk up for auction

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Quite, but I was sorely disappointed to see that this wasn't from AManFromMars.

Tech Bro CEO lays off 900 people in Zoom call and makes himself the victim

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He is the Walrus

"I weep for you", the Walrus said,

"I deeply sympathize",

Holding his pocket handkerchief

Before his streaming eyes.

A smarter alternative to password recognition could be right in front of us: Unique, invisible, maybe even deadly

disgruntled yank Silver badge


Just back from Italy, where there were signs up for "Black Week" and "Black November"--in English.

Leaked footage shows British F-35B falling off HMS Queen Elizabeth and pilot's death-defying ejection

disgruntled yank Silver badge

Re: Fake.

@AC: Naval aviation is now around a hundred years old. With all respect to the traditions of the Royal Navy, I'm not sure what Nelson's experience has to do with getting airplanes off a deck.

The Ministry of Silly Printing: But I don't want my golf club correspondence to say 'UNCLASSIFIED' at the bottom

disgruntled yank Silver badge

personal documents

Once, working on a government contract, I had to help retrieve a document from backup. For reasons I no longer recall, it was necessary to take a look at the file, which I found to be part of a novel: the beginning of a chapter, set as I recall on a sailboat in some Californian harbor. We did support an office specializing in admiralty and aviation torts, known locally as Splash and Crash, but even there I don't think it could have counted as work product.

Keep calm and learn Rust: We'll be seeing a lot more of the language in Linux very soon

disgruntled yank Silver badge

Re: The way in which this turd is being pushed “top down” makes me want to puke


Do you object to firearms with safeties or cars with seatbelts?

Microsoft's Dynamics portfolio has become an all-you-can-eat SI buffet for consultancies

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shocking technology

There are many ERP/accounting systems. I'm not sure anyone is in love with any of them, salesmen aside, and of course salesmen don't use or maintain them.

disgruntled yank Silver badge


The outfit that did our Dynamics setup, perhaps fifteen years ago, has been bought up by another. I have no idea how big either one is: I know the former only as the half-dozen or so persons who ever showed up at our office.

One click, one goal, one mission: To get a one-touch flush solution

disgruntled yank Silver badge

Re: Obviously, a hammer

A co-worker of mine once told me that however sure I might be that a gentle tap with a hammer was just what was needed to align a toilet properly, don't use that hammer. Porcelain does not handle hammers well. (His family seems to have been hard on toilets: a brother-in-law had accidentally shot a toilet in his parents' house--toilets tolerate bullets even less that hammer taps, I gather.)

disgruntled yank Silver badge

Probably the flapper valve

My brother, in town for a visit, told me that the downstairs toilet was running. I ended up taking off the tank, replacing the flapper, and putting the tank back on again. How the damn thing ever worked in the first place, I can't guess, for the valve couldn't be made to close--arms too short.

I should probably replace a couple more valves, but those toilets are wedged into spaces where it's hard to work.

Sheffield University scales back student system after Oracle integration stumbles

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let's be sure to mention that!

I'm not sure what transgender-rights rows have to do with IT projects, at least not since the days the prudent tech kept a gender-bender in the traveling kit.

And actually a bit of cancel culture might not hurt the IT world, provided it was losing projects that were canceled, and canceled early enough.

Judge tosses NEC's claim that Oracle salespeople tricked it into using the wrong software license prior to audit

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Oh, dear

Anyone remember the recent joke going around the webs? There's a new version of ransomware out there that stealthily installs Oracle software on all your servers, then threatens to call Oracle licensing if you don't cough up.

Honeymoons last a couple of weeks – the same goes for any love for the IT department

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To quote La Rouchefoucauld


298.--The gratitude of most men is but a secret desire of receiving greater benefits.

[Hence the common proverb "Gratitude is merely a lively sense of favors to come."]`



Remember when you thought fax machines were dead-matter teleporters? Ah, just me, then

disgruntled yank Silver badge


First, all praise to the author for speaking of the parties to mentorship as trainer and trainee. The term "mentee" makes me grind my teeth.

Second, yes, faxes were a pain. I remember reading years ago that the legislature of one of the US states was considering a law to ban junk faxes. The legislatures fax machines were then swamped with faxes from companies in the junk fax business, to the extent that faxes necessary to its work could not be received. It was a distributed denial of service many years before I ever heard the expression.

Non-profit's IT manager accused of embezzling $400k by buying gear, services from his own fake companies

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Re: Embezzling a non-profit organization

I know of a case where a fellow tried this out on a non-profit that got enough government money to be subject to the oversight of Defense Contract Audit Agency, once describe to a government employee I knew as "those unsmiling guys down the hall who are out to send you to jail." He actually ran his scam--services, not equipment--for several years before being caught.

Florida man accused of breaking Mastodon's open-source license with botched social network launch

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Surely he wrote it

Mast o'Don?

Maker of ATM bombing tutorials blew himself up – Euro cops

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Re: Pretty much standard

A co-worker of my father's was holding a tube containing picric acid when it exploded. The man and another chemist in front of him suffered a lot of cuts. Their eyes were fine, for the steel company they worked for was strict about matters such as safety glasses. The fellow who was holding the tube did not lose any fingers, but bits of glass kept working their way out for quite some time.

Why was a chemist at a steel company working with picric acid? I don't think I ever heard.


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