* Posts by Jay 2

831 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

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Engineer sues Amazon for not covering work-from-home internet, electricity bills

Jay 2

On reading this I was pondering how much extra 'leccy/gas/etc I was burning though during the entire WFH thing. And possibly thought he had a point. But your reply reminded me that I wasn't paying for a season ticket and also that generally lunch at home is much cheaper than lunch in the City. So I guess that might even out a bit.

Though like you I now go into the office 2/3 times a week and any sort of season ticket is only really worth if if you're doing ~5 days. Oh and then there's lunch...

Sick of Windows but can't afford a Mac? Consult our cynic's guide to desktop Linux

Jay 2

A nice list of distro to try/avoid/etc. Horses for courses I suppose!

My day job is a RHEL/etc sys admin and I run a Mac at home. I jumped from Windows a long time ago, and as I have no desire to mess with it the Mac "just works". Nowadays I could just about run some sort of Linux as a main desktop if I wanted, but it would remind me too much of work and there would always be the temptation to fix/tweak something.

I do run a few VMs though. I usually ran CentOS (command line only) due to familiarity with the day job. But latest Mac is ARM so for the first time in ages I've been messing with Ubuntu for a bit. Seems to be OK, a lot more user-friendly than Fedora which I installed at the same time. Also a lot more documentation/help for Ubuntu, like when I was figuring out how to build Docker containers for different arch. Back in the day my fave VM play distro was Mint, but it doesn't look like they do an ARM-friendly version right now.

Microsoft tests ‘Suggested Actions’ in Windows 11. Insiders: Can we turn it off?

Jay 2

ARM64

Picked up a new Mac Studio recently and have been getting used to having to hunt for ARM64 stuff when using Parallels (yes I know I can use UTM to run x86_64, but it's a bit sluggish...).

To scratch the itch/affliction that is World Of Warships (plus the very rare occasion when you do need Win for something) I've got a VM running Win 11 ARM64. Seems to run OK. Plus whilst I haven't got around to grabbing RHEL/CentOS/Rocky/Alma 9 beta yet I've been re-acquainting myself with Ubuntu. So got all the main OS covered for a multitude of sins.

Apple CEO: Silicon shortages and C-19 lockdowns to hurt sales by up to $8 billion

Jay 2

Interesting. I ordered a Mac Studio on 9th April and was told ETA would be 24th May. Fair enough as it's a new product plus there are all the component shortages. A while later I checked the tracking and it then said 4th May. So I thought I still had loads of time to pick up new keyboard/mouse and 4k screens. Then last Friday on the 22nd I get a text/email to say that it had arrived and I could pick it up. Cue lots of frantic online purchasing so I could play with my new toy last weekend.

Microsoft points at Linux and shouts: Look, look! Privilege-escalation flaws here, too!

Jay 2

Admittedly the fact that a lot of the (desktop) Linux distros will enable sudo by default for a local user is not ideal. But at least it gets people into the habit of separating what they can do and what root can do. The catch with su is that suddenly you're in that root shell and the world is your oyster, so don't make any mistakes/typos!.

Though the real power of sudo is that you can configure it to give as much or as little root access as is required. Possibly overkill on a single user desktop system, not on a multi-user server. If needs be you can narrow it down to a single command and specific command line options. And every time that's used, it's logged.

114 billion transistors, one big meh. Apple's M1 Ultra wake-up call

Jay 2

Re: I saw the reveal presentation, and, while I'm no fanboy, I was amazed

I think you've hit the nail on the head with your last paragraph.

I currently have a 2013 21" iMac which won't be getting another OS update and with all the WFH I need to rejig my setup a bit. Not that I particularly like iMacs, but the 27" is no longer available and I'm not really interested in the 24". Similarly I'm not much of a laptop person.

So over the weekend I was looking at options and for me my choices are:

Mac Mini M1 with 2 x 24" 1080p = ~£1800 with 16GB RAM, 1TB storage and various new cables/stands/etc

Mac Studio M1 Max with 2 x 28" 4k = ~£3000 with 1TB storage various new cables/stands/etc (4k as I can and it will give a bit more screen real estate).

I'll probably go with the Studio even though it's slight overkill, but it'll be future-proofed enough and I do usually run my Macs for ~8 years or so. Plus currently got a stuff like a 2009 Samsung monitor and and even older MS mouse in play, so I'm due a refresh!

A tale of two dishwashers: Buy one, buy it again, and again

Jay 2

I'm starting to get Talkie Toaster vibes...

Expect sales reps' calls if IT wants to ditch Oracle

Jay 2

Currently looking to renew some Oracle Linux subscriptions. Only using that to stop them complaining if we need support for the Oracle DB on top. We've decided no need for Premium any more so have asked for how much Premium Limited and Basic are.

Strangely enough this didn't go down very well and they almost flat out refuse to give us a quote (via VAR) whilst they keep sending the same pic of the differences between Premium and Basic. Though we don't use the Premium features, which is one reason to switch.

Also they deliberately ask loads of leading questions about virtualisation and cloud intending to catch us out and screw us over. Unfortunately for them I know what they're up to and also we're running on 2 CPU socket bare metal so we're not going to get caught out on that one.

Automakers continue to see chip-supply carnage as vendors talk of sales pain

Jay 2

A friend of mine very recently sold his Range Rover as it was getting very close to the end of the original warranty plus his car requirements had changed a bit. After shopping around to see who would cough up the most it turned out to be a JLR dealer. It was in pretty good condition, not silly mileage and had a full dealer service history. So I'm sure with a quick clean etc then they'll be able to shift it whist waiting for some new vehicles to trickle out of the factory.

Breath of fresh air: v7.3 of LibreOffice boasts improved file importing and rendering

Jay 2

Re: More on Version Numbers

I am reminded when Windows 7 came out Sun decided that Solaris 2.6 would be followed by Solaris 7.

Citrix acquired by private equity, will be paired with Tibco in $16.5bn deal

Jay 2

Re: Tibco

For reasons I'm not entirely sure of we've moving away from VDI on VMware via VMware Horizon and onto VDI on rack-mounted PCs via Citrix. Somewhat annoying as I found VMware Horizon to be a much better product (and having suffered from using Citrix before).

There's still a bit of Tibco RV around too, but hopefully that will be going soon.

Meanwhile I agree with other commentators, as soon as software ends up in the hands of vulture capitalists, there's only one way it's going to go: prices go up, product goes to shit.

Former Oracle execs warn that Big Red's auditing process is also a 'sales enablement tool'

Jay 2

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you!

Seriously though, not surprised at all. Many years in the IT game have forced me not to trust Oracle as far as I can throw them. I've seen what happens when they decide that you appear (to them) to be outside the license terms (like in CPU count) and the result one way or another is very expensive.

I've got a handful of Oracle Linux subscriptions up in March and I've already got the sales droids contacting me. My boss has already indicated that he thinks the renewal of the current level is too much (I don't disagree!) and we should drop down some. They won't be happy.

When it came to replacing CentOS 8, we did take a proper look at Oracle Linux (both free and paid) as it did tick some boxes. But there were certain things that the sales droids seemed to agree to verbally, but pretty much refused to put into writing. Obviously we knew what would happen if we went forward, so that got kyboshed.

And as I'm here, don't get me started on why in this day and age Oracle DB (or at least our DBAs) still insist on using X being available for the installer. Really should be some web-based front end nowadays like pretty much everything else.

Microsoft seems intent on buying the gaming industry with $68.7bn purchase of troubled Activision Blizzard

Jay 2

As a long-term Playstation owner with a Mac all these MS purchases are starting to worry me some. Right now I now I'm not going to be able to play Starfield or Outer Worlds 2 on my current kit as they're MS exclusives. I can only hope they don't tie down the Fallout and Elder Scrolls franchises (maybe a timed exclusive?). It's got to the point where I've dabbled with NVIDIA GeoForce Now and am considering a Steamdeck.

Though I think MS has played a blinder with Game Pass. A great idea fairly well done. Makes me jealous, Sony really haven't got much of a clue on that front. I believe they've got something similar in the works, but I'm not too up on the details like what games and how much. And more importantly, will it be on top of PS Plus?

Software guy smashes through the Somebody Else's Problem field to save the day

Jay 2

Not to the same standard as some of the other comments, but as a humble sys admin (who is part dinosaur/part furniture as I've been around a while) it seems I frequently have to point out to our devs how their applications work when they screw something up in the config. Usually it's copying something from one env to another without actually knowing what all the config does. Sometimes it's complaining that something suddenly doesn't work and it must be a system problem, even though it was working fine then they changed some config/jar or whatever and now it doesn't work. Or asking me why something doesn't work without doing something useful like looking in the application logs where there are obvious errors.

All SEP as in most cases I'm just responsible that there is a system, that Java is available and that there are JVMs for them to put stuff onto. As to what the JVMs actually do, well that's not my sphere of influence...

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

Jay 2

Re: Quantity of Downloads vs Requires

Indeed. I too am somewhat amazed that many just blindly go out to the Internet to pull stuff at build time.

A few years back we had some interns writing some little web-based thing for some monitoring. They complained to me (the ever helpful sys admin!) that they couldn't do something which was blocking their work. That something was pull some sort of library from the Internet. I had to explain that for one we don't have direct access we use proxies. Also I posed the question that the library they were downloading may not be there one day, what would happen then? This was not long after the left-pad debacle.

Things have moved on a bit now and we have a Sonatype Nexus proxy thing which can retrive/store/scan such libraries/repositories so that you should always have your own known good local copy to use.

Obligatory XKCD

On Christmas night, a computer logs a call to say his user has stopped working…

Jay 2

Re: Christmas Day for triple pay, yes please...

Actually it was the other mother Bell one that briefly offered UK services in the mid/late 90s before they signed some agreement with BT (which then fell apart with ~2 years or so).

Jay 2

Christmas Day for triple pay, yes please...

Many years ago when I first started as a sys admin for a telco whose logo is like a Death Star I volunteered to work Christmas Day and Boxing day for triple time. I had a student loan and and credit card to pay off amongst other things so I was looking forward to a nice quiet 2 days of sitting around doing virtually nothing and getting paid pretty well for doing so.

But the best laid plans get ripped up and flushed around the u-bend and at some silly time on Christmas morning one of the telephone switches went down and all hell broke lose on the way to getting it fixed. Whilst I didn't look after the telco kit I did end up on the phone most of the day organising various things and giving updates to people. Fortunately Boxing Day was somewhat quieter, but not as much as I expected (I was working nights every few weeks too, so I was counting on a time less problematic than the average overnight shift).

Fans of original gangster editors, look away now: It's Tilde, a text editor that doesn't work like it's 1976

Jay 2
Pint

Ah, didn't twig you could put a number before J. Thanks!

Beer for you ->

Apple is beginning to undo decades of Intel, x86 dominance in PC market

Jay 2

The original netbooks (like the Asus 701 etc) running Linux were great little machines. Small/portable yet fully functional.

The main problem was that Microsoft could see their lunch being eaten and then forced the various manufacturers to roll out XP variants. While XP could be installed, the performance wasn't entirely great.

Which then led onto the next problem of people complaining about the performance and screen size etc, which then led to the netbooks becoming bigger/more expensive over time and in the end just became laptops.

Reg scribe spends 80 hours in actual metaverse … and plans to keep visiting

Jay 2

Re: Potentially expensive

I don't know about potentially :)

As the old joke goes: "Get your kids into cycling and they'll never have enough money for drugs".

Cycling doesn't have to be expensive... but invariably is.

You don't need a super-duper PC to run Zwift. I run it on a 7 year old iMac. You can also run it on iOS/'droid phones/tablets and even AppleTV. Many people either put a portable device on a stand in front of them, or just connect to a TV.

Subscription seems to be par for the course for almost anything nowadays. You do have a good point about a suitable bike and trainer though. They don't start off amazingly cheap and just get more expensive.

Jay 2

For me also it's not a replacement but compliment. I use it during the winter or inclement weather (I'm a very fair weather cyclist!) just to get some kms in and usually do a lot more work than I would do outside. Also I get back pain when I ride outside, not so much inside.

Also as other say, sometimes it's easier to motivate yourself to do an indoor thing than to get everything ready for outdoors and then deal with weather, road surface, traffic etc.

The payoff is when it's (briefly) nice and sunny I can go outside and cycle around various terrains without too many problems... unlike one of my somewhat less fit friends who tend to struggle a lot more.

Say what you see: Four-letter fun on a late-night support call

Jay 2

And repeat...

It seems like I've (unofficially) been on call for longer than I remember. My usual automatic response when woken up at some unmentionable time in the morning is to go onto autopilot and say hello, ask what the problem is etc... and then when they've finished get them to repeat it all again as this time my brain might have switched on.

Another problem is that for most people I work with everyone knows the acronyms, how best to pronounce server names and mostly how to best identify the application instance. However sometimes when I get called up by some of our more far-flung colleagues a lot of that goes out the window and it's a bit more time consuming to figure it out. The worst was many years ago there was a US-based ops guy who would very slowly spell out the hostname, which even during the day confuses me as for example my brain is much used to hearing something like "web (oh) one" opposed to "w, e, b, zero, one". Then consider some hostnames are often 10+ characters long and will start with location/env identifiers before what the box does and which one it is...

BOFH: So you want to have your computer switched out for something faster? It's time to learn from the master

Jay 2

Yeah it's a strange state of affairs where over 2-3 years Windows will gunk itself up and slow down. But as you say a re-install on the same hardware and back to relative zippyness. Not seen anything like it on macOS or Linux boxen.

Config cockup leaves Reg reader reaching for the phone

Jay 2
Facepalm

I needed to update the SSH config on many boxes (in the days before ansible) so a quick bit of command line fun and it was all done (change config file, restart sshd for effect). Then I realised I coudn't SSH into any of the servers. Turns out I'd made a typo! I was then punished for this, my myself, with having to go onto the remote console of each server (which thankfully all worked, some iDRAC/iLO can be a bit flakey) and sort out the problem.

Lessons of the day being don't be so blase about such changes, double check the config, and test on one box first!

Similar to the article I've also been messing about with iptables before and managed to lock myself out of a server via SSH. Again, to the console for fixing.

BOFH: You. Wouldn't. Put. A. Test. Machine. Into. Production. Without. Telling. Us.

Jay 2

I once worked at a Deathstar logo'd telo and the telo networks team decided to have a nice videowall in their new office. So far so good. They went ahead and purchased the 6 rear projection TVs etc and also some 1U beige box that would somehow allow computery stuff to appear on said screen. At no point during the look/purchase process did they ask the sys admins if/how this box could fit in with the HP-UX workstations that ran all the monitoring apps etc. So you can probably guess what happened...

"We've bought this setup and now you must make it work"

One of my colleagues got the fun job of wrangling loads of X11 stuff to get it to work. The funniest thing is that whilst you could get an X window with the app on the 6 screens, the icons didn't scale so they would still be *very* small in the very corner of the window.

Overall throughout my career there have been far too many instances of "test" solutions suddenly morphing into prod. And the users still never quite get why we get so irate about it.

2FA? More like 2F-in-the-way: It seems no one wants me to pay for their services after all

Jay 2

Re: Authentic banking confirmation page

So much this ^

Fortunately most of my cards seem to be Mastercard at the moment. But I always thought that VbV was pure security theatre and also somewhat designed to point the finger of blame at the legit card holder opposed to Visa...

Macmillan best-biscuit list unexpectedly promotes breakfast cereal to treat status

Jay 2

Re: They're not totally bonkers.

Indeed. I found it quite humorous that when first launched in the UK they came with the whole marketing campaign of how you "should" eat them which apparently involves prising them apart, licking them, dunking them in milk and other such gimmicks.

Fortunately I'm pretty sure the good folks of the UK just ignored all this nonsense, assuming they actually purchased the damn things. I don't think they're anything special, pretty much like a different shaped Bourbon.

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair: British home computer trailblazer dies aged 81

Jay 2
Pint

Like many others here the result of Sir Clive's endeavours where arguably what got me into the entire computer/IT thing of which is now my profession. I remember having a play on a ZX-81 and using the block graphics to display some sort of TARDIS. That morphed into me getting my own Spectrum+ and my tentative steps of programming (which also included typing in POKES from games magazines). And as an aside that continued with the BBC Micro at school.

Here's to the memory of Sir Clive and his various hits and misses!

McDonald's email blunder broadcasts database creds to comedy competition winners

Jay 2

Re: Next he emailed just under a dozen McDonald's UK email addresses

Indeed. It's a poor state of affairs nowadays when to get things done you have to resort to publicly shaming a company on its own social media.

Why we abandoned open source: LiveCode CEO on retreat despite successful kickstarter

Jay 2

The main language on my CompSci course was also Modula-2 (aka Son of Pascal). On the first day of the course the head lecturer stood in front of us all and said "...we could teach you something commercially viable lie Ada 95, but we're not into that...". The next year the main language of the course changed to Ada.

So as well as those two off the top of my head we also dabbled with C, Lisp, Eiffel, SQL amongst others. I also had to learn Z and we had some Win-based software to run do stuff and it was without doubt one of the worst applications I have ever used.

As alluded to elsewhere on this thread I'd started with BASIC and then COMAL before university. So I was in for a bit of a shock when came to the programming side of things. To be honest I never got over it, which explains why my final year project was written in VB and I'm now a sysadmin... Though I can still throw together the odd bit of Python, Ruby, Perl depending on what (possibly) ancient script has stopped working.

GitHub merges 'useless garbage' says Linus Torvalds as new NTFS support added to Linux kernel 5.15

Jay 2

Re: xkcd

Where I am uses gitlab, so I have a snippet with such handy git commands I can copy/paste where needs be. Esp when cleaning up after a merge.

Leaky AWS S3 buckets are so common, they're being found by the thousands now – with lots of buried secrets

Jay 2

Re: Outsourcing

Recentlyish I had to set up something to forward proxy logs to Symantec Manged Security Services where some Security Operations Centre lot could look at some sort of dashboard and tell us what nasty things were happening.

The KB article advised creating a dir in /tmp with 777 permissions in which to store your proxy logs before being sent on via nxlog. I decided to not follow that advice and put something together that was a lot more palatable.

Not something you'd expect to find in the official blurb for a security-based product.

See that last line in the access list? Yeah, that means you don't have an access list

Jay 2
Pint

"See the last line in the access list?" he told the customer. "That means you don't have one."

That brightened my day somewhat, thanks! Therefore beer ->

Though on a slightly more serious note, makes you wonder WTF the contractors were playing at. How can anyone with any sort of conscience fudge a firewall/ACL with an any:any (or equivalent) and say nothing about it?

Electrocution? All part of the service, sir!

Jay 2

Some time back we had some Sun Ultra 10 workstations turn up, possibly from the US. A colleague of mine plugged one in.. and there was a flash, a "pop" sound and the smell of something that had been burnt. As you can probably guess the PSU was set to 110V and was in a land of 220V.

AWS growing so fast its revenue makes it bigger than Cisco or HP

Jay 2

Pros and cons, horses for courses etc

I'm still a bit of a cloud sceptic, but there are most definitely use cases where it's the right thing to do (for now). As long as you design your apps/workflow/CI/whatever to be cloud friendly, put in some redundancy and keep an eye on the budgets then it should be OK.

But there are still instances where on-prem isn't going anywhere, like the exchange-based low-latency trading for example. And there will always be people (who are idiots) who think that doing a lift a shift of current on-prem to cloud will work some sort of miracle somehow but in reality it'll turn out to be a costly mess. Or in other words, "just because you can, doesn't mean you should".

I'm an old dinosaur so I still think a bit of a hybrid model is a go-er. So on-prem as a sort-of base that can keep on going if the cloud (someone else's computer remember?) goes bang, and cloud for all the scale-up loveliness and potential resiliency. Although were I am is learning the hard way that AWS doesn't always nicely like to fit in with on-prem.

All hands on Steam Deck: Fancy a handheld Linux PC that runs Windows apps, sports a custom AMD Zen APU and a touch screen?

Jay 2

Re: So

I've just taken a punt on a 256GB. Should help bridge the gap between having a Mac and PS4 (eventually I'll get a PS5 I'm sure...) and all those games like Starfield that I'd like to play. I don't really want a full-on gaming rig and I'd even vaguely looked at mini PC type things. But this looks like it might be useful for such things either handheld or docked. Also might mean I can be super lazy and use it to remote into work when on the sofa...

Dell bigwig: Expect another 6 months of supply woes. Oh, hello Windows 11

Jay 2

Back when Vista launched MS and the hardware suppliers all decided to collude to ship more kit via a combo of hardware requirements and a sudden lack of Vista drivers for (older) kit. For me this was the the straw that broke the camel's back when it can to running Windows at home. I took it as a good time to jump to Mac where my scanner still worked.

I'm starting to get those vibes again with the TPM 2.0 and, of course, all the hardware manufacturers rubbing their hands together. I suspect a lot of people may hold out as long as they can, with some potentially jumping to Mac/Linux if they can get away with it.

Microsoft warns of serious vulnerabilities in Netgear's DGN2200v1 router

Jay 2

Re: I've had a dim view of Netgear since about 2008.

I too have given Netgear a miss for quite a while now. They used to make some OK kit, but I had two (different model) ADSL routers in quick succession with the same problem of WiFi stopping working... and then magically springing into life when a wired device switched on.

Their support wasn't great. I ended up talking to someone who said it was a known bug and I should apply a certain version of firmware. The catch was that was for a US device and I had a UK device. When I pointed that out his tune changed and it was as if the previous exchange didn't happen. The router went back for a refund and I ended up with a Linksys. That sucked too, but at least the WiFi worked.

Rocky Linux release attracts 80,000 downloads as ex-CentOS users mull choices

Jay 2

The cynic in me wonders if (commercial offering) Cloud Linux have made Alma Linux out of the goodness of their hearts, or if they've got some sort of ulterior motive. Mind you, at least they have form in taking the RHEL source and making their own distro.

On either distro option I'm one of the many wondering which way to jump. At work we've even looked at some other commercial options, but there's usually some sort of issue/gotcha which makes it not so obvious.

Monitoring is simple enough – green means everything's fine. But getting to that point can be a whole other ball game

Jay 2

At my place it's not necessarily the monitoring that's the problem... but the alerting.

We've currently got an ageing Zenoss setup that we're going to be migrating to Prometheus. So the other day there was a memory-based issue on a JVM, the trigger for utilisation was passed and Zenoss sent a few emails out. But no-one in the team it goes to took any notice (for whatever reason). As a result the JVM wasn't very happy.

The leader of that team then said the problem was as the alert was an email, they get too many of them etc... So it was really important we get that sort of thing switched over to Prometheus so they could be alerted via a chatbot. Now he'd obviously forgotten but no so long ago they were receiving disk space alerts for an application via Prometheus/chatbot and you can probably guess what happened. Yes, that's right, there was too much noise from some other servers and the really important disk space alert was missed and the application ground to a halt.

Just moving to a newer/sexier monitoring/alerting platform won't always solve your problems. But on the other hand it will solve some of mine as I look after the current Zenoss setup, but the newer Prometheus/ELK stuff is run by another team. So the day I'm (mainly) no longer on the hook for any application monitoring will be a happy day indeed! I'll still have to worry about system monitoring, but that's far easier and less grief-laden.

Mind the gap(ing mouth): London's Underground to get ubiquitous mobile phone coverage

Jay 2

Re: Thanks I hate it

If it's actually on a train then you may be spared the sort of person who holds the phone horizontally with the speaker on like some vapid Apprentice wannabe.

Can't say I'm looking forward to any of this development. There's a reason I've usually got some earphones on when travelling by public transport.

Microsoft loves Linux so much that packages.microsoft.com has fallen and can't get up

Jay 2

Re: never rely on external systems for critical repos

Thankfully after a "security incident" in the recent past most people where I work are now on board with the fact that you can't just go and download stuff on a whim any more (plus tightened up proxies help). Added to that is that any (new) external software required has to be vetted by InfoSec and then stuffed into Nexus Repo Manager. So if anything goes bang in the outside world then hopefully we'll be covered.

It also helps with my little quest to drag things to least privilege levels. Too many horror stories from years past where some people who really should have known a lot better decided that everything running as root and with far too many people having sudo access was OK...

Systemd 249 release candidate includes better support for immutable OSes and provisioning images

Jay 2

"alternative to the classic BSD syslog protocol for locally delivering log records to the Journal,"

I was about to say I'm very slowly coming to accept systemd (note that's accept, not like) but the main thing that really infuriates me still is the need to use a completely separate util/command just to see what systemd is logging (or spewing) so I can try and actually figure out why a service won't start. As just telling me the error/output when the actual command is run is obviously far too useful/intuitive.

If ever there was a case making something more user-unfriendly or making it so much more complicated than it needs to be... this is a prime example.

Say helloSystem: Mac-like FreeBSD project emits 0.5 release

Jay 2

Re: “sudo su works now”

Ooh ouch. We've managed to avoid that one. It's got to the point where we now have our own in-house built version of python that lives in a special place (eg not under /usr anywhere) that the application people can target and use whatever modules they like. And then everyone is (mostly) happy with the versions of Python at their disposal.

Jay 2

“sudo su works now”

At work I've tried to stamp out use of sudo su (and variants like sudo su - username) as much as I can. They're a bit too open-ended and the cause of much grief, usually along the lines of "who did that?". Instead I try and work on the basis of least privilege and limit sudo to either a service user or a specific set of commands.

It's a long slog, as many users complain they can't do what they need to do or are too lazy to type/alias sudo -u whatever. But I'd rather not go back to the days when someone tried to install an EL7 RPM on an EL6 dev server, got a glibc error, copied over some glibc libs from elsewhere and then wondered why the server stopped working.

Mark it in your diaries: 14 October 2025 is the end of Windows 10

Jay 2

I've never seen the point of changing product version numbers "just because everyone else is doing it" or "they have bigger numbered versions than us, we must compete!". See Solaris 2.x -> 7.x and Firefox 5.x onwards.

Do you come from a land Down Under? Where diesel's low and techies blunder

Jay 2

At my last company we moved into a new building which had a huge flywheel generator thingy on the roof. It was frequently tested, so everyone was under the impression it would do the job if it came to it.

Obviously one day a JCB (or similar) went through some nearby power lines and it was time for emergency power... or it would have been had someone remembered to flip the switch from "testing mode" to "do something when the power goes out mode". Oops.

This didn't effect me as I wasn't in the nice shiny building, but the old building a lot of the company didn't know existed which housed the computers/phone switches etc where we toiled in the basement. Ironically it couldn't be made a machine room down there as "it might flood".

Whatever you've been doing during lockdown, you better stop it right now

Jay 2

Once upon a time in our last office someone decided to put their slice of pizza in the microwave to warm up. Nothing wrong with that you may think, but it was still in a cardboard box. Still not too bad? The box was just big enough to fit in the microwave, but not rotate. And then they put it on for a too long amount if time and pissed off somewhere. The smell of burning made its way to some nearby desks where the occupants then went to investigate. Somehow it didn't set off the fire alarm!

In the current office we now have some full-on industrial strength microwaves, which don't have a turntable. The catch with these is that they're quite powerful and some staff ignore the warnings, plonk their food in and then set the amount of time they usually do at home. Well within half of that time what ever is in there starts bubbling over and spreading (see 80s B movie The Stuff).

Jay 2

Snap. Some time back there was an unpleasant smell from near my colleague's desk. But nothing obvious could be found. So at some point he pulled out the drawers on wheels under his desk and the smell then got much worse. On closer inspection there was half a mouse sticking out from underneath the unit near the wheels.

With incoming iOS 15, update refuseniks will be given choice to stay where they are while still receiving security patches

Jay 2

Re: iPhone 6s

Wow, I really didn't expect that. Not real reasons to replace my 6S (and its 3.5mm headphone jack). Though the rather old iPad Air is a different matter.

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