* Posts by Dave 32

422 posts • joined 22 Jun 2009

Page:

Dude, where's my laser?

Dave 32
Mushroom

Re: "Of course, in the '70s, active correction of the beam was not an option."

"It'd be something like the Death Start shooting itself, right?"

Hush! You're not supposed to be talking about the Death Shart. Oh, wait, I misread that. Never mind.

Snapchat domain squatter loses comedy £1m URL sellback attempt

Dave 32
Pint

Trademarks

Trademark law is complex and not intuitively obvious. For example, the same name can be use in different fields with no conflict. The prototypical example is Delta Airlines and Delta plumbing fixtures. Another example is Nissan Computers and Nissan Motors, over which a long running legal spat emerged.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Motors_v._Nissan_Computer

A paper clip, a spool of phone wire and a recalcitrant RS-232 line: Going MacGyver in the wonderful world of hotel IT

Dave 32

Re: Proper lash up

Ah, yes, the "temporary" fix. Back in the early 1990s, I encountered a comment of the form:

/* The following two lines are a temporary fix for the xxx problem. Sept. 1971 */

I decided that I wasn't about to touch temporary code which was legally old enough to drink. For that matter, to the best of my knowledge, that code is still in place, and still running!

Dave

Cloudflare outage caused by techie pulling out the wrong cables

Dave 32
Pint

Re: Cables with labels on

Until you get a color-blind cable-technician, and HR issues a "Thou shall not..." directive.

Azure admins' cold sweat likely caused by a 'isolated' power problems that browned out West Central USA region

Dave 32
Coat

Isolated Power Event

Does "Isolated Power Event" equal "Darn! The cleaner unplugged the computer again."?

Dave

BOFH: Here he comes, all wide-eyed with the boundless optimism of youth. He is me, 30 years ago... what to do?

Dave 32
Pint

Re: Mixed Feelings

I'll raise you. My Model M was manufactured in the USA on 05MAY92 (which was obviously before they started worrying about the Y2K problem).

Dave

Good news: Neural network says 11 asteroids thought to be harmless may hit Earth. Bad news: They are not due to arrive for hundreds of years

Dave 32
Coat

Y2k131

Will this be referred to as the Y2k131 problem?

Dave

Internet's safe-keepers forced to postpone crucial DNSSEC root key signing ceremony – no, not a hacker attack, but because they can't open a safe

Dave 32
Pint

Re: How long before things would stop working properly?

Yeah, it ought to be located on the other side of the world, in case some calamity happens to this side. And, it should be hosted by a country which knows how to implement physical security. Hmm, seems like North Korea would be the ideal location for it.

RIP FTP? File Transfer Protocol switched off by default in Chrome 80

Dave 32
Coat

Archie

Won't someone think of archie?

Oh, well, I suppose the gopher is dead, along with jughead and veronica. :-(

Dave

P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the gray beard hairs on it.

Ah, night shift in the 1970s. Ciggies, hipflasks, ADVENT... and fault-prone disk drives the size of washing machines

Dave 32
Coat

Re: Never keep trying without diagnosing.

Oh, what fun there was when some idiot installed a reel of Tantalum capacitors backwards in a robotic assembly machine. There were hundreds of boards built with the capacitors installed backwards. Oh, and Tantalum capacitors are polarized, so if they're installed backwards, they consume way too much current, overheat, and explode quite violently. The test room sounded like a small war was going on. There were literally hundreds of boards made that way before the first one made its way to the test facility. Whoopsie!

Dave

Canadian insurer paid for ransomware decryptor. Now it's hunting the scum down

Dave 32
Coat

Re: Danegeld

Perhaps a bit of "Gunboat dipolmacy" then? I seem to remember that happening not quite 220 years ago, in the First Barbary War, and, subsequently in the Second Barbary War. Oh, well, it produced a passably good tune.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Barbary_War

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Barbary_War

Star wreck: There's a 1 in 20 chance a NASA telescope and US military satellite will smash into each other today

Dave 32
Coat

Re: Expensive junk worth collecting

"Though I guess the legality of ownership and salvage rights could be a nightmare."

Yo ho ho, matey. Arr.

Petition asking Microsoft to open-source Windows 7 sails past 7,777-signature goal

Dave 32
Coat

Yeah, and Windows XP, too.

Yeah, and Windows XP, too.

BOFH: When was the last time someone said these exact words to you: You are the sunshine of my life?

Dave 32
Pint

11s

On those surveys which ask for a response between 1 and 10, I typically give them a 1, and then, in the explanation box. explain that I was trying to give them an 11, but, well, truncation and all that.

The delights of on-site working – sun, sea and... WordPad wrangling?

Dave 32
Pint

Re: I've played hunt the source code before!

Not too awful many years ago, I was working the support desk for our product, when an urgent support request came in from a customer. It seems that they had been using an early version of our software product, and it had suddenly stopped working. They wanted to know if we could supply them with a fix for it. Upon querying them, I discovered that the version they were using had been released in 1973, and support had ended in 1976! Find the source? Heck, even if I had found the source, I wouldn't have been able to find a punched card reader to read it with. Nevertheless, through a careful reading of the dump they had supplied, I was able to tell them how to tweak their system to make it work again.

BOFH: The case of the Boss's hidden USB inkjet printer

Dave 32
Pint

Re: Feels like X-mas

Darn it. I hate incontinent flying. Why, oh, why, do they only put one bathroom on a plane with 400 people, and then serve free sodas?

Oh, wait, you said intercontinental, not incontinent. Never mind.

Dave

Wham, bam, thank you scram button: Now we have to go all MacGyver on the server room

Dave 32
Pint

Big Red Button

In our case, it was the contractor in charge of changing the burned out light bulbs who caused the first incident, when he sat his ladder next to the door on the way out. One of the rungs hit the Big Red Button perfectly. Ker-CHUNK! Whoopsie.

So, to prevent that from ever happening again, another contractor was hired to put a shield around the Big Red Button. The first thing this contractor did was to bring his ladder into the room and lean it up against the wall by the door. Ker-CHUNK! Whoopsie!

Why is the printer spouting nonsense... and who on earth tried to wire this plug?

Dave 32
Flame

Knob and Tube

Could have been worse. My grandmothers house was built in 1921, several years before electrical service was available. When electricity became available, it was wired, with knob and tube wiring (Look it up if you dare!). No ground wires, at all. The line and neutral were both fused. Most rooms only had an exposed ceiling socket for a suspended incandescent bulb. Most of the insulation on the wires had deteriorated to dust, resulting in lots of exposed wires.

Dave

I'll give you my Windows 7 installation when you pry it from my cold, dead hands (and other tales)

Dave 32
Pint

Re: No way am I replacing W7

I'm still using Windows XP (at home). It does what I need. Now, if they'd just release some fixes for it.

50 years ago, someone decided it would be OK to fire Apollo 12 through a rain cloud. Awks, or just 'SCE to Aux'?

Dave 32
Coat

Field Mill

I seem to remember that NASA installed "Field Mills" to measure the electro-static potential in the atmosphere at a subsequent point, just so that the launch of a rocket, atop a highly conductive and hot plume, wouldn't trigger any more lightning bolts.

Dave

Bloodhound rocket car target of 550mph put on ice after engine overheat

Dave 32
Pint

Re: I have a bad feeling about this project...

There are some serious concerns about stability, and error recovery. The recent crash of the North American Eagle, which was another vehicle set to challenge the land speed record, and the accompanying death of driver Jessi Combs, illustrates exactly how dangerous this sport can be.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Eagle_Project

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessi_Combs

Dave

Socket to the energy bill: 5-bed home with stupid number of power outlets leaves us asking... why?

Dave 32
Flame

Now You've Done It

Now you've done it. You know us geeks won't be satisfied until we can one-up each other to see who can build the house with the highest number of outlets. Oh, well, I knew there was a reason I installed a 400 Amp electrical service in mine (and, it's mostly used now, with not much room for expansion. Hmm, should have went with 600 Amp, no, 800 Amp, aww maybe I should have went with 1000 Amp?).

Dave

P.S. Heat dissipation issue? Oh, umm, err...

BOFH: The company survived the disaster recovery test. Just. The Director's car, however...

Dave 32
Pint

Disaster

Our last Disaster Readiness test wasn't really a test. We have this wonderful building, complete with two transmission line feeds from the utility, along with a huge bank of generators, just to ensure that we don't ever lose power. Well, one day, not too long ago, two of the three phase power feeds dropped, leaving one phase energized. Sadly, the sensor for switching transmission lines was keyed to that one phase that was still live. Even more sadly, the sensor for starting the generators and switching to them was also keyed to that one phase which was still live. The net result is that about two-thirds of the mainframes in the building went down. Whoopsie! Most of them had redundant power supplies, which were plugged into the two phases which went down. Whoopsie! Oh, well, with 2/3 of the lights off, the building became a nice place to take a nap, especially without all of that obnoxious fan noise.

Hundreds charged in internet's biggest child-abuse swap-shop site bust: IP addy leak led cops to sys-op's home

Dave 32
Pint

Re: Let's see the arrests of the users then...

One wonders why any miscreant who obtains/views illegal/immoral garbage like this would do so from an IP endpoint that they own? How much harder would it be to download the cr*p via an open internet connection (especially after spoofing their machine's MAC address)?

That still wouldn't remove the Bitcoin connection to them, though.

Dave

Dave 32
Coat

Yeah, I thought that was awfully low, too. Given that they were charging .03 Bitcoin for access, and, given Bitcoin's current value of about US$8K, that equates to about US$240. So, dividing US$370K by US$240 gives about 1540 paying users. On the one hand, that seems like a lot. On the other hand, he had users from all over the world. On the third hand, I'm not sure if that .03Bt was for eternal access or was a yearly (monthly) subscription fee, in which case the number of paid users would be a lot less.

Dave

Dave 32
Coat

Re: Blaming the tools

Before Tor and the internet, there were instant cameras, and even film cameras, for the people who had a trusted developer (My brother worked, briefly, in a photo-development store, and would regularly turn over photographs of illegal activity to the police.). There were also camcorders which would make VHS tapes, which the criminals would swap/sell. Before the internet, there were people who would swap kiddie-porn on floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, USB flash sticks, and just about any other storage media you could imagine. The only difference the internet has made is that it's now possible to monitor/intercept those messages/transactions, thus leading to a greater ability to arrest those criminals. Yeah, Tor and Bitcoin may be a little harder to trace than in-the-clear connections/transactions, but, without them, the criminals would go back to the older, interception-proof methods, leaving the kids at risk. Or, they would develop their own methods of encryption/obfuscation, which may be even harder to break.

Dave

Dave 32
Pint

Function of Government

One of the legitimate functions of government is to protect those elements of society who are too weak to protect themselves. There's no doubt that children fall into this category. Well done, IRS guys and gals.

Dave

How do we stop filling the oceans with Lego? By being a BaaS-tard, toy maker suggests

Dave 32
Pint

Re: I have the solution.

Just remember that, at one point, Lincoln Logs were made from plastic.

Dave

First they came for 'face' and I did not speak out because I... have no face? Then they came for 'book'

Dave 32
Coat

Trademark This...

So, who holds the trademark on a fist with the middle finger raised?

Royal Navy seeks missile-moving robots for dockyard drudgery

Dave 32
Coat

I, for one, welcome our new robotic, missile-armed overlords.

SpaceX didn't move sat out of impending smash doom because it 'didn't see ESA's messages'

Dave 32
Coat

Re: Which way is Right?

"Thank you for this danc<SMASH>"

Bloke who claimed he invented Bitcoin must hand over $5bn of e-dosh in court case. He can't. He's waiting for a time traveler to arrive

Dave 32

Re: What benefit is the courier story to him?

Uh, is this courier arriving from Nigeria? Does he need $400 in delivery fees?

Russian spacebot stranded outside the ISS as Soyuz fails to dock

Dave 32
Coat

Transporter

What they really need is a transporter, so that they can just beam the supplies aboard.

An Army Watchkeeper drone tried to land. Then meatbags took over from the computers

Dave 32
Coat

More Training

More training is obviously required. So, should we expect to see the British Army order more copies of Microsoft Flight Simulator?

US still 'not prepared' in event of a serious cyber attack and Congress can't help if it happens

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Fed-up graphic design outfit dangles cash to anyone who can free infosec of hoodie pics

Dave 32
Coat

Accessories

Don't forget that the uber hacker would have a binary clock (And, yes, I have a binary clock, but I can't be bothered to set it, so all of the lights just flash in unison, sort of its way of the flashing 12:00.).

Their machine would have to have lighted fans. And, of course, they'd have to have a couple of lighted muffin fans on the desk, too, to keep them cool (Forced air cooled processor; forced air cooled hacker.).

A true uber hacker would have an information panel connected to their machine to relay critical information, regardless of whether that critical information is the time of day, the machine registers, or a sale ad for the pub down the road (And, yes, I hacked OS/2 to display the time of day on an IBM 9595's information panel display.).

Headphones? No, of course not. Rather, multiple subwoofers mounted all around the operating position. You don't want to just hear the sound; you want to feel it.

Come on, y'all. Help me out here. What other accessories would a uber hacker have?

Dave

P.S. I'll get my coat; It's the one with the punched cards in the pocket. Don't trip over that stack of magnetic tape reels, nor 14-inch drive platters.

He's coming home, he's coming... Hutchins' coming home: British Wannacry killer held in US on malware dev rap set free by judge

Dave 32
Pint

Yay!

As an American, Yay!

Dave

Rise of the Machines hair-raiser: The day IBM's Dot Matrix turned

Dave 32
Pint

Re: About two billion years ago ...

That would be the 1403-N3 model, which automatically raises the hood when it's out of paper. Makes for a real fun time, when a dozen students have sat cups of (soft) drinks on top of it, along with a bunch of prints. ;-)

Dave

Summer vacations put an end to rampant desktop crimewave

Dave 32
Coat

Skillcraft Pens

Actually, there's an interesting story about the ink pens the US federal government uses (And, they are some mighty fine pens. Uh, never mind.).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skilcraft

Dave

P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the pockets full of stolen government property.

Dave 32
Coat

Re: Just an observation

Or, use a fountain pen. No one wants a fountain pen (Besides, stealing the ink well is a bit too obvious, and a royal pain in the arse.).

Dave

P.S. And, yes, I used a fountain pen all through school, college, and at work.

P.P.S I'll get my coat. It's the one with the ink stains on it.

Operation Desert Sh!tstorm: Routine test shoots down military's top-secret internets

Dave 32
Coat

Re: don't wait 20 mins !

One issue is that a lot of automobiles get quite unhappy if left idling for an extended period of time in hot weather. They tend to overheat. It's a lot easier on them if they're moving, such that the airflow from the movement can help keep the engine cool. Now, that may not apply to military vehicles, which are designed to operate in extreme environments. Maybe.

The other issue is that automotive alternators tend not to produce much power at idle speeds. The situation is not as bad as it used to be with generators, but, to get the rated capacity out of an alternator, it may be necessary to run a gasoline engine at 1500 RPM, rather than at the 500 RPM idle speed. Diesel engines may be different, though, since Diesel engines typically operate at lower speeds, and the alternators would, presumably, be geared differently (via the pulleys/belts which drive them).

Dave

P.S. You'd better have a fairly long set of very heavy gauge cables to connect the vehicle up to the batteries. Even a 1000 Watt UPS is going to be pulling over 83 Amps from a 12 Volt battery! Also, don't forget that a lot of vehicle alternators are only rated at 100 Amps or so.

P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the 4/0 jumper cables in the pocket.

Dave 32
Coat

Re: rows of car batteries baking in the 48° heat

One certainly hopes that they weren't "car batteries", although they may have been Lead-Acid batteries. The issue is that car batteries are designed for starting service, and running one down will usually kill it forever (Something to do with the Lead particles flaking off of the plates, accumulating at the bottom of the cell, and then shorting out the plates.). Deep-cycle/Marine batteries look a lot like the starting-service car batteries, except that they're designed to be deeply discharged without being killed (Oh, and they cost about 1.5 times as much, too, but that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.).

Dave

P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with a pocket full of batteries.

Email scammers extract over $300m a month from American suits' pockets

Dave 32
Coat

Logo

In ASCII? Why not EBCDIC?

Dave

P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the punched cards in the pocket.

Train maker's coder goes loco, choo-choo-chooses to flee to China with top-secret code – allegedly

Dave 32
Pint

Re: "Which hasn't struck me as particularly advanced either"

> no railway line from China to the US that I know of

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bering_Strait_crossing#21st_century

"According to a report in the Beijing Times in May 2014, Chinese transportation experts are proposing building a roughly 10,000 kilometre (6,213 mi)-long high-speed rail line from northeast China to the United States.[13] The project would include a tunnel under the Bering Strait and connect to the contiguous United States via Canada."

Dave 32
Coat

4 Feet 8 and a Half Inches

Maybe he stole documents which describe how the 4 feet 8.5 inches standard originated?

Or, maybe he stole the plans for the toilets in railroad engines?

Dave

Gone in 120 seconds: Arianespace aims for stars, misses, as UAE satellite launch fails

Dave 32
Flame

Cheverolet Vega

Why am I reminded of the Cheverolet Vega? Perhaps because they both ended up at the bottom of the ocean?

Queen Elizabeth has a soggy bottom: No, the £3.1bn aircraft carrier, what the hell did you think we meant?

Dave 32
Pint

Re: "Ford bleeding Galaxy"

There actually is a Ford Galaxy, but it's produced in Europe for the European market, which is why you don't see one in the US (Yeah, you *might* be able to import one, but the rules for importing a vehicle are ridiculously complex.).

And, yeah, the Ford Galaxie was a decent car. I think my mom may have had one of those in the early 1960s.

Dave

Comms room, comms room, comms room is on fire – we don't need no water, let the engineer burn

Dave 32
Flame

PVC

One problem with a fire in a comms room is that a lot of wire is insulated with PVC. PVC, in a fire, releases all sorts of nasties, such as Hydrogen Chloride, Dioxins, Vinyl Chloride, etc., stuff which you really don't want to be inhaling, even in the parts-per-million level, let alone the parts-per-thousand level which may occur in a fire. Some of these materials may have delayed health effects, ranging from hours to years. So, even though you think you've successfully fought the fire, you may be dead and just not know it yet. Thus, the only safe option is to get out, and get out quickly, and then let the professionals, with SCBA equipment, fight the fire.

Dave

Dave 32
Flame

Re: "the (suicidal?) bravery (stupidity?) of our colleague"

> If the fire has been going for five minutes or more, just get out and call the fire department.

and then fetch the marshmallows. No sense letting a perfectly good fire go to waste.

Wanted: Big iron geeks to help restore IBM 360 mainframe rescued from defunct German factory by other big iron geeks

Dave 32
Coat

Re: My first job

At least you didn't have to work with (or even mention) the IBM 2821 Data Cell, aka the "Noodle Picker", aka the "Noodle Stuffer".

Sorry if I've brought back nightmares for anyone. And, don't even bother to think about the IBM 3850 Mass Storage Subsystem. Ah, the joys of a dropped cartridge, one of which looked identical to all of the others, but didn't contain the same data.

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