* Posts by Helldesk Dogsbody

82 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Jun 2009


Sacked NCC Group grad trainee emailed 300 coworkers about Kali Linux VM 'playing up'

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: Support for technical / Infosec team members

Yes and no. Pursuing the Service Desk route as a first point of contact is always the "correct" response in a corporate environment. Why? It gets the matter on record, date and time stamped and in the system. There will always be exceptions to the rule but it still needs to be the default action. At that point a properly run Service Desk will manage the call and chase up either the tech team or customer as required. Please note my use of the words "properly run" here. That's the ideal but we know it isn't often the reality.

As a former Service Desk then support team bod I had more than my share of new starters, they aren't a waste of time or even begrudged that often. Just the ones where you receive notification at 4 PM on Friday that they start 9 AM Monday. Oddly enough this was most often from those who ought to know better, e.g. IT. As long as the actual requirements are detailed properly it's a non issue, the end user was required to sign off on the build after the first 14 days to confirm that they had what was required and anything extra in that time was just added in.

Part of the established process was to educate the new user on initial contact protocol, everything goes through the Service Desk without exception. It might get copied in to a tech if it was via email but that wasn't guaranteed to be seen by said tech if an incident ocurred, it also ensured that the call would be picked up by someone should the tech be unavailable. I just used to point out that I usually had 2K+ emails daily, the odds of one being missed were rather high so to always raise a ticket or cc our Service Desk to make sure tickets were created and updated correctly.

User asked why CTRL-ALT-DEL restarted PC instead of opening apps

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: 7th Guest

Still one of my fonder gaming experiences. Privateer 2 (yes, the one with the HUGE for the time FMV segments on the disc) was another one somewhere back then that took a bit of a spannering :D

A ghoulish tale of pigs, devs and docs revived from the dead

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: blood sacrifice

We have found a certain degree of success in utilising the blood of users. You may just require more of it thereby creating a win/win situation. The appropriate oath also appears to still work, you know the one: "Why won't you WORK you &*%!ing piece of £$(^!!!" at around 120 dB.

BOFH: Turn your server rack hotspot to a server rack notspot

Helldesk Dogsbody

You forgot the ancient Transit van with numerous "war wounds" from traffic :D

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: new keyboard alert !

I usually find that speaking softly and smiling as if remembering a fond moment works rather well. No idea why...

Bloke sues Microsoft: Give me $600m – or my copy of Windows 7 back

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: how long ago was this?

Safer than the alternative suggestion for WinME CDs - if they'd fired them in to the sun they'd probably have just made that crash too...

Ever wondered why tech products fail so frequently? No, me neither

Helldesk Dogsbody

One group you can also throw at QA, particularly for regression testing, are your support staff. Been there, done that. When told "But NOBODY would ever do that! It's not a valid test!" all you need to do is pull up the previous weeks first line tickets...

Witcher dev CD Projekt Red says hackers stole game concepts and asked for ransom

Helldesk Dogsbody

TBH it's CD Projekt Red - they play their cards close to their chests and I've yet to be disappointed at launch by anything they've done so far. That's how they operate, they don't need 0 day patches and release completed games rather than "Early Access" versions.

Also as far as no horrible consequences are concerned I don't think that counts for many, plenty have been sued for so called open development as they failed to meet expectations of the finished product despite being "open". I'll take a known good but secretive studio over vast amounts of fluff on the web, art galore but no playable game (Star Citizen anyone? And yes, before anyone asks, I backed it purely for Squadron 42. Which I'm waiting for. Still.)

'My PC needs to lose weight' says user with FAT filesystem

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: Giving the users what they ask for......

When they work with us they get as much assistance as we can provide. Should they ever actually bother to ask why the answer to a request is a firm no rather than immediately try to circumvent it then they'll generally find that many of us are somewhat sympathetic. If they choose not to listen or nag anyway that would be when we become a touch irritable. That and continuously expecting us to deliver miracles on projects where we're told a week before launch what it is they require of us and it's going to take significantly longer than to set up may explain a modicum of dislike for the coloured pencil office.

Google starts enterprise support for Chrome, including top SaaS apps

Helldesk Dogsbody

@Velv Re: Group Policy

Allegedly. It still doesn't work reliably and you have to bodge it in the background more often than not with registry keys. Either that or update the template every time they change the version number. Add on top the fact that it will insist on adding a scheduled task to run the update check as well and now hides that completely in Windows 10 (scripted delete works fine on Win 7, the task doesn't appear in 10 but keeps trying to run anyway) and I have my doubts over whether or not this one will actually function as intended or we have to carry on with multiple kludges.

With the sheer number of updates released it takes far more time than it should owing to the lack of that documentation or support as you simply don't know what you need to change in the GPO for this version to lock out the updater again. Cue much tinkering and cursing or a deluge of spam from the web gateways as everybody's system tries to check for updates at the same time and all get blocked at once...

BOFH: The Boss, the floppy and the work 'experience'

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: Enemy Territory

"noob-nade chucking gun"? If you're referring to the rifle grenades then I beg to differ! Seeing the perfect bounce shot with it was a thing of beauty :D Using it to lob grenades through the bunker window from the beach was incredible amounts of fun.

And land mines? Deep joy was had on many an occasion with those beauties! Place a little wide on corners to get the smart arses that think they're going round them, before or after doorways to get those that think they're going to jump over them. Mining downed enemies rather than finishing them off also provided some amusement when the medic went for the revive and heard the ominous "click".

Microsoft wants screaming Windows fans, not just users

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: aka free software

Every few months? Try a new build every couple of weeks on the slow ring! I run it at home on a non-critical system just so that I can see what's coming up that might break everything I have in place in the office.

To be fair, while I am definitely not a fan of the telemetry (and that automatic restart banner message needs to be acid etched on a large steel plate then rammed in to the fundamental orifice of i) the person who proposed it and ii) the person who signed off on it. Sideways) there are enough things that are better on a day to day basis that I do see it as being mostly an improvement.

User rats out IT team for playing games at work, gets them all fired

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: Playing games does have it's place

It used to be similar in our place, peak trading periods = change freeze so out comes UT for an IT department fragathon, spare wall displays hooked up to consoles for those not inclined to "morale improvement" by fragging the head of department repeatedly with a flak cannon, all on the understanding that this stopped the second we had an incident reported. The result? A relaxed but hyper alert IT team ready to resolve the issue as rapidly as possible (primarily to get back to the frag fest).

Not a hope in hell of this outside of peak trading, way too much to do the rest of the year. PCI compliance put a damper on our seasonal fun though, now it's try desparately to stay awake while staring at systems monitors :(

Naughty sysadmins use dark magic to fix PCs for clueless users

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: The more annoying bit...

I generally prefer the approach of "The computer is more scared of me than it is of you" as I too remember the joys of CRT monitors and TVs that required percussive persuasion applied in the correct location, aka "a damn good thumping", and I'm not afraid to use it today. While it may not do any good I usually feel better afterwards :)

Management, however, remain unconvinced that this is the appropriate manner to deal with certain PICNIC situations...

WINNER! Crush your loved ones at Connect Four this Christmas

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: No need for strategy

Munchkin is a classic for causing more fights than Monopoly while still being fun and relatively fast paced. Secret Hitler is a corker for sowing FUD amongst friends and family, Game of Blame is a newish one with some strategy and a lot of memory work to try and avoid shooting yourself in the foot.

A British phone you're not embarrassed to carry? You heard that right

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: 64GB Micro SD only?

If it's the same as the original Swift they only list the lower capacity but they will quite happily see (and use) 256 GB micro SD cards.

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: Diasappointing

Me for one as I like to keep the work and personal numbers separate but don't like carrying two phones.

User couldn't open documents or turn on PC, still asked for reference as IT expert

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: The computer Tao

I've had the same sort of things happen but generally put it down to either that computer's can smell fear (that of those who've tried before) or sense intent (in that if they don't work soon I'll make damn sure that they're properly broken).

Cops break up German sausage fight between pair of Neubrandenburgers

Helldesk Dogsbody

@Ivan 4

Yes but there's no mention of a portable gas stove so it can't be him.

Some Windows 10 Anniversary Update: SSD freeze

Helldesk Dogsbody


Check the task scheduler library for anything relating to media centre if you did an upgrade install and delete it. YMMV but it's worked on a couple I've seen the same behaviour on.

Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

Helldesk Dogsbody

Burn the pot in front of the heretic first, being sure to let them know that they're next. Then purge their name from history for such heathen vileness!

Destroying ransomware business models is not your job, so just pay up

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: Backing up encrypted files

@nerdbert: Nuke and pave. Format, scram disk, reinstall.

If you're especially paranoid put in a fresh HDD/SSD, take the old one out and put a 1/4" drill bit through it a few times, douse it in petrol and set light to it, once out and cool beat repeatedly with a hammer then encase the remains in concrete and bury in an old mine shaft.

You could always run it through a degausser instead but it's not nearly as much fun...

Learn a scripting language and play nicely: How to get a DevOps job

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: Not asking much then?

@Tim 11 and boltar: I suspect that you're both right, for a given value of right. For the environment I'm in, as there are fewer than 10 of us, a JOAT is a better call much of the time. All of us have areas where our knowledge base is a little more developed but none of us are specialists, we hire those in for a given job when required. YMMV but that seems to work for the numbers we have. I imagine that in a 30 or 40 strong team it would be the opposite case.

Re the quote, it always irks me that people only mention the first couplet as it's then completely out of context:

"Jack of all trades, master of none, though oftentimes better than master of one."

Bank fail: Ready or not, here's our new software

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: Nobody wants...

One group that may be able to assist in the testing process but are frequently ignored are the first line support staff. I used to be included in this when I was supporting an in house application and would try everything I'd had reported from users on support calls. The purpose of the testing wasn't to prove that the application was bug free (the approach most seem to have nowadays) but to find ones that could only be exposed by using the application incorrectly. Use the whole ASCII character set in free text fields to find out which ones broke what and how, break the normal workflow to see if it can recover when the normal, logical order isn't followed. The likelihood of getting it fixed prior to release was minimal but at least we knew and could provide an answer.

In short, if everything goes pear shaped because someone entered a postcode backwards while typing left handed on the second Thursday of the month at least we knew in advance.

If it still works six months from now, count yourself lucky

Helldesk Dogsbody

@AC - Incorrectly assembled colleague

You obviously work in a very different environment from the one that I'm familiar with. I'd be more inclined to make the exact opposite bet based on past experiences...

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chopstick-collapsing Spam musubi

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: You're lucky

You still get them on tins of corned beef from a few brands. I immediately discard the key as what little blood I have left (mostly caffeine and alcohol nowadays) needs to stay inside of me, not spread all over the kitchen.

VENOM virtual vuln proves less poisonous than first feared

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: Snakebite made with cider and lager?

If the snakebite and black isn't enough for you there's also purple nasty (add a shot of Pernod to the mix) and green monster (snakebite and Blue Curacao) that hit you in the knees after a few pints. They also seem to help to create blank spots in memory for some weird, unknown reason!

Google cracks down on browser ad injectors after shocking study

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: Unwanted ad injectors aren't part of a healthy ads ecosystem

"Free to play?

Nah, 'free to be pwnd'"

Yes and no, it depends on the transaction model used. Where the primary source of revenue is XP boosters and cosmetic items it's not that bad TBH. Wargaming.net and Gaijin are probably the two best that I've seen for this, while you can hand over some money to speed up the process all of the game is available without doing so, you'll just spend a long time at each tier past about 5.

Of course you're still likely to get owned as some of the players are just insanely good and there's always the conveniently timed lag spike, the one that only kicks in when you try to hit the fire button causing instant death as they get the drop rather than you...

I am NOT a PC repair man. I will NOT get your iPad working

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: Duck & Cover - Generalizations Follow

Actually it's TANSTAAFL. Just had to say, sorry.

Please be seated at your FOUR-LEGGED PC

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: Ugly and unergonomic

While they aren't exactly my thing I can appreciate the work that's put in to some of the deask/case combo builds - do an image search for "l3p desk" or just go to www.l3p.nl to see what one looks like when done properly. These one just appears to be a half arsed attempt to cash in on what's sprung out of the above project (ie the Red Harbinger Cross desk).

Lian Li used to be brilliant back in the day, now they appear to be churning out marginally more minimalist versions of the same tat as everyone else. A shame really as the TJ07 really was the king when it came out but they've steadily been losing the crown since then.

El Reg's contraptions confessional no.2: Tablet PC, CRT screen and more

Helldesk Dogsbody
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Re: Model M - David Given

You won't be getting a buckling spring for that but the Cherry MX browns are rather nice and can be very quiet (dependant on how much of a ham handed typist you are). They have a nice tactile "bump" without the audible click you get from the blues. Much appreciated in my office as my coworkers are less inclined to use my keyboard as a bludgeon on me.

You MERCILESS FIEND... you put that audio file on AUTOPLAY

Helldesk Dogsbody
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Re: Err...

Nope, that's simple courtesy. The only time my workstation isn't muted is when I have headphones plugged in to the audio jack and if I can hear any noise from them when they're placed on the desktop then I turn the volume down as it's too loud. 30 people in an open plan office is plenty noisy enough without speakers being added in to the mix.

BOFH: Don't be afraid - we won't hurt your delicate, flimsy inkjet printer

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: Are ink jets that difficult?

I've had the misfortune of supporting the "cheap ink jet printers" sub set (approx 2,000 of the damn things) to the point where on being informed of a printer issue my standard response was "Ah, a printer issue. Do you have a hammer to hand?"

It was cheaper to replace them than attempt to fix issues and if it wasn't thoroughly broken at the start of the phone call it would be by the end. They weren't worth the time or effort to attempt a repair, just drop them off the desk a couple of times and/or deliver a few adjustments with a hammer/ a n other blunt implement so I could ship a new one out to site and install it remotely.

ISPs: Relax. Blocking porn online won't really work

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: Competence

"As for politicians, I'm fairly certain most of them believe the 'computer guys' engage in some kind of witchcraft."

Whatever you do DON'T mention the traditional prayer and blood sacrifice to appease the tech gods for a new system build! You know, the one that goes "*&!%ing cheap cases!" while trying to stop the bleeding - they'd bring back witch trials and burning at the stake!

(Flame icon for obvious reasons)

Sony sucker-punches Xbox on price, specs, DRM-free gaming

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: Steam?

There was certainly enough outcry about Steam when it first launched but that's now more than 10 years ago and it was a content distribution system, not a digital distribution or DRM service. It's grown to be those as well but that's only after a lot of development and a long time. Valve have built a reputation over the years for being trustworthy and a hell of a lot more gamer centric than the vast majority of publishers. The Steam hardware survey is probably the most accurate representation of gaming system specs in the world, Valve make SDKs available for modders and actively encourage them to make what they want of the software they provide, they promote indy studios by not charging exorbitant fees to make their software available, allow download of free to play games where they make nothing and are generally the champion of the every day gamer. It hasn't always been that way as we didn't half hate them when CS 1.6 was released along with the then extremely buggy Steam platform, they've put a lot of time and effort in to building customer base and loyalty with no secret made about the fact that you simply cannot transfer games if you buy from them - then they go and hold ridiculous sales that give me an acute case of wallet cramp! Steam also doesn't require always online, once a month is sufficient then you can go offline until prompted again. They've been known to extend this period on a per account basis for services personnel deployed overseas as well. Add on top of that the fact that you can literally install and play a Steam game on any system as long as you can install it, remember your log in details and it runs a supported OS then it really isn't the same.

In contrast, Microsoft have a reputation for shafting the consumer in general, releasing dodgy, bug ridden software (I consider new Windows launches to be an MMO beta test and Games for Windows Live has done SO well!) and hardware (RROD anyone?), change anything on a whim, already have draconian DRM (Windows reauthentication on changing hardware, seemingly triggered at random) and definitely don't show the same integrity. It isn't even an apples to oranges comparison, more a fish to bicycle one.

BTW, Valve have about 70% of the PC digital distribution market share and offer support for three PC operating systems so far (all be it slightly limited for two of them) as well as two console platforms. I could be wrong but I believe that they may have a larger market share than Microsoft where gaming is concerned - at least with regards to software.

Now it gets serious: Fracking could RUIN BEER

Helldesk Dogsbody

Considering the fact that some of the character of a decent ale, beer or whiskey comes from the water used to produce it I think you'll find that the better ones are reliant on a clean, natural source that isn't heavily filtered to retain the same flavour. OK, so where I am the local brewery Burtonises the water as they prefer the taste produced but the majority of the others don't.

As others have pointed out, the breweries will most likely have been placed there in the first instance because of the water source and yes, that tends be quite a ways below the ground.

Thousands rally behind teen girl cuffed, expelled in harmless 'explosion'

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: F*&^ knows what they'd have done with my chemistry teacher

Mine had us demonstrating the thermite reaction in pairs throught the lab, alkanes involved an overzealous sampling of methane from a gas tap next to a lit spill creating a jet of flame across the lab, toluene and a nitrating mix with insufficient cooling resulted in a rather careful but rapid exit for the class, sodium was a lovely chrysanthemum shaped bloom on the ceiling tiles and some missing eyebrows, the list goes on but this was prior to COSHH. We learned from our mistakes and everyone knew what to do in cases of emergency as they occurred about once a fortnight. Minor injuries, a few interesting scars and a healthy respect for what we were dealing with was the result.

Outside of school included experimentation in to the feasibility of explosive tipped hollow point air rifle rounds amongst many other less sane projects.

Kobo strikes new match against Kindle: The Aura HD e-reader

Helldesk Dogsbody
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Re: Resolution is less important than screen size

As pointed out by Neil Barnes both the current Kopbo Glo and Kindle Paperwhite are literally pocket sized - get the right case for each and they happily sit in an inside jacket pocket which is a must for me as I managed to do a similar amount of damage to my Kindle Keyboard which wouldn't fit in said pocket withh a case and consequently didn't bounce so well when I eventually dropped it on a concrete floor.

Windows 7 'security' patch knocks out PCs, knackers antivirus tools

Helldesk Dogsbody

As the majority of home and/or small business users don't permit updates to run automatically and apply patches to Windows at gunpoint or other threat of iminent death or pain I reckon they're probably safe.

The healing hands of guru Dabbs

Helldesk Dogsbody
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Re: An IT Helldesk Natural?

Agreed, he does sound as though he has the essential skills - it normally takes years to develop the correct degree of barely civil cynicism and exasperation towards users :)

Keyboard, you're not my type

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: back then when keyboards where good!

Cherry still make some good mechanical keyboards, Filco are excellent, Das have a great reputation as do Leopold but I've not used either of those myself. Unicomp still make the classic Model M style clicky-clacky keyboard if you can get hold of them and they are exactly as they used to be made.

Mechanical keyboards are on the rise, they've become the latest and greatest for gaming and will be back in to mainstream computing soon enough. For now they're a little pricey compared to the regular ones but a worthwhile investment if you spend all day using one.

From what you're saying it sounds like you could do with giving something like a Filco Majestouch with blue switches a go as they have both a tactile bump and audible click when they activate. Then if you really want pink you can order a pink keycap set for it (WASD keyboards do them at around $50, they'll fit any standard Cherry switches).

I bought a Filco for home and then had to buy another for the office as there was no way I was prepared to use what they referred to as a keyboard after that. £200 in toal for both but well worth it as a year down the line they're both as good as when I bought them.

Keyboard icon as it sounds like you owe yourself a new one!

Helldesk Dogsbody
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@ Thomas 4 & AC

The steel plate that acts as a base to my Filco Majectouch TKL also agrees with you. The perfect portable weapon for all occasions :)

Twitter translated to LOLCATZ: Strangely this had not been done

Helldesk Dogsbody
Black Helicopters

A Cunning Plan Perhaps?

Perhaps it's all a cunning plan intended to locate those ignorant enough to both use Twitter and combine it with the desecration of the English language known as "LOLCATZ" (*shudder* I feel unclean from merely typing that!) before unleashing a pogrom against those identified and thereby improving the human genome marginally?

Or maybe I only suspect that because it's very much what I'd consider doing...

Rogue Squadron: Unit of X-wings Kickstarts in response to Death Star

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: uk.gov @Brewster's Angle Grinder

"It's okay, X-wings support a BYOD software component. (But whatever device you use must be well ruggedised.)"

Unfortunately you're somewhat mistaken there - that's the upgraded version for use only by the USA as the maguffin that enables the BYOD functionality is "Secret" :(

IBM brains ponder universe, say kids will go nuts for STEAMPUNK

Helldesk Dogsbody
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Your marvellous taste in music certainly deserves more than one upvote but I'm afraid that's all I'm allowed

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: I hate Steampunk.

There are plenty of functional items made in the same style, it's about a bit more than the odd article of clothing. Try this for example: http://steampunkworkshop.com/victorian-all-one-pc

Drop that can of sweet pop and grab a coffee - for your sanity's sake

Helldesk Dogsbody

Confirmation of what we already knew

Most of us were already aware that to find any sanity in most companies you have to talk to IT and that if you deny coffee to your technical staff you're likely to have a revolt on your hands, this merely explains the correlation between the two :D

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7in Android tablet review

Helldesk Dogsbody
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Just what I needed to know

Thanks for that, it's exactly what I needed to know and with the appropriate warning too. I was contemplating getting one for my father but I'll stick with the basic Kindle as it's less likely to end up broken (as he's a former engineer it's never whether or not something gets hit with a hammer but where and how hard that's the question!)

BOFH: Can't you just ... NO, I JUST CAN'T

Helldesk Dogsbody

Re: F***ing brilliant @Ian Johnston

Try saying that when you're on the receiving end of a Sarbanes Oxley access review and some fucknugget "made an exception" - the auditors couldn't give a toss, procedure wasn't followed and they're going to hammer the nearest approximately responsible person for it. In this context the word "just" is instantly greeted by the word "NO!" as loudly as you can shout it.

Rules are there for a reason in the IT domain, where access and accounts are concerned it's usually because it's a legal requirement. We aren't beancounters, we don't file paperwork in triplicate for the fun of it.

007 hardware: Gadgetry, spyware and things that make you go Boom

Helldesk Dogsbody

Coil Gun

"The coil-gun - a concept born in the realm of sci-fi - accelerates a magnetic projectiles with a series of coiled electromagnetic-induction wires. While this has yet to be replicated in real life"

Depends on what you mean by "replicated" as there have definitely been coil guns built, just not in a practical fashion as it takes a hell of a lot of power for minimal output, an air rifle is more effective. They've been built by hobbyists for years to prove the concept and researched by the military in many countries, both single and multi stage varieties. Inefficient and impractical as yet but definitely existing.