* Posts by BenDwire

338 posts • joined 30 Jun 2009

Page:

Remember the bloke who was told by Zen Internet to contact his MP about crap service? Yeah, it's still not fixed

BenDwire
Flame

Déjà vu

I've been there, done that, and even wrote to the MP. However, I did eventually get it fixed.

It's a long story, but in essence I lived at the end of a 5km line mainly supplied on overhead wires. Being 10 years ago I only managed to get 1-2Mbps at the best of times, but after 4 months of intermittent service I switched to Andrews & Arnold as they were promising to get dodgy lines fixed. After A&A initiated many more Openreach 'engineer' visits I was eventually blessed by a visit of someone who knew what he was doing, and he discovered that in all probability the cable was broken underneath a ploughed field - a thing they apparently call 'Plough Strike' in the trade. He said that such repairs would take a significant amount of time and money, and I should try writing a snotty letter to overlords of Openreach, at that time headed up by none other than Ed Davey.

Of course I got a standard letter back in response saying that he couldn't get involved in such matters, but interestingly within a few short weeks roadworks were set up beside the field, new manholes were excavated, and new wires pulled through and connected. I was stunned when my speed shot up to a heady 3-4Mbps.

The moral of the story is to use people who can apply pressure on your behalf. A&A were (and still are) exceptionally good, and between their equipment and my Syslog files they gave Openreach undisputable evidence that it was their problem to fix. Did Ed Davey do anything? Officially, no, but I can well believe that something was said to someone along the way.

BTW I'm still with A&A to this day, simply because of their customer service and technical support (not that I need it as I've long since moved). Slightly more expensive, granted, but worth every penny as far as I'm concerned.

England's controversial extraction of personal medical histories from GP systems is delayed for a second time

BenDwire
Devil

That's an interesting list of uses. I'm obviously either getting more right-wing in my old age, or maybe more of a religious fanatic. Between this and the latest ID schemes we have all the makings of the book of Revelations "Mark Of The Beast"

As penance, I will start reading the Guardian and watching Love Island

/s (In case you're worried about my mental stability)

BOFH: But soft! What light through yonder filing cabinet breaks?

BenDwire
Holmes

Re: Two BOFHs in a week!!!

French? More like "European accent of indeterminate origin"

It had to happen: Microsoft's cloudy Windows 365 desktops are due to land next month

BenDwire
Linux

Win 11 without TPM?

That's one way to get Win 11 running without having to upgrade any hardware. Call me cynical, but this offering would explain why MS seemingly wants everyone to buy new: Now we have the choice to rent instead.

What a time to be alive !

I'll stick to what works for me, thanks.

Ah, I see you found my PowerShell script called 'SiteReview' – that does not mean what you think it means

BenDwire
Pint

Re: proxy cache

And then other pictures started to flesh by ...

Bravo Sir! That is the typo of the day!

Black screens in Windows 11? Bork has seen it all before

BenDwire
Coat

Re: I like blue

But if you think about it, a printed banner is also useless when the lights go out ...

Papa don't breach: UK data watchdog fines that other pizza place £10,000 over unsolicited marketing blitz

BenDwire
Pint

Meanwhile, back in Meatspace ...

My local Papa John joint spams me with real dead-tree advertising roughly twice a week on average. Why they feel the need to do this on such a regular schedule absolutely baffles me. I've even taken to putting the paper recycling bin by the front door, but I can't tempt the delivery wonks (usualy Royal Mail) to ditch them straight in there.

There must be a gag linking "Meatspace", "Spam" and "recycling" but I'm still sober ...

If HAL did digital signage. I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that...

BenDwire

Re: Typical Windows...

More likely "Typical SD Card" - Regardless of OS, too much writing to a pi's SD card will tend to kill them within a few short months. Things can (and should) be done to help mitigate this (no swap, ramdisk for logs etc) but the best solution I've found is to use "Tiny Core Linux" which is robust enough to allow a turn-it-off-and-back-on-again approach for applications like this.

Have a search for "PiCorePlayer" for an excellent project doing just that.

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

BenDwire

Danger, Robinson! Danger!

IIRC shouldn't that be: "Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!"?

I'm sure there's a pun about a missing willy right there, but I'm too sober to figure that one out right now ...

BT 'welcomes' whopping £2bn investment by French telco Altice

BenDwire

Re: Living next door to Altice

Smokie did the original, but Chubby added the profanities.

Very NSFW without headphones!

BenDwire
WTF?

Living next door to Altice

Altice? Who the F*** is Altice?

As Roy Chubby Brown almost said ...

EE and Three mobe mast surveyors might 'upload some virus' to London Tube control centre, TfL told judge

BenDwire
Boffin

Re: Open door policy?

I concur. I once found myself humming that tune while fixing the bogs at work. I was the MD at the time too ...

Brit retailer Furniture Village confirms 'cyber-attack' as systems outage rolls into Day 7

BenDwire
Linux

Re: A cyber-attack and no data had been leaked

I thought it had something to do with Debian's package management ...

Dominic Cummings: Health secretary's 'stupid' targets delayed building UK test and trace system to combat COVID

BenDwire

Re: Colour me surprised.

Poundshop Bond Villain? I always thought he looked like the Mekon fron Dan Dare ...

UK data regulator fines American Express up to 0.021p per email after opted-out folk spammed 4.1 million times

BenDwire

Re: spam spam spam and eggs spam and beans spam spam !

Really? Have you flagged them as spam to the Google Mothership? That worked for me ...

10.8 million UK homes now have access to gigabit-capable broadband, with much of the legwork done by Virgin Media

BenDwire
FAIL

So close, and yet so far

I can see the green vermin box from my front door, yet they won't connect me up because my (shared) drive is too long. It's less than 20 metres long, but it's tarmac and the contractors are limited to to number of bags of cold tarmac they can use ( 4 IIRC ). I tried to get connected 5+ years ago as my only other option is ADSL via an Exchange Only line (i.e. no FFTC) but they simply weren't interested, I even escalated it with the contractor's VM contact and offered to sign up for a longer contract, but no.

I reckon my line would have paid for itself many times over by now, but instead I have to suffer ADSL.

Infuriatingly, my house is classified as being capable of having a Gigabit connection due to that VM cabinet, so Openreach see my road as low priority.

Even more infuriatingly, it took over 2 years to get VM to stop sending junk sign-up offers ... Every, Single, Week!

Your private data has been nabbed: Please update your life as soon as possible while we deflect responsibility

BenDwire
Pint

Re: Boilermaker?

Being a Brit, a boliermaker is simply half a draught mild mixed with a bottled ale e.g. Bob and Abbot.

Somehow I managed to pass my A levels despite drinking several Bob and Abbots most lunchtimes. Thankfully I managed to kick that habit before becoming a responsible adult.

BenDwire
Linux

Re: Hope he doesn't try publishing this in The Register.....Oh Wait!

But he's not wrong, is he?

Sent from my Linux desktop, which prints very nicely, thank you.

'Biggest data grab' in NHS history stuffs GP records in a central store for 'research' – and the time to opt out is now

BenDwire

Re: When your opt-out does not apply

Mother? Is that you?

Broadband plumber Openreach yanks legacy copper phone lines in Suffolk town of Mildenhall en route to getting the UK on VoIP

BenDwire
Facepalm

Oh great. Still ADSL then.

Given that I don't pay line rental for voice services, I can't imagine that SOTAP will be any cheaper, and in reality will have a price hike to cover all the new logos and marketing expenses /s

BenDwire
WTF?

And another question, what about Exchange Only lines? (i.e. copper straight into a very close exchange, so no cabinets for FTTC) Are they really going to put in FTTP on a one-to-one basis?

Don't cross the team tasked with policing the surfing habits of California's teens

BenDwire

Re: Free school meals

He can't be. I'm Spartacus.

George Clooney of IT: Dribbling disaster and damp disk warnings scare the life out of innocent user

BenDwire
Pint

Re: Main frame sys progs had fun too

Can I have a beer if I admit to being involved in the design of said Kilostream modems? And maybe a chaser too if I own up to designing one of Megastream's alarm cards (5A)?

There's no place like GNOME: System 76 introduces COSMIC desktop GUI for its Pop!_OS Linux

BenDwire
Pint

Statcounter

Coincidently, I had to temporarily whitelist Statcounter on my PiHole as it's blocked by default. I wonder how many other Linux users use PiHole or similar to weed out some of the dross on the interwebs? Are their figures reliable enough to detect all us nerds out there?

And yes, I'm a happy Linux desktop user and have been ever since I upgraded from Windows 7 (See what I did there?!)

Beer, because the pubs are open again at last!

The Great Borkish Breakfast: I'll have a cup of tea, a sausage roll and a side of bork, please

BenDwire
Linux

Pie?

Given that it's being used to flog pastry-based produce, I would have thought the best candidate is a Raspberry Pi

BOFH: 7 jars of Marmite, a laptop and a good time

BenDwire
Alert

Re: Surprise!

And I was wondering if it involved the latest Covid test - insertion resistance of the Chinese anal swab ...

BenDwire
Linux

Debian?

Am I the only one now strangely wary of the Debian logo ?

A word to the Wyse: Smoking cigars in the office is very bad for you... and your monitor

BenDwire
Facepalm

Re: One benefit of the reduced number of smokers...

I was once asked by a work collegue to have a look at her computer that had become incredibly slow. She was a heavy smoker, as was her husband, and they had a house full of shaggy dogs.

I cannot adequately describe the smell of this machine (or her for that matter), but I peeled of a 'scab' of matted hair and nicotine from each of the vents before removing the case and blasting the thing with compresed air in the car park. Despite me showing her what state it was inside, she just carried on as before until it slowed down again - at which point she bought a new laptop.

BenDwire
Pint

The whisky cabinet which I liked to think helped solve coding problems

or as I called it, "Debugging Spirits"

Facebook and Apple are toying with us, and it's scarcely believable

BenDwire
Coat

Daytona?

I have no idea what a Ceramic/Steel Daytona is so I googled it. It appears that Plumbworld have them in stock for £54.

Barcode scan app amassed millions of downloads before weird update starting popping open webpages...

BenDwire
Go

Re: But which app is the bad one?

It seems that LavaBird copied ZXing's source, and added the malware to it. The original one is OK (and hasn't been updated for years anyway).

Have a look at github

LibreOffice 7.1 Community released with user-interface picker, other bits and bytes

BenDwire
Go

Ribbon UI in Office 97?

Much complexity and history lurks here. Menu bloat is a problem with these massive office applications, which Microsoft addressed with its ribbon UI in Office 97.

No, Office 97 was a good version! The ribbon was introduced in Office 2007 for Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Access.

I switched my company to Open Office and then Libre Office as my users wanted to cling on to Office 97 well into the 21st century. It's always been good enough for what we needed, although LO has performed significantly better in later releases.

And yes, I used to donate to TDF

European Commission redacts AstraZeneca vaccine contract – but forgets to wipe the bookmarks tab

BenDwire
Pint

Re: And the EU still can't understand why the UK left.

The fact that BOJO decided to turn the UK into a giant petri-dish for the breeding of new strains did not do much to defuse the situation either.

I'm not completely convinced that the "Kent Strain" didn't float across the channel in the first place. The UK has offered to sequence the virus in other countries, either to help identify yet more strains, or shift the perceived blame elsewhere.

Regardless of differing points of view, I think all parties involved* are displaying very poor behaviour. People are dying FFS.

*Apart from AstraZenica and other vaccine manufacturers. They need to be treated like heroes. Beer for the boffins. Thank you.

Firefox 85 crumbles cache-abusing supercookies with potent partitioning powers

BenDwire
Go

Re: Firefox 85 hangs

It runs fine on Debian Testing too.

UK Prime Minister Johnson knows not when 400k+ deleted records from police DB will be back

BenDwire
Facepalm

Maybe they simply imported it as a CSV file into Excel 97?

BenDwire
Facepalm

Re: oops...

The people who are using Fujitu systems are the ones making the cock-ups.

The computer always does what it's told to do ... OK, with a few exceptions *cough* Excel *cough*

But why are there no full database backups? Surely 13 million records isn't that many GiB?

Signal boost: Secure chat app is wobbly at the moment. Not surprising after gaining 30m+ users in a week, though

BenDwire
Facepalm

Dammit, the Muggles have found us!

I used to love Signal, as only the people I wanted were on there. It's worked fine for over 2 years now, but today it all goes TITSUP* because my niece told me that "Elon sent them". Quote:- And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!

* Total inability to sign up proles

p.s. I just made a donation because I think they need a few more servers!

https://signal.org/donate/

Wine pops cork on version 6.0 of the Windows compatibility layer for *nix systems

BenDwire
Go

Don't forget Crossover Office

Crossover Office is a paid for version of Wine, and makes running Windows Programs* much easier for the uninitiated. I use it for three programs I can't live without, and it "just works".

The best bit is they contribute a lot of code back to the Wine project, so it's a good way of helping out for the greater good.

* You can tell my age; They are programs, not apps.

How to avoid pesky border controls: Be a robot truck driver… or insanely rich

BenDwire
Pint

Re: totally distracted Toyah Fan... :O

But he's Robert Fripp. The Robert Fripp. You know, King Crimson? Played on Bowie's Heroes and loads of other stuff you probably know. He invented Frippatronics back in the 70's and produced all sorts of weird stuff - a most excellent soundtrack to my teenage ears!

Debian 'Bullseye' enters final phase before release as team debates whether it will be last to work on i386 architecture

BenDwire
Linux

Re: why not revive an old machine and give it a ride?

No, no no. Just don't do that if you want to see what Linux is all about. The experience of running Linux on an old machine with doggy hard disks and sod-all RAM will give you the worst 'first impression' you could possibly imagine.

I cannot recall how many people have done that around me, and in every case they would say it is so much worse than Windows ... running on their bleeding edge desktop.

For the best experience, treat yourself to a new SSD for your daily machine, swap it out for the one already in there (presumably Win10) then install a modern distribution and be amazed at how good Linux really is on a modern machine. When you've finished playing, you can just swap disks back and nothing has been messed about with on your old OS.

Of course you can multi boot if/when you know what you're doing, but for a zero risk strategy it's the only way to go. You probably need a new SSD anyway ...

Oracle and AWS trumpeted how their clouds helped Zoom scale. But it turns out Zoom fears its cloud bills and uses co-located kit

BenDwire
Pint

Re: taken as a whole - Zoom rocks

Indeed so, and most of us use it for a loo break / drink refill ! But having the unlimited sessions over Christmas (and last March) were a much more relaxed experience - I think I drank less too!

BenDwire
Thumb Up

Re: taken as a whole - Zoom rocks

I can't help thinking that if they had a lower cost tier for 'family users' they could claw back some of their expenditure. £12 per month is simply too much to spend talking to the out-laws.

But how many people would pay (say) £25 per year just to raise that 40 minute limit to (say) 2 hours, but with a limited maximum group size of (say) 10? I know I would.

UK network Three hikes pay-as-you-go rates by 400% to push punters to buy 'bundles'

BenDwire

Re: PAYG is no longer PAYG

And that's what my Three SIM is used for - a contact number for delivery drivers and other non-descripts. Having a phone with 2 SIMs comes in handy, and as long as they haven't changed the 180day period I won't be too badly affected.

A 400% rise in one go is a bit steep though?

Pop quiz: You've got a roomful of electrical equipment. How do you put out a fire?

BenDwire

Re: Carful with that Axe...

You learn something new every day! Have an upvote from me. Dig it?

BenDwire

Re: Carful with that Axe...

Also the "short, sharp shock" (DSOTM)

BenDwire
Facepalm

Well, it was a hardware problem after all!

Pizza and beer night out the window, hours trying to sort issue, then a fresh pair of eyes says 'See, the problem is...'

BenDwire

Re: Pineapple on pizza

There may well be better guidance on the internet (Google James May's instuctions on Man Lab, for example) but my preference is to use the salad cream in place of butter, as it acts as the perfect adhesive.

Of course now I want one ... and I suspect, dear reader, you do too?

BenDwire

Re: Pineapple on pizza

I mentioned that this was in the 1970s. I didn't mention that this was in the UK, in the wilds of Essex. We never had mayo in those days (apart from a small jar at Christmas), and thousand-island dressing was still years away from the average salad dodger that ate in a burger joint.

No-one can explain what salad cream is to people outside the UK: It's not mayo. It's not ketchup, but it's fantastic in a fish finger sandwich ...

BenDwire
Facepalm

Re: Pineapple on pizza

I think enough time has passed for me to confess that I used to flip burgers for pocket money in the 1970s. It was a time of poor taste, and dodgy menus, but one of the offerings was the "Hawaiian Burger". Bun bottom, lettuce, cucumber, tomato,* burger, pineapple ring, bun top, in that order. We never sold many, but there were enough sales to keep it on the menu.

* Every other type of burger (plain, cheese, egg) had a splodge of salad cream on the tomato, but this was prohibited when pineapple was present. Apparently customers would complain that it didn't taste good, so they must have had some tastebuds.

No, it wasn't a Wimpey, but was very similar in most respects!

I built a shed once. How hard can a data centre be?

BenDwire
Facepalm

That car is an Audi - what did you expect?

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