* Posts by Vanir

182 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Jul 2009


Bish, Bash... gosh! Good ol' Bourne Again Shell takes a bow as it reaches version five-point-zero


BASH - It's not as good as the DOS scripting 'language'!


Ministry of Justice abandons key plank of £280m IT project


<Senior civil servants felt that "the immediate need to replace it has therefore diminished">


That's Agile for you.

So they, the Senior civil servants, have decided to wait until the need IS immediate.

That's Agile thinking for you. Or is it a case of a Just-in-Time sprint?

You were told to clean up our systems, not delete 8,000 crucial files



Terrible Management Practices?

The solution as described seems to reflect an Agile 'value': Responding to change over following a plan.

Which begs the question: what was the plan? Assuming there was one.

Perhaps all this was a test to drive development of managerial competence.

Nobody in China wants Apple's eye-wateringly priced iPhones, sighs CEO Tim Cook



So the pips are at last being squeezed out?

Oregon can't stop people from calling themselves engineers, judge rules in Traffic-Light-Math-Gate


Re: A lot of snobs in here today.

I used to earn a living as an electrician / building services technician - 1979 to 1995. I also looked after passenger lifts. I installed and maintained ac/dc power plants, serviced air conditioning units and plant - and much more.

It's odd looking back. I had to pass a course on lift maintenance before I could legally work on lifts.

In software I have never had to pass a course to legally create software no matter what sector it was for; even in the defence sector. I am not sure one has to do so for say aviation control systems.

I do know that I have to pass interview 'tests'. I have to show to the interviewers that I have some knoweldge that is recognised by the interviewers as showing 'competence': irrespective of my 'academic' awards or experience as detailed on my CV.

What is more odd is that no interviewer has told me that they are interview engineers or have done any courses, tests on interviewing, never mind management courses. They sometimes parrot the phrase 'want to know how you think' as the raison d'etre for their well thought out questionning.

Warning! Lifts are now computer controlled via the use of software, written by

Agiled engineers!


I am a 'Sanitation Engineer'

I'm a software engineer and, like you, deal with shit covered wet wipes.

Bored IT manager automates Millennium Eve checks to ditch snoozing for boozing


Computers are for

automating stuff?

Well I never!

Agile thinking is that.

A few reasons why cops didn't immediately shoot down London Gatwick airport drone menace


The drone has

well and truly bolted.

And yet the stable has been seen to have a growing murder of crows for a number of years.

What's the Scout Motto?

Our leaders, civilian and business, do not seem to be able to achieve the calibre and perspicacity of scouts.

Mark Zuckerberg did everything in his power to avoid Facebook becoming the next MySpace – but forgot one crucial detail…


No one likes a liar

unless it's yourself.

I lie for very good reasons and intentions. :-)

IBM: Co-Op Insurance talking direct to coding subcontractor helped collapse of £55m IT revamp project


Must be able to work to deadlines

Is often on job specs, wishlists. This wish is often accompanied with a requirement that the 'ideal' candidate also has knowledge of and experience of Agile.

Ah, the perils of user and developer stories not being written in the same jargon. Then there is the contract story.

Was the contract written to an Agile methodology?

Too many stories here, non of which is a bestseller.

Too many deadlines from the sound of it as well.


Unreachable code.

Newsflash: Twitter still toxic place for women, particular those of color, Amnesty study finds



Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples consist of






They have been more successful than the Roman Catholic Church ever was.

Google CEO tells US Congress Chocolate Factory will unleash Dragonfly in China


Todays Western politicians ...

have to learn that what you cannot understand you cannot control.

Information and IT IS understood by the likes of Google and repressive non-democratic governments.

So they can and do control it and by logical induction people.

It seems that the US Congress thinks it is control of Google, Facebook and Apple etc.

Huawei CFO poutine cuffs by Canadian cops after allegedly busting sanctions on Iran


China is not a democracy

The Chinese Capitalist Party has 90 million members most of which are dedicated to the hegemony of their 'party' and thsir personal interests. It is beset with corruption from the local level to the highest.

They have no 'belief' in Western free market capitalism, only CCP state controlled capitalism.

And the CCP does not have any influence on a Chinese compnay?

The population of the UK is 66 million, Germany 83 million.

The CCP is a direct threat to Western, and global democracy.

It has to be noted that Western companies are not democratic organisations either.

Facebook capitalising your data?

Does the CCP want your data?

And what does Huawei deal in? Data?

Ex-Autonomy boss Mike Lynch, finance VP Stephen Chamberlain charged with fraud in US



An audit is the examination of an entity's accounting records, as well as the physical inspection of its assets. If performed by a certified public accountant (CPA), the CPA can express an opinion on the fairness of the entity's financial statements. - https://www.accountingtools.com/articles/2017/5/5/audit

Certified public accountants - can they be trusted?

Excuses, excuses: Furious MPs probe banking TITSUPs*


Climate change

The signs are there, more each year.

More IT failures, large environmental IT failures.

When modern IT systems are reliant on old legacy systems the resutant system is a bigger legacy system.

This is problematic as the people who specify and design - don't laugh - modern systems usually do not undertand the legacy systems that their systems rely on.

And the people who do understand the legacy systems, the people who built them and maintained them, have long since been removed from the environment.

All the old trees have been cut down and the soil is eroding away.

Congrats to Debbie Crosbie: New CEO at IT meltdown bank TSB has unenviable task ahead


Re: There is a very good reason

"Then the bean-counters came along and thought that off-shoring all those technical jobs would be so much cheaper and give the bank more profits."

And what do the bean-counters use? Excel of course, with all their bespoke VBA scripts written by their interns!

If at first or second you don't succeed, you may be Microsoft: Hold off installing re-released Windows Oct Update


Just where are the software developers in MS?


The programmng tests that MS do to obtain the best programmers and software engineers seem to be for naught.

What's happenng to MS, and has been for years, is the gangrene of corporate marketing wasting away the engineering muscle. The stench is palpable.

It's happening to Google, Facebook and the other big techs it seems.

Hopefully, Mr Torvalds' nice rants keep on being a good barrier to any gangrene getting into the Linux kernel.

Woke Linus Torvalds rolls his first 4.20, mulls Linux 5.0 effort for 2019


“I didn't want to make a pattern of it,”

Dear Old Linus, such a gem!

Patterns of ranting and swearing and providing good, solid stewardship of the Linux kernel.

Tell him that C++ should be used to write the kernel; that'll test him!


Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for my 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help


Code reviews are for

analysing and assessing code for quaility and fitness for purpose; to be accepted into the production codebase.

There's more to it of course. The reviewer usually knows the capability and experience of the coder and this has to be taken into account. The review can also act as a learning experience for both parties.

Although I have enjoyed Linus Torvalds rants I feel he does not use his programming talents to the full in his reviewing of submitted code. Critque the code, suggest improvements, help the coder understand your reasoning for any perceived 'poor coding'.

Keep calm and carry on coding Linus. :-)

Git it girl! Academy tries to tempt women into coding with free course


Diversity in professional programming

is pumping out production code as fast as possible following an 'Agile' or some other process dogma.

Disagree with the prevalent dogma and you won't get a job in programmng / software engineering be you male or female.

I do hope that this intiative succeeds. Even if they (females) do not do it professionally they will have an appreciation of the art of programming and the people that love to do it and do it well.

Redis does a Python, crushes 'offensive' master, slave code terms



A person who uses threats and intimidation to make slaves of people who disagree with them.

We've found another problem with IPv6: It's sparked a punch-up between top networks


How does the peering agreements

affect the net neutrality issue?

Surely one big cable's network can throttle another's packets? Be it IPv4 or IPv6.

I'm not really up on all this.

A decade on, Apple and Google's 30% app store cut looks pretty cheesy


But we're taking about games here

aren't we?

I'm ignorant of any details of app stores so that's why I ask the following questions.

What's the proportion of all software in all app stores that are classified as games?

What's the mean and median prices of all apps in all app stores? The maximum and minimum?

Might as well add cross referencing with the number of sales for each app.

Governments must be envious of Google and Apple's tax raising powers.

As porn site pounds hard on piracy laws, Cox pulls out prematurely


Some books on particular useful arts ...



As a programmer I get more practice in one art than the other.

I just haven't got that art of living a balanced lifestyle. Someone else has the copyright it seems.

Salesforce boss Marc Benioff objects to US immigration policy so much, he makes millions from, er, US immigration


These rich CEOs pay

themselves what they can get away with and pay the people they need to get rich with as little as they can get away with. Be they left or right in political terms they're the same in practice.

That's what the American dream has come to: beggar thy fellow American.

Android data slurping measured and monitored


Blessed are the poor

for they are rich in personal data.

Winner, Winner, prison dinner: Five years in the clink for NSA leaker


Reality Loser

The poor lass must be contemplating, at leisure, if the Intercept is a reliable, helpful organisation, especially to its sources.

She must also ask herself if letting anger dictate her actions is wise.

It seems there is a lot of expressed anger in the USA which is turnng to hate: it does not augur well for the democracy that is the UNITED States of America.

Microsoft Visual Studio C++ Runtime installers were built to fail


Built to fail?

Windows was built to be insecure.

Windows 10 had another MS requirement to fulfil: to scrape user data.

I used to be so trusting.

But one grows out of this in time.

When's a backdoor not a backdoor? When the Oz government says it isn't


Re: The Holy Trinity

@ Uncle Slacky

"Not our problem." Very glib.

Until it is, which is now.

Every Western democratic government is dealing with this issue, thus by their electorates.

That's you and me.

"Well, we could guarantee to "protect" everyone by locking everyone up in solitary confinement from birth" - so that's what we have from you? reductio ad absurdum.

"some compromises are required in a free society".

That's the issue, the problem, electorates of 'free' societies now face.

What will be the consequences of any 'compromise' on a 'free' society.

I'm not surprised at the downvotes.


Re: The Holy Trinity

Because anyone of everyone could be a terrorist, paedophile or participant in organised crime.

Security services of the Western democracies have to have evidence that can be presented to a court of law and a jury.

If these agencies are denied the means to get evidence from communication channels then there is no chance of them carrying out their legal responsibilities.

One of the primary responsibilities of democratic government is to protect the people that put them in office. If a these governments cannot do this then what do we have?

Stress, bad workplace cultures are still driving security folk to drink


Re: IT is not a healthy profession

One reason there is such a shortage of IT skills?

I should really have written:

One reason there is such a shortage of people with IT skills willing to work in IT?

IT skills may be commodities, people are not.

Almost 1 in 3 Brits think they lack computer skills to do their jobs well


What's a computer skill?

And what computers are they referring to?

It's like asking people if they think they are skilled in vehicles.

You may think of driving if you drive for a living; taxi driver, delivery driver etc.

If you are a vehicle mechanic you may think of a related knowledge set and also of repairing vehicles.

Were people in the survey asked 'what do you think is a computer skill?'.

Is it using a certain piece of software that they use for work?


The article is so vague as to be of questionable utility.

Pleasant programming playground paves popular Python path


"They shouldn’t be forced to follow predesigned paths."

Like OOP?

Like Agile?

Like TDD?

Hopefully 'they' learn to read and follow a specification.

Then be able to write an easily comprehensible one. Now I'm definitely dreaming!

OpenAI bots thrash team of Dota 2 semi-pros, set eyes on mega-tourney


I hope

that AI never get a libido. They don't fatigued so it is said.

Or maybe it should, it may distract it somewhat from their game play.

Unless their threading is top-notch.

'Can you just pop in to the office and hit the power button?' 'Not really... the G8 is on'



So, acting on your instinct or gut feeling is not always the correct response.

And yet, I suppose some non-instinctive thought was put into the

"Other servers are connected to the server. Do you want to shut down instead?."

There may have been a conjugate

"Other servers are connected to the server. Do you want to reboot instead?."

to a shutdown command.

"subconscious knowledge wasn’t enough' - it did surface though - ‘No, no, no!’

Engineers, coders – it's down to you to prevent AI being weaponised


Engineers, coders ... and lawyers

Engineers, coders – it's down to you to not write any software and for any project you believe will be used for 'evil' intent.

That's like telling lawyers, barristers ,attorneys, attorney-generals etc, not to defend people they believe are gulty or not to prosecute people they believe are innocent.

Infrastructure wonks: Tear up Britain's copper phone networks by 2025


Can we afford not to build this?

Over the long term?

What are the consequences, and costs, of carrying on as usual?

Open plan offices flop – you talk less, IM more, if forced to flee a cubicle


Re: Please share the secret


<Please share the secret and tell me how you get in the zone in the first place in an open plan office with Lync, Outlook, and Teams constantly popping up notifications about inconsequential shit. Or is it just me who has this problem?>

Can't help you there. I just start writing / reading the code and I can quickly get lost in it.

Been doing this coding stint >20yrs. Never had a problem. The only problems I've had is with something like, for example, an AC ceiling unit wafting cold air on my neck, bright lights etc.

Before my coding career I was an electrician working in noisy and sometimes unpleasant, dangerous environments with perhaps what you would call boisterous tradesmen; veteran tradesmen most of them. They still did high quality work. It's just how you are 'brought' up and what you think is 'normal'.

I don't mind interruptions but that does not mean I like them. Sometime's I have welcomed interuptions. Hasn't everybody?

Before I interupt someone I do look at them to evaluate them and their situation against the reason why I want or need to do so.

All these 'scientific' studies just seem to blow with the wind. Compaines are not going to change their office layouts on one study.


Re: What about disturbing others?

Oh dear! I'm going to be shot.

I've mostly worked in open plan offices. There's been a low level hub-hub of converstion at most times But people are generally considerate. At times, even in big offices, - full of coders be they managers or not - there have been moments of complete silence and noisy banter. I like the noisy banter!

When I'm in the zone I'm just oblivious. I've never been annoyed at being interrupted though. Well, maybe just once or twice but then I was in a bad mood for starters. Usually having to deal with really bad code.

I'm just human. I like to talk to my fellow human beings F2F. It's how you get to really know them.

I see a lot of job specs that require team 'players' and that can work alone too. Go figure.

I hate using phones, conferencing, email.

OK, so they sometimes push out insecure stuff, but software devs need our love and respect


The attitude

that managers are "too checklist / process fixated" and "too expensive" has a lot of merit, so we should outsource the whole process of software management to outside products and teams.

IBM fired me because I'm not a millennial, says axed cloud sales star in age discrim court row


Perhaps he was fired because ...

IBM knew that he would make the incoming 'millennials' look bad and deflate their own self worth, more so when they find out much he was paid. IBM wants to deflate salary expectations too..

A £1.3m prize for a plunging share price at BT? Not so fast...


Shareholder institutions

They often remind me of the UK union leaders having control of large block votes when dealing with the Labour Party and its leaders. Maybe that's in the past.

Buying a share can be seen as buying a vote: what the expected ROI is open to question.

They didn't do well with Carillion.

Git365. Git for Teams. Quatermass and the Git Pit. GitHub simply won't do now Microsoft has it


Latest commit 5bb5c36

Gutless Git.

MS now has all Git's subscribers' data.

What to do now?

Linus Torvalds tells kernel devs to fix their regressive fixing


Re: A thin line

AC: "Surely the problem rests with us plebs, not the top brass."

But you previously stated: "No doubt put in there as a result of poor management. ... unfortunately nobody thought of replacing said management." I infer from this that you think that the management are a problem too. The 'top brass' being a part of management is also by deduction a problem; unless the top brass is the nobody you speak of.

It has to be noted that many managers also write code that goes into the release product and that many managers also dictate what code goes into the released software.

I've not seen any managers leave in disgust over a poor quality base even when they admit this fact.

Great news, cask beer fans: UK shortage of CO2 menaces fizzy crap taking up tap space


I thought ...

that the directors and managers of these companies that use this product were paid to plan for such exigencies.

Don't they keep an eye on the future regarding such a vital component to their commercial well-being?

Don't they have a list of all the CO2 producing plants in Europe with these plants' shutdown schedules?

Trainee techie ran away and hid after screwing up a job, literally


Sound like bad judgement on the part of the trainee's 'supervisor'

<The trainee wasn’t quite up to speed on the nuances, however, so “was used to fetch tea and sandwiches and be given small tasks.”>

Typical of poor supervisory practices.

Was the trainee, judged to be 'not quite up to speed', given adequate information to the job safely and in safety?

I've done 'software engineering' in C++ for >20yrs. Before this I earnt my bread-and-butter as an electrician / technician on building services, construction and maintenance for 16yrs; quite a few of them years in a supervisory role, a few jobs as clerk of works.

Every trade has its 'sense of common' that has to be learnt: experience. That includes why certain screws are used and why sometimes one cannot drill holes into load bearing walls on the sole basis of convenience. Hopefully a trainee will have been 'educated' enough by their peers to use the correct screws for a job and why.

'Fetching tea and sandwiches' has its place but a supervisor has to use this 'task' and others to assess the traiinee's character and potential competence.

I've drilled holes where I should not have done and put lines of code in production software when I should not have done. I'm still learning common sense.

Atari accuses El Reg of professional trolling and making stuff up. Welp, here's the interview tape for you to decide...


This feels familiar

It feels like a Star Citizen story.

Get dreamers, err investors, to stump up cash to produce a prototype of a product.

HerdFunding is whats I calls it. Except the herd is going to the slaughterhouse.

Capita admits it won't make money on botched NHS England contract


Just where are

the 'successful' public / government IT projects?

Can anybody cite one please?

What's all the C Plus Fuss? Bjarne Stroustrup warns of dangerous future plans for his C++


Re: Visit the Vasa!

"...I did, thinking I'd be in and out in a couple of hours. I was there all day."

That's software planning and devlopment in a nutshell.

Universal Credit has never delivered bang for buck, but now there's no turning back – watchdog


Agile again?

"The Department for Work and Pensions took an agile approach, meaning it could adjust its plans – but the NAO said incorporating such changes meant it had to delay or slow down the rollout.

The project is now years behind schedule, ..."

Agile means 'the ability to adjust plans'?

So before the DWP took an 'agile approach' the DWP did not have the ability to adjust plans?

Begs the question: (does it have the ability to create plans && the ability to execute any plan).

Lazy evaluation may be a problem.