* Posts by Terry 6

3454 posts • joined 31 Jul 2009

Halloween approaches and the veil between worlds wears thin – the Windows 10 October 2020 Release walks among us

Terry 6 Silver badge

2004?

I don't object to updates and stuff- I have time on my hands to sort out problems these days (Or reimage).

But I haven't been offered the 2004 yet. On either of my PCs.

And now they're prepping the October one, eh.

Maybe they need to sort out the current job first.

We don't need maintenance this often, surely? Pull it. Oh dear, the system's down

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: The people who wrote it said that it would take them weeks to fix, at a cost of ~£5k

No

Terry 6 Silver badge

The people who wrote it said that it would take them weeks to fix, at a cost of ~£5k

Is this how the industry works then?

You sell a duff product and demand loads of cash to make it do what it should have done anyway. That being said, even bloody Microsoft send out fixes each month. Free.

Amazon staffers took bribes, manipulated marketplace, leaked data including search algorithms – DoJ claims

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: House cleaning

'Cept Google seems to ignore such exclusions when it wants to. The days when you could craft a search so it actually found what you waned anddidn't just try to flog you stuff based on a key word are long gone.

Research into deflecting potentially world-destroying asteroids is apparently not a 'national priority' for the UK

Terry 6 Silver badge

And apologise to it.

Terry 6 Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: We've left the EU

2 Thumbs down. Now leaves me wondering, are they;

A) taking me literally or

B) sensitive Brexiteers that know I'm taking the piss out of them

2 is more fun.

Terry 6 Silver badge
Alien

We've left the EU

So an asteroid hitting Europe obviously won't affect us.

0ops. 1,OOO-plus parking fine refunds ordered after drivers typed 'O' instead of '0'

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: And this ladies and gentlemen...

A good rule of thumb; if you have to stop and think about this kind of system before you can ascertain the information it's a bad system.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Simple Software Fix

This is just a simpler version to typing a passcode on a phone. You type the key that has the character on it, It is one of four [ 2 abc] for example. But it doesn't matter . And with a car reg it's only 1 of two each time.

Terry 6 Silver badge

That being said, long preceding this, the area round St. Mary's hospital Paddington had parking meters along the front of the hospital that, from one short section to the next, had different parking charge schemes, with different combinations of change required. So the chance of having the right money for your visit, and getting on a meter that took your change, and being able to get the appropriate time period were slim to none.

There was a team of wardens that quite literally went round in circles, continuously. ticketing people who had given up and parked where they could. This being a hospital most people weren't regular visitors who'd know the drill or could just take their time and wait for the right meter. ( Don't give birth yet, I'll be right in when I've found a meter that takes 10ps )

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Where did the money go

Yes. I made a mistake typing my car reg no. at the Dartford crossing.(Used some letters from a car I had a few months previously)

Got the letter, phoned and they said the penalty stood, but I could just pay the fee. It's only about £3.

However they don't credit my card with the £3 that went against a non-existant vehicle number, though I had the email confirmation it had been paid.

Two issues, then.

1) I had a confirmation that a fee had been paid at the correct time for a reg number that was mostly correct for mine, but they can't just reconcile the fee paid to the reg number that did cross at that time when requested to. A pretty trivial bit of work.

2) They did not refund a fee paid for a crossing that was not made (by the reg number).

Typical '80s IT: Good idea leads to additional duties, without extra training or pay, and a nuked payroll system

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: whoops - wrong disk

Interesting. We reinstall Windows by startling again.

We replace Windows by substituting Linux

We reimage Windows by overwriting it with a known good copy "imaged" from the original installation.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: whoops - wrong disk

Yep, back in the time of floppy discs used to make 3 backups of our work files on a Friday. Straight copying in them days and only took a few minutes. Rotating 3 sets of discs so that the b/u would be over an earlier one. One day I copied the bloody things the wrong way. I think I got distracted. Luckily it was the second copy. So I very carefully and with everything crossed, restored from the first one and started again.

Oh btw. Just this very day I restored an image to my home PC which had had a hissy fit for some reason. I'd been running System Restore, which fell over and took out a fully working version of Windows, instead of restoring things that needed to be restored. (My Thunderbird set up. I'd been trying to go back a version and it mucked everything up. It's like they plant depth charges to stop you doing that). The Win10 version of a BSOD. (The one that reassuringly tells you it can't start Windows so it will switch off the computer instead). Grabbed my Macrium boot disk and went to the most recent of the various images I keep stored in a partition on a second internal HDD for just that purpose*. So at least I know that works.

Now I think I should make another boot disc too. Can't be too careful.

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*Also on a USB external HDD. And on another external USB HDD that I swap with every couple of weeks.

Stop asking for Amazon, Google and Microsoft cloud with 'no justification': US Library of Congress told to drop its 'brand-name'-tastic RFP

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Better not be at Trump's behest

Irrespective of nation or constitution, that's just not how patronage in govt. works.

It's not "Trump decided this". (Or whoever)

It's "The placemen who have been given these roles because the people at the top approve of/expect favour from them decide this".

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Even without RFPs

That's kind of the opposite. But a lot of Brits we do also do that thing too. Demanding a named brand when any old stuff will do. Notably Paracetamol - requiring, even demanding- Anadin instead of the generic,. Both containing 100% Paracetamol.

And of course, back in the olden days IT had to be IBM

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: RFP writers?

This is no different to writing job descriptions to get the person you've already selected. Sometimes, of course perfectly validly- as when someone's been doing a temp job for months and you are required to advertise the perm job.

But open to abuse, too.

WANTED Support assistant with 19 years experience of being the MD's niece etc.

Terry 6 Silver badge

I don't understand....

How any organisation, but particularly any govt. owned one, can have the sheer brass neck to put out a contract that specifies a random subset of potential suppliers. I can understand a quality threshold e.g. "Must have a successful history of supplying x", ironically seems to be missing from UK requirements (Capita et al). Or a national security one, such as only companies owned within its borders. Or an ethical one, that the companies must meet some specified threshold. But not simply listing a subset of the various ones available because it wants to.That's just an entry level pathway to corruption and back handers. As well as simply being transparently perverse.

Mate, it's the '90s. You don't need to be reachable every minute of every hour. Your operating system can't cope

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: installing discipline in the senders of email, that is a wholly different matter...

Maybe because the volume of email is much lower, but I have the opposite. Sometimes, just after TB launches emails seem to download to the general inbox and stay there, the rules having not run on those messages. When that happens running the rules manually doesn't move them either At one point I found I was creating duplicate rules, thinking that a rule for a given message source didn't exist already.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Effectively I still use Netscape 0.92

Ah, interesting. eionmac

I use folder rules to put work, shopping, freelance work, family, retailers, etc. into the required folders under the unified inbox. Because I have more folders than addresses, by a factor. I'm guessing you have your own domain with unlimited addresses or aliases, so can generate an email address for each use case.. But that's still too much of a faff for my taste.

I just have a small collection of free email accounts - I'm not relying on email for my livelihood so have no need to pay for accounts. And which email address I use only partly depends on purpose. Retailers I need to contact will always get my gmail account with a +recipient-name as part of the address;as in my.name+Tesco@gmail.com . But otherwise I rely on a filter rule to place emails where I want them to be.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Effectively I still use Netscape 0.92

I have wondered over the years whether Thunderbird was trying to be like Outlook, Outlook Express, or Outlook.com. Somehow it seems to miss the good points of each as well as avoiding the poor ones.

It gives me the single log-in for email and diary across assorted devices, so that I can pick them up on my phone, PC, laptop and tablet. But the calendar client isn't great and I have to use a 3rd party sync tool (TBsync) to enable this across the devices.

It has some basic filtering, which does for me, but that isn't great either.

And it sort of allows a unified inbox*, so that I can see most of my emails at once, irrespective of the address, though not all because imap won't, and it doesn't make that particularly obvious either.

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*Is it just me? Does everyone else with several email addresses want a different inbox for each of them, instead of just having a set of folders under one unified inbox, so that all emails for, say, purchasing go into that folder whether it's from a supplier or a co-worker ( when I worked f/t- mostly just friends and family now). But emails about admin would go into that folder, meetings into.........and so on.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Perhaps

That is how it should be.

Maybe El Reg commentards have more than our fair share of self-important PHBs. (Maybe that's why we wash up on these shores).

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: installing discipline in the senders of email, that is a wholly different matter...

Filters.

The (only) reason I miss Outlook is the sophistication of the filters.

Thunderbird isn't nearly as good for the If/or-then-else type of filter rule.

Newcastle University, neighbouring Northumbria hit by ransomware attacks

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Durham

All making key software subject to annual license, rather than buy it and use it, is ransomware. Which says a lot about the beancounters who run these companies and the share holding big institutions who demand this attitude from them,

Why cloud costs get out of control: Too much lift and shift, and pricing that is 'screwy and broken'

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Cloud is expensive

It's years since I had this explained to me. But the way it goes is that capital expenditure needs write offs, so there is an annual depreciation cost. Operational expenditure is just an agreed budget,and they can control it.

I'm sure my ageing memory has oversimplified this.

What's 2 + 2? Personal info, sniffs Twitter: Anti-doxxing AI goes off the rails, bans tweets with numbers in them

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: No AI

it's the ones who drive off the road and into a field or past a warning sign saying "road flooded", because the sat nav says to go that way that gives me most concern about the future of the species.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Would anything of value be lost if Twitter was gone?

There was a brief window of time when companies who'd just about perfected ways of avoiding being told about customer complaints* could be contacted on Twitter and shamed into sorting out the problem they'd caused. But then it all got big enough for them to work out ways of bullshitting or ignoring that, too.

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*We all know this, probably suffered it too. But it needs to have the light shone on it.

Big companies don't want to pay customer service staff. So they hide or remove phone numbers and email addresses. Instead there's a web page with a tab that says "Contact us" that leads to a page of FAQs that have no relevance to anything that anyone would care about. followed, possible only after you've clicked on one of these, by a link that says "Need more help". This takes you to a generic Help page. On that page, carefully hidden, will be a contact us link. Which leads to the FAQ page.........

Terry 6 Silver badge

Context

The rapidly deteriorating usefulness of Google searches is pretty good evidence that computer based discrimination of context is not improving.

In general, what appears to be happening is a bigger and bigger dataset of what people asked for previously being used to direct results towards ignoring what the user puts in and instead feeding back what the user should have put in, according to their database of previous requests by millions of people who aren't that user and the need to give advertisers an appearance of value for money.

In The case of Twitter this seems to include an element of "Everyone is looking at or posting <this> this so when you ask for or post something different we'll assume it's just <this> anyway."

Party like it's 2004: Almost a quarter of Windows 10 PCs living with the latest update

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Almost a quarter of Windows 10 PCs living with the latest update

Or just can't be given 2004. The Dell site says my i7 XPS 8700 hasn't been tested for it and (excluding a few more recent PCs) Dell XPSs apparently won't be.

Techie studied ancient ways of iSeries machine, saved day when user unleashed eldritch powers, got £50 gift voucher

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: And in a similar vein...

This is the insurance problem. AKA "We don't need insurance, we've never had a (named disaster)"

Old joke: Chap on a hike finds the path goes past the edge of a very sudden drop.

When he gets to the next village he says to the inn keeper, "That's a scary drop back there. I'm surprised there's no warning sign".

"Oh there was", was his reply. "But it got damaged and since no one had ever fallen we took it away".

IBM ordered to pay £22k to whistleblower and told by judges: Teach your managers what discrimination means

Terry 6 Silver badge

It does sound like "We pay you, we own you".

Putting the d'oh! in Adobe: 'Years of photos' permanently wiped from iPhones, iPads by bad Lightroom app update

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: People really ARE stupid

Was thinking about this. Being old enough to have done stuff when it wasn't all on the computer I always kept copies of important information. Those days the photocopier ( or carbon paper) was my friend.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: No file exists...

It's funny how developers can do this sort of thing. There's a publisher of educational software that a few years back produced a programme for schools that defaulted to saving the kids' work in the programmes folder. Which was on a locked down network in most schools. And the settings within the programme were also locked down behind a password and concealed from the users/teachers' view. And the error messages were suppressed. So the teachers didn't know that kids' work (or hopefully their trial work, familiarising themselves with the software before letting the kids loose on it, though I wouldn't bet on that) wasn't being saved because the programme was trying to save to a locked down location.

So one more good bit of educational software sat ignored in most schools because it was effectively unusable.

Terry 6 Silver badge

That's what I thought. But then my PC and its s/w are all legacy. Updated from Win 7 and retained at Office 2010 (because there's f all useful to me since even before then).

Terry 6 Silver badge

What!

Is that the default or something? Not using local drive to save? Since when was this.

Is that a new step down from the stupid "documents and settings" folder, or whatever it's called, that puts all the data in subfolders of the Windows: drive and pretends they're somewhere safe?

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Class action suit in 3... 2... 1...

Sounds good. But then we hear about big organisations losing their data to ransomware......

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Class action suit in 3... 2... 1...

You'd assume that users of proper editing s/w would be a division or two higher than the people who keep everything on their phones.

Apparently not.

doesn't excuse Adobe though.

Terry 6 Silver badge

What this puts the spotlight on is that there are a lot of people who take precious family photos on their phones and then, once they've done FB, "Insta" or whatever, just forget about them, assuming they'll always have them on their phone. Of course there's a bit of a panic when they get a new phone, especially if they switch between Apple/Android. But they just trust that the phone and their precious photos of little Chantelle growing up will be here when they want them. Backups? Never crosses their minds.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Are you telling me

As it happens, Macrium Reflect sends images to my External and second HDDs' backups partition/folder every few days. And my laptop backsup across the network to that PC too. In it's own folder.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: so I never saw a need for backing up photos

I agree.

I have all the family photos on a photos partition, with a backup on a backup partition (which happens to be on a second hdd) which is then backed up onto an external HDD that I swap from time to time.

I also have various old HDDs floating around, that carry most of the photos. And some free cloud storage accounts.

I'm trying to find a way to keep a copy away from home, too.

Terry 6 Silver badge

You forgot 3

3) Don't trust Adobe.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Class action suit in 3... 2... 1...

I only use Elements (PC) but it's hard not to notice that cataloguing and indexing photos that are nothing to do with Adobe seems to be a major part of what it does. In fact one of the first jobs after installing a new version ( just went from 9 to 2020) is to make it stop running in the background, recreating unwanted Start entries and all that shit. Adobe seem to think that once you install one of their products they own your device.

UK govt reboots A Level exam results after computer-driven fiasco: Now teacher-predicted grades will be used after all

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: We don't need no education

Clearly you are determined to find fault with and insult teachers. Equally clearly you won't accept any argument that shows the lack of logic or objectivity in what you write.

Normal teacher assessments are never more than a subjective estimate, they are not standardised in the way that exam marking is with the teachers who are btw also the exam markers spending a lot of time comparing marks and answers together. Nor are they intended to be. They re a guide. And some schools/teachers will estimate higher, to give confidence ( and to get better uni offers). Some will estimate lower, to make sure the kids don't get over confident. Some schools do mocks early, some later. Some more than once.

But you just want to attack teachers.

Live with it. It's your problem, no one else's. (At least not any more).

.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Word of the Week: "algorithm"

It's not about the Maths. it's about the assumptions and formulae that were applied.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: The fun part..

Since this was raised in news interviews and no such modification was referred to........

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: We don't need no education

But teachers didn't go on strike back then ( "back then" undefined).

What strikes are you talking about, and why would that have relevance?

weren't focused on bringing down tory governments How are teachers focussed on " bringing down tory (sic) governments"? In what way are they? Have you been reading conspiracy web sites by any chances?

doesn't actually bother to understand how the kids they teach react to exam conditions . In what way could teachers modify their assessments of the kids to replicate the negative effects of exam conditions? Penalise nervous kids? And anyway, what makes you think anyone can predict how individual kids performance will vary? Let alone by how much. Could anyone determine that child A will lose 7% of his/her marks due to exam stress and downgrade those marks accordingly? Even if it were objective and ethical.

Exams are a test of learning and everyone is given the same chance to demonstrate that learning. No they are not. And no one who has ever had anything to do with exams ( or learning) would claim otherwise. And that's without even bothering to discern what you mean by "learning". Exams are a test of recall, resilience, concentration, effort, and sometimes even understanding. And for that matter, what definition of "learning" would be appropriate to selection for University or employment? Assuming that there's even one such definition that serves for all/most subjects.

You seem to have a lot of resentment in you. And that's something you need to sort out for yourself. I've pointed out the irrational nature of your comments. That's all anyone can do.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: We don't need no education

Oh dear. You must have had a bad experience of education. Or maybe education had a bad experience of you.

As for your comment. Teacher assessments are as open to bias as any profession forced to make a summary judgement. And of course there are some. I have stories, even working with primary teachers on SATS. But they are the few.

But also, teacher assessments don't and can't take into account the differences between working in a classroom and sitting in an exam room. Exams have different variables; nerves, memory, technique etc.

The question is which is the truest test of a child's knowledge and understanding of a subject. Is it two or three years working on challenging tasks or two or three hours regurgitating preformed answers in a big room. Add in the students that have special arrangements because they have parents or a school better able or more capable of pushing for those, and those who need them but don't get them because they don't have a school or parents who push the right buttons. Mix in a bit of random chance ( which questions come up).

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: Word of the Week: "algorithm"

Yes "algorithm" is being used as a magic word. As if the computer chose to balance the results in some clever computerish way. We know that an alogorithm is just a string of calculations and comparisons, chosen and weighted by the hoomans and then pushed through a computer to do the lots of hard sums repeatedly and quickly. The computer didn't make the decisions, it just worked them out for the people.

But you wouldn't think that from the BBC/politicians.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: We don't need no education

We need to scotch that one. The grades submitted for the exam substitute were far more carefully applied, checked and moderated by schools than normal ones. They weren't just the usual teacher assessment. They weren't down to one teacher's judgement. These were treated as an exam substitute . As near as possible a realistic assessment, checked and signed off by a series of professionals. So to downgrade these assessments on the basis that traditional predictions are unreliable is inevitably going to be unfair and unreasonable.

As to the fairness and reliability of traditional exams......

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