* Posts by DJV

2049 posts • joined 4 Aug 2009

First they came for Notepad. Now they're coming for Task Manager

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Re: Microsoft recommended a reboot

I'd recommend a reboot up Microsoft's arse*!

*or "donkey" for left-pondians.

NASA's Curiosity finds signs of ancient life on Mars. Or maybe not. More data needed

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Re: "very primitive life, likely never beyond lichen if that"

You're right! I have received notice from the lichen's lawyers that I am to be sued by their clients for libel. So, due to the speed (or lack thereof) of their metabolism, myself (or more likely my heirs) will face the courts sometime around the year 3786.

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"very primitive life, likely never beyond lichen if that"

So, pretty much on par with what sits between a politician's ears then...

UK government backs away from proposals to remove individuals' rights to challenge AI decision making

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Re: "Artificial Idiocy"

There's enough Real Idiocy being demonstrated by those "in power" - we definitely don't need to add any of the Artificial variety into the mix as well!

I own that $4.5bn of digi-dosh so rewrite your blockchain and give it to me, Craig Wright tells Bitcoin SV devs

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And not under the doormat outside the front door?

COVID-19 was a generational opportunity for change at work – and corporate blew it

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My organisation didn't change at all!

No change to work patterns.

No change to the workplace itself.

Flexibility - no change whatsoever.

Still the same sweary old git in charge.



Then again - I am self-employed and have been working from home for myself since 2008 anyway!

Bug in WebKit's IndexedDB implementation makes Safari 15 leak Google account info... and more

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Re: Have you heard of the XMas break?

Yeah, Auntie Mabel had one of those after she'd been at the sherry originally destined for the Christmas pudding and singing "I Won't Decorate Your Christmas Tree This Year" at the top of the stairs...

...just before she was suddenly at the bottom of those same stairs.

Move over exoplanets, exomoons are the next big thing

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Once they get a spectrograph to recognise octarine we'll know for sure.

Alien life on Super-Earth can survive longer than us due to long-lasting protection from cosmic rays

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Re: "Latte-drinking attention-deficient adipose blobs would be my bet"

A couple of decades then...

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Re: "Earth’s magnetic field will disappear in 6.2 billion years or so"

Wear a larger, very wide-brimmed hat.

Microsoft rolls out Files On-Demand with tighter macOS integration – but it defaults to 'on' and can't be disabled

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OneDrive - once bitten...

My only interaction with OneDrive is to completely uninstall it. Having tried to use this shonky piece of crap in the past and have it piss over me, I won't go near the damn thing ever again!

Could BYOB (Bring Your Own Battery) offer a solution for charging electric vehicles? Microlino seems to think so

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I want to see Jeremy Clarkson test drive it...

...purely for the laughs and swears!

'Admin error': AWS in dead company data centre planning application snafu in Oxfordshire

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Re: Rats

They employ huge rats in motorway services now? Are they working on the tills or cooking the food?

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Re: Why on earth would AWS want to build 3 datacentres so close together?

You were lucky to have something to type on! We had to input our operating system using binary switches ...

...and when I say "binary switches" I mean manually pressing together bare wires that had thousands of volts going through them...

...all while standing in a puddle because the server room was in the gents!

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Re: Why on earth would AWS want to build 3 datacentres so close together?

Maybe the guy installing all the servers only has one boot floppy and a bicycle...

HMRC tool for measuring IR35 status is so great, employers are ditching it in their droves

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Trust in [CEST's] accuracy is virtually non-existent

Doesn't surprise me - it completely fails the "fit for purpose" label. I tried it out a couple of years ago and found it wasn't even possible to input all the relevant details about the way I worked. The result it gave for me was, as expected, completely wrong.

A slice is better than none: Apple gives in, allows third-party app billing systems in Korea, per local law

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Re: iGiant told something to ElReg?

Blimey! Better be on the lookout for porcine aviation, extremely low temperatures in the underworld and riders of horses in quantities that are simultaneously more than three and fewer than five.

Dev's PostgreSQL experiment probes possibility of zero-downtime schema migration

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Many years ago I wrote some code which automated minor schema changes in MySQL for websites. It's still in use and handles:

* creating tables and their indexes in newly set up databases - all tables are automatically created the first time the website is accessed

* adding new fields added to a table (in most cases it can add new fields to a primary key);

* deleting non-critical (e.g. non-primary key) fields;

* adding or removing indexes;

* renaming fields provided no more than one field of a particular type and length is changed simultaneously. If it discovers, say, two VARCHAR(100) fields being renamed simultaneously it reports that it has no idea which one needs renaming to what new name and gracefully exits;

* non-destructive field type changes - i.e. nothing that should lose data. E.g. changing VARCHAR(40) to VARCHAR(100), TEXT to LONGTEXT, INT to BIGINT.

The code that does this compares the schema derived from the code view of it against the MySQL view of it (from the DESCRIBE statement) and runs the appropriate update depending on the changes detected. The code is either executed once a day or if an SQL statement fails. So, adding a new field to a table (via the code) and having that field requested will silently fail the first time it is used, which causes it to then call the code that updates the schema. Then it tries the SQL statement a second time (a second fail will stop the program). So, the whole process is transparent to the user who just sees a new field added and the system appears to carry on without a hiccup.

The whole thing removes about 99% of the need for manual hacking around with the database so has probably saved me hours of time.

What begins with a 'B' and is having problems at tsoHost? Hopefully not your website

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Re: Name please of...

...who you moved to?

Another day, another ERP project behind schedule: This time it's Norfolk County Council and an Oracle system

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Re: Surprise, surprise ..... yet another cost overrun :)

The only reality is the increase in council tax for the poor sods (that's you and me*) who are at the end of the chain.

* me especially as Norfolk Cunty** Council as the ones I pay my council tax to.

** typo (deliberate)

To err is human. To really screw things up requires a wayward screwdriver

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Re: Unplug Power before working...

A friend of mine had problems with her computer. So, she reached behind it hoping to find a reset switch. She found a switch without any problem and managed to switch the PSU from the normal 220 volts to 110 volts. I managed to rescue some of the data off the hard drive - the motherboard, CPU and RAM were all fried.

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Re: Ah, yes! Warning lights!

@Pete That's a great story!

Of course, any mention of "changing the bulb" immediately brings this to mind!

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A TV related bang!

Another tale from my apprentice TV engineering days.

I was sent out with an engineer called Mack to help collect a TV that was no longer required by the family renting it. The TV was on one side of the fireplace, the double mains socket on the other. At some point in the past the mains lead had been extended (using a now-illegal taped up connection) by someone in the family. The extension part of the lead was pinned to the skirting board by cable clips before it ran underneath the carpet and around the fireplace to disappear behind a cabinet before reaching the wall socket. Mack asked if they wanted to keep their extension wire - they did - so he asked them to unplug the other end, which they did. He got out his side cutters and chopped through the wire next to where the taped up joint was. There was a loud bang, Mack was suddenly wearing a very surpised expression and the side cutters, whose handles were thankfully insulated, now had a hole where their blades had previously met.

"Oh," said the member of the family who had done the unplugging, "I think it might have been the other plug."

Avira also mines imaginary internet money on customers' PCs

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Tried Avira...

Thought it was a pile of shit - learning here that it comes from the Norton stable explains a lot!

Feeling virtuous with a good old paperback? Well, don't. Switching to traditional media does not improve mood

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Re: f(X) == f(Y) for some f()

Fully agree there! And when comparing a proper book with the electronic equivalent then the physical book wins hands down - e-readers just don't have the right smell - give me a well-thumbed paperback any day!

Snap continues to make a spectacle of itself as it tries to trademark the word spectacles

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Re: You could see that decision coming

Watch it or someone will frame you for an even worse joke! :D

Less than PEACH-y: UK's plant export IT system only works with Internet Explorer

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"we will update this article accordingly"

I suspect you might need to send them a fax or possibly even a telegram to get them to respond!

Failing that, write a missive on vellum, fold it, tie it with ribbon and secure it using sealing wax - then get your footman to deliver it by hand.

The inevitability of the Windows 11 UI: New Notepad enters the beta channel

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"After all, it would be very out of character for Microsoft to take a perfectly working bit of code and replace it with something hopelessly broken."

Nope, that's absolutely, definitely and most categorically never happened ever before, absolutely, no siree!

At 9 for every 100 workers, robots are rife in Singapore – so we decided to visit them

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Re: "they have a limited decision capacity"

Watch it - that's just what they WANT you to think!

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Re: Share and Enjoy

Yes, but which one will be first against the wall when the revolution comes?

Ceefax replica goes TITSUP* as folk pine for simpler times

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Re: Rented TV's

Now that takes me back! Our first TV was rented from DER when the family lived in London - it was probably around 1960. The first one we had was actually a combined TV + radio receiver. We were forever calling the engineers out because the radio part kept going wrong. I think it got swapped out for a TV-only type after a while (we already had a separate valve radio at the time). I do remember that you had to turn both the TV and radios on at least 5 minutes before the start of any programme you wanted to watch or listen to as they needed that time to "warm up".

Though I never saw it myself, one Rediffusion customer still had a BBC-only TV that was still going strong in the mid-1970s. He'd had it since before ITV went on the air in my area (which, by then, was East Anglia - so 1959). Like your parents, I seem to remember the guy was very reluctant to upgrade.

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Re: Rented TV's

Indeed, though in my case it was Rediffusion.

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Funny dots!

Because Ceefax was "stored" in the top few scan lines of each TV picture frame, it gave us TV engineers a fine old time running around people's houses in the early 1970s as older TVs started to display the "funny moving dots" at the top of the screen. We had to either adjust the height* but some sets with iffy flyback also required some of the internal vertical alignment settings poking around with as well.

* for those customers incapable** of doing it for themselves.

** there were plenty of those - though they weren't as bad as the ones that took the backs of their rented TVs and played with the controls themselves. We even had one guy who had a habit of swapping valves around and then phoning up to complain that his set had stopped working!

Hauliers report problems with post-Brexit customs system but HMRC insists it is 'online and working as planned'

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a UK government IT platform

.....^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ -- well that's the problem, right there!

You wood not believe what a Japanese logging company and university want to use to build a small satellite

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Re: experts - please correct me here


(* or maybe No under some circumstances where Yes isn't appropriate)

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...instead of having it burn up during reentry, they could include a small container of hibernating woodworm* that will be released at the appropriate time and eat the entire thing up.

* and, possibly, metalworm** for the non-wooden parts.

** ah, wait, I think I can see a slight flaw in my idea...

Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes found guilty of fraud: Blood-testing machines were vapourware after all

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8. Go to 5.

Which one? You have two fives in there - wait, you're not trying to lie to us are you about how many fives you have? Shock horror!

A time when cabling was not so much 'structured' than 'survival of the fittest'

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Re: Stuck a finger...

Back when I was an apprentice TV engineer whenever we had a lot of work on we'd call in a retired engineer to help out. The guy was in his late 60s and, having worked in the trade for donkeys years, he seemed to be completely immune to electric shocks. I once saw him check to see if a ceiling light bulb socket was live by deliberately sticking his fingers in it. "Yep," he said, a few seconds later - so we replaced the bulb.

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Screwdrivers in wrong places.

Not IT related but I've got a couple here:

1) Back when I was a teenager my second job was an apprentice TV engineer. Poking around in the high voltage areas of a TV with a screwdriver and not a lot of teenage wisdom would occasionally result in accidentally earthing part of said screwdriver's shaft to the chassis while the tip was in contact with something very much NOT at earth potential. The resulting spark would often temporarily spot weld the screwdriver to the chassis! Good job this was back in the valve days as those things were far more resilient to weird voltages being thrown around than the transistorised replacements that had started coming along around the same time.

2) A few years ago I had a guy out to do the regular yearly service on my gas combi boiler. He'd cleaned everything up and partly re-assembled it and was testing how well the water was heating up before putting the main case back on. At the same time he was looking around for a screwdriver that he'd misplaced. Then he noticed a "slight" irregularity through the small window that gave a view into the burner - he'd found his screwdriver! A hasty disassembly and the screwdriver, whose plastic handle was by now slightly melted, was recovered! The following year he was still proudly using the same screwdriver...

You've stolen the antiglare shield on that monitor you've fixed – they say the screen is completely unreadable now

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I once cleaned HALF of a screen - just to demonstrate to the idiots what the problem was!

Predictive Dirty Dozen: What will and won't happen in 2022 (unless it doesn’t/does)

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"All office chairs are gaming chairs"

And that's why I am sticking with my secondhand office chair which is probably pushing at least 30 years old by now.

The unadjustable but detachable arms were removed very early on as they were giving me shoulder ache. The seat was recovered back around 2005 after the offspring of a deceased next door neighbour skipped her old furniture in the house clearout - my good old Stanley knife (1960s vintage and previously owned by my father) liberated the as-good-as-new back velvet material from the otherwise well-worn-out sofa which is why the seat is red and the back support is the original brown. The air cylinder packed up a couple of years ago so a bit of unused plastic waste pipe now keeps the seat at the appropriate height.

I've tried other chairs but this one is still the most comfortable - I think I will alter my will to make sure it gets cremated with me when I shuffle off my mortal coil!

Four years: That's how long Azure's App Service had a source code leak bug

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"Note that description does not mention security"

Well, it's Microsoft* where security has always been an afterthought (if it's ever "thought" in the first place).

* Actually, you can probably substitute almost any computer software company here. It seems to me that security is something that's always patched in later but is NEVER part of the mix of original ingredients.

On Christmas night, a computer logs a call to say his user has stopped working…

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Before realising it was a date, my first thought on seeing that number was, "Blimey, he's talking about the first disk drive I ever owned."

UK National Crime Agency finds 225 million previously unexposed passwords

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"Depends whether you trust them or not"

Ha ha ha! Trust Google? NEVER!

And my trust in Apple is not that far behind...

The monitor boom may have ended, says IDC

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Re: Blue Christmas

I've been running dual monitors on both my PCs for years until a couple of weeks ago when one of my cats managed to jump on top of one monitor and kick it over so that its face hit the mouse. On first inspection there didn't even appear to be a scratch on the monitor's screen surface. Then I turned it on and discovered that, beneath the surface, the LED part of the screen had shattered!

Newly discovered millipede earns its name by being the first to walk on one thousand legs

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Re: Lower than a flea's bellybutton

Maybe one of its ancestors was well into Jules Verne but, given their relatively small size, 60m down is only as far as they've got so far. Give 'em time!

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Well, it's certainly taxon my brain at this time of night!

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Wasn't this on Top of the Pops?

Sorry, my mistake - that was Legs & Co.

Thank you, FAQ chatbot, but if I want your help I'll ask for it

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I'm not so old that I can't scroll downwards without assistance

Some people can't!

I was once in an office where another member of staff (let's call him Colin, for that was his name and this isn't a Who Me?) was trying to explain to a customer on the phone how to scroll down a long drop-down menu list in order to view the items that were off the bottom of it. Colin was the utmost in polite helpfulness, which didn't disguise the fact that the person on the other end of the phone line was someone who obviously had problems with computers (and possibly thinking and breathing at the same time). I was in stitches laughing by the time (many minutes later) Colin had finally got the customer to realise what those bars were for on the right of the screen or drop-down menu and how to move them - maybe he'd previously thought they were just random decoration or something. What Colin said AFTER the customer had finally got a clue and was off the phone was far less polite!

Pop!_OS 21.10: Radical distro shows potential but does not play nicely with others

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"Pop doesn't install GRUB; it uses systemd-boot"

Well, that's definitely a good reason to avoid it then!


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