* Posts by John 110

603 posts • joined 10 Aug 2009


Open source 'Office' options keep Microsoft running faster than ever

John 110

Re: Options are always good


Anything's better than Office (i assume you meant MS Office) if you don't have the cash lying about to buy/rent a fully licensed copy of MS Office.

Apple scraps 3-day return to office amid COVID-19 cases

John 110

Re: At What Point...

How did that kool-aid taste?

--->labcoat with "I'm a microbiologist and I'm wearing a mask" on the back

September 16, 1992, was not a good day to be overly enthusiastic about your job

John 110

Re: my early bird antics cost them over 40k

@alan brown

currency traders were at it like gangbusters...

currency traders were at it like gangsters.

There fixed that for you...

Apple seeks patent for 'innovation' resembling the ZX Spectrum, C64 and rPi 400

John 110

Re: Single input/output port

No it didn't have a fan, just a heatsink and a bottle of milk straight out the fridge.

There, FTFY

IT advice fuelled by beer is the best IT advice of all, right?

John 110

Re: He is very bright

My wife trained as a Secondary School teacher after her degree. She spent a year on how to teach and how to use the equipment she would be expected to use when she taught (science teacher, so complicated stuff).

I worked at a University Lab where this year's PhD students became next year's lecturers, without any teaching training other than what they remembered from being lectured at by the last lot (who had been trained "on the job" same as them...)

Your app deleted all my files. And my wallpaper too!

John 110

Re: Even Worse

Oh, did you know our infection control nurse? When she complained that her email "was full", the office manager solved the problem by emptying her trash folder. Cue screams of anguish and a sheepish call to Computer Services (who did restore the stuff, but kept it for a week without giving it back)

I'd like to think that IC nurse (who knew nothing) and office manager (who thought she knew everything) learned a lesson, but realistically I had to accept that they didn't.

John 110

Re: Concepts are hard to understand

When I first got my IT support job (sole computer literate person in a diagnostic Microbiology lab with a university component), I was asked to give our Honours students a brief talk on how to use a computer and especially Word for Windows. (at the time, we had three Windows 3.11 pcs for the use of 6 students and some staff).

I chose instead to do a talk on file handling and how not to lose your work when you take a floppy out of the drive before Word was ready to let you.

I decided to do this after I checked the pcs after a couple of weeks of a new term and found all sorts of crap on the root of C:, in spite of everyone having a network login and storage space to themselves. I also had to separate two guys fighting over a machine which had somebody's files on root.

The ones who paid attention never came to me with corrupted files on floppy, the guys who fell asleep -- well...

File suffixes: Who needs them? Well, this guy did

John 110

"(all binary files should have a specification which mandates the use of a magic number)..."

What like AmigaOS back in the 80s...?

Dido Harding's appointment to English public health body ruled unlawful

John 110

Re: Guilty of not doing a equality report

You've got to view it as equivalent to Al Capone getting done for taxes. You've got to get them where you can.

UK pins hopes on 'latest technology' to whittle down massive National Health Service waiting lists

John 110


"...Providing better working conditions for nurses, giving them the pay rise they deserve,..."

Providing better working conditions for nurses etc, giving them the pay rise they deserve,

Fixed that, by the way, I agree and also upvoted you.

[disclaimer: I worked in a lab for 48 years -- yes I am old, why?]

John 110

Re: Oh FFS

It's a party political issue, because as soon as a party needs a big stick to hit the current incumbent with, they grab the NHS's "failures" irrespective of whether or not those "failures" were their fault the last time round...

Bouncing cheques or a bouncy landing? All in a day's work for the expert pilot

John 110

Cables and connectors have a life of their own

Connecting a lump of diagnostic equipment in a medical lab to it's associated computer and a second computer that fed the signals to a database for storage (don't ask me why it needed two, you'd have to ask the manufacturer (to protect the innocent, they weren't called Costello...)) was carried out using an octopus of cables with identical connectors on the ends, some of which were serial (small RS232) for the PCs, some were propriety to fit the sockets on the analyser. They were identified with these little shrink tabs on each end which was frickin useless when you were crawling behind this thing (space is always tight in a Microbiology lab which was designed before we progressed beyond Pasteur and into the machine age) to determine which plug goes into which socket. Phone support from the company tried their best, but each installation in the country had a unique set of connections depending on Lab systems and other ancillaries... Took me three days per machine. (we had three analysers)

Then just before I retired, they added a new technological identification system that required yet another PC and connection, two of which had dual serial cards and one had a USB-serial converter...

And don't ask me what IT services said when I explained the need for yet another node point...for three analysers...

Tesla driver charged with vehicular manslaughter after deadly Autopilot crash

John 110

Traffic lights?

seems relevant

Not looking forward to a greyscale 2022? Then look back to the past in 64 colours

John 110

I didn't think BMWs had turn signals...

John 110

New Year

This year was the first year I've been First-Footed with hot cross buns (from Asda with a reduced sticker)

A fifth of England's NHS trusts are mostly paper-based as they grapple with COVID backlog, warn MPs

John 110

Re: "improve productivity in an organisation severely short of staff"


Two things stick out from your post.

First, it is impossible to run anything with just the specialist staff. The NHS NEEDS cleaners, porters, secretaries IT staff, Lab support workers etc. These are the lowest paid of the staff budget and either have a high turnover, or rely on the dedication and good will of the workers (which is not any less from ancillary staff than clinically facing staff)

Second, I agree about the cost of high-level administrators, but the sad truth is that good administrators cost money, and the best ones we had were wooed away to industry or other NHS Trusts for a higher salary than they were currently getting. The catchphrase is "if you want industry-quality administration, you have to pay industry salaries"

Everyone else (except Doctors, who opted out), are on standard payscales (used to be Agenda For Change, don't know what they are now.)

--> me putting on my Howie (https://www.workinstyle.com/howie-lab-coat.html) coat (in the days when I wore one...)

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

John 110

Re: I'm glad I'm not old enough

My first job (in 1971) was in a diagnostic Microbiology Lab, based in a University building basement. The edges of the benches all had little burn marks where the fags had been carefully left on the bench and burned down, yes, even the faeces bench...

One consultant Bacteriologist used to carry an ashtray into the lab with him.

--> Doctor Green smoking his pipe.

Yule goat's five-year flame-free streak ends ignominiously

John 110



Wait, were you serious?

Naaa, you couldn't be...

Another Debian dust-up with Firefox dependencies – but there is an annoying and awkward workaround

John 110

Re: And that is why…

"Per those links, the development work to make them compatible is to change a string tag to say Pale Moon."

So that means it's up to the maintainer of the extension to change the target, not the developers of the browser (who have other things to do)

John 110

Re: And that is why…

Pale Moon didn't break your extensions. Mozilla massively changed the extension protocol and some of the extension maintainers didn't want to support XUL and the new firefox eco system.

Feel free to fork your favourite extension so they still work in Pale Moon though.

Also see https://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=23697

When civilisation ends, a Xenix box will be running a long-forgotten job somewhere

John 110

Re: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

As an ex-labtech/it support guy for the NHS, I assumed the article meant Diagnostic Pathology Lab rather than a business.

If so (I'm making a lot of assumptions here, I know) then the regular report was probably the Cancer Registry.

If you work in NHS diagnostic pathology and someone asks for help with that particular report database, then you give it gladly...

Altruism rules OK!

The ideal sat-nav is one that stops the car, winds down the window, and asks directions

John 110

Rallying cries!

I once spent an interesting journey in the back of a wooden framed Morris Traveller a friend was restoring. She (the driver) had rallied extensively round the Scottish Borders and had trained Him (the navigator) to shout out the direction and degree of upcoming turns at a predetermined distance.

This makes for the most invigorating(?) journey through Angus country roads I've ever had.

[Note for anyone who's never driven in Angus: the roads are routinely twisty, and if you see a sign indicating a bend ahead, they really, really mean it! (see selected icon)]

Amazon tells folks it will stop accepting UK Visa credit cards via weird empty email

John 110

Just a wee note to remind you that here North of the border, we voted to stay and got dragged out anyway...

(and don't even mention, "vote No to independance if you want to stay in the EU...)

In the '80s, spaceflight sim Elite was nothing short of magic. The annotated source code shows how it was done

John 110

Re: Ah Elite !

The Amstrad CPCs played Elite very well, even including a handy bug involving approaching a station at high velocity then hitting hyperspace at just the right moment resulted in a docking computer-free dock.

(IIRC it was a long time ago (and in a galaxy...))

Nostalgia buffs can also experience the thrill of manual docking in Oolite...

Now that's a splash down: Astronauts spend 8-hour trip to Earth in diapers after SpaceX capsule toilet breaks

John 110

BSFA members...

BSFA members will of course remember Bob Shaw's innovative suggestion that they should use the pee as a reaction fluid. Harnessing the fluid-multiplying effects of beer, his ship the Urin-8 had a bar at one end and reaction propellant tanks at the other...

(he also speculated on Scottie's reaction to Kirk needing more power from the engines...)

What a clock up: Brit TV-broadband giant Sky fails to pick up weekend's timezone change, fix due by Friday

John 110

Re: I hate DST.

The wallclock that I inherited from my granny (made in the Black Forest in the late 1800s apparently) is having difficulty connecting to the atomic clocks to do it's updating. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Sharing is caring, except when it's your internet connection

John 110

Re: Oh, all the open SSIDs...

Several years ago, my son used to use the train journey home to catch up on email etc by piggy-backing on the open wifi signals found along the way.

All I want for Christmas is a delivery address that a delivery courier can find

John 110

Our local hospital has the postcode of the premises that housed the NHS Health Board in 1969, when the place was planned (a building which is no longer NHS premises two or three miles away). When I worked there, we used to put the actual area postcode on our email sig labeled "for SatNav".

BOFH: You. Wouldn't. Put. A. Test. Machine. Into. Production. Without. Telling. Us.

John 110

The guy's here...

"The guy's here with the new analyser and he needs a network connection"

"Well we'll need a node livened by IT, that usually take a couple of days if they're not busy rolling out COVID testing gear"

"Could you not phone Denise and ask her nicely?"

"I could've if you'd asked me yesterday, or last week would've been better. When did you know we were getting this?"


Fatal Attraction: Lovely collection, really, but it does not belong anywhere near magnetic storage media

John 110

Not a PC but a monitor

I cured a glitchy CRT (the picture wobbled at about 50Hz) by nipping into the lab next door (after hours) and moving a lab waterbath (which have a big stirrer inside driven by -obviously- an electric motor) from the adjoining wall to other wall.

(Note: after hours because the inhabitants of the lab had refused to move the bloody thing when asked...)

Next day -

Did you move that waterbath?

What waterbath?

What if Chrome broke features of the web and Google forgot to tell anyone? Oh wait, that's exactly what happened

John 110

I think MyPal (a Pale Moon fork) is frowned on by the people who forked Firefox into Pale Moon due to not adhering to the Open Source licensing that Pale Moon uses.

TL;DR I can't be bothered looking it up, but they're arguing about it somewhere.

NB: Pale Moon does everything I need it to, but beware! Redditors don't like it...

Firewalls? Pfft – it's no match for my mighty spares-bin PC

John 110

Re: Last Men Standing!

As the only IT support with the necessary Lab experience to manage the IT effectively, I gave the department 2 years notice that I was thinking of retiring and a year to say I was going and that they should maybe give me back the one enthusiastic staff member who was at all interested in doing dual IT and Microbiology. (he had been taken away when the Lab Manager went off sick and the deputy (who hated "they computer thingys") grabbed my apprentice back.)

This was ignored by the Lab Manager.

A month before I went, the clinical director stopped me in the corridor and asked who was to replace me. I shrugged and said that she'd have to ask the Lab Manager about that, but that I knew that the others in my lab team (in a different discipline, but also tasked with IT) would help out where necessary.

Cue large explosion in the management team.

I did leave a textfile with hints...

IKEA: Cameras were hidden in the ceiling above warehouse toilets for 'health and safety'

John 110

El Reg doesn't need to shoe-horn in anti-Tory stuff, they do that for themselves...

I would drive 100 miles and I would drive 100 more just to be the man that drove 200 miles to... hit the enter key

John 110

Re: Just being pedantic...

"Rab C. Nesbitt, is that ye?" should be :

Rab C. Nesbitt, is that yersel?

Electron-to-joule conversion formulae? Cute. Welcome to the school of hard knocks

John 110

Re: "a multitude of fresh qualifications counted for naught"

"Why would you use a pipe like that?"

Because sometimes you have to use what THEY supply regardless of how crappy it is...

You walk in with a plan. You leave with GPS-tracking Nordic hiking poles. The same old story, eh?

John 110

Re: Bargle nawdle zouss

"The Aldi-Lidl Islay malts are guid."

I must have got a duff one then. After finishing off the bottle (not in one sitting!!) I hated it so much that I didn't mind paying for a genuine Laphroaig to take the taste away.

I did get a nice and cheap 12 year old Islay malt from Tesco some years back, but that batch is long gone (rumoured to have been found in a warehouse and sold to Tesco) and their current cheapo Islay malt tastes like a cheapo Islay malt...

When everyone else is on vacation, it's time to whip out the tiny screwdrivers

John 110

Kudos for Lacuna Coil, I've never met anyone else who's heard of them. (I hadn't till I appropriated the CD from my youngest son)

After quietly switching to slower NAND in an NVMe SSD, Western Digital promises to be a bit louder next time

John 110

I took two virtually identical ford escorts (mk II, it was a loooong time ago) built a year apart in to get new exhausts, only to find that one was built in Spain and needed a specially ordered exhaust...

Before I agree to let your app track me everywhere, I want something 'special' in return (winks)…

John 110

Re: Flake Ad

Thanks for the Flake ad, couldn't you find the bath one? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEZ2ax2-O2A)

...the one with the "happy ending"...

Everyone cites that 'bugs are 100x more expensive to fix in production' research, but the study might not even exist

John 110

Re: Example

"...with vastly expensive consequences."

And not just money, lives were lost/destroyed.

United, Mesa airlines order 200 electric 19-seater planes for short-hop flights

John 110

Why 19?

See title...

(19 offends my OCD)

I'll just fold your coat for you--->

NHS contracts for document storage, digitisation three years after paperless deadline

John 110

Re: Put it to scale..

Been there done that.

Also: digital x-rays took up a more than significant amount of bandwidth on the link between Dundee and Perth, so much that us IT guys knew to say that it was Radiology's fault whenever we had complaint about the slow network...

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

John 110

Rubbermaid also made some nifty cable management boxes that came in very handy at those PCs where people tend to sidle over and ogle - sorry - chat to the secretaries, dragging the cable about with their shuffling feet...

Galaxy quest: Yet another sub-£500 phone comes to trouble mobile big dogs in the form of Realme GT 5G

John 110

Re: Security

I don't think I do anything that would worry me if the chinese found out, I doubt if they're even interested in me. (or maybe they will be now - shrug)

US Supreme Court rules teens cussing out schools on social media is protected speech

John 110

Re: The bigger question

I would hope that any intelligent person who is planning to work anywhere else would self-censor on social media. I'm not involved in interviewing potential staff anymore, but I know I would think twice about employing someone who was shouting profanity about their current employer on a regular basis.

Playmobil crosses the final frontier with enormous, metre-long Enterprise playset

John 110

A custom shop fender strat...

BOFH: When the Sun rises in the West and sets in the East, only then will the UPS cease to supply uninterrupted voltage

John 110

Re: Wouldn´t be surprised

Ah, the Amiga power supply! Happy memories. One of ours died, so after making sure that a PC power supply would supply the right set of voltages (if wired up correctly), I nipped down to Computer Services at work and "rescued" a condemned (because of old age) PC from their stonehenge of machines that they kept meaning to get rid of...

Once I got it home, I discovered that this predated modular power supplies and the gubbins was just plonked in the case as a set of components that needed the whole case to work... It was the weekend, the kids wanted their Amiga back and so I just shrugged and persevered. The wiring went beautifully, but I had to tie an old PC desktop case (with nothing in it except power supply) to the back of the desk with a bit of plastic clothesline I had lying about.

Utopia? Echoes of Delphi and Dreamweaver in new visual editor for React

John 110

"...Delphi Still does this..."

and its Open Source offspring, Lazarus.

Inventor of the graphite anode – key Li-ion battery tech – says he can now charge an electric car in 10 minutes

John 110
Thumb Down

Re: A power station at each garage ?

Charging at home is fine if you can, I can't get my car at my door, and until they fit a charging point on my disabled driver sign, I'll need to stick to liquid fuel.

Beyond video to interactive, personalised content: BBC is experimenting with rebuilding its iPlayer in WebAssembly

John 110

Re: Fuck the BBC - fuck iPlayer

"Honestly, I think the BBC is trying its best to be impartial after getting its arse slapped last year."

You obviously don't live in Scotland...



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022