* Posts by John 110

558 posts • joined 10 Aug 2009


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...

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

John 110

Re: Every year, I understand him better.

Coming out of the loo in Birmingham Airport, I stepped aside to let the old guy coming in get past, only to realise that it wasn't a door, it was a mirror...

Accidentally wiped an app's directory? Hey, just play the 'unscheduled maintenance' card. Now you're a hero

John 110

Re: Add end users, stir vigorously

I learnt not to assume that end users know *anything* about the PC you've just given them when I gave a new medic the PC that had belonged to their predecessor. I told her that all the guy's stuff should have been on the network so delete anything you don't recognise... She deleted the Windows directory.

I didn't want to tell IT because they were a bunch of grumpy sarcastic buggers. That's when I learnt to restore Windows XP from the recycle bin...

File this next to Mars bars under 'things that should not be deep-fried': Marks & Spencer's Colin the Caterpillar

John 110

Re: There's more than one Scotland

@lindsay t

Shairly ye need twa bridies, a plen ane an an ingin ane ana

Oh an they eat some weird stuff north of Aberdeen as well...

-->seen in the Howff on a setirday

SpaceX flings another bunch of humans into orbit in reused capsule atop reused booster

John 110

Re: One careful owner...

flight proven--is that the same as "previously loved"?

NHS COVID-19 app update blocked by Apple, Google over location privacy fears

John 110

Re: "the agreement the NHS signed with them"


"...I have problems with the trackability of individuals (albeit anonymised)...."

I don't think that anyone with your handle (do we still call them "handles") actually believes that we're not being tracked everywhere by these devices anyway. It's best to treat it as the price you have to pay for the features and convenience of having a pocket computer.

Quality control, Soviet style: Here's another fine message you've gotten me into

John 110

Re: Ziebart.

My dad had a Moskvitch, sadly the doors were the right way up :( until they rusted off. He traded it in for a Lada. That was posh, the dash had a covering on it, not just painted black metal.

Footnote: This was not in Eastern Europe, but East Coast Scotland... A local enterprising company imported all these foreign rust-buckets, Mazda's then the russian cars, then Skoda's. They still sell skoda's but they're a bit more upmarket than they used to be. Did I mention Yugo's?

For blinkenlights sake.... RTFM! Yes. Read The Front of the Machine

John 110
Thumb Down

Re: The Agony and No Ecstasy

Getting the wife's wheelchair out of the back of the car. Did all the right things, straight back, no twisting, then somebody passing talked to me as I was about to put it down. I turned to reply...sproing!! Three days flat on my back...

As an aside, do you know how hard it is to buy an affordable car which'll take a wheelchair in the boot without being the size of an elephant?

Ministry of Defence tells contractors not to answer certain UK census questions over security fears

John 110

Re: Without being too picky...

Thatcher and Callaghan, ok they were obviously from different ends of the political spectrum, but Cameron and Blair were indistinguishable.

John 110

Re: Without being too picky...

Off Topic:"the idea that "they're all as bad as one another" was palpable rubbish"

Do you seriously think that any of the useless shower that are likely to form a Westminster government in the event of an election are any better than any other!

They're all a bunch of fucking politicians, more concerned with covering their own arses and filling their own pockets than governing the country!

John 110

Without being too picky...

The census only covers England and Wales (us uppity Scots don't have to answer your poxy questions until 2022), so it's not really a UK census is it?

Faster than a speeding... tab opening? Vivaldi 3.7 is here

John 110

Re: If Only . . .

Like this? https://forum.vivaldi.net/topic/21489/newbie-discovery-speeddial-can-be-dragged-from-opera-to-vivaldi

John 110

Re: Tab opening? Really?

"One useful thing would be to re-introduce text menus"

Really? My copy of Vivaldi has text menus, maybe you've not looked hard enough.

Disclaimer: not my primary browser, so I haven't examined the bewildering array of preferences either, but I like menus so...

Don't be a fool, cover your tool: How IBM's mighty XT keyboard was felled by toxic atmosphere of the '80s

John 110

Re: Keyboard covers are 'mandatory' in the healthcare sector...

When I did IT support in a Microbiology Lab, I bought a pile of the cheapest keyboards in the catalogue (we had to use a preferred supplier) and when somebody complained about a wonky keyboard, I flung it in a waste bucket and had it autoclaved (https://www.steris.com/healthcare/knowledge-center/sterile-processing/everything-about-autoclaves) and plugged in a replacement.

Only once was the order referred to Computer Services, and they OKed it when I prised the keys off a dud keyboard and showed them what had accumulated underneath. Of course, I did it in a full containment cabinet with everybody gowned and gloved... (one of the guys they sent never came back to deal with any problems above my paygrade, he always sent a minion...)

-->Lab coat (I know it's not a Howie coat, but you have to use what you have)

Just when you thought it was safe to enjoy a beer: Beware the downloaded patch applied in haste

John 110

I once showed somebody how to send an out-of-office...

I once showed somebody how to send an out-of-office reply, only to discover he had one set up on his personal email that he had sent the test message from (In the days when your email client didn't worry about niceties like "only reply once to senders"). I got the job ("well you know who to speak to, John") of phoning IT to explain why the mail server was filling up...

John 110

NHS Borkage

I was there, dear reader...

Choose your fighter! March Mammal Madness pits poor, innocent critters against each other in mortal combat

John 110

Re: My cat

Well, we'll just have to take off and nuke it from orbit...

Half a million stolen French medical records, drowned in feeble excuses

John 110

Re: Drink water?

I have coeliac relatives who have a burger king burger without the bun, it's amazing how horrible it looks without the bun to hide it...

You want me to do WHAT in that prepaid envelope?

John 110

Re: The UK test


I read that thread before I had mine and I thank the author from the heart of my bottom...

John 110

Re: Club 50+

"...In Japan, they would at least have hired an illustrator to decorate the leaflet with cute little cartoon mascots cheerfully shitting..."

When I was gainfully employed, I shared an office with the person who sent out the screening kits (space is at a premium in NHS Labs, and the Lab IT office had a spare desk...). She spent the first half of the week taking out the cute japanese instructions and replacing them with ones deemed to be more professional looking.

<icon: don't light warning...>

Housekeeping and kernel upgrades do not always make for happy bedfellows

John 110

Re: Delete is written rename

I agree, passwords should be on post-its under the keyboard. (NEVER stuck on the monitor! Especially a Dell, as when they invariably fail, hardware support will take your stickies with the old monitor...)

We know it's hard to get your kicks at work – just do it away from a wall switch powering anything important

John 110

Re: My favourite one....

In my capacity as IT support in a Hospital lab, keyboard errors commonly occurred when medics answering the phone would perch on the edge of the desk... 3 seconds later the keyboard buffer would fill with spaces and start beeping...

Borkem ipsum: Supermarket gifts Thailand a tech fail that will echo down the millennia – and probably choke a turtle

John 110


...I dunno, it's all greek to me...

Chromium cleans up its act – and daily DNS root server queries drop by 60 billion

John 110

Re: hang on

"regularly witnessed people type the full domain into google"

One of my users has been doing just that since 1996 (except it was excite)...

UK Test and Trace chief Dido Harding tries to convince MPs that £14m for canned mobile app was money well spent

John 110


£1100 per day! For fuck's sake! I did IT support for the NHS until I retired and I was only ever paid Agenda for Change rates! (look it up, you're all IT literate) And they tried to drop me down a grade until I threatened to retire anyway!

£1100 a day!!

icon: I decided I was sad, rather than incandescent with rage. Ghod those beta-blockers are good.

How embarrassing: Xiaomi and Motorola show up to high school prom both wearing remote-charging tech

John 110

Re: Three Body Problem Trilogy


...into your fillings...

John 110

Re: A cradle with two contacts

What? Like my cordless phones? (Or any cordless phone I've had - ever!)

Fedora's Chromium maintainer suggests switching to Firefox as Google yanks features in favour of Chrome

John 110

Re: "blocks

The "chrome" in mozilla-style browsers refers to what the actual layout engine builds (page layout, window controls etc). Google appropriated Chrome as the name of their browser when it was already being used as a descriptive term by Mozilla (I believe).

Chromium is an open-sourced version of Chrome, like Chrome, but not Chrome (if you see what I mean)

BOFH: Are you a druid? Legally, you have to tell me if you're a druid

John 110
Thumb Up

Re: Homicidal robots armed with lethal ultraviolet lights...

Even I don't have Space:1999 DVD's

*lovingly dusts Stargate partwork - the one with "Stargate SG1" across the back if you put the DVDs in the right order - which I do, obviously*

You can drive a car with your feet, you can operate a sewing machine with your feet. Same goes for computers obviously

John 110


I supported 30 PCs in a diagnostic Microbiology lab - all with ball mice. You really don't want to know what I had to pick out of the rollers. I started buying cheapo mice in batches of 5 so that I could just throw out (via the autoclave) mice that I deemed unrecoverable. (You should have seen my boss's face when I demonstrated to him why this was necessary.

That's when I threw out all the plastic mouse mats we'd been given (with Elonex printed on them) and replaced them with the cheapest fabric ones that I could find.

UK's NHS Digital hands £8m contract to lab data biz after trouble matching COVID-19 tests to health records

John 110

Re: Does it work?

If you mean it doesn't work, then you're an idiot. If you didn't then carry on...

John 110

Re: X-Lab - Never heard of them

If you'd ever had anything to do with Diagnostic Laboratory IT, you'd be aware that X-Lab produce NpeX, a method of assuring rapid electronic transmission of test results between labs that do tests and labs that send tests away to be done. It's only boring because a) you're ignorant, and b) it doesn't have a flashing blue light on the top :)

PS There's more to the NHS than just Wards and Clinics, other people make a valuable contribution too (I did when I worked there...)

Brexit trade deal advises governments to use Netscape Communicator and SHA-1. Why? It's all in the DNA

John 110

Re: 20 year old tech...

You have a calendar! We have to make do with marks carved into the side of a standing stone...

Scotch eggs ascend to the 'substantial meal' pantheon as means to pop to pub for a pint during pernicious pandemic

John 110

Re: Why do you need rules?

"Many people will suffer very little side-effects from the virus."

And the rest don't count? So let's put the bullet in the cylinder and spin it, shall we?

"Doesn't mean it isn't a serious illness, but it's not ebola or cholera."

Because if people were squirting blood from all orifices, then we'd take it seriously?

The problem is that Covid isn't a hollywood illness, if it was, then people would take more notice. As I said (or meant to say), these precautions aren't arbitrary rules like parking restrictions or stuff like that. We're in a public health crisis, and every single time we relax and take our eye off the ball, the numbers spike again.

John 110

Why do you need rules?

This bastard virus will either :

a - Kill you

b - Leave you incapacitated for a looong time

c - Or kill your granny

Why do you need the government to tell you to be careful!!

---> me putting on my labcoat...

Not sunshine, moonlight or good times – blame it on the buggy

John 110

Well if your computers are anything like the ones we had when I was an NHS wonk, then they originally came with the minimum of RAM for XP or 7, then weren't upgraded when 10 was rolled out.

(Give them their due, our rollout team had a list of models that they replaced rather than upgraded...)

Baby Yoda stowed away on Crew Dragon, boards International Space Station

John 110

Re: $2700 per kilo?

That'll be The Man Who Sold the Moon by Heinlein you're thinking of...


Oops too slow... somebody else posted first. There goes my geek cred...

Let's Encrypt warns about a third of Android devices will from next year stumble over sites that use its certs

John 110


I just ran my monthly updates on my collection of ageing-but-still-useful tablets and I have a Hudl 1 and a lenovo yoga thingy both on 4.4.2 with no update route (I've not investigated custom roms yet). I'll be watching this...

Let's... drawer a veil over why this laser printer would decide to stop working randomly

John 110

Re: Low IQ or low volition?

If it was anything like the place I worked, you'll find that the 1 minute it takes to get to the user's office is too long and they've buggered off for coffee or a crap.

So you fix it and bugger off for etc etc...


Did I or did I not ask you to double-check that the socket was on? Now I've driven 15 miles, what have we found?

John 110

I once...

I once had to visit a user who couldn't get the PC to turn on, only to find her futilely jabbing away at the big shiny Dell logo on the front of the system box...

NHS England awards £1.6m deal to build digital staff 'passports' in fight against coronavirus second wave

John 110

Re: "In view of the extreme urgency"

Maybe they had other things on their mind....

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

John 110

Re: Is Power Optional?

I might have said this before, but a wonderful IT person where I worked had a solution for the "not plugged in" fault. If it was obvious from the phone call that the power wasn't on, she would tell the user that they'd had problems with a batch on power cables and ask them to check the serial number on the wall plug. After a minute she usually got a sheepish reply that the problem seemed to have gone away....

Um, almost the entire Scots Wikipedia was written by someone with no idea of the language – 10,000s of articles

John 110

Re: Doric columns

"...Aye, a famous feature of the North-East is wh realized as /f/ or /fw/...."

As illustrated by the question regarding welly boots

"fit fit fits fit fit?"

John 110

Re: Interesting

"...there is an awful lot of Scots with links back to Scandinavia...."

It's interesting how much of the Swedish version of Wallender was understandable to our (Scots) household.

Side note: My grandad was in Belgium in WW1 (terrible muddy place, he said it was). He said that German prisoners could understand you if you shouted at them in broad Scots. But I think the rifles helped...

Further side note: bits of this reply were translated from the original scots as I went along - like my primary school teachers insisted I should do. (Thanks Mrs Tunn)

Start Me Up: 25 years ago this week, Windows 95 launched and, for a brief moment, Microsoft was almost cool

John 110

Re: Can't Believe...

Surely that was Windows XP, so it's not been as long as you think.

(willing to be corrected -- ooer missus)

Space station update: Mystery tiny but growing air leak sparks search for hole

John 110

Re: Bow to your robot overlords

Time travelling AI robot! what could go wrong!!



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021