* Posts by David Robinson 1

85 posts • joined 8 Sep 2009


Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds

David Robinson 1

Early optical rodents

The first couple of generations of optical mice had problems with certain colours. A chap I worked with had a mouse mat with a red-eyed green tree frog printed on it. He swapped from a ball mouse to an optical one and retained the mouse mat. Every time the optical sensor moved over the frog's eyes, the mouse pointer went crazy. It took him a while to figure that one out.

A real loch mess: Navy larks sunk by a truculent torpedo

David Robinson 1

I was with the story until the civilian in a fishing boat. Anyone care to chip in with a reason why the Navy wouldn't have cleared the area of non-essential personnel?

Mirror mirror on the wall, why will my mouse not work at all?

David Robinson 1

Re: Varieties of rodent

I purchased my own rodent and keyboard for use in the office, whereas most others are content with the cheap shite supplied with the base units. If I'm using something 7+ hours a day, I want to make sure I'm comfortable with it. 16 year old MS IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0A, still going strong. Keyboard is one using Cherry MX Red switches, as I'm not allowed to use my Model M in the office. Something about Health & Safety and exceeding dB limits...

Dumpster diving to revive a crashing NetWare server? It was acceptable in the '90s

David Robinson 1

Re: I'm pretty certain I've heard this solution before ...

Not an El Reg story, but from the Daily WTF. Even mentions using phone books to get the height right. I'm thinking this story may be in Urban Legend territory.


That awful moment when what you thought was a number 1 turned out to be a number 2

David Robinson 1

Excel hate?

In the 25 years or so I've had to interact with Excel, it's never given me any grief. Word, hell yes. When using Word my reflex was to Ctrl-S every five minutes. Then there was Word 6 and 9x tendency to muff up the documents by saving older edits, which rendered the file unable to be opened. We found that the Word document could be opened in OpenOffice and saved back out. That stripped all the old crap out of the file and allowed it to be opened in Word once more. Added benefit was it reduced the file size.

The only complaint I have about Excel is our customers using it to send us log files. "Let me get this straight. You had a perfectly serviceable text log file and you decided to paste it into an Excel spreadsheet before sending it to us?"

The self-disconnecting switch: Ghost in the machine or just a desire to save some cash?

David Robinson 1

Re: How much?

Oh, you sweet summer child. You have no idea how the mind of a beancounter works.

Who needs the A-Team or MacGyver when there's a techie with an SCSI cable?

David Robinson 1


If I remember correctly, you had to sacrifice a chicken over the terminator using a silver-bladed knife with a black pearl handle in order for it to work properly.

BOFH: Darn Windows 7. It's totally why we need a £1k graphics card for a business computer

David Robinson 1

Re: Keyboards

16 years and still going for my Intellimouse. Sure there are spots where the silver has worn off, but no need to replace it.

Take DOS, stir in some Netware, add a bit of Windows and... it's ALIIIIVE!

David Robinson 1


"The wonder-OS [NT4] needed at least 16MB (preferably a bit more) and a decent CPU while Windows 3.1 would toddle along with 1 or 2MB and a considerably lower class of CPU."

When I first started this job, those were the specs of the PC I was assigned. My current work laptop has 16GB RAM and a 6-core i7 with Windows 10 as the OS, all to run PuTTY.

BOFH: We must... have... beer! Only... cure... for... electromagnetic fields

David Robinson 1

Re: EM sensitivity is like UFOs

But which way does the shiny side face? Will supermarket own brand work as well as Bacofoil?

That time Windows got blindsided by a ball of plasma, 150 million kilometres away

David Robinson 1

Pedant mode

Surely[*] the phone call would be at a slightly earlier/later time each day, depending upon heading towards/away a solstice?

[*] Yeah, yeah. Don't call me Shirley.

Time for another cuppa then? Tea-drinkers have better brains, say boffins with even better brains

David Robinson 1

Re: Cup of Brown Joy


David Robinson 1

Cup of Brown Joy

When I say "Herbal," you say "No, thanks!"


Be still, our drinking hearts: Help Reg name whisky beast conjured by Swedish distillers and AI blendbot

David Robinson 1

Three Bit, because it's a bit better than two-bit rotgut.

The time a Commodore CDTV disc proved its worth as something other than a coaster

David Robinson 1


Depending upon how long this conversation thread ends up, "bored".

Here's to beer, without which we'd never have the audacity to Google an error message at 3am

David Robinson 1

Coding under the influence

In my younger days, I did some of my best coding on personal projects while under the influence of an alcohol buzz. There's even the obligatory XKCD cartoon for this: https://xkcd.com/323/

A Register reader turns the computer room into a socialist paradise

David Robinson 1

Re: Socialism

Go stick your head in a pig!

Great disturbance in the Force as Star Wars' 'big walking carpet' is laid to rest

David Robinson 1

*Pours some blue milk onto the ground*

College student with 'visions of writing super-cool scripts' almost wipes out faculty's entire system

David Robinson 1

For reasons lost in the mists of time, I'd made a copy of /usr on a system. Time came to remove the copy.

root@server # rm -rf /usr

Yep, absolute path not relative path.

There's the one rule we live by in our office: "No five-minute changes on a Friday afternoon." Violating this rule usually means you'll be staying back 3 hours to undo the chaos such a change visits upon the system.

Twilight of the sundials: Archaic timepiece dying out and millennials are to blame, reckons boffin

David Robinson 1

Using a sundial at night

It's easy, just use the torch function on your smartphone to provide illumination.

SQLite creator crucified after code of conduct warns devs to love God, and not kill, commit adultery, steal, curse...

David Robinson 1

Re: Does it even define what it means by "God"?

God is real, unless declared as an integer.

Sysadmin misses out on paycheck after student test runs amok

David Robinson 1

Re: Naming Schemes

We used characters from Lord of the Rings as our naming scheme. It was a Tolkien Ring network.

I'll get my cloak...

Productivity knocks: I've got 99 Slacks, but my work's not done

David Robinson 1



The Register Opera Company presents: The Pirates of Penzance, Sysadmin edition

David Robinson 1

12 Bugs of Christmas

A bit out of season and I cannot claim ownership, but a surprisingly useful way of handling bugs.


Remember the Yorkie pizza horror? Here's who won our exclusive Reg merch...

David Robinson 1

Re: Obvious fix

Upvote for Spike Milligan reference.

It's happening! Official retro Thinkpad lappy spotted in the wild

David Robinson 1

Shut up and take my money!


Silicon Graphics' IRIX and Magic Desktop return as Linux desktop

David Robinson 1

I was just sitting here thinking, "Y'know what? There just isn't enough desktop choices for Linux."

PC repair chap lets tech support scammer log on to his PC. His Linux PC

David Robinson 1

Re: Ideas for a new game

Desktop wallpaper: Fulchester Metropolitan Police - Cybercrimes Division.

Inspector Sidney Smutt. You don't necessarily say what you're inspecting...

Nokia's 3310 revival – what's NEXT? Vote now

David Robinson 1

Psion 5mx

I still have and use my 5mx on a regular basis, mainly for the Palmtop Money app to track my finances. I've never found anything yet to replace the app's functionality to my satisfaction. Having a decent proper keyboard doesn't hurt either and runs forever on a pair of AAs.

Oh, and oblig. Psion = Potter's Scientific Instruments Or Nothing that someone usually trots out regarding the company name.

Want to come to the US? Be prepared to hand over your passwords if you're on Trump's hit list

David Robinson 1

Re: All my social media logins...

Careful. You may be arrested for wielding an offensive weapon!

Would that be the phone or when he's in the washroom?

Angry user demands three site visits to fix email address typos

David Robinson 1

Re: Nightmare!

You: Have you ever posted anything to Mumsnet?

Them: Yes.

You: I'm sorry, I will be unable to help you with any IT problem ever.

Simon, is that you?

Hello, Star Trek? 25th Century here: It's time to move on

David Robinson 1

makes Trek in general uniquely unsuitable for basing an MMO on

Damn, better not tell Cryptic Studios, the current curator of Star Trek Online that. It's only a ST MMO that's been running since 2009 on PC and just only this week launched onto PS4 and XBone.

David Robinson 1

For those of us who play Star Trek Online, it's already the 25th century.

It's also the 23rd, 29th or 31st centuries if the story arc involves time travel.

Star Trek's Enterprise turns 50 and still no sign of a warp drive. Sigh

David Robinson 1

Brings a quote to mind

you cannot accelerate anything in normal space-time faster than the speed of light.

So, are you saying ye cannae change the laws of physics?

Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

David Robinson 1

Re: Easy solution

"The only thing to put into a whiskey is another whiskey."

Only if you're Irish or American.

Me, I prefer whisky in my whisky.

BOFH: Free as in free beer or... Oh. 'Free Upgrade'

David Robinson 1


Nothing happens.

'Boss, I've got a bug fix: Nuke the whole thing from orbit, rewrite it all'

David Robinson 1

Re: C is a glorified assembler

C "a language that combines all the elegance and power of assembly language with all the readability and maintainability of assembly language"


Squeeze the banana to log into this office Wi-Fi

David Robinson 1

What if you have an Apple device?

Struggling to understand Docker? Let's start with a Minecraft demo

David Robinson 1

Any zombie processes would be have the perfect in-game representation.

There is the danger of feature creep(er), which may blow up in your face.

A thousand mile Atom merci mission: Driving from Monaco to London in an open-topped motor

David Robinson 1

Re: The Rolls is a sweet-ass ride, I'm sure...

I think you mean The Prisoner, where he drove a Lotus 7.

HP creates laptop for SITH LORDS

David Robinson 1

May the GeForce be with you

Sorry, had to be done.

AF-FIR-MAT-IVE: Second suspension for robot-voice helldesker

David Robinson 1

Re: Demoted it would seem and they expect him to be Mr. Cheerful?

I think the final straw would be if they took his red stapler.

David Robinson 1

Re: Perhaps he has an attitude problem...

I'll just leave this here...


(BTW, BSc Maths here)

Blessed are the cheesemakers, for they have defined the smidge

David Robinson 1

Smidgeon as a unit of length

When I were a lad, I used to help out my dad in his business. He and his regular employee had a rather mixed system of measurements.

"It's one metre, six inches and a smidgeon."

"Big smidgeon or little smidgeon?"


I was always surprised that things actually fitted together.

Vauxhall VXR8: You know when you've been tangoed

David Robinson 1

There are control flaps for both air intake and exhaust. These allow you to choose between "wake the neighbours" and "wake the whole street".

So you're saying it's subtle ;)

What sort of tit builds non-bird bird boxes? Vodafone

David Robinson 1

RFC 1149

A Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers


So tablets, if you want to get anything done travelling get a ... yes, a laptop

David Robinson 1

TL;DR version

Dabbsy discovers what most people knew ages ago that tablets are for consuming media and laptops/desktops are for creating it.

Motorola's 5-incher finds the G-spot: Moto G 4G budget Android smartie

David Robinson 1


"The lack of a second SIM slot in phones for the European and US markets is also in part to do with the difficulty of meeting emissions regulations whilst having both SIMs active at the same time."

So, care to explain why one can get the non-4G Moto G with dual SIMs in the UK?

BOFH: Mmm, gotta love me some fresh BYOD dog roll

David Robinson 1

Re: Newky

First off, grrr at Newky. Isn't that a seaside town?

Second, Geordie not Geordi. Latter was the engineer on NCC-1701-D.

It's called Dog, because when slipping off down the pub, the excuse would be "Aam taekin' the dug forra wark."

Five minutes later she cottons on, "Ha'ad aan, we divvent heav a dug."



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