* Posts by The Mighty Spang

322 publicly visible posts • joined 16 May 2007


I'm happy paying Twitter eight bucks a month because price isn't the same as value

The Mighty Spang

keith chegwin joins the conversation

remember about 10 years ago 'cheggers' was basically stealing jokes from comedians. and somebody called him out saying like 'steady on this is our livelyhood' and his army of twatterarti then started harassing the comedian and others who joined in?

A character catastrophe for a joker working his last day

The Mighty Spang

hit the right button

just by the operator exit door at wait level we had a green mushroom button with "unlock door" on it.

above the door was a red mushroom button with "master stop computers" on it

for some reason, one day 'Doris' (a guy called D Morris) who had been in that room hundreds of times, hit master stop computers.

I don't think even he knew why,

Record players make comeback with Ikea, others pitching tricked-out turntables

The Mighty Spang

judging hipster barista face

lets face facts

you can't be pro environment and use vinyl. Its a waste of resources to create something you don't need and its very creation is toxic

it leaks horrible chemicals into YOUR air as well.

everything is sourced from digital now, even the masters for your toxic records. what you need is a graphic equaliser so you can dial in that sound that you like from a good digital source. granted it wont give you the crackle but sit there with the plastic wrap from a fag packet and just crinkle that every now and then to give you the same effect.

Google calculates Pi to 100 trillion digits

The Mighty Spang


They actually created something more energy intense and less useful than proof of work blockchain!


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

The Mighty Spang

Uber Eats/Deliveroo/dominos/pizza hut absolutely hopeless I've given up on food delivery

So I live on a busy main street in the centre of a city. Entrance is at the rear of a converted building so in hole in the wall to a rear car park and you're there. only exit off the street on that block.

Apart from the post office being useless with post as usual getting buildings mixed up (it took 4 attempts to get a letter from a town 15 miles away once), don't have much problems with bad post delivery with amazon, ups, dpd, even hermes. Have like 90% hit rate with co-op delivery, but get the occasional numpty.

Now in the direction to find place I fill it in every time. Enter car park off main road, its opposite the hairdressers, then turn left. Easy.

But all food delivery are hiring - lets be frank here - people who cant read speak or understand English. If they haven't understood the simple instructions, phoning me up and asking for directions when I cant understand you and you can't even understand the simple instructions gets us nowhere. last time i just hung up, got a callback from an operator, explained the problem, explained how to find it, they agreed it was very simple, they called the driver back and tried to explain it, got nowhere as well.

Ive often though about the problem because lets be honest if i crap out with a heart attack and call the ambulance its gonna take them a while to find the place. some app where people can upload photos, directions etc would be great. But its the underpants gnomes question, how do you make money to keep it running let alone pay people. how do you stop fake uploads for your annoying neighbours sending people on a wild goose chase?

if you charge then somebody else will want to create a similar app. and then others. splitting the market would just reduce coverage and nobody is going to sign up 4 times to put that info in.

there is money to be made if companies got together and invested in there. there are probably plenty of people like me who have given up trying to use these services.

Nothing works any more. Who decided that redundant systems should become redundant?

The Mighty Spang

even in the world of underpants

health and safety has gone mad.

last pair bought said "WARNING! CONSTRAINS NUTS!" on them

Lockdown-induced gadgetry rush sent Dixons Carphone's online sales skywards – and repaid £73m of furlough wages

The Mighty Spang

they could put some of that money in customer service

during lockdown i ordered something online. went through paypal, then back through the cretins website, which failed the order.

paypal still had it reserved on my account

no other choice but to phone

hour on hold

didnt get through, paid more to buy it from amazon.

never ever ever ever going to use them again, no matter what the deal. If you cant even get through to spend money with them (or you know have a chatbot or email enquiry), aftersales must be abysmal

We don't know why it's there, we don't know what it does – all we know is that the button makes everything OK again

The Mighty Spang

Re: The light..

said in before in the forums about our vax cluster and the failure of the air conditioning. i thought it was getting warm, all 3 compressor fail lights are off, we're fine says sysadmin

one day cluster goes bang, i run round, doors open, machines going nuts spewing console logs, worried people powering down drives.

the the aftermath they thought that when i thought it was a bit warm behind one of the machines they were down to one unit. first major hot day of year and it gave up the ghost.

why no failure lamps?

lamps were 'on' for failed unit. but if that board *itself* failed, no lamps for you boyo. it was changed for a system where lamps were on to show something working lol

oh and they were those big red round hemisphere industrial indicators, very HAL like

React team observes that running everything on the client can be costly, aims to fix it with Server Components

The Mighty Spang

am i missing something?

"he calls the example function FetchAllTheStuffJustInCase() – it is efficient, but an ugly solution, particularly if at a later date the design changes and not all the data is needed. The alternative, he said, is a separate fetch for each component, which impacts performance."

erm couldn't you do something like

FetchMeTheStuffIAskFor( ["/api/user","/api/stocklist","/api/basket"], [ params1, params2, params3] ) ?

and an api on the other end which just calls all the apis requested internally and assembles the results?

Real-time tragedy: Dumb deletion leaves librarian red-faced and fails to nix teenage kicks on the school network

The Mighty Spang

Re: ah yes there were times at work they went round and audited the machines

the reason for the double zip was that you could still see the file names and their size even though you couldn't read the data. then definatelynotsharewaredoom.wad would be a bit obvious :)

The Mighty Spang

ah yes there were times at work they went round and audited the machines

the solution? zip up your game files in an encrypted zip file, then zip that up in an encrypted zip file.

batch file to do the unzipping and a when the game exited, delete the local game files.

and later when they tried to foist SMS onto every machine, taking our control away we just recomipled MSGINA to not execute any SMS hooks. what did they expect? we were developers lol

NASA's classic worm logo returns for first all-American trip to ISS in years: Are you a meatball or a squiggly fan?

The Mighty Spang


The worm feels like technology. Meatball is the wonder of space

Sometimes shining a light on a nuclear problem just makes things worse

The Mighty Spang

Re: Pete and Dud?

we hadn't laughed so hard since grandma died

The Mighty Spang

read in dud's voice

so was following the test specifications to the letter, but this one particular instrument was behaving very strangely. Funny.... I thought. I'd not seen an instrument behave so strangly since my Aunt Dolly tried to play the trumpet after drinking half a bottle of gin. Her embouchure was so sloppy her teeth shot out, flew across the room and hit the cat.

Imagine OLE reinvented for the web and that's 90% of Microsoft's Fluid Framework: We dig into O365 collaborative tech

The Mighty Spang

is kraig brockschmidt going to write the book?

I've been suffering from insomia for a while and remember fondly those days of Inside OLE 2. a Monty Python reference at the start of each chapter to try and show you have a personality then the most dull content ever committed to paper. anybody who reached the end deserved a medal.

We had copies of his videos of presentations at MS. Nobody finished the first one.

Apple's looking at you, kid: Fanbois froth over AR patent docs for gaze tracking headset

The Mighty Spang

total big brother

they detect when you are gazing at your favorite kind of bits of other humans then automatically fine you, cancel your twitch channel, delete your twitter, notify the local press or employer and call in a reddit hate mob. Youtubers who thrive on controvercy can pay to get early access to these notifcations so they can maximize their content promoting metal wallets,VPN solutions or shitty mobile games.

50 years ago: NASA blasts off the first humans to experience a lunar close encounter

The Mighty Spang

Re: Remember

and a lot of that time was working on the IMU, a huge block of spinning metal taking a lot of power, which we now have in a single chip.

also look at the lineage. Charles Stark Draper made the first IMU which was mounted in a plane and used to correct its course. that tech was shrunk down for Apollo (made by the Charles Stark Draper labs in MIT) and the left over AGCs from the canclled apollos were used as test articles by NASA for fly by wire research.

in effect most planes we use today owe their lineage to this project.

Rookie almost wipes customer's entire inventory – unbeknownst to sysadmin

The Mighty Spang

way back on a Dec Vax

operator was deleting a users account. now forgive me ive not touched vax syntax in a long time. IIRC he was trying to do

del [...]*.*.*

which should have deleted all the files in this folder and all folders below but did this

del [*...]*.*.*

which started at the root of the drive deleting everything under it... oops. back to the mag tapes.

Don't let Google dox me on Lumen Database, nameless man begs

The Mighty Spang

Re: The guy might have a point

I know someone where if you google his name a bunch of stories about a rapist with the same name come up on the first page (no its defininetly not him)

One more credit insurer abandons Maplin Electronics

The Mighty Spang

@Troll.the.trolls Re: Ah the early days

You mean Sendz Components. Fascinating place with a downstairs, high street frontage which just contained some front facing shelves with random stuff on it, door in the middle of the glass. That door was never open, there were no lights on and all you could see throught it was piles of... electronic crap. Entrance was next to it, which actually took you to the flat upstairs. Where previously people would have lived, there were rooms heaving with shelves stacked with high with electronic crap. and a small office where you could buy stuff.

we all thought it was a drugs den as judging by the lack of people going in and out of it, you couldn't see a business working out of it, as there seemed to be no stock control with that much random stuff there.

and yeah the original maplins on london road southend. nerd city. a nerd went through your list of 2p resistors and stuck them in a bag. can't have been profitable.

and for bonus curious points, why the name Maplin? Like a lot of businesses started at the same time they were named after Maplin Sands where in around 1974 it was lined up to be london's third airport. so if you see Maplin in a business name you are 90% sure it started in south east essex in the mid 70s.

User left unable to type passwords after 'tropical island stress therapy'

The Mighty Spang

Re: After vacation

I worked with a guy whose BO stunk the place out at a place in Basildon in the late 90s. on top of this he was *the exact spitting image* of Poindexter out of revenge of the nerds. hair. glasses. skinny. suit. daft voice. the lot.

eventually the director had to have chat with him in his office, which must have been bloody unpleasant.

he also drove an orange morris marina.

actually this was the place i got the nickname 'better than god'... as the previous guy called himself 'god' as he thought he was a genius programmer. i came in and fixed the (stupid) problems he had created so therefore i was 'better than god' :)

Shock: NASA denies secret child sex slave cannibal colony on Mars

The Mighty Spang

most entertaining video about alex jones

is on Internet Comment Etiquette


though you might want to get a bit of a handle on AJ before watching that so you know which bits are parody...

there is also a theory that alex jones is bill hicks

Just delete the internet – pr0n-blocking legislation receives Royal Assent

The Mighty Spang

whats the point?

when teens are sexting each other anyway?

when back in the pre-internet days we all had access to shared wank mags from older brothers and pirated our own grumble flicks by heaving VHS decks to each others houses?

when in the early internet days popular was the man who knew USENET and had a CD burner? (I think my first one cost £400 IIRC) (and popular now will be the man who uses a VPN and megaupload)

when enough people get their rocks off on softcore wank fodder like the tudors, game of thrones etc (if people didn't, they wouldn't put it in)

Tech contractors begin mass UK.gov exodus in wake of HMRC's IR35 income tax clampdown

The Mighty Spang

this is an old paul daniels trick...

called 'Dissapearing Income' or 'Shooting yourself in the foot'

bring in ir35 rules to claw back a little money.

contractors leave

no choice but to hire in the big vultures, I mean consultants,

pay 40-50% more per body for mostly low-middling staff who are more engaged in showing what they are doing rather than doing.

each body takes home 30-40% less than standard IT contractor.

and - poof! your overall tax take from the employees goes down, amount of money being spent in the economy goes does and the profits then magically go overseas!

and whats this up my sleeve? the project then goes on 50% longer partly due to middling 'consultants' not being up to the job, and UKGOV being unable to properly manage the project!

now that's magic!


You want WHO?! Reg readers vote Tom Baker for Doctor 13. Of course

The Mighty Spang


I've said it a million times before, but it would be great to have David Thewlis, channelling his Johnny character from Mike Leigh's 'Naked'


TV anchor says live on-air 'Alexa, order me a dollhouse' – guess what happens next

The Mighty Spang


with so many results for 'dollhouse' it would have asked which one you want and how much you wanted to spend?

Lethal 4-hour-erection-causing spiders spill out of bunch of ASDA bananas

The Mighty Spang

Scary video about what can happen with a priapism

"Smarter Every Day" talked to a doctor about what can happen, after seeing a similar spider in the jungle.

WARNING. no swears or anything but the description of what can happen and what it can do to you and what the treatments are WILL MAKE YOU WINCE. and maybe crawl into a corner and cry.

however, forewarned is forearmed. all joking aside, if this happens to you GET TO THE DOCTORS


Microsoft buys LinkedIn for the price of 36 Instagrams

The Mighty Spang


Brilliant, that's a lot of money paid for data that is 80% bullshit.

After looking at my co-workers profiles a while ago I was shocked at the level of BS, overexaggeration and outright lies that was up there.

At that point I removed everything from my profile excpt words to the effect of 'as the only honest man left in a room full of liars, i refuse to play this game'

and I *still* get link requests. go figure.

El Reg mulls entering Robot Wars arena

The Mighty Spang

if it doesn't allow sponsorship, and doesn't pay

you should all tell them to shove it up their arses.

That was the problem with the previous RW series. Things were expensive. Companies would have paid for advertising but the beeb was having none of it. Most galling of all, £3000 (all those years ago, so say £5000 now) worth of kit could be chewed up by the (overpowered) house robots just because the episode was a bit boring that week, and the beeb wouldn't pay you anything.

pay contestants or allow sponsorship, otherwise it is just pure exploitation for cheap tv. and fucking hypocritical considering all the sport stuff they pay millions for with sponsorship all over the place.

(yes i was looking into making a robot years ago, but even though contracting at the time and the money would have been small beer, it was a lot of time to invest in something that could be screwed up for fun and just felt exploitative)

Watch it again: SpaceX's boomerang rocket lands on robo-sea-barge

The Mighty Spang

wow super creepy presenter

look at the guy on the left about 28:40 for about 15 second he forgets how to smile and just bares his teeth, almost snarling at one point! its like he's just shat himself but is trying to grin through it....

E-cigarettes help save lives, says Royal College of Physicians

The Mighty Spang

addiction central

Nobody I know who vapes has ever quit. In fact, they are more addicted than ever. Because it's 'healthy' compared to fags its like a green light to become a nicotine monster. Middle of a meeting thats going a bit boring? Pull out a vape stick! standing around in a queue and a bit bored? why not try that honey salted caramel minty cream drug inhaler?

and sorry, when you buy cheap crap off of ebay who in turn has bought it off some dodgy dealer in china, you can't say anything is safe. This is country that adulterated milk to their own population FFS. I've seen enough small businesses cut corners in safety to realise most of them don't care about your health, just a tidy profit. Should be regulated like a medicine.

Clive Sinclair Vega+ tin-rattle hits £300,000

The Mighty Spang

needs native dev kit

Speccy games are nice and such, but to really win a native games dev kit would be nice so new higher specced (see what i did there) games could be made for it. best of both worlds and in effect, harking back to the good old days of homebrew which IMO the speccy did so much to encourage 30 years ago

if it puts a native kit in i'll buy it.

Aircraft now so automated pilots have forgotten how to fly

The Mighty Spang

Listen to the these podcasts on automation paradox

From the brilliant 99 Percent Invisible podcast. You should be listening to this anyway fellow nerds its brilliant.

Children of the Magenta (Automation Paradox, pt. 1)


Johnnycab (Automation Paradox, pt. 2)


Steve Jobs mural highlights plight of Syrian refugees

The Mighty Spang

quick Pennycook, Cheyne, Barr et al!

Got the feeling we're going to find some more test subjects you!


Could we stencil a lottery machine next to it to give some idea about the chances of letting in the next Steve Jobs? We've let millions in (legally and otherwise) over the last 20 years and I don't think we've yet found the next Steve Jobs.

Hopefully next he'll spray this abortion clinics. Don't abort that child! It might be the next Steve Jobs!

We could even take the message to the terrorists... don't bomb that plane! It might contain the next Steve Jobs!

Perhaps spray it on parliament - don't bomb that country! you might kill the next Steve Jobs!

etc etc ad nauseum.

(I'm sitting in the corner admiring the winner of this year's Turnip Prize BTW)

Coding with dad on the Dragon 32

The Mighty Spang

dragon's place in our defence history

1st job, approaching 1990 as a tech support guy, took me all over a large r&d and manufacturing site. One day a guy stopped me and said 'you might be interested in this!' and opened a cupboard to show a dragon 32 with a large hole cut in the case. something used to be attached inside to collect signals, and that was used to run a large CNC mill.

anybody else know something about that?

i should have taken it with me but in those days we were looking forwards. I looked down on the PDP-11s and PDP-8s sat around idle in print rooms, kept in case we needed to work on old systems again, and now I'd give a bollock to own one.

about a year later our collection of giant 19" rack VAXes got almost replaced by small PC sized versions, 9 track mag making way to DAT for backup.

Post-pub schnellnosh neckfiller: Currywurst

The Mighty Spang

not round here it isn't

from my time eating out in a popular berlin currywurst shop its just ketchup and curry powder mixed in at the point of sale, nothing clever.

A krayshee sexy Dutch post-pub nosh neckfiller: Stamppot

The Mighty Spang

peeling potatoes when pissed?

thats a recipie for loosing a finger in my house.

Oi, Google! Remove links to that removed story, yells forceful ICO

The Mighty Spang

what bullshit

are they going round taking a marker pen to the local library archives of newspapers? if not - tell the ICO to go fuck itself.

they should be more interested in local councils whos voter registrar forms are a cunningly worded invitation to have ones details sold to the highest bidder. i.e. you get shoved on the public list with no option NOT to be shoved on the public list. They then tell you about how you should write in and have your details removed from the public list. I'm assuming thats after they have sold your details to scumags....

Tesla tech top dog downs slug, hikes bug bounty to $10k

The Mighty Spang

good on them

instead of sueing they embrace the problem and thank the finders. Then ask for better [people to help securing things.

BTW like most Brits i'd never heard of Challenge Coins until a few months ago when they covered them on the excellent podcast 99 Percent Invisible. Get the skinny here:


and BTW2 - most people here would probably find this a great podcast I think. Its about design. A good couple of epidsodes a few weeks ago about the automation paradox as how it applies to planes and perhaps coming soon self driven cars.

Sun? In Blighty? Nah, just build that rooftop data centre, it’ll be fine

The Mighty Spang

i wrote about this before

but quick version. 1990, room fulll of VAXen and drives and shizz. 1st job.

tell the sysop feels very warm behind the 8650. he says yeah but it puts out a lot of heat.

few weeks later... feels a bit warm again. sysop goes and looks at old aircon panel outside, no fault lights. its my imagination.

few weeks later, 1st super hot day of year, cannot access the cluster from desk. run over to find all doors open, screaming teleprinters and worried sysop just powering down disks.

turns out the panel that showed the faults had failed. so we got no fault lights as gradually the 3 units failed (must coincide with me noticing temp changes).

aircon panel was re-engineered to show 'run' lights not 'fault' lights. interesting distinction. we all learned something :)


however since then at my current place of work we have a small comms room with servers and 150TB san drive for our area. due to building works both aircon units were replaced with brand new units (though with significantly longer pipe runs).

remember that brief heatwave we had a month or so ago? I thought i'd just pop my head in there to see if evertything was ok (because of above). one ac unit dead, no power. I report this to our internal facilities guys as urgent. Even after repeated phone calls it took TWO AND A HALF FUCKING DAYS to get our on site (but subcontracted) engineers to look at it. I was doing my nut.

turns out, some nobhead hasn't marked the trip switch back at the distributor with 'server room aircon do not turn off assholes!' and another nobhead just turned it off by accident.

anyway for 2.5 days in the highest heat we've had this year we were on 1 ac unit with me thinking about what happened 25 years ago was going to happen again...

Let's all binge on Blake’s 7 and help save the BBC ... from itself

The Mighty Spang

if its got all of spike milligan's Q series

then i'd pay for it.

the whole archive should be opened up because its probably a good idea to digitise everything anyway and there is probably plenty of stuff that people remember fondly and would like to see again, as well as the random stuff that only comes up from time to time on other shows. interviews and the like.

part of the fun part about watching stuff like old blankety blanks is trying to work out who the hell 2 or more people on the panel were. obviously were famous enough at the time to be on the show but there is just no recollection of them!

Open source? HP Enterprise will be all-in, post split, says CTO

The Mighty Spang

grommet looks good

and crucially unlike lots of other client side JS frameworks not full of over-complication. Nice and easy base to build on.

docs need work though.

Carry On Computing: Ten stylish laptop bags for him

The Mighty Spang


went to their site... wow. lots of skanky looking nylon bags, some in ridiculously bright colours. May as well buy crumpler! though if you did you would want to hack off their terrible 90s rave logo if you don't want people to know you are a pauper.

say one thing for the crumpler site though, at least it isnt chock full of weird looking gimps like the ManhattanPortage site.

The Mighty Spang

look at the back shot of the Fossil Estate

see how the insides squirt out from underneath the flap and let water in? i'm not sticking my laptop in that.

first thing to look at.. if the bag is lightly loaded does its flaps stick out? I've been absolutely drenched before on my 1 mile bike ride home, so I would not buy that bag.

you can see on the barbour little bits at the top that protect that from happening.

The boxford looks like a crap ripoff of a Billingham bag. Although not actual 'laptop bags' (designed for professional cameramen) - you can buy matching laptop slips to go inside them and Billingham bags are pretty much bomb proof, I've had mine for years.

Bring the Banhammer! Microsoft declares WAR on leaky Gears Xbox users

The Mighty Spang

up with this sort of thing!

they broke the NDA so they can post their crap up onto the net going ZOMG FURST GEERS OV WUR GAMEPLAY VEEEDEO LIKE AND SUBSCRIBE! LIKE AND SUBSCRIBE! and feel slightly better about their pathetic feeble existence for a few minutes.

if it could be possible id like them to send a command to overheat the machines and blow them up as well. perhaps that could be achieved by trying to get the pathetic underpowered devices to try and render 1080p60.

What to do when the users are watching Nazi dwarf smut at work?

The Mighty Spang


working for a highly large us comnpany in the uk in mid 90s, there was a mirror server ran by a guy in tech support of some source code trees and public shares by key developers. ****r1\mirror was its name. name removed to protect the innocent but enough to remind people who may not have known what went on..

one day, it stopped working. for a while. the curious went round to see what was going on. the chap had issued IIRC 'net server stop' whilst he cleared up.

turns out one of those mirrored developers had a directory of one of his interests, which we would probably call 'bears'. think grizzly adams. naked. and stretching.

and the job i had straight afterwards had installed ISDN for its more senior members, including my boss. for some reason with no experience I was in charge of this. the fun happened when i discovered the http proxy logs. nothing illegal but it was fun hinting at my boss about the log until he stopped :)

Spotify springs bloody leak as losses grow to $197m – report

The Mighty Spang

Re: Must be fucking nice

i aspire to be jeff bezos. creator of a company that has never turned a profit in 20 years, yet however is worth 40 billion dollars.

so far i've got the creator of a company that has never turned a profit worked out pretty well, its the rest i'm having a problem with.

Synths you've been gone: Vintage tech rules at Musikmesse 2015

The Mighty Spang

you forgot to mention the Parva

... in the list of crowdfunded stuff (true they probably weren't at MM, but worth mentioning)


8 voice 3osc analog module for $1000

JavaScript CPU cache snooper tells crooks EVERYTHING you do online

The Mighty Spang

I've got it now.

Its so you can develop the world's first javascript screensaver.

The Mighty Spang

whats the problem?

unless you can tell what key was pressed or what was clicked, whats the problem?