* Posts by Stoneshop

5335 posts • joined 8 Oct 2009

If HAL did digital signage. I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that...

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: I'm sorry...

I'm sorry Dave, Fdisk isn't available now.

First read that as fisk, causing an immediate association with lutefisk.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Coat

Re: I'm sorry...

And having images of everyone's favourite Icelandic export

So, hákarl then.

Now that Trump is useless to Zuckerberg, ex-president is exiled from Facebook for two years, possibly indefinitely

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: Sic transit

No, she threw up in the back of the van.

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Pirate

Re: Good

Or his demise.

Just plain dead will do, but the more ignominious the better.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Not holding my breath

First it was a lifetime ban... then they had to rethink it, now it is 2 years,

Two years could well be lifetime for that orange overweight oaf, depending on his consumption of Big Mac and Cokes. Although there'll always be some tame quack who will use every chemical known to man to counter this and extend his existence.

BOFH: I'm so pleased to be on the call, Boss. No, of course this isn't a recording

Stoneshop Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: 90 days

The abominatifification of languagineering.

How many remote controls do you really need? Answer: about a bowl-ful

Stoneshop Silver badge

TV-Be-Gone

Size of a matchbox, couple of IR LEDs, Atmel ATTiny, a battery and a light sprinkling of resistors and transistors. So far it hasn't been seen failing to work on any TV, and it often takes a while before the remote to switch it on again surfaces.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Power buttons

The machine was rather difficult to operate. For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive – you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same programme.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: Give me buttons ON THE TV!

Thoug to be honest, I use my amp and CD player etc. by pushing real, physical buttons on the devices.

Record player: one physical switch (33-0-45), and the armlift lever. Cassette deck: physical buttons. Tape deck: physical buttons, though there's a nicely chunky connector for a wired remote control on the rear. Which would mean it can't go walkies, and it'd be easily identifiable as belonging to the tape deck. Tuner: physical buttons. Preamp: physical buttons, although I'm considering fitting a motor-driven volume control pot (it's home built). Main amp: just a single power button. TVs: still have their matching remotes, of which only the power, volume and source select buttons get any use as each are driven by a RasPi or a laptop. Those RasPis have a nicely minimal remote, 8 buttons and a four-way selector ring.

Lighting is controlled by switches on the wall, as are the ceiling fans. Heating is via a timer thermostat wired to the boiler.

It works

Stoneshop Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: You have my sympathies...

Then there is the "Brownian motion" of the remotes

Very few of them can deal with being dunked in a fresh[0] cuppa.

[0] or a stale one, showing that the thermal component of the fluid has very little influence.

The server is down, money is not being made, and you want me to fix what?

Stoneshop Silver badge
Facepalm

Fix it

Ah yes. Move back those tectonic plates, make the buildings stand upright again, reconnect all the snapped cables, water, gas and sewage lines (and no mixing) and a few more such matters.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Devil

Re: After you have found it ...

If you have time for that. Because in eleven cases out of ten the manager ordering you to FIND!!1! THAT!11!! ITEM!11eleven!! needed it half an hour ago of course, and you still have to bring it over, set it up, activate it and guide said mangler through using it as he of bloody course didn't have time to read the manual and that is for those tech peons anyway.

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Thumb Up

one has to have some sense of proportion, after all.

That would require a piece of fairy cake, to start with.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Did you tell them to fill in an authorization form?

For which he would need a pen.

%PROC-F-NOBOTTOM, maximum recursion level exceeded, stack overruns heap.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Holmes

Re: Constantly, in a fashion.

Of course you always find something in the last place you look.

After you've found it there's no point in continuing looking.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Trollface

Well

The ideal moment to teach said sprog some choice local invective

Stoneshop Silver badge
Devil

Re: Happy ending

It's just like time sheets.

There's never a line item for stating the time needed to enter the time sheet data.

"You're in a maze of twisty little reporting codes, all alike."

Stoneshop Silver badge
Facepalm

Slightly different

Important VAX is down due to a power supply gone phut. I've already identified the bastard and called Logistics to send a new one; unfortunately it's halfway across the country and needs some paperwork finished before it can be sent. It basically had to be imported into the country from a warehouse holding stock for most of Western Europe, but that's a standard process. ETA is 3 hours from now.

IT manager comes in and demands to know why Important VAX is down, and why is it taking so long when he's paying lots of money for its service contract. I reply that I'm unable to conjure power supplies, or any other type of spare part, out of thin air and that a replacement is being sent.

"We run the repair facilities for these devices, why don't you take the power supply to the guys across the road and have it fixed?"

Argh.

The repair facilities itself are basically "international area" and anything going out would be subjected to the same customs process as the part being sent is, and that one is already partway into that administrative mill. The borked PSU would ALSO have to be exported first to be allowed to enter the repair facilities, and they don't have that paperwork stuff at the reception desk. Nor at the loading dock where those parts normally come in, as that side of the process is handled by the country Logistics department. So it's definitely not going to be any faster, if it even would be possible at all.

"Excuse me, my pager shows "call the office". Right, that was Logistics who wanted to inform me that the new PSU has gone through, will be picked up by a courier shortly, and should be here in about two hours".

Hard cheese: Stilton snap shared via EncroChat leads to drug dealer's downfall

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: You don't have the original pic to work from.

GDPR could arguably be an issue, otherwise.

Well, it does contain Personally Identifiable Digestibles, so, yes.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Holmes

Re: "His palm and fingerprints were analyzed from this picture"

You don't have the original pic to work from.

Big red buttons and very bad language: A primer for life in the IT world

Stoneshop Silver badge
Boffin

Re: RM-05s

I recall the service guide advising that the magnets used in the device (Motor)

The permanent magnet in the positioner certainly was, but you'd usually not have your wristwatch being subjected to that field in normal operation swapping a pack. However, servicing the unit could definitely bring your wrist much closer to the magnet, and your watch would certainly prefer to not be on your wrist at such moments. The spindle motor usually was a simple AC motor, single or three phase, which wouldn't have much of a magnetic field left when powered off.

Removable packs allow having more storage available (though not online) with limited floorspace, a reasonable trade-off in the era of washing machine sized drives; downside is that packs can pick up dirt and dust leading to head crashes. And of course there would be the night shift operator who tries that pack that failed to mount in the first drive, in the second, third and fourth drive before his more experienced fellow op took him offline. Such a night would put a serious dent in the disk vendor's stock of spare read/write heads.

Fixed disk drives really gained in popularity once they shrunk to a size and weight where you could stack them three or four high without repurposing box girder bridges to support the raised floor. Most of those had sealed head-disk assemblies, allowing tighter tolerances and lower head flight height, which again allowed greater data densities. With these the positioner was inside the HDA as well, with maybe a few exceptions. One was the RP07, actually a Sperry Univac beast of 500MB with a Massbus interface tacked on. Swapping the HDA required having a D cell battery at hand, to make the positioner retract to its lockable position, after which you could unbolt the head/disk pack from it. So, basically the worst of both technologies.

ASUS baffles customer by telling them thermal pad thickness is proprietary

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ASUS wants you to buy a new Laptop/PC.

Which very likely won't be an ASUS.

Bullet, meet foot.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: Will ASUS' next move...

Our legal strategy is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... our two legal strategies are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our three legal strategies are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to proprietary information.... Our four...no... amongst our legal strategies... amongst our legal strategies...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again.

Stoneshop Silver badge
WTF?

(Remember Radio Shack, and when they actually sold components?)

You must be close to retirement.

Somewhere around 1980 they tried running a couple of shops in the Netherlands. The one in the city I lived in was in a prime location in a major shopping area, right across from the town hall. There were at least three well-stocked electronic parts shops less than 10 minutes cycling away, with agreeable parts prices instead of ones that can only be explained by RS shipping each part individually, by first class airmail, from the factory to HQ, where they would be manually packed in those Archer blister packs, then sent on, again individually by 1st class airmail, to some regional distribution centre and from there by luxury limousine to the shop. Which would then slap the price sticker on, with the decimal separator left off.

Those shops also had a Pimply-Faced Shop Assistant to customer ratio of 3 or 4 to 1 for the moments there actually WAS a customer inside. Knowing nothing (of course) and trying to get your name and address for whatever inane marketing stuff HQ could think up.

They didn't do well, and shut within a year.

Stock remains ended up at one of the other shops, now priced in line with the rest of that shop's inventory, but it still didn't sell; ten years on it was something of a sediment in their bargain bin.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: At this point I wonder exactly which provider makes sense

I was using Nokia bar phones (as my work phone) right until two weeks ago; everyone else has been using smartphones since they were offered as the corporate phone (including WinPhones at some point). I just kept using what I already had. Or found.

However, couple of weeks back I got a mail asking if I was perhaps using a 2G SIM? Nope, it's the standard company-issued SIM, in a 2G phone. "Oh, but $provider is going to drop 2G in a couple of months, so you'll have to get something that does 4G". "Sorry, I'm not going to walk around with a portable data collector powered by Google. Or Apple, for that matter."

So now I'm looking into stripping KaiOS down to just calls and SMS, no farcebook, google arsesistant and the like,

Stoneshop Silver badge
Boffin

5mm is guaranteed to be a mistake.

Quite.

Elsewhere someone was looking for the specs for a transformer to use a 110V suitcase amp+speaker (for an electric guitar) on 230V. He read the fuse value as 22A, so he was unpleasantly surprised at the size and cost of the 3kW transformer that would require.

Turned out the lettering on the chassis was rather worn, and the fuse was actually .22A.

22A would feed a fair-sized PA stack, not just a single suitcase amp/speaker.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Joke

Re: At TeeCee, re: rocks.

They have determined that my doodles violate too many of the cosmic laws WRT "Rule 34" as it pertains to "porn involving squiggly things".

And I see Shadow Systems being 'invited' by The Society to visit a psychiatrist, and being shown a series of Rorschach blots.

#1. ShadSys: "Nothing there."

#2. ShadSys: "Nothing there."

#3. ShadSys: "Nothing there."

...

#n. ShadSys: "Nothing there."

Shadow Systems is dismissed, and the shrink starts doubting those blots. He shows them to the next patient.

#1. NextPt: "Two people having sex."

#2. NextPt: "Two people having sex."

#3. NextPt: "Two people having sex."

...

#n. NextPt: "Two people having sex."

Shrink: "Is 'Two people having sex' really what you see in all those blots?"

NextPatient: "Yes. If you wanted me to see something else you should have drawn that."

China says its first Mars rover Zhurong has landed on the Red Planet

Stoneshop Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Nothing there...

I've explained several times that there isn't anything there to find and that really this is just grandstanding. About national prestige more than anything else.

And that explanation is based just on your opinion, not on any scientific data. Sure, some people may agree with that opinion. Some even manage to get that opinion into a newspaper. Doesn't mean it's an opinion that carries much weight and is worthy of further evaluation. It's just a small set of words, repeated over and over and devoid of any supporting action.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: In other news

Coming soon, Robot wars on Mars. Bring popcorn.

They should bring Sergeant Bash and Sir Killalot over first.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Beat me to it.

You will not get that from a straight copy and paste (which I presume is what El Reg did). You need to play with GT a bit : for example try translating "interstellar" into Chinese and it gives "interplanetary" as alternative usage and vice versa.

Deepl turns the first paragraph into "On May 15, China's first Mars exploration mission, the Tianwen-1 rover landed in the southern pre-selected landing zone of the Martian Utopian Plain, leaving China's imprint on Mars for the first time and taking an important step in China's interplanetary exploration journey. Later, the Zhu Rong Mars rover will carry out global imaging of the landing site, self-test driving away from the landing platform and carry out roving probes in turn." on the first try.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Stoneshop Silver badge
Trollface

GOOD landings on Mars, however....

So far, no-one has walked away from them.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: Not surprisingly....

But still they come.

"You wait millions of years for a rover arriving from Earth, and then you get three four in short succession. What is this? Some interplanetary bus service?"

Stoneshop Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Nothing there...

Still more than in your lack of brain.

NASA pops old-school worm logo onto Orion spacecraft

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: Watching at the time?

As we were living in UTC-4 back then, the moon landing was at 16:19 local time and there were no bedtime exemptions necessary to watch it live. And for a nine year old with already a fair understanding of all the tech required to get there as well as beam a signal back for us to watch, it was Bloody Impressive. And the image quality was well better than "white splodge on black background"; they were clearly humanoid shapes, moving limbs and hopping around, although of course it was no match for the photos and film brought back.

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

Stoneshop Silver badge
Facepalm

HOTOS

Horse Of The Opposite Sex

Stoneshop Silver badge
Holmes

Just burn down that barn.

putting my mind at rest that this stable door, like all the others, has been very securely shut long after the data horse had already bolted, found several willing HOTOS and procreated lustily.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: Every year, I understand him better.

I watched my dad turn into my grandpa....

Ummm.

RIP Spencer Silver: Inventor of the Post-it Note, aka the office password reminder, dies

Stoneshop Silver badge
Devil

It would have been even better

If that glue didn't want to stick on monitor screens.

I will see the note just fine when attached to the bezel. Or, with the ever-shrinking bezels on flatscreens, on my keyboard. JUST NOT ON MY SCREEN, not-so-dear cow-orkers.

One time at a computer fair there was a vendor selling "memory expansion for your monitor", a piece of whiteboard with a rectangular hole in the middle that your computer screen could poke through, plus a set of whiteboard markers. It could easily hold two dozen standard Post-Its.

Another week, another issue: Virgin Galactic mulls test flight restart as VSS Unity fixed – but VMS Eve might be borked

Stoneshop Silver badge
Go

Faster and farther than Branson's crafts will ever go.

Another platform on which Java will not run – platform 1 of Newcastle's Central Station

Stoneshop Silver badge
Facepalm

platform agnostic

So you would be seeing the info for platform 2 on platform 7? And platform 3 on platform 1? That's going to cause a repeat of the opening scene of Les Vacances de M.Hulot.

Gone in 60 electrons: Digital art swaggers down the cul-de-sac of obsolescence

Stoneshop Silver badge

We do. After we've finished moving.

8", 5.25", 3.5" (up to 2.88MB, as well as LS120) and 3". I'm not sure if we have one of those 21MB Floptical drives; I think we don't.

Paper tape, various formats.

Bernouilly and SyQuest cartridges.

5.25 and 3.5 MO.

Zip, Jaz and Clik.

DLT, MLR/SLR and LTO; open reel only after we've fixed the drive. The speed sensor is b0rked, the replacement is already there but as we're in the middle of a move now repairing stuff is somewhat down on our priority list.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: low cost book scanner

This one.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: I keep my comic collection in shoe boxes...

I'm fully aware of that.

ALL audio stuff older than 30 years or so gets recapped, carbon resistors replaced with metal film while I'm in there, low-noise transistors and opamps instead of the factory ones, belts and idlers, the lot.

No Japanese gear pre-1980 even gets switched on before ALL electrolytics are replaced.

And I have a (small, but sufficient) solder fume extractor on a goose-neck.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: low cost book scanner

If you have a pile of books that you want scanned but don't care much about them as an object to put back on a shelf after you've done so: get an ADF scanner, slice off the bindings and feed them in. Maybe not the cheapest, but photographing books one page at a time gets very old very fast, which is extremely likely to have you never finish that task.

Jason told us there are just two types of book scanners that actually work sufficiently reliable and precise to process a book without a lot of handholding and postprocessing to allow the result to be OCRed, and sufficiently easy to operate so that you actually care to do more than just two or three books before giving up. One is some commercial rig that costs on the order of 100k, and the other is one built mainly from PVC tubing and plywood. That one should be on Instructables, but it's not in my bookmarks so I'll have to search for it.

Stoneshop Silver badge

Re: Maplin Electronics

I'm sure I won't be the only grateful person around here if you scan your copies to CBZ or PDF and upload them to archive.org or similar!

We[0] had Jason Scott pop in one day, and after hearing of our fairly impressive stash of vintage manuals and similar docs he told us to scan it at the highest native resolution our scanners[1] would manage, save as .TIFF, file names sufficiently related to the item at hand of course, and upload it like that. They would take care of the rest, having it OCRed, and turned into the various common publishing formats (including ebooks).

[0] hackerspace/computer museum in NL

[1] for most of the time we had four auto document feeder scanners chewing through the pile, two or three evenings a week. It still took nearly a year to work through most of it; still left are the larger than A4/letter documents

Stoneshop Silver badge
Big Brother

And significant costs only become involved when someone is accused of violating the contract.

Well, there are the copyright chaser lawyers, who are not above creating business through unfounded accusations, extremely minor infractions and cases that are undisputably fair use.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Devil

Re: youtube-dl

If it's "in the cloud", it'll probably not be there next week.

With the more amusing and/or impressive cases being presented here on El Reg.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: Not quite as bad

Several. Enough to build a most elaborate Heath Robinson Funeral Pyre Incendiary Trigger Contraption imaginable.

Stoneshop Silver badge
Alert

Re: Technology repeating

Nothing new under the sun.

Tell that to the apparently sentient greenish stuff of what used to be coffee under the Ultra10, now hissing menacingly at the cleaning rag.

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