* Posts by red floyd

82 posts • joined 16 May 2007


NASA launches guide to Lunar etiquette now that private operators will share the Moon with governments

red floyd

Re: The Artemis program aims to put the first woman and second man

And the Russkies would have blown the lid off of it had it been faked.

Britain has no idea how close it came to ATMs flooding the streets with free money thanks to some crap code, 1970s style

red floyd

Re: Experienced tester.

Had a buddy like that once. He broke a shell script by pasting Unicode into its inputs. I really learned to sanitize input there.

Web pages a little too style over substance? Behold the Windows 98 CSS file

red floyd

I would definitely prefer the 98 style. Even better would be if the buttons made a nice "thunk" sound when pushed...

Seriously, when I took my user interface class, one of the key elements was easily discoverable (what are the elements that do things), feedback (Yes! YOU PUSHED THE BUTTON), etc... TIFKAM GUIs have completely lost those elements.

Animal crossing? Nah! Farmyard frolics, courtesy of Novell and pals

red floyd

Re: Agricultural College

Until 2001, Lehrer was on staff at the University of California, Santa Cruz, teaching an introductory math class, and the "History of the American Folk Musical".

Never had time to take that class when I was there :( ...

16 years and counting: How ESA squeezed oodles of bonus science out of plucky Mars Express probe

red floyd

Re: Obligatory xkcd

Whenever I read that XKCD, someone starts chopping onions in the room.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to save data from a computer that should have died aeons ago

red floyd

Re: Hybrid children watch the sea

My first network was named after Greek heroes. We got in a MicroVAX that the original admin named Ulysses. So we later added Ajax (a 486/33, no bloody DX or SX) , and a couple of others with names I can't remember. When we got a Pentium II/200 box, I named it "Helen" because Helen of Troy was "fast".

Vendor-bender LibreOffice kicks out 6.4: Community project feel, though now with added auto-█████ tool

red floyd

I use LibreOffice all the time (my main computer is a Linux machine). My biggest issue is the lack of a real outlining mode in Writer.

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

red floyd

Re: All washed away like tears in rain

WfW 3.11, Hummingbird TCP/IP, Hummingbird/X and SCO ODT Server 2.0 here...

By the FSM's Noodly Appendage, that was a [female dog] to manage.

Beware the Friday afternoon 'Could you just..?' from the muppet who wants to come between you and your beer

red floyd

Never again

We were over at a friend's house for dinner.... Their (Windows Me!) computer was acting up and they asked if I could have a look at it. The obvious happened. My (late) wife had a lovely dinner with friends, while I was stuck at the computer for THREE HOURS. That was the day I swore, "Never again".

Now when I'm asked what I do for a living, I say, "I'm a software developer -- and no, I won't fix your computer."

The only person I perform free IT work for now is my girlfriend.

It's a no to ZFS in the Linux kernel from me, says Torvalds, points finger of blame at Oracle licensing

red floyd

Re: Hypocritical

Neither. He works for Unxis (aka SCO)

Linux in 2020: 27.8 million lines of code in the kernel, 1.3 million in systemd

red floyd

Re: I've had .....

Well, the OP didn't use "xor", just "or", so no, they aren't mutually exclusive.

red floyd

Re: A new book: "Systemd (feat. Linux)"

Systemd is a great OS. All it really needs is a good init system.

We've found it... the last shred of human decency in an IT director – all for a poxy Unix engineer

red floyd

Re: Love a team player

Been there, done that, as the underling.

The situation was procedural, thank heavens, not anything to do with a major foul-up. We needed some software (InstallShield -- this was around 1992 or 1993), and we needed it YESTERDAY. Going through normal channels would have taken about two weeks, so my manager authorized me to use petty cash to pay for it. So I did, as did two co-workers in similar situations.

Unbeknownst to us, a new VP had decided to make his mark by reducing the use of petty cash -- I'm sure you can see where this is going. The VP already had our names, as they were on the vouchers. The manager did his best to shield us from whatever consequences this tin-pot dictator VP was going to rain down upon us. He pointed out that what we had done was under his express orders and approval.

I think we still got some flak, but nowhere near as much as VP wanted, And he wound up getting some of the flak, too.

I was very lucky, this was the first manager I ever had. I wound up working for the gentleman for 17 years.

Thanks, Dwight.

That code that could never run? Well, guess what. Now Windows thinks it's Batman

red floyd

Re: Assume the worst

Z80 strikes again!

50 years on: Apollo 12 failed at selfies but succeeded at dismantling a probe

red floyd
Thumb Up

Best. Crew. Ever.

Pete's motto was "If you can't be good, be colorful". The 12 crew managed to do both, and have fun at the same time.

Pete's "Whoopee" statement was partly to win a bet with Oriana Fallaci, because she believed that the first words on the moon were scripted and approved. She allegedly never paid the $500.

The crew were good friends, to the point that the three of them got identically colored Corvettes, and would often race them around Houston. They remained close friends until their passing.

It is actually true that Gordon made Conrad and Bean strip starkers before he would let them come back into the command module!

Just an awesome crew.

Dammit Insight! You just had two big jobs to do on Mars and you're failing at one of those

red floyd

They should have used something else...

Like an Illudium-Q36 Explosive Space Modulator

I'm not Boeing anywhere near that: Coder whizz heads off jumbo-sized maintenance snafu

red floyd

Re: This Page Is Intentionally Blank

Indeed. The "This page..." text should actually read, "This page intentionally left blank, except for this text"

How bad is Catalina? It's almost Apple Maps bad: MacOS 10.15 pushes Cupertino's low bar for code quality lower still

red floyd

Re: Apple is deprecating Macs

They tried that. It failed. Remember Gil Amelio?

'We go back to the Moon to stay': Apollo vets not too chuffed with NASA's new rush to the regolith

red floyd

You're just a shill for Big MOON!!!

Father of Unix Ken Thompson checkmated: Old eight-char password is finally cracked

red floyd


Yeah. I hate it when I create a password, and then the site says, "Your password must have ${RULE1}".

So I try again with a password that meets ${RULE2}, and it says, "Your password must ${RULE2}".

Just give me the bloody rules UP FRONT!!!

Hey, I wrote this neat little program for you guys called the IMAC User Notification Tool

red floyd

Re: Hardware Testing

Even better... My first boss told me a story about when he was working on an army system... He was writing a routine to confirm that a fire unit (aka gun) was firing on a given target... Fire Unit Check.... Yes, it wound up being called everyone's favorite four-letter euphemism for intercourse.

Needless to say, during a code review he was instructed to change it.

Behold the perils of trying to turn the family and friends support line into a sideline

red floyd

Re: Obligatory XKCD

That's how I got my first laptop. She had bought a cheap Toshiba Satellite (with Vista -- ugh), and never could get it to connect properly.

She finally gave up and bought an iPad and told me if I could make the Toshiba work, it was mine.

I wound up using it for seven years.

Psst. Wanna brush up your supervillain creds? Get a load of this mini submarine

red floyd

Emergent Technologies?

Shouldn't this have been listed under SUBmergent technologies instead?

Beware the developer with time on his hands and dreams of Disney

red floyd

Former defense contractor here...

I had written a test system that wound up becoming productized. I had put a small easter egg that ran an animated splash screen (on an ASCII terminal -- this WAS the 80s, after all...).

Management actually was amused at it when they found out, but I was told to take it out, just in case the customer accidentally ran across it...

I couldn't possibly tell you the computer's ID over the phone, I've been on A Course™

red floyd

At one point in my career, I worked in a restricted area... NOBODY was allowed in if they weren't on the access list.

A co-worker denied access to the president of the company. She got commended.

Clip, clip, hooray: NASA says it will send Clipper probe to Europa, will attempt no landing there

red floyd

Only if you watched the movie.

If you read the book...

All these worlds are yours -- except Europa. Attempt no landing there.

BOFH: Oh, go on, let's flush all that legacy tech down the toilet

red floyd

Re: Outsourced?

No. But they will be billed on a per crapita basis.

Our hero returns home £500 richer thanks to senior dev's appalling security hygiene

red floyd

Re: Ahhh passwords...

Are you sure it wasn't 12345?

He's coming for your floppy: Linus Torvalds is killing off support for legacy disk drive tech

red floyd

Anyone know where I can get my hands on a 5.25" USB floppy drive? I've got original vintage copies of Windows 1.03 on 5.25 and would love to try them in a VM....

Stiff penalty: Prenda Law copyright troll gets 14 years of hard time for blue view 'n sue scam

red floyd

Re: About time too

I actually got all my Prenda-related news from Popehat, but Ken's off doing other things now.

Could you just pop into the network room and check- hello? The Away Team. They're... gone

red floyd

Not a bang but a "poof"

Was in the lab, prepping for a trip, when an old-style lithium battery decided to vent on me (this must have been around 1991).

Had to evacuate the lab, call security, the whole shebang. Meanwhile, I'm supposed to get on a plane the next morning, and I was only half done. I don't remember how I finished the prep, but somehow managed it. But it wasn't fun.

Exclusive: Windows for Workgroups terror the Tartan Bandit confesses all to The Register

red floyd


3.11 WAS WfW. 3.1 was plain Windows.

red floyd

Re: I remember

I remember seeing a third party theme called "Way Ugly". Imagine combinations of purple, green, yellow, and orange...

It's 50 years to the day since Apollo 10 blasted off: America's lunar landing 'dress rehearsal'

red floyd

Re: Grit

"Have to disagree with you there. "the right stuff" is IMHO a superb film."

Except for they way they slandered Gus.

SpaceX takes a leaf from the Microsoft playbook and stands down Starlink for an update

red floyd

I'm a Yank, but I came here to say something similar.. I was going to say, "How can they tell?"

Hands off Brock! EFF pleads with Google not to kill its Privacy Badger with its Manifest destiny

red floyd

"and all but the most privacy-conscious users would uninstall the extensions"

Gee, do you think that maybe that's what the world's largest ad-monger wants?

User secures floppies to a filing cabinet with a magnet, but at least they backed up daily... right?

red floyd

3.5 inch floppies

The 3.5 inchers were more robust, though. Once I got my hands on a rare earth magnet (forget the specific type), and decided to test the urban legends.

It turns out that I couldn't wipe a 3.5 by sticking it on the file cabinet with a magnet. And I let it sit for a full hour before testing.

Israeli Moon probe crashes at the last minute but SpaceX scores with Falcon Heavy launch

red floyd

SpaceX also recovered the payload fairing for reuse.

Kent bloke incurs the anchor of local council after fly-tipping boat

red floyd

Re: Yacht on Earth did I just read..?

The beauty of a pun is in the "Oy!" of the beholder.

It was all Yellow: Mass email about a Coldplay CD breaks the internet

red floyd

At least it wasn't Nickelback...

If you play a Nickelback album backwards, you hear a message from Satan.

If you play it forwards, it's even worse... you hear Nickelback.

red floyd

Sounds almost like a Slashdotting to me


Carolina coward fesses up: I was a tech support scambag, and I made millions out of defrauding the elderly

red floyd

Re: I only hope he never bursts into flames

@Mark 85, They have you install a keylogger, and wind up getting your banking credentials.

Sure, we've got a problem but we don't really want to spend any money on the tech guy you're sending to fix it

red floyd

I once got put on a plane to flip a single DIP switch.

This was back in the day when PCs were configured by them. Our program used the COM ports to send and receive data. The customer was having an issue where it would write data, but not read.

So I packed up my briefcase full of everything I could think of -- breakout box, adapters, wire, dykes, screwdrivers (yes, this was WAAAAAY before the 9/11-you-can't-bring-anything-useful-on-board days). I fly from Los Angeles to Monterey (just south of San Francisco, for you UK'ers), and get to where the client is I look at his machine, and he has both his COM ports configured as COM1. I flip a DIP switch so that the second port is now COM2 and everything works. This occurred within the first 15 minutes. Now I have six hours to kill before my return flight....

Ah, this military GPS system looks shoddy but expensive. Shall we try to break it?

red floyd

Re: I've destroyed millions!

I once worked on a project where everything went wrong... faulty hardware, bogus software specs, etc.. You name it.

I was privileged to watch a sample unit undergoing explosive atmosphere testing. I could have sold video of that for a lot of money.

Customer: We fancy changing a 25-year-old installation. C'mon, it's just one extra valve... Only wafer thin...

red floyd

Re: Line editor without echo...

"Want to delete the 25th charcter on the line? 24 x space, "d", Enter.

Insert something? Space out to where you want to insert, i, text, Enter."

This was an HP NonStop, wasn't it?

red floyd

Re: The dirtiest four-letter word...

Been there, done that. Back in the days of unloved, unlamented Windows Me.

We were invited to a friend's house for dinner (or supper, if you prefer). I was asked to take a quick look at their PC. I wound up spending 4 hours slaving over the thing, while everyone else enjoyed a lovely meal. And I do mean lovely. Said friend's wife was an excellent cook.

It was at that point I vowed, "Never again!". My stock response when asked what I do for a living is now, "I'm a software developer, and no... I WON'T fix your computer."

RIP Dr Peuto, Zilog and Sun's bright SPARC

red floyd

"Zilog Unix boxes (System III - did anybody else use that)."

Me! Me! Me! I could make a ZEUS box sit up and beg!

red floyd

I once wrote a Z80 simulator for work. It ran on a Z8000. I even emulated some of the I/O we were using on our system.

red floyd

Re: Halt and Catch Fire

I loved the Z8000. We were doing embedded development for a Z8000 based system, and used the ZEUS System 8000 (essentially a port of Unix System III) for development. It was a great chip for its time.

They came out with the Z80000 as their 32-bit chip, which was backward compatible with the Z8000, but it was too late. :(

Intel SGX 'safe' room easily trashed by white-hat hacking marauders: Enclave malware demo'd

red floyd

Re: Hidden processing on a CPU?

I think you mean PowerPoint.



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