* Posts by BarryMc

15 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Jan 2010

Windows NT grandaddy OpenVMS taken out back, single gunshot heard


You made me what I am

I have such fond memories of VMS:-

I left school at 16yrs and straight in to a software house writing applications for local authorities using VAX BASIC.

DCL was a wonderful shell scripting language. So powerful. So simple.

LSE - great editor

VT420/520's - I would later replace them with Gateway 2000 PC's running Win95 and Reflection, because it was cheaper and more flexible than a 'dumb' terminal. Better? Hmm...

Lovely clean, clear manuals. With the folds half-way along them so they stood up on their own.

The "RECALL" command was a personal favourite.

Long filenames and versioning - came as a shock to me when I later moved to Windows and found those lacking.

Manipulating FDL's by hand.

Upgrades/installs that just worked.

Limited downtime, because you only needed to take down parts of the system, not all of it.

0.25in tape


Call's to the SMG$ library - so I could create "windows" in my green-screen apps.

DEC Alpha.

I would later get in to systems management, which brought me exposure to DecNET, Pathworks, Manageworks, TeMIP.

Pathworks gave me exposure to move more towards NT/Windows Server specific networks. Until in about 2002-3 when I no longer went near OVMS systems at all.

I'll never forget the first time I used Clustering on Windows. I couldn't believe how it "worked", compared to on OVMS.

I may not be using OVMS any more. But, I certainly wouldn't be sat here, aged 42 with 26yrs of professional I.T. experience crossing programming/analysis/management/networking/etc, were it not for OVMS.

I'll miss you. You were my first true I.T. <3.

IT pros lack recent skills



I'm a Sysadmin of 25yrs, and whilst I'm almost entirely self-taught, I'm still massively held back by: (a) the age of the technology that we use (WinXP, WinServ2003, SQL2005), and (b) our choice to delegate all new knowledge to our out-sourced computer kit vendor, and/or our out-sourced off-shore team - who, strangely enough, are no longer off-shore but now sit in the same office.

The most up-to-date technology I got to work with recently was Microsoft Dynamics 2012. Only, I was given no real training, and instead was basically shown which buttons to click on to performance a server or client install. And then we canned that project. Nice. Mind you, I hated it. So, no real loss there.

This may be a little bit conspiracist, but, I think that PHB's are now using this new lack of real training/knowledge as a way of controlling their sysadmins, making them feel less valued in the workplace, and therefore make them feel less likely to find a new/better role. That, and the general lack of money available to spend on upgrades/maintenance (specifically in the retail sector).

Bung a tenner to a mate's mobile number with new Barclays app

Paris Hilton

Tried it on my phone

Detected my Desire HD was rooted, and told me to get lost as that means my security has been compromised.

Paris, because unlike Barclays, she likes a root. (taken from the Aussie use of the term, natch).

Ten... IPTV set-top boxes

Thumb Up

Humax HDR-FOX T2 _+ custom firmware

I can't recommend the Humax with custom firmware highly enough.

As well as enabling the Sky Player (no use unless you have a Sky account, I don't), it gives the ability to have remote administration/control via a web interface, full FTP access to root, ability to mount remote drives (e.g. NAS) via CIFS and the ability to install additional software packages/features. And you can also connect your box to http://rs.hummypkg.org.uk meaning you can schedule recordings via the web without having to expose the box at home to the public Internet.

Non-hacked, I'd give it 8/10.

Hacked, 9.5/10

NB: The custom firmware doesn't affect any of the on-screen GUI, it's only accessible via the web interface.

GiffGaff boots freetards off mobile network

Paris Hilton


There will always be a top 1%.

At what point do you accept that the top 1% are ok, and don't need to be kicked off?

Paris, because she's like totally in like the top 1% or like whatever.

Bullfrog Syndicate


Syndicate runs deep in my gaming DNA

I loved this game so much on my Amiga. Lost a lot of time playing this. Loved every minute of it.

If I'm honest, I'm still looking for that buzz.

Most gamers are middle-aged adults: FACT


I'm not 40!!

I'm 27h years old.

Also, I resent being called 'middle-aged'. I doubt my chances of making it to 80!!

DEC founder Ken Olsen is dead


Those were the days

I left school in the late 80's to write software for local government in VAX Basic, running on VMS5.5. It was such a good environment to cut my teeth on. Things just made sense, and were yet highly powerful. Happy memories of shelves full of bright orange manuals that would fold across the centre, thus turning themselves into book-holders.

One day whilst the Sysadmin was on holiday, the MD asked me (was only a small company), "Would you have a problem if he didn't come back?". And that was the start of my career as a Sysadmin.

Next job (mid-90's) was an aircraft maintenance company based at Stansted Airport. They had VAX's, a new application I'd never heard of called 'Pathworks', and a fair amount of desktop PC's running the new-fangled Windows 95 (using DecNET). Here, I learnt to deploy TCP/IP, to code HTML, and all about the Internet/email.

98-99 and I was at EDS (hated it) supporting massive OVMS-based systems. Initially using a DEC product called TeMIP - I've yet to meet another person (including HP staff) that have heard of it.

99-05 was my time at Made For Idiots - by this time, my OVMS usage was dwindling, and my Windows was increasing.

05-present and I'm still a Sysadmin, working for a major UK baby/mother retailer. There's no OVMS at all in my life. Instead, it's all Windows & DB's. There are some odd, green screen IBM things. But, I can't for the life of me understand them. I do have some Itanium-based Windows servers, which I gather have some/part of their basis in the wonderful 'Alpha' CPU.

My colleagues will testify that I now say (of Microsoft Clustering), "It was never this bad under VMS. It just worked."

Ken, I never met you. Never knew you. But, I feel you help put me where I am today. And for that, I am eternally grateful. Every day I worked with your products was a good day. I owe you a beer.

Nutter repairmen scale 1,768ft TV mast


Why were they up there?

a) The top looked far too small for one man to be stood on, and then his "climbing buddy" got up there!

b) The narrator made reference to a "too-b", wotdatden?

c) If there was a fault, did they they try turning it off, then on first?

Mines the one with the concealed parachute.

Koran-burning 'pastor' loses website


That money was just resting in my account!!

"left the country after members of his congregation accused him of financial shenanigans."

Made anyone else think of Father Ted?

These cows are small. Those, are far away. Small. Far away.

And this, is my coat.

Sarah Palin 'boob job' debate dominates US right - and left


What happened to the news being dumbed down?

I can't possibly comprehend this 'news' without either genuine pics, or some kind of mock-up (Lego would be acceptable). Or, you could go for the 24hr News Channel effort, and stick someone outside her front-door on a 24/7 OB.

Raygun 747 missile-zapping test video released



Obviously fake.

Everyone knows that lasers go PEW!PEW! when fired.

British government ignores MS browser fears


I want this on a t-shirt->

I'm an I.T. professional, and not using IE6 was my idea.

(or some variation thereof)

Guinness to hit three quid a pint


Could expense cause bingeing?

Just a scenario, no basis behind this....

If booze is made *too* expensive, that could this lead to more bingeing?

i.e. Can't afford to go out too often, so save my money and go out for a large one each payday?

We assume that the binge drinkers are doing this week after week. But, it could be that people are just doing it once per pay cycle?

And, there has to be a magical threshold, whereby it gets too expensive which causes moonshine/fake booze to seem more attractive, and those come with additional risks/dangers.

Mines a pint. Guinness, if they've got it, and know how to pour it. Failing that, generic lager will do.

Keene IRAnywhere


So, just to be clear...

There's no association, whatsoever, with this product and the 'IRA'? And that it contains none of their remote-controlling intellectual property?

I'll get me coat, and me knee-caps.