* Posts by Kevin Lomax

11 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Jan 2010

Beware the trainee with time on his hands and an Acorn manual on his desk

Kevin Lomax

Ah the good old days

We had a school network of Beebs running over EcoNet. Basically each machine on the network had a number to identify it.

Being nerds we decided to RTFM to see what it was possible to do over said network. We quickly discovered the *REMOTE command - this allowed you to specify the machine you wanted to control. So just work out which machine your mate was on and then *REMOTE him...usually followed by the "NEW" command (for those that don't remember Beeb BASIC, this would clear the program you were working on...)

So you quickly learned to save often to the 5 1/4 floppy on the "server".

And then we discovered the *PROT command - this would protect you from *REMOTE. However, in someone's infinite wisdom there was also a *UNPROT command that you could run to remotely unprotect another machine. Thus began an arms war of who could type *PROT followed by *UNPROT on their mate's machine, followed quickly by *REMOTE and NEW.

And *then* we discovered that the "F" keys were programmable with macros. Now we could program a single key to carry out our attacks! The poor old teacher was some maths guy who knew less than some of us in the class, so he probably had no idea why we were furiously hammering away and glaring at each other across the room!

Incidentally - the "ESC" key on a Beeb could also be programmed with a macro. And pressing the "ESC" key generated an error code. So it used to be fun on a Saturday to go into the local WH Smiths branch, program something that flashed "hello" or similar whilst beeping. Then set up the ESC key with a macro that included "ON ERROR RUN". So hitting escape would just restart the program. Then you would just type "RUN" and skedaddle.

On the plus side, this sort of thing that my annoying 12 year old self did was a good precursor for a career in ICT!

Morrisons tells top court it's not liable for staffer who nicked payroll data of 100,000 employees

Kevin Lomax

Re: Depends if decent efforts at data security made by Morrisons

Or upload it into OneDrive, iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box or any other online file archiving system.

Or mail it to yourself via Hotmail, Gmail etc.

Or print it off, then take photos and OCR them.

Point is - if someone has access to the Internet *and* access to the data by legitimate means, then there's not a lot you can do about data leakage if someone really wants to do it. Things like rights management can cover off some of that, but if you're pulling data from the HR database into an Excel spreadsheet then that'll get bypassed.

The answer of course is to treat the data like the NOC list in Mission Impossible!

When the satellite network has literally gone glacial, it's vital you snow your enemy

Kevin Lomax

Re: Building to building WiFi

Similar sort of thing. Two buildings linked by a (what was then a fast) 10Mbps line of site microwave link. Worked fine for years until they started building new student flats in the path. The flats weren't the issue - they were below the level of the link.

But there were using a pretty big crane. And again that wasn't that' much of an issue as it wasn't directly in line (which is probably a good thing for the operator). But occasionally we'd lose the link, and what transpired was that they would be lifting 8 foot by 10 foot pre-cast concrete sections into place, however in true construction site fashion the crane operator would have to have his mandatory cup of tea every so often and he'd leave one of those sections hanging directly in line of the link.

So we had our lucky industrial placement guy nip over and have a quick word with the foreman each time - and to be fair they were very good about it and just nudged the blockage out of the way.

All good, leave it with you...? Chap is roped into tech support role for clueless customer

Kevin Lomax
IT Angle

"While you're here, could you just..."

Words to strike fear into the heart of any ICT engineer.

Was doing a network equipment audit around the campus we supported and ended up doing the office of the legal department.

Got the usual "oh, you're from IT", followed by "the date and time on our fax machine isn't right...could you just sort it for us while you're here"

Yes...of course...it has a plug so it MUST be IT's responsibility!

So I dug out the manual (which they could have just done themselves) and sorted the darn thing. And therein lies the problem - we're too nice. Should have told them to log a ticket!

Science says death metal fans delightful and intelligent people, great at dinner parties

Kevin Lomax

I remember some national newspaper doing a piece on Slipknot where they got hold of their backstage rider requirements - no doubt looking for something to justify some hysterical headline about metal being the devils work...3 live goats, some black candles and a couple of sacrificial virgins maybe.

Instead they got a list like "cold bottled water" and "organic natural yoghurts"!!


Kevin Lomax

Re: Not surprising

"the dead (in the form of a statue) come to life and the anti-hero gets dragged off to hell by demons"

Sounds pretty darn metal to me...

Kevin Lomax

Re: Musically...

Heck yeah! Or Watershed...or Blackwater Park...or Damnation...anything really!

Also I recommend angL by Ishahn if you want progressive black metal (i.e. has melody and intelligible lyrics!)

Once went to see David Lee Roth back in the 80s (OK that's hair metal rather than death metal) at Birmingham NEC. Had a chat to the security guys for the venue and asked "do you ever get trouble at the metal shows"?

Their answer - "nah, metal fans are just here for the music. We had a massive punch up last week at a Chris de Burgh show though..." !!!

'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU

Kevin Lomax

Re: I think some people might have missed something...

<If you never get the opportunity to even see a job advert, how are you going to apply for it?"

I don't use Facebook - can I sue?? /s

Personally I wouldn't wait for social media to offer me things I might be interested in - the amount of vaguely-relevant spam you get from the liked of LinkedIn is bad enough.

If I was looking for a new position, I'd be hitting the IT recruitment sites looking.

Kind of agree though - why on earth would FB even *have* a button that allows you to filter based on a specific gender in this equal-ops day and age?

Christ appears in phone advert, secular authorities act

Kevin Lomax

Buddy Christ?

Isn't that just a pic of "Buddy Christ" from Kevin Smith's "Dogma"?


California school pulls 'oral sex' dictionary

Kevin Lomax

This sucks....

nuff said

Labour MP experiences nasty video shock horror

Kevin Lomax

Motley Crue?

So Mr Dismore is worried about (presumably) the video for "Girls Girls Girls"? Blimey...you see more in "How to Look Good Naked" than in that video. Good job it doesn't sound like he's seen the video for "Pussy" by Rammstein - he'd go apopleptic!