* Posts by Linker3000

175 posts • joined 7 May 2010


Western Digital shingled out in lawsuit for sneaking RAID-unfriendly tech into drives for RAID arrays


Correction: HGST/Hitachi

** "There’s also Hitachi (owned by Western Digital)" **

Um, no. Not quite.

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies was created by an IBM/Hitachi drive tech business merger in 2003.

WD acquired the business in 2012 and rebranded it as HGST and from that time, it had absolutely nothing to do with Hitachi.

WD does not own Hitachi.

If you're writing code in Python, JavaScript, Java and PHP, relax. The hot trendy languages are still miles behind, this survey says

Thumb Up


Works for me!


The Iceman cometh, his smartwatch told the cops: Hitman jailed after gizmo links him to Brit gangland slayings


Hi-viz bike

"Kinsella was killed on May 5, 2018, by a masked gunman on a bicycle wearing a high-visibility vest."

I guess the bright orange/yellow bike drew some attention too.

Microsoft liberates ancient MS-DOS source from the museum and sticks it in GitHub


Re: for the cost of a tape to copy them to and delivery.

Don't write off the retro computer scene just yet...

This lot have just started regular UK meets: https://rc2014.co.uk/

also: https://www.retrobrewcomputers.org/doku.php?id=start

...and shameless self-promotion:


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Microsoft gives Windows 10 a name, throws folks a bone


Re: for the cost of a tape to copy them to and delivery.


Wordstar on CP/M is where it's at...


2nd last pic. (me a week ago)

Heatwave shmeatwave: Brit IT departments cool their racks – explicit pics


Re: for the cost of a tape to copy them to and delivery.

At one place I worked, the in-house facilities guys turned one end of an office block into a fully airconned computer room with raised flooring:

1) They boxed-in a row of radiators behind drywall - but didn't shut them down, so from the getgo the room never reached the expected temperature. The aircon guys spent ages recalculating things, checking equipment etc., before someone commented 'does this wall seem warm to you..?' Out came the padsaw, holes were cut and valves were turned. The room temperature dropped, but the ugly holes were never fixed.

2) They put the room stat on a pillar next to a window so it was affected by outside temperature and sunshine. The room went into superchill mode when the sun was shining, and on very cold days the aircon would hardly kick in and the room stayed toasty. When someone put 2+2 together, the stat was relocated.

TalkTalk plans to sell family B2B jewel to Daisy Group for £175m



*EBITDA (Talk Talk)

Earnings Before IT Disaster Again

Microsoft patches problematic OS to deal with SSD woes


Re: Yes, but...

My dual-boot Debian Stretch/Windows 10 box survived the process.

IBM bans all removable storage, for all staff, everywhere


Same old...

Me (on phone in 1990s - probably wrangling SCO UNIX): Hi support guys, this server OS doesn't recognize the optical drive properly - any thoughts?

Support: Hmm, well there's a drivers CD in the box somewh...oh, right....OK...The driver will be downloadable from our BBS [look it up, youngsters]...that server has a built-in modem.

Me: I can't see a modem on the devices list...?

Support: Oh, the driver'll be on the CD..

Me: See my problem here?

Support: Um, yeah - but the driver will be downloadable from the BBS too...oh, yeah.

Me: I'll just pop back to the office and fetch stuff on a floppy or three..

Support: Hey, if the server's hooked up, why not download the drivers on another machine and copy them across the network?

Me: There's no other machine here with a modem. Anyway, Would the NIC drivers be on the CD?

Support: Yep!....Oh!

Sir Clive Sinclair dragged into ZX Spectrum reboot battle


Re: for the cost of a tape to copy them to and delivery.

..Connectors will be super-cheapo and unreliable bits of bent metal, while cables to plug into them will cost extra and the controls will be similarly cheap and nasty, feeling more like a dead frog on its back than anything else.

So pretty much true to the original design?!

We sent a vulture to find the relaunched Atari box – and all he got was this lousy baseball cap


Knock your socks off with TV Pong on an Atmel microcontroller:


RIP... almost: Brit high street gadget shack Maplin Electronics



For anyone not sure where to go (or where they should probably have gone in the first place):



Re: My life in 1976

Orange - very orange!


Facebook invents new unit of time to measure modern attention spans: 1/705,600,000 of a sec


Units of measurement...


One more credit insurer abandons Maplin Electronics


Amazon, Shmamazon

There's an Amazon Monopoly on electronic components and related stuff? Check out our curated list of suppliers on Reddit:


(Abbreviated list:)

EMEA Suppliers

Bitsbox UK

CPC Farnell UK

Electron Electronics UK

Element14 UK AKA Farnell.

HobbyTronics UK

Mallinson Electrical UK

Maplin UK

Mega Electronics UK

Rapid Electronics UK

RS Components UK

Spiratronics UK

Squirrel Labs UK

Arduino, components and robotics:


Cool Components Some say "The UK's Sparkfun".

Kitronik BBC micro:bit partner. Kits, Arduino, Sparkfun parts and components.

Oomlout Arduino, Adafruit, Sparkfun and components.

Pimoroni Stocks Adafruit parts.

Proto-PIC Stocks Adafruit and Sparkfun parts.

SK Pang Stocks Sparkfun parts.

ExpTech Boards and modules, robotics etc.

Tinkersoup Arduino, modules etc.

Waterott Electronic Boards, kits, robotics, components.

There's also a supplier in Thailand called Tayda that has stupidly-cheap stuff and 2 week delivery - they are used by many UK and global hobbyists.

Yes, Maplin is on our list - with a comment that they aint what they used to be in terms of stock and pricing. I could go on, but suffice to say I have a 4 digit Maplin customer number as one of their early accounts and the current company is not a patch on the 'original'. For others that hark back to the 1970s-80 hobby electronics scene and the Maplin catalogue, coloured vouchers you could collect towards future orders and the decent projects, check out some nostalgia here:


Spy-on-your-home Y-Cam cameras removes free cloud storage bit


Re: for the cost of a tape to copy them to and delivery.

There's also Zoneminder (Linux, Open Source)

FCC boss Ajit Pai emits his net neutrality extermination plan


Re: for the cost of a tape to copy them to and delivery.

Fake views

Two million customer records pillaged in IT souk CeX hack attack

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BBC’s Micro:bit turns out to be an excellent drone hijacking tool


Re: @Steve Evans

"Having said that you can program the micro:bit to write rude words in the air as you spin it round on a piece of string."

...all while playing a fruit keyboard with your other hand. Rock on!

Roland McGrath steps down as glibc maintainer after 30 years


Re: for the cost of a tape to copy them to and delivery.

Ditto - I received the full Kermit dump on a 2400' tape from Lancaster Uni so I could pull out the version for the VAX 11/750 I managed at the time. Happy days!

Currys PC World given a spanking for misleading laptop savings ads


Things are really BAD if Maplin is a better option than PC World

Consultancy titan EY to shift jobs to Indian outsourcer TCS


Re: we are in the process of transforming how we deliver IT services

Above 1200, it's officially 'bits per second' as the modulation techniques changed so that one state transition can convey multiple bits. Baud is only used where 1 state change = 1 bit.

/Yeah, I passed my A+ Service Technician Exam.

//How many UK or overseas consultants could have told you that, and how much would they have charged!?

///I feel old.

'Major incident' at Capita data centre: Multiple services still knackered


Re: XML is so 1990's

My rule for any situation that makes me want to start a sentence with "You'd think that...." is to STOP and take a reality check.

Cisco boxen hang after 213-and-a-half days


Re: Nothing New

There was something similar with one model of Cisco switch around 4 years ago where after a period of uptime something b0rked in the arp cache algorithm and the switches turned into hubs - you knew when it happened as network traffic ground to a halt and all the port LEDs flashed in unison.

UK uni KCL spunks IT budget on 'reputation management' after IT disaster headlines


Re: Mountain out of a mole hill

>> down to KCL operations technicians. You could argue there was a lack of management oversight, but fundamentally someone wasn't testing the backups.

No, it was down to the Managers who either did not implement proper procedures or did not oversee any checks and balances to confirm that **working** backups were being performed. That's why you have Managers.

FYI: Ticking time-bomb fault will brick Cisco gear after 18 months


"Prize Plum"

This issue was picked up by /r/networking on Reddit, and one Redditor suggests which component is the culprit - it would be useful for the electronics industry at large if the part was officially identified to help other manufacturers and users plan scheduled maintenance for this issue before it gets worse.


Bloke launches twinkly range of BBC Micro:bit accessory boards


Re: “I’ve designed my own connector,“

Edit: I see Gaz was onto this and has revised the article text.

I think what Nevil meant was that he's designed his own system/connector to mate with the pitch of the edge connector on the micro:bit - and in that respect he's dealing with what pitch the micro:bit designers chose and not numptyfying* anything.

2 FWIWs:

When the micro:bit first came out, getting hold of ANY compatible edge connectors (or even the spec for one) was a PITA until Kitronik et al started to make them available.

I have been playing with a few pre-production samples of Nevil's boards for a while - kudos to him for the effort put into the project.

*That's Numptizing for our North American friends.

Microsoft quietly emits patch to undo its earlier patch that broke Windows 10 networking


Re: ,So there's an online fix for not being able to get online?

It's probably available online as a PDF. Oh, wait....

Botched Microsoft update knocks Windows 8, 10 PCs offline – regardless of ISP


Re: Is this a UK only problem?

Dunno, but since I just lost Internet connectivity trying to check an email before I flew out of the house, I did a quick check of the network settings and the first entry in my DNS list was an IPV6 address and since my router does not have IPV6 turned on, I tried disabling the IPV6 protocol on my wifi adaptor and I was back online with only the expected two IPV4 DNS addresses showing.

Maybe something's not timing out as it should??

Just a thought - gotta dash....!

Sysadmin told to spend 20+ hours changing user names, for no reason


Resistance was futile

A colleague and I once spent a good week or so changing the network IP address ranges of 30 regional offices to match the 'harmonised' scheme of the company who'd acquired us. The change was not a major shift in numbering and we were clever enough to do a fair bit of it remotely through deft use of RDP and multihoming. After we'd finished and handed everything over to our new lords and masters (who very soon kicked us regional IT guys out), it transpired they'd forgot to tell us that the subnet masks also needed changing, so off we went again!

This same company ripped out the 8Mbit ADSL VPN connections (this was around 2004) between our HQ and the offices and replaced them with 1/2 Meg MPLS circuits - then wondered why everything ground to a halt (I bet the accountants loved the new bills too!)

The icing on the cake, was that the encumbent IT guys were sh*t scared of Linux and so out went the 300-user email system based on Postfix, to be replaced by MS Exchange + required Licences, and they abandoned the distributed, replicated, cross-site backup system based on BackupPC which performed full and incremental backups of data overnight from every office to two other locations, plus the clever rsync scripts that brought a copy of all regional data back to HQ every night for data mining - we had data coming in from MS-SQL, MS-Access and proprietary systems to be munged into one data set in MySQL - it was bloody brilliant, even if I do say so myself.

Hackers waste Xbox One, PS4, MacBook, Pixel, with USB zapper


Re: Ridiculous

Have to nitpick: There's a lot of DMX stuff out there which is not galvanically isolated - the signal just gets thrown into a regular RS485 buffer chip with not an opto or transformer in sight.

Half-ton handbuilt CPU heads to Centre for Computing History


Re: Back-door?

Yes it does have a backdoor - it's a 4-panel, white oak affair with glass top panes and gold fittings.

'Pavement power' - The bad idea that never seems to die



It's at LHR and I came here to post exactly that comment about how unnerving it was to walk on. Any energy cost savings will be wiped out by the NHS expenditure for ltreating lower-back and leg joint problems.

Hell desk thought PC fire report was a first-day-on-the-job prank


Re: Metaphors

From the same period, someone rang up to say that whenever they switched on their PC, the date had gone back to 1980. I told them that the PC's clock battery had probably gone. 'GONE!?' came the startled reply..'Who could have taken it!?"



One of my old bosses was known to use cheesy metaphors in every meeting and presentation. One day he stuck his head out of his office and, in a very casual manner, asked me to 'take a look' at his IBM PC-XT in about 10 mins as the 'whole lot has gone up in smoke' and he'd be out for a meeting.

10 minutes later, I sauntered into his empty office to encounter a smoke-filled room and a big, melty, burnt hole in the top of his CGA colour ('Luxury!') monitor.


Wow, everyone loves our drives, says Seagate sitting on a pile o' cash


Re: How much of that was replacing dud drives?

HGST you mean?

(Hitachi ≠ HGST)

Before Bitcoin, digital cash was called Beenz – all that's left is a T-shirt




That is all

'Jet blast' noise KOs ING bank's spinning rust servers


Floor voids - more than just storage areas for rubbish

I had the pleasure of visiting a building where the architects managed to design the server room with a FOUR FOOT flloor void rather than the desired 4 inches. Somehow this cock-up of NASA dimensioning proportions made it through all checks and that's how the building was constructed.

By the time the building was completed and occupied, the data centre looked 'normal'... until you lifted a floor panel and stared into the void; this was one data centre where you **really** had to be careful if you left a floor panel out of place! There was so much space below the floor that the IT guys had installed servers down there - as my knees and back dscovered when I turned up to fit a new Ethernet card and was told which tile to lift to start my crawl.

Apple: Crisis? What innovation crisis? BTW, you like our toothbrush?


Re: the next battlefield ...

> advances which aid or assist users who eyesight and/or coordination is failing.

A nice pair of Apple iEyes inserts...

Direct Cortex Inject (DCItm) for pure digital visiion, and only the occasional, discrete advertisement in the corner of your vision (unless you upgrade to the ad-free subscription package).

Apple killed OS X today and binned its $10,000 BlingWatch too


Fork Handles

No....O's....O's for Macs.

Cisco axes up to 5,500 workers in scramble to remain relevant


Re: silver lining

"IoT mostly seems to be rich people taking dumb appliances adding data mining technology for the poor unwashed masses and then eventually charging far more to buy the original dumb appliance again that doesn't spy on you (for them of course)."

I call this "The bacon strategy":

* Once upon a time, bacon was just cured/smoked pork with nothing added; it tasted fine and cooked well.

* Then some bright spark worked out how to inject water into the process and sell a crappier version of bacon for greater profit.

* Over time, this crappy, water-laden bacon became the norm and everyone just accepted the state of play because they grew up with the shitty stuff.

* Next, the bacon companies started to sell 'traditional' bacon again with no added water, but because it was now 'special', they charged extra for a now-considered-premium product.

Good news: Teen hacker gets 1-million-air-miles bug bounty reward. Bad news: It's United Airlines


Why all the United hate?

Great airline; the last (and I really mean LAST) time I flew with them, they upgraded my direct San Francisco to London Heathrow flight to include an additional 8 hours at the airport and a free visit to Dulles Washington. I effectively gained a WHOLE DAY of extra traveling for no extra charge and skipped a Monday at work; what's not to like!?

Windows 10 Anniversary Update is borking boxen everywhere


Re: Plan ahead

One thumb down when I checked at 10:27 - SOOO...someone disagrees that a quick image backup before applying the update is worth the time.

Jean Luc Picard facepalms in your general direction.


Plan ahead

All of my home and work machines dual boot Windows 10 and Debian 8, and live in Debian most of the time. I forsee some liberal use of Clonezilla coming up before doing anything with Windows.

The developer died 14 years ago, here's a print out of his source code


Call me!

I am waiting for your call - I'm cheap too!



this file contains the function and procedure declarations

for the TurboPascal/Advanced NetWare interface}


Strvar = String[52];

function xtndopn(var Mode, Handle: Integer;var Filename: Strvar): Integer; external 'PASNETA.COM';

function setattr(var Func, Attribute: Integer; var Filename: Strvar): Integer; external xtndopn[3];

function eojstat(var Flag: Integer):integer; external xtndopn[6];

function PRLH_Log(var FileHandle,HiByteOffset,LoByteOffset,HiLockLen,

LoLockLen,Flags,TimeOut: Integer): Integer; external xtndopn[9];

function PRLH_Rel(var FileHandle,HiByteOffset,LoByteOffset,HiLockLen,

LoLockLen: Integer): Integer; external xtndopn[12];

function PRLH_Clr(var FileHandle,HiByteOffset,LoByteOffset,HiLockLen,

LoLockLen: Integer): Integer; external xtndopn[15];

function PRLF_Log(var fcb,HiByteOffset,LoByteOffset,HiLockLen,LoLockLen,

Flags,TimeOut: Integer): Integer; external xtndopn[18];

function PRLF_Rel(var fcb,HiByteOffset,LoByteOffset: Integer): Integer; external xtndopn[21];

function PRLF_Clr(var fcb,HiByteOffset,LoByteOffset: Integer): Integer; external xtndopn[24];

function PRLS_Lck(var Flags,TimeOut: Integer): Integer; external xtndopn[27];

function PRLS_Rel: Integer; external xtndopn[30];

function PRLS_Clr: Integer; external xtndopn[33];

function OpenSem(var Sema4: Strvar; var SemaValu,HiHandle,LoHandle,OpenCnt: Integer): Integer; external xtndopn[36];

function ExamSem(var HiHandle,LoHandle,SemaValu,OpenCnt: Integer): Integer; external xtndopn[39];

function WaitSem(var HiHandle,LoHandle,TimeOut: Integer): Integer; external xtndopn[42];

function SigSem(var HiHandle,LoHandle: Integer): Integer; external xtndopn[45];

function ClosSem(var HiHandle,LoHandle: Integer): Integer; external xtndopn[48];


Cray profits literally go up in smoke after electrical incident


Carbon is conductive. Small particles can cause real problems among tiny surface mount components and high frequency circuits.

TP-Link fined $200k, told to be nice to wireless router tinkers after throwing a hissy fit


Re: Extra power

It's all very well the BT router (maybe) pumping out more power, but wifi comms is a two-way thing and your tablet or phone etc. is going to be transmitting at the same strength it has always done....so if the device's signal couldn't make it back from the potting shed before it STILL aint gonna make it back now.

Linus Torvalds in sweary rant about punctuation in kernel comments


Linus Torvalds in sweary rant

Must be a day with a 'y' in the name.



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