* Posts by Mr Humbug

219 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Jul 2010


Microsoft admits to problems upgrading Windows 11 Pro to Enterprise

Mr Humbug

There is a workaround for the Enterprise upgrade

I found this when I came up against the problem last week


It seemed to be affecting 23H2, not 22H2, and I only just started updating to 23H2 and the machines started downgrading.

CISA in a flap as Chirp smart door locks can be trivially unlocked remotely

Mr Humbug

Re: I actually wouldn't worry all that much about this

I think Range Rovers have a particular security problem. I was talking to the local PCSO about the kinds of crime in the area around our office a fewof weeks ago. She said they don't break in to houses, they steal Range Rovers through keyless entry. She said Range Rovers but then went on to say that it's theft of luxury cars.

Microsoft forges One Teams App To Rule Them All

Mr Humbug

Re: "with separate icons on the taskbar"

But hopefully it will get past the nonsense of two separate icons on the start menu and all the subsequentt 'why is Teams suddenly asking me to login and why does it say my account is invalid?'

Edit: or three icons if you have Teams, Teams (work or school) and Teams Classic (work or school)

User read the manual, followed instructions, still couldn't make 'Excel' work

Mr Humbug

Re: Nuclear melt down

Not to mention that you gave everybody in the company a copy of your TOTP seed :)

CrowView: A clamp-on, portable second laptop display

Mr Humbug

Re: "Portable Display" means what?

Mine isn't touch. I looked at a few that were, but they were all FHD. In the end I decided that 4K was a higher priority.

Mr Humbug

Re: "Portable Display" means what?

USB-C powered portable monitors exist from elsewhere and have done for a while. Last year I bought a device branded Arzopa E1 Extreme. It's 15", 4K and either uses one USB-C from a laptop or a mini HDMI and a 5V USB-C power supply. I've not checked, but I think it may well use more than 4W.

The only issue I have with it is that it won't do 4K at 30Hz, it's 4K at 60Hz or QHD at 30Hz. On the other hand, 4K on 15" is a little small anyway.

The clamp-on stand is appealing, but not sure my 13" laptop would balance with the extra weight

Brit broadband subscribers caught between crappy connections and price hikes

Mr Humbug

Re: Speed issues

I had someone tell me that they now had 'permanent WiFi' for their working from home set up.

Turned out they'd had someone in to run an ethernet cable for them

Mr Humbug

Re: Never had a problem...

Same here. ALthough I understand the one at the end of the alphabet is pretty good too.

Gen Z and Millennials don't know what their colleagues are talking about half the time

Mr Humbug

Re: Thanks El Reg...

It just says 'let's have a think about how we can make things better'

Of course putting it like that doesn't justify £5,000 per day

UK government to set deadline for removal of Chinese surveillance cams

Mr Humbug

Re: Security Risk?

I don't think CCTV and alarm installers ever consider restricting outbound network traffic. Last year our remote monitoring company changed its IP address and asked me to update our firewall rules so I asked them to confirm which of the other addresses they still needed. This was the reply:

"You’re very on it with your network.

[redacted] needs to be cancelled

[redacted] & [redacted] our inbound connections but these should not need to be on your firewall as I can’t imagine your firewall blocking outbound traffic."

Naturally, the firewall does block outbound traffic.

As I recall, some years ago when they last changed IP address they just sent one of their engineers to update the firewall settings. Of course, I ddn't let him do that.

Fed up with slammed servers, IT replaced iTunes backups with a cow of a file

Mr Humbug

Re: ??

(assuming Windows laptops - 2000 or XP) I would guess the iPod synced its files into the roaming part of the user profile. This is copied to the server roaming profile folder at logoff and copied back at logon. This would also have slowed down the logon process if each user had a couple of GB of MP3 files that all need to be shunted across a 100Mbps LAN at the same time each morning..

Alternatively, redirect the users' default file location to their server home folder and then sync using off-line files (although that was really not a good idea in practice, as it only works properly during carefully crafted demos).

Cheapest, oldest, slowest part fixed very modern Mac

Mr Humbug

Re: Bridge technologies

Well done sir. The surprising thing is that I actually understood all that, and it made perfect sense.

BOFH: Ah. Company-branded merch. So much better than a bonus

Mr Humbug

Now there's an opportunity

To leave USB sticks WTCLOI just lying around for anyone to pick up. Of course these would already have some software on them for, erm, auditing purposes.

A tip for content filter evaluators: erase the list of sites you tested, don't share them on 100 PCs

Mr Humbug

As I recall, and it's been a while... when you run sysprep to prepare a Win2K machine for imaging it copies the current user profile into the default profile settings.

Prepare to be shocked: Employees hate this One Weird Clause

Mr Humbug

Re: The beatings will continue...

I'm not a lawyer, but I work at an employment law practice and see a lot of the documents

In the UK the statutory minimum notice period is one week during your first two years of employment. After that it is one week for each completed year of employment (so five years, eleven months is five weeks' notice, six years is six weeks' notice) until it reaches twelve weeks (so a twenty-year employee is entitled to twelve weeks' notice). The employment contract can specify longer notice (for example some of ours are three months from day one).

Your pay period has no effect on this.

You are correct that changes to contract terms require agreement and the employee can refuse. The usual way to gain agreement is to offer some other incentive that's part of the changes (pay increase, extra day's holiday, some other benefit). The last resort is to dismiss people that won't agree for 'some other substantial reason' and offer re-engagement on the new terms. It they take the re-engagement their service is continuous so they maintain their entitlements to notice and redundancy pay.

This is an overview - there are procedures to follow so that it's 'fair'.

Microsoft warns Direct Access on Windows 10 and 11 could be anything but

Mr Humbug

My experience is that Direct Access has always been unreliable when you move between networks without restarting the PC. It's really useful when it works, but...

Just follow the instructions … no wait, not that instruction to lock everyone out of everything

Mr Humbug

You'd state the fuse rating when you described fitting it in the plug, then go on to describe how you checked the terminals were secure and the cord grip was correctly fitted. Then you'd mention the appliance power draw in passing so we could all nod wisely in anticipation of the punch line. Finally you would express disappointment at the lack of flashes and bangs.

Boys outnumber girls 6 to 1 in UK compsci classes

Mr Humbug

Re: Problem?

Or it's something that is failing to attract girls to computer science and the only reason to study the subject is because you want to do more of it. Otherwise there are plenty of alternatives that leave your options open.

To draw a parallel that may be relevant:

My older daughter did maths A-level because she could get a good grade and it would support what she wanted to do at university. College tried very hard to get her to do further maths, but she refused. Her maths class was predominantly male, but it was nowhere near a 5:1 ratio (possibly 2:1 or even lower).

My younger daughter is currently doing further maths because she and, I gather, most of the others in the class want to explore maths for its own sake. The male:female ratio is just over 4:1. On the other hand, her chemistry class is close to parity, but is mostly people that are not interested in the subject but need it for what they want to do next (medicine etc).

The point really, is that until computer science is an option that enables further study of other subjects it will only attract those that want to do computer science later on. For some reason that doesn't happen with many girls when they still have time to choose it.

Your app deleted all my files. And my wallpaper too!

Mr Humbug

Re: Even Worse

That option was (and still is) off by default. And keeping all the messages that you've dealt with but might want to refer to later in your recycle bin folder was common at this place a few years ago. I stopped it by creating folder policies to delete recycle bin items more than 30 days old.

I even told them about the change before I made it (I'm far too soft on them).

FreeDOS puts out first new version in six years

Mr Humbug

Re: Protext

> she absolutely hated the Windows version said it wasn't anywhere near as good as DOS version.

She was absolutely right. WordPerfect tried to keep the UI of the DOS version alongside the Windows UI. This broke both UIs

A time when cabling was not so much 'structured' than 'survival of the fittest'

Mr Humbug

Re: Shocks

500V insulation resistance test.

Megger is a brand of test gear and is used as a verb in the UK (see also hoover)

What a bunch of bricks: Crooks knock hole in toyshop wall, flee with €35k Lego haul

Mr Humbug

Re: Ah, Lego

'Legos' is where the USA put the s it took off 'maths'

Amazon tells folks it will stop accepting UK Visa credit cards via weird empty email

Mr Humbug

My card is Visa, but I understand that Amex charges retailers more (which is why fewer companies accept it) and Amazon says it still accepts Amex. I shall be applying for an Amex card in the next few weeks so that I can use it for all future Amazon purchases.

Macmillan best-biscuit list unexpectedly promotes breakfast cereal to treat status

Mr Humbug

Re: I am offended

Ahem. They are 'squashed fly biscuits'. My mum told me they were called that when I was small. I realise that squashed flies are also dead, but not all dead flies are squashed.

The magic TUPE roundabout: Council, Wipro, Northgate all deny employing Unix admins in outsourcing muddle

Mr Humbug

Re: redundancy at minimum or minimum redundancy

I've read the judgement so we can all stop speculating.

WiPro provided Unix systems that supported three council services. The council transferred one service to OLM Systems and the other two to Northgate. These two, the sysadmin and DBA, spent all their time directly working on those systems.

WiPro and the council maintained they were transferred to Northgate, with the service (how Northgate chose to provide that service was irrelevant). Northgate disagreed. As both organisations were refusing to take responsibility for their contracts of employment they claimed unfair dismissal, a redundancy payment and pay in lieu of notice, naming WiPro, the council and Northgate.

As nobody is employing them, it cannot be disputed that they were dismissed. The question the judge has just answer is who dismissed them?

Since there was no proper procedure the dismissal is unfair, and Northgate's legal counsel will now be busy trying to reduce the liability. If Northgate has any sense it will now try to settle the case.

In the meantime the two people should have got new jobs - they're under a duty to mitigate their loss, and failing to do so would give Northgate an argument for reducing the amount of the claim.

Mr Humbug

Re: I blame HMRC

I don't think TUPE applies to contractors. These were employees.

You walk in with a plan. You leave with GPS-tracking Nordic hiking poles. The same old story, eh?

Mr Humbug

Re: Bargle nawdle zouss

I see your MIG welder and raise you a plate compactor (whacker plate)


Firefox 91 introduces cookie clearing, clutter-free printing, Microsoft single sign-on... so where are all the users?

Mr Humbug

Erm.. Firefox has had group policies for several years


Mr Humbug

> Every business PC in the land gets Chrome on it,

The ones here don't. They have Chromium-based Edge and they get Firefox. Most people just use Edge (it was hard enough to get them to stop using IE)

Microsoft responds to PrintNightmare by making life that little bit harder for admins

Mr Humbug

No, it's all printers. And it's not just Windows.

I saw this somewhere recently: "I don't know what equipment infuriated Rage Against the Machine, but it was probably a printer"

You MUST present your official ID (but only the one that's really easy to fake)

Mr Humbug

Re: strong ID systems ;-)

I think the card they leave has words to the effect that:

You must bring this card and your ID, but if someone is collecting it on your behalf they must bring your ID.

So you're just following the rules. Well done.

BOFH: Where there is darkness, let there be a light

Mr Humbug

Is it Friday already?

Post-lunch snooze plans dashed as the UK tests its Emergency Alerts... again

Mr Humbug

Re: "Every compatible mobile phone or tablet in range of a mast ..."

You're right, they only want to alert people in good mobile coverage areas. You don't have to be in range of 'a mast', but rather 'a 4G or 5G mast'


> Mobile phone networks

> Emergency alerts work on all 4G and 5G phone networks in the UK.

> Phones and tablets connected to a 2G or 3G network will not receive emergency alerts.

'Vast majority of people' are onside with a data grab they know next to nothing about, reckons UK health secretary

Mr Humbug

We had a poll done

As Sir Humphrey explains:


Do you want to improve the state of medical research in this country?

Do you think actual healthcare data from GP records could contribute to medical research?

Do you think large data sets can improve the validity of research?

Would you support the use of GP patient records in improving medical research?

EE and Three mobe mast surveyors might 'upload some virus' to London Tube control centre, TfL told judge

Mr Humbug

More like: we don't want you shoving a mast on our roof because that means there will be people we don't know demanding access to the roof, possibly at short notice and possibly out of hours. Therefore you can't look at our roof because, erm, terrorism and national security.

Oops, says Manchester City Council after thousands of number plates exposed in parking ticket spreadsheet

Mr Humbug

Re: MC1192

Manchester has a lot of fixed bus lane cameras (Mrs Humbug was caught by one when she moved over about ten yards too early in order to turn left at a junction). My guess would be that they are all recorded as MC1192.

I would also guess that some parking areas have automated camera enforcement and 'no ticket displayed' really means 'didn't pay by phone app'.

But this is all just a guess

Crane horror Reg reader uses his severed finger to unlock Samsung Galaxy phone

Mr Humbug

It would have been more interesting...

if he had registered the fingerprint on the phone before the accident and could still unlock it with the severed digit afterwards.

Someone should investigate this. Someone who is not me.

Words to strike fear into admins' hearts: One in five workers consider themselves 'digital experts' these days

Mr Humbug

I keep a handy printout of https://xkcd.com/627/ just in case I forget how anything works

Mr Humbug

Re: Experts from the Dunning Kruger Institute of Technology

Oi! I have O-Level Latin AND I know which end to hold a soldering iron (after the first time)

Airline software super-bug: Flight loads miscalculated because women using 'Miss' were treated as children

Mr Humbug

Re: Little Miss Sunshine

And if TUI has a data breach the press release will tell us that security of customer data is their primary concern.

Clothes retailer Fatface: Someone's broken in and accessed your personal data, including partial card payment details... Don't tell anyone

Mr Humbug

That's not about increasing security, it means "We have begun work on shifting the blame for this sort of thing to someone else"

Ministry of Defence tells contractors not to answer certain UK census questions over security fears

Mr Humbug

Re: I was working for...

If you put down 'engineering' and give your work postcode as RG7 4PR it might identify you as someone who knows something interesting, whereas contractor could be anything from cleaner to HR assistant.

Brit IBM veteran wins unfair dismissal case after 2018's Global Technology Services redundancy bloodbath

Mr Humbug

If you call it redundancy it is, but a business can dismiss and re-engage someone if it needs to change the terms of employment and has been unable to negotiate an agreement with the employee.

Mr Humbug

> moving their jobs to another country in order to lower costs is not redundancy.

Actually, it is.

The legal definition of redundancy is that it happens when a business stops doing work of a particular kind or in a particular place. So if there are tech support employees in London and the business moves its office to Manchester (or to another country) then the London tech support employees are redundant.

They should be offered suitable alternative work, if available (which might be in the new location). The employer doesn't have to pay for them to move, but better employers might offer to.

Of course, if not all jobs are moving then the selection criteria must be objective and fair, which is what seems to have got IBM into trouble over this one. The 70% reduction says that the judge agreed that even if IBM had been fair and objective teh result would have been the same.

How do you save an ailing sales pitch? Just burn down the client's office with their own whiteboard

Mr Humbug

Don't know much about non-UK electrics, but it seems to me that if you have two voltages available then they should use different plug and socket combinations that are arranged so that 110V and 220V can't be interconnected. Is that not how they do it in Taiwan?

Judge denies Parler an injunction to force AWS to host the antisocial network for internet outcasts

Mr Humbug

Perhaps even Parler knows better than to get into a contract with Oracle

UK network Three hikes pay-as-you-go rates by 400% to push punters to buy 'bundles'

Mr Humbug


Presumably, 3 has decided that it needs a bigger "average revenue per user", which is what the "more for more" strategy seems to be aimed at. Someone who makes 10 minutes of calls, send 20 texts and uses 50MB of data per month won't suddenly start using 500 minutes, 1,000 texts and 2GB of data just because they are paying for a £5 bundle that includes all that. But 3 either gets more money from them (through increased PAYG charges or a bundle that they don't use) or gets them off its books. Either way, ARPU increases.

ARPU seems to be the way that mobile networks measure their value.

'Best tech employer of the year' threatened trainee with £15k penalty fee for quitting to look after his sick mum

Mr Humbug

There are a couple of reasons for packaging it as a loan, not graduate tax:

Graduates who move to highly paid jobs abroad stop paying UK income tax but still have to pay the loan repayments

For the next 30 years the borrowing is an individual's personal debt, not part of governemnt debt. A graduate tax would have the government paying the money up front against gaining potential future tax revenue, so natioanal debt increases

Let's check in now with the new California monolith... And it's gone, torn down by a bunch of MAGA muppets

Mr Humbug

Re: Without aliens, the Messiah would have died before getting crucified

that's not the Messiah, that's a very naughty boy

'Massive game-changer for UK altnet industry': BT-owned UK comms backbone Openreach hikes prices on FTTP-linked leased line circuits

Mr Humbug

Last year we had a line cut at work (gardeners, hedge trimmer, very tall hedge). We were paying the extra £3 or whatever it is per month for high priority response to faults so two OpenReach vans arrived within a couple of hours of reporting it to our service provider and three cut lines plus an additional fault on another line were fixed on the same working day as the report. We did get charged (not OpenReach's fault after all), but it was only £117 plus VAT for two engineers for a couple of hours

I've always had excellent experiences when dealing with the OpenReach engineers. It helps if you use the right words (the thing from the pole to your building is a 'drop wire' or 'drop', not a cable and you're connected to a 'pair', not to a line). Although you can never be quite sure what will happen if OpenReach subcontracts the job to Quinn or Kelly.