* Posts by RockBurner

272 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Aug 2010


Two signs in the comms cabinet said 'Do not unplug'. Guess what happened


Re: Don't forget mischief

This happened in one my the physics lessons I attended as a pupil at a 'best-of-the-best' type educational establishment in the UK (tells you something about the quality of the attendees (and the professors) at such establishments tbh)

Physics prof got the lab techs to wire up a very large electrolytic cap to a mains powered adjustable supply, the output of the supply rather low, so the cap took some time to 'charge'.

He then deliberately parked this booby trap on it's trolley near to each class's known troublemakers to see who couldn't resist the urge to flip the mains switch.....

Happened in my class and scared the crap out of all of us when it went off 4 feet from the victim. (served him right tbh, a right see-you...)

As it happened it inspired me to run my 1st year A-level project as an investigation into the behavioural characteristics of electrolytic caps... the lab had a "very" expensive signal analyser which I took full use of and had great fun blowing up several different caps. The signals generated are very odd when they get near to blowing.

Elon Musk issues ultimatum to Twitter staff: Go hardcore or go home


Re: I don't know

Save twitter? Didn't he buy it to destroy it?

Oh, great. By peering into twilight, boffins find 'planet killer' asteroids in our system


Re: A cure to global warming?

We're all dead pretty soon (cosmically speaking) anyway, so why worry?

Lenovo reveals rollable laptop and smartphone screens


".... it and VMware have signed a memorandum of understanding to build a lab focussed on enabling hyperconverged infrastructure to run at the network edge, and to create "edge native" applications and infrastructure modernisation."


Japan space agency blows up eight satellites aboard Epsilon rocket


Re: Sensitive image

Obviously pandering to the flat-earthers

Airbus auctions off bits from retired A380 superjumbo jet


Re: Subhead

Young Omar at his best!

Samsung’s Smart Monitor tries too hard to be clever


Re: The future crippled - today

Ah yeah - I wasn't really considering the XBox tbh, just the peripherals.


Re: The future crippled - today

Funnily enough - the opposite can be quite true.... and weirdly it's Microsoft that astounds all and sundry by, more often than not, producing very well thought out pieces of hardware. (especially, in my experience, the key interface tools like keyboards and trackballs).

HDD Clicker gizmo makes flash sound like spinning rust


Re: Cool...

'Paper'.... 'firing'... ?

Sounds like a combustable mix to me...

Actual real-life hoverbike makes US debut at Detroit Auto Show


IIRC there's currently several companies touting hoverbikes around. The Iranian police were testing one a year or two ago.

Rest in peace, Queen Elizabeth II – Britain's first high-tech monarch


Definitely a Land Rover. (I couldn't tell you which series though).


She may not have had a licence, but she knew how to drive, and what's more - took no prisoners.

The closest I ever got to Her Majesty was when visiting Balmoral about 25+ years ago (early-mid '90s) and I was walking across the narrow bridge towards the main gates with my then gf. She was on the 2' wide 'pavement' and I was walking in the roadway. The Balmoral gates flew open and 3 green Landies roared out, doing at least 40.

The gates are about 50-100 yards from the bridge, and as the leading Landie bore down on us without any signs of slowing whatsoever, I realised I only had a second or two to hop up onto the pavement (we were about midway across the bridge), before I was to be mown down flat!

As I stepped up onto the raised pavement, I glanced at the driver of the Landie and to my shock, it was Her Majesty, with the biggest frown on her face! I'm not sure if it was because of my presence or other circumstances, but she was not happy.

She accelerated past us and when she turned onto the main road I swear the inner 2 wheels left the ground, the other 2 Landies (presumably full of tooled up protection officers) were struggling to keep up.

Salesperson's tech dream delivered by ill-equipped consultant who charged for the inevitable fix


I doubt it mate.... consultants never can be found again once a mistake has been discovered and made public.

Be careful where you install software, and who installs it


Re: Linux Bros'

.... a Teams client for Linux (which actually works!)....

Prey tell?

The one that is part of the Ubuntu 22 libraries sucks donkey balls.

MIT, Autodesk develop AI that can figure out confusing Lego instructions


It's stories like this that make we wonder at the sheer ability of the human brain..... and then wonder again at the fact that it seems some humans need help to do things as simple as follow Lego instructions... otherwise why would this research even be happening?

We've got a photocopier and it can copy anything


Re: UV check lamps


Try passing (perfectly legal) Manx tender on the mainland....

Engineers on the brink of extinction threaten entire tech ecosystems


T'was ever the case.

How many steam engineers are still about eh?

SCOTUS judges 'doxxed' after overturning Roe v Wade


Re: This data storage thing..

There's one small issue with this comment.....

The USA might legally be "one country", internationally speaking; but in practise it's turning into a loosely federated collection of independent nations, who all happen to (approximately) speak the same language.

In a way it's quite similar to the European Union, a loosely connected collection of independent nations who have chosen to work together and install a common federated government the help manage the collective. (which, obviously, is just one way of describing it).

Look at it that way, and somethings start making a lot more sense. (but not everything obviously... life is never that simple, especially when lawyers and politicians are involved).

EndeavourOS Artemis: Arch Linux, but a bit friendlier


Re: Here goes my judging a book by its cover

I take the point about standardising things like commands etc fully.... however:


You need to RTFM, but feel free to use your brain too


Re: Check you can complete before you start

"However, it structures it with an unclear warning and puts the safety instruction in the wrong place. This is along the lines of having a label on the front of the machine reading as follows"

yes - it's disengenuous - but if you're a large organisation with some VERY convoluted, ancient, and unreplaceable (for various reasons) documentation in large amounts..... you want people who are prepared to be able to deal with that. Because it's cheaper and easier than replacing the documentation.

How one techie ended up paying the tab on an Apple Macintosh Plus


oh god....

I remember working on Reading Councils website in about 2000/2001 (my first web-job*), using FrontPage...

The horror..... the horror!!

Icon -> what should have happened to it.

* I hasten to add: I was ONLY making amendments, I was NOT responsible for ANY of the design or operational decisions. I was a junior, and mostly learning what NOT to do!

Smart homes are hackable homes if not equipped with updated, supported tech


Well.... der.


France levels up local video game slang with list of French terms to replace foreign words


Re: E-sports professionals?

"There are only 3 sports, mountain climbing, motorsport and bull fighting; all the rest are merely games" (Hemingway).

(I'd add rugby personally, yes more of a game, but still plenty of potential for life-altering injury)

I get his point completely, and agree that watch someone play a pc-game would seem dull as ditch water, but then plenty of people watch things like golf or football.

Keeping your head as an entire database goes pear-shaped


I'd say this is an object lesson for companies to ensure that they hire staff specifically for the purpose of controlling, maintaining and managing their hardware, software and data.

An Administrator of Systems if you will.

(Yes, I've been caught in the "you're technical, you can handle this" catch22 before now. Never again, thanks).

An international incident or just some finger trouble at the console?


Re: Typing is not a good idea.

Cutting and pasting is not the panacea we would hope. Especially when copying from any Office documents because they tended to include whatever formatting was in or around the selected text (whether obviously or not).

And that's not even including the issues raised by Microsoft's ever so user friendly non-utf8 compatible character sets......

(I genuinely thought all that horror was behind me...... but no..... have just discovered, on a Sunday evening no less, that one of our recently updated dbs seems to have an issue of a very similar style....)

Thinnet cables are no match for director's morning workout


Re: Full names please.......

2 dentists my dad had:

one was Chinese: name of Fang.

the other rejoiced in the name 'Puller'. (Quite a nice guy, luckily he retired before I had any dental issues myself).

Review: ASUS dual-screen laptop may warm your heart, will definitely warm your lap


Sounds like a machine i'd love (I can never have too many screens), but the touchpad and off-centre keyboard sound irritating enough to make it a reluctant non-starter.

Idea I just had - you used (going back 20 years or more) to be able to get a trackball that clipped to the side of the keyboard on certain laptops (I think they were Toshibas). It connected via a short ps2 lead (iirc, this was before USB was ubiquitous). It was a VERY good alternative to having a mouse or a trackpad (which hadn't come out then I don't think). Has anyone ever heard of something similar in the modern era comprising a small thumb-operated trackball device with a USB connector sticking straight out of it so it can be plugged into the USB socket on the side of the laptop and just 'be' there ready for use?

If not, I may make a quick call to my private patent attorney.....

Prototype app outperforms and outlasts outsourced production version


Same here. Most of the places I've worked favoured speed of development over quality so it wasn't long before 'quick lash-ups' became 'long-standing, reliable core libraries'.

Apple seeks patent for 'innovation' resembling the ZX Spectrum, C64 and rPi 400


Re: Acorn electron, Sinclair QL, various pre-built Raspberry Pies...

It's a quirk of the US patent system that you can apply for, and receive, a patent, WITHOUT any prior art checks.

It's then down to anyone who feels their Intellectual Property is damaged by the new patent, (eg current owners of existing patents for virtually the same thing) to defend themselves.

In a situation where there is no virtually similar patent (but lots and lots of prior art), the IP legalese becomes ... 'muddy'.

What else would you expect from a system written by lawyers...

Have you tried restarting? Reinstalling? Upgrading? Moving house and changing your identity?


Ona similar vein... trying to get a new BB connection for a new home in a relatively rural location, I was advised by the BT operator, genuinely "If you want internet, move somewhere else".

How's that for a big FU.

To err is human. To really screw things up requires a wayward screwdriver


Reminds me of the time I was checking the mis-running of my father's Talbot Alpine (yes, one of THEM).

Plugs out to check for a spark, (ie plug removed, affixed back in cap and held loosely against top of engine to visually see sparks): all good.

Fuel pipe off carb to check for flow when engine on and turned over? (pump only ran when engine was turning):


Cue scorched eyebrows and very loud swearing.

Note to self.... REPLACE high voltage plug caps and plugs BEFORE checking if fuel will spurt out of feed pipe! Electrical gremlins are one thing.... when mixed with highly volatile liquids in gaseous suspension they are something else!

Microsoft rang in the new year with a cutesy tweet in C#. Just one problem: The code sucked


You think you've got problems with dates....

Try ensuring csv files created to local standards in every possible country's 'local' standards can be parsed by the same bit of code....

(as a hint... not everyone uses the ' . ' character as the delimiter between integer figures and the following decimals...)

You've stolen the antiglare shield on that monitor you've fixed – they say the screen is completely unreadable now


Re: corroded traces

How else do you think they build in the 'planned obsolescence' ?

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


Reproducibility of a phenomenon is the very root of true science.

Thank you, FAQ chatbot, but if I want your help I'll ask for it


Re: I am here to help. What can I do for you today?

Must be using the same 'AI' that Amazon use that sends you emails suggestion that you might like to buy the very article that the delivery guy threw over the fence into the ornamental pond that very morning.

BOFH: What if International Bad Actors designed the vaccine to make us watch more Steven Seagal movies?


Yup, good advice.... just act like you're somewhat in agreement until you can signal the gents with the straightjackets.

Swooping in to claim the glory while the On Call engineer stands baffled


Re: When is the same not the same.

Ah... character encoding issues..... many a long and fruitless hour has passed during the course of my career thanks to certain colleagues who hadn't realised that there are multiple standards simply for the storage of plain text.....

Samsung releases pair of jeans that can't do anything except cover your legs and hold a Galaxy Z Flip 3


Absolutely agree.

Previous phone was a perfectly acceptable size (Sony Xperia Z5 Compact), and even in a protective case it fitted very nicely in any pocket you could choose to mention.

Decided I wanted a 'rugged' phone with a decent step up in spec from the Z5C and chose a Ulephone Armor 8 Pro, feck me it's HUGE. And it's not the largest thing on the market either (I deliberately chose a screen as small as I could with the other requirements of better spec than the Z5C)

Its getting rather difficult to find any phones with a decent spec and a screen under 6".

Pack your bags – we may have found the first planet outside of our galaxy


Re: Hope

Shouldn't we be loading in the telephone sanitisers and hairdressers?

After all - we all want clean phones and somewhere to get a good haircut when we arrive there....

Judging by the way your face lit up, my inbox just got more attractive



How to keep a support contract: Make the user think they solved the problem


Re: thorough vacuuming removed enough cat hair...

re cat-fur measurement standards.

Used to live with a lady who owned Maine Coons (2).

After about 3 years I dissassembled my laptop to investigate the constant fan issues and removed the equivalent of a 6-month old kitten.


I'd say that's mostly down to GUI developers (on all sides) pushing users towards using the mouse for everything wherever possible (I've no idea why that is).

Case in point - ever tried to find a reliable solution for moving a window from one virtual desktop to another in Win10 without using the mouse?

Facebook may soon reveal new name – we're sure Reg readers will be more creative than Zuck's marketroids


Re: Off the top of my head

From memory:









Seems fitting to be quite frank.

Canon makes 'all-in-one' printers that refuse to scan when out of ink, lawsuit claims


Re: No print? No buy.

Stopping doors is not a useful function?

(although this is a very expensive way to realise that functionality)

What do you mean you gave the boss THAT version of the report? Oh, ****ing ****balls


Re: Some geezer with a boat

He'd probably have found that funny. :D


I've found that a very involving commute is the best therapy - namely by motorcycle.

So involving is it, that work stress is forgotten about by the time you reach home. The trick is to balance the distance/time of the commute with your level of stress.


Re: Not quite the same, but similar

I spent several years working for a small company where you weren't genuinely part of the company ethos until you'd called the MD a 'See you next Tuesday' to his face*. It was amazing how some of the younger employees struggled with this.

* The first time was a freebie - repeats needed to be due to entirely deserved provocation - I think by the time I left I didn't refer to him by anything else. But he was a genuinely good bloke (and good boss) who simply like to be push the envelope of what the company could achieve and preferred to be reined in in a very blatant manner.

(his 2nd in charge though was a genuine SYNT who created a genuinely toxic atmosphere and was the cause of multiple resignations, including mine).

Nothing works any more. Who decided that redundant systems should become redundant?


Re: Chuddies (sort of)

There's even a term for it : "Vanity sizing".

"If you can fool people into thinking they now fit into a 'smaller' size, they're going to feel happier about buying your brand and will buy again" .... goes the marketing-guru's thought process..... before he's shown into the elevator with the floor panel cunningly modified to have only 10% of it's physical restraining systems, by the BOFH.

A speech recognition app goes into a bar. Speak up if you’ve heard it already


I think you'll find the only time an English Gentleman will run is when engaged in a sporting endeavour. Wild animals should be faced head on with a trusty cane.

Even distressed damsels don't get a look in these days.

All hands on Steam Deck: Fancy a handheld Linux PC that runs Windows apps, sports a custom AMD Zen APU and a touch screen?


Re: I am intrigued

Asus have done a couple of phone-into-tablet docking devices.