* Posts by The Real Tony Smith

116 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Nov 2010


Nineteen mysterious invaders from another Solar System spotted hanging around the outside edge of ours

The Real Tony Smith

I for one...

... welcome our new mask wearing overlords

Fed-up air safety bods ban A350 pilots from enjoying cockpit coffees

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Is tea safe?

Safe tea is always important <groan>

Ah, night shift in the 1970s. Ciggies, hipflasks, ADVENT... and fault-prone disk drives the size of washing machines

The Real Tony Smith

Re: When those old disk packs fail

'Took IBM 3 days to haul in a new disk drive unit, wire it up and then rebuild the system from scratch and backups.'

Maybe Travelex should have used big blue.

Don't mention the seam! Microsoft releases Surface Duo Android SDK, more on Windows 10X

The Real Tony Smith

Preparing to upgrade Windows..... Press B or Y to cancel.

Train-knackering software design blunder discovered after lightning sparked Thameslink megadelay

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Progress

'...When I was learning to fire I was taught that every minute the safety valve is blowing off costs 10 lb of coal and 10 gallons (imp) of water (~5kg and 46L). That helps focus the mind!...'

I remember being told that black smoke and a blowing off safety was a waste of money..... but also the sign of a bloody good fireman!

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise, politicians will philander... And US voting machines will be physically insecure

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Why tamper with the voting machines

'Voting machines aren't the only way to muck up a democracy'

Here in the UK we are experts at that at the moment!

Consumer campaign to keep receiving printed till receipts looks like a good move – on paper

The Real Tony Smith

Re: At Doctor Syntax, re: email accounts.

That's nothing to do with Gmail, that's generic email standards

Switch about to get real: Openreach bod on the challenge of shuttering UK's copper phone lines

The Real Tony Smith


I thought we were all going to be upgraded to ISDN!

Allowlist, not whitelist. Blocklist, not blacklist. Goodbye, wtf. Microsoft scans Chromium code, lops off offensive words

The Real Tony Smith

Re: We need to solve this once and for all

We could just remove all the comments, that would reduce the size of the problem at least

(This wouldn't actually work on some code I've seen in the past)

Everyone remembers their first time: ESA satellite dodges 'mega constellation'

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Starlink hasn't been up long

You also have to factor in the incredibly important rule "fiberglass gives way to steel".

I used to know someone with a boat, he didn't bother with all that colregs stuff, if he was ever on a collision course with someone he'd just shout at the top of his voice 'I'm concrete!". They soon got out of his way

Y2K, Windows NT4 Server and Notes. It's a 1990s Who, Me? special

The Real Tony Smith

Re: A production server? I raise you a datacentre!

Don't be afraid to tell your non-technical boss to piss off if he's breathing down your neck looking for answers every 3 minutes. Give him a time you'll update and make sure you update him.

Better to give him something useful (and harmless) to do like getting coffee.

And a good boss will go and make it

Must watch: GE's smart light bulb reset process is a masterpiece... of modern techno-insanity

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Child-proof reset operation

'Children aren't just super-quick learners, they are much smarter than many adults give them credit for. In my experience the only "childproofing" that really works are systems that need brute force beyond what a child can generate to open/activate.'

Until they figure out the lever

Like using the latest version of Microsoft Office? Love Offline Files? Not for long!

The Real Tony Smith

Why on earth is a word processor getting involved with offline file synchronisation? That's the OS's or dedicated app's job.

A real head-scratcher: Tech support called in because emails 'aren't showing timestamps'

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Still frustrates the #$@~!% out of me

'Our teaching (not executable) programs'

I think you mean 'programmes'

Cops use bread and riot shields in desperate bid to contain crazed swan running amok in streets

The Real Tony Smith

Careful, they can break your arm with their wings don't you know

Sure, we've got a problem but we don't really want to spend any money on the tech guy you're sending to fix it

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Bah!

If only I could upvote you a thousand times

Blue Monday: Efforts to inspire teamwork with swears back-fires for n00b team manager

The Real Tony Smith

Re: This sort of thing can seem amusing but can really bite you

'After I heard that story, I've always limited my foolish impulses to something more subtle, like printing up test name badges with "Herman Goering," "Atilla T. Hun," "Tamarlane" or something like that. I've gotten a few funny looks at times, but never actually got in trouble.'

I worked at a remote office of a large services company once. Often we had to go to head office and because we hadn't done the induction course were given hand written visitors badges to wear. We filled these in ourselves......

Over the years I wandered round the offices with name badges such as 'M L King', 'F Domino', 'J F Kennedy', 'J Hendrix', 'W Churchill', 'E Clapton', 'W Gates' etc

7 years, and nobody noticed

Techie in need of a doorstop picks up 'chunk of metal' – only to find out it's rather pricey

The Real Tony Smith

But of course to an RF Engineer's eyes, the RF cages were worth far more that the platinum bar was.

A second preview of .NET Core 3? Shucks, Microsoft. You spoil us

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Standalone EXEs - what futuristic sorcery is this?

.com files perhaps? Oh, wait, even Hello World is bigger than 64K after Visual Stupid has finished with it.

If I could turn back time, I'd tell you to keep that old Radarange at home

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Pesky microwaves

We wanted a link between 2 buildings but didn't want to pay for a fixed line, so we used an infra red link.

Then one day it got foggy........

Total Inability To Support User Phones: O2 fries, burning data for 32 million Brits

The Real Tony Smith


My fault, switched from TalkTalk to O2 this week, must have been something I fiddled with...

NHS supplier that holds 40 million UK patient records: AWS is our new cloud-based platform

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Red flag

"unprecedented levels of protection"

When I see hyperbolic statements like this in relation to security issues, I get very, very suspicious that the security is flawed.

Me too, I remember some time ago I was looking at dongle based software protection only to be told by one vendor that they used 'Military Grade Security'.

Having been in the military in the past I immediately deleted their email and went to another company who were happy to specify which algorithm and key length they used.

OneDrive is broken: Microsoft's cloudy storage drops from the sky for EU users

The Real Tony Smith


'Hi! Let's team up in getting this issue resolved'

No let's not team up, your problem, you fix it

Trainer regrets giving straight answer to staffer's odd question

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Noisy printers?

Ahhhhhh, the BBC Grandstand teleprinter


EU wants one phone plug to rule them all. But we've got a better idea.

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Be much more interested in...

I initially thought the universal reference was to USB sockets on mains sockets.

But a quick search revealed this http://www.universalsocket.org.uk/

An interesting read but horrendous design!

Now you can tell someone to literally go f--k themselves over the internet: Remote-control mock-cock patent dies

The Real Tony Smith

Internet Of Sex

Also known as the abbreviation... Oh, hang on...

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

The Real Tony Smith

I've had similar and found that a hosepipe spraying a fine mist of water over the heat exchangers worked well.

That and removing all the debris from the (horizontally mounted) cooling grids!

Keep your hands on the f*cking wheel! New Tesla update like being taught to drive by your dad

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Auto-crash-pilot

"You would be able to keep a safe braking distance from the car in front to start with, at which point the auto-pilot's reaction (full on braking the instant it sees the stationary car) would prevent the collision."

Errr no. The auto-pilot doesn't have any reaction to stationary objects. This is deliberately done to stop the many false alarms that would occur when roadside objects come into the field of view.

UK military may recruit wheezy, alcoholic keyboard warriors

The Real Tony Smith

Re: "At last! A valid use of a 'hacker in a hoodie' stereotype stock image"

That brings new meaning into the phrase 'on the scsi bus, off the scsi bus'...

Ex military types will know exactly what I mean.

Off with e's head: E-cig explosion causes first vaping death

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Souk an e-cig

"Indeed, how long before we discover that vaping is as bad (or worse) as cigarettes..."

If Big Tobacco could throw a million pounds at a proper qualified medical study which found a serious problem with vaping they would do it in an instant, it would just come out of petty cash.

But they haven't.

Instead people rely on a series of (very) bad science and tabloid journalism.

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Souk an e-cig

"I can't say the idea of inhaling anti freeze appeals to me"

You are confusing Propylene Glycol with Ethylene Glycol. They are two completely different substances.

The clue is in the different arrangements of letters in the words.

My PC is on fire! Can you back it up really, really fast?

The Real Tony Smith

Jumpers...... no internet..... <sigh>... happy times :-)

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Nearly got fired...

Yup, me too

As I lived half a mile from the calibration lab I was asked to pick up a DSO as it was going to be ready at about 10am. Had a lie in, drove round and picked it up (no paperwork or any sort of ID check!) then off to work with it sitting on the back seat of the Ford Fiesta.

It was only then that I realised that not only was is worth wayyyyyyy more then the car was but possibly more than my house was....

But we got the BT payphones designed ;-)

Vaping on the NHS? Don't hold your breath

The Real Tony Smith

Re: I found it stupidly easy to 'give up' with vapes.

"...Problem is, I vape like it's going out of style, sit there working, puff, puff, puff..."

That's why I still treat vaping like smoking, i.e. going outside for a vape (yes even in this weather!)

And to echo others in this thread, yes, stupidly easy to give up, fag free since July 21st last year after about 30 years smoking.

User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Reminds me of a story

"When she was told to click with the mouse on screen - she took the mouse and physically tried to click on the screen."

She did that because that was exactly what she was told to do.

If she had been told to 'Use the mouse to move the cursor to a part of the screen and click...' then the result would have been different.

Bad teaching!

Auto auto fleets to dodge British potholes in future

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Of course, if the government wanted to avoid pollution or monetize this...

"Of course, if the government wanted to avoid pollution or monetize this...

They'd instruct the cars to drive through the potholes, or make you pay an extra $50 a month to enable the optional pothole-avoidance algorithm"

No, that's a Microsoft car

The eagle has been grounded: Dutch anti-drone squadron retired

The Real Tony Smith

This is on a par with getting dolphins to find sea mines

User asked help desk to debug a Post-it Note that survived a reboot

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Hmmmm.....

Reminds me of when we had problems with one of the mains phases going off in the building where I was working.

We got an electrician in to put a box with lamps connected to each phase to monitor the problem. These shone through Red Yellow and Blue lenses on the lid of the box.

He couldn't figure out why the blue phase kept blowing when he put the cover on the box, then magically it was on again whenever he took the box lid off.

It turned out he was using neon lamps...........

Boffin rediscovers 1960s attempt to write fiction with computers

The Real Tony Smith

All your dogs are belong to us

Vegemite tries to hijack Qantas name-our-planes competition

The Real Tony Smith

Re: You'd think after Boaty McBoatface

Vote is in for...

'Planey McPlaneface'

Half-baked security: Hackers can hijack your smart Aga oven 'with a text message'

The Real Tony Smith

They just have to get the Cloud involved!

'the app talks to the website's backend via an API, which sends the text messages to registered ovens'

Ummm, why not just let the app on the phone send the text messages?

Family of technician slain by factory robot sues everyone involved

The Real Tony Smith



Frustrated by reboot-happy Windows 10? Creators Update hopes to take away the pain

The Real Tony Smith

Re: After seen that dialog text, I've one more reason to avoid Windows 10

Take four red capsules. In 10 minutes, take two more. Help is on the way.

Folders return to Windows 10's Start Thing

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Unbelievable

>>Re: Unbelievable


>>"Can you imagine Windows 95 going at the speed of today's hardware?"


Try KDE-3, now known as Trinity Desktop Environment


'Oi! El Reg! Stop pretending Microsoft has a BSOD monopoly!'

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Genuine BSODs?

The last time I saw a kernel panic was when the kids came to me and said...

'Dad, the computer's gone chav'.

Sure enough, there on the screen was...

Kernel panic, cannot start init.

Windows 10 Anniversary on a Raspberry Pi: Another look at IoT Core

The Real Tony Smith

Re: We should use neither

"Its too low powered for most proper computing tasks "

Define 'proper'? How about a backup server?

I've got one sitting at home blu-tac'd (yes really!) to a USB hub and a USB hard drive. Each night it reaches out to my office and several servers around the country and backs up the daily data via rsnapshot.

Been working over a year now with no problems.

Blighty's Coastguard goes into battle against waterborne Pokemon

The Real Tony Smith

Art Desk?

You have an Art Desk??????????

Microsoft's cringey 'Hey bae <3' recruiter email translated by El Reg

The Real Tony Smith

Re: What could go wrong?

"Microsoft do have some prior experience in organising a party in San Francisco"

And who can forget the wild experience that was the Windows 7 launch party..


Lester Haines: RIP

The Real Tony Smith

I can just imagine an honour guard of playmobile figures


Judge slams BT for blaming engineer after 7 metre ceiling plunge

The Real Tony Smith

Re: Sub contractors

Reminds me of when we had a Mercury box installed to escape BT's horrendous call charges.

It was screwed to a plasterboard wall with screws and ordinary rawlplugs. It developed quite a lean and we were all carefull to go to the other side of the corridor when walking past so as not to jog it.