* Posts by AbortRetryFail

316 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Feb 2011


UK government faces calls to end IR35 double tax anomaly



Ah yes. I call the current situation "Schrödinger's Employee"


@Old Cynic

"The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again, but already it was impossible to say which was which."

BOFH: Lies, damned lies, and standards


This boss...

... seems rather more intelligent than the usual ones. And seems to be in on the joke and running with it.

Could be dangerous.

Thanks for fixing the computer lab. Now tell us why we shouldn’t expel you?


@Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

12345? That's amazing. I've got the same combination on my luggage!

Surely you can't be serious: Airbus close to landing fully automated passenger jets


The trouble is...

Just like with cars, the trouble is that the more you take everyday control away from the human, the less capable the human becomes in taking over when the automated systems can't cope.

Granted, with pilots then they can put in the hours on the simulator to keep sharp on handling an emergency, but even so. Plus, you just know that some airlines are bound to scrimp on simulator time.

tsoHost pulls plug on Gridhost service with just 45 days' notice


Re: Posting on CPanel?

As electricmonk says, cPanel is a separate hosting product from TSO

Gridhost was "Cloud Hosting Platform" and had its own management interface that was not cPanel (although had a lot of similar features)


They migrated me months ago

Maybe it was a renewals thing, or timing, or the direction the wind was blowing, but TSO were pestering me as far back as May to migrate away from Gridhost ("Cloud Web Hosting") and onto one of their cPanel offerings (I eventually settled on cPanel Deluxe)

My renewal for Gridhost was in August so maybe that's why they were pestering me so much. Who knows? But they were pressuring me to migrate way before the August renewal date (if it had been up to me I would have happily waited until August and then migrated)

So I'm kind of confused that some people appear to have heard nothing about this as TSO positively spammed me with emails about Gridhost being retired.

edit: Looks like I am very much in the minority though!

Google cut contractors off from online 'Share My Salary' spreadsheet, union claims


First rule of contracting...

... is that you never discuss your rate with clients, their employees, or even fellow contractors. Seldom anything positive comes from it.

(Ok, not first rule. But it's a rule. Well, ok, a strong guideline)

Facebook settles Cambridge Analytica class action for undisclosed amount


Richer than Solomon

When you have so much money that you don't know what to do with it, then settling out of court for an "undisclosed sum" effectively puts you above the law.

As Ruby Wax's character said in an early episode of Red Dwarf "That's enough money to open anyone's legs"

NOBODY PRINT! Selfless hero saves typing pool from carbon catastrophe


Re: With carbon copy mentioned right at the start...

I confess that I too was wondering how a laser printer could possibly feed 5 sheets at once (the 3 papers + the 2 carbon papers) and how laser printer technology would even work with carbon paper.

What if we said you could turn any disk into a multi-boot OS installer for free without touching a single config file?


Really impressive

I have one of the aforementioned Zalmann enclosures and the biggest issue is that the selected ISO is not retained on power loss, so if the PC you plug it into and try to boot from interrupts power to the USB port then tough luck - you'll be booting the first ISO on the list rather than the one you selected.

I've tried other multi-boot USB solutions in the past but without much success and ended up with a small keyring of USB sticks with one ISO per stick. Usually written with Rufus these days.

Ventoy actually seems to just work. And it is as easy to use as the Zalmann drive inasumuch as you just copy the ISOs across and that's it. And, unlike the Zalmann, it presents you with a menu on bootup and pauses boot until you make a selection.

Really impressive.

[Update: Only downside is that on one of my older PCs it doesn't detect the USB3 card so I have to plug an extra keyboard into one of the on-board USB2 ports. But that's a minor thing]

Unable to write 'Amusing Weekly Column'. Abort, Retry, Fail?


Re: Abort Retry Fail

You called?

To err is human. To really tmux things up requires an engineer


Re: Here's Johnny...

Ah... little Bobby Tables. :)

When forgetting to set a password for root is the least of your woes


Re: Nobody told me I wasn't allowed to do it.

I had a QA colleague who was like this.

But, additionally, not only would he do it but he would also meticulously document the steps needed to reproduce it. Often with screenshots.

He was the best QA Tester I have ever worked with.

Zuckerberg wants to create a make-believe world in which you can hide from all the damage Facebook has done


Re: Second Life


You misunderstand. It's The Register who seldom passes up an opportunity to insult Second Life and (by implication) anyone who is positive about it.

I was merely (sarcastically) pointing out that, for once, they had not done so.

I was not condoning it or agreeing with it.


Snow Crash

Mark Zuckerberg even lacked the imagination to come up with an original name.


Re: Ready Player One

Ready Player One is just an imagining of Neal Stephenson's Metaverse, as explored in Snow Crash, and as referenced by the article.


Second Life

A mention of Second Life without calling the Residents "saddos" and "losers"? You're slipping, Reg.

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


Re: I would have sacked Keith there and then

> "So after a while the sparky went in removed tube, disappeared for a few minutes went back and replaced the tube with the one he had just removed. "

I had a flat mate who often played his music too loud and when you asked him to turn it down he would always, and I mean always, turn it up louder first as a "joke" (yeah, right) and then back down again to roughly where it was before to try to fool you into thinking he had turned it down. We got wise to that pretty quickly.

tsoHost pleads for 'patience and understanding' as sites borked, support sinkholed


Echoes of Pipex

It's always the way. When young and hungry, the service is amazing. Then as each time they get bought out, the service gets worse until it is a shadow of its former self (I am talking about Pipex primarily but also tsoHost)

Currently I still have several websites with tso and also my primary email, but for the latter I'm strongly considering a migration to either Office365 or Google, simply for the fact that I can never totally rely on tso's mailservers.

To their credit, though, their ticket support is excellent and they do try very hard.

But as Paul Herber says, websites can be up and down like a tart's knickers sometimes.

License to thrill: Ahead of v13.0, the FreeBSD team talks about Linux and the completed toolchain project that changes everything


Re: Says it all

Yes, indeed. My primary exposure to FreeBSD has been through FreeNAS (now TrueNAS Core).

When even a power-cycle fandango cannot save your Windows desktop



"Floppy disc" refers to the disc of magnetic media, which even on a 3.5" Floppy Disc is still floppy despite the outer jacket being rigid. So not actually a misnomer but a misunderstanding. :)

OnePlus 8T: Solid performance and a great screen make this 5G sub-flagship a delight


"Running on top is OxygenOS"

I thought OxygenOS was an actual fork of Android rather than something that ran on top of Android?

Or am I getting confused with the older CyanogenOS that OnePlus phones used to run, and which was a variant of CyanogenMod?

Behold: The ghastly, preening, lesser-spotted Incredible Bullsh*tting Customer


I done nuffin

"It just stopped working. There's obviously a bug in your code."

"Did you change anything?"

"No, absolutely nothing. It just stopped working. Your code is at fault"


"Ok, well I am looking at the logs and I can see that you have swapped out the <piece of discrete hardware> for another, that has a different serial number, different firmware version, different configuration, and I'm seeing error messages saying that you haven't connected it up properly."

"Oh, yes, we did do that"

If tsoHost is lecturing us on sleep hygiene, Brit outfit really does have hosting back to front


Yet another nail in the coffin for TSO

I have several websites hosted with them, mostly WordPress sites, and they all run sluggishly and sometimes I get Jetpack reports that the site is down. I also use TSO as my primary mailserver on the domains.

They've been going downhill for years. If they don't sort this out I may have to shift my lazy arse and switch hosts.

In fairness to them, though, they are fairly responsive on Support Tickets and do genuinely try to help.

Former BAE Systems contractor charged with 'damaging disclosure' of UK defence secrets


Re: A common misconeption

"This is, in fact, a common misconception."

Fair enough. I'm happy to be corrected over my misconception. I thought that there were various levels of "Eyes Only" above "Top Secret".


Re: A common misconeption

As an aside, but in the realms of "a common misconception", it's always amused me that 'Top Secret' is actually fairly low down the list of levels of secrecy and there are many levels above it.

Not a death spiral, I'm trapped in a closed loop of customer experience



"You can see the closed loop in fake news, whereby unsupported airheadedness pilched from Wikipedia is supported by corroborating evidence that turns out to be someone else quoting from the very same Wikipedia page."

Ah, that'll be Citogenesis. https://xkcd.com/978/

Are you who you say you are, sir? You are? That's all fine then


Re: Amateur Banks

@Alien8n - I briefly worked as a programmer as an employee of NatWest early in my career. They would only pay my salary into a NatWest bank account, which they insisted I open, and would not grant an overdraft as employees were expected to be exemplary at handling their money and thus should not need an overdraft.

So every month my salary went into my NatWest account, and the next day the totality of it was transferred by Standing Order to my existing current account with another bank. Apart from the month they messed up and I got hit with bank fees for a failed Standing Order, which they had to reimburse.

They also royally shafted me on holiday pay buy-back and other benefits when I moved on to another job a year or so later.

Right-click opens up terrifying vistas of reality and Windows 95 user's frightful position therein


@Nick Ryan

That's utterly superb - framing the solution in a way the user totally understands. 10/10.

GIMP open source image editor forked to fix 'problematic' name


Re: Dick

I had a friend called Jo who married a chap with the surname King and became "Jo King". She refused to start calling herself Joanne. Having said that, I haven't talked to her in years so maybe she got sick of people saying "You're joking!" and changed her name.

There once was a biz called Bitbucket, that told Mercurial to suck it. Now devs are dejected, their code soon ejected


Old school vs new school

Moving from SVN to a DSS, I chose Mercurial over Git for a few reasons:

1) The command line of Mercurial is very similar to SVN.

2) The workflow is also very similar.

3) History is inviolate. What is committed is there, warts and all, in Mercurial just like SVN (and CVS before it).

The thing that I have never liked about git, apart from the complexity, is that history is a bit wibbly-wobbly and malleable. Now, perhaps I am a bit old school (I have been in professional software development for 25+ years) and am a little set in my ways (or, rather, like a lot of developers, am lazy and prefer the comfort of familiarity), but Mercurial just seems to fit the way I like to work rather better than git does. Sure, I can learn to do things the git way, but I'd rather continue as I am.

It's a shame, because I'm happy on Bitbucket. But now I either have to port all my mercurial repos to git, or move them elsewhere. And as others have pointed out, if you're having to port to git then there is no reason not to port *and* move elsewhere. I think Bitbucket have shot themselves in the foot here and are losing their USP. If they are going to be just another git host then why use them over another git host?

World recoils in horror as smartphone maker accused of helping government snoops read encrypted texts, track device whereabouts


Re: RE: sarcasm meter

3.6 roentgen? Not great, not terrible.

Ah, this military GPS system looks shoddy but expensive. Shall we try to break it?


<Error 32: Punchline Missing>

Me too.

I was expecting "And what we found inside was...." and that this would be the payoff / point / punchline of the story.

But, no, instead it was just "we broke something deliberately. Hurr hurr hurrrr".

Customer: We fancy changing a 25-year-old installation. C'mon, it's just one extra valve... Only wafer thin...


Re: The dirtiest four-letter word...

I had one support guy keep telling me that the change he wanted me to make was "just" and "only" and how simple it was, in the end I just snapped "If you think it's so bloody easy to do, then you do it"

Don't mean to alarm you, but Boeing has built an unmanned fighter jet called 'Loyal Wingman'


Re: Loyal?

1234? Weird, I have exactly the same combination on my luggage!

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP


Re: Historical accuracy

I was with PIPEX and it was a great service.

Much like Demon, though, each time it was bought out and changed hands, it got a little bit worse until it was pretty much unusable. That was round about the time Tiscali or TalkTalk got their hands on it, I think.

But back in the day, PIPEX was awesome.

Google Play Store spews malware onto 9 million 'Droids


Obligatory xkcd


You think you're hot bit: Seagate tests 16TB HAMR disk drive



... doo doooo de doo dooooo.

Microsoft sysadmin hired for fake NetWare skills keeps job despite twitchy trigger finger


Proactive recuruiter

I had one agent who was a lovely girl but was a bit, um, shall we say "proactive" in looking for new leads.

I'd had a bit of a lull in work earlier in the year, so had filled the gap in my CV with my own company details, saying that the period of time had been spent on internal projects.

Imagine my surprise when I was contacted through the Contact Us page of my company website, with the sender being this agent, saying that I had worked for my company in the past and was interested in doing so again, and did I have any work? I was especially surprised as I had not authorised this agent to contact my previous clients.


Re: Who writes the damn matching algorithms???

Years ago I got approached by an agency wanting me to be the instructor on a Desktop Training course. The agent got quite shirty when I said I didn't do that. "Yes you do! It says so on your CV!" he said hotly, to which I pointed out I'd helped write a Ground Crew Training Simulator for BAe Military, part of which was a Desktop Trainer / Computer-based Training (CBT) package. Yep, you've guessed it, he'd searched for "desktop trainer".

The funniest part was that the recruiter was obviously really desperate, as his final question was "I don't suppose you'd like to have a go, would you?" :)

Your RSS is grass: Mozilla euthanizes feed reader, Atom code in Firefox browser, claims it's old and unloved


re: I read this news first from the RSS feed

Same here.

I use "Live Bookmarks" on the Bookmarks Toolbar extensively in Firefox and would really miss the functionality.

Sysadmin misses out on paycheck after student test runs amok


Re: Naming Schemes

One place I worked at had every PC named after a muppet character. Some were pretty obscure.

Another place had their servers named after tennis stars of the 80's - Bjorg, McEnroe, etc. They were great servers (groan).

Then they were bought out by a big corporation, who insisted all servers were renamed to a boring convention of letters and numbers, and also insisted the "Caution: Respiratory Protection Required" warning sticker be removed from the door of the gents' toilets.

Prank 'Give me a raise!' email nearly lands sysadmin with dismissal


Mailing list fail

I had a business meeting with a client many years ago who was in the Direct Marketing game, and had developed a super-fast database that was several orders of magnitude faster than anything else around at the time (according to them). The guy I was taking to told me a couple of fun little anecdotes.

The first was that they had had to anonymise all their test data and discipline a developer, as he had been running database searches as a personal dating service and making unsolicited contact with potential dates. No, really.

But my favourite one was the story of how when the system went live for the first time, a test job still in the system immediately selected the top 10% richest people in the database and sent them a direct marketing letter which started "Dear Rich Bastard..."

Some of you really don't want Windows 10's April 2018 update on your rigs


Reasons to use Windows

I use Windows 7 on one of my PCs because

a) I play PC games and

b) some of my clients want me to write Windows applications with Visual Studio

Pretty much everything else I do is on Ubuntu, and a lot of clients are these days wanting me to develop Linux applications so (b) is less important. But (a) isn't going away any time soon despite SteamOS, it seems.

I'm kind of dreading Win7 becoming EOL because I really don't want the OS-as-a-service of Win10 but I guess I will have to bow to the inevitable. I can't say that I'm looking forward to it though.

Es are good, Es are good. Xeon Es are good, says Intel: Entry-level workstation CPUs touted


Re: Love the title

Ahhh ha ha ha haaaaaaaa.

Got any salmon? Sorted.

What do we want? Consensual fun times. How do we get it? Via an app with blockchain...


Rather have a cup of tea

Looks like Boy George was strangely prophetic after all.

How Google's black box Knowledge Graph can kill you