* Posts by Slow Joe Crow

53 posts • joined 8 Mar 2011


BOFH: Rome, I have been thy soldier 40 years... give me a staff of honour for mine age

Slow Joe Crow
Thumb Up

Chapeau, George had a scheme so clever even SImon was in awe.

Britain has no idea how close it came to ATMs flooding the streets with free money thanks to some crap code, 1970s style

Slow Joe Crow

When I worked in a system validation group we had on e tech nicknamed "the human corner case" for his magical ability to break stuff. My wife carries on that tradition, even with tech as simple as a car's HVAC controls.

Also regarding expected inputs, a friend followed family tradition of giving all male children the same first name and using their middle names. This created havoc at the doctor's office since the medical records software made the staff think it was duplicate records.

Man responsible for least popular iteration of Windows UI uses iPad Pro as a desktop*

Slow Joe Crow

Re: Expensive to be a fanboi in general

You can also be cheapskate with mid range ThinkPad for $1000 or so and not have to faff around with touch screens or flaky Microsoft hardware. FWIW HP does a very good alternative to a Surface for those who insist on a Windows fondleslab

Square peg of modem won't fit into round hole of PC? I saw to it, bloke tells horrified mate

Slow Joe Crow

Re: Sounds to me like ...

The makers eventually got smarter, I had some cards that were made 1/2 height and shipped with two brackets so you could install in a full or half height chassis with a screwdriver instead of a hacksaw

Why is the printer spouting nonsense... and who on earth tried to wire this plug?

Slow Joe Crow

Back when I repaired power tools I had a similar issue. A circular saw crossed my bench with the complaint "trips breaker" per SOP I put it on the Sotcher electrical tester and it passed, then I opened the handle and found the fine line between stupid and clever. The power cord had been replaced, badly. The tool was double insulated so it used a two wire cord and the owner had replaced it with a 3 wire cord and since ther were only two terminals he wrapped the end of the ground wire around the hot wire so plugging in the tool created an immediate short to ground. I swapped the cord for the proper two wire part. This was typical of life with the construction trades where things were "fixed" every which way but right.

Boffins find proof that yes, Carl Sagan and Joni Mitchell were right, we really are all made up of star stuff

Slow Joe Crow

Re: Don't forget about Moby

That was my first reaction too

The safest place to save your files is somewhere nobody will ever look

Slow Joe Crow

Re: Editing Docs from Email

Microsoft eventually figured this out and from Outlook 2013 on you can only edit an attachment after it was saved to disk. This caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth among clients upgrading from Outlook 2007 and 2010. Then again we also had a lot of wailing over migrating to Windows 10 and separating the bitter clingers from Windows XP usually required either a crowbar, or a threat to terminate their support agreement.

Justice served: There is no escape from the long server log of the law

Slow Joe Crow

Re: Surely...

I had an example of #3. When I trained as a Compaq tech one of my tools was an ankh shaped piece of plastic used to defeat the open lid sensor on server chassis so we could power them on with side panel off.

Ohm my God: If you let anyone other than Apple replace your recent iPhone's battery, expect to be nagged by iOS

Slow Joe Crow

BMW already makes you go to a dealer whenever you replace the battery so it can be "blessed" by the ECU causing much grousing.

I'm glad my phone is a Motorola and "official" DIY battery kits are $40 from ifixit.

BOFH: On a sunny day like this one, the concrete dries so much more quickly

Slow Joe Crow

Re: Ugh, this is all so familiar.

I've had that work twice, I've also swapped the circuit board off of a good drive to get data off a failed drive. fortunately the machine had two identical Quantum SCSI drives

Mods I have known, Mods I have loved, Mods I have hated: Motorola's failed experiment is now a savvy techie's dream

Slow Joe Crow

Re: Phones for the 0.1%

A surprising number of "serious" photographers admit to using phones for photography. For example the proprietor of Leicaphilia.com uses his iPhone regularly http://leicaphilia.com/a-day-in-paris/.

If I had an add on module like the Hasselblad mod I'd seriously consider a phone add on to replace my Panasonic Lumix point and shoot. That said, I would prefer a Fuji or Ricoh module since they are less pretentious and more technically astute than Hasselblad.

BOFH: It's not just an awesome app, it'll look great on my Insta. . a. a. AAAARRRRRGGH

Slow Joe Crow

Re: You'd have thought...

This is why some newer cars have dual zone AC, the driver and front passenger can set different temperatures. Same deal with cars designed to be chauffeur driven, the back gets separate AC controls and ducts. Heck even a Mazda5 has rear AC controls

Insane homeowners association tries to fine resident for dick-shaped outline car left in snow

Slow Joe Crow

Re: Power unchecked

The US Electoral college seems crazy but actually serves as a useful check in the system, Essentially it equalizes the vote among the states so that California and New York don't have absolute control of the Presidency. If you look at vote totals from 2012 and 2016 you'll notice that "flyover country" was decisive and Clinton lost to Trump because states Obama won in 2012 went to Trump in 2016. the most glaring example is Wisconsin where Clinton didn't campaign at all and Obama campaigned heavily. Some of the same complaints about the Electoral versus Popular vote were raised when George W Bush won in 2000 and 2004, echoing Hayes in 1876.

As an Oregonian I loathe the idea of letting California run the country since I already live this in microcosm with the Portland-Eugene axis overpowering the rest of the state.

Back on topic, HOAs seem to be a necessary evil of new developments where mandated common features have to be maintained. I have always lived in older subdivisions free of such nonsense and hope to avoid it since my love of old cars and motorcycles and disdain for yard work will certainly trigger the petty tyrants

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

Slow Joe Crow

I am curious to see what my Garmin does on the day. fortunately I use it more for logging than navigation.

I've had my own moment of GPS cockup when I asked Google Maps for the way to the new nature reserve and got directed to dead end private road on the opposite side of the park from the entrance gate. Fortunately Google learned but I still sanity check when possible. I also have a lot of maps and a Silva compass, JIC.

iPhone XS: Just another £300 for a better cam- Wait, come back!

Slow Joe Crow

What is the value proposition of an iPhone these days?

Back when the iPhone 3 was the new hotness and Android was just finding its feet I could see a value to Apple's capability and app ecosystem but now that Android is a mature product, other than sunk costs and personal inertia, why spend so much money just to play in a walled garden? For that matter why spend so much on a phone at all, other than to signal you have the money?

For my needs the only justification for an iPhone is to run the Dexcom glucose monitor software, everything else can be handled with a $200 Motorola, especially after Motorola started selling DIY repair parts and kits.

Creepy or super creepy? That is the question Mozilla's throwing at IoT Christmas pressies

Slow Joe Crow

Why buy this stuff in the first place?

Starting with the connected water bottle, why on earth do people spend money on stuff just because it's "connected"? I don't need machinery to tell me when to drink, I don't need to monitor my pet's dish (and open a point of attack into my network) and the only thing I use Alexa for is the "Alexa play Despacito" meme, which doesn't require an actual Alexa. This is good because I don't want voice controlled crap eavesdropping on me.

As an aside my finest meme was when I walked into the kitchen wearing tracksuit pants and Adidas sandals, Slav squatted next to my teenaged daughter and said "Alexa Amazonova, to be hardbass playing".

Defense Distributed starts selling gun CAD files amid court drama

Slow Joe Crow
Black Helicopters

Re: Absolute Moron

Actually outside of the horrible cesspit of New Jersey it is completely legal to make your own guns for personal use in the US. A Federal Firearms license (FFL) is only required if you are making guns for resale. In that case you generally need an FFL 07 manufacturer's license but may be able to do onesy twosey production on an FFL 01 dealer or gunsmith license.

On the subject of making, it's actually much less work and cost to follow the widely available US Army improvised munitions manual to build a slam fire shotgun or 9mm pipe pistol with bits from the local hardware store. 3D printing is a novelty for the moment and all the pearl clutching and First Amendment violating is just a desparate attempt by ati gunners to fan hysteria.

'Gimme Gimme Gimme' Easter egg in man breaks automated tests at 00:30

Slow Joe Crow

Interesting, I never knew about the easter egg or the Abba song. To me Gimme Gimme Gimme always means Black Flag, with Henry Rollins in full effect.

SCO vs. IBM case over who owns Linux comes back to life. Again

Slow Joe Crow

SCO may have their lawsuit but back but IBM still has the Nazgul who made Boies, Schiller, and Flexner look more like Moe, Larry, & Curly. Ultimately SCO has to cough up actual infringing code in Linux and my recollection is the only things they ever showed turned out to be a snippet of deprecated Itanium code that was actually from SGI and the Berkeley Packet Filter which as you might expect came from BSD on a BSD license.

HTC U11: U-hoo. Look over here! Two new phones! We're Not Actually Dead

Slow Joe Crow

I want to believe

My M7 is on its last legs and the subsequent HTC One offerings were unimpressive. I'd seriously consider the U11 Life but I think a Moto G is more budget friendly since I'm buying unlocked having finally cut loose from AT&T.

BOFH: Oh dear. Did someone get lost on the Audit Trail?

Slow Joe Crow

Re: Shredding some papers?

There's a company in the US right near my old neighborhood that makes just that sort of machine


They have videos of shredding a torpedo, a car, a boat and a bunch of desktop PCs.

You forgot that you hired me and now you're saying it's my fault?

Slow Joe Crow

Re: Ah, memories.

The opaque projector was a common sight during my school days but I've never seen one in a general office environment. Outside of schools it more of a specialist artist's tool, replaced by scanners and cameras.

I have seen some rigs with a a camera on a stand that perform a similar function in my children's classrooms, although digital projectors have replaced both the old overheads and the LCD panel on on OHP kludge.

Slow Joe Crow

Re: Meeting rooms

Along those lines, when our office space was being converted from cubicle farm to open desks and "flexible seating" and management asked for proposals to name the various areas of the floor my colleagues and I suggested naming them after various homeless camps and shantytowns. Management wimped out and used local bridges, although in a rare flash of humor one area was called "Bridge to Nowhere".

The sole bright spot was getting the VP of global facilities to admit that tearing down the cubes was really about money and not being hip, trendy and attractive to younger employees.

Strip club selfie bloke's accidental discharge gets him 6 years in clink

Slow Joe Crow

Florida Man strikes again. I suppose it could have been worse and he could have been carrying a Hi-Point, or it could have been better for society and he gave himself a Darwin.

Extreme trainspotting on Britain's highest (and windiest) railway

Slow Joe Crow

Re: 1,097m (3,599ft)

Texas only has hills, the real mountains are the Rockies and the Cascades. So expect somebody from Colorado to talk about how tiny your mountains are.

Cabling horrors unplugged: Reg readers reveal worst nightmares

Slow Joe Crow

I'm thanking my lucky stars right now. I work for a large company that uses proper cabling contractors so our data center racks have properly punched down and labeled patch panels and neatly labeled cables. That is the good, on the bad side as we moved to denser servers our cabling got so big it was blocking airflow under the floor and we had to convert to overhead racks.

The labs on the other hand can get very messy very quickly and start to look like some of these pictures.

IT manager jailed for 5 years for attempting dark web gun buy

Slow Joe Crow

BTW you get an illustration fail. The picture clearly shows a Ruger LCP in.380 ACP and not the similar LC( in 9mm

HTC One M9 Android smartphone: Like a M8 with a squinty eye

Slow Joe Crow

I wanted to get another HTC One

but after seeing the reviews of the M8 and now the M9, my original M7 looks better than nay of the supposed improvements. I like the ultra pixel camera, my OS is still Kit Kat and blinkfeed is easily banished off screen so even though it's off contract and upgrade eligible I'm going to keep going until HTC rediscovers its mojo or something better comes along.

Torvalds' temptress comes of age: Xfce 4.12 hits the streets

Slow Joe Crow

Been using XFCE for years

I went to XFCE in 2008 since I hate Nautilus and thus avoid Gnome and while I used KDE3 for years KDE4 was too weird to use daily.

I've never looked back and any complaints I have with XFCE disappear after a session with our default corporate window manager, FVWM2!

I've liked XFCE because it was simple, quick, easily grasped and Thunar worked the way I expected a file manager to work.

HP gulps down Aruba Networks for $3bn

Slow Joe Crow

I just hope they don't screw up Aruba. It's very good wireless and VPN kit and our local reps have been very helpful. Plus they handed out free access points at a conference a few years ago.

Snapper's decisions: Whatever happened to real photography?

Slow Joe Crow

I fully agree that the eye behind the camera has far more effect on the photograph than the camera. That is why my justification for getting a DSLR to replace a point and shoot was to "more accurately capture the image in my head" because when I look at a scene I see the photograph I want and it's up to my hardware to create it. If the image in the photographer's mind is a flat banal snapshot it matters not whether they use a phone, a Leica or a 4x5 view camera with Zone System exposure it's still going to be crap where somebody with the right image in mind can create great art with a landfill Android phone.

Ancient Brits 'set wealthy man's FANCY CHARIOT on FIRE' – boffins

Slow Joe Crow

Are they sure it wasn't done by Gauls?

It may just be the bias in my news sources but I associate torching cars with Parisian Banlieus, but they may have learned it from ancient Chavs.

How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?

Slow Joe Crow

How many variables can you eliminate?

If you want to compare FLAC and MP3 audio quality effectively you are going to need a properly designed and controlled experiment. If you can get some known good source recordings and a studio monitor setup you could then encode the files in various formats and conduct blind tests with several listeners. Of course audio quality is a highly subjective thing as evidenced by claims to "hear" a difference between two cables carrying a digital signal, but blind testing should filter out bias.

BOFH: The Great Backup BACKDOWN

Slow Joe Crow

Re: I refuse to do backups - on principle

I work at a very large company and we have Autonomy Connected Backup installed on everybody's laptops so apparently my 100,000 employee company considers the storage investment worthwhile. Granted CNB does have a very effective de-dupe component so the 100 or so TB needed is a drop in the bucket of our 4-5 petabytes of storage.

I feel your pain on PST files since big ones are more prone to corruption and people around here have years worth of email squirreled away.

Secondhand Point-o-Sale terminal was horrific security midden

Slow Joe Crow

Haven't these people heard of DBAN?

My own kit and even lab stuff going to the corporate disposal guys get wiped with at least the DBAN autonuke. The DBAN at work is actually redundant since company policy is no hard drives go out the door, they get zapped in a degausser and shredded or crushed. This even applies to warranty repairs since we have enough clout to get the kit vendors to accept a scan of the drive label in lieu of the dead part. Now admittedly I work for a large and paranoid organization but basic data wiping seems like it should be standard procedure.

Listen: WORST EVER customer service call – Comcast is 'very embarrassed'

Slow Joe Crow

This makes me so glad I dumped Comcast cable in 2005 and currently have Fios via Frontier, who have actually been both quick and efficient in fixing the minor issues I've had. Actually the the pre Frontier Verizon DSL service was pretty good too since I was only a few blocks from the central office and the worst outage I ever had was a few hours of bad DNS.

Saddle up for the Tour de Firmware

Slow Joe Crow

Re: Grumpy old git

Actually the "floor" for road racing bikes is the UCI minimum weight of 7.5 Kg or around 15 pounds. Since the average pro level road bike is in the 13-14 pound range this puts the pros in the slightly ludicrous situation of having to add ballast to their bikes to keep them legal. Trek just announced a 10 1/2 pound production bike with a semi reasonable 200lb maximum rider weight.

Of course in the real world, away from the weight weenies the real gain is in rider weight reduction through diet and exercise as you call out in your last paragraph.

Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey

Slow Joe Crow

With science and economics the right wing mantra is always "I know what I know, don't confuse me with facts!" Paul Krugman just had a good NY Times column on this http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/18/on-the-liberal-bias-of-facts/?module=BlogPost-Title&version=Blog%20Main&contentCollection=Opinion&action=Click&pgtype=Blogs&region=Body Interestingly right wing views of "what everybody knows" are very much like the affinity fraud.

Teary-eyed snappers recall the golden age of film

Slow Joe Crow

No love for Tri-X

Growing up in the US, Kodak was the dominant supplier, although my high school lab used Ilford developer on our Kodak film. I still have my first serious camera from 1980, a Nikon FM, and fond memories of the magic of B&W printing where you could watch it develop.

As for slide film, I preferred the 3rd way and my favorite back in the 80s was Agfachrome 200 when I could find it since it was warmer than Ektachrome and used the same E6 process. When I got back into serious photography in the 90s I went with Fuji Provia since Agfa was unobtanium. Nowadays I shoot digital on a Nikon SLR but I still have my FM and I'm thinking of finding a darkroom so I can show my kids how it's done. I like film for it's range and for the element of craft, but I'm happy with digital because it makes it easier to make the image I have in my mind.

Keeping warm in winter the el Reg way: Setting a NAS box ON FIRE

Slow Joe Crow

Good test, now what?

Fire extinguisher powder is hell on electrical/electronic stuff do props for using it and identifying how far it got. Personally I use a much cheaper and cruder solution, I store an external drive with backups in a fire safe with all the other important papers. Which I guess leads to the obvious, why don't you get a cheap fire safe from Office Depot or the local equivalent, put some hard drives, flash memory and burned CD & DVDs in the box and treat it to Reid 2 in order to see what happen?

PS: flame icon because fire!

Concerning Spiceworks' evil plans for world domination

Slow Joe Crow

Spiceworks is a very useful tool

I work in a small part of a big company's IT department and we use Spiceworks heavily in our labs where big IT refuses to go. We actually have some of the largest Spiceworks installs with over 1000 nodes being monitored. We do have the ad-free version and I only get 2-3 marketing mails a week plus forum updates.

I personally don't use it much but it is a huge time saver when you need to know the CPU stepping on 500 machines.

US parents proclaim 811 'Messiahs'

Slow Joe Crow

Re: Not to be racist

You're being a bit racist, oddball spelling are just as likely to come from Southern Whites and Utah is a hotbed of bizarre names in a desperate attempt to stand out from all the other blonde haired blue eyed people with the same last name.

That said, African-Americans do have a regrettable tendency to use registered trademarks as first names.

Happy 50th birthday, Compact Cassette: How it struck a chord for millions

Slow Joe Crow

One more cassette format

I don't know if anybody mentioned this but Uher made some cassette recorders for motion picture use that recorded a single monaural track on the full width of one side of a cassette. Obviously record time wasn't very long but it was intended to work with lightweight 16mm cameras that only held 15-20 minutes worth of film. The other feature on the one i saw was a synch connector that attached to the camera so audio and image were in synch.

El Reg rocket squad poised to select Ultimate Cuppa teabag

Slow Joe Crow

Yamamotoyama Oolong

also the Pu-erh teabags i get from Uwajimaya (can't remember the brand).

Spam and the Byzantine Empire: How Bitcoin tech REALLY works

Slow Joe Crow

Hight tech Goldbugs

Interestingly, the economists I pay attention to like Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, Mark Thoma and Brad DeLong are highly critical of bitcoin as a wasteful fiat money for people who don't trust banks, essentially a left leaning version of Glenn Beck's exhortation to buy gold because Obama is a socialist.

Citations: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/15/opinion/krugman-the-antisocial-network.html



BOFH: Hasta la Vista... luser

Slow Joe Crow

The stupid amazes me

I have a laptop at home with an 8 year old Windows XP Pro installation that runs fine, but I installed the OS myself and ruthlessly stomp the garbage. Surprisingly both my 70 year old mother and 14 year old son also mange to keep their systems clean so my tech support load is light, except for my 9 year crushing her netbook, but at least the OS was clean.

Fans revolt over Amazon 'adware' in Ubuntu desktop search results

Slow Joe Crow

Xubuntu FTW

Just another reason to continue using XFCE instead of Gnome or Unity. I prefer the cleaner simpler UI, since all I need on my machine is a browser, a shell, and text editor. I also end up doing most of my software management with Synaptic or Apt-get anyway so I have even less use for the eye candy.

Ten backpacks for tech-heads

Slow Joe Crow

No Timbuk2?

I see the Swiss pack a lot but personally I use an older Timbuk2 Swig backpack. This is a fairly basic hauler which meets my needs of being big enough to haul an HP 8530W and small enough to fit in a BMW motorcycle saddle bag. Mine was out of date and thus cheap, the newer ones have a nicer back panel and a sternum strap.

Their especial dos and tres are also well regarded.

Major science fiction publisher to zap DRM

Slow Joe Crow

I think it was competitive pressure

Baen, http://baen.com/ the other huge SF publisher in the US has been DRM free from the start and has a policy of giving away back catalog for free and allowing copying and redistribution of the CDs bundled with some of their books. According to author Eric Flint, this dope dealer business model has driven sales of series and related works since the free ebooks create demand for paid ebooks and paper copies.

Ex-staffer: Apple assigns new workers to made up projects

Slow Joe Crow

There actually is a Jagwire

But they make cable for bicycles so I'm guessing it is an intentional pun http://www.jagwireusa.com/

icon chosen for the bike helmet



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020