* Posts by Anonymous IV

722 posts • joined 13 Apr 2011


Where's the boss? Ah right, thorough deep-dive audit. On the boardroom table. Gotcha

Anonymous IV


Was either of them Frenche?!

Three things that have vanished: $3.6bn in Bitcoin, a crypto investment biz, and the two brothers who ran it

Anonymous IV

Re: Surprised?

> Stupidity is uniformly distributed in any population, no matter how one slices it.


Think how stupid the average person is, then realise that half of the population are stupider than that.

The server is down, money is not being made, and you want me to fix what?

Anonymous IV

Re: Dark Monitor

I feel sure that DEFCON has something to do with the USA...

Why not use the clear, obvious and straightforward British GCSE grading system [9 to 1, U] or the previous, even more clearer, [A*, A to G, U]?

No chance of confusion there!


Hard cheese: Stilton snap shared via EncroChat leads to drug dealer's downfall

Anonymous IV

Re: Hard cheese

Not a person of whom it could be said, "Cheese a Jolly Good Fellow"...

10.8 million UK homes now have access to gigabit-capable broadband, with much of the legwork done by Virgin Media

Anonymous IV

Re: I'm the other way around

I consistently get 112 Mbps / 10 Mbps day-in, day-out, as measured by the Sam Knows white box router.

If only one didn't have to ring them up every six months or so to get some discounts applied to the latest price increase...

US declares emergency after ransomware shuts oil pipeline that pumps 100 million gallons a day

Anonymous IV
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Re: Lessons learnt? I doubt it.

> What more can you say about a scripting language that frequently requires a null operator and calls its null operator "IEFBR14"?

Years and years ago, in the days of OS/MVT 18.0 (or near offer), a new programmer was hired by IBM to work on MVT. This clever lad (for he was a non-female person) realised that IEFBR14 was a massive 4 bytes in size, and consisted of the two IBM Assembler instructions:

SR 15,15 ; clear register 15 to zero

BR 14 ; branch to the return address held in register 14

He thought that he would optimise the program by removing the first instruction, leaving only the two byte instruction:

BR 14

This he did, and put the 'optimised' version of IEFBR14 into the next MVT update. No testing or change-control was needed - "obviously" - since it was such a simple change.

However, he did not realise that register 15 was the return-code register, which would now contain an unspecified number, but not zero, and consequently all jobs which tested for a zero return code began to fail spectacularly.

I am not aware what happened to the hapless programmer.

Need 32-bit Linux to run past 2038? When version 5.6 of the kernel pops, you're in for a treat

Anonymous IV

Re: Again...

> "Those CASIO wristwatches built in the 70's with permanent calendars are likely candidates, for example."

Permanent calendars are most likely to fail in 2120 when if they have a simple divisible by four rule for determining leap years. You should have kept your receipt.

Those of us who have had many instances of the standard model of Casio wristwatch since the 1970s already know that, in a Leap Year, 28th February is followed by 1st March on their watch. Having to reset the date every four years is hardly a good reason to return the watch!

Microsoft demotes Calibri from default typeface gig, starts fling with five other fonts

Anonymous IV
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Re: Obviously

> And solve the not-installed-here problem by distributing docs as PDF, not .doc!

That's not a solution, it's a restriction! What happens if the document needs to be further edited? Does the hapless recipient have to do a PDF-to-Word conversion, then sort out all the font and layout anomalies before editing?

Can't get that printer to work? It's not you. It's that sodding cablin.... oh beautiful job with that cabling, boss

Anonymous IV

Re: "Well Analysis - New Knowledge"

Our mainframe user-name convention was to take the first three characters of the surname, the first character of the forename, and add a two-digit incrementing 'sequence number' to prevent clashes.

This usually worked fine; Fiona Smith became SMIF05; Ian Jameson became JAMI02.

However the convention had to be modified in certain edge(y!) cases, such as for Tracey Cunningham...

Guilty: Sister and brother who over-ordered hundreds of MacBooks for university and sold the kit for millions

Anonymous IV

Johnny Cash was here

> that includes the 800 MacBooks worth $2.3m Eric flogged to his guy in Folsom

How convenient that, after conviction, he can be incarcerated in his local prison.

Microsoft fixes the thing it broke via another dose of out-of-band patching to deal with BSOD printing problems

Anonymous IV

Re: Does the same bug/patch/KBxxxxx

> Does the same bug/patch/KBxxxxx also cause a white band to be printed over bitmap prints from paint.net when using the "type 3" printer-drivers?

Ah, the "White Print of Death" (WPOD). Fortunately only a problem with the white-ink cartridge you put at the back of the computer desk drawer...

I haven't bought new pants for years, why do I have to keep buying new PCs?

Anonymous IV

Re: One thing people tend to forget about FOSS.

Basically you're saying that All Things Must Pass.

Don't forget the 639 dormant and discontinued distros (70%) of the total 916 Linux distros included on the DistroWatch database...

After 11 years, Australia declares its national broadband network is ‘built and fully operational’

Anonymous IV

Re: Politicans Logic

The Indiana Pi Bill (1897) attempted to get in before Malcolm Turnbull!

Windows might have frozen – but at least my feet are toasty

Anonymous IV
IT Angle

Re: Cold breeze

Sandals are simply shoes with a little extra ventilation.

Socks with shoes are entirely acceptable.

So should be socks with sandals.

Surely it's a bigger crime for Australians to call beach sandals "thongs".

And New Zealanders to call them "jandals" (supposedly short for Japanese sandals).

Who knew that hosing a table with copious amounts of cubic metres would trip adult filters?

Anonymous IV

Re: Inside joke?

I'm sure I've told this one before, but in a previous century our company had a department which existed quite happily for a long time as "Organisation and Methods" (O&M).

A new and rather dubious Chief Exec then joined the company, and for no obvious or logical reason decided to change this department's name to "Systems and Methods".

After this rename, the members of the department delighted in answering the telephone with "S&M, how can I help you?"!

England's COVID-tracking app finally goes live after 6 months of work – including backpedal on how to handle data

Anonymous IV

Re: Is the QR code check part of the app in a legal requirement for venues?

Couple of useful quotes from "Official Sources":


The app currently supports Apple iOS versions 11 and higher, and Android versions 8 and higher. If you have an older smartphone whose hardware is incompatible or uses an older version of the iOS or Android operating system, you may be asked to update your operating system.

Ho-ho - update my smartphone's Android v5.1 to v8? How?!


If I do not want to check in to a venue with the NHS COVID-19 app, am I still allowed to enter?

If you do not want to check in to a venue using the NHS COVID-19 app, you should be able to provide your contact details as an alternative. You have the right to choose to provide your contact details if you prefer this to using the NHS COVID-19 app.

Customers or visitors to hospitality venues must do at least one of the following:

* scan the official NHS QR code poster

* provide their name and contact details

* be in a group for which one other member has provided name and contact details

Hospitality venues must refuse entry to those who do none of the above. If you choose to check in with the NHS QR code you do not need to provide your contact details as well.

Funny, that: Handy script for wiping directories is capable of wreaking havoc beyond a miscreant's wildest dreams

Anonymous IV

Re: My contribution...

> one of those huge juggernauts that we all love to eviscerate with vitriol at every opportunity

I'm all for colourful phraseology, but in the interests of factual accuracy I would point out that evisceration = disembowelling cannot commonly be done with vitriol = sulphuric acid...

(I leave the matter of monkies in feisty knickers for the attention of another commentard.)

'My wife tried to order some clothes tonight. When she logged in, she was in someone else's account ... Now someone's charged her card'

Anonymous IV

Re: Methinks

Bah-boom. Tish!

ReactOS hits a milestone – actually hiring a full-time developer. And we've got our talons on the latest build to see what needs fixing

Anonymous IV

Full-time developer to work on ReactOS

They have quite some way to go before they employ the thousands of Microsoft programmers used to write Windows NT m.n (choose your version).

Even if this ReactOS programmer was Extremely Agile (yes, it is a joke). I can't see that s/he could make much of a dent in the mountain of work required.

Still, hope springs eternal in the human beast...

Is it Patch Blues-day for Outlook? Microsoft's email client breaks worldwide, leaves everyone stumped

Anonymous IV

Outlook 2010

Outlook 2010 worked last night, and still works fine this morning.

What can have gone wrong?

Finally, a wafer-thin server... Only a tiny little thin one. Oh all right. Just the one...

Anonymous IV

Re: Partial blackout story (not UPS, though)

> The power flicks** took out 1 phase blew the fuse on the roadside utility pole.

Aha! A phase worse than death...

PC printer problems and enraged execs: When the answer to 'Hand over that floppy disk' is 'No'

Anonymous IV
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Re: We had the inverse issue

> She was also in charge of the office furniture

This reminds me of an obnoxious and officious Buildings Manager of a multi-storey office building in R*dh*ll in the last century. The IT Staff on site awarded him the honorary title of Head of Carpets, to recognise his true competencies...

No Wiggle room: Two weeks after angry bike shop customers report mystery orders on their accounts, firm confirms payment cards delinked

Anonymous IV

Re: At Chris G, re: Lycranthropist.

> A Porsche roadbike?

Yes, they made them for a short period (2010 or earlier?) "for the man who has everything". It would have been a man, too.

I suspect that it was a rebadged (and repriced!) version of a bike from a high-end manufacturer, like Bike Friday or Riese & Müller.

I think they soon realised that riding a Porsche bike didn't have the same cachet and took considerably more effort than sitting in a Porsche car. And the bikes rapidly got stolen by nefarious individuals, however good a lock you put on them...

Wow, Microsoft's Windows 10 always runs Edge on startup? What could cause that? So strange, tut-tuts Microsoft

Anonymous IV


"He's just zis guy, you know..."

(with apols to Mr Z Beeblebrox)

Huge if true... Trump explodes as he learns open source could erode China tech ban

Anonymous IV

Re: Yeah right

> You call that satire now, but you just wait and see what happens if the orange oaf gets to see it

Is it known what he thinks of the Sarah Cooper lip-sync videos which use what he has said to [even more] comedic effect?

Elevating cost-cutting to a whole new level with million-dollar bar bills

Anonymous IV


Nothing like something groan-inducing on an otherwise boring Friday?

Cloudflare outage caused by techie pulling out the wrong cables

Anonymous IV

Re: Cables with labels on

> Code should always be self-documenting

Except, presumably, in write-only languages like APL?

Watch out, everyone, here come the Coronavirus Cops, enjoying their little slice of power way too much

Anonymous IV
Black Helicopters

Re: Nothing to Heil nothing to Fear.

Classic linked headline just seen on Google News:

Coronavirus simulation shows a single cough can spread germans across two supermarket aisles

And there was me thinking that the only problem was with sun loungers and beach towels!

Real-time tragedy: Dumb deletion leaves librarian red-faced and fails to nix teenage kicks on the school network

Anonymous IV

Re: ah yes there were times at work they went round and audited the machines

Your story about ZIPping some files twice reminds me that there was a theory going the rounds at the time probably on FIDOnet, that you could reduce the size of any file to the absolute minimum amount possible - 1 byte (or maybe even 1 bit!) - by recursively ZIPping the files, then its ZIP, then the ZIP of the ZIP, then...

It didn't take much intellectual effort to determine that this theory was flawed, but its proponents were adamant that it would work!

Absolutely everyone loves video conferencing these days. Some perhaps a bit too much

Anonymous IV
Thumb Up

Re: Paris...

> He kept asking on the phone if I could take him a copy of Whateefee. It took ages to figure he meant What HiFi.

Thank heaven the chap didn't want a copy of McAfee...

Marriott Hotels hacked AGAIN: Two compromised employee logins abused to siphon off 5.2m guests' personal info

Anonymous IV


The statement that 'an "unexpected amount" of guests' data was accessed' leads to the question, "just how much data were they expecting to be accessed"?

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, health secretary Matt Hancock both test positive for COVID-19 coronavirus

Anonymous IV

The wisdom of (a very small) crowd

On my officially-mandated exercise session, I was walking along the canal towpath when I passed two dubious-looking individuals sitting on one of the benches. This is what I overheard:

First yokel: "Do you know why that Boris Johnson has caught Covid-19? "

Second yokel: "No, why? "

First yokel: "It's because he shut down all the pubs. It's karma! "

Not exactly the kind of housekeeping you want when it means the hotel's server uptime is scrubbed clean

Anonymous IV

Re: The cleaner did it.

"Bob's" story is so reminiscent of...

With torch shining bright he strode on in the night

'Til he came to the room with the safe.

"Hello son, I hope you're having fun."

"You've got it wrong, sir, I'm only the cleaner."

With that he fired, the other saying as he died,

"you've done me wrong." It's the same old song forever.

Sophos was gearing up for a private life – then someone remembered the bike scheme

Anonymous IV

> Any suggestions on a replacement AV provider?

How about <gasp!> Microsoft? Their Windows Defender has improved greatly since the early days, and it's built-in to Windows 10.

The self-disconnecting switch: Ghost in the machine or just a desire to save some cash?

Anonymous IV

Re: How much?

> Exactly how much cost savings could you achieve by renting half a rack instead of a whole rack from a 3rd-party datacentre?

Enough to satisfy a bean-counter, I would imagine.

It's a Bing thing: Microsoft drops plans to shove unloved search engine down throats of unsuspecting enterprises

Anonymous IV

Re: Questions II?

> What is "Bing"?

Bing used to be a manufacturer of a fizzy drink available in East Kent (at least) in the latter half of the last century, notable for the swing metal, ceramic and rubber stopper used to close the bottle, if not for its taste.

What a pity that they (probably) didn't trade-mark the name, which would have prevented MS from using it for a search engine...

Windows 7 will not go gentle into that good night: Ageing OS refuses to shut down

Anonymous IV

Re: Adobe = shit.

> For all values of shit.

Surely, "for all values of Adobe"?

(This assumes that Adobe has any values, of course...)

Anonymous IV

> Operating systems don't just rot or break by themselves ffs.

You must surely be familiar with the concept of bit fade?

Like its Windows-noob-stabilisers OS, Zorin's cloudy Grid tool is Linux desktop management for dummies

Anonymous IV

Re: Latin is still killing me

So the font should be called something like "Sine Oblito", but that would spoil the feeble joke.

I would propose Chronic Sans...

Beware the Friday afternoon 'Could you just..?' from the muppet who wants to come between you and your beer

Anonymous IV

"Rogue registry entry"

I commend someone who could find a rogue registry entry which would cause the cursor to move randomly around the screen.

Many of the registry entries are rogue; none is likely to be implicated in a random screen movement event...

Ministry of Justice bod jailed for stealing £1.7m with fake IT consulting contract

Anonymous IV

The wisdom of lawyers...

"This was a sophisticated fraud … and would have resulted in further loss to the taxpayer if it had not been discovered."

You don't say!

Smart speaker maker Sonos takes heat for deliberately bricking older kit with 'Trade Up' plan

Anonymous IV
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Re: blister packs

We had occasion to buy a whole bunch of Duracell CR2032 CMOS batteries for some second-hand PCs we'd bought.

* taking off the PC system unit case, removing the old CR2032 battery - 10 seconds

* cutting round the 'child-proof' blister pack (two layers of plastic) - about a minute, and a LOT of effort

* inserting the new CR2032 battery and replacing the case - 10 seconds

The plastic shroud is so tough and so close to the battery that you stand a good chance of actually cutting the battery. In any event, after a few of these replacements you're left with very sore fingers.

Perhaps the firm should be renamed "DuraPackaging"?

We've found it... the last shred of human decency in an IT director – all for a poxy Unix engineer

Anonymous IV
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Re: Indeed

> Too often these days a boss takes the paycheck and skirts off when the fallout arrives.

Did you really mean to say that? If yes, one presumes that the boss was done for sexual harassment quite rapidly...! :-)

In Rust We Trust: Stob gets behind the latest language craze

Anonymous IV

Re: Do...While

Is there any language other than Algol W which employs the useful construct, a trivial example of which is;

x:= (IF y=z THEN 3 ELSE 7)

? (I hope I've remembered this properly!)

Blood, snot and fear: Why the travelling lone tech reporter should always knock twice

Anonymous IV
Thumb Up

Re: Interesting problem

> Perhaps it's Hilbert's Hotel and a coach containing an infinite number of new guests was being checked in by another clerk.

No doubt at a Poisson rate of arrivals!

Remember the big IBM 360 mainframe rescue job? For now, Brexit has ballsed it up – big iron restorers

Anonymous IV

Re: Disposal cost

> I only have vague memories of working on these types of machines from my time at Durham University, using both an System 360/65 and a System 370/168

In the early 1970s Durham University used to make use of Newcastle University's IBM 360/67 which ran Michigan terminal System (MTS) time sharing. The link between Newcastle University and Durham University was described as costing "a diplomat's ransom"! But presumably you are referring to a slightly later era?

Hey, I wrote this neat little program for you guys called the IMAC User Notification Tool

Anonymous IV

The vagaries of CEOs

For no good or obvious reason, a team which for some years been known as "Organisation and Methods" was renamed by our somewhat dubious CEO as "Systems and Methods".

The members of the team took great delight in answering the phone with "S & M - can I help you?"

That time Windows got blindsided by a ball of plasma, 150 million kilometres away

Anonymous IV

"The mouse that never worked in the afternoon"

A very similar account to this story was posted in November 2016.

I won't repeat my tale of the Amstrad PCW8512 diskette drives, similarly affected by direct sunlight...

COBOL: Five little letters that if put on a CV would ensure stable income for many a greybeard coder

Anonymous IV

Old COBOL operation-sequence joke

Dredged from the depths of my memory, so may be incorrect:


Planes, fails and automobiles: Overseas callout saved by gentle thrust of server CD tray

Anonymous IV

Re: Barclaycard, c 1997

> > Barclaycard had just laid off everyone in the IT department...

> > Someone had, at some point in time, left a floppy in the drive

> I suggest that these two statements are related.

You forget Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.



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