Re: "WE ARE NOT HAVING AN AFFAIRE"
Was either of them Frenche?!
722 posts • joined 13 Apr 2011
> 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:
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.
> "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!
> 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?
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...
> 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...
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).
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?"!
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.
> 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.)
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...
> 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...
> 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...
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!
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! "
"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.
> 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...
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"?
> 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?
> > 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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