* Posts by Arrrggghh-otron

438 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Jun 2011


Attention, CIOs: Stop outsourcing or YOU will never retire


Re: I'll say it again... Bye Bye IT (support)

And people like you make massive assumptions about what I have and haven't done. You don't disgust me, but I do feel sorry for you that you can't see things from more than one perspective.

I've worked on some really interesting projects, coded games for set top boxes, managed a dev team yet because I like where I live and want to stay here my choices are limited. When the mortgage needs paying you do what you have do and in a depressed market where recruiters want 3 years experience in something I'm never going to get exposure to unless I am able to work with them then you take what you can.

I also didn't say that all CS grads are drop outs, only that the ones that dropped out of the course I was doing fell back into the Comp Sci degree. They would only be drop outs if they dropped out of the Comp Sci as well (and some did). Not that that makes any odds to me. One of my best friends from Uni dropped out of the course and I can't recall a single incident where I ever made reference to his dropping out. I respect him and his technically and creative ability.

We had 300 students in year 1, 50 in year two and 15 in year 3. Out of the ones who dropped out in year 1, about 70% transferred to Comp Sci.

Also you assume that all I do is work on a help desk. I do everything from help desk to server and network design and troubleshooting and software development for a handful of small companies. The lack of training and potential for progression, coupled with a low salary and cost of living increases makes for a tricky situation to extract yourself from. That is what I am doing by getting out of IT support.

My degree isn't 20 years old. Close to 10. Not that that makes any difference. I agree that Degrees have been devalued and that you need one to have most recruiters give your CV the time of day.

Again you assume I have sat on my arse for 20 years when I have been learning as much as I can over the last few years in a bid to get back into software development.

I've only been doing IT support as the main stay of my work for the last few years - basically since the recession/depression hit and I found myself out of work - when the chips are down you do what you have to - I hope it never happens to you. In my previous role it was a small part of my role and one I didn't mind doing as I was doing far more interesting work with better pay.

If you have been lucky and worked somewhere that pays well, where you have had training and career progression opportunities then good on you. I wish you well. If on the other hand you have worked in several jobs that sounded promising but all the promises evaporated then I feel for you. It happened to me.


I'll say it again... Bye Bye IT (support)

I'm getting out because I'm getting paid less now in real terms than I did a decade ago when I graduated as a 20 something mature student with an Engineering degree in computing (that's a full blown engineering degree, not a science degree. The drop outs from the engineering course fell back into the Comp Sci degree because it was easier).

I'm paid just under £24k.

Stay away from IT support as a job.

Red wine may be ELIXIR OF YOUTH


What age would that be?

"diseases that become prevalent with the onset of age"

That sounds fairly indiscriminate to me...

No.10 guru: UK tech scene is AN EXPLODING CHEESE


Fixed that for you

I think a tech scene is probably a bit like a fine cheese – there’s a moment when it all comes together. I think it’s really about to implode.

Corporates! Bring in all-purpose filler for IT skills gap, thunders Steelie Neelie


Bye bye IT

The fact that someone who has no clue about what is actually happening on the ground, can get €1m to piss away on nothing just makes me more angry and glad to be getting out of this industry.

The IT race to the bottom in the UK means I'm earning less now than I was when I graduated more than a decade ago.

So I've finally done it. I've given up on IT as a career. I've out sourced my own job.

I'm going to go Snowboarding for a while. When I come back I will be painting and decorating. It pays better and requires less thought or stress.

No I'm not joking.

Bye bye El-reg - it's been fun (but I will be back to check progress on LOHAN)

Banged-up Brit hacker hacks into his OWN PRISON'S 'MAINFRAME'


Re: I am conflicted...

What sort of IT qualifications can you get at her majestys? Could actually be a valid alternative to paying through the nose for them...

SimCity 2000


Easter Egg

No, not the software type.

A few years ago I received a SIM City 2000 Easter Egg, a cheap chocolate egg with a little CD containing the game. Best Easter egg ever!

Could you build a data-nomming HPC beast in a day? These kids can


Could you build a data-nomming HPC beast in a day? These kids can

"The rest of the time prior to the competition is spent designing, configuring, testing, and tuning the clusters. Then the teams take these systems to the event and compete against each another in a live benchmark face-off. The competition takes place in cramped booths right on the trade show floor."

Am I missing the bit where they build the system in a day?

UK doesn't have the SKILLS to save itself from cyber threats


Re: New headline

£650m and £8m to Universities?

How much of that actually made it to lowering the barriers to entry in actually getting an education in '"Cyber" security? Given that Uni courses cost £9k a year now, why would you take an expensive course that is only going to garner pay in the low £20k range?

Perhaps some of that could be put towards paying some serious names from the industry to offer a nationwide on-line "Cyber" security course with a nationally recognised qualification for free (or a token amount to sit the exam). I for one would sign up to that.

Good news! UK IT jobs up. Bad news? They're with a bunch of bankers


Re: Are they all different jobs?

This reminds me, I'm still waiting for Dominic Connors article on the problems faced by recruiters... I still want to know why recruiters do all of these things (multiple job listings for the same job, jobs that don't really exist, job specs that bear no resemblance to the skills the interviewer is asking for etc).

Ten 3D printers for this year's modellers


The cost is dependant on how you want to print the model. That is to say, how thick or thin the layers are, how much in fill you use and what type of filament (ABS/PLA).

Run your model though some slicing software, load it up in Printrun and it will tell you approximately how much filament it will take to print the model. Work out what your filament costs per meter (you can buy it buy the meter but that is an expensive way to do it. Better to buy by the kg and work out the cost per meter that way).



Re: Question from ignorance...

I can only vouch for a few of the open sourced printer software suites that I have tried but they are STL based. Most 3d packages are capable of exporting STL files. STL is the usually offered file format on Thingiverse.

Always wanted a robot: why not DIY?


Re: Materials



Re: Whoa...OK that is cool.

You can even get flexible rubbery printing filament...

Vultures circle crash-landed UK giant 2e2 after top brass axed


Re: Redundancy certainly not - more like instant dismissal.

"No January salary

No Redundancy

No payment for expenses incurred"

Does that apply to the execs as well?

Huddled immigrant masses face 'British values' quiz


Re: British values?

Damn it! How could I have missed those two off the list!


Re: British values?

Championing the under dog.

Decrying the successful (once we have had enough of their pea-cocking).

Telling people what to do.

Telling people what they shouldn't be doing.

Fighting and subjugating* populations. (*Though not so much recently).


Drinking Tea.

Taking the piss.

But most of all taking the piss...

Sheffield ISP: You don't need a whole IPv4 address to yourself, right?


Re: I've got a bad feeling about this...

Plusnet have IPv6 capability, they have had it for a long time, but it just seems to be perpetually stuck in trails.

They announced last year that they are stopping the trails due to core infrastructure upgrade. Still no word on when new trails will start up again.



"The days when everyone ran their own servers are long gone and almost everything is available in the (better secured) cloud these days"

I still do, on a plusnet static address. I like knowing who is looking after my email... particularly after the email storage cock up at plusnet a good few years back.

Maybe this will spur plusnet to get on with their public IPv6 deployment - it has been trailed on and off for the past few years, so this seems as good a reason as any to roll it out.

CIOs: Don't listen to tech vendors on ICT skills, listen to US


I did say learn to fix it OR reinstall. Sometimes it is easier to reinstall/reimage rather than spend days trying to track down the problem when an OS goes awry.

I think it is a bit of a leap to think that that would produce a generation of coders whose first course of action on seeing a problem with their code is to reinstall. I would think those tinkering with the OS are more likely to mess up the OS than those learning to code.

>P.S. How are you going to install to download and install the OS on the RPi machine in the first place?

On a machine that allows SD cards to be re-imaged? Anyone who has bought a Raspberry Pi without a pre imaged SD card will have had to do this. It isn't a big hardship.

>How are you going to get it to receive updates?

Depends on whether you need the updates or not, which depends on the network you are connected to if you are connected at all.

>how are you going to follow online tutorials for it?

In a class room I would think on a projector/whiteboard/handout/book/laptop/tablet.

>How are you going to make sure the kids can't just brute-force passwords or attempt DDoS on the servers using their lovely £20 machines with network connectivity?

They don't need to be connected to a network to learn basic programming, but if they are, in the same way that you mitigate those risks on any network. If you really want to demonstrate networking or program network apps then hook them into a switch that isn't connected to anything else...


Re: Computer Science - be careful what you ask for

"How do learn what's needed to plonk a windows domain on a VMware install on a set of blade servers, with a big bad SAN underneath?"

By getting a job at a company that does these things, but most aren't hiring unless you can do all these things already with 3-5 years experience.


Re: Pay

Dorset has always been particularly poor on wages. I don't really know why. Someone once suggested that as it was such a nice place to live that employers could pay less as people really wanted to live here.

Last week: 3rd line MCSE - £18-22k

Server Support - £20-25k

1st Line Support - £15-20k

Tech Support Engineer - £18k

The last one a particularly amusing to read as the requirements are asking for a hell of a lot for £18k

Essential Functions

• Fields email and phone requests for technical product support from customer/​users and resellers.​

• Provides support to sales force and sales engineers

• Assists with product testing, troubleshoots and replicates issues

• Contributes to knowledge base and technical product documentation

• Performs training of users, customers, and resellers

• Meets and exceeds customer satisfaction targets


• Two to five years of technical support experience in computer software industry

• MCTS or equivalent

• Expert knowledge of MS Windows client and server OS

• Additional skills: Linux and Linux mail servers, MS Exchange, MAC OSX, Lotus Domino

• Detailed knowledge of networking applications and standards

• Experience with antivirus and firewall is desired

• Excellent communication, problem solving and customer service skills

• Attention to detail and ability to multi-task

I say amusing, but really it is a case of either laughing or breaking down in tears at the state of IT job prospects in general.

This is a real job ad: http://jobview.monster.co.uk/GetJob.aspx?JobID=117834224&aid=49525845&WT.mc_n=JSAHG10 - well I say real, it may just be a fishing exercise for a job agency for all I know.


Isn't this the sort of thing the Raspberry Pi was cooked up for? Mess the OS up all you like, then you have to learn fix it or reinstall it...

Which qualifications are worthwhile?



I would also say don't bother with IT support - unless you are lucky or know the right people, you will end up as the digital janitor. And it isn't fun.

But if you are determined then I would say don't work for a small company in a support role. Unless you are lucky and pick a start-up that becomes successful or that gets bought out, you will get stuck with little prospects and little income to train your way out of that rut. A large company will likely offer paths for progression and training.

Also avoid on-line training companies. The material is usually very poor and quite often wrong. That said not all on-line training is bad. I have taken a couple of free on-line courses from Stanford University and they have been very good though don't come with recognised qualifications.

As for what qualifications *do* IT recruiters look for in a newcomer? Probably about 3 to 5 years experience in the thing that you are only likely to get experience on if you have been working at a large corporation for 10 years...

Yes, hundreds upon hundreds of websites CAN all be wrong


Re: ’Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy'

A couple that I've heard...

"There's only one red light, and that's your own, your own" (Levellers - One Way)

"Because your concious..." (Babybird - You're Gorgeous)

Shiny new UK.gov stats website a 'disaster' - MPs


Re: Downloads?

Your point makes sense, but I had one or other of the open source databases in mind when I said that.

Keep the tables reasonably simply and exporting it to any other format should be easy. However getting a CSV into a DB is also fairly easy. But it would be nice to be able to run queries on the data direct from the site...



Really? I have to download the raw files? And trying to do that I see the download links are broken and you can't order the files by date.

Why isn't this stuff in a DB with read only access?

Parliament: Snoop Charter plan 'too sweeping', 'misleading', 'suspicious'


Re: "require CSPs to retain web logs up to the first "/"."

Clear indication if any was needed that none of these people are fit to pass legislation on something they understand this little...

Patrick Moore: Lived with cats, accompanied Einstein on the piano


A Glass was raised. Cheers Patrick!

Parliament to unleash barrage of criticism on Snoopers' Charter


“UK network across which the data from the overseas provider must move, with the purpose of sucking off that data”.

Farr wants to suck off your data... it's disgustin, shouldn't aut-a be allowed gov'ner...

BT to rent cheaper FTTP lines to ISPs - if they stump up £1k a go



"Whereabouts in the UK is Google rolling out FTTP?"

I wasn't implying or suggesting that Google were rolling out FTTP in the UK. I even gave the price in dollars.

What I was wondering was (ignoring the whys are wherefores of the asynchronous nature of BTs fibre offering), surely BT with the resources available to them (including government subsidies) could offer FTTP at a level your average consumer could afford.

Can BT never make enough money back from long terms rentals to offer the install as a loss leader? Or are they simply not allowed due to regulation?


So are google losing money on their fibre project (presumably to gain from advertising later on) when they can wave the install fee of $300?

Then again BT have never really done stuff cheap. I remember having to pay to get ADSL provisioned when it was all shiny and new. I'm sure FTTP will get cheaper in the UK at some point.

The other thing I can't understand is why limit the uploads (I know, I know, the cost of infrastructure, backbone and peering etc etc), but I can't help think if Google can do it when why not BT...

Adobe demands 7,000 years a day from humankind



TomTom for Android with hands-free kit review


Re: Don't touch!

So if the DFT are wrong about not physically interacting with a 'device' (assuming it is fixed to the vehicle), and plod can slap your wrists for using a fixed device if he or she thinks you were distracted... how are us plebs meant to toe the line? Oh wait were not are we, we are just there to be fucked about at the whim of those who wield power.

Never-mind, ignore me, nothing to see here...


Re: Don't touch!

The DFT say "A driver may use a smartphone if it used as a Satnav device, that is to say programmed before the journey begins and untouched until the driver has parked safely. However a smartphone must not be used, either as a phone, or a satnav device, if the driver will at some point hold or physically interact with it whilst driving. "


Don't touch!

Given the law regarding mobile phone use whilst driving, you would not be able to interact with the device whilst driving (i.e. dismissing reroute notifications and the like). You can legally do that on a sat nav device as they are not covered by the 'mobile phone' laws, but not a smart phone acting as a sat nav. This was the advice from DFT as of November this year when the app was launched.

So do any of the hands free kits allow you to interact with the app (i.e. dismissing prompts) using hardware buttons remote from the phone?

Home Sec: Let us have Snoop Charter or PEOPLE WILL DIE


Re: And for all of you playing buzzword bingo


Smear campaign


Mashing the screen makes me want to kill...

I hate it when you are showing someone something on your computer and they then proceed to mash their fingers into your perfectly clean (non touch) screen so they can point something out. They then proceed to drag their finger around the screen for no apparent reason while wittering on about whatever it was that has, by that point, left my mind as I am so enraged by their screen sullying antics, that I want to break their greasy fingers.

I've even had people dragging biros around the screen writing side down, apologizing for the ink marks, yet still continuing to use the pen in the same fucking way!

If you really really have to touch a non touch screen, all you have to do is turn your hand over and touch the screen with the tip of your finger nail... almost never leaves marks.

Ofcom: White Space. We're bloody serious this time. ONE YEAR


Re: Used for anything?

I wasn't suggesting that STBs or the like report anything - they are listening on well defined channels. I was talking about the white space devices themselves reporting amongst themselves what they can each hear there by extending their listening range and, to some extent, mitigating the hidden transmitter problem.

There is certainly a case to be made for testing the viability of a white space devices antenna(s) ability to pick up polarized weak signals from distant transmitters. I would also be interested to see how a DVB STB copes with white space devices active locally during a channel scan. I expect it would be pretty much as it did with the analogue channels - ignore them.

Transmit power could be varied to suit the conditions. Transmit power would also depend on the desired goal. I would think any high powered application would be a better candidate for a look-up table as the overall cost would be higher and the cost of implementing internet access would be negligible for such a system. If cost isn't an over riding factor then both approaches could be used with that device adding what it can hear to the look-up.

The 'unused' spaces are those not used locally. They are in use somewhere else. That doesn't mean they can't be used at a lower power in the places where they aren't already.


Re: Used for anything?

I understand the hidden transmitter problem. It could be somewhat mitigated by having all devices communicating locally in their chosen white space, report any signals they can hear.


Used for anything?

So if the white space can be used for anything, then why the assumption that your application will have an internet connection?

The suggestion that the devices check locally for transmissions seems sensible.

Another not very long period of time, another GiffGaff collapse


Re: Not completely diconnected...

^ Not completely Disconnected even...


Not completely diconnected...

Data is still working so voip calls are still possible...

Cash-strapped Comet sheds ANOTHER 735 staff


Re: What did they expect? - IRL show room for on-line shops

Perhaps they should have just started referring their customers to Amazon et al, with affiliate links... at least that way they would have made some money.

Cashless Comet to close 41 stores, axe 500 jobs


Discounts? What discounts?

"more aggressive discounts will be applied to the other remaining 195 outlets"

I popped in to the local store to see what bargains were to be had at this 'closing down sale'.

I had a look at camcorders and of the few I price checked, they could all be bought cheaper (by £20-30) from Amazon... and that was in their idea of a 'closing down sale'!

'Mount Doom' rumbling ominously


Re: A long way to go

You can find lots of scenery in and around the UK that is very similar to NZ. But it is only bits here and there, scattered to the four corners of the UK. The scenery in NZ is astonishing in variety and scale and the frequency at which it changes (when driving around).

It is indeed a long way to go, but personal comfort and green issues aside, it is well worth the effort.

20 years of GSM digital mobile phones



Aw I miss the T36 - was a great little phone that was!

Volkswagen Beetle car review


Why the hate for the last version?

My first car was the 1970 1200 Beetle. I still have it and thanks to lowered suspension and wider alloys, is as much fun to drive as a go-kart. (I would also add that it is about as much fun to drive in winter as a go-kart due to the feeble heating - I blame the after market heat exchangers - when it was all original VW parts the heating vent would be hot enough to burn my foot!).

Mrs Arrrggghh-otron bought a 'new' beetle 12 years ago, we still have it, and I have to say that it has been great as a daily driver (it too has uprated suspension as the original was a bit sloppy). I still don't like the look of the arse end and the head room in the back is awful, but those are my only complaints, neither of which really affect me.

I do like the look of the new new beetle in profile, looks much more like the trusty 1200 but the arse end is still a bit weird in these photos - anyone else see the resemblance to a Volvo?

I reserve judgement until I see one in the flesh.

Microsoft patents spy-TV to check you've paid for content


Re: Err

I'll be the one buying shares in Insulation Tape PLC...

Theresa May DDoS case: Man cuffed by eCops


Cybercrime IS serious!

Stop laughing at the back...

I fail to see how DDoS'ing Mays website is a serious crime. Maybe inconveniencing her constituents might be considered annoying. Surely a slap on the wrist?

However I am wondering if I should start reporting the 'attacks' I see on my servers, 30 to 40 per day per server. I'm sure the ePolice would be very grateful.... perhaps I could forward the fail2ban alerts directly to them!