* Posts by G.Y.

373 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Dec 2011


US Trademark Office still wants to keep faxes, but is willing to try this cloud thing


not quite simultaneous

On fancy fax machines, the fax goes into a disk/SSD buffer, gets printed some time later (a long time if out of papers)

PEBCAK problem transformed young techie into grizzled cynical sysadmin


Re: Plausible...

see http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/logisticsResearch/ALWAC_III_Brochure_1955.pdf


optimization Re: Plausible...

"optimization" on these machines was a matter of putting the next instruction on the drum memory in the right sector; got you from 120IPS to 1KIPS. See http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/logisticsResearch/ALWAC_III_Brochure_1955.pdf


Re: Plausible...

I cut my teeth on a Wegematic (= ALWAC+-+-), q.v.


Re: Plausible...

The faster the chip, the slower the computer gets!

UK admits 'spy clause' can't be used for scanning encrypted chat – it's not 'feasible'


Re: When it becomes possible

I believe China makes it illegal to reincarnate without party permission; ask the Dalai Lama

Windows screensaver left broadcast techie all at sea


Re: "Happily, we never heard a word about it from anyone,"

Way back, my monthly summary said "X had to stop work on Y (which is on the critical path to Z) and start masturbating Z". Report went up the channel, no echo

A few months later, I wrote "so the ayatollahs of X have shown us our un-islamic ways". My boss got a messages to get me to control my language. I asked about ayatollahs being non-Ok when the M-word was OK. Management hd someone dig up the monthly reports -- which were supposedly read carefully, all the way up the management chain.

(this involved 2 sites, separated by 10 time-zones. My immediate boss did not have English as mother tongue -- and they don't teach such words in school)

Pack of GM Cruise robo-taxis freeze, snarl up Friday night traffic amid festival crowds



I just download offline maps to google maps

The price of freedom turned out to be an afternoon of tech panic


flunk Re: Spreadsheet imports

Did you also add a pure-flunk student?

Lock-in to legacy code is a thing. Being locked in by legacy code is another thing entirely


Re: I've been locked out ...

At one place, the blocked all exits except one. I asked people whether they liked to catch fire; was told "this is temporary"; said "OK, I'll tell the fire not to come"

How to get a computer get stuck in a lift? Ask an 'illegal engineer'


rope Re: Not a lift but…..

Hebrew U CS got a PFDP11/55 delivered. It came Friday afternoon to TLV, and nobody wanted to risk it vanishing into customs' bottomless pit; so to Jerusalem it went.

No U staff around; so we tied the half-ton box to the floor upstairs (place looked like a castle gate), drove the truck forward, stopped teh box's swing by a table (which duly splintered), pushed it to a corner, left the rest for Sunday morning.

Orkney islands look to drones to streamline mail deliveries


risks Re: Yeah, bad weather is a problem

losing a drone is not as bad as wrecking a ferry (with people on it). A bigger risk %age can be taken

NASA mistakenly severs communication to Voyager 2


Unix Re: Off topic

Unix was born on tty33s , which is why commands are so short

Network died, hard, during company Christmas party, leaving lone techie to fix it


Intel once "revamped" the network during the PST night -- leaving the network utterly broken in Israel, midway through the workday. I found out the guy's home #, and he got a 2AM 'phone call.

We were told never to do it again; I expressed a pious wish he should get his balls "revamped" off.

Bizarre backup taught techie to dumb things down for the boss


hebrew Re: All together now

Some chapters in the bible are in (Hebrew) alphabetical order

The number’s up for 999. And 911. And 000. And 111


band-aid fix:

move 10 feet, get another what3words code. It's enough for 1 to be correct

If paranoid, do it again

Security? Working servers? Who needs those when you can have a shiny floor?


Re: Clean keyboards

Did he smoke?

Virgin Galactic flies final test before opening for business


not the only game; Re: A fad if they don't rethink

see https://incredible-adventures.com/space_planes.html

Rigorous dev courageously lied about exec's NSFW printouts – and survived long enough to quit with dignity


Re: Somewhat similar situation?

" IT sees EVERYTHING." -- ask that junior air national guard guy who posted interesting stuff on an open group

BOFH: Ah. Company-branded merch. So much better than a bonus


Re: reading without comprehension

This was in Israel, and the secretary came from the Jewish community in Istanbul


Re: reading without comprehension

That secretary spoke Greek (&perhaps Turkish too) growing up in Istanbul.


reading without comprehension

There was an ad in Greek in a computer magazine. I asked the group secretary (born Istanbul) what it said -- but she left Turkey at age 5+-, never learnt to READ Greek.

I have the Greek alphabet, and no more; I read it to her, she told me what it said.

So I had reading without comprehension, she had comprehension without reading (in Greek, that is -- we are both quite literate in general)


not always Re: When do people understand that cash rules?

At Microsoft, they gave out patent plaques. Usually in the mail, but when one got presented at a group meeting, I saw a senior mathematician's eyes pop out -- she just plain wanted one!

My rule: "with my name on it, it's a Victoria cross. With no name, it's a piece of cheap plastic"

Is there anything tape can’t fix? This techie used it to defeat the Sun


Re: I need my local printer

What is the Sgt. Schulz way out?

Of course Russia's ex-space boss doubts US set foot on the Moon



Q: 'How did NASA do what they did in the 60s what they cannot do now?'

A: less bureaucracy!

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


Re: Actual black hat baddie

Is your name Johnny Tables?

RIP Gordon Moore: Intel co-founder dies, aged 94



In 1996, the microprocessor forum gave out binders with chips in the cover https://www.computerhistory.org/revolution/digital-logic/12/330/1580 .

If they made that binder with 2023 technology, it would shrink to a SMALL postage stamp -- and the chips would become almost invisible

Maybe the USPS would make such a stamp ...

French parliament says oui to AI surveillance for 2024 Paris Olympics


Re: The Olympics have always been a political joke and a waste of time

The LA Olympics made a profit

Techie fired for inventing an acronym – and accidentally applying it to the boss



I have seen BROKEN euphemised to "your Kodak Ektaprint copier-duplicator is presently being service-adjusted"

Techie wiped a server, nobody noticed, so a customer kept paying for six months



That is how Windows manages its pseudo-LRU paging: declare a page not to exist; if page-fault, declare it to exist, and give it an LRU date-stamp

Pentagon whistleblower Ellsberg given months to live


perhaps more important

Ellsberg thinks his nuclear-war stuff could be more important than the pentagon papers. See his book "The doomsday machine" https://www.amazon.com/Doomsday-Machine-Confessions-Nuclear-Planner/dp/1608196704

He hid the files under a landfill -- and then a hurricane hit it. Took a generation of FOIA requests to reconstruct.

Tech demo takes brain scan, creates a picture of what you're looking at


close eyes Re: From the article

I fixed the claustrophobia issue by shutting my eyes -- and the technician thought I was asleep! Looks like some people can sleep there.

US cybersecurity chief: Software makers shouldn't lawyer their way out of security responsibilities


An old idea https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2011/09/an_interesting.html looks good to me (I wish it were mine, but ....)

(original text: https://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=2030258 )

If you have a fan, and want this company to stay in business, bring it to IT now


humidity Re: air CON

At one place, there were always too hot/too cold complaints; the staff ran around with a thermometer -- but never measured humidity.

By the way, one employee cycled to work, hung her wet sweatshirt out to dry -- and 9+ hours later it was still wet.

I suggested the thermometer be replaced by an astrology book -- no less accurate, and more interesting.

Learn the art of malicious compliance: doing exactly what you were asked, even when it's wrong


!Re: Steves Failure

old rule: There's no "why" in the army!

Apple complains UK watchdog wants to make iOS a 'clone' of Android


You could ALWAYS download the browser of your choice & install it on windows; I had 3-5 browsers ready to go all my time 1989-20165 at Microsoft (and later too)

Eager young tearaway almost ruined Christmas with printer paper



When IBM tried their PC on a test audience, instructions said "take the diskette out of the envelope". Some of them took the round thing out of the square thing.

The instructions got rewritten

China reportedly producing quantum computers – good luck observing one


Mandarin Re: Excerpt from the User's Guide

I suspect the documentation in Mandarin is better

New IT boss decided to 'audit everything you guys are doing wrong'. Which went wrong


They grabbed the wrong man for the panic;

should have got hold of the contractor who made the mess.

In a previous job, a guy at the US end "revamped" the network, causing the network at the west-Asia end to crap out, stop work when we came in to work (10 times zones away). I found out his home 'phone #, and he got a call at (his) 2AM.

I also expressed a pious wish his balls would be "revamped" off.

SpaceX tells astronomers: Fine, we'll try to stop Starlink spoiling stargazing sessions


other uses




When they added electric wires to the vicinity, Frank Lloyd Wright protested all the way to FDR, griping the electric poles spoilt his view

Southwest Airlines blames IT breakdown for stranding holiday travelers


zynep tufecki

wrote a NYT op-ed on this; seems to be a lot of technical debt -- the staff even mentioned it during contract negotiations


White dwarf study suggests planets are as old as their stars


Re: Heavy elements

"metal", not "heavy metal", e.g.oxygen

Russia-based Pushwoosh tricks US Army and others into running its code – for a while


"Timeo danaos

et dona ferentes"

RIP: Kathleen Booth, the inventor of assembly language


browser warning

clicking on the 1947 .PDF triggers a browser warning

To make this computer work, users had to press a button. Why didn't it work? Guess


Re: Manual is optional,

My son once brought a proverb to kindergarten: "I heard and I forgot. I saw and I remembered, I did and I understood"

Loathsome eighties ladder-climber levelled by a custom DOS prompt



I once had 4 hours/week on a DEC PDP11. RT11 had no concept of directories, and no partial wildcards. To know what my files were, I gave them my initials as extension (you could wildcard the name, specify extension -- that's RADIX50 for you ...), and people were wondering what new filetype this was.

BOFH: The Boss has a new watch – move readiness to DEFCON 2


traffic light Re: Problems in search of solutions

At one place, they set up a light sign "system up/system down" -- bur when the system was down they were busy, and had no time to flip the sign ...

Utility security is so bad, US DoE offers rate cuts to improve it


POTS Re: We do security by obscurity in the US

POTS is way more secure than a lot of internet stuff, esp. if you take care to dial back (preferably from another 'phone)

No, working in IT does not mean you can fix anything with a soldering iron


purchasing Re: Customer pushback

At one university, we repaired a cable for a year+-, while the purchasing bureaucracy did its thing