* Posts by ChrisBedford

240 posts • joined 27 Feb 2012


CompSci student bitten by fox after feeding it McNuggets



*WE* computer folks are supposed to be smart enough to know how to use English, too, right?

Smart fridges are cool, but after a few short years you could be stuck with a big frosty brick in the kitchen


If you spend *THREE THOUSAND POUNDS* on a fridge and it goes "out of support" you are getting what you deserve.

'Non-commercial use only'? Oopsie. You can't get much more commercial than a huge digital billboard over Piccadilly


Re: Free for non-commercial use?

No - you are confused, based on a single incident where you got caught trying to circumvent their licencing. If a machine only ever *receives* connections it can run under a non-commercial licence forever.

*ONLY* the computer that you use *to remote control other computers* requires the commercial licence.

Also, and I'm not saying this is a solution, only that the serialisation is not bullet-proof, the TeamViewer ID doesn't survive an OS reinstall. And sometimes it doesn't even survive a reboot (I have one machine in my network that picks one of two different IDs on startup, and I've seen it before on a client machine. No reason I can find).


Can't believe no-one has pointed this out. Under TeamViewer's licencing model, it's perfectly fine to have Personal/Non-commercial selected on the client-side computer. In fact it's what they tell you to do. It's the machine that you use to access the clients that has to have a business licence.

And incidentally, TeamViewer monitors your usage (connection is managed via their servers, remember) so if you don't can a commercial licence and you remote control too many client PCs (no idea what their definition of 'too many' is) they start cutting you off. At first it's for a minute at a time, then they allow you to reconnect for five minutes and cut you off again, but if you persist the breaks get longer and the intervals shorter until you can't get any work done at all.


Re: Free for non-commercial use?

RDP is an option as you described but "far more secure"?? What are you smoking?? Teamviewer's encryption is as good as your password, and you can make that as complex as you like, while RDP requires, as you pointed out, opening and forwarding ports on your router (not great for security).

Also if you want to have access to more than a handful of machines inside a router (like a small business, for example) you have to (a) use fixed IP addresses (b) set up different ports for each PC, which IIRC involves registry editing on the client side and some really tedious messing about on your own; AND (c) most user-grade routers only allow for a limited number of port forward rules. Sooo... Teamviewer wins hands down. Oh and also (d) RDP is not implemented on Windows Home, and (e) when you connect to the PC the user's screen goes blank so you can't use it as a remote coaching or teaching tool, only to do things *for* the user.

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


Yeahhhh... cute story

...but I wonder if it really happened. Sounds like one of those "I wish it had happened this way" anecdotes that turns out w-a-a-a-a-y too well to be real.

Planet Computers has really let things slide: Firm's third real-keyboard gizmo boasts 5G, Android 10, Linux support


A physical keyboard? You've got to be f*(^%in kidding

What a waste of hardware resources, time, money, and god knows what else, to say nothing of the inflexibility of fixed hardware and requiring hundreds of regionalised variants. I'm a "boomer" and even though this looks like it's aimed at the conservative "older" market I think it's stoopid.

Don't see it becoming a best-seller, somehow.

Remember that clinical trial, promoted by President Trump, of a possible COVID-19 cure? So, so, so many questions...


Re: What utter fake news nonsense, you need to do MUCH better.....

Naah. What you are disappointed about is that Trump's characteristic stupidity and style of rhetoric were even quoted at all.


One hopes it wasn't the scientist who wrote that, but the reporter quoting a verbal statement.

Oh but wait, reporters are supposed to be good at words. Ummm.


It's not LOW and behold, people

Lo, an archaic form of "look". Behold, ditto of "see".

Look and see. "Low" means something else, doesn't it?

Forget about those pesky closures, Windows 10 has an important message for you


Re: "not giving Windows 10 enough headroom"

how is this going to work well on a system that's in a kiosk?


You have conveniently ignored the previous line, "Windows deletes old versions 30 days after the update".

So no, not "crickets". This is a classic example of Linux / Apple fanboi blind Windows-bashing when it's not justified. If the computer had been set up properly in the first place, this wouldn't have happened - so don't blame MS for this. Heaven knows, there are plenty perfectly valid criticisms - this just doesn't look like one of them.


Re: "not giving Windows 10 enough headroom"

how is this going to work well on a system that's in a kiosk?


Actually, no, it's going to work just fine, as long as you observe all the normal procedures for running a PC that is accessed by every Tom, Dick, and Harry.

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


Re: The cleaner did it.

hospital ward in the UK had a much higher than average rate of patients failing to respond

Yeah I'm pretty sure this is an urban legend. I read a newspaper report about this (allegedly) happening in a hospital in Johannesburg, SA, but wasn't able to ever trace it anywhere. Doubt it ever happened.

Come to Five Guys, where the software is as fresh as the burgers... or maybe not


Naturally, I would not suggest that The Register is alone capable of churning a 337-word report on nothing of any value or interest at all.

LibreOffice 6.4 nearly done as open-source office software project prepares for 10th anniversary


Re: I think you underestimate it...

"Why don't just buy a copy of Office 2013/2016/2019?"

Ummm because $$$

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


It was my fault - I took the blame...

I was a lowly "IT Co-ordinator" (effectively just the guy the operators reported to), having spent a couple of years as operator myself. So, when I was elevated to the position, we got a new trainee operator who had zero knowledge of minicomputers or anything much beyond basic DOS commands (DOS 2.1, probably, in those days). I worked a week or two on shift with him and then left him alone to run the overnight batches, which consisted of (1) run backups (2) run day-end (3) print the invoices, then take them downstairs to separate and burst, ready for the day staff to stuff into envelopes.

All appeared to go well, at first. Then after his 3rd or 4th solo run, the sales people came to me about halfway through the morning to query why there were duplicate invoices (if memory serves, one duplicate of each invoice went to them for checking - turns out with good reason). Oh sh!t - dear Nicholas (his real name, why not, it was a long time ago) had seen me "BREAK" and "ABORT" running jobs, and decided to do the same with the day-end batch (a couple of times) because... who knows why, it probably seemed like a legit reason at the time. Entirely my fault for not explaining when I did it that some jobs can be re-run from scratch, others not so much.

We restored the backups and I think that instead of re-running the batch which would have taken the best part of the rest of the day we left it for a 'double day' run that night. Leaving the staff to re-capture the morning's sales orders and the mail room guys to stuff a double batch of envelopes the next day, but more importantly the company head office had to restore their backups from last night and re-run *their* day-end because our system had of course uploaded a munged version which they then processed. I didn't get much of a bonus that year.

A stranger's TV went on spending spree with my Amazon account – and web giant did nothing about it for months


All those precautions and 'they' left out the most obvious one

Why didn't 'they' (let's face it, *he*) delete the credit card from 'their' Amazon account? That would have been my *first* action, forget changing all those passwords.

Each time I've used the 'purchase with one click' option on Amazon I've mentally cringed at the potential loophole there. But let's face it, it's really convenient, innit...

Right-click opens up terrifying vistas of reality and Windows 95 user's frightful position therein


2019, and I still have plenty of 'those' users

"Don't know anything about computers"

Those announcing this are really telling you they aren't prepared to put in the mental effort required to learn and want spoonfeeding. I'm normally quite patient, and sometimes those who learn just a little but are disproportionately confident, make a bigger mess - but the pride when they tell you this can really get up my nose...

"Didn't know you could right-click" (repeatedly, *EVERY* *SINGLE* *TIME* I mention it)

Aaaarrrghhhhh... [repeatedly bashes head against wall]


Re: Taking the Trash

The best defense against pushbikes on pavements, is a deft jab with a walking cane/cross country ski stick, at the front wheel.

Thanks. Thanks very much. Thus forcing us to ride in the traffic, where motorists have an even more homicidal approach to us.

Try to appreciate the bloke on the bike is just trying to stay alive and relatively uninjured, and (with a bit of luck) not too out of pocket for bicycle repairs. Is that too much to ask?

Yahoo! customers! wake! up! to! borked! email! (Yes! people! still! actually! use! it!)


Re: Guilty Secret

No reason to label this "guilty". El Reg has built-in snark that causes automatically derogatory references to Yahoo (plus the *very* well-worn use of italic exclamations in any header that includes the Yahoo name). It doesn't mean it's justified though.

Call Windows 10 anything you like – Microsoft seems to


I've come to expect a certain amount of snark from El Reg, but this...

This kinda tears the ring out of it, just a bit, dontcha think? A lot of mileage from very little material, is what this article is.

It's not like Apple is any better at avoiding confusion, either, now is it? Version numbers, animals and place names, wines - or not, who knows - and keys that are labelled one thing and called something else...

It will never be safe to turn off your computer: Prankster harnesses the power of Windows 95 to torment fellow students


Re: BOFH potential for sure

How would you like it if your doctor hilariously edited your test results with a few Theme Hospital style diseases?

Next sentence: "Get off my lawn."


Re: BOFH potential for sure

I hate it when people think that they have the right to go and wreak havoc on someone else's computer and find that funny.

Try to remember (a) what it was like when you were young, as opposed to a grumpy old man, and (b) what the computing environment was like back when Win 95 was a thing - specifically, nowhere near as mission-critical as it is today.

I'll warrant 95 (yeah, 95) % of El Reg readers learned to be inquisitive about the workings of computers by doing (or repairing!) stuff like this.

Security? We've heard of it! But why be a party pooper when there's printing to be done


Re: What were they doing with an expensive photo capable printer in 1989?

Most copiers do 20-30k sheets per cartridge

Love to know what copiers you are talking about. I've worked with lasers from SOHO to huge corporate, since the very first LaserJet - HP, both KMs, Canon, Gestetner, and others I've forgotten about, and never seen a machine that got more than 2,000 pages from a cartridge.

Outraged Virgin slaps IP trolls over dirty movie download data demands


Re: Ben Dover?

The *Person* Ben Dover is an English (well, British, anyway) porn producer of many years' standing.

LMGTFY: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Dover

Heh... quote from above article: "In 2012, Honey was nominated by the Internet Service Providers Association as an Internet Villain for his involvement with his company Golden Eye (International) in speculative invoicing".

Rise of the Machines hair-raiser: The day IBM's Dot Matrix turned


No ties in the workshop is the most BASIC of safety precautions

Any school - or any other place with a machine tool shop - should have a sign at the door and several more inside. Any shop supervisor or teacher who doesn't already implement this most obvious rule isn't worth tuppence.

Common sense is obviously one of the least common traits out there.

I don't have to save my work, it's in The Cloud. But Microsoft really must fix this files issue


Re: A very traditional story @Nick Kew

I have recovered several that have been through a washing machine. Has anyone here not dealt with coffee or tea immersion? I even managed to have one of my own come into several pieces but still worked long enough to get stuff off.

Sadly the same can not be said of superglue exposure.

Back when USB sticks were new (and small! 32 MB was hugely expensive and as big as they got!) I managed to break one because, well, it was physically huge and stuck out so far that... yeah, so anyway the case popped apart but it still worked just fine.

After a few days of struggling I got tired of putting the thing back together only to have it fall to pieces again some minutes later, so I applied one or two drops of Alpha Cyanoacrylate and it promptly stopped working altogether. Stayed in one piece beautifully though.

There's a reason why my cat doesn't need two-factor authentication


Re: figuring out

The next stage will be an unmanned installation, then they'll be no one for the confused, the desperate and the annoyed to go and seek advice, reassurance or vent on. Just a phone number backed by another machine.

Not "will be". Has already become.

Often the phone call doesn't go through, because, you know, phones.

What a time to be alive.

Never let something so flimsy as a locked door to the computer room stand in the way of an auditor on the warpath


Apartheid legacy

This happened in the nineties, right? When apartheid was still a thing, and well, TBH it still is, in terms of the attitude of many security guards.

Black people in SA (security guards here are 99.9% black) had been told for generations - well, hundreds of years, if you analyse it - that white people were superior to them. So even when that sort of discrimination was being dialled back, and Security was told that they have a position of (nominal) jurisdiction over *everyone* in certain areas, they would and often still do kowtow to anyone with a white skin, or indeed with an air of authority. So the response that they "thought the auditors were just people who had lost their ID tags" is 100% in line with a lifetime of experience here.

And yes, security guards tend to be lazy. You would be too on a 72-hour working week (not kidding. Twelve hours a day, 6 days a week) at minimum wage. They are largely ornamental.

Hello, tech support? Yes, I've run out of desk... Yes, DESK... space


Re: Set up Guide?

How many of us as kits looked under the hood (bonnet to you Brits) of dad's car and came to the conclusion that the wiring was a mess[...\]

How many of us kids looked under the cover of Dad's radio and did the same, including tightening all the "loose screws"... resulting in the entire tuning and alignment procedure having to be done from scratch?

(For those brought up on digital radios, the superhet receivers of 40-50 years ago had several mini coils with ferrite "slug" cores that had to be fine-tuned by a guy with special tools and instruments... a tedious process that as I recall required quite a lot of iteration to get the tuning circuits properly calibrated and receiving clearly while discriminating between nearby stations).

Are you sure you've got a floppy disk stuck in the drive? Or is it 100 lodged in the chassis?


They *still* call them "stiffies"

Despite not having seen one in a computer for a decade or more, I still hear people refer to stiffies - I even had a tech support person argue with me once that it *wasn't* a floppy, it was a *stiffy*. When I asked him to show me where in the BIOS setup he configured it, there was a moment of confused silence. "Uhh... but we've always called them stiffies". Yeah, OK, but don't correct me when I tell you it's a 3.5" floppy.

Dead LAN's hand: IT staff 'locked out' of data center's core switch after the only bloke who could log into it dies


Re: There's help out there ...

Yeah, but given the predominant mentality out there, the chances are good that someone even more malicious gets in first and without backing it up screws the entire config so nothing works.

Only plebs use Office 2019 over Office 365, says Microsoft's weird new ad campaign


Re: Torn to Ribbons...

It would be most instructive to pit its productivity against a prior version with a menu rather than a ribbon - d

OK sure, let's all go back to 2003


Unfair comparison

Office Home & Student does not include Outlook. A fairer comparison of prices would be Home & Business, which works out at about 3.5 years instead of the less than 2 years of H&S.

But all comparisons are only valid if you only have one computer. O365 can be installed on up to five machines in the same household (as well as iPads and phones and Android devices) making it far and away the cheaper option.

Excuse me, sir. You can't store your things there. Those 7 gigabytes are reserved for Windows 10


With the minimum size hard drive installed in PCs today at 500 GB, if you are within 7 GB of your capacity you have more problems than Microsoft's usage of the disk.

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace


Re: Won't someone think of the great, great, great grandchildren.

Rampant capitalism? [...unintelligible rant with lots of numbers...] ecoloon [...more ranting...]

OK I think I geddit, you're pro something capitalism related. But try to remember the UK is but a small part of the world economy the largest part of which - the US - is without any shadow of a doubt rampantly capitalist, has been for a long time, and shows no signs of slowing that particular train any time soon. And it's also obvious there is more broken in their society and economy than there is that works, so maybe it's not completely incorrect to say there's a real possibility that dealing with the aftermath of that could be a much higher priority than the incredibly remote chance of having to deal with aliens who take offence at a burst of laser light aimed at taking down a drone.

Which, is, after all, the topic.

However your apopletic essay could be said to be somewhat *off* topic :D

Sacked NCC Group grad trainee emailed 300 coworkers about Kali Linux VM 'playing up'

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Zip it! 3 more reasons to be glad you didn't jump on Windows 10 1809


Re: Regressions

I haven't [...] worked with Windows for decades

- and yet you are prepared to write a 275-word treatise on how bad it was back in the day.

Windows is a huge, complex, system

Yes it is

[...]based on an immense, mostly undocumented database

Oh no it's not. Unless you work at Microsoft, how can you possibly make such a wild assertion?

Windows has been completely re-written (twice, AFAIK) since 3.11. Yes by that time it was patches on top of patches and there were many secret features but since then the use of undocumented calls has been fairly ruthlessly eliminated.

More importantly, "undocumented" in your post appears to refer to *internally* but that is not possible - a development environment the size of Windows' could not get anything out the door without internal documentation.


What does Windows 10 tell us about the organisation at Microsoft?

It tells us they aren't too picky about minor details. All the bugs reported in this article are of such an arcane and minor nature that they are really really minor. Use 7-zip which is much faster and better at handling archives than Windows. And those 23 people worldwide using those characters in those fonts... well, ffs substitute another character or get a life.

OK it's not good that Redmond didn't pick them up earlier, and it's worse that they haven't fixed what sound like trivial problems, and it's terrible that a company the size of Microsoft who write literally reams of detailed legal conditions into every software release could overlook details like this, but it's really hard to find sympathy for anyone moaning about these nit-picks.

Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID


Re: Silly first name.

And then there are the Americans who think Caitlin is pronounced Kate Lynn

It is. It's pronounced any way you like. It's pure snobbery to judge people (Americans, or others) whose culture doesn't include speaking Gaelic for not pronouncing Gaelic names "correctly". Just get over it.

British Airways' latest Total Inability To Support Upwardness of Planes* caused by Amadeus system outage


This Is The Silliest Ugly Pnemonic

...that I've ever seen retrofitted to a figure of speech...


It's true – it really is grim up north, thanks to Virgin Media. ISP fined for Carlisle cable chaos


I don't care how you try and swing it, is not right.

You are 100% wrong, mate. It is *TOTALLY* the responsibility of the company hiring the subbie. That has been a legal principle for hundreds of years and it remains so because that *IS* right and just. So swing it or not, you are totally in the minority in believing VM have no responsibility for the mess.

The other problem here is that, because they use multiple contract companies throughout the country they are all smaller companies who will just get any unqualified muppet to work for them.

Again, in this example, VM's problem. Not directly, but they have to keep supervision on every job and make sure any deviations are jumped on, right away, before it comes to litigation. Which they clearly didn't do in this case.

You wouldn't blame Ford or BMW if a mechanic did a piss poor job of replacing your breaks would you?

Abso bloody lutely I would. Seriously, if you took your BMW to a BMW agent and some half-arsed mechanic did a botched job, and you were injured as a result, do you honestly not believe BMW is not responsible?

If not you are a dream customer, letting companies get away with any damn thing they please.

And its BRAKES, not breaks.


Re: @damien c

get a grip on your apostrophes, man

More than a couple "WTF??" commas in there too.

Windows 10 April 2018 Update lands today... ish


Re: "Peer-to-peer patch distribution over the LAN"

There's nothing Redmond won't do to help hackers take over its OS.

Now waiting for news that blackhats have found a 0-day and are plonking malware into the update system that gets distributed far and wide and auto-installed, courtesy of Microsoft's "bandwidth saving" measures.

(1) Yes, and Linux is the saviour of the world and I have this lovely little bridge in Brooklyn I'm sure you'd be interested in

(2) Conspiracy theory, anyone?

For Pete's sake, don't be such a drama queen. I've worked extensively on OS X from Leopard to High Sierra, on a dozen different flavours of Linux, and every version of Windows since 3.0 and they *ALL* have issues of one sort or another. There *REALLY, REALLY* is nothing to choose between them for bugs, usability, malware security, or update integrity. They *ALL* have to have updates from time to time.

It's unavoidable that the most popular of them is going to be the target of more malware attacks, and therefore have more patches. So what? It only happens once a month, and then after hours.


Re: Users, start your updates...

to make the OS work as you want it and not as the 'nanny from Redmond' wants you to

...as opposed to the way the nanny from Cupertino wants you to work, of course, which is *S-O-O-O-O-O* much more agreeable and easier?


Re: "Keep clicking, Windows-lovers! It's bound to come along soon."

Or they could be like me. *BOTH* machines I had been running the Tech Preview on died to the point they won't even *power on* anymore. Not sacrificing any more hardware.

Oh, right, hardware failure is *OBVIOUSLY* the fault of the OS, since it happened to both of them. There's *NO SUCH THING* as coincidence, right?


I mean, for real, seriously?

If your computers don't power on, that's a PSU or mobo problem. PLEASE explain how Windows is to blame for either of those. No, go on, I'm dying to hear your rationalisation.


Re: Focus Assist

constant bloody updates. If I wanted to send this much time managing my PC I'd have become a systems administrator.

Stop being so bloody dramatic. If they didn't do updates you'd moan about that instead. "Constant" updates = once a month, BFD, and it happens after hours (or didn't you set your working hours correctly?)


"Bit late to call it April update, no?"

No. It's still April.

Aah but it's the "1803" version. Definitely a bit late for that nomenclature.


Couldn't be something Microsoft is doing to sabotage Windows 7 by any chance? Nah, not our old buddy MS... [and so on, and so on]

Hey buddy, we've all heard the anti-MS / pro Linux rants. B-o-o-o-o-ring. Wind your neck in and put a sock in it.


1. It landed. One of several PCs I was working on last night started downloading it

2. Delivery Optimisation has been around for years. I have no idea how it is being touted as something new.



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