* Posts by Stephen Wilkinson

120 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Jun 2007


City council megaproject mulls ditching Oracle after budget balloons to £131M

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: What would it cost ...

They somehow manage to do the same things all in a slightly different way and would (and do) demand a bespoke customised version of whichever system it is.

Bank's datacenter died after travelling back in time to 1970

Stephen Wilkinson

Did Colin play bass for Bad News?

Korean peninsula space race sees South and North launch tit for tat spy sats

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: US aircraft carriers at Norfolk naval base!

“The forest of Skund was indeed enchanted, which was nothing unusual on the Disc, and was also the only forest in the whole universe to be called -- in the local language -- Your Finger You Fool, which was the literal meaning of the word Skund.

The reason for this is regrettably all too common. When the first explorers from the warm lands around the Circle Sea travelled into the chilly hinterland they filled in the blank spaces on their maps by grabbing the nearest native, pointing at some distant landmark, speaking very clearly in a loud voice, and writing down whatever the bemused man told them. Thus were immortalised in generations of atlases such geographical oddities as Just A Mountain, I Don't Know, What? and, of course, Your Finger You Fool.

Rainclouds clustered around the bald heights of Mt. Oolskunrahod ('Who is this Fool who does Not Know what a Mountain is') and the Luggage settled itself more comfortably under a dripping tree, which tried unsuccessfully to strike up a conversation.”

― Terry Pratchett, The Light Fantastic

Boris Johnson's mad hydrogen for homes bubble bursts

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: Electricity for heat pumps

Devon may not be represented by old Etonians but 6 of the 9 currently sitting MPs are Conservative.

Getting to the bottom of BMW's pay-as-you-toast subscription failure

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: Moving House

I bought a Georgia Satellites live album on Amazon as MP3. Thankfully I downloaded the MP3s because after a couple of years the album has disappeared from Amazon Music.

First of Tesla's 'bulletproof' Cybertrucks clunks off production line

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: VW Beetle

Having both a 1980's Mini and a 2001 MINI, while the Mini is smaller than the MINI and definitely fits into being a really compact car, the original MINI (the reboot) is tiny in comparison to modern cars - and modern MINIs for that matter.

Mark Zuckerberg would kick Elon Musk's ass, experts say

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: "Threads"

My school was one of them. Yes, I still try to block it out!

Euro Parliament green lights its AI safety, privacy law

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: Seems sensible

I used to live in one :(

Nearly 1 in 5 academics admit close encounters of the anomalous kind

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: Cool

The same goes for the photo's of wild big cats in the UK, they always seem to be blurry pictures of a domestic cat!

Support chap put PC into 'drying mode' and users believed it was real

Stephen Wilkinson

When working for a local authority, I accidently knocked on the door of the external auditor's office when trying to locate an office I hadn't been to before.

In revenge, to be honest I think I was the first friendly face he'd seen for a while, I got a twenty minute sales pitch on why I should consider taking up IT auditing!

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

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: Remember

Be prepared for lots of visits from the Onion Fairy - at least I got visits when I read it!

The Stonehenge of PC design, Xerox Alto, appeared 50 years ago this month

Stephen Wilkinson

Thanks for the reminder about Borland Delphi, we used it in the first year of the Software Engineering degree (along with Java) which seems a lifetime ago now.

China's spy balloon barrage earns six of its companies a spot on US entity list

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: 99 Red Balloons

I don't know but Alphaville are big in Japan!

RIP Fred 'Mythical Man-Month' Brooks: IBM guru of software project management

Stephen Wilkinson

I read Software Engineering Management at university and Mythical Man-Month was one of the core project management books so I've read it many times. It was novel in that it was a good read unlike many text books which helped of course.

Just to make myself feel old, my edition was the 20th anniversary edition and that was 26 years ago!

I will raise a glass tonight.

RIP Fred.

Someone has to say it: Voice assistants are not doing it for big tech

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: Sorry - Useless for most people

By 2030 more than 2 billion people will require assistive technology to perform activities of daily living, so not necessarily that small a market.

Firefox 106 will let you type directly into browser PDFs

Stephen Wilkinson

I have to use Adobe Acrobat to make PDFs digitally accessible. I don't think there's really an alternative for that.

Amazon's Roomba acquisition gets caught on FTC's rug

Stephen Wilkinson

if the robot hasn't got stuck under something!

Excel's comedy of errors needs a new script, not new scripting

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: Clueless users

You just need your Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN).

I don't know if the Post Office would get the letter to you though.

White House to tech world: Promise you'll write secure code – or Feds won't use it

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: The first blow has been struck...

We already have a professional body in the UK, the British Computer Society.

AI detects 20,000 hidden taxable swimming pools in France, netting €10m

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: If it steers boots on the ground to double check

District councils will use both purchased aerial photography and the Google satellite photo's to check for unauthorised development.

Report slams UK plan to become 'science superpower' by 2030

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: Pariahs

Dont forget EurIng too, for those engineers out there :)

I paid for it, that makes it mine. Doesn’t it? No – and it never did

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: Physical media

I've had Amazon pull music from my Amazon collection that they added at when I purchased the CD from them.

Thankfully I still have the CD.

DMCA can't be used to sidestep First Amendment, court rules

Stephen Wilkinson

It's not Hipster slang and they didn't coin it.

It was coined in 1947 with regards some outlaw motorcycle clubs that can be distinguished by a "1%" patch worn on the colors. This is said to refer to a comment by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) that 99% of motorcyclists were law-abiding citizens, implying the last one percent were outlaws.

End of the road for biz living off free G Suite legacy edition

Stephen Wilkinson

Don't you have to pay to use LibreOffice commercially? I know the licence fee is small (£25?) but technically it's not free either.

As a non-commercial user of LibreOffice, I really like.

Open-source leaders' reputations as jerks is undeserved

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: Offensive and poorlt thought through

Totally agree, as they say, if you've met one autistic person, you've met one autistic person.

Each individual with ASD is an individual and will have different traits to all others on the spectrum.

Yes, there may be traits which are the same but stereotyping is stereotyping and does anyone who's non-neurotypical a disservice.

In IT, no good deed ever goes unpunished

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: I've met this is in all sorts of projects. Mostly not IT related.

My Manager regularly used to use the ice cube trick to boost the meagre heating in the 1970's concrete monstrosity of a building with single glazed windows that we used to inhabit.

Thank goodness he did.

Predictive Dirty Dozen: What will and won't happen in 2022 (unless it doesn’t/does)

Stephen Wilkinson

Becky Baldwin is an excellent bass player \m/O\m/

£42k for a top-class software engineer? It's no wonder uni research teams can't recruit

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: It's all about the banding

Sadly that doesn't happen in local government.

All specialists working in local government are not well paid regardless of field, not just IT.

UK schools slap a hold on facial scanning of children amid fierce criticism

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: Won’t somebody think of the children!?

I've seen local job roles for IT in schools that require IT Manager/Network Manager levels of experience and knowledge with a salary of under £13k.

I'm amazed that they get any staff at all.

What do you mean you gave the boss THAT version of the report? Oh, ****ing ****balls

Stephen Wilkinson

Finding various interesting routes home even if it took longer to avoid motorways and really busy A roads.

Riding a motorcycle works for me :)

If your head's not in the cloud, you're not in the right place

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: Sounds like a cry for help.

and in 10-15 years time, it will all be brought back in house again under some new funky name!

Thanks, Sir Clive Sinclair, from Reg readers whose careers you created and lives you shaped

Stephen Wilkinson

Thanks Sir Clive, I started with the ZX-81 - even though I defected to the Commodore side afterwards rather than the Spectrum, and used an Acorn Electron to do my O level Computer Studies project - so a career in IT is all thanks to that.

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair: British home computer trailblazer dies aged 81

Stephen Wilkinson

I'm another one that started with a ZX-81 with wobbly RAMPACK before moving to Commodore (VIC-20 followed by C64) and a keyboard that was nice and you could type on (not that I could type but it was a lot better than a button doing whole keywords!).

Even though I defected and was a Commodore fanboi, I have Sir Clive to thank for my interest in computers which led me to my career in IT.

Thank you Sir Clive and may you rest in peace.

We're going deeper underground: New digital project to map UK's sub-surface 'assets'

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: Not all in Blackburn, Lancashire

So one Albert Hall is one quarter of Blackburn, Lancashire?

Stephen Wilkinson

Most councils don't provide pest control any more as it's not a mandatory service so even if they had access, they wouldn't be poisoning the rats.

Why we abandoned open source: LiveCode CEO on retreat despite successful kickstarter

Stephen Wilkinson

We learnt Vienna Development Method (VDM) as a specification language because the lecturer who taught it was one of three experts in it (at the time), published papers etc.

Oh! A surprise tour of the data centre! You shouldn't have. No, you really shouldn't have

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: year 2000

I bet she hasn't!

Hacking the computer with wirewraps and soldering irons: Just fix the issues as they come up, right?

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: Computer O Level

Only a couple of the really amazing kids at school got to play with our RM 380Z of which I was not one - I could only look jealously at them as it looked amazing.

I did get a Computer Studies O Level grade B though so it's not all bad!!!

You MUST present your official ID (but only the one that's really easy to fake)

Stephen Wilkinson

Great column as usual and a RIP to the late great Dusty Hill :(

I no longer have a burning hatred for Jewish people, says Googler now suddenly no longer at Google

Stephen Wilkinson

On the other hand, the original Christianity as practised by Mary the Magdalene, Jesus' wife and leader of the sect after his death (if Simcha Jocobovici's The Lost Gospel is to be believed) would still be the current version.

The Christian church would have been potentially far less misogynist without Paul anyway.

Contract killer: Certified PDFs can be secretly tampered with during the signing process, boffins find

Stephen Wilkinson

Preferably something that produces properly accessible documents

Jackie 'You have no authority here' Weaver calls on the UK to extend Coronavirus Act provisions for online meetings

Stephen Wilkinson

The LGA want this extended too


Listen, son... Monster trucks just aren't cool anymore. Real winners drive Tesla Roadsters

Stephen Wilkinson

How well will they do at the DRC? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjN5K3IYZgz-vCWhI_DD01A

NurseryCam hacked, company shuts down IoT camera service

Stephen Wilkinson

While I have no sympathy whatsoever for the company involved for producing an insecure system, I don't agree with "The person who identified the loophole has so far acted responsibly. He stated he has no intention to use this to do any harm [and] wants to see NurseryCam raise the overall standards of our security measures."

Surely acting responsibly means telling the company, not dumping the data online, poorly redacted or not?

Two wrongs don't make a right: They make a successful project sign-off

Stephen Wilkinson

I was hoping for some Denim and Leather to go with the potatoes!

Master boot vinyl record: It just gives DOS on my IBM PC a warmer, more authentic tone

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: Ah, happy memories...

I seem to remember Computer & Video Games supplying a Thompson Twins game on flexi-disc

Ticketmaster cops £1.25m ICO fine for 2018 Magecart breach, blames someone else and vows to appeal

Stephen Wilkinson

Ought to have the fine doubled for saying they take security very seriously

Data protection scofflaws failed to pay £2m in fines from UK watchdog – and 68% of penalties are still outstanding

Stephen Wilkinson

Re: Send in the Bailiffs

And then their wife, personal other etc. etc. becomes the director and it carries on :(

X.Org is now pretty much an ex-org: Maintainer declares the open-source windowing system largely abandoned

Stephen Wilkinson

I remember writing in X Windows on our Unix workstations at university and also having a version on my Linux install - I think I've still got the CD for that somewhere.

Excel is for amateurs. To properly screw things up, those same amateurs need a copy of Access

Stephen Wilkinson

That's how I read it at first reading too, then realised...