* Posts by ShortLegs

203 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Apr 2012


Linus Torvalds suggests the 80486 architecture belongs in a museum, not the Linux kernel


Re: Genuine question...

Because "run linux on an old 486 as a firewall" kinda died around 2005.

Long after using ipchains as a firewall died. Which was about 1999.


Re: <raised eyebrow>

"You sure about that RAM?"

I'm with you.. PC adverts those days advertised motherboards able to accept 64MB.

Whilst the 486 could address 4GB memory space, the memory controller was external.

In 1995 when Win95 launched, the "average" amount of RAM in a system was 4-8MB.

By 1996, 16MB was serious enthusiast territory.

And lets not forget, that 4MB RAM would cost you about £200 ($530 / £320 Oct 1995)

1GB? That would have cost an awful lot of money. 256 lots of £200.

Even when RAM fell to about £45 / 8MB, that's still £5750 worth of RAM

Loathsome eighties ladder-climber levelled by a custom DOS prompt


No. The 8088 had a 20bit address space, so the greatest number it could access is 1,048,576 (1 MB).

The IBM engineering team used the top 384Kb of memory for system use such as ROM, video, and future expansion memory - the Upper Memory Area. That left 640Kb available as general purpose RAM.

Why 384kb? Once told it was the boundary between 9FFFFh and A000, ie the boundary between 9 and A. No idea if true.


According to Guy Kewneys review, and quoted from C= at the time, it was a preemptive multitasking kernel.

And yes, it was available in 256kb on the original A1000. You just couldn't really do anything with that.. such as loadwb


True multirasking us impossible in less than 4MB

Again Mr Gates. Allegedly.

At a time when the Amiga was doing true pre-emptivemulti-tasking in 512Kb


Re: "Four Yorkshiremen" moment

And thats why Computer & Video Games gave away that highly useful piece of plastic with Issue 2; cunningly disguised as a, erm, something, it was an ancillary to cure the dreaded ZX~81 16k RAMpack wobble of death

What do you mean, you cant remember issue 1? It was only… er 1981

And suddenly i feel very old

Be careful where you install software, and who installs it


Re: Linux Bros'

No names, no comeback

I once worked at *cough*, and they used Windows, Linux, and Apple. IT used Windows, and refused to support the core team who used Linux, Two of the core team used Macs. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was rabid about their pet OS. Me,

I managed to annoy everyone by threatening to put one of each in a pile and set alight to it.

Tavis Ormandy ports WordPerfect for UNIX to Linux


Happy Days

WP5.1 probably the best WP I ever used, including many of the Amiga (true WYSIWYG) word processors... when Amiga WYSIWYG word processors finally became available, about 8 years after the GUI based Amiga launched. Prowrite was good, excellent printer support, but... text mode based. And no preview mode. WP4.2 on the Amiga was frankly beta-ware.

But WP5.1 DOS was awesome. IMHO, nothing on the the PC came close until Word 2 Windows: which imho had all the functionality 95% of word processor users ever needed. AmiPro may have been a contender, it sure looked nice, but crashed an awful lot. I have vague memories of Word Perfect for Windows doing the same, and it took a long time before what was long suspected to be confirmed; MS apps programmers were using secret API calls, and Windows was playing nasty with non-MS apps.

Shame, as WP for Windows may have been a killer app.

Never did get to try WP6.

British intelligence recycles old argument for thwarting strong encryption: Think of the children!


Re: Only the Guilty?

More so as even Swiss~German speakers from the Canton of Sursee cant understand the Swiss~German speakers from the canton of Sempach.

We've got a photocopier and it can copy anything


Recall when colour photocopiers first became commercially available back in the very early 90s, 92/93, at the likes of the CES show.

Cue smarmy sales types proudly boasting how it would copy anything, and everyone producing a fiver. The copies were superb. The only mechanism preventing ‘counterfeiting’? The heavy brass plate on the top front of the copier, stating it were not to be used for copying currency or passports.

BOFH: Where do you think you are going with that toner cartridge?


Re: HP Laserjet 5

My faithful 2100M, bought by the company so I could work from home back in 2000. Retired a couple of years ago in favour of the duplex capabilities and faster network interface of a 2055dn, but nothing wrong with it. It might only be 10BaseT, it might "only" be 8wpm, but its built like a tanks, runs forever, and - and I didn't actually know this - is capable of 1200dpi.

Its retired to the storage loft, in a ventilated bag with silica, but will never, ever be thrown. Its also a stated object in my will to a named beneficiary.

They can prise it out of my dead hands, but never take it away!

Uni team demo algorithm to shield conversations from eavesdropping AI


Pah, in Glasgow we dont need to do owt fancy to defeat AI....


BOFH: The evil guide to upgrading switches


If Aruba are cloud managed... no no no no no

Merakis are cloud managed. That great, until someone manages to "disrupt" the outbound interface. Like, maybe, changing the port from "auto-negotiate" to "1gb". When the other end is a router with an interface that 100mbit.

Because Meraki has not SSH or telnet capability, so even though a seperate network may be unaffected, you cant ssh from another device to the Meraki and undo the well-intended but out-of-scope change.

Europe's largest nuclear plant on fire after Russian attack



To all those poster apparently seeking to minimise the Russian attack on the power station.

Regardless of how large an area it covers, what damage was or was not caused, whether rounds would land in the vicinity of the reactors or the perimeter fence:

This was a clear breach of the Law Of Armed Conflict, which outlaws attacks on such facilities. A breach further compounded by continuing the attack when firefighters were attempting to subdue the fires.

The fact this was a /nuclear/ power station isnt a breach of LOAC - its just an act of pure idiocy.

Not surprisingly, not one mainstream media outlet has mentioned the LOAC breach.

Privacy and computer security are too important to be left to political meddling


@spold "the European view has generally been that Privacy is a basic human right"

Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights provides a right to respect for one's "private and family life, his home and his correspondence",

Thats rather more than a "general view". Its a fundamental right. And yes, despite leaving the EU, it still applies in the UK.

BOFH: What a beautiful classic car. Shame if anything were to happen to it


Re: No repercussions?

Because: revenge. Best served cold, and when least expected.

US Army journal's top paper from 2021 says Taiwan should destroy TSMC if China invades


The PRCs 'desire' to grab Taiwan goes back before Taiwan became an economic success, way before TMSC.

The Chinese view it very differently to us. For them, it is not invasion or [re-] unification, it is pulling an upstat province that illegally left the PRC back into the fold.

Remember Norton 360's bundled cryptominer? Irritated folk realise Ethereum crafter is tricky to delete


Re: Opt-in, my arse

Except for the basic underlying issue

Why the f*** do "I" need an EULA to use the TV I bought and legally own. Its mine. I never bought a licence to use the TV, I bought a TV.

And any EULA would be unenforceable as the EULA was never displayed at purchase. And I doubt no salesperson - ever - bought the existence of an EULA to a customers attention at time of purchase.

Hauliers report problems with post-Brexit customs system but HMRC insists it is 'online and working as planned'


Re: Hmm

"Just because you don't like what Blair and Starmer did, doesn't mean they lack integrity.

Blair made some dreadful mistakes - but don't forget, he couldn't go to war by himself. He had to get it through"

Im sorry, but that man has no integrity at all. A self-centered megalomaniac. Look at his *pre*-election speech when he referred to sending "*his* armies to war". His? They are The Queen's. He then tried to displace the Royal Family and lead the procession of the Queen Mother's funeral!

He eroded - no, assaulted - civil liberties on a huge scale. He refused to denounce the abhorrent treatment of Walter Wolfgang and then trivialised it with "look, you must remember I wasnt there".

When questioned about the loss of civil liberties from the SOC and Anti-Terrorist Acts in 2002, his deflected the question with a comment "if we suffer a terrorist attack, I think people will ask why we didnt have more laws".

13,000 new laws in the space of 7 years. Numerous laws passed when existing laws already defined the offences.

Refused to censor the slimeball who remarked "today is a good day for bad news" on 9/11.

Blatantly lied about immigration - a lie set right in Peter Mandleson's admission in August 2016 that multiculturalism was nothing more than vote-importation.

Blatantly misled Parliament and the British public over WMD and took us into an illegal regime change.

No. Integrity. At. All.

A fifth of England's NHS trusts are mostly paper-based as they grapple with COVID backlog, warn MPs


Re: NHS Efficiency

"(Sorry, me again) There is only one sure way that you can, at the very least, increase some efficiency in the NHS and that requires the full-time services of a regiment of trained snipers.... get rid of the old and demented, the druggies and highly dependant alcoholics etc."

Euthanasia for the old. Why? After a lifetime of work they should be shot?

Define old. You'll change your mind if when you parents hit that age. Or you.

The "etc" Does that include people who require very high dependency requirements, such as the VSI casualties from Iraq and Afghan? Make that suggestion at your nearest barracks or Veterans point. You might find several of those trained snipers taking shots at you.

You cockwomble.

Ceefax replica goes TITSUP* as folk pine for simpler times


Last seen in BAOR during GW1

British Forces Broadcasting Services used Teletext in BAOR.

During GW1, someone asked for a 'message' to be posted asking if any unit had surplus stock of a particular item, in exchange the unit could offer items x, y, z.

Within a few days BFBS had set up "swapshop" pags, units were 'advertising' all their carefully hoarded "spares", often asking for nothing in exchange, whilst others were requesting "spares" of such-and-such.

And it worked. rare-as-rocking-horse-sit items such as AA batteries, right angled torches, and 8" adjustable spanners came pouring out the woodwork, with nary anything being asked for in exchange.

Hugely successful. Too much for its own good, as Army staff officers and MoD bean counters realised that numerous units had a lot of buckshee and 'diffy' items, and before GW1 ended were cracking down on item accounting and buckshee kit.

These days, nary anything buckshee to be found anywhere in the Forces unless you are *very* good friends with the SQMS.

Time to party like it's 2002: Acura and Honda car clocks knocked back 20 years by bug


Actually, were I to own a Honda, what would annoy me is the usual non-apology

"American Honda is aware of a /potential concern/ related to the clock display...,"

A tweeted complaint c/w picture is only a 'potential concern' my arse.

Its like the apology for "any distress that might have been caused" after incidents where people have been physically injured, or suffered personal loss.

Corporate communications employees... should be up against the same wall as marketroids and salesnakes.

BOFH: You drive me crazy... and I can't help myself


Re: "Does this carpet pull up?" I ask.

"Run Shannon, run"

Ah, another fan of "How to be a Complete Bastard"

This is Shannon's computer.... This is SImon's Chainsaw

BOFH: You'll find there's a company asset tag right here, underneath the monstrously heavy arcade machine


Re: Personal heaters

Need... more... details!

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


Sat in a meeting, phone rings: account manager with a seriously over-inflated sense of self-importance, demanding to know why I was not in his meeting. Explained I was in another meeting. Not good enough. cue a tirade to the effect I had 5 minutes to be there, or I'd be sacked. Unable to get a word in, handed phone to my boss... who informed him we were in New York, and could not make a meeting in the UK.

On the subject of work relationships... a few years before I met my future girlfriend doing a weekend Netware server upgrade. She worked in the mid-range team and unexpectedly travelled halfway across England to see what we did. Oddly enough, most people thought we were married , due to having the same surname, and an incident the previous month with a software rollout. But thats another story.

Fix five days of server failure with this one weird trick


Re: I'm guessing TSB

"Warning: NSFW.

It made me think of this :-D"

I havent seen that in years!

Tried to find the Jasper Carrott sketch applying for a loan "there's two effs in off"

Suck on this: El Reg forces dog hair, biscuit crumbs, and disconcertingly sticky stains down two mini vacuums


Can any of these robohoovers vacuum stairs?


Please come back when they can.

Pre-orders open for the Mini PET 40/80, the closest thing to Commodore's classic around


Re: The PETs inspired me.

Probably, but "Alan" not so common a name. #


Mark and I were far ahead of the Computer Studies teacher, and were "employed" to type in programs. Used to delight in


which when LIST'ED produced


He never figured it out.

I wrote a kinda clone of the last level of Pheonix in 6502, Mark wrote an awesome "defender" type sideways scroller c/w the scanner.

But that 1982/83 (Mark joined us in the last two years of school). Started in 77/78 on an ICL 2903 minimac at the local Polytechnic, accessed using a teleprinter via acoustic coupler. The school was allocated 32KB of disk space. Being inquisitive, didn't take long to work out how to manipulate DLIST, DLOAD, DSAVE to access other user's partitions, 'acquire' their programs and store mine safely (such that the contents wouldnt show when they did a dir list).

Somehow the Poly admins twigged, but back then this wasn't a bad thing. In exchange for me showing them how to manipulate the disk system, they introduced me to the wonderful world of phone manipulation -helpful as local calls cost something like 5p/min back then, and I was running up some large bills on the schools phone.



Re: The PETs inspired me.

"We had them at school. They were great. I taught myself to program them in machine code before the computer course began. The teacher knew less about them than I did, a classmate, Alan, and myself were then duly appointed helpers, when it came to programming and the teacher concentrated on the theory and history sides of computing."

Er, did we go to the same school? Because your first paragraph is my experience, even down to the name.

BOFH: I'm so pleased to be on the call, Boss. No, of course this isn't a recording


Icing on a day off

BOFH, a day off, and a comment in the double digit range

Life is good

The server is down, money is not being made, and you want me to fix what?


Re: 'Delegation'

If only I could upvote that multiple times

US nuclear weapon bunker security secrets spill from online flashcards since 2013


Ah, siteguard

The memories of SiteGuard in BAOR during th 1980's. A week of being very tired, and very bored.

And astounded as the average US serviceman's inept weapon handling, as characterised by the individual who followed the QRF out with a 66mm AT to the first response position; a narrow sanbagged area just wide enough to squeeze down whilst in CEFO, with a wall behind it....

BOFH: But we think the UK tax authorities would be VERY interested in how we used COVID support packages


Re: Deja vu

Ah yes, like replacing the non-Y2K compliant cooling units...

.... with units that looked suspiciously like a 19" rack mount fridge, complete with a front-opening "maintenance access port."

An actress, an internet billionaire, and Tom Cruise walk into a space station ... not necessarily at the same time


Re: ISS is a bit old.

+1 for Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator...

NHS-backed org reacted to GitHub leak disclosure with legal threats and police call, complains IT pro


Sorry, Fail - Rob

@Rob Dyke the second you stepped over the line was when you downloaded and stored the repos. Encrypted or not, that was a step too far.

The doubt that is in my mind regarding your motives, is that you have been asked several times /why/ you did this.... and each time you have avoided answering.

Prime suspect: Amazon India apologises for offensive scenes in political thriller


Amazon Prime are offering the hand of friendship to the Indian Government...

... which previously belonged to the Producer

Obligatory NTNOCN for those of an older generation

I haven't bought new pants for years, why do I have to keep buying new PCs?


Well, thats just pants.

The Linux box that runs the exec carpark gate is down! A chance for PostgreSQL Man to show his quality


Ah, the joys of leaving

Many, many (ok, just over two) decades ago I worked for a major (and I mean major, contributed 2.2% gross gdp to UK economy) UK company, via a outsourcer. This client was the "jewel in the crown" for the outsourcer, and as such the SDM and I were often the subject of attention from senior management. Times were great, the client was awesome to work for, and about a year after starting received a second, and very large, promotion. Things were going swimmingly...

...until the new service delivery manager arrived, complete with a team of four, replacing the old SDM. One of the new arrivals, let us call him Chas, had the same role as me... ooops. So I could have bought a claim for dismissal, but - and bearing in mind that in 1997-99 jobs offers arrived at the rate of 3 per day on a slow day, I made plans to move on. imed to perfection: the weekend I left, client was migrating the entire UK infrastructure from flat TRT to a routed IP network, switched ethernet, etc. The young gent taking over from me was crapping himself. Between him, I, and my oppo on the client side we arranged I would come in on the Monday and Tuesday as a consultant, with a suitable figure daily fee.

Late Tuesday I hand Chas my invoice. His face twitches, then says "ah, but I dont need to pay this. You see, I never processed your resignation letter".

"Tough, I start a new job next Monday" I should add that at this point I still had over 30 days outstanding leave...

Fast forward to the end of the month. Pay slip from the outsourcer. No pay-in-lieu. Invoice unpaid. Call Chas' boss, whom I had a good working relationship with. Who was horrified to learn I had resigned, tries to persuade me back, and on learning 'Chas' was my manager, agrees the screw-up is nothing more sinister than incompetence. Asks me to send invoice.

End result? That months salary kept. Invoice paid following week. Bonus? A further months pay as the resignation didn't 'officially' occur until David received my notice, and thus a further months pay (and pay for two further day's in lieu).

Icing on the cake? Client had 'Chas' removed from the account. I didn't laugh much at all :)

'Long-standing vulns' in 5G protocols open the door for attacks on smartphone users


Re: @Mike 137 Astonishing

@Mike 16

Global Crossing? If not, very similar :)

SolarWinds: Hey, only as many as 18,000 customers installed backdoored software linked to US govt hacks


Top-Tier nation state hackers? Maybe not

@El Reg

Fancy doing some investigative journalism?

Everyone seems to be accepting the narrative that this was a "sophisticated" attack, carried out by "top tier "nation-state backed" hackers. But no one is questioning that narrative.

Who started that narrative. FireEye. A security company relied on by F100 and Government agencies. Slightly embarrassing for them to be hacked. So its /only natural they put out a statement that they must have been hacked by someone with awesome skillz/.

Except they were not. No one breached FireEyes defences. FireEye imported what used to be called a Trojan. That Trojan than ran, and then the highly patient and careful "hackers" were operating from the inside.

Were did the trojan come from? Solarwinds. So it must have been a "top tier nation state backed..." except the initial compromise wasn't very sophisticated; Solarwinds FTP server had an incredibly weak password; Solarwinds123

The malware itself? Still undergoing analysis, but its "lightweight" (at 400mb!) stealthy, quiet. None of which are exactly beyond the ability of a half decent coder with access to malware source (RATs, Tojans, credential snars, mimikatz-type tools) on the dark net.

FireEye has avested interested in 'hyping' up the 'sophistication' and 'skill level' of the attack/attackers to protect its reputation, and its business. Being breached by a RAT/Trojan, is kinda self-damming. Once upon a time companies used to sheep-dip software before install in a production environment. Indeed, it was best practice. A security company not doing that undermines its own reputation.

And Russia is a convenient target to distract attention away from "we were hacked" to "we were hacked by RUSSIA!!!" and then give the press release an anti-Russian spin, diverting attention away from "we were hacked".

LibreOffice 7.1 beta boasts impressive range of features let down by a lack of polish and poor mobile efforts


Re: Failings in Mobile

Agreed. Which is why the iPad never shipped with any 'creation' tools, not even a text editor. Apple knew it was a content consumption device, not a content creation device.


Re: Annoying little Libre ? well...........

>Ha! The CIO at a job many years ago hired someone he'd met at a bar to be our "documentation >specialist". One day I discovered that our new MS Word "expert" had been manually numbering lists and >pages.

Dark hair? Somewhere around Warrington - Lymm area?

Sounds sooo familiar.


Re: Annoying little Libre ? well...........

>Well, my Linux distribution didn't come with LibreOffice.

Dont feel left out, my Libre Office never came with "a brain-dead twenty-something...to do favo(u)rs of an oral nature"

IT Marie Kondo asks: Does this noisy PC spark joy? Alas, no. So under the desk it goes


Re: potter along with more passive cooling.

>But then again, this is Walt, not Stephen.

He's a Stephen walt

There ain't no problem that can't be solved with the help of American horsepower – even yanking on a coax cable


Re: Closest I've had to that ....

>What the GIS says and what the ground says seldom seems to coincide.

Same NI tour as previous post in thread. We've now moved to Woodburn. Now Woodburne was hugely larger than Kilkeel, at least 8 times the size, holding RUC headquarters, civilian staff, vehicles, heli landing area, and a Marine Commando company. Oh, and us, a section of grungy Sappers. Spend a few weeks digging holes *here* then moving them 3ft to the right *there* because, well, surveyor said so. Digging one trench, by the scoffhouse, we come across a black plastic pipe, maybe 2" diameter.

"Its ok," says Tom the surveyor "its a disused electrical mains conduit. Just cut through it"

Right. Yeah... after the "no utility lines in the area" escapade in Kilkeel, and the resultant case of auto-darwinism-by-electrons, none of us felt inspired enough by the words "disused" and "electrical" in the same sentence to go near the pipe. So the surveyor grabs hold of, and pulls. And pulls, giving it full on 9 Sqn aggression in bagfulls. It isnt enough. Tom takes a light pick to it. I have a photo from above of him just as he touches the piping.

Whoosh and Tom flies backwards, ends up 20ft away. Out of the scoffhouse comes Dave S, the sloppo, food-beater in one hand, "whats happened to me water?"

That 2" pipe was the mains water supply for the entire base... one can only imagine the pressure, enough to propel a large bloke 20ft back.

Tom had pulled


Re: Closest I've had to that ....

I'll top you all#

A sparky taking out an entire SF base in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland 1986.

Steve D using a light pick (drill hammer) to cut trench run across vehicle hard standing. Tom, the surveyor, assures there are no utility lines in the area.

10 mins later. loud bang. All electrical power to base is lost. Steve is holding the pick, looking a tad shaken; he's just driven the pick through the mains power...

Call out civvy sparkies to fix it. Much work later, Boss sparky reconnects mains line, and power is restored from the sub-station. Junior sparky inside, poking the mains box with one of those cheap screwdrivers that has a bulb inside the handle. Now, I'm no sparky and know little about electrickery, but even I know that's not a good idea

"Mate, you might want to stop doing that, power's back on"

"Oh, O'ill be alroit"


Junior sparky is now lying on the floor 20ft away, left arm very black from hand to shoulder. And is very dead. And the power has dropped. Again.

Race against time now between another sparky, an Act of God, or a PIRA mortar attack.

Help! My printer won't print no matter how much I shout at it!


"His story takes us back a quarter of a century

to the headquarters of a national agency where he was the sole technical support person and tasked with keeping everything ticking over, from Novell servers to those newfangled Windows 95 desktops"

Hang on, a quarter of a century? No, that would mean my first day at Unilever managing Netware 4 boxen and Pentium based disk-less PCs was...

...oh. Yeah. 25 years ago :(

I feel old now.



Re: HP

> I regularly used to run into them still in the late 2000s

I still have one, well, the descendant of the 4ML; a 2100M. Acquired it in 2000, "replaced" it with a 2055DN about 2013, but never quite threw it away; it was just tooo good. Solid, dependable, 600dpi printing. (have a feeling its actually capable of 1200dpi). 10mbit ethernet is just fine for the jobs it does. It doesn't duplex, but that is what the 2055 is for.

Replaced the toner cartridge once. In 20 years.

Upgrade it? It will be left to one of my children, with a condition attached that they are never to dispose of it.

The printer driver, on the other hand. It was awesome, then HP replaced it with a 'universal' which is about as useful as tits on tarzan.

Google Cloud Engine outage caused by 'large backlog of queued mutations'


Compaq servers could hot swap SIMMS, CPUs, NICs, and RAID cards, at least 15 years ago and possibly longer. Its not new.

Who needs the A-Team or MacGyver when there's a techie with an SCSI cable?



Many moons ago my nickname was "SCSI Al", or more likely "Scuzzy Al". Absolutely loved SCSI, and from 1996 every box I had was SCSI based. Usually based around "God's Own Controller", the Adaptec 2940UW until U160/320 came about (I had one U2 controller, but really skipped that generation), and some form of RAID, be it Compaq SMART-2DH or LSI boards.

*never* had an issue with termination, mixing devices (even 8-bit devices on a 16-bit bus - just install the narrow devices at the end of the chain and use the correct terminator).

The only problem I ever experienced wasn't really SCSI related. Large *cough cough* multinational, migrating from Netware 3 to Netware 4. B and I working late to migrate data from old to new servers. Large company, IT recognised as mission-critical and *no* expense was spared; Compaq shop through and through, mahoosive quad PPro boxes, loads RAM, mirrored RAID5 arrays 5x9GB UW drives (largest capacity one could buy at the time), spare components AND servers in server room "just in case".

Its the last weekend of the project, and we migrating over the main site file-and-print server and backup, which also provided Bindery services for network login. And the darn migration fails. Every. Single. Time. The new server runs out of disk space, despite having a [slightly] larger partition.

Those of you who remember Netware 3 and Netware 4 are nodding in anticipation. NW3 defaulted to a 4KB block size, although 16KB could be specified - but with a large number of small (<16kb) files, or filesize not a multilple of 16, disk space would be wasted. NW4 used a block size dependant on volume size. IIRC we had 32KB blocks, and no sub-block allocation...