* Posts by We're all in it together

124 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Sep 2012


The 'nothing-happened' Y2K bug – how the IT industry worked overtime to save world's computers

We're all in it together

I was rich beyond my wildest dreams but it soon got spent

We ran a NOC in Docklands comprising multiple telephone platforms, exchanges, and such like. We had a big client base at the time routing calls and competing with BT. Good old least cost routing and all that. We'd heard the rumours about pay levels and decided to hold out. Initial offers weren't great. But as it started to get closer the offers improved. We knew we were going to support it - we just wanted to cash in.

So one evening in November we stayed behind late unofficially and put the clocks forward. Everything worked fine and back the clocks went. The holding out continued.

From recollection we were paid treble time New Years Eve, quadruple time New Years day, and a fixed rate bonus to attend. Sixteen of us turned up around 7pm New Year's Eve and worked through to around 4am New Year's day.

The site was rented and had site security. Lots of firework displays were advertised so said security guys escorted us up onto the roof. Twelve stories high with commanding views. We drank champagne whilst watching the fireworks. Couldn't see the Tower Bridge ones due to too much smoke. But the ones at The Millennium dome and the others at Greenwich more than made up for it.

I took loads of photos on my disc camera (15 shots if I remember) then promptly lost it. I still remember the smoke though.

How time flies. Not been up on any roof since. Way too much paperwork these days to do that. Probably wouldn't be allowed due to risk of being hit by fireworks these days. The goggles worn for conker fights would surely be compatible?

Chinese company claims it's built batteries so dense they can power electric airplanes

We're all in it together

Wow all this technology

I just can't keep up with it all. What I know is my rubber band powered balsa aircraft has around 30 turns to get it flying - which keeps it airborne for 30 seconds and allows it to fly in a loop.

Crossing the ocean will take considerably more turns and will probably result in structural failure.

Anyway it's Friday so good luck with it all.

Take a 14-mile trip on an autonomous Scottish bus starting next month

We're all in it together

Hope all algorithms are covered

I seem to recall several drivers as a teenager who wouldn’t wait for anyone to sit down before driving off. I’m assuming the algorithm will wait for passengers to sit, rather than flooring the bus causing elderly passengers and their shopping trolleys to faceplant the rear window.

This can’t be a real bomb threat: You've called a modem, not a phone

We're all in it together

It pays to be bright when making bomb threats

Haven't heard much mention of the Darwin Awards lately. This may qualify:-

Imagine a setup where the call centre you run is connected to an Ericsson AXE10 exchange you also own. So callers into the call centre route over lines you manage. Not only manage but have full engineering access to including call tracing - at a level that gives full call details. Then mix in a disgruntled customer who decides to call into their own service provider and issue a bomb threat. But they think they're clever as they withhold their number. The call centre agent presses their malicious call trace key flagging the call. This provides us with the agents extension number and we duly trace the call 'live'. This provides the originating CLI as whilst the caller masks it we can still see it; then we run the number for a laugh into our customer database only to find a match.

So when calling 999 we provide their name and address and the fact they're still Iive on the call.

ZX Spectrum: Q&A with some of the folks who worked on legendary PC

We're all in it together

Time flies

I can't recall ever doing a tape to tape copy.

I also can't recall the name of the game that had software protection that had an A4 sheet printed in yellow that couldn't be photocopied. Anyone remember that?

Half of bosses out of touch with reality, study shows

We're all in it together

Me thinks we're not going back in full time (at least I'm not)

Deputy IT director has relocated to Cornwall. Other IT Professionals have moved to Wales, so I suspect the likelihood of being asked to come back into the office full time may be unlikely given its location near Southampton.

I'm asking myself the question why I ever undertook ridiculous commutes to my various places of work - getting up at 4am Monday to Friday to spend 2 and a half hours travelling each way. 100 miles return trip using two cars and a ferry, to sit at an office desk on my PC programming remote systems. Not least with no option to claim the mileage, but with the old adage of 'you chose to live there'...

Now I do one day a week in the office getting in for 7am and the rest at home on numerous Teams calls.

Watching various staff working from home complete with barking dogs, birds cheeping, door bells ringing, and hoovering in the background. Best call was a team member who mentioned their daughter was getting pocket money to clean the house, followed by a broom handle appearing behind the caller in full view of us all. Daughter was crawling out of camera view sweeping the floor. On another call I mentioned it was quiet in her house followed by her pointing her camera down to find a Cocker Spaniel fast asleep on her lap. 'He's well trained' she said.

Yet the work gets done, the work life balance is great, and we actually had a while when pollution levels dropped. Agile working was the buzzword, and long may it continue.

I now put various appointments in the calendar including 'my turn to hoover' and 'doing the washing'.

How times change.

Might try working from the beach when the weather improves. Just need to find a deckchair that meets DSE requirements.

North Korea says it's launched a third hypersonic missile, this time reaching Mach 10

We're all in it together

How do you visualise Mach 10?

All this posturing around the world about hypersonic missiles - Thunderbirds 1 and 3 were flying at these speeds in the late 60's.

They even got Thunderbird 2 to fly - how it ever did with its stubby wings I'll never know.

Microsoft Paint + car park touchscreen = You already know where this is going

We're all in it together

Compute error

Seems the ‘hey, you must be paying for parking’ paper clip has fallen through the floor of the app and has shorted terminals somewhere.

What a bunch of bricks: Crooks knock hole in toyshop wall, flee with €35k Lego haul

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I wonder

Only half the sets were hauled away. The other half they used to brick up the hole. They're lucky they weren't caught. Must've taken ages to fill it in.

LoRa to the Moon and back: Messages bounced off lunar surface using off-the-shelf hardware

We're all in it together

Research first before acting

Bought two LoRa modules from the Pihut - one plugged into my Pi4, the other via my mobile running a terminal app. Wrote a bash script to send a message every second with timestamp, and set the mobile to receive. Walked about five miles away from home.

What I should have done is checked the ground profile first, as my route after a quarter of a mile blocked the signal due to terrain. Haven't bothered since but intend to plan the next route. As I have a relative perched on a hill in Ryde, Isle of Wight, I'd like to see if it would work over on the ferry to Portsmouth. Don't see why not?

Now what would be really scary is if the message that bounced back from the moon responded with 'hello we're fine up here how's the weather on earth?'

Lordy! Trump admits there are no tapes of his chats with Comey

We're all in it together

Re: Hook, line, and sinker!

If it walks like a duck l'orange and talks like a duck l'orange ... it's definitely a Donald

We're all in it together

Re: Oh well

To be precise Dubya

We're all in it together

Oh well

Bring back George Bush all is forgiven

BA's 'global IT system failure' was due to 'power surge'

We're all in it together

Where's Leslie Nielson when you need him?

"Mr Hammond ate fish and Randy says there are five more cases and they all had fish too"

"And the co-pilot had fish"

"What did the navigator have?"

"He had fish"

"Alllrrrright. Now we know what we're up against"

This ferry is said to weigh 250 cows. We say that is actually 20,600 Lindisfarne Gospels

We're all in it together

Above inflation fare rise

Is all down to the new chain ferry having sat nav

Hapless Network Rail contractors KO broadband in Uxbridge

We're all in it together

Who'd have thunk?

Just as well it was 'thoroughly surveyed' as had it been 'not thoroughly surveyed whatsoever' most of the UK would've crashed.

Six days for Openreach to respond and fix break down relates to -

Zero hour receives phone call from panicky Network Rail supervisor. Operator in BT Mumbai replies with 'have you powered off your router?' Eventually call is passed back to the UK.

Zero hour plus one 'What's your account number again and address? Sorry, by the trackside with smoke emerging from a hole isn't on our database''

Day two - 'you've come through to global services, you need residential, putting you through. Sorry, we are experiencing a high volume of calls. Please hold. Please enter the number of the line you are calling about. Sorry we don't recognise that number goodbye'

Day three - 'why don't you ring the local exchange direct - none of the engineers have jobs today as the back end system is **** and never allocates anything'

Day four engineer on site - 'I've run out of crimps. Need to order some. Bye'

Day five - 'don't suppose you know where these cables run to? I haven't brought any documentation with me'

Day six - 'local engineer who ran the cables in the first place finds out and repairs them all. The end.


Florida Man's prized jeep cremated by exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7

We're all in it together

I wonder

Whether any owners of the City Rover have purchased 7's for their sat nav?

Not that I would wish to promote any kind of fraud but I reckon we may see a string of fires in the following vehicles:-

Austin Allegro

Lada Niva / Riva

Morris Ital

Ssangyong badlydsigned (the one with the rear end bolted on...)

Inside our three-month effort to attend Apple's iPhone 7 launch party

We're all in it together

All hail Plankton

Plankton, of Spongebob Squarepants fame, brainwashes his customers in one episode to take over the world and steal the secret Krabby pattie formula.

There were large parts of the live streaming / presentation at the unveiling yesterday that looked worryingly similar. But I couldn't see buckets on the presenters heads. Perhaps they used the new wireless earphones?

All hail iphone 7. All hail waterproof watch 2 (but don't use it waterskiing or scuba divering) etc

US military tests massive GPS jamming weapon over California

We're all in it together

Are they testing it in Birmingham?

Two different android phones on different days and the TomTom app resets on the westbound carriageway of the M6 about three miles west of the Dunlop building. Must be a secret government building nearby.

SpaceShipTwo ready to slip the surly bonds of Earth for Virgin Galactic

We're all in it together

It's been done before

I seem to recall an orange three finned rocket with the number 3 on the side which docked with a circular space station with a 5 on the side. And you got to blast off from a rather nice island.

Reminder: iPhones commit suicide if you repair them on the cheap

We're all in it together

Look to the future peoples

I do enjoy a good Apple story and let's face it there have been a few...

Mind you I replaced a cracked screen on a Lumia 920 recently and I do believe it was mentioned to only use genuine Nokia parts as the OS checked the hardware. But then again the complete screen with digitizer was around £40 delivered.

So looking to the future we will shortly have the Apple iCar. It will be a hybrid with a full metal body (to stop any mobile signal). It will have ityres filled with iair and when you change them you best buy the correct brand or the icar won't 'boot'. I don't suppose anyone has patented tyres either so all the manufacturers will be taken to court.

Servicing will be done at ikwikerfit centres by fully qualified itechnicians (who get their toolboxes checked when leaving the premises in their own itime of course).

The car will never officially break down because Apple products don't but you will be able to phone the ibreakdown services. ubreakdown, webreakdown, and onnonotagainbreakdown won't be able to fix the car as they'll have old style 3.5mm headphones and a honda connector.

The touchscreen will consist of Apple maps so you probably won't find the service centre anyway.

The car's range will be similiar to the Apple watch so it'll be flat as soon as you leave your drive.

And when you've finally had enough of the product you can rant about your Apple woes on the newly created igiveup website.

California cops pull over Google car for driving too SLOWLY

We're all in it together

This made me laugh

In the leafy UK hamlet I drive through the average driving age is 150. Most of these elderly drivers are 3 ft high and get friction burns on the end of their noses from the steering wheel where they sit so close. I dread to think what would happen if the airbag deployed....

Anyway getting to 25 mph would be nice as no matter what time of day I drive I tend to get stuck behind them.

Then there's the state of the roads - potholes, worn out tarmac, non-existent road markings so I reckon if they brought the Google cars over here they'd all crash as they wouldn't be able to identify anything.

Boffins baffled by the glowing 'plumes' of MARS

We're all in it together

On the run up to May

A top secret mission sent a rocket full of politicians to Mars where they built an auditorium and they duly argued who's the best. Gas cloud explained. Politicians full of hot air and not much else (apart from pockets full of dosh)

Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express

We're all in it together

We caught up with the Mummy

Well thanks for joining us Mummy

"It's a pleasure to be here!"

Tell us a bit more about this weeks episode..

"Well I play a scary sort of character desperately trying to escape a script"

And how do you feel you faired?

"Got paid didn't I?"

Apple blacklists tech journo following explicit BENDY iPhone vid

We're all in it together

That's why they delivered them airfreight

Sea crossings are too choppy and you wouldn't want your entire stock bent like bananas

Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch

We're all in it together

My friends already know I'm weird

But standing with a watch against my ear talking into it will get me sectioned. Mind you if it's cheap enough I'll by three and a half of them to enable a weeks use.

Who needs a ride-on mower when a ROBOT will cut your grass

We're all in it together

Save some money by

Popping into the local DIY store that sells one then buy enough wire to stretch from the store to your garden (avoiding major traffic junctions etc) and await its arrival

Windows Phone 8.1: Like WinPho 8, but BETTER

We're all in it together


All it needs to complete the transformation is a device that kicks Ballmers arse everytime a tile is pressed with an audio that states "about time we had a decent upgrade, sod off and enjoy your shares"

No offense intended, prices of shares can down as well as up, always consult an independant financial consultant. No Ballmers were hurt during the making of this comment

BT snatches crown: Soars to top of complaints list

We're all in it together

How to gauge BT

Take a look at their Facebook PR. Backfires every time with lots of customers moaning about service. Sums it up really.

Young, fun and full of comely tech skills? Then BT needs you!

We're all in it together

May I suggest some additional tests?

Before they send out the grads into the big wide world.

Q1 - your customer has a faulty line and their premises are open every day of the week except Tuesday. Which day should the engineer not attend because no one will be there?

Q2 - you continue to bill a customer two years after they request the circuit to be ceased. You finally realise your mistake and send the customer a cheque. Do you a) write the correct payee on the cheque or b) the incorrect payee?

Q3 - You tell prospective customers they cannot get Superfast fibre optic broadband even though they already have it. How do you win back the situation?

Q4 - you can't install a line as the postcode given doesn't exist. Even though you already have lines in the building. How do you win back the situation?

Q5 - in order to run new fibre into a building you require a permission to dig form to be signed by the customer. Do you a) email the form blank and expect the customer to guess the details or b) email the form blank so the customer fills it out incorrectly then blame the customer for the delay to the project?

Q6 - you have local planners that know the local network inside out. Do you a) keep them in their role or b) lay them off and centralise the service so the nearest planner works 150 miles away?

Q7 - you employ engineers with years of experience who have good working relationships with their customer base. Do you a) keep them or b) let them go and get inexperienced straight out of college engineers to replace them (not forgetting to train them to sell)

There maybe more but this'll do to start. Anyone care to add?

French youth faces court for illegal drone flight

We're all in it together

Who made the battery?

The vast majority of radio controlled models use Lipos these days (lithium polymer for those not in the know). Perhaps he's appearing in court because he used the same brand Boeing uses.

UK claims 'significant lead' in drones after Taranis test flight

We're all in it together

Was the test flight in the UK?

Just wondering as it would confirm the couple of instances where a low flying jet aircraft passed over our house late at night with no discernible lights or markings to identify it. And we're not on any commercial flightpath or known military one.

Unless Domino's deliver by jet now?

15,000 London coppers to receive new crime-fighting tool: an iPad

We're all in it together

Angry Birds Robocop edition

"You have fifteen seconds to comply" while I try and complete this fiendishly difficult level.

Unmanned, autonomous ROBOT TRUCK CONVOY 'drives though town'

We're all in it together

They all come with a robotic arm

So they can pay the Dartford crossing

Chrome lets websites secretly record you?! Google says no, but...

We're all in it together

Phew that's close

So I can still surf stark bollock naked as long as I don't talk or sing. Would it pick up my farting?

KC engineer 'exposed unencrypted spreadsheet with phone numbers, user IDs, PASSWORDS'

We're all in it together

You are the weakest link goodbye

One user I recently visited had their password on a post it note on the monitor. Another had their password behind the adjustable screen on their desk phone.

Then there was the time I watched a lady in the shop queue pay by card, cover her hand when entering the pin, whilst mouthing the digits.

I have decided to change my username and password as admin and password1 may no longer be secure.

Wonder if the engineer's spreadsheet was saved in the cloud?

Ban-dodging Mac Pro to hit Blighty's shops as Apple bows to fan fears

We're all in it together

Can't afford it

But managed to find this:-


Looks similar.

Has room for multiple hard drives and enough memory to goto Mars and back.

And it's a hell of a lot cheaper.

Italian woman stunned by exploding artichoke

We're all in it together

I will therefore

Buy tinned artichokes, hire a butler and cook, and get them to take the risk.

Antarctic ice shelf melt 'lowest ever recorded, global warming is not eroding it'

We're all in it together

Global worming not to blame

Someone's been secretly eradicating cows I reckon. Or perhaps they've fabricated a breed with one stomach.

How the NSA hacks PCs, phones, routers, hard disks 'at speed of light': Spy tech catalog leaks

We're all in it together

Humans distrusting humans

Been happening since the year dot. These days it's mixed in with power and control and nasty weapons that can end the planet. But essentially there's nothing we can say or do that will change it. And on that note:-

"Happy New year to everyone at the NSA and GCHQ"

There you go. Didn't have to email them.

El Reg's contraptions confessional no.5: The Sinclair Sovereign

We're all in it together

The Golden era

Looks like a remote control that can add. I wonder what Sir Clive is up to these days?

Tube be or not tube be: Apple’s CYLINDRICAL Mac Pro is out tomorrow

We're all in it together

But in an office move

You'll be able to roll it to your new desk without picking it up. Assuming you've not been laid off of course.

Santa brings Dixons £31m profits as ghost of Comet is laid to rest

We're all in it together

Bought some printer paper there recently

And got a three year extended warranty for only £7.99 a month!

Covers accidental damage, bad spilling and grimmer, and if the product fails at all they'll replace it like for like.

It's true, the START MENU is coming BACK to Windows 8, hiss sources

We're all in it together

It will be known as

Windows toolate point 2

IDS finally admits what EVERYONE ELSE already knows: Universal Credit will be late

We're all in it together

Re: You cant

And the lift still doesn't work.

Apple's spamtastic iBeacon retail alerts launch with Frisco FAIL

We're all in it together

Re: Genius Bar

I beg to differ. I and several of my work colleagues partake in a veritable drink up known as 'the only one club'. Whenever this weekly event takes place after several alcoholic beverages we become the 'genius bar'. There's nuffin wot we don't know. All the worlds problems solved in an evening - we were even first with the 'holding it wrong' motto*

*Maybe inaccurate due to alcohol induced memory loss.

Submerged Navy submarine successfully launches drone from missile tubes

We're all in it together

Corporate sponsorship is the key

Think of the business opportunities this could bring. Launch projectile, switch on camera, fly along local foreign High Street, see which businesses aren't there, and hey presto within a couple of months 58 coffee shops, fast food restaurants, and bookies all plying their trade. Not forgetting the £ shops (sorry that should be $ shops).

And on the way back it could check for expired tax discs and illegally parked vehicles.

BT fattens flabby Global Services biz to puff and huff way to £32bn

We're all in it together

I'm always positive me

I can't fault them. I like phoning India for tech support. I like it when my billing enquiry is passed to the Phillipines. I like the online ordering portal - especially where I tell it my office is closed Tuesday but they send an engineer anyway. I like the way refunds are held and not paid to me. I like the way they let go their skilled engineers. Their account managers are great. Always trying to sell me more services when the existing ones are awful.

Long live BT!

City of London cops arrest 6 suspected to be Microsoft counterfeit ring

We're all in it together

I may have a fake copy

I reckon I have. My desktop has been replaced with squares and rectangles and I have no start button. Not only that but I have two copies of Internet explorer. My previous copy I could find everything easily.