* Posts by Gonzo_the_Geek

46 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Nov 2012

What's the golden age of online services? Well, now doesn't suck


I had the add-on where you could call anywhere in the UK or Ireland for up to an hour in the evenings and at weekends (I live in Northern Ireland, it included the Republic of Ireland for us).

While ISPs in the UK had moved to non-geographic numbers by this time, ISPs in the Republic of Ireland were still using local numbers...

Free Internet if you remembered to redial after 59 minutes!

Users of Will.i.am's Wink IoT hub ask 'Where is the love?' as they're asked to pay for a new subscription service


Sonoff + Pi = Homebrew Happiness

Unlike the poster above (below?), I have a number of the Sonoff devices running at home (on a dedicated IoT subnet) and am very happy with them.

The difference is that I've flashed Micropython to all the ESP8266 units and have written the code for each one to do what I want (subscribe to or publish MQTT messages) with a Raspberry Pi acting as MQTT broker. Took a lot longer than buying off the shelf, but I know the code it runs, and it does not need to have an Internet connection to work.

Most units control lights, but I have one higher current device with an integrated temperature sensor controlling the electric heater in my garden office, so I can switch the heating and lights on in my office before getting in the shower in the morning and come into a warm office to start work. The temperature sensor also allows me to use it as a frost stat so that if the temperature drops too low, the heating comes on to keep it at a level base.

All with cheap devices, and a little (lot) of time. No Cloud service in sight.

Welcome to life in the Fossa lane: Ubuntu 20.04 let out of cage and Shuttleworth claims Canonical now 'commercially self sustaining'


Re: I still don't see the purpose of WSL

As a Support/Escalation Engineer who deals with large log files daily, but who has to use a Windows laptop due to corporate policy, being able to use tools like awk, grep, sed etc. allows me to parse large files much more quickly in WSL without having to rely on remote Linux servers.

Working through a 12GB logfile is simply not an option in any Windows text programme I've seen, but piping it through a few utilities in WSL allows me to filter out the useful stuff much more quickly.

Minister slams 5G coronavirus conspiracy theories as 'dangerous nonsense' after phone towers torched in UK


Yeah, but for those who live in Northern Ireland, we've developed immunity.

It's called living under an almost permanent raincloud.

NASA's classic worm logo returns for first all-American trip to ISS in years: Are you a meatball or a squiggly fan?



What difference will having more hair have?

Whoa, someone actually texted you in 2020? Oh, nvm, it's just Boris Johnson, telling you to stay the f**k at home


Re: Didn't get it

I got it on my work phone, on Vodafone. Was later than the rest of my family, but I did get it.

One whole day: That's how long Facebook's COVID-19 content moderation went without a mess


Took out Beeb news article posts too.

Saw a tweet from the BBC this morning which said their stories were also flagged as spam by Facebook, with an identical response from FB.

Uncle Sam: Secretly spying on networks around the world without telling anyone, Huawei? But that's OUR job



" it's gonna get worse before it gets better even worse."

Beware the trainee with time on his hands and an Acorn manual on his desk


Re: Ah the good old days

I may have gone into PCWorld on one or more occasions, get a DOS prompt on a random demo machine, and type del *.* (IIRC) at the C: prompt, followed by a reboot. I was not a nice oik.

The safest place to save your files is somewhere nobody will ever look


Re: Okay, 'fess up

I do the same thing, Linux ISOs, installers, tons of important stuff...

Cleared it out yesterday, got it from 48GB down to a more managable 21GB.

Here's to beer, without which we'd never have the audacity to Google an error message at 3am


Re: Not on booze...

Being the rubber duck is my super-power I think, although I do have enough technical knowledge to stop the one doing the talking going down down blind alleys.

Bulb smart meters in England wake up from comas miraculously speaking fluent Welsh


Re: English native speaker here.

Doesn't the Scotch "sasenach" mean something like outlander rather than specifically English? I've met lowland Scots who have been referred to by their more northerly compatriots as Sasenachs.

Russian bots are just for rigging US elections? They hit home, too: Kid stripped of crown in TV contest vote-fix scandal


So Channel One does not want to hold the kid responsible, but will it hold the kid's parents responsible?

If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is not very likely to be a dolphin impersonating a duck.

It's not like rich parents "buying" contest wins for their offspring is unheard of...

China trade tariffs? Fuhgeddaboudit, say Cisco execs. We, er, shifted some production


"and then the third is we'll make pricing adjustments where necessary, if needed."

Nice tautology there, Mister.

Want a good Android smartphone without the $1,000+ price tag? Then buy Google's Pixel 3a


Re: more convenient that having it on the front.

Another vote for the fingerprint reader on the back, when work gave me s S9+, this was one of the features that made fingerprint reconition so much more useful than on the A5 2017 I had before.


Re: Google to host videos ...

If your phone is (only) or (primarily) a phone, then possibly you are not the target market for pretty much any recent smartphone, a basic candybar would probably suffice, right?

When you say the reviewer hack uses a phone for things that many of us don't use a phone for, I suspect the "us" set is probably smaller than you might imagine. For most users of a smartphone, what this phone offers is pretty much everything they need without the stuff they don't. MicroSD card would be nice, but I've never managed to even half fill my 128GB phone, so at the 64GB point, they're likely spot on too.

Oh dear. Secret Huawei enterprise router snoop 'backdoor' was Telnet service, sighs Vodafone


Re: The Real Risk

Tinfoil hat a little tight there darling?

User secures floppies to a filing cabinet with a magnet, but at least they backed up daily... right?


Re: Then there is the "send me a copy"

Working in Support, we get this soooo often and it makes my blood boil.

Especially when they take a screenshot of terminal output, embed the image in a Word doc and email that when they've been specifcally asked to copy the text from the terminal (Putty) to a simple text file.

We don't know whether 737 Max MCAS update is coming or Boeing: Anti-stall safety fix delayed


Re: "Safety is our first priority"

I don't disagree with the sentiment, but the bigger problem is that they can't agree with you anymore...

NexDock 2: Electric Boogaloo. Crowdfunded laptop shell sequel touts less plastic, more pixels


I'd back them in a heartbeat if they offered a UK keyboard, but it looks like they wont (offering stickers is not good enough I think).

Shame as it would fit a niche very nicely, but ho-hum...

PuTTY in your hands: SSH client gets patched after RSA key exchange memory vuln spotted


I find myself using PuTTY less and less, with most of my SSH work now done on MobaXterm (Cygwin wrapper I believe?) or Ubuntu on WSL.

Amazon may finally get its hands on .amazon after world's DNS overseer loses patience


Ummm, don't you mean a river?

Last I checked, the rainforest gets its name from the fact that it covers most of the Amazon river basin, doesn't it?

Hapless engineers leave UK cable landing station gate open, couple of journos waltz right in


Not sure I'd want to attack the cable itself with an axe, they carry pretty high voltages to power the repeaters and I'd say shorting that to the armouring would make for a pretty spectacular fireworks show without any explosives :-)

TalkTalk kept my email account active for 8 years after I left – now it's spamming my mates


Re: While I'm not a fan of Talk Talk.....

You wouldn't do that to your worst enemy, the very worst of late 80s/early 90s copycat synth.

Adi Shamir visa snub: US govt slammed after the S in RSA blocked from his own RSA conf


Re: Though it's only fair...

Really? Apart from getting a letter from my company explaining why I was coming to Israel and filling in some info (essentially the same info provided on an ESTA application), I found it a breeze going to Israel for work.

Security queues were actually shorter than the horror stories I'd been told led me to expect, and overall, the entire process was less painful than flying to the US.

Travelling from the UK, on a Netherlands passport, YMMV.

BOFH: Bye desktop, bye desk. Hello tablet and a beanbag on the floor


Yaaayyyyyy! BOFH fix!

Black-hat sextortionists required: Competitive salary and dental plan


Those salaries look nice, but collecting them may be somewhat problematic.

Return of the audio format wars and other money-making scams


Re: Holding my breath turning blue

Or even Philips CD-i, the CD sized Laserdisk killer which didn't..

Smaller tech firms just aren't ready for a no-deal Brexit, MPs told


Re: Incompetence

That's easy to say, but is somewhat unfair on small businesses who have had no clear guidance on what exactly to prepare for, and who do not have the resources to prepare for everything just in case...

$24m in fun bux stolen from crypto-mogul. Now he fires off huge fraud charge. Like, RICO, say?


$224m in damages?

Where do these crazy numbers come from? Do the lawyers just pull a number out of $orifice and double it, or is there actual descriptive process for arriving at these numbers?

Sorry, chaps! We didn't mean to steamroller legit No-IP users – Microsoft


Re: Clean Hands?

Go back to sleep Uncle Ron and let the adults talk.

If you've never heard of them before, I think you're unable to make any kind of reasoned judgement on the company and it's business practices based solely on some news stories with less than the entire facts in them.

Microsoft screwed up by flailing the ban hammer around without concern for how it would affect innocent customers, and then lied/bungled the response to an extent which makes them look incompetent at best, and downright malicious at worst.

Danger, Will Robinson! Beware the hidden perils of BYOD


Citrix Receiver may be fine in theory, but on Linux YMMV.

The latest version has some serious issues with Ubuntu and XenDesktop and little interest in getting them resolved insofar as I can see.

Shame because it would actually work pretty well for me if it actually worked....

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...


Re: Kubuntu is an actual desktop however

I agree with you James, I've been using it to get work done with perfectly well for the last number of years. I flit between Unity and xmonad, but as I tend to use a keyboard more than a mouse if I can get away with it, I've not really had any issues.

I installed 14.04 over the weekend and am very happy with it, apart from the Citrix Receiver still insisting on opening my Xen Desktop full screen, regardless of whether I select full screen or windowed. Think that's more a Citrix Issue though, installing it was also fun......

Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS


I switch between xmonad and Unity and like both.

Dunno what all the hate is about, use what suits you and quit bitching about what you don't like and will never use.

FWIW, production servers here all use RHEL, but test and general internal use boxes are a mixture of CentOS and Ubuntu.

Computer expert and broadcaster Ian McNaught-Davis dies at 84


What an awesome style, never heard of him before, I moved to the UK long after this, but will go back and watch the whole series on Youtube.


India gets paranoid about foreign tech

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Re: Not about security

Absolutely correct.

We provide support for a carrier grade product adopted by a large telco in India, and we are not allowed to have remote access to the systems we're supposed to be supporting. We have to go through a local (very, very useless) "integrator" who is clueless and adds major delays and hassle to even the most simple tasks. All in the name of security apparently.

Protectionism pure and simple.

Nokia Siemens Networks plans to flog bonds, raise €700m


Considering some of the NSN people I've been unfortunate enough to have to work with, their strategy of paying peanuts and getting monkeys has not paid off. I'm sure that there are good engineers employed by NSN, I might just have been unlucky to have had dealings with the laziest and most clueless, but using someone with little or no Unix knowledge to manage a Unix farm and network engineers who don't know what snoop or tcpdump are is not the winning strategy they though it to be.

But if people want to throw good money after bad, that's their business....

Engineers are cold and dead inside, research shows


Re: Wonder how that compares to what UI/OS you use?

What about us poor geeks who use Linux + Xmonad? What are we?

Mine's the one with the plastic pocket protector...

Sharp-elbowed BT dives into 4G spectrum auction


Re: Useless for hosting too

Absolutely, I was responding to the idea that it might be used instead of fixed line connectivity and suggesting a possible problem, both for business and those who want to run their own Minecraft servers etc.

Mind those trucks, they'll not slow down for a rollerskaterist.........


Re: Useless for hosting too

I know for a fact that VF and O2 do, they're all NATted on the Internet side of the GGSN (sort of an edge router for the Radio Area Network) through a load balancer. The public IP will be one on the Internet router beside the Load Balancer.


Useless for hosting too

Most Internet access offered by mobile companies is useless if you want to host any services at home or in the business, as they do not allow inbound connections. This is because end users are not given IP addresses outside the private ranges, the IP address of the phone/dongle will be private, usually 10.x.x.x address.. This means that you cannot host your own website or VPN server or game server or....

For home users this can be an inconvenience, but for business users it can be a deal breaker. Some times you just need a public IP address so you can access content/services hosted in-house and this is just not possible with any cellular access currently available.

'Metadatagate' fails to bring down Oz pollie


Re: Time Legacy. @ Spaniel

Are you sure you got that the right way round?

Clocks go forward in Spring and back in Autumn...

Raspberry Pi daddy: Stroke your hardware at night, land a job easy

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Re: It's all very well being able to demonstrate an enthusiasm

The company where I work has a preliminary and full tech interview with candidates first, before the managers/HR types get involved. Different engineers carry out the tech interviews and discuss candidates amongst themselves, and this has generally meant that good candidates who fit into the team well get offers.

I don't have a degree, but could demonstrate experience in the tech interviews, along with a willingness to learn and I got the job. I'm also doing some of the tech interviews now, and look more for problem solving skills and a desire to learn. Learning a new scripting/programming language or other skill in spare time tends to score highly with me.

ZTE make benefit glorious world's tiniest 4G dongle


Either a sense of humour failure....

Or not a fan of Borat then?

Liberator: the untold story of the first British laptop part 3

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Fascinating series of articles.

Even more amazing to see that there was some nimble development work done in the 80s, even with the Civil Service involved.

Ubuntu gaining ground in website deployments


Re: Desktop a way in ?

That's how I started, with Ubuntu Desktop, and I migrated to Ubuntu Server when I started working for a company where I had to deploy LAMP servers at a rate of 1-2 a week. Still use it for dev environments and jumpboxes etc.