* Posts by KierO

33 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Jan 2013

The IT Crowd tops BAFTA nominations with four nods



"Why can't I just go in and see her?"


Classic. Gonna miss those guys.

RBS MELTDOWN LATEST: 'We'll be the bank we should be ... next YEAR maybe'


A bank failing to invest properly in IT?


Have you tried turning it off and on again - oh, you did: IT Crowd RETURNS


Re: How many fans of IT crowd

"This guy has NO online presence...he's not on FriendFace or Gitter..."


God I'm such a bastard!

"I'm going to murder you...you BLOODY WOMAN"

I can't wait for this.....PLEASE let it be good....PLEASE!!

Sony and Panasonic plan 300GB Blu-Ray replacement for 2015


Any interested? ANYONE?

DVD was the last great, widely adopted media format. Not many people have been bothered by blu-ray, what makes Sony and Panasonic think anyone will care about it's replacement?

Streaming, Live TV control and Recording (Sky+, Tivo etc) have all but made physical media a bit moot.

Seven snazzy smartphones for seven sorts of shoppers


Don't make me laugh!

"A near no-questions-asked replacement policy is the cherry on the cake." - Don't make me laugh.

Back when I still used iPhones, of varying levels, I heard all sorts of crap from Apple about why my device would not be replaced free of charge, even though the fault(s) was plain to see (my last iPhone stop getting any signal due to an internal aerial issue), instead I was always asked to spend £120-£150 to get a "reconditioned" replacement handset. Bloody rip-off!

When I complained to my mobile network they said :

"If it was ANY other phone than an Apple iPhone we would have just replaced it for you. Sorry but even when the device is still under contract and the fault is obviously a handset issue you still need to have an Apple Carepack"

Battery-boosting breakthrough grows on trees – literally


Playing a sport where batteries are pretty important I have seem some changes just in the last 8 years.

We started off with Ni-Cd (Nickle-Cadium) which needed to be fully discharged and recharged each time in order to prolong the life of the battery. Worked poorly in the cold and was big and heavy.

We then move on to Ni-Mh (Nickle Metal-Hydride) which was the same size and weight, but didn't need the full discharge and recharge. Still worked poolry in cold conditions.

Moving on to the present where we are now using Li-Po and Li-Fe (Lithium Polymer and Lithium Ferrite) batteries are much smaller and lighter, with a better power output and work much better in the cold, can fizz and explode if not used correctly.

Better technology is progressing, and there are quite a few interesting concepts (metal-air batteries, Hydrogen-Boride batteries etc etc) being explored, the problem is that the technology is not progressing at the same pace as our demands on it!

Vulns 'like a hacker camped in the server room' all across the net


"Yes but the snag is all the other things that get connected to management VLANs by people who should know better and who have been repeatedly warned of the risks."

You mean IT Managers right?

Rest your head against a train window, hear VOICES in your SKULL


You total bastards Sky! I was totally knackered and looking forward to a nice relaxing nap on my way home from work AND YOU HAD TO WAKE ME UP!

In the words of Bill Hicks "If you're in marketing or advertising, can you do me a favour and kill yourself?"

'The Apprentice' is a load of old codswallop, says biz prof


Love it.

I love the dam show....Working in business I find it more akin to a very tongue-in-cheek sitcom. It's so far removed from the truth that it's laughable.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z: Our new top Android ten-incher


Almost had me!

I'm really looking for a useful, light tablet at the moment to replace the "use it on the sofa" family laptop.

This was looking promising until I saw about the TN panel and the low battery life!!!

However Sony are to be commended, they are obviously making big strides to up their game at the moment, and especially love the push for devices that are "protected" against moisture etc. Too many devices are coming out at the moment with the company expecting you to break it within a year.

UK sitting on top of at least 50 years of shale gas – report

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"I notice that they're not looking too hard for it in the South East."


Maybe not shale gas but Oil exploration that threatens one of the best looking villages I have ever been through:


Besides, you can really look for underground rock formations in the south east......because it's all clay down here mate!! (At least a majority of the top soil is anyway.


Try getting your facts right before you shoot of about the old "North-South divide", it's such a tired cliché.


Re: Fuck yeh

Don't get me started on the privatised railways.....

Finance CIOs sweat as regulators prepare to probe aging mainframes


Re: Never been a bank employee

Yep, sounds about right.


Oh if only that were true. I wish I could say that money was wasted by someone else, truth is it never was.

We would start the year with an approved budget (with an approved list of projects), but once each project was started it AGAIN had to be validated and approved, with the answer being (more often than not) "There's no money available" or "We don't think we need this right now".

It was always good planning, but when push came to shove the managers always preferred to rely on our ability to keep things running on a shoestring whilst selfishly hoarding the companies resources so that the balance sheet looked better at the end of the year. After all an underspent budget was always considered to be good whilst a fully spent budget was always seen as bad.

The ultimate form of short-term gain for long-term loss.


Re: Mainframe reliability

IBM System i OS. - Often cited as the most reliable operating system in the world.


Re: It's the redundancy, stoopid!

"For most companies, the simplest way they could improve the reliability of their IT systems is to stop anyone from touching them" - Please don't say that!!!!

Yes most companies will not have a good enough DR plan, or there systems are too complex to be able to implement it easily.

But to say that "change" is what causes most of the issues?....I think that will only compound the attitudes of management already. "It works at the moment, so don't change it" is an a mentality that almost every non-technical (and some technical) people in banks already hold dear, please don't add fuel to that fire!

Aside from the technical side, I had staff in my operations department that would "override" important system messages, because "I was told to X years ago and that's the way it has always been done, I don't know why"...A very poor attitude to have.


Coming from someone who has worked in a bank (well two banks actually) it is not so much the mainframe vs Windows vs Unix/Linux argument that is the problem. There is no argument about the uptime of enterprise mainframe systems, you can't really beat 99.9999999% can you?!

The problem is a lack of business interest in keeping up to date with hardware (Yes even an AS/400 needs replacement from time to time), software (particularly software updates to core banking systems which cost a kings ransom) and disaster recovery.

The first bank I worked for refused to spend a single penny on replacement of core network switches, despite an email from myself (The Network Administrator) entitled "THE NETWORK IS GOING TO FAIL!". One month later a core switch in the server room died.......it took ONE. WHOLE. MONTH for the CEO to sign off the purchase order for new switches.

Hell, even my own department manager came out with some priceless sayings as "The Network switches aren't important, if we have to we'll go out and buy some old IBM dumb terminals"

Any business unit that doesn't make money is seen as a "drain on resources" . I frequently struggled to get essential, core-infrastructure updates approved despite obvious technical evidence (explained to management in very easy no-technical ways) that important systems where on the verge of collapse.

The phrase most often used in banks is "if it ain't broke, why should we pay to fix it?"

Until the management teams and board members of banks understand that you need to constantly invest in IT in order to maintain it, then major outages such as the one at RBS will continue to happen.

John McAfee releases NSFW video on how to uninstall security code

Thumb Up

So what I would have done...

If I was rich.....this video is SOOOOO what I would have done.

Apple: iOS7 dayglo Barbie makeover is UNFINISHED - report


Not convinced..

The reason jobs was successful?.....He kept to simple pricinples.

1) Make it attractive.

2) Make it easy to use, for anyone.

3) Make sure it works well and is well tested and refined before release.

Now he is gone, the Apple "Business Men" are reverting to stereo-type: Lets give our shareholders what they want and take on board lots of customer "feedback" about the software, change it to try and meet everyone's conflicting requirements and release it quickly.

I have worked for a much smaller software company that did all of the same stupid things, and it is almost dead now because of it.

I don't much like Apple, and don't use their products any more, but I respected Jobs for having the balls to tell people "this is the way we are going to do it" and then making sure it was ready before it was released.

Girls, beer and C++: How to choose the right Comp-Sci degree for you



IT Education in the UK is (for the most part) a joke. My IT "GCSE" as it was back then, consisted of a single hour and a half (I think) paper, that took me all of 20 minutes to finish and included such "in depth" questions as "Name two input devices commonly used with personal computers"......Please.

My university course of "Internet Technologies and Applications" was not that much better. Basically I was learning out of books published in 1971, the University had no budget for IT and much of the teaching staff had no real interest (bar one) and the "advance maths" section of the course was taught by an arrogant twit. His impression of teaching:

Him: "Today we are going to learn how to do this type of equation."

Him: "Here is the answer"

Me: "Sir, how did you get that answer?"

Him: "Weren't you listening? I'm not going through it again!"

Dropped out and got myself a job in IT and worked my way up, much better for my style of learning.

Chewbacca held up by TSA stormtroopers for having light sabre


Only recently had my first experience with the "dreaded" TSA.

Yes they are a bit draconian

Yes they almost made me miss my connecting flight (luckily it was delayed)

Yes they were a bit rude and officious.

Am I that bothered? No, because the UK Border Agency is almost as bad!!!

Hot new battery technologies need a cooling off period


What we need is...

Nuclear Fusion (Or at least Molten Salt Nuclear Fission reactors, instead of the light water reactor crap we have now) and Direct Borohydride Fuel Cell batteries (DBFC's for short). Hell yeah.

Safe Hydrogen storage in a fuel cell is a much better option then electrical batteries, at least for cars anyway.



I sooo could have done that!

Over the years the amount of slightly old servers, firewalls, network switches and the like that I have disposed off for companies, I could have just asked to keep some of it!!!

Sadly I no longer have space to do anything like this....I have kids now instead.

Samsung's new Galaxy S 4: iPhone assassin or Android also-ran?


Things that appeal to me:

Corning Gorilla Glass 3 (My SII's screen recently cracked like the san andreas fault)

Full HD screen (I Like to watch movies whilst commuting)

More RAM and Faster CPU (I like to play games, again whilst commuting)

Apart from that it's all just bells and whistles.

The reason I choose Samsung over Apple now is simply on price. You have to pay to be a fanboi, not so much to be a Fandroid.

Attention, CIOs: Stop outsourcing or YOU will never retire


Three things at play here:

1) WIth the "iPod generation", they all think that using tech is the same thing as "technical knowledge" that you require to work in IT. Either that or they simply think that having knowledge more in depth then "I know how to manage my iTunes library" is simply not cool.

2) UK companies almost always view IT as a "necessary evil" and will always treat it as such. Other countries treat IT engineers like the specialists they are.

3) A push to be a "Jack-of-all". You need to know almost everything, it's not exceptable to UK companies to be a "Network Specialist" or a "DB Specialist" you are expected to simply be a "Computer Specialist". Not to mention that as others have pointed out here you are also expected to have in-depth knowledge of the industry sector you work in (Be it finance, law, engineering etc...)

I have even been told by a bunch of bigoted individuals that I was not allowed to call myself an IT "Engineer" because I did not have a degree! To which I responded...."No I should be called a saint...because keeping this network running with the shoestring budget I have, is not short of miraculous!!". He soon stopped talking.

In conclusion, IT is not respected in this country.

1 in 7 WinXP-using biz bods DON'T KNOW Microsoft is pulling the plug


Wooh there. Many security patches on many OS's are actually privately reported or internally discovered. Not all are "Zero Day" exploits being used in the wild, THAT is hyperbole.

And to say that people will not be any more or any less vulnerable once security patches stop is just encouraging bad practice. Many of the "Major" virus infections of the last 15 or so years relied on security flaws that HAD been patched!

Staying patched is the number 1 rule to staying secure.


Started a new job last year and we are still running Windows XP. "We have dabbled with Windows 7" came the response, when asked what the plan was for migrating.

One legacy app was holding them back from going to Windows 7, which after two days of working on I found a way to get it working on Windows 7.

A little bit of work on WDS, USMT and Powershell and we now have a light-touch deployment of Windows 7 that works on almost all 15 models of desktop PC that we have in the office.

Doing a desktop rollout, be it hardware or software, is one the least "Sexy" IT projects and the hardest to sell to management, you almost always get the same response "Why do we need to spend money on doing that, what we have works fine!"

You mention "user resistance", but lets not forget that many of these "users" are the managers that oversee IT departments budgets!

Ten serious sci-fi films for the sentient fan


Zardoz? Seriously? Oh dear......

Twenty classic arcade games


Midnight Resistance? - Especially this one.....spent half my childhood on it!

Pit Fighter?

After Burner?

Mortal Kombat?

Any storm in a port


I too have been cursed by USB. Name any other port, anything: Serial, DVI, DisplayPort, VGA...all work fine for me.

But USB?! Nah...."I'm going to taunt your supposed 'intelligence' human, by being the wrong way round, no matter WHAT way round I am, HAHAHA."

I hate the front facing USB ports on my Coolermaster case almost as much as needing to work for a living.

Tesla vs Media again as Model S craps out on journo - on the highway


Doomed to fail....for now.

It's obvious to anyone with an ounce of technical savy that electric cars dependent on batteries are currently, at least, doomed to be short distance only.

Mobile phones, laptops, cars...we have all known for a while now that battery technology is not moving at the same pace as the technology it is expected to power. 10 years ago a mobile phone could last 4-5 days on one charge, now you are lucky if you get more than 1 day. Tesla is a victim of this, and I admire them for trying to push for EV's despite the uphill struggle.

There are some promising breakthroughs on the "battery" horizon such as Boron-Hyrdogen batteries (promise to be safe and store plenty of hydrogen) that could at last mean that there is a viable alternative to the well established and refined Petrol/Diesel engines.

Until this new battery tech comes out though, electric will never have the range or charge time to make it a fully viable alternative.

Which qualifications are worthwhile?


For the love of all things holy DON'T DO IT!! (Oh go on then....I'm just bitter from over 10 years in IT).

Essential skills:

1) Ability to consume vast amounts of junk food and caffeinated drinks, with little ill-effect.

2) Ability to explain complex technical things to senior managers in the most basic of language (sometimes more difficult then you would think)

3) Ability to keep something working long after it should have died (Born out of necessity)

4) An infinite amount of patience.


I found these actually count for very little in the IT world. What you know means almost nothing compared to what you have actually used and what you have done. But there are a few that help establish a "baseline":

1) CompTIA A+ (Easy Peesey)

2) CompTIA Network+ (Almost as easy as the A+)

3) Maybe an MCP (or whatever they are now called) in Active Directory/Windows Server/Exchange (They are the most general.

4) Cisco CCNA.

All the rest tend to be for a specialisation.

What might help, is if you have an IT department in your current job, see if you can do a bit of shadowing with them. I had a guy in my last job that shadowed me for 6 weeks, and I managed to teach him many of the basics in that time. He then moved up north and got a job with NetApp, where he now works as a storage specialist....he used to be a part time security guard!