* Posts by Luiz Abdala

424 posts • joined 3 Jul 2007


Psst … Want to buy a used IBM Selectric? No questions asked

Luiz Abdala

IBM typewriters with printer ports are called TELEX.

Some of those were EXACTLY IBM typewriters with printer drivers. If I recall correctly.

Your top 5 liquid cooling quandaries answered, according to Omdia

Luiz Abdala

sunk cost...

I can see a server having one tank for the dip-in stuff, and one dry rack for the storage...

... but now you have all the infrastructure you had for air cooling, plus the dieletric, plus means to connect the storage to the sunk racks that once were together.

Indeed, some folks should not have this at all.

And there is a joke about sunk cost lost in there somewhere.

Getting that syncing feeling after an Exchange restore

Luiz Abdala

Re: Exchange...

The limit was exactly 2GB.

And some people wouldn't even bother with the paltry 20MB on the server, they would go straight to a PST file on their machines, back in Windows 98 era...

Luiz Abdala

PST files. Or PTSD files?

I remember helping people in my old organization to scoot around Exchange limits by setting up private files and... those bloody things crashed if they got any larger than 2GB, being that Win 98 era.

You could choose having just 16MB on the server, that you could see it anywhere, or... downloading everything into your machine and hope it doesn't ever go down.

Everybody chose PST files. Some people managed 5 or 6 PST files at once.

Behold this drone-dropping rifle with two-mile range

Luiz Abdala

Ace Combat has you covered.

The drones in that dogfight game have enough AI on board to know exactly where they must go, how to behave under the most basic scenarios, and return to base if they lose communication.

The problem begins when a cientist tries to shove down their circuits the fighting style of the best pilots available and get them armed with missiles.

However, the most basic thing: "return to base if you lose comms" could be implemented today in real life, no matter how much jamming you throw at them.

BOFH: HR's gold mine gambit – they get the gold and we get the shaft

Luiz Abdala

I'm quite partial to the AM4 socket...

...but that´s me.

I'm agnostic to enterprise sockets, but thanks for asking!

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

Luiz Abdala

Re: We had a copier engineer once...

I remember of a bloke that had a similar problem with phone lines. He had a crosstalk problem on his line, and he was being billed by the company for calls he never made.

The company refused to service his line because they never detected anything wrong. He simply got a spark coil from his car that inputs several thousand volts on a vehicle spark plugs, and hotwired it to his phone when he heard the crosstalk.

The lines were set aflame along with the junction box down the street, followed by the line that was crossed with his.

And that forced them to fix the problem...

Tesla driver charged with vehicular manslaughter after deadly Autopilot crash

Luiz Abdala

Tesla uses cameras to actually see red lights. But it has mistook a full red moon or some ad billboard with red circles for stop lights before. It is all about pattern recognition, you may train the software all you want, you will never get 100% perfection. No wonder Tesla washed their hands here.

Manslaughter is the adequate solution, missing a parked car in red light, this dude snoozed off, regardless of car.

Stop sign, for obvious reasons.

PS. Tesla refusing to add LIDAR is biting them in the ass, big time.

Fisher Price's Bluetooth reboot of pre-school play phone has adult privacy flaw

Luiz Abdala

Kidnapping deterrent?

I can only see it as a kidnapping deterrent, where you get locked up with an infant and you take it with you with the sole purpose of entertaining the child.

Then you entertain the police with your whereabouts.

Even so, it would be a convoluted way to make it work, with a real phone stashed near you, already paired with it.

Microsoft gives Notepad a minimalist makeover to match Windows 11 style

Luiz Abdala

Re: What's that one again, that recognized HTML and scripts...??

I gotta find UltraEdit, eventually test it myself.

Luiz Abdala

What's that one again, that recognized HTML and scripts...??

Notepad ++?

Because that thing is a gem. Can go hexadecimal, and recognize xml tags, and tags in general, can edit .ini files with visual aid, whatever.

It's 2021 and someone's written a new Windows 3.x mouse driver. Why now?

Luiz Abdala

Re: I remember a buddy of mine...

It was definitely a one-man job.

The guy locked the code, compiled into a single executable and done.

Eons later, I saw a tutorial on how to build the exact same software, and it was that.

Quick and dirty, but very efficient and single purpose.

Luiz Abdala

I remember a buddy of mine...

[first of all, we need a new icon - I AM TOO OLD FOR THIS - Vintage, - Back in the Day - Use a reel-to-reel IBM tower as the image.]

He had a rental business. A game cartridge rental, back in the Genesis/ Mega Drive and SNES era. He had a custom made app for Windows 3.x to track rentals, dues, fees, that sorta of thing. It ran in Access, and pretty fast at that. It saved after every completed operation, as expected.

He then bought a new machine, a Pentium 4. It booted and opened Windows 3.11 in under 15 seconds. If it crashed, it could reboot, and still register your request without waiting.

I never found quite an app better tailored to his needs, including pictures of the cover of the titles and means to capture them.

I could see him running that same app, 25 years later, in a VM on a much more powerful, up to date machine that would let him alt-tab into Doom Eternal, as he did back then, with another PC running Doom.

And using that driver.

When civilisation ends, a Xenix box will be running a long-forgotten job somewhere

Luiz Abdala

COBOL in a nutshell.

COBOL would have kept working indefinitely if it wasn't for 4 digits in the year field.

50 years and still ticking.

Crypto for cryptographers! Infosec types revolt against use of ancient abbreviation by Bitcoin and NFT devotees

Luiz Abdala

Let the context decide.

I loved that point.

For us boffins, crypto means cryptography.

If somebody mentions bitcoin and blockchain on the same breath, crypto means cryptocurrency.

Let's decide that over a beer that costs 0,0000000001 bitcoin.

Cruel and unusual IT fail upstages Megan Fox. Transformers: Windows in disguise

Luiz Abdala

A projector, a balcony, and Super Nintendo emulator.

The best use of a giant screen was a guy that setup a projector at night for his kids on the opposite building, and a showdown of Street Fighter 2.

Chun Li and E. Honda ducking it out in a 200 ft. screen looked epic.

The audio, fortunately, didn´t match the size and distance of the "screen" and could not be heard on the footage.

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

Luiz Abdala

I need that resolve...

...and that psychopatic streak disguised as helpfulness, and invade our Congress, and demand public services working in perfect order, in exchange for these congressmen keeping their skins around their muscles, and not extended outside in the shape of a pirate flag.

Zuckerberg wants to create a make-believe world in which you can hide from all the damage Facebook has done

Luiz Abdala

This guy watched too much Ready Player One and wants in.

This could work, but not with Facebook pulling the strings.

Big Blue scoffs a Happy Meal: McDonald's sells automated order-taking tech to IBM

Luiz Abdala

Voice Recognition is a pet project from IBM for over... 30 years now?

Remember that IBM package to add voice recogntion to your pc? Naturally speaking...?

Back then, it would hamper a Pentium 100 MHz performance, but today...

I wanna see this system botching up your orders, and they having to rejig the entire system to show the order in WRITING before accepting the yelled order over a windy day and noisy traffic.

We regret to inform you there's an RCE vuln in old version of WinRAR. Yes, the file decompression utility

Luiz Abdala

Re: LGR has WinRAR registered.

I did translations myself, but for one specific app where the guy had a button on *every* command that needed translation and you could post suggestions. I don't even remember what it did.

You would choose the language you wanted to use, and the app would place the button for every command that had no translation, while letting you see the english (as expected, right?).

Pretty smart code, if you ask me. And I said *suggestions*, otherwise there would be funny people throwing colorful words in the app.

He had the app translated in no time, since I took it as a pet project. It was a one-off thing by that programmer, but the app worked flawlessly.

Luiz Abdala

LGR has WinRAR registered.

I know at least one person on this planet has the REGISTERED VERSION of WinRAR.

Clint, from LGR - Lazy Game Reviews YT Channel - bought and registered WinRAR, for the funsies.

Yes, he bought and registered WinRAR, which in turned sent him a pressed CD with multiple versions for Windows, including Windows 3.11, 98, XP, NT and 10.

I wonder how the vulnerability is bypassed on the registered version.

Think your phone is snooping on you? Hold my beer, says basic physics

Luiz Abdala
Big Brother

PC speakers and mobile calls and dental fillings.

I kinda liked when speakers attached to my PC predicted my mobile was receiving a call. It was a very deliberate tune, just like a fax tone.

For quite some time, they could also pickup exactly 90.5 MHz, which was the local News FM, its antenna just 500m away. It was hard to listen to Windows bings and bangs, drowned by the latest political scandal.

To be honest, I think you could hear that FM newscast coming from your dental fillings in a quiet room, given the signal could still be heard in your car some 50 or 60km away.

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

Luiz Abdala

I did one of those myself. Verbally. To my boss.

The best part is, my superior agreed with me, and said he would need that in writing, in a "polished" fashion, (while laughing his ass off) to forward to our suppliers who gave us much grievance, and the reason for the verbal expletives.

So, he took notes of the main concerns, as I typed a cleaner version of the script he had now at hand.

He just forwarded the now clean "report" e-mail, almost verbatim to the suppliers, which were most displeased when they found out the wrong version of whatever they were supposed to send our company arrived to us.

Working without a wall between you and your immediate superior has some perks, after all.

How Windows NTFS finally made it into Linux

Luiz Abdala

Re: I can only warn

Outlook .PST files longer than 2GB.

Woe betide thee, if you had to help someone when their PST file would no longer open.

I learned that creating another PST file and asking the pleb to move their emails over would force the crud to stay back, instead of compacting (removing the deleted) mails like you were supposed to do, nestled behind 4 levels of obscure menus in Outlook 2000.

Back when servers (Exchange, hurrrl) were not supposed to hold all your junk and had a 20MB limit, and you were meant to save the emails on the local hard drive.

The special folks that had FIVE PST folders, I instructed them to run the Outlook compactor, because these had to be a more tech savvy to do their jobs, which in turn got them off my back.

Luiz Abdala

Re: I can only warn

Not exactly FILE NAME limits, but if the FOLDER PATH is longer than 255 digits... ohhh a lot of interesting things happen.

Specially over networked folders.

I remember that 255 digit on the folder path being a problem, but I don't know if it was eventually fixed with Windows 10... (bahahahah, probably not).

It's been some good 10 years since I bumped into this issue.

Pretend starship captain to take trip in real space capsule

Luiz Abdala

Re: Dicing With Death

I bought the full DVD set for the series, and they redid all the orbital scenes and whatnot in modern CG.

It still looks dated, but the ship looks better than ever. You still have CRT monitors and industrial switches on the panels that occasionally blow up, to keep the nostalgia pumping.

They did a good job on the DVD remasterization.

The Register speaks to one of the designers behind the latest Lego Ideas marvel: A clockwork solar system

Luiz Abdala

Take My Money.

That would turn into the nicest night lamp ever.

For kids. Of course.

A speech recognition app goes into a bar. Speak up if you’ve heard it already

Luiz Abdala

Re: Palm glyphs

I had one Palm that was already color, very lovely. Its wake-up sign could be customized to the military trumpet style, it was lovely. The colors were washed out, but it could display all 16 of them on its backlit display. Too bad its battery died long ago, and all of its functionality got into phones anyway. I learned the glyphs at an exceptional rate, given how efficient it was.

Another topic, the calendar allowed customized alarms even back then, very handy.

Speaking of alarms, I worked withing range of a Nuclear Power Plant by those days, and guess what, they use the air raid siren as well.

Maybe you are within range of a NPP in France, and not aware of it. They tested the bloody thing every fortnight, at exactly 10AM.

Fired credit union employee admits: I wiped 21GB of files from company's shared drive in retaliation

Luiz Abdala

Re: Rather moronic

rm -rf as root? Or some flavor of it? format /u ?

Anyway, I agree that prior to firing people, their access should be revoked, and backups made.

Right to repair shouldn't exist – not because it's wrong but because it's so obviously right

Luiz Abdala

As JayZTwoCents says...

"There is no reason for a G-Sync Monitor to draw 15W from the socket in hibernation mode."

So yeah, you can buy the high-powered components all you want, but they must obey idle comsumption power limits, and I agree with that philosophy. That´s topic number one.

Topic number 2: the right to repair indeed should be a given, but since Apple exists, and they tell you to chuck that 1-year old laptop into the bin and buy a new one because of a single capacitor, you should be able to tell them to go f* themselves, go to Louis Rossman, and let him solder a new capacitor in place of the one that went kaput and charge you 50 bucks for it.

Stuxnet sibling theory surges after Iran says nuke facility shut down by electrical fault

Luiz Abdala

Yes, poor Iran needs nuclear power.

They don't have any other fuel source to produce electrical power.

Poor little 3rd world country.

BOFH: Time for the MMOCC. You know, the Massively Moronic Online Christmas Call

Luiz Abdala

Re: "We've signed up to a multi-presence company”

Try Teams autostarting...

...on Core 2 Duos;

... with 4GB of ram;

...out of hard drives.

And we can't disable it.

I swear to GOD, lime and carpet rolls are in order here for all the bellends that decided it was a good idea to inflict that pain upon such archeologic machinery, besides Windows 10 itself.

The spawn of Satan works for my IT department.

Cyberpunk 2077: There's a great game within screaming to get out, but sadly it was released 57 years too early

Luiz Abdala

Didn't CDPR learn anything from Microsoft?

Let´s step back for a minute here.

Flight Simulator.

It was announced and BAM, here it is. No major bugs, the airplanes work, you don't fall through the floor of airports... It was released on date (it was?) Except for a glitch or two, based on the quality of the sources they used - a 212 story house - nothing game breaking.

The thing was thorougly tested, but then again... you have MICROSOFT behind it. Lots of devs, QA, can be mustered to do anything on a moments notice.

But my point is, they didn't announce the game until it was proper and ready. I heard it was based on the previous version, FSX, but everything except for the physics engine was rewritten, from the rendering to the UI, it was all redone. It had to be integrated with online streaming, another huge hurdle that I heard nobody complaining that "only the low-res models loaded". That thing is being STREAMED, several terabytes of it from azure or whatever, a major flex for them, alright, let´s give them that, but the point remains.

They kept their traps shut until it was done. Am I the only one that feels like this? That CDPR should simply have kept their traps shut for another year? Or could they have pulled a Blizzard and said "yeah, we are developing Diablo 4, but that will take at least 2 years"? Activision-Blizz is saying nothing on how D4 is going, or how Overwatch 2 is going. They announced it and that's that.

Yes, there a virus going on, but Microsoft pulled it smoothly, while it was a mess for CDPR. Is it just money? Could they have handled it better despite being a tiny company near Microsoft?

How does that compare to Hello Games, a company just as tiny, but I don't remember No Mans Sky having "blurred low-res models" loaded making the game unplayable, I just remember my graphics cards griding to make 20 fps, and then suddenly making 40 fps after a patch. A bit of apples to oranges here, but bear with me, there wasn't anything fundamentally wrong with No Mans Sky upon launch, just an extreme lack of content beyond the procedurally generated planets, that turned out less varied than the coding suggests...

Is it just a feeling, or they could have kept mum about Cyberpunk for another year of Quality Assurance?

Remember how it took 2 years before Rockstar released GTA for PCs, and it went reasonably smooth? It was far from perfect - believe me - but it was stable.

Why, yes, you can register an XSS attack as a UK company name. How do we know that? Someone actually did it

Luiz Abdala

The license plate NULL and the license plate VOID.

There was a bloke in the US that thought that using NULL and VOID as his and his missus license plates would skim him out of any traffic violations forever.

Turns out that EVERY traffic violation automatically registered to vehicles such as Ambulances and Police Cruisers that were then declared as NULL or VOID by humans were then addressed TO HIM.

He ended up with over $34,000.00 worth of traffic violations in less than one month or something to that effect.

Nice plot twist there!


Uber drivers take ride biz to European court over 'Kafkaesque' algorithmic firings by Mastermind code

Luiz Abdala

Re: "irregular trips"

That´s the best thing about Uber, except when it envolves the fact the driver is not running Waze along with it, to avoid the worst traffic jams.

Because they love taking the most jam-packed route. Which is why they are packed, they are usually the quickest route from A to B, or they would be if there was no traffic.

A cautionary tale of virtual floppies and all too real credentials

Luiz Abdala

Re: rm - r *.*

"Things that bring utter terror when used against you cause immense joy when used in your favor."

Maybe someone famous quoted that before me... I don't know.

When you're On Call, only you can hear the silence of the clicks

Luiz Abdala

Noise is a good feedback.

A noisy keyboard is a good feedback. I mean, a dial-tone response, not a shoddy quality touchscreen that creaks under pressure.

Over my mum they have an elevator panel without any response. No glowing ring, no dial-tone noise, no LCD showing a floor number lit.

Guess which panel gets pressed multiple times. Icon for reason.

Unis turn to webcam-watching AI to invigilate students taking exams. Of course, it struggles with people of color

Luiz Abdala

Re: Why use the word racist.

That's the funny part. The sample base to train the AI was not large enough.

Hanlon's razor: "Never attribute to malice that which could be adequately explained by stupidity."

Ethernet failure on Swiss business jet prompted emergency descent, say aviation safety bods

Luiz Abdala

FCS is not new.

Fly-by-wire - where everything is hooked to a computer - is not something new. F-16's have been flying like this for, what, 40 years now?

What's new is not having a McDonnel - Douglas level of budget to exhaustively test everything or having the DoD breathing down your neck to QA the bloody thing properly because you are going to wage war with it.

Trusting your life to a router ain't exactly a good thing, unless you built it for this purpose with infinite budget... so it works right off the bat, and you don't have to wait WINDOWS UPDATE to deploy the landing gear or lower flaps!

Mate, it's the '90s. You don't need to be reachable every minute of every hour. Your operating system can't cope

Luiz Abdala

The worst I ever witnessed - and corrected - was...

...A network of 5 Windows 95 machines, all of them with modems, hogging up a PABX central to get - you guessed - dial-up internet access. (with fancy COAX thin-net 10base2 cables! Terminators! 50 Ohms! BNC connectors! All that jazz!)

The thing was taking 5 phone lines, in a language-for-foreigners school. Five precious landlines which were used to enroll people in new courses.

I put just one - on the principal's office - to do said modem dialing, installed a proxy software on it, and turned all other network cards to "gateway" access on that machine (fixed IPs are nice on small networks!). A valuable instruction to cause the modem to disconnect in 5 minutes, auto-dialing enabled, and the thing could complete most of web access requests without dropping the ball, if the modem got a line on the first try.

Plus, the proxy would cache most of the own school central web pages, causing them to be extremely fast (static web pages were an asset back then!). Tested everything, you could hear the modem dialing on the other room, as you tried to browse on Netscape... and you could hear see the modem hanging up by the end of the shift when nobody was using for 5 minutes. Brilliant.

The whole thing worked fine, and on the first year, they got 80% more students, because FOUR LINES were available. The whole jerry-rig I had done with proxy software went away when they bought their first ADSL line with a router. And Cat5 cables.

I took the coax cable for myself with all the terminators, and assembled my own network at home, for free, after being cleared, of course.

Anyone else noticed that the top countries for broadband speeds are well-known tax havens? No? Just us then?

Luiz Abdala

Re: Lies... Damn Lies...

"At the higher speeds it is almost irreverent (sic) what the actual numbers are as you will never use it."

Until you have to download Flight Simulator at a whopping 90GB. And you discover you will have to wait 7 days to get it done.

Better go buy beer and sip it SLOWLY while you wait for your irrelevant speed internet to chug along.

Happy birthday to the Nokia 3310: 20 years ago, it seemed like almost everyone owned this legendary mobile

Luiz Abdala


I still haven't seen a mobile that can survive a 10mm drill bit hole across the screen.


Party like it's 2004: Almost a quarter of Windows 10 PCs living with the latest update

Luiz Abdala

Boot from this drive.

I am still waiting for a single snap-in tool FROM MICROSOFT that simply says:


It should dismount the drive, unpartititon it, format a fresh NTFS/whatever bootable partition on it and migrate the WHOLE boot to it, and then reboot the machine off of the fresh drive. (It would be usually unpartitioned anyway, but it must ask permissions first, of course).

Acronis felt unable to read my older boot drive and clone it into a fresh SSD, and I haven't found the time to setup a fresh boot from scratch and install EEEEEVERYTHING again. I'm kinda stumped at finding a tool capable of just cloning my current setup for free..

After 50 years, I feel Microsoft should not fear us cloning their OS freely, but it reached the point where the thing just blobs "please activate windows" in an overlay, and that's it. The slap on the wrist stays on screen forever, but it won't bother an USER any further.

This is not the place (forum, right?), but any ideas?

We haven't reached "Theseus ship" status yet, because Windows refuses to install in a fresh storage media, you MUST make a clean install every time you need to upgrade.

This PDP-11/70 was due to predict an election outcome – but no one could predict it falling over

Luiz Abdala

Re: @tip pc -- The elevator did it

Oh yes, the car had all levels of disrepair in the cable harness, and we had it rebuilt shortly thereafter, including ground lines.

The radio was usable again after it.

Luiz Abdala

Re: Performance Upgrade

GTX 1070's and 1060's are expressely GTX 1080's that failed one or more cores during the QA.

I thought it was widely known, ever since each generation of gpus came with 3 or more "flavors".

And overclocking was also born from this: someone discovered that several cheaper Intel chips were actually the same physical object as the higher speed parts, all you needed to do was to overclock the whole motherboard and have speedier memory to be able to handle the overclock, because the chips themselves were locked, while saving a few bucks.

Intel admitted to this years later, releasing "unlocked" extreme chips, where the core clock is decoupled from the motherboard/southbridge/northbridge/whatever speeds (and thus everything else remains at regular pace) and you can overclock the chip alone at your heart's content, depending of how much support you have on the board to do that.

Luiz Abdala
Thumb Up

Re: @tip pc -- The elevator did it

My old man had a car where the ignition coil became completely unshielded to the AM and short wave radio over time... You could clearly hear the spark firing order through the radio. It also made it impossible to listen to anything on the radio beside the ignition coil.

It was easy to diagnose when a spark plug failed through the gap in the noise over the radio. Because it was a 305 V8, "meh, we still got 7 cylinders firing until we get home".

Pulling each one of the spark plug wires, one of them made no difference to the now rattling and gurgling idle.

Not just computers benefited from EM shielding.

Luiz Abdala

Re: The elevator did it

People these days collected (17?) or so floppy drives to play the theme of Mario Bros...


Reply-All storm flares as email announcing privacy policy puts 500 addresses in the 'To' field, not 'BCC'

Luiz Abdala

Who, Me?

Do I smell a "Who, Me?" scenario looming in the horizon for this outfit?

If you can read this, your Windows 10 2004 PC really is connected to the internet no matter what the OS claims

Luiz Abdala

Re: Cortana can't be activated

That´s why Master Chief unplugged her from his suit. Not that she'd go berserk... he was connecting her to a wired PC and trying to reset her registry key.

TomTom bill bomb: Why am I being charged for infotainment? I sold my car last year, rages Reg reader

Luiz Abdala

I bought a portable TomTom device a few years ago and...

...it kindly asks me to be plugged in to my pc to receive updates. It happens every 3 months.

Tomtom gently reminded me that this device is now too old and won't be updated any further. And my subscription is still active, despite having now no compatible device. Of course, it urged me to buy a new device, already covered by the subscription service. The now old device keeps asking me to be updated forever, and the tomtom pc software keeps warning me said device ran out of memory (2 Gib) and it can't download new maps, besides being no longer supported.

However, old device still works fine, much better than any android app currently on my phone, because it doesn't connect to the internet, not incurring in additional fees, while the GPS antenna is still excellent.

And roads on my Continent didn't change location recently, so I am perfectly fine with said outdated portable device and its outstanding ETA calculator.

And I expect the PC subscription to cancel itself (as in EXPIRE) when I refuse to pay for additional service, as I own a discontinued autonomous GPS device that is no longer supported by TomTom. And that's what should have happened here, the subscription should simply expire upon refusal of payment.



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