* Posts by Calum Morrison

184 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Jul 2007


Blockchain needs a reason to exist, Boris Johnson tells roomful of blockchain pros

Calum Morrison

Re: Johnson on the post-PM lectures circuit gravy train, yes, but...

My thoughts entirely - is he there to inject a bit of glamour to the proceedings? Stardust? It's weird because an audience of blockchain shysters are surely the audience least susceptible to the pish he hawks.

Calum Morrison

Imagine actually paying to hear that guff - it was bad enough reading the soundbites. I wonder if his fee was in bitcoin?

Job 1: Get the boss on the network. Job 2: Figure out why Job 1 broke the network for everyone else

Calum Morrison

Re: The situation after this

Don't worry, neither did Scott - it's one of our older Scottish jokes:

What's the difference between Bing Crosby and Walt Disney?

Bing Sings and Walt Disnae.

Luckily we've invented Billy Connolly and Kevin Bridges since.

LG debuts thin malleable screens made from contact lens material

Calum Morrison

Re: Visors

It's made of contact lens polymer so why stop at visors; this sort of stuff is going to be on or in your cornea in our lifetime... I'm guessing El Reg will be able to get a quote from that mad/self aggrandising prof that used to implant chips in his arms on this one.

Porsche wants to sell you a rusty tailpipe soundbar for $12k

Calum Morrison

Re: Bah

The 4L is being reinvented as an EV so I guess if you switch the petrol engine off, there's your setting.

Calum Morrison

Re: Bah

I don't know if this is sadder, but those systems are purely for the occupants of the car and don't really carry outside. With most cars being turbocharged these days, the engines are a lot quieter hence the "need" for this. Some Renaults allow you to choose from a range of different classic cars from their range. More interesting is the technique Ford - and I think Porsche themselves - use where real engine sound is fed into the cabin via series of pipes and diaphragms from the engine bay. At least that's sort of real.

Calum Morrison

Re: It's gotta be hot and glassy...

My 911 exhaust had valves in it and they enhanced the sound too.

Your next PC should be a desktop – maybe even this Chinese mini machine

Calum Morrison

It's maybe a bit of an esoteric issue, but Outlook annoys the hell out of me - in many more ways to be fair - in the way it absolutely will not remember window size or position, particularly wrt open emails as opposed to the main application itself. I think it was a review on here that found me the solution - FancyZones via MS PowerToys on Win 10. You basically draw out a selection of zones on your desktop then, using shift, move windows into those zones and they snap in and stay there. Outlook opens on he left two thirds of my main monitor, emails in the half, overlapping the main window but always the same damn size. Revelation!

You may be able to use it to solve some of your issues with multiple monitors - it's free so you may as well try...

Cops swoop after crooks use wireless keyfob hack to steal cars

Calum Morrison

Re: motors from two French automakers

My first thought was Citroen / Peugeot, but as you say they're Stellantis so many many more brands would be implicated - the technology shared between a Vauxhall corsa and Pug 208 is almost total.

I think Renault and Nissan are a bit less integrated though arguably Renault / Alpine would count as two French brands so that may be who it is. an Alpine A110 is effectively a Renault mechanically so I assume its security system will be too.

Of course, this doesn't count Dacia (and indeed Lada until earlier this year) but then they famously avoid technology that adds little to a car that their customers really want.

Doctor gave patients the wrong test results due to 'printer problems'

Calum Morrison

Re: Photocopier challange

Not all car parks are created equal; imagine it was a series of spaces along the side of a building on a one way street where the building was on the left (UK passenger side) so there was no option other than to drive in and out.

Calum Morrison

Re: re: How do you add fuel?

The current company car is a Volvo and the fuel filler release button is pretty much as daft; it only unlocks it so you still need to get out and actually press the flap to pop it open. That can take quite a bit of futile button pressing to discover... Presumably a safety or security feature and probably documented in the handbook, but that's a PDF on the infotainment system so that's not getting read.

Calum Morrison

Re: Photocopier challange

I had a panicked call from my wife a few years ago as she was trying to unpark her Audi A6. She'd parked facing down a slope with nothing in front but now there was a car there and it was quite close. When she engaged reverse to give herself room to turn, the electronic parking brake released and her car moved forward before she could catch the bite point and move backwards. She caught it on the foot brake but was now too close to the car in front to pop the clutch and reverse hill start - she is a good driver and this shouldn't be an issue but it was like the parking brake was broken. She was stuck and in a hurry but couldn't leave the space without hitting the car in front. We couldn't figure it out and there was nothing in the handbook so she ended up having to wait for that car to leave - luckily not long.

It was some time later I was in a similar position in the car and the same thing happened. Not sure how, but by chance, I discovered that it was an undocumented feature to do with the seatbelt. I forget the details now, but I think it was belt on, handbrake disengaged automatically, belt off, it didn't. Fine in most circumstances but not in this case! A colleague had a similar generation car and she had exactly the same issue. The model my wife replaced it with (slight facelift car, 2014 rather than 2012 model) no longer did this...

Enough with the notifications! Focus Assist will shut them u… 'But I'm too important!'

Calum Morrison

Re: Windows System Sounds - office hell!

Pascall, you can indeed turn the sound off, but a lot of people don't like you fiddling with their PCs so you either have to do it surreptitiously or - as would be easiest - via GP.

Calum Morrison

Windows System Sounds - office hell!

In the old days, users needed speakers to annoy everyone in their office with bings, dings, dongs and whooshes so it was a relatively rare phenomenon. Since pretty much every PC has a built in speaker now and laptops all do, any open plan office is a hellscape of windows and Outlook notifications unless they're disabled - particularly as volume sliders are usually set to max for Teams calls, youtube vids etc.

Most people don't notice or know how to silence these constant bloody nuisances and it's not a system-wide option - it's per profile, with Windows seemingly even copying the WAV files into each user's profile so even deleting at source doesn't help. As far as I can find, there's no GP method to do it (why!!!???) so every single user I set up has to have it done manually - in the old XP-style dialogue box natch as Windows 10's sound panel doesn't seem to do it. It's either that or know that Betty in accounts has hit the wrong bastarding key yet a-f**ing-gain.

I hate you Microsoft.

Calum Morrison

Re: talky toaster?

Doesn't every microwave do that? Mine also beeps loudly every couple of minutes after finishing if you don't open the door. Arguably a safety reminder, but annoying AF.

My in-laws gave us a toastie maker as a wedding gift that doesn't beep at all - for some reason Breville decided it should play "comedy" celebrity impersonations, loosely themed on toasties. Even when we received it back in 2004 it was dated stuff - Ooh Mavis, Ken and Deirdre Barlow type guff that would even embarrass Les Dennis back in the 80s. It was truly dire and yet also utterly awesome in that very terribleness. Of course we've still got it...

Apple's new MacBook Air: Is the jump to M2 silicon worth another $200?

Calum Morrison

Linux will be on the desktop before Apple runs out of fanbois to bilk.

Bill Gates says NFTs '100% based on greater fool theory' amid crypto cataclysm

Calum Morrison

Re: He's partly right

IIRC, Stellantis (the company formed from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot Citroen etc.) are using NFTs to store and track car service and condition details. With the way clocking, cloning etc. is used to defraud customers, this could actually be an unsexy but useful implementation of the technology.

Microsoft CRM tool to pull sales data from email, Teams calls, Office 365

Calum Morrison

Re: Don't undestand any of that........

And in the 2010s, though you'd be hard pressed to tell one from 50 paces:


Sun sets on superjumbo: Last Airbus A380 rolls off the production line

Calum Morrison

My then office was on the flight-path (What's it called? Cumbernauld!) and one day in the summer there was the highly unusual - and probably unique - sight of a Virgin 747 tailing the Emirates A380 over the Campsies.

That was in 2019 and I think it's safe to say we'll never see the likes of that approaching Glasgow again ;-(

Arrivals must have been mobbed shortly afterwards.

MySQL a 'pretty poor database' says departing Oracle engineer

Calum Morrison

Re: There is no reason not to choose Postgres

Doubt it; he sounds like an Access fanboi.

Calum Morrison

Re: There is no reason not to choose Postgres

You completely failed to process the joke. Were you querying it in Excel?

Fatal Attraction: Lovely collection, really, but it does not belong anywhere near magnetic storage media

Calum Morrison

Re: Aye, smells like shite tae me.

Definitely the latter, at least for them corrupting the hard disk. Potentially corrupting files en-route to the disk - maybe even a keyboard cable - but if it were the disk itself it'd be more than just a few Word docs. Looking at the age of the story, Word in those days was more than capable of corrupting its own output...

Correlation is not causation.

Calum Morrison

Also the fact it only seemed to be the user's documents that were getting corrupted, but none of the OS or application files on the HDD? Aye, smells like shite tae me.

Is it broken yet? Is it? Is it? Ooh that means I can buy a sparkly, new but otherwise hard-to-justify replacement!

Calum Morrison

Such innacuracy!

Time to award yourself a shiny new factchecker Mr Dabbs as I fear the old one is rusty. I'm pretty sure Josh Homme wasn't touring with EoDM when they were caught up in the Bataclan tragedy; they're one of those bands (many actually featuring Josh Homme) that has something of a revolving lineup. QoTSA are indeed another (I've been lucky enough to see them with Lanegan singing live - awesome) but I seem to recall reading an interview with Homme where he was discussing the trauma-induced breakdowns his friend and bandmate Jesse Hughes had suffered since that night. Truly horrible for everyone concerned.

The old New: Windows veteran explains that menu item

Calum Morrison

Re: Always an important consideration

Yeah, that sounds about right. DOS just rebooted straight away but 9x did give you a sort of option that sometimes worked. Ahh, happy days...

Calum Morrison

And only rename it to .bat once it's been written to ensure it opens in edit mode... And yes, for that matter, I also have to change the Explorer view to "show extensions for known file types", either on every fresh PC I use or in GP. Why the hell MS changed that back in 7(?) I don't know.

Calum Morrison

Re: Always an important consideration

You might have discovered CTRL ALT DEL in 3.0 but it wasn't to bring up the task manager - it's been a while since I endured an MS OS that old, but didn't CTRL ALT DEL just instantly reboot in those days?

IIRC it wasn't until NT4 that it brought up the login and task manager options; Win 9x didn't employ it for much more than restarting the whole PC too if memory serves.

The world is chaos but my Zoom background is control-freak perfection

Calum Morrison

Up here in Scotland, one of our public health officials is always immaculately turned out when she's interviewed - almost daily - from her home; makeup, hair, clothes and always with a very tasteful, very fresh flower arrangement in her nicely decorated room. But over her shoulder is a surface-mounted light switch fed by a cable conduit and I CAN'T FOCUS ON ANYTHING ELSE!

What job title would YOU want carved on your gravestone? 'Beloved father, Slayer of Dragons, Register of Domains'

Calum Morrison

There's worse you could have on your tombstone; just ask Robert B Findlater buried in Durness, Sutherland at the tragically young age of 20 years & 13 months.

No digital equivalent to the impulse aisle found as online grocery shoppers buy fewer sweet treats than in real life

Calum Morrison

This is exactly why the (UK at least) supermarkets were late to online shopping; it wasn't that they couldn't, they were afraid of how much impulse revenue they'd lose. I'm sure I read at the time that there was something akin to an unwritten agreement amongst the big guys about this and then someone blinked first.

How many remote controls do you really need? Answer: about a bowl-ful

Calum Morrison

You wanted to switch the TV on with the power button on the remote control? Are you quite mad!? Every TV manufacturer knows that you switch the TV on by pressing channel button up or down. Or volume up or down. The on/off button is purely for switching it off. Well, into standby.

I've never worked out the logic in that arrangement, but it seems very common

Today I shall explain how dual monitors work using the medium of interpretive dance

Calum Morrison

Re: Laptop + Monitor = two computers?

The "box" under the desk or on the desk or wherever it's been put is always, always referred to as the "hard drive" by these people. Always.

Microsoft releases command-line package manager for Windows (there are snags)

Calum Morrison

Winget / Wing It, Winnit

Are MS winging it (probably) or is this just a small crumb of shit hanging around a very smelly place?

Calum Morrison

Re: Restarts

A lot of these restarts seem to be unnecessary and - from what I can tell - are probably just a hangover from old versions of Windows or caution on the behalf of the person writing the installer. Many/most apps calling for a restart will work fine without, albeit they may use that restart to tidy up some of their logs etc. Per the article, there seems to be little standardisation in Windows to ensure things are all done in a similar manner.

Apple announces lossless HD audio at no extra cost, then Amazon Music does too. The ball is now in Spotify's court

Calum Morrison

Re: The fruit giveth, the fruit taketh away

Always superior? Not when I'm out running they're not.

Calum Morrison

Re: Yay!

On the other hand, the artist has been paid once for the original purchase - there's no real reason to pay them again. And that's coming from someone who still happily buys CDs direct from the artist and digital content from BandCamp.

Japan to start stamping out rubber stamps and tearing up faxes as new digital agency given Sept. 1 start date

Calum Morrison

Re: Frustrating, isn't it

Businesses holding out with cheques do so for one of two reasons; either wee Mary in accounts doesn't know how to modernise and has heard scare stories or more likely because they know it'll take you longer to cash it - if at all - meaning the money stays in their account longer or indeed indefinitely.

See Spotify et al.

Adobe co-founder and PostScript co-creator Charles Geschke dies, aged 81

Calum Morrison

Windows 10 is still trying to foist something called XPS Document Writer on my list of printers. IIRC from the one time I looked at it, it's their unwanted version of something that everyone else just gets on and uses.

Pure frustration: What happens when someone uses your email address to sign up for PayPal, car hire, doctors, security systems and more

Calum Morrison

BobSmith@gmail is the same account as Bob.Smith@gmail in Google's eyes; and it's owned by Bo.B.Smith@gmail as it happens.

And that's only because he got fed up of receiving Bo A Smith's email.

Next day delivery a bit of a pain? We have just the thing... nestled deep in the terms and conditions

Calum Morrison

Time for them to change their FTP password

Looks like a bot has compromised them and is placing text in their site to help their SEO rather than a copy and paste snafu; worth letting them know if you can.

Xiaomi revenues up by a third due to strong phone sales and triple-digit European growth

Calum Morrison

Re: Pocophone F1

That would explain why my F1 had trouble in some rural parts of Utah last year. Mostly it was fine, but there was one day where it got nothing whatsoever and I had to bag some free wifi for map updates. For the cost of the phone and how good it's been otherwise, I can't complain.

BBC makes switch to AWS, serverless for new website architecture, observers grumble about the HTML

Calum Morrison

Re: Almost every part has been rebuilt on the cloud

Next year? I didn't realise it was so soon!

Quick thinking and an explanation for everything – key CTO qualities

Calum Morrison

Re: I've been fired ...

In contrast to the late 90s, I doubt I have many of my friends' work email addresses these days; probably safer for everyone all round! Anything like that is shared over social media or messaging apps; back in the day, it was not unusual for people not to have a personal email but things are much different now. Corporate firewalls etc. would put the kybosh on all the good stuff anyway and now I think about it, there's a whole group of friends for whom I only have messaging app details rather than even a personal address.

Still holding out for a Friday afternoon Excel sheet with minipops or world cup football strips to identify...

Cisco to sell everything-as-a-service – even core networking hardware – and cut costs by a billion bucks

Calum Morrison

Re: Cisco As a Service

Hah! I sat through one of those things once years ago and didn't even get the free kit. By all accounts, I didn't miss out. Having to pay license fees after a few years or replace for about the same cost? F*ck that.

I got an unusual message from a friend a few weeks ago about Meraki gear; she's a teacher with no IT interest, but runs a Facebook buy and sell group. They get inundated with Meraki gear apparently, presumably as people try and shift gear that suddenly needs licensed or that was sent out for watching their sales pitch.

As well as being against what true geeks would do (sweat old kit til it really needs replacing, not just because it's lost its shine), this kind of business model is an eco catastrophe in waiting.

Corporate VPN huffing and puffing while everyone works from home over COVID-19? You're not alone, admins

Calum Morrison


Teams is the answer according to Microsoft. Teams is always the answer according to Microsoft these days, even if the question is name a messaging app that rhymes with quack. Look, it's Teams, OK - just use Teams. Someone, please use Teams damnit. TEAAMS!!

Mi first! Latest Xiaomi flagship storms DxOMark rankings with quartet of powerful cameras

Calum Morrison

Re: tat bazaar

As well as a Pocophone F1, I have a Xiaomi umbrella and bluetooth-enabled leccy toothbrush. If their earpods weren't white I'd have had a set of them too. And I do like that kettle.

I'm quite the fanboi it seems.

Best buds? Apple must be fuming: Samsung's wireless earphones boast 11 hours of listening on a single charge

Calum Morrison

Re: How do they handle areas with masses of Bluetooth traffic

I have a pair of Ankers too and occasionally get a bit of interference but it seems to only be on streaming services so could be signal, phone, app etc. For £45 off Amazon I'm not complaining.

It's official: In May, Microsoft will close the door, lock the vault, brick over the entrance of dreaded Windows 10 1809

Calum Morrison

Re: I give up

Yep, you're telling me. Been using it for 25 years or so and have never achieved anything. Not even written so much as a snarky response on a web site with it.

VMware? VM... now where? It's that time of the year again when Dell's virtualization software giant sheds staff

Calum Morrison


Went to a vSphere VMUG in Glasgow last Thursday where the presenter promised us the slides would be emailed to us within a couple of days; with no sign of them, I checked his twitter today to find he's one of the victims. Crazy; it was a useful day and he led it well. Thoughts and prayers and all that.