* Posts by Calum Morrison

143 posts • joined 6 Jul 2007


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.

CES la vie: Shrunken Ultrabooks, muted mobiles and Segway's adult prams at world's biggest consumer tech show

Calum Morrison

Re: The user signals Ballie and it rolls towards him

Maybe I've read too much Viz, but I'm not convinced Bot Air translates as well as Samsung would like it to. Perhaps a bit of a French Toyota MR2 moment?

Flying taxis? That'll be AFTER you've launched light sabres and anti-gravity skateboards

Calum Morrison

Re: "Lightsaber"

Eh, it's us in the UK who've changed our spellings and are therefore "wrong". In most cases the colonials (there's a clue there) are spelling things as we told them how to before they left...

The Nokia 3.2 is a phone your nan will love: One camera's more than enough, darling

Calum Morrison

Re: Eh?

Yes, but by any measurement, it's still two.

Calum Morrison


By one camera, you actually mean two? One front and one rear facing.

Loss-making $15bn hipster chat biz Slack suddenly less appetising to investors as it predicts deeper losses

Calum Morrison

Re: So THAT'S why the aggressive Teams invasion...

You've noticed that too then! It's just been in the last few months Teams has really started ramping up to be the app you can not kill. It's like the browser wars all over again...

Loose tongues and oily seamen: Lost in machine translation yet again

Calum Morrison

Re: The rusty capstan must be oiled by seamen

Reminded me a bit of some of this filth.


I don't have to save my work, it's in The Cloud. But Microsoft really must fix this files issue

Calum Morrison

I suffered working with someone who would swap broken kit around. A dead mouse? Swap it to a computer whose user is off today. Network cables? Far too expensive to simply stop using because the tab on the RJ45 connector is snapped off; wedge it in with a bit of hope and bluetac.

I ended up cutting them in half before binning them as he'd actually remove them from the waste if he saw them there. F*cking idiot.

We regret to inform you the massive asteroid NASA's all excited about probably won't hit Earth

Calum Morrison

3 football fields?

Woudl they be Nasa-style American football fields or proper football fields?

If I could turn back time, I'd tell you to keep that old Radarange at home

Calum Morrison

Re: Ding!

I read it two days ago, just after the guy microwaved his dinner.

Punkt: A minimalist Android for the paranoid

Calum Morrison

Re: Then, amid the oohs and aahs, the small boy said "but he has no clothes on!"

I read down the first comments incredulously trying to understand why no one was asking that. Who needs this amazing security when there's nowt to secure? Stick a PIN on a burner phone or search the back of the sofa for an old blackberry and surely you're up on what this offers?

Me, I'd buy one in a heartbeat if it did email, maps, photos, WhatsApp, tethering and, ah, well, I'd miss Facbook so I'd want that, and if I've got that I may as well whack Twitter on it. And it's businessy so I'll need LinkedIn. If only I could buy a phone with all that for £350.

Microsoft: You don't want to use Edge? Are you sure? Really sure?

Calum Morrison

Re: It's OK; you can set firefox as your default!

I genuinely do like Windows 10 but I've had that a lot. Admittedly it hasn't happened since I flattened my 1709 daily driver and installed 1803 at the weekend but over various builds, it's happened enough (for jpg and other associations too) to be noticeable. Funnily enough, it's never set my default email client back to the Mail app, it then I do (tinfoil hat) use Outlook for that...

Calum Morrison

It's OK; you can set firefox as your default!

Until "something went wrong and we had to reset your default browser". Happens too regularly to be coincidence, and never seemed to be an issue in the days of Windows XP etc, all apparently much less stable OSs. Hmmm.

It may be poor man's Photoshop, but GIMP casts a Long Shadow with latest update

Calum Morrison

It's maybe time I gave the gimp a workout again; it's years since I bothered as PSP was just much easier to get to grips with. When it disappeared up it's own erse I just defaulted to Paint.Net - an easy install via ninite.com that does what 90% of users would need.

Automated payment machines do NOT work the same all over the world – as I found out

Calum Morrison

Re: Similar experience in the USA

A very kindly subway station attendant gave me that same Zip code advice in NYC; you can get a week's travel for around $30 and using 99999 as your zip allows you to pay on card. Handy.

Keep your hands on the f*cking wheel! New Tesla update like being taught to drive by your dad

Calum Morrison

Re: Pedant Alert

Two lanes? Pah! This is the A838 near Durness on the NW coast, otherwise known as the NC500.


That's a passing place on the left.

Tech bribes: What's the WORST one you've ever been offered?

Calum Morrison

That was the one. Maybe they're still running about somewhere extolling the benefits of Windows 8? Who knows; the main thing I took from that day was getting photos of Andrea Pirlo and Pavel Nedved in the lobby as they were in the hotel too. I think they were getting ready to play Celtic rather than install Windows 8 though.

Calum Morrison

I was at that event and got the same kit too. I needed it for repairing the damage done after repeatedly banging my head off the desk after using Windows 8 and TIFKAM. IIRC, the guys at that event were wide-eyed poster boys for how great everything (even the charms bar) was. I remember wondering how they felt after the reverse ferret that was Windows 10 that launched mere months later...

User fired IT support company for a 'typo' that was actually a real word

Calum Morrison

Re: sub for a riot

T9 often made a aunt of my texts tbh.

Fancy owning a two-seat Second World War Messerschmitt fighter?

Calum Morrison

Extra Reg interest...

The first time I flew into San Francisco I was thrilled (geek that I am) to see the giant airship shed that I'd just recently read about on El Reg. Later on that holiday, I chanced upon the Tillamook air museum in northern Oregon located in a similarly vast hangar (seriously - the museum took up less than half of it and didn't want for exhibits) and in there what I confidently thought at first was a 109 turned out to be a Buchon that had starred in the Battle of Britain.

Great museum btw and not a hell of a distance from the Spruce Goose at McMinnville if you're in the area...

Violets are violet, roses are... rosy, Dell just got $145.8m for selling Mozy

Calum Morrison

I uploaded all my eggs to Mozy's basket back when they started - even then it was around 100Gb - because they had such a great deal, something like $5/month or perhaps even less. I figured it wouldn't last and was right - I think EMC started cranking the handle, though in fairness, when the VC cash ends, they need revenue from somewhere.

I went to home-based external backup HDs for a few years but was never truly happy with the off-site-eyness of that and turned to Backblaze a couple of years ago after all the positive stories on here. They do seem suspiciously cheap but however they're doing it, it seems to be working year after year. Still got that external drive if it all goes wrong again...

Your day's going crap? Let's rap. Snapchat self-splat chat app chaps zap $350m, Wall St saps clap

Calum Morrison

Re: Last update of SnapChat is crap

I don't use Snapchat so can't comment on it specifically, but over the years, Facebook updates have caused nothing but hatred from users (curated timelines, various privacy concerns etc.) but it hasn't harmed the platform. Even in the brave new world of social media, people hate change and resit it only to soon forget the old and embrace or at least accept the new, ultimately forgetting the past.

Don't bet on it being a significant game changer.

The curious case of a Tesla smash, Autopilot blamed, and the driver's next-day U-turn

Calum Morrison

Re: They're both faultless...

I come from the highlands of Scotland, have driven all over Europe, but the twistiest, most challenging road I've driven was in the US, from Highway 101 in Northern California to Fort Bragg on the Pacific coast in the dark and wet. Something about all those downhill bends through the giant redwoods focuses the mind.

Jaw-boned: Wearables biz Jawbone shuts down

Calum Morrison

One of the few things I can ever be happy about with Apple was the time I went to one of their stores to buy a Jawbone bluetooth speaker (I think after a positive review here...) and the fanboi let me hear it. The sound quality was woeful; muffled to hell, like it was wrapped in a towel.

He suggested I try the Logitech UE Boombox (I know...) they all used (£80 instead of the £160 Jawbone wanted) and what a revelation. OK, we're not talking hifi quality but the sound was leagues ahead. Thank you Apple and goodbye Jawbone. There's probably a moral in here somewhere.

Ransomware realities: In your normal life, strangers don't extort you. But here you are

Calum Morrison

FSRM is your friend

In terms of mitigating against Ransomware, then get FSRM installed on your file server. It's standard from 2008 onwards and can be used to give instant warnings of any unusual activity. Setup is trivial (follow the instructions at http://jpelectron.com/stopcrypto) and it's easy to maintain. It also has many other uses, but is not one of the better known features of Windows server OSs.

While Facebook reinvents Sadville, we still dream of flying cars

Calum Morrison

I remember giving a wee chuckle when they were previewing a mobile phone and suggested that one day, they'd be so universal, even kids would have them. What utter nonsense.

Switch on your smartphone camera and look how fertile I am

Calum Morrison

Re: Bah!

Back when I was a lad, I remember Philip Schofield demonstrating this amazing new type of personal stereo on Saturday Superstore or similar, where the music was all stored on these tiny little solid state black plastic chips. By way of demonstration, he showed how this weeny bit of plastic, the size of a small coin, could contain an entire album and played a bit of Guns N Roses' Appetite for destruction (that dates it to 1988 or so).

I was amazed and totally sold on this awesome new technology and couldn't wait for it to replace the clunky tape players of the time. Then I realised it was April 1st and that this was clearly a joke. Well Phil, the joke's on you pal; I can fit an entire album on just such a 32Mb chip now (if I compress it to 96k) so who looks stupid today, eh???

Is WileyFox finally WileyF*cked?

Calum Morrison

Is WileyFox finally WileyF*cked?

I've bought a few WF devices for me, Mrs Me and for users at work, registering each for their warranty on their site with a personal and a work account. After buying a couple more for new starts last week, I went to register them (that screen warranty is useful...) and found my password wasn't recognised.

Hit the password reset and waited...

No new password. Hmm. Did I definitely use this address? Let's try creating an account with it... New account created with existing email. No devices registered - there should be 6. Bollocks.

Has someone hacked my account and deleted it? Let's try a password reset on the personal one. No new password...

Looks to me that they've got one ether a massive issue where duplicate accounts can be created with existing email addresses, or multiple accounts have been hacked or they've deleted all of their f*cking users' accounts. Occam's razor makes me think the latter, though their chat support promises to look into it; in the meantime, I've bought my last WileyFox.

Samsung phones, Apple's iPhones are 'overpriced', says top Huawei exec

Calum Morrison

Re: They're all mostly overpriced landfill.

Fair play to the above; I'm too cheap to buy Apple (and don't like the iOS even if I wasn't) but accept that the price I pay for my parsimony is a lack of support and the odd wee (and sometimes not so wee) Android niggle. Being a clumsy bugger, I'm unlikely to get more than a couple of years out of a handset so can't work the increased purchase cost against depreciation/sell on value like you can, but recognise your experience to be as good a reason for buying Apple as I've seen.

Calum Morrison

Re: Yes Samsung / Apple phones are overpriced

But Samsung's software (even more expensive) is even worse! I thought Huawei were supposed to have just a light dusting of cruft (crufting?) on their handsets?

Give me as close to stock as possible, such as Motorola - or preferably my WileyFox's (soon to be MIA) CyanogenMod.

Sysadmin's sole client was his wife – and she queried his bill

Calum Morrison

Windows 7

Sounds like an issue with his Win 7 installation; my laptop - before I wiped and installed 10 - would regularly go weeks with no reboots (and no need for them), just a hibernate at night. Same now with 10. I'm agnostic and happy to admit that XP needed regular reboots (haven't a clue about Vista - I avoided) but recent Win OSs have been fine - albeit, any updates usually require a restart. It's hardly a big issue these days though, taking little longer than a resume from sleep.

Peace-sign selfie fools menaced by fingerprint-harvesting tech

Calum Morrison

Re: "using yet-to-be built technology"

It's worse than that; boffins could, one day, build a device that can read what you were thinking when the photograph was taken. Imagine the security risks if you were thinking about your password at that point - there's your two factor authentication gubbed at a stroke.

Google's Chromecast Audio busted BT home routers – now it has a fix

Calum Morrison

Now I understand...

My HH5 started doing this last week for no (at the time) apparent reason; boot up, connect, reboot. Glad I didn't know it was my Chromecasts as I'd have felt guilty about politely, but firmly, demanding a new HH after waiting to get through to support for an hour. New hub seems to have sorted it but what fun it was rebuilding a home network that seems to have grown more and more complex.

On the basis that bot HH and Chromecasts worked fine together for a year or so, I'm guessing an update to the latter is what borked the thing. Do BT ever update their firmware?

Who killed Cyanogen?

Calum Morrison

Re: future?

Not sure, but interested to find out. Weirdly, although silent now for some time on FB and Twitter, WileyFox pushed out an update to my Storm on Saturday. Odd.

Before Bitcoin, digital cash was called Beenz – all that's left is a T-shirt

Calum Morrison

Just remembered...

There was a fleece I got from emusic.com back in 2001 or so for signing up and paying actual money for real mp3s.

I'm still with them on the same grandfathered account; what was originally $9.99 for unlimited downloads (try that on a 128k ISDN) became $9.99 for 40 tracks a month which became £16.80 credit per month for a payment of $9.99 (~£6ish) at a price of £0.42 per track. Still good value - all the indie and classical I want and I've still got the fleece!

Calum Morrison

Wish I'd kept it.

I'm no Apple fan but even I wasn't taken in by the Blackberry tote bag (stuffed with a load of leaflets but alas, nothing useful) at the launch of their tablet, whatever it was called. Remember - the one that didn't actually have email on it?

On the side the slogan was something along the lines of "Yeah, you should have waited" or "Bet you wish you waited". It hung around the office for long enough but was victim to a tat clear-out last year. Probably lasted longer than any of the actual devices. I wonder what happened to BlackBerry?

Tesla's Model S autonomous mode may have saved a life

Calum Morrison

Re: Great for divorce lawyers

Perhaps not quite in that detail, but the fact that the CEO can access such detailed logs of any owner, seemingly on a whim and so rapidly just for a bit of good PR was what I took from the story. Brave New World indeed.

Eds off their meds: Does this headline REALLY need to be so astronomically long it can be measured in parsecs?

Calum Morrison

This person clicked on the link. What happened next will shock you to the core.

No it won't.

Ex-TalkTalker TalkTalks: Records portal had shared password. It was 4 years old

Calum Morrison

Re: ICO should open another investigation.

Thumbs down - seriously? I know El Reg is a broad church, but I didn't realise it was such a hotbed of adult nappy wearing. FFS, do as thou shalt but don't involve the rest of us, please.

Truly, speaking as someone who has done this kind of job, you do find yourself being part of peoples' "other interests" and it's not fair. Someone appearing at the door in a state of undress is a legitimate concern, particularly if it became a habit. That is offender's register stuff, whether you choose to believe it or not.

Fake Flash update malware targets gullible Apple users

Calum Morrison


Is it actually worse than the real thing? I reckon I'd take my chances...

Reg readers speak out on Thin Client technology

Calum Morrison

Re: Wow. Editing full screen video on a thin client is difficult and slow

But then senior management want laptops. Sometimes even so that they can actually work off-site.

Boeing just about gives up on the 747

Calum Morrison

Re: Museums

The air museum at Tillamook, Oregon is well worth a visit if you're in Portland. Housed in a massive ex-naval airship hangar, it's got a great collection of planes inside as well as a Super Guppy outside. And loads of room left over for locals to store RVs, boats etc within the hangar. Massive. Bonus points - you're just down from Astoria where the Goonies was filmed!



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