* Posts by Wanting more

63 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Jun 2013


OpenCart owner turns air blue after researcher discloses serious vuln

Wanting more

Would we be even reading about this if the owner had responded "thank you for the report, we've incorporated the fix."? I learnt long ago that being boring is often the best policy.

The iPhone 15 has a Goldilocks issue: Too big or too small. Maybe a case will make it just right

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Re: New phone no thanks

My Android 11 phone at £120 does everything I need it to and more and it's 1/8th the cost. When I drop it and smash the screen, or it gets bent etc. (all things that have happened to my previous phones) I won't be so upset and will just buy another one. Same with my £150 android tablet vs iPod. Just can't understand why people are buying Apple stuff as the cost / benefit equation just seems so out of whack. But I suppose the same applies to the latest Samsung Galaxy or Android pixel phone too. But then I'm still driving a 2007 Honda Civic Type S, so draw your own conclusions.

Arm wrestles assembly language guru's domains away citing trademark issues

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I think she should switch to writing about RISC V like much of the world will be. Obviously ARM are worried.

FreeBSD can now boot in 25 milliseconds

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Re: The bubble has burst

Isn't quick sort recursive and that can cause problems in environments which have limited stack space / memory. Sometimes an exchange sort is the better choice.

Microsoft makes some certification exams open book

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Yes I tried to take that and had been developing using Azure for years and thought this will be easy.

I was expecting questions about Subscriptions, Resource Groups, Storage accounts, how to deploy things etc.

But no it was all sort of weird questions about what support contract you opt for in different situations and that sort of thing.

Stuff that 1% of the organisation probably needs to know and would probably negotiate with a MS sales rep anyway.

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piles of books

When I started as a programmer 30 years ago, I remember the piles of (sometimes expensive) books we had. 11 ring bound manuals for the database, A shelf of Cobol Manuals, reference guides, Java API guides, Windows API, books full of algorithms etc.

Then you'd go on a training course and come back with a binder or two.

You couldn't just google it and if the vendor did have a website it was just for sales and maybe you could email them.

Still using one of my Java books as a monitor stand!

Must admit times are better now.

Google launches $99 a night Hotel Mountain View for hybrid workers

Wanting more

I've been to the office 3 times this year. We now share 18 hot desks between a department of 100, so we couldn't all come back at the same time if we wanted to. The organisation is considering closing it's current campus and rebuilding a smaller office elsewhere.

So looks like I'll likely be at home for the rest of my career,

That's quite a change in just 3 years.

How to get a computer get stuck in a lift? Ask an 'illegal engineer'

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We had a similar incident

At my old work, when someone was getting a PC an admin person would set it up, then wheel it to your desk on a trolley (big CRT monitors were heavy!).

They'd use the lift if it was to another floor. The incident happened when the power cord fell off the trolley and inbetween the doors. The doors closed on it and the lift ascended for a bit without issue then the UK plug on the end of the cord pulled between the doors but wasn't able to get through and acted as an anchor so the lift couldn't move any more and hit a safety cut out.

So the poor admin lady was stuck in the lift which wouldn't now respond to any commands and had to be rescued 30 minutes later. In this case they just had to lower the lift and open the doors and reset the electronics.

But from then on she refused to deliver PCs and people had to collect the trolley themselves and maybe risk the lift.

Nobody would ever work on the live server, right? Not intentionally, anyway

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Re: Don't let that guy work without supervision

I expect Han felt very exposed.

Want to live dangerously? Try running Windows XP in 2023

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still run for legacy stuff

Sadly I still run 32-bit XP in a Hyper-V VM quite often. It's because I have to build VB6 and VB.NET 1.0 code and asp / com websites against IIS. Tried installing very old versions of Visual studio in Windows 10 64-bit and you can get it to just about work after a lot of messing around. But once you start adding in other legacy components / controls it stops working.

The one good thing is that it's nice and quick though.

Linux lover consumed a quarter of the network

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A dozen CD-ROMS doesn't sound right, at 650Mb per CD that's 7.8Gb . The latest Mint distribution only downloads as a 2Gb file in 2023.

Let's have a chat about Java licensing, says unsolicited Oracle email

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10 years ago we had a project to migrate our databases to Oracle.

We now have a project to migrate our database off Oracle (to Postgres in the cloud). You can guess the reason why.

Nobody does DR tests to survive lightning striking twice

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Re: At least you fixed the problem.

Hey, I live there! It's actually a good place to live on the whole. Lots of greenery and parks. Nice village pubs. As like anywhere there are some estates to avoid, but anything based around the old villages is usually pretty decent.

It's time to mark six decades of computer networking

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Re: Wonder....

If you keep this up we'll be on a collision course. Just don't let them trace it back to you if you go down that route.

Time running out for crew of missing Titanic tourist submarine

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Re: Lots of things are possible

It's going to be cold too. A quick google suggests between seawater at that depth is 0 and 3 deg C and will be sapping away the heat in the sub. That's well within hypothermia territory.

Beijing proposes rules to stop Wi-Fi and Bluetooth networks going rogue

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Re: Puts me off sharing my Wi-Fi

It's also probably against terms of service of your provider to offer such a public service (even if you do so free of charge).

Mars helicopter went silent for six sols, imperilled Perseverance rover

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Re: Wrong place for the solar panels?

Fingers crossed for a nice heavy rain storm to wash them off? Might be a long wait though.

EU passes world's first regulatory framework for cryptocurrency

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ban cash too?

Will they ban that anonymous cash stuff, coins and notes etc. too? Obviously it's mostly criminals that use that.

The end of Microsoft-brand peripherals is only Surface deep

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Re: I'm no friend of MS

Yes, their standard black optical wired mouse works just fine for me too (p/n X800898). At 80g not to light, not too heavy and a pleasing sensible ambidextrous shape. Scroll wheel is light to move but has the clicky detents. I have a few spares. In later years they brought out a newer model with thinner cable and only 60g, but it feels cheap and isn't as good as the earlier model..

Fancy trying the granddaddy of Windows NT for free? Now's your chance

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ported that away in 1998

We ported our Cobol and Fortran code off our VMS Vax to Sun Sparc in 1998 and that was the last time I used VMS. Literally some of that stuff had been written before I was born (in the early 70s) and had been ported from a Sperry mainframe before that.

Ironically now we have "offshore colleagues" porting that same stuff from Sparc to Intel Linux boxes. If it works there I expect it will run unmolested for another 30 years.

It might surprise people that we're not a bank. Education sector.

Cisco Moscow trashed offices as it quit Putin's putrid pariah state

Wanting more

stay and work from the inside

Perhaps they would of been better off staying and peddling suitably backdoored kit at knockdown prices to all the entities in Russia they could. We accuse of Huawei of doing the same, so why not follow suit.

Or maybe all their kit is already backdoored so they felt they didn't need to.

Google halts purge of legacy ad blockers and other Chrome Extensions, again

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Re: Manifest V3 will kill many extensions

Breaking uBlock origin will be the push to get me to migrate from Chrome to Firefox.

Sysadmin infected bank with 'alien virus' that sucked CPUs dry

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sitting idle means they are using less power

At least modern PCs / Servers when the CPU is idle they are using less power. Give them a heavy load then the power consumption goes up. So it's not actually "free" to give them something like seti@home to do. Also generates more heat therefore the cooling system has to work harder also drawing more power.

So in effect it's stealing to use the "idle" computers in this way.

We've had incidents where I work of people mining bitcoins using the organisation's electricity.

Server broke because it was invisibly designed to break

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had a printer with the same fault

I had a old dot matrix printer that wouldn't print. The interlock switch (just a leaf spring pair of contacts) thought the lid was always open. Fix was to bend the contacts a little.

Just follow the instructions … no wait, not that instruction to lock everyone out of everything

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Re: True to form

Never check for an error you don't know how to fix!

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

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what's the power draw?

An increasingly important factor is the power it's using. 50 to 60W?

Epson says ink pad saturation behind 'end of service life' warning on inkjet printers

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Canon too and in a 10 year old printer

My 10 year old Canon inkjet printer died last year. So I took it apart as you do, hoping to find stepper motors, precision ground bars etc. No stepper motors any more, just normal motors and end limit switches.

But was disgusted to find a big nappy in the bottom of the printer that was saturated with most of my expensive ink. Obviously the head cleaning that the printer seemed to do every time I turned it on was sucking ink into it.

Have now switched to a laser printer (Xerox B215) which can't do pretty photos, but so far I think this one toner cartridge should last me a few years as I'm a light user and probably only print <500 pages a year. I've had it a year now and toner still says 97% .

Linux may soon lose support for the DECnet protocol

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DECNet new fangled...

Last time I used a VMS VAX I was connected to it via a serial cable! Early 1990s

How a crypto bridge bug led to a $200m 'decentralized crowd looting'

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Re: There're kidding, right?

Yes everyone knows it should of been 0xFF instead

Miscreants aim to cause Discord discord with malicious npm packages

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nuget too

We had an incident here where one of our developers accidentallyinstalled a Nuget package from a dodgy publisher (not Microsoft but a very close spelling). The package seemed to be from Russia. It was several months until this was noticed and the code had been deployed to test servers.

Dell's rugged Latitude 5430 laptop is quick and pretty – but also bulky and heavy

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Re: "At 1.97kg and 33.6mm x 340mm x 220mm it is heavy and bulky."

Same here. My Thinkpad T340 weighs in at 2.1Kg, but with a SSD upgrade in it it's still good enough for most tasks.

Thinnet cables are no match for director's morning workout

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Re: College Tales...

Our T-connectors were double shrink wrapped to help deter tampering and accidental disconnections. Seemed to work quite well, doesn't stop anyone really intent on damage though, but then they could just cut the cable, you just can't prevent everything.

Creator of SSLPing, a free service to check SSL certs, downs tools

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Re: Pingu

We still have a Windows 2000 server to run VB6 builds on. Heavily firewalled and running on a VM. But one day VMWare will update things and Windows2000 will no longer run any more, then we are screwed. We're currently on the 3rd project to replace the old VB6 system.

We also have some "irreplaceable" DOS software attached to a specialised scanner, but that runs on Windows 10 64bit in DosBox though, so fairly modern!

Dev rigs up receipt printer to spit out GitHub issues

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PI Pico would be tricky

The RP2040-based Pi Pico would be tricky to use, I'm sure it could talk to the printer ok, but getting it to go onto the internet and collect the information from GitHub wouldn't be possible without extra hardware to give it ethernet / wifi. The other Pis are basically linux boxes with all that stuff built in and either an ethernet jack or wifi built on board.

He ain't heavy, he's my brother: Bloke gives away SpaceX ticket because he was over weight limit

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me too

I just scrape in under the weight limit, but expect my high blood pressure and asthma (problems with altitude?) might still exclude me. Maybe also the lack of vast amounts of disposable income...

Earth to Voyager 2: Standby for connection – after we tip this water out of the dish

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Wouldn't work in England

The dish would spend most of the time being tipped up!

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

Wanting more

We're still running some DOS applications that talk to a OMR scanner on the parallel port. I managed to get them working in a 64bit version of DOSBox running on Windows 10. So they'll be around for a long while yet (until they can't find parts for the physical scanner on eBay).

The Ministry of Silly Printing: But I don't want my golf club correspondence to say 'UNCLASSIFIED' at the bottom

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Re: Amateur Opera Society Newsletter

Yep at least 20 years ago. The same era we used to get a memo (not an email!) about not using the computing facilities for personal use.

Wanting more

Amateur Opera Society Newsletter

I remember being called to the big boss's office by his secretary who was having trouble re-formatting a document. Turned out it was the boss's Amateur Opera Society newsletter and as I was helping her the boss walks in and asks what I was doing etc. At least he had the decency to look sheepish after.

LAN traffic can be wirelessly sniffed from cables with $30 setup, says researcher

Wanting more

HTTPS etc.

Most traffic will have some sort of encryption applied to it now? Most traffic on my network would be HTTPS web traffic, or SMB 3.0 traffic. I also upload backups to AWS and Azure and both those will be encrypted. I'm sure GCHQ and NSA could snoop on it if they wanted though.

Not too bright, are you? Your laptop, I mean... Not you

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me too

I once spent at least an hour trying to get the wifi on my laptop to work. Turns out there was a physical switch (black, labelled in black on a black background) that turns off the wifi somehow, but doesn't report the fact back to Windows (The adapter was still enabled, just didn't get any signal). I must of bumped the switch off without noticing as it was working fine previously.

Dammed annoying.

Pi calculated to '62.8 trillion digits' with a pair of 32-core AMD Epyc chips, 1TB RAM, 510TB disk space

Wanting more

Re: Engineering approximation

Better err on the side of safety and call it 4. Or maybe just 10.

The web was done right the first time. An ancient 3D banana shows Microsoft does a lot right, too

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Re: Maybe Windows 3.1 was a sweet spot?

I'm running 5.0.1 I seem to remember it came free on a cover disk.

For a quick image crop, or resize or downscale colours (how long since I had to do that!) it works quickly without fuss.

SSD belonging to Euro-cloud Scaleway was stolen from back of a truck, then turned up on YouTube

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Have they not heard of encryption at rest? For any disks / data leaving the organisation I'd expect that to be standard / mandatory.

'No BS' web host Gandi lives up to half of its motto... Some customer data wiped out in storage server meltdown

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me too

We also had a corrupted ZFS filesystem this week. We had a 40 hour outage of our main business database. Diagnosing the issue, then perform rebuilds / database restore and roll forward the db transaction journals, then checking / testing. Fortunately we had the required backups etc.

Experimental 'insult bot' gets out of hand during unsupervised weekend

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costly in paper

We had a cobol report that had a slight bug in the code. It sent the malformed report to the printer. 18 boxes of paper later (at 5 reams per box) the operator decided that something was probably wrong and killed the print job. Next morning the print was delivered back to the office on a large overflowing trolley, fortunately it wasn't my bug. It was simplex printed so we had plenty of spare scrap paper for the next 10 years.

Microsoft Visual Studio Code replumbed for better Python taming

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Re: 'IntelliSense autocomplete system'

I've avoided using Resharper so far as I know someday I know I'll be without it. With every release MS add more and more features to the IDE anyway.

Software changed the world, then died on the first of the month

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Ah yes...

23 years ago when I was first starting out as a programmer I wrote an extract to populate the mainframe from the new shiny system that we were developing. I came in one morning to find that that weekend's mainframe processing had all errored and it was all because of my extract had fed bad data to the system (it was the products database that everything else depended on).

Fortunately after 20 minutes of investigation it turned out that I had followed the specification precisely and it wasn't my fault at all. The designer who had wrote the spec and was of supposed to have done the testing got the blame instead. I had no knowledge of the old mainframe systems and there was no way I could of spotted the potential problem.

‘I crashed a rack full of servers with my butt’

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my worst mistakes

I was supposed to be refreshing the test products database from our live database. Both databases were on the same host. I accidentally mixed up the database names and refreshed the live database with the test data. At least the backup system worked to restore the data when I realized what I'd done. Fortunately this was 15 years ago and most of our workload was batch with a few screens for data maintenance. If I did this now it would of affected online websites and whatnot. The databases were moved on to separate hosts soon after.

Another time I was coding a database trigger so that on delete of one record it would delete some child records in another table. Unfortunately I missed the where clause from the child delete and it emptied the entire table of records. Furthermore the tester didn't catch the issue (it had deleted the record they were expecting and they didn't notice that all the rest of them had gone also). However it was quickly noticed when the code ran on the live database for the first time...

S is for Sandbox: The logic behind Microsoft's new lockdown Windows gambit

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Re: Sorry

I have actually been to a p**s up organised by Microsoft UK in a brewery. It was TechEd evening event in Amsterdam at the Heieken Experience, the beer flowed well and I enjoyed myself, we got some freebies too (Beer glass, key ring beer mats).