* Posts by muddysteve

149 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Aug 2013


Making the problem go away is not the same thing as fixing it


Are you sure you want to go from amber to red alert? It would mean changing the bulb.

Perseverance rover sets a Martian speed record with software controls


Apparently there was life on Mars

until Curiosity got there - unfortunately, it was a cat....

Getting to the bottom of BMW's pay-as-you-toast subscription failure


Re: don't forget

I'm guessing the turn signal subscription must be really expensive?

It's a ridiculous amount - no-one bothers.

Techie labelled 'disgusting filth merchant' by disgusting hypocrite


Re: So let me recap...

Yes, but it comes on USB sticks.

Social media is too much for most of us to handle


Re: OK - you win.

"One wonders what would happen if Mr. Perfect English here ever entered a pub in the Dales on a stormy evening."

He'd have been told not to venture onto the moors.

Scientists think they may have cracked life support for Martian occupation


Re: Mars?

Get Homer Simpson to do it.

Moon's glass beads contain enough water to support a mission


Re: A lot and just a little

Fission chips is much more violent and exciting.

Smart ovens do really dumb stuff to check for Wi-Fi


The trouble with these appliances is not just from the legitimate companies, but the use some low-paid employee (or hacker) can make of it. If it shows your oven has not been used for a few days, or your fridge has not been opened, then your house is probably empty.

Loathsome eighties ladder-climber levelled by a custom DOS prompt


Re: When I were a lad

I started on COBOL on punched cards - on one occasion I had to hand-punch as the data prep team was busy.

There is nothing quite like the anguished cry of a programmer who drops a deck of punched cards.

Actual real-life hoverbike makes US debut at Detroit Auto Show


According to Electric VTOL News

Linked to in the article:

"The company's plan is to follow Tesla, sell to effluent customers first"

Does that mean the product is sh*t?

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


Re: Comments to On-Call articles

I'm guessing when she ordered the cable, the typewriter company asked for the serial number to ensure they shipped the right cable and version of the drivers, then checked their database...

Software engineer jailed for 2 years after using RATs and crypters to steal underage victims' intimate pics


Re: Austism Defense

If you are teased about "being like that Sheldon guy", I assume your reply is "You mean the Nobel Prize winner?".

China's Yutu rover spots 'mysterious hut' on far side of the Moon


it's where the old bloke on that John Lewis ad lives.

Our Friends Electric: A pair of alternative options for getting around town


Re: The door

If I remember correctly, it was James May that drove the Isetta bubble car. They mocked up a garage in the studio, and he drove in, couldn't open the door and couldn't reverse. Did Clarkson and Hammond help him? What do you think?

Robots still suck. It's all they can do to stand up – never mind rise up


Let me get this straight.

Are we saying that "The Terminator" wasn't a documentary?

To have one floppy failure is unlucky. To have 20 implies evil magic or a very silly user



A common problem with the 5.25 discs was users attaching labels to them with a stapler.

Quality control, Soviet style: Here's another fine message you've gotten me into


Skodas and Ladas

In the early 80s, I went to see the RAC rally a couple of times, in the days when there was heavy snow and ice in November. The Ladas and Skodas were great cars, although admittedly rust wasn't an issue over the 5 days of the rally.

Wi-Fi devices set to become object sensors by 2024 under planned 802.11bf standard


The progress of technology.

your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should.

Dr Ian Malcolm - Jurassic Park 1993

A word to the Wyse: Smoking cigars in the office is very bad for you... and your monitor


Re: Keyboards

Should have taken the clean keyboard with you - they would soon have learned.

Forget GameStop: Keyboard warriors and electronic trading have never mixed well


Re: Microsecodn

Done the email thing many times.

How do you save an ailing sales pitch? Just burn down the client's office with their own whiteboard


To be honest, it was 30 years ago, so I can't remember the details. I only remember that it worked for a while.



Many years ago I did some work in Taiwan, where they had 110v and 220v in the same building. We had a 220v server, which was carefully plugged into a 220v socket. Problem was that no-one had noticed that the extension lead in the middle was only rated for 110v. It worked for a while....

Trump's gone quiet, Parler nuked, Twitter protest never happened: There's an eerie calm – but at what cost?


They are private companies

As has been said before.

To quote The Pub Landlord - "My gaff, my rules".

Google wants to listen in to whatever you get up to in hotel rooms


I hope the hotels will advertise this additional feature.

Then I can go elsewhere.

So... just 'Good' then? KFC pulls Finger Lickin' slogan while pandemic rumbles on


I love it.

There, I said it.

COBOL: Five little letters that if put on a CV would ensure stable income for many a greybeard coder


Re: Performance slow?

You could speed things up quite a lot by choosing your data types correctly. Once, in a quiet period I spent a lot of time working out what data type to use to optimise both storage and performance.


Re: My first programs were in COBOL

Nothing quite like the howl of despair from a programmer who dropped his/her deck of cards.


My first programs were in COBOL

Written out on datasheets.

Given to the Data Prep department to be turned into punched cards.

Submitted to the operators for an overnight compile.

Next day, check errors, correct and resubmit for another compile the next night.

Once it compiled successfully, start to debug, one run a day.

Once, when the Data Prep department was busy, I produced a program on punched cards using a hand punch.

Mind you, from the article - "2 million coders producing 1.5 million lines of code a day". Must be still using the same process.

Fantastic Mr Fox? Not when he sh*ts on your lawn, kids' trampoline and your soul


Wimpy Foxes

I don't think I have seen a fox in our garden since we got a dog. There are plenty around - I see them in the street and hear them. They just don't seem to come in our garden. I can be reasonably sure - if one did a dump in the garden, our dog would roll in it.

GM Cruise holds off on self-driving taxis for this year, says it needs more testing time to be safe


Another 10 years away.

I reckon we will get self-driving cars at the same time we get fusion nuclear reactors. It's always about ten years away.

Freaky photo flingers face fat fines for flagrant phallus flashing fun


Re: Potentially a good idea.

-> thinking the other person MIGHT want to see it, and if the other person says "do not send me this ever again" and you do NOT, there's no JAIL involved, just irritation and need to apologize.

"So if I whack you painfully around the head with a baseball bat, and you tell me that you didn't want me to do that, it's OK if I apologise, and I won't be charged with assault?"

It also sounds like a flasher's charter "Didn't you want to see that? Sorry - I won't do it again".

A real head-scratcher: Tech support called in because emails 'aren't showing timestamps'


Re: Monthly sales report

If no-one ever read the report, why was the paper replenished?


Re: "WTF do you think you're doing?"

"Depends how you worked. I started at a place where we wrote on coding sheets (it was assembler) so it would have been sensible to get a fast typist to bang it in after you'd written it."

I started COBOL programming on coding sheets, which then went to the data prep girls to be typed up and a card deck produced.

You tell that to youngsters today and they won't believe you.

User secures floppies to a filing cabinet with a magnet, but at least they backed up daily... right?


Two true stories

These were told to me in the Eighties by a PC supplier, and I have no cause to doubt them.

The first was one told earlier, where a user had sent a floppy through the post with evidence on, and a compliments slip stapled to it.

The other was where a new PC was supplied, and the dealer gave the user two floppy discs to start them off as backups. Let's call them A and B. Things worked well at first - as the data on the machine grew, floppy A no longer had enough space on , and floppy B was inserted when asked for. The problems started when the amount of data grew further. Floppy A was inserted - when full, floppy B was inserted, and then, when full, floppy A was inserted again....

How many Reg columnists does it take to turn off a lightbulb?


Them wardrobe lights

Once slept at a friends flat which had one of those motion-sensor lights in the wardrobe. I like to sleep with the window open, and every time there was a gust of wind, the wardrobe doors moved, which turned the light on. As it was a friends place, I didn't want to dismantle the light.

Eggheads want YOU to name Jupiter's five newly found moons ‒ and yeah, not so fast with Moony McMoonface


Zeusy McZeusface


Return of the audio format wars and other money-making scams


Two words

Eight track.

Pandas so useless they just look at delicious kid who fell into enclosure


Re: Perhaps

"A small addition of Kodiak DNA would make them more 'interesting'."

If it was Kodak dna, they could take their own selfies.

Users fail to squeak through basic computer skills test. Well, it was the '90s


Re: felt pad

Am I the only weirdo who used to enjoy cleaning out the old mechanical mice (only mine, mind, I don't want someone else's "felt pad" under my finger nails).

Um, I'm not that Gary, American man tells Ryanair after being sent other Gary's flight itinerary


Right on. Power to the Steves.

What the #!/%* is that rogue Raspberry Pi doing plugged into my company's server room, sysadmin despairs


I'm not a sysadm, but surely if you find an unknown piece of kit in your server room and the management don't know about it, then the first thing to do is unplug it, and see who shouts, rather than get on the internet and wait for replies.

Scanning an Exchange server for a virus that spreads via email? What could go wrong?


It was a Friday

First alarm bell!

Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID


Re: As far as te BBC uis concerned...

"I am a 36 year old single Afro Caribbean woman living in Milton Keynes.

Needless to say I am nothing of the kind."

You mean you are really 42?

Devon County Council techies: WE KNOW IT WASN'T YOU!


3rd party

They may well be using a 3rd party letter printing service which is supposed to check the letter, print it, put it in an envelope and post it. Doesn't excuse the badly written letter in the first place, mind.

Boss helped sysadmin take down horrible client with swift kick to the nether regions


So long, and thanks for all the columns

Good luck with your new job, Simon.

Want to know what an organisation is really like? Visit the restroom


Toilet Signs

A recent one seen:-

"Please no not flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet."

You wouldn't want to take that too literally.

Mobileye's autonomous cars are heading to California. But they're not going to kill anyone. At least not on purpose


"At its heart he's denying the value of predicting the actions of others. I know I predict while driving - constantly and unconsciously, using judgements of their position speed and acceleration, but also the make and condition of the car, the age and sex of the driver, where we are."

Of course you are. The central premise of driving is that you only drive into a space that will be empty when you get there, which involves the prediction of what everything around you is going to do. If you just drive by reacting to others, then you are an accident waiting to happen. In fact, I am not even sure that is possible.

Blame everything on 'computer error' – no one will contradict you


I have always said...

The main problem with computers is that they do what you tell them to do, not what you want them to do.

BOFH: Guys? Guys? We need blockchain... can you install blockchain?


Re: Magic Bean Technology

"They are here in Australia. I'll meet you there. What are you having?"

A pint of something cold, please. I may not make it in time, so you had better drink it for me.