* Posts by RobDog

26 posts • joined 1 Oct 2013

Ceefax replica goes TITSUP* as folk pine for simpler times


Booked it packed it f’d off

‘That’s a good one there…Malta, self-catering, fortnight….where’s hold on here?? Where’s hold?? Don’t make it big, what are you making it bigger for?? Get a pen!! Nope it’s gone. That’s it, finished.’

Spot on


You've stolen the antiglare shield on that monitor you've fixed – they say the screen is completely unreadable now


Two reminiscences here

Where I still work, there used to be a smoking area that was essentially a corridor with swing doors at each end, with a few tables and chairs for a coffee and fag break. Problem is, it was (and is) a very handy shortcu between two significant offices. To use it, you stood at one end and gulped in a lungful of air, opened the ‘airlock’ door and Olympic-walked the 50m and released the air at the other end. It saved your lungs but your clothes still scoope up the smoke and you could smell it on you.

Secondly, my older brother had an Atari ST but only ever played games on it, but fags were cheap then and he routinely went through 20 a day. But he was the brawn of the family; every couple of weeks I was paid a fiver (lot of money when you’re 15 in the mid 80s) for opening up his ST and giving it a clean out, after I’d told him all the ash was the cause of it overheating and causing disk read errors.

Does the boss want those 2 hours of your free time back? A study says fighting through crowds to office each day hurts productivity


Re: Who got the extra time?

Exactly the same, except that being at the end of a branch line meant my services were first to get the chop in the event of signal failure or other excuses and then forced on to a stinky old bus replacement service.

I try to use the time I’ve got back usefully…I’m not much of a gym goer but a whole backlog of diy has been cleared, breakfast is less rushed and I take a ten inure stroll around the adjacent park a couple of times a day. Better than spending a fiver on Costa Ona crowded street.

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


Tried something similar

I had built up a batch of 20-odd disks removed from a Proliant ML750 which was being scrapped but we wanted to ensure the disks got special treatment, I took them down to the maintenance engineers and asked them to drill holes through with the drill stand in the area where the platters were and through the pcb. He called me back and said come and get the rest, I’ve managed 2 of them, any more and I’ll have to start charging you for broken drill bits.

Fast forward 20 years and now I get them destroyed by a company that brings in machine no bigger than a photocopier but it has a scissoring blades at one end of a slow conveyor. You put the disk on one end of the belt, a camera takes a picture of the disk’s barcodes etc, the the blades come down and slowly slice the disk into bits the size of Twix bars. It’s awesome to watch and the crunching is totally satisfying.

The bits then drop into plastic boxes, where - because the disks were no longer whole maybe - I expected them to miraculously lose weight. No. I nearly pulled my kipper lifting the first one with the equivalent of 15 hard disks in it.

Rookie's code couldn't have been so terrible that it made a supermarket spontaneously combust... right?


RAM gone - and gone again.

I worked for a UK clothes and home retailer (defunct quite recently actually) in early 90s, and one morning we arrived at HO to find, on one floor, monitors disconnected and placed on the floor (15inc crt so some effort required), little piles of screws neatly beside the Elonex desktops, lids lifted and the 4MB/8MB sticks of RAM gone. Probably about 40 machines. Hey ho, we’d heard it was going on and we were a victim. You’d think a lesson would have been learned. Except that 2 weeks later, a different gang (maybe) returned and this time were not so civil, and a number of the monitor signal wires (fixed connection, not plugged) had been cut to speed relocation, the lids of the pcs wrenched off with some kind of pry tool and again, the RAM nicked. Just for good measure, they didn’t bin the remains of their sustenance; crumpled sandwich packages, crisp packets and coke cans.

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


Home computers too

I was an Amiga user, non smoker, but my brother - 40 or more JPS per day - was an Atari ST owner. But an electronics enthusiast he was not, I was really the computer kid, so he used to pay me a fiver periodically to open it up and clean it out when the disk drive played up. Good money when I was 14.

Facebook accused of trying to bypass GDPR, slurp domain owners' personal Whois info via an obscure process


Re: What do you think it is about

Back in 2011 I visited an expo by a large eel know storage company in Las Vegas and it was the first they were bandying around the term Big Data and where it lives.

In one of the keynotes, the guy told of a project where HR depts had started trawling your socials to get a flavour of what kind of person you were, and then also of a project where vending machines in Japan called out to you by name, offering you tempting treats, based on your purchasing history and the fact it had recognised your device details as you strolled by.

Sky customers moan: Our broadband hubs are bricking it


Re: I have a PLEX server at home

I use Serviiio and a bunch of mains network connectors with a couple of hubs for things like CCTV and printer in the summer house/office. When I got my Sky Q equipment (multiroom including new hub/router) my network went haywire. Stuff just stopped being seen; printer, Serviio, XBOX problems. Also, Q multiroom as standard is all about WiFi which caused a massive pain for the numerous mobile devices here. I reverted back to my pretty TP-Link and found the Sky network access credentials easy enough online. Now everything works again, and my own router meant I could tweak access controls etc which I couldn’t get to in the Sky router. Also, with a bit of googling was able to make the Q stuff work over cabled Ethernet not WiFi which made a big difference.

The short version is, the Sky supplied (customised TP-Link) equipment disrupted what my own environment so much it was with the time and effort to deploy kit I could manage completely myself. Their box is in the loft, in its box.

Apple's revamped iPad beams a workhorse in from Planet Ludicrous


2017 pencil charging

Just for clarification, it doesn’t only charge by plugging in to the iPad lightning socket, which does make it bizarrely stick out. You get a little dongle (free!) with the pencil with female both sides, so you can charge from a standard lightning cable. Looks like a large paracetamol or mint and easily loseable.

UK.gov plans £2,500 fines for kids flying toy drones within 3 MILES of airports


Re: Droning on

I absolutely agree, there never was/were any drone/s, it was a false flag event concocted as an excuse to state that multi-million pound anti-drone equipment was being installed. Got to to counter good news with bad - in this instance, feed us the fear and hysteria (so what if a few thousand people missed their flights, they only saved hard for their holidays).

Slightly related, I believe that all these high-profile IT ‘failures’ by Big Corp are no coincidence either. There’s something going on but I can’t put my finger on it. Some sort of agenda or plan or something. I’m not being specific because I can’t be. Just suspicious.

Windows XP? Pfff! Parts of the Royal Navy are running Win ME


Re: Few comments

I had something similar. The tills in the restaurant were DOS machines, all worked ok even had touch screens. The provider came in and told the managers a costly upgrade to Windows 2000 was required, many improvements, including supporting two card readers etc. I did my bit and watched them install the kit, then came the testing where they promptly fired up the SAME DOS application just running in a DOS-emulating window.

The best part though was the two card readers part - ‘twice as many customers!’ they puffed - ‘still only one till operator!’ I retorted - as experience went on to show, nothing improved but the frequency of windows crashes and patching accelerated.

Which scientist should be on the new £50 note? El Reg weighs in – and you should vote, too


Notable by their absence

John Harrison - as a maritime nation it’s shameful that he hasn’t had a mention as the man who solved the longitudinal navigation problem.

And where is Isambard Kingdom Brunel ferchrissakes?

Life's a beach – then you're the comms nexus of the British Empire and Marconi-baiting hax0rs


More on FLAG and undersea cable history here


It’s quite a read

Reg reader turns Geek's Guides to Britain into Geek's Map of Britain


For more on Porthcurno

This is an excellent read


Bloke, 22, in knockoff Microsoft Xbox ring gets 18 months in the cooler



...I have you now!"

Grandmaster FLUSH: Chess champ booted for allegedly cheating with iPod app in the loo


Re: Sub-optimal

I visited a chess tournament & convention at a hotel once

but I left soon after I got through the door, I couldn't stand the bragging.

If there's one thing I can't stand, it's...chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.

Marconi: The West of England's very own Italian wireless pioneer


Worth a read, on a different site

OK so on the subject of telegraphy, since this topic veered that way a little - this (link below) is WELL worth a read, from Wired:


Takes a while to get through but is very interesting

Hollywood vs hackers: Vulture cracks Tinseltown keyboard cornballs


You've missed one - The Italian Job (1969)

Yes - the scene where they creep into the computer room bridge (note: NOT server room!) and swap out a loaded tape with one containing 'deez new program'. To do it, Benny Hill (Professor Peach, looking after the technical end) is offered a screwdriver??! And when the tape is mounted, it's clearly twisted....and making some sort of bup bup bupbupbupbup noise..now, in all my years as an op, no 3420 made that sound...

Scoff ye not: Chap carves crunchy carrot-copter


Drone/quad/UAV - please use in context

This isn't a UAV, as most quads aren't. I am a quad enthusiast, not a UAV builder, and not everyone who builds quads wants to strap an Arduino & GPS to it and have it fly away to A then B then C under it's own control...most of us build a quadcopter then fly it ourselves...at which point it is just another hoverable RC aircraft.

So please - don't get all Daily Fail and mix up your terms and frighten people...

Brits: Wanna know how late your train is? Now you can slurp straight from the source for free


Branch line woes

Agree with all Tom 38 points, and as a commuter at the end of a branch line, will add this - that when there is a problem on the main line, the branch line services suffer first; invariably services are cancelled and a bus laid on...and it descends into an uncomfortable, overheated, crowded pukey nightmare.

But - because the mainline soldiered on and a bus replacement provided, there's no recompense for the inconvenience. Carry on paying. At least, reduce my annual fare pro-rata but no; I still pay the same per-mile cost as the travellers on the mainline whose service is disrupted less or kept going because they represent the bulk of the travelling public.

Lastly, one train an hour?? Look - just lay on a branch shuttle to the nearest mainline connection, would you please, Abellio Greater Anglia? And make it one every half an hour. I would accept a change of train for a more regular service to get home after a long day!

Google adds a sense of history to Street View with archive footage


I think what I would like to see

as a logical extension to this, would be the (eg) Francis Frith collections of photos of yesteryear slurped and cleverly integrated into StreetView. So rolling back the years, but much much further, and checking out how things have changed since Ye Olden Days

Returning a laptop to PC World ruined this bloke's credit score. Today the Supreme Court ended his 15-year nightmare


I know his pain, partly

Here it is in easy slices

Went into PC World, purchased HP notebook attached to 3 contract because I was specifically told it had a SIM slot and 3G hardware built in, by a HP 'specialist' in-store.

Only it didn't; all it had was the slot but not the mini PCI hardware on board.

Took it back 2 days later, was told the 'specialist' had been removed.

Explained my woes and was told it would be too difficult to undo the 3 contract, and I could have virtually any other notebook as I had clearly been mis-sold.

After hours of standing and waiting, whilst their guys went through every other model, it transpired none of the models offered had the 3G hardware.

I walked out with what I hadn't asked for, a Samsung N310 with a compensatory RAM upgrade and some money shaved off. They wore me down, I should have stood my ground, I can see that now, and I am reminded every time I look at the N310.

What a joke they are, and nowadays even worse based on the crap they shift. You can't buy pc upgrade parts or 'bits' any more. I long for stores like Fry's in the US.

What the world really needs: A telescopic SELFIE STICK


Old hat

Bought one of these from 7day**** about 5 years ago for about a fiver

Reports pump fuel into iCar gossip: Apple in 'talks' with Tesla


Two words. (One abbreviation and one word then)

Mr. Fusion

Roads? Where we're going, we won't need roads...

LIVE, my beauty, LIVE! Nokia revives dead phone with LIGHTNING powered Frankencharger



A lightning bolt sent the Doc back from 1955 to 1885, at the end of Back to the Future II


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