* Posts by Benno

71 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Oct 2013


The difference between October and May? About 16GB, says Microsoft: Windows 10 1903 will need 32GB of space


Down the legal rabbit hole?

MS have shifted the goal-posts after the game has started - The system requirements for "Windows 10" are now *not* the same as they once were. So what legal standing does one have now that their system, which clearly met the original system requirements, now does not? It's no longer a forced software upgrade (via GWX), it's a forced hardware upgrade.

Such is the side effect of the current versioning & release methodology.

I'm just not sure the computer works here – the energy is all wrong


Re: Mythbusters

The flip side of this is that only recently, I've had issues with monitors losing sync when a 10W 2-way radio was keyed within a few metres - cheap + nasty DP cables were to blame...

Four techies flummoxed for hours by flickering 'E' on monitor


Re: "by the size of his Micro Channel Adapter"

Correct - but I had some kind of trainer/cheat for Dune II that did IRQ emulation, meaning I had to set my AWE-32 to IRQ9 (from memory), which then buggered up the VGA card...

Fun times!

TfL, WTH is my bus? London, UK, looks up from its mobile


Re: There, there children. Sorry your pacifier is b0rken.

In my part of the world, they're called 'time points', but the rules are somewhat the same (dare I say almost an international standard?!). A few minutes late is ok, but a minute early is most certainly not.

When things go wrong and vehicle needs to go off-route, or cut in/out due to breakdowns, accuracy can go a bit pear shaped. There can also be issues with prediction resolution at the start of trips (due to insufficient _relevant_ data from that vehicle at the time).

And the thousand other 'edge cases' - not including a full API failure!

Yeah, I run a public transport real-time tracking system as part of my day job - no it's not with TfL :P

HPE ignored SAN failure warnings at Australian Taxation Office, had no recovery plan


Re: I'm calling BS

And do try not to use thin-provisioned VM's. :)

Sure it's a waste of space, and space ain't free. But if you thick-provision, you won't over-commit the storage array - and since the storage array holds all your precious data, it deserves special treatment.

Enterprise patching... is patchy, survey finds


what a bunch of rubbish...

IE? Oh, that unused browser on the air-gapped system?

Most of my 2k8r2 boxes are still running IE8. But what justification for downtime do you provide to _upgrade_ a non-removeable, unused product on an isolated system (when the only interactive use is viewing the console to keep an eye on boot progress)?

Also, when is running an n-x OS that's fully patched, not patched?

See the source article...

(lies, damn lies, and statistics)

Wannacry: Everything you still need to know because there were so many unanswered Qs


It's still a bit confusing

If we are taking about dimwits that have exposed SMB (which was a bad idea in the 1990's FFS...), there are a few issues with the theory as it stands;

By default, Windows will only allow file share access when in private firewall mode.

Consumer grade modems don't have any port forwarding enabled (again, by default) - even that flawed facility, UPnP, didn't tend to dynamically allow it.

A large number of ISP's will automatically block such ports for their subscribers (unless you request them to be open).

Very, very, very badly configured VPN's or shockingly bad gateways seem to be the most likely vector. If you had, or still have a private network with internal DNS, SMB, NMB etc. exposed, then I suggest you change careers voluntarily, before​ you are lynched...

Dell BIOS update borks PCs


Re: Dell BIOS update may be a security fix

Meh, I blew up a brand-new Alpha because I forgot to switch the PSU voltage from 110V -> 230V prior to turning it on. Thankfully the expensive bits lived!

Still think I aged 10-years though...

Oh ALIS, don't keep us waiting: F-35 jet's software 'delayed'


Re: National security

You mean like the Chrome ADM/ADMX files for Windows & the JSON files for Linux?


VMware flings vCenter Server away from Windows, if you want


Re: The real elephant in the room

You can have multiple vCenter (grrr US spelling...) servers, but you'll pay for it.

I used to have a dedicated physical VCS v2.0 system (yes it was a while ago!), but the egg/basket equation is just nasty if the box completely dies and is offline for longer than planned due to spares availability, smoke etc...

If you have it on an ESXi cluster, you can vMotion it around during host maintenance. If you have an unplanned host outage, you can manually delete/re-add it into inventory on another host (or go through the CLI host-ownership rigmarole if it really goes south). The inventory delete/re-add is also the method required for cold migrations.

(shared storage assumed)

Right now I need to do the whole boot storage controller architecture change on our vCenter box, which means killing the host management agents to 'break' host connectivity with vCenter (the software), in order to change the vCenter (virtual hardware).

Fun times!

Exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phablets recalled immediately


Owning up

At least Sammy has the balls to issue a recall when it has obviously gone pear-shaped. Plenty of other manufacturers have ignored the tide of evidence against them in recent history. Add bad as this is, the attitude is a welcome change...

Sysadmin sticks finger in pipe, saves data centre from flood


Re: A few years ago . .

Just a few weeks ago, I had to provide 1kW of emergency power from my car inverter to a site that lost mains and someone was too slack to make sure that the generator was serviceable. I heard that it may have damaged the starter trying to get it to run with no fuel...

Microsoft’s Continuum: Game changer or novelty?


Re: 16x

Correct, but do take note of the deliberate spelling errors next time. You ruined the joke :)

Your colleagues will lie to you: An enterprise architect's life


Re: Authentication services / Identity Management ....

Be careful there - lots of kit will happily talk to AD (via RADIUS), but will send the credentials in plain text only (they simply don't support encrypted logons). I've got into the habit of having specific credentials for the RADIUS authentication that have no 'normal' AD user/admin privileges. You don't want your normal login at risk of compromise as a result of trying to improve security!

Not only that, quite often you're searching for ages just to find out how you need to configure the RADIUS server so the remote kit actually authenticates properly at all.

Windows 10: Happy with Anniversary Update?


Re: Then the "experienced" W10 user showed me the path to power-down

sync sync halt



Re: 'Nix is good when it works but damn hard work when it doesn't.

That technology should be cast into the pits of hell, from whence it came...

Frigging soft/win modems - did they _ever_ work properly???

AC'97 audio was almost as bad!

(but not quite - it worked sometimes)


Re: You missed a lot

I had a MS staffer demo this to me a few months back - it didn't work...

It turned out to be yet another immature, over-hyped 'feature', that had to be vaguely excused at the time.

It didn't start off well when he asked who had a win phone, and no-one put their hand up.

Then there was the dongle that was required to make it work!

Windows 10 pain: Reg man has 75 per cent upgrade failure rate


Re: I have only had one failure

Fair enough, but why did the upgrade readiness checks pass then?

If it's a known issue, then the upgrade should never have started in the first place.

Tesla autopilot driver 'was speeding' moments before death – prelim report


Re: Mansfield bars

Exactly - sensor visibility more than physical resistance.

Melbourne motorway to lose its $1k-per-call emergency phones


Quite some time ago, the number of legitimate help-phone use in a jurisdiction I was involved in was 3%.

Not saying that the 3% should go without, but the number of people that thought that help-phones were an information intercom, or just let their kids push the duress button was astounding.

I'm all in favour of getting rid of the freeway phones - _If_ there is a 'better' option.;

The strategy taken by VicRoads sounds ok to me.

Paying a PoS*, USA? Your chip-and-PIN means your money's safer...


Heck, even my AMEX card is contactless...

I've been using contact & contactless for as long as they've been available in Australia, no fraud yet!

(contactless is a $100 limit without PIN here in AUS)

Some terminals even allow contactless with PIN for values over $100.

Although some terminals don't like the AMEX, and I have to go chip 'n' PIN - bah, old-school :)

LG: Stop focusing on Apple and Samsung. There's us. And our G5. Look at it. Look at it


Re: ...and the battery life HAS NEVER BEEN a constant worry ...

Exactly - I've had a G4 for about a year, and it's bloody marvellous. With some effort I've managed to use 50% of the battery life in a day, but the thing was almost constantly in use to do so (i.e calls and business work, not social crap). Generally I go home with ~%75% charge, and it will use about 2% overnight if I forget to plug it in. Camera is great, and I even managed to put a Defender case over the leather back. Bought it from Kogan unlocked and currently running Android 6.0 (Jan patch tho...)

Best smartphone I've used - hands down.

Which keys should I press to enable the CockUp feature?


Optical mouse mat

Anyone remember the Sun (and possibly SGI) optical mouse mats? The ones that were required to be in the correct orientation, lest the mouse action be 90 degrees out. That one could keep people busy for ages...

Oh, sugar! Sysadmin accidently deletes production database while fixing a fault


Re: In a similar vein

Back in the late '90's I had a staff member accidentally ran a ghost multicast onto an entire subnet! Thankfully WOL wasn't implemented - so a bunch didn't start, plus we managed to turn a heap of systems off before they ran the client (thankfully Pentium 233MMX's don't' boot that fast!)

It did take a few days to sort out the remaining carnage though!

A third of Australians lose mobile services after Telstra outage


Re: What a fucking joke.

Exactly - I have about 2000 Telstra mobile accounts at work, and because I couldn't use connectivity on my phone, tablet or laptop, I couldn't check how many were offline (during a peak customer period)...

Once I got home to fixed internet, I was able to tell that most things were offline for at least an hour, the saving grace is that a large number of customers at that time would have been on mobile too, so a significant % of them probably didn't know we were offline.

Free data on a Sunday?! What about all the loss of revenue for business where EFT transactions didn't go through and the customer walked?

What about the loss of SCADA to remote power/water/etc. monitoring systems? How much went or will still go wrong as a result of this outage?

Not saying that a compensation plan is easy to determine, but reliable communications is usually categorised as critical national infrastructure - a partial outage of which is a _big_ deal.

IEEE delivers Ethernet-for-cars standard


Another standard?

Do we need another standard, is there an issue with using the current 'almost CAT6' 28 & 30 AWG cables that are available?






(I use both of these in various fixed and mobile applications, they're both LSZH, so what's not to like?)

WANdisco boss: 'We're seeing a humongous movement to the cloud'



Do the $ figures quoted take into consideration that the 'online' providers still need to buy kit? Or are we just assuming that they magically create resources for their new customers without it?

Who hit you, HP Inc? 'Windows 10! It's all Windows 10's fault'


Re: Not MY fault

Just retiring some dc7700's here (a mix of XP & Win7) - admittedly we've had a few of those with faulty mainboards over the last decade or so!

(and we still have 1x d530s in use)

I'll echo the sentiment of "why upgrade?"

We're using HP desktops at work. I recently took delivery of a bunch of fully-optioned 800 EliteDesk G1's (G2 is out now). The boxes they're replacing are 5 years old, and still perfectly functional. Being retired due to age, not capability...

Reminder: How to get a grip on your files, data that Windows 10 phones home to Microsoft


YOUR Windows 10 install?

Sorry guys, Windows 10 isn't yours. It's being leant to you for free (for now). At what stage did you think you had the right to prevent this 'telemetry' stuff from happening?

This is one of the things that annoys me so much about W10 - if the product had been managed 'better' people would be falling over themselves to use it (it certainly seems to perform well - from what I've read).

C'est la vie...

When asked 'What's a .CNT file?' there's a polite way to answer


Re: cd trays

trays, not drives...

i.e. stuffed in the the gap between bays - been there, seen that (and worse).

And I seem to recall having 1.2MB, 1.44MB and a 4x CD-ROM in the same box, at the same timframe - around 1996 or thereabouts.

Give me POWER! Under resourced, overloaded - a moving story


And another hot tip (learned the hard way...) use the 'startup delay' feature of your servers BIOS. It will give you a staggered startup of the boxen - reducing that dreaded inrush!

(We had 2x 2kVA UPS's running at about 30% load under _normal_ circumstances. But when everything wants to start up at once, one UPS overloaded and went offline and the other was stuck on bypass at 150% load. That's the sort of thing you can't fix remotely...)

Server retired after 18 years and ten months – beat that, readers!


Re: The drive's a Seagate...

My guess is that it was running a 1/2-height 3.5" Barracuda drive - the ones with the vertical and horizontal PCB's. If I remember rightly, the 2GB 'Hawk' was quite a bit slower than it's more expensive cousin!

Dick limps towards inglorious end: Gadget retailer on the brink


Re: It's a sad end

Indeed, but luckily there is Aztronics who can fill that void, and to a lesser extent, Jaycar.

There's an epidemic of idiots who can't find power switches



When the storage requirements aren't clearly explained, or just described as 'space for the install, not all the temporary crap I do before I've finished'.

I recall a few Exchange upgrades (admittedly _many_ years ago!), that needed some hasty data relocations to be performed while the installation was running, lest it ran out of space!

Microsoft reveals Azure Stack hardware specs


If it's ok with you, I think I'll stick with my 'traditional on-premise VMware deployment...

Sure we're only talking about 156 cores & a TB or two RAM spread over a fistfull of boxes but;

It works

I have pretty much full control of it (within reason)

It works

If it still works six months from now, count yourself lucky


Panasonic Toughbook CF-18

10 years old, on it's second battery.

A fine example of the level of quality that is possible if the manufacturer is interested.

Yes, is was a $5K AUD laptop, but it's still in the field - every working day (supporting a system that needs an XP box).

Personally I have an Asus N61J that's over 6 years old - SSD and new battery fitted. The onboard DVD-RAM drive is dead, but I think she's got a few years left yet.

IMHO - Commodity PC's are just that, decent servers are far superior, and some shit just lasts longer than other shit.

I'm sure I can dig up a functioning Apple Newton from around here somewhere...

DS5: Vive la différence ... oh, and throw away the Citroën badge


Re: Meh...

I've just resurrected one of these with my father-in-law (actually a 'Break' or estate/wagon), and it's a fun little car to drive. It will happily motor along at 100km/h with very little road or engine noise (even though it's spinning at nearly 5000 rpm), and keep up with modern vehicles in traffic. Don't let the revs drop too much tough, or you'll be rapidly seeking a lower gear!

Today's Quiz Question: Are there more SIMs than people in the world?


Re: 2G Kinda Lingers

Amen to that - have a look on the PCI web site at the number of EFT terminals that have '2G' backhaul and compare it to those that have '3G'. I'm not willing to take a guess as to how many 2G devices need to be replaced in Australia over the next 18 months, but it could be millions.

Yes, I'm working on replacing a 'small' number of these in vending machines (~200) and it's quite a big job!

Oz railway lets newspaper photograph train keys


Re: Derailer block

You mean, like in a stabling yard?

Derailers are kind of essential in places like that :)

Windows 10: Major update on the Threshold as build 10586 hits Insiders


Re: *Sigh* windows 10 is quite good for a given value of good.

Shirley, things like the executable 'protection' above could be backported to 7 without too much dram? Oh that's right, 7 is old hat now.

Well MS, I too have used and deployed your Operating Systems on many thousands of machines over the last 30 years, and this 10 thing will go down as a bigger fiasco than the 'Windows Vista Ready' cockup.

I currently manage a government network of about 8000 nodes that is not internet connected - for many reasons. Windows 10 is just wrong on too many levels to be even considered for testing in this environment. Not only that, but with all the telemetry stuff going into 7, we're fighting to prevent the current fleet from wasting it's time trying to phone home...

Nice work - alienating the corporate customers

(Opinions are my own, but I suspect that they are consistent with that of many others)

US taxman slammed: Half of the IRS's servers still run doomed Windows Server 2003


The mind boggles on how poor their ICT systems must be for them to not know where over 1000 XP boxes are. While they may have a massive fleet (I expect it would be in the hundreds of thousands of systems), surely they can use one of the multitude of auditing methods out there to find those machines?

If they're on an AD, it's a no-brainer - even if they're not, it's still straightforward...

Netgear prodded into patching SOHOpeless broadband router


Re: New firmware available.

At the top of that page, it lists 8 models, yet at the bottom - 6...


By the numbers: The virtualisation options for private cloud hopefuls


Re: VMware FT

You make a valid point, but sometimes it just can't be done in the application space. FT can give an additional layer of comfort for such critical workloads.

I was planning on using FT for ay DHCP server - but it still has limitations, and requires _very_ fast networking to keep the VM's in lock-step.

(from memory, a dedicated 10gbe link - or faster)

Sysadmin ignores 25 THOUSAND patches, among other sins


Re: A modified gina.dll smells very bad...

Like the one that PCAnywhere or Ghost used to install?

(hmmm, both Symantec products...)

They could cause all sorts of hassles.

Australian online shoppers and Netflix to be fully taxed in 2017


Re: They will likely do as UK Customs seem to do and assume guilty

I've just had a similar fight with Aust. customs. They wanted to charge me 5% duty on $2000AUD worth of goods from the USA that were meant to be duty fee under the FTA. I eventually won the dispute and only paid brokerage + GST.

But the fact that they tried it on anyway (when the nature of the goods and tarrif code clearly indicated the situation), is the bit that is annoying.

It _seems_ that that their SOP is 'charge unless we get caught out'.

Not looking forward to them being involved in collecting/processing the little stuff too.

(and I'm sure they're not chuffed about it either)

It's 2015, and someone can pwn Windows PCs by inserting a USB stick


Re: Holdouts

progman.exe ftw!


Actually, you _could_ do this kind of thing with the NT4 preview at least (shell=explorer.exe or shell=progman.exe in one of the .ini files...)

Sydney adopts 'world's first' e-ink parking signs


Re: Fantastic!

And have a SIM that will authenticate against that APN.

So what are you doing about your legacy MS 16-bit applications?


Re: @1980s_coder - Start asking the developers pointed questions

Hmmm, I seem to recall that 20 years ago, I was working with 3rd generation 32-bit x86 CPU's, admittedly they had an FDIV bug, but you get that...

As for other Architecture types, they'd been 32-bit for even longer (MIPS/Alpha/PPC/SPARC).

You sir, have misquoted a misquote!


Virty servers' independence promise has been betrayed


Re: of course, there are reasons for strict affinity rules

Or due to software licensing constraints - Oracle, I'm looking at your stupid host licensing model for Enterprise RDBMS...

PCI council gives up, dumbs down PCI DSS for small business


Re: In our case...

Sounds like you're filling in the wrong SAQ then - have a look on the PCI webby and speak to your bank about the potential to 'make life easier'.

(I have to manage aspects of PCI-DSS compliance for a regional government department, and yes, it's a PITA...)