* Posts by MarkET

111 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Nov 2013


tz database community up in arms over proposals to merge certain time zones


Simple GPS signal?

Is the most complex system of clocks. Think relativity and orbital velocity.


Too much time on their hands

Leave the zoning to reflect history. It's a quarter past the third epoch...

500KB database - when I were lad it were luxury to a have a Kb to share amongst 16 users...

Check your bits: What to do when Unix decides to make a hash of your bill printouts


Company transport

Recall taking the train for a 100 mile trip with a Honeywell DPS memory controller board. Also got 'nicked' by French customs for importing unidentified objects of a security nature. Umm. Probably a Baguette.

Senior IBMer hit with £290k demand from Big Blue in separate case as unfair dismissal claim rolls on



I'd drop the word "execution" from his CV. Just my opinion.

Solar System's fastest-orbiting asteroid spotted, flies closer to the Sun than Mercury


High speed, low mass

Probably Elon's car come back. Battery flat.

Magna Carta mayhem: Protesters lay siege to Edinburgh Castle, citing obscure Latin text that has never applied in Scotland



Too many deep fried Haribos.

Reminds me of a tale from Oxford...

A young scholar sitting an exam demanded to be served a pint of beer as he understood it to be a right. The pint was duly served. The next day he was fined £5 for failing to wear a clean sword in attendance at an exam.

Who knows.

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



I'm amazed how many people claim knowledge.

I wrote device drivers for Win 286 onwards. It was and still is a pile of $%$%.

The better option was OS/2.

Elementary OS 6 Odin released on a 'pay what you want' basis


How many versions of Linux can you fork?

sudo format-all-distros-forever

Hey, AI software developers, you are taking Unicode into account, right ... right?



Pedantic but need to be a .COM to run on CP/M

Good old Mark Zibowski defined the EXE format for Microsoft. They all still carry his initials in the first block.



Reminds me of an old 'bit toggling' trick in image files for sending messages. Specific bit offsets would constitute a message without affecting the visual representation of the image. Easy to get a 1K message into a hi-res photo.Even better it those bits contain a new offset for the next image...

Breaking Bad or just a bad breakpoint? That feeling when your predecessor is BASIC


Re: Ahh, the joys of debugging on a Production system...

Just interested - what has the LIBPATH order got to do with memory management on AIX?


Re: Debug build on a live server?

IIRC, VB6 was compiled to MSIL despite looking like an EXE. Run-time exceptions are ring 1 or higher on Windows x86 and wouldn't halt a server, even NT4 could cope.

AWS taps up Singapore scientists to overcome hurdles facing quantum computing


Re: Quantum - more than a fad.

Electrons do not have predictable orbits. They're sort of here and there, most of the time.

Ch-ch-ch-Chia! HDD sales soar to record levels as latest crypto craze sweeps Europe


Quick buck

Are people still falling for this $£$%

Don't bring the tin around when your house is on the market...

Imagine a world where Apple shacked up with Xerox in the '80s: How might it look today?


Re: Xerox

Do you remember Bernie at the "Goat 'n' Boots"?

Used to host lock-ins for the Thames TV folk.



I worked for Rank Xerox in the early '80s. Don't forget they also made Sigma mainframes and the first dual 8/16 bit processor CP/M based machines for the office (820-II I think).

I remember debugging an 860 word processor for an errant interrupt handler in a smoke filled office on the Euston Road next to Capital Radio and Thames TV. They owned a hotel behind the office which provided welcome refreshments on an afternoon.

What is GitOps? This is the technical introduction you've been looking for


5G ready, configuration states, que?

I'm glad I'm just an assembler / C programmer at heart.

Developing for Windows 11: Like developing for Windows 10, but with rounded corners?


Windows 11

Android = phone, Linux = PC / Server. Windows 11?????

Updating in production, like a boss


Excuse my ignorance

But when you SNAFU a system in real life, e.g. in a factory, you know about it. You might survive to tell the tale....some induction courses aren't pretty.

Google cosies up to AMD for high-performance scale-out Tau VMs – but makes eyes at Intel and Arm, too


"The name 'Tau' also stands for the golden ratio"

'Tau' was also a name proposed in 2010 as the 'circle constant' to replace (2 x Pi) to simplify mathematics...

Pre-orders open for the Mini PET 40/80, the closest thing to Commodore's classic around


Re: The PETs inspired me.

Used to love the 20mA current-loop interface on those. So reliable, especially when equipped with the paper tape punch / reader. Remember loading Altair Basic onto a MITS 8800 after toggling-in the boot loader via front panel load / deposit switches. Actually soldered the S-100 edge connectors to that motherboard as a weekend job. In a museum now. The machine, not me.

Thanks, boss. The accidental creation of a lights-out data centre – what a fun surprise


Re: Access denied and Big Red Buttons

I worked for BT in the 80s at a DISU. 12 floors of IBM, not a red button in sight. Had some prefcat rooms though. Used to think it was the officers mess.

Military infosec SNAFUs: What WhatsApp and bears in the woods can teach us



Plainly highlights that you have something to hide. I prefer the dark energy 7G band personally.

Sold: €15k invisible sculpture that's a must-see for art lovers


Quantum fluctuations

Just knew that my physics course would pay off in the end / beginning / mid life crisis...

Azure adds programmatic pricing API to help you sniff out global deals


No Bitcoin rate?

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



As a programmer since 1973 I'm just amazed how many people haven't a clue about the job they do.

We need a 20MW 20,000-GPU-strong machine-learning supercomputer to build EU's planned digital twin of Earth


Digital twin

Welcome to the Matrix

Suckers for punishment, we added a crawler transporter to our Saturn V


Re: But...

Was given a set in a wooden box complete with a clockwork engine. Wish I'd kept it.

Windows might have frozen – but at least my feet are toasty



That's why we don't allow Turkey's into our control rooms

Dell Wyse Thin Client scores two perfect 10 security flaws



Enough said. Game over. Player 2 please.

Business intelligence vendor MicroStrategy reveals it’s bought a billion bucks of bitcoin


End all this nonsense

Quoted from their website, which also has a nice photoshop'ped image of him with a very attractive person.

"Bitcoin is a bank in cyberspace, run by incorruptible software, offering a global, affordable, simple, & secure savings account to billions of people that don’t have the option or desire to run their own hedge fund."

~ Michael J. Saylor

And you thought that $999 Mac stand was dear: Steve Wozniak's Apple II doodles fetch $630,272 at auction


Re: Interesting comment...the lawyers will love this

Yes. The point was that he was still an employee of HP. In most jurisdictions ownership of intellectual property related to, or in the form of, articles of work undertaken whilst in employment are the property of the employer unless agreed otherwise by both parties.


Interesting comment...the lawyers will love this

"The prototype was hand-wired while I was still an engineer at Hewlett-Packard's Advanced Product Division"

Trump administration says Russia behind SolarWinds hack. Trump himself begs to differ



Isn't the problem exacerbated by overweight software suites that can't possibly be QA'd in the sales timeframe?

Bring back bows and arrows, i486 assembler and mug of coffee...

How to leak data via Wi-Fi when there's no Wi-Fi chip: Boffin turns memory bus into covert data transmitter


Re: Better computer cases?

They should be. Most manufacturing certifications / CE marking etc. cover electromagnetic emissions / interference.

We got it! Japanese space agency confirms its probe has Ryugu asteroid samples


Good move

Bring back a potentially 14B year old sample during a pandemic.

Top tip from the original Task Manager taskmaster: Don't put your phone number on that debug message box


Source code

The early versions of the Windows 3.1 DDK included an entry point named "OnlyBozosGetHere" along with "whatTF".

Cruise, Kidman and an unfortunate misunderstanding at the local chemist


Boots and film

Would have thought the digital Nikon D1, or the older E2/E2s, would have been the camera of choice for a movie studio in the late 90's.

Oh, no one knows what goes on behind locked doors... so don't leave your UPS in there



Going to need a bigger battery...

Useful quantum computers will be impossible without error correction. Good thing these folks are working on it


Re: photonic cat qubit

Yes, precisely. Or not.


photonic cat qubit

How on earth do you debug a 'maybe' state...

Yes boss, half of my code may have worked before lunch but I'm not sure now.

Cybersecurity giant FireEye says it was hacked by govt-backed spies who stole its crown-jewels hacking tools


FireEye - fired...

OK, fair cop, fess up. I'll send the PuTTY scripts back...

The nightmare is real: 'Excel formulas are the world's most widely used programming language,' says Microsoft


Excel / VBA etc.

Not to be confused with actual programming please.

Remember the divide bug exhibited by certain processors / software toys a while ago?

A 1970s magic trick: Take a card, any card, out of the deck and watch the IBM System/370 plunge into a death spiral



Even in the early 70's most operating systems could terminate greedy threads. Apart from DEC / PDP / RT-11, which relied upon programmers to 'yield' time back to the OS. Happy days.

Windows on Wheels is back, though the truck has come to a standstill, much like the OS


Hello boys!


PC makers warn of battle for air freight capacity, will have to fight for cargo space with... the COVID-19 vaccine


Fright or freight

Most airline handling companies wouldn't cope with -70c storage +/- 5c during transit. Imagine the carousel...

Mysterious Utah monolith mysteriously disappears without trace



Was never there. End of.

For every disastrous rebrand, there is an IT person trying to steer away from the precipice


Re: I had more success …

In Austen a few years back I was asked which US state is Oxford?