* Posts by MarkET

52 posts • joined 13 Nov 2013

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We don't need maintenance this often, surely? Pull it. Oh dear, the system's down

MarkET

Re: Also works for hardware

Quite common in 'certified' test equipment to have service periods enforced by either firmware or the hardware itself.

Sun welcomes vampire dating website company: Arrgh! No! It burns! It buuurrrrnsss!

MarkET

Appearance et al...

Once met a young lady on a flight to Austen from London. Turned out we were both booked into the same hotel where a realtors conference was being held. We met later in the bar and were eventually asked to leave because of wearing jeans and t-shirts. The young lady then announced to the unfortunate staffer that her father owned the hotel chain. Had a couple of free drinks. That's all.

Single-line software bug causes fledgling YAM cryptocurrency to implode just two days after launch

MarkET

Software verification

Previously worked for a Financial software developer. The programming, verification, QA, governance and implementation teams were physically separated. Developers never got near the production builds.

The future of signage is here, and it wants an update

MarkET

Just tap the OK button

with a sledgehammer...

Mainframe madness as the snowflakes take control – and the on-duty operator hasn't a clue how to stop the blizzard

MarkET

Xerox mainframe

SDS Sigma - that's a blast from the past...became Honeywell I think.

Chinese mobile giant OPPO claims new 125W fast-charging spec will fully fuel your phone in 20 minutes

MarkET

Re: You may be surprised

If the cable is heating then that is another issue. Just check your home insurance for fire caused by blowing Li-on batteries. Or airplanes.

Old-school security hole perfect for worms and remote hijackings found lurking in Windows Server DNS code

MarkET

"Considering Windows DNS servers are usually also Domain Controllers..."

Really!

Just waiting for trouble...

Singapore-sponsored finance blockchain ready to run international payments, say financial heavies

MarkET

Mathematical dependence

Whilst eager to see improvement in trading of any description, I wouldn't be happy basing an economy on the strength of unbreakable maths. Processing and understanding improves exponentially, what we have now simply didn't exist even ten years ago. Just working on my USB Quantum 42 device...

Linus Torvalds banishes masters, slaves and blacklists from the Linux kernel, starting now

MarkET

Word play

I'm not sure that we can allow the word "principal" as it may imply some form of structure to the flat earth community.

When a deleted primary device file only takes 20 mins out of your maintenance window, but a whole year off your lifespan

MarkET

Sybase

Otherwise known as Microsoft SQL Server from 1993.

Remember when it was delivered on two or three 5 1/4 diskettes for some flavour of OS/2...

Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds

MarkET

Tech Support woes et al...

Providing support for hardware and assembler types often involved asking if we should bring the "micro-scope". Newbies often thought we were taking the proverbial before they encountered logic analysers and DAS systems...Also, once went to see a potential software supplier who lived on a farm, had a server rack in an open stable. Not to mention his wife's unmentionables drying in front of the fire.

When you bork... through a storm: Liverpool do all they can to take advantage of summer transfer, er, Windows

MarkET

On-screen bork! Luxury

When I were lad, had to define 20mA current loop, assemble ASR-33 teletype from discarded Mammoth tusks. Then lunch in the tar pit, if lucky. Finish shift by starting an hour earlier than most Neutron stars formed. Don't get me started about galaxies...bad signal here.

Belief in 5G conspiracy theories goes hand-in-hand with small explosions of rage, paranoia and violence, researchers claim

MarkET

Re: 5G also causes missing words syndrome

"...that claimed 5G caused infertility in men and cancer in humans."

Does this mean men aren't human?

Ex-barrister reckons he has a privacy-preserving solution to Britain's smut ban plans

MarkET

DRM type stuff

Think that the extra-terrestrial broadcasters cottoned on to this years ago with subscriptions, PIN numbers etc. Problem is the source, not the delivery protection.

CERN puts two new atom-smashers on its shopping list. One to make Higgs Bosons, then a next-gen model six times more energetic than the LHC

MarkET

Re: 1 TeV

I'd leave it 5 minutes. Might be a bee in there.

MarkET

Re: 1 TeV

Roughly, 1 eV = 1.60218 × 10^(−19) Joules

So, 1 TeV = 1.60218 x 10^(-7) Joules

I'm sure there is a definitive guide to animal flatulence available on the web.

MarkET

1 TeV

Still about the same power output as a bee passing wind

MarkET

50:50

Quantum instability. Or social media.

'Work pressure' sees Maze ransomware gang demand payoff from wrong company

MarkET

Ransomwhere

Amazing how many firms don't check automated email / invoicing etc. Only takes ~ .001% to reply to make it worthwhile. Old college in my home town did a hand-written mailshot to a number of companies in the early 80s querying non payment of invoices. The money was returned.

Still smile at texts from banks I never deal with and can't spell their name.

PC printer problems and enraged execs: When the answer to 'Hand over that floppy disk' is 'No'

MarkET

Often the basics are overlooked

Used to work for a paper copying firm in the 80s. Sent to Norway to fix a comms problem. Copied configuration from a working machine to the failing one. Job done. Spent a few extra days in Oslo with my girlfriend. Good old days.

Overload: A one-way ticket to a madman's situation

MarkET

Re: and was chowing RAM and swap space like the cookie monster on speed.

Eigen would be proud...

'One rule for me, another for them' is all well and good until it sinks the entire company's ability to receive emails

MarkET

Luxury

We had to revive ourselves. Plus discover Quantum mechanics to re-introduce the universe from the vacuum left by clippy.

Remember that backdoor in Juniper gear? Congress sure does – even if networking biz wishes it would all go away

MarkET

Switches and routers

If someone already has that level of access it's game over, with or without backdoors.

I remember the 'locked doors' of a certain telecom provider whilst testing Telex / digital interfaces a number (large) years ago...

Thought you'd addressed those data-leaking Spectre holes on Linux? Guess again. The patches aren't perfect

MarkET

Re: Remove high accuracy timers?

28mS, you were blessed. We had to rely on sundial. Didn't even think Intel's hardware datasheets were accurate to the nanosecond...especially not for memory or cache access?

Ooo, a mystery bit of script! Seems legit. Let's see what happens when we run it

MarkET

Re: Descriptive names can still be enticing

Int 21H, function (AH) 9

MarkET

Monster printers

Worked for Rank Xerox on the Euston Road many years ago - the ground floor was basically the print 'room'. Remember the huge printers. Later worked for a well known Telecoms provider who ran a number of chain printers churning out bills...such a sweet sound...

Yet another beefy BSOD spotted lurking within the walls of US patty pusher

MarkET

BSOD

Often see reboot sequences on our local buses. At least they're the right way up so we can read them. Must get that CPU fan rate sorted, oh here comes the bus. Probably stop for an hour doing Windows feature update to 5 wheels or something.

Bite me? It's 'byte', and that acronym is Binary Interface Transfer Code Handler

MarkET

Symbol tables

Many years ago, in the days of Windows 3.x, the official SDK/DDK symbol tables contained a reference name "Bozos_End_Up_Here", or similar...

'We're changing shift, and no one can log on!' It was at this moment our hero knew server-lugging chap had screwed up

MarkET

1990s banking

Worked for a European bank in those days. No-one was allowed near the IT or comms rooms, even managers. Programmers were wizards who arrived in the dead of night to collect pizza...

Getting a pizza the action, AS/400 style

MarkET

Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

A bit like Windows Group Policy settings such as "Enable auto-disabling of non-work related stuff except when enabled by local policy override" etc.

A paper clip, a spool of phone wire and a recalcitrant RS-232 line: Going MacGyver in the wonderful world of hotel IT

MarkET

Re: Luxury

30MB! We had RL01...who would ever need more than 5MB per cartridge...

MarkET

Re: Luxury

Tend to agree. All our work was in assembler on the PDP 11/03 and 11/34. The tech guys wrote their own mini operating system hosted on RT-11 to support text processing for newspaper editing and production.

MarkET

Re: Luxury

Remember Altair DOS & Basic on paper tape. Loaded through ASR-33 teletype after keying in boot loader via front panel switches. Made the Honeywell DPS-6 and Dec PDP boxes look like heaven sent...

MarkET

Re: Luxury

Pre-made paper tape? Sheer exuberance. When I were lad used to go to mill to mix paper pulp...

Cloudflare goes retro with COBOL delivery service. Older coders: Who's laughing now? Turns out we're still vital

MarkET

Re: “Old Hardware” is fake news

Z series hardware runs Java on "Application Assist" co-processors

MarkET

Re: “Old Hardware” is fake news

If you look at the amount of physical boxes in a typical machine room, not to mention VMs, the low-end Z series machines look a good ROI.

COVID-19 is pretty nasty but maybe this is taking social distancing too far? Universe may not be expanding equally in all directions

MarkET

Quantum Mechanics?

Does not the entropy of a quantum system alter with observation?

"If the isotropy hypothesis was correct, the properties of the clusters would be uniform across the sky. But we actually saw significant differences."

You've duked it out with OS/2 – but how to deal with these troublesome users? Nukem

MarkET

Re: Timing is off..

The IBM SurePath BIOS code was licensed to Phoenix in May 1993 as part of a joint development project.

MarkET

Re: Timing is off..

The PC clone market took off when IBM licensed their BIOS to Compaq et al.

MarkET

Re: Timing is off..

Used to run SQL (Sybase) on OS/2 1.21 - installed from 3 floppy disks at the time. Command line only. Installation would fail on some systems with drives bigger than 512MB - found to be a BIOS / motherboard issue with floating point divide exceptions not being correctly cleared.

Best buds? Apple must be fuming: Samsung's wireless earphones boast 11 hours of listening on a single charge

MarkET

Studio albums

Curb (1996), The State (1998), Silver Side Up (2001), The Long Road (2003), All the Right Reasons (2005), Dark Horse (2008), Here and Now (2011), No Fixed Address (2014), Feed the Machine (2017)

Tech can endure the most inhospitable environments: Space, underwater, down t'pit... even hairdressers

MarkET

Carniverous computer

Used to work for a small UK based micro-computer supplier in the late 70's. One of our service engineers was called out to a customer site to look at a failing production control machine. The customer was an animal to meat processing plant. You can guess the rest.

Ah, night shift in the 1970s. Ciggies, hipflasks, ADVENT... and fault-prone disk drives the size of washing machines

MarkET

PDP Disk drive numbering

...was set by a removable 'power' button - keyed by plastic prongs that set the logical unit number of each drive. Had to remember to switch 0 and 1 around when doing backup / restore ops as our software at the time had hard-coded drive numbers. Such fun...

So you locked your backups away for years, huh? Allow me to introduce my colleagues, Brute, Force and Ignorance

MarkET

Stiction

...apparently the force required to cause one body in contact with another to begin to move. Had this occasionally with Seagate and Quantum hard drives back in the day, 1990's. Hammer useful, also sometimes part of 8" floppy drive head re-alignment procedure...

Sure, we've got a problem but we don't really want to spend any money on the tech guy you're sending to fix it

MarkET

Japan...almost

Back in the day I was due to go to Japan to look at a SCSII interface / software issue at our parent company. I was literally in the queue for boarding when an announcement directed me to contact an airline representative. My company had cancelled the trip as the software problem had been resolved. Got back home to find a message saying that the problem had re-occurred, can I go tomorrow...

How an over-zealous yank took down the trading floor of a US bank

MarkET

Re: Unplugging the keyboard = kernel panic ?

Gate A20 was for DOS compatibility with machines having more than 1MB of RAM. Where does speed / keyboard come into this?

Ubuntu 17.10 pulled: Linux OS knackers laptop BIOSes, Intel kernel driver fingered

MarkET

When I worked at Mitsubishi / Apricot I had no idea they were clairvoyant...

Certain motherboards had dual BIOS flash devices, physically enabled by a DIP switch. The flashing process involved 'backing up' the current code to the secondary device. Corrupted BIOS - no problem, just flick the switch...

Disk drive fired 'Frisbees of death' across data centre after storage admin crossed his wires

MarkET

I used to work with Pertec 5MB fixed + 5MB removable platter drives back in the day. These drives would 'emergency unload' the heads from the disk if errors were detected. This was done by discharging a capacitor to the head voice-coil via a relay. A common engineering fix for repeated unloads was to remove the relay...

HPE's private London drinking club: Name that boozer

MarkET

The Hype Inn

Caption this: WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

MarkET

It is me - now log me in!

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