* Posts by mr_souter_Working

139 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Nov 2013


NHS Highland 'reprimanded' by data watchdog for BCC blunder with HIV patients


no surprise

7 years ago I did some work for NHS Highlands - and had to explain to them that the reason they couldn't login with their Sun OpenDirectory accounts to the SharePoint environment, was because they had no passwords set on them - and windows required both a username and a password.

BOFH and the case of the Zoom call that never was


actually laughed out loud

"I have a cupboard full of old projectors," I warn him. "Some of them are much heavier than that one..."

love it.

Big Tech workers prefer 3 days at home, 2 in the office. We ask Reg readers: What's your home-office balance?


my tuppence worth

I changed jobs just as Covid-19 started to take hold.

my role at my previous company meant that I had to be onsite a lot of the time, because the work I was doing could only be carried out in a specific location. But they were encouraging people to WFH as much as possible.

My new company, it has been WFH unless required to be in the office (which is rare). My work involves servers and network kit spread across the globe - so it doesn't matter if I am in the office or not - VPN and RDP works fine for me.

I always hated open plan offices - not just because you would always catch any bug going round. Noisy people on the phone, or random people asking questions (generally interrupting my train of thought).

Much happier with no commute (I actually changed jobs because the new one was going to be a 10 minute drive to work rather than 30+ with my previous job), and no distractions from the work. woudl be nice to go in to the office every so often - but would not want it to be the norm - maybe a couple of days a month, or whenever something requires my physical presence.

Worldwide Google services – from GCP to G Suite – hit with the outage stick


Outage or hacked?

Google has a major outage - and I get a prompt from Chrome that some of my passwords have been breached - coincidence?

A memo from the distant future... June 2022: The boss decides working from home isn't the new normal after all


Re: New Normal?

I hate open plan offices

That is one thing I think may change for the better after Covid-19 - we may see fewer open plan offices with staff rammed in like sardines.

We will either be going back to smaller offices. Or, at the very least, we might have more space around our desks.

Bose shouts down claims that it borked noise cancellation firmware to sell more headphones


user perception

I'm sure we have all seen this before - someone touched something, so suddenly they are to blame for all the issues that people think they have, or that they have had for months and not bothered to complain about.

In this case Bose pushed a firmware update (and that alone would make me not use their headphones, if I could even afford them) - so people took the opportunity to blame that update for problems they've had for a while.

What's inside a tech freelancer's backpack? That's right, EVERYTHING


Re: Additional forgotten items ..

"3) One of those weird HDMI cables that has one side blocked so that it only fits certain Dell or Lenovo screens."

Do you perchance mean one of those full size DisplayPort cables - that looks almost exactly like an HDMI cable?

Shipping is so insecure we could have driven off in an oil rig, says Pen Test Partners


been there - done that

worked for a company that runs oil tankers - and yes, onboard security is awful.

Call us immediately if your child uses Kali Linux, squawks West Mids Police


already spamming Facebook.

Thanks to this, I have already seen Failbook posts about how Discord is a grooming tool for peadophiles, and the police are involved.


Google's OpenSK lets you BYOSK – burn your own security key


Microsoft Teams starts February with a good, old-fashioned TITSUP*


Ah, that explains it.

I half wondered why Teams suddenly threw a hissy fit and stopped working yesterday afternoon.

such a shame it's working again today.

UN didn't patch SharePoint, got mega-hacked, covered it up, kept most staff in the dark, finally forced to admit it


so much fail

obviously no proper auditing and monitoring, in addition to no proper patching of the environment.

Probably due to a lack of staff that know what they are doing.

this goes in the list of incidents I refer to whenever someone asks me why we need to patch every single month.

SAP co-CEO: I'm leavin' on a jet plane... Davos knows that I'll be back again...Oh babe, I hate to go (back to work)


Re: Uh, what?

Damn, beat me to it.

IT protip: Never try to be too helpful lest someone puts your contact details next to unruly boxen


Re: Overtime

"I submitted timesheets with that statement for 2 years afterwards with that legalese. No one ever complained"

I submitted timesheets with that statement for 2 years afterwards with that legalese. No one ever read it.

There - fixed that for you :P


Re: Overtime

"A colleague at my first IT job opined that timesheets are a work of fiction."

well I can say for certain that mine have been for years.......

Microsoft welcomes ancient Project app to the 365 family, meaning bleak future for on-prem


Re: More of their 'Do it our way or not at all'

Does MS provide a cloudy replacement option for them?

Yes - they have for a while now.

you can publish the app (or a link to it) in Azure, you can migrate the app to Azure.

you can do similar with Google and AWS - and I guess most (if not all) of the other major (and minor) players.


I take any news of the impending death of on-prem apps with an unhealthily large pinch of salt

there are a great deal of very, very large customers that require on-prem apps (large government departments all across the world). for assorted reasons (generally security and data protection) they simply cannot use public cloud services for everything.

Those customers spend many billions with Microsoft annually - for both on-prem software, and cloud services.

There is little chance that Microsoft will ever cut them loose, and lose that huge revenue source.

perhaps in a few decades, the situation will change (although I seriously doubt it)

Three UK goes TITSUP*: Down and out for 10 hours and counting


I got a text last week saying that they were going to be carrying out work in the Bishopton area this week (near my office outside Glasgow), and hoped to be finished by the 16th.

so, I had worse than usual service yesterday - and no service at all today. no text, voice or data.

their website is still down - and I can't use most of the social media sites from my work computer (El Reg doesn't count).

I think the time may have come to move to another provider (not that most of them are any better)

The safest place to save your files is somewhere nobody will ever look


been there, got the t-shirt

from the users that store files in the recycle bin, to the staff member that was upset when I imposed a policy to empty the deleted items from the mailbox after 14 days, she complained that she used that to store the important emails....................................

Father of Unix Ken Thompson checkmated: Old eight-char password is finally cracked



no, the hash is 13 characters - but the password was p/q2-q4! - only 8 characters

DXC has picked a brand new people person: Finch lands as freed Mason preps to depart


Re: The damage is done

Hey - I still work here, and I'm not an ......

Oh, sorry - forgot who I was there for a minute

As you were.

Confused why Trump fingered CrowdStrike in that Ukraine call? You're not the only one...


Re: but the phone call transcript ...

yes - it's not a transcript - it even says so in the document

CAUTION: A Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation.· (TELCON) is not a verbatim transcript of a

discussion. The text in this document records the notes and recollections of Situation Room Duty

"Officers and-NSC policy staff assigned t_o listen.and memorialize the conversation in written form

as the conversation takes place. A numper of factors can affect 'the accuracy of the reco�d,

including poor telecommunications connections and variations in accent and/or interpretation.

The word "inaudible" is used to indifate portions of a conversation that the notetaker was unable

to hear.

BOFH: What's the Gnasher? Why, it's our heavy-duty macerator sewage pump


Re: Could be worse

"Good luck replacing that!"

yeah, they're not getting my A500 - even if I don't have any disks for it anymore. (it still worked the last time I powered it on) - although, I suppose we all have our price......

Service call centres to become wasteland and tumbleweed by 2024


Re: I'm calling you from Microsoft

they stopped calling me - I used to like shouting at them and once spent a delightful 10 minutes simply saying "fuck you" to one of them.

Justice served: There is no escape from the long server log of the law



these days I often find myself trying to write documentation - but never given enough time to do a proper job on it.

I like to write it, test it myself to see if i've missed anything obvious, then try and get someone else to follow it and make sure it makes sense to them - only then do I say it's ready for general consumption.

often having to change the document a couple of dozen times due to design changes, after all, why would we want to finish the design before starting to do the work and documentation on how to install it.......

Mike drop, DXC-ya later! Lawrie immediately ejects as CEO from IT outsourcing giant


I really wish it was this guy


magic is probably the only way to restore morale at this point....

Can you download it to me – in an envelope with a stamp?


Re: Moved to France

"You still can't dial up how much fuel you want despite the pumps having keypads on them now"

my local Tesco petrol station certainly does - choose an amount in either litres or pounds, and it stops when you get there.

although, I do live in a nice country (Scotland) - maybe our pumps are better than those in Englandshire.....


Rebel Galaxy Outlaw: Well, lookie here! For once a space game that doesn't promise the universe


I feel old

"Came out three years before I was born"

that sentence makes me feel really, really, really old.


Electric cars can't cut UK carbon emissions while only the wealthy can afford to own one


Personal Ownership

"car ownership will fall and everyone will hire an EV taxi t get from A to B" - if you live in a city, and only want to travel within that city, then maybe.

if you happen to live in a rural area, or feel like going for a drive somewhere, or fancy visiting relatives, or go on holiday, or work odd hours, or, or......

The idea that people will no longer want/need to own their own vehicle (of whatever type) is wrong.

Electric vehicles won't help UK meet emissions targets: Time to get out and walk, warn MPs


Re: 50 miles???

"My statement was that there is plenty of capacity at night that is why the electricity is cheap in off peak"

hmmm - yes, if you have a dual rate meter, you get a cheaper rate at night.

however, as I was told just last week by the electricity company, the current crop of "smart" meters, are not compatible with dual rate electricity tariffs.

have fun

and by the way, some of us regularly travel 300 miles plus (round trips of 400 miles are not uncommon for me, with an average annual mileage of over 20k miles. My daily commute is 60 miles), have no way to charge an EV at home (I live 3 floors up in a flat, and there are no charging points on my street) - charging would require me to go to the local train station, and wait an hour or two to charge, before coming home.

I would also like to remind you that a large % of the population live or work in cities - with vast numbers of cars parked on the roadside. if you drive to work, and park in a city, you will need a charging point at the parking spot, or you will need to rely on there being sufficient charge left to get home - assuming you can charge at home.

and finally, something that nobody seems to want to think about. crime. theft of electrical cable is relatively common. all of those cars that will be charging on streets, will have quite hefty chunks of cable attaching them to the chargers. I have never noticed any method of locking the cables in place (and a determined thief would simply cut the cable to steal it). your car is not going to charge very well overnight if the cable goes walkies. and how about the anti-social yobs that cause damage just for the fun - cars already get scratched and destroyed by them - imagine the fun they could have with a tube of superglue and all those charging points..............................

What is it with hosting firms being stonewalled by Microsoft? Now it's Ionos on naughty step


it's not just externally routed email

I am trying to email another user in the same organisation, and the email is being rejected by Microsoft

A communication failure occurred during the delivery of this message. Please try resending the message later. If the problem continues, contact your email admin.

The following organization rejected your message: BY2NAM05FT033.mail.protection.outlook.com

Overstock's share price has plummeted. Is it Trump's trade war? Bad results? Nope, its CEO has gone bonkers...


still better than Mike Lawrie

all in all, i'd rather have Byrne running DXC than Mike Lawrie

someone you categorically KNOW is a smart nutjob is better (in my opinion) than someone you merely suspect is an idiot nutjob.

Another 3,900 staffers gone, 3 data centres to be closed, and yet DXC revenues keep falling


Re: Can't earn anything if there's nobody to do the work

"laid off most of the experienced (i.e. well paid) staff and replaced them with overseas staff and kids fresh out of college"

yep - that's pretty much exactly what is happening.


Re: Can't earn anything if there's nobody to do the work

there are still some of us here that can do the work - but nobody seems to be able to find us. And we tend to have too much work and not enough time. It's no wonder so many people put their hand up for voluntary redundancy, with more likely to leave before the end of the year through compulsory redundancy.

but, on the plus side - I got a dividend of 12p from my single share in DXC, and got to vote in the upcoming shareholders meeting.

so there is at least one vote against Mike Lawrie remaining CEO, and against the executive compensation package.

City-obliterating asteroid screamed past Earth the other night – and boffins only clocked it just 26 hours beforehand



"Nuclear explosions have a distinctive "double flash" : you see the explosion, it's briefly shrouded in debris, then you get a lot of light over a longer time. From the viewpoint of satellites, rocks hitting us don't look much like nuclear explosions"

OK, most of the rocks that hit the earth are just rock - but we keep hearing about asteroid mining, and that there are trillions of tons of precious metals out there. what are the odds that some of them contain Uranium/Plutonium? what would happen if a 1km lump of uranium hit the earth at that speed - would it continue to be merely an asteroid impact, or could that potentially become an atomic bomb?

and how about a 1km lump of rock that turned out to be made of something super dense - like osmium. even if it was a relatively small percentage of the rock, I have to think that it would be likely to change the potential destructive energy.

Summer vacations put an end to rampant desktop crimewave


Borrow a pen?

I remember the halcyon days when I worked for companies that provided stationery to the staff - notepads, pens, etc...

sadly my current crowd (DXC) are such a small and poor lot, that there is no stationery anywhere - unless you attend an event that has customers (they have plenty of DXC branded crap to give away then)

my monitor stands are reams of paper - and if want any notepaper, I go and acquire it from a printer. Pens - I bring my own, and will cut the hands off anyone that lays a finger on one of them!

Operation Desert Sh!tstorm: Routine test shoots down military's top-secret internets


Re: I am confused

"But don't the hosts have to be members of the domain in order to move a VM between them?"

no - it takes some work, but you can get a Hyper-V cluster running with standalone (workgroup) servers - and you can have servers move between them - provided you have decent shared storage.

The Empire Strikes Back: Trump discovers $10bn JEDI cloud deal may go to nemesis Jeff Bezos, demands probe


the mad rush to cloud

for $10billion over 10 years they could put together a pretty reasonable secure environment themselves, using many smaller contractors - with multiple redundant offsite data stores (I assume that the US Military has some secure locations) - then they wouldn't need to give any one single company such a huge contract.

But everyone is obsessed with putting their data into other peoples computers, even when it may not necessarily be the best idea.

Not all heroes wear capes: Contractor grills DXC globo veep on pay rises, offshoring, and cuts to healthcare help


Re: Merit raises when everyone downrated by decree?

"It's kinda difficult to get your team a merit rise when you're not allowed to rate anyone higher than a 3"

I managed to get a 2 on my last review - but I did really push the point to my manager after only getting a 3 last time (I made the point about what expectations I had NOT met.)

1 - Exceeds all expectations

2 - Meets All and Exceeds Some Expectations

3 - Meets Most Expectations


Re: So much management doublespeak

"Buzzword Bullshit Bingo card"

I have been seriously considering printing up a few of these for the town hall meeting next week......................................


"The top talent from DXC is running like hell, or has already left, and they've replaced 100% of the talent with useless know-nothings from India who couldn't find their asses with both hands and a flashlight."

Yes - our internal helldesk (based in India) is every bit as bad as anything we force our customers to endure - I called them because a group policy has suddenly restricted the ability to run PowerShell scripts on my laptop - the person I spoke to did not know what PowerShell was, and then (after a long wait) said that they didn't support PowerShell.

It's things like that, that make me question my own sanity.


Re: "the workforce doesn't carry the hopes and dreams of shareholders on their back"

"Maybe some flogging, pour encourager les autres, would help?"

The floggings will continue until morale improves...............................


Re: "the workforce doesn't carry the hopes and dreams of shareholders on their back"

"The best admin is like the Maytag repairman from the old commercials, who appears to be doing fuck all 40 hours a week, and produces no output that can be plugged into a formula to determine his performance. A manager who doesn't understand this might see Bob surfing the web on El Reg and Slashdot during work hours and think he's a slacker and fire him"

Couldn't agree more - the best people have generally found and fixed all the issues before anyone else even knows they existed (often before anyone else is in the office) - or has worked hard to ensure that the problems never crop up in the first place (not that most managers would understand the concept of preventative maintenance).



"Smith said on the conference call: "Managers have the opportunities to evaluate, identify our best performers and make sure they are market competitive. I tell you, I see them, I approve them every week... that is just a reality of how we operate. Most progressive companies have moved far beyond basic entitlement raises.""

Asked for one over 3 months ago - after a great performance review - been waiting ever since. fully expect the answer to be no, but might be waiting months before I get any response.

Let's talk about April Fools' Day jokes. Are they ever really harmless?


Re: April Fool

set desktop background to be screenshot of desktop (bonus points for rotating image and desktop to random direction), hide all icons, move taskbar to top or side and set to hide, set screensaver to be screenshot - and set time to 1s (or lower)

have also set power saving options to 1s - and require password when unlocking - while simultaneously disabling the mouse, and often the entire USB hub, in device manager.


I believe the correct manglement term these days is "rightsized".............

Former UK PM Tony Blair urges governments to sort out online ID


Re: "trying to come up with new forms of ID card"

National Insurance Number - I even still have the card that I received when I turned 16.

Also - Driving License and Passport


ID cards

"to call for "a proper identity system in the UK" to underpin digital government."

I assume that he has forgotten that every British citizen is issued a unique ID that the government already uses to track us throughout our lives - our National Insurance Number.

This is already a computerised system.

it could (fairly easily) be built upon to provide a secure identification system - if anyone in power was interested in making something that worked, rather than simply grabbing more power and control for their own departments.

Edge-lords crack down on trackers as Microsoft effortlessly kills off PBX phone system, and what's this? Windows Calculator on iOS?


Re: Our company has never had phones

DXC - desk phones are almost non-existent (the few around are mainly because nobody has bothered to bin them yet)

No ability to receive external calls via Skype (at least for the vast majority of us)

No pens

No notepads

No mice

No replacement hardware - unless it suffers a catastrophic failure



Soon they will probably start charging us to have seats and desks.

Bonkers British MPs rant: 5G signals cause cancer


Re: "Is there any evidence that electromagnetic fields can affect the behaviour of animals?"

the best quote from that was from Tonia Antoniazzi - "We must remember that animals do not use screens, "

Yes, she actually said that we needed to REMEMBER THAT ANIMALS DO NOT USE SCREENS!!!