* Posts by J. Cook

2021 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Jul 2007

No, no, no! Disco joke hit bum note in the rehab center

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I'm not one to talk- my personal cell phone's ring tone is "Telephone" by Lady Gaga.

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Re: So the system didn't cut the ringtone when the phone was picked up

STAR- TREKKING! Across the Universe! Boldly going forwards, 'cause we can't find reverse!

::takes deep breath for the next verse::


:: Gets ejected out the back door ::

How is this problem mine, techie asked, while cleaning underground computer

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Thankfully, these are the worst things I've ever had to deal with:

The computers sitting on wood pedestals for a uniform company's soiled linen intake line- wooden because they would powerwash the floor when it got too nasty and the computer cases would rust-weld themselves to the floor.

Installing Code Red / NIMDA patches on windows 2000 machines in a factory that made APUs for aircraft- "$250,000 CNC mill that carves up blocks of titanium costing more than a caddillac, brought down into non-functioning because the $50 dollar CD-ROM drive on the $700 desktop machine driving the machine was crammed full of titanium dust." the company's in-house IT department got to deal with those, I was just part of the hoard brought in to clean the place up.

performing an overhaul on an old LaserJet 4si with 2 million on the counter, and replacing the failed main drive train on it on site because the client didn't want it hauled back to our shop for some reason.

I ended up buying my own toner-safe 'datavac' after borrowing one of the units that my employer had, which ended up spewing cyan toner all over the place because the last person who borrowed it didn't bother cleaning it out or telling anyone that the bag had exploded inside the unit. (the client was annoyed, but I managed to at least clean the mess up using a spray bottle and an entire roll of paper towels. I, however, was PISSED.)

The server that had a literal rat's nest in it- that got put into the back of my truck and hauled back to the shop for the bench techs to deal with.

Unity closes offices, cancels town hall after threat in wake of runtime fee restructure

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Re: CEO contempt of users ends badly as predicted

So, something to note here:

This new rule kicks in January 1st.

Unity, if it's like most other companies, ends their fiscal year on the last day of February.

Last November, two investment companies (Silver Lake and Sequioa Capital) agreed to invest around one billion dollars into the company.

This is a play to make it look like the company is making increased revenue before the end of their fiscal year; and while it will, in the long term it will cost the company dearly, not including the mountain of bad PR it's already generating.

I expect that after the new fiscal year starts, the executive team of Unity will jump ship before the effects of this horrible decision (and the inevitable lawsuits) come home to roost.

Lawyer's Microsoft email snafu goes from $1.75M lawsuit to Ctrl+Alt+Settle

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Re: locked out of MFA

... which is why you set up multple means of authenticating yourself, which is not all that difficult to do with MS's web site.

Microsoft to kill off third-party printer drivers in Windows

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... and Windows 9x*. And Windows XP. I fondly remember spending a couple hours of the client's money painstakingly removing the HP print software and drivers the hard way from a machine that would BSOD on bootup due to the wrong iteration of the print driver being referenced, causing the kernal to shit the bed.

For corporate devices and for 90% of the tasks, the HP universal driver really was universal- If the printer groked PCL of 'some form', or post script, it was a solid, basic driver that offered duplex and limited collation functionality. (But not staple and print, because Mopiers and MFPs were their own damned beasts.)

I'll be honest, the current desktop uses a MS supplied driver for the brother MFP that I have; I don't scan from it to a computer (I'll scan to a USB stick, though), and doing color correction on it is kind of pointless for that class printer (It's.. OK for photos; lineart and some images work out OK, but I have a photo printer for a reason.)

* To be fair, it didn't take a whole lot to cause windows 95, 98, and ME to BSOD.

Get ready to say hello to new Windows and goodbye to an old friend

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I will admit that the Office troubleshooter was actually useful when I was using it back in 2015-16; It told me exactly what service packs and patches I was missing, and after installing those on my test system that was having the issue (issues connecting to the on-prem Exchange server) that magically fixed the problem.

Getting our in-house support team to realize this took MUCH longer.

Watt's the worst thing you can do to a datacenter? Failing to RTFM, electrically

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Re: But surely

That's watt's right. Have some filk!

"Oh give me an ohm,

where the resisters all roam,

and the amperes all play.

Where seldom is heard,

voltage spikes, so I've heard,

And the capacitors are full every day."

You patched yet? Years-old Microsoft security holes still hot targets for cyber-crooks

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If nothing else, this is ammunition to keep the office applications up to date.

TWICE NOW! TWICE! I've had to practically scream at the staffers that run our SCCM instance to include Office patches. the first time around was because we were installing the RTS release of office 2013, no service packs, NOTHING, and Gee! they all stopped talking to Exchange after I installed a CU update which included security fixes. That was an NINE MONTH ORDEAL, because people didn't f&#king do WHAT I ASKED THEM TO DO INTIALLY, which was "have you installed all the updates for Office FROM WINDOWS UPDATE?" That required us to roll out a service pack and three additional security/QoL updates (one of which EXPLICITLY STATED WAS FOR EXCHANGE) before the clients started behaving.

And then the second time around was me going "I'm not doing a nine month long pissing match about it. ADD THE OFFICE PATCHES TO SCCM, DAMMIT. And include Office 365 while you are at it."

(granted, both times I kept getting pulled in 3 other different directions and wasn't able to sit down for a couple hours to actually study the issue, but the second time around ended up being that a change was made in the front end for Exchange that the load balancer isn't set up for, so we just cut it out of the loop entirely.)

And then people ask why I'm so grumpy when we get escalated tickets that just say "it's broken" and provide nothing in the way of diagnostics, error messages, etc..........

I'll see your data loss and raise you a security policy violation

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Re: My Documents redirected

Yup; We stress this as well. Store your stuff on your home drive, departmental stuff in an appropriate folder on the department share, and temporary stuff or stuff that you don't care if it disappears on the desktop.

We don't use Roaming Profiles, because Roaming profiles are THE DEVIL. (and we have people who will fill the local hard drive up with crap on their desktop, and then whine at us when it all goes poof if we have to nuke the local user profile...)

It was hilarious when it happened to one of the supervisors in the IT department, though...

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Re: No local storage allowed ?

"Profusely Corded" (back when USB had just been introduced, so PCs still had PS/2 / AT ports for keyboard/mouse, at least two serial ports (usualy 9 pin, but 25 wasn't unheard of) a parallel port, ethernet (Thinnet OR cat 3/5 or both) a model port, a SCSI port, and bog only knows what else.)

"Patently Complicated"

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Re: Outlook...

Indeed: Technically, Microsoft does not support using PST files residing on a mapped drive or network share; However... it does mostly work.

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Re: Outlook...

"Strata" and "Syncline" are not terms normally found in filing systems. :D :D :D

I've given up on my crusade to get people to Not Use Outlook As A File System, by dumping all the mailboxes over to Exchange Online. Let someone else deal with the disk usage...

We all scream for ice cream – so why are McDonald's machines always broken?

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The venerable Commodore 64 and 128 came with schematics for the mainboard, too.

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Re: Wait, their milkshake maker works like an HP printer ?

And to put an even finer point on it:

Taylor and McDonald's corporate have had a very long relationship. The franchiser agreement stipulates that the franchisee MUST use Talyor machines. And since the average franchisee is running on razor thin margins to begin with, those $350 USD service callouts to reset the machine add up very quickly.

That the machine can be hacked and made to do things that Taylor would not have approved of is trivial; a company did that in order to be able to provide franchisees with remote monitoring of the machines AND plain english error messages and how to reset them, and they were counter-sued into oblivion when they tried suing Taylor after they purchased one of the devices and breached the NDA that came with them. Part of that brach of contract lawsuit revealed some interesting under the table shenanigans with McDonald's corporate and Taylor.

Windows screensaver left broadcast techie all at sea

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Lock your computer when you step away.

That's part of the new hire orientation for everyone issued a network account at [RedactedCo]. It's even written into the regulations we have.

When I worked for [ISP] back in the 2000's, that was also one of the 'day one' items, because a lot of us were in network space carved out that wasn't part of the corporate network, and didn't have such fun things as content filters for some of the more naughty web sites.

Leaving your machine unlocked was quickly punished by having your browser's home page changed to visit an adult site, and not the 'tame' ones, either. Along with possibly your wallpaper. Or screen saver.

(thankfully, no one sent emails out proclaiming how baggy your pants were... usually.

PowerShell? More like PowerHell: Microsoft won't fix flaws in package gallery ripe for supply chain attacks

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Re: Whiny article, but one true point

... some not-so-tiny options vanished as well.

Like all of the Unified Messaging management options for the EC for On-premise Exchange 2013? GONE. You get to use Powershell now for ALL OF IT.

Moving a mailbox on-premise from one mailbox database to another, both on-premise? the Migration code in the EAC is so utterly, horribly BROKEN. You can submit the request, but it'll sit there and do absolutely jack and handy, and there's no way to force it to remove those migration requests. the "New-MoveRequest" commandlet still works, so that's what you are forced to use if you need to move a mailbox to, say, clear up some corrupted search folders in the user's mailbox in order to fix the issue which also prevents it from being migrated to The Cloud...

Western Digital sued over claims of data-trashing SanDisk, My Passport SSDs

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Speaking with ~20 years in the business from a field repair tech, and later as the storage admin for a small / medium company with ~750 TB of data storage appliances: All storage media brands suck.

All {drives | USB sticks | memory cards | SSDs | NVMe | M.2 SSDs} will fail, and all companies have periods where they have a production run (or three) that just have problems. A LOT of WD drives failed after they re-built one of their manufacturing facilities. (WD currently owns SanDisk Fujitsu, and probably someone else; Seagate and Samsung still own themselves, Micron has Crucial and Toshiba, IIRC.)

The only answer to the data integrity issue is multiple copies, on multiple media types, from different brands. "One is none" and all that.

There's a reason why most businesses use servers with RAID arrays, disk mirrors, and multiple storage media types, and data integrity / resiliency is one of them.

I'll shut up now, because I'm preaching to the choir. :)

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Re: Firmware updates

I had a WD passport fail on me a few years ago. the controller would randomly disconnect after a few hours of being powered up. The kicker is that the controller for those devices does something with the drive, so that the bare drive shows up as a blank device with an unknown partition on it, so that I couldn't just shuck the drive and park it into a fresh enclosure.

Thankfully, I was able to keep it running long enough to get the non-duplicated data from it, at which point I shucked the drive, loaded it into a new third party enclosure, and re-built the partition. The drive itself was fine- it was one of the Green labeled drives.

for the failure listed in the article? it didn't really say.

I suspect the firmware update was for the enclosure's USB to SATA bridge, but it could be both controller and drive.

The three Seagate external drives I have work 'well enough' for keeping copies of the media I've ripped and compressed.

Author discovers fake, likely AI-generated books written under her name

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Re: It's a phase tech is going through. It will pass.

And there are any number of Print On Demand 'books' that are just copies of stuff from Project Gutenburg sitting in Amazon's listings as well. :(

(I'm sorry, if I'm wanting a copy of The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli, I'd like a copy from an actual publishing house, or just the epub from Porject Gutenburg. (which, come to think on it, I already have...))

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Thumb Up

Re: Your dystopia preview is ready

You get an upvote for the new meaning of the "AI" moniker.

Bad software destroyed my doctor's memory

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Re: "radically alter the workflow of medical professionals, without their input"

This is true for any application.

We have a system in use that captures certain physical security events from various sensors placed around the facility. accessing these events is done through a web page, which from what I understand is a horror show of un-usability, to the point where we are putting in an adjustment to have the system send emails to people instead with the event data, mainly so it can be searched easier.

UX and UI design is something that should be near the very top of the list for designing functional applications, be they on-premise or cloud based.

80% of execs regret calling employees back to the office

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Re: Idiocracy

That was one of the best gags in that movie. (especially when Spartan generates some TP by swearing at the fine dispenser.)

Mines the one with the Taco Bell logo on the back.

Internet Archive sued by record labels as battle with book publishers intensifies

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Re: "artists such as Frank Sinatra .." etc

Well, this very publication did call them the Recording Industry ASS of America for some time...

Verizon to 'sunset' Blue Jeans vidconf platform

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Businesses have picked up on Zoom fatigue – and the decrease in spontaneous collaboration it engenders – and responded by insisting their staff return to physical offices. And once a worker is in the office, they’re less likely to need a video chat.

No, they'll still need to do video chat, because other team members might be remote working, or it's a vendor and a screen sharing session is needed, or, or....

Bad news: Another data-leaking CPU flaw. Good news: It's utterly impractical

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It has the potential to expose encryption keys and other reasonably short identifiers if an attacker has persistent access to the victim's hardware

If they've managed to get to the hardware, why not just ask the hardware directly for the data instead of setting up this drip feed method?

Utterly impractical, and I can't believe I've just wasted five minutes typing out this rebuttal.

Nobody would ever work on the live server, right? Not intentionally, anyway

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Re: spaghetti

Yes you can- just user a narrow fork. :D

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Evil. I like it!

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I was wondering when that pub would develop.

Twitter name and blue bird logo to be 'blowtorched' off company branding

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Re: Mr Xorg

That was an awesome movie.

Police : Are you classified as human?

Korben Dallas : Negative, I am a meat popsicle.

Let there be light ... based wireless networks: LiFi spec OK'd as Wi-Fi complement

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I was going to ask if this was a late April 1st post, but apparently they are serious.

Good luck on that one!

Almost all classic US video games 'critically endangered'

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Re: Not wishing to defend them but...

Indeed; One needs to look at the once Titan of gaming Atari, which now only exists as just a bunch of IP under a name, held by people that are not good at using it...

Sega COO backs away from blockchain

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Re: Entertainment

the latter mis-using the former, really.

Boss such a tyrant you need a job quitting agent? It works in Japan

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Re: Possibly funnier if you're Scottish

"Company makes ten bucks, I make a dime; That's why I poop on company time."

Forget these apps and AI, where's my flying car? Ah, here's one with an FAA license

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Re: Speed and Weight

Going to say "no, Those are just renders.

Another bbs I hang out in has picked it apart pretty well, and it looks more like something to separate gullible people from their money.

Microsoft puts profanity filter on %@!#ing Teams transcripts

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Re: ...

heh. Carlin had a screed about that too, but I can't conjure a link for it at the moment...

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Well played, good sir. Exactly what I thought that link would be.

California man jailed after manure-to-methane scheme revealed as bull

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Not sure I'd want to ruminate on that...

Data cleanser did its job, but – oopsie! – also doubled customers' bills

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Ah, the old 'slicing the salami' trick.

Florida man insists he didn't violate the law by keeping Top Secret docs

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Re: Incredibly dangerous/stupid.

From what I understand, Walt's lawyer was talking to the FBI about turning, and the lawyer refused to talk about it, probably against his client's best wishes, so the FBI did exactly what they told them they would do.

The FBI has more than enough evidence to bury them both.

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Re: as did his aide Walt Nauta

Both. Trump has a history of throwing people under the bus, too.

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Re: I can finally admit something

Well, "Tricky Dick" had something that This guy never had: class, and the good sense to know when he was busted and the game was up.

HCL proves Lotus Notes will never die by showing off beta of lucky Domino 14.0

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Re: And integration...

(puts on Exchange Admin hat)

Indeed; that and the almost monthly "WHOOPSIE WE FOUND ANOTHER CVEE 12.0* ZERO-DAY THAT'S BEING ACTIVELY EXPLOITED" notifications are the straw that broke my back. Especially when it occurs while I'm crotch-deep in a super critical infrastructure project and have to drop everything in order to slap on either a band-aid patch, or apply some hastily written www filtering rules that may or may not fix the problem to all the servers in the farm....

At this point, I welcome our Office2954 overlords. This way, all I have to say is "Yes, we've let MS know that our tenant is affected, we'll let you know when they fix it."

* Yes, I know the scale only goes to 10.0. Cope. :D

Clippy designer was too embarrassed to include him in his portfolio

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... attached firmly in concrete at the bottom of the ocean?

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Re: Bob?

.. What's worse is when the user comes to you, the admin, with the good old "I ran into this error, here's the screen capture of it" and it's literally a picture taken on a potato grade cell phone with a dirty lens that's also not quite in focus so you can't make heads or tails out of it other than "CORRALLATION ID: [unreadable]" and are expected to pull a scotty and pull the solution out of your arse.

My response to that nonsense is "copy/paste the error into the ticket rather than a screen shot, so I can copy/paste it into a google window and maybe figure out WTF was going on to begin with".

Especially since the correlation IDs are only helpful if you have a support ticket open already and are troubleshooting things, so that the support agent can poke through the logs looking for that ID and tell you "oh yeah, it's because the user that error is being shown to doesn't have access to that page".

(I like 403 FORBIDDEN- it's short, sweet, and tells you EXACTLY what the problem is in under 10 seconds as opposed to spending three hours with a support agent and the user via multiple remote support windows for the Same. Exact. Solution.)

(sorry, I might be a little triggered by unhelpful error messages. Where'd I put my dried-frog pills?)

A toast to being in the right place at the right time

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Re: Who are these people...

Of course not; VItal Network Equipment belongs on a small shelf hidden with ceiling tiles in the public bathroom next to it...

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Re: He's toast

similar problem; My first IT job was for a local bank that had their drive-up banking in a smaller building on the same lot as the main building for the branch, and it was connected with a large vaccum tube transport system. Some chucklehead burned a bag of microwave popcorn in the drive up building, and what small amount of smell got into the tube container proceeded to linger all over the main area of the branch building. Microwaving popcorn out there was rather quickly banned.

AI weapons need a safe back door for human control

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Re: Use the off switch

Or hacking it to make it look like it was following the instructions, but in reality doing whatever the hell it wants.

Mine's the one with the logo for Rise and Fall of Sanctuary Moon on the back.

Windows XP's adventures in the afterlife shows copyright's copywrongs

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Re: What's the monetary damage?

See also older, still perfectly functional CNC machines from the 80's that are deadlined for the scrap heap because not only does no one make a replacement controller for it, but the manufacturer has either gone out of business, been merged with some other company and promptly killed off, or has been completely abandoned for any sort of support or replacement parts.

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Re: What's the monetary damage?

[1] seriously, why the bleep does Windows do that? It isn't even as if I've got that many widgets, it bumps up depending upon the software! Some day soon my box will have COM100 and I'll find out that an otherwise really useful utility only copes upto 99...

something something USB enumeration; so it's a mix of what USB port you plug into, combined with what other USB devices are plugged in, the order in which they were plugged in, possibly the phase of the moon, what house it's in, and if Jupiter is aligned with Mars...

Mine's the one with the artwork for "The 5th Dimension" on the back.