* Posts by MisterHappy

124 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Mar 2014


Spooky entanglement revealed between quantum AI and the BBC


Not just malingerers!!

After 3 months I was begging my Dr for pain killers that would allow me to function but not be so strong that I couldn't work!

BOFH: We're an industry leader … in employing idiot managers


Nice screen layout

This was displayed on my screen under the "FTX disarray declared 'unprecedented' by exec who cleaned up after Enron" which pictured a dumpster fire... Possible "Green Upgrade"?

Multi-factor auth fatigue is real – and it's why you may be in the headlines next


Geo blocking MFA requests

We allow MFA to be set up on a phone only when using the corporate wireless.

After that we block any attempts from outside the UK. If "Bob" really needs to log in while on holiday in Japan then he can request to be added to an exclusion group for the duration of his holiday.

3rd parties are added to a set up exclusion for no more than an hour and told they have 1 hour to set it up, after that they are then added to the UK only group.

We do have a couple of suppliers that are outside the UK but their accounts are disabled and they have to request access.

More than 4 in 10 PCs still can't upgrade to Windows 11


Why bother?

We have 8000+ Windows devices & we are not even looking at Windows 11 yet.

Most, if not all of the PCs and Laptops have a TPM and can be upgraded but with support running until Oct 2025 why would we bother? It's a PITA for very little benefit so I imagine the project will be looked at in the first quarter of 2025.

Personally, I upgraded one at home to Windows 11, there is functionally very little difference so haven't bothered with any others.

Keeping printers quiet broke disk drives, thanks to very fuzzy logic



Still in use by a mate of mine. Printer was rescued from the WEE bin because no parallel ports on PCs anymore, I still had one at home. A couple of years later I rescued a better printer & passed the 5p onto my mate.

The last time I dealt with it was advising said mate to buy a USB to parallel cable after his PCI Parallel port finally failed.

Apple debuts iPhone 14, Watch 8, other sparkly things


Re: I should copyright this

Yet again they are using "Ever" to mean, "since the last ones"

Am I the only one who cringes & thinks "Ever" means that they are saying that they will never make a better one?

Salesperson's tech dream delivered by ill-equipped consultant who charged for the inevitable fix


We don't have problems, we have "Opportunities"

Me: "We have the opportunity to see how long the data centre can run mid summer with no air-con."

Boss: "Huh? What are you talking about."

Me: "Well, as we never have problems, I can't say that the Air-Con is broken."

Boss: "Don't take the piss!"

Left-wing campaign group throws weight behind BT strikes


Is your reply to this comment disparaging the persons age or the fact that they went to uni?

Not all people who went to uni are from wealth and/or privilege, some of them worked damn hard.

Not all 'younger people' are feckless wastrels either.

Commenting as an old fart who never went to uni.

Apple to compel workers to spend '3 days a week' in the office


Re: Don't know what they're talking about

100% Agree with this. I have told my boss that I am far more productive at home, when I am in the office I get all of the "Can you help me with..." or "Have you got a minute" requests that could have been asked in an email or Teams but some people just hold onto it until they can collar someone in person.

My set up at home is much more conducive to work, even after the mandated 2 monitors per desk they implemented, simply because when I buy my own kit it's to my personal spec & not what bigbox co can supply at a low price.

Yeah, we'll just take that first network handshake. What could possibly go wrong?


You mean Change Enablement don't you?

Yes I think it's ridiculous too but apparently it's not Change Management anymore.

Icon for the whole "We are not managing but we are enabling" wank.

BOFH: Would I lie to you, Boss?


Was this the guy...

Was this the guy they recruited after the last boss left? If so, they definitely got the right person for the job.

""He asked for a bag of barley sugars and then ran headlong into the wall," the PFY sighs."

Top notch!

Back-to-office mandates won't work, says Salesforce's Benioff


Will they also cut the pay of the guy who lives just down the road from the office & walks in every day?


Happy to return to work if....

If my boss can tell me what it is that I "Need" to be in the office to do then I am happy to go back in. I have happily worked from home over the last 2.5 years without any issues, going in once or twice a month when I had to.

Some of my colleagues prefer working from home & others like to get out of the house and go into the office, there have never (so far) been a case that something urgent has come up and there has been nobody available on-site to look at it.

The last conversation about it was about Team building and 'sense of belonging' which pretty much translates to "I'm a crap manager & want to see you in the office so I know you are working".

Concerns that £360m data platform for NHS England is being set up to fail


Re: Misunderstanding the NHS

This is what I have tried to get across on here before there is no "The NHS" when it comes down to Hospitals, Trusts, GP's & Dentists, it's more like a franchise.

There are standards in place for data formatting, most systems use a variant of HL7 for messaging between clinical applications to allow interoperability, with some translations needed because HL7 is not a strict standard.

At the moment Trusts/Hospitals are free to choose their preferred software for EPR/Imaging etc & this is usually driven by the clinicians, which can lead to some interesting conversations around what IT think should be implemented vs what the clinicians desire. (The clinicians always win btw).

Tough news for Apple as EU makes USB-C common charging port for most electronic devices


Re: A good day for Intel, I guess...

Oh the Dell power brick!

Lost your charger for your laptop or left it on the train? Just let me dig through the bin of old bricks and cloverleaf cables.

Want a spare charger for home working? Same bin.

About the only thing you could get wrong with those was using a Laptop brick to try and run a docking station and even then it mostly worked, just didn't charge the laptop.

I miss those days.

Windows 11 usage stats within touching distance of... XP


Re: Win11 Hijacks - or Premier League Football?

I'd like a checkbox for "Corporate Install" so I don't have to remove "XBox Game Bar", etc from the image!


Re: The actual OS is fine

Said it before & will probably say it again in a month or so.

80-90% of users just want the desktop icons in the same place & to do the same thing, they don't care about the OS or the GUI.

"Most corporate users could also be switched to Linux or a Mac with little or any OS retraining. But there may be massive retraining on the applications they use." - Depends on the business, a lot of our required software has no Linux equivalent so we are tied to Window.

Creator of SSLPing, a free service to check SSL certs, downs tools


Re: Pingu

Windows Server 2008R2 is currently getting security updates & will continue to do so for a few more months... IF you paid for the 3rd year of extended support.

Having said that there is a bit of a scramble to get rid of our last couple.

The march of Macs into the enterprise: Demand is on the increase


Re: How do I use my Macbook here??

Would that be less resources needed to add MAC support to a fully managed Windows environment with 100s of applications in use across the whole estate?

I don't even know if there is an NHS spine client for a MAC, let alone how we would get any of the other stuff working on one.


How do I use my Macbook here??

The usual answer is, "Register on the staff wi-fi and then use that to get to AVD, here's a link."

We have 7 MACs in our estate that are joined to the network, all in use by graphical/arty people. Most of the client software in use across the estate will not run on a MAC & no, not everything is available in a browser.

"I must have a MAC!!", the response is usually, "Why?". We are a 99% Windows environment & manage 8000+ PCs/Laptops, we have neither the time or inclination to support MACs.

I imagine that if we were 99% Apple then we would have the same reaction to someone bringing in a Window laptop.

Windows 11 growth at a standstill amid stringent hardware requirements


8000+ PCs/Laptops

The main drivers for any upgrade cycle for us tends to be what is the benefit & how much of a PITA will it be.

Having completed the Win10 rollout to various PCs and Laptops, replacing where needed, we know exactly how much of a pain it will be and are looking at the EOL for Windows 10 as the time to upgrade, we have a stable image with 3rd party software supported by the vendors so why change anything?

MS will probably offer extended support in line with Win7 so buying that will give us an extra year.

Notepad Dark Mode and Android apps arrive on Windows 11


I expect this will be unpopular but...

I have to disagree on this one, MS have a good understanding of how 80-90% of their user base works.

Most people simply don't care, as long as the 5 or 6 icons they always use are in the same place on the desktop, they are happy. They don't care about UI changes or Feature updates. Does the internet work, does Facebook work & in a work environment, do the applications work the same way as they did?

We are the ones that make up the other 10-20% and we do care (In varying amounts).

I just want a checkbox at install for "Corporate or Home" so I don't have to mess around removing XBox game bar before imaging 7500+ machines.

He ain't heavy, he's my brother: Bloke gives away SpaceX ticket because he was over weight limit


Re: Weird thing I’ve noticed is a correlation between …

Purely from a personal viewpoint...

I was spending far too much on ready-meals/take out/eat-in and decided to get a couple of recipe books and try and learn how to cook.

Yes I diligently followed recipes to the letter at the start but after a while I had got confident enough in the basics that I could adapt, combine & improvise. Obviously YMMV but I think recipe books are a good start, just buy some that include things like making a rue & a simple cheese sauce as well as the fancy stuff.

Tesla to disable 'self-driving' feature that allowed vehicles to roll past stop signs at junctions


"I don't understand the hostility towards Teslas by some contributors to this site."

IMO most of the hostility is directed at Tesla as a company for their blatant lies & marketing strategy.

The idea of a car with all of the features of a Tesla appeals to me a great deal but with a huge caveat! The technology should be set up in such a way that, if the driver does not respond to a potential problem in time, the software will do it for you. It should also be dialled down so some features are disabled/enabled as I prefer, lane assist on narrow roads as an example.

It should not be marketed as "Auto-pilot" or "Full Self Driving" no matter how much Elon winks at the camera and says how the driver must touch the steering wheel & the fine print includes "Not actually a self driving car".

Any world in which "Do not dry your pet in this product" has to be put into the instructions for a microwave oven is not ready for a car to be marketed as "Self Driving".

When forgetting to set a password for root is the least of your woes


Re: Marketing Company

My mum used to get Woman's Own & they had a "Reader's Top Tips" section. These days it would be presented as "Amazing Hacks you never thought you needed!"

Machine needs more Learning: Google Drive dings single-character files for copyright infringement


But I went even further back in time and bought the architect a very nice dinner & suggested he put a lever right... here.


BOFH: What a beautiful classic car. Shame if anything were to happen to it


Re: Deranged

The old joke was that spotting forged passports was easy, if the photo actually looked like you it must be a forgery. Real passport photos always look like you have just finished a 5-10yr stretch.

COVID-19 was a generational opportunity for change at work – and corporate blew it


Re: A different point of view...

This... So much this!

We have a 15 min Team catch-up via Teams at the start of the day, usually just takes the place of the 15 min "How was your evening?" chats that we had in the office pre-Covid but sometimes work related stuff comes up.

Teams is running all the time & calendars are shared, people have been told that if someone is showing as busy then by all means drop them a message but don't expect a reply right away. At the start of all this there were lots of pointless meetings but over time these have been winnowed down to the ones that actually serve a purpose.

Additionally we have been encouraged to book a weekly 30min call with a colleague for a "No Work Allowed" chat.

My only real bug-bear is some of my colleagues have forgotten that email exists, I can flag an email, don't expect me to scroll back through months of Teams chat to find the important bit of info you sent me.

You better have patched those Log4j holes or we'll see what a judge has to say – FTC


eBay vs Newman

I think this is the one...

Under eBay v. Newman, “it is literally malfeasance for a corporation not to do everything it legally can to maximize its profits.”

IANAL - It boils down to "a duty to maximise shareholder value", there are varying opinions on this and the majority state that this is not a legal requirement.

Then again, corporations are people now so who knows?

Electric fastback fun: Now you can surf the web from the driving seat of your Polestar 2


Re: Cue the anti-moving work-around in 3, 2, 1...

And hopefully the manufacturer will be able to point to the hack and it will be thrown out with all costs assigned to aforementioned wanker.

How to destroy expensive test kit: What does that button do?


From the late, great Sir Terry

“Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying 'End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH', the paint wouldn't even have time to dry.”

From "Thief of Time

Computers cost money. We only make them more expensive by trying to manage them ourselves


Apparently there is no middle ground in this debate

Own your own equipment but use Cloud computing where appropriate?

8000+ PCs in the estate, these are now on a 5-7 year renewal so we can sweat the assets. If required a PC or Laptop can be replaced outside on the refresh cycle but mostly they are bought with a 5yr warranty and after that expires they are replaced when they break.

On site VM environment that it running near to capacity & extra hosts are bought when needed. If there is something that cannot be run on the hosts because of graphics requirements etc then buy that from a cloud provider.

Two thirds of the staff needing to work from home? Off to Azure to spin up a load of WVD hosts that scale up and down depending on usage.

As with all of these debates, the actual answer is probably that both have benefits and use cases need to be addressed and applied properly.

CapEx vs OpEx? A CapEx cost of 20K is fixed, an OpEx will probably go up in line with inflation and/or supplier decided cost increases, if you are looking at something over the next 5 years then a definite up-front cost is much preferred over a "Maybe 4k a year, might go down but will probably increase a bit every year."

Smart things are so dumb because they take after their makers. Let's fix that


Re: What are error messages for?

I like the result of "Thanks to Bob for the help, I fixed it as detailed in his Blog... Here".

Then the hyperlinked "Here" returns a 404 or a placeholder page because Bob moved it or stopped paying for it.

One click, one goal, one mission: To get a one-touch flush solution


Almost needed a new keyboard there

I managed to hold back the laugh long enough to swallow the mouthful of coffee... but it was close.

"Ah, good, my groin has lit up. I must have new mail."

I was almost in tears after reading last week's column and that one sentence brought it all back, visons of Dabbsy poking at his illuminated crotch on the metro!

The pandemic improved the status of IT workers … forever


We are on the up point in the cycle, it will go down again

Anyone who has worked in IT for a while knows that problems make IT relevant, when everything is working as expected & ticking over without any issues is when management start eyeing up the IT dept and the "Inflated Salaries" with an eye to shaving something from the budget.

I'd guess that before the end of 2022 (barring further disaster) there will be more and more articles bemoaning the short sightedness of employers who are cutting IT staffing.

Happy to be wrong but experience & more than one redundancy round makes me think I won't be.

Canon makes 'all-in-one' printers that refuse to scan when out of ink, lawsuit claims


Re: This was going on 12 years ago.

This is why I used to buy a new printer every couple of months.

Years ago Lexmark sold inkjet printers with a 1/2 filled colour & black ink cartridge for £19.99. When they ran out it was £54 to replace them... Or £19.99 for a new printer.

After a year or so the printers started shipping with only the 1/2 filled colour cartridges but I was lucky enough to re-home an unwanted HPLJ6P by then.

Patients must know how their health records are used – and approve any sharing for research


Selling on of data?

I would have no issue with my health records being shared for research purposes but I do have issues with subsequent actions.

Taking email for example, "we will only share your email details with our partners" which is (debatably) fair enough but their partners share with their own partners & so on until "Single Russian ladies are waiting to meet you" spam turns up in an email you only use for confidential correspondence.

If you want to share my data then please publish a list of the "Reputable Companies" that you are sharing with and provide me with a method of looking up who my data has been shared with & a method of removing myself from some or all of the aforementioned companies.

If anyone can explain why Jupiter's Great Red Spot is spinning faster and shrinking, please speak up



It's aliens right? It's always aliens.

BOFH: You'll find there's a company asset tag right here, underneath the monstrously heavy arcade machine


Re: A little power

BGInfo is still available & quite useful when managing 1000's of desktops

When ERP migrations go bad: Games Workshop says project issues are delaying refresh of 'dated' online store



The site that hadn't been updated for ages that the creator pulled because he has family commitments & "Wasn't sure" if the IP crackdown would affect him? That TTS?

Not too bright, are you? Your laptop, I mean... Not you


Toshiba Tecra A2

I think I've mentioned this before but...

The Toshiba Tecra A2 had a volume control dial on the side of the laptop, positioned just in the right place for it to catch as it was pulled out of the laptop bag.

It was not an uncommon event for an exec to call in a panic because they had no sound and had a presentation coming up. Usually it was limited to once per person but not always.

More than half of companies rethinking back-to-office plans amid variant uncertainty and vaccine mandates – survey


Monday - Friday

Get into work, take off coat and log in, while the PC is logging in moan about the traffic, then open emails. Get up from the desk and go have a chat about your/your colleague's kid, go off and make a coffee, come back and complain about the state of the kitchen, chat to the colleague who has been away for a few days.

Sometime around 10 - 10.30, actual work will be started.

Later on, have lunch and repeat the morning routine with slight variation when you get back from lunch.

These are the people who miss the office.

Cloud load balancer snafu leads to 3D printer user printing on a stranger's kit


Not so much a problem with "Makers" as such, I have a 3d printer churning away quite happily.

However I use a VPN connection back into my home network if I want to check on things when I am away. The issue is more Joe public and "You can do this using the cloud".

Someone brings up TSD as a remote monitoring tool at least once a week on various 3d printing forums & it's about 70% "It's great, I love it" to 30% "Use a vpn, this sh*t isn't secure"

So the data centre's 'getting a little hot' – at 57°C, that's quite the understatement


I can finally tell this one!

Back in the 90's the company I worked at upgraded the mainframes from 2 ICL ME29's to a nice shiny ICL Series 39 Lv40 with the corresponding disk cabinet and tape drives for backup. The problem was that the replacement took longer than expected so the air-con in the room was struggling to cope.

Initially this wasn't a problem, the 2 ME29's would run the production work while the S39 was being commissioned, things got a little warm but the S39 was shut down at the end of the day. However once production jobs started running on the new box we couldn't shut it down as easily. As everyone except project managers knows, projects always have snags, in this case it was that some of the batch jobs needed more work before they could be moved over which meant that for a few weeks we would be running both MEs & the S39 from 8am to 11pm.

In the first day it got warm, then hot, then hotter! Then the over-temp alarm in the S39 started going off, a quick check of the manual showed that the alarm would be followed by a shutdown, this would be sub-optimal so a call to the friendly ICL field engineer followed. He told us that there was a reset button located just under the top vents in the box & that pressing it would silence the alarm for 30 mins and cancel the shutdown.

For the next week there was a step-ladder beside the S39, after about midday whoever was on shift would leave the computer room because it was too hot to work in for more than a few mins at a time. When the temperature alarm in the S39 went off, someone would dash in, go up the step-ladder, reach in and hit the alarm reset. This would then repeat every 30 mins throughout the day until all the batch jobs had finished and everything could be shut down. Remote operator consoles were used to monitor things like tape requests etc & these would be done as fast as possible to avoid the heat in the room.

After a week the management had a big chiller unit installed. Of course, after the old Me29s were decommissioned the room was usually too cold to work in because the new chiller was not linked to the air-con and constantly blasted chilled air into the room.