* Posts by Bogbody

82 publicly visible posts • joined 3 May 2014


No, working in IT does not mean you can fix anything with a soldering iron


Years ago I was plagued by "can you fix" calls

I'm (now retired) an electrionics tech, I started charging for calls/repairs.... funny how the calls slowed right down. :-)

Record players make comeback with Ikea, others pitching tricked-out turntables



Oh dear - I though I left arguments about silver-mica vs ceramic capacitor in the audio path behind in 1999.

Seems I was wrong....

My goodness there was some utter bolly-arcs uttered on the subject ....

You can buy a company. You can buy a product. Common sense? Trickier


Re: 'twas ever thus

She was an ex at the point of the transit screws in the kitchen incident.

So in the ex-relationship the location of any screws was considered none of my business.

Come to think of it anything involving "screws" or "screwing" did not involve her at all and had not for some time. :-)


Re: 'twas ever thus

Ah -- transit screws :-)

Just ask my ex-wife how much it cost to replace the kitchen worktop when she used the new washine machine with reading the instructions.


BOFH: The evil guide to upgrading switches


Re: rule 1

Ah yes 5S ......

Vital notes thrown away having been left in a tidy pile on a desk.

Yellow carded - remove in a week - shame the owner was away for 2 weeks.


Client demo in 30 minutes. Just what could go wrong?


Re: I had a physical "DNS" related failure

At one place I worked it was a regular occurance.

Some "bod" would write a message with a pernament marker instead of a white board marker.

Went on for years until a new H&S elf discovered _exactly_ which solvent we used to clean off the ink.

Oh dear ..... :-)

We have redundancy, we have batteries, what could possibly go wrong?


UPS ...

Ah yes, UPS - worked well ...... telesales :-)

Except ......

Make shure its connected to the same phase as the mainframe - when power fails all 3 phases dont always go down at the same time.

The pc's "upstairs" stayed on but not the database server on the ground floor.

Whoops .....

Predictive Dirty Dozen: What will and won't happen in 2022 (unless it doesn’t/does)


Re: AI transcription and translation improves massively

Getting Welsh grammer 100% right is not easy.

It stands out a mile if its wrong but my Welsh grammer isn't good enough to correct it most of the time, however I have Welsh speaking friends that can.

In the case quoted I would have been fired - if I was 100% certain I was right (and had checked) - there would have been no apology, no flowers. I would have stuck to my guns as I was thrown out of the door.

I have form for this sort of thing :-) - its happend before :-) :-)

Thank you, FAQ chatbot, but if I want your help I'll ask for it


Scatty Nav on Astra K

You can download and install a scatty nav map for free! Wow!

A 2016 GM/Vauxhall/PSA Astra K --- no new maps available, latest is dated 2017 and is several years out of date. They charge about £80/£90 for an out of date update.

No firmware updates for the radio, Android Auto works at the moment - until the next feature rich AA update I suspect.

On SWMBO Fiesta - grand! FOC update (currently free).

Swooping in to claim the glory while the On Call engineer stands baffled


Re: Hey Rob!

Myself and 2 friends tried to push start 1000cc BMW boxer twin. We failed miserably as the rear wheel locked up no matter which gear we used - turned out it needs the starter motor to operate the decompressors on that model.

It can only be started with a fully charged battery

Cause of Flatus Battus? Headlight stays on unless you take the key out.....


A lightbulb moment comes too late to save a mainframe engineer's blushes


Re: It can take a remarkably long time to notice that the alert mailer has stopped working.

In the late '70 I worked for a company that made dot matrix printers.

We had a test room with upwards of a 100 printers on soak test - hammering away in dot matix style.

If one printer had a faulty printhead you could hear it over the clatter or the rest.

They were based in Crewe in a wonderfull ex-railway office that curved round with the track. Alas it was destryed in a fire some years later.

LAN traffic can be wirelessly sniffed from cables with $30 setup, says researcher


Black Helicopters

An ex-coworker was doing this sort of thing 20+ years ago with a shortwave radio. He could sniff RS232 with ease. The same basic technique would work for ethernet (better radio/decoding needed of course).

I'll bet the Black Helicopters have a much better way of doing it and have been using the method for decades.

Macintosh Classic II and triceratops skull on auction: One's a dinosaur, the other has three horns on its face


The tool was called a "Mac Cracker" - its basicaly a long torx drive with a 150/200mm shaft.

Something like a T9/T10 or maybe even a T15.

The last one I fixed (psu gone bang - 110V version pluged into 220V - whoops), well it was in the early 90's and bought over to the uk by a left-pondian. Changed the link over to 220V as well.

Computer shuts down when foreman leaves the room: Ghost in the machine? Or an all-too-human bit of silliness?


Ghostly PFY

My local petrol station has a ghost called "Naughty Nigel". He's the one that stops things working for a fuel buying petson but allows it to work perfectly for an employee -- as witnessed last night with a fuel pump and card reader (with a long queue behind of course) :-)

Nothing works any more. Who decided that redundant systems should become redundant?


Re: Doubting Hervé

In the uk there are two depths. 55cm snd 60cm and no standard position for water entry or drain exit.

Ignore that at your peril :-)


Re: Chuddies (sort of)

I used to work with a young lady called Dawn.

She had a sense of humour failure when she called me at lunchtime one day saying "its Dawn here".

My reply off "thats odd, it's later than that here" caused a "slight" fuss . . . . . . .

Catch of the day... for Google, anyway: Transatlantic Cornwall cable hauled ashore


Beach cable baby

I was there to see Grace being dragged up the beach. Quite impressive in a cabley kind of way.

There was quite an audience :-)

Real highlight was an excelent burger in a lovey Rosie cafe a few yards away. :-)

THX Onyx: A do-it-all DAC for the travelling audiophile


Well it hasn't changed ....

Reading the comments tells me that there is as much utter clueless bollocks being avidly discussed as fact now as there was in the late '70.

One capacitor brand producing a better sound than the other ....

Silver plated PTFE insulated speaker cables better than 10A orange 2 core mains cable in a normal domestic setup (100(real)W/channel ......

Arg! Thought such utter twadle got left in the 70's

Subcontractors working on CityFibre's £45m Derby rollout threaten to 'rip up tarmac' in dispute over payments


Re: Payment Terms missmatch

I wonder how the main contractor would feel if the subby ripped up the pavments and then declared themself bankrupt?

Thought the idea was that you set up a company to do the subby work and then closed that company when the work was complete thus avoiding all liabilities? That certainly was the way that a couple of house builders operated localy.

Happy with your existing Windows 10 setup? Good, because Windows 11 could turn its nose up at your CPU


Same here, my 2014 i3 (16gig ram) works very well.

Will it hit landfill in 2025? Dunno ... it'll be a race bettween retire and landfill I suspect.

Wjats the situation for business users will a fleet of i3/i5 desktops and laptops?

Updating in production, like a boss


You are much more likely to be offered




Or, if very lucky....


Brit IT firms wound up by court order after fooling folk into paying for 'support' over fake computer errors


Re: Just this afternoon

Last call like that was years ago....

"Hello I'm from Microsoft, your computer has a virus"

Oh - ok - what do I do?

"Turn on your computer please"

Ok - just a minuite.....

So I turned the radio on loud, put the phone down in front of it and went to the shops.

Shortly after that I got CLI working. I now dont answer unless I recognise the number and they start to leave a message.

Lots of calls from Private Numbers, international or fake VOIP. Bit of a pain because some profesionals dont understand that no number plus no message equals I dont answer.

Do you come from a land Down Under? Where diesel's low and techies blunder


Check you're phases....

Part one..... when fitting a genny make sure that phase and neutral aren't swapped over behind the wiring panel ......

Part two ..... big 3-phase UPS ..... make sure that the incoming power sense leads are actually conected to all 3 phases....

Part 3 .... dont let a <redatcted> Manager demolish a wall in the warehouse using a JCB.....

Part 1 -- bang, bang ... bang went the PC power supplies

Part 2 -- the lights are on but why is the main frame not .... oh ....

Part 3 -- big blue flash followed by much darkness and a bit of silence ......

The Eigiau Dam Disaster: Deluges and deceit at the dawn of hydroelectric power


Fantastic article. I was bought up just to the West of that area - in sight of Yr Wyddfa.

How many remote controls do you really need? Answer: about a bowl-ful


The joys of Bluetooth as well

Never mind your puny IR remotes -- I raise you Bluetooth.

I have recently invested in a new Bluetooth intercom for use on my motorbike * .

While setting it up and testing various pairing options (phone, gps and a couple of other bits) a voice was heard from downstairs, SWMBO called "have you switched the telly on" (in very stern Matron tones - aka "you are in trouble" ..... oh ..... )

Turns out that our new Humax 4K STB has always discoverable BT set as un-changable default. **

So when ever I tried to pair the GPS it tries to connect to the Humax turning it and the tv on.

I even managed to change channels. I was impressed SWMBO less so during one of her favourite progs :-)

* bike to bike comms is incredibly useful especialy on long trips.

** this Humax STB has a bluetooth capable remote control to handle voice commands.

The common factor in all your failed job applications: Your CV


Pointless applications

10 years ago in the previous sub-prime crash I found my-self in need of a new job :-)

I rapidly discovered that..

Listing O and A levels showed that I was "too old".

A Physics degree counted for nothing.

Jobs that were paying £15 an hour suddenly became minimum wage.

My 10 years of managment experience was ignored.

I applied for one Civil Service job - didn't get it because I didn't speak the CS lingo. I made a second attempt and discovered that out of 350+ applicants 3 might get their CV selected and forwarded to the relevant department - 1 (yes 1) might get an interview. A third application that I was preparing went in the bin :-)

It took 13 months and one false start to get a proper job. I'm still not a manager because I'm useless at it and I no longer want the hassle. :-)

Ganja believe it? Police make hash of suspected weed farm raid, pot Bitcoin mine instead


Re: I can never understand...

The neigbouring units would report unusual activity incase they were the ultimate target of a bit of thiefery - particularly if they had been on the recieving end of a canabis farm setup.

I should think that lots of ducting/venting would be a big clue.

If the mine/farm had just been set up then any "plants" would not realy stink until they were nearly ripe.

Bloke round 'ere was caught that way. His garage next to a local "main" road was found because it absolutly stunk. If you dont use the stuff its a truly horrible smell. In this case easily detected by anyone passing by - and it did stink - totaly unmissable as his place was the only building for about a mile either way.

Big red buttons and very bad language: A primer for life in the IT world


Re: "Mike learned an important lesson..."

Overcurrent reset ‐ motor windings could overheat, the insulation melted and shorted the copper winding wire together.

The trip would go, the wire would còol holding the copper tightly in contact - press the button in and BANG! - magic smoke escapes. :-)


Re: Replacement hardware?

Yes, Systime did design and make SCSI interface cards for Vax.

Mind you thats 40 years ago and umteen jobs ago. :-)

Broadband plumber Openreach yanks legacy copper phone lines in Suffolk town of Mildenhall en route to getting the UK on VoIP


Re: "The handset will plug into a router"

Or the "router" will contain a DECT phone basestation with the phones wirelessly connected.

DECT works very well. Lets just hope that the DECT version used is truly universal and "CLI" works accross all brands of phone .... on hang on .... my Rose Tinted Glasses have gone opaque.....

Lambda School, a coding bootcamp that takes a cut of your next tech salary, now takes a 30% cut in staff


Re: Better than regular loans

Video not available in my country (UK).

Guessing it'll only cover the US of A bankruptcy arrangments??

George Clooney of IT: Dribbling disaster and damp disk warnings scare the life out of innocent user


Sense of humour failure

I learnt tbe hard way that some "jolly japes" on the pc joke front lead to total sense of humour failures and the threat of involving HR.


In this case pc = political correctness not personal computer :-(

How not to apply for a new job: Apply for it on a job site


2009 and all that

Back in the wonderfull days of 2009 having been made redundant from a job of xx years standing (at least 10 years too long but thats a whole different story) - I found myself trying, along wirh many others, to find a new job.

Disaster Area would be the best description.

Jobs that were paying £15 per hour were now minimum wage.

I was considered too old and over qualified at 50 something...

Job Center wanted me to apply for jobs that were based many miles from home at £11,000/year.

I had to show records of phone calls/letters/replys, there were pages and pages of them.

Allways there was the threat of withdrawing the job seekers allowance !!!!

I gave up with the JC after 3 months, got a bit of work but that fell through then got in with an agency.

A few months work at minimum wage close to home eventualy led to a permie position elsewhete through a different agency.

All in all 2 years of stress and financial embarasment that took a number of years to get over.

To have one floppy failure is unlucky. To have 20 implies evil magic or a very silly user


Re: Rubber band

I worked for the company that made them .....

The introduction of 3.5" floppies did not help their business model.

That coupled with the new Japanese 80 and 132 columb printers blew a big hole in their profits.

The final blow was hard drives that were no longer the size of a washing machine.

BOFH: Bullying? Not on my watch! (It's a Rolex)


Hummmm sounds familiar...

Reminds me of the Managment Methods of a certain previous employer.

Change the rules on the fly so that the selected scapegoat gets the blame.

Ofcom says no price controls on full-fibre broadband until 2031, giving BT's Openreach the kick to 'build like fury'


Re: Meanwhile in the real world...

Meanwhile out here in the Fen we wont see an FTTP connector this century ........

I haven't bought new pants for years, why do I have to keep buying new PCs?



Apple stuff.... "I've got a new ishiny and I cant get my old stuff anymore"

Do you know your icloud username/login ???

"Whats that?"

Cant help sorry - take it too the apple shop.

Windows stuff

LMGIFY ........


Telecoms shack in the middle of Scotland put up for auction at £7,500


Planning ?

How far above zero is your chance of getting planning permission to do anything like "extend".

"Extend" as knock it down and build something more useful along with buy enough land to gaurentee acces and have some sort of garden.

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


Re: Not just me then.

Ah that earthquake.....

My brother was up a ladder at roof hight planning a repair when it struck.

He said it looked very odd with the slates flapping like waves in water radiating out from a stone thrown in a pond.

He came down the ladder very quickly when he realised what was happening


Copper broadband phaseout will leave UK customers with higher bills and less choice, says comparison site


Re: Choices

Does that mean the demise of PlusNet in 3 to 5 years time when only FTTP will be available?

Forget GameStop: Keyboard warriors and electronic trading have never mixed well


Re: Ignisecond, n.:

Watched that happen with a Young Man employed in the Stores ..... fitted all requirements

.... until "can you please take the (electric golf like) buggy over to the main building" .... Um.... sorry, no..

"Why?" .... I don't drive... (not can't but couldn't).


Much fun followed .....

We know it's hard to get your kicks at work – just do it away from a wall switch powering anything important


French TV tranmitters did swamp the reciever circuit of certain British market imobilisers/alarms used on motorbikes.

Mate was stranded 3 hours from Calais by the signal from a TV transmitter. Its only when the bike was recovered and put inside a panel van (Faraday cage) that the alarm would re-set and the bike would then start.

He was still charged €90 and just made it too the ferry on time. :-)

The bike was made before imobilisers were factory fitted. In those days insurance companies would insist on an alarm or there was no theft cover.

Still happens now, locals carry a tin and foil to shield the aftermarket alarm. Factory ones sometimes fail too. Can happen here too :-)

How do you save an ailing sales pitch? Just burn down the client's office with their own whiteboard


Re: Interviews

In one of my previous employers we used to disable the 110/220 switch on all new equipment.

There was allways someone who thought it was the on/off switch :-)

Well it certainly worked to turn it off ...


Samsung Galaxy S21: Lots of little downgrades, but this phone is more than the sum of its parts


Re: "And priced at £769.99, it’s well worth it."

Too expensive for me ...

I'm down in the "A××" range ... or would be if they suported wireless charging.

I cant justify £769 on a "phone" ..... £300/£400 (and a 3 to 4 year life)is my absolute max budget and wireless charging Sammy cant be had for that money (new) :-)

Watt's next for batteries? It'll be more of the same, not longer life, because physics and chemistry are hard


Re: Why terrifying?

Yes... the way my semi is connected to the mains power infrastructure I guesstimated that there was about 11KW left over after allowing for what he house needed at peak - there would be more available at night but not during the day.

So 11kW/hr for 8 to 10 hrs ... max charge 110kW or so a session. So to charge a 200kW+ battery overnight I would need a 3-phase supply.

Here? In the Fen miles away from civilisation.

Some serious planning is needed.


At a previous employer we imorted Chinese made batteries for the consumer market.

The battery weight was one of the QC checks.

It was common to find that a "C" or a "D" cell had one "AA" or even a "AAA" inside.

They were cheap tho .....

The curse of knowing a bit about IT: 'Could you just...?' and 'No I haven't changed anything'


Re: t-shirt

Funny how the "Fix my computer" calls stopped when I started charging call-out plus an hourly rate. :-)

Tier 4 now so cant anyway ...... :-(

Buggy chkdsk in Windows update that caused boot failures and damaged file systems has been fixed


Re: Yes the wonders of continual updates......

Ah now this explains why I had to replace a disk last week on my home PC. At 4 years old I thought that bad luck had screwed the disc. It did a disc scan on start up and failed to boot.

7 days to get a new disc (thanks Covid) and a full evening to fix.

Great ........

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


Ah University Halls of Residence.....

Early 1970's in a very Welsh university town.

All the power sockets were 2A round pin items.

So I made up a 2A to 13A socket adapter.

Some Bodger had allready fixed the fuse box, allthough a stock of 15A fuse wire was required.

The main thing we used to power up were the universal 1970's "Hi-Fi" amplifiers.

Electric kettles were rare fortunatly :-)

Super-antique-fragile-and-it's-XP-alidocious, even though the sight of it is something quite atrocious


Famous Wisbech

Famous for two things

..... tinned peas capital of the Fen


..... electronic components