* Posts by Jos V

218 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Jun 2014


Senior engineer reported to management for failing to fix a stapler

Jos V

Re: Shredder

ok then, here you go:


This is the military – you can't just delete your history like you're 15

Jos V

Re: Glue

Loyal commenter: Use the "Brave" browser. It also doesn't show commercials in youtube. Never mind about FB. I guess some people still use that for some reason.

Elon Musk needs more cash for Twitter buy after Tesla margin loan lapses

Jos V


Not always a fan of it, but Dilbert's latest days have been Musk

5G frequencies won't interfere with airliners here, UK and EU aviation regulators say

Jos V

Re: Known unknowns...

There are actually very well defined specs for radalts. And they do get certified:


Phone jammers made my model plane smash into parked lorry, fumes hobbyist

Jos V

Re: Possible

Another version is that truck drivers will park at rest-stops when they reached their time-limits for driving, turn on their GPS jammers and continue on their journey.

Then when drop/pick up is completed, return to the same rest-stop, and turn it back on.

I guess more nevarious use is for thwarting the low-jack systems when stealing cars though.

This drag sail could prevent spacecraft from turning into long-term orbiting junk. We spoke to its inventors ahead of launch

Jos V

Re: Deorbit time

Typically, geostationary and geosynchronous satellites are moved to a "graveyard orbit", several hundred kilometers further out. Although there are plans now to require decommissioning used-up sats means moving them to a "disposal orbit" from which point they further slow down due to atmospheric drag, within 1 year.

Yes, both methods use retro thrust.

Undebug my heart: Using Cisco's IOS to take down capitalism – accidentally

Jos V

Cisco problems...

Back in the early 2000's I worked primarily with Cisco switches, and the most common problem saw were duplex mismatches. And this does cause packet loss and bad throughput problems.

Thing was, at that time the autoneg specifications were pretty ill-defined, and not always implemented the same between vendors and versions. I believe especially Nortel switches had issues when connecting to Cisco.

Cisco also had one crap IOS version, where even if you configured your interfaces to full-duplex, the underlying software with still revert back to autonegotiate.

That one cost me a trip to Paris, as people were puzzled for a day or two on what was going on with their network traffic.

By then I already only had to take a quick glance at the blinkenlights on the front. Green going flashy amber can only happen in collisions.... IOS upgrade fixed that one.

Post 2005 the standards got better defined and followed, especially with GigE standards, but Cisco was still forced to put in IOS commands for manually configuring speed and duplex on GigE links. They did so reluctantly, as it's a really bad idea. Autoneg does more than just speed and duplex in GigE...

Traffic lights, who needs 'em? Lucky Kentucky residents up in arms over first roundabout

Jos V

Re: They're very trendy because... um...

Not so sure about slowing things down, but one in my home town had a nice tendency. It was slightly sloped to let water flow out from the center outwards.

In the summer, oil and other liquids from vehicles spilled from the engines or the nearby car wash residue would spin of them and deposit and stick to the road during dry spells.

Which made it a lot of fun to drive around on it after a fresh downpour a couple of weeks after. Lots of bicycles and scooters and motorbikes would spin out and crash on on it.

WiMAX? 'Dead with no known users': Linux tips code in the recycle bin

Jos V

Re: Umm..

In Japan it's now WiMAX 2+, at least for Asahi.

S. Korea used to be big on WiMAX as well, but they dumped it at the end of 2018 and is now all LTE.

This developer created the fake programming language MOVA to catch out naughty recruiters, résumé padders

Jos V

CV vetting

If a CV made it through my first phase of vetting (the blatant lies, and nonsense) and not ended in the bin, I'd send the applicant a 10 question form, asking for a return by next day.

I found that asking really simple questions (for hiring a field installation/support engineer) would weed out a lot of the chaff.

"What is the difference between a hub, a switch, and a router?" If you'd get back a block of text copy-pasted from a Cisco website, it was one candidate fewer to invite to the office.

When invited to the office, I'd give a cup of coffee (or tea), two PCs, and a clean 2950, and a subnet to configure written on the whiteboard. "Make them talk over the switch, on VLAN 100."

Then walk out and give them half an hour.

I don't want to sound "smart" here. But after a couple of dozen duds wasting my time, not knowing the basics of much more complex stuff we were doing, this approach really worked, and we ended up with an great "flying squad" of engineers that could work out things by themselves without much, if any, remote support needed.

Hollywood drone pilot admits he crashed gizmo into cop chopper, triggering emergency landing

Jos V

Re: $1000 Restitution?

I'd say... I recently had to order a couple of simple push buttons for the FCU of a commercial airliner. Those are $850/ea, and probably the cheapest thing I ever procured.

Did it only scratch the paint?

Parler games: Social network for internet rejects sues Amazon Web Services for pulling plug on hosting

Jos V

Free speech

If I build a platform (as a private owner) for people to build an app on to chat or sing and dance to 15 seconds music, then if I decide your app is crap, or the content you are hosting on the platform I build is crap, or I personally disagree with the content, you won't get a 2 day notice, I'll rm -rf / you when I want.

Maybe I will send you a link to an Amazon ad for a bullhorn and suggest a nice park where you can free speech your merry ars* off.

AWS/Google/Apple/Microsoft are NOT government. You are fully in your right to disagree with them and go find another provider to serve your needs.

Roma, we've had un problema: When every flight's final destination is a date with Windows Boot Manager

Jos V

Re: You should try a proper airport

Or as a pilot friend of mine said one time (while we were having beers in a pub) to a guy nervous about having to fly the next day: Don't worry mate, we taking safety very seriously. We usually stop drinking about, oh, 24 or 48.... feet before we enter the cockpit.

Not on your Zoom, not on Teams, not Google Meet, not BlueJeans. WebEx, Skype and Houseparty make us itch. No, not FaceTime, not even Twitch

Jos V

I hear ya

I had to do a mandatory PCR test to get site access, and it just came back positive. Apart from now not knowing how long I have been positive, or whether or not I will develop systems and worse, it is incredibly disruptive. And I have been very diligent about masks/washing/distancing, but it all becomes hard when dorks like OP keep throwing the "hoax" argument and toss all advice in the wind.

If everyone would just follow simple rules for a couple of months -strictly- this thing might have a chance to stay under control, until we get large deployment of vaccines going.

Anyways, no, I never turn on my camera, unless it is as an introduction to a new team (member).

Indonesia’s black-market phone prevention plan bricks a whole bunch of handsets

Jos V

Re: What about roaming?

This question was raised when they dropped the idea. When using a foreign phone and roaming inside Indonesia, it will not be blocked. Apparently...

Google: We've blocked 126 million COVID-19 phishing scams in the past week

Jos V

Re: Old school spam

Ha, good catch :-)

I wish I were in a manor.

Cheers, Jos

Jos V

Old school spam

I'm starting to get almost on a daily basis again the classic "we have installed an app that activates your camera and recording you "touching yourself in an indecent manor", send money to BC address [bc1q0x0rdt4znhspvxlm8cahtdntxtrhse2f2slhet] or we send the material to your contact list" mails again.

It even includes a -very- old password in the subject header, that probably came from the LinkedIN data breach a while back. The last 4 it was always that same BC address, but different email sender.

It's reported a couple of times on bitcoinabuse.com

Several of my friends are getting the same thing happening now, with again, the same BC address.

When looking at the source of the email (I know, don't tell me), the originator IPs all come from Microsoft (Outlook) domain, so good job MS (not). Also targeting my outlook email.

Real-time tragedy: Dumb deletion leaves librarian red-faced and fails to nix teenage kicks on the school network

Jos V

Re: My uni had similar rules :)

It was also great to bring the dang computers to their knees running Orcad/Pspice/Ultiboard.

Was still good fun times though. My "home rig" would take days of calculating/designing the PCB, only to find out you needed to make a "minor" change and redo it.

Help! I'm trapped on Schrodinger's runaway train! Or am I..?

Jos V

Stuck again?

Hey Dabs. Looks like SNCF has nicely borked your trip back again. Next week's episode?

Good luck on the rest of the trip...

Boeing aircraft sales slump to historic lows after 737 Max annus horribilis

Jos V

Re: Level D?

SkippyBing, you have it the wrong way around:

Full Flight simulators:

FAA & EASA classify FFS's into four levels:

FAA / EASA Level A - 3 axis motion / night visuals

FAA / EASA Level B - 3 axis motion / night visuals / ground handling simulation (lowest level of heli sim)

FAA / EASA Level C - 6 axis motion / night & dusk visuals / dynamic control loading / higher fidelity

FAA / EASA Level D - 6 axis motion / night, dusk & day visuals / dynamic control loading / highest fidelity

There are different catories for flight procedure trainers:

The FAA groups FTD's into seven levels (levels 1, 2 & 3 are no longer issued)

FTD Level 1 (not used for new devices / various grandfathered devices)

FTD Level 2 (not used for new devices / various grandfathered devices)

FTD Level 3 (not used for new devices / various grandfathered devices)

FTD Level 4 - basic cockpit procedural trainer / often a touch screen procedural trainer

FTD Level 5 - specific class of aircraft [S/E, M/E etc] / meets a specific FTD design criteria

FTD Level 6 - high fidelity / aircraft specific / specific aerodynamic modelling

FTD Level 7 - helicopters only / all controls & systems modeled / vibration system / visual system

Beware the three-finger-salute, or 'How I Got The Keys To The Kingdom'

Jos V

Re: French company

I was called up yesterday, saying they had a big problem. I told them I was at an Italian restaurant having pizza and beer. He asked me to bring pizza and beer. I complied. And fixed the problem in 5 minutes before the pizza went cold, and the beer warm. Why do I keep the damn Cisco blue flat serial cable on hand you ask?

Irish eyes aren't smiling after govt blows €1m on mega-printer too big for parliament's doors

Jos V


Here's the details of the thing:


What are they trying to print there?

I discovered the world's last video rental kiosk and it would make a great spaceship

Jos V

Re: Recycling

My house was build on a swamp. Then it sank into the swap. Then we build a house on top, and that sank into the swamp. So we build our 3rd house on top of that, and one day, you will inherit it all!

Divert the power to the shields. 'I'm givin' her all she's got, Captain!'

Jos V

Re: Why do they always forget the cooling?

Yeah, I've not seen DC where the UPS would drive the AC in the DC (yeah, pun intended), but you hope the gen kicks in soon enough to start driving things after they stabilise/sync up.

Currently, I give it about 20 minutes before I order a complete graceful shutdown, as at 6 degree below Neptune's wrath, it's never really cold outside.

From that moment on, humidity becomes an instant issue, as everything condenses up once the AC kicks back in, so you'd have to wait for the center to "dry up" before switching things back on...

And truth too to heavy rain... You just know you will have a fun day when kids are playing outside and swimming along with your taxi on the way to work.

One more thing that's a killer by the way, is extreme drought. The grounding poles around the building stop reaching any sort of ground water level, and basically just poke into dried out soil. As in... no more grounding. Don't count on the local power supplier to be of any help.

Jos V

Planning works wonders...

… Unless the local population, with the help of security guards, have syphoned off all the diesel from the generators and sold it on the street..

The fun you can have in a developing country :-)

At my new posting, after lessons learned, they finally wired up the building chillers to the Genset, as it was cheaper than replacing hardware that went into meltdown. Just in time for our latest 24hr+ region-wide power outage...

Take your pick: 0/1/* ... but beware – your click could tank an entire edition of a century-old newspaper

Jos V

Re: destructive hdd check

I used to work for a company that had a knack for putting reverse logic questions in their GUI/command-line software, "Do you wish to not continue? Y/N" type of stuff. That, and same for config parameters, like

"disable_override=yes" kind of things.

Made for great troubleshooting sessions.

Town admits 'a poor decision was made' after baseball field set on fire to 'dry' it more quickly

Jos V

Track drying

In case of dragracing tracks, this is not something that they "happen to have at hand".

This is standard equipment. Unlike most racing, dragracing does not allow a spot of water, as the track simply won't allow the power of the cars/bikes and accidents will happen.


Having said that, I don't think it will do much good on a grass pitch drying.

In case of Santa Pod:


Hope to be back there again soon :-)

Overzealous n00b takes out point-of-sale terminals across the UK on a Saturday afternoon

Jos V

Re: UPS batteries dont last forever

It's always the same thinking by beancounters. It's working, right, so why do regular maintenance on the batteries.

I have 6 UPS across my site, carrying 46 batteries, rated 120Ah. I requested new batteries $Diety knows how many times, until one UPS started going down within a few minutes of operation, before the Diesel gen would kick in, and they got their wake-up call. Minimum age of batteries was 5 years by that time.

We do regular tests though. But not by choice. Power fails at least once a month because of lightning strikes at the local substation, or just because of shoddy infrastructure problems.

Fun extra, the diesel gen doesn't supply power to drive the building airconditioning, so humidity shoots up pretty fast. Don't turn machines back on (after controlled shutdown) right after a power restore. Condensation is a killer...

Ethiopia sits on 737 Max report but says pilots followed Boeing drills

Jos V


For those who want to read the preliminary report:


Ethiopian Airlines boss confirms suspect flight software was in use as Boeing 737 Max crashed

Jos V

Re: And now for the missing word round.

Well, the warning light is there already. It's on the glareshield and lights up as "WARN". Which will put the attention of the pilots to the ECAM display where it will say what it's about.

Since MCAS was only reading from 1 sensor, there is no disagree, and hence no warning! Which is damn stupid.

Jos V

Hans 1. No and Yes. AF447 was a 330, not 320. And the 330 uses 3 primary (PRIM) and 2 secondary (SEC) computers between all controls.

320 has 2 ELAC, 2 FAC, and 3 SEC computers.

The issue was more or less (it's much more complicated than that) that there is no physical connection between captain and FO sidestick. If you push full nose down on the left, and full nose up on the right, the result is no action at all. This is indicated by a control disagree alarm, but I'm not sure if this was implemented before, or after AF447. Same as a button on each sidestick that when pushed, says "I have control now", and the other side gets cancelled.

Jos V

Re: Why not just disable the system and put the planes back in the air?

imanidiot, just one caveat there. MCAS doesn't operate when flaps are extended, or A/P disabled, and only works under high thrust, low speed. You'd find that on approach none of these conditions would be met.

When you look at the FDR data from JT610, you will see that the problems started as soon as they retracted flaps to 0.

Jos V

Re: Pull Breakers

That's exactly what implied Spartacus. We don't know the reason yet so don't step ahead of yourself. And as for the Boeing vs. Airbus dispute, I don't have time for those people.

What is wrote is factual without bias.

We will find out. And then we can all banter about how we all know better.

Jos V

Re: Pull Breakers

Having said that, one thing seems to have been missed in the news. Both aircraft went very fast at low altitude. Whether that was because of unreliable airspeed indication, or because no attention was given, I'll leave that to investigators, but..

Airplanes have a nasty characteristic in this situation. When there is a pitch down , at high speed, low altitude, the earodynamic forces on the elevator will actually go into blow-back. The hydraulic actuators won't be able to avoid this and the control surfaces will be pushed to full nose down.

The only way to get out is to reduce speed, and full pull on yoke, plus full up trim. When already pointing down, this is almost neigh on impossible. Certainly at an altitude without margin. Ethiopian was at 9000ft, but 1000ft above ground...

Both aircraft ended doing a full nosedive in the last moments.

Don't take my word for this. I don't do conspiracies. You can look it up.

Jos V

Re: Pull Breakers

There is a procedure for "runaway elevator trim" in the flight manual. However the situation calling for this was when the original STS (speed trim system) was installed only, where it would trim nose-up at constant rate.

MCAS does a nose-down trim, and switches off for 5 seconds after the pilots counter trim from the yoke, and then repeats.

The pilots were not familiar with this behaviour, so it didn't trigger the action to turn off the two switches.

On the flight preceding JT610, a Batik air captain (typically the grey-beards coming out of long service from sister company Lionair), who was also 737-max8 rated and sitting in the observer seat, did conclude it had to do with auto-trim (he wasn't in control, so had a bit more room to evaluate the situation), and advised the flight crew to turn the switches to off position, which recovered the situation.

Jos V

Re: Pull Breakers

Just a small correction there. It's two switches next to each other, covered by a guard lever. They're located on the right side of the center console, below the flap lever.

Aussie engineer accuses 'serial farter' supervisor of bullying, seeks $1.8m redress

Jos V

Re: From observation ...

I've had the pleasure of doing work for a customer at a data center near Melbourne.

It was pretty much squeezed in between a landfill and a huge cow hide processing (not sure, tanning, or leather producing) factory.

In the nights, when the air calmed down, the A/C would suck in all these lovely smells. Enough to make you gag all the while there. It did make for more speedy installation and testing jobs.

National Enquirer's big Pecker tried to shaft me – and I wouldn't give him an inch, says Jeff Bezos after dick pic leak threat

Jos V


Let me get this straight..

So Bezos, whose company is hosting Pecker's, sent Gavin Becker to investigate Pecker, and Pecker tried to stop Gavin Becker by exposing Bezos' pecker, but instead Bezos exposed Pecker?

Ooh, my machine is SO much faster than yours... Oh, wait, that might be a bit of a problem...

Jos V


Don't want to sound pedantic, but in 1990 I think it was Cat-3, 10BaseT. Cat-4 and Cat-5 were introduced in 1991.

I guess it would have worked if it said "it was the 90's".

Only from the mid '90s did 100BaseT arrive as well.

Impressed with a 386 downloading 20MB. I'm not sure my HDD was much bigger at that time :-)

NASA's Chandra probe suddenly becomes an EX-ray space telescope (for now, anyway)

Jos V

Re: Windows 10 ?

I know right? It really fascinates me how this is done. I know it's all technically possible with our current technology, but I'd love to be that fly on the wall and see how.

Technology is beautiful in its complexity. Bravo to the engineers making it all work!

Powerful forces, bodily fluids – it's all in a day's work

Jos V

Re: Monitor

Lee, this is more prevalent than I wish it to be. I keep trying to educate my techies to work from the lowest layer up (including the layer between chair and keyboard), instead of having them do turn-off turn-on stuff and "see if it works now". To no avail, mostly.

I remember a callout at 2am Saturday morning where "the hub has failed, we replaced it, but systems are still down." Strange, as we don't have any hubs in the complex.

So, I go over there, even after enjoying a good Friday "activity", which is a 2km walk, driving was out of the question...

Only to find the "hub" being a c3650, which they slapped in without thinking of configuring.

Even if you think you've covered it all, things like that will make you go.. hmmmm

Assumption is your enemy when troubleshooting.

Oh, systems were back up and working in 15 minutes. Is configuring-while-intoxicated a crime?

Attempt to clean up tech area has shocking effect on kit

Jos V

Re: earthing stories ...

You can also find out if grounding in your setup is done proper when you try to measure the 80V/16hz ringer circuit output (as in telephone ring voltage), by hooking your 1:1 oscilloscope probe to ground and touch the ouput with the probe. It's very effective, and capacitors give of nasty smoke when they blow. Can be expensive too.. (it wasn't me, ex-boss, I swear)

Jos V

Re: It happened to colour TVs, too....

Truth that. I usually carried a magnet with me from a decommissioned subwoofer. You could "smear" the blot on the screen back out by expertly waving it over the screen. Magic! Usually tv sets that alligned north-south a long time would get that.

More fun with people putting plant pots on top of the set and watering all the time too heavily. And heavy plants would sometimes even break the circuit boards underneath, requiring a lot of trace resoldering. Extra points for fixing TV's by vacuuming the interior cob-webs and dustballs out.

Jos V

Ah, cleaning crews

Sometimes they can actually be helpful, unwittingly.

We had a team running bit error rate tests on an STM-64 test setup in our labs, only to find out that every morning there were a high number or errors over the line, which is not really acceptable in a 5-nines setup.

So, a crew was assigned to monitor the equipment over-night, and for a week they sat there, with nothing happening. 0 bits fell over.

That is, until one of the guys left the DC for a break, and while walking out in a half-zombie mode, switched off the lights, said sorry, and switched them back on. Bang: errors.

Turned out that every night, the cleaning crew would come in, and then upon leaving switched off the lights. First person in the next morning would turn the lights back on.. and there you go. It was a faulty starter in one of the overhead tube-light pair causing it.... While the guys were monitoring for a week, the light always stayed on.

(It did demonstrate a bit of a over-sensitivity to EMC in the equipment though.)

Boffins bash Google Translate for sexism

Jos V

Re: My hovercraft is full of eels

Well, if we're starting to quote Monty Python now, I think this one is fitting:


Keep your hands on the f*cking wheel! New Tesla update like being taught to drive by your dad

Jos V

Re: The autopilot is not an autopilot ?

A bit OT there, but "Because it was dark, had no visual confirmation" means your flying on Instrument Flight Rules. Key word being INSTRUMENT there.

The first officer was pilot flying and interpreted the situation wrong, and pulled the aircraft into a stall.

It also didn't help that the Captain tried to control the situation, but resulting in both pilots trying to to do opposite actions, which in an Airbus of the type, just cancels each out (one nose down, the other nose up, resulting in a neutral position, which was already up). You do get an aural warning "Dual input", and a red light saying the same on the glareshield, but both ignored it, for the most part of the way down. In other words, CRM was part to blame.

The aircraft was perfectly flyable otherwise...

Experts build AI joke machine that's about as funny as an Adam Sandler movie (that bad)

Jos V

Re: A career in television?

Spot on JassMan. I was wondering about that part.

After having to learn several languages while meandering around the globe, I've only ever considered having a decent grasp of the local language, when I could actually not just understand what was being said, but able to understand the jokes, with all the local contexts, and laugh about it.

Japanese humour is by far not the same as US, or British humour in this case.

Also, if anyone could develop an AI chatbot, that would recognise where a person was from, and then switch the conversation to match the cultural limits, and courtesy rules of that person's locale, now that would be impressive. If neigh-on impossible. Even humans seem mostly incapable of it.

F-35B Block 4 software upgrades will cost Britain £345m

Jos V

Re: "...it's booted into IOC, says there's a driver issue"

And 'round here where I work, Airbus pilots are called bus drivers :-)

Office junior had one job: Tearing perforated bits off tractor-feed dot matrix printer paper

Jos V

Re: Lost count...

Oh boy. HQ in Tel-Aviv.. Could I please fly out for a meeting in Sydney planned for the next morning, as "I'm in the country next to it". I wished sometimes HQ owned a globe (Jakarta-Sydney is about the same as London-NY).

Of course it didn't beat the rush job in Seattle that needed attention, while working in Melbourne, subsequently changed to LA, then Dallas (all east-bound), with a flight back to Melbourne through Dublin and Amsterdam.

Round-the-world trips are sooo romantic and adventurous :-)

(I have some news for you flat-Earthers around there)

Cyborg fined for riding train without valid ticket

Jos V

Re: Did he pay the appropriate fare for the journey?

I think the Ts & Cs are pretty clear on what you can and can't do with an Opal card.

If you get one, and use one, you agree to these, cyborg or not:


A good start is reading item 40.

IANAL, but point 82 seems pretty clear:

Acceptance of terms:

By using your Device as a ticket on a public passenger service you agree to be bound by the Terms of Use in force at that time. If you do not agree to be bound, you must refrain from using your Device.

What I (might have) missed from the article is whether or not his "card" was topped up, or if he was indeed traveling without paying. If you want to use PT, pay up.