* Posts by Doctor Syntax

28087 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

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Everyone back to the office! Why? Because the decision has been made

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: that jerk with the annoying voice and that other bastard who sniffs all day.

"No matter what. After all, the Tories are still blaming Labour for the ills of the world 12 years after Labour were last in power."

To be fair the aftereffects of Brownomics were pretty severe. BoJo has had the gift of a pandemic and now a war to make it hard to allocate due blame for his own policies.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: that jerk with the annoying voice and that other bastard who sniffs all day.

To be fair, most "boomers" are now in their 70s.

How long are such "generations" supposed to last? AIUI these are the cohort born 1946 or later so they're mid-70s or younger. That puts the majority in their 60s.

Being slightly older my own definition is one whose musical tastes were defined by the Beatles, their contemporaries and successors. In restrospect I think I've always had more in common with those 10 or more years older than those just a few years younger as exemplified by the cousins on one side of the family vs the other.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

They'll do that until they run out of budget. Limit the budget*. when they relise they're wasting it they'll start flogging off some of their slots. Money - real or virtual - puts a value on a resource. If the resource has no price you end up with the tragedy of the commons.

* This doesn't have to be a financial budget - you can have a virtual currence allocated to projects and departments.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Scheme

"Zoom calls for stuff that could have been sorted in an eight minute face-to-face chat."

Could also be done with an exchangeof emails - and have them to hand to refer back to instead of wondering if you rememered the face-to-face chat or the Zoom call correctly.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Nobody has found a proper solution for that yet,"

Challenge accepted.

Make meeting rooms chargeable against project budget. Then auction off the slots.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Scheme

Yes. Working from home and working at home are two different things.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Scheme

often at a hit to actual productivity

This may well be because "productivity" is actually a measurement of inputs,* In such cases inputs are hours of bum-on-seat time and this can only be measured when the seas are in the office. A manager of inadequate competence will thus perceive productivity as having fallen to an unmeasurable level when working at home prevails. Assessment of the adequacy of Rees-Mogg is left as an exercise for the reader.

* When challenged that nothing is being done about $ISSUE governments will inevitably reply by how much is being spent on dealing with $ISSUE, not on what results are obtained. Extra points are gained by declaring what is proposed to be spent rather than what is spent. Extra extra points for declaring the same spending multiple times whilst giving the impression it's additional money every time

NOBODY PRINT! Selfless hero saves typing pool from carbon catastrophe

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: aaargggh!

As suggested above re signatures - scan the image of the stamp with transparent background, overlay on the document & send it to the next in line.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Ah yes...

A cousin-in-law worked for the Beeb at transmitters. He blotted his copybook & got exiled to Orkney or Shetland for a while. He quite liked the life style so got shifted back.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Reminds me of an old job

Very many years ago at a routine senior scientific officer meeting it was mentioned that we were running low on case submission forms but there'd be no problem just getting them reprinted would there? Challenge accepted - my officemate & self ended up completely redesigning them because they were the main means of getting the information about what we were supposed to be doing.

This was a completely paper based system with copies going to every section involved. The case envelopes grew fatter and fatter as lab notes, chart recorder output, maybe small snap-fast bags of odd bits, Thin layer chromatography plates, photographs etc. were added.

I sometimes wonder if it ever became electronic. Possibly not because having that case file to hand in the witness box was essential if only to stop some smart-arse cross-examiner asking* to see something if they thought you couldn't produce it.

Subsequently I had a contract gig at a business that did such form production work. They kept referring to the document cycle by which they meant simply the design process and print ordering. To me the document cycle meant the whole thing of sending out stocks of documents, receiving the filled in document, the various trips round the lab and its eventual filing as part of a complete case. It did occur to me that they could have added an extra line of business with something like optical marked form reading of completed documents.

* If they knew you could they wouldn't ask, of course.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: aaargggh! and more aaargggh aaargggh aaargggh

I dumped then when they closed my local branch. They rung up to see if they could meet to sort things out. I said OK but the meeting would have to be at the branch they'd just closed. TBH the person I was speaking to wasn't happy about it either.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Ah, the "good old days" ...

The same gig I mentioned above with the coloured paper job separator. The collator didn't have the throughput needed for the level of business. I ended up making a S/W collator to rearrange the print stream into whatever sequence was needed.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Pottering around not doing much

And so management is done by those who have not been selected for managerial ability (and hence we refer to them as manglement) and the work is done by those insufficiently experienced or competent to be promoted.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"We used a multi-tray printer"

On one contract most print jobs would be sent down the enveloping line but we filtered out those which were too big and had to be envloped by hand. Those went to a 2 tray laser printer with a coloured sheet from the 2nd tray to divide the jobs.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Hobnobs - invented for mans pleasure

"o learn more about how things are done over there"

And to find out how far things can drift OT, especially on a Friday. Long may it continue.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Hobnobs - invented for mans pleasure

Dunno - don't even remember them. But what happened to Gypsy Creams?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I invented the Plain Chocolate Gingernut

Cause and effect at work - not the gingernuts specifically but the attitude.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: When I were a lad...

So did I. Much less faff than setting up some more elaborate IT system. Sometimes simple is best but don't tell anyone because a lot of our successors would be out of a job.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Yes, the clue's in the name. But the Towers were not so niche in their day although they were not without competition - MIPS for one.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Uniplex "my God, it chills me just mention the dark lord's name,"

Fourth. The accountants refused to cut over to the shiny new Y2K compatible version because they didn't want to take the risk before they'd finished their end of year stuff. About 3 weeks of problems but no risk!

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Uniplex "my God, it chills me just mention the dark lord's name,"

"out of the hundreds of files, surely they can't all be useful"

But they don't know which.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"copied through without carbon paper"

NCR - No Carbon Required. Alternatively National Cash Registers who made the NCR Tower - 68k-based Unix boxes.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Why do anything?

"I remember trying to explain word wrap and margins to a secretary that insisted on hitting return at the end of every line"

A few posters here seem to have the same habit.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

It raises the question of what was done with the different coloured (or otherwise) copies. Did they eventually move to an online filing system to make them unnecessary?

My local builders' merchant has just moved from NCR pads (one copy for the office, one for the customer to keep and one for the customer to hand to the lads in the yard to tell them what to load. They now print out the two sheets for the customer and yard (I'm not sure if they print a third for the office). However as NCR paper is necessarily flimsy whilst the printer paper isn't and the printed version is A4 whilst the NCR was about A5 they're now using much more paper.

W3C overrules objections by Google, Mozilla to decentralized identifier spec

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: You know something's wrong

I prefer DID-n't

Open source Office rival Collabora releases web-based CODE 22.05

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I've said it before

Don't worry. In a few years people will realise that there's a great opportunity to do all the work they need on their laptop or desktop. All it needs is for the capabilities of the H/W to deliver performance get sufficiently ahead of the software's ability to mop it up with even more shiny UIs.

Ubuntu Unity desktop back from the dead after several years' hiatus

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

It's an interface which resembles a phone or tablet desktop (if thet's the right term for such UIs) in that it presents a palette of applications. Some people prefer it. I'm not one of them but I realise some do. And there may be some environments where it's by far the best fit, perhaps combined with a touch sensitive screen for some sort of embedded control system.

It's the Linux desktop equivalent of Windows 8 - or possibly the other way around as Unity was released first.

Open source body quits GitHub, urges you to do the same

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Hold on a second

As I want a Linux system without systemd I do not choose RHEL. There are other distros with other characteristics. Thank goodness for all that effort that goes into producing different distros which is not, despite views to the contrary, wasted.

And yes, I do understand the difference between GPL & BSD (although I may have to check on the multitude of other licences in the spaces between, nor do I conflate FOSS with GPL. Actually I read FOSS as Free and Open Source Software regarding the "and" as a union operator, not an intersect.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

It's worth pointing out that the https://sfconservancy.org/GiveUpGitHub/ article lists some alternatives although one of them is istill n alpha

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Hold on a second

"One of SFC's sponsors is RedHat. What do they do again?"

They

(a) publish the source for their distro, including their own contributions to that code, under FOSS terms and

(b) they sell a supported binary version of that distro. If you buy their binary version you are essentially buying support.

Is that sufficiently clear?

If you don't need their support then without paying them a penny you can use the Alma or Rocky distros which are built from the RHEL distro's source. You can even use the Alma & Rocky versions with 3rd party paid support.

California state's gun control websites expose personal data

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Our privacy laws only punish data blunders

In practice you'll find that all the boxes were ticked to say they were compliant and only discover that they really weren't when the breach happens.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Our privacy laws only punish data blunders

"They don't prevent them."

This also applies to laws against theft, fraud, assault, murder...

How exactly would a law prevent data blunders?

At most they will say what should be done but they can't actually ensure that it will be done or that the people tasked with doing it will be sufficiently competent, even if they think they are (see Dunning-Kruger effect). Ultimately all they can do is punish failure; it's in the nature of laws.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

It also happened in the UK, reported here some time back.

Thunderbird 102 gets a major facelift, Matrix chat support

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Modern == Hamburger Menu?

Vivaldi also allows you to go back to proper menu and title bars. I suppose the GTK way of doing things reclaims some of the space lost to needless tabs.

Along with the scroll bars It's the handling of icons that's hard to get round. It means that a GTK app sticks out like a painfully sore thumb in an environment where the other applications aren't.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Compared to the Seamonkey mail interface it's extravagant in use of screen space. The tabs are part of the problem and the other is that the Reply/Forward etc buttons are in their own toolbar at the head of the message pane and the To and From are stepped down to make room for it which just takes up more vertical space. Seamonkey allows the detailed display of header information to be toggled. The sidebar can be hidden so that's not an issue.

The default theme claims to take colours, menus & buttons from the OS. As far as button icons are concerned they're not from the OS so it's stuck with the line-drawing style icons which look like a cuneiform writer's attempt at hieroglyphs.

I would, however like the conversation view if it didn't hide the folder pane. The fundamental problem here is the notion that the basic unit is the message so that by default sent messages can be kept separate from the received messages to which they're replying and received messages separate from the sent messages to which they are replying. The basic unit should be the thread (or conversation if you prefer); a singleton messages is just a thread which as yet has only a single message. It looks as if I'll just stick with Seamonkey until someone cracks that one properly.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"102 has a modernized look"

Oh dear. Still, it might be worth taking a look to see if it justifies moving away from Seamonkey which so far has provided similar facilities with a pleasantly unmodernised UI.

UK govt promises to sink billions into electronic health records for England

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Sink" seems likely to be right although all those data brokers who get away with our medical histories won't agree.

Arrogant, subtle, entitled: 'Toxic' open source GitHub discussions examined

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

And codes of conduct, if they exist, should be framed to respect that.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Racist, Sexist, and Antisemitic

"although it was generally well moderated"

It doesn't sound so. Moderate such posts as being OT.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: vituperous [..] slanging directed at M$

"and any other company that makes an incredible blunder"

Remembering always that the man who never made a blunder never made anything.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Hoping they can publish a fix soon.

True, but forks are to FOSS what mutation is to biological evolution.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Hoping they can publish a fix soon.

Poe's law?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Eh?

I get the feeling that this was a corner of his own choosing. The devs make Elementary as they see fit. He wanted something else. There's always been a something else in the Linux world without throwing toys out of the pram.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Eh?

"Pointing out design flaws"

I don't think it was a design flaw, just their philosophy about how a UI should work which didn't coincide with his. Nobody was forcing him to use it if it didn't work for him.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Eh?

Elementary OS has always seemed to me a little out of the normal way of doing things. I don't think I'd get on with it so to that extent I sympathise with the poster. However my solution is simply that I don't use it; there are plenty of more mainstream options.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Eh?

"not a bug, won't fix, closed"

Which is a good reason for running Devuan.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Eh?

"This code makes my shoes sad."

"Get better shoes."

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Eh?

" Sounds to me like somebody knows a better way to do something"

From the succeeding comments it sounds as if it was a youngster. And there are plenty of other distros he could choose from if he didn't like their way of doing things.

Moscow court fines Pinterest, Airbnb, Twitch, UPS for not storing data locally

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Pointless fines

If they're not operating there there doesn't seem to be much point in that.

Of course any Russian citizens using their facilities will be aiding and abetting or whatever similar consept Russian law might have.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "legalized the import of products without the authorization of the trademark holder"

"as long as the theft itself doesn't take place on Russian soil"

I suppose that would be breaking the cronies' monopoly.

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