* Posts by Deimos

65 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Sep 2014


US Air Force reveals B-21 Raider stealth bomber that'll fly the unfriendly skies


I particularly Love the idea of “unmanned mode”

Which effectively makes it a reusable missile.

BOFH and the case of the disappearing teaspoons


I remember when….

Dear hairy sofa’s this is so sad, like all survivors of the 1999 overtime tsunami I remember the battle of the reichenbacker faller.

Sherlock B’stard fought a great battle with Arty Murray the bastard contractor from hell and disappeared from sight during the great “billing saga of early 2000”.

Then he rose again in the awful spring of “we spent HOW MUCH ?”.

But their was an awful consequence of that great battle between consensual lager and forced whine. A combination of low IQ, failure to look both ways and a desperate desire to “be with” as many of the historians “ oh dear god no….” lists as possible.

Like Star Wars, our original fight against the “Death Star” has spawned a never ending number of sequels and my personal descent into the world wide swearing league. But I can’t help liking our current crop of MP’s, they are the source and inspiration for my current world verbal abuse record AND setting two judges eyebrows on fire. The only “double dilbert” since the Maybot was forcibly disconnected.

Booze be with you all, hopefully paid for by a salesman of “Super high pentium graphics workstations”.

Zero-day vuln in Microsoft Office: 'Follina' will work even when macros are disabled


Reclassification time

How about redefining all M$ products as Russian malware and the Redmond entity as a white supremacist militia ?

I think that would annoy everyone in authority but please let me know if I missed any buzzwords.

When civilisation ends, a Xenix box will be running a long-forgotten job somewhere


Re: .MRE Lifespan

Well excuuusse me. The dates were printed on the sides but maybe old age (and much lubricant) has dulled my mind. The gent who found them in an old warehouse near Cheltenham said that the wooden crate was labelled mac/sog lrrp rations ?

I still remember the reasonably tangy taste of the barbecue sachet but the rest is a bit of a blur.

We did a similar test on good old British 24 hour rat packs and the brown biscuits live forever.

The best rat pack is the 1970’s New Zealand box which had real manukau honey in tubes !

Modern commercial versions are useless after their expiration date and tend to dissolve the packaging.

If you want to buy a fine modern rat pack go with the French version, the food and condiments are tre bon.


.MRE Lifespan

I can still remember a very lubricated taste test in 1997 of MRE sachet food with best before date in 1968, manufactured date in 1963.

Most of it was as edible as the day it left the factory Kansas. All participants survived.

You want us to make a change? We can do it, but it'll cost you...


Re: In my experience...

I was once given the opportunity to excel by supporting a “tiny little unimportant system” used by only one team. So I innocently contacted the current outsourced support, a lovely old gent who was a joy to work with. Alas he was heavily involved in updating his personal status to “dead”, hence my new opportunity.

To start my journey I tried to find a new outsourced supplier, then I hit a brick wall. There wasn’t anyone, anywhere who offered support in this programming language. I had found a genuine dead language, invented by a tiny little company which had died a decade ago. I asked six different employment vampires to find anybody who had it on their CV, ten grand to whoever found me a live body willing to help us. Three of them found a likely lad, alas he was our current guy.

So he sent me all his notes and the very well used language manual before politely leaving the house.

I supported the software for five more years, putting it into the risk register each year at the nuclear risk and result level. It cost the company no money and only resulted in a 20% increase in my tendency to kill users who asked stupid questions.

Tired: What3Words. Wired: A clone location-tracking service based on FOUR words – and they are all extremely rude


Most annoying advert EVER

Every time I see that bloody “what 3 words”, I shout loudly “ask your husband”. Those with the opposite distribution of the Navigator gene should substitute Wife instead. It also works with 4 words but causes me to exceed my swearing per day limit. I got legally restricted on my swearing after setting Doncaster on fire while watching a downing st. COVID briefing.

Electrocution? All part of the service, sir!


Re: "The power lead approached the PC..."

Yes, the universal power and data adapters were almost a status symbol. My set(s) plus the huge collection of data cards and adapters for them made for a large case. PLUS the many connectors for desktop PCs and the hard drive cradles, meant my work backpack actually had its own gravity field.

Then the huge laptop with room for all the connections and forensic software plus data recovery kit…..

I loved and hated it but a couple of times when it got used “unofficially” to recover lost files that really mattered, then it got lighter. It was also a totally wicked forensics kit but that was never as nice.

Glad I’m out of the game, even switched to IOS to ensure I’m no longer a real techie.

Devilish plans for your next app update ensure they never happen – unless you start praying


I thought we’d settled this ?

Didn’t we all agree that micro$oft was the root of all evil?

In fact they actually found Mr Morningstar working in the MS HR department with specific responsibilities for hiring technical, QA and marketing daemons.

BOFH: When the Sun rises in the West and sets in the East, only then will the UPS cease to supply uninterrupted voltage


Even more difficult cultural reference

Many years ago I had to explain to my wife that having a love life in a house with our many kids required her to be “a cooperative suspect”.

Think of British police stereotypes.

PS I invented this one myself and am rather pleased with it.


Re: Reminds me...

According to most military humans the most dangerous thing in the world is a 2nd LT with a map and compass. In the IT world it’s a recent MBA who is still breathing. Remove problems at source.

BOFH: But we think the UK tax authorities would be VERY interested in how we used COVID support packages


Deja vu

Does anybody else feel a connection to the glory days of y2k ?

I still have such lovely memories of the flow of free kit / toys.

So much furniture and “sundries” that weren’t y2k compliant.

Those were the days I never thought to see again.

BOFH: Time for the MMOCC. You know, the Massively Moronic Online Christmas Call


Lovely gift

I have missed bastard solstice deeds since retirement, industrial alcohol and high strength fishing line is in all my favourite memories.

NHS trust launches £60m software procurement to improve staffing efficiency


Hey my famous fact is back

Twenty or so years ago I invented a completely made up statistic in an attempt to look clever during a meeting.

It’s nice to see it still being used in articles “the NHS is the world’s biggest employer apart from Indian railways” is complete baubles. There are at least 20 bigger employers with several in China being much bigger.

I always wanted to leave a legacy but didn’t expect it to be a fib.

The day I took down the data centre- I mean, the day I saved the day. Right, boss?


Re: "It's just a couple lines of code. It'll be OK, ship it!"

Saw somebody do something similar to all the UK ATMs of a certain bank at 5pm on a Friday just before a bank holiday. It was literally two lines of code but “somebody” got “and” mixed up with “or” which made withdrawing anything but a single fiver impossible.

Made even more sweet because the somebody wasn’t me.

iOS 14 suffers app preference amnesia: Rebooting an iThing resets browser, email client defaults back to Safari, Mail


All hail the ghost of Jobs

Yup iproducts are only ever rented and expensive but I converted ten years ago and have only had 3 phones and 3 tablets in that time. All upgrades were for pleasure only and all six devices are still in use somewhere in the family.

Apple just works and keeps being updated for years, something that I have treasured over the last decade. I think they are a new class of shiny that makes you forget about it and just use the damn thing.

Still not an apple fanboi but definitely a continued user.

PS typing this on a five year old iPad before I upgrade it to ios14.

The power of Bill compels you: A server room possessed by a Microsoft-hating, Linux-loving Demon


Re: Power! (fabricobble)

For any BOFH spare/old cables are a must.

They make excellent “top of the stairs” tripwires.

Field expedient garrotte.

Temporary wrist and ankle ties while you fetch the roll of carpet and quicklime.

These are a few of my favourite things.


Re: Trumpet

No, you’re thinking of a Strumpet.

UK govt reboots A Level exam results after computer-driven fiasco: Now teacher-predicted grades will be used after all


Calculated grades will always be higher because...

Calculated grades can’t take into account external factors which lower results i.e.

Hay fever, illness, hangovers, bad exam hall conditions, broken hearts, depression, family upheavals and bad weather.

The other random factor is the exam itself, some are nasty, some are nice and on a regular basis questions come up in area’s your teacher didn’t bother with (as it never comes up).

So even the most diligent teacher estimate will be a little higher than the results generated by traditional exams.

Twitter says hack of key staff led to celebrity, politician, biz account hijack mega-spree


Lovely example

It’s a pity I don’t teach infosec classes any more, this would make a perfect example to show the senior techies how a breach happens.

However from Twitters response I suspect someone found a weakness in their password reset system and they are putting up a smokescreen whilst they fix it. Either that or their separation of duties system is horrendous.

English is my first language but my sentence structure is odd when I remove the swearing.

For the price tag, this iPad Pro keyboard better damn well be Magic: It isn't... but it's not completely useless either


iPad love affair

My new iPad Pro 12.9 inch 2020 model arrived this week, replacing my 4.5 year old iPad Pro which still works perfectly. So far since I re-entered the Apple cult around ten years ago all my devices still Function including my original iPhone 3gs now used as a music player. The only reason to upgrade has been new toy lust and the older models are still working for the female majority in my house plus assorted extended family members. The truly unique thing about The icult is that my average time between upgrades is four years, when using microsuck kit my average time was a year. The icult also keeps doing drama free updates for machines for a long time after other manufacturers, especially microsuck.

Icult kit is expensive but if you want quality with a genuinely top class interface then they are the absolute dogs danglies.

Former Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman calls on UK govt to legally protect data from contact-tracing apps


I will not be downloading it.

Because I don’t trust anyone with that much personal info in one place.

One point about harriets change of mind, its her job as part of the opposition to point out problematic stuff in government actions and laws. When harriet was in government it was the tories job to do that. It makes changing your mind almost compulsory.

'iOS security is f**ked' says exploit broker Zerodium: Prices crash for taking a bite out of Apple's core tech


New expressions

I’ve come up with a few

Coronafuck replacing clusterfuck

Pancession for pandemic caused recession

And of course

Boris bike current recipient of the PMs attentions.

Knocking shop replacement for party conference i.e. a gathering of folks that are easily bought.

Please blame all of the above on Pancession depression

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you



Microflaccid - it starts with an identifier but ends with a word that describes the company perfectly.

Their products were always middle of the road, weak, insipid and never advanced computing or the world in general.

When they did try to be bleeding edge, it was always the customer who bled (win95, windows fista and of course generations of subsurface slabs and windows phones). They abandon products faster than bojo forgets children and only have two real skills, hyperbole and paying lawyers.

Perhaps their greatest failure has been the inability to even remain as the evil tech giant of choice.

My favourite irony in all this is that Billy boy spent decades profiting from making virus friendly pc’s and then spent much of those profits fighting viruses in the human world. Go figure.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to save data from a computer that should have died aeons ago


Letting zombie code die for good.

I looked after a few walking dead type systems and did my best to pretend they were indestructible, never to be touched. So whenever it came to the time to finally shut them down the offending department always had to pay for a very expensive specialist to disinter the vital data. I usually insisted on them being hired for two weeks, gave them instructions and logins then went on holiday. It always pays to have someone to mind your office and let you know if anyone was trying it on.

And “Yes” I wrote all the cruddy old systems including the “export all, then die routines”, but having an office sitter was vital in our department (and paid well for old specialists who needed the work).

Ex-Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussain's part in the accounting badness was 'wildly overblown'


Autonomy was always a strange proposition

After some colleagues were thoroughly indoctrinated at an autonomy event I got nagged into a meeting with them.

The spiel was lovely but I never actually managed to find out what they did and why you needed it. Then they sent us a quote for twice our whole yearly IT budget... I then realised what it did, it identified companies with Too much money and rectified the situation.

IT protip: Never try to be too helpful lest someone puts your contact details next to unruly boxen



I spent most of early 99 getting our monster database servers up to standard. This was done by Easter so by November I was a happy compliant tech lord ( under many layers of senior lords) and spent my free time laughing at the IT groups who weren’t ready.

Then I was “invited” to apply for a more senior lordship and got the job plus much money. Met new over lord and found out that the job was actually more fun than I thought, big happy me. Until leaving overlords domain, “one last thing” he said and yes you guessed it. I was in charge of all Y2K compliance, especially the IT groups who weren’t yet ready.

December was busy but we managed it. As far as I remember the only Y2K failure I ever saw was my very NSFW Jo Guest calendar program.

BOFH: What's the Gnasher? Why, it's our heavy-duty macerator sewage pump


Ah blood sacrifice

It’s amazing how much kit needs need bodily fluids properly sacrificed to either start their function or maintain it.

The whole of M$ original software was entirely powered by the various fluids of a dozen odorous nerds and as the

devil agreed to make the OS compulsory, more and more serious onanists were required.

The onanistic critical mass and sacrifice of said perma-virgins resulted in the “launch “ of Win 95. We all know what happened next.

If only a couple of million litres of linux holy water had been available at the right time?

Handcranked HTML and JPEG japes. What could possibly go wrong?


The greatest jape

Can be created by taking ownership of a particular boring British standard or process (Prince 2 is a good one).

Then you can reject any work or task you don’t fancy as “non compliant”.

I watched a particularly talented work dodger do this for almost a decade and it was a truly amazing performance to

watch as she managed two decades of producing nothing but meetings. I found not laughing at meetings to be a herculean task in itself.

Unfortunately I couldn’t say anything as she taught me the trick and even told me which standard to adopt (ISO14001 the environmental one). It is nice being retired whilst “still working”.....

The time a Commodore CDTV disc proved its worth as something other than a coaster


Re: Cup Holders

I have updated many times over the years just to play the latest media but the HD BluRay upgrade has been horrendous. I had to BUY AN XBOX ONE, the pure unadulterated horror of creating an M$ account, using the worst interface ever and a controller that causes hand cramps in minutes.

Luckily I found a remote control that isn’t totally useless and I use it only as a disk player but it still looks so Wrong sitting amongst all my decent Sony kit.

And in the end I’ve only ever bought about five of the damned HD disks....

I could throttle you right about now: US Navy to ditch touchscreens after kit blamed for collision


iPads are great.

I use mine for 95% of my daily information intake and rare comments But on a warship bridge ? Hell no.

They are an excellent part of a CIC but not for things like rudder and engine telegraphs.

One person's harmless japery can be another's night of LaserJet Lego


The invisible button

As all techies know there is an invisible button beside every user, which fixes the problem as soon we stand on it.

On Friday my ability to find it failed and I’m now officially retired. My gardening youngsters managed to completely kill two separate bits of electric foliage remover and nothing I did could revive them. I therefore happily hang up my techie hat and now become a happy clueless luser. My brain downgrade is booked for next week.

When you play the game of Big Spendy Thrones, nobody wins – your crap chair just goes missing


Re: A more satisfying outcome ...

Problem with disassembly of ops managers is all those tough sinews and tendons. It is far easier to mummify them in red tape then store them under the raised floor directly below some legacy kit running Win NT, nobody will notice the whiff.

I don't have to save my work, it's in The Cloud. But Microsoft really must fix this files issue


Re: A very traditional story @Nick Kew

I recovered one from a dog processed memory stick, a compressed data file with the users only photos of their deceased parents. Stinky but possible, needed two days work but I think it paid some of my karmic debt.

Wanted: Big iron geeks to help restore IBM 360 mainframe rescued from defunct German factory by other big iron geeks



You beat me to the Joe 90 comment.

Prepare yourselves for Windows 10 May-hem. Or is it June, no, July?


My last windows device

Is a lonely win 10 laptop that only exists to run my favourite vintage games.

It has no internet connection, so it has never updated and mucked up my carefully setup options.

Everything else is tablet based, so the Apple devices get updated but never automatically.

Our Android tablets might well upgrade but I don’t care as they don’t last that long.

I also use an Xbox one X as a hd blu ray player, it was updated once to play brand new disks that appear to have

An updated version of the blu ray standard.

In other words MS fine for niche uses but for every day use I trust it as far as you can spit pizza underwater.

UK pr0n viewers plan to circumvent smut-block measures – survey


Re: Unintended consequences

Yup should be sorted in no time like brexit, knife crime and anything current government has tried to touch.

Surface Studio 2: The Vulture rakes a talon over Microsoft's latest box of desktop delight


Surface in the NHS ?

In days gone by I spent many years advising the NHS buyers on IT. We would rather buy cheap efficient thin clients or repurpose ancient machines as “skinnies” than ever buy MS thickies.

As for surface kit, I suppose they might have sold 3 to the public sector since they were first launched but their local NHS BOFHs have ensured that they are buried in the same carpets as their buyers.

An upset tummy and a sphincter-loosening blackout: Lunar spaceflight is all glamour


Dear Martian

As usual your words inspired me to open the good stuff, keep keeping on bruder.

Oh, I wish it could be Black Friday every day-aayyy, when the wallets start jingling but it's still a week till we're paiii-iid


All the world should celebrate thanks giving

And give Thanks we are not Americans...

Sysadmin misses out on paycheck after student test runs amok


Re: Gabrielle Drake

Indeed SID was the best actor in the series, like Orac in Blakes 7. But those costumes for the moonbase and skydiver Lady crew members were magnificent.

The box sets of UFO and Space 1999 are sitting next to my chair and competing with Solo for tonight’s viewing, quite a quandary.


Machine names

Ours were all from scifi machine names

So hal, orac, slave, data and many more but anyone remember sid ? Without using the internet to identify it of course.....

Sysadmin sank IBM mainframe by going one VM too deep


Re: "...hashland would sound silly."

Interrobang would be used at the end of the sentence

“You shut down the what “.

Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual


The best unlock ever

I’ve spent years hacking away at locks and passwords but my favourite is still the first. I was working in an old church used as a museum, we found the proverbial “old locked desk drawer”.

After much mucking round it finally gave in and contained nothing but forty year old stationery and a pair of old photo negatives. I had a quick look at the negatives “Queenstown 1912 april 11th” and two mid distance shots of a ship.

Yup, you guessed it, I was holding the last two photos of Titanic ever taken. As this was before Ballard found the wreck they were unique.

I’ve opened up lots of locks since then but only ever found crud, that day was a good day.

Citation needed: Europe claims Kaspersky wares 'confirmed as malicious'


Kaspersky got the shermans annoyed

By correctly detecting official USGOV naughty products as “spyware”, apparently due to a mistake by a USGOV human. What annoyed them most was that it sent the signature of the naughty ware back to mother Russia, as this is where Kaspersky is based.

Now (shock horror) Kaspersky products not only block this state sponsored naughty ware but also appear to be able to stop newer versions with different signatures. I doubt that they block Mr Putins patented naughty ware but neither d any other AV products.

So do you prefer Mr Putins favourite AV or Dear Donalds red, white and blue solutions?

Pity there isn’t a neutral solution? Or is there ?

Doctor, doctor! My NHS Patient Access app has gone TITSUP*



Ah yes the Excement maintenance info sys, one of several reasons for my second heart attack.

Although it would cause much screaming and pain, I would love to have one final, fully funded, fully supported try at replacing all the legacy IT crud that drags the NHS down.

It’s probably impossible but it would be a hell of a way to go. One huge team 50 % NHS human and 45 % devoted NHS loving techies, then try to find the best NHS IT Managers for the last 5%.

In my better dreams it succeeds (and I’m not old, fat or medically retired).

'Lambda and serverless is one of the worst forms of proprietary lock-in we've ever seen in the history of humanity'


Thats it

Just came to this article from the one about huge amounts of crypto currency being borked.

So it's time to admit that an IT career that started in 1980 is Over, I can no longer stand by watching things repeat themselves.

I am retired due to multiple crippling heart attacks but I do help out the odd charity case, got a nice little job today - no money of course but nice to leave the house.

But its time to admit that I don't want to do this anymore, it hurts too much.

The generation before mine went to the moon, my generation made the PlayStation then Facebook.

I hope to reincarnate as a Spaniel.

Good luck boys and girls, it has been quite fun and always funny.

BOFH: Come on, PFY, let's pick a Boss


Re: Why

I think the dead robot was twofer, it stopped the first batch of "stupidlivesmatter" candidates and hopefully landed on/close to someone who needed a gentle / less than lethal reminder.

Being a great BOFH isn't all about thinning the herd by fatal means, you need variety to avoid getting

careless or worse caught.

A scared workforce is far easier to control with constantly needing to terrify new staff, remember you need people to sign your invoices and purchase orders.

Shock! Hackers for medieval caliphate are terrible coders


Japanese motorbikes

For every story of successful evolution there are many stories of failure, I'm thinking of the glorious Eastern European bikes like the MZ50. Not all newborns survive and that's without their massive death cult (I may have misspelled that) mentality and thousands of drone operating uber nerds that oppose them. Add in all the Russian cyber nutters, Anonymous keyboard killers and western intelligence agency geeks.....

I hate tp daesh their hopes but I think most will be collecting their virgins fairly soon.

PC rebooted every time user flushed the toilet


The broken projector

My personal favourite and I used it as an interview question for years after.

Back in 2000 l worked as IT bod in a typical little gov.uk place, lovely staff and a joy to support.

Got a call from top floor, big meeting, projector not focusing, tried everything, help!

Sensing panic we sent up our pfy, five minutes later HELP ! Big guest just arrived, projector still bad.

Sent our junior bofh, no joy, big guest now grumbling.

Grabbed spare projector and ran upstairs, then removed red hot lens cover and quietly left the room.