Re: Worst case I ever saw ...
Did you copy this, or was it you that posted it the first/last time?
108 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Oct 2014
Before I retired, I worked in a large public sector finance office, that paid fees and expenses to thousands of individuals each month. The payroll process consisted of emailing Excel spreadsheets monthly to the outsourced payroll provider. The emailed spreadsheet was made by copying over rows & columns from individual spreadsheets maintained by different sub teams. I was responsible for the final upload. One month I was on leave and came back to turmoil. My line manager, the office leader, who was always banging on about paying attention to what you are doing, had managed to paste the amounts payable to each of 6,000 people one row below where they should have been. Everybody got the amount due to the person above them on the sheet. Not to mention the tax and NI. What fun. How do you think the matter was fixed? Yep, another spreadsheet!
I have a Pi4 4 GB running Libreleelec (Kodi) and connected to a TV via HDMI. It sees a mounted drive shared using Samba by another Pi4 NAS on my home LAN. The NAS is connected to the router with Ethernet; the TV Kodi one uses wi-fi. I can stream even 1080p x265 material stored on the NAS with NO glitches or any noticeable problems at all. I get a lot of stuff by putting on an eye patch and going -oo-arrr me hearties'.
In the 1970s I worked for a motorcycle dealer that sold XXX brand machines made in Japan. It was one of a network of XXX Main Dealers, who were the only ones allowed to sell official XXX branded spare parts, everything from complete engines, frames, down to headlight bulbs, brake cables, gaskets, etc. Even screws, nuts, bolts and washers were listed and stocked. The contract with the XXX Motor Company (UK) Ltd stipulated that only genuine maker's spares were to be sold, and any infraction could lead to withdrawal of the contract. XXX company inspectors could in theory arrive unannounced to perform inspections of the warehouse and retail stocks. They never came on Sundays when the whole business was closed!
A big seller was brake shoes for a number of smaller motorcycles. The official XXX Company margin on these was not enough for the company owner. Unofficial Sunday overtime was sometimes available to unload the truck bringing 'pattern' brake shoes round the back of the warehouse, and to discard the incriminating packaging. They were stacked along with the official versions, and sold at the same high price.
At the time I just thought (I was young) how devious the very self-important owner and founder of the company was. I now strongly suspect that the potential 'inspections' would never come, and the reasons might have been contained in brown envelopes, and also that the brake shoes were exactly the same as the ones that XXX Company wanted us to sell.
I used to work for a UK government ministry and the guy in charge of a very important system came to visit us. A lovely bloke. Beforehand we had been told by a very hierarchy minded manager that he was a 'Band A' grade and we should mind our Ps and Qs. I told him that when we were alone, and he rolled his eyes and said 'they had to give me that grade to make me stay - I'm no different from you'. A band A was on around 50k at the time.
People who sarcastically write 'Elf N Safety' or variants thereof really grind my gears, having seen or heard of accidents resulting in injury, disability and in one case, death, all from ignoring H & S requirements in some way. Most safety rules are written in peoples' blood.
Sony Trinitrons came first, around 1968 but generally colour CRTs with the 'delta gun' arrangement were displaced by 'precision in line' (PIL) tubes during the early 1970s. RCA introduced theirs in 1973 and Thorn marketed the design in the UK. Philips/Mullard had their 20AX around then too,
As I get on well with my line manager, and her line manager as well, I would ask, in a constructive way, whether she really meant what she had just asked for, and outline what I thought the drawbacks might be. I would regard it as silly and unhelpful to compound the foolishness by just blindly charging ahead, and might expect, if I did, at a subsequent post-mortem, to be asked why I hadn't said why it was a bad idea, considering I was paid to use the material between my ears, and the tongue in my head. This sort of this has happened, and I regard navigating such obstacles as a a key skill. I'm sure, given the tendency of toxic management to take credit for underlings' sucesses, and to blame them for management's errors, that I'd come off worse. If the management was toxic, I'd be off anyway.
I also read about such a case, and that it was detected when bank staff wanted to demo a search function to some visitors and chose to see the first and last accounts (by some metric) and the thief had created his fractional-cents-dump account to be the last one, and the transactions looked distinctly odd.
In 2015 I decided I wanted a colour laser printer. My Canon inkjet needed a set of replacement cartridges that cost £50. The printer only cost £80. I found that my local Staples branch in Bristol stocked a budget colour laser for £100. I rang them to enquire about stock. The guy said 'Sorry, they've all sold out. Did you want that particular model, or are you just after a colour laser?'. I said 'Why do you ask?'. He said 'We have an HP ex-display model you can have for £50. No packaging, manuals, or driver disks, but it has unused starter cartridges. You'd have to collect it.' I asked 'What model?', He went away and looked and came back. 'It's an m251nw'. A quick Google... List price £200. 'Hold it for me, I'm coming down!'.
It's big, heavy and black, and wife didn't like it until she started her OU course.
With our usage the original cartridges lasted to May 2020. I bought a set of 'compatible' full-capacity replacements from a smelly-sounding UK supplier. Showing 80% remaining.
About 60 years ago, my uncle, who worked for a Ford main dealer, told me about a visit to their factory at Dagenham, which had its own steel rolling plant. He said that he was told about an incident not long before his visit. A man needed to get in amongst the rollers, so he removed the fuses for the motors and put a note on the cover. The shift changed, the new operators replaced the fuses and started up the mill, rolling the poor guy flat. They were made to join the crew that had to dismantle the equipment, get all the bits out, and clean everything.
I just uploaded a picture of myself to PimEyes, and it returned two images, one of me, and one of someone who looks a bit like me. The one of me shows me holding up a bit of paper with my partially blurred out name on it!. I think I know when it was taken. I would have to fork out for a subscription to see the full url. Not happy.
When I was 14, and my sister was 12, our dad decided to reduce the phone bill by padlocking the dial. Having found out what loop-disconnect dialling was, I just used to lift up the receiver and, now having a dialling tone, tap out the number on one of the little things that held it up. I later found out that this is called 'switch hook dialling'. I was told by someone that in the UK, it used to be possible to make calls from payphones) by tapping the switch hook without depositing coins. Used to be an offence, apparently.
"I would frequently remind my late friend about how one time his wife DREAMED he had an affair and was mad at him for like a week because of it."
My first wife had such a dream, about me and one of her mates, and, a decent interval after we separated, it turned out to be prophetic.
I find it very helpful to talk through purchases like a new PC with my partner, as it can clarify mentally whether I/we really do need them. Like the rubber duck that programmers talk to when they are stuck. Once I did deliberately 'forget' to fix a rattling CPU fan and the associated drumming metal case, even though I could have done, so I could say the next PC would be a quiet one.
While a student I had a summer job at a tyre depot in Bristol. I was set to work loading tyres on delivery trucks according to a load sheet provided. It involved rolling them up a plank onto the flat bed of the lorry. I soon got the hang of it and it was quite fun. After about 30 minutes the foreman called me over and told me to slow down, as 'you make the other fellows look slow, and the drivers won't be happy either'.
When I worked in a finance office from 2010, we took payments by cheque, postal order, or in cash about 2 to 4 times a week. The process was to photocopy all paperwork, including the remittance item, file the copies in polywallets in a ring binder, notify the relevant other office by email that payment had been received, and bank the payment down the road at the local Barclays branch. If the payment was in cash, one person had to count the notes in front of a witness, then photocopy all the notes front and back (quicker and more accurate than writing all the serial numbers down. Sometimes £1,000 in £20s. The copies were so good on the big contract rented supplied Xerox MFD/copier that we used to stamp 'COPY' over each note's image. The paper would have been a giveaway you'd think. The firmware didn't complain that we were copying currency. We stopped taking cash in person (or at all) in 2015.
"what I should have done was an "electrical engineering" course. If you'd told me that when I was 18 I'd have been flabberghasted. "I don't want to be an electrician"
That sort of talk used to drive my dad mad. After the war he took an EE degree as an external student while working for the London Electricity Board. He retired as their Area manager for a large district of London. The Board took power from the national Grid and managed its distribution at 66, 33, 11 kV and eventual supply to consumers, commercial and domestic. It is not a simple task to keep an AC power network running. He ordered the gear and cable, oversaw the management of the network, commissioned equipment, including gigantic transformers and amazing switchgear which he sometimes took me to see ('Don't touch anything!'). Sometimes when people heard he was an electrical engineer they'd offer him a tenner to wire up their new cooker.
I recently retired. At the start of the pandemic we were all sent home with a Lenovo laptop, mouse. keyboard, 24" monitor, headset. My boss said 'anyone got any problems with this?'. I said my home chair that I'd paid £75 for at John Lewis was falling apart. He said "we'll put your office chair in the back of my car'. £400 Posturite. When I came to retire, he said 'any ideas for your retirement present?' I said 'the chair'. He said, 'Oh, I can just write that off. What else would you like?' So here I am sitting comfortably.
My number theory is a bit shaky, but I didn't think there could be any 'last' digits of pi (that is, it is conjectured that pi goes on for ever, or, if you prefer, that you can continue the expansion indefinitely). I did read a sci-fi story once, that if I recall correctly, involved God hiding a message in the digits that would only be found when an intelligent race developed a certain level of computing hardware. At the time I thought this was quite a silly idea (I still do).