* Posts by Ivan Headache

849 posts • joined 24 Jul 2007


0ops. 1,OOO-plus parking fine refunds ordered after drivers typed 'O' instead of '0'

Ivan Headache

Re: And this ladies and gentlemen...

That’s what I thought until this afternoon while following a car in London with the reg comprising the letter V and three Os or 0s and three Is or 1s.

I commented to the lovely Ivana that I thought that it was odd as I understood that those where never used because they led to confusion

For the rest of the journey she kept pointing Out cars and vans with the offending characters In their plates.

The Battle of Britain couldn't have been won without UK's homegrown tech innovations

Ivan Headache

Spitfires and that engine sound

From where I live in north-west London I can see Bentley Priory from my upstairs windows.

Every year until a couple of years after RAF sold it (it's now an estate of executive houses), at about 1800 on 16th September I would hear that wonderful sound. Looking out, there would be a lone Spitfire performing aerobatics over the priory for about ten minutes.

Did't hear anything today.

Chinese State media uses new release of local Linux to troll Trump

Ivan Headache

Re: Google Translate at its best...

Ah, but.....

Milky Bar and Milky Way are two different chocolate bars

At least they were when the Milky Bar Kid rode into town.

Co-inventor of the computer mouse, William English, dies

Ivan Headache

Re: Trackerball?

The trackball - a ball-resolver - was an integral part of the NBS (Navigation Bombing System) of the V-Bomber fleet. It was inside the large unit with all those windy-handles and counters at the bottom of the photo http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/cockpit-knobs.html.

All the input was via those handles and (IIRC) from the various radar systems on board.

I remember doing a course on it but now, for the life of me cannot remember how it worked or what was done with the output!

A real loch mess: Navy larks sunk by a truculent torpedo

Ivan Headache

Re: Of course it was going to hit the boat!

My brother was always the lucky one.

While working in the Emirates he mixed with the wealthy and carefree.

One day he was out with one of his 'mates' flying their Tiger Moth styled microlight. Something they did on a regular (almost) daily basis.

This particular day they were up in the air somewhere both of Abu Dhabi and the motor malfunctioned and stopped. They were unable to restart it but thankfully the gliding capabilities of the microlight where quite good so they weren't particularly worried. and looked for somewhere relatively level to land.

A nice stretch of sand came into view and was chosen as the spot and the approach made.

Just as they touched down they hit a car tyre half buried in the sand and tipped over.

He said that looking around afterwards that there was nothing else there. Just the one car tyre.

Absolutely everyone loves video conferencing these days. Some perhaps a bit too much

Ivan Headache

A and M were brilliant

They had Joan Armatrading.

Clunk, whirr, buzz, whine. Shared office space can be a riot and sounds like one too

Ivan Headache

Re: So many things emit 50Hz noise, or a harmonic of it..

Our diswasher (a Miele) started playing up on Boxing Day (annoyingly with a house full of freel..guests.

When the engine came to fix it he sat on the floor switched it on and listened for a moment or two then said, "Something's obstructing the pump."

10 minutes later he's got the dw on its side and the pump in his hand, 2 chewed-up bay leaves and an olive stone are removed from its innards and he puts it all back together (with a new rubber seal of course) and its as good as new.

Out of curiosity - what it the purpose of a bay leaf?

EU declares it'll Make USB-C Great Again™. You hear that, Apple?

Ivan Headache

Re: What problem are they trying to fix?

We've been redecorating at Headache Towers (I think they call it 'remodelling' in some parts).

This has entailed several trips over several weeks to our local recycling/waste disposal centre.

We have to separate metals from other recyclables and green waste from general waste. etc.

When I look into the electronic waste bays I am amazed by the numbers of tower computer cases and microwave ovens being chucked away. (I remember microwave ovens lasting for donkeys years).

But I am absolutely staggered by the number of massive flat-screen TVs in the skips. - recently they have introduced a skip especially for them.

I wonder , are all these TVs failing or is it the marketing hype that's making them be replaced?

Back on the USB thing. We bought a new (electric) reclining sofa for the lounge. When It arrive we discovered a USB A charging socket at each end.

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

Ivan Headache

With Amazon Prime you can get one delivered tomorrow!

Silicon Valley Scrooges sidestep debt to society through tax avoidance to the tune of $100bn

Ivan Headache

Try getting a ticket for a Just A Minute recording. They're like rocking horse poo.

Only managed it twice in the last ten years.

(getting a ticket that is)

I'll get my coat - it's the one with an invite to the IT consultant's Ball in the pocket.

Halfords invents radio signals that don't travel at the speed of light

Ivan Headache

And my oven!

Technically it's the lovely Ivana's oven but...

The old oven had two knobs and some push-buttons - easy as pie to use.

The new one has two knobs and a baffling touchscreen that isn't wide enough to display its messages so they scroll by much worse than the messages on a London Overground train.

It's taken her 3 months to get the hang of it and produce reasonably consistent results.

And don't get me started on the controller for the underfloor-heating.

Teachers: Make your pupils' parents buy them an iPad to use at school. Oh and did you pack sunglasses for the Apple-funded jolly?

Ivan Headache


You were lucky.

We just had some stones.

MacOS wakes to a bright Catalina sunrise – and broken Adobe apps

Ivan Headache

Re: Forget Adobe, use Affinity Designer, Photo & Publisher

I've been looking to move and have indeed bought the Affinity apps.

I'm rather impressed.


I want all my images marked with copyright information, along with who, what, when and where.

The Affinity apps have no equivalent to Photoshop's 'File Info' panel.

Apparently there are third party apps that would allow me to do this - but at what cost to my work-flow?

That said I'm using CS3 on a 10.6.8 Mac Pro. If it ain't broke I see no reason to change it.

HP to hike upfront price of printer hardware as ink biz growth runs dry

Ivan Headache


I recently had to replace an Epson printer for a domestic client.

He specified that he wanted one that used the same inks as his defunct model as he had already a stack of expensive cartridges in a drawer.

After a little searching I found a suitable model at a decent price (£45.00) in PCW.

As I collected it I thought I would just check the cost of his expensive cartridges.

An eye-watering £93.00 for a full set!

EU's top court says tracking cookies require actual consent before scarfing down user data

Ivan Headache

Re: That was nice

I have found lately that that is the case.

Some of the sites I visit on a daily basis have the usual Accept button - but in the small print above it there is a blue HERE word.

Clicking that takes me to a accept all/reject all panel.

Thankfully it does remember that I previously checked Reject all yesterday - but why does it ask me every single time to accept when I visit afresh?

But... How does it remember that I clicked Reject all yesterday?

Orford Ness: Military secrets and unique wildlife on the remote Suffolk coast

Ivan Headache

One Christmas when I was a lad

I was was given a book called 'The Runners of Orford' by Tyler Whittle.

It was a typical children's thriller about 2 kids convinced that the strange Eastern European people living near the ness were Russian spies.

I remember enjoying it very much and deciding that one day would goto Orford. Fifty five years later and I still haven'y been.

Thanks for the article. Brought all those memories flooding back.

My MacBook Woe: I got up close and personal with city's snatch'n'dash crooks (aka some bastard stole my laptop)

Ivan Headache

Re: The secret to security is to make your neighbour a more attractive target

Vauxhall is the oldest car maker in England, founded in 1857. The vauxhall name was adopted in 1863 and made its first car in 1903.

It became part of GM in 1925 and then became part of Groupe PSA in 2017.

Ohm my God: If you let anyone other than Apple replace your recent iPhone's battery, expect to be nagged by iOS

Ivan Headache

Re: Back to cars

It's a Ka+ which is not a very common model.

There are sites advertising pads for this car - 2014 model

Problem is - the car wasn't available until 2016 - she got the first one from the dealer in January 16.

The Kwikfit chap said that there were no pettern pads available from any of their suppliers. The only ones he could locate were from Ford and they would not supply them.

Chances are that they are Fiesta pads as the Ka+ is based on the Fiesta.

However - it's best not to assume when it comes to brakes.

Redarding Kwikft - we've been using them for 20+ years and never had an issue.

Experts: No need to worry about Europe's navigation sats going dark for days. Also: What the hell is going on with those satellites?!

Ivan Headache

ah ephemeris?

We had some of that growing up our wall.

Lovely flowers.

Hell hath no fury like a radar engineer scorned

Ivan Headache

Ah viscera

We had some of that growing up our wall.

Lovely flowers.

Will that old Vulcan's engines run? Bluebird jet boat team turn to Cold War bomber

Ivan Headache

Re: Bluebird next starring role

And he'll know exactly what to do to drive it.

That magical super material Apple hopes will hit backspace on its keyboard woes? Nylon

Ivan Headache

Moving a moving mirror

So that's why so many research bods have beards

Mine's the one with a gillette in the pocket

No Huawei out: Prez Trump's game of chicken with China has serious consequences

Ivan Headache

Re: ARM, the Japanese chip maker

Wasn't it Kraft, who renamed itself with a Swiss sounding name and then made the chocolate in Poland?

We regret to inform you the massive asteroid NASA's all excited about probably won't hit Earth

Ivan Headache

Re: 3 football fields?

Just realised.

We should see it coming as there'll be animated illuminated adverts all round the edges.

Ivan Headache

Re: 3 football fields?

So it's flat.

Is it coming edge on and are the edges sharp?

And in current affairs... Apple recalls three-prong AC adapters after some shocking behavior

Ivan Headache

Where does it say cord?

And six adaptors out of how many million?

We have about a dozen of them kicking about here - none broken.

Ikea lamp plugs - now there's a different story. Most of them have lost their earth pins.

Ca-caw-caw: Pigeon poops on tot's face as tempers fray at siege of Lincoln flats

Ivan Headache

Re: Hawks

Just before Christmas we had a grey-hair holiday in Madeira.

We allowed ourselves to get suckered into a 'Hotel Holiday Club" presentation in one of the largest hotels in Funchal. (basically for the freebie* that inevitably comes along if you sit all the way through it).

In the lounge/foyer was a youngish lady wearing a Belstaff type jacket and big gloves.

On her arm a raptor. The hotel uses it to keep the pigeons and gulls away from the balconies and pools..

Ironically as were leaving, the lady was on her knees attempting to remove raptor poo from the carpet.

*We got a bottle of Madeira and a 3 hour dolphin watching cruise on a catamaran. (and no, we didn't join)

Ivan Headache

Targeted ads

Readingthe article on my iPad there’s an advert right in the middle.

It has a big button


Techie finds himself telling caller there is no safe depth of water for operating computers

Ivan Headache

Re: Deep Six

I can beat that!

I had a call to help the friend of a client.

He had been knocked off his motorbike on the A40 by a hit and run and left for dead!

He suffered awful injuries and when I met him he was still in a bit of a state but back home from hospital.

The reason for my attendance was his MacBook Pro. It was in his backpack at the time and by the time it was recovered had been run over several times.

He had been on his way to pitch for a design job and his pitch was in the Mac. Unfortunately the Mac was bent into the shape of a taco. Seams were split apart and one the hinges was bust. It was still closed and in one piece but completely out of shape.

My task was to extract (if possible) the HD and if successful, try to extract his pitch and the other work on it.

I prised the lid open and as I forced it into its very unnatural new hyperbolic shape with its one hinge, some key-tops fell out and the shattered screen lit up and seconds later his desktop appeared. It had been asleep for over a month in its fortune cookie state.

I don't know which one of us was more surprised. Looking at the Mac I wasn't st all confident that the HD would be intact.

I only wish I had had a phone with a camera at the time so I could document it.

(The delay didn't stop him getting the gig though)

Furious Apple revokes Facebook's enty app cert after Zuck's crew abused it to slurp private data

Ivan Headache

Re: It’s a rotten corporate culture

I worry about the ethics of the individuals who come up with these schemes in the first place.

What if was their own kids or partners that were suckered in?

Morals? Yes, we've heard of them,

Ouch, Apple! Plenty of iPhones stuck in tech channel. How many? That's a 'wild card'

Ivan Headache

Re: Apple boredom

So True.

A friend of mine [in his 80s) bought a chain saw and a horse blanket in Lidl.

He hasn't got a horse - nor any trees too cut down in his first floor apartment.

Mind you, m the champagne he bought at the same time was super.

What happens when a Royal Navy warship sees a NATO task force headed straight for it? A crash course in Morse

Ivan Headache

Re: When you hear De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da...

de da de da de da

The police are right behind you/

Tech support discovers users who buy the 'sh*ttest PCs known to Man' struggle with basics

Ivan Headache

Re: 25 years of IT support...

I think I've posted this before but a repeat fits perfectly here.

I had a call "I can't find the right page 2"


"There's lots if page 2s and I can't find the right one."

Cue visit.

The screen is littered with page 1s and page 2s plus the odd page 3

Turns out she was in typewriter mode and thought that you needed a new document for the next page.

She had managed ok for a while but as work progressed it had got out of hand.

Would have helped a bit if she had developed a file naming procedure that linked the pages- but no. Page 1, page 2.

Spent a bit of time helping her match them up and joining the relevant pages and then naming the new document and she slowly started to appreciate the differences between a typewriter and a WP.

Lady's occupation?

Career guidance counsellor.

iFixit engineers have an L of a time pulling apart Apple's iPhone XS

Ivan Headache

Re: Never heard of a 'spludger'

I've always thought it was a small flat ended hand tool used for spreading heat-transfer paste, generally made of a hard plastic

However, I was at my brother's house recently and he and a mate were working a a Ducati Motorbike.

During a difficult moment while they were trying to line up some bolt holes one of them asked "Where's the spudger?"

Turns out that this spudger was a tapered round steel tool about the same size a a cold-chisel, pushed into one hole to line up the receiving hole.

Equifax IT staff had to rerun hackers' database queries to work out what was nicked – audit

Ivan Headache

Like finding a trout in your milk.

I did once find a toy soldier in my cornflakes.

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Abracadabra! Tales of unexpected sysadmagic and dabbling in dark arts

Ivan Headache

If I had s hammer

I'd hammer in the morning.

(But it still wouldn't annoy those builders with the pile-driver 3 streets away)

Brit Railcard buyers face lengthy, unexplained delays. Sound familiar?

Ivan Headache

Under normal service

getting Railcards is very efficient.

I had to renew mine and the Lovely Ivana's cards a month or so back.

Both arrived in less than 48 hours from pressing the button.

I always regarded it as one of the more efficient online quango websites.

East Midlands network-sniffer wails: Openreach, fix my outage-ridden line

Ivan Headache

Re: Hate to say this, but....

The Greater Good.

And in current affairs: Rogue raccoon blacks out city power grid after shocking misstep

Ivan Headache

Clever Raccoon

At long last an opportunity to recount something the lovely Ivana & I encountered while holidaying in Fort Lauderdale.

We had some time to kill and decided to go for a walk in the Hugh Taylor Birch state park while we were there. On the road up to the gates there are some signs saying 'Don't feed the raccoons'. As Brits, we had never seen a raccoon so we asked the ranger at the gate if it was likely that we would see any of these creatures that we must not feed..

She replied that as it was early evening it might be possible as they would be waking up to go foraging in the next hour or so. Anyway after an hour we hadn't seen a raccoon, just some birds and the odd roller-blader and our time was up for going to retrieve the kids so we set off walking back.

As we passed the ranger on the way our she asked if we had seen one. Perhap's another half hour?

We didn't have the time so we wished her good day and set off down the road back to East Sunrise Blvd.

As we were walking down, a creature akin to a young badger in size & colour came out of the undergrowth, crossed the entrance road and disappeared into the undergrowth on the other side about 30-40m ahead of us. No sooner had it disappeared than several more appeared crossing the road randomly ahead of us and going into the undergrowth.

At last we've seen a raccoon - several raccoons. It did cross our minds to wonder why they were all crossing the road at the same time and in the same direction. Logic said food, but what do we know about raccoon behaviour?

Where the park entrance road meets the boulevard there is a set of stop lights and a wide grass verge between the footpath and the roadway.

There was a queue of cars waiting at the red light as we came on to the boulevard.

On the grass verge were half a dozen or more raccoons lined up begging.

One of those sights the both of us will never forget.

There's no need to put the signs up in the park, the clever raccoons get take-aways delivered!

Foot lose: Idiot perv's shoe-mounted upskirt vid camera explodes

Ivan Headache

Re: The real question is: did he want to get arrested?

Apart from claiming to have trodden on a landmine (which is a bit drastic) I'm finding it difficult to come up with a plausible wxcuse.

Great news, cask beer fans: UK shortage of CO2 menaces fizzy crap taking up tap space

Ivan Headache

I can't get over this

'Food Grade' carbon dioxide.

Has it got added sulphites, an acidity regulator and an anti-caking agent?

Trump’s new ZTE tweets trump old ZTE tweets

Ivan Headache

and the humblest

TSB outage, day 5: What do you mean you can't log in? Our systems are up and running. Up and running, we say!

Ivan Headache

Re: Blimey! This outage is the most outrageous since...

I read that as the KFC shortage of 2018.

Must be something I ate.

Anyway it's now 2018 (on the clock - not the year) and I still can't get in - BUT - the status page now shows Mobile being Up and Telephone being Down.

UK 'meltdown' bank TSB's owner: Our IT migration was a 'success'

Ivan Headache

3 days

In an hour's time it will be 3 days since the service was supposed to be back on line.

Except that it's still not. I get directed to maintenanceweb.tsb.co.uk. It's been like that since about 0700.

I went into my branch this afternoon just to make sure that my debits due next week would be covered and the girls behind the desks were able to get in and transfer funds - but very, very slowly.

I'm quite chummy with them and was told that there had been a lot of tears as irate customers were taking it out on them.

It also got me thinking about the folly of shutting down branches 'as everyone does internet banking nowadays'.

Apparently my local branch of Lloyds will be closing later this year.

Brit bank TSB TITSUP* after long-planned transfer of customer records from Lloyds

Ivan Headache

Midnight now

And it's still playing silly Bs.

I managed to get in after several aborted attempts around 1900 and managed to move some cash from deposit to current accounts and it took several minutes between page redraws - but it worked.

I then tried to reduce my Credit card debt and it all looked OK until I got to the bit "enter your password to confirm the payment"

Then I got it again, and again and again until I gave up.

It's now midnight so I thought I'd have another go.

Logging in was almost as quick as it was when it was Lloyds but trying to make that payment was another exercise in futility.

I folks get penalised for late or missed payments as a result of this, is TSB liable?

Sysadmin’s worst client was … his mother! Until his sister called for help

Ivan Headache

Re: Ahh, parents

I've posted this once before - but it fits here perfectly.

I got a call saying "I can't find the right page 2."

Pop round and find a desktop full of 'Page 1s' and 'Page 2s'

Turns out that she hadn't realised that when you reach the end of page 1 page 2 follows automatically.

For several months she had been treating every page as a separate peice of paper.

As some of the docs (all progress reports and assessments) were only 1 page in length, her filing went right up the shute when page 2-5 actually married up with Page 1-8. (Or was it Page 1-11?)

'Our way or the highway' warranty scams shot down by US watchdog: It's OK to use unofficial parts to repair your gear

Ivan Headache

Re: Will no one think of the printers?

It's not the chipping of the ink carts that bugs me it's the fact that it's different ink cart for every printer.

Client has just had to replace an Epson but has a draw full of "apple' inks, New Epson printer requires "strawberry" inks. Another client has an Epson that requires "orange" (or is it "daisy") inks so I can't sell them on to him.

We have 2 Canon printers. They both require different carts - and to make sure that we can't mix'n'match they are physically different in size. And I still have a bag full of assorted carts for 2 earlier Canons.

As well as calling these firms on repairs Epson, Canon and HP should be mandated to to make their domestic/consumer printers all use the same ink carts across their range. It's only the 'pro' machines that need anything different.

RIP... almost: Brit high street gadget shack Maplin Electronics

Ivan Headache

Re: Along with the associated increase in traffic and pollution.

Thanks for the namecall. Just how many delivery vans visit your street each day?

I promise you It's not the same one doing every delivery.

I live in a small street of about 100 houses. There's a delivery van approximately every 30 minutes - even after dark.

Who's the dickhead?

Ivan Headache

Re: Well at least

"Amazon can deliver same day - via Prime Now."

Along with the associated increase in traffic and pollution.



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