* Posts by WolfFan

1438 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Dec 2014


It looks like you’re a developer. Would you like help upgrading Windows 11?

WolfFan Silver badge

I once had servers running A/UX. It was beautiful. When management retired them, and replaced them with, ick, Win NT systems, I got one of them and it was my home server for years afterward.

No, no, no! Disco joke hit bum note in the rehab center

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I'd have gone for Donna Summer, before she got religion. Love to Love You. Or maybe Queen. Another One Bites the Dust.

The iPhone 15 has a Goldilocks issue: Too big or too small. Maybe a case will make it just right

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Re: currently using a 2019 vintage 6.4-inch midrange Android

That would be a dinosaur.

Apple extends Qualcomm contract to 2026 as homebrew 5G chip dream still on snooze

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Re: Translation

Probably the cheaper units, such as the SE types. I have an SE 2nd generation. I may replace it with whatever Apple has for a ‘cheap’ phone in a year or two.

Watt's the worst thing you can do to a datacenter? Failing to RTFM, electrically

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Re: Ah, the Regomiser strikes again

A balky lad from the Balkans…

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Re: Check the power supply

Ah. The Star Trek Effect. It's such a pity that someone invented the fuse and the circuit breaker…

Microsoft to kill off third-party printer drivers in Windows

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Apple has a standard in macOS and a different one in iOS. Both are consistent on their respective platforms, both do scanning and printing and, on macOS, faxing. I've never tried to fax from iOS, no idea if it works. The print system is directly descended from that of early Macs. Some time along the way Macs could print directly to PDF, PostScript, and assorted image formats. Most of that isn't available on iOS, but some other features are. Note that some applications (Firefox, MS Office) would rather that you use their print systems, but will use the standards if you hit them hard enough. (Yes, you can print to PDF from inside a PDF editor, even one from Adobe.) On iOS you can use the standard, and, in some cases (Epson, Brother) there's a vendor-supplied item that is usually inferior to the standard. HP might also provide its own item, but I haven't printed to an HP device from iOS in over a decade, mostly because of HP’s shenanigans.

I have never printed anything from Android. I only had an Android device for a few months before scrapping it and going to iOS.

Windows is a glorious mess, and always has been, and probably always will be.

Ubuntu is… Ubuntu. Great when everything works. Somewhat less than great when there are problems.

Bombshell biography: Fearing nuclear war, Musk blocked Starlink to stymie Ukraine attack on Russia

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Re: So Musk has NOW entered the Ukranian war.......

No, it is not a ‘pledge’. It's not even an actual signed document.

M’man really needs to try harder.

WolfFan Silver badge

Re: So Musk has NOW entered the Ukranian war.......

That's not going to happen.

WolfFan Silver badge

Re: So Musk has NOW entered the Ukranian war.......

As a direct result of Putin’s Puttering, Sweden and Finland are part of NATO. NATO is already on Russia’s border, and it's all his fault. Conquering Ukraine would have put Poland on the border… and Poland has been a member of NATO for a while now.

And, if Russia kept its little behind quiet and didn't invade other countries (hmm… Georgia…) it wouldn’t matter where NATO was. NATO is a defensive alliance, it’s there to stand against Soviet/Russian bullshit.

WolfFan Silver badge

Re: So Musk has NOW entered the Ukranian war.......

So… When was this alleged pledge made? Date, please.

And… Where was this alleged pledge made? The location it was signed.

And… Who signed it? The names, and the positions in NATO/member countries and Russia.

And, finally, how about a link to said pledge? If it was, in fact, agreed to by someone in NATO, there should be at least two copies (Russian and English ) possibly three (French), and maybe others. This should be a public document, available from official NATO/Russian sources.

Do try to supply the requested information. There's a good lad/lass/whatever.

Northern Irish cops release 2 men after Terrorism Act arrests linked to data breach

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Re: PSNI overly optimistic

Well, of course. They’re _French_.

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Re: Terrorism?

That’s lizard people. Please try to keep up.

Remember, Queen Liz didn’t really die, she just got tired of dealing with humans and went home to Rigel. (Anyone who thinks that there really are people who think this kind of thing hasn’t been paying attention.) Pope Francis is also a lizard person. The Orange Don is a toad person, from Betelgeuse. The lizard people are a lot smarter than the toad people.

Right to repair advocates have a new opponent: Scientologists

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Amazing. No mention of Boeing products, volcanoes, or weird aliens. Someone was showing most un-Rrg-like restraint.

Polishing off a printer with a flourish revealed not to be best practice

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Re: Stories from Grandad

And that kind of thing is why I never wore a tie in the machine room. Still don’t. Actually, I rarely wear ties at all.

Hands up who wants a PC? Lenovo reports declining returns

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I have a Lenovo laptop. Soldered on, not upgradable, RAM, check. Soldered on, not upgradable, SSD, check. Soldered on, not upgradable, battery, check. It’s a single unit, obviously intended to be disposable rather than repairable, even if it did cost close to $1000. I found out after purchase; my fault, I should have looked closer before buying. The good news: it’s not a Dell or an HP. When it starts giving trouble, it will be discarded, as repairs would be… difficult. The replacement will probably not be a Lenovo, not unless the RAM, drive, and battery can be replaced/updated. Lenovo got my money… once.

Vietnam admits it has just ten percent of the infosec pros it needs

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I might be available, depending on what rates they pay, whether I have to learn Vietnamese, and if I can work remotely. Working with guys who managed to beat _three_ world powers over a period of about 30 years (France, the US, and China) would be interesting. Actually having to live in Hanoi, less so. I’ve seen 3rd world tropical countries (Kenya, Jamaica, Florida) and don’t need another one.

Cyber-extortionists pillage Colorado education dept

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Fun times here

I’m in Deepest South Florida. Locally, a city (Riviera Beach) and a major company (Publix Supermarkets) have been hit recently. Attempts were made on the Catholic archdiocese, the county school district, and the state college. (The archdiocese had imported a graduate of the Indian Institutes of Technology, who also happened to be from Goa… and was an ordained priest. The attack didn’t get far. The school district borrowed him, just in time to detect an ongoing attack and to kill it. The state college is massively paranoid; over the summer they have shut everything down twice over different weekends, to ‘improve security’, and now that school is out until the last week of August, everything is going to be again locked down starting this Friday for a week to ten days, it has to be back up again come the 21st.)

I’m sure that there’s more, these are just the incidents that I know of for certain.

China's great CPU hope – Loongson – may be only four years behind Intel

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Re: I shall watch with interest

Are you seriously saying that you prefer to trust the _People’s Republic of China_ to supply, and support, your computing needs? Really? The US is ‘aggressively dictatorial’ in comparison with the monsters responsible for Tiananmen Square? Really? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1989_Tiananmen_Square_protests_and_massacre

Note that looking this up in the PRC would result in your getting a visit from the People's Armed Police. Pooh Bear Xi https://www.economist.com/the-economist-explains/2023/04/20/why-winnie-the-pooh-makes-xi-jinping-uncomfortable really doesn't like it when people look up that kind of thing. But it's the US which is 'aggressively dictatorial'.

Do carry on.

One weekend's TwitX chaos brings threats from Japan; indemnity promises for users; prominent account seizures

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Re: "I imagine it'll either be nursery school hair pulling"

Ratings gold.

Aliens crash landed on Earth – and Uncle Sam is covering it up, this guy tells Congress

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Re: Not impossible, just ludicrously unlikely

Fusion rockets could make a substantial fraction of c… but the mass ratio required would be brutal. Photon rockets would, of course, be beautiful… except for the slight thrust problem.

It’s a real pity that Bussard ramjets won’t work.

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Re: warning

Crom doesn’t care.

But then Crom never cares.

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Re: above

Nah. J’onn J’onzz.

Please keep open flames far away, thanks.

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Re: Alien UFOs

Flesh Gordon lives! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flesh_Gordon

Florida man accused of hoarding America's secrets faces fresh charges

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Re: In jail with DJT

It’s not just the Feds. Some local jurisdictions like orange, too. One jurisdiction in Arizona famously switched from orange to pink because pink was a girlie color and the sheriff wanted to insult the inmates.

WolfFan Silver badge

Or, more likely, an IT director who sees trouble inbound and wants to not be in splatter range. “I’m sorry boss, but I can’t do that.” I seem to recall a movie with a similar line.

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Re: You sure are preoccupied by Trump and Musk!

But not in peace.

Twitter ad revenue has halved since Elon Musk took over

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As someone who does not and will not ever have either a twatter or a zuck imitation account

I will be standing back, with a bowl of popcorn, watching the fun.

May the two of them kill each other. And then may the survivor die,

Microsoft's Surface Pro 9 requires a tedious balancing act

WolfFan Silver badge

I used to have a Surface Pro

I found it to be an overpriced iPad pretending to be a convertible laptop. I couldn’t stand the keyboard. The fact that it ran Win 10 was good in some ways, terrible in others; notably, it had problems connecting to certain secure networks. As I needed it specifically to carry around and connect to various networks, this was a major problem. The fact that it cost more than an iPad but gave more trouble was the final straw. Fortunately it wasn’t actually mine, it was a work machine, and I traded it in for a Lenovo laptop. The Lenovo is also Win 10, but doesn’t have the connectivity issues. And has a much better keyboard. And a bigger display.

I am quite unlikely to try a Surface again. The company is dumping the Surface units, replacing them with Lenovos and iPad Pros.

NASA 'quiet' supersonic jet is nearly ready for flight

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Mr. Harrison had coal-powered aircraft. Yes, really.

Let's have a chat about Java licensing, says unsolicited Oracle email

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Over the last decade

I have gradually removed everything Oracle from all machines under my control. Java, Virtual Box, the lot.

I have received a little note from Oracle. I replied to the effect that as I no longer had any Oracle products on any machines, no, I wasn’t interested in anything to do with licensing. In particular I wasn’t interested in paying even one penny. And, yes, they could come and have a look to verify that I wasn’t using any Oracle products… at their expense. Any problems, any disruptions, anything at all, would be billed to them. I had Legal send the note, on actual paper, using the law firm’s letterhead. And signed by a senior partner. There is, after all, a reason why we have them on retainer.

I have not heard back. Perhaps I will.

The number’s up for 999. And 911. And 000. And 111

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Jemma has a problem with authority in general and the police in particular.

Microsoft signs 1.5 million seat contract for Office 365 and more

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Re: $940 million for a million and a half users ?

Come, now… the holiday homes exist and can be used, it’s just that no one wants to go there. The carriers can get aircraft…. A little later. Okay, much later. BoJo’s lawyers were kept out of mischief. And the ferry company can get ships. Now, will MS Office ever be worth even one penny?

Microsoft puts profanity filter on %@!#ing Teams transcripts

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Ah, yes

This should work well… or maybe not. I remember when Eudora implemented ‘peppers’ to show how hot your email was. Certain people (who, me? Surely not) went out of their way to get the max three peppers as often as possible. And, having used Eudora since 1993 I stopped using it. They wasted effort on peppers and ads instead of support for IMAP. I went to mail clients which supported IMAP. I was not alone.

Now Apple takes a bite out of encryption-bypassing 'spy clause' in UK internet law

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Re: So, we're back to square one again

I’m sure that if you ask nicely the French will give you a nice little war.

Quirky QWERTY killed a password in Paris

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Re: Paris...

Those who have been to Stornoway will see your Rosyth and raise you 50. One of my cousins was once there for a NATO thingie; he said that it was somewhat less fun than even behind God's back far northern Scotland was supposed to be.

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Re: All your QWERTY belong to us...

We’ll see a Scottish pound, alright. He'll pound m'man hard. And God help m'man if it's a Scottish lass, a lad might have mercy.

Ex-FBI employee jailed for taking classified material home

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Re: Orange man...

What have the poor Haitians ever done to deserve the Orange One?

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Re: Orange man...

Slippery Jim wasn’t a mere 10 steps ahead of everyone, he was at least 20 steps.

Security? Working servers? Who needs those when you can have a shiny floor?

WolfFan Silver badge


Hmm. He deals with racks. Hmm. Perhaps el Reg hasn’t really gone Full Yankee, and there are a few wild Englishmen roaming around.

Missing Titan sub likely destroyed in implosion, no survivors

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Re: AP news

It has been 40 years since I graduated, but I had quite a lot of work which was NOT exercises in retaining and regurgitating information. Among other things, I built a computer using breadboard and wirewrap tools. Everything went in by hand, and the instructions were deliberately vague... and misleading. And then I had to program the thing. In TI 9900 machine code, using the console. By the end of the semester, I had it talking to a keyboard and a monitor and had a primitive version of Trek (done in assembly) running. (I leaned on things a little so that the Klingons were tougher than on versions elsewhere.) I was working on a version where users could play as Klingon or Romulan ships, complete with cloaking devices, the better to thump arrogant Feddies. Aiming torpedoes was still a pain, though. If I had had the time I would have addressed that.

Ah, well, not even Bill Cosby at his most popular could sell TI 99 computers, so I never tried to see if it could be salable... or even if Paramount wouldn't have a fit if they ever found out about it.

Then there was Electromechanical Devices, involving surplus US Army Signal Corps transformers. Certain others didn't pay enough attention and discovered what a spark gap was, complete with vaporized copper leads. Despite the TA having told everyone the first day about the time someone caused an electrical fire. (I did well enough in that class that I got to be the TA my last year at uni. I much preferred it to my previous on-campus job, in the main dining hall. Even if some students were actively suicidal.)

Lots more.

Now, the Arts and Parties classes which I had to take in addition to actual engineering and science classes, _they_ were exercises in retaining and regurgitating data. And writing papers. Lots of papers. Most engineers could do most Arts classes without significant problems, but Arts students would have major problems with technical subjects. Which is one reason why I ended up with a BSEE and a BAHIST, in five years.

Techie wasn't being paid, until he taught HR a lesson

WolfFan Silver badge


One wonders how they deal with substantial numbers of people from the Indian subcontinent. Just about all male Sikhs have ‘Singh’ in their names somewhere, usually at the end. About all female Sikhs have ‘Kaur’. A truly incredible number of assorted Hindis, Rajputs, and more are named ‘Patel’. (Patel means Farmer. There are a lot of farmers in rural India) Then there are the non-Sikh Singhs. (Singh means Lion. All male Sikhs, plus lots of Rajputs, are lions…) (Yes, Singapore means Lion City) And every Pathan is a ‘Khan’. All of them. (Or so I’m told, anyway) My high school (in Jamaica…) had three Singhs, one not Sikh, three Patels, and two Khans. (No Kaurs, it was an all-boy school. Yay British Empire!). I gotta wonder at how schools in, say, the Punjab, keep track.

And then there’s the Kims in Korea, about a quarter of the population. At one point the president of South Korea was a Kim, and absolutely no relation to the criminal gang running North Korea. Something like 60% of China uses variations on six family names…

The fine institution of higher education that I sometimes do adjunct instruction at uses first initial last name in the email… with numbers to differentiate between individuals who have common names. I know for certain that there have been at least 129 J Garcias because I one had a student whose email was jgarcia128@schoolname.edu. (It’s Deepest South Florida. Lots of Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and a lot more….) You really don’t want to know how many jsmiths and jbrowns there are. And every third Kelly, Ryan, or other Irish name has FX for the first two names. Those who are Catholic will know why. No, just putting in middle names or initials won’t help. Hell, some of the Mexicans are FXs, too. A legacy of the Battalion de San Patricio, no doubt.

Seriously, anyone who uses a name as the primary key in a database deserves what he gets.

SSD missing from SAP datacenter turns up on eBay, sparking security investigation

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Where I work

Is a lot smaller than SAP, but apparently we are far more secure.

1. All servers, NASes, etc., are inside locked racks. Yes, the racks aren’t anything special, and the locks are pretty flimsy, but it would be obvious if someone liberated a drive.

2. All racks are in locked rooms, using card and touchpad access. And with security cameras inside the rooms and outside, pointing at the doors. Only authorized people are allowed inside. And the cameras would spot some taking a drive.

3. Entrance, and exit, to the building are via security doors in a mantrap system, with lots of cameras.

4. The sysadmins would probably notice missing drives, not least when reviewing the backup logs.

5. The Morgue where we play with dead equipment is right next to the server rooms. And is locked and the door has security cameras.

6. Anyone who pulls any equipment from the server rooms has to sign for it. And sign it back in when done. We definitely do not allow drives to leave the building. Unless they are headed to Iron Mountain for storage or destruction.

7. As getting into the Morgue or the server rooms requires the key card, which is your ID card, you can't even access anything without it being clear whodunit.

8. Backup tapes are stored in fire-resistant cabinets in the Morgue until the guys from Iron Mountain show up to take them to secure storage. The cabinets are, of course, locked. (Yes, we still use tape. It works.)

There is no reason for a drive to be anywhere except the Morgue or a server room, or in transit between them. (Except for brand new drives arriving from outside, of course.) Any drive going out of service is reformatted seven times, if it still works, and destroyed by physically drilling holes through it. Really good recovery people might get some data from the drive, but it won't be easy. Destroyed drives are sent to Iron Mountain and run through their shredder. Now not even a really good recovery service is going to find much.

So how, exactly, did a major corporation manage to let drives get out into the wild, and not once but multiple times?

Time running out for crew of missing Titanic tourist submarine

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A lot of early spacecraft had hatches that were bolted down. Famously the Mercury capsules had explosive bolts to allow emergency escape. On at least one occasion the explosive bolts exploded when they weren’t supposed to. Oops.

Has Amazon found the ultimate lock-in? Cheap cellphone service for Prime

WolfFan Silver badge

Re: People who called Joe's Pizza also called ....

The Don doesn’t visit you. You visit the Don. Hat in hand, on your knees, if you know what’s good for you.

Fed up with slammed servers, IT replaced iTunes backups with a cow of a file

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At that time

I used backup software which had a remove feature. I could, and did, have it look for specific files and types of files in specific folders and nuke them. Certain people insisted on playing Doom, Wolfenstein, and Marathon on my network, and _not telling me_. Say bye, boyz…

Now, those who were polite and at least asked first, they got their very own partition which was not visible to the backup app. As long as they didn’t abuse the system, I had no problem.

Parking lots of iTunes files on my servers would have been abusing the system. Those files would have lasted one day. Just one. Any complaints would have been met by my showing the abuser a copy of the system usage protocol, which they had allegedly read and signed.

Windows XP activation algorithm cracked, keygen now works on Linux

WolfFan Silver badge

My mother has been going to the same optometrist for nearly 30 years. All billing and payment is handled by an ancient DOS application running on an XP machine. He still has two spare machines sitting in a back room; periodically, someone (guess who) gets to take them out and test them to be sure that they still work. The system does not connect to the Internet. The system does not even know what a credit card is. (Seriously. You pay by check or cash or, in our case, by keeping the computer alive. And none of that pay by phone nonsense, either.)

The DOS app, and the XP machine, will be retired when the optometrist is. Dinosaurs live forever, so that ain’t happening soon.

I shall be investing in a few copies of the items in the article, so that I can revive a dead XP box if necessary. The optometrist has all the install disks (actual 5.25” floppies, backed up to 3.5”, and then, by me, to CD) and license keys and what not, in the back room next to the spares. You would not believe what a complete set of WinXP and Office 2003 floppies looks like. I didn’t even know that you could get Office 2003 on floppy… (Yes, the floppy drives, one each 5.25” and 3.5”, still work. The hard drive is a massive 100 MB, 3600 RPM Western Digital thing which I think is still running only due to magic pixie dust.)

WolfFan Silver badge

Re: DO NOT go on the Internet with XP

Access does not work. Period.

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Re: DO NOT go on the Internet with XP

Velveeta is not cheese. It is something called ‘cheese food’. Hint: both words have nothing to do with the abomination that is Velveeta. Velveeta is the real reason why a certain Orange-u-tan is the color he is, and even he has sufficient sense to only apply it externally, and to never, ever, ingest the stuff. Velveeta is evil. Velveeta should be banned by the Geneva Convention. Even Pony Boy Putin won’t use Velveeta offensively; he will threaten to have the troops eat some if they won’t attack.

Nearly 1 in 5 academics admit close encounters of the anomalous kind

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Re: Cool

I would expect to get a picture. And some video.

There are vast numbers of mouth-breathing Fox viewers out there; this does not alter the fact that if a ‘phenomenon’ landed on the White House lawn, the entire world who are not mouth-breathing Fox viewers would know about very quickly.

And it does not alter the fact that an interstellar capable craft would be naked eye visible in orbit. Even mouth-breathing Fox viewers could see it.

Video and stills can be examined for fakes; that’s how certain ‘phenomena’ were confirmed to be fake. And there would be physical evidence; the exhaust of the motor would leave traces. Unless it’s a reactionless drive, which causes more problems with physics than FTL, but hey, maybe they can build one. Proving it will be interesting.