* Posts by stungebag

54 posts • joined 28 Jan 2015


Ever found yourself praying to whatever deity runs Microsoft Teams? You're not alone


Re: Hospital Slang

There have been whole books on it.

Ones that stick in the mind are PAFO (pissed and fell over) and NFN (normal for Norfolk).

Why cloud costs get out of control: Too much lift and shift, and pricing that is 'screwy and broken'


The problem isn't the Cloud, but poor monitoring

The Cloud is just like any other business procurement. The purchasing manager has a budget. Once that's spent there is no more unless said manager goes crawling to the grown-ups asking for more pocket money. Managers should keep within their budgets.

I understand that some Cloud providers require a credit card or other grab-my-cash authority but they also provide tools that allow you to monitor spending very carefully. The culprit here is poor monitoring of Cloud resource consumption. I'd happily bet that most Cloud overspends aren't down to poor estimation of workloads but are due to resources that were spun up for a test or migration and never shut down, or multiple versions of test/backup data that is no longer required.

It's much, much easier with the Cloud to make such mistakes but they are due to carelessness. A glance at my personal Dogital Ocean account would prove that. But it's still down, largely, to poor management of the resources, not the technology nor the billing and business models of the providers.

As Amazon pulls union-buster job ads, workers describe a 'Mad Max' atmosphere – unsafe, bullying, abusive


Land of the Giants

A load of this stuff was covered in a podcast called Land of the Giants, the entire first series of which was about Amazon. It's very interesting listening (and I suspect the author of this article has heard it). It can be found on Spotify and other podcast platforms.


I've replied elsewhere that my former employer did just that.


Re: "Self-Criticism and Ruthless Exposure of Their Own Shortcomings" --- V. I. Lenin Mandated

When I worked for Unisys managers were instructed to rate their employees' annual appraisals in such a way that the rakings formed a bell curve. So some people had to be at the bottom, and vulnerable, and very few were at the top, so eligible for a pay rise.

Their ability to immediately fire people was limited by UK emplyment law and also, I think, by an awareness of many managers, perhaps the older ones, that the process sucks.

Trucking hell: Kid leaves dad in monster debt after buying oversized vehicle on eBay


But it was purchased by the father according to the eBay and PayPal credentials used. And how do we know this isn't just buyer's remorse?

CenturyLink caught trying to steal customers despite promising court it wouldn’t, promises it won't do it again


Re: So they violated an agreement

No fine, just ordered to pay costs. The two year extension may be painful, though.

It's been five years since Windows 10 hit: So... how's that working out for you all?


Re: Win10 is Not Fit For Purpose.

People keep banging on about being served adverts by Windows 10. How come I've never seen one, ever? Where are these adverts?

The only time I see adverts from MS is when I run a free version of their games. Nothing in the OS, nothing in M365.

See you after the commercial breakdown: Cert expiry error message more entertaining than the usual advert tripe


Re: Red triangle programs

I think it was a tank, not a car, I think. And it was being driven towards an unclothed woman lying on the floor.

Or so I'm told.

Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds


It normally the Caps lock

I learned when working in schools that if a headteacher tells you they can't log on you need to turn off the caps lock. Time to fix: about a second.

Well, a bit longer as you then need to reassure that that we all do it from time to time, of course you're not stupid and so on.

Apple gives Boot Camp the boot, banishes native Windows support from Arm-compatible Macs


But why not just virtualise, if you need to run Windows on a Mac? Yes, you need the memory, but modern Macs have enough of that to host a Win10 session if required.

Faxing hell: The cops say they would very much like us to stop calling them all the time


Re: Fax will never die!

Until I retired a couple of years ago the computer company RM required a fax to place an order.

PC printer problems and enraged execs: When the answer to 'Hand over that floppy disk' is 'No'


Re: Ah IT 'managers'

IT Managers are no different from any other type of person. Most are doing a reasonable job, some are stars and a few are idiots.

I worked for one in the last category for a while. As a very junior technician (despite being in my 50s; I was contemplating a second career) I was asked to set up a network share for a user. I promptly did so.

"You did that WRONG", said matey. "You mapped it as N: It should be D: If you don't believe me go check the server".

Yes, he was American, and didn't even know how Windows shares worked. Turns out he'd blagged a Network Director title on the strength of a bit of Unix admin on Wall Street in the 70s. And this was well into the 21st Century.

Any PC needing a rebuild had it done entirely manually. Insert Windows XP CD, install, apply SPs, install Office and so on. A few programs were then installed, but the majority ran from a network share.

He didn't know about virtualisation, so by the time I left we had 11 decent servers to run a fairly small school. In fact he didn't understand how any contemporary servers worked at all, and neither did anyone else on site apart from me, and my experience was mostly of RM CC3. An external contractor did anything major and some Micky Mouse set of bought-in scripts did simple things like provision a new user.

When I left, a year later, I'd set up WSUS so that updates were installed automatically, installed FOG to image workstations and virtualised a few servers as a proof of concept.

All that I'd done was promptly removed after I left. Seemingly unrelated problems had been encountered that hadn't happened before my changes, so must, therefore, be due to them.

Actually he wasn't a bad guy, but had clearly bitten off much more than he could chew and was petrified someone would find out.

UK.gov announces review – not proper inquiry – into Fujitsu and Post Office's Horizon IT scandal


Dodged a bullet

Some years ago I remember a Post Office counter being installed in the office that I worked in. It was a dummy - we were bidding for the Post Office Counters business at the time, and we must have spent millions on the bid.

We lost. Just as well, perhaps. But then our solution may have actually been able to count.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes: UK man gets 3 years for torching 4G phone mast over 5G fears


Re: why vital?

My wired landline is an old ex-BT handset I bought on eBay. It says my number is Bridge of Cally 250.

Apparently Bridge of Cally is nearly 450 miles away.

OPPO's Reno 2, aka 'Baby Shark', joins the deepening pool of high-spec midranger mobes



"The OPPO Reno 2 comes with a 6.5-inch AMOLED display, with a 87.5 per cent screen-to-body ratio. This would be higher, if not for the fact that the phone has some surprisingly chunky bezels."

What could affect the screen-to-body ratio apart from the bezels?

Blood, snot and fear: Why the travelling lone tech reporter should always knock twice


Re: Interesting problem

Perhaps it's Hilbert's Hotel and a coach containing an infinite number of new guests was being checked in by another clerk.

Samsung on fridge cert error: Someone tried to view 'unsavoury content' in middle of John Lewis


Re: Samwrong

Web filters such as those used in schools (and shops?) use MITM tactics; they unencrypt https, ensure the content isn't verboten then reencrypt it, using their own cert. The clients need the corresponding cert installed via, for instance, group policy.

Help! I bought a domain and ended up with a stranger's PayPal! And I can't give it back


Re: As I've said before

I'm getting a strong sense of deja vu here, such discussions were common just after the last London area number changes.

Here is a brief history of London number changes. This is from memory, so details may be out.

When I was very young London phone numbers were of the form Exchange Name xxxx. For instance Bowes Park 9283, or Whitehall 1212. Within the exchange you could just dial the last four digits (I think).

The along came Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD - no, not that sort). London now had all-figure numbering so the old exchange names were replaced with three letter codes. These were often, but not always, the numbers on the dial corresponding to the first three letters of the old exchange name. So ABBey becamse 222 and ENField became 363, but Bowes Park did not fit the pattern and became 888. London now acquired an STD code, 01, that was needed to call it from anywhere outside.

You now needed to dial all seven local digits (but not the 01) to make an call wholly within the 01 area.

The number of lines grew and a temporary solution was needed to avoid running out of numbers, so the London area was split into inner Londion (071) and outer London (081). Within each of these you still only needed to dial the last seven digits, so to call 081 363 3629 from 081 888 9223 you'd omit the 081 (and it was commonly believed that not to do so would cost more). But calling from, say outer London to inner London you had to use all 11 digits: to call London Transport from, say, Croydon you needed to dial 0171 222 1234.

Along came PhoneDay. 071 became 0171, 081 became 0181 but nothing else changed so far as London was concerned.

Later still there was another rejig. London was reunified into a new area code, 020. Those who had been in 0171 had a 7 prefixed onto their numbers, and those with 0181 had an 8. But that 7 and 8 formed part of the locally-significant number. The area code was, and remains, 020.

It was made clear (to those who listened) at the time that BT no longer considered there to be a geographical distinction between 020 7 and 020 8, the distinction was purely historic, and they would introduce new London numbers that did not start with 7 or 8 (e.g. 3).

Once again you could call any London number using just the local part, i.e. the final 8 digits, usually beginning with 7 or 8. But the message never really got home. The split had got people used to dialling the full national number, and the rise of mobiles, which always require the full number, means that local dialling is almost extinct.

Historically when writing London numbers down the first space was always after the area (STD) code, so numbers went from 01 222 1234 to 071 222 1234 to 0171 222 1234 until we reach 020 7222 1234.

The second space was after the old local 'exchange' part, which has become obsolete but the gap aids readability and memorability.

It's only in the last few years that the insidious 0207 etc. has reared its ill-informed head.


Re: As I've said before

Then, technically, every London phone number you've seen has been wrong. Try picking up a landline phone in London and dialling the local part of the number: i.e. after the first space. You'll soon find that dialling the bit after 020 works, if you also drop the 3/7/8 it doesn't work.

But who cares? How many calls are dialled as a local number these days?

Hey, I wrote this neat little program for you guys called the IMAC User Notification Tool


Burroughs had a 4GL called LINC. The earlier versions were text-based, with screen locations having to be described by row and column. So a colleague decided to speed things up by writing a screen-painting program that automatically created the magic words to generate the right screen layout.

He sold this to several customers, with the company's blessing. Nobody commented on the name: Direct Input of Linc Definition Online, even though the initials were splashed three inches high at startup.

Infosec bloke claims: Pornhub owner shafted me after I exposed gaping holes in its cartoon smut platform


Re: It "takes the security of its users very seriously."

It "takes the security of its users very seriously." but it doesn't claim "security is our top priority", so they should be cut a little slack, I suppose.

Town admits 'a poor decision was made' after baseball field set on fire to 'dry' it more quickly


Re: For what it's worth

In our school chemistry lab we'd use an oven to dry glassware. That stopped after someone tried to dry a flask that was wet with ether. There was a loud bang, a damaged oven and the flask, although dry, was no longer integral.

Techies take turns at shut-down top trumps


Re: did anyone ever use these buttons the way they were intended to?

Tape reel hockey was too boistrous for us. We played Write Protect Ring Quoits.

Insane homeowners association tries to fine resident for dick-shaped outline car left in snow


Re: What's wrong with these people?

"Not going to argue about the other two though."

I assume you know nothing about a Parish Council, then?

In our village we run the recreation ground, provide a few streetlights where the County won't, provide allotments and that's about it. We have very lttle power, but we do get to comment on things like planning applications, despite routinely being ignored by the planning authority.

The article is about the actions of self-appointed guardians. You've set up a body designed to be just that, yet criticise those who just try to help their community run slightly better?

Crypto exchange in court: It owes $190m to netizens after founder 'dies without telling anyone vault passwords'


Re: I'm (not entirely) surprised..

My money's still on scam, but it's far from impossible that a CEO with an inflated sense of his importance and a disbelief in his own mortality simply wouldn't share, and no-one was able to talk sense into him.

You know when an uppity staff member is told that nobody's indispensable? Maybe that's not always true.

Users fail to squeak through basic computer skills test. Well, it was the '90s


Re: Not sure...

The Greene King one isn't.

Want to spin up Ubuntu VMs from Windows 10's command line, eh? We'll need to see a Multipass


Re: Webservers?

I've got several LAMP VMs on an external SSD that I do web development on in Hyper-V. No special distros or integration needed. I use FTP to get stuff in and out and the Linux console where necessary. A much cleaner solution than running the servers directly on your Windows box.

Hyper-V makes it very easy to open several simultaneous consoles and, with snapshots, you can work on several parallel projects on the same VM.

I find Hyper-V works well, but there's always Dropbox if you prefer.


Re: I love WSL, since it made scripting on Windows usable after 30 years :)

This is clearly some new meaning of the word 'elegant'.

It walks, it talks, it falls over a bit. Windows 10 is three years old


Re: "the Windows 7 hold-outs should finally feel able to make the upgrade"

I see Pavlov's let his Linux-using dogs out again.

Are your IoT gizmos, music boxes, smart home kit vulnerable to DNS rebinding attacks? Here's how to check


Where's my Synology?

The scane never completed when I tried it in Firefox, but my NAS went offline. A restart later and it still isn't back. Now to try a network reset. I'm not happy.

Half of all Windows 10 users thought: BSOD it, let's get the latest build


Nothing to see here...

My Surface upgraded just fine. My wife's crappy old ACER failed. It's failed to get any major updates for months due to crappy old Acer display drivers.

So I thought I'd try one more time before converting the Acer to a boat anchor. I removed AVG Business Security and told the update to go ahead. All went in just fine. Odd that removing the AV worked for her, but was never a problem in the first place for me.

The glorious uncertainty: Backup world is having a GDPR moment


Not a problem

I don't understand the problem. If a person's data is deleted then subsequent backups will not contain it. If it's ever necessary to restore from a backup taken prior to the deletion then later transactions, including the deletion, will be reapplied. Yes. it's theoretically possible to restore the backup and then do something nefarious, but if you're that sort of organisation you won't care about complying with GDPR in the first place.

This is all being overthought, even though the Information Commisioner has repeatedly made it clear that enforcement will be appropriate to the organisation and circumstances and that those making an honest effort have nothing to fear.

Maybe - just a thought - there are those trying to stir up GDPR FUD for financial gain. Oh, surely not?

Sysadmin crashed computer recording data from active space probe


It didn't always end up flapping

On earlier tape units the reels had a leader spliced onto the end that threaded through a short piece of tape attached to the takeup spool. So a resounding crack rather than a flapping noise if the BOT marker was missed.

Would you believe it? The Museum of Failure contains quite a few pieces of technology



My brother-in-law bought one. Nobody can work out why. His excuse was something to do with Manchester United.

Sometimes marketing people just can't disabuse theselves of the notion that just because you have the technology to do something, people will inevitably pay lots of money to buy it. Look at IoT.

Hertfordshire primary school girls prepare for World Robotics Champs


Re: Very worthwhile for all concerned

I wasn't involved in the picking, but we had more than one team and I think the girls self-selected.


Very worthwhile for all concerned

Until recently I worked for a North London secondary that has twice sent all-girls teams to the world championships. They got plenty of publicity, including a couple of visits to Woman's hour. Participating in this helps with so many skills other than the purely technical, and it's great to see girls getting involved.

Squirrel sinks teeth into SAN cabling, drives Netadmin nuts



@CrazyOldCatMan Don't worry. Crap perry normally gives the game away nowadays by claiming to be 'pear cider'.

'Pavement power' - The bad idea that never seems to die


Re: They're looking at the wrong limb

This is Vegas. Just harvest some of the muscle-power used for pulling slot-machine handles.

Oh joy. You can now buy a gold plated quadcopter drone

Thumb Down


Tight bastards.

BART barfs, racers crash, and other classic BSODs



"They are IP capable too, although this particular sign has it disabled. Once saw similar signs on the Vale of Glamorgan line in South Wales all proudly displaying their addresses. No idea how they do backhaul though (GSM?)."

Looks like it. Many displays in the NE of England were complaining about a lack of GPRS a couple of Saturdays ago.

Man killed in gruesome Tesla autopilot crash was saved by his car's software weeks earlier


Re: No bars?

Trucks in the EU have flat fronts because of EU length limits: trucks couldn't carry the full load if they had a bulbous nose. It adds to the danger for truck drivers, which is why there's talk of allowing longer trucks this side of the pond.

UK digi strategy on ice post Brexit results - sources


Re: Register's list of Brexit Impacts

The list of impacts can be phrased fairly succinctly:

1. Everything

Every agreement we have in place with the EU, and every agreement the EU has with anyone else that we're a party to as a consequence of our EU membership, will need to be rejigged.

Several years and several billions of pounds later we may manage to get back to where we started.

Hospital servers in crosshairs of new ransomware strain


Pascal Monett said "Because you think it's some obscure version of the Amiga OS ?

Come on, we all know what platform it gets in on.

And if you really have a doubt, the article specifically mentions Active Directory. I don't think they have that on Linux servers."

The article says it targets JBoss application servers using stolen credentials. The mention of Active Directory was in the context of there also being reports of attackers running csvde, which is a simple command-line tool on Windows that exports the AD. You already need to have got in to use csvde, and it won't tell you any passwords.

Here's a great idea: Let's make a gun that looks like a mobile phone


Re: Just a few facts

"The only thing worse than no security at all is a false sense of security"

You got that bit right.


Re: need to?

'They're referred to as "equalizers" for a reason'

Yes, it's called marketing.

Coding is more important than Shakespeare, says VC living in self-contained universe


Re: Shakespeare? who is he anyway?

Have an upvote to counter the person who inexplicably downvoted you.

Send tortuous stand-up ‘nine-thirty’ meetings back to the dark ages


Friday afternoon

I once worked for a manager who was misguided enough to hold the weekly progress meeting at 2.30 on a Friday. I think it was an attempt to get us back from the pub at a sensible hour. Unfortunately the route from pub to office passed Uxbridge Station. There was a Metropolitan Line train that always seemed to pull out of the station at 2.30 on the dot. With me sitting in the first car.

Migraine in the mainframe: Unisys reports more losses


Re: When I was a lad

@sceptic tank

I think I know where you went wrong. COBOL on any system is a pain. And if you were using Cande on its own without Editor then you're very old, a glutton for punishment - or you worked for a very tight-fisted shop.

Remotespo's a red herring as it provides a remote console environment.

I'd very happily go back to writing the excellent Burroughs Algol on a Clearpath using Editor right now.

Terror in the Chernobyl dead zone: Life - of a wild kind - burgeons


This isn't news

There was an article saying essentially the same thing in a popular science magazine several years ago. The tone of the article was of 'who'd have thought it'. I don't find it at all surprising that when humans pull out of area other species thrive, even in an environment that was been damaged. But the study tells us only about populations. We have no idea how many animals died, and continue to die. This stuff can't really be tested on real people so we're wise to be very wary of large doses of radiation, aren't we?



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