* Posts by John Geek

191 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Mar 2015


ChatGPT's odds of getting code questions correct are worse than a coin flip

John Geek

I e said this before and I'll undoubtedly say it again. Artificial Ignorance is based on GIGO. Garbage In, Garbage Out.... This latest round is ever slicker and shinier, but it's still a garbage generator

MOVEit body count closes in on 400 orgs, 20M+ individuals

John Geek

I remember the name Progress, a former employer had used their database server about 30-35 years ago before switching to Oracle... so I look up the company, wow, circa 2012, they divested themselves of almost everything they had to date produced, and went on an acquisitions warpath, buying at least a dozen companies, including the authors of IPswitch who had in turn acquired the authors of MoveIT.

These conglomeration companies rarely seem to integrate well, and generally figure they can just milk what they have for profit and move on to their next victim.

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

John Geek

yeah, thats the fun with traditional raid mirroring, you can't tell which instance is the 'good' one. another reason I'm a big fan of ZFS, every block on every device has a timestamp and checksum. conventional RAID assumes disks have only two states, working perfectly, or not working at all, they don't allow for anything in between.

The end of Microsoft-brand peripherals is only Surface deep

John Geek

For desktop use, I've been a fan of the long discontinued Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000 v1.0 USB wired, model 1055, and am on my last one, which says it was made in October 2005.

Texas mulls law forcing ISPs to block access to abortion websites

John Geek

lets just firewalll texas, no net in, no net out. after all, we really can't control whats on every possible webpage or server host.

What's up with IT, Doc? Rabbit hole reveals cause of outage

John Geek

Re: Don't mention squirrels!

Squirrels are just bushy tail rats.

had the tree squirrels at my place fill up the engine on my ford diesel truck with acorns, I shopvac'd out like about 2 gallons of acorns from the valley in the 7.3L powerstroke V8. I sprayed peppermint oil all over everything, thats kept them out since, but I have to renew it every month or so.

John Geek

Re: Two four you

A few years ago I parked my rarish (1 of 775 in the USA) 1993 Mercedes 300CE Cabriolet (Convertible) for the winter due to the top leaking in heavy rains, when I went to start it again in the sunny spring, I had zero electrics. popped the hood, big woodrat nest right on top of the engine, and in the battery compartment, and they had chewed through ALL the main ground wires that go everywhere off the right front spring tower ground point. I never did get that car sorted out again, sigh, it was a sweet ride when it was running. But, it was getting on in years and miles, it had over 260,000 US miles on the clock and things were starting to get tired, it was due for tires, brakes, a new cloth top, and the back seat leather was all dried out and cracking.

Microsoft swears it's not coming for your data with scan for old Office versions

John Geek

Should be fun when they find my Office 2007 (legit) on my 10 year old Win10 desktop... I hardly ever use Office, its just there for when I absolutely have to. my new XPS13 laptop runs Win11, but I mostly use that as a RDP and SSH client, and ok, light web browsing.

A moment of silence for all the drives that died in the making of this Backblaze report

John Geek

re SMART data, different vendors use it quite differently. Look at a Seagate drive, and you'll see realistic soft error stats, look at a WD drive and soft errors will be ZERO until the drive dies. this makes doing any predictive analysis via SMART statistics quite meaningless

Smart ovens do really dumb stuff to check for Wi-Fi

John Geek

the builtin GE dual oven in our house dates from the mid 60s, we bought the house 30 years ago, in the mid 90s.

our Kenmore side-by-side fridge is from the late 80s or early 90s..

When our old Maytag washer wore out a half dozen years ago, we shopped long and hard, and got the last model Speed Queen to have traditional electromechanical timer based controls, the rest of the washer is built at least as well as that Maytag, probably heavier gauge steel as even if its out of balance it hardly complains.

NASA overspent $15m on Oracle software because it was afraid an audit could cost more

John Geek

Re: Once upon a time

two entirely different concepts. a parameterized query is like, SELECT stuff FROM somettable WHERE id=$1; and the value of $1 is passed with the query as a parameter.

a stored procedure is a subprogram that runs inside the database server, usually written in a PLSQL style language, which is SQL with IF and other control structures as well as variable assignments, etc. stored procedures can also be written in Java or other languages, depending on the database server.

IBM to create 24-core Power chip so customers can exploit Oracle database license

John Geek

at my last $job, at a $bigcorp, we kept replacing Oracle instances with PostgreSQL, yet somehow our Oracle total corporate bill remained relatively flat. I'm firmly convinced they'd decided via forensic accounting that 'we' were good for $xx million/year, and would adjust our per cpu instance fees to keep up that rate. This was over a 20 year period, although it took about 10 years before the postgresql replacements started ramping up into the larger deployments. The rank and file production operations folks loved it because they didnt have to worry about licensing or server sizes, they could deploy as needed. upper executive management thought they needed service contracts on everything and were less happy, as they didn't want inhouse subject experts.

IBM sues Micro Focus, claims it copied Big Blue mainframe software

John Geek

Re: CICS is still a thing?

last time I looked at some CICS code was in college in 1973, and quickly decided I didn't want anything to do with it.

Calls for bans on Chinese CCTV makers Hikvision, Dahua expand

John Geek

I can't find any affordable cameras in the same range as the Dahua IPC-T5442T-ZE with remotely similar quality night vision.

as far as security goes, you put IoT stuff like cameras on a private VLAN without internet access, and don't let anything access it other than your NVR. problem solved.

Google said to be taking steps to keep political campaign emails out of Gmail spam bin

John Geek

ugh, please don't do this. literally 50% of the messages in my spam folder daily are from the Trump Orgs seeking money.

How to find NPM dependencies vulnerable to account hijacking

John Geek

I've come to the conclusion that the average NodeJS developer knows as much about software engineering as a kid playing with Lego knows about architecture and structural engineering.

Supercomputer lab swaps lead-acid UPS batteries for alkaline gear

John Geek

for this application, LFP (Lithium Iron Phosphate) would be a good solution, reasonable energy density, 10 year+ lifetime, can handle 1000s of deep discharge/recharge cycles, can be recharged quite fast (50 amps into a 200 AH is typical)

Mars helicopter mission (which Apache says is powered byLog4j) overcomes separate network glitch to confirm new flight record

John Geek

Re: Syslog or log4j which is better for iot

log4j is how you do that from a java app unless you want to deal with JNI native code wrappers.

John Geek

Re: Safe as long as the trolls don't have space internet access

that pretty much describes *all* of twitter. tweets are for twits.

Microsoft's UWP = Unwanted Windows Platform?

John Geek

An ever changing sea of APIs and frameworks, all eventually swirling down the drain.

BOFH: So you want to have your computer switched out for something faster? It's time to learn from the master

John Geek

Re: Old grannies

old VW had the best $@#$@ adverts. IMHO, they started to lose their way by the 90s and instead of light fun to drive cars started trying to go upscale

'It takes a hell of a mental toll' – techies who lost work due to COVID share their stories

John Geek

December 2019 was my last day at my last tech job of 20 years (department was being shut down, and our jobs were being oved to Asia), and when I figured out what all I had in my various retirement accounts, combined with my wife's, and we're both mid 60s, I decided it was a good time to retire. She was made redundant not long after. who wants to hire a 63 year old burned out software engineer, anyways....

then covid hit. about the only major change in our lifestyle was getting curbside takeout instead of going out once or twice a week. My biggest regret has been not being able to go to music festivals and local shows.

Pub landlords on notice as 'Internet of Beer' firm not only pulls pints, but can also clean the lines

John Geek

Re: No surprise there...

/But what is the actual definition of AI?/

Artificial Ignorance.

USA's efforts to stop relying on Russian-built rocket engines derailed by issues with Blue Origin's BE-4

John Geek

its a lot more than just the final assembly line (which would have to be rebuilt from scratch), there's a huge number of parts made by suppliers who are no longer prepared to make those components, the whole supply chain would have to be rebuilt from scratch.

Freenode IRC staff resign en masse, unhappy about new management

John Geek

Re: User Ratio

FWIW (about $0.02), the freenode chans I lurk on have 1000 users, 500, 280, and 100. the first three are the semi-official peer support channels of various open source projects, and the latter is a social channel for an obscure hobby. all are pretty active

Self-supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server virty users see stealth inflation

John Geek



We All B M

for I B M


I haven't bought new pants for years, why do I have to keep buying new PCs?

John Geek

I'm *OH* so glad my ivy league liberal arts parents, may they RIP, never EVER touched a computer in their life, so I was never called to do any family support such as this. My dad used a vintage Underwood full sized mechanical office typewriter, probably 1950s vintage, right up until he couldn't write anymore in his 90s.

IBM teases new AIX release – the first since 2015

John Geek

AIX is like the exact opposite of 'cloudy'

Top engineer who stole trade secrets from Google's self-driving division pardoned on Trump's last day as president

John Geek

Grifters gotta grift.

New year, new rant: Linus Torvalds rails at Intel for 'killing' the ECC industry

John Geek

Re: Sometimes....it was required...

yes, but of that 25% of total system price spent on RAM, how much cheaper were similar spec 4x512MB non-ECC rams ? if the non-ECC stuff was 12% cheaper than the ECC stuff, and the ram was 25% of the total, then the total system price of the ECC was more like 3%.

oh and the Opteron was AMD's server CPUs, marketed against the Intel Xeon's.

John Geek

Re: I don't see it that way

in fact, Intels' Celeron, Pentium, and Core I3 cpu's have ECC enabled, but only when used on a 'server' chipset, like a C2xx, not on a desktop/laptop chipset. and the only reason Core i5 and i7 have it disabled is so they can sell more expensive Xeon chips which are functionally identical.

If 4GB systems have an average of 3 single bit faults a year, then a 16GB system would have 12/year. My desktop and laptop both have 16GB and both are 5+ years old.

I built a shed once. How hard can a data centre be?

John Geek

my wife's first job out of college with her BS in Technical Journalism was at DEC in the old mills, working on internal and public documentation for VAX VMS 1.x, 2.0..

It's always DNS, especially when a sysadmin makes a hash of their semicolons

John Geek

when I first started running DNS back in the mid 90s, I used a perl(?) script that converted 'hosts' format files to bind zone files... this worked OK for awhile til things got more complicated. the handy thing was it automatically updated the in-addr.arpa RDNS zones too.

AI in the enterprise: AI may as well stand for automatic idiot – but that doesn't mean all machine learning is bad

John Geek

I've always considered AI an abbreviation for Artificial Ignorance.

If you own one of these 45 Netgear devices, replace it: Kit maker won't patch vulnerable gear despite live proof-of-concept code

John Geek

Re: Time to check how many on the list support DD/Open-WRT?

um, my WNDR3700v3 is Broadcom based, and has OpenWrt support. I know this because I just got it working in OpenWrt...

John Geek

and a week ago I'd just dug up my old WNDR3700v3 to use as an extra WAP to provide coverage for the north end of my rather long and linear house...

.... so as of a couple hours ago, its running OpenWrt 19.07.3

Speaking of annoying Netgear features, the same 'model' WNDR3700 could have any of 3 or 4 different chipsets depending on the version. v1, v2 were Atheros, V3 is Broadcom, V4 is a different Atheros, and V5 is a MediaTek. *yuck*.

Better get Grandpa off Windows 7 because zero-day bug in Zoom allows remote code execution on vintage OS

John Geek

I have moved several folks onto win10 who initially had to be dragged kicking and screaming from win7...

1) I delete *ALL* the Microsoft 'apps' crud thats pinned to the start menu, and pin their favorite stuff there instead

2) I disable Cortana via a regedit hack

3) I setup Chrome (or Firefox, whihcever is their preferred browser) as the default, I also install MPC-HD as the default media player

3) I set them up with a local account (which yes, MS is hiding deeper each time)

and blam, in about 5 minutes they are perfectly happy, in a day they are amazed at how much faster it is. in a week they comment that it hasn't crashed once.

After huffing and puffing for years, US senators unveil law to blow the encryption house down with police backdoors

John Geek

When strong crypto is outlawed, only outlaws will use strong crypto ?

where have I heard this refrain before ??

DevOps to DevOops: Docker Hub proves so secure that 430 Docker images out of 2,500 have no vulnerabilities

John Geek

Re: Age old problem.

I hang out on a database server forum. VAST majority of the Docker users who show up with problems related to the database server are COMPLETELY clueless about systems administration, networking, software in general, and have built their world by stuffing other peoples black boxes (eg, docker containers) together, without ANY idea how any of it works. its all magic to them. devops cargocult style.

now, sure, there's some who use docker as a deployment tool, and these guys generally build their OWN containers from scratch, and know what they are doing, but they are way outnumbered by the clueless.

Microsoft disbands three-ring Windows Insider circus and replaces it with 'channels'

John Geek

I've been trying to unsubscribe to Insider emails for a couple years now, but their unsubscribe links want me to authjenticate with a Microsoft Account, which I refuse to register for. I used to beta test their stuff eons ago, like Windows XP vintage, and quit after taht, but have stayed on their $#@$@@ email lists since.

hopefully, they'll start over with registrations for this new 'channels' program. ya right.

Microsoft drops a little surprise thank-you gift for sitting through Build: The source for GW-BASIC

John Geek

CP/M ?!?

I opened a random ASM file from the github and OMG, the comments were referring to CP/M command line parsing. I was working for Digital Research on CP/M internals when the IBM PC came out, and I vaguely remember hearing that Microsoft took their 8 bit 8080/8085/Z80 BASICA for CP/M and ran it through an automatic 8080->8086 code translater to bootstrap GWBasic. Obviously they did lots of work to it after the auto translater, splitting code and data segments, and so forth (the 8080 didn't have segments at all).

FCC boss pleads with Congress: Please stop me from auctioning off this spectrum for billions of dollars

John Geek

Re: So it's actually more of the same

I suspect those broadcast channels would be grandfathered in, such that any services in a region are on unused UHF channels.

Former US Homeland Security Inspector General accused of stealing govt code and trying to resell it to... the US govt

John Geek

Re: When force is gone, there's always Mom. Hi Mom!

+1 for Laurie Andersen.

Galileo got it wrong – official: Jupiter actually wet, not super-dry: 'No one would have guessed that water might be so variable across the planet'

John Geek

Re: Dodgy analogy

Or California. serious desert to high sierra within a hundred miles....

Talk about high tech: Tens of thousands of Cali marijuana convictions to go up in smoke, thanks to algorithms

John Geek

Re: The hippies have token over

hippies never grow up!

I know this cuz I are one.

So you locked your backups away for years, huh? Allow me to introduce my colleagues, Brute, Force and Ignorance

John Geek

Re: Seen in the wild

high school, circa 1970, 'earth sciences'' teacher drove this ratty mid 60s Jeep Wagoneer in which we did many field trips. It frequently wouldn't start when hot, he'd pull the rubber mat up near the gas pedal, there was a strategic 1" hole in the floor, through which he'd bang the starter a couple times with the crowbar kept under the seat, vrooom, chugchugchug...

Why so glum, VMware? It's Friday. Oh, is it this $235m patent infringement invoice from Densify? Too bad, so sad

John Geek

Re: US Patent 8,209,687 & 9,654,367

I glazed over trying to read the patent, but it seems to be describing a rather basic P2V, something vmware had 15+ years ago, which surely predates this patent ?

Sorry to be blunt about this... Open AWS S3 storage bucket just made 30,000 potheads' privacy go up in smoke

John Geek

Re: At this stage of the game, one has to ask ...

.... Yes....

Bruce Perens quits Open Source Initiative amid row over new data-sharing crypto license: 'We've gone the wrong way with licensing'

John Geek

LGPL, AGPL, Apache, and BSD/MIT

I like the PostgreSQL version of the BSD style license. and if there is no PARTY1 (The University of California in the PG license), its even simpler.

Portions Copyright © 1996-2020, $PARTY2

Portions Copyright © 1994, $PARTY1

Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its documentation for any purpose, without fee, and without a written agreement is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph and the following two paragraphs appear in all copies.



We strained our eyes with Lenovo's monster monitor: 43.4 inches for price of five 24" screens

John Geek

Costco (US big box membership retailer) had Samsung 32" 3840x2160 monitor on sale for $319 this weekend. Bought one for my wife, its gorgeous.

has HDMI 2.0 and DP 1.4(?) inputs. on her Latitude w/ the usb c expander box, I had to use the DP port to get 60Hz, the HDMI port would only do 30Hz, awwwww. I had the DP cable already, so all is good.

a bigger screen would have to be farther away to minimize neck strain looking back and forth, so zilch for gain.