* Posts by Knewbie

47 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Apr 2015

To have one floppy failure is unlucky. To have 20 implies evil magic or a very silly user


I had to deal with the next generation upgrade

Lo and behold, I was the PFY...

And the shiny new tech at the time was the IBM PS/2 (this story is lost in the veil of times, reminiscences from another millenium)

Nevertheless, the IT Director secretary was the first one to get one on our floor, and I was called because she couldn't use the floppy.

Like, it was impossible to insert a new one.

So I get there (with pliers, not my first rodeo) and see to the side a box of 5"1/4.

She was in the process of transferring her files to the new system. And that's good.

She was using the 5"1/4 floppy and put them into the 3"1/2 BY FOLDING THE DISKS IN 4 AND CRAMMING THEM IN THE READER.

Also she complained that, for some reason, it didn't seem to work....

And this is how I first learned to explain PEBKAC to a very understanding IT Manager and his (close to retirement) secretary...

Are you sure you've got a floppy disk stuck in the drive? Or is it 100 lodged in the chassis?


Re: One, OK, hundred, I have my doubts

I was once called because the floppy wouldn't come out. This was (sic) at the time IBM PS2 were rolled out to users.

That's also when the 3"1/2 floppies came out as standard on the desktops.

When we got there we found out that the person didn't make the move to the new technology on time, didn't transfer his floppies to new ones, and we also found out that if you fold a 5" floppy in 4 it can be inserted in a 3" floppy slot...

Official intervention was penned as PEBKAC, which subsequently became an official choice in our ticketing system.

IBM so very, very sorry after jobs page casually asks hopefuls: Are you white, black... or yellow?


Re: sorry or not

Blue is a very difficult colour to properly skin match...

Worried about Brexit food shortages? North Korean haute couture has just the thing


Re: Ahh...

Morocco. Tunisia. Anything on the Atlantic coast (that thing just under the Manche, but closer than the US)

China examines antitrust probe thrust into Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron: Claims to see 'massive evidence'


Re: Almost comical or maybe ironic.

(In reaction to USA) who's been stealing IP for a long time and undercutting everyone's prices.

USA who pirated massive amounts of products. Now they're upset over someone doing (allegedly) engaging in unfair trade practices. Color me shocked.

=>(History on how the US kickstarted a massive state of the art manufacture capacity by ignoring EU patents at the time is a very refreshing reading for any upset IP afficionado)

Trump to world: Forget moving to America to do a startup


Land Of The Free (TM)

there, corrected this for you...

Amazon touts Echo voice-recog tech to world's gizmo makers


Re: no children allowed ...

cannot be legally deemed responsible for a purchase.

but once you're 13 you can be considered as acceptable as an adult inmate in Murican's prisons, so ordering a gross of condoms (12*12) is ok...

Confirmed: TSA bans gear bigger than phones from airplane cabins


On a side note...

Whenever I (used to) travel to the US and ended up with the infamous "SSSS" tag on my boarding pass (Specialy Selected for Security Search) I used it to cut the loooong waiting lines and directly presented myself at the head of the queue...

And the TSA always felt obligated to search me and my belongings on the spot...

Not a "LifeHacker" level tip but it saved me quite a lot of waiting time ;)

If any idiot can do it, we're heading in the right direction


Re: If any idiot can do it..

"if you hire cheaper and dumber just one more time, I promise you my fail-safes won't suffice."

Faithfully yours,

The pre-sales team.

Hypersonic cruise missile scores US$175m DARPA cash


Re: as a rocket system is much cheaper!

Mach 5 impact of even a peanut would be enough to cause impressive damage. So If the rocket is about 500kg with a heavily reinforced nose, you might even do without a warhead...


"The system described in the 2003 United States Air Force report[citation needed] was that of 20-foot-long (6.1 m), 1-foot-diameter (0.30 m) tungsten rods, that are satellite controlled, and have global strike capability, with impact speeds of Mach 10"


Eric Raymond revisits his biggest mistake, updates 'Pilot' language after 20 years


there's a saying in french :

that goes " Je ne vais pas attendre 107 ans" (" I'm not going to wait 107 years")

Which is the time Paris' Notre Dame cathedral took to be built ^^

OneLogin breached, hacker finds cleartext credential notepads


Re: And that's why...

nah, following the mandatory security course the admins had to call HR and get the children names and their date of birth...

EU verdict: Apple received €13bn in illegal tax benefits from Ireland


Re: Particularly interesting...

that when you have an issue with the TaxMan, they have been known to seize your properties until you get to an agreement.

I repeat : seize the property of the company that possesses ALL OF APPLE's IP RIGHTS...

Forgot what number we were at, but the next point should be "Profit"...(or thermonuclear war, depending ^^)

Think you’re a trailblazer in tech? Prove it


Trailblazer, hmmm

I do have a serie of flaming, burning and fuming IT projects behind me, does that mean I qualify automatically ?

Mine is the one with the cattleprod in the pocket ;)

Server vendor has special help desk for lying, incompetent sysadmins


After delivering some servers..

the hardware delivery boy pressed the "Fire Suppression Gas Release, only use in case of emergency" switch while racing on the trolley with his friend and taking support on the wall for an extra speed boost.

The DS8000 that was located just under one of the hoses suddenly lost 80%+ of its disks...

Also, we got it on the security camera...

Fly to Africa. Survive helicopter death flight to oil rig. Do no work for three weeks. Repeat


So it was HIM !

Sometimes, last century, when was younger and needed a summer job, I became that poor sod that loads the luggages.

So I definetly hate, despise and/or mock the people that use a passenger plane with :

Fridges (full, of course)

Gas stoves (the one with the oven at the bottom)

Empty diving air bottles

1970s Samsonites (plastic handles of doom...rips your hands or rips itself apart...)

Crates... (guys... We are NOT equipped with crate moving hardware)

Anyone putting 50kg in one bag (that extra heavy sticker they put on it is just to make us despise you in advance of moving the thing)

My two favorites in a looong summer :

Guitar in a soft cover. Life expectancy: not until arrival

The pole vaulting team poles...fits just right in a 737 hold. Took us 2 hours to remove them...

Bonus : the poor sod that took a nap in the hold while waiting for the luggage cart, was missed by the guy closing the door and disappeared for the day before being flown back and fired the next day ^^

Dell finds liquid cooling tech on eBay, now wants you to buy it


had the experience when one of "my" customers...

decided to "Go Green in a BIG way"

The rack was HP I think, not sure.

Fully water cooled, "plug and pray" piping to connect to the cold water, and so on.

1 / condensation is a bitch.

2 / hard water... ever passed a kidney stone ? ever passed a CPU stone ??

3 / that little 5-7 cents O-ring that was selected because it was the cheaper one for the specs ? yeah, well, did you see in the doc that you had to change them quite often ? also the bursar forgot to buy the GREASE that should be put on it.

4 / when the 3rd rack passed away, we put an ROI sheet on the manager desk explaining him how much it would cost to put all racks in a cold aisle vs buying all the racks server and storage again.

5 / my esteemed colleague (and datacenter official graybeard) asked for a training as a plumber instead of the proposed cisco cert, explaining that all together he had more water related problems than network related issues.

6 / Green It project was deemed 'too much in advance' and they bought carbon bonds instead...

IBM warns of 'bug poachers' who exploit holes, steal info, demand big bucks


Is this ... Reverse Consulting ?

Like finding something first and then offering pricing for the vulnerability report and recommendations ?

"Dear Hacker,

We at Deloitte are deeply concerned by this modus operandi. Could you uphold best practices and charge BEFORE the consultation ?


your local IT Consulting Partner"

Chilling evidence emerges of Kilocat weapon


In other news...

An El'Reg author was found half dead while trying to smuggle 100 pounds worth of "catnip" out of his office conveniently situated near St Mary's cats hospital.

The police is unsure if this was an attempted terror attack but declared it would weed out potential suspects

Aussies' distinctive Strine down to drunk forefathers


I call shenanigans

and would like to propose the theory that even before accusing the divine tipple, the same sounds could have been pronounced by... a grandfather teaching you English with three to four missing front teeth.

Go ask your Gran'Ma to remove her teeth and try it yourself....

Yahoo! kills! search! APIs!, games! and! Astrology! site!


Nooooooo !

Not the astrology ! how will I be able to prepare to go out and fight the world everymorning without my personalized chart ? who will tell me that today is the day I get rich and meet a nice woman ? or that I should not bow to pressure and have a walk ?

It mean^s... I'll have to call mom again ...^^

'Microsoft Office has been the bane of my life, while simultaneously keeping me employed'


Excel 97 bugs...

I have one with my name on it (as the guy that reported it...^^)

Intern, had to migrate a bunch (1500+) excel files (and their macros...) to consolidate on another excel.

I decided to do take the easy way and learned my two bits of VBA, and basically mass cut and past every single cell concerned. Work once, test twice, fiddle with Netscape on the job while the macro is running... good plan.

Alas, cut and paste do not appreciate to have a ";" in a cell.

As in copies the first part, then stops and pastes everything before the ";"

Cue MS Tech support : "yes, it is a bug. will be solved in the next version" ARRRGH

Solution : one macro to replace ";" as "ß" | launch original macro | replace all "ß" by ";"

lazyness, full internet acces, and the first time I ever said "sorry, macros are running, I cannot do what you need' aka:compile time ^^

Google splats more bad Android security bugs with patches your mobe will probably never see


Sorry, that's bollocks...

So I got a Samsung.

a S5, precisely a SM-G906S, flagship edition, korean release only, top of the cream S5s ever released.

And I have Android 5.1. The 2 latest updates have been updates to 5.1. last one mid february.

I have NOT been able to find a changelog. Or even details on what has been patched.

I DO have a changelog number, but even a less than casual google search has been unable to give me any details on WHAT exactly was patched.

So...a comment about "still not as bad as.." is about as usefull as a comment on "Me, I see loads of devices, and have NEVER come across a single issue"... notably because YOU possibly don't really know what's happening and what's hot on the scene. mostly because there is a 99.9% chance that you are a luser like the rest of us.

On a positive note, you have my model number, and have been informed that I use the latest publicly available firmware. Can you tell me if I am at risk from the CVE's ? no ? me neither...

Google risks everything if it doesn’t grab Android round the throat


what you really need ...

Is a Dumb phone with the following capacities :

Long battery (think :Nokia)

3/4g (think hotspot)

Wifi or Bluetooth to bridge to your tablet, no idea about the bandwidth but Bluetooth is less power hungry i think ?

And the capacity to take or give phone calls in addition to being a bridge to your cheaper than a smartphone tablet

That's my plan to stop fidgeting on a too small phone, or a too expensive phablet (6s plus...), and not having a 7" phone ...

So if any of you know of such a Dumb phone/bridge combo... ^^

Borked ESET antivirus update says entire web is too risky to browse


FW rules

I remember that "a friend of mine" tried to configure his own linux firewall back in the days.

His source was a pretty well made How-to on the net, but because he was a bit of a freak he decided to commit and test every line in the FW as he got going. Good practices, and all that stuff.

and of course, the first line in a FW rule is DENY ALL ^^

Hijack wireless mice, keyboards, with $15 of kit and 15 lines of code


also nothing new from here

I remember the trick of putting the (large at the time) logitech usb receiver on any electric line and getting the keypresses of anyone in the same building (circa 2001) using the same tech...

ioSafe releases x86 server for the 'we don't have a geek with a screwdriver' crowd



does it blend ?

(alternative was "does it run Linux", but as an ex ./ reader I of course RTFA first ^^)

Intel, Warner lock horns with hardware biz over HDCP crypto-busters


I broke your licence agreement ?

I never subscribed, so...

Hillary Clinton says for crypto 'maybe the back door is the wrong door'



I enjoyed the pure clarity of :

"What do you mean, wrong door ?"

And translating her message on collaboration as :

"Don't worry darling, it won't hurt..."

Mine is the coat with the industrial/federal strength lube in the pocket.

How to get the fun stuff back in your data centre


From the other side of the fence...

It is also very nice, as a former bit&byte, home cluster builder (pentium I central control node, full dvd rip in 20 hours with 4 nodes...about as powerfull as your iphone 6S...) Geek, certified for clusters since Compaq was the one doing the nice servers, and turned consultant cum auditor, to go into the DC after the interviews with the playfully IT staff, put a hand on the back of "that" server and say :

"So, according to our interviews, even if I remove this specific power and stop the system it will still be all good"

And look them in the eyes.

N.B. I usually just unplug the Ethernet

N.B.2. Hint : I usually go for the server hosting the quorum disk ^^

So, what's happening with LOHAN? Sweet FAA, that's what


Re: UAV Madness

Maybe that's thé out... Declare it as an experimental vertical launch rocket powered drone...



I seem to remember you rejected my contibution for the winning spot during the last naming competition...

For just a ElReg Mug and a 2XL Tshirt discreetly sent to my postal adress, I might (...might !!!) allow you to reconsider and retroactively name your next mission after this nice, genuinely descriptive acronym ^^

(I am also agreeable to any BOFH paraphernalia in recognition of your lack of insight in not selecting my contribution the first time... ;p )

WATERPROOF iPhone 6Ss? Old news. Check out the OTHER 7 SECRET FEATURES


Making calls

Making Calls : Unsassuming function that is used maybe 1% of the time...

Otherwise I have the following :

Hand Warmer - launch a nice pretty intensive app and chug the phone in your pocket

Scoliosis Inducer : just look at the bent heads around you..

Germs Cultivation : you use your phone in the toilets ? I hope you wiped it, too...

Entropy Generator : the document you asked me for ? I received this Puppy video, look at how nice it is...

Magic Money Creator : when the guy with no office coffee/tea money gets an iphone, and you wonder..

Mine is the one with a grand burning a hole in the pocket, off to the Apple Store ^^

BAN the ROBOT WHORES, says robot whore expert: 'These AREN'T BARBIES'


The remaining 20 per cent ...made up of children and transgendered men.

The remaining 20 per cent she suggested were made up of children and transgendered men.

So no male prostitution exist. At all. Except womanized men.

So, dear lady, can we speak about bias in your approach or mindset ?!?

Mine is the one with the cigar and the 100$ notes, I'll take it when leaving...

Well, what d'you know: Raising e-book prices doesn't raise sales


If you're selling a book priced at $5...

at the same price for an epub, you just sort of make the customer feel gouged by your unethical business practice.

(btw what is the opposite of an oxymoron ?...)

Get whimsical and win a Western Digital Black 6TB hard drive


(Sorry...too hard to resist...)

That Kardashian girl looks hot.

A shame she shaves...

(As per the house rules, mine is the one with the banana in the pocket)


699.99 for a 16g iBanana 2 ?

Pull the other one...


Almost 7 billion gran'kids

You would think at least one would call ?!?...


So ...

I heard there's this Donkey Kong thing where I could make some bananas... ?


Darn grandkids !

490 000 years. Still no signal :(


Oook !!!

(This Librarian is pissed ! I asked for an L phone !!! )


What do you mean..

Fingerprint ? Which foot ?!?

Boeing 787 software bug can shut down planes' generators IN FLIGHT


from memory

A vanilla install of Windows NT (tm) with no patch or network connection ( nor keyboard or mouse, btw) would self crash after 248 days...

Mr Gates? I have boeing on the line about that extended support contract you spoke about ... ;)

Fondleslab deaths grounded ALL of American Airlines' 737s


That was SUCH a good Idea....

Semantics :

"Emergency Go To Bag" " Let's print them" "Workaround" "It WILL fail, so now what?" "Yes, we have a workaround in place in case this happens"

Welcome to the wonderfull world of Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity.

Also known as "hindsight is priceless, so what about my BCP budget being cut again this year"


Apple Watch shipments: Pick a number, double it. Hey, it worked for them


10K for a watch

That you have to recharge every 18 hours and that will be outmoded and underpowered within 5 months ?

Great Idea ! To go with that I have a castle in Spain and a bridge you might be interested in....

What's Meg Whitman fussing over: The fate of HP ... or the font on a DISRUPTIVE new logo?


HP Inc.

"HP Ink."

Here. Corrected that for you ;)

WIN a RockBLOCK Mk2 Iridium sat comms unit



Final Use of Complicated Keywords before Flying an Awsome Airplane