* Posts by Giles C

747 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Jul 2015


How is this problem mine, techie asked, while cleaning underground computer

Giles C Silver badge

Re: A 1980s minicomputer at the bottom of a mine ?

I thought that was pigeons, not sure if canaries are as reliable….

Data breach reveals distressing info: People who order pineapple on pizza

Giles C Silver badge

Re: I don't understand...

A couple of years ago Morrisons in the uk did a Yorkshire pudding pizza, basically a large Yorkshire filled with sauce, cheese, pepperoni etc

I bought one out of curiosity and it was surprisingly edible…..

Giles C Silver badge

Re: I don't understand...

I would add to that black pepper, really brings out the flavour

Lawsuit claims Google Maps led dad of two over collapsed bridge to his death

Giles C Silver badge

Re: So answer this.

I was testing a route for a group drive on Tuesday. Went around a corner and found the road blocked by a fallen tree (due to the wind the previous night). So I came to a stop and got out the car to have a look around.

Fortunately there was a man working in removing the tree who helpfully told me that someone was due in the next 30 minutes to remove it.

No problem, however if nobody had been there I would have called the police and told them the road was blocked and could they get someone out to close the road until it was cleared.

Likewise if the bridge is out then a couple of concrete barriers should be erected on each side so that it is obvious you can’t go that way.

Stop relying on the satnav and get your eyes on the road. Having said that I know of somebody who used a satnav to get from his house to the local Tesco - about 2 miles…..

Having read the room, Unity goes back to drawing board on runtime fee policy

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Ahhhhhhh the

Otherwise known (in the uk at least) as doing a Ratner.

Named for the then boss of the self named jeweller who said his stores sold “total crap”.

Ratner said: “We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for £4.95. People say 'How can you sell this for such a low price?' I say, because it's total crap."

Chap blew up critical equipment on his first day – but it wasn't his volt

Giles C Silver badge

Told this years ago but.....

This must be about 15-20 years ago, Compaq (remember them) produced a line of laptops with docking stations the size of full PCs (think 50cm square footprint), these the laptop was locked into, with an eject button on the case. The mechanism wasn't that reliable and there was a manual release lever under the back cover (which could be removed with the power on as the eject still needed mains). A user rang up and said they had a stuck laptop.

No problem - just pull the access cover off the back and flick the white lever over to release the locks, user did this and then when they flicked the lever there was a loud bang. On the back of the chassis was a 110/240V selector and the eject lever.

Don't need to say any more....

p.s. this was the same user who couldn't get a dial tone on a modem from his hotel room when he rang the office to complain and someone asked him how many phone lines where in the hotel room...

Amazon unleashes Gen AI for product descriptions, curbs it for Kindle

Giles C Silver badge

Re: UK consumer protection legislation

So the AI description will be…


This is a fake product


Won’t make any difference as people will still buy it.

A quote from only fools and horses (I think)

Well of course it is genuine that’s why it says imitation (referring to a ‘leather’ jacket)

If you like to play along with the illusion of privacy, smart devices are a dumb idea

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Why would a Washing Machine require my Date of Birth ...

Having had a washer flood the kitchen, (only once) I prefer to be at home when it is running as any leaks can be dealt with quickly.

That does not mean I sit there watching it as if it was a tv…

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Why would a Washing Machine require my Date of Birth ...

I have a washing machine which is supposedly smart, it is a Samsung with an app. Why it needs an app I don’t know as I have never wanted to install it or use it.

Don’t know about the rest of you lot but I use a washing machine as follows

1. Find clothes that need washing

2. Put them in machine with detergent

3. Turn it on, and do something else whilst it washes

4. Take clothes out and put on washing line

Why do I need an app to do any of that???

IBM Software tells workers: Get back to the office three days a week

Giles C Silver badge

I have to attend an office 40% of the time for my job.

However when I attend is up to me, if I have to go to another office or a DC then that counts as a day in the office.

Normally I am there the days it is most useful for me i.e. those with big meetings, or for hardware installation / maintenance. Also if I go in 3 days one week I only have to do 1 day the next week. Some of my colleagues are in the office 5 days a week (but then they live a mile from work) it is down mostly to you.

Besides the office is 50 miles each way, so doing it a lot becomes rather expensive on fuel.... yes I could take a train but it would cost more and take 2 hours rather than the 1 driving each way.

India warns ecommerce 'basket sneaks' and 'confirm shamers' their days are numbered

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Over there

The self service tills have recently sprouted cameras and video screens, so use a loyalty card and they can possibly link your picture to add to the data collections.

Taiwanese infosec researchers challenge Microsoft's China espionage finding

Giles C Silver badge

Toshiba helps Vanuatu to see the light

Japanese tech conglomerate Toshiba launched an LED lantern sharing service trial in the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu last Tuesday.

The trial, which will end in September, involves renting solar charged LED lanterns to residents of , an area in Vanuatu that does not have access to power. The residents will use an app to manage loans and returns of the lanterns.

Am I missing something here, the area does not have power but the lanterns will be booked using an app (presumably off a phone) if they don’t have power to run the lights where are they getting power for the phones from? I suppose it could be solar cells or generators but who knows…l

Lesson 1: Keep your mind on the ... why aren't the servers making any noise?

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Been there done that

Someone recently did that needed to check something on a ups and plugged a standard console cable in, UPS rebooted itself

Then did a bit of searching and the brand of ups has a known issue that standard serial cables will cause them to reboot, but they don’t put a label on the port to tell the unsuspecting user…. Known as it has been that way for years

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Upstream breaker

Or they install the downstream breaker as a 100A one and feed it from a 40A breaker…. Yep took the complete comms room on a building out, until we found the problem, then had to go back into the dark comms room (no emergency lights for some reason) turn all the breakers off in the room and power them up sequentially so we could have the site running until the weekend when the electrician came in and fixed stuff….

Giles C Silver badge

I only started watching him recently and hadn’t seen that video before, it just seems astonishing the amount of work that has gone into making a fake mechanism with the correct feel to the switch and then deliberately putting it in a useless device.

So much for CAPTCHA then – bots can complete them quicker than humans

Giles C Silver badge

Obligatory xkcd


The price of freedom turned out to be an afternoon of tech panic

Giles C Silver badge

Did it affect the number of sales?

If it didn’t and nobody noticed it was a nice way of increasing revenue…

Lock-in to legacy code is a thing. Being locked in by legacy code is another thing entirely

Giles C Silver badge

Happened to me

Working in a new building still being final fixed on the main site putting the network in, finished what I could do for the day - it was about 5:15 and walked out the comms room to a bulldozing with all the lights off.

The builders had all left site and locked the outer doors. I rang the site manager for the rest of the site and spoke to him. Five minutes of laughter later he agreed to come over and unlock the outer door so I could go home.

I think they had words with the builders over the importance of checking the site was empty before locking up.

Infosys launches 'sonic identity' – an aural logo to 'reinforce brand purpose'

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Ernest Fiddler

Follow that thread and you end up with jingle warfare….

And nobody wants that - well apart from sellers of ear defenders

Techie's quick cure for a curious conflict caused a huge headache

Giles C Silver badge

Re: "Ever done a little thing that made a big mess"

I had someone do a similar thing and it took me an hour to figure it out.

One network segment stopped logging users on, anything that had been left running was fine but anything turned on that morning was failing - because said machines auto connected to the domain (and I didn’t have local credentials) I couldn’t see much. So after checking all the network and dhcp relay settings I was a little confused.

Then I got my own laptop out and fired up wireshark, I had already logged in on a working segment so had my usual access. All looked fine until I noticed the dhcp packets were coming fr9m the wrong address. It turns out someone decided to use whatever (it was a long time ago) software was needed to configure thin terminals, this software ran its own dhcp server and it had been plugged into one of the production segments.

Once unplugged and some reboots later all was working, the server had a static ip and was turned on during the previous afternoon when everyone was in the office and working so no dhcp traffic was needed until they rebooted the next morning.

Official science: People do less, make more mistakes on Friday afternoons

Giles C Silver badge

My Friday afternoon

Was spent rewriting a template for a change about 4 times, every time I thought it was done I found another bit to add to the list. To be fair it is a template for upgrading a site and we want to have one template that can be adapted for the 40 building we need to do 4 times a year. So it was worth it.

As the finished document with 1300 words with the rewrites and the other documents I was working on must have typed about 8-10000 words yesterday…..

No I don’t know how many typos I made only that at the end the documents made sense.

I sometimes think I am a writer with a sideline as a senior network security engineer and not the other way round….

How to get a computer get stuck in a lift? Ask an 'illegal engineer'

Giles C Silver badge

Not a lift but…..

We engaged a company to move a populated san between two locations - well we engaged the contractors who subbed out the moving to some “professionals”.

The building was a normal office building and they turned up in a box van without a tail lift, they somehow loaded the 1/4 tonne weight (I think we had a forklift at that building) into the back of the van and set off off the other site to unload.

Now the destination hadn’t got a forklift (we had assumed whoever would be doing the moving would have a vehicle with a tail lift) and at 9pm on a Saturday night it isn’t that easy to borrow something like that. So what did they do….

They were parked about 20 feet from the glass fronted office.

They got some planks and laid them from the truck to the ground so about a 20 degree angle and then somehow got the rack onto these bits of wood, at this point it started accelerating down the ramp (wonder why) and myself and a colleague made a run for safety, they somehow got it under control and it didn’t tip over and stopped a couple of feet from the glass doors.

After that the installation in the comms room was relatively painless….. the disk array not being bothered by the moving trauma.

You're too dumb to use click-to-cancel, Big Biz says with straight face

Giles C Silver badge

Re: As an example of how easy things are currently....

As a member of the RAC breakdown service, I always ring them and query the amount when the renewal comes through. Otherwise the cost goes up a lot.

Mind you it was worth having when the alternator and then battery failed 120 miles from home the other weekend….

Bizarre backup taught techie to dumb things down for the boss

Giles C Silver badge

It could be worse

I have seen users where every email is in the inbox in one case over 25000 of them - complained it was slow to start.

But going back to my desktop support days (years ago) the users who used the desktop as the storage area always made me wonder what they thought it was for. I admit to using it as a temporary holding area but for long term storage not practical in my view.

NASA 'quiet' supersonic jet is nearly ready for flight

Giles C Silver badge

Re: less-noisy maybe but still un-sound

It is an easy way to research quiet military jets which would have considerable advantages?

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Concorde, so loud

On a similar note, during the 80s both my house and school where on the RAF Wittering flight path, so we constantly had aircraft flying over, mostly Harriers with some other bigger stuff at times, I think there were about 10-20 flights a day, after a while we didn’t notice them apart from the teachers having to stop talking when one flew over as nobody could hear what was being said.

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

Giles C Silver badge

Re: whose swear words?

Hmm I really shocked a colleague in America by telling him that I was off to a pub quiz at the Cock Inn that evening.

He thought it was really offensive whereas it is a normal pub name round here… I never thought of that but it has been the same name for over 200 hundred years.

Quirky QWERTY killed a password in Paris

Giles C Silver badge

Re: All your QWERTY belong to us...

It was a commercial off the shelf package, but I can’t remember the vendor it is too long ago.

Giles C Silver badge

Re: All your QWERTY belong to us...

I once worked on a system that stored files in folders according to date so far so good.

It had a folder with the day and then the sub folder was the month and the folder below that was the year

So you had 31 folders numbered 00-31 and then twelve folders inside each of these jan + dec and in each of those a folder for the year 2000-2023, then in each of those folders where 24 folders for the hour and then each of those had 60 folder for the minute and then you found the files…

So if you wanted a file from January 2nd 2008 at 10:20 the path was 02/01/2008/10/20/file

Whereas if you want 10th January 2008 at 10:20 the path was 10/01/2008/10/20/file

Must have made sense to the developer certainly not to the poor fool looking for a file manually

Boss put project on progress bar timeline: three months … four … actually NOW!

Giles C Silver badge

Re: My experience of Vodafone

The worst provider I have ever had the misfortune to deal with was O2. This was 5 years ago so maybe they have improved now, but I would never deal with them again, after migrating from a well behaved BT mpls network.

Missed deliveries, wrong configs and at the time it almost seemed that they relied on one person to write the configs….

BOFH: Good news, everyone – we're in the sausage business

Giles C Silver badge

Re: gigaspandrels

I read it quickly as gigaspaniels…. A Huge number of adorable but completely bonkers dogs

Barracuda tells its ESG owners to 'immediately' junk buggy kit

Giles C Silver badge

Full replacement

Full replacement, I would have thought all the system files would be held on a SSD or similar.

Therefore is the device is compromised then all should need to happen is replace the drive with a new image, unless somehow the vulnerability is in the hardware…

Australia to phase out checks by 2030

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Don't know what you've lost till it's gone.....

I still use cheques.

I rent a garage and pay each month using a cheque.

Also I am on the committee of a car club and when the club pay expenses they do in the form of a cheque as it needs to signed by two people and they can’t do that online yet.

But these days I pay them in using the bank app.

This ain't Boeing very well: Starliner's first crewed flight canceled yet again

Giles C Silver badge

I read that and couldn’t understand how it happened.

Surely the materials used will be tested and certified, therefore if you need some tape you just get it from the stores where a certified pack of rolls is located. It sounds like they ran out and just nipped down to screwfix (or local equivalent) and asked for some generic tape.

Cunningly camouflaged cable routed around WAN-sized hole in project budget

Giles C Silver badge

I put a radio link in between two sites of a company I was contracting for. In the documentation for the project was a note in about 2-3 years (just about now) you need to get xxx to trim the tree in their field or the radio signal will drop out.

Middle of the fens and the one point we can put the radio there is the only tall tree for 100m in the path.

Giles C Silver badge

I had the opposite problem to Lief we had two buildings that needed to be connected and we put a line of sight radio link between them bolted to the walls on each building.

On one building there was a lot of ivy growing up the wall (I did not do the installation myself but it contracted out), one day the connection just dropped. Walked over as the buildings were only about 200m apart to check the cabling, inside the building it was good so I poked my head out the nearest window to the antenna, and found the cable neatly cut in half.

The building owners had sent someone round to trim the ivy with a hedge trimmer.

We had the cable replaced with an armoured version.

Rackspace datacenter infrastructure took 12-hour nap in London, Sydney, Hong Kong

Giles C Silver badge

Re: CDT?

A committee trying to compromise??

It has to be the most random set of units for a single object ever, unless someone can find anything more complex.

'Strictly limit' remote desktop – unless you like catching BianLian ransomware

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Passwords

We had direct access imposed by a company I used to work for, I used to be on call and it could take up to 15 minutes to establish the vpn when you had a middle of the night call out.

This might have been an early version but we all hated it - since leaving that company most of the remote access vpns have been using anyconnect with an authenticator plugin.

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Passwords

VPN every time.

Doesn't need to be that complex or expensive a solution but the main thing is always have a firewall between the internet and corporate resources.

I think one of the big hacks a couple of years ago was RDP exposed to the internet as a gateway.

p.s. putting services on random ports is not being secure.....

What's your Mean Time To Innocence – the time needed to prove that mess is not your problem

Giles C Silver badge

Re: The usual suspects

As a network engineer I am only too aware of the fact that everyone blames the network for any slight problems.... and usually have to prove my innocence.

Cheapest, oldest, slowest part fixed very modern Mac

Giles C Silver badge

Re: I can never ....

In opposite directions?

Electric two-wheelers are set to scoot past EVs in road race

Giles C Silver badge

Re: What do these give you that an electric bicycle does not?

No need to pedal so if you are going more than a few miles it is easier.

I remember seeing one system where all the batteries where the same type and you basically dropped a battery off for charging and picked up a fully charged one from a kiosk on the roadside (obviously you had to pay) but it saved charging at home.

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Yet more data grabbing

Nobody wants to sell you a product any more - just a means to advertise and get you to buy more products.

I am glad that when I go and by a hammer there aren't options for cloud connected hammers - yet...

Will LLMs take your job? Only if you let them

Giles C Silver badge

Re: In The Long Run.......

Well that means I am under subsistence level then.

Only got a 50” tv (8 years old) do have a smartphone and the newest car is 10 years old and the other two are 23 and 34 years old and don’t claim any benefits…..

Oh well

BOFH: Ah. Company-branded merch. So much better than a bonus

Giles C Silver badge

Re: When do people understand that cash rules?

I also watched that video it was certainly interesting (or scary)

Zoho creates browser with 'Open Season Mode' for when you don't care about privacy

Giles C Silver badge

Simple question - why would anyone use the open season mode - unless you are developing the sort of software that needs this to run.....

If so it is a strange market to aim for - virus and malware coders?

ESA's Jupiter-bound Juice spacecraft has a sticky problem with its radar

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Simple fix

To quote Ronnie Barker (as Arkwright)

You just need to j-j-j-jiggle it a bit

Balloon-borne telescope returns first photos in search for dark matter

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Helium is cheaper than rocket fuel

An xkcd for you


If you don't get open source's trademark culture, expect bad language

Giles C Silver badge

I find most people refer to hoovers as a generic term.

Unless you prefer Numatic products in which case they are always Henry.