* Posts by Bowlers

70 posts • joined 1 Jul 2015


NASA will award contract for second lunar lander to a biz that's not SpaceX


Re: Boeing Boeing Gone!

'With it's recent record on both aeronautical and aerospace designs let's hope that Boeing are not a successful bidder. We do not want to hear "Houston we have a problem".' Again!

Distributor dumps Kaspersky to show solidarity with Ukraine


Well said. I'm just a single user with more than 600 days of usage left. Moved to Bitdefender.

Make assistive driving safe: Eliminate pedestrians



Tesla advises: "The currently enabled Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous."

I thought there were rules, even laws regarding false advertising.

'IwlIj jachjaj! Incoming LibreOffice 7.3 to support Klingon and Interslavic


Re: Manx should be spoken

I'm confused, here in the NW lots of people speak Mancs.

A time when cabling was not so much 'structured' than 'survival of the fittest'


Re: Stuck a finger...

Prince Andrew would be able to do that, he dosen't sweat either.

Say what you see: Four-letter fun on a late-night support call


Re: What's The Password?

"The very next day, she called again..."

Get in there my son.

We have some sad news about Facebook. It has returned to the internet after six-hour mega outage


Re: I am still non the wiser as to what the fuck BGP is.

Perhaps amanfrommars1 should be asked to explain it?

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair: British home computer trailblazer dies aged 81


Re: Rest in peace

I remember a guy showing off his self built Sinclair calculator as we walked into the computer room. It threw a wobbly as we crossed the threshold, rather than the mainframes and associated IO causing it we decided it was the large door retaining magnet that caused it. Cool bit of kit at the time though.

Wireless powersats promise clean, permanent, abundant energy. Sound familiar?


Think of the Birds

Aircraft can be routed around problem areas, birds not so easily.

NASA fixes Hubble Space Telescope using backup power supply unit, payload computer



I just loved the technical jargon in the article.

"This part is supposed to maintain the voltage supply to the payload computer, and if it doesn't do its job right, the computer won't work."

Openreach to UK businesses: Switch is about to hit the fan. Prepare for withdrawal of the copper-based phone network now or risk disruption


Re: Ahem

Legacy copper network! Copper would be a welcome upgrade at our house, aluminium wire rots, cracks and breaks Even had aluminium wire problems at the exchange in the past, that may be sorted now we have FTTC.

Someone tried to poison a Florida city by hijacking its water treatment plant via TeamViewer, says sheriff


Re: Internet of Shit

f = ((Bx+2² × 2OL²) + O2C) / K - S

My eyesight is slowly fading so at first glance all I saw was BOLLOCKS.

Second look also

Italian competition watchdog slaps Apple with €10m fine over allegedly misleading iPhone waterproofing claims


Re: After a short dive in sea water.

"The salt water is more corrosive, and the connectors are outside of the phone; but shouldn't electronic components and the rest be safe?"

Not if Apple are using the wrong sort of glue.

For every disastrous rebrand, there is an IT person trying to steer away from the precipice


Re: It's not just our business

I moved from Malta to Cyprus in the early 70s. While waiting for may car to be shipped over I was speculating what my Registration Plate might be. There were a number of plates in the FT xxx range so I was hoping for FU 2......missed by a few.

Mysterious metal monolith found in 'very remote' part of Utah


Re: ThE TruTH iS OuT TheRe

It's a reflector for the Lunnies to find how far they are away from all this crap down here.

Considering the colonisation of Mars? Werner Herzog would like a word


Re: Locusts?


They did it to us first!

Quatermass and the Pit. (1967)

And before that War of the Worlds, Day of the Triffids. When we do go perhaps we should take some sea water as protection.

Panic in the mailroom: The perils of an operating system too smart for its own good


At least the old water cooled mainframes couldn't be downed by a cleaners vac, leaning on a red mushroom on the other hand!

Biden projected to be the next US President, Microsoft joins rest of world in telling Trump: It looks like... you're fired


Reply Icon

"Yep. I'm with you, on that education ultimately defines democracies."

There was an idea in an SF novel, by Robert Heinlein IFIRC, where the voters in a democracy could have multiple votes. Everyone would have one basic irrevocable vote but could earn extra ones by achieving a recognised education standard, a period serving in your country's armed forces etc. Misdemeanors or crimes would lose you votes so in theory the most responsible citizens would prevail in elections.

Could never happen of course.


Re: Trump achievments

Trumps boasting and bragging (without substance) points to a medical condition, Top Trumps Syndrome I think it is called.

Apple seeks damages from recycling firm that didn't damage its devices: 100,000 iThings 'resold' rather than broken up as expected


Re: I suspect ...

"So Apple sent them off for recycling.. and they got recycled, all the way to customers. What's their beef?"

It's that they don't get their cut.

There ain't no problem that can't be solved with the help of American horsepower – even yanking on a coax cable


The other side to IBM cables.

IBM mainframe parallel channel cables produced different problems to stretching.

A customer site who had been using IBM mainframes since the early seventies had, by the nineties quite a collection of redundent cables under the 2 foot deep floor. They ran 3 or 4 CPUs on the same foor and had over the years changed 4 generations of mainframes, each new installation needed to be up and running before decommissioning the old one. Not all the cables could be reused or removed, so over the years they built up until in places the floor tiles would need careful adjustment (jumping on) to to fit. When Fibre Channel were added to MFs the cables were more delicate making routeing difficult. It was decided to remove all the redundent cables so a few 'no downtime' weekend slots were arranged with the customer for CEs to be onsite for the work.

For the uninitiated in IBM MFs, parallel cables had 2 types, older 360 era as thick as a mans wrist and later 370 ones ladies wrist size (OK some ladies). The connectors on each end were hand size and there were 2 cables per channel, 64 channels per MF (maybe more on later MF I forget).

Our first weekend pulling cables went rather slowly as we were trying to remove the cables for later re-use (they were expensive). Having identified each end one guy pulled and another threaded the connector through the mass of live and dead cables, lifting and replacing floor tiles as we progressed. Having a run of removed tiles alongside of a few tons of MF could be dodgey, stories of collapses on the social media of the day (pub sessions) were whispered. After 9 hours, 8 CE's sweat had produced little result so it was decided for our next attempt we would cut off the connectors to speed up the job and sod the cable expense. Later we had to identify the longer/heavier cables (100-200 feet) and cut near the centre and pull out from each end. After 3 WEs of this and many cables still to go, management decided 9 x 8 x £double time could impact on their bonuses so they recruited cheaper labour, box shifters, delivery drivers etc.

Next WE 2 CEs familiar with the site and 5 or 6 helpers had a familiarision session on floor tile etiquette (don't let anything above ground change position), how to identify the cables we want removed and avoid the old 360 looking but slightly thicker ones as they are Tape CU to Drive etc. What was not emphasised enough was if more than one cable twitches when someone yanks the end do not cut until you're sure it's the right one; equivalent to the measure twice cut once maxim.

The inevitable happend, twice plus a tape drive. In the end we got away lightly from a customer point of view, losing access to a printer and the tape drive and one path to a tape library were recoverable.

And I did earn a few bob that month!

Spain's highway agency is monitoring speeding hotspots using bulk phone location data


Re: M.L.O.C.

Back in the 70s during one of the fuel shortages the speed limit on motorways was reduced to max 50mph. Travelling north on the M1 the traffic was light ( those were the days eh!), I was in the inside lane doing 50, came up to a big Jag doing 40 to 45 in the middle lane (probably optimum speed for fuel saving in the Jag). Not wanting to undertake I changed lane expecting/hoping he would go to the unoccupied inside lane but he just sailed on. Rather than do the loop to the outside lane and back to the inside I flashed him a couple of times, the third time he pulled into the outside lane allowing me to undertake while moving back to the inside. Spent the next 10 minutes trying to understand his reasoning; he was too lazy to bother? No, Jags don't do inside lanes? Probably, but nowadays it is a Beemer or Audi.

She was praised by the CEO and promoted. After her brother and mom died, she returned from compassionate leave. IBM laid her off


Re: What the Hell Has Happened to IBM?

I worked for IBM from the early 70s to early 90s as a CE (always felt uncomfortable with engineer in my job title, Brunel would not have approved). We installed, maintained and did the emergency response to the mainframes of many of the major companies in the UK. But we were considered a necessary expense and often felt undervalued, especially when internal documents referred to Sales and System Engineering groups as 'Professionals' and we were just part of Customer Service.

Re-reading the above I may sound a little bitter but I think the IBM of that period was a good company to work for, I only left (redundant at 51) when mainframes were going out of fashion but all I have read of them since seems like a long decline.

Sounds like the black helicopters have come for us. Oh, just another swarm of FAA-approved Amazon delivery drones


30 min delivery!

Is that even possible? A warehouse worker or robot would need to pick the item, package it in a drone friendly way, attach to drone and launch. Say 5min at best so the customer would have to be within 25min range at whatever speed the drone is capable of (or allowed to fly). How many warehouses would be needed even in a smallish country like the UK to make 30min a deliverable option? It will not happen.

Even same day delivery by drone would depend on range so would limit the effectiveness as a service offering. Then there are issues as raised in the Aussie trial plus the local naughty boys seeing our deliveries as manna from heaven etc.

I don't think I will see drones delivering goods in 30min in my lifetime, but I am getting on so may it be a safe bet!

Um, almost the entire Scots Wikipedia was written by someone with no idea of the language – 10,000s of articles


Re: Enough

These fork-ing languages do me 'ead in, speak proper!

A bridge too far: Passengers on Sydney's new ferries would get 'their heads knocked off' on upper deck, say politicos


Re: They could

A pumped lock either side of the bridge could work, but would add time to the journey so could charge more. Win.

Highways England primes market for £2bn tech spend as part of massive investment in crumbling roads network


Re: £2bn would fix a lot of roads.

Grump on: Bet the £2bn won't end the 50+ year wait for the A628 Mottram-Hollingworth-Tintwistle bypass. Grump still on:

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Winking red supergiants sneezing hot gas 650 light years away


Re: An "outgassing event" is not a sneeze

"I'm still hoping for a supernova in my lifetime. Make it happen boffins."

But not too close please.

Twitter says hack of key staff led to celebrity, politician, biz account hijack mega-spree


"I notice Trump's name or indeed any allies of Trump are conspicuous by their absence."

It were Trumpy wot done it!

A volt from the blue: Samsung reportedly ditches wall-wart from future phones


Re: Thoughts

but would I trust a USB socket in e.g. a strange hotel to be anything other than a simple 5v supply? Not bloody likely I wouldn't...

What you need then is Voltmeter App, just plug your phone into the hotel's USB socket and....Oh!

Euro police forces infiltrated encrypted phone biz – and now 'criminal' EncroChat users are being rounded up


"cheddar cheese slices

Please don't take my cheese away from me..."

Except the rubbery ones.

Beware the fresh Windows XP install: Failure awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth


Re: Almost mouse free

One of our cats used to bring in live mice to play with but he would eventually eat them, except for what I took to be the stomach and some intestine. When we found these the comment was " he's been playing his mouse organ again".

It's National Cream Tea Day and this time we end the age-old debate once and for all: How do you eat yours?


Northern option

Butter first then cream then jam, if you're going for the clotted arteries do it proper like.

CompSci student bitten by fox after feeding it McNuggets


Re: This is why we can't have nice things.

Students...will they never learn?

After 84 years, Japan's Olympus shutters its camera biz, flogs it to private equity – smartphones are just too good


Re: Sadness...

How good would the camera on a phone have to be to be still in use after forty years?

NASA launches a challenge to fund AI systems for future spacecraft – hopefully without HAL-style errors


Re: The AI will just...

The AI will just...

...kill us all.

Or if sufficiently advanced it will assess the situation and instigate a cull. Around 50% of the population to start with, maybe using a virus?

Captain Caveman rides to the rescue, solves a prickly PowerPoint problem with a magical solution


Re: My word...

Don't tell them! It's how I know to put the phone down too.

Uncle Sam tells F-35B allies they'll have to fly the things a lot more if they want to help out around South China Sea


Did not know that. But wasn't Turkey destined to be the engine repair centre for this part of the world?

Blame of thrones: Those viral vids of PC monitors going blank when people stand up? Static electricity from chairs


Re: Office refurbishment...

Remember when we put an earthing strap on the back of cars to stop static zapping us when getting out. Perhaps a similar "tail" would do the same trick for a chair?

Why is the printer spouting nonsense... and who on earth tried to wire this plug?


Re: Back in the day ...

Went to a customer site to install an IBM 3274, earlier planning had ensured an underfloor 13amp socket was available. As I lifted a floor tile to connect the power lead I was informed a site electrician had to do all electrical work, union rules apparently. Leccy eventually arrived and proceeded to cut off the moulded plug with moulded ring pull on it to then try and install a cheapo bakerlite plug. The 3274 had a heavy duty screened cable which was not an ideal size for a standard 13amp plug but he managed it. I nearly offered to check his wiring but thought better of it, it worked fine anyway.


Re: My childhood...

I was visiting my parents and offered to mow the lawn while I was there. Typical UK electric mower, double insulated two wire with an 2pin inline connector at the mower end. At some stage my father had replaced the inline connector resulting in the male end live. When I pointed it out he just gave a casual 'Oh' and left me to it. These were the days when new appliances came without a fitted mains plug so I made a point of checking any kit he had wired.

Irish eyes aren't smiling after govt blows €1m on mega-printer too big for parliament's doors


Re: This May be Apocryphal...

I've mentioned this before but still relevant,

Mainframe site on first floor long used to delivering large bits of kit through removable window. This time it was an EMC 5500 full of 5 1/4 drives, batteries, PSs etc and it was a heavy bugger (in both imperial and SI). The box was to be lifted, inside a cage, by a crane. Large man in the cage ready to push box out when it reached the window opening. Unfortunately this time the cage was not quite high enough and when the large man pushed the box caught the lip of the window and the cage moved backwards, box fell out of the cage ...oops and was effectively destroyed. Later it was revealed the box was insured by weight not value...oops2. (Disclaimer: I was not the large man)

Teachers: Make your pupils' parents buy them an iPad to use at school. Oh and did you pack sunglasses for the Apple-funded jolly?


Re: Exclusive devices need in Schools

'My recollection of ink pens is that they were totally messy for right-handers too'

Bottled ink could be quite messy too, especially if you didn't want the Ink Monitors job...know what I mean?

IT protip: Never try to be too helpful lest someone puts your contact details next to unruly boxen


Re: Where were you 20 years ago?

I went to West Gorton a few times when ICL started using EMC kit. I always found it strange that I had to wear a white lab coat in the comp room. Made me feel a bit Boffinish.

We're late and we're unreliable but we won't invalidate your warranty: We're engineers!


Re: I need an electrician

A guy who lived across the road should have employed a qualified electrician but decided to do it himself. The mini cannabis farm he built in his roof space burnt his and his neighbors houses down. The kicker was it wasn't his house and it wasn't insured.

Was an interesting evening watching the fire brigade earn their money.

Welcome to the World Of Tomorrow, where fridges suffer certificate errors. Just like everything else


Re: Water cooker

If anyone wants an old geyser in the kitchen I'm available, just make sure your IOT fridge stocks Newky Brown and I'm no trouble.

July is here – and so are the latest Android security fixes. Plenty of critical updates for all


Re: If only

Updates, security fixes, not if you're an abandoned Google Nexus 9 customer. Does any manufacturer offer updates after the first year of ownership?

Those darn users don't know what they're doing (not like us, of course)


Re: Scope Creep

Don"t visit on a Friday then.

Let's make laptops from radium. How's that for planned obsolescence?


Re: Been there

Same here, my 10 yo MG Magnette was getting worse and worse fuel consumption even after fiddling with the twin carbs. At 6mpg I inspected further to find multiple drips from the petrol tank that turned to holes when a screwdiver touched them. Scrap dealers were my friends in those days!

AI has automated everything including this headline curly bracket semicolon


Re: Beware Electric Monks on ACID*

The amanfromMars 1 AI needs a little tweaking I think!



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