* Posts by js.lanshark

29 posts • joined 14 Jul 2015

US Air Force chief software officer quits after launching Hellfire missile of a LinkedIn post at his former bosses


Re: This goes beyond IT

That's because no one gets medals and promotions for picking up where the last person left off and continuing the march as planned, even if it results in success.

Breaking Bad or just a bad breakpoint? That feeling when your predecessor is BASIC


With all the bits and pieces (and peoples fingers) that go into a "network", sometimes it is amazing the things actually work, much less be infallible.

Exsparko-destructus! What happens when wand waving meets extremely poor wiring


If it works, it isn't stupid!

Contractor was engaged to install a bit of networking kit (Centillion 100 for those old enough). When it came time to go Gig-E, it all had to go. We found a C100 cargo strapped underneath an AC duct in the ceiling of a room. It was the only place where all of the Ethernet cables would meet.

Hubble, Hubble, toil and trouble: NASA pores over moth-eaten manuals ahead of switch to backup hardware


How many of you just read that in the voice of Marvin the Martian?

Tesla owners win legal fight after software update crippled older Model S batteries


Silly people...

you think you actually own the thing.

Diary of a report writer and his big break into bad business


Which official dictionary again?

So there I am, writing a proposal for the Colonel, (me, a lowly but important LAN Admin in the Wing). I send it along, only to have myself called to the Colonels office. I arrive promptly, and just as promptly am accosted by a mere Captain (Air force, so O-3). He informs me that my document is in a nonstandard format. I ask why and am informed that a word is misspelled. All documents that go before the Colonel must be perfect. I ask which word, he tells me and I return to my office, pondering my mistake. I head to the base office supply point and enquire about a dictionary. I am handed the "Official Comprehensive Edition Dictionary, used Air Force wide". Right.

I trundle back to the office, and lo and behold, I used the spelling in the "Official Comprehensive Edition Dictionary, used Air Force wide". Besides, it is the only one Supply has or ever will have in stock. Back to the Captain.

He in not a few less than complimentary terms tells me that if I can't get the spelling right, I'll never get through to the Colonel. I point out to him the "Official... You get the idea). He then picks up HIS dictionary (Collegiate Edition) and tells me that as far as he is concerned, THIS edition is the Official Dictionary. I point out that Base Supply does not stock that and will not stock that.

No matter, Base Supply is wrong. He has the standard, and all will bow before him (er, his standard). So, I change it. No dramatic end, just jousting the everyday fools one finds oneself with.

OK brainiacs, we've got an IT cold case for you: Fatal disk errors on an Amiga 4000 with 600MB external SCSI unless the clock app is... just so


Re: Merry Christmas!

Neko is back! Thank you ever so much! Now I can waste even more time on lockdown!

BOFH: The company survived the disaster recovery test. Just. The Director's car, however...


Preparing for planned surprise outages

A test of our capabilities is mandated by regulation on a somewhat scheduled basis. It is supposed to be a "surprise inspection", but somehow we always managed to know about when (down to the week) it was going to occur. We would then go to 12 hour shifts to prepare for the surprise inspection that was supposed to highlight our ability to execute the mission at a moments notice.

So there I was, in a meeting with management. We were about to start the extended work shift when I commented that we should just operate with that level of effort anyway because it *was* our job to be able to execute at a moments notice. Silence reigned.

I received a good heart to heart talk (his to mine, I was not required to respond nor was a response time offered, you know the drill) with the Chief later in private.

Rise of the Machines hair-raiser: The day IBM's Dot Matrix turned


Re: I had the reverse situation

My workaround to that was to casually mention something like "Nice shoes", smile, and keep on walking. It drove some of them crazy trying to figure out if I was gay, a crossdresser, or something else entirely. A few actually unbent enough to be able to talk to because, well, positive, non-threatening comment and no leering followup.

Hell hath no fury like a radar engineer scorned


Flinging *what* off of carriers?

When was the last time anyone actually launched an F-4 off of a flight deck?

How do you sing 'We're jamming and we hope you like jamming, too' in Russian? Kremlin's sat-nav spoofing revealed


So we know the orbital parameters of the sats. If you can, use a directional antenna to receive sat signals. Depending on antenna parameters (beamwidth), you can cut down on jamming signals by aiming for a cluster of sats. Lower flying jammers would have to be in the beam of the antenna to be effective. It isn't perfect, but with enough money, a defense contractor should be able to develop a beam steerable planar array that could track several sats at a time, and pick the signals that agree best with what is to be expected from the orbital parameters of the sats. Use that expensive CS clock on the ship to know the time, then pick the signals that match the expected time.

Let it be known that this is the first time that I know of that the use of a beam steerable antenna can be used to track multiple navsats for the determination of position during jamming was proposed. License fee is 10 million dollars for a perpetual, irrevocable license to the idea. You know where you can find me. I'm not greedy and I don't want to have to deal with license renewals.

Ah, this military GPS system looks shoddy but expensive. Shall we try to break it?


Re: waste

Ah yes, year end spendout. I once spent a day with the organization finance guy waiting outside the budget committee door. They would pop out and ask the assembled masses if anyone had a, say, 10K purchase request. Those that had all the paperwork done got the money. We did out homework that year and got many goodies. Goodies we actually used mind you, but otherwise unobtainable under the normal budget process.

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?


ba-dump, ksh

Oregon can't stop people from calling themselves engineers, judge rules in Traffic-Light-Math-Gate

Thumb Up

To PE or not to PE...

In a past job, I was a Senior Systems Engineer. Then at the next job became a Network Architect. Now in this job I'm a Technical Engineering Specialist. I consistently do more engineering style work as a TES that I ever did in prior jobs. Sometimes it is about job duties than job titles, but everyone judges on titles. I sometimes get the "so you got demoted" look when I talk about my past jobs. Funny, I make more now that I did in any before. Go ahead, demote me into a higher paying job, please!

What a meth: Woman held for 3 months after cops mistake candy floss for hard drugs


Seeds of chaos...

Way back when I was in the military, if you bought a used car you took the risk that it may have at some point possibly been used to maybe transport a careless drug user who dropped a few seeds in the upholstery.

If you asked the base cop shop for a courtesy sniff by the drug dogs, you were routinely denied. If there by chance was a random seed or so subsequently found, you would kiss your current enlistment goodbye, and if a career person, stop that cold. Strict liability. In your car, you own it, it is yours, you did the crime, now do the time.

This created a brisk trade in used cars that were previously owned by military members of good standing as it constituted the best defense against those random seeds dropped by other possibly shady previous owners.

If I close my eyes, the end-of-life kit vanishes: UK banks in doghouse over poor resilience


And then there is the long view

I well remember a conversation with a financial sector IT worker. We were upgrading the code on our Nexus 5k and his comment was along the lines of "we haven't gotten through testing the previous version yet". I asked how long it took them to go through acceptance testing and his answer was "about 3 years". When I asked why so long the response was "we like low risk upgrades where all possible failure modes are known and corrective measures tested and documented".

The best way to screw the competition? Do what they can't, in a fraction of the time


Somewhere around here I have a Synoptics banner from a Trade show. "Synoptics, the leader in twisted pair Ethernet" or some such.

Powerful forces, bodily fluids – it's all in a day's work


Re: Monitor

If configuring-while-intoxicated was a crime, then yes, I'm guilty. I went a bit far though in telling the on-site guy that I was better this sort of thing drunk than he was sober.

Devon County Council techies: WE KNOW IT WASN'T YOU!


And then there is the Spelling Police

I worked for a military officer who rejected my letter to the commander because a word was misspelled. I asked for clarification because I had checked every word with the dictionary (this was before spell check software).

He told me the dictionary did not have that spelling. I asked to look at his dictionary. His was a Merriam-Webster Collegiate, mine was a Merriam-Webster Comprehensive. His dictionary didn't have my alternative spelling, so I obviously made a spelling mistake as his dictionary was the One True Source.

This was one case where size didn't matter as his was definitely smaller than mine.

Police block roads to stop tech support chap 'robbing a bank'


We're just cleaning the floors, honestly!

Not much of an IT angle, but I worked for a cleaning company a long while back. A new guy was given the task of buffing the floors with one of those electric buffers. Gently lift the handle and the buffer (which had a big round motor driven buffing pad) and it swung one way, gently push down and it went the other way. Heavy bugger. If you weren't careful, you could really bang the walls. Yep, one wall was adjacent to the vault.

Police were not amused.



Re: Lawyer firm names

I thought it was from a 3 Stooges movie. Cross-fertilized?

Help desk declared code PEBCAK and therefore refused to help!


Many helpdesks will not transfer a ticket between resolver teams due to past football tossing between teams. Bad management forbids it, good management regulates and tracks it for abuse, then beans the offender(s).

User asked help desk to debug a Post-it Note that survived a reboot


Re: Meh...

Not from across the room though. We pranked a co-worker that way back in the DOS days. Cut a yellow Post-It note to the right size and made it look like a compile error. The look on his face as he came into the office and saw the "error" was priceless.

Boss put chocolate cake on aircon controller, to stop people using it


Access removed because of idjits

We had a network/server Lab/Stage area adjacent to the Data Center. Access to the DC was via a door to which the Architect level personnel had rights. The other side of said Lab was public space via a door to which network/server staff had rights. Very handy for moving configured gear from the staging process into the DC.

All was well until one Architect started to give tours of the DC via the lab because he didn't want to be bothered with signing in and out his guests via the Data Center Ops office.

They now have to trundle gear through the halls and offices to get it into the Data Center because the DC Ops Manager sealed the door due to said Architects antics.

Dishwasher has directory traversal bug


Re: Bewildered. (That's grown-up speak for "wtf")

It must be nice to have a choice. Mine was installed last week with no option of refusal. Well, If I refused I got no service that is.

RAF pilot awaits sentence for digicam-induced airliner dive


Re: Not wishing to add to his woes...

It depends. I flew as passenger on a KC-135 refuel of an E-3B AWACS plane. I was free to take as many pics as I wanted. It depends on the nature of the mission.

Stay out of my server room!


Your room has been repurposed...

A section of the raised floor is walled off so the IT department can have a decent lab (everything is tested in the lab before going into production. Everything.). Comes time to move in and we find the room full of boxes. It appears that the designated storage room (on a slab, shares office aircon) was deemed too small, so they took over the next largest space. The lab was built in the former storage area. After some heat related equipment failures, they finally relented and installed aircon. And overhead wiring trays and power runs. Everything the new storage room has in fact!

Ansible charges into network automation with Cisco, Juniper


Where is support for Avaya networking kit?

My top three IT SNAFUs - and how I fixed them


Where is your temp file at?

Users at a remote site were complaining a new application ran very slow, while all other users at the main site reported no problems. Latency was below 5ms and utilization below 40% on the WAN link.

It turned out that the desktops were configured at the main site and shipped to the remote site, so the fact that the application used a file share at the main site as a temp directory was never an issue. It worked fine if you were local, but your data took multiple hops across the WAN before you ever got to do anything with it, even then, it was still across the WAN.

Changed the temp dir to use one on the workstation and all was good.


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