* Posts by CrazyOldCatMan

5423 posts • joined 6 Oct 2015

Meta now involved in making metalevel standards for the metaverse

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: We know the problems

I'm profoundly glad that they won't be defining standards - with Meta and MS involved, part of the standard would be "we take all your data and sell it to scumbags"

I know Apple isn't a favourite on El Reg but at least they *try* to do something about privacy..

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Seeking education here...

The lenses are different for left and right

Ditto.. -12d in the left eye but only -10d in the right..

If I take my glasses off my maximum focal distance is about the end of my nose with my right eye. Slightly less with the left eye,

I'm very, very glad that modern materials are better at bending light than glass was. Even so, the edges of the left lens are about 12mm thick.

I qualify as partially-sighted and the government gives me a generous £5 towards the cost of each lens (which cost roughly £100 each. The optician gives me the discount but doesn't bother getting it back since the time spent dealing with the paperwork would cost a lot more than £10..

So I'd have to wear my glasses anyway with a headset unless it uses some sort of beaming method that could overcome the extreme myopia and astigmatism.

Micron aims 1.5TB microSD card at video surveillance market

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: When I were a lad

First HD was an 80Mb drive.. When I moved that machine over to run linux (Slackware 0.99pl15) I managed to acquire a massive 330Mb ESDI drive and controller. The drive was too big into the chassis (it was a full-height drive and the desktop chassis was too small..) so it sat outside the chassis on the floor.

Kept that room quite nice and warm too.

Cloudflare explains how it managed to break the internet

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: I'm curious

insufficient QA before a change, unclear responsibilities during a major incident--are relatively easy to fix

Not in my experience - they speak of the root culture at a place and that's really, really not simple to fix.

All those things are needed for operations at scale and, if CF don't have them, it's a miracle that this hasn't happened before.

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Umm, left hand, right hand, have you been introduced?

It all shows a pretty bad case of immature change control. JDI is *not* a valid change methodology..

(I suspect that, in all their testing, they had not tested the effects of new and old topologies mixing..)

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Dave in QA

make automating all of your automation problematic

Automation is fine for the regular run-of-the-mill stuff (do X and you get Y, feed Y to Z and get expected result). What it's really, really not good at is edge cases - and in a lot of cases it can make the issue worse.

And over-reliance on automation also makes the techie skills atrophy - there's a reason why 'practice makes perfect' is a reasonable saying. If your techies[1] don't know how the guts of things work (and not just a 1-day course on the infrastructure but a 'I herd this stuff all day' thing) then any root-cause analysis is going to take longer because the people responsible for fixing the mess are not as intimately acquainted with the guts of the system and have to explore as well as fix..

[1] And not just the 'hero' types but the lower levels too. Having only one or two staff who know how everything works is a real risk in itself. Especially if (as most hero types are) they are spectacularly averse to documentation...

Abortion rights: US senators seek ban on sale of health location data

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Control by men of the woman's uterus is based on ancient religious beliefs.

and (for the religious) abortion is actual murder

Yet those same people (mostly) enthusiastically endorse the death penalty. Most of them claim to be Christian but obviously haven't *actually* read the Bible properly..

SpaceX reportedly fires staffers behind open letter criticising Elon Musk

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: A close reading...

you think black cats are the devil's servants

All hail our tenebrous feline overlords!

(I have two of that fur colour and, despite the 9 years age difference and having no genetic link other than coat colour, they are remarkably alike in personality.

The other cats (apart from the ex-farm tortie) know to knuckle their foreheads and obey. The tortie (who is the least tortie-personality tortie I've ever known) just stares back and, if hassled, explodes into a ball of knives. The other cats don't push her - I suspect it's being a semi-feral farm cat for her first 3 months taught her colony survival skills..

her brother is the only one that is allowed to hassle her - he's twice her size but doesn't have enough braincells to remember that it's a bad idea to hassle her.

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Never directly criticise the person paying your wages in public or work time ...

"Criticize in private, praise in public."

Is *meant* to apply to a manager with their staff..

And it's a good thing then - it builds team morale and ability (if done the right way)

Record players make comeback with Ikea, others pitching tricked-out turntables

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: I Don't think it's just about the Audio Quality

I just wanted to add another reason people might buy records

The covers. Prog albums *always* had the lyrics on the inside covers. Some CD releases would have a lyrics booklet but it got more and more rare. And some of the album covers were frankly amazing artwork. Still didn't make up for the easy degradation of the medium though.

Yes, you can look them up online (although most of the online lyrics sites will make out like they have a match but, when you go to the URL, it's a blank sheet where they want you to put in the lyrics)..

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

We still..

.. have our high-end Technics sound system (turntable, dual cassette, AM/FM radio) system set up in the lounge (where we set it up when we moved in in 1997).

One day I'll actually get round to actually connecting all the various bits!

Never was a fan of vinyl - I hated that it had such a short clean-sounding lifespan even if you used really a good stylus. So, in the old days, if I bought some vinyl, I'd immediately record it onto a decent-quality cassette then store the vinyl carefully until the cassette inevitably died. Rinse and repeat.

Then CDs came along - and I loved them. Then I got a Sony Minidisc recorder/player (and the utterly crap associated software that tried to enforce the only 3 copies rule by storing the data in an Access DB - blow away the DB, allow the software to rescan the music directory, problem solved).

Then came MP3 player, Napster[1], Apple iTunes[2]..

So much music, so little time. Happily, most of my chosen genres (prog, folk, jazz) are available in Apple Music DRM-free.

[1] AKA 'Try before you buy' - I bought a lot of my current music after grabbing (often poorly ripped and tagged) music from Napster and discovered a lot of new bands.

[2] And what a dire piece of software it was (and is since Apple Music is largely iTunes) - even on a Mac it's not exactly performant and has long-standing bugs (like shuffle play sometimes reverting to non-shuffle).

Makers of ad blockers and browser privacy extensions fear the end is near

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Does anyone need more justification

On Windows everything is either Chrome or a Chrome clone

You could try using safari..

(desperately tries to keep a straight face but fails)

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Does anyone need more justification

There really is no excuse for delaying your switch away from Chrome

I used Firefox for a long time but it got so slow and buggy that I couldn't cope.. it was fine on my Mac but on a mobile device (especially a Fire tablet) it was horrendously slow and crashed regularly).

I mostly now use Brave - yes it's built on Chromium but seems fairly resistant to the spyware urges of Chrome. I did use Chrome for a short time but when it decided to install stuff without my approval (or knowledge) it got kicked out.

France levels up local video game slang with list of French terms to replace foreign words

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Same old..

The aristocracy almost exclusively spoke French while everyone else spoke Anglo-Saxon

Which is why there are separate words for the animal and their meat (sheep vs mutton or pig vs pork spring to mind) - it was the peasants that raised the animals and so they were identified using the peasant language whereas it was (mostly) the aristocrats that ate the meat so it ended up using the appropriate word from the aristocratic language.

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

they generally get by with English

Indeed - for lots of boring historical reasons. But also because basic English is very, very flexible (because it's a context-derived language that, even when fairly corrupted, can get the meaning across).

Whereas other languages that are more rigidly structured get messy very quickly.

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: E-sports professionals?

So, you have proof that they aren't?

Yes - I've got 6 of the blighters and I'm not dead ye

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: E-sports professionals?

It's that old argument of sports vs games again

And sports people vs athletes.. The two are *very* much not the same..

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

they are just interested in the ability to jump through hoops

'Tis the way of bureaucrats everywhere. What matters is not doing things properly, it's doing things the way the form says it should be done..

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

learn all the French words for things to do with computers

Interestingly, the Gaidhlig (Scots Gaelic) word for 'database' is 'stordata'..

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

Many, many years ago my Dad amused himself by learning Hebrew. The modernisers of the language had the choice of either directly importing modern words from other languages for stuff that Hebrew didn't cover or to make up new Hebrew words to cover things.

They ended up doing it roughly 50/50.

Likewise modern Celtic languages.

English is a bit odd in that it's probably taken more words from French than French ever has borrowed from English - that's one reason why English vocabulary is so flexible..

Salesforce staff back an end to its relationship with NRA

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: pledge to double our commitment to making schools secure.

way more complicated and more deep rooted than any one single cause

Put this in D&D terms:

The UK is (mostly) true-neutral with good tendancies.

Germany is (mostly) lawful neutral

The US is (mostly) chaotic neutral (with evil tendancies)

Chaos == 'only I matter and what I want is paramount'

Law == 'The need of the many outweighs the need of the few'

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: How do we protect our 2nd amendment & our kids at the same time?

I have never in my life shot anybody

You are a single data point amongst 350 million other data points. To suggest that your experience will be the same as everybody elses is somewhat disingenuous.

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: How do we protect our 2nd amendment & our kids at the same time?

Can you provide evidence to support your second assertion that a militia, under the definition in use at the time, was "privately organized and maintained by the people, not the state"

In the UK (at the time) the militia was somewhat akin to the modern US National Guard or the UK Territorial Army - ie part-time soldiers who were trained and could be called up if needed.


The US militia of the time were slightly different - all able-bodied men were supposed to be available for militia duties. And the important point is thet they were organised paramilitary (and military) units - not loners with a gun.

Remember people - historical context is important when trying to work out what an historical document means..

As an example - look at the Militia Act of 1792 - it sets up that all free white males shall be enrolled in a militia under the control of a captain.. And that act was enacted when the 2nd amendment was drafted and accepted so it seems entirely reasonable to tie the two together.

So - looking at the historical context (as an outsider) it's fairly clear that the 2nd Amendment was designed to provide an armed populace *as part of a state or federally-controlled* conscript army in order to protect each state from threats to life.

it was *not* designed to ensure that people, uncontrolled by State or Federal control could carry as many guns as they could afford.

There were private militias (just like there were private militia regiments in the UK) but they were swept into the State (and later Federal) structure after the Revolutionary War.

And yes, you did get private militias in the US Civil War but then that's also happened in pretty much every was since the Peninsula War (which is why we call it Gurilla War (speeling?) - it's from the Spanish for 'little war' where Spanish irregular troops fought against the invading French.

Someone on Ars Technica made a very good point - in a US civil war today there are two scenrios:

1. The US Army (or large portion thereof) sides with the rebels and thus the rebels win since the army firepower is so much greater than any ragtag civilian militia

2. The US Army opposes the militia - in which case the militia dies fairly quickly and all goes quiet again.

So the purported purpose 'to oppose a tyrannical government' has already failed because any conflict between a militia and the government will be settled very quickly by the army and the choice they make.

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: How do we protect our 2nd amendment & our kids at the same time?

mass shootings would involve folks sitting around for a minute between reloads

The Peninsula War-era British army was very proud that their soldiers were expected to (and did) fire 3 rounds a minute..

Broadcom to 'focus on rapid transition to subscriptions' for VMware

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Software as service once again

i use Proxmox and it's perfectly fine

Indeed - likewise. Although my 2nd server in the clusder just failed (RAID array controller has gone doo-lally and can't see the drives any more..) but that's hardly the fault of Proxmox.

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: How to piss off your customers in one easy lesson

It looks like it is back to Virtualbox

Or you could look at something like Proxmox - cluster-capable linux specialised virtualisation (using QEMU and KVM) distro.

I've been using it for years.

Florida's content-moderation law kept on ice, likely unconstitutional, court says

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

restore the balance of critical thinking and wider opinion in this algorithm-driven opinion funnel world

This. The problem with the 'AI' driven stuff (and we all know it's not true AI) is that it isn't (and likely can't) understand the nuances for human speech. So they resort to word-matching and pretty feeble attempts to parlay past likes into possible future likes - ignoring the fact that doing so just acts as a reinforcement mechanism to the darker side of things.

All the social media promise advanced algorithms to do their content filtering but, in the background, still have to employ lots of staff and contractors to do filtering.

Voyager 1 space probe producing ‘anomalous telemetry data’

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Better yet, the mission was conceived in (IIRC), 1965

Likewise. And it has a lot less gone wrong than me..

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

And yet again, the OAP of space keeps going.

I wish I could exceed my design lifespan by that amount - and keep on functioning (relatively) normally.

(Note I didn't say working - I have no ambition to do that for the rest of my days!)

Open-source leaders' reputations as jerks is undeserved

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Offensive and poorlt thought through

Putting people in the right shaped hole is the key to success

Ding ding ding ding! A good team needs all sorts of roles - from technically-driven non-people people, people who can follow a script 200 times the same way and even, shockingly, people like me that get bored with doing routine stuff but are good with people (and good at explaining techie stuff to non-techies).

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: rude maintainers

the same mistake (and failing to look for existing solutions) is a common and repeated problem

Which is why (in general) devs shouldn't do support..

(I came from a dev background but switched over to doing support about 25 years ago. If you can't take people asking the same questions time after time, really, really don't do support. I'm a fairly patient person but have snapped at someone on a couple of occasions. And it's triggered by the same thing - the refusal to learn. If I've taught you to do the same thing 5 times I'd like you to remember it - even if it means being proactive and writing it down! Willful ignorance pushes my buttons..)

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: rude maintainers

one that was technically quite good


I've been using it for years but then I've never met the author (or even had anything to do with him other than reading some of his stuff). He does seem to have some... determined views on things.

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Arrogance and rude behavior are rampant in just technology circles?

've seen some pretty appalling displays that have nothing to do with technology.

Indeed. Humans gonna human, no matter the context.

The problem is somewhat compounded by the fact that people think they are free to be nasty online because 'it's just words and words don't matter'

Which is a really, really flawed way of looking at it. Especially as a lot of our interpersonal communication depends on body language, tone of voice and facial expression. Without those, words that, if said face to face, would just get a laugh, can raise tempers and cause hurt.

Be nice to one another people. It's not hard - it just involves not letting your ego take over.

Enterprise-strength FreeBSD-based TrueNAS releases v13.0

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

rather ancient HP micro server, only capacity for 4 disks

I'm running TrueNAS on a rather ancient HP Microserver too - but I got round the disk limit by buying an Icybox external RAID enclosure and connecting it to the server via an E-SATA card.

Works like a charm (apart from the fact that the HP's power switch is a bit flaky and it sometimes spontaneously turns itself off..)

Only Microsoft can give open-source the gift of NTFS. Only Microsoft needs to

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: nothing to do with OS/2

OS/2 had HPFS ("High Performance" File System). NTFS was purely an NT file-system.

Microsoft (at the time) sort of admitted that NTFS grew out of HPFS - it was very similar in structure at the start (and yes - putting an NTFS drive into an OS/2 server and tweaking the filesystem partition ID was a Bad Idea (TM). It didn't last long before getting hopelessly corrupted..)

They started off as cousins and grew further apart as HPFS grew then disappeared and NTFS changed with each iteration.

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

As I recall, dual-booting and using existing data were two good reasons

Indeed. In the dim and distant past we didn't have reliable hypervisors so the only way to do a multi-OS setup was to dual boot.

Where I was doing that sort of thing I usually had a Windows partition, a linux partition and third FAT32 partition for stuff I wanted both to be able to get to. Which wasted a fair amount of space.

Nowadays I have Parallels on my Mac, Hyper-V on my work Windows laptop and KVM on my virtualisation servers upstairs (yay for Proxmox!) so really, really don't have need for multi-OS booting.

Obviously my requirement isn't universal. And the entertainment unit in the car only accepts USB sticks formatted with FAT32.. (Not that I think it'll ever be able to read APFS - all my music is on my Mac!)

Elon Musk set to buy Twitter in $44b deal, promises stuff

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

I've always found the idea of debt leveraging a company to buy it out to be a bit dodgy

It's a practice that should be banned - it (pretty much) directly lead to the demise of Toys 'R Us (and a few other companies taken over by VCs using debt-loaded buyouts where the expected revenue didn't arrive in quantities such that the debt could be serviced).

Sure - Musk *could* pay the interest charges but I suspect he'll get bored with the rigmarole of running a company like Twitter - it's not like it's making a physical produce like Tesla or SpaceX and it faces legal hurdles (like Section 230[1]) that his other companies don't. Once he gets bored he'll then try to sell it off and almost certainly won't get back anything like what he paid for it - and Twitter will still have the debt loading it down.

[1] The US law that says companies like Twitter/Facebook et. al. are not responsible for user-generated content but that they must remove anything illegal or promoting illegality. The Repubs hate it because it limits their ability to be racist, homophobic and tell lies about Covid/climate change etc etc. Musk will be in a world of hurt if he starts ignoring it in search of Freeze Peach..

Travel tech sheds legacy baggage, heads to the cloud with Google

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Not in the interest of customers

The Sabre/Ipars protocols supported thousands of terminals on 2400/4800 baud lines

My first proper job was as a TPF programmer at Galileo and my wife worked there as well (also as a TPF programmer). I eventually morphed over to doing PC support - I wasn't necessarily a poor programmer - it just didn't interest me as much as working with DOS and OS/2.

My wife ended up in their Links team - they handled the communications processes (which ran on a separate IBM 3090J) that talked to the outside world and, especially, to airlines. Their availability formats were a bit of a nightmare - generally in structured text but they would change without warning and the translation layer would have to change with it..

Then Galileo shot themselves in the foot and decided to close the UK data centre. I think they honestly thought that everyone would jump at the chance to move out to Denver[1] but only a very tiny minority did.

[1] Move to a place that supported the Denver Donkeys^W Broncos - hell no! I'd probably get shot for wearing my SF49er jackets..

Russian media watchdog bans Google from advertising its services

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Violent Tank Tourism

greater ease of spotting and identifying armour

And compounded by the apparent inability of the Russian air defense units to spot and take down drones..

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Fascism 101

I saw a TV segment that involved a Ukrainian grandmother who was comparing the Russian troops to the WW2 Germans:

"They do the same things as the Germans did - the only difference is that we can understand the Russians"

Happy birthday Windows 3.1, aka 'the one that Visual Basic kept crashing on'

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Pros: you could zip a bare install of Windows up

Cons: You had to spend hours mucking around with config.sys and autoexec.bat to get the damned thing to work, especially if you had network bindings to contend with.

And some drivers really, really didn't like interacting with himem.sys

(Our setup was IBM PS/2's token ring networks and OS/2 LAN Server. Most people just ran MS-DOS 3.3 or 5 and the IBM terminal emulator but some of us - me included - used stuff that enabled multitasking like DesQView. Then we tried out Windows 3.0 and 3.11 - neither impressed particularly especially when compared to OS/2)

South Yorkshire to test fiber broadband through water pipes

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: @Captain Scarlet

A few days later, a line of small springs erupted along the entire length of the street...

I remember (many, many years ago) a bus dropping into a hole under the road that had been carved out by a somewhat leaking mains water pipe..

Amazing how clay can be washed away by high pressure water spraying into it until what's left is too weak to support the weight of the tarmac and double-decker on top of it.

DARPA says US hypersonic missile is ready for real world

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

You forgot:

The vaunted Russian air defence units seem unable to detect the Ukrainian drones and tend to end up getting extra crispy..

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Sooo...

but this sounds just a trifle optimistic to me

The principle of 'testing by the end-user' (AKA 'The Microsoft Way') is clearly alive and well in the military-industrial complex..

After all, weapons manufacturers need to keep up their bloated profits!

Amazon internal chat app that censored talk of unions and ethics may 'never launch at all'

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: @bombastic bob - What an idiotic waste of time and effort

Not paying your employees and working them till burn out also makes your enterprise profitable

Right up until you run out of people desperate to work there..

UK suit over reselling surplus Microsoft licenses rolls on

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Where are Microsoft to go after Windows 11?

Ah yes - the version of Windows made after Microsoft affirmed that "Windows 10 is the last version of Windows that we will make.."

Amazon warehouse workers in New York unionize in historic win against web giant

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Trickle-down economics

I think it is funny when people repeatedly (not you) bring up the 1970's as if we should be careful of unions.

That's because some of us lived through the 70s and can remember what it was like. The unions were essentially used as pawns in a struggle between the Left and the Right - often with no thought for the actual workers involved.

British cops arrest seven in Lapsus$ crime gang probe

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: let him continue?

The law takes a dim view of preemptively kicking down doors to go on fishing trips for evidence

Unless you are a US law enforcement type..

Google helps develop AI-driven lab machine to diagnose Parkinson's

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Parkinson's Disease based on the pill-rolling tremor, a festinant gait, muscle stiffness

Sadly - no. My father had PD (eventually died from PD complications) and, at least initially, had none of those symptoms. He discovered he had it in follow-up tests after a TIA.

He was an industrial pharmacist and spent the next 20 years putting his skills to use in PD management (especially the drug regime and timings) - he ended up doing lectures for PD specialist nurses so, hopefully, his testing (mostly on himself!) will continue to bear fruit.

Another elderly gent that I knew also had PD - in his case it was very, very mild and only progressed very slowly. As others have said - the presentation can be extremely variable and the methods used to diagnose one can't necessarily be used to diagnose another.

File Explorer fiasco: Window to Microsoft's mixed-up motivations

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Nitpicky, but...

And before Windows 3.x it was MS-DOS Executive.

Or Norton Commander. In the days when Norton was usable and trustworthy..

(Most of my linux VMs have Midnight Commander installed..)


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