* Posts by simonlb

222 posts • joined 13 Nov 2015

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It's been five years since Windows 10 hit: So... how's that working out for you all?

simonlb Silver badge

Re: Nope

Except when Windows 2000 decided it wanted to make you wait a minute after clicking on Shut Down before it actually bothered to shut down and you had to reinstall SP4 to fix it.

Used to have to do that twice a week on my system.

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

simonlb Silver badge

Re: Sorry to see them go...

Yeah, remember when I was kid David Bailey advertising the Olympus Trip. End of an era.

Tens of millions of Internet-of-Things, network-connected gizmos at risk of remote hijacking? Computer, engage shocked mode

simonlb Silver badge

Re: Just another reason

Wait, you have to book a time to go to the tip in Hampshire? And I thought that going to the doctor was a faff. Unless the Hampshire tip is a tourist attraction...

Overload: A one-way ticket to a madman's situation

simonlb Silver badge
Facepalm

Been There, Had That

In my previous job as an email administrator we had a request to add a server to our email relay for a new project that was under development that would generate and send email notifications to senior staff within our customers company. As part of the request process it was asked how many specific messages were likely to be generated per day by the new system, and the answer given to us was 'around 200'. The request was approved and on the agreed Friday I night added the server ip address to the message relay on our Ironport cluster, ready for the project manager and a couple of developers to do some testing on the Saturday.

As the on-call person that weekend I get a call around 9.00pm on Saturday from my manager saying a large number of our customers senior staff had received multiple copies of the same email throughout the day on their smartphones and can I 'find out what the hell is going on?'

I duly login and check the Ironport logs and find that the new server added to the relay the night before had sent out around 100,000 messages during the day so I immediately removed it from the relay, updated my incident ticket with the details and added that until the project manager could fully explain why this had happened we would not be relaying messages for the project any time soon.

On the Monday the project manager sheepishly admitted that they had done some testing on the Saturday that had completed correctly but after he had gone home the second developer stayed on run some more test scripts unauthorised and had left them running but hadn't checked them thoroughly first, and due to a bug they were churning out blocks of messages at regular intervals.

The developer got a bollocking for using unauthorised and untested scripts, the server was added back into the mail relay and shortly thereafter the project went live without a hitch.

Wailing Wednesday follows Patch Tuesday as versions of Windows 10 stop playing nicely with plugged-in printers

simonlb Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Borksoft

Yet another thing that has worked pretty well for 20-odd years gets broken by Microsoft with yet another update. FFS Microsoft, when will you sort your shit out, hire some competent developers and do some proper QA like you used to do?

This all just reinforces my belief that the whole design of Windows from NT onwards has been fundamentally broken and just gets worse as time goes on.

OK Windows 10, we get it: You really do not want us to install this unsigned application. But 7 steps borders on ridiculous

simonlb Silver badge
WTF?

Re: Colin Wilson 2 - Apple have got this right!

They give themselves permission to install some essential tool, and its still there years later - even after they're long gone and their laptop's being used by someone else.

Whoa there! I'd expect any PC or laptop that is being reused to be reimaged with the current corporate OS build before being handed out to another employee. Not doing that is just asking for trouble, especially if you have users classed as 'developers' who can install pretty much anything they like.

No more installing Microsoft's Chromium-centered Edge by hand: Windows 10 will do it for you automatically

simonlb Silver badge
Thumb Down

Oh FFS!

It's as if MS has now decided to follow Samsung's policy of ramming as much non-removable crapware into it's products just because they can. MS should really be focusing their efforts on fixing the broken abortion of a UI they've nailed onto Win10 or even providing the option to use an alternate one like previous versions of Windows did. Oh, and removing all the unnecessary telemetry. Not a comprehensive list I know but it would be a start.

DBA locked in police-guarded COVID-19-quarantine hotel for the last week shares his story with The Register

simonlb Silver badge
Meh

And this is why the Aussies are on top of it

I'm glad the DBA and his partner look to be ok and will be able to go home soon, but the quarantine is one one the main reasons Australia is right on top of controlling the spread of Coronavirus and has had a death rate a few orders of magnitude less than the UK.

Mandatory quarantine for all people arriving in the country is also something the UK government have singularly failed to do which is complete madness, and with the garbled and incoherent announcement from Boris last night we will see another spike in the confirmed cases in about three weeks which will set the whole country back at least another two months. I can see this outbreak will rumble along in the UK until November due to our governments complete lack of decisive and responsible action in controlling the Pandemic here. It's like they don't give a shit about anyone else in the country.

O2 be a fly on the wall during BT and Vodafone's video calls: Telefónica's UK biz, Virgin Media officially merge

simonlb Silver badge

Re: Ha ha

I jumped ship to 3 and haven't looked back.

Is this the same company as Three, whose 3G and 4G signals seem unable to penetrate anything more substantial than a tent? After years of putting up with that I moved to Vodafone five months ago and I can finally get a usable internet connection on my mobile inside a building. Even in pubs (when they were a thing.)

Assange should be furloughed from Belmarsh prison, says human rights org. Here's a thought: He could stay with friends!

simonlb Silver badge
WTF?

Re: Sure...

"If Assange contracts COVID-19 and dies, the UK government will be accused of deliberately and methodically killing Julian Assange."

WTAF? Why is this twat always portrayed as the victim and all the facts around as to why he is actually in prison just conveniently ignored every single time? He has proven to be completely untrustworthy and a flight risk so he should stay right where he is for as long as necessary until the legal process is complete.

The only thing furloughed here is the common sense and logic from the brains of Assange's supporters. I'm pretty sure under the current UK Covid-19 emergency legislation these supporters could be sectioned due to their tenuous grip on reality.

Florida man might just stick it to HP for injecting sneaky DRM update into his printers that rejected non-HP ink

simonlb Silver badge
FAIL

I hope they lose and have punitive damages levelled against them too.

To use the car analogy here, the fact a car manufacturer recommends that you use a certain brand of engine oil to lubricate the engine, you don't have to use that brand. It is irrelevant how much they spend on R+D every day to develop their engines, the brand of oil you use after YOU have bought the car is entirely your own choice.

The argument about the quality of non-genuine inks might have had some validity 20 years ago, but not now - I've had a number of Canon printers and currently run an Epson printer and they have all worked quite happily using non-genuine ink cartridges and I have been unable to notice a reduction in printer performance or print quality.

Seeing as how the printer manufacturers make their inks on an industrial scale I find it hard to believe that a couple of tablespoons of ink costs £25 when a non-genuine ink costs the equivalent of £4, so the only explanation for the extortionate prices they charge you is pure greed. Perhaps if they spent a few quid extra improving the build quality of their printers and priced the ink as the consumable it is rather than as a luxury item then people might be more inclined to buy genuine ink cartridges in preference to non-genuine. Not going to hold my breath on that though.

Patently dogged: Apple unleashes lawyers to slash $454m patent rip-off bill – even after Supreme Court snub

simonlb Silver badge
FAIL

Re: I wonder.

Totally vexatious. Smack them with punitive damages with a no appeal clause so they shut up, pay up and go away.

Move fast and break stuff, Windows Terminal style: Final update before release will nix your carefully crafted settings

simonlb Silver badge
Terminator

Re: How about a poll?

another name for the zeroth floor of a building

Just like the Zeroth Law of Robotics, as defined by R Giskard Reventlov

simonlb Silver badge

Re: How about a poll?

Zero is the logical place to start: You measure electricity from zero volts and you measure altitude from sea level and go up or down from there. Ignoring zero and starting at one makes no sense as the first number in any counting system - binary, octal, decimal, hex - is always zero.

Mind you, the Americans seem to insist on calling the first floor of a building the second floor so I can see why they may get confused about it...

Getting a pizza the action, AS/400 style

simonlb Silver badge

Re: Pineapple good. Pepperoni bad.

Putting pineapple on a pizza is like putting anchovies on ice cream - a perverse level of sickness that no one ever needs to experience. And remember, just because you can do something does not mean that you should. Ever.

Pepperoni on the other hand.....

In case you need more proof the world's gone mad: Behold, Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels

simonlb Silver badge

Re: These are wheely gweat!

Nearly £600 for four fucking castors? I've now come to the conclusion Apple have a company sweepstake going on each time they make something to see just how much some idiots will pay for them. It's just like seeing the prices on some of the truly horrific looking 'luxury' watches in Harrods.

UK big five carriers bin wired broadband download quotas for as long as we're all stuck indoors

simonlb Silver badge

Re: Stupidest Idea EVER!!

They are removing quotas, not stopping traffic shaping and throttling.Do try to keep up.

Apple grudgingly opens up its check book, pays VirnetX $454m in patent royalties after a decade of wrangling

simonlb Silver badge
Stop

Hopefully, One Day...

Hopefully, one day someone will revise the legal process so that if you have already lost a case twice and insist on appealing again to drag out the process (like Apple and numerous others like to do), there is an additional clause put in so that if you lose the case a third time you are classed as a 'Vexatious Litigant' and any payments already awarded against you are doubled with an additional punitive sum also added (call it a 'cease and desist' payment) and no further appeals or lawsuits relating to this now closed case can ever be brought again.

Two years late, but upgrade wave finally washes a billion folk onto Windows 10 as its Android phone waits in the wings

simonlb Silver badge

Re: How many chose to buy it?

Being completely honest, the only version of Windows I ever willingly paid for was 7 because at the time it was worth it and I liked it. Over time though, the constant updates became a pain and after avoiding GWX and a whole stack of other 'updates' which were designed to push you to installing 10, subsequent updates seemed to break random stuff for no good reason. As I could see no alternative I moved to Linux and am perfectly happy there.

I still use Win7 in a VM (with internet disabled) and grudgingly installed 10 in a VM last week - it truly is an absolutely abysmal UI and the whole experience is just awful. Just giving it a Win7 mode would be at least 1000 times better. Personally, my initial hatred of 10 is thoroughly vindicated now. Paid for or free - I still would never use Win10 as the main OS for any of my home PC's.

Microsoft throws a bone to those unable to leave the past behind: .NET 5 support on the way for Visual Basic

simonlb Silver badge

Re: v5?

And there was also MSDOS v4 which was bad. MS do have prior form with versioning numbers.

Stuck at home? Need something to keep busy with? Microsoft has 115 ideas – including an awful SMBv3 security hole to worry about

simonlb Silver badge

Or they've already been hacked and someone has stolen them!

Hello, support? What do I click if I want some cash?

simonlb Silver badge

Re: Barclays don't dogfood their IT

Does this particular family member also click on links in random emails from eBay, Amazon and Paypal to login and confirm their details? The day I start taking IT security instructions from my bank is the day I chuck all my computers in the bin and buy an abacus.

Uber takes a downer as ride-sharing app service crashes

simonlb Silver badge

Re: Uber's cut?

Portland, Oregon?

Portland, Maine?

Portland Bill?

Enquiring minds need to know.

Computer, deactivate self-destruct system requirement, says Sonos... were it on a starship in space, and not a smart-speaker slinger

simonlb Silver badge
FAIL

"designed to help customers transition from legacy products to modern Sonos experiences"

Trying to give existing customers an incentive to upgrade transition to newer kit is good, but doing it by essentially destroying the kit they already own is not. All Sonos have done here is to piss people off and make themselves look idiots. I'm happy to avoid ever buying any of their overpriced stuff now and positively welcome the experience.

Cumulative Update 2 for Microsoft SQL Server 2019 breaks SQL Server Agent

simonlb Silver badge
FAIL

Re: SNAFU usual Microsoft ..

I'm surprised MS aren't trying to fob people off by saying it's a vendor issue and not their problem to fix, like they did when they broke networking in Windows 10.

In the E in HPE stands for Eroding revenues... Intel chip shortage, hardware supplies, coronavirus punish IT titan

simonlb Silver badge
Meh

Don't worry...

It's HPE so they will embark on yet another round of workforce reduction so as to 'Increase revenue for our stakeholders.' That works every time.

Death and taxis: Windows has had enough of clinging to a cab rooftop in the London rain

simonlb Silver badge

Re: Everything under control

Was it the loose nut behind the wheel?

HP Ink: No way, Xerox. We're not accepting your takeover. Well, we'd never say never. Maybe even maybe? Hello, you still there? Please?

simonlb Silver badge
FAIL

"the current Xerox acquisition offer is not in the best interest of HP shareholders"

Nothing about the best interests of the company or its employees, just make sure the shareholders get a bigger dividend or potential profit should they want to cash out. This is what makes me sick of these companies now because the arseholes in charge just do not give a fuck about anything except making a little more cash for themselves and to hell with anything else.

This is your last chance, HP. There's no turning back. You take blue poison pill, the story ends. You take the red Xerox pill, you stay in Wonderland

simonlb Silver badge

Re: Both companies are crap

No, I'm going to argue that the TouchPad was a really good tablet with an excellent OS, but HP priced it directly against the iPad which was complete insanity. Then, instead of cutting the prices to get sales moving and establish the tablet they decided after six weeks to give up completely, shut down the production lines and have a fire sale to dump all the stock. That is after they initially paid $1.2 billion to buy Palm to acquire the tablet OS they had been developing and enter the tablet market.

simonlb Silver badge
FAIL

No winners here except the banks

It's a real shame. Both HP and Xerox were once - many, many years ago - excellent examples of technology companies that had good, innovative product lines, that were properly and responsibly managed and that were places people would aspire to work for because they were not only great places to work but actually working for them was both an honour and something to be proud of. This has now been completely destroyed by years of bad management and corporate greed, and to see them now being used as pawns in a selfish game of Monopoly by someone who already has more money then they'll ever need just to make even more money is both disgusting and tragic. If this goes through, the only winners here will be the banks who will be forcing policy on whichever company survives to cover their potential losses, and the losers will be tens of thousands of innocent employees from both current companies.

Xerox hopes wining and dining HP shareholders will convince them of takeover

simonlb Silver badge
Stop

One More Waffer Thin Share Sir?

They should keep well away, otherwise there will be an almighty bout of indigestion once they realise just how hard it will be to pay off that $24 billion loan Xerox took on to take them over. It will be far worse than a private equity company doing a bit of asset stripping to get their pound of flesh.

Don't break your swanky new Motorola Razr, you probably won't be able to get it fixed

simonlb Silver badge

I think you missed out the word 'flip' somewhere there, but in any case I can only see these every really being a niche product. Especially at those ludicrous prices.

Dual screens, fast updates, no registry cruft and security in mind: Microsoft gives devs the lowdown on Windows 10X

simonlb Silver badge

Re: Dual screen?

Correct, so why hasn't Microsoft even provided any Win7/Vista/XP/2000 UI alternatives for users to switch to in Win10 yet? Other versions allowed it, and the various distros of Linux have them so why won't MS provide them for Win10?

Beware, Tesla might take away your car's autopilot if you buy its vehicles from third party dealerships – plus more news

simonlb Silver badge

Re: bits of your car not working...

It's a third party dealership and they have no control over what updates and other stuff Tesla deem applicable to any of their cars resold via non-authorised (i.e. non Tesla) dealerships. Tesla want to make it so difficult to buy a second hand Tesla from a non-Tesla dealer that people stomach the extra expense to save themselves any aggro further down the line. This has been mentioned before in other comment threads about how Apple have been disabling genuine replacement iPhone parts because they have been fitted by a non-approved Apple repair shops such as Louis Rossman and others so there is already a similar precedent here..

What the legal aspect of this is will be interesting to see, although unless it is explicitly stated in any of the Tesla terms and conditions for the sale a given car that it must only ever be resold via a Tesla dealer, this would probably be declared illegal and the only thing they could realistically do and get away with is to not provide any further updates to any of the software on the vehicle. This will be an interesting one to watch.

Robbing-some Caruso and pal lived life of luxury using victims' millions in crypto-Ponzi scam, say prosecutors

simonlb Silver badge

Re: "a cryptocurrency investment fund"

exotic proprietary trading strategies

Yeah, there's also some Egyptians wanting to call prior art on that part as well

Will Asimov fix my doorbell? There should be a law about this

simonlb Silver badge
Terminator

A Double Edged Sword

3. An AI has the right to defend itself, unless this conflicts with the above two laws.

Not so good if the AI in question is a drone armed with sidewinder missiles which won't do what it's told, but OTOH, at some point your Windows PC will decide it's safer not to do any more bi-annual updates and ignore the Windows Update service.

UK to Chinese telecoms giant: From 5G in Tiree to the Isles of Ebony, carry me on the waves… Sail Huawei, sail Huawei, sail Huawei

simonlb Silver badge

Can you please pick up your end of the string telephone? I've been trying to call you for an hour…

Oh, so you're on Three as well?

Microsoft: 14 January patch was the last for Windows 7. Also Microsoft: Actually...

simonlb Silver badge

Re: This won't be popular...

I do find it slightly curious that many of the people who're quite happy to install their desktop of choice on Linux seem to have a massive problem with Windows 10 due to the interface, when it's trivial to install classic shell and basically have a Windows 7 interface

That's a fair point I'll grant you. Mind you, installing a different desktop on Linux is not really any different from Windows themes, but the issue here is that the UI functionality in Win10 is so bad compared to what it was previously for no logical or sensible reason, and there is no alternative available within the OS itself.. At least if MS had said, "Here's our new, super duper Win10 UI we think you'll love! However, if you're not keen on it, here are the previous UI versions you can switch to whenever you like - 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP, 2000, even NT! The choice is yours." people would probably have accepted it a lot sooner. But they didn't and they haven't even introduced the option to do that even after five years despite having plenty of opportunities to do so.

simonlb Silver badge
WTF?

Re: This won't be popular...

Strange, I've had a machine running Win7 Home for over seven years with only a touchscreen on it and it has been perfectly usable. If your going to make out that Win10 is somehow better because it was designed to be used with a touchscreen, you'll have to do better than that.

Win10 deservedly attracted such a level of hatred due to its abysmal UI design, the attempted forced upgrade from Win7 (and don't even try to deny that, especially on here), the rampant and non-optional telemetry (unless you are a corporate user) and the numerous clusterfucks of various updates over the years which have broken many a machines functionality or even lost users data. Oh, and how suddenly Win10 broke network connectivity which had been working previously for years, but that MS tried to make out was a vendor driver issue. There's a lot more, but stop it with the crap that it's because people didn't buy a new machine and decided to carry on using 'legacy' hardware.

No, Win10 is an absolute shitshow and will be for years to come.

Well, well, well. Internet-of-Things speaker biz Sonos to continue some software support for legacy kit after all

simonlb Silver badge
FAIL

Re: "For now"

Ha! Too late now: I'll never be one of their customers after this level of twattishness.

Guilty as charged: Apple confesses some Smart Battery Cases are having 'issues', offers replacements

simonlb Silver badge
Trollface

Just loads of sheep milling around...

Step away from that Windows 7 machine, order UK cyber-cops: It's not safe for managing your cash digitally

simonlb Silver badge

so as not to devalue the free upgrade programme they did up to 2016

That forced upgrade program gave no value whatsoever to anyone afflicted by it.

Cogent cut off from ARIN Whois after scraping net engineers' contact details and sliding them to sales staff

simonlb Silver badge
Trollface

'We’ve asked Cogent for a response'

Yes, but will you get a cogent response?

We’ve had enough of your beach-blocking shenanigans, California tells stubborn Sun co-founder: Kiss our lawsuit

simonlb Silver badge

Re: Eminent domain

Minus the court costs plus additional punitive costs for being a vexatious litigant as well as complete twat.

Latest patent brouhaha: Sonos wheels out Doomsday device in bid to block Google Home sales.... The Register

simonlb Silver badge

Re: BYO Popcorn?

At least with the Google devices (along with Amazon and others) you can unregister them and pass them on to someone else to use once you no longer need or want them. Sonos seem to want to go down the route of forcing you to scrap their kit once you have finished with it, even if it is only a couple of years old.

Personally, if it's a £30 device I could possibly accept that, but for something that costs a few hundred quid that just isn't justified so is not an option for me.

Microsoft: Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, my PowerShell has gone RC

simonlb Silver badge

Re: I really...

It really depends what your use case is but from personal experience when coupled with something like PrimalForms to create a front-end, you can create some very nice and handy user account management tools which make your job a lot lot easier.

Mind you, having had to create my own tools from scratch because my employer at the time only had a budget to pay off people on the redundancy merry go round every quarter, I also found that vbscript in a few cases could also do exactly the same job, but just a hell of a lot faster.

The time PC Tools spared an aerospace techie the blushes

simonlb Silver badge

Re: Windows 3.1

From memory and experience building PC's in a shop in the early nineties, Windows 3.1 was six floppies and Windows 3.11 for Workgroups was seven floppies.

Go champion retires after losing to AI, Richard Nixon deepfake gives a different kind of Moon-landing speech...

simonlb Silver badge

Re: glitchy

It still sounds more honest and trustworthy than Boris Johnson though.

You live where you live ... and ex-SAP boss Bill McDermott lives in a house like this

simonlb Silver badge
Unhappy

Invite Meg Whitman round?

I'd only do that so I could push her down the stairs.

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