* Posts by W4YBO

299 posts • joined 6 Jan 2016

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I got 99 problems, and all of them are your fault

W4YBO

Re: Reminds me of my mum

How the hell did my 82 year old mom install and enable a Dvorak keyboard? She's never even heard of one.

"Hey Mom, see the clock in the lower right of your screen." "Yes." "What are the letters just to the left of it?" "ENG & DV."

Finally, a wafer-thin server... Only a tiny little thin one. Oh all right. Just the one...

W4YBO

Re: Bah!

1978 Spitfire 1500. I couldn't tell whether the top was down or up in the rain. Broke my right foot on the doorsill while pushing it out of the road when the differential blew up.

Currently trying to convince my wife that one would be a great project car.

Call us immediately if your child uses Kali Linux, squawks West Mids Police

W4YBO

"However, as with any software, it can also be misused by those with less legitimate intentions."

As can authority.

Oh dear... AI models used to flag hate speech online are, er, racist against black people

W4YBO

Re: Father Chrismas is fucked!

“ Ho! Ho! Ho!”.

Who you calling a Ho?

When the satellite network has literally gone glacial, it's vital you snow your enemy

W4YBO

Re: Intermittent interruptions

We were installing a new three meter dish on the roof and had several outages that week. Chatting over a few pints of ‘brain lube’ and including a cohort that was familiar with aviation electronics got me on the trail. Then asked the boss to make inquiries at the local general aviation airfield.

W4YBO

Intermittent interruptions

Reposted due to relevance...

I tried for several weeks to diagnose an intermittent interruption in a Scientific Atlanta digital satellite receiver. Usually only on Fridays before lunch, but occasionally randomly throughout the week. Worked out to be two causes. First was the guy with a spark transmitter cleverly disguised as a Weedeater brand string trimmer. It generated every frequency from DC to Light and would swamp the LNA on the dish antenna. Had the disk jockey on duty flag the guy down just before the top of the hour to give him a ten minute break, so we could get through the top-of-hour newscast. The second cause (random throughout the week) was a private plane at the local airport that just had a radar altimeter installed. When he would fly over, his radar's outgoing pulse would overload the LNA and knock a three second hole in the received audio.

Could an AI android live forever? What, like your other IT devices?

W4YBO

"The fires of Mount Doom."

I have a weird looking doorstop consisting several old hard drives, a rack handle, and a few pounds of copper thermite left over after a big antenna project. Shaped generally like a flower pot.

Could you just pop into the network room and check- hello? The Away Team. They're... gone

W4YBO

Re: Not an explosion, just my own daftness...

First year Electrical Engineering lab class. Somebody (not me) discovered that charging a Sprague Orangedrop 0.01 µF capacitor to 200-300v and tossing it to a classmate would elicit a satisfying howl.

Forty years later, and I still avoid catching stuff tossed to me by surprise.

Egg on North Face: Wikipedia furious after glamp-wear giant swaps article pics for sneaky ad shots – and even brags about it in a video

W4YBO

I've got several items of North Face gear...

...but I'll never buy another stitch. My life has literally depended on NF, but there are other good brands.

That's a hell of Huawei to run a business, Chinese giant scolds FedEx after internal files routed via America

W4YBO

FedEx SmartPost

I recently ordered some new QSL cards (a postcard used to verify a Ham radio conversation) from a company about 300 miles from my home. The company shipped via FedEx SmartPost, a service that ships via FedEx to the local post office for delivery. FedEx sent them on a 3000+ mile odyssey that included six states, and took almost two weeks.

Never let something so flimsy as a locked door to the computer room stand in the way of an auditor on the warpath

W4YBO

Re: whether if they'd had their sidearms they could have shot the lock off instead

"Why do people cite mythbusters as if it's science rather than tv entertainment?"

Particularly bad in their later seasons. I like explosions as much as the next guy, but the careful experiment to boom ratio went way down.

As far as gaining access to a "secure" area, I just got the skinny intern to drop through the drop ceiling panel after shimmying over the wall. Justified use of an intern, since he'd somehow changed the code on the lock in the first place.

Heard the one where the boss calls in an Oracle consultant who couldn't fix the database?

W4YBO

"ran like a three-legged dog"

Being from the southern US, I never really gave this phrase much thought until a few weeks ago. That's when I saw my neighbor's three-legged Malinois (missing left front leg) run down a 30-35 mph bicyclist in front of our house.

Yes, I'm that guy that counts seconds while speeders traverse two utility poles. If I lived in town, I'd be yelling "Get off my lawn!"

Haunted disk-drive? This story will give you the chills...

W4YBO

Re: Put a heater in the safe then ?

Most contemporary safes have a 3/8 inch hole drilled into the lower right rear to pass a power cord through. My Heritage safe (6' x 3' x 2' interior) uses a 3 watt heater, and I've never had any condensation problems, even with a damp basement. The hole equalizes air pressure so you can open the door after barometric changes, too.

Bad weather, baulky booster keep ISS 'naut snacks on the ground

W4YBO

No Tang?

Don't mean to alarm you – but NASA is about to pummel the planet with huge frikkin' space laser

W4YBO
Pint

Re: I'm not worried...

"laser breams"

Brilliant! Thanks for a good laugh.

Sysadmin trained his offshore replacements, sat back, watched ex-employer's world burn

W4YBO

The Replacements...

New owners operations manager essentially told me I wouldn't have a job in a couple of weeks, and that he'd make my life hell until then. His best buddy was taking my position, and I needed to go push-mow the six acre tower field in the meantime. I'd already been looking, and had a couple of possibilities, so I said goodbye with the anticipation of a short vacation while interviewing.

FNG (the New Guy, you guess what the F stands for) decided he was so happy with his new job that he hadn't shown up for yet, and that he'd celebrate with a bottle. Then hurricane Hugo hit. Old oak tree came down on the outer guy point, and snapped the 400 foot tower like a twig. FNG gets bagged for drunk driving before he got out of his home state. Never did make it to his new job.

Tech team trapped in data centre as hypoxic gas flooded in. Again

W4YBO

"...all the dust that gets blown around..."

I didn't quite see it, but I felt and heard the explosion of a flour mill (actually the grain elevator, but the mill disappeared when the elevator did) around three miles away. I hope no one allows that much dust build-up in their data center, but I've seen one that had to be close.

Drug cops stopped techie's upgrade to question him for hours. About everything

W4YBO

Re: It's a sound salvation.

I had my five year old godson convinced that the round hay bales out in the fields were unripened marshmallows. They shrank to size as they dried.

Creep travels half the world to harass online teen gamer… and gets shot by her mom – cops

W4YBO

Re: Great outcome, but what about over here?

God made Man. Sam Colt made men (and women) equal.

Trainee techie ran away and hid after screwing up a job, literally

W4YBO

Re: This post is a screw up in more ways than one.

Honeytrap for the obsessive-compulsive.

In defence of online ads: The 'net ain't free and you ain't paying

W4YBO

It may just be in the USA...

but June is Accordion Appreciation month.

Don’t talk to the ATM, young man, it’s just a machine and there’s nobody inside

W4YBO

Re: Ah FUBAR

The three (that I know of) gradations of FUBAR...

SNAFU - Situation normal, all effed up.

TARFU - Things are really effed up

FUBAR - Effed up beyond all recognition (or repair.)

Off with e's head: E-cig explosion causes first vaping death

W4YBO

Re: Obviously the wrong drug...

I love the smell of Latakia in the morning! I cleaved to the pipe as well in my early twenties as a backpacker (trail name - Freight Train. Guess why.) Works wonders repelling black flies and mosquitoes. Add more Latakia, and it'll repel most people, too.

I wonder if vape liquid scents attract black bears?

My PC is on fire! Can you back it up really, really fast?

W4YBO

Bar-B-Que

I was jangled awake dark and early one spring morning by my bedside telephone. The main transmitter was off the air, the backup was on, and oh yeah, the smoke alarm at the transmitter site is alarming. Hour drive to the site, but the backup stayed on-air for the whole trip, so the building's probably not burning down. No flash fire when I opened the building door, so that's good.

When I entered the transmitter building, my first thought was "bar-b-que!" That was the weirdest smelling melted transformer or vented capacitor I'd ever encountered. Smelled a hell of a lot better than a fried selenium rectifier stack.

Start diagnosis with the power amplifier (4CX15000A tube) power supply, so I drop to my knees (aah, those were the days) in front of the PA rack, and begin unscrewing the panel screws. I moved the panel off to the side, and there he was; a two foot long copperhead! I stood up like a ninja!

I didn't really need to worry. Cool night, warm 22 kilovolt transformer. He crawled on top of the transformer and bridged the output terminals. He wasn't going to move again without help. So I helped. Cleaned up the mess, ran fans to ventilate the building, and got the main back on-air. But I never did figure out where he got into the building.

My PC makes ‘negative energy waves’, said user, then demanded fix

W4YBO

Better Call Saul!

Is the users name Charles McGill?

UK regulator bans slasher-flick parody ad for OnePlus 5 mobe

W4YBO

"an unanticipated amount of gore"

With the title of "Lake Blood," you didn't anticipate gore?

Hold the phone: Mystery fake cell towers spotted slurping comms around Washington DC

W4YBO

Re: "...not aware how it would detect such technology..."

I'd love to play like that, even unpaid. Unfortunately, due to the 1986 Electronic Communication Privacy Act, hobbyists aren't allowed to receive cellular frequencies. In the mid eighties, cellular companies lobbied Congress so they wouldn't have to scramble or digitize their, at that time, narrow FM signals. We're still stuck with it, as well as the Satellite Home Viewers Act, which did the same thing for satellite companies.

Personally, I think if their RF energy is striking me, I should be able to do anything I want with it.

Office junior had one job: Tearing perforated bits off tractor-feed dot matrix printer paper

W4YBO

Re: Speaking of carbon paper...

I keep a half dozen sheets of carbon paper in my shop. Great stuff for finding where you need to file or sand to fit parts properly. Useful for transferring measurements from part to paper as well.

Elon Musk invents bus stop, waits for applause, internet LOLs

W4YBO

Re: "Fact is, it's still just cheaper to ditch them in the ocean"

"NASA only ditched one Shuttle in the ocean..."

Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, Endeavour. Which one?

Hackers create 'ghost' traffic jam to confound smart traffic systems

W4YBO

Re: All I want...

In the late seventies, my southern US hometown installed a new traffic light system that featured a 1"x2"x3" box hanging with each set of lights. Way too small for an industrial camera at the time, but if you flashed a particular speed strobe at it, the traffic lights would cycle. I was in high school. Had a lot of fun with that.

I've noticed similar boxes and tubes on many traffic lights and assumed they performed a similar function.

Or you could drive a firetruck.

My PC is broken, said user typing in white on a white background

W4YBO

When my mother uses a word processor or browser...

I think moms must have a user group to promulgate odd problems so they can chat with their geeky children. Mine called last week because every character she typed was wrong. How the hell did she install and enable a Dvorak keyboard?

Paul Allen's six-engined monster plane prepares for space deliveries

W4YBO

If Microsoft made planes...

...you'd have to have the DVD in the drive to take off.

Opportunity knocked? Rover survives Martian winter, may not survive budget cuts

W4YBO

Re: Robot manufacturing

Along the same line, I seem to remember seeing a documentary about LunarMax prison.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPhbAUOsOZY

Secret weekend office bonk came within inch of killing sysadmin

W4YBO

Re: Commas are important...

"Commas are important, they can mean the difference between "At the weekend I helped my uncle, Jack, off his horse."

Let's eat Grandma!

Let's eat, Grandma!

Zombie … in SPAAACE: Amateur gets chatty with 'dead' satellite

W4YBO

Mr. Tilly has a pretty cool hobby...

...and has made me appreciate the junked DishNetwork antenna out in the garage. I have to approach this carefully, though. I'm not sure what my wife will think about a radio telescope in the backyard.

Ever wondered why tech products fail so frequently? No, me neither

W4YBO

Emitting a loud "crack!...

"Emitting a loud "crack!" they actually exploded into several plastic artefacts while sitting on my face as I was reading. I dunno, maybe I was looking through them too hard."

I had a freshly ground prescription lens do something similar. New wire-rimmed spectacles, just a couple of hours after picking them up, and I noticed a curved line emanating from a corner of the right lens. Just as I was removing them, POP!, and the right lens was in several pieces on my desk. LensCrafters technician told me the grinding lab probably forgot to stress relieve the lens, and pressure from being mounted in the rim drove the stresses past the point of self-disassembly.

Jocks in shock as Irn-Bru set to slash sugar and girder content

W4YBO

Re: Lateral Thinking

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

- C.S. Lewis

'Twas the night before Y2K and a grinch stole the IT department's overtime payout

W4YBO

Simon, beware busses!

We'd like to keep you around, regardless of On-Call.

And if you hear somebody dismiss Y2K as nothing, remind them it turned out that way because of the how the tech community prepared for it. Hell, I even kissed my wife on the New Year standing next to a running 300kw genset.

Merry Christmas to all, and have a happy and prosperous New Year!

ALPHABET TOTALLY LOSES ITS SCHMIDT: Exec chairman Eric quits

W4YBO

ALPHABET TOTALLY LOSES ITS SCHMIDT

As usual, El Reg scores with the headline. Good one!

'Please store the internet on this floppy disk'

W4YBO

"...changed from one large hole to a small hole and a slot."

Now the drive hub doesn't have to move out of the way for the drawer to operate.

Yes, your old iPhone is slowing down: iOS hits brakes on CPUs as batteries wear out

W4YBO

A Christmas miracle!

"On Wednesday, Apple acknowledged the situation in an email to The Register:"

Republican tax bill ready to rescue hard-up tech giants, struggling rich

W4YBO

Re: It's Robin Hood

Since you apparently haven't read/seen Robin Hood lately, here's a reminder. He steals from the government and gives back to those they took it from, the taxpayer.

'I knew the company was doomed after managers brawled in a biker bar'

W4YBO

Re: "and gloves were forbidden"

"The operators stopped the radar dish sweeping the sky and pointed it at him..."

I hope his cataract surgery went well.

Pest control: Eggheads work to help RoboBees dodge that fly-swatter

W4YBO

Re: Wot about the mice ?

Given time, they'll gnaw through the soda bottle, but this has worked well in my shop...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MWGhn2u52Q

"a simple COAT HANGER HUMANE MOUSETRAP"

Danger - Video has typical YouTube music by Roto-Rooter. It'll bore its way into your brain.

Exploding alien bodies' space death-rays gave Earth its radiation cloak

W4YBO

Re: Radiation shields to maximum.....

"which storyline do you prefer for said joyride? the recent one from newish show The Orville or the classic Trek story which seemingly inspired it, For The World Is Hollow and I Have Touched The Sky?"

Or, looking from an external perspective, Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke.

5 reasons why America's Ctrl-Z on net neutrality rules is a GOOD thing

W4YBO

Re: Great article but I don't think you understand Snowflakes.

My first experience with electricity was when I took the metal key that went to the plastic car dashboard and stuck it in a wall socket. I was two, and I never did it again, at least not until I figured out the wide side is neutral.

W4YBO

Oh, the humanity...

I noticed this morning as I logged on, that my internet is now performing as though it was 2014.

Engineer named Jason told to re-write the calendar

W4YBO

Masthead change

I just noticed the seasonal masthead change. I like the snowvulture!

YouTuber cements head inside microwave oven

W4YBO

Re: Learning from Experience - flashes and bangs

He allowed me back after our ears stopped ringing, about a month.

W4YBO

Re: Learning from Experience - flashes and bangs

Back in the late eighties, an associate gave me a device that looked like a large firecracker (TP or bog roll core sized) with a short tube and string taped to it. The official looking label stated "Ground Burst Simulator", but heck, it was only a firecracker.

After carrying it around in my briefcase for about two weeks, I finally got out to a firing range. "Hell yes, I wanna see it go off" the range master said. So I jerked the string as the instructions stated, and threw it about 50 feet. We ducked down behind a couple of concrete shooting benches until it started making a whistling noise. As we peeked over the concrete, the descending whistle stopped. Then it went off! We saw the shock wave! We also found a piece of gravel partly embedded in a railroad tie a dozen feet from the explosion.

I've seen flash-bangs set off, and they are dazzling, but I've never heard an explosion like the "Ground Burst Simulator." I later learned, from the aforementioned associate under threat of bodily harm, that it was supposed to simulate an artillery ground burst.

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