This https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Active_(radio_series) was far superior to any local radio station that I've encountered
181 posts • joined 12 Jan 2016
Computer shuts down when foreman leaves the room: Ghost in the machine? Or an all-too-human bit of silliness?
'Nobody in their right mind would build a naval base here today': Navigating in and out of Devonport
Back in the late 1960s HMS Ark Royal was approaching Plymouth and just past Drake's Island she hit an underwater obstruction, only a minor ding - it was later revealed that the obstruction was a large rock which had been drilled by fleet clearance divers but for some reason (economics?) had not been blasted into oblivion
I would drive 100 miles and I would drive 100 more just to be the man that drove 200 miles to... hit the enter key
1961, an RAF Thor missile site in Yorkshire (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Emily) had a USAF supplied, RAF manned IBM data transceiver (https://www.computerhistory.org/collections/catalog/102645476) used to receive/send 80 column punched cards as part of the USAF high-tech spare part supply chain for Thor missils. One day the data transceiver would punch received cards but failed to print the data at the top of the card. The on-call IBM engineer drove from Alconbury to Yorkshire, walked into the room and flipped the "print" switch from "off" to "on" then drove back to Alconbury
BOFH: Despite the extremely hazardous staircase, our IT insurance agreement is at an all-time low. Can't think why
We don't know why it's there, we don't know what it does – all we know is that the button makes everything OK again
Re: The knob......
I once worked in a Government building built in the 1970s. It had a complex environmental control system which had its very own control room with lots of knobs, dials & flashing lights. Alas, it was designed for schools and offices where there was a regular occupation - 9-5, Mon-Fri - but this building housed day staff working 9-5, Mon-Fri plus lots of 24/7 shift workers whose numbers would vary on a random basis. After a few years the Building Maintenance got the system behaving itself after a fashion but my office & associated lab were bitterly cold every morning when we started work. Each time we complained Building Maintenance insisted that all was well and it was all in our imagination. After one particularly cold winter I managed to arrange for Building Maintenance to install a gadget that recorded the temperature every 5 minutes. After a 48 hour period the results showed that the room did become bitterly cold overnight. After some muttering Building Maintenance actually had a look at the ventilation system and discovered that one "door" in the trunking had been left open after new kit had been installed with the result that outside air was admitted directly to out part of the building. The offending "door" was closed and our office became as comfortable as all the other offices
39 Post Office convictions quashed after Fujitsu evidence about Horizon IT platform called into question
Re: And still...
"Former Post Office boss Paula Vennells has quit boardroom positions at retailers Morrisons and Dunelm as well as her role as a Church of England minister after a major miscarriage of justice."
Re: Three ball bearings
Many years ago a friend worked for a Government Department and produced a small computer device to be used by the Armed Forces. It had to be very robust - water-proof, accept input voltages of almost anything under 50v DC and of any polarity. His final task was to find a simple way of destroying it in an emergency. I think he opted for something thermite-related which caused all sorts of Health & Safety problems.
Re: You get what you pay for
30 years in Scarborough (N Yorks) BT were publicising their new remote sensing option to detect domestic fires. A few days later Scarborough's main exchange, located in the centre of town, burned down; the alarm was only raised because a passerby (at 3am!) noticed smoke coming through a broken window.
Assembly language, arcade games, and YouTube: The Reg speaks to former Microsoft engineer Dave Plummer
For me it was an inspired technical boss in the mid 1980s who bought two of us a Commodore Pet plus Raeto West's invaluable book. We soon moved on to 6502 assembler with a PDMA16 (later a PDMA32) for data input via the user port DMA; what was very handy was that the IEEE488 routines were hard-coded into ROM so controlling devices (like printers) was easy.
'Massive game-changer for UK altnet industry': BT-owned UK comms backbone Openreach hikes prices on FTTP-linked leased line circuits
Re: My experience
OR engineers are very good, it's the management that is faulty. It's now reached the stage that when OR engineers come over on the ferry (2 hour journey each way) to fix a fault they enquire whether anyone else is having problems and will happily try to help. Their management don't like this because "the paperwork is all wrong"
He was a skater boy. We said, 'see you later, boy' – and the VAX machine mysteriously began to work as intended
I used the CBM PET as an introduction to 6502 assembler and bought Raeto West's invaluable book "Programming the Pet/CBM". I think I paid about £5 for it in the early 1980s - now Amazon are selling copies for over £60 (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Programming-Pet-Cbm-Raeto-West/dp/0942386043). I must have a dig around the attic to see if I kept my copy.
Finally, that cruel dust world Mars proves useful: Helping scientists understand Earth's radio-scrambling plasma
Amazon spies on staff, fires them by text for not hitting secretive targets, workers 'feel forced to work through pain, injuries' – report
You *bang* will never *smash* humiliate me *whack* in front of *clang* the teen computer whizz *crunch* EVER AGAIN
Re: took his hammer and smashed it to very tiny pieces
The English Electric Lightning was a fine fighter aeroplane but it had one annoying habit. After landing on a wet runway the spray and mud built up in the nose-wheel bay and eventually prevented actuation of the microswitch which indicated that the wheel had retracted. The time-honoured method of fixing this problem was to take a six foot length of scaffold tubing and lump hammer, place the end of the scaffold tubing next to the microswitch and give the tubing a hefty wallop thus dislodging all the accumulated mud & rubbish. My friend was performing this remedial action one day when the station commander was paying an unannounced visit. When he asked my friend what he was doing with the lump hammer and scaffold tubing my friend replied "Adjusting a microswitch, sir!"
The station commander was not amused!
Someone please have mercy on this poorly Ubuntu parking machine that has been force-fed maudlin autotuned tripe
Smile? Not bloody likely: Day 6 of wobbly services and still no hint to UK online bank's customers about what's actually wrong
Latest updates from https://www.co-operativebank.co.uk/news/2020/smile-service-information.
8am, Saturday 11 July:
Following emergency maintenance on both our smile and Co-operative Bank systems, we have been able to restore access to smile online banking and the smile mobile app for our customers. We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience this issue has caused as we know this is not the standard of service expected from us. Thank you for bearing with us.
We will work to support any of our customers who have experienced any detriment whilst smile online banking and the smile app were unavailable and we encourage any impacted customers to contact us to discuss their circumstances.
Re: Way back when...
In the old BBC Radio series "Journey into Space" (https://www.oldtimeradiodownloads.com/sci-fi/journey-into-space) a "Martian" is discovered to be just a computer. The sound effects for the "computer" seem to have been recorded in an old Strowger exchange - probably the best they could do in the 1950s.
Re: I called the cops
The lightstraw site is a handy collection of information but it perpetuates one myth - "all employees sign the Official Secrets Act". No they don't. HM Queen Elizabeth II signed a Bill that became the Official Secrets Act, mere mortals like us sign a form like this https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/346762/FOI201404093_Official_Secrets_Act_Form.pdf.
'One rule for me, another for them' is all well and good until it sinks the entire company's ability to receive emails
So you really didn't touch the settings at all, huh? Well, this print-out from my secret backup says otherwise
Re: Ah, customers.
My grandfather was a railway signalman before he retired in 1954. He once told me that a fellow signalman had rung him to tell him that a special train carrying a newly appointed railway bigwig (fresh out of university) had just gone by the large group of freight sidings a few miles away and the new boss had not spotted that there were unsorted wagons in the up reception yard – and this was a sure sign that the railways as he knew them were finished! I think he regarded senior managers who were not railwaymen as pariahs
Britain has no idea how close it came to ATMs flooding the streets with free money thanks to some crap code, 1970s style
A colleague and myself signed up for a course in "C" at a technical college in Gloucestershire. The notes for the course appeared to have been written in the pub the night before and the IBM PCs were on a flaky network which served the whole campus. We quickly discovered that quitting the editor in any way other than the approved method (which involved half a dozen key strokes) would crash the server
Re: Interference ...
Back in the Dark Ages when I was in the RAF the maintenance manuals for vehicles contained phrases like "Every 3 months give this nipple 2 squirts of a grease gun". This was quickly changed to "Every 1,000 miles give this nipple 2 squirts of a grease gun" when a large number of vehicles developed blown seals because the vehicles were in storage and only travelled brief distances every month or were even stored up on jacks.