Re: These guys' newsletter?
Or it could be The National Insulator Association (https://www.nia.org)
215 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Jan 2016
The RAF recently changed the names of some ranks:
Leading Aircraftsman (LAC), Senior Aircraftsman (SAC) & Junior Technician (JT) became Air Specialist (class 2), Air Specialist (class 1) and Air Specialist (class 1) Technician.
The electronic organ in the kirk where I'm the organist was bought new about 8 years ago. About 5 years ago it started "locking up" at random intervals (usually in the middle of a service) then "unlocking" after a few hours. I managed to get the manufacturers of the organ to admit that the problem was caused by the advent of local wind turbines & solar panels. Eventually the manufacturer replaced all the internal electronic panels and I've had no problems since then.
Back in the early 1990s we were using MS Windows (I forget which version) and having problems with a slow disk drive. After several physical replacements we discovered that it was the drive letter that was the problem - it transpired that drive letter "F" was used by MS Windows for diagnosis purposes and had several "special" functions tied to it.
I dumped Santander (had been with them for over 30 years starting with Alliance & Leicester) when they refused to send the OTP via landline phone instead of mobile phone - no mobile signal up here. Transferred the account to TSB who are quite happy to send the OTP via landline phone.
I first encountered the Commodore PET in the mid 1980s when I worked for a large Government organisation and the head tech manager bought a couple for us "to play with". We didn't get very far until we bought a copy of Raeto West's invaluable handbook. I still have my copy in the attic but I might just put it on the market to see what price it will fetch! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Programming-PET-Raeto-Collin-West/dp/0950765007
A Open University courses in the 1980s taught computing using HEKTOR (acronym now forgotten). First we coded by hand - pure assembler, calculating jumps, etc. Then progressed to a very simple assembler and so eventually on to a C compiler & linker. I used some of that knowledge when I had a chip whose floating point multiply took umpteen clock cycles to multiply by 10 - I did 3 left shifts then added the original twice, much faster
The Russian military appear to have shot themselves in the foot, metaphorically speaking:
Back in the 1960s a large factory installed a fire-suppression system which consisted mainly of sprinklers and incorporated a new innovation at the switchboard (a PMBX1A) which automatically called the local fire station with a voice message on a loop "There is a fire at factory xxx. There is a fire at factory xxx" if a fire was detected - the 999 system couldn't be used as the technology to interact with the operator didn't exist.
One night the large factory caught fire and the fire-suppression system did its best but the factory burned to the ground before the fire brigade turned up. At the post mortem it transpired that the factory's system worked as designed and telephoned the fire brigade with the repeating voice message. The fire brigade telephone system responded with its own message "The telephone number for this fire station has been changed to 1234578, please replace your received and dial the new number".
I do have a mobile phone but I can only get a signal if I stand at the bottom of the garden or over on the far side of the road. I moved from Santander to TSB because Santander insisted that I had to receive my OTP via mobile phone whereas TSB (and Paypal) are quite happy to use my landline phone.
I live on Stronsay, Orkney. The nearest mobile phone tower is on the island of Sanday, about 7 miles away. I can get a signal on my mobile about twice a week and that's usually just enough to receive a couple of texts. There is a new mobile phone tower under construction as part of the emergency services network, apparently that's run by EE. I wonder if Vodafone could add a couple of aerials on that tower?
That link gives this interesting message:
If you try to run this site in Internet Explorer 8, you may need to try to turn on the compatibility view mode.
Some users have reported problems with Internet Explorer when viewing this site. We have not been able to reproduce the problem in tests with Internet Explorer 7. Firefox and Chrome run with the site with no apparent problems.
I joined the RAF in 1959 as a 16 yr old Boy Entrant and after 18 months training left RAF Cosford as a "Telegraphist" with the ability to read/send Morse at 21 wpm and use a teleprinter to type at 45 wpm. One esoteric skill was memorising ITA2 (https://www.cryptomuseum.com/ref/ita2/index.htm) and thus being able to "read" 5 hole punched tape which came in very handy when I moved into programming after leaving the RAF in 1973.
In 1977 I was working in Brora, Sutherland and I took the Open University course PM951 "Computing and computers", my first encounter with any sort of computing (anyone who took this course will remember "Koch-Light" and visible-record computing). The course involved writing programs in OU Basic which I could then type in on a teletype, first booking a time slot at a school in Thurso (which was an hours drive north of Brora) and hoping that the system wasn't "down" when I got there, or
writing the program out on squared paper and posting it via Royal Mail to the OU computing centre in Milton Keynes who would run the program and post back the original hand-written program, the program as typed in by the OU and the output (if any) of the program.
I always took the second option which worked quite well until about half-way through the course when I had to recall some data stored in "my" memory area by one of my previous programs. This produced an angry response from the OU computing department asking what had I done with my data, they couldn't find it! After a lot of discussion it transpired that the OU used two mainframes, one in Milton Keynes and another in Newcastle. Although the mainframes ran the same software they did not share the data of OU students thus a problem occurred if my program ran on the Milton Keynes mainframe and my previous program which stored some data ran on the Newcastle mainframe. I eventually got an apology from the OU thanking me for drawing attention to the problem.
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
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
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
"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."