* Posts by Anonymous Tribble

47 posts • joined 9 Feb 2016

Borky shark: A deserted airport and a Raspberry Pi feeling poorly at baggage claim. Welcome to 2020

Anonymous Tribble

Re: Not an old Pi

The problem is apparently "a Linux issue" which the Raspberry Pi Foundation don't care enough about to fix themselves.

It was fixed in their version of the Linux kernel, but they are trying to keep the kernel as "vanilla" as possible now that Pi support has been added upstream.

Unfortunately the upstream devs decided that all Raspberry Pis would be recognised as BCM2835 in order to identify the platform. Hopefully one day they will correct that.

Anonymous Tribble

Not an old Pi

Definitely not a BCM2835 based early Pi. The 2835 only had one ARM core, so you'd only see one raspberry at boot time. That picture is showing four raspberries, so a BCM2836/7 Pi 2 or later.

BOFH: Gosh, IPv5? Why didn't I think of that? Say, how do you like the new windows in here? Take a look. Closer...

Anonymous Tribble

Re: Optional

putting hairline fractures in the base of the Boss's chair in preparation for the world's first pneumatic suppository

Assuming the chair is made out of the usual aluminium alloy, just put some gallium (easily available on the usual online auction sites) inside the support. Then turn the heating up a bit. When it hits about 32°C the gallium will melt and slowly corrode the aluminium...

I've been tempted to use that on the wheels of some of the boy racer types who insist on racing around the local streets at midnight.

Get in the C: Raspberry Pi 4 can handle a wider range of USB adapters thanks to revised design's silent arrival

Anonymous Tribble

Re: Power to the Pi-ple

a plain old DC barrel jack

So, what standard is there for a power supply with a "plain old DC barrel jack"? There are a myriad of sizes - length, diameter, hole size... Some have the centre positive, some negative, some are regulated, some unregulated. Some are even AC.

Lets just shove a 48VAC barrel jack into a Pi and see what happens, eh? After all, the plug fits, so it must work. Right?

Much better with USB even if a small design error means some high-end PSUs will fail to power the Pi - but cause no damage to anything (other than a small dent in your wallet to get the very good value official PSU).

Researchers trick Tesla into massively breaking the speed limit by sticking a 2-inch piece of electrical tape on a sign

Anonymous Tribble

Re: Sigh.

"You can literally fail your driving test for "failing to make adequate progress".

Guess how I know"

Yep, me too. Nervous learner drives slowly. Later passes second test and gains confidence. Remembers reason for failing, so tries to drive as fast as possible from then on.

Not that I do that sort of thing now. I stick to a maximum of 30 in a 30 limit.

The drivers that get me are those that do 45 in a 60 limit, then reach a 30 or 40 limit and carry on doing 45! (and vice versa)

Microsoft Teams starts February with a good, old-fashioned TITSUP*

Anonymous Tribble

Certificate Renewal

Some years ago the company I worked for had a new customer with a certificate that was coming up for renewal. They had already obtained a new certificate and sent it to me to be applied to their web server.

I'd never dealt with certificates before, so I set up some test systems with a minimal copy of their web server (just the front page), DNS and a few other things. All in a totally isolated environment with no internet connection. I got it working on that, then told them that I was ready to apply it to their live system. The system was unavailable for about 30 seconds while I put the certificate in place and restarted Apache.

I called them back as soon as I was done. They were astonished. Apparently their previous provider had messed up badly when they tried to renew the certificates and their system was unavailable for over two days.

They were very happy and put in a recommendation that I should get a bonus, which, when it filtered down through the chain in our company, came out as "You did your job. So what.". Never mind that I spent half the weekend of my own time and own equipment at home, unpaid, testing things to make sure I'd get it right first time. :(

Beware the Friday afternoon 'Could you just..?' from the muppet who wants to come between you and your beer

Anonymous Tribble


Yes, I have been asked for computer help by staff in pubs a few times.

One was having problems with their Windows 2000 (I think it was) PC. I told them I don't use Windows. They replied "Oh, do you use Vista instead?"

At another pub, some years earlier, they were having problems with one of the cash registers not working. I took it home and fixed the problem and took it back the next day. I got a good few free drinks for that :)

It's always DNS, especially when you're on holiday with nothing but a phone on GPRS

Anonymous Tribble

It's always DNS - most of the time

Except when it is the cleaner unplugging the server so they can use the hoover...

Fortunately I'm no longer on call, although I did get called one night about a month after I left that company. I just politely told the call operator that I no longer worked for them and asked them to note the fact. They hadn't been told, so not their fault.

Other calls I've had were things like "Our ISDN connection is dead". Turned out that one of their other buildings had been destroyed in a fire and their management had asked for ALL of their ISDN lines to be cancelled until it could be rebuilt - including the ones in the other buildings that were still in use.

Remembering Y2K call-outs and the joy of the hourly contractor rate

Anonymous Tribble

On call for Y2K

I have some fond memories of the Y2K non-event.

I was asked to be on call to support a customer's systems over the New Year. Normally they didn't have any out of hours support. I was offered 250 quid just to be on call (ten times my usual rate) plus double time + time off in lieu if I did get a call.

I wasn't surprised that I didn't get any calls as that customer was closed for the New Year and none of their systems were being used.

It was two months later that they did get an issue (during office hours) where some of their code didn't recognise 2000 as a leap year and refused to process any transactions dated 29/02/2000.

Also, out of curiosity, I had salvaged one of the old servers that was replaced for Y2K reasons and took it home to see what would happen on 01/01/2000. It kept running, but I found odd dates in some log files, such as the to be expected 01/01/1900, but also 01/01/19100 and 01/01/A0.

El Reg presents: Your one-step guide on where not to store electronic mail

Anonymous Tribble

Ye dogs... I just remembered someone I used to work with who kept every email he received archived. Not only that, but he replied to every email using "Reply to all" and also set the return receipt option - and archived all the return receipts!

He also had a habit of writing very long emails with very little content. Like twenty paragraphs on a support email where he was just requesting for his password to be reset because he'd cocked up a password change.

Oh yes, and there was the manager who sent out a three line email with a 10MB attachment to "All Employees" which clogged up the mail servers for hours.

Then he realised he'd made a mistake... corrected the email and sent it out again with the same 10MB attachment to all 13,000 employees!

Anonymous Tribble

I have many tales about email. Some I just can't talk about.

There was the manager who thought that deleting his old emails was the responsibility of the Sysadmin (me), so never bothered and then complained when his mailbox filled up. Of course I could have just gone in there and deleted everything - but how would I know what was important to him or not?

Also, he assumed that the spam filter should be 100% perfect and stuff in his Spam folder didn't need looking at, just in case it was a £20,000 sales opportunity...

I did manage to delete a few hundred thousand old emails in the sales and support inboxes that dated from long before I joined that company. I'm glad I'm no longer working there, but I still run a mail server of my own and it works just fine. No spam and I clear down my own mail when I need to.

Starliner: Boeing, Boeing... it's back! Borked capsule makes a successful return to Earth

Anonymous Tribble

So basically the timer computer got fed up with the docking computer asking "Are we there yet?" and said "Yes, we're sodding there, ok?"

Cool 'joke', bro, you could have killed someone: Epilepsy Foundation sics cops on sick flashing-light Twitter trolls

Anonymous Tribble

Re: Wrong target entirely

So you should block every animated GIF just in case a stupid person decides to post one that triggers you?

I'm married to a photo sensitive epileptic. She usually manages to look away from such images before she can be triggered, as she is aware of her condition. When her friends post images that may be triggering to people on social media she gently reminds them of the damage they can cause and the friends will happily remove the images or put up a warning before they show.

Not so easy when it is some plonker who thinks it is funny to try and kill people.

Anonymous Tribble

"Conversely If I shoot someone in the head with what I believed to be a harmless blank and the person dies because I was ignorant of the fact that the shockwave from a blank is just as deadly as a bullet at close range, I am not guilty of a crime."

Yes you are. It's called Manslaughter. You did not intend to kill them, but you caused their death. You may get off with a light or suspended sentence.

High-resolution display output or Wi-Fi: It seems you can only choose one on Raspberry Pi 4

Anonymous Tribble

Re: Revision codes

There are already reports of a Pi 4B rev 1.2 in the wild. No idea what changes it involved.

Beware the trainee with time on his hands and an Acorn manual on his desk

Anonymous Tribble

Re: Ah the good old days

Apricot computers? We had one of those. It was used for accounts and some simple word processing. It had a daisy wheel printer connected. I used it to print updates to the manuals for the software I was working on.

Anonymous Tribble

BBC Networks were fun. We had about six networked Beebs in my office. I had endless fun with taking over the keyboard on the MDs Beeb as he was trying to update stuff. Also randomly switching screen RAM contents from one machine to another so no one had a clue what they were working on :)

Close the windows, it's coming through the walls: Copper Cthulu invades Dabbsy's living room

Anonymous Tribble

Mummified cat5

"Not just in the plaster but behind the bricks, along with the usual lost spirit levels, witch dolls, mummified cats and a chained-up Fortunato."

I just have the usual CAT5e cable running through my walls, but I do know someone who did find some mummified cats in their walls, along with a few other interesting objects.

Right-click opens up terrifying vistas of reality and Windows 95 user's frightful position therein

Anonymous Tribble

Re: Taking the Trash

"On the ninety-ninth floor?"

Level 42.

Raspberry Pi head honcho Eben Upton talks thermals, stores and who's buying the kit

Anonymous Tribble

"Who has asked that question in the last 5 years?"

Someone did ask this question on the Raspberry Pi forums yesterday.

Fantastic Mr Fox? Not when he sh*ts on your lawn, kids' trampoline and your soul

Anonymous Tribble

Re: @gazthejourno

Not everywhere. My mother lives out in the countryside and often sees foxes. Sometimes they're after the ducks and sometimes her chickens.

Where I live, in the suburbs of a city, there is one local fox which doesn't seem to cause any problems. I've seen it a couple of times where it has been only a few metres away from me.

Virgin Media promises speeds of 1Gpbs to 15 million homes – all without full fibre

Anonymous Tribble

I had to use mine in "modem mode" with a separate router because I couldn't change its local subnet to match the range I was using. Also I couldn't disable the dreaded SIP ALG option which was essential for the VoIP phone I was using.

I was happy with the original superhub until it died.

BOFH: On a sunny day like this one, the concrete dries so much more quickly

Anonymous Tribble

"Two days later we have a replacement drive – the major component of the cost being the shipping"

That happened to me, but it was more like two weeks to get the replacement drive.

A disk failed on a client's ancient Unix server. The OS was very fussy about having the exact model of disk with a particular firmware revision. An engineer eventually tracked one down somewhere in the middle of a rainforest in Brazil and we had to wait for it to be shipped to the UK.

The dread sound of the squeaking caster in the humming data centre

Anonymous Tribble

Re: Not Me But...

I used to manage a couple of WinNT3 servers with 256MB of RAM. They took approximately 45 minutes to reboot. Most of that was performing an extended memory test, and no, there wasn't an option for a fast test or to skip it.

That was coupled with a memory leak in IIS that meant I had to reboot those servers every four weeks and that had to be done outside of service hours which meant between 2am and 4am. Nice bit of overtime for a while :)

Buying a second-hand hard drive on eBay? You've got a 'one in two' chance of finding personal info still on it

Anonymous Tribble

Re: Who gets rid of old IT kit?

My wife made me get rid of my ASCII art collection :-(

I'd had it for about 20 years, ever since I rewrote the code in COBOL to print it out on the Bull mainframe at work overnight.

Anonymous Tribble

Re: Uh??

"What's with this "keeping the magnets" thing? Is it some sort of sexual thing that I should know about?"

Yeah, that's how I pin the Wife Tribble to the fridge.

Anonymous Tribble

I've bought two or three hard drives on ebay. All except one of them had been totally wiped. The one that haden't been wiped appeared to have belonged to an estate agent. Nothing had been deleted at all. There were directories full of photographs of houses with addresses and full details of the owners.

I've never sold a disk. I keep them until they die or are unusable. Then I dismantle them (keep the magnets, of course) and ensure nothing can be recovered from the platters. The most recent disks I destroyed were from where I worked at the time. One platter was melted with a blow torch. Another was ground down to aluminium filings with an angle grinder, and one sat in an acid bath for a couple of days which removed the magnetic coating leaving just a perfectly clear glass 2.5" disk :-)

Kids can be so crurl: Lead dev unchuffed with Google's plan to remake curl in its own image

Anonymous Tribble

I don't wget what the issue is here.

When customers see red, sometimes the obvious solution will only fan the flames

Anonymous Tribble

Other issues I've had to deal with were:

"The printer prints out 99 copies of all our reports from the server, but prints normally when I use it from a local PC".

The printer had been serviced and the engineer set the default number of copies of each page to 99 and didn't put it back afterwards. The software on the local machine set the number of copies to print every time. The software on the server assumed the default was 1 and didn't bother to specify it.

"The reports aren't coming through to the printer. I know it's a problem your end because I can ping the printer and it replies."

Cleaner had unplugged the printer, which wasn't directly connected to the network, but went through a print server. The print server was replying to t he pings.

Anonymous Tribble

"We can't connect to your service! Oh, by the way, our internet connection has been down for the last 4 hours. Could that be anything to do with it?"

Japan on track to start testing Alfa-X, fastest train in the world with top speed of 400kph

Anonymous Tribble

Re: It's not only their speed, it's their reliability

"You can literally set your watch by them"

Ironic when one of the reasons for standardised time was because of the British trains. Before that everywhere ran on "local" time. When the sun was directly overhead it was noon and before the railways it took so long to travel any distance that people didn't notice that "noon" in London was a few minutes different to "noon" in Bristol.

Put a stop to these damn robocalls! Dozens of US state attorneys general fire rocket up FCC's ass

Anonymous Tribble

Re: No change

All telcos charge for any incoming calls from outside their network (other than freephone calls). It doesn't matter what plan the caller is on.

Too many leftover screws? Ikea website backend goes TITSUP

Anonymous Tribble

The site seems to have just flat packed up.

Who fancies a six-core, 128GB RAM, 8TB NVMe … laptop?

Anonymous Tribble

Re: Hope they More Reliable Than The Old Model...

I'm currently typing this on a Dell Precision 7510. I've ben using it for over two years and have suffered no hardware faults.

There have been a few minor software issues, and the pre-installed Ubuntu failed to get past the initial "Select your country" screen and wouldn't boot after that, but a fresh Ubuntu 16.04 on a USB stick fixed that.

I wouldn't mind the updated version, if not just for the reduction in weight.

Take-off crash 'n' burn didn't kill the Concorde, it was just too bloody expensive to maintain

Anonymous Tribble


One of my greatest memories from childhood (late 1970s) was when my parents somehow wrangled an unofficial behind-the-scenes tour of Heathrow. We were shown around a number of hangers with various planes in. We were able to go on board the planes, as well as walk around under them.

The last plane we were shown was a BA Concorde that was being cleaned up and serviced between flights. We walked under it, then climber the surrounding gantry and went on board.

Because of maintenance work being carried out, the nose wheel was retracted and we were told that we could go into the cockpit and take a seat at the controls, but only two of us allowed in at a time in case the plane tipped up and caused damage.

After that we went out on the gantry around the Concorde and the best bit was we were able to stand right in front of the plane and look in the cockpit windows. Then I reached out and shook the Concorde by the nose. Awesome!

A pity I've never flown on one, or even seen one fly. Just plenty on the ground,

Who will fix our Internal Banking Mess? TSB hires IBM amid online banking woes

Anonymous Tribble

I've been banking with TSB for nearly 40 years. In that time I've only seen a small number of minor cock-ups (two staff issues, one computer), but this one is just ridiculous.

I've been trying for days to make a transfer to another account (not TSB) before that one goes overdrawn, but it says my password is the wrong length. I've also been trying to pay off my TSB credit card, but get the same problem.

Also, the site is really slow. I get templates showing, then when I select an option it just shows as a blank screen for ages before the details appear. Someone has made a bad technology decision here.

Today when I try to log in (normal login screen, all details correctly entered) I get "you have successfully logged OUT".

I don't want to switch, because the staff in my local branch are really nice, and usually very competent and I know this isn't their fault at all. *sigh*

At Christmas, do you give peas a chance? Go cold turkey? What is the perfect festive feast?

Anonymous Tribble

I agree with most of the above comments, I do enjoy a nice goose at Christmas. Yes, even with yorkies* and gravy.

We also sort out a platter of various cooked/cured meats, breads, cheeses and things to nibble on.

We also have a few "exotic" items in the form of sausages. This year we have Wild Boar, Reindeer, Goat, Llama and Horse.

I may even cook a vegetable to go with all that meat.

* Available from your local kennels

OVH goes TITSUP again while trying to fix its last TITSUP

Anonymous Tribble

Re: "something to which answering questions from customers does not usually contribute."

Cheap they certainly are, very good value. That's why we use them and also why we use another supplier in case of failure. Last night was fun...

Boss put chocolate cake on aircon controller, to stop people using it

Anonymous Tribble

I once was handed an inkjet printer to fix. I found it was full of old dog food and doggy hair. It turned out that it had been used at home and the family pet had taken an interest. That took some cleaning out but I was able to get it working again. I suppose I was lucky that it was just food and hair.

Hot news! Combustible Galaxy Note 7 to return as 'Galaxy Note FE'

Anonymous Tribble

Here's hoping that FE stands for Fixed Everything.

Would you believe it? The Museum of Failure contains quite a few pieces of technology

Anonymous Tribble

Re: Sweden

The Vassa is still an impressive ship though, safely propped up in a dry-dock where she belongs. I visited the museum a few months ago.

I didn't notice what OS the PCs were running.

Two new Raspberry Pi models emerge steaming from the oven

Anonymous Tribble

"Are they going to make sufficient quantities of these"

As the Compute Modules are designed as a mainstream commercial product for industrial scale use, yes they will be available in large quantities. That's kind of the point of them.

"My experience of selling hardware based on a Zero does not endear me to further use of RPi products for my next venture."

You're using the wrong product then. The Pi Zero was produced as a sideline for a (supposedly) small hobbyist market. It isn't mainstream at all and wasn't designed for people who wanted to market products around it.

What should the Red Arrows' new aircraft be?

Anonymous Tribble


Four Concordes in formation was pretty awesome.

Raspberry Pi 3: Four days old and already flying

Anonymous Tribble

Re: Great if we can ever actually buy one

I ordered my Pi Zero last Thursday and it arrived on Monday :-)

Raspberry Pi 3 to sport Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE – first photos emerge

Anonymous Tribble

If it's just BLE/WiFi it's of no interest to me.

I see the ACT and PWR LEDs have moved. That'll mean the (rather nice) official case will need a redesign, which is a shame as otherwise it looks like it should fit just fine.

Prison butt dialler finally off-hold after 12-day anal retention marathon

Anonymous Tribble

Which network was it on? Could it have been a 3rd?

Picking apart the circuits in the ARM1 – the ancestor of your smartphone's brain

Anonymous Tribble

I managed to get a look at some bits of the Acorn internal memos concerning the ARM2 and its support chips on the original Archimedes design. Very interesting. Discussions about what audio capabilities (stereo output and/or input) on the IO chip and "how much sand it would require" :)

I found the ARM1 to be a great chip to use on my BBC Micro and went on to create stuff on the ARM2 and 3 on my Archimedes.


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