* Posts by Sean o' bhaile na gleann

125 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Feb 2016


IBM sues Micro Focus, claims it copied Big Blue mainframe software

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: CICS is still a thing?

The number 66 bus between Romsey and Winchester goes past Hursley Grange

"Get your CICS on route 66..."

Using the datacenter as a dining room destroyed the platters that matter

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Spiv's stock room

A fault in the air conditioning led to the pulling of all the false floor panels in the computer where I worked.

It was then that we discovered one of the operators was running a side-line, knocking out dodgy VHS players.

Guess where he kept his stock...

US Army to build largest 3D-printed structures in the Americas

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: They will need to be able to print around rebar at some point.

I'm fairly certain that was "And He Built a Crooked House", Robert Heinlein, 1941

Tomorrow Water thinks we should colocate datacenters and sewage plants

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: unlike your typical UK green energy project

ISTR reading a short article back in the oughties (probably the in back pages of New Scientist or something like that) about some American company mulling the idea of domestic reactors.

Each such 'device' would take the form of a long spike-like thing, buried 30ft down in your back garden.

Of necessity it would be next-to maintenance-free. Can you imagine asking the guy down the street - the one who 'knows a thing or two' - to take a look and adjust the output or something like that.

Think of the new and interesting varieties of rose you might be able to grow...

Or "Yes, good boy, Rover. Now put the bone back in the ground...'

With 90% COVID-19 vax rate, Intel to step up return-to-office

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: Nooo....

Best riposte I've heard so far is "You can see and hear me in Teams - you don't need to smell me as well!"

Dog forgets all about risk of drowning in a marsh as soon as drone dangles a sausage

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: But the question is unanswered

Yup - It's a dog-eat-dog world out there...

Munich mk2? Germany's Schleswig-Holstein plans to switch 25,000 PCs to LibreOffice

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: Don't forget a retail stores

... sounds like pure gobbledegook to me...

Amazon hasn't launched one internet satellite yet, but it's now planning a fleet of 7,774

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: Nightmare scenario...You just know it will be a constellation of satellites...

See also 'Watch This Space' [Arthur C Clarke 1956]

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

"...international treaties that permit overflying of a country's territory by satellites..."

I'm fairly certain that isn't the case (and, if memory serves, this idea cropped up in a previous thread on these august pages).

As I remember things, the Russians effectively shat on that idea right at the very start by sending Sputnik 1 up without initially clearing such 'overflying' in the first place.

Amazon aims to launch prototype broadband internet satellites by Q4 2022 – without Bezos' Blue Origin

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

If you don't already know about the site, take a look at at https://satellitemap.space .

Kinda puts things into perspective...

Orders wrong, resellers receiving wrong items? Must be a programming error and certainly not a rushing techie

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: Seen that face before...

"...dropped a box of the bastards..."

Back in my day, known as a 'floor sort'

Happy birthday, Microsoft Money: Here's a cashpoint calamity for Windows and .NET

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: MS Money and Quicken

I have to say that I never used MSMoney's "advanced" facilities, such as investment planning, etc., but I still use it even now, on Windows 10.

When the software was discontinued, MS issued the 'sunset' edition, which I downloaded & installed - and it fulfils my requirements completely.

These days, I'm seriously considering switching over to Linux and ditching Windows completely, so I'm looking around for a reasonable alternative that will be able to take on an MSMoney database stretching back to 1996...

(That last bit is predicated on me being able to install Linux on my PC at all. I keep hitting BIOS problems at this stage.)

Electrocution? All part of the service, sir!

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

The war God went for a ride on day

Upon his favourite filly

"I'm Thor!" he cried

The horse replied

"You forgot your thaddle thilly..."

Try placing a pot plant directly above your CRT monitor – it really ties the desk together

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: Your headline reminds me...

When working with an American firm some years back, my favourite phrase "Just going to go suck on fag's butt".

Three things that have vanished: $3.6bn in Bitcoin, a crypto investment biz, and the two brothers who ran it

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

... someone's been reading Joe Haldeman...

UK health secretary Matt Hancock follows delay to GP data grab with campaign called 'Data saves lives'

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Not exactly on point, but...

From the article: "But there was no mention of the fact that those researchers might be outside the NHS or UK public sector, or that their main line of work might be market research for private health companies..."

In a previous related thread (https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2021/06/09/matt_hancock_nhs_data_grab/), I detailed my difficulties in dealing with an e-mail from 'Patient Access', which is the method I used to use to order up my repeat prescription. That e-mail said that Patient Access had updated their T&Cs, and it provided a link to allow the updated documentation to be studied.

That link was blocked by UBlock, which I'd only recently installed, because of a filter identified as "||exponea.com^". The same block screen identified the filter as coming from 'cdn.uk.exponea.com'.

Typing 'cdn.uk.exponea.com' into Google resulted in a number of entries for Exponea, but the one that really caught my eye was "Exponea helps you maximize profits and drive customer loyalty by targeting the right customers with the right message at the perfect time".

It's a case of 'nuff said, as far as I'm concerned. I'm OUT!

Don't get me wrong - I fully agree with the concept of gathering all this data together for the purpose of analysis that might lead to new understanding of health issues and possible treatments or cures. I see this as A Good Thing.

But that's the ONLY purpose for collecting the data that I agree with.

Windows 11: Meet the new OS, same as the old OS (or close enough)

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: Not completely

Persoanally I've never had a single real problem with Skype (occasional - vary rare! - connection failures, but I'll live with those).

I see nothing 'bright' about doing away with it.

Space Force turtle expert uncovers $1.2m Cape Canaveral cocaine haul

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

... thus leaving no tern unstoned

(can't remember who originally came up with that one)

'Vast majority of people' are onside with a data grab they know next to nothing about, reckons UK health secretary

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: Coincidence?

I just received the same mail myself (today, 10th).

Clicked on the T&c's link - blocked by ublock "because to the following filter: ||exponea.com^"

Same for the Privacy Policy link.

Tried the 'Log in' link right at the bottom - had forgotten the password, so asked for a reset link in e-mail.

Got that, and responded with a new password which was apparently accepted, because I logged in with e-mail id and (new ) password, only to be confronted with a requirement for 4th 8th and 10th letter of my memorable word.

Could not exactly remember that word, so asked for the reminder to be displayed - that led to my remembering the memorable word.

But it is only 9 characters long...

Clicked on the link for a memorable word reset. Was told that e-mail had been sent. It didn't arrive. Requested the e-mail again and it finally arrived.

Another link in the e-mail to get to the memorable word reset resulted in ublock again blocking the page, objecting to the same filter as before.

Round and round we go...

Why why bloody why is it so effin difficult!!??

Space station dumps 2.9-ton battery pack to burn up in Earth's atmosphere after hardware upgrade

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: Ballistics Officer

An uncle of mine was in the Royal Artillery back in the day.

He used to refer to himself as a 'nine-mile sniper'...

OVH data centre destroyed by fire in Strasbourg – all services unavailable

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: Who knew data centres were tinder boxes?

Back when I were a trainee operator, one of the first things to be rammed home to me was to keep the computer room tidy at all times - no loose items left on top of various cabinets, desks, etc.

Not because of some OCD tendency of the chief operator, but because of the sheer hurricane-level force of the fire suppression gas being released.

A 2400' tape reel flying across the room and hitting you in the neck would severely hamper any attempt to get out in an emergency

Prime suspect: Amazon India apologises for offensive scenes in political thriller

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: There used to be...

I'm pretty certain that's one of Heinlein's Lazarus Long-isms

There are two sides to every story, two ends to every cable

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

I Believe in Magic

Install Bigger Machine

Panic in the mailroom: The perils of an operating system too smart for its own good

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: 50 years ago ...

Going through the names of the songs that are mentioned in Verity's diagram...

I remember once calling a software supplier to ask for technical support and being presented with a rendition of the Three Degree's 'When Will I See You Again'.

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: Glad we've moved on so much in the last 50 years

Shortly after starting employment with an outsourcer, I became a member of the team involved with taking on the IT contract for a large Gas supplier. This was back in the 80's and there had been a rash of red-top newspaper reports of a few of said Gas company's customers being dunned for non-payment of bills for £0.00. These headline-making reports appeared to 'go away' when there was something worthwhile for the respective rags to print.

During the due diligence phase of taking on the contract, we discovered that the problem had indeed 'gone away', but not by means of a change to the billing program. No, the Gas supplier had hired a few low-paid individuals whose job it was to go through the bills and throw away any that featured a £0.00 amount.

US govt ups minimum H-1B tech salaries to $208,000 a year, more than startups can hope to afford, say VCs

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Yeah, but how much is $78K really worth (cost of living, etc.)?

I did a stint in the US at the end of the 70's. Prior UK job was paying ~£4K pa which was low enough to cause me some difficulty.

The US gig paid me $17K - and it was barely enough to live on

IBM to spin out Managed Infrastructure Services biz – yes, the one that was subject to all those redundancies

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

'SB37' love that nickname!

Might change mine to IDC3009I

Family wrongly accused of uploading pedo material to Facebook – after US-EU date confusion in IP address log

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: International Standards Organization

I once landed a gig with US-based company. The bit of paper I thankfully had in my hand specified a start date of "1st December yyyy". When I turned up at the office, HR tried to kick me out, saying I wasn't expected until 12 January, conveniently ignoring the change of year number...

Rocket Lab to bounce back from July's orbital fail with bulging payloads and parachuting Electrons

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: Don't go to space til we sort out Earth

As far as I can see, this planet is already wrecked beyond hope.

We need to get off it and move to another one as fast as possible, before the inevitable end.

And yes, that does mean that the next one will get wrecked, too. And the one after that... and so on.

But (hopefully) at least some of the lessons we learn might be used to good effect along the way, rather than fighting a lost battle here.

NASA to stop using names like 'Eskimo Nebula' and 're-examine' what it calls cosmic objects

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Whatever happened to "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me"?

It's a saying that I learned very early on in life (had to!) and I've no intention of giving up living by it at the latter end.

Or am I just thick-skinned?

From 'Queen of the Skies' to Queen of the Scrapheap: British Airways chops 747 fleet as folk stay at home

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: Interesting Wing Arrangement (article image)

I was taught "Port is not right".

I think I prefer yours...

Sean o' bhaile na gleann


I heard that - at the height of the Profumo scandal - it "Bend Over Again Christine"

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

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: Sorry to see them go...

RIP Olympus - sorry to see you go.

Such a shame that yet another well-known/loved brand goes down the drain - for whatever reason.

The camera pictured in the equivalent article on the BBC web site was the same as the first camera I ever bought, and I've stuck with Olympus ever since. (A bit bad of me, not giving any others even a first thought, yet alone a second, but well... 'brand loyalty')

You'd think lockdown would be heaven for us layabouts – but half the UK has actually started 'exercising more'

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

The opposite for me...

At work I have to clamber up & down stairs to get to the loo, or to the kitchen.

Working at home in a two-bedroom flat means that the kettle is fifteen feet in one direction and the bog is the same distance the other way.

Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

I can't say when Ireland actually 'went metric', but when I was there in early 2004 the area around Cork was still in the throes of conversion.

Road signs giving distances in miles vs. speed limits in km//hr made for some interesting navigation...

Japan to test self-destructing satellite to shrink space junk with string and an inanimate carbon blob

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

I sense an opportunity for Steptoe & Son in Space, here...

BoJo looks to jumpstart UK economy with £6k taxpayer-funded incentive for Brits to buy electric cars – report

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: Still no answer...

Shit! Someone's put my flat on the market!

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: Still no answer...

"...to us that have no where to plug it in."


Give me a charging point, or at least a long bit of cable to run from my 3rd floor flat to the car park on the other side of the building, and I'd have an electric car tomorrow.

SpaceX Crew Dragon docks at International Space Station

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: this is only half the trip

Not exactly on point, but I'll stick this link in here:


80-characters-per-line limits should be terminal, says Linux kernel chief Linus Torvalds

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: not the terminal, the punch card

from my prehistoric experience, dropping - or overturning - one of those grey trays containing up to 2000 punched cards used to be known as a 'floor sort'...

5G mast set aflame in leafy Liverpool district, half an hour's walk from Penny Lane

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

"...And respect is something you should give to everyone, until they demonstrate they aren't worthy of it..."

We must have different ideas of what "respect" means.

As far as I'm concerned, the person I respect is someone I look up to, someone who I'd perhaps try to emulate (but never be "the same as"). All other people I'll eat with, drink with, etc. I'll tolerate them. I'll accept them. I'll talk/argue with them and listen to any views they put forward. If a person is my manager or a law/security/safety officer, I'll probably obey instructions they might give - they can expect a demand for a justification of such instructions if I can't immediately see the need for them.

But automatically give respect to?

No - you've got to prove to me you're worthy of my respect first.

Sorry, I'm with the OP on this.

This hurts a ton-80: British darts champ knocked out of home tourney by lousy internet connection

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: here's something to do :

Hey, it's only a little cupboard. Got meself a Dyson suck-broom, but it has to live in the spare bedroom.

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: here's something to do :

Just how accurate/reliable are those two sites - and, indeed, any other site?

I didn't know about them up to now, and have always relied on the Ookla test available at https://www.speedtest.net/.

I've got a bog-standard residential connection, no capping, but no contractual speed promises either. The complete landline and broadband package sets me back £25 a month - I never use the landline, preferring to VOIP to various contacts, so no actual 'phone' bills involved. It occasionally drops out, and when I check the router (in the broom cupboard), I normally see a red light on it, along with a couple of flashing green ones, indicating that there's a problem of some sort. The connection usually resumes within a short period of time, and then I see '5 greens'.

So when I saw those two test site addresses, I tried them out, along with Ookla, and compared results. Ran 3 tests back-to-back on each of them.

All three sites report latency values of 29 to 30 ms

All three sites report upload speeds of between 0.93 and 1.09 mb/sec. The Ofcom site reported a constant 1.0 mb/sec

For the download speeds, Ookla and Ofcom reported 13+ mb/sec - once again the Ofcom site readings were constant, at 13.1. The MLab site on the other hand reported download speeds of 4.72, 5.06 and 6.47 mb/sec.

Additionally, the Ofcom site always ended the test with a warning that my "...connection is performing badly..." That warning simply doesn't appear for the Mlab and Ookla tests, so I'm guessing that bit of analysis isn't built into them.

I'm aware of the possible confusion between mB/sec and mb/sec, which I've always taken to mean megabytes/sec and megabits/sec respectively, so went back and re-read the summaries. All three sites say mb/sec, but read into that what you will.

The Mlab download stats are so out of whack, I not sure what to believe...

Cricket's average-busting mathematician Tony Lewis pulls up stumps

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

"...The game’s shorter forms were devised to produce a crowd advertisers-pleasing result in just one day..."

With no disregard intended to the sterling work done by Lewis and Duckworth - at least it kept this wonderful sport alive.

Welcome to the telco, we've got fun and games: BT inks 5-year deal to outsource mainframe management to IBM

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: On the subject of BT and India

"...challenge the caste of their mother."

Ohhh! Please, please, please: how do you say that? How do you pronounce it? Go on... pleeeease!

(my minimal language skills only got me as far as COBOL and FORTRAN)

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds: They're good – though for close to £300, they really should be

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: Waxy build-up

"Otomize is acetic acid no less, vinegar"

Yeah - I had a little chuckle to myself when I read that on the label. If I'd known that vinegar (or, for that matter, lemon juice) would have done the trick, things would have been much simpler.

It's got to be said though, that Otomize is just 2% acetic acid - so don't go reaching for the bottle of Sarsons.

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Re: Waxy build-up

For the love everything you hold sacred, DON'T... DO. NOT. DO. THIS.

My story: Wax build-up first identified some 50 years ago, causing my hearing to be considerably impaired. Went to GP - was told to use olive oil and to duck myself when taking a bath to flush my ears out.

It worked - for a while, but the wax eventually came back, and was a constant irritant for the next n years.

Later on in life, while having my morning shower, angling my head so that one individual jet of water was directed straight down my ear seemed to work... for a while. Trouble with that idea was that it cleaned my ears out completely... and ear wax, in normal amounts, is a normal (even necessary) thing, intended to trap any particulate stuff that might enter the ear canal.

With no ear wax to speak of, even bits of floating dust were an extreme irritant - enough to get me started on using cotton buds. That worked for a time too, but...

Next stage started because I found cotton buds to be too flexible, I wanted something more rigid, something that felt like it was doing something, and so... 'kitchen matches' - the ones with a long stalk.

Overall result: 'Otitis Externa' - ear canals continually exuding a clear liquid that irritates when it dries up on reaching the open air, causing more scratching, more damage, more scratching and so on, and also leaving some fairly unsightly stains on bed pillows.

These days, I have to keep things under control with neomycin. I use a preparation that goes by the name of 'Otomize' - an ear spray that appears to work nicely.

There's an old wives saying about not putting anything smaller than your elbow into your ear. That's a bloody stupid way of saying something that's obvious in my opinion, but it's very stupidity is what keeps the concept in mind.

Don't mess with your ears, people - they're just too damn fragile

Not exactly the kind of housekeeping you want when it means the hotel's server uptime is scrubbed clean

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

A similar experiment is ongoing at my abode too.

Not so much because of laziness but because you don't actually get rid of dust - you just re-arrange it.

(that's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

Corporate VPN huffing and puffing while everyone works from home over COVID-19? You're not alone, admins

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

Personally I'm a huge fan of working from home, but - just like many others have mentioned - there appears to be an innate lack of trust on this front between manglement and underlings.

The excuses I've heard that come most readily to mind:

1. "We pad a lot of dosh for this office space - it has to be used!"

2. "Emergency maintenance". Give your keyboard a can of coke to drink at work, and a replacement can normally be provided tout suit. Pull the same trick at home and you'll probably be off-line for a few hours at best.

3. Insurance. Trip and twist your ankle at the office and elf&safety decrees that the company has to DO something. Damage yourself while working from home and... who pays?

RIP Katherine Johnson: The extraordinary NASA mathematician astronauts trusted over computers

Sean o' bhaile na gleann

RIP indeed..

101 years is a helluva innings.

Coincidentally, I sat and watched Hidden Figures only yesterday - a cracking film.

I only noticed two anachronisms - I dare say others will have noticed more.

1. The 7090 computer is described as a 'mainframe' - the term hadn't been invented back then. There weren't any 'minis' or 'micros' to compare against.

2.There's a sequence at about the 55-minute mark where two Redstones blow up, followed by another explosion... which I'm pretty sure is the Challenger disaster. There's just no mistaking the shape and colour of that fireball hurtling through the sky.