* Posts by Antron Argaiv

2113 publicly visible posts • joined 18 May 2016

Polish train maker denies claims its software bricked rolling stock maintained by competitor

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I'll just point out that the Poles were the first to crack the German Enigma.

Well done, guys. Someone has some 'splainin' to do...

Bank's datacenter died after travelling back in time to 1970

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Re: Priorities

The company I work for is currently all-in on MS metrics. *everything* is measured (for some definition of "measured") and presented ina dashboard. Decisions are made based on the KPIs. AI can only make this more "interesting".

I particularly enjoy the "liklihood of resignation" metric that my manager is required to estimate.

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Re: Yearly tasks....

Nowadays, all the cool kids are using GPS time (at least the ones who run the cell sites near me are)

BOFH: Just because we've had record revenues doesn't mean you get a Xmas bonus

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Re: In the glorious past

Same here. All divisions except one handily beat their targets, so...no bonus. Tough luck, folks.

The bonus idea seems to come and go every 5 - 10 years, but the actual bonus rarely if ever shows up.

HP TV ads claim its printers are 'made to be less hated'

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Re: Missed the target

Got my LJ5 for free (some repair required)

New fuser ($150), new drive gears ($30). Upgraded the memory, JetDirect card, new toner cart, and it's working like new.

It's built like a tank and stupid simple to work on. Of course, it's almost 25 years old, but it does what I need, parts and toner are cheap (and pre-DRM).

Of course, it's "Bill and Dave" HP quality, not the current abomination of the same name.

HP printer software turns up uninvited on Windows systems

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Re: Microsoft is shittier every day

The corporate mothership pushed a Windows update to my (centrally managed) work lappy last weekend. Upon reboot, I was presented with an invitation to log into (I kid you not) Skype for Business.

Even the local IT bod was taken aback. Easily disabled (right in the login box) from starting when Windows boots, but a blast from the past for sure. Teams came up and ran normally.

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Re: Maybe there's an HP device visible from wifi or bluetooth?




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Re: HP Smart is innocuous enough

IIRC (and I may not, because I'm a Boomer), one of the bullet points for Win[9? 10?], was "hey! no more having to load vendor drivers off tiny CDROMs...we have them all on our servers, so Windows will just install the appropriate driver automatically when you plug your new gadget in!"

So...now we're going back to "insert driver disk"? Two steps forward and one back?

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Worse yet, HP no longer support the LJ5 with their "generic PCL" driver. Which is sort of the point of a generic driver. Cynical me thinks it's because they can't force "expiration" of the toner. Which is yet another reason I love my LJ5!

And...even though Windows HP supplied driver doesn't support the LJ5, Windows will happily print to the very same LJ5, when it's shared off my Linux Mint system.

Bank boss hated IT, loved the beach, was clueless about ports and politeness

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Re: bullshit detected

...and why 10/100 is NOT on pins 4 & 5 (it's on 1, 2, 3 and 6).

10/100 was designed to avoid the 2 central pins, assuming that at some point an RJ-11 would be plugged in. Only time this doesn't work is if there's something on the second (RJ-11) pair, 3 & 6.

That time a JPL engineer almost killed a Mars Rover before it left Earth

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Who among us has not done something similar in our careers? I know I have, and at least once have broken something expensive.

From that experience I have developed some rules:

- Work with a buddy...they may spot something you've missed, or ask a good question.

- DO NOT work when tired. Take a break or go home and sleep.

- Obsessive labelling is not a sin

- Do respect others' test setups and give no quarter if they do not respect yours.

- Never assume, always check. Always consult the documentation before trusting your memory

- Take copious notes. Include diagrams.

- Take pictures before taking it apart (my iPhone photo stream has equal amounts of work and personal images)

IT sent the intern to sort out the nasty VP who was too important to bother with backups

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Space bar

I believe it was just last week that we had a commentard mention a near-sighted secretary who had a problem with spurious spaces appearing in her documents. The intrepid IT bod noticed that these were caused by her...um...rather impressive attributes interacting with the spacebar as she leaned forward to read the screen.

You get a Copilot, and you get a Copilot – Microsoft now the Copilot company

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Re: Disabled

I see you have clicked on the "Help" button as well...

BOFH: Groundbreaking discovery or patently obvious trolling?

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I have one of those patents.

It came with a nice plaque and $100. I will admit that it's almost useless, but the carrot was being dangled, so I bit.

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Re: The New and Improved "Bovine Adjustment Implement"

Propane works as well and leaves no residue...or so I have been told

Also, 4" for the combustion chamber, 1.5" for the barrel

User read the manual, followed instructions, still couldn't make 'Excel' work

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Re: still couldn't make 'Excel' work

...use the scan2email function ...

Have you paid the requisite licensing fee?

(ISTR this was an issue a few years back...numpties tried to extort everyone by claiming to have patented it)

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Will admit to clicking on a screenshot...more than once.

Revival of Medley/Interlisp: Elegant weapon for a more civilized age sharpened up again

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Re: You /what/ Liam?

"Do they even teach that way anymore?"

I asked one of our new hires that exact question. He confirmed that they do...in his Computer Engineering course, they still design and build CPUs and interface them to memory, peripherals, etc and design microcoded instruction sets. Instead of doing it on paper, though, like we did in the 70s, they do them in VHDL or Verilog and implement them in FPGAs.

I was encouraged.

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Re: lore

They taught us basic LISP in my Programming Languages survey course.

All I could think of, was those poor parentheses keys and how soon they would wear out...

Copilot coming to Windows 10 to help navigate the OS's twilight years

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Re: Plan to slow Windows 10 - try the other side, its less hassle (mainly)

I use VirtualBox and am happy with it.

Running Mint 21.1

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Re: Hidden the moment it arrived

Microsoft thinks I'm far more interested in exploring the "neat new features" of Windows, than I actually am.

Guys, it's an operating system, not a video game. It acts (very crudely) as an interface between the apps I need to run and the PC hardware and "rest of the world". I do not want its help, I do not want to explore it. I just want it to be there and do its job reliably.

And another thing...I can understand upgrades. But they should be incremental improvements, not wholesale new installs. It's an operating system, and if you haven't got it right by now, you never will. You have had many, many years. Windows 10 does everything I need it to do and it seems very reliable and quite easy to use. WTF do I *need* Windows 11? And, more importantly, why do I need to PAY for it? What makes Windows 11 better than Windows 10 (in simple words, please)?

Lawyer guilty of arrogance after ignoring tech support

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Re: Worst case I ever saw ...

I will admit to being the complainer at one point or another in my life, and when the IT person has either explained what I need to do, or fixed the issue by doing something I could have done myself, I admit my incompetence and promise to do better next time.

Just in case that doesn't work, the IT guy (we're down to one, and corporate has taken all his powers away...he's not happy about that) gets a small token of my thanks every Christmas time. He always says I don't have to do anything for him, and I always say that it never hurts to keep on the good side of IT.

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Re: Yes, but

...or checked the upper left of a paper page and wondered why the time isn't being displayed?

Wife and I both admit to doing that.

It's time to mark six decades of computer networking

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Re: Now forgotten

Eh...All the makers of minis and superminis got overtaken by [single and multiple] Pentii. It's not clear that any of the proprietary manufacturers could have done anything to survive the rise of commodity motherboards. Standard, non proprietary hardware (and, later, POSIX) levelled the playing ground, something that DEC and their bretheren couldn't deal with.

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Re: Al Gore

A "series of tubes", actually...:-)

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There's a marker at UHawaii in Honolulu. It's close to my granddaughter's school and i stopped by to see it.

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Re: Now forgotten

My college job was repairing Model 33s that got used in anger.

I had an endless supply of epoxy and 16AWG solid wire, which I used to repair the plastic covers slammed into by undregraduate fists, as they learned how to write code that didn't compile. The transparent window over the typing area was a favourite target

CompSci academic thought tech support was useless – until he needed it

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Re: "supposed expert who turned out to be anything but"

The local IT bod at my place of work always gets a small "something" at Christmas.

He always thanks me, tells me it's not necessary, and I always thank him, reminding him of the calls throughout the year which were "not necessary" (due to my cluelessness). I also tell him it's my policy to keep on the "right side" of IT, lest something unfortunate, involving a roll of carpet, duct tape and quicklime, occur

Spacewalk turns into spacework as cosmonauts grapple with ISS leak

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Re: Workmanship, or micrometeoroid / space junk damage?

Just send up another case of duct tape on the next Progress.

or that self-vulcanising plumber's tape

Forget the outside hacker, the bigger threat is inside by the coffee machine

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Big Brother

Anti-American sentiments

My goodness, the storage banks must be overflowing with juicy tidbits after the past month of Republican idiocy.

Or do we just record instances of "this country's going to sh*t"?

Guess I'll find out next time I try to get back in after a trip.

Windows 11: The number you have dialed has been disconnected

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Tried Mint?

I find it reliable and it was easy to install.

It doesn't suck any worse than Windows(tm)

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Re: So have we reached, forty years on...

NOT if you have a mouse wiggler or such...

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Re: Built to last

Work recently proposed "upgrading" me from 10 to 11. I declined. 10 works fine, all my applications software is running fine, why should I court disaster?

Truth be told, I was happy with 7, and 10 seems pretty much the same. I'm sure (hah!) there's much new and improved behind the curtain, but what I have works fine, so I'm in no hurry to tempt the fates.

Besides, I think I'm 1.5 years into a 3 year hardware upgrade cycle...

Routers have been rooted by Chinese spies, US and Japan warn

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Re: Timing

Hey! They can't do that to us! Only we can do that to us!

IIRC, NSA was grabbing the routers and modifying them as they left Cisco's warehouse. Shipping company or something.

Next time, maybe don't use "Neighbourhood Shipping Associates" to do your worldwide distribution?

// Flowers By Irene

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Spy vs Spy

Just want to say that the main page pic is genius. Except the black spy's nose shouls be black.

Beta driver turned heads in the hospital

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Black screen

My employer has seen fit to supply me with an HP Zbook laptop, which has the annoying "feature" that it maintains a black screen for an unnervingly long time after you have (maybe) powered it up. More than once, I have turned it off and on again before waiting long enough to get the "HP Wolf Data Security" (whatever that is) it finally deigns to display...

How about a clue that the thing's booting, guys?

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Greetings, friend!

Laptop stays under the monitor stand, while I use the mouse and AT-101 keyboard that God intended. Clicky keys rule!

Free software pioneer Richard Stallman is battling cancer

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Wishing him the best

We all owe him a debt for his work on and advocacy of Free Software. Truly one of the [cantankerous] giants from whose efforts the reat of us have benefitted.

Best of luck to him.

Salesforce flipflops from 'you're fired' to 'you're hired' in six short months

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Re: Corporate Culture

Many states, mine included (MA) are "at will" employment, which means they can fire you at any time and don't have to give a reason. You can technically quit at any time, without notice, but you risk having a "no rehire" mark on your file at that company if you do.

Also, most companies make you sign a document at time of hire, restricting your ability to work for competitors or clients for some period of time after you leave. It may or may not be legal, but they'll tie you up in court long enough to make it expensive for you.

Big Tech offers free training courses on India's new digital skills platform

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Nice logo.

I would have chosen an elephant rather than a lion.

Aren't lions more of an African thing?

Apparently not...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asiatic_lion

Still, would have chosen an elephant.

Meet Honda's latest electric vehicle: A rideable suitcase

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This will not impress TSA...

IBM Software tells workers: Get back to the office three days a week

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Re: Where are the facts & figures to support a return to the office ?

Some data missing here...what industry[ies]? What jobs? I can see this happening in manufacturing jobs, but my own experience in a design job (and that of my coworkers) differs from that shown in the graph.

I WFH during the pandemic, but went into the office when hands-on work was necessary. Schematic capture, simulation, document writing, can all be done more efficiently from home (at least in my case), and that was 75% of what I was doing during the pandemic.

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Re: Hilarious

I'll point out that most of us did some sort of post-secondary school. In my case, I atteneded lectures and lab sessions in person, but the vast amount of my work was done off-site, including ALL of my output. It worked then, it works now. After 3 years of COVID WFH, where nobody has claimed there were any productivity issues, I see little evidence that mandatory "face time" is necessary for good productivity.

Watt's the worst thing you can do to a datacenter? Failing to RTFM, electrically

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Thankfully, those are [mostly] a thing of the past, but there are still plenty of "classics" around...

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Re: Plus ca change....

At this point, using a 9-[pin sub-D connector for anything but a serial port is negligent design. Pick something else.

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Re: I I be a-goin there, I be-n't start from here

HP supplies are my favourites. I have a couple...rescued and repaired (the manuals have the schematics!).

I have noticed the cheap Chinese supplies display volts and amps, but I'm not sure I trust them completely yet. Certainly, the ones I have seen don't have any current limiting, and an overcurrent shutdown seems more likely than foldback current limiting, but I'm in the market for one, so perhaps I'll be pleasantly surprised.

Sure, give the new kid and his MCSE power over the AS/400. What could possibly go wrong?

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Re: A bit unusual

When I were a lad...the announcements were handled, not over the PA system, but through the command line:


IBM Cloud to 'uplift' prices by up to 29 percent

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Salaries raised to match?

Thought not.

Windows screensaver left broadcast techie all at sea

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Re: Not a screen saver, but...

A project I once worked on had an undocumented test mode. When an unknown command was entered in this mode, the reply was "I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.", in HAL's voice, of course.

Meta to use work badge and Status Tool to snoop on staff

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Re: Might I suggest

I fin dit fascinating that the companies cited in TFA are all software companies. How a software professional is "more productive" when in the office vs at home, is a mystery to me. I can easily see why some jobs are in-office, but software development would seem to me to be about as far towards the "WFH" end of the scale as one could get.