* Posts by PC Paul

236 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Aug 2007


We've got a photocopier and it can copy anything

PC Paul

Re: UV check lamps

The fact the rest of the note glowed as well when they didn't normally could well be enough to raise suspicions...

Meta asks line managers to identify poorly performing staff for firing

PC Paul

And in parallel: a lot of your better employees who can see this happening and can easily get other jobs will leave fast and early. Thinning out doesn't only lose the people that you want to get rid of. Unless you are desperate to cut costs and don't care about the damage that will do to you in the long run, of course.

Hive to pull the plug on smart home gadgets by 2025

PC Paul

Re: constant problem

TVs have a much longer lifetime than apps, and TV manufacturers typically don't care much about updating their 'smart TV' apps once they have your money, even if the apps are still available and being maintained.

I treat TVs as dumb monitors and rely on cheaper 'evolving tech' boxes like the Roku or Chromecast to.providevthe smarts. It disconnects the update cycles.

Back-to-office mandates won't work, says Salesforce's Benioff

PC Paul

Re: Not as much a coward, but...

You may be an example of someone who SHOULD be working in an office, some people just aren't suited to working at home. But then again if you only work half the day at work and none in your two days at home I wonder how much the job actually needs doing at all?

Personally I've been WFH since the start with maybe a dozen trips to the office in 2.5 years and I've found that I work more more intensely than in the office with fewer interruptions. I always worked with remote teams a lot anyway though, so I didn't really have to be in the office anyway before this.

PC Paul

There is more to it than recognising C++ code or SQL. There is a lot of domain knowledge about what the company is doing with them, how it interoperates with all the other systems they use, what the plans are for the next stages etc. Often a lot of that is held by the dev team NOT by the managers so swapping dev team members in and out quickly means you are always in the stage of finding out about stuff and inevitably losing some clarity on the way. It's much less efficient, it's just hidden by simplistic measures like headcount and words on CVS.

Original Acorn Arthur project lead explains RISC OS genesis

PC Paul


I don't know if it's the same compiler but I was writing raw ARM code in the 1980s to drive an Archimedes (and before that came out, an ARM dev board that hung off a BBC micro). I pretty soon found that for the non-critical parts the compiled code was just as good as my handwritten assembler, sometimes better - so I started writing the system in C with just the critical parts hand done and linked in. At the time compiled code generally was nowhere near as efficient as hand tuned code, so between the nice ARM RISC instructions and the compiler I was using somebody did a great job. Well done if it was you!

The perfect crime – undone by the perfect email backups

PC Paul

Re: "Delete" = "Hide"

long later Yes, but the UV EPROM will be inside the case and likely have a sticker over it's quartz window. It would only get erased as a very deliberate action. EEPROMs came along a lot later than UV EPROMs and didn't catch up in capacity or cheapness for quite a while.

Seriously, you do not want to make that cable your earth

PC Paul

Re: Bee-sting ?

There speaks a man who hasn't dealt with a stoptap which hasn't moved for twenty years during which it was painted over four times, and an external stoptap that's been tarmaced over. Turning the water off for 15 minutes SHOULD be easy, I agree...

PC Paul

Re: Bee-sting ?

People made EVERY name up. For everything. But these are real, I know because I was there.

We can bend the laws of physics for your super-yacht, but we can't break them

PC Paul

You don't want to use Citrix over a high latency connection, trust me. I used to install satellite broadband to rural business parks (one ground station then VDSL to all the companies) and it was very much wait-wait-wait-everything. Bandwidth was excellent for the time but latency was awful.

There were even split dialup/satellite systems that tried to push the more interactive bits via the phone lines but that didn't get far before adsl came in.

BOFH: Something's consuming 40% of UPS capacity – and it's coming from the beancounters' office

PC Paul

Re: Designed to fail

There's another option?

PC Paul

Re: Similar problem

We have several buildings on a small business park. The local power company substation had to be worked on but we got plenty of notice for a change so arranged a full outage of the one affected building, with enough time for an orderly shutdown. It all went really smoothly and as Friday evening drew to a close the whole building was off and the main breakers isolated to avoid the self-same "turn it off and on again and off again and on and off and on and off again and...".

Then early on the Saturday morning they threw the power. Guess which building feed wasn't labelled correctly at the substation...

Oracle already wins 'crypto bug of the year' with Java digital signature bypass

PC Paul

Re: So what other sanity checks did they leave out on the rewrite?

They do say "never write your own crypto" - apparently that holds true even if you're just translating it to a new language.

The time you solved that months-long problem in 3 seconds

PC Paul

Re: Fuck that

We are about three months into a four month project (as one of a million things we are doing so we didn't mind not being asked to do anything towards it yet) and the project manager has only just asked us to suggest a few requirements...

Sounds like it's going to be yet another project where the end result will be a vague definition in a wordy document that gets sent to the everyday team to 'productionise in the margins' because the project funds have all been spent on contractor Project Managers who have now gone.

Man arrested, accused of trying to track woman using Apple Watch attached to car

PC Paul

Somebody prepared to do all the things he was doing and in the middle of losing his control over her isn't 'a bit dumb', he's all out panicking and he deserves to be.

Linux kernel patch from Google speeds up server shutdowns

PC Paul

Re: Speed up shutdowns?

I read Jake's post as saying that there should never ever be a time when DNS, logging, AD etc is not running. One or more of the servers hosting them may be down right now but the _service_ is still running on the other redundant servers hosting it.

PC Paul

Re: Why even...

The real question then is Emacs going to implement systemd or is systemd going to implement Emacs?

Client demo in 30 minutes. Just what could go wrong?

PC Paul

Re: It was BT for me

Or as in one memorable case a whole small CSP was down for a week with the BT leased line failing in interesting ways and other business users in the same area also reporting issues, but BT repeatedly stated there were no known issues. Then suddenly it started working without us doing anything (we'd run out of ideas after doing everything we possibly could multiple times over that week) and a couple of days later BT sent out an email telling us that they'd finally fixed a major fault and they were sorry for the intermittent service over the last week...

Unable to write 'Amusing Weekly Column'. Abort, Retry, Fail?

PC Paul

Re: My favourite error message

Windows has a famous pop-up error dialog;

ERROR: No Error.

BOFH: Gaming rig for your home office? Yeah right

PC Paul

Around the same time we were developing a dynamic interactive data visualisation tool, and we had a roomful of Silicon Graohics Iris workstations. One of the few non-PC machines to play Doom II. And it played it very well, on some of them you could even have left and right screens to get a nice wrap around view...

Fujitsu: Dumping older workers will wipe out quarter of forecast profit

PC Paul

Re: Disgusting..

Testing, if not dev, ought to be done on the same level of kit as the target audience will be using. 17" 4:3 LCD monitors, 5Mb bandwidth, 2GB RAM and a slow disk.

Reg reader rages over Virgin Media's email password policy

PC Paul

Long running issue

Every year or two I get the same "your email may be insecure" message from them telling me to change my email password. The first few times I found the same issue I wrote to them about how terrible it was - even ten years ago that password policy was feeble.

I just stopped using it for email at all and never read it. I asked them to just disable it but they say they can't. The impression I got was that they just kept the old systems from all their early mergers with Telewest, Blueyonder etc. around and had to use the lowest common denominator across all of them.

I stuck with virgin cable for ages because it was the only way to get the speed I wanted but now we have a Gb fibre alternative locally I'll be off soon, after about 15 years... it's just got way too expensive and their systems are antiquated.

PC Paul

Re: So leave

My Virgin login is an email address from my own domain, so is my contact email from them. You can change it in the 'my profile' area - although I'll happily belivee the original one (blueyonder for me) is still in there somewhere.

IT blamed after HR forgets to install sockets in new office

PC Paul

Re: I want to believe, but...

Totally agree. I got torpedoed by a manager once so hard it wasn't worth fighting it. But I also knew a guy about four levels up the food chain from him who steered that manager away from several promising fast track opportunities over the next year or two so his career just stagnated.

BOFH: All hail the job cuts consultant

PC Paul

They were right though, except that what they proved was that bees can't GLIDE. Flapping wing flight is a lot different.

Beware the techie who takes things literally

PC Paul

Re: He protected his boss from legal problems IMHO..

They can take you to court, and they will often rely on you being scared off by that or just plain not being able to afford it (yay justice!) but if you get them in front of a judge AND you have solid documented facts on your side then you will win in all but the oddball cases.

Food for thought on the return to the office

PC Paul

Re: What's your reason?

Correct. How else are they going to keep making short term profits to appease the shareholders if they invest in things that will be good for the company in the long term?

Facebook fined peanuts after Giphy staff quit and firm didn't tell UK competition regulators

PC Paul

Re: “grammer nazi”


This is going well: Meta adds anti-grope buffer zone around metaverse VR avatars

PC Paul

Re: There goes the business case

Some of the more popular games on the most common VR headset (also owned by Facebook/Meta) is 'Job Simulator'. The reason this is making the news now is that a lot of non-gamers and older folks are now using these to explore multiplayer VR and clashing with the shitty teenage boy/troll/gamer mentality that has evolved over many years in online games.

How to get banned from social media without posting a thing

PC Paul

Re: There's your answer!

It's because the question previous buyers receive is phrased as a personal direct plea for help, being a polite nation we don't like to just ignore that, so we say so. And they post it.

Nothing's working, and I've checked everything, so it must be YOUR fault

PC Paul

Re: Blue flash

We had a Stalwart for some tests once - a big 6 wheel drive, 6 wheel steering amphibious armoured truck thing. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mr_pCrhTkk.

We were using an old airfield for the testing which had big white crosses painted each end of the runway to stop people landing on it. The squaddies we borrowed to drive it were loving the easy duty and were tearing about happily in this 'unstoppable' beast.

Turns out if you drift it 180 using the slippery painted cross then when it hits concrete again all three wheels grip at once and flip it neatly on it's side...

Bad things come in threes: Apache reveals another Log4J bug

PC Paul

Re: Antique versions For The Win

1.x is better/safer? Well it _might_ be, but nobody with a white hat has even been looking since 2015, so there's that...

CentOS Stream 9: Understanding the new Red Hat OS release for non-Red-Hat-type people

PC Paul

Re: Alternate view.

Embrace, Extend. Extinguish. It worked for MS, but I was deeply saddened by RedHat doing it.

I was expecting it though, ever since IBM moved in. At my company half the product teams are moving to Alma but many others are leaving RedHat entirely for Ubuntu/Debian. If you can't have the slow-but-steady stability of CentOS and don't want to pay then the RedHat-sphere doesn't really offer much now.

Log4j RCE: Emergency patch issued to plug critical auth-free code execution hole in widely used logging utility

PC Paul

Re: Log4J 1.x not vulnerable

8u191 is pretty ancient now, I suspect the others are too. Although, thanks to Oracle's unique approach to managing open source projects you need a paid licence for anything past 8u202 now. Switch to Corretto or OpenJDK ASAP!

Survey shows XP lingers on while Windows 11 makes a 0.21% ripple in the enterprise

PC Paul

Too soon

At our somewhat large company the Windows 11 announcement happened just as we gave the first user a production Win10 laptop. These things take time!

Data-breached Guntrader website calls in liquidators, is reborn as Guntrader 2 Ltd

PC Paul

I can sort of understand that, but it shouldn't extend to legal liability for information leaks etc. Companies absolutely shouldn't be allowed to close down on Friday then reopen in the same office with the same people running it on Monday with the slate wiped clean, that's ridiculous.

UK altnet CityFibre's boss on its hopes to capitalise on market churn as fibre broadband rolls out

PC Paul

Re: Cityfibre ... arghhhh

I was chatting to a cityfibre installer here. He said a lot of the old BT ducts were in a terrible state. Collapsed, unmapped and often full to the brim. Nobody is happy with all this.

PC Paul

Re: No even tjhe city

I'm in Gloucester and have virgin cable, with cityfibre digging up the path outside right now to soakwire the area. But a mate has a new house nearby built between two older houses and nobody will wire it up...

Compromise reached as Linux kernel community protests about treating compiler warnings as errors

PC Paul

Re: if (foo = bar)

Oh, because I wrote that same line and I meant to write == but it got debounced. A lot of these warming are there to force you to not make the same easy mistakes over and over again. That's why they are warnings not errors.

But when it comes to the production release of high value code like the Linux kernel it seems reasonable to make you split it into two lines and let the compiler di the optimisations

Unless there was an implied /s missing as well

PC Paul

Re: I don't blame him

I once had a year long contract supporting some similar old code. It had lots of weird "can't find them" issues.

In between what they asked for (document and tidy up all the workarounds) I ran static analysis and -Werror and fixed those too.

After the year was up there was no document to hand in for the workarounds as there were none left. Nor were there all the weird issues.

UK government bows to pressure, agrees to delay NHS Digital grabbing the data of England's GP patients

PC Paul

Re: Matt Hancock to involve patients

to vote for something... poorly defined with lots of room to make it mean whatever they wanted!

Name True, iCloud access false: Exceptional problem locks online storage account, stumps Apple customer service

PC Paul

Re: Similar problem

Dell iDracs still do that: they happily let you set a really long password but only use a certain number of characters from it (20 IIRC).

Proposed US fix for Boeing 737 Max software woes does not address Ethiopian crash scenario, UK pilot union warns

PC Paul

Re: Who had the fish?

I can picture the trim wheels having holes drilled round the edge and Boeing providing a 'trim leverage enhancement rod' (stick) to put into the holes for extra force.

I wouldn't want to turn it 60 times though!

Burn baby burn, plastic inferno! Infosec researchers turn 3D printers into self-immolating suicide machines

PC Paul

Re: the real life physical dangers inherent in attaching all these home appliances to the internet

I'm at home. I have two. They aren't that unusual (or expensive) these days.

Zoom's end-to-end encryption isn't actually end-to-end at all. Good thing the PM isn't using it for Cabinet calls. Oh, for f...

PC Paul

Re: To be clear ...

"It is fully securely encrypted from your machine to our man-in-the-middle server then again from there to your friends machine. We don't see the problem."

You spoke, we didn't listen: Ubiquiti says UniFi routers will beam performance data back to mothership automatically

PC Paul


You think you blocked it...

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

PC Paul

Re: Many years ago ...

> we only had a production system at that time; my company was too small to afford a development/test server.

I think you'll find you did have a dev/test server, but some fool was running production on it too.

Oi, Queenslander who downloaded 26.8TB in June alone – we see you

PC Paul

Re: Quick maths

Just a switching loop. That's just one box asking for ARP over and over and over and over and...

Bose customers beg for firmware ceasefire after headphones fall victim to another crap update

PC Paul

Re: Criminal Damage

That would be a 'not fit for purpose' thing I suppose, as PCI cards should by definition be compatible with a PCI motherboard.

IR35 blame game: Barclays to halt off-payroll contractors, goes directly to PAYE

PC Paul

10 years?

You think the process of rejoining will start again immediately then?