* Posts by WallMeerkat

274 posts • joined 13 Jan 2017


Come to Five Guys, where the software is as fresh as the burgers... or maybe not


Re: upstart?

I'm guessing they're meaning relative to McDs/BK who have been about for decades

Certainly fiveguys in Belfast only opened within the past 5 years or so, and is inexplicably popular. Sure the burgers are nice, but for the price you could have a sit down waited meal and beer at a pub.

BOFH: Darn Windows 7. It's totally why we need a £1k graphics card for a business computer


Virus 10

A virus:

"a piece of code which is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data."

MS pushed Windows 10 onto my Windows 7 machine.

Had a detrimental effect in corrupting my system such that some of my drivers for legacy (yes go out and buy new shiny shiny toys, I know) peripherals no longer worked.

Destroyed data in that my XP Mode VM and all it's contents and applications was suddenly wiped, couldn't find it anywhere, and the built in executables sol.exe and winmine.exe were long gone, to be replaced by ad driven freemium 'adventure' games.

(If I wanted to play freemium games I'd load my mobile full of crap like candy crush, which seemed to be installed, unwantedly, by windows 10)

Also added unwanted Adware to my start menu, what was previously an operating system control for launching applications was now telling me to go buy an Xbox or to subscribe to the weather channel, alerts telling me to buy subscriptions to Office and Skype premium. Urging me to use their Cortina spyware, and "BING!!" search engine.

I was half expecting the Bonzi Buddy to pop up.

Very little helps: Tesco flashes ancient Windows desktop on Scan-As-You-Shop device


Re: Handheld shopping...

Indeed as much as I respect retail staff (been there!) if I, as a shopper, get told off for choosing an item off a shelf, the glowing supermarket logo colour wouldn't be the only thing turning the air blue.


Re: Handheld shopping...

"In any case, if you don’t like the dates or condition of anything, just hand it back to the driver for a refund. Or phone up later to do the same."

We had a couple of good drivers who "suggested" that short date items be refunded, and "disposed of" to our fridge.


I tried that online ordering / pickup from their car park lego garage

It's great if you want your bread, meat, yoghurt etc to go out of date tomorrow.

(Some delivery drivers are really good though and they'll identify these and "offer" to refuse/refund them while disposing of them in your house)

The joy of being tall with gangly arms while shopping at a supermarket is that you can reach into the box behind the front box on the shelf to get something with a better date (and yes I'm a stock rotation nightmare, I did once work retail)


Yep and then you get to the tills and the "random" security check means they demand you scan everything in again!

(Or is it just me? I did complain to Tesco who suggested it was totally "random")

Gin and gone-ic: Rometty out as IBM CEO, cloud supremo Arvind Krishna takes over, Red Hat boss is president

Black Helicopters

Re: No mention of choppers?

Being helicoptered in, then axing travel for most employees?


Re: Will anything change?

Their hardware is now Lenovo

Vendor-bender LibreOffice kicks out 6.4: Community project feel, though now with added auto-█████ tool


Re: Understatement

I secretly like Office 97 as it is a usable office suite but it can also run on NT 3.5.1, the last NT with the old Win3.1 UI, pre-start button (unless you installed NewsHell) which was why it drew it's own controls.

Handy for bringing an old 486 to the coffee shop amongst the Mac hipsters but getting stuff done.

Take DOS, stir in some Netware, add a bit of Windows and... it's ALIIIIVE!


To get some game to run that needed all the base memory


They bought Samsung printers, but haven't updated the software bundles to 64 bit, which means the scanner application won't run if I update to OSX Catalina. And they have no intention of updating it.

Windows takes a tumble in the land of the Big Mac and Bacon Double Cheeseburger


BSOD off

I've seen BSODs on those new digital billboards that are getting in the way of pavements everywhere.

And McDs, those screens, the printer never seems to work so you need to quickly remember your allocated number. Though it does save the trees, at the expense of not availing of a £1.99 burger and chips with a survey code.

Clunk, whirr, buzz, whine. Shared office space can be a riot and sounds like one too



The worst about the Open plan office are other people

I've had colleagues play nerf wars when I was trying to build a complex regex.

Colleagues who ran across the floor, their footprints doof doof doof doof.

The ones by the window who won't close the blinds when the sun is beating in.


Re: Nothing new

As a child in primary school, if I passed a classroom I could 'hear' the CUB monitor of their BBC micro if it was on.

In later years my hearing is banjaxed.


Re: Companies in France

Was going to post about that sports car

Apparently it was rebadged MR-S for the French market?

Other UK rebadges include the Citroen Evasion as Synergie (someone explained to them that it means getting away *with* it, as in taxes, rather than *from* it, as in a holiday), and the Great Wall Wingle became the Steed when it was briefly sold.


Re: Welcome to the world of the Tinnitus Sufferer

My car is a large hatchback with a long bootlid. I use hearing aids and the bootlid has this vibration sound that no-one else seems to hear, but I haven't been able to prevent by adjusting the stoppers. At worst on certain concrete roads it sounds like the engine is labouring (it isn't and it is an automatic anyway, it changes down when it needs to)

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


Re: My reply is no i do servers

This! I explain it as asking a train designer to look at why a Polo is misfiring.

There was a good image somewhere, points at laptops "What you think I work with" and servers "What I actually work with"


Re: I must be lucky then or have better friends.....

Did you survive the netbook era, in between PCs/laptops and iPads/tablets

"Can you put windows on instead of the penguin?" let me just pull a windows licence out of thin air. I didn't even have a USB CD drive at the time.

"Can you change the wallpaper?" eh? Then turned out Win7 starter blocked you from changing the wallpaper!

"It's slow" I boot it up and it's bonzi buddy, 10 toolbars, half a dozen fake antiviruses...


Re: I must be lucky then or have better friends.....

To be fair to Apple, when my wife's out of warranty iPad started having graphics issues they exchanged it for a refurb item there and then.


Did he at least put a little bit extra into trying to fix your car, or dropping you off at a garage that suited you rather than the AA?

Chrome suddenly using Bing after installing Office 365 Pro Plus... Yeah, that might have been us, mumbles Microsoft


Re: Phew!

For a second I thought you meant that they were putting Bing into the old golf game they bought years ago.


Last few companies I've worked at have used Google GSuite, no real issues with Office compatibility for the most part.

And while google is another evilcorp, a browser cloud application shouldn't try to hijack a browser.

Plus it can be used on Mac, Linux, Windows, mobile/tablet etc.

Microsoft boffin inadvertently highlights .NET image woes by running C# on Windows 3.11


Re: BTW if you need a cross-platform GUI development solution

I shudder to think of the mess of Win10s control panels/settings

Remember that Sonos speaker you bought a few years back that works perfectly? It's about to be screwed for... reasons


I follow a lot of groups in the retrogaming scene, and certainly your PC and CRT would be of interest.

There is a whole generation of games from the late 90s that is awkward to run on modern PCs.

Too new for the likes of DosBox (usual go-to for old games), and needing 3D hardware.

But too old to run properly on a modern win10 machine (I tried to run Sega Rally 2 and it was full of missing transparency textures, the likes of Toca2 just didn't run)

And the CRT monitor makes old games look of their era. Even disguises some of the lower resolutions.

Your modem could be useful if the machine supported it - a few years ago an insurance company asked me to fax them a form!

From WordPad to WordAds: Microsoft caught sneaking nagging Office promos into venerable text editor beta


Where did it all go wrong?

They've totally trashed Windows.

First the basic Solitaire and Minesweeper games were replaced by ad-supported 'app' games.

Now wordpad is getting bombarded with ads to subscribe to MS Office.

What next? Notepad ads to buy Visual Studio? Paint ads to buy Photoshop apps from the store (where MS takes a cut)?

Time was, you *bought* a windows

licence (or at least the licence tax as part of your PC price), and you were free to use the OS and the built in apps (Write, Paintbrush etc.) and games without being bombarded by advertising.

A fine host for a Raspberry Pi: The Register rakes a talon over the NexDock 2


Re: Bring back netbooks

Good reviews, google shopping reports it as £160 in Argos

Argos has increased it to £199.


Re: Bring back netbooks

I actually remember a relative getting an early netbook, and complaining that they wanted "Windows not the penguin", like I am a walking repository of Windows licences.

They later got a newer netbook which was hobbled with Windows 7 starter, and asked me to change the wallpaper. MS for some reason disabled this, I had to rename the original wallpaper file and copy the picture to that file as a workaround, if I recall.


Re: Bring back netbooks

Also, the market for cheap small portable computers that wasn't cornered by regular laptops or tablets, that aren't hobbled by Windows, was taken up by Chromebooks.

Blackout Bug: Boeing 737 cockpit screens go blank if pilots land on specific runways


Re: What about the integrated standby instrument system

Or the payment app latterly known as SoftCard

Capita unfurls new consulting arm. Hmm, what shall we call it?

Thumb Down

Elephant in the room?

Used to work on a street a few buildings up from a Capita office where they judged people for the PIP.

The horror stories I've read in the news - the paralysed man who got less than full credit points (how disabled does one need to be?), and walking past truly dispondant folks on the footpath afterwards. Awful.

100 mysterious blinking lights in the night sky could be evidence of alien life... or something weird, say boffins


Re: Roxanxyzxxllx

And then the Arctic Monkeys come along 30 years later

"And he told Roxanxyzxxllx to turn on her red light...."

The Windows Phone keeps ringing but no one's home: Microsoft finally lets platform die


Re: WebOS

It worked well on the HP Touchpad for a while, though it's a little slow to get anything done nowadays


Re: Always two there are

Auto manufacturers are more analagous to PC manufacturers.

And even at that, just as many manufacturers gave up on PCs to focus on tablet/mobile, so many have abandoned cars for SUVs.

Also, the future seems to be in collaboration, so you'll end up with a handful of manufacturers in the end ie. VW group, Peugeot (Citroen, Fiat-Chrysler brands, Opel-Vauxhall), Renault (Nissan-Mitsubishi-Dacia, potentially Mercedes). Even previous old school behemoths like GM are a shadow of their former self (the IBM of the car world?)

Halfords invents radio signals that don't travel at the speed of light


Re: If DAB is faster than FM

It's why they got rid of the pre-news clock.

During the analogue to digital transition, they couldn't gaurantee that the signal would be received at that second, as evidenced if anyone ever ran an analogue and digital TV side by side.

Chrome OS: Yo dawg, I heard you like desktops so we put a workspace in your workspace


Re: GEM ? 1980s ?

The fixed windows was the result of Apple taking them to court, as GEM was basically an Apple System Finder clone. This hobbled the functionality a little, made it a little less Mac-like.

If I recall the Atari ST TOS used GEM 1.x so was very mac-like.

Not LibreOffice too? Beloved open-source suite latest to fall victim to the curse of Catalina


Re: Just another...

"Distribute via the app store and nobody gets annoyed"

Inside the 1TB ImageNet data set used to train the world's AI: Naked kids, drunken frat parties, porno stars, and more


Re: Trust of black box systems is overrated

Same in testing, you're given a system and requirements and poke it, but no implementation detail.

Whereas if you are given access to internal APIs it becomes more grey box testing.

And unit testing which is white box ie. implies knowledge of the code.

How do we stop filling the oceans with Lego? By being a BaaS-tard, toy maker suggests


The point of lego

Surely the point of lego is that you can use the bricks to rebuild what you want?

Growing up I had F1 sets, house sets, castle sets, cars, boats, planes, technic etc. and it all ended up in the big lego tub.

From there I could build whatever I wanted (usually garages and the likes) which wouldn't be possible if I was posting lego back after building the single thing.

Of course now I'm grown up I'm back into lego given their 'grown up models' approach (Mini Cooper, Mustang etc.) which I'll unlikely take apart, but I'll also likely keep displayed then hand down to my daughter when she's old enough to know to not try to eat everything.


Re: A couple of interesting highlights

Agree totally

Though with the EV revolution etc. and Tory murmurings that they want to reduce car ownership, I could see a model where you 'book' a car to arrive when you need it. I live rurally and commute to a busy park and ride, so it's giving me a headache.

With the likes of Raspberry Pi, users can learn to high level program. Imagine trying to solder your own PC, an write a TCP stack in assembler. There is a hell of a lot of 'standing on the shoulders of giants' to modern computing. Yes it's nice to dive right down sometimes, but I would hate to build an app speaking to a REST API on a microprocessor I had to build myself.

Even the pi though is too low level for consumers who just want to look at things or get things done, hence the popularity of tablets/iPads.

And as you say with your Caterham set, I have the Mini Cooper model. Not sure if it has any bespoke parts - one criticism is that it looks too square like a Land Rover, the wheelarches are actually reused a curved windscreen, albeit no longer transparent :)

Hey, I wrote this neat little program for you guys called the IMAC User Notification Tool


Once worked the opposite way, worked on a tool called something like (actual name mocked out with your example)

Problem Management Tool

It was pointed out to management that the acronym might be inappropriate. But we were told that the US refer to it as PMS, and that it was to sit alongside the existing product called something like "Change Management Tool" (again not the actual name but same acronym) as a family of products.

Sleeping Tesla driver wonders why his car ploughed into 11 traffic cones on a motorway


Re: Here's an idea

> Changing gear: While driving on the highway at 85mph on Autopilot?

Aren't EVs "automatic"/single forward speed? They don't need the concept of gears to get power to speed ratios as per internal combustion engines?

Plusnet holds off spirited charge from Vodafone in broadband complaint charts


Re: Once good

I find if you can get through to a human they're quite decent.

The technicolour router was on it's last legs, I asked online chat about a new hub, they wanted a one off payment or extra on the bill.

I left it at that, messaged their twitter account who had made suggestions about setting channels on the technicolour, next thing a new hub is in the post.

We don't mean to poo-poo this, but... The Internet of S**t has literally arrived thanks to Pampers smart diapers


Re: Push Notifications?

I wasn't sure if what you wrote was the poem, the way that you

decided to space it out for us to read, line endings by two

You can't say Go without Google – specifically, our little logo, Chocolate Factory insists


I thought Go was a petrol station

With a broken website



Microsoft? Oh it's just another partnership, insists GitHub CEO


When you have been borged you can pretend to have a conscious mind, but you are part of the collective.

Silence of the vans: Uber adds 'Plz STFU, driver' button to app for posh passengers using Black


Re: Sigh.. if that floats your goat...

It's universal across these isles, not just inside the M25.

A favourite with Belfast taxis "What time ye on til?" "Just started at 7 there will see it out til about 3 and then hit the sack" after which you can then follow up with "Well has it been busy so far?" "Oh aye flat out"

Wine? No, posh noshery in high spirits despite giving away £4,500 bottle of Bordeaux


You could buy a Skoda or get the same platform and engines in a more expensive package as an Audi.

Most people do the latter.

A day in the life of London seen through spam and weak Wi-Fi


'Free' wifi. If a service is free then you're the product.

The bus route into the city centre got shiny new buses with onboard wifi. Tried it, kept dropping. Ended up disabling wifi as the 4G was faster. Now it keeps nagging to sign in, but the 4G is still faster and more reliable.


Re: London WiFi

I stayed in some hellhole hotel in Wigan once. Breakfast wasn't included (to be fair the room was £25 a night), it was £8 and ended at 9. I slept in (weekend) and went down figuring weekends they might be a bit later, but no, 9.02 and they were clearing away all the food, waitress says no.

So I nip out to the town centre, find a proper old school greasy spoon, full english and a proper mug of tea for £3.50.

There are 2 type of hot hotel foods - chef made where the sausages will be half cooked (which seems to be trendy) but with a nice fresh fried egg, or the buffet style where the sausages have been cooking all morning, but the bacon is like leather, the beans are suspiciously clumpy and the ketchup you spoon out of a gravy boat is a little too vinegary.

The joys of business travel.

Daddy, are we there yet? How Mrs Gates got Bill to drive the kids to school


When I was young(er) I had a Alfa GTV - a fun car that I could afford (it cost £500 to buy). People used to say that it must be great for attracting young women (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

It wasn't. It just seemed to attract boy racers. It also cost a small fortune to maintain.



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