* Posts by PM from Hell

176 posts • joined 24 Mar 2017


Is it broken yet? Is it? Is it? Ooh that means I can buy a sparkly, new but otherwise hard-to-justify replacement!

PM from Hell

bigger screens

I've relocated from my office in the attic to the spare bedroom during the heatwave. All the kit upstairs is nicely wired into cable management so I just grabbed the spare 32" tv to use as a monitor, Now I want 2 32" monitors in my office. Its a good job the heatwave had broken as I was just about to order another dynadock for the 'temporary' office so I can hook up all the additional bits and pieces I normally have access to (second monitor, separate webcam & hi fi sound for video calls) etc.

I've found recycling old hi fi units for use as pc speakers works very well and as my laptop is normally closed (its an ultralight with a tiny display) the microphone in the separate webcam is far better than the laptop mic. In fact this afternoon I think I'll hook up the Teac unit we've replaced in the dining room to the temporary office.Oops now I do need the docking station if I'm going to stick to a single wire connection from the laptop, so I may as well buy that second hand monitor at the same time to go dual monitor here as well.

Ably blog claims company doesn't need Kubernetes to scale, surge in traffic takes down entire website

PM from Hell

Development fads

I was tech support manager for an organisation where the developers were seen as magicians and the ops / tech support teams as drudges. We were an Oracle shop (Oracle having been specified by the Development Manager) and my team had built up a very high skill level supporting Oracle. We been supporting bought in apps for a number of years before the development team started building bespoke apps. Their initial deliveries were pitiful and my team had to spend a lot of time giving them tuning advice, you can imagine my reaction when the Dev manager announced they were changing development platforms for the next big thing (I can't even remember what he proposed). He had just about got the go ahead to do this when I found out. His business case was based entirely on the fact that the licencing was cheaper than Oracle when I pointed out that most of our apps were Oracle based and my team would be running Oracle for the next decade his face was a picture, just to twist the knife I pointed out that it had taken his team 2 years to get productive on Oracle and the training had cost nearly £100,000. Needless to say that initiative was canned.

GitHub Copilot auto-coder snags emerge, from seemingly spilled secrets to bad code, but some love it

PM from Hell

Committed Devs

I'm a PM and you are exactly the type of Developer I love working with, its about problem solving and creativity but with quality, future maintainability and performance all included. This is the approach I recruit for and although there will always be some point where the development 'sticks' having someone who is prepared to stand up to me asking that question 'do you want it hacked or do you want it right' is a godsend to me. It may give me an awkward meeting with senior execs to deal with while I have top justify a delay but that's what I'm paid for. My generic answer in some of these meetings is 'I've got a good team, if it was easy it would be done by now'.

A hotline to His Billness? Or a guard having a bit of a giggle?

PM from Hell

Bloody Sales Databases

I bought a house on a new build estate with the promise that broadband was on its way. We put up with months of disruption while Openreach laid a fibre from the exchange all the way through the town center to a Distribution point on the outskirts of the development. We then had to wait for another 3 months for someone to activate the postcodes on BT's sales database. Ironically my next door neighbor was a network tech manager for BT's outsourcing division but he was as powerless as the rest of us. When the sales database was finally turned on they missed off one post code. My ate who was relying on broadband arriving to reduce the number of 100 mile commutes each week was waiting for broadband for another 6 months.

PM from Hell

Sunos Documentation

I was managing a Business driven project around that time. The Director of IT was in a turf war with the director of the division I was working in and had refused to co-operate on the project. I was brought in by an IT Division Program Manager to manage the Project with a team of developers employed by the Energy Trading Division. All the SunOS documentation (paper manuals and CD's) was locked in a filing cabinet in thew IT offices and we were based at the HQ building.

The Tech Support team refused access to the documentation and although I had experienced developers on the Unix O/S they were being caught out by SunOs's idiosyncrasies As the technical support team wouldn't, at that point, register a support account for me with Sum we had no access to any technical documentation.

In the end I found copies of the documentation we needed on the University of Alaska's student support site which thankfully didn't need any credentials to log-in.

The Turf War was sorted out in the end after a stand up fight between my boss and the Director of IT who finally realized failure of the project would come home to bite him. Once relations were re-established I was offered copies of the manuals, I just rejected them telling the techs that I had an on-line source.

Stob treks back across the decades to review the greatest TV sci-fi in the light of recent experience

PM from Hell

Onion Bhaji's and Lager

Enough said

Chinese web giant Baidu unveils Level 4 robo-taxi that costs $75k to make

PM from Hell

Jonny Cab

Unless there is a yellow plastic driver programmed to have small talk with me I wont be interested.

Thanks, boss. The accidental creation of a lights-out data centre – what a fun surprise

PM from Hell
Paris Hilton

Radio Keys

One DC I worked in had radio keys to control access to the DC. These, we about the size of a small mobile phone today and were generally kept in your trouser pocket all day if you required regular access to the DC. The Keys required charging every night so had to be locked into the charging station before you left for the day. It was a major pain if you took one home overnight and fessed up a lot of fuss was made. In reality if you didn't use it much it would just about last a second day. There was zero lag on the system so we got used to running through the door if there was an emergency (this was in the early 80's so they were horribly common) one of the ops found out that his key was dead when running into the DC. The door didn't open but he carried on, that's when he found out that the glass panel above the door wasn't shatter proof. He was lucky to get away with some deep lacerations to his chest. A post incident review lead to the glass being replaced with shatterproof wired glass and a relaxation in the rules around using a 'spare' key, whilst usage had to be logged and the users original key had top be present being charged it was no longer a disciplinary offence taking a key home by accident.

The operator was a resilient chap and actually was pretty happy a couple of weeks later, he'd been booked to go to Spain for 2 weeks and his holiday insurance company refunded the money as he could t take part in the water-skying and diving he had planned so he got a free holiday (lounging by the pool drinking as usual). His holiday was taken as sick leave and he got bunged a few thousand pounds in compensation for his injuries.

Paris as he apparently got a lot of attention from girls who were very sympathetic about his bandages.

PM from Hell

Re: Access denied

I had the same policy, plus all guests had to be authorized by me, in advance so I could ensure we had a couple of sysprogs to act as guides / wardens.

Imagine my surprise returning from a meeting to find a tour of school children in the data center, no I hadn't been informed, no there were not sufficient people to safeguard my DC and yes it had been organised weeks ago by a county Councillor who hadn't bothered to tell anyone.

It was to late to stop that one but I did have an interesting 'chat' with my manager involving resignation threats, and a press release in the case of an unplanned outage. I was completely serious about both. I'd put my body and soul into taking a team who were not meeting any SLA's to a 99.999% availability across 3 different mainframe technologies and was not having a return to the bad old days.

Brit retailer Furniture Village confirms 'cyber-attack' as systems outage rolls into Day 7

PM from Hell

Re: A cyber-attack and no data had been leaked

That's quite informative but what does the Advanced Passenger Train have to do with this

‘Staggering’ cost of vintage Sun workstations sees OpenSolaris-fork Illumos drop SPARC support

PM from Hell

so much sparc kit was skipped

I have the front plate for a Sparc server sat on the radiator in my home office. I kept it when a large trenche (4s fully populated DC racks I think) of end of life Sparc servers were being sent to the recyclers. We were getting pennies for them at the time, and were using recyclers as they would provide a certificate of destruction for the disk arrays. The business case for paying to have the discs securely recycled and sell the diskless servers (with no O/S) just didn't stack up. the time required to unrack then pack the servers into boxes rather than wheel them out to the loading bay alone was more than we would have got for the servers. Unfortunately a lot of perfectly good but end of life servers went the same way so they are now very rare. I do wish I had kept a couple but I just dint have the space.

George Clooney of IT: Dribbling disaster and damp disk warnings scare the life out of innocent user

PM from Hell

Main frame sys progs had fun too

We did used to prank each other, the most memorable because it took a while for him to get to the bottom of it was introducing a hack to the command line interpreter which checked the username of the person logged in and introducing a delay in transmitting commands from the keyboard buffer to the command line, to make this more annoying we hard coded the username but set up a register to hold the delay. We were installing a very large new mainframe so with just 3 of was working to configure it response times were instantaneous, unless your name was Andy. Needless to say we started off with a very small lag and gradually increased it to the point where he was trying different pcs and network connections to try and get around the lag. we were very sympathetic and gave him several 'tips' on what to check out. After a couple of days he went very quiet fora couple of hours before leaping up shouting you Ba**ards. My other colleague and nearly wet ourselves as he was the 'calm one' on the team.

UK reseller sues Microsoft for £270m in damages claiming prohibitive contracts choke off surplus Office licence supplies

PM from Hell

Enterprise application compatibility

MS office will continue to hold the customer base until a 3rd party can gain enough traction with enterprise application providers (SAP, ORACLE, Salesforce etc) that they will support its file formats and API's as well as Microsofts.

That includes supposedly open standards like RTF. The use of import from and export to Microsoft products is almost universal and 'just works' I've managed a couple of projects in environments where Google Apps or Libre Office were intended to replace MS Office but in all the environments office licenses were still required. Whilst there were cashable savings on overall licence costs the additional costs of converting to and from MSoffice then sorting out irritating formatting issues probably outweighed those. When you are mailing millions of people with output produced initially from your desktop productivity software you need to be 100% sure that WYSIWYG really is true.

Yep, you're totally unique: That one very special user and their very special problem

PM from Hell

Re: Where’s the effing handbrake!?

Most automatics will not start unless in park,they also insist on the foot brake being applied before you can move from park to drive. Whilst most still creep I did have a C-Class turbo diesel in the 90's which did not, it would hold itself on a hill but on the flat would just sit there until you pressed the accelerator. Ironically I've owned later mercedes and creep is back.

Their 'next job could be in cyber': UK Cyber Security Council launches itself by pointing world+dog to domain it doesn't own

PM from Hell

Re: Why?

I'd like to propose that the HQ for the new Cyber Security Council be located in Besses o' th' Barn. It has ample facilities for Civil Servants including a tram stop, 2 golf courses several Gyms and is the home of Sedgely Tigers Rugby club. Its also very handy for 2 hospitals and the famous Strangeways Hotel.

From Maidenhead to Morocco: In a change to the scheduled programming, we bring you The On Call of Dreams

PM from Hell

Never trust Software distribution

When I consulted for ICL many years ago I always carried a full set of install tapes for the VME operating system in the boot of the car. This was 13 open reel tapes. I also carried a briefcase sized microfiche reader and a copy of the fiched known error log. ) I had one site I looked after with 2 mainframes who would always get 2 copies)

I had just got sick of having to abandon installations because one of the tapes sent tot he client site was corrupt, empty or missing.

Thankfully I had a company car as the boot was literally full of install media documentation and anything else Thought might come in handy on site at 3:00 AM.

Ofcom says no price controls on full-fibre broadband until 2031, giving BT's Openreach the kick to 'build like fury'

PM from Hell

Re: £1.70 more ... justified due to the speed and reliability fibre offers over copper

we do live in a remote village and BT have replaced the 100 year old aluminium cable that ran past the duck pond with fiber. We can now get 30 MBPS and its not affected by rain (although strong winds can still be a problem) its been a fantastic upgrade from a link which varied from 0 - 8 mbps with no way to forecast when there would be a problem. Whilst 30 mbps is a huge improvement I can't see FTTH coming here any time soon as the housing density just isn't there.

When even a power-cycle fandango cannot save your Windows desktop

PM from Hell

Re: Too Many Stories!

I'd forgotten the PS2 issue, we our Helpdesk used to get the user to count to 20 before switching back on

PM from Hell

Re: a perfectly understandable error

I was introduced to this technique in my first dev job ( I wasn't a great programmer and ended up thriving in tech support) it was called the cardboard programmer. just try and explain the issue as if you were talking to someone else and you invariably find the problem. In the very rare cases where you can't at least you can explain in more quickly to a mentor and be sure you have got all the information to hep you

HP: That print-free-for-life deal we promised you? Well, now it's pay-per-month to continue using your printer ink

PM from Hell

Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

Of course there is always the other alternative, leave the printer working and terminate the user.

Suspended sentence for bank IT worker who broke into his boss's webcam because he didn't get a payrise

PM from Hell

Re: I agree it seems like very light punishment

It will be 3 years before his conviction is spent, he won't be able to get a job in IT in the interim period and would then need to explain to a future employer why he was out of IT for 3 years that would be a red flag for me as a recruiter. I would want a sensible explanation if the gap.

Even if his skills are bang up to date now they will be less relevant in 3 years, especially if he isn't using them for that time.

I be;ioved that an enhance CRB check would also uncover the spent conviction and he will never pass a government security check now.

In reality he has just destroyed his career.

Did I or did I not ask you to double-check that the socket was on? Now I've driven 15 miles, what have we found?

PM from Hell

Do I have to put my hand through the flames

In the very rare case where a device fails and does cause a fire being able to turn off the current at the wall is very useful.

Back in the late 80's we had a number of small fires caused by people leaving paper on top of monitors, eventually the monitor would overheat and catch fire which would then ignite the paper above.

Users would be advised to turn off the socket and monitor the situation. the fire usually went out. In this particular case the sockets were mounted above the desk and she would have had to put her hand through the flames to turn it off.

She was told to evacuate the building and call the fire brigade.

The news spread through the organisation and it finally seemed to get through to users that storing papers on top of monitors was a very bad idea. It was also helped that the design department for a local engineering company was also actually burnt down after a similar incident. Quite why early CRT monitor manufacturers made the top of the monitor so inviting to be used as a shelf is beyond me.

You *bang* will never *smash* humiliate me *whack* in front of *clang* the teen computer whizz *crunch* EVER AGAIN

PM from Hell

Re: mea culpa - always check compatibility

I'm actually looking at a I bought my wife 10 years ago at the moment. earlier this year I wanted a network monitor so rebuilt the thing spend an eon patching it, downloading utilities etc. over about a week in my rare spare time. By the time it was ready to use Open Reach had finally acknowledged that every house in the village having sub 10mbps connections and losing them at least once an hour actually was a fault and they repaired the cable.

But maybe the fact I now have a functional network monitor is a form of insurance? I must power it up again at some point and let it update itself.

PM from Hell

Re: Embarrassing?

Which of us has never ended up calling the service desk to log a fault after returning to find a 'dead' laptop, getting irate because the 1st line engineer was insisting you checked the power supply was plugged in and then having to apologise profusely when you find out someone had unplugged the power supply and you had been running on battery all morning.

Pass that Brit guy with the right-hand drive: UK looking into legalising automated lane-keeping systems by 2021

PM from Hell

I've found the variable speed limits seem to work very well on the M42. I'm far happier sat at 50 on cruise control than the old days when it traffic would speed up for a mile before coming to a grinding halt at the next junction. peak traffic flow feels better and its certainly a damn sight less stressful, especially when you can see the guy behind blithely coming at yo at 709 as you are braking at the back of a queue.

I do hare the sections where there is no hard shoulder though. the idea of sitting there in a live lane hoping that the camera operator sees you is terrifying

The Surface Duo isn't such an outlandish idea, but Microsoft has to convince punters the form factor is worth having

PM from Hell

Windows Phone 7 Windows Mobile Device abandonment

I can't see any enterprise who were burnt by the .last round of windows phones taking a punt on this.

I personally had to 2 write off 250 handsets bought for windows mobile with the understanding that the model would be supported on Windows Mobile 10 when it was released.

We did take part in the windows phone 10 insider ring and did extensive and successful testing of the device on windows phone 10 then the build we were using was pulled from the general release set. It turned out although the "handset" was supported you needed a variant which had ever been sold in the UK with more RAM.

When we remonstrated with MS about this we were told that the devices were obsolete. Ironically because it had taken Microsoft so long to come up with a supportable version of windows phone 10.

Having then been through the trials of trying to get MDM working when the Microsoft API's didn't and finally watching core applications disappear from the device I would never, ever recommend going for a Microsoft phone route ever again.

Single-line software bug causes fledgling YAM cryptocurrency to implode just two days after launch

PM from Hell

Re: Reminds me of an Animaniacs cartoon

Many years ago I signed a purchase order for £14,000 of Lotus licences.

An enterprising techie managed to get hold of it when it had been input to the purchasing system and stamped and inserted the word Elan.

It genuinely looked like I had purchased a sports car using council funds. Oh how I laughed.

You had one job... Just two lines of code, and now the customer's Inventory Master File has bitten the biscuit

PM from Hell

Re: @werdsmith

Taking a snapshot of the VM is often not a valid way of backing up a database as several dev's I have worked with have found out.

If you want to secure a database use the database vendor or 3rd party tools to do the back up. If you are only working on a single table, copy it.

If you a re working on a key table then FFS get some dedicated time for the change, perform it on a database copy first and the perform the change in production when the database is not being updated. Its not just your updates you have to worry about. I implement systems with 1000's of active concurrent users. Its a major pain negotiating a downtime window but that's much so than trying to unpick the results of a data maintenance update that went wrong when 100'000's of other updates were taking place.

Last time I implemented a SQL Server based application shadow copying/ snapshotting was not supported by microsoft as a way of backing up an active database.

Oh sure, we'll just make a tiny little change in every source file without letting anyone know. What could go wrong?

PM from Hell

Vendor Support

We had similar issues with Oracles Service Desk. They would cycle through new recruits until they knew enough to deliver 'consultancy' this meant my DBA's had to suffer an hour of list ticking while they went through their script before they could admit they didn't have a clue and pass us on to a 2nd line engineer.

I'd put up with this for something minor but used to have to call my account manager to escalate anything serious to second line as soon as we'd been given a ticket number. We were pretty leading edge and working on a joint development at the time so were usually on beta or just released versions for the tools.

It was exciting at the time but developing business critical apps using new Oracle products is not good for your blood pressure.

F5 emits fixes for critical flaws in BIG-IP gear: Hopefully yours aren't internet-facing while you ready a patch

PM from Hell

Public services are probably at higher risk

"These flaws are particularly bad because the vulnerable BIG-IP gear is generally used by large enterprises to handle traffic to and from critical applications. A successful attack could potentially be disastrous for Fortune 500 companies that make up F5's userbase."

The F5 gear is very cost effective and good at handling high throughput internet connections with many thousands of connections. They've been heavily taken up by local government in the UK where the corporate connection is often servicing libraries. I just hope people are on the ball in terms of patching but have real concerns dies to budget cuts in most IT departments. Don't forget these devices are protecting access to your social care, council tax, housing benefit and potentially medical records too.

technical Teams have shrunk and a lot of the best guys left for private industry a few years ago. At least 2 councils I worked with didn't have full time security managers with the skills to manage CVE exploit mitigation. In one case this was addressed by using a long term contractor, in another the responsibility was passed onto the technical team - security manager roles were introduced outside technical teams for a reason !!!

AC as I'm a contractor in the local government sphere. I left permanent employment in local government as years without any form of pay increase left me unable to pay the bills.

PC printer problems and enraged execs: When the answer to 'Hand over that floppy disk' is 'No'

PM from Hell

Re: Ah IT 'managers'

I'm likely to be the one buying the first beer. In general if I'm keeping the brown stuff off the team it's to give the the chance to work on whichever problem is causing a corporate issue.

One of my most used phrases during these times is 'if it was simple we'd have fixed it by now. Give the guys time to investigate it properly'.

One reason for the beer is I will always involve the vendor at the beginning of a large unplanned outage. Often they add no value and are just asking the techs to repeat diagnostic tests they've already carried out but it allows me to re-assure the senior execs that there really is nothing more that can be done. Also If I do need specialist skills we don't have I'll normally know someone who I can bring in. Its amazing how many times that is rejected 'because he's very expensive' in reality the independent consultants I know cost less than vendor consultant and small fraction of the cost of the large consultancies.

Health Sec Hancock says UK will use Apple-Google API for virus contact-tracing app after all (even though Apple were right rotters)

PM from Hell

Re: NHSX devs apparently superior to Google devs

Or more likely "...and end up using the Google/Apple one but changing a few parameters from "X" to "X*1.00000000001"

If Daddy doesn't want me to touch the buttons, why did they make them so colourful?

PM from Hell

no Kids in the DC under ANY circumstances

If one of my team was working out of hours and had childcare issues I would go in the officer ad offer a childsitting service

PM from Hell

Re: The magically levitating disc pack

To be fair that was a 1900 series device whose design dates back to the 70's. The later 2900 series VME mainframes did behave better.

Bite me? It's 'byte', and that acronym is Binary Interface Transfer Code Handler

PM from Hell

And at the other extreme

I came across an error message in 's VME operating system Kernel - this was in the kernel stack not a GUI error

'I don't know how we got here and we are running at ACR2 so I think I better crash the system'

ACR2 was the Kernel / Microcode privileged layer with unrestricted access to memory and all devices. When I started laughing at a Kernel error message I knew I was a real diagnostician

PM from Hell

System Test - UAT - Training

I've had the same conversation endless times speaking to devs about the test data they set up. \It invariably ends up in a UAT environment as there 'wasn't time to build one from scratch so we cloned systest' and then the same thing happens again when training environments a built.

even if it doesn't If I'm asked to front up a demo at a Project Board I know that any offensive data will pop up in front of the senior execs and I'll have to spend the next hour explaining hot it will never hit the live system / website.

Guess which cloud giant Zoom picked to handle millions more video calls? Bzzt, wrong answer: It's Oracle

PM from Hell

Or its his quiet place

There's probably a party going on outside his safe room. It wouldn't look good to show the dancing girls

Elevating cost-cutting to a whole new level with million-dollar bar bills

PM from Hell

Re: The fix was $600 line drivers.

I was desperately trying to remember the name of the line drivers. They were a bit pricey at the time but after a while we stopped trying to make connections work on the other side of the building without them as trying without then having to go back and ask for cash for the ,ine drivers always provided a fight with the bean counters. A beer for the memory jogger

BOFH: Will the last one out switch off the printer?

PM from Hell

office ceiling

I have a webcam on top of one of my monitors in my home office.

When I dock the work laptop it is set to use that camera. I don't like video calls a lot normally so I keep the camera pointed at the ceiling. Even should I inadvertently accept a video call all they will see is the ceiling.

I'm working at home at the moment and although I am managing to shower and dress before starting work shaving has become a bit intermittent and I desperately need a haircut.

I did test the set-up recently and scared myself when the cam was on.

Apple creates face shield for health workers, resists the temptation to call it the 'iMask'

PM from Hell

It Definitely needs a name

How about ..... iProtection

Short of tech talent to deal with novel coronavirus surge? Let us help – with free job ads on The Register

PM from Hell

Well Done

Have one of these on me.

That awful moment when what you thought was a number 1 turned out to be a number 2

PM from Hell

Technical management tips

I've been managing technical teams for nearly 30 years and have lost count of the number of times a hughly skilled engineer has come to me panicking because they have ';irretrievably' broken something.#

My technical skills are out of the ark so these people know far more than I do about the technologies they manage.

First thing is always calm down, then describe the problem, and then work back through how we got there. In almost every case by the time they have had to go into the level of detail needed to help me understand the problem they have also worked out what the solution was, although in one case this did end up with myself and the IBM Sysprog having to re-catalogue all the VTOC's for our production database at 10 PM at night, we had it finished and triple checked by about 1 AM but were both in extra early the following morning to be sure it loaded OK

Captain Caveman rides to the rescue, solves a prickly PowerPoint problem with a magical solution

PM from Hell

A bit of kindness

I've been involved in several emergency deployments over the years where we have had to get kit out to sites disrupted by fires/ lightning strikes/floods. When the brown stuff hits the fan the guys delivering kit to site are unlikely to be technical specialists and probably have a van full of stuff to drop off. A this point anyone who can image a machine is doing so, network specialists are probably working to increase external network capacity and anyone who can help out with user support is attached to the help desk pool. Some people will be able to put the kit together them selves, some will be lucky enough to have friends/ relatives who can help them out and those both pressure off the help desk to support the people who really can't manage it. You can either take the time to ensure everything is fully configured and tested (my usual approach) or you can get kit out to as many people and possible then mop-up the issues over the next few days. When a team sized to deploy 10-20 machines a day are suddenly asked to deploy several hundred some corners do need to be cut

Azure admins' cold sweat likely caused by a 'isolated' power problems that browned out West Central USA region

PM from Hell

Gaming and video conferencing don't mix

I used to be a member of a small consultancy group. Our MD decided that we should have more regular meetings, as we were all working on different sites we did these remotely using Skype (many years ago).

The call would always end with the MD swearing at us for not buying fast enough connections as voice quality went down and down until the call would fail.

After a few cycles of this we realised that the call failure happened about 30 minutes after schools closed. He was the only person with school age kids, sure enough his sons were getting in from school and as he was ensconced in his office with a message that they must not disturb him they were taking advantage of the fact that he wouldn't be checking on them to give homework a miss and sign on to world of warcraft.

Cyber-wrath of Iran for top general's assassination hasn't progressed beyond snooping and nicking logins... yet

PM from Hell

Cyber terorists won't attack hardened targets

They are far more likely to target logistic hubs, local power generation or transmission / gas transport networks , water companies etc. Throw in a few hospitals and it may feel like the end of civilisation.

No power, no water, no way to buy petrol, no food deliveries and no healthcare.



Your McDonald's demo has expired. For full functionality, please purchase a licence or try another fast-food joint

PM from Hell

Never ever ever ever install a demo version on a production box

Or install the software without the license key. Every single time I've given in and done this the demo expired before the license key arrived. Delay the roll out, if it's an opening escalate it to the business sponsor, by pass procurement rules, borrow a company credit card, use personal relationships with the vendor. If all else fails use your credit card. This is the project managers responsibility I have never asked a techie to do any of that.

Vodafone: Yes, we slurp data on customers' network setups, but we do it for their own good

PM from Hell

Re: "Our service helps overcome these issues"

I've had IP address clashes on my homehub when everything is set to dynamic. The hub through a wobbly, crashed and restarted (many times) the hub cleared down the local routing table and allocated new addresses for connected devices. Powered off devices retained their original IP address. It took a while to diagnose as several of the devices are powered from TV's and power up and connect as soon as the tv is turned on.

In the end I had to factory reset half a dozen things and force several others to renew their IP addresses before the network became stable again.

Fire Brigades Union warns of wonky IT causing dangerous delays in 999 control rooms

PM from Hell

Re: Maybe the FBU shouldn't have sabotaged FiReControl then

It's very interesting how offensive you manage to be on several levels.

When the original system, was designed GPS and routing systems were still piss poor and completely ineffective with dealing with road closures etc. Call handlers in rural locations had a huge amount of local knowledge which was used to decide which station would be alerted. The closest station my not be the quickest to respond when there in a Welsh mountain in the way or a river like the Trent if there is a blocked bridge.

Even now I'm not convinced that an automated system realises which farmyards a fire engine can cut through to bypass a road blockage. Or where there are likely to be delays caused by on-road parking issues in a road through a housing development.

You'll never select all and mark as read again after this tale of peril... Oh, who are we kidding? Of course you will

PM from Hell

Re: Assaulted

I spent the weekend in a diagnostic centre where two unrelated bits of work caused chaos and hell, luckily I was very fit at the time.

There were 4 of us on shift covering the whole weekend in an office with 60+ desks. Some internal offices were in the process of being dismantled and the wall panels were being stacked in the aisle between unused areas of desks awaiting collection. it should have had no impact on us weekend workers other than a bit of noise and some banter with the contractors.

Unfortunately a PBX config cock up turned our office into a single call group, rather than calls coming in going to our teams 4 phones they were hitting any phone in the office, ringing 6 times then transferring to another random phone.

This lead to hours of trying to wait until a call hit a phone close to you then leaping over tools, piles of office bits or desks to grab the phone. It took several hours to get hold of some one who could get a telephone tech on site and several more while he worked out what had been done and backed it out. Thankfully the fault was fixed and Sunday was a quiet day. I seem to remember that was one of the rare occasions where we did nap in the office

Internet's safe-keepers forced to postpone crucial DNSSEC root key signing ceremony – no, not a hacker attack, but because they can't open a safe

PM from Hell

This sounds like a lost opportunity for a DR test

Why didn't they move the ceremony to the back up location on Thursday? This seems exactly the situation that the alternative site was built for.



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