* Posts by slimshady76

150 posts • joined 17 May 2017

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Keeping printers quiet broke disk drives, thanks to very fuzzy logic

slimshady76
FAIL

I still remember when in the middle 80s, one of those (new at the time) monstrous IBM line printers -a 3203 or something similar- capable of spitting a huge number of bills an hour, was brought to my hometown's electricity company. Given my dad was a friend of the company's tech guy, he invited my then teenager self to witness its installation and the subsequent power on. Not much to do with tech/geekery in a small rural town back then. Oh, well...

Against all IBM's support staff advice, they insisted on having it in the middle of the office, which had one of those floating long pinotea boards parquet flooring, with the idea of using it to print all of the office's paperwork when it wasn't munching through the ~30k electricity bills a month it had been originally purchased for.

The printer was powered up, the first batch of electricity bills were queued for printing... and the all hell broke loose, as this single-bed sized, 600+ kg monster started trotting through the office floor. I still recall the secretaries and clerks climbing ont their desks as if they saw 1000 mice running into the building!

Cue in a fast solution: grab some L-shaped pieces of steel, and screw the printer to the beautiful pinotea flooring. And the previsible outcome: a mini-earthquake promptly started shaking and moving not just the printer at this time, but all the desks surrounding it.

Eventually, they decided to move the printer into its own, dedicated room, and calm returned to the office floor.

Chemical plant taken offline by the best one of all: C8H10N4O2

slimshady76

Re: Ah, but what was the coffee?

I guess there arabiga problems to take care of. That's what George's manager must have thought before firing him.

Startup wants to build a space station that refuels satellites by 2025

slimshady76
Joke

what's old is new again! Wait until you see Thunderbird 3 docked onto ones of these babies... That'll show you!

Why you should start paying attention to CXL now

slimshady76

Re: This will be adopted almost exclusively for VM farms

This standard sounds like LVM or SVC for memory, and from a recent piece featured here:

https://www.nextplatform.com/2020/09/03/the-memory-area-network-at-the-heart-of-ibms-power10/

It looks like another main use would be memory pooling from several systems to share data but offload calculation to other physical nodes.

It's more or less a standarization of the one-off implementations of several memory sharing strategies in the niche supercomputer market.

I, for one, salute our memory socialization overlords.

Gtk 5 might drop X11 support, says GNOME dev

slimshady76

Re: Gnome being Gnome...

Luckily, Budgie is doing away with its GTK base, the developers has enough with the Gnome team pushing libadwaita into everything.

slimshady76
Black Helicopters

Re: Gnome devs who drank the Wayland coolaid...

The're probably frustrated by Wayland just being there, rotting alone in the dark, and want to corner some of their own development community into advancing it.

slimshady76
Linux

Gnome being Gnome...

Do we need any more evidence of the futileness of the Gnome project? Their main goal in life seems to be breaking compatibility. Thet can't even maintain a healthy extension ecosystem, and now they want to alienate themselves into Wayland. Good for us, if you ask me. Let them rot in their own walled garden.

I for one welcome our Budgie Desktop overlords.

Linus was right when he complained about Gnome being just a fancy waty to waste clock cycles.

Brute force and whiskey: The solution to all life's problems

slimshady76
Coat

Re: Feck!

In Trent Reznor's words, "You get me closer to God"...

Mine is the one with the Love & Rockets CD in the inner pocket.

New audio server Pipewire coming to next version of Ubuntu

slimshady76
Linux

That could have also been a conversation between HAL and Dave with some minimal tweaking...

Experimental WebAssembly port of LibreOffice released

slimshady76

"Given the popularity and widespread support for WASM, there's a distinct possibility that it may yet supplant the JVM as the standard runtime for cross-platform apps."

Oh yes, can we focus on making this happen and obliterate java and its many derivatives from the face of the 'Net?

Pop quiz: The network team didn't make your change. The server is in a locked room. What do you do?

slimshady76
IT Angle

Not in the same league...

... but once, at the start of the century, I was on a biking trip with some other friends. We arrived our destination only to discover most of the rental lodges/apartments were already taken (there was a popular mountain race series happening that very weekend, and we didn't know). We wandered through the town until we found a house with a small hand-written "cabin for rent" sign. The family had built a small cabin in their backyard, and were happy to rent it to our small group for the weekend.

We disembarked, assembled the bikes, went out for a taste of the mountain, and came back at the evening. Even shared some beers with our landlord, and he offered his adjacent machine shop to hold our bikes for the night. We then went to sleep early, to better use the remaining two days.

But upon waking up in Saturday, we found the whole family had left, leaving our bikes trapped inside the machine shop. They didn't answer the phone, and we began to lament our choice, when I noticed the big sliding door at the back of the machine shop could be dislodged from its rail. So we picked up the thinnest of our riding crew and sent him through the gap between the big sliding door and the wall, while the other four yanked the door off the rails. He then opened a window, we got the bikes out of the shop, and then closed both the window and the sliding door. High fives abounded, and we headed for the trails.

At noon our phones started ringing like crazy, as the landlord and his family returned home and thought our bikes were stolen. We rode back to the house, explained what happened and offered an apology. He started laughing, and told us our little Tom Cruise moment made him rethink his machine shop security, has he had quite a bit of expensive equipment in there.

Luckily it all ended in good terms. We grilled an abusive amount of meat that night, and invited our circumstancial landlords to dinner as an apology. And we came back to rent their cabin many times in the years that followed.

Icon because the anecdote would be better suited in a MTB site -->

Almost there: James Webb Space Telescope frees its mirrors and prepares for insertion

slimshady76
WTF?

Re: Pounds ( No Stones)

While we are at it, why are pounds abbreviated as lbs?

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

slimshady76
Boffin

Re: Denmead Drone Search and Rescue

I think this makes a tremendous occasion to define a new El Reg standard unit: the drone average payload, equalling one

cooked* Aldi standard sausage.

*Cooking obviously evaporates some of the sausage's water, so it's weight variation should be taken into consideration.

NASA's Curiosity finds signs of ancient life on Mars. Or maybe not. More data needed

slimshady76
Alien

Re: I can help with that...

My money is on Martian water bears!

Test this new Linux kernel – but don’t forget Christmas or that you have a family, says Linus Torvalds

slimshady76
Joke

Re: Does this version successfully run within the systemd container?

And as with the Spanish inquisition, nobody expected it.

slimshady76
Windows

Re: Testing....

Still beats the Redmond alternative, "pass it to consumers and see how much they bark", innit?

RAF shoots down 'terrorist drone' over US-owned special ops base in Syria

slimshady76

Re: Whoops!

Thanks so much for taking the time to through your memories. I imagine the shitfest this two bases must have been in the times following that incident!

slimshady76
Pint

Re: Whoops!

If there's anything better than the usual sprinkle of British humor on top of El Reg's news coverage, it surely has to be in the same mood as that link to the Jaguar's downing from his own pilot's mouth. I deeply enjoyed that piece, so if you could add some more salty details, I will be more than glad to invite you to one of these --->

Wi-Fi not working? It's time to consult the lovely people on those fine Linux forums

slimshady76
Boffin

Re: "first read the fine forum thread until the end"

I smell IgNobel research material here!!!

slimshady76
Alien

Re: "first read the fine forum thread until the end"

It's actually a two-step move, not just a 360 degree flip. You need to unplug it, turn it 180°, curse because it doesn't fit, turn it 180° a second time, and then plug it in.

I heard the theory about those loose joints, but I better credit the one stating said move it's a safety measure implemented by the Earth Defence Forces, in order to re-align the Earth's magnetic fields, thus saving us from a Cat 5 solar flare.

slimshady76
Boffin

Re: "first read the fine forum thread until the end"

Blasphemy! Blasphemy I shout! The proper research order when troubleshooting IT/general consumer electronics is:

- Turn it off and on again (as thoroughly demonstrated by The IT Crowd).

- Removal/re-attachment of the malfunctioning component (be it physically or via the OS/interface) USB thumb drives are specially prone to fix themselves by simply going through the physical option of this particular step.

- General internet research, outside the offending product's support forum/website.

- Specialized internet research, namely the above mentioned support forum/website.

- Opening a support ticket with the offending product's support team.

- Hammer (because percussive maintenance always wins, amirite?).

- Bigger Hammer (OK, let's be honest, this might fix your problem in a Doomsday way).

- Cupboard/storage bin/ziplock, or wherever you fancy stashing your product manuals/warranty papers.

- Trashcan.

- Manuals, if you're able to find them.

TL/DR: Been there, done that, with Ubuntu 14.04 and a battered ThinkPad T43, many fortnights ago. That darn small green-lined physical switch on the side drove me mad. It had a tendency to turn itself off when I put the laptop in my backpack. Fixed it for good with a nice strip of electrical tape.

When civilisation ends, a Xenix box will be running a long-forgotten job somewhere

slimshady76
Meh

Re: The secret to a long life

Try to boot AIX without network and with a NFS mount, as when you restore it from a mksysb backup. You'll be granted with enough time to get a pint (or three), wait for its effects, and take a not-so-quick trip to the loo. And if you had several NFS entries you've forgotten to comment out in /etc/filesystems, you might as well be able to order a pizza, go to the pub, grab a couple pints with the folk, come back, pay for the pizza, eat it, take that trip to the loo and then enter the root password.

The rocky road to better Linux software installation: Containers, containers, containers

slimshady76

Re: The origin of Snaps

See a comment on the installers thread, above this one. TL/DR: Gnome libraries set the standard which in turn inposes some other restrictions on the rest of a distribution's packaged apps.

slimshady76

Re: The origin of Snaps

Thanks for the historical racconto. I agree with you, what's wrong with .Deb packages? They create a dependable build chain, declare their dependencies in a clear way, minimize downloads and disk usage, and most of the folk building apps know the way to deliver a functional installer in the format.

If anything, RedHat diehards have issues bringing newer versions of apps to their side, but Debian users are familiar with alien and how to de-rpm a YUM package.

But as others have said before me, the real cancer of the Linux desktop is gnome. A lot of the so-called "standards" (not even honored by the gnome team) these overlaying package managers are trying to adhere to stem from gnome and it's ridiculously eccentric principles.

I'm still holding a candle to Budgie desktop, although after re-merging with the Solus project they have been silent. Hopefully the world kick-starting again will infuse a new life to the project and we would have a better alternative to the gnome/kde duality.

Swooping in to claim the glory while the On Call engineer stands baffled

slimshady76
Boffin

Re: Hey Rob!

I always push start my diesel Renault in reverse (which, unfortunately happened a lot this past year, until the mechanic realized the starter motor was shot). Much easier than doing it in second gear, going forward. At one point I mastered the technique of letting it roll back off the tiny inclination in my driveway, and that was enough to get it running. The worst part was getting it to pass the bump in the garage door.

Icon because it's Friday and I feel nerdy -->

Boffins find way to use a standard smartphone to find hidden spy cams

slimshady76
Coat

Actually, they're throwing you out because of the implied financial losses. Once you watch a movie, the hole Borg has watched it, and nobody else from the collective would go to the threater.

Mine is the one with the infected tricorder in the inner pocket.

Real-time crowdsourced fact checking not really that effective, study says

slimshady76

Forget about the lonely asshat

What about the media who actively disseminates fake news under the "freedom of speech" umbrella? You can deal with a thousand quackheads preaching the Earth is flat or COVID doesn't exist, but having a major media outlet throwing "alternative coverage" of some events without a real mean to contend their "view" is a lost battle from day 0.

They will continue to preach tho their choir and will even grow it bigger. For every single post acknowledging a "mistake" they are forced to bury deep in the belly of their websites, they are spitting a hundred more reinforcing their "view".

Firewalls? Pfft – it's no match for my mighty spares-bin PC

slimshady76

Re: Basic rules of engineering

Down here we call those "provisory for ever" installments...

Check your bits: What to do when Unix decides to make a hash of your bill printouts

slimshady76

Re: The Cossie was the rs500 sierra cosworth

The Sierra always looked like a gigantic iron (the one used to er... iron clothes) to me. Escort Cosworths were objects of lust and desire OTOH.

We're all at sea: Navigation Royal Navy style – with plenty of IT but no GPS

slimshady76

Re: Reg units need not apply

Nautical miles are in their natural habitat in er... the navy I guess. The inclusion of yards to measure short distances caught me off guard I must admit, as I regard the UK being leaning more into the Metric system lately. But I guess it also makes sense in the nautical world to keep unit conversion consistency (as stupid as those "one nautical mile equals 3467.2452432 yards" rules of thumb are).

Space tourists splash down in Atlantic Ocean after three days in orbit

slimshady76

Musk said "space is for all of us". Conditions might apply. A bank account sporting over 100 million dollars should be deemed necessary.

slimshady76

Re: Every breath you take...

And sunglasses. I bet he would choose them over the spacesuit's helmet in case of a sudden decompression event.

Dozy ISS cosmonauts woken by smoke alarm on eve of 5-hour spacewalk

slimshady76

Re: OK I'm convinced.

Try to schedule a routine check at your space station module local dealer for your 20+ years old space station and have all the aged components checked/replaced when necessary... It might be possible in 50-100 years, but right now, it just means you will have to accommodate the crew in a smaller segment of your orbital facilities...

slimshady76

Re: "get rid of that"

Nice pictures of folks playing ukulele in zero g with ThinkPads plastered across the background?

This way up: James Webb Space Telescope gets ready for shipment after final tests

slimshady76
Devil

"It's all added to up to a hellishly complicated spacecraft that must unfurl itself in space while controllers monitor things from Earth pray and sacrifice goats."

FTFY.

Icon because that guy on the right knows how to screw things up ---->

Fix five days of server failure with this one weird trick

slimshady76
Pirate

Re: The "inspector"

We used to discharge large capacitors on the rail of my high school's inner balcony, during the recess between classes. Made for a nice soccer style "wave" once you waited long enough to have about 80 other people laying on it to watch the playground below.

Ah, the memories...

Magna Carta mayhem: Protesters lay siege to Edinburgh Castle, citing obscure Latin text that has never applied in Scotland

slimshady76
Coat

Re: Holy Progress

Everyone knows the only proper way to defend a Scottish castle is by employing kamikaze Scotsmen!!

https://youtu.be/Skr6wpsiWI8

Mine is the one with the copy of "How to commit seppuku with a cone of fish and chips" in the left inner pocket.

Russia: Forget about the Nauka incident. Who punched the hole in the Soyuz, hmm?

slimshady76
Alien

Re: Space woodpeckers…

I blame mynocks. You have to keep an eye for them, they like to chew on the cables.

Woman sues McDonald's for $14 after cheeseburger ad did exactly what it's designed to

slimshady76
Coffee/keyboard

Re: The Sin of Gluttony

Slow clap for you Sir! Not so much because of the amazingly nerdy quality of your answer, but because of me having to clean the peanut butter off my mechanical keyboard.

84-year-old fined €250,000 for keeping Nazi war machines – including tank – in basement

slimshady76

Re: Did I miss something?

I had the same confussion when reading that sentence. I take they hooked it to other tanks to take it ouf of his basement without turning it on. They were towing it.

Russia says software malfunction caused Nauka module to unexpectedly fire thrusters, tilt space station

slimshady76
Coat

In space no one can hear you scream...

... hence they weren't able to yell Nauka into obedience, until it capitulated with a final act of incontinence.

Mine is the one with the sign language manual in the inner pocket.

Malware and Trojans, but there's only one horse the boss man wants to hear about

slimshady76
Pint

This installment had strong Denholm vibes!!!

Icon because it's Friday and we've all earned it! -->

Have you turned it off and on again? Russia's Nauka module just about makes it to the ISS

slimshady76
Boffin

There are still 11 spacewalks, spread over the next 7 months, to connect the nauka module to the electric and hydraulic systems of the Russian ISS segment before the cosmonauts could feel at home there.

This isn't the equivalent of mating your roulotte to the hitch of your Ford and connecting the stop/turn lights' wires. Or maybe it is, but at a massive scale.

Malaysian Police crush crypto-mining kit to punish electricity thieves

slimshady76

Re: Ecological vandalism

I for one would love to buy a decent GPU at a decent, not inflated price. Illegal mining rigs confiscation could certainly help both to enlarge the government acs and help random blokes score a new GPU...

NASA fixes Hubble Space Telescope using backup power supply unit, payload computer

slimshady76

Bedazzler anonymous?

Teen turned away from roller rink after AI wrongly identifies her as banned troublemaker

slimshady76

Re: Using it wrongly

There's enough evidence out there about how facial recognition software is trained with a marked bias against non-caucasian population. If you live in a territory with significant non-caucasian population, I'd say it's a non-adequate choice to use it.

Boffins find an 'actionable clock' hiding in your blood, ticking away to your death

slimshady76
Joke

Re: So? What's his secret?

Quick! Somebody get the guy a ticket to Discworld!!!

With a straight face, Putin agrees to do something about ransomware coming out of Russia, apparently

slimshady76

It is said Perón took this phrase from Napoleon, who took it himself from Joan D'Arc: "If you want something to stop working, just form a committee". I find it pretty fitting here.

Radioactive hybrid terror pigs have made themselves a home in Fukushima's exclusion zone

slimshady76
Alert

Re: If Marvel taught us anything

Should that happen, here I predict Roger Waters will re-join Pink Floyd for a final Animals concert nearby the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Former NASA astronaut and Shuttle boss weigh in on fixing Hubble Space Telescope

slimshady76
Alert

Re: So you're telling me there's a chance

There's also the issue of maintainig the relative positions of HST and the capsule/launch vehicle. I guess a cable tether could work in a pich, but moving between them would still be at least risky... The Canadarm provided both a stationary framework and a mean to "crawl" between the shuttle and the HST.

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