* Posts by El blissett

34 posts • joined 10 Jul 2017

Psst … Want to buy a used IBM Selectric? No questions asked

El blissett
Pint

Re: Comments to On-Call articles

Oh, absolutely. If you've been reading the columns since the start, you've probably read about all the possible scenarios by now. But even the most mundane On Call sparks people to chip in underneath with really interesting tangents.

Cheers!

Know the difference between a bin and /bin unless you want a new doorstop

El blissett

We restored a Mac Classic to working order in a middle-school computing project during the early 00s. It would complement the all-Mac computer suite by allowing people to work on real computing things and code in a safe, no Internet environment.

Reader, it lasted 1 week before it was relegated to Risk duties only.

The sad state of Linux desktop diversity: 21 environments, just 2 designs

El blissett

Ultimately doing something different is really hard. You're on your own. I followed the development of Mezzo/Symphony in the 00s, which correctly identified the upcoming obsession with convergence and tried to design an accessible UI for all screen types not just the CUA/HIG terminal and keyboard. The developers would post these updates that showed their research was taking into account all types of users and not assuming the Win95 shell was the foundation. Unfortunately it was abandoned before it was completed and didn't get beyond putting menus in 4 places. http://www.tuxmachines.org/node/17107

Full-fat Enlightenment being vapourware is almost a meme a this point. Then of course there was the Moblin/Maemo/Meego fiasco which did a huge amount of work on fundamentally reimagining the interface of a computer for the 2010s, but again didn't go anywhere. I would argue it never got the chance to be offered as a serious alternative. The problem becomes that all the software you want or need to use has been built on the older paradigm of the CUA/HIG and developers have no interest in changing that. Unity/GNOME3 had to beg developers to make some applications compatible with the global top bar, but trying to reinvent the interface is just not people's priority when the people who have done it get burned.

IT blamed after HR forgets to install sockets in new office

El blissett

Re: HR or Steve's Boss

Whatever their personal feelings towards their underling, I've definitely known a few managers who would rather not get involved when someone higher up wants their way, especially if the underling is is fresh or lacking legal employment protections.

Beware the big bang in the network room

El blissett

I thought the loosened power lead was going to light up the networking room for sure, looks like Colin got let off easy.

Honestly for getting as much done on his own without proper equipment as he managed, surely conflagrations are in order.

Planning for power cuts? That's strictly for the birds

El blissett
Holmes

Sometimes it really is better when the shit hits the fan!

Software guy smashes through the Somebody Else's Problem field to save the day

El blissett

Boss is right - by showing there is a business case for 24/7 infrastructure call out support, Derek has destroyed the factory's shaky bottom line and maybe the whole company.... or even worse, denied the Boss's mates in infrastructure a nice call-out fee in a few days' time!

How to destroy expensive test kit: What does that button do?

El blissett

On my first weekend job as an extremely untrained PFY, I was told to just do what I normally did for the same client during the week - look after the Mac kit on a bus/ring network during the day, make sure the OS X server was happy, then switch off and lock up when I leave. With a line of sight to the doors, I could live the life of Larry sitting in the server room doing whatever I liked, like fixing up an old Mac II to play Risk clones on or messing around with the likes of Photoshop and Captivate that I would never afford.

If someone quiet came in, and I was otherwise engaged, I wouldn't see or hear anything different if I missed them coming in the door. The server room was out of sight of the main room, and they hadn't told me anyone else was in - I couldn't see anyone else on Sunday night and wasn't expecting anyone. However, there was indeed someone in doing a sensitive sequential backup. As I left for the night, sending the shutdown command (which had been set to be ignored this time) and flicked the switches, I'll never forget the blood-curdling "NOOOOOOO!" my long haired silent colleague screamed as I wiped out his day's work.

Oddly enough I didn't lose my PFY status, at least until the long haired silent colleague became the long haired silent boss, but I never got asked to do weekends again.

Sharing is caring, except when it's your internet connection

El blissett
Big Brother

Living near students on IT courses who would occasionally attempt to crack the password, and not wanting to bother setting up MAC filtering, setting the SSID to a variant of "TV Licensing Enforcement" used to do the trick quite nicely.

Microsoft slices Windows 11 update size by 40% (no, not by cutting hardware support)

El blissett

That would explain why the space age combination of an NVME boot drive and a RAID 0 storage array flunked the Windows 11 install out. If only I'd been using more common hardware, like a punch card and a magnetic tape, the slimmed down installer would have worked.

Fairphone makes wireless earbuds less foul, by charging batteries carefully

El blissett

Very tempting for all my needs until I looked up how heavy it is (they don't say on their website). It's heavier than my Xiaomi Poco which is a real brick to hold for extended periods of time. Still, this is the closest I've come to getting one since the original.

Five words everyone wants to hear: Microsoft has 'visually refreshed' Office

El blissett

Would rather they "visually refreshed" Outlook by completely rebuilding it to be functional, competent, and compatible with actual emails that people send, but that sounds too hard.

Six years in the making, Vivaldi Mail arrives alongside version 4.0 of the company's browser

El blissett

Sticking with eM client until O13/V4 has exchange support, but watching closely. Vivaldi has rapidly advanced to the point where I don't need to run multiple browsers / software / profiles to get what I need - so just like Opera used to be.

Congestion or a Christmas cock-up? A Register reader throws himself under the bus

El blissett

A wholesome story with a happy ending - Merry Christmas!

Freenode IRC staff resign en masse, unhappy about new management

El blissett

.... an IRC service still had staff?

Which? warns that more than 2 million Brits are on old and insecure routers – wagging a finger at Huawei-made kit

El blissett

Re: Huawei

Nothing nefarious about Huawei's kit or practices. Just that in a reverse of a recent Line of Duty finale, the world + dog would rather believe it's a red conspiracy rather than utter incompetence and laziness on the part of Huawei.

My isp just replaced my Huawei router and all the connection drop-outs and random packet-caused resets have vanished. I feel bad for all the times they called out Openreach when it was a PEBCAK.

Yes, there's nothing quite like braving the M4 into London on the eve of a bank holiday just to eject a non-bootable floppy

El blissett

Not the most stimulating work day, but there are certainly harder ways to earn a wage (and a tip, and a bonus).

How do you save an ailing sales pitch? Just burn down the client's office with their own whiteboard

El blissett

This - it's an IEC 13 cable OR it's a kettle cable - if you think they're the same it's your turn to chuck out the molten remains.

Leaked memo suggests LG is thinking about quitting the smartphone biz in 2021

El blissett

My LG v30 (2017 flagship) is the most durable flagship handset I have ever owned. Barely a scratch on it despite dropping it maybe twice a week, and the battery life is still as good as new. The software and security updates delivered have been a running joke with LG and never really went anywhere despite their promise to improve.

While I'd love to have upgraded to something like the V60 or the G8S, they were simply too expensive and didn't offer enough of a reason to switch off of the V30. And LG's V-series niche in hi-res audio, while still top of the pack in terms of quality and engineering has reasonably similar technical equivalence in Xiaomis and other manufacturers selling better handsets that won't last as long but are half the price and run modern chipsets/Android.

LG as a manufacturer need to innovate to show off what they can do in terms of screens for other manufacturers, hence experiments like the V50 dual screen and the Wing flip screen, but it's not a commercial consumer oriented strategy for survival in a challenging market.

The engineer lurking behind the curtain: Musical monitors on a meagre IT budget

El blissett

I definitely used the screensaver speed trick once.

McAfee seeks $2bn return to stock market after Intel unpleasantness

El blissett

Who out there has positive views of the McAfee brand??

When I think of McAfee, I either remember the omnipresent crapware of the early 00s, or John McAfee waving a gun around and absconding from Latin America with a murder charge.

NHS COVID-19 app's first weekend: With fundamental testing flaw ironed out, bugs remaining are relatively trivial

El blissett

Not much point blurring the address underneath. The QR codes are so huge because, for some reason, the QR code encodes the full plain text details of the address of the venue rather than an ID... meaning poor Adil will need to set up an entirely new one as his checkin data is worthless now.

Microsoft confirms pursuit of TikTok after Satya Nadella chats to Donald Trump

El blissett

Re: Tik Update Tok

Tik-In Tock: Satya's Undercooked Purchase

Someone made an AI that predicted gender from email addresses, usernames. It went about as well as expected

El blissett

Great. Now, can they shut down the ad targeting gender AI as well? I get dresses punted at me several times a month before the content abruptly shifts to more male coded things.

BT and Serco among bidders competing to run Britain's unfortunately named Skynet military satellite system

El blissett

Tactical Networking? Thought that was when you use black velcro to hold a broken cable in.

Ooo, a mystery bit of script! Seems legit. Let's see what happens when we run it

El blissett
Devil

Sure I have, but never on a networked machine.

Of course, if someone I know emailed me with a touching romantic executable message in the 90s, I guess I'd run that at work just to see what it was as well.

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you

El blissett

Another vote for Edge Lords from me.

Whoooooa, this node is on fire! Forget Ceph, try the forgotten OpenStack storage release 'Crispy'

El blissett

Re: Back when OpenStack was launched with NASA, you literally ...

My uncle was permanently drunk from his early teens to his sad early end and still managed to fit in an unrealistically successful career in rocket science - software programming for ballistic missiles.

Ooh, my machine is SO much faster than yours... Oh, wait, that might be a bit of a problem...

El blissett

Tired El Reg Subeditor: Suspect this ought to be in the Who, Me? category and not Data Centre...

Git365. Git for Teams. Quatermass and the Git Pit. GitHub simply won't do now Microsoft has it

El blissett

Codeplex for Business?

Ubuntu wants to slurp PCs' vital statistics – even location – with new desktop installs

El blissett

Me at work: Bloody European Union legislation making me change all my perfectly secure processes...

Me reading this: Choo choo mother forkers, all aboard the GDPR express to a brighter, opt-in only future

IBM's next turnaround tool is ... a new open-source font?

El blissett

Ah, the Nokia approach to disaster management.

OMG, dad, you're so embarrassing! Are you P2P file sharing again?

El blissett

Well colour me baffled that The Teens are going back to essentially home taping when P2P was/is such an efficient way of getting what you want, especially for rare and out of print records that The Man deems no longer suitable for public consumption.

This is entirely Googletube's fault.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022