* Posts by Sam not the Viking

25 posts • joined 11 Apr 2018

LibreOffice community protests at promotion of paid-for editions, board says: 'LibreOffice will always be free software'

Sam not the Viking

Re: What's the need?

Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...

Faxing hell: The cops say they would very much like us to stop calling them all the time

Sam not the Viking

Wrong Number

Our home telephone number is very close to the local branch of the Nat West bank. Some years ago, before internet banking, we kept getting messages on our answerphone from an old gent wanting some information about his current account.

Eventually, expressing real urgency, he left a message and gave his name, address, account number and pin number.....

We were so concerned, I rang the bank directly, explained what had happened and asked them to get in touch with the poor guy and perhaps remind him to safeguard his details over the phone. As you will understand, it took ages for the bank to grasp the issue. I'm sure the guy would have believed me if I had returned his call but that would not necessarily have sorted the problem or alerted the bank.

We didn't get any more calls from him. I only hope scammers never found him; they would these days.

Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram

Sam not the Viking

The 22 and the 25

Whilst cricket uses 22 yards (one chain), rugby union used to use 25 yards for the '25' now known as the '22-metre' line. I seem to remember, or was I told by my granddad?

'One rule for me, another for them' is all well and good until it sinks the entire company's ability to receive emails

Sam not the Viking

After a successful first year of business, in the late 1980's, we installed a HDD into one of our two PCs (compatibles). At 10 Mb and costing £1,000, we thought we would never ever fill it.

Railway cables overpowered errant drone's compass and flung it back to terra firma

Sam not the Viking

Electronic compasses use gps and WMM (world magnetic model).

Both Android and iOS use the earth's magnetic field in their positioning systems.


There are some clever people out there.

Square peg of modem won't fit into round hole of PC? I saw to it, bloke tells horrified mate

Sam not the Viking

Re: ain't no problem in the world that can't be solved with hot-snot

On holiday in Greece, I repaired a motor bike clutch-lever with a cable tie. It was a used, discarded tie found laying conveniently at the roadside.

From attacked engineers to a crypto-loving preacher with a questionable CV: Yep, it's still very much 5G silly season

Sam not the Viking

Re: Really sad.

I think you may have inadvertently hit on the root problem here.

Robert Hooke was indeed a pioneer in science.

Captain Hook is a fictional character associated with flights of fancy.

Getting a pizza the action, AS/400 style

Sam not the Viking


"Do you deliver......"

Guess what's heading to trial? IBM and its tactic of yoinking promised commissions after sales reps seal the deal

Sam not the Viking

Re: No commission sales in a small/big order situation.

We used to have 'Technical Sales' salesmen; jobs might take years to come to fruition. So salesmen were salaried and we office-based technical guys supporting sales were happy to assist and visit customers, consultants, suppliers etc. to support the sale.

Change of management, new sales crew, commission-based, who were 'go-getting' but knew nothing about the product. We had hundreds of enquiries for products we didn't make and zero for the long-term, difficult (but high-margin) contracts. And a set of pissed-off designers who resented being asked to help out.

A 'them and us' situation where all lost out.

Masterstroke. I left.

I heard somebody say: Burn baby, burn – server inferno!

Sam not the Viking

Re: Oh so special's

Reminds me of a very clever guy who came to work with us. A genuine polymath on all things mathematical, physical and chemical.

He was so obviously brilliant he was taken on straight away.

After a couple of days at work, his company car arrived.

"I can't drive," he replied.

The car was put in reserve until he passed his test, but he became/was a terrible driver. I feel sure he was driving in a different set of dimensions.

BOFH: Gosh, IPv5? Why didn't I think of that? Say, how do you like the new windows in here? Take a look. Closer...

Sam not the Viking

Re: Brilliant idea!

In the 1970's, there was a debate in the office over which of two managers was the heavier. It was a choice between tall and chubby or short and spherical. In time, the discussion turned real; a book was started, certainties questioned, money was involved.

We new graduates were charged with solving the problem and we decided that strain-gauging the centre-tubes of their chairs would get the problem determined.

Unfortunately, it was just another great idea that never ran to completion. The heavier took early retirement.

School's out as ransomware attack downs IT systems at Scotland's Dundee and Angus College

Sam not the Viking

The Numbskulls.

So you locked your backups away for years, huh? Allow me to introduce my colleagues, Brute, Force and Ignorance

Sam not the Viking

Re: Hot to the touch...

A long time ago, I had heard that putting a disk in the freezer was sometimes effective for data-recovery. I thought is was a good spoof for ordinary citizens to open themselves to ridicule.

In desperation, after multi-plane, sub-destructive percussion had failed, and with no-one watching, I put a troublesome disk into the freezer compartment of the fridge. Like the disk, I was stunned, but we both recovered for long enough to extract the data files.

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

Sam not the Viking

Old Dogs and New Tricks

"Since you fixed my PC, it's running slow again." For years I had been telling my friend to replace his outdated piece of crap rather than me get involved to 'get it going' again. This was causing some irritation between us. My son was aware of the conflict. He intervened, took the computer away 'to fix', dumped it and bought a new one. After a few days he returned it, 'repaired'.

15 years on, that computer is still being used...

The Foot of Cupid emits final burst of flatulence in honour of fallen Python Terry Jones

Sam not the Viking

Re: Captain Buzzkill

How would we ever deal with the surreal events as reported by El Reg without references to reality provided by Monty Python or DA? (Other references are available).

If IBM, HPE, Crapita, MS etc. represent 'normality', we're doomed.

You're not Boeing to believe this: Yet another show-stopping software bug found in ill-fated 737 Max airplanes

Sam not the Viking

Re: Isn't THIS why we've got to teach 2nd-graders how to "code", rather than how to think?

Richard Feynman warned of the failure to aggressively check safety systems and in his appended report on the Challenger Disaster praised NASA's approach to software faults (one of the few processes he thought was fit-for-purpose). Even then, the managers wanted to reduce software testing because it was time-consuming and expensive.

His appendix to the report is a good read (and re-read); I frequently recommend it to engineers.


Remember the Dutch kid who stuck his finger in a dam to save the village? Here's the IT equivalent

Sam not the Viking


"These 1 MW diesel generators are very important.

They provide the emergency back-up power to the batteries which are essential to shut down the power station in the event of external supply failure.

Let me show you how to manually synchronise them with the National Grid.


Good job we have a standby and a spare.




Remember the Uber self-driving car that killed a woman crossing the street? The AI had no clue about jaywalkers

Sam not the Viking

Re: "Fall Creators Update"

As reported elsewhere, 'Jaywalking' is known as 'crossing the road' almost everywhere except the USA. Is this not the great problem with 'AI' or 'self-driving' cars? Anyone can, and many will, just walk out in front of these vehicles to force a stop. It will become a sport. Cars will have to crawl in populated areas.

HP to hike upfront price of printer hardware as ink biz growth runs dry

Sam not the Viking

"help us track, verify cartridges from our factories through our multi-tier distribution channel and to our end customer"

It's difficult to see what makes the cartridge prices so high. I wonder if the distribution channels needs a few more layers to get the cost to consumer down?

Electric vehicles won't help UK meet emissions targets: Time to get out and walk, warn MPs

Sam not the Viking

Re: Alternatively,

On a fact-finding mission to the States with Sharon, the BOFH would never stay on W 59th St.

The stink of horse-pee evokes memories of the frightened rabbit in the boss's office.

Truckers, prepare to lose your jobs as UPS buys into self-driving tech

Sam not the Viking

It's not only me

Assuming 'autonomous vehicles' were to become common, won't there be a sporting impulse to step-out, walk, cycle or whatever, in front of them?

Admittedly, Darwinian selection will get involved.

Poor old Jupiter has had a rough childhood after getting a massive hit from a mega-Earth

Sam not the Viking

Look up: Universe Sandbox.

Build your own galaxy.

Will that old Vulcan's engines run? Bluebird jet boat team turn to Cold War bomber

Sam not the Viking

And both engines were influenced by Staley Hooker.

El Reg needs you – to help build an automated beer-transporting robot

Sam not the Viking

Blue Sky Thinking

I'm worried about security. A man-in-the middle attack would be inconvenient.

Think out of the box and away from the cube. Move the mountain/office to source. Better hours.


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