* Posts by IT's getting kinda boring

48 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Apr 2018

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair: British home computer trailblazer dies aged 81

IT's getting kinda boring

This was the man who launched me into a computing career. As a kid I remember the ZX81 (my friend had one) and it piqued my interest enough to want to get into computers. Being a rather enterprising child, I remember getting into minor trouble once and being given lines (I must not do whatever it was I did as the time) - so I wrote a program to print out the lines to give to the teacher (she laughed and made me go back an write them out, but it was worth a try). I got my first job while still at school fixing computers (Spectrums, BBCs, QLs - you name it, whatever was about at that time).

I raise a pint, and tip my hat in memory of Sir Clive Sinclair.

Just what is the poop capacity of an unladen sparrow? We ask because one got into the office and left quite a mess

IT's getting kinda boring

I think you were a victim of seagull management.

They always pop in, shit all over the place, and then disappear.

Don't blame the little sparrow.

This scumbag stole and traded victims' nude pics and vids after guessing their passwords, security answers

IT's getting kinda boring

Re: Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 years

He's definitely not off the hook yet.

This better not be a cruel prank: Microsoft promises 99.99% uptime for Azure Active Directory from 1 April

IT's getting kinda boring

"Microsoft increased their number by five times in 2020"

So now they have 5 then?

Let's... drawer a veil over why this laser printer would decide to stop working randomly

IT's getting kinda boring

My favourite was a call from a colleague who complained he couldn't put the CD into the CD-ROM drive on a HP workstation. I was confused - the workstation in question didn't have one. So I went around to see what he was on about, only to find him trying to push the CD into a small gap between two blanking plates! He thought it had a slim-line auto-feed drive, and assumed the gap was where the drive was.

You only live twice: Once to start the installation, and the other time to finish it off

IT's getting kinda boring

Nothing too exciting, but on a trip to Munich I got stopped because my bag was full of Ethernet cable and a small switch (I was on my way to set up some systems for a small conference). Airport security got a little excited until I unpacked it and showed them. The only other thing I had was clothing (and I am pretty sure my boxers weren't explosive)!

He was a skater boy. We said, 'see you later, boy' – and the VAX machine mysteriously began to work as intended

IT's getting kinda boring

Re: The need for speed

Been there, seen it, done it.

Boot load of reel to reel mag tapes in a beat up Fiesta moving from an old DC to a new DC. Great until I had to pull up suddenly at a rather notorious roundabout. Queue a boot load of mag tapes deciding to try and move to the back seat for a better view.

Oh, I miss those days.

IT's getting kinda boring

Re: Moments of Inertia

Something similar - sit on a chair, the other operators pushed said chair, chair + occupant shoot down a corridor between tape racks.

Great until one guy didn't bother to try and stop before reaching the door at the end of the corridor. Lets just say the door came off worse....

Luckily for us the damage wasn't discovered until a few weeks later when we were off shift...

No, Kubernetes doesn’t make applications portable, say analysts. Good luck avoiding lock-in, too

IT's getting kinda boring

Re: Abstractions

Before you know it, there will be so many abstraction layers you'll probably find your workload is running on a cloud connected fridge in Alabama.

Reply-All storm sparked by student smut sees school system shut down Google Classroom for up to a week

IT's getting kinda boring

For those of you who have ever seen Mel Brook's "The History Of The World Part 1", the commandment "Thou shalt not reply all" was on the stone tablet he dropped.....

Shocking no one, not enough foreigners applied for H-1B visas this year so US govt ran a second lottery

IT's getting kinda boring

So you have morally corrupt employers lobbying a government that, on the one hand is advocating "making America great again", yet on the other feeding the very monster its trying to tame?

In the UK, we dropped most of our manufacturing base back in the 80's to concentrate more on services. Now we face being squeezed out of that by fat-cat bosses who prefer profit over quality and customer satisfaction.

We live in some very 'interesting' times indeed.

IT's getting kinda boring


I am happy to be corrected, but this sounds like a numbers game?

The lines:

"Too few H-1B hopefuls applied for employment visas this year that the US government has held an unprecedented second lottery to reach its annual quota."


"By April, a record-breaking 275,000 people entered this year's H-1B lottery, hoping to be selected to apply for the highly prized visa, which allows people in tech and other specialist roles to live and work in the United States."

just says to me that the USG is complaining they didn't import enough bodies as opposed to whether or not those roles could be filled by a US citizen? If there are enough skilled workers in the USA, who gives a shit if "not enough foreign workers come over" according to Uncle Sam? Is the USG *really* saying that they are so short of technically skilled people that they *have* to import such numbers?

I am genuinely curious....

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

IT's getting kinda boring

Ahh, Back in the days when the only way to recover dead space from the database was to write the data out to a mag tape then read/write it back into the database again....

Damn, I feel old.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin. Hang on, the PDP 11/70 has dropped offline

IT's getting kinda boring

ICL3930 with those little toggle switches to put drives in read-only mode. Seen those get tagged by people brushing past, causing all sorts of mayhem. Eventually fixed by ICL by replacing the plastic face panel with one that had a raised plastic bump where the switches were.

Oh, and the old 2900 series operating stations with the reset button on the front (push up to reset). Saw someone catch that with a sleeve on his suit. That system was down for days (an ICL2976 I seem to recall)!

Forget about Wipro chairman saying no one would lose their job due to COVID-19: UK staff told they're facing redundancy

IT's getting kinda boring

Re: Have the scars to prove it

Not as 'interesting' as the time my UK female workmates received an email from India HR telling them how to dress and behave in the office.....

Dutch national broadcaster saw ad revenue rise when it stopped tracking users. It's meant to work like that, right?

IT's getting kinda boring

..and now you know why dogs lick their testicles. It's to take away the taste of the food.

Obligatory tip of the hat to Red Dwarf....

In Hancock's half-hour, Dido Harding offers hollow laughs: Cake distracts test-and-trace boss at UK COVID-19 briefing

IT's getting kinda boring

Re: The Cake is a lie !

Maybe not, but whatever it is it's almost certainly half-baked....

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

IT's getting kinda boring

Not work related, but my friend used to come over to play games on my PC. His son came with him one day, and decided pushing the 'off' button while his dad was in the middle of the game would be a fun thing to do. More than once.

Fun times!

There's a black hole lurking within 1,000 light years of Earth – and you can see stars circling it with the naked eye

IT's getting kinda boring

As Holly would say

Well the thing about a black hole, its main distinguishing feature is its black. And the thing about space, the colour of space, your basic space colour.... is its black.

So how are you supposed to see them?

Lets hope this one doesn't turn out to be grit!

Pint to the boffins for finding it before Holly.

UK govt probes Brit chip biz Imagination after growing Chinese ownership sparks national security fears

IT's getting kinda boring

Doesn't really matter what it is. If the PHBs can see a fast buck, it'll go offshore as fast as a ferret up a trouser leg.

There won't be anything left in this country at the rate we're going. What's rather galling is those very same PHBs will then sod off somewhere else (seagull management anyone?) and leave the customers to bitch about poor quality.

Sadly, the web has brought a whole new meaning to the phrase 'nothing is true; everything is permitted'

IT's getting kinda boring

Re: What? They've been lying to us?

Always look on the bright side of life....

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to save data from a computer that should have died aeons ago

IT's getting kinda boring

Lots of this type of stuff on YouTube

There is a YouTuber (CuriousMarc) who covers a lot of stuff like this. Its truly fascinating. I watched something a couple of days ago where they managed to jury rig something in order to read data off of an old 8" floppy - lots of geological data I seem to recall. Worth a look!

They definitely deserve a beer!

C'mon SPARCky, it's just an admin utility update. What could possibly go wrong?

IT's getting kinda boring

I have a few:

1) Developer managed to do an rm -rf * from root, just not *as* root. Still causes a lot of damage. After we recovered the machine he very helpfully showed us what he had typed - and then ran the damned command again!

2) Took a call from someone in the US. Their database was down. I asked them to go to a directory and found it was empty. After a few minutes of questioning, I finally managed to get to the bottom of the issue. Apparently the filesystem was full, and the person had done an rm -rf on the directory structure that held the database! To make matters worse, the last backup was over a week old.

3) Had a developer decide to delete glibc on a Linux machine so they could install a new one. Hint. Linux really needs it!

4) Had someone do a chown -R from root as root. That was an amusing one to try and resolve.

And my personal cock-up.....

Problems with a disk under VMWare. I deleted disk 5 instead of scsi id 5. In my defence, it was on a cluster with shared disks and at the end of a very long and stressful day :)

Fed-up air safety bods ban A350 pilots from enjoying cockpit coffees

IT's getting kinda boring

With at least one American aircraft type, it will be pitching around so much the coffee won't stay in the cup long enough to get to the cockpit.

Google says its latest chatbot is the most human-like ever – trained on our species' best works: 341GB of social media

IT's getting kinda boring

I can fully believe it.

It will talk shit all day with only the PHBs taking any notice.

Oh, if only we could tailor it to PHB talk. Loads of buzz words, no substance, followed by suggestions to find the nearest window to jump from.

Or, just maybe, to forgo his bonus and reward the workers (who are the ones who really deserve the money).

I do see some possibilities here!

VMware? VM... now where? It's that time of the year again when Dell's virtualization software giant sheds staff

IT's getting kinda boring

Re: It puts the V in VM

Standard PHB operating procedure. Have to preserve their bonus somehow. How else can they afford that 3rd Ferrari? You didn't think they'd make do with a virtual one did you?

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

IT's getting kinda boring

So the Microsoft version of Cillit Bang?

In their best Barry Scott voice:

BING and the search engine's gone!!!!

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

IT's getting kinda boring

Re: Poorly located switches.

Or the ICL Operator stations with the reset switch (simple toggle switch with a long enough toggle) conveniently placed in the middle of the front panel where anyone can catch it (saw that a couple of times - one hard reset took out an ICL2974 for a few days).

Or on the 3930 when that came out, and it had small toggle switches to place the disks in read-only mode. Saw someone brush past loaded down with stuff and seen the toggle switch flick over. ICL eventually came out with a plastic cover to guard the switches.

<wipes nostalgic tear from eye>

We've found it... the last shred of human decency in an IT director – all for a poxy Unix engineer

IT's getting kinda boring

Been there too. As a shift leader many moons ago - and a young one at that - one of my team did something a little stupid (logging into a mainframe with a rather salty session name). It was picked up by Security, and I had the head of the Security team in my face demanding to know who was responsible. I refused to give any names, and said I would deal with it as it happened on my watch.

I also had a team member turn up drunk - I sent him home, covered his shift, and told him not to do it again. He'd had problems in his personal life and made a bad decision to come in that day. He didn't do it again.

On the other hand, I've had people both above and below me try and drop me in it. Cue the carefully saved emails and dated documentation....

Irish eyes aren't smiling after govt blows €1m on mega-printer too big for parliament's doors

IT's getting kinda boring

Re: ""Four grand for a printer!?" and I always wondered wtf she was buying."

"Often there is only one copy of a document in a committee meeting."

Very wise. You never know when you are going to run out of toilet paper....

Bose customers beg for firmware ceasefire after headphones fall victim to another crap update

IT's getting kinda boring

I just bought a pair of gaming headphones for the PS4. They stopped working (no audio) after about 2 weeks, and was about to send them back when I happened to find a post on a forum somewhere from several years ago detailing a firmware bug and, luckily, how to fix it.

So a firmware bug can be left for YEARS and not be addressed, and you still have new headsets being sold that have the same problem. Makes you wonder how many headsets get returned for issues such as this, and how many end up in landfill.

You wanted flying cars and colony worlds. Instead, IKEA furniture-building-ish AI robots

IT's getting kinda boring

Re: Hmmm

Sounds like the Kamasutra. You sure you have the right instructions...?

Now the US DoJ has charged Apple's insider trading lawyer with, er... well, it's embarrassing

IT's getting kinda boring

Re: What a muppet.

How do you know he wasn't using an Apple butterfly keyboard?

BOFH: The company survived the disaster recovery test. Just. The Director's car, however...

IT's getting kinda boring

Must be a VP thing then.

Had one who did the very same thing but on an aircon unit. Pushed the button, the aircon shut down, and nobody could work out how to start it up again.

4 hours later, when the aircon engineer turned up, all systems were down due to overheating. He rotated a small (yet barely visible) collar on the button which released it and the aircon burst into life.

For those of you wondering - this aircon unit consisted of a bloody big fan (and I mean *big*) blowing air into the machine room. Not redundant. Go figure. This was back in the mid 80's.

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

IT's getting kinda boring

Re: God loves idiots or He/She wouldn't have made so many of them.

Perhaps these idiots *were* saved to 5.25" disks - the "double density" ones.....

Rise of the Machines hair-raiser: The day IBM's Dot Matrix turned

IT's getting kinda boring

Long sleeves = system down

Back when I was just a nipper, I had a work experience week (something we all had to do while still in school). I went to work in a local firm, and wound up in the computer room. Now this was back in the day when they were running an ICL2976 and an ICL2966. With the big OPER station. On the front of that was a toggle switch that caused a system reboot. Now why on Earth anyone thought that a toggle switch on the front of an operating station was a good idea is anyone's guess.

I watched one of the guys (wearing a suit jacket) move his arm up to type something and caught the toggle switch with his sleeve. Not his hand, but the cuff somehow was at the right angle to snag the switch. The 2976 went down hard. It took 3 days to get it back up.

From that day I refused to wear suit jackets or have sleeves down around machines. That was 30 odd years ago!

Our sales were to genuine customers, Autonomy ex-CEO Mike Lynch insists in court

IT's getting kinda boring

...more likely to be unloading a truck load of popcorn ready for next week.

'I AM NOT PUTTING UP WITH THIS SH*T' Mike Lynch raged at salesmen

IT's getting kinda boring

Re: The rant is fair

I had a boss like that once. Never respected a manager more than I did him. On more than one occasion blame was shifted to me for something entirely not my fault. I went through the facts as I knew them, the reasons I did what I did, and every single time he came down on my side. He was the same with another guy I knew.

Occasionally had a raised eyebrow (I wasn't perfect)!

Mystery GPS glitch grounds flights, leaves passengers in the bar

IT's getting kinda boring

Funny story...

I used to work at an airport many moons ago, and I heard this story (no idea how true it is, but it was one of many).

A Lufthansa flight was repeatedly asking for taxiing directions. Ground were getting a bit fed up. The Lufthansa pilot came over the radio and said "Sorry, but I have never been here before".

Someone piped up: "Zat iss not true! He vas last here in 1942!".

Maker of US border's license-plate scanning tech ransacked by hacker, blueprints and files dumped online

IT's getting kinda boring

Does an AI.....

sit there eating virtual popcorn while trawling through all these posts?

UK Space Agency cracks open its wallet, fishes out a paltry £2m for Brit plans to return to orbit

IT's getting kinda boring

Re: I did the math, but ...

You could always lop off an appendage or two to make a weight saving.

Or in Donald's case, just the hair piece and save on drag (no-one said that they had to be *inside* said launch vehicle did they).

Uncle Sam to blow millions on mind-control weapon tech that can be fitted without surgery

IT's getting kinda boring

Re: Firefox

Ahh - you meant to say VF-1S. Or StarScream if you're a Transformer's fan (if you take the Bandai version). After all, it was a VF-1S before Harmony Gold got a hold of it. ;)

I'd go for the Crusader (which I think was based on the VF-1A Armoured Valkyrie).

Whatever your take, those designs are amazing!

Autonomy's one-time US sales chief can't remember if he took part in grand jury hearing

IT's getting kinda boring

Good point....

Just finished one bag - off out to buy another.

FYI: Someone left 24GB of personal info on 80m US households exposed to the public internet

IT's getting kinda boring

Re: Maybe it started with the telephone...

I'd laugh - but its true. So true its NOT funny any more.

Don't mean to alarm you, but Boeing has built an unmanned fighter jet called 'Loyal Wingman'

IT's getting kinda boring

Re: In Harm's Way ..

You have no idea how much I'd love to see that! Who needs AWACS when they could have a VE-1 Elint!

OK, team, we've got the big demo tomorrow and we're feeling confident. Let's reboot the servers

IT's getting kinda boring

When a demo isn't a demo....

How about the time the network team tried to demo auto link fail-over. Only someone was already routing live traffic over it, and the failover 'demo' failed to 'failover'.

Queue lots of shouting as the production service fell over.

IT's getting kinda boring

'Rattle' through a demo...

I remember the US office shipping a server to the UK in order to demo a new product. Had a nice shiny shipping case. That turned up dented.

Their machine rattled when I took it out to set it up.

After re-seating a couple of cards that had been flying around the case, attempting to boot it up resulted in disk errors - until I led it on its side.

How it made it through their demo I don't know.

IBM turnover shrinks $28bn in 6 years but execs laugh all the way to the bank

IT's getting kinda boring

...and they forget to include the pizza base.