* Posts by bigtreeman

95 posts • joined 8 May 2018


Fastly 'fesses up to breaking the internet with an 'an undiscovered software bug' triggered by a customer


measure twice cut once

We will test our code before we deploy to a critical system.

For a carpenter, measure twice, cut once.

First Forth, C and Python, now comp.lang.tcl latest Usenet programming forum nuked by Google Groups


Go Forth young man ....

Dunno, Forth's back up,

first time I've looked at comp.lang.forth since pre-internet

good to see it's still active

Oh hello. Haven't heard much from you lately: Linux veteran Slackware rides again with a beta of version 15



I now only use Linux for cad/cam and Netflix. (OpenBSD)

Yesterday I installed 14.2 because I'm sick and tired of Debian crud. Amazed at how old and outdated I went looking for Slackware devel branch - Current. Downloaded this morning, burned to usb while walking the dog, installed, then read this article.

Because Slackware still uses lilo, the dual boot to OpenBSD is totally effortless compared to grub which can't do it. Install and initial configuration (almost) with my eyes closed and it all just works. Now setup my cad/cam and get back to work (or Netflix fix)


SpaceX small print on Starlink insists no Earth government has authority or sovereignty over Martian activities



Shrink wrap agreement,

sounds good,

but will it hold up in court ? probably not

Corporations think anything scribbled on a piece of paper gives them legal authority.

Microsoft kills broad entry-level IT certifications, replaces them with all-Microsoft curriculum


Re: Getting closer to time to retire?

- got the caravan for the trip around Oz

- too much time on your hands, make a wooden surfboard and go surfing (or learn)

- caravan around, surf at spot X

- caravan around, surf at spot X

- caravan around, surf at spot X

- caravan around, surf at spot X

- caravan around, surf at spot X


Re: I'm not an expert but

I once had a TAFE teacher teaching us about networking, unaware that an ethernet cable is transformer isolated, talking about 'the earth wire'. Turned out he had been an electrician's assistant and had previously done this course. Yes it was a course solely focused on M$ products.


It's what M$ does

It's just what they have always done.

M$ don't want old software supported,

they want support for the new kit they are selling.

They want support organisations talking about the new kit being just what the clients need.

A constant cycle of upgrading and sales.

Decade-old bug in Linux world's sudo can be abused by any logged-in user to gain root privileges



Glad I use doas now instead of sudo ;)

But at least when a Linux vulnerability gets discovered it gets patched and an update is quickly available.

BeyondCorp Enterprise: Google's Chrome-shaped approach to 'cloud-native zero trust computing'



So we would allow Google to spy on ALL our passwords, downloads, sites visited, access to our corporate VPN, web applications.....

We now don't have to trust the wider world and internet, only Google ?

Not likely !

Must 'completely free' mean 'hard to install'? Newbie gripe sparks some soul-searching among Debian community


Looks like OpenBSD might work on the Thinkpad, of course no bluetooth, fingerprint no and thunderbolt has a fudge. https://jcs.org/2019/08/14/x1c7


Re: RE: doing things behind the curtain

The reason Windows 'simply works' is because it comes pre-installed and the vendor has sorted out driver issues and filled it with 'crapware' .


Re: GNU's not Unix

Use OpenBSD if you want an easy install, easy configuration, accurate man files, not bogged down with systemd, in short a delight to use.

OpenBSD is Unix

Linux has become a gnu's turd.

Pop quiz: You've got a roomful of electrical equipment. How do you put out a fire?



Not an equipment room as such, a heat soak room.

That was in a factory supplying Telecom with teleprinters. A large number of units assembled in frames without covers were heat soaked for a time, operating with a punch tape loop. This was in the factory with a couple of hundred workers through the day, so couldn't use halon. There was risk of something exploding or catching fire operating at elevated temperature. And yes, from memory it was a large red button.

Could tell you about the time a large electro exploded while the Sagem engineer, our head engineer and a senior tech were all leaned over a teleprinter listening to a ticking sound, while it was being tested. Not a fire, but a really loud explosion is much more fun and a mess of yellow liquid electrolyte evenly over all three.

We had so much fun at that place, ever had a gold plated screwdriver ??


big red button

You peer through the haze, find the big red button and press it.

The extinguishers go right off,

filling the hot-box full of pretty boxen with blinken lights

with an enormous volume of powdery stuff,

don't they Kingsley.

Really happened near the end of a party at work.

The "fire" was the blinken lights seen through glazed eyes.

Took weeks to clean up the mess.

Watt's next for batteries? It'll be more of the same, not longer life, because physics and chemistry are hard



Well, you started and ended with Edison, without mentioning his battery technology.

It's not compact, it's not pretty, it's not the highest density,

But the materials are common as,

it's near indestructible,

it's as 'safe' as batteries cat get,

over-charge, over-discharge, longggggg life.

used in the right applications, peerless.


The curse of knowing a bit about IT: 'Could you just...?' and 'No I haven't changed anything'



"Fixing the kit of friends and family is a fixture for many of us over the festive period."

Got a t-shirt for that

Too late for Xmas, oh feck just get a few for yourself


After 11 years, Australia declares its national broadband network is ‘built and fully operational’


there yu go

Fuck eh, there yu go,

learn something new every day

I am so tired of Scotty from Marketing

do nothing

pretends he's done it all

wake up Australia

Not just Microsoft: Auth turns out to be a point of failure for Google's cloud, too


single sign in

And when authentication breaks for single sign in for other web sites

things get really forked...

don't they Facebook,

but it could be blamed on the other site.

Ad blocking made Google throw its toys out of the pram – and now even more control is being taken from us


what adds ?

If you don't want adds you have to get techy

and work out how to control your experience,

or pay someone to fix it for you.

The technology keeps changing and you have to keep up,

different browser, add blocker, tracker blocker, whatever.

Sometimes I miss half the story because the pictures have been poisoned,

such is life.

A website owner is just some shitty company, I don't care,

if they have a real product to profit from, that I want to purchase, ok

if they are trying to leverage income from crap, they can feck off.

The world is full of flaky dick heads.

Apple's M1: the fastest and bestest ever silicon = revolution? Nah, there's far more interesting stuff happening in tech that matters to everyone


gradually making new paradigms

Early Intel processors had external memory, interrupt, dma, npu, i/o, etc units.

The cpu wasn't much, registers, alu, branch/next instruction fetch & decode, etc.

M1 has shown the efficiency of bringing the main ram onboard, big deal, no, progression, yes.

First to do it, hell no.

Rupert is correct in that Apple has tailored the M1 to a specific task

and this is where the ARM ecosystem has been headed for a long time.

A designer has a need, finds an MCU to fit the requirements,

or if you're big enough, roll your own MCU.

For every disastrous rebrand, there is an IT person trying to steer away from the precipice


John Thomas

I had a manager called John Thomas

Calls for 'right to repair' electronics laws grow louder across Europe


Re: Could Backfire

You would love what my Dad used to do to our TV.

When a dud valve became unavailable he would replace the valve with a birds nests of discrete components hanging above the valve socket.

We had that black and white TV well into the colour era.



Well a vehicle is a lot of computerised electronics these days.

I am just purchasing a Mahindra and the first thing I did (pre-purchase)

was to download a full workshop manual including all diagnostics.

I just threw away a Re___lt Mas__r van because it couldn't be diagnosed

by two mechanics or the local (city) dealer.

I am pissed, I had fitted it out as a camper and we were about to have

our first post covid holiday and meet the new grand daughter (now 6 months old).

The ones who brought you Let's Encrypt, bring you: Tools for gathering anonymized app usage metrics from netizens



Meanwhile the other side of the coin is deanonymising.

Even anonymised data is invading privacy, depending on how it is used.

Just leave our data alone.

Oh, except there's a buck to be made, so it's ok.

No it isn't, so just feck off.

Tim Berners-Lee asks everyone to do new biz a Solid and let him have another crack at fixing the Web's privacy



I have talked about this concept since the 90s. The network is the meeting place, not corporate servers.

The "pod" gets built into a users gateway/router as a small, secure web server. Young people use phones theses days (so I'm led to believe).

Everyone with internet or a phone gets a personal domain name. Now everyone can be contacted by their name/address.

No more anonymity, get over it, just behave yourselves, be real !

Instead of a user filling in forms on each and every service/company they interact with,

they fill in their data in their own "pod" then allow access to each service/company.

Now the user only has to update their personal data once and all services/companies get access to current data.

The publication of this data gives the owner legal rights and ability to restrict access.

I can do this today by forwarding my router internal ports 80 and 443 to my pc and setting up a fairly simple web server.

But security wise it would be more sensible to have the router or a small, secure IoT server on the local network doing the work.

I have a Rock64 setup at present doing just that.

The main resistance will be companies "ownership" of peoples personal data, which they make a lot of money from.

This will eventually kill Facebook, Google, Amazon, Oracle, clouds, ISPs, and will empower individuals.

A level playing field. A cloud is just a mass of equal water particles in the air, so I guess it will become a real cloud.

I'll give you my passwords if you investigate police corruption, accused missile systems leaker told cops


homophobe bash

A hammer and machete aren't discrete defence weapons,

sounds like he was out for a homophobe bash.

Then nunchuks and a knife, was that a 'Crocodile Dundee' type knife ?

Lock him up and forget the password, sounds like he's not safe out in public.

Ubuntu 20.10 goes full Raspberry Pi, from desktop to micro clouds: Full fat desktop on a Pi is usable


Re: why or how

Ah, yes you touched on the base issue

"...that was owned by them..."

Canonical want to control your ecosystem

They want to control what you install,

feedback goes to them,

marketing comes from them.

Why are they still based on Debian ?

Ubuntu should be able to create their own complete OS from scratch

and base it on snap only, no apt, no dependency hell.


To stop web giants abusing privacy, they must be prevented from respawning. Ever


tax income not profits

For any multinational, tax their income, not their profits.

Tax the money before it leaves any country.

Make them fight for their tax returns.

Close up tax return loopholes worldwide.

Once it is outside a countries legal reach it's near impossible to get back.

Every country has a fortune to gain by working together to ensure taxes are paid.

Low tax countries then can't offer savings.

Remember the days when signs were signs and operating systems didn't need constant patching?


Re: Why Windows?

My 25 yrs with *nix, I've seen all the above. With the exception of a tiny school which ran a bsd server. Single teacher school out the back of Nimbin, the guy was a very knowledgeable, cool hippy, just made my year.

I've come to understand the clever marketing behind Windows.

It has so much momentum it won't go away.

So, what exactly are you planning to do with this new PC? Windows Insiders face new questions during OOBE


no back doors, no windows

""will only be visible during a clean install on a device.""

that's why I haven't seen it

I'm planning to put Linux on it,

or openbsd

Selling hardware on a pay-per-use or subscription model is a 'lie' created by marketing bods


Re: Old As The Hills

Hollerith machines were used by the Third Reich for the Holocaust.

So that means IBM owned and profited handsomely from the genocide of the Jews.



Rent or buy ?

In house or outsource ?

So The Reg is just an advertising machine for cloud providers.

Questions, questions, questions flooding into the minds of today's young executives.

Will I make the decision that experienced, old executives know is bullshit.

I choose fashion and I'm hypnotised by that delicious sales pitch.

Excel Hell: It's not just blame for pandemic pandemonium being spread between the sheets


The world's favourite database


Gartner on cloud contenders: AWS fails to lower its prices, Microsoft 'cannot guarantee capacity', Google has 'devastating' network outages


Big Blue

In one paragraph you mention IBM supporting for decades and now owning Red Hat,

a mainstay of Linux and ongoing development,

then say “diminishing mind share among developers who perceive IBM as a provider of legacy technologies.”

What future impact will Red Hat have on IBM ?

I didn't notice IBMs share price taking a dive recently.

I agree with foxglove

This PDP-11/70 was due to predict an election outcome – but no one could predict it falling over


Re: The elevator did it

Stan, our ageing sage technician could tell if a circuit under test failed by listening to the RF interference on his radio.

Mozilla doubles down on anti-tracking tech: It'll be tougher for wily ad-biz cookie monsters to track Firefox


are there adds on this page ???

In Firefox have had adds blocked for years and am astounded each time I see all the adds on my partners web browser (one of the others).

And Firefox is getting better at it all the time.

Why do people put up with shite.

University of Cambridge to decommission its homegrown email service Hermes in favour of Microsoft Exchange Online


Re: Call it blunt...

thank you.

I had to get to the end of the comments for someone to notice the elephant in the room.


Re: MS' deep pockets

The world has changed from the 80's and onwards.

Will the world pandemic give us the chance to reset to a better and fairer world, not run by corporations and greed.

No Widevine DRM for you! Developer left with two years of work stymied by Google snub




Where's yur buccaneers ?

on yur buckin head !

fork DRM

80-characters-per-line limits should be terminal, says Linux kernel chief Linus Torvalds


Re: not the terminal, the punch card


Frank Zappa - Dumb all Over

You can't run a country

By a book of religion

Not by a heap

Or a lump or a smidgeon

Of foolish rules

Of ancient date

Designed to make

You all feel great

While you fold, spindle

And mutilate

Those unbelievers

From a neighboring state


Hooray! That's great

Two legs ain't bad

Unless there's a crate

They ship the parts

To mama in

'I wrote Task Manager': Ex-Microsoft programmer Dave Plummer spills the beans


disk doubler

Wasn't disk compression stolen from a competitor and the ensuing legal battle went for years, while Micro$oft continued to reap the profits.

System Normal All Fucked Up

This is how MS got big and rich

I used DrDos 6.0 with 'superstor' compression a couple of years earlier

MS was never the innovator, always the thief and always the winner.

We beg, implore and beseech thee. Stop reusing the same damn password everywhere


the reg is important

I used to use my "standard" password on The Reg, my old dogs name and a bit more,

but it now has a real 10 mixed characters password,

reflecting the respect I have for The Reg (gag),

more likely The Reg's poor security.

Crap sites get my crap password.

I used to use 8 mixed characters, now 10, in the future ?

I'm still generating pseudo random passwords with pwgen.

Academics: We hate to ask, but could governments kindly refrain from building giant data-slurping, contact-tracing coronavirus monsters?



I look at permissions whenever I install an app on my phone,

if I don't like their permissions I don't install the app.

This app has about the lightest footprint I've seen for quite a while,

but I still won't be using it.


This app has access to:


approximate location (network-based)

precise location (GPS and network-based)


receive data from Internet

view network connections

full network access

prevent device from sleeping

Trello! It is me... you locked the door? User warns of single sign-on risk after barring self from own account


Yours / Theirs

And using the company laptop.

The cloud reaches all your files and puts them on the cloud.

I used my own (bought and paid) software for work when they wouldn't pay for their own software.

I uninstalled my apps, but they still have copies.

Apart from all their other pirated software they have now pirated my software.

Windows 7 will not go gentle into that good night: Ageing OS refuses to shut down


up to win10

I just upgraded an old netbbok from Win7, 4G ram, ssd drive and Win10_1909,

time consuming and as painful as pulling teeth, but worth the effort.

In the red corner, Big Red, and in the blue corner... the rest of the tech industry


Thanks IBM for the open platform

I had the IBM-PC bible with full firmware listings in assembler and circuit diagrams, so all could be copied without infringing on copyright. All clone hardware had equivalent gating for the same functionality or enhanced to extend capabilities. Debugging anyone's prom bios uncovered equivalent code. My clone-pc came with a rom bios in sockets and a separate set of proms which were IBM. Debug was my disassembler of choice.



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