Re: "The auto industry has been hit particularly hard"
You forgot the drought in Taiwan.
259 posts • joined 11 Jul 2018
Caught the bosses son (about 20 at the time) pressing the power switch on the server circa 1990 (so very old story and it took a long while for things to shut down.) I had the strongest sticky tape in the building holding his finger to the switch within 30 seconds. It took about 10 minutes to shut everything down and then I let the boss release his son. It didn't happen again!
Go fly an English Electric Lightning! In UK service 1959-1988.
I believe there is still one taking passengers to see the curvature of the Earth from an airport in South Africa, although it only flies to 70,000 feet.
The highest unclassified altitude I've seen for a Lightning was 88,000 feet in 1984, 30% higher than the U2 it was 'intercepting'. (That is Ballistic height rather than sustained which is logged at only 87,000 feet at Mach 2.0!)
British aircraft history: Tiger Moth, Hurricane, Spitfire, Vulcan, Lightning, Harrier, Concorde
Last century I worked for a company making a desk top box Internet access device for connection to your TV and a keyboard.
Fine to start with, but then the boss decided that they needed a filter to reject sites with lots of flesh on display.
We studiously worked out what to do, but we needed someone to test this.
Cue the guy just out of Uni! He was knackered after the first week and one arm was visibly trembling, but he soon got into the swing of things. He left after a month to hook up with someone he met on one of the sites he used for testing!
The icon is to represent the clenched hand that I'm not quite sure he could manage after a while.
I got caught trying that sort of thing with my non-English boss. He did says that if I had not used such unusual words he might have just skimmed past the text and missed the intent. (I can't now remember exactly what I wrote but "disinclined to acquiesce" was part of it.) However, the verbiage intrigued him, so he did actually look up the words I had used. I used plain Olde English in my response - "bugger!"
I have for years complained to my Dr's Surgery, Hospital, Police Service, Council, etc. for them to provide a CLI number on their outgoing calls (preferably a number specific to the function that is calling, but the main reception number will do) rather than withholding the number.
Most don't respond, but I do get the occasional "we have no plans for that at the moment."
It really is very little effort for them, but would help the poor householders immeasurably.
Of a carefully curated room of old equipment required to rebuild old software and hardware for certifiable systems - think aerospace, nuclear, various transport, medical, etc. with up to 30 year support contracts. And the nitrogen store for the really delicate stuff and old components.
New owners of company replaced it all with new management offices over a long weekend. They had been careful to get in the shredders who could take a whole PC at a time!
I had, in a previous job:
Windows 10 running
Windows XP VM running
Windows 3.1 VM
I tested the backups and main image every year to verify the checksums of the tools and the product software produced by the tools. The media for storing the images has been updated a few times as well.
'Flight' software under a 20 year Long-Term-Agreement.
"Ask any cave explorer."
The air could be fairly toxic in there as well.
Cavers always leave a call-out time with a responsible person, and Cave Rescue Controllers (being reasonable people) will go and check for the persons car etc. first, before launching a full scale call-out in case of telephone issues. (I used to be a Cave Rescue Volunteer.)
The only time I was the subject of a call-out, we were making slow progress on a notorious through-trip (between two cave entrances) as one of the team was having problems with a knee "popping-out". Our local call-out watched the Cave Rescue blue light vehicles go past the Pub window before he thought to look at the time! Luckily, my wife was the responsible person, and she had called from over 150 miles away!
Boffin icon, because the stereotypical UK caver has at least a degree education (University Clubs being the greatest recruiters.)
I used to explore with a guy of very small physique and if he was setting off somewhere too small for me to get down, we used to tie a rope around one of his ankles, so that I could help pull him back. And on another occasion, another small person started making very strange noises as they edged down a tube (feet first) in front of me. It took a while to work out that he was hanging from his helmet's chin-strap (the helmet being the widest part of him) with his feet in mid-air over a 100 foot drop.
My mobile only works at home because I use wireless calling!
However, I have my router, server, network switch and DECT base-station on a UPS so I have some up-time.
I happen to know that my Gigaclear, village level optical router (for want of a better term) green-box is 2/3rds full of backup battery.
I am confident that I can survive broadband and telephony wise for a few hours without mains power. (Last year my teenage daughter was working from home on a laptop and only knew of the (20 minutes) mains outage when half of her classmates suddenly disappeared from the Teams call.)
I've never seen the strange creations in Scotland, but its Northamptonshire offshoot, Corby, that has Chippies which are very happy to fry anything. Deep fried and battered Pizza anyone?
Corby has other claims to fame:
* The huge Stewarts and Lloyds Steel Works imported most of the original workforce from Scotland
* Biggest Highland Games, outside of Scotland
* Highest number of black cabs, outside of London
* Strangest frying habits, probably
* Persistently reappearing at the top of the "deaths by Covid" charts in the UK
* Highest death rate from preventable disease in the UK
I could go on, but it's probably a little unfair as I know quite a few nice people from there.
My 2nd ever experience of driving in the US was after getting off a plane in Boston, late at night, in a thunderstorm and having to drive up the interstate, on my own, to a hotel in the middle of no-where. And coincidentally, that was where I found a useful sign in Boston - no-where!
I just took a bearing (based on the orientation of the airport buildings and my ability to tell north) and went. Luckily, I had some written instructions for finding the hotel, once I had got off the Interstate at the correct junction. (I got off wrongly once in the sticks and had to do miles to get back on again,) (Pre satnav on mobiles days!)
I had no idea when I rocked up to work in the UK that morning (after an exhausting weekend underground) that I would be leaving for a plane in under 2 hours, and getting to bed at 04:00 UK time in another country that night. I was definitely office based; that was one of only two trips for work in 18 years at that place. Luckily my ESTA was just in date from the first time I had been to the US, for a family holiday.
I only use it for professional stuff.
And I'm only on there because of an incident many years ago.
A friend, in the business, wrote a job add specifically with me in mind. I applied, but heard nothing back, despite my CV being harvested for the job spec. My mate was on holiday, so I called the (small) company owner to find out what was going on. He said that as he could find no trace of me on any social media, then he couldn't find anything about me and had binned the CV. I did point out to him that a CV was the was to find out about a prospective employee!
My mate was disgusted and left a few weeks after, and has been very happy in the new job ever since.
At another company I saw one department head in operation going through a pile of CV's that had been gathered by HR. He took the pile and put the top 4 in the bin and the 5th on another pile and continued through the first file. He then did the same on the second file, etc. until he had only 5 or so left. He would then actually read those. He said he preferred to have lucky engineers than good ones!
I know that my CV had gone to the company a number of times over the previous 10 years, so at least this proved it wasn't personal. That boss was a real dick!
Live streaming was performed by some larger Parish and Town Councils before the pandemic.
In my Parish we have never offered it as we've only had "standing room only" on 3 occasions in the last 10 years.
I have recorded the Zoom meetings though, and it's a very good resource when checking the clerks minutes, and anyone can by law record the meetings, physical or virtual.
And have to undergo a continuous development program (you know, like the vast majority of respondents on here don't, judging from many years of reading the posts on professionalism in IT and software.)
Our clerk works part-time for us and part-time for another parish, and so we can at least share the training costs.
In my Parish the meeting details are on the printed agenda that is placed into the Parish Council notice boards (we are two villages) at least 4 days before the meeting. Usually on the Friday so that everyone has a chance to look over the weekend, before the Wednesday meeting.
We often have non councillors attend, usually to complain, but that is beside the point. They get their 3 minutes of "Public time" at the start of the meeting, and I will usually ask the meeting's permission to move the relevant agenda item to the front of the queue. It gets discussed in their presence and as by standard procedures (in any meetings) they only get to speak again to answer a direct question from a councillor routed through me as the chairman. Then they all bugger off, and we never have anyone viewing the boring, every month work of the Parish Council.
As a Parish Council Chairman, I whole-heartedly support the action to retain the option for remote meetings in the short term. Some of my Councillors have been shielding and do no want to suddenly jump into a real meeting. I must say that I'm not too happy about the prospect either.
I would have blocking based on CLI, however, Doctors, Hospitals, Police, etc. (i.e. all the people you need to respond to, especially if you have elderly relations) insist on blocking CLI on outgoing calls. Numerous requests to replace a blocked CLI with the main reception number have been met with deaf ears!
An ex-colleague was actually called by the Police (regarding an ongoing matter, so not out of the blue), but as it was a blocked CLI he didn't answer it., he received a number of similar calls over that afternoon The next day two uniformed officers turned up at his door, asked his wear-abouts at the particular time, asked if he had heard the calls, he answered yes he had heard them, but decided not to answer and they were all for charging him with obstruction and/or wasting Police time! No charges were brought in the long-term, but he has become a recluse as a result (hence ex-colleague).
Why can't these public bodies just replace a blocked CLI with the main reception number?
I met and chatted with the Duke a couple of decades ago.
He knew his stuff on the subject in question each time, and despite what other people have said, I found that he listened intently before ripping your point of view apart, often based on what you had said (luckily, I was not on the receiving end). But, he always did it with humour and a smile, so I never saw anyone uncomfortable from it.
The first real environmentalist and very much a multi-culturalist (despite his much reported, iffy jokes). Fields that Charles is vey much championing.
I was involved with the Epson EHT-40 touch screen handheld computer that was used by the Concorde baggage loaders. It calculated how to spread the baggage based on the seating plan and customer weight (scales at the checking?).
The mean weight of passengers on the trans-Atlantic route, was higher than any others.
It was the time of limited fuel. The two options where race at the front (which looked good for the driver) and then run out of fuel (which looked bad for the team), or conserve your fuel and get the opposite effects. One particular driver "could not read the fuel gauge" to radio back the values! So a 'spy' (according to the driver) or 'assistant' (to everyone else) was needed in the cockpit.
The display was fed by the ECU and I hooked onto those data lines to gather the data (and as no-one else was doing it) I just sent the data out over a simple radio modem constantly (with error correction). You could get 3 copies of the data received down the pits straight at Silverstone for instance. Different frequencies for each car.
==> boffin icon as it was as simple as I could make it!
I wrote all the assembler code for the Acteltime (the small white timing computer), made the timing beams, in-car telemetry for Arrows (Eddie Cheever and Derek Warwick were the first to use it) and all the ancillaries.
Your probable employer was sponsored by TAG and because of that was the only team I didn't supply.
If you went to the tests, then you would find Dougie (Arrows), Simon (Williams), etc. with their timing beams and computers set up around the track somewhere. Exit of the Parabolica at Monza for instance.
As a Chairman of a Parish Council, I can say in my experience that the whole planning process is a total farce.
As an objector (usually, but not always) on behalf of my Parish, I get 3 minutes to talk at the start of the meeting before being cut off (literally placed on mute in these Zoom days). The District Councils' Planning Officer then gets to present all his information (no time limit) and interact with the Planning Committee for the whole of the meeting. We can't even respond to their lies (recently an application in my village was promoted by the PO to help support the local shop and bus service, neither of which we have had for years!)
If the applicant is ruled against by the by the Planning Committee they can go to appeal. If the objectors are ruled against we would have to go to the High Court (£70-80K) and the only grounds we can use is that the Councils processes were not followed correctly - not that the Planning Officer told blatant lies.
Planning Officers hold all the power and even Planning Ministers have been shown (court case last year) to allegedly take bribes (in that case a donation to their political party rather than individually. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-53007018 )
I worked from the mid 1980's to early '90's for most of the Formula 1 racing teams supplying timing systems, speed traps, the first in-car telemetry, etc. and travelled extensively over Europe (usually in the middle of the night).
The company car was a long-bore Granada and used to attract a little attention, especially to bored customs officials in the middle of the night. Opening the boot for them to find boxes of strange, and expensive looking equipment used to light up their faces. I would just show them the Pit Pass for the F1 test I was going to, to immediately divert their attention and get me a hasty wave through. (Obviously I showed a Ligier pass on the way into France and a Ferarri pass on the way into Italy.)
I did have the carnet and other paperwork, but I can't remember ever having to show it in Europe.
We still have paper insulated wires to our village circa 1940's. All encased in a lead pipe that goes down a steep (1:8) hill into a deep valley and then up the other side to the village with the exchange. With the help of a friendly and knowledgeable OpenReach engineer the pipe sprang a leak at the bottom of the hill and water ran out for over a week! OpenReach upgraded the village with the exchange to FTTC with government money, but didn't have enough to replace our (256Kbps for some people) wires!
The four local villages (including mine) had topped the last 2 County Council broadband requirements surveys (not including the upgraded one above as that wasn't even in the top 20.) I got enough people to sign up in the four villages to get a FTTP company in and we all have 1Gbps capable links.
In the late 1980's and early 1990's I wrote lap timing software, the first in-car telemetry link and made various hardware for F1 teams. It was not glamorous for a grunt like me.
e.g. work all day getting last minute modifications made, drive overnight from the UK Midlands to Monza, 3 days of stupid hours at the track and then drive overnight back. The only good thing was that I had the company long-bore Granada and they didn't time you between the booths on the péage, so I did 130 on the empty roads much of the way (mph not kph!) 14 hours from the track at Monza to Northampton including the ferry!
Don't remind me of trips to Jerez in southern Spain!
So, I never got to see the country either.
In the UK caving scene it used to be that the hardest cavers wore the worst gear. Home-made wetsuits with 3 layers of patches on the knees and the knees still visible, etc!
I had 3 pair of caving pants. I had to wear them all at the same time as they all had multiple holes!
There is also Gigaclear or other similar providers in the rural areas of the UK.
I've had £45.00/m for 300Mbps, symmetrical and completely unfettered since 2015.
All the fibre runs natively at 1Gbps and you can have full speed enabled at £75.00/m (last time I looked)
I was the top technical support in the UK for the Epson PX-4. I knew the OS ROM inside out end even sold them (with the non-qwerty keyboard) to all (but one) of the Formula 1 teams (and many others) for lap timing systems when out testing. That was all written in Z80 assembler, including the fixed point maths required for computing speed trap values collected on the barcode input
Doesn't help us who have to use WiFi calling onthe mobile at home, because of no mobile coverage.
This is despite the claims of the mobile industry that we have excellent coverage and their refusal to come to the Parish Council and demonstrate it working.
They lie at such a level that they may have political aspirations!
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