* Posts by A.P. Veening

3558 posts • joined 15 Aug 2018

NOBODY PRINT! Selfless hero saves typing pool from carbon catastrophe

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: Y2K

We spent God (and accounting)-only-knows how much money on Y2K.

I am pretty sure accounting knows, I doubt God cares enough for it to matter.

And it was better to do that and avoid one needless death

AMEN! to that.

... and the consequent lawsuit.

That would have upset accounting.

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: Uniplex "my God, it chills me just mention the dark lord's name,"

The Julian calendar had all centuries as leap years. Gregorian made centuries not leap years unless divisible by 400.

Your statement is absolutely correct. However, I was not reporting about the calendar but about the date format, [year][day number].

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: Uniplex "my God, it chills me just mention the dark lord's name,"

I'm always amused by reports of code that could cope with the end of most centuries except for the one the code was written in. If they'd been either more or less lazy, they'd have been OK.

As long as there is no calendar reform, I guarantee my date routines for all dates between 1582-10-15 and 4000-02-28, the latter date because the year 4000 is the next "exception" in the leap year system. If my routines are still in use by that time (very well possible, written in COBOL ;) ) and need updating, they are welcome to recall me.

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: Uniplex "my God, it chills me just mention the dark lord's name,"

I think that's only the second one I've heard of "in the wild"! (The first being all the Perl-based web templates that rang in the new year by advancing the year from 1999 to 19100.)

It is the third I know of "in the wild", the first being a problem with the computer system of the Norwegian railroad company on the very last day of 2000. They used a Julian date format and had forgotten that 2000 was a leap year, so on day 366 of the year the computer crashed.

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: Walk and talk

In the the days when we had a tea lady who would bring your usual beverage etc. ( 40 years ago), we all had to work the weekend on a major project. The senior manager came round with the tea trolley and gave us all free tea's and coffees (and biscuits!).

He said if he asked us to come in - then he should come in. He thought the most useful thing he could do was to provide us with tea and coffee! He said it also gave him a couple of minutes to meet individuals in his department (some of which he had never met). I still remember him in his little pink apron.

The long gone time of useful management. The only problem with him is that he robbed the tea lady of her overtime payment.

We also had a senior manager who would add more paper to the printer.

Not only useful but also capable at a core job.

Everyone back to the office! Why? Because the decision has been made

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: that jerk with the annoying voice and that other bastard who sniffs all day.

And you know what? - in about 40 years' time, the millennials' grandchildren will be rounding on them too. "How could you be so stupid?", they will say. I don't know what they'll be talking about, but there'll be something so stupendous, so overwhelmingly important, so obvious that everyone should have seen it coming before. It's the way of history.

I think it will depend on the country, but for two countries I am pretty sure what that something will be, Brexit and reversal of Roe vs. Wade.

Chinese boffins suggest launching nuclear Neptune orbiter in 2030

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No explosion, but the crash of Kosmos 954 caused serious radioactive contamination.

Google said to be taking steps to keep political campaign emails out of Gmail spam bin

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Now if only they could prevent blocked emails from actually reaching one's account instead of just dumping them in the bin.

My preference would be that those emails were returned to the nominal and actual sender without reaching my account.

You need to RTFM, but feel free to use your brain too

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Anyway, apart from everything Freud said being essentially bollocks, who's to say it's not the OP's subconscious causing his finger to momentarily shift to the left just to prank them?

According to my ((QWERTY) keyboard, the "O" is to the right of the "I ".

Severe case of Muphry?

A.P. Veening Silver badge


At least the german robots are a bit closer to english so when the manual makes no sense we can go back to the original german..(and that sometimes makes no sense either!)

That is because the original German isn't original at all but translated automatically from Chinese.

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: Write Idiot Guides if you want to hire idiots

If I know the instructions are not very good (or even completely wrong), I usually rewrite the instructions and ask some colleagues to review the changes.

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: Measure twice, cut once

"There are no stupid questions. Only stupid people."

There are no stupid questions ... but there are inquisitive idiots.

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: Documentation

"I don't have time to read those long instructions"

You wasted more of my time (and your own) than if you had just read those instructions!

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: Decent instructions...

Documentation is rarely set in stone, so you should treat anything you produce as transient.

And even if it were set in stone, stone can be broken.

Tech companies ready public stances on Roe v. Wade

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: Privacy??

and keep any dumbphone unpowered until needed (otherwise it will ping cells to keep an active service and this could be used to locate you).

And power it off again after use until needed again. And get rid of it when you no longer need it (if you can manage, sell it to an anti-abortion activist to muddle the tracks).

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: "reproductive rights are human rights"

Exactly, all of the states that allow abortion and kill children, right into the dustbin.

That is about all states, those that forbid abortion allow school shootings.

The perfect crime – undone by the perfect email backups

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: No doubt it's easy to do if you know how...

If anybody knows how to get the funky I in naïve without resorting to hex codes or the aforementioned comment, I'm all ears!

Using the correct keyboard settings (US International with "dead" keys), it is just a combination of " and i.

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: Heh. A classic.

This is not terribly well thought out.

If A has retained their copy of the exchange and knows that B has a retention period which has now expired A has B on toast if so needed. There's no way that B can ascertain for themselves whether what A presents is a true copy let alone contradict it if need be.

That is a problem for the legal eagles, not for the bean counters.

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: "Delete" = "Hide"

OK, I'm impressed that you can type Greek characters. No doubt it's easy to do if you know how, but still, I'm impressed!

Just add Greek to the languages of your computer (and include the keyboard), after that it is only a matter of switching. And as the Greek alphabet only has 24 letters compared to the 26 of the Latin alphabet, you won't even run out keys.

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: "Delete" = "Hide"

I recall looking at a list of such deleted files in a utility. MS-DOS had changed the first character of each deleted file to that lower-case Greek character which looks like an "o" with a short tail on the top, sticking out to the right (sigma?).

From your description I first thought you meant "δ" which is delta, but on second thought I think you are right with sigma ("σ").

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: "Delete" = "Hide"

and (b) depending on time of year, you could be waiting a long time for sufficient sun so as to shred the data.

UV lamps are cheap.

Airbus flies new passenger airplane aimed at 'long, thin' routes

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: Nope.

If you lose half the engines on a quad, the ground will come up sooner than you want. They are designed to lose one engine and keep going, not two.

Not true, a fully loaded B747 freighter can handle losing two engines, even on one side, provided there is no accidental damage (as happens when the engines are forcefully separated from the plane).

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: Nope.

Besides that, over water I still prefer planes with four engines.

ETOPS: Engines Turn Or Passengers Swim

Password recovery from beyond the grave

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Re: Not happened to me, but

I've heard of the Khyber pass with a 'h', in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan

Isn't that pass at the border with Afghanistan?

Leave that sentient AI alone a mo and fix those racist chatbots first

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: They absorb any old shit you feed into them

I've certainly encountered customer disservice agents who, in the days before chatbots, were probably human but would have failed the Turing test.

On their own they probably wouldn't have failed, but just about everybody fails the Turing test when you have to follow the script*) without any leeway.

*) Or should that be scripture as they religiously have to follow it?

Teeth marks yield clue to widespread internet outage in Canada

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Re: Emergency credit?

No point, the card imprinters need the card details to be embossed on the card. Contemporary cards are not embossed, just printed.

That goes for bank cards, credit cards are still embossed.

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: Emergency credit?

My bank card doesn't have any numbers on the front, so even if they, did, still a no go.

Bank cards usually don't, credit cards usually do.

Microsoft forgot to renew the certificate for its Windows Insider subdomain

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Re: SaaS

Shit as a service?

I wouldn't mind if that were to be discontinued, but it seems unlikely Microsoft will comply.

Next major update of Windows 11 prepares for launch

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Re: I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

Micros~1 lost touch with customers a LONG time ago. This is just more of same.

O? When has Microsoft ever been in touch customers?

I love the Linux desktop, but that doesn't mean I don't see its problems all too well

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: Computing smarts in the cloud

You're absolutely right, but bean counters don't get that, or rather don't give a damn, as they can save some money to give to the C-suite and shareholders.

It is always very satisfying to hear bean counters howling (and see them crying) when a fine big enough to wipe out the savings tenfold (or even more) comes in, especially if you warned them before they made the mistake.

Tough news for Apple as EU makes USB-C common charging port for most electronic devices

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

So, being male and c/b not that uncommon

There is still a large difference between not uncommon and majority. In the case of red-green colour blindness, about 8% of the males has this condition and 0.5% of the females.

New York to get first right-to-repair law for electronics

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Re: Too many exclusions

I wonder what the rationale was for excluding home appliances, beyond money from lobbyists?

What other rationale would be needed?

A.P. Veening Silver badge

But they will supply new novichok at fair and reasonable prices.

And they will provide the recipe for free, leaving the problem of sourcing the ingredients to the customer.

The next time your program is 'not responding,' (do not) try these steps

A.P. Veening Silver badge

That would have worked.

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Or install the Windows Subsystem for Linux. Or Wine as it's more commonly called :-p

WSL and Wine are very different things. The first allows you to use Linux on a Windows machine, the latter allows you to run Windows programs under Linux.

Tech hiring freeze doesn't mean people won't leave

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Re: Greedy giants

corrupt our political class

Impossible, politicians come pre-corrupted.

Elon Musk orders Tesla execs back to the office

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Re: If you can do it, just do it

If you REALLY can't do it, teach management, or manage teachers. Your choice!

Those who can, do.

Those who can't, teach.

Those who can't teach, manage.

Those who can't manage, audit.

California Right-to-Repair bill quietly killed in committee

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Re: Evolution of electronic circuit construction technology

Later, there were CPU chips with internal programme ROM. The ROM tended to come in two varieties: EEPROM that could be reprogrammed after UV erasing, and one time programmed (OTP).

You are confusing EPROM (Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory), for which you need UV with EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory), no UV needed.

Spam is back with a vengeance. Luckily we can't read any of it

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Yes, I have tried the real thing in Seoul and Inchon. Several times actually as initially I could not believe people would sell stuff like that as food but clearly they can and do

That they sell it is one, that others actually buy (and supposedly eat) it is much harder for me to believe.




A teacher of English, usually dealing with Japanese housewives, got a new class with four Korean housewives, the ladies Kim, Kim, Kim and Park. He told them he would, for reasons of clear communication, call them Kim One, Kim Two and Kim Chee. Four Korean housewives left in a huff.

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Thunderbird has an adaptive Junk mail filter, meaning it will learn from you marking things as spam (or as not spam in case of a mistake). It will take some time, but it will get really good (17+ years of experience with Thunderbird).

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: Snail mail can be just as bad

"RTS - not at this address"

"RTS - Deceased" usually produces better*) results.

*)Better for me as the snail mail usually stops after that.

When management went nuclear on an innocent software engineer

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Re: Don’t know about you

I would've gone for a dumpster full of broken glass and full nappies.

Waste of the glass, after that it won't be usable for recycling.

Minimal, systemd-free Alpine Linux releases version 3.16

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: Alpine is one of the better ones

pricing out current laptops for family it looks like 32GB is recommended for Windows 11

While true, Windows 11 itself is <understatement>not recommended</understatement>.

UK government having hard time complying with its own IR35 tax rules

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Re: Things would be a lot simpler ...

Things would be simpler if the government abolished IR35, abolished National Insurance and equalised taxation so that everyone pays the same rate of tax on income regardless of source.

True, but that would require something as coarse as common sense, something made from unobtainium where governments are concerned.

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: Can anyone get it right?

Until this fundamental misunderstanding is eliminated, there's not a hope in hell of any common sense emerging to correct this abusive and discriminatory taxation regime.

The problem with common sense is that sense never ain't common - Lazarus Long

How to explain what an API is – and why they matter

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Re: screen scrubbing

Unfortunately, the domain name was taken over by a porn site.

I would qualify that as business as usual. Whenever the registration of a website with a decent amount of traffic lapses or it otherwise becomes available, it will be taken over by a porn site.

Beware the fury of a database developer torn from tables and SQL

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Not heard the expression "double Dutch"?

That is Greek to me ;)

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Even going from British to American English I've found that some variance in forcefulness and crudeness. The problem now is I've worked with so many non Queen's English folk that I forget what is acceptable where. There in lies trouble.

It is quite easy, Americans get offended by colourful language, British (like Europeans) get offended by guns. As far as I am concerned, those Americans are mewling quims ;)

A.P. Veening Silver badge

Re: Just a quick question.

Nobody knows a foreign language well enough to do a proper translation, except trained professional translators.

It's one thing to speak <insert language> with english words if you are at a conference or somewhere else; but it's an entirely different thing to do translation.

There are some exceptions, experts on their subject and multilinguals come to mind. And for general and IT cases, I am a pretty competent translator (and interpreter) for English-Dutch and Dutch-English. Unfortunately, my German isn't at that level anymore due to lack of practice, but I once did a pretty fair job of translating the UI and help text of some software into German (rough draft translation to give a professional translator a good idea what it was all about, was returned with a compliments and a reduced fee).

A.P. Veening Silver badge

I was making an effort to learn the language

Dutch isn't a language, it is a secret code foreigners aren't supposed to learn, but I think you already discovered that for yourself.


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