* Posts by Soruk

480 posts • joined 30 Aug 2007


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


Re: Adding a comment sometimes caused compile failure

Back in the day, some BASICs were zero-based, so DIM a(10) had subscripts that went from 0 to 9, others went from 1 to 10. As an aid to portability, BBC BASIC went full Spinal Tap and the above statement allowed subscripts 0 to 10, thus allowing 11 members.

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


Re: Memories

Never heard them called that before!

Embrace and kill? AppGet dev claims Microsoft reeled him in with talk of help and a job – then released remarkably similar package manager


Re: New leopard...

This sounds like something out of that old film, Antitrust.

Microsoft drops a little surprise thank-you gift for sitting through Build: The source for GW-BASIC


WHILE/ENDWHILE only appeared in BBC BASIC V for the Archimedes and later.

BBC BASIC is still being developed in three branches - firstly RISC OS continues to be developed and is now open source, BBC BASIC for Windows has branched to BBC BASIC for SDL2 and is now cross-platform, and the open-source Brandy BASIC still sees development on the Matrix Brandy fork.

Openreach tells El Reg it'll kill off copper sales in 118 UK locations next year


Seems my area is on the list too (Chineham). I didn't know FTTP was here. I might look into an upgrade...

Dumpster diving to revive a crashing NetWare server? It was acceptable in the '90s


Re: A long time ago

My bodge was a hacked straight Ethernet cable modified to work as a cross-over E1. It looked ugly as hell and was complained about by our data centre manager every time he visited the place. We did try to replace it with a properly crimped E1 cross-over cable, which was met by our call centre going offline. The bodge was reinstated and the call centre came back.

It was finally retired when we changed call centre operators to one which received calls via SIP.

Happy birthday, ARM1. It is 35 years since Britain's Acorn RISC Machine chip sipped power for the first time


Re: My Risc PC still gets powered up every day

A RiscPC610 is also my mum's daily driver, and after a recent HDD failure it runs off an SD card, blisteringly fast. It's mainly used for PMS, a music typesetting program that was later released as PMW for Unix/Linux and open-sourced.

Royal Navy nuclear submarine captain rapped for letting crew throw shoreside BBQ party


And there's the lady of the night who hangs around the diesel pumps - the Whore DERV.

Oh Hell. Remember the glory days of Demon Internet? Well, now would be a good time to pick a new email address


Re: Sad to see it go

My first ISP too, 1998-2014. eridani.demon.co.uk, and later on ADSL. Sadly even by 2014 they were just a shadow of their former selves so when I moved house in 2014 I got VDSL with PlusNet, paying their one-off fee for a static IP. In 1999 I bought my own .co.uk based on my Demon domain, originally it forwarded to my Demon email but later on ADSL I self-hosted and continue to do that to this day. I even wrote a couple of tools targeting their systems, including pop3clean which made use of their *ENV extension to the protocol to delete spam from the mailbox prior to downloading (which I deprecated and removed when they moved to a Microsoft platform as the facility was gone).

So long, Demon, it's been a hell of a ride.


Thought it was xxx666 even maintaining that with the national 0845 POPs 0845 0798666, 0845 2120666 and 0845 2121666, each having different modem hardware at the end of it. I always used the 3Com one as I got slightly better speeds with it on my USR modem.

Absolutely everyone loves video conferencing these days. Some perhaps a bit too much


Re: heefee, heefy, weefy, wiffy....

It's only wiffy if your internet connection stinks.

Here's what Europeans are buying amid the COVID-19 lockdown – aside from heaps of pasta and toilet paper


My Epson inkjet decided to stop working this week, so I've also ordered a Canon. Though I guess I shouldn't complain too loudly as I bought the thing at the end of 2000 and it has worked brilliantly until this week.

I also have a Brother colour laser printer that was being disposed of by my office. It prints B&W very well but colour prints aren't great and have a smear of magenta all over the page.

That awful moment when what you thought was a number 1 turned out to be a number 2


Re: Technical management tips

My manager did very similar during a major outage scenario. I was getting stressed while trying to bring back all the servers and services, while loads of people were demanding their particular service brought back first, to the point he sent a company-wide email requesting ALL requests for our team were to go via him. Then he asked us if we wanted some coffee. We all said Definitely! or similar, simultaneously. "Well, go on then!" was his reply. Took us a moment or two to realise what he was suggesting, but by getting us to get our own coffee gave us a much-needed break from the screen, even for a few minutes, that got the stress levels down, and arguably we got the systems back quicker than had we not stopped for five minutes.

Great manager, it really is a pleasure to work for him.

Not exactly the kind of housekeeping you want when it means the hotel's server uptime is scrubbed clean


Re: Vax keeps sucking

It would probably be the first thing to come from a Microsoft stable that doesn't suck.

BT CEO tests positive for coronavirus, goes into self-isolation after meeting fellow bosses from Vodafone UK, Three, O2 plus govt officials


Re: It's getting the 1% as well

No eggs in my local Tesco this afternoon.

'Unfixable' boot ROM security flaw in millions of Intel chips could spell 'utter chaos' for DRM, file encryption, etc


Re: – a tiny window of opportunity –

It's not his, he stole it.

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


I'm reminded of an occasion at work when we did an out-of-hours upgrade to our CRM system several years ago. Some unfortunate engineer forgot that the out-of-the-box setting for the payment platform on the Windows component was to point at the test instance, which doesn't actually take any payments. This needs to be manually edited to point to the live instance when the software package is installed or upgraded. This is usually done, but is forgotten from time to time. This particular occasion was just the first time, but the one that bit us in the bum rather hard.

Unfortunately, this oversight wasn't discovered for a few days (may have been a couple of weeks, I can't remember exactly), until it was noticed a handful of live customers weren't being billed.

The practical upshot of this is I modified the start script of the main Linux package to query the config file on the Windows box and refuse to start if the setting was wrong. This has saved our collective arses a number of times since.

Who needs the A-Team or MacGyver when there's a techie with an SCSI cable?


Re: Lonely machine needing company before it would work

On the theme of cables behaving badly, the ISP I worked at sent me and one other to the data centre in early 2014 to fit a SIP to E1 converter box to connect to our then new call centre provider's Avaya kit. It absolutely HAD to be working before we left, and of course we needed an E1 crossover cable, and that's not the sort of thing we had lying around. Did we have any RJ45 jacks or a crimp tool there either? Nope.

So while my colleague configured the box I googled pinouts on my (now deceased) HP Touchpad, and calculated the adjustments required to modify a straight Ethernet cable. Again, no tools available so the cable was literally hacked into using a house key, appropriate wires cut and rejoined, twisted together and held together and insulated with electrical tape. It was ugly as hell and had no right whatsoever to work let alone exist, but it did work. Our call centre was online.

A few years later it was decided a proper lead would be crimped and taken to the DC. Sadly, this replacement cable refused to function as intended, or even remotely close to it, so the old hack-job cable was reinstated, with service restored.

The cable was finally retired in early 2019 along with the E1 kit when we changed call centre operators who interconnected with us using SIP.

Tech can endure the most inhospitable environments: Space, underwater, down t'pit... even hairdressers


Re: Surprisingly ...

My wife does that!

Then again, as a user of a Chinese IME that takes the tap of Shift to mean "change input language" between English and Chinese, I can understand why. I've seen other Chinese people where I work do the same thing.

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


Re: Hot to the touch...

I used this technique to recover data from a dying hard disc from an Acorn RiscPC. Drive attached to a USB adapter and a long-ish lead, I had it in a couple of zip-lock bags, let it cool down then just dd'ed the thing to my Linux machine. It ran long enough to get an error-free image of the entire disc, now that image lives on with an SD card and an IDE adapter, and the RiscPC has never run so fast! It's also much easier to back the thing up now as the SD card is easily accessible to be imaged.

Take DOS, stir in some Netware, add a bit of Windows and... it's ALIIIIVE!


Re: apps ?

Unless you grew up with Acorn systems then discs were discs, even in the face of the dreaded Disc Fault 18. As far as I am concerned, they will always be discs.

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


Re: I stopped doing this years ago

Same here, only my mum and my wife. My mum even brought her machine over (120 miles) after Win7 committed seppuku. It now runs CentOS 8, making it much easier for me to assist from a distance, and she's even decided that she prefers CentOS to Windows. Win-win!

Windows 7 back in black as holdouts report wallpaper-stripping shenanigans


Re: What did you expect from microsh#te?


Hey kids! Ditch that LCD and get ready for the retro CRT world of Windows Terminal


Re: SAA5055

And now you can get Teletext online, after some mad individual made a Teletext to Viewdata bridge using the Teefax dataset.

http://fish.ccl4.org/js-teefax or selected clients.


Me too. Bedstead all the way, and I centrally install it on my work Linux boxes (along with a console-mode version).


Re: I think it's an age thing...

I'm sure I can't be the only one who uses Bedstead (aka MODE 7) as the preferred terminal font...?

Windows 7 and Server 2008 end of support: What will change on 14 January?


Re: "Although it is not unreasonable...

My 72-year-old mum has finally migrated from Windows 7, to CentOS 8 with a desktop skinned like her other daily driver, an Acorn RiscPC. She's getting the hang of it pretty quickly, and made easier that she has always used Firefox, Thunderbird and LibreOffice even under Windows so migrating that lot was a doddle.

Poor, poor mobile networks. UK's comms watchdog plans to stop 'em selling locked-down handsets


Re: Prices will rise though..

I believe that was only true for iPhones.

Doogee Wowser: The S40's a terrible smartphone, but a passable projectile


Re: I can't help but hear this as 'Duggee'

All too familiar with this, having a small child.

Crowdfunding idea: The Duggee Stickphone.

China fires up 'Great Cannon' denial-of-service blaster, points it toward Hong Kong


Re: No Internet for You

Presumably the terms of service of the ISPs they peer with?

Beware the trainee with time on his hands and an Acorn manual on his desk


Yep, *FX200,2 will wipe the memory on BREAK.

Remember that competition for non-hoodie hacker pics? Here's their best entries


Re: Not a very strong lineup

Alice? Who the fsck is Alice?

Cringe as you read Horrible Histories: UK Banking Sector, sigh as MPs finger cloudy Big 3 as future risk


Re: Not got much hope

MVNO operator giffgaff has recently rolled out a 2nd-factor protection against SIM swap fraud. They send a code as an SMS to the existing SIM and as an email to the registered email address, so you have to have one or the other to be able to carry out a SIM swap.

I recently tested this when I lent my mother-in-law a SIM to use while waiting airside at Heathrow before returning to China, with the instruction to bin the SIM on arrival. After she arrived, I performed such a swap to a spare SIM I had, using the code that arrived by email.

Of course, this requires that your email password and your giffgaff account passwords are secure!

Oracle demands $12K from network biz that doesn't use its software


Re: Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems...

Gizmo Project was another, with their Gizmo VoIP service which gave everyone an iNum number. Service canned within months of acquisition.

BOFH: We must... have... beer! Only... cure... for... electromagnetic fields


Re: Glastonbury

Some WiFi services give you a few minutes free to access said email and click on the link.

Behold the perils of trying to turn the family and friends support line into a sideline


Re: Helpline?

Hopefully you were on a local Chinese SIM. If you were roaming it would cost you a fortune, not her.

New CentOS Linux distro sips updates from RHEL codebase like an ever-flowing Stream


Re: Workhorse computers should be boring

I will be waiting for at least CentOS 8.1 before migrating any production CentOS 6 boxes. I'll install 8.0, but only on boxes for tinkering with and figuring it out.

Au my bog: Bloke, 66, on bail after 'solid-gold' crapper called 'America' stolen from stately home


Re: There's cheap crap, and there is expensive crap.

The BBC reported it as being 18ct gold.

Right-click opens up terrifying vistas of reality and Windows 95 user's frightful position therein


Re: Taking the Trash


I just love your accent – please, have a new password


Re: Caller ID = Your routines suck!

We use <initial><surname>, or morre than one initial if we need to disambiguate.

We have a shart.

My MacBook Woe: I got up close and personal with city's snatch'n'dash crooks (aka some bastard stole my laptop)


Re: That's horrible.

It's a Bing thing.

(Parents of small children will know)

It will never be safe to turn off your computer: Prankster harnesses the power of Windows 95 to torment fellow students


Re: W98 was OK, but W95 and USB ..

That was literally the ONLY thing about ME that was better than 98.


Re: W98 was OK, but W95 and USB ..

I recall coming across a Dell driver for NT4 (but worked on the Compaq machine I was using) that enabled USB support for mass storage (including CD drives), keyboards and mice.

BOFH: Oh, go on, let's flush all that legacy tech down the toilet


Re: Tracking...

Hopefully it's got decent encraption.

BOFH: What's Near Field Implementation? Oh, you'll see. Turn left here


Re: BOFH really is becoming more userfriendly

Should have made him into a scarecrow. He was clearly outstanding in his field.

10 PRINT Memorial in New Hampshire marks the birthplace of BASIC


Re: In the UK...

For my sins, I still maintain a variant of BBC BASIC - Matrix Brandy.

LibreOffice 6.3 hits beta, with built-in redaction tool for sharing those █████ documents


I've been doing that for a few years now, it's really handy for filling in forms that get sent as a pdf, and emailing them back as an edited pdf. It's the best pdf editor I've come across for Linux.

Twist my Arm why don't you: Brit CPU behemoth latest biz to cease work with Huawei – report


Re: Lost at why they would do this

That comparison is not fair on arses.

Exclusive: Windows for Workgroups terror the Tartan Bandit confesses all to The Register


Re: Changing Wallpaper can have career enhancing effects

> We changed it all to black on black for our victim.

Enhancement: Add text at the bottom right (but leave space above the task bar) implying that the copy of Windows isn't genuine.

Techies take turns at shut-down top trumps


Re: colourblind

In all its variant forms.



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