* Posts by MGyrFalcon

30 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Nov 2018

An arc welder in the datacenter: What could possibly go wrong?


Re: Welding in a chemical plant

We had a very similar incident. While installing a brand new, shiny, robotic plasma system, a welder was working on the platform. Originally he had a mechanical ground, metal pipe set against another part of the frame 20' away and leaning against a steel column. The plumber came by and moved the pipe and the welder didn't notice. The main breaker for the machine blew and we couldn't figure out why so we opened up the wiring junction box. It was a melted mess and we could see smoke coming off the ground lead while the welder was still working. Even with a ground pin wired to the machine frame, the current found the easy path up into the control cabinet and out the mains ground. VERY luckily it just blew up the connector to the cabinet leaving shrapnel inside instead of the robot controller.

The welder still works here, but he about had that mechanical ground pipe used as a popsicle stick with him on top. He also got a few 'days off'.

Windows 12 fan fiction shows how Microsoft might ladle AI into the OS


Windows OSXII

Anyone else notice that is MacOS? Even in the quick settings drop down from the upper right at 2:06 it says iPhone 16 and AirPods. Maybe a jab at Borkzilla?

Bizarre backup taught techie to dumb things down for the boss


Re: It could be worse

My current boss had over 40,000 emails last time he complained of email slowness, 2 weeks ago. When I told him that was the problem he told me he only had about 1,000. When I pointed out that was the count of his unread emails he went from confused to surprised to sheepish in about 2 seconds. I’m sure that number has grown since then. Mind you, I set all of the users emails to delete anything over 2 years old automatically (we are required to keep documentation for 2 years)

Inclusive Naming Initiative limps towards release of dangerous digital dictionary


Re: Nope.

Anyone remember the litttle (3" ish) Beastie statues you could buy from slashdot in the 90s? I sill have mine, with the feather and pitch fork, proudly displayed in my living room.

BOFH: I care a lot ... about onion bhajis


HR Training

At a former company, we were required to attend a course on sexual harassment. The goal of the training was to teach everyone how to avoid sexual harassment of course, however it actually how to harass people with out getting in trouble. One of the things in the course was if you ask someone/tell someone harassing twice, you would get reported to HR. At the end of the class I asked the presenter if , according to that rule, I could start at the top of the building and working down to the ground floor, ask everyone, once, if they would like to engage in various sexual acts. He had to admit that I could do that and wouldn't run afoul of HR. The presenter didn't seem happy with that interpretation of the HR rules, but more than one person seemed happy with that revelation.

I wonder if they ever changed that rule...

Tesla Megapack battery ignites at substation after less than 6 months


System Burn-in Period

When I was doing large systems installations, we always told the customer there would be a 30-60 day burn-in period to check for failures. I guess Tesla should have told PG&E there was a 6 Month burn-in period and actual burning may occur.

Dems propose privacy-respecting digital dollar


Re: Bring it on.

Just FYI, banks have to file paperwork on any cash transaction >= $8000.00. They dropped the limit a couple years ago. My teller friend at the bank informed me of this when I was pulling cash to purchase a car. ( The dealer kinda freaked out and had to call an associate over to help count it).

Any cash transaction also means just touching it. If you only ask them to run a large amount through the bill counter, that requires the same paperwork. Even for amounts < $8000.00, but significant they are required to ask what you are doing with the money.

Yes, I use cash a lot. One, I’m not a fan of world+dog knowing my purchasing habits, and secondly (removes tin foil hat), it is a very good way to stay on a budget. When I get paid I pull a set amount of cash that will cover groceries, gas, other expected payments for the month and a couple hundred extra for discrecional spending. 20th of the month rolls around and I’m low, no going out to dinner, I’m flush maybe a nice dinner or buy that shiny bobble in the window that caught my eye.

When forgetting to set a password for root is the least of your woes


Re: Don't do that!

That was a great feature, until you kept forgetting to grab your card when you left the office (which I did all the time). The office manager got irate with me since she had to keep giving me a new card. Also, I'd forget about it, then I would have 3 session going on the server for weeks at a time. I finally remembered and had to go through and kill all of my old sessions off.

Lenovo says it’s crammed a workstation into a litre of space – less than three cans of beer


Oh the joy...

We had an old plasma table that loaded programs from tape. Since we didn't have a tape reader or punch, all programs were hand entered, huge PITA. One guy we had work on it found a little black box with a USB port on the front and RS-232 on the back that plugged in where the tape reader should have gone. The USB drive had to have a specific folder layout and a config file in each with the serial port settings, but you could put 8 programs on the stick, select 0-7 on the little box and hit 'Read Tape'. Worked like a charm.

A floppy filled with software worth thousands of francs: Techie can't take it, customs won't keep it. What to do?


Re: Lost at Sea

I had a friend who was in the US Navy many years ago and as the story goes...They had a computer system on the ship that was just horrible. Everyone hated it, it wouldn't work right, etc. One day my friend waltzed behind it with a hand full of crushed steel wool shards and blew them into the fan intake. That of course killed the offending kit. I don't know if they claimed it 'Lost at Sea', but he said they did take it up to the flight deck and pushed it off the back while underway.

All hearsay, though he claimed to be directly involved. Good story if it was true.

From Maidenhead to Morocco: In a change to the scheduled programming, we bring you The On Call of Dreams


Creative Expense Reporting

I used to travel to various European countries for work, mostly schedule, occasional short notice/on-call ish. The common way to get various expenses covered (drinks, excess food, etc) was to get a stack of taxi receipts and fill in a few (a lot) in small amounts to cover it.

Once, however, I ran into a manager, 2 rungs up the ladder from me, at a restaurant after work with a group of coworkers. We ate, drank, etc oh his dime. As the evening started to wind down, said manager wanted to go to a strip club. Who was I to deny him. We ended up and some decent club and he was ready for a good time, while I was tired and ready to go back to my hotel. While leaning against the bar I asked the bartender if he could put 50quid on my company card, he said find. I gave that money to one of the strippers and told her to take my friend in back and keep him happy. He returned about 30 min later, very happy and still in the mood to party. I had the bartender get me another 50 on the company card and sent my manger back with a different stripper.

Once the evening was done, I had the bartender write me a receipt for 'Food and Beverage' for all of the cash I handed out. That went on my expense report, which happened to get signed off on by the very same manager who I'd kept happy all evening, no questions asked.

Splunk junks 'hanging' processes, suggests you don't 'hit' a key: More peaceful words now preferred in docs


Computer geeks

...are drunks who byte the tails off mice.

I’ll show myself out.

A word to the Wyse: Smoking cigars in the office is very bad for you... and your monitor


Re: I had a job once

Did I forget to mention it cost around $40K US to replace all of the fried components? The power surge damaged the other 2 drive packs and a few other bits and bobs.


Re: I had a job once

That's nothing. I work for a steel fabricator and we had recently picked up a second hand 3 spindle CNC drill and saw. (For the curious lookup Voortman V630) Mind you this thing can drill a 1-1/16" dia hole through 1" of steel in 3 axis in about 3 seconds. All of the spindles are powered by power packs fill with capacitors charged up to 700V located in a separate electrical cabinet, meant to be placed in a sealed room and not right next to the machine.

During shipping the years of metal dust from use shifted and when we started the commissioning one of those large packs started to short. VERY luckily the tech noticed and hit the E-Stop before the caps started popping.

I spent some time digging through specs and doing rough back of the envelop calculations and figured each of those drive packs stored the equivalent energy of just over 1 stick of dynamite. Not imagine 3 of those going in a chain reaction, plus the 6 small packs about 1/3 the size. It would have blow the end of the building clean off.

Linus Torvalds releases Linux 5.11, says it's so good your significant other wants you to test it on Valentine's Day


Re: What Valentine's Dinner?

‘...muck about with the kernel...’, is that what passes for foreplay with your partner? ;)

AMD, Nvidia, HPE tapped to triple the speed of US weather super with $35m upgrade


Re: Kernel architecture

Thanks, that does help. They are Beowolf-ish


Kernel architecture

I'm not up on super computer architecture, so I have a question that's been tickling the back of my mind for a while. Do setups like list have a monolithic NUMA kernel or are they setup more like a Beowolf cluster with a orchestration node passing out tasks to all of the compute nodes? Seems to me both would have their advantages.

CentOS project changes focus, no more rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux – you'll have to flow with the Stream


Re: Forking Time

It looks like Greg Kurtzer has revitalized the Rocky Linux project. He is one of the original Co-Founders of CentOS and is apparently kind of miffed at RH over this. Rocky Linux has no current release, or release date but is gathering a community to build it out.

Anyone interested in helping out should check the Rocky Linux site at https://rockylinux.org/

Information taken from the ArsTechnica article, https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/12/centos-shifts-from-red-hat-unbranded-to-red-hat-beta/, any inconsistencies are my fault.


Re: Forking Time

Yeah, that's great, if you're running CentOS 6 or 7. I just spent too much time converting from Fedora to CentOS8 just for the long EOL and not having to upgrade every 2 years. Now that's shot all to hell. The Oracle doc for converting CentOS 8 to OL8 is behind the support paywall.

So hell, now I'm just kinda screwed :(

Hopefully Oracle will release a CentOS 8 conversion script soon...FML

Astronomers get more than they bargained for, as Mars probe InSight's instruments detects solar eclipses


Re: Mars colonies

> ...and if it is, it will be blobs of fatty flesh, perma-plugged into fast-food and instant gratification entertainment, unwilling and unable to think or act...

Had to read that twice. I though you were talking about me during the COVID lockdown.

Sun welcomes vampire dating website company: Arrgh! No! It burns! It buuurrrrnsss!


Monkey on my back

I am not a big fan of shoes. I much prefer walking around in stocking feet. I had a job (coincidentally in the CBOT) where after I showed up in the morning I would kick my shoes off under my desk and walk around all day w/out. I didn't get much grief from coworkers, but when I'd step outside for a cigarette, especially in January or February, I would get all kinds of hassling from the smokers clique. After a while I decided to appease them and I bough slippers, with large stuffed monkey heads on the toes. That got many smiles, and a bit of a side look from my manager.

Jump forward 2 years and I was transferred to the new office in the northeast of America. I didn't take the monkey slippers with, but continued to go about my day sans shoes. One day I was cornered by an HR drone who told me I had to wear shoes on the job. I politely pointed out that the company dress code made no mention of a shoe requirement and that there was not OSHA requirement for shoes. I had read the HR handbook, but the OSHA bit was a bluff, I hadn't actually checked OSHA regulation on shoes. She stomped off in a huff to check, but I never heard from her, or HR again on the matter.

Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds


Re: I'm sure we've all done this too

My ex-wife had the exact opposite effect. I had a small rack of computers in my home office, and by rack I mean a dent and ding wooden shelving thing from Ikea. It had a Sun SS10, MAC G4 tower, 1 or 2 PC clones depending on what I was up to, and a rather large rack mount UPS underneath. If she walked with in 5´ of the rack at least one of them would crash. Usually the PC, but more often than can be attributed to chance, the Mac and SparcStation as well. After all 3 crashed 2 or 3 times when she walked too close I had to tell her not to get within 10´ It wasn’t just computers either.

Lightbulbs had a real bad habit of burning out just as she walked under them, any incandescent bulb in any room and other peoples houses. It seemed to be tied to her mood as well. The more upset she was and in particular the more angry, the stronger the effect would get.

Chicago: Why I just grin like a dork... It's my kind of Bork


Re: @MGryFalcon Jumped up quiche?

Ok, there isn’t really a top ‘crust’, however there is a second layer of pizza dough placed on top with a hole in the middle so the fillings can vent while cooking. That piece of dough is also topped with sauce and possibly a bit of cheese or fresh tomato slices depending on where you get your pie. The explanation is for clarification and as an explanation for those who haven’t been to Chicago and are wondering what we are going on so much about.

I left Chicago many years ago, I miss the variety and quality of food, which is my opinion one of the best anywhere in the US. I also miss the architecture which just IS better than anywhere else state side.


Re: Jumped up quiche?

A proper Chicago Style deep dish is ~0.0023+ Brontosaurus" thick with way more filling than crust. The top and bottom crusts are not that thick. (the two crusts is why it is sometimes referred to as a Pizza Pie)

Oh and BTW, there are no eggs or custard inside so quiche is completely wrong.


Jumped up quiche?

A food dis from people who think black pudding is a food? Really? Apparently noone at Vulture Central has ever eaten one.

Bug-hunter faces jail for vulnerability reports, DuckDuckPwn (almost), family spied on via Nest gizmo, and more


Re: Over a week? What were they thinking?

Same sort of thing happened to me 2 days ago. I've read all the articles about the password dump, knew my Nest account had an old password of one sort or another but didn't care that much. I was just sitting on my couch when I noticed the blue ring light up that happens when the speaker becomes active. Some smart ass using a voice synthesizer tells me I look cute on my couch.

Did I panic? Call the PD? nah, I picked up my cell, logged into my Nest account and turned on 2FA then flipped off my camera.

I'm single, live alone and wasn't horribly concerned about someone watching me pick my nose while I watched TV. They also turned my thermostat to 90 which would have cost me a bit in heating if I hadn't been home when they did it.

Moral of the story, don't be lazy about your password management even if it doesn't seem important to you, and do something about the intrusion RIGHT AFTER IT HAPPENS. Why in the world did they wait a week to do something about it? Never underestimate the stupidity of the average user.

College PRIMOS prankster wreaks havoc with sysadmin manuals


Audio prank

My first job out of college was as a entry level systems admin for Sun servers at an international bank with offices in Chicago. As the new guy, I spent a fair amount of time on the HellDesk which had Sun workstations on it.

Someone had pointed out you could just cat properly formatted audio files to the audio device and they would play. I was in a playful mood one day and I set all of the Sun workstations on the HellDesk (6 I believe) to randomly play a catcall every 10-30 minutes if I remember correctly. I didn't think much of it, since I wasn't assigned to the desk that week, and about a week later turned it off.

A few months after that I was talking with one of the women who worked the desk every day and apparently the random catcalls from various directions had been attributed to people walking around the desk and HR had been called. Luckily she and I were friends and she didn't mention my involvement to anyone.

Clunk, bang, rattle: Is that a ghost inside your machine?


Library of Doom

My first computer job in college was as the backup operator for the research library's computer system. When I applied for the job I was told they had fast turn over on the position because people got freaked out by the sounds at night in the library. Being young, and really needing the job, I told the head librarian that I didn't spook easily and would be there for at least a year. I was wrong. My shift started at 10pm until around 1-1:30 am depending on the backup, so I was alone, in a darkened library isolated in the computer room. Thing about libraries, the books are constantly settling, making lots of odd shifting, creaking and other strange noises. After a month I was getting paranoid and started walking the library lobby between tape changes, sure someone had gotten into the building. After about 3 months, I couldn't handle it anymore and quit to preserve my sanity. Knowledge is power, stacks and stacks of books are just evil.