* Posts by MGJ

206 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Sep 2007


PiStorm turbocharges vintage Amigas with the Raspberry Pi


If only I hadnt swapped my Amiga 600 in the mid 90's for 2 sticks of 8Mb RAM for use in a PC

BOFH: Hearken! The Shiny Button software speaks of Strategic Realignment


Re: What do you mean, your desk?

Personal lockers, bloody luxury. Post covid attempts to coax us back in to the office have involved 'day lockers' and the removal of personal desks and storage, and they wonder why the offices remain stubbornly empty. Its almost like they are trying to have an excuse to get rid of our large listed buildings that cant ever be made energy efficient and would be much better as hotels or yet more student accomodation.

Google Groups ditches links to Usenet, the OG social network


Been A While

Where will I go for all my BC3000 news now?

BOFH: I know of a small biz that could deliver nothing for a fraction of the cost


The costs should have been for stamp duty, window tax, swamp

insurance, hen food, dog biscuits, and cow ointment

Senior engineer reported to management for failing to fix a stapler


Re: But I DO want to know!

When I worked in a supermarket in the 80's to subsidise my student alcohol consumption, we put a bounty on the christmas tape loop. £45 was the final figure taken by someone planning to leave anyway, who ripped it from the machine and stamped on it. We cheered.

BOFH and the case of the disappearing teaspoons


Re: Clockwork BOFH...

What would be so terrible about that?

Assange psychiatrist misled judge over parentage of his kids, US tells High Court


Re: Independent, informed comment

Which Government's line?

Facebook may soon reveal new name – we're sure Reg readers will be more creative than Zuck's marketroids


Re: It doesn’t need a new name

Yes, we shouldnt shut down auschwitz until we've found jobs for the camp guards. Wont somebody think of the kapos too.

BOFH: Pass the sugar, Asmodeus, and let the meeting of the Fellowship of Bastards … commence




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Re: Preemptive Ticket Closing?


You can't spell 'electronics' without 'elect': The time for online democracy has come


Re: Electoral System

UK parliament has elections every five years under the Fixed Term Parliament Act; last year was pretty unusual. Point remains; you dont create something incredibly expensive and unsecure, with a whole new host of problems to sort an issue of rare surge demand. Different systems for different types of elections just makes that worse.


Electoral System

The electoral system used for British general elections is not FPTP, it is plurality. The candidate in the constituency with the most votes wins. No post to be first past. That is the French system, where the candidate with 50%+1 of votes cast is elected, with a second round, normally between the top two candidates, where no one got past the post in the first round. The system used in Scotland, with a mix of constituencies and regional seats balances the need to have a local MSP with broad proportionality. It was designed to prevent/make very unlikely any government being from a single party but has delivered a majority once (and on current polling will do so again next year).

Electronic voting is a solution to a problem that doesnt really exist. Building a complicated system used once in four or five years isnt worth it. These issues were covered very well in The Stainless Steel Rat for President.

Mark Zuckerberg, 36, decides that having people on his website deny the deaths of six million Jews is a bad thing


Re: So it only took this long?

And that would be bad how?

Anti-5G-vaxx pressure group sues Zuckerberg, Facebook, fact checkers for daring to suggest it might be wrong


Re: Welcome to the post-sanity world

Simple; want to do anything in public, get vaccinated and have proof.

Oh sure, we'll just make a tiny little change in every source file without letting anyone know. What could go wrong?


Re: Mail Storm

Better than the NT4 first cluster, along with Exchange 5.5. Wolfpack it was called. We called it Wolf Pair given the limits to it. All the service passwords on our Compaq cluster were clusterfuck though. Rebuilding at 3 in the morning a configuration designed by compaq and MS that had shared fibre storage that the German support team admitted was never likely to work as shared fibre storage wasnt supported, and how had we ever got it working in the first place?

Microsoft puts dual-screen devices and Windows 10X in the too-hard basket



There just isnt any demand for flexible mobile devices when everyone has stopped travelling and is enjoying working from home with a big old proper screen and keyboard now attached to their laptop, which has become a second screen.

Microsoft tries getting touchy-feely once again with its Windows Insiders


Re: "pretend the Windows 8 Tablet Mode never happened"

Indeed. On my Surface Book 2 there is just no way of switching between tablet and desktop (ie removing the screen and turning it around) without shutting down. Too many processes need killed off. And logging on in tablet mode is tricky since it is difficult to get the on screen keyboard up. Great when you are logged in though, and still the best laptop I've ever had. Sound, graphics, keyboard, trackpad. USB ports on the wrong side though.

Drones intone 'you must stay home,' eliciting moans from those in the zone: Flying gizmos corral Brits amid coronavirus lockdown


Re: And now... the 64 million dollar question

The regulations are time limited. Must be reviewed every 28/21 days and expire in six months. If CMO declares a lull in the emergency, they stop. Or parts can be suspended if not required.


Re: Common sense, what's that?

One person doing it; not a problem.

Thousands, as seen last weekend, big problem. Not just opportunity to spread virus, but to tie up emergency services dealing with everything from sprains to major road accidents. There will be plenty of time to get out in the country later.

It's time to track people's smartphones to ensure they self-isolate during this global pandemic, says WHO boffin


Re: Naomi Klein

Rubbish. To implement a full lockdown like that you'd have to suspend democracy. Listen to the experts; they didn't ask people to isolate in January because a) it was pointless, as no one at that point had the virus to pass on and b) because in the middle of the crisis folk will go stir crazy and ignore the rules so any self-isolation has to be for the minimum time possible; if you add two months on at the start it means its less likely that a three month quarantine period will work. Not everyone has a nice house and resources to hole up in.

Resellers facing 'months' of delays for orders to be fulfilled. IT gathers dust on docks as coronavirus-stricken China goes back to work


China is not the world

Are these mortality figures normalised for the amount of pollution in China, or indeed for the higher levels of tobacco smoking? Italy has the oldest population in Europe, so if the disease kills the old, then it will affect Italy the most. But why is Japan fine (relatively) so far, given its population is even older?

'Literally a paperweight': Bose users fume at firmware update that 'doesn't fix issues'


At Least The Manual Is Readable

I've only ever had good experience with Bose kit; maybe I'm just lucky. Try getting a Denon Receiver (ie 23-07 amplifier) to work with Dolby, HDMI and a multi speaker system for Blu-Ray, X-Box etc. It knows it has a centre speaker and left/right and sub connected but will not accept that it can use the same outputs for a different HDMI input, and the manual is completely incomprehensible.

Gas-guzzling Americans continue to shun electric vehicles as sales fail to bother US car market


Re: Elon may be right

Trump tax law changes have effectively made new enormous SUVs free to those with significant tax bills, since they can be classified as agricultural machinery and 100% written off as a tax break. My brother got a plug-in Volvo XC90 on this basis and his neighbours are picking up similar vehicles.

£1bn Brit court digitisation scheme would be great ... if Wi-Fi situation wasn't 'wholly inadequate'


Re: WiFi?

Have you been in some of the court buildings involved? Listed buildings, with huge thick walls, that are constantly in use. But try closing one and moving to a new purpose built building, and all you'll hear are complaints.

Interesting to hear that HMCTS are still having issues with digital working. I wrote them a Scoping Study 18 years ago on case management but EDS stomped on it.

Nothing's certain except death and patches – so that 'final' Windows 10 19H2 build isn't really


Microsoft Own Hardware

You would think that Windows updates would work well and be tested properly on their own hardware, but Surface Book 2 owners got this update very late and then it managed to add yet another service that needs shutting down before the screen can be undocked or moved. Given the time it takes, it is easier to switch off, change screen orientation and then restart than find all the various services that need killed before the red button turns green. Of course then it doesn't detect that it is folded back on itself and you cannot use the keyboard and have to try and re-enable the on-screen keyboard, which doesn't work until you select accessibility at which point it tells you audibly that you've chosen to use that. Does anyone at MS actually use their own equipment?

Well, well, well. Fancy that. UK.gov shelves planned pr0n block


Re: Yay!

Not many parents of teens on here, I don't think. Come back with your "its ok if you supervise their every move" talk when you have a teen actively self-harming because their wifi goes off at bedtime, and every device they have "gets broken" after Parental Controls are installed.

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


Let me guess, they have new iPhones because they don't want any 5g around them

UK Supreme Court unprorogues Parliament


No, its really not. It replaced the House of Lords as the ultimate court of appeal for domestic civil law issues. And the judges are appointed by the head of state on the advice of prime minister.


Re: Hardly surprising

Are you trying to be funny, or are you on glue?


Re: Remain MPs all broke the law and should all be in prison anyway.

Are you trying to be funny, or are you on glue?

DeepNude deep-nuked: AI photo app stripped clothes from women to render them naked. Now, it's stripped from web


Re: release it for the world's weirdos to use

By at least one

Kenshi: Sandblasted sword-punk D&D where the dungeon master wants everyone dead


Re: Welcome to the new column

The word is drawer.

The dread sound of the squeaking caster in the humming data centre


Re: DEC Engineer

Late 90's, about to do our disaster recovery testing one weekend. Scenario involved a power cut to the server room, which I simulated by switching off the power to the room going into the UPS, to check that it did indeed initiate safe shutdown of all the Sun, Fujitsu and HP kit in the room. It was only at that point that it became clear that the electricians had run the electrical supply in parallel to the UPS rather than in series... It all went very quiet. Except for the UPS.

Bonkers British MPs rant: 5G signals cause cancer


Re: It is hardly surprising that there is a problem with Brexit

And the cost of doing nothing on the climate emergency is? Strange how some people only like science when it supports their exisitng views.

No backdoor, no backdoor... you're a backdoor! Huawei won't spy for China or anyone else, exec tells MPs


For the real view of the British civil service/Government of Chinese telecoms companies, perhaps do an FOI for instructions on what to do with IT equipment that has been used in China outside of the secure room in the Embassy. It's always hacked into in minutes and cannot be used again for connection to a government network. Private Offices used to have piles of Blackberry's and laptops that had been in China for staff to take away with them at their own risk. The vast majority of hacking threats to the UK (used to) come from those at least pretending to be the Chinese military.

BOFH: It's not just an awesome app, it'll look great on my Insta. . a. a. AAAARRRRRGGH


Re: I think I met him

Developed using Agile?

Uncle Sam charges Julian Assange with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion


Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

So was it a fiesta cat; who grabbed the carrots and onions (obscure Gilbert Shelton reference)


Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

You've clearly never eaten food in the US; tasteless tomatoes etc. Its no wonder so much salt and sugar gets added to it. Relatives who live there dont eat whole swathes of produce because of how it (doesnt) taste and how safe it is to eat. The US is obsessed with removing 'red tape' so preventative legislation/supervision is repealed but consumers are not stupid once they have the facts. That's why Boeings are falling out of the sky, and Airbus are selling to United Airlines.

UK Ministry of Justice: Surprise! We tested out biometric tech in prisons and 'visitors' with drugs up their bums ran away


Re: Biometric tests

That is actually what happens on admission to prison (in Scotland at least). Prisoners have a whole body scan, and anything found is either confiscated or returned to the inmate as appropriate. To facilitate that, each prison has a safe to hold confiscated items (known as the shitty safe for obvious reasons). They are kept in a holding area with special toilets until they hand it over, one way or another.

If you doubt the ability to hide contrabrand about the person, a female prisoner was put in a temporary area to be searched, and afterwards had her clothing removed to be checked, leaving her naked. The room was empty. Five minutes later, officers found her drinking a can of coke and smoking a cigarette.

Ah, this military GPS system looks shoddy but expensive. Shall we try to break it?


Re: Miltary testing

The real reason the IDF stopped using the M16; they didnt work after being used as a bottle opener. The replacement (locally built one) had one built in to the stock.

Why are there never free power sockets when my Y-fronts need charging?


USB Hubs

All our meeting rooms and shared spaces have Kensington USB hubs attached to them, so any laptop can just connect using USB, so no problems for even our Surface Pros. Unfortunately, they do not have the same Displaylink drivers/settings as those on our desks to drive our multiple screens, so Windows gets confused and refuses to recognise the previously working desktop setup on return. Cue hours of fiddling to get screen 3 to come back to life again. Desks have at least four 13A sockets plus two 2A USB A.

Bloke thrown in the cooler for eight years after 3D-printing gun to dodge weapon ban


Re: Because

Are you trolling? The US constitution is very clear that the purpose of the right to bear arms is associated with being part of a militia.

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Its as relevant to modern day society as the local laws about having to take part in archery practice in certain parts of the UK. I put away my toy guns at age 8 and grew up. Would be good if you lot did too.

Return of the audio format wars and other money-making scams


Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

Dont get Shellac records wet, they dissolve, leaving you the metal inside

US kids apparently talking like Peppa Pig... How about US lawmakers watching Doctor Who?


Spotted in New York; a "beef croissant" for sale*

*it was a sausage roll, but dont ask me why it wasnt pork


Re: About time

My ex did her best; she was in the pilot audience of kids in Manchester in the mid 70's and burst into tears when Big Bird come on. The other kids joined in, and Granada passed on it. It wasnt until C4 came along that we got the delights of Bert and Ernie, the Count and Oscar The Grouch.


Re: Doctor Who

My party all postal voted before heading to Glasto; the atmosphere there when the result of the advisory referendum came through was very sad. And as always it was muddy.

Data flows in a no-deal Brexit are a 'significant' concern – MPs


Re: Scaremongering

In 2 1/2 years, the UK government hasnt even managed to agree with itself what it wants, yet in nine months it can renegotiate all these trade deals that have a) been done over a 40 year period and b) were done by people who work for other countries or the EU now, not for the UK.

Good luck with that. Have you seen what happens to the shelves in shops when there is a bit of snow and deliveries are disrupted? By a two or three day event that they can presumably plan for at least shortly in advance? Do you really think the army would be talking about stock-piling ammunition if it wasnt considering/planning for martial law? In departments run by Brexiteers?

Nationwide UK court IT failure farce 'not the result of a cyber attack' – Justice Ministry



This is the MoJ. Not Scotland. So, say England and Wales if that is what you mean. (Although post Brexit a United Kingdom of England and Wales looks increasingly possible.)

Interesting fact: XHIBIT was originally designed to show a minister coming for a visit something, anything working in a court that looked like IT. There's a whole series of Dilbert cartoons that appeared inspired by the tales around it.

Privacy, security fears about ID cards? UK.gov's digital bod has one simple solution: 'Get over it'


Re: Bloody typical

Have you been to a government office recently? All staff wear passes at all times, and they are required for entry and used for various systems (flexi, printing etc)


Re: Why don't we have a referendum...

Sid Vicious paraphrased this beautifully; "I've met the man in the street, and he's a c***"