* Posts by Flightmode

199 publicly visible posts • joined 20 May 2019


Beta driver turned heads in the hospital


On my screen, a maximized default Excel spreadsheet at 100% shows columns A through BR (and about a third of BS*), so 70 1/3 columns. (58 2/3 lines visible with the expanded ribbon.)

*) Like most of what's presented in Excel, about 2/3 BS.


I used to do the two-slightly-different-monitors-side-by-side for many years; but recently my employer sprung for a 49" ultra-wide, curved monitor capable of 5120 x 1440 pixels for me. When writing, and especially editing, documentation I can fit up to six Word pages at 100% next to each other on a single screen; which is great! Also for other use cases, not having a thick bezel in the middle or the slight height offset is a boon. The only thing that was better with separate monitors is screen sharing in MS Teams - people complain about not being able to read things when I accidentally share my whole screen and they are on a 13" laptop...

Bids for ISS demolition rights are now open, NASA declares


Has anyone asked for the possibility to take it over and run it as a space hotel yet?

No, no, no! Disco joke hit bum note in the rehab center


Re: Long MP3

Eeeeevil. I like it!


Re: Why stop with a music track?

1. Grab serially-absent colleague's phone from his desk.

2. Grab broom surreptitiously left in the corner.

3. Use said handle to lift a ceiling tile.

4. Shotput.

How is this problem mine, techie asked, while cleaning underground computer


Re: Cleaning Printers that are full of dust

Nicely done.

Chap blew up critical equipment on his first day – but it wasn't his volt


Re: 220 vs 440

The first time I plugged in a seven-segment display on a breadboard to test it I accidentally left out the common-cathode resistor. I powered on my bench power supply and had the time to think "hey, this one is yellow, I ordered an orang..." before it popped and didn't have very much of a colour at all after that...

Polishing off a printer with a flourish revealed not to be best practice


Re: Stories from Grandad

Mind. Thoroughly. Blown.


Re: Stories from Grandad

I think it's more a statute of limitations thing...


> ...containing "20 odd women" though tragically he did not specify in his email exactly how odd they were.

Gorgeous twist!

Resilience is overrated when it's not advertised


Re: Failover backup redlining

AND not end up in a situation where users - because things are slower - keep pounding the servers by refreshing their requests again and again and again and...


Re: Dem girls, dem girls, yeah yeah yeah

> Dem girls, dem girls, dey all love me!

Welp, that weekend is ruined. Might as well make it full-blown.

Ziggyman and Zagamuffin are in the house in full effect!


Google offers to alert netizens when their personal info shows up in Search


Re: Everyone's evil but me

Yeah, this smells like Meta’s “Of course we can help you remove those (to quote TFA) saucy snaps you sent to your now-ex! Please upload a copy of the photos you want removed here!”.



Re: Cook's Tour...

Serves him right for giving them the idea...

Voyager 2 found! Deep Space Network hears it chattering in space


Re: Deep Space Network station

Though primarily focusing on Voyager 1 - Tom Scott visited the JPL a few years back - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLlzx6v8CcA - and the intro to that video still freaks my mind.

"The Voyager 1 space probe is the furthest man-made object from Earth, and the fastest. But right now, it is moving towards us. Relatively speaking."

NASA mistakenly severs communication to Voyager 2


Re: What's 2 degrees away from Earth?

Yeah, but it's only needed until October 15th, so maybe you could rush it?


Re: Off topic

> everybody knew what it meant when "888" popped up in the corner of the screen as a programme began.

In Sweden we had 199 and 299 respectively for subtitles on the two public channels (meaning you could in theory watch a show on TV1 with the subtitles from TV2 superimposed to follow both programs); though I remember being very impressed with the 888 service in the UK when I moved there in 1988 - it was a lot more colourful (denoting different speakers and incidental sounds) - Sweden usually only had white-on-black subtitles, usually with the main character as yellow-on-black.

What we also had, that was pretty nifty, was a transparent page with just solid black bars where the regular broadcast subtitles would go on non-Swedish shows, so that you could cover them up in order to practice your foreign language skills.

'twas a simpler time.

Nobody would ever work on the live server, right? Not intentionally, anyway


Just checked Wikipedia now, and it seems that both Tri-X and T-MAX are actually still being manufactured by Kodak themselves (and sold by Kodak Alaris after the collapse of the Kodak empire). It’s been many years now since I shot on film, but I loved experimenting - and having a father who worked for Kodak in the 80s and 90s definitely helped feed the addiction…

The colours you could squeeze out of the Ektar 25, the definition of the T-MAX P3200 and - as you say - the Tri-X grain… Add a Cokin P057 Star 4 filter and I’m happy.


I too never used stop bath on film, only on prints. For (BW) film I'd do developer + agitation, rinse, fix, rinse thoroughly, squeegee.

My father, who is an avid photography enthusiast, told me when I got started that you can't go wrong with Tri-X film - the worst thing that can happen is that the emulsion itself cracks, and if it does it'll crack absolutely evenly and you'll get a cool graphical effect from it. Well, I proved him wrong when developing my first roll in the school lab one night. I did the last rinse in WAY too warm water, so when I went to dry it off, large swaths of the emulsion came off the substrate and stuck to the squeegee. It wasn't very even, but the resulting pictures were pretty ghostly and kind of cool anyway. So I guess half a point to dad for that one.

I can still remember the smell of Agfa's Rodinal developer combining with the 1:63 dilution of Kodak's Indicator Stop Bath. Fondly.


Like most people I got into the habit of shooting lots of pics in the hope I'd get a good one rather than thinking about, and setting up, the shot carefully as I used to do when shooting expensive slide film.

Aaron Johnson noted this phenomenon in his fantastic What The Duck comic strip (2006-2016). Forgive the links to the merch pages, but the comic archive search comes up with 0 hits.

- https://www.cafepress.com/mf/15360703/shoot-like-hell_mugs?productId=83198697

- https://www.cafepress.com/mf/36095082/2spray-and-pray-black_tshirt?productId=414186889

Linux has nearly half of the desktop OS Linux market


Re: ChromeOS is a fake linux

> - The kernel

Ah, this sent me straight back to Family Guy's Kentucky Fried Chicken cutaway from many, MANY years ago.

"What's wrong wit you? I say you he dead."

Quirky QWERTY killed a password in Paris


Re: AltGr

I had a computer teacher in school in Sweden when I was, like 13-14 (late 80s) who insisted that it meant ”Alternativ Gravyr” - literally ”alternate engraving” - as it produced the symbol or letter that was engraved on the side of the key, not the top. He refused to accept any other possibilities, especially in English, because it was ”obviously a Swedish keyboard, or else it wouldn’t have Å, Ä and Ö, would it?”.

I just gave up then and there and didn’t bother pointing out Shift, Caps Lock, Enter, Home, End, PrtSc or, my personal favourite from that era, SysRq. Or <see icon>.


Re: All your QWERTY belong to us...

Cuneiform on a touch-screen.

Miscreants leak texts and info siphoned by Android stalkerware app LetMeSpy

Big Brother

Does anyone know if there's any trojan stalkerware out there?

Say Eve installs a spying app on Alice's phone and signs up to the web site to receive updates, but then gets a message that it's not supported or something. Instead ALICE gets notified about what Eve is trying to do AND gets the option to get info from HER phone instead? Because that would be the ultimate payback for this kind of behaviour.

Big Brother icon, because obvious.

Data cleanser did its job, but – oopsie! – also doubled customers' bills


Ok, one last time. These are SMALL. But the ones out there are FAR AWAY.

A toast to being in the right place at the right time


Spoiler Alert

Over the past couple of weeks, I feel that the headlines and subheads for both the Who Me? and On-Call columns have become more or less full spoilers for the stories themselves. The combination of the words "toast", "mysterious network dropouts" and "popped up" doesn't leave much to the imagination.

I get that that's how headlines work for "normal" articles, but these stories should contain at least an element of surprise - otherwise, why would they end up in these columns at all? Please - take us along for the ride; don't just put us on the sidelines, laughing and pointing fingers. Please?

BOFH: Good news, everyone – we're in the sausage business


Of course this already exists:



Re: gigaspandrels

For some reason, this comment really makes me long for the new episodes of Futurama? Not too long now...!

Cunningly camouflaged cable routed around WAN-sized hole in project budget


We had a backup radio link between two nearby sites, with dish antennas on the roof of both buildings. After a couple of years, the link started acting flaky, but only during early morning through early afternoon, evenings, nights and most weekends were fine. Since it was the backup link we all basically thought that "I guess someone will have to look at that at some point". Eventually the link went hard down and didn't come back up, so after a couple of days someone started troubleshooting and eventually ventured up on the roof to see if something was up with the antenna - damage, birds nesting, cables chewed through by god-knows-what or something - only to came back down after a few minutes.

"Hey guys, you know that construction site across the street? They've put a hotel in our line-of-sight."

That old box of tech junk you should probably throw out saves a warehouse


Re: Hmmm

A local second-hand store has a big box full of wall warts of varying specs, polarities and connectors, priced at next to nothing. Whatever you need, you can probably find it there. (To be on the safe side, bring a multimeter to test that it works before you buy.)

Rigorous dev courageously lied about exec's NSFW printouts – and survived long enough to quit with dignity


> Until I discovered that I could make a lot more money doing the exact same thing...

I thought this sentence was going to end differently; mentioning things like blackmail, bitcoin and threats of public humiliation.

Cheapest, oldest, slowest part fixed very modern Mac


Re: Bridge technologies

Given that I left the company that used his services in 1997, he wouldn't have at the time at least...

Looking at official records, it seems the guy is actually still alive (25-year-old me would have classified him as "older" already back then), but the company was shuttered about a year ago. It looks like someone who would probably be his daughter had formally taken it over by that time. Maybe she had more nimble fingers, but the market for SCSI-cables isn't what it used to be?


Re: Bridge technologies

As if the talk about IrDa and Bluetooth further up on this page wasn't enough to give all of us nightmares for the whole weekend, you had to bring PCMCIA into it as well?!

Why not just say "Ultra Wide SCSI 3" (thunder rumbles) while you're at it?

(Fun side note - a company I worked for had a mom-and-pop-shop cable manufacturer who'd solder you a cable for anything. Small runs or even single cables weren't a problem and their workshop was just up the street, so you could usually call him and place and order, then walk over and pick it up half an hour later. He'd make cables for ANYTHING - I swear, if you dreamed up, I don't know, a cross-over null-modem cable with DB9-to-SCART plugs to connect, say, a traffic light to your washing machine, he'd make it for you, and it'd follow all the relevant EMF specs to boot. He wouldn't, however, touch SCSI 2 or higher for the eloquent reason of "the pins are so damn tiny that I keep burning my fingers, and I don't like doing that".)


Re: I can never ....

#insert joke about USB-A connectors always requiring a 360 degree turn to work here

Why Microsoft just patched a patch that squashed an under-attack Outlook bug


Re: "You have mail"

> hopefully that rings an ASCII 7

It started off great and only got better from there.

Go look up the latest from the Floppotron on Youtube and enjoy this cold one from me. ------------>

Is there anything tape can’t fix? This techie used it to defeat the Sun


Damn, that puts my Australian spider story from two weeks ago to shame. Hat off to you, Sir.


Re: I need my local printer

OP said he was a PFY at the time. What you're suggesting would have constituted immediate promotion to BOFH.


Re: Not only mice

We had an office building much of the same design. Sunlight reflected off a glass-panelled building in the industry park down the hill from us and hit my face with insane precision. My solution was a curved row of post-its on the window next to a colleagues desk that neatly lined up with the reflections. Every Monday morning during the summer months I moved them about an inch to the right to account for the season.


Re: Ah, architects

Did you by any chance work for Lumon Industries?

Oh wait, if you did, you wouldn't remember any of this.

Owner of 'magic spreadsheet' tried to stay in the Lotus position until forced to Excel


Missed opportunity

Who, Me? where tales of technical derring-do are shared alongside stories of derring-at-least-you-tried.

"Derring-d'oh!" would have been better.

Datacenter fire suppression system wasn't tested for years, then BOOM


I saw a similar demonstration some twenty-five years ago . I can't remember now if it was a match or a lit cigarette that was dropped into a faux leather sofa in a controlled room. Nothing happened at first, but after a minute or two, you could see one of the seats starting to bulge slightly. It expanded a bit, enough for most people to notice that something was going on. Those that WEREN'T paying attention to the seat cushion caught on when the damn thing ruptured and the whole room EXPLODED into fire in three seconds flat; carpet, curtains, furniture, books and all. That demo gave me a whole new respect for fires, I'll tell you that.

Shocks from a hairy jumper crashed a PC, but the boss wouldn't believe it


Re: Static

You sure are on fire today!

(That wasn't a pun, just an observation.)


Re: "Hairy jumper"

Many years ago I worked for a company who had some limited presence in Australia and New Zealand. We delivered telco services via satellite to a bunch of smaller places, and one day we had a complete outage at one of our sites. Deducing that we didn't even have incoming signals to our equipment at the site, we sent our trusty local engineer Tim on site to check that there was power to the receiver and other basic things. After he eventually climbed up on the roof of the building and removed a fried spider bigger than his own palm (he sent pictures) from the receiver head, signals came back.

Microsoft mucks with PrtScr key for first time in decades


Re: As we suspected

Don't underestimate the ruler in the Sketch and Snip tool! As long as you remember that you rotate its angle with the scroll wheel, it can be pretty helpful too.

(And I just noticed there's a protractor hidden under the ruler as well. Interesting.)

I snip portions of my screen probably dozens of times per day when collaborating with colleagues. The upgrade from the Snipping Tool of yore to Sketch and Snip was a massive one for me. The annotation features are superb. The only thing I miss is a type tool - let's face it, mouse-propelled handwriting isn't always that legible...

Botched migration resulted in a great deal: One for the price of two


You're assuming they paid me back för the period they double-billed me? I can't remember what their exact reasoning was, but probably a combination of "you should have discovered this sooner" and "well the owners of the house refuse to pay us and we can't be expected to give people free electricity or admit we're at fault", distilled into the classic Dutch phrase "'Snotpossible.". Never saw a knaak back from them.


When I lived in Amsterdam, I first rented an apartment (this was in 1999). I dutifully signed up with the electricity company (whose name rhymes with "gluon") and had no issues during my stay there. When I bought my own apartment a year later, I contacted the same company and notified them of this, and they kindly connected the new place. It wasn't until about 18 months later that I was looking over my financials and realized that the electricity company was still sending me bills for the old place AS WELL as for the new one.

It took me a number of increasingly angry phone calls, emails to the owner of the first apartment (who insisted on not having had free electricity for the whole time and certainly wasn't going to compensate me for this), registered letters and manager escalations until I finally got confirmation from the power company that they had cancelled my old contract and that my old apartment was nowhere to be found in their systems anymore. I asked them to send me a registered letter confirming this, and when poor customer service agent said "Oh, no, there's no need for that, I can see that it's all correct in the computer", I doubled down and demanded a copy of that letter sent to me via fax BEFORE we hung up the call. She went on mute for a minute and came back saying that her manager was sending the fax right now. And sure enough, it arrived - addressed to my old apartment.

Seriously, I must have been the first person to have ever moved in The Netherlands. The electricity company was far from the only one that messed things up. I had phone and TV / Internet services from my employer and even got to use their super-secret back-office team for VIPs only to help me process everything. Did they get it sorted for me? B*ll*cks they did. But that's another story.

Eufy security cams 'ignore cloud opt-out, store unique IDs' of anyone who walks by


Adding a new word to the vernacular

How about we turn "eufy" into a new adjective? It's a perfect combination of "eww" and "iffy".

As in "I think tech companies' disregard for their customers' privacy is pretty eufy."?

Don't worry, that system's not actually active – oh, wait …


Re: Do Not Change The Settings

That actually makes perfect sense when you put it like that. Thanks!

(Here I was thinking it was my smoking hot body.)


Re: Summoning Trumpton

Great, now I'll have Urban Hype's "A Trip to Trumpton" stuck in my head for the rest of the week. Thanks a lot.

(MTV's Party Zone with Simone Angel in 1992... those were the days.)


Re: Do Not Change The Settings

My wife and I stayed at a B&B outside Gothenburg a couple of years ago. There was a sign on the inside of the bathroom door that stated (and I quote verbatim from the photo I took of it):

In order not to activate the fire alarm while using the shower, please keep the toilet door closed!

That doesn't sound right to me.

If you have a fan, and want this company to stay in business, bring it to IT now


Re: air CON

The best kind of genius.