* Posts by Flightmode

111 posts • joined 20 May 2019


Enough with the notifications! Focus Assist will shut them u… 'But I'm too important!'


Re: Does your neighbour have kids?

That's the same logic Microsoft Exchange uses when sending you a "your mailbox is nearing its size limit, please delete some emails to free up space" email... once per hour starting on five o'clock on a Friday.

We've got a photocopier and it can copy anything


Re: modern technology will prevent such counterfeiting efforts

I remember seeing about this story that while individuals who receive payments over Swish get a notification immediately, merchants only get a summary of transactions, I believe, once per hour or so. So plenty of time for those miscreants to be far away before they can be detected.

Also, can we please get the various mobile payment apps compatible across borders, already. Sweden's Swish and the Norwegian Vipps would be nice if you could start with, please? :-)

NOBODY PRINT! Selfless hero saves typing pool from carbon catastrophe


Ah, like the old classic sign "Stationary Cabinet", with the hand-scribbled addendum "yup, it hasn't moved in at least a week!".

Have one of these -->


All-too-frequently the printer would accidentally grab two sheets at once, meaning that for any subsequent prints the colour-coding of the printouts was reversed which, short of the complete end of the world, was apparently the worst thing that could happen.

Maybe this is just me being too focused on problem-solving, but...

If you notice that your colours are reversed, couldn't you just swap the order of your pages and place a blank white paper at the top of the paper magazine to save the next guy the headache?

Or maybe this wasn't that kind of office. God knows I've worked in a couple of those over the years.

BOFH: HR's gold mine gambit – they get the gold and we get the shaft


Go watch Severance. The basic premise is basically this scenario, but replace "wife" with "other self".

I've got two episodes left of season one, and it's one of the weirdest (in a good way) shows I've seen.

How one techie ended up paying the tab on an Apple Macintosh Plus


Re: "I thought MacWrite needed no explanation"

A friend of mine was typing a simple program into my old Commodore VIC20. Not knowing what the Return key was for, at the end of each line he simply used the space bar until the cursor wrapped around to the next line.





> clunky and ornery and nonstandard

<SPAN>, <SPAN>, <SPAN>, <SPAN>, egg, bacon, sausage and <SPAN>.

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



You have a point, and while I would expect that in catholic countries around the Mediterranean sea, the Dutch never struck me as a very religious people. Then again, the Nieuwe Kerk (lit. the New Church) in Amsterdam is from the 15th century. (The Oude Kerk, right in the middle of what's now the Red Light District was opened in 1306.)


Dutch insults and invectives tend to be very body-forward. Either they are disease-related (kanker-[0] is[1] a very common prefix), or they are simply body parts; the scrotum and its contents being very frequently included. These are bounded around quite freely between people.

Then again, when we moved to Amsterdam in -99, my then-wife asked our relocation consultant what the worst Dutch swear was. After some (clearly uncomfortable) thinking she quietly whispered, "Godverdomme" (lit "Goddamnit"). When we told her it didn't sound too bad she said "it's so bad that when they have to use it in subtitles on TV[2], they just put "GVD" so as not to offend people.

[0] Meaning cancer, not cankers.

[1] Well, I say "is" even though I left Amsterdam in 2007. I'm assuming insults don't change that much over time.

[2] The Dutch subtitle everything rather than dub it. I learned a lot of Dutch from watching episodes of Dawson's Creek, Friends and Melrose Place I'd seen back home a couple weeks earlier before moving.

Bing! Microsoft tests search box in the middle of Windows 11 desktop


Re: IE4 and Active Dekstop

I'd forgotten about this until now, but at one point I needed to monitor two metrics from a networking device and perform a certain action when they went "out-of-profile". This was long before the days of self-healing networks and Salt, so I wrote a Perl script that fetched the two values with SNMP and published them to a simple web page in white 4pt MS Sans Serif on the same blue background that was on the rest of my desktop. When a value required my attention, it turned bold and red but still the same size. I created a single section on my Active Desktop, like literally 100x20px, right above the clock in my systray. Not intrusive in the least, but exceptionally useful!

An international incident or just some finger trouble at the console?


Re: Switches

I remember a Cisco rep telling me that they had a lot of problems selling their current switches at the time - this was in the Cat 2950/3550 days. What they'd do is they'd send a couple demo units to prospective customers to try out in a lab setting. Ninety-nine times out of ten those customers would complain about how their office network went down when they (in violation of the conditions for the loan) had tried connecting the demo switches to the live environment.

The low OUI (the first 24 bits of system base MAC address) on these models meant that the newly connected switch would more often than not become the spanning-tree root bridge and would, if you were unlucky enough to have other Ciscos in your network, insist on pushing its VTP database as the master, effectively deleting all the VLAN configuration from your production environment.

I can see how that would... dissuade customers.


Re: Typing is not a good idea.

Whenever I'm balancing my accounts I copy from the bank's web pages to a blank Excel sheet, sort by the date column, then copy and paste into a text editor (EmEditor is my personal preference) and tidy up the columns before typing the lines into another Excel sheet in the right order.

Beanstalk loses $182m in huge flash-loan crypto heist


Re: Even gold is a fiat currency

The latest episode of the No Dumb Questions[0] podcast (# 131 - Why Is a Silver Coin Worth Something?") discusses this very topic. How a monetary unit's Value is built based on both the intrinsic value of the actual atoms it's made of, about supply and demand, about common agreements on what something is worth in everyday life, governments, blockchains and many other aspects of Value. Interesting discussion, I thought.

[0] Hosted by Destin Sandlin from Smarter Every Day and Matt Whitman from The Ten Minute Bible Hour. If you're not into rambling, chatty podcasts that go off on tangents, don't always provide answers and is full of self-referential in-humour, this might not be the podcast from you. If you're a fellow Winged Hussar, then Hi!

BOFH: The evil guide to upgrading switches


I should have added "and no way to pivot from that switch to other network devices" to my list.

But I basically agree with what you say - if there are known vulnerabilities out there for your device, for the love of dog patch it. You don't want bad actors in your network (though I'm sure you never have infected bots on your LAN, right...?) being able to eavesdrop on or manipulate traffic.


A layer-2 office switch sitting inside a campus LAN with RFC1918 management address, port security (if not 802.1x) and unused ports disabled? If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

(Routers, however, are a different beast. Stay on top of your vendor's CVE publications and upgrade regularly. And not to the bleeding edge version of you value sleep over the overtime compensation.)

You can buy a company. You can buy a product. Common sense? Trickier


Re: 'twas ever thus

In 2000 my then-wife and I bought an apartment in Amsterdam. Since we were not Dutch ourselves, our real estate agent[0] helpfully told us to remember that when you buy an apartment in The Netherlands you're essentially buying the walls, the floor and the ceiling. If you're lucky, the windows may be included as well.

[0] Weird system that you as a buyer have a real estate agent of your own, protecting your interests in the purchase. I'm beginning to think they were fleecing us.

Fish mentality: If The Rock told you to eat flies, would you buy my NFT?


Happy tenth anniversary!

Oh, and you missed the obvious "yuppie guppies" pun.

The time you solved that months-long problem in 3 seconds


Re: I replaced a network cable.

I remember reading an entry in the Tales of Tech Support newsletter several decades ago. I may be a bit off on the details - apologies for that - but here it is to the best of my recollection:

It's about this guy who gets called out to a remote farm in the US Rust Belt on a Friday afternoon - a customer's computer was stone dead. After a two-hour drive one-way on bumpy country roads he arrives at the farm house in a pissy mood, and understandably so. Sensing this may be a simple fix, he decides not to take his tools with him as he walks into the house. The customer shows him the computer and he notices that, indeed, the power plug is hanging half-way out of the socket.

He walks up to the computer, puts his palms on the monitor and booms "In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, I compel you to HEAL" as he kicks the plug with his foot, out of view of the customer. The computer springs to life, and the customers drops to the floor.

Anon, because it's not mine.

In the graveyard of good ideas, how does yours measure up to these?


Re: Annapurna Fallacy

I first assumed that he referred to Annapurna Pictures, who've put out some real level 3+ films lately.


The clearest Level 2 I ever saw was when a company in The Netherlands manufacturing snacks introduced a couple of new types of crisp - this will be almost 20 years ago now, but still. One of the flavours they trialled was "Baltic Curry". Not balti, BaltiC. What would that even be? Lithuanian Lentils?

BOFH: Putting the gross in gross insubordination


Re: The Rule of Two

Tread carefully, sweet BOFH. I hear there's a vacant spot in management that a PFY might try to convince the upper-levels that you might be the best fit for, and get you blackmailed into. If your only options are to accept or leave, the PFY becomes the BOFH either way.

How CAPTCHAs can cloak phishing URLs in emails


Re: Paying attention may not be enough

In a world where a high proportion of URLs include a path component that's utterly incomprehensible...

Did anyone else read this in The Movie Trailer Voice?

Proprietary neural tech you had surgically implanted? Parts shortage


Re: "unnecessary computer sounds"

I once set a colleague's Windows up to play the Bananas in Pyjamas theme song as the opening sound. That version of Windows (must have been 95?) froze up until the sound had finished playing as well. Happy days.

A tale of two dishwashers: Buy one, buy it again, and again


Re: Adverts

A couple of Christmases ago, my wife had pointed out a number of pieces of clothing she wanted from a particular catalogue she'd received in the mail. I very discretely ordered several of said garments from the company's website.

Next day, I was showing her an article on a news site when the ads started. "Hey look, there's the jacket I like!" Yeah, hah, cool coincidence! (click to another page) "And there's the skirt, and the shoes. And there's the top. What's going on?" I honestly have no idea...

That afternoon I got Ublock (or one of its predecessors).

Real-time software? How about real-time patching?


Re: Portable? Shirley you mean luggable ...

"Floippy" is my new favorite word.


Re: Site Acceptance Test

I got to do the European tour a number of years back when I worked in Amsterdam. I had to travel to London, Paris and Frankfurt to physically visit our co-locations for some hands-on work that couldn't be done by remote hands. Each site had some minor thing that needed doing at night, so I had an afternoon flight, enough time to get me comfortably taxied[0] from the airport to a decent hotel for dinner and a couple of hours of chilling before I took another taxi to the site, worked for no more than an hour, then taxi back to the hotel for a few more hours of shuteye. Late breakfast, a walk in the neighbourhood, then check out and yet another taxi to the airport; then repeat for the other cities.

The kind assistant that booked my tickets were, I think, a bit sweet on me. She consistently managed to book me on flights with the main national carrier leaving a particular country - KLM from NL to UK; British Airways from UK to FR, Air France from FR to DE and Lufthansa back from DE to NL. And she got me business class seats, so I had free access to the main lounge of the airport. That particular working week was a career highlight, that's for sure.

[0] Except for in Paris, as mentioned by other people in the thread. When the driver cut across three lanes in the Arc de Triomphe roundabout (I swear, I thought he was considering going straight through the arch) blasting Depeche Mode's It's No Good at full volume on the stereo I sat back and closed my eyes.

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


We used to type up an email to the CTO or similar (replacing one character in the email address to make sure that it wasn't actually delivered if accidentally sent). The message body varied but usually contained enough profanity and lewdness to get SOMEONE in trouble. Hover the mouse over the send button and walk away.

Something 4,000 light years away emitted strange radio bursts. This is where we talk to scientists for actual info



Ceefax replica goes TITSUP* as folk pine for simpler times


Re: I miss the jokes

My favourite was always the "Christmas cards" that various broadcasters exchanged with each other.

Low on passengers, low on memory: A bad day on the London Underground


The real bork here is that the Central line is listed as "Special Service, Part Suspended", whereas the Piccadilly line is "Part Suspended, Special Service". Makes my brain hurt.

Meatballs, Abba, and bork: 3 things Sweden is famous for


Re: 3 things Sweden is famous for...

Very late comment, but I somehow missed this thread.

Ikea has a strangely relevant product - an actual chocolate moose, to be assembled at home, of course:


(BELÖNING means "reward".)

Who you gonna call? Premium numbers, but a not-so-premium service


I'm frankly disappointed that noone's mentioned the The Simpsons episode A Tale of Two Springfields in this thread yet.


Re: Wrong number

Or 0118 999 881 999 119 725...3

Wi-Fi not working? It's time to consult the lovely people on those fine Linux forums


Following on from the XKCD strip (possibly derailing the thread slighly), I ran into a programming issue a couple of years back. The Google path took me to StackOverflow where I was very happy to see that someone had reported exactly the same issue.

Then I saw that it was *I* who had made that post two years earlier.

And closed it myself a day later with the comment "Never mind, I'm an idiot", without including what it was that I'd done wrong.

I guess I was still an idiot. Probably still am.


Re: "first read the fine forum thread until the end"

> "...requiring you to pick it up and turn it over while it is turned on, and either write the thing down, or try > and remember it, before turning it the other way up and typing it back in..."

Everyone knows it, but no-one dares to admit it:

This is the number one reason why someone hatched the idea of cellphones with cameras.


As always, there's an appropriate XKCD:


Dutch nuclear authority bans anti-5G pendants that could hurt their owners via – you guessed it – radiation


Here, you earned this.

What came first? The chicken, the egg, or the bodge to make everything work?


Re: Batteries not required

You shouldn't share your wife with others.

Well, unless you're into that sort of thing. And she is too.

A smarter alternative to password recognition could be right in front of us: Unique, invisible, maybe even deadly


How about combining the pillow with the speaker and the pillow with the SnoreScore app with your idea of competitive snoring and send one user's snores out the speakers of another user's?

You forced me to use this fancypants app and now you're asking for a printout?


> [...] suffering from posterization due to lossy over-compression in the codec

> as a result of poor bandwidth and that my skin would clear up by itself

> if he stood closer to his window.

I should know better than to read your posts in public places. The whole mall looked at me with concern, and this was on Black Friday.

Do not try this at home: Man spends $5,000 on a 48TB Raspberry Pi storage server


Re: '"how far can I push this before it gets silly". A true engineer'

If he wanted it to be cool he shouldn't have removed the fan.

Remember when you thought fax machines were dead-matter teleporters? Ah, just me, then


Re: coworking

Oh, I am well familiar with Gary Larson and the Far Side; The Complete Collection has pride of place on my bookshelf. (The fact that I got my unsuspecting, later-to-be-wife to pick it up from the post office and carry it home is still a sore point some 15 years later...) I just hadn't heard the term Cow Orking in relationship to him. Thanks for your willingness to share - more people need to know about the Far Side!

In my post I was merely referring to the fact that Scott Adams often used the term "cow-orker" (alongside "in-duh-vidual") in his news letters for Dogbert's New Ruling Class (of which I used to be Minister of Offence; though I am not so sure I would want to be too closely associated with that these days... Times have, as they say moved on). I was assuming the OP had gotten their cartoonists mixed up; but apparently not - I stand corrected!


Re: coworking

> I think Gary Larson is the expert on Cow Orking.

Don't you mean Scott Adams? O~

31-year-old piece of hardware not working very well: Hubble telescope back in safe mode over 'synchronization issues'


> The problem this time is "synchronization issues with internal spacecraft communications,"

You just KNOW that someone is going to try to blame BGP for this one too.

Windows XP@20: From the killer of ME to banging out patches for yet another vulnerability


That headline... it's from a Linkin Park song, right?

What do you mean you gave the boss THAT version of the report? Oh, ****ing ****balls


Whenever I code anything, I usually have a bunch of conditionals to test whether a database is available, check to see whether an API key is present and valid, verify/sanitize input, etc; and it almost always ends in something like

else {

die("Fethövve."); [0]


Very rarely do I remember to clean that up before I Deploy to Production[1]. I've only ever received two questions about it; both from my father, several years apart.

[0] A colloquial mock-dialect way of spelling "Fethuvud" - "Fat head" in Swedish. No, it's not a common insult in Swedish.

[1] El Risitas, may he rest in peace.

Facebook rendered spineless by buggy audit code that missed catastrophic network config error


Re: Who me?

How about messing up the config register setting causing a newly upgraded router end up in rommon with a blank config?

I got the Platinum Level Achievement in this class - I did it on one of our out-of-band access routers. It's ironic having to get someone on site to log on to the console of your remote console server.

Check your bits: What to do when Unix decides to make a hash of your bill printouts


Epson printers were not immune to this either.

I used to have both an FX-100 (landscape printer) and an FX-80 (portrait printer, but with "This printer prints SIDEWAYS(tm)!" sticker, since it had the Sideways(tm) add-on that allowed Lotus 1-2-3 to rotate spreadsheets 90 degrees as they were printed). In order to get either of them to print 8-bit characters, you had to send them a control character first - I believe it was the ¢ (cent symbol), which you sent by means of "echo (Alt-155) > LPT1". Sometimes it even worked, other times it just printed a cent symbol.

Electron-to-joule conversion formulae? Cute. Welcome to the school of hard knocks


Re: "a multitude of fresh qualifications counted for naught"

The point of the story, I guess, is that every PFY needs a BOFH; but your comment highlights the other universal truth that every BOFH needs a PFY. Especially if he can take credit for the PFY's work.



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