* Posts by ITMA

171 posts • joined 18 Aug 2019


Almost there: James Webb Space Telescope frees its mirrors and prepares for insertion

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Yes they do.

He sits at the desk next to A. Smidgen......

EC president promises European Chips Act to quadruple homegrown production by 2030

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Is it me or does the positioning of the mic and the blue background make her look like some Pythonesque cartoon cutout?

Or is Ursula really a cardboard cutout? LOL

Microsoft gives Notepad a minimalist makeover to match Windows 11 style

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Re: Waaat ?

"Not a huge fan of Server Core myself"

I am 100% with you there.

Yes I know PowerShell is very powerful and that virtually all of the server managemenet "applets" are just pretty graphical front ends which effectively "spit out" PowerShell commmanrds.

I also appreciate there is significant overhead to have the WIndows GUI on a server.

But my philisophy is this - I am using and have been using for amany years Windows Server as much because it has the WIndows GUI through which you can do pretty much everything without having to learn a whole load of cryptic commands

If I really wanted to have to learn lots of cryptic commands to do virtually anything, I'd be using bloody Linux and not Windows.

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Re: Waaat ?

I'd still like to know which sick **** decided the Metro interface should put on Windows Server 2012 r2.

Find his car on a very hot day and secrete some of smelliest cheese on the planet and let it sit there, baking in the heat.

Payback for the "pleasure" the Metro interface has given on a server.

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Re: Dark?

My standard settings for command prompt and powershell are green text on a black background.

Nostalgic perhaps, but I also find green text far more restful toi look at on a black background than white text. White text on black I tend to find harsh.

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Re: Dark?

"Don't forget the BBC Micro - white text on a black screen when you powered it on.

Even their word processors used the black background"

Not if you had one of those nice crisp green phosphor monochrome monitors it didn't, such as the Philips BM-7502.

I still have mine. And it still works!

If you were a flash git, you had the amber phosphor version, the BM-7522, just to be different.

And several models of RGB monitor, particularly the later Philips ones, had a "green screen" button - not as crisp text though since you still where reading it on a screen with RGB phosphor triads.

Flash? Nu-uh. Windows 11 users complain of slow NVMe SSD performance

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Re: Microsoft, masters of mediocre

I don't know....

They appear to have managed to scale up the philosophy of the "Focused Inbox" (YUK!!!) roll-out debacle and made it the basis for an entire OS - nobody asked for it, nobody wanted it, yet you are having it anyway.


UK's Surveillance Camera Commissioner grills Hikvision on China human rights abuses

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Re: I've never worked out why being spied on by a foreign Government is scarier...

Ok - try to do almost anything which does not contain ANYTHING made in China.

You'll find it very hard, especially technology.

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What an utter crock.....

Ok, if the route the UK commission wishes to take is "ban HikVision because of the application one of its major customers (the Chinese Government) uses their products for".

Then the next logical step is ban everything made in the UK because we sell weapons and weapons systems to anyone with the money and the rigtht old boys club connections.

How many such products used for "nefariouos activities" by foreign governments contain ARM technology? BAN ARM!

Utterly childish attitude and pure political posturing to be seen to be doing something when the reality is UK commission can do SFA.

It's the old "what does the killing? - the hammer or the killer weilding it instead of using it to build something?"

There's something to be said for delayed gratification when Windows 11 is this full of bugs

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Re: Oh, about a year should do it

The magic words to deploy in business environments when asked about "when can we get W11"? are...

ROI - Return On Investment.

What planet are Microsoft on if they think a small business with 70+ machines, all of which are perfectly good capable machines running W10, are going to chuck them all and buy new ones just to run W11.

Personally, without a bloody good reason not too, I'm going to do what I did with W7. Wait until EOL approaches and we've had maximum value out of the cash we've spent on machines.

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Re: Well...

But here is the real question...

What does W11 do for you that W10 does not?

When considering things such as "starts much faster", how much of that is W11 and how much is really the hardware upgrades just to meet W11's minimum system requirements?

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Re: Dear Microsoft

"Dear Microsoft

Reinstate your testing team."

Erm.... We ARE the testing team.....

And the scary bit is Microsoft seems to think there is nothing wrong with that....

Why machine-learning chatbots find it difficult to respond to idioms, metaphors, rhetorical questions, sarcasm

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Temba his arms wide :)

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Re: Just one slight problem.... AAA+ Rules in All the Very Best of Almost Perfect AIRoosts

"The ones who are complaining that a machine is not replying to questions equally as well or even better than a smarter human might"

That's not my issue at all.

I don't give a monkeys about the technology or how good (or crap) it is or is not. If I contact any organisation about anything I want to communicate with a HUMAN BEING. I do NOT want to communicate with a F*****G "bot".

Frankly I find being met by/directed to any type of bot as a form of communication personally insulting.

The ONLY thing a bot communicates to me is that the organisation using them doesn't give a sh*t and is not interesting in my business.

The technology will NEVER be good enough becuase it is not nor will it ever be a human being. And I wish to communicate with human beings.

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Just one slight problem....

There is just one slight problem with all these chat bots and the time, effort and no doubt money, going into their R&D and it is this...

If ever I'm online or even other situation (such as phone) and want to chat - it is to an EFFING PERSON!!!! Not some bloody piece of software!

If I wanted to "chat" a none human, top of my list is my cat.

Some s**t's bit of software that they think is clever is so far down my list it isn't even in this solar system.

I loathe bloody chat bots.

Product release cycles are killing the environment, techies tell British Computer Society

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Re: Complete waste of time.

You can sort of understand this approach when many "unbranded" spares are NOT from the same factory as the branded ones, but are instead cheap, very poor quality rip-offs from a certain part of the world.

You have to see some of the horrors of electrical "cheap knock-offs" on Big Clive's Youtube channel:


Or Dave Jones EEVBlog channel, who is even closer to the source:


But that will always be an issue for as long as (say) a printer costs £50 but almost anything for the same printer classed as a "spare" costs more than the bloody printer!

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Re: "annual product release cycles"

But the point is we shouldn't HAVE to faff about like this.

What on earth does Windows 10 do that absolutely cannot be printed using PCL4?

Fundamentally printing is making (predominantly black) marks on paper. That hasn't changed for a long time and printers today are still doing the same thing. So what is so earth shatteringly spectacular that Windows 10 can do when it comes to making (predominantly black) marks on sheets of paper that it has to use the latest PCL and can't do it with PCL4?

BOFH: You'll find there's a company asset tag right here, underneath the monstrously heavy arcade machine

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Re: Personal heaters

Not to mention the fact that if the "master clock" was controlling the same "heaters with timers", unless they had battery backup every time the master clock switches them off, all the timers go out of sync with the actual time.

That is/was the favourite exploit of the chairman at an outfit I know. He would go around and switch the heaters, each with its own timer and adjustable thermostat, off at the wall if it felt too warm and out went the time settings.

He obviously hadn't heard of a "thermostat" to set the temperature or that "if too warm, turn it down it will go off by itself".

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Could have been worse - I've known one CEO who went out and bought one of those CALOR cabinet gas heaters (the ones on wheels) for use in an enclosed, unventilated office.

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Re: A little power

Don't fret about where asset tags are positioned.

No point!

If they haven't covered some vital bit of information you can get bet your life that when the "pretend sparkies" come around doing the PAT testing they'll plaster their bloody stickers over any information that is remotely useful not already obscured.

Cisco to face trial over trade secrets theft, NDA breach claims after losing attempt to swat Leadfactors lawsuit

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Re: Cisco Webex Hologram

Just becaue something looks 3D deos NOT make it a hologram.

The data content of a true hologram is hugely, staggeringly VAST.

The images Microsoft's Hololens produces are NOT holograms.

Those Tupac on stage things are NOT holograms. Strictly speaking they are video version of Pepper's Ghost, a Victorian optical illusion, with no parallax. A person to the left of the stage sees EXACTLY the same as a person off to the right. With a TRUE hologram they each see a different view.

So even if three people, wearing a headset each, saw the same "projection" from a different viewpoint, that still doesn't make it a hologram, since each would simply be viewing a different projection generated for their viewpoint only by their device.

It would require all three seeing the same "projection" from a SINGLE device but viewing from different places - one on the left, one in the centre and one to the right - and yet EACH seeing a different image with correct view for their position to even get close to a hologram. And if they moved position their viewpoint they see should also change to match - all from the SAME projection.

How to keep a support contract: Make the user think they solved the problem

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I find waving one of those orange plastic "dead-blow" mallets from Rapid Racking in the air with "obvious malicious intent" in the vicinity of "problem pooters" fixes no end of problems - especially "user induced".

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Re: Of course it is do you think ect ect

I used to get really annoyed every time I had to phone the Cumbernauld factory of a certain Japanese printer manufacturer only to be greeted by someone (not just the switchboard) answering with:

"O. K. I.".

It's not a bloody abbreviation like NEC! It's the name of bloody founder Mr Oki Kibatarō!

Can I speak to "F. R. A. N. K."?


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Re: Vents

K6 phone boxes (the iconic UK "red" phone boxes for those not in the UK) were designed with that "issue" in mind with appropriate drainage holes in the base and the concrete "floor" with a subtle but deliberate "fall" on it it in the direction of the drainage hole.

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Re: Vents

My dad (RIP) spent most of his working life as a TV/VCR engineer back in the days when many people rented such devices (especially VCRs) and they would be repaired in your front room (on site in today's terminology).

The worst was being called to non-working VCRs. Customer would claim "it just stopped working" usually with a tape inside. My dad lifted up the VCR to have look through the front loading slot and out poured pungent yellow liquid...

"Dog must have p*ssed on it"...

A rapid exit and change of clothing was usually required.

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Re: I would have sacked Keith there and then

That reminds of an old joke I saw in one of the electronics hobby mags years and years ago:

The owner of a local electronics shop (when such things existed) had become so fed up with "gifted amatuers" (one in particular) coming into the shop with burnt/charred/broken "bits" of components from his attempts at repairing stuff and expecting him (and his staff) to spend a great deal of time identifying them before offering replacements. Which he would quite often refuse saying "too expensive" that he adopted the following...

Guy comes into shop and pulls out a bag of burnt/charred/broken components, empties them onto the counter and asks "Have got some of those?"

Owner replies "Certainly sir", reaches under the counter and pulls out a handful of burnt/charred/broken bits of components.


Microsoft emits more Win 11 fixes for AMD speed issues and death by PowerShell bug

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Re: Sorry for the pox, but we promise no new infections!

"Its funny as I assume outlook.com is supported by the Office team"

My experience with the "front line" Outlook.com support was that it was supported by the Marx Brothers....

No, that's an unfair insult to the Marx Brothers... At least they were trying to entertain by attempting to be funny.

Outlook.com front line support were just childish, worse than amateur and insulting, And technically utterly incompetent.

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Re: My laptop is supposedly Windows 11 ready

I'm sure Gibson Research are already poised to release "Never11" when needed.

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Re: Upgrade?

"have been buggy and relied on the users/customers feedback and problems"

I think that is what is now laughably passes as "Microsoft Testing and Quality Assurance".

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Re: Sorry for the pox, but we promise no new infections!

My experience is that Microsoft are very good at fixing problems (see my post elsewhere about Outlook.com)....

Microsoft T3 Support: "Please be assured we have definitely fixed the problem".

Me: "No. You may have fixed A problem, but (accompanied by voluminous evidence) you have most defintely have NOT fixed THE PROBLEM. Go back and try again, and this time TRY HARDER."

Oh and according to T3 support, SMTP is NOT a mail protocol..... REALLY??

Microsoft admits to yet more printing problems in Windows as back-at-the-office folks asked for admin credentials

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Re: Microsoft's Effort at Being "Green"?

It was either "Personal Computer World" aka PCW, or "Practical Computing" (not "Computing").

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Re: Microsoft's Effort at Being "Green"?

Who remembers the cartoon in either Personal Computer World or Computing magazine (who even remembers that magazine??) which showed a guy towing several large trolleys each loaded up with a moutain of paper.

A colleague stopped him and asked "What's that lot?"

Answer: "It's the documentation for the new paperless office"

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

ITMA Bronze badge

Depends WHERE aforementioned flashlight is....

Thanks, Sir Clive Sinclair, from Reg readers whose careers you created and lives you shaped

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Re: Beep

And wasn't the PET's name, Personal Electronic Transactor, so carefully and well chosen...

Unless you were French...where many a many for the European market where made.

You too will will be amazed by the things you can do with the latest in desktop microcomputers.

- introducing "The FART" by Commodore.

Who went on to make the VIC-20....In Germany, ...

Where (apparently) VIC looses translated into equally potentially offensive.

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"my VIC-20 that ran out of RAM to hold the program code, let alone compile and run it"

Except of course BASIC on the VIC-20 (I had one of those as well at one point) was interpreted, not compiled.

"Tokenised" doesn't really count as the BASIC on Commodore 65X02 machines, in common with almost all 8 bits machines, did the tokenisation on entry.

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Re: Well

"rather than trying to get a seat in the terminal room to share an overloaded mini."

Don't tell me you also had experience of trying to do "Computer Studies" using a Teletype Model 33 linked (via acoustic coupler) to the local town hall's mainframe?


Those were the days....

Then the first Commodore PET 2001 (8K) arrived... (BASIC v1.0 with TIM loaded from tape).

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Re: Beep

Ok then, just to add some 6502 "balance" LOL.

POKE 59468,14 does......?

And which machines do you NOT do the "fast screen update" POKE on? :)

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Re: Seriously off-topic

You've obviously missed a whole bunch of other comments by me on the subject.

Oh if only it was as easy as that....

On a lot of PCs, particularly desktops, you can have all the power settings correct and it STILL doesn't work because of "Fast start up". If that is ticked, then on many PCs (Dell in particular) it powers down the NIC, WHATEVER your other power settings are INCLUDING having "Allow this device to wake the computer" ON - and that other Dell BIOS stalwart, "Deep Sleep Control", which must be disabled also.

No power to the NIC, ergo NO WAKE ON LAN.

Even then, a misguided network driver update can bugger it again. Which explains why on PCs with certain Intel NICs in the Windows Update section of Settings, under Optional Updates, there is an OLD Intel LAN driver - which works!!! Some newer ones break WOL.

A bit more research into the subject first would be helpful.

One more snippet - this information doesn't come from trying to get it work on one PC. Nor the 6 Optiplex desktops at home (though they serve as a testbed). It comes from managing an estate (largely remotely) of 70+ machines.

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RIP Sir Cliver

I never used a Spectrum or QL to any degree, having been seduced by the 6502 in the Commodore PET and offspring (including Tangerine Microtan 65, Acorn Atom and mighty BBC Micro).

I did use the ZX80 and ZX81 though when the main "computing war" was between Sinclair & Acorn with the gaggle of "also rans" chasing along way, way behind.

Sir Clive was the quintessential British boffin who loved inventing technically "sweet" things for ordinary people.

Rest in peace Sir Clive in the great Non-Volatile Memory which lies beyond the short DRAM refresh cycle of this life.

The man whose ideas help launch thousands of IT careers, mine included.

With just over two weeks to go, Microsoft punts Windows 11 to Release Preview

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"I don't think Microsoft look on you as a customer. Customers are OEMs who ship Windows installed on computers."

Strange as it may sound, but Microsoft have an area of their website divided into sections for various products, mostly software - called A Shop.

You can buy products directly from Micosoft through the shop and I'm not refering to the likes of X Box games.

Very handy for buying Microsoft 365 licences especially if you multiple email domains without having to buy complete licences for each. Unlike buying from somewhere like GoDaddu.

That is precisely how I purchased the subscription licence foteh the specific Outlook.com services that I'm using and have the issues with.

I'm pretty sure that giving them the money in return for Microsoft providing goods and/or services makes a customer of theirs

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"What is a concern is if someone contacted Microsoft with an issue that is on an unsupported system - Microsoft will simply not support it and therefore not help"

I have news for you - having a "supported system", even paying for support is no guarantee with Microsoft you will get any. At least not what any normal IT person would class as "support".

I have an outstanding issue with Microsoft with their Outlook.com service (the subscription "Premium" or "add free" as it used to be called,service NOT the free one) and the support with the issue on that has been APPALLING!

It was worse than amateurish. It was utterly childish.

I've had to escalate it TWICE by firefiring off emails to Nedella, plus the PR contacts in the US and UK to get anything to happen. The first time nothing concrete happened, despite promises when it was supposed to be in the hands of someone senior at Redmond, and then summarily closed without explanation.

The second time got further and raised with the "Engineering teams" who, without any testing, came back (via an "escalation manager") saying "It's all fixed."

Bollocks was it fixed! How the hell can anyone serious in IT claim a problem is fixed without ANY form of testing to verify it.

It has currently been re-opened again after I fired off shed loads of evidence showing that they may well have fixed "A problem", but what ever that was they had NOT fixed THE problem.

Plus a comment to the effect of "A problem is not FIXED until the customer has tested it and verified it is fixed".

Apple tried to patch this security hole in macOS Finder but didn't consider upper and lowercase characters

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IIRC that's from DEC VMS!

Brings back memories of Bill and Ben - the twin DEC MicroVax that ran the accounting and stock management software for the printer manufacturer I worked for back in the early '90s

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"Didn’t anyone code review the change? "

Who do Apple think they are? Microsoft? LOL

The magic TUPE roundabout: Council, Wipro, Northgate all deny employing Unix admins in outsourcing muddle

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You didn't work for RBS Group Technology by any chance? Or one of the various IT outfits that were part of NatWest before RBS gobbled them up?

Your description sounds more than a vague resemblance to thoset events....

I remember Project Monument (the main Coutts desktop environment integration project), Monument Returns, Son of Monument and Monument Rides Again (only to fall off its proverbial horse for the umpteenth time)...

I think the small team I was in went through (at least) 5 different managers, half of them based 300+ miles away in Edinburgh (!!!) and at least as many HR "bodies" who were a total waste of space, air and flesh.

Fix five days of server failure with this one weird trick

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Re: The "inspector"

God you make me feel old....

When I was little more than a toddler PC didn't exist, the first Commodore PET was still years away and TVs (my dad was a TV repair engineer/technician) were all valves (vacuum tubes for those on the other side of the Atlantic). Not even discrete transistors, never mind ICs

Colour TV was something few could afford to buy and most were rented...If they could afford that!

Microsoft suspends free trials for Windows 365 after a day due to 'significant demand'

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Re: How much?

BYOD, or as it is otherwise known:

Bring Your Own Disaster

Dell won't ship energy-hungry PCs to California and five other US states due to power regulations

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Re: As a Californian, all I can sat is "Who cares?".

I still don't have a "smart meter" and refuse to have one.

Not because of any of the "tinfoil hat" claptrap reasons - simply because they are a massive con.

They are nothing to do with energy efficiency or saving consumers money. They are all about being able to impose finer and finer granular control over pricing - i.e. maximising revenue.

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Re: As a Californian, all I can sat is "Who cares?".

"Would you like to buy more? Additional credits are available at 3x market rate for electricity guzzlers such as yourself"

Are you talking "standard market rate" or the "variable according to demand" market rates which "so-called smart meters" are ultimately designed for:

When there's demand, the price goes up, priced by the second.

That's where it is going - and here in the UK we have a tax payer funded, government backed "smart meter roll out programme". Backed by most of the most competitive tariffs being restricted to having or accepting both a smart meter and payment via direct debit.

At least Dick Turpin made it clear he was going to rob you rather than claim was going to "save you money" (the central tenet of the marketing BS behind the UK roll-out).

Want to REALLY save money on your energy bill? Ues your eyes, read your own (standard non-smart ) meter and learn to SWITHCH THINGS OFF.

NASA fixes Hubble Space Telescope using backup power supply unit, payload computer

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Re: Any fuel left?

You are absolutely correct about Hubble using reaction wheels to do the essential job of pointing it in the correct direction.

Astronomers, being picky buggers, do like to be able to move their telescope around to look at different things.

However, while safety for crews approaching Hubble during servicing missions was a factor, it wasn't a major one. After all, STS crews would deploy payloads mounted on PAMs (Payload Assist Modules) which are basically a rocket powered platform for firing payloads out of orbit and off elsewhere (to the other planets etc).

The major reason for the reaction wheels? Science....

The alternatives were small maneuvering thrusters which used propellant - typically hydrazine - for moving things about in space. Fine if you are generally moving your spacecraft from Point A to Point B.

If, as is the case with Hubble, you are not making it "go" anywhere, just slewing it around to point in different directions. Then your spacecraft can quickly end up sitting in a orbiting cloud of residue from the hydrazine.

At best this will interfere with all the optical instruments - the whole point of it being in space was to get above most of the atmosphere so the last you want if for your spacecraft to create its own.

At worst it get onto, and seriously contaminate, the surface of the single most critical component that could never be "swapped out - the main mirror.

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Re: Sounds vaguely familiar.. LOL

Strangely the worst place for security I ever visited was British Shoe in Leicester - a bloody shoe factory!

My car was thoroughly searching twice going in, and THREE times when I went to leave site



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