* Posts by Vaughtex

16 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Sep 2019

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



Sounds familiar, try working in an armed forces veterans charity, where the only ones who can take a joke are the veterans themselves.

Firewalls? Pfft – it's no match for my mighty spares-bin PC

Big Brother

Powered Off

Sounds like the desktop PC we were asked to fix that had been sat under a desk in a certain tower of Canary Wharf. Said PC's owning department had contrived to automate emails from it to all and sundry on a daily basis, containing a batch of data thrown out by their spreadsheet following overnight updates. It's failure was traced to a new group policy that changed the power schedule and automatically shut down any PC without an active user after 7PM. Needless to say much mirth on our part as it was nothing we could do anything about and a great deal of questions to be answered by the owing team as to why this PC was sat under a desk and not registered as a proper service running on a server.

Brain-computer interface researchers warn of a 'bleak' cyberpunk future – unless we tread carefully



If they can just do me a memory defrag, clear out some of the useless crap in there and free up some space to learn new stuff, that would be fine!

Though a decent set of Zuiko optics might be nice as well.

Hyundai announces its own OS for Nvidia-powered smart-ish cars


You read this then wonder why prices for "classic" cars are rising! The engine management unit is called a carburettor and only electronics are in the radio plus the capacitor/suppressor fitted to the distributor to stop the ticking noise on said radio. Given a reasonable tool kit an some basic mechanical skills, you're able to keep it going with some TLC at reasonable cost, without recourse to having to get it plugged in at the garage to be given a "you need a new battery" diagnosis. This when actually the starter motor is on the way out and the battery is under strength because you spend ages getting the engine too turn over fast enough to actually start!

Excel is for amateurs. To properly screw things up, those same amateurs need a copy of Access


Happy days

It's also great fun when you become "service owner" to an Access database created by someone else, because your IT team has been told to take ownership of all the end user applications. Then the using department comes along wanting changes made and you discover that this single database isn't quite so single, it has at least 17 other hanger's on pulling data from it, 30+ text files it gets every morning from the other systems dragged down by FTP, as well as the other end user databases it also takes a feed from. Then there comes a point where you start hitting the 2Gb file size buffer and end up having to split an already split back end, without affecting any of the hanger's on, closely followed by the "we can't access this from our off-shore site". It was all good fun whilst it lasted.

We're not getting back with Galileo, UK govt tells The Reg, as question marks sprout above its BS*



"The government has set a clear ambition for a sovereign space programme". Like the one they cancelled in 1971 when they axed Black Arrow?


"As of 2018, the United Kingdom is the only country to have successfully developed and then abandoned a satellite launch capability"

In this case it is rocket science, but sadly the people with this level of intelligence, never seem to go into politics.

You Musk be joking: A mind-reading Neuralink chip in a pig's brain? Downloadable memories? Telepathy? Watch and judge for yourself



If it will do a defrag on what's there already and empty the trash, where do I sign?

Nine million logs of Brits' road journeys spill onto the internet from password-less number-plate camera dashboard


No shock

Can't say as this surprises me about anything run by Sheffield Council. I've lived there most of my life and never seen anything except a string of useless individuals ruin a once great city. This you recall the council that built an airport, but didn't make it quite long enough to be commercially viable, safe in the knowledge that the original deal included the clause that sold the site back to the developers for £1 if it wasn't viable. Don't tell me that this didn't benefit someone, somewhere in the process.

As for whoever gave the party political breakdown of the council, they failed to mention that the actual power lies with clique of 10 individuals, who take all the major decisions behind closed doors and there's currently a public campaign to force these decisions that affect over half a million citizens to be carried out rather more democratically shall we say.

Sheffielder's usually decry those from and the city of Leeds, what they should be doing is looking why Leeds has thrived and follow suit, but fail to make the link that electing someone different just to see if they make the same mess as we have now might be an idea.

Cosmo Communicator: Phone-laptop hybrid is neat, if niche, tilt at portable productivity


So near, but

After having a Psion back in the day, I'd kept an eye on Planet when they announced the Gemini, but didn't jump in shall we say and finally bought a Gemini off eBay last year to see what I'd been missing. Both the hands on and some of the comments are spot on, the Gemini and the Communicator are both well built though niche products, but both are let down somewhat by software support from Planet.

Judging by the tales of woe from the various online groups, it seems that some of the functions that didn't work on the Gemini, external display support in Linux for one, still has problems if it works at all, on the Cosmo, with most fingers pointing at adoption/implementation of the Meditek processor. What also seems to have happened is software development on the older device tailing off when the newer device arrived. I fully expect that will reoccur when the Astro Slide appears.

It's a pity as they're a nice device, but as with other companies, Planet appear to be funding development of a new product before and at the expense of getting the old one to work as advertised. There again, Microsoft managed that for years....

BOFH: Will the last one out switch off the printer?


Methane Explosion

Ah, canteen onion bhajis, I had to stop eating the ones they did for "curry day" where I used to work, as it was always Thursday....The same evening I did a college course...

Obvious icon.

ZX Spectrum prototype ROM is now available for download courtesy of boffins at the UK's Centre for Computing History


Piggy Back

Black screen white border? Memory fault? Just get a 4116 and piggy back it onto each of the ones on the board until it powers up.

I wonder if the fault finding chart in Your Spectrum would help....

And they said IoT was trash: Sheffield 'smart' bins to start screaming when they haven't been emptied for a fortnight


City On the Move

Sheffield Council still think it's 1972 and we're still a "City on the Move" to quote the advert of the time intended to show how modern we were.

Meanwhile the likes of Leeds and Manchester councils actually did something about their cities and left us behind. The place won't improve until there's people running it who actually have a clue.

And then there were two: HMS Prince of Wales joins Royal Navy


Air Cover?

And when exactly will we have adequate numbers of a viable aircraft to operate off this target for an "Eagle Strike"? (Look it up)

Let alone enough crews and ships to provide a task group to surround it and it's sister ship at the same time?

Talking a Blue Streak: The ambitious, quiet waste of the Spadeadam Rocket Establishment


Pay back

Having recently read the Blue Streak book mentioned in the article, the designs for the silos for these missiles were adopted virtually verbatim by the US for their early misses like Titan. Well worth a read. The biggest problem in the UK was indeed where to site the silos, you simply can't get far enough away from a major conurbation without an inbound strike on a silo impacting a population centre. On top of which, finding a suitably stable geology was surprisingly also a big problem. Polaris made far more sense....which is unusual for the MoD

Plusnet is doing us proud again with early Christmas present for customers: Price hikes


Plusnet have been a wholly owned subsidiary of BT for years, as in since 2007. So there's no point in blaming BT, especially as PlusNet have always been cheaper, as well as having one other major advantage: A UK call centre.

Luckily I'm one of the customers where this price rise will only cost me £1. But once my contract ends, I'll look at alternatives. Not because the service is poor, far from it, but simply because I can, though given the alternatives off our exchange, it's liable to be Zen or not bother!

BOFH: What's the Gnasher? Why, it's our heavy-duty macerator sewage pump



When your first thought on seeing ST225 mentioned is "20Mb half height 5 1/4" SCSI, so it could be an NCR PC", you realise you've been in this game far far too long.