* Posts by Hairy Wolf

13 posts • joined 1 May 2020

Marine archaeologists catch a break on the bottom of the Baltic Sea: A 75-year-old Enigma Machine

Hairy Wolf

Re: Old typewriter

English as 1st language for me in England but some UK+Ireland accents are hard to get used to.

UK reveals new 'National Cyber Force', announces Space Command and mysterious AI agency

Hairy Wolf

Re: Policy-based evidence making

Thanks for pointing that out. My Friday morning brain had "auto-corrected" the phrase. Is it beer o'clock yet?

Solving a big, yellow IT problem: If it's not wearing hi-vis, I don't trust it

Hairy Wolf
Happy

Re: Was it Diggerland?

Some years ago a local firm brought along a small digger to our kids primary school fate. I got to the front of the queue and the bloke looked at me, no small kid. I said they we off having fun, I wanted a go. He shook my hand a congratulated me for being the first person not embarased to ask, or pretend the kid wanted a go.

Aruba warns of storage destruction flaw that bricks some switches

Hairy Wolf
FAIL

SD Cards?

Even if it is removable, how many network operators, in the widest sense, are going to want to swap SD cards every four months on every switch in their networks?

In the cases I've come across in the past where it was removable cards that got toasted that still required a software rewrite to slow the rewrites.

Hairy Wolf

And (yet) again. Either software developers don't read the Flash specs, they don't understand the meaning of the lifetime, or they just don't calculate what it means in practice. I remember getting the "What do you mean, compact flash has a limited number of write cycles?" from a programmer over a decade ago, or the "You can destroy hardware by writing to Flash?" from a manager back in the early 90's.

There ain't no problem that can't be solved with the help of American horsepower – even yanking on a coax cable

Hairy Wolf
FAIL

Re: Closest I've had to that ....

Back Hoe. Apparently the number one cause of telecomunication cable faults.

Ethernet failure on Swiss business jet prompted emergency descent, say aviation safety bods

Hairy Wolf
FAIL

Redundant Comment

Didn't I see dual redundant Ethernet in the article? Doesn't that mean that when one fails the other should still work? Or should I take the "fixed by software patch" as an indication that software took out main and redundant symultaneously?

A tale of mainframes and students being too clever by far

Hairy Wolf
Flame

Thirteen months...

Thirteen months - the time from me reporting a documenation error, to tech pubs coming back and asking if I could check their correction. No! I don't have that system anymore. I wasn't even testing the UI in the first place, I just stumbled upon it.

Faxing hell: The cops say they would very much like us to stop calling them all the time

Hairy Wolf
Alert

Fax for the memory

Before the internet, DSL and VPNs swept all before them, companies would often link sites with leased lines. I worked for a comms manufacturer who made a mux that could merge voice and data onto a single kilo-stream link, saving the cost of separate voice lines. The voice links were compressed to save bandwidth and they had a fax relay mode that demodulated the fax locally and just transmitted the digital content to the other end. This was in use in small branch offices and one of these had a problem. If someone was on the phone and the fax was used, the voice call went into fax relay mode.

Each voice channel had its own DSP, so a software fault was ruled out and the finger of blame started pointing at a 1U pizza box that housed the analogue interface between the mux and a standard phone connection. I had never seen one of these before, but that did not stop it becoming my problem as two tech support engineers "demonstrated" by talking to a phone attached to one line while getting me to listen to another. I could not hear anything over the wall of 19" racks of comms equipment in their lab so I took it away for further investigation.

I injected signals and measure cross talk on the adjacent channel, but I had to put in one hell of a loud signal to get anything noticeable. I persisted. The PCB was just two layers so the grounding layout was bad. I added thick wires and managed to reduce what cross talk existed. How I could get such a mod into production without being lynched was a problem for later, so I too the box back to tech support.

Weeks passed and I heard nothing, then I bumped into one of the tech support guys and asked how the modified box worked. He looked a little sheepish. They had taken the field service report at face value, but when he went on site he had noticed that the fax monitor was turned up to full volume. It was basically acoustically coupling to the nearby phone. When they turned down the volume all was well.

Thinking back, I wonder what the BER was like, but now I'll never know.

'One rule for me, another for them' is all well and good until it sinks the entire company's ability to receive emails

Hairy Wolf
Devil

Thats the norm: https://xkcd.com/2116/

Frenchman scores €50k compensation for suffering 'bore-out' at work after bosses gave him 'menial' tasks

Hairy Wolf
Go

Re: Horrible flashbacks

"sudoku solver in VHDL"

Damm, you beat me to it. Though if you have not finished yet then I still have a chance. Fifteen years and I might just get started.

Ooo, a mystery bit of script! Seems legit. Let's see what happens when we run it

Hairy Wolf
Facepalm

Re: Opening batch files

Once upon a time at a previous employer, I discovered a notepad process without a window on my corporate ID adminsitered laptop. Further probing with process explorer revealed that it was opening a vbs file. This appeared to be part of the login process, but vbs was blocked from executing as a security precaution.

Square peg of modem won't fit into round hole of PC? I saw to it, bloke tells horrified mate

Hairy Wolf

Re: ain't no problem in the world that can't be solved with hot-snot

Don't forget tie wraps, the other essential for those quick fixes.

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