* Posts by AlanSh

104 posts • joined 21 Jul 2020


Is it a bird? Is it Microsoft Office? No, it's Onlyoffice: Version 7.2 released


I like ribbons

I'll be the odd one out then. I like the ribbon based system that came with Office 2016/2019. I don't like the replacement with the Office 365 version. It's been dumbed down and I wish I could go back. I'll have a look at ONLYOFFICE (with shouty bits)>


Datacenter migration plan missed one vital detail: The leaky roof


I've seen worse

I've been in data centres (yes Highways Agency, I'm looking at you) where they actually had ducts (OK, drain pipes) to channel water away from the servers into a bucket.

The years were worth the wait. JWST gives us an amazing view of Neptune's rings


Just needs oiling

Did they not think to pack some WD40 when they launched it?

Google previews streaming connector for BigQuery


How big?

How big a network pipe would that need? Sounds horrendous.

Automating Excel tasks to come to Windows and Mac


VB by a different name?

This sounds very similar to what I've been doing for many years.

What makes it different?

Windows 11 update blocking some users from logging in


It's not that easy

The s/w is now so convoluted and complicated, that I don't think anyone understand how it all works together. MS had an opportunity to start again with Windows 11 (they've had 5 years since Windows 10 to plan the next version) but just put sticking plaster (and cuts and grazes) onto the existing O/S.

Open source biz sick of FOSS community exploitation overhauls software rights


Re: I wonder if Lightbend as a company depends on FOSS

But you don't know that they do. So don't accuse them of hypocrisy without some facts.

Ad blockers struggle under Chrome's new rules


Re: Is Vivaldy good yet?

A bit - but it's still slow when inserting usernames and passwords from it's cache.

Microsoft to stop accepting checks from partners



I always thought El Reg was a British publication. Obviously not!

<<<Where's Dabbsy???>>>

HP's consumer PC biz shrinks by a fifth as inflation bites


Re: Didn't know HP still sold PCs

HP hived off their PC and printer business - but remained as HP. The server and consultancy side was renamed as HP Enterprise (HPE).

As for slowing down - it would be nice if they had a bit more innovation in the consumer products - they used to but seem to have stagnated.

NASA builds for keeps: Voyager mission still going after 45 years


8 track tape recorder?

Do you think they put a library of 8 track tapes in there - just in case the aliens wanted to listen to our music? What do you think it would contain (and I think Bach would be essential)?

Software developer cracks Hyundai car security with Google search


Hyundai won't comment

I've got a Hyundai wihich has some basic issues with the infotainment system. I (and others) have tried to make Hyundai respond to this - but there's a great silence.

It'll be another head in the sand job with this issue too.

Microsoft: Outlook desktop app crashing due to missing identity setting


It's different with multiple accounts

I have 7 MS accounts. That regedit address has 7 entries under some weird entry (one starts with 453d96a9-eb0c-48c8-9f8f-a9b1...). So, I can see why they want it and I can see why it might crash if they don't have one. But it shouldn't CRASH - it should come up and ask for an email address (and maybe password) if the entry has disappeared.


BOFH: Who us? Sysadmins? Spend time with other departments?


No fenestration?

Very poor this week - everyone survived.

'I wonder what this cable does': How to tell thicknet from a thickhead


I have one

I've got one of those luggables in my loft - with a thinnet network adapter in. Nothing to plug it into though.

The many derivatives of the CP/M operating system


Back in 1979

I was using a Data General Nova3. That had the RDOS operating system which I managed to 'hack' to make a 2 user system - each in their own workspace but sharing a floppy disk (or two). I wrote an Asset Management system sharing the disk for two users - it worked great, with my own home grown indexing system to guarentee retrieval of any record in under 1 second - for either user.

Those were the days - I couldn't do it now.


Linux may soon lose support for the DECnet protocol


I used to love DECnet

I joined DEC back in 1986 and was one of the first to show PATHworks to customers (anyone remember the Vaxmate?). I was friends with the USA development teamteam (I pointed out a Netbios bug and showed what the fix would be) and used DECnet for DOS all over the place. DECnet itself was pretty good - and as the article says, could be accessed all over the world. They were good days back then - shame it's all just TCP these days.


Preparing for Skylab: The separate 1972 experimental mission that never left the ground


In one go?

6 pints - I do hope that was over a long period - or else the guy had a seriously large bladder (or was aided by the icon here)

Dev's code manages to topple Microsoft's mighty SharePoint


It's still going on

MS Onedrive. Save a file to my Onedrive folder. Go into Outlook, try and attach that file to a message - "Sorry, you don't have permission to do that"

WTF ?? I own that soddin' document! What extra permissions do I need? MS has no idea.

Large Hadron Collider experiment reveals three exotic particles


Why is it so complex?

You'd think the universe would have been created with a much simpler structure. How many times did it get it wrong before the present one stabilised?

It does all seem very very complex (or is it just me?)

Logitech Zone Vibe 125: Weightless comfort on the ears that won't break the bank


My Sony WH XM1000 headphones connect via Bluetooth and provide excellent sound and stereo.

Rufus and ExplorerPatcher: Tools to remove Windows 11 TPM pain and more


Re: Desktop on OneDrive by default?

There is a page of options as to where the default Documents, desktop etc. will go. If you ignore that page, then OneDrive is it. If you see it and understand what it says, you turn it off.

Yes, I got caught by it on one of my upgrades. So, now I know!


Been doing this since it came out

I put Open Shell and Explorer Patcher on. Added Winaero tweaker as an app. My system looks like Windows 7 (best desktop) but gets all the latest patches. I have Gadgets (remember those?), quick launch and a taskbar that is completely customisable.

NOBODY PRINT! Selfless hero saves typing pool from carbon catastrophe


Hobnobs - invented for mans pleasure

Hobnobs - just saying the word conjures up visions of Rowan Atkinson marking the attendance register. Those who know will understand what I mean.

And chocolate ones are delicious.

Graphical desktop system X Window just turned 38


Back in the old days

I remember programming X windows - writing the primitives like scroll bars. Ah, those were the good times!!!

Cloudflare explains how it managed to break the internet


It's not that big a deal

OK - so we lost part of the internet for a couple of hours. At a time when half the world was asleep. Get a life guys - it's not that big a deal. There are MUCH more important and worrying things going on in the world today. Cloudflare fixed it - and it won't happen again like that.

So, sit and enjoy a beer.


Apple M1 chip contains hardware vulnerability that bypasses memory defense


Accuracy is everything

"About 2.94 minutes" - just a rough gude then :)

BOFH: You'll have to really trust me on this team-building exercise


"What post-COVID moral issues?"

Given the end story, was this a true freudian slip, or just atyping error?

Elon Musk puts Twitter deal on hold over bot numbers claim


It'll cost him to back out

I vaguely remember a figure of $1b which he has to pay if he pulls out.

Thinnet cables are no match for director's morning workout


Make before break?

10 base 2 - there was a connector called 'make before break', which allowed you to add new devices and remove them without upsetting the whole system. They looked like a T connector. I used them extensively at one company I worked for. Which was great until a directory decided to take his PC home and removed the cable by unplugging at the wrong 'T' point - taking his PC with the make before break connector still attached and leaving two cables hanging out of the skirting board.

Oh how we laughed.


Re: Ethernet woes

As a technical writer, did you ever make use of the new fangled device called a paragraph?

A discounting disaster averted at the expense of one's own employment


Been there and done that too (I didn't get fired)

Working for a large consultancy company, we had a contract with a large telecoms company to move kit and apps from one DC to another. We seemed to be losing money, so I had a look at the contract. They had a convoluted algorithm which defined the type of servers/apps to be moved and the costs associated - which was produced by a third party and obviously no-one had actually analysed it.

So, I got my handy Exel spreadsheet (no MS Access though) and set up the definitions and then applied it to the servers we had moved or were going to move. It turns out that the telecoms company had applied it wrong and it saved us about £1m - which put us nicely back in profit.

Did I get any thanks or rewards? What do you think? Of course not.


Windows 10 still growing, but Win 11 had another bad month, says AdDuplex


Why bother?

So, I have Windows 10 looking like Windows 7 (proper Start Menu button, use of Quick launch toolbar, etc.) and I'm happy with that. I got a new test PC which came with Windows 11. I eventually got it to look like Windows 7 with third party tools at which point it was "why should I upgrade my other PCs?"

So, I haven't bothered - and probably wont until there's a proper compelling reason to do so.


Dropbox unplugged its own datacenter – and things went better than expected


I had that with a MS Exchange system many years ago - but by accident.

I'd set up a clustered pair of Exchange servers. The customer wanted it live "NOW". So I made it live. Came in the next day and one of the servers had gone dead (or 'popped its clogs' as we say up here). The customer hadn't actually noticed and emails were still coming and going. So, I fixed the issue (dead PS), restarted it and then proclaimed we'd had a successful failover test. Customer was very happy.


Microsoft exposes glue-free guts of the Surface Laptop Studio


HP's are not too bad

My Spectre and Envy laptops come apart quite easily - but they also have soldered in memory, which means no upgrades (boo hiss).

Battery and SSD are both replaceable.


SpaceX's Starlink service lands first aviation customer


Oh no - not again.

I can just imagine every third passenger shouting into their mobile phone - "Yes, I'm on an airplane. Isn't it wonderful" - just as they used to do on trains.

Climate model code is so outdated, MIT starts from scratch


Is ML the answer?

There's probably more historical data lying around on global and local weather than anything else. It sounds as if a generic ML (I won't call it AI) environment should be able to pick it up and predict future trends from past historical data with reasonable accuracy. So, why invent another model?


Why the Linux desktop is the best desktop


One reason to stay with Windows - Outlook

I have tried Linux. I can get most things to work, but have yet to find a client email package that fully supports Office 365. I'd be interested to know if anyone has found one - I currently have 6 different O365 accounts and 4 others which I can display within my Outlook (Office 2019 on Windows 10) client.

Then, there's WhatsApp - I don't like it, but I do need it. And it runs nicely on Windows 10.

Then, my web builder s/w is Windows based. And so it goes on. My working profile is predicated on a Windows lifestyle, so I am stuck with it. But I am not unhappy.

PS - I am also at the stage of Alan 100 - virus's 0. [So far!]


Testing for COVID with the sound of a cough? There’s an app for that


Not available on any of my phones

Well, Google Play says it won't work on any of my phones - OnePlus or Samsung. Which are pretty generic. So, what is it supposed to work on?


Google uses deep learning to design faster, smaller AI chips


Re: Prime Premium Content Produces and Presents Exceptional Results and Almighty Assets

You last paragraoh makes absolutely no sense (to me). What are you actually trying to say?

114 billion transistors, one big meh. Apple's M1 Ultra wake-up call


I was there

I wrote my first Fortran program in 1971. I "grew up" (in the computing sense) alongside IBM 360's, DEC PDPs, CPM, DOS, WIndows, Unix.. All that from 1975 to 1990. Those were the brilliant chenaging years. Who remembers the book "Undocumented DOS"? Using that, you could do anything with your PC. Who worked on Vax VMS - you could do magic with DCL alone, never mind all the other build in tools.

I designed and wrote some crazy s/w in those days. If I'd had a commercial hat on, I may have been rich - but it was far too much fun to share it all out for free.

Since then, it's really been more of the same but better. More PCs, faster chips, better WIndows (although some would doubt that with WIndows 8 and now Windows 11).

So, yes, the MAC Ultra is nice - but sorry, there's nothing "new" - it's just more of the same but faster, better and sometimes cheaper.

It's still fun these days but it's not Exciting, Innovative, New.


Prototype app outperforms and outlasts outsourced production version


Been there - done that

I had to write some temporary code in (gasp) Excel VBA to extract data and reformat it so we could invoice the customer. The old manual way was taking 2 weeks man time every month - mine took 10 minutes (and did more). It was supposed to last 12 months while they designed and built something "better".

As far as I know, the code is still being used 5 years later. It just worked! I did fully document it which I supposed helped.

China details relocation plan for up to five million datacenter racks


Sounds great

As an ex data centre migration architect, that sounds like a great project. But riddled with issues, of course.

I hope they have good people on it. I can think of lots of ways it can fail.

Experimental WebAssembly port of LibreOffice released


Re: As far back as the mid 1990's?

I wrote my first full screen text editor in 1983 - in Turbo Pascal.

Worked really well and I ended up selling it as "EasyEdit" - I even made some money out of it.

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


Re: Site Acceptance Test

I once did a weekend trip to Singapore for 1 meeting. Flew in. Had meeting. Slept for 4 hours. Caught plane home.


BOFH: The Geek's Countergambit – outwitted at an electronics store


Dibert has the answer


Former tech CIO jailed for setting up £475k backhander scam with IT outsourcing firm


Re: DV?

I had a high clearance when I was working in some nulcear industry. I was told quite emphatically that I was not allowed to go on holiday to anywhere east of Dubai as I would be in danger of being kidnapped for what I might know (which was nothing - I was only decommissioning stuff).

That sort of implies that the Eastern blocs all knew who had DV clearance - which was in itself worrying. Either that or the powers that be in the UK were making their roles sound much grander than they were.

Update 'designed to improve user experience' takes down the Microsoft 365 Admin Portal


Oh why are we waiting (sung in a very loud voice)

It's still f'in down. I have tasks queuing up!!!!

OpenShell has been working on a classic replacement for Windows 11's Start menu


Works for me

I use a combination of Open Shell and Explorer Patch which gives me back resizeable task bar, the Windows 7 style menu and all over on the LH side.


Barclays snubs public cloud giants and hardware rivals for HPE GreenLake private cloud


Good for them

As an ex HP employee who worked on data centre migrations, I am pleased about this. Moving stuff to the 'cloud' was killing the enjoyment (for me) - which is why I left.

I hope they all do well.




Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022