* Posts by AlanSh

128 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Jul 2020


Mozilla's midlife crisis has taken it from web pioneer to Google's weird neighbor


Sounds just like DEC

Anyone remember them and how they took their foot off the pedal?

BOFH: What a beautiful tinfoil hat, Boss!


One of the best so far


You've excelled yourself today. Wonderful. Have one of these ------>


What DARPA wants, DARPA gets: A non-hacky way to fix bugs in legacy binaries


That's OK until

Someone finds the source code (or has it around anyway) and updates the original program with more features. Thus overwriting anything that was done in between.

Parts of UK booted offline as Virgin Media suffers massive broadband outage


Mine's up and down

I noticed it was partially working at 9am. It's been on and off all day. Seems OK now (9:30pm).

Luckily, we have an O2 sim in a mobile broadband device - good enough for my wife to run a decent Zoom session.

This is the longest outage I've had up here. It isn't enough to make me leave Virgin.


Microsoft adds features to Windows 11 monthly – managing it is your problem


Well, the last update broke my PC

I mistakenly installed the latest Tuesday security update on my laptop. Reboot - and all I got after logging in was a grey screen. I had to find a restore USB stick and back out the update that way.


Bitcoin mining rig found stashed in school crawlspace


How much did he make?

Enquiring minds want to know (well, I do!)

Thunderbird email client is Go for new plumage in July


60% for apple?

Every iPhone and iPad user has to have aniCloud email, even if they never use it. Maybe that's where the figures come from.

Me, I've been using Outlook since it first came out back in the early 1700's (yes, that's a joke). It does what I want. I looked at Thunderbird but it didn;'t seem to do anything I needed but didn;t have. Iwill try the new one.


Poor Meta. Technical debt and user training made its exabyte-scale data migration tricky


Been there - done that

As one who's main job (when I had one) was data centre migrations, I can sympahise - but they should have know this before they started.

Data migration is HARD! It's amazing how many of my customers thought you could just pick the data up, move it (sometimes to another country) and just expect it to work. Until I showed them a mind map I'd developed of all the different bits that needed to be sorted out. [I was going to write a book on it when I retited, but I haven't had time].

Oracle clouds never go down, says Oracle's Larry Ellison


Re: Fact

Recognised by whom? a citation would be good.

The cubesats lost in space from Artemis Moon mission


Re: 60% Grade is not a Pass

I agree. When I first went to college, I was told that 40% was a pass mark and 70% was an 'A'. I did some real work placement while I was there, and to my horror (and eventual delight), anything less than 100% was a fail.

That attitude has stuck with me ever since then. You either do it right or it is wrong - there is no 'grading' in industry.


If today's tech gets you down, remember supercomputers are still being used for scientific progress


How will this help?

As I understand it, a scientist proposes some theory and then they use some empirical experiment (e.g. the hadron collider) to prove their theory.

Simulation doesn't do that - you can create algorithms for anything you like - time travel, humans morphing to werewolves etc. - none of which is remotely true.

So, what am I missing?

MacOS9.app: A tour de force of emulation and integration


Have you tried DOSBOX?

I also used to be a bit of a wiz at DOS - do you remember the book "Undocumented DOS"? That was my bible.

I recently resurrected a program I wrote (EasyEdit II) and got it working quite easily in DOSBOX (https://www.dosbox.com). That just uses a folder on my PC which is also accessible from native Windows, so it's easy to share files.


HPE hits record compute profit margin, insists you're buying bigger boxes, not being milked


I'm pleased

Having worked for Dec-Compaq-HP-HPE for 31 years before I took VR, I do keep an eye on my old company and I like the fact that it's still there and surviving.

Someone has to say it: Voice assistants are not doing it for big tech


You are not alone

We have two of them. One in the kitchen that my wife uses to listen to Radio 2 and one in the lounge to turn the lounge lights on.

When we bought them, it seemed a good idea - bu they are now quite an expensive radio and light switch.

IT manager's 'think outside the box' edict was, for once, not (only) a revolting cliché


On the floor?

Who leaves PCs on the floor? Buy a desk.

Elon Musk reportedly outlines horrible Twitter layoff process


Don't the other investors get a look in?

No, I don't use Twitter. Never have, never will.

But if I were one of the other investors in the $44b takeover, I would be seriously worried about how my investment would pay out, given the hype, reduced advertising and layoffs affecting the company share price and morale. I haven't seen anything in the press about their opinions.

No, I will not pay the bill. Why? Because we pay you to fix things, not break them


Yes, with a tape system

Remember the days when you could walk inside a tape backup system? Well, a customer of mine had one and was very proud of it. So, proud that he was showing off to his superiors and said "let's go inside". Managed to open to door - at which point, everything inside shut down and all the tapes dismounted. Well, it would, wouldn't it. Humans and tape mount systems don't work well together.

It took us 2 days to remount all the correct tapes and restart the backup processes. During that time, the customer was given an opportunity to work elsewhere...

Data loss prevention emergency tactic: keep your finger on the power button for the foreseeable future


Re: Another sign of the migration of El Reg Westwards?

That was the first thing I also noticed about that article. Come on El Reg, at least get YOUR facts straight.

Oh - and bring back Dabbsy.

How I made a Chrome extension for converting Reg articles to UK spelling


Excuse me - according the the Yanks, it's MATH, not MATHS!!!! {Which I hate with a vengeance]

Artist formerly known as Kanye reveals Parler trick: Buying the far-right haven


Re: They claim 40k users

Maximum 5%, of course

Loathsome eighties ladder-climber levelled by a custom DOS prompt


Re: point of order

In 1987 I wrote a full screen editor called EasyEdit. Of course, it had all the Wordstar codes in it so it was familiar to all.

By 1990 (when I stopped modifiying it), you could do Edit -> Compile -> Test all from within the confines of EasyEdit.

He could have used that.

If you need a TCP replacement, you won't find a QUIC one


Not sure about this

My thoughts would be that RPC is one abstraction "above" TCP and will use TCP as its reliable transport. I don't see that as the third transport method itself.

Yes QUIC can do it all, but you are not starting from the right premise (however, I could be wrong).


No, working in IT does not mean you can fix anything with a soldering iron


Been there - done that

I manage the IT for our local scout area (1000 ish users and Office 365).

I got a call from a scout leader - his BUSINESS (nothing to do with scouts) had a user who couldn't log in and could I look ai it.

I mentioned my "commercial" charges (I am retired, but I used to be a consultant with HPE at around £1500 per day) and suddenly he had it all fixed and working.

I don't mind helping a friend for free (occasionally) but not this.

UN's ITU election may spell the end of our open internet


Re: Who's paying the piper?

But it's possible that 'new IP' will bypass those routers completely - effectively creating a new internet.

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.