* Posts by Vometia has insomnia. Again.

511 publicly visible posts • joined 18 May 2021


Parliamentarians urge next UK govt to consider ban on smartphones for under-16s

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Does not go far enough!

Wasn't that one by Culture Club?

HR expert says biz leaders scared RTO mandates lead to staff attrition

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

ISTR there were some in Harlow, which also had its own "tech corridor". Whatever you think of Harlow, it made sense: lots of space, easy to get to and surrounded by countryside. But that was decades ago: they've all gone now, either failed management, take-overs, offshoring, or selling up to developers and relocating into the middle of London, because 20 miles away is too far and it's outrageous that staff aren't spending another couple of hours a day (at least) commuting, etc. :| And of course the offices in the middle of London have tended to be much more horrible: typically overcrowded, often leased and maintained to varying standards of indifference and so on.

Apple crushes creativity and its reputation in new iPad ad

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Correction

I always read his name as Huge Rant anyway, mostly because I'm easily amused.

Not a Genius move: Resurrecting war hero Alan Turing as your 'chief AI officer'

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Turing misinformation

My respect for coroners went down a lot after my gf's "suicide" last year (it wasn't, but he was prejudiced enough to ensure that's what went on the official record and refused to speak to me at all).

If Britain is so bothered by China, why do these .gov.uk sites use Chinese ad brokers?

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: There is absolutely no reason

They just don't give a damn!

They don't have do; have you tried reporting anything to the ICO? They just go "lol, whatevs" if you get a response at all.

My practice uses EMIS which is kinda shit but more worryingly ties in with Google to force ReCAPTCHA, among other things, and is festooned with ads for private services and other crap. As well as the security problems and the "btw you'll have to pay for this service you thought you could access lol" which takes up much of the site, it's pretty ableist too. Which is kinda relevant to a health provider, you might think, but they're as indifferent to that as they are to security. And as much as GPs are private businesses, they're the only means of accessing non-emergency care and there's often no choice which one you go to, and they in turn have little choice of which software to use. Seems broken as designed, which just about sums up 21st Century Britain. At least 2000AD's future dystopia had flying cars and shit; the non-fiction version is just shit.

Rarest, strangest, form of Windows saved techie from moment of security madness

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

You were at DEC and you actually saw one?! Blimey. We were told if we wanted them so badly we'd have to lease them from an external supplier and there was no budget. I think the first time I finally saw one in the flesh was in the late '90s after I'd left DEC... and that one was running Windows. D:

During DEC's Alpha Famine years, ISTR some manager was telling customers that the likes of the CHEFS:: "super"cluster was all Alpha but AIUI it was and remained a collection of ageing early-era Vax 6000s with random odds and sods bolted on probably over ethernet; the performance was often commented on and the comments tended to suggest it was anything but super. As was the branding: "what shall we call it? Something catchy like Alpha eVAXPng!" and giving potential customers a moving target. I still have my "Imagine being the one without AXP!" horse-racing pen. It's so crap that I've treasured it for decades.

Your trainee just took down our business and has no idea how or why

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Whoopsie!

You'd think the vendor would have had the forethought to tell the trainee not to do something unless they were certain they knew what they were doing, but more importantly, to check with the client first to see if it was ok to actually do anything.

You'd think so, but I have experienced (and witnessed) that particular form of genius management whose idea of training is to yell at the new kid to get it sorted out and to not embarrass anyone by asking "stupid" questions. Which tends to result in chaos, predictably. Well, predictable to anyone but that particular type of manager. The article kinda reads like that, and it might explain the outcome, too...

Torvalds intentionally complicates his use of indentation in Linux Kconfig

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: trying to find bugs in c or BASIC or Fortran or Pascal trying to find mismatched

I was a bit perturbed when I had to get used to cb's absence; it was really nice for sorting out mangled code, or just code which used the "wrong" formatting style (often my own in both cases). I occasionally use indent nowadays but it has about eleventy billion options and sometimes it's quicker just to indulge some regex unpleasantness in vim.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Semicolons and curly braces, forever.

I learnt that conv=ebcdic and conv=ibm aren't the same thing. By which I mean I learnt the hard way, obvs.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Tab = four  

I remember my grandfather's mechanical typewriter had settable tabs; it wasn't only older than me, it was possibly older than him too (born around 1920, RAF comms guy then BBC luvvie, hence typewriter for script-writing) but disorganised teenage me had no idea what they were for. I probably caused irritation when I moved them about!

10 years later I found the VT220 (or at least clones: this was actually a Motorola/Philips TM220 but was a rebadge that I saw with various different brand names and I'm not sure who actually made them; Ampex, maybe?) also had settable tabs which were used by e.g. the curses library to hasten output when drawing full-screen menus and similar, which was thoughtful at a time when 9600bps was still considered pretty quick for a terminal. It's something I only discovered when using software like Uniplex which went through a phase of crashing randomly, and consequently it left the tab stops in very non-standard places. I dunno what it normally did on a non-crashy exit, whether there was an option to restore the previous tab settings or if it just set them to the default of every 8 characters.

X fixes URL blunder that could enable convincing social media phishing campaigns

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Gosh, that takes me back

I remember seeing too many unexpected examples of that resulting in people doing their own manual "profanity" filtering in advance, hence things like "knobber spaniel" (though ISTR that one was rather contrived). Which even years later still makes me snigger because I'm childish.

VMS Software prunes OpenVMS hobbyist program

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Ugh, I always hated the fad for prefixing everything with "Open" in that era. I forget if there was even much difference been VMS and, er, VMS (I still refuse to call it that) other than UCX being included by default. And even that I'm not 100% certain of. All I remember is the warning that it would no longer fit on a single 100MB HDD (which included space for its paging and swap files) which seems microscopic by today's standards.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Stop telling me to be observant! I object on moral grounds! etc.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: CMS could also do system calls

They could only write to channels they were given permission to access in the CP directory. It was handy for running entire systems like MVS under VM, for instance, but all virtual machines were protected from each other from the outset (the latter AFAIK but certainly by the time it was in production; which tended to use RACF to manage/enforce. Bleh.)

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: the whole point of VM was to put a "conversational" interface on everyone's desk

I quite liked CMS. It could also do system calls, albeit called "VM assists" because IBM would've had an existential crisis if they used other people's terminology (okay, it appropriated an unused DIAG instruction, but much same thing), and though it sounds clunky, its virtual card-punch/reader interface provided pretty handy and efficient communication channels. PROFS was a reasonably nice office system for its day, and while not as good as VISTA (okay, I'm biased) it was pretty popular. I was much less keen on TSO for MVS, which looked to me like a pseudo-interactive batch-job. And it was expensive, as I discovered when my idle exploration caused the department's bill to skyrocket. Oopsie.

From an end-user POV, CMS doesn't really seem that different to TOPS-10 IMHO, with the caveat that I didn't quite appreciate what I had when I used them on real hardware and now regret that I didn't familiarise myself as much as I did with VMS and Unix back in the day; and both of them influenced the CLI component of CP/M. ISTR TOPS-10 could support more interactive users on equivalent hardware tho' (but again I may be biased).

Edit: ironically, when I worked at DEC, there were no longer any PDP-10s running (at least not that I knew of) but they did have an IBM mainframe that was really for compatibility & comms testing but available to anyone who wanted an account. So I got to use CMS more when I was at DEC than I did at my previous employer who used multiple VM systems in their production environment.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Raspberry Pi running the emulation

Okay, it's Richard Cornwell's updated/modified SIMH. The point was that regular SIMH won't drive the hardware. :| I don't know if his updates have been or will be propagated back to the main project, but for now it's the bleeding-edge stuff.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: PDP-6 & 10's hardware team were always in a slightly awkward position

PDP-6 had reliability issues due to its complexity; PDP-10 was essentially the same system (they were binary compatible, at least for the most part IIRC) but redesigned with newer components.

It was called a mainframe by DEC, and by most people who used it. It's only people who see "mainframe" and "IBM System/3x0" as synonyms who would suggest otherwise. Not even all IBM systems were batch-oriented; apart from the large market in transaction processing, the whole point of VM was to put a "conversational" interface on everyone's desk. PDP-10 also had increasingly sophisticated batch processing from the outset fwiw.

The only exception to "the PDP-10 is a mainframe" would be the small KS10, which I think DEC was a bit optimistic about describing as a mainframe, even in the context of "the smallest". But the rest of them were huge beasties capable of dealing with enormous workloads.

What ultimately killed off the 36-bit line was the decision to focus on the Vax. I've heard various stories about performance problems with the KC10 (a.k.a. Jupiter) but know that there was a long and ugly battle going on behind the scenes between the "large" and "mid-size" systems groups, so the exact truth of the matter seems hard to pin down; but certainly having one standard architecture that (eventually) spanned all system sizes was more convenient for DEC.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Currently running ITS on the PiDP-10

Yeah, the Unix team foresaw that risk, probably as a direct result of their experiences with Multics, which is one reason why they wanted to diversify away from DEC-only hardware as early as they did. There was a huge furore about the PDP-10 line being canned completely and a lot of people never forgave DEC for that; and while that was a few years after Bell/AT&T had already decided to be hardware independent, it was a good reminder of its importance.

You'd think DEC would know better after the Massbus fiasco (they decided that, unlike Unibus, they'd keep it proprietary as some suit could only see how much income they'd "lost" by anyone being allowed to use the Unibus standard) but by that time it was already a company at war with itself.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: GE 645

I don't know a lot about the BBN pager, except that they were disappointed that the virtual memory system DEC finally produced in house was supposedly too simple; but when even MIT (I think) described BBN's pager as being complicated I'm left wondering what it did. I think the PDP-6 & 10's hardware team were always in a slightly awkward position as the original remit was for a minicomputer and they accidentally got carried away and created a mainframe, but DEC's whole purpose was to not put potential customers off by being one of the companies who were already being seen as infamously expensive. They still marketed the 10 as a mainframe but had to be mindful about anything too "exotic" (i.e. costly).

I suppose a similar story with the albeit not officially sanctioned VM at IBM; back when it was still called CP, it needed to run on a 360/67. Can't remember if the virtual memory came with the 67 as standard (which would've made it a very non-standard standard as virtual memory wasn't a System/360 thing) or whether that was an additional requirement. Even now, IBM still seems to resent VM for providing an alternative to its MVS-influenced universe, even though it's probably just as influential to their current offerings thanks to it being the basis for LPARs and what-not.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: It would be fun to have a VMS VM to play with again.

Even better, replicas of the front panels for PDPs 8, 10 and 11 exist and can be driven by the I/O connector of a Raspberry Pi running the emulation (not SIMH AFAIK but others with equivalent functionality) so that the lights and switches work as they should. They're ⅔ scale; as much as part of me would like full-size, the 10's panel (the KA10 model) is already quite big as it is. They'll even do the soldering for a (small) fee, which is just as well as I'm hopeless at it. I think the last thing I soldered was a SCSI cable I accidentally chopped in half thanks to not noticing it was still hanging out of a minicomputer I slammed shut; I'm astonished it worked afterwards. It was a then new LVD cable, expensive at the time, though I think telling me to repair it was more a lesson to remember to be more careful in future...

Er anyway. Not sure what's planned next as the 10's just been released and everyone's still buzzing about it, but there probably won't be a Vax as they never had the pretty lights. Bah.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Interesting comment coming from MS considering so many people cite gaming as their sole reason for running Windows. I know there's streaming, but if appropriate cloud services even exist, I don't really want to be dependent on the bandwidth, responsiveness and flakiness of my DSL.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: One word...

Perhaps mention where you can mention where we can find it! As it's kinda in Big Licensing™ territory, HP & VSI are ongoing concerns and (at least) the former is litigious and the latter can be a little surly, even if El Reg would like to turn a blind eye, it could put them in a bit of an awkward position.

The other thing I remember about running my Vax was its enthusiastic power consumption: DEC installed a leased line to my house back in the '90s and I decided to put some VaxNotes stuff on there so I kept it running 24/7. Even when electricity was much cheaper than now, the bills could be a bit eye-watering. Kept the house nice and warm, though; albeit not so useful at the height of summer. I could also hear email arriving wherever I was in the house thanks to those big RZ56(? I think) HDDs rumbling and clunking away.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Grr [Vax wasn't the first 32-bit platform]

Interesting. The only other 24-bit machine I know of is the ICL 1900 (definitely not IBM compatible as some assume; all they had in common was EBCDIC) which I know so little about; I guess it's rarely mentioned in computer history sites as they never made much headway in the US. My gf's mum worked on the OS just before it was released to market, she wrote various system libraries and stuff back when they were still ICT (this would've been around 1963) but sadly died when she was young so I never had a chance to ask about it; she didn't even know her mum was a programmer until I found out quite recently, in spite of following in her footsteps. I wonder if that did something similar or if "24 bits are enough for anyone"; at least until the 2900, which I presume had more.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Grr [Vax wasn't the first 32-bit platform]

Thank you, that's the system I was trying to remember (I think). Good point about the bitness of the software, I hadn't actually thought about that; and I should probably curtail my inclination to "I seem to remember" given the demonstrable unwillingness of my memory to ever divulge any useful details.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Grr

I still have my internal PAKs from DEC (well, in theory) so my Vaxes could just go 30 years back in time, I suppose. But apart from being a bit naughty from a licensing point of view, I'd just be all "but that's not right!" when I see the date. Currently running ITS on the PiDP-10 emulator (it has flashing lights and everything! Everyone here should have one, etc) which handles 21st century dates randomly well: sometimes it does it correctly, other times the year comes out as 124, but at least it tries. And is quite trying, as much as it's interesting to see the origin of so much stuff we take for granted.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge


Well that sucks, though as I was already long since resigned to never being able to run VMS on my Vaxes again I guess I'm already pre-disappointed. In the case of the Vax, I'm still not sure if that was even a policy decision or because HP were alleged to have lost track of who has the rights to it.

Regarding 32-bit Unix, I have a vague memory that the Vax wasn't the first 32-bit platform as they really didn't want to risk it being a DEC-only OS; but the details of what might have been currently elude me. I still have fond memories of my first encounter, Ultrix on the college's Vax 8650. Of course we hated each other at first, all the most lasting friendships are like that.

European Space Agency to measure Earth at millimeter scale

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: What are they using as their zero point?

Oo-er missus!

When life gives you Lemon, sack him

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Ketamine

It's also strongly implicated in the death of my partner; giving it to someone with PTSD and who has known problems with dissociation as a result is a bad idea, forcing her to take it seemed positively malicious. Her actual death was caused by barbiturates (and their origin was never discovered thanks to the coroner refusing to hear any evidence, but probably the same source) but being discharged when still traumatised and then additionally disoriented by ketamine probably helped pull the trigger.

I dunno why people take this sort of stuff recreationally. :|

Microsoft defends barging in on Chrome with pop-up ads pushing Bing, GPT-4

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

There's a whole bunch of processes that are dedicated to doing stuff like that and other snooping. I have very noisy HDDs on my gaming PC (large and relatively inexpensive because of the amount of gaming mods and crap I download, and they're okay for RAID; but they are bloody noisy) and I can hear them unexpectedly rumbling away on a regular basis. It's nearly always the result of something that came hidden amongst the inevitable bloatware that all IT companies are now guilty of that's decided without asking permission that it's going to rummage through all my shit and phone home with its findings. Some of it is more persistent and difficult to get rid of than others. It's kinda scary/annoying (depending on mood) how much of this stuff goes on, and I'm probably only aware of the more blatant examples.

"Something must be done", though I'm not going to hold my breath. Big Tech™ still exists in a current-day Wild West and I don't see that changing any time soon.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Chrome used to do the same thing

Same, only with some added lack-of-paying-attention in my case.

British Library pushes the cloud button, says legacy IT estate cause of hefty rebuild

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Legacy is here to stay... Live with it...

Securility, surely.

Dumping us into ad tier of Prime Video when we paid for ad-free is 'unfair' – lawsuit

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

I cancelled not that long after the huge price hike for the bundled video service I didn't want. Not even because of that but because their once outstanding customer service nose-dived; that was before the tidal wave of dodgy Chinese tat. Amazon no longer has anything I want, but it now has plenty of stuff I don't, including the deluge of attempted spam from AWS that they evidently do very little to counter.

Fujitsu finance chief says sorry for IT giant's role in Post Office Horizon scandal

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

They do learn an important lesson: that they can do what they like with total impunity because any attempt to hold them accountable will be bogged down in bureaucracy forever. The medical profession is especially bad for this, I'm sure managers are all issued with a "lessons will be learnt" rubber stamp that magically makes all the problems go away, regardless of misconduct and criminality; they've been doing it for decades.

Microsoft's vision for the future of work is you trusting Redmond to get AI right

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

I hope so. Crypto, NFTs and now AI feel like they're trying to recreate the dotcom bubble of the late '90s; I'm a bit disappointed that the Register seems much less sardonic about the matter this time round and if anything seems to be just another cheerleader. A lot of the problem in all cases is the name, which is (probably deliberately) confusing, vague or misleading; I guess at least some people routinely refer to "AI" as LLM which is a lot more accurate as it isn't what most people would actually think of as AI. I've had several conversations with non-tech people who think it really is intelligent and perhaps even sentient and they seem disappointed that, while ChatGPT may make it seem that way, there's no actual thought nor understanding going on at all and it's no more AI than decades-old ELIZA, it just has larger models to work from (okay, simplistic, but more true than calling it "intelligent").

Part of my cynicism is that it's now 40 years since I first heard of AI being within reach and recalling the endless stream of disappointment that teenage me first experienced when she read that Lisp was the language for AI (really!), and since then the likes of Prolog and intelligent systems (gf did those at college a few years later and seemed to feel likewise; not quite the same disappointment, but that they weren't what they were colloquially described as being) and so on.

Not that it doesn't have its uses, though it's no surprise that the techbros seem to be most interested in finding a way around copyright law. Of course any loopholes will be very quickly closed off as soon as the plebs look like they may be able to do the same.

Cruise being investigated over car crash that dragged victim along the road

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: "The system, nicknamed Vista"

When I hear "Vista", I still think of Philips' internal email system of that name developed in the 1980s. Unlike its later Windows namesake, it was actually very good and provided a lot of features that modern email still can't do well.

Its main problem is that it ran on MVS so it wasn't very portable, but while 3270 (and emulation) was commonplace, it was well-liked and popular.

IBM overhauls rewards program for staff inventions, wipes away cash points

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Months???

I suppose that's the difference between an actual accountant and a "bean-counter". The former knows what they're doing, understands the benefits of investment and planning and so on; the other just wants a pat on the head from bonus-seeking veeps for slashing costs wherever they can get away with it and damn the consequences, it'll look like someone else's fault. Though I suspect the VP and bean-counter are often one and the same given the sort of stratospheric ego who reckons they can do anything without relevant training or experience because they're awesome, they wouldn't be VP otherwise, etc.

I still shudder at the memory of DEC's sudden cancer of VPs: around 40 by the early '90s, already thought to be far too many, and IIRC 160+ and still growing by the time I left a few years later. Ironically, Greasy Bob was hiring all the senior managerial liabilities that IBM was firing at the time; this isn't IBM's first episode of nearly going down the toilet. DEC went down the toilet instead. I'm not sure IBM has the leadership to do the same this time, though, and "reassuringly expensive" won't keep them going forever.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: It's the IBM of the 21st century, what do you expect?

Probably not going to get quite the same PR, so I guess it's 18 carat Ratner rather than the proper 9 carat Full Ratner.

UK public sector could save £20B by swerving mega-projects and more, claims chief auditor

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Time to insource

Incidentally government IT has had quite a few successful projects. The DVLC is still running a forty year old system with no need for replacement.

This is precisely the sort of stuff they want to replace. "Legacy systems" is such a give-away, it's the scary catch-phrase for anything that's just been quietly doing its job and minding its own business for decades without ever making the headlines, and it makes the usual suspects unhappy because it's a wasted opportunity to bilk someone for expensive crapware that never works.

How governments become addicted to suppliers like Fujitsu

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Yeah. IIRC that was the whole point of the shake-up with IBM back in the '70s when they started charging for their operating systems, because IBM's prior insistence on being the sole provider of the entire package was problematic and anticompetitive. I still think a major part of the problem is the outsourcing of development: government used to do their own and would take on various contractors (whether from the hardware and/or software providers or independents) to help out with their own development rather than to farm out the entire project. Though not without its problems (hard to say if government was actually more bureaucratic than DEC or just a different sort of bureaucracy) it worked pretty well, and certainly worked a lot better than the innumerable failures of the past 20-odd years courtesy of the usual culprits. You'd think by now someone would be doing something about it instead of "well maybe that sucks but we're still just going to keep on doing the same thing indefinitely".

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Origins of Horizon

No. In fact my experiences with the then Inland Revenue were quite the opposite: all staff who had access to the test systems (which had a small subset of live data) required positive vetting, which AIUI was an ongoing process which could see staff permanently turfed out at any moment if something was flagged up. Physical security was significant (keycard-controlled entry booths right in front of the permanently manned security offices, patrols, video surveillance, all areas were behind locked doors with keycards and/or combination locks, underground walkways so staff, documents and data didn't have to leave the premises to get to other buildings and so on) and there was definitely no remote access. They used me to physically move some data to another site as they didn't trust any couriers with it, even though I was all "but I have a hangover" (though more seriously, it went straight there and didn't leave my possession until it was at its destination; compared to, say, giving it to an MP who'd probably have printed it off and left it on the train). Live systems were even more stringently guarded, by actual security personnel who constantly hovered around the one time I was briefly allowed near it. I don't know the exact details about logging but there's no way it wasn't a thing, and it would've been pretty comprehensive because their internal security people were actively all over that stuff.

It's quite astonishing to hear of a system where general staff were allowed unrestricted access to probably similarly sensitive information without even logging stuff. Well, "astonishing" implies surprise and at this point I'm not, I'm just depressed about the state of things.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Was it really that far back? Blimey. I suppose my observation is that I knew some people who worked for ICL around the time Fujitsu took over way back and their morale absolutely plummeted; and while I'm not going to claim ICL was without its flaws, it seemed to rapidly get very much worse, at least from a bystander's perspective.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

I was seconded to the Revenue's internal IT team way back to help develop something. Same story, the project was delivered on time and under-budget, and also turned out to have spare capacity to do various other interesting things. Some of the internal politics and gnashing of teeth weren't always fun but most were a good bunch and stuff just worked. They did have a bit of a love-affair with ICL (and hence Fujitsu's entrance, sadly) but AIUI the computers and software that were supplied in the ICL years worked well; about the only thing I heard anyone complaining about was a mainframe-based text editor that was apparently a bit shit.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Corruption

Internal IT departments have done it since forever and on a pretty tiny budget too. The development (and thus support) team for a complex piece of software rolled out to thousands is often a couple of people and a coffee machine. I spent much of my career writing bits of software to do stuff that was apparently complicated and/or difficult, it's just what programmers do. Backed up by a competent ops team to do first-line support, that sort of development was unremarkable. If the software had problems that evaded testing, it was fed back to the team immediately and fixed, as was stuff that wasn't technically a problem but which annoyed users, hence the Problem Report/Change Request forms.

Okay, a lot of this is going back to the days of mainframes, minis and clusters but I honestly don't see what's changed (I mean other than the omni-menace that is ISO-9000, but even stuff like that is hardly a deal-breaker).

NASA, Lockheed Martin reveal subtly supersonic X-59 plane

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Semitic Plane

Or perhaps Mr Noseybonk for us traumatised UK Generation X types.

Microsoft suggests command line fiddling to get faulty Windows 10 update installed

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

What irritates me is all the fanbois who keep insisting it's "the successor to VMS". VMS was notable for its verbose error messages, intuitive and consistent CLI and its extensive online help, as well as the (in)famous wall of manuals. Windows just goes "hurrdurr, I done an oopsie lol" and even if you look stuff up in Event Logger and can find anything relevant buried in the reams of crap, it's all obfuscation and hex codes and stuff. Trying to look them up usually ends up on the Micros~1 support site full of helpful remarks from Hello My Name's Dave asking if you've gone back to the last known good version or perhaps tried reinstalling Windows. argh. Though of course Poetterware has tried so hard to drag Linux in the same direction.

Data wrangler Zuckerberg becomes world's least likely cattle rancher

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

"academia trees"?

I guess well-read cattle are tastier.

Angus, a breed of black or red cow, is referred to as Aberdeen Angus because it originates from north-east Scotland.

So do many of my ancestors but I don't look all that cow-like. I suspect my forebears were probably wild haggis because nothing else can explain why I remain the shape of a Space Hopper no matter what.

Another airline finds loose bolts in Boeing 737-9 during post-blowout fleet inspections

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: I hope they also covered

Seems I paid even less attention to the history of the place than I thought! The poly did have a probably completely unrelated (to the plane, I mean; well, and the hotel too) wind tunnel. I remember every day at the end of lectures I'd be sitting in the car waiting for my friend to turn up and looking at its warning sign, wondering if I might one day hear the sudden noise in question. I never did.

The whole time I was there we searched for Hatfield's actual shopping centre, not believing that the rather run-down '50s precinct was it. Then they built the Gonorrhoea which didn't really improve things, but the resulting tunnel did give unruly students something to race through. Obvs. back in the days before speed cameras.

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: I hope they also covered

Oh, yeah, I'd forgotten about that; you'd think I'd remember as I was commuting into London around that time (though not on that line). I'd mentioned the Comet but IIRC its issues were with metal fatigue not being terribly well understood at the time rather than not bothering to tighten stuff properly...

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: I hope they also covered

I presume the Comet. I vaguely remember "The Comet Building" being pointed out often when I went to Scumbag College Hatfield Poly but seemed to be paying more attention to working on the most efficient means of developing a hangover.

UK PM promises faster justice for Post Office Horizon victims

Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

Re: Hot air

Police won't even bother with murder now, as I discovered last year. Weeks after the event it turned out they weren't investigating, though they didn't actually bother to tell me that. Scene was photographed, forensics did their stuff, CID came round, I handed them evidence and gave them a very long and detailed statement; and then, bugger all. I had to really pester them to find out what was happening and found out they'd decided it wasn't a crime. On the basis that I have a different opinion and think that murder is actually quite serious I complained to them, as directed by my MP, eventually got an acknowledgement and "we'll get back to you". That was a couple of months ago and nothing since.

I'm not sure what it is they actually do nowadays, but it does seem very apparent that the UK doesn't "do" justice any more. I suppose I shouldn't expect any better since our gropey MPs have been clearly breaking all public standards, engaging in "conflicts of interest" which look a lot like fraud and repeatedly committing perjury, evidently with zero risk to themselves.