* Posts by Andus McCoatover

2961 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007

Tobacco giant predicts the end of smoking. Panic ensues

Andus McCoatover
Windows

On quitting smoking...

I desperately want to quit, as a 30-a-day gasper for 45 years.

So, went to doctor, prescribed 1x 28-day course of Champix, and another 56-day course after that.

Fine. First course was a swingeing €102 - I'm on the dole, get €520 every 28 days. KELA (our NHS/Obamacare/whatever) doesn't discount the pills. They worked. Take as prescribed (they increase the dose over 7 days - you can still smoke, until you no longer feel the need to - in my case, a Marlborough had no effect after about 10 days)

I did alright - maybe 2-3 ciggies/day, nil towards the end of he course.

Then I went to get the next 'course'. €220. I could choose to quit smoking, or eat. As 'roll-ups' are much cheaper, I simply carried on, even though sometimes I couch so much with 'rollies' that I sometimes pass out.

I CURSE the day I had my first Players #6 behind the bike sheds when I was 14...

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Plastic fiver: 28 years' work, saves acres of cotton... may have killed less than ONE cow*

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Re: Silly people

You B'stard! I'm on a diet, but the idea of a bacon butty....

As Oscar Wilde said, "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it."*

OK, it's sizzling now.....(pause...) Search Great British HP sauce...check - OK it's from Holland, but it'll have to do...(pause)

Nam nam nam....

(Bacon Butty icon á la Lester Haines required.)

* Full quote, from the Picture of Dorian Gray:

“The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful.”

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Andus McCoatover
Windows

'Fessd up. Fair enough.

When I was working for Nokia - years ago, we made a basestation with integral antennas. One of the stipulation to the antenna manufacturer was that it didn't contain _any_ of a certain chemical. At that time, I was responsible for procurement of the antenna.

Supplier called me - sheepishly - and said that they actually _do_ use this chemical in a glue, but it was about 1 microgramme per antenna (it hat two). Is it a problem?

The reason this particular material was banned was that it was highly toxic when burned.

Did a bit of research (Google being in its infancy then) and I allowed my common sense to prevail. If about 100,000 of these antennas were to catch fire, simultaneously, and a fireman wasn't wearing his/her breathing apparatus, then, yes - (s)he _might_ get cancer in 20 years.

I decided "Go ahead and make it, folks"

'Elf and Safty somehow have no reason, sometimes. Bit like some "Religious Vegans" I see in the pub, supping beer clarified by isinglass...

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User needed 40-minute lesson in turning it off and turning it on again

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Re: Can you hold down the power button

My keyboard has a key that says "Enter", but for some strange reason, it also has Æ and Ø (where the ö and ä should be). Still, I nicked it from Norway, so can't grumble...

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You work so hard on coding improvements... and it's all undone by a buggy component

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Simples.

Try using an Atmel XMEGA series A/D converter to produce meaningful results.

If anyone can get that working, I'll buy 'em a pint! Even Atmel can't....

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Andus McCoatover

Re: Levels of blame...

GOTO 1.

There, fixed it for you.

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Chinese 'nauts blast off for month-long space station scouting mission

Andus McCoatover
Windows

....China has had to go the extra mile ....

I guess that's why the rocket is called "Long march"

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Linus Torvalds says ARM just doesn't look like beating Intel

Andus McCoatover
Windows

HUH????

...his early experiences writing 6502 machine code gave him appreciation of the way ARM handles instruction pipelines....

Instruction pipeline? 6502? Head, meet wall?

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Arduino vs Arduino

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Re: If you know how many Arduinos you have

I used to buy Chinese copies of the pro mini in 5's or 10's.

Never reckoned it a 'rip-off', just a small PCB, holding a '328, crystal and a few discretes. Think I got 'em for less than $3 each. None ever failed.

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Dublin shopkeeper catches forecourt fouler with his pants down

Andus McCoatover
Coat

Downloading some brownware?

OK....IT angle.

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Alleged buggy software wrongly flunks wannabe lawyers from bar exam. What happened next won't shock you

Andus McCoatover
Windows

How are these two statements compatible? (Unless you're a lawyer)

"There has been no problem with the software and services provided to the Georgia Board of Bar Examiners."

and:

"We have conducted a thorough investigation and have confirmed the causes of the errors in the scoring process," the Georgia Office of Bar Admissions said. "Those have been corrected and we are establishing procedures to ensure we will not make the same errors going forward."

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Microsoft redfaced after Bing translation cockup enrages Saudis

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Wasn't so long ago...

..that Google Translate translated an adjacent Finnish town to me, Kempele as Ghaziabad. Took 'em some years to fix it.

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update completely borks USB webcams. Yay.

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Seems to bork "Mouse Without Borders", too.

Odd, because it comes from the 'Microsoft garage'. No longer can I slam the mouse towards my other machine, use keyboard and mouse there.

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China's moon rover dies of extreme old age, after two-and-a-half years

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Yes, I'm one of those USAn dolts

You could be Libyan, and still use Fahrenheit.

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Andus McCoatover
Windows

Give 'em a break...

Thing was supposed to last 3 months*. Pretty good, huh?

*Lasted longer than the 'rabbit' buzzy thing my missus got from China.

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Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

Andus McCoatover
Windows

MIF?

Milk-in-first? Lowest form of terrorism ever!

Even my gardener doesn't do that!

Orf with their heads!

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A UK digital driving licence: What could possibly go wrong?

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Back to the old days?

"Good Consternoon, afterbul! I'm not as drink as you thunk I am"

"Can I see your driving licence"

"Hic - here"

"Where's your counterpart?"

"She's getting rat-faced in the pub, naturally!"

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The ‘Vaping Crackdown’ starts today. This is what you need to know

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Re: So the bar is now much higher for e-cig makers

OK, so why do builders wear 'hard hats' on the top floor?

Read too many Asterix comics?

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Elon Musk takes wraps off planet-saving Model 3 vapourmobile

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Also you don't need a specialist dealer to service brakes and tyres.

Except, after the service and a software update in the future, you go to use it, and...

ERROR 53.

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Reminder: iPhones commit suicide if you repair them on the cheap

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Re: How about..

...but brick the phone if something more significant is seen as "wrong", such as memory?...

One massive flaw in your argument.

People buy Apple phones, not rent them. At least, at the moment.

Bit like, if I sell you a car, and you decide to put a different engine in it. Do I have the right to drop a ton of bricks on it?

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Andus McCoatover
Windows

I seriously hope, with all this recent news coverage...

...that some really smart cookie is working on a fix for this. If they (anonymously, to avoid the inevitable lawsuit) published it, I'd jump for joy.

I'd have no problem with said smart cookie making a gazillion dollars from it, either...

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Andus McCoatover
Windows

Another analogy.

How about this:

I lose my bank card. I phone bank.

They immediately lock the bank card. Fair enough.

Then, they confiscate all the money in my account - never to be returned - to protect me against 'fraudulent use of the money'.

Simples!

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Windows 10 will now automatically download and install on PCs

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Well, that's another day of productivity wasted

PER USER. Globally.

I always used to check for, and install updates over lunch.

But, if my experience of installing Windows-10 goes, it'll take a day. OK, not for the upgrade itself - that only took 4 hours - but faffing about trying to find stuff that you just knew where it was yesterday...

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Dialog box shut: Now Microchip is set to gobble up Atmel

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Well, currently embroiled in an XMEGA project....

...for which I've had to learn Atmel's Studio 7, and worked with the free compilers, which are adequate, I looked at Microchip's offering.

Seems their licence depends on what part family you're using (8,16 or 32-bit), but turns out about €500 for ONE user, ONE year, ONE architecture. Atmel gives me 8 and 32 bit AVR, and all their ARM stuff - free.

Microchip's strategy would put me off a future upgrade for sure.

So, no thanks, MPLAB.

I'm sticking with Atmel, at least as long as their new Overchipped Microlords will let me...

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Florida cuffee surprised by pills in vagina

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Re: I know how they got there

Ah! Now I know why Lady Worthington was confused, when Ernest said he was found in a handbag...

(Whichever 'line' she was snorting at the time was immaterial)

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Eighteen year old server trumped by functional 486 fleet!

Andus McCoatover
Windows

LUXURY!!

I've still got callouses on my fingers from shoving them beads around on the NCB Accounts Department's Abacus machine, calculating the lads wages from working down t' pit. Never needed a reboot. Still working, I hear.

Yoof of today? They don't know they've been born!

Luxury! (etc...)

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Sysadmin's £100,000 revenge after sudden sacking

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Ooh! Should've been quicker!

Look at all those lovely upvotes to my silver badge I'd have got!!

But, thanks "James" - serously good example of why most managers shouldn't.

(In the same way as when I write code, often my variables don't and my constants aren't)

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LHC records biggest bang ever with 1 Peta-electron-volt jolt

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Sucks earth into a black hole???

Sounds like one of those old "Rastus and Elija" jokes

Elija: "Rastus - get away from the platform! That train's gonna suck you off!"

Rastus: "COME ON, TRAIN!!!"

Maybe I should've posted it Friday. Sorry.

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128GB DDR4 DIMMs have landed so double your RAM cram plan

Andus McCoatover
Windows

every version of windows was always slower than the previous version

Almost totally wrong.

XP. When we (at Nokia) had this thrust up our collective jaksie's it was pretty good. Yikes, they even gave us 512MB to increase productivity. From WIn-NT it was a miracle!

Then, Service Pack 3 came along.

We at Nokia increased the carbon footprint on the planet because we didn't want to wait for our machines to start every morning, we simply left them on overnight.

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Andus McCoatover
Windows

Bloatware fest!

Give piss-poor programmers more space to write crap code?

They might even revert to university-learned Java. God help us.

I remember using a computer (PDP-11) with 128 KILOBYTES of memory. Considered a luxury then. Memory cost thousands - about the asking price of a decent 3-bedroom family house in those days.

Considering, therefore how much a 'word' of code cost, you were FUC*KING cautious!

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What the world needs now is Pi, sweet $5 Raspberry Pi Zero

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Re: graphics documentation

I stand corrected, Sir!

Yes, I remember seeing that article now.

My point was that I wouldn't use the Broadcom chip to teach a beginner to learn about microprocessor architecture.

I had it easy, I suppose. My first experience of microcontrollers was when a (reasonably elderly) engineer* gave me the Intel 4004 manual. I DRANK it!!!

Now, 40 years on, I use Atmel Xmega a-series, that manual is - well - hard. (Also several errors...Took me a week to get the A/D converter to give me a believable reading).

But, again, I wouldn't give it to a novice.

* He also gave me his HP35 RPN calculator. Still have it, in its leather 'wallet'. When I get the courage, I'll try to power it up. 40 years old???

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Andus McCoatover
Windows

Re: Overpriced - NOT an Arduino killer.

I buy Arduino mini-pro's in bags of 5 from China. £2 each.

I use them if I ever get a sudden uncontrollable urge to blink an LED, or create a metronome.

But, as a workhorse (needed a quick pulse generator to simulate varying high speed wind the other day), they're brilliant. Quicker to get that going than solder a 555 etc. onto a scrap of veroboard.

I have the datasheet for the '328p chip. If I was (re)starting programming, it's reasonably clear, and reasonably teachable to assembly level.

Not so the Broadcom chip in the new Pi-Zero. Low-level stuff is protected by IPR, GPU info is definitely hidden. Reading the available information* gave me a fit of the vapours.

So, you learn Python, Scratch, C.

New world.

* http://infocenter.arm.com/help/topic/com.arm.doc.ddi0301h/DDI0301H_arm1176jzfs_r0p7_trm.pdf

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Amazon resets account passwords feared compromised – report

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Me, too.

Yeah, got the Amazon mail, even though I haven't used Amazon for years.

Probably some outfit I DO use, like Banggood.

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Ouch! Microsoft sues recycling firm over 70K stolen Office licenses

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Dumpster Diving. Hence the icon.

How I get some decent lappies, free.

Got a 'computer graveyard' near my place.

Found a lovely machine, 17" display, loadsa ram (OK, 2Gigs), Vista onboard. DVD stripped. Fortunately, had a couple of DVD's at home from a previous 'forage'.

Next to which, a smashed-up laptop with a Win-7 licence sticker (fortunately, both 32-bit*')

Rest was easy. Expenditure? €10.

Then, load, sweet-talk the operator (Mahatma Kote, I think his name was - might even be related) at Microsoft to let me licence it.

Then - Win-10. Nirvana.

*Someone explain why, when installing Atmel Studio 7, it wants 1Gig for 32-bit systems, but 2Gig for 64-bit, and why 32-bit seems to run faster than 64? (I have 2 computers for comparison). Well, I'm a Bear of Very Small Brain, and long words Bother me.

(Sorry, A.A.Milne, not what You had in mind, I'm sure....)

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How Microsoft will cram Windows 10 even harder down your PC's throat early next year

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Re: Will Work. For Free.

Spoken like a person who is owned by a cat. (I'd have written quicker, but she keeps nudging me off the keyboard. After some 'kitty-porn' I guess...)

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Andus McCoatover
Windows

NO! It doesn't start faster!!!

Myst-all-Chucking-Frighty----

"Boot" doesn't equal "ready to do some work".

A pretty desktop comes up and the Great Unwashed* - like me - say "Oh, that booted quick!*".

Look at your disk activity LED. Better still, <ctrl><alt><delete> and open task manager.

Then wait 20 minutes or so for the disk usage to go below 80%.

Then, and only then, can you open your e-mails, and go to https://www.gov.uk/ to find out how you'll be sanctioned because you didn't answer/read the e-mail in time...

(OK, I'm not subject to that nowadays (Or, indeed am I one of His*'* Highness' Subjects ?) but even so....

* As a member of the Great Unwashed - soap being deemed to be a luxury - 2GB and and old laptop is my all. Sorry that typing is a bit slow....

'*Alleged pig-porker Prime (Don't get me going!) Minister Cameron.

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Indianapolis man paints his ball every day – for FORTY YEARS

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Almost fill the Albert Hall?

I understand that Himmler had something sim'lar...

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Ahmed's clock wasn't a bomb, but it blew up the 'net and Zuckerberg, Obama want to meet him

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Re: @Neil Barnes

...or, in my day, listen to the world on an ECC83...Transistor`Wasn't that one of those funny things that went light-sensitive if you acetone'd the black paint off? ( 2/6d for the painted ones, a guinea for the unpainted version? (OC(p)71 ??)

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Andus McCoatover

V sign

Wondered if anyone else spotted that!

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Reg reader shares AshMad blackmail email about which he gives 'zero f***s'

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Danegeld?

Wow. A useful addition to my literature awareness, thanks. No I haven't read ALL of Kipling, so I missed that. But a Google seach (re)introduced me to such colourful names as Æthelred the Unready and Sigeric the Serious.

Andus the Sheepsh***er pales into insignificance against those (I wish!)

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The Raspberry Pi is succeeding in ways its makers almost imagined

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Wonder if it was the same 11-year-old girl....

That fixed a (me being) stupid TightVNC configuration for me a few months ago via a forum?

That was on a Raspberry Pi also....

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FAIL: Windows 10 bulk patch produces INFINITE CRASH LOOP

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Looked back at my upgrade history.

It installed OK on 08/08. Maybe because I'm the only user, and have resisted the desire to "fuckabahtwivthesettins" (AKA Control Panel) too much....

(Win 10 Pro, 2Gig, Durabook S15C)

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Windows 10 marks the end of 'pay once, use forever' software

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Gonna sy it.....

...oh, weep, Linux Fanboi that I am.....

But....

But....

I love Windows 10? Yeps. I really do. Never thought I'd say that. I know it's unfashionable to say, But, yeah.

(Linux Mint 17.1 on the pendrive, natch)

Fair's fair. Credit where it's due. MIcrosoft have done a lot of work - yes, it's rough around the Edge...but I haven't yet felt an urge to install Firefox yet.

Atmel Studio 6,2 works, Cadsoft Eagle (PCB s/w) works, Arduino IDE works, Notepad+ works, LibreOffice works, PicoScope 6 works, LTSpice works, Saleale Logic works.

Haven't felt a burning need to download Minecraft, Angry Birds 2, PornoQueensFromHell yet. Update will follow, I'm sure.

POINT IS (Sorry to shout, but...) It does what I want.

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Andus McCoatover
Windows

Over a dinner time???

Sounds more like a Journalists "Liquid Lunch" followed by a "Martin Summers Is Unwell"....

I upgraded today from a fully updated Windows 7 Pro and it took about 4 hours - without touching it - until the disk activity light, and my router light stopped being permanently on. Even now, 10 hours later I can occasionally type a sentence and have time to roll a cigarette before the text appears.

Dual-core, 2GB ram*, Win-10 Pro 32-bit, only Edge open with 2 tabs, fan roaring its head off continually, disk light duty cycle > 90%

*Suspect this might be the culprit. Reminiscent of how slow my first Windows-3 machine was. It had 1/1000th of the RAM, 2MB. Nothing really changes.

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Boffins have made optical transistors that can reach 4 TERAHERTZ

Andus McCoatover
Windows

...and in the years to come...

...our grandkids will be cracking open an ancient El Reg. printout, and have a giraffe at this. Teraherz? Oh, so...50's...

Much like when we crack open an ancient copy of "Metronome Monthly"/"101 things to do with a 555 timer"/Practical Electronics.

Whatever it's called nowadays.

Howls of derisive laughter.

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World-beating TWO-QUADRILLION-WATT LASER fired by boffins

Andus McCoatover
Windows

You'll recall from school that a watt is a joule per second

Other way around?

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Reg reader casts call centre spell with a SECRET WORD

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Recording illegal???

How so, when I often hear "Your call may be recorded for your protection, or for training purposes."

Sounds like they just gave me permission! "May be" is too loose a term. Record away!

(Don't get me started about recording JobcentrePlus calls - they threaten you with a criminal offence, because you're not registered with the "Data Protection Ombudsman" (their phrase).

Guess what?

You don't usually need to:

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/register/self-assessment/

Even if you did, getting registered's a snap, and cost £35.)

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Jolla announces home-grown Indian mobe-maker as first Sailfish licensee

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Who want to buy them?

Well, I will. Unemployment currently hinders, but tomorrow I'm hoping for a job-offer*. Company 'phone? Jolla, natch, living in Oulu as I do, with a 5G experimental (but city-wide soon) network.

*Sheesh, I've already designed the hardware for them doing "Work Experience training" (WTF!?!? I've been working longer than my 'Employment Coach has lived), and so on my 59th birthday I slapped a bit of S/W in for good measure.

XMEGA's. Thought they were like an Arduino.

Little did I know they were on Lance Armstrong's medication.

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Microsoft to Windows 10 consumers: You'll get updates LIKE IT or NOT

Andus McCoatover
Windows

Re: a vendor may not force ANY EULA terms on a customer

Links/citations, or it never happened.

(First Law of Engineering)

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Andus McCoatover
Windows

Re: no matter what MS force on us

Unfortunately, Owner != user anymore.

I don't OWN my windows-7 (and my well-decent Vista Asus lappie on a recovered-from-dumpser machine - it only wanted about 100 meg. of "Left-handed website" shit removed to make it an object to desire) )

Although I own the H/W, I don't own the OS.

Maybe I'll vote "OXI" for "No Outside Assistance!" like the Greeks did. Didn't help, they still got shafted.

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