* Posts by OzBob

399 posts • joined 6 Mar 2008

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Craig Wilson just can't catch a break. Tries to leave HPE, finds self back again

OzBob

so, perhaps we should look for this plotline

on the next series of Silicon Valley?

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remember the Commodore Amiga?

OzBob

remember the Commodore Amiga?

I had one in the late 80s. A new documentary just released online called "bedrooms to billions: the amiga years", very interesting (google it, I shouldn't need to post a link). Am sitting down this arvo to watch.

Share and Enjoy!

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Hey you – minion. Yes, IT dudes and dudettes, they're talking to you

OzBob

But how can you become an effective Architect

if you haven't first been an Administrator?

And as for Administrator jobs becoming redundant, not while my co-workers refuse to write anything down and hold it in their heads instead.

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Sysadmin paid a month's salary for one day of nothing

OzBob

On Y2K, I was working. I had 3 days of food

but only 3 cigarettes. That was a close run thing, let me tell you.

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Review legacy code: Waking dragons is risk worth taking, says Trainline ops head

OzBob

"talk to the devs about how the service is hosted and works in production"

or as we called it in the 80s, "analysis".

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so, the creator of bitcoin is an Australian

OzBob

so, the creator of bitcoin is an Australian

who would have thunk? Didn't see any articles on El Reg about it today, bank holiday over there?

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How IT are you? Find out now in our HILARIOUS quiz!

OzBob

Your dabb-le in psychology baiting must have been pre-1991

Nowadays, to really convince them, you need to stand buck naked in the middle of the room, stick your todger between your legs and spread your arms out and scream "I'd F**K me!".

(Disclaimer, if you accidentally get elected as a Tory Party member using this technique, don;t blame me).

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Australia's Dick finally drops off

OzBob

I learned my electronic chops at Dick's

I used to team together with 2 mates (one of whom now works in america for one of the big three, the other is a psychiatric out-patient, I am somewhere in the middle) for parts and postage on various Dick Smith Kits. If only a) electronics had not lost out to computers, and b) other retailers weren't doing it better and cheaper, and c) their brand name kit wasn't crap, things could have been different.

RIP Dick

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We bet your firm doesn't stick to half of these 10 top IT admin tips

OzBob

Re: Nowhere to hide

Yep I work for a government department (now as a contractor) and my favourite saying is "Security is also providing access to those who should, as well as denying it to those who shouldn't". It's both BTW, not one first then another.

I do manage to get on well with the local security administrator, who is prepared to find a way to follow the rules but provide the access in a reasonable manner. Just lucky, I guess.

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Iceland prime minister falls on sword over Panama Papers email leak

OzBob

Wikileaks / Snowden style revelation?

More like the Parliamentary expenses scandal, where the leaker got away scot free rather than becoming a "celebrity" and / or a "target".

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Your pointy-haired boss 'bought a cloud' with his credit card. Now what?

OzBob

Which begs the question

how can we get to the boardroom table (or cocktail cabinet or golf club) to pre-empt shadow IT, by campaigning to broaden the services IT proper offers to cover the need that spawned this issue in the first place?

The first problem with fighting battles on who provides IT Services is knowing there is actually a battle going on.

(me, I tend to provide hourly reports when things fail to my manager and his manager, even if it's 3am. That tends to get the root cause analysis focused on making sure it does not happen again.)

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Ever wondered what the worst TV show in the world would be? Apple just commissioned it

OzBob

Is this Silicon Valley Series 3?

They decide to suck on the jobsian kool-aid? Steve comes back as an App and mentors the team?

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nbn special: See the FTTN and HFC cabinets coming to your street

OzBob

Re: What do I think?

Browser = Mozilla. Sorted now, very interesting article. Thanks for response.

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OzBob

What do I think?

Error 2035, thats what I think.

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Astronaut trio blast off to space station with ... er, rearview mirror toy?

OzBob

From Chris Hadfields book

it's an indicator for acceleration and an unofficial mascot. It also shows when Zero G has been reached.

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Telling your wife why you were fired is the only punishment

OzBob

Some wayne-kerr in my office

(IT division of large car manufactuer) sent through a pair of photoshopped pictures of the queen and her mother, sitting naked at a table from the waist up (Oh god, I hope they were photoshopped, the bodies were appropriate for their age). I was naturally deliriously happy, as this must have been a sacking offence and I hated the prick. Strangely he only got a warning and had to make an email apology to whoever received the files. Must have had some managers balls in his hands to be that untouchable.

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Blah Blah blah ... I don't care! To hell with your tech marketing bull

OzBob

You know you can get the recently departed

pets to be stuffed and roboticised? Call Rick Deckard's Vetinary Services.

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Machismo is ruining the tech industry for all of us. Equally

OzBob

Yes, IT is sort of a meritocracy

but at least medicine has a specific entry criteria, which eliminates a lot of the Dunning Kruger effect.

I have had subordinates in a technical role insist that their solution is the right one simply because they thought of it first, then use that position to go fishing through your experience and find out all that you know by arguing constantly. It's almost like a dilbert cartoon, having someone insist that anything they don't know is obviously not important.

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Essex cop abused police IT systems to snoop on his in-laws

OzBob

he must be thinking "take me back to the good old days

when rather than looking for evidence, we used to just plant it and lie in court".

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Everything bad in the world can be traced to crap Wi-Fi

OzBob

Could we create firmware for Wifi that does QOS differently?

Have a screen that pops up saying "congratulations, you have a reasonable service for 5 minutes, at which time your access will expire and you will go back into the lottery pool with X other people".

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Vendor rep 'Stinky Sam' told to wash and brush teeth or lose job

OzBob

We had a perpetually scruffy coder in the 80s

who always looked like he was dipped in glue and thrown through a op shop window. Until he got made redundant and had to re-apply for his job, then miraculously he found a barber, and a razor and a suit. One of the guys walked up and said "who are you and what have you done with Richard?". He didn't get rehired.

Not quite a smell story, but I was chatting up an attractive vendor rep who was onsite and when she mentioned where she was staying, I said "Oh yeah, that hotel is where most of the local hookers work out of". Next time she came through, she stayed at a different hotel. And avoided talking with me in the social area after that (It's a gift, what I can say?)

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GitHubber wants to revive the first Unix in a PDP-7 emulator

OzBob

Re: So, is Dennis Ritchie an "un-person" for some reason now?

Yes I am aware he is dead, same week as Jobs, but did he will the credit for Unix back to Thompson in a memorandum of understanding?

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OzBob

So, is Dennis Ritchie an "un-person" for some reason now?

Most of the literature I see credits both Dennis and Ken with the eventual invention of Unix, (together after the third release).

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Prison butt dialler finally off-hold after 12-day anal retention marathon

OzBob

I can see a marketting opportunity here

a cell phone whose constituent parts can be broken down into small pieces without sharp edges, and can be cleaned and re-assembled quickly. Seriously, why has no-one thought of it before?

Call it the "porridge" or something.

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Feds look left and right for support – and see everyone backing Apple

OzBob

I can see this from Apples point of view

if they help make their device secure "just once", and set a precedent, then in 2 years they will not be able to give their phones away. Cue end of mobile division of apple.

If I was tim cook, here's what I would do,...

Drag the process through the courts as long as possible

While tied up in legal process, offer everyone with an iphone 5C a replacement device free of change that is not vulnerable to that particular exploit the FBI are asking for (Apple have the cash for this)

When all but the iphone 5C in question are swapped, release the cracked firmware to the FBI.

Result: Apple have complied with the court order, customers have secure data, everyone goes home happy.

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Eurovision Song Contest uncorks 1975 vote shocker: No 'Nul point'!

OzBob

Let's face it

we could get the creative team from VIZ to run the Eurovision coverage and still get a classier event than we get right now.

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Confused as to WTF is happening with Apple, the FBI and a killer's iPhone? Let's fix that

OzBob

Which raises an interesting question,...

if the ability to potentially perform this unlock is in Apple's codebase and keys, how secure are they keeping it? We worry about "bad actors" within government agencies, is Apple tracking those who have access to it's commercial product? Could the government "coerce" someone with access to this repository or keys to copy it and release it to the NSA?

"Sometimes our government is doing what we think only other governments do" - Right Now video, Van Halen

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Good thing this dev quit. I'd have fired him. Out of a cannon. Into the sun

OzBob

I have just been tasked to reverse engineer some shell scripts

for a customer, which, when I looked at the comments, was old enough to vote. (+20 years)

And when I scrolled through the code, I saw the interface script was called a terminal program with modem commands, as the interweb wasn't big back in 1996 at this customer. (Ever tried googling "term commands" and trying to get meaningful help?) Fortunately that part of the script was disabled.

Only last week I was on another customer site trying to determine on a redhat system why the rotated compressed messages logs only had 15 or so lines in them. Turns out one of the sysadmins decided to write a script to cycle, compress and archive the messages files at 1:45 in the morning. I send him a curt email with "man logrotate" and "cat /etc/cron.daily/logrotate" and a reminder to let the OS do it's own maintenance rather than re-inventing the wheel.

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What's it like to work for a genius and Olympic archer who's mates with Richard Branson?

OzBob

Let me get this right,...

your supervisor instructed you to make a change that cost you your job. How did this happen without lawyers / violence becoming involved?

Forget ITIL, agile or any other methodology, if someone invents a way of providing evidence capture on IT systems to a legally submittable level (before, after and authority to proceed), and a way of challenging technical decisions in a legal forum in a quick and relatively painless manner, 50% of British IT managers will resign in fright and all of a sudden projects will actually be delivered on time.

I had a manager who insisted that the operators only needed to see the 10 commonly occurring types of error AND NO OTHERS. I pointed out any new and interesting errors would go un-noticed until their impact was felt, and this was a risk to the business. "Tough, over-ruled!" came the response. And then 6 months later the systems catastrophically shut down due to overheating. When the main director comes knocking on my door asking why monitoring did not pick this up, I sent him the meeting minutes detailing the decision, a snapshot of the monitoring tool showing the SNMP alerts for the temperature warnings (not on the top 10, naturally) occurring for 2 hours before the event, and copied in a yahoo email address (that I created myself) called "whittleandcrouchassocs@[etc]". The issue seems to be dropped after that.

(Bonus points for those who can identify the TV program I got the lawyer names off.)

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When customers try to be programmers: 'I want this CHANGED TO A ZERO ASAP'

OzBob

Hmm, is the last example an endless loop

because it never passes the value of "status" to "SUCCESS"? or never tests if status == SUCCESS?

We had a brilliant one at my old company in the UK, an officious manager who said in a meeting "I should know, I used to be a DBA" and the head DBA (very technically capable) said "Yes but you weren't a very good one".

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Plan B hoovers up NZ-based cloud outfit ICONZ

OzBob

You forgot to attribute the article to Lester Haines

sort-of compulsory for snarky El Reg articles about the real world not matching the IT one

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You've seen things people wouldn't believe – so tell us your programming horrors

OzBob

I don't code well in C

but I tried anyway, writing an update program using APIs for a helpdesk system, to process the extract from the HR system and create / modify / delete users. Trouble is I know diddly about managing string variables so it would keep crashing about 5 times during the run, but at progressively different places each time.

One of my co-workers (bless her) had the idea to split the HR extract into individual files of one line each and write a wrapper script to call the program once per line. End result, the hidden memory problem never surfaced because it was just one record each time. Never been so happy to have my code "bypassed". (I asked her to go out with me shortly after that, but she turned me down and "came out" the next week - I tend to have that effect on women).

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Apple backs down from barring widow her dead husband's passwords

OzBob

so, did he backup his consciousness to the device?

Question: if he didn't want her to know in life, why should she know in death?

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You've heard of Rollercoaster Tycoon – but we can't wait for Server Tycoon

OzBob

I can see it's use in Job Interviews

make every new IT manager play the game and submit their scores as part of their interview process.

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Ten years in, ultra-high-def gets a standard

OzBob

I repeat what I heard previously on the register

I asked 100 people what was wrong with TV today, none of them said "resolution".

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Software engineer sobers up to deal with 2:00 AM trouble at mill

OzBob

Re: Build room.

When Kate said the name was "short for Bob", I think he was lying.

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CIOs, what does your nightmare before Christmas look like?

OzBob

I sat an exam to get into the local polytech

it was an IBM computer theory based one. Can we introduce one for management, which permits them to speak on technical matters?

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Kiwi judge rules Kim Dotcom can be extradited to USA

OzBob

Actually, the reason there is prima facae evidence

is that Mr Technical Genius and his buddies boasted about how they were breaking the law in un-encrypted Skype calls and emails, which were then subpoenad and presented to the Judge.

Turns out hubris is not directly illegal, but the actions taken under the influence of it quite certainly are.

As Herr Schmitz is quite fond of saying to others: "Don't hate us because we beat you, thank us because we educated you".

(reference to the evidence below, just in case you want facts to get in the way of your ideological rants)

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/12/us-unveils-the-case-against-kim-dotcom-revealing-e-mails-and-financial-data/

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There's an epidemic of idiots who can't find power switches

OzBob

In the British Army,

we had a tabbed Aide Memoir for Battlefield First Aid, including yes / no questions for triage and problem resolution. It was created by some PhD medical doctor. Apparently there is a need for one for IT First Response (or challenge and query on the user at the other end). Anyone up for the job of creating one?

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DEAD MAN'S SOCKS and other delightful gifts from clients

OzBob

A waterford crystal clock about the size of 2 packs of playing cards

with the five letter acronym for our division, along with the years it had been running (10 years, so read "1998 - 2008"). I remarked that it looked like a gravestone, and out of curiousity I took it to a jewelers to be appraised. He said it was worth 25 quid, but if I had brought it in before our name was scratched on it, he would have given me 50 for it.

All the 100 odd employees got one, and speaking of gravestone, our division was sold the very next year to an out-sourcer.

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NZ unfurls proposed new flag

OzBob

If it's getting confused with Australias...

then wait until they become a republic and they remodel their flag off of that.

Why couldn't we just stick a kiwi silhouette in the bottom left corner (for pedants, the "third quarter"), in place of where the sun goes on the Australian Flag? It's not rocket surgery!

(I'm a Kiwi, my ancestors emigrated voluntarily!)

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Electrician cuts wrong wire and downs 25,000 square foot data centre

OzBob

While working for a major auto manufacturer,

our DR site was in the Data Centre of another division as part of a "gentlemens agreement" (cue major stress and anxiety over service delivery once the "gentlemen" concerned both left).

To replace the Data Centre power bar (or link, or something) took 3 complete attempts involving full outages, over different weekends, because the sparky either had bad plans, inaccurate documentation, or forgot to take a panel off to look beforehand. Rumour had it the overloaded component was GLOWING! under normal load. I pitied the poor sysadmin who had to coordinate this debacle, he was off on stress leave for a month later that year.

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Bringing discipline to development, without causing pain

OzBob

Re: meaningless buzzword soup

So nice to see Verity Stob back. ...... What, you mean,..... Oh.

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Sysadmin's former boss claims five years FREE support or off to court

OzBob

Cuts both ways

I recently took over from a disgruntled employee who quit with 4 weeks notice and I came in from a consultancy firm for a 2 week handover. He gave some notes and feedback but also made himself available via email for queries or historical reference (eg. "when we did it last, how did you do it?"). In return, I have fired off my howtos / sample configs on automated builds, security hardening, and patching I have since developed, which were useful for him to get started in his new role.

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Who's right on crypto: An American prosecutor or a Lebanese coder?

OzBob

The government has gotten lazy

from being able to collect all this information from a distance. It's human beings that ultimately do the bad deeds, so get some tradecraft back into intelligence gathering, infiltrate and manipulate, bribe and misdirect, and do the hard yards.

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So, NZ will start to charge GST (our VAT) on digital purchases

OzBob

So, NZ will start to charge GST (our VAT) on digital purchases

but only for any company doing more than 100K business per year to NZ.

Oh and if you use a VPN to bypass GST collection on a service, you risk a fine of up to 25K. But how will they know that was what you were using the VPN for? I imagine they can't collect full records from credit card companies in a fishing expedition, and requesting individual records will be time consuming and expensive.

All from Oct 1 next year.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/74076061/gst-to-go-on-digital-goods-from-october

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Job alert: Is this the toughest sysadmin role on Earth? And are you badass enough to do it?

OzBob
Joke

American citizen? for security reasons?

Maybe Dubya is building his Dr. Evil Hideout down there and doesn't want word to get out.

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How long does it take an NHS doctor to turn on a computer?

OzBob

So what we need is 2-fold,...

a) a diagram behind the device showing an outline of the PC and the location of status LEDs and control switches. So you can say "find power LED on diagram, locate on box and tell me what colour it is",

b) an IT baccalurate in 3 tiered stages. Seriously, in the 80s my public service job included briefing users hired in the 50s on what a mainframe did and how networks actually worked, in a 30 min standup as part of a 3 day course for "intro to computing". And they would turn out to be the lowest maintenance users afterwards. It is kind of assumed that non-technical people understand a lot of these concepts, a recognised "computer user" course where concepts are covered would go a long way to reducing these sorts of calls.

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GCHQ's SMURF ARMY can hack smartphones, says Snowden. Again.

OzBob

Re: Tune in next week when

All that proves is that TCP/IP came from DARPA but they in turn got it from Area 51. Is it a co-incidence that Octal is used to represent figures, and the aliens had 4 fingers on each hand?

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OzBob

Re: Seems a bit far-fetched

I would have said BS too, 2 weeks ago, but after "VW firmware"-gate.....

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