* Posts by OzBob

409 posts • joined 6 Mar 2008

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Sysadmin sticks finger in pipe, saves data centre from flood

OzBob

Re: location

Yep, had that one too, at 2pm of the afternoon before Y2K ticked over. Fortunately no major problems.

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Pizza delivery by drone 'trialled' in New Zealand

OzBob

It will last 3 weeks, a month maximum

the street kids and bogans (read: chavs down under) will knock them out of the sky for fun and / or sell them round the back of the pub. it will become prohibitively expensive experiment that will make people realise: humans have not yet collectively grown up enough to deal with this sort of technology yet.

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'I found the intern curled up on the data centre floor moaning'

OzBob

My deskphone was 2 digits transposed from the local police station

so I had quite a few calls from irate people insisting they had dialled the correct number and refusing to entertain the concept that I was not the police.

One memorable occasion was when a middle aged lady phoned up to complain about the immigrant family across the road having a "matrimonial disagreement". She was quite incensed about this, going on at length and not letting me get much in the way of a response in. Being rather annoyed at this distraction, I said "well, our armed response unit is on the range at the moment, and they are short their quota of darkies this week, so I will send them down in about 30 mins or so to sort them out". She all of a sudden went very quiet and said "oh. thank you" in a small voice and hung up.

I sort of felt guilty afterwards, and did scan the local papers for a few weeks, waiting for the headlines like "shock! police quota for immigrant violence" to occur (never did). Eventually I swapped my number with the fax machine and all was peaceful again.

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Washed out summer? Fear ye not: DVDs for DevOps droogs

OzBob

The "Lord of the Rings" quandry

make it faithful and accurate, and only 12 people will understand and buy it.

make it accessible and dumbed-down, and 1200 people will complain about it.

(Note the interesting ratio between those 2 numbers)

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Crashed and alone in a remote location: When paid help is no help

OzBob

Interesting from the point of view of support

Always found support in the midlands to be 3-4 hours for one vendor, fascinating to hear that Yorkshire has much better response (but I guess they were paying for it).

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DevOps: The spotty faced yoof waiting to blossom

OzBob

Devops is not about Development personnel!

its about Development processes (building updates into versions and releases, and deploying them). I am fighting a semantic battle with senior manglement at a customer site on this, and pointing out that Operations is also the process. I have been a Developer for my sins, and know how badly this will end if they are the sole driver of this.

And the automation is used for deployment of the versions and releases, to allow both the conventional and Agile methodology to be relatively painless.

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FBI won't jail future US president over private email server

OzBob

Apparently Kim Dot Blob and Assange

were crowing that they had information on this issue that could sink Hillary's candidacy. Given this report, are they more or less likely to put this forward and potentially embarass themselves?

http://www.dailydot.com/layer8/kim-dotcom-hillary-clinton-julian-assange-wikileaks-presidential-campaign/

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Those Xbox Fitness vids you 'bought'? Look up the meaning of the word 'rent'

OzBob

So, M$ have done a "Braben"

Quelle suprise.

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I want to learn about gamification but all I see is same-ification

OzBob

Bugger! Just missed Steel Panther in NZ

Last night, halfway across the country! belgium!

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That sinking feeling: Itanic spat's back as HPE Oracle trial resumes

OzBob

Itaniums were good for monster databases

that had high IO workload (NHS, Mining companies, finance companies, Defence industries) but with the "virtualise everything and split into components like SAP" methodology, they are fast becoming redundant. Not going back to that particular brand (and note how many HP-UX jobs on the UK sites require security vettings).

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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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