* Posts by Franco

237 posts • joined 11 Apr 2008

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The UK's Investigatory Powers Act allows the State to tell lies in court

Franco
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Very possibly, but might as well sign it. The alternatives are:-

1. Accept it without saying anything, regardless of whether or not it will have an effect.

2. Go off the grid, which would immediately flag me up as an anomaly by being under the age of 80 and having no mobile phone or broadband, and therefore eligible for the sort of holiday where you get strapped down before your daily swim and the leisure attire comes in any colour you want so long as it's orange.

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Franco
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Made a note in my diary on the way here. Simply says "Bugger".

It shows how ignorant most people are of the contents of this bill (and how well it has been subverted by Government) that the petition against tallow in fivers has nearly as many signatures as the petition against this.

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Small ISPs 'probably' won't receive data retention order following IP Bill

Franco
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Being in this country and having an internet connection seems to put you on a watch list anyway.

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Investigatory Powers Act signed into UK law by Queen

Franco
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Re: Words to the Wise which will not Trouble the Foolish

My heartfelt contrafibularities for the Blackadder the Third reference.

I've just installed Opera on all of my computers. It may not be the best browser, but it does have a built-in VPN and I'm not making it easy for these bastards on general principle. Given the history of misuse of law in this country there is no chance whatsoever that "those with nothing to hide" will be safe from anything.

I also very much doubt the legality of this under EU law, but at best that's a temporary reprieve, it'll just resurface in a few years.

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You want SaaS? Don't bother, darling, your kind can't afford it

Franco
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That's Alaster Dabs

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Pythons Idle and Cleese pen anti-selfie screed

Franco
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It's all part of the same look at me, my life is better than yours culture that social media engenders.

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Franco
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I agree whole heartedly with Idle and Cleese personally. Few things get on my nerves more than being at a concert and stuck behind some fucking twat who watches the whole thing through their phone.

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A cardboard desk? I won’t stand for it (actually I will)

Franco
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Re: Cats 'n boxes.

Standard behaviour for pets. Blow in a dogs face and it'll go nuts. Open a car window at speed however.....

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Apple drops dongle prices to make USB-C upgrade affordable

Franco
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Re: How on earth

It's interesting that Microsoft are putting full size SD card slots into their top end kit as opposed to micro and stated that the sort of people they are looking to attract (Photographers, graphic designers etc) to the kit want them.

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Lenovo downward dogs with Yoga BIOS update supporting Linux installs

Franco
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Re: > "Gigabyte motherboard "

The Gigabyte was the one aberration in a succession of ASUS boards over the years, I agree that their BIOS interfaces are pretty fully featured.

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Franco
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No, it's not OK, but there is a world of difference between a malicious act and leaving out a feature because you don't forsee a need for it. Lenovo have resolved the issue as best they can, but you could just as easily accuse Intel of (at best) dragging their heels over providing Linux drivers or (at worst) vendor lockout.

I saw this a lot back in the Windows Vista days. SATA/AHCI was starting to become the default setting for a lot of OEMs shipping Vista PCs, but most businesses continued to use XP for a long time and had to either create new images with the driver slipstreamed in or turn off SATA/AHCI in favour of legacy mode.

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Franco
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Lenovo are far from alone in having crappy BIOS interfaces. If they did do this deliberately then they should be condemned, but IMO it's far more likely no one thought it was an issue.

For example, Dell have long had pretty good BIOS interfaces, at least in terms of features. Back in about 2005 they already had individually controllable SATA ports, options for RAID/AHCI/IDE on their IDE ports etc. I have a Gigabyte motherboard from a couple of years ago with 4 SATA ports (no IDE on board) that labels them as Primary Master, Primary Slave, Secondary Master and Secondary Slave. No control options at all, no RAID and massively incorrect terminology.

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Apple’s macOS Sierra update really puts the fan into 'fanboi'

Franco
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I tend to think of Leisure Suit Larry and Space Quest personally :)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sierra_Entertainment

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Franco
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Cortana is much better than Shazam at identifying music (IME), but the only other time I use it is in the car as the SMS reader function works through Cortana now.

On an (almost) related note, I work close to the old Rootes factory site in Scotland which is now a retail park. However the railway bridge at the end of the old perimeter road hasn't been painted in 30 years so still says "Welcome to Talbot. Home of the Sunbeam and the Avenger."

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Franco
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I'm of the opinion that Siri and Cortana are just rebrands of Clippy. Just as "useful" and definitely just as annoying, and also as capable of triggering my technology induced tourettes.

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US govt pleads: What's it gonna take to get you people using IPv6?

Franco
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Got nothing against IPv6, but this current insistence that it's benefit is that every device has a routable IP address has my alarm bells ringing, particularly when it's governments and their agencies playing that card.

I know we're technically "out" of IPv4 addresses (I.e. they've all been issued), but there's no way they're all being used. I'm sure we'll see blocks returned before we'll see significant uptake of IPv6.

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Forgive me, father, for I have used an ad-blocker on news websites...

Franco
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Re: A little dig?

Stopped reading INQ a long time ago. W10 quite rightly gets bad press round these parts for it's slurping tendencies, but the articles being written by Chris Merriman went beyond all reason and in to tinfoil hat mode. That and the blatant Apple bias drove me away.

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Franco
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I don't like doing this, but I am going to answer your question with another.

Do the soulless, spiritless, ballless, corporate little bitches, suckers of satan's cock who try to force me to look at pop-up ads for (at best) stuff I don't want or (at worst) infect me with malware feel guilty about it?

I make no apologies for paraphrasing Bill Hicks above. As he once said Not a joke, don't wait for the punchline. If you work in advertising, kill yourself.

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Three outsources staff to Capita

Franco
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I've never spoken to Glasgow (always get India) but IME 3's customer service is better than average for mobile providers. Or was, I should say.

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Apple seeks patent for paper bag - you read that right, a paper bag

Franco
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Can you get one with rounded corners?

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You call it 'hacking.' I call it 'investigation'

Franco
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Re: Security questions

<snip> when I kept refusing to give them information on the phone to identify myself</snip>

I once applied for a job, and when the recruitment company called me they asked me to verify my postcode to prove my identity. I pointed out to them that the postcode they had for me came from the same CV that had my phone number, so if I wasn't who I claimed to be I would already have falsified the data they had. This put them in to stack overflow, repeat question until answered no matter how stupid the question is, at which point I decided that if they were this bad about just speaking to me the job description was bound to be gibberish too and gave up.

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Franco
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As I have posted here before, I have actually been accused in an interview (for an IT Security job) of having something to hide due to my very small online footprint.

If I buy a pizza, it's to eat it. Not take pictures of it. Nor do I have any interest in other people pretending how great their life is compared to mine by the stream of selfies they post in "exotic" locations.

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Dear sysadmin: This is how you stay relevant

Franco
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It's all very well saying sysadmins must be this and that, the truth is most are at the mercy of IT Directors or whoever else and don't necessarily make decisions based on business needs.

Lost count of the number of times I've heard variations of we need to move to the cloud from the higher ups, followed by OK, what do you want to migrate and what business requirements will be fulfilled by moving.

Usually there isn't a (coherent) answer, as the higher ups don't want to say we read it online and it sounded good.

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'We already do that, we’re just OG* enough to not call it DevOps'

Franco
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Alternatively, we could all keep doing what we're doing because any notion of structure goes out the window in the event of shit hitting the fan in favour of I don't care how you do it, just fix it.

I'm going to start my own buzzword driven revolution called WR. I'll think of an appropriate bacronym later, but at the moment it stands for "Wheel Reinvention". Might need to get cloud and agile in there somewhere too though....

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My Dell merger wish list

Franco
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More and more I'm seeing people, once staunchly in the camp of "I'll never use Hyper-V cos it's management is crap compared to VMware" being driven away by poor support and poor product quality.

Just hope EMC don't suffer the way EquaLogic did. I went through months of pain as Dell rebranded the firmware and added new features in the same revisions, none of which worked. One SAN I supported had more firmware flashes in 3 months than the collective total of every other SAN I've ever touched.

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'I'm sorry, your lift has had a problem and had to shut down'

Franco
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Re: Invalid page fault

And you can always tell when a lift door is about to open, from the intolerable air of smugness it suddenly generates.

The ATM at my local Tesco frequently shows a Windows XP log off screen. Haven't seen a blue screen from it yet, no doubt when it gets upgraded that'll be a new feature.

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Microsoft’s Continuum: Game changer or novelty?

Franco
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Re: This has been done with Android by many manufacturers

W10M supports USB OTG, and as of the Anniversary Update also supports USB Ethernet Adapters

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Franco
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I like Continuum and if more apps appear it will get better and better. I've actually used it more for entertainment than business though, and I can it being a useful travel device. BT Sport works, so last week when I was at my cousins house I connected via Miracast and watched the MotoGP on her TV. Netflix isn't a UWP yet but works flawlessly through Edge. iPlayer is a UWP and works.

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Adblock Plus blocks Facebook block of Adblock Plus block of Facebook block of Adblock Plus block of Facebook ads

Franco
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Wow, didn't think I needed another reason not to have a Facebook account, but here we are anyway.

Until the day that adverts on the internet are at least unobtrusive and guaranteed not to be malicious, I am continuing to use adblockers. Banner ads along the top or sides, such as El Reg uses, are OK to me, as I can tune them out and the site probably wouldn't be here without them.

However, flash popups forcing me to look at them and stealing my mobile data allowance can fuck off. As can any ad man who accuses me of "stealing" by blocking his content. I did not give you consent to use the small allowance of data my mobile operator gives me. TV , radio and print advertising may be annoying, but at least I'm not going to get malware or worse from it.

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Render crashing PCs back to their component silicon: They deserve it

Franco
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If I had a fiver for every time I'd heard variations of "whilst you're here I'll show you this problem. Oh it's not doing it now. I bet it'll happen again 10 minutes after you leave" I could retire. And then only hear it from my family and friends.....

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HMRC's IR35 tweaks have 90% of UK's IT contractors up in arms

Franco
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Re: Interesting...

Can't speak for others here, but I'd like to see some policing of 3rd party companies who are advertising such services as 95% take home.

As a LTD Company contractor, my details are on file at Companies House, and spammers/scammers call me on an almost weekly basis offering services that sound too good to be true. Therefore, IMO, are. I don't pay myself a small salary for the avoidance of tax, I do it so that I can keep a steady and guaranteed income even when I am not working, and top that up with dividends when finances allow.

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Happy Sysadmin Day!

Franco
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My sysadmin day present has been a flurry of emails saying this doesn't work, can you help?

This is only different from every other day by the fact that the emails are not from users, but from the junior techs. Clearly some re-education required....

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Guess who gets hit hard by IR35 tax clampdown? Yep, IT contractors

Franco
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Re: Another Brexiter here...

I am glad someone has managed to get a substitute past their engager on an SC Cleared Contract, cos I never have and neither has anyone I ever worked with on one.

I worked with a guy who broke his leg, and was told not to bother arranging a substitute as he would be back before the substitute (already SC Cleared) was cleared for the site.

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Franco
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Re: Another Brexiter here...

One of the things I am going to mention in my response to the document is the ridiculous tests they use.

Using your own equipment simply isn't an option in IT, most Public Sector organisations won't let personal devices anywhere near their network and quite rightly. Similarly the "Right of Substitution" clause is also nonsense in much of the public sector as HMRC (for example) would require SC Clearance or similar and a vetted (by them) contractor.

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Franco
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HMRC: We can't go after Google or Amazon or Starbucks, their lawyers are too good. But we need £400m to make up our shortfall. I know, lets go after contractors. People don't like them, expecially the ones who are too scared to try it themselves, so they're a soft target. Even if we don't get £400m (because we pulled that random figure out of our collective arses) it looks like we're doing something.

You know the law isn't fit for purpose when private companies are insuring against it and beating HMRC, IR35 status should be simple to determine but it's even different if you are a PSC or an Umbrella Contractor.

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Firefox to banish hidden Flash files – and kill off sneaky ad snoopers

Franco
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Re: Re BBC

For a real showstopper, the WM10 version of the iPlayer app works perfectly in normal mode. However, it is a Continuum aware UWP app (allegedly) but when you connect to a large screen it tells you the content isn't available without Flash.

Does work via Edge though.

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Ban ISPs from 'speeding up' the internet: Ex-Obama tech guru

Franco
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I have visions of the packets sprouting legs to go faster like the Ant Hill Mob in Wacky Races.

It absolutely terrifies me the number of people in positions of power to make decisions about technology who have not even the slightest inkling of what they are talking about.

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Gaming apps, mugging and bad case of bruised Pokéballs

Franco
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I'm not much of a gamer, but recently I've been playing Wolfenstein: The Old Blood and have just got Doom. More of a nostalgia thing than anything else, I played the orginals in the 90s.

What I find odd is that people in the office saw me with the Doom DVD and some offered comments along the line of my being a nerd, gamer, weirdo, potential axe murderer etc then proceeded to spend their lunch hours lining up bottles of soda or catapulting anthropomorphic birds at thieving pigs and failed to see the irony.

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You can’t sit there, my IoT desk tells me

Franco
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Re: How mainstream will IoT get?

I can just about see the point of the heating control, and to a very small extent fridges/freezers that can remotely tell you what's in them when you go to the shops, but not enough to want one, buy one, or trust one.

On the subject of office furniture, I used to work with a guy who demanded Microsoft Natural keyboards everywhere he went, and whined like a little girl with a skint knee if he had to use a pleb keyboard like the rest of us. Same guy demanded natural light bulbs (think that was what they were called, he might just have watched a lot of 70s porn and preferred soft focus though, and may also explain any wrist issues caused by keyboards....) so he didn't get migraines.

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A trip to the Twilight Zone with a support guy called Iron Maiden

Franco
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One of my colleagues was on the phone last week telling a member of staff that InfoPath has been deprecated from Office 2016. I heard this as defecated and wondered why a feature had been shat out rather than omitted, but it's possible my subconscious knows something I don't...

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Maplin Electronics demands cash with menaces

Franco
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To be fair most of the tools aren't theirs but Rolson, although I agree that they are utter shite.

I used to use Maplin quite a bit for guitar effects projects parts, but TBH it's easier ordering from specialists in this area as it's a bit of a niche. It's rare I can get all the components, pots and enclosures I want just from Maplin.

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Lester Haines: RIP

Franco
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My sympathies to Lester's family, friends and colleagues.

I greatly enjoyed reading most of his articles, particularly the Post Pub Nosh Neckfiller series and will this evening be having Nasi Goreng Pattaya in tribute.

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The Microsoft-LinkedIn hookup will be the END of DAYS, I tell you

Franco
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Re: Canada?

I signed up (under protest) when I started contracting, and whilst I have some useful contacts about 1 in 5 new contact requests is from a recruitment consultant who then never contacts me directly. And about half of the ones who do contact me haven't read my profile before getting in touch about a role I am "perfect for" but have no interest or qualifications for.

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Scots denied Saltire emoji

Franco
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Re: "sadly no deep-fried Mars bar"

When I was a student at St Andrews the chippie on South Street used to do deep fried Cadbury's Creme Eggs as an "Easter Special"

No, I did not try one. Even thinking about it now gives me the dry boak.

One of my work colleagues also tells of a chippie in Stonehaven that sells deep fried Tunnocks Teacakes, which might be even worse.

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Franco
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In the spirit of being properly representative of Scotland, if we have a flag emoji we should also have:-

A "See You Jimmy" hat emoji

A pizza emoji (battered)

A Duke of Wellington emoji (with a traffic cone on his head)

A square sausage emoji (Not square, but rectangular)

I'm not quite sure how to encapsulate the essence of our sporting heroes in emoji form. How do you have a single icon for the inherent ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?

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Computerised stock management? Nah, let’s use walkie-talkies

Franco
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Common affliction amongst rugby players, at least at my old club, although it was referred to as Stubby Wee Bastard syndrome.

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Franco
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I have the same issue with suits. I'm 6 feet tall, near enough, but have a 29" inside leg. If I was in proportion I'd be 5'5" or 6'7". Shops often tell me that you have very short legs for your height sir, as if I had reached my current age without being aware of this. Consequently attempts to buy off the shelf suits result in trousers that are far too long, and jackets that fit perfectly across the shoulders but end at the navel.

Thankfully my local gentleman's outfitter offers free alterations and you can order online, so I don't need to be told once again about my very short legs.

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BOFH: What's your point, caller?

Franco
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Re: How do I order a new keyboard online if this one is broken?

Right up there with BT when you call to report a DSL fault. "Have you tried visiting our support webpage?"

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Ooh missus, get a grip on my notifications

Franco
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I frequently see posts liked by other people on LinkedIn from the proprieter of "Solutions On Demand IT" with a suitably contracted email domain.

There's also a tanker hire firm here in Scotland with an Italian domain name. For a quote just email info@wemovesh.it

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