* Posts by Chris King

492 posts • joined 13 Feb 2009

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Sysadmin sticks finger in pipe, saves data centre from flood

Chris King
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Re: There's nothing quite like...

An old tale I've told before, but worth retelling...

AC starts leaking in a LAN room, and a rack-mount UPS takes a shower, shorting out and catching fire in the process - giving us the unique situation of a LAN room that's flooded and on fire at the same time.

My boss asked how this was possible, and was told "Well, we usually have the fire on top and the flood below !"

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Chris King
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At least that water would be reasonably fresh...

...but how about a LAN room situated underneath a gent's toilet ?

With leaky urinals ?

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I got the power – over your IoT power-point

Chris King
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Flame

ClickyClickyClickyBANG!!!!

I wonder how fast these things can turn the power on and off ? And have Edimax implemented any sort of rate-limiting to protect the device ?

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You shrunk the database into a .gz and the app won't work? Sigh

Chris King
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Re: When life imitates art...

"Those wouldn't have been 3CEME modules, would they?"

These switches were bog-standard SuperStack series, nothing to do with the Eclipse series but the management modules on those things dived more often than continental footballers.

Management was happy with the free "lifetime warranty", even though I was frothing at the mouth about six-week turnaround time and not being allowed to carry spares.

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Chris King
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Re: Replace tape

You probably had one of the cleanest drives out there, I inherited a really dirty one.

I knew it was going to be trouble when the report from the DEC engineer said (and it was all-caps)

"THIS DRIVE CONTAINED SO MUCH DIRT, YOU COULD PROBABLY GROW POTATOES IN IT !!!"

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Chris King
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Re: When life imitates art...

"You could have told them which switch port - if all switches are intelligent".

Unless of course you were on a site full of 3Com switches and half your management modules were permanently in transit to/from 3Com.

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Chris King
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Re: Backup tapes...

An academic decided that he was going to teach "IT security" to his final year Informatics students, stressing the importance of protecting physical kit and taking regular backups.

Next day, he plonks his laptop on a desk, turns his back, and someone runs off with it.

Bonus points for losing three weeks of lesson plans, presentations and course materials that weren't backed up anywhere else.

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Polish developer hacks Android rewards app for free beer

Chris King
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Coat

Handing drunks the keys to the brewery, digital style !

Mine's the one with the phone full of virtual beer tokens...

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Swedish Pokemon teens terrorised by laser-wielding 'sex pigs'

Chris King
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Re: Should have stayed away from the water wheel...

"If the couple has had sex in the water wheel, it can fall under the heading of sexual molestation – if people become annoyed by it."

Why am I now thinking of the Swedish Police asking complainants to rate the performance, followed by something like this if they fail to impress the judges ?

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Vodafone: Dear customers. We're sorry we killed your Demon

Chris King
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And another "Elder God" ISP brand bites the dust...

I was with them on dial-up from 1996 to 2000, and spent an ungodly amount using the Orange ROMP with a mobile when out-of-office - remember HSCSD ? It harks from the time when Orange still cared about cool tech (Line 2, Fax and Wildfire, anybody ?) and good customer service, so that's going back a very long time.

Before I finally left Demon I bought a .co.uk domain, with the domain name being the same as my Demon login name. For several months my e-mail signature contained a simple instruction...

"I'm moving - so exorcise the Demon !"

My e-mail has been ISP-independent ever since, having burned through a succession of ISP's - FreeServe, ClaraNET, NTL, Nildram and finally AAISP.

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Twitter forgets followers

Chris King
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That's nothing new

Twitter has been randomly dropping followers for years - I've had it happen several times. It's really annoying if you protect your tweets because folks have to request to follow you again.

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The developer died 14 years ago, here's a print out of his source code

Chris King
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Alarm bells were ringing from the start of the article...

"Just wondering... Does the company that Earl tried to do this work for still exist?"

I'm guessing not - if they were in such a bad state for so long and needed help with their accounting system, I'd be wondering if their accounts bore any resemblance to reality.

Maybe they were trying to get the system fixed because the tax man wanted a cosy chat ?

Maybe that ad was on Craigslist for so long because Earl wasn't the first person they stiffed that way ?

As for sharing monitors - if the client is THAT cheap, that's all you need to know about your chances of getting paid.

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15 million tech-fried Brits have tried giving themselves a 'digital detox'

Chris King
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Some folks don't just need a digital detox...

...they need a digital enema. Removing the phone or tablet afterwards could be tricky though.

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US Air Force declares F-35 'combat-ready'

Chris King
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Re: Perhaps

"Not seen the Grippen NG before. I know it's a form follwoing function thing, but why is it aircraft death tech is often so pretty?"

Something along the lines of the Bell helicopters ad that said “We made it beautiful because it’s the last thing some people will ever see” ?

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Don't want to vote for Clinton or Trump? How about this woman who says Wi-Fi melts kids' brains?

Chris King
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"Isn't Cthulhu running this year?"

You're too late, Dread Lord - the world is already totally insane.

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Windows 10: Happy with Anniversary Update?

Chris King
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Re: re: Where's the innovation in promising to provide useful updates.....

Compared to Android offering updates "for the life of the device" is innovative.

With some brands/models that means someone waving them off at the factory gates, shouting "Bye-bye little phones, you're dead to us now" ?

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Windows 10 pain: Reg man has 75 per cent upgrade failure rate

Chris King
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Insiders

Did anyone else just get the thank-you e-mail for Windows Insider Program folks ?

Thanks for all the free testing, bug reports and telemetry, sucker - have some wallpapers and a cheesy animated .GIF as way of thanks.

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Zero-day hole can pwn millions of LastPass users, all that's needed is a malicious site

Chris King
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"Because I've accidently and violently destroyed several of my USB sticks before"

Hello, little USB sticks. I'm Death Incarnate.

Best one had to be the poor little stick that got squished under the wheels of a 20-ton bendy bus.

"Pancaked" didn't even begin to describe the remains.

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Pokemon GO-ZILLA: Safety fears after monsters appear in Fukushima danger zone

Chris King
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If it isn't radiation or minefields, it's railway tracks...

Someone must really hate players, if they want to lure them into Birmingham New Street.

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Uber's dud private dick given a hard time by judge in stiff surge case

Chris King
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Re: Uber is prepared to push the envelope of legality

Sometimes I find myself wondering if they're also pushing the envelope addressed to Common Sense...

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World religions stake out positions on Pokemon Go

Chris King
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Gotta Damn Them All (To Hell) !

So Pokémon is on a fatwa as far as the Saudis are concerned. Does that mean that Pikachu is hiding in Salman Rushdie's spare bedroom ?

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BOFH: Free as in free beer or... Oh. 'Free Upgrade'

Chris King
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Printer salescritters

I hate it when they turn up with some new shiny that you just KNOW isn't going to integrate with the rest of your network.

One salescritter tried to persuade me to install massive MFP's in student labs, knowing full well that anything with less armour than a battle tank isn't going to survive that environment - let alone a big, fragile white shiny with lots of trays to jam and buttons for people to mash randomly.

The following day, said shiny turns up on the back of a truck.

"Go on, kick the tyres and see what you think", he said to me over the phone - the usual salescritter language for "just print off a couple of test sheets and sign here".

After he rang off, I started moving boxes of paper to where the printer was lurking.

"Are you really going to kick the tyres ?" one colleague asked.

"No. I'm going to smash the driver's window, break the steering lock, hotwire it, take for a few donuts round the car park and then set fire to it !"

Poor critter nearly choked when he collected it and checked the page count.

Hey, I needed a new set of OpenVMS and Cisco manuals, what can I say ?

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Tesla's Model S autonomous mode may have saved a life

Chris King
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"I guess that the car thought the pedestrian was another car in front of us?”

So it sounds like the car slammed on the brakes, but thought there was a car in front ?

Right decision, possibly wrong reason - what if the car was programmed to respond differently if a pedestrian stepped out ? (i.e brake harder to avoid contact at all costs ?)

"We would have sustained no damage whatsoever by striking that animal"

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BT customers hit by broadband outage ... again

Chris King
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Re: "DNS Issues"

You're preaching to the choir here, AC...

Router down - "DNS is broken"

Remote site is down - "DNS is broken"

FOTT (Firewall On Too Tight) - "DNS is broken"

Chain a bunch of CNAMEs together and remove one in the middle - "DNS is broken"

Mail server is blacklisted - "DNS is broken"

Users' favourite cat picture site breaks their database - "DNS is broken"

...and so on. Sadly, routinely arming DNS engineers is not an option. It's not so much a health and safety issue, the cost of ammunition would cripple the business.

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TalkTalk: 9,000 broadband customers did the walk walk last quarter

Chris King
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Re: I walk walk'ed

I'd recommend you do put the boot in before they set debt collectors on you for payment of an invoice you never received.

That advice applies to ANY ISP, telco or mobile phone service.

Make damn sure they've agreed that you don't owe them any more money, and get that in writing. Preferably in triplicate. In blood.

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Chris King
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Re: Chuggers

Is it me or does anyone else find their "street chuggers" overly agressive?

Oh hell, yes ! (Cardiff)

They won't take no for an answer, assume you're with one of the "big four" and assume that you only want to change ISP because you want a cheaper service.

Sometimes, I enjoy watching their brains dribble out of their ears when I try to explain that I've got a TalkTalk Wholesale line at home. (AAISP Home::1) and it's so much better than the crap they're trying to foist on me.

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If we can't find a working SCSI cable, the company will close tomorrow

Chris King
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Re: AC

"I worked for 3Com, designing Token Ring switches...evil things, and almost impossible to get through emissions testing, what with all the ports switching at the same time."

Evil things... That described a lot of the 3Com kit I had to herd. Especially the NetBuilder II and a LinkBuilder MSH that was the core of our network - I dreamed of using their replacement (a fully-laden Catalyst 5500) to crush them both, but they had to leave the machine room intact because they had trade-in value.

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Chris King
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Re: AC

"I'll raise you 10BASE5 and joy of vampire taps".

All these youngsters talking about the Cat5-O'Nine-tails, pah. A good bit of armoured 10Base5 with a vampire tap on the end was far more durable AND delivered more in the way of blunt-force trauma !

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Chris King
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Re: Backups underwriters and overpriced household furniture

"Which would explain why the bean-counter was getting twitchy and piling the pressure onto someone else".

But three days ? How did they cope with things like Christmas, unless they paid someone to come in and perform/check backups ?!

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Chris King
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"SCO: My preferred OS for running small businesses back in the day. But with Informix".

Reasonable software. Shame about the lawyered-up cockwombles who came along later.

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Chris King
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The mouse might have used a 9-pin D connector but connected via a proprietary card in the PC, aka "bus mouse". Most of the ones I saw back in the late 80's/early 90's were Microsoft InPort devices with round plugs, but I seem to recall some other brands used D plugs/sockets - and some of them used male/female the other way round to serial ports so they didn't get mixed up.

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Chris King
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Re: Backups underwriters and overpriced household furniture

"He told us that if we don’t have a database backup by the end of the third night, the underwriters for the company insurance would pull our cover (including employer's liability) essentially putting the company out of business".

If the insurers are putting in clauses like that, then your bean-counters probably cheaped out on the policy and accepted such exclusions to keep the premiums down.

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Chris King
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Re: Full marks for extra experience!

"Do you have a microscope and polishing kit to hand?"

If they're cutting and terminating cables like that, probably not.

And they probably "tested" the cable by plugging both cables into a barrel connector at one end, then shining a torch down the other end.

This is what happens when you cheap out and subcontract networking installations to the local sparkies, and he subcontracts the fibre installs.

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MPs tell BT: Lay more fibre or face split with Openreach

Chris King
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"It arises because BT appears to be deliberately investing in higher-risk, higher-return assets such as media properties, and not investing in profitable lower risk infrastructure and services through Openreach," said the report.

tl;dr version - Less Footy, More Fibre !

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Gaming apps, mugging and bad case of bruised Pokéballs

Chris King
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UK gov says new Home Sec will have powers to ban end-to-end encryption

Chris King
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Re: A Proposal

If that's meant to be a Daily Heil front page article, you need to add something about it causing cancer, and possibly bonus points for weaving in something about evil false widow spiders because they really hate unpatriotic foreign insects.

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Chris King
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"...this law will complete the transformation of the UK into a third world police state"

To quote Douglas Adams "There is another theory which states that this has already happened".

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Chris King
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Knitting your own crypto...

We've seen plenty of stories where criminals and terrorists have tried (and failed) to use cryptography properly, but you can bet that HMG breaking "normal" protocols will result in someone developing viable alternatives.

All it will take is a few evil (or disgruntled) crypto experts, and the spooks are back to square one.

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Chris King
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Law of Unintended Consequences

And when the rest of the planet stops trading with us because encryption is b0rked in the UK, will we be reduced to paying for everything with Postal Orders ? It's not like we can even guarantee personal cheques any more.

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IBM scraps loyal staffer gifts in favour of... a congratulatory social page

Chris King
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Re: It could be worse

"Logans Run anybody ?"

Except this lot would make you pedal the bikes to power the Carousel, for the folks in the batch ahead of you.

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Chris King
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Re: Gamification of the workplace!

Another obligatory Dilbert...

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Chris King
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"consumer grade IBMer experiences"

"consumer grade", meaning cheap, crappy and featureless ?

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Chris King
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Drowning Dalek commands Siri in voice-rec hack attack

Chris King
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Chris King
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Re: That last command...

But "EXTERMINIEREN !" is not even a real German word - they should have been screaming "VERNICHTEN !"

Of course, they didn't quite get the voices right in the 80's

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Chris King
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Re: drowning dalek ?

"Sounds more like The Borg...

"We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile."

"Hang on lads, it's a Windows Phone !"

"Bugger. Nothing worth pinching from these Humans then".

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Chris King
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"SIri, where do they keep the nuclear wessels ?"

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

Chris King
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"Ask Eadon. He won so hard he was whisked away to a different plane".

Nah, the mother ship returned for him and beamed him up.

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Rejoice, fatties: Giving chocolate electric shocks makes it healthier

Chris King
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Re: From comments around the internet

"Hershey is the worst chocolate ever".

Ah yes, the homeopathic stuff. Rumour has it one of the factories has a sealed tin of cocoa powder and they occasionally wave it in the general direction of the production lines.

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YouTube sharecroppers start world’s most useless trade union

Chris King
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Re: Bah!

I just assumed it was Hipsterese for "Somebody PLEASE give me a job".

Thinking about that again, it struck me that we've already seen this method of opportunistic job-hunting in other media.

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