* Posts by Chris King

521 posts • joined 13 Feb 2009

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That's cold: This is how our boss told us our jobs are at risk, staffers claim

Chris King
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Chris King
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The server's down. At 3AM. On Christmas. You're drunk. So you put a disk in the freezer

Chris King
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Re: >Silly us: we blew a Christmas On-Call story months before the day.

My local Sainsburys had Christmas puddings and Stollen on the shelves in AUGUST, and one hotel was advertising for Christmas party bookings back in JUNE.

At least they didn't play "Fairy Tale of New York" on my birthday (mid-Sept) as they have done in previous years.

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High rear end winds cause F-35A ground engine fire

Chris King
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Re: Dear F-35 first wave purchasers:-

"Flame on!!"

That's the easy bit. Flame off, that's a whole different matter...

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Smelly toilets, smokers and the Kardashians. Virgin Media staff grill top brass

Chris King
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BYOD

Bring Your Own... Descaler ?

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

Chris King
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"micropangs or nanopangs"

These would be similar to the size of the violin we should all be playing when advertisers whine about missing out on revenue ? If they played fair, maybe we might too... eventually.

They might need to buy a sweater and a torch though, the sun is more likely to go out before they have that "lightbulb moment" and stop being so dickish with their ads.

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If we can't fix this printer tonight, the bank's core app will stop working

Chris King
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Re: Ah pagers....

"That's what you get for buying a pager from a guy in a pub!"

He managed to rid himself of that bloody pager once and for all, AND scored some cash in the process. Double win for Dr Max there, I'd say !

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Chris King
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Thick printouts

You know you've got a problem when your colleagues name a unit of measurement after one of your users, for the sheer size of their printouts.

This particular unit (the "Leslie") was equivalent to a four-inch pile of fan-fold line printer paper, and I used to pity the poor postgrads who had to haul this stuff away and read it.

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Apple wants to buy Formula 1 car firm McLaren – report

Chris King
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Re: Microsoft

They also (along with McLaren and Freescale) helped to developed the standard Engine Control Unit (ECU) used by all F1 teams. Not sure if that's still the case as Freescale changed hands more recently.

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Radar missile decoys will draw enemy missiles away from RAF jets

Chris King
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Re: Security by melting?

Who says it's going to survive its encounter with its new friend, Mr Missile ?

A proximity-fused warhead big enough to down an aircraft will probably make that new friendship very short, very intense and very terminal.

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Two Sundays wrecked by boss who couldn't use a calendar

Chris King
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Re: When work and leave collide

did they learn their lesson? ;)

Maybe, but I still like a long break around Christmas, and one around my birthday !

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Chris King
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Re: Powering up in the right order

You would also need to make sure that the management server had no dependencies on other systems ("What do you mean, the DHCP and DNS servers haven't booted up yet ?") and that it is regularly checked to make sure it works ahead of when it's needed - otherwise it's "Damage Repair System damaged, Captain !"

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Chris King
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"Have you been forced to do utterly pointless work?"

Filling in time sheets.

At one very early gig, they wanted time sheets filled in with 15-minute granularity. I asked them if they had a code for "pointless filling-in of time sheets because everybody's working on the same project anyway".

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Chris King
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When work and leave collide

Ah, there's nothing like planning a break... Then having to change your plans because someone decides they need you to cover critical data centre work at the very last minute, despite having said "No Chris, we don't need you in for this one" repeatedly when asked "Are you sure about that ?"

Grrrr...

So, I turned my Christmas break into a three-week holiday, and declared myself to be totally unavailable for on-call. I had just been told off for not spreading my breaks more evenly throughout the year - so that year they got the Christmas on-call cover they deserved, not the cover they needed.

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National Cyber Security Centre to shift UK to 'active' defence

Chris King
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Mushroom

Bows and arrows against the lightning...

"lawful and carefully governed offensive cyber capabilities"

Hell, we can't even defend ourselves properly against opportunist criminals using freely available tools and exploits out there. What chance would we have against well-resourced nation states we've deliberately pissed off ?

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Ted Cruz channels Senator McCarthy in wrongheaded internet power grab crusade

Chris King
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Childcatcher

Ted's playing the Long Game...

Google "Ted Cruz coloring book".

Catch 'em young, and all that...

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Self-stocking internet fridge faces a delivery come down

Chris King
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Google Maps and bad directions...

I've come to the conclusion that Google don't like pedestrians, given the number of times they've told me to play Frogger with six lanes of traffic or cross directly over a busy roundabout that clearly has "No Pedestrians" signs on every approach.

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Is there paper in the printer? Yes and it's so neatly wrapped!

Chris King
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Not removing stuff...

One of our techs got a call from someone who called to complain that they'd put a CD in the drive, but were still seeing the contents of the last CD they'd used.

Somehow, they'd managed to put the a second CD in the tray on top of the first one, and slam it shut.

"Well, it did take a few attempts to close the tray !"

*facepalm*

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Chris King
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Re: Locked in? BTDT.

Not data-centre related, but it does involve being locked in...

I went to visit another organisation for an evening event. Their building had a "glass cube" in front of the reception area, with automatic doors either side controlled by sensors (and push buttons for disabled users).

Unfortunately, nobody bothered to tell the rent-a-guard that there would be people in the building slightly later than usual, so he locked up and buggered off at the usual time.

I pushed the button to open the inner door on the cube, only to find that the outer door was locked. The inner door automatically locked behind me - three other people had followed me through the door, so there were four of us stuck in there.

Fortunately, I had my phone on me, so I googled for the switchboard number (said switchboard being on another site a couple of miles away) and asked them to recall the guard - thankfully, he arrived a few minutes later, it was a cold night and that's not the sort of place you want to get stuck if you need a toilet break - there's nowhere to hide, and Exhibit "A" (possibly "B", "C", "D" etc) would be in plain sight.

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HSBC: How will we verify business banking customers? Selfies!

Chris King
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Guess it depends which official document they check against...

When you look as bad as your passport photo, it's time to take a holiday.

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NBA's Golden State Warriors sued for 'mic snooping' mobile app

Chris King
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Re: Answer Is Simple

Or 3. Get a Windows Phone. What are these "apps" of which you speak ?

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ABBA-solutely crapulous! Swedish router-maker won't patch gaping hole

Chris King
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Re: Mamma Mia!

And given what the first poster said - Man In The Middle.

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OpenBSD 6.0 lands

Chris King
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It never ran on VAXen that old, MicroVAX 2000/VAXStation 2000 was about the oldest hardware they supported, the rest of the list was 3000/4000 series.

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Chris King
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The emulation stuff was pretty limited in what you could run, and wasn't all that stable when I tried to use it - no great loss there.

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Chris King
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APU2C4 (Was Re: Yay!)

I just bought one of those, very shiny for what it does, and supposedly has the chops to run ESXi for very small VMs.

That AMD chip still gets kind of toasty, but no worse than 60C under load with the passive cooler.

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A plumber with a blowtorch is the enemy of the data centre

Chris King
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Re: At least the switch was still there

BT took all of their kit away ? Did somebody not pay the bill or something ?!

Getting BT to haul away their old crap usually means having to dump it on them next time they turn up to fix something, and it's usually followed by howls of "Awwwww, do I have to ?"

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Chris King
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Jobbing sparkies and their subbies

Last job insisted on using an ordinary electrician for data cabling and telephony - it's just another bunch of wires, right ?

Most of it worked, some didn't, but hey he was cheap. For one particular lab I called in an engineer I'd used on previous gigs, to show them what PROPER Cat5E looked like and behaved like. Yes Chris, we like the pretty graphs from his test gear, but he's too expensive, limp along as you've done before. Grr.

For an encore, fibre runs were done by a sub-contractor of the electrician. Bog-standard unarmoured fibre between buildings, and ST cables tested by the good old-fashioned method of using a barrel connector and a lamp. The local rats liked to vary their diet, and the coating on the fibres hit the spot nicely.

Eventually, the whole lot had to be replaced. All 7.5Km of it.

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Got to dash out for some rubber johnnies? Amazon has a button for that

Chris King
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Re: About time

El Reg are no doubt pestering Amazon for a Playmobil button.

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Labour's Jeremy Corbyn wants high speed broadband for all. Wow, original idea there

Chris King
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Holmes

Re: Promise everything ....

"Between him and Smith they have promised the world in the past few weeks, and I bet none of it ever gets delivered if they get elected".

Typical politicians. They promise you the moon on a stick, and all you get if you're very lucky is the stick - smashed over your head.

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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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