* Posts by Chris King

445 posts • joined 13 Feb 2009

Page:

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

Chris King
Bronze badge

"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.

2
0

Rejoice, fatties: Giving chocolate electric shocks makes it healthier

Chris King
Bronze badge

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.

2
0

YouTube sharecroppers start world’s most useless trade union

Chris King
Bronze badge

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.

0
0
Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: Bah!

I just assumed it was Hipsterese for "Somebody PLEASE give me a job". They're usually the same folks who describe themselves as "budding entrepreneurs" on LinkedIn, or just stick their Twitter handle in their bio with nothing else.

3
0
Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: Bah!

Sounds more like an "employee association" rather than a union - you know the sort of thing, run by management shills to give a pretence of "representation" but neatly steps out of the way to push you under the bus when things go wrong.

Been there, done that, almost ended up with a set of tyre marks on my back.

3
0

You Acer holes! PC maker leaks payment cards in e-store hack

Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: Storing CC security verification codes

"Strictly not allowed to store the security code"

They're allowed to store it up to the point the transaction is authorized, but not afterwards - not even if it is encrypted.

0
0

UK's education system blamed for IT jobs going to non-Brits

Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: Engineer

"The term Engineer has been used to represent technicians and general workers for such a long time that the title has no real status in the UK. As others have stated, on the continent an Engineer is held in high regard to the same status as a doctor or lawyer".

In Europe, "Engineer" is a protected title, but it isn't in the UK. I've been a Chartered Engineer for 18 years but I'll have to sign up with FEANI for that fact to be recognised in mainland Europe.

I've absolutely no idea if Brexit would affect the 30-odd UK engineering bodies who are members, though.

1
0

Microsoft to buy LinkedIn

Chris King
Bronze badge

26 Billion Dollars ?!

Like I've said before about Twitter - those figures only make sense if you mean the Zimbabwean Dollar rather than the American.

26 billion ZWD = a bag of penny chews in any normal economy, and STILL a rip-off price.

0
0

Let's play: 'IT values or hipster folk band?'

Chris King
Bronze badge

Welcome to TalkTalk

Sorry this part of the site is not available right now.

It's probably hiding with the help page that said that IPv6 used six-byte addressing.

4
0

Sysadmin 'fesses up to wrecking his former employer's IT systems

Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: I thought?

Unless you're dealing with a place that's never had to fire a sysadmin before.

I've had to write "exit procedures" for such situations, if only to protect myself when it was time to go - I like to make sure that, even if no-one else thinks about it, that I've been removed from EVERY system before I depart the building the final time.

I also build systems to what I call the "V'ger Rule" - if you've seen "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", you'll understand. Put simply, the "V'Ger Rule" states:

"A System must continue to operate in a correct and safe manner in the absence of its Creator".

Remove my accounts. and it carries on running as though I was never there.

Or, to put it another way:

  • No blowing up any spaceships ;
  • No joyriding in Carbon Units ;
  • Fat, balding starship captains are to be shot on sight, especially ones that follow the "If you can't eat it, drink it, steal it, spend it or have sex with it, blow it up" mantra.

2
1

Developer waits two years for management to define project

Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: "While workers sorted out desks and networks and other niceties..."

My last job was a bit like that... The previous sysadmin/netgod disappeared eighteen months earlier and the whole place had gone to crap IT-wise.

I turned up on my first day, and they said "Sorry, we haven't had time to fit your office out yet..."

Bare walls (by which I mean "Bare Brick"), threadbare, stained carpet, third-hand office furniture, and a PC that burst into flames within a week of me starting. Running out of the computer centre with a burning tower unit after the building was closed DID rather attract the attention of Mr Plod, who just happened to be driving through campus at the time !

A few days later, I also ended up with an insect infestation as a bonus... Flying ants in the office, bats in the roof cavity above me, and Lord of the Flies waiting out for me on the network.

(Bonus points: Piggy was already dead and the Conch had been smashed)

3
0

BOFH: What's your point, caller?

Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: Gaffa tape

Or how about using it for some... ahem... "gift wrapping" ?

I particularly like the advice in the last frame.

11
0

Bletchley finds Hitler plain text war machine on Ebay, buys for £10

Chris King
Bronze badge

I feel a Downfall pardody coming on...

Anyone who isn't an eBay PowerSeller or Above Standard, leave now.

WHAT WERE YOU THINKING ?! NOW WE'RE GOING TO BE UP TO OUR NECKS IN SODDING HIPSTERS, TELLING EVERYBODY THEY WERE DOING CRYPTOGRAPHY BEFORE IT WAS COOL !

1
0

Blighty's National Cyber Security Centre cyber-reveals cyber-blueprints

Chris King
Bronze badge

'Acts of war in a combat zone are not covered by your laptop warranty'

Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: It's not "Help Desk"

I've done ITIL. Whatever we call it, users call it "Help Desk" and are irritated by other names.

Call it Service Desk, call it Advisory, slap a fancy title on it, it's still the Help Desk to the end user, because they want "Help", not "Service".

I once got my wrists slapped for asking if that was "service" in the way that bulls "service" cows.

Maybe they took exception because someone posted a picture of bovine-on-bovine action into the e-mail thread, I don't know...

1
0

A UK digital driving licence: What could possibly go wrong?

Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: It Bodes

And does having a flat battery count as "failure to produce valid documents" ?

12
0
Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: It Bodes

"So you have a copy of your license on your smartphone, wow, except someone has nicked your phone and their mate who looks a bit like you is now flashing your ID when stopped by Police. That's going to come out well isn't it?"

The same smartphone that's probably full of malware, so not only is it sending off your 2FA codes for on-line banking to its new Russian masters, they've got a copy of one of your ID documents...

"Yes, Comerade Barclays, I am wanting £20,000 loan, £250,000 mortgage and £2,000 overdraft all at once".

8
0

Microsoft shifts Windows 7 and 8.1 fixes to 'rollup' bundles

Chris King
Bronze badge

Oh boy, yet more "Mystery Meat" Updates...

One problem I see with bundling patches like this (apart from forcing us to chow down on the obvious GWX and telemetry "shit sandwich") is that it will be FAR more difficult - if not impossible - to remove individual patches.

Sometimes, somebody has something installed on their machine that chokes on an update (usually something obscure, or Crystal Reports), and being able to pull that update for those individuals can get them working again reasonably quickly - at least until the update (or the offending app) is fixed. Rolling back an entire patch cluster could be a whole different matter.

2
0

Sainsbury’s Bank insurance spam scam causes confusion

Chris King
Bronze badge

It's also not uncommon for companies to outsource e-mail marketing to third parties,who may turn out to be spammers, or who outsource to spammers themselves.

Kelloggs made that mistake, but when I pointed out that I hadn't signed up for "My Special K" e-mails, they cleaned up their lists and I haven't had a single spam from them since.

Saga, on the other hand, did not. They actually admitted to using the services of a well-known spammer-for-hire, and that they had "listwashed" me with said spammer-for-hire - which has since resulted in even more spam for pensions, equity release and funeral plans. Not to mention even more spam from Saga !

An organisation that can't treat me with respect right now is NOT going to benefit from me in old age or death, that's for sure.

8
0

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

Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: Sticky platters

"I had that quite a lot with some Convergent MiniFrames with Micropolis disks. Ended up having a rubber mallet in the toolkit. Obviously frustrated kick could work too, but had the risk of being too hard, or causing other damage".

Part of my Y2K preparations included "Retire any old clunker still running with Micropolis disks", the savings on power and aircon alone made that one viable.

Dealing with "stiction" problems on the bigger DEC RA-series and Fujitsu Eagles needed something more substantial than a rubber mallet, and I once "cold-booted" a MicroVAX II quite literally by giving it a swift kick !

1
0
Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: Wow

20x ? That was probably danger money !

I didn't get paid any extra, as nobody thought I needed to be on-call - but I checked all of my systems and everything rolled over as expected. There was nothing I could have done anyway, as the Estates boys decided to lock up and chain the doors of any buildings that were unoccupied over the Christmas break.

A neighbouring institution decided to shut everything down, and fared worse. The Y2K bug didn't wave antennae in their direction either, but lots of kit was taken out by a lightning strike.

Moral of the story: Mother Nature can mess up your DR plans in ways you can't possibly imagine.

8
0

Spying on you using fake social media profiles: One Scots council could

Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: "East Lothian Council [..] is highly unlikely to do so"

If they've produced a "justiication" document, you can bet they've done it already, and someone's looking to cover their arses.

15
0

TalkTalk customers decide to StayStay after £3m in free upgrades

Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: Talktalk: AOL for the UK

Some of my friends signed up to AOL for two years to get a free Playstation 3, despite me saying "Run Away, Terribly Fast".

They discovered the hard way that two years is a long time to put up with a piss-poor internet connection.

1
0
Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: providing free upgrades to customers.

What's the betting that some of these choices locked customers in to a new 12 month contract, so they're not going anywhere without paying out a chunk of cash ?

12 months of free crap is still 12 months of crap.

6
1

Learn a scripting language and play nicely: How to get a DevOps job

Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: Now I understand ...

"I think I've been doing DevOps for 25 years"

So when the HR drones start asking for 10 years+ of DevOps experience on entry-level, we'll be suitably qualified <sigh>.

0
0
Chris King
Bronze badge
Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: "Jack of all trades"

I also fit the JOAT description - or as someone else described me, "Designated Grown-Up for Projects that Need One".

Someone else said "You're like that five-year-old kid that every Evil Overlord should employ, to make sure that their plans don't have inherent flaws".

I may not have the depth of knowledge that "Mission Specialists" bring to a team, but a broad overview means that I tend to spot flaws they don't. It also means that if a project is missing vital knowledge or experience, I know who to approach to fix that.

Bloody hell, does that mean I've also been doing DevOps most of my career ? Ewww.

5
0
Chris King
Bronze badge

When I hear the word "culture" I reach for my revolver

The nearest some of these people ever get to "culture" is a yeast infection.

7
0

Love it or hate it, it's time for that Software Power Meeting again

Chris King
Bronze badge

"The idea is that you never want to go through it twice (even, that if you have to go through it twice you endanger the project) so you make sure you know exactly what you're doing before you do it rather than trying to wing it".

If making a change twice endangers a project, then your CAB processes are probably the least of your worries.

Some companies do go over the top with their CAB processes, in others I've seen "rockstar coders" overdose on alphabet soup and crap out code that should never have gone near production environments. Striking the right balance isn't easy, and not many folks get it right.

Oh, and I don't care what you call it - "DevOps" or "Agile" doesn't mean you've got a note from your mum that excuses you from PE^H^Hactually testing stuff.

1
0

Database man flown to Hong Kong to install forgotten patch spends week in pub

Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: Not quite these distances, but still a PITA

An old story, from early on in my career...

An academic buys a cheap dot-matrix printer from Morgan Computer, and complains it won't print.

The Boss-man says "Sorry, we didn't supply it so you'll have to have to talk to Morgan or the manufacturer".

After much blustering by the academic, the manufacturer sends out someone to take a look at it.

The service engineer rummages through the packaging, pulls out the ribbon, and says "It does help if you fit this" before doing a test print.

The call-out fee was more than the price of the printer - and the engineer had to make a 100-mile round trip, just to fit a ribbon.

4
0

Ex-HP boss Carly Fiorina sacked one week into new job

Chris King
Bronze badge

As they used to say, the White House and McDonalds had something in common.

A clown called Ronald.

1
1
Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: @JimmyPage

I see Vermin Supreme is running again - "Screw World Peace. I Want A Pony !"

Yes, his website has a pink background and looks like something that escaped the GeoCities shutdown, but he's probably still more sane than Trump !

And YES, that IS a boot he's wearing on his head.

(Speaking of potty headgear, whatever happened to that other guy who always used to campaign wearing a WWII Wermacht helmet ?)

1
0
Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: well, that the UK prez you folk chose ain't much good either!

"UK democracy doesn't work".

We have one ? The way our Lords and Masters behave, you could have fooled me.

(As seen on a bumper sticker doing the rounds: "Feudalism - it's your Count that Votes !")

8
0
Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: Trump? Who's he?

"I'm still hopeful he picks Sarah Palin as his running mate. That would be really funny.

He won't of course. Everyone saw the look of disgust on his face as he watched her endorse him".

It was like watching the AntiChrist trying to endorse the Devil.

WOO !!! SATAN !!! WOO !!! HOTTER SULPHUR PITS FOR ALL !!! WOO !!! GO SATAN !!!

7
0
Chris King
Bronze badge
Holmes

Re: Catch them young...

Sadly, we'll have to file this under "Shit You Can't Make Up".

It's for real (and it's not the only one he's had published), but if nothing else, it proves that dinosaurs still walk the Earth.

6
0
Chris King
Bronze badge
WTF?

Catch them young...

Anyone who thinks Cruz would have been any better as a candidate than Trump, take a look at this. At least the comments (for the most part) will restore your faith in humanity.

22
0
Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: Good news !

"Yes, it would have been preferable to have a nut-free choice, as lots of people have allergies and such, but one takes what one can get".

Problem is, everything in the GOP chocolate box is a nut.

18
0

UK.gov wasted £20m telling you to 'be safe online, mmkay'

Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: Gooood evening, Madam!

* If he's not too busy with Paddy Power ads

Not to mention "Thunderbirds Are Go" series 2.

Of course, the original Brains never bottled it on a rescue or puked up in the back of Thunderbird 1.

0
0

US telly stations fling malware-tipped web ads at unsuspecting surfers

Chris King
Bronze badge

"A rogue advertiser abused the Taggify self-serve ad platform"

There's your problem - Taggify allowed someone to upload malware-ridden payloads and didn't bother checking them before release.

Advertisers - When you clean up your act and stop wringing your hands every time you let stuff like this hit end-user systems, maybe people will take you seriously.

11
0

Monster Cloud and an angry customer wanting a refund: A Love Story

Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: "Everyone's an Engineer"

This, in an industry that has suffered the Blight of the Artificially-Inflated Job Title.

Rockstar Coders, Ninja Sysadmins, Database Gurus - hell, Google even has a "Security Princess" ! (Yeah, I know it sounds cheezy, but Google it if you don't believe me)

7
0
Chris King
Bronze badge

"Everyone's an Engineer"

In my book, that makes them "Account Administrators", not anything Technical or Engineering.

The word "Engineer" gets bandied around a lot in the UK, because it's not a protected title. CEng, IEng and EngTech are protected in civil law, but that's about it - and even with a CEng you can't even call yourself an "engineer" in mainland Europe unless you're on the FEANI register.

As a result of all this, you can be L1 telephone support and still have a job title like "Customer Service Engineer".

13
0
Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: "We are the engineers"

This person is probably first-level support, and Monster is a reseller so probably a "Customer Service Engineer". Having said that, his response from the get-go was combative and totally uncalled-for.

I've done L1 support in the past and yes, I got it in the neck from angry customers. It's like a telephone/e-mail version of the Kobayashi Maru test from Star Trek, but you're still expected to launch a rescue, take the resulting arse-kicking from the Klingons AND keep your cool.

Losing it like that has just cost them a potential customer - a friend just asked me (in a personal capacity) if they were any good, so I've just sent them this article. "Right, they're off the short-list then !"

27
0

Facebook bungs 10-year-old kid $10k to not 'eliminate' Justin Bieber

Chris King
Bronze badge
Childcatcher

Re: 10 year old

13 years old, and that's down to COPPA.

Not that anyone seems to be enforcing it, if YouTube comments are anything to go by. (Obligatory XKCD)

1
0

F-35s failed 'scramble test' because of buggy software

Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: Somebody didn't read 'Superiority'...

"Those who fail to read Dilbert are doomed to repeat it" - no idea who said it originally, but they said it a good few years ago.

5
0

Switch survives three hours of beer spray, fails after twelve

Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: "Land that thing now, while I'm still in the mood to let you !"

"What happened next? Did he move them to the same room as equipment used by someone over your head, meaning you couldn't turn off those ports without having to answer to him/her why they couldn't make the weekend deadline because you cut him/her off just as the deadline was closing?"

He just whinged to his boss, who then tried to whinge at my division head.

Not that that did them any good - he just told them to stop being so bloody stupid and to call back on Monday morning.

2
0
Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: Sadly not beer

I visited a flat in halls where students had a food fight, and pasta was involved. They just painted over it in magnolia and claimed it was Artex.

9
0

Linux greybeards release beta of systemd-free Debian fork

Chris King
Bronze badge

"Pulseaudio incorporated Bluetooth?"

No, BlueZ 5 dropped ALSA support.

1
0
Chris King
Bronze badge

From http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/pulseaudio-comes-to-slackware-current-beta/

Yes, some people will be opiniated. We invited the Devil into our house and stuff. Well, PulseAudio is not maintained by Lennart anymore, and saner people took the helm. We expect no big mess as a result, just a learning curve to understand the new sound configuration. And truthfully, we were left no choice. The alternative would have been to say bye-bye to bluetooth in Slackware because already, major pieces of software are dropping or preparing to drop support the old and incompatible BlueZ 4.x API.

Note: Slackware is NOT going to add systemd. It’s too controversial and there is no need. Your sleep will be sound now.

11
0

Quad-core coffee table trumped by dual-Mac garden furniture

Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: re O'Reilly etc

Ragemaker 5.0 - I had lots of fun killing off old copies of that.

Mostly me jumping up and down on the boxes, screaming "DIE ! DIE ! HAHAHAAAAAA !"

2
0

Your mother has a smooth forehead, Klingon language lovers roar at Paramount

Chris King
Bronze badge

Re: Axanar looked awesome

"Several other fan produced not-for-profit productions have been made and paramount seems to be OK with them so long as nobody profits from it".

The "Star Wreck" series was a good example. Paramount were pretty cool about the whole thing, even the commercially-distributed "Imperial Edition" (the P-Fleet ships were redesigned in that one to give them a more "Soviet" look).

2
0

Page:

Forums