* Posts by Lusty

833 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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HMRC fails to plan for £10.4bn contract exit... because it's 'too risky'

Lusty
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"If the software licence costs are lower,"

Software licence costs are barely even a consideration in projects of this scale, and neither is hardware cost. Regardless, your argument is moot since Red Hat costs more than Windows...

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UK Scouts database 'flaws' raise concerns

Lusty
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Re: CRB

It has nothing to do with protecting the authorities, the authorities would do just fine with or without the checks. The purpose of the checks is to allow the service (scouts, schools, whatever) to continue functioning after a bunch of morons get in the papers saying "something MUST be done!" without fully thinking through the practicality and privacy issues of actually doing something. These checks are as far as you could go without being overly invasive and costing so much as to shut down the whole system - they do, however, nicely deal with responding to those whose words would otherwise close everything down.

The reality is that some people will always get into positions they shouldn't ideally get into. There is nothing practical that can be done to stop that aside from a weak deterrent. Our society is full of such weak deterrents - CCTV for instance, or the locks on your front door/windows at home. Neither stops the crime, they just deter the less determined from trying.

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Yep, we'll judge WHOLE DARN storage config. Problem with that?

Lusty
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Re: Big Data

Not even close to what I said, how high are you?

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Lusty
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Big Data

I would expect anyone smart enough to be implementing big data analytics to work out requirements for their storage anyway so a benchmark is sort of pointless. These kind of benchmarks are aimed at c-level staff looking at options for their storage which is a different process to how storage tends to be bought for analytics.

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Which of UK's major ISPs will let you have exotic p0rn? NONE OF THEM

Lusty
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Re: Sweet...

Someone seriously downvoted that? Very sorry to have offended you by trying to be helpful. Both of the things I suggested are quite common issues with streaming, and removing specific variables is a standard troubleshooting technique.

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Lusty
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Re: Sweet...

Have you tried a different device? I've found that the NowTV box buffers all the time while my TV never does. Also, if you're using wireless it could be that your internal connection at home is the issue rather than the upstream cable connection.

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Migration skills shortage looms as Server 2003 DEATH DATE approaches

Lusty
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Almost none. The only migration away from Windows I've seen in tens of thousands of servers is Oracle moving to Linux.

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Lusty
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Re: Really?

It's not a skills shortage of people who can drive 2008 or 2012. It's a massive shortage of people who are able to actually plan large scale migrations and deliver them on budget while using the people who can drive the OS to do the work.

The main issue is that most organisations have also been ignoring ITIL and TOGAF (among others) and so don't even have a CMDB let alone a service catalog from which to plan the migration, so step one is a huge discovery. Of course there is also a skills shortage in those areas too so that's not necessarily something that happened on purpose. For the larger and less well documented environments we have estimated 3 months or more just for discovery before the planning even starts.

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Windows 7 MARKED for DEATH by Microsoft as of NOW

Lusty
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Re: 711

"My son's car in Thailand (where they also drive on the left) has the indicators on the opposite side to my own car here."

If it's a remotely recent car then what you mean is the stalk with indicator glyphs is on the opposite side. The actual function is computer controlled and you can move it with a laptop so that in theory you could turn the lights on with the horn button or lock the doors with the indicator stalk :)

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Lusty
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Re: 711

"My mum had windows 8 and hated it. Something about a touch interface OS on a computer with no touch screen."

Yes, your mum came to that conclusion by herself. Is she a techie then, to have noticed it was a touch enabled interface? My mum was "quite pleased the buttons are bigger". Which sounds like a genuine comment from a middle aged woman?

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Lusty
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Re: 711

"Microsoft went out of their way not to listen to users because in their arrogance they knew best."

No, no, Microsoft went out of their way to ignore the minority who were very vocal in the technical community who had not participated in the CEIP. Their statistics clearly showed at the time that the majority of users would be happy with the changes. Just because on El Reg we hear the opinion of techies doesn't mean those techies are a majority or that they are right or even representative of normal users. Microsoft have billions of users to keep happy, and if a million techies don't like it then fine, that's still very nearly a billion users who are not unhappy. This was especially so with the weak arguments put forward by techies who claimed that a full screen menu somehow wasn't a menu, and a hidden button wasn't a button and didn't exist. They did make a bunch of mistakes on Win8, most of which were fixed on 8.1 but their reasoning for those changes was very sound, and with the evidence at hand many product teams would have made the same choices.

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Lusty
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Re: 711

"for exactly the same reason as why people bitch and moan about Windows 8.x - the people behind the UIs didn't listen"

Unfortunately you're wrong about Windows 8. The reason for the Windows 8 UI is that people who are now bitching and moaning are the same people who declined to join the "customer experience improvement program" while their mum merrily said fine, go ahead. If you want your say then have your say. The people whose clicks were anonymously sent to MS are very happy indeed with Windows 8 and 8.1 but sadly they don't comment on El Reg so it seems a little one sided. Just you watch, the very mention that we could have made it better will get me a thousand down votes while everyone ignores that what I said makes sense. We may be unhappy about Windows 8 but the reasons are clear and documented by the team that wrote it. They blogged the reasoning behind every change and by George their reasoning was sound as a pound based on the evidence they had. For instance, not one person in the CEIP clicked somewhere other than the menu after clicking Start - this led to the crazy assumption that once Start was clicked that's all the user wanted to do so full screen would be more effective use of the screen. Madness.

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VMware finds new post-paranoia RAM-saving tricks

Lusty
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Re: tps doesn't work for me anyway

I believe they changed it a while ago for performance so that it only tries to share memory once the system is nearly full, so running at 2/3 full you shouldn't see savings. Unfortunately this means any system sized with HA N+1 won't ever use it until more nodes fail than you designed for.

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Should spectrum hog TV give up its seat for broadband? You tell us – EU

Lusty
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Re: No. @Lusty

@Roland6 kind of, yes. But those dozens of transmitters use massive power output to achieve that. With lower power the signal would dissipate faster while still travelling well within that distance for things like penetrating walls for instance or better diffraction characteristics on hilly terrain or better bouncing off of things. I'll be honest I've not looked up the specifics for this frequency, but even as another point to point frequency it couldn't hurt for wireless broadband out in the sticks.

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Lusty
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Re: Probably - wireless is for mobile

Lol @jeffyPoooh the reason we have "not spots" is because wiring the fixed locations is prohibitively expensive. That's why wireless would be useful to those people. Try thinking not just of your own situation but that of some other people too.

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Lusty
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Re: No.

@Dan 55 your point is only true if everyone wants to watch the drivel which is broadcast into homes. Personally I think broadcast TV is the inefficient way to go because most people get what they don't want and watch it anyway. With IPTV, everyone gets exactly what they want, when they want it, and only the proverbial last mile is actually wireless, which allows the spectrum to be used over and over again across the country for different things. With broadcast TV the signal is so strong that it's exceptionally wasteful.

@Richard Jones 1 Yes, that was the entire point of what I wrote. Using the spectrum freed up, the not spots which don't get wired broadband or mobile signal would be much easier to provide for. This is entirely because the TV spectrum travels better than current mobile phone spectrum which in turn travels better than wifi spectrum. That's why they chose it for TV broadcast.

@Paul Shirly, yes I use IPTV for most of my viewing and it's absolutely fine on my connection which is only around 7Mbps down.

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Lusty
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Re: No.

Why would you pay for your free TV just because the delivery changes? If anything it would be cheaper to provide without all that infrastructure beaming signals about the place.

The main question is why the hell would we lock it in until 2030? 15 years is a heck of a long time. In 2000 very few people thought VOD (as we called it then) would happen and now most people I know use some kind of internet video service. The really clever bit is that the ones who currently don't get a good enough connection to use those services would then be able to use the improved wireless broadband to access the services. Win win. Here in the UK there is very little over the air content which isn't also on the internet for free.

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Tesla S P85+: Smiling all the way to the next charging point

Lusty
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Re: If only..

We could store the energy as some kind of chemical in liquid form. Let's say for the sake of argument we use hydrocarbons. This would appear to kill two birds with one stone - we just need a way to suck the carbon out of the atmosphere and knit it into the right molecule. With this technology we could then use nice clean energy to create the fuel wherever it's available and then burn it in tiny engines in the boot, tuned for electricity generation rather than propulsion. We could engineer the perfect internal combustion engine since we're making the fuel manually so we choose the size of molecule and piston to match perfectly for best efficiency. We wouldn't need such vast battery banks either which can't be bad, although I know they are very recyclable but it could reduce weight. The motor doesn't even necessarily need to run while the car is driving with a small bank of batteries, it could run while you're at work to top them up.

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No one trusts Oracle, shrieks CCL as cloudy ball misses its goals

Lusty
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Re: Not Just Oracle

You are, however, assuming that there is a product which also fits requirements which is more open. This is not usually the case, and meeting business requirements is the very first consideration in any decision and will always come before vendor lock in. I agree that lock in must be considered and given a weighting if there are products which fit the requirements.

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Lusty
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Re: Not Just Oracle

"For what most companies need from an Oracle (or IBM or Microsoft) database, they could get quite satisfactorily from something like Postgres."

The problem isn't that the app wouldn't work with Postgres, it's that it wasn't written for Postgres. Not everyone is a developer. The majority of database use is by companies who bought a software product written by a third party. That third party don't care about DB licensing because they don't run the software, their customers do. It's hard enough convincing a software vendor to support a newer version of the database suite they currently use, let alone asking them to re-architect the application for a different platform entirely.

It's also worth noting that in the thousands of companies I've worked with, probably 5 had development teams. Those teams were entirely focussed on company software such as web development, not on business applications, and even if they were not, they can only code with the platforms supported by the infrastructure guys in their company which usually means MS or Oracle in medium sized companies.

I'm not saying it's a good thing, just that this is one reason why things are the way they are.

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Cloud Backup stew in Docker container? Check – Asigra

Lusty
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Wasteful?

It's not wasting system resources if the "legacy" VM offers many more useful features than a container. There is nothing legacy about a virtual machine, it simply serves a different purpose and is useful to a different set of people. I have nothing against Docker, but this text reads like propaganda rather than useful information. I especially love the way they inserted a host OS into a virtualisation stack to make it look less efficient - the host OS doesn't sit there in a proper hypervisor setup. I'm not saying docker isn't lighter, but they shouldn't need to bodge a diagram to say that.

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Dev put AWS keys on Github. Then BAD THINGS happened

Lusty
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Re: What about pre-payment?

"Even if pre-payment isn't desirable it would be reasonable enough to put a cap on things, trigger an authorisation request from the payer to keep the service running and incurring costs. That could be opt-out for those who want to take the risk."

FWIW Microsoft allow caps and warnings on Azure.

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TCL confirms plans to 'bring back' Palm – provided you tell it how

Lusty
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Re: The palm was great for its day

You mean like the smaller low power processor in the iPhone that works all the time, only powering up the main CPU when necessary?

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Mirror, mirror: Seagate shows off 1TB data shiny at HDD beauty contest

Lusty
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Re: a show-piece to convey how essential data is to defining our modern life

Cables are for the poor dahling. This uses very small unicorns with saddle bags to carry data. They eat reindeer food so are FTL capable for throughput...

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Microsoft promises open plan mobile Office. Who sits by the Windows?

Lusty
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Re: How

"bet you'd still need to pay the equivalent of a Windows license added to Office if you aren't running Windows locally."

Actually the licence is very good. Each user can use it on up to 5 computers (PC or Mac or a mix) plus mobile devices. Microsoft have got with the program in a big way recently, having realised that Azure is their future. I wouldn't be surprised to see Windows and Office completely free before long once software as a service takes off properly.

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Disk areal density: Not a constant, consistent platter

Lusty
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Re: Doesn't everyone who works in storage know this?

You're talking about using the outer tracks of a drive - that is known as short stroking whether you're doing it for throughput or latency reasons. As I explained though, neither is a useful technique with modern hardware since there are many ways to achieve throughput and latency in a less wasteful way.

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Lusty
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Re: Doesn't everyone who works in storage know this?

"Significantly so; definitely worth optimizing for, especially with sequential I/O."

I'd disagree. It's a very small number of drives required to saturate the SAS connection, iSCSI/FC connection or even PCIE bus. Optimising for sequential IO by doing this doesn't buy enough difference unless you're really, really constrained by power, cooling and space. There is a lot of very sciencey sounding stuff about short stroking but a decent storage guy can easily design a better solution by other means.

What you're saying was true with ye olde large format drives, less so with 3.5" and almost irrelevant with 2.5" since the reduction in form factor has allowed number of drives to increase, power to decrease, and has meant there is considerably less difference between inner and outer tracks. Anyone who needs to write sequential that fast but has a requirement which has low enough capacity requirement to mean short stroking is viable should by now be using SSD arrays. Anyone needing the capacity to require large 3.5" drives can't afford to lose the space to short stroking.

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Lusty
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Re: Doesn't everyone who works in storage know this?

Short stroking is very outdated these days, and generally it's only the "traditional" vendors doing it because it makes them sound clever (they aren't). The real clever people have already switched to flash which is many thousands of times faster and offers true consistent low latency. Some vendors even support short stroking and long stroking on the same drive for different LUNs which offers essentially zero benefit.

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Lusty
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Re: Duh...

Actually I'd say we're at the point where that would be an easier problem to solve than increasing areal density further. If the max and average are that far apart then there is a significant amount of untapped storage capacity which is potentially a clever firmware upgrade away. something being hard doesn't make it impossible, and given how hard HDD manufacturers are finding shrinking the bits this seems the easy way out to me until they go flash.

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Microsoft says to expect AWESOME things of Windows 10 in January

Lusty
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Re: It will have a START MENU!

Mine is a list, just that that list is displayed full screen with multiple columns. The old menu displayed columns too if you had too much crap in there. The old menu also used to generate a separate search window when you did a search, while the new one integrates search results from all available sources including the programs menu, but by any definition it's most definitely a menu.

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Microsoft kills its Euro pane in the a**: The 'would you prefer Chrome?' window

Lusty
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Re: worldwide IE still holds a dominant stake with a 58.49 per cent share..

Using full browser usage stats generated including all browsers on all devices and all operating systems in response to an article about desktop browsers on Windows desktop computers will obviously lead to differing results.

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Back dat app up: Microsoft opens Azure Backup to Windows PCs

Lusty
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Re: Out of the topic

Agreed, between that and the skeleton on the front page this doesn't look like a SFW site at all today.

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Goes like the blazes: Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 late 2014 edition

Lusty
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Re: Wake me up...

"I agree that you shouldn't need to but, yeah, Microsoft... Woo"

So you're blaming Microsoft because your Android tablet doesn't come with a good mail client? All of the other tablet OS's come with a perfectly serviceable mail client out of the box, and Exchange 2013 has full mobile support on OWA which works perfectly. From what I can tell MS are doing quite well.

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Ofcom mulls selling UK govt's IPv4 cache amid IPv6 rollout flak

Lusty
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Facepalm

Selling IPs?

I thought IANA owned the IP addresses, and when they are no longer required they return to the pool for reuse. There never used to be a concept of buying and selling in the system, and the addresses technically don't belong to uk.gov for them to sell. Must admit I'd quite like to see OFCOM sell them and then IANA simply recall the range as unused by the party they were assigned to :)

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Microsoft whips out real-time translator for Skype calls

Lusty
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Re: English and Spanish only

I'd imagine it's learned on everyone with an Xbox or Windows phone, so probably yes. I suspect, however, this is yet another example of Microsoft creating something to support its 100,000 users in online meetings and reduce internal costs and someone said "hey, the public might like this too" so they're releasing it. Most of their server software seems to fit this category

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This Christmas, demand the right to a silent night

Lusty
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Re: Yes !!!!!

"Do you really have a clue about the real world?"

Yes, I've been promoted many times in the real world for exactly this attitude. I spent many years on support in one form or another. Working as a consultant I've visited hundreds of different companies and have seen what does and does not work. I've also spoken to the managers and the helpdesk staff of these companies.

Although I understand ITIL, I'm not overly bothered whether it's used but logging tickets to show how busy you are is really basic stuff, and the negativity on this thread really highlights why this and SLAs are so important. If IT people acted in a more businesslike manner they'd be treated a lot better. As it stands, many CxO level people are pushing for public cloud services in an effort to clear out the negative IT staff who generally start the conversation with "it can't be done".

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Lusty
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Re: sometimes...

I would assume that the majority of people in management positions are educated people, yes, and that they got there by understanding how to play well with others. The ones with the personality disorder are usually in the basement under fluorescent lights dealing with IT issues rather than in the penthouse office looking at the view and calling IT...

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Lusty
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Re: sometimes...

"...it's OK to give shit "service".

It's my weapon against the "disrespectfully disorganised". You know, that senior manager that needs X by 6pm, and only bothers to call you at 5pm, even though it's been one of their "actions" from a meeting that took place 2 months ago."

No, it's not OK to give shit service, that just makes you shit at your job. Your job is to help the person with their IT. If you don't have SLAs in place to point at as the reason you can't help them in under an hour that is not their fault - you have essentially advertised an unlimited service to your users and they are using it. Why would they play within an imaginary set of rules they know nothing about?

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Lusty
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Re: Yes !!!!!

No, I'm not a manager. I am, however, a techie who has understood the business side of the equation and knows what the managers want.

From the managers perspective, you have the support phone which is connected to the support number that IT gave him. He calls the support number expecting one of two scenarios:

1. Answering machine message saying it's out of hours and to leave a message.

2. Someone answers in which case the support line is open for business. He logs a call and gets help.

If you answer the phone, the support line is open - this is your fault if you answer out of agreed SLA hours, not his. If you don't have an SLA then this is either your fault or your bosses fault and you should work to fix it - again this is not the fault of the manager and certainly doesn't make him rude for calling the number you gave him.

Since you are therefore being paid to answer the phone, then yes it certainly is your job to convey information as to what is and is not supported by your support line. If the manager, the CEO, or $DEITY calls up and asks for a burger you tell them you don't do burgers and the educated person on the other end of the line will likely never ask you for a burger again. If they ask for help with something you support then log a ticket first and then help them to the best of your ability or escalate it.

Because you logged a ticket first, the business can see how busy and overworked you are, so next time you ask for a pay review or extra staff they will listen because you have the numbers. If you fail to log a ticket each and every time you answer the telephone, guess whose fault it is that your career isn't going how you'd hoped?

I'm not sure how you have translated that into managers having bad manners, or being childish. They are using a service that their business pays for so they can use it. If I ask the canteen for lobster they don't freak out because all they do is chips and peas...

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Lusty
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Re: Yes !!!!!

And you think he's at fault? It is your job to stop that kind of nonsense, if you allow it to continue then it's your own fault. The correct response is that it's not something you support and therefore there will be no call logged - the conversation should be less than one minute. Managers are grownups believe it or not, and they will understand if you talk to them as such. If you treat them like toddlers why wouldn't they continue to interrupt your sleep when they need something - they know you'll answer them!

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No NAND's land: Flash will NOT take over the data centre

Lusty
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Ah but

How much of the shipped disk capacity is RAID. Drives over 2TB shouldn't use RAID 5 or 10 for recoverability reasons so there has been a massive uptick in capacity sold just to cover this excess.

Similarly in the home scenario, quite a lot of people have recently started using RAID to protect their family photos in Synology type devices so there has been an explosion in shipped capacity.

Fast forward a year or two and people will start using flash for capacity at home as well as using RAID to protect that flash because it will be cheap enough to do so. The data centre will be a similar story as data stops being tiered to flash and starts being stored on flash.

This data set is also extremely skewed by Google, Facebook and Microsoft who have been and continue to build out their cloud infrastructure. Zuck is on record as saying he'll buy flash that has a write life of a handful of writes if the capacity is large enough instead of spinning disk just for the power savings and latency improvement on the image store.

Extrapolating figures based on current shipping volumes is a dangerous game, never more so than when nobody actually wants the old technology.

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Gigabit-over-copper VDSL successor G.fast signed off at last

Lusty
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Re: Physics

Don't forget ADSL is also maintaining back compatibility with voice lines. I suspect that if we ditch the voice then bandwidth could increase a bit just by removing the microfilter gubbins.

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Lusty
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Big buildings like blocks of flats are way above Ethernet distance unless you go with fibre or add repeaters. Also, phone cables are already in - nobody likes to re-cable a building if they don't have to, especially a residential one where each property is owned by a different person.

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Post Office: Here's £100m, Computacenter. Now get us up to date, for pity's sake

Lusty
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Tier 4

For the post office? What. the. F*%k. have the post office got on computers that needs a tier 4? Is it the secret location of all my lost mail?

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Orion hacker sends stowaway into SPAAAAACE

Lusty
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hacking

Is this just a really long way to say SQL injection attack and inexperienced web author? Let's face it, getting a name into a list on a database which will be written to a chip isn't exactly a security threat to NASA compared to adding yourself to the list of astronauts going to the ISS for 6 months, or adding yourself to the door entry list for JPL.

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IBM Research wants laptop batteries to retire and slum it

Lusty
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recycling at the end

My only worry would be how those people would then dispose of the batteries when they properly die. These batteries may cost more to recycle, and I agree with the reuse before recycle principal, but better to recycle them now than bury them after reuse. The recycling process works fine for these batteries, and many are reused as part of renewable energy projects anyway. It's nice to help out third world countries but realistically shipping the batteries half way around the world probably wouldn't be much more efficient than recycling them, especially given the sludge that container ships burn.

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Feast your eyes: 10 'fortysomething' smart TVs

Lusty
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Re: Dumb TV please

The trouble is, the dumb versions are fugly so you end up buying the smart version regardless and making manufacturers think their pittiful interface is the reason you bought it. The results would be drastically different if the dumb and smart looked identical and the only difference was lack of "smart" and £50 off the price...

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Pay with your credit card at station kiosk? 'Dare Devil' is targeting YOU

Lusty
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Re: What about using your card to validate a prior transaction?

Use a credit card, then there's very little risk to you. Use a debit card and your mileage will vary considerably

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Lusty
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"how were they able to browse on the kiosk in the first place?"

Most kiosks are just PCs with locked down configs, often just using a browser in kiosk mode instead of the normal shell so all it would take is not having the proxy/firewall stopping it and browsing would work fine.

Obviously on a well set up kiosk you couldn't browse, but kiosks are often implemented by first timers (as in first kiosk, not inexperienced staff) since it's not exactly the sort of thing you'd become an expert in and go consulting. Because of this it's likely many of them have "obvious" security holes. You're looking at this with 20:20 hindsight, but would you have thought of everything if you started fresh? Even with a thousand el reg vultures poring over your config?

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Never fear, Glassholes – Intel to the rescue! 'New CPU' for tech-specs

Lusty
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Bless Intel for trying

but every time Intel makes a new low power chip for smaller form factors the smaller form factor in every single case has gotten larger until it looks like a laptop. Look at what the MS surface did to tablet form factor (made it massive) and what the Atom did to Netbooks (made them massive).

I'm all for it of course, these people clearly want to look like they have a box of electronic crap on their face so this will help them in that regard :)

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