* Posts by Trixr

250 posts • joined 30 Jun 2009

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Brexit at the next junction: Verity's guide to key post-vote skills

Trixr

Re: What's wrong with the Oxford comma?

Ah, but adding the Oxford comma in your example would have confused the issue if you hadn't used the word "parents".

"I'm sure my father, Boris Johnson, and the Queen would agree."

So your dad is Boris, eh?

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IBM botched geo-block designed to save Australia's census

Trixr

Re: Disconnect it from the outside world

And if you wanted to fill in your census in such a scenario, then you would presumably have the minimal intelligence required to turn off the VPN if you'd received "you must be residing at an Australian address at the date of the census" geoblock warning.

If they'd planned for the idiocies of VPN-users, I'd object to my tax money being wasted, frankly.

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Dear sysadmin: This is how you stay relevant

Trixr

Re: Dear sysadmin: This is how you stay relevant...

Most of us have actually moved on from 1994, actually, and we even no longer wear belt holsters and pagers.

Yes, there are some old farts who fit your lovely stereotype of wanting to block progress of any kind, but the majority of us - by far - do not.

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Trixr

Re: 70% BS

Yeah, so you get one old fart who likes paper-shuffling and patching with their hand-crafted script they have to manually update with each patch release. Most of us sysadmins live in the real world, thanks.

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Excel abuse hits new heights as dev uses VBA to code spreadsheet messaging app

Trixr

I use Logparser - one of those awesome MS apps like Robocopy. Shame they can't extend that kind of quality to their OSes or Office.

Logparser will process a structured text file (doesn't have to be CSV - it's easy enough to create parsing rules) using SQL-type queries, and is lightning fast. Outputs to CSV, text, on-screen sortable grid and even graphs.

If you've got big log files (or even not so big ones) or lots in a series, that's the tool to use.

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The Rise, Fall and Return of TomTom

Trixr

Re: TomTom got me round the UK & France without once getting it wrong

In my experience, HERE is not reliable enough for route-finding in Australia/NZ, certainly not compared to the TomTom, which has never led me wrong in these countries.

In each country, HERE has let me to remote forestry roads that peter out in the middle of nowhere (yes, I knew it was wrong each time, but followed the routes out of curiosity).

And with most TomTom, devices, you can pair your phone, and use it to answer calls, etc.

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Corbyn lied, Virgin Trains lied, Harambe died

Trixr

Re: OK Jeremy--renationalization--what then?

You can "nationalize" what you like, but the name of the party is the Labour Party. Just as it's the "Labor Party" in Australia, a country that uses Commonwealth English spelling, but the party founder was a Yank.

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Your wget is broken and should DIE, dev tells Microsoft

Trixr

I love PowerShell and use it hourly at work, but I think it's bloody stupid idea from MS.

It's bad enough they aliased "ls" to Get-ChildItem without (again) the same functionality, but creating default aliases that mask well-known tools that exist outside the shell is stupid.

If you want to create your own aliases inside PowerShell, that's all good, and if you want to use a well-known name for whatever you've rolled, that's up to you. But introducing it as a default, stupid.

Thanks for giving the rest of us grown-up and real-world Windows admins a bad name (18+ years Windows experience, but I'm also a RHCT).

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Microsoft: Why we had to tie Azure Stack to boxen we picked for you

Trixr

Sorry, that's garbage. MS has had their Hardware Compatibility List for the various products forever, and if your config is not running on the approved hardware, it's unsupported. Ring up PSS about something not on the HCL, and they'll politely pss themselves laughing.

If they had any brains, they'd make the HCL for the Azure stack super-restrictive, which would almost effectively cause vendor lock-in, but without making it look like they're trying to line their mates' pockets for no reason.

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#Censusfail aftermath: Here's what's happening inside Australia's board rooms this morning

Trixr

ASD*

It hasn't been DSD for ages.

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Web pages, Word docs, PDF files, fonts – behold your latest keys to infecting Windows PCs

Trixr

Re: I wouldn't know...

Are you seriously running your updates the same day they were released? Wow.

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The Australian Bureau of Statistics has made a hash of the census

Trixr
Black Helicopters

Re: Data matching

Citation please.

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Victims stranded as ID thieves raid Aussie driver licences

Trixr

Re: circumvent

Being an "expat"/immigrant who's lived in both the UK and Australia, I have to say UK drivers are much better on average than Aussies in traffic. If it's a big highway with nothing much around, yes, the Aussies are better (not so much dithering).

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Hands On with Project Centennial: A better app installer for Windows

Trixr

Re: Well but isn't it the primary selling point of Windows...

Since when? Even if an app consists of one exe, there are also generally a shedload of dlls and registry entries.

Sure, there are apps like Putty that consist of a monolithic exe, and Portable Apps leverages some tricks to make more complex apps portable, but I'd hardly call it a "PRIMARY selling point".

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A bad day for DBAs: MIT boffins are replacing you with a mere spreadsheet

Trixr

Re: Actually in many cases

And in the example given in the article, that's precisely the use-case they have here. Multiple interconnected tables. Relational database.

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When is a refurbished server not refurbished? Ask this Dell reseller

Trixr

Uh, the millions of businesses that rely on Dell server kit don't seem to have any problem with it. Home users are something else.

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Dolphin fans freak, blast browser's bumbling bundles of bloatware

Trixr

Re: Least bad?

Atlas is a great Android browser, but it's in abandonware land now. No updates for nearly 2 years, alas. I still use it, because the single-click to disable JavaScript is the best (paid version lets you save sites that should default to JS-disabled). It's also got a decent ad-blocker built in. And it's very light.

I wish the writer would revitalise it, because it does have some slight bugs that need fixing - it crashes on me maybe once a month. And there are probably some security holes (not that I use it to logon to anything other than comment forums).

I tried FF again recently, but meh. As is Chrome.

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Hey cloud lawyer: Can I take my client list with me?

Trixr

Re: It was so much simpler . . .

...and the 80s were pretty much peak Filofax, and well into the 90s. Plenty of places that weren't IT-related businesses were using paper diaries, address books and so on into the 00s (and there are still dinosaurs where I work who insist on ordering a bound diary each year).

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Admins in outcry as Microsoft fix borks Group Policy

Trixr

Re: No problems encountered here ...

If you don't know how to configure your environment so that you have no concerns about forced OS updates - I agree this should be unnecessary - better that you leave it off.

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Trixr

Not entirely

...you know that "Read" a policy means APPLY the policy. There are user policies that you do not want applied to all Authenticated Users.

The workaround for those, apparently, is to add Read permissions for Domain Computers so that the workstation can begin processing the GPO.

We will be testing this thoroughly.

As for the Known Issues part of the KB, for something that majorly changes the behaviour of GPO processing, I'd expect a few MSDN blog articles to generate more publicity about the exploit and the patch. In advance of its release.

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Telstra's confession to DNS-messin' explains broadband borkage

Trixr

Nice "explanation", Telstra

Surely there was more than one DNS server configured, with each modem configured with a primary and a secondary? And surely they should have planned to update the secondaries and verifying those before updating the primaries?

Also, no matter now many modem restarts it does (why would it recycle just due to bad DNS?), why would they "brick"?

Definitely more to this story.

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Google tries social again

Trixr

Is that why the recent update to bloody StreetView wanted to get new perms to every kind of media available on the device as well as "identity", etc?

Still not installed.

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Android's security patch quagmire probed by US watchdogs

Trixr

Mine's an LG G3. Not one OTA. Not cheap and not crap.

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Server-jacking exploits for ImageMagick are so trivial, you'll scream

Trixr

Re: Developer forum is murdering ImageMagick

So I've been using ImageMagick since the late 90s - not on a website, just for a few personal projects - and I've never heard of GraphicsMagick before.

Cool there is an alternative tool, but a shame they didn't manage to get the word out there very well.

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3-in-4 Android phones, slabs, gizmos menaced by fresh hijack flaws

Trixr
Flame

Another month of no OTA for LG G3

I really like the phone, but the lack of updates is super irritating, not to mention the convoluted regime required to apply an updated ROM.

End-users aren't capable of this stuff, and I simply don't have the bandwidth to waste an hour or so on an unfamiliar procedure that can potentially brick my phone.

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Restaurant booked, flowers ordered ... Microsoft has a hot date for SQL Server 2016

Trixr

Re: I just keep wondering...

Wake up, it's not 1998 any more.

SQL is a good functional database platform.

I'd take SQL over Oracle's price gouging and ridiculous toolset. Not to mention the abortion that is RAC. I can't think of many reasons that enterprises would persist in subsidising Larry's latest gin palace.

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NZ government scraps e-voting trial

Trixr

Postal voting is worse

I used to considerately fill in postal votes for local body elections in Auckland for all the people who had previously lived at the address, but who hadn't updated their address details after moving out.

Since this was a large shared house that had been operating as a shared house for the best part of a decade, with 6-8 people living there at any time, there were literally scores of these things.

Just my bit of civic service.

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I bless the reins down on .africa ... Dot-word injunction hits ICANN

Trixr

Re: Damn you, headline writer

I have to give points to the writer for getting the line in the song right!

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Your pointy-haired boss 'bought a cloud' with his credit card. Now what?

Trixr

Re: Missing the real point

Funny how no-one here has mentioned the biggest problem with PHBs that I have found, is that THEY say NO, for years and years and years.

"We would like to upgrade the email system, we would like to upgrade the desktop, we would like to put in instant messaging, we would like to automate our patching and monitoring, we would like to develop a better reporting system for end users."

And every goddamned time I've been involved in such an initiative, it's been knocked back - sometimes for half a decade - by PHBs who don't want to spend money. Or who are to chickensh*t to try something new.

And then some vendor comes along with a cloud offering, which actually ends up costing MORE in the medium-long term, and suddenly the credit card comes out. And WE get the blame for management inertia and not being "agile" enough.

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V. R. R. Stob's magnificent saga A Game Of Dog-and-Bones

Trixr

I missed this!

Still dying at "Malus aforethought" and all the rest.

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Windows 7's grip on the enterprise desktop is loosening

Trixr

Re: Saddo!

So what's your point?

I have a Dell XPS I bought in 2008, recently upgraded with SSD + 8GB ram and it's still running Win 7 fine.

Macs don't last any better than Wintel machines of similar spec.

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PayPal freezes 400-job expansion in North Carolina over bonkers religious freedom law

Trixr

Re: America

Isn't it funny that certain Americans are all about their Second Amendment "rights" based on a shonky interpretation of what a "militia" means, but those same Americans somehow forget the Jeffersonian principle of the separation of church and state, embodied in the First Amendment.

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Hawaiki cable to go ahead with US$300 million Au/NZ/US build

Trixr

Re: Laying cable across an ocean

Still love this article in Wired in the mid-90s by Neal Stephenson, describing the FLAG submarine cable. (Leaving aside cute wee words like "meatspace").

http://www.wired.com/1996/12/ffglass/

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nbn says Telstra's copper in better shape than expected

Trixr

And in little old NZ, they're doing FTTP in the cities, which are even less dense than Australia's. Even my tradie brother has been hooked up. So, you know, the conclusion of the "conversation" isn't as cut-and-dried as you make out.

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nbn tries to shift the conversation to future copper upgrades

Trixr

Please grammar

"So yesterday, nbn drove I and several other journalists around Brisbane..."

Dude, it doesn't matter how many objects there are in the sentence - they ALL take the objective case.

"This phrase drove me spare..."

"nbn drove ME around Brisbane..."

"nbn drove me and several other journalists around Brisbane..."

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Oh, sugar! Sysadmin accidently deletes production database while fixing a fault

Trixr

"Senior IT person"? What, the senior Mac desktop support person?

Also, if it was actually Active Directory (and not NT domains), there ain't such a thing as an "AD primary server" (yes, PDC Emulator, but that's not the same).

As for making him a manager, well, safest place, I suppose.

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'Microsoft Office has been the bane of my life, while simultaneously keeping me employed'

Trixr

Re: MS Orifice - so aptly named

MS has the powershell Output-CSV cmdlet output all fields with the data surrounded by quotes*. I had to look it up, but the use of quotes in this way to force interpretation as strings is in fact *legitimate* for CSV.

* Amusing they have to build in the workaround to their own stupid product.

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Flash – aaah-aarrgh! Patch now as hackers exploit fresh holes

Trixr

Re: Jeesh!

Let's not talk about Certain Hardware Vendors who have written their consoles in this crapware. I'm almost nostalgic for Java.

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When asked 'What's a .CNT file?' there's a polite way to answer

Trixr

Re: Faith in Humanity

Not a point at all. A few hours of his "hourly rate" to learn how to review the emails and dictate responses to his secretary would have saved a lot of time in the long run.

I lost all patience with that excuse when I worked at a major law firm in the late 90s that placed PCs on every desk, including those of the senior partners. Once such gentleman (he would have been in his late 60s/early 70s, very aristocratic) phoned the helpdesk to get assistance with sending his first email (his secretary was away). I walked him through using the space bar to insert spaces between the words, and the return key to put spaces between paragraphs. He was delighted.

I imagine he still dictated 99% of his email responses, but he could now do emailing himself in a pinch. He told me he no longer required his emails to be printed out - it was quicker for him (as it was, naturally), to read them himself. Of course, his secretary triaged them in advance, but it was an excellent hybrid solution.

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Trixr

Re: What's a .cnt?

I can't agree more. I have to say that unlike most technical documentation, at least man files exist. And they use a standardised formal. The content, however, is a great exemplar on how NOT to write technical documentation.

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This is why copy'n'paste should be banned from developers' IDEs

Trixr

Re: Tailes from the support desk

Regarding the Sendmail snafu, all I can say is thank god for Postfix. Everytime I see a Sendmail config, I say it again. Over and over.

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How to help a user who can't find the Start button or the keyboard?

Trixr

What's even worse is when you work for an organisation that hasn't implemented ITIL, and yet has a "Service Desk" with very few of the supposed ITIL processes and functions to even get the job routed the right way. Sometimes we don't see jobs till 6 months after they were originally logged.

To be fair, ITIL does specify the escalation path if the first level support can't solve the problem. I doubt there is an escalation path for "fails to correctly understand and log the issue". Then again, just because people aren't doing so these days, there's no reason in ITIL you can't hire reasonably skilled triage staff to log or properly categorise inbound calls.

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Why does herbal cough syrup work so well? It may be full of morphine

Trixr

And actually, in terms of intractable coughs, morphine is not "snake oil". Any opiate does an excellent job of suppressing coughs. Of course, often you actually want the cough to do its job, but I've had one or two bouts where the cough was the problem, rather than the underlying lurgie.

Unidentified substances in your cough syrup aren't the way to go, however. I just pop a couple of Panadeine unless you can get a doctor to prescribe the good stuff (syrup with codeine).

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999 What's your emergency: Mega millions Met call handling IT muckup?

Trixr

Since there are at least two well-known public safety/incident management systems available for purchase off-the-shelf (yes, with a pretty heavy support cost, and some customisation required... but it's proven technology), what makes the Met different to the British Transport Police, which uses one of these systems?

Not to mention all the other police forces and fire and ambulance services that use these products around the world. The Philippines alone covers 100 million people across a number of public safety agencies. And it doesn't take £25m to implement either solution that I'm aware of (not for the likely size of the implementation). Maybe Northrop/Lockheed are just going to rebadge one of these and slap a bit of who-knows-what on top.

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Zombie OS lurches through Royal Melbourne Hospital spreading virus

Trixr

Now they've spent a sh!tload on manual fallback, and are preparing to pay ransom money for XP crap, and now the public embarrassment and loss of confidence to the public, perhaps they could actually spend funds on UPGRADING the systems.

Yeah, yeah, I know some old physical kit may well have some "turnkey" XP back end that can't be decoupled from it. If it hasn't reached the end of life, isolate those consoles from any network and superglue the usbs and CDs. For anything else that isn't attached to your multi-million dollar MRI machine that is currently mid-life, UPGRADE.

(Yes, I know what it's like ferreting out old applications, asking the vendor if there's an upgrade, purchasing and implementing said upgrades (or writing new code), and migrating data, but that can all be done if tackled incrementally and thoroughly. And sometimes the solution is better, if you actually spend some time on requirements analysis first, ha! ha! ha!).

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Server retired after 18 years and ten months – beat that, readers!

Trixr

Re: The WANG that would not die

Ugh, I had to run some kind of maintenance procedure on one of those things every month when I worked for an insurance company, even though I was the "Windows admin". The Wang guy was paid three times more than I was, but it apparently wasn't in his job description to get out of bed to do the job.

Here's me very nervously typing hieroglyphics for at least 15 minutes into the console at 9pm on a Thursday night in the lonely datacentre, hoping like hell I don't typo some weird crap and make the thing completely die. This was in the late 90s, and so I really feel your pain if one of those buggers was still running a year ago!

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Engineer's bosses gave him printout of his Yahoo IMs. Euro court says it's OK

Trixr

Re: Separate work from private life!

Yes, but any employer in NZ - and in fact also in the UK and Australia - would take it to a formal warning if the behaviour wasn't modified.

Also, if your contract said that you were not allowed to browse porn at anytime and it would be grounds for instant dismissal if found, the "friendly warning" doesn't really matter in that instance.

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Confirmed: How to stop Windows 10 forcing itself onto PCs – your essential guide

Trixr

No need to reinvent the wheel

GWX Control Panel is great, well documented and does the biz. Much quicker than manually uninstalling patches and farting around in the registry.

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Good news, OAuth is almost secure

Trixr
Headmaster

It's not Facebook's

Facebook merely use OAuth, like many other sites and services. They certainly don't own it, and they weren't involved in developing it.

If you said "used by Facebook and Twitter, among others", then maybe you would not be implying it's their standard.

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