* Posts by Stoneshop

1718 posts • joined 8 Oct 2009

Why OH WHY did Blighty privatise EVERYTHING?

Stoneshop
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Headmaster

Adjust your parser

Quite apart from anything else it's not the pursuit of profit that makes organisations more efficient: it's the prospect of having whatever profits you might be able to make competed away (leading to the death of the organisation) that does.

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Who wants a classic ThinkPad with whizzy new hardware? Lenovo would just love to know

Stoneshop
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Pint

Re: ME! Oh ME! MeohmeohmeohMEEEE!

Before this X201 my daily lappie was an X61, with a wedge-shaped auxiliary battery underneath. Apart from roughly doubling battery life it added some heft to the machine, and a slight, but nice enough tilt to the keyboard.

I'd like this new retro Thinkpad to also come in an X variant (screen size and performance are less important to me than portability) with extended batteries as an option.

Beer for the Lenovo engineer who gets this machine out the door.

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Vicious vandals violate voluminous Versailles vagina

Stoneshop
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Paris Hilton

Re: YELLOW paint?

At least these are already pink: https://goo.gl/maps/wkarB

(switch to Streetview from here, and look southeasterly)

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Heinz cockup sees Ketchup's QR codes spurt saucy sites

Stoneshop
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Devil

I'm amazed no one has started printing their own on sticky labels

I'm amazed you haven't noticed it's being done.

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Belgium trolls France with bonkers new commemorative coin

Stoneshop
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Boffin

Reg Units please

In fact Belgian punches above its weight for well known people given its size.

You need to express that in Norris per Jub per Wales, so that we can get a meaningful number to rate different countries.

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Stoneshop
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Let's face it, the list of famous Belgians probably has a single entry,

There's also Eddy Merckx, a famous messenger from the war between the Romans and the Belgians.

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Innocent Spaniards roasted by experimental napalm mead

Stoneshop
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Mushroom

Vodka with rawit

About 10 of them, and "matured" for a week or two, is equally undrinkable straight, but diluted 1:5 with plain vodka it's pretty much OK. As a reference, I put 3 or 4 rawits in a nasi dish for three.

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Sun's out, guns out: Plucky Philae probot WAKES UP ... hits 'snooze'

Stoneshop
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Coat

Re: It's alive!

Can't keep a good lander down!

Well, the anchors didn't work as planned, and there's very little gravity, but still ...

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Intellectual Ventures: Toshiba is violating our patent! Toshiba: What patent?

Stoneshop
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Re: About time...

Charging a higher fee hurts small inventors and prevents them from access to the patent system.

How about charging a base fee plus a a tiered uplift based on the applying company's revenue?

and a much larger fee for rejected patents

With patents found to be failing to pass muster in a court case suffering the same fate.

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Spaniard sues eBay over right to sell the Sun

Stoneshop
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Facepalm

Re: Yeah, right...

the buyer will be able to make a "Where's my celestial body ?" claim

The answer to which can be pretty straightforward (or even straightup, for certain latitudes and times of day and year)

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Stoneshop
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Mushroom

Heavily used but in good condition

No warranty, no returns

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Stoneshop
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Boffin

Re: Oops!

What's commonly referred to as "fire" is an energetic exothermal oxidising reaction; the sun is driven by nuclear fusion.

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Stoneshop
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Boffin

" It's gas all the way through."

Plasma

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One USB plug to rule them all? That's sensible, but no...

Stoneshop
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Pirate

Re: Mag-safe

I've got a set of USB cables where the A plug attaches to the actual cable magnetically, and there hasn't been a gang of Apple landsharks molesting my front door.

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Stoneshop
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I don't think I've ever bought a laptop that has a charger compatible with the previous generation.

Serves you right for not buying Thinkpads

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Stoneshop
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Boffin

Re: As the old saying goes...

Not only that, in the UK there are no 20 amp domestic supplies,

The UK does have 32A (ring) and 20A (spur) circuits; it's the sockets that are commonly fused at 13A. However, this has nothing to do with how many amps you can pull out of a low-voltage circuit. Perhaps you should look at how transformers work before waffling about mains circuits.

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Stoneshop
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Headmaster

Re: As the old saying goes...

"Does your mixer tap fill your bath at exactly the temperature you enjoy?"

Actually, yes it does. I learn't how to set the computer on my boiler up properly.

Maybe you should learn yourself how to conjugate the verb "to learn".

And I do hope your boiler is set at a temperature somewhere over 60C,which for the average person would require mixing down with cold water, because of legionella.

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Attack of the IT monuments men: Museum wants your kit

Stoneshop
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Alert

Probably not feasible to pop over

but I think it would be interesting to hear this talk, and exchange ideas.

We (Computermuseum Arnhem, the Netherlands) have got a fair pile of gear starting with 1930-ish Telexes, via 1950-ish papertape-driven typewriters (MailMerge avant la lettre), the first ever programmable desktop calculator (1963), two Z80-based machines from a local manufacturer who's only ever built 200 of them before going titsup, and then of course the more common CP/M, early homecomputer, PDP and VAX stuff and 1980's workstations and Apple kit from that era.

People are generally happy to see the computers from their youth and ones they worked on early in their career preserved, but it more or less stops there. And we're in a catch-22 situation: we're not big and accessible enough to really attract visitors, and because of that, even if we were to charge an entrance fee, it wouldn't be enough by far to be able to afford a better location, with more exhibition space, and better repair and storage facilities. We also don't really have the manpower at the moment to actually run the museum as a museum; it's open when we're there anyway, usually busy fixing machines. And there's just four of us. Occasionally we get offers for help, but so far none have turned out to have hands for digging through the pile of What's This Then And What Is It For?

Finding kit isn't that hard, in our experience. Once you've assembled a critical mass new (old) kit accretes around it. The biggest problem is finding documentation, software and knowledge about the stuff. In that respect we've been lucky to have been offered (and taken) a cellar full of 1980-ish kit with boxes full of docs and media. Usually the gear goes into the computer room, the docs end up in the sysadmin pen or the developer's department, and they rarely get reunited at decommissioning time.

There are other collections and computer musea over here, but for all that I know of you need to arrange a visit. Most are private collections in someone's loft or cellar. One proper, accessible, computer museum has closed from lack of funding, another is facing getting the raised floor pulled out from underneath them because the building they're in is to be sold.

So, essentially, we're interested in finding a way forward. Preferably without getting tangled in subsidies which can be cut or revoked.

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Tim Worstall: Metals, mining and my heavyweight book

Stoneshop
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Coat

"He wrote the book, and he's going to bring it along"

Planning on throwing it at anybody?

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Dutch efforts to decapitate Pirate Bay could end up before ECJ

Stoneshop
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Pirate

Re: Trademark Infringement

I see that the skull on their pirate flag is in the shape of a Philips Compact Cassette. This is a clear case of trademark infringement!

Home Taping Is Killing Music

(which it didn't, either)

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Swordfish fatally stabs man after man stabs, fatally, swordfish

Stoneshop
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Thumb Up

"The whole harbour's scared of him."

The entire harbour? No, one little village fish ...

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Airbus confirms software brought down A400M transport plane

Stoneshop
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Holmes

Re: Impossible Testing Scenario

They used to call them sanity checks.

And surely you know the sanity check is correct and infallible.

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Zuck-Up as Facebook Messenger app tracks you everywhere forever

Stoneshop
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Devil

Re: I still think...

... to put it mildly.

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Why voice and apps sometimes don't beat an old-fashioned knob

Stoneshop
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Re: This won't affect me.

it'll be a cold day in hell

That can be arranged once you've pwn3d Beelzebub's thermostat.

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HP: you know we said we were done with cost cutting...

Stoneshop
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Holmes

Nothing new under the Sun, err, Alpha.

All it really says is we are going to fire the experienced but expensive staff and hire inexperienced but cheap staff.

Wrong tense.

s/are going/have for the past decade been firing, and will continue/

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City of birth? Why password questions are a terrible idea

Stoneshop
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WTF?

Only problem here is what happens after a given time, and you switch providers? (i.e. SIM Card + Number?)

I've switched providers, and thus SIM cards, at least half a dozen times, but still have the number I chose 15+ years ago.

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Stoneshop
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Pint

Re: Even Worse

I had the same with my mother's maiden name

I have an inkling their code would also barf if your mother's father was Johann Gambolputty-de-von-Ausfern-schplenden-schlitter-crass-cren-bon-fried-digger-dangle-dungle-burstein-von-knacker-thrasher-apple-banger-horowitz-ticolensic-grander-knotty-spelltinkle-grandlich-grumblemeyer-spelter-wasser-kurstlich-himble-eisen-bahnwagen-guten-abend-bitte-ein-nürnburger-bratwürstel-gespurten-mitz-weimache-luber-hundsfut-gumberaber-schönendanker-kalbsfleisch-mittleraucher-von-Hautkopft von Ulm

(beer, to lubricate your throat in case you have to read it on the telephone)

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Stoneshop
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Re: Even worse

What is your favorite color?

Ultraviolent, infradead, burnthombre, loathsomelilac, gangreen...

Or maybe BlueNoyelAuuuuuuuugh!

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Are we looking at the first domain name meme? Neigh

Stoneshop
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Re: And there's always...

youcanleadittowaterbutyoucantmakeitdrink.horse

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Back to the Future: the internet of things as imagined in 1985

Stoneshop
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Re: Been there, done that..

I'm gradually putting Intranet of Thingies into my house, but most of what it's doing is enhancing existing infrastructure, and monitoring. If I walk into my workshop I just want to hit a switch to turn on the lights (because maybe there's sufficient ambient to see by, so they don't need to come on automatically), but motion detectors switch them off if I forget, or have walked out with my hands full. The garage door opens and closes with buttons on the wall, but it also closes if I hit a central switch indicating I'm leaving.

It's built with gear that's been around for 25 years now, probably will be for at least another 25 given its ubiquitous use in building control, and tends to be understood by a competent electrician who's familiar with the stuff. It's not open as such, but it's been sufficiently reverse-engineered that I can plonk a RasPi in and write my own control and monitor programs. And there are dozens of vendors, which means that one manufacturer dropping the product line or going titsup is hardly going to be a problem.

And in my case none of this is going to be accessible from outside the house, let alone from Inner Elbonia.

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Why MakerBot failed – but 3D printing is far from dead

Stoneshop
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Re: prediction....

Good enough? Maybe. But it also needs to get much, much faster if it's to compete (c.f. 'challenge') existing ways of production.

What I see it being used for is making prototypes and one-offs/small runs. Or stuff like a fastener clip for the chrome trim strip on your classic car; stuff that you simply can't get anymore, and where it doesn't matter that it takes a couple of days to print all of them, plus a few spare, plus a bunch for your fellow classic car owners.

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Too much Appley WRISTJOBBERY could be BAD for your HealthKit

Stoneshop
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Go

I keep reading

HeathKit

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Fondleslab deaths grounded ALL of American Airlines' 737s

Stoneshop
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Pint

Re: So what goes in the map box now?

Couple of sandwiches and a banana.

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Stoneshop
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FAIL

Re: no IOS zone?

That suggestion might make some sense if it had been one plane only that was affected. HINT: it wasn't.

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Stoneshop
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FAIL

If, as per the pilot's remark, ALL of AA's 737 fleet suffered the same problem, there's little need for Toni and Bill to have been on the same plane.

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Stoneshop
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FAIL

Re: Malice?

Could it have been a passenger running a mobile hotspot with No iOS Zone?

“The pilot came on and said that his first mate’s iPad powered down unexpectedly, and his had too, and that the entire 737 fleet on American had experienced the same behavior,”

That's one hell of a No iOS Zone created if it affected planes all over the US, or there's some magical synchronicity happening between people running that software.

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Stoneshop
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Facepalm

Re: Now an intelligent design

Given that it affected only part of AA's fleet, it's apparently a problem triggered by the app choking on data specific to that type of plane in combination with the date. So please explain how it could have been caused by the choice of hardware.

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Smile! Brit transport plods turn bodycams on travelling public

Stoneshop
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Coincidentally

Triggered by a spate of violence against Dutch train personnel there's talk of equipping them with bodycams. Not much detail yet, but there's a suggestion that they should be live-viewable from a control room in case of an altercation.

The State Secretary for Transport has commented she will entertain the idea if other measures currently being implemented, such as access gates in railway stations, fail to be sufficiently effective.

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Stoneshop
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Devil

Re: A Definition of a Train

... leaving at a time when you can't and arriving when you don't need to be there.

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App makers, you're STILL doing security wrong

Stoneshop
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Holmes

home addresses of papal customers

That would be Piazza San Petro for a start, although I doubt they can be called "customers"

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Surgery-bot can be hacked to HACK YOU TO PIECES

Stoneshop
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Simple

The first (and second, third etc, until either there are none left or they start being Enlightened) of the legislators that have passed one of those No Encryption Because Terrorism bills will be subjected to invasive surgery, remotely controlled over an open link.

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Who was downloading smut in the office while eating ice cream?

Stoneshop
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Re: swapping stuff

Way, way back I had just gone from being a poor student to being a poor underpaid AV service technician, with a "company" (harhar) that initially didn't even have its own tools and test gear; I was asked to bring in mine to help start things. At some point however I did manage to get the owner to buy me some necessary stuff, and my own kit went home again.

Roughly a year after I had come in, the "company" (harhar) was left without its manager as well as its customers, and by the look of it whatever inventory there was was set to end up in boxes to be forgotten in a dark corner of some attic, if not thrown out in the skip.

The Belzer pliers and wire cutters that I swapped for my no-name ones still serve me well. I consider them compensation for having to bring my own tools those early months.

Actually, I should also have taken the Weller, as well as the 'scope.

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'Aaron's Law' back on the table to bring sanity to US hacking laws

Stoneshop
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Facepalm

Re: Eh?

Oh look I have a terminal open - must be hacking, natch.

I was sitting on a train, working remotely through a couple of SSH sessions (one of them IRC), when two teenagers walked past, catching a brief glimpse of my green on black terminals. "Oh look, a hacker".

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Australia mulls dumping the .com from .com.au – so you can bake URLs like chocolate.gate.au

Stoneshop
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Pint

Re: Chris must need more cigars

ziemlich.schl.au

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The data centre design that lets you cool down – and save electrons

Stoneshop
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Re: Really?

Ever come across kit by a small company called Cisco? They do not appear to have received your memo...

I think they actually did.

Almost all systems have their connections at the back. It therefore makes sense to mount patch panels as well as top-of-cabinet switches with their business end towards the back of those racks.

Larger kit such as a Catalyst 6500 is usually mounted in a cabinet of its own, with several tens of U of patch panel filling the rest of the rack. You mount the patch panels to match the Cat, and the Cat to match the airflow through the cabinet.

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Go for a spin on Record Store Day: Lifting the lid on vinyl, CD and tape

Stoneshop
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Re: Legality of torrent downloading vs ripping old vinyl?

Mainly because there wasn't such a thing as a USB turntable, so I had to convert phono output to input for Audacity using stuff I had laying around.

Which is just a matter of hooking up your PC soundcard to the Tape Record output on your amp.

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Data centre doesn't like your face? That's a good thing

Stoneshop
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Although you should have a torch to hand to see into the darker recesses of your cabinets,

In my trouser pocket: flashlight (currently one powered by a 18650 Li-Ion, should get one that runs on penlites because you then can get spares at any corner shop); in my backpack a Petzl Tikka headlamp. There have been several cases where you'd otherwise had to have three hands.

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Wi-Fi hotspots can put iPhones into ETERNAL super slow-mo

Stoneshop
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Re: I don't really have much sympathy for people who fall for such tricks

Back in the 80s there were stories about some minicomputers (DEC? I can't remember) which had a similar trick. Due to a shortage of small memory boards, some low-end systems were shipped with larger boards which had a chip-select line cut, it was cheaper than losing the sale. If you knew which line, you could reconnect it. Hardly standard practiuce, though.

With at least one of the VAX series a processor upgrade was basically sticking a new front panel badge on and moving a jumper; there was another one that required new microcode, built with fewer NOPs.

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Are you sure there are servers in this cold, dark basement?

Stoneshop
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Flame

Re: first job

One day I happened to be in the computer room that housed a similar-sized pile of systems: a VAXcluster, some standalone VAXes, MicroVAXes and a pair of PDP11's, all with their disks and tapes, when the aircon failed. The first thing I noticed was the computer room sound changing, with a low rumble now being absent. About three seconds later I realised that "FSCK! The aircon's gone out!", followed by a dash out the door to the sysadmin pen. Then back to the console room with four sysadmins in tow. The head honcho decided that "this, this and that machine HAVE to stay up, that comms rack too, shut down the rest, then power down all the disks except those, those and that other one. You (pointing to two colleagues) round up all the fans from the offices and bring them here. Keep the computer room doors open. GO!"

We managed to shut the lot down before any of the overtemp safeties triggered.

Given the multitude of RA81's and 82's present I expected at least a dozen casualties there, but over the next two weeks we only had three failed HDAs (70-18491-01), and one microprocessor module a couple of weeks later.

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Stoneshop
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Coat

"Pauli says there were no lights down in the basement, "

No stairs, and a cupboard in a locked lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the leopard".

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