* Posts by Linker3000

124 posts • joined 7 May 2010

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Maplin Electronics demands cash with menaces

Linker3000

Re: Sad excuse for the company it once was...

The vouchers...don't forget the coloured vouchers...orange ones, green ones and...wow I bought enough to get a white and blue one!

Bless Doug Simmons...we had an electronics club stand at our school summer fair (about 1978/9) and I wrote to him for some marketing freebies and he sent a large box of catalogues and starship posters.

/Also 4 digits.

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When Capita job ads go BAD

Linker3000

Re: Needs to be saved for posteriority...

"The house prices must be low"

Rock bottom, I hear.

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TWELVE YEARS of US Air Force complaints lost in database crash

Linker3000

Re: Wait..

> > > Hey, why not have a backup? >>>Or RAID?<<<

You really didn't write that, did you!? Hand in your sysadmin card on the way out. Kthxbye.

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Linker3000

Re: A backup isn't a backup

Also never assume that the people who made and managed the backups are still around to restore them. Documentation - stored in several places FTW.

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Why everyone* hates Salesforce's Marc Benioff

Linker3000
Facepalm

So close

I was working up to a state of worry and agitation when the article mentioned apps getting rid of bankers, lawyers and estate agents. I'm so very torn now.

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BBC's micro:bit retail shipments near

Linker3000

Re: There's hope for us yet!

I'll just leave this here:

https://i.imgur.com/eTgF48e.jpg

"The Acorn System 1 is a grandparent of the BBC micro:bit; it was designed by Sophie Wilson and Steve Furber, who went on to help develop the BBC Microcomputer.

Acorn System 1:

Launched: 1979

Processor: 8-bit 6502, 1MHz

Approx MIPS: 0.5

RAM: 1.125kB

ROM: 512 bytes

BBC micro:bit:

Launched: 2016

Processor: 32-bit ARM Cortex M0, 16MHz

Approx MIPS: 13

RAM: 16kB

Flash: 256kB "

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Linker3000

Re: Now we have Pi Zero

s/that/than/

/Sheldon Cooper would not have been so sloppy.

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Linker3000

Re: Better late than never

> It would probably have been better to hold off to next school year.

Totally agree.

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Linker3000

Re: Now we have Pi Zero

> My Pi probably boots up in around 15 seconds or so.

So, about 14 seconds more that a micro:bit ;-)

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Linker3000

Re: I don't get it

Help make the community happen - there's an Area 51 initiative on Stack Exchange to create a micro:bit Q&A site - please head over and upvote some of the questions that have not made it to 10 yet.

http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/96237/microbit

** Please don't upvote any question that already has 10 upvotes; they have already passed the needed score so it will be a wasted vote. **

Also check out this sub on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Micro_Bit/

(There's a couple of other micro:bit subs on Reddit, but that one is the most active)

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Linker3000

Re: Before getting one of these

I've upvoted this one, purely because it's a pain to head down the phone/tablet route only to find that support for your particular model...they're 'working on it'.

/Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet.

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Linker3000

Re: Now we have Pi Zero

> Wow, I'm talking to Dr Sheldon Cooper... oops ;)

Nah, you're being corrected by someone working close to the project!

/I'm impartial to trains and have no fear of birds.

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Linker3000

Re: It's rubbish

Agreed, the ultimate launch date was not good and has meant the micro:bits being delivered so close to the end of the school year that there was little point in bringing them into the curriculum.

I am a STEM ambassador and we have a growing network of members who are tooled up with micro:bits and able to support schools who wish to use the board in conjunction with curriculum activities. You should encourage your school to reach out to the STEM organisation to see who could help either directly or remotely.

http://www.stemnet.org.uk/

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Linker3000

Re: It's rubbish

I understand there was some talk about speccing the micro:bit with a larger RAM, but this would have meant moving to the next model of Nordic SoCs and the cost was considered too high.

The board is intended for basic coding and for that it's fine - if you require more RAM, then the micro:bit is probably not the right fit for your project.

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Linker3000

Re: Now we have Pi Zero

Emulating?

I've seen 'successor' mentioned in official circles. not 'emulator', although there have been comments about hoping the micro:bit emulates the success of the BBC Micro, which is a completely different context.

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Linker3000

Re: It's rubbish

The ecosystem for the micro:bit is getting there - notably the micropython team are making progress on an almost daily basis. I predict some people working hard during the impending Summer hols.

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Linker3000

Re: Now we have Pi Zero

The Zero has no LED matrix display, no bluetooth, no accelerometer, no built-in switches and no magnetometer so it's hardly ready 'out of the box' to do anything, plus prepping one for use can be a bit of hassle. The micro:bit can almost hit the ground running; I have both and the micro:bit is the best fit for its intended purpose.The Zero could be step 2 on a coding journey unless one moves to the Arduino ecosystem or somethig like the ST Nucleo boards.

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Is uBeam the new Theranos?

Linker3000

Re: Worzel Gummidge Technology

Catweazle holds the patent on electrickery:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catweazle

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Salesforce.com crash caused DATA LOSS

Linker3000

Re: Oh well, these things happen ...

> Of course not: all in-house IT systems have their DR plans fully documented, with a test failover performed monthly.

Actually we did a failover every two months on our in house system.

Yes, in-house IT can be a mess in many cases, but for any organisation with mission-critical parts kept in-house, *you* retain control of the specification and management of your live and redundant resources and can plan for business continuity and failover under your control and to a budget and resource pool that meets your requirements; perhaps even considering worse-case scenarios like hiring a shipping container data centre or, as in our case, being able to cannibalise other, less critical services, for parts while we wait for spares and an engineer to turn up within their 1/2/4/whatever hour response window.

As an example, we specced a standby system running a single unit tape backup/restore function (in case our autochanger failed) to have the same hardware as one of our primary servers. One day, the HP SAS caching controller on a live server failed and brought down the ERP system . While we were on the phone arranging a service call-out, another team member replaced the controller with the one from the 'spare' system. Total downtime was 12 minutes - and that was our only service break on that system in about 3 years.

When you rely on DR in a SAAS cloud-based environment, you won't likely have a dedicated engineer thinking about what they can do for you and your service - they will be taking a holistic view across the entire failed infrastructure and the solution will most likely take longer to implement unless its something simple like failed switch or router because whole systems/backups (ha - if they exist) will be being restored rather than just *your* systems and backups.

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Marc Benioff apologizes as Salesforce NA14 instance goes TITSUP

Linker3000

Re: Autoplay ** ad top of page

Readers with corporate phones who aren't allowed to install adblockers disagree.

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Linker3000

Re: Autoplay MS ad top of page

Adblockers not allowed on corporate phone. Believe me, I tried (physically and trying to get approval).

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Linker3000

Re: Autoplay MS ad top of page

Autoplay MS^H^H ads top of page.

FIFM.

Please at least detect mobile browsers and replace auto play ads with a static image.

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Linker3000

Autoplay MS ad top of page

Fkn annoying on my phone on train on way to work. Please stop this crap.

Thanks.

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Siemens Healthcare struck by rebranding madness

Linker3000

Learn from history

Many years ago, there was an attempt to give electronic engineers a shorter, snappy title akin to those what call themselved "electricians". The best anyone could come up with was "electroneers".

Remember that?

Thought not.

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

Linker3000

Re: Stability Event

Whoa, your post had 1 stability event in 2. That's awesome!

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Logging on to United's frequent flyer site might take longer than a flight

Linker3000

Re: Post-Its

> United, are your security people listening?

Nah, they are all stuck in a departures lounge somewhere on their way back from a conference because their flight was delayed/cancelled.

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Linker3000

That long eh!?

So...longer than an 8 hour wait at SFO before your flight to LHR is finally cancelled and you have to fly to Dulles and eventually arrive back home over one day late...and no you can't use our lounge while we dick around trying to work out how to get you home?

I refuse to fly United now .. all subsequent business flights have been with Virgin Atlantic.

/bitter? Much!

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HGST has an entry-level 14PB archive box... is that enough for your, er, home collection?

Linker3000

Re: 15 9s

Important notes:

This is not an HDS system; it's from HGST - totally different organisations.

These systems use Erasure Coding to scatter elements of the stored objects across multiple disks (or sites, if you have more than one system), and rebuild times are based on the time taken to reconstruct the elements stored on one disk.

There are boxes out in the field (previous generation ones) for which reliability data is available, plus there are the ones in the labs and development centres. Overall, it's possible to calculate reliability figures based on the MTBF/AFR and other parameters for individual components.

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Linker3000

Re: "Binary"?

These systems don't use RAID. Check out 'Erasure Coding'

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Linker3000

Exactly! The storage policies which determine how objects are stored, how many parts they are spread across on the disks and how many parts we can afford to lose (the 'safety') is customer configurable and determines the effective storage size.

/Currently sitting in a training course at HGST for this, so getting a kick etc...

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Toaster cooks network and burns 'expert' user's credibility to a crisp

Linker3000

Daisychained Daisys

It was the mid/late 1980s and we'd just installed a row of spanking-new IBM PC-AT computers (286 processor, no less) running a CAD application called Daisy on a *nix OS called Daisy-DNIX. In those days RAM was very expensive so not a lot was fitted and the systems swapped to disk constantly.

Everything was going swimmingly until some electronic-engineer-who-should-have-known-better fancied a brew-up and plugged his electric kettle into the end socket on a run of daisy-chained (heh!) extension leads. Of course, the fuse blew in the FIRST plug and all the computers went down.

The resulting mess caused by machines that were shut down incorrectly while busily swapping took a couple of days to sort out.

Those machines swapped so much that we were forever replacing busted disks.

Happy days. Have a read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daisy_Systems

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Reg readers battle to claim 'my silicon's older than yours' crown

Linker3000

Acorn System 1

Just have to mention my Acorn System 1 from 1979; this was Acorn's first commercial computer. I received it about a year ago from someone who had it 'in a box under my desk somewhere'. The unit needed some TLC, but after a few PCB track repairs, a couple of replacement logic chips and some rework on the LED display ribbon cable it's up and working again - although I have to admit that I don't run it 24/7 and the display is not up to email or surfing the 'net.

You can see a pic of the unit here: http://forum.6502.org/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=3286&start=15

It's sitting on a pile of parts I have ordered so I can make a replica (when I get round to it!)

More info here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acorn_System_1

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Press Backspace 28 times to own unlucky Grub-by Linux boxes

Linker3000
Pint

Re: Almost possible to use grub password

Um..OK...you carry on there. We all went down the pub about 3 hours ago.

Cheers!

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Cisco forgot to install two LEDs in routers

Linker3000
Boffin

Meanwhile: anonymous faux engineer in stock shot burns the crap out of C109 for no apparent reason.

/Claims: "I was told to make sure the cap was on the hot side"

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Mostly harmless: Berlin boffins bleat post epic TrueCrypt audit feat

Linker3000
Headmaster

Nammar Grazi

"The 77-page report dug up extra vulnerabilities in the once-popular encryption platform but say none are sufficient to undermine the jettisoned software."

...none IS...

/You're welcome.

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How TV ads silently ping commands to phones: Sneaky SilverPush code reverse-engineered

Linker3000

Re: Surreptitious DMTF?

"Sure, but then what do you do when this technology gets used out on the street or in shopping centres?"

Then it will be OK, because we will be reassured that, just like MAC address wifi tracking, it's being used to 'enhance our shopping experience'

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Remember Windows 1.0? It's been 30 years (and you're officially old)

Linker3000

Yeah - old stuff

I remember it well. I had a day job, but also worked on a freelance basis for PC User Magazine (RIP). I was sent 'something-or-other-utility' to review, only to discover that it needed Windows to run. I spoke to the editor; one quick phone call to Microsoft and a few days later, a stack of 5.25" floppies arrived containing Windows 1.0. Might still have them somewhere.

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Telecity London data centre outage borks VoIP, websites, AWS...

Linker3000

Payment processing?

Could this explain why Paypal is borked for me and the missus had issues with our Santander card in M&S?

/Yes, we checked our balance.

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Amazon Echo: We put Jeff Bezos' always-on microphone-speaker in a Reg family home

Linker3000

Re: "Alexa, where is my bicycle?" - Parenting 101

At least the answer isn't (yet), "Can't find your bicycle? We have a great selection of bicycles; say 'yes' and we'll have a replacement with you tomorrow."

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Seagate sales droop: It was a nearline miss, says CEO

Linker3000
Headmaster

Re: Ethernet filling

8000GigaBaseHe?

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Hurrah! Doctor Who brings us a bootstrap paradox treat in Before the Flood

Linker3000

Amping it up

Did ya spot the logo on the front of the case?

So, did the Doctor pay for that guitar amp, or did he nick it from Magpie's electrical shop?

http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Magpie

Edit: Aha.. I must keep up...

http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Magpie_Electricals

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Here are the God-mode holes that gave TrueCrypt audit the slip

Linker3000
Boffin

Re: Let me note that these vulnerabilities are Windows-only

You mean you stopped at Z??

C:\Users\NK>subst [: c:\temp

C:\Users\NK>[:

[:\>dir

Volume in drive [ is Windows

Volume Serial Number is 2CE3-394D

Directory of [:\

25/09/15 15:38 <DIR> .

25/09/15 15:38 <DIR> ..

06/08/15 03:48 <DIR> DCIM

09/09/15 07:53 25,385 draytools-master.zip

21/08/15 15:01 77,824 212 - Expenses Reimbursement Policy (UK).doc

08/09/15 17:03 1,217,081 Fast Serial Debugger Drivers.zip

** SNIP **

15 File(s) 13,082,375 bytes

4 Dir(s) 60,633,071,616 bytes free

[:\>

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It's alive! Farmer hides neglected, dust-clogged server between walls

Linker3000

Re: Paving Slab Construction

I had a similar experience with some of the computers at a cement factory in Wellingborough. They were pretty wrecked.

One of my engineers serviced a machine that came back from a local farm's milking shed. The machine needed a complete clean out and the floppy disk drive was replaced. The engineer wrote up the repair description as "Half a field removed from computer".

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Linker3000

Sssh...Top Secret

In the early 1990s, I turned up at a Ministry of Defence (MoD) site in the UK to load some software updates onto a Netware server. Having duly passed through all the security checks, I was led to a busy office that looked like it was last refurbished in the 1950s.. "It's in the corner..' I was told. After about half a minute of trying to locate aforementioned server, I asked for some guidance..."Oh, filing cabinet - bottom drawer.. I'll remove the padlock." The padlock came off and a solid steel strap that ran from top to bottom through all the handles was withdrawn like Excalibur from the stone. There it was - a Toshiba T3200 with orange plasma screen running Netware and hosting who-knows-what secrets on its hard disk. A hole had been cut out of the back of the cabinet to poke through the power and data cables. "Most secure server in the building, I was advised".

So I got to work, crouched down in front of the filing cabinet. About 10 minutes later, a phone started to ring in the next drawer up - a muted bell, it's ring deadened by something..a war surplus sock maybe!? "There's a phone ringing in here", I volunteered. "Oh,we don't answer that one", came the reply.

Funny day.

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Brown kid with Arab name arrested for bringing home-made clock to school

Linker3000
Mushroom

I'm scared

If the UK authorities adopted the same mindset and paid a visit to my spare room (aka 'workshop'), they'd find several Raspberry Bombs, Arduino-grenades and nano-grenades, ESP8266 IoT wifi remote detonators, antistatic bags full of I/O bombshields, trays of PIC Microbombs, Serial Flashbang RAM, 7-segment LED countdowntoarmageddon indicators, LCD bomb displays ('your bomb temperature is ...nDegC'), USB-Serial TTL bomb interfaces, a 1979 Acorn System 1 6502-trainer-cum-bomb, some old EPROMS (EBOMBS, more like, eh!), ultracapacitor detonators...

The other week, while browsing through a computer and electronics surplus warehouse (aka bomb factory), I even picked up what can only be described as a hardly-used Sinclair ZXeightybomb.

The dead giveaway is the storage drawers containg piezo sounders and LEDs, which I use to make sure that all of the IoT...er...bombs that I construct make a telltale bleeping sounds accompanied by blinkenlights to ensure that they can be easily spotted under vehicles and in the noisewheel compartments of passenger aircraft. Hell, I even have WIRE.

I'll get me coat and turn myself in right now.

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Get whimsical and win a Western Digital Black 6TB hard drive

Linker3000

Get it from the Ape Store

Sure, I'm delighted with the next-day banana delivery service from Amazon Primate.

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Microsoft will explain only 'significant' Windows 10 updates

Linker3000
Alert

Dear Deirdre

Darling,

I have something to tell you...I...I...signed up for something on my computer...and...I ended up getting fucked by people I'd never met before...I couldn't help myself...the thought of something new and different was so attractive I just had to give it a go...but now I feel like I have given away my soul and my private affairs are being exposed for others to pick over...Oh darling, I have made a terrible mistake and I feel there's no going back...everything that was private is now in the hands of others.

Dearest, please don't tell me you signed up at Ashley Madison!??

Oh no, dear - I...I installed Windows 10.

Darling, HOW COULD YOU!!??

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IT jargon is absolutely REAMED with sexual double-entendres

Linker3000
WTF?

Dick message

"Richard Kiel Memorial Abend # 27"

Netware admins will know what I mean.

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Boss hands dunce's cap to chap who turned off disk monitor

Linker3000

rm -rf

No, not *that* classic use of rm -rf, but..

The Financial Director where I worked a bazillion years ago needed to restore from tape the (b)ought ledger files to our SCO Unix box.

Unfortunately, he restored the files to the root of the server's disk, and rather than move them into place, he restored them again - correctly - and then issued rm -rf b* from the root folder.

Things were hunky dory for a few weeks until we rebooted the server during overnight routine maintenence and it didn't come up again.

One trip to the office later and I'd discovered that /boot was missing. Two hours pass and we were OK for the morning, but I had to wake up the MD to open the main office where the master tapes for the OS were stored in the safe.

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