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* Posts by Robert E A Harvey

2798 posts • joined 8 Oct 2006

NHS trust issues nurse jub flash alert

Robert E A Harvey
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Paris Hilton

Splendidly done

I just wanted to say that this bit of writing cheered me up at the end of a long, hard day.

A bit off-colour, yes. Slightly iffy, indeed. Near the knuckle, perhaps.

But it made me laugh. Keep up the good work.

Chesticles, indeed!

<- We all know someone without enough of them.

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A sysadmin's top ten tales of woe

Robert E A Harvey
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Ah, but that's theft.

In the 1970s the firm I worked for built "robot" garages - just a forecourt and pole sign, no buildings. Each pump had a "note acceptor" next to it. I designed and commissioned the note acceptors.

We built one on the A45, just after it stopped being the M45. I got a call one day that the site had gone. "Gone wrong? gone heywire?" I asked. "No. Gone."

I drove up there. The whole lot had gone. Pumps, note acceptors, pole sign. The only bit left was the tank underground, and they had emptied that.

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Robert E A Harvey
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Datapoint

Datapoint had a magic OS (Dos.h? dos.K?) which was agnostic about drive IDs. You defined a removable device in the form <volume label>filename.ext. During a payroll run, for example, you could knock two drives offline, spin them down, physically swap <employee details> and <timesheets>, spin up, online, and it would carry on processing from where it left off. Brilliant.

At the end of each end-of-month run we would copy the result table to a backup device so we had two copies.

or at least we thought we did. I had tested both backing up and restoring and listing the two copies, etc. without noticing that I had defined them as <wages>EOM.dat and <wages>EOM_month.dat. <wages1> remained surprisingly empty when I needed it....

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Robert E A Harvey
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doing things on the cheap

Large engineering company developing its own control system.

Decided not to spend money on hardware, gave old PDP11 to software team.

Only storage was two 10" removable hard drives. Compiler and target development done on one, backed up to the other. Software man took backup platter home each day, swapped for another one the next day. Very professional.

Team on holiday during works shutdown. Compulsory that.

During works shutdown man from Dec came to do contract maintainence. Discovered lots of things wrong with both 10" drive stacks, carefully re-aligned heads (remember eyeball diagrams?) and adjusted read/write amplifiers. Got jobcards signed.

Back on Monday Morning, and neither the system nor any of the backups could be read. 2 years of development down the tubes. Large amounts of cash wasted trying to recover data. Project cancelled. Half a million quid wasted saving the price of a new vax.

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Asus Eee Pad Transformer Android tablet

Robert E A Harvey
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Been waiting for this review

And it is very interesting. But I don't trust the scores at all now, and I would like to be able to.

perhaps reg central could add a voting system? Buy/don't choices from commmentards?

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States consider saner 'sexting' penalties for teens

Robert E A Harvey
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Abso bloody lutely

I can't see that any crime is committed. Teenagers have a perfectly healthy propensity to display their bits to each other, and this is just the tech version.

OK, if someone gets hold of the picture and uses it for blackmail etc, that's a problem, but the problem is the blackmail not the picture.

The idea that the state should even care if a teenager's friends have seen his dick, or her minge, is entirely inappropriate. What next? shagging licences? a groping tax? health warning tattoos?

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Yorks PC maker goes titsup owing £1m+

Robert E A Harvey
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normal

Same as my Dad's Grocery shop being unable to compete with Tescos 'cos they soaked up the 90% of the market who only want tinned beans and sliced bread.

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Earth may be headed into a mini Ice Age within a decade

Robert E A Harvey
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Hoo Fucking Ray

I can't abide hot weather.

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AMD promises 10 teraflop notebooks by 2020

Robert E A Harvey
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yes

Jim O'Reilly is right - in a world migrating to web based services this is madness.

But

Nonesuch is right too. Woot!

I'm going with Woot. Imagine, being able to crack MSoffice in a few seconds. And, perhaps, being able to run MSoffice and have it display letters as quickly as I can type them!

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HP WebOS tablet to ship early July

Robert E A Harvey
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FAIL

Sorry. HP

I've waited over a year for what turns out to be a damp squib.

Just why do you suppose I'd want to buy this?

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Blu-ray sales to overtake DVD... next year

Robert E A Harvey
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Not in my house

Not even got a DVD player on the telly, only on my 'buntu box. When that can play Blu-rip I might consider it, but while they try to control my other purchasing decisions they can do the other thing.

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Most gamers are middle-aged adults: FACT

Robert E A Harvey
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Pink Pixels

I reckon risqué games would be as unattractive as porn. Tacky, interest lost in about 15 seconds, ultimately unsatisfying. Pink pixels are still just pixels.

But, yes. surveys are very unreliable. I know, I answer one a week for Yougov...

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Violin scoops $40m, eyes global domination

Robert E A Harvey
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Title overdone

I saw the words "scoop" and "eyes" in close proximity and could not bring myself to read the story just in case...

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NHS Direct

Robert E A Harvey
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FAIL

Hmm

Given the variable quality of the advice I have been given, It has already lived too long.

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Apple iCloud: Steve Jobs' own private internet

Robert E A Harvey
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Half a mind

Half of my mind wants to welcome this cloudy storage idea, because I grew up in the days of dumb terminals and central mainframes and it all makes sense.

But it doesn't.

The other half of my mind says "Do you mind? that's my data. I'll be having the holding of that."

The biggest missing part of this is the internet connection. If I want to listen to Beethoven's 9th, as recorded by Leonard Bernstein after the fall of the Berlin Wall, that's around 830MB. Sat at home on my hard disk, it costs me nothing to stream 830MB. The original CD cost me £6.

Now, if I am fool enough to put it on the cloud, I will have to pay for 830MB of download every time I want to listen to it. That will be £1.08 on BT's broadband package, or £4.96 on 3's payg cellular data service. Every time I want to listen to it.

This cloudy thing might be convenient for people who don't care about data privacy, but it makes no sense until the internet is completely free.

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Aussie vendor pledges to ship 'first' Chrome laptop this week

Robert E A Harvey
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Linux

tempting

Not sure about the hyperbole, "High Powered Mobile Computing" = Intel Celeron M, and the risk of paying £1.64 extra by not being 'quick'.

but ignoring that, yes it looks good value and nice to see someone offering a machine with no gates tax.

Tempted.

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Robert E A Harvey
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quite clever

Obviously old stock they were stuck with. Bung summat lightweight and fashionable on it, sell even some of them and get some good publicity.

Good business decision, regardless of the performance you end up on them. Good for them.

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LG Optimus 3D dual core Android smartphone

Robert E A Harvey
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Dual?

Never mind two cores.

Never mind two cameras.

What about two sim cards?

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Mac OS X Lion debuts in July as $29.99 upgrade

Robert E A Harvey
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whot?

3000 new apis? whot?

I can almost swallow 3000 new & updated system calls, but psurely an API is whole bundle of system calls giving access to a something?

3000 new system calls would be a pointless encumberance. 3000 complete APIs would be be programmer overload.

Sounds like bollox to me.

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Google acting as a 'political tool', says China

Robert E A Harvey
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Big Brother

"Political Tool"

Is that another name for Michael Gove?

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Windows 8: Microsoft’s high-stakes .NET tablet gamble

Robert E A Harvey
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FAIL

Ah, right

So M$ want us to buy an M$ tablet instead of a robot or fruit based one, because then we get our familiar M$ environment in which all our software runs.

Then when we get it we discover it won't run all our old software, 'cos it wants everything to be in html and magic fairy stuff.

Marketing win? or marketing drop? you decide.

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UK gov to create central procurement team

Robert E A Harvey
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Big Brother

HMSO

I recall HMSO supplying notepads, typewriters, desks, briefcases all alike to employment exchanges, Customs clerks in Ports, telephone exchanges and the NHS. Worked remarkably well, and remarkably efficiently. OK, a lot of things were brown, and the paper was a bit hairy, but the economies of scale were vast and simple to understand.

Bring back HMSO I say

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AMD targets tablets and cloudbooks in Intel showdown

Robert E A Harvey
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Now, then..

What was it intel said about ending price cutting?

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Sony Bravia KDL-40EX724 40in LED 3D TV

Robert E A Harvey
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FAIL

yawn

don't want 3D, don't care

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Apple worth more than Microsoft and Intel combined

Robert E A Harvey
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Happy

See?

this is what happens when you sell what people want, instead of what you've decided they can have.

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Asus revamp adds tablet-phone dock

Robert E A Harvey
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Happy

Padfone

I really fancy that. Pity about the spelling, but hey.

I'm sitting here going "ooh shiney thing", and have yet to come up with a rational reason to have one. But I reckon "ooh shiney thing" is quite a convincing arguement, really.

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Gov 'skunkworks' to develop e-petitions system

Robert E A Harvey
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Flame

FFS

Here we are 20 years into the internut, and someone has got to skunk a simple voting system? Ye glods.

I propose a petition system involving crowds of villagers, flaming brands, pitchforks, and a one-rope-per-lamppost technique.

That'd get their attention, and would not need any fancy web technology.

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4G interference will knock out Freeview

Robert E A Harvey
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Headmaster

Oh?

"£10 filter, which focuses the frequency received more accurately"

Look, we are techies here. We know what bandpass and bandstop filters do. Not only don't you have to spoon feed us, I'd rather you didn't spoon feed us meaningless pap.

"focuses the frequency" indeed. Been writing Dr Who scripts have we?

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Nokia: When pigeons fly home to roast

Robert E A Harvey
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Holmes

and

...read the screen while outdoors

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Qualcomm confirms Windows 8 on ARM

Robert E A Harvey
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FAIL

yes, but

How long will this take, and will anyone buy one?

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Barnsley clamps down on foul-mouthed fu*king locals

Robert E A Harvey
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Happy

you have got to read this one

http://www.barnsley.towntalk.co.uk/news/d/19732/skyline-rescue-as-barnsley-town-centre-is-shut-down/

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Acer writes off $150m as audit finds 'abnormalities'

Robert E A Harvey
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Aye

If there's going to be a fire sale, let us have the details please, El Reg

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Micron streaks away with PCIe flash

Robert E A Harvey
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"very little processing is offloaded to the host server's processor"

? why is any offloaded to the host?

seems odd to me.

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Sinking Sun scuppers Oracle server figures

Robert E A Harvey
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Devil

waiting for the other shoe

""The whole RISC and UNIX market remains in the doldrums with customers continuing to adopt a wait and see attitude [as they assess recent tech advances on x86, at chip and systems level, designed to boost reliability, availability and security]," [Nathaniel Martinez] told El Reg.

Nothing to do with Sun's customers having the jitters that Oracle might ditch Solaris next? honestly?

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Rumbled benefits cheats offer sensational excuses

Robert E A Harvey
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Well, quite

I don't really believe a word of it. Sounds like friday afternoon down the pub at DHSS HQ

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Think PCs will drop in price? Think again, warns Intel

Robert E A Harvey
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Holmes

Lets see if I've got this right

"Prices are staying high because we've stopped charging less"

Did he really say that?

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BT to embrace IPTV as it upgrades broadband network to multicast

Robert E A Harvey
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Thumb Down

Ah, right

So no point when the customers ask for it, but suddenly essential when they want it.

Right.

Twunts.

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Chicago lawyer deploys distractionary dumplings

Robert E A Harvey
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Go Sarah!

I sometimes think that the last decade has seen a serious reverse in sensible attitudes to women. I call it the virtual burkha syndrome.

For heaven's sake, no-one has ever suggested that I should stick to a career in Porn, and I would be offended if they did. No matter the qualifications, I'm a better engineer.

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Submarine seized by pirates turns up in Vegas pawnshop

Robert E A Harvey
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"before changing the subject and embarking on an anecdote about a steam engine."

what is this? an episode of Last of the Summer Wine?

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CIX conferencing system is bought out – again

Robert E A Harvey
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I wish

I'd kept my old account. I gave up CIX reluctantly when we had a financial crisis and each household member had to make personal cuts. I had hoped that the OU cosy system would be a substitute, but while it was free it was like being alone in a multi-story car park, instead of pushing shoulder-tight through an oriental souk.

I wonder If I could persuade the last 4 posters to nntp:uk.rec.sheds to move onto cix?

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Microsoft gets five bucks for every HTC Android phone

Robert E A Harvey
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Mushroom

NTFFO

reprise, from another comment:

"Microsoft are moving from annoying (very annoying) to dangerous now.

Are there no orbital weapons that need testing?"

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35m Google Profiles dumped into private database

Robert E A Harvey
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Big Brother

Knock Knock

I'm waiting for the news that the proffesor is subject to a McKinnon-style ectradition order to face trial in the usa, probably under the DCMA.

Making an american company look like pillocks is a capital offence, surely?

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Samsung must cough up Android prototypes to Apple

Robert E A Harvey
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Balkan Sobranne

My grandad had a silver cigarette tin, rounded corners, lid printed black, thin enough for a jacket pocket...

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€1bn handout from the EU targets ambient nagware and robot pets

Robert E A Harvey
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I'd love an owl

Even with loads of herbs, red wine & a slow cooker they are a bit woodcock, frankly

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Engineering student cracks major riddle of the universe

Robert E A Harvey
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Coat

where did you last see it?

it is a uniquely female skill.

Mine's the one with a Higgs somewhere in one of the pockets

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Apple, Amazon trademark spat turns surreal

Robert E A Harvey
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@AC 08:22

I bet you live in somewhere super-sophisticated, Like London or Brighton.

Up here in Lincolnshire superdrug sells shampoo and emery boards and that's about it.

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HP exec: WebOS tablet will trounce iPad

Robert E A Harvey
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The master has it covered

http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2011-05-10/

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Robert E A Harvey
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Am I alone

in having not a clue what "angry birds" means?

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Read-only nation: can Open Source change the British way?

Robert E A Harvey
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Stop

and

My $MEGACORP laptop came with Vista. $MEGACORP pay M$ a fee to put XP on top - every year. The cost of Vista was not refunded.

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Robert E A Harvey
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Educators

For a few golden years schools with BBC micros & RM mp/m machines taught people to programme.

Nowe the teach them to type with MSword, skipping the use of styles, automatic TOC & master documents.

I blame the educators

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