* Posts by A K Stiles

234 posts • joined 16 Jul 2010

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Switch survives three hours of beer spray, fails after twelve

A K Stiles
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Joke

Re: So when he says “football” he means soccer

Just what I came to say. "Football", or even "Association Football", rather than "American Football" or "Aussie Rules All-In Brawling".

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Stross' new Laundry list

A K Stiles
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Joke

Re: This should be fun

How about London? Not all of it, just a small bit of Westminster, near the river...

Notice - yes, distress...

<So how many watch lists are we all on now? Despite the fact that it is clearly a joke!>

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NASA spools up ultra-high def aurora movie

A K Stiles
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Pretty, but...

I gave up after about 2 minutes, without the musak. I thought some of the shots were fabulous but the 10 second scenes with jump cuts were doing my head in.

It just about gave you time to find an interesting feature you wanted to watch and then jumped to another view altogether.

So frustrating! Or is it just me?

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

A K Stiles
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Joke

Re: it's worse than I thought

HA ha! So my account is secure as I've always loved sprouts!

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ISS to host space truck rally

A K Stiles
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Pint

fingers crossed

Hopefully this time they've 'read the instructions' for the landing.

Anticipatory beer for this evening (GMT)!

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

A K Stiles
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Joke

Re: Is Transgendered the new [Ms.] Black?

But then we'd all end up sounding like Gollum from the Lord of The Rings! (What does it think of its postses?)

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A K Stiles
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Re: Is Transgendered the new [Ms.] Black?

Thanks - couldn't remember the specifics (countries or words) off the top of my head at the time.

So, this being English, we'll drop the umlaut, (who needs a clue as to how something is pronounced?) and use han, rhymes with can, van, ban, tan, ran and LAN.

For his/hers we'll just use 'hans' rather than the original 'en' ending. Just pondering the him/her option and debating between 'hanet' or keeping it simpler and reusing 'han'...

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A K Stiles
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Re: Genuine question

In the spirit of non-reactionary discussion...

I think the same safeguard that existed a forthnight ago - societal mores and trained staff who are well aware of whether any of those 'jocks' had displayed any sense of gender discrepancy up to that point in time (preference for female clothing, etc.) and, if it's truely a newly emerging factor for one or more of them, the option to utilise a separate facility away from either birth-gender group, who are more likely to make the trans-individual uncomfortable than the other way round.

What are you aiming to safeguard against? Is it sexualisation of some attendant individuals by one or more others present?

Would it be more of an issue for you to have a trans-gender individual share facilities with their identified gender or for a homosexual person to share the facilities with others of the same birth-gender?

How about the post-surgery trans-female who, according to this law now has to share the showers with all the hairy-arsed jocks, despite the fact that they now have defined breasts and lack a scrotum and penis?

Perhaps the end-solution is unisex facilities with individual, lockable toilet stalls and shower cubicles rather than the mass open-plan options we've all faced at school and elsewhere. It might help prevent some of the endless bullying that seems to have gone on in schools for time immemorial.

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A K Stiles
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Re: Is Transgendered the new [Ms.] Black?

The Izzard article just sounds like a bit of lazy or stupid journalism where they couldn't be bothered to find the word 'transvestite'.

As I go through life, I can't help but think more and more that the correct term for someone who wears outfits not traditionally aimed at their (birth/genetic/identified) gender is 'person', and what they choose to wear are 'clothes'.

Thanks be to all for covering up the somewhat distracting bits in the day to day public context - male or female, attractive or otherwise, general office nudity would break my concentration every time a co-worker wobbled past my desk, at least for the first couple of weeks, though I expect it wouldn't take too long to become an accepted 'norm'. <Deity> knows what temperature we'd need the office heating set to if that were the case, but at least people wouldn't borrow each other's chairs!

It would also be great if we could introduce a non-gendered nominative term for the English language to replace him/her/his/hers, similar apparently to (some of?) the Scandinavians - heck this is the English language, we should go with history and just steal one of theirs!

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A K Stiles
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Re: Freedom

As I understand it (from a right-pondian perspective, so the specifics may vary geographically) Every business is entitled to say "yes I'll serve you" or "sorry, not today" to anyone they please. It's only when they add on the "because you like smoked bacon, and we only serve people that like unsmoked bacon"* that they start to get into legal difficulties.

*may not actually be about bacon prejudice...

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BOFH: Sure, I could make your cheapo printer perform miracles

A K Stiles
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Joke

Re: 30 printers

Have you tried changing the colour settings on your monitor(s) until they match the test sheet you printed?

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Inflatable space podule set for orbital trial

A K Stiles
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Joke

LOHAN

Have a quick word Lester, maybe they'll let you staple LOHAN to the outside of the thing?

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JAXA confirms ASTRO-H breakup

A K Stiles
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Re: The solution is obvious...

"It was all going so well, and then it exploded..."

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Call the Cable Guy: Wireless just won't cut it

A K Stiles
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Joke

Cat 5 nine-tails?

Oh wow - does it work as a clue-stick?

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IT freely, a true tale: One night a project saved my life

A K Stiles
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@AC Re: Priorities and empowerment

Desperately resisting the urge to "pick aprt an spelling or grammar mistake" in your post now.

Hope the job shift works out for you.

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A K Stiles
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Priorities and empowerment

Can't agree more strongly how vital it is that the workload is prioritised and then the people handling the work are trusted to get on with it without being micromanaged.

Every time a new task appears I have a conversation along the lines of "Here's what is on my worklist, I'm currently doing the thing at the top. Where does this new task fit in to the list?" That way the only thing they can complain about is how inaccurate the estimate is for how long the vaguely specified task will / did take.

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Polite, helpful? Stop it at once in the name of security

A K Stiles
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Re: Holding the door open

Yup - used to work in an office like that - smallish, revolving door on a swipe access that would only rotate 180&deg; to allow 1 person through at a time, in or out. If you tried tailgating you'd get caught in the closed off section when the rotation locked again. Always entertaining (?) when some joker would spin the door from the other side when you swiped it, causing you to have to swipe again, and then also explain to the local security audit why you had swiped in twice in rapid succession, without swiping out again. Also entertaining after a fire alarm where you'd have ~100 people trying to re-enter the building simultaneously (They did, sometimes, have the fire-exit door open with a security guard checking id badges, just to speed up the process).

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ExoMars mission thunders aloft from Baikonur

A K Stiles
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Boffin

Run of the mill?

I managed to catch the ESA feed this morning. It was crazy that it started to feel almost run of the mill after the recent activities of ISS crew changes and resupply missions, Rosetta, New Horizons, etc and all the SpaceX almost reusable rocketry.

How incredible is it that, by late October, some part of that rocket assembly I watched launching is going to land on another planet using what seems almost a Wil-E-Coyote assemblage of heat-shields, parachutes and rocket thrusters?

More, so much more of this please, (along with lots of other good science a bit nearer to home).

Icon, not for this post but for all the stuff winging its way to our rocky red neighbour.

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UK plans robo-car tests on motorways in 2017

A K Stiles
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Joke

Re: British driverless cars

Hold up there - they seemed to get into communication far too quickly... Surely they both need to stop and attempt to determine the other's intent via body language alone for at least 5 minutes before resorting to actual communication!

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You say I mustn’t write down my password? Let me make a note of that

A K Stiles
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Re: Passwords and disaster recovery.

I did consider the fail-safe cron job / standing order to send relevant passwords / money to the right people in the event of my demise. i.e. need to reschedule the job each month to stop it sending the password file to the appropriate recipient.

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A K Stiles
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Re: Three words...

Problem with that is our place enforces bitlocker on usb storage, itself then requiring a password to unlock...

I'd use the joke icon, except it's anything but!

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Boffins give amputee the finger – a bionic touch-sensitive fingertip

A K Stiles
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Happy

Just wondering

I was just pondering the other day about some tech I remember seeing on the tellybox some 25? years ago.

They were discussing a prosthetic arm which used microphones embedded in the fingers to determine if something they were holding was slipping and tighten the grip slightly - sort of a reverse ABS system but using acoustics.

Now we're talking about wiring sensors back into the nervous system. Incredible really!

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Beep, beep – it's our 2016 buzzword detector. We see you, 'complexity'

A K Stiles
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Joke

Meeting Twitch Syndrome

I swear some of my colleagues think I've had a stroke or some kind of fit in some meetings. Mine is not so much an inner Fist Clench Seismograph®TM as an exterior dentist-enriching, teeth-grinding, eye-twitching, drink snorting that has a scale which runs from Plain English to f-right off.It's rather a binary scale.

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A K Stiles
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Joke

What?

24 Hours have gone by and nobody has tried to 'touch base' yet? Maybe it's been decided somewhere that touching someone's base is not appropriate workplace behaviour?

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BBC telly tax drops onto telly-free households. Cough up, iPlayer fans

A K Stiles
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Paris Hilton

Forward planning?

Would it have been an issue if they had made you log in with e.g. your licence reference and your postcode from the very beginning, rather than making it a free-for-all and then trying to take the toys away?

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10 Gbps fibre-to-the-home signed off, ITU eyes 100 Gbps future

A K Stiles
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Joke

Nice!

So when are BT / VM rolling this out in the UK?

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ISS 'nauts wrap 'historic' 340-day mission

A K Stiles
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Facepalm

Really?

"Backing away at about 1/10th of a metre per second, which will continue until they are about 50 feet away from the ISS"

Couldn't have gone with 4 inches/s, or 15m away?

What is that in Linguine anyway?

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My devil-possessed smartphone tried to emasculate me

A K Stiles
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Re: Reminds me of the Orange nk502/Nokia 8110

Ah, I can't deny that The Matrix inspired me to replace my 1997 Nokia 2110 with a 7110. Oh those customisable ringtones (by SMS). I think it's still stashed in a drawer somewhere... (as is the 2110).

Have managed to avoid the nut-stabbing/crushing since replacing the 7110 with an i-mate Jam (with separate bluetooth GPS receiver for TomTom), then an HTC touch when the Jam broke, then an HTC Desire for the smarts, then the current trusty Note 3 for the useful memory size (the last ensuring my shirts all came with pockets!).

I think my favourite of all of them is probably the Touch - smart enough without running my life!

6 phones in 20 years? Okay, now I feel old(er).

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Standing desks have no effect on productivity, boffins find

A K Stiles
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Megaphone

Re: I fecking HATE open plan

So much this. We recently moved from a space with about 15 people in it to one with 70 people in it because "it will help improve cross-team working", and apparently our density (head count to space) was lower than average across the organisation.

What it means is that I now sit in an office space surrounded by people whose roles appear to require them to talk, on the phone, to each other, random other people, constantly, all day. My concentration gets broken repeatedly and out come the headphones and some AC/DC to drown them out, which is also not desperately conducive to clear thinking.

The annoying thing is that they'd moved the sources of noise out of the 15 person space about a month before they decided we could all jam in together - just enough time for the quiet thinkers amongst us to breathe a sigh of relief before having our hopes and dreams of a bit of peace crushed...

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Drone-busting eagles to darken Blighty's skies?

A K Stiles
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Joke

How about Deploying Brian Blessed?

"...Hawkmen, DIIIIVE!!"

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Health Secretary promises NHS £4.2bn to go 'digital'

A K Stiles
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Coat

New IT services?

I already request repeat prescriptions from my local surgery via the internet, which is then taken to the local pharmacy to be dispensed ready for me to collect at my convenience a few days later (not during the pharmacist's lunch hour though!) - it saves having to argue with the doctors' receptionists or spend time in the waiting room with all the plague vectors...

(Mine's the yellow one with the visor and HazMat written across the back.)

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A K Stiles
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Devil

Re: 4.2 billion.

The point here is that it's 4.2 billion, once. Rather than 4.2 billion each and every year.

Plus it probably also includes 3 billion already allocated for NHS funding, but 4 billion sounds so much more 'generous' than "Here's some cash you were already getting, but now you need to spend it on stuff through my mate's outsourcing company".

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Bats and badgers hold up Apple’s Irish data centre plans

A K Stiles
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Pint

Re: On another note....

If that had been the case I'd have done something stupid like mistyped the word 'heights', then not corrected it within the designated 10 minutes editing window, thus necessitating a subsequent post to correct my own sloppy grammar/spelling/typing ability. I could always blame it on Friday afternoon though?

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A K Stiles
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Thumb Up

Re: On another note....

until you realise that the bronze badgey thing just means you post an adequate quantity of drivel (or intellectual discourse - your choice) over the last 12 months or so. Of course, now you have the thing, you must continue to contribute your witty repartee at a sustained rate lest the shiney be taken away again.

Moi? Jealous? Mais non monsieur! Never let it be said that I'd merely be posting this to boost my own post count in hopes of joining you on your lofty hights of bronzeyness!

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Official UN panel findings on embassy-squatter released. Assange: I'm 'vindicated'

A K Stiles
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Unhappy

Re: Well, if he's being held against his will...

>brain lag

especially on a Friday afternoon with no BOFH to lighten the day!

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A K Stiles
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Re: Well, if he's being held against his will...

I'm sure all it would take is one word from Mr. Assange that he is an unwilling captor.

So you're saying that, not only is he being held against his will, but he's also being forced to hold someone else captive too?

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A K Stiles
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Gimp

Re: Makes no sense

Exactly, unless the Ecuadorian ambassador is keeping him bound and gagged in the basement of the embassy (icon?) then he's free to walk out of the door at any time he chooses. The fact that the courts will then wish to speak with him regarding his breach of bail conditions isn't any sort of arbitrary detention, any more than Ronny Biggs was 'arbitrarily detained' in some sunny climate for how many years knowing that he would get his collar felt the moment he set foot back in Blighty. Or the fact that a legally valid European arrest warrant exists because the Swedish 'Plod' would also like a word ("Bork"?) concerning some other allegations that have been made.

Hopefully, when he finally ends up in a UK court, if he's found guilty the state can claim their full costs back from him!

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Danish Sith Lord fined in Galactic Republic rumpus

A K Stiles
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Besides

Which point in time are they considering? Obviously the Republic had considerable power before the rise of the Empire, Whilst it had much less during the original trilogy, then ramping up again somewhat between VI and VII.

Details are all important in such things!

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GCHQ’s Xmas puzzle proves uncrackable

A K Stiles
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Black Helicopters

or maybe...

.. nobody was actively daft enough to complete the puzzle online and alert the powers that be to their intellectual existence?

Or maybe they were, but now they have a nice new job / padded room / surprisingly emigrated to the middle of a wilderness to start a new life away from society?

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Did water rocket threaten Brum airport Airbus?

A K Stiles
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Re: proper posh notw (was Strongbow?)

So sorry - that's me busted as an immigrant to the area (since migrated to more Southerly climes - like Bucks!).

Any chance I went to school with your sister? The accent seems strangely familiar!

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A K Stiles
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Re: proper posh notw (was Strongbow?)

So far on the outskirts of Brum they have Coventry postcodes, and claim to be part of Solihull. Now there's the test for proper posh - is it "Sol-e-hull" or "Sew-lee-hull" ?

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A K Stiles
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Joke

Water Rocket?

Chances are, at that altitude on an approach path to BHX, it wasn't a deliberate rocket, just some of the local youths from Balsall Common losing control of their bottle of Strongbow!

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A K Stiles
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Pint

Re: Hitting the "k"

And, with any luck, the 'greasy-palmed' Iberian air officials won't have the same problem with a couple of bottles of Perrier as they do with some <cough>toy</cough> rocket motors...

(Icon looks pretty close to fizzy water to me!)

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I love you. I will kill you! I want to make love to you: The evolution of AI in pop culture

A K Stiles
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Coat

Re: GLaDOS

Wouldn't you like some cake?

The orange one, with 'Aperture Science' on it, thanks!

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The monitor didn't work but the problem was between the user's ears

A K Stiles
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Boffin

Intermittent mouse

I had an interesting one a few years ago where, mid-afternoon, one of the office managers complained that her "mouse wasn't working properly". So I took the ball out, cleaned the gak and hair off the rollers, reassembled it, tested it and it worked fine. 10 minutes later "the mouse STILL isn't working properly!"

Swapped it with a spare from stores, tested it, everything seemed okay. 10 minutes later... "waaaah!"

So I stood there and watched her operate the mouse (delicately between just finger and thumb, then lift hand completely and press button with index finger ?!?!) and, true enough, the pointer didn't track the mouse's movements.

She was close to finishing for the day so I said I'd take a look at the PC later to try and find the problem (couldn't see any issue with drivers or connectors on the PC in a quick check). Tested the mouse later and it worked fine???

Eventually discovered that the problem seemed to be that her desk was in a large, south-facing window, with the sun beaming in onto the thin beige plastic of the cheap mouse, and her delicate way of holding the critter meant the light was penetrating through the case and disrupting the opto-sensor on the tracking roller inside the mouse! A few carefully crafted strips of cardboard from a notepad stuck inside the mouse later and the thing was working perfectly, in all light conditions!

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A K Stiles
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Facepalm

So many times...

in a previous life did I have people (frequently the same person) complain that their computer had gone off, only to discover that they'd bashed the monitor power switch with the back of their keyboard, or hooked either the monitor or PC power lead with their foot / handbag, or kicked the switch on an extension lead, screwed to the underside of their desk so it was out of the way!

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A K Stiles
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Devil

Re: Office nasty

or the square of insulation tape over the optical ones...

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'Printer Ready'. Er… you actually want to print? What, right now?

A K Stiles
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Coffee/keyboard

As bad as kettles!

I have found that printers, in general, are as bad as kettles for achieving full functionality during a period of close observation. There is almost something Schrodinger-esque about them in that they seem to be able to both print and not print simultaneously, until you try and figure out what they are doing, at which point they most definitely are now choking upon three and a half sheets of paper nicely coated in half the contents of the toner cartridge.

Weirdly, it seemed I was the only person at a previous job who was capable of replacing a toner cartridge in the printer without also redecorating the print room and myself in a lovely shade of carcinogen! This meant, of course, that I ended up being the only one that ever changed the damn things. Still, a developer's salary for admin level tasks - fine by me.

(icon is clean by comparison to anything in the print room after a user fiddled with the printer)

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Brit censors endure 10-hour Paint Drying movie epic

A K Stiles
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Joke

I always knew that ginger beardy guy from Tested.com was too big for his boots!

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