* Posts by Marshalltown

477 posts • joined 30 Sep 2011

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UK copyright troll weeps, starts 20-week stretch in the cooler for beating up Uber driver

Marshalltown

Re: I have one reservation

Go through it again, slowly. The light may yet dawn. All the magistrate really said, the sentence was already handed down, was, in effect, "tough." She might very well have been pissed off, but all she told the whining little *&^% was that she was not going to change her mind. He clearly had not learned to grovel properly. If he is equally stupid inside, he may have a really different life when he leaves.

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Marshalltown

Once

... I would have automatically assumed the reporter was the lkutz, but, these days...

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BOFH: The case of the suspicious red icon

Marshalltown

Re: 1bs

"1bs"

You do realize that back in the days of Courier and maybe san serif, people would be asking, "lbs? Do you mean avoir dupois, Imperial or Sterling?"

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Marshalltown
Alert

Creating monsters

"...persistent non-sense callers would be sent to IT training...."

Unless the training room was on a high floor (30th or higher for preference) with faulty fenestration or a hermetically sealed basement room, we have a problem.

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Linus Torvalds won't apply 'sh*t-for-brains stupid patch'

Marshalltown

Re: He's right. Again.

"No rest until the domain admin account has a picture of my cat on every machine!"

You would have a point if Windows didn't work this way in general. Linux has had good support for some classes of hardware for years. USB thumb drives are an example, in contrast with Windows where each and every drive has its own little bit of software on the drive and Windows still announces it is "looking" for a driver. Trying to access the more useful capacities of a USB digital microscope on the other hand, or of Canon printers or scanners in linux has always been a painful process. But that is simply because they won't properly document the HW interface for fear that someone will start making hardware knock-offs that work nearly as well or better.

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Sex is bad for older men, and even worse when it's good

Marshalltown

Re: @Is Just a Bloke ... Correlation does not imply causation

"..I discovered condoms actually have expiry dates.."

And just how much did that discovery cost?

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Marshalltown

Re: I think, on balance,

Thanks for pointing that out. The wording is the precise opposite of the confusion. I conclude based on the wording that not having any sex, they have nothing else to live for. Did they run a cross-correlation with drinking?

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Das ist empörend: Microsoft slams umlaut for email depth charge

Marshalltown
Pint

Two dot ...

umlaut? Is there any other kind?

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Drone bloke cuffed after gizmo stops firemen tackling forest inferno

Marshalltown

Forest Hill

I know Forest Hill. It's the last place out that road where you can grab a sandwich and a beer. When the article says "remote" they are not exaggerating. It also very, very steep, with canyon-ridge systems with two-thousand foot vertical changes. It is no place to crash and not a region to walk out of unless you're desperate and willing to court a broken ankle or two.

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Marshalltown

CCP

Even a lot of folks with Concealed Carry Permits don't actually carry often, if at all. It is more a point of making the local politicians worry about votes, isn't it?

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Marshalltown

Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

"Helicopters generally do not have forward facing turbine air intakes that things can fly into"

You really can't be serious. Please take a moment to look at images of helicopters fighting fires [try Google] and count on one hand the copters that DO NOT have visible turbine intakes with fans facing forward. The filters ideally will stop dust from entering, but consider hard parts of drones instead, interacting with the compressor blades. Even if the copter was safely flown back to an air field, the damage to those blades puts the vehicle out of use for probably days in any forward fire fighting situation. While it certainly would be easier on the pilot, the fire fighting would suffer nearly the same degradation as if the copter crashed. I say "nearly" because only the copter has to be replaced on the line.

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Marshalltown

Re: Sounds like nonsense to me - not

One of those fellows goes into an intake and they do easily as much damage as a bird. Also, unlike a glider, a helicopter without power comes pretty much straight down. Even if it can autorotate to a walk-away landing, you really don't want to do that in a big fire.

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Londoner jailed after refusing to unlock his mobile phones

Marshalltown

Re: Hmm

"The fundamental cognitive dissonance is that Americans have lots of guns, yet still lost literally all their civil rights."

That reflects US views, but they rarely understand just how constrained humanity in the rest of the planet is.. Compared with other parts of the world, including some regarded as highly enlightened parts, the individual US citizen is well off as regards "rights' such as free speech, weapons, access to courts, presumed innocence, etc. The "rights" the US falls short on are more typically health, retirement, and other more "social" "rights." Your typical US citizen is deathly afraid of taxes and envisions themselves as only a tiny distance away from Trump and the Waltons, mistaken as that is, not quite grasping that someone like Trump OWNS the legistlators that pass the laws taxing the little guys and protecting individual people with the wealth of small nations..

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Marshalltown

Re: Hmm

Once upon a time any free, property-owning man - sorry ladies but that was before suffrage - in England was literally required by law to own a weapon. It was considered essential to national defense and public order. As you track the history of British weapons regulations it becomes truly astonishing how ineffective those laws have been at limiting crime. The only weapons-related "crime" that the laws have probably truly reduced is suicide by firearm, which is BTW the commonest cause of firearms related deaths by an order of magnitude in the US. Based on available statistics there are several times as many crimes committed using firearms now than when the major laws were enacted. That is i part due to population changes, but only in part. Trawling through case law reveals that an individual defending themselves - especially with a weapon - is far more likely to receive harsh punishment under the law than an individual injured by a home defender during an actual criminal act.

This leads to the notion that there is "justice" - he was my only son, he was just trying to make a living even if he was a burglar! He was just supporting his poor old mother! Now how can afford my cigs?" As opposed to "justice," "hmmm, you say you are a carpet layer, and that those carpet knives are just the tools of your trade. Yet you left one in plain view to the great distress of all with aichmophobia who viewed it. I find that highly unlikely - five years. I hope you will learn to be more considerate of the feelings of others."

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Being common is tragic, but the tragedy of the commons is still true

Marshalltown

Re: Neighborhoods vs cities

CO2 emitted by the US has reduced steadily as technology addresses efficient energy extraction from hydrocarbons. We aren't really short of hydrocarbon fuels, but the common belief is that we are and that most of our energy derives from overseas sources - it doesn't. In fact, the US continues to produce a large fraction of the energy it needs, and doesn't export oil despite the whinging demands that two-way trade in oil be opened up by the government. US energy is among the cheapest on the planet largely because of the lower need for the US to compete for foreign oil.

Also, when thinking about CO2 consider this. All that green stuff out the window, the chlorophyll-bearing plants are composed primarily of two chemical compounds: water and CO2. There are traces of other elements (nitrogen and a bit of magnesium for instance) many of which remain as ash when you burn a plant, but the immense bulk consists of CO2 and water converted to carbohydrates (e.g. potatoes and wood). Burning them returns the CO2 and water to circulation (you can fry and then metabolize the potato if you like - same difference). When you say "fossil fuel" you are saying that the water and CO2 that composes that fossil fuel has only recently become available once more for use by plants - and thus by other organisms as well. Anyone who has actually studied historical geology in the whole is not worried about CO2, unless perhaps they are concerned that current biologically available supplies are the lowest they have reached since the end of the Permian - 250-million years ago. Plants need CO2 and we need plants.

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Marshalltown

Re: Obvious when explained

The entire discussion has been going on for a long time. In California old-growth timber is in short supply largely because of both government and private mismanagement. Some of that is due to basic ignorance masquerading as knowledge - e.g. replacement of natural forest structures with even-age management, monoculture and the like. Ideas that are formed and guided by a peculiar mix of OCD engineering (people prefer things to be neat or at least simple) and many engineers in forestry are dreadfully bad at forestry, and short term profit maximizing.

Occasionally you have an operation that historically does an excellent job of maintaining their resource, but then gets bought out by a clown in an Armani suit who realizes all that good wood could be cut down and turned into profit in a year. Of course once the wood is gone, for his intentions and purposes the land is now useless. This kind of action is often described as "capitalism," but is in fact not capitalism at all. It is much closer to the free ride syndrome at best. The previous owner (private property right there) managed the forest "sustainably" for over a century, at a steady profit, selectively selecting and felling trees, resisting increasing demand by increasing the cost of first rate wood, and letting new "profit" grow to maturity.

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Cortana expelled from Windows 10's new school editions

Marshalltown
Childcatcher

This is unbelievable

A whole site full of geekish experience and not one snicker at the typical high schooler's response to "I'm Cortana. Ask me anything." Really. I needed to get a new keyboard the first time I saw Cortana boot up.

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Plenty of fish in the C, IEEE finds in language popularity contest

Marshalltown

Re: Haven't heard of R

R is an open source variant of S-Plus. I started using it when I received a negative value for a variance from Excel. That was many moons ago now and Excel and most other spreadsheets have gotten much better at such things, BUT Excel (and SPSS, STATA and the like) still costs infinitely more (divide-by-zero error comparing costs) and has vastly less ready functionality. R is used in medicine, climate models, finance, geology, archaeology, paleontology, GIS mapping applications, and good old fashioned statistics. I've talked to recent grads that studied statistics (usually specialized areas) and the teachers are tending more to employing R because of the cost and because writing codes makes the student actually think about what they are doing. It's also handy for things like scraping tables in web sites. I can't see it competing with a more general purpose language though. Why bother?

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Ex-Citibank IT bloke wiped bank's core routers, will now spend 21 months in the clink

Marshalltown

Re: Everyone seems to have missed the point here......

Given what was possible, it seems unlikely he intended not to damage anything. Then too, Citi, you got remember it was Citi. They were the ones caught pushing "subprimes" and wound up losing three-quarters (or more) of the value of the stock back in the 'oughties. Performance? He might have a point about upper management.

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Crashed and alone in a remote location: When paid help is no help

Marshalltown

Service? What is this - service?

I have only worked for one business where the owner was willing to pay for a service contract. For the rest, we made up a song, "The Electron' Swap" to cover how "service" was done:

"I entered the office late one night,

The hardware systems were a ghastly sight,

Our two 'hardware specialists' had their screwdrivers out,

there were pieces of gear all strewn about.

They did the swap, the electron' swap..."

The nearest Frys was over an hour away.

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Marshalltown

Re: Failed CPU crashing server, not uncommon.

Mmmm, unless the system somehow rolled random numbers during boot up, the odds are that the very same CPU was boss after every boot up simply because of the physical layout of the system. That would mean that one CPU would likely see greater wear and tear so-to-speak than all the others. So those 25% odds were probably weighted toward the house more than you might expect.

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Guns don't scare people, hackers do: Americans fear identity theft more than shooting sprees

Marshalltown

Guns just aren't that scary

To be dangerous a gun has to a) be loaded, b) be in the hands (so to speak) of someone capable of discharging it deliberately or by accident, and c) you need to be in range. I say "so to speak" because I do know a truck driver whose "carry" fell out of his waist band (bad idea right there), hit a step on the ladder up to the cab, cocked itself (a revolver), and then flipped over, hit the ground, and discharging, shot said truck-driving owner in the backside. Curiously, while being operated on, it was discovered that due to excess sitting (in the truck, driving) the driver had developed a cist which had gone septic. He was hours away from a serious, potentially lethal case of blood poisoning. So his accident potentially saved his life, not something you commonly hear about gunshot wounds.

Identity theft is far more common, far more inconvenient and difficult and takes longer to recover from in general.

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BOFH: Free as in free beer or... Oh. 'Free Upgrade'

Marshalltown

Re: I wonder

Hmmm, at a local hospital a staff member received a call from a citizen living some 30 miles away - (50 km to those who don't travel in miles). It seemed that the said citizen's fax machine had begun spewing out the medical records of a patient at the hospital. The staff member receiving the call inquired and was interested to learn that the patient's records were *supposed* to have been printed out for a "hand carry" to a consulting doctor. The paper had never emerged from the printer.

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Marshalltown

There you go

That is real trouble shooting, though long range with an Springfield '03 is fun too.

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Martha Lane Fox: YEUCH! The Internet is MADE by MEN?!?

Marshalltown

Re: er

As regards a "point" - well, no. No, she doesn't. The evidence available, which is very limited thanks to the use of proprietary software and hardware _suggests_ that electronic voting is far easier to spoof than the normal voting booth, graveyard rousing approach. It is highly probable that backers of good 'ol dubbya highjacked the 2004 election in the US - at least, based on exit polls it is. The exit polls had Kerry win handily, yet strangely in many of those very same precincts where the electronic systems were used the machines told an entirely different story. So, did the voters lie to the pollsters, or did someone hack the machines? But that's now all litter under the Bush so to speak.

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Curiosity find Mars' icecaps suck up its atmosphere

Marshalltown

Meh - Fairbanks AK

A Mars year at the equator looks like winter in Fairbanks Alaska. There are worse places in the Siberian arctic.

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Lightning strikes: Britain's first F-35B supersonic fighter lands

Marshalltown

Re: Curious minds want to know

The last time Burlington faced a military threat it was from the British Army and the soldiers were not equipped with jet fighters, or even multishot weapons. All an airbase would protect anyone from is Canada. Now Canada is not to sneered at. They built one of the very early hi-tech fighters ever built, though the soviets stole the plans, and the PM had every hull scrapped. But, still, as useful as those fighters might one day be, claiming to have freedoms left after the Patriot Act is perhaps a little rose colored in the lens department.

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Man killed in gruesome Tesla autopilot crash was saved by his car's software weeks earlier

Marshalltown

The facts - just the facts

Looking at the other stories covering this, the "white side" of the truck is irrelevant. It looks as if the truck driver might be found to be partially at fault (in my state he definitely would be). He could see oncoming traffic that clearly was moving fast enough to be a hazard and decided to make the turn or pull across the road anyway. The turn is evidently not a signaled intersection so the rules of the road require the truck driver to make a "safe" turn, which means he can't rely on the kindness and alertness of strangers to handle safety for him. Getting hit by oncoming traffic, even traffic on autopilot shows that he failed to judge the time it would take to cross the road, or failed to wait until the turn was truly "clear." You see behaviour like that often, where one driver gets impatient or simply is impatient and grabs the intersection regardless of safety.

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Medicos could be world's best security bypassers, study finds

Marshalltown

Re: For Pete's sake @Charles 9

Triggerfish - Hospitals do not make money, but they are generally owned by companies that are only putatively non-profit. So, for parent companies hospitals are cost centers that lower the bottom line. So, reduce staffing. Staff for minimum occupancy, reduce support staff or eliminate it altogether, hire one guy to handle IT or better yet outsource it to India and don't provide any documentation to the IT people anyway. Written originally for a mainframe in the '80s, not even for a hospital. Well - you're IT. We have confidence in you. What's source code? Why do you need it?

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Marshalltown

Re: For Pete's sake

You are talking about hospitals, staff are reduced because, well hospitals never make money anyway, so companies hire "hospitality management" administrators with a mission direction to reduce costs at all costs. Their understanding of medicine is limited to patients are frequently unhappy and so are their families. "Why did my dad have to wait so long for someone to help him with the bed pan?" What do?

They only hire minimum staff based on an assumption of minimum bed occupancy. Population rises, call in temps - but, temps and security badges - hmmm, maybe some sort of temporary badge, disposable perhaps? Temps need to complete (electronic) charting, meaning they need access to confidential patient records, but aren't issued passwords - "use mine" says the one full-time nurse. But that's bad practice!! Well yes, but there are now two nurses on the floor with 30 patients, and the full time nurse doesn't have time to access records for her patients AND the temp's.

I have never met a computer security staffer dealing with medical records in a hospital that understood that the issue is patients - they need to be cared for and the floor is, except for the odd blue moon day, always understaffed. Their directions on implementing security come from a management that is a complete stranger to actual health care, except occasionally for the one token doctor on the board who might not be, and would be outvoted if it comes down to bonuses or patient well being.

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Marshalltown

Re: For Pete's sake

More to the point the key can be stolen. And, I have seen a key card snagged in an elevator door, ripped off the lanyard and fall down into the crack between the elevator and the shaft. Now there is a security issue, a legitimate card at the bottom of the elevator shaft - where it might be stolen by some nefarious and underpaid mechanic and sold to some no-good-nik. The "security" response was to close down both the elevators sharing that shaft to recover the card. That created a traffic jam at the next elevator down the hall, blocked responses to codes and created a gruesome tangle of visitors, patients, and staff, and likely lead to who knows how many unnecessary resistant staph infections. Medical people are often trained to think in terms of triage. In that approach, "security" will inevitably be last.

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Marshalltown

Re: Probably worse than you can imagine

The fact that a photo-id is a "legal requirement" doesn't make it a smart policy that does anything beneficial. It simply makes it a policy. Besides which, anyone with a decent image editor can counterfit the badges adequately to fool the Mk 1 eyeball. Ah - you say - but the card has to be passed through a reader and that can't be fooled. True, but seven people at a door, one passes their legitimate card and all seven including the ringer pass the door. Maybe we need embedded chips? No sweat. The code can be grabbed by several different kinds of skimmers and added to a card. Does the chip have to match the image? Not really if it is all machine checked. Is that really better security, or merely an illusion that some bean-counting "security" type ignorant of the actual demands in a hospital finds comforting? The only way to clue someone in to hospital security needs and true weaknesses is to get them out in the floor answering calls, changing bed pans, and watching sheet covered forms being moved down the hall to the elevator - destined for the morgue.

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Marshalltown

Re: So a dilemma.

"It's not. Really it isn't. Almost never. ..."

Clearly you've never been at the sharp end. There are several problems that all intersect and collectively they can kill patients that aren't even critical. First and foremost, staffing is inevitably affected adversely by computerization - ward clerks? Licensed vocational nurses? Who needs them, we have computers now! The typical hospital administration loves "paperless," low staff, nursing and doctoring. I know of one "healthcare" provider whose administrative board includes ONE doctor, who has no veto just because chairman - well trained in ***Hospitality (Hotel) Management*** (really) wants to hire - this a true story - people with a Disneyland staff attitude. Skill is not important. Really, its not. SMILE WIDELY and get out the iPad - "Oh, I am SO sorry. You are going to die??? I hope you had a nice stay!!! Can you fill out a customer satisfaction survey before you die???" - CONTINUE SMILING. The food was what??? I can't write that down!!!! What's that? you have resistant staph and that's what's killing you? You don't think much of the isolation practices??? What are those??? I am only trying to find out if you liked your stay ma'am. So you didn't?"

Then there are interfaces. I know of one "healthcare system" that bought accounting software which some idiot convinced the administration could be "retasked easily" to handle health care records. (Why do these lab values have dollar signs?) The "ease" was a dillusion and the end result is an on-going catastrophe. Then of course there is the Windows problem - hospital staff do not have TIME to waste learning new interfaces every time some knuckle head thinks they can make the screen look "better." There are many horror stories about computers in hospitals and very few good ones. Every second staff spend doing computer work (or paper work to be fair) is time the patient doesn't benefit from. Every time a staff member accidentally clicks the wrong square in some "form" and doesn't catch it because they are also being paged overhead and via the phone for a code [whatever] is a time some coder's poor understanding of how things work in a hospital could kill someone, even someone who shouldn't have a problem. And, very much more to the point, healthy people don't go to the hospital! The case are OFTEN "odd ball."

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BOFH: Follow the paper trail

Marshalltown

+1 - Ah yes. I was once described as lacking a "diplomacy gene" after informing a Navy person that the "official US Navy spelling" of a certain word "looked illiterate." I had said that it looked illiterate before he informed me that HE PERSONALLY had been the advocate of the change and was proud of it. When I did not moderate my stance at all - simply adding the word "still" to my previous opinion, he apparently complained to my employer who then offered the genetic analysis.

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A Logic Named Joe: The 1946 sci-fi short that nailed modern tech

Marshalltown

Re: *Remarkably* sharp prediction? Yes remarkably

Heinlein, while a great writer, never came so close to an accurate description of a significant social and technological development as this story does. And Leinster wrote this before 1950. Heck, he died in 1975. Read it closely and you will sea the shadows of the cloud, Office 365, Netflix, the use of a CRT (missed out on calling for light-weight screens), Skype, net stalking and the like, and even keyboards.

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Oooooklahoma! Where the cops can stop and empty your bank cards – on just a hunch

Marshalltown

Re: America?

"North America is the US and Canada. And what exactly are Canadians? Pseudo Americans in denial."

Ah - and Mexico to, down to Central America. Canadians, USians, and Mexicans are all from North America. Some are just from farther north than others.

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Marshalltown

Re: Graft

You pay protection, they DON'T burn down the house. In OK you get stuck unable to pay for gas to drive home.

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Why does an Android keyboard need to see your camera and log files – and why does it phone home to China?

Marshalltown

Re: Complicated permissions system + humans != security

"Close," as the saying goes, "only counts in Horseshoes and hand grenades."

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One espresso is not theft, Oz judge rules, it's part of civilization

Marshalltown

Then she should ...

... have taken it up with the other managers who had already let him do just what had gotten her knickers so absolutely twisted she squeaked when they pinched. The "correct response" of the manager is to have a sense of perspective and scale. If she lacks that, she is and will continue to be an abject failure as a manager. The fact is that the principle of not being a tight-assed twit with the people (and animals) who work for you is enshrined in ethics globally and extends in written forms back into the late Bronze Age at least. As it is, she has cost her employed a bundle because there were certainly lawyers involved and probably ought to be fired for incompetence.

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BOFH: What's your point, caller?

Marshalltown

Re: Most fun I ever had on the phone

"Oh if you work for an ISP ..." you get every kind of screwball call that can be imagined.

"Hello? [I am in Hell] here."

"Ever since I got my computer, my toaster doesn't work."

"Your toaster????"

"Yes, I think my computer is interfering with it."

"[??????????] Ah - is the toaster plugged in?"

"Mmmmh, no."

"[!@#!#@!] Ah - perhaps it would work IF you plugged it in?"

"Oh, OK, but now the computer doesn't work."

"R-e-a-l-l-y? Maybe you could make your toast and then plug the computer back in?'

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UK eyes frikkin' Laser Directed Energy Weapon

Marshalltown

Re: World of Warships

That's what the Vulcan is for.

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'Acts of war in a combat zone are not covered by your laptop warranty'

Marshalltown

Mail from the "E" - spam today, spam tomorrow, please sir, some spam?

Long ago now, but unfortunately not long enough or far enough, I worked at a perfectly interesting job that involved lots of sun, dirt, rocks and hiking - great stuff. Then the "boss" decided that, in addition to the perfectly interesting and enjoyable work we were doing, he wanted to start an ISP. Since we had already wired up the office, he thought that under the "guidance" of a professional IT person, his skilled, professional staff would don a second hat at no additional pay and staff the help desk for his ISP as well.

Now the ISP idea wasn't all that bad. The area where we were headquartered had one of the lowest employment rates in the US at the time, and while people had heard of "the internet," there was very little service available. What was available was expensive, so the ISP idea looked like a great way to print money (and since we could then be our own provider, he could save the cost of the business connection we had, and since the connection to the backbone in the backroom was a T3, we really were very, very happy with it). The downside was that being new to the internet and computers in general, many of our customers were complete rubes and needed a LOT of hand holding. My favorite call was from a fellow who had signed up for our service. He his problem was that he was not "getting any mail from the 'E'." I was initially blindsided when I finally grasped what he expected. He thought his 'mail box' should get all the same kinds of barbecue-starting material that fills your normal mail box. So, after initially trying to explain that this was not the way the internet worked unsuccessfully, I signed him up on some of the more prolific spam sources of the time. A week later he called to thank me. I've actually seen two other calls I took listed as "urban myths." I won't say which ones, but I did take them, and they really were made and are not mythological.

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Paul backs FBI hack law

Marshalltown

Small government

Paul has been a "small government" advocate for a long time. He was also outraged at the revelations of the Snowden files, especially the joint "let's spy on each others citizens, since we can't do it ourselves legally" arrangement.

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SpaceX is go for US military GPS sat launch, smashes ULA monopoly

Marshalltown

Re: Why didn't NASA do themselves?

You aren't really serious asking that are you? NASA has never done "it" themselves. They are a part of the Department of Commerce! DoC has to at least pay lip service to something vaguely related to encouraging business and "capitalism." These easiest way is be seen to spend tax money liberally paying into the hands of the biggest businesses - more or less corporate welfare in reality.

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BOFH: Thermo-electric funeral

Marshalltown

Re: The only tool you'll ever need...

That's in GM shops, in Ford shops they're used on Chevrolets.

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Marshalltown

Ah, yes

The idiot I used to work for decided to start an ISP, despite the fact that his experience with computers was Wordperfect and surfin the early web and usenet for PRON. We, his otherwise skilled staff, were drafted to set up the new business alongside the existing one, which involved the outdoors, dirt, government agencies and such. So, when we had nothing more pressing to complete we had to rewire the office AND build the servers - he had an actual IT guy hired to manage the system once we built the necessary ... but that guy wanted to actually BUY already built SERVERS with WARRANTIES!! Why waste money on that when you already have guys with screwdrivers to assemble parts - actual in house warranty work, come to think of it. Anyway, "cheap" was a magic word. The hammer actually did help straighten cases that were just not fully formed, but with the worst, cheapest cases, the blanks of sheet metal had not been square in the former when the case was stamped. They assumed a vaguely rhomboidal form upon assembly. Tightened up properly, these often would torque frame and thus the mother boards, creating conditions that would pop networking cards, harddrive interfaces and other cards in the extension slots right out the slots over time and multiple heating and cooling cycles. It also created a distinctive rocking effect when you bumped the house built systems. A bigger hammer was employed to scrap them so that they would never, ever, re-emerge as a problem over the help line. Third bright idea of boss was to have same screwdriver-equipped staff build cheap PCs for the hoi poloi so they would remain loyal to the ISP, AND same staff would "support" this debacle despite the non-isp related work that piled up steadily.

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Are bearded blokes more sexist?

Marshalltown

Re: My beard

I had an anthropology professor assert pretty much the same, but who then went ahead and asked why I wore a beard. My list was 1) it grows there, and shaving it off is trouble for no discernible reward, though keeping it clipped keeps it from getting in the way, 2) pain, it's no fun shaving and self-torture is not my bag, and 3) cost and spending options, unless you're a crackerjack with sharpening stone and a strop you buy blades, and not buying a pack means you CAN buy more coffee.

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Clucking hell! Farcical free-range egg standard pecked apart by app

Marshalltown

Free range ...

There's "free range" - e.g. one bird per square meter ore even one per 100 square meters - and then there is free range, where the birds really do roam free and you only round them up at night to keep the coyotes from eating them. I grew up with the latter and the difference in eggs and meat between true free range birds, who only supplement their diet with chicken feed and birds that can go outside if they want but don't because because they have no reason to do so, and have effectively no access to a natural diet (plants, seeds, grubs, bugs, and even mice) is the difference between day and night that vast majority of so-called "free range" eggs I have had don't measure up. One guarantee that a chicken is not "free range" except perhaps in the area it can move in is the assertion that the bird was fed a "pure vegetarian diet." Chickens are not vegetarians, and "range" means much more than available space to move in.

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

Marshalltown

Re: 30 printers

Frankly, "that isn't a company-issued printer" and "please get a work order from your supervisor" always helps. For fun a friend an I used to go war-driving around the state capitol and would discover that apparently many state employees would bring their own wireless routers and printers into work to save the walk to the printer down the hall. Not infrequently this lead to accidental trapdoors into what were supposed to be secure state networks.

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Marshalltown
Trollface

PAs - heh

The PRON spewing out the printer brings back the old days. I was happily at work, having secured my very own private office with a locking door and even a couch! I hadn't even finished my first cup of coffee when I heard a terrific scream from the owner's PA/Office Manager, who was a tallish, nice-looking, blond woman and a rabid fundamentalist who, at that time. was expecting the end of the world - in October I believe. Apparently the owner, after hours, had used her computer and scanner to scan some images (copyrighted at that) and upload them to one of usenet's more notorious groups. Apparently, he never bothered to power down the computer OR remove the magazine from the scanner. When I arrived at the scene she was belaboring him about the head and shoulders with the rolled magazine and explaining she would own him, his wife and children if "this" ever happened again. It never did, on her computer, but several weeks later I found my system on, and upon moving the mouse, received quite an eye full myself. Not being as easily offended, I spent a bit examining the evidence.

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