* Posts by Aqua Marina

303 posts • joined 30 Dec 2011

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Two Sundays wrecked by boss who couldn't use a calendar

Aqua Marina

Re: Powering up in the right order

If you are given the budget and the time to do so, yes*. Unfortunately time and money are very rare things when it comes to IT spending.

*But even then there are always the hacks that spring to the surface that some developer put together to solve an immediate problem, with the intention of doing it properly later. However due to the lack of time and money, the re-writes never occur, and everything comes crashing down at reboot because of one unfixed quickfix.

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HSBC: How will we verify business banking customers? Selfies!

Aqua Marina

Simplify the process?

Is this the same HSBC that I had to give up trying to open an account with after 4 months, because their system was so inflexible that they couldn't handle that my passport had my full name of John Jack Smith*, my gas bill had the name John Smith and my telephone bill had the name John J Smith. It was ludicrous. I had to go in every 2 weeks with my documents over and over again, and each time it came back that I had to go in again because the names didn't match.

I tried getting my gas bill and phone bill adjusted, but it was impossible to get my middle name in full on the bills.

In the end I opened the account up with Barclays, took about half an hour and no documents were checked or asked for.

*not my real name

9
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Pixellation popped: AI can ID you, even after PhotoShop phuzzing

Aqua Marina

Haven't people been doing this for years?

So they've taught the computer to slightly cross it's eyes, go just out of focus and then you can make out who it is?

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Is it time to unplug frail OpenOffice's life support? Apache Project asked to mull it over

Aqua Marina

Self fulfilling prophecy my ass

For 14 years I've been telling OOo* users to open up any OOo app, go to Tools, Options, Memory, and then multiply any values they see in there by 10. Then their OOo will run like it's been greased and dropped off a steep hill whilst charged up with neutrinos travelling faster than the speed of light.

The memory requirements for OOo were drawn up when 32MB of RAM was considered excessive and expensive, yet year after year, on and on, over a decade later, even now when my £500 PC comes with 16GB RAM, OOo defaults haven't changed from those back in 2002. It's stagnating, It hasn't moved forward, compatiblilty with MS's offering hasnt improved and simple layout issues documented over 10 years ago have still to this day not been fixed.

Kill it off. Kill it off with fire.

* This also applied to Libre Office too the last time I could be bothered looking.

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Samsung's million-IOPS, 6.4TB, 51Gb/s SSD is ... well, quite something

Aqua Marina

Fix it in the firmware

Samsung have lost my confidence at the moment.

I had a dozen or so of the Evo 840, that kept simply corrupting and slowing down to a snail pace. It took about 2 years for the problem to be fixed in the firmware, by which time I'd simply gone out and bought reliable replacements from Crucial.

I don't think I would stick 6TB of data on a sammy drive.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/02/22/samsung_in_second_ssd_slowdown_snafu/

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's... er, Graphene bubbles – 200 times stronger than Superman

Aqua Marina

Re: Tensile strength ?

From memory, 2 of the competing companies in the field that were doing all the research had quite literally bet their owners assets on the technology, and when the economy crashed a few years ago they lost the roofs over their heads. Not due to a failure of the technology or the research. but more to the fact that over the course of days any money and assets they had simply vapourised.

I saw a documentary about these guys recently, one of them still can't afford a car, and the other one quit the field, and went and got another job in marine engineering, ironically where a lot of the research he did on the elevator, could be put into practice.

There was a third guy who at one point had worked for both of the guys above. He was essentially the brains, and he decided to quit completely because he had worked out that the breakthroughs were predictable, and were about a hundred years away, and he would never get to see them in his lifetime, so he would rather work on something he knew he would be able to complete.

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Sysadmin sticks finger in pipe, saves data centre from flood

Aqua Marina

Speaking of boarding up things.

A long time ago I had a satellite office down in Dudley, that had several servers located at the side of the main office. Usual story of no budget for anything, and this was before the days of remote admin and email. I had macgyvered together a system that monitored temperatures inside the cases, and if the office got too hot an alarm would sound, and I would be called in to intervene, usually by telling them to turn the heating off and open a window (the girls would turn off the AC and turn on the heating, rather than say wear something longer than a belt of a skirt, or a cardigan over the strappy sleeveless top). This system worked quite well.

One day I get a call that everything had stopped working. I rush the 100 mile or so journey down, and find 2 dead servers, and my alarm wailing away. The server room was like an oven. Hold on.. room? what room, where did this room come from. I queried one of the staff, who told me that some months beeping was coming from the servers. The office manager didn't like this noise, so he arranged for a studded wall to be built around them, and a lockable door.

For months this alarm had been going off, and the office manager had simply been ignoring it when he dutifully went in each morning to swap over the backup tapes because "why would the room being too warm damage anything?"

46
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Watch the world's biggest 'flying bum' go arse over tit in a crash

Aqua Marina

Yeah baby yeah

I was reminded of the road roller incident in the first Austin Powers movie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4UFQWKjy_I

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Touchy iPhone 6, 6 Plus chips prone to breaking down and giving up

Aqua Marina

Sale of goods act anyone?

In the UK this fault would be covered by the sale of goods act, and anyone with the faulty phone can return ir to the place they purchased it for repair or replacement. Granted they would have to start small claims court proceedings while the retailer sat around laughing, but the courts take a dim view of firms who shy away from repairing documented and well known faults.

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Microsoft ordered to fix 'excessively intrusive, insecure' Windows 10

Aqua Marina

Re: I've said it before

"I don't understand why people would ever ask for help on the internet, "

Indeed, I once made the mistake of asking for some help on a Linux related issue I was having trouble resolving. I was universally blasted on the forum as being a noob, and basically told in no uncertain terms to RTFM!

I responded that I had indeed read the manual, and pointed out using screenshots where necessary that the instructions provided didn't match the interface, the responses or the prompts, and that in some some cases, steps were clearly missing, because titles were present, but followed by blank spaces.

I was then informed by the same users who had roasted me earlier and told me to RTFM, that the manual was considered "beta".

That experience tainted my belief that Linux users are somehow more technically competant than Windows users. I now believe that they are a bunch of bullies, who just like to point at the new guy in the room, and pick on him.

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EU waves antitrust claims in Google's face, snarls 'You want some?'

Aqua Marina

I wish the EU would hurry up and investigate the impartiality and fairness of the google search ranking and adwords formula. The one that seems to keep pushing you to pay more, without any proof that it's needed.

3
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Tupperware vehemently denies any link to storage containerisation

Aqua Marina

Re: Tsk

"No, you don't have to defend it no matter what".

Or you can defend it to your dying breath like Hornel did, and still lose your trademarked word because everyone else now uses it for something else.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/security/spammaker-wants-us-to-stop-calling-pesky-emails-spam/2006/10/12/1160246238013.html

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You can buy Windows 10 Enterprise E3 access for the price of a coffee

Aqua Marina
Alien

In best Kosh voice... and so it begins...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qYbVQu7YAQ

(Alien icon cos they don't have a jelly fish one)

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Isis crisis: Facebook makes Bristol lass an unperson

Aqua Marina

Re: Bootnote

Top right of the page in the red bar.

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Aqua Marina

Re: Perhaps FB are taking a leaf out of the Icelanic Law Books?

Took a couple of years, but all was ok in the end.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/victory-for-the-siblings-named-girl-and-boy-on-passports-a3283546.html

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Is Windows 10 ignoring sysadmins' network QoS settings?

Aqua Marina

Me too!

Me too. When I try to upload a video to my you-tube site, for the duration of the upload, I (and anyone else on my network) am unable to browse the internet. It's as tho Win 10 just floods the router.

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Mushroom farm PC left in the dark and fed … you know the rest

Aqua Marina
Coat

Re: Cabinet too tight for the computer?

I'm lichen the puns

(Probably only works in the US)

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Lenovo cries 'dump our support app' after 'critical' hole found

Aqua Marina

Re: Clean install Windows or Linux

As I recall, it was Lenovo that used some behind the scenes gubbins, to reinstall their crapware, even when you nuked the hard disk, and installed from scratch.

http://thenextweb.com/insider/2015/08/12/lenovo-used-a-hidden-windows-feature-to-ensure-its-software-could-not-be-deleted/#gref

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As US court bans smart meter blueprints from public, sysadmin tells of fight for security info

Aqua Marina

Re: Bah!

"By my reading:"

Your reading is wrong.

1) Man asks public utility for info that should be publicly available.

2) Public utility provides info.

3) Man posts supplied publicly available info to the web, for access by the public.

4) Smart meter companies decide that too much info was given, and some of it shouldn't be publicly available.

5) Smart meter company starts suing.

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HR botches redundancy so chap scores year-long paid holiday

Aqua Marina
Pint

Re: Lost in the system

In the recent reprints it was renamed "Meerkat Movies" and the price doubled.

Beer o clock. Time to go home!

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Safety, pah! Digital Dukes of Hazzard have robot cars powersliding

Aqua Marina

Re: Top Gear did something similar

How did it all play out in the end?

Anyhow, here's BMWs progress to date, along with their self drifting BMW from a year ago.

http://www.bmwblog.com/tag/bmw-autonomous-car/

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Aqua Marina

Top Gear did something similar

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsnKzK6dX8Q

"Stig you are SACKED, YOU ARE SO SACKED!"

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Lauri Love: 'Britain's FBI' loses court attempt to evade decryption laws

Aqua Marina

"Do you know what those requirements are as they pertain to this case?"

At the risk of being downvoted a million times again, I'll point out that Section 53 of RIPA puts the onus on the prosecution to demonstrate that the accused has or knows passwords to hand over. There is a myth on The Register comments that prosecutors can repeat the request over and over, each time sending the guilty party to prison for 2 years at a time. This simply isn't true, and to date has never happened. It's very possible that the prosecution could not prove their claim beyond a reasonable doubt, hence now the attempt to circumvent it. Anyhow, here is the exact wording of the law below.

Section 53 Failure to comply with a notice.

3 For the purposes of this section a person shall be taken to have shown that he was not in possession of a key to protected information at a particular time if—

....

(b)the contrary is not proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

6
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IT suppliers: Amazon is starting to pay its debts. Some of them, anyway

Aqua Marina

Re: UK Companies???

The courts of England And Wales are of the opinion that the courts of England and Wales decide which courts have jurisdiction to hear cases, not contracts. This argument has been thrown out many times when a company has tried to point to a T&C to say a particular court does not have jurisdiction.

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Aqua Marina

Re: UK Companies???

When I last took someone to court over a disputed debt, the judges opinion was that the dispute was irrelevant because the company I sued took 6 months to dispute the invoice. From what I understand of this case, the dispute took much longer than that.

Similarly a one way dispute is not a dispute, i.e. the supplier has a purchase order, a delivery note, a signed for, a proof of delivery, and Amazon's reply is simply "this is in dispute" it isn't in dispute. A court wants to see evidence of a 2 way discourse in a dispute. Stonewalling often ends up with the person being sued, losing.

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Aqua Marina

UK Companies???

If these are UK companies then the solution is simple. If the debt is over £700 then issue a winding up order at court. Amazon will soon pay up when the company is about to be closed because of it's inability to pay debts.

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We bet your firm doesn't stick to half of these 10 top IT admin tips

Aqua Marina

Re: tailgate - oh the joys

An anecdote I was told several times over the past year justifying this position. The CEO of a large company, I think it was Target but couldn't be sure, deliberately used to visit the office, and enter the building through the warehouse. If ever he didn't get challenged by the time he made his way into the offices at the other side, he sacked the floor manager.

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You can't dust-proof a PC with kitchen-grade plastic food wrap

Aqua Marina
Mushroom

I was once asked by an insurance company to inspect and provide a repair report for a PC that had been struck by lightening. The PC was housed abroad in a remote location onsite, and the telegraph pole outside the building had been struck by lightning, travelled down the cable, through the modem and into the PC.

A few days later the PC arrived packaged up, From the outside it just looked like your average dirty beige box PC from the late 90's, nothing untoward. Then I opened it up. The interior was charred black. In the bottom of the case was what looked like a big pile of solidified pink porridge, as though everything inside the case had simply melted and fused together. I could never figure out the pink tho.

The follow up phonecall with the insurance company was amusing tho. I was asked if the damage was consistant with that caused by lightning strike. I was then asked to provide a quotation for repair. she was adamant repair would be cheaper than replacement. In the end I simply provided an itemised bill that listed every part within the PC, and labour. I then shipped out a new PC.

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Govt: Citizens, we know you want 10Mbps. This is the last broadband scheme for that

Aqua Marina

I'd like to see BT blocked from areas for a minimum of 10 years,

That would be a great idea. I've seen this happen 3 times now.

BT decide a small village is uneconomical and will receive no upgrade.

The residents all chip in and start to arrange the upgrade themselves, with another supplier.

BT suddenly decide that it's economical after all, and all the residents and other supplier are left out of pocket for all their expenses so far.

1
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Google tries to run from flailing robotics arm

Aqua Marina

What an amazing, almost spooky video..

I agree. I'm looking at that, then reminiscing about Twiki in Buck Rogers, the Cybermen in Dr Who, Cylons in old Battlestar Galctica, and even good old C3PO. I'm happy to see that in my lifetime, androids (tho not intelligent) are starting to exist in my lifetime. I wish I was a child of the 2010s+ now rather than the 1970s. Political issues aside, what a wonderful modern age we live in.

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Athiest who believes in god?

Aqua Marina

Athiest who believes in god?

At this position in my career I find myself studying an engineering degree. I have the same professor for Engineering Science, and Engineering Maths. He has a PHD under his belt and he's not far from retirement. What strikes me as odd, is that in almost every lecture, science or maths he almost always says the phrase (paraphrasing) "if you're religious and you are looking for a sign that everything was created by the same person, you'll find this law / result / formula to be consistant through everything, you'll always see it, its a law of nature". What's odd is he's a self professed athiest. Are the educated athiests all like this?

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Raspberry Pi 3: Four days old and already flying

Aqua Marina
Mushroom

Re: What are the civilian applications

Your comment triggerred a memory of a guy about a decade ago in New Zealand who was bankrupted by his government, when he tried to demonstrate how easy it would be to build a self-guided model aircraft, in the shape of a cruise missile, using off the shelf hardware for approx $5000.

I'm now wondering how much that $5K has come down by in the last decade.

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Google robo-car backs into bendy-bus in California

Aqua Marina

Re: Blind-sided?

Simplest explanations often being the most plausible, I would hazard a guess that Google engineers have spent 5 9s of the time working on the car going forward. Unless they've had the car reversing round a test track le-mans style the cars probably have had insufficient training in correct responses when reversing. How often do we actually reverse in real life. Probably at most 30 seconds per trip when either parking, or departing.

6
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Reminder: How to get a grip on your files, data that Windows 10 phones home to Microsoft

Aqua Marina
Black Helicopters

Re: Remote control?

"I've read there is a way to furtle Home's privacy settings down to Security but I can't find it at the moment."

I've been making use of DWS Lite much to the same effect. http://dws.wzor.net/

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Brits unveil 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

Aqua Marina
Mushroom

Re: Hydrogen filling

They should build refilling stations next to rivers. First use a waterwheel to provide electricity, then use the electricity to crack the water from the same river to produce the hydrogen for refilling. Construction and maintenance costs apart, cheap energy.

Or am I thinking too simply?

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All-American Apple challenges US gov call for iOS 'backdoor'

Aqua Marina

Re: Reverse engineering not possible?

>>we are dealing with very very big numbers here!

I always thought the longest encryption could hold out was 40-50 years once you factor Moore's law into the equation. I.e. you have an encryption that can be brute forced mathematically in say say 1 billion years using current computer hardware. Moore's law says that computing power doubles every 2 years, so half that number after 2 years, and half it again 2 years later and so on. If you were to wait 50 years before starting to brute force, you could then do it within a year.

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How to build a plane that never needs to land

Aqua Marina

Re: why wings rather than balloons for lift

I always thought it was because balloons tend to be porous to any of the gasses that are used to provide lift, so once it's finished rising up, it's always slowly coming back down.

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Let Europeans sue America for slurping their data – US Senate

Aqua Marina

Re: I am more than a little pessimistic about this

"Chicago police officer sues victim's family over shooting"

Not being an american, how does this even work. The guy is dead, and being a student, is probably penniless. So if the cop wins, where does the $10M come from.

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Disney World-area University admits massive data breach

Aqua Marina

WTF has Disney got to do with it? Click bait?

A half hour drive for me is about 35-40 miles. What's next, "Heathrow Airport-area food poisoning scare" the next time someone gets a dodgy cheeseburger from the greasy van in the center of Watford on a Friday night?

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Davos 2016: It's now all about technology, but what actually happened?

Aqua Marina

Was I the only person who clicked on this article, thinking it was about an upcoming Dr Who episode?

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"Dr. Who" -- Apparent Reference -- Ignorant Yank Needs Help

Aqua Marina

A quick Google tells me that you're looking at a Texas Chainsaw Massacre reference. I can't confirm it, but Googling tells me that both the Despicable Me movies and the Minion film have Haloween, Chainsaw, 28 Days and numerous other horror movies referenced in such a way that only the adults would get the joke.

I found a particularly pertinant quote about why such jokes end up in films, tho this was about Pixar, and will probably answer your question, as to why the chainsaw sequence was even there.:-

"These inside jokes for the adults in the theater are something Pixar has mastered in their films at this point, and throughout the oeuvre of that studio are jokes containing a layered humor which manage to appeal to kids and adults simultaneously. They may be laughing for different reasons, but everyone can laugh together – the reason Pixar is considered the masters of the “family” film."

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EU stay or leave?

Aqua Marina

Goodwins Law

I'm going to invoke Goodwins law here, by mentioning Nazi's.

The European Convention for Human Rights was drafted to ensure that a Nazi Germany situation should never occur again. Eventually through treaty, negotiation, wheeling and dealing it became law in the UK.

The ECHR covers such simple ideas as the right not to be murdered by individual or state. Not to be persecuted for your religious beliefs, or lack thereof. The right to have a family. The right not to be worked so hard you are effectively a slave. The right to own property.

I'm not Jewish, but having studied at college/uni in a Jewish are, then working for 20 years for companies in the same area, the vast majority of my friends are. Each year many of my friends attend memorial services, visit concentration camps or partake in some act of rememberance, for family members that were either killed by the state, persecuted for their beliefs, torn away from their families or simply had their property taken away and left destitute. It happens frequently enough that it also affects me, a gentile, to see my friends having to go through this.

It disturbs me greatly, that there seems to be a gaining movement to remove us from this safeguard. I'm aware of the differences between the EU, EC, European Court, European Convention for Human Rights, but it stresses me out that so many people, are not. They see "Europe" as some bad force stopping us from deporting or locking up some really nasty people, whilst forgetting what did happen when such laws Europe provides didn't exist. I also find it disturbing that muslims are increasingly becoming the new jews in terms of intollerance and derision, especially in the media which tries to whip up public hatred, that is then used to justify leaving Europe.

Regrettably I think that us leaving the EU is inevitable, there's just too much anger at the moment for us to stay. And once we leave one part of Europe, all the other parts will be left one by one when Joe Public is instructed by the media that we're still subject to some treaty, agreement or law.

I don't know the answer, but I see regularly the effects of what did happen last time round.

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Bigger than Safe Harbor: Microsoft prez vows to take down US gov in data protection lawsuit

Aqua Marina

Curious.... What can't you turn off?

Anything microsoft decides to rename, and turn back on by default in a Windows Update™

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/11/26/microsoft_renamed_data_slurper_reinserted_windows_10/

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Check your MS Store account.

Aqua Marina

"They must still have details of your purchase..."

Was something I tried explaining to them, but I was simply told that they had "deleted all history pre Sep 18 2012".

I went round and round having circular arguments with 3 different departments, 2 of which couldn't understand why I was relying on the MS Store as a database of purchases and activation keys.

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Aqua Marina

Check your MS Store account.

Hi

Back in December 2012 I took MS up on their Windows 8 upgrade for £25 offer from the MS Store. The transaction went fine, and I was able to log into the store to download the software and the key.

Today however, I'm needing to reinstall the software, so I've logged back into the MS store, and I'm greeted with the following message in my order history:-

"If you made a purchase before Sep 18, 2012, you may not be seeing your order history or product keys due to recent site changes. If you need to return a product, re-download your software, or access your product keys, please contact us and one of our agents will be happy to help."

So fair enough, I use the "Contact Us" and give them a call, to be told that they have deleted all history pre Sep 18 2012. Despite my order only being placed 24 December 2012 my history has been deleted, and there is nothing they can do to help me.

This sucks. I've set my son up with his own MS store account, from which he buys software and games for his PC and Xbox One. Does this mean that at some arbitrary date in future MS will conveniently delete those records of purchase too, the downloads and the activation keys?

So if any of you have a MS Store account, have a look-see, you might find your history for valid products has been deleted. Oops!

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Server retired after 18 years and ten months – beat that, readers!

Aqua Marina

Re: Same broom for 20 years eh..

How could anyone downvote that?

Can't give you a medal, so I'll give you an upvote!

As a side note, in 11 months it will be 20 years since this particular episode, and probably everyone's all time favourite.

As another side note, the original joke was in another David Jason sit-com.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HisD_pqlRHQ

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Aqua Marina

Server longevity

"Ross reckons the server lived so long due to “a combination of good quality hardware to start with, conservatively used (not flogging itself to death)"

Don't know about anyone else, but this has been my experience with virtual hosts. Hardware with 4 virtual guests on it, dies around 4x faster than dedicated boxes. I seem to be switching out components regularly in the hosts.

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What did we learn today? Microsoft has patented the slider bar

Aqua Marina

Re: People still use Corel products ?

Exactly, back in the late 90's I was buying Lotus Smartsuite CDs for resale to customers for about £3 a piece from VIP Computers. Every client I supported had it. It really is surprising how MS Office won out in the end considering it was about 70 times more expensive.

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Aqua Marina

Re: Performance...FIX

A lot of the performance issues can be fixed by changing one group of settings. The original settings for OOO / Libre were decided in the late 90's, when 32 MB of ram was considered high.

Open up Calc, and go to Tools - Options - Libre Office - Memory.

Simply multiply all the values on this page by 10 then restart. Your OOO / Libre will be a lot quicker than it originally was.

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Death Stars are a waste of time – here's the best way to take over the galaxy

Aqua Marina

Re: recursive manufacturing

You can tank rush with as little as 6 tanks. Unless you waited until you had 60 tanks, there was no way the opposition could build up any kind of defence. If you watch the online matches, most are over when the first player reaches 6 tanks in a few minutes. sounds to me like no-one was attacking you which gave you time to build up hundreds of infantry.

Anyway, come and play at cncnet.org we still have a very busy online community, and most of the games are free to download.

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