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* Posts by Christine Hedley

70 posts • joined 27 Jan 2012

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Brawling neighbours challenge 'quiet' cul-de-sac myth

Christine Hedley

Argh

The one in the picture looks disturbingly like Tranquility Lane in Fallout 3. I'm going to have rousing '50s music stuck in my head all day now. Thanks, El Reg.

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Virgin Media sales flat: Firm bags fewer winter sign-ups than last year

Christine Hedley

Dear Householder ...

Does this mean I can now look forward to even more MPS-dodging letterbox spam from Virgin? How lovely.

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Facebook adds 50+ gender options: Stalking your 'Friends' just got more LGBT-friendly

Christine Hedley

Re: Hurrah!!!

"But why can i not see this? all i got is male or female..."

Apparently it's currently only available if the language is set to US English.

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Slide out 'More from the register' overlay

Christine Hedley

Hurrah! Thank you. :)

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Christine Hedley
Unhappy

Oh God, it's come back! Please kill it repeatedly until it remains dead.

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Anatomy of a 22-year-old X Window bug: Get root with newly uncovered flaw

Christine Hedley

Re: It looks like NO ONE ever audited X Windows

"(I tend to figure the chicks really are smart, at least the ones who are good with computers)"

Based on my experiences of various co-workers over the years, I'd say that failure to do proper sanity checking is certainly an equal opportunity thing. God knows I've made enough of my own gaffes in that time.

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Ghosts of Christmas Past: Ten tech treats from yesteryear

Christine Hedley

Re: covet is the right word

"For me it was always a 928 - not a Porsche, a 'Space Cruiser and Moonbase'."

Oh God yeah. I coveted one of those things for years. I was ecstatic when I finally got one! I'm sure that was the golden age of Lego, my formative years being nothing at all to do with it. :D

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Christine Hedley

Re: memories

"We got colour in late 1980, just before Xmas, a rented set from Rediffusion."

We rented ours from DER, being early adopters in the mid '70s! The repair man spent so much time at our house that he may as well have moved in with us.

I was relegated to watching Doctor Who in black and white on my parents' portable. Because we were a two TV family, don't'cher know. (Actually, I remember my dad taking a photo for posterity during the week our household accidentally owned no fewer than two cars because it was such a rarity. :D)

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Christine Hedley

Re: Big Trak

"No one else reminded of a mako?"

Yeah, I couldn't help but think of Big Trak whenever I saw the Mako! I loved the Mako and its improbable climbing abilities (and equally improbable indestructibility, considering my driving skills...)

As regards things shrinking, the Curly Wurly is right up there, but I think Wagon Wheels were the real defining factor. I remember them being at least a foot across when I was six years old.

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Women crap at parking: Official

Christine Hedley

Re: Nw for a spanner in the works..

"In reality, I'm not sure that it matters much. After all, its generally fairly blindingly obvious what the physical differences between men and women are anyway, and cognitive skills tend to be learned at least as much as they're inherent. So, while it would be jolly nice to have a laydeebrain and all that, its not likely to make much difference on a day to day basis."

It's something I often wonder about. If it turns out it is the case, I'll think "yeah, that's nice. But whatevs", whereas if it's not, I may get quite distraught, such is my way of finding negative things much more appealing, apparently.

"Fyi - I cant park for toffee. On the other hand, I'm an accomplished engine builder and if you want a blueprinted V8 putting together, I'm your gal ....."

I sometimes wonder if my formerly accrued skills and interests are perhaps a bit unladylike in some regards, because, y'know, they don't all conform to the correct stereotype; but they've become a part of who I am, and I'm the same person, whichever bunch of hormones I have washing around in me. But I'll always suck at parking.

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Christine Hedley

Re: Nw for a spanner in the works..

I'm crap at parking and multitasking. Awesome.

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Hot digital dog: A man’s best friend is still his... K-9

Christine Hedley

Re: Mary Tamm (RIP)

I never realised: how terribly sad. :( I was fond of Romana Mk 1.

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Phantom Flan flinger: The story of the Elan Enterprise 128

Christine Hedley

Curious looking thing

I remember being quite excited by its specifications at the time, but its looks: ew. That, in spite of its creators being quite scathing about the boring beige boxes that proliferated elsewhere and that they weren't going down the same road. Were they trying too hard?

But that was the teenage me. Looking back, nearly 30 years older, I have to consider it to be one of the most awesome-looking computers ever. I wish more designers had that sort of inventiveness... And I still get more excited reading about 128K of memory and 600-and-odd-by-some-other-strange-number of pixels than the latest fancy VGAesque graphics card.

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Asperger's and IT

Christine Hedley

Re: I wondered if I was alone in the world and it looks like I am in a way

"Welcome to office politics, the most effective means of reducing an organisation's efficiency."

I feel quite depressed having to agree, but... yeah, I agree with everything you wrote. :(

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Cultivated dope-smoking Welshman barred from own shed

Christine Hedley
Alert

Banned from his shed...?

Isn't there an ECHU ruling about a chap's inalienable right to use his shed? If not, why not?

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Not even Comet crashing into Earth can keep Dixons out of the red

Christine Hedley

Re: They tell lies

Funnily enough, I had exactly the same experience with them. It didn't exactly encourage me to go back: as it was, the only reason I went in the first place was convenience, but it's not very convenient if they lie about the capabilities of the stuff they're selling.

They did at least give me a refund, astonishingly.

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Windows NT grandaddy OpenVMS taken out back, single gunshot heard

Christine Hedley
Unhappy

Bummer

How terribly sad. I have fond memories of VMS, both as a DECcie and before: it was my first "real" computer system back when I was at college in the '80s. Unix was more fun to hack around on, but VMS had a nice reassuring solidity to it.

Sounds like DEC's classic old marketing strategy is still living on at HP, at least: "we don't know how to sell this thing, so we'll get rid of it."

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Continued lack of women in tech bemoaned by ex-techie lady MP

Christine Hedley

"If people like her keep painting a negative picture for women then why does she think women would be attracted to those roles?"

Quite. I have noticed that over the years, I've noticed the percentage of women in IT gradually decreasing. I can't say there's a direct link between the dwindling numbers and this sort of publicity, but it's unlikely to help; personally, I think IT has become such a toxic place to work that I'm hesitant to recommend it to anyone (don't get me wrong, I love my job, but the working conditions, not so much.)

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Six things a text editor must do - or it's a one-way trip to the trash

Christine Hedley

Re: Teco

I'm surprised it's taken Teco this long to get a mention given its former infamy! I seem to recall it was noteworthy in that a Teco editing command was apparently indistinguishable from line noise, though I've never personally had the pleasure.

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BANG and the server's gone: Man gets 8 months for destroying work computers

Christine Hedley

Re: Physical security of server room ?

> "Where I work, I manage several servers (as part of my job). I can get physical access to the servers, but only if I ask very nicely, and only if accompanied by a senior system admin."

That sounds familiar. Even though a major part of my job was providing second-line support to our ops staff, gaining access was often not easy:

Ops: "We need your help with one of the minis."

Me: "I'll need access to it, then."

Ops: "You can't come in."

Me: "Then I can't assist you."

Ops: "But we need your help with one of the minis."

etc.

Don't get me wrong, they were actually a really good bunch, but sometimes things could be a bit frustrating. The flip side is that we had excellent systems availability and nobody pouring cleaning fluid into the computers.

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The Oric-1 is 30

Christine Hedley

Re: Fond memories

I also remember wandering round unsupervised in Princes Street in those days, at about the same age, even though I lived near to Newcastle! The slew of home computer departments with interestingly incompatible stuff that had sprung up everywhere made it an exciting time to live.

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MEGAGRAPH: 1983's UK home computer chart toppers

Christine Hedley

"It seems to be missing the commodore +4 and it's baby brother the commodore 16"

Didn't they appear a bit later? I remember reading a magazine review of a couple of new Commodore models in the autumn of 1984, which I assume is when they were launched (in the UK, at least); if I recall (my memory is hazy) the review was of those two machines. I don't think they ever sold in large numbers though, the home computer market seemed to be increasingly dominated by the usual suspects like the Spectrum and C64 by that point.

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Yes, hundreds upon hundreds of websites CAN all be wrong

Christine Hedley

Re: Its is amazing

It's also amazing how few seem to credit the original transcriber. Though in cases such as these, that's probably a blessing.

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Patrick Moore: Lived with cats, accompanied Einstein on the piano

Christine Hedley

A wonderful, inspirational man and a top eccentric. Goodbye, Patrick, you'll be missed.

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Smear campaign

Christine Hedley

Back when smoking was still allowed in offices...

... I'd see some incredibly grubby keyboards. Not everyone was like that, I think what made the difference was smoking whilst actually using the keyboard: the chap next to me chain-smoked pretty much all day long and all his key-tops were covered in a not-so-thin layer of brown smeg. He was no Pigpen-type character, he just had this perpetual fog around him (even as a smoker myself it was a bit much!) Then again, I shouldn't judge since my keyboard would end up full of crumbs due to me working while I was eating. I dread to think that the collective detritus eventually grew into, especially after being periodically watered with spilt coffee.

Smeary screens are a bit of a mystery, though. Do people really jab at them with snotty/greasy/unmentionable fingers? Maybe they try to taste the icons and lick them.

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What happened to comics for kids? Hell, what happened to COMICS?

Christine Hedley

Re: Comics aren't for kids as most kids can't be arsed to look past their X-box these days.

> "currently 35-45 years old I would guess"

44 here: my cousins got me hooked with their cast-off issue 4 back in the day. I remember spending years trying to track down issue 1: I eventually found it in some bonfire kindling! I still have it somewhere though it's in poor condition given the somewhat questionable paper quality of early issues. Well, that and being rolled up and stuffed into a bonfire.

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Christine Hedley

Re: Four words

I remember that one with a lot of fondness. I think I've finally given up hope that I might see the rest of the story, but what they did complete was legendary.

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Slideshow: A History of Intel x86 in 20 CPUs

Christine Hedley

> "At least some people out there are as old as me :-("

You say that as if it was a bad thing! We grew up in an exciting time. :)

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Christine Hedley

> "Not just MOS 6502... I would also include Zilog Z80 for the home computer for the ZX81, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC."

I'd also like to throw in my tuppence as a former 6809 owner! Er ... quietly slinks away ...

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UK bungs £250m to factories stung by climate-change policy

Christine Hedley

Re: @TeeCee Back to the 70's?

"If they want to reduce energy usage across the country, they need to look more at what causes us to use so much."

They could do something about unnecessary commuting for a start: not much point trying to tax people off the roads when it's not their choice and they don't want to be there anyway; seems weird that it's almost 20 years since I did a highly successful pilot of a working from home programme but since then nobody is interested.

Seems the current lot are more interested in giving the sick and disabled a good kicking instead of doing anything useful though (not that the previous lot were any better.)

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Windows 8: Never mind Office, it's for GAMING

Christine Hedley

Re: Slightly OT

Windows NT was initially version 3.51; its revision and Windows 2000 were version 4; XP was version 5 etc.

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Dodgy audio connections conceal more than just words

Christine Hedley

Motorcycle sounds for inducing stress?

Well that's helpful for me since I live close to a very noisy and aggressive mid-life-crisis type who faffs about all day on his two-wheeled willy extension. I think there's a fair chance I'm going to sound stressed.

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Amazon UK to offer collection service at corner shops

Christine Hedley

I guess it depends on your local office. I've had DPD repeatedly claim to have tried to deliver stuff when they've done no such thing; when they do turn up their line of questioning ("what is your relationship to the recipient?") gets a little intrusive. The local Yodel chaps tend to be very reliable, though.

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Deadly pussies kill more often than owners think

Christine Hedley

Re: Do you find...

"Do you find..."

Yes, usually by standing on something cold and squishy with bare feet. Seldom the highlight of my day.

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Why women won't apply for IT jobs

Christine Hedley

Re: I must of missed

"Where I am I would say that the number of women working in technical roles in IT has dramatically reduced in the last twenty years."

I've noticed the same thing: I think we need to look at what's happened over the past 20 years to cause this. I think part of the problem are the "women in IT" programmes, which I personally think succeed in making it look a much more forbidding place than it really is.

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Outlook.com launch a gold rush for jokers, spammers

Christine Hedley

Re: Name claiming, but... Here comes da' spam!

I've sent a few test messages to my new @outlook.com address, every one of which was incorrectly flagged as spam. Not a promising start...

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The Dragon 32 is 30

Christine Hedley

Re: Was the UK that far ahead of US?

I remember my days at school in 1983/84, pretty much all the kids had either a computer or games console (or both), seems it was very much a minority who didn't. But the situation with CD players was rather different: as Mr Hill points out, it seems that was a myth. They made serious inroads over the next few years, but it was a long while before they became as ubiquitous.

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Christine Hedley
Thumb Up

Re: POKE 65495,0

Hah, strange how I can't remember what I was doing yesterday but I can still remember that number from 30 years back!

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UK's HECToR supercomputer in 27PB MEGA-storage boost

Christine Hedley

Re: Hector?

I prefer to think of the eponymous hero of Hector's House.

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India crowned global spam-spewing zombie king AGAIN

Christine Hedley

Re: India??

"India? I don't think I've *ever* had a spam from India"

I get an endless stream of spam attempts from India, seemingly all of them to addresses that have never existed: it appears someone out there is still buying those lists of "double opt-in and verified" addresses, astonishingly. It's pretty much consistently at the top of the list of countries trying to spam me, but very few of them if any are actually successful.

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Darth Vader is a pansy

Christine Hedley

Re: @Aaron Em: Cheaply-Made Keyboards

You can still get "kinda" Model Ms from Unicomp's outlet. Perhaps not quite as sturdy as the originals, but they're still really very good, and they have the extra keys. And a non-beige colour scheme!

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Christine Hedley
Meh

Re: t-shirt

Every reply downvoted? Wow, someone's a miserable bastard.

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Christine Hedley
Thumb Up

Re: t-shirt

"The t-shirt was from smellyourmum.com"

Awesome. There are so many things there that I need to have. :D

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Analysts hail Burma's untapped IT goldmine

Christine Hedley

Re: Sad

There does seem to be something distastefully unethical about making cost savings by outsourcing labour to countries where the sort of working conditions they endure were rightly outlawed in the West long ago.

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Google plants rainbow flag in anti-gay countries

Christine Hedley

Re: And what about Bing?

"Guess we'll need to dig up Alta Vista. DEC was headed by Ken Olson, a devout Christian."

Christian or not, I don't recall anything about Ken being a homophobe: he was just an all-round good guy, really.

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RBS IT cockup: This sort of thing can destroy a bank, normally

Christine Hedley

Re: Single sourced

"What exactly is the point?"

The illusion of security: banks seem to be very keen on it. Cheaper than actual security, I suppose.

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Trust fined £225k for leaving patient files in abandoned hospital

Christine Hedley

Re: Where does the fine go?

Where does the fine get paid from, for that matter? If it comes out of the management budget, fair enough, but you know it'll be patient services that end up having to go without.

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Ten... celeb headphones

Christine Hedley

Re: Am I the only one..

"...or, for somewhat more money - Sennheiser HD-25 - apparently indestructible, comfortable, fabulous sound, and most definitely head-fi approved...."

They are pretty hard to destroy. Mine are HD25SPs that I paid £90 for back in 1998 and they're still going strong; by that time I'd managed to get through numerous pairs of headphones which typically lasted all of six months apiece, whereas these just keep on going and sound fantastic. I have managed to damage the cable a couple of times over the years thanks to rank carelessness, but they're easily and cheaply replaced. Not bad considering they've seen extended daily use over that time.

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Girl Geek Dinner lady: The IT Crowd is putting schoolgirls off tech

Christine Hedley

Re: Sexist joke alert

"When I used to often work out in the Bay area 20 years back, I would have thought that the average proportion of female frontline developers was slightly less than 50% (women don't quite make up 50% of the working population, some choose not too) but wasn't way under. But more recent trips there have shown a big shift away from women in technical positions."

Interesting, I've noticed exactly the same thing; the male/female split was almost 50:50 when I started working in IT in the late '80s but in each successive job I saw fewer and fewer women working there. Some employers seemed to be very keen to fast-track women into management in a desperate bid to be seen to be doing the right thing, but I'd hazard a guess that a big part of the problem are the various "women in IT" programmes which seem to actually have the opposite effect to what was intended. I can't speak for anyone else but I personally find them rather patronising and they seem to have a habit of highlighting problems where previously there were none, for the most part. It doesn't make a compelling argument for the next generation to get into IT when people just want to get on with it.

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