* Posts by Magister

322 posts • joined 4 Jul 2012

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Moving from permie to mercenary? Avoid a fine - listen to Ben Franklin

Magister

One way around it?

I thought I had found a way to get around any issues with the taxman.

Get into bed with one of the (female) staff! Lots of noisy wild monkey sex, the occasional meal cooked and a little cleaning every so often; with someone who knows the rules to sort things out if the taxman gets shirty.

Unfortunately, she decided that the rumpy wasn't pumpy enough; and then went back into work and decided that I needed to be audited. Spent the next couple of years with someone delving into each nook and cranny (and not in a good way).

Don't f*** with the taxman or his staff!

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SAP inks Hadoop deals with Intel and Hortonworks

Magister

..it means longtime SAP customers can likely get the software wrapped in with their ongoing contracts<<

Of course they can; SAP are more than happy to give away software very cheaply or even free if they can lock in customers for the long haul.

But then the customer gets to pay through the nose for annual "support" charges, licensing renewal and consultancy costs. And the business managers are reluctant as hell to look at any alternatives as they are scared that any changeover will be as costly and painful as their initial SAP project.

Most companies running SAP will not see the suggested ROI unless they are prepared to stay with it for 15-20 years.

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IBM offloads customer services biz for half a BEELLION DOLLARS

Magister

Re: Well done IBM

>>...delivered shite service <<

Do you think that it's that good?

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BT doles out measly 2GB to customers in Dropbox-alike BT Cloud

Magister

Re: My first hard drive..

Parchment & Quill? Luxury!

We used to have to use a block of granite and a chisel!

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Magister
Windows

My first hard drive..

...was 20 Mb in size; and I used Quarterdeck doublestor to increase that to a whopping 39.8 MB. The total amount of data I had then fitted on 3 x 5 1/4 inch floppies (720 Kb each.) I really didn't know what I was going to put on the rest of that drive.

Kids today...

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Gov IT write-off: Universal Credit system flushes £34m down toilet

Magister

Re: Cost

... or the cost of the interest on the National Debt for about 3 weeks.

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Torched £30 server switch costs phone firm millions in lost sales

Magister

Planning

The guy is obviously selling a Change Management soltuion, which is why he foucses on that. But I would suggest that this was a Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery plan failure, rather than a configuration change issue.

But it does highlight the need to plan, implement and test something to get you out of the brown stuff after the HVAC has spread it all over.

"No-one plans to fail; they just fail to plan"

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Met Police spaffs £250m keeping 'ineffective' IT systems running - report

Magister

Call me Mr Cynical...

.. but is Mr Biggs anging to try to persuade the Met to start / join a project like SouthWest One?

http://www.bestpracticegroup.com/southwest-one-failure/

The comments he is making sound remarkably similar to those that were made by the people that tried to persuade everyone in Somerset that it would be the best way forward.

This is not to say that the Met don't need updating; I imagine that it is long overdue. But it might be appropriate to actually check the details before rushing to embrace some horrendously expensive plan that ends up costing the tax payer a bloody fortune.

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NASA's nuclear Mars tank REBELS against human control

Magister
Happy

Re: Are you sure...

Wolowizard - awesome!

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Magister

There's probably some spotty kid, sat in his bedroom in Shanghai or Pasadene, buzzing on cola and Chitos that's found this really interesting remote controlled device that he's hacked into...

Either that or it's being towed by the Martian equivalent of a clamping firm. Going to cost NASA 3 million quatloos to get it out of their vehicle pound.

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Japan's unwanted IT workers dumped in 'forcing-out rooms'

Magister
Pint

Re: They do this everywhere

I recognise that. It happened in my last job.

Parent company decided to outsource the key ERP systems because " it would be more cost effective". So the costs to the business went up by about 4 times what I was being paid (and it looks like they're going up again!)

I reported directly to the board and I did ask each of them if they were looking to move me out; and each time, they assured me not. But I found that I was usually being bypassed on decisions, my staff were being given jobs directly without any discussion with me and my working day slowly became turned into an excercise in applying for other roles, reading El Reg and other sites. Very occasionally, I'd have something to do, but may be only once a week. It was clear that they wanted me gone, but weren't prepared to pay me off.

It sounds great having so little to do, but you slowly feel the life force within you ebbing away; and it's not a nice feeling. I miss the company, but not the feeling of useless boredom.

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Snowden's email provider may face court rap after closing service

Magister
Big Brother

Re: Secret justice

I refer you to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Chamber

Originally set-up to ensure " the fair enforcement of laws against prominent people, those so powerful that ordinary courts would never convict them of their crimes."

But inevitably, it became a symbol for misuses of power "Over time it evolved into a political weapon, a symbol of the misuse and abuse of power by the English monarchy and courts."

Does this sound familiar?

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British spooks seize tech from Snowden journo's boyfriend at airport

Magister

I would note that a number of people seem to have watched too many US based courtroom dramas and get confused over the various rights.

In the UK, you are entitled to ask for legal council and they should not question you once you have asked for this; but if they use the catchall phrase "terrorism related" that goes out of the window. They should also provide legal council no later than 36 hours after requested; but again, that's different if the detention is due to suspected terrorism.

https://www.gov.uk/arrested-your-rights/legal-advice-at-the-police-station

Note that this was changed under the hurried legislation brought in against the wishes of a very large number of people and despite all protestations that it would only ever be used in genuine cases; and we are seeing how they really intend to use this.

I'm fairly sure that there are many other incidents similar to this; but as the individuals (or their partners) don't work for large media organisations, no-one hears a thing.

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Elon Musk unveils Hyperloop – the subsonic tube of tomorrow

Magister

Re: Sounds a lot like the Transit Tubes...

Or Harry Harrison's alternative history story - known as "A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah" or "Tunnel through the deeps" depending on which side of the Atlantic you read the story.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunnel_Through_the_Deeps

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100,000+ Earthlings star in 'reality TV contest' for ONE-WAY ticket to MARS

Magister

Space Cadet

Anyone remember that bloody awful piece of garbage that was on channel 4 a few years ago; presented by that knob Johhny Vaughan. This almost seems to be a variation on that.

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It's now or never for old sysadmins to learn new tricks

Magister

Have to agree

Trevor makes some great points and I do agree with almost all of them. Many companies are going down the route of either outsourcing the function, or relying on cloud based systems. Their arguments are that it is cheaper, they don't need the technical staff etc etc.

But the place where I am working is a classic example of how badly it can go wrong. The IT is a shambles; no-one is managing it or taking responsibility for anything. Service delivery is abysmal; basics such as getting DNS actually working seem to be beyond their capacity. Even thought they are obsessed with paperwork, there doesn't seem to be any managment control; as a result, they regularly buy hardware that's expensive, unsuitable and often sits around unused for lengthy periods of time.

What's worse, the "strategy" is being set by people with only the most minimal of understanding of IT; and they are screwing up so badly, I cannot believe that it won't be long before the whole thing just dies and they go belly up.

I had thought about starting my own MSP for small businesses; I'm damn sure that I could provide a significantly better service to SMEs than what I've see in a number of places. But I'm starting to think that maybe I should just call it a day; get a job stacking shelves for the next 5 / 6 years to keep me active, then claim early retirement and live out my life wandering around in a drunken stupor somewhere warm.

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British ankle-biters handed first mobe at the age of SEVEN - Ofcom

Magister

Re: Bloody hell

>>fourpence would get you a call to india <<

But you'd have to wait three days for the operator to connect you!

My current landlady worked as a telephonist when 15-16; she regularly used to have to set-up calls to the company office in the USA; usually a 5-6 hour wait.

I can remember waiting nearly an hour for a trunk line to become free just to call an office in London from the Southern office. This from an old Bakelite handset that you needed both hands to lift off of the table, that had a little card in a slide on the bottom with the numbers for local exchanges to set-up calls.

Eeeeh; Kids today dunn't know they're born.

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CSC enslaves Infochimps to create army of big data monkeymen

Magister

Horsefeathers!

Some of these people are just so full of their own s***, they could fertilise the Sahara.

Unfortunately, we seem to have developed a subculture that actively promotes and rewards people that can spout gibberish, whilst thinking that this is the way to successfully manage a business.

But far too many of these senior people couldn't successfully run a market stall as they simply don't have the basic business skills necessary. They all seem to buy into the same arrant nonsense; and when it all goes horribly wrong, none of them seem to suffer, only the "little people" that the business really depends upon.

It really is quite depressing.

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Lumpy milk and exploding yoghurt? Your fridge could be riddled with MALWARE

Magister

Tin foil hat time

@LinofHyRule "Don't connect the fridge up to the internet!"

That's assuming that you get a choice; what if they are made so that they will not work until they are connected to the Internet? (A whole new industry in cracking the controllers, much the same as gaming consoles I imagine)

The real reason that the manufacturers want to do this is simply because they can then capture data on what you buy, how long you store it, restock etc and make use of this to work out what you might be persauded to buy. All of this information can be collated and then (most importantly) sold to those that would be able to make use of it to target their marketing at you.

I could imagine the supermarket chains making use of this - "Magister, you've nearly run out of cheese; we have a special deal on <brand> this week; shall we add 2 x 350g to an order for you? While we're at it, you could probably use some crispbreads; just 99p. We also have that organic fig relish you upvoted on the Facebook web page: only £2.99. This can be delivered to you this evening between 7.00 and 8.00 pm; please click here to accept."

Be under no illusion; you are just a consumer within a target demographic. If you dislike the current sales tactics, you are going to hate the brave new marketing world.

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Peter Capaldi named as 12th Doctor Who

Magister
Alien

Re: I haven't watched Doctor Who since I was a kid ...

My favourite line from yesterday: "From spin-doctor to The Doctor!" (Perhaps he could swear in Gallifreean?)

He's actually a damn good actor; I suspect that he will do a really good job. Possibly, he might make it a touch darker; somewhere along the road to Torchwood without being quite so adult. Could be well worth watching.

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Buy a household 3D printer, it'll pay for itself in MONTHS!

Magister
Thumb Up

Re: I could see

SAP of all people were working on exactly this. There's even a video of the process; can't post a link due to corporate restrictions, but a search will probably find it.

The video showed a woman breaking one of the knobs (oooerr missus!) on her washing machine; using a QR code on the side of the machine and her smartphone, it identified the make & model. This opened an app that allowed to select from repairs or spare's, then she was able to select the relevant part. Create the order and the back office system places an order with a local college to "print" off one of the replacments. Once done, it sends the woman an email to confirm so that she can collect.

So need for anyone to keep loads of spares that may never be needed; just make it as needed. As you say, the college / university / school gets to make a small amount of money in the process. All makes a lot of sense. (Plus no issues over IP as the printing is done under licence)

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HALF of air passengers leave phones on ... yet STILL no DEATH PLUNGE

Magister

Safety; what safety?

As a general rule, about a quarter of the passengers on any given flight pay no attention at all to the safety demos. These people simply cannot envisage that anything could possibly go wrong; but they are usually the first to start squealing when anything untoward happens.

One twerp on a flight to north of the border had unbuckled his safety belt before the actual touch down and was busy getting his stuff out of the overhead locker all the way to the stand by the terminal depsite several messages form cabin staff asking everyone to remain in their seats. He then rushed to the door and was stood whining that they wouldn't let him out before the ground crew had positioned the steps.

He didn't really get to passport check any faster than anyone else (maybe 15 seconds) and was starting the get arsey with the staff there. All the time, ear glued to the mobile, moaning loudly about the f****** morons that wouldn't let him go through.

The best bit was when he slung his passport (still in it's case) at the guy on the counter. he called over a copper and the guy ended up being escorted through to a little room; didn't see him after that.

I hope that they gave him a full body cavity search!

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Murdoch machinations mean Microsoft must rename SkyDrive

Magister

Black Hole?

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SAP's cloud sets on-premises bods free from licence fees... Oh, hang on

Magister

Shut-up And Pay

>>be prepared to barter for a good deal <<

This is SAP we are talking about. Perhaps you mean a less painful deal?

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May the fourths be with you: Muso John Williams returns to Star Wars

Magister

FIFY

"I've loved doing the Star Wars films, with all the fanfares and flourish and being paid lots of money. The galaxy far, far away - I actually feel like I'm still in it and being paid lots of money, that I never really left it and being paid lots of money, having worked on all of the six films and being paid lots of money! I'm just happy to be continuing to be part of the whole fun of doing it and being paid lots of money"

Cynical; moi?

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Jurors start stretch in the cooler for Facebooking, Googling the accused

Magister

Juries

The origin of the jury goes back quite a long time; originally, they were the people that knew the plaintiffs / defendants and in theory would know the background to the case. It was assumed that these people would be the best ones to provide the judge with the details needed to decide a claim.

However, over the years, that has changed and now the jury is meant to be an impartial group selected from the public, that can hear the evidence and make a decision based upon that alone. In many cases, because they are lay people, they will not be aware of the minutiae of the law; which is why the court can provide them with guidance or even direct them to pay specific attention to / ignore certain information.

However, it appears that far too many of the individuals selected to carry out jury duty these days, don't have the basic common sense required to perform this civic function. (OK, many of them are as thick as s***.) There's been an argument that perhaps we need to have a group of people that would be "professional" jurists from which a jury of 10 or 12 would be selected. The idea is then that they might be better equipped to handle the specific requirements of the function.

I'd previously not been too happy about the concept; I can see too many ways in which it could be abused. But perhaps it is time to rethink this; quite simply, there are just too many cases where the individual jurists have ignored the information provided, or have been influenced by something they had read / seen (especially some the court room dramas whcih are usally so bloody inaccurate, they make the legal profession scream in frustration).

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BT's not at home to Mr Profit, but its lordly boss probably isn't too fussed

Magister

Li'l Technical Note - and me

>>shares down nearly 2 per cent to £335.50 <<

£335 a share? Afraid not; your decimal point is in the wrong place. (Hint; the prices shown on the trading website are in pence.) So the real price is £3.3550 (although it's now down to £3.32 at lunch time)

If they were really over £300 a share, I'd cash mine in and bugger off somewhere on a very long holiday; probably long eneough to see me reach retirement age. Oh well, I can still dream!

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How Novell peaked, then threw it all away in a year

Magister

Remember it well

I did some pretty basic work with NetWare 3 which I really didn't like back in the middle 90s.

Then NetWare 4 arrived and it really seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. Stable, secure, solid; and the NDS made it easy to work with. I had servers then that were running around the clock without needing a reboot for a couple of years.

But even at the turn of the Millenium, it seemed that Novell were just not up to speed; mostly reacting to changes rather than driving them. A great shame as it was a pretty good product.

But that is life; adapt and move on or perish.

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Capita IT Services staff plan strike over pay this Friday

Magister

>>This sort of thing is just unforgiveably bad management,<<

Couldn't agree more. It's pretty much the same kind of attitude that has been seen increasingly throughout many businesses, as well as the public sector. "Keep the plebs in line with low pay rises; and as that boosts profits, senior managers deserve a bonus"

It's the same thinking that promotes outsourcing key roles to third parties that screw up; but because the headline cost is lower, they have "saved" money.

Previously known as "Screw you Jack, I'm alright".

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For pity's sake: DON'T MOVE to the COUNTRY if you want to live

Magister

Just one thought; being in the country often means that you are further away from access to emergency services when compared to those in urban areas.

No indication of what that meant in terms of those not receiving treatment in time to save their lives.

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UK gov 'still failing' at procurement, says Commons committee

Magister

Over the years, I've seen a number of examples of the bureacracy involved in procurement; and it still seems that there are a significant number of people who are blocking any attempt to improve the processes. Mostly, this is because they know that if ithese were stream lined, they would most likely be out of a job; so you can't blame them too much for protecting their own interests.

Not that I'm defending them; I've seen a recent example of a failure in the process where the intial quote of £360 has ballooned into a purchase order that will exceed £6000. They will argue that the process is there to do various things, all of which should be good, but the end result is that they spend more money to get less; and that is a complete failure by any measure. This is not an isolated incident and over spend runs into billions with a "b".

Quite simply, no-one will lose out by maintaining the status quo; but they will if the processes change. Therefore they will defend their position to the death.

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Knocking China with shocking phones and mocking tones

Magister

Re: Mostly true

Have to agree; there are far too many people that think we in Britain "don't do manufacturing".

We do; and on the whole, we do it bloody well. Seriously high quality, a lot of real innovation, some exciting, creative products as well as the more mundane items. Yes, wages are higher, but often the production costs are lower in comparison, because of more efficient processes and fewer issues with the Quality Control.

Just a shame that the politicians and media spend so much effort "talking it down"

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UK gov's smart meter dream unplugged: A 'colossal waste of cash'

Magister

Re: I'm gonna need a bigger house

The text could have been written a bit better; but there is a real issue with the numbers.

"The total number of households in England increased by 7% from. 20.2 million in 1999 to 21.5 million in 2008–09."

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/6695/1750765.pdf

Scotland has about 4 million houses, so total of around 25 million? And they are talking about 53 million smart meters?

Going to be a very large pile of unsused meters methinks.

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1953: How Quatermass switched Britons from TV royalty to TV sci-fi

Magister
Windows

Re: Was it colder then?

Remember the winter of 63 / 63?

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of_1962%E2%80%9363_in_the_United_Kingdom)

They still used to get pea soupers because of the amount of coal being burned to heat houses / offices / factories - not many people had central heating, so they put on extra layers of clothing. But I also think that we were a hardier lot; if you were cold, you ran around to get warm!

Not quite old enough to remember the original Quatermass, but I did watch "Quatermass and the Pit" (despite my mother thinking that it was too scary for me). It got me reading a lot of SF once I was able to get a library card.

Things were definitely a bit shabbier then; there were still large areas of major twons & cities that had been damaged / destroyed by bombing and then had been knocked flat for safety; no money to re-build at that time. We used to play games in the abandoned bomb shelters or pillar boxes that littered the landscape, not quite understanding that our parents had used the same places for real.

But there was a sense of optimism; the war was over, the economy slowly improving, new consumer goods available. Lots of really exciting scientific research in all areas. Perhaps not good times, but certainly better than the previous generations ahd had to tolerate.

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The IT crowd: Fiercely loyal geeks or 'inflexible, budget-padding' creeps?

Magister

Re: Nail, head.

TESTIFY!

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Magister

Re: Nail, head.

"I handed in my notice yesterday, one can only stay so long..."

I feel your pain. Mine would have been handed in yesterday, but the HR manager is off sick with stress (and may not be back). I'm off to see the HR at the other site tomorrow and they will have to accept it.

There simply comes a point where you have to ask if it staying is the right thing to do. When there is an overall morale problem, when different departments are constantly battling against each other and this is encouraged / tolerated by senior managers, then that is a company that I simply do not wish to work for.

to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Leaving a job before you have something else to go to is never a good idea; but I take pride in my work and I simply can no longer tolerate working in a place where the atmosphere is so appalling. I would not even want to tell people of where I have been working in case they think that I have had any hand in the sheer omnishambles that is the IT provision.

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Apple builds flagship store on top of PLAGUE HOSPITAL

Magister

There are a lot of places where things are being built on top of cemetaries, churches, plague hospitals, battlefields. The amount of land available is finite; and if it is long enough ago, probably won't be an issue.*

I once worked in a place where the cellar had been used as a storage place for slaves. There were still large iron bolts with huge rings in the walls as it would have cost too much to remove them. This was where they were all chained together in captivity.

It was an odd place; a lot of people didn't like working there. Apparently, several years after I was there, they had to have some work done and the back yard was dug up to get access to sewers. They found the remains of a large number of bodies (some children) that seemed to be from that period.

* Note that viruses can remain dormant for a long time before being re-activated and infecting people.

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Big Beardie is watching you: Lord Sugar gets into facial recognition

Magister

Know your place

"I am not a number..." - no you're a consumer; and by $_.Deity we will make you consume!

The truly worrying thing is that so few consumers will be that concerned about this, that they will probably get away with putting it in all over the place.

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Your own £19 Pocket Spacecraft could be FOUND ON THE MOON

Magister

The man who sold the moon

One of the arguments about space exploration is that it is exceptionally expensive; that's why most work was carried out by governmental organisations. But they tend to be very bureacratic, so the costs escalate almost as fast as the rockets ascend. Most people then complain about the costs, even if they don't actually know what it is really costing them, as they don't understand the benefits that might come from such projects.

When private business gets involved, they tend to try to go for more cost effective methods, which is why it gets a lot cheaper (sometimes not so safe, but any exploration work is risky). Robert Heinlein proposed the idea of "selling" the various things to raise money; he knew that there would be people that would be prepared to back such an undertaking even if they could not be certain of a return.

I saw some stats a few years ago that highlighted the entire cost of space exploration has cost each US citizen approx. 5 c per day since the start back in the late 1950s. Roughly the cost of a cup of coffee back then; not sure that there is anything available for that price these days.

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Tickle my balls, stroke my button and blow the fluff from my crack

Magister

Them were the days..

>>Looking back, it beggars belief that anyone would need to be taught how to use a mouse.<<

Back in the 90's, I was doing some helpdesk support for a particular piece of software; one of the customers couldn't work out where he was going wrong and in frustration, got one of his female staff to phone up to find out "why this bloody thing won't work".

The poor lady had never used a computer, full stop. I had to try to talk her through using the mouse to open a folder to delete a file that the guy had messed up that would then allow us to get their licence re-activated.

It took 40 minutes of gentle persuasion in my calmest voice; and most of my colleagues left the room, because they couldn't take the pain of hearing me slooooooowly taaaaaalk heeeer throooooough eaaaaach steeeeep.

It nearly made me take up smoking!

(BTW, my first post after having been awarded the bronze award; thank you Drew. Can't believe that I've been at this place for a year)

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Americans attempt to throw off oppressive, unresponsive rulers on 4th of July

Magister

Re: WTF...

>> taxes they were looking to avoid was a bad plan. 6% at the time of rebellion (~50% in the UK at the time)<<

It's also worth noting that the taxes were being increased; but also why they were going up. At the time, the British Army were defending the inhabitants of the colonies against attacks by native Americans, French & Spanish troops. There were some colonial militia units attached to the army at the time; but these were few in number and generally only served for a limited time, so the defence of the colonies was being paid for partly by the British tax payers. The increase in tax planned was to try to raise sufficient money to pay for an increase in troop numbers to provide better protection.

I've tried to uncover what the tax levels were after 1781; the only sources I can find don't seem to agree, but it appears that it would have been at least double.

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EU chucks €18m at research for stupidly fast networks

Magister

Maybe it's me, but €18 million doesn't sound like a lot of money to be put into research for such a topic; especially when it's split 6 ways.

Having said that, there is also the issue of how much bandwidth people actually need (rather than want). Does a home consumer really need to be downloading 100 DVD's a minute? A business might need to, but consumers shouldn't.

I've also seen first hand just how bad some networks can be; and in each case, the real issue is that they are not properly designed, maintained or managed. In many cases, a bit more thought and effort in that area might produce significant results.

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What's the most secure desktop operating system?

Magister

Re: Designing a perfectly safe computer

"Safe" is probably the wrong word. However, you make exactly the right point.

You have to define the risks before proposing the appropriate measures to secure something. Once you have declared what those are, you then have to decide how likely those issues are and if it is worth protecting against the specific threats.

I would say that the biggest single threat over the next few years would be the stability of the electrical supply. It doesn't matter what OS you have, no electric means no computer.

Power cut reduces

Your expensive computer

To a simple stone

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'The Apprentice' is a load of old codswallop, says biz prof

Magister

Remember

"Those that can, do. Those that can't, teach."

Those that couldn't give a shit either way, watch it on television.

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Microsoft's murder most foul: TechNet is dead

Magister

So long; it was good while it lasted

Have to say that Technet was highly valuable; what surprised me were the number of people / IT depts. that did NOT have a Technet subscription. It most cases, their arguments actually came down to the fact that they just didn't care about their work or the quality of the service that they delivered.

It seems to me that this is just typical of the way things are developing; the smaller shops are either being squeezed to outsource their IT, or to spend a lot more than they need just to stay operational.

Would I go with MSDN? Not sure at this stage. It's actually not about the price, but about the product and the value to the user; and I'm not sure that I could really justify the MSDN subscription due to the amount that it would be used.

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One airport not enough for SCC kingpin Sir Peter Rigby

Magister
Thumb Up

Drop in traffic

Part of the drop in traffic is down to the economic downturn; no question of that. But I suspect that part of it was also down to the trimming of routes and timetables.

For example, we used to be able to get a flight to a couple of airports in Germany but these are no longer available; have to travel up to Birmingham instead.

Added to that, there used to be an early morning flight to Paris CDG with a late return, which was great for a day trip for a business meeting. Now, there's just the one flight a day; we have to stay overnight (cheap hotel rooms are still c €100, evening meal c. €40 - sometimes more than the cost of the flights!) and you don't really get any extra time; so the amount of trips had to be cut back.

Have to say that CDG is not the best airport in the world (although flying from terminal 2 is infinitely better than the previous arrangements) but I really liked Exeter; got to know the staff there quite well and they could be a bit more relaxed than some of the po-faced staff elsewhere (dealing with larger numbers of travelling public will probably do that to you.)

I hope that they do invest a bit more there; really like it.

2
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Sunday's night sky to be flooded by MASSIVE SUPERMOON

Magister

Meh!

Couldn't see f*** all; sky covered with 100% cloud. (Like I couldn't guess that would happen!)

Getting more light from the crappy little solar powered garden lights the neighbours insist on sticking on their lawns; {$_.deity} knows why they bother, as none of them go out in their gardens after dark.

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John McAfee releases NSFW video on how to uninstall security code

Magister

No.

It's a global company and the "support" is provided by one of the biggest vendors at an eye watering cost.

I am aware that this is not an entirely unusual situation; it seems the bigger the company, the worse the IT provision. I can't speak for others, but the amount of money that is thrown away here on poor IT services / implementation is awful; they waste about 10 times my entire IT budget (including wages) that I controlled at my last place.

I just get so frustrated because I know that I could resolve a lot of the issues; I've proven it several times at other businesses. But as far as they are concerned, I don't work in IT so it's nothing to do with me.

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Magister

Forced on us as well.

<rant>

Many people here leave their PCs turned on over night. Starting up in the morning takes anything from 10 - 15 minutes (I've actually timed it) of which a considerable proportion is waiting for the crapware to scan systems. A few systems take even longer.

Added to out of date McAfee, Intrusion Detection software (5 years out of date), Winzip(!), a couple of application launchers, printing managment software and a couple of logon scripts to create mapped drives that don't work because the DNS servers are not dynamically managed (all entries are manually created; forward lookup zones only, no reverse lookups) and the addresses are wrong.

Worse, we have people "managing" systems (in the loosest possible sense of the word) that actually cannot even use a basic PC. It really is quite tragic as the company is wasting so much money without getting anything in return.

</rant>

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COLD BALLS OF FLAME light up International Space Station

Magister

Re: "spherically one-dimensional system"

>> getting a barbecue going <<

I have an answer for that; but it assumes spherical chickens of a uniform density in a vacuum.

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