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* Posts by Dave

34 posts • joined 13 Jul 2007

Undead deleted photos linger on social networking websites

Dave
Unhappy

Iran-Contra

Wasn't the issue of deleted, but not really deleted, files one of the things which caused considerable consternation during the Iran-Contra affair over 20 years ago? Will humanity never learn?

Dave

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Debbie Gibson battles Mega Shark and Giant Octopus

Dave
Thumb Up

Debbie Gibson

Woohoo! Debbie Gibson! It's sure to be a hit.

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Swine flu apocalypse: Batten down the hatches

Dave
Unhappy

Telephone cleaners

Ack! See what happens when the telephone cleaners are all shipped off-world? :-(

Dave

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Which zoo animals like artificial sweeteners: Facts at last

Dave
Coat

Cats and Sugar

I think I remember a study that said that cats have a genetic aberration that prevents them from being able to taste sugar. Unfortunately, I don't have time at the moment to find where I read that. But, it might be interesting for someone to do some research along those lines.

Dave

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Former Qwest CEO headed to prison

Dave
Coat

Quest or Qwest?

Quest or Qwest?

Dave

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Brit, French nuke subs collide - fail to 'see' each other

Dave
Pirate

Collision

Well, at least they didn't collide with a mountain.

Dave

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BOFH: A safe bet

Dave
IT Angle

BOFHs

I'm still waiting for Simon and the PFY to get a female assistant. Fortunately, for those of us in the I/T profession, women have joined our ranks (Unfortunately, for those of us in the I/T profession, the women in the I/T profession are just as crude and anti-social as the BOFH is!).

Dave

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Vintage IBM tape drive in Apollo moon dust rescue

Dave
Thumb Up

Did anyone ask IBM?

IBM does have a corporate archivist (I've worked with him before on a similar old-technology resurrection project.). However, I'm not sure how much this might cost, or whether documentation that old even still exists. But, it might be worth one of the project officials contacting the company.

Note that 7xx technology is generally tube type equipment (I have a couple of modules out of a 704 system, and they have tubes in them!).

Don't forget, of course, that, in addition to getting the 729 operational, they'll need a control unit to attach it to, and an appropriate host on the other side of that to drive it (S/360?).

One caution, though, is that really old magnetic tape, even when kept in good environmental conditions, tends to have the binder that holds the magnetic material (Iron Oxide) to the tape deteriorated. Thus, you sometimes only get one shot to read the data, since the process of running the tape over the read head tends to scrape the magnetic material off of the tape!

Here's some information about a 729 restoration project that may be of use to the project:

http://ed-thelen.org/1401Project/1401RestorationPage.html#729-tapes

Dave

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BOFH: The Mandelboat virus

Dave
Unhappy

For really big mistakes...

For really big mistakes, you don't need to ask what happened. For example, last week, I was running a multi-hour software test session on a machine when the techie in the next cubical mutters "Oppsie!". Immediately, the terminal on the system I'm using says "System going down for halt NOW". Pretty obvious that he'd shutdown the wrong system.

Dave

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Meat Loaf gets Q gong

Dave
Unhappy

WPW Syndrome

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

Dave

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'Idiot' pulls cables, downs ISPs at Telecity

Dave
Dead Vulture

Easier way to power down computers

My favourite is the contractor who changed the burned out light bulbs in the computer room. It seems that one of the steps on his step-ladder was the exact same height as the emergency power off (EPO) button beside the door. And, guess where he leaned his step-ladder on the way out? Any idea of what a room full of mainframes sounds like when the EPO button is pushed?

But, the even better part is the contractor who came in to put a shield around the EPO button so that random step-ladder leanings wouldn't hit the button. The first thing he did was to bring his step-ladder into the room and lean it against the wall beside the door. <CLUNK!> Yes, again. :-(

Dave

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OMFG, what have you done?

Dave
Thumb Up

Fixed width

I, for one, like fixed width fonts. I mean, if variable/proportional fonts were all that great, IBM/Herman Hollerith would have implemented them on their 80 column punch cards.

Dave

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NZ judge saves girl from bloody silly name

Dave
Happy

More reasonable names...

Just think of the hilarity if the surname happens to be Glass. For example, there's Irene (Bad if she only uses her first initial). And, there's Crystal. And, what about little Sharpas? ;-)

Dave

P.S. Mines the one with the pockets stuffed full of rubber. ;-)

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Smut pop-up teacher retrial stuck in delay loop

Dave
Coat

Spelling

Maybe the way to eliminate the spelling problems is to make it a requirement that all comments be written in Klingon (and, note that Babelfish doesn't currently support translation to/from Klingon!). ;-)

Now, I wonder how that will colour my language?

Dave

P.S. Mine's the armoured one.

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Dave
Alert

Bill Of Rightw

Which sounds like a very good reason that the charges should be dropped, due to the state violating Article VI of the US Bill of Rights:

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=001/llsl001.db&recNum=144

As for forensic procedures, that's one reason why certain states are requiring PC experts to have Private Investigator licenses. :-/

Dave

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UK most popular destination for 419 scams

Dave
Paris Hilton

Number 2

While the UK is number 1, with the number of these things I'm getting, I must be number 2. I've been able to, so far, resist the urge to do a bit of baiting, but I'm not sure I can resist much longer (especially after that Mars scam).

Dave

P.S. Mine's the one with 125 million dollars that I just received from a guy who's dieing on Venus in the pockets.

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Legless Swede attempts to row home

Dave
Paris Hilton

Speech synthesis

Hey, I remember some of that early speech synthesis work (not necessarily Word Perfect, though). It didn't work very well for most words, but it would say smut words quite well (Err, does that indicate where the designer's minds were?).

Dave

P.S. Mine's the one with the tiny speaker in the lapel.

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Japanese girls taught English by Nintendo DS

Dave
Coat

All your base

All your base are belong to us...

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

Dave

P.S. Mine's the one with the pictograms on the back.

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BOFH: The all-clicking, all-whirring Roboboss

Dave
Dead Vulture

Elevator Shafts

Darn it! As I was going to lunch earlier this afternoon, I walked down the hall, turned the corner, and almost tripped over the "elevator repairman" who had the elevator door open into an empty elevator shaft, and was kneeling down looking at something. When did the BOFH start working in MY building?

Dave

P.S. Mine's the one with the parachute in the pocket (and the heavy rubber lining).

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NASA previews future astronaut threads

Dave
Happy

Weapons

Now wait a minute. Maybe DARPA should be involved. Those new astronauts, while they're battling the loonies (Lunar Indigenes), they'll need some decent killer robots, some good armour on those space suits, and some decent weapon systems. ;-)

Dave

P.S. Mine's the one with the camouflage colouration and the Kevlar helmet.

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Uncontacted rainforest tribe caught from the air

Dave
Happy

Ipods?

Obviously, two of those guys are quite upset at the plane for buzzing them, disrupting their listening to their Ipods.

Dave

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Royal Navy warships could run on sunflower oil - if fresh

Dave
Thumb Up

Bio-stuff

All hail the Weizmann Organism:

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

Dave

P.S. Mine's the one with the green stuff crawling out of the pockets.

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BOFH: The Boss gets Grandpa Simpson syndrome

Dave
Happy

Did I tell you about the time...

That I had a PDP-11/03. Now that was a machine! It was the industrial control version of the PDP-11. Came with a whopping 4K of SRAM (None of that silly DRAM stuff). It had a pair of 14 inch drives that about caused me to kill myself lugging them down the stairs.

Oh, you want to hear about computer room stories? Well, there was the time the contractor showed up and replaced some of the shot light bulbs in the computer room. Then, as he was leaving, he leaned his ladder against the door, and one of the steps hit the EPO (Emergency Power Off) button, shutting down the entire room. Ouch! Well, the logical thing to do was to was to put a shield around the EPO button. So, a contract was let, and the contractor showed up. The first thing he did was to bring his ladder into the computer room and lean it against the wall. KLUNK! Yep, right on the EPO button again.

Oh, wait, you wanted stories about the insides of computers? Well, they used to use these little Iron doughnuts for storage. This was called core memory. Want to see my core plane?

That should be enough to keep y'all satisfied for a while.

Dave

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Canada.gov blocks sale of space company to US

Dave
Heart

World Domination

Isn't that just another move by Canada to dominate the world? ;-)

Dave

P.S. Mine's the one with the tongue-in-cheek icon on the back.

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BOFH: Lift laughs

Dave
Happy

Movie

Sylvester Stallone (because he's good at making things blow up?)

Wesley Snipes (because he's crazy, and, besides, equal rights and such)

Now y'all will have got me thinking about this all afternoon (instead of working!).

Dave

P.S. Mine's the one with the star on the back (since I have been an extra in some successful movies!)

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BOFH: The London Underground vending machine conspiracy

Dave
Alert

Truth is stranger than -- or as amusing as -- fiction

It doesn't take a lot of power, certainly not 1 KW for stereo jamming. You really just need to create a field, at roughly the same power level at the antenna of the receiver, as the broadcast station does. Since most broadcast stations run between about 1 KW and 10 KW, but since electromagnetic fields go as the inverse square of the distance, that usually means that under a Watt is sufficient for any radio within hearing distance. 4 Watts could take out the better part of a college campus (Ask me how I know! ;-) ). 1 KW would probably take out the front end of the receiver, and probably a good portion of the rest of it, if it's anywhere close.

Dave

P.S. Mine's the one with the lightning bolts on it.

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BOFH: Impatience

Dave
Happy

Safer...

Fortunately, there are safer computer games....such as nethack.

Dave

P.S. I'll get me coat. It's the one over there somewhere that's not moving (Heisenberg and all that).

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Peking University preps online swearing edict

Dave
Coat

Programming Language

Will this new rule prevent the discussion of that great programming language brainf*ck?

Dave

P.S. Mine's the one with the redacted stickers...

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Uncovered: the lost humor of flowcharts

Dave
Heart

Old Programming Tools

What? You mean they don't still offer those programming templates? Yikes! I'd better make sure I hang on to mine.

The next thing you know, you won't be able to get IBM General Purpose Card Punching/Data Recording Forms (GX20-8096) either. Nor will you be able to get IBM HIPO Worksheets (GX20-1970), And, what would we do without 150/10/6 Print Charts (GX20-1816), or IBM 3270 Information Display System Layout Sheets (GX27-2951). I'm going to keep all of mine locked up from now on!

Dave

P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the old foggey one.

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California Highway Patrol rounds up queens, workers

Dave
Unhappy

Bad Spills

Trust me, there are much worse things that can be spilled on a highway than a few workers and queens. Ever see a truckload of animal parts, on the way to a rendering plant, spill? Eww!

Dave

P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the pigskin one.

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SCO details bleak future

Dave
Alert

Don't mess with Linux

The usual result, for any asset of a company undergoing liquidation type bankruptcy, is that the assets are dissolved by the court, with the proceeds being distributed to the debtors by the court. This may take the form of a private sale, or it may take the form of an auction. That should apply whether the asset is a physical asset (e.g., tables, chairs, computers, buildings, etc.), or whether it's a "soft" asset, such as intellectual property.

Of course, that only applies for a liquidation type bankruptcy, and there are several different forms of bankruptcy, such as liquidation, reorganization, etc., usually denoted by the "chapter number" of the bankruptcy filing. Of course, it's possible for the bankruptcy court to change the type of bankruptcy.

To further confuse matters, since SCO is (err, was?) an American company, the US federal bankruptcy laws apply. However, the federal bankruptcy laws are different for different states. And, it's not too unusual for a company with dealings in several different states to pick the one with conditions most favourable for it's filing.

Dave

P.S. IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer), but the company my significant other used to work for went through this, so I got to watch it all happen in slow motion.

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BOFH: Carbon neutrality

Dave
Coat

@Simon Harris

""Brainwave - Make the computers out of carbon thus making your computer carbon neutral.""

"That day might yet come - the carbon transistor already exists: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/29/carbon_nanotube_radio/"

"Hmmm... and to think back in 1981, I suggested to my chemistry teacher that since germanium and silicon were used as semiconductions, maybe carbon could be too, and he didn't take me seriously"

Carbon is definitely a semiconductor. Even back when incandescent light bulbs were made with Carbon thread filaments, it exhibited semiconducting effects (The resistance decreased with increasing temperature.). Of course, for it to really be useful, it needs to be in a certain form (e.g., nanotube, or crystalline). Thus, we have diamond transistors:

http://www.newscientist.com/blog/invention/2006/04/diamond-transistors.html

http://www.geek.com/diamond-semiconductors/

I can see the future now. Us geeks won't be asking each other how many gigabytes of memory our systems have, or what the processor speed is; we'll be asking each other how many carats our systems have in them. ;-)

Dave

P.S. Think that'll get more women interested in IT? Err, I'll get my coat...

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IBM's anti-MacBook Air goes up for sale on eBay

Dave
Heart

4.77 Mhz

No, the clock frequency of it really is 4.77 MHz. I know. I have one, err, two of them (Hush! Don't tell anyone I said that!). At least I didn't pay full price for them (I got them at a "fire" sale.). The motherboard was the same as used in the IBM PC/XT. They didn't come (at least, not factory stock) with an APL interpreter, although I seem to remember that there was an APL program option, which came with a set of keyboard stick-ons, and required the numeric co-processor (8087). The early models only had a single floppy drive, but that was quickly changed to a dual floppy drive model. There never was a hard disk option, although many people wedged a suitable hard disk into one (And, with hard disks of that era, you'd better make sure you had "parked" the heads, before you tried to lug that monster around.). Many also connected an expansion unit, although that wasn't officially supported. Also, the 640K on the motherboard trick wasn't officially supported, but quite a few people did perform the hack to allow it (If I remember correctly, it either required connecting a jumper on the motherboard or changing out one of the address decoding chips.).

For extra points, how many of y'all remember the NEC V-20 processor chip replacement/upgrade?

Why do I suddenly feel so old? :-( Well, at least I didn't mention core memory, or vacuum tube computers. :-(

Dave

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El Reg seeks ultimate 'nom de sex'

Dave

Ultimate?

Let's see, to start with, I'm a guy.

When I was growing up in the 1960s, dad bought our first dog from a friend who was a dog breeder who lived across the country. The puppy was shipped to dad via air freight, and we picked him up at the local airport. Thus, it seemed only fitting to name him Jet.

Since dad did a lot of traveling in those times, I spent a lot of time with my grand parents, who lived on Fountain Avenue.

Thus, this would make my nom de s*x: Jet Fountain. :-)

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