back to article Oracle? On my server? I must have been hacked! *Penny drops* Oh sh-

After a hopefully relaxing weekend, we at El Reg want to kick off your week the right way – with a full-scale facepalm. And so we bring you this week's instalment of Who, Me?, where readers share their cock-ups, large and small. This week, meet "Wallace", who wrote in to tell us about a time he forgot himself – almost …

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  1. Rupert Fiennes Bronze badge

    Ah, the old days

    ...where people shared passwords and everyone trusted each other!

    BTW: I do like the line about Oracle...

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Ah, the old days

      Some lab instruments rely on a local Oracle (or SQL Server) instance. When the machine is provided by the vendor, often you only realise this because the machine is so slow... You'd be surprised how unwilling some of the instrument vendors are to moving this DB onto a proper server in the datacentre!

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Ah, the old days

        "You'd be surprised how unwilling some of the instrument vendors are to moving this DB onto a proper server in the datacentre!"

        And I can see why.

        The instrument sits on the bench here. As the instrument user I control it. What datacentre? Where? What extra cabling is needed to connect it? Who runs the data centre? Who has access?

        Unless there's a specific need for an instrument to be connected to a network it should be capable of being used locally; the alternative is to introduce it into the IoT where, as we all know, the S stands for Security.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ah, the old days

        "You'd be surprised how unwilling some of the instrument vendors are to moving this DB onto a proper server in the datacentre!"

        This may be a licensing thing.

        In a previous life I had to learn about Oracle licenses. If I recall, there were financial savings to be had if you were able to meet the criteria for ASFU ("application-specific") or ESL ("embedded") instead of FUR ("full-use").

      3. hopkinse
        Flame

        Re: Ah, the old days

        Usually, with embedded installs of SQL/Oracle/whatever database, there are no maintenance routines put in place so the system slowly grinds to a halt as the database(s) fill up, become fragmented, the filesystem fills up, etc, etc. Then you find out that all of the database access is via the system administrator account, with default passwords. This is especially true if you've paid consultants to come in and set it up who then don't have to support the system - throw it in and forget!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    128K of ISDN

    Well we had it tough. We used to have to get up out of the shoe box at twelve o'clock at night, and lick the road clean with our tongues. We had half a handful of freezing cold 28.8, worked twenty-four hours a day at the mill for four pence every six years, and when we got home, our Dad would slice us in two with a bread knife.

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: 128K of ISDN

      28.8? Luxury! My first modem was 1200 baud down, 75 baud up (enough for me, but not for a touch typist). And it got much worse from there when I had to switch from prestel to one of those new-fangled ISPs.

      1. Crisp Silver badge

        Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

        Oh you had it good didn't you!

        300 baud we were stuck with in the 80's. And they only gave us 0's. We had to make 1's by hammering a few 0's flat!

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

          peasants :-) we were lucky to be round the corner from telewest house in Preston. At that time they used to server from telewest and the local area was a testing grounds for technology. Although the cable TV was still analogue we had 512k back in the late 90's and 1Mb in early 2000. The phone lines were ISDN still. The company wound up and I ended up moving to Penrith - ironically Penrith became BT test town for both ADSL max and fibre. The max meant I had 8Mb around 2002 ish; years before it was adopted elsewhere. The fibre trial didnt work out as well as the rest of the country as we only got 17Mb (which has only recently in the last few years moved up to the usual 40/80 fibre) - it wasnt really any better then everyone else ADSL 2 (but Penrith is all aluminium cable so 2 didnt work too well). The 17Mb was symmetical though and came online just before I moved around 2009- small mercies.

          1. Korev Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

            I'm baud of this conversation now...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

              "I'm baud of this conversation now..."

              Whenever an article references historical network speeds, the same pattern has emerged: El Reg sets up the jokes and the commentards modem down.

          2. iTechnomancer

            Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

            (but Penrith is all aluminium cable so 2 didnt work too well)

            Welcome to Cumbria, where most of our lines are still aluminium! A house I once lived in had a street cab 10 yards outside the front door, but my cab was 5km away, the cables ran straight past the new cab but Openreach wouldn't do anything about it, so I had to live with 1mb fibre (at fibre costs) and that was early this year!

            We had worse speeds that people up the sides of the fells!

        2. irrelevant

          Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

          300 baud, you had it lucky, I had to use 110 baud...

          Ah bugger it. I mostly used 1200/75 V23 and 1200/1200 V22, but played Essex MUD a lot, and one day the JANET links went down, and the (two) direct dial numbers were only 110 baud. (Usual 300 baud modem but I had to change a jumper on my motherboard! Gosh I must have been addicted..)

          1. big_D Silver badge

            Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

            We had PSS lines to Essex, one night op played 6 parallel characters over 6 lines to get his "team" through... The bill the company got at the end of the month was horrific!

            Luckily he was on good terms with the person in charge of the comms bill, they managed to parcel the costs out over a dozen or so projects, on the promise that it never happened again!

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

              "they managed to parcel the costs out over a dozen or so projects, on the promise that it never happened again!"

              And did it?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            T1 ?

            In the late 90's early 2000's I used to work for a "big cyber security" partner and we had access to their network, which was a reasonable 4mbps, due to firewalling we heard ... we could even reach the internet via it but it felt like a 56k modem. Then, one day, it was lightning fast, we checked the internet, and it was lightning fast, too, about 8 times faster than our corporate internet access. It took "big cyber security" months to realize all the data poring through to this partner's network ... I had great trouble, and no authority, keeping the team off p2p - my boss was the hardest abuser ... he literally filled several 4Gb drives with mp3's and mpg's, swapping them out as he went along, his download queues were impressive.

        3. Chz

          Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

          You had zeros? We had to use the letter "O".

          1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

            Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

            "You had zeros? We had to use the letter "O"."

            We had to use /. It could get very turing after a long day.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge
              Coffee/keyboard

              Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

              "It could get very turing after a long day."

              1. Killfalcon Bronze badge

                Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

                Change the jumpers on the motherboard? Luxury! We had to knit the jumpers first, out of finest copper thread that we got scavenging from signal boxes on the Northern line.

                1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

                  Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

                  And you tell all that t'young people of today....any they wont believe you!

                  Or even remotely understand a single word of it. Bastards.

                  1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
                    Windows

                    Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

                    1s and 0s... back in my day we had to use flags.....

                    1. Giovani Tapini

                      Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

                      Morse code is basically 0's and 1's so you must be pre-1865. Your grey beard must be dragging on the floor behind you!

                      1. Peter Prof Fox

                        Mose code

                        Is 1s and 2s

                      2. The First Dave

                        Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

                        Morse code is mostly 2's and 5's - the whitespace is as important as the tones, and comes in two lengths too, giving four symbols overall.

                        1. heyrick Silver badge

                          Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

                          "Morse code is mostly 2's and 5's - the whitespace is as important as the tones, and comes in two lengths too, giving four symbols overall."

                          Ah, so now I know where they got the idea for the interleaved two of five barcode!

                          1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
                            Pirate

                            Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

                            I used to fix those modems:

                            Prism 1000\TeleMod2

                            Prism 2000 (Made by Thorn-EMI 99% of the time it was a failure of the Voltage regulators).

                            VTX5000 - Spectrum specific.

                            Voyager 7 or 11 Modems (Also known as Magic Modems & Kirk's Enterprise).

                            Happy days & much drinking & eating in London during trade shows

                          2. Luiz Abdala

                            Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

                            So are CDs. CDs are also encoded in 2-5 sets of pits and blanks with the last digit to verify IIRC. Small world, huh?

                            Compact Discs are just a 650MB-wide barcode with redundancy built in.

                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      For the love of God...

                      Stop these shit “in my day” Monty Python pastiches. Now! The originals were barely funny. These... even less so.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: For the love of God...

                        In my day we couldn’t even afford a pastiche...

                      2. FozzyBear Silver badge
                        Happy

                        Re: For the love of God...

                        Ignore him, he's not the Messiah. He just an anonymous coward!

                      3. dvd

                        Re: For the love of God...

                        It was from At Last The 1948 Show.....

                      4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                        Re: For the love of God...

                        Stop these shit “in my day” Monty Python pastiches. Now! The originals were barely funny. These... even less so.

                        So you're saying nostalgia was better when you were a lad?

                2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

                  Re: scavenging from signal boxes on the Northern line

                  Interesting you should comment about knitting and Northern line signal boxes - I believe one of the sigalmen at Park Junction (probably the sparsest box on the Underground for train movements) used to make tapestries in between signalling trains.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: scavenging from signal boxes on the Northern line

                    The transport geek in me is curious as to where Park Junction is, now?!

                    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

                      Re: where Park Junction is, now?!

                      There used to be a lot more to the Northern Line than there is now. If you go to East Finchley, you may wonder why are there four platforms? The outer ones go underground to Highgate, the inner ones go to a set of sidings known as Park Junction, but they also continue on, via a short tunnel, to Highgate High Level, and to other parts of north London originally on the Underground map. Though the line is disused, the track removed, you can still legitimately walk sections of it.

                      I used to work in that short section of tunnel between Park Junction and Highgate High Level on the Holy Grail of Railway Signal Engineering - Block-Jointless Track Circuiting. Notches were cut into the track at measured intervals and wires inserted where we could attach our measuring instruments. Our "office" was on the station, but not the waiting room as the tocal Wiccas/Druids had commandeered that for their nightly rituals.

                      1. Alien8n Silver badge

                        Re: where Park Junction is, now?!

                        For my sins I used to live in East Grinstead, legend has it that the only reason they still have a station is that Dr Beeching's wife had a house in East Grinstead and the station stayed open so they could still catch the train into London.

                      2. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: where Park Junction is, now?!

                        Ah, the uncompleted conversion of the mainline railway route into the Northern Heights extension, I see!

                        I love the idea that the remaining track is used for experimenting; Aldwych station is apparently similarly also used for experimenting with new station platform refurbishment ideas, after its closure as a public station.

              2. big_D Silver badge

                Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

                @Doctor Syntax yes, I think he learnt his lesson.

                Someone else didn't. They were caught copying software from all the Macs in the building. On night shift, he'd wander round, turning the Macs on and copy any applications he didn't already have onto floppy disk...

                Only on some machines, he left the original icons in other places on the desktop, which made people suspicious.

                They pulled him in and confronted him, he admitted it. Immediate dismisal and security went with him, to his flat, and collected all the floppies.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

                  Luxury...

                  We had 9k6... Seems OK? It was a tertiary institution and there was around 25000 staff and students.

                  From Monday to Friday, as long as morons weren't sending copies of Windows 95 to their home accounts (which also dates this...), we could generally process a working days e-mail in around 27-28 hours.

                  We caught up eventually at the weekend.

              3. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

                Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up - "It could get very turing after a long day."

                Not a typo. I hate to spell out my little jokes, but the Manchester computer apparently didn't have a ball with the correct representation of the codes, so "00000b" printed as "/". When he presented progress in London, the audience were completely thrown by this and were, of course, unable to understand the printouts. There is a legend that someone asked if all the slashes were the rain beating on the Manchester windows.

                1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

                  Re: Manchester windows

                  Haven't heard of that one.

                  The Geordie version was alreet...

                  http://www.jamesflack.com/jokes/jokewindaz.html

          2. heyrick Silver badge

            Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

            "You had zeros? We had to use the letter "O".

            You had the letter "O"? We had to use brackets "()".

        4. Adam 1 Silver badge

          Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

          > Oh you had it good didn't you!

          >

          > 300 baud we were stuck with in the 80's. And they only gave us 0's. We had to make 1's by hammering a few 0's flat!

          Well lah-de-dar. Look at me and my hammer owning workplace.

        5. Come to the Dark Side

          Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

          I'd have loved to have taken a hammer to the DACS on our line back then. Interrupted by the farm house half a mile away picking up the phone...

      2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: 128K of ISDN

        1200 baud? Luxury - you had it good, My first modem was 300 baud, the size of a shoebox - I lived in the top story and got woken up every morning when they plugged the phone hand-piece into my living room.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: 128K of ISDN

          300 baud here, but bigger than a shoebox, it was a whole floor-standing cabinet!

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: 128K of ISDN

          "300 baud, the size of a shoebox"

          The size of a shoebox? I had to lug an acoustically coupled modem in some sort of huge sound insulation box and a teletype half way across N Ireland for OU tutorials.

      3. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ

        Re: 128K of ISDN

        modems..... how lucky you all were...

        try an acoustic coupler !!

      4. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: 128K of ISDN

        1200/75? Luxury.

        My first modem, I don't know what the rated speed was (somewhere between 300 and 2400), but with an acoustic coupler to the shitty carbon granule handsets and the equally shitty phone lines full of crackle and pop, and predating most error correction niceties, it was usual to see Xmodem continually resending the same block. Think a gigabyte transferred in order to receive a 20K file. Maybe not but that's what it felt like. Oh and no auto resume so if the transfer failed, you began right back at the beginning.

        It was pretty normal to pick up the handset and beat the crap out of the desk with it prior to using it. Apparently shaking up the granules inside improved their shitty frequency response so you stood a slim chance that the modem might deign your connection worthy.

        Now I live at the end of an insanely long bit of twisted pair and can squeeze ~4 megabit down it in the middle of a hurricaneMichael Fish says we don't get hurricanes but when a neighbour's roof blows off it's a bloody hurricane... At any rate, you haven't done comms until you've done an acoustic modem.

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