* Posts by Vic

5890 posts • joined 7 Dec 2007

User filed fake trouble tickets to take helpful sysadmin to lunches

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Never had one, despite being fucking awesome.

Most places I've worked, the way to get promoted is to go out drinking with the Right People.

Most of the great opportunities in my life have come about because I went drinking with the Right People. Even if I didn't know they were at the time...

I forget the exact stat, but it's something like 2/3 of all jobs are never advertised. You pick these up with unrelated discussions in pubs.

Vic.

6
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Not exactly a *customer* thankyou...

Im sure that Finance director could tell you , if not straight away then after his incident report , how many thousands they were losing per hour . Multiply that by 3 day call out and reconfig time , subtract price of bag of beer . profit.

Of course.

But I was staff - so they could reasonably have asked me to do the job as part of my normal duties.

The fact that I got anything as a thankyou was really quite welcome - and not even because it was beer, but because someone at Director level actually gave a shit...

Vic.

11
0
Vic
Silver badge

Not exactly a *customer* thankyou...

Years ago, during a bit of a career stall, I ended up being a junior code monkey for a company.

One afternoon, I wandered through the Finance department - to find everyone absent except the Finance Director, who looked about as grim as could be.

It turned out that their computer system had gone down hard - no-one could do anything, so all the staff had been sent home. They'd phoned Support, who couldn't get there for 3 days, and would do a bare-metal reinstall of the whole system when they did.

Now this was a NetWare system, and I had previously supported NetWare[1]. So I offered to take a look - after all, I really couldn't break anything, as the support guys were going to nuke everything from orbit anyway.

It took me 10 minutes to find the problem.

It took me 20 minutes to summon up the courage to apply the fix.

The following morning, I got in to work to be told that the FD was looking for me - urgently. "Crap", thinks I, "I've broken something". With trepidation, I headed for his office.

Whereupon, I was greeted with a huge beaming grin, and a very large bag of beer.

Vic.

[1] Spookily, my NetWare support role was in exactly the same building as this fault...

12
0

Q. What's today's top language? A. Python... no, wait, Java... no, C

Vic
Silver badge

Re: "Learn whichever ones take your fancy though."

Although probably a good idea to avoid "M," the language formerly known as mumps.

A friend of mine made a very good living doing M[1] just after leaving University.

We'd taken the piss all the way through Uni because she was reading Philosophy. Then she got a job in my field on more cash than I was getting...

She's an undertaker now...

Vic.

[1] Yes, it was still Mumps at the time.

9
0
Vic
Silver badge

Awk because it's awkward, which I like

I dislike awk intensely. But for some tasks, there is no sane substitute...

Vic.

2
0

.. ..-. / -.-- --- ..- / -.-. .- -. / .-. . .- -.. / - .... .. ... then a US Navy fondleslab just put you out of a job

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Trained != practiced

And that means constant practice of probably hours per week

Only if you want to stay in the uber-proficient class...

I've not used my Morse for over 30 years. It's nowhere near as good as it was back then - but I can still get by. And that's with *almost* no practice in the intervening years...

Vic.

1
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: -.. --- / - . .-.. .-.. .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- (Do tell...)

.-- .... . .-. .

ITYM ".-- . .-. ." ...

Vic.

1
0

Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

Vic
Silver badge

Re: An attempt to be relevant

Well, perhaps Silvester McCoy really was out of his depth

At the time, I thought his Doctor was utter shite.

But re-watching those episodes years later, he's actually doing a remarkable job with some real stinkers of scripts...

Vic.

1
0
Vic
Silver badge

Maybe they could have made a River Song spin off

Oh, I wish.

I've got a bit of a thing for Alex Kingston...

Vic.

1
0

UK government's war on e-cigs is over

Vic
Silver badge

Re: No vaping in the workplace please

the most senior medical professionals in the country are pushing forward evidence based policy

Yes, but the most senior politicians in the country are pushing forward policy-based evidence...

Vic.

8
1
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Ex-smoker, non-vaper here

And their does seem to have been a huge upswing in vaping from modest puffs to - as someone above put it - huge belching clouds of perfume.

I was following a car in a traffic jam a few weeks back. A *huge* plume of smoke suddenly appeared towards the front of the car.

I thought he'd blown a head gasket...

Vic.

10
0

The curious case of a Tesla smash, Autopilot blamed, and the driver's next-day U-turn

Vic
Silver badge

Re: TCAS, not ACARS

cumulo-granite

*Brilliant* :-)

Vic.

1
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Hmm

Seems a mite suspicious to me how he changed his tune later

Not to me.

I went to an AAIB presentation last year. One of the take-away points from the inspector talking to us is that, after a crash, pilots do everything in their power to provide an accurate and informative account of the accident to the Bureau. And inevitably, just about every detail they give is wrong. This is the nature of a dangerous event; the brain really doesn't take things in objectively.

The Inspector gave us a particularly useful example of a glider pilot who had pranged his aircraft on approach. He recounted the story the pilot gave, and how it differed from what a subsequent investigation proved beyond shadow of doubt - the pilot was simply mistaken in just about everything. And the reason this was important was that the pilot in question was - himself.

Vic.

67
0

SAP rips and replaces South African bosses amid corruption probe

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Dont they all do this?

Why single SAP out as being the bad lads when their product is actually not bad

You were doing so well up until that...

Vic.

3
1

Want to kill your IT security team? Put the top hacker in charge

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Manifesto for the incompetent

So the proposal is not to promote the guy who has invested his time and effort becoming the expert

And there is the problem in one sentence: this isn't about not promoting him, it's about not making him a manager.

These two are only synonymous if management is the only form of promotion available - and that is why technology companies falter.

Vic.

3
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Lots of things cannot be transferred

"This is how we did it at the old company" only makes sense if it was BETTER, not just different.

Even that's prone to issues.

Things *might* have been better at the old company. $mangler will, of course, claim that it was better because of his input; it was his skill guiding the team that got the results. The team, however, might well tell you that they got the job done in spite of him...

At one place I worked, there were two of us working for this one particular incompetent manager. We used to take it in turns to tie him up completely so that the other one could get on and work without this bloke's continual interruptions and "suggestions". So although it meant 50% of the team was running interference at all times, we actually got loads done...

Vic.

6
0
Vic
Silver badge

All those things you can do to give grief to the people who think the numbers are not made up on the spot. Negative numbers, more than 24 hours in a day

In a former job, they'd got SAP installed. It didn't allow any of those shenanigans.

In fact, it didn't allow much. You worked 7.5 hours a day (which had to be put in as 7,5 - someone hadn't done the internationalisation) - no more, no less. A half-day holiday had to be 3,75 hours - no more, no less. The actual correlation to hours work was somewhat ephemeral.

We had many layers of management there. The bloke at the top only ever seemed to interact with anyone else in the organisation in one way - to complain that timesheets hadn't been completed...

That company is still in existence. But it is circling the drain. Can't think why...

Vic.

13
0

Electric driverless cars could make petrol and diesel motors 'socially unacceptable'

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Bollocks...

Leaving some space though can help reduce traffic

Sure - but there's a world of difference between leaving a bit of space so that traffic can adjust, and leaving an enormous gap in very slow-moving traffic on a single lane where there is no such adjustment to be made...

When this isn't the case, having a buffer zone can allow you to keep moving smoothly and slowly, instead of constant stop-start.

Yes, but again - if you're doing 5mph, you don't need much of a buffer to achieve that. 50 yards at 5mph is 20s of driving if the car in front doesn't move at all. That's not a buffer, that's just causing a traffic jam.

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: I already consider diesel socially unacceptable

I suspect that sooty diesels are either (a) broken, or (b) have some lead-footed neanderthal at the wheel.

The big clouds of soot you see are a result of over-fuelling; this usually occurs on turbodiesels when the turbo is stalled and the driver puts his foot down - the diesel pump puts in enough fuel for the expected air mass, but the air isn't there...

More modern turbodiesels don't put in as much fuel until the pressure sensor determines that the turbo is blowing. This leads to far less smoke from the exhaust.

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Bollocks...

It's just the wierd UK fallacy that you can't drive past somebody on their left and therefore need to cross two lanes to pass them on their right

Except in two very specific circumstances - one of which is very unlikely to occur on motorways - that's no fallacy.

You *are* allowed to pass on the left in congested conditions where the nearside lane is moving more quickly than the one to its right - "when traffic is moving slowly in queues", .

You *are not*[1] allowed to pass on the left when someone is simply hogging lane 2.

This is laid out in The Highway Code (Rule 163).

Vic.

[1] As this is a "should only" rule, it's not *technically* a breach of the Highway Code to overtake on the left - but there have been numerous prosecutions for doing this.

4
1
Vic
Silver badge

Re: "Electric vehicles are the obvious solution to that particular problem"

On the trailing wires, a program to install kerbside chargers might just work

That would also imply free electricity / every charger having an accounting system, or it would mean everyone would need the *right* to park directly outside their own house. This does not currently happen.

I can't always park in the same street as my house...

Vic.

4
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Moving sidewalks

so you just walk across the tracks to one travelling at a reasonable speed for your length of journey

That would give rise to a new game - betting on the number of people who fall over as they change track...

Vic.

1
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Bollocks...

Either way the root cause is the same; lots of vehicles

Actually, I don't think that is the root cause.

IMO, it's poor driving standards. I cannot count the number of times I've driven along a 3-lane motorway with some moron doing 60mph in lane 2, with nothing whatsoever in lane 1. That leaves substantially all the motorway traffic having to merge from three lanes into one.

And people aren't good at merging; there's this *need* to be one space ahead of someone you've never met before. So when two lanes merge together, both slow to a crawl or complete standstill. A little self-discipline, and *both* lanes would get through the merge much faster.

Then there's the bunch that leave huge gaps in front of themselves I slow traffic. I cycled across the Itchen Toll Bridge this morning, watching several drivers leave a good 30 yards ahead clear. This just pushes the queue backwards by that amount - and when a queue hits a junction/roundabout, it propagates up all the feeder roads to that junction. It doesn't take many people like this to cause significant congestion.

There are far more examples of crap driving, but those will do to get going with. TL;DR: our roads are able to deal with higher numbers of vehicles than they currently do, if only said vehicles weren't driven by people deliberately trying to stop all traffic.

Vic.

3
2

Eggheads identify the last animal that will survive on Earth until the Sun dies

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Instant space travel

Picture for what happens to a mind if it tries to extrapolate to infinity with insufficient information.

Hey man, is that a piece of fairy cake? My stomach’s just completely out to lunch.

Vic.

1
0

Wi-Fi firm Purple sneaks 'community service' clause into its T&Cs

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Form Gov.UK

and if the complaint you are trying to bring is against someone who sticks their £300/hour barrister on you, who charges for anything over five mins (rounded up to the nearest hour, of course) including reading the complaint?

If you've got a legitimate complaint, you do it anyway. Anything else is just giving in to the bullies.

This happened to me when I took the Royal Mail to court. It was a trifling expense - but one I had incurred because of their uselessness. So I launched Small Claims proceedings. They sent me - Special Delivery - an *inch* of A4, covered in legalese and threats, including a breakdown of their costs, which they would endeavour to recover[1] from me should I persist.

I did persist. They sent me a cheque. The legalese was all bluster. That's how these organisations work; they expect you to fold as soon as they appear to bring out the heavy guns.

Vic.

[1] You *can* recover costs from Small Claims proceedings under certain circumstances, but it is far from guaranteed; I have only once been awarded costs, and the other side never actually paid them.

1
0

Five-eyes nations want comms providers to bust crypto for them

Vic
Silver badge

Re: I've mentioned Alice and Bob before....

enchant chistera Sonja Diann smalts overaccurately diminisher squushy

Ah, durka durka durka Mohammed jihad.

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Breaking News: Water is wet

Does anyone want to place bets on how long it is until someone writes an app that not only encrypts a message, but then uses old-school style cyphers to hide the messages inside innocuous looking plain-text internet posts?

I imagine it's already happening - and the *ideal* vector already exists.

Spam.

Receiving a piece of spam is all the plausible deniability you need. Everyone gets it - it's a menace. Not my fault, guv'nor.

You could even send the appropriate spam to the email address of the bloke supposed to be surveilling the operation - if it isn't filtered by his mail provider, it'll get thrown away. Even NSA agents won't admit to needing penis growth medicines...

But if the Bad Guy(tm) checks with his stego tool, he'll find the message that was sent to him - and a million others, although they don't know it - and so the communication has happened, in plain sight of everyone including the investigating authorities. And everyone except the terrorists will simply ignore it.

Vic.

3
0

'My dream job at Oracle left me homeless!' – A techie's relocation horror tale

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Oracle treating employees badly?

Later I heard that at trade shows Oracle staff were blackening my name and telling people not to hire me. Fortunately the publicity did my career no end of good and I ended up as a very well paid consultant

Many years ago, the department I worked for quit en masse. I'm sure you can imagine how pleasant it had been working there.

A contracting company came in to take over the workload. And that was all fine.

Some years later, I was offered a job at a company that had evolved from that contracting company (via MBO). They told me - just before I left - that a major reason for wanting me was that my former boss (at the first company above) had slagged me off so much, I must be worth talking to...

Vic.

3
0

May the excessive force be with you: Chap cuffed after Star Trek v Star Wars row turns bloody

Vic
Silver badge

Buck Rogers?

Mmmm. Erin Gray...

Vic.

2
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: The long night has come...

Andromeda gets far too little credit in these threads. It had it's flaws but it was very watchable

Not for me, it wasn't. Every time I put it on, my then-girlfriend would tell me at great length how much she didn't like it.

It was years before I managed to get through an entire episode without having to rewind gert chunks of it...

Vic.

1
0

Web inventor Sir Tim sizes up handcuffs for his creation – and world has 2 weeks to appeal

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Capture system... between PC and monitor.

This DRM is doomed to fail before it's even started.

All DRM is ultimately doomed to fail.

DRM necessarily supplies the user with three things :-

  • The encrypted material
  • The decryption key
  • The decryption algorithm

Thus any temporary security it enables is merely security-by-obscurity - and we all know how that turns ot...

Vic.

3
0

Sysadmin bloodied by icicle that overheated airport data centre

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Frozen winter shit.

Haven't you ever seen those "THERE'S NO U IN TEAM" signs

It's "There's no I in team".

And I once nearly got the sack for responding with "No, but there's a U in cunt" when my boss trotted it out for the umptieth time.

Vic.

0
0

While USA is distracted by its President's antics, China is busy breaking another fusion record

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Crazy ideas?

It wasn't that long ago that many learned people thought if you sailed across the ocean then you would fall off the edge

[Citation Needed} - because humans have been sailing over the horizon for millennia.

Vic.

1
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: It may have competition

the problems they are fighting are engineering ones, "real" problems

They certainly are real problems. Like "How do we overcome reality?"

I'm not enough of a physicist to have a real opinion

I am. He's full of shit.

Vic.

9
0

FREE wildcard HTTPS certs from Let's Encrypt for every Reg reader*

Vic
Silver badge

Re: An admirable effort.

I'm even more convinced it's incredibly secure after looking at the certificate in my browser, and seeing it's issued by my own company's internal CA.

This is why my personal server uses an invalid certificate - if I *don't* get a certificate warning, I know I'm being intercepted. that's really useful when I'm on customer site...

Vic.

8
0

Brit prosecutors ask IT suppliers to fight over £3 USB cable tender

Vic
Silver badge

Re: @Christian Berger, re: stupid bills.

Not long after, I received a cheque for the accrued interest for 1p. I've still got it somewhere.

I get a regular statement on one of my accounts showing 2p in the account.

I only opened this one as a way to get money into the account IO was really trying to open.

But the account is classed as "dormant"; I can't actually do anything with it[1].

So every month, the bank sends me another statement saying I've got 2p in that account...

Vic.

[1] I did try; an additional account would have been a useful thing. But the bank insisted I use it as a current account - i.e. pay my salary into it - for three months before they would open it up again. That's useful...

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Police Procurement

Of course, Amazon is not a recognised supplier so they will need to go to Misco or some other approved supplier to try and source a similar item at maybe twice the price

In a previous job, we had a similar arrangement - everything had to be bought from an Approves Supplier.

I needed to get some fancy cables - I found a supplier who gave me a good price, and tried to buy these cables. I couldn't find anyone else making them - this was the manufacturer. I was refused permission to buy them - the cable manufacturer was not an Approved Supplier, and there were to be No Exceptions.

It was at this point I discovered that my mate's company *is* an Approved Supplier. So I sent him the URL of the cables I wanted, he put in a quote with a large markup on, and the purchase was made.

How's that for cost-saving?

Vic.

2
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Not just restricted to governments

I once worked at a German electronics store, and one customer had an open debt of 1 Pfennig (roughly half a cent). We sent out a letter (costing something like 70 Pfennig) to send the demand note.

I once had a letter from a local authority informing me that I owed them £0.00. Which was nice. I filed the letter accordingly.

A fortnight later, I got a shitogram informing me that I still owed the debt of £0.00, and they were very disappointed that I had made no effort to make a payment. Should I fail to settle quickly, I could look forward to court action.

And I really did look forward to it. It never came, though...

Vic.

11
0

Heaps of Windows 10 internal builds, private source code leak online

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Long File Path support

And then what if it turns out they're the ONLY supplier of something you REALLY need?

They're not.

My needs are simple; I can do without a whole load of things. I need food, warmth, shelter; everything else is just gravy.

And my dislike for spam runs deep; I have given up on several "sole" suppliers that spammed me. It means that I can no longer participate in what they were offering - that's the price of spam. And I told them so.

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Long File Path support

You lot really are spammy, aren't you?

You might want to read up on the Boulder Pledge, which simply states :-

"Under no circumstances will I ever purchase anything offered to me as the result of an unsolicited e-mail message. Nor will I forward chain letters, petitions, mass mailings, or virus warnings to large numbers of others. This is my contribution to the survival of the online community."

You spam me - I refuse to do any business with your organisation. Permanently.

Vic.

0
0

Feelin' safe and snug on Linux while the Windows world burns? Stop that

Vic
Silver badge

Re: I think that the point was

I'll note that you can get extended lifecycle support from RHEL. It aint cheap but you can get it.

Moreover, you can get any level of support you like from people *other* than RH; there is a competitive market there.

I do very little of that now, but I do still support a box that runs something that was once based on RHEL4 - the owner wants it that way, and with good reason, IMO. It doesn't look much like RHEL4 any more, but the applications don't know that...

Vic.

5
0

Britain's warhead-watcher to simulate Trident nukes with Atos supercomputer

Vic
Silver badge

But can it beat itself in a game of tic-tac-toe?

Yes. And no.

Vic.

4
0

One thought equivalent to less than a single proton in mass

Vic
Silver badge

Re: So, thoughts have mass then?

Hmm, I feel the urge to found a new religion coming on....

Why bother? Fundaligionism covers pretty much all bases...

Hallelujahgobble!

Vic.

0
0

America throws down gauntlet: Accept extra security checks or don't carry laptops on flights

Vic
Silver badge

Re: "having a load of Lithium batteries in the hold sounds like a bad idea to me."

if the hold is un-pressurized

The hold is pressurised...

Vic.

3
0

A minister for GDS? Don't talk digital pony

Vic
Silver badge

I suppose that the skills actually needed right now are negotiating skills and anyone with those will be in the Brexit crew.

[Citation Needed] ...

Vic.

2
0

Everything you need to know about the Petya, er, NotPetya nasty trashing PCs worldwide

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Anal Malware?

Cause the Aussies cannot be buggered at all!

I thought that was hedgehogs?

Vic.

2
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Our cats used to deliver half a dead mouse

And, on two days running when mice were in short supply, a very large toad from the front garden. THE SAME TOAD, TWICE. Undamaged.

If a cat brings you live prey, it means the cat believes you're shit at hunting, and you need remedial lessons...

Vic.

9
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017