* Posts by Martin

1019 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008

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College PRIMOS prankster wreaks havoc with sysadmin manuals

Martin
Happy

Re: Value added installer

In a similar vein; a friend of mine many years ago worked on a local authority computer installation - the old fashioned room full of computers, discs, tape drives etc.

They finished ahead of schedule (yes, I was impressed too!) and there was going to be a little ceremony with the mayor coming in to cut a ribbon. The guys were sitting in the machine room a day or so before hand, admiring their handiwork - and someone said "It's great - but it looks a bit boring, doesn't it?"

So, they wrote a little program which just made the tape drives go back and forth, back and forth. Suddenly it looked like a real computer room, just like in a film. Which was a lot more impressive when the mayor arrived.

Millennials 'horrify' their neighbours with knob-shaped lights display

Martin

Re: Private, not public.

Hear hear. Why on earth that got downvoted, I do not know.

Have an upvote.

Martin

Re: Well done students...

Well, when I was a student, I might have found it funny. For about five minutes. And then, it's just a bit silly.

But it's also pretty damn puerile. And if their landlords didn't see the funny side, they might have found themselves out of their accommodation for the New Year.

Oh, I wish it could be Black Friday every day-aayyy, when the wallets start jingling but it's still a week till we're paiii-iid

Martin
Thumb Up

Re: Having a bad week

Steely Dan, as I'm sure you know really.

And it's a great performance, marred by rubbish sound until the 4:04 mark - and then suddenly something goes "click" and it's excellent sound for the rest of the video.

Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location

Martin
Happy

Re: As someone who currently designs chip-enabled cat interface devices...

I wish my cat flap had Hal's voice. I'm sorry kitty, I can't do that. What are you doing kitty.

I think you'd have to name your cat Dave.

Brexit: UK will be disconnected from EU databases after 2020

Martin
FAIL

Re: Ah, the UK gov

"majority voted leave"

Just keep repeating that. And think about democracy as you do.

OK, I'll try that.

"majority voted leave"

"majority voted leave"

"majority voted leave"

"majority voted leave"

"majority voted leave"

...

Nope. I still see an advisory referendum with a tiny majority one way, that suddenly became a binding referendum, taking near as damn it half the country to a place they didn't want to go. Every other country which has binding referendums insists on a supermajority to ensure that there is no real argument.

I still see a referendum where the people were lied to by politicians and tabloids with their own agenda, which was financed by illegal payments, and where, two years later, it is clear that what was promised (basically, leaving the EU but keeping all the advantages) is not possible.

I still see a referendum called by Cameron to appease the Euroskeptics in his own party, just to keep them quiet. No-one really believed that we were actually going to vote leave. The politicians in power just went through the motions, and only afterwards realized they'd put the country into a complete mess.

I see a country which is more divided than I have even known in my whole life. A mess caused by politicians who were thinking of their party, not of their country, and by tabloid owners thinking of their bank balances, not their readers.

I don't see democracy anywhere. I just see manipulation by the tabloids, politicians, and the super-rich.

Martin
FAIL

Re: Ah, the UK gov

What the British want is a 'clean break'.

Bollocks.

A very small majority voted leave. There are 16 million of us who voted to stay.

I am so SICK of being told that "hard Brexit, get out no matter what damage it does" (aka "a clean break") is what the British people want. It is not what I want, nor anyone I know.

It's not what the British want. It's what a few tabloids and politicians want. Most of us are just sick of the whole fucking mess we're in now, and want it sorted out - and very many of us, probably by now a majority, would prefer it to be sorted out by saying sod it - let's just stay - it's much easier.

This just in: What? No, I can't believe it. The 2018 MacBook Air still a huge pain to have repaired

Martin
Happy

It glowed like an LED for a short while before suffering rapid unscheduled disassembly...

Have an upvote for rapid unscheduled disassembly. Made me laugh.

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

Martin
Happy

Re: Thank you !!!

Experience has proven time and time again that within a week of ditching ...

... so often that I can no longer attribute the phenomenon to coincidence.

This is just a variant of the fact that they ALWAYS try to deliver a parcel to your house in the ten minutes when you pop out to buy the paper. I sometimes wonder if they are waiting round the corner until I go out.

It's a standard phenomenon, commonly known as Life's A Bitch.

BT: We're stocking warehouses with kit ahead of Brexit to avoid shortages

Martin
Thumb Up

Re: import from America or else where?

Quite frankly I think all brexiteers should be taken outside and shot for the harm and destruction they are going to do to our economy and industry - something not one of them seems to have a clue about in their biggotted and idealistic world they live in, and the crap they spout about doing business with America or China, or India. We already do business with all those countries FFS. All that is going to happen is that doing any sensible business with our nearest neighbours to going to get bogged down by costs, paperwork and delays and drive UK businesses to the wall.

Have an upvote, for this and all the rest of your rant. I don't really know why anyone would downvote you, but someone has.

Apple's launch confirms one thing: It's determined to kill off the laptop for iPads

Martin
Happy

Re: "as fast as the fastest PCs."

Whenever I see this sort of comparison, it reminds me of the old Citroen 2CV advertisement.

FASTER THAN A FERRARI.

Travelling flat out at 71.5mph, the Citroen 2CV will easily overtake a Ferrari Mondial travelling at 65mph.

Powerful forces, bodily fluids – it's all in a day's work

Martin
Happy

Which reminds me of this.

Congratulations! You have purchased an extremely fine device that would give you thousands of years of trouble-free service, except that you will undoubtedly destroy it via some typical bonehead consumer maneuver. Which is why we ask you to PLEASE FOR GOD'S SAKE READ THIS OWNER'S MANUAL CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU UNPACK THE DEVICE. YOU ALREADY UNPACKED IT, DIDN'T YOU? YOU UNPACKED IT AND PLUGGED IT IN AND TURNED IT ON AND FIDDLED WITH THE KNOBS, AND NOW YOUR CHILD, THE SAME CHILD WHO ONCE SHOVED A POLISH SAUSAGE INTO YOUR VIDEOCASSETTE RECORDER AND SET IT ON "FAST FORWARD", THIS CHILD ALSO IS FIDDLING WITH THE KNOBS, RIGHT? WE MIGHT AS WELL JUST BREAK THESE DEVICES RIGHT AT THE FACTORY BEFORE WE SHIP THEM OUT, YOU KNOW THAT?

Dave Barry - Read This First!

Which? That smart home camera? The one with the vulns? Really?

Martin
Joke

Re: Which? reviews are usually best treated with a large pinch of salt

Ah, but you presumably haven't taken into account the improved hi-frequency fidelity amplification designed into the superior speaker case trim, and the significant improvement to the lower registers from the more expensive case finish. It can make all the difference between exceptional sound and merely very good.

NASA to celebrate 55th anniversary of first Moon landing by, er, deciding how to land humans on the Moon again

Martin
FAIL

Re: Saturn 5 / Apollo

And now, with 21st century technology, they might do it again in twenty years. But probably not.

You know, that's just embarrassing.

HP Ink should cough up $1.5m for bricking printers using unofficial cartridges – lawsuit

Martin

HP Instant Ink?

So perhaps this is why HP set up their Instant Ink system - you pay a tiny amount each month, and they automatically send you new ink cartridges when the printer tells them it's low.

I pay £2 a month - that's worth it just to ensure I don't have to ever think about ink cartridges again.

(And yes, I know that means I have an IoT printer....)

Also, HP printers are the only make who supply Linux software (which is actually NOT bloatware). So altogether, I am a happy HP customer.

Which does not mean I am defending what they did.

30-up: You know what? Those really weren't the days

Martin
Headmaster

Re: 'Twas in the year of '88

queue gasps from the youngsters

cue - signal or indicator

queue - a row of people waiting for something.

Sigh

PS - happy anniversary, Ms Stob - brilliantly witty for thirty years. Just to mention two, your code walkthrough article and Lord Peter Wimsey skit will live long in my memory.

How an augmented reality tourist guide tried to break my balls

Martin
Pint

Couldn't agree more. Your best since the legendary rant about self-service supermarket checkouts.

Have a beer!

Soft eng salaries soar by 25 per cent – and, oh yes, devops is best paid for non-boss techies

Martin
Happy

Re: Enjoy it while it lasts!

All your jobs and especially DevOps will be either

1) sent overseas to South Asia within two to three years

OR

2) totally automated so that even a PHB can understand it and use it.

I retired a couple of years ago, after nearly forty years in the software industry.

I heard this sort of thing constantly during the whole of my career. I didn't lose sleep over it then, and I'd recommend that no-one loses sleep over it now.

NASA 'sextortionist' allegedly tricked women into revealing their password reset answers, stole their nude selfies

Martin
Happy

Re: It's not rocket science

Upvote for the simple and sensible questions.

Mulitple downvotes for "wake up sheeple".

But I can only downvote once.

Tax the tech giants and ISPs until the bits squeak – Corbyn

Martin
FAIL

Oh my.

I didn't see the Labour Party put the press under government control in 1945-51. Or in 1964-70. Or 1974-79. Or 1997-2010.

OK, the last one was not even close to a Socialist government, but the other three were - particularly the first two.

And do you think that the govenment being under the control of the press is an improvement? That's what we have at the moment.

Samsung Galaxy Watch: A tough and classy activity tracker

Martin
Happy

Re: God that’s huge!

Judging by the downvotes, there are obviously one or two people here who have wrists on a par with the Incredible Hulk and feel everyone else should have the same...

Martin
FAIL

Re: God that’s ugly!

It's also HUGE.

For people like me with a small wrist, 34mm is the largest watch I can wear without it looking clunky and oversized. Most men's watches are 38mm at the most.

42mm across is far too big. 46mm is just silly.

Boffins build a NAZI AI – wait, let's check that... OK, it's a grammar nazi

Martin
Headmaster

Re: not a religious lot then...

Downvoted for tabs AND relivant...!

Some of you really don't want Windows 10's April 2018 update on your rigs

Martin

Re: From experience...

Does VirtualBox do the trick?

That would involve me having to actually find a Windows 10 installation, with presumably some sort of license that I'd have to pay for, wouldn't it? (I'd rather not do something actually illegal...)

Martin

Re: From experience...

I can't install it on my machine either. In my case, it's simply that I only have a 32G SSD. I've tried adding an extra USB disk temporarily, but it still won't install.

It starts by saying You need at least 10G free. After a bit of hard work, I manage to get 10G free, let it update for about three hours - and then it fails.

And it always fails with a magic number - nothing useful. But when you look up the magic number, it goes to a Microsoft page which says "You need more disk space".

It's quite clear that 32G is NOT enough to run Windows 10 - or at least, not enough to be able to upgrade it.

And people wonder why I use Chromebooks and Linux rather than Windows boxes.

(I have exactly ONE piece of software which I can't run on Wine and has no equivalent on Linux. That's all I need this box for.)

Well, well, well. Crime does pay: Ransomware creeps let off with community service

Martin

Re: "notoriously difficult language"

...everyone just replied or talked to me in English as soon as they heard my accent!

I used to know an English guy, who was married to a Dutch lady and lived in Holland. If he spoke Dutch to someone, and they answered him in English, he used to say politely (in Dutch) - "Sorry - is my Dutch not good enough for you?"

Doctor, doctor, I feel like my IoT-enabled vacuum cleaner is spying on me

Martin
FAIL

Re: IoT foolishness

So yes, you need your app and the vacuum cleaner to be on the same network, so they can talk to each other. That I get.

But WHY do they then have to talk to the internet?

Tech team trapped in data centre as hypoxic gas flooded in. Again

Martin

Re: New version of Cluedo

And presumably it is the Beancounter who is found dead in the cellar.

No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?

Martin
Thumb Up

Re: "get"

twat: "can I get a latte?"

It may be apocryphal, but I like the story of the sign in the coffee shop:-

A latte, please - £2

Can I get a latte? - £3

Gimme a latte - £4

Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

Martin
FAIL

Re: Only cracking I have done is

I was once waiting in reception for an interview at a security company.

Someone came in, went into the internal door, which had a keycode lock. She hesitated, and looked towards the security guard, who called out "3285" so she could get in....

(Just to add to the fun, I didn't get the job - I was a contractor, but for some reason the agent had sent me for an interview for a permie position.)

Security guard cost bank millions by hitting emergency Off button

Martin
Happy

Re: And submarine crews.

At one time I worked for the largest brewery in the US, who was facing a problem in that there was a "bubble" of a large number of brewery staff coming up for retirement. How to pass on a lifetime of knowledge to their replacements?

I'm moderately impressed that they noticed that they might have an issue. Most places I've been just sack their older staff, then wonder why things start going wrong on a regular basis.

Smash-hit game Fortnite is dangerous... for cheaters: Tools found laced with malware

Martin
WTF?

Re: Can't feel too upset about this

@Robert Helpmann:-

There is a world of difference between getting a competitive advantage by reading books and taking lessons, versus actually breaking the rules of the game. Does that really have to be spelt out?

Martin
Happy

Re: Ahhh, the youth of today...

In my day, a poke was something else entirely...

Martin
WTF?

Can't feel too upset about this

Yes, I'm sorry that people are downloading malware, but not that sorry.

What is the point, really, of downloading a cheat code to improve your chances of winning, when the only thing you get from winning is satisfaction and kudos?

This is a serious question. It seems to be rife in gaming, as far as I can tell - people play for a while and as soon as they get stuck, they search the internet for the clues and cheat codes. Call me old-fashioned, but it seems to take the point away from the whole thing.

Anyone got any insight into this?

Startup bank Monzo: We warned Ticketmaster months ago of site fraud

Martin
WTF?

Ticketmaster / GetMeIn

I wouldn't buy from Ticketmaster if I could avoid it.

I was horrified to find that they own GetMeIn - which means that Ticketmaster have no incentive whatsoever to worry about getting tickets to valid fans - they'd rather they went to people who will resell on GetMeIn - double profit!!

On the other hand, I have just opened an account with Monzo.

Israel cyber chief's 'pants' analogy for password security deemed, well, 'pants'

Martin
Thumb Down

But if someone else gets hold of it, it's not exactly hard to break into....

Trainee techie ran away and hid after screwing up a job, literally

Martin
Happy

Re: He started a new life

There is an Agatha Christie book which had a love interest between a dentist and a young lady. A friend of the young lady said to her something like "A dentist! Why, if he was going to kiss you, you'd feel he was going to say, 'Open a little wider, please.'"

(If you're interested, the book is Death in the Clouds. It's one of her better ones, imho.)

JURI's out, Euro copyright votes in: Whoa, did the EU just 'break the internet'?

Martin
Happy

Re: What will happen is

Can you imagine the internet without any mentions of GOT except within the publishers sites. It would have generated far less interest and income.

True, that is one upside I hadn't considered....

Developer’s code worked, but not in the right century

Martin
Headmaster

Re: Hills

OK - so how does a Devonian pronounce Aveton Gifford? (Sounds like a riddle...)

UK's first transatlantic F-35 delivery flight delayed by weather

Martin
Happy

Interesting. Two down-votes. Boris and David?

Martin
Unhappy

...if something went wrong that would be a catastrophe which would reduce the UK to an international laughing stock...

Hmmm. I rather thought our Brexit negotiators and our Foreign Secretary had done that already.

UK judge appears in dock over Computer Misuse Act allegations

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Doctor, doctor! My NHS Patient Access app has gone TITSUP*

Martin
Happy

Actually, the old credentials do work, but it's got a new address - that's why LastPass seems to have lost it. You'll have to set it up like a new site, but just copy'n'paste the i/d and password into the new site. Or edit the account directly in LastPass to change the address.

I know that the old credentials work as I have not successfully logged in (it just times out), but I HAVE had an email saying:-

Thank you for signing in to the new Patient Access, we hope you are enjoying the experience!

Make masses carry their mobes, suggests wig in not-at-all-creepy speech

Martin
FAIL

Re: Colour me surprised.

He did not comment on whether he thought it was a good idea. He merely said that (a) most people carry their phones and this makes it easier to track them and (b) if legislators were to enforce it, it would be even easier.

And actually, it tends to be senior judges who have a better idea of what a free society means than, say, the lawmakers in Parliament. Which is why, for example, when the government said that they were just going to impose the deal they got for Brexit without going through Parliament, the law lords told them that they couldn't.

Admin needed server fast, skipped factory config … then bricked it

Martin
Happy

I used to work for a company, who had a team of engineers who used to build the most amazing leaving presents for any member of the team who resigned.

One guy was given several boards in a rack with a keypad and display on the front. When it was powered on, a zero appeared in the display. It did not take him long to discover that this beast was actually a huge calculator. Being an engineer, the guy thought "OK - what happens if I try to divide by zero?" So he punched in 17 / 0 = .....at which point an alarm went off and smoke appeared out of the back!

My PC is on fire! Can you back it up really, really fast?

Martin
Thumb Up

Re: I recall even my mum (a bit like Dilmom) telling me a fire story

Stuff we did in the labs when I was at school which I bet kids aren't allowed to do nowadays...

Yes, all of those, plus my personal favourite - using a Van Der Graaf generator to get yourself charged up to several zillion volts, then lighting a Bunsen burner with the static spark. We actually used that as a demo at our School Open Day!

Windrush immigration papers scandal is a big fat GDPR fail for UK.gov

Martin
FAIL

Re: Glad you've covered this

the Shane Ridge situation you refer to was quickly resolved the next day...

No - it was resolved the next day after the papers got hold of it. He'd presumably spent several days before that in a major panic.

But hey, the Home Office apologised, so that's all right then.

Martin

Re: Labour/Tory?

Sadly bugger all difference between Nu Labour and Tory.

In general, true. But this particular Tory government has demonstrated callousness and utter contempt towards anyone who is disadvantaged in this country, the like of which I have not seen in all my forty five years of voting. They are truly loathsome.

There is no perceived IT generation gap: Young people really are thick

Martin
Happy

It is embarrassing, having to explain quotes from Cant, Goethe, Kleist, Schopenhauer, Kafka et al to young Germans...

Or even Kant.

Martin
FAIL

Re: That takes me back

You're getting old. Not YOUR. And you know that, because you used "you're" later on, correctly.

If you're going to do a sarcastic rant, do it right. Have a downvote.

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